mercoledì, settembre 12, 2012

One step closer to finally being Australian

Just got my Australian permanent residency. When they first give you a spouse visa here, it's "provisional permanent" or something like that, and then you have to apply for the second, for-realsies stage. I guess they've had enough doe-eyed romantics arrive here and then turn tail after a few weeks when they realize how fucking awful the food and people and cost of living are.  Good weather only gets Britain so far, especially when it's stuck in the 1950s and there aren't enough Asians in it.

It's taken longer than it might have because I'd forgotten to do it because, well, it made about zero difference to my life. I wouldn't have been eligible for welfare, which I haven't needed, but I was already eligible for mat leave payouts, which I'd already arranged, and I figured if I was fired and in a position where I'd potentially need welfare, I could just insist we fuck off, finally. As the t-shirt suggests.

But I did it nonetheless, for two reasons.

1. Another passport. You can get Australian citizenship after just four years residency*. One of those years has to be with the permanent visa I just got. I'm just coming up on two years in November, and even in my wildest dreams we'll be stuck here for another two years after that. The F-word wants some more schooling here, and I want more high wages and low taxes and for both of our planned children to be born somewhere I can speak to the medical staff in English, and while we're leaning toward having the next one sooner than we'd been thinking before (the F-word is feeling his oats, I suppose) I'm not pulling a oops-I'm-pregnant-at-the-six-week-checkup stunt.

Anyhoo, I've always been a firm believer in having the maximum number of passports possible. You just never know when you'll need them in this naughty world full of things being unexpected and violent. I'd like four, eventually. Four is my goal. It's surprisingly doable - fewer and fewer countries forbid multiple nationalities (although I understand that people generally ignore it in the ones that do).

 And it means eventually you will be able to make fun of me for being an Australian, after I spend a few more years viciously mocking them. Lucky you.

2. Getting a cellphone contract. In Australia I'm eligible to get free health care, family assistance, buy a house, and any number of other useful things. However, I'm not eligible to get a cellphone contract. Sigh. Once you're dealing with a private institution instead of a government institution here, suddenly everything goes to shit.

Whatever. I'll do it after the mat leave.

*It's somewhat ironic, I think, that the country where I've heard the most jingoistic xenophobia I've witnessed anywhere except Italy is also THE country with the easiest and fastest routes to residency, either through family class visas or work visas, as well as to citizenship.

lunedì, settembre 10, 2012

The pregnant sasquatch

Pregnancy continues apace. I'm not as worried as usual these days because the midwife has been reassuring and Ren has been increasingly acrobatic, pretty much all the time, and is starting to give the impression of responding to things going on outside the lovely big receptacle that is myself. I write that now, and no doubt tomorrow I'll be worried about something again. But all seems to be going well.

The midwife is pretty sure now I'll be carrying to term, and isn't too concerned about pre-eclampsia. And now that I've hit week 31, I'm a little less concerned about pre-eclampsia and an attendant early delivery too. If I make it one more week to 32, the kid can stay in this little shitburg's hospital until it's ready to go home, instead of heading off to Brisbane. Although there would be worse things than us having to go off to Brisbane,which is the good thing about not being poor. (How do people who are poor survive the worries attendant on pregnancy without going totally batshit? I have a new awe of them.) I could just stay there until it was ready to come home, and so could the F-word. But it looks unlikely to happen now.

One aspect of pregnancy I'm finding interesting is the massive sasquatch poos. I'm not suffering from the constipation most women complain about, and it's not as though I'm having to make an effort, but certainly the pooing is a rather more impressive experience than it used to be. For more or less the first time in my life I'm finding it sort of wrong to just be flushing these progiduous daily evacuations down the toilet without celebrating them somehow. I've had to restrain myself from calling over the F-word to take a look. Some physical mystique must be maintained somehow, or else what will remain to be absolutely and traumatically shattered forever when I go into active labour?