Big Question Marks

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Working for 'the man'

Yup, that's right, the news is out. We're now BOTH bank monkeys, typing up files and looking at data and following protocol (kinda like CTU but a bit less glam). Although she was getting lots of annoying errands done, 3 weeks of 'vacation' was enough for Dayle-- and she's landed herself a temping job at ANZ as well. Although we're in different ANZ bank offices, in different city suburbs (Adrian's in the heart of the downtown business area and Dayle's building is in Richmond, nestled in between a Ferrari dealership and countless wacky interior design showrooms), we're both part of the same bank family now. Dayle got the call last Tuesday and began work the very next day in the "Travel Card" section, processing forms for this cooler version of the travellers' cheque. It's amazing to see how many people have 12,000 Euro to slap down in card form, and also sad to see people's Aussie dollars get decimated by the British pound. But there's plenty of folks heading out on vacation now, that's for sure... and it's making our poor little (constantly growing) team work really hard. But nice people, decent pay -- ah, a job's a job. And way better than fruit picking! Luckily we've just discovered our company email address book, so we can chitchat under email subject lines like "Further information needed re: application". Too cool.

We went on a little shopping spree this past week, finally giving into the chilly Melbourne weather and buying ourselves winter coats. And of course, now it's 18 degrees in the day! Nonetheless, we are very excited to wear our new coats. We're learning some tips on how Melburnians stay warm, living in old houses without insulation- layer, layer, layer! We've actually even turned on the furnace lately (it's freezing at night!), something that led to great debate and a week's worth of household tension between us and our New Zealander housemates; we've since learned that in New Zealand, people simply DON'T heat their houses, and if they do, it's with a fireplace/wood stove. (Reminds us of our rustic cottage in Stanthorpe!) And they consider heat "a luxury", which was equated to owning a dishwasher in the 'heated' discussion. Ha! It was getting so cold in here that we were feeling like we might as well been sleeping in our van outside, and we were beginning to wonder if we'd just acclimatized so much to the tropical weather (not that it's been tropical here for ages) that we can't take the cold anymore. We are so sick of hearing "This is nothing! You're from a cold country!" And then we went out for drinks with an Irish and an English couple and discussed the philosophy of heating-- and as it turns out, they've all been using the furnace for weeks now. Sure, we're from countries which get cold, but you know what? We heat our houses to make it bearable. It's just how it works in the northern hemisphere. We felt much better after that.

Last weekend we also did a little exploring, and checked out the insides of the Hotel Windsor, a grand old 19th-century hotel which is on the edge of the CBD, right across from the state parliament building. Apparently many Aussie prime ministers have stayed there over the years since it was built in 1883, and it reminded us of the grand old CP hotels in Canada. The chandeliered lobby is beautiful and it was cool to read through the historical blurbs & photographs, including how a politician (a premier?) took ownership and sold booze there illegally for years. One day when we're rich and visiting Melbourne again, maybe we'll stay here instead of good old Miami Hotel (our Xmas abode). It's funny how there's so many buildings one might take for granted in their own city, passing them every day without any notice or understanding of their history. It's fun to be a tourist in your own town! Next mission: read up on the history of Melbourne. We'll relay what we find!

No comments: