Friday, July 29, 2005

Oz Day 023.

I got a blister on my foot. Broke it with a clean pair of nail scissors sterilised over an open flame, drained it, put on antiseptic and a protective plaster. It has been such a long time since I got a blister on my foot. I treat my feet kindly. However have been doing a lot of walking.

The distance from the hostel to the city centre is about 1.5 kilometres. The distance from the city centre to the new place I am renting is about 3 kilometres. I walk everywhere. Still trying to figure out the public bus routes and timetables. Most of time outside of peak hours, the buses run so irregularly that it is just much faster to walk to where I am going.

Have gotten disorientated and lost (as usual) more than a few times. However I have found a guiding light (literally!) in Perth. The second tallest building in the Perth city centre is the BankWest Tower with the distinctive triangular top. In the dark cold nights, the bright blue neon BankWest logo blazes out from the top of tower guiding lost souls wandering in poorly-marked residential areas back towards the city centre. BankWest has certainly earned my goodwill in an unexpected way. [ Who cares about the tallest building where they spent a couple hundred million dollars putting up the skyscraper, but for some reason did not put up blazing lights on the top to make it more visible in the dark! ]


One thing I will miss about living in the hostel is the diverse range of characters I meet there, all with their own fascinating life stories. The middle-age PRC lady who turns out to have been travelling and working in the farms across WA in a gypsy-style lifestyle for the last decade. The head chef who used to work in 5-star restaurants in South Australia who left at home a wife and three kids (and his wines/beers), to get ferried out on helicopters to an oil rig working three-week alcohol-free rotating shifts which pay $300 per day. The 40-odd year old Japanese lady who left a husband and kids at home in Japan to come to Australia to "learn English". The recently-divorced commerical pilot flying Boeing727s freight shipments across Australia, who sold everything he had to spend between his vacation home in Korea and his 7-year-old daughter on the Gold Coast. The African couple, speaking very little English, who recently got their residency here and are approaching everything with the unabashed curiousity that you usually only get to see in little children. The Canadian chartered accountant with a love for cribbage, who used to teach accounting in China universities, now driving tourist buses on "adventure tours" from Perth outback. All fascinating characters I would love to sit down and write books about.. the stories they can tell, the experiences they can share, the lesssons they can teach.

When I moved from the hostel to the rented room, my worldly possessions could not even fill the boot and rear seats of the tiny rented car. And you know what? A good portion of the baggage that I brought along is still packed and untouched. I guess no matter how lightly you try to travel, there is still low-value stuff that ends up being packed along. If only unpacking my mental attitudes would be as easy as throwing out the physical stuff that weighs me down. I want to writing about "mental re-packing", but it will have to wait for a later time when the more critical issues (e.g. getting a job and not starving to death) have been more satisfactorily addressed. At least after that last major
food supply run with the car, I have over S$150 of mostly non-perishable food supplies stocked up so that I will be okay for a while.

[ Talk about old mental patterns dying hard.. I stole a cup from the hostel as I left. It was one of those cheap plastic mugs that companies give out as promotional items. I had been regularly using the same cup for a coffee mug when I was staying at the hostel. As with tradition, it is no fun to nick something unless in plain sight. I filled the mug with hot coffee and was drinking from it in plain sight - as I returned the keys, had the room condition checked, settled the final bill, grabbed my last load of laundry, walked out the main door, waved goodbye to the staff, and drove off - all while merrily holding on and walking off with one of their kitchen mugs! ]


So you have a new immigrant to Perth..

Somebody who has only been in Perth for about 3 weeks and has yet to figure out the transportation network. Somebody who is so klutzy that he cannot park a car without hitting a kerb. Somebody who has had a car accident in every major city he has driven in. Somebody who is mechanically inept. Somebody who would eat everything edible in sight. Somebody who could not move stuff from point A to point B without dropping half of it. Somebody who does not even own a car.

So the perfect job for this somebody would be.. pizza delivery man! [ Has there ever been a more inappropriate job fit? ]

If I can get enough hours delivering pizza, the money should hopefully be sufficient to defray the cost of the rental and fuel. With the 50% reduction in rent moving from the hostel to the rented room in suburbs, my position is slightly improved. The improved mobility - without the capital investment of purchasing a vehicle - should improve the job hunting process. Or at least reduce the possibility of more blisters on my feet!

The recruiter interviews last week and this week have not panned out. For all the effort on that front, only one possible employer interview has been generated (pending confirmation on my employer references). Plus one direct employer interview for a role selling cars. Totally from out of left field, I know.

The situation on the job front is starting to get a little strange..


Blogger D T said...

i was looking at your photostream and couldn't help but notice that snoopy kept appearing! thought it was amusing =)

July 29, 2005 1:35 PM  
Blogger the virgin undergrad said...

dude, dun walk liao lah, i give u good lobang. always plan ur route on before going out
they have this kickass journey planner which plans out the time, which train/bus to take, the ETA and even the approx. walking distance to get to ur destitation. all u have to do is to type in the address of ur location and ur destination. despite all the ineffeciency of perth public transport, this at least beats SBS flat. oh yes, anyway, there's a singapore students clubbing event on the 11th of August @ Paramount in Northbridge. so if u're feeling kinda lonely and bored, it's probably a good place to make frens and meet fellow singaporeans.

July 30, 2005 12:57 AM  
Blogger Tym said...

Thanks for your constant updates! Besides finding out how your situation is progressing (and I believe it is progress), I'm also thrilled to hear about all the unexpected people you meet. I say 'unexpected' because I need to be reminded that in Singapore, almost everyone does the same-old, same-old --- and even though I've met many people in what are by Singapore standards 'alternative' forms of employment lately, the sheer size of this nation-state doesn't allow the kind of diversity and room to breathe that some of the people you describe are clearly enjoying. I mean, travelling and working in farms gypsy-style? Sign me right up! (Once I get rid of my housing loan and my parents' expectations and my ... )

July 31, 2005 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glad to hear that you've found stage two accomodations. The people at the hostel you will have to miss, for a while.

KOP the ever hungry, as a pizza delivery man?
KOP the social dissident, as a car sales man?
Yes, this is becoming very comical. I think it would be even more poetic if BankWest were to hire you.


July 31, 2005 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone passed me this url, was wondering if you've tried online databases before?

July 31, 2005 3:54 PM  
Blogger vandice said...

Groovy... I know your number now...


August 03, 2005 4:34 AM  

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