Monday, 21 February 2011
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
At one point, we lived in a flat with a view of the harbour bridge. In King's Cross. In 1985.
For those of you who don't know, King's Cross is/was the main area where travellers from all over the world congregate to stay in the cheap hostels. It's also, like its namesake in London, an area of brothels, prostitutes, drugs etc. Unless this has all changed in the last 20+ years of course.
I had moved in with someone I had met a couple of months previously. We had moved out of hostels and into a sort of apartment that wasn't. We had a bedroom, a kitchen-sitting room and a shower. The toilet was out the back :(
Our friends - I use the term amazingly loosely there - Tom and Didi, announced their intention to travel up to the Northern Territory. Tom was from Newcastle, UK, and had worked in Long Benton at the DHSS (as was). He was on the dole in Aus having managed to scam getting onto it somewhere out in the bush, and could never sign off. He had no legit ID so could never have signed on again, especially in Sydney. He had a lovely GSD called Khasah (?). Didi was much older than the rest of us, in his 40s, and Danish.
They wanted to keep their HUGE flat while on their travels, but needed a bit of income to help supplement funds - were we interested in renting a room in their absence? Huge flat to ourselves. Mmmm, very nice. Tempting.
Didi, sensing our interest, added another lure. Would we like to take over the lease, and when they came back they would pay us their share of the rent? Er, no. We were not that stupid in those days, and trusting those two to pay their share of anything would have been lower than the chances of winning the Aussie lotto.
So we moved in, left the lease in their names, and paid the rent every month. Or for one month, however long we were there for, which wasn't long.
I remember my 26th birthday in that flat so well. There was a shelf above the bed, and we always took a bottle of Perrier water to bed. For whatever reason, it fell and hit me on the head. (New theme to this blog - things hitting me on the head in the night).
Then, I left for New Zealand. We had discussed getting married and I thought a bit of time out gadding around on my own would be good. I told him to sort us a flat of our own. Figured that if he did that he was worth marrying. If he didn't .....
So that is the tale of the brief time we spent in a flat with a view of SHB. We saw Didi some time much later at a cashpoint machine. He too had got married. C'est la vie huh? Because that's what most people do in Australia in order to stay there. Gotta get that residency.