Since 2010

Aussie snow

Monday 8 July 2013

I had to see it to believe it, and here’s the proof. It does snow in Australia. The photo is me standing in a place called Thredo in New South Wales' Snowy Mountains.

Intelligent car park

Sunday 30 June 2013

Here’s something which I’ve never seen outside Australia. See the string of red lights above the parked cars? Red means the space is occupied, green means it’s free. The information about free spaces is also displayed on matrix signs at every junction.

Instead of driving up and down rows, you can just follow the signs and glance down each row until you spot a green light.

Unnecessary? Maybe. But it sure does make finding a space more pleasurable in busy city multi-storey car parks.

Melbourne from Eureka Skydeck

Monday 10 June 2013

I deeply regret not taking a tripod of any sort up with me. This picture is probably the best of a bad bunch.

State of Origin

Tuesday 4 June 2013

If I cared or knew anything about sports I’m pretty sure living in a former olympic park would be very different. For example, tomorrow night is Game I of the 2013 State of Origin, where… um, teams play each other at sport… right here at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park. It seems to be a pretty big deal.

I may be clueless, but I can still look at the pretty lights. These buildings aren’t normally this blue.

Wikipedia says the New South Wales rugby league team are also known as the Blues. That could explain it I suppose.

Realtors should be nicer

Friday 26 April 2013

The process of finding an apartment to rent in a city goes something like this:

  • scour the big real estate websites looking for whatever it is that you’re looking for
  • contact the agents for the places you’d like to view
  • visit the apartments at the arranged time
  • rinse and repeat

Pretty straightforward. But here’s my advise: expect nothing from real estate agents. Don’t expect them to return your calls. Don’t even think about emailing them. Don’t assume that they’ll show up at the viewing time.

Now don’t get me wrong - not all realtors are useless. In fact some of them are bloody brilliant, and that’s kind of the point I’m heading towards. Last time I went through this I viewed two apartments in the same building. They were identical units, with the only differences being the floor they were on - one was on the top floor of the building with slightly better views that the other one, and the rental price reflected this.

But the realtor for the more expensive apartment was shit. She didn’t care. Conversely, the realtor for the identical-but-cheaper unit was brilliantly eager to show us around and tell us all about the area.

And here’s the punchline - we would have absolutely gone for the more expensive apartment if the bubbly realtor was the agent for it. There’s no way we wanted to deal with her competitor. And if I was the owner of the more expensive unit and ever found that out I’d be super pissed off about losing potential tenants like that.

So real estate agents, how about being a bit nicer to potential clients eh?