The 1st 10weeks - Spring time southern hemisphere

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November 27th 2007
Published: December 13th 2017
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Geo: -33.8671, 151.207

Spring 18th SEP-27TH NOV 2007

We have been here 10 weeks today, so have a job since 24th Oct. and a house with air conditioning since 27th Oct., a phone (which we had to buy & to pay to get connected our selves, what a racket as every renter has to do this so 'Telstra' the phone co. must be laughing) and satellite TV (again had to get that ourselves & took 3 weeks to get installed) and only got internet sorted a month after to moved in, which was a bit of a nightmare even though the house used to be used as an office and has 6 fax & data lines, don't ask. I am amazed the electricity was on although that was a bit of a saga too.

I think renting is actually crap here, no outside bins or letter box (they do not use the hole in the door system) provided in this house, and when they say unfurnished they mean unfurnished so have had to buy everything bar a cooker (which annoyingly is electric) and a dishwasher (which we didn't even want). But you get a rebate from the water board for buying an energy/water efficient washing machine.

Like when we BOUGHT the house at Ireland the phone was there & was connected, tv channels were connected and the outside bin was there, this is really back to basics and it's only renting!

But it is a nice one story 2 bed terraced house, with a nice kitchen and a good shower and back garden (that a man comes to cut fortnightly), bedrooms carpeted, kitchen tiled and rest has nice wooden floors. There's a cute neighbourhood cat called Tomasino (who will keep away possums) and the 3 neighbouring houses are all still offices so it's very quiet. Except the one across the road who has a burglar alarm that went off twice this weekend in the night and sounds like the heralding of Armageddon. But there is only one recreation room, so one bedroom will be office/music room/library/guest room. And it costs a stupid price to rent, as expensive as Copenhagen (in fact it is the same price for unfurnished here as it is for furnished in Cph).

Admittedly though it was kinda nice getting a new TV, fridge, washing machine, toaster, kettle, iron, ironing board, bed, some kichen stuff, and furniture (couldn't bring much as cost was prohibitive and needed to leave house furnished in Ireland), but the pain in the ass stuff is all the cleaning stuff - pan & brush, sweeping brush, cloths, dish rack, dish brush, tools, laundry baskets, hangers, clothes-horse, pegs, tea towels, bucket, vacuum, mop & tools which you don't realize you don't have till you need it.

Our 'selected' 68 boxes of shipped stuff ( books, clothes, music, paintings & kitchen stuff mainly) came on 16th Nov. which wasn't bad. The whole move was expensive enough though. And getting the required ID to rent a place in the 1 st place is mad so it's lucky we had some where to stay (my sister's) for the 1st 5 weeks. Let me explain.....

So you can't rent a place without a 100 points of id which varies from place to place and entails passport, job proof, work reference, references from previous landlord if you had one (they assume you had), and references from 2 people in Australia who are NOT related to you, a birth cert, a Medicare card, a drivers licence, an Oz bank account, details of income, previous job income, how long in that job, yadda yadda yadda.

To get the aforementioned Medicare card, you need a valid visa AND 2 of:
a job (work id), an address (proof of renting), or a bank account or a driver licence (the road traffic guys (RTA) give you photo id at $42 if you don't drive which suffices), or some other things if you are Aussie. And you can't buy private health insurance till you have this.

To get a drivers licence or RTA id you need passport, bank cards (but Irish ones were ok), proof of address which if you are not renting you don't have! But a full driver licence holder can sign a form and vouch for you, so again I don't know what people who know no one do! And then when you do get your own place you have to do a change of address within 14 days, or else!

Turned our the easiest thing to get was a bank account as if you apply within 6 weeks of arriving you don't need the 100 pts of id just the passport with valid visa. BUT NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT!

Also we could easily get tax file numbers online (unsurprising really) which was good but they don't count in the 100 pts of id. But once you are in the system getting a credit card was a piece of piss! So we now have more ID. cards than you could shake a stick at.
(Also did I mention estate agents and job agents are lying cheating assh......)

Work is grand (in an IP Telco), took 4 weeks to get the right job which seemed ages to me but I am told that's good and other people have taken 3 months. It is in North Sydney so 10 minutes walk from the house in Crows Nest so that's good and we are gonna sign up to a car sharing company that is exactly for the likes of us city dwellers. My immediate work mates are Malaysian, Kiwi and Welsh, only the boss is Aussie, there are also Indians, Chinese, Sri Lankans, Vietnamese, Croatian, Bosnian, Donegal Irish, Russian, and only a handful of Aussies.

The 1st Tuesday in Nov. was Melbourne cup day (like the Grand National) only the whole country comes to a standstill and goes on the piss from 2pm, and it was a good laugh, all the girls come to work in hats and dolled up and some of the boys too. I bet $52 and won $42 so that was ok. Went home at 7.30pm and promptly feel asleep till 11.30pm, charming. The previous Friday had been an all afternoon farewell lunch for the Systems Architect in a local bar so I got to meet a lot of people then. We also have an office in the city centre where we have to go to meetings so you have to take the train 2 stops over the harbour bridge and pass the opera house which is always nice. And they have a corporate gym rate of $20 p.m. (which is an amazing price here) so back on that horse for me as it's a pretty gymtastic society plus there's no need for big cover up clothes here, it's pretty warm all the time (even if it does rain more than they let on but it was good the 1st month I wasn't working so no complaints really).

My sister lives 20km away but we know other childless people brother-in-laws brother (P&A) in the neighbourhood so we have been out a lot. I should explain my bro-in-law has 2 brothers and 2 sisters and assoc. partners so these 'in-law-in-laws' will get mentioned a bit as we hang out with them all from time to time esp. in party season.

Have seen a good few new neighbourhoods in Sydney now - Balmain, Bondi, Pyrmont, Erskineville, Surry Hills, Watsons Bay, Manly, Kirribilli, St. Ives, Chatswood - and one of our first day trips with the family was to Bobbin Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase national park which we didn't go to last time and C. had a cob on about, which basically turned out to be a national park with the coolest scribble trees, like the bark looks like its been scribbled on! Nice place.

A mate from Ireland (F.C.) got us in free to a gig of a Galway band in the metro theatre in town earlier in the month called the The Walls, used to be The Stunning who we are never really liked but C. met one on them in France 13 years ago when he was driving Toasted Heretic around and Joe Wall recognised him still. So it was a bit of a laugh and we met some of our mates mad mates. He has driven us to a good few of the new neighbourhoods we been to and we have been on the rip with him a few times so it's good to see someone else's (non family) perspective on Sydney.

We had my nephew's christening the 1st weekend of Nov. and C. was the Godfather. Followed by family bbq which ended with some very merry people.

We went our 1st road trip the following weekend (sister, hubby, 3 kids, us) from a Thurs - Mon about 1300km round trip to Forster, Kempsey & Yamba (all still in NSW but north). We rented an 8 seater and it was a good laugh, stayed in Angourie Rainforest Resort but only draw back was it pissed rain most of the time and only got nice on the day we drove back! But we did see tonnes of fruit bats. Weather since I started work generally not thaaattt good but they need the rain (we only swam once so far). Every time I'd look out at the downpour in Yamba C. & I would say to each other "living the dream".

Yamba was funny and only had like 2 taxis and we were stuck in the pub one night (in the pissing rain) so I blagged a lift home from a local who only wanted $5 for the pokies (slot machines), of course I totally forgot about all the crazy Oz movies (e.g. Wolf Creek) I'd seen where you shouldn't do this, but we didn't get murdered. I love Oz movies they are all so black. Gabriel Byrne is even in one 'Jindabyne', also check out 'Suburban mayhem' (white thrash movie). And seeing as it was raining we saw 2 more mental movies 'Dogma' (u.s. I presume as its so stupid but captivating) and 'Kiss or kill' (another aussie one).

Our new neighbourhood 'Crows Nest' rocks and there are so many restaurants we are spoiled for choice. On 17th Nov we met friends who we knew in Denmark (M&B) but who are Irish, as they are over for a family wedding and we went to a party the day after the wedding (common practice here) in Caringbah which is south Sydney and took about 3 hours to get to door to door on public transport and foot! But it was a good laugh and they are nice people and now we have seen south Sydney.

And then we had C's 40th so there was a lunch up in the 'mother-ship' as it was our brother-in-law's Mum's birthday too. Later the "young" ones went on the piss in Darlinghurst that night (near Kings cross).

So roll on the Christmas season.....So far liking Oz a lot, everyone really nice!


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