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2 months here and I found a grey hair!       started by garforth on 11 Feb 2007   (11552)
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From garforth

11 Feb 2007 11:05 AM
(52214)
Hi folks old and new. Haven't been on for ages as we've had loads to do this end. Forget the hassle of applying for visa's etc in England the stress starts all over again when you get here. But hopefully it's all coming together now. Here is our experience so far and hopefully it will give a few tips to those who are just about to leave coz believe me you will foget to do somethings silly like cancel the milk or window cleaner. I'm going to try to give a balanced view. If I compare and contrast with England it's not ment to be a slagging off sesion. We actually came to Oz for a life experience not because we were disollusioned with England. Anyway here goes... Extra Baggage We left England on 28th November and arrived in Sydney 30th. We flew Emirates which were great. For those who are not familiar I am Oz citizen and our son has got duel nationality. My husband came on a permanent spouse visa. This immediately caused us a problem in terms of allowing extra baggage. Or so we thought. The final days before our depature my beloved husband and I would have many arguements/discussions about the amount of jeans, shoes, bikinis etc we were taking. In the end we had 5 suitcases. One massive one and 4 medium size. Only Gareth was allowed extra baggage of 40kg as technically he was the only one emigrating, me and our son on aussie passports were only entitled to 20kg each. So in Manchester airport we were prepared to pay for the excess. Anyway the woman at check in didn't even blink. So we got away with it. In fact my comment at the time was 'see we could have brought a 6th suitcase...' Shipping company We went with GB Liners in the end. Mixed views really. The guys that packed us up in England and the guys at this end unloading everything were brilliant. Great sense of humour and worked hard. However before we left England we were undecided to bring our wardrobes as were informed we would just end up putting them in the garage. Which is what we have done coz a lot of houses have built in wardrobes. But I couldn't bear to part with them coz they were very well made and quite expensive. We couldn't sell them so we changed our mind in the last week and decide to bring them after all. We informed GB Liners of our plans and said we were prepared to pay the extra cost. No worries they said. Well after 3 days of ringing we could not pay them. Either it was on answer phone or the person at the other end couldn't take switch card payments. No one ever phoned back when they said they would. My attitude was forget it. Lets not pay them, but we still hadbn't paid for the insurance. If it wasn't for that then we wouldn't have bothered breaking our necks trying to give them more money. The furniture was packewd up in England 13th November, set off 9th December and arrived at our property 31st January. No problems with customs. We got away with our brand new LCD TV and washing machine and our Van Gogh style wicker chairs. There was 1 box missing which contained pots and pans and glassware. Ove the past few weeks I have also noticed that I can't find our teapot and a beautiful vase which was a gift. Also there was a big rip in our double bed mattress and the bed base. So as you can see it was a good job we insisted paying for the excess and insurance. We have just filled in an insurance claim and taken photo's of the damage. So it's just watch and wait now. Work We are both nurses and brought with us 2 written references each documenting the years we have served. We are starting tomorrow a 2 day induction then working on the casual pool. So we'll see what happens there. We were informed we would have no problems in getting work. The day I went for the interview she told us there were 60 outstanding shifts not covered that day! Nursery/Long day care Got Billy enrolled 3 days per week which is costing us $150 per week. However please note that is at full price , now we are starting to work we can claim some discount. Haven't done it yet so will keep you informed how it goes. The manager of the nursery said it could take 6 weeks to arrange. Billy is 2 and definately felt the separation more than we anticipated. i suppose we were asking for trouble at that age. He had no toys or friends or cousins to play with. He has gone through a bad behaviour stage but now he is getting better now that his toys have arrived and that he is meeting new friends. He did bite a child on the 3 rd day so we'll see what happens now. No doubt we'll get sued or something...Onkly joking. Red tape The one thing we found frustrating when trying to get tax file numbers. driving license and medicare was we didn't have anything with our name and address on. So it was a bit like well we cant' get anything organised then. Luckily my dad lives here so he was able to act as a referee on my drivers license. So that gave us some ID with address on. However my husband can't drive so he has nothing. Driving Talking of driving. There are some slight differences in rules. I have had many people stick 2 fingers up at me on roundabouts and traffic lights. And I did nearly kill a pedestrain t'other day. It might be worth looking at the rules and regs. Customer service I dont' know if it was because it was xmas but I did notice when we arrived that shop assistants practically jump on you when you walk in the shop. 'Can I help you?' is nice but when they start trying to sell stuff it's a bit like... I'm out of here. I think that is the English side of me though. Having said that it does pay to converse with them coz you soon find out that they too were once expats or that their great grandparetns etc were English. If you butter them up and start talking football then you'll end up with a discount. And if you buy something that needs delivering then on the day that it comes they give you a call about 25 mins before arriving which is great. In England it would a case of 'it's between 8am -6pm thats all I can say'... Price difference On the whole I don't think there is much diffeence perhaps some things are cheaper. I filled the car up with petrol..it cost