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Settling Down

Got the internet connection last night!!

Three weeks after living at a hotel, we moved into a rental apt on 20 January. Staying in a hotel room with a two-year and six-year-olds was harsh. We went out everyday but returning to the room was never pleasant. They needed more space and I was screaming for some privacy. Glad it was over :D (it was actually nothing compared to my parents' experience back in 1978: living with three teenagers and a 4-year-old for THREE MONTHS at a hotel in The Hague, as we arrived in Holland while the house was still under construction)

How did we get the apt?

We checked some apartment listings on the internet and  inspected 15 units between 5-9 January.  Having used to the clean and well maintaned apts in Munich, the condition of the ones in Sydney came to us as a shock. The rental  here is pricey, as a matter of fact it's way above the price back in Munich (while Munich is already one of the most expensive cities in Europe). So it's a shame that many owners in Sydney don't even care to present their apts nicely!

The first 12 apts we inspected, ranging from our lowest to highest budget, were mostly old and/or dirty. Some were so dirty that our kids  sneezed continuously during our brief minutes there. Some others had dead cockroaches laying around, and with disgusting stains on the carpets or tiles. The rest were so ancient and looked as if they came straight out of a movie from the 1970s.

The last 3 units we saw were rather nice. One was a newly-renovated 3 bedroom with wooden floor, but located above a massage parlor. The second had 2 beds and 2 baths with swimming pool onsite but the bathrooms are rather yuckie for my standard, plus I could hardly feel the breeze of the wind inside the unit (note: Sydney's summer is fierce. A very kind lady at the hotel strongly advised us to look for one with THE breeze). The last  one was on the top floor of a 3 story building, 2 beds, with lots of breeze and sparkling clean bathroom and kitchen.

We chose the third option, and guess what: the owner is German, from Munich, which explains why it looked super clean compare to the others. The building is located uphill, within walking distance to shops, 5 mins by bus to the school and beach.

View  of Sydney's CBD from our sun-room

Our container is still somewhere in the ocean and will arrive in another 2-3 weeks. We are living with borrowed air beds and dining chairs for now.

Husband commutes 40 mins by car to his office. As our house is really well located, we hope to live with only one car.

Kids and I spent the first week going around the junction of our suburb. Lots of Asian restaurants, shops and 3 big supermarkets. The public library system is much better than the one in Munich (although it's still below the standard of the library in our suburb back in Illinois) and we were hanging around the library almost everyday. I borrowed the Twilight saga and without internet at home, I finished reading all 4 in 2 weeks (and I'm so much in love with Edward Cullen ... LOL)

On 27 January, a day after the Australia Day, Joseph started his school at the French School and Louise began her twice-per-week schooling at an Australian day care.

Kids were proud with their Australian flags

.........to be continued ........



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update. semoga cepet settle.
Feb. 4th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
How do you decorate the home to feel homey, like it's 'yours' but also cheaply? I have only been living this highly mobile life for three years now (before it was my parents decisions to decorate) and I'm in the dreaded 'all the walls are white' dilemma!
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Did you try 2nd hand? I have a friend who loves hunting at garage sales and she have found plenty of beautiful and cheap ones.

Our family goes for IKEA LOL .... and dragged them from Europe, to America and now to the down under...
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh wonderful, there's an IKEA in Beijing!
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
Thanks, Cin.
Feb. 4th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
glad you finally get the apt there, mbak!
semoga container cepet nyampe biar bisa tidur di proper bed lg:))
and it seems like you've got vamped! welcome to team edward;)

++retno (rwidiani)
Mar. 12th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Re: glad
Thank you ahahha go team Edward!
Feb. 4th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
You've seen 15 places? that's way too many for me! i would've been stressed out over it. That apartment must have been waiting for you guys all along!! I can relate living in the hotel room thing, there was some time when I was visiting Wan on his travel and lived in a hotel room 2 weeks at a time. Keith and I did when out to parks and libraries all the time, and at some point I got very tired doing it. Good for you Edward Cullen came to your rescue darling! Miss you a lot!.. peluk cium buat Jo and Louise.. duh itu photo pake bendera oz bikin kangen ajah.. pas yah sempet lewat Australia Day, bikin mereka merasa lebih kenal and nyaman di oz abis pindah..
mudah2an kita bisa chat kapan2 yah, kalo dah ada no telp jangan lupa kasih tau gue.. -xoxo ake
Mar. 12th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Miss you too, Ke, untung ada skype yah hehehe
Feb. 7th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
I've been looking forward to it. And not in vain: this post of yours brings upbeat news.

First of all according to your experience living in Europe is cheaper compared to Australia. Good news for me - I will stay put.

And January may have been tough, but on the face of it you managed to be back to ( almost) normal already. That's quite an achievement. And everything probably will be perfect in less than a month from now - after the containers has arrives, I mean.

And, the main thing: your children look happy.

Mar. 12th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Sydney is an expensive city .. I don't know about other cities in Australia though.

Yes, the arrival of our countainer changes many things .. the house becomes messy but all of us feel more home than before :D.
Feb. 11th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
all is good
glad to hear you're setting in. being settled is good, at least temporarily, right? enjoy the down under and kisses for my lovely niece and nephew!

Mar. 12th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Re: all is good
Tante M, kisses from Joseph and Louise :D.
Feb. 20th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Hi All

www.lingodesigns.com is created from the languages around the world!

Come and visit!
Feb. 24th, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)
heyyy... udah touched down di syd ternyata ya.. welcome to ozland! kan syd memang sebutannya the capital of kecoaaaaa.. jangan heran kalo kecoa bertaburan di mana2 .. hihii..

hope you're settling in well in Syd!

Mar. 12th, 2010 07:24 am (UTC)
Haaa beneran ya Sydney banyak kecoa hehhehe ini rumah kita biarpun udah dikasih kawat nyamuk, teteup aja loh serangga bisa masuk.
Thanks, Ka.
Mar. 4th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I'm amazed to hear that Australian apartments are dirty. From abroad the impression you get of Australia is this Arcadian world of carefree perfection.

glad the "hardest" part of your move is nearly behind you ..:)

Oh my gosh do your kids look sweet! :)
Mar. 12th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
Mmm Australia is unique ... I cannot really compare it with any other countries.

The hardest part is actually the fitting-in process :D.. I just wrote a long and boring story about it hehhehe.

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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