|Posted on 18 October, 2017 at 3:45|
Dear newly arrived Pom.
The shock and thrill of landing in your new country has finally started to wear off. You’ve got a pretty good handle on the new, interesting uses of the English language and you’ve even started to wear a cardie when it’s a “nippy” 20 degrees out.
But suddenly, disaster! The quiet, dreamy suburb you settled on after months of research through Google images, all those real estate websites and endless forums of would-be emigrees has seemingly overnight produced strange and rapidly multiplying piles of rubbish, cluttering up the kerbs of the otherwise neat-looking homes.
Calm down, don’t panic. We promise, your suburb hasn’t quietly been reclassified a “dump”. And no, all those drivers with a trailer attached to their overflowing cars who stop every few houses to duck out and carefully assess each piece of another man’s junk are not necessarily criminals.
You know you've lived in Perth too long when you wear "activewear" even though you've never been to a gym.
I know, I know. You didn’t sign up for this, and the idea of living in a cesspit of junk is repulsive, but we assure you it’s temporary. Within a few weeks it’ll all be gone again.
Yes, it’s verge bulk rubbish pick-up season. Well, it is in my neck of the woods, anyway.
How to survive the festive season. Cheers to that!
While it might be alien for anyone new to these sunny climes, it’s often one of the most anticipated times of the year for bargain hunters. People finally sort out all that junk they’ve been hoarding for 12 months (did I really need that third juicer-cum-slicer- cum-coffee maker cluttering up my pantry, and where exactly did that hideous outdoor chair from the 1970s spring from?).
You’ll quickly learn that regardless of whether it meets the local government’s criteria for pick-up or not, you can still stick it on the front lawn and simply wait for the council to come and collect whatever the kerb crawlers don’t.
And no, we don’t mean that kind of kerb crawler. We mean those with a keen eye for a bargain who help “recycle” items from the verge before anyone else gets their hands on them. Again, don’t panic. It rarely ends in fisticuffs.
There’s no real British equivalent to the verge pick-up. The old-fashioned rag-and-bone man would be the closest I can think of. I can’t even imagine how such a collection would work back in Blighty these days … unless you just pop a note on the front door telling would-be bargain hunters to head out the back to the shed and take their pick of your trash?
One secret I will let you in on — the day you find yourself quietly tiptoeing up to your neighbour-but-one’s pile under the cover of darkness to scoop up that perfectly good child’s toy will be the day you can call yourself a true-blue Aussie.