December 23, 2002
When I first arrived, I was living with my friend Jacqueline and her mom, Lynn. They were incredibly generous and kind, and did not rush me to find a new place, but I was getting itchy and wanted to settle down. Not to mention they have a cat and I am allergic. Hmm, maybe that explains the itchiness? ;)
Anyway, after a full week, I still had no leads. That Saturday, the paper came out with all the new listings. I awoke that morning and was bound and determined to find a place to live. I then began what I like to call "The Great Melbourne Apartment Race."
9 a.m. -- Wake up, go to corner and get newspaper and VERY large coffee 9:30 a.m. -- Read paper, circle appropriate ads, begin calling to set up appointments to view rooms
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Hit the ground running and literally dissect the town going from north to south, east to west. Encounter, among other things, an interesting British Sculptor/Poet with a bed sit (tiny studio), a novice witch and her black cat (no joke), several nice, rather normal people with normal apartments, a killer deluxe apartment with a pool and amazing view of the city, and a room in an apartment behind a secondhand bookstore. The bookstore won out, of course, as it is my retirement dream to run a little bookstore somewhere and be found most days with a cup of coffee in one hand, a book in the other, and a cat curled up on my lap (I'm hoping my allergies will diminish with age). The house is made up of Joyce, the owner/landlady, her daughter Zoe, their cat Minou, which causes me surprisingly little strife, and a student from Indonesia named Elna. Joyce is American born (Alabama), but lived all over including the UK, Australia, San Francisco and Tasmania. She is incredibly nice but very shy, almost painfully so. But, I think she is beginning to come out of her shell - how can she not with me jabbering in her ear daily? :) I feel like I am living in some kind of television dramatic series, unlocking the bookstore every night when I come home from work, leaving through there every morning. Whenever I ask Joyce a question about something (Philosophy, Tasmania, Aussie Slang), I am rewarded the next morning with a pile of books on the subject, sitting right by the coffeemaker on the kitchen table. It makes me very, very happy. :) Working Stiff
As for the job front, I am currently working two jobs. The first is at Via Volare, a great little cafe/restaurant on Brunswick Street, a hippy/yuppie enclave with a ton of cafes, bars and clubs in the inner suburb of Fitzroy in Melbourne. I really like it here and was hired my fourth day in Melbourne. Unfortunately, they are not as busy as they need to be to keep me fully occupied, so I only work here 2 days/nights per week. My second job was harder to find, but last week I was hired at The Red Olive, an Italian restaurant/upscale pizzaria in North Fitzroy. The restaurant is huge, the pace is frantic, the owner is young and inexperienced, and the whole place is rather chaotic. However, the job is located two blocks from my apartment, and you know what they say about location. :) As I am so new and still learning the ins and outs of how this place works, I should be fair and give it at least two weeks before I pass any (public) judgement. All I can say now is I have a few reservations about this place and I am planning to keep looking for alternative employement. Stay tuned. :)
Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!