Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apartments, Beaches and Bipolar Weather

Yesterday was one busy day and truthfully I wanted to write this last night but I was far too tired and ended up going to sleep at 10:30.

We were up bright and early yesterday morning and began by having a long list of apartments that we had found. The list was starting to get far too long though so we separated them into ones that had viewings on certain days at certain times and then ones we wanted to enquire about, skimming it down a bit.

There's a cool concept here where the real estate agency has the keys to the property in the office and you can go in at any time and pick them up and see the property on your own time. When you do this you have to give a deposit of usually about $80-$100 and they take down your details and make a copy of your passport, then you're good to go.

We'll be chasing up more apartments today and hopefully we'll have something sorted soon!

We also went into the CBD (central business district) yesterday to both get our reciprocal medicare cards and also to go to the bank and finish up setting up our account and getting those cards. Both were pretty efficient and when we were done we decided to take a wander throughout the city since we haven't had a chance to explore that yet.

I read a lot of things about Melbourne before I came here, but one thing that stuck with me was: "If you don't like the weather in Melbourne, just wait five minutes," and honestly, of all the things I've read this seems to be the most true. Yesterday it would be raining and chilly one second and four minutes later the sun would be out, there would be blue sky, and you'd be getting quite warm. It was like this pretty much the whole day, not making up its mind. But then again, that's what it's renowned for.

In the CBD

By the river

Flinders Station

After walking around the CBD we came back to the hostel for a rest, went out to view an apartment, and then had a walk along St. Kilda beach.

On the beach

Nice view with the palm trees

It was insanely windy, making it a tad cold (and my hair obstructing my view), but it was nice to finally see the beach up close. I'm sure it'll be far more enjoyable when the weather warms up and sun actually decides to stay out for more than five minutes at a time. 

After all of our walking just these past couple of days we're really getting to know the area, which is good because we want to familiarize ourselves as quickly as possible. 

One thing we can't seem to get a grasp of is the pricing. Of anything. Some things are really expensive and other things are dirt cheap. At the grocery store a jar of curry sauce was $5 but a loaf of bread was $0.85, while a bag of hot dog rolls was $5. Pizza Hut sells a large pizza for $4.95, but the bar next to our hostel sells drinks during happy hour for $15. 

I'm sure with time we'll grasp it and figure it out but at the moment we can't make heads nor tails of it. 

Now it's day 3 and it's time to harass some realtors. Wish us luck!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Come Fly With Me

...Let's fly, let's fly away. Does anyone else know that song? I love it and it was very applicable these past couple of days. After leaving on a Saturday and arriving on a Monday, traveling for many many hours, 5 airports and connections in 4 time zones later I'm here!

The journey was just about as smooth as you could ask for, just very long. We started out at 3 a.m. Saturday morning when we got up for our flight from DC-JFK. While in JFK we had lounge access so we went to the lounge, had some food and some drinks while watching the planes on the sky deck for a few hours before getting our flight onto LA at 1:15. The time went by pretty quickly and I wasn't feeling tired yet (the day was still young).

The flight to LA was pretty enjoyable and I slept for about an hour and then watched Catch Me If You Can, then as we landed I got some beautiful views of the mountains and the city as the sun was setting.

Landing in LA 

On the runway in LA

We stopped in the lounge in the domestic terminal for a bit and at this point I was beginning to feel a bit sleepy but we still had over 4 hours until our flight, so it was time to get myself together. We went to the international terminal and got our boarding passes, went through security and went into the lounge there.

This terminal at LAX is new and totally awesome and the lounge has a balcony looking out over the terminal, which was a great place to people watch.

From the lounge balcony

Also from the lounge balcony, not a bad view

The time seemed to go by quite slowly but soon it was ready for boarding and boy was I ready. I conked out about 5 minutes after sitting down, woke up just enough to eat dinner and fall asleep again before it was cleared, then slept the rest of the flight until 3 hours before landing.

Landing into Brisbane

Although I was exhausted during the day, I think it worked out really well because since I slept most of the flight I didn't actually have too big of a problem with jet lag, something I'm grateful for since this is 15 hours ahead from home.

We landed in Brisbane which was where we went through immigration and customs. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that in Australia US passport holders are allowed to use the e-gates, meaning I never actually had to speak to a person. All you do is scan your passport at a kiosk, it asks you a few questions (you answer yes or no), then it spits out a ticket. You then insert the ticket at the gate, it takes your picture to compare with your biometrics in your passport and within a minute you're done and through.

I don't think it should be easier entering another country over my own, but alas, the US sees fit to ask me questions as a citizen but Australia was happy enough to just let me through. Customs was no problem either, a little bit of waiting, but we handed in our form and was waved through with our bags to recheck onto Melbourne.

The weather in Brisbane was absolutely gorgeous: clear sky and hot. This was not the case in Melbourne. After heading to the lounge and having a much-needed and much-appreciated shower we were having a breakfast of eggs and bacon (which I was happy to learn was American style bacon) when we saw a news story with the headline, "Wild storms in Melbourne."

The story was complete with pictures of the most incredible lightning I've ever seen and sub stories about houses that were struck and then caught fire. Not exactly the welcome I was hoping for but that was ok, first impressions in the rain are always better because if you like it then you'll like it the rest of the time.

It was raining when we landed in Melbourne and walking off the jet bridge I got a gust of cold wind: not what I was expecting when landing in Australia but also good weather for lugging around lots of bags. We got our bags and got to the bus area to wait without too much of a hassle and at this point it wasn't raining, just windy.

The bus came and we loaded it up and set off. As we were driving I caught a glimpse of Melbourne in the distance, covered in mist, and some cheesy 80s song was playing and suddenly it hit me: holy crap I'm finally in Australia. The city looked awesome and I couldn't wait to explore it.

The view of the city as we got closer

As we kept driving I saw a drive thru coffee place and I felt right at home, America being the only other place you'd find something like that. It was kind of strange but really exciting to see all these things I've spent weeks looking at on Google maps or Google images in real life such as Albert Park, St. Kilda Pier, Luna Park, the theater and many other things.

We settled in a bit at the hostel before heading out to explore a bit but also to look for some real estate agencies to begin our search. Tomorrow we'll hit the ground running with that and jobs and in the morning we have our appointment with the bank to get our debit cards.

I've only been here half a day but I already love it and can't wait to explore this city further and make it home.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Time Has Come

Well the day is here. Tomorrow morning we depart DC and head off to Australia and I still hasn't really hit me. So instead I'll talk about our last day.

This morning we got up and had a bit of a lazy morning, did a few errands and, to celebrate Halloween early, carved some pumpkins. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years so it was really fun to do it again, even if I was a bit out of practice.

Michael and my pumpkins 

All of our pumpkins

We ended the night with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, indulging in some typical American mammoth-sized meals, who knows what kind of portions you'll get in Australia, but I can bet they can't possibly be as big as those.

So now we're just doing some laundry and last minute packing before hopefully getting an early night for our 6 a.m. flight. Luckily, even though we've got a full day of traveling, we'll have access to lounges and can take some naps along the way so by the time we get on our LA-Brisbane flight we'll be awake enough to have dinner and then hopefully sleep a good portion of the flight.

I still think it's going to be really strange leaving on a Saturday but not arriving until a Monday because of crossing the international date line. It'll be a long journey but I'm looking forward to it and I'd be so disoriented anyway I don't think losing a day will make too much of a difference.

The idea of a 15 hour time difference between home and Melbourne is stranger to me than the actual distance-- it'll certainly be an adjustment. Between studying abroad and living in the Netherlands I've become very used to 6 hours, and this is more than double that, so I'll just have to wait and see how that works out.

Recently I've been getting questions from people about what an Australian Christmas is like: do they have snowmen and snowflake decorations? What are their commercials like? Do their songs reference winter? The answer is I have absolutely no idea but I will let you all know soon when I find out.

I don't think it's really going to hit me that I'm going to Australia until I'm already there and possibly a few days, or even a few weeks, after settling in, or maybe it'll hit me when I'm on the plane, but all I know is I'm incredibly excited and actually don't feel nervous at all. At least not yet.

I know I'm leaving tomorrow but to be honest I wasn't really thinking about it so it was pretty strange to get this notification today.

Definitely not an itinerary I've had

I can't say what's going to happen while I'm there, but for lack of a better phrase: YOLO. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Day in Oxford

Yesterday was the day I got to spend the day in Oxford and it was fabulous. We had a crack of dawn flight at 6:15 a.m. but enjoyed a seat in first class with a mug of coffee watching the sunrise, then upon arrival drove into Oxford in our rental car.

We first went to Hueston Woods, an Ohio state park, that's just a few miles from Oxford but it was pretty cold and cloudy so we didn't stay long. We then parked the car by the house I used to live in and walked to campus, tracing my old routes from classes and work. It was pretty strange being there again but not as a student and even weirder watching tours of high school students because it made me feel pretty old.

The beautiful fall colors at Miami

After walking campus for a while we met up with my friend Krista for lunch at our favorite Asian restaurant in Oxford, Wild Bistro, and got our usual meals. Krista took the day off from work in Dayton and drove down to spend the day with us and it was great to catch up with her and be in our familiar setting of Oxford again.

Later that afternoon we met up with my friend Emma who is still at Miami at Starbucks where I finally got my pumpkin spice latte (and it was wonderful). After chatting for a bit we made our way down to the bookstores to look at Miami apparel, just because we couldn't resist.

Although we're basically packed to the brim I ended up buying a blue Miami t-shirt, but it was hard to resist because it was on clearance and then a further 25% off. As you can imagine I really couldn't turn that down; I suppose I'll just be representing Miami in Australia. I wonder how many people I'll need to tell, "No. Not Florida."

Krista, Emma and I on High Street uptown

It was starting to get late so we all sat in Oxford park uptown and chatted before heading off our separate ways. It was certainly sad to say goodbye but I know we'll see each other again sometime soon-- I'll make sure of it.

On the way back to the airport we stopped for dinner at Steak n' Shake, something I doubt they'll have in Australia since you can really only get it in the midwest.

My Oreos mint cookies n' cream shake

Unfortunately while sitting there we saw our flight picked up a delay, but by 9:40 we were on our way and I got to enjoy a margarita in a real glass while sitting in first class, so it wasn't all bad.

My margarita and bottle of water

Overall it was a great trip and I'm really glad I was able to do it and see some of my friends before heading halfway around the world.

One more full day in DC and then we're off bright and early Saturday morning!

Monday, October 20, 2014

So Long, Farewell

...au wiedersehen, goodbye. Ok, so I'm not in the Sound of Music but who doesn't love that song. I know I haven't posted in quite a few days but things have been crazy with moving out and arriving back in the US.

On Thursday we finished packing our bags, cleaned out the apartment, did some last minute cleaning and then put the keys in the cupboard and left the apartment for the last time. Although I'll certainly miss it, I definitely won't miss the 55 narrow, steep, windy stairs up to the third floor. I have to say I was sadder than I thought I would be leaving, and with most things, everything I did was accompanied with, "Oh my god, this is the last time I'm ever going to do this." Which probably didn't help.

All painted and empty just before we left. We stayed at a hotel at the airport that night and had a nice relaxing morning before catching our flight to the US at 3p.m.

At least I ended things on a high note, because while biking on Wednesday morning (the day before we moved out) I was about the cross the road and saw a procession of horses and carriages about to come so I stopped and waited and while they were passing I realized it was the king. I quickly unzipped my bag and took out my phone, but at that point it was a bit too late to get a good picture, but it was certainly a good way to end things.

The king is the one with the people in
the coats standing on the back.

While I didn't see the king fully, I did kind of see him through the window of his carriage, which was better than nothing. His carriage had the coat of arms on it, confirming my suspicions on what it might be.

I'm still a bit sad to have left The Hague, but I'm so excited to leave for Australia in 4 days and 14 hours. We've booked our hostel for the first 5 days and are hoping to have something sorted by then, and if not we'll just book a couple of extra nights.

Since we got to the US we've repacked some of our bags a couple of times because we've realized just how hard it is for us to handle 4 bags, especially when they're as full and heavy as ours were. We've reorganized and moved some stuff from one bag to another and it works far better now-- it was good to essentially have a dry run before we get stuck needing to use public transportation and not being able to repack once we're in Australia.

Although we have a lot of bags, not all of it is clothes since we're trying to be as prepared as we can be. We've brought our espresso machine (it's very important to me), our moka pot (which I referenced in a previous post), some mugs and espresso cups, stock cubes, egg timer, cutlery, duvet and cover, sheet, pillow cases, and lastly, our speakers. There are probably some other things I'm now forgetting, but those are the bigger more important ones.

Not only is it good to have these things so you don't need to buy them, but they automatically make somewhere feel more like home, and I'm sure we'll appreciate that even more once we're there and trying to settle in. We even brought a few small things to put on our walls from the Netherlands.

I feel like the time has gone by so fast before moving to Australia and while I don't know exactly what to expect it'll be an adventure and I can't wait to start it in just a matter of days. It's not entirely sunk in yet I don't think, part of me still feels like at the end of this week I'll be heading back to the Netherlands, but instead I'll be flying halfway across the world.

And I cannot wait.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"I'm Going to Shirtfront Mr. Putin"

For those of you who may not know, shirtfront means to (aggressively) illegally tackle someone in football. And if you also don't know, that quote was said by none other than Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Since the declaration, people have gone pretty overboard with encouraging words and poking fun. And someone graced us with this (taken from Al Jazeera).

I think the best thing about this is not just the quote, or people's response, or that hilarious image above, but rather a Russian official's response to the vow: "...[he warned] the Prime Minister that Putin is a 'professional judo wrestler.'" Fair enough response, but some unanticipated humor coming from the Russian government there.

Frankly, I find the whole thing pretty amusing-- someone needs to put Putin in his place. So on the one hand I say right on, Tony. But on the other, I think as someone high in office and someone in the public eye it wasn't the smartest thing to say. While I agree with the sentiment, I think good ol' Tony perhaps went a bit far. When someone who is supposed to promote peace (or, you know, attempt not to start another world war, or any war for that matter) says something like that it doesn't really set a good example, especially to those who are like sheep and will use anything as an excuse to do something crazy.

No I don't think someone is going to attempt to "shirtfront" Putin because of this and claim Tony Abbott told them to or anything, but I don't think it conveys the message he was really going for. Or maybe it did, since I think probably a lot of people share the view.

Although I find this incident ridiculous and childish, I also find it extremely comical. And to make things even better, someone threw in their two cents about Angela Merkel, claiming she could take both of them, accompanied by this picture.

If I wasn't excited for Australia before, I'm definitely excited now. Who said politics was boring?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Painting and Packing

The other day the landlord came and looked at the apartment, but unfortunately he wanted the blue wall in the bedroom painted back to white. The rest of the room is actually a beige color so white looked pretty stupid with it, but after we did one coat in white we then realized we actually had more beige paint so we did our second coat in that.

So now, all of our painting is done. Here's our handiwork in the bedroom.

Bedroom before 

Bedroom after

And here is our handiwork in the main room.

Door before 

Wall before

Door and wall after

So now that all of the painting is done we've moved onto seriously packing. Let me just say vacuum bags are the best-- that is when they work. We think some of our vacuum bags are leaking ever so slightly, but it's not causing a huge problem so we're just hoping for the best. 

First we went through all of our winter-y/warm clothing and put those in vacuum bags, along with pretty much everything from the wardrobe. Bag one done. Then we moved onto the clothing in the dresser. We left out the clothing that we wanted to wear this week and next but then put the rest in vacuum bags and packed it into the suitcase as tightly as we could. 

In this bag also went the shoes, which are an absolute nightmare to pack, because if you're like me you have a ton, but they don't even squash down that much so they're a huge space hog. However, we managed to get them to fit, then laid some of Michael's jackets on top and weighed. 

We then moved onto bag three. In this bag we put our speakers (we really like them and use them all the time), our Apple TV, some cables, one small vacuum bag of clothing, and a few toiletries. We can probably fit a few more things in that bag and it's nice knowing we have a bit of space to play around with.

I know it sounds silly, but we love our espresso machine and really wanted to bring it, but things weren't looking too good since we already had three full bags and that was the number we wanted to take. However, then we remembered that my carry on bag, a wonderful travel bag made by Longchamp, expands to normally a really awkward size, but was perfect for this need. 

So I went and got it, expanded it, and in went the espresso machine in all its bubble-wrapped glory, and it fit! We even had space for our box of goodies (mugs, bread sauce packets, stock, moka pot, and other things). This left us with a bit of space on top for any other miscellaneous things, and the best part about having this bag is it can easily fit over the handle of any of the wheeled bags, so it's still only like having the three bags we wanted. 

It took a lot of whittling down, shuffling and moving stuff from one bag to another, but we finally made a lot of headway and know we can fit everything in the bags, which means these last few days can be spent more relaxing than stressed about moving. 

The apartment during the chaos of

All tamed now

It feels great to have that all done, and we've sold everything we wanted to except for one item, so we've done pretty well. Now just four days until we move!

Friday, October 10, 2014

From 23 to 9

Today I came across an interesting article. InterNations conducted a survey where they asked 14,000 expats in over 160 countries questions about their life and then used those statistics and gathered information to rate the top 61 countries to be an expat in.

First was Ecuador, last was Kuwait (can't say I'm surprised by that). The Netherlands was ranked 23rd and Australia, ranking in the top 10, ranked number 9. They say their questionnaires asked questions about lifestyle, quality of life, relationships and leisure, as some examples, but I find it hard to believe that a survey like this can be relied upon heavily.

Ultimately, what it's like living as an expat comes down to your own personal experience and personality as an individual. Do you speak the language? Did you already know people there? Are you in a job you enjoy? These are not things that can be standardized or ranked really, because someone might love living in say Norway, but that's not to say if I went there I would have the same opinion.

Generally speaking, you may be able to rank countries based on number of jobs in languages other than the native one, quality of living in the country, the pay of jobs, etc., but in my opinion anything more is pretty biased and comes down to the individual.

Regardless, it was interesting and I'm pretty excited to be moving somewhere 14 spots up on the list. You can read about the survey here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Getting the Ball Rolling

It's been a few days since my last post, but I haven't really had a whole lot to say since we haven't been doing much these past few days regarding moving and Australia. However, now I have some news!

Last night we applied for our joint Australian bank account and this morning I received the confirmation email. It's great because to apply for the account you don't need your TFN (that tax file number I mentioned before) nor do you need an Australian address, which makes it ideal for people going on working holidays like us. Instead, on the application you say which city you'll be living in and then they give you a branch and a specific contact person in that city who is your "banker" as the email says.

You contact your banker, our's name is Lloyd apparently, about 2 weeks out and set up a time to go into the branch, show your passport to confirm your identity and fully activate your account, and also receive the debit cards.

What's even better is you get all the details about the account ahead of time so you can transfer funds before you leave. It's exciting to have something like this finalized, and comforting to know we now have a bank account with the correct currency in it.

We were also very successful last night in selling the furniture. We are selling the couch, arm chair, desk, dining table and dining chairs, and last night we found people for almost all of it. Even better, we don't want to relinquish the couch too soon since we use it everyday, but we found someone willing to come get it the day before we leave.

The moving process is finally on a roll. We leave one week from tomorrow (to the US that is), but we still need to try and sort through our clothes and start making piles of what to send back with Michael's dad (like winter clothes/coats), what to bring, and what to trash. Before I came here I already scaled back a lot and that was only a little over 3 months ago, so I'm not looking forward to doing it again. However, I know I can do it and we'll probably be starting that in the next couple of days.

Finally, since we're getting closer to arriving into Australia (17 days to be exact), we're looking more seriously at accommodation options, and last night when having a quick look online we were pleasantly surprised by the number of nice, affordable, furnished apartments. Of course we aren't going to do anything about it now since we're still a bit too far out, but soon we'll begin making a list of ones we may want to contact once we're there to get the ball rolling.

We booked our flight so that we would arrive on a Monday, giving us the whole week to look for accommodation and jobs. We found some nice and affordable apartment rentals (like vacation rentals, you pay by night) in the area where we want to look for housing and are thinking we may book something like that for about 4 or 5 nights and hopefully have found somewhere and be able to move into the apartment at the end of the week.

The progress we're making is exciting and I will try to write more frequently now that we're coming up on our departure. Soon I'll have some stories from actually living in Australia, which will be very exciting, and I also can't wait to meet my first koala. Maybe I'll do that on day one instead of looking for an apartment or a job? It's a close call, really.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Mouse Saga is Over

Last summer while washing dishes one night Michael and I saw a mouse (and both screamed) and it was then we realized this apartment had some mice. Prior to that no food had ever been nibbled on but we noticed mouse droppings so we got some mouse traps and set them out. Unfortunately, we never caught anything.

Some time after though Michael caught one and we thought finally, it's over. But it wasn't. There was another. This mouse is the hungriest mouse I've ever seen in my life. It will eat half a pack of cookies, 3 waffles, anything; it eats more than I do and that's saying something. It makes a racket in the walls or under the floorboards and eats our food, but no mouse trap could seem to catch it.

We'd sort of given up and just started storing the things we didn't want eaten in the cabinet where it can't get to and keeping just cans and tupperware stuff under the sink since it can't eat through that. It also won't eat potatoes or onions, so those are safe.

However, last night we were washing dishes (deja vu) and I felt something on my foot and saw a mouse leap off-- I was wearing slippers thank god. We had kept some cookies the other day it seemed to eat half a pack of and stuck a bit of one on a mousetrap and put it where my foot had been, expecting in reality nothing to come of it.

This morning I got up, turned on the espresso machine, went to the bathroom, filled the filter basket with the coffee, put my cup under and pressed the go button. My cup was halfway full when I glanced down, drowsy and bleary eyed, to see a grey mass with a tail. It took a second to process it and when I did I quickly stepped back and said oh my god. I'm squeamish ok.

Luckily, my cup didn't overfill. I cleaned the filter basket and turned the machine off and stayed out of the kitchen until Michael woke up and got rid of it. We finally got the mouse, a year later and 13 days before we leave. Better late than never I suppose and we just did the next tenant a favor. While I disliked finding a dead mouse and found it rather disgusting, I feel accomplished and glad I don't need to hear its scratching against the walls anymore. Hannah and Michael- 2, mouse- 0.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Painting, Phones and Pianos

As you remember from my last post we began repainting the walls the other day and after our second coat of white paint I think it's looking much better. We were worried we may need a third coat in which case we would need another bucket of paint (yes, bucket, the one we've been using is 10L), but we don't think that will be necessary. It needs some touching up but overall I think it looks good.

We still have to have the landlord come look at the other walls, but until then I think we're about done.

Michael's going home to the UK this weekend so naturally I'll be having wild parties in the apartment (just kidding). But when he gets back we'll start listing the furniture online and try to start selling that.

When we move out his dad is going to take some of the furniture with him back to the UK on the ferry, but some things like the couch just aren't going to fit so we need to try and sell them. We'd like to hold onto these things as long as possible but if we get a good deal we'll definitely take it. I'm not looking forward to taking this thing down the stairs of this apartment.

We live on the top floor and the stairs are extremely steep, narrow and slightly windy. Woo-hoo.

Unrelated to moving, I was researching phone bundles in Australia yesterday and discovered they do things really strangely. Rather than buying credit and having a normal calling price per minute, you buy credit that essentially gives you more money.

So say you buy $20, that gives you $400 to use for calling or texting. Then they charge ridiculous prices such as $1 per minute and a $0.40 connection fee, but this is out of that random $400, nothing to do with your $20. It's all very strange.

Essentially I discovered there aren't horrible deals though, which was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was going to find insanely high prices seeing as Australia is so expensive. We'll probably end up using Lycamobile, which is what I use here in the Netherlands-- they're good, reasonably priced, and have good bundle options.

In other news, we hate our neighbor more than ever. We have this neighbor who lives on the first floor (we live on the third) and he is as obnoxious as you can be. He shares a toilet with the apartment on the second floor and when he goes he runs up the stairs making all sorts of racket like he's the incredible hulk, all the white whistling, then slams the door, then runs back downstairs. Even we can hear it up here. He also blasts music with his windows open and whistles ridiculously loudly all the time.

We just think if we hear him so loudly and clearly how the poor people downstairs feel. However, much to our dismay, he bought a piano this week. To start with, remember those stairs I told you about? Try carrying a piano up them. I come back from the grocery store the other day and there they are trying to push this massive piano up the stairs. They had only begun when I arrived and I ended up being stuck on the street for 30 minutes while they attempted to push this thing up to the first floor. The best part? They asked me to help them. No thanks.

Now to make matters worse he plays this stupid thing at all hours all the time. Lying in bed the other night at midnight he was playing. We're just glad we're leaving in a couple of weeks because I don't know how much longer I can handle his rudeness and inconsiderate behavior.

Anyway, after that rant let me leave you with a picture of a cute koala drinking out of a biker's water bottle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From Snazzy to Gallery

Just a little over 2 weeks out from leaving we've begun the process of turning the apartment back into its original state. In other words, boring. The apartment came with all of the walls white, however, last year when Michael moved in we painted the walls much nicer colors.

In the main room we painted one of the walls brown and painted the door a lime green color. The brown wall also featured a grandfather clock wall decal and a clock. Here are some before shots of what those looked like.

Although we love the brown and the green, we figured we'd be better off painting the walls back to white now rather than later so we don't need to worry about it when we're packing and sorting everything else out in later days. We still have another coat to do, but it certainly looks strange having those walls back to white.

The paint peeled off when we took the
grandfather clock decal off.

It looks much nicer now that it's dried a bit, promise. 

We'll put the clock back up when we've officially finished with the painting of the walls, but it's still quite bare. Some apartments look really cool, modern and gallery-like with only white walls-- this apartment is not one of them.

We painted the bedroom as well: one wall blue and the others an off-white, however, the landlord said that if the colors aren't offensive he doesn't mind if we don't paint it back to white so at some point he'll come look at them and decide.

We think they're pretty inoffensive and look really nice and we hope the landlord agrees. Not only will it be less work to do, but it'll be nice I think for whoever moves into this apartment next. Luckily for us, we left the other walls white (and put a new coat of white on last year) so it looks in better shape than we we moved in.

All white. 

It'll take some getting used to the white walls again, but at least we still have some of our decorations up so it doesn't feel too bare. And besides, just 16 more days.