I have been getting questions how job hunting was going and if I already got an apartment. Well, none of that is going to happen (actually I did get two job offers) as after long long thought I have decided to change my emigrating / moving plans into a new plan: a long world trip Australia is wonderfull and I really enjoy traveling here, but I realized that I don’t want to stay here. I want to live and work in Holland and just for now enjoy a long time off, travelling around the world.
Today is the first day of my new journey; I am leaving Australia and I am flying to Christchurch (New Zealand). I have booked another campervan for three weeks and visit my mate Jasper in Wellington. After that I will leave New Zealand from Auckland and my next stop will be San Francisco where I will get a car and drive cross-country to Boston in about 6 to 8 weeks.
The first part of the journey is done and we just landed at Changi Airport in Singapore. I must say I felt mixed emotions walking away from my family (pap, mam, jola, wilco, matthijs and wim) and friends (Colin, Marten & Wouter) at Shiphol today and flying off on my own. I felt adventurous with a knot in my stomach at the same time. I may not be closeby anymore, but Internet helps and I am always 24 hours away (and that is not that long!)
Arriving at my seat it appeared to be a windowless seat. Stupid enough I even checked a site with seat information for the Boeing 777-200 which said this was a good seat Good thing though was it was cloudy all the way and half of it in the dark so who needs windows anyways The good thing for a windowless row was that the other two seats next to me were not occupied so that gave me quite some space for me myself and I
Excellent entertainment system by the way; dozens of films, documetaries, tv shows on demand on your own in flight entertainment system. Perfect I watched National Treasure 2, Bee Movie and 5 knights. All pretty amusing but not terrific
The time here is 6:40 AM and Singapore is in the same timezone as Perth. It feels pretty humid and according to the airplane’s thermometer it’s 26 degrees outside (at night!). As I have 3 hours to kill before daparture to Perth (09:35) I think I’ll have a look at the transfer hotel as there is a sign (as Marten told me) that you can have a shower over there. Might be a good idea
Looking closer at the emigration statistics it looks like most Dutch stay relatively close to home with Australia on the 8th position:
According to these statistics over 2000 people emigrated to Australia. In contrast, the statistics of Australian immigration show a number of only548 Dutch immigrating to Australia (on a total of 140.148 !) during the 2006/2007 financial year, of which 364 entered using a Skilled visa (the same as I have).
Perhaps the difference in numbers is due to the fact that Dutch people leaving The Netherlands longer than 8 months are regarded upon as emigrants, while in fact they may just be traveling for a couple of months. If this is all true, this means that there are about 1500 backpackers in Australia?
The reason is that when someone tries to call you, he will be reverted to your voicemail box in your home country by the mobile operator in the country your are in at that time. This means you will charged for:
1. the costs for reverting calls to your voicemailbox (charges for calling abroad)
2. the costs for incoming calls abroad; even if the caller does not leave a message you will be charged the costs (charges for receiving calls abroad)
Depending on the country you are in, you will be charged per second or per minute. So, regarding the latter, if someone tries to call you and does not leave a message, you will still be charged a 1 minute call abroad + redirection.
While it looks like my mobile operator Telfort tries to obscure the actual costs (at least I cannot find a clear answer on their website) I found more information about the costs elsewhere. Apparantly Telfort charges about € 2,52 + 19% tax per call ending up in your voicemail box. This may sum up to a nice total when you get called a lot.
You have to pay double for people reaching your voicemail when abroad and you have to pay to listen to your voicemails.
So, what can we do about it? First best practise is to make sure you disable voicemail with your mobile operator when you go abroad. Secondly, there are several common mobile network codes which offer a broad range of functionality of which ##21# is the most interesting to us. This particular code will deactivate all call diverts, making sure you will not get charged unexpected costs. Just enter the code and press the send / OK / call button and all call diverts will be deactivated. Use *21# to view the current status.
To re-activate the diverts, you need to know the number of your voicemail box and use the following code: **21*phonenumber#. However, as I am moving to Australia and I actually don’t want to reachabe 24/7, I do not intend to re-enable my voicemail so I can’t help you with the proper number to re-enable diverts
After having lived in the Zeeheldenbuurt (Naval heroes area) in Utrecht for 9 years, today was the day to deliver my house back to the housing corporation. In the end it did not feil that weird; probably because I had been living in a half-empty house for quite some time already so I had quite some time to get used to the idea.
I finally managed to sell my Ducati Monster 900 Dark i.e. for a reasonable price (€ 5500,-). I had it for sale for about a month at marktplaats and I asked € 6500,- with the idea to be able to bargain about the price. I’m glad I sold the Duc today, so I can use the money to buy a car (Ford Falcon?) when I arrive in Perth and use the rest for the start of my journey. Otherwise I had to use my savings for buying a car and my parents would have to sell the Ducati for me after I leave for Oz. This saves us all a lot of trouble and I got the cash in my pocket
It’s a terrific bike though… perhaps I’ll get another one in Sydney?
Well, I am almost done here. I packed everything I want to bring along and I am almost done cleaning out my house. Thursday Colin will come to get the couches, Roderik will come get my TV, some woman from marktplaats will come to get my fridge and Saturday the laundry machine will be picked up by WHB.
All my belonings are now packed in 11 moving boxes (about 1 cubic meters) and 1 cardboard cilinder. I’m trying to locate a mover who offers a good price. Through my sister I came in touch with van Net who offered me a price of € 1440,- ex insurance. I found this a bit expensive as I read about people moving a 20 foot container (about 35 boxes + furniture) for about € 4000,- so I decided to have a look around. I stumbled across the site of ‘Online Shipping‘ who offer much lower prices. You have to do a couple of things yourself; like collecting and clearing your stuff at the port in Sydney. But as I already intended to do that, and it saves me a couple of hundred Euro, why the heck not? Let’s see what prices they come up with…
In tegenstelling tot mijn verwachting -een 1 op 1 gesprek, eventueel wat vragen en uiteindelijk een fancy visum bewijs in mijn paspoort- bleek de werkelijkheid toch alledaagser dan ik in eerste instantie had gedacht. Nadat we bij de Australische Ambassade door de security check waren gegaan werden we via een aanal bordjes naar een wachtkamer geleid die me sterk deed denken aan de wachtruimte bij de tandarts of de huisarts. Bij de mevrouw achter de balie moest ik mijn papieren (uitnodiging voor de afspraak, grant letter en mijn paspoort) inleveren en 5 minuutjes later zat de sticker in mijn paspoort. Geen gouden anti-kopieer stripjes, hologrammen en dergelijke (had ik toch wel verwacht voor die 1.5 jaar en € 2077.35), maar een simpele sticker waarop -naar ‘t lijkt- met een oude dot-matrix printer uit de jaren 80 mijn gegevens zijn geprint:
Maar dat ene zinnetje doet ‘t em:
‘Holder(s) permitted to stay in Australia indefinitely‘….
Het is zover! Nadat ik al een aantal dagen van plan was een ticket te gaan boeken, en toch een poosje met mijn vinger boven de ‘proceed’ button te hebben gezweefd heb ik zojuist voor het luttele bedrag van € 795.5 een enkeltje Perth geboekt
Departing: Amsterdam(AMS – Schiphol Intl) on Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 1155 hrs
Arriving: Singapore(SIN – Changi Intl) on Thu, 17 Apr 2008, 0630 hrs
Flight: SQ323 (B777-200/200ER) Economy Class
Nu heb ik in ieder geval een datum om naartoe te leven; evenals de mensen om mij heen. Het voelt nog steeds vrij onwerkelijk; ik denk dat ik het pas echt ga beseffen als ik met mijn rugzak door de douane loop op weg naar de gate…