I will surely be posting a lot in the next few weeks, so I had better get you, dear reader, up to speed. A lot has changed, and everything is just coming together as if by design.
My first priority, on returning to Australia, was to find somewhere to live. I have always preferred the Lower North Shore, and as many of my friends live in Cremorne/Neutral Bay I started looking around there. I was rejected from one house in Cammerray (10 others applied) and widened my search to pricier Cremorne. I found a place that was sounded good, a bit above my imaginary price limit, but I thought I’d give it a go. I came to view the house and was greeted by Melvin Wong, one of my mates from uni. A sign.
Without a tour of the house, we went out and sat on the back verandah for over an hour, looking at the panoramic harbour views and catching up. We still got along well. I checked out the rest of the house and although the room was small, I applied on the spot.
My flatmates are Melvin and Sonia, and Melvin’s cat Jasper. They are all awesome, although Jasper has a tendency to jump in my window at night and wake me up seeking food. We get along famously. Neither had ever heard the word “slore” before and Sonia has taken quite a shine to it.
There is no lounge in the lounge room, only the beanbag chaise that Mel and Jem gave me. In order to win the right to sit on the beanbag rather than the ground, the challenger must win two consecutive games of Burnout 3:Takedown on XBox in Road Rage mode. Sonia gets very sore from sitting on the wooden floor for so long. She practises when I am out and has won us quite a lot of cars.
Mel is very interested in food, yet is not fat. We often discuss recipes and restaurants that we would like to visit. He is a very good cook, and I have tried to start a tradition that each of us cooks for the others once a week. This has not been 100% successful (Sonia!) but has definitely produced some very tasty meals, at least on Melvin’s nights.
My job-hunting efforts were half-arsed at best, and the reason was that what I really wanted to do was take RocketFuel full-time. I got turned down for jobs at Microsoft and Google when I was contacted by Alastair from Dot AU who needed a hand. We have agreed that I will contract to him for 30 hours per week, which means I have a steady cashflow and still have time to spend on other clients. This arrangement has been in effect for about two weeks now and I have already worked on many very varied projects. Variety is the spice of life and with Dot AU there is a lot of spice.
I probably can’t mention anymore but suffice it so say I am very pleased.
Now that I had somewhere to park, and it was safe to spend my remaining cash, I went out and bought a car. I had been looking for a month or more and was getting depressed at the poor quality available. I resigned to getting a piece of shit now and getting a good car in six months or so when I was in a better position. So that the POS wasn’t too bad, I asked Rob, a mechanic mate of my brothers, to check out a few cars with me. The first car, a Magna in Bondi, was pure rust and every part of the engine that could leak, was. If the guy had given me the car and $500 he would have been ripping me off.
I next looked at a Celica, from a dealer. It seemed OK but didn’t really excite me. It was sold before I could have it checked out. Then I found it. A Magna, 96 model, with only 130,000km and the timing belt replaced at 105,000. According the the book Dogs and Lemons, which my Mum insisted I buy, this car was “good” – the highest possible rating in my price range. The good rating was only if the car had an airbag and had the timing belt replaced.
I went over for a test drive and thought the car was very good, and had Rob over to inspect within the hour. His brief was to find things wrong with the car and loudly point them out, something he shone at when we went to Bondi. Well this time he did not – because nothing was wrong with the car. I had a price in mind, so held up a few hundred less in cash. The guy declined so I started to walk away when the guy offered to sell me the car for the price i wanted. And he did.
I am now the proud owner of an Arctic Blue 1996 Mitsubishi Magna TE Executive 2.4l. It is the best car I have ever owned and I am happy every time I drive it. So now I don’t have to get a new car in six months, this car will last a lot longer than that.
I should mention, though, that about 2km after buying the car I went to adjust the rearview mirror and it fell off. It is now held on by blu-tack.
I have not really been looking, but thanks to Mr Maslow this is changing. That is not the real topic of the section.
In the last two days I have learned from Kirsten that not only has she been living with her new boyfriend for some time, but that she met him before she dumped me. Why would she tell me this? I was happier thinking that our breakup was due to a defect in her, but this new evidence suggests that it could have been I who was unsuitable.
I saw on Henk! today that he has posted photos of a recent dinner, held at a restaurant 50m from my old house on Keizersgracht (although the restaurant is on Nieuw Spiegelstraat). Anyway, there is a photo of Kirsten and Arnold and I recognised him. I met him at Kirsten’s farewell party and spoke to him for some time. He seemed like a good bloke.
PS – I can’t believe that the link to Chris’ website from the old Heatherbrae site still works. It has been 9 YEARS!