The next day, despite hanging out of my butt, I was able to see the funny side of the week’s events. I plotted up on the familiar sofa I’d spent the vast proportion of my recovery on, I switched on my laptop, I drank coffee until it made me shake and I applied for every single job advertised on Gumtree Australia.
It had cost me over AU$200 leaving and returning to Adelaide within a week, and I needed to make that back… or at least not eat for a while.
It was the weekend, so I didn’t hear much back from the jobs I was applying for. Instead, I turned my efforts to securing a house; our stay on Burt Avenue was coming to an end (sniff) and hostels were too expensive as a long term option. I trawled through Flatmates and Easy Roomate (not what you’re thinking) looking for home owners that wouldn’t mind living alongside a Two Girls, One Room arrangement (definitely not what you’re thinking).
We were invited to a house viewing close to where Fliss worked, but because we were in Australia (and only the strangest things happen in Australia) and I am Zoe Townsend-Sawyer (and only the strangest things that happen in Australia, happen to me) it wasn’t your standard house viewing.
We were invited to dinner.
Just before getting to the house I had contemplated running away and hiding my head in the sand. I was genuinely terrified about this invitation to dinner. I had been told the area was a little dodgy, and the eerie, light-less street had us questioning whether this could the perfect setting for the next popular torture-porn cinematic.
Inside the porch was a single bed draped in throws. There was nothing pretty about it. The room was of a great size and the wardrobe was more than adequate for both of our belongings and more. Our stout, old tour guide went on to show us a pretty dirty toilet but a somewhat above average bathroom. He then said that having one toilet between five wasn’t an issue as the lemon tree in the garden responded well to male urine.
Really, sir? REALLY?!
The guy was clearly a character. When he mentioned in the emails that he went out “selling” on a Monday and Thursday, I had convinced myself that this place was going to be a meth lab. But apart from various parts of a model train set strewn across every flat surface it didn’t seem to be the hub of a major drug factory.
The last thing we needed, on top of all of our bad luck to date, was to find out a few weeks in to our contract that we lived with Pablo Escobar. Turns out, after a misunderstanding between himself and a supplier in Taiwan, he sold women’s lingerie to local brothels.
He was neither a serial killer nor a drug dealer; he was just a black-market, sexy lingerie merchant.
Dinner was late, I kind of hoped to be back in bed by 10PM after a day of interviews, but we didn’t leave until 10.30PM and we were on the complete opposite end of town. Wednesday Addams joined us half way through the feast… kind of.
By joined, I mean she stood about three metres away from the table and glared at us from under her eyebrows.
THE NEXT, NEXT DAY…
I started a new job.
As a charity fundraiser it was my job to stop people in the street and ask them to ‘get on board’ and ‘give gifts from the heart’ to the multitude of ‘little Nemos’ that were being effectively hoovered up on the Great Barrier Reef.
Funnily enough, despite completely disagreeing with the way that the script slyly wrenched money from the trembling hands of the unsuspecting public, I was quite good at it. However, after two days I quit and trundled on home in floods of tears.
Yes, crying… again. There appears to be a theme here.
My plan was to return to Burt Avenue and start looking once again for a new job. But when we got there we were locked out and I believe this was the stick that broke the camel’s back.
Locked out, jobless, potentially homeless in less than three days and deflated, I hastily booked the next flight home with the last £700 to my name. I spent a day saying my goodbyes to friends that I now miss more than I ever could have imagined.
Okay I’m crying now, this is sad.
Bianca took me to the airport early on my date of departure and waved me off and I began to question whether I was really doing the right thing here. Had I actually tried hard enough to make Australia work?
When it came to boarding my flight I sobbed. I sobbed and I sobbed until my face was swollen and bright red and I think my fellow passengers thought I was dying of self induced asphyxiation.
Then it was over. The doubt just dissipated.
I spent twenty one hours in Singapore, three of which I spent on a free guided tour of the city organised by the airport. It was their 50th anniversary of independence and there were beautiful light displays everywhere. I especially loved driving through town and spotting old, historic pavilions standing right next to new age skyscrapers.
[During the big blog move I lost some of my photos – to see pictures from Singapore please visit Moomads_ on instragram!]
Singapore, on that layover, was not only the first South East Asian country I had yet to visit but also became one of the most interesting places I have ever been to.
Who knew gum was illegal in Singapore?!