A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: kellyenright21

Finally having a Job, and Unfortunately having Bugs!

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This week has been a bit rough, between looking for jobs, finding ones that didn't suit my schedule, and overall just feeling like I really needed to find something soon. But at least it was entertaining last night when I heard yelling outside my window at midnight. I looked outside wondering what it was and found that it had been a prostitute yelling at a man to "bug off you f***king maggot". I began to think maybe this would be an easy job here! lol. I watched her for about 20 mins working the corner right outside my window. Waving at the drivers who stopped at the light on our corner and trying to get them to stop for her. Finally one rolled down his window and talked to her and after about 30 seconds she hopped in the car and they drove off. Looks like this could be an easy job if all else fails!
Caroline finally thought she found something after interviewing with a woman named Fallon for a waitressing position at a restaurant that was set to open in a week. Fallon told her she could take whatever time she needed on weekends to travel, she could work as little or as much as she needed, and even said that if she knew anyone else who needed a job she could bring them to training with her too. Thus, the next day when she had training I went with her too. Little did we know that "training" would consist of 4 hours of manual labor which included, unpacking boxes, setting up tables and chairs, and setting up the restaurant for them...all while not being told how much we were being paid. The next day involved two hours of nothing related to training as well. What really turned me off to the job was the next day when I was told to go to training at another location, which differed from Caroline's. I walked 30 minutes to the location only to be told that they weren't expecting me, they couldn't believe I had no experience, and I had to go home and change clothes into pants even though all of their other locations provided the uniform. That was kind of the last straw for me with this job, along with Caroline being told she had to work weekends if she wanted to work for them. I just began to realize that I came here to take a gap year and enjoy life and the world with a minimum amount of stress and although I needed income, I didn't need one that would cause me large amounts of stress. This was also the moment when Lydia and I realized that maybe this was a good time for us to take a trip, and then come back and feel okay with committing to a job that included weekends. We thought why not go to Fiji, or maybe Bali?
The next day I spent all morning applying for jobs as an administrative assistant, a nanny, waitress, barista, and anything else I could find. Around lunchtime I thought why not enjoy the 90 degree weather outside and headed to the beach for a few hours.
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While I was gone, Lydia was able to get in touch with our realtor and told them all about how we were having bug problems....the fun continues! Though all my bites were gone now, Lydia and Caroline were covered in them and Lydia had it the worst. We had gone to the emergency room here to night before because one of Lydia's bites had a ring around us, but the nurse there told us that our bites were from mosquitos. Lydia realized hers were infected in the morning and so she went to the doctor who told her it was infected and gave her prescriptions for it. That afternoon the realtor said we could have Roy, a pest control man come in and take a look. He took apart all of our beds, couches, and anything else and still found nothing! He sprayed our entire apartment and said that anything that was in there would die....so our hopes went back up! But now it was Friday, our apartment was torn apart looking for bugs, and we had to be out of the apartment for hours because of the spraying...good start to the weekend! Lydia and I tried to ease the stress and headed to Darling Harbour for happy hour....it was exactly like it looked like in Finding Nemo lol.
The next day I received an email from a man named Jeff saying he wanted me to meet with "himself, Rose, and the boys". Since I had applied for so many jobs the day before I could not remember what this was in reference to...waitressing, nannying? who knows! But I went anyway because I really needed to start making some money! When I got there I found out it was for an executive assistant/nanny role for 18 hours a week. The family seemed nice enough and I was willing to take anything for the moment! I was able to negotiate for the salary and also was able to get a woman I had turned down for sitting for 4 hours a week offer me the position again so I felt much better with everything! I told both families that I could not start for a week and then......booked a trip for Fiji for the upcoming week :) Lydia, Caroline and I all will be leaving Tuesday and spending 6 days in Nadi, Fiji. Here we will be staying at Bamboo Beach Hostel, where they have Fiji musicians playing every night, are right on the beach, and have happy hour every night by the water....here we go taking a vacation from our vacation!....I don't think I could feel more blessed!
Lydia and I treated ourselves then to our first two meals out in a month this weekend. Our first involved half off carafes of wine along with meat and cheese plates at night, and then the following morning the most fabulous brunch I have ever been too. It involved bottomless beelines and an abundance of delicious foods. We felt like two of the Kardashians, while poor Caroline had to work the entire weekend!
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When Monday morning rolled around Lydia and I planned to work at CRCC Asia for the day, until we were told the night before that we didn't have to come into the office. So we worked from home for the day and spent part of the day bagging up all of our clothes and cleaning them, hoping to get rid of any remaining bugs and suffocate them during our week away. Lydia woke up this morning with bites now on her face too...yet somehow I still had none! Considering myself VERY lucky!!

Posted by kellyenright21 03:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Featherdale Wildlife Reserve and an Afternoon in Coogee

This past week, Lydia joined me at CRCC Asia and we both spent a few days working in the office. Our morning commute consists of walking through the park and past fountains and the cathedral and is only 20 minutes...no complaints from us!
No complaints except that for the past few days I have been waking up with weird bumps on my legs and arms....not really sure what that's all about, but classic life of Kelly! Yesterday, I woke up with a new rash on my arm too...how fun! To forget about that and embrace the long weekend we have because of a public holiday on Monday, we decided to head to a zoo and see some koalas and Kangaroos yesterday!
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At the zoo we got to hang out with Kangaroos that were allowed to roam free and you could go up to them and feed them, which was pretty cool! We also got to see some koalas....who were all sleeping.....literally we must have been near about 20 of them throughout our time there and there wasn't one that was awake. You can't hold the koalas here in NSW, so we'll have to wait until a trip farther north to do that! The kangaroos were much smaller than I would have suspected.....but we were kind of happy about that considering how vicious the big ones can be and since the last thing I would want is to get whacked by one of their tales. We also got to see emus, dingoes (that weren't eating any babies), native Australian birds, crocodiles, and penguins.
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Today, we spent our afternoon at the Coogee Pavillion, which is right on the beach and a place where a lot of young people head on Sunday afternoons to enjoy the warm weather. it has a rooftop bar with beautiful views, which is where we spent our afternoon. We met up with an Australian guy who Lydia had met two years ago when studying abroad in Amsterdam and he showed us around a bit as well. When it was finally time to go home we were exhausted and called an uber (sorry Darl). Our uber driver's name was Zhiqi (pronounced gee-chee as I learned in Beijing!). When he asked us where we were from we said the United States and he said he never heard of it....in shock Lydia said no no we mean the United States of America, USA, The STATES! and still Zhiqi had ZERO clue what that meant. Never have I met someone who says that!
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Posted by kellyenright21 00:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

RSA Certification, Baby Alfie, and the arrival of Lyd & Caro

Before Lydia and Caroline's arrival, I had a full two days. First, I had a 6 hour training in order to obtain my RSA Certification. In order to work in any establishment that serves alcohol, you must have this. Sydney has actually become super strict over the past few years when it comes to alcohol. There are now lockout laws in bars at 1:30 am every night where you can no longer get into places, and if you are already in a bar and want to leave you cannot come back in after this time. At 3 o'clock they also stop serving alcohol....we weren't aware of this before! During the course I had to learn all about this. We also learned that if anything were to happen to a customer at a bar who you served, then you would be at fault. Another thing I found a bit unfair! But any waiter/bartender/manager/etc. has to follow these laws. After the six hour course I headed to Bondi Beach once more to meet with Gabriella, who I had found through an online site, and who needed a babysitter for her 2 year old Alfie the following day. I was a bit nervous considering I do not do diapers *vomit* nor do I know anything about being around a 2 year old....but will do anything for money as we all know!! The next day, I babysat Alfie for SIX hours. Turns out he was the cutest little baby. Luck was on my side that day as he never had a dirty diaper thank goodness!
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I was exhausted after babysitting and headed back to the apartment because I knew the next day would be a long one! When Lydia and Caroline first arrived in the morning they quickly unpacked and we decided to celebrate us all finally being here. Of course, our celebration began in screams as we found our first cockroach--luckily for us it was dead but that didn't make any of us feel better! I would say my fear of roaches is a LITTLE less than my fear of crickets....aka I won't call my mom crying (anymore), but there still may be crying! I think Lydia and I definitely shed a few tears and we realized we really need to man up a bit when it comes to bugs considering there are a lot SCARIER, and more DANGEROUS (killer) bugs here! About 15 minutes after Caroline bravely vacuumed it up we heard a loud scream from the bathroom....GREAT. turns out there was ANOTHER dead cockroach behind the door that joined lydia as she went to the bathroom. After more tears and arguing over who was going to vacuum it up, I SHOCKINGLY manned up and got it. To be honest I just wanted to take my turn now while the cockroaches we were finding were dead because now I wouldn't have to get the next one. Finally after dealing with all our roach issues we went into the CBD (Central Business District) for happy hour and dinner and got to have some fun!
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Posted by kellyenright21 04:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

First weeks in Sydney!

Today officially marks two weeks here in Sydney and it definitely feels much longer because so much has happened so far! IMG_4182.jpg
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My first days were full of tons of sleep recovering fro my 24 hour flight and jet lag. Leaving the US for the second time around felt much better. I got to have a longer goodbye with my boy Tobey and this time I was blessed with having TSA recheck. I headed off with two 53 pound suitcases, a backpacking backpack, and a whopping 32 pound "personal item."
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Mom and I tried to hide the personal item from the woman who was checking my bag and succeeded thank goodness. But classic moment when I found out my gate was on the other end of the airport as far as it could d be and I had to lug that bag all the way there. From the time I arrived at the airport until the time I boarded, I was down a pair of underwear (since it awkwardly fell out of my bag and I left it behind), had arm pain from my bag, and had my jar of peanut butter taken from me at security :( But all else was great! I lucked out and even had two seats to myself during my sixteen hour flight so I got to lay out. My first stay in Sydney was at a place called Mad Monkey Backpackers on Broadway and was a room with seven other people. I got my phone all set up and bank account to start, and spent the next few days enjoying Sydney! I made friends with two of my roommates--Yuka and Marcel who are also here on a 12 month visa. One of my favorite parts of Sydney from the start was the vast amount of green space and parks....also fun seeing the weird birds that inhabited them! Lots of finding nemo seagull lookalikes! I walked around the University of Sydney, which had a very Hogwarts-esque vibe to it and was really beautiful.
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One day Marcel and I went to see Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens, the Rocks, and the Harbour Bridge/Opera House area. Even though it was a cloudy day when we went it was still incredibly breathtaking to see it all and made it really sink in that I was finally in Sydney. Definitely can't wait to climb that bridge soon!
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On September 19th, my fourth day in Sydney, I had my first day of my internship with CRCC Asia. It was full of training mostly, but it was great to meet Chelsea and Mike, who were super cool, and to finally get some purpose in my days after a long, lazy summer. On my second day, after getting up early and getting ready, Mike texted me and said I could come in at two for the day instead of 9. Since I was already ready, I decided to head out to Bondi Beach and enjoy the beautiful, sunny day. I absolutely loved the area...the water was so blue and clear and everything just seemed so clean and was so relaxing. I sat on a bench and spent I while reading my book--my ideal morning! The next day at work Mike and Chelsea took me out for a welcome lunch at a rooftop cafe near the harbour with a spectacular view.
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It was my first real meal in Sydney and I decided to go with an Australian Classic--fish and chips! After my lunch I headed to my Barista Course with CBD College to become an accredited Barista, which would help me work in a cafe. Turns out Sydney has some of the best coffee in the world and the menus are full of cappuccinos, flat whites, short blacks, lattes and so much more and are made with those huge milk frothing, espresso making machines. I actually found the course a lot of fun even after the long morning. I leaned all of the different types of drinks here, learned to froth milk properly, use those huge machines, and made some designs in the drinks too! To make the day even longer, after getting out of the course at 9, I got to move into my apartment that night! Lydia, Caroline, and I now had a home for the next few months!
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I spent the next day getting things to make the new apartment a bit more homey. When I found out my bedroom with my king-size bed was actually two twin beds pushed together with a thin sheet over it...lol. So i got a blanket to put on top, some decorative pillows, and lights. As for the rest of the apartment, the couches had holes and were absolutely filthy, there was mold all over our bathroom walls, and though we were told it had just been cleaned the day before....it clearly hadn't. Although at this point I was just happy to have a room for myself!

Posted by kellyenright21 03:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Chiang Mai

Now next up…we are done with the beaches and heading to Northern Thailand—Chiang Mai. This was the morning when we found out about the unfortunate events that hit Thailand. There were bombings in Phuket, Hua Hin, and Surat Thani the night before and the morning when we were supposed to leave. We didn’t really know what to do because Surat Thani is where we had to go to catch our ferry. We read up a lot on the bombings and it seemed that it was most likely done by people who were angry over the outcome of the referendum a few days earlier. The bombings also happened on the morning of the Queen’s birthday and all occurred in Southern Thailand. We decided that the best thing to do was to continue on our trip and get out of the South.
We first took a ferry to Surat Thani and then flew from there to Bangkok and then planned to fly to Chiang Mai. While we were in Bangkok and had 45 minutes to check in and get on to our next flight, Christian got a message from his family saying he had to come home because of what was happening in Thailand. It was weird for us because though we were reading all about this stuff online, no one in Thailand seemed to really be phased by it where we were. There was no chaos or anything, like one might expect. It all just seemed normal. After talking it through we all agreed our best course of action was to just fly to Chiang Mai and figure it out there because if anywhere were safe in Thailand it would be there. We got to our hotel in Chiang Mai late that night—Funky Monkey Guesthouse. It is a small guest house owned by a British man David and his Thai wife Nuy. They had two dogs Motley and Fat Dog too. The place was much nicer than any of us expected (considering it only cost us 8USD each per night!). The next day we had to wake up super early and head to Thai Farm Cooking School where we would spend the day learning how to cook many different Thai dishes. What better place to avoid danger than to head to a rural farm! On the way to cooking school though Christian got a message from his parents saying they were booking him a flight home that night and he had to come. Lili and I felt safe and agreed that as long as we no longer go to Bangkok for the last two days we should be good…plus no one was getting me to miss the elephant day coming up! On our way to the farm we first stopped by a local market to grab some spices and rice….and some delicious Thai Green Macha and Thai Iced Coffee! Then, when we got to the farm we got to learn to cook Tom Kha Soup, curries, stir fry, sweet & sour chicken, and some thai desserts. It was really good, but REALLY filling and unfortunately for Lili and I a few of the dishes went right through us…..lol. We were even given cook books at the end of the day to take back with us. When we got back to our place, it was time for Christian to pack and get going….lets just say he was not very happy about having to leave and missing the elephants.
The next day Lili and I decided to explore some of the local temples and do all of our shopping at night. We went to two temples….and at Wat Chedi Luang they told Lili and I we weren’t dressed right so they gave us purple bath robes to put on….so fashionable! It was a really cool temple and a lot nicer than the ones where we were surrounded by hundreds of tourists! At this Wat we also got to participate in a Monk Chat where you get to sit at a table with a group of monks and ask them any questions you may have. We sat there and asked them a few questions and got to talk a little. It was a little weird, but a cool experience! After that we went for a massage before heading to the markets….taking the saying treat yourself very seriously! Lol. The first market we went to was the Sunday Market. It was supposed to be really good, but we realized pretty quickly that the prices here were high and the market owners were NOT willing to bargain with us at all. So we didn’t really buy anything here but just got ideas on what we wanted to look for. After we walked through there for a while we headed to an authentic Thai restaurant. You had to leave your shoes outside and then walk up stairs and there were holes in the floor where you let your feet hang in the air below. The food here was really good and only cost us <2USD! Afterwards, we headed to the Night Bazaar. Here was much much less crowded and immediately the shop owners haggled with us extremely low. We got our prices down 40-50% from the price they originally asked for! We got bags, paintings, soap carvings, and much more. When mom found out I was here you would’ve thought she were too….seemed like she was getting a high just hearing about it and kept telling me to get her more! Lol. We ended up with a lot of good things…that I’m hoping everyone at home will like too! We walked nearly 7 miles and were absolutely dead at the end of the night and had the best day ahead of us tomorrow!
The following day was the day we have been waiting for the whole trip (and I think Tom was happy because mom would finally stop talking about it), time for the elephants! The place we chose to do the elephants was called Patara Elephant Farm. It is the only elephant breeding place in Thailand and they rescue the elephants that are abused or the other elephant places don’t want and don’t take care of properly. The trainers live on the farm and spend all of their time with the elephants taking care of them. They have a program called “Elephant Owner for a Day” where you get an elephant and get to learn about him or her and how to take care of him for a day. When we first got there we got to hang out with a baby elephant names May and her mother. They were super friendly and May, being four months old, was super playful. Whenever someone wasn’t paying attention she would take a running start and run straight into them. She grabbed a couple of people’s shoes and bags and would run away with them hoping someone would come chase her. One of the trainers told me to sit down and play with her so I did. She came running over and wanted to climb all over me and lay down on me….picture Tobey but weighing 250 pounds! I definitely got dirty and was not expecting a “baby” to weigh that much! After a little we had the founder of Patara teach us a bit about elephant care and then were places with our trainers and elephants for the day. Mine was named Maema and along with her came her baby NaPhu who was nine months old. For elephants, like our family, the way to their hearts is with food so we took the first half hour to feed our elephants bananas, bamboo, and leaves….and of course I had to feed NaPhu too! Then we bathed them a bit with water an finally it was time to get on. Mine was quite the tall one, but I got on a lot easier than I thought thank goodness! Then we headed off to a waterfall nearby while riding on our elephants heads. There was a lot of downhills, uphills, and it was super rocky, but it honestly didn’t feel much different than riding a horse….although definitely felt a lot easier to fall off! There were points when all of our elephants decided to suddenly run or mine kept stopping for a quick snack. Then we got to the waterfall and we all got in the water to bathe our elephants and brush them….I gave NaPhu a little bath too! Then, they were kind enough to give us a little bath too. After that we had some traditional Thai meats, rice, fruits, and desserts prepared for us which was absolutely delish! Then we went on one last ride with our elephants before saying goodbye. It was the perfect way to spend my last day on the trip, and definitely one of my favorite days in Thailand. I can’t even imagine what gram would have thought and said…although I am pretty sure she’d be right there with me riding her own elephant!
When we got back it was sadly time for me to get packing. 36 hours to get back home….oh what fun!! As much fun as I have had over the past three weeks I am incredibly stoked to get away from this food….I don’t think I can see Asian food for a VERY long time….exception for sushi of course.
Well, off I go….see you soon New York….only 36 hours, 6 airports, and four flights to go!

Posted by kellyenright21 03:49 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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