I am starting to feel much more settled. I have the keys to my own place, and I have paid my first rent. I have not yet paid the $1000 bond, but my landlady is ok to wait until I have drawn sufficient cash.
I have opened a bank account and have arranged a transfer of a shedload of money to maintain me for the year. However, the bank cards take a week to be issued, so I'm still waiting for them. And as I did not have a permanent address when I opened the account, the cards will be sent to the Westbank branch at the University. In the UK I had put money on a cash passport, but as a mature student going into off-campus accommodation, I did not put enough money on it. I brought £200 - c$300 - in cash (fine) and £800 c$1200 on the cash passport (not enough). People who live off-campus - typically mature students - will pay $500 per fortnight rent, and also need to provide $1000 bond money which is lodged with the Australian Government and is security for the letting. So the amount I brought with me was sufficient for students living on-campus as it is cheaper. But mature students usually like life a bit quieter than on-campus, so we have to look big and pay up!
So I need to be economical until I get my bank cards!
The flat is very clean, light and airy - it is actually a granny flat to the side of the main house. But I was quite surprised how much more settled I felt once I had unpacked, put my things on view, and bought some food and filled the cupboards. Life is good. I'm off out now, trialling more bus routes, and university facilities.