Getting the opportunity to accompany T in Melbourne.
Part 1: Farewell
The final moment with the family, right before the departure gates, was an emotional one. It’s the first time either of us will be away from our family for more than 2 weeks. Even when T was in NS, he got to meet his family at least once a week. I was prepared for tears, but I was not prepared for the watershed that happened. Nevertheless, it was a comforting goodbye for the sadness and the last words from my parents reminded me that no matter what the distance is, they will always worry about the same things – my safety, my wifely responsibilities, and the need to be more religious.
Part 2: Up
We sat in the huge seats, all jakun nak mampus (in astonishment). We have been offered the first class seats, but we decided to take the business class ones to sit side by side. There were so many buttons on the seat to adjust to my needs/wants, and the seat can even be changed to be a bed! And oh, the leg space… The leg space was omg, so luxurious! I am small sized, but when I had the economy seats in both budget and non-budget planes, I could still feel the knees of the passenger behind me digging into my back. But this, this seat was just ridiculous… And the service was even better – flight attendants addressed me by my name and food was served by courses. Seriously, how am I to ride economy class again?
Part 3: Exploring the city
Tiramisu had to report to work in the afternoon so I decided to walk around the city, checking out food places and soaking in the environment. Weather was lovely. Sure it was drizzling for a while, but once that subsided, the sun shone brightly and the breeze cooled the air. The streets were easy to walk around – even if one gets lost, there were maps around to guide you, and people were friendly, so they’d give directions too. I got lost when I was on the way to a friend’s apartment and a cashier, who happened to be a Malaysian Malay student, helped me with his Google Maps.
I’ve got to say, the pleasantness of the people here does surprise me; Singapore is quite an unfriendly place to live in compared to here. I had awkward moments with the first few locals, especially when they asked a simple question like, “How are you?” but I’ve learned how to be friendly back.
Part 4: Dinner with Sy&Si
Many days/months before we came to Melbourne, the colleague-friend (Sy), whose portfolio Tiramisu is going to take over, and his wife (Si) had given us so many tips and heads-up on living in this city. They were really helpful and they, especially Si, played an important role in assuring me that everything will be okay. Undeniably, apart from the excitement, I had terrifying thoughts about moving and being independent. But Si always shared with me the good things and that made me focus on being excited 🙂
Sy and Si invited us over to the apartment (which we will be moving in next week!) for dinner. We had an engaging conversation and delicious food and a great handover. I’ve fallen in love with the apartment and can’t wait to live in it with Tiramisu…
Part 4: The next morning
When Tiramisu left for work, I felt lost. I am so used to having a definite schedule. In my youth, I woke up to school. Later, I woke up to work. I am not used to having so much free time on hand. The last time I felt this was when I finished my A levels and I remember finding a job quickly to fill in the gap. I got scared again. “Am I going to waste my time away?!” was screaming in my head. Then I breathed and decided I should enjoy my first few days here as a tourist.
I slept back. Woke up. Downloaded the holy book as I’ve challenged myself to read the English translation of all pages before we get posted to the next location. Checked out what activities I can volunteer in. Had a bubble bath. Cleaned my toenails and painted fresh colours on my fingernails. Watched a Ted video. Read the to-do list prepared by my clingy friends again (photo above is #3). Explored the city further. And plopped my ass in a Guylian café, which Si raved about the night before, and typed this away, while munching on a muffin and sipping the café’s special macchiato.
Things will work out. They always do 🙂