Tell Grandma thanks for sending me the knitted jumper- it’s summer now, but Melbourne can get chilly during the summer so I got a lot of use out of it. The house is…alright. I can’t really explain to someone who hasn’t lived here, but the other guys definitely aren’t bad people. They’re just really busy with jobs and girlfriends and stuff, so I don’t see them too often. Graham is probably my best friend here, since he tried to get me a job at his work and he always asks me how I’m settling into Australia. He said he actually wants to visit Colorado, so I’m doing my best to dissuade him!
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Melbourne’s marine fabrication industry. In fact, it’s a real booming business, and in the interviews I’ve had the place is bustling. Sort of like being down at the docks in New York, but…not. I guess I should be glad that the industry has standards for experience and all that, because that’s what they keep telling me: I need more hours on the job. But then I think…how do I get hours on the job if I can’t GET job? What’ll probably happen is that I’ll look for a position lower down in one of the companies, or maybe just work around the docks. I just applied for a barista job at the marina and they seemed pretty interested…so good thing I had that job at Joe’s before I moved to the city.
Melbourne coffee standards are REALLY high, but mostly in the inner city; I don’t think they care quite so much on the fringes. Plus I need to learn more about how to drive a plate alloy boat that my uncle is going to give me. At least that’s one thing I can do. I’ll keep my ear to the ground, find out is anyone is in need of some marine welding, maybe show them some of my custom rod holders…and just maybe I’ll get a job in my actual industry before I have to come home. Guess it helps that Melbourne is pretty cool in general.
Hope you actually get this, because I specifically remember fixing your internet last time I was there. So long as you haven’t unplugged anything…and remember, I’m not back until June and Agnes next door is not a reliable source of technical information. I’m not even sure she has internet.
So I said I’d do it, and the travel company helped me achieve it: I’ve got a job on a boat! Nothing exciting, but I’m pretty excited about it regardless. I’m working in a cafe/bar on board a small cruise ship. We dock into Melbourne every evening, so it’s more of a day cruise thing for rich people. I get to wear a bow tie and a waistcoat, and every asks me if I’m from Ireland then gets embarrassed when I say Scotland. It’s fun.
You should see the welding industry they have here; Grandpa would’ve loved it. Just marine welding all over the place, massive machines doing their thing and plate alloy boats coming in and out all the time. I guess now that the warmer weather is approaching, people will be out on the water a bit more, living the life and soaking up the rays. So, not quite like back in Aberdeen. No one else in the share house seems to be much into plate aluminium boats, but then my job only caters to people who are a bit more well off. Plus I’m not about to talk someone’s ear off about marine stainless steel fabrication, and how my grandfather was a juggernaut of the industry. I mean, unless they ASK about that stuff. Maybe someone will when I’m at work.
So I guess that’s life at the moment. Hanging out at the bar, serving people drinks, watching them install their fishing rod holders and have a good old time. Golly, it’s been a while since I went fishing…maybe I can rope some of my housemates into that instead.
Hello, Mother and Father!
The company has been good enough to give me access to a computer, so that I can send you an electronic piece of mail. I’ve now flown in a plane, I live in a place where the lights turn on when I want them to and then there are the shops. People call them supermarkets, and they are indeed super, for they seem to go on forever with everything you could possibly want to buy. Marvellous!
In any case, I’m doing well. The answers I gave on my form placed me in the category of beauty and such, so I’ve been taking a tour around Melbourne’s laser hair removal clinics and all sorts of similar places. Of course, I still don’t know what that is or how it works. A laser, so I’m told, is like a beam of light but more powerful. So you zap a person with this beam and all the hair goes away. Fascinating. I’ve been asked what kind of beauty treatments we have in Albajeria, which I can’t full answer since our family lives far outside the city on the slopes of the mountain. However, I tell them that my main job in the village was to prepare people for special events- weddings, funerals, sky ceremonies, all of that- and so most of my work was done with mixing berries with roots, creating my own mixtures and removing hair via a straight razor that I had to sharpen every day.
Needless to say, they find all this very confusing. Their technology really is astounding, from the cosmetic tattooing with needles and such, all the way to their anti wrinkle injections. Still a bit confused as to why people would want to remove wrinkles, as so far as I know none of the elders of our village have ever complained about them or said they cause pain. There’s much to learn about Melbourne, anti wrinkle treatments and…this thing they do where they take digital pictures of themselves with their arms outstretched! Oh, how it baffles me. But they are an exciting people, and there is much to learn in both work and play. I think I shall enjoy my time here!
That’s it: December the 20th approaches, and that’s when I can finish my Nomad Challenge. It all started when I was dragged along to a conference by my old girlfriend, who was into all kinds of new-age stuff. Guru Lakim was hosting, and the whole thing was about ‘releasing your earthly tethers and letting yourself be carried away on the breeze of change and good vibes’.
I’m sorry to say that I was utterly smitten. I don’t know, maybe I was in a vulnerable position, hating my job and just wanting life to be more exciting, but I fell head over heels for everything he said, and I dcided to transform my life. The girlfriend was the first thing to go, because she refused to eat purely organic. I then gave up my bed, and figured…hey, why not spend a year without a roof? Roofing is a symbol of the man.
So yeah, I’m meeting with conveyancers in Cheltenham tomorrow. I only just managed to stick it this far, and…well, I’m embarrassed to have undertaken the journey, even though it taught me so much. Namely that roofing is NOT symbol of the man, but a thing that handily keeps the rain off you. Conveyancers are NOT part of a conspiracy to keep you anchored to the economy and the government, but instead are just solicitors doing their jobs. What else did Guru Lakim say? Oh yeah…so personal hygiene. It’s really for your own good, as well as th
e good of those around you. I really do think that humans were meant to be clean.
That reminds me, I have that conveyancer appointment tomorrow and I need to find a shower somewhere. Maybe there are some former friends who’ll take pity. This year of living in bushes and ditches…I’ve realised that owning a home is the ultimate in security. I don’t just want a roof; I want a roof that I OWN. And I’d visit every conveyancer in Carlton to Carnegie until I found the perfect home setup. But…hopefully I just need one.
I know office fitouts are usually reserved for places of business…however, that is exactly what my personal small office is. Besides, the size of the place is rather comparable to your average office of thirty or so people, so I feel a bit of renovation is justified.
This has become a rather regular occurrence for me over the last few years, as one becomes rather tired of the same drab surroundings when one must look at them every day! Previously I sought our specialist renovators, but with the Melbourne office fitouts industry growing so much in recent times, I thought I’d perhaps give them a trial. Try before you buy, as they say, because if a satisfactory job is performed I will be purchasing the entire industry post-haste. I know a good business practice when I see one, and this seems promising. We shall see.
In the meantime, I’ve had quite some time to think of what I’d like done with the place. I’m quite fond of the marble staircase; however, I know such a thing is not a regular fixture in offices, and thus may not fall under the jurisdiction of professional fitout agents. This is a flaw I will correct once I’m in control of the industry, of course. I know for a fact that sweeping marble staircases are a simple, elegant way to assure clients that you make obscene amounts of money, and not orange sofas as prevalent in tech startups. Mark my words…if I purchase a tech company, the first order of business is to comb through all their offices and cast their orange sofas into the furnace.
They are then replaced with more professional leather, often coloured white to remind all the employees that they work for a serious place of business and not a funhouse. I have standards, and whatever the best commercial office fitouts Melbourne has to offer I will allow them into my office promptly. If I see a hint of orange, our partnership is over.
In order to understand me you have to know two things. The first is that I love the ocean, I love everything to do with ocean and would live in it if I could. I spend as much time in the sea as possible and if I’m not directly in the sea then I like to be on my boat. The second thing to know is I put my boat first. If it comes to hanging out with you or working on my boat, I will choose the latter, always. Ok, looking back this wasn’t the best online dating profile but it was honest. I’m not great at the whole charming, funny thing so I just went with direct, this is me.
That is a refined version, originally I had written a small paragraph about my new anchor winch, Melbourne girls are apparently not impressed by such things. My sister had many suggestions on what to delete. I am not surprised that I got zero attention on my profile attempt. I tried to chat to a girl called Sarah who had a boat in one of her pictures but she blocked me. Doesn’t do great things for your confidence. My sister told me to try a less direct approach and try and be a little more light hearted about it. Sadly I was compelled to remove any mention of my recent outboard motor repairs in Melbourne.
I’m a young guy who has a passion for the sea and would like to get to know you. While the messages didn’t quite come flooding in, I did get chatting to a nice girl called Louise who spends a lot of time on her parents boat in the bay. I tried not to get too into the boating chat but when she mentioned her Dad’s new electric anchor winch I couldn’t resist asking what model it was. I guess she liked that because she has invited me to go and see it on the weekend so fingers crossed she thinks I’m somewhat normal.
A lot of things are said to bring a person contentment. There’s meditation and yoga, there’s eastern mystical philosophy and religion, and then there’s love and laughter. Personally, I think fishing should be added to the list. Since getting the outboard motor repair on my boat, I’ve been contemplating the art of fishing more and more. I’m evening thinking of writing a book about it entitled The Path of the Mystic Fisherman. Fishing connect us to nature in ways that we as consumers in an advanced society have forgotten. Through the act of fishing, you’re once again an extension of the earth around you, and just a small part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Our food, water and sustenance still comes from the earth, we’ve just lost touch with it, and fishing reminds us of the reality of life.
Aside from this connectedness you get with nature, fishing is much like meditation and mindfulness in that it brings you back to the now. It’s a skill that one needs to develop, especially in this frivolous world of short-attention spans and instant gratification. When you’re out in the wild, with nothing but your boat and your rod, that’s when your mind slows down, you learn presence, patience and experience true peace. It’s these profound benefits of fishing that I feel are grossly underrated.
Soon I’m going to go and get my friends to help with the outboard motor servicing. Melbourne marine fabrications can custom make the parts to suit your fishing needs. This is important to my meditative, holistic take on fishing, because a poor design can really mess with the feng shui. You don’t want a misplaced aluminium bar interfering with your tranquility, jutting into your state of calm like a crooked spanner. Aesthetics count for something, but that’s another book altogether…
Let it never be said that I will leave a friend hanging. My good buddy John has finally decided to move to a new apartment, the poor guy lives over an hour away from his uni. After having to get up at 5am every day to get to class he’s finally over it. All the other housemates are thinking of leave with him, that will leave the entire place completely vacant. His place is massive, there is enough space to house five people comfortably. It’s basically a small mansion, I may be exaggerating. Every room has it’s own bathroom, there are two garages and a huge back garden with an impressive vegetable garden. Sure the TV antennas need replacing but it’s a small problem that can fixed quickly.
The rent is paid up for another six months so they’re looking to get someone in to take care of the place for cheap. Cue yours truly to come to the rescue and take care of this massive place like a hero. It will be slightly nicer than living in the cramped basement on my parents house. It’s a little difficult to invite a girl around to your house when you live under the stairs.
The place is almost perfect, the only thing that needs to change is the TV antenna. Currently the place gets pretty poor reception on all but one channel. As much as I like watching world cinemas I think I’ll get an upgrade. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who can take care of the TV antenna installation. Melbourne friends and family will have an awesome time at my housewarming party. There is no way I’ll be able to afford the place beyond the six months without getting other roomies. It would be fun to have a few friends to watch TV with and have dinner but I feel like I’d get sick of having to share. I like having my own space, and there sure is a lot of in that house. The football grand final is coming up soon, I wonder if it would be possible to get the new TV antennas, Melbourne has a public holiday on the friday so I’m sure it’ll be a massive weekend for everyone. I might even borrow a projector if the TV reception is clear in time.
I have been assured that you will, in some way, receive this message. Unless in the month I have been gone you have installed internet throughout all the temples, I assume this will be in some other form.
Melbourne is fascinating, to be certain. The flora and fauna could not be more different to that of Albajeria, each of them speaking with a voice that is so very scattered and yet unified. Naturally, it is warmer, and not just because I am not living at the top of a mountain.
Our Brother Sun has been extremely gracious in showing me how to live in this strange place. He has had such grand adventures, things you would not believe, but most shocking to me was how he chose to apply for jobs with a company that carries out tree removal in Melbourne. I thought I had misheard at first. This is well outside our philosophy!
I’m growing to understand, even if I’m not quite understanding the ramifications. The way it was told to me, the layout of Melbourne means that sometimes, trees endanger people and property. They must be removed, and stumps fall into the same category. I had in my mind images of burning woodlands and mass deforestation, so this is…better. I can at least abide this. To a degree.
Alright, I’m still a bit confused, but this isn’t the first confusing thing I’ve experienced here in Melbourne. You should see how seriously people take the simple act of drinking coffee, to the point they will shun entire establishments because the standards are not quite high enough. Oh, and Melbourne’s arborists seem downright normal when you think of people driving to places that are a mere ten kilometers away! There is still much to learn.
-Brother Firefly Leaf
Well, that wasn’t a total disaster. Goodness, when most family members say they want to find a function room in Melbourne with an ice skating rink downstairs, it’s usually pretty straightforward. People would like to have a few drinks, eat some peanuts and finger-food, then go downstairs to skate the night away. Some people wouldn’t be so good at it- let’s be honest, most people- but that’d be part of the fun of the whole party. Fun, good times, laughter, etc.
Then Wendy said she wanted to go ice skating for her 21st, and I was like…what? Did she know that ice-skating wasn’t just a euphemism for sliding around on a highly-polished floor? Like, it involves actual ice, and you have to wrap up a bit because it gets cold. Because of all the ice. Nope, she said that her therapy sessions had prepared her for it, and this was the final step in her program of overcoming her cryophobia.
I respected her wishes, but of course put in some escape routes anyway. The function room was kept really warm, there was a parka with hot chocolate standing by just outside the rink and we were all kept on high alert for any signs of panic. I know, super overprotective brother, but I think it’s what she wanted. Maybe having all of it there but just out of sight really helped. Wendy was nervous at first, and when she got out on the ice she looked like she was about to be sick. It wasn’t the canapes, I swear. But we had an ice skating instructor who was brilliant with her, coaxing her through the basic moves along with the group, making sure she didn’t fall. Pretty soon she loosened up, and stayed out there on the ice for half an hour. I think she was glad to get back to the function room upstairs, but if you knew Wendy, you’d know how incredible this is. And sure enough, she now has this new lease on life. Didn’t even know she had it in her!