I just updated this and yet so much has happened. I've visited 6 different "flats", yes, they're called flats here...but it's fine to call them houses...sometimes. So far it's been interesting, I mean, I suppose I would expect it to be because it's kinda like Craigslisting for a rental (or rather, it's EXACTLY like that, it's just not called Craigslist). I feel the need to share:
#1: 50 yr old Croation lady, previously discussed.
#2: 40 yr old Nepalese man and his wife. To be fair, the entire place smelled like Curry, and I love Curry. I even capitalize Curry! But...the ENTIRE place smelled like curry. Now I like curry and all...but do I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, like curry? The answer here is no. Luckily the room was small and his idea of "fully furnished" was a single twin mattress in the middle of the floor.
#3: "Hey bro...no problem bro...see you soon bro..." Now you may be thinking, who is this lovely chap who overuses bro and why is Nick going to live with an 18 yr old surfer? Ah, but you'd be wrong. Turns out, he's 40. Now to be honest, that actually wasn't an issue because I was renting a studio from him and the place was incredibly cool and he seemed like someone I could hang out with. Sigh, the problem was that it took me ~25min to walk from the train station to get there. Sigh. Sorry bro.
#4: What's this? Two people roughly my age? And right next to a giant park that has an incredible running track? Hallelujah! Or so you'd think. The place was...dirty. Quite dirty. The people were nice, but...the dank. I can't do the dank. Alas, goodbye park and interesting potential-roommates.
#5: I'm a guest for their drink party. Well, I suppose that's actually kind of a clever way to do it. I bring wine...because I'll be damned if I actually like the place that I'm going to be upstaged by someone more personable. 3 people show for the drinks...and they're all there to look at the flat...awkward. I was the only one to bring anything...score! I actually really like the place...score! It's 2 train stops from that running track...score! It's super clean and my roommates would be 2 females, one is from Australia/San Francisco (I know, I'm confused too) and the other is from France...score? Haha, they seem pretty cool. One is vegetarian and the other makes crepes (and pronounces it "craps"...to which I wanted to tell her we had something in common......meaning that I like crepes...jeez, grow up guys). Anyway, I'm rambling. It's great, they're clean, they're cool, and the location is cool. Hope they pick me over the French guy and the super cute couple from SF (stiff competition...but I brought wine?).
#6: This was the only place I saw today. Pretty close by, so that was cool...but not much else was. I called (per his asking) to tell him I was outside. He literally ran over! Ran! The entire time he was showing me around the place he was out of breath. Oh awkward Asian kid, thank you for out-awkwarding me. The place was a hole. He seemed nice...breathlessly nice? But the place was like a college dorm. Which, coincidentally, the University of Melbourne was 2 minutes away. Apparently it's usually student housing. I like learning good and all...but that life-style has come and gone. Upon leaving (quickly), I saw him running by me as I sauntered back to the tram. I then got to stand even-more-awkwardly at the light waiting next to him once I had caught up at my leisurely pace. I knew he saw me, and a minute later another awkward conversation ensued. To which, I then saw him walk once the light changed and then when I looked back he was running again. I must say, I do like his dedication!
Other stuff today: setting up a bank account and finding work (it's Monday so things are finally open).
Now, I hear you..."how can there be an entire section devoted to setting up a bank account? Patience, my dear friends and family.
First, I had pre-setup the bank account a month ago before I got here. Just need to fill out some paper work and fund the account right? Well...no. While filling out the paperwork (which was actually really easy and quick, maybe 10 minutes), I asked if I could take his picture for the blog. I was told in the nicest of ways...no. Oh, where is my dear awkward Asian college student to make me seem less awkward? The paperwork goes well.
Now to fund it, you'd think this would be easy because banks like getting your money and like even more to take money from their competitors. Nope. I decided to hold on to the check I got from CarMax for selling my car so that I could deposit it here. Well, I'll see that money in 28 days...bleh. Because a zero dollar bank account does me zero good, I decided to try to transfer money from my Wells Fargo and ING accounts into the account. Oh? I can do it all online? Perfect. Easy. No. Long story short (because so far I've told everything the long way), WF and ING do not allow you to transfer money to Australian bank accounts. I could go into the details, but, I'll save you from further agony. I've resigned myself to pulling money out every day with a $3.00 transaction fee and depositing it in the account. Is it painful? Yes. Does it work? Thankfully, yes.
I fully expect this to be a long process; it had its beginnings today. I went ahead and found multiple recruiting agencies and decided I'd literally walk in and introduce myself. What could go wrong? Well, after walking into the first one it became entirely apparent that I might not have totally thought it through. For starters, wearing a suit coat, button down...and jeans, does NOT mean you're ready to introduce yourself for a job. The receptionist told me this...nicely...or as nicely as you can be told you're a scrub. Second, oddly enough, it behooves you to bring a resume...at least one. I'm going to blame this oversight on jet-lag. That sounds fair. So...in my own best interest I decided to stop while I was only moderately behind and go print off some resumes. To the OfficeWorks store! Upon my arrival I asked them to print the email I had sent them, which they very quickly did. 20 pages please! Time to do this right. Or not. Apparently...Australians use the A4 paper size (which for you paper geeks is NOT 8x11.5). I now have 20 resumes that are worthless because they look like hell. Whoops. Ok, time to think this through a little better; the next job-getting steps are as follows:
- Get an address! I need a place to live so I'm not just giving them a bogus address and for the next step.
- Apply for a TFN. This is basically Australia's social security number. This will allow me to get a legit job and not have to make craps...er, crepes. Once I have an address, this *should* be relatively straight forward.
- Re-jigger my resume so it fits on the "standard" A4 paper-size.
- Dress for success...not like I'm still in Tucson (ok, fine, to be fair: not all of Tucson thinks that just having a suit coat means you're "dressed up")
- Re-visit my friendly receptionist and multiple more like her to apply for a living.
Sorry for the long-windedness! Time to enjoy a beer out on the patio-part of the bar that's attached to the hostel. Then, to finish "What Color Is Your Parachute" (because I apparently missed a part).
PS. It is the strangest thing to walk around and hear Fun and Jimmy Eat World playing at random coffee shops and bars here in Melbourne. So much changes and more stays the same.