Life in Perth is pretty good. As I mentioned before, our first day in town we already found an apartment and decided to take it. A few days later, after enjoying a few days of Lauren’s famous (well it should be) hospitality, we moved in to our new place.
Our apartment is pretty much awesome. It’s a three bedroom place, but our roommates are great. One of our roommates is from South Korea, and she’s the nicest person you’ll ever meet. Her boyfriend is Australian (Korean heritage) and owns a hibachi restaurant in the city. Cool. Our other roommate is also very friendly and sharing, offering us DVDs to borrow, wine she can’t drink while on antibiotics, even her car to use when she’s at work! Perthites are definitely ridiculously generous.
We live on Wellington Street (which just happens to be the same street name we lived on in Sydney!), and across the street is a really beautiful little park where people always seem to be getting married. Behind that is the train station, though we rarely have to use it. Next to the park is Harbour Town, a big outlet shopping mall that is awesome. The first weekend we went out to experience the Perth nightlife, I realized all my going out clothes were more adapted to cool Sydney nights, so I just walked over to Harbour Town and picked myself up a couple nice $15 dresses. How great is that?
Just a few minutes in the other direction behind our apartment is Kings Park, a huge sprawling park and botanic garden with great views over the city. We walked there the other day and had a lovely picnic and tanning session — a must for any visitor to Perth!
Even better, the Yellow Cat stops right down the street from our place as well. That’s a free bus that goes right into the city. Otherwise we can walk into the city center in just 10-15 minutes. In under a half hour we can walk nearly anywhere in the inner suburbs, such as Subiaco and Leederville which are the cool/trendy areas, good for restaurants, nightlife and entertainment. And if we want to venture to Fremantle or the beach, we just have to walk across the park to the train station. Too easy!
Job hunting has been going how job hunting tends to go. It felt like it was going to be better than Sydney when, after just a week of applying for jobs, I heard back from two within an hour and had two interviews. Unfortunately, we have less time to play with here than we did in Sydney, and both interviews ended up with a rejection because I couldn’t work longer than four months. Since then I had one more call back for a really perfect (and well paid!) job, only to be told that position was a six month contract. Like everyone else, the recruiter told me she would let me know if anything else became available. Unlike everyone else, she did contact me again just a few days later with another position with the same company but for a shorter contract. I met with her yesterday but already knew the position was for someone beyond my experience and skill level (I found the listing on another website and it required someone with five years experience), and I could tell from talking with her that she thought the same. She did, however, bring in a fellow consultant at the firm who works with temps in administration and office support, and she seemed promising about finding me something. To be quite honest my hope and positivity has been dwindling, so I will be happy to get just about anything at this point.
Oscar started at a job last week with a solar power company. The hours aren’t ideal and it’s not what he’d prefer to be doing, so he’s trying it out and then going to decide whether or not to look for something else. He’s doing quite well though.
There aren’t quite as many openings here as in Sydney, so it feels like every day there is less and less to apply for, and more and more not calling back. I’ve had more moments than I’d like to admit where I’ve wanted to just pack up and go home. But giving up isn’t really my style so I’m sucking it up and sticking with it. The days are long and boring though, staring at the computer and applying for job after job. And it’s hard not to feel guilty if I take time off from job hunting to leave the apartment (which usually ends up with me spending money I barely have on groceries or something we don’t necessarily need, leading to more guilt).
But at least we have friends to break things up a bit. The other week we had a non-traditional multicultural Thanksgiving dinner with some of our Australian (and a Canadian) friends. Oscar made kebab-pizza, a Swedish specialty, and we all had a good time eating, talking, and playing games. And so I’ve now managed to spend two Thanksgivings abroad (the other in Quito) without missing out on celebrating them. We’re rarely at a loss for things to do, regularly going out with friends to the beach, for drinks and dancing, etc. and it’s been a long time since I’ve had so many party invitations and social events already planned! Again testifying to how friendly and welcoming Perthites are, we’ve been invited to parties of people we’ve met just once (and some we’ve never met, since Lauren has invited us to her mom’s 60th Carnevale-themed birthday which is sure to be spectacular!) and are always being offered to go shopping, to concerts, all kinds of things by our roommates and people we’ve only just met.
I can’t think of many places that can rival Perth for friendliness, that’s for sure!