25 June, 2012

Rubber starts to hit the road for our departure

We've been planning details for ages for our trip to Australia this year. We'd planned to do this since we left two years ago, and the first set detail was booking a motorhome just before the end of 2011. And ever since then we've been planning various details, including

  • our schedule
  • where we would be staying
  • cars
  • what churches we'll be visiting and when
  • house sitter details and instructions 
  • communicating with family and close friends about meeting up 
  • organising open days etc.

But now the rubber is starting to hit the road. This morning I rang my Australian doctor to make an appointment for next week. That freaked me out a bit. I used Skype, but it was just weird ringing and talking to them as if I were in the next suburb. Then I rang our optometrist to make an appointment there too. There I discovered that our Medicare cards have expired. And I don't know where our new ones are, or if we have new ones.

This kind of thing makes me feel nervous. Shuttling in and out of countries has this hidden stress factor. We have two sets of "identity documents". Two sets of medical cards, two sets of licenses, two sets of bank cards etc. Plus other things that responsible citizens have to pay attention too, like taxes, membership cards to various organisations, etc. And then other cards that aren't so relevant to a short-term visit, like library cards, private health insurance cards (that we cannot activate, being so short a visit), etc.

When we arrive in Australia we'll have to at least call Centrelink (for non-Aussies: the social security institution) to inform them that we're in-country again. We also REALLY need to go to our bank and sort out our credit cards. I have been unable to use my for the last 20 months because of a mix up in details that I haven't been able sort out via phone (they are very suspicious), and they keep telling me to visit the local branch.

My grocery shopping habits have also temporarily changed. I'm not buying more than what we can eat in the next three days. My chest freezer is empty. Because we're only going away for 5 1/2 weeks, I don't need to empty the pantry, but we have been working on the things that have lurked there and are close to or past use-by dates.

I guess the next thing (aside from doing a "spring clean") will be pulling out our suitcases and packing them. For some reason that doesn't freak me out as much as the bureaucratic details above. We don't actually need too much, just clothes.

And in fact, the less we take, the more Weetbix (for non-Aussies: breakfast cereal the boys love), we can fit into our luggage on the way home. I also have a long shopping list for other things to buy while we're there, ranging from mixed fruit for our Christmas cake to new lunch boxes and camping cutlery. Various pharmacy and feminine hygiene items also feature highly on my list. As do some new tracksuit pants for the boys and some other clothing items (like underwear for me).

I'd better go and shake the fridge and see what I get squeeze out of it tonight so that it looks even more empty.


Karen said...

Will see you in the park on the 7th, we're collecting the boys from grandparents in the morning at Oxley, and then we'll come on over after that :)

Wendy said...

Now it's going to be a bit weird. Please don't be shy, however. I hope I don't prove to be a lot different from how you've gotten to know me through my writing!