Making moves

​I’ve had one big “First Step” goal since I moved to Melbourne; get a place in the city and live there. It sounds simple but as it turns out, it’s not. Because no matter what country or city you live in, there will always be people trying to convince you that the garbage-hole they’re selling, is actually just a mansion-in-the-making, but you’re just not trying hard enough to see it. To this I say “pah!” and “pfft” because quite frankly, I’m tired of house hunting and words have escaped me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m only marginally over-exaggerating; but sometimes you need to do that to get some perspective. I won’t bore you with the story of the fancy lawyer renting out his three bedroom penthouse apartment to six people (that’s right, two beds, one room, just like being on a school trip!); or the blonde haired man trying to convince me that the one-bedroom-sized three bed apartment was really worth $950 a month, despite the sweaty smell and the 1-square-foot sized kitchen.

No no, who needs those examples. They’re not necessarily typical, but they are symptomatic of city life. Someone is always trying to make a quick buck at the expense of the well travelled and too open minded. But they don’t know us Londoners; we’re a rare breed of steel and grumpiness. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself as I smile politely at someone showing me a dank room with a broken wardrobe.

What I’m finding out about Melbourne is even though there aren’t as many people as London, the rental game is a moveable feast. Either you take the first place you find with seven people because you’re desperate and hope that their cat will stop peeing everywhere once you move in. Or you look at so many places and advertise yourself in so many different ways that you start to question how much YOU cost, not the rooms. Or you say sod finding a ready-made place, and just rent an empty apartment and worry about the furniture (and white goods) later. Oh and everyone has dogs out here because there’s so much space, which is great if you like dogs. Personally I like to enjoy my animals from afar, preferably whilst walking in the park or looking at a picture.

A word of advice to prospective Melbourne dwellers: during your online house hunt (unless these are things you are specifically looking for), avoid clicking on rental ads with the following:

  • Inclusion of the phrase “open minded” repeated three times.
  • Far too detailed descriptions of what the floor looks like and nothing else.
  • No pictures of the actual room on offer, just lots of artsy shots of the pretty bathroom.
  • Someone describing their place as “old but loveable” – it is unlikely this place has central heating.
  • Pictures that only consist of the outside of the building the apartment is in, the indoor gym and pool facilities, and one lone balcony window shot – which you will likely want to throw yourself off of when you see the actual room.

I continue to be as discerning as ever but I can already feel my resolve wearing thin. Don’t be surprised if my next blog post is all about the benefits of  living in the corner of someone’s kitchen, both for proximity to food and for the money saving options. Bah.

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Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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