Today I finally finished my job. I trained up Jay and, after we got him some gas for the buffer, he took me home. I slept a bit and around 1:30p Robert and I went to the forest for a swim in the quarry.
While there I swam across and jumped off the cliff again. Some of the blokes up there thought I was Irish... that's a first! Back at the house I realized Robert's disposition is that of a quirky British hypochondriac, "is it safe to camp with all the venomous wildlife? Won't we be bitten by the snakes in the forest? Will we burn on the way back after swimming? Am I in any danger of burning in the shade?"
Today I went to the shops and when I returned I made rice pudding. While that was cooking I went out into the garden and dug up some potatoes with which I made another loaf of potato bread. Later in the evening I finally went to the fortnightly CS meeting at Greystone Bar where I met a Latvian, Belgian, many Germans, a couple Aussies, even another American and I ran into Giac as well. While we ate some free snacks we all discussed our lives here in Australia - places we've been, jobs we've had, plans for the future, etc. I didn't manage to suss out any upcoming activities as I had hoped but I did make some new friends.
Today Anita and I went to Parkinson's Forest where I got a distressed call from Jeff saying that the new cleaner had quit... so he needs me to train some new people. This cancels my plans for the night and makes tomorrow's plans very difficult. Anita and I still managed to go swimming at the artificial beach in South Bank and get $6 steak & chips in Fortitude Valley before returning.
At work the new guys didn't even show up and, since Jeff had me waiting for them, I didn't have time to finish my job. This made me very upset considering that I shouldn't even be there anymore. Hopefully I can truly be finished after tomorrow morning... and get paid. I'm still a bit weary for a few reasons. The job is illegal - no taxes, no payslips and I'm not supposed to be working seven days a week either. This makes it harder for me to contact the authorities if things go wrong. I do have witnesses at the store to say I've been working there and the store is responsible for employee payment, even for third party employees, but it just wont be easy to sort out any problems since pay day is Monday - the day I leave Brisbane.
After work today Anita and I went with some CSers to Surfers Paradise to do some surfing. When we arrived we ate fish and chips then hired some boards. After some surfing, body surfing, someone losing their top in a wave, and general mucking around in the sun, we went to get pizza. During this walk we sussed out many places but eventually settled on one with a large $20 meat lovers which I split with Jacquie. We spoke about a lot of random things throughout the evening including rubbers that Anita had in her purse (Aussies refer to pencil erasers as rubbers!) and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard's gratuitous speech on the impending doom resulting from the ending of the Mayan calendar. No one is sure if she is serious but apparently many are very concerned with the possibility of the world ending.
Today I got a call at 6:30a from Jeff about another new guy. Apparently he had shown up just then and didn't have time to do everything. Of course I was expected to come down and help but the first bus wasn't until 7:25a and the store opens at 8a. Jeff still asked me to catch that bus down so I did. After helping out for about an hour (even after the store opened) Jeff was very happy with me and assured me that he would pay for everything by Monday. Tonight and tomorrow I will train a new guy then hopefully I will be done. Back at the house I made Portugese Flat Bread again followed by some more rice pudding then took a nap before work.
Today I trained the new guy for the morning. He is experienced (worked at Woolies for one year) but still couldn't believe I could finish the morning shift in four hours... this morning they were polishing the floors so we had to wait a bit but then didn't have to do as much. After work I went home and started packing. Ben tried getting me to deal with his car tyre again but I was simply too busy and sick of dealing with him anyways... with the regular threats and negative attitude I don't really get the whole "friend" vibe anymore and this so-called friendship is the only reason I've paid out over TWO THOUSAND dollars fixing his car since the accident. After going for the shampoo machine I quickly did the shampoo in my room then left for dinner with the Engs.
After the dinner I met up with some couchsurfers in the city: Stephan (German), Jeff (American transplant), Kev (Aussie) and one American guy, Dave.
Today I went to the church meeting with Anita. Before leaving I had to finish packing, tell Robert how to return the shampoo machine that I had hired and go to Salvos which had moved. At the meeting we had Mexican food in honor of my leaving Brisbane and then headed to Queen St where I met Robert. We then went to Giac's and over to a pool party/BBQ. After several hours of fun eating, swimming and meeting couchsurfers, we headed back to Giac's where we attempted to do some planning, but fell asleep.