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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few days ago, I had a nice steak dinner. Meat out in Australia is super cheap! For two cuts, it was only $11 and it was a pretty decent cut. I mean, I’m not an expert in steaks but can’t beat 2 for $11 and have it tasty.
Last week, I also finished my one-week contract. Originally it had a high potential to extend to a two-week contract but on my last day, they struggled to find any work for me so they didn’t extend.
Yesterday was a day full of yummy food. I’ve been wanting to learn how to make sushi for the longest time but didn’t want to fork out the money to take cooking classes. My housemate, Tolis, offered to teach me how to make sushi so we went to the marketplace and grabbed the necessary things and sashimi-grade tuna and salmon.
Unfortunately, I missed out how to make the sushi rice, which is a bummer because that’s the step I would obviously struggle with. Dan and I had a talk the night before and it made me so mad and upset that I couldn’t sleep and when I woke up, I basically felt this sadness and stayed in bed until noon.
Nonetheless, I got to make my rolls and learn how to cut sashimi.
And yes, we made it in our PJs and I have a Hello Kitty robe.
To top it all off, for dinner, we had a bbq! We didn’t prep too much with it – it was literally just peri peri chicken wings and Tolis made some Greek appie with red peppers.
Today, I went over to Oakleigh, a Greek district and had myself a nice cup of iced vanilla latte from Vanilla (seriously, soooooo good!). I’m normally not a fan of doughnuts but… I had myself an Oreo & cream doughnut from The Oakleigh Doughnut Co.
It’s pretty much the best doughnut I’ve ever had.
Since my contract ended last Thursday, I’ve been having myself super chill days. I played The Sims a lot, lol.
Tomorrow it’ll be a fairly busy day. One of the HR roles I applied for when I first arrived in Australia finally called back and I’m meeting with them tomorrow for an interview. I guess it’s a good thing because my chances are pretty high since a decent amount of people probably found jobs within a month.
The downside is the commute to Footscray is about an hour but hey, a job is a job. I can probably kill a lot of audiobooks this way too.
I’m also going to email ME tomorrow as well. I’m hoping they could provide an update on the role but I’m thinking it won’t start until January. My only concern is that I don’t want to be a dick and work for a place and then bounce a month or so later… but, if it is a guaranteed role, I do have enough money to last me through December without work… so we’ll see!
Since I’m in the city tomorrow as well, I’m hoping to finalize the Christmas package I’ll be sending back home. I just need to pick up a t-shirt for my Dad and something for a Mom… and a few random knick-knacks and chocolates for my old colleagues and have it shipped sometime this week.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
I think this is my second time doing a Liebster Award? Or third… I can’t recall because I don’t think I did it every time I was nominated… oops!
But, I got tagged from the lovely Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog the other day so without further ado, here’s the Liebster Award!
Here’s how these things go…
Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
Give 11 random facts about yourself
Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
Give these blogs 11 questions to answer
What is the grocery store you go to regularly called?
Back at home, I used to go to Safeway because it was literally just right behind us but Safeway is one of the more expensive grocery stores back home. Otherwise, I absolutely loooooove Superstore!
Here in Australia, I’ve been going to Woolsworth because it’s just down the street from where I live
Are you subscribed to any subscription boxes?
Not anymore… I used to subscribe to an underwear box (I know, seriously…). I can’t recall what it was called but I don’t think they’re around anymore. I think they were the first underwear subscription box as well. But I’ve been keen on trying two boxes…
Plant Therapy – this is an essential oil subscription box. I’m not currently subscribed because I’m still new to the EO industry and want to learn more about it before I subscribe to a monthly oil thing.
FitFabFun – I’ve seen so many ads for these things and can see the benefits of the box because holy shit, there’s a shit ton of things for only $50 but I haven’t subscribed to it yet because I hate clutter and hoarding so I wouldn’t know what to do with the items I don’t want because I’m also very lazy to try to sell these things.
Do you ever print out your photos anymore?
The last set of photos I printed was from my Japan trip. I printed them out because it was such a big trip, and the living room walls were super plain. Now, I only print polaroids with my polaroid printer.
What was your favourite project you remember working on in High School?
I remember there was like a little mishap with my timetable so I ended up taking Film class as an elective because it was the only class that looked appealing to me in the time slot (the other option was Strength and Conditioning, lol). It was fun because it turned out, a couple of friends were in that class as well.
I think my favourite project would be doing a mini music video with my friends. Or the anti-bullying video… or, the gang violence video. Either way, Film class was the best class for fun projects with friends.
Do you think it’s possible for parents to love one of their kids more than the others?
I believe so. The only reason why I believe it is because, sometimes kids turn out to be an asshole, lol. But if we’re saying the family is all happy and fine, I think parents can love different kids in a different capacity (eg. loving one kid a bit more because the one can be successful, and loving another kid a bit more because he/she is more creative). I’m not sure if that made sense or not, but I think parents can love their kids all differently.
If you could donate a large amount of money to one charity, which would you choose?
I would donate to Indigo’s Love of Reading. The reason being, I absolutely love reading and books, and it’s such a great hobby to develop overtime. It takes people to different places; it teaches; it’s relaxing; it’s inspiring; it pushes imagination. Reading does all sorts of great things!
I remember a while back, whenever I shop at Indigo, I choose to donate a couple of dollars. In the back of the check out counters, I saw that my elementary school was being sponsored by the charity. My love for reading developed in elementary school and seeing pictures of familiar teachers and kids so happy with new books and laptops really touched me.
Do you prefer online shopping over going to the store?
Online shopping, 100%! I hate crowds and messy shops, and waiting in line to try clothes on.
I find online shopping has more selection and sizes available. But, I’m pretty picky with online shops as well – they have to offer in-store returns and same-method refunds. I generally try to avoid stores that only offers in-store credits because there’s not a guarantee I would shop there again.
What was the last book you read that you would give a 5 star rating to?
I don’t wear much make-up, the reason being I suck at make-up. But if I had to choose, I think it would be liquid eyeliners. I love Rimmel London stuff.
Do you wash your face everyday with a cleanser?
Yes, I do. I basically use the cleanser when I’m in the shower and I alternate between whatever is cheap/currently on sale in the drug store, lol. But, I’ve some to find the Simple line is super efficient and clears up the skin.
What was your favorite toy as a child?
I loved Barbies and then switched over to Polly Pocket in the 3rd grade. I think Polly Pocket ultimately wins.
11 (Random) Facts About Me
I am a very picky eater. I dislike donuts, pizza, pasta (or mainly Italian cuisine), apples and oranges, Chinese cuisine… and probably more I’m forgetting on the top of my head.
My first blog was back in 6th grade on MSN Spaces, and it was called Jessica’s Island.
I have a Rasputin, and Hitler mug if you ever come over to have a cup of tea with me.
I wear size 2 youth shoes… or size 4 women’s.
I have a total of 12 piercings and 3 tattoos. My next tattoo will be a koala bear as a tribute to my move to Australia.
I am allergic to alcohol (beer, vodka, wine, cider, etc). This allergy developed over time as I was able to drink when I was younger. I’m not talking about “Asian glow” or anything. Full on allergic reaction when I dip my tongue in wine or drink a few sips of beer.
Foods I can eat every day for the rest of my life? Cheese, sushi and chicken wings.
I moved out at the age of 23… a bit older than what most young adults would do.
My biggest fear is snakes. I can’t even look at a picture without feeling anxious and my palms sweaty.
I’m also very afraid of balloons… but not as afraid as snakes.
I love solo travelling and try to do it at least once a year.
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.
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!
It’s been a week since I moved into this place! Right after moving in, we went to Target to grab some bed sheets and a shelving unit. I also started unpacking and found myself a nice little corner of the house to work on my laptop!
Tiffany (roommate) is also a singer/songwriter so to get out of the house and visit some local joints and to show support to our new roomie, we went out to On Top Bar to catch her performance. She’s is suuuuuch an amazing singer!
Last week, we also visited St. Kilda’s beach on the hottest day of the week. Seriously, it was high of 30-something and then for the remainder of the week, it’s been low 10s with wind and rainstorms.
Ugh, I am so excited for the sun and to get a nice year-round tan again…
On Tuesday, I went back to my interview with ME… and it went well! They specifically turned me down for the first role I applied for because my experience didn’t match but they ended up having a new HR Role that is opening up. It’s so new that they don’t have a formal description of the role, or even advertised it yet. They called me up to give me a first crack at it.
So, I went to chat with the HR Manager and Recruiter. It sounds like this position is pretty much mine, however, it may not start until early 2019. I told them that I took a two-weeks contract that they were super supportive on that and would give me an update prior to the contract ending. My agency that I work through also gave me a call on Thursday asking if I’m interested in a 4-months HR contract. I said yes and they’re putting me forward because I don’t know when I could start at ME. Ideally, I would love to work at ME because the environment suits me more (and it’s closer to home!) but I also can’t be unemployed for a month or two waiting on them to get back to me.
Soooo…. there’s that. Fingers cross that ME chooses to move the role along quicker so I can start shortly after my contract ends!
On Wednesday, I went to Melbourne’s biggest shopping mall and literally spent like 3-4 hours shopping for some corporate attire. Back at home, I’ve worked in a start up environment so I never had to bother with corporate attire, and the one pair of slacks and blazer I own, I decided to not bring that with me because everyone told me I probably won’t be working in an corporate environment.
Buuuut… turns out, a lot of temp contracts are in corporations. To keep things within budget and cheap (lol), I went to Target to find a blazer, an office dress, and slacks. I wanted something that could pass in an office, BUT also something that I can wear on a fancy dinner or something without looking too corporal.
Little did I know, the sizing in Australia (or in Target only?) is a bit different than North America. I’m used to XS to XXL and the odd numbers whenever I shop in H&M. But, in Australia, there’s XXXS or whatever so all this time, I thought sizes 6-10 were for bigger people BUT they’re actually a size small! WTF!!!
I was going to complain about how I couldn’t find anything in my size but it turns out, the sizing is just done differently. I purchased size 6 clothes and they were actually a small… lol.
Thursday was my first day on contract. I arrived at the office and holy moly, it’s massive. This company owns about 7 floors in the building and each floor houses different departments.
On top of this, there’s cafes and cafeterias within the offices, and ping pong tables, fooseball, jenga, and a library. They promote collaboration so no one is assigned a seat – you literally pick up your laptop and move wherever you want to sit and each seat comes with a laptop charger, mouse and keyboard, and dual monitors.
It was overwhelming at first and I still get lost within the building but it’s my first ever corporate job. Startups are generally small and have some games but maybe a level or two at most? I now understand what my cousin was saying when she said she met a co-worker from a “different floor”.
I’m part of the talent acquisition team (fancy, eh?) and they’re a team of 19-20ish wonderful, wonderful people. They’ve been nothing but warm and welcoming over the last two days. They’re really showing me the ropes and stuff, buuuut… I don’t think they know I’m only here for a week or two. I don’t want to be a bitch but I also don’t want to get close to any of these girls and then have to leave…