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Published on December 7th, 2009 | by Daniel Boyle


Today I arrived in Airlie Beach. The adventure begins. I have come up here to work in a job I am fairly underqualified to do, but at the same time, I think I can make a good go of things.

Firstly I would like the last few days which I had to prepare myself, say some goodbyes and make a small party.

Friday I didn’t work at the hostel, I have another job at the AIS where I take people on tours. I shared my tour with an Olympic rower. On each tour I give the group a footbag demonstration. More often than not people are more impressed with the little tricks I do with a footbag compared to the people that go to the Olympics. She also told me that Rowing is Australia’s highest funded sport, but the athletes barely see a cent from it.

As well as me being gone for quite some time, on the same day my good buddy Bron handed in her resignation, so it was necessary to have a farewell party. We had a BBQ and drinks on the roof of the hostel, which Krisite proceeded to fall through. This must be almost exactly a year to the day since Kristie fell down a very nearby set of stairs.

After the free beer ran out, a wide variety of backpackers gave me some more drinks, and eventually we went out to Bar 32. The next day provided only hazy memories of the previous evening shenangans but at some point there was a burrito at Zambreros involved.

My friend Paige works in the library at Parliament house, and we had arranged to play some squash. Michael, one of the other receptionists at the hostel and I have been having regular squash battles, which I have mostly won. He will be gone by the time I get back so this was the grand final. It was an intriguing feeling to be in the squash court, smash it into the tin, yell violently and then giggle because you just swore in the parliament.

Not according to the usual match structure, Michael got out to a 2-0 lead, and I was not looking good. Maybe I had overdone it on the beer the previous nights, but my serve was not up to scratch, most of them going just over the red line, or straight into the tin instead. All was not lost though, I came back for 2-2 as the stamina started to wane.

Things were still not looking good for me at 14-10. A couple of points earlier I had got a shot in off the back wall, which was the real turning point of the match. I dragged the game back to 14-14, Michael chose a long game, I won the next 3 points at that was that. Choke choke choke…

Michael left after the sqaush. Paige, Francisca and I headed to the National Portrait Gallery, mainly to check out the Shepard Fairey exhibition. I was a little disappointed as it only just had one gallery with about 10 pictures. I have been to the NPG before, so everything else was not new to my eyes, so it didn’t hold as much interest.

We left midway through our viewing experience to watch Hoodlum Shouts play an afternoon show at Transit. They are one of the best bands to come out of Canberra in the last few years, they have a really classic Australian rock feel to them, while still being a new band, and not a Cold Chisel rip off or something. I think they sound like a cross between At The Drive In and Redgum. Morgan suggested a slow Mark Of Cain meets Midnight Oil. So basically, a rocking band with some sweet tunes.

I had to pack my bags to go on my travels, so we made a mid afternoon departure. I cooked dinner- lamb chops with tortellini and salad and Francisca made a delicious cheesecake. Instead of packing I wandered back and forth from my room to my bag, barely ever putting anything from one to the other. I was so exhausted eventually I just crashed, barely having half finished my packing job. I was due at work at 7am the next day, with a soccer match and a party to follow, so I set my alarm for 5.30am to begin packing.

Surprisingly I got up at this hour, and didn’t feel too bad for the early start. My packing was nowhere near complete, nor was my house ready for every other person in the world to move in, which was my plan. So currently there’s something like 5 dudes living in my house, paying my rent while I’m not there. Perfecto.

I worked my shift, the last for the year at ye olde ccyha. It passed fairly uneventfully, just with numerous people asking stupid questions. We had a soccer match planned at about 4pm, with a party at 6. The match started around 6, after numerous beers already consumed. It ended up being 4 on 4, with numerous others watching. We played for QUEEN AND COUNTRY- Commonwealth v Various Other Republics. We got pumped. 10-6 was the final scored. Jonathon played advantage on the no offside rule, by sitting by the goals and waiting for an opportunity, he scored 5 goals this way, I dubbed him the new Shane Smeltz. I must say I scored our teams only legitimate goal.

We headed back to my house to make party following the match. Dominos provided the catering, and we had a lot more people than one would generally recommend sitting in my small loungeroom (probably about 15-20, most having something to do with the hostel.)

I left my house in the hands of some suspicious dudes, Danpackers was declared open. Francisca took me home and I started having a bit of a panic attack. I felt underprepared and not confident in my idea to operate a semi sketchy hostel inside my home which I have a huge bond on. Bit scared about that, but hopefully it will all work out.

After waking up at 5.30am, falling over through still being hugely drunk, we had breakfast together before I headed off into the distance. The flight was delayed by 10 minutes but there were no problems there. I met my shred pal Caroline for a kick in Brisbane, I hit food processor and a few nice long runs. It was just sweet to be able to get in a kick rather than sit around in the airport for three hours. I went for a quick dip in the pool in Southbank, and it was back to the airport.

The trip to Proserpine was fairly uneventful. I had no idea where the baggage collection was when I arrived, until I found out it was outside. All my mucking around trying to find it meant that I arrived at the same time as the baggage did, well timed.

I took a bus into Airlie Beach which is where I will spend the next 6 weeks. I had a bit of a wander around, met some of the staff who I will be spending all my life for the next few weeks with, took some photos which I may post late on, now I’m just hanging out, I like having the opportunity to sit around, looking like I’m being social, when really I’m just playing on the internet.

Dinner tonight was at K.C’s, $10 steak night. The steak was ok- pretty low in quality. The place reminded me of “The Australian”, the new pub in Canberra. Last week Jonathon waited an hour for a meal there. In return we got a free round of drinks. Probably won’t be back at either establishment in a hurry.

I noticed they have barefoot bowls for free on Friday night at the bowling club. Free of charge. Keen.

About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.

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