I must remember to say it was a very special experience when I could see the Australian coast, down through the clouds in the light of the early morning sun peeping out from the eastern sky.
It was a magnificent sight.
This moment I have waited for almost 1 ½ years since I first contacted the Australian Embassy in Copenhagen and got all the many documents needed to fill out to obtain work and residence in this great country.
Now it must be nice to discover whether I might have to settle for a tourist visa, instead of this huge work to be done to obtain a residence permit.
But now I want to be treated like any other citizen, if I find a job here.
I have also sent a big box with my tools and other belongings, if everything falls into place with a job and so on.
Now when the plane glided over Port Jackson, came thoughts on the run back to the 26th
January 1788, when the deported convicts from England, landed on the same site in Australia for the first time.
There are only a small difference that
convicts were forced down here and I have come by my own idea.
Now it must be exciting to discover whats being an immigrant.
At any rate, I will then give it a few months before I decide how my future will be.
April 1987 early in the morning.
Fine landing and into the gate.
We were asked to stay on the pitches, because everything must be disinfected before passengers are allowed to go out.
A couple of stewardesses walked through the plane and opened the trunk compartments above the seats - what now?
Jojo, the first thing that happened was that a man walked with a big spray can in each hand and sent a cloud of something hideously smelly "stuff" out to the contents of the room and of course declined the same clouds also down over the passengers and myself.
Luckily I remembered to put a few napkins over nose and mouth, so the cloud is not just sped freely into his mouth and lungs. Puu
for a smell, but Australians have a pretty nifty idea that there is absolutely no reason to get unauthorized "things" into the country, so everyone and everything is "delouse" before the plane is opened toward the Austalian world.
I was the last off the plane and went down to find my luggage.
Long time walking in the corridors of Sydney Airport.
But suddenly all stopped and some Customs and Police staff requests that all hand luggage is put on the floor.
And then comes a "hashdog" and sniffing all for one reason or another.
There was one that apparently had a guilty conscience in one way or another, for he slid quickly to the nearby toilet in the hallway.
All of us were asked to walk while Police, Customs and the dog went and waited outside the restroom where the man just had to go very quick. Didnot see
what happened more, but I have a pretty good idea about it.
Had some idea that I probably should to talk to someone, now I was here as an immigrant and not an ordinary tourist.
But the only thing that happened there were the words: "G'day mate and welcome to Australia!
So that´s it!
Then it was just about to get to the hotel I had booked from home. Not easy to find
a taxi somewhere in the crowd.
It was not that easy, although there were many a lot of people here.
But well planted in a taxi seat, I say "Hotel Top of Town Kings Cross, please."
You should have seen him in the head when I said Kings Cross.
Was just told that I should be very careful where I walked around at night in Kings Cross?
Was I also now aware that there could be dangerous there?
Naaa, I was not, but it was probably a very good and well intentioned advice.
Of course, I listened to the warnings, but that changed now nothing.
As he talked about the "Kings Cross" district, it could probably almost be compared with the neighborhood around Istedgade and Halmtorvet in Copenhagen, where the simple life existed in the shadow of life.
What could scare a happy man from Denmark who was just happy for life?
After a nice tour in the taxi, I arrived at the hotel where my room had just become clear.
And overlooking the sight of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower and Sydney Harbor Bridge from the window of the room, I think my room was more than perfect for me.
Got a couple of cokes at the hotel, under the air cooler before I looked over the city and then went off into "Kings Cross" which was only a few hundred meters away. Many people of all colors, restaurants and a lot of
small shops dealing with everything and anything. Small street vendors and others who offer You goods of dubious origin.
I went through "Kings Cross" and the waterfront along with "Elizabeth Bay" and "Woolloomooloo Bay" and then down through the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is a fantastic place.
Then down to "Farm Cove" and then looked at the Opera House. Wow, that's great. The Opera House, located at "Bennelong Point", named after the first native, the white immigrants got good contact with.
Same Bennelong was the first native who came to London to be shown up and he was there for some time.
Since Bennelong returned, he discovered that his wife had given birth to an illegitimate child for him.
The consequence of this was that Bennelong killed both his wife and child and burned them.
And it was precisely here, the place was called "Bennelong Point".
Puuh, it's hot here! This
is the Australian autumn, but there was really no reason to go and freeze here.
I walked around town and took the elevator up to the Sydney Tower's rotating top.
It was really far down and there was a quite stunning views over the city and especially over the port with many ships and the many boats that sailed around the "Port Jackson".
Just to swallow this amazing picture, I sat and ate a big ham and egg sandwich while I looked westward and had the prospect of "Blue Mountain" which has been named because of the constant blue mist which lies across the mountains.
It is an oil mist from the eucalyptus trees on the hillsides.
The warmer weather is, the thicker the oil fumes. O
il mist increases the risk for and causing many fires on the hillsides.
It was behind the "Blue Mountain" the former detainees who were deported from Britain, believed that China was.
A belief that led many to try their luck at escaping from Port Jackson.
Some of the refugees returned to harsh punishments, but most of them simply vanished and "appointed" them to "Bush Rangers," which robbers was called back then.
Back to the Sydney Tower.
The top is 304.8 meters above street level, making it the tallest building south of the equator.
As fire safety is a constant supply of water with 162,000 gallons of water in the tower.
It is constructed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude never been in this country.
And the tower can withstand hurricanes with a magnitude that only occurs once every 500 years.
Very good to know, when you sit here and eat lunch with the giant prospects here are.
Filled with impressions and calories, I went back down with the big lift, which is in continuous service with guests up to the overview.
Of course I would see "The Opera House" - now I was here - and it looks more impressive in reality than it does in the pictures.
A great building with great design and a great location here at the port.
And the Sydney Harbor Bridge are certainly also worth mentioning.
The old but beautiful steel bridge, which you can usually get the opportunity to go on - up on big rails.
But right now - what else - was it closed because of repairs.
There were many experiences and opportunities, not least to visit China Town, the neighborhood's many restaurants and the vibrant world that we probably do not fully understand.
As everywhere in the world, runs the small Chinese people around and doing everything possible.
They never stop in their "work" to conquer the world and earn money.
And they do it so well!
My feet brought me around some sights, such as a botanical tropical garden, which was if possible, even hotter than outside in the sun.
There was a very high humidity, so sweat ran as soon as I got inside the garden.
Here, in company with the most beautiful flowers and rainforest environment, you think of that we must deal better with the real world than we do now when we run economies, or rather the great robbery of nature without thought to the future.
In fact one should even do something, but everybody thinks "tomorrow".
After a few hours in the Botanical Garden, I forget quite to sweat, but actually enjoy the climate here.
And when I come outside in 25 degree heat, I start to freeze.
Similarly, I was also lucky to find the Zoological Museum, where there was a fantastic collection of snakes and reptiles, both living and stuffed.
There are detailed descriptions of the various animal abilities and lifestyles, and where in the country you may be lucky enough to encounter them.
Was lucky enough just to dump into dinnertime, where several animals being fed.
Very effective way to spiders paralyze their victims and simply inject fluid under the contact, then it slowly becomes digested first and later eated.
The day today was a national day of celebration, "Anzac Day", which is a memorial day for the Australian men and women who participated in the first
World Wars and for the first time also for those who participated in the Vietnam War.
More than 2,000 veterans walked or rode in a wheelchair through Sydney's streets, which were closed to normal traffic.
The rest of the day I met veterans with the chest full of medals, telling they have participated in the wars.
We also met many who got the memories so close today that they drank as they sank on streets.
But it is probably not something we can allow ourselves to be the judge of, because we do not have the faintest idea what they have experienced in warhell back then.
But enough about that.
My day also included the Australian Museum in College Street.
I'm normally not a museum man, but this visit I do not regret.
You can find everything about Australia's wildlife and there were almost all species in the country represented.
Kangaroos, snakes, spiders, butterflies, octopuses, sharks and many more.
There was also a large number of informative details from the beginning of the Australia we know today, as there was a lot about the early people of Papua New Guinea, which is also controlled by the Australian Government.
Well, but everything has come to an end and it has my stay in Sydney too.
I have booked a seat on the train north, with Brisbane as the next target of the trip.
I went over in Hyde Park to relax and do absolutely nothing.
I find a lovely restaurant, which apparently was intended to be pretty bad what food was concerned.
So I stuck a little in their food and walked over in the park again, where I enjoyed the silence around me before I went back to the hotel to pick up my luggage and then find a taxi that would carry me to the main railway station.
I walked around to find the spot, it can be somewhat difficult to navigate on foot in a city that is close to the Danish island of Funen in size, so here are a few options to choose from.
But it was good enough and the train was ready for the journey, which 16 hours later would end up in Brisbane, some 1000 kilometers up north.
Thinking what the Danish Railways would take for 3 sandwiches, a large cold glass of milk and a large glass of juice?
It cost me only 3 Dollar, which would correspond to about 13 Danish kroner.
And even fresh and appetizing served!
After reading some Australian newspapers, I fell asleep and woke up only when there was stopped in the town of Casino, where the train was injected fuel and fresh food and beverages.
Along the way there were some other stops, where a few passengers got on and off.
But it was a long night in a train, gadung-gadung.
But with the relatively short stops in some cities along the way, we landed at
10 o´clock at the railway station in Brisbane. N
ow it was about finding the suitcases and look out into the warm morning to find a taxi that would bring me and my luggage out to the "Wacol Imigration Center" in the suburb Wacol, where I had booked a room for
have a base to start from.
Later I discovered that the train actually stopped at Wacols local station, not far from the Emigrationcenter, I would honor with my visit.
It was then 25. of
I checked in and got assigned for a room.
A small cozy room with a bed, table, chair and refrigerator. All
fine with me.
And it was much cheaper than hotels and the like.
So now I had all cases, a residence for the start of my quest for a job somewhere and then find more permanent housing near the job.
Thought it would be smarter in this way instead of getting the apartment first.
There was also an opportunity to enroll in an employment service as we know in Denmark.
And I could seek and receive support if I just filled out a form.
It was the details of calculating the financial support from the Australian government.
You can get all fixed costs as housing costs, insurance, reasonable repayment arrangements covered without going into debt to the state and so you got a lump sum to live for.
So regardless of your expenses, You can get unemployed benefit from the state and all had the same to buy food, etc..
So it did not matter if you own house, car or high rent, it was covered and everybody have the same in the wallet to "fun" afterward.
Really nice arrangement if you ask me.
Not as in Denmark, where unemployment can loose home, car and other things, if you happen not just live in a small rented room and therefore can live on aid, as some can.
No, I mean clearly that the Danish system is deeply unfair constructed and can be advantageously copied from Australia in this regard.
Unemployment support comes from the state and everyone can get help here.
Unions are something you join in when you start a job in a relevant area of work and then leave the union when you leave the place again.
Cheap, effective, and so the union can concentrate on the academic rather than to spend too much time to pay support and controling their own members!
A widget that can lead to conflict and distrust instead of confidence.
Similarly for sickness, then all registered residents of Australia have the full right to medical treatment and hospitalization and unlimited use of medical care.
Shortly after my arrival, I received a plastic card from "Medicare" by showcasing gave access to medical care.
Well, I decided now not to get into the system and get financial aid.
Maybe it was stupid but I now choose to be a free bird for a while yet.
I had a bit of my saving money yet, so there was no need here and now.
So it was in early May 1987.
But now I have visited a lot of places where there could be a possible jobsite.
But what I got was a nose that growing longer and longer.
Contrary to what else I was told in Denmark at the Australian Embassy, that there were plenty of jobs for a Danish mechanic, I had pretty much gotten the same story everywhere I went.
There were cutbacks in all workplaces and so it was a 12-14% unemployment average in the country.
It was not just the information I got at the Embassy in Denmark.
If I had gotten this information, I could have planned and acted very differently, instead of taking job for granted.
Can not remember exactly how many places I looked for a job, but 35-40 workplaces were honored with my visit, but the results were the same everywhere - no job to Sven - Sorry Mate!
My situation was a bit different as I had imagined.
So I had to take my future, reconsider and find out what I should do.
The situation was also the single room I had booked from home in Emigration Center, could not be mine alone anymore, when there came a large group of refugees from El Salvador.
So I had to share my room with 5 (five) of these refugees and even worse, they were in the daytime many people visited each other right in the room here.
It was just getting too much for me, with 5-10 other people who constantly went in and out the door like it was a train station.
I was the only Australian "real" emigrant in the Wacolcenter. But except of course the staff and old "Willie",
there was no immediate right to have a room by Your own, even though you have paid rent.
So here I was forced to look to find another solution, and a little fast.
At the center was another Dane, Wilfred "Willie" Olsen, who had lived in the country for 38 years. He
had been 18 years at Wacol and the last 3 years in retirement.
Otherwise, "Willie" was a cook at the center, as there were up to 1300 immigrants and refugees.
And then there was also a pair from Holland, Hans and Frida, who runs a small shop at the center. I had often
a good chat with them and I often ate with them to, as there was too little time to eat in the Centre's cafeteria and I was not always there at the right time.
Then one day I spoke with Hans "Dutchman", another Dane enter the store to pick up a film he had submitted for printing here.
Hans introduced us and we fell into conversation.
Peter was his name and he invited me home that evening to him and his lovely wife, Vibeke.
Vibeke and Peter were also newcomers and had left Wacol, just before I arrived.
They had no success with living together with the refugees and had found a "normal" housing.
In the evening we drove out to some other Danes who lived nearby.
It was Dorthe and Henrik, who had also been here for a short time.
And to visit them also, was Jette and Henrik, who had been in the country for six months.
A really nice evening and I was confirmed in my idea of getting away from Wacol and into the real world.
There was not much fun to live there, when I should share space with 5 others in the room of 10 square meters.
Probably sweet and nice people, but they can only speak their Spanish-Portuguese, so we were totally alien to each other.
Had I just upon arrival been informed that there was another Emigration Center "Yungabba" much closer to downtown Brisbane.
There was plenty of space, but these two centers is controlled by respectively Queensland Government and the Central Government in Canberra.
These two governments would apparently not cooperate and will not refer to each other's institutions.
Absolutely unbelievable and too bad for me right now.
It might otherwise have been good for me, but the information came too late, now I had paid the deposit on an apartment in town, or rather half a house on Lilly Street in a suburb called Stones Corner.
There was no housing shortage here, and the broker Gloria Dawson on Logan Road, immediately forward it to me.
Old, but clean and tidy.
I was now a bit bound with my apartment.
Would otherwise find a job first and then a home.
I had a pretty good idea to find me a bus- or truckmechanic job.
But there was nothing around here, but I walked many miles and heard the same answer ..
"Sorry Mate, no jobs here."
Thinking on the many talks at the Australian Embassy in Copenhagen and the theoretical mechanic test I went through, to be ok when I came to this country "Down Under".
I've gone through all sorts of medical examinations in Denmark, but it was apparently not enough.
Everything must be done once again here.
Likevise the theoretical journeyman's test at the embassy, which was also repeated here.
And so I had to wait for a decision in "The Local Trades Commitee" whom later sent me a "Tradesman Certificate", which corresponds to an apprenticeship in Denmark.
It took over a month, so there was not much I could show up when I asked for a job.
I spoke with several Danes here who could not understand my delay.
Their documents had gone smoothly through the system, so maybe it's just me, who has got no luck in it.
One thing went quickly and it was my driving licence.
After a review of my Danish and International driving license, I got 46 written questions. And with only 5 wrong answers
I past the test.
Then a sight test and going to sit in front of the camera - voila!
And out comes my new driver's license with picture and everything.
How hard can it be?
Now I had my Australian driving license, but still no job.
It's been over a month now, unless I have really accomplished something, other than enjoying life.
But what, it's not the worst thing to do.
I've never had any plan to turn my back to Denmark to be Australian or any other country citizen.
37 years in Denmark, has made me very Danish.
But those same 37 years has also made me very curious to see something other than The Queen in Copenhagen and hear about H.C.Andersen.
I think almost everyone goes around with a little "discover" in the stomach.
I am fortunate not to have to ask anyone's permission to do something, it's simply a matter of taking the plunge and bring the ideas into practice.
And at that point, I find it hard to sit still and not just examine what´s hiding around the next corner.
Considered buying a car, but I have not much need right now, besides a little luxury cravings by having a car.
But I choose to use the many buses running around in almost all of Brisbane and covers broadly all the suburbs that makes Brisbane fill as the Danish island of Fyn in size, so there is plenty to see no matter where you look.
I am also very fond of the many Danish friends, I've got here.
There is "Willie" at Wacol, who opened his door and gave lots of tips and stories as we shared a good time food in the hungry days when I visited him.
There were only 22 kilometers to the "Willie" from Stones Corner, so I walked regularly to him at the morning and then home again at the evening.
I love to go and have seen a lot of the world that way instead of rushing through in a fast car.
And then I also see Vibeke and Peter, who lives in Holland Park,
Jette and Henrik in Coorpaaroo, like Dorthe and Henrik who also lives in Coorpaaroo.
Dorthe and Henrik said often "amateur" to me because he has been in 24 countries and I have only visited 12 so far.
But wait Henrik, I'll fetch you some day.
And Henrik has also worked in Greenland, at the U.S.Airbase in Kangerlussuaq, so it makes me just digging up an old idea again - maybe I should look for a job in Greenland one day? Probably at
Thule Airbase, which "haunted" my head since my cousin Bent been there as a painter in a total of 19 years.
But enough about Thule and back to Brisbane.
I´ve got two girlfriends chatting with here.
The one named Louisa is a hairdresser in a salon near my home.
She leads the scissors when my hair grows over my head while she talks and talks.
She says that she one day travel to Europe to look around.
The other girl called Jasmine and from New Zealand, but has worked in Australia for some years.
She is head of an 7-Eleven on Old Cleveland Road, near where I live.
We have a good chat every time I buy a soda and other things.
And what do I need else? Well
, it happens in fact that I go into the "Public Bar" situated on the corner of Old Cleveland Road and Logan Road.
Here I often a good discussion with other visitors or the female bartender.
See, here they can donate the beer!
Not as in Denmark.
At home I have often wondered why there is always a lot of useless foam in the beerglasses.
It will immidiately lead to a civil war here if the barmaid served foam to the guests.
No, the glass is carefully filled to the brim and every time in a new ice-cold glass from the icebox behind the bar.
Certainly not what one would expect in Denmark, where it is normal that it serves you when You have asked for it a half an hour, all the time the waiter talk elsewhere, and you only got the same greasy glass all evening.
Let's get Australian barmodes in Denmark and surrounding countries !!
Here, from my "Public Bar", I have a really good prospect of "Stones Corner Gym" on Logan Road.
I really should go out and train, but I do it?
The will is there enough and I have been there 15-20 times to lift something iron, in this well-equipped center, with enough iron to build a tanker.
The entire 2 floors filled with equipment to the last millimeter and I must say there was a few hard pumped persons by both sexes who lifted what they could and then some more.
Although I trained home i Denmark at "Atlas Bodybuilding" in Søborg, owned by Bruno, where I felt the spirit was high, I'll probably say that you have to get up early to reach many here to size.
After trying this gym at Stones Corner, I will compare the "Atlas" at a nursing home, although many trained seriously.
Here could be heard almost no talk, just rattling of tools and puff, puffing and a little wind from the intestines from time to time.
I could not help it but be somewhat impressed by the spirit that is here in the training rooms at Stones Corner Gym.
Well, no´s gone 2 months here in Brisbane.
I now need to find out what I should do to move forward.
Have been thinking the last month what to do. Now the decision must be taken before the money runs out.
And then there will probably be wise to buy a ticket to Denmark right now, so I avoid spending money before.
Then down to "Thai International" to buy.
Wow, what high prices!
It was not exactly what I expected, for the most direct travel home without a stopover, ran up to nearly 2,200 Australian dollars, which is approximately 10,000 Danish Kroner.
It was something of a wet rag on my head.
So I could see that my stay is about to be expired quite quickly.
But the man behind the counter turned out to be Danish, and he gave a really good advice.
Only 100 meters away is a discount travelagent that sells exactly the same ticket, just with a little uncertainty about the time of the departure date is accurate.
I thanked him and went to the other angen and bought a ticket to Copenhagen, with flexible departure date, for only $ 1100 equivalent approx.
5000 Danish Kroner.
And even better - there was also a week's stay in Bangkok included the price.
So now I was then completely on top again.
Continues in English 5