It was time to move out. I couldn’t stay there any longer. Multiple arguments had occurred and I couldn’t deal with the ever growing list of restrictive rules. Three minute showers. Wash the dishes with cold water. Use the washing machine for 15 mins only once or twice a week on a cold water cycle. Certain “sentimental” saucepans had previously been made unavailable for use – now nothing in the kitchen was available for use – plates and cutlery included. Earlier in the week, I’d had to buy emergency kitchen items to be able to eat my dinner that night. I was done. Enough was enough. I still had a week left on my contract but I didn’t care. I had to get out.
So I packed.
And I decided to leave the following day.
My friend Sarah had offered to let me stay at her house whilst she was away and had given me the keys to her place.
I knew it would be hard to move all of the belongings I had accumulated on my own so I asked my friend Jessie for help with the move. We bundled all of my belongings into an Uber and headed over to Sarah’s place. Everything seemed straightforward – until we tried to unlock the mosquito net door.
The key wouldn’t fit. No matter how hard we tried, it refused to work.
The keys to my old apartment were attached to Sarah’s keys…and whilst of trying to open the mosquito net door, I noticed that the key fob to open the main door of my old apartment building was missing.
Key fobs are NOT cheap to replace.
I couldn’t get into Sarah’s house. I couldn’t go back to my old apartment. And I had lost the expensive key fob.
This day was starting to turn from bad to worse.
On the plus side, I had tickets to a boat party that evening. But it was starting to look less and less likely that I would actually be able to make it in time before the boat departed.
I contacted Sarah over WhatsApp and explained that I couldn’t get the key to work in the mosquito net door. She was surprised that it was locked as she never normally locks it. She explained that they key that she had given me was for the wooden front door only. She didn’t even take the key for the mosquito net door with her on holiday so if I hadn’t alerted her to the fact that it was locked, she would’ve arrived home from her holiday and ended up being stuck outside her own house!
Earlier in the week, the estate agent had completed a house inspection and Sarah figured out that the they must’ve locked the mosquito net door when they were leaving. It was late on a Saturday afternoon and the estate agent was closed so it would not be possible for them to unlock the mosquito door until Monday morning.
After about an hour of trying to open the door, Jessie had to leave as she needed to attend to something at her own house. She offered to let me stay at her house if I wasn’t able to have the door unlocked.
So I was now sat on Sarah’s door step with all of my belongings in bags and suitcases trying to figure out where I was going to stay for the next couple of nights, if I was going to make it to the boat party (that was now starting in 3 hours) and how I was going to find the key fob for my old house to avoid having to pay hundreds of dollars to replace it.
Alison, (a friend of Sarah’s) sent me a message asking me to call her. So I did. Although she had a full house (with two guests), she offered to let me store my belongings at her house – although I would need to stay elsewhere as she didn’t have a spare bed. It turned out that Alison’s husband David was a locksmith – and they offered to come round and have a look at the door!
They drove round to the house and David had a look at the lock on the mosquito door but he didn’t feel confident that he could open it. Nevertheless, he fetched his tools from the car and got to work. Sensing David’s concerns, Alison suggested that we combine my belongings into fewer bags to reduce the number of (inevitable) trips to the car.
As we were bagging my belongings, I heard a sound that led to the feeling that I had as a child when Christmas arrived…
THE MOSQUITO DOOR WAS OPEN!
After a stressful week and over an hour of sitting on a door step with my belongings, I couldn’t contain my excitement and gratitude!
Before heading off, Alison and David helped me to carry everything inside and I expressed my thanks.
I was still hoping to make it to the boat party but I knew that I needed to rush back to my old apartment to find the key fob so I got ready as quickly as possible. I had tried calling the Uber driver about the key fob but he hadn’t responded so I was hoping that it was somewhere in my old apartment building.
When I arrived at my old apartment block, I searched the ground outside the building but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I didn’t have a key to the main building door so I used the entry phone system and asked a neighbour to let me in.
I searched the hallway but the key fob was no where to be seen so I headed up the stairs to my floor whilst keeping my eyes peeled – but I still couldn’t find it.
As I came out of the stairwell door and arrived at my old front door, I was greeted with a sight that caused a second wave of excitement and glee…
THE KEY FOB WAS SITTING ON THE FLOOR RIGHT OUTSIDE MY OLD FRONT DOOR!
I had probably dropped it when I locked the door in a hurry and ran down to the waiting Uber.
I jumped for joy, grabbed it, reattached it to my keys and then ran down the stairs to test it out – just to confirm it was working….and then put my old keys into a SEALED pocket of my bag!
It was FINALLY time to get to the boat party!
With less than an hour to go before the boat was due to leave the dock, it was time for YET ANOTHER mad dash – and I still needed to stop at an ATM along the way!
But thankfully I made it to the Docklands and the boat was still there!
It was finally time to enjoy myself!
The icebreaker games were fun and I got chatting to some lovely people but once the music started, I DID NOT LEAVE the dance floor. It was like I was shaking off all of the craziness of the day!
I literally had the best time!
At the end of the party, I was offered a lift to the station by Lara and Samantha – two friends that I had been chatting to for much of the evening.
Everything was going well until the car refused to start – and the key got stuck in the ignition. All three of us tried to pull it out but it wouldn’t budge and we didn’t want to risk breaking it.
And there was a shady looking man hanging around on the street nearby.
So Lara phoned her insurance company for roadside assistance but they were extremely unhelpful. She was due to change to a new insurance company within the next week so she phoned the new company and decided to bring the contract forward to start immediately so that she would be able to use the roadside assistance feature straightaway.
The customer service agent on the phone was much more helpful than the agent from the previous company and she asked questions to try to figure out if there was a way that the problem could be rectified.
It turned out that the car wasn’t in drive mode!
But as soon as it was put into drive mode, she was able to remove and re-insert the key and start the car!
At this point it was only about 10 minutes until my train was due to leave – and the next one was departing 30 minutes later – and from a completely different train station in the city centre!
Of course EVERY traffic light seemed to turn to red as we arrived.
Time ticked on and the chances of me being able to catch the train started to dwindle.
But then the traffic lights changed in our favour and we made it to the station with less than five minutes until the train was due to leave!
It was time for mad dash number FOUR – across one of the biggest train stations in Melbourne!
Thank goodness I had brought flat shoes to change into after the party!
I gathered all of my remaining energy and SPRINTED up the escalator – somehow taking the steps two at a time – all the while hoping that the train would be delayed!
But there was no time to recover from the escalator sprint as I still had to make it across the station and down another escalator – and swipe my Myki card in the process!
This was starting to feel like my mad airport dash in Thailand all over again!
Gripping onto my bag and jacket, I forced my legs to work as fast as they possibly could whilst trying not to fall over.
And I made it to the platform!
With a whole TWO MINUTES to spare!
Collapsing into a seat for the 20 minute journey, I was VERY glad to see the end of the craziest day since arriving in Australia!
*Please note: names have been changed