I moved into my new flat this week. It happened quickly. Friday night I searched Sydney’s Gumtree site, similar to Kijiji back home, and sent a few texts to places I was interested in. Saturday afternoon I went to look at two places, and the deal was done by Saturday night. I moved in Monday.
It’s located in the North Shore, across the bridge from the city, and the suburb is called Crows Nest. On recommendations from people I’ve met I decided to avoid living in the CBD (Central Business District aka downtown) and move to a suburb. I also decided to avoid Bondi because it has too much of a backpacker vibe, and if I’m going to settle down for a bit, I’d like to see how Australians actually live.
From my place, it’s a 10 minute walk to the train and then another 20 by train to downtown. The commute isea way of life for people here, and the public transit is so good that it’s not a big deal. Although I have been warned the trains are crammed during rush hour. What I most like is that the train station has a grocery store, dry cleaner, and coffee shop so that you can run errands on your way to/from work, without having to go out of your way.
The flat is a big two storey, three-bed, two-bath house. The living room and kitchen have hardwood floors, which I’m thankful for since Australians don’t necessarily take their shoes off indoors, so it’s easier to keep clean than carpet. One entire wall of my room is a closet, which would be heaven if I had more than one suitcase full of stuff, and I bought the bed for next to nothing from the last guy who moved out.
The laundry situation is what’s most interesting here. The washing machine is super fancy with all these crazy settings and options, but there’s no dryer. And that’s not uncommon. So all the laundry gets hung on the line outside or on drying racks indoors if it’s raining. I did my first wash on Tuesday. Today is Friday, and my clothes are just now dry because of all the rain we’ve had. I never thought I would do laundry based on the weather, but it’s an interesting concept.
Sydney is one of the most expensive places in the world to live, so it goes without saying that rent here is higher than it would be in other parts of the country. For the most part rent is still reasonable, though Australian’s charge rent fortnightly (bi-weekly), so that means a few extra payments a year. Rent is charged separately from utilities here too, whereas at home usually everything is included except power. I haven’t quite figured out what to do about food yet, whether I’ll split the groceries or do my own thing. It depends how things go with work and what my schedule will be like.
Ryan & Andrew
My new flat mates are two local guys in their late twenties. Ryan does something in IT and Andrew is in sales for motorcycles. Both of them are laid back and sociable, and they’re relieved that I’m not a slob like the last guy. Not that it matters much, since a cleaner comes by every two weeks. Both Ryan and Andrew are into working out and eating healthy, despite their penchant for an occasional beer, so I think I will fit in nicely.