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Finally arrived in Brisbane part 2

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Bit of a long one this, have been so busy the last 2 weeks have barely had time to think, but now getting into the swing of things thought it was about time for arrival report number 2. Perhaps a grap a cuppa and get comfy first though...:wubclub:


First few days were really crap, jet lag really hit us hard, we felt so drained and ended up spending 2entire days in bed trying to recuperate. Two weeks on and we are both much better, but I have to say I was surprised at just how much it knocked us for 6. We went to Melbourne 2 years ago and were fine within 2-3 days... I think the worse jetlag this time around is owed to the fact that because our flight leaving the UK wasn't until 22.00, and getting up at 9am, meant an additional 13 hours of being awake. We were then delayed by 6 hours as well once we got to Singapore , bringing our total 'being awake time' to just over 42 hours.:goofy: We did of course doze on the plane but I shall think twice about booking a flight at place of origin so late on in the evening again...


Anyway, when I say us, it's just me and my hubby. We have no children and this is our own little adventure before we settle down and look at starting our own family. Being a midwife I am lucky that I have a job that is transferable around the globe (which is partly why I chose to get into that field in the first place) and after almost 3 years of working in the NHS decided the time was right to try something different. So I started job hunting last April and applied for my then QNC registration (which subsequently turned out to be an extremely lucky decision, and granted in 5 weeks after hearing nightmare stories of all those poor people being stung by aphra) and by May had had 2 telephone interviews and offered 2 jobs. Now we would have been in oz a lot sooner if it wasn't for our house, which lost 15k with the market crash, and the bank refusing to let it out as we were almost in negative equity. Fortunately after 6 long months, the bank finally realised that if they could keep us paying our fixed rate mortgage (higher than the bank of englands current rate) they would be on a winner, so agreed to us letting it out. November 2010 onwards has been crazy, we decided to ship some of our sfurniture and belongings, as I was offered a relocation package and had some lovely furniture that we felt would be irreplaceable for the same or even similar cost in oz. We applied for the visa, which took 10 days, and then thought of nothing else but oz morning, noon and night that only those who have emigrated can relate to! We lived with the inlaws to save some money for 4 months and then flew on April 3rd 2011 after a tearful farewell from friends and family.


Our first impressions of Australia were and still are great. Climate wonderful here in Brisbane, sure afew rainy days but warm, and when the sun does come out, the heat is unbelievable. We have a litre tub of suncream which we keep in the car and is fast becoming our best friend! Friendly people (I was quite scared of being called pommy all the time but so far so good!) and great coffee! I just love the coffee culture here, cafe tables lining the streets and people sitting out in them virtually all day. There is no recession here that's for sure.


We are initially staying up in mango hill for 4 weeks (being jest the 2 of us we didn't need a big house, nor did we have the money to spend on an inner city apartment) which has been great albeit a little far out. We spent the few days after the jet lag driving round and looking to buy a car, and managed to pick up a little Toyota echo for 7000 dollars. We already knew from researching ahead how expensive to our English pound, cars are here, although we found quite a few little garages who had much cheaper vehicles if you don't mind roughing it for a bit! I would have been quite happy with a banger but the OH was adamant we would find something a little more upmarket, so the 7000 dollar echo it is.

Next task, find somewhere to live. Now that did take us by surprise, whether it's because of the floods, or population growth or a combination of both, real estate is ferocious here! After doing the commute on the M1 from bris central to mango hill/ north lakes we soon decided that lovely as the area is, the journey is a killer. So have recked up quite a few kms looking at ferny grove and it's surrounds, the gap, camp hill/ norman park/ coorparoo and eventually decided that any of those areas would do for now! Especially as we couldn't limit ourselves to just one area as trying to find a rental was soon becoming a nightmare. We would phone up enquiring about properties newly listed, only to be advised that they had already had applicants. Or we'd be advised of an inspection date, push for a private viewing which the agents would be adamant they couldn't do, and then get a phone call the next day to say the property had gone. It turned out people are blindly applying for property, and for particularly for Coorparoo area, anything within the 350-400 per week would be snapped up. We learnt fast to keep an eye out on real estate website and as soon as anything new came up that looked ok, called up for a viewing, and blagged a bit to get a viewing asap. With this method we managed to view quite a few of which about a third were absolute wrecks. How anyone would put their homes up for viewing in such a state I will never know. Anyway, After a week of intensive and unrelentless searching, driving and phone calls and fearing we'd never find anywhere to live, we viewed a couple of apartments in Coorparoo/ camp hill area that was just within our price range and perfect for what we were after. So we hot footed it down to the agents offices and applied there and then, we were the first to view one of them and were told they'd call us the next day to let us know. One of the receptionists seemed unsure about us as we have no credit rating is oz, and no previous rental history, but we fought our corner and attached a covering letter with our application really selling ourselves with phrases like 'a young professional couple,' ' as landlords ourselves to our UK property, we understand how stressful it can be letting out your home, we are honest reliable and responsible who will make excellent tenants'. I also played up to the fact i needed a crb check and letters of good standing for my QNC registration, and attached references i had written by contacts before we left the UK. Our savings account balance in the UK, my contract of employment, a letter from our mortgage provider saying our mortgage was paid on time and never been in arrears etc, as well as paperwork from other financial dealings like our council tax letters were all added into the mix. Basically it came down to throwing as much paperwork as we could at them, as well as a good chat at the desk to try and make them see that we were decent people.!


After all that, the next day we had a phonecall from one of the agents saying wed been approved and that they had 'decided to give us a chance'. Bloody cheek, still we were chuffed to bits and it came at the right time because we were absolutley shattered. I dont think we could have continued our search for another week! The second property, we didn't get but at least it made our decision easier. The only small problem is that our current accommodation finishes end of the month, I start work on the 3rd may, but the property isn't available for us to move into untill 17th may. As a side note:**Any tips anyone has on cheap self catering accommodation close to the mater for 2 weeks would be fab....


On the shopping front, I have to say some items brought from our uk pound savings are expensive, coke for some reason was 2 bottles for 22 dollars in Coles! We stuck with the Coles cola brand, 99c can't go wrong! But on the whole, we haven't found it to be that bad. Reason being, you have to look at what you earn in dollars and work out your shopping cost from that. You can't keep converting it to uk pounds because then yes, everything is really expensive. We have also found some great little hardware shops, fruit and veg markets, and little shops on the side of main roads which are loads cheaper than in the supermarkets. Same goes for little butchers and bakery shops dotted around. If you look around, there are cheaper places, and neither of us can understand what everyone is going on about in terms of food shopping being so expensive. Perhaps the supermarkets up north of the city are a lot cheaper? Or because its just the 2 of us ? To be honest It's really baffled me that one...

If you want the convenience of everything in the same place, then be prepared to pay the prices, tesco doesnt dominate the landscape here, and you have to be prepared to shop around.


So in addition to the above we have also sorted out Medicare, which was easy and took a few minutes, and applied online for a tax file nimbler, again didn't take long to apply but we still haven't had them yet.


Now we have sorted out a car and somewhere to live we are spending some time exploring this beautiful country (or at least a very small part of it!) and enjoying every minute. The beaches on the sunshine coast are stunning, being in mango hill it's easier to nip to mooloolaba than battle with the southern motorways to get to the gold coast, but it's more for us to explore when we eventually live that side of the river. I had my first experience of body boarding today (along with all the little kids lol) but good fun. Water temp 24 celcius, and just beautiful. Southbank too, is a real gem, and even in the aftermath of the floods there are pools and lagoons free to use, as well as the gardens or stroll along the river. The weather here just makes it so much easier to enjoy these things. It will be amazing once they have finished all the renovation going on there.


The only little moan I have is traffic here. It is a nightmare. And some of the drivers here are nutters! Have never commuted to a major uk city for work, so can't compare (perhaps it's the same) but you have people overtaking you, undertaking you and if you don't go as soon as the light is on green (no amber here is like red, red now GO) they are up your a**! Quite an experience I can tell you! Peak times avoid like your life depends on it, or be prepared to sit in traffic for endless hours.

On the other side, public transport here is fantastic, and cheap. Costs 3.88 dollars from bald hills station to Brisbane central. Where we lived in shropshire it cost us £5.59 to go 10minutes two stations away.


So there you go, long rant but we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves here, and skyping home for free and being able to see and speak to loved ones like they are in the next room makes it so much easier to stay in touch.

Going to a brisbanittes meet up a week on sat so hoping to meet some fellow poms. Considering 1:10 are brits here (apparently) we have only met one young girl in pizza hut from Liverpool.


Cheerio for now:smile:

Due to escalating bills and budgetary cuts in the NHS, unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel has had to be switched off.

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loved your wondering out louds, made me laugh!! Jet lag is horrible! Once you are settled let us know how you are getting on, we are in Seven Hills and although I am sure older than you always looking to meet people in the same boat!

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Guest juliemtaylor

wow, sounds like you have been busy, I remember the rental panic and so glad we have bought a house now..


Have a word with Rudi or Cal on here re short term rentals as she may be able to help.


Julie x

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Guest The Ropey HOFF

Great post............... down to earth, factual and really helpful.


In a way it must be easier having no kids and i think we would be there now if we hadn't them to think about.


Best of luck with your journey.

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Excellent post. We arrived last week and are currently in the Brisbane area, will post about our arrival later. Your rental woes make me worry though!

My OH's blog with our journey of migrating sofar.

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Sounds like you hit the ground running, rentals were a nightmare when we came out too, I am sure you will like living south of the river, that is where we ended up and although never liked cities in the UK, I love Brisbane

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Guest jomac1290

Hey wondering aloud. Great update. Been reading with interest but forgot my password so couldn't log on to reply duh! Glad you are enjoying it. Please keep the updates coming for me and others headed that way soon. Good luck with work. Will email you re uniform and stuff shift times etc once you settled in.


Enjoy. Can't wait to be that side ourselves 18 weeks and counting :-)


Jo x

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Guest gem and si



Fantastic post...I must agree with others that the rental situation is a worry...I am due to start at Greenslopes Hospital in Sept!...We have booked in at the Brisbane Holiday Village which is not far from both Hospitals!


All the best!



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