So picture the scene: I’ve been staying in Sydney Central YHA for seven nights, and already feeling a little bit bored of being in the heart of the city. I’ve had my Work N Holiday orientation and got super psyched for everything I could possibly get up to in the next 365 days. I’ve booked Surf Camp for Monday 3rd – Friday 7th November, a week after my arrival like I had always planned and with almost everyone else I flew out with. Naturally I updated my Facebook status, tweets AND EVEN my Snapchat story to show off about this.
You’re picturing the scene, yes?
So, Monday morning rolls around, and the joys of being a backpacker on a working holiday at this stage is that this doesn’t mean the start of another working week for me. No, today it means checking out of my hostel, waiting for the coach to take us to Surf Camp and then spending the next five days learning to surf.
Or at least it should have.
There I stood with the rest of my group and the others who had booked on, wondering who was going to be the best, but more importantly how 71 of us were going to fit on this one double-decker coach, and even if we did would it then have the capacity for all of our backpacks too?! (It did, just FYI.) As we pondered these very important issues the Surf Camp rep came around with a register and wristbands to grant us access on to the coach. (You might be able to see where this is heading.)
If all had gone to plan I would be writing this post from a surf board. Well maybe not, but I would be able to surf for one thing. As you’ve probably gathered by now things didn’t go to plan. Sad face. 😦
The long and short of it was Work N Holiday, who take care of all those bookings for us, had failed to book myself and seven others on to this weeks course. The really frustrating thing was that all eight of us were those who had originally paid for the course when we booked our trips in the UK. Pretty much all the others had booked it after our orientation the previous week, and as a result of a ‘one time only’ deal in order to fill up the course they’d all received a $100 discount.
Now, I am not a negative person, but to originally book the course ahead of everyone else and pay $595 for it, only for everyone else to not only pay $100 less than me, but to then go on the course on the week I had always planned to go and split me up from the group earlier than I had anticipated…well, let’s not beat around the bush it royally pissed me off.
After many apologies and a bit of advice from the Surf Camp rep the eight of us were left with all our luggage on the corner of Pitt Street with nowhere to sleep for the next four nights. It was a laugh or cry moment. And I’m not one to do things by halves, so I did both.
But like I say, I’m not a negative person, and I am adamant that I will not have one bad week while I’m out here. I only have 52 of them to do everything I want to do after all! So once we’d come to terms with the fact that we would not be spending the next five days at Surf Camp we trekked it down the road to the Work N Holiday office to see what their advice would be.
A tactic I’ve learnt off my dad is that going in, guns blazing like a raging bull in a china shop never works, and so calmly but firmly I explained the situation to the manager of Work N Holiday, who was extremely apologetic and arranged for a member of staff to sort us four nights of accommodation all together. The apologies didn’t make it OK, but they understood it was their mistake and did inform us of how to make an official complaint should we want to. So after an hour or so of frantic calls made by Work N Holiday we were informed that the eight of us would be staying in Noah’s Bondi Beach Backpacker Hostel. Four nights in Bondi Beach was not to be sniffed at! There was a silver lining after all!
And so this week I haven’t learnt to surf. I haven’t spent every day on the beach. I have had to spend some money, as opposed to the all expenses paid for week I’d anticipated.
But! I’ve had a few nice days by the beach. I’ve got ahead on the job front, and now have an interview on Monday! I’ve had the chance to catch up on blogs…might not seem important to you but this blog is very close to my heart. I’ve had the chance to face my first challenging situation, and dealing with things not going according to plan. (I’m not particularly renowned for spontaneity so this has to work in my favour somehow!)
And most importantly of all, I got to have a barbeque by Bondi Beach!