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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

The Bundy Experience Continues...

Updated: May 30, 2022

Ang's Poem...

We’re all in the same boat,

Just out of money.

But kick back in Bundy,

Enjoy yourself, hunny.

So when you’re down and out,

Don’t just say fuck it.

Cuz now it’s your turn,

To reign with the bucket.

Written by Angela Byles

I learned a lot of new words during my year in Oz. I can’t say I insert any of these into my every day conversations… but they definitely

added a little spice to speech while down under.

Sickie - day off work

Dunny - outhouse

Maccas - McDonald's

Bickies - cookies

Togs -swim suit

Ute - Truck

Bottle shop

Grog - alcohol

We all have the tendency to be idiots when we're younger. Add alcohol and that percentage skyrockets...

We got caught stealing slushies.

We might have been 'slightly' intoxicated...

Afterwards, of course, we claimed it was all a conspiracy... and we'd been set up... but regardless, we were barred.

Funny thing, they also blamed Ang...and she wasn't even there.

She wasn't impressed with us.

Ang's poem...

"Jo and Sarah went to Hungry Bum and they burst the bubble.

Her and Sarah caused shit, and I got in trouble."

In our defence, we were just borrowing slushies.

FULL intention of returning them once we'd finished with them.

Sundays were the best.

We would clean the bathrooms & shower in order to reduce our monthly rent.

Sarah and I would often steal a little bit of food from everyone's container in the communal fridge and make a big pot of chilli. We would then share it with everyone, cuz we were so nice.

Chili on a rice cake became one of our staples.

My recipe written in my journal:

  • Soup (cans and powder)

  • Salsa

  • Refried Beans / Lima Beans / Chili Beans / Kidney Beans

  • Chick Peas

  • Lentils

  • Vegetables - celery, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, capsicums, button squash, peas, beans, onions, pumpkin...

  • Herbs - curry, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic

  • Vitasoy

  • Tofu

Sound delightful...

Then we'd all laze around the common area and watch a few movies... and smoke.

Yep, Sundays were the BEST.

We all meet nuts on our journeys.

Australia was no exception for me.

Although... perhaps I was the 'nut' in someone else's story. Probably.

My nickname was Bottom Lip Jo.

Apparently... when I drink too much, I lose control of my bottom lip.

The hot song at the time was Cotten-Eyed Joe, and everyone took much delight in changing the words and singing them to me...

"Where did you come from? Where did you go?

What you been drinkin', Bottom Lip Jo?"

Probably more than one story!

I had the honour of meeting Michelle and Gloria.

Michelle fancied herself a bit of a fortune teller... and was convinced I was using Sarah for her marijuana. The fact that Sarah didn't have any and I didn't smoke it didn't deter her.

I also got temporary stuck with Gloria.

Gloria was overly concerned with my genuine well-being and immediate future.


It became borderline creepy when she would pull me out of the beer garden to lecture me, or wait up at the hostel until I was home safe.

I can't even remember all their names...but they were so fun.

Most of these guys were from New Zealand and all came over to Bundaberg to pick fruit... and party.

They certainly showed up at the right time and met the right crew to do the latter.

This was English Matt.

Matt LOVED U2... and absolutely fell IN LOVE with every single girl he ever met... for about 24 hours... until he met another girl.

We all adored him... but he was definitely an odd duck. One odd duck I wish we'd kept in contact with. It would be fun to see where in life he ended up!

My friend Roger came down to Australia with the intent of meeting up with me and traveling around. I was really excited… but only one thing stood in my way.

I think I had a total of about $7?


Come to think of it, I probably had less than that.

I’d been back in Bundy for a couple months by then, and that was the accumulation of my savings.

Unfortunately then, Roger was stuck in Bundaberg, picking fruit for a bit, while I desperately tried to save money while maintaining my socialite status.

This was our idea of "I promise not to spend money on booze" and "I promise to save my money.”

Bundaberg Memories ~ Straight from my memory book:

  • No money ~ promise to save and not spend money on booze... (only every now and then!)

  • S&P Exports ~ The Promisedland ~ tomato hell.

  • Ken's the boss. Bent over picking tomatoes like an ape - Ape Girl. Singing Christmas carols. "What time do we get to go home?"

  • Bucket Bitch. Bucket Queen ~ who gets next reign?

  • Blue smurfs in the rain. When it rained, they made up put on blue garbage bags and keep working.

  • Dave's big bottom lip - we called him Flipper. We were mean.

  • Peter didn't like the driver from the other hostel - he called him "Say no to Crack" and would take every opportunity to pass him on the road, and never let him pass us!

  • Drink your mouth and shut your piss!

  • Jewels excursions - they would drive us to the supermarket to load up.

  • The thing is though Ang, you're NOT sorry, are you? ~ Flipper to Ang when she was hanging out the window.

  • The commercials ~ "That's cheap for peaches! That is cheap for peaches!" ~ "How can you have chicken for breakfast? It's easy, my friend, it's called an egg. A real egg." ~ "He was a hog. He was a bad bad hog. He was a very very naughty, bad hog."

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