A Date in the Old Melbourne Gaol

Yesterday, Dan and I went to the Old Melbourne Gaol for date day. For those like me, I didn’t know “gaol” was an alternative spelling to “jail” and pronounced it as “gah-ol” until Dan corrected me, lol. 

Honestly, I’ve never seen jail spelled like that before!

Prior to visiting the jail, we stopped by the Queen Victoria Market because we wanted to see a Christmas market… unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a Christmas market and just a regular vendor market selling fresh produce, meats and seafood… and knock off clothing. 

There was a big Christmas shop on the corner of the market, BUT, the moment we walked in, we had one of the sales associates follow us throughout the ENTIRE store. I’ve never been profiled at a store before so that was a new experience for me and made me feel very uncomfortable. I was about to tell the associate off when Dan said let’s go because he didn’t like the vibes they were giving us as well. I’m really happy we didn’t end up grabbing anything from that store. 

Anyways, enough of that nonsense and let’s talk about the jail experience!


This is the second jail tour I’ve been in. The first one was back in Alcatraz when I visited San Francisco.

When we arrived to purchase our tickets, we were lucky to arrive just in time for the Watch Tower experience where we get arrested and booked. It was a fun little experience to sort of see what the detainees went through. Our tour guide was very fun and entertaining. Near the end of the Watch Tower tour, we overheard another tour where a female was giving the tour and she was more of the strict cop – she was literally yelling at the other tour group!

Some of the graffiti written by those arrested and booked.

These were the cells that they locked us in. We thought it was just sitting around for a few seconds until the guard yelled “LIGHTS OUT!” and actually turned the lights off! We sat there in darkness for about 30 seconds before the guard came back and said “Good morning!” and let us out to the courtyard. We were also divided up by gender to make it a bit more realistic too. 

The Watch Tower experience was about a 30ish minute tour. After the lock-up experience, the guard/staff told us a little bit of the history of the jail and also led us to the new exhibit on the Russell Street bombing. 

After that, we ventured into the actual jail and toured the three levels. We learned a lot about the Kelly gang and Colin Campbell Ross. Not to mention, this jail hung 133 convicts so it’s a bit eerie to stand in the courtyard where the hanging would happen and see the gallows, and also the torture and punishment tools used on these inmates. 

Some of the torturing tools they used. On the far left, those were gloves given to inmates to prevent them from masturbating (lol). 

I think out of everyone that passed through the Melbourne Jail, two inmates stood out to me: Colin Ross and Alexander Ross (next picture). These two inmates were not related.

I don’t know why but I felt so sorry to see this adorable little boy be punished! I didn’t take any pictures but part of the museum displayed how inmates would be whipped so I think that’s another reason why he stuck with me because he survived being strapped down and whipped, and died in 1954 in a suburb next to where I’m currently living. 

The gallows used for hanging. I believe Dan Kelly was hung here rather than outside in the courtyard…
Tools used for hanging.
On the third floor.

After the jail, we headed down to Federation Square to see the Christmas tree. We originally wanted to see it a night time but it was still bright AF at 5pm and we really didn’t want to kill 3-4 hours roaming around. 

At the time, there was also an African Celebration going on so we saw a few cool performances. 

Ugh, I seriously can’t wait until my hair grows out and I’m out of the awkward growing phase.

And, to end date day, Dan took me out to a sushi dinner and Starbucks dessert. 

PS: It’s actually pretty cheap to have a wedding in the jail, LOL. I did check the wedding hire brochure.

1 Month in Melbourne

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I moved out to Melbourne! Honestly, this time of the year usually flies by for me but November felt like the longest month of the year. A few days ago, someone asked if it feels like I’m on vacation because time moved so slowly in November and I stumped at that because I don’t feel like I’m on vacation… but I also don’t feel like I’m settled yet, you know what I mean?

So, what is life like in Melbourne after a month?

  • The trains in Melbourne are different than the ones back at home. I hate the schedule – you miss a train? Wait 15 minutes! Whereas, back at home, if you missed a train, another one comes in 2-3 minutes (or less during rush hour). 
  • Some produce and foods are called differently over here:
    • Ketchup = tomato sauce
    • (Bell) Pepper = capsicum 
    • Cilantro = coriander (I had such an embarrassing experience at the grocery store because of this!)
    • Frosted Flakes = Frosties
    • Fries = Chips (obviously!)
    • Thrift stores = Opp shops
    • Hours of Operations / Open hours = trading hours
  • It’s super competitive out here in the job market. Definitely much more competitive than back home. 
  • Houses are built differently over here – it seems like a lot of them are only one level and there are no basement suites. 
  • Oh my gosh, I don’t think I can ever complain about the rain in Vancouver because here in Melbourne, when it pours… it freakin’ pours! We live next to a gym (literally, 30 seconds walk) and Dan was soaked from the time he left the gym because he was caught in torrential rainfall. 
  • There are no monthly bus passes – you just have to load up your card with 4 weeks or 52 weeks or 120 days, etc. 
  • Because rent can be paid weekly… a lot of people will rent out their rooms whenever they can. On Facebook, I saw someone try to rent their room for like 5 days.
  • Fruits are hella expensive but meat and produce are fairly cheap. 
  • Sushi is completely different out here… I can’t explain it. I should probably take photos next time. 
  • People comment on my accent… that’s weird. 
  • Also, I miss hockey… so, so much. 
  • Plus side… I get K-Mart AND Target. Oh my lord, I can’t stop going into them.
  • The phone planes are SO cheap and good! I pay $30/month and get 8gb of data and unlimited talk/text. On top of that, any unused data gets rolled over into the next month with a maximum of 200gb. Like, what do Australians do on their phone that requires this much data?!
  • Major groceries delivery groceries to your door and it’s not a premium service or anything out of the norm.
  • Tax is already included in the price! If I see a tag for $10, I’m paying $10 at the register.
  • No tips culture!

There’s probably a bit more differences that I’ve noticed during my month here but these are what comes to the top of my head. 

Of the 4 weeks here, I’ve worked for 1 week which isn’t too bad! I got a sense of the Australian workforce. I’m hoping to ditch the contract realm soon and find something permanent or at least a longer contract term.

I think I’m most excited for Christmas because it’d literally be Christmas in summer. Like, I would be wearing shorts next to my Christmas tree and I’m excited for that, lol. 

Also, given that it’s been a month already… I think it’s time for me to meet new people. So I downloaded Bumble and half-assed my swipes but I’d try to put more effort into my matches.

Black Friday 2018 Haul

I’m a little late to the game but here’s my Black Friday haul for this year! I don’t participate in Black Friday every year but this year I felt like I lacked a lot of staples in my closet.

Since moving to Australia, I’ve found that Black Friday isn’t too big out here. It was like this in Canada for a while until and to be honest, it only started to pick up a few years ago back at home. 

But, I rarely shop in stores anymore. Instead, this year I did my Black Friday shopping on AliExpress, my favourite online shop. 

So, this is going to be a different haul because I haven’t received any of the items yet… nor do I know if they’re going to match my satisfaction. But, here’s what I grabbed this year…

*Clicking into the item’s title will bring you to the page on AliExpress.

BIVIGAOS 2018 Spring Summer New Ladies Korean OL Black Harem Pants Breathable Thin Casual Pencil Pants Simple Trousers Women

AU$ 14.96

When I got my first corporate job, I felt like my wardrobe wasn’t adequate enough. I was inspired to “upgrade” my wardrobe a bit and dress a bit more fancier. I wanted items that I can pull off in the office, and outside of the office as well.

I love jeans and leggings but I feel like I want a bit more casual smart items.

Modstreets 2018 New Summer Women T Shirt Tops Casual Sleeveless Cartoon Print T Shirt Hip Hop Dance Clothes Tops

AU$ 11.29

With the summer coming around in Australia, I wanted a super casual t-shirt dress and stumbled across this one. I hope it looks good on me since I don’t own much gold/yellow items.

Sheinside Elastic Waist Pinstripe Cigarette Pants Black Mid Waist Tapered Carrot Trousers Women Summer Office Ladies Pants

AU$ 13.71

I’ve always wanted pinstripe pants! I think these will be good because they’re actually pants and not like slacks. I’m hoping to pair these off as an everyday outfit too.

Hot Blazer Women 3/4 Sleeve Open Front Short Cardigan Suit Fashion Slim yards Ladies Work Office Jacket 2018

AU$ 13.38

This is a blazer-like cardigan that I’m pretty excited for. I hate formal blazers because they seem really stiff and heavy. I’m excited for this one, especially with the hotter weather coming soon.

2018 New Autumn Winter Women Boots Suede Female Side Zipper Martin Boots Vintage Fashion Ankle Boots

AU$ 18.19

I have really small feet (size 2 Youth or size 4 women) so I tend to purchase shoes online when I’m not in China. My pair of black ankle boots were finally worn down and I had to throw them out and ever since, I’ve been eyeing a new pair. I wanted something with a lower heel as to make it not super formal and hard to walk in so finding this was a steal!

2018 New Plus Size S-5XL Women Collar Suit Jacket Coat Blazer Ladies Long Sleeve Cardigan Slim Fit Ruffle Solid Small Suit Coat

AU$ 12.21

Same as the one above, this is another blazer-like cardigan! I fell in love with the colour so grabbed it while it was on sale.


Lastly, I couldn’t help but get myself a Vegas Knights jacket! I’ve always wanted one but held off on it until there was a good sale. Unfortunately, being in Australia, my go-to site for VGK goods were very limited. They only had one style for a women’s jacket but it’s pretty much exactly what I wanted anyway so it all works out!

AU$ 61.50

So, what was this year’s damage?

AliExpress = $83.74 – $5 coupon = $78.74 AUD

Vegas Knights = $61.50

Total = $140.24 AUD

In my opinion, not bad of a haul! For the AliExpress items alone, that’s a fair bit of items for only $80. 

My hockey jacket will be the first to arrive, and everything else should be arriving mid to late December, assuming there’s not much of a delay with Australia Post. 

Celebrating 2 Years

Last week, Dan and I celebrated our two years anniversary. 

Given what has happened between us, I didn’t want to celebrate our 2 years but Dan pushed for it and said: “whatever happens, it’s still a relationship worth celebrating”. I mean, he’s not wrong… 2 years is worth celebrating.

Since we moved to Australia, we’ve been budgeting and watching our money a bit more closely than we were back at home. Prior to our anniversary, we both agreed to keep it very cheap with no gifts this year. Our original plan was to take a pottery class but we couldn’t find any affordable ones in town and I don’t think Dan wants to spend three hours in class. 

I found a Groupon deal for an All-You-Can-Eat seafood buffet at the Sheraton hotel. It was $99 but works out to be $50 each for dinner, not including drinks yet. I figured that was pretty affordable. 

Let me just say… the seafood buffet was amazeballs! I seriously can’t believe they had AYCE oysters… oysters! I haven’t had raw oysters in ages and was craving them the moment I saw the picture on Groupon. The buffet also had scallops, prawns, crabs, salmon, salads, turkey, and the usual buffet stuff. But, I was all in on the seafood and this was definitely one of the rare meals that I got my money’s worth, lol.

Prior to dinner, I was at home working on some blog stuff and work. I also had an interview as well.

Post interview selfie… because, why not?

We had reservations at 6:30pm so we went into the city to browse and walk a bit. We stopped by Target again to get some umbrellas and Dan wanted socks. We got there half an hour early but they were able to accommodate us right away.

Since we were one of the first tables to arrive, the place was fairly empty. But, the dining area was so, so, so beautiful! It felt like a summer cottage home with the sunlight bathing through.

In no time, we headed towards the buffet and started piling food on our plates.

The first round was purely seafood! I stocked up on oysters (duh), smoked salmon, prawns, mussels and scallops. My least favourite was the prawns… I don’t think I’m a fan of cold prawns.

The second round happened fairly quickly. I went for the usual meat dishes, and topped off with a bit of salad and some more seafood.

I was starting to get full after my second plate but I filled a small plate with a few more things before settling on dessert. I think that since we used Groupon to dine, the waitresses kept on pushing drinks on us so Dan ordered two glasses of wine and I had coke.

The final round was dessert! I’m not a big dessert person but they looked soooo yummy that I had to try some. I think the dessert round was Dan’s favourite, haha.

Dan and I shared some of the desserts so my plate looks a little empty. I loved the chocolate ice cream and the little salted caramel & chocolate tart. Everything else was meh but this is coming from a non-dessert person so don’t take my word for it.

The buffet had a two hour sitting limit and I think we used about 1.45 hours of the 2 hours. I felt so bloated that walking back to the train was hard, haha. 

Fun fact: I got super self-conscious after the buffet that I went to the gym the next day and surprisingly didn’t gain any weight in Melbourne so far! 

To end our anniversary celebration, I got to start my dinosaur book that I’ve been eyeing lately!

Journal Entry #001

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Today, we finally moved out of our Airbnb and into our Aussie home! Despite the lovely location of the Airbnb, I hated having no living room/dining area, and I hated sharing one single bathroom with 5 other travellers. During our time at the Airbnb, if we weren’t out and about exploring the city or going to job interviews, we were pretty much crammed in our little room, sitting on a queen-sized bed and watching Shameless or browsing the internet. 

It wasn’t fun and I was getting tired of being trapped in a room. Plus, near the last two days, we were moved to a “garage room” which is basically exactly what it sounds like – a garage converted to a bedroom. All there was was just rugs on the ground, a bed, wardrobe and desk. It was freaking freezing late nights and early mornings. 

Despite the great location (it was like 10 minutes into CBD), it wasn’t worth staying in that room for the long run. 

We ended up finding a place about 25ish minutes out of the CBD with a gal named Tiffany and her dog, Charlie. The room is spacious, and not to mention we have a full dining room and living room to relax and socialize in. We’re living with two Aussies so it’ll be nice to pick up the slang and in the ins and outs of Australia rather than living with another traveller. 

We had KFC for lunch (yuck, I know… it’s only because it was the only thing around at that time). After my meal, I was hit with a bad stomachache but luckily I was carrying my Eater’s Digest roll on and that really helped alleviate the pain within a few minutes.

The good news is that I landed a two- weeks contract as a Recruiting Coordinator with one of Australia’s biggest health company! It starts next Wednesday or Thursday (whenever they finish officially onboarding me). I also have another interview with this restaurant giant for an HR role on Tuesday and hopefully, that’s a permanent full-time position. What happened with this company was I originally interviewed for this Guest Coordinator role but they turned me down and instead asked if I would like to come in for the HR role that would better suit my skills instead… so I’m meeting with the HR manager on Tuesday for that… fingers crossed it all works out!

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…

Leaving Vancouver

Towards the end of October, things got busy. In the month of October, every weekend was filled with social events, and the days leading up to the departure date was packed as well. I was getting stressed out with packing and cleaning the entire home; paranoid that I was missing some important document or the currency exchange place didn’t have enough Australian dollars. I was getting tired and more nervous as I’m slowly packing my comfortable Canadian life away.

We had a going away party at The Pint, a local bar in Vancouver with a group of our closest friends. Prior to The Pint, we headed over to Metrotown for a League of Legends tournament… I kid you not.

But, it was a pretty neat experience to see a community of League players gather around and have some fun. It was also pretty nice to see how excited the guys were to participate in the tournament. I think they came in 3rd place…

Also, side note: I will forever hold it against the guys for inviting me to join their League team and then they all voted to withdraw their offer a few minutes later.

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Missing these girls while I’m writing this post!

After the tournament, we all went out separate ways to get ready for the going away party.

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As the night rolled on, it was such a nice heartwarming feeling to see the love and support surrounding us. It was a little bit of a shit feeling to see all of this and then reflect on some of my friends that weren’t supportive of my move overseas.

Like any other bar on the weekends, this place closes at 3am. We were at the back of the place and as the night progressed, we were being pushed closer and closer to the front of the bar until we realized they were closing for the night. All of us couldn’t believe where the time has gone – like, seriously?! It was already 3am?! It still felt like 11pm when we were all huddled outside trying to get cabs back home.

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All in all, it was a fantastic going away party and at one point, I was sitting on the Skytrain and telling Dan, “I can’t believe we’re on our way to our going away party…”.


Fast forward to Halloween weekend. Our friend, Tiffany, hosts the annual Halloween party. Since Dan and I were packing and cleaning out our house already, we downsized a lot and since we were moving, we were trying to save money so it wasn’t realistic for us to buy a Halloween costume. Luckily, Tiffany keeps all her Halloween costumes and lent us her couples costume of TJ and Spinelli from Recess.

Prior to the Halloween party, Dan and I were busy throughout the day packing, cleaning, and driving back and forth from my mom’s place to ours. My mom’s garage was housing all our furniture so we got lucky enough to not have to buy storage or sell off our goods.

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Those three blue suitcases? That’s everything we’re bringing to Australia!

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Our bedroom, empty like the first day we moved in.

It was such a bittersweet moment as we cleaned out the place. This was our first home together, and we lived in such a prime location. It was a bit more expensive now that I look back at it, and we blew a lot of our money because of the convenience of the location, so… I lowkey do look forward to moving out to a cheaper place when we return.

Dan and I wanted to relax a bit before the Halloween party so I think we called it around 4PM. We only had half the kitchen and bathroom left to clean the next day. Since we cleared out all our furniture, we crashed at our friend’s place until our departure day and they were amazing hosts to us.

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TJ and Spinelli

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The Nun is a beautiful and wonderful lady named Nicole. We first met back in our going away party so I was super excited to see her again because she’s just a gem! She’s honestly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. And it’s such a shame that we met only when we were leaving!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I agreed to the party as it’s one of the last social events for the group. Also, because I had to put zero effort into costumes, haha.


To top off our social events and busy weekends, our friend, Carolyn, wanted to send us off with her famous hot pot dinner. I’m serious guys – you haven’t experienced hot pot until you had Carolyn’s.

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It felt like the Thanksgiving dinner we never had this year as a group because all of those that mattered to us were in the room, sharing a very good dinner.

But, additional sidenote: THANKS TO WHOEVER WAS DIPPING THEIR CHOPSTICKS INTO THE POT AND SPREADING THE SICKNESS AROUND BECAUSE WE’RE ALL SICK FROM YOU!