Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.
emo_snal

Intermission II

   So going back to Friday, October 26th, after I left the farm near Canungra I returned to my old apartment off Roma Street again. I'm sure there were all the usual antics. Usually its filled with Brazilians but I think this was the Saturday all the Colombians came over actually. They made "arepas" (sp? these very greasy round fried bread things), and we polished off a bottle of tequila before moving on to whiskey, and they attempted to teach me how to salsa. And they told filthy filthy lies, saying I actually had a sense of rhythm, hah!
   Unfortunately I couldn't stay there during the week though due to an ethical problem. The person on the lease is some Brazilian lady who doesn't live there. She collects about 67% more in rent than is actually due, and pays it to the apartment management. Now this seems kind of sheisty, and I'm pretty sure is illegal, but what's worse -- people have stayed on the couch there for extended periods of time before, and she expects them to pay her $100 a week for the privelege. But you see, SHE isn't inconvenienced by someone on the couch, the existing flatmates are. But they don't pay any less for having yet another flatmate.
   So I posted on gumtree (craigslist) under "looking for housing > short term" and got a few responses. Checked out two of them and ended up taking the second. As I'd find out later, she wasn't even particularly anxious to fill the room and wouldn't have contacted me except that I said I was a beekeeper -- and she had a hive of native bees (Trigona carbonaria) that needed some maintenance.
   As it turns out the room was a spacious (and completely furnished with practically anything you could desire, from silverware ("cutlery" as they call it here) to a rice cooker) studio apartment on the first floor of a "queenslander" style house. It had a large leafy backyard with chickens (chooks) wandering cluckingly about in it, and of course the hive of native bees. And an adorable Australian kelpie (dog) named Rupert.
   On my first visit to the property I split the bee colony into two (I had crammed the night before, googling up everything I could about Trigona c). And Kay, the homeowner, videoed it and put it on youtube immediately!



   See also, the cameo appearances by the dog Rupert.

   Kay is an English teacher, but looks forward to retiring next year. She was super nice and I often went with her on Rupert's evening dog walks.

   With housing sorted, it was time to rustle up another job!

   I rather hoped to stay in Brisbane, so I perused through the entire list of "office" and "other" jobs on gumtree and applied for everything that looked even remotely bearable..... and got two responses. Both of them were sales positions that sounded soul sucking.
   I also posted a work wanted posting, not really expecting anything to come of it, since there were so many work wanted postings, and I saucily wrote in it "please don't expect me to cold call people for sales or stand on the street harassing people -- I still have my self respect." Despite the terrible odds and sauce, I actually got a job offer from it to work in a store in the town of Alpha, deep in the middle of nowhere (link).

   By Tuesday or Wednesday it was clear that I wasn't finding anything worth doing in Brisbane, and it was getting rather depressing, so I contacted the two other beekeepers I'd identified in my previous period of job searching as having positions open. In this area I had much better luck -- with both of them responding to me with job offers.
   As I mentioned in the other post, one of them, according to a fellow currently working for him (whom, for his sake, I dearly hope was exaggerating), said the job was $700 per week for 16 hour days without weekends ... that works out to about $6.25 an hour! So I didn't take that job.
   So I agreed to come up to Bundaberg and meet with the farmer (Trevor) who wanted someone to manage his bees.

   In looking on gumtree to see if anyone was driving up in the direction of Bundaberg I discovered another interesting thing. Some tourism marketing organization was sending people on a 22 day trip to go visit every possible touristy thing they could cram in between here and Sydney. Now it wasn't free, it would cost about $1400 to go on the trip but they claimed the value of the things included in it actually far exceeded $4000, and it looked like it! And tallships showed up on the itinerary twice! I would have actually considered it except for the whole having a job now thing, and not presently having heaps of money to throw around (did I mention I _still_ haven't been paid by that !@#$% "gentleman" in Canungra? (I'm planning on calling him tomorrow). Sooo the only money I've been paid in Australia was for the two or three weeks at the first job, soooo I'm pretty well out now and living off my American bank accounts d:


   Rupert played a funny prank on me one day. I had a sort of veranda to my room, where I liked to sit and enjoy the wonderful weather that is always present in Brisbane. At one point I got up to go look at something in the garden, then popped into my room for a moment and went to sit down again.... and almost sat on an egg on my chair!!
   I was so confused! I'd only been gone a moment. Had my landlord dashed down like a ninja while my back was turned? She later confirmed that Rupert does like to bring people eggs, so he must have brought the egg and set it on my chair.
   BUT then the next day, while Rupert was gone, I went out for a bit, and when I came back and sat in my chair, there was another egg on it!!! Fortunately it didn't break. This was still felt slightly warm and there were chickens on my veranda, so I suspect the animals have teamed up to play pranks on me!



   On Friday morning I went with Kay's brother-in-law and a friend of his to go blaze some new trails in a local state forest park. SO I got to tromp through the forest all morning, that was pretty fun. They were just in the initial stages, scouting out good routes, so it involved a lot of hacking through really thick brush. Fun stuff (:


   Also, as it was by now the first week of November, I was making an attempt at "NanoWriMo." Now that I'm working 10 hours a day I'm only averaging 500-800 words a day, so 50,000 by the end of November isn't happening, but I think I'll keep on hacking away at it.

   Also November is of course "Movember," so I'm growing a shitty mustache!


   So that was a nice relaxing week, and then, of course, Monday I've already written about.

Tags: australia, beekeeping, insects, stingless bees, videos
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