After all the brouhaha of boarding the connecting flight, we calmly landed on the Oz soil. We were asked to chuck all the food items we had on hand into the quarantine bins. With heavy hearts, we had to chuck all the goodies that Bhabi’s parents had got for Mantam when they came to see us off. We were stuffed enough to not even touch those. After the security checks and picking the check-in luggage, we came out of the Sydney airport. It was 9 PM then and all the stalls were closed, we couldn’t even take a temporary SIM. We took a taxi, loaded all our luggage and headed towards Gordon, where we had booked our initial stay.
Taking a slight digression here:
While we were in India, we had sent hundreds of inquiries in response to ads for accommodation posted on all popular real estate sites. We got only two responses, one of which said that it was already taken and the other was way above our budget but we were still ready to consider it as we didn’t have another option on hand. But the lady stopped responding after initial correspondence. We discussed with A & S. They suggested that we look for some budget hotels as nobody would lease homes to people who are due to arrive from overseas. While we looked for hotels, they overshot our budgets by leaps and bounds. We wanted to save as much as possible as we didn’t know when we were going to get jobs. During our search we had sent an email enquiry to a guest house type of accommodation and the point of contact Danny replied with just YES. Whatever we would ask him, he would reply in a single word. We asked his contact number and asked A to get in touch with him and to check the accommodation once if possible. A & S went over during a weekend and liked the place, sent us a few pics as well. It was Danny’s parents’ home and they lived in one portion and rented out the other portion. We would have one bedroom to ourselves, but had to share kitchen, bathroom cum toilet, the drawing room with the guests in the adjacent room. The rate was reasonable as it covered utility bills, milk, bread and also dumplings whenever they would make them (This was incentive enough for me atleast :-P) And we booked it for a month.
During the taxi ride, Abbas was conversing with the driver. Mantam were hibernating with their thumbs in their mouths) My eyes were fixated on the meter, my mind was rapidly converting the reading into Indian currency and my heart was getting heavier with every added dollar. We had not booked a vehicle in India to drop us to the airport and instead opted for two taxies as that had saved us around 500 bucks. And here we were going to pay 10 times the amount it took us to reach airport and I just had to laugh it off and say “Welcome to Sydney Baby”!!!
We reached our temporary home, unloaded the luggage. It was almost 11 by then but Donny was waiting for us. He showed us around and luckily he had kept some bacon cheese bread for us. We were so hungry by then, we were thankful for his thoughtfulness. He had to leave for his own home, so we asked him to make a move. Abbas was a bit wary about having the bacon bread as he had never had it before. Out of hunger, he shed all inhibitions and ate it. After having the dinner, we quickly changed into our pajamas. We slept like logs with so much exhaustion!!!