12 September 2008

Expat-Blog of The Month - September 2008

Woohooo!!! Expat-Blogs has made The Mupersan's Australian Adventure their blog of the month for September. Go to the Expat-Blog website to check it out.

So I thought I'd better post an update too....

Last Sunday we made an amazing discovery..... IKEA ROCKS!!!! IKEA is a store. With arrows on the floor and a map as you walk in the door. And pencils and notepads and order forms and calculators along the way... We walked in the door not having a clue what to expect and were completely blown away! I'd checked out their website and found a bookshelf and a desk for Scott that we both liked the look of. However, we were a bit worried about it being a bit "cheap" as it was all self-assembly stuff. But not being particularly flush at the moment & in need of both items, we headed for the other side of Sydney to check out IKEA. We walked in and were directed upstairs to the "showroom". The showroom is warehouse-sized and consists of ALL their products assembled and in sections - bedrooms, bathrooms, loungerooms, etc. All the bookshelves are grouped together so you can compare and choose. Did I mention that this place is enormous?

You pick up an order form and pencil and start looking for what you want. The price tag is your friend. All the info you need is on there - exact measurements, number of boxes in the assembly unit and exactly where to find said boxes in the collection warehouse (isle number & section number). Oh and of course the price - which was rediculously cheap IMHO.

Quality? Totally blown away again!!!! Solid, sturdy furniture in a range of finishes. Absolutely amazing!!!

So we made our choices and used all our combined willpower not to go completely nuts and buy everything in sight! And off we got to the collection warehouse..... follow the arrows again.... through the household accessories warehouse!!!!! We literally had to keep our eyes on the ground following those damn arrows!! You could outfit an entire house from IKEA - from a new kitchen (cupboards, stovetop, sink - everything!) to flower arrangements on your dining table.

So we finally made it through to the collection warehouse..... double/triple store height with floor to ceiling shelving for as far as the eye can see. Huge signs at the end of each isle with an isle number. We found ours easily, picked up a trolley and found our section - also really clearly marked. Picked up our boxes and headed for the checkout. We spent HALF of what we'd expected to pay for the bookshelf and the desk!!!

Okay so with all the twists and turns through the different warehouses..... we couldn't find Betsy!!! And believe me, Betsy stands out! Oh, did I mention that this place is ENORMOUS!!?? Oh, sorry, did I also mention that it is actually in a shopping mall as well? A totally mindblowing experience!!!

So we eventually find Betsy and load her up. And then it was back into the mall to get our PVR (personal video recorder) at Bing Lee. Of course, I'd done my homework and knew exactly what model we wanted and how much we should be paying - we decided on Bing Lee because we'd managed to successfully negotiate prices there before (for our fridge & microwave when we first arrived). We picked up the latest 250GB version of the Beyonwiz DP-S1 for the price of the old version on sale! A saving of $300! It really was our day for good pricing! :-)

And back home to a Wells family tradition Saturday lunch of hotdogs. And some serious building! Scott had a blast building shit! And it was really easy too - no bits missing and everything fit together perfectly.

The desk...

Scott having fun with his screwdriver

And another section finished....

The finished product! Each section was seperate which you can just mix and match to suite your needs. Brilliant!!!

And the desk in progress...

I managed to set up the PVR quite easily. I managed to network it wirelessly to our PCs and directly to the internet to download the electronic program guide (EPG). It's a great little machine - we can record our shows and watch them when we want, copy them across to the PC and burn them to disc after taking out the ads. We can also watch downloaded/home movies via the network and also listen to music or have a slideshow going on the TV. A very versatile little gadget. Oh and everything in high definition.

Setting up the Beyonwiz... Huge concentration!

And then here are just some pics I took on Wednesday morning...

Breakfast on the balcony

The fridge doesn't fit into the fridge space in the kitchen just to the right of the picture.
We decided not to put the dining table into this space - it would've been too cluttered.

See my beautiful bookshelf....?

Did you notice that stunning bookshelf....?

Our spare room

The office - Scott's new desk on the left

Last night we wrapped up warm and walked down the road for a picnic supper on the beach. This lifestyle is really hard, but we are giving it our best shot! :-)

The moon was quite bright and was shining off the waves.

It was pretty chilly but we had our trusty Cappies to warm us up!

That's it for now!


Anonymous said...

hey, congrats on your award, it is a nice blog. and since i probably did my fair share in reading all.the.posts. in. one. week. i thought i asked you a couple of questions if you don't mind:
1. did the rental market ease off lately or is it the same as when you arrived there?
2. would i find 1BR units to rent in mona vale? looks more like a senior community?... and what price range would i be looking at?


The Mupersans said...

Hiya Gabe
Thanks for reading!
1. I wouldn't be able to give you a definitive answer about the rental market. However, because of the interest rate hikes lately, I think that people who were going to buy a few months ago have decided to wait and rent instead - thereby boosting the rental market a bit. I don't think that rents have increased dramatically - maybe closer to the city but not necessarily on the Northern Beaches further away.

2. It's definitely not a seniors community LOL! Try looking on www.realestate.com.au - just do a search for 1 bedroomed apartments - that should give you an idea of what's available at the moment.

Happy apartment hunting!

Mamajoon said...

Hiya Mupersans
congrats on the 'blog of the month' - well deserved. It's entertaining and informative.
Am totally jealous of your view and proximity to the beach. Dammit, why didn't we visit a month later?????
Scott looks so at home putting those kits together. Sigh, miss you guys.
luv, Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys. Congrats on Blog of the month. What you win, what you win. Anything I can eat. Please send if licorice. What bookshelf you talking about Mand's ????? I see nothing. Any screws left after you assembled desk Scot. They do go somewhere you know. Wipe that thought out of your mind. Keep the blogs coming. We miss you okes, so does Thabo. Dad and Hermit

The Mupersans said...

Hey Porkie - had a handful left, didn't know what to do with them as usual so chucked them in my tool box in case something falls off one day. Ha! Ha! Talking of that, do you want me to post those extra wall bolts left over from your plasma...?

No winnings - just prestige! Which means jack really but Mandy's pretty chuffed.

Grant said...

Hi All

Congrats on the win, def a fantastic blog. Um err..great job on the bookshelf Scooter...but um err...what is a screw?? Your Flat is looking super. Well done on that Mandy.

Love to all

Anonymous said...

Hey Grant. Not what you think it is.

Scotty, keep the nuts and bolts, just send the rubber hose from the percolator. Had no bloody coffee since your matic year.
Keep up the great work out there. Thabo wants all ex pats back. See you at airport on Monday.
Dad and Hermit

Caroline said...

Congratulations on winning the award - it's a great blog!

Love the bookshelf and desk. Your place is looking so nice and cozy. Still crazy about the view lol