First of all, I’d just like to say that the amount of supportive messages I received after posting my last blog was amazing! For the first time since I moved to Australia, I had felt myself at an all-time low, and so many people stepped up to show that they had my back. I appreciate each and every single one of you 🙂
In other news, we’re all settled in our new house now!! It’s my third house since I first moved to Warragul three months ago. Third times a charm, right? As I mentioned before, I had written a post on the Warragul Facebook group and we ended up getting three responses from random people who just happened to have a spare room in their house. Gabi and I looked at the houses two weekends ago, and then we decided which one we’d want to move to so that we could give our landlords two weeks’ notice (I had asked them if they could just keep our bond money so that we wouldn’t have to pay the last two weeks’ rent and they agreed, luckily).
On the Friday evening, we looked at our first option. It was about a 20-minute walk away from our house, and the owner was a 27-year-old guy who grew up in the area, but had been travelling for the past few years. He had a two-bedroom place, so it would just be him with me and Gabi. He was offering $100/week (which is what I was paying at Ali’s place – I was paying $125/week in my second house), and would be able to furnish the room with two single beds.
We went to our second and third options on Saturday morning. The second option was close to the first option and would be with a 34-year-old woman in a three-bedroom house. The plus side of this place was that Gabi and I would each get our own room, meaning we’d get some space to ourselves. She was offering $125/week, and the house was huge so we’d have lots of room. However, Gabi and I both felt that the conversation was a bit more forced, and we could tell that there might be a few more rules in this house.
The third option, Gabi and I had already ruled out before we even got there because it was a 50-minute walk away from our house, and even further away from our work. However, we decided to give it a chance just in case. It was with a middle-aged woman and her 18-year-old son. She ran a daycare, was a smoker, and had two dogs. Nope, nope, and nope. I couldn’t imagine coming home from work and having to deal with a bunch of kids, since I already had to deal with Chloe in the first house. The lady seemed nice and actually gave us a ride back to town once she found out that we had walked to her house, but it just wasn’t the right fit for us.
Gabi and I went to McDonald’s to have a long discussion over lunch. We wrote a Pro and Con list about our first two options and it was obvious that we both agreed on where we were wanting to stay. Our decision was mostly based on the fact that we’re in Australia to have an experience so we want to live somewhere that will feel like home. Somewhere where we could potentially see ourselves hanging out with the owner – having long chats or going out. We didn’t want to just live somewhere where we felt like we were living in someone else’s home, cooking in someone else’s kitchen, and casually just saying, “Hey, how was your day?” in the evenings while passing in the hallway. Therefore, even though it would have been really awesome to have our own rooms, we
|Summer clothes vs Winter clothes 😦
decided to go with option 1, as we decided it would be the most comfortable situation. I messaged Paul and told him that we’d be happy to move in two weeks later if he’d still have us, and he said yes!
Last week at work was pretty quiet… my supervisor sent us home at lunch on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which kind of sucked. On Wednesday and Friday, he gave us the option to help clean out another shed, which I did on Wednesday, but on Friday I decided not to since I needed to pack up the house. I planned out my time so that I could pack up my room on Thursday night and pack up the kitchen on Friday night. I didn’t realize how much stuff we had accumulated!! On Friday after work, I had to walk to the car rental place in order to pick up the car at 4pm and by the time I got there, it started pouring rain (which has basically continued from that moment up until now)!! I then drove to the grocery store to pick up some boxes for moving and then started packing up the kitchen. The next morning, I woke up early to start packing up the car, clean the kitchen, and vacuum the floors. I was determined to get out as early as possible since we had picked up our key at 9am on a Saturday and I was pretty sure the landlords weren’t going to be too lenient, given our history with them. I also decided to leave the place somewhat clean because I didn’t want to end up hearing from them again.
Paul messaged me at 9:45am to say that he just got back home, so we jumped in the car and drove over. He was shocked when we
|When you know everyone at the grocery store…
just kept bringing more and more stuff in the house. We spent a couple of hours unpacking everything in the kitchen and our rooms. I decided to only take out my winter clothes since my summer clothes are no longer necessary in this weather (which meant I literally only had to take out like five things). For those of you who don’t know, I had put my other two suitcases in storage so that I wouldn’t have to carry them around (for $14/bag/month, which wasn’t too bad). When I first got to Melbourne, I bought a smaller suitcase and put all of my summer clothes in that since I assumed that I’d only be gone for three months. However, the weather has gotten so cool and I was constantly freezing, so I decided I HAD to get my suitcases back. Lucky for me, Gabi has a friend who’s an au pair in Melbourne so I was able to get the suitcases delivered to that house on Thursday. Then we could pick them up when we went to Melbourne! After we finished unpacking, we went to the last 15 minutes of the Warragul Farmers’ Market just to see what it was like. I was actually surprised as to how many stalls they had, even though most of them had already shut down. It only happens once every month, so I guess we’ll have to wait until next time! We went to a sushi restaurant for lunch, and then we did our grocery shopping for the week. That evening, we just decided to relax since we’d have a busy day on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, we got up early so that we could leave the house by 9am. We drove to Melbourne to go to Gabi’s friend’s
house and I was finally reunited with my suitcases! It felt like Christmas, because it had been four months since I last opened them and I
didn’t even remember what was inside. I was just happy to see my winter jacket again! After we put the suitcases in the car, we went to a nearby mall, where we stopped at K-Mart and The Big W (Walmart) to buy everything we needed for the new place. Then we had a quick lunch before driving to our big destination: Healesville Sanctuary! Gabi and I had booked (and paid for) close-up encounters with some of the animals, and we arrived ten minutes before the first encounter. Gabi went on her encounter with the kangaroos, so I just took pictures. We then had about a half hour to look at some of the other animals before our next encounter, which was with a KOALA!!! So folks, I finally got to see a koala in Australia; I was so excited! We only got to stand under it, as I think holding koalas in Victoria is illegal. But it was so cute! It definitely made my day. After our encounter, we only had about 45 minutes left until the park closed, so we ran around with our umbrellas in the rain to see emus, dingos, tasmanian devils, and platypuses (platypi?). We drove back to Warragul to drop everything off at the house, and I unpacked my suitcases. Afterwards, we had to take the car back to the car rental, and Allen came to pick us up and take us to his house because
he and Viola invited us over for dinner, which was beef noodles – so delicious!! We didn’t get home until late that night, but it was such a good day! Also, since we moved to this house, I’ve been sleeping like a baby! In the last house, I would wake up in the middle of the night every single day, and I’d be exhausted at work all the time. Now, I haven’t had a problem and I feel so refreshed. I must have let go of all the stress, which is good.
This week at work, our supervisors have been struggling to give us hours. They said that since we don’t have any sunlight, the plants aren’t growing fast enough, so there’s less work for us to do, and then we end up finishing too fast. Today, he cut the Arch Support team down to three people (lately there’s been 9 people), so we worked until 2 and then he sent us to another shed to help with cleaning. I’m happy that he’s at least trying to find us work because my paycheques keep getting smaller and smaller as we get more and more into winter. Anyway, after this week is finished, I’ll only have eight weeks left at the farm! The time goes by so fast over here. I’d also just like to point out that this weekend will be my ten-year high school reunion, which absolutely blows my mind. At this time ten years ago, I would have been trying to decide if I wanted to au pair in France or Germany, or work at Disneyworld. I don’t know if I ever shared that decision on here.. Back when I was trying to figure out my life (okay, let’s face it, I’m STILL trying to figure out my life), I was searching aupairworld.com, looking for the perfect family. I got in contact with two main families – one in Germany and one in France. Upon further research, I found out that in order to get a Visa for Germany, I would have to pass a German test and since I didn’t know one word of German, I figured I should probably go for France. However, I was ALSO applying to work at Disneyworld. Not as a Disney princess (as much as I would have liked), but just as your normal fastfood/restaurant worker. Who wouldn’t want to work at the happiest place on earth?! I filled in all of the applications, got my references, did the half hour Skype interview, and I waited for a response. The response never seemed to come though, and when my French family said that they needed a decision by the end of the week, I decided to just go for it. I wrote them back and said that I would be their au pair. Three days later, I received a massive Welcome package in the mail from Disneyworld. I had been offered the job… Well, fate brought me to France, which is what started all of my travels and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for those decisions that I had made when I was 18. So here I am! I hope everyone has been doing well! I have never felt so jealous to see all of the sunny pictures that everyone is posting! Love always
Never Come Back Again – Austin Plaine