Sunday, April 3, 2016

Surviving a hostel in your early 30s.

If moving across the country Perth to Melbourne wasn't already a big deal, rocking up with no job, no home and only a bunch of friends. Living in a hostel long term is possibly one of the hardest things I've had to manage in my life.

After years of backpacking and room sharing around the world, you come to appreciate the true happiness of your own bedroom. Even if you do share it with a partner, you still have a space you can go to. 

But it seems I've gone back in time and I'm now living in a dorm with 6 others. It's a 6 person dorm, but there is a couple on the bed below me. I know they are a couple because sometimes the bed shakes in a particular way. I think they are trying for a baby.

On that note, its got me thinking. How does a young couple get physical or intimate in a room with 6 other people and someone sleeping on the bunk above them. I thought at one point he may have been pleasuring her with his fingers. I tell you why. The bed wasn't moving but she was moaning. I was debating if I should leave the room. Five minutes later I realised she was just snoring, not moaning. Not something I am particularly subject to often. My last housemate used to make a weird loud breathing sound that could be heard down the road. So my experience with "lady noises" is limited.

Further to that. How does one person satisfy themselves when there are people always around. And there is no privacy in the shower blocks, if it came to that. The doors don't even lock. Is there something I'm missing, something I'm not quite getting. 

I've not had a solid sleep in this room for the last two weeks. The light in the hallway outside the room seems to be one of those spotlights farmers use when they hunt Kangaroos. I wake in the middle of the night having abolutly no idea if it's night or day. 

There is no storage space in the room. And in my great wisdom, I brought two cases with me both about 70 litres or 25 kg. I realise I could have come over with the second load later down the road. But instead I brought everything with me. My entire life. I'm too embarrassed to open them, so I've been rotating through a pile of clothes I just keep washing and wearing.

As I'm new to this big city, and unlike Perth, there is a whole heap of stuff to do that's close to the CBD or heaven forbid actually in the CBD. As such, I venture out during the day discovering new places, and things to do as well as looking for jobs or places to live. And even though it is expensive to stay in this hostel, I don't understand why there is this one girl who stays in the hostel for the most part of the day. 

I mean, she is from the UK and must be on a backpacking holiday. So how can you justify being in a new city half way around the world and not be want to venture out. If you ask me, this trip is wasted on her. You could do this in your own home town. Not that I'm going to offer to share some of what Melbourne has to offer.

I even went to the hostel bar the other night. The last time I was in a hostel with no friends that's how I managed to make friends. But turns out being the old guys at a bar is not a way of meeting people. I think the best way for someone of my age is to sit out the front of the hostel on the street with a cigarette. 

So how do I survive living in a hostel long term as a 32 year old guy? I'm not. Each day I dream of the day I can move into a home. That or the couple below me invite me down...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Indirectly being called old

There is something about ageing. Some people embrace it, some really don’t. I think I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’m denying age by way of pretending I can still party all night long and ride down hill in a shopping trolley after a few too many at the pub. I’m also kidding myself that I can put away that block of chocolate I just ate and think it wont matter.

Then on the other hand I’m completely looking forward to all the things I dreamt of when I was wanting to grow up: children, a home, a fancy car and holidays whenever I want. I also realise that neither of those options of growing old is realistic.

I know the days go quicker. I know I get tired more often. I know I like my early mornings. And I know people now call me “Sir”. I hate, no I despise being called sir. And that is the sole reason I’m not a fan of growing old. Well that was at least until I was called “hun” by who can only be described as, pubescent.

I can only assume this is for women what “mate” is to men. And I feel a little connection to the lovely old lady behind the counter in a shop or bar. She’s earned that respect and connection. But damned if I’ll let someone younger call me “hun”.

Don’t get me wrong I was brought up with values and manners and all that. So I understand that by appearance I would now be classed as an “old guy”, in turn should be called “Sir”. I mean I remember thinking anyone at least 5 years or older than me when I was in high school was old. Let alone someone my parent’s age.

But I challenge those that think it’s cute or fun to call people “hun” or “sir” that aren’t at least Sir Michael Cane’s age, to think about how they might feel indirectly being called old.

There should be an unwritten rule to say anyone over or nearing the age of retirement can call someone “hun”. And anyone over or knocking on the door of retirement can be called “Sir”.

Even though I’m now ticking the next box related to my age group, I am by no means knocking on any door of retirement. As such, I don’t want to be reminded of the box I just ticked by way of calling me “hun”.

But I’m not completely against the idea of calling me Sir. Let’s be honest one day I’ll be Sir Jason Cook for my services to the country in being an old grumpy fart.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Checking in on London

It has been four years since the last time I was on a long distance plane ride. Four years since I was in another country, four years since I was in the UK and for years since I saw some amazing friends. And after about 30 hours flying I touched down on UK soil once again for some fun and games. 

The main reason I am here is for a wedding. You might say the wedding of the century. And as it will be the first wedding I will have ever been to I am going to class it as the wedding not only of the century but for the last couple of centuries. 

An almost 30 year old man and never been to a wedding you are asking yourselves? Well I blame my friends, get your lives together. 

So I want to talk about differences. Differences from the UK to Australia. The kind of things you would think, 'we'll gee whizz how have they not got/done this already'? 

Now for those many of you whom have already lived in the UK been to the UK or watch enough East Enders will know a lot of this will have already crossed your minds. But I feel it still warrants mentioning. 

Alcohol and places that sell alcohol. 

What I love is I can go into almost any grocery store and corner store and get myself a little bottle of something something. 

I had nipped in to Marks and Spencer on the way to get a train to Manchester to see my good old roomy I'd lived with in France. Inside I thought I'd also check out the booze section, I'm on holiday and felt like a little tipple. 

There on the shelf in front of me was purely the greatest invention I've ever seen. A wine glass filled with red wine only to be covered with a thin foil around the top. The kind of foil lid you would find on a yoghurt or jar of instant coffee. 

I've seen the bottle with glass attached to the lid but something so simple as a foil lid so all you have to do is tare and drink. Genius.

Why does Australia not have that already. When we can actually purchase booze from the grocery store then maybe, just maybe.

But fear not. Australia has one to make this 'who is better' more even. 

We have a simple name for a black coffee. I like to enjoy the taste of freshly made espresso, I don't like to spoil it with milks and sugars and flavours. And us simple folk call a black coffee with hot water a 'long black'. Simple. You know exactly what you are getting.

But here in this grey country they call it an Americano. WHAT? It has nothing to do with what it is. I will investigate this and come to a more educated decision by the next blog for y'all.

If you would like to follow the visual beauty of my journey hit me up on Instagram. @Jdog111

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What makes an amazing cup of coffee phenomenal?

This is a little taste from my coffee blog I write. Head over and read the full column here.

"I spent weeks… Okay I spent about a monthtrying different café’s. Café’s at different times of the day when the baristachanged over. I compared them against each other on price, taste, service andconversation. Then I went back and tried them again just to make sure.

After my month of intense testing, I foundit. I was able to drink coffee again. Coffee that was everything I ever wantedin a cup. But there was something missing. That amazing cup of coffee wasn’tphenomenal and I couldn’t figure out why."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When music was cool...

Two things happened at work today. Firstly Stevo was cranking some absolute classics and secondly James managed to find some old school music where you can almost hear the vinyl crackling away. Without talking about the second thing I wanted to ponder the first thing a little more.

It got me thinking, when was the last time you actually enjoyed music? When was the last time you got home from a long day at the office/classroom/sports field, etc. Lay on your bed, lit a cigarette (change that to suit what ever you do when you aren't doing anything) and enjoyed a whole album for what it is?

It was a question I just really didn't know the answer to. And with having absolutely no music background or understanding of the recording industry, I took to the professionals. Dead Set Radio (DSR), who have just released their debut EP 'Resigned to this Fate'. They know the music making process and now they know the process of putting it on a cd for all to hear.

Sam from DSR tells me he still does it when there is a good album. The last time he did it was with the White Stripes album, listening contently beginning to end.

"The writing process is a bit more disjointed, they just want to get a single out each time. Instead of writing a whole album with a flow from one song to the next. It's more we'll write the good song that goes on the video then we'll write the filler songs until the next good song, so there isn't really the flow between them.

"When you listen to an album it's very start stop so it doesn't matter if you have it on shuffle or not as they are very stand alone things. Where as back then it was more about the album than about the song, as it wasn't about the singles thing." He said.

So what I got from that was its no longer about the music. Its about getting the hit single out. And Sam was quick to add that when DSR release their LP, giving it a story and flow will be important. Something they tried even with their EP.

Zemya DSR's lead vocalist said there are some bands that still theme their albums like "Green Day has a story to all their stuff".

So while I have no grounds to say what I am about to say I feel I am able to make comment as someone who enjoys music, someone who listens to music and can walk down a street whistling the tune.

Don't get into music if you aren't interested in it. I think that is ultimately what it has come down to. People are getting into music banking on their good looks or voice. But when the push comes to shove (I tried to think of something more music related to put there, but no such luck), they are singing someone else's music to push out a hit that will make a bit of money and get them a nice car and a house.

So I challenge you music artists that aren't in it for the love. Remember why you got into music. Put some effort in and think back to the days when music was more important than life itself. Put an album out that tells a story from beginning to end. Where the songs flow and the lyrics paint a mental image.

And that, on behalf of anyone else who feels the same is all I have to say about music and those that make it.

Stop making shit music.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Game Of Dating

This week as part of a project I set up myself an online dating profile. Not to actually get a date but just to see what hits I would get, if at all.

The whole idea comes from something I saw on breakfast television, where a lady in her late 30s was told she basically had no chance at getting a guy as no one her age was interested in an old lady (story here). HARSH! While she was no MILF, she isn't too bad and I'm sure someone would give her a go.

Now what I want to do is point out how much online dating is SO HARD. I spend over an hour setting up my profile. Not only did it ask what my name was it was asking everything you can think of. Are you an angry person, have you ever hit someone, what would your friends say you are like, do you like sex? Ummmmm I'd like to meet someone who isn't. It asked every possible question to find some compatibility with someone else. What they didn't ask was what coloured underwear I wore on Tuesday (I didn't...)

While this took forever to create for what will be a small and short project, it started to bring back some memories of the past. This year was the first year in a long time that I got back on the dating wagon. But the wheels fell off that wagon, and I'm still struggling to get them back on. May have something to do with the fact that I'm not a mechanic.

While I'm not a huge fan of online dating, it does however interest me because of its ease. And let's be honest I'm not so big on the bar scene anymore which hinders my chances of finding someone at a club. And my friend circle is too small to get hooked up with a friend of a friend. So I thought I'd ask around and see how many other people have had luck with online dating.


Yep one person who found love online is still in that relationship. So while it may be easier to find someone, it's just as hard to make them hang around. However, they seem smitten and as happy as can be.

But the odds aren't in my favour to endeavour into the online dating world head frist. I'm sure there is a joke there. So I'm going to stick to the old fashioned way and try and meet someone face to face. Not that it's any easier.

However meeting someone face to face the first time has clearly added the to longevity of relationships with my research. Sure I posted it on Facebook and got two replies. Not the point. My studies have shown that the worlds population is in favour of meeting people normally face to face for long term relationships.

But I'll have to keep you posted on that one. Don't hold your breath though.