Australia 1988

A year is a long time, it’s 52 weeks, remember. I must have seen John before 1989 as I went to Australia in 1988, to live, forever. Forever isn’t very long at all. The maximum length of script for Panteston I could get was 6 months, so that’s what I got. I also got a letter of introduction for specialist care.

After I got my Redundancy in 1987, hardly worth the effort I put in to that company, I made Head Boards for Waterbeds. I had my own division I built from me to a staff of 6 I think? I suppose my employer noticed I was the right stuff to train. They were good to me, they were excellent employers. I was just pissed off I lost my job for reasons beyond my control. They relocated to Auckland and my last task was to train my replacement. My employer had 2 factories and they were shutting down their Wellington branch, so they had all the people they needed.

‘sigh.’

1988 was Australia’s Bi-Centenary year, celebrated in September I think? I was on the Gold Coast by then in a bar with my uncles, that’s why I went to Brisbane I had family there. If I’d gone to Sydney I might have survived longer, but it was all going to fall apart anyway. I was ‘gun shy’ by then of all doctors.

I had my letter of introduction from John, I had my 6 month supply of Panteston, but there was an unforeseen problem. My Endocrinologists letter was worthless, fuckit! I saw a Brisbane doctor for a new script at about 7 months. I was never any good at taking them all, on time, so I had a few leftovers after 6 months. The doctor I saw was nice enough, he didn’t examine me, thank god! This was working out just as I had planned it would. Well it was until I tried to get my prescription filled at the chemist. The pharmacist said “What is your authorisation number?” Authorisation number! What authorisation number!!!!!!!!!!!!

I paid that bloody GP good money for that script, and he KNEW, he must have known, it was worthless! I had to see an Australian Endocrinologist to get officially recognised as being entitled to receive my medication. Bugger. I went back to that bloody doctor and explained my problem and he just said “This is not a big concern, I’ll refer you to a local Endocrinologist.”

Yeah right!

I almost got there too. I rallied myself up to get there on time, to the right ward, I almost entered but I knew what was going to happen, and I’d had enough. I can do this without medication. That was my brilliant decision. When you’re hypogonadal you should not make decisions, they’re bound to be bloody dumb!

Australians are great people, if you go there to retire, with your New Zealand Pension, or for a holiday, but to live there you have to have a type of personality that wasn’t my type. I was ok whilst I had enough testosterone, but when I was buying ‘black market’ old stock from creepy characters, in back alley’s of the seedy side of Brisbane, Australians get real racist! They hate New Zealanders who work there. It’s a tangible hatred, you can feel it! I noticed it before my testosterone ran out, but after my irritability level just sky-rocketed! I was lucky I didn’t get arrested and deported! It wasn’t like I was abiding by the laws after all. I was buying steroids illegally! Of course there’s a lot of crap in the media about steroids, and the Australian media, they invent stories.

I ended up selling almost everything I had accumulated. I like to live comfortably, even now. I like ‘mod cons.’ I moved down to Sydney, the people there are much more cosmopolitan, I discovered. Even by other Australians Brisbane is described as a ‘big country town’ jam packed full of narrow minded racists! If you want to find a bigoted society go no further than Brisbane, you’ll love it! Just don’t be black, Aborigine, Kiwi, British, Japanese, Pacific Islander (any island) that’s to live there, visiting’s just fine, they’re more than happy to smile at you whilst they take your money!

I got job at an upholstery factory with all sorts of other immigrants. The employers in Brisbane were good to me too, they paid good money for my services. It’s the everyday people who can’t control their over zealous pride, that would be the best, most favourable, description of them. But in Sydney I was just one of millions of different speaking people. The Australians in Sydney are pretty hard to find, in the areas I lived and worked. New Zealanders sound different to Australians, and they notice it, we do too. They sound ignorant and uneducated to us!

Leaving Brisbane not that great an idea, really. I had my unreliable supply, but in Sydney I had nothing. Initially I lived in ‘Kings Cross’ at the time it was Sydney’s ‘red light district’ it may well still be today? They had a mono-rail passed over the top of it, or quite near it. It was like you could shop for a prostitute (or whatever else you wanted) from the comfort of an air conditioned, glass lined, cabin. That was pretty modern! The ‘room’ I lived in was initially shared with 1 other person, then more and more beds just arrived and by the time I left, and moved to Redfern, I think, there were 8 people living in there, including an American Vietnam Veteran. He was a damn pain in the arse, all he ever did was get drunk, throw up, sleep and piss himself!

If I wanted a room on my own I had to provide ‘services’ to the Manager, and plenty of people did, there was just some ‘work’ I won’t do! This is when I knew I had to get testosterone therapy back. The Manager wouldn’t have found me very helpful, I was completely impotent by then.

It was all my effort just to stay awake for an 8 hour day, and I could never do overtime, and there was plenty on offer. I could have done the same in that factory as I did in Petone, if I had the strength? It didn’t bother me doing the mind numbing slog, to advance. It’s all good stuff for an employer, they can see I’m keen, and they want to pay me more. Then they want more, and I want more, and it’s a snowballing upward effect, usually.

Occasionally I do that and it comes to grief, I’m just being used and getting nothing tangible in return, but that’s life! Males are renowned for taking risks, why would I be any different?

I ended up calling my parents collect, to send me a ticket back to New Zealand.

That was; humiliating.