I’m taking advantage of a moment of calm, in front of these boats rocking, in front of this calmly undulating water, to take stock of these first 45 days.
The balance sheet is mixed, if I take some positives overall, a few shadows in the picture tarnish the Australian dream for the time being.
If this damn virus didn’t ruin the lives of the whole world, I hope the situation would be quite different.
Let’s talk about the angry subject first…
Still no Job
The first few weeks were pretty smooth and I took my time looking for work, I did it as a dilettante, my mind on holiday, confident. Then the little coconut appeared, just as you were starting to get confined, the wind was starting to change here too.
Just as I was beginning to search diligently, it was already too late. A few days later, bars, restaurants and gyms were also closing their doors. The prospect of finding a job was dwindling, and new people like me were entering the market in droves.
The prospect of becoming a waitress, a bartender, being around people was over, you had to resign yourself, accept, find alternatives. Supermarkets, gas stations, fast food, so many letters of motivation left unanswered.
Corona makes Australians less open
Job advertisements reserved for Australians, as a requirement, a skill as another written in black and white. As a matter of course, as a logical consequence, Australians were closing down. Media statements about backpackers did not help, and this country, which until then had treated these immigrants with respect, began to distrust them, to encourage us to leave, to go home. The priority is the Australians, the collateral damage only has to take responsibility.
Au pair ?
Already a week or two before the advertisements disappeared, I had thought of being an au pair. But to be an au pair at 30 seems strange to me, to submit to the rules of a family, to lose a piece of my freedom, when it is the one I came for, is to give up the dream, and to embrace a reality that I am not yet ready to accept.
Yet reason, the fear of wasting all my savings, has led me to send dozens of messages, responding to family announcements. Many went unanswered, a few took the trouble to refuse, and a pinch agreed to meet me.
The first single mother inspired me nothing worthwhile, complicated marital situation, disturbed toddler, it’s a decisive no in my mind. Second family, French father, Australian mother, a beautiful house, a swimming pool, a car of my own, a telephone, a beautiful suite with bathroom, two very cute children, everything was beautiful on paper. Speaking of paper, the 14-page contract and the 28-page house rules, actually scared me a bit… I felt the family was a bit of a maniac, how could I know if it was bearable or not? I was going to accept, I was going to say yes, put my fears aside. But the situation changed, the grandparents stayed, no more room in the home for an au pair.
After a break in my research, a short interview in a family where the mother is a doctor. They sell me on paper, an independent house for the au pair. I arrive in a completely untidy house, where toys, crumbs, shoes and unidentified objects are strewn everywhere. We are far from the previous family, but there is a happy medium, the bedroom is not even built yet, the bathroom is not private. The twins are unbearable and I feel that the father is far from liking me. They won’t even bother to refuse me the job.
Never mind, I take advantage a little, I create an Uber account, I buy a bike, a bag, a helmet. The account takes almost 2 weeks to be validated, it has just been validated actually! I haven’t even tried it yet!
While waiting for Uber, I look for an au pair again. I post an ad, I get contacted, I get my hopes up. Two interviews on Saturday, I almost feel like I’m out of the woods.
The savings are melting like snow in the sun, and even though I still have a couple of months to go, I don’t want to nibble away at everything. Then yesterday, when the second interview was cancelled, their au pair decided to stay.
So today I went to my fourth interview with a family. Each time it’s strange, each family is different, some are friendly, some ask you 1000 questions, I never know if I’m relaxed enough or too much.
Let’s try Au pair again
This morning it went well, the little girl was sleeping, I didn’t see her, but the parents are nice, the house is beautiful, the room is big and bright and with private bathroom. The big plus is that it’s only 3 minutes from the house.
On the other hand, there is no pocket money, just free accommodation and food. And then it’s far, far from my friends, from my hostel, from my new habits, from the social life I’ve built up.
First positive assessment: my social life
So I come to the positive, because yes, overall the experience is positive. I have met dozens of people, I have forged beautiful new friendships, no doubt ephemeral, but that’s also what travelling is all about, knowing how to say goodbye. The community that stays in the hostel is united and we function as a small family. The place is pleasant, and the rent has even gone down.
We cook, we play cards, pool, we laugh, we doubt, we talk, we live together. The streets are deserted, the city is dead, but the hostel is full of life, personalities, different nationalities. I even decorated my little bed, I feel at home there, like a giant roommate…
Second positive assessment: Nature
On the positive side, there are also thanks to nature, I have seen many beautiful beaches, forests, animals, dozens of beautiful sunsets over the sea, and strangely enough I never get tired of it. The weather is mild, and I am enjoying a particularly hot week, a resurgence of summer, from 30 to 35 degrees. Only the water temperature is a bit cool, but as long as I can swim! So, no on this side I’m not complaining, the beaches are always open, I enjoy a pleasant weather and I can swim almost every day …
Third positive assessment : Overcoming my fears
The third positive point, and one of the goals of my adventure here, is to overcome my fears.
If I look brave, strong and determined like this, tons of fears assail me. I came here with a fear of failure, which is still very present, and the situation doesn’t help my doubts to go away.
The fear of the unknown, on the other hand, is surpassed.
Fear of wasps, frankly I’m a rock here.
Afraid of big waves and rollers? Finished, the restless ocean is my friend, I play in the waves, I pass them with fun and swim with more pleasure than Arielle ;).
Fear of jellyfish, after at least 10 stings, it has become my daily life, annoying like mosquitoes, but not scary.
Fear of snakes, it’s ok… For the moment…Spiders, invisible for the moment.
So I’m working on my fears and this is positive 🙂
Overall positive balance sheet
Here I am, 45 days of inactivity, some days boredom overwhelms me, I shout my desire to work to do something, whatever, other days I enjoy, my mind on holiday, sometimes I wonder if I should come back, if it’s reasonable to hope again, to stay, to wait for better days.
Doubt is there, it haunts my mind, sometimes paralyses me, it makes the good times less tasty and the conversations heavier. For I am not the only one looking for answers, and if some people decide to leave, I have decided to stay.
I made this decision out of instinct, I hope he won’t cheat me. Now it’s a tough choice I’m going to have to make, choosing Uber and the inn, or au pair and security. My heart’s already set on it, but the decision takes some thought…