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Sunshine, suds and snot in Salamanca Square.

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 27 January 2010 | Views [1233]

My beautiful house with jasmine flowering out the front.

My beautiful house with jasmine flowering out the front.

Isn't life amazing? Such a claim may seem like a great self-help book title, or that I've been watching too many nature documentaries again, but its the only way I can summarise my last week. I've gone from clueless and uncommitted to stable and settled in. And I can't say that I actually had any influence over the way things turned out. Merely showing up at the right time seems to have worked again.

Laura had booked us into the same hostel I hated when I first came to Hobart in February. I thought she had a cruel sense of humour, but the hostels popularity was proven by being the only place with beds available to us. This has more to do with Hobart's virtually absent backpacker facilities, than the swarms of travelers who just haven't shown up yet. Thankfully, my part time lover Fate intervened before I had spent a week sleeping with all my worldly possessions crammed in with me on a single bed top bunk.

Trev has quickly become my knight in shining armour, of the safari suit variety. Not only did he give me a room in his house, he gave me work at the bar that he manages. Firstly though, the house. Battery Point is the historic part of Hobart filled with artisan cottages that, by and large pre-date the Charleston. Topped by a shining beacon that is the St. Someone's cathedral spire, the suburb overlooks the lower class ranks that dip into a valley then shy away before the might of Mt. Wellington. The setting is picture book perfect, and successive sunny days have made liars out of me, and a certain taxi driver. Our 2 storey pad affords me a room almost twice the size of the eight bed extravaganza of privacy at the hostel. It's a 5 minute walk to work in Salamanca Square and a 10 minute skip, a far more interesting way to get around, into Hobart's half a block CBD.

Squires Bounty is one of 5 'concept bar's of James Squire's brewery that has forsaken better judgement to offer me employment. I wanted a role that provided more social interaction and bar work gives that out in spades. Interesting conversations abound during the middle of the day business. Slurred speech, blurry eyes and suspicious intent define the night time clientele. Long hours of friendly enthusiasm eventually takes its toll and pleasant chit-chat about the four seasons of weather in one day ends up being “Here's your beer, shut your face!” by the end of a 12 hour shift. By focusing on beer though, and not providing shots or cocktails, we ensure the ambitions of the patrons rarely surpass their ability. Serving suds is as simple as it comes and the 'fake it until you make it' stage would last a lot longer if we were required to learn a long list of umbrella-garnished garbage.

The learning curve for this new role hasn't been as littered with embarrassing and expensive lessons that other jobs have been in the past; bar one notable exception. I showed up to work with my sinuses feeling like my whole brain had moved there for a holiday and my lack of concentration was proving all higher functions were cancelled for the duration. 5 minutes after arriving I punished 3 glasses for not remaining precariously balanced on 2 fingers when the kitchen door slammed into my arm. A wine glass soon suffered a similar fate when the bar's owner caught me watching the cricket instead of working out ways to curtail my glass smashing fetish. He, and his sharp suited associate, thought they'd keep a closer eye on me by sitting at the bar. I rewarded their folly by covering them in beer foam when the end of the keg spurted into my glass like a water cannon. Other than demonstrating my strong disregard for people who seem to think money some how makes them better than other people, my flagrant distribution of beer keg confetti earned me the rest of the day off before I could do any more damage to the reputation of Squire's, bar staff and males in general.

My flu still lingers on, threatening to garnish all the beers I pour with a unhealthy dollop of snot. All good drinkers would continue to neck the amber fluids even if Satan squeezed it out of a boil on his bum right in front of them though. Thankfully, someone else just brews the stuff the traditional way and I love that the barman's job is to be a positive facilitator to an already enjoyable experience.


Tags: sunshine, work

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