I can probably sum up the things we did know about Australia when we first came here in one word: Nothing.
This new world we have arrived at overwhelmed us at the beginning. We were absolutely sure we'll get here, spend a couple of days in a hotel in the city, get to know the area a bit, and then move to a house that the university which Tom was about to start his masters in will help us find.
It doesn't work like this here. 5 days have passed, a week, we were still stuck in the hotel. Ofir was starting to loose it and just test her screaming every time we went in a building.
Apparently the help you get here (regarding everything) is just an advice. No one does the work for you, and quite a work it is. You can't just call the landlord to his private cell phone and ask to come and see the house. You don't just "talk it over" and set a price and move the next day after signing a contract.
You actually have to book an inspection at a very specific time and date, when everyone, and I mean EVERYONE comes to view the property. Chatting with the landlord is not an option 99% of the time, and you need to fill in a not-so-short application form with all the details about yourself you can possibly imagine. Oh, and you should have an Australian reference, cause without it - no one can trust you.
We had a problem.
How can we get a house if we don't have any reference for renting in Australia?
Luckily, Israelis are really supportive of each other, and through connections we met Lynne, a lovely human being who subletted a studio unit to us and gave us the most desired reference.
Our last inspection was on a Friday evening. I was worn out from all the drives and disappointing houses so Tom went by himself. It was the best thing that could happen. He charmed the agent with his blue eyes and flowing conversation and even though we were "competing" over this house "against" an Australian couple, we managed to get it, and it was perfect for us!
Three weeks after we landed in the land down under and two days before Tom started his studies, we packed our three suitcases and entered our first home in Australia. Our life here have finally begun...