Thursday, 15 September 2011

But I don’t want to be a grown up!

The title refers to the fact that I am now completely and utterly an adult. Not one of those adults in training that can still get away with things, no, I am actually an adult. I have moved out of my parent’s house and I pay rent and bills and tax and do far too many other boring grown up things. Don’t get me wrong I like some of the perks that come with being an adult, like not having a bed time and being able to leave mess all over your house if you want to and eating whatever and whenever you like. What else can you do when you are old? Being able to buy booze is pretty fun but I will skip the nasty scary horror films that need you to be really old. I may have been on the planet for 21 years but my imagination still thinks it’s about 8 and will invent monsters to terrorise me. 

That’s not important. What is important is that last week I celebrated my 21st birthday. It was strange not having all my UK friends and family round me on my birthday. And since I have only been in the country a month almost to the day on my birthday, all my friends here haven’t been my friends for very long. Be that as it may, my birthday was a Tuesday so I had to work. But in the evening my housemates made lots of dinner and we had a few people over for a very nice meal and a few glasses of wine. Very good food, very good wine, very good company. I even got presents! I got three necklaces: one pretty with pearls, one with teal stones and one which says EPIC FAIL (aren’t my friends lovely?) I also got this very lovely little tea pot and cup set. You know, the ones where you get a cup and saucer and then the little tea pot sits on top and looks dead cute? Well it’s one of them, and I got two flavours of really nice tea, the air tight jars to keep the tea fresh in and a strainer. The full tea works as it were. I got a tea pot from my brother for my birthday last year too so maybe this will have to become a tradition? 

The following Saturday we had a night out and to mark it as a special night out we made it masquerade so everyone had to come in a mask. The evening was going well with pre-drinks and everyone looked amazing in their outfits and masks. We then went out on the town. We are still fairly new to Sydney and haven’t been to that many places but first on the list was The Argyle. Well actually first we went to somewhere I can’t remember the name of but only for 5 mins so that one of us could see some friends she knew. Right, back to the argyle. I wasn’t paying attention when lots of people went to get drinks so I ended up drinkless and in the middle of our table booth so I couldn’t get out either. Being drinkless in a bar where all there is to do is sit and drink is very boring. The place was bare aged wood with vintage chairs and booths but with modern bars and “mood lights” so it was all a little too pretentious for my tastes but no one else seemed to notice. After about an hour I got bored of that and decided if it was my birthday then I got to decide when we left. As I was sitting in the middle I stood up and ushered the people on my right to stand up and get ready to go. However, while I was doing this, a couple of smooth talkers had come and targeted the girls on my left and the girls were in no rush to leave. So half of us left and went and got into another taxi to go to Cargo Bar.

I’ve had good times at cargo bar before so I was looking forwards to it. We got in for free (hurrah for guest lists) and then started to mingle. A few more friends met us there but before long the men who didn’t know each other started to get all territorial. The last thing I needed was a testosterone fuelled strop from a bunch of guys. Well that’s what I got. some of my friends left entirely or just avoided us for the rest of the night, some got upset and the lucky few that were drunk enough not to notice had a really good time. 

After a while I decided I had had enough of that and wanted to go home. As soon as the taxi lurched its way round the first corner (as only Sydney taxis seem to know how to do) I felt ill. I’m not sure if it was the vodka jager vodka tequila shot series I had to make myself feel better or if it was the tablet I had taken for a headache before I came out or even if I was drugged that night but something was not right. I finally got home without my friends, without my dignity and without my stomach contents. Shortly after getting into the house I also realised I was without my phone. I knew I had it in the taxi with me but now it wasn’t in my bag. The taxi was gone and so was I so I just went to bed.

The following morning I felt awful. I don’t think I have ever felt this bad after a night out. This makes me lean towards the tablet/being drugged option for my gastro-pyrotechnics the night before because I know the alcohol wasn’t enough alone to make me feel this bad. I went outside and looked for my phone in case I had dropped it coming out the taxi but it wasn’t there. I spent the entire day feeling very sorry for myself and missing my phone a lot.

Monday morning I was nearly back to normal and I spent most of my lunch break at work calling every taxi company in Sydney to report my missing phone. None of them had it but said they would call me if they did. I tried calling my phone and it still rang. This gave me hope as it meant it hadn’t been stolen and sold on as then the SIM card would have been removed. Days went by and each day I hoped that someone would call me and say they had my phone but each day came and went without a call. It’s now Friday morning and I’ve all but given up hope of my phone being returned to me. I love that phone I got it for my birthday last year and it has thousands of texts and many pictures that I really don’t want to lose. 

So now I am still without internet, now without a mobile and on the opposite side of the planet from almost everyone I know. People say it’s a small world but it feels very big and lonely to me right now.

New house

Ok so this is a little overdue now as I have been in my new place for a fortnight now but I wanted to write a bit about my new place and how we came to have it.

House hunting started almost as soon as we arrived in the country as we only had the place we were staying in at the time for a month. By week 2 we were sick of the place and all its silly rules like no photo uploading on the internet and no leaving dishes on the side even if they are clean and on the draining board because then the cleaners will take them away and lock them up! (No jokes) So the great house hunt began. First problem we ran into is the price; everything is so expensive, literally triple what I was paying in the UK but I guess that’s what you pay for living in the city. So, sadly, we had to remove all the houses that were thousands of dollars each a week, even though the pictures of the beach views or pool that came with them were very tempting. Next problem was furniture. Not that the furniture in rented places was bad….. It just wasn’t anything. Houses here are usually rented empty and people just take their own furniture with them when they move. As we didn’t have any furniture this was far from ideal. So after we had taken away all the unfurnished houses we were left with a very sad and sorry looking list of properties. We arranged viewings of some of them but they were either gone by the time we asked, not actually 3 bedrooms, or in the case of one we saw, not even furnished even though the advert clearly said it was! We were all a bit fed up of our lack of choice and progress. 

Then we found this place. And it was perfect; fresh on the market, fully furnished, cheap for a quick sale and only 10 minutes’ walk from work. It seemed too good to be true. But it wasn’t! We viewed the house as soon as possible and loved it from the hard wood floors to the new wide screen TV. It even had a union flag pillow proudly placed in the middle of the master bedroom so we had to have it. The owner had been offered a job in Singapore for 18 months and needed to move immediately so it was on the market for less than it was worth so even after the week or so it was advertised it had got allot of attention. It was already under offer from one group and another one submitted their application at the same time as us but the owners must have liked us best as we were offered the house! Though that’s not saying much as the other group who submitted an application at the same time as us apparently looked like a hooker and a builder….. Not ideal tenants. But that’s beside the point. We got the house and were very happy at the prospect of moving out of the one room we shared at the old place into our lovely new house. 

Time for more problems. Nothing is ever easy is it? First problem: money. They wanted a holding deposit to take the house off the market, then a bond (which is a proper deposit) and then another weeks rent to combine with the holding deposit to make our first 2 weeks rent. Now that’s a lot of money to have to come up with when you’re new in a country and haven’t been paid yet! Getting money into the country is harder than we thought as they use a different making system than the UK so it’s not easy to just swap it over. In the end everything got transferred to Eloise’s UK account as that was the only one that seemed to let money into Australia.  So finally that was paid.

Next problem: time. We wanted to overlap the contracts of our old place and the new one by a few days so we had time to move but it looked like we were going to have 2 days where we were homeless. I work nights every other week and it just so happened that the week we were meant to move was a night shift week so I needed to be asleep during the day, which is hard when you don’t have a house. So I was looking at sleeping on a sofa at work. Then after a little persuasion the agent agreed to move our contract date forwards so we could move in a day before we had to be out of the old place.

Next problem:  actually moving! We had to get all our stuff somehow from our old place to our new one which was about 25 minutes’ walk away (30-40 if you’re Eloise) and without a car we were a little stuck. One of the women at work volunteered her car for one evening but could only do one trip as her little boy needed to get home to bed fairly early, that took the suitcases and a couple of little bags. Then we were very nice to one of the girls who also work nights with me and she said she would take the rest in her car. This meant that her and I would go in the day after an overnight shift to pick up the rest of our stuff while Georgie and Eloise were at work. This is fine in principle until you couple it with the fact that we were both pretty sleep deprived and we had a clothes rail to move. The sleep deprivation meant that at one point we totally locked ourselves out of our old place with no hope of getting in but very luckily one of the other tenants just happened to be walking by and let us in. the rail was more of an issue and it just wouldn’t fit in Kait’s car no matter what we did. By this point everything else was in the car and all the keys were inside again so the rail was just left on the street for anyone who wanted it. That sounds bad but it seems to happen a lot here. Last week we got a dart board because it was just on the street in a pile of abandoned stuff. 

So finally we were moved in! Just a small matter of phoning electricity, gas, phone and internet companies to set up new accounts but other than that we were all good. And so far it’s been a really good house. Close to work and a bus stop and MacDonald’s too! The only bad points are that its much colder inside than it is outside but this will be good in the summer when it’s like 40 degrees outside, and we have mosquitoes that are eating us alive but we think that’s because of the incense we burnt and the water in the back garden both of which will be removed asap. Oh and I don’t have a door to my room…. Well actually I have 2 but one doesn’t work so it’s permanently shut and the other one is just a curtain but that’s not much of an issue and my clothes are 2 rooms away as I don’t have a wardrobe in my room but that’s because I’m in the room that was a study but it means I get my own walk in wardrobe with shelves for my shoes and everything.
Our new house :)

We were just the right people in the right place at the right time and now we have a lovely house to show for it.