I succeeded in moving back to Australia, even though I am
appalling at organization.
How did I do this? I made
lots of lists. I wrote, and rewrote and rewrote again, and numbered and
underlined and stroked out and rewrote again. I go to so much trouble,
and so much unnecessary effort, because scheduling
generally gives me a lot of anxiety, and listmaking helps me fight the
ensuing depression. Rather than thinking about "What is to be done?", I
think "What have I forgotten?" So I sat down and spent my time trying
to work out exactly what I needed to do.
One trick I
used was to make my list as I cleaned my house. When I found a
four-year-old gym card (with exercises and reps and weights attached),
I immediately jotted down "Gym" on my to-do list. I then augmented it
with "Pay mobile phone bills" after finding the paperwork for an old
Vodafone plan. By that, I mean paying the bills for my Australian
mobile provider after two years out of the country. (Fortunately, I was
careful enough to leave Australia with a slight credit on my account.
I'd been burned before.)
This may give
you a flavor of what I have been trying to achieve over the
last several months:
- Get a migrant visa
for my wife to come to Australia and live. This was step 1.
Having got it, she had six months to use it or lose it. Now the clock
- Buy two plane tickets, one way, from
Sài Gòn to Brisbane.
- Clean house.
stuff for shipping. That's all of my CDs (bought in Australia; not
pirated) and those of my wife (some copies, some originals) and DVDs
($1 specials or less). That also includes almost all of my books - 80
odd of them. Various thrillers were given to my brother-in-law - he
likes his Robert Ludlum - and the remainder were donated to my fellow
teachers at school.
- Organize a shipping company to
carry the stuff away to Brisbane. The one we chose promised that the
stuff would be delivered to our door. That sounded easy.
the house. All our furniture went to our in-laws, as did we for our
last week in Việt Nam for a very
- Close all of my bank
- Conclude any work one has with one's
employer, and settle pay.
does these sort of thing. Now this is what I did extra.
my acoustic steel-string guitar restrung and had a pickup
installed as well. [*]
- Work and study towards
passing Level 2 Vietnamese.
- Organize a
- Get my degrees and certificates
notarized by the consulate...
- Which would enable my
applications for a Graduate Diploma of Education at two
- I needed the notarized
copies to get myself a "Blue
that I haven't even left Việt Nam yet. Were there more things
to do? Oh boy, yes there was.
[*] I had
these things done at the same place as where I originally purchased the
guitar: Duy Ngọc, an extremely competent luthier located
at 31-35 Nguyễn Thiện Thuật, Hồ Chí Minh City. Good quality,
cheap prices, and one of the things that I brought back to