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Week 53 to 56 in Melbourne

*blows dust off blog*

I’ve taken such a long break from blogging, I forgot on how to start a post, hah! Hmm. Let’s see. Perhaps I should explain firstly: The lack of posts is not because I’ve got nothing to share. In fact, the past few weeks have been filled with many social meet-ups. T and I even made a quick trip back to Singapore. All these happened because we have been told that we were leaving Melbourne on 23 March to move to a new country, a new city….

So basically, the lunches and dinners were supposedly farewell meals with different group of friends, and the trip back to our homeland was to get our vaccinations and my visa approved. But heyho, we were informed last week that due to unforeseen circumstances, our posting out date has been postponed to 27 April. So it’s pretty weird that we’ve caught up with everybody for the “last” time, but not really the last time since we’ve got another month. Nonetheless, all is good ’cause one more meet-up with these friends means more bonding time and more food to eat and more activities to do 😀

Top 5 highlights for the last month, apart from the “farewell” lunches and dinners:

1. T’s birthday on 2 Mar

I always look forward to celebrating T’s birthday. It’s one of those times when I can be sneaky and not tell him about the surprises that were coming up. Everything went as planned and hehehe, his reactions to the 3 main surprises – the PS4 camera and VR set from me and his in-laws, the delicious steak, and the creme brûlée – were priceless! It was a day spent really splendidly ❤

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And hehe, T’s sister organised a celebration with his side on the day we got back 🙂

2. Watching Adele on 19 Mar

I regret sitting very far away from this goddess. I wish I was as close to her, as I was to Adam Levine at Maroon 5’s 2015 gig in Amsterdam. But what to do, Adele’s tickets were not as cheap as Maroon 5’s: $204 vs $84. Heh.

Minus the distance, the show that Adele put on was mighty glorious! Her singing made me have goosebumps and when she’s not belting songs, the stories she told were so funny! ❤

3. Hosting A and S from 17 Mar to 20 Mar

T’s cousin, A, and his wife, S, told us that they were coming to Melbourne for Adele and we offered them to stay at our apartment. It was a wonderful decision… I am not close to T’s extended family and hanging out with these two made me understand the dynamics of the family more. Also, they are two bubbly people who injected so much laughter during their stay and hahaha finally, I’ve got someone else (i.e. A) who can layan T’s nonsense*!

They came at the right time as sun was shining bright (too bright for Autumn, really) and we get to go to all touristy areas without the hindrance of rain. Hehe, one of the places we went was the pink lake! The boys were grumbling on how merepek it was, but I was very happy to see the bandung coloured water 😀

We were out in the sun so much that T and I got tanned, almost burnt really – Just look at the wefie for Adele! It’s amazing how the two of them maintained their skin tone…

*cues jokes on cycling, sitting on grass, and the leather jacket

4. Trying out new recipes

Kuih Lapis on 26 Feb and Roti Kirai on 13 Mar 😛 Yum yum!

5. Swimming in a rock pool on 5 Mar

Weather was a little gloomy on the day that we headed to Flinders Rockpool but that didn’t stop us from going for an adventure. The water was sooooo refreshing and I super love the swimming ring – if not for it, I’d not have been able to dip in!

[Note: Some of the photos uploaded here have been taken from friends’ Facebook account :)]

Week 52 in Melbourne

Wowzer, we’ve been here for a year! Time flies… Anyway, highlights of last week:

14 Feb, Tuesday

Q turned 20! So big liao, my little sister… For some reason, Skype connection was bad on that night, but hehe, at least she’s happy with all the love that she received 🙂

Note: Dad was sitting near the laptop, and was out of frame. But he’s there!

16 Feb, Friday

Finally, it actually shined on the day T and I planned to cycle!

We first had brunch at Long Story Short. Food looked pretty, but the taste was not so fantastic. Heh. Then we made our way down to Port Melbourne Beach to rent the blue Melbourne bicycles. But lo and behold, there weren’t any helmets. So we walked another 15 minutes to the next Melbourne Bike Share station and fortunately, there were some! We got ourselves a couple and rode all the way to Saint Kilda 😀

Later on, we sat at Matcha Mylkbar and got majorly disappointed with the bland taste of the drinks we ordered (matcha latte and chai latte), and after waiting for almost half hour, we got disappointed again with the “best” sweet potato fries. Heh.

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After freshening up in the evening, we made our way to East Imperial for dinner. We had a banquet set of $30 per pax, and the spread was amazingly delicious and so filling! It totally made up for the mediocre food we had for brunch and tea. And of course, it was a beautiful way to mark our one year stay in Melbourne 🙂

17 Feb, Saturday

Had these friends over for a night of games… Wi came earlier too, but she left before the games started as she had dinner plans. We caught a movie, ‘The Raid: Redemption’, over dinner and the girls squealed every now and then, as gore scenes flashed. I’ve watched this movie 3 times already, and still get all squirmy! And then, we played the different games till 2AM, just because 😛

18 Feb, Sunday

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Sunday was so super buruk nak mampus for T and me. We pulled our mattress out to the living room and watched ‘Homeland’ the entire day. And when the season was done, we watched ‘The Founder’. Watching the characters eat McD burgers made us wanna eat McD’s double cheese, so we ordered the value meals for supper. The burgers were divine and the fries were yums! The order came at 10.45pm, and heh, a couple of hours later, we were in bed (in front of the TV). Heh. Heh.

5 cards you’d need in Melbourne

I know of some people who’s migrating to Melbourne in the next few months and I thought of writing something helpful for people who’s moving out of their comfort zone. So here’s a list of essential cards that one would need if one moves to Melbourne 🙂

1. Bank card

This is obviously necessary if you plan to work in the new city. T and myself didn’t research on this thoroughly when we moved here, partly because we (or maybe, just I) forgot we needed new bank accounts and because we thought we were to be in Melbourne for only 6 months.

But we are happy with the services we got from ANZ, the bank with branch offices that happened to be near T’s office and our apartment. ANZ provided friendly and efficient customer service – we managed to block T’s card asap when he lost it at Revolver Upstairs – and it has ATM machine almost everywhere. Also, the card is a Visa payWave one, so it takes less than a second to make payments.

For you who do not live at a place under your name (e.g. You’re living in an apartment under the company’s name or living at a friends/family’s house), making a bank card is needed because the bank will issue a bank statement with the address in which you’re living at. This will serve as a document which proves where you’re staying, and this document is needed when you want to buy a mobile phone line (and a library card).

Do remember to bring your passport when applying for a card.

2. Sim card 

It took me about a month* to decide on which telecomm company and which mobile phone plan I would like to sign up for. There are Optus, Virgin, Telstra, Vodafone, and each of them had different types of plans.

In the end, I opted for Virgin’s monthly postpaid plan ’cause it had a sweet deal ($40 per month for 7gb data!) and it’s coverage is pretty good in the city and suburbs. And oh, if I don’t use up my data in a month, it will roll over to the next month! And I can stop the plan anytime I want, with no additional charges.

What you’d have to bring when buying a Sim card are your passport and a document which proves on where you’re staying.

*I could stay a month without an Australian line because I was tapping on my M1 plan’s data passport. Basically, I paid $10 extra for a month to use the 3gb data on my Singapore line. If I didn’t need to make or receive calls to Melbourne numbers, I’d have stayed on using the data passport. So yeah, if you’re holidaying in Australia and have an M1 line, just top up $10 to google map/whatsapp/whatsapp call/whatever else you need data for.

3. Myki card

Travelling in Melbourne city is free (which is why I save a lot on transportation!) but once you’re out of the range, you’d need to pay when taking the trams, trains and buses. The fare is definitely not as cheap as Singapore’s – you can see them here. (But you’ve no choice, right? You are the one who chose to move here. Haha!)

You can get this card at the train stations or 7-11. I know they sell it somewhere else too, but I can’t remember exactly where else.

It’d be good for you to download the PTV (Public Transport Victoria) app so that you know what time the transportation is coming, and which platform you’d need to be if you’re taking the train. I swear, my first time to the train station was overwhelming because it’s not like Singapore’s MRT, where trains go in only 2 directions, there were many platforms with many trains going to many directions. But I assure you, after a couple of times, you’d get used to it 🙂

On the note of transportation, we didn’t see the need to buy a car since we thought we were here for a short while. At times, when we had long weekends, we rented cars. And at other times, when we decide we wanted to be driven around, we used Uber. It is way cheaper than a cab.

4. Insurance card

Without an insurance card, medical care is going to be super expensive. Like seriously. Sure, maybe you think that you’d not fall ill or you think that insurance is meh and so you think it’s not vital. But I’m telling you, it is.

T and I are lucky to have this covered by the company he’s working in. We both fell sick once the past year. Just one visit to the doctor each had our medical bills totalling up to almost $200. Most of it, we managed to claim back from MediBank. But yeah, it’s crazy how a GP visit can go up to about $100.

Also, with our MediBank card, we had other benefits like having free dental check-up. I’ve always love going to the dentist so this was a major plus point for me! I think some insurance plans allows you to have free massages or make free glasses. So again, it’s worth checking this out 🙂

For those of you who plan to buy contact lens in Melbourne, please make sure you’ve got your eye prescription from Singapore. The shops here will not sell you contact lens unless you have a prescription, and heyho, a prescription here will cost about $70.

5. Supermarket rewards card

Okay, this isn’t really a need, but I highly recommend having it. You’d do weekly grocery shoppings, so why not sign up for something free, and get the rewards? It’s easy and you’d get surprised from time to time for getting vouchers…

I can’t think of any other important cards. Nevertheless, I hope this helps anyone who’s moving over to the most liveable city 😀

Week 51 in Melbourne

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I have 4 favourite dates in a year, and one of them was in last week – 07 Feb, my wedding anniversary! T and I gave ourselves a treat to steaks for dinner, before being a bit reckless by taking on 2 espresso each 😛 Needless to say, it was a sleepless night….. (Haha, bodoh kan?)

On a special note, the conversations we had that night were very meaningful and as always, I’m thankful to grow and mature with him by my side ❤

And oh, I finally have accepted to be identified as a wife. Before this, I was in denial, labelling myself as a girlfriend co-habitating with her boyfriend. Actually, the change in terms doesn’t change anything much, just tweaked a very very very small fraction of our lives, e.g. I can now say things like, “Your wife wants to watch ‘Married At First Sight’, teman her please!” instead of “I want to watch ‘Married At First Sight’, teman me please!”, just to up the menyampah level, hehe!

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Met up this bunch on 09 Feb for dinner, ICE ICE COFFEE, and to catch the movie, ‘Lion’. During dinner, T and I told them about the plans that’s happening on 23 March and from their reaction, I can foresee myself crying when we leave Melbourne then 😦

Speaking of crying, ‘Lion’ is a tear jerker and it was soooooooooo funny to be sitting beside a friend who couldn’t stop sniffling throughout the movie! Heehee!

On 11 Feb, the city kids travelled out to Lilydale to celebrate Kak A’s birthday 🙂 We had yummy barbecue food, super addictive chips, and lotsa cake 😛 It was a lovely gathering and hehehe, I can’t wait for Adele’s show in March! Hehe, we bought the birthday girl a ticket and all of us are so excited! 😀

(*Apart from the first photo, all photos are taken by Mi, hehe.)

Food diary – 11D10N in Singapore

T and I flew back to Singapore for a short holiday to meet up with family and friends, and to eat the food we miss. There is too much to blog about the many exciting updates exchange amongst the people we met, so here are just photos of the food I ate with them. Oh, I’ve added the location and price details just because I was astounded by how cheap food is in Singapore, when compared to Melbourne! #thingsIusedtotakeforgranted

25 Jan – Wednesday

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Breakfast with T: 1 egg prata + 1 teh tarik @ Saffron’s Cafeteria (Main) = $3.10

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When we got the news.

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Lunch with T and in-laws: 1 nasi rawan @ Bedok Corner = $5

Dinner with T and my family: Mum’s cooking = Free!

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Supper with T and CC4Lyfe: 1 teh limau @ Spize, Simpang Bedok = $2.90

26 Jan – Thursday

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Lunch with ex-collegues: 1 hor fun + 1 bandung @ Mr Teh Tarik, Bedok North = $7.50

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Dinner with T and Q: 1 wanton noodle + 1 lime juice @ Encik Tan, Our Tampines Hub = $5.00

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Supper with T, Michelle and Ray @ Boat Quay: Free, their treat!

27 Jan – Friday

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Lunch with T and Panner: 1 mee kuah + 1 Qoo @ Jurong = $5.00

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Second lunch with T, R, S and AQ: Free briyani!

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Dinner with my girls: Nasi ambeng + drinks @ Pu3 = $44.00 for four of us

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Coffee with my girls: 1 Moroccan mint tea @ The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Bugis+ = $6.50

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Supper with my girls, T and R: 1 McSpicy Meal @ McDonalds, Bras Basah = $7.xx

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Second supper with T, M and R @ Zouk and Bangbang = $30.00

28 Jan – Saturday

Lunch and tea/dinner with T and in-laws @ Seoul Garden, Marina Square and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Suntec City = Free, sister-in-law and T’s treat!

29 Jan – Sunday

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Breakfast with T: 2 egg prata + 2 plaster prata + 1 tea + 1 teh tarik @ Saffron’s Cafeteria = $9.90

Dinner with T, my family, and my dad’s side: Food cooked by Mum, Yazid, Mich, and a little of me 🙂 = Free!

30 Jan – Monday

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Lunch with T’s extended family = Free!

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Half hour super random chat with F

Dinner with T and MR: 1 prosperity burger meal @ McDonalds, Marina Square = $7.80

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Supper with T and H: H treated!

31 Jan – Tuesday

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Lunch with Fatin: Salad + 1 lemon tea @ Toasties, Our Tampines Hub = $9.90
(It was our first time to this cafe. Would not go there again, food was mediocre and service was slow.)

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Dinner with T and Dinie: Rojak @ Al Mahboob Rojak = $17.00

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Supper with T and Ramadhan: Green tea frap with java chips @ Starbucks, Tampines Mall = Free, ’cause I still got my gift credit!

01 Feb – Wednesday

Trip to Johor with CC4Lyfe 😀

02 Feb – Thursday

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Brunch with T and in-laws: Cooked by my mother-in-law = Free!

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Dinner with my family: Cooked by Mum = Free!

03 Feb – Friday

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Lunch with T and Emily: 2 piece chicken meal @ KFC = $9.90

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Second lunch with T: Cooked by Mum and my mother-in-law = Free!

Dinner with T, the Lims and Marx: Free, the Lims’ treat!

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Supper with T @ Attica = $30.00

04 Feb – Saturday

Lunch with T and his colleagues @ AZ’s baby shower

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Dinner cooked by my mother-in-law = Free!

 

Second dinner with my family @ McDonalds, Changi Airport: Treat from X!

Supper on board 😀

Week 48 in Melbourne

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Apart from the haunting incident that happened, last week was a great week 🙂 Sunsets have been more beautiful, especially on 16 January. If you’re my friend on Instagram or Facebook, you’d have seen the hyperlapse video of the gorgeous changes from 8pm to 10pm!

5 other great things that happened:

1) T and I have been asking our Melbournian friends what is considered to be an Australian food. Most had trouble giving examples, but more often then not, they talked about Vegemite. They say it tastes disgusting but they eat it anyway – it’s been fed to them since young. We never got around trying it until T’s friend, Li, decided to randomly buy us a bottle when she saw it while grocery shopping. We tried it, and omg, it’s so super salty and I can’t make out the rest of the taste! True as they say, it was gross. We will have to think of creative ways to finish up the bottle, haha!

2) I met my girlfriends (Wi, Mi and Az) to check out the South Melbourne Night Market. We thought of eating dinner there, but after walking 2 rounds around the different food trucks, nothing looked fantastic. So, we headed to a nearby restaurant for the soft shell crab sliders, calamari salad, and pasta. The food was sooooo good! What was even better was the different topics of conversation, especially about the waiter with very long hair, hehe! His dreadlocks has grown longer than beneath his butt. “Macam mane eh die tido? Peluk rambut die eh?” “Macam mane die naik roller coaster? Kene orang depan belakang tak?” “Macam mane die gi toilet?” The list of questions on how he gets on with life were long, probably as long as his hair 😛

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3) T and I lepaked with these two, and hopefully, I get to a) hang out at their place soon so that I can play with their new cute cat, Molly; b) learn some skateboarding tricks the next time we meet! And oh, I finally used the underground public toilet on this day ’cause that was the first toilet we could find and we needed it urgently. Surprisingly, the toilet was clean and not as dodgy as I imagined it to be. Heck, there were lotsa tissue prepared for guests. Hah.

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4) My sister has a charming way of asking for help. The “haha” and “are u still alive” greeting made me scoff and laugh at the same time, heh. Anyway, at times like this, I’m again at awed with technological advancements. 12 years ago, when I was X’s age, I can’t just WhatsApp someone in another country to solve a mathematics problem. Now, she can. Wonder how things will be like 12 years from now.

5) Food makes me happy. (Haha, I’ve probably said this a million times on my blog!) The two dishes which T and I had that were exceptionally awesome were the fried chicken and potato heaven we ordered from Gami, and the nasi goreng kampung I cooked!

Seriously, I exercise just so that I can eat eat eat. Definitely gotta up my exercise game since I’m now back in Singapore, and the only activity T and I do is eat lotsa local food. Can’t wait to share photos and details on the food we’re indulging! 😀