Posted by: Carly Lauck | May 16, 2010

Socrates in the Streets

One of the perks to my job is that I never have a day where I don’t meet someone interesting.  Friday was no exception to that rule.

I had a good laugh with an older guy that couldn’t afford to donate anything, being on the pension over here in Australia, but was very curious as to where I was from. 

“You are Irish, right?”

I laughed, and said, “Actually, I’m from the U.S.”

It’s actually quite common though that people here have misunderstood what the origin of my accent is.  It doesn’t bother me, to be honest, but I think for some people it might.  The guy started laughing when I informed him of this.  We just had a laugh about some other random things, and then he looked at me one more time and said, “I would’ve sworn you were Irish.”  I jokingly told him that he’d never meet anyone like me again in his life, so maybe him thinking I’m Irish just enforces my individuality.

He started to walk away and then turned back around and came up to me, pointing directly at me, and said, “‘The only way to truly find yourself is to think for yourself.’ Socrates said that, and I think it is completely true.  Enjoy the rest of your day.”

How true is that?  I love it when a complete stranger can say something to me that gets me thinking for the rest of the day. . .or for the rest of the weekend as it stands now.

I came to Australia to travel and view life with a fresh set of eyes.  I think this quote really hits home with me because, quite frankly, I completely think it’s true.  So many people go through their day-to-day lives with eyes that are closed, doing simply what they are told, and will never really know who they are as people because they refuse to think for themselves and challenge their own way of thinking.  Maybe I’ve just been out of college too long and am looking for some deeper schools of thought, but I really love that quote.

Especially when this weekend I try to talk to one of my best friends back home, and yet again, we cannot find a way to actually talk to each other because we both tend to be technologically challenged and skype wasn’t quite working out for us.  I haven’t talked to this friend other than an email in months since I’ve been here. 

There are days when I really miss my family and friends from back home.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love it here.  I’m at the point where I can’t imagine not living here in Australia.  I feel like I’ve found a sense of home and sense of self here.  I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like at this point if I didn’t come here, have the friends here that I have, or work at the job that I do.  I’ve found quite a little niche here, and I have a newfound confidence because of all of that. 

But occasionally on the walk home, when I’m by myself, and I’ve said goodbye for the evening to my little work family here, I start to think about what it was like to walk back to my apartment in Bloomington where I knew there would be roommates waiting with a jar of pickles and a good laugh about the events of our days.  There are huge aspects of life back home that I definitely miss, but I suppose at the end of the day it just keeps me in check.  I love my life here, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it hasn’t come without a sense of sacrifice of family and friends. 

So yes, Socrates, you have a supporter in me.  The only way to truly find yourself is to think for yourself.  But I do think there should be an amendment to that quote.  Sometimes when a crazy girl like myself thinks for herself, she ends up halfway across the world.  Thus, thinking for oneself sometimes results in losing track of those who encouraged you to do so in the first place.

So here it is, a shoutout to all of the people who really supported me and my crazy ideas from go.  To my parents who have been 100% behind me each of the four times I’ve woken up and decided to tell them I’m planning a trip overseas for a while. Or to my friend in Boston, who still gives me advice via email that she would give me if we were still roommates going out for half price wine night at Crazy Horse on Sunday night.  Or to my two friends in Spain who still find the time to skype me and work with our ever-changing time differences.  Or to my brother, who still makes me laugh out loud in quiet internet cafes while we are facebook chatting.  Or my coworker who still takes the time to listen to my crazy stories in emails and writes me great ones back.  To my extended family and friends who have all sent me messages and helped me to stay in touch through this whole journey, I genuinely appreciate it.  There are days when it isn’t the easiest to be away from you all, but without fail, I open my email, and I’ve heard from someone, or else I get on skype and I talk to someone.  If it weren’t for your constant support and reminders that you will keep in touch with me even when I fall through on my end, I couldn’t possibly do this as well as I have already. 

So in finding myself, I’ve also realized the amazing circle of support I have around me.  And I thank you all for that from the bottom of my heart!

Posted by: Carly Lauck | May 9, 2010

Coffee Beans and Sleepwalkers

I returned to Sydney last night after spending a week in Newcastle.  Every time I leave Sydney for a road trip, I find myself missing it more, which I suppose is a good thing.  After spending a week away, I was antsy like an impatient child on the train ride home. 

I spent the week in a cabin in a caravan park.  I’m not going to lie, when we first walked up and I saw trailers, I was a little nervous to see what was in store for me for the week!  I’ve never been the camping type, and whenever there is a question of if there is proper plumbing, I tend to shy away from that kind of an adventure.  As it would turn out though, we stayed in a nice, quaint little cabin with a full bathroom and kitchen and deck, just a stone’s throw away from the beach.  I thought it was shockingly nice.

My coworker would make me coffee every morning, and I would wake up to the smell of her special Turkish coffee that she has sent to her from her family in Slovenia.  Can I just say that you haven’t really had a strong cup of coffee until you’ve had Turkish coffee.  It was a new experience for me, but I’d highly recommend it for the caffeine connoisseurs out there.  Though unless you have a Slovenian friend that provides it, I don’t know how to tell you to go about getting it. . .

I also had an encounter with sleepwalking while there.  I’ve always had friends and roommates who sleepwalk.  I don’t know why, but there is always someone I know that sleep talks, sleep walks or sleep eats (yes, this is a fact).  The same coworker who makes the killer coffee also happens to be a sleep-walker. 

I woke up the one night to see her looking out the window into the darkness of the campground.  Being someone who never sleeps well anyways, I can’t say it wasn’t disturbing to see someone looking out as if something weird was happening outside.  I asked her what was wrong.  She said nothing.  It took me a minute to realize that she was sleepwalking.  Eyes open and all, it can be hard to determine. 

So I took charge in the way that I was told to if this kind of situation occurred. 

“Go back to sleep.”

And just like that she gets into bed and is fast asleep.

The next night I awoke to her grabbing my arm and saying, “Carly, what’s the matter?  What’s wrong?” 

“Nothing.  What’s wrong with you?”

“Carly, what’s the matter?” 

It takes me a minute to realize that she is sleepwalking again, and I say the magic words that put her back to rest.

It’s a weird phenomenon sleepwalking.  I don’t quite know what causes it, but I can say it made for some hilarious stories on this road trip. 

As nice as the cabin was and as funny as the sleepwalking tales were, I was ready to go back to Sydney by the end of the week.  It’s interesting that a place I’ve only been in for a few months feels distinctly like home to me.  I suppose it’s because I know people here, and I know my way around it a bit better, but at the end of the day, Sydney always welcomes me home with open arms.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | April 25, 2010

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

My apologies for being terrible at updating lately.  This entry is a bit of randomness to catch up with the highlights of what  has happened in the past few weeks.

I’ve started to build my own team of people at work, and I’m logging in a lot of time with that and several other things at the moment.  I love it!  While sometimes I feel like I’m completely swamped, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I still look forward to going to work after a weekend off. 

I officially have a solid person on my team!  I’m so proud of her and how far she’s come.  She’s a great, dependable worker, and it worked out perfectly for her to be the first person who joined my own personal team.  I couldn’t have asked for someone better.

Next bit of news:  I saw my first huntsman spider.  I was in a bathroom at the beach when I glanced up at the ceiling and stifled a scream.  The hairy thing was chilling in the corner, creeping on everyone using the toilets.  They aren’t poisonous spiders, but it was roughly the size of my palm, which is a bit much for me (for those of you who don’t know, my spider tolerance is not very high).  The kicker is, that is actually a small one.  If you haven’t seen one, I do recommend a good google image search just to get an idea.

In other news, I saw my first Aussie celebrity. 

Three of us were working outside of St Vincent’s hospital when my coworker comes over to me and says, “Oh my God!  That was Hugo Weaving!”

My natural response was, “Who the hell is Hugo Weaving?”

“You know, Hugo Weaving,” he said, slower and stretching the name out.

I told him he’d have to help me out a little more than that.  So then it is explained to me who he is.  He played Agent Smith in the Matrix movies and was also in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  (While you are google imaging huntsman spiders, go ahead and google image him too. . .if you have seen these movies, you’ll know who he is).

So then I’m forwarned that he’s coming back.  My coworker had never met a celebrity before, and he knew a lot about this guy.  So I told him to go talk to him.  That’s our job.  We stop strangers in the street.  You have the best excuse in the world to talk to him.  But he was too scared and said he wouldn’t do it.  So someone had to step up to the plate. . .

“Hi there.  I’m Carly.  What’s your name?” I said as I placed myself in front of him with my hand out.

“Hugo.”

“Would it, in fact, happen to be Hugo Weaving?”

“Yes, it would”

So I tell him that I have a friend who is working with me who is a huge fan of his, and that I’d love to introduce him if that was alright.  I said that my coworker was a bit starstruck.  Hugo agreed to the deal. . . and ended up signing up to help out the Red Cross.

And on a final note, I would like to say that I celebrated my 23rd birthday yesterday.  It was the first time that I’ve celebrated it away from my family and friends back home, and in the morning, I was a little sad about the whole thing. It’s moments like that when I get slightly homesick.

But luckily my little work family takes great care of me!  They all came out to dinner with me, all pitched in on some great gifts, and then went out for drinks with me afterwards.  If it weren’t for these people, I don’t know what I’d do here in Australia sometimes.  These are the best people I know here, and they ALWAYS pull through for me. 

My biggest fear on my birthday was that I would have to celebrate it alone.  And instead I found myself surrounded by all of my favorite people, in a room so crammed with chairs we had to be violating some kind of fire hazard rule.  I couldn’t have asked for it to go better!

A big thanks to everyone sending me birthday wishes not only from over here, but from back home as well!  It always nice to know that people are thinking about you, especially on big days like that, so I genuinely and from the bottom of my heart thank you all for keeping me in your thoughts that day!  It means more to me than you can imagine!

Posted by: Carly Lauck | April 5, 2010

Talking Heads

It’s my job to talk to people.  I approach strangers on the street and hear their stories.  After all, everyone has a some sort of story to tell.

But every now and then people stop who have no intention of listening to my pitch about the Red Cross.  They simply want to be heard.  They just want to have a conversation. 

Last week I met a woman who I started telling about the Red Cross that stopped me mid-sentence and told me that she wasn’t going to sign up.  Her husband just died a few months ago, and she couldn’t think about donating anything at the moment.  She had to get her own life together first.

Obviously understandable.

Then a funny thing happened.  She started spilling her guts about how hard it was for her.  She needed to vent it out:  how she still can’t believe he’s gone, how she has so much to take care of on her own now, and how the worst part of it is when people call who haven’t heard the news and she is the one that ends up consoling them in their shock and sadness when she has to tell them the news. 

I simply listened to her story for the duration of our conversation.  She needed someone to listen, and sometimes, it ends up that you are the person who is there at the right time.  And personally, I think it’s the least I can do. 

Other times, not so much.

I occasionally get the talker who tells way to much of their life story, which information you’d never even wish to know, but they have no problem letting it all spill out.

There was a woman a few weeks ago who appeared to be in her 40’s and was pushing a stroller.  She talked to me, and it turns out that was her 2 month old daughter, who she kept referring to as “the accident.”  She then told me all about her other children, her numerous child support checks, her terminated pregnancies, and her plan to spend her savings on a ticket to Queensland. 

I honestly think that the genuine people who want to talk outweigh the oddballs most of the time.

On the same day I talked to the woman who lost her husband.  I ran into a guy that came back to talk to me from the day before.

I had stopped him, and he told me he didn’t have time to talk, as he was contemplating quitting his job.  He realized he hated what he was doing, and he had to go do some serious thinking, but he told me he would be back the next day.  I get that about 50 times a day.  So I said goodbye, knowing he’d never show up again.

The next day he came sauntering up and said, “OK.  I told you I’d be back. Let’s talk.”

Turns out he quit his job because he was so unhappy.  I happened to stop him at a time when he was really down about the whole situation.  Apparently, that’s all it takes sometimes for people to return. 

He ended up quitting his job and applying for something in environmental law, because then he felt like he’d be doing something good for society.  The guy had hit a wall with doing the same job that he didn’t care for every single day.  So he rethought his life plan and completely turned it around. 

I get stories like this all of the time.  Most of the time, they don’t sign up to help the Red Cross, but I feel like I’m at least doing something beneficial to society myself by listening. 

Don’t all of us need someone to talk to after a rough day or a hard time in our lives? 

It is an unspoken rule with my day-to-day job that I will listen to someone tell me what has happened to them, and I know I will mainly be doing that:  listening.  Not pitching.  Not selling.  It’s what happens when you stop people in the street.  Is it chance that they ran into you at that moment, and you seem to be the person to help them out at that point in time?  Or is it something that was supposed to happen? 

I know I will never see these people again after they tell me their stories, but then again, I feel like it is, in fact, my job to at least lend them an ear.  If they stop in the street for a complete stranger, I should give them at least that much.

After all, the only reason I have this job is because of a random conversation I had in the street with a Red Cross working stranger who stopped me.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | March 27, 2010

Zanzibar

When I first started working here in Sydney, some of my co-workers told me about a place called Zanzibar.  At first, it seemed relatively lame. . .they were all trying to explain something about tickets, a money machine, and free drinks.  I didn’t understand, so I decided to give it a fair chance.  My second Tuesday in Sydney brought me to Zanzibar, and I’ve been going nearly every Tuesday since.

So now, each Tuesday goes something like this: 

I walk into the tiny ground floor of the three-tiered Zanzibar.  The top floor is amazing.  It’s on the roof, and it’s a place where you can enjoy the open air while having a few drinks with friends.  The second floor has a nice bar, some cool lights setting a completely different vibe from either of the other two floors.  It’s a bit classier and hipper than the other two.  But I skip those on Tuesday night, and I head straight to the ground floor.  It’s dirtier, there are so many people I feel claustrophobic, but it’s a guaranteed amazing time.

I work my way through the bar and I find my friends at a table that is filled with tickets.  You get tickets in various ways:  after you buy a drink, after you take the tickets from people’s table who have already left, or if the guy who runs the show (and by the way, knows every person in our work group who comes in on Tuesdays) decides to show us how much he appreciates us by just giving us loads of them. 

The tickets are pretty basic.  They each have a color, a shape, and a number on them.  My friends have a specific method of keeping track of them.  Our table is covered with tickets organized in their respective color, shape and number category, so when the time comes for us to find the one we need, we can do it quickly and efficiently.  But all of this comes into play later in this tale.

Every now and again, the guy running the game picks up a microphone and starts singing a song which is unique only to Zanzibar(DO do do DO. do do do. DO do do DO), which everyone at the bar joins in on.  It signifies the beginning of the game that draws people there. 

We play a quick game of heads and tails with everyone in the bar.  You either put your hands on your head or on your butt.  He flips a coin, calls heads or tails, and if you win, you get to play the next round.  This continues until there are two people left, one is heads, one is tails, the coin is flipped, and the winner gets a free drink of their choice and then gets to draw a ticket out of the master container at the bar.  Every time people get eliminated, he holds up a fake finger gun and points it at someone who lost saying “chk chk, BOOM” emulating the sound of cocking back a pistol and shooting them, permanently getting them out of the game.

The ticket drawn out of the container has a sister ticket someone out there in the bar.  So when the ticket is called out we search frantically for that one.  Thank God for the ticket system my coworkers have developed.  There are so many of us there, that we are guaranteed to win at least once in a night, if not several times. 

So when we win, we vote one person to go into the money machine.  It’s an enclosed plexiglass case where the person goes and they get thirty seconds to grab as much money as they can while the air blows through the bottom of the machine, making it fly all around the case.  The person grabs frantically for the dollar bills, shoving them in his pockets and down his shirt. 

Thirty seconds end, and we lay out all of our money on the pool table.  It’s fake money at this point.  On it is written amounts that you get paid in actual cash, or else kitchen cash, which you can spend anytime at Zanzibar.  So basically, we win enough money every Tuesday to buy drinks for our group for free for the rest of the night.  It may be one of those things you have to see to completely understand, but trust me, it’s pretty much amazing.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | March 20, 2010

Mother’s Little Helper

I was recently introduced to a drink called Mother.  It changed my life.

It had been a long day at work.  My coworker and I were both tired.  I had no energy whatsoever, and the thought of approaching people in our territory to make some sales was beyond my comprehension.  I felt exhaustion creeping into my limbs as I stood there, trying to talk to people as they passed me by.  But why should they?  I wouldn’t stop for some half-asleep, boring person who didn’t seem to quite want to be there herself.  Something had to be done, or the day wasn’t going to end well for me.  That’s when my coworker went to go buy a Mother.

As I popped the top of the energy drink and it fizzed out over the top, its sticky sweetness dribbling over the top of the can that reads “Warning:  Heaps of Energy.”  I laughed at that the first time I read it, but little did I know what was to come.  I downed the Mother, and felt almost instantly better.  I had more energy, I was able to focus, and I made two sales before the break.  It was amazing.  

What no one warns you about is the crash afterwards.  You feel great and have a lot of energy, but then it is guaranteed to be followed by extreme fatigue.  Yet for some reason, it’s worth it.

I now drink a Mother every day at work after the first break.  And never once has Mother let me down.  I’ve always signed someone up after I finish the Mother.  Crazy?  Superstitious?  Perhaps.  But until I find a day when it doesn’t work for me, I plan to continue it.  In fact, as I write this entry, I am drinking a Mountain Dew.  It is the first one I’ve found here in Sydney, and I used to drink them all the time in the States.  It’s been over a month since I’ve had one, yet somehow, as I drink it, I find that I really prefer Mother at this rate. 

So does this really call for a whole blog entry on the subject?  Absolutely.  Until you’ve had one, you can’t understand how great they are.  And I do feel as if some of my sales are thanks to the energy that Mother provides me.  And I’m not the only one that is hooked on it.  I have many coworkers who go buy a Mother on their breaks as well.  This may very well be the secret to my success. . .

Posted by: Carly Lauck | March 13, 2010

Aussie Road Trip

So I ended up staying in Canberra for two weeks instead of the one I had initially planned.  It was pointed out to me after my first week there that I could go back for the second trip and save more money because it’s cheaper than my hostel here in Sydney. 

Canberra is an interesting city.  It’s not as busy as Sydney, and when I first got off of the bus at 9:30 in the evening, I was shocked that no one was out.  We walked to the hostel and only ran into about 3 people the whole way there.  The energy that is always present in Sydney is lacking in Canberra, but it’s hard to even compare the two.  I found that while working in Canberra, more people were willing to just sit and chat and listen to what you have to say, which goes down in my book as a definite plus.  It was an interesting change of dynamic.  I’m glad I got to spend some time there and enjoyed seeing some other part of Australia:  after all that’s what I came here to do.  However, at the end of the day, I feel more at home here in Sydney, and it was nice to get back here last night.

The bus ride home was quite eventful as well.  I was sleeping for most of the three and a half hour trip, and then there was a loud crash.  It sounded like ice breaking, which is odd, considering the weather conditions.  I woke up, and there appeared to be an air of general confusion.  I looked up and the windshield had a huge crack in it.  Apparently, as we discovered later via the bus driver, someone threw a rock at us as we were driving on the highway.  A personal vendetta against greyhound or just a street hooligan, the world may never know, but still an odd occurence to say the least.

I was glad to get to know the people I worked with better on the trip as well.  It’s ironic, but by the nature of living in a hostel, you make friends that are leaving a week later, and then you are at square one again.  It’s nice to have people to hang out with on a more consistent basis.  Don’t get me wrong, I have met some amazing people staying at the hostel (I still miss my Melbourne roommate who would come looking for me in the public bathroom after work by shouting “Yankee!  Are you in here?”).  I actually have really enjoyed that aspect of the hostel.  Maybe I have just been lucky, I don’t really know, but I have met cool people from all over the world, which is one of the main reasons I like to travel.  But it gets exhausting to keep saying goodbye and then start all over again.  I’m the only one that is staying here for an extended time, and it’s good that I’m finally making friends who will stick around a while longer.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | February 27, 2010

A Working Class Hero is Something to Be

This week has gone by faster than I could have imagined.  I went from what seemed like an endless search for work and housing to getting a job that requires a lot of my time!

I got the job after my interview on Monday.  It’s not technically for the Red Cross, it’s for a marketing company that helps to fundraise for various charities.  So now, we are fundraising on the streets of Sydney for the Red Cross, and later, we are moving onto a different charity (Medecins Sans Frontieres is the next one, AKA Doctors without Borders).  It’s a demanding job.  What I do is get people to sign up in the street for monthly donations to help out the charity.  As an American, this may sound crazy.  After all, if someone walked up to you in the streets of New York City and asked you for bank details or credit card info for monthly donations, you would walk away and know it was a scam.  This is one of the many cultural differences with Australia versus the States.  I have received numerous emails over the course of the past week telling me that this isn’t a legit job and that I shouldn’t even go to the interview for fear of something terrible happening.  I will say, thank you all for your concern.  I do genuinely appreciate it.  It’s great to know that so many people care about me, and it’s nice to know that even though I’m overseas, I am truly looked out for.  With that said, this is something that you have to experience to understand.  Charities are everywhere on the streets here, and the atmosphere is so much more laid back than America, that it isn’t seen as that big of a deal to give out the information.  We also work for the charities, and obviously there is a secure process in how the info is taken as well as how we represent the charities.  It is all quite legitimate and professional, I assure you! 

So the way I spend my days now is getting together with a small group from work, and hitting the streets for about 8 hours.  My job is to get a catchy and efficient pitch out to the person I’m talking to, and then get them to sign up to help out.  So basically, you are out there for hours with the hopes of getting a few “Yes” responses out of it.  It isn’t a job for everyone.  It took me a few days to really get into the swing of things, and I consider it a lesson in persistance and patience on my end.  I have worked there for 4 days now and I have already watched two people quit because it is too demanding.  But I hope I get better at it!  I did relatively well last week, and I’m just hoping that it all gets easier at this point in time!

I’ve also learned more about reading people.  You have to know who is going to stop and listen and who is just going to blow you off.  It’s not the easiest of tasks, but after a few days, I’ve picked up more on that as well.  There’s nothing as draining as five hours without anyone signing up.  Trust me.  I know.  But it’s all about keeping a good attitude and sticking with it.  I have also already been yelled at by a man in a train station for supporting the Red Cross.  He told me he didn’t know how I could wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror.  A bit harsh, and not exactly what I was expecting to hear.  But what do you do?  Let it go, and keep doing your job.

I can’t help but really enjoy myself in this job though!  Maybe I’ll get sick of it, and it will all catch up with me.  I don’t know yet.  But for the time being, I do enjoy doing something good.  It feels nice getting people to help out.  I know in some small way, I’m helping contribute to the greater good of society.  I work with some amazing people as well, which is nice.  I had met some great people earlier, but many of which left me in less than a week because I met them at the hostel, so they are naturally moving on after a few days time. 

Also, one of the major perks of this job is that I get to travel if I want.  I’m actually leaving today for Canberra for a business trip (who would have thought that would have happened over here?).  I’m going to be there for a week.  It actually is saving me money as far as the hostel situation goes, so that’s a plus, and on top of that, I’m already able to travel around three weeks into this trip of mine.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | February 19, 2010

Give Me The Shirt Off Your Back

So I had an apartment to check out a few days ago.  I was so sure everything was falling into place.  At least after I got that taken care of, I would be able to focus on the job.  So I arrived early.  Not quite what I was looking for.  I decided not to settle, as I’ll be living here for a year (fingers crossed) and that I would just book a few more nights in the hostel.

I still hadn’t heard back from any jobs and I found myself wandering through the streets thinking about how I was in exactly the same shape that I had been when I first arrived:  jobless and homeless.  So I decided to go treat myself to some ice cream and listen to some music from the street musicians at Pitt Street mall.  I wandered through the streets daydreaming of the sweet cold ice cream on such a hot day, when a guy in a Red Cross shirt approaches me and introduces himself.

I was tired and was only going to get ice cream, so I gave him my name.  He stopped and told me he loved my American accent.  Then he was asking what I was doing in Sydney.  And for reasons unknown to me, I tell him all about how I’m actually here looking for work and trying to live here through the year.  Then I make a comment along the lines of, “It’s a shame the Red Cross isn’t hiring.” 

“Actually. . .”  he responded, “We’re could use some more help. Do you have five minutes?” 

It’s not like I had a job to get to. No brainer.

He tells me he needs to know I can approach people and get them to stop on the street.  They are looking for Red Cross donations.  But my job is simply to get them to stop and be interested, and then he will take it from there.  I thought, this is kind of crazy (and something, which, by the way, is kind of hard to imagine as a job being American. . .as is talking to a complete stranger on the street).  So I get ready to approach someone, and then I look back at him and mention that my U2 t-shirt probably isn’t the most convincing “Red Cross” wardrobe option.

“Oh take mine,” he says, and before I know it he’s given me the very shirt he’s wearing.  I’m walking around in some strange man’s oversized Red Cross t-shirt, introducing myself to people on the street, trying to get anyone at all to pay attention.  I kept at it though, and eventually, someone stops.  And he’s interested.  So I call the Red Cross worker over to help me (who, by the way, was not just walking around shirtless, but had put on a different, non-red cross shirt at this point).  The guy doesn’t end up buying anything, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The Red Cross worker says I did well, gets my email and phone number, and later that evening I forwarded my resume to him to get to his boss.

So Monday, I’m in for a quick interview, and then if that’s successful, I go to get my orientation with the same worker, learning how to go about doing this job.

Maybe I’m still living out of a hostel for the time being, but I just may have found myself a job and partaken in what might be the weirdest job interview I’ve ever had.

Posted by: Carly Lauck | February 15, 2010

My Funny Valentine

I think it’s safe to say I’m fairly smitten with Sydney.  I love just being out in it:  wandering through the streets trying to absorb them to memory, walking until I get lost and can find my way back again.  I find myself losing hours to the city, not knowing particularly where my destination is, but rather that I will be able to better navigate around the city once I figure it all out on foot.  I find myself always telling my friends and family about how enjoyable and approachable Sydney is, like I have some sort of schoolgirl crush on it.  But the truth is, I can’t get it off of  my mind.  Every day I wake up with butterflies in my stomach, hardly able to believe that I’m actually here and that this is happening to me.  I know, like most relationships, that I won’t always have butterflies when I get up in the morning, but for now, I simply enjoy every second of it.

This weekend I went up to see Manly, which is a beach that you have to take a ferry to reach.  I met up with my friend there, and got the driving tour of that part of the city.  It’s gorgeous up there!  People can take the ferry for about a half an hour and be there from the main part of the city in Sydney, which has fantastic views of the city for the duration of the trip.  I made sure to relax and do fun things this weekend because I knew Monday was fast approaching, and that meant back to the job and home search.

So today I hit the streets with a packet of resumes, handing them out to employers and inquiring about open positions.  Thus far, I am not sure that I have gotten anything, but I plan on going out tomorrow to do the same thing all over again.  The way I see it, I am willing to try just about anything.  After all with this visa, I can’t hold a job with one single employer for over 6 months, so it will all be here and overwith before I know it. 

I am still living out of a hostel at this point, but have an appointment to see a potential place to live tomorrow!  I’m hoping for the best, as it would be nice to have either a job or an apartment disappearing from the list of “Things that Must Happen Soon.”  But I’m taking it all as it comes.  I know better at this point in my life than to expect everything to go according to my exact plans, so I’m just putting myself out there and seeing where it gets me. 

More online career hunting tonight.  And, fingers crossed, my next post will have a celebratory tone.

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