Sunday, October 12, 2008

Adventures of a new migrant in Perth...

So we arrive in Perth Wednesday 1 October at 5pm. Our taxi ride costs us around $10-$12 more than it should (on average), but we don't know any better! The first thing we try to do is find some food. Now coming from wellington (which will now be known as Convenience City) we thought that finding food shouldn't be too hard at 6.15pm on a Wednesday evening in the CBD. Hmmmm bad assumption. Perth essentially closes up at 6pm during the week, is closed on Sundays and there is a serious lack of convenience stores around. All I can say is "Where are all the star marts!!!"

Now flat hunting in Perth has been an experience in itself. We viewed our first one the day after we arrived. So the first thing I found out was that it seems photos can lie hehehe the flat looked 100 times different to what the photos showed... and not in a good way. Flat one viewed and dismissed in just 5 minutes. We decided to walk back to the ferry to get from Victoria Park back to Perth. Over an hour later we were still walking and I was heading into one of what Jason terms me "diabetic phase"... I get VERY cranky when I don't get enough to drink or eat!

The following day our energy was renewed and we were really excited about our flat viewing in South Perth. The pictures made it look really nice on the internet. Arghhhh sounds like de ja vu... and it was. This one I only lasted 2 minutes inside and I had made up my mind. So Jason and I upped the price we were willing to pay for a nice place to live (nearing what we pay a week in our NZ mortgage which is scary).

On our way back home for the evening we picked up a flat application form to see what we needed to apply to rent and I was gobsmacked. First of all you need 100 points of ID. So looking through the form I realise with dismay that a NZ passport, NZ birth certificate, Aussie Marriage Certificate, NZ drivers License and NZ bank card is only 95 points... you need some australian utilities bill, an Aussie bank card (our are 7- 10 working days away), or Aussie drivers licence as well.... We also need 2 (different) personal Perth referees each, we literally don't know that many people here! The other negative factor fir us is that we can't prove a previous rental history and a mortgage history isn't good enough!!!

 Anyway... back to it. In keeping with our current theme our first weekend was spent flat hunting... we got up at 7am to get the paper so that we had time to plot our days route looking at flats (as we were on foot). It took us 2 hours to find a shop open to sell us a paper! But once we got the paper we were set for the day. We found 4 apartments/houses to view, mapped the best routes on google maps and off we went. 

The first place we looked at was in West Perth and was 150 times better than anything that we had so far (but at the top end of our revised rent range). I got the feeling that had we wanted to sign up then and there we would have got the place. However I did have some reservations... namely the big construction site out the front door and verandah... the landlord could not tell us how tall the new building was going to be... I figured it meant that all sun we were potentially going to get would eventually be built out. 

Next stop East Perth.... the total opposite end of the city. We had however learnt from the many KMs of walking of previous days to make use of the free CAT buses within the city so it was a relief to catch a ride. We arrived at this next apartment a little early so found a great little italian restaurant. We shared an amazing woodfired pizza with the best non greasy thin and crispy base you could ever imagine. So no diabetic episodes for me!

This flat was based on wellington st which I must admit I was already biased towards. It was a really cute 2 bedroom place with good storage and on the free bus route. The down side was no air con and a tiny kitchen, the landlord said the kitchen was just fine but in saying that she only ate frozen meals.... hmmm alarm bells.But saying that we were still taken with this place and immediately applied for it.

The next place we looked at nearly made me cry and literally I was disguted about the state of the bathroom. There was no way I could ever consider showering at this place.

So all in all a long day!

We decided to spend the Sunday having a bit of fun so went to Subiaco to explore. Whoops caught out by the no trading on Sundays again!!

After expanding on our rent price Jason and I now decided to increase the radius (from within 5km of city centre to within 10km of the city centre) and we also started looking at 1 bedroom places... 

After extensive internet searching we had now settled on the Claremont/Cottlesloe area as apparantly this is triathlon central. So Jason viewed 4 places at the start of last week and woohoo we found a place. It is a 1 bedroom plus study apartment, with air con and a great deck. It is about 1km from the beach, 200m to the river, 1.4 km to one 50m swimming pool/tri club, 4km to another swimming pool/tri club, a 5 min walk to the train, 50 m walk to the bus, has a car park and has a great kitchen and bathroom. The main downside is the lack of storage. But we decided to take it as it is a real lifestyle choice as well.

Yay so we have a house!!!

So I had to go to the bank and withdraw some money to buy some food (still waiting on bank cards)... I got there at 4.05pm and the bank was closed! 9.30 - 4pm! Another perth trading hours lesson for me.

Late last week I wnt to transfer the rent and bond in advance... and guess what... my internet transfer amount is... wait for it.... $0. I can apply to increase that limit but it takes 5 - 7 work days to process. 

So all in all an interesting first few days... still getting used to the differences to NZ and trying not to say "well in NZ we could do this" too many times.

Well that's all for now... till next time.

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