Sunday, March 10, 2013

Life in a Suitcase

People always talk about how much they like traveling. How exciting it is seeing new places and experiencing new things. I think it's a little suspicious that you never hear them raving about how thrilling it is to live out of a suitcase continually in limbo and uprooting every few days to go somewhere different. Perhaps it's because that part of travel is rather dreadful.

I have discovered that I don't really like traveling. I like seeing new things. I like trying new experiences. But at the end of the day I want to return to the stability of my own things, my own base and the familiar. So this past week and a half of waiting for a home base to come into being has been particularly painful. I have to repack my suitcase every couple of days just so I can still find things inside it that I need. Because those tiny things you know you packed have a habit of migrating around underneath the piles within each suitcase.

We're in a serviced apartment right now which means we have a perfunctory kitchen with the basic essentials. Most of our meals are taken care of in the communal kitchen downstairs, but we still have to take care of things on weekends for the most part. I consider myself relatively adaptive, but there are some glaring inadequacies with the current facilities in our room. No salt and pepper. No serving bowls. Glasses that are too small for a long cool drink. No dishrack for drying the washing up. Little things that you could overlook for a short stay, but the longer it lasts, the more I find myself lusting for a full kitchen.

The rental process is a little different here. In order to apply to rent any property you have to physically inspect it first. Then you have to fill out a 3 page application specific to the agency handling that property along with all the corroborating documents that prove you're not an axe-murderer with money laundering connections. The agency then screens the application (one for each adult planning to live at the property) and hopefully deems you worthy to be passed onto the owner for their final say. Because all our documentation stems from Canada, it's taking a little longer than we'd like. We've been told three weeks is about average for finding and securing a place. Add to that the fact that we'll have to get EVERYTHING to start a home but we can't begin the process until we actually have said address, and you can see the difficulty. I'm sure I'll adjust, but it's demoralizing to realize I'm much more uptight than the average Aussie. And I thought I'd done so well in mitigating my OCD. Apparently not.

On the plus side, we're having an extended summer. So in less than a month I've gone from a parka and snow boots trudging through snow drifts to sandals and shorts every day hiding out in air-conditioning for the afternoons. Today is supposed to reach 36 or 37 degrees again.

In spite of all the challenges, we're doing all right. I have been able to cobble some fairly palatable meals together with the mini kitchen. But the need to really cook is simmering under my skin with a fair bit of urgency. Probably because of all the incredible produce I encounter at the market on our regular visits. It will happen. In the meantime I have to keep reminding myself to focus on the pluses and let go of the niggly bits. My new challenge. But I really, really don't like life in a suitcase.

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