Yep, we moved to Australia! Brisbane, Queensland. It’s been a month and so far and I’m liking it. The hot humid weather is perfect for skirts and dresses and eating dinner outside on the balcony. Walking slowly and cool drinks. And sunscreen, can’t forget the sunscreen.
The first week here was stressful. Moving to another country is quite different than a vacation in another county. Since it’s a country we haven’t lived in before (I’d never even visited) there’s all kinds of things that are different. Such as cell phones and banks. And the documents that you need to open accounts (you must have “100 points of identification” and half the stuff we had they wouldn’t take!). Trying to find a new place to live was quite trying as well (we had a furnished temporary rental for 2.5 weeks which helped out a lot).
I can say that I never realized exactly how much I’ve come to rely on cell phone and internet usage. And seems that the Aussies prefer use a combination of technology and in-person transactions to set things up. Want to rent an apartment? Have to view it in person before you can submit your application. Yes, it’s basically (or maybe it is?) a law. And the real estate agents want to contact you by text. Which is kinda hard when you don’t have the 100 points of identification to get a cell phone! So I showed up to viewings and hoped the agent would show up as well.
They didn’t once. They sent a cancel notice to Mr. EG’s skype number which he didn’t get until after the meeting time (I had requested email communication anyway). It was frustrating because the rental agents wanted a cell # and the cell people wanted a permanent address. I might have expressed my complete annoyance about this to the cell phone guy. But we finally got phones (sorry Mike for snapping at you).
So to continue, renting is expensive. It’s priced per week and paid fortnightly (confusing yes?). A lot of places don’t come with a fridge or a clothes washer. But might have a dishwasher and a clothes dryer? Sometimes the washer and/or dryer would be in the bathroom; sometimes it would be under the house on a concrete pad in the middle of the dirt. (The local Queenslander style houses are built on stilts and don’t usually have a finished space under the house, it’s usually open air.) After looking at some places (and not liking anything) we finally rented a unit in the building we were staying at. Super good luck for us! It’s a great apartment with an amazing view and lots of natural light. Also good luck, the building manager hooked us up with a $50 fridge someone in the building was selling.
We’re getting settling in but the apartment is still mostly empty. The stuff we decided to keep is being shipped across the ocean and will take another month or two to arrive. We’ve figured out how to get around (Translink and bicycles for now) and where our local grocery shops and farmers markets are. Now it’s time to explore and have fun in this amazing country.