Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Rodent Quarterly: Sydney Edition

As you may remember from our Amsterdam experience, we had quite a time with the rodent situation whilst living in the Netherlands (see post: standard grease hole).  Here in Sydney, it’s a different ball game.  Except these rodents aren’t small grey mice, they are PEOPLE.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen we have a pack rat situation on our hands.  During our apartment hunt, we discovered why Alicia’s sister, Brittany, thought that living in Sydney would be cheap.  There are ads all over Gumtree (aka Aussie Craigslist) saying “2 bedroom apartment 200 per week!  Downtown Master Suite”  So we go and check out these supposed apartments only to find out that the Master Suite is a room with four beds in it, and each bed is costing 200 per week.

Let me break it down.
1.) Sydney is a huge city with over 4 million people living in and around the area
2.) This has caused rapid growth and therefore a major overpopulation issue, leading to a housing crisis and lower standards of living.
3.) Hence, it is 100% normal to pack as many bodies as physically possible into a apartments, which are usually tiny and only meant for 1-2 people. Now multiply that by a huge apartment building with thousands of units all housing up to 5 times the amounts of people they where meant for..

A standard two bedroom apartment, suitable for two, is actually home to 8-10 people.  WTF!?!?  This obviously produced our very first wave of culture shock this quarter.  Woohoo.

This is what every place was looking like; two people in one bedroom, four in the master bedroom, and several people in the living room in a sheet tent.  Errrrr :/   In the US of A, this is what we call a FIRE HAZARD.  It was in this moment I realized we were not getting an apartment downtown, and had an immediate retreat to our lovely, trendy suburb of Surry Hills, where the agency is located. Phew!

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