Friday, 13 April 2012

Living In New Land Estates: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Last year my husband and I built a house. Yep, from scratch, from the ground up (and I have the photos to prove it) but no, not with my bare hands. I sensibly paid someone for that part. 

This means we live in what’s called a ‘greenfields estate’, or a newly released area of land which is in the process of being subdivided and sold off in stages. So I have no neighbours, basically. There’s a lot of empty space here. A few other houses are being built in my street, but ours is the only one occupied. The earlier parts of my estate have a lot more houses, but still aren’t completely finished. Basically, I live in a very new area of Sydney. 

Or, possibly, the cold nether regions of hell. 

Yes, I have a beautiful new house. And apparently to the rest of the world it doesn’t exist. 

It’s news to me, but it seems every GPS is powered by Google Maps or Whereis, and as it happens, even Google Maps in Australia gets its information from Whereis. According to Whereis, our street doesn’t exist. In fact, if you search my suburb, that also doesn’t exist. No one uses an old-fashioned street directory anymore, where we might (possibly) exist in the 2012 edition. I should purchase one just to check. And of course the novelty of owning an actual street directory. 

It’s amazing how many problems you have when you don’t exist.

  • My electricity company sent me an ‘estimated’ bill because they ‘couldn’t find the meter box’ – read ‘We couldn’t find your house’.
  • I’ve had to direct any number of people to my house on the phone, including the furniture delivery man, and the grocery delivery man. In fact, the grocery delivery man calls every fortnight. Invariably, when I ask where he is, he’s in a location I don’t know – just so I can’t direct him here. The one time he was somewhere I knew, he was at the wrong end of a very long road and he kept me on the phone while he drove from one end to the other. I had nothing better to do with that ten minutes of my life after all;
  • Telstra, Australia’s biggest telecommunications company, told me they didn’t provide internet service in my area – because they couldn’t find it. Ironically, when I sorted that out, the guy who came to connect the phone had no problems finding us at all. See my post for ‘U’ in the A to Z Challenge for more information about my Telstra debacles.
  • Australia Post is the only company that can unfailingly find me. As long as you only want to send me a letter. As soon as someone sends me a parcel, they can’t find me. Go figure. I’ve had parcels sent halfway across the country back to the sender because my house mysteriously disappeared when Australia Post came out that day;
  • Telstra (again) tell me I ‘refused delivery’ of modem. I’m assuming this was a convenient excuse for the delivery man who (presumably) couldn’t find us because I never had anyone try and deliver a modem to me. Ironically, when Telstra sent me a piece of hardware I didn’t order and didn’t want, the delivery man found me that day.
So it’s I’ve logged a change request for Whereis to include us, but so far no luck. I’ve also lodged a complaint with Australia Post, but I’m still waiting on the outcome of that. 

I guess the salesman forgot to mention this postcode is situated in the outer regions of hell with limited services!
I did wonder about the decor when we first visited the area...
This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge Series. If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K.

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Georgina Morales said...

And I thought I had problems! It's amazing how dependent we are of technology--like GPS-- to de everything in our life. I hope things work better soon, but I like your positive attitude. Good luck!

From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Duncan said...

Well Ciara, I feel bad for you! That sucks!

This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

Duncan In Kuantan

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I love my GPS because I'm geographically challenged, but I certainly don't assume if it's not in my GPS it doesn't exist. Unfortunately it seems many do, or at least put it in the 'too hard' basked. Heaven forfend we should actually look in a street directory!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It does make life difficult. I'm learning to give directions in the ;comments' box whenever I order something online now.

Thanks for dropping by, it's lovely to meet you!

Damien said...

We are in same boat here in Adelaide. New house built, finally have neighbours but if you look us up the satellite shows an empty field where a thriving estate now is.

Telstra are hopeless. Can't get decent Internet because: 'we didn't fathom 1500 new homes in that area' BS!

This riles me up! I feel your annoyance. I've complained to Australia post so many times. Gets you nowhere. Now I have PO Box and drive to get my mail.

Marshaamoore said...

Wow! I've lived 'out' before, but not that far. Your peace and quiet has come at a price.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Ironically I'm not even that far out. I'm 40 kms from the city centre, still counted as Sydney metro area, and 15kms closer than the Sydney suburb where I grew up!

Jolie du Pre said...

The mail and other delivery problems would bug the hell out of me, but I would love to live in a location with no neighbors. Humans annoy me.

MAJK said...

We went through this for more than 2 years after we bought our home which was 6months after it was built. Even now when we order a pizza we monitor the phone knowing the delivery guy will get lost - every single time

*~ MAJK ~*
Twitter @Safireblade
A to Z Blog Challenge

Ruby Young said...

Well, Wow! You are living in almost complete isolation. Do you have children? Do they go to school? Do they ride a school bus? How far do you have to drive for groceries if you go for them instead of having them delivered. Have you ever thought of drawing a map for them from a major highway? You do have some problems, I see. God bless you. It does keep you busy just directing people to your home, doesn't it? Best regards to you. Ruby

Ciara Ballintyne said...

The lack of neighbours doesn't bother me and I get a lot of parcels delivered to my work address, but it's rather difficult for me to carry a king size bed home from work on the train ;-)

Ciara Ballintyne said...

2 years?! *faints* Someone will hear about this, I tell you!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It's really not that isolated, LOL, which is the bizarre thing about it. We aren't that far out, there's two major shopping centres within ten minutes drive, one north, one south. I have a daughter, she goes to child care 5 minutes down the road, and we're 5 minutes off a major highway, 2 minutes from a major road! I've never had to draw a map yet, but I've given detailed directions. Yes, it does drive you nuts having to go over and over these things.

texassustain said...

Great Post. As someone who's boyfriend had to guide her to his place the first time she went over to his out, I can totally relate to your frustration and the delivery guy's frustration.

Sulekha said...

Wow, you are brave.Hope things get better and your address is searchable and your home reachable.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Oh, my husband had to do the same for me, but that was pre-GPS days, when people were accustomed to using actual MAPS to find a place. A GPS helps with the fact I am geographically challenged, but I don't assume a place doesn't exist just because it's not in a GPS!

In fact, I know a GPS will take you some very strange places if you trust it blindly...

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Eventually, it will be... of course, that might be so far in the future I won't be here by then!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Oh yes, satellite still shows empty fields here too!

Don't even get me started on Telstra. I had to get my MP involved just to get the phone connected!

I'm glad I'm not alone but sorry you're suffering the same frustrations.

king size bed said...

Well, Wow! You are living in almost complete isolation. Do you have
children? Do they go to school? Do they ride a school bus? How far do
you have to drive for groceries if you go for them instead of having
them delivered.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

We're actually not that isolated, which is the frustrating thing. My daughter's daycare centre is a 3 min drive down the rd, and the school is closer. It's a 5 min drive to the shopping centre. It just seems to be that if you're not on a GPS map, you don't exist!

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