Big Question Marks

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Costumes, crepes, and kitty fun...

It's been a busy few weeks but plenty of good times to write home about. Adrian's been Mr. Corporate lately ("Buy, buy, buy! Sell, sell, sell!" he likes to say)-- well, maybe he doesn't work on the stock exchange but he sure loves dressing the part. You've gotta have a little fun at work! Adrian has been working downtown in an office tower of one of Australia's major banks (ANZ) for almost 3 weeks now, and has gleefully discovered a games floor in his building. So every Friday he and his co-workers sit in those video-game cars and race each other. Word is there's a beer cart that comes around the office on Fridays as well- now that's the life!

As for me (Dayle), I've been blissfully unemployed since last Monday, enjoying another wave of sunny, 25-degree autumn days. This week's been a little colder, so I'm not spending as much time doing crayon drawings under the old trees in beautiful Carlton Gardens (the nearby park where we sometimes chase possums at at night). It's been really nice to enjoy some "me" time, exploring the nearby neighbourhoods and shops, and running all of those little errands that have been neglected for months (and fixing tattered clothing and shoes!). The work will come soon enough-- but it's just nice to relax a bit for now. It's a "working HOLIDAY visa", as we say here, not a "working slavery visa"!

But actually, I'm not totally unemployed. On Saturday afternoons I get paid to play dress-up at this wonderful, humongous costume hire (that's Aussie for rental!) shop called Costume Factory. I applied for the job way back in January but only recently did they decide they still needed another staff member for busy Saturday afternoons. It pays great and the staff are all quirky arts students, painters, writers, and theatre enthusiasts, and we basically just help people piece together costumes for the unbelievable amount of costume parties that happen in Melbourne. (For a country that doesn't do much for Halloween, I have been shocked). My first day consisted of fixing up wigs and dressing mannequins as tacky tourists, gladiators, cowboys, and even a 'gay sailor' (that's a sailor suit with sequins!). And ever since I've dressed people up as flappers, Prince, Tina Turner, Alpen yodeler and even an Indian chief and Pocahontas. It's been a real exercise in creativity because a lot of customers walk in without any costume ideas, and it's also easy to get lost in the huge shop/showroom. But it's a nice place to spend a weekend afternoon and I do wish we were staying long enough to see what Halloween brings. And apparently the company's been around for ages, evolving over the years since the Gold Rush days! For that reason we have an amazing amount of gorgeous medieval wear, etc., which we rent to a lot of theatre productions too.

In other news, our roommates got a kitten last week! Pax is rambunctious and lively, and he's completely adorable (but more about him later!). He's also a great entertainer of houseguests--we've just finished a multi-day goodbye party for our French friends Stephane and Jenny, who came to stay with us after working in Tasmania. There was lots of wine-drinking, reminiscing, and a final crepe feast... and we definitely caught (me more than Adrian I think) a bit of the travel bug as we chatted about their plans to travel Southeast Asia. Our friend Bianca's also off to New Zealand now and we're possibly the only people left in Oz from our original Echuca crew. We can only wonder on which continent we'll all meet again... we'll miss you guys! xoxo, D.

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