I've been in Melbourne for one month now. As it turns out, moving to another country is quite different to travelling or holidaying. Before I left I pictured us driving up the Great Ocean Road in the cheapest working car we could find, embracing koalas, splashing in beautiful rivers, seeing the Great Barrier Reef... So far I've managed to almost completely replicate my life in Galway and we haven't left Melbourne city.
Something that happens when you move to another country is that you have to take 2 weeks to set up all those mundane life things that you spent the last 10 years sorting. And since you started sorting them when you officially became an adult at 18, your Mum probably did most of it for you. While I'm sure if she could, my Mum would help me set up my Australian bank account, it's simple not feasible.
Here is a list of our adventures so far:
-The absolute fiasco of getting our laptops delivered. For more information see my blog post on the subject. In summary, they arrived 3 weeks after we did, rather than the expected 5 days.
-Setting up a bank account. Initially we figured we're only here until November, do we really need bank accounts? Well it turns out that if you want to do anything at all while in Australia, yes you do. I had to use my Irish passport for this (if you use an Aussie one they want a load of other stuff) and he thought the Irish word for Irish (Eireannach) was my last name. So now I have what drug dealers can only dream of: A bank account in a fake name. I'm too good really though, I alerted them. I kept the invalid debit card as a memento.
-Getting a phone number. My phone is unlocked, so I got free sim and put 10 dollars on it. "Sure I'm never going to use it. I have my Irish phone." I explained to the man in the shop who didn't care. Two weeks and $60 worth of credit later I admitted defeat and got a contract. In fact the day I got the contract, I gave my bank letter as proof of address. The guy in the shop, being acquainted with Ireland said 'Your last name isn't actually Eireannach is it?'
-Getting somewhere to live. We booked an Air BnB place for our first month, reasoning that would be plenty of time to find somewhere more permanent. We viewed 4 utter hovels and immediately increased our budget. In the end it got too stressful so we asked if we could just stay on in our Airbnb place.
-Medicare: I was told to go get a medicare card because if I get appendicitis it'll cost me. This was actually one of the easier procedures (the card, not appendicitis).
-An Australian driver's licence. I just can't bear showing my pink, paper Irish one anymore. I'm one year short of expiry so I can't get the new little card. Oh also, I need one to drive.
It's fun though. And my friend Marty brought us to a burlesque show with witches for Dan's birthday. It was called Witches in Britches.