We started hunting for houses in Hornsby right from the first week. The process here to get a house is that you either approach real estate agents to find vacant units (what we call flats) or apply online on real estate websites. They will mention the date and time when the unit will be open for inspection. The inspection windows generally vary from 15-30 mins and they are strictly adhered to. We need to visit the said unit in the stipulated inspection window when there would be other parties as well. Once you like a unit, you may apply for it by filling up the application form given by the real estate agent and send it back to them with your relevant documents. The real estate agents would then send all the applications received to the respective owner and the owner would decide who he / she would like to rent it out to. After visiting about 8-10 units, we applied for 3 of them. The agent was a bit worried that chances of our application getting accepted was not that great as both of us didn’t have jobs. We were very hopeful on getting a house because without a lease agreement, we couldn’t get Mantam admitted to a school.
But we were worried for no reason. We were selected for the very first house that we applied for but the house was occupied and would be vacant only on 9th of June. The agent said that we would be able to move in on 12th. It fit the bill perfectly for us as we had booked the stay at Gordon for a month anyway. We applied for the electricity and internet. We started looking for an extra bed for Mantam as we had bought one from S earlier. We finalized one form a lady who was selling her house and she had only one bed left. Though we got the second hand stuff at very reasonable prices, the transportation costs were extremely high. After a lot of search over the internet, we found one person who would come along with a utility vehicle (Ute, as they call it here) and also lend a hand. He would charge on 30 mins basis. We booked it for 90 mins and thought it would be enough, considering the distance between Gordon and Hornsby was not much.
In the meantime, we also started looking for schools for Mantam. We went to the one which was very close to our home in Hornsby but they said that our home was out of their catchment area and they suggested to go to another school which was ideal for our area. Now this school was a bit far but when we went to inquire, we loved their approach. They just asked for Mantam’s passport, visa letter and immunization chart. And there the admission was done. We asked them many times if there was something we were missing. And they said that we could send the kids from the very next day if we wished. They were nearing the end of Term 2 and the winter holidays were to begin after 2 weeks. They told us that we could send the kids from Term3 if it suited us better. But we were keen to send Mantam as soon as possible so that we could concentrate more on the job hunt and also because it had been more than three months that they had been away from school. There was also the question of which class they would get into. They had finished Kindergarten in India in March. But the academic year here starts from Jan. So the Year 1 students were already halfway through. The teachers suggested that we got them admitted to Kindy again so that they get used to the new atmosphere, culture, people etc. We felt that it sounded fair and would also be in Mantam’s best interest. Kindy it was!