Monday, March 7, 2011

New Home And New Wheels!!

Dean - Glebe, Australia

I missed a week on our blog, a lot has happened in a short time. After seven frustrating weeks, countless inspections, we finally have a home. It has been a difficult journey, but well worth the wait. It may seem odd for some people that this has been such a big deal, but lot's was stacked against me. A shortage of rental units, lot's of immigrants, hot economy, no rental history here, our great little dog Railey, and my pickiness. All these together meant a very difficult time getting someone to accept us. Lucky enough, I found this great place in inner west Sydney called Glebe.

The house is what is called a terrace, which is basically a row house with a small back area. It is in a great location where we can walk to markets, local shops, parks, and even the water where there is a trail system. It really feels like home to me. It is under 10 KM from my office which can be reached easily by car or transit. It is 3 bedroom with lots of space so we can spread out and have lot's of room for visitors. The owners are really nice people that ironically have the same first names as Nancy's parents.

I was also able to get our shipping container delivered last Friday. So all our belongings we said good bye to way back in December for the long trip here arrived. Amazingly, over 14,000 KMs of shipping by train then boat, out of the entire container, there was only one broken wine glass. The Australian quarantine service (AQIS) opened a few boxes that had shoes and our bikes in them, presumably looking for soil, etc.

I am extremely happy and will be able to start cooking again for myself and soon Nancy. Best of all I can finally sleep in my own bed. I am very lucky that new friends and new co-workers here were extremely helpful to me, lending a hand, offering a couch and giving great advice.

To add to the completeness of this week, I was able to pick up our car, so I am now mobile. Nancy and I are proud owners of a 2011 VW Golf. A great practical car which will get us around town and on some road trips comfortably.  It was a bit of an adventure learning how the whole system works with car registration and insurance. Every car must be registered with regulated CTP (compulsory third party) insurance, which basically covers any third party liability to other driver's health only. Then you add comprehensive insurance which covers damage to your vehicle and others. The two forms of insurance can be purchased from two different insurance companies. The insurance can be done completely online, as it was the morning I picked it up, and no special slips are required. Car registration ("rego") is done by placing a special sticker in the windshield. Here is a shot of our car and the cool "euro" style plates they have here.

I'm driving a bit like a grandma now, left hand side of the road, roundabouts, and a maze of inner city streets all keep me a bit nervous. I am sure it won't take long to get used to it. I also have to rely on my iPhone GPS to get around as the streets are very confusing.

Good thing about this car is it's easy on the gas (petrol). Next time you pull up to the gas station and think it's expensive, think of what I pay. For any of my American friends who may be reading this, that's about $5 per gallon.

So next steps are getting some essentials for home, like a BBQ, TV, and a coffee machine. I am working hard to have everything sorted for when Nancy gets here in just 11 days. Seeing Nancy after two long months will complete my happiness :-)

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