Admin made easy

so, we are about to start day 4 in brisbane. it’s been very nice so far – and today we’re actually already moeg because we had a busy day yesterday.

i promised some photos, so here are just some of them.

waiting in OR Tambo

Antonio lazing about waiting for the Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi

The two of us looking all happy, before the LONG flight

Our moment of bliss on our long journeyOur hotel room view in Abu Dhabi

Our new home - Hamilton Harbour Tower 2 (the building on the right)

so i did take some photos – i still need to take a photo of outside.

we’ve managed to kick the jet lag, after just 2 days. so yesterday we decided to go and do most of our admin, which isn’t really that much. we went to open a bank account – which was pretty painless. we now wait for our ATM cards to be delivered in the post. that took about 20 minutes at the bank which is just walking distance away.

we then needed to catch a taxi to westfield chermside mall – which apparently is the second largest mall in australia. taxi is actually a bit pricey here – cost us $28 to get there and another $28 to get back. now multiply by 8.3 and you’ll see what i say it’s expensive! at westfield chermside, we went to the medicare office to join medicare – which is basically free healthcare – and it’s immediate – no waiting periods. took us 15 minutes or so to actually complete the forms and get our medicare number. we’re on it already, just waiting a few days for the actual card to be delivered via post.

one of the things i really enjoy is the efficiency of the service we’ve experienced so far. walk into a shop, press a button to get a ticket, take a seat and wait until your number is called. luffly! πŸ™‚

once we did that admin, we got antonio a prepaid cellphone number, and got us some boardshorts and thongs (this is what slip slops are called here) and some beach towels (linen and bath goods are called manchester here – no idea why). their terms and lingo here is definitely something we need to learn quickly!

westfield chermside doesn’t actually feel that big – i’m sure we have malls in SA that are a lot bigger.

after our first mall experience here, we then came back to our apartment and immediately went to go swim in the lap pool that we have by our building. going to be sore later because i haven’t swum in ages and i’m extremely unfit πŸ™‚

we haven’t got anything planned yet for today – will be taking it as it comes. two main things are left for us to do – buy a car and retake our drivers licence test… but that will most probably happen next week.

hope you all have a great day!

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We have arrived!

we have finally arrived in brisbane! well, we actually arrived yesterday already, but we were so tired, didn’t have internet and needed to sort our flat out… so this is the first time i am actually sitting down and can write a bit!

our lovely “short” journey” started 1:30pm SA time on saturday 31 december. we left jhb amidst some lovely rain and then had a nice 8 hour flight to abu dhabi. the babies on the plane were horrible. i swear we should ban all kids below 2 from flying πŸ™‚ sorry to the friends who have kids – but the amount of crying we endured through this whole trip was enough to swear anyone off kids πŸ™‚

we landed in abu dhabi at midnight (abu dhabi time – 2 hours ahead of SA) 1 january. we then headed straight for the airport hotel Β to see if there were any rooms available – but were told to come back at 1am because some people would be checking out then. so we went to sit in the lounge and were surrounded by screaming kids again! luckily we got a room at the hotel and immediately went for a shower and then slept. it was a lifesaver – because being awake for so long or attempting to sleep Β in the lounge would have been a disaster.

9:30am abu dhabi time we boarded our next flight which was to brisbane via singapore. we ended up leaving at 11:30am (one hour late because of some passengers being late and because we missed our slot, we had to wait to get a slot to depart). many crying babies were on the flight again… then we had our 7 hour flight to singapore. all planes landing at singapore requires all passengers to disembark – even if it’s just a technical stop. so we landed at 10:30pm singapore time (4 hours ahead of abu dhabi, 6 ahead of SA). so we all got off and then 90 minutes later reboarded. singapore changi airport is HUGE! the size of the terminal and the amount of boarding gates is quite an eye opener… and you would think in such a country there would be free wifi – but there wasn’t. there were 4 computers available to access the internet (which were swamped) and then you could plug your laptop into their network using a network cable. felt so primitive πŸ™‚

we eventually departed singapore at 12:15am 2 january and then faced the 7:30 hour flight to brisbane. was pretty uneventful, still crying babies etc but i managed to get like 2 hours sleep. really want to do a business class flight one day… and get to lie down properly. we landed at 9:30am in brisbane (2 hours ahead of singapore, 6 of abu dhabi and 8 ahead of SA – so it was 1:30am SA time when we landed). so you can imagine how tired we were… lack of sleep plus body clocks totally out of whack. customs and passport control was a breeze – we were out within 45 minutes. was such a relief to be off a plane and finally be in our new home city πŸ™‚

from the airport, anne (my new boss) took us straight our new apartment. the apartment building is really nice and our apartment is lovely. had to do some admin before we got the keys, but that was quick. the apartment is really nice – nice and sunny. and the ducted aircon is lovely πŸ™‚ the apartment gets quite warm with all sunshine it gets.

we also went to do some shopping because there were no towels or fitted sheets. plus we needed a vacuum to get the fluff out of the carpet which is brand new. we also needed to get essentials like toilet paper and coffee – lol πŸ™‚ once shopping was done we went for lunch at the restaurant which is less than 500m away – we’ve also got a “spar” called IGA, 6 restaurants, a gym, a movie theatre and other amenities within that little complex.

we eventually got to bed just before 8pm – and we slept like logs (until the sun rose and we also got up because we have no blinds yet in our apartment!) the apartment is getting it’s blinds today.

i will post photos later – haven’t really had time to take nice pictures – but we are living here now so there is ample time for me to take many photos πŸ™‚

hope everyone had a great and safe new years. to everyone that is starting work today – good luck! and all the best

 

The excitement is growing!

so – we are 29 hours from lift off! usually it always feels like time flies, but this last week has felt a bit long – but that is most probably because i’m still at work – but i’ve got only another 1 hour and then it’s bye bye to work in south africa.

this past week has been a good one. firstly it was christmas spent with friends on the day and then in the evening we went to antonio’s brother and stayed there for a few days. was nice to be able to spend this time with friends and family.

on christmas eve, we went to take my aunt out for brunch and to visit with her before we leave. below is a photo of us with her. going to miss her a lot!

christmas was a nice relaxing affair with tony and hannes and a bunch of other friends. loads of food!

other than that, we’ve been sorting out the last admin before we go. got to do final packing tonight and say final goodbyes to friends and family, then tomorrow morning we’re off to the airport to check in and board! going to be exciting times!

will definitely be updating more once we’re on our way and once we get there!

to all my friends and family – hope you have a great new years, all the best for the future, be positive, be caring and love lots! until we meet again!

Almost there

so – we are now at 22 december – meaning that we have 9 sleeps away from flying away to brisbane. amazing to think that we’re almost there. getting more and more excited – plus things are falling into place.

one of the things that we were slightly concerned about was with regards to where we are going to be staying once we get there. my sister stayed at a guest house for a few weeks before finally finding a place for herself. this is an ok option, but it does start getting expensive. luckily for me, my new boss in australia is very helpful and assisted us in finding a place. we did a basic search online of places to stay in brisbane that were furnished, but it’s a very limited results set. eventually she went to go see some apartments for us last weekend.

2 of the places she went to see are in a suburb called hamilton. they’ve been doing a whole revamp of the area, and there are a couple of apartment blocks that are there. the first one she went to go look at was called portside. a very nice place right by the river, but it’s directly above 6 restaurants – so you can imagine how noisy it can get. it also is right where the cruise ships dock – so you can only imagine how busy it gets there. what’s nice about this area is that there are restaurants, cinemas, gyms, shops and other social places right here.

anne also went to go to a place that is like 500m away – across the road. the apartment block “hamilton harbour” has only been open 3 weeks so everything is brand spanking new. it’s nice to know that the potential bed we’re sleeping in has not been used by anyone else πŸ™‚ after discussing it with her and her sending us some pictures, we decided we are going to try and apply for this apartment. it’s not the biggest place – only 64 m2, but it should be sufficient for us. it also has a river view and a balcony that is fully enclosed, but can be opened. the link to the apartment isΒ http://www.hhresidences.com.au/. the apartment is also on the 14th floor! we are going to have some really nice views.

after applying, we were notified that we got the apartment! it was such great news for us. this means that when we land, we can go directly to the apartment and sleep! it’s going to be really nice having our own place – and am glad that it’s sorted out. only thing we have left to do is to sign the lease when they send it for signing.

i’ve been reading up on hamilton, and it seems to be the current trendy area, lots of revamping and construction of apartment buildings, shops and restaurants. it’s 6km from the cbd, and 10km from the airport – lots of transport options available as well. it’s also close to the major freeway that takes you to the sunshine coast to the north, and the gold coast to the south. sounds very nice πŸ™‚ can’t wait!

other than that, nothing really interesting has happened this week. i’m still working – and sitting at a client basically this whole week testing a solution. really tiring! at least there are very little work days left.

this weekend ahead is christmas… so it’s time spent with friends and family. sadly i can’t make it down to uitenhage to see my parents before we fly – will have to make a plan for next christmas. but we’re spending time with tony and hannes and co for christmas lunch on sunday and then sunday evening to tuesday we’re spending the days with fernando and yolandie. i’m looking forward to spending time with everyone before we go – because as i’ve said previously, i won’t be seeing them for a while 😦

to all i know that have gone on holiday, be safe and enjoy your time with everyone you care about.

be safe

 

 

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Long weekends

Don’t you just love long weekends I know that for a lot of friends this long weekend is actually the best one because it is the start of the Christmas holiday and at least 2 weeks of no work… So to all my friends and family that are driving to their destination, drive safe and have a great festive season.

The one difficult thing that I’ve found in this last week is saying goodbye to friends and knowing that I’m not going to see them in at least a year. So saying good gets particularly difficult. Saying goodbye to Mari was very difficult because we’ve been very close friends for many years. It’s not as if I’m moving to a place without Internet – we’re still going to chat on gtalk and whatsapp, but not seeing her and spending time is what I’m going to miss.

So for me, the reality of moving is getting more real and I’m now appreciating everything I’m leaving behind.

Getting there… slowly

so it’s been quite a while since i’ve last posted. i would say that it is because i’ve been so busy, but there are times where time just went by so slowly…

we’re now down to 16 and a bit days until we hit the sky – but until then, we have to get through december and being at work. this is that time of year when everything at work actually slows down to a snails pace, or you only really have the dreary stuff to do, like update test cases and do testing – clients are all slowing down so no meetings to keep the brain going or writing specifications. it may sound weird to say it, but i wish to be writing a good spec document!

so – what has happened in the last month? firstly, we’ve moved out of our home for 18 months and in with our great friends tony and hannes. they were so kind to offer us accommodation in the last month of us being in south africa. so we sold what we could and gave everything away – so our lives have been reduced to our clothes and a couple of personal items that we are planning to ship over at a later date. our cats got a new home with my parents in uitenhage (and they seem to be adjusting very well to each other).

so all that really remains is to get through this month and then be on our way. we’re trying to spend time with friends and family as well in this final month – as it will be a long time before we see them again. so in the past 2 weekends we went to a friend (who’s also a colleague) and had supper with them. was just great to spend an evening with them and just visit. plus the food was awesome! then we spent the sunday with antonio’s brother and his wife – such a nice relaxing sunday – lying on the couch, reading, watching tv, playing some ps3. was just nice to totally relax.

this past week was busier – was our company year end function thursday, moved offices friday, then friday night we were off to dw eleven-13 for supper (absolutely yummy food), saturday was antonio’s work function at ala turka (yummy food but toooo much) and sunday we did a pre-xmas lunch with a whole bunch of friends (and the ginger glazed gammon i made was demolished πŸ™‚ )

This week is more laid back – it was antonio’s birthday – we didn’t celebrate it because it’s a work week plus they’re super busy at work – will make it up to him later. got mari coming for supper tonight – she’s being a sweetie pie and taking a whole bunch of dvds and books to my mom in uitenhage. saturday it’s off to the codfather in rivonia to have a goodbye lunch with another friend. the rest of the weekend is up in the air.

between all this moving and visiting, i had my moments of depression – it’s exciting to know that we’re moving off to another country to start our lives over, together with one another in a new country, but the reality is also getting to me that moving also takes us away from our friends and family here, we’re leaving our cats behind and also our home that we shared for the past 3 years and a bit. but i did get out of my funk and seem to be heading towards being impatient to go now πŸ™‚ the only scary thing is we still don’t have a place to stay from 2 january!!!!

in the last few weeks, i’ve also started to get back into reading mode – due to a number of factors. firstly, one of my most anticipated books being released as well as seeing a trailer of an upcoming movie that is based on a book. First is the Inheritance Cycle trilogy.

The books in this series are:

  1. Eragon
  2. Eldest
  3. Brisingr
  4. Inheritance
even though the eragon movie sucked, i enjoyed the whole inheritance series. he tied up most of the loose ends, but i have to say that the end felt a little bitty like lord of the rings final moments (of the movie – not the book).

The following series i read is The Hunger Games Trilogy (of which the first book is currently being filmed as the first movie).

the books in this series are:

  1. the hunger games
  2. catching fire
  3. mockingjay

i really enjoyed the series – some of the stuff did feel a bit rushed, and there were moments i got a tad confused, but overall it was enjoyable.

other than that, i’ve got a couple more books to read. these include:

  1. the night circus – erin morgenstern
  2. the help – kathryn stockett
  3. 12 days of winter- stuart macbride
  4. don’t look now – richard montanari
  5. micro – michael crichton
  6. the night eternal – guillermo del toro and chuck hogan
  7. and a whole bunch of other books πŸ™‚

other than that, i’ve got approx 10 more working days left and it’s 16 days until i board a plane bound for brisbane. it feels like work is dragging for an eternity at the moment – but soon it will all be over πŸ™‚

Time is becoming short

And so, the final countdown is approaching. 60 days until we wake up and then board the plane to our new beginning. It’s really coming fast now. And even though it doesn’t feel like we have a lot to do – I think that it’s all going to catch up soon.

We are in the process of selling everything – most of the stuff has already been flagged as sold – now to arrange pick up and payment. Then we need to paint the place we’re in before we move – also have to identify what items we’re putting in storage and taking to Australia later. We’re also still looking for people who want to adopt our cats – very sad and depressing for us to give them up. And then December is to relax a bit and then be on our way. I’m really only going to be missing my cats and all my friends and family when we go – but once we’re settled, I’m looking forward to exploring and making new memories.

One of the best things is that my job is sorted already, so the first 2 weeks of January is holiday – getting settled and doing all the required stuff first – like open a bank account, get a tax number, join the Medicare, get a drivers licence and do some exploring (possible to get a Garmin so that we don’t get lost :-)) and then just relaxing – and then starting work. I really looking forward to going.

In other news, this is my last week of being at home – am back at work from next week. Looking forward to seeing all my friends and colleagues that I’ve missed. And then it’s only work for like 7 weeks and then we’re gone.

Got the new Florence + The Machine album – listening to it right now – love her voice. And I finally managed to get the album by Hurts – love the 80s feel to it and I just love the lead singers voice. And we’re still watching series – Downton Abbey is still my favorite show but it’s almost finished – not a very long series 😦

Hope you all have a good week ahead