27 Nov

For two months Charlotte and I worked the town of Esperance, Western Australia.  To set the scene, when we rolled into Esperance we had just driven 2700 kilometres from Adelaide.  I was $100 in debt to Charlotte and we were surviving on canned beans.  The last of my savings had gone to fix our car for the second time.  Needless to say, we were a bit worried.  The only thing worse than eating garbage for meals, would have been to call our parents and ask for a loan.   Fortunately we didn’t need to resort to either. A hotel pub in Esperance had emailed Charlotte and said they would possibly be looking for new bar staff.  Every night before going to sleep in Toby we petitioned to the backpacker gods, praying for this job.  Our call was answered and one evening, after eating a huge meal of cooked onions and beans and drinking our fair share of boxed red wine, we received a call from Wade, infamous bar manager of the Pier Hotel; the hottest spot in town . Wade asked us to come in for an interview with himself and the owner.  Despite our level of toxication and stench of onions, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.  We quickly freshened up in the McDonalds bathroom, and threw on some clothing that smelled least like campfire with the fewest crumbs stuck to it.

In our desperation to get a job, we obviously told Wade that we had plenty of bar experience.  Pouring a beer from a tap was a piece of cake and we were born with cocktails in our hands.  Apparently pumping beer into a keg cup at a college party and actually pouring beer from a tap are NOT the same thing.  So when Wade asked us to pour him a beer we were slightly embarrassed when foamy beer sprayed us all.  We’d been found out.  Immediately we told him that beer taps in America are much different from Australian taps.  Blaming odd habits and incorrect information on being American quickly became a go-to excuse for everything.  (It has worked shockingly well so far).  After spending about two hours at the pub on a work trial, we were sent home.  Wade informed us that he wasn’t sure he needed any staff at that time, but he would let us know.

That night we again crossed our fingers and dreamt of pay checks. Magically, the next day Wade called us. Apparently two girls had left suddenly and he needed us to start that night.  Prayers answered.  Or so we thought.

The two months we spent in Esperance were certainly an experience.  We worked with Irish, Scottish, Canadians, Estonians and British backpackers.  Our clientele were a strange array of alcoholics with names like Wombat and Filthy Phil.  On Thursdays and Saturdays we were tortured by screaming karaoke led by a woman who got progressively more drunk on Jack Daniels.  With each drink her voice became more painful and can only be compared to a buffalo being murdered while singing“I can see clearly now”.

   IMG_2345                               IMG_2350                                             IMG_2404

Overall it was an entirely horrible but thoroughly entertaining and completely unforgettable experience.


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