Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We went looking for a house to rent. The prices don't seem much worse than back home, but the houses cover a wide range of quality. In a nice neighborhood, you can be looking at much older homes. For one house, the most recent renovation appeared to be the addition of electricity.

Central heating is quite rare for rentals, and central air conditioning is unheard of. Even most new houses apparently don't have central air. I guess it's not quite the necessity here that it is in Tucson.

There are some other things to get used to. In America, almost every house is either N-S or E-W facing. Here, it seems like every 4th house is laid down at an angle, anywhere from 15 to 60 degrees. Usually the houses at intersections face the the middle of the intersection, but plenty of houses on the street just face random directions.

The streets are usually 1-2 km long, and then they stop. This means most houses are numbered with 2 digits. It seems very quaint to me, since I've lived the last 10 years in the 4000 block. I also can't imagine coming up with unique names for every kilometer of road in a city the size of Melbourne. On the other hand, some of the names are pretty absurd, so they weren't trying that hard - for instance, Coolaroo, Coolart, and Coolar are all allegedly legitimate addresses.

Tomorrow we are looking at a house just down the street. It's a bit more than I wanted to pay, but by being so close to Grandma we'll save the difference in gas. And even more so in petrol (which costs twice as much).

You pay by the week here, and the market is tight, so good properties go fast. Most places don't allow pets, which isn't a problem yet - we'll probably wait until the baby is a bit older before we look for a dog. The yards are all small, but that's a good thing - this place is infested with greenery. I'm going to have to buy a lawn-mower.

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