Coming to Australia part 2

I counted 78 forms I had to fill in during my application period in order to get to Australia.

On several of them I answered “No” to the question “Do you need accommodation on your arrival in Australia?” And on dozens of them I put the address where I would be staying.

Nevertheless, as I disembarked the aircraft, there was a very nice woman waiting at the bottom of the steps to take me to the migrant hostel in Woodville.

I explained that I didn’t need to go to the hostel and my accommodation was all arranged.

She was quite insistent, to the point of grabbing my arm and trying to pull me towards a waiting van. I stood my ground. Pointing to a group people waiting at the gate I said, “See those people over there? That’s my wife’s family. I’m going to stay with them.” And much to her consternation I walked over to join them.

About five weeks later, in my new teaching job, I got talking to one of the other new teachers and we discovered we had arrived in Adelaide on the same day. He and his wife were staying at the hostel while waiting to move into a new house that was being built.

I told him about the incident with the welcoming party and the attempt to drag me to the hostel.

He said, “Oh, you’re that Ian Short! They are still laying a place for you in the dining hall.”

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