Swimming through the heat wave

glass pool fencingI tried my best to keep out of everybody’s way for the best part of the day. I didn’t want to be annoying people around me anyone. I had tried to do something considerate in the morning which only ended up backfiring and resulting in me wrecking the air conditioner. I felt terribly guilty, I knew that it would be an expensive repair. The weather had been super hot lately and this morning was as bad as Summer had been. I woke up dripping in a pool of my own sweat and thought it would be a top idea to cool the house down for the family. I tried to get the air conditioner working but none of the buttons worked, I pushed them all for good measure. By the time Mum and Dad got up, the air conditioner was beeping loudly wouldn’t turn on.  Rather than face my mother I decided to hide in the pool. We had recently just got the backyard pool installed and filled and were only waiting on the glass pool fencing. Melbourne was set for a scorcher and I knew that my parents would be cranky without the air conditioner. Mum called for me a few times but I dipped below the water and waiting at the bottom of the pool. If only we had the pool fence installed it would have been more difficult for my mother to see me hiding in the pool. 

The reason I felt so bad was mostly because I knew my parents already had to pay for our brand new aluminium pool fencing. Melbourne is a trendy place to live and my parents wanted our pool to fit right in with the neighbours. I knew I should relax bad but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was a burden to my parents. A little later after I got out of the pool mother came to my room and asked me why I was hiding. She had noticed that I had been avoiding everyone was concerned. I broke down in tears and told Mum that I was the one who broke the air. She gave me a big hug and told me to stop worrying. We spent the rest of the day eating fruit salad and looking through the pool fencing catalogue. I need to worry less.

Moving to a better reception

Melbourne antenna installationLet it never be said that I will leave a friend hanging. My good buddy John has finally decided to move to a new apartment, the poor guy lives over an hour away from his uni. After having to get up at 5am every day to get to class he’s finally over it. All the other housemates are thinking of leave with him, that will leave the entire place completely vacant. His place is massive, there is enough space to house five people comfortably. It’s basically a small mansion, I may be exaggerating. Every room has it’s own bathroom, there are two garages and a huge back garden with an impressive vegetable garden. Sure the TV antennas need replacing but it’s a small problem that can fixed quickly.

The rent is paid up for another six months so they’re looking to get someone in to take care of the place for cheap. Cue yours truly to come to the rescue and take care of this massive place like a hero. It will be slightly nicer than living in the cramped basement on my parents house. It’s a little difficult to invite a girl around to your house when you live under the stairs.

The place is almost perfect, the only thing that needs to change is the TV antenna. Currently the place gets pretty poor reception on all but one channel. As much as I like watching world cinemas I think I’ll get an upgrade. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who can take care of the TV antenna installation. Melbourne friends and family will have an awesome time at my housewarming party. There is no way I’ll be able to afford the place beyond the six months without getting other roomies. It would be fun to have a few friends to watch TV with and have dinner but I feel like I’d get sick of having to share. I like having my own space, and there sure is a lot of in that house. The football grand final is coming up soon, I wonder if it would be possible to get the new TV antennas, Melbourne has a public holiday on the friday so I’m sure it’ll be a massive weekend for everyone. I might even borrow a projector if the TV reception is clear in time.

If a Tree Falls in the City of Melbourne…

tree removal MelbourneGreetings brothers.

I have been assured that you will, in some way, receive this message. Unless in the month I have been gone you have installed internet throughout all the temples, I assume this will be in some other form.

Melbourne is fascinating, to be certain. The flora and fauna could not be more different to that of Albajeria, each of them speaking with a voice that is so very scattered and yet unified. Naturally, it is warmer, and not just because I am not living at the top of a mountain.

Our Brother Sun has been extremely gracious in showing me how to live in this strange place. He has had such grand adventures, things you would not believe, but most shocking to me was how he chose to apply for jobs with a company that carries out tree removal in Melbourne. I thought I had misheard at first. This is well outside our philosophy!

I’m growing to understand, even if I’m not quite understanding the ramifications. The way it was told to me, the layout of Melbourne means that sometimes, trees endanger people and property. They must be removed, and stumps fall into the same category. I had in my mind images of burning woodlands and mass deforestation, so this is…better. I can at least abide this. To a degree.

Alright, I’m still a bit confused, but this isn’t the first confusing thing I’ve experienced here in Melbourne. You should see how seriously people take the simple act of drinking coffee, to the point they will shun entire establishments because the standards are not quite high enough. Oh, and Melbourne’s arborists seem downright normal when you think of people driving to places that are a mere ten kilometers away! There is still much to learn.

-Brother Firefly Leaf

The New, Responsible Job

drain cleaner MelbourneHi Mum!

Okay, so Dad said on the phone that you were worrying too much…as if that’s anything new. I’m only here for a year, wow, seriously. Anyway, thought I’d let you know how everything is going.

Melbourne isn’t as different to Bristol as you’d think at first, but I’ve started to notice how the people and culture here is different. Everyone wants to hear me say words, as if they’ve never had a pom here before. I think it’s all just light banter. Oh, and I got a job…with my landlord! I mentioned as I moved in that I did secretarial work, and he said he was looking for someone. He’d seen my application so he pretty much knew all about me, so…win! Now I work in his office, taking calls from other residents. At least I know who to call if a branch comes through my window or something. No, Mum, that’s not actually going to happen.

Had my very first call yesterday, someone looking for a drain cleaner around Melbourne who’d come to fix some leakage under her kitchen sink. Sounds really glamorous, right? But actually, it was a really nice call. The lady asked me where I was from, I put on my best phone voice just like you taught me and she sounded so relieved that someone so efficient was on the case. That’s right…the efficient person would be me. I assume the plumbers made it and did the job, because I never got any call back from her. Tick that one off. Had lots of other calls that day, of course, and they weren’t all quite so nice…nothing really terrible though. One guy wanted the landlord to replace his curtains since the cat clawed them up. Checked his case record, and he’s definitely not allowed pets. Handed that one to management…

So that’s the job. Calling up those fine Melbourne blocked drain people, drinking those amazing Melbourne coffees, living the Melbourne life. Stop stressing, Mum, seriously…

-Shona

Hot Water Part of the Package!

Melbourne plumberHey family!

Australia is pretty good. Some things I’ve found are much better than home, others not so much. I’m really not fond of how people think meditation is a kooky thing for weird people, and their obsession with meat in every meal is very strange. Otherwise, I’m very happy here! The technology they have is amazing, and I was able to quite easily get a property to rent, provided I had all my papers in order. I suppose I should thank Uncle Ravin and his printer for that one.

One thing that truly shocked and amazed me recently was the availability of hot water. You know how back there in Albajeria, hot water is a privilege one must pay for? As it turns out, Australia is very different. Hot water is part of the package of a home! It’s true; efficient Melbourne plumbers come to your home and make sure it’s working, provided it’s not already.

The landlord didn’t tell me this, probably because he thought I already knew and I didn’t say where I was from. But it really is true, and truly crazy. I’d been in this rental property for four months with no hot water coming out of the tap. Money is tight and I knew full-well how to deal with cold water for everything from growing up in the capital, so I thought everything was normal. Oh, there was a kettle provided with the house, so I basically used that like I used to. It wasn’t until I was at my support group when I was alerted to it being a problem at all. A Ukrainian lady looked at me in confusion when I mentioned my morning kettle bath, and asked why I didn’t have a plumbing contractor in to fix the hot water. I explained that I hadn’t paid for the privilege, and then everything came out.

Turns out it’s all part of my gas, which I DO pay. Can you imagine, hot water as part of gas? Crazy! Some Melbourne plumbing company was called in and they fixed it in a jiff. Guess I’ll be living large with hot showers from now on! Tell Daric not to be too jealous. Give my regards to the whole family!

-Daan

Moving to hotter places

air conditioning CanberraI had just gotten off the phone to my mother, who was ringing for her weekly chat. She had gone a little bit bonkers since I’d moved interstate. She was calling weekly and wanting to talk for hours. I didn’t have much to say to her normally, but this phone call I had some news, which she was happy to hear. I told my mother about my air conditioning incident, that happened when I first got here. I hadn’t told her at the time because I didn’t want her to worry, or send me any money, which I knew she would.

I explained to my mother how when I walked into my unit, the air con didn’t work. I told Mum how I had gone and spent the night in a nearby motel because I was so annoyed and wanted to get cool. I could hear the shock in my mother’s voice as she gasped at my news. I continued on to tell my mother about calling the team from the air conditioner repairs company in Canberra about booking in an appointment.

Mum was a bit concerned about me spending money on a motel room and then air con repairs before I’d even started my new job. She pointed out how much this promotion had cost me already, not including the fee for the technician. Mum was very upset because she didn’t want me moving away. I was her only child and I knew she had wanted me to stay at home for as long as possible. I couldn’t think of anything worse.

After Mum had finished telling me how much of a bad decision I’d made, accepting my promotion, I told her about the Canberra air conditioning technician , and how quickly he fixed the cooling. Mum had blocked out everything good that I’d said and focused on the bad. The conversation didn’t last the usual two hours today because I got annoyed with her comments. Accepting the promotion was the best move I’d ever made for my career. She didn’t know what she was talking about.