Monday, June 30, 2003

He's back!

Unfortunately, lunatic man is back. I went to bed about midnight, and he wasn't there. About 1:30 or so, the door opens up, and he comes in and goes to sleep. He makes a racket, he breathes hard and heavy (he has ashtma too), and he goes to the bathroom (I assume) a couple of times every night, and makes a racket. Of course, he still "airs out" his blanket every once in a while, dust going everywhere, and making a racket. When he falls asleep, he's as quiet as a mouse. But one little noise wakes him up, then he's off again, breathing heavy, weazing, and I can't sleep. I slept like crap last night.

Anyway, other news. I've made a decision about my life.

I'm going to CHINA. (The crowd goes the silence, you can hear gasps and "Oh my God, is he crazy?" and "He's a Commie!") Yes, China it is! Tianemon (sp?) Square, the Great Wall, and whatever else they have up there, I'm going to see it. I'm checking out flights to Hong Kong, hopefully stay with a guy we met from HK (well, he lives with his parents, and he told Court and I we were more than welcome to stay at their place if we travel to HK), so all I need to do is remember what his name is, then find out his e-mail address. Shouldn't be too hard, we didn't meet him that long ago, only back in January in KL. From HK, I'll get my mainland China visa and go go go!! I bough the Rough Guide to China today. If everything goes as planned, I'll have a flight out of here on Saturday.

Anyway, gotta be off to read my China book.


Sunday, June 29, 2003

The old Italian man...

More stories about the old man...

Yesterday, I went downstairs and starting talking to Lucy and some guy who's been at the Funkhouse for 10 months now. Lucy works reception desk on the weekends, and she remarks about me being in teh room with the Italian guy, and wants to know if everythings all right. She knows of the guy, and apparently he's been known to masterbate in the room. Yuck!

So, with that in mind, I'm convinced that I'm going to move RSN (Real Soon Now).

So, last night, I went to bed about 10:00, and went into the room, and guess what I saw..
nothing. His pillow was gone, the blanets on the bed were all gone, but all his stuff (and he has a lot) was still in the room. I thought it strange, so went to bed.

He never slept in my room last night. He came in about 7:00 for a few minutes, I guess just to grab something, then he was gone again. He came in a couple more times for a minute or two while I laid in bed pretending to sleep. AFter getting up and showering, I went downstairs and asked Lucy if he's still in my room. She laughed a little bit and told me no, he's moved rooms. In fact, Lucy already had a complaint from hsi new roommate...the new roommate came downstairs and proclaimed to Lucy, "Lucy, is that some sort of bad joke?" about having the Italian guy in his room. Lucy also told me that that's what the Italian guy (his name is Filiberto) does, he moves rooms every night or two. He did that when he stayed at the Funkhouse previously. So, I guess I'm done with him. Lucy also told me that she's trying to get the key back from him, but won't give it back, he keeps telling her in a little bit. He still needs access to the room, all his stuff is in there!

It's now 5:00PM on Sunday, and I just played soccer (football to all non-North American's), Funkhouse against another hostel. They kicked our ass big time. It was about 38 to 3 or something like that.

When I got back to the room, Filiberto's stuff is still in the room.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

What I Did Today

So, todayI accomplished a lot. I left the hostel with $2.60 change in my pocket, and a wad of money in my wallet ($300 or so). I knew I could buy a return train ticket to Central Station for $2.60, so that was perfect. I got the train to Central Station, and looked in my wallet, and all my money was gone! I instantly knew where it was. Last night I had taken all my money out of my wallet and put it in a sweater pocket, the sweater I wasn't wearing. That way I couldn't spend it on the cruise! So, I was downtown with absolutely no money, not even a 5 cent coin. (They don't have pennies here, when you buy something, they round everything to the nearest 5 cents.) Oh well, that's one way to save money.

So, I went to Paddy's market, a big indoor market selling everything. Above the market is a mall, with all your normal shops and stuff, and a theatre on the top floor.

AFter that, I walked through Darling Harbour, on my way to Star City casino. In Darling Harbour, there was a busker guy doing some great juggline and other stuff, so I sat and watched that for about 30 minutes or so. He was very good, and funny too. I would have gladly gave him a little money, but I had absolutely none on me. AFter that, I continued on to STar City...WOW, it's a huge hotel, casino, convention centre, live show complex, and super nice. It's overlooking the harbour, it's way nicer than the Regina casino, and also better than the one in Winnipeg. And it's so cheap to gamble here! Virtually all the slot machines were 20 cents and under machines. They had tons of penny machines. Of course, the big bucks go to the tables, roulette, poker and all that jazz. I walked around the complex for quite a while, marvelling at the money there. It was very nice.

I then continued on to the Sydney Fish Markets, it's, well, it's a big fish market. It's on the ocean, obviously, and you can buy all kinds of fresh fish there, everything. There's all kinds of restaurants selling fish as well. You can get a fish and chips dinner there for well under $10, depending on the type of fish you want. And, for you mom, and your family, the main restaurant there is called Doyle's. (For those not in the know, my mom's maiden name is Doyle.) Unfortunately, the best time to get there is probably morning, when all the boats are coming in (assuming the fish at night, like in SE Asia). It closes at 4:00, and I got there about 3:40, but it was still very busy. I'll have to go have some fish and chips there some night.

And I did all that for only $2.60!!! Who says Sydney is expensive?

I know what I forgot to tell you all. Yesterday I walked across the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Some nice views of the Opera House from the bridge. And it's a big bridge too. It's quite impressive.

There's actually lots of things to do in Sydney on the cheap (of free). The tourist places have all kinds of brochures on walks in Sydney. The one thing I want to do is the Powerhouse Museum, kind of a Science Centre type of thing, and it's cheap (surprisinginly cheap). I can't remember, it's like only $15 to get in, I was expecting to pay well over $20, maybe $30 or more.

I also want to check out the zoo (no, it's the Crocodile Hunter's zoo...his is up the coast in Brisbane or something, and apparently it's not as good as the one in Sydney).

That's all. I'm very hungry, trying to decide whether I should sign up for the Funkhouse supper or make my own. I'm lazy, I'll do the Funkhouse supper if it's not too late.

That's all folks.

Jobs and old freaks

Hey all. I went on a Harbour cruise last night, it was a Sleeping With The Enemy thing, and drinks were expensive, $7 a drink. Yikes! I guess when you're stuck on a boat, what can you do? I had to take the train to Central station, then the LRT (tram) to Glebe (far away from Kings Cross), and met up with Dave. The cruise finished about 11:15, so I headed back to the hostel. The trains and stuff stop running at midnight, and I didn't wanna be stuck in Glebe and have to walk or taxi back. I got back shortly after midnight, and expected to find old guy in bed. He wasn't there! So, I went to bed, and fell asleep. I do have a slight recollection of him coming in and going to bed, but I have no idea what time. And he didn't bother me at all all night. And his suitcase appeared last night too, so he finally has come clothes and stuff. So all is ok with him so far.

And I've made an executive decision. I'm not going to get a work visa. I'm coming to the realization that I'm on holidays, I'm here to travel. Getting a work visa would mean I couldn't travel. A work visa is just HAVE to work, you can't not be working, or you're in violation of your visa, and get exported. So, I feel totally free and unemcumbered by anything right now. In some ways, like a weight off my shoulders! Now, I have to decide what to do. I may go pick fruit for a couple of months, and make a little money. There's also lots of promotions and sales and telemarketing cash jobs around, and you can apparently make BIG bucks on them, but I don't know if I'm into that crap. Or head back to SE Asia for a while, but probably won't do that.

My longer term plans are to meet up with Kristin and Scott (her travelling buddy) in Singapore in mid-Sept. and travel with them. So, I just need something to do until then. I was talking to a guy last night about fruit picking, and he has lots of friends that picked fruit, and they all told him it was horrible, back-breaking work, with horrible accomodations, with hardly any pay at all, but they all told him it was one of the best experiences of their lives, and they never regretted doing it. So, maybe that's my ticket!

Anyway, until next time.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Website Back Up!

My website is working again! My dad fixed it all by himself. What a smart fella, eh? They had a power outage, so my computer was off, and he turned it on.

Small update to my roommage. I was talking to Emily (works at the Funkhouse during the day), and she told me that this Italian guy is trouble, he's been there before. They are going to try to get him into his own room. I told Emily what happened last night, and she rolled her eyes. Courtney just keeps telling me come to BIG and be done with it.

I'm thinking I might go to BIG on Sunday.

Another update already!

So, I thought I was going to alone in the room last night, but naw, when I went to bed at 10:00, I walked in, and there was a body on the other bed, I turned on the light, and an old guy was laying there. What a freak! He has NO bags or anything, he didn't bother to put the sheets on the bed, he was just laying on the matress. I'd seen this guy around the hostel for the last few days, he's probably 55+ years old. I said Hi to him, and told him my name, and went to bed.

About half an hour later, he gets up, starts poking me and starts talking to me. He sounds kind of mad at me, and he keeps trying to tell me something, in what i think is French, he keeps saying something, throwing his hand at his bed, then ends up with "Why?" or "Porquoi?" I keep trying to figure out what he's saying, and I'm getting annoyed. This goes on for about ten minutes, and he finally figures out we're not getting anywhere, and he says to me, "English?", and I say ya, he says, "Ah, ok, you sleep. Sleep. Sleep" and repeats sleep a few times, and returns to his bed for a minute, then he gets up and goes out the door, comes back a few minutes later, and grabs his blanket and starts "airing" it out in the room, by jerking it around. He does this for about 5 minutes, then he puts it down, and picks up his pillow and starts doing the same thing, hitting his pillow, and cleaning it off, before finally returning to bed. He makes all kinds of noises as he's trying to go back to sleep, but eventually he goes quiet. I'm kinda spooked now by this weirdo in my room, and I can't sleep. Finally I get to sleep. At about 1:45AM, I'm awakened by someone poking me in the shoulder, I roll over, it's the old guy telling me he can't sleep, "Me, no sleep, no sleep." I say to him, "You, no sleep, but me, sleep.", he says again, "Me, no sleep, no sleep.", to which I say, "Me, sleep", and lay my head down and close my eyes. He gets a clue and goes back to bed, making his usual noises for a while. He didn't talk to me the rest of the night, but he did decide to "air-out" his blanket a few more times, making a horrible noise and waking me up. OH ya, he kept taking pills or something all night, I could hear the crinkling of the tinfoil as he tried to get them out.

He was up before I was, but I was awake, just layed in bed, pretending to be asleep, so he wouldn't talk to me. He left and came back into the room numerous times, finally he left for a while, I got up and showered, went downstairs, had breakfast, went back up to room, got my shaving stuff and went to shave. Upon returning from shaving, he in the room, sitting in his bed, and I said Hello, then Bonjour, and he replied "Bonjourno"...ahh, Italian. He kind of apologized for last night, but he still tried to make me understand what he was saying last night, but I still haven't a clue. Anyway, he says to me, "Tonight, I sleep. You sleep too. Sorry." In his very broken English, he asks me if I've been to Italia, I say yes, he look happy-surprised, he asks me if I've been to Florenzia (No), Roma, (Yes), then I tell him also Venice and Naples.

Anyway, a weirdo to the extreme. I may move hostels sooner than I expected!

I got a haircut last week too. The barber made me look like a marine. And it cost me....$33 for a frickin haircut!!! Why didn't I ask how much first??? I dunno, I didn't dream it'd be that much!!!

Anyway, that's all for now.

I guess is down right now, I'll have to figure out why and try to fix it.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Hey Ho!

Well, the sailors have all gone. On Saturday, I think it was, I went to the naval dockyards, which is a short walk from the hostel and checked out the ships. The US Navy had 5 ships. One was an aircraft carrier, another was a helicopter carrier, and, well, dunno what the others were, support ships of some sort, I suppose. The carriers were HUGE! The sailors and marines stayed around until Tuesday, I think.

Um, what else. Pool tournament on Sunday night, I lost out in the quarter finals. There's another one tonight, so I'll see how my luck goes tonight.

Clouds moved in a couple of days ago, and it started raining, hard, off and on. It comes down in torrents for 10 or 15 minutes, then stops, then nothing for a few hours, then it comes again. Mostly at night.

Courtney has left. She told me she was sick of the Funkhouse and the Kings Cross area last weekend, and told me she was going to move hostels, and she did today. I kind of like the Funkhouse, personally, it's very social, they have a "social directory" (no it's not me), that organizes nights out and pool tourney's and soccer matches against other hostels in the area. It has a very friendly, social atmosphere about it. And we get free breakfast and free suppers too!! So, for the first time in a LONG time, I actually have a room all by myself, which is a change.

When Court went to the new hostel this morning, I went with her, to check it out. She suggested I should move there too. It's called BIG, it's brand new and it's VERY, VERY nice, almost like a hotel, except the rooms are larger and have dorm-type bunkbeds in them. The have a super nice kitchen facility, and dining area, the bathrooms are very nice (the bathrooms in the Funkhouse are also very nice and clean), and it's right near downtown and Central Station, so easy access to everything. It's $160/week, though, the Funkhouse is $137/week. Court's getting it for $125/week, though, and she figures I could get that rate as well.

But, for the immediate future, I'll stick it out at the FunkHouse for the fun, pool tourney's, rooftop BBQ (where Oli...aka Harry Potter (he looks like Harry)) sells wicked vodka and wine punch, with fruit (yuk-a-flux for everyback home) very cheap. Perhaps next week I'll move to BIG.

Ummmm, still looking for work. No luck yet. Maybe I'll just go pick fruit for cash for a couple of months. I kicked around the idea of going back to SE Asia (where my cash will go a lot farther) and going up and doing China, India, Nepal and that area. We ran into sooooo many travellers that went through there, and they all just gushed about it, especially Nepal. Oh, I'm out of money. If anyone at city hall wants to start a collection for me, please do so. Deliver it to my parents, they can transfer the cash to me on the internet. Please be generous, it's for a good cause.

I'm putting myself on a budget. I'm burning $500/week here in Sydney, but I was figuring it out, and I should be able to live on $250-$300/week, so I'm going to start to budget. (That's the other reason I'm hesitant to move to BIG, $$$, especially if I can't get the $125/week rate, plus I have to buy food for breakfast and supper there...ya, I know, I'm a whiner, bug it's my journal, and I can whine if I want to, just like that chick who sings that's her party, and she can cry if she wants to.)

I'm kind of babbling. But I don't care, just killing some time, the pool tourney starts in about 10 minutes.

Hmmmm, what else. Part of my budgetting process is to stop going out so much, I've been out for the last 7 nights in a row, and tonight will be 8, and I already have plans for a harbour cruise tomorrow night, so that'll be 9 in a row. But after that, budget time! I mean it.

Court got a job yesterday, it's fundraising to save the forests in Australia, she has to go door to door, or walk up to people in the park or wherever and solicit them for money, and show them pictures of cute little kuala bears, who are losing their forests. She doesn't want to do that, and she's going to quit. She had another interview today, for a data entry person, and she messaged me on my mobile (SMS is a cool thing!) and I guess she crashed and burned in the typing test she had to do today, so she won't be getting that job. She's had lots of other calls about IT jobs, but when they find out she only has a working holiday visa, they're not interested in her. She may go the sponsorship way, like me, and if she goes to FreeSpirit, I get $100 for recommending FreeSpirit to her. Woohoo!!

As I was typing this journal, two very attractive girls walked into the internet place, and announced that there was a "Cowbooys and Indians" party at the Empire (a bar) tonight. The Empire is literally right across the street from the Funkhouse. They have $4 pints (beer), $3 vodka's, and $3.50 Cock-sucking Cowboys (it's a shooter). They have prizes for best dressed. Many of the bars in Sydney are open 24/7, if I never mentioned that in a previous journal.

Anyway, must go, pool tourney will start soon.


Saturday, June 21, 2003


Hmmm, let's see.

Thursday night, MojoSnow (that's the company that Court and company went skiing with) had a big party at a bar at Coogee Beach. A busload of people from the Funkhouse went, and it was a good time. At 1:00AM, the bar shut down, and buses started ferrying people to the Empire bar in Kings Cross, right across from our hostel. I stayed there for about 20 minutes, then went back to bed. It was a very fun night. It was a theme night, Austin Powers was the theme. There were quite a few Austin Powers themed costumes, Court and some other girls went as "sexy chicks" and Court had on this very short skirt and white, highheel boots. Court said, as they were walking to the party, guys thought they were all prostitutes, and were trying to proposition them! Haha. She remarked the next day that she is NEVER going to wear a skirt that short again.

This weekend, the city is being overrun with sailors, marines and other armed forces folk. Earlier in the week (Thursday, I think), the Australian forces that were taking part in the Iraq war returned home, and they had a big parade for them in downtown Sydney. Some American ships (including at least one aircraft carrier) has docked at Sydney for the weekend, coming back from the Iraq war, and all the bars and strip joints in Kings Cross are all flying American flags. And there's lots of American amred forces walking around. I'm sure they will all do a great business this weekend! I'm sure the prostitutes will have a business boom this weekend too!

I think that's it for the update this time.

Until next time. I'm off to take pictures of the aircraft carrier now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


Well, well, well, haven't updated in a while. As I mentioned, I'm not going to update every day, just once in a while.

So, what have I been up to? Well, Court and the girls got back from their ski trip all in one piece. Unfortunately, Court's glasses came back in two pieces (yes, she smashed them up, and had to tape them together). They had a blast.

I've been in Sydney less than two weeks, and have already spent over $900!!! It's expensive here. I crave for the days of SE Asia. :-) I've been watching my money a lot more closely here.

Got my resume all done up and have been applying for jobs the last few days. Nothing yet, did a one PFO via e-mail, and a few minutes ago, another company that I applied for earlier this morning called me on my mobile and told me PFO over the phone. Hahaha!! They're so polite here, they'll do it in person!

Last Sunday I went to the Consumer Electronics and Entertainment (CEE) show at Fox Studios. Of course, they had all kinds of gadgets and gizmos that I can't afford. Fox Studios is pretty neat, very much a place designed for kids, with playgrounds, an ice skating arean, a huge multi-storey kids land, petting zoo. There's a market there selling everything, and lots and lots of shops selling everything from ice cream to expensive clothes, jewellry to electronics. Kind of a neat place. When I was there, Fox was doing a live sports broadcast from one of the bars there, which was kind of neat to see.

On Monday, I went to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It's pretty much a huge park, with all kinds of greenery from Australia and around the world. Unlike most botanical gardens around the world, this one is free to get in. It's very, very nice and relaxing, and huge. It runs along the waterfront too. They have a resident colony of flying foxes (which are big-ass bats, as big a as a cat, and they have wings and fly around the park). They were really cool. They are destroying the trees in the gardens, though, but the bats are a protected species, so the they can't do anything about it.

Other than that, haven't done much of anything else. Just sit around the hostel, eat, watch tv, read, whatever.

I'm getting sick of hostel living. You can get apartments here for the same price as you pay for living in a hostel. Also, you can get shared accomodations in apartments or houses, with a few other people for the same as hostels. I'm going to start seeking out things like that, because I want to have a place to put my clothes, instead of in a big pile on my backpack. is a good example of the shared accomodations idea.

Hmm, I guess that's all I have to say for now, so until next time.

Oh, those of you at city hall (especially Assessment) will be interested in this. Got an e-mail from Kristin Cleniuk, she is coming over to Australia in the fall to travel with us. Her and her friend are going to travel Indonesia for a month or so before coming to Australia, so I'm going to try to meet up with them in Indonesia for that.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Court Gone skiing

I had a meeting with Stephen at FreeSpirit today to go over my resume. The resume's they want over here are very different than what I would have used in Canada. Much more detailed here. I essentially have to make a new resume.

Courtney left for her ski trip this weekend, with 4 other girls, Anna, Caroline, Louise, and another girl I don't know. I didn't go, trying to save money, but now that they're gone, I wish I would have went. Oh well. Still early in the winter, lots of other skiing opportunities.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Pool Tourney

Saw Kylie at FreeSpirit about getting me sponsored so I can get a (decent) job. Yay!

The Old Fitzroy Hotel had a pool tournament for Funkhouse guests tonight. I joined up, along with about 10 or 12 other. I made it to the semi-finals, and then scratched the black ball on a total fluke. NEVER SHOOT HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I played the guy that won the tourney after it was over, and beat him. I could have won the whole thing, but a stupid fluke scratch ruined it all for me!!

Not much else today. See, things are getting boring!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Bought a Mobile!

We got up about noon, had a wonderful sleep!

I went shopping for a mobile, so I can get contacted about jobs.

There's a BBQ on the rooftop of the hostel tonight, and Ollie (another long term Funkhouse-ter...3 months) is selling beer and punch (what we'd call yuk-a-flux...a mix of various wine, vodka, juice and cut up fruit) for $1.50.

To bed early, about 10:00.

As you can see, the journal's are becoming quite short and boring. That's because we're not doing anything anymore. I may stop updating every day, instead do it a few times a week or something.

Courtney and Anna and Caroline and I think Louise are going on a ski-trip to Snowy mountains this weekend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Simon's Last Day

Who's Simon? He's a guy that has been staying at the hostel for more than three months. He's quite annoying, but in a friendly way. So, some people were glad to see him go. He had a party for himself at the World Bar, then on to Empire Bar (right across the street from Funkhouse!). I got home about 3:00AM.

Earlier in the day, Court, myself, Anna, Caroline, and Ashley took the train and bus to Bondi Beach, probably one of the nicer beaches in the Sydney area, and a very nice beach for a city beach. It was too cold to swim or suntan (we were all wearing sweaters, Court had her winter jacket on), but there were lots and lots of surfers catching a wave. They were all wearing wetsuits to keep themselves warm.

We caught a bus back to Cirular Quay area (where the Sydney Opera House is) and had something to drink at the outside cafe at the Sydney Opera House, along the waterfront. I had a mocha for $3.50, whcih isn't that bad, pricewise.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Four Greatest Things, cont'd.

Didn't tell you about the four greatest things, the subject of my last journal entry. The four greatest things are four things that are more wonderful than anything else in the entire world. And something that I took for granted before travelling, and am now enjoying, once again:
1. Food - It's really nice to out of "rice country". And to have decent food and drink (i.e. goooooood milk, meat, etc.)
2. Sleep - settling down, I can sleep in as much as I want!! And it's nice and cool here, and that makes sleeping much nicer!!!
3. Hot Showers - oooooooohhhh, this is wonderful! There seems to be an endless supply of hot water at the hostel, I can stand in the shower for hours!!!
4. A Good Cup Of Tea - well, this is one thing that I did enjoy through SE Asia, but it's still nice to have it here as well.

Anyway, I go tup about 9:30, showered, had breakfast, Court and I walked downtown to get a sim card for her mobile. Anna gave Court her old mobile from England, because Anna doesn't use it anymore, as she has a new one. We got the sim card, then shopped a bit, and Court bought a nice winter jacket.

We got back about 11:30, Court met James at noon and spent the day with him. James was an exchange student that came over from Australia to Moose Jaw and went to Court's high school for a semester. They became good friends, and stayed in touch ever since, about 6 years ago!

I did some job hunting and stuff.

I bought some more groceries, had a late lunch, then watched some Aussie Rules Football (great stuff!!!) on the TV, then at 5:00, called Anna. Anna and her sister and going to pick me up about 6:30 or 7:00 and go to their friends place, Louise.

Walked around Kings Cross for a while, then waited for Anna and Caroline (they're sisters), they came about 7:00, we walked to Paddington area, where Louise lives, then went to a lounge/bar in the area, had a drink, then Louise drove us home in her brand new Mini. Nice car. I hit McDonalds before going back to the hostel. I got to bed about 11:00.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Four Greatest Things!

Court got up early, about 8:00, I slept in until about 10:30. Court went out to see if she could get her camera fixed (it's FUBAR'd, it has been since Cambodia). When I got up, I showered, had breakfast, signed up to play football (soccer) at 2:00. Our hostel versus another hostel, Cooee Hostel, nearby. Used the internet, watched TV, then at 2:00, joined the group and walked to a close park with tennis courts, soccer fields, cricket pitch, rugby field, etc. lots of grass, all surrounding a very nice marina with logs of sail boats and yachts.

I only played half the game. At half time, a bunch more people showed up, and my toe was totally hosed and bleeding (having jammed it a few times in the soccer match). I walked around the marina for a bit, then back to the hostel about 4:15, met Court in the room, she had been shopping downtown, and bought a very nice black sweater, and she walked around Darling Harbour.

ARound 6:50, Court, myself and Andrew (New Zealand) took subway to Wake Up! hostel (where Anna is) and met Anna and her sister (who had just flown in) and we all went down to Darling Harbour for the fireworks show at 7:30, part of the Jazz Festival that is going on. Fireworks display was quite awesome, better than the Canada Day fireworks in Moose Jaw. :-)

After the fireworks, we went to a lounge along the harbour, had a drink, we all went home. Court to bed about 10:00, I stayed up and went to the TV room, all the Brit's were sitting around the TV, laughing their heads off. They were all watching a British TV show called "The Office", which was quite funny, actually. The premise of the show is, it's supposed to be a documentary of a typical office in Britain somewhere, with camera's following around the employees. Of course, it's not a real documentary, and it is quite funny.

I went to bed about 11:15.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Sydney's Darling Harbour

We got up about noon, we showered, had breakfast (cereal and crumpets from IGA). I used the internet and got my resume all done up and applied for a Linux Specialist job (short term contract), that I won't get, because I don't have a work visa.

Court's hung over, she's walking around in a daze, confused and not feeling that well. She went for a nap later in the afternoon, and about 5:00, I had soup for supper, then while she was sleeping, I took the subway to Darling Harbour to check it out. They are having a Jazz festival there this weekend. Darling Harbour very nice. IMAX theatre, Sydney Aquarium, Maritime Musem, lots and lots of trendy shops and bars and restaurants all along the waterfront, very picturesque. All surrounded by huge skyscrapers. Very, very nice.

While I was at Darling Harbour, I bought something I shouldn't have, because I have no money. It's a "pedometer", that calculates how far I've walked. Court and I always wondered how far we walk when we were walking in SE Asia, now I can find out! It was only $40. (About $36CDN.)

Oh, for those that care, the $1AUS=$0.90CDN.

Got back about 8:00, sat in the room and read some magazines and stuff, then went to the reading room and read a book I bought a few days ago. It's called "Stupid White Men", it's been suggested by a few travellers over the past few months. It's a book about the horrible state of the US right now, and how all the problems are caused by "Stupid White Men", it's somewhat funny, quite eye opening, and quite interesting, especially if you take an interest in US politics.

Went to bed about midnight.

A little about Sydney:
- feels really, really cold here. The daytime temperatures are reaching 20 degrees, if we're lucky. I know, that's not cold, but after 4.5 months in 35+, it FEELS frickin like it's -45!!! At least it's sunny. Apparently it doesn't get much worse than this. I'm starting to acclimatize to it, and starting to get used to it. It'll take a little while.
- There are lots and lots of maple leaf's around here! All the trees are losing there leaves right now.
- The cost of living is very high. The Kings Cross area (where our hostel is), is one of the cheapest places in downtown Sydney, and at $22/night/person, that's $660 a month to stay here!!! That's what I paid for my house and all my utilities back in Moose Jaw!! You can rent rooms for anywhere from $80-150/week/person, which is what I'm gonna seek out, I think, fairly soon. Depending on what Courtney's plans are, I suppose.

Friday, June 06, 2003


Up about 10:00, I slept great!! Court was cold.

Showered, went to IGA and bought some cereal and jam and had cereal and toast for breakfast.

We walked downtown and I bought a fleece vest and Court bought a nice pair of shoes. She's been applying for jobs already and has potentials.

We went to the Travellers Contact Point (a spot for travellers (esp. backpackers) to go for information on jobs, accomodations, travel info, etc.) and Court called about a job, and she has to e-mail her CV (resume) to them.

We got back to the hostel about 3:30 and cooked spaghetti.

Made arrangements with Anna to meet her at her hostel at 7:30. Hung out at our hostel until about 6:50, then walked to Wake Up! (Anna's hostel) about 7:45. We hung out at the bar at Wake Up! until about midnight, then went to another bar called Something Murphy's (can't remember the first name), and they had a U2 tribute band playing, called "Rattle and Hum". They were great!!! They even kind of looked like U2.

This bar had at least three stores. The main level was where the band was playing (when they finished, recorded music was played) and it had a big dance floor. In the basement was another dance floor with a DJ spinning and mixing dance, hiphop, house, etc. And I think the 2nd floor was the games room (pool, maybe darts), but I didn't go up there. It was quite a cool bar.

The bar didn't close at 2:00. Nor did it close at 2:30 or 3:00. Or at 4:00. At 4:00AM, I was pretty exhausted, so was Court, so we got Anna and headed back to the guest house.

Court got us lost on the way back to the guest house, taking us in the opposite direction. We finally had to ask someone on the street where Kings Cross was, and they said it was in the opposite direction, and a long way away, and they suggested getting a cabbie, which we did. For $8, the cabbie took us back to our hostel. Now we're even, Court, I got us lost in KL at the start. Hehehe!!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Sydney, Australia!

Plane ride was uneventful. I slept a little on the place, but not too much. ARrived in Sydney shortly after 6:00AM.

Got through immigration without any problems, called the Funkhouse Hostel (where we reserved for three nights) to arrange pickup from the airport. A mini-bus picked us (and 4 others) up and took us to the hostel.

We checked into a 2-bed dorm room for $22/night/person, way more than SE Asia. We showered, got a hold of Anna (whom we met and dived with in Koh Tao), she came over to our hostel and she took us on a quick walking tour of downtown Sydney, the harbour area, shopping areas (mom, you'd LOVE it here) and the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is WAY impressive!!! It's way more impressive in real life than it is in pictures! I was amazed by it. I'll have to take in a show at it while I'm here.

We got back to the hostel about 2:30, I tried to sleep for a while, because we're supposed to party with Anna this evening, she is supposed to come to our hostel at 7:30. While I kind of tried to sleep, Court dyed (sp?) her hair, a light brown. And it turned green, according to her, but I just see brown.

There's an IGA right next to the hostel, so Court and I went shopping and bought a few groceries and made supper, which consisted of sliced meat on bread with mayonaisse.

We waited for Anna, and we waited and we waited, and she never showed. About 9:00, Court, myself and Ashley (guy from England) and Andrew (New Zealand) wandered around looking for a pub/bar, and ended up at the Green Park Hotel, had a drink played some pool, then went home about 11:00.

The area that our hostel is in is called Kings Cross. It's definately the red-light district area of Sydney, lots and lots of strip joints and sex shows and adult stores all around the hostel. It's certainly not a run-down area of town, though, it's very nice area, tree-lined streets, and you have your usual variety of stores, McDonalds, BK, 7-11, IGA, etc.

It's so nice to actually not eat out!!! We have an IGA right here, there's cooking facilities in the hostel, with 2 huge fridges for the guests to keep their food, so Court and I will not be eating out much from now on.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Leaving SE Asia.... :-(

Up about 8:00, showered, finished packing, had breakfast, checked out, and watched "Ghost Ship" in the video room of the guest house. Good movie, with a way cool ending!

After the movie, I went to an outdoor market and bought a cheap wallet, then hit McDonalds for lunch, took a few pictures of KL, then back to the guest house about 2:00 and showered. Court just hung out at the hostel and showered while I was shopping.

Another couple had a flight from the airport at 7:30, so we decided to share a taxi with them for 65 ringget. The taxi came about 2:50, and we all piled in. We got to the airport about 3:45, checked our luggage and walked around, then went thru immigration to the international departures area, walked around, browsed thru the expensive duty-free shops, had lunch at a pizza and pasta joint, then we were both craving dessert, so we went to Chili's and I had a HUMONGOUS ice cream pie that was amazingly awesome. Court had a BIG brownie sundae! Perfect! AFter that, we exchanged our ringget for Australian dollars, then just waited for our plane.

Boarded our plane shortly after 8:00, and the plane took off on time (8:45). Watched a movie on the place, then tried to sleep.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Last Night in SE Asia!

Up about 9:00AM. Cold last night, the guest house has A/C, and it works well! We showered, had breakfast at the guest house, then went shopping at a cheap mall near us, and we each bought lots of clothes, but it's pretty cheap here for clothes. We're all set for Australia now.

We went back to the guest house about 2:30, went to the internet for a while, started packing and throwing out old clothes, then Court and I went back to the mall to get a jacket she was thinking about.

About 5:00, we took the subway to Petronas Towers and bought tickets to see the 7:30 showing of "What A Girl Wants", then had an expensive supper at Chili's, walked around the mall for a bit, then back to the theatre.

Before the movie, they showed a preview of Anger Management (which we saw at the theatre in Bangkok), and in the preview, they showed part of a scene from the movie that includes Buddhist monks. That scene was taken out of the version we saw in Bangkok!!!

"What A Girl Wants" is a total chick flick. Court liked it, she cried a little.

After the movie, we had a waffle with ice cream, chocolat sauce and nuts (YUMMM!!), then took the subway back to the guest house and went to bed.

My Toenail: It's very tender and sore and kind of swollen and pussy for a while now. I was concerned that I was getting an ingrown toenail. But today, I examined it, flipped up the lose skin and pussy area, and sure enough, there's a toenail growing just as it should. Everything is good, I'm sure the tenderness will pass in a little while as the new toenail grows out.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Matrix: Reloaded

Up about 8:00AM, showered, had breakfast, then just sat around until about 10:00, then walked down to the bus station and hopped on our bus.

Bus ride to KL uneventful, and we got to KL about 3:30, the bus stopped at the Puduraya bus station, which was perfect for us, it's right across the street from the Pudu Guest House, where we stayed the first time around. We checked into the Pudu G.H., twin room for 40 ringget (kind of expensive, but oh well, it's our last nights in SE Asia). The guy working there looked as us funny for a minute or two, then said, "You came back!" He remebered us from four and a half months ago!!!

We got our stuff in our room, showered, then went shopping for a while, at the markets and a mall that's close by. We're shopping for "real" clothes we can wear in Sydney (in wintertime).

About 6:45, we took the subway to the Petronas Towers (I love subways, they are amazing!) and went up the theatre and bought tickets for the 9:10 showing of "Matrix: Reloaded", then we walked around the mall for a while, ate at the food court, and shared a fresh waffle with two big scoops of ice cream and honey and chocolate sauce for dessert. We've been pigs today, especially me, I've had lots and lots of chocolate. The mall here is very high end, and out of our price range, with all the brand name stores (Guess, Tommy Hilfilger, ARmani Exchange, etc., etc., etc.), but it's fun to walk around. All this shopping is depressing Court, because she's wearing XL clothes over here in SE Asia, and she doesn't like it!

We went back to the theatre about 9:00, and watched the movie. Holy commercials before the movie starts, Batman. Tons of them. The movie was in english, with Malay and Chinese (?) subtitles. It was pretty confusing, and not as good as the original. It's very hard to follow, and the enough with the slow motion fighting scenes...I mean, it was really cool in the original Matrix, but we've seen it a million times over since then, and there's too much of it here. I'm not sure whether I'd give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down, but it really doesn't matter, because it's the Matrix...everyone and their dog is gonna go see it anyway.

The movie finished about 11:30, and we got lost in the mall trying to find our way back to the subway, so we asked a security guard, and he pointed us in the right direction, we got on the train, and were back in bed by midnight.

I like KL. Of all the big cities we've visited in SE Asia (Bangkok, Vientiane (if that can be considered a big city), Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur), KL is my favorite. It's ultra modern, and the Malaysian gov't is making a HUGE investment in technology, building a digital city between the airport and the Petronas Towers. It's an aggressive project that won't be completed until the year 2020. It's a very clean city, the transportation (LRT, subway, buses, etc.) are amazingly nice and sophistacted, and the city just feels "new".

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Highland Tour

We got up about 10:30, but it was tough. We were both totally lazy and didn't want to get up, but we forced ourself. We had breakfast, showered, then decided to book the half-day Highland Tour for 15 ringget. They pick us up at 2:00.

Court and I walked downtown for a while, through the park, then back to the guest house, used the internet, bought our bus tickets back to KL for tomorrow, then about 1:00, went back downtown to get something to eat. We headed back to the guest house about 1:45 and the mini-bus came and picked us up at 2:00.

We picked up one other couple, and off we went.

First off was the Boh (Best Of Highlands) tea plantation and factory. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, a day off, so the factory was open, but not operational, so we didn't get to see it in action. It was quite interesting, and we had some specialty tea in their tea room, I had a banana-cherry tea. WOW, was it ever good. Court had something else (we forget), but it was quite tasty as well.

We also visited (not necessarily in this order), the butterfly farm, central market, rose garden, strawberry farm, Buddhist temple, and honeybee farm.

The butterfly farm was neat, lots and lots of butterfly's, and other cool stuff, like some snakes, and leaf insects (look exactly like a leaf), stick insects, leaf frogs (they look exaclty like a brown, fallen leaf), rhinoceros beetle (UGLY), and some other stuff. The Rose Garden was very beautiful, lots and lots and lots of flowers. The rest of the stuff wasn't that interesting.

The tour finished about 6:00, then myself, Court and Joey went downtown to indulge in the local specialty, a Chinese dinner called the Steamboat. It's where you get your own little stove, and they bring you all the raw meat and veggies and noodles, and you cook it all yourself. Everyone here eats them, and all the restaurants serve them. It was good, but not great, and wasn't very filling. But at least we can say we had it.

Court and I hit the internet for a while afterwards, then we went back to the guest house, packed our stuff and to bed. We have a bus back to KL tomorrow morning at 10:30.