Living in Yulara means you have limited access to entertainment. Don’t dream about watching movie at cinema, having bobba, going to a fancy club, or at least have Maccas as dinner T^T. You need to find yourself the activities you are comfortable to, and….friends. For an ambivert like me; I was actually quite slow to warm up in making new friends, I didn’t drink either (although social drinking culture in Australia is basic, I guess) and I still remember during the work induction, the counselor warned us not to vent out or talk about your heart easily to our ‘friends’ just in case they’re not really our friends. Yulara is such a small town and words can spread fast I worried. I built my barrier in a second after she spoke until good people came into my life.
In the first 2 to 3 weeks, I enjoyed the limited conversation at work. My first batch colleagues in Walpa were good, they taught me so many things and helped me whenever I needed them. Christine (leader), Sand, Harry, Silvina, Elisa, Paula, Lindsay and Adrian. Not long after that, I was moved to Pira Pool Bar as they opened a semi fine dining in winter.
I moved back to Walpa again because I was about to be trained as bartender. Sand and I switched our base lol, he was moved to Pira and he enjoyed it much. Paula and Lindsay were my first bar teachers and I was so grateful for them. Paula always reminded me to take my time, don’t stress; those were basic spells I needed. Lindsay… I was amazed by her bartending skill and when she was teaching me, she trusted me. I remember Lindsay were letting me making cocktails (with beginner pace) while she was busy covering the other drink orders. With trust from her, I was be able to learn the cocktails comfortably and I didn’t want to take her trust for granted.
Vano is another Indonesian fella and he has such a tender and sensitive heart, which make him adorable. He understands what people need, he is a good listener and adviser, he is so open minded, he is just so kind. I enjoyed hugs from him, they were sincere and felt so comfortable. When he left Walpa, I cried a lot lol.
So many people left during my almost 7 months working there, people come and go for sure, including Elisa, Christine, and Harry. Elisa is such a small girl but she has such a strong energy. Working at Walpa was physically hard especially when you do the closing. I struggled a lot before but watching Elisa did everything without complain was kinda a slap in my face. Harry is the one who can help you right where you need it. I still remember I was so busy handling my section (and kinda stressed). He just finished making my drink and decided to help me deliver it to the table. It wasn’t his job as bartender and he had to be in the bar, he was busy too, but he HELPED me :'(
To me, Warren is a valuable asset to Walpa. He is excellent in customer service, a good bartender, and he is daaamnnn talkative (he can talk with customers and still make drinks perfectly!). Well, he’s American so he knows that service is number one. We share the same interests, such as nature, music, and astronomy. He knows a lot more than me though, in everything. I enjoyed when he tried to answer my question about geology, when he played the guitar, and when he told me a Greek mythology about stars. We watched the night sky a few times and he always inserted knowledge and made stargazing more interesting. He is a friend I’ll never forget.
Working with Voyages means you work with lots Indigenous people. Voyages encourages Indigenous people to study and work in hospitality. This is one of the reasons I came here as well, I really wanted to have Indigenous friends. Life is so kind to me, I got 3 veryyy good friends 😉
Talking about training, I was honored to train Miguel to run Pira Pool Bar alone. Miguel had almost zero knowledge in beverage world and I only had two days to train him. My God… never again I speak so much. In those two days, I even felt so tired just by talking lol! Miguel was an extraordinary learner. He was sooo eager to know this and that. He asked me a lot, he noted down a lot, he even asked me to do role play a lot HAHAHA. I had to pretend to be customer and he would practice with the EFTPOS machine. Now Miguel is an expert, I hope ;p.
Another one that I was pointed to do buddy-up with was Juriska, my Indonesian fellow who worked at Duxton after I left. She also expressed a few times that she admired my work and wanted to be like me. Well, even right now, whenever I asked about how she is doing, I hear nothing but good news. Good job, Riska, maybe you surpassed me ;).
There are 40++ nationalities in Voyages, I was happy to be able to know lots of people. Too many to share in this post but let me shout out my other close friends.
Sad that I didn’t see Neil on my last day nor my farewell. I will miss him so much. He was the one who rooted in my craft and wanted to support me in that, he boosted my confidence of being a woman, and he is so kind. He..is..so..kind.
Talking about roommate, I was so grateful to have Suri as my roommate. She’s a very kind and caring friend. She listened to my stories, she gave me food often lol, she even helped me cleaning when I was moving out. Will miss Surisuriii…
And oh, one more of my beloved fella..
I didn’t count how many times I hung out with him: late dinner, drinking, stargazing, simply talking, talking, and talking. I am amazed that even though we are close as friends, he still have that boss aura when he is working. He is another goddamn-younger-than-me fella and from what he knows, I can tell that he’s a smartass lol. It was always an interesting talk (sometimes debate) when we talk about life, religion, race, history, technology, whatever you name it. I cried a lot in front of him and cried more when he patted my head. He’s an annoying-kind-hearted guy. Miss you already, Rohan :'(
After almost 7 months working, I finally finished my last day together with Sand, Joshua, Denise, and Ivie. Yeaaa, 5 people quit at the same time.
I am so grateful to have known them :’). Working and living in Yulara taught me so many things. I experienced a lot and I treasure it so much. I will miss how the nature and the people made me feel. For all of those reasons, I THANK YOUUUUU.
At last, in Yulara, I also found my best friends yet it’s not the time yet to talk about it here.
On the 5th, we officially started our road trip that we have planned long time ago. More stories to come: happiness, excitement, quarrels but against all odds, our friendship grew stronger. Stay tuned ;).