11. Changes

So, after 4 weeks of nothing this is my attempt to be a more frequent blogger. Lets find out together whether I actually have the ability to be funny more than once a week shall we? We haven’t got off to the best start as on reading this sentence my girlfriend of two years thought not. Anyway. It’ll be an adventure…

So on Saturday we moved in to our new place in Sydney, in a suburb called Pyrmont which is next to Darling Harbour and 15 minutes walk to the city. This was a relief more than anything, because we’d spent the last week viewing numerous ‘properties’ of wildly varying quality. A few weeks ago we viewed a pretty nice apartment which was a decent price, close to everything and owned by nice people. Unfortunately that didn’t work out because the move in date was a little too soon for us, but we assumed everything would still be fine. Right. Right?


The Monday that I started work (the 18th of April) we went to view a flat at 6pm after we had both finished. At 5.30pm as we were on our way; they cancelled. Bad start, but just bad luck. We get home at 8pm, tired and slightly frustrated, but not feeling too bad.

Tuesday. Again, we go to view a flat, this time at 5.45pm. We made it inside the building this time, which was an improvement. Unfortunately, I only just did because the flat was a little on the absolutely bloody tiny side. Fine for the 5’4” Katie; less so for the clumsy and lumbering 6’3” Alex. My legs hang off most beds; in this one we’d have had to open the wardrobe at the end of the bed to fit my feet in. Alas, despite a lovely owner, not a goer. Back home at 8.30pm, slightly more tired and about the same frustration.

Wednesday. To the far side of Pyrmont; an even longer walk, for a 6.30pm viewing. At this point due to the wait between work and the viewing and also 3 days of work for the first time in two months and little sleep, we have to stop for a beer for me. Much needed and much enjoyed, in a lovely bar called the Union bar in Pyrmont. To the viewing to meet ‘Dave’ from Gumtree, a lovely Indian man working at the major phone network company Telstra, but whose flat unfortunately had a lingering aroma of uncleanliness, despair and a wasted trip. It was somewhat surprising the motorway directly outside the window didn’t clear that. Back home at 9pm, tired, hungry, thirsty, frustrated, giving up. We resolved to take a couple of nights off viewings at this point.

So, we set up 3 viewings for Saturday and decided it was time to make or break; one of these three would be the one. This was it, this was the one, we psyched ourselves up for a big day.

Saturday morning; dawn; Clontarf. We wake up. Ready. Raring to go.

The first viewing, scheduled for 12.30, cancelled before we had even showered.

A setback. But it would be okay. Luckily, Katie got a text in reply to a gumtree ad we’d had running, for a room offering us a viewing that day, so we replaced the cancelled one with this.

We set off, full of hope, expectation, optimism; basically like this;


And, in proof that Guinness were right and the best things really do come to those who wait, the first apartment was lovely. It had a really nice owner, great location, very clean, nice bedroom, own bathroom; frankly we were sold immediately. It was easily the best one we’d seen.

So we left this apartment both sold and I, after being burnt before with the last apartment which we hadn’t got due to waiting, wanted to go for it straightaway. However, with two other viewings we decided that we should go and see them as we of all people knew what it was like to have someone cancel on you at the last minute and we are just that kind hearted. Well Katie is.

So, after a perhaps foolishly premature celebratory couple of beers and one eye-wateringly expensive lovely strawberry daiquiri for Katie, we arrived at the second viewing. Of all the tenants that have greeted us, this was the most surprising, as a middle aged Japanese man came to the door with a baby in his arms. He introduced himself; which was very impressive for a baby, and up we went. We thought perhaps he was the owner (the dad I mean, the baby admitted he wasn’t in the property game), moved out due to the newborn, renting their apartment. In reality, we were to be the newest family members as this apartment turned out to be their home, with wedding photos on the wall and their teenage son in the room next door. This was quite sad really, as they clearly were in need of the money. Nevertheless, we didn’t really want to be living with a 4 month old baby in our 20’s. Frankly I don’t want to be doing it at any age, but who’s going to pay for my care home if I don’t?

So, after visiting the crèche, we headed to the final apartment owned by an Italian man. The apartment itself was nice enough and was noticeably clean. We soon discovered why. Gianni, the owner, was basically Mussolini. (Too soon?) There were numerous rotas on the wall with punishments for failing to carry out your duties as ordered; names scratched off indicating the fallen before us, all just a tad absolutely crazy for us. I’m happy to be tidy, anyone who I cleaned up after at university will vouch for that, but the threat of a crazy Neapolitan (as in the resident of Naples, not some funky version of the classic ice cream) was a little too much.

And so, with a desperate call to Anthony who owned the first apartment due to the fear installed by General Gianni and the screams of a baby echoing in our ears, we secured our new place. We are loving it so far, despite missing Stu, Sue, Ben, Molly (and Coco, the dog, most of all). I will leave you with this arty party photo of the view from our balcony.


Alex Odlin bets you didn’t expect him to write another blog this quickly, but General Gianni has installed discipline in him. For more of his priceless humour (priceless because nobody would every pay for it), why not read this whole blog from the beginning? Its like a free book if you think about it; just click here and save yourself the bother of getting a Kindle; 1. The Masterplan


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