26 August 2005

More from AU

I was scolded for my last email being too long, so I'll try to keep this one shorter. I forget that some of you have jobs and responsibilities. So sorry, it is easy to forget. Actually, I applied to teach last week, and got more information about that. There are three levels: casual (subs), temporary (long term subs), and permanent. I can't get a permanent job because I have a temporary visa. This will be OK, though, because it gives me the freedom to not work when I have the opportunity to travel with Heather, who already has a weekend conference in Melbourne scheduled for October, by the way. Temporary positions are for a minimum of four weeks, and can be extended until the end of the school year. So I have options. I am waiting on background checks to go through, then there is a twelve day course, including three days of workshops, and nine days in a school. After that, there are five days where I am basically student teaching again. The guy I talked to seemed excited about me, and in a hurry to get me in, so there is definite need here.
We moved into the apartment on Monday. So far, we have a bed, dining table, and a rug. Couches and dining chairs should be here in about two weeks, as should our shipment from the US. Still wrestling over that one, you don't even want to know what a pain that has been. Everything about the move has been very easy except that.
Guess I'll cut it off here for now. Can't keep Mary from grading those papers. We will wait to send pictures until we have all of our furnishings.

10 August 2005

Apartment Update

Heather and I put a deposit on an apartment just now. We didn't go with the Haight and Ashbury--we finally decided we didn't need to give up that much. We found a new neighborhood Sunday night and started looking there. We looked at three apartments today, and really liked two of them. The one we picked is a little funky layout. The kitchen is on a hallway. The whole apartment has hardwood floors, except the bathroom (tile). One whole wall of the living area is a glass sliding door to a balcony. It has a dryer included, but no washer. That is normal here, we have discovered. It also includes a fridge, which is rare, but it is a small dorm-style. We think it will be manageable. So the only appliance to buy will be the washer. It has more storage than I have ever seen in an apt. We can't move in until the 27th, so we need to arrange for something for another five days beyond what we have booked at the hotel. It is a five minute walk to Central Station, which every train in the city goes through. We are very excited to have found it. The inspection today was public, and there were four other groups to view it, all of which seemed very interested. They had a fax number for everyone to fax their apps to. I let a girl borrow my pen so she could write it down, then when she left a minute later, I told the guy, "OK, I let her use my pen, but we want it now. Where do we sign?" They still need to review our apps, but there is no reason that should be a problem, and they have accepted our deposit. We'll send some pics along in a few weeks when we get moved in.
Speaking of pics, we went to the Sydney Aquarium on Sunday and got some great pics there. Platypuses (platypi?), a salty, sharks, jellyfish, and of course, Nemo and Dory. We want to get some pics of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, too, so be on the lookout for those pictures.
There are parks everywhere here. We walked by a golf course in one yesterday. We have seen people walking dogs, playing rugby, and flying kites. It is a very active lifestyle. We are really looking forward to getting settled in and getting involved.
I guess this has rambled on for long enough, and I think Heather is emailing some of you right now, too. I'll let you know how things go as we move in to our new apartment.

06 August 2005

Quick note from the other side of the world

Hello, all. Heather and I arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning. We were not on the ground for two hours before we saw a confederate flag in a shop window. "It's a small world, after all..." Walked WAY down to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House Thursday afternoon. Friday we took the rail out to Bondi Beach, walked in the sand and watched some surfers. This is going to be fun.
We looked at seven or eight apartments today. Only one was acceptable. It needs some paint and cleaning, and we wouldn't have chosen the carpet, but we really like the area it is in. Heather says it is Haight and Ashbury. It is not in a complex, but above a hair salon. Of course, it is very close to the Uni, and public transportation. We can get a washer in it, but no dryer. Still one appliance better than the past three years. And it is a two bedroom, so pack your bags.
I went to a sporting goods store across from our hotel earlier to look at the rugby and cricket gear. They had a silver and blue Cowboys football in a bin. A couple local kids saw it, and I had the pleasure of seeing them ohh and ahh over it--"Dallas Cowboys!"
Heather is supposed to drop by her office on Monday, and we should learn more about the apartment then, too. One more good thing about the apartment-the "Apple Centre" is just down the street. More later,