Planning My Escape

Planning My Escape

If I were to tell you I’ve been busy these last few weeks, it would be an understatement! Since the party, I’ve been going full steam ahead with my escape from New York. Planning for my six month trip to Australia really began back in the Summer, but did not begin to take shape until I got my apartment on the market in August. In fact, the apartment was listed while I was in Monterey. Luckily, I got immediate offers on my place, and managed to go to contract within two weeks. Unfortunately, selling an apartment in NY is even more complicated than a normal house sale, as it is a Co-Operative. Without getting into the gory details, it basically means even with an agreed price, an approved loan, and a clean title, there is still the process of a building board approval. This can easily spoil a sale, but it is a process that must be endured. The problem is, even with the extra time I thought would be sufficient is now lost, it is really coming down to three weeks before my international departure, and I still haven’t sold my apartment!

Without the luxury of time, we’ve gone ahead and moved most of our stuff out of our apartment. My wife quit her job, and is now up at our house with the baby. I’m working until December 1st, so I’m stuck in this empty apartment feeling very much like a squatter. I’ve got some clothes, some old dishes, and this computer to try to fix some of the other problems we’ve been having.

I purchased my plane tickets in September, to try and save some money when the rates go up before the Christmas Holidays. They depart from NY on December 8th, and we tentatively return on June 6th 2006. This began the process of applying for a Visa to Australia. The application can be done on the Internet, and I was impressed that it only took two days to receive mine and my wife’s Visas, but it has been a different story with my daughter. It took a month for the Australian Consulate to inform me that I needed to fill out additional paperwork for children under 18. Since this was an internet application, I was told to e-mail the paperwork. I created scans of the documents, along with her birth certificate, and sent them out. A few days later, they informed me they had received them, but I would have to send the originals to a Consulate in the United States. Being the first week in November, I overnighted the package to Washington, and waited for approval. Within a day, I was told everything was in order, and I should be getting confirmation from Australia soon. A week later, the Visa website was still looking for my documentation with no evidence of paperwork! I called Washington, and was told that although they can submit the forms, they have no direct control of an application! This was a  classic case of a government organization’s inability of internal communication, and I was amused that it existed in Australia as well. They’ve since resubmitted my application, and I am hopeful it will get through this time.

Now, for some good news…

I’ve rented a corporate apartment in Sydney for our arrival. It was not that much more expensive than a hotel, and would give us some more space and a kitchen to cook some of our meals. With a toddler, it is not always easy to go out to eat every night. It’s on Kent Street, and is supposed to overlook Darling Harbor. We’ll see how well their marketing department described the apartment when we arrive!

The second week in Sydney, we will be subletting a two bedroom apartment in Redfern. Before the Sydneysiders chime in to tell me that it’s not that great of a neighborhood, I’ve had someone look at the location for me, and they told me it’s right across from the train station, and is in the safer part of Redfern. We plan to stay there through the Holidays until the 6th of January. Christmas in the Summer, and fireworks on Sydney Harbor are all experiences we’re looking forward to.

Since we’ll be in Sydney for about a month, I hope to meet some of you within the city. So far, I’ve gotten some e-mails, and even some Ferrari related shops to visit while in town. Once I arrive, I will be working hard to schedule it all in, so if you’re in Sydney when I’m in town, let me know. Let’s just hope I can sort out all my business here in the States before we leave!

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