Sorry it has been a few days since we updated. As my mom would so kindly remind me, "Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens." Ain't that the truth! All of a sudden we went from having 3 suitcases and some Australian brand Ramen noodles, to 3 suitcases, a car, an apartment, a tv, mattresses, a refrigerator...the list goes on!
First of all, here's a picture of our 2003 Mitsubishi Magna:
Unfortunately, we realized there was something wrong with the gas gauge. *Sigh. Really? We just bought it and there's already issues? We were not impressed. We talked to the salesman and he said it sounded like a gas gauge sensor blah blah blah, I don't know and I don't care, just fix it! So we bring it in on Monday and it's under warantee, so it WILL get done quickly, correctly, and most importantly: for free. The brakes are also making that high pitch squealing sound, which usually means the brake pads are low. We brought this to his attention and he said the brakes are one of the first things they check before they sell the car; it could just be some dust (really? Is this true? That sounds absurd to me.) Either way, he will have them look at the brakes if they are still squeaking on Monday. Can't anything be easy?!
We signed the lease for our 2nd choice apartment yesterday. This one has a great location, but it's very very very '70's. Orange back splash tiles, olive green tile floors, crazy psychedelic carpets, orange toilets. But, we only signed on for 6 months, so if we don't like it then, we can move. For now, it's fine.
Anyway, the process to lease an apartment is a huge pain in the derriere. They make it easy with electricity, water, internet, and making payments, though: we just signed a sheet and they take care of turning it all on for us (as opposed to us having to call all the separate companies and set up appointments to have it done like we had to do for all of our places in Maine!) You can also pay rent on the internet...so easy! But, here is the ridiculous, not so easy part. She gave us a packet that's about 20 pages thick--no exaggeration! And told us to "go over it with a fine-toothed comb". The packet lists the condition of everything in the apartment. Everything. Tiles, walls, light fixtures, curtain tracks and rods, door knobs...it doesn't leave anything out. She said if anything was inaccurate or wasn't listed, to mark it in the space provided. We thought, okay, that's very thorough of them! There were even pictures in the packet. So we took the packet to the apartment and got about 4 pages in, 2 hours later. The packet was completely inaccurate and the pictures were old old old. Probably from the '70's. (Except that's an exaggeration because I know digital cameras didn't exist then :) ) So the more we go along, the more infuriated I'm getting. You know Ben...he's keeping calm, but is frustrated as well. The more we have to mark, the angrier I get. Of course I haven't quite adapted to the "No worries" part of the Australian lifestyle...give me some time. Here's a sample of my frustration (not for the faint of heart):
"Are you @#$%^&*$ kidding me? Brand new? No marks, stains, damage or scuffs?! This is #$%^@#&^! I can't #$%^@#$% believe this! Do they even do their jobs? Are they taking advantage of us because we're stupid Americans?! This is going to take us 12 hours to finish! Expletive expletive expletive." (Steam coming out of my ears, skin turns green, muscles emerge, HULK SMASH!)
And it goes on....but really, we had to mark every tiny thing. So we stopped after about 2 hours and went down to the place that we signed papers. We were fine with living in the apartment in the condition that it's in, but to have to fill out this humongous packet of papers that are completely inaccurate was making me very uncomfortable. First of all, we didn't feel like it was our place to have to do their job---why don't they have updated information? Half of it had the wrong color paint on the walls as described in their description! And I also didn't want to not get such a huge security deposit back because they had one packet describing this place as brand new, and our comments stating otherwise.
Anyway, we talked to Mark about it and he said he had to go through the same exact thing. He said to mark everything as worn with scuffs, etc. And they just take your word for it and you get the deposit back. I'm annoyed, but at least I feel better about it. (We're still not done filling the *expletive* thing out, by the way.)
We'll take pictures of the place this weekend, and hopefully we'll be hooked up to the internet soon and can post them! You're all in for a treat :) Everyone is helping us so much. Tyler and Mark gave us 2 mattresses and 2 box springs (so we already have guest beds!) They gave us a tv that used to be Nancy's that they don't use anymore. Nat gave us all kinds of linens and coffee mugs, some tupperware and a coffee maker. She even gave us a canister with coffee in it because she figured we didn't have any. Nancy is letting us borrow her spare refrigerator (no, apartments don't come with refrigerators...weird huh?). We're going yard saling tomorrow and hopefully we can find some pots and pans and silverware, stuff like that. Monday we are taking a tour of the local gym here, and I can't wait for that! Ben really wants to get into playing Squash (it's a lot like racquetball) and I'm dying to try those BodyPump/Body Combat/BodyStep/etc. classes.
So, we might not be online for several days. We're not sure how long it's going to take to get the Internet hooked up (hopefully it's all done already!) but we'll be sure to update with some more pictures.
(See, I'm already getting the Australian lingo..)