First Impressions of Perth, WA
I cannot help but feel that much of my life was on hold while in the Middle East. Since peering into crystal balls is not a speciality of mine, my only regret is that we did not come to Perth 10 years earlier. It is almost unbelievable how pleasant it is to be here. Many may say we are in the honeymoon phase, however I prefer to believe that life is indeed good. The weather, the people, the drivers even the various government departments we have had to deal with are just so civilized. So organised and courteous. From organising bank accounts, medical cards or my Working with Children Check, everything just works. The people you deal with are courteous and things are just unbelievably easy. I am pleasantly surprised!
Of course we have had our fair share of stress too. Looking for a property to rent has been pretty stressful. The system is you look for a place that interests you on the net. You then send an email to the agency expressing your interest in viewing the property. You also call the agent. Some properties have “open days” with a 15 minute window where you and 30 other people scuttle through the house to see if it is suitable. Other times you will view a house alone at a time arranged with the agent. A spanner is often thrown into the works when a property you may want to view is rented out even before you can see it or as in our case you may find a house, but the landlord is totally against you having your dog! Faith has played a big role of course. For every disappointment I believed it was because there was something better planned for us. Indeed there was. This week we finally found a lovely family home with a gorgeous garden and best of all the landlord was kind enough to allow our pooch! Now we just have to hope that our container will be cleared through customs in time for us to move in on 1 February and that Zulu, our Poodle survives quarantine.
This past week was also my first week back as a full time student at university. I completed my first Post Graduate Diploma in Education for teaching high school way back in 1988, and now 24 years later I have come full circle and returning to my original vocation, only this time I am studying for a Post Graduate Diploma of Education in Early Childhood. Doing it again and learning about best practice and all the latest research on teaching young children is certainly a fantastic opportunity for someone of my mature age to learn about teaching in this contemporary age we live in. It’s all very exciting for me!
This year is going to be tough. With me studying full time and being in a school as a student- teacher two days a week, along with all the responsibilities of motherhood and running a house I will be stretched. This is the year where it is crucial for our children to learn how to be more independent, to do chores to help around the house and deal with all the stresses of living in a new country. I have faith that all will be well. As a family we will pull together and as a student I will have to learn how to do some serious planning. Planning is not my strong point so The Italian has graciously offered his services to help with meal planning and cooking when needed. This is good since he is an excellent cook.
So, my first impressions are of an extremely civilised country where people are courteous and aggressive behavior is frowned upon. Drivers drive cautiously, stick to speed limits, slow down and make a space when you indicate to change lanes and never push you out or drive on the hard shoulder. Australians take rules very seriously . Not a bad thing I believe. Perth is a lovely city. It has many, many parks and green spaces which are just lovely. Lots of tree-lined streets and of course lovely clean beaches. The other thing I have noticed is how fit people are here. All around the city you will find bicycle paths and people cycling to or from work or just for fun. I have also noticed that many people change into sports gear and trainers after work and walk home with their backpacks on their backs. The young men sport their biceps (and tatoos) proudly and the young girls are generally fit and healthy looking. Ladies also have quite a quirky sense of dress which I like. People here don’t appear bothered or hung up about their bodies. They are mostly fit at all ages and are not bothered about dress rules. I like that.
Any downside you may ask. Yes. Perth is very expensive. Housing is crazily expensive and so is food. I haven’t had an utility bill yet, but I am sure that is not going to be cheap either.
All in all a great new beginning. I am so looking forward to the future!
Next steps are to find a doctor, dentist, a good homeopath and a good hair salon.
ps. All these pictures were taken with my new toy. A point and shoot. Canon S100. No Photoshop here either! I love that I can carry it in my bag and shoot anywhere. It is so much nicer than lugging my trusty SLR around with me:)