Expat Life: 2 Weeks into Melbourne

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since we’ve arrived in Melbourne… if I’m being honest, it seriously feels like we’ve been here for a month or two already. Here’s the lowdown on the past two weeks…

Arriving in Melbourne

Remember that nice hot pot dinner we had two days before leaving town? Well, unfortunately, that cold from the dinner didn’t go away anytime soon so we started our 33 hour travel time with a cold.

For me, as I slept on the plane, my cold progressed into a small fever. I normally don’t mind flying but every little thing was irritating me since I had a cold. When we landed in China for our first layover, I failed the health screening and their machines picked up a higher body temperature and I was told to go into quarantine.  

So, let me just tell you how scary it is to be sent to quarantine in a foreign country. Dan went through the screening first and was waiting for me on the other side. When I tried to go through the screening, the gates wouldn’t open and the guard pointed to the quarantine room after giving me a mask. I walked into the office and a female doctor was there typing away. She requested to see my passport and then gave me a thermometer stick to stick into my armpit to test my temperature. After a few minutes, she requested the stick back and told me in English that my body temperature is higher than normal.

I don’t speak Mandarin so I replied back in English that I don’t have a fever (like seriously, why would I admit to that in an unknown situation?) but I told her I did have a runny nose. She didn’t understand me and started replying in Mandarin so I told her I don’t understand her. We both stared at each other until she returned back to her screen, backspace a few times and recorded a lower temperature number for me. And with that, she let me go catch my connecting flight to Chengdu.

Chengdu Airport. This city is known for its pandas, hence the art display.

We left Vancouver on October 30th, 11:55pm. We didn’t arrive in Melbourne until November 1st, 6pm (local time). By the time we left the airport, we decided to just hail a cab to our Airbnb and the last thing I remember was sending a voice message to my mum and dad saying I’ve arrived and it’s 7pm and I’m going to sleep.


The first week…

Within the first week, we had our bank and cellphone set up. Can I just say that I can’t believe I’m paying $30/month and I have 18+ gigs of data?! Like, what do you Australians need this much data for?!?!?!?! If I was back in Canada and wanted 10gbs of data or something, I’ll be forking over $300. 

We also noticed the Starbucks out here are soooooo much better than back home! Look at all these damn goodies they have in store…

During the first week, we started cracking down on some job and rental applications. I think we did two days worth of applications and decided to take a break and enter into the city to explore.


Week 2…

Job hunting with a restrictive work visa is hard and very discouraging. The Working Holiday visa only allows you to work for an employer for up to 6 months… so, you can only imagine how companies are reluctant to hire for such short terms. I took Kendel’s advice and started putting my CVs forward to agencies and contract roles only and not waste time for permanent roles.

Also, during my 1st week here, I discovered Target is big in Australia…and as a Target lover, I was extremely thrilled to see them. I needed a new eyeliner so I decided to stop by the one in CBD.

And… I came to this disgusting realization that since everything is imported,the cost is triple in price…

So, how are things going? Well… I feel a bit confident on the trains but not so much on the trams and buses yet. The CBD area is super walkable so I’ve been getting my steps in every time I head downtown. I’m starting to recognize and remember suburbs and wherein relations they are to the CBD. 

Earlier this week, to get out of the house and take a break from job applications, we decided to head over to Southbank and check out the Korea Week festival. There were delicious food stalls, dance performances and a funny comedy performance by a well-known Korean comedy group.

To end the week, it was super sunny and hot in Melbourne so we decided to relax in the park. We also went to check out the Melbourne Museum.

Anyways, I realized how ridiculously long this post is so thanks to anyone that actually read it til the end… and I’ll try to keep the posts shorter next time!

Oh, and forgot to add… 2nd week included us finding a home! We’re moving out of the Airbnb on Saturday and even our Airbnb host said we got super lucky and found something in less than two weeks. The competition here is insane…

8 thoughts on “Expat Life: 2 Weeks into Melbourne

  1. Oh wow! I can’t believe you were quarantined in China. That sounds so terrifying. I’m glad the lady let you on the next flight eventually!

    I’m super jealous that our Starbucks stores aren’t packed with sweets like that! 😭 & the prices for makeup at Target is scary! Is online shopping better or worse?

    Congrats on finding a home so soon! I’m so happy to hear you are settling in so well. πŸ™‚ All of these photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing with us! β™‘

    Like

    • I don’t think I ever want to go through China customs again unless I have someone that can communicate with them fluently!

      Omg, right?! The Starbucks in Canada aren’t like that either so I feel your pain, haha. I haven’t tried any of the sweets myself but they look amazeballs 😍 I haven’t checked out online shopping yet! I’m so scared that shipping would kill me since Australia is so far away from everywhere 😦

      Thank you! We moved in yesterday and loving the place a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha well, at least she didn’t keep you there. If she were not to put your temperature down, would you have had to stay in China until you were better?

        Why oh why can’t we have those packed with pastries Starbucks here? 😦 & yeah, that’s crazy how expensive Australia is! I wonder if online or in-store is cheaper!

        So happy to hear you’re loving the new place! ❀

        Like

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