14 July 2008

We've moved in!

Ahhh. Finally, we're starting to settle in. We've just moved into a lovely place with lovely young lady named Sarah, and a lovely fat cat named Alvin. We really like Alvin. We think he likes us; already, he has treated us to the kind of cat-hilarity we never tire of.

Here's the story: on Sunday night, we went to the IKEA to purchase furniture and sundries. We bought this clever little laundry hamper that has a cloth fold-over top (to hide my dirty undies, of course). So we had set up the hamper, and we're waiting on the larger furniture to be delivered. Alvin comes into our room last night, starts sniffing at our stuff. He's playing with our suitcases and crawling under the bed--really cute. Then he decides to jump onto our hamper. Naturally, he jumps up, the cloth cover gives way, and Alvin falls (flump!) into our hamper and onto our dirty clothes. He freaks, jumps out of the hamper and leaves the room in a flurry of white and black. Comedy genius.

More reasons Australians are not like us (this might become an ongoing segment of the blog and one day, podcast)...

1. Their houses almost never have built-in closets. They just build square rooms, and then you have to buy wardrobes to store your clothes in. Built-in closets are a new-fangled thing here, I think they even call them American-style closets. WTF??

2. They don't have comforters here. They have thin blankets made of velour or cotton or wool, but if you want a thick blanket, you have to buy a quilt. Like a wool quilt. And then you have to buy a separate cover for it. They have polyester ones, but they're not as warm and just as expensive, so you basically have to buy wool. At least it'll biodegrade, I guess. The thing is, a cheap bed-in-a-bag in the States would cost you about $50, and you'd get a fairly warm comforter in it. But they just don't have those here. So you have to drop about $109 on a quilt that will last your whole life.

3. They have crazy birds. That walk around like they are totally normal birds. In the street.

Some things are really hard here, and take a lot of figuring out. We're kind of wearing ourselves thin, just with the small stuff. Purchasing a space heater is really hard. First off, we have no idea where to get a decent one, and then once we figure out where to get one, we can't find the place, and then we find another place and of course by then it's 5:30pm and everything has closed for the night. Try again later.

I've started applying for jobs, mostly part-time. I want to work at the food co-op, it seems like a great way to get connected to the community. Craig has started going to weekly meetings with his team, and doing a lot of orientations to various labs and equipment. I've started researching Master's programs in Media and Communications.

Oh! Right! We took a Harbor Cruise yesterday, with the International Student Services. We went from Darling Point around the harbor and back to Circular Quay. It was really beautiful and freezing cold, and I've put a ton of pictures up on the Picasa page. It seems every picture of the Opera House I've ever seen has been only from one or two angles...in the public interest, I've put up as many different views of the big, beautiful, floating structure as I can get.

Update on the blog title suggestions:

From our long-lost buddy Jonny, who didn't even realize we'd moved away until this very weekend:

"just remember, socialists do it from the bottom up, and you guys are down near the bottom. so do it. from the bottom up. i'll come up with a good name soon for your blogcast. that's my thing that i do. wait a minute, maybe i just did. from the bottom up."

I think that's it for now, friends...


  1. I seem to have missed the post where you explain the switch from teeney tiny studio to ginormous local cat house.

  2. Cathouse!?! No, I think you're thinking of "The Black Cat," the house a few blocks up the street with the red light over the door. Verrry classy.

    Nija will explain soon with a non-bullshit answer.

  3. Here's the story:

    When we got here, we heard all kinds of stuff about how hard it was to find a place. Everyone said, "do everything." As in, look for sharehouses, rental properties, everything.

    So we made appointments to check out sharehouses (where we could rent a room and have a flatmate) and we also did an open inspection for a rental property, the studio.

    We got the studio, but we still had appointments to go see some houses, and we decided not to back out of those appointments.

    One was for a giant room in a giant house where Craig and I would have three other flatmates. I wasn't very excited about this place, because the living area was grim, and there was only one bathroom, and they had a weekly chore list and crap. We didn't get it anyway, because they wanted only one more flatmate instead of two.

    So then we had our last appointment. We didn't make any others because we tired of trolling the internet for places and generally just tired of going to people's houses and the stress. We were tired of not knowing where we'd be.

    Our last appointment was with Sarah. She's got a huge townhouse that used to be a shopfront. I feel like I'm in an eighties movie, because it has a metal roller-door over the front windows. She has a great cat, a smaller (but nice) kitchen, and a nice bathroom that we only share with one person. The top floor used to be a stockroom, so we got the "office" as our bedroom, and she has partitioned her bedroom out of the rest of the former storeroom.

    When we met with her, we got along right away. She's an actor, she's 25, she's hyper and Australian, but she's also really understanding and kind and fun.

    She's nothing like you. We miss you so much, Allen.

    Her cat's name is Alvin, and we keep accidentally calling him Allen, and then I keep almost crying. It's hard to be here without everyone we know. Without the people that we know love us, because we love them...

  4. I have voted for this one! Great name! I am glad to have finally found your blog. It's wonderful to be able to keep up with you guys. Don't you love the birds?

  5. Hey Madeline,

    Craig just showed me your blog; it's so great! It's really nice to get back in touch with you. Reading your blog made me homesick for those Georgia summers, and reading your posts about "putting up" food made me hungry. I'm so glad you are all doing well. Send Nicholas, Gillen, Jesse, Eva, Delfino, Helen, and everyone else our love.