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Perth and new beginnings… sort of.

sunny 32 °C

We passed the time away on the four hour flight by watching a pretty terrible movie on the laptop. We soon drifted off into a deep sleep since it was going on 2am our time. We were pretty comfy as luckily for us it was a quiet flight and we could spread across some free seats. We were soon awoken by the sudden dramatic turbulence. Some of you may know, Perth is a pretty windy place. Well that fact does not help the pilot when trying to land the plane. We had a bunch of nervous passengers and a very rocky first attempt at landing, thats right guys… we ended up taking off again mid landing routine as it was too windy. This did not do much good for our stomachs. After circling around and having a guided tour of the city from the air, it was time to start attempt too. Yet again our hearts were in our mouths but thankfully we managed to land safe and in one piece.

After kissing the tarmac once exiting the plane, it was time to collect our bags and meet Sian and Sam. Sian is Anna’s friend from high school who moved to Australia 9 years ago and Sam is her boyfriend. They live with Sian’s family who very kindly offered us a place to stay until we get on our feet. We couldn’t wait to get to bed as we were so exhausted but first we had to do the whole dreaded airport routine of waiting for your bags, paying for the car, trying to find the car, trying to find the exit! You all know it! But because we were so tired, the universe just had to drag it all out that much more… as Sian was kindly paying for the airport parking, the machine decided to swallow her card. We soon pressed the help button and we were greeted by a lady who is clearly used to communicating with the common idiot. We were asked questions like, did you put your card in the right slot? and did you put your card in the correct way etc. After establishing Sian’s intelligence, the helpline soon sent someone out to save the day. Well, about ten minutes later, a man shows up who clearly has no passion for his job, especially when its 1 in the morning. He waddled to the machine, ignored us all and proceeded to start prodding the card slot with what can only be described as a cocktail stick. He then asked us whether it was our card that was suck in the machine! Well it wasn’t long before Sam had his car key and touch in the slot too! After what felt like a lifetime, no one had managed to rescue the card and so we decided to leave it in there! It was time to head home as Sam had work at 5am! He soon put his foot down… literally and **FLASH**. Yep thats right people, speed camera! We were not having the luckiest start to Perth. We finally got to Sian’s house and were greeted by two barking and very noisy doggies. After we had woken up the whole neighbourhood, it was time for sleep!

We had a much needed long, deep and comfy sleep. The bed was like one big cushion which was just what we needed after sleeping in a car in Tasmania for the previous three nights. As it was now daylight, we managed to see what the dogs actually looked like. A little Dachshund and a lovely German Shepard. We also got to have a look around the house. What an amazing house it is, they have a movie room, an outdoor bar and a swimming pool. After having a reunion with the family, Sally very kindly cooked us a much needed fry up. We then headed off to the local shopping centre to get some supplies. They have an Aldi here and so we were of course in our element. The sky didn’t have a cloud in sight and it was twice as warm as Tasmania, we had decided we were going to like Perth. We soon got back to the house and dived straight into the very exciting job and house hunting. That evening the Dooley family cooked us a lovely welcome BBQ… we didn’t want to move out! Sally and Paul then took us on a tour of their local beaches and we even stopped in a bar for a beer.

The following day was another job and house hunting day. We also had to chase up a few payments from some of our photoshoots in Melbourne. We actually at this point only had $70 left and so we were extremely thankful that the Dooley’s could take us in. After a nervous day, we finally received payment from our shoot and so headed our for celebratory pizza and film. For those of you who haven’t been to see Split at the cinema yet… you won’t be disappointed.. it was AMAZING.

As we had both managed to secure interviews for the Thursday, we were able to chill out a bit and enjoy seeing some of Perth. Sian and Sam took us to a place called Hillary's which was a cute little bunch of shops and restaurants right by the sea. We enjoyed burgers at Grill’d and a nice walk in the sunset with ice creams in hand.

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We then proceeded into the city on the highway. We were fascinated to see that they had train tracks running through the central reservation. This was something we hadn’t seen before but Sian and Sam didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t long before we were stuck in traffic as there had been a huge accident. We passed by amazed by the wreck of cars and headed onward to our next destination, Kings Park. We thought it was a bit weird visiting a park at night but we followed our hosts with great expectations. After getting lost and driving round in a lot of circles, we finally found an entrance and parked up. It was just a short walk until we were greeted with this stunning view of the city…

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The next day we decided to take full advantage of the Dooley’s swimming pool. It was really cold and so took us a while to get in. Once we had plucked up the courage to fully submerse ourselves in what felt like ice water, it was time for the dogs to start going mental. Whether they thought we were drowning or they just got too excited, we still don’t know. Either way we didn’t last long in the pool!

It wasn’t long until we discovered we had brought the cold rainy Tasmania weather with us. Clouds suddenly came over and it didn’t stop raining for 2 or three days. This is highly unusual for a Perth summer, as was the extreme humidity. Our streak of bad luck was continuing. It was interview time. After getting lifts to our desired locations, it was time to impress. Sadly Anna’s was a complete waste of time as it was for some dodgy ass solar panel company. We won’t take anytime explaining why. Ben had much more success as he had managed to secure a job at Public Outreach, the same company he worked for in Melbourne. He is now a street fundraiser for Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. He even has a cute little uniform but sadly we can’t put it online!

The following day Ben had his first day of training and he managed to sign someone up! The team were very impressed. Anna even went to the British shop to get him some congratulations Cherry Cokes and Peanut Butter Snicker Bars! That night it was time to move to our new Airbnb, and what a story it was…

Sian was kind enough to drive Anna with all our stuff to pick up Ben and drop us at our new home. When we arrived we pulled up on the drive and went to find the front door. Not as easy as it sounds! The house we were staying in was actually behind the house we had parked in front of and to get to the front door you had to go down a side alley. We went to meet our new host and as we did Ben stood in a fresh pile of dog poop. Was this a sign of things to come? We then met the perpetrator, or should i say poopatrator (sorry, hopefully the jokes get better, but I can’t promise anything) an incredibly excitable Groodle (explanation coming soon) and a somewhat frantic woman. It was all a bit hectic down the side alley and so we headed back to the drive to unload our stuff and leave proper introductions for once we were inside. As we started to unpack the car a very sweet old lady opened the front door (of the house belonging to the drive we were parked in) and asked quite naturally what we were doing on her driveway. Ben answered and she very nicely asked us to move as soon as we had finished unloading, at which point our host came around the corner shouting and swearing at this lady as we were her guests and not to be bothered. We stood there in shock as the two of them shouted at each other how horrible the other one was. We looked at each other and then back at Sians's now unloaded car wondering just what we had got ourselves into!?!? The old lady slammed her door on our host and as some kind of justification for the outburst we were told that the lady had dementia. So that made it ok.

We reluctantly carried the rest of our stuff down the little side alley whilst being jumped on by what is actually quite a big dog. So with poo on our shoes and paw prints on our shirts we left a very worried looking Sian and entered our new home for the next 7 weeks! We were shown the kitchen by Psycho Cherie (who hence forth shall be referred to as PC). We were shown where the pots are and were very quickly told that they were not to be stacked in case they scratched. Then we were shown the recycling and very quickly told that EVERYTHING had to be recycled and that PC would check the rubbish to make sure it had been done properly. “Im a bit of a recycling nut” she “joked” as her eyes widened and her smile broadened. Needless to say we were now terrified of using the kitchen. Time to see what lay in store for the rest of the house. We were shown to our room which resembled a Thai prison cell. As an attempt to brighten the place up a dead stick had been nailed to the wall. Thai chic I think they call that. On the plus side, and unlike a Thai prison cell, there was a large and very comfortable bed.

PC then informed us that “our” bathroom was next door but was sometimes shared by “the other person living in the house”. We looked at each other very puzzled as another guest had not been in the description. We were then told that Jesse lives in the room at the end of the hall during the day (Ah a shift worker, working nights we thought) and sleeps in her room at night!?!? (Perhaps a friend with benefits…?) PC could obviously sense we were a tad confused so thought she would introduce us… To a frickin 4 month old baby that she had somehow neglected to mention in the advertisement or in the numerous subsequent messages! Don’t worry though because “Her and Jesse were best friends that did EVERYTHING together!” said again with the wide eyes and psychotic smile (she actually reminded me of Jack Nicholson’s Joker).

It was time for a team talk. We didn’t like her. Team talk over. We tiptoed out of our room and into the kitchen where we very carefully made ourselves some dinner. While we were cooking a friend of PC’s arrived. We didn’t get her name and she seemed to care very little that we existed let alone occupied the same space as her. We will refer to her as SD.com (for reasons soon to be explained). Whilst we were cooking, PC set the only table up for 2 people to eat. We weren’t naive enough to think that she had laid the table for us so started to wonder where we could devour our sumptuous left over bacon pasta. I think I forgot to mention one of the many rules of the house was no food in our room, which left us very little alternatives. While we were preparing our food Ben asked very politely if he could remove the baby paraphernalia from the microwave so that we could use it. He was flat out ignored. To be fair, SD.com’s story about how she had come home to find her latest boyfriend in bed naked with another lady was so totally engrossing that its easy to see how even the most uninterested person could forget that there were other people in the room. We had finished cooking and then also washed everything, dried it and put it away (being extra careful not to stack any precious pots or pans) for fear of enduring PC’s wrath. We sat on the sofa in front of the TV to eat. The TV had been turned off so the two thirty something yummy mummies could listen to some Notorious B.I.G. You know, to bring a bit of culture to the proceedings. We then ate in silence as PC advised SD.com to indeed visit SD.com, or as some of you may know it: sugar daddy.com, where she could find a rich executive kind of man to (ehem) pay her for her “time”. We thought that that was a good time to call it a day and retire to our cell. I mean room! We told Sian our stories and she offered to come and get us immediately! We told her we would sleep on it and at least stay for the 2 nights we had already paid for. It was extremely comforting knowing that they really would have us back if we needed though.

The next morning we had a really long lie in. Not because we were tired, we just wanted to avoid PC for as long as possible. Once we had laid in bed for as long as we could we decided we had better go and see what Perth had to offer. We decided it would be best if we ate breakfast out. As we were leaving we met an incredibly friendly PC with another friend. And another BABY!!! That was the nail in the coffin. We were going to leave. The only issue now was breaking the news to a possibly bipolar PC. The best way we decided was to lie.

On our day out in Perth we visited the town centre which consisted of 3 parallel streets of shops and… no thats it. We were pretty disappointed. But not to be discouraged we set off to visit Fremantle, or Freo as the locals call it. Freo is a southern suburb of Perth and is known across the country for its artsy vibes. We arrived at about 4/4:30 on a Saturday afternoon and everything was closed. Not what we were expecting. We went to see if we could do a night time tour of the prison which is meant to be incredible. But that too was closed. We did however manage to score a few free tasters at The Little Creatures Brewery so that at least kept Ben quiet. It was time to head “home” and break the news to PC that “an old friend had offered us a place to stay for free”. Which to be fair wasn’t a total lie.

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When we got home there was no one in apart from the very excitable groodle. She was too excitable for us so we locked her outside. She then frightened the life out of us by banging on the window at one of those really quiet moments. So we let her back in. We made dinner and washed up careful still, to not scratch any cookware. There was still no sign of PC so we went into our room to watch a movie. Which reminds me of another house rule. We were only aloud to use the internet for checking emails nothing else. So no Skype or Netflix.

Mid way through the film she arrived home. She had been at a party, with the baby! We decided to bite the bullet. We went out and told her our news. She did the weird eyes smile thing and spoke through gritted teeth. She told us that she “just knew”. This creeped us out even more so we attempted to steer the conversation towards a less confrontational topic and somehow ended up getting a detailed description of Jesse’s birth and how PC’s milk had dried up. Ben left the conversation. He was soon followed by Anna and a joint sigh of relief. All we had to do now was survive the night without being murdered in our sleep!

Thankfully we did wake up in the morning. And as if luck was on our side PC was out. Paul and Sally were able to come and get us as soon as we had finished our breakfast! On the way back to theirs we stopped for a coffee and told them all about our event filled weekend. I don’t think they will be staying in an Air BnB anytime soon. The Dooley’s were incredibly good to us and said that this time we MUST stay with them until a decent looking place became available. They even made us a welcome back BBQ! We also decided we would ask to view places before making a commitment!

All in all Perth hadn’t been quite what we were expecting but we were determined to make it work. After an unlucky weekend we were ready to take on a fresh start.

Posted by Benannatravels 22:21 Archived in Australia

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