Since I moved to Sydney from Colombia, I’ve been so poor. The economy is very different and the Australian currency is stronger. While I was making a decent income in Bogota, here I make a pittance. Also, because my qualifications aren’t valid here and my English is not so good (I got my ESL teacher to check this for me) I can only work as a cleaner. Most cleaning businesses hire international students like me because they know they can exploit us. They can pay us minimum wage and make us work crazy hours and we can’t complain because there’s no other employment options. Now that the fridge in our apartment broke (we bought it secondhand on gumtree) I cannot afford to fix it. But If I don’t get the refrigeration repairs near Sydney, then my cost of living will go up because I will have to buy almost every meal. At least with a fridge I can buy food cheaply in bulk and cook for myself throughout the week. It’s a much more frugal way to live. And because I’m so limited with time because I work extreme hours, I tend to cook up a tonne of food, divide it into rations in plastic take away containers, and then freeze it. This saves me time and means I can take my lunch to work.
I’m really stuck in a jam with this broken fridge problem. I’ve been researching prices for Smeg repairs around Sydney and they’re all over my budget. I’ll either have to wait and live off celery for a month because I won’t be able to eat out, or, I’ll have to get another job… one that pays better… because I’m already working about 70 hours per week and working myself to the ground. There’s really only one other thing I could do, being an international and unqualified, that pays better than cleaning. But is selling my body really something that I want to do?