Monthly Archives: September 2003

Stuff I wanna do here.

This entry is basically just for me to remember everything I want this site to do eventually.

  1. Separate ‘add news’ page (instead of having it on the mass-edit page with previous entries).
  2. Expand books page to include music and movies. For this new ‘media’ section, a separate page for each item include ratings, cover photo, comments, and a link to buy it and/or to movie showtimes.
  3. Put the admin features for the news and media sections together so I only have to login at ONE place.
  4. I know a lot of blogs have comments, but a) this isn’t a blog, and b) I write here so I can say what *I* think, not so everyone else can tell me what *they* think. I get too much of that already.

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Tie me kangaroo down

So now that I’m faced with having to go home to Wisconsin early, I’m learning a whole ‘nother set of interesting bits of Australian life. First thing is, four weeks notice is customary when moving out of rented property. Four weeks. At the last two places I lived in River Falls it was more than that (one 2 months, one 90 days). Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those.

And then Friday I decided I’d better start letting other people know I’m leaving, like the electric company (who still haven’t sent me a bill). Funny thing is, I went to their website, and followed a few links, and look! you can connect, disconnect, move your service FROM A FORM ON THE WEB SITE. Why didn’t they tell me this when I signed up for the service in the first place?!

So I filled out their form to get disconnected October 18th. And then I went to the Australia Post web site to find out what it takes to forward my mail after I leave. And here’s the weird thing: you get different service levels depending on how much you pay them. For one month’s forwarding, you pay $9; three months, $22; six months, $33; twelve months, $66. Totally bizarre when you’re from the USA and they do it for free for a full year.

And on today’s agenda is: 1. visiting a Telstra shop (again) to get my phone disconnected, 2. visiting the GPO to see if my mail has arrived there yet, 3. visiting Darrell Lea again to get more chocolate. And I might have lunch at Subway since I haven’t done that in a while.

Oh yeah, and I have to get my plane tickets changed too. So I emailed my travel agent and asked her what I’d have to do, and she said she’d look into it and get back to me. It’s been over a week now and she hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Since it’s Sunday evening there, I’ll give her till this time tomorrow before I do anything else about it.

Six days till the Weird Al concert. Eight days till we board the train for Broken Hill, NSW, to visit Darrin’s mum & stepdad. Five days later we come back to Adelaide, and a week after that my visa expires and I have to go home. Where it’s getting cold, there’s no Tim Tams or Darrell Lea, the closest Wetzel’s Pretzels is at Twin Cities International Airport, and you have to pay at least twice as much for a leg of lamb.

Ten things I DON’T like about Australia

  1. South Australia’s laws on trading hours. Means that most places close at 5 pm every night (except Thursday, then it’s 9 pm) and are closed Sundays. It’s slowly getting better, but it’s a pain in the neck after living within driving distance of a 24 hour Wal Mart & 24 hour supermarket.
  2. The water at my flat is gross. It tastes overly chlorinated. So I’ve been drinking bottled water instead.
  3. Since most houses don’t have central heating, it actually feels colder here a lot of the time at 50 (10 C) than it does in Wisconsin at 20 (-7 C).
  4. A few of my favorite things aren’t sold here: American cheese, Little Debbies, Welch’s strawberry soda, cheddarwurst, Kraft Mayo (they do have *A* Kraft Mayonnaise here, but it’s not the same at all), and most importantly, MY BRAND OF SHAMPOO! So I’ve been testing a couple brands, and they seem to work for the first week, but a few days after that, my hair starts to get tangled & not feel right.
  5. Adelaide really sucks for job hunting.
  6. I still haven’t seen Gilmore Girls or Ed on any of the whopping five TV channels Adelaide gets. Heck, even Sydney & Melbourne only have 6 or 7.
  7. Employers who say they’ll contact you, but never do. Or conveniently “forget” to contact you again after they’ve found out you’re 5-6 years older than the people they normally employ.
  8. The wheels on shopping carts (trolleys) are ALL free to spin, instead of having the rear ones fixed. So your cart basically has a mind of its own and will go wherever it wants.
  9. When you’re driving along a road, often, only the side streets are marked with signs. So if you don’t look when you turn onto the road, or remember from the last time you travelled on it, you don’t know the name of the street you’re on.
  10. Have I mentioned the whole job situation?

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Ten things I like about Australia

  1. Chocolate: Tim Tams, Darrel Lea, Haigh’s, Cadbury.
  2. Adelaide’s public transport is pretty decent. Buses aren’t late as a rule, and if they are, it’s only by a minute or two.
  3. Wetzel’s Pretzels. Yum. Every time I go to Tea Tree Plaza now, I get one as I’m leaving. It lasts long enough to get to the bus interchange just outside.
  4. If you live in the suburbs or city, anything you could possibly need is (generally) within walking distance. My flat is 5 minutes walk from one set of shops and 10 minutes from another (and half of that 10 is having to cross 4 lanes of traffic). From here, I can walk to two supermarkets, two chicken shops, two news agents, two bakeries, a post office, four ATMs (possibly more I haven’t seen yet), Subway, Pizza Hut, Target, a post office, a doctor’s office, a butcher, a fruit & vegetables shop, at least two chemists (pharmacies), a thrift shop (where I’ve bought lots of stuff, from a bath mat to clothes pins) and much more that I haven’t explored yet. And two bus stops, so who needs a car?
  5. Koorong. This is one of two chains of Christian bookstore in Australia (I think two; the only other one in Adelaide is Word Bookstore). Mountains of books. The music section could use a little help, but since it’s generally $30 for any CD here, I haven’t bothered with that yet.
  6. DIY (do it yourself) TV shows, where they take a room or a house or yard or something and renovate it within a few days, with a set budget. I like seeing what people can do on limited funds.
  7. Fasta Pasta schnitzels. Actually the menu calls it “veal parmigiana,” but that’s too fancy a name for my liking.
  8. I don’t get bombarded with over-the-top news reporting about the same thing over & over & over again. Example: Yesterday was September 11th. I barely heard any news reports about memorials or reflection or anything else. Okay, so that’s partly because I don’t have a radio and I don’t bother watching daytime TV, but even if I did, it wouldn’t be every news show devoting their entire airtime to the event.
  9. The flat I’m living in has the quickest drains of anywhere I’ve ever lived.
  10. When it’s not raining or cloudy or windy, the weather is really nice.

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Yeah, I’ve been lazy, so sue me.

It’s been 3 months & 7 days since I posted any news here. Figured it was time I posted SOMETHING, even if it’s just silliness. But it won’t be silliness.

So here’s an update on my situation. I am in Adelaide, South Australia, living in a “granny flat” in the suburb of Campbelltown. I came here to work, but even though I’ve looked just about everywhere I can think of, I’ve had no success. I’ve had only one interview, I’ve filled out paperwork at several places, and still nothing. Saturday I’m going to an “assessment” at a Big W store with a bunch of other hopefuls (basically they want to find out how well we work together, who can work unsupervised, that kind of thing). And after that hopefully I’ll find out if they want me to go to an interview. But since my visa expires on October 19th, I’m starting to wonder what the point is in looking for work anymore. Five weeks and four days. I can’t even get hired for things that backpackers normally get hired for (seasonal work like fruit picking) because I’m too old, and the younger you are, the less they can pay you.

But anyway, the trip hasn’t been a total loss. Sure, I’m living off my credit card, and AGL (the electric company) still hasn’t sent me a bill, and Telstra (phone company) has been a pain in the neck, and don’t get me started on my IEP mail situation, but I can get Tim Tams whenever I want them. And I’ve discovered the wonders of hanging clothes outside to dry (I’d say rediscovered, but any time my mom made me do it when I was young I hated it). And I’m getting really good at cooking lamb roasts. And I’ve gotten used to not having a job somewhat, so I don’t get as bored during the day as I did.