So, this blog. Oh, Lordy. Not only have I been killing myself over story ideas/poetic descriptions and settings all week. (Seriously, UNCW if you don’t let me in, it’ll come as a huge shocker. I’m at the begging stage already. Begging for this application, and all the others to end). My sneaking into lectures has been helping me … to read. About to finish my 37th book of the year (going for 52) and it’s The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. It, unfortunately has Jodi Picoult comments on the front, and if you’ve known me in any Barnes&Noble way, you know that I forcibly turn all her covers over if I see them in Barnes&Noble to discourage readers from picking them up. I once did buy one for a friend of mine, who was in a desperate state but Jodi Picoult is ONLY to be used in emergencies, otherwise she’s useless. And I’m on a tangent because my mind is in almost complete mush, and I’m a crazy person (but you already knew that with the amount of parenthesis I use in just one blog…. at least that’s what a boy who puts up with me says, so if HE thinks that WHAT must you think….devastating).
Right now, I’m pretty keen on spending the first day of Stone Fest drinking with Renee and getting the week started with a bang. OH, will this bring interesting drunk ideas to my story writing.? YES! Maybe I’ll go very Edward Allen Poe on myself, WHO KNOWS.
THE boy in the background (hint: you definitely know him, he’s best friends with Jono) is singing “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me…doo, doo, doo, doo” in an effort to completely avoid his homework. And now he’s cleaning his desk. And now he’s searching through the food on the top shelf (aka the junk shelf) and went for the chocolate chip cookies (all so he doesn’t have to write a power point). I’m writing this in an effort to show my life to you. He’s starting to clean his phone so you know it’s REALLY getting somewhere, this procrastination. OHMYGOD, he’s organizing my shoes..okay I’ll stop there because that has to prove the ultimate point, that he is the KING of procrastination…and eating….and then farting….
OKAY, finally edging to the point of this blog. Good gracious, it took me a while to lead into this one. Point 1: Hostels.
(Just as a side note, I said to him, “I just wrote a blog about what you’re doing” (shaking his butt with his fists in the air right now) and he said “what?…About farting?” MY POINT EXACTLY. “What did you do today? Oh, had a farting competition” (quoted from him exactly). He’s dancing to Kanye “Power” drying dishes as I type. I feel like Bill Simmons right now (Sportsguy) writing about his wife watching The Bachelor (Sportsgal) or about making fun of his ugly mutt, Olivia.
WOW. MOVING ON.
Okay. My hostel experience (first one) can be summed up with one word: breasts. I saw more naked people in that one space then I’ve probably ever seen in my entire life (and I went through four years of college so you do the math). I understand that the rest of the world (non-American world) believes that nudity is not taboo, but the first few hours/days it was a bit shocking to see all those boobs (man boobs included) and penises (I’m trying to use medical terminology because everyone knows I hate the word schlong). I got used to it by the end of the week and also learned to look at people’s faces when they were talking to/around me and weren’t wearing the “normal” amount of clothing I expect. One night (or a few) the pool (which was lit up with blue lights and was surrounded by tropical trees bearing coconuts) looked like one of my father’s favorite television shows “Temptation island.” It’s like the luxurious, sexual stimulated, everyone’s hotter version of big brother. These are the men and women who they put on The Bachelor and Survivor to gain ratings, and not to win the competition (even though some of them end up winning anyway….JD…COUNTRY BOY…CUTE. point proven).
Also, until you stay in hostel, you never realize how annoying the sounds of plastic bags are when you’re sleeping. Just the rustling sounds of plastic bags. That is one of the most annoying sounds on the planet, beaten only slightly by the Australian Raven who’s bird noise sounds something eerily similar to that of a toy who is losing its battle with the batteries. You know, the robotic slowness of it. If I find a recording on the web, I’ll be sure to post it here. In fact, let me look.
Other things about living in a Hostel….learning that you’re not a morning person, and other people aren’t either. Literally, if you stay in a group room at a Hostel, people will be sleeping at all hours of the day and so there will never be lights on in the room. So, you’re looking in the mirror after a long day of walking, realizing that morning you streaked eyeliner all over every corner of your eye and shucks, didn’t know it till now. The bathrooms are impeccably clean, but the water will shut off on you in the middle of a good condition when you’re the last one up to get ready and get goin’.
There’s so many discounts associated with hostels. We got more coupons for things that week, than my dad has in his cut out coupon box (he cuts them religiously from the Sunday paper and then buys things no one needs throughout the grocery store including five tubs of ice cream and 8 two-litre bottles of Pepsi that he isn’t supposed to be drinking. But who, honestly, is going to stop an old man from his Pepsi) and who honestly is going to be able to use the amount of coupons we received in a week? Not I, kind sir.
In group rooms, people agree on the temperature, and then the group of disagree-ers leaves the room and the other people, once again, turn the air conditioning as high as they want it even if it does feel like the arctic while they’re sleeping (hint, I’m the others, and the French girl was too cold).
There are never enough plugs. You can move your bunk bed around four hundred times, but there will no plug for your hairdryer, computer, cell and camera anywhere in that room. You will learn to share, since you obviously didn’t learn it in your eleven years at daycare. You will grocery shop and want to eat every hour of the day because the fridge is no longer right next to you in your own house, but instead down tons of stairs (this will also happen with needing to pee). I guess it’s true, we always want what we can’t have.
You will hang towels and the extra sheet up under the girls mattress who sleeps above you just so you can get over your fear that someone is watching you sleep (Oh, that’s just me? Sorry….). You will fling your clothes every which way because there’s not enough room in your cupboard and your wet towels go at the end of the bed (and your towels are ALWAYS wet, because you’re in a beach town).
You will get distant memories of the dorm you lived in only three years ago (this might just be me again) and wonder if you should wear flip-flops in the shower…and against your better judgment, you instead embrace the hippie that resides inside all of us and just go barefoot (only to regret this when someone else’s hair is stuck between your toes….)
This isn’t the nicest picture of a hostel, but I’m trying to give it to you real. It was beautiful, it had some of the most amazing plants I’ve ever seen. It’s safe, people are ridiculously friendly and you meet people from all walks of life and all types of locations, with all types of hair-dos. You may get as lucky as I did and see not one, but two amazing tattoos (one that says fish & chips <3 and another that says “Queenslander” because that’s the state we were in). I’d recommend a hostel to anyone really…other then my dad, and people who get aggravated really easily and I’ll more than likely stay in many more on my future back-packing adventures. (pictures below).
Point 2: My new job (fingers crossed, I had a trial run today).
My new job, oh how I love you. Although I just washed dishes all day (because my University degree promises to make dishes a constant in my future, no matter what I say to the universe on my otherwise DISDAIN for dishes) it was wonderful.
So, I’m working in that tea place that I posted about a few blogs down and about how much I love tea. We really have nothing like it in North Carolina, it’s a tea house that serves over two-hundred teas, and serves pancakes with ice cream on the side (that’s the most important part, oh and they’re shaped like donut holes. So, they’re like the Dip-n-Dots of pancakes basically).
Anyway, I’m washing dishes…and I met this boy (No, this isn’t that kind of story) and he had moved from England when he was thirteen and now he’s fifteen washing dishes in a tea place. He has that long hair, like the wolves in Twilight (well like Taylor Lautner rocks) and it’s in a ponytail. And I’m trying to get to know all these high schoolers I’m working with because I’m obsessed with people and like to use them in my stories. So, he’s drying with me, teaching me where all the tea cups go and everything, explaining how the wine glasses for high tea need to be especially dried because we don’t want people to see blotches on them. And telling me how he moved with his mom and stepdad and he doesn’t really get to see his Dad. I’m pouting in my head because he’s so sweet. And then he says that his family isn’t doing so well financially and so he isn’t able to go to England as much as he can, but he skypes (God, I love skype) and I’m imagining the part in Oliver Twist/Scrooge where the adorable boy says, “Please sir, a bit more, please sir” and that sweet English accent. I literally wanted to pull an Eat Pray Love and send all my friends e-mails asking for donations for this boy and his family and I’ve only dried dishes with him for about an hour. It’s that look in people’s eyes like his, fighters – you can’t even explain it or write it (this is me, coming from a writer, I’d love to write it, but you can’t) it’s like … a human condition, an amazing human condition of people who are just fighters for life; strivers, winners, champions. Those amazing people that change your life in a second (I’m such a sap).
And then there’s not only him, but Ollie. Ollie’s a tenth grader, who’s the dreamy blonde boy band looking type. He overheard me saying I’m American and came to dry to talk to me about him being “half-American.” He just starts spilling to me how he gets picked on in school, and hates the tenth grade because people don’t like Americans at his school in Tuggernong or anyone new and different and so he gets in a lot of fights. He said his teachers didn’t like him and he’s trying, but he takes out his angst through American Football where his dad coaches his team the Wildcats. He’s got the sweetest face, and it’s the face of an adult man in a boy’s body. And instead of going by Oliver, he goes by Ollie because he’s sweet that way. So now I have the Champion, and the sweetface. Two boys who spill their life story struggles in one sentence, to this random twenty-two-year-old, new girl at their work, who’s from across the world.
I wish I could say I kept their secrets, but clearly I’m sharing them with you. I thought everyone should know the amazingness I’m working with.
Then there’s the cute girl, washing dishes in a lace dress who tells me she’ll be excited when I get off at four because that means she only has an hour. She couldn’t be more than sixteen and tells me she worked till ten last night and so her shift was sort-of like a work hangover. If only I could have thought of that in my writing mind, or anyone had already. Isn’t that what we all are doing, everyday of or lives, just a long hangover of work. Gosh, these young people are inspiring. (It makes me miss all my LITs).
Then, there’s the girl in a tropical, evening dress, down to her ankles who barely talks to me other than to exert that she’s wiser then me (she’s still cute and young so I don’t hold it against her, luckily I’m comfortable with myself that way) and she looks just like the main elf girl in “Santa Clause 2,” enough that I started to seriously believe I was in the North Pole. The North Pole, in the back kitchen of my favorite place in Canberra where all these young adults are yelling out tea orders to each other and making beautiful, syrupy concoctions like it’s Christmas morning. The boss Nat (also the name of a very good friend of mine, destiny…yes) says “I need a Truffle Strawberry Milkshake” and someone in the back, some young, not jaded, smiling person yells back “Yea, got it” and creates this piece of food art that I hope to learn how to make and takes it out to old women in hats who are expecting high tea service.
It’s organized Christmas morning chaos back there. It’s amazing, and even if I don’t get this job because my dish washing wasn’t on par or quick enough, I’ll be touched by this day. And I will most likely include these people in some novel that comes along from my fingers at some random age of my life. And I’ll remember this blog, like I hope you will (a bit more then the farts) and remember that perfect strangers can know what you need, better sometimes, than you even know yourself.
I’ll leave you with that.