Today I went to the city where Samuel picked me up for the home meeting at his place in Chermside. After the meeting we ate and I headed to the showgrounds to get my pay from Casi. Casi gave me $1350 and Victor his $900 since he started a couple days after me. Victor then got us both rides into the city with his son and I grabbed a bus home.
Today I made a fire and burned some of the tree trimmings in the backyard.
Today Ben and I went for an interview up in the city but we were 10 minutes late so they wouldn't see us. On the way back we went to Aldi and Target where I bought an ice cream maker for $20. Later on Jenny came and let me into my room because I locked myself out this morning..
Today Ben and I went to the centrelink office so he could register for welfare until he gets a job. The Australian government is pretty generous to those who live here. If you are unemployed or in school they provide you with enough cash for room and board as well as anything else you think you need. Unfortunately you have to be a citizen, permanent resident, refuge - pretty much anything other than a backpacker, in order to collect.
Back at the house I made homemade soft serve with my new Whirly Cream ice cream machine.
Today Ben and I went to the shopping center to print out his "relief" form so he can set up a payment plan on his fines. Next I tagged along for a job interview and they put me in as another applicant. After the interview I went up to Chermside to meet for tea and a webcast video message. Then I met Ben in the city and we went to the Vic for a few drinks. We played a game of pool and had a couple more drinks then, out of nowhere, we got into an all out brawl. I backed off just as three security guys showed up and dragged Ben away. They came back for me as well and, after a while of waiting for them to release Ben, I decided to go up and ask what was going on. My phone had died so I had no way of knowing that he had already wandered off in the wrong direction from the bus station. I went looking for him but after a bit I had to catch the bus so I decided to check for him there. When I arrived home I found that Ben was already there so I iced my fat lip and went to bed thinking, "bar fight with an Australian - that's not cliche at all!"
Today I prepared the soil in an area where the bonfire had cleared for growing tomatoes and anything else that might produce before I leave in four months. Later I spoke with Ben and found that neither of us were really sure what happened. We decided that our fight, or "blue" as Australians call it, was of no consequence - just that we need to keep our hands to ourselves from now on. Strangely enough it seems that the Vic actually has a reputation for being a provocative environment - two of my housemates were surprised to hear that Ben and I had actually struck one another until I told them where it happened. As soon as I mentioned "the Vic" they chuckled pointing out that this kind of thing actually happens there quite often.
Today I went with Victor to the meeting down in Gold Coast. After lunch we spent some more time fellowshipping and went to Surfers Paradise then caught the train back to Brisbane.
Today Ben and I went to the shops to get his application for relief signed by a JP (Justice of the Peace). It seems like an overly bureaucratic process but I guess the Aussies do maintain a similar political system to the English.
In the evening we all made a fire and had a couple drinks.
Over the last couple days I went to a couple meetings and looked for work.
Today I made plans to go camping with some couchsurfers and applied for a few local cleaning jobs. They're really small jobs (one or two hours a week each) so I can do them all and make a decent income.
Today I went bought a tent from a guy for $20 then applied for heaps of jobs during which time I found another spider, this time in the middle of my floor.
Today I set up an interview for a cleaning job with a guy named Skip then picked up my charger for my phone that recently arrived from Adelaide and got a small job teaching a lady to drive manual. I found another spider today... this one was on my windowsill.
Today Skip dropped by and, after I told him I was leaving in four months, he kind of lost interest. After talking to Skip, Ben and I went up to the city to do an interview for a sales job working at malls and major events. The guy seemed keen and told us he would let us know in the next couple days. Really hope I get this one, my bank account went into the negative today because of the monthly $4 fee that banks charge. Seems the "poor tax" is a blatant reality here...