Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ants, ants, and more ants!!!!

So throughout my travels over the years, there always seems to be some sort of bug/insect that either freaks me out or annoys the hell out of me. Calgary, there's the bees - don't get me started on the bees; Africa, well, there are tons, grasshoppers, roaches, scorpions, snakes, the list goes on; the Arctic there's the mosquitoes. They don't last year long, but the three weeks that they do come out they are HORRENDOUS. And now in Australia, its the ants. The cockroaches haven't bothered me that much - it helps that I live with three other men that can kill them for me :) and the spiders I hardly see - I've only had one encounter with one and it wasn't even in my room, but the ants.....the ants are driving me CRAZY!!!!!! You can hardly leave an empty cup out with ants coming along and finding it. How many times I have woken up in the morning to find hundreds of ants in cups or plates that where left out either in or by the sink is endless. I left a cup in my room once that once had spiced rum and coke in it (it was obviously empty!!) and there was trail of ants coming and going from it. It doesn't take long for them to disappear once you get rid of the food or dishes, but living with 4 other people, there is bound to be stuff left out. They are just tiny ants and they leave you alone, but they are EVERYWHERE!!!!
This morning was the worst, I came home to find millions of ants crawling from my window in my room, behind my bed along the wall, up and over a shirt that was up against the wall and into the hallway. I thought there was a cup left in the room, but nothing, I searched everywhere to see what they where after, but couldn't see anything. After getting ready for bed and was just about to enter my room when I noticed a bunch more coming in and out of my roommates room across the hallway. Ahh ha! Normally both Matty and Zoe are at work, and I knocked slightly and opened the door, but Matty was there. Oops, sorry, so I closed the door. I knew it was coming from their room and they don't bother you when they are on a mission, so I just went to bed. When I woke up in the afternoon I apologized for waking Matty up and I told him what I was doing, and he said that they had left some food on the floor that the ants where after. Why did they have to go through my room though!!! haha
One of the more funnier story involves my other housemate Cieran who came home slightly intoxicated one night and grabbed a piece of pizza and went to bed. Well, he passed out, I mean, fell asleep before eating all his pizza and woke up the next day to find hundreds of ants attacking the pizza!!!! LOL
So, that is my venting for the day - I guess things could be worse :)

Ants at the bus stop

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Darwin update

Well, things have somewhat come back to normal. Due to work and work, and more work, we have no longer had any naked parties :( not to say it won't came back though!!

My time is getting shorter here in Darwin, I have 5 more shifts left of work and I fly out of Darwin on October 8th to go to Brisbane for a bit then its off to Bali, again, for two weeks with friends from Darwin.
However, first, let me talk about the weather. More specifically, me riding my bike back and forth to work in this ridiculous weather. Not that I am complaining, as I am truly LOVING the warm weather - just not cycling 22km's daily. Wednesday morning, after my night shift, was probably to worst ride home. Well, I actually made it home in record time - 29 minutes, but when I got home, I was soaking wet, and didn't stop sweating for about 15 minutes!! I sat down outside with my laptop and could feel the sweat dripping off my face and down my arms and chest. I know you guys probably don't want to hear that, but seriously, I am not one who sweats a lot, and I was sweating buckets!! It was 86% humidity that morning, only to get worse as the days go on. I have yet to get stuck in the rain, however it did drizzle one evening as I was coming home. And I have yet to see a thunderstorm - although I did hear that there was one early early yesterday morning. Just a little fun filled fact about my cycling, by the time I have finished, I will have cycled approximately 1320km's!!!! That's like driving to Yellowknife or to Surrey BC and back!!!!! Craziness.

Alright, so, back to what I plan on doing when done work in Darwin. Well, actually, I don't really know. Things have been going really, really well with Rob, and we are thinking of traveling together. The problem is, he is having a bit of difficulty getting work here in Darwin. He worked one shift down at the docks cleaning a conveyor belt, and he might be back there again this weekend, however, that is not enough! There is not too much construction starting up, and he is a bricklayer by trade, and so not much in that area. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks more people will be leaving Darwin due to the build-up and wet season (on average, about 30,000 people leave Darwin during this time period) and work will become available. SO, my plans are a bit in the air right now as it all depends on Rob getting work. If he can get work for a couple of months, when I return from Bali I will get another short contract back on 3B at the Darwin hospital, and save more money. We could either get staff village accommodation at that time, or maybe stay with Zoe and Cieran if it is closer for Rob's work. Basically, I don't know what the hell I will be doing after I return from Bali in November!! My flight is also booked for me to go all the way back to Brisbane, so I might be changing that, or flying back to Brisbane, and renting a car and driving to Darwin. There is a website called relocate cars, and I could rent a car for a $1/day, approx $300 in fuel allowance, and drive it to Darwin - much cheaper option then flying!!

Things are also getting better in the 'house' situation. Coxy has now moved to Broome for work and won't be returning, and Kym is leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks of work. This leaves Cieran, Zoe, Matty, Rob and myself. Kym was staying in Coxy's room and he stayed there once Coxy left, with Rob and I still sleeping on the floor, so it will be nice to actually sleep on a bed for once! Rob is liking it right now as he gets to sleep on the couch while I work my night shifts, and when I get home I sleep in Zoe and Matty's room as they don't usually get home till 4:30. It has been a bit frustrating though with other people eat my food!!! Leave my cookies alone dammit!! haha Yeah, our bread and milk seems to disappear awful quickly as well as my cookies and even my coconut milk. We made curry the other night and I knew I had one can of coconut milk left, low and behold, it wasn't there. AND, we had just come from the grocery store. It was one of those days where I could have cried :( and there is no going to the store to get more, as I don't have a car. I think Coxy was most of the problem - the guy lived out of the local petrol station eating chips/pop and more chips, occasionally buying bread and milk. We believed that he was using more of our food then he should have been, I understand using it every once and awhile, we all do it, but it was a little extreme. Oh well. Not much I can do about it, and I will be leaving soon - which I am happy and sad about. Happy to be done work for a while and sad to be leaving Rob. Hopefully he can get work and come to Bali with me :)

I have also been looking into my second year working holiday visa. Word from home is that the work situation is not the greatest. More closing of beds and possibly lay-offs - not good. I would be coming home only to be heading back north again just to get work. If things work out well with Rob I am considering applying for my second year in November and just staying in Oz after my Visa expires in January, not going to New Zealand just yet. BUT, there are so many unknown's right now, I don't have any answers. If I do stay in January I will definitely be going home for a short visit in the summer so I can attend the bestest of the best family reunions :) but then returning for more fun and sun in Australia. Cieran is applying for permanent residency, and this is also crossing my mind to look into when I am on my second year - especially if things keep going the way they do in Calgary.

So much going on, good, bad, the unknown.....hopefully some answers soon :)

BUT, in the meantime.....keep working, and of course partying!!! don't worry, no more naked party stories will be told! LOL

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Naked parties anyone??

So, at first I wasn't going to add anything about my naked parties, however, over the last week it has proceeded to a hilarious new level and I just have to write about it. And no, there will be no pictures added to this post :) And it might also not seem that funny, I think it is one of those 'you had to be there', but well, its my blog and I'm still going to write about it :)

It started off when Rob and I were in Kakadu, I came back from the toilet to find Rob sitting naked by the campfire. I laughed saying what are you doing?!?!?!! He said, well, what does it look like?! You could join me you know?! At first I was hesitant, then thought, what the hell, I only live once, why not. We were parked in the back of the campsite, and no one could see us, so, naked I got and we sat around the campfire talking. I said to Rob at the start, what happens if someone walks by?? He said, just act natural - but what are the chances that someone will walk by, right? it was getting pretty late and it seemed as though everyone was in bed. Well, about 30 minutes later a girl, who we had spoken to earlier in the day, walked into our campsite saying, "hey guys, just wondering if by chance you have a cigarette, we are out of smokes AND alcohol".....and as she is talking and walking towards us, I just sat there saying yeah, sure, I looked at Rob to see if it was ok that I gave him a couple of his cigarettes, he nodded. We where briefly talking about the day, and about the fact that they are out of smokes and alcohol, then she stops, looks and me and Rob and said, are you guys naked?? Both of us laughed and said, yup! She said she was more embarrassed then anything else, and grabbed the smokes, walking away, yet talking to us at the same time. We jokingly told her that she and her BF could come join us, and she replied that she would ask him, and that they might be back! Oh dear! And sure enough, a few minutes later we see them walking over with their chairs in hand. As they rolled up we said, now this is a naked party, so clothes off ;) They willingly took their clothes off and sat around the campfire chatting and drinking beer. Rob and the other fellow went off to get more firewood, and yes, they went naked under the full moon - and yes, it actually was a full moon that night. Our new friends stayed around for about an hour and a half, then they took off. Rob and I laughed at the events that unfolded and it made for VERY, interesting day - and a funny story!
The next night at a different campsite, we found a spot away from everyone else, and decided why not, lets have another naked party. So we did, but this time we had no visitors!

And just when I thought the naked parties where finished, yesterday morning it hit a whole new level. Rob and I were woken up by my housemate Matty at like 0600 as he couldn't sleep and he wanted to do something. Skinny dipping? Sure why not start a Saturday skinny dipping. So I dragged my hungover ass out of bed and Zoe and I were the first to head down to the pool. No need to put on a bathing suit, my dress came off and Zoe and I jumped in the pool. Cieran, Matty and Rob where shortly behind us and we all made fools of ourselves skinny dipping in the community pool. We had a couple stares, a couple smiles, and couple people that just sped up as the went by! We didn't care, obviously! After a good while in the pool, we headed back to the house and continued our drinking, and hell, why not doing it naked. Before we knew it, all of us were naked on the patio, drinking our beer. We had a couple young guys show up at the house to fix Matty's windscreen (from when I took his car down to Katherine) and they couldn't believe that we were NAKED!! LOL They looked no older then 16 and I'm sure they were so embarrassed, but we didn't care, we carried on doing our business, just naked! Shortly after the windscreen boys left our other friends stopped by for a visit. What a time to stop by! It was Nialls birthday and they stopped over for a few pre-drinks as there was a bbq at their place later. The naked party ended shortly after they left, although if it wasn't for 'indecent exposure' we would have all headed over buck ass naked!! Once we arrived the nakedness just didn't seem to have the same effect, so we left our clothes on, even when we where in their new 'kiddies' pool that they bought earlier. Kinda funny that we spend all day naked, but kept our clothes on while in the pool. And lets just say the pool didn't last the whole day....before the sun went down their lawn was flooded! heehee

And now that you all know intimate details about me...till next time :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

what we do when hungover and bored

So my mac computer has this a photo booth program that does different effects with photos, and today, Rob and I were a wee bit hungover, and slightly bored, so this is what we did!

Ahhhh, GT's!!!! LOL

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

night duty at work

I have honestly never been so bored at work, well, night shifts anyways. Since working nights here at the Darwin hosital, I have become one of the laziest nurses, ever!! We work 10 hour nights, starting at 2100, getting hand over from the previous shift, and hitting the floor at about 2130. The first few hours are pretty busy, doing our 2200 vital sign checks, most people have 2200 meds due, going through the charts, updating care plans and making sure everything is up to date. At about 1130 - midnightish, things really start to slow down. Most people are asleep by this point, and because its a medical ward, most people aren't in pain, so they sleep most of the night. (Unlike the surgical wards i have worked on and most people require attention throughout the night as well as analgesia) Some patients require 0200 checks such as vital signs and blood sugar levels, however, most don't. SO, between 0000 and about 0500, there is nothing to do. I do go through my patients notes, get an idea of whats happened, lab work, ect, but that doesn't take long for 6, sometimes only 5 patients if we have empty beds. The first few sets of night shifts I did (we do them in blocks of 4) I was grande, awake all night, read my book, chatted with other staff. However this set, and tonight is my last night, thank goodness, has been horrendous. It doesn't help that I missed a day of sleep after my last set of nights last week as we went camping and was awake the whole day on my first set of nights this stretch, so needless to say, I think I am a little sleep deprived!!! Last night after finishing my 0200 things to do (which consisted of one set of VS, and one set of medications, which she didn't even want), I headed into the doctors room for a couple of zzz's. I slept for an hour, came back out all groggy and sleepy, asked if everyone was alright, and they where, and went back into the doctors room for another 30 minutes.....45 minutes later I came back out, and guess what, everyone was fine!! I had my 'station' set up outside the main desk area, and sat on my chair, and half slept for the next hour - I just couldn't stay away, and there was no point in drinking a red bull...they no longer work for me! It also doesn't help that most people I work with are not white, and speak there own language....... and this group of people right now are SOO antisocial, except one girl who is super nice, but the other three, are pretty quiet and you have to pull arms and legs to get them to help you.....but, if they need help.......(venting done now)...
Finally at about 0500 it was time to start on my notes for the night, and then it was time for all my 0600 jobs, which are the busiest, and kept me awake till we left at 0730.
AND, to make matters worse, on my ride home, about half way, I discovered that my back tire was flat. Lovely. Thank goodness I was fairly close to a petrol station, so I filled up with air and booked her' home before she became flat again. What a night! (and day!) I was able to sleep for about 6 1/2 hours, not nearly enough, but it was just too hot and muggy to sleep any longer, so I got up. Only one more night shift (can I say YYYYYAAAAAHHHHH!!!) and then 4 days off.......where I will have no where to sleep. Oh how this week keeps getting better and better :)
The only brightside, things are getting slightly better in the housemate situation, and a girl from work is going to pick me up so I don't have to worry about riding in with a flat:)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

i heart housemates......

.....well, sort of!

It has been an interesting couple of weeks in 'my' house. Rob arrived just over a couple of weeks ago and it was just Cieran, Rob and myself. My friend Kym came home from Thailand shortly after that, which was still cool. Rob and I went to Kakadu and Litchfield last week ( I will have a blog up about that trip shortly) and the day we left, Coxy, Zoe and Matty came home from Thailand. Since Rob and I came back from our trip on Saturday, its been a bit awkward in the three bedroom, one bath, six housemates 'house'. You see, Zoe and Matty hooked up while they where in Thailand and all they have been doing is hanging out in Zoe's room watching movies and taking sleeping pills. Coxy has been acting strange and he pretty much stays in his room the entire day, making the odd appearance to get food, barely saying making eye contact let alone saying hi. Zoe and Matty have hardly talked to me as well - which I believe is because Matty is upset that I left is car almost on empty and 'dirty'. I heard this from Cieran today and to my advantage, Matty left me with his car on empty and I was so busy before he came home that I didn't have a chance to have his car spotless for him - and i didn't leave it that dirty, I think he is just a bit of a freak about it. I feel bad it but he also hasn't approached me about it, I have just heard this from Cieran.
It kind of upsets me as well as it doesn't seem like they have been all that 'friendly' with Rob, not that I think it bothers him, but this is so not what they where like before they left for Thailand. We where always out on the patio having a few beers, chattin, having a good time. Since they've been back they have hardly done a bloody thing outside of the bedroom!!! Cieran is still himself, thank goodness, and he and Rob have gotten along great, but i don't know what the hell is going on with the others.
It has also been interesting with everyone home and me working a few night shifts. I got home this morning to not have a place to sleep. So I tried to cozy up in a bean bag chair, that didn't last long. Once Rob got up I tried sleeping on the couch which was worse then the bean bag (why, I don't know? I just wasn't tired for whatever reason) I gave up trying trying to sleep at around 1030 and just hung out in the hammock with Rob and Cieran (they weren't in it with me!), and went down to the pool, trying to tire myself out - not much luck. I ended up not getting to sleep till about 3:45 when Cieran offered me his bed and I was able to sleep till about 6:45. When I got up everyone except Coxy was outside (a first since we have all been home), I went out briefly until Matty reminded me of his windscreen I cracked and he asked if I could go with him to replace it.......awesome, now I get to spend a shit load of my money that I have been trying to save!!! Why do I have to be such a nice person sometimes??? I ended up going back into Cieran's room until I had to go to work - wasn't really feeling all that social.
Oh well, makes me glad that I only have a week left before I head to the east coast - everything happens for a reason, right???

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kakadu, Litchfield take 2.....

My friend Rob that has been in Darwin the last couple of weeks had not seen Kakadu or Litchfield national park, so on my days off we rented a Wicked campervan and took 5 days to tour around. We went to a lot of the same places I had been too about a month ago, as well as a couple new places. I finished a night shift Tuesday morning and when I got home I was supper excited!!! The plan was to pick up the van, I was going to go home and sleep for a couple of hours and Rob was going to get the groceries. Well, plans changed. My friend Kym was home from Thailand and he needed to catch a plane for work at 0930. So I drove him to the airport, then we picked up the van which took a lot longer then expected as we changed the contract and had to wait forever, blah, blah, blah. By the time we got home and I started packing up things, I was wide away and way to excited about the trip to sleep. So we decided to head out together, get groceries and then hit the highway. We had a small 'esky' as they call them here, aka, a cooler, with the wicked van, but once we started getting food, and of course alcohol, I ended up buying another esky as it wasn't all going to fit in the small one. I also bought an AM/FM transmitter as I wasn't about to listen to the same 4 CD's over and over and over again!! We left for Litchfield national park and I thought that I might be tired enough to sleep for some of the drive, but nope, I was WIDE awake!!! We went to the Florence Falls and Buley's Rockpools in Litchfield and we spent more time at the falls then the first time I went as we had more time as we decided to camp in Litchfield. We found a campground, and set up our campervan. In the van was a small table (TV tray type style) and two chairs, one of which was practically broken, but Rob managed to somewhat fix it, dishes and cutlery, pan, pot, small propane tank with a burner and a sink. We made burgers for supper that night and ate before it got too dark as we didn't really have any lanterns other then my small bike torch and Rob's small magna torch. It was pretty hot out, but we stated a fire anyways - probably a bad idea as we where hot when we got into the hot campervan! We actually put the AC on for a bit to cool us down before going to sleep! The next day we started off at the beautiful Wangi falls - where I was attacked by the evil cane toads!! I was in this small rock pool on the side of the rock face when I felt something against my side, I looked, and it was a cane toad, I freaked out yelling "Ahh! get it out, get it out". I scared Rob and he jumped out of the pool trying to see what i was yelling at, and before i knew it the toad had jumped out of the pool and was making his way to the main pool. Gross, gross, gross! Shorty after the cane toad experience, we left and headed to a place called The Lost City. A 10km, 4WD road, a very bumpy road, to this area of rocks that where formed from wind and water, but it looks like an ancient town built with rocks, of course. It was pretty neat and after a walk around the 'city' we decided we better head on and drive into Kakadu. We took the long way into Kakadu as I wasn't confident the van, even though it was 4WD could make it through the 4WD short cut that we took last time. The wicked van, was a van of course, not a trooper, and so it was low the ground, and didn't have a snorkel, which I knew one section of the road recommended you have a snorkel to continue. We didn't want to risk it and so took the long way. We arrived in Gunlom mid-afternoon and we climbed the steep walk to the top of the falls - this time with running shoes on! Wasn't about to do any climbs with flip flops on again! We decided that we didn't want to arrive anywhere after dark and seeing as it was close to sunset, we stayed at Gunlom falls. This also allowed us more time at the falls to chill out and enjoy the picturesque view from the top. We made out way down and found ourselves a nice campsite, but opted to not have a fire as we didn't want the same to happen as the previous night. The next day we started off at Makok falls (aka Barramundi falls, which I wasn't aware of and when I was planning the trip) I though Makok falls was going to be new for me, but alas, I had been there last time. That was alright as it is a beautiful gorge. We did some cliff jumping, and on my second jump I got a bunch of water in my ear which was very painful, so no more jumps for me. Our next stop was Jim Jim falls, 60km off the main drag, all on dirt road, once again, very bumpy corrogated dirt roads! We thought it was going to take a long time, but in the end, it only took us about an hour and 15 minutes. The last 30 minutes was rough 4WD roads, and one guy got stuck trying to get out of our way. As it turned out, he wasn't in 4WD at all, so once he got that right, he had no problem. A lot of the track was really sandy, so we where bouncing all over the place, loads of fun! We arrived in the car park and there where about three tour buses in the car park - not what we wanted to see, but oh well. We actually got stuck behind one of the tours for a bit, but they stopped for a water break and we buzzed past them. The last time I was at Jim Jim falls, we where there first thing in the morning and the water was FREEZING ass cold. This time, it was about 3:00 when we arrived, and some of the sun was hitting the water, so it wasn't 'that' cold. Plus we where so hot and sweaty from the walk in - it was much much more humid then a month ago, so it was so refreshing to get in and cool down! However, when we swam to the falls - not that there was that much water falling - and we got to the shaded part, the water was pretty freakin' cold! We spent a bunch of time just relaxing and sun tanning at Jim Jim and just as one of the tours was getting ready to go, we quickly got changed and headed out infront of them. We arrived at the campground and set up camp again. We had a pretty good routine and where set up and had supper on the go in no time. We decided to have a fire this night and just sit metres away from it - not necessarily to get the heat from it, but just have something to look at!! The next day we where back on the sandy 4WD road, but this time to go to Twin Creek falls. We where about 6km away from the car park when we came to a river. It was somewhat deep and we weren't 100% convinced that we would make it without getting water in the exhaust. We waited a bit to see if anyone would drive by that we could catch a lift, however after 10 minutes of no one, we decided to pass up Twin Creek Falls and just head to our next destination......Nourangie. Here are massive rocks with rock art from the aboriginals date over 10000 years! We walked the 1.5km trail checking out all the art, getting attacked by fly's left, right, my ears, on my face, up my nose.....I had had enough!! There was a viewing platform which both Rob and I weren't overly keen on seeing, and so decided to head back to the air con'd van!! Our next stop was the small town of Jabiru. The only town in Kakadu national park...... and they didn't sell alcohol :( We picked up a few groceries and made our way half way to Darwin to pick up some beer before stopping in Corroboree caravan Park for the night. I considered going 25km north of Jabiru first to a place with more rock art, but we where tired, and tired of the flies, so we just decided to keep going. The caravan park had a swimming pool and after cracking a beer we headed to the pool to cool off! It didn't seem as hot the last night compared to previous nights so we sat a bit closer to the fire!! It was a full moon that night and not many clouds so it didn't matter much that we didn't have a torch, none was needed! We were up early the next day as we wanted to see the jumping crocodiles and we had to have the van back at 1500. We arrived just in time for the 0900 jumping crocodiles and where out on the water for about an hour and 25 minutes. We didn't see as many crocs as I did the first time as it was high tide and so its harder to find the crocs, but we still saw a bunch of them and it was cool, plus, there was only 9 of us on board! After the crocs we headed to Barry Springs, a great way to end the trip if you ask me. The water was refreshing, not overly crowded, and we hadn't been for a swim yet that day, so it was a good excuse to go! After a nice relaxing swim and brief suntan it was time to head back. We washed and cleaned out the van....ugh, i hate that part about camping! and after a fun 5 days of driving a wicked van (can cross that off my list now) we took her back to the dealership. It was such a fun week and I could go back to either, or both of the parks in a heartbeat!! By the time I leave here I think I could be a tour guide! LOL

Me and my Wicked Van!
The Lost City
These are all bats hanging from the tree at Wangi Falls!!
Rock art
Me at the jumping crocs again!