Soo, these couple of weeks have been quite… well, complex? Tedious? Difficult? Random? Surprising? Read the following post to find out why; warning: it’s quite long.
I have been looking for place to live for at least this semester since I came to Sydney; both short term and long term. I’ve had trouble with both. See my previous post about trying to get a hostel in Sydney at the weekend with short notice.
Last weekend, I had a bit more foresight, but I still had to change hostel for Saturday, as Mardi Gras was going on in Sydney at the time, and my Hostel had been fully booked already. Ok, so there Saturday came and I had planned to get out of my “old” hostel, go to the new one and then go in to join some other exchange students in the celebration. I figured that there would be ample time if I left at about 13.00, but I was wrong. VERY wrong. It took me, in total, about 9 hours to get to the new place. Total distance: 7,3 km, making for an average speed of 0,8 km/h. Apparently, the public transportation system was not as reliable as I would have thought. Sure, some adjustments are surely needed to accommodate for the massive parade, but the thing that got me was the lack of information.
I started, naïvely, I must admit, by trusting Google Maps, which was my first mistake, as they hadn’t updated the routes. Ok, so that was my fault. Next, I checked the official web page for information. They did actually have updated information about the routes, but there were no way to know WHERE to get on the bus. I went where it told me on the website, some kilometres away, carrying all my bags with me; when I got there, the stop was not in use due to M. ardi Gras. What’s worse, there was no information anywhere to be found, and the people who I asked on the way didn’t have a clue either. So I decided, after waiting around for a while to see if I could figure anything out (no, I couldn’t), to go back to Central Station to ask the officials there. They told me where to go! After a short late-lunch break, I once again set off to the bus stop. What I didn’t plan for was the ROUTE of the Mardi Gras, and that it would be impossible to traverse the street. When I got there, shortly after 6’Oclock, I was basically stuck. There, I stood and watched the parade and all the participants (and bystanders). That was, at least, quite entertaining.
I now thought that I would have to sleep on the street (again, second time this has happened to me in Sydney), so I went back to Central Station again. On the way, I stopped a final time and brought up my computer. Why my computer: I do not have a reliable smart phone as of yet, and at that time, my otherwise trusty 3G wifi Modem had run out of juice and needed charging. When I sat there, on the street, a guy walking his dog went by and said “If your going to sleep out, It’s safer down at Central”, at which I retorted that I did not, in fact, plan to sleep on the street, and that I had some issues with transportation (although I might have stated that a bit less formally and with a hint of desolation). He then preceded to tell me about the train. Yes, there is a subway-train that goes UNDER the parade. I didn’t know that. After that it was smooth sailing, excepting the fact that I missed my bus stop. I had to walk about a kilometre back again, due to there being NO INFORMATION available anywhere regarding which stop you should get of and when you should press the “Stop” button. I have resorted to following my location on an old-style map – again, I have no smartphone – and guessing when my stop is coming up. I mostly get it right. Anyway, that pretty much sums up my Mardi Gras. I got to the Hostel at about half past ten, exhausted, tired and hungry, but at least with a roof over my head.
Meanwhile, I had contact with another exchange student. We were going to share a room in a flat in a fairly good location near UNSW. So, at least I would not have to think about the living issue for that much longer, right? Wrong. Apparently, a misunderstanding between us made him believe that I didn’t want the room, so he cancelled the agreement and found another solution. This I found out yesterday (Tuesday). We were going to move in this with Saturday. So, I now had to find another hostel in Sydney for the weekend with short notice. Sigh. After some light panicking, where I looked at hostels al the way up in Blue Mountains, I found one that had vacancies out at Coogee beach. Not to bad all things considered. I also made some progress while hunting for my own place to stay, and I have several leads which are quite attractive; or at least they seem to be, as I haven’t looked at them in person yet. So, everything is finally going in the right direction now? I’m getting closer to actually being settled in properly? Yes, perhaps. It will surely work itself out in the end.
Fate, however, was not satisfied quite yet, and decided to throw yet another curve ball at me: I lost my credit card today. I do not know exactly how it happen, but I MIGHT have thrown it in the trash. Not sure. It certainly doesn’t look like it got stolen – nothing is showing on the transcript and I would probably have lost my entire wallet if that was the case. Loosing the card is not the end of the world either, as I fortunately have TWO credit cards with me, and I only managed to loose one of them, although, I’m getting quite fed up with all this stuff that keeps happening to me.
I hope, and believe, that it will work itself out shortly.