14. Sweet Dreams in Carlton

So guys, we did it! As a collective, we moved into our little apartment on Lygon street. I’ve waited to post this to give a full review of the experience.

As anyone who has ventured out of their parents’ basement for any length of time (Millennials, amirite?), moving out is a drag on your time, wallet, and patience. For us in particular, we had about two suitcases each, plus groceries and other miscellaneous bags we’d already managed to accumulate. Not so bad, until the morning arrived to head out from Flinders Backpackers. 

We turned the key at our new place after much negotiation with lifts, UberXL, and two flights of stairs to our own Snapchatted fanfair. The unit was dirty,  mouldy smelling, and I’ll admit now, sort of bleak. 

Our first act was to open all the doors and windows, shut the fridge door (not unplugged, so was slightly congealed) and hold a team meeting on the sofa. 

First, we needed to eat. Getting to the apartment with our stuff took much longer than anticipated. Next, a trip to Ikea or Kmart. We needed bedding, kitchen utensils, and perhaps most importantly, bleach and cleaning supplies. It would be a costly day for all of us. Lastly, we needed to take the rest of our remaining energy and pull a Mary Poppins to “Make it Work” (we’ve since started Project Runway).

With no internet or AC, we began. We had some cheeseburgers that would make Five Guys blush and set our sights on the giant K in the sky. Kmart turned out to be the best choice. We got a starter kitchen set, bedding, pillows, lamps, mugs, and a drying rack. Then we hopped across the mall for all the cleaning supplies, and crammed it into another Uber on the way back.

And then we scrubbed. Oh, we scrubbed. TLC would have been proud. The kitchen turned out to be a lighter colour and the bathroom was no longer a scene of a horror movie. We played the Grease soundtrack and attacked various surfaces to the melodies of “You’re the One that I Want” and “Beauty School Drop Out” with vim and vigor. 

We ate at University Cafe on Lygon for dinner and celebrated being free from our hostel. We were all a little exhausted, giggly from the trauma of constantly jockeying for sinks and lifts with 50 strangers for the past two months. We were free. Or so we thought.

Our unit came with some issues, most since resolved. It turns out, we don’t have AC, though we were told we did. The inside of our shower didn’t have a door handle. Two windows didn’t open, and a third had a possessed blind. ¾ of our oven burners don’t work (still) and there is no carbon monoxide detector.

What I can say though, is this: I never thought I would enjoy the prospect of turning a key in a lock to my own place more. I feel like we’re settled, we got this, and I’m already on to the next thing, which is:

14.1 Life without A/C

Some people have lived their entire lives without cool air passing over their bodies in their homes. To these people, I respect you tremendously. Having worked outdoors at a wading pool for several years, I knew I would adjust to the heat. But I also had the relief of being cool at the end of the day. Here, it’s hot all day, except on the days it pours. Or on days it’s only 20 degrees. Melbourne is weird. So instead of roasting in our apartment, I’ve devised a keep-cool strategy. It involves an outdoor pool, a library, some twine, and three rotating coffee-shops to lower our core body temperature.

Meanwhile, people in Canada freeze. How horribly appropriate to complain about heat. Better listen to Grease Lightnin’. 


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