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The Long Goodbye

January 18, 2011

I suppose it’s inevitable. I get a job, I buy expensive things, then think I can take on the world because I’ve got a bit more money in my pockets. Yeah just perhaps. I do frequently get ahead of myself, but life wouldn’t be any fun if there weren’t hopes and expectations. Isn’t it what being young’s about? There are some unfortunate realisations with the eagerness of getting older and gaining experience, that is that you never will relive the past, and I’d like to think that I tried my best and didn’t forgo opportunities out of laziness or hesitation.

I personally see myself taking one of three roads:

  • Going on exchange for six or twelve months (almost certainly the former)
  • Go on a long trip, two months give or take
  • Move out

My main concern with going on exchange is that I’m not particularly keen to travel a country that doesn’t primarily speak English, as I’ve been learning languages for the last seven years of my life and I don’t have a whole lot to show for it – certainly my Japanese is passable, but nearly as good as I’d like it to be.  I could practise and take courses, but I’ve never been fond of learning languages, as the style of learning is too much memorisation and not enough theory and application which is what much of political economy and political science is. Staying in a non-English speaking nation would require me to either learn a new language [or rehash my Spanish] or go to Japan, which I’m not hugely keen on. While I do still like Japanese culture, my enthusiasm for it has soured over the years, and I’m not sure if I could survive on a Japanese diet, for many reasons but one above all else:

The heinous lack of good bread in Japan is rather disconcerting. Unfortunately I’m not particularly fond of Asian bakeries, even if they look really cool, are cheap and have a very good self-serving system (pay attention Woolies/Coles). I don’t particularly like the way the bread tastes – the meat and bread is always weird and their sweets just taste too much like dough, not sweet pastry.

Ruling out Japan, there’s the UK, America or Canada. As pointed out by someone who I can’t remember though, those destinations seem like better post-grad locations than undergrad. Still, England would be great fun for me, especially if I had the opportunity to check out and even beter, participate in the local music scene, as I am considering moving to England in a few years to pursue a music career if necessary.

As for an extended overseas trip, that would be quite fun and worthwhile, but I am rather lacking in the “people to do shit like that with” department. The best thing about this option though, if actually fulfilled, is that it leaves the rest of my life intact (I simply miss a lot of holidays, but that’s fine by me given the frequency of holiday blues this summer), and financial investment is temporary if extensive. I’m not aware which would cost more, exchange or a trip, although I’d guess the former given all the uni fees and accommodation required. It would also make me more likely content to be at home for a while (or alternatively give me an insatiable lust for the world), but would come without any real lasting change.

Which leaves the last option. Moving out is what I’ve actually thought the most about, but it carries with it a lot of conditions.

  • Convenient location that isn’t awful or noisy, somewhere that actually feels like a home – Newtown would likely be the best bet, but Glebe and Surry Hills also work. Potentially Marrickville.
  • Similarly, I would like to feel like my chances of getting stabbed aren’t particularly high, so somewhere not too dangerous [I do understand that the inner city is one of Sydney’s most dangerous areas]
  • A rent I can afford to pay without extreme budgeting – I’d be unlikely to afford any rent and bills exceeding $250 a week without having to make some sacrifices. Sacrifices can be made, I’m not unwilling, but of course there is a desire to maintain one’s preferred lifestyle.
  • Space for a keyboard, if not a drum kit. I recognise the latter is much less likely to be accepted, so I am considering either investing in an electronic kit (just something I can actually use my hands and feet on, can get these below $1000, and  may be necessary in the long run anyway) and a better practice pad – the latter is the more necessary anyhow, but at the end of the day there’s no substitute for a real drum kit.
  • I’d like to be able to cook at a reasonable level. I need to do more of that these holidays, but thankfully cooking to instructions doesn’t seem particularly hard, and things like mince/chilli can definitely tide me over for quite a while. I love tacos.
  • Having my Ps would certainly help, even if I wouldn’t have a car. Again, working on that the rest of these holidays.
  • Lastly and perhaps most importantly, good and compatible friends to move out with, or otherwise seemingly cool people to join in their pad.

It also depends on my wage when uni starts, how often I can work at the ABC and what shifts, although under current conditions I am working as much as I’d like and enough to be able to sustain myself moving out. Yes, it would take up more of my time to move out, by having to complete my own chores, but I think that would also help me to focus on my more central concerns, such as my uni work and music practice. Particularly keyboards, as with purchasing such an excellent keyboard I am determined to become an excellent player fully capable of utilising it.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. If it wasn’t obvious, I am interested in knowing if other people share similar desires to move out or travel, because of course in the end these things to require cool, reliable friends.

In the meantime, be excellent to each other.


From → Personal

  1. ozzy permalink

    yeah lets move out. 🙂 no seriously i’m pretty keen to do so. and funnily enough those conditions are pretty much the exact same as mine (driving, cooking, moneys). if i can find a regular, unshit paying, part time job during uni, i would definitely think about it more seriously.
    btw, in case you hadn’t realised yet, you think i’d be a great roommate to have. all we’d need is a woman.

    • Well yeah, that’s what I’m thinking, if I can actually get some people to do it with it makes this whole process that much easier.

      As long as we got a woman, totally. Wouldn’t want to be gay or anything.

      I want to work on those things so it makes me a better roommate too – would hate to be the guy who’s letting the team down.

      Have you got your RSA/RCG? Bar jobs are pretty good – decent pay, fairly flexible shifts – probably better than retail, although you do have to put up with more crap. Still, seems like people get fairly tight and you probably have more fun than retail anyway.

      Or get one of them inbound call centre jobs.

      • ozzy permalink

        i mean woman for the chores. and great cooking. obviously.
        and yeah i know what you mean, gotta do your part.

        rsa yes, may as well get my rcg huh. not a bad idea, something in or close to the city and therefore close to home. yeah retail seems too much like work.
        not fussed really on type of work as long as im not shit at it.

      • For some reason you don’t seem to be able to reply to replies.

        Yeah I missed that woops. Perhaps I’m too classy.

        Not that I have huge experience, but I’d assume a bar job or (inbound) call centre would be much preferable to retail/restaurant/cafe/food joint.

        lol think most casual jobs are hard to be shit at.

  2. Ryan permalink

    Also consider the initial expenses of moving out, such as all your home items, and then further continued living expenses apart from just the rent, electricity, water, internet, phone, and weekly food expenses. It kindof racks up to be a trillion dollars.

    Also, you’re going to have to find room mates/neighbours who can deal with living with a drummer/all that drum practice.

    • I said rent and bills – the places I’ve looked at online have mostly bundled the two, there were a fair few three bedroom places for around $210 rent and bills around glebe and newtown. I’m not ignorant of all the bills required, and then yes, you’re very right about all the food items and other household necessities, that’s why I would want to set myself a limit for rent.

      And precisely why I was talking about getting an electric kit or even just a practice pad… I would only bring the real kit into the equation if it were moving in with friends who didn’t mind or the most lax roommates and neighbours ever.

  3. s-dawg permalink

    “people to shit like that with”
    Fragment: consider revising.
    Also re: what you’re saying about language learning… are you joking? Almost everything you do is application of what you’ve learnt; you can’t speak/write/understand a language without applying what you’ve learnt about it. As for the theory part, that’s easily applicable to the grammar parts of a language, once you understand that you can apply it to whatever you’re trying to say/write/etc, & every language has plenty of grammar. Ofc yes there is a lot of memorisation however I’d argue that, well, you’re wrong.
    Re: weekly expenses once you move out, Ryan is right – gotta really think hard about that, & also the impact it’s going to have on your social life; ie no more Bavarian/going out to dinner etc cos they’re just needless expenses. Also how are you financing your keyboard/health etc? (I’m aware they’re two seemingly unrelated things).
    Finally, from what I understand from people I know who have moved out, you’re not going to be focusing more on uni work & music practice – if you’re putting it off now, you’ll most likely continue to do so.
    JUSSAYIN, don’t hatorade on me kthnxbye.

    • Yeah but the style of learning is very much different – I emphasise the theory part. There are some, maybe many rules that translate across a broad spectrum of phrases in a language, but at the end of the day you have to memorise shitloads of words to get anywhere, and I’m just not particularly keen on that.

      And yes, I understand that, a lot of it is dependent on the price of the rent as well as my uni income. Thankfully I spend less money at uni than when I’m on holidays, and one of the benefits of moving out is that I’ll be planning out my own meals and shopping – at home relying on my family is a huge mistake, we really often don’t have good food to take out.

      I don’t particularly put them off, but they’re just things I want to focus more on. Particularly keyboards, it’d be great to just have that in my room as a retreat from everything else. Plus it’d be nice to live relatively close to work, but I don’t live too far off as it is.

      I don’t hatorade, you know that =)

  4. Honestly as much as you’d love to move out, I think you should take advantage of living with your parents while you can. Even if you can afford it, that’s a huge amount of money. I’ve thought about moving out, though I can never justify the amount it would be. Try and save up while you can now so when you do eventually move out, or decide to make a major purchase, it’s not going to be as hard.

    Though think about exchange. It’s pretty much moving out for a short term, and let’s you experience a whole new culture while remaining relatively secure. I think the memories of exchange would quite outlast anything from just moving out earlier here. You have the majority of your life to live away from your parents!!

    • Yeah it is a monetary investment to be sure, but I’d only do it if I could still be making gradual savings – I wouldn’t be doing it if my account was dwindling down over time. Of course, there are things I do want to spend money on – things do need to be replaced, clothes need to be bought, I do like CDs, etc, so I’d likely need to be working more, perhaps around 20 hours a week.

      I do have some money stored, so the initial investment isn’t a particular issue. I did buy the keyboard recently, and so I’ve just been aiming to earn that off over the year, which is probably the wise decision to make.

      I understand what you’re saying about exchange, it does depend on where I manage to get into though. I’ll start investigating that anyhow, it seems a reasonable compromise and likely to be a great experience.

      Although that said, it’s hardly cheap.

  5. ariane permalink

    Come on exchange with me to America next year!!
    Moving out sucks, way too much responsibility!
    Also how did you get the job at ABC? Are they looking for anyone else? Want to put in a good word for me?
    Sorry to hear about the single status, hope your ok.
    Talk soon,

    PS being female does not mean you clean and cook, I do neither much to my parents dissatisfaction! you need a maid more than a female flatmate if you want to move out and be lazy while doing it! 😛 have fun though if you do!

    • Ah but I kinda want responsibility honestly.

      I got the job at the ABC because I got work experience three years ago and I asked them if there were any vacanies. There weren’t for a few months, but then a girl got promoted and I got my lucky break =). In terms of how I got work experience, I presume anyone can get it but it was made easier for me because my mother’s colleague’s daughter is the production manager of News.

      I’m alright as I can be haha, it’s all rather old news.

      Yeah I mean seriously, need to train these wimmens, gettin educashuns and all. I’d hate to have a maid though, I’d feel awkwardly thankful all the time, like when our cleaners come round.

      Hope you enjoy America, do you have a position or are you hoping to get in?

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