Just another weblog

The House

We now have a house! We moved in two weeks ago, and are enjoying having some of our own space at last. Moving in itself was easy- the shippers had all the boxes in and upacked in just over two hours! But the house itself had a few issues:

1) It wasn’t clean. No even vaguely.

2) The people who own it have the DIY skills of goldfish. We have wires hanging out of walls, sockets not quite attached, the TV aerial comes in through a hole in the window, the outdoor security light wire goes through a hole in the wall, into an extension lead, through another hole in the wall, and plugged into a socket… need I continue!

3) The design of the house is an old Queenslander. Not a problem we thought to go down the stairs outside in the back garden. Well it wouldn’t be, if only you could unlock the back doors from the outside. But you can’t, so when you come in, you have to unlock both front doors and a security screen in order to unlock both back doors in order to use the stairs!!

But at the same time it is great to have our own possessions again, to have a choice of clothes, to jump in the pool whenever it’s hot, to sit by the river and watch the world go by. We are much closer to the city here too.

A few things are different living in Australia compared to the UK. Some have stuck in my mind more than others:

1) Going outside to the mailbox to find a rather unexpected item of post- an enormous spider.

2) Working out that the funny black things that keep appearing on the walls are gecko poo!

3) Finding a possum hanging upside down in a tree next to the veranda, munching on leaves for his dinner.

You learn and see new things here every day, and I’m sure there will be more to come!


Moving Upside Down

On 17th February I stepped off the plane, to begin my “year abroad” in Australia.

It’s not like I’ve never been here before, after all I spent 4 months of last year’s trip here, but somehow this time it all seems a lot harder, a lot more unknown. I’m not just upside down, I’m learning a new way of life.

The first few weeks have highlighted a few differences I find hard to understand the sense behind:

1) The internet comes in two speeds, slow and slower still.

2) I seem to have stepped back in time, to a world with less technology, less advanced everything in fact.

3) Second hand cars are not cheaper here. They want 3x the price for the same car I had in the UK. And it was an automatic.

4) You have to pay for a bank account. Not for any services or advantages you understand- just to put your money somewhere other than under your mattress.

5) Like America, you cannot expect to walk anywhere- they don’t provide for it. They have those same edge-of-town sprawly hideous shopping areas where everyone drives from shop to shop.

There are more, but this isn’t meant to be a moan, it’s just an account of how life is different here. There are definitely some good things here too!

1) The sun (don’t fool yourself- it rains here too, just isn’t so grey and cold all the time!)

2) Whenever you enter a shop, you are greeted with smiles and “how’re ya goin”- not a question you understand, just a statement¬†meaning¬†“hi”.

3) The people are amazingly generous- how many people do you know who’d put up the children of their friends’ friends for over a month?