Wednesday, September 21, 2016

First Things First

There is quite a lot of red tape that needs to be done when you move countries.

I must say that I don't remember it being quite so frustrating when I moved to Sheffield - although it might have been and I have simply blocked the memory out.  But I have found here that in order to get A you need B.  To get B, you need C.  To get C you need D and in order to get D you need A.  It was very clear that it was going to take quite some while to get it all sorted out.

The main problem was that I had no proof of (Australian) address.  Fortunately, you may remember, I had arranged to get an Australian HSBC bank account through my long association with the British arm of the bank. Officially they have me still in Tupton, but have the Mount Helen address as a correspondence address.  Then - they sent me a letter.  In the post.  A letter from the bank that came through the post to the Mount Helen address!!!! An official form of proof of address at last.  I finally had A, so to speak.

This meant that I could open an account with an Australian telecommunications company.  Both The Builder and I now have Aussie mobile phone numbers.  The British ones have been cancelled.

It also meant that I could transfer my British driving licence into a Victorian one.  Two ID strikes there - when it arrives I will have proof of address AND proof of identity other than my (British) passport.  Excellent!  I will have a B

Now all I need is a new Medicare card and my Tax File Number.  The Medicare card is complicated only because Medicare treats households as single units and I am still attached to the card that Ross, Tabitha and Freyja (but not Austin -what happened to Austin?) have.  I suspect that Ross in particular might not be entirely delighted if I summarily change his address to the Mount Helen one and in any case I really need a card of my own.  I don't think this will be particularly difficult to arrange but I need to take myself physically into a Medicare office to sort it out.  This might take some time just waiting to be seen.  But it must be done.  Without a Medicare card I can't get a Senior's card and I would quite like one of those - I'll get cheaper tram fares if nothing else!

The Tax File Number is going to be more troublesome.  I need that in order to work.  In fact, I have one.  I've had it for decades.  My only problem is that I don't remember what it is.  I rang them this afternoon to get it, but they and I disagree about what my last Australian address was, and I simply can't think what address they might have. I think I'm going to have to physically go into a Tax Office and plead with them for it.

Because I do need it.  In an exciting First Thing - I actually went to work this morning.  Real Work.  As in they are paying me to do it!  It's not very exciting work in itself - just scanning medical letters and related stuff.  But it is a proper job and will bring in beer and skittle money. It was somehow quite satisfying leaving the flat this morning and hopping on a tram and Going to Work.  It could be ongoing part time work - but only if I have my Tax File Number :-S

We are about to head back to Mount Helen.  I might see where the Medicare Office is in Ballarat and set about getting a Medicare Card of my own tomorrow.
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