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Guest lol1984

7 weeks in Kal

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Guest lol1984

Haven't been on here for a while due to being very busy trying to sort ourselves out! We arrived in Kalgoorlie on the 1st of October to the bizarre smell of cabbage, and cold and rainy weather! My boyfriend's company who sponsored our relocation put us up in the Tower Hotel apartments, which is where we stayed on our first stint in Kal when we arrived as well.

 

We started searching for a rental property straight away as friends had told us what a nightmare it is, and they were not wrong. many of the houses I went to see were in terrible states of repair and decor, and it got me really depressed for a few weeks. We need a garage or big shed for Andy's motorbike and tools, which made it extra hard. After 3 weeks of fruitless applications I happened to look on Gumtree and came across a private rental. It is just about perfect - 3 bed older house with polished floorboards, large living areas and 2 garages. We're paying $475 a week, would have been well over $500 if it had been through a rental agent. So we've been in the house nearly 3 weeks now, got all the utilities sorted just waiting on our iinet broadband to be connected. We've been using Telstra mobile broadband which has been really crap!

 

Bought our car 4 weeks ago, a brand new Suzuki Jimny 4x4 which was cheaper than buying a year old one. People laugh at us as the car is so much smaller than the landcruisers and hilux's but we don't need any more space. We wiped the grins off our friends faces when we all went off-roading. The Jimny cruised through a deep washout and their hilux got well and truly stuck! Haven't said a word since!

 

Things have certainly been made easier thanks to our friends here, some of whom we've known for nearly 10 years and who have lived here up to 6 years. That includes numerous BBQs, lifts, lending etc etc.

 

Our shipping has been delayed significantly, now it won't even arrive in Freo until the 26th of December. Andy's company delayed paying the shipping company hence nothing happening for 6 weeks. We were pretty angry about that and nearly considered going back home because of it! Considering they're an international company they certainly don't know how to move people internationally.

 

We've finally got driving licences, medicare and banks sorted out, but nothing seemed to be straight forward. So much has relied on us having proof of address which at one point we didn't think we would have for months thanks to the rental situation.

 

Other than that all is going well. We were both pretty excited to see how much money landed in our accounts on payday, and started making plans to making extra payments on our mortgage in the UK (which is finally rented out after 8-10 weeks!).

 

We're already getting bored out of our minds on weekends, which will hopefully be alleviated when our stuff arrives. Andy's planning on building a climbing wall in one of the garages, and I like crafty hobbies ideal for the hot summer months.

 

And whatever anyone says, you don't generally spend any more time outside than in the UK. We don't anyway, due to the heat (particularly over the next few months) and mosquitos (seem to be more here this time due to the rain). In the UK we did rock climbing, surfing, horse-riding, walking, and hockey. We can only do these things here during the winter (well, surfing and climbing we can only do if we drive 4+ hrs to the beach or cliffs). So summer activities are limited to swimming at the local pool, BBQ's and indoor hobbies. But we knew that anyway, and for us this isn't really a lifestyle move, it's more about making some hay whilst the (hot) sun is shining.

 

Sorry this is a bit long-winded! Will try and update in a few months or so.

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Guest Guest31881

Hi,

 

Its great to hear things are working out for you, I look forward to your next update, I found his one a great read. keep it up..:biggrin:

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great post,keep em coming for us who are coming soon, cheers jules


Voted worst newcomer. 2010, cheers x. Visa Application 3/2 /12. Granted 20/5/2012. Builder Now in Perth

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Guest

Good post

I'm thinking on Kal is it really as rough as people say and full of young lads on the drink

how much more cash % do you get for living in Kal?

Ive been offered a few interviews in January but undecided if i can be bothered to go and see what its like.

My girlfriend is used to working in a salon and i wondr if she would get work and for us that is important as she would just get bored

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Guest lol1984

I'll do a quick update then answer your questions martync.

 

I think I was a bit grumpy about things the last time I posted but just two weeks on we feel much more settled despite having an awful weekend. I spent last week in Perth for a conference and training which was a nice break from the norm. Then went into work on friday, opened my emails and read one from my mum telling me my cat Tigger had passed away. He was 20 years old and we had him since a kitten (when I was 7!) so I was pretty upset. It was to be expected at some point but that still doesn't help you feeling sad about it. I know many others will have left pets behind and it is extremely heart-rending, in fact for me it has been one of the most difficult parts of the process. At least he died peacefully in his sleep which I guess is what we all hope for.

 

But for those of you who are about to come out here, it is important considering what to do when you recieve devastating news from home. Last time I lived in Kal I got news (whilst at work again) that my uncle had died suddenly of a heart attack. I was pretty close to him and deeply saddened and upset. So I blubbed away at work and then at home. It is very hard to cope with grieving when most of close family is back in the UK. You feel like you're going through separate grieving processes and in a way it is harder to find closure when you're on the other side of the world and can't get back for funerals etc. The same thing happened with my grandma 6 months later, but that had been expected for some time. I didn't choose to fly back on either occassion, but when I did visit my aunt and cousins who had lost Andrew I was clearly more upset than them, probably because I felt cut-off by being here. So it's important just to have a think about how you would deal with such a situation.

 

I have also been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis which is not pleasant, particularly the last two days when I have been so upset AND it was 37 degrees! Antibiotics haven't done a thing so I guess I'll be forking out for another appointment and another course of some other drugs. So I am sat here at work (yes on a sunday) snivelling and struggling to breathe. Luckily the drill rig is going pretty slowly and its only mid-20s today so should be ok.

 

Andy is doing the cycle leg of a mini triathlon today. I had offered to do the swim leg but had to work so he stood in for me, he's a crap swimmer so he's on the bike! And he also bought a playstation 3 yesterday to stave off the boredom while I am at work. I'll be working a fair bit on the weekends whilst we're drilling so he'll need it. I am an expensive person to be sat on a drill (normally a graduates first experience of life as a geologist), but we are so short of people and I don't mind as it gets me out of the office. We only have one grad geo and she has to have every 14th day off so that's my day.

 

Right, onto your questions martync!

Kal isn't really that rough unless you go out and seek it. Friday nights can get a bit leary on the main street but much less so than 4 or 5 years ago. Sometimes its quiet as a mouse on saturdays at 7pm which it never used to be. There is some crime but probably no more than any other regional town. For example my colleagues ute had its fire extinguisher stolen from it when it was parked outside her house, they also stole 4 others from the same street. Pretty mindless theft but its pretty inconvenient for mining companies.

 

You get paid more here than you would if you had a residential job in Perth, and get more tax incentives (e.g. salary sacrifice on your rent which saves me around $200 per month). You get paid less here than if you had a FIFO job, but those jobs come with their own costs in terms of time away from family, relationship breakdowns, burn out etc. It's also a bit harder to spend loads of money here due to the lack of shops and retarded opening hours, so you can save quite a lot of money if you're careful. We lived here the first time for 18 months and managed to save 30k pounds (at an exchange rate of about 2.4 at the time), enough for our house deposit back in the UK, and that was on graduate wages. We plan to save a lot more this time round.

 

Your girlfirend would easily get a job in a salon here. Kal had quite a big service industry to entertain, feed and pamper everyone in the mining industry. Yet many of those waitresses, hairdressers etc end up driving trucks themselves to earn more money. So there are lots of notices in shop windows advertising positions vacant.

 

Kal has a really nice community feel to it and its relatively easy to make friends here. I've also heard it has very good primary schools and pre-schools but kids tend to get very bored here once they reach their teens.

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