After picking him up from the airport, we provided him with a celebratory 'Congratulations! You made the move!' cold beer that evening and helped to ease the first night 'what-have-I done?!!' feelings which were scattered amongst the excitement. The following morning we were able to point him in the direction of the bank - literally two minutes walk from us - where you could open an 'expat' bank account (with minimal documentation). I then showed him where to get the bus/metro cards from, showed him the way the public transport worked, and took him downtown to sign up for his medicare and social security cards. Knowing the bus stops, street names, the floors of the buildings in which the required departments were located, meant it was much less of a performance then when T and I had done it. I also knew where to grab a quick coffee to boost flagging energy levels, was able to point out things such as grocery stores, where to buy winter coats and boots (and to buy them asap!!).
Next on the agenda was looking at apartments - looking through various websites, I was able to inform him of which areas were good, which were OK, and which were a definite no-go.
I was pleased to discover we are not!
The first was nice inside, but, with another 41 apartments in the building, the corridors smelt and reminded me of university digs. Although nicely decorated inside, the tiny apartment looked out either onto brick walls or into other people's windows.
The second apartment, actually on our street, was huge! But the back room appeared to not be finished, or at least well insulated, the windows had make-shift double glazing - both not at all ideal when the deep cold dark depths of winter arrive - plus it don't come with any appliances and really wasn't what he was after.
Wanting to find a place to live before he started work on the Monday, time was running out.
However on Saturday morning he had an apartment viewing at 9.30am...and when T and I met him at half an hour later, he had the keys in his hands!! A celebratory brunch was the order of the day - drawing on our initial experiences with cafes at mid morning at the weekend, this was a far easier option than trying to have just a celebratory coffee...
A successful week!