July 2012


When we first moved here, we set a bit of a budget for our house furnishings. The idea is that we won’t be here long enough to invest in really nice stuff, so I set my sights high on a Craigslist/Gumtree steal (which worked for me last time, back home) in the form of a $100 couch.

Well, that ended up being kind of a disaster. As you may remember, the couch turned out to be pretty grody but we bought it anyway (ugh, just… ugh). Dumbest move ever.

After realizing that no matter how cheap we were trying to be, I couldn’t fathom sitting on that thing for the next three years, I googled and searched high and low for a decent but reasonable deal. Eventually¬† I found a couch/loveseat combo for $695 at a place called Le Cornu furniture. And the best part is that tax is already included in advertised prices down here. We kicked our old grody bodily-fluid-ridden couch to the curb guest room and were left with this:

And then, blissfully, this:

Sure, $700 for two couches won’t buy you the highest quality out there (as was evidenced by our poor friend fearing that she broke one of the arms due to some mysterious creaking noises!). But if they at least last for half of their 5-year structural warranty, we should be okay.

TL;DR: We bought new couches.

A lot has happened since I graced you all with my presence in blogland!

We celebrated our first anniversary by re-creating our favorite wedding photo:

(Yes, I am holding a flower that Stan picked for me.)

If this city has anything, it’s beautiful sunsets. So we thought we’d get an awesome one for our anniversary, but nope! Sandwiched between many days of gorgeous sunsets was our anniversary, foggy as can be.

Here is the viewpoint where we’d hoped to take in some gorgeous orange and gold sky!

We could only laugh.

I  wrote in our leather journal that also served as our guest book.

A friend joined us for the event:

Here I am getting ready for our shot. I wore jeans and tennis shoes for the hike up, then swapped my shoes (same yellow ones I got married in!) and ditched the jeans.

In other news, I’m more homesick than I had anticipated, but I’m settling in here more and more every day. Lately I’ve taken to asking myself, “Now why did we have to move so far away?” I could really use a weekend visit home, but those don’t happen when the round-trip journey eats up 42 hours.

I other other news, I got a job! You guys, unemployment was really really hard. It’s some of the most dejected I’d felt in my life. I started temping, which was really good. I think it made me more relaxed (read: less desperate) for my interviews for permanent jobs. So if you’re currently unemployed against your will, I would suggest signing up with a temp agency!

People seem generally pretty surprised that I managed to land a full-time, permanent job here. A lot of jobs are on a contract basis, which means in 6 or 12 months you get to look for a job all over again (yuck). The job is as a receptionist and marketing assistant at a small financial planning company. So far I really like the people I work with. Nailing the accent is proving to be pretty important, otherwise when I answer the phone all I hear is “G’day heewaahh yeeouui? This is <thickly drawled and impossibly quickly spoken name> ” No disrespect to the accent, it’s just a little hard to understand for a yank!

While I’m at it, here are a few differences I’ve observed between Oz and home:

  • They work fewer hours (my work week is 37.5 hours: 9-5 with a half-hour lunch) and they don’t generally go home and check work emails
  • They drink at work! My office apparently shuts down for “Beer o’clock” at 4:30 sharp on Fridays – for beers in the office
  • “Hours” are called “Trading hours”
  • “Ta” = “thank you”
  • Sprinkles on donuts are sometimes called “hundreds and thousands”
  • They don’t call it 1% and 2% milk. You have to read the label if you want to know how much fat is in there; they’ll name it anything from Skimmer (which is actually 1%) to Lite (which is actually 2%)
  • Stuff is in Kilojoules here, instead of calories. And at McDonald’s (Macca’s) all the KJ info is posted right on the menu
  • Yes, we Stan eats Vegemite

I can’t think of any more at the moment, but I’ll keep you posted.