The hunt is on for a job in the city! Well, on the North Shore of the city, if I can help it.
After settling into my new digs in Crows Nest, I began my online job search for anything in hospitality. To be honest, I don’t really want to wait tables again. It was fine in New Zealand because the staff were mostly travelers and people were nice. But, I have a feeling customers in Sydney are a bit different that those we got in Rotorua.
During the first few days of living in Sydney, I sent out several resumes to restaurants in the area. I walked up and down the main drag in Crows Nest to see if any restaurants had posted ads on their windows. The few places that did need help wanted you to have a liquor license, which I didn’t have. I don’t even have a tax ID yet since I haven’t worked a real paying job yet.
I was really hoping a Japanese restaurant I contacted while in Toowoomba would hire me. But when I went in for the interview, I was told they already filled the position. Still, I had a nice talk with the manager and he said he’d keep an eye out.
A few days later I had a trial at a different Japanese restaurant, which was about a 45 to 60 minutes away by foot. The place was pretty small and the wait staff had to do everything, including dressing dishes with various sauces, pouring all drinks and washing glasses. It didn’t seem very hygienic, that’s for sure. Most importantly, the people didn’t seem all that friendly or happy to be working there.
In the end, I passed on that job. Walking to and fro every night would get old pretty quick, and the buses weren’t much help in cutting back on the commute time. I’d just have to keep looking for something better.
After a week in Toowoomba, it was time to say goodbye to Yvonne and all my new friends. I caught a bus back to Brisbane and a flight down to Sydney, where I planned to look for a job and work for the rest of my working holiday visa.
I arranged to rent a room from a Japanese family in Crows Nest, so I headed there directly from the airport. It would be nice to be in a real home and not returning to shared dorms.
The family had three young boys all of whom were very active and rambunctious. On my first night with the family, they cooked me a multi-course welcome dinner. It was a mixture of east and west. Conversation was interesting because the family didn’t speak much English.
My room was off to the back next to the boys’ room, but that wasn’t a problem. I shared a bathroom with them as well so there were a lot of toys and things around. Outside of my room was a tiny balcony, but the view was of a busy street. All in all, it would be a nice place to lay my head for a while and compared to other prices around Sydney it was a steal.
Ju Raku En, Toowoomba’s Japanese Garden, is located on the campus of the University of Southern Queensland. Lucky for Yvonne and I, her friend Tom volunteered to shuttle us around town for the day, and we were treated to some amazing views of the garden.
It was a bit disorienting to find this garden in the middle of Queensland. Who would’ve thought eh? Once we stepped foot inside the garden walls, I instantly felt peaceful and serene. I guess the garden’s mojo was doing its thing.
I enjoyed our stroll through the garden over little red bridges and through different foliage. There was even a section that was a bamboo forest. It was a fine day and families with young children sat under trees and had picnics. There was even a photo shoot of some kind going on at one end of the gardens.
I wish we could’ve stayed longer but the heat was rising by the time we made a complete circuit of the grounds. And the sun in Queensland burns! So we quickly hopped back into Tom’s car.
One of the best things about having friends overseas is being able to see and experience life as it’s lived by locals. Yvonne introduced me to so many of her friends and took me along to different activities she had. The woman is extremely active and participates in so many groups. I can only hope to be just as involved when I’m her age . . . but somehow I think that’s pretty unlikely as even at this age I had a difficult time just trying to keep up with her.