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So far so good


MG Family
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Even though we have read zillions of posts on this forum we have only registered recently and would like to start our story by thanking all the bloggers that shared their knowledge, emotions and experiences in such a frank and positive way.

Our story starts in 2006 with the LSD trip to Sydney and Hobart to watch the cricket between SA and AUS and another two days in Melbourne to visit my wife's family. In 2008 we made our final decision and started the PR process, submitting paperwork in July 2008 and receiving PR in Sep 2009. We finished house renovations in November and put the house on the market, but by the time we left we couldn't get a buyer and had to settle for tenants.

We spent our first week in Sydney to give the kids a WOW experience of AUS before a train trip to Melbourne on the 1 March 2010. Staying with family for the first month gave us enough time to get a rental house, to purchase a car and to enrol the kids at school. Our container arrived in May, we also joined a church with lots of Afrikaans families and our kids made friends immediately.

My wife started work in June and I hope to find something soon.

Lessons learned so far

1. Even though we discussed our move with friends and family, some of them were still in denial a few weeks before departure! Be sensitive towards their own fears of staying behind.

2. Make a list of the family and friends' birthdays, especially the kids and send them little gifts purchased from the tourist shops - it shows you still care about them. Skype/email/facebook often for the same reason!

3. AUS is expensive to live in without local currency income - get that job asap.

4. Do your homework with the schools, we moved the two teenagers to Doncaster SC this term where they are more at home with the school's culture, even though they travel a bit now.

5. Public transport really works well.

6. Centrelink provides family and rent assist based on income, also a job seeker assist.

7. Every member of the family (parents and kids aged 16, 14 and 12) has the odd down day and will need support from the rest - give generously.

We love exploring our new city and country, so far so good!

Groete

MG Family

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Hi MG Family!

Welcome to Australia, and officially, welcome to the forum! :lol:

What a lovey post and honest feedback about your first experiences in Australia. I'm glad you got so much out of this forum and hope you'll linger around to pay it forward. When we came over in 2004, things were so much different to how they are today and my advice may not always be that relevant anymore. I can not even remember what we paid for our container - not even a more-or-less amount! :unsure: We've moved on and it is so nice to see the newbies get into it and help out their fellow forumites with fresh, valid advice from their recent experiences. :lol::lol:

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Hi Riekie

Thanks for the friendly welcome!

As a matter of interest, our container cost about R 50 k excl insurance that can range between R 5 k and R 10 k. I was fortunate enough to work at a short term insurance company and saved some premiums due to the staff discount!

And another lesson learned, if you cannot go without certain SA products, spend some time (and $) at the SA shop!

Has anyone done a comparison of SA products to similar AUS products? So far we couldn't find a local substitute for

Mrs Balls blatjang

All Gold Tomato Sauce

All Gold Tomato and Onion relish

Lemon Creams and

Jelly Tots!

Groete

MG

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Hi MG Family

I will also say Welcome to Melbourne, hope the journey and experiences will only be happy ones!

Mrs Balls chutney, absolutely nothing can replace that, but most Coles and Woolworths actually stock it, just ask.

All Gold Tomato sauce : I use Heinz Ketchup, not a bad substitute

Cross & Blackwell mayonnaise : Heinz Salad Cream

If there is anything we can assist with at any time, do not hesitate to shout!

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Welcome to the forum!

And thanks for your advice! :rolleyes: It's always great to hear from people who have made the move recently to help out others.

Hang in there with the job search, it took us 3 months to find a job! Not the happiest time in our lives, but I feel we have grown so much closer from that experience.

Please keep us updated with how things are going.

Riekie - thanks, will try out the Heinz Salad Cream...luckily I love Heinz ketchup as I had to use it in the US. Hubby's not convinced yet though.

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What a refreshingly positive post! We do often forget that it's just as hard for the people staying behind as it is for us.

Welcome to Melbourne!

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Mrs Balls chutney, absolutely nothing can replace that, but most Coles and Woolworths actually stock it, just ask.

All Gold Tomato sauce : I use Heinz Ketchup, not a bad substitute

Cross & Blackwell mayonnaise : Heinz Salad Cream

Ditto - I use the same! (although I still prefer and use Crosse & Blackwell, Heinz salad cream is the closest you'll get!)

Jelly Tots - Try Jelly Jubes (a little bit different but the same effect...)

Lemon Creams - Try Arnott's Lemon Crisp Cookies (the cookie is salty, but the inside is the same and amazingly, the salty, lemon taste works)

I never used the tomato relish, but was absolutely hooked on the relish at Wimpy. In 6 years I have not found anything even close to that here in Aus (if anyone has, please tell!!)

Wow, that container was expensive - I'm sure we didn't pay that much... I guess moving Saffers to Aus has since become a lucrative business...

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Thanks for the suggestions, we'll certainly keep on trying all the alternatives!

We shopped around a bit for the best container price for the move - we were told the exchange rate (about R7 = $1) and the oil price resulted in the high tariffs.

Some say you should rather use the money to buy everything new in AUS, we believe it's better to bring your own furniture (and dare I say junk?) That familiar dent in the couch would just not have been the same on the IKEA set! At the same time though I must admit that window shopping in IKEA remains a lot of fun!

Groete

MG

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I agree - it is a more settling feeling to have your familiar things around you. Otherwise it takes forever to feel "at home".

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