Posts Tagged ‘leaving perth’

That’s it. It’s over. I’m out of Perth. Which means, of course, that I’m no longer ‘down under, out west’, so it’s the end of this blog too.

It’s been nearly three years since I landed in WA. I think I gave it a good shot.

Regular readers and indeed, anyone who knows me, will be well aware of the things I didn’t like about Perth.

But despite what they might think, there were some things I did like:

My commute by bike, on safe cycle tracks alongside (mostly) friendly riders.

The weather, which allowed me to plan ahead in a way I have never experienced. (Barbeque next Saturday? No problem – it will be sunny!)

The fact I didn’t have to compete with four million others to get decent seats for gigs.

My job, which gave me some of the most fun times of my career.

The friends I did make, despite my pretty constant rudeness about the city we all chose to live in and some truly horrendous experiences.

But at the end of the day it wasn’t enough. For me, Perth was like an outfit you like the look of but that has a really scratchy label inside, or a zip that threatens to break every time you do it up. Eventually these little things get so annoying that you forget about how good you look and have to take the outfit to the op shop.

So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve put Perth back on the shelf for someone else to enjoy; someone for whom it’s a better fit.

If Melbourne doesn’t work out, well, at least I can say I tried.

Thanks to everyone who has dropped in here over the last couple of years. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and hope we meet again some day in another part the blogosphere.

But for now, I’m starting again. Again.

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It’s been a while since I posted on here – almost a year, in fact.

Stopping writing was a conscious decision, albeit one that I didn’t announce. When I got back from China, I decided to really make a go of living in Perth. I didn’t think my whinging about the place on here was helping me settle, so I stopped – simple as that.

I started to try getting more involved in my community. I tried to organise more social events. I made friends with my neighbours. I started volunteering. I missed my online rants but got my writing fix at work and writing comedy reviews.

I was busier – but still something was missing.

A trip to Melbourne to celebrate my birthday in October made the decision for me. I simply felt drawn to the place.

Sitting in a laneway cafe (yes, it’s a cliché , but they are cool), I considered the reasons why.

Some were understandable, and disappointingly predictable:

There are people in the streets of the CBD at night, and they are not all homeless.
It looks a bit like Europe, at least in the centre – there are old buildings, lots of them, and trams.
It’s the cultural capital of Australia, and has an amazing comedy festival.
There’s a wider choice of restaurants than in Perth, and they don’t tend to shut their kitchens at 9pm.

But my other reasons, well…no rational person would move to the other side of Australia for them:

It rains, and gets properly cold.
You mostly have to cycle on the road, rather than on nice, safe, segregated paths – especially if you’re heading to the CBD.
There’s a choice of daily newspapers.
In most restaurants, you don’t have to queue at a till to pay your bill like you are in a school canteen – they’ll let you pay at your table.
It has Aldi, with its twice-weekly special buys, a huge haberdashery shop right in the centre, and it’s fairly safe to assume that if H&M is ever going to open in Australia, it will be in the Bourke Street Mall.

Of course, there’s more to these reasons than meets the eye.

The weather would allow my wardrobe to be more varied (I miss boots and opaque tights, goddammit!). This, when combined with the cultural nature of the city, would mean that on bad fashion days (which I have frequently) I am more likely to get away with pretending I am just being quirky and eclectic in my clothing choices. I’d also get to use the jackets that have been in storage since we brought them from Bristol to Perth.

The relative lack of cycle lanes is countered by the massive number of people who actually use bikes for transport, rather than recreation – and despite the constant risk of doorings, the sheer quantity of people on two wheels makes on-road riding relatively safe. And perhaps because car drivers are used to sharing the road with bikes, they seem to drive less like maniacs than those in Perth.

While I would always choose The Age over the Herald Sun, at least there is a choice. In Perth – at least in terms of actual physical newspapers – there is only The West Australian.

As for the restaurants and the shops, well, I just miss the UK.

So the decision was made to move. My husband knew he would have to find a job first – his job is very specialised, and he doesn’t have a lot of choice in terms of employers. We thought it would take a while, so didn’t get too excited. But within a few weeks he found a job – so the move was on.

His new employers wanted him to start work four weeks later. A plan was hastily formulated to minimise the stress of moving yet again. He would move to Melbourne at the end of January to take up his new position. I would stay in Perth, earning as much as possible and wrapping our old life up, until the beginning of June, when we would fly to Europe for a month’s holiday. I’d find a job in Melbourne when we got back.

And so here we are, in April. Just a couple of months to go until I find out if I really want to be in Melbourne – or just don’t want to be in Perth.

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