After one of the hardest months of my life, I’ve changed jobs and also moved house from Crows Nest to Neutral Bay, a short jaunt but a logistical nightmare. It all started with an incident so unforeseen it rattled us all and snowballed into a shitstorm of change. We had to house hunt whilst working full time, which is a nightmare in Sydney. You’ve got to be on or all day errday calling agents and shit. I spent one morning looking at 11 different properties, skipping lunch and hitting work right after. We finally saw our Neutral Bay spot and moved swiftly. It’s a 3 bedder with one ensuite and another bathroom plus a 2 car lockup garage, refurbed toilets and stuff. It’s a massive shrinkage situation compared to our sprawling previous address with it’s 6 rooms and stuff.

When you apply for rentals, you gotta dig up your previous history, so I had to try and remember where and when I used to stay whilst I was in Sydney. I’ve been here five years now, almost to the day, which is pretty amazing since I never thought I’d be staying around for that long and liking what I’m doing/finding people I like etc. So yea, I couldn’t remember but a combination of gmail’s supermassive storage from eons ago and this very blog and it’s many posts made it possible for me  to retrieve my past! I discovered that I have lived in 6 places thus far. I don’t have exact dates and whatever and one part is conjecture but essentially, I managed to remember what I ate and where it was or what I did and when that was etc. Diaries are useful! So in view of this, I’ve decided it pertinent to mark this post, in my 5 year anniversary of being in Sydney to remind myself of important nonsense properly like write shit down and save it digitally on gmail.

I first came in July07. Got the exact date off the flight ticket details. Easy. I knew I only stayed with my good “aunt” for a month or so before moving out. That’s when I first started chopping and changing round sharehouses in Chatswood, the upper middle class Asian suburb nonpareil. I first lived with an Irish golf shop owner and his Singaporean girlfriend but they kinda nudged me out after 4 months. Probably way too noisy with the music and the PES. So I went to this tiny little room in the end of Chatswood that’s not really Chatswood anymore, practically Willoughby, and stayed with 2 Indian brothers on the cheap. 20 minute walks to the train station was a PITA and I couldn’t wait to get out because it was a shithole. Eventually, I moved around July or August to another share house. This time, a stones throw from Chatswood Chase where I doled out significantly more moolah to an Indian/Korean couple. I got the place thanks to my Korean friend and that was my first intro to the way of the Koreans. The place was ok but pricey. I left that house in April because I didn’t want to pay a month’s worth of rent whilst I was on holiday and came back to a share house share house. It was a revolving door that I hated. This Taiwanese lady owned the place but just rented it out to various dudes. I barely had much contact with any of these guys, with whom I would often have bathroom/laundry conflicts. I got fed up and wanted something I could really call home.

Finally, in March 2010, I made the move to Crowie with 3 friends. That number grew to 4 when my girlfriend came into the picture and 5 when another friend came along. Then my good mate made the move to Melbourne but in came another friend to replace him and for four months it was pretty cool. But sadly, 2 years on, it had to end in the most miserable of ways, completely out of the blue when that last “friend” relinquished his status and tarnished the lives of the other 5 irrevocably. Coulda lived here for even longer but bad memories aren’t worth reliving. I ain’t talking bout no bitch ass shit either. I’m talking criminal intent shit.

I’m gonna miss the epic space of my room, the 5 minute walk to work, munching at Ju-Rin/Guzman y Gomez/Sea Treasure on a weekly basis, shopping at Thomas Dux, alcohol at Small Bar, danishes at St. Malo, ristrettos at Bean Drinking and the ice cream at Sparrow/Antica. Also, the awesome owners of Sparrow who’re always friendly and welcoming. I bought a TV, a Dyson, a coffee bean grinder to supplement our existing lives. My girlfriend brought a car! We even went to Melbourne together!

House leaving was a pain, financially and mentally. Busy with work and shit but we had to pack and move in less than a week. We doled out about a grand to cleaners, gardeners and mould sprayers and even loaded up my girl’s car with rubbish to chuck it at the rubbish dump that even charged us for the pleasure. Then another half a grand went to movers and I ridiculously also managed to knock my girl’s side view mirror off. 220 to fix via an innovative Korean car repair shop but a bit of a dent on the side door too expensive to fix. All of this happened whilst I’d just started work at a one hat Japanese restaurant, nervous as all hell, tired as all hell and mentally defeated.

However, I’m also looking forward to closing probably the darkest chapter yet of my time in Sydney and starting up again in Neutral Bay. I’ve been munching on Pork + Fennel Sausage rolls and Sweet Tahini scrolls from Central Baking Depot for the past 2 weeks. Lunch was ramen at Tanpopo, which is ok I reckon. My hairdresser, Sono, is now within walking distance and we’ve got the option of going to either a massive Coles or a massive Woolies or one of a few grocers. Post office is nearby too, which is cool and hugely important for me. So far, we’re loving the new place despite all the crap we’ve had to deal with so far and it feels like we can all get on with shit again.