Judy's Gamble

In just a week's time, we will be losing some privacy at home but for a worthy cause. We will be having a tenant, not just any tenant but someone special. Though the house belongs to Savvy Steve, we made a dark pact to exchange favours, the details best not to be revealed. The gist of it was me being the slave of his house by building and renovating it in exchange for doing whatever I want to do with it, including burning it down if I want to. That - obviously I will not do - because I need it to provide shelter for my family.

I would like to think that, technically, I am not about to rent out a room. Truth to be told, I will be happy to let her stay for several days for free to sort out her stuff. However, she needs a place to stay for a year. I may be pissed poor but I am not hard up so the first option was to help her find a place to stay. Since she met me once in Perth, buying me an apple pie to sweeten our meeting up, it was hard to reject her when she requested staying with us instead of bunking in with strangers.

So what the heck is Judy up to?

To put things simple, she is sick of Singapore life and want out. The problem is, neither her spouse nor her are qualified for skilled migration but she is not giving up the possibility because she "super love" Perth for ... For what, I will find out and let you know. The bigger question is how. Well, Judy hopes to find an employer to sponsor her for a work visa. That, is no small feat, for any who does a bit of research. For a start, no employer wants to go through the trouble if they can get anyone from the open market who is already permitted to work in Australia. Even if they are happy to do so, there are criteria to meet and not every employer is eligible to apply one.

To increase her chance of employment, Judy has signed up for a 1 year course in bakery. That is why she needs a place to stay for at least a year. She is prepared for a rough ride, a near-impossible mission. To her credit, she is willing to skill up, to learn and integrate with the local culture, prove herself worthy or ship out. She is expecting nothing but hoping ... hoping. That is an attitude that secretly tugs my heart strings. I find myself more willing to extend a helping hand to her among the tens of emails I have been getting.

As you can imagine, some of you expect a job offer before you will move. I say. "Good luck." The others expect the migration process to be rolled out in carpet in front of you despite me having to write it several times throughout the blog. Hell, I know my writing sucks. Even if you won't read one of my posts to save your life, there are other blogs or even the main immi.gov.au to do your research. My attitude stinks I know but I have my principles. Ever since I started this blog, I never stop to help someone out, within my means. What changed over these years is, I become a lot more selective. There was a chap I conversed for 3 years over email, sincerely providing whatever information I was asked, only to receive an essay to justify why was it better for him to stay in Singapore - with proper sub-titles fit for a GP submission no less. And then there was this lady who gave my buddy hell despite her kind nanny acts to ease her into Perth. That was, not coincidentally, the last Singaporean I staked my reputation to help. It will take many pots of pork trotters to redeem the favour she gave. I think I owe her an electric air pump too.

When I told Judy to do a research on the rental market in Perth, she did it without asking me why. That left me a good impression. Later, I told her I will be beating the rent of the lowest offer in the market by 10%, regardless how shabby and how lousy the location. I'll include utilities as well as internet access (not all of them do) as well as furnish her room within my limited resources. This is to ensure there will be no buyer dissonance and her stay will be a happy one (since she can't get a better deal elsewhere.) Unfortunately, much as I want to, I can't give her a rent-free stay for the whole year. I have a family to run and bills to pay. Being pissed poor doesn't help matters. If I am loaded or have shorted the Sterling by the million last weekend, I would be hiring Judy as my baker in my new shop with a full serviced apartment on top for her. It won't be too hard to apply a 457 for her because I'll tell immigration that I am unable to find someone to make kueh for me. No such luck for Judy or me.

What I did instead, was to pass her the contact number of a "Cantonese speaking" lady looking for an assistant in her bakery some half a year back after it was posted by a member in Singaperth. I told Judy to call her immediately. Again, she did what I told her to do and (somehow) manage to get herself a chance to meet up with the prospective employer. I was impressed because the lady was patient enough to wait half a year or so to meet her. Judy made her own luck, I guess. I told Judy to make a cake to bring along when they meet up. My humble oven at home should be capable enough to help. Hopefully, Judy will hit off well enough with her to get herself a part-time job. That will help her cope with living expenses at least. Though I agreed to help Judy source her used car, she is already checking out some leads and contacting private owners while still being physically in Singapore. Providing Judy a room will allow her to settle down faster. Getting the car will make her go places. That should be a decent kick start. That is all I can do for her for now.

Judy's gamble has high stakes. She quit her job in Singapore for this and she is leaving behind a supportive husband and 2 young teenage daughters. That is a heartbreaking move for me should I be in her position, to be apart from family, carving out a non-guaranteed option for the future of the family. Hopefully they will appreciate her for making this sacrifice and bind the family closer. Should that happen, Judy will be a winner, regardless of the outcome of her gamble.


  1. Great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities often come from risk-taking. You don’t achieve your dreams by playing it safe.


  2. a real inspiration. Here I am,got my 189 visa, and still in Singapore planning to no end. I need courage like hers. else I truly deserve to stay on this shit island. Thanks for the story Nix.