Thursday, January 24, 2013

Days 3 and 4: Helpful hints for moving to Perth

Quick house update-- We were approved!! 

So this might sounds like a lot of complaining but I'm going to try and make it a constructive lesson's learned (how very engineering of me)!

Before getting on a bus, make sure you check if its going all the way to where you want to go.
Our apartment is at the other end of the CBD from my office.  So all I need to do is catch a bus, go 5 stops and go to work.  Well, I didn't look at the bus number but I did ask if the bus went to St George's Terrace.  She said yes and on I went.  So we went a couple of stops and she said that she was about to turn off and that I should probably get off and just walk up.  I should have clarified I needed the end of the street. 

Before you trust a stranger for directions, look at the street signs for the number range.
The Perth office is at 235 St George's Terrace.  I saw #225 and kept walking.  Ended up at a split and walked down the street that wasn't St. George's Terrace anymore.  So I see a building that I thought I recognized but didn't see a number.  So I ask this guy if I was on the right street and he said no that I needed to go back and then he asked what number and pointed to this brown building.  So I walked back up and crossed the split road.  Well that was #251 or something.  So I turned around and noticed #240 so I knew I had passed it.  Then I see the little silver number that leads to the building behind the other buildings.  I also see that the street signs have the street number range on them.  So obvious once you miss it.  At least I gave myself half an hour so I wasn't late but I was a little sweaty for my 1st day of work.

I managed to get home on Wednesday and get to work and home on Thursday without incident.

You need points for everything from house rental to cell (mobile as they call it here) phones.
Chris and the kids met me at work this morning so we can go to the bank and get cell phones.  Bank was pretty straight forward.  So off we went to find someone to break the iphones and get a new plan in Australia.  Well no one is able to break the phone so we can call AT&T to get it done in 5-7 working days.  We knew that they could do it before coming but thought someone at the Apple store here could do it.

We see a doctor in the middle of the outdoor mall so we take E in since she hasn't been able to keep food inside.  Big diagnosis: diarrhea and to keep giving her the probiotics, electrolytes and water.  Chris was worried it was dysentery, parasites, etc. thanks to googling symptoms (he should know better).  But E and I really liked the doctor and it's close to the train so it will be an easy ride to go back there in the future.
{Emilia fell asleep on the toilet after we woke her up to talk to Kaley and Mia.  You can also see the suitcases in the shower.}

So then we go to one of the big phone carriers.  Chris had gone in while we were at the clinic and found that we could get a iPhone5 and plan for $70/month each but he couldn't get past the employment question since he doesn't have a job here.  So I go back and sit there and answer a million questions and try to get them what they need.  We have passports.  We don't have an Australian utility bill (although we had US ones), we don't have Australian driver's license but the US ones are reciprocal, we don't have birth certificates, rental agreement in our name, etc. so we can't get a phone contract.  By this time, I'm irritated that we wasted so much time and I need to get back to work since it's only Day 2.  So we need a phone and can get a pay as you go card.  So we could either buy a cheap phone or just wait for the phones to be unlocked.  I learned that there are burner phones at the post office so I think we'll get Chris one so I can at least talk to him while I'm at work and not depend only on email.

Take the max amount of cash out of the country with you.
We should have taken $10,000 not just $1500.  So I've been trying to get our money transferred from the US bank to the Australia bank since I got back to work.  Security is high and so anything over $1000 transferred needs a site key.  So you can get that sent to your cell phone or $20 for a card to be sent in 5-7 days but you can't do that if you've changed addresses in the last 30 days.  So when I got home we called my mom to see if we could get it sent to her.  Couldn't do it sooner since we're 14 hours ahead and it was the middle of the night.  So of course she says no problem.  So we go to get set up and it looks suspicious since my office has the server in KL and then we're trying to login in Austrailia (like we're some computer geek that knows how to manipulate that kind of stuff.)  I'm the opposite of  the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!  So we then talk to the bank and they say try again in a hour since we answered all the security questions so it will go through.  So we've now tried again and he's on the phone with them since it still didn't go through.  Well they said to use Internet Explorer and it worked.  Halleluiah.  Hopefully we can get cash tomorrow and it's not being held.  Nope looks like Tuesday.  Ah... Nothing is easy.

Have a backup plan and patience.
We set up Vonage so at least we can call the US and skype.  Our parents will bail us out but they're wire won't be any faster than ours.  I can mail something 2 day but electric money can't go across some wires?

So tomorrow morning, we're going to pick up the Pathfinder.  Since I now have a 4-day weekend (off Friday plus Australia day on Monday) we'll hopefully get to site-see a bit and explore what's around us.


  1. Oh Tracey!! Your lessons are reminding me SO much of when we moved to Singapore as kids. The good news is that in a few months these will be hilarious stories and shortly after that you may be wondering if you even want to come home ;). Hang in there!

  2. LOL, well chalk these trial up to the perils of such a grand adventure. Sounds like you're handling it all in stride! There's probably a market there for someone to handle all this stuff for folks coming in there. Maybe you should start a side business. LOL

  3. Oh my goodness. I am exhausted just reading about your stuggles . . . And Ben and Cam loved the picture of sweet Emilia sleeping on the loo! I'm so sorry that it has been so hard--you and Chris are such troopers. The weekend is fast-approaching--maybe you guys can take it easy and go exploring in your new car. Much love and big hugs!! PS Do you know the BRAT Diet for E? Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast {plain} until her intestines build back up the good stuff.

  4. Poor Emilia---she will be fine though. Hope things get a little easier soon. Once you get a car, a phone and a house-yall will be great! Love you, Mom