31 January 2009

A view from the Murdoch courtyard

Well, here it is. Only one day left until I move to Perth, Australia to study at Murdoch University for a semester. I didn’t even realize how much work getting ready for a move like this is. For the last two weeks of my life, I spent my time working as much as possible to make some extra spending money. And, throughout this period, I’ve done everything imaginable to get ready.

The whole story is pretty boring (so feel free to skip this section entirely), but it involves getting lease agreements lined up for April/May, and then having to get my power of attorney created and notarized. I also had to go to the doctor’s office several times for all the medications I need. I have horrific allergies and a day without my medicine is a day spent in hell. Trying to get proof of prescriptions after the fact is pretty challenging; I had to get new prescriptions, and then get them all authorized, and then there was an annoying snag about medicine regulation differences.

Apparently pseudoephedrine is illegal to possess unless you have a prescription in Australia. Probably with good reason, as I believe you can make crystal meth with the stuff. Regardless, over here it’s legal over the counter. So, it’s nearly impossible to get a prescription for something that you can get easily. I got one, but the medicine wouldn’t come in for another week. So I had to get the closest over the counter equivalent and get a signed printout of the ingredients in my prescription. That, and insurance won’t pay for over one month’s supply of any medication at one time; and since I need more than one month, the situation was complicated infinitely more when trying to explain it to the pharmacy to explain to the insurance company. I only managed to get an 18 day supply of the over the counter medicine because of the regulations here. Sad. My other medicine came through fine though. Apparently, also, you can only take three months of medication into the country, leaving me to fend for myself without insurance coverage in Australia after that time. In the end, through some loopholes, it ended up coming out okay. But, this process has eaten away entire days of my time just going back and forth between doctors, pharmacists, and insurance people.

That, and the banking situation was pretty confusing. I needed to authorize all of my credit cards for international use, and when you have as many as I do, the situation gets frustrating to say the least. I finally got that taken care of, and then made my last deposits. I had some Australian currency shipped in from Houston to supplement my plastic in case somewhere doesn’t take it. This was an amusing sight at the bank, as most of the employees have never seen this currency before. (Colorful plastic money, what demonry is this?!)

The last snag was a sort of funny one. I had to buy shorts. As I am going to a beach, I would need to wear shorts. I don’t imagine blue jeans would work well. However, to be honest with you, I haven’t worn anything but jeans in years and years. I don’t know the style of shorts people wear, as everyone in Midland just wears jeans. My legs are so white they would blind small children. I can’t wait to get burned to death in the Australian sun.

I still have to check on power conversion and how all my electronic equipment will work. I need my laptops and camera to work over there or I will die from technology withdrawals. I think I should be okay, but who knows. I really know nothing about how power conversion works.

Finally, I still haven’t even packed anything. I’ve been so busy trying to get the ridiculous amount of other things finished that I haven’t got to it. Ironically, those people who know me best at college have probably pegged it pretty accurately. The following is a wall post from Cory, my suitemate at Trinity:

“Knowing how you get things done, I was guessing that you would start packing about 1 am the morning of your flight, drunk. Have you bought the plane ticket yet?”

I may indeed live up to this grand dreams at this point. I’m so stressed/happy/scared/excited/terrified by the whole thing that I feel like a beer right now, just before lunch time! Cheers!

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