Monday, April 21, 2008

That would make my dad nuts.

I have vivid childhood memories of my father's reaction to bare feet. He used to hate it when we would run around in the great outdoors without shoes on. As an adult, I can understand his concerns... we lived on a farm and there were all manner of things you could step on or that could step on you. It was just dangerous and stupid to run around barefoot.

But, as a kid, there is nothing better in the summertime than running around barefoot. I admit, to this day, I hate wearing socks, and I refuse to wear them unless it's COLD. I'd much rather throw on a pair of flip flops and tough out the cold weather as long as possible.

Here, it's easily warm enough to wear flip flops a good 9 months of the year, if not longer. And you could probably get along just fine without even owning a pair of socks. But, it's the craziest thing here... people go barefoot... everywhere! On the bus. On the train. On the city sidewalks. In the supermarket. In the library. I am not kidding. I have seen people (both children and adults!) barefoot in each and every one of those places.

Today I am standing in the lobby of my office and I look out to see 3 guys walking by without shoes on. Just walking down the street. It's chilly here today. And raining. And these guys are wearing shorts, hoodies, and no shoes. Just strolling down the sidewalk. And I thought to myself "now THAT would make my dad nuts."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Potato, Potahto

We finally bought a television today. We are back amoungst the ranks of those who are overinformed. We are telling ourselves it's ok to spend 7 straight hours in front of the television... after all, we are just catching up after not having one for 3 months. And, it's winter, so it's ok. Riiight. Whatever.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Like herding turtles

And life continues. I feel like I am in a black hole as far as communication goes lately, so many apologies to those of you suffering from blog withdrawal. Just realised I have lived here for 3 months now and no one has called us from "home," not once, and that is a bit of a depressing thought.

We have been apartment hunting. Sigh. I don't know if you recall Jonathan's frustration during his first round of apartment hunting... but I can assure you that Hard to believe that our 6 month lease is up already, but it is. So, we have been considering moving. Which, I must stress to you is no easy decision.

We have had some maintenance issues with our current property manager. We have been 5 months without heat or air conditioning, and over 2 months without a working dishwasher. We cannot seem to get them to fix these items, and it's a bit of a pain to constantly be wondering if or when it's going to happen. Not to mention, it's a bit of pain to keep paying rent each month when they aren't being fixed. And since we are now heading into winter without heat... well, we are considering a move.

So, here is how apartment hunting in Oz works. You go onto the website You search by suburb for the areas you want. You narrow it down to the price range you can afford, and then you spend about an hour writing down or printing out all the remaining properties the fit your criteria. Then you call each and every agent and get the OFI (Open For Inspection) time. Which is a 15 minute period on a random day... usually Saturday. Then you fill out an application for each property. EACH one.

Then, you get up early on a Saturday, dress to impress, and race around like a crazy person to each of these 15 minute OFI sessions. Here's where it gets fun. Since you are not the only one looking for an apartment like this, you get to stand in line at each OFI with about 50 of your nearest and dearest rivals and then you ALL traipse through the apartment at once, trying to decide if you like it. It doesn't really matter if you like it though, since you only have the opportunity to get into about 10 or 12 each Saturday (and that is if you have a car!) - you basically have to apply to ALL of them. Whether you like them or not. And so you drop off an appplication and speed off to the next OFI.

If you DO like it, and you might even want to live there, you have to bid at least $20 over the listed price... which is PER WEEK, by the way, for those of you who actually looked at the website. No, those lovely 1 bedders listed for $500... those are not monthly rates. They are weekly. Heh.

Anyway, so after you have run all over kingdom come trying to view a dozen properties in a span of 3 hours, you sit back and wait. And sometime in the next week, you may or may not get a call telling you that your application has been selected and you are the lucky new tenant with a hideous purple bathroom, shared laundry, dodgy neighbours and (if you are really lucky) a balcony.

We saw 10 apartments today. I hated them all. I am exhausted.