Arrival at the emigration station: week 1 in Oz

That moment where you think ‘what the hell am I doing?’

The world has been kind to me since Mum was the last person I hugged almost a week ago. 275 hours, to be exact. Saying goodbye to her had my heart as heavy as a rock. I crumbled at the thought of being so far apart from my best friend, and as I sit here writing, that rock sits firmly in my throat as I try to swallow a flood. Maybe that’s more to do with an Aerosmith song playing in the background right enough. God damn power ballads. But don’t stop reading thinking that this is going to be a super sad post, I said the world had been good to me, right? And it has. Let me explain…

First off, despite the first leg of the journey being delayed, I made my connection. Hurrah! Having missed that flight in a previous life there was a lot of perspiration and rum drinking, but all’s well that end’s well. Second was getting three whole seats to myself for 12 hours on the next leg. Three seats = a BED! That would’ve been worth thousands of pounds and I was the envy of the rest of the plane who were all made to sleep upright as the arm rest dug into them. Things like that almost never happen to me so I felt very lucky as I sprawled myself across my makeshift single. Next up was arriving at customs and not having to go through security again. Every other time I’ve had to, but my jet-lagged face must’ve looked like a trustworthy one on this occasion.

Stars (and tears) in their eyes

So there I was. Standing in the airport, waiting on the driver that my new employer had arranged to collect me, watching the reunions at international arrivals. Cue first set of tears since landing in the country. And it only took 44 minutes! The snot and salt water were soon wiped away on arriving at my Air BnB in the beaut of a suburb that is Norwood. I was met by a cheery group of Aussies and Canadians who were enjoying V-day with chocolates and wine. Little did I know that the next 3 days with them would be the best welcome to the country anyone could hope for. Good food, homemade espresso martinis, comedy, embracing the 80s and dancing until the wee small hours made for a super fun few days with the loveliest of people. I was welcomed into their ex-pat gang with open arms holding prosecco, and I couldn’t have landed a better first few nights of digs.

All the fun times didn’t stop me from rattling through the life admin list to help get life set up in Oz. Mobile phone, bank account, car bought, hire car dropped off, insurance, digs, all sorted within 36 hours. I couldn’t quite believe it. It almost seemed…dare I say…too easy? Wrapping up in the UK had been so bloody painful admin-wise, so maybe Oz just has it’s shit together a little bit better?

Leaving you was the hardest part

And so it left much time for exploration of Adelaide, a solo trip to the beach, and plenty of time for keeping in touch with people back home. But most importantly it’s allowed me to partake in some frolicking at the Adelaide Fringe which has just kicked off. Much like the Edinburgh equivalent, this month-long set of back-to-back comedy shows, burlesque bits, parades and live music provided more than just an opportunity for a sunset tipple. It is, in fact, through a trip back in time to the 80s at a comedy show that I had my first big night out in my new city, experiencing the delights of gay club ‘Mary’s Poppin’. This epic night out ended in a 6am to bed number, and led to a major bout of next day depression. Forget the booze blues, I had the homesick hangyness to the max. Alas, no rest for the jet lagged wicked, and it was off to IKEA I went, meeting my Yute-driving (think van with a tray stuck on the back and no lid) new housemate who kindly offered to help with the heavy lifting. Doing this hungover was far from ideal to say the least, and I should not have been let loose with a shopping list and no ability to make sensible decisions. A queen bed, storage furniture, bin and towel later, I was a thousand bucks lighter and had a shit tonne of packages to assemble. So there I was, sat in the middle of my new room, hungover to hell, 3 days after arriving in australia, surrounded in brown boxes, and completely alone. I’ll cut the sob story out where I balled my baby blues out for about half an hour, before pulling myself together and figuring out where the hell a screwdriver might be. Four hours, 37 bruises and hundreds of sweary words later, I had assembled something that resembled a bedroom. All on my own some. Whilst it felt mighty satisfying that I’d risen to the challenge, despite being less than useless at DIY, I couldn’t help but feel all kinds of mixed emotions, with loneliness at the core.

Bruno in knitted form (shout out to Lou for the most thoughtful leaving gift I could’ve wished for)

The following day I dragged my sorry bahookie out of bed, packed up my air bnb room, dug out a smile and went for a solo brunch and a much-needed avocado fix. And that, my friends, is how my first week as a Radelaidian, went. The only thing I’ve failed to mention is that I’ve very quickly developed a coffee addiction here. The UK has nothing on this place when it comes to a cup of the black stuff, and I’m in my caffeine-fuelled element.

I’ve heard ‘Ms Jackson’ by Outkast at least four times since arriving which is making me think I’m going to be ok. I got this.

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4 Comments

  1. Welcome to the “what the hell have I done!?” club! It’s a mixed Rollercoaster of a ride with more highs than lows. … plus the coffee helps.
    I’m sure you’ll continue to grow love die your new home and new experiences.
    Love n shit
    Brian

    • Bri I was LITERALLY googling flights to Aucky today 🙈 No good deals yet, but I’ve created an alert! I’ll be in need of a wee fix of my two favs in the Southern Hemisphere veryyy soon ❤

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