Monthly Archives: May 2016

Is it worth it to pay for Tinder?

Or Alternatively Titled:
Being complete sober and going on a Tinder date with a girl on her period who doesn’t tell you about such fact until she is in your bed after listening to 4 hours of stupid bullshit banter at three different bars, subsequently having blue balls and wasting 4 hours of your life along with $83 (including $47.51 for an Uber which was on surge pricing at 1.5X) will create massive resentment.

Or to use the appropriate Aussie lingo:

Bugger off you F*cking C#nt.

So, No.

No, It is not worth it for Tinder.

Delete the Tinder app and help get society back in order.

Now, if you’ll excuse me it is 12:50am on Saturday Morning / Friday night after above such event occurred. I need some rest.

 

GTFO.  I want my own bed.
GTFO. I want my own bed.

Is it worth it to pay for flatmates.com.au?

Apartment Searching
Apartment Searching

 

Two weeks ago I arrived in Sydney, Australia. No Job. No place to live. Just packed up and moved to the southern hemisphere.   Probably not the best course of action, but as General George S. Patton Says:

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

I would not say I violently executed my plan. But things are falling into place this week rather than next week.

Not exactly murphy’s law, but stuff got bad upon my arrival. First I got really sick.  Then I had a cockroach infestation in my Airbnb Apartment. I am not too big a fan of Airbnb now, but that is a separate story. I have stayed at five Airbnb places in the past two years with four being on this trip in the last month. Four have been great. One not so great. As evidenced with the cockroaches and uncleanliness of the last place.  One bad experience greatly affects my thoughts of the company and I will be hesitant to use Airbnb in the future.

The reality is with any change or move, stuff takes work.  Work to get a job. Work to get a place to live.  Work to get connected.  And getting things right in Aussie is taking work.

Living out of a suitcase gets tiring after a while. Especially since I was traveling with three large duffel bags. Not exactly traveling light.  So I needed a place to live.  But I got lucky. Providence was looking out. I actually now have pretty sweet place to live. Granted it is not too cheap, but it has what I need. A furnished room with a bed in a good location. Near Kings Cross and close to city transport.

On The Move.
On The Move.

 

How I got it.

I used Flatmates.com.au.  In the States we have craigslist to get things done.  But not so much in Sydney.  I setup a profile on Flatmates.com.au. I paid the extra service to have access to e-mail people ($29 Australian Dollars) for 30 day access.

People have access to your profile and I was hit up with people sending messages looking to fill their apartments.  I do think that I moved to Sydney on the off time.  With a mid May move winter is about to start soon. Boo.  No one is moving in the winter.

Granted I am paying less in US dollars for my own room in Sydney than I was in San Francisco. That is not saying much though. San Francisco is one of the highest rental markets in the U.S.

Through flatmates and after setting up my profile a couple days earlier, I received a message on Saturday.  I saw the place on Monday.  I moved in on Wednesday.  Bam.  Done. Without even much work on my part.  Others were looking out for me!

Yes, I would say it is completely worth it to pay for Flatmates.com.au
(I have no affiliation to the site, it just worked great for me, so spreading the word)

It is good to now have a home base and I feel really grateful to have found a good place to stay.  I just hope that the honeymoon stage lasts long!

 

A Place to Rest My Head
A Place to Rest My Head

Being Sick Sucks. Or a Lesson in Australian Universal Healthcare.

Sydney. Still yet to see it.
Sydney. Still yet to see it.

It’s 75 degrees and sunny out. Why am I so cold? I am shivering.  Sore throat. Headache. Tired. Low Energy. Hurts just to take a sip of water. Feels like needles going down throat. Voice gone. Stomach pain. Painful cough. Ears hurt. Whole head feels congested. I just want to sleep. But I am so cold. Night sweats.  I feel miserable.

The constant travel of 5 weeks in the southern hemisphere has caught up to me as I have been hit with a sickness about four days ago. Arriving to Australia on April 20, I signed up to get my Australian Medicare Card the day I arrived. More as a matter or administrative work along with getting a bank account than any inclination that I would be getting ill. But it turned out to be a good idea. I don’t have health insurance nor do I have a job. So medicare is my coverage out here. I have not actually paid into the system yet as I do not have a job yet, but I do not feel that I am a complete drain to the Aussie economy. I pay plenty in the GST / Sales tax; plus this place is very expensive!

Coming from America, where I only know how one healthcare system works, the U.S. System. With insurance, a doctors visit generally costs you a copay of around $20. But your insurance cost a month is more than $150. And then you still have to pay for any prescriptions the doctor advises. It is a similar process in Australia as we shall see, except I am not paying the insurance/levy yet.

$246/ month is the cheapest option listed for covered California / Obamacare (LINK). I most recently lived in CA so using that as my comparison with a salary of only $55k noted and still $246 was the monthly premium. I don’t have to pay any monthly amount in Australia for my Medicare card, yet.  I will have to pay a Medicare levy when I get a job of 2% of annual pay.  So if someone makes $100,000 AUD, he will pay $166/month on Medicare Levy, still less than the covered California options available.

Been Stuck in Bed
Been Stuck in Bed

Anyway, to my story of how it works down under. Saturday I had finally gotten fed up with feeling so terrible and decided to see the doctor. A quick Google search and one phone call and I had an appointment within two hours. Great! Some slight paperwork on my details when I arrived and I saw the doctor within 10 minutes of my appointment.

Doctor: “Hi, I ‘m Doctor So and So. I am one of the doctors on staff. Why are you here?”
Me: “I’m sick and don’t feel well.”
Doc: “Ok, let’s take your temperature . . . Oh wow. You’re at 39.2.”
Me “That means nothing to me.”
Doc: “That’s’ 102.5 F.”
Me: “Oh, that’s a bit high.”
Doc: “Yes.”
Doc: “Let me check your breathing. And your throat.”

After a few minutes of the whole breathe in breathe out test the conclusion was that I potentially had a respiratory infection.  A prescription for antibiotics and to take Paracetamol (called Tylenol to us Americans) to reduce my fever.

I was out of the office in less than ten minutes from when I was called in.

$35 effective Co-pay out the door payment for the doctor.
It would have been $72.05 to see the doctor without the Medicare card. So I saved myself $37.05 by having the card. Still $72 would be cheaper than a cash out of pocket visit to an American doctor. Urgent care in the U.S costs more that $100 and you have to wait who knows how long.

$18.50 for the antibiotics (amoxicillin). Picked up with a prescription at the pharmacy. The antibiotics were in my hand in less than 3 three minutes. I have never had a prescription filled so quickly. Granted the pharmacist did not have to count any pills but rather put a sticker on the box of antibiotics and hand it over to me. But no subsequent questions asked. Everything she needed was on the prescription. No more forms or typing of info.  Just a “here you go.”    Sweet!

$8.50 for pack of 100 Paracetamol (Tylenol).

With meds in hand, I am on the road to recovery.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine go Down.
A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine go Down.

I do estimate that I would have paid more out of pocket in America had I not had any insurance.  The doctor visit alone for a cash payment would have been over $100 plus any retail price on the drugs.  Plus as noted, the actual medicare levy fee is less.  Plus the wait time was not bad at all.  I was fitted in on a Saturday morning.  Who knows if many doctors work on a Saturday in the States.

From my sample size of one event, the Australian Healthcare system seems to work well.

But I would still rather be healthy.