Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (6)

Welcome back to my blog, and my apologies for the lack of updates lately. My life was exceptionally boring for a while leading up the Australian Grand Prix. People would ask me what I would do with my day, and the simplest way to explain it is like this. Imagine you have no home, no personal space, and no disposal income. What would you do? I've choosen to focus on things that I can do for free such as reading, photography, running and spending a lot of time on the free wifi at librarys across Melbourne. Given that I spent a few weeks in this money saving mode without doing a whole lot, I decided to save you from having to read about it till now.

On March 24 everything changed as I began my final preparations for my first job in Australia; working at the Formula 1 race in Albert Park. The day before I got all my work clothes arranged, figured out how long it would take to get to work, etc. I was also hoping to get my work schedule that day, but it never arrived.

On March 25 I awoke at 4:15am, and slowly made the walk to work while noticing a few too many people who were just completing their evenings. At this point I had no credentials to get into the site and didn't know exactly when I was supposed to start work. After being refused entry to the site, I hung around to see if anyone else would be coming through. Finally some people came in, and eventually I figured out that I wasn't supposed to start work till 7:30am. Ugh. However, about 2 minutes later it became appearent that someone who was to begin at 5:30am did not show and I was allocated his shift. I worked in the car park (you know those guys with the vests and wands) until 2pm, which was extended to 3pm. After that I went back for more hours and was sent to work on a grandstand on the front straight. At 7pm my day of work concluded so I wandered home, had a bite to eat and went to bed to do it all over again in the morning.

Friday was nearly a carbon copy of Thursday and I worked from 5:30am-6:45pm. I did get to visit a few new places of the circuit and even agreed to more shifts for the weekend.

By Saturday, I had become an 'expert' (but so had everyone else) at working in the car park so I was given shifts for the remainder of the weekend in this location. On Saturday I was also supposed to work as a spruker (talking into a megaphone), but after breathing in dust for two days I woke up on Saturday without the ability to speak. My voice had completely abandonned me so I only ended up working in the car park until 2pm. This turned out to be a blessing because I got the afternoon off to watch the Formula 1 qualifying, the V8 Supercars, tour the circuit and watch Powderfinger perform live. I got to do this all for free because of my employment status. Definitely a nice perk.

By Sunday, my body was near shutting down due to the illness I was battling along with various ailments that developed due to standing for 3 straight days. On top of that, I discovered that my shift for Sunday was scheduled from 5:30am-6:30pm. This wasn't going to work for two reasons. First of all, I was going to fall over at any moment. Secondly, I really wanted to see the race which started at 5:00pm. Luckily someone was able to cover the back half of my shift and I got to attend the race after all. I met up with a friend that I had made while working and we watched the race from the Schumacher grandstand. This gave us a great view of Turn 13-16. Despite some sketchy weather to begin (causing the race to begin behind a safety car) the race went off without any major problems. It was great just to be in attendence for an event of this size.

Following the race, the controlled invasion of the track began. Despite the agony I was in, I had to go walk down the main straight because I never knew if I was going to be able to do it again. Here are some of the sights we saw.

All in all, I had an amazing weekend. The people that I met while working the car park were amazing. The friendships that I made would have been enough to make the weekend worthwhile, but I also got paid and free entry to the Grand Prix. It's too bad I'm not legally allowed to come back and do it all over again next year.


To give you an idea how bad my foot had gotten, have a look at this picture and try to spot how many things are wrong.

1 comment:

  1. So all was good until you showed us your toe. Credit for the warning though. Take care of yourself. Go Tiger!!!