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Aus Adventure


craigsa
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I've been meaning to get onto the site for what feels like months now to keep the updates going, but I honestly don't know where the time has gone. I'm sitting in a serviced apartment in St Leonards, Sydney while typing this up and I'm not even sure I can remember all the details I was planning to put into the post, but will at least try to make it fairly constructive.

It been about 6 weeks since we posted the "WE GOT IT" post. To be honest, I was hoping and praying that my clock would tick faster before being issued with the PR, ever since that moment, I've been trying to work out a way of getting more minutes into my day. On the afternoon of the 14th, Kat and I were relaxed and watching TV, and I saw an email asking me to attend an interview with a healthcare company on the morning of 16th in Melbourne. Needless to say I got somewhat excited and then relaised if I'm to make the interview, I need to fly in 1.5 hours!!!! Well, I'm normally very analytical, but glanced over to Kat and read the mail and she said, I'll pack....you book the flights. I guess people don't normally book an international trip on such short notice as I realised most websites don't allow for same day bookings. So, after spending around 12 minutes to pack (READ: Chuck a whole lot of things in a case), we raced to the airport to book a ticket. The credit card machine required authorisation for the amount and the bank was closed on Sundays - So I had to run to an ATM to withdraw the difference and eventually managed to get a ticket, check-in and board immediately. While sitting on the plane, I arranged leave in my current job. The interview didn't go very well, as it was a panel of 6 people each trying to out-do the other one with asking really pointless questions (At least that's my view) and I got a little frustrated, as they wouldn't give me info, but expected me to answer.......anyway, it gave me an oppurtunity to see Melbourne for the first time. My initial impressions were that it was South Africa 20 years ago - low or no walls, graffiti still excited those wanting to break the law and no potholes. I also realised that there's going to be work to be done trying to understand the local ways when looking into mobile phone options and plans - It was like reading Japenese.......considering I'm in IT and am somewhat interested in making a point of understanding the best options in RSA, I was extremly confused trying to understand the options available. Also, I still need to work out what on Earth the people at "Coles" are asking me everytime I take things to the counter to pay....they always ask me something and I politely say "No Thank you", but I still don't know what they're asking. On the point of Coles, they have a self service checkout where you scan your own goods and pay - hhhmmm, not sure how long this will last with all the immigrants!! The funny thing is, when people act as though the trust you, you feel obliged to act accordingly.

OK, so Kat (Our voortrekker) arrived evening of the 22nd Feb in Melbourne and had arranged a nice room in Beaumaris to stay in until we have more certainty in our lives. About 15 hours after landing she went in for an interview and was offered the job on the spot. So, as exciting and amazing as this was, it meant that I now had one month to sell and close off everything in RSA (Or so I thought). I'm not sure how we thought we would manage a couple of months apart, it's definately much more challenging than I thought it would be.....so just as well things moved quickly.

I already had a week booked in Melbourne - Initially planned to help Kat settle. It so happened she already had a job so we finalised bank accounts, bought a car, etc. In the space of 2 weeks, I went to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth (TWICE!!!!) and Cape Town.....The security guards knew me by name at OR Tambo the way things were going.

So, I resigned from my job in RSA, and they asked me if I would spend a few weeks in our Sydney office!!! As cool as that was, because it meant I had a free flight to Australia, free accomodation in Sydney for a few weeks, could see Kat sooner (Even though it means a few flights between SYD and MEL)....it also meant I now had less than 2 weeks to sell all furniture, rent out apartment, sell car, hand pistol in, do handover at work, drop off golf clubs (THANKS Weidermans!!!!), close accounts, transfer money, cancel contracts, book flights, book accomodation in Sydney, arrange forex, had 4 dental appointments to get bridge/dental work done (had some power failures there as well which make timing even more challenging), say all goodbyes....................and more!!! Lets just say that I think I ate less than a meal a day and slept for less than 3 hours per day on average for 2 weeks. Then I raced to the airport in the rental I had to arrange after my car was sold to dealership only to run up to the counter for them to look at me and say "This flight is for tomorrow"....then when my heart dropped and I looked at the e-ticket, I showed him it was booked for today. Then he checked again and said I have no booking.....keep in mind that I had a flight booked for Kat to meet me in Sydney and had no place to stay in JHB anymore. So, then I was sent to the sales counter, which happens to be on other end of the airport in another terminal. I ran there while trying to get the Tumi from IOM on the line who confirmed the booking was done. The "friendly" lady behind the SAA counter refused to speak to any agents and said she had no booking. Eventually Tumi managed to sort it out for me and I raced back to the Quantas desk to check in. Only to find out I was 10kg's over.....at R390 per kilo, I wanted to make a plan. Fortunately I came prepared - I pulled out my backpack from the one case and managed to get about 8kg's in it, and checked in without any hassles...eventually.

So, now I'm in Sydney and had an awesome weekend with Kat (Her first time in Sydney). She'll be joining me here every weekend until around mid april. I might do an interview or two in Sydney if there are good roles (and to be honest, I quite like Sydney....just prefer the buzz), but otherwise the plan is to go join Kat in Melbourne mid april, find a furnished rental (if anyone has advice on this it would be appreciated) and start job hunting. Since I'm still on the South African payroll and it's a holiday in South Africa, I decided to take the day off and recover from Jetlag (and type an update) and will kick into gear tomorrow.

Some views and advice

- I was very impressed with Tanya from Exchange4Free, things went as promised

- Commonwealth Bank service is amazing. We had a glitch where we had to pop into bank before the transferred funds would reflect, but it was sorted in less than 2 minuntes.

- You can register for TFN online the day you land, I suggest you get this done asap so once you start working things are less stressful

- Transport is good, but adds up. If you're planning on buying a car, I would try get this done pretty soon to save on taxi / train fares. It also helps you feel less stranded. Again, depends where you are...Kat needs car to get around, but I booked a place on the train station in Sydney to make my life easier.

- TV's and laptops are quite a bit cheaper here.....can't wait to get a job

I had a list of things I wanted to note to try help people that haven't been over yet, but my mind has been all over the past few weeks....so this is it for now, but I'll add anything I can think of or if people want to ask, feel free.

Cheers all....and good luck with all your plans!!!

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Welcome to Aus, despite all the chaos and stress you made it!!!

People in Coles are probally asking you if you have a fly buy card (which is a rewards card). :D Don't worry the japanese becomes more English as time goes on...there are just SO SO many options here in Aus and it can get a little overwhelming. Hope you find something permanent (jobwise) soon!

Candice

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I still need to work out what on Earth the people at "Coles" are asking me everytime I take things to the counter to pay....they always ask me something and I politely say "No Thank you", but I still don't know what they're asking.

They ask if you've go Flybuys, it's a card that you get points on for every $ spend. It's the same as your Clicks club card. You can apply online for it.

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Something I do in Coles too is get "cash out" - works like it used to in Pick and Pay - you use the teller as an ATM. That way you avoid any banking or ATM fees....Woopee.

Welcome to Sydney Craig - its AWESOME!

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Thanks all....

I can see why people debate Sydney vs Mlebourne so extensively......having no particular alignment to either, I have no idea where I would rather live. Going to apply for a few jobs here in the next week or two. If it's meant to be, then something might come off, otherwise I'm sure we'll be happy in Melbourne anyway. That way we don't have to choose, we'll leave it to fate....

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Hi Craig

Sound to exhausting and exillerating all at once, glad you took one day to recover.

Good luck

Zonia

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Hi Craig! Welcome, welcome......hope all smooth sailing from now on.............. ;)

Erica

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Thanks all.....as luck would have it, Kat's in Melbourne and it seems all the potential jobs are in Sydney right now......will just have to see how this pans out.....

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Yahoooo Craig - thought u had fallen off the face of the earth, you been so quite. :ilikeit:

Glad to hear all is good and look forward to more updates and possibly seeing you in both in Melbourne soon.

Don't be so scare from your forum buddies . . .

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haha....no, I'm very much here. Just had very little time on my hands the past few weeks - Not as in a few free days, but actually minutes/seconds. Anyway, I'm here now, but Kat and I are still apart, but at least we're in the same country. Hopefully soon, we'll be in the same state and who knows, one day in the same house again :ilikeit::ilikeit:

Have to share this - Just saw a story on the TV news about a guy has been fined $350 for hooting at a neighbour to say "Hello"....haha

Anyway, I'm still checking things out when I can, and will definatelty be as active as possible as things start to settle. It took me 2 days to figure out a freak'n gas stove, so I feel lekker doff right now!!!!

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Okay Craig...... hope you remembered to breath in the mean time!! What a whirlwind story :ilikeit: Enjoy!

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Hi Craig! Glad for you!! It's gonna be a whirlwind for quite some time - but it's all fun! Hubby and I live in St Leonards as well. We arrived November last year. Will IM you our details - we should get together.

Glad you're liking Sydney!

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Wow Craig!

I cannot believe what you guys have managed to do

in the last several weeks! You must have

exceptional time management skills!!!!!

All the best to you and Kat, I also believe things

will work out as they should.

Chocolate

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@ Mal - I sent you a mail, lets try make a plan.

@ Choc - Thanks......Even though it sounds like choas, it was planned pretty well. In the sense that we didn't take any major risks. Everything hinged around one of us having a job, etc. It was a mad 2 weeks, but I'd rather have it that way than drag it out for 3 months, as I suspect I'd still be running around. At least I'm here now and can focus on the road ahead. Thanks for the good wishes.....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm dizzy :blink:

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WOW.... no words!!!

Glad you are both finally in Auz though thats the main thing, the rest will pan itself out :blink:

What do you and Kat do work wise?

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Hi craig

That is one packed schedule! I cannot imagine doing that....hats off to you!!

Welcome to Australia!

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Hi Craig,

Welcome in Aus.

Good luck wiht the job hunting.

When you in MLB lets hook up for a coffee.

Nats

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