Category Archives: Australia

Ghost in the Machine

A trip to Melbourne for a job fair in 2016 reminded us that posh western hotels, with English speaking staff, can be just as frustrating as any foreign hostel or lumpy mattress disaster.

Ok, so the room wasn’t ready. No problem, we’ve all had this experience before I’m sure. But it was after we finally completed our check-in that things went downhill

Firstly another M Green gets a key to our room. We found this out when the porter showed up to deposit his / her bags. No worries, the front desk will fix it, leave it with them.

A ‘clerical error’ means that the ‘full buffet breakfast’ on the reservation confirmation won’t be honoured. Hmmm, good thing I don’t eat breakfast and there is complimentary coffee in the room. Oh, its instant coffee. Well then its a good thing we are in Melbourne, a city known for its excellent cafes.

When we return to our room there is a letter for the other M Green and items that don’t belong to us. Sigh, back down to reception we go once again. Back and forth with the concierge in an effort to show that I am in fact a different M Green to the one they think I am. Acknowledgement leads to an upgrade with full ‘Club’ privileges, except breakfast. Oh well, a win is a win – right?

Nope. The upgrade causes our credit card to be charged twice for the stay leaving us seriously short of funds for the trip. Another frustrated adventure to reception results in a free bottle of wine, which was really nice, however the cleaner left the wine glasses soaking in our bathroom sink the next day and forgot to remove them from the room.

What else can go wrong? Stupid question. After approximately ten job interviews during the first day it became abundantly clear that I was not going to secure a job as a teacher without experience and I was not going to get experience without a job as a teacher. Classic catch 22.

Back to the room, check for other M Green’s belongings, wash wine glasses, spend remainder of the evening rewriting CV and researching management positions within the schools that are attending. One school in Dhaka, Bangladesh looks promising. Just a small problem, I need to have teaching qualifications in order to be employed.

Last day at the hotel. The other M Green has already checked out, but didn’t pay our bill 😉 Still no breakfast, but Club privileges have us enjoying a cocktail on the top floor. A lucky discussion with a gentleman from a Swiss school has encouraged me to rewrite CV once again and focus on my management skills. Six weeks later I was on a plane to Oman for a job interview.

All’s well that ends well.

Melbourne

Melbourne

Maroubra Beach

Growing up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs meant sun, sand, surf and a wonderful life outdoors. Ok, I wasn’t much of a surfer, too uncoordinated! But that didn’t stop me from hanging out here – Maroubra Beach.

The South Maroubra rock pools were always full of interesting crustaceans, anemones, sea squirts (aka cunjevoi) and the odd blue ringed octopus to which we gave a wide berth. If the north-south runway at Kingsford-Smith Airport was in use then the only other sounds to be heard were the crashing of the waves, the laughing of the children and the crack of rifles on the range behind us.

North Maroubra (below) was where the majority of the surfers hung out. Although the waves today were a little low, and the wind slightly chilly, there were a few brave souls out in the whitewash. The “Rubik’s Cube” in the picture above marks the storm water outlet that, as adventurous teenagers, we walked up inside quite a distance whenever the grate wasn’t in place to catch the rubbish. People have since drowned in there, so I wouldn’t recommend it as tourist destination 😉

Fisherman also enjoyed the rocky outcrops hauling in schnapper, flathead, black fish, sea bream and salmon. About 50m off the coast at North Maroubra is the wreck of the Hereward, a clipper built in Glasgow in 1877. The ship was blown onto the soft sands and wrecked in 1898. Thanks to Stuart Ritchie for the video below.

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Maroubra as a child, a teenager, an adult and a dad, but my fondest occurred earlier this year when Heidi and I got married at Mistral Point overlooking my favourite beach in Sydney.

Sydney Crackers

Heidi and I would like to wish all our friends and family all over the world a very happy new year. We hope that 2016 brings good health, fun and adventure to you all, and we look forward to seeing you online or in person as the year progresses.

Here are a selection of images from the New Years Eve fireworks spectacular over Sydney harbour. These have been sourced from friends, media outlets and our own wobbly iPhones 😉 If your image is here and you’d like it credited please let me know.

Endless Summer

Well we’re outta here.

Flight leaves this morning at around 9:30 am and then we begin, what is ostensibly going to be, twelve months of summer.

We will be back in Sydney in December and staying until the end of February, before heading back to Asia to complete my internship.

After that – who knows 🙂

Wish us luck.

I wonder if I should have packed a raincoat?

Miscellaneous Sydney

Today is our last day in Sydney for quite some time, so here are some miscellaneous shots we took over the last few months and one image that isn’t ours but was very poignant given it was the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli this year.