When I first arrived in Australia, they told us at our International Students trip that we would experience emotions on the "W Curve". Which, initially, relieved me because I realized I wasn't the only one that was having adjustment issues. I have a tendency of putting up a front like everything is okay and I'm having the time of my life at all times. Not the case when I first arrived, which I have already explained. But anyway, Got through the culture shock and have been going through the recovery the last week or so. Nathaniel finally got here so I'm sure that was part of it. But even if he wasn't here, although I'm obviously glad he is, I think I still would be okay.
Anyway, I moved out of my sh*thole of a house, pardon my language. You know how I said before that the hard part was finding someone to fill my room? Wrong (again). The hardest part was finding a place for both me and Nate to live in. I decided I wanted to be closer to the city & basically just out of the middle of nowhere (AKA Burwood). So we went through the grueling process of searching for places and calling/texting/emailing dozens and dozens of people. We finally found a place that was a tad bit expensive, and when I say a tad bit, I mean extremely and ridiculously expensive, yet BEAUTIFUL place in Hawthorn. It's an amazing location right by all these shops and restaurants and bars and shopping and EVERYTHING. It's about 15 minutes to Deakin and only a 10 minute express train ride to the city. MONEY. (Literally, a LOT of money hah.) But it was soo worth it so we decided to go for it. If we both decided to do housing separately, we'd each be paying more, so it's really not that big of a deal that I'm paying almost as much a WEEK as I did for a MONTH of rent at my old place in San Diego. It's on the 4th floor at the top of the building, has a huge balcony/patio, the whole place is huge & clean and new and beautifullll.
So we moved in and that was yet another arduous process. We had to take multiple trips to the new place from my old place via TRAM and lug all of our luggage on and off and walked miles and miles (okay, Nate did most of the carrying). And so the last 2 days have been spent making our room a room. Because, oh yeah - this room wasn't furnished either. So we made due with an air mattress for the first couple of nights and then decided to finally hit up Ikea - yup, they have it here too - and break the bank a little bit. We didn't do half bad either. I feel like a broke college kid all over again:) We also had a great time lugging back a bed (in a box of course because it's Ikea. But it's stil a bed, which is very heavy) and a bedside table along with other random stuff.
I also opened up a bank account here finally (& a joint bank account w/ Nate - yikes! Our bank teller thought it was very exciting that it was our first time opening a joint account together. OOOH, and the savings accounts here give you 5.5% interest. RIDIC. If you ever come here, get an account where you can withdraw or transfer all of your money from your home country to Australia and just keep everything in your savings so you can earn interest). We've finally cooked some real meals for ourselves and have groceries in the fridge for the first time in months. This is also the first time in 3 months that I've had a real closet and a real room. I've been moving from San Diego to the bay to Sacramento to Vegas back to San Diego to Australia and had roughly 14 different residencies all together. So it feels nice to finally not live out of a suitcase.
A few great discoveries I've learned the last couple days: Australia has Groupon! They also have Yelp, which is equally as exciting! We found a couple good asian restaurants and markets that were pretty cheap (the only cheap thing we've found in Australia). We walked around the city yesterday for the first time and discovered how HUGE it is and amazingly beautiful as well. & Nate made some delicious rootbeer floats with Captain Morgan, A&W & cookies 'n cream ice cream - BOMB:)
I've officially & FINALLY gotten over the homesickness. I tried reeeal hard to hide it before, anyway. I probably cried for the first 48 hours straight and then off and on for a week after that. Along with missing everybody back home, I absolutely HATED my living situation. But that's why I wrote "if you don't like something the way it is, change it, or change the way you look at it".
Long story short, I hated my house - it's old. It's dirty (& being in a different country has really brought out my germaphobia-ness). It's dark. & it smells. I unfortunately had already paid $1800ish which really converts to over $2000 US (first month & a half of rent + bond). So I had to find someone to fill my spot. I also had to find somewhere else to live. Finding somewhere else to live seemed to be the hard part but luckily, a spot opened up at the International House, which is kind of dorm like, in the sense that it's all students and closer quarters, although it's in more apartment style buildings. But they're newer and nicer and I was down.
So it turns out, the hard part was finding someone to fill my room. After posting my room on Gumtree (their version of Craigslist..a not as good version of Craigslist...I miss Craig) half a dozen times, I was ready to give up and the IH said they would only hold my room until the end of this week. And so I figured I was stuck here. Until this guy, Steve, wanted to come check it out after I posted the last ad I said I would post for this room. My landlord happened to come right when he was checking it out (my landlord loooves to come here unannounced. & she also loves to use her own key to get in and invade our privacy) and they ended up getting along great and that was that - he signed a contract & now I'm FREEE :)
So now the challenge is finding a new place. Yes, the IH is ideal and I have friends there, but Nate gets here tomorrow and I feel like I can only sneak my boyfriend in (AKA have him live there) for so long. It might be different if I got to know my roommates and they were all fine with him staying a while, but I can't really just show up with two of us. So today I am off to look at places closer to the city in the Richmond/Burnley/Hawthorn areas. I'm hoping they work out & I figured if I'm going to be paying so much (IH is NOT cheap), I may as well be in an area that is closer to the city & to potential jobs we [hopefully] will get. YAYY for change & things working out :)
My family told me I should just suck it up and maybe the place will grow on me. But I've just been miserable here. Miserable as in I don't walk around the house without shoes. Miserable as in everything in the kitchen is sticky because all the cabinets and drawers are so old. Miserable as in I barricade myself in my room and I have a slight (okay HUGE) fear that Huntsmen spiders are about to attack me. So why stick with miserable if you can make some changes yourself? Okay yes, the place got a little less miserable after a while, but still bad nonetheless. If I'm going to be spending maybe a year in this country, I'm gonna do it RIGHT and make the changes I see fit.
& PS - if you are a future student that will be studying abroad in Australia & going to Deakin, do NOT use Burwood Student Living unless you want landlords that act like your parents (she legitimately has come to my house unannounced about 6 times now, has gone through our stuff and told us to clean up after ourselves, calls us at 7/8 in the morning etc). I guess I got the shittiest house and there are nicer ones that they rent out, but I wouldn't want to live here because of the landlords, PERIOD. Just a heads up:)