Mooloolaba Beach Backpackers
We've settled in Mooloolaba for some time now. I am still doing night security and Jay has had a few promotions, from day cleaner to night cleaner and from that to receptionist. She now works 35 paid hours a week so we've been able to save up some cash. It's been nice to stay in one spot for awhile and form lasting friendships with the rest of the long-termers. We really love it here despite the usual annoyances that come with living in a busy hostel. So much has happened in the last few months that it all sort of blends together, but here are some of the highlights:
-Jay and I celebrated Valentine's Day with a beach BBQ of steak and corn-on-the-cob. Imagine trying that back home!
-A few of the guys here began a project to construct a sea-worthy raft from inflated empty goon (boxed wine) bags. Goon is the official drink of backpackers in Australia as everything else is too expensive so in 4 weeks we were able to collect around 90 bags. One weekend we began construction of the S.S. Goon Bag by inflating them all and strapping the together using industrial-grade cling wrap. The
Just another night on the infamous party floor, 3rd floor F Block
raft was launched in the river and paddled all the way out to the ocean (about 1.5km). When they reached the river mouth, a few shark fins were spotted and then a rip took the crew out to sea but after a few hairy moments they were able to paddle it onto shore safe and sound. We made the local paper: http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2009/02/26/wine-induced-wonder-works/
-The Munich Boys from the farm came to visit us for a few days at the end of February and ended up staying a month. We found out that Ferdy and I shared the same birthday on March 21st so they had to stay to celebrate. Their first week here, I took a Thursday night off and we went to the local nightclub, 240V, for backpacker night and had a great time thanks to a $50 note Chris found on the way.
-The big combined birthday party was a blast. After being kicked out at 10pm by the other night security guy, the party moved to the beach where certain members of the group went for a midnight swim in the ocean. It's hard to see those waves coming in the dark.
-We spent a
Beach BBQ for Valentine's Day
day at the Australia Zoo but that will be another blog.
-One Sunday a large group from the hostel went over the Lawn Bowling Club across the street to learn the tricks from the old folks. It was only $2 to play and Jay and I were separated onto separate teams. This worked out beautifully as at the end of the day both of our teams won the raffle consisting of everyone's entry money.
-The boss was considering buying a neighbouring hostel so he enlisted Jay and I to spend a night there to spy on them and answer a few questions. He gave us some money to go out for a nice Indian dinner and a case of beer and thanks to our reconnaissance, he ended up buying it a week later. It was a nice getaway for a night.
-I gave up looking for a job once we learned how much our tax returns were going to be this year but I did manage to work a few days. I did some odd jobs around town and one weekend went out to work at an organic ginger farm. The work was monotonous but interesting nonetheless.
Jay and Kate
Plus I ended up with a load of free ginger at the end.
-We survived our very first cyclone, tropical storm Hamish. It didn't hit us directly (200km offshore) but it did cause some damage. Jay tried surfing the massive swell and nearly broke her nose on the board. Also, a big ship went down spilling oil into the sea. They closed most of the beaches for a few days until the clean-up was complete. What a mess!
-Jay's reception job is interesting. She gets to meet everybody that comes through and hears about all the backpacker gossip. When there's a lot going on it's really stressful, it's a bit of a juggling act, but when it's quiet she got paid to play ping-pong or pool. My job was pretty much the same deal. There were crazy nights where people were kicked out for being too rowdy but most nights were quiet and spent watching movies. The hardest part of the job was having weird sleeping hours and sleeping through those beautiful Sunshine Coast mornings.
There were so many people who moved through the hostel during our three month stint it is impossible to talk about them
all. But we feel there are a few who musen't go unmentioned;
Zeke - the owner, is a super laid back guy who inherited the running of the hostel from his dad Dave (a retired elementary principal). He always handled difficult situations gracefully and efficiently. But he wasn't all buisness, he always got a case of XXXX Gold for the staff during staff meetings.
Mary - the heart and soul of the backpackers. An infinitely patient person who not only kept the hostel clean, but acted as a surogate mother to all of the wandering travelers who found themselves in Mooloolaba.
Kerri - the live-in manager, was a surprise every day. She ran the hostel on a day to day basis. And for someone only 21 years old, had no trouble voicing her opinion to those around her. She always talked about how much she hated working at the hostel, but I think that was a ruse. She really loves meeting new people and making them smile.
Kate - the guest that never leaves, was here when we got here and is staying for a few weeks after we leave. She is a professional traveler originally
The test launch for the SS Goon Bag
from New Zealand. Kate left home straight out of school and has been traveling the world ever since. She is a truly kind person that Alex and I liked straight away. I think that was because she reminded us of Denise Densmore.
Harley - the other security guy was always smiling. He is a Canadian traveling around Australia originally from Saskatchewan. He was a generally interesting guy always full of random facts. The thing I liked about him most was his ability to laugh about his own man-whoriness.
Peter - perpetually the jokester, was like a comedy T.V show unto himself. He will be remembered for his hideous pediophilic mustach and his insatable thirst for the Kings of Leon.
Gavin - our British cook who had no trouble polishing off a couple bottles of wine while cooking us dinner. He was on the British television programme 'Master Chef' and had no trouble reminding you of it. Joking aside, he was a really genuine person who will make a great partner once he grows up!
Sungu - the Korean surfer dude! Perhaps the longest standing guest of the Backpackers, he is currently studying Horticulture at the Sunshine
Shawn, Alex, Timo and Benoit
Coast University in an attempt to gain Australian residency. Sungu was the most fun to hang around. He had a dry sense of humour that I think rubbed of from his best mate who just happened to be British. Everyone knew who Sungu was, and his surfing safaries were infamous.
Dom - Sungu's best mate talked a lot of shit. But I don't believe for a second he was half the tough guy he tried to make himself out to be. Always a good laugh, when his twin brother came over for a couple of days and yelled for Sungu you would swear there were two Dom's!
The Kiwis - Soraya and Missy were the life of the party. I have never seen two chicks who could drink like those two, and still be smiling in the morning. They day cleaned at the hostel. It was the hardest job here. But I never heard them complain.
Cam and Stan - the male Canadian equilivant to Soraya and Missy. These guys could also pack away the goon, but they always looked a little worse for wear in the morning. They had the coolest Canadian accent, no one ever
Canadian Stan, this picture explains half the story
mistook them for Americans. These guys worshiped the movie FUBAR, and lived their lives by the mantra 'Just give'er'.
Phil - one of the few American long term guests was incredibly knowledgable. He worked hard to make all the new people feel truly welcome. Especially if they were pretty!
Danielle - Oh Wow! The super cute little Canadian chick with a perpetual cloud of green smoke following her.
There were countless others who we made friendships with, it has been a great start to our Aus adventure.
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