Published: July 30th 2008July 30th 2008
I hope you all are enjoying the summer and the school holidays! Things are still going well here in Australia, can't complain.
BTW in my very first blog from Australia I said that the country has 28 million people, but it's just 20,5 million....just 4 million more than The Netherlands.
Things have been good in Darwin so far, on the other hand not so good. Maccas
Where shall I start? Well....the AU$50 that got stolen from my wallet at Mc Donald's, I didn't get it back. I confronted the girl in the restaurant. When I started confronting her, she went nuts and starting insulting me but I didn't care...it all happened in the store, in front of the customers but I didn't care really because she's a filthy thief. I told her why I know it was her and what I think about her. It's better that I don't say what I think about her. I told her as well what I think she should do with that $50 bill. There was, obviously, nothing that the police could do so I didn't waste my time and try anything with the police. I was just hoping
that she would admit it, but the thing is that the management at the restaurant didn't really try anything and that pissed me off a little bit because they should have spoken to her and try to let her "confess" because it was so obvious that she was the one. But anyway, guess what: a week later she was FIRED! They kicked her out of the restaurant, yes! Hahaha, good on her. Apparently she was giving free food away to one of her friends and she was caught, the idiot. Now by law she's not even allowed to come any close to the store because she was throwing mustard and ketchup on the windows etc. (hahaha how sad) and the police officially prohibited her to come near the store. She risks a fine up to AU$ 2000 if she does. I didn't see her these days on the street, but when I see her again I'll tell her a couple of things hahaha. It won't bring the $50 back, but that doesn't matter because I'll be blessed with much more than $50...she's the loser her. The Vic
Working at The Vic is still going fine. Some of the guys
I was working with left (three of the Dutchies) and we have some new guys as glassies and some new girls behind the bar. At The Vic you'd find money on the floor almost every day, especially in the weekends. There is like a "competition" between the glassies to look who has found the most amount of money at the end of the night. In the weekend the place is very crowded and people easily lose lots of $1 and $2 coins...even bills! One guy found $65 in bills once, and I've found a $20 bill and a $5 bill once. Generally, in the weekends I've found an average of $15 per night....which is good! The managers are great, the people I work with are great....one girl that's working here for 6 months so far told me that I was the best glassy she has seen since he started working there....which of course is a great thing to hear. Although you know that you're doing your job well, it's always good to get feedback because it encourages you more. I didn't go to Mr. Toolbox anymore when I found out that the prize was AU$100 to spend on drinks at
the bar, and not cash. Since I don't drink much I didn't go anymore, although they've asked me to go just for fun. Maybe I'll go this Tuesday, lol. Darwin
Johnny's brother, Patrick, came for a week to visit him here in Darwin. He lives in northern New South Wales. We took him to the wharf and also to the Mindil Beach markets. During his second night here, he came home with an injury and didn't tell anyone. He came in early in the morning and I was the only one that noticed that. During the day he was feeling pain and he asked me to go to the pharmacy for him, he gave me the prescription. He had a long cut down his belly with stitches and it was hurting. The story he told me about what happened was strange, when I asked him for more explanation he didn't say anything. At that time I didn't even care, I just went to the pharmacy for him and later even caught the bus to the hospital with him because the wound was bleeding a little bit. His brother was at work and I was alone with him at the
time, but all that time I thought that his brother knew already what had happened. His story about the wound was, that he got chasen by aboriginals and he jumped over a low fence on the Esplanade here in Darwin while running away, and without knowing that it was a 2 or 3 meter drop behind the fence.....but the cut didn't look like one you'd get from a fall at all. I think that he got involved in a fight and they might have attacked him with a knife or something...but anyway it's his problem. He left a week later and went to Sydney, where they had the World Youth Day. He was one of the 14 Australians I think, that was confirmed by The Pope in Sydney, which of course is a very special and great thing for him as a Roman Catholic.
Meanwhile Julia, Johnny's (girl-)friend left Australia and he's missing her a lot. He's having some difficulties with it, but getting over it.
The Mindil Beach markets in Darwin started back in 1987 and it's on every Thursday and Sunday....starting late afternoon until about 10pm, only in the dry season (April to October). A LOT of
people visit the markets. I went twice so far, the atmosphere is great there. A lot of people walking around, looking for souvenirs and other things to buy. The best thing at the market is the food: dozens of tents selling local and especially international food, mainly Asian food. I had Philippine food the first time, and Mongolian the second time I went there. The sunsets at Mindil Beach are gorgeous. Many many people gather on the beach to watch the sunset all the time. The beach itself is not great at all....not for swimming...nothing compared to our beaches in Curacao. Work in Nhulunbuy, Gove Peninsula
About two weeks ago I flew to Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula, which is in the northeastern "corner" of the Northern Territory. Via ManPower, employment agency, I got a job there for 2 to 3 weeks. All I had to do, was to assist a hydrologist with taking groundwater samples.
Nhulunbuy was built in the 1960's, when the bauxite and alumina industry was started (bauxite and alumina is the most important industry in Suriname by the way ;) ). There is about 4.000 people living in Nhulubuy and there is really not
much to do there. We stayed at a camping, kind of trailer park, where manny of the workers stay too. Everyone has their own single room with aircondition, TV with cable, bathroom etc. very good. The food was awesome: a broad buffet dor breakfast, lunch and dinner....I'm going to miss the food! There is also a room with pooltables, ping pong tables, gym, internet, laundry....all for FREE! On the peninsula there is a mine site from which they take the actual bauxite as raw material, a refinery which processes the bauxite, and a residue disposal area where they dump all the trash and other crap left behind after processing the bauxite in the refinery. The company is called Alcan Gove, before it was called Nabalco. They have an Environmental Department too, which monitors the impact of the industry on the environment and tries to minimize this as much as possible. All around the refinery and the residue disposal area (RDA) they have a lot of narrow wells, which they bored to reach to groundwater. All of them have a number, in total there were about 140 that we had to sample. The job was very simple. On the first day
we prepared the bottles and put them all in their small bags, the number of the wells were on all the bags and bottles. We had a 4WD truck which we used to drive around the terrain and get to the wells. In all the wells there were tubes which needed to be pulled out and plugged on the pump, which worked with wires conencted to the battery of the truck. The waterlevel and depth of the well also needed to be measured. When the water starts coming up we put four sensors in a small bucket, hanging inside a big bucket, and Soraya (the hydrologist) needs to write down what the temperature is, how much oxygen there is in the water etc etc. It takes a couple of minutes, after that we can sample and pump the water into the bottles, which will be send to the laboratory. When we finish one well, we need to wash all the equipment we've used in water with desinfection, and then rinse it in fresh water. This to prevent that samples from other wells will be contaminated by new samples. As you would expect, the water is absolutely not good to drink.
Some of it was very dirty and smelly. We spent an average of 30 minutes at each well. We found many dry wells, the reason why we did the job in 11 days instead of minimum 2 weeks like I was told by ManPower. It was good to work there. They salary was good, the flight, accomodation and food was paid. Which means that I didn't spend 1 cent during those 11 days. Got kicked out
In the meantime I got kicked out from Cliff's house, totally unfair. I came back on a Thursday from Nhulunbuy when he told me that I'll have to look for another accomodation because he doesn't want is livingroom to be used as a bedroom anymore...which I fully understood, but I didn't like the way he handled it. Before I left to Nhulunbuy, even before Patrick came, he told me he was considering to ask me to leave, because sometimes I leave some stuff on the table in the livingroom and he didn't like that. He said it wouldn't be fair to me because he never told me he didn't like it. So he told me to put all my stuff bac in Johnny's
room when I wake up, then I can stay. I was a bit shocked since I had no idea that it was annoying him. Normally when someone doesn't like something I do or whatever, they should just say it...say it, I won't feel bad. Especially when I stay at other people's house....I've stayed at many local homes in different countries and I know how it is...I always try to adapt myself as much as I can and of course I behave well....I never had problems, and if there was something they'd tell me. Anyway, when Cliff told me that, I wanted to leave straight away, but Johhny kept telling me that I don't have to leave and he'd like me to stay. So I stayed. When I came back from Nhulunbuy, Cliff said that he made up his mind and he wants me to look for another accomodation because he "wants his house" back. He kept saying "it's nothing personal"....that was Thursday night. The same night I tried to find a hostel but there were full! Darwin is now really in the mid of the peak season, it's busier than when I left to Nhulunbuy. I stayed two more nights
at Cliff's and I told him that Saturday I'll buy the newspaper to look at the classifieds and check out for rooms to rent....Saturday is the day with the most classifieds. Saturday just before midday Cliff came and told me that I have to be out at 5pm....then I said "I'll go out soon and look IF I can find a bed in a hostel" and he said "that's not my problem"....then he left. I packed my stuff up and went out to the hostels. It wasn't easy, but I found one for 5 nights at least. In the meantime he came back home. I just wrote a short notice to him telling what I think about what happened and left the letter with the key on the table....way before 5pm. I preffered not to discuss with him to prevent further complications and not to made things even worse. In the notice I told him it wasn't not fair how he told me to leave this time, and if I'm supposed to feel happy when he kept saying "it's not personal". And that he knew since before I came that I'm going to sleep on the couch (which becomes a
bed), and that he's aware that we're in the middle of the high season and hostels are fully booked. Johhny was "furious" with him and is planning to leave as soon as he can too. The next day I went to see Johhny and to collect some stuff I left in the house. I said goodday, Cliff said: "Your towel is in the room...take it, and I don't want you in my house" hahahaha...I was enjoying it...he wasn't happy about the notice I left to him....I knew because it was too sharp and too direct. But I don't give a shit, I'll be fine...that's what I told Johnny as well. I must admit what happened made feel horrible at first because it was hard to find another place to stay in the first place. Hostels only take backpackers for 7 nights now due to the high season, and I really didn't want to move from hostel to hostel every week. I was even considering to go back to Melbourne and called Manny to ask that if I go I could work for him....but the cold weather down there hold me back. Now I found another hostel where I can move
in tomorrow. I can stay there for long and pay less because I work at The Vic....they have the same owners. I feel very good again now and Johhny supported me a lot as well which was good. Further plans
I'll stay at least one more month in Darwin, actually due to two reasons:
1. I'm going to apply for a new passport, and during this procedure it's better to stay at one place. My passport is valid until March 2009 but because many countries (including Australia and most Asian countries) require your passport to be at least 6 months valid at the moment you leave, that means I'll have to get a new one before I leave Australia.
2. I'm seeing the doctors here in Darwin regarding my right eye, and if everything goes well, all stitches from the operation in Sept. 2006 will be finally removed, and this take 3 to 4 weeks more. There should be around 6 or 7 stitches left now.
And of course, saving money is also a reason to stay longer. I'm working and saving, and it's a place I know well.
When I leave Darwin, I might fly
first to Melbourne for a week, then fly to Perth and travel the westcoast. The eastcoast will be the last part. The goal is to spend as less money as possible while travelling along the west-and eastcoasts...and not to take too much time doing them. In Western Australia I'd like to see Perth, the wave rock, Pinnacles dessert, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Karijini National Park and if possible also 80 mile beach and Broome. In the east just Cairns, Withsunday Islands, Fraser Island, Brisbane and Byron Bay. There is a lot more to see but it cost too much money and time. As I have it planned so far, I'll leave Australia on October 14th from Sydney and fly to Bangkok, Thailand. On Nov. 22nd
I'll board to Amsterdam, via Hong Kong. During the 5,5 weeks in Asia, my intention is to visit Vietnam and Cambodja....and if the time and money permits it, I'll do Philippines and/or Laos too. That's just the plan so far, of course I hope I'll be able to do it this way but if by any chance I can't, I can stay in Australia longer than October 14th and stay shorter in Asia.
think the blog is long enough, and most of you don't read it completely anyway hahaha ;)
Take care you all,
There are more photos below