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The Panda and the Wolf move to Australia


RedPanda

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RedPanda

Ta-dah!!! And in one day we pick up our new car, and sign our 12 month lease contract! Yay!!! (As GenDemo said elsewhere: Now all we need to do is make it sustainable! ie Find work.)

We bought and collected our first new car, that we chose together. This is something that we'd been looking forward to for some time, and it has been sufficiently planned and budgeted for. Awesome feeling!

Also, we heard that the lease application we put in for a little house in Tecoma was accepted! So we popped in to the real estate agent's and signed our lease contract. I am convinced that we got accepted (for both the applications we submitted) because of tips I read on this forum. I wrote us a cover letter, with a cosy picture of the two of us, explaining a little about our interests, habits and qualifications, and also explaining in condensed form what our financial situation is: that we don't have work in Aus yet but we do have sufficient savings to honour our lease commitment. Along with this I attached reference letters from previous rentals, including the one we are in right now. I would not have made such thorough preparation if I hadn't been warned about the property market here. We also started attending open houses a week or two before we were ready to apply for a place. This meant that we got to know the agents in the area, and they got to know us. Finally, when we spotted the two places we would consider renting, we filled in our forms the day before the open house, and gave them to the agents as we were leaving the properties after inspection (with the supporting documents being emailed to them in front of their eyes). I think the whole lot contributed to the success of our applications.

So, there we are: have car, have house, just need dachshund and job... Lol!
We are very fortunate that GenDemo has a remote login contract with his RSA employer, this has given us an unplanned for breather. :D which we now plan to take full advantage of!!! (Have car, can go!)

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It is done. We woke up in Melbourne this morning. (Ok, I woke up, and promptly got back into bed after fetching my iPad, GenDemo is still sleeping it off) But we're here now.   The last few

After a week and a half in Melbourne's far Eastern suburbs (the hills) I have come to the conclusion that "singing in the rain" has a lot to do with attitude, and the correct gear. Thus far I have gon

Ok, so I haven't been on here in a long time... We spent about two weeks cleaning out our new home before our shipment arrived. This included getting a medium ladder and washing some of the walls a

JonathanR

Awesome, congrats

 

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Wow. That is fantastic and a real inspiration. Thank you.

See you mentioned your little dog. How did you get past that ito renting? We have 3 dogs and I have read that there are very few pet friendly rentals and where there are, this is limited to 2 pets.

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RedPanda
6 minutes ago, Husky said:

Wow. That is fantastic and a real inspiration. Thank you.

See you mentioned your little dog. How did you get past that ito renting? We have 3 dogs and I have read that there are very few pet friendly rentals and where there are, this is limited to 2 pets.


The remark about the dachshund might be a bit premature. I mean that we are just imagining what it will be like to have a dog too. (Just an idle dream...) I also noticed that many of the places say No Pets. But what we found was that landlords seem to be negotiable about the pets, on application. So I dunno..just keep looking. And if you can describe the dogs and they are well trained and well behaved you might have a better chance than you think. I get the distinct impression that despite Aussie being renowned for rule following, everything is negotiable (within bounds). They expect you to negotiate your deal if you buy a brand new car, at the dealer. They expect you to negotiate with the warehouse when you buy white goods. The price, the add ons... So maybe go to the estate agents and talk to them about your pets. They might have recommendations for you.

Good luck!

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@RedPanda Whoohoo for getting everything sorted so quickly. It's amazing when everything just falls into place. (I know in actuality there is no "just falling" so let me rephrase) It's amazing how hard work, planning and preparation pays off once you're here!

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Congratulations on the new car and the rental Red. It's a fantastic feeling having your very own place. Things will slowly start to come together. ? Enjoy

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RedPanda
12 hours ago, Charne said:

 (I know in actuality there is no "just falling" so let me rephrase) It's amazing how hard work, planning and preparation pays off once you're here!

 

Ain't that the truth! GenDemo said just the other day, it irks him that some friends of ours would comment that "things are just so easy for you, all your stuff just falls into place and works". And we're sitting here going: No.....that's what happens when you plan something thoroughly with enough lead time. Sure there is some luck involved too, life is random after all with respect to many things that are outside one's control, but it certainly helps when you've done everything you can about the things that you can control.

So thank you. We are infinitely pleased with the universe for smiling on us and cooperating with everything thus far. :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...
RedPanda

Today we paid our bond, and collected our keys! But our container is only scheduled for delivery on the 13th July, so we have two weeks to sort out everything before we actually move into this new home.

So far we (GenDemo) have arranged utilities to be connected on the 5th. Apparently our ADSL line was connected today, but we can't really check anything since we don't have power there.

So...in the meantime, I think I'll go over there and clean the past 80 years' imbedded grime out of every corner! (Hey, what else am I going to do with such a marvelous opportunity to access the entire place without any furniture!)

Oh, just realised, for anyone interested, they can follow us on Instagram: redpandaliza  and  gendemo . We post pictures of the walks we take around the Belgrave area, and all kinds of stuff we see...

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RedPanda

Oh, I just realised, if you follow us on Instagram you will also understand why this journal is called The Panda and the Wolf move to Australia... ;) 

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RedPanda
1 hour ago, PhatMyles said:

RedPanda living the dream!! Happy for you @RedPanda

 

 

P: "Come on over, the water is nice!" (actually, the water is freezing this time of year, but the air is 'fresh'...hahaha...! :D We're loving it.)

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Moose2014

Followed :) And yes I see where red panda comes from and love your mascot, you've also followed me back :) 

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Followed :D

Hopefully will get mine a little more active in future.......

 

Enjoy setting up your first official Aussie home and hope all goes smoothly with the container!

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RedPanda
8 hours ago, EmNew said:

Followed :D

Hopefully will get mine a little more active in future.......

 

Enjoy setting up your first official Aussie home and hope all goes smoothly with the container!


I liked your kookaburra!

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  • 4 weeks later...
RedPanda

Ok, so I haven't been on here in a long time...

We spent about two weeks cleaning out our new home before our shipment arrived. This included getting a medium ladder and washing some of the walls and some of the ceilings! Honestly, I have never received a house in such a dirty state. But all the main parts/features checked out, and after all: Dirt can be cleaned off, rooms cannot be added to a rental. I also went over window sills with a toothbrush and 'JIK', and covered some of the shelves with brown paper, and filled some small holes in the walls (the white walls at least, we only had 'polyfilla'. But most of the walls are white anyway). @GenDemo sorted out internet, electricity and gas, and made lunch and coffee, bought supplies and gave general moral support. (Oh...and is also dealing with customs regarding an empty cannon shell in our container. It was all declared, so we're not worried about legal trouble, it's just the hassle of trying to actually get it back from them. Because of course they seized it. But every time he phones the lady they told him to contact, he gets voicemail. The one time he phoned a related number they gave him, he got to a lady who must have ninja skills in deflection because she just "didn't know, that's not their department, they don't deal with that, she doesn't know" and finally: Look, I can see the desk of the lady you want to speak to, and it's empty. So he'll keep phoning, and look for a physical office to visit...)

At about the same time we reevaluated our financials, and with a better gauge of monthly expenses and some unexpected windfalls (like his car selling for more than we hoped for) we decided to give ourselves some unpaid leave while we set up house. So we are not currently looking for work actively. We will probably start in a week or so.

Then Christmas came! In the form of a Crown Relocations truck with a shipping container full of our stuff on it. :D The delivery side of things went quite fast, and the two Crown members were friendly and efficient. At the end of unpacking we found only minor scratches on two chairs, and the odd 'doff' move on the packing side (like a metal tool box, not wrapped in anything, inside a wooden chest with some bedding. The chest now has blue paint and scuff/scrape marks from the toolbox inside). We also could not find our kettle, at all, so we ended up buying a new one.

The worst loss/damage was to my sewing machine. We don't yet know how bad it is, we will have to take it to a Bernina technician for assessment. It is obvious from the indentation in the side of the box that the machine sustained a heavy knock at some stage. This drove the shaft connected to the flywheel out and cracked the casing. So we'll see what they say once someone has had a look at it. At this stage we have only just contacted Crown, so we'll see how it goes with the insurance claim process (luckily it was fully insured, and this was obviously mechanical force that caused the damage).

Other than that we are very happy to have our own things again, and most of all: to sleep in our own bed, with its home made quilts!

Funny enough, this whole time has been a bit like "we're just on holiday, we should go home soon..." until all our stuff arrived, and with every item I handled I felt: what is this doing here? It should be at home. Oh....this is home. Hehehe... So that let the pennies drop a bit.

Our new home is a 'character hills home', which is a euphemism for: It's old, and nothing works! :jester: Well, not quite. The hot water is amazing! Really hot, very quickly, and with good pressure. Also, the bath is long and comfy. And we have a Coonara, a wood burning stove, in our lounge, which helps make the place cosy. And the whole situation is helped along by the fact that it seems our landlord is quite reasonable with financing maintenance items (like a light fitting that needs replacement etc) So we'll see how it goes.

And of course the highlight for @GenDemo was collecting the little Venter trailer the following day! Big smiles. He'll probably blog about it here, on the Venter thread.

So that's it, for the Ramblings of a Red Panda! I will update again when something happens.

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8 hours ago, RedPanda said:

customs regarding an empty cannon shell in our container

Couldn't help to smile about this one. Surely in numbers not many migrants do that and those that do may expect some serious questions because customs will definitely frown about things like that. (They rather expect wine collections, tin food, paint collections, venter trailer etc). I also had one with some "sentimental" value from a very long, challenging and successful project. Gave it away as a present because of exactly those thoughts above.

 

Otherwise it seems as if you guys have settled in quickly - a good "home" feeling when familiar furniture arrives..isn't it!

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RedPanda

Yay! We went cycling in Lysterfield Lake Park, and it was so much fun! (helmet and bicycles all road compliant) It's just such a pretty place to cycle through... :D 

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JackoFam

I can totally empathise with your sorrow over the damage to your sewing machine. If something happened to either of my Berninas I would be very upset. I hope it can be fixed.

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On 8/6/2016 at 4:40 AM, JackoFam said:

I can totally empathise with your sorrow over the damage to your sewing machine. If something happened to either of my Berninas I would be very upset. I hope it can be fixed.

 

It's at a dealer now for assessment, so we'll see what they say, but the technician was very optimistic. So I'll just hold thumbs.


An update on the shell: They phoned us this morning saying we have the wrong permit/form, the shell was classed: Military Equipment, if we wanted it we needed to have a permit before bringing it into the country, so they won't give it back, end of story.  What an absolute run-around, just to hear that! Why couldn't the first person in the line just have told us: sorry, you can't have it, goodbye.  Ai..tog..

On the plus side, I've made our favourite sweet-and-sour curry with dumplings, and it came out just fine :D It wasn't exactly the same, but close enough, surprisingly close, considering that I made gluten-free dumplings for a guest. (Tip: 50/50 coconut flour and lentil flour makes a good substitute for wheat flour, just needs more egg and more milk, same amount of baking powder) So that was enjoyable.

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  • 1 month later...
RedPanda

We went camping! And it was fun!!!
Friends we met through the forum (who can comment and identify themselves...if they wish...or stay anonymous) arranged a day's stay at Kinglake 'The Gums Campsite' and invited us along. We hiked from the Masons Fall picnic/parking along the Running Creek track to the Mt Sugarloaf lookout, and then taking the Mt Sugarloaf Ridge track back, finally connecting with the Wallaby trail. 16km and about 4.5 hours, with a sandwich lunch at the lookout! The weather was perfect for hiking, and the trails were in good condition. We just didn't get a crispy clear view of the city from the lookout. But we could still identify it without question. It's kinda weird to see your city's outline from 60km away. All through the hike we could see the forest regrowth after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. It's just amazing how much survived.

Then we got to camp, and right there at our campsite, I saw my very first little Fairy Wren!!! I was totally stoked! I've been looking out for these little delights since the first time I read about them two years ago! Honestly, go google them, they are too cute! Anyway, so that totally made it worth it for me! :D Our campsite was clean and neat, but missing a few things that we expected, either out of habit from RSA or from our interpretation of the website. (Oh, and pit toilets...are the WORST! Even though they were immaculately clean, and there was toilet paper, the stench was overpowering.) They said a gas barbecue, so we expected something similar to a gas bottle cooktop, even if the shape is different, but what we found was a 'hotplate'. So our camping kettle was kinda useless on it. But we managed with our fire. Then the firepit is an enclosed metal circle, so your fire is nicely contained, but they give you a vertical pole with once again a solid metal plate, and then two heights of horizontal pole to hang eg a potjie from. No grill, no brackets to place a grill on. And the website didn't say anything about a shared ablution block, and it turns out that means there isn't one. So no showers. I'm not complaining about any of this, I'm just sharing it with you fellow forumites, as a bit of a heads-up for your first camp. Luckily our friends were quite intelligent in deciding that the first camping trip we all do should be a short exploratory one, so even though we missed some things, and misunderstood some other things, it was quite enjoyable in total, and we certainly want to go camping again.

Some things that stood out: the morning chorus of birds waking up in the forest is simply stupendous! They really go at it! And the birds around camp are 100% nonplussed by the people, they flew through our camp, around our tents, sat picking bugs off the ground between our chairs, I was completely amazed! (but they didn't beg, so I assume that none of the campers feed them, which is good)
The other thing was the 'evening chorus' of the group that happened to be camped just across from us. They were obviously there for some kind of party or something, they blared pop music, and radio sports commentary, and were loud, and started chopping one of the giant fallen logs in the camp, with reverberating blows.... We discussed it, and think that it's probably just a risk one takes with every camp, you never know who will share the grounds with you. Our friends said that the grounds were completely empty/unbooked when they made the reservation, so they didn't expect any company, let alone such poorly behaved company.

But like I said, all-in-all it was a really good outing and we will certainly try some more camping in the future! :D 

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Oooh camping! Fun! I'm a little jealous, can't wait for when it's our turn!

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38 minutes ago, Tntaglia said:

camping

 

Must be wonderful to camp without the fear of getting stabbed any second! :lol:

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36 minutes ago, ChrisH said:

 

Must be wonderful to camp without the fear of getting stabbed any second! :lol:

 

Well to be fair, we camp probably 10-15 times a year and I have honestly never been afraid of being stabbed B) but I really look forward to trying it in Oz, the forest sounds heavenly

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RedPanda

It just never stops amazing me that their animals are so tame. The birds flew right through the campsite, while we were there. And obviously people are consistent about not feeding them, because none of them beg, or hang around catching scraps. And the bigger animals like roos often jump up when you are like 5-2m away from them, and then they give you a fright! I just love it. It's very evident when you go out into the parks that these people grow up in a culture of respecting and preserving nature.

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On 9/15/2016 at 8:37 AM, RedPanda said:

It just never stops amazing me that their animals are so tame. The birds flew right through the campsite, while we were there. And obviously people are consistent about not feeding them, because none of them beg, or hang around catching scraps. And the bigger animals like roos often jump up when you are like 5-2m away from them, and then they give you a fright! I just love it. It's very evident when you go out into the parks that these people grow up in a culture of respecting and preserving nature.

This sounds so amazing!

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