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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Back to Work!


Today some of us went to the lagoon to relax and swim a bit then went for lunch at PJ O'Briens. I had a delicious chicken schnitzel burger which cost $12... but, again, it was very good. Back at the hostel I did some odds and ends and talked to Tae Sun at the front desk about cleaning for the next couple weeks one hour a day for free accommodation. If all goes well I will start training tomorrow and get free accommodation starting the day after! Later we all went to the Woolshed for tea again and I met another couchsurfer named Pascal, from Germany. After eating we all had a few drinks which ended up being free after "ladies night" began because the girls we met just kept getting free ones and giving them to us. A while later we all went back to the hostel for some goon in the room which resulted in broken glass and some complaints. After that we ended the night with a visit to Gilligan's.


Today I woke up to one of the girls from last night asking about going to the Kuranda today. I checked it out but the bus had already left so we made other plans to go to the Botanical Gardens. It was so hot though so we went to the lagoon instead. Before going to the lagoon I booked my flight to Melbourne through Flight Centre - a New Year's trip to Sydney was just too expensive. When I arrived at the lagoon I only found Pascal (Germany) so we swam a bit and bought some Egg Nog at Bi-Lo. After work cleaning the hostel (only 25 minutes!) I went to take a nap. At 8 pm I woke up and went to the Woolshed for tea with some others and, on the way back, I found a job for the next couple weeks. One of the pedicab (aka tuk-tuk, rickshaw or bicycle cab) guys told me how I could do that during the next couple weeks and make some money so I'll probably start doing that tomorrow.


Today some of us went to the Botanic Gardens (Flecker Gardens, Tanks Arts Centre, Mt Whitfield, Centenary Lakes). After returning to the hostel and cleaning I headed out to check on my prospective new job as a pedicab rider.

After a $150 deposit I grabbed a bike and started riding around. As the night went on I picked up all kinds of people who paid me from $5 to $20 for rides around the locality. By the end of the night I had exceeded the capacity of the cart, gone out of our service area and been the victim of both serious flirting and insults. I rode for four hours and probably sat around chatting with other riders for three but still made $105 - not bad for a first night out.


Today I spent time with some friends at the hostel and went to the Woolshed with my Norwegian roommate for Nachos ($5 upgrade from free meal). Later I went to work as a rickshaw again and during my shift I met some interesting people. One guy named Joe works on a fishing trawler and he gave me $55 to get him 3k to his boat where he gave me another $10 and brought me on to have a drink and check out the command centre. Later I brought his buddies over as well and they gave me $25.

Another customer owned one of the clubs and in the end he wanted to pay $35 but when he found out I didn't take credit cards only gave me $10...


Tonight was a slow night so I only broke even. At one point I took two guys on the scenic route, through a car wash and dropped them off separately for which they paid me $20 each - a decent end to the night.


Tonight I had a guy pay me $50 after I gave him and his kids a wild ride up the road. Later some screaming drunks gave me $20 for one block and some locals paid me to do a mono (wheelie). After that a drunk guy promised me $50 but wanted to ride so I let him ride us to his place. He crashed a couple times but nothing serious and as I was leaving I thought I had dodged the bullet... then I realized my ipod was missing.  As I was riding back I started stressing out thinking it was all over (since I need my music to be a successful rider) but then I saw it - my ipod was just a couple blocks out of town sitting on the side! Another couple guys gave me $30 to take them up the road but it turned out they lived up by the airport... Yet another couple gave me $20 to take them up the road where they were having a gathering. They invited me in for some food and ended up treating me to free maccas, drinks and other food! Finally, as I was heading back into town to call it a night I got one more customer who I offered a ride. He decided to hop in and asked to just be taken a few blocks down the way. When we arrived he gave me $50, offered hospitality and a job as well!


Today we had a BBQ at the bike shed for which I was late due to my job at the hostel. When I arrived I still got food and some extra for later as well. It was a pretty lame night overall - I picked up some girls who wanted to go shopping on a Saturday night but swore that they had no money between the three of them to even tip me... After that I picked up a bunch of guys and split them between me and Marcus. At first they paid us $10 each then, after taking them around for over and hour we asked for a little more money for our services and one of the guys threatened to beat us to death... Later I had some fun racing Kiwi David to Maccas for which we each made $15 ($5/person). Then I raced Dean to the other Maccas during which he got stopped in plaza by cops and at light. At that point I went through with my momentum passing him laughing the rest of the way. One guy tried to stop me by dragging behind me but hurt himself and I still won and got $10. At 6 am I finally broke even when I met some nice kiwi girls who bought me pies and paid me $10 - I broke even when you consider the pie costs. Back at the shed all the riders sat and talked into the morning having done a very difficult night.


Tonight was great night. I got early money and continued while everyone else went home early due to the rain. It actually stopped raining and I met a guy with pit bulls that loved me but bit into all the other males that they had met. After we had a few drinks and talked for a bit he gave me some money and I continued what had already been a very profitable night. I met a group of funny people on the way back and they gave me $40 for taking them around a bit. I ended the night with $320 profit!


Today I deposited $600 cash and another $100 exactly in shrapnel. Later I had the free meal at Woolshed for the first time in days. At work a girl directed me the wrong way, promised me pizza but when I finally checked my sat nav and got us going the right way she got nasty. She was only offering $5 for a ride that had already taken half the night so I stopped for pizza at the only place that was open and when she said no I simply told her to get out. She would't leave the cab so I turned up the music which made her mad but she still wouldn't get out. When she tried calling her friends to come to where we were that made me a bit nervous so I decided to start riding again. She got mad and started kicking me so I got off the bike and she tried stealing it. I wouldn't let her so she tried fighting me. As she kicked me and started punching me in the head she dropped the $5 she owed me so I grabbed it. Security moved her on but before they could she tried to convince them that I had stolen a bunch of money from her. They explained that this being the case it was only fair as payment for my services. Considering she tried to get me to drive her to Sydney this was actually a good price! She tried to say she gave me $10, $15, $20, etc. but couldn't make up her mind so I said, "no, don't you remember? You gave me $50, no wait $100!" The whole thing was just a huge joke at this point. I went to get another customer after this and this guy paid me to bring him to his boat where he was having a party. After a few drinks and some guitar I headed back.


Today we had the day off for Christmas so I spent it playing pool with coworkers and eating lots of food that was being provided at the shed.


Today was an easy day. I had the free dinner at 8 pm and got $40 from first customer in the first 20 minutes. Things closed early for boxing day and rent was high but I still managed $110 profit.


Today while I was cleaning at the hostel some friends from work showed up and gave me my ticket for seeing "The Hobbit" so I rushed through it and met them just in time before they went into the movie. After the movie I had my free dinner then went to work. It was another high rent, low earning day but I gave a ride to some UW graduates and they gave me extra cash for being a fellow alumni. Later in the night I had a couple good rides with decent tips which put me in the positive. I only made $40 profit but, then again, I was pretty lazy and didn't work much so it's okay.


Today was a bit strange. I had some interesting customers including a bloke who fell off and rolled a bit while I was taking a corner... I warned him to sit down. Later some cyclists grabbed on for a ride while flirting with some old ladies I had in the back. I made -$100 + $30 from the guys but was still -$70... oh and Kiwi David was given a prostitute by a customer.


Today German David's bike was taken while he was receiving payment so I chased after and, as they came back, they crashed into my front tyre bending it out of shape. Then the big guy we had with us scared them away but scraped up against a car while retrieving the bike... I was at -$50 for the night and after all the police stuff I just went to the shed where I caught a ride back to my hostel with Kostya (Russian).


Today I went to Rustys market with the guys and Kiwi David made smoothies at the shed. Rick dropped $70 from the $270 rent last night for me and gave me free rent tonight. Observation: heaps of people in Cairns are on drugs. Kiwi David tried Cocaine and Exctacy tonight because someone offered it to him for free... I had a massive night, took guys back and forth just a couple blocks each time for $30-50 a go. Some guys bet at a casino on number some woman told them and won $400. They decided to spend most of that money on me throughout the night. At one point one of the guys told me not to pick up his buddy but I ran into the guy while trying for the tenth time to go home and gave him a quick $10 ride. I told him to tell his buddy that he tried flagging me down but, for some reason, I just wouldn't stop. As I was finally heading home the cops stopped me for taking notes on my phone at a red light. It could have been a $100 fine but instead we just had a conversation about how much they hate us riders in their town. One of them said he hates us getting in his way and that we need to stick to the road rules better. He told me, "tell your tourist friends we're sick of this." In deciding whether or not to fine me one of them told the other, "your call fuzz." Thankfully they couldn't be bothered and I kept all $480 of profit from the night! I also learned what to say for the most profit - "how much? whatever you guys think is fair, its all good, a couple of coins." Usually I'm weary about giving them that much leeway but when it pays, it really pays!

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