Finding a home in Adelaide aka How to be a nomad without trying to

I’m starting to think that I’m a little cursed in the “finding a home” department in Adelaide. It’s my fifth month in Adelaide and I’ve already moved four times.

The first time was with a Brit lady who lived in North Adelaide who gave me the Helpx experience from hell. In exchange for two weeks’ board, she made me her babysitter, cleaner, maid and cook. I had to escape like a prison inmate from that place.

The next home was a far pleasant experience. A good friend asked me to housesit for two weeks. With her lovely and dog as company for the first few days I was in heaven. But alas, it was time to move.

Living in luxury suburb

Trees in full bloom line the street outside my home at Toorak Gardens.

Trees in full bloom line the street outside my home at Toorak Gardens.

The third home was at the beautiful suburb of Toorak Gardens, a suburb that’s something like Damansara Heights back in Malaysia. It’s filled with regal, leafy trees that bloom pink-white flowers in spring, filling the streets with its plumy fragrance. My housemate hailed from Beijing, China. He was a quiet, private person. Sometimes I think way too private. He divided the house in two by closing the first half of the house (the one with the living room) with a sliding door. I took to coming into the house via the back door and stepped into the living room like, maybe, six times during my time there.

But I loved the area. I would visit the Burnside library often, and loved how beautiful the area was.

One day, he suddenly disappeared from the house – his car was still outside, but he just didn’t come home. Concerned (you know, in case he was kidnapped or lying in a ditch somewhere), I messaged him, asking if he was okay. He said he was in Melbourne visiting relatives. Oh boy, was my housemate really, really private.

When he returned two nights later at night, I just said hi casually to him and he just as casually said that he will be moving to Melbourne in a week. It took me about 10 seconds to process that.

“Wait, are you telling me that I have to move out in a week?”

He smiled. “Yeah.”


He apologised, saying that he got a job in Melbourne and they want him to start asap. He had no choice.

I can’t take over the lease either as I didn’t have that kind of money to do so – the furniture in the house was all his, and I’d have to buy a new fridge, oven, microwave – the works.

Everything’s perfect but…

Fortunately, I found a new place at Mile End, which was not as picturesque or upscale, but it was a lovely home that’s not only cheaper but had a gorgeous vege garden at the back with – check this – grape vines bearing grapes! And I get to take a free tram to the city, and the bike path to the city is absolutely stunning – I cycle along the Torrens river every day.

The only catch: My housemates are drunk every night. I had to tell them to tone down the noise almost every night.

I thought, hey, I can take it. They seem quite polite so far.

Then, one day, while working in my room, I hear a humongous tearing sound. Startled, I bolted from my room and ran to the backyard …

only to see my very drunk housemate (let’s call him O) tearing apart the grape vine behind my room. I stared at him disbelief at first. Dressed in shorts, smelling to high heaven of spirits with a dazed expression on his face, he pulled and pulled at the poor vines. I then snapped out of it and screamed at him to stop, but he just look at me dazedly and continued to tear out the 100-year-old vine like it’s a weed. I realised to my horror, that one of side of the beautiful arch that the vine was creeping around was uprooted from its cemented foundation and now lay flat on the ground.

Alas poor grape vine, I knew him...

Alas poor grape vine… the arch lay ruined on the ground. The leaves quickly turned yellow and the grapes started to wither. My heart aches for the vine…

After a while he seemed to realise what he had one and tried to fix the arch, but the damn thing is way too heavy for him. And I had to stop him again because he could injure himself badly that way.

My landlady was not pleased but allowed the vine-killer to stay.

I’m not pleased.

I told myself that this was just a one-off incident.

Then, two days ago, I walked into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. While I was at the sink, one of O’s friends suddenly came to me and …

… adjusted my bra strap.

“Aren’t you embarrassed that it’s showing? I thought women are concerned about these things,” he said.

“I’m one of the women who isn’t,” I said flatly. I was still in shock that the man touched my underthings without my permission.

Perv. And I thought he was a nice chap when I met him. Do men just become total idiots when they imbibe liquor?

So, am I moving? Most probably. Because I’m not sure what O or any of his friends are going to do next. So fifth move? Looks like it… let’s hope fifth move is the charm…

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One thought on “Finding a home in Adelaide aka How to be a nomad without trying to

  1. There are many Malaysians in Adelaide,students and people who work there.why dont you contact the student associations, MASCA!MYPSA. Best you live with them for awhile.

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