Thursday, 21 April 2011


Even the thought of doing a new blog entry over the last couple of weeks (fuck, it’s been AGES, just read my last one ha) has been terrifying! My days are like a big mush into one, I have absolutely no idea what I was up to this time last week, even the weekend requires some thought, but I suppose I have to start somewhere!
I do vaguely remember the Saturday after I finished my last entry actually. I woke up STILL with no voice, bought some sort of herbal throat gargle stuff, but ended up drinking it not gargling it (ha, whoops). Somehow got through 95% of the bottle and went to work feeling a little out of it, but, with a tiny bit of voice! Even now I can remember how freaking amazing that felt. I have never appreciated my voice so much, ever.
I’m staying in a place called the “Barmy Badger Backpackers” (even typing it is embarrassing) but despite the name it’s actually quite cool. Most of the people that are here have been so for months (like, even 6+ months) and at first I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to spend that much time in a hostel, but I’m now in my third week here ha...
One big plus of staying put is the fact I broke the handle off my big suitcase getting onto the tube. Argh, complete and utter nightmare! You’d have to experience dragging that shit around to really understand I think, I can’t even put into words how god damn annoying that hour or so was.
And I have a massive cupboard here and draws etc, and we have our own bathroom off our room (I share with 5 other people; it really, really does not feel like that though? Again, you’d probably have to experience to believe it) so maybe the reason I’m still here is through sheer laziness of packing all my stuff up again. It’s also quite a small place though so you get to know everyone quite well. There are lotssss of NZers and Australians and a few French and Spanish. It’s fun though, there are always people to hang out with but it’s easy to get away as well. I can walk to work too! (I don’t think many people in London can say that) which is beyond amazing as me and London buses do not mix.
Work is one big hell hole at the moment. I am SO glad I’m leaving in June!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s always been a bit up and down, like, some days are fun, some days are shit, but whatever that’s pretty normal. However, at the moment it’s getting progressively worse and it’s not because of the work side of things it’s the people there, argh.
The head chef (who I FINALLY learnt is Belgian, but sometimes he pretends to be French?) has always been a bit of a dick to me, and two Saturdays ago I’d had enough so I interrupted him during one of his “FOR FUCKS SAKE MAN, you’re so SHIT, why do you take so FUCKING long to get into the kitchen when I ring the bell” rants and was like “Why do you have to take everything out on me?” (Or words to that extent) and he was like “Maybe it’s because I like you too much darling” (or some shit) and I just looked at him like “What the faaark” and walked off.
Then when he finished his shift he kept hovering around the bar asking me why I don’t have a boyfriend etc, to which I replied I didn’t want one and he finally pissed off. Unfortunately that put a massive damper on what was otherwise an awesome night as Tim and I were doing a function upstairs and we each got a forty pound tip (!!!!!!!!!!) from the man who organised the party for his wife or someone, who happened to be a DEAD ringer for Mark from Peep Show (If you don’t know what I’m talking about PLEASE watch Peep Show ha) Then I missioned my way to Bethnal Green, ended up on Oxford St eating a bagel from one of the most famous bagel shops in London (apparently) at 5am, knowing full well I had work at midday, after meeting a bunch of cool people from NZ (there are no cool English people, by the way)
So unfortunately that Sunday is still very fresh in my mind as it was so horrible. I wasn’t as ridiculously tired as I deserved to be which was ONE good thing, but we were severely understaffed and I was’ meant’ to be in two functions and being sole operator of the main bar downstairs all at once? Sweet. I also had chef (Gilles) hovering around continually asking me to go have a drink with him after work. I caved (pinnacle moment in why work SUCKS so bad now, will never cave to do anything I really don’t want to do EVER again)
I figured at the time I’d have one beer with him, be a bitch then go home which is usually easy enough to achieve. But he kept buying beer after beer after beer and sitting there rabbiting on about himself (SUCH a drag, my god) I quite genuinely disagreed with everything he had to say about anything, but that didn’t seem to matter as he still decided it was a good idea to lunge across the table and do his best to bite my tongue off, gag. It was disgusting. I kept being like no, no, no, no this is not what I want, at all. But he kept trying his luck. I FINALLY got away, refused to give him my number, thinking surely he’d realise I DID NOT LIKE HIM AT ALL.
Apparently that wasn’t the case though. He went home and broke up with his girlfriend (!!!!!!!!!!!) Which I got to hear all about two days later (fortunately, I wasn’t working again until the Wednesday)
I avoided him like the plague at work, and he got my number off someone else (urgh) and kept texting me like “Why did you look so upset, blah blah blah” 
I think he has selective shit English and when he doesn’t like what someone tells him he pretends not to get it.
So work was all a little tense and awkward last week, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I thought he’d got the message well and truly and got over it, but no such luck.
On Sunday night it was Enrique’s leaving drinks, and everyone was at work (I was actually working, along with one of the managers, no one else was) drinking. They were supposedly moving on early but they just never did and ended up staying until close. Then they were off to some salsa bar not far away and told me to join afterwards.
I wasn’t going to because I was tired and didn’t have a change of clothes or anything, but realised I hadn’t said goodbye to Enrique so figured I’d at least do that. When I got there one of the other chefs (who has a partner, and a baby) started buying me tons of drinks, then Conor started, and everyone was like “ooooh bit of a home wrecker are we?” Um, no. I didn’t ASK people to buy me drinks ffs. Then Enrique was like “Oh all the guys love you at work, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah” I DON’T CARE.
So anyway, nothing else that happened that night is worth going into. Gilles wasn’t there but must’ve heard about the night the next day at work (I was off, thankfully, SO hung over my god) as this is when the texting began. At first it was all “woe is me, I broke up with my girlfriend for you” etc. And I was like “I told you nothing was ever going to happen, I didn’t ask you to break up with your girlfriend, I’m sorry but I can’t do anything about it” and he kept going and going like “You say you don’t like me, but people change, maybe you need to learn to take a risk, maybe I need to learn to lighten up” etc. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Persistence is NOT the key in situations like that, why do people not get that!
I had work on Tuesday, which is generally pretty quiet so it was just Conor and I at the bar, and the chefs, obviously, in the kitchen. And Gilles kept being like “Oooh you’ve got one of your boyfriends behind the bar and the other one in the kitchen” I THOUGHT he was joking, but I’ve come to the conclusion that that man is incapable of doing so.
Last night was the absolute killer. I can tell everyone at work gossips about me ALL the time, but I don’t really care all that much as that’s just what people are like. It was ridiculously busy as there was a Chelsea game on (yuck) but it was fine as there was a lot to do and time was flying. Then after having staff food I felt so ridiculously ill and kept running upstairs to the bathroom to spew. Everyone caught on and my manager was like “If you throw up one more time you’re going home”. And I did. So I went home.
Checked my phone while walking down the road to see an inbox full of abusive texts from Gilles, oh joy. He’d gotten into arguments with SO many people at work that night. Not me, actually, just everyone else. But apparently everything is my fault.
He told me he never wants to see my face again and I have no respect for him and he’s going to check the roster and make sure he never has to work with me again (good luck with that Gilles, we’re both full time workers you dumb fuck) and that I was a big part of the reason he’s leaving (I sure hope he does, I’d be doing everyone a favour if that was the case) etc etc.
Ignore is my new policy, which I did. So yes, already dreading work tomorrow.
At least my spewing has ceased, and I have a trip to Tate Modern to look forward to this afternoon. I still feel like a walking zombie (I also never sleep, I’m not sure why, I’m lucky if I get three hours a night at the moment. Then I have a night like last night and just completely crash. Really not healthy) but sitting around inside is lame so I want to get out and about and hang out with a fellow New Zealander in London ha.
Oh and now I have one of the girls in my room trying to set me up with one of the French guys in the hostel. No thanks.
As I said to Lucy I want to die my hair a heinous colour, but I think I’ll take it one step further and just shave my head so I look like a scary dyke that no one would want to go near with a barge pole.
Yeah, that should put people off.
But, London is actually awesome! I went to Tower Hill with some hostel peeps the other day, the marathon was on which we totally forgot about but I suppose that was kind of cool to see a bit of a section of. We walked over the Bridge, went to a market there, and walked past a castle whose name escapes me. I forgot my camera, as I do, but someone else was taking photos so they may or may not end up on face book at some point in time?
I’ve also been to Hyde Park lots because the weather has been amazing! Sunny, and hot and summery, it’s fantastic.
So basically I figured I better end on a positive note.

Friday, 1 April 2011


This has been one suuuper long week, wow! It would’ve been pretty awesome too had I managed to hold onto my voice, but I haven’t, so now it sucks just a little.
On Sunday I was still like bluh, bit of a cold, but nothing major. Spent the morning trying to steal spoons from the Marks and Spencer’s around the corner from my backpackers with this group of Brazilian guys who I guess I was friends with even though I spoke more Spanish than they spoke English haha. They always tried to engage me in awkward, pigeon English type conversations in the lounge and when they learnt my name I couldn’t walk into a communal area without hearing “JENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN”
I swear to god there were about 15 of them, they all looked the same and they were EVERYWHERE all the time, crazy man. On this particular morning through sign language and the odd word I figured out that they were sick of the really scungey spoons that were in the kitchen so we went on a mission to steal plastic ones from the ‘cafe’ section. Marks and Spencer’s is a really faggoty supermarket department store kind of thing by the way with their own little cafe thing that sells crap, overpriced food. But what they do have is an abundance of plastic cutlery which we did get our hands on eventually.
 I then worked in a function from 12-6. Urgh. Boring. It was a fourtieth birthday with lots of screaming, spoilt Chelsea children. Which reminds me of one really insignificant thing that I have noticed which is that people here (well, people in Chelsea anyway) say “Please can I have...  a wine spritzer (or some shit)” whereas I’d say “Can I please have... beeeer”
 Annnnyway... point being their syntax structure makes them sound like a knob. And on the knob note, there is also a scary number of men that order Shandys in Chelsea ... just saying.
I had a run in with scary Polish bitch manager (who isn’t actually that bad as I’ve now discovered, but that’s what I was thinking at the time) and Paula was like “Oh just ignore her, she’s just a bit moody” and I asked Connor about her and he said that after two years he thinks she’s finally just started warming up to him. Greeeat. Actually, first I asked him “What’s the Polish ladies name?” and he was like “Um well, I wouldn’t exactly call her a lady” (haaa, too true)
I stupidly turned down an amazing piece of cake from the function people too as I didn’t feel like it at the time, but four hours later I was like daaamn what I wouldn’t do for that cake right now.
I had Monday off so I went to the Barbican Art Gallery ( to go to the Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown and Gordon Matta-Clark exhibition, totally worth my ‘student’ concession price of 8 pounds (thank you Auckland University and your student I.D’s with no expiry date) It was pretty siiick. I’d seen lots of the Trisha Brown things from University already, but that didn’t matter. And for any dance majors reading this, there was the original mapping out of that piece with the people in the purple (??) unitards who all mush together doing that weird hip, walk thing. I had a little chuckle to myself about that, too funny. 
I liked this exhibition by Laurie Anderson in which she referred to photography in some situations being like mugging people. Her inspiration came from when she got confronted by a woman in a cafe who was CONVINCED she was some other famous person and then wouldn’t take no for an answer. Laurie Anderson then decided to ask if she could take the woman’s picture (as if to give the woman a taste of her own medicine) So from here she decided that every time a man in public made some sort of sexual comment or gesture to her she’d ask if she could take their picture to see what they’d do. She blacked out their eyes and added a little description about their reaction and what you see in the photo under each one. It was quite funny, and yeah, I liked it, just cos I diddd.
The Gordon Matta-Clark stuff was kind of interesting too. He focuses on ‘splitting’, which is quite literally just splitting buildings, or just parts of buildings, completely in half. Sounds kind of stupid when I put it that bluntly but yeah, it was mint. Buuuuuuut PROBABLY NOT so fascinating to read about without seeing it so I shall carry on.
Then I went to a ballet class! Yay! I went to an elementary level class which really was elementary, it was fine though. If anything it was tricky enough it just happened to be a class of really shit people fluffing their way through it. The teacher afterwards said if I came to that class because it was a time that suited me I should bring my pointe shoes (eek, no thanks. I STILL have a gnarly blister on my toe from well, 4 weeks and one day ago from final dance photo shoot hah, whaaat the fuuck)  
Afterwards I got a bit tipsy with Caroline off G&T’s and hot sake, and we had green tea ice cream, and it was amazing and and and I went ‘home’ very happy after that!
I did elementary ballet again on Tuesday, two classes two days in a row, wowww, it has been a while, then got stuck again doing a function upstairs at work with the most HORRIBLE room of Chelsea mofos ever. It was a function about buying shares in race horses, and as Paula pointed out, it was people that think they’re established high society but really they’re just arseholes with a bit of money from their parents.
At first they treat you like absolute shit, then they start getting a bit drunk and decide it’s fun to start hitting on you, then they get even MORE drunk and go back to being obnoxious dick faces. They chewed (I mean, drank) their way through a 1,100 pound bar tab!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But!!!!! still had the cheek to complain about drink prices after it had run out. One guy couldn’t BELIEVE a bottle of Becks was 4 pounds 10, and was like to me “You better be talking in Australian dollars” I said to him “Considering we’re in England, I’m not, and I wouldn’t anyway because I’m not Australian” to which he said “New Zealand, Australia, whatever, same thing. I’m just going to call you Australia”
And he did, for the remainder of the night. Douuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuche.
Everyone there suited the name Nigel; there was actually one guy that just HAD to be Nigel. There was no other name for him. He kept making ‘profound’ statements such as “Well we ALL know that what MAKES money is MORE money, so with THAT my filthy rich friends let’s have a drink” (He ACTUALLY said that) Paula and I just stood there like K Wow
When they were in their ultra obnoxious drunk stage they liked pointing out how we were so much better than their wives as we were “pretty faces who could pour a good pint without saying much”. Nice. Their wives were there, by the way. 
Also, the only beer we had on tap in the function room was Kirin Ichiban which they liked making fun of, for the entire night. One of them was like “WHAT would the JAPANESE know about making beer”. I pointed out that there are a lot of nice Japanese beers and he asked me to name another one, which I did so happily (Asahi, yum) Shame mother fuckker thinking you can one up me.   
I also pissed off one guy to the extreme because I refused to sell him anymore alcohol as he would’ve either thrown up or passed out, neither of which I wanted to deal with. Dammmn then he started abusing the crap out of me while his timid wife looked on and was like “Oh, I’m sorry, he gets like this when he’s had a bit much to drink.” I felt like telling her I was the sorry one that she was married to him, but yeah, I just stood there and stared at him (probably like this!/photo.php?fbid=492483411684&set=a.492483301684.267696.505031684&theater) and he gave up eventually (after calling me every name under the sun). To which angry Polish bitch was very impressed and now seems to like me, stoked.
Our free after work pint was most deserved and I drank mine way way too fast, on a way way way too empty stomach so was feeling nice and floaty by the time we left at 1:30. I’d written out all my bus catching instructions which Connor looked at and informed me that I could tube to one of the stops then have a slightly shorter bus ride home (was very happy about that, most of the underground trains stop running at midnight so then you’re stuck with the bus) He was catching the same tube so we walked there together and mannn he can talk the hind legs off a donkey. I’m pretty sure I got his entire family history (both parents from London, he’s one of nine kids (I think)) and a somewhat detailed summary of his past however many years in London, something about buying a scooter? Then it breaking? Then getting it fixed? I don’t know. Concentration was wavering.
Then it continued on the train where I was hit with my usual train=sleep vibe, so I was just nodding away while he carried on. Was quite literally nodding to everything and I’m pretty sure I’ve agreed to attend something with him (god knows what, I think it was dance related because I remember being surprised he had any interest in dance at all). Uh oh. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow at work as I HAVE TONIGHT OFF thanks to having no voice.
And it was Wednesday where the no voice began. I went to ballet anyway (three days in a row!! And I went to an advanced class for a change) then met up with Fiona’s cousin Claudia. Terrible first impression with me sounding like I do hah, but it was good nonetheless. The woman in Mallorca also rang me (arrrrrrrrgh bad timing). It took her forever to hear me rasping down the phone at her, and when she finally realised she was like “Oh my god you sound like you’re 100!” I was like “nooooo I swear I’m only 21, just sick!” But anyway, phone call = postponed.
Thursday I moved into new, way nicer, hopefully less diseased backpackers, and I cannot wait to ditch my stuff for more than a week at a time. I’m so glad that for the most part I have had some kind man offer to carry one of my bags for me up the stairs, but even still, I deserve the meatiest biceps ever after this past week or so (not that I want meaty biceps. I should get a sum of muscle that I can choose to place in any part of my body, stomach perhaps? Baha)
By now my voice was well and truly gone but I went to work anyway with the delusional idea that maybe lots of loud talking would help clear it (I didn’t genuinely believe that, but thought it may be a mind over matter type thing, it really wasn’t/isn’t)
I was working with Ana, Enrique and Kasia (Polish bitch) who were torn between finding it hilarious that I had no voice and feeling deeply sorry for me. Ana kept making me tea while it was still quiet, Enrique just mocked me haha, and Kasia took forever to realise but when she did she was like “OH MY GOD, you need whisky!”
I totally thought she was joking, she wasn’t.
Obviously we can’t drink while we’re working, but I turned around to see that she had in fact poured me a shot of whisky and was like “Quick, come here now. Michael’s around (big boss) but I’ll tell you when it’s safe” Then she was like “Ok, no... no... no, GO, no wait no, wait, wait wait wait, GO GO GOGOGOGOGOGO now”. Ha.
It totally didn’t do anything; I just think her answer to everything is whisky.  
I also had Enrique making me hot water and lemon every five minutes. Then Ana remembered her friends Mums herbal remedy for losing your voice. Errr, I really wish she hadn’t. It involved letting onion skins sit in boiling water for about fifteen minutes then drinking it, and eating the onion skin. Admittedly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, just like, yeah, hot watery onion, hardly pleasant, but I was getting pretty desperate so was keen to try anything.
And I woke up today, still with no voice, and a headache to add to my troubles, so figured it was probably best I didn’t try and tackle work on a Friday night and my boss happily agreed. So here I am! In bed, at 7 pm, it’s greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat.
Oh oh and! This is the area of Mallorca where I’ll be (if I go, gone back to trying to decide if it’s really such a good idea, hate having these constant decisions to make)
The area is Soller in the North West. Looks pretty damn amaaaziiiinnng.
And to finish off! I left New Zealand four weeks ago tonight :O (my time, anyway) What the hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, what the hell.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Short term memory loss

I’m sober now, thank god. No more drunken blogging for me!
I am also in London!!! With free wifi!!! Which at this point in time happens to be the best thing since sliced bread – I’m sure the other ten or so people in the lounge agree as we’re all sitting here tapping away ignoring Grand Designs that’s on TV (But I secretly love Grand Designs so I’m conveniently positioned where I get the best of both worlds) I’m also enjoying the fact that the guy opposite me forgot to plug his headphones in and is blaring The Strokes new album! Big win! Apart from the fact I have a horrendous cold blurrrgh, but such is life.
Ok so backtrack time.
Thursday was SUCH A LONG DAY. I have no idea how I managed on the tube on the day I arrived having just got off a however long flight, because, well, wow. Long-distance luggage carrying bites. Hard.
I had originally planned on taking a few photos around Skem on the morning I left, just so you could see how stunningly accurate my descriptions have been (because they’re nothing but the truth), but unfortunately (but in reality, fortunately) Jan wasn’t working so she gave me a lift to the train station. That meant I missed out on my final thirty min walk and bus ride! But it’s ok, I’m sure I’ll go back for a visit/to get fed, and when I do I’ll take photos because NOTHING will have changed. That I can guarantee.
By the time I got from Liverpool Central to Liverpool Lime Street Station I was already exhausted and severely regretting my decision to pack so haphazardly. Annie (Anita’s Mum) did the most amazing job at packing for me in Taiwan! I swear she made 10kgs magically melt away only to reappear when I unpacked. I on the other hand must have absent-mindedly placed some invisible rocks in there or something. Fucking hell. My biceps are throbbing at the very thought of it.
So I plonked myself down on the floor by the platform and sat on my big suitcase and people watched the next half hour away. Sadly I only captured that one couple in their matching tracksuits, and it wasn’t the best of angles (That guys’ top actually says “Two Chicks at once”, I bet buddy) – refer to facebook album.
I then had a major case of foot in mouth at the commencement of my journey to London. After being whacked on the head by what I thought was a very solid suitcase (turned out to be a very solid part of an arm) I said “Saying excuse me wouldn’t hurt”, then looked around to see a man closely resembling a cross between a gargoyle and an oaf looming above me, the type who blatantly spends his entire existence in the gym and drinking protein shakes (oh and getting into lots of gang fights that result in heaps of scars?) He actually could’ve crushed me with his little finger had he wished to do so. But instead he just looked a bit shell shocked then carried on bashing people out of his way while finding space for his ridiculously tiny suitcase (or maybe that’s a case of ‘all things are relative’ again) - my  guess is he probably wasn’t used to people 1/5 of his size telling him off for not using his manners, ha.
Then he sat in front of me, ahhh! But that meant that I could take the liberty of taking a picture of a) the back of his head and b) a slither of that massive shoulder of his, so you could visualise this creature slightly better.  Sadly couldn’t get a full frontal shot. out that meeean scar just above the seat line)
And shoulder: (Blah, can't figure out how to post them properly, my apologies)
Scary shit. Note to self to look at prospective person at receiving end of my big mouth before opening it.
As I predicted I did fall asleep after taking photos of anything and everything on the train to entertain myself, and it was grand.
Then underground + heavy shit battle number two began. And would you know it, there are two tube stations with the name “Willisden” in them. So while I was congratulating myself on remembering where I was going despite my horrendous short term memory, I was actually tubing to the wrong Willisden. So I arrived in Willisden Junction, where I will never ever go again and was beginning to doubt if I’d make it to the backpackers alive after work, and it also seemed to make sense why the backpackers said to give them a call and they’d come and collect you from the station, cos it’s so farking dodgey! But yeah, anyway, wrong Willisden. Back on the tube to Willisden Green (which isn’t dodgey), but by now it was getting on for half past four, and I started work at 6, and Chelsea is in South West London, Willisden Green is up North. So it was like, MAD RUSH to get changed and try and make myself look slightly presentable (failed on that one I think) and head off to work, rarr.
Being the speedster that I am I got to work more than on time so massive relief there. I was on a ‘buddy shift’ with this guy called Enrique from Brazil where I learnt not quite everything there is to know in the space of three hours! The only beer name I recognised was Peroni and Guinness, and the only wine, two New Zealand ones, and there are many many things to order (don’t get me started on food, or cocktails) so yeah, was definitely going to be a challenge! Enrique was awesome though, and he calls me Princess (hahahahahahahahahaha, so wrong) and my days and nights of getting ponsy Chelsea people pissed began!
I also met an Australian guy that works there, Connor, and a girl from Portugal, Ana, but they were working upstairs in the private hire room so I didn’t really spend any time with them. Apparently it was an incredibly busy Thursday night, so all things considered, I coped pretty well! We get fed too which is amazing, considering how much I hate/suck at cooking. I got to leave at nine and was told to come back for my first full shift the next night (6pm – close)
That meant I had a whole day on Friday to kill! I decided to go to the V&A Museum of Art and Design to check out this dance photography exhibition of Chris Nash’s work. And being the big nerd that I am I wrote down all the works that I really, really liked, and why, for mine (and for yours, if you care) future reference.

A lot of the portraits were really theatrical (no surprise, working with big companies etc), which were cool for what they were, but a little chauvinistic (that’s probably a little harsh, but oh well) I thought. I say that because they were visually very impressive, but had been digitally enhanced a lot of the time (jumps made higher, effects added after etc) so they just weren’t very real, nor did they have any depth to them at all, so, cool for face value, but not a lot else. Reminded me of watching Complexions Dance Company last year actually, totally blew you away the first time but there’s only so many times something that’s purely impressive to look at can hold your attention, or thoughts. Obviously heaps of skill involved capturing them, but due to the fact I can only vividly remember a few shots shows that the majority didn’t really offer a lasting impression (which is what I look for)
So, the ones I loved! *referring to notepad* I’ll just pick a couple so you don’t totally switch off.
I was going to try and find an image for you, but I can’t, sorry.
My absolute favourite one was called ‘Twisted’, and was captured in 1999 (if you happen to be able to find it) I’m not sure if it was his, or the choreographers idea (didn’t specify), but sawdust was dropped from the ceiling to give the feeling of a sort of nuclear disaster. The dancers hand was the only part of her body that was in focus and the rest was lost in the graininess from the sawdust, so while it was just an individual you lost sight of the fact she was a ‘dancer’ as such, as she became more of a representation of humanity. I can totally picture it argh, wish I could find it. My google searching finds a portrait called Twisted but it’s not that one? So I don’t know. Total contrast to a lot of the others where it was very much “This is a dancer doing this particular impressive movement and I am going to photograph it and make it even better”
There was another one I loved but I can’t figure out from my shit handwriting what title matches what portrait, argh. It captured a dancer looking quite literally like they were slightly levitating off the ground (face up, lying parallel to the floor). It had no digital enhancements, he quite literally just captured her at the perfect moment in this crazy move where she had to contract all her stomach muscles from lying on the ground and suspend into the air. Incredible.
It was SUCH a huge museum, my god; you’d literally need days to get around all of it. So I ran out of time to see anything else unfortunately, then blah blah blah, back to get ready for work!
Wowwwww, sooooooooooooooooooooooo busy. And Enrique was upstairs which sucked! I met another bar staff, Paula, who’s also from Portugal, and the assistant manager was this absolute bitch from Poland (I felt terrible at first when I thought it was directed at me, but then I noticed she was horrible to everyone so felt a lot better ha. Enrique went to put his arm around her at the end and she was like “DON’T TOUCH ME” and stormed off. Ouch) I literally did not stop for seven hours (behind the bar) apart from ten minutes for dinner (yum) Getting my head around more and more though, had to make numerous Jagertrains (yuck) and pour lots of expensive Whisky’s and things that I did not know the name of. Connor (Australia) ended up being my translator because I’d sort of hear what the person ordered, say what I thought it was to Connor, he’d figure out what I heard with my NZ ear and get it for me ha.
My short term memory shitness struck again also! But argh, people ordering, quite literally, 10 drinks at a time, such a mission to remember! It was ok when it was numerous pints of different beers but other than that, urgh, I'm afraid they had to repeat many, many times.
The whole night is a bit of a blur actually, just because it was THAT busy, wow. But we had a few pints at the end after cleaning up and I got to meet people properly. The only British person who works there is the doorman! It’s a bit of a United Nations type scene really.
I’m yet to find out how many hours/shifts etc I’m working, due to it being so busy and the main manager not being there yet, but I’m doing a day shift tomorrow so hopefully will find out then!
I woke up SICK today, nooooooo. Horrible head cold. I hate being sick more than I hate going to the supermarket, it’s awful. Didn’t stop me having a bit of an explore though! I went to the Camden Markets with Sophie and her friend Katie, SO COOL. It was almost like being back in Taiwan or China again (but not really, hence the almost) Shops/stalls with anything and everything, delicious and also surprisingly cheap ethnic foods, damn, sosososososososososo cool.  I took photos, but being the idiot I am I forgot to put my memory card back in (which I also did on Monday) and I currently do not possess a cable to attach my camera to my laptop, so they’re stuck on there until I go and hunt one down! But like a lot of things, the photos just don’t do the place justice (I should rephrase that to my photos ha, plus I’m usually too busy looking around at everything and taking it all in, will try harder next time) The temperature then took a massive dive, and mine and Sophie’s colds were getting worse and worse so we left. Cannot wait to return though!
And my biggest news yet (sadly it’s not that Naomi and I got tickets to go see Jeremy Kyle) I’m quite possibly going to Mallorca for three months (!?!) From mid June – mid September!
I don’t even remember applying for a nannying job on gumtree, but apparently I did (must’ve been in my job applying frenzy). So I’ve been corresponding with the woman for the last week or so, and she just emailed my references so fingers crossed it’ll be more sorted soon!
And yeah, me a Nanny, what the hell right? (Considering my more than absent love of children haha) But her daughters are like, 11 and 8 (so at least they resemble people), and it’s a week on week off deal (on my weeks off I can work at her business for some extra $$$$ if I like! Up to me how much extra I want to do). I get two weeks off in August where I’m free to stay for free if I wish, child free! Plus the fact it’s freaking Mallorca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many people can say they got to live there for three months? May be a little off the radar in terms of what I came here for (as I attempted to cover last time, not even sure what that is anymore) but yeah, why not go for it I say.
I’ve also been researching classes to start next week (bar job is perfect hours for attending morning classes, and there’s just so many options!!! Finally!!!) As well as trying to find somewhere to live (not so fun, still recovering from the job endeavour)
But my head feels like it’s going to burst, and my eyes are burning (ew?)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Beer (the mandatory intoxicated post)

I love that every time I go to write a new entry I have to read back on my last one to check where I ended. Basically because my days/hours/minutes/whatever are still SO long, everything feels like an eternity ago. Especially when you’ve had as much beer as I have haaa
Buuut, that’s because I have reason to celebrate! I HAVE A JOB IN LONDON ... AND I AM MOVING TO LONDON TOMORROW. Yes, yes I am!!
So I posted my last entry on Saturday, and it is now the early hours of Thursday, and I should be sleeping as I’m working tonight (!?) but I appear to be back to my old self that only requires 4-5 hours a sleep in order to be buzzing around, so that’s fine. And my body now associates train rides with sleep so I can guarantee within ten minutes of sitting on board tomorrow I’ll be ouuuut to it, fantastic. It’s kind of like how people rock babies to get them to sleep, but the adult version? (beer brain)
So on Sunday I had had just the perfect lack of sleep to wake up wanting more which was the ideal way to be before facing a five hour bus ride with an iPod you just killed by unplugging it whilst it was reformatting. And even if I wasn’t exhausted the English countryside is boring enough to make anyone pass out for a good few hours or so.
I literally woke up just as we were entering the greater London district and it was a pretty sweet part of the bus ride to be honest (not that I can speak for the rest of it). We went past all the famous bits and pieces such as Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park and other such statues and buildings and what not that I suppose I will have to go and have a look at now that I’ll be living there!
So I sat there half gaping out the window, half studying my map of the London underground so that I could tackle it like a pro this time, which I so did by the way. The tube fascinates me; it is the ultimate of social awkwardness. Whenever I’m in crowded places I love looking everywhere and anywhere, studying people/buildings/billboards/cars, you name it I will want to pick out every detail from it. So obviously in the case of the underground people are the subjects of my staring. I made eye contact with SO many people, and while they may have reacted perfectly normally (perhaps even smiled, stranger things have happened) before getting onto the tube, the minute they’re onboard it’s like bam, personal bubble the size of the entire carriage. A personal bubble that I do my very best to burst through while closely examining the extreme effort people put into avoiding any form of eye or physical contact with anyone for the entire ride, all while trying to get some form of reaction out of them during this examination process. It would be so much easier to accept the fact that there is someone two inches away from your face, and that if you’d simply acknowledge their existence the journey could be somewhat less strained, but no, the tricks people have learnt to avoid the reality of other people in extreme close proximity to themselves on public transport is simply amazing.
Drunken tube rant over.
So the rest of my afternoon was taken up by finding the backpackers I was staying in (easily, might I add) and wandering around, taking various photos of things and people, enjoying the fact it was actually kind of warm outside and waiting to meet up with Sophie for a drink. Being in the company of someone else from New Zealand was actually the best thing ever. I’d never seen myself as the “I love New Zealand and everything New Zealand related” type, but yeah, it really was good. We agreed on simple yet life changing matters such as the fact that London has a severe shortage of public toilets and rubbish bins. I asked Naomi about potential reasons why these shortages occur tonight actually, the rubbish bin thing is apparently due to people trying to blow the English up through the means of homemade bombs placed inside of them, and the public toilets because George Michael kept getting caught committing lewd acts in them (hahah)
So then I awoke in my dorm and it was time to get ready for my interviews, argh. Naomi had leant me a nice, corporate yet stylish (her description, not mine) dress for me to wear (because god knows I don’t own anything that fits that bill) which was an absolute nightmare to get into. The French guy in the same room as me wearing a t-shirt that said “I love cannabis” on it had to do the buttons up on the back of it for me because I couldn’t reach. He must have been like whaaat the fuck haha. He really was a last resort though; desperate times call for desperate measures. I then cranked the hair straighteners for the first time in the UK, and applied a real face of makeup, and felt horribly unlike myself for 9 o clock in the morning.
Catching the tube in peak business people tube catching time, dressed like every other peak time tube catching business person was off the planet weird (ha). I kept catching my reflection in the window like WHO ARE YOU. I hated it.
I also hated my first interview at vanity studios because the guy was such a knob. They’d selected four people from the applications and made a bit of a deal about what a privilege it was to be selected for an interview ( ha, whatever), a privilege I would have been more than happy to do without. He started asking me general questions etc, looked at my CV for what surely must’ve been a good tenth time, and then said “I don’t like creative people, they’re too flakey”. Um cool? So you wasted my time calling me in for an interview because? Good call on the flakey thing though, maybe I am a bit, but at least my head isn’t stuck up my own arse like his was and it confirmed my initial impression of the establishment which was that was I’d rather chew my own hand off then work in such a pretentious place.
So I made my lucky escape then went off to public transport my way to my next interview in Chelsea.  I also purchased myself an oyster card, like a real Londoner or something, fucking sweet. Means there aren’t no paper tickets for my clumsy self to rip up before getting to use them, and perhaps I’ll be the person helping out the idiot foreigners from now on (ha, highly unlikely, I am that foreigner and more)
Chelsea is CRAZY rich, like craaaaaaazy rich. I was scared to walk on the footpath in case I broke it. I parked myself in Starbucks (as much as I usually detest Starbucks) as it was probably going to be the only thing I could afford before waiting on my interview at the Hollywood Arms.
So that interview went super well (obviously, as I did get the job). The manager is Australian and has only been here five weeks himself, so I feel as though we clicked on this “what is up with England?” level.  He also didn’t seem to care about my nose piercing, or tattoo (always a bonus) so I felt justifiably good after leaving that one.
My third interview was in Shoreditch, East London. COOLEST suburb. I have a few good photos from there that I need to figure out how to get off my camera, so again, I won’t destroy its charm by attempting to describe it myself. I would love to live there though, so much. You will get to see why when I sort my shit out and post some photos.
The interview itself was the scariest wakeup call of my life. It was in a proper office building, for a proper marketing/advertising company, where everyone walked around in heels pretending to be important. I sat there looking, but not feeling the part, while apparently responding to her questions with the answers they were looking for as they offered me a second interview after a trial day (via email afterwards), but I declined. It was like, the beginning of an actual career, a career that I’m most definitely not ready for nor interested in, especially at this point in my life. I potentially would be pretty mint at marketing after making up that shit about the knife with the stainless steel handle when I worked in Stevens “See, because the handle is also stainless steel like the blade the weight is more balanced therefore making a smoother more effortless cut” (ha, what the fuck? People loved it though) Too bad I only did that to entertain myself, not because I had any interest in upping the sales in knives with stainless steel handles.
I then hung out with Caroline at Euston Station while waiting for my train, still in my office get up (yuck). We drank lots of red wine and ate sushi with the most extravagant packaging ever and talked about lots of things – London, life, life in London to name a few. It was amazing. It was also amazing being drunk on the train ride home because I fell asleep in record time and couldn’t stew over the days’ events too much.
Tuesday was probably the lowest day I have had in a LONG time, therefore the lowest day I’ve had since arriving by far. The reality of how trying it really is to find a job hit me, so hard, and I started on this negative train of thought which proved impossible to get out of until way later in the afternoon. It started with me declining the trial and second interview for the marketing job, which I totally don’t regret now, but I did a little as the day went on because I started to convince myself that I wasn’t going to be offered anything else. I spent HOURS refreshing my gmail account every five minutes, waiting to hear back (from the bar job especially) and applying for anything and everything on Then I’d stupidly expect to hear back within half an hour, and when I didn’t, I’d plunge more into this depressing “I can’t last here” frame of mind.
I’ve never had any issues finding a job, ever (I think that’s more a reflection on how lucky I’ve been, not because I’m the most employable person ever haha) so it was this horrible reality check that I wasn’t quite ready for. That combined with the fact that I’m in a new country, where I barely know anyone, have limited funds which I really don’t want to have to chew through, don’t have a bank account or anything that means I’m remotely ‘settled’ here (not that I want to be settled anywhere actually, but at the time this struck me as being particularly important) and then I felt like I was starting to lose sight on why I’m even here (good thing to ponder over actually, why am I here?) and yeah, horrible downward spiral to be stuck in for that half a day or so (that sounds like nothing actually, but it didn’t seem like that at the time) So at about three pm I finally dragged myself away from my laptop and out of the house (where it was SO nice and warm, like, ACTUALLY warm, amazing) where I got a call from a place that wanted to interview me! Then I decided to go on a mind-cleansing run, which may sound refreshing, but in my case this involves running for at least 90 minutes to the point where you’re so physically exhausted you can barely stand, or breathe, or function. It’s sick, but incredible, and your entire body is in absolute agony and you feel so ridiculously drained, yet so alive, for the rest of the day. Then I got drunk off red wine and vodka. The only way to end such a hellish day.  I also booked my train ticket back to London for midday today in a slightly drunken haze, some kind of premonition perhaps? (hahaha as if, I just knew it was necessary)
So I woke up on Wednesday morning and told Naomi that I was NOT allowed to sit on my laptop all day waiting for something to pop up in my Gmail account, and we decided we were going to make the most of the glorious weather and go on a picnic somewhere and play with a Frisbee or something. Then I said, ok, before we go out I’m going to check my emails ONCE and once only. And thank god I did because I got an email from the Chelsea bar job wanting to hire me!! I was SO HAPPY, I was literally bouncing around the house screaming because I was so excited and relieved. Hence the facebook status with the million exclamation marks. Then we drank lots of Malibu, even though it was only ten in the morning.
Then we went out for lunch with Jan and Naomi’s brothers’ wife and baby (that I was so awkward around -to be expected) and drank lots of beer.
Then I got home and checked my emails and three more job interview offers (which I took, just in case?)
Then we went to the pub with a friend of Naomi’s who has the sickest van. I’ve always had a burning desire to buy a van and travel around and sleep in it and be a bum and visit every surf beach possible and have no responsibilities whatsoever. Anyway, upon arrival we drank a lot more beer.
So my alcohol intake for the day has well surpassed my food intake, so I’m feeling dizzy as fuuuuck.
And now I’m here, and it’s 2am, and I’m MOVING TO LONDON TOMORROW.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

But she caught me on the counter

I feel like every time I start writing a new post I’m embarking on this mammoth journey that’s going to have sucked part of my soul out or something by the end of it (you probably feel the same way reading it due to my clunky English and dreadful overuse of brackets) but that’s kind of what life is like for me right now on a day-to-day basis. It’s like taking this big breath at the start of the day and revving myself up so that I have enough of something, I don’t even know what (enthusiasm maybe? Na wrong word. If I bothered to edit what I write I’d change it later, but no such luck so you’ll just have to put a fitting word in there for yourself) to get through it! Then at the end of the day I think back to the morning and it quite literally feels like days ago. It’s well, tiring, and rather frustrating at times.
It’s also really weird because I can’t make up my mind as to whether I’m enjoying myself or not? I think for the most part I am, mainly because of the fact that I’m on this big adventure (thinking broadly here hah) and I have no idea what is going to happen (oOo) NOT because I fill my days at present wasting copious amounts of money and time on unreliable forms of public transport where I end up having some form of bizarre social interaction with some idiot or another.  So with that I announce that I *am* going to be in London soon, very soon, like, a week to a week and a half soon (no more yo-yoing back and forth with decision making. Fuck you sensible brain the other 31/32 wins) I decided this the other night while having somewhat of a melt down (did not involve crying, just for the record) and came to the realisation that I really can’t handle another two months in backward ville, plus, I have no idea how long I’ll be in the UK for so why waste valuable time being here.  So with that I went on this big job applying frenzy. I’ve got three job interviews on Monday so that’s a good start I suppose. It’s really tempting to just pack up my shittt and leave for good, but that’s a bit unfair on my family here, so I’m going to come back on Monday night, see what happens in regards to the job interviews, other job applications and what not then go back to London, stay in a backpackers for the time being and bammm, no more Skem! And that thought alone makes me very, very happy indeed!
Trying to go back in time now to when I finished my last post (after being locked in the garage), but Wednesday must’ve been so dull that it doesn’t even register with me as having happened? What the ..
Ooh actually I do remember now. So Jan let me out of the garage then was going back to the gym (she loves her gym classes) so I went as well to sign up to this 3 sessions for 9 pounds thing. After my last horrific treadmill experience it had never felt better to run at 10kms an hour, nor had it ever felt better to sweat so profusely (disgusting yes, but ever so satisfying) And that profuse sweating was only to be topped off by a fantastic sauna (wasn’t the same without Trudy though, naww)
I have totally acclimatised by the way and am now back to being five degrees hotter than everyone else. It most certainly does not help that everyone around here cranks the central heating something chronic, the gym included. Due to my love of opening windows my room is now known as the ice box but at least I can think and function in here. I walk around the rest of the house like I’m in some kind of strange meditative state as the heat makes me feel like I’m floating and in general it’s like I’m just not quite all there.
So back to my recapping, the day had improved drastically it seemed but was soon to take a sour turn when I had a harsh reminder as to why I don’t do ‘family’, which in fact marked the beginning of my fuck this plaaace fo real revelation (so thank you family?) I’d go into deets but na, boring. So I basically spent the majority of the evening marooned in my room being ever so thankful that I’d learnt a long time ago to stay low on the family radar because I’m well aware that I can be inappropriate at the best of times.
So with the help of Spotify (music programme) to drown out the ‘goings on’/screaming and yelling from downstairs, I completed my CV after much procrastination and began sending it off places all while reliving the wonders of the late 90’s early 2000’s rap (hence the Shaggy facebook status)
Then I woke up and it was St Patrick’s Day! (I have no idea why I put an exclamation mark after that; I quite frankly couldn’t care less about it) But, but, but, St Patrick’s Day now marks the day I got my tattoo! I’m so glad I waited until I got here or I would’ve wasted a precious week of beach time before I left – definitely no risk of emerging myself in salt water during a moment of forgetfulness around here.
But ANYWAY, I love it! (Would be a bit of a bummer if I didn’t wouldn’t it?) It’s small, and thin, and they adhered to my “NO CURLS” instruction, most impressed. For those of you who don’t know what it is (which is almost everyone) you must be like whaaat? Haha. It only took about twenty minutes and Naomi kept me distracted by reading stories from fmylife off her phone. THIS one was almost the reason my tattoo was crooked as it certainly struck a funny chord with me:
Today, I emailed a potential boss a copy of my resume. However, I didn’t realise that I’d sent the fake one I’d created for my English class. Some of my former jobs include being a certified gangster and the former president of Canada. FML.
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. Too funny.
So they glad wrapped it up etceteraaa and I was off on my merry way to get a nose stud put back in (it would appear I like pain?) and it quite genuinely hurt SO much more than my tattoo. BUT, it’s a “nose ring for clumsy people” (direct quote from man in shop) so hopefully I won’t have any more issues.
We then had a pint of Guinness (face was probably similar to that photo I posted. Definitely not my choice of beers) and watched hordes of drunken old men stumble around the streets of Southport in broad daylight and I considered myself lucky that I was making an escape to Manchester to attend a contemporary technique class.
Not so lucky after all, on the way to the dance studio I got told I have “juicy tits” by a male passerby. I have no tits to speak of let alone juicy ones, plus I was wearing a massive coat which would’ve masked any form of chest I may or may not have possessed anyway, jeepers, and people wonder why I have little faith in humanity.

Class was good, a little on the simple and slow side but better than the horrible one in Liverpool! And I don’t care what I’m about to sound like but I was most definitely a good ten or so times better than everyone else there which meant I got approached to have another chat with the teacher afterwards. He asked why I was here etc and said that I was best to get to London to do classes because there’s not a lot on offer anywhere else so yes, yet another reason to leeeave nooow.
So because of that I missed my train, but made friends in the station with this Jamaican guy who was up from London to promote his ‘reggae rock band’. I felt terrible though as he had one ridiculously shiny gold tooth that I just could not take my eyes off. He was one of those intense eye contact type people though, so I was kind of thankful for the tooth otherwise I would’ve had to stare at the bridge of his nose which is my usual avoiding too much eye contact technique. But that typically only has about a 75% success rate so any other form of facial distraction is most convenient. Gold tooth aside he was really friendly and seemed genuinely interested in why I was here and what I planned on doing and basically it was just nice to have a conversation with someone who didn’t have a Skemified brain therefore could actually string an intelligent sounding sentence together. And I can’t say I’ve listened to a whole lot of reggae rock so when I’m in London I may just go and check them out.
Any hopes of coming across more intelligent life were well crushed when I (and the other people in the carriage) got abused on the train by this horrendously drunk woman who was well into her 60’s, for being “the most boring fucks on the planet” as we sat there and began to read our books and listen to our iPods and embark on fifty or so minutes of normal train behaviour which was unfortunately not to be in peace thanks to her.
Warning: Friday was NOT my day, so this next part is just a big, fat whinge basically.
Yesterday morning (Friday morning) I planned on going back to that initial studio I went to in Liverpool to do their professional level class at 9:30am. Sadly it was not meant to be. First of all the bus just did not come, the buses are good like that around here. The other night it did the same and I asked people around me if they were in fact waiting for the same bus as me and that I didn’t just miss it or something and they were like “Oh no, it just hasn’t come yet. At this time of night sometimes the bus drivers miss a route and things you see, you have to just wait for the next one instead (might I add they only come every half hour) it’ll get here eventually”.
 Eventually isn’t good enough for those of us around here (which may just be me?) who have somewhere to be at a particular time for fucks sake. So I waited, and waited and waited then had no choice but to spend 10 freaking pounds on a taxi to the train station. There was some massive hold up as well along the way and I asked the taxi driver what it was likely to be and he said “Oh around here at this time of morning the kids are crossing all along this road to go to school, they forget there’s a crossing right outside *chuckles*, but it’s ok, best to keep them safe”
NONO IT’S NOT.  Run the little fuckers over then they’ll start using the pedestrian crossing (my blood is once again boiling reflecting on this)
I just stared at him in disbelief and chose not to comment.
So I JUST made it to the train station and the lady behind the booth told me I’d have to buy my ticket at the other end (I thought that was strange but accepted it). Then, because public transport hates me, there was a fifteen minute hold up somewhere along the train line, so we didn’t arrive in Liverpool until 9:30, therefore I missed my class. Yay. And it gets better. I went up to the lady by the gates where you leave and said I had to buy a single ticket from Ormskirk and she said to me “You can’t do that. You have to buy a ticket before you get on the train”, to which I replied “Well I thought so too but I was told to buy one at this end?” She continued to inform me that that would be a twenty pound fine at which point I pulled the most horrified expression I could muster to buy me some time before launching into an angry protest, but my face must have been enough so she gave me the benefit of the doubt because I “obviously wasn’t from around here” (Being from New Zealand strikes again)
So I figured I may as well do something in Liverpool considering I’d taxi’d, trained and argued my way there, plus I had time to kill before catching the train (needless to say, the novelty of catching a train has more than worn of) to Preston to have my interview for a National Insurance number.
I felt like immersing myself in a bit of arts and culture so went for a wander up towards the museum and art gallery. I wished that I’d had battery left in my camera but unfortunately I’d taken too many damn photos of my keyring drinking beer the day before so it was dead.
First of all I called into the Metropolitan Cathedral which personally I think is a bit of an architectural eyesore given its surroundings ( but it was pretty impressive on the inside. There’s a lot of blue lighting which makes it really eerie and I don’t mean to be religiously insensitive or anything, but the incredibly detailed paintings and sculptures that cathedrals always seem to have, have never failed to scare the shit out of me and this one was packed full of them. There were a lot of people in there just chilling in the pews looking like they did so all the time while I creeped around feeling like I had “certified sinner” stamped on my forehead.
So then I decided I needed coffee, and who knew it’d be so difficult to find somewhere that actually has soy milk. To all my lactose intolerant brothers and sisters, you too can be made to feel most unwelcome if you ever go to Liverpool.
I then reached my intended destination that was both the museum and art gallery in the same building. There was this buzzy room full of paintings by an artist whose name escapes me who felt ‘at one with nature’ for his entire life, but not in like a “wow isn’t everything so pretty” kind of a way, this was most certainly in the vibe of “nature is fucked up and so am I”. There was this HUGE painting of an otter with bloody teeth and really demonic looking eyes that was supposedly painted especially for his mother/aunt/sister/partner (can’t remember which) but she gave it back because it was just too disturbing, I am not surprised.
Then I went into a room in the museum that was full of animal skeletons and foetuses in jars (sixth form bio all over again), and my personal favourite, a cabinet containing “False teeth through the ages”.
This place is whack. After reading about the history of false teeth for a while I was just like, why, why, why, why am I here.

I figured it was about time to go and catch my train to Preston where I got into another argument over whether I had or hadn’t asked for a return train ticket (I had.) with a stupid train station worker (and I won, because I just so happened to be right). I sat next to this German/American lady who had two massive rubbish bags jammed full with other empty rubbish bags. Why? I do not know. The mind boggles. She told me she used to be this crazy hippie who roamed Europe doing all sorts of random jobs until she met her husband in the south of France and moved back to England with him where she’s lived in a tiny little village ever since. Her moral of the story, you never know what’s going to happen. I do know I ain’t marrying no Pom or spending the rest of my days bored out of my tree and carrying plastic bags around with me on trains, but her heart was in the right place I guess.
So I got my national insurance number application all done etc and eventually arrived back at the house. I’ve never actually gone into just what getting into Liverpool/Manchester involves – A half hour walk to the bus stop (and that’s at my freaky fast pace), a half hour bus (if it shows up) and a half hour train ride (for Liverpool) or a fifty minute train ride (for Manchester). Not cool.
So Friday just sucked basically, until I got home and checked my emails to discover my prospective job interviews!
First one was for a job I never expected to hear back from. This place needs a promotion and marketing person, and applying involved sending a few photos and writing about why you think you’d be the right person for the job (Can’t even remember what I wrote, something good apparently) Totally not hot enough for the job, but somehow I caught their eye with the only remotely glamorous photo of myself I could find (which happens to be me drunk in the foyer of my old apartment building haha) Maybe I should have a couple of shots for Dutch courage and to maintain that same glazed expression I have in the photo. Just kidding.
Second was for a front of house type role in a bar in Chelsea (super posh area of London)
And third was for another marketing job in Shoreditch (east London), which sounds almost a little too good to be true (call me a cynic, I call it being realistic). The lady rang me and was like “I just read the most AMAZING CV sent by you” (my CV really isn’t that amazing, right down to the slightly wonky formatting which I’m yet to fix up) and barely let me get a word in on the phone, but she loved that I was part of a Guinness World Record, and that I’ve been to China, and that I got straight to the point in my cover letter so yeah, we shall just have to wait and see on that one!
I must go and map out my day on Monday (yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay London!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) The trickiest part is actually figuring out how I’m going to get to the train station in Ormskirk to get to the bus station in Liverpool tomorrow morning (because buses don’t run around here on a Sunday, useful)
So my apologies for such a miserable post, but when you come and visit me ( J J J ) we can make a special trip to Skem so I can show you what it’s all about!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I am an alien

As promised in my last post I DID go and get ready (sort of) for my first night out in England. This involved running my fingers through my uncombed hair, contemplating hiding my jet lag induced dark eye circles with concealer but deciding I cbf and throwing on a fourth layer of clothing. My current theory is that the female youth of Skelmersdale wear more than enough make up for me and I wear more than enough clothing for the female youth of Skelmersdale. That makes me sound like an ugly, prudish, hobo but oh well.
I had an exciting trip on the train to Southport (A slightly jazzier version of Skelmersdale where I was meeting Naomi at work and we were going outtt) The conductor charged a group terracotta’s that got on at the same stop for a ticket but not me! If anything it saved me from the embarrassment of staring at all the coins in my wallet like a total idiot because I STILL have not got my head around them all. Even the self-service machine in the supermarket gave me the hurry up the other day (“you must insert your money now to complete your purchase” – no shittt) meanwhile I was doing my best to decipher which illogically sized and shaped coin was which. I also created an angry riot of old people behind me at the train station for much the same reason.
So I went to the restaurant where Naomi works (where I will hopefully be working too) and her Italian boss asked me if we have Italian restaurants in NZ (I kind of wish I’d said no now, just for kicks, but figured that may have messed up my chances of getting a job if I’d pretended to not know what pizza was)
Then we were off to a bar (where Naomi knew someone working) that catered to the 40+ crowd and the 40+ crowd alone. It was totally decked out with vinyl ... everything, disco lights and an Elvis impersonator (what.the.fuck.) We got a sweet, sweet bar tab though (I spent five pounds the entire night) and began getting “royally plastered” as I (hopefully won’t) be saying in a few months time. Was risky business as I had not had dinner (re: podgy English person and my fear of becoming one) but nothing too disastrous happened stomach wise.
So then Vince (bar man) finished work and we moved on so I could see what else Southport had to offer. I was thankful for my alcohol jacket as I’m sure it would’ve been faaarking freezing outside. We went to this dirty underground bar (they were playing The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s so will definitely return, and the terracotta’s didn’t venture down there which was nice) where there was a famous soccer commentator (I’m still not remembering names) who bought me a drink when Naomi told him I was from New Zealand. Being from New Zealand seems to be such a novelty; I’ve kind of got a love/hate thing going on with it, can’t make up my mind. It is a really handy excuse for things though - “Oh I don’t know what that is, I’m from New Zealand. I’m lost because I’m from New Zealand. What coin is this? I don’t know, I’m from New Zealand” and the best one “I can’t understand you because a) you don’t speak properly and b) because I’m from New Zealand” so that part of it I do love.
It was around this time that Vince (bar man) decided it was a good idea to pursue me (it wasn’t) and was also when my nose stud mysteriously fell out,  both of which put a bit of a damper on the rest of my night to be honest (apart from when we went to another bar and I freaked out because I thought their stamp was a swastika ... turned out it was a Chinese symbol) But yeah, that also set the tone for what was to be a bit of a downer kind of day for me, mainly because of the whole “should I go to London now or wait” dilemma. Lame. Although in saying that, we DID go to a traditional (I think they’re ALL traditional actually, because people around here seem to refuse to move forward in the world. They really should do so that vintage pubs could pop up all over the place and in doing so making the town of “Skem” somewhat trendy) English pub and I had the most amazing Seafood chowder (on second thought it really wasn’t, hovering slightly above average maybe) But there’s nothing like a big bowl of mediocre seafood to put a smile on my face, especially when horrendously hung over.
Also, having to wear a silver heart in my nose made everything seem fifteen times worse, as did stupidly accepting a vodka and coke (foul combination at the best of times) from the lovely Jan while Naomi was at work. I did however have a trip to Manchester to look forward to the following day so my enthusiasm also remained hovering at the above average level.
I woke up happy as the heart had stayed precariously balanced in my nose, but feeling its presence obviously wasn’t enough for me so I had to touch it sending it flying somewhere into my bed in the process. It’s probably going to stab me in the middle of the night now for being so horrible about it. So anyway, that meant I had to resort to the big, fake, diamante for the day (spewwwwwww) which slightly impaired my vision in my right eye, BUT, I was going exploring in a new city so not even that could dampen my spirits.
Manchester is so freaking cool(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but unfortunately I’d left my camera behind (couldn’t see well enough past my nifty diamante to find it) Not really sure how to explain it, I’ll take my camera next time and let my photos do the talking as I’m really crap at describing things. Basically it was big, and busy, and modern but also not because everything was still brick and castle like. It just had a really upbeat kind of feeling about it and the people in the streets looked a) presentable and b) happy to be alive, it was awesome. I spent forever (apparently) in the Chinese Arts Centre which was pretty fascinating, but probably a bit boring to try and retell. Also, Banksy art is HUGELY popular in Manchester. Lots of people seem to base their work off of it and there are prints selling everywhere in that style, some cool, some not so cool, but interesting nonetheless. There are also heaps of really sweet thrift/vintage/antique shops. I could’ve spent a small fortune on woollen jerseys and old shoes but I refrained (that kind of reads as sarcastic, but I’m serious)
One very important purchase was a new nose stud which has been the bane of my last 5 hours. After watching countless “how to put your corkscrew nose stud back in” videos on youtube I am still defeated. As much as I just want to jam the mofo back through there it has crossed my mind that it is the middle of my face and perhaps a trip to the piercers to insert it correctly is my best bet, so, the diamante lives to see another day (or the heart, if it decides to show up wedged under my fingernail or something in the morning)
Oh yeah!!!! I also went into a dance shop (yay!) to ask about what classes there were around the Manchester area (bit of a mish to get to, but worth it if there’s somewhere reasonable to go) and I’ve found one place that looks pretty good (two of the teachers are retired dancers from a London based company – the woman couldn’t remember the name unfortunately) They’re advertised as intermediate level which isn’t exactly ideal, but the woman I spoke to said the teachers are really good at pointing people to other less known places and offering studio space and advice on training etc which sounds pretty sweet! The other studio she gave me info on has advanced classes advertised but she doesn’t know much about them so I shall just have to go and see for myself, which I plan on doing so tomorrow night! (It’s Monday by the way. Actually I lie, it’s now Tuesday but I wrote that on Monday)
Hmm what else? I began testing the waters with the ‘go-with-the-flow’ kiwi  attitude thing last night as I asked if we could watch a documentary about how the bridges in San Francisco are built to withstand earthquakes (I’m not quite sure why I just admitted to that, it was really interesting though and I am glad I got to see it. It made me pine for a good Megastructures marathon though) and I not only decided on what to have, but made dinner as well (and if you’re wondering Kerrin, it totally was a tomato based pasta, and it was pretty average, but brought back lovely memories of ‘cooking’ /heating up ingredients and lumping them together for you) And in doing so I suffered through the hell that is finding your way around someone else’s kitchen (think about it for a minute and you’ll realise what I mean) so, a productive day all round you could say.
I’m now getting into things that couldn’t possibly be interesting for anyone, but Ima note them all down anyway. I went and registered at the doctor blah blah, the nurse complimented me on my blood pressure (much appreciated) and told me my blood sugar levels wouldn’t crash all the time if I gained some weight (um, no thanks) It has to be said there are more pie shops than people around here, and it certainly shows, so all things being relative I probably do appear severely underfed but that’s just another way in which I’m more than happy not to fit in.
I then went to the scariest gym on the planet and paid three pounds to go on a treadmill that would not go any faster than 7.5 kilometres an hour (it told me my target heart rate was 150, after half an hour it was 77 so I gave up ha) And it was as lazy as fuck just like the people that usually use it as it refused to let me use its incline so the treadmills last chance to redeem itself was gone. Then there was this massive crash next to me and I think someone from the aerobics class next door was about to come bursting through the wall so in fear of a pie eating Skem fatty landing on top of me I ran away (how do I find these places/people!?)
So in saying all of this, I WANT TO GO TO LONDON NOW, but at the same time laughing at the local village folk is kind of fun and that all important 1/32 of my brain is still drumming away. Plus, soon I’ll be working and *hopefully* attending regular classes so I can maintain a bit of balance in my life, ha. Plus, I have the 20th of May as my move to London date set, so that alone will keep me going when I start feeling like I’m drowning in a sea of tacky, fat, boring people who can’t dance.
People in Manchester can dance however; ballet was quite possibly worth the mammoth train ride! I wasn’t so sure about the choice of music (Lady Gaga for barre work?) But at least with ballet you can kind of just tune into yourself and ignore the layers of shit (in this case the music and annoying girl behind me) that overlay the otherwise generally consistent ballet technique repertoire.  The teacher, Patrick, was fawning over my Chinese ballet shoes and was then chatting to me about stuffffff and what not and told me about another studio to go to because “while I teach here and shouldn’t say this, quite frankly it’s a whole lot better”, sweet. So I’m going to go to contemporary there tomorrow night, or Thursday, can’t remember.
I made some exciting discoveries about Skem this afternoon as well. Around the corner (quite literally) is a TM dome (TM = transcendental meditation if you’re wondering). What the actual fuck!? They practice levitation in there all the time apparently (the masses of Maharishi’s that supposedly live around here that is) and Naomi told me about a girl who was part of this community that she was friends with when she was about 7 that had a room of trees in her home with birds flying around in it and all the walls inside the house were painted like rainforests. ? .

I also got my first sighting of a local legend, “June the Loon”, who chases pennies around ‘The Connie’ and used to try and stroke Naomi’s sisters’ hair. A more expected discovery perhaps.
I was going to add more about the charming crowd from the bus stop last night but I just spent 10 minutes locked in the garage so now I just can’t be bothered. I heard the click behind me then got this flashback of Naomi saying “Now, if you want to go into the garage make sure the door doesn’t shut behind you unless...” Unless what I wonder? Thank god Jan came home from the gym or I’d still be standing there in sub zero temperatures with limited light and a lot of shit to trip over.