I apologise wholeheartedly for not having updated this blog in a while – especially neglecting to keep you up to date with my musical discoveries via Epic Song of the Week, and not uploading
many any tracks to my YouTube page.
Truth be told, there’s really not been a lot of things happening round here. There’s been a lot of terribly boring stuff we’ve had to sort out – bank accounts, all sorts of identification checks (now that we are residents) and above all, house-hunting.
Oh, the joys of house-hunting. We must’ve looked at about twenty different properties over the last fortnight, and every day has been frought with the lingering possibility that due to our lack of useable funds and very specific requirements for a place to live, if we continue the way we currently are, we might actually soon be on the streets with nought but a shoebox to sleep in in the middle of the road. Or, if we were lucky, perhaps a cosy warm hole in the ground, covered by a nice big sheet of tarpaulin.
And that feeling gets reinforced when you turn up to a house that’s advertised as “The perfect starter for new property owners” or somesuch, with an acceptable rental rate – only to be greeted by a tiny, congested flat in a run-down apartment complex which could possibly house a small family of chihuahuas, but possibly not a family of four increasingly-aggravated human beings with sixteen heavy bags of possessions to store in it.
Currently we’re residing in a tourist park, amidst several other people (most of them Australian) who are doubtlessly seeking alternative accommodation.
It’s… small. Not a lot of spare room. At all.
Every morning a bloke with a leaf-blower trudges around the park at random making an unstoppable racket. People bang on their caravans for reasons unknown. The traffic’s quite close and every now and then you hear some crazy Australian driver performing a two-wheeled U-turn in the middle of the road at 70kph. (I’m going to have to get used to the way everything is measured in kilometres over here.)
I mean good God are the drivers aggressive here. It’s probably standard practice, though – over in the UK the guy driving alongside you on the motorway in the 4×4 will inquire politely beforehand if he can carve you up. The Aussies aren’t bothered about pleasantries, or indeed about causing offense or distress. They’ll quite happily reverse an entire car-length while you are stationed immediately behind them at the traffic lights.
Our current situation is not quite Hell. But it could be better. By a lot.
The laid-back attitude of the Australians seems to be reflected in many of the other punters in this park. It’s as though there’s a mutual understanding between everyone here along the lines of “Yeah, we’ve all gotta get the hell outta here. We might as well get along. Mate.” It particularly applies to us since we’re forking over $900/week for this god-forsaken shack. Oh, sorry, did I gloss over that bit a tad? Let me reiterate: NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS A WEEK. FOR WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A BACKYARD SHED.
…that’s after the discount. It was TWELVE HUNDRED to start with.
Overcharged, were we? Try extorted. Christ.
Managing my own finances is something I’m soon going to learn how to do with my new bank account. Even I, as inexperienced at budgeting and financial security as I am, know that the fee of twelve hundred smackeroos for living in a cupboard is basically criminal. I swear if my dad had mentioned how rapidly we were haemorrhaging funds one more time I probably would’ve garrotted him.
But all that merriment is now over with, thankfully. We just received a phone call telling us we’d been selected for a $400/week rental property in the suburb of Wanneroo – an actual house, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and loads of additional space that we’ll have to fill somehow. As of right now, we are no longer homeless.
Our reaction: YAY!!!!!!1
Well… not quite. It is ours the second we send over the money for it – and that will first involve translating all of our pounds sterling into Aussie dollars, then sending a sum of money to the agency in order to seal the deal – and with the exchange rate fluctuating by the second, as it does, that could be a risky business.
Also it’ll be completely clean and utterly unfurnished when we move in. Meaning that we’ll basically be living minimalist for the next few weeks until our furniture from the UK lands on the Australian shore. It’ll basically be a big, fancy shoebox.
I really believe that things are now starting to take off over here. With everything being so sedentary as of late, it’s refreshing to know that we’re finally ready to begin our life in a property of our own in Aussieland. One thing I’d really like to do in the near future is get some kind of proper driving tuition, particularly one that allows me to expand on the skills I accrued in the UK during the short time I was (slowly) learning to command a vehicle. At least they drive on the same side of the road here.
Also I’d be highly interested in maximizing my vocal prowess and my dexterity with the piano/keyboard. These are all items on my personal to-do list for the near future, although my parents might have other immediate priorities. Ones that are perhaps actually important to our continuing survival here.
As for how Australia itself is treating us, we’ve been coping pretty well. I was expecting to be in a state of shock from the drastic change of climate (let us not forget the fun I had on the last day in the UK). The pool in the tourist park is kept at a tepid 0°C and everything else around us lies consistently between 20 and 40°C. Our chalet has a nice air-con unit, but it only heats the kitchen/dining area, so the bedrooms (particularly mine and my brother’s) get pretty hot and stinky. It’s a wonder my laptop hasn’t overheated and exploded yet. (I have a small USB-powered fan running underneath it which should be keeping its insides nice and cool, but geez does the keyboard get hot. Every 30 minutes or so I have to get up and douse my face and hair in cold water, just due to the heat emanating from this thing, let alone that of the unforgiving Australian summer.)
Anyway. Five gold stars to my parents for playing pretty much the whole part in getting us to this stage in our lives. Only a few verbal armageddons occurred. 5 stars, A++, would emmigrate with again, etc.