Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Coast

Well, guys, I'm off to the Adriatic!

Since everyone's gotten super paranoid about me leaving, some off my friends too some time off work and they're taking me to the coast. (In fact, they had to take the time off to use the vacation days and I'm tagging along, but let's stick to the first story...)

I shouldn't be back until the end of next week, but I might write up some post drafts and publish them once I'm back to civilization.


Photo of the house we're staying in (from last summer)

Memory... Searching... Indexing...

I was about to write something, but it slipped my mind. That's how it seems to be going lately. Or not even lately.

Even since I started using a mobile phone, I think my memory has downgraded at least fourteen times. It's probably down to the amount of RAM a Casio calculator has got.

The furthest I can keep an idea in my mind has boiled down to seconds. If I don't happen to run into a pen and a piece of paper, I can already salute it good bye.

I'll most likely remember some errands (after I keep postponing them about eight times or when I see something that reminds me of it from the bus), but good ideas are going to pass me, as we'd say in Croatia, in a wide arch.

Serves me right when I do seven things at a time. OK, I have to give myself some credit for the stressful state I'm in right now, but I have to admit that I'd be lost without all these post-its around my flat.

The good thing is I've learned to function in that way, especially when I need to learn something diverse and pretty much unfamiliar. It's a great way to learn foreign scripts!

Print out the script, cut it up in letters and stick the little pieces around: on the mirror, on the fridge, by the light switch and all the places you're likely to notice going about during the day. That's how I learned devanagari.

If only it would help in some more useful things...

Devanagari, the script used to write languages like
Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit and others


David Gulpilil

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being a Jonah

Being the Jonah* that I am, I've learned to prepare for everything that might come up. If it can come up, it will come up.

So I fixed all the paperwork ahead of schedule, got all the certificates, filled in all the forms...
...only to find out that:
- the Embassy doesn't take the only credit card that I own
- the company's server is down and I can't seem to be able to contact any of the people I need
- some new forms came out (and kept coming out during April), so I'll need to fill those 50 pages all over again.

I wanted to sort it all out before I take off to Istria tomorrow, but it's obviously not going to work out.

Can't wait for a long weekend of constantly checking my email. Not.

Here's an image of Jonah which doesn't really
have to do anything with it in the end...

*Jonah = A male given name; (slang, by extension of the nautical sense) Any person or object which is deemed to cause bad luck; a jinx.

Gotta love Skype

I'm chatting to my friends as we speak. More like talking. Finally, more like living...

My best friend Ante, who's moved to Austria, his boyfriend Damir and Anita, who's in between work in the Seychelles and a yet unknown location. They're all in Austria, while I'm at home, sipping beer (more like pouring it down), while they're indeed sipping a one-and-a-half-litre bottle of white wine.

We're planning out next vacation together, looking for flights, taking photos and laughing our asses off. All over again.

Gotta love Skype.

Although it makes me realize all the things I'll be missing...

I'm the one 'holding the horns'...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

IELTS worhshop

As the title says, I had my IELTS exam workshop today, as a preparation for the exam I'm taking in a couple of weeks.

Being that the only participants were an Austrian guy and I, it was rather cozy and relaxed to go through all the material that'd help us score better. It was a very useful couple of hours, more for the excellent tips one rarely takes into consideration that the actual material we'd gotten.

All in all, I think I have a better idea of what I need to focus on. During the writing part, I have to admit, if felt kind of like writing a post on here. I hope I won't have trouble with that, considering the fact that I've been ranting on sorts of shit here.

I wonder how I'd score if I actually used the word shit...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Something like this

Imagine this

and then watch this


I am sad.

I have been trying to get out of my mother's tight grip for so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s all about. I’ve spent such a large chunk of my life coming up with little white lies and covering up stories of various sorts only to avoid conflict.

She’s always been the one who drew up conclusions and came up with verdicts.

I was never allowed to go anywhere. When there was a class night out, I was the one who stayed at home. When a bunch of friends from school went to the coast, I was the one who didn’t. When there was a concert I really wanted to be at, it was me who stayed in my room, rewinding the tapes.

She is the most passive-aggressive being in this galaxy.

You wouldn’t believe me, since she’d be all sweet and nice with you, but I know what happens once we’re both back home. First she’ll drop in a line that’ll make you question your wording. Then your decision. And then the outcome thereof. She’ll plant the tiny seed of doubt into everything you do. She’ll say it’s your decision and you know best, but you’ll just know she doesnt really mean it.

She’s always been there for me because she’s my mother. But at the same time she’s never been there for me for the same reason.

I’m moving two continents away and instead of using the time left the best we can, she’ll ruin it (and keep ruining it by bringing it up all over again) until we’re cat-and-mouse all over each other and I’ll be bummed out and she’ll be sad and it’ll all go to hell until I’m 13 thousand kilometres away and she realizes what she’s done.

And it’ll be my fault. I chose wrong, I left her, I’m the bad guy. And I will feel bad. That's what she's done to me. She'll be right and I'll be wrong once again. And she'll be proud she's managed to screw me in the head once again. That's what mothers do.

And I’ll be sad because she still won’t get the point.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Date of sponsorship approval

Step one is done, it seems. And what's even better, it seems to be going rather well. Definitely at a higher pace than I expected.

I'm guessing the Nomination (part two) is being processed at the moment, so I'm finalizing the last pieces of paperwork. After I have it all, I'll be applying for the visa (final part three).

The check list is open and the forms are being updated with any new info. Being that it all makes around 80 pages, you can imagine the amount of work, patience and detail one has to put into this.

Electronic temporary business visa (long stay):
Form 80
Form 1221
Form 1066
Sponsorship Clearance
Nomination Clearance
Sponsorship Transaction Reference Number (TRN)
Nomination Reference Number
Transaction Reference Number
Passport Biodata Page (page with photo and personal details)
Passport size photograph
Birth Certificate
Family Register Document
Identity Card
Details of any name change
457 Skills Assessment conducted by Trades Recognition Australia A
Qualification Certificates (Professional and Educational)
Registration, licensing or professional Membership as required B
Previous employment references C
Curriculum vitae (CV) or Resume D
Skills Assessment from the relevant assessing authority E
IELTS test results (must meet English language requirements)
Education undertaken in English (based on the completion of five continuous years of study at a secondary or higher institution where the instruction was in English)
Certificate of adequate Health Insurance cover H
Health Assessment as defined in Form 1163i Health requirement for temporary entry to Australia
Penal Clearances for each country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the past 10 years
Form 80 Personal particulars for character assessment
Form 1221 Additional personal particulars information
Military Discharge Papers
Hahaha, had enough?!

Certified copies, employment reference and insurance policy and I'm off.
To study for the English exam.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Devil is in the Detail

OK, so I filled in all the data considering how my grandmother felt after the child birth, which municipality, town, city, state and country my father was born in and the exact date of my sister's citizenship being switched from, well, Croatian to Croatian.

I really hope they are aware of the situation that's been going on here or it'll look like my whole family's fled a genocide scene and requested in asylum. Well, once they see it's Croatia, they won't be impressed, so I won't worry.

I've spent four days straight filling in all the applications and I'm still not done yet. There's about eighty pages of forms to fill in - and that's only back-up documents like character info and alike.

Even after filling it all in, I still had to email my legal officer Kate* down under to help me out with details and info on fifty or so questions. It's either the phrasing or the note or something else that makes one feel like he's never seen a sentence in English before. Even Kate says it's all way overboard on the legal phrasing and totally inappropriate for a daily user.

The good thing is that the weekend's started, so I won't think about it. Not. I'll prolly dissect every part of the application, double check all the scans and make three copies of the must-do list in order to finally welcome Monday.

Sweet miseries. I might have to tattoo that on to something.

Forms 1221, 1066 and 80

Filling in the visa application forms.

Brain melting.

Spelling fades.

The inside of my head feels like porridge.

Attach your family members' photos.

Three days.

Name the date stated and details relevant thereto.


Attach necessary documentation.

Sweet miseries, they say.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Please use a pen

Are they insane?!

I'm checking my visa application Check List, which states all the necessary documents that need to be filled in and sent over. First of all, it's nine pages and it lists another 45 links to pages with documents that need to be checked.

So I open two of those, both of them consisting of twenty or so to-be-filled-in pages and the first line says please use a pen.


Are they freaking' kidding me?! Am I supposed to print out 50+ pages, fill them in by hand and then scan all of them only to attach them to my e-application?!



Not to mention the questions involve some pretty weird stuff about my parents, my siblings and my personality...

Btw., those are two documents which are only to be attached as addition. So, they're not the mandatory documents.

No wonder the application takes 2-3 months. I'll probably spend them filling in fricken forms!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The procedure

The Contract is about to get signed.

The Sponsorship and the Nomination are paid for.

I'm waiting for further instructions.

And I don't know why, but I feel like I'm about to get a colonoscopy.

I'd write more, but I gotta run fix some paperwork.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So, here's what I dream about.

The paperwork

Don't worry, I won't bore you with the details. There's so many papers and forms and codes and lists and numbers that I can barely follow it myself. No wonder people hire professionals to do the dirty work.

Now that I come to think of it, I might as well use the experience and charge someone for my service, bwahaha! :evil:

In any case, my profession code is on the list for the temporary working visa, which means there's no sweating about whether I'm eligible or not. Of course, everything might change, but from what it looks like now, I should be OK.

I should be hearing from the legal officer at the company soon, being that she's supposed to send me the Contract to sign and send back. I'm really excited, since this is the first tangible paperwork and it makes me realize this is all happening.

Of course, there's a lot to be done in the meantime. I've booked my IELTS for May 10th, so I really should get on to it much more than I actually am. At least I have something to work towards to...

On other fronts, I'm holding a seminar at the university tomorrow (fancy, I know). My former mentor is out in the field and he's asked me to jump in. I said I gladly would, being that I get to grade and act all important. :evil again:

I had to clean out my Gmail account, since it's almost fully clogged up. I know no one else who's had to do it, but that's me. I make it all messy.

That's all for now. Here's a photo that doesn't really have to do anything with... well, anything.

Balloon in my garden

Monday, April 16, 2012

Family lunch

Since I went to spend the weekend with my mates in Slovenia, I had my birthday lunch with the family today. That means ten people, thee of those kids and all the rest feeling like kids.

If there was a competition about who is less serious in my family, I think the jury would have a hard time. My folks are naturally the serious ones, but there are moments when they flip out a bit as well.

Today before lunch, dad went to our neighbours' who celebrate the orthodox Easter. Even though he said they only had a drink, we all had the feeling it was more than just the one. He kept repeating some jokes and even stuff other said. Then he'd just start laughing and telling a joke, but he couldn't manage, so he'd finish the story with another word game or a worn out proverb or simply with something like wordgame, shmordgame.

Mum is a bit more subtle and only risks a potential situation like that on Christmas eve. Half a glass of red wine (or the blackberry wine we keep getting her) and she's off. Nevertheless, it's still funny to see them confused and surprised at how silly they all become.

The kids were the usual - wanting the same thing at the same time. When they're not doing anything together, they're great on their own, but as soon as someone sees someone else, all hell can break loose.

My mum made a nice cake I like and I even had the leftover candles (since there's three family birthdays before mine) and we successfully managed to take some photos, blow out the candles and even get a couple of birthday kisses from all three nieces...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dinner at Sandra's

Sandra's one of my only friends in the neighbourhood.

I've never really liked it nor the people, probably because of being picked at a lot during my childhood. And when you're surrounded with a bunch of morons living in picket fences, it's not unnatural to keep being picked at even after your childhood. All in all, I don't really like the hood, I don't like the people, I don't like the mentality and I'm pretty much looking forward to leaving this place and coming back as a visitor only.

My best friend Ante moved abroad more than a year ago, so I've basically been stuck here on my own, especially on the not so rare occasions Sandra would spend her time working, away, with her boyfriend or whatever else. No wonder I've chosen the path of lonesome book reading, documentary watching and night jogging (which I'm too lazy for nowadays).

So, Sandra's my only friend in the neighbourhood.

Don't get me wrong. There's some people I hang out with, have coffee on the weekend or take late night walks with, but I've knows Sandra for years and Ante since we were four or so. There's not much one can do in order to make up for that. And now since I'm moving to Australia, I would like to use as much time as I can with my friends and I'm guessing Sandra had the same feeling, so she invited me for dinner.

Her sister is an awesome cook, so they'll try Jamie Oliver's spinach-cheese pie together. They also added a zucchini soup and lettuce, chicory and rucola salad. I, being that I caught a cold, started off with a mint-thyme tea and a home-made walnut schnapps. I have to admit it was a really nice mixture of flavours, pleasantly spicy (rosemary, pine and muscat nuts, chilli etc.) and surprising at times.

Being that it's my birthday on Friday - and there was another friend whose birthday is on the same day the girls made some muffins as well and put a candle on it. Sweet, my first birthday cake.

I have to say I had a lot of fun! The back of my head started hurting from all the laughing, we were listening to the radio station that kept popping up hits we joked around at and I can only hope I'll spend many more evening like this one.


Three kinds of muffins (also for the doggy bag)

Don't mind the number - it's the only one they could find


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Third time's the charm

[Copied and pasted from the meant-to-be-but-didn't-make-it Australian blog of mine.]

There's another email in the inbox starting with thank you for sending your application. The mouse pointer is readily situated above the mark as read button as I keep reading. I'm sure it'll say they would love to keep my information on the record and contact me in case any upcoming opportunities arise.

When you're sent out close to 300 applications, checking your emails becomes somewhat disappointing. If not immensely. You know what's coming next and you can almost predict the next set of neatly arranged phrases which should make you feel a bit more at ease.

Since I'm a bit nerdy, I keep on reading and alas!, am I surprised. This is where the patter breaks. They'd be interested in some more information regarding the visa and the requirements thereof and would be most grateful if I could get back to them with some additional information.

Having done all the research considering the paperwork, the requirements and the procedure itself, I forward all the information at once. Neither I nor them are eager to spend five weeks ping-ponging emails back and forth, trying to establish that it's all just a big mess. So I email them all the info (in fact it's a woman, but I keep saying them) and keep on with the usual.

The usual being checking my email, all the job pages as well as some additional ones, and hoping that something's changed. The next day there's a glowing line in my inbox once again. I click it to see a thank you for all the information and would I be willing to schedule an interview. We clarified some more details about acquiring the visa and what it involves and agreed on a meeting that would include them being in the office and me being awake - 3 PM their time, 9 AM their time.

Waiting almost a week for the Skype interview, I had plenty of time to read up on the company, re-read all the legal documents, do some research about the current situation and prepare myself for the interview. More mentally than preparation wise, since the interview nowadays don't really enable one to prepare fully.

The next Thursday I get online early, almost 20 minutes before the interview. I was a bit worried, since there were no notifications or anything, but my iPod started showing an incoming call. I press the green button and utter a half-excited and half-confident hello!

(Being that interviews are pretty much considered confident, I won't share the info itself, but the results.)

After the introduction to all the people that were on the other side of the conference call, I was given a brief introduction into the company and its goals, tasks, and responsibilities. I was then asked a couple of quite direct questions, since it was already known what I did from the résumé. I gave some practical information regarding my research, certain life situation and, generally, why I applied for the position.

This is the type of the interview one can't prepare for. Especially not being a native speaker, I didn't really have the time to think about the answers and thus answered honestly and directly. Maybe it was something that is appreciated and, surely, I got a positive feedback.

What I love about Australians is that they give you feedback after you finish your answer. Great, that is a good answer, with a defined opinion and an interesting solution. When you get asked what I call Google-questions, there's no time to ponder upon them. That's the point after all, isn't it?

From what I got in the feedback and from what I felt in my gut, the interview went quite well. Some of the committee were really satisfied with my answers and openly impressed. That's it as far as I'm concerned was heard, but I was informed that there is another interview scheduled in a week's time and I shall be informed about the income by the end of the next week at latest.

I thank everyone for the interview and say bye, at the same time thinking about how I'll survive the following 10080 minutes. As I'm pressing the red button, a notification pops up saying that (let's say her name was) Helen would like to add me as a contact, so that we can conduct the interview.

So, that's where it went...

I email Helen saying that I have to apologize for not adding her, but this and this happened and I thank her and the whole committee for the interview and their time.

Feeling a bit relieved, but really excited and immensely hungry, I go upstairs to make a snack. Since I'm not really able to eat in the morning, my stomach had been rebelling for a while now. I heat up some water and start making sauce to go with the pasta. I text my brother saying I had the interview and it went quite well, I think.

As I'm preparing the sauce, fixing up some cabbage salad and stirring the pasta from time to time, I hear the sound of receiving another email. I get a lot of spam, a lot of job notifications and a lot of crap mail all in all, so I didn't really check it straight away. I was busy in the kitchen and managing texting my brother anyway.

I see the email's from Helen. She's saying how it's no problem not adding her and that it all worked out in the end. But she doesn't stop there. She's pleased to say the committee is impressed and they'd like to offer me the permanent position and start dealing with the paperwork as soon as possible.

Holding my iPod in one hand and a big wooden spoon in the other, I start circling around the little coffee table in the living room as if I just the winning numbers on the TV. I re-read the email which says they'd pay all of my expenses and they'll come up with the contract and send it over after the Easter break.

The water's boiling and the sauce is burning, but I'm out of hands to stir with, being that they're both up, clutching my head, then the arch of the wall, then the window sill, then the iPod, then the wooden spoon and so on. I text my brother saying I got it, I got it! and he calls me straight away, so I tell him all the details. He's happy for me and tells me to get him a job too (even though he's older and a manager in a big firm), but he knows it's a big deal, so he's all yay on the news.

I call my mum after a while and I tell her the news, but she's not really sure what to say. At one point she's really glad and determined and at the other she's obviously calculating the miles inbetween Croatia and Australia.

So today I got an email saying they're working on finalizing the contract and that they're moving forward with the application process. And even though I'm all clogged up and have a super sore throat and can barely breathe and am sleepy and had nightmares and whatnot, I'm happy.

And I grin.


Even though I don't really like all the posts here on Insanity Breaches, it's the blog closest to my personality. I tend to dislike all the rants in case I read them a year after, but that's who I am and there's not much to be done about it.

So, with apologies to all those who prefer me writing in Croatian, I apologize. Writing in English is more likeable to create a world-wide crowd, make me famous, turn me into a star, and award me an Oscar. But then it's you who'll be on the thank-you list during my I-would-like-to-thank-the-Academy® acceptance speech.

So from now on, this is the only blog I'll be updating. Maybe I'll add something in Croatian from time to time, just to spice it up a bit - for old times' sake.

I'll just stick the latest post from the prospective-yet-failed Australian blog and that's it.

So, until we read again...


I have kind of mistreated this blog by writing more and more on my Croatian one, but that might change.

I initially started writing in English during my travels and then somehow kept it going that way. Probably because of a lot of my friends who live abroad and who I speak English with, but also because (truth be told) most of the people speak it anyway.

Some are too shy to leave comments or take the step of writing their own thoughts, but it's an exercise for me, especially now when I have to focus on my English skills even more.

The reason I started writing a bit more in Croatian is that barely visible line, so thin between the language and yet fiording (I just made that up) a giant gap between expressions.

Sometimes I just miss the little phrases I'm used to. Naturally, some phrases are just untranslatable. The swear words can't be respectively mirrored. Sometimes fuck just doesn't cut it.

And being that I'm supposed to move to Australia within the next couple of months, I started thinking that I should probably keep a thorough blog about it. Who knows, someone might even use the information.

On the other hand, I don't want to make a boring blog that deals with the immigration process and initial resident issues. I'd like to keep it simple and, as much as possible, fun to read. Well, at least not boring.

Then there's the problem of the readership - again. Who'll read the English blog? My family certainly won't. (Now that I think of it, I probably don't want them to read it either.)

As you can see, I can't really seem to make up my mind, but it'll probably end up being one blog I'll try to update as regularly as I can, but I'll add links to the other ones, just for the possibility that someone maybe wants to go back in time and read what I've been ranting about.

So, there you go - another pointless post. 1:0 for me.


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