More biking, hair modeling and nanny-job update

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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney
March 4th 2008
Published: March 4th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

On Sunday I went into Sydney to attend a casting call for hair modeling, this one with Redken.
I didn’t really want my hair cut, and was planning on seeing how much they’d pay before I committed to anything. If it’s under $200, I told myself, it’s not worth it. I quite like my current do, and even though money always comes in handy, I don’t need it that bad just yet.

Redken had rented a room at a Sheraton downtown, and it wasn’t a particularly big room.
Inside were 30-40 young, skinny, mega-trendy girls, all fitting into the small room easily thanks to their anorexic physique. Before arriving to Sydney, I had never seen such masses of svelte women. The ones that don’t appear malnourished are absolutely stunning, but the others make me want to stick them a couple of dollars and send them off to a nearby Hungry Jack’s.

So here’s a shitload of well-manicured, appropriately dressed young women in uncomfortably high heels, and then there’s me. Now what would Annis be wearing to this type of venue? Well, we all know she’s practical before fashionable, so consequently she shows up in black, loose Capri-pants, a big pink t-shirt and her favorite sneakers; Reebok Hi-tops. Do I need to add that I didn’t wear any makeup?
The other girls stood aghast at the sight of my shockingly nonchalant choice of apparel, but I smiled politely back at them, which in best case reminded them to at least keep their mouths shut when staring at someone.

First, the hair dressers wanted to take a look at the runway-models. These girls came from agencies, and were asked to strut their stuff as if they were on a catwalk, so that the boys in charge could evaluate who was good enough for their precious show. Mind you, we were in a hotel room, not a gym hall, and the girls could therefore take no more than three short steps on this imaginary runway with their long, slender legs.
They walked from the bed to the couch (in which I was sitting, very amused by my front row seat), did their little stop, weighed over on the other leg, and turned around to walk back to their judges. I tried to have a look of supportive admiration on my face as they walked towards me, but of course they would never care about what a tomboy like myself had to say about their walk. After all, they’re models, for crying out loud, which makes them a fair bit more important than everyone else.
Once the hairdressers were done picking their runway models, they asked to please look at the hair models. At first they showed quite a bit of interest in my asymmetrical hairdo, but in the end they decided it was too short already, and that they couldn’t use me for this show.
As I was leaving, one of them came running after me and told me to please leave my email address and phone number, since there was another show coming up that I would be perfect for. Please don’t cut your hair until that show, asked the girl, and I replied that unless someone paid good money to play with my coiffure, it would remain untouched.

Richard and I decided Monday would be a good day to head out on a longer bike ride, so yesterday we saddled up and headed south along the coast.
It was a beautiful day, and we stopped at every spot worth photographing. This led to many interruptions in our trip, but then this is the whole point with a day completely devoid of an itinerary.
I’m about to turn Aussie, and here’s how I know: it doesn’t freak me out that the crazy inhabitants of this island drive on the wrong side of the road. I guess since they all do it, there's no bigger danger to that than driving on the right side, but problems arise when someone like myself puts herself in charge of a vehicle’s motion. It will take a considerable portion of concentration to not enter roundabouts the wrong way, for instance, but I’m guessing I’ll only have to go against traffic a few times before I catch on to how things are done here. These will be horrifying lessons, both for me and the Aussies in the other cars, but someone is bound to eventually roll down their window and yell something denigrating about me and my apparent foreign origin, which would certainly make me feel more welcome here. Not fitting in makes me feel right at home, and living among xenophobes is what I’m used to after 3.5 years in the States anyway, so I’m all for it. Bring it on.

We stopped for fish and chips in a steel factory town, watched the blowing hole in Kiama, and enjoyed all other views that were offered along our route. Richard even took me to the course where he had raced several years ago, and managed to get up to 140 km/h on a straight road to give me a taste of what it had been like during the actual race, although he told me that he had reached twice that velocity when competing. I thought 140 was plenty, and appreciated that he didn’t feel compelled to show me the real deal.

Job-wise things are moving forward, if ever so slowly. I met with the mother of the nanny-craving family today, and that was interesting.
She’s a real estate agent, he’s a personal trainer, and their kids are suffering from stressed-out parents. That’s where I come in to the picture, if I end up being offered the position. Between 4:30 PM and 8:30 PM they will need me to help out with random things around the house, such as hanging the laundry, tidying up the kids’ room, preparing supper and whatever else needs a hand. In general, it sounds like the easiest job ever, and in return for these few hours I would get my own room, food, free wireless internet and $100 a week.
She also said that I could use their bikes and her car whenever I want to, and she could easily find me work in a café or a pub with one of her friends. Should it turn out we all like the setup and everything works, she’ll let me move into the apartment on top of their house, which would give me a HUGE tv, my own kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a balcony. Sweet!
The only thing I’m not so mad about is the mom’s communicational skills, which are horrible to say they least. She’s one of those people who finishes your sentences for you, or, if they can’t figure out the ending syllables of the word you’re about to utter, they’ll just repeat the word “yeah” while you’re talking, to give you the impression that they really listen, and totally understand what you’re saying, even before you're done saying it.
I, of course, can’t stand it. I feel tempted to just shut up as soon as she starts jabbering at the same time, but that would leave me with a lot of unfinished sentences. The other inclination is to simply do the same to her, but I doubt she would even catch on. She’d probably just think I’m very attuned to her, as I’m sure this is what I’m suppose to think of her when she does it.
Either way, this is not enough to turn me off to working there.

After the interview I strolled around in Sydney, had some Indian food in the gay district, and read in the park for a few hours. While I was sitting there with my nose in Jane Eyre, a Korean guy came up to me and asked if he could talk to me for 5 minutes. Since he was Korean I knew this wasn't going to be an embarrassing attempt to hit on me, so I obliged. He sat down and explained that he goes to English class, and that his assignment for the day was to talk English to a stranger for 5 minutes. We chatted for a while, and I shocked him with my impressive knowledge about Korea and its culture (including singing a nursery rhyme in Korean, which prompted props for my pronunciation).
After he left I headed down home, where I chewed on some Cheerios while concluding that I need to go buy some more groceries. (And on the topic of cereal, let me inform you that Rice Krispies here are not called Krispies, but rather Rice Bubbles. Ha! What Aussie madness!)

By Thursday I'll know whether I got the nanny-position, so keep your fingers crossed for me, pretty please.
Now it's off to bed for your Swedish friend.

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