A Travellerspoint blog

The sun is beating on Santa as his sled is stuck in the sand

An unusal way to spend Christmas, at least for this Viking...

sunny 30 °C

So I'm back on square one.

It's been almost a month since I last checked in here. A lot has happened in the past month. I don't even know where to begin.

Today is Christmas Eve. The day of celebration in Northern Europe, including my native Sweden. I'm used to spending this day with family. Inspite of my traveling over the last few years I've always had family around for Christmas. In Canada I had my brother over and I spent the holidays with my grandmother's cousins. All the other years I've managed to be back in the motherland over the season.

Now I find myself without family, on the other side of the world, where there is no snow, in the middle of summer. You can see I'm confused. They say you lose that special Christmas "feeling" the older you get. This time though it has nothing to do with my age, but rather the fact that I'm in summer mode. Santa's not supposed to come around when it's hot?

But I'm not sitting alone on this very special day. No, I'm at least having dinner with my housemate and an exchange of gifts. Hope the exchange happens tonight, as that is the tradition I'm used to.

My housemate has put on Christmas carols on vinyl whilst cooking and baking. She's doing everything she can to bring me some Christmas spirit, quite admirable, but possibly in vain.

Maybe I'm just too old, maybe it's the fact that I'm too far from family, or maybe I just don't like the idea of celebrating the birth of some religious figure over 2000 years ago. Personally I'd rather celebrate the winter/summer solstice, just like the people of old used to do, what Christmas was later based upon and replaced.

I didn't start this entry to spark a religious debate however. Each to his own faith, and I don't care, as long as you don't try to shove your beliefs down my throat.

The festive season aside, I now find myself in a position similar to where I started off in this country. However I'm sitting on a whole lot more experience, with more friends and knowledge of the city. I've added the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate to my CV, and find myself looking for jobs in the hospitality business. Apparently the best time of the year to get into that field.

Yes, I left my old job. Nothing was coming from it anymore, and my attitude towards face to face marketing had dropped to an all-time low. I gained a lot of experience from it though, and wouldn't have it undone, I gained even more confidence and skyrocketed my social skills to a whole new level. Something that will be useful to me no matter what I get up to.

I will try to make a post about the upcoming year and my plans in the next week, as I have plenty of things to say. Not only about my own plans but also the fact that we are entering a year that has been talked about and anticipated for a very long time, we are entering the year 2012, the year the Mayan calendar ends, whatever implications that has.

For now I will leave you, and let you get back to your Christmas celebrations.

Merry Christmas everybody.
God Jul allesamman.

Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 22:16 Archived in Australia Tagged christmas xmas beppe_karlsson christmas_down_under Comments (0)

I'm dreaming of a warm Christmas...

Viking confusion and snow illusion

While Egypt is once again in disorder, and American police are physically abusing the peaceful "Occupy" protestors, life goes on as usual in the land down under. Or does it?

Even Melbourne got it's taste of the occupy movement, although far less covered by international press. It too has felt the brute force of frightened government forces beat down on peaceful people merely speaking up for a fair system, one that will benefit not only the rich of this world, but also the poor and middle class.

At times it feels like this whole world is shaking at it's core, that big things are afoot, and the lack of proper media coverage is further proof that we are being kept under control by the three powers of state: politics, police and press. They are terrified of what might happen, and to everyone that hasn't read up about the so called "protestors without a cause" I strongly urge you to do so, in fact they do have a cause, and it is a very just one.

Apart from all of this I am getting more and more confused the closer we get to Christmas. I have never before celebrated Christmas in a warm place and I keep thinking it's June/July at the time being, not the end of November. What makes it even more confusing is that Australians celebrate Christmas as though it was cold; the decorations are still all the same as in the Northern hemisphere. You see shopping windows decorated with the usual: Santa Claus, Christmas trees, presents and candy; and it all lies on a nice, white bed of fake snow.

xmas_tree_ballarat.jpg

Ok, it's not entirely true that Australians celebrate like it's cold; apparently it is quite common to have a barbecue at Christmas and go to the beach for a swim. How confusing is all this for someone who has spent his entire life in the cold, far North stretches of this world? The furthest South I've been for Christmas would be Calgary, Canada or Paris, France; and let me tell you: I was really confused about the "heat" of Parisian Christmas, it was warm enough to wear only a thin jacket.

Time goes by, and I have now spent over four months away from home. Though, this road I'm on is my home. I don't even feel like I've been away for that long. I am starting to feel slightly restless however; I've given Melbourne three months so far, and I've loved my time here, inspite some minor difficulties with my previous job and the flow of cash that is unfortunately necessary for this experience we call life.

My new job brought me to the old mining town of Ballarat a couple of weeks ago, after an initial confusion because our sites were messed up, we finally settled into the rythm of Ballarodents and were able to do a fairly decent job, building the team and earning some dough.

Ballarat.jpg

Unfortunately when you work for a sales and marketing company they tend to get over confident when the team does well, and throw in a bunch of new people to expand, resulting in a 100% increase in staff. This means the foundation that the core of the team stands on is being rocked and we all lose our footing. This in combination with the interesting observation that people tend to have a slump-week right after a road trip meant a tight week for yours truly. I also had a slight argument with one of the owners of the company as he wanted me to work six days a week, because that's apparently what leaders do. I told him, without hesitation, that I did not come to Australia to work six days a week; I came here for play. He wasn't too happy about that, but I don't really care. As always, I have job offers to call in case I need a new one.

So, who knows, maybe once again I will be looking ahead at a time of changes. Fine by me; I tend to thrive when things change quickly.

For now I will stick to what I do, and see what the future has in store for me when I cross that bridge.

Beppe Karlsson, Melbourne.

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 15:19 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne australia ballarat Comments (0)

Two psychos, one week and a million challenges

The trying times

There, the time I knew would come has descended upon me. I am broke, with only a few dollars to my name. My Australian bank account is empty, my Norwegian account has been drained since my week in Bendigo and now even my Swedish emergency funds have been spent. I am living on a tight budget.

I'm just facing one challenge after the other while still trying to live a normal life of hanging out with friends and doing new things.

It has now come to the point where I don't even react to the negatives, I just don't care anymore. I am not surprised when the troubles stack up against me.

In fact, I welcome the challenges, for I will only come out stronger in the end. I'm not even worried as I know I can and will make it. I get a small pay for my first few days with my current job tonight and I will make that last me for the next week.

This past week has been an interesting one to say the least. I have gathered confidence in my new job, I have gathered faith and belief in what I am doing. I have regained my belief in myself. I have officially been promoted to site leader. Once more, but at least this time leadership actually means I will make more money and get overrides straight away.

On Thursday night after work I went to Flinders Street to change trains, there I ran into a bunch of the people from the charities division at my old job and I stayed and talked to them for a while.

They all went home and in the end it was just me and Sam left. We were just talking about this and that when a guy walks by with a little German shepherd puppy on a leash. Sam does the typical girl thing and goes "Aaww, that is sooo cute!"

Apparently the guy didn't like that as he gave us a full on psychopath stare saying: "Don't get too excited!" Over and over again while backing away from us, not looking where he was going. He backed into an old man who was looking at the time tables screen.

The weird psycho guy started blaming the old man for being in his way, pushed him, then kicked him and finally hit him right on the nose sending the old man flying towards the ground, and then finished the attack with another punch while the man was laying on the ground.

As the old man was mid air I started towards the scene, I just couldn't stand by as an old man was getting beaten for no reason what so ever, not that I know what I would've done. Mid stride I looked over my shoulder and saw two security guards running towards the scene full speed and another two coming from a different direction so I stopped.

The police arrived soon after and started taking testimonies from the onlookers and the people involved. I hope they put this psycho back in the mental institution where he belongs.

Next weirdo I ran into was a big fat guy with an ugly hat two days later.

I was in a bar in Belgrave with Dan, working on our plan of attack and how we were going to build our channel up to a very successful one. I got a phone call from Josh and as I'm talking Dan keeps on writing and I look behind Dan, noticing some guy starring at me. He said something I couldn't hear so I said: "Sorry, what did you say?"

"Put down the phone, are you deaf or something!" He said, furiously standing up and walked towards us.

I was completely taken aback by this sudden hostility and had no idea what to respond.

"Don't come here and talk on your phones and..." The psycho went on, as he grabbed our paperwork and threw it on the ground. Then he grabbed our beers and poured them out. The next thing he grabbed was my cigarettes. It all happened so fast I didn't have time to react. But I surprised myself with the calm in my voice when I told him to put my cigarettes back on the table. He proceeded to throw them at me, grabbing our now empty glasses and walked off.

I blinked once or twice, then the rage came over me. The adrenaline started pumping through my veins, I tried to shout but I was too angry to make any other sound than a few stifled grunts and a low pitched roar.

Soon I started pacing around, Dan was a lot calmer and lead us back up to the bar. We came across some girls that had seen the whole thing and came with us in to the bar, backing our story up as we told it to the bartender. Well, Dan did most of the talking as I was shaking with fury and had a really difficult time even speaking at all. I was taken over by bloodlust, I wanted to unleash three-four weeks of aggravation onto his face. In short, I wanted to beat him to death. Luckily I was too angry to move when I saw him.

The guy ended up getting kicked out, on his way out he gave us one final threat. Then he was gone, only leaving the memory and a hightened adrenaline level in my blood.

Me and Dan went back to our planning, then we went to his parents place and drank a bottle of bourbon before passing out around midnight.

This shows the contrast of the people you meet while travelling, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some people you come across along the road are simply amazing and inspirational, while others are simply the biggest idiots you will ever come across. They might attack you unprovoced, but third time's the charm and if it happens again I will be prepared.

Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 02:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A new beginning

After the storm

So far my stay here in Melbourne has been interesting to say the least. I went on an extreme rollercoaster ride with my previous job, a high cancellation rate lead me to not get paid the amount I was expecting. This in turn made me lose the drive and motivation to work, and so a downward spiral began. It hit it's absolute bottom last sunday as I was struggling to even stop people, I just didn't see the point since everyone was going to cancel anyways.

Once the phone call was over and I was no longer working that job I felt everything slow down around me. All of a sudden it felt like I was standing on steady ground for the first time in weeks. I no longer felt as if I was sinking.

I wasn't worried about being unemployed, I already had two offers and felt like I could take on the world. I was starting to get back on track. Life had returned to me, and I was finally free to do what I was meant to do: write.

I contacted Dan about the job as all of you guys know if you've followed my blog. I ended up getting the job and finding out about the extremely interesting plans that they have for me.

I've already made the posts about my previous and new job so I wont waste any more letters on that topic, instead I'd like to write about this new feeling I have. I feel like I am back on track again. I am doing what I was supposed to.

I am still broke until tomorrow, then I will finally receive the pay from my old job.

I had to hit rock bottom to get back up, I had to get broke and fall off the horse. I am now on steadier legs, more experienced and more determined for success. I see an excellent opportunity, and I am most definitely going to grab it. Everything is moving a little slower, I am still not fully recovered but I am getting closer. Things are falling into place again and I will soon rock this town like I was meant to.

You know that feeling you have deep inside of you when things are turning around. Like the dawn after a crazy storm. Everything is chaos, but it's quiet. A stark contrast to last night's carnage. The rebuild begins, carefully at first, but soon you find yourself back to normal, only stronger.

That is where I am now, I am starting to feel normal again. I got off the sinking ship when the storm was the hardest and I managed to get my feet on solid ground. Though I was shipwrecked on a deserted island. With smoke signals I made my presence known to a passing ship and was taken aboard their vessel. With unsteady legs at first, but I am regaining my strength of old.

Ok, enough of these gay sailor expressions. I am doing awesome, that is all you need to know.

I'll get back to y'all once I have some cool photos to share.

Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 01:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Don't mess with the Berserk

Anger and lust for vengence

I'm not usually a fan of throwing my thoughts out there while under the influence of alcohol and anger, filled with testosterone pumping through my veins, I always sigh when I see people spreading their drama queen updates, but I will make an exception this time.

As you guys may or may not already know I am no longer with my old company: Zest Marketing. I never named the company before, I didn't feel the need to and I also did not want to drag them in the dirt. But I feel that they've stepped over a few too many lines by now and the scale has tipped out of their favor. So I've decided to expose them with all their lies.

Today was supposed to be pay day, I wasn't expecting a fat check, especially since my previous ones had been rediculously thin. But I was expecting to get at least something. So imagine my surprise as I made a balance inquiry on the atm at Melbourne central, just to be able to figure out my budget for the next week, when it said that no money had been transferred into my account. Imagine the anger that followed. Well, if you don't know me well you wont know the rage that I am capable of, but if you do know me you would know that it was a lucky thing that none of the people responsible for my upset were anywhere near. Because I would've ripped their heads off with my bare hands.

As I was sitting on the train going back to my place I was fighting off the the thoughts and worries about what I was going to do about my current situation, how I was going to be able to go out on the weekend, or pay rent. Or no, fuck it, how I was going to eat?!? With almost no money in the bank I'm almost as poor as the kids I'm currently trying to free from poverty.

It wasn't that hard to fight it off, all those thoughts were replaced by a rage you cannot imagine, unless you've seen me go full on viking berserk before. The only thing I could see for my mind's eye was blood, the blood of all the liars that fed me the bullshit from day one. I am still in berserk mode, and luckily nothing is here to piss me off and take the blame for it. I have the house to myself for the night as my house mate is out partying, something that I wont be able to do this week.

Basically I have spent over a month at a job that ended up costing me more money than I made while at the same time taking me away from all my free time.

But guess what, now I am free and able to write again, and this little adventure is going to cost you more than it did me. I am determined to take Zest down, brick by brick, and build my own palace with it. You have just made an enemy you didn't know would be this bad. Do not ever mess with a viking berserk, the rage and blood-lust is far from what you can deal with.

Luckily I already have a new job. To be honest I was already flirting with this job before I left Zest. The channel manager head hunted me while working and we stayed in touch. It just so happens to be with a rivalling company, and a newly started charity, with awesome potential for growth and expansion. On a level that Zest only tells you in their lying schemes to make you work harder for a fluffy dream that you can chase but never catch.

The plan is for me to become the CM's right hand man and to be running my own team by next week.

I went in for my observation day yesterday saying I wasn't going to do any observation, I intended to make it my first day. It ended up making me $200. Today was my first official day and I started the day off by holding the training for the team.

This whole ordeal has only made me so determined to succeed that nothing can stop me now. I am extremely excited and curious as to what I can accomplish with this new job and the opportunity I've sniffed out.

Now I need to get some sleep so I can go in for work tomorrow and show the world what vikings are made of.

Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 05:11 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne zest_marketing Comments (0)

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