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Old Oct 29th 2005, 3:35 pm   #1
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Default Lion Log

I wrote this some time ago but felt too embarrassed to post it as it turned out a lot longer than I intended at the outset. I just came across it again and thought shall I or not ? A mate says I should so here goes.

It's just my little tale of how we fought to get here so I hope it can inspire some others that are looking at a brick wall some days.

Apologies in advance




“When I win the lottery we’re emigrating to New Zealand”.



Yeah, I’d often say that when we were discussing a lottery win.

So what was new this time ? Well, I was sat in front of the pc and pumped NZ into Google. Spent a long time flitting from site to site drinking in the spectacular and breathtaking scenery until eventually ending up on an agents site……Global Visas I think it was. Anyway was enthralled enough by this time that I filled out the visa questionnaire expecting an immediate online assessment. Not so fast sucker, they would phone you to discuss.



And so they did a couple of days later. Spoke to a very nice Kiwi working in London. Had a chat about my background and confirmed what I suspected. Basically I had little chance of getting a visa unless I could obtain sponsorship. Even then NZ would be very tricky but had I considered Australia ? Well, hell no, I had not really considered anything…….I was only playing about on the computer after all.



The days passed and like a sexual arousal this thing got bigger and bigger. We talked and talked about it until the cows came home and every evening were surfing the net for information. It was strange really. It was as if we were both enacting a fantasy (as you do !) without ever thinking it could be a reality.



One night I turned to Da Boss and says “I turned down three job opportunities in the past because you wouldn’t uproot yet you genuinely seem keen on this. If you are serious, so am I”. Well, no need for me to repeat what she said. The start of the quest had begun.



First thing I did was contact our company in Aukland just to make sure but they are a very small operation so there was nothing for me there. I then contacted the Melbourne operation who were very keen so I then spoke to my director in Europe who promised to support me in making a transfer. He would discuss it with his counterpart in Asia and let me know.



Weeks went by with no news until a friend in high places told me the subject had been discussed at a senior managers meeting and my director had said “yes, he wants to go but I will work in the background and put a stop on anything that comes up. We can’t afford to lose him”.



Now I had given 34 years solid and devoted service to that company and that in many ways was my biggest downfall. I guess they saw me as a doormat in many ways. I was the local boy who would always be there through thick and thin. All the new intake including many graduates ended up on my doorstep seeking advice and know how. I became the place to come in times of need, “ask Bix, he’ll know”.

I had become the font of all knowledge; the Mr.Reliable. Hell they should have given me one of those superhero suits.



On top of all that I suppose compared to them they saw somewhat of an eccentric. Worked all his life for one company. Rode a bike to work because he couldn’t drive. Didn’t go on holidays. Rarely ventured outside his home town, Cross the border into England ? ….you must be joking.



I had spent the last 5 years battling for some recompense within the company. Value for money and equality is all I wanted. I had been promised things that did not transpire. The sales director took me out to lunch one night and offered me a new job which I accepted. I heard no more about it ! This is just one example of the poo I put up with.



Now this French mother ****ing director is being two faced ? Who the **** does he think he is ? Boy, is he in for a surprise. Time for covert operations to begin. I contacted the Melbourne operation again and explained the situation and we agreed to go it alone. He had no power in Asia so they would go ahead with the sponsorship and by the time he knew anything about it I would be on my way.



Time dragged on and on and on. Management changes in Aus slowed everything down but eventually we were ready to start the visa application. The agent said the job spec was fine but DIMIA would question how we would finance the family as the wage was insufficient to cover the high education costs of being on a temp visa unless we had savings.



Oh shite. We had to be financially realistic. I already had to pay all costs for the move and present myself for work and on top of that high education bills. That all summed up to the fact we would be spending our house equity and would never recover it. I spoke to the General Manager in Aus who said he could not improve the pay offer so reluctantly I had to suggest we shelve it and review it in a couple of years. Couldn’t ever see that happening to be honest so that was the end of our fantasy I guess.



OH NO IT WASN”T.



A guy I used to work with a few years previously had joined the only competitor in Aus and was doing a work spell back in the UK. I had been in contact with him a few times to find out what it was like living in Aus. When I next saw him I told him it was all off. Within a week his company approached me with a far superior job offer which we accepted. In the space of a week we had hit the floor and flown back up to the ceiling.



It was time to tell the immediate family of our plans but they must not utter a word to anyone. My family were superb. My elderly parents told us to grab it with both hands and not to worry about them.



The MIL was a different kettle of fish. All she could see was that her little girl was abandoning her. First words to come out of her mouth were “what am I going to do. You might as well be dead because you won’t be my daughter anymore”. This hurt deeply as Da Boss had always been there for her. She was there when her granddad had many bouts of illness before passing away. She was there when her mother had ME for 5 years. She was there when her dad died a long and slow death. Now she wanted to do something for herself and her mother resented her for it. Sheesh ! She refused to listen or talk about anything to do with Aus robbing Da Boss of an outlet that would have really helped. She only accepted the idea about 4 weeks before we flew out but still think we are only staying for a couple of years no matter what we say to her.



Meanwhile back on the work front I was called in and informed a new job was being created that they thought would be ideal for me if I was interested. I had to say yes.

A few weeks later it was advertised. Me and Da Boss discussed it and decided I had to apply for it otherwise suspicions would be aroused. It was clearly written in a fashion that I was the only one who qualified for it and everyone else knew it. Yes, I got the job.



Along the way we had been in contact with friends who had emigrated to Woolongong or whatever it’s called………close to CoffsHarbour. You may remember SUE5665 from this site. It is her who is responsible for my existence on BE. Let’s all applaud !



Expats was great for us as it has been for others, is still and will be for others. Of course we were originally headed Melbourne way. Well actually it was rural Victoria at a place called Pittong. This caused some mirth when WBB discovered plans for a toxic waste dump at that very place. The months had rolled by on the internet too and people like TWT, Bundy, Grayling and a few others were beginning to question me on our status. I had been here a long time but was never able to divulge what was happening in our visa lives. Shite, that was a hard time trying to deflecting their questions with charm and wit without arousing suspicions.



Our lives were focused on Australia but everything we did had to be for another reason to maintain the secret. I learnt to drive “after all these years I thought I better”, we decorated the house from top to bottom and put it on the market “now I can drive we can live further out of town”, and so it went on. Trying to respond to questions with double meaning answers so no one could later turn to us and say you bloody liars. “Where did you go on your day off ?”

“Oh, Just went on a long drive and ended up in Taunton.” Had our meds done there but couldn’t say so of course.

“I saw you at the car boot sale”

“Yes, we decided it’s time to declutter.” Not telling you but it’s for emigration mate !



So the question was could this over age eccentric with no qualifications get DIMIA acceptance purely based on job experience ? YES the bugger can and did. Time to celebrate and scream from the rooftops; time to tell me mates on BE.

Well, actually no you can’t do that. Until you sell the house you can’t move so in the meantime you have to stay silent. NHNHGFNHHGF….that was us biting our tongues. Itching to express our glee to the world but not being able to.



More months passed and this is where all you experienced non house sellers will understand how we felt. We couldn’t sell the damn thing. Dropped 30 grand off the price and not a sniffle. Reading between the lines the company in Aus were getting restless. They didn’t exactly say as much but I sensed they were thinking you have your visa so where are you ? Again we had to make a decision.



That decision was to remortgage the house to release some of the equity so if it hadn’t sold in the meantime we could at least choose to go when we had to. So why did the mortgage people **** up a simple transaction and set us back another 6 weeks ? We must be jinxed. There was still no movement on the house front when the mortgage was eventually concluded. Oh well, sod this, let’s go. Da Boss booked flights for 29 Oct so we were now committed.



I had the pleasure of resigning at end Sept. I told them I was joining a competitor but was not willing to say any more than that. I was escorted from the premises within an hour and put on gardening leave for my 1 months notice period.

That was lucky because I had so much to do in the last month of course. I would have had to take the time unpaid if necessary. The rumours abounded and they thought I was going to join a very small local competitor at first. I guess they still could not envisage me leaving the area in spite of the previous talks we had had on Australia. During that month I received phone calls at home from work colleagues from all over the world which really made me feel good.



As soon as I left we were at last able to tell everyone what we were doing. The news eventually filtered back to Mr.French ****ing director. He threw somewhat of a wobbly and became very vindictive. My work colleagues had apparently started a collection for me and he stopped it. He also sent a message to everyone saying that it would be unwise for them to attend a farewell bash I had arranged. To cap it all he circulated an email to the whole global company warning everyone to watch out for me and to report anything to him. All I can say is that I have left that behind. I pity him.



So what else happened in those last days ? We had a lot of farewells to do and a lot of the usual “we’ll never be ready” type stuff we all have to go through. A week before we left the house was taken off the market and put with a rental agent. Shit and bollox but it had to be done. The insurance company didn’t cover rentals so I had to rush around and arrange a new one.



Sods law struck in the last two evenings when we were trying to sort the last minute things and prepare the last and final packing……….we had power cuts leaving us in total darkness !! Damn the jinx….no it wasn’t a proper power cut……it only affected 4 houses in our lane.



Final morning in the UK and we are throwing things into suitcases so we are ready for the last farewell. We toddle off over the road to the MILs place where my parents and one of my sisters are waiting. My mum had baked her special pasties to see us off and they were bootifaal.



Back to the house where Bix, Da Boss and the two Bix cubs boarded a people carrier taxi for the 5 hour treck to Heathrow. Final goodbyes to family and one or two friends who had gathered and we were on our way. Farewell Cornwall.



5 hours did I say ? Bloody motorway was strewn with wreckage due to pile ups caused by the pissing rain. Someone was determined to make us late as the journey took us 7.5 hours. However in our wisdom we had allowed several hours in the airport so all was well if not brilliant. Now guess what ? The flight was an hour late taking off.



Coming into Hong Kong airport after 19 hours of flight Da Boss got a bit queezy. By the time we put our feet on the inner sactoms she was hissing that she aint never getting on another plane in her life. I had to be forcefull with her (no, not like that) and say unless you want to live in Hong Kong for the rest of your life you will fly again……even if I have to drag you on the plane by your hair. We had about 4 hours there by which time she felt more settled.



So here we go on the final 7 hour flight into Cairns. Pretty none eventful most of the way…….that is until we started to come into land. Without any warning to her or us she pewked up all over the place. I shouted to the male attendant who came to have a look. He made a Bruce Lee’ish squawk, threw a paper towel at Da Boss and ran away. Yes folks, travel Cathay Pacific who tend to all your needs. After we had landed everyone had to stay in their seats as a first class passenger was critically ill and AQIS doctors wanted to check him out before anyone else got off the plane. Still the attendants would not help us. I just thank my lucky stars I wasn’t sitting next to Da Boss. We had switched in Hong Kong and were now each sitting by one of our sons. She was sitting by the one covered in sick !



Eventually we got off the plane and she was able to clean up a bit in the airport toilet before we went to the desk. We were the last passengers to go through. Gee it was great to hear that lady say “here are your visas, welcome to Australia”.



We gathered our luggage and headed for the exit. The automatic doors to the outside world slid open. I vividly remember the feel of the heat on my face and the distinct smell of the tropics in my nostrils.



Australia…….the Bixes are here.



THE LION HAS LANDED !
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 3:58 pm   #2
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Default Re: Lion Log

Seems you had a long and winding road to get here. I can relate to a lot of what you say there in your story, I bet there were times when you thought you would never make it but everything happens for a reason, eh mate?

I hate the French!

Good luck to you Bix.
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:04 pm   #3
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Default Re: Lion Log

Spot on OZ...........and thanks.
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:16 pm   #4
 
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Default Re: Lion Log

Great post Bix

And to think....the thread title made me think it was going to be about Lion Shit
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: Lion Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireeater
Great post Bix

And to think....the thread title made me think it was going to be about Lion Shit

You mean it isn't ?
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:22 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix
You mean it isn't ?
Perhaps you're right..but all's well that ends well
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Lion Log

Excellent post, especially for others who have hit brick walls. Just shows it can be done
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 4:27 pm   #8
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A wonderful and inspirational post
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 6:42 pm   #9
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Default Re: Lion Log

[QUOTE=Bix][b][font=Verdana][color=#000000]I wrote this some time ago but felt too embarrassed to post it .


A red faced lion.............Hmmm, can't quite picture that

Great story Bix.
Julie
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 6:52 pm   #10
 
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Default Re: Lion Log

Great Story Bix , good for you getting to Aus despite all the stuff that got in your way .
How long have you been there now ?
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 12:16 am   #11
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Default Re: Lion Log

Thanks muchly. We landed on Halloween day last year

Couldn't be any other day for me could it ?
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:28 am   #12
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Default Re: Lion Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix
Thanks muchly. We landed on Halloween day last year

Couldn't be any other day for me could it ?
Ah, now I know the story. (see my other congrats to you both somewhere else )

It just goes to show, we are tested to see if we are really determined,and if we are, we are rewarded with our goal.

Well done, Bix. YOu sound very happy with your decision.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 9:18 am   #13
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Default Re: Lion Log

Great story, Bix.....you've made me want to start a log of my own.

Cheers.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 9:29 am   #14
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Default Re: Lion Log

Bixie - TOLD YA!!!!!!!!!!!

brilliant mate - love you loads - fantastic xx
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 9:34 am   #15
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brilliant post very inspiring there are a lot of brick walls out there but hey there not that high with the help of everyone on here we can climb them!!!!
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