A Travellerspoint blog


well the guy from the trial shift called me back the day after.

I got the job, washing dishes for $20/hour, for as many or as few hours as I want. I had a few more shifts that week, so earned about $300 - it should be coming into my account today, so I went out and celebrated by FINALLY buying myself a new guitar!

I've been thinking about buying a guitar for months now, but was worried about the extra hassle of traveling with it. But I wanted one, and I'm not moving around as much now, so I thought I'd just go for it. Also, there are a bunch of people at the hostel with guitars and ukuleles etc, so I can jam with them to get my playing back up to scratch.

The guitar's a legacy acoustic guitar with a pick up in it, so i can plug it into an amp if i want. Its steel string, with a nice clear and clean sound. It came with a gig bag, strap, tuner etc. and was in a sale, so it was $240 down from $300. I could have got one in thailand for much cheaper, but it just didnt happen, so oh well! "no worries, mate" as the australians would say... a saying which I picked up pretty quickly whilst traveling in south east asia.

I also got some more good news - I've been given a job as a charity fund raiser for an environmental charity here called the wilderness society. I get pretty similar pay as with the other job, plus commission on top. They also pay me to go on road trips, and even fly us to other cities in australia, so its going to be pretty cool! also, I want to go into working with environmental charities in the future, so this will actually be a beneficial job for my CV rather than just another odd job.

A friend of mine from the hostel just lost his job as a kitchen hand. Backpackers get treated pretty rough, we're just a cheap source of disposable labour. His boss hadn't told him that he was only covering for someone while she was on holiday - she came back, he lost his job. So seeing as I'm leaving my job as a kitchen hand, I'm going to try and get him in to replace me - it works for everyone. He gets a job (with better pay than his old one), the kitchen get a new member of staff without having to find em themselves, and I don't feel as guilty for telling em I'd stay a few months, then leaving after a week!

I've also decided i'm going to buy a usb cable in order to steal music and films from everybody else's laptops - dont seem be able to download using the free wifi in the library, and that would be a cool way to hear about new stuff.

So, I'll work with these guys for a few months and save up for the road. practise playing guitar in the hostel, and generally have a good time!

Posted by joe_leviente 20:19 Comments (0)


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making a few friends on the plane was lucky for me.

I met Tristan, an australian who was returning from five years living in London and seemed just as lost as me. I also met Vicky and Kris, some students from Brisbane.

Myself and Tristan spent a couple of hours sitting around smoking cigarettes as if we were still in asia, before deciding we needed to pull ourselves together and find out how to get to where we were each going. I found the bus stop, Tristan found the station.

When our plane landed in the Gold Coast, it was raining. It must only rain about 5 days a year here, so we were pretty unlucky! i thought someone had played a horrible trick on me and sent me back to England!

The Gold coast was cool. I stayed in a town called surfer's paradise, a name which suited it. There were some really amazing party nights, a nice beach, and good surf. However, I couldn't party because of the antibiotics, I couldnt go to the beach because of the rain, and I couldn't waste the day getting pissed in "Irish" bars.

Also, I was learning how expensive Australia is. Luckily the hostels here have cooking facilities, so you can buy your food from the supermarket, but everything else is EXPENSIVE! a 30 minute bus journey cost me 8 dollars. A Schooner of beer (about 3/4 of a pint) costs 8 dollars. a packet of cigarettes costs 18 dollars. I needed a job.

I also needed to get my medicare card, so I can receive free health care, an australian bank account, so I can receive my pay, and a tax file number, to make everything legal. I needed a phone, so people could get in touch with me (I hadnt had a phone for over 5 months, since mine broke and i didnt want to get another one in Asia - no use, just something else to lose, and they don't fit very well in the pockets of swim shorts).

I headed to Brisbane, the nearest city (third largest in Australia), where I could get everything sorted, and look for a job while it was all going through.

It was in Brisbane that I realised how many RULES there were in Australia! Don't smoke, Don't stand here, Don't speak to the staff, Don't drink in public, Don't do this, Don't do that... You can't even CROSS THE ROAD on your own! you get fined for crossing anywhere other than at a pedestrian crossing with the green man showing, which is infuriating! you can be standing there for five minutes, with no cars moving, and no people moving, just because the man hasn't turned green.

Anyway, I got my stuff sorted and am currently waiting for it all to be delivered to my hostel.

I spent yesterday looking for jobs, which involved walking around southbank (it even looks like south bank in london!) handing out CVs at anywhere that looked like a bar, restaurant, or cafe.

I got a call that same day, asking me to come to a trial shift that evening, so I rushed out to buy some black trousers and Tshirts.

He sounded pleased, and said he'd call me back today to organise when I can start. However, He said he'd call by noon, and at 4pm I still havent heard from him - so I'm doubtful.

Luckily, this morning, 2 other places offered me trial shifts over the next couple of days

Posted by joe_leviente 21:26 Comments (0)

one last time in bangkok

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on the night bus back to bangkok the next evening, I still felt dizzy and confused. And it wasn't just the hangover.

I was sitting next to a nurse from australia, who diagnosed me as being slightly concussed.

I spent couple of days staggering round bangkok concussed, feeling sorry for myself because of the wounds on my face and the fact I had left all of my friends behind. Plus I was on the way out of Asia, my new home, and into Australia. I would soon need to think about finding a job, as Ive heard so much about how expensive australia is!

Also, the only guesthouse that had a room at 6am the morning I arrived was a shithole, and I had to pay 600 baht for it. RIP OFF!

Luckily, the next evening whilst looking for a new guesthouse, I saw a friendly, familiar, furry face smiling up at me from behind some cigarette smoke and coffee steam. I recognised the beard before anything else - it was Damion, my south African dive instructor from Koh Rong!

we spent a while catching up. It turned out, Damion had to fly home as he had previously booked a flight. He had made some money as a dive instructor, and had some cattle waiting for him, so wasn't too upset. When I asked why he was leaving, he replied, "it's just time, bro!"

the concussion cleared up, and I realised that my scabs were pretty infected. I saw a doctor, who put me on a ten day course of antibiotics.

Damion and I spent a couple of days shopping in Bangkok, getting clothes etc, but most importantly beard trimmers and myself a laptop!

on thursday 23rd february 2012, I got on my flight back to civilisation.

Asia was over.

Back to the real world.

Posted by joe_leviente 21:17 Comments (0)

the end of Asia...

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I got to Koh Lanta and stayed in a dorm on the beach.

I met a newly engaged german couple called jens and sandra, who were really nice, and a girl in my dorm called Sophie. this was the new group for the next couple of weeks.

I did a few dives in koh lanta (which was the reason I went there) and each evening had a few beers with the others on the beach. we went to a couple of parties, and generally just chilled and had a good time. Sandra was on antibiotics because she burnt her leg on a motorbike exhaust in India, and it got infected, so she couldn't drink for the first week.

I decided that I had fallen in love with Tonsai, and that I should take the others there so they could experience it.

When we arrived in Tonsai, it turned out that it was the first day of the annual keep Krabi clean festival, which was lucky! we had no idea it was happening. The festival was really good, with local reggae bands playing each night, activities during the day, and a fire show competition. It also got the entire Tonsai community out partying together. All of the shops, bars, and food places closed at 5pm and moved down to the beach, where they each had a stall flanking the main stage.

on the friday night, Sandra finished her course of antibiotics so we all celebrated in true backpacker fashion. A few bottles of cheap, local rum, a few buckets, and a few cans of coke.

On saturday, it was our last night together as the Germans went to Koh Chang, Sophie went to meet a friend in Krabi, and I needed to go back to bangkok to do some last minute shopping before my flight. obviously, we needed to have a drink together! I was in the off license buying my round, and guess who walked in... Justin!

another cause to celebrate, the night got truly messy.

I ended up falling on my face and getting a graze on my forehead.

Posted by joe_leviente 21:03 Comments (0)

Muay Thai!

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I spent a couple of days in Penang, whilst doing my visa run. It was a nice place, with some really good food, but I needed to get back to Thailand because Justin and I had signed up for a month of Muay Thai training on Koh Yao Noi.

After a boring night in Krabi town, I got the boat to Koh Yao, nervous and excited. We had both vowed to abstain from drinking and smoking for the entire month.

Koh Yao Noi was beautiful, really chilled out. however, there was absolutely nothing to do, except cycle around the island.

At first, the training was hard. Training was 6 days a week, from 8am-10am and 5pm-7pm. It was hot, sweaty, and tiring. Even while we were just doing the stretches at the beginning, I was already sweating buckets! During the day time, Me, Justin, and our new friend Abu cycled around the island, testing out the local food places and eating very good food, for very cheap.

I wanted to do the training to get back in shape, learn a new martial art, and challenge myself. After the first few days, it got a lot easier - I was used to the exercise in the heat, and it was all just repetition. However, I didn't feel like it was a challenge - because it got easier. Also, I wasn't learning much new stuff, just practicing the same moves over and over again, to get faster and stronger. I soon got bored, because every lesson was exactly the same as the last.

I realised that I only had a few weeks of travelling around asia left, and I was extremely bored of the monotony of Koh Yao Noi and the Muay Thai. So on the third weekend, the three of us plus Abu's girlfriend went to Phuket. The others returned to Koh Yao, but I moved on.

Nikki, Abu's girlfriend, had lived in Phuket for 11 years, after her Mum married a Thai orchid farmer. They lived on the largest orchid farm in Thailand, which was beautiful, and Abu and Nikki showed us around the side of Phuket that wasn't all sex tourism and mass parties. It was really cool, and we had some amazing food. Goat massaman curry for breakfast was particularly good - we all had 2 bowls and could have polished off another 2!

After four months travelling together, I finally said goodbye to Justin and moved on to Koh Lanta

Posted by joe_leviente 20:54 Comments (0)

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