This weekend, [CM] and I went to check out the Katoomba area around the Blue Mountains. It’s quite the view, and the bushwalking there is extraordinary. There were a few setbacks at first: the trains stopped, and as a result, we got there a couple of hours late. But once we were there, we were there, and it was a good time.
CM and [Mayida] left on road trip to Melbourne today. The idea of “travel” is recently on my mind a lot because of Mayida. Maybe a bit of background information would help make things clearer.
Rewind to a couple of months ago.
Mayida, a friend of CM’s, plans to come to Sydney after finishing her teaching degree in British Columbia (Canada). Her plan: to find her own feet, and all that. She manages to secure a working holiday visa.
About a month and a half ago, she’s got the working holiday visa and a potential job in Melbourne.
However, she comes to Sydney because CM and I are here, and puts Melbourne as a backup plan. In an ideal scenario, she finds a good job in Sydney and stays around here.
So she comes to Sydney and moves in temporarily with CM and I (and our other 2 flatmates).
And then the problems start. I mentioned this in a previous post. Basically, while she’s staying at my apartment, she supposed to be looking for an apartment and a job.
However, for the majority of the time, she’s on her laptop watching television, or on skype calling family and friends back home.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The thing is, when you leave home, you also need to leave home behind. Not only that, but you need to be willing to work to build a new home.
And even if you don’t want to talk in terms of home, you need to think pragmatically in terms of where you are, what you have, and what needs to be done. Most likely, you are not in the middle of your support networks, you have nothing, and you have lots to do– because nobody can do it for you.
For some, it’s easier than for others. CM and I are global citizens– and perhaps that’s to the detriment of an opinion of Mayida, but we have high standards of what needs to be done when you land somewhere.
From the very outset, CM and I have endevaoured to assist, but not to spoonfeed.
Basically, if you’re going to travel, and by travel, I mean, go somewhere far away with the intention of being more than a tourist, you need to get your shit together.
CM in many ways feels more betrayed than I do that we spent so much time and effort on Mayida to get her set in Sydney. I’ve only known Mayida for a bit over a month– CM has a long history with her. It’s not so much that she chose Melbourne over Sydney that bothers us– it’s more simply that, for the time that we put into her to help her get started in Sydney, she took no advantage of it. We saw nothing but laziness and apathy from her.
She didn’t put any serious effort into working in Sydney at all. She barely even made efforts to look for her own apartment. Mayida comes from a generation of people that thinks that the convenience of the internet is a substitute for hard work and serious face time. She didn’t go places in person to hand out her resumes. I ended up going with her to check out apartments during my days off, and I even got her a really good job at the company I worked with. THe job she got wasn’t in education, but it’s still a pretty awesome job. The schedule was highly flexible, and it paid extremely well (much higher than north american standards).
After living with us for about a week, we eventually found an apartment that she liked. CM also went back with her the second time to give a second opinion and to pay the deposit. More or less handed an apartment and a job, it was not just up to Mayida to work on making her life better.
But instead of putting in efforts into findng a Sydney job, she spent her non-working time either calling home, watching television, or going clubbing.
Eventually, time came and went, and the window of opportunity for engaging the backup plan came up. So that’s what she did. Deciding that she didn’t like Sydney all that much, she went with the backup plan.
This was about a week ago. She left her luggage (something like 4 huge pieces of luggage, plus a few random bags of other things) at my apartment and took a plane to Melbourne, where she would check up on her backup plan job and try and find an apartment. She had a week of hosteling planned, and then she would come back to Sydney, pick up her luggage, and go on a road trip with CM and another friend to bring it all to Melbourne. (CM has two weeks off of med school for the midsemester break).
First few days in Melbourne? We got messages from Mayida, reporting from the beaches, catching some sun. She hadn’t yet started working on finding an apartment. Throughout the week, she’d spend time basically going through the same routine, with a bit more clubbing and beaching and shopping.
Now, I realize, it’s a new country– there are things to see. But you’re not in a set position, living out of hostels. CM was getting more and more stressed because Mayida would constnatly message us that she hadn’t yet found a place to stay.
Which compounds the amount of aggravation that CM feels towards Mayida. And, might I add, my own. Suppose Mayida doesn’t find an apartment by the time of the road trip– Mayida was scheduled to take a plane back to sydney to meet with CM and the friend. And CM is supposed to help drive everyone over.
Now, what’s in it for CM? She has 2 weeks off during the entire semester. 2 weeks where she has to balance out a bit of fun with a whole lot of reading to catch up for class. And she’s going to spend 1 of these weeks on a road trip to Melbourne? Where there might not even be an apartment to stay at on the other end, which would result in additional costs of hotels per night?
Somehow, by luck, Mayida manages to secure an apartment the day before her flight back to Sydney. Which sounds good, but there seem to be some issues with the size of the place… the way I look at this problem is that it’s what you get if you wait until the last minute. There are probably better places out there, but how would you know with such short time?
Anyways, on the whole, I guess I’m just annoyed that she ought to have been working harder.
CM actually exploded the other day on Mayida. I don’t know the details of exactly what was said, but in the end, they still headed out on the road trip today. CM and I toyed with the idea of her not going at all, but in the end– Mayida wouldn’t really be able to drive all the way to Melbourne safely on her own. A significant hole in the plan is that CM is the only of the two drivers that has experience with left-side driving (opposite to North America).
On the whole? I guess I’m a bit cross because. Partly because Mayida hasn’t learned anything while here, but mostly because she hasn’t just gotten her shit together. Over one month after first landing in Australia, she’s still trying to figure out the very very basics. Do I expect too much?
Despite it all, I hope that she some day proves that my judgement is too harsh. I do hope that some day, she’ll be an independant person.