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Cockroaches: The Challenges of Getting Started

March 31, 2010

The apartment

After five nights sleeping in the cheapest (deservedly so) hostel in Sydney, we were more than ready to find a place of our own. In less than a week we’ve looked at at least five apartments and made calls about many, many more. We ended up deciding to settle for the moment in a temporary apartment. It is also in Kings Cross/Potts Point, just a street over from our hostel (meaning we didn’t have to drag all our luggage too far — though of course it was raining when we moved!) The guy who owns the building rents the rooms out to backpackers and holiday workers like us, so for a decent-sized fully furnished apartment there was only a small bond and a minimum stay of two weeks, with no other bills to pay. And at $300pw (which was originally our absolute top-end budget but has since had to be revised!) it was a decent deal considering the good location.

We were happy to move in right away yesterday because we were facing a night with possibly nowhere to sleep (our old hostel was booked out). However, when we moved in our happiness declined a little bit….


Oscar armed with cockroach killer spray

The bathroom, the kitchen, even around the bed and the rest of the carpeted main room…They were everywhere! After killing a few with toilet paper, the only thing we had in the apartment yet, we decided it was definitely time for a Cole’s run for some cockroach spray. We returned armed with a big can of insect spray and two rolls of paper towels. After an hour the can was empty and we had sprayed every nook and cranny of the kitchen, bathroom, and around the bed. We then went to grab some dinner, but when we returned we found cockroach city. Suddenly the kitchen especially seemed to be crawling with them!

Our landlord told us he was going to spray for cockroaches the next day, but after killing at least ten or fifteen more roaches, plus countless cockroach babies/other smaller insects, we decided we needed more spray. Oscar went to pick it up while I stood on the bed armed with paper towels and killed probably five more.  Finally Oscar returned with two more cans of spray and a box of 12 cockroach poison traps that we quickly laid out all over the apartment.

Then we tried to calm our nerves and settle in to watch a rented DVD and drink some goon (boxed wine). However, every time we paused the movie we would find more roaches and bugs crawling around on the carpet and closer and closer to the bed. It seemed they were fleeing the poison-filled kitchen and bathroom for our living quarters! Needless to say, we sprayed a thick barrier of spray around the bed and huddled in the middle. Regularly throughout the night I’d wake up from  (hopefully) imagined feelings of itching/crawling on my feet or legs and nightmares of cockroaches all over the bed.

Today the bathroom seemed free of insects and the kitchen wasn’t too bad, but we still have found many on the carpet in the bedroom. We talked to the landlord though and he said he would make a call to pest control ASAP. Apparently this is a new problem just this week that his other tenants have complained about too, as they’ve just started some construction on the bottom floor which seems to be driving the cockroaches up (we are on the top/fourth floor).

The roaches, combined with the continued search for a more permanent apartment, searching and applying for jobs (I unfortunately just discovered I can’t apply to STA Travel, my top choice, with a work and holiday visa) and trying to be careful with our money has definitely left us stressed. Alone these things are difficult, but when you’re a couple trying to make all these decisions together, I do believe it’s twice the stress!

We did managed to find a bit of a deal ($8) on some delicious Indonesian food in Chinatown. Yum!

Furthermore, we refuse to cook in our apartment until the roaches are gone, and in case I haven’t mentioned it Sydney is quite expensive — much, much more than I remember it being two years ago! Eating for less than $10 each is difficult. Even McDonald’s or other fast food and bakery places are much more than I’m used to. Of course, we are fairly downtown in a major city, I must remind myself. But I will be happy to be able to grocery shop and cook at home (even though grocery prices are a bit high as well). It also serves to remember that we are a pretty long way from everywhere else, which will increase prices in itself.

But we are doing our best. Updates may be a little more spread out as the building we’re in for at least the next two weeks doesn’t have internet. Luckily we have the library right next door and McDonald’s down the street which both offer free (though not always incredibly fast and dependable) wifi.

Hungry for more about the city? Check out my reviews and tips for Eating Out in Sydney.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    April 6, 2010 6:16 pm

    ew ew ew ew ewwwwwwwwwww.


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