Saturday, May 31, 2014

Musical journey (46)

You might not be aware of this but I have been given a 12-month stint working in several oil and gas plants in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) on a 28 days on/28 days off rotation. I originally baulked at the idea of working 28 days non-stop for 12 hours a day but the lure of having the next 28 days off while on full pay (at about a 50% higher rate) is too strong to pass off especially when work is so scarce in Melbourne right now. It felt so good when the boss announced at the department meeting that I have been given this role. What a morale-booster for me to think that I am finally not seen as a under-performer in the office!

However the negativity in me strikes again—who knows what will happen at the end of the 12 months? That's why I intend to impress the pants off the client while on the job so that I have the best chances of a contract-extension should there still be no Melbourne work (or elsewhere) at the end of this stint. By the way London has finally decided to hire but that has to be put on hold because I committed to the PNG deal first, much to Ision's dismay. Anyway there is enough work in London to require me there for the next 5 years (that's what I have been told) and the London manager is happy to get me back when PNG ends. So we shall all watch this space.

PNG visa-application is underway at the moment and that takes about 2 - 4 months (talk about red tape and inefficiency!) which means that I am going to bid my boo farewell some time between July to September. He will surely survive without me as this is not the first time I am working away from home (it was Brisbane the last time round). What will sorely be missed though is the comfort of living in a nice developed city like Melbourne in an area where everything you could possibly want is just a stone's throw away, not to mention the lively busking scene featuring some very good talents in Australia.

Speaking of busking, I finally got a taste of it recently. While waiting for a late friend for dinner, I plucked up the courage to ask if I could sing and sang I did, not one but three songs. In hindsight I should not have given her money because I did earn her some when I was singing. She is a wandering performer with no fixed location but I will surely do the same thing should I meet her again. It was both relaxing and exhilarating singing on the streets in front of a group of people. The mix of emotions is a little hard to describe but suffice to say it gave me further confirmation that busking is what I want to do. If only I am not that lazy and actually put in the effort to pin down a willing instrumentalist for real! I know the PNG thing should not be a hindrance to this desire but I have a strong inkling it will...

Anyway in the meantime, this is what happened that night when I sang along Bourke Street for the first time.


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