Sunday, February 13, 2011
A Room With a View
It has been a while since I last wrote. Now there’s an understatement.
But now I have a LOT to write about. Yesterday for the first time in nearly 2 years I realized that my whole life doesn’t fit into 2 suitcases. Large suitcases, certainly, but how many suitcases would it take to pack your world? I had this epiphany while Nelson (my little brother) and I were loading everything I own (on this continent) onto the back of a ute (that’s a “pickup” to the rest of us) to take to our new apartment.
There are several significant parts to the above statement:
1. I have an apartment! Not a room in someone else’s place, but a WHOLE apartment! I will concede, it is a very small apartment, but every inch of it is in my name. That has never happened before! The photo is my apartment, but not with me living in it - I stole it from the ad on the real estate website - I will post real photos when we are less exploded all over. The flat consists of a kitchen and living room separated by a counter, and 2 bedrooms. The smaller one is small but not quite a closet and has windows on two walls. Both rooms have built-ins (closets) with giant sliding mirror doors – which means there is a lot of room NOT being taken up by a wardrobe. The master bedroom is larger but not palatial. It has a sliding door in the wall between it and the living room, which both makes the whole flat feel slightly bigger and renders it almost impossible to put the bed in a logical spot. The best part of the whole place, however, is the windows. The whole back wall is solid windows that slide open like Japanese walls. This opens up first to a little patio planter (more planter, less patio) and a stunning view of the city. If you stand on the window ledge, you can even see the harbor and the ferries plugging over to Manly in the North and the cruise ships slipping out to sea.
I know how first-apartment-owner that last sentence sounded “If you stand on your toes and lean over the ledge, you can even see the Harbor Bridge!” (which, by the way is true without even a step ladder OR a climbing harness!) But yes. I am totally smitten with my flat. I am in full on nesting mode. We bought a blue couch, some bar stools, blue plates, and a small pile of kitchen wares. Do you have any idea how much STUFF it takes to furnish even a small flat? It’s the little details that trip you up. Yes, you may have worked out a fridge and a bed, but what about a can opener? Do you really need a can opener? Real people own can openers. Maybe I’ll just cross that bridge when I’m staring down a can of tomato soup and it’s raining and cold outside and I’m hungry enough to eat a can opener. Can openers weren’t even invented until half a decade after the invention of the can, so clearly this must be a non essential item. Right?
At the moment I mostly only feel like we’re lacking a television, a coffee table, and something to go on the white brick walls. I am impatient to have the whole place settled, but Nelson keeps reminding me that there is no rush. While true deadlines and simple impatience might actually be different, they don’t FEEL very different!
Apart from being an charming and bright flat, it is also in the liveliest, most wonderful neighborhood in Sydney. Think SoHo, southern hemisphere style. My flat is a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, the area’s main artery, and by proxy, a bevy of cafés, pubs, restaurants, and shops. Centennial Park is also just around the corner – a vast expanse of park land, running trails, live music stages, outdoor movies and best of all, the stable where I have started riding.
2. The second enormous part of that early statement is that my brother is in Sydney! Not just IN Sydney, but living with ME! Many of you probably know that he had been living in Egypt for the past half year and I’m sure most of you are probably aware that Cairo is an iffy place to be at the moment. I’ll let him tell you about his experiences himself at http://preposterouslies.blogspot.com/. The moral of the story is that he landed in Australia on Tuesday morning. The very first thing he did was come with me (and my dad who was here at the time) to sign on my lease. Ever since he has been hard at work making our apartment happen – from finding us a couch to helping me actually move said couch from some guy’s 3rd floor apartment to the new place. It has been fun (and extremely helpful!) having him around so far. Now though he can stop playing personal assistant and start exploring the city a bit more. So far I believe he and I have totally struck out on the tourist essentials. I have not taken him to Circular Quay, he has not been up the Sydney Tower or to the Botanical Gardens or taken a ferry to the North Shore. All in good time, but starting tomorrow, he needs to start living like he’s in Sydney – the greatest city on earth.
3. The 3rd enormously significant point, which was inferred if not stated, is that I actually LIVE in Sydney now! My company agreed in November to sponsor me. They hired me permanently as part of the Operational Risk Management team for the pastoral fund (the same cattle and sheep fund I have been working with all along). In particular, I get to work on the environmental and animal rights policies that we have in place for all of the company's cattle and sheep properties. In particular I have some thoughts on rangeland management that I'm really excited about rolling around. This might (MIGHT) even lead to an online range science Master's program(!). My visa, when it finally comes through, will let me to stay in the country for another 4 years if I chose (and more importantly, allow me to get a smart phone!). At this point I am 90% certain that my visa will in fact be approved, which is important since I just signed a 1 year lease on my flat!
If anyone is considering a trip to paradise, there is a couch here with your name on it. The one thing this little flat is sorely lacking so far is visitors. If you find yourself on my continent or you just want to mail me something, or, most likely, Google Earth stalk me, my new address is:
25/8 Bennetts Grove Ave
Paddington, NSW 2021
I love and miss you all and I hope you are as happy in your life as I currently am in mine.