04.07.2013 30 °C
With Ben acquiring an awesome new job, which led to us both getting sponsored, the 23rd of May - not so fondly referred to by us as “Deportation Day” - came and went like any other day. Less than a month prior to that, we were still madly worrying about the future, where we would go next if we could not stay past our one year working holiday visa and what would await us this time. One company's decision to hire someone new and life changes forever. Or at least that is the case for us.
Wood and Grieve Engineers is Ben's new work place and man, oh man, what a lucky soul he is for being recruited by such an extraordinary company. Not only that, but Ben gets to work in Darwin's prime location, nestled in the middle of the stunning Waterfront area, where attractive tourists lay their bodies to tan by the gorgeous little lagoon. Lunch breaks were never so exciting! I will let him tell of his work experiences in his own words. (Read: I will gently force him behind the laptop and watch him struggle to write more than fifteen words in half an hour!)
Wood & Grieve Engineers
As soon as Ben received the call that Wood and Grieve Engineering were hiring him, and we were going to get sponsored to stay on in Darwin/ Australia for a few years time, we did not stand still for more than a second. It was time we made some big life-changes and the first one was brought on by the acquisition of a beautiful second hand 125cc scooter. We survived a year of getting around Darwin using our walking feet and the bus system. It never really bothered us, but it was eating up important quality time and we were longing for a change. We looked up a man named Michael, who advertised his scooter online and we drove back home with his scooter an hour or so later, never looking back or regretting our (slightly) impulsive decision.
Our Scooter, with Ben lurking behind it...
You cannot find a better mode of transport in the tropics than a scooter: wind blowing in your hair, that feeling of freedom rushing through your veins, and the ease of being able to park anywhere you want for free. Going for a larger scooter than the standard 50cc, meant it comfortably sits two people, goes fast enough to keep up with traffic and has a large compartment underneath the seat to store our belongings. And as if we needed another reason to love our little addition to the family: a full tank of fuel, which lasts us the whole seven days of the week, sets us back $7. And that is premium fuel as well! To think that a weekly bus ticket costs us $20 per person and you wonder why you would ever use anything else to get around on! Ah yes, we love our scooter!
Emilie's equipped and ready to go!
Next up, it was time for us to find a new home. As much as we loved our spacious modern flat in Parap, and loved having Scott as our landlord, we needed to regain our independence. Finding any type of accommodation that isn't in a state of destruction or infested with creepy-crawlies is already hard enough to come by in Darwin, let alone trying to find a studio or one bedroom apartment. Bomb shelters in supposed “third world countries” would make better homes than some of the places we visited, and that is being friendly. But unfortunately, people are often too desperate to find a dwelling that they are willing to put up with the most atrocious of living standards at a very high cost. Very sad. Ben did an amazing job of contacting every known estate agent in the Northern Territory as well as checking up on every private advertisement. His hard work paid off when he came across a cute spacious studio apartment slap bang in the city. He viewed it on a Wednesday during work hours, sent me pictures of it, filled in his expression of interest online on Thursday, and we both signed the lease on Friday. The keys were entrusted to us on Monday, which was also the first time I ever set foot in the place. Luckily (for Ben!), I loved the place as much as he did. Yes!!!!
View from our balcony
We had some amazing support from friends helping us move and getting the essentials for our new humble abode. We truly are blessed to know so many wonderful people and it has made an otherwise stressful move a smooth and fun one. Thank you