Tuesday 31 July 2012

Return from exile

Oh lord, I missed you, internet. I missed you so much. No doubt you've missed me, too.

I'm sure that you were all in a huff, not knowing what to do with yourself.

"Cloaker Josh hasn't updated his blog in, like, an aeon! What am I going to do?!"

Well, I'm sorry.

It wasn't really my fault, however.

In these past couple of weeks, I've been on a series of trials and tribulations that tested every fibre of my being. Or at least, it made me do things I'm not generally accustomed to doing. Like, physical stuff... and manly stuff.

I apologise in advance to you, my adoring audience, 'cause I'm going to be straight up rambling for the next few pages. Strap in, get comfortable; It's going to be a hell of a ride.

...Well, probably just built it up a little bit too much there, it's probably not going to be that exciting to read in truth. My fingers are a little rusty on this keyboard and I'm fresh out of WD40. In any event, padding out the intro isn't doing either one of us any favours so I might as well jump in headlong.

Moving house. I assume it's an activity repeated end-on-end in the ninth layer of Hell, as I'm pretty sure it was probably the crappiest thing I've had to do. In my entire life.

Sure, I've moved before. However, on previous occasions I've either had my parents, family or friends assist me. Indeed, it is never an enjoyable experience however this last ordeal has convinced me that I was a little bit conservative only signing an eighteen month lease. I now assume I'll die in this apartment, as I never want to move house again. Ever.

The situation is this: I formerly lived in a share house occupying one room. Troll Chick was in a similar situation; She lived with a flatmate, however only had her own bedroom to have her things. Neither of us had any furniture, glassware, utensils or crockery.

"But, Cloaker Josh, that means you would have bugger all to move. Why are you whinging about it? I had to move my entire house last year!"

Whoa, settle down there, tiger. That's an attitude that I've been fighting with my friends that really pisses me off. Everyone just assumes that as I must have less stuff than them, it should be a cinch. I'm about to explain something that you might have thought about yourself, if you weren't so keen to jump to a completely uneducated opinion.

In your house, internet, where you have a lounge room, a bookshelf, a computer room, a kitchen and whatever else, what do you have in your bedroom? Your bed, your clothes? A couple of other things?

Well, in my bedroom, I had every single goddamn thing I owned. My not-insignificant video game collection, DVD collection, book collection. My computer, several video game consoles. My 63" TV. All of my documentation, my clothes.

If I were to actually distribute the things that I actually stored in that room into another space, it was almost a normal apartments worth of stuff. Troll Chick was exactly the same. Absolutely everything she owned was in her bedroom.

"Okay, Cloaker Josh, I kinda see your point; But, you still didn't have to move all of the crockery, washing machine, fridge and furniture that every one else has to."

Oh really, is that how you think it is? Where the hell do you think we sourced all of these things from, if not from our own former residences, hmmmm? Some was donated (a shout-out to Sarah and Luke for their contributions, you guys really helped us out), and the rest was bought. Purchased. Procured via finances, in the most expensive activity in my entire life bar buying a house.

How do you think we got these things in our house? We moved them in, obviously. So, to lay out the comparisons for you.

Normal move:

  1. Pack a house worth of stuff
  2. Put in a truck big enough for a house worth of stuff
  3. Drive to new property
  4. Park (I'll explain why you shouldn't take this for granted later)
  5. Transport a house worth of stuff into new dwelling
  6. Unpack a house worth of stuff
Our move:

  1. Pack a crapload worth of stuff
  2. Transport down three flights of goddamn stairs
  3. Put in van big enough for a crapload worth of stuff
  4. Drive to new property
  5. Park 1,000,000 kilometres away, illegally, because our new apartment does have a car spot (which normally would be fine as we don't drive, however for this part it was slightly inconvenient)
  6. Transport up three flights of goddamn stairs, one box at a time
  7. Drive to another property
  8. Pack a crapton worth of stuff (note the measurement)
  9. Put in van big enough for a crapload worth of stuff (in case you're not educated in these matters, a crapton is about 3x bigger than a crapload, hence the need for several trips)
  10. Park 1,000,000 kilometres away, illegally
  11. Transport up three flights of goddamn stairs, one box at a time
  12. Drive back to former property
  13. Pack a crapton worth of stuff
  14. Put in van big enough for a crapload worth of stuff
  15. Park 1,000,000 kilometres away, illegally
  16. Transport up three flights of goddamn stairs
  17. Drive back to former property
  18. Pack a crapton worth of stuff
  19. Put in van big enough for a crapload worth of stuff
  20. Park 1,000,000 kilometres away, illegally
  21. Transport up three flights of goddamn stairs, one box at a time
...and I'm stuffed. I can now lay down and rest.

Err... Cloaker Josh? Sorry to say that you're a long way from being done. Get up off of your arse.

Okay, so it might seem like I'm exaggerating this a little bit, and you could be forgiven for thinking that... but, I'm not. We're not even done yet. You see, now we have to go a buy a fridge. We have to go buy a washing machine. And a vacuum cleaner. And crockery. And glassware. And cutlery. And condiments, dishwashing detergent, washing powder, Spray and Wipe, tea towels, mugs, bath towels. Food.

And furniture. In flatpacks. Only a few people on this earth know what it's like to put together 6 flat packs in rapid succession, and I can say that now I am one of them. Not proudly, mind you. 

So, aside from having to transport our things from two different places in multiple trips, but we had to go to numerous department stores to buy all of the things that people just have, and transport all of the stuff up three flights of goddamn stairs. And you know what? We did the whole thing all by ourselves.

And, back to the parking thing. I just have to recount a situation. Basically, the street that our place is on is full of parked cars. Always. It seems the entire suburb uses our street to park their cars while at work, or otherwise.

On about the third or so trip to our new place, we see that the prime parking spot right in front of our units is available!! I was so excited I almost wet my pants. We'll just turn around at the top of the road, come back and... oh, goddamn it! Some Jaguar had literally just rocked up and sniped it.

And he sniped it in the worst possible fashion. The space was huge; Too huge, one might argue, for a solitary sedan. This guy didn't think so.

Okay, so the physical aspect of this whole ordeal really took it out on me, and poor Troll Chick. When we were finally done, she faceplants the bare mattress and passes out from exhaustion.

On to my next point; One thing that they don't tell you in the Moving House handbook is how obscenely expensive it is. I expected to pay four weeks bond and two weeks rent, but I didn't expect this.

One thing that absolutely threw me (I am also dubious as to whether or not they're allowed to pull this sort of crap), is the way our rent is being charged.

We found the perfect place; Proximity to work was a perfect match, and it's a nice modern split level apartment perfect for our needs. It initially came under our budget, too. $450 per week was what they were advertising, which is actually cheap in Sydney for a one bedroom apartment. We filled out the application in advance of the showing as we were sure it was what we were after, and to our dismay so did the other 6 people who were shown the place at the same time.

We ninja'd our application into the Property Manager's hand as she extended it to shake ours; We weren't taking any chances. Despite thinking that we'd gotten in there first, we were worried about whether or not we'd be selected until we received a phone call.

Now, it's worth pointing out that Rental Auctions were outlawed in New South Wales a few years back, and only applying tenants can offer to pay more than the advertised price; To reiterate: The realtor is forbidden from starting a price war. Back to the phone call.

"Hi, I am just ringing to let you know that "another interested couple" offered to pay $470 per week, and I wanted to give you a chance to say whether or not you'd match it if you were successful."

Okay, so there weren't exactly quotes around her words with her own inflection, however I am dubious as to whether or not anybody actually did offer more money. My guess is that the Property Manager herself upped the price knowing she had the interest in the property, and would be able to get somebody to agree to it. She probably hoped to rope us into the game; For us to come back with something like, "We'll pay $490!!".

We decided that we weren't going to play in their morally and legally ambiguous auction, but we still really wanted the place. On the back of that, we let her know that we were willing only to match $470.

Surprise, surprise. Guess who got the property? Not the "other interested party" apparently; We did. Suspect much. In any case, the next blow was yet to come.

"The rent is due monthly." Hmm. Okay. That's weird, but I suppose it doesn't really affect us, does it? We just pay 4 weeks at a time. Wait, no we don't. They calculate it thusly:

$470 a week / 7 = A daily rate of $67.14
$67.14 * 365 = A yearly rate of $24507.14
$24507.14 / 12 = A monthly rate of $2042.26

But... we get paid fortnightly. So, for each "pay" or fortnight, we'd budgeted to pay $940 in rent... but in actual fact, we'd have to put away $1021.13 each pay to be able to have enough at the end of the month... That sucks. Okay, so we have to pay our bond and two weeks rent...

Ahem. No, it's actually not two weeks rent. It's going to be the bond of four weeks, plus this month is going to be prorated on a daily rate to get you to the next rent period. Now, as the day your lease is effective is 7 July, that's going to be 25 days at a rate of $67.14 per day... Those bastards!!

So yeah, we had to foot $3558.50 before we could even set foot into the place. 

Side note: I debated this with her at the time, however she maintained that the owner had the right. I later looked into the literature, and by law we were only required to pay a total of six weeks rent as a maximum amount, as evidenced below. 

As taken from the NSW Fair Trading government website

So yeah, we got screwed.

This, on top of the van rental and incidentals such as fridges and washing machines described above....

Know Your Meme - These are actual iPhone screenshots of my bank
balance, taken two days apart. Side note: The fact that my battery meter
was 100% on the first and 1% on the second was not engineered,
however appropriate. It only occurs to me now as I put it together.


  1. What new rent creationary theory is this? It's all a bit too tricky for me, but I'm glad your move is over "for now", because you will be doing it again. I'm sure there will be a weekend soon without any more urgent morning chores than a very long sleep in.

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  2. Hey, at least you got an 18 month lease. That's nearly unheard of out this way -- the last place we had was 9 month maximum (thankfully renewed for a whopping 6 months).

    Also, welcome back to the internet.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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