Today is Australia Day. People are using their holiday to barbeque, wave the flag, and race cockroaches. Brisbanebabe has taken some time to reflect on our recent hunt for a new (temporary) home.
Flat hunting anywhere can be frustrating. Our temporary Brisbane accommodation is convenient and luxurious; a painful contrast with some city flats available for rent.
In Vancouver, rentals generally include major appliances. In Brisbane, fridges and washing machines are not standard. Major appliances are called “white goods”. (Initially, we thought “white goods” meant bed linens, causing some confusion.) Dryers are usually included, to keep people from hanging their laundry on balconies in an unsightly way.
A one-bedroom we inspect sports only two stove-top elements, and a fridge (remarkably) sputtering on its last legs. Some studios are advertised as including a “kitchenette” complete with hot plate; no stove at all.
Apartments are viewed by “inspection.” Inspections are scheduled by agents. The first flat advertises that brisbanebabe will “be the envy” of friends and family, if she moves in. The inspection reveals an unused pool filled with dirt and leaves, carpets beyond the saving power of any steam cleaner and a noisy, portly neighbour, clad in only a tank top, blasting his stereo from the next balcony. No need to apply to “be the envy” after all.
Another one-bedroom is advertised as “SCREAMING PERFECTION.” Certainly, if by “screaming perfection” the agent means no parking spot and the tiniest of floorplans.
Prices are high for any clean, reasonable rental. Share accommodation is a good option to save costs. We briefly consider living with Avi, who has a downtown flat for share. He describes himself, online, as having a busy professional and “dynamic social” life. We decide that “dynamic social life” is code for staying up past 10 p.m., something brisbanebabe does not do regularly. An incompatible match.
After days of searching, on foot, in near 30 degree heat, brisbanebabe accepts a pricey but nice, air-conditioned one-bedroom, with complete stove top and balcony, that requires white goods.
During the search, brisbanebabe’s relatives and friends have come to her aid, offering support, suggestions, temporary accomodation (thanks P!) and Aussie contacts. [A real estate agent even went out of her way to drive us home from an inspection of a nice Queenslander.] It is great to feel loved, in the midst of moving chaos. Thank you everybody!