Friday, June 29, 2012

Adventures Down Under

Dear Blog. Sorry I have been away for so long. But here is the abbreviated version of the goings on in the life of me, because I am sure you have better things to do.

I finished work in April. Had withdrawals that ski season was over, so I traveled around the Lake Tahoe area for awhile in search of still open ski resorts. I find my Mecca at a place called Kirkwood. Late season powder dumps, colliers, and cliff jumps capped off what was an otherwise mediocre ski season. It was quite epic.

I returned to Utah and proceeded to do as little as possible. I didn't win the mtn. Bike (thanks for the help anyways) so I again brought back life to my old one and for a month I mostly just did that. There was a trip to Moab in there somewhere that was a real good time, lots of RSL games, and some random summer fun. I was quite glad summer came a bit early, as I haven't had a Utah summer in many years and am still at least a year away from having another. So despite the absence of income I had a lot of fun.

Soon though the waves beckoned me and I returned to Maui. Saw Reed and Caitlin for a day then fulfilled my life long dream of being a homeless beach bum. I put a futon mattress in the back of my car and slept wherever I could find a private enough spot. Usually a beach or the church parking lot with a faucet for the teeth brushing and whatnot. I showered at the beach and poached tourist hotel pools. Surfed as much as I could and got free meals from the dinner cruise left overs. Terese joined me, and soon she found an actual home to live in so I bummed some floor space there for a few more weeks. The surf was pretty good and I was out twice a day. I did a once over tour of Maui with Terese but soon the time came to go down under.

I got to Australia on June 21, I left on June 19. For me, the day of June 20 didn't happen. That was a bit of a trip. That date line thing is quite weird. The flight was a bearable 10 hours. I had a bulkhead aisle seat with more leg room than I could have ever hoped for. After some weird disenfecting spray down on the plane I had an incredibly unpleasant night sleeping on a hard, cold airport floor before catching my bus to my new home, Jindabyne. Winter in Australia looks nothing like winter at all. For all of you who didn't believe that I was actually going to be skiing in Australia...there is some merit to your disbelief. It wasn't until I boarded a magical train that took me through a mystical tunnel to the land of the Snowy Mountains that I actually believed there was snow in this country. Where I board the train to Perisher ski resort there is no snow and the trees are alive with greenery. 15 minutes later and one ride on the Hogwarts express through the Narnia wardrobe, I emerged onto a winter mountain-scape that affirmed that I would indeed be working at an actual ski resort. It's a bit weird. Though the Aussies have a very strange definition of the word powder, and half of their ski lifts are annoying things called t-bars, I am indeed a ski instructor at Perisher Blue.

It only took me two days to get sorted and begin working. As it is the beginning of the Australian winter holidays for school kids (the equivalent of Christmas break) it has actually been VERY busy. I've been working a lot and lucked out with some kids who can ski the whole mountain and have been kind enough to show me around the mountain in exchange for some skiing tips. They have also been helpful in learning the strange vernacular tendencies of the Australian language. I share an apartment with two Brits, two Aussies, and a Canadian. I'm getting a great idea of the worlds opinions of Americans. Most of it is funny, some is disturbing. But I was just as dissappointed that no one actually says “Gooday Mate” as they are that I don't say “Y'all”. The bus ride and subsequent car rides have caused several brief panic attacks since I am still not used to driving on the left side of the road. I've been sure of at least 10 head on collisions that luckily never happened. Apparently they are all used to driving on that side. I have given it a go myself, as the only designated driver in a 500 mile radius. More difficult than the left side of the road is the right side of the car. The blinker and gear shift are in the wrong spots and I'm always driving on the left shoulder of the road. There is more car on the left side here. Americas need to be different has become quite frustrating as I have no idea how much snow 20 cm is, how far 20 Kilometers are, or how cold it is at 2 degrees C. The toilet draining direction remains a mystery since I have yet to find one that flushes in that way, they've all been front to back flushers. But the biggest disappointment is that 75 percent of TV is American, which means they are all pretty used to the American accent, denying me of having that sexy foreign accent that they have when in America.

The resort is large but only in terms of acreage, er...excuse me, in terms of hectares. It's not that high from top to bottom or in altitude. But It's still got some really fun terrain. I can't say much for the weather though. I've yet to see a snowflake. Icy bullets falling coming horizontally are quite plentiful though! I was issued a rain jacket as part of my uniform. Ugh. Jindabyne, or Jindy is a quaint little town of about 3000 people, that has bulged to about 40,000 with all the employees of 3-4 different ski resorts in the vicinity. I like it though. The kangaroos run around and get run over just like deer do in Utah. I don't know how they all escaped the zoo but it's sure weird seeing them run around everywhere all wild and stuff.

The sun is in the wrong part of the sky, and I can't find the big dipper anywhere, but in general I am quite well and things have all gone very smoothly. I have very limited internet access so feel free to email me in some form but I apologize in advance for my delayed response. I will try to keep this here blog updated as much as possible. Let my adventures down under begin! But for now...cheers mate!