The last post for 2020

2020. What a year. So much has happened…so much also …didn’t happen. So this is going to be a bit of reflection of what happened in 2020 to me. The good. The bad. The sad. The happy. The whatever.

  1. Feb 2020: I finally fulfilled my dream of travelling to New Zealand for a trip! It was an awesome trip in which I caught up with my good friend living in Brisbane…we did a lot of hiking, horse riding, running, and also went on a boat trip! New Zealand is such a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it. I am also extremely lucky that I was able to go overseas before the borders to Australia has closed.
  2. March 2020: I finally saw my ALL time favourite band, ONE OK ROCK. Having missed out on seeing them when I was in Japan for exchange, I can finally say I have been to my second J-Rock concert. However, this time I actually knew and could sing a long with their songs! I also paid for the VIP tickets and also got to meet them, exchange a few words, and get my photo with them. The night was surreal and it was a great memory I will treasure for many years to come.
  3. Later in March 2020: The lockdown of Australia began as the Coronavirus made it way uninvited into all of our lives. You couldn’t escape it. No matter how hard you try to close your eyes….everyone was talking about it, the supermarket shelves were bare with no toilet paper or hand sanitiser to be seen. Gyms, pools, indoor/outdoor sports, cinemas, schools, universities, and shops, restaurants were closed for dine in. Social distancing was the new norm, everyday we were wiping all the surfaces we touched…everyday I would follow religiously the numbers, the tallies, the hotspots…what rules were changing…The hardest part of all was not being able to see my family and friends…I wasn’t able to see my nephew for the longest time and I was so worried he would forget who I was… It was also during this time that I began spending a lot more time with my family that still lived at home. Yes, we got on each others nerves at some stage…but because there was no where to go and nothing to do, we were just at home. My mum began planting and gardening more and more flowers, fruits, and vegetables…I began learning how to work out at home…For my brother and dad, nothing changed much for them…They usually just stay at home anyways. Skype calls were the best, and I am so grateful for technology that keeps us together, but nothing beats the ability to spend time in person with people.
  4. June 2020. The rules has started to relax in South Austraila. We were finally allowed to have up to 10 visitors in our homes! That meant we were able to gather as a family again and to eat out in restaurants with friends! This was the 1st birthday of my nephew…unfortunately because of the restrictions, my sister only invited the immediate family to celebrate….then they broadcasted it live to their other friends via zoom. My little nephew was sooo spoilt with soo many gifts from family and friends! He got Gucci branded shoes, a small ride on Mercedes, and sooo many toys. June was also the month that I found out that my full-time contract job was not going to be renewed…It was not entirely unexpected, but still a shock to hear it. It meant I had to job hunt all over again…and during a pandemic, that was depressing and a very stressful time…there was not much up for grabs in Adelaide in terms of Hospital Pharmacist positions, so I widened my applications to interstate hospitals. I had 3 sets of interviews for a position in Melbourne and that how I ended up where I am now!
  5. July 2020: I found out that I got the job in Melbourne and I would have to start planning my move…Where was I going to stay? Can I even go there during the pandemic? My aunty and uncle helped me immensely in looking for suitable places that I would inspect when I got there. I also had friends help me plan the trip to Melbourne and what I needed to do to make sure my car was okay. Then there was catchup after catchup with all the people I would be seeing for who knows how long? It was more like a one way trip at this stage…once I went to Melbourne, Adelaide would close it’s borders to me…they would see me as an outsider…I wasn’t sure when I would be able to see my family again…This was a really sad realisation and something that made me so anxious and sad. I would be heading to the city which was undergoing the second wave of Coronavirus…and was in stage 4 lockdown, a curfew, and mandatory masks everywhere. I was going into a virus striken city and working in one of their hospitals that have Covid- positive patients…as someone who hates germs, it was a big risk. Saying good bye to my family was the hardest thing, especially my sister whom I am closest with…I hadn’t cried at all at any of my other farewells, but saying goodbye to my sister for the last time was so hard.
  6. August 2020: I made the long ass drive with my car full of lugguage, toilet paper, and stuff to Melbourne. I was not welcomed with any police or officers at the borders, but it wasn’t the same the other way round. South Australia was quite strict with who was able to enter their state…Melbourne however, didn’t give a hoot and still doesn’t. After staying with my aunt for a few days, I found a place pretty quick and moved in on the same week. Then began the journey of living solo and managing to not live in a pigsty. I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted…money didn’t grow on trees unfortunately… Then I started working at my new job and that was incredibly tough at first because of all the competency standards that I had to meet to prove I was worthy as a pharmacist.
  7. August-October: So basically nothing happened. I may have took Gamsat…but other than that I rarely went out. I think the lockdown was still ongoing, so there was no house visitors allowed and everything was Click and Collect or buy online. I think I did a lot of cooking…and buying stuff for my house. The video calls with my family and friends in Adelaide continued…We did group chats, group games, and I played ‘Amongst Us’ Once… lol…. I also did a seminar entirely online at home for work…that was interesting, but also made me extremely sleepy.
  8. Nov 2020: Somehow we managed to have 60 days free from Community Transmitted Covid- Cases! The city slowly opened up and restrictions eased in a gradual step by step process. Restaurants were finally open for dine in, but for limited numbers…Retail shops were allowed to open again! Gyms, schools, universities…and most importantly BADMINTON RESTARTED!!!! This is what I missed most (Asides from family and friends in Adelaide)!! Was the desire to hit a shuttlecock! I write this as my whole body hurts from a great baddy session yesterday night….
  9. Dec 2020: My sister messaged me and told she was coming to Melbourne and that we should catchup !! I was so excited!! I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to Adelaide as they have stricter border than Melbourne, but if my sister could come and go back, surely I would be able to? In the heat of the moment I quickly looked up how much flights would be to Adelaide and back…and it was pretty reasonable! Then I remembered I have a whole bunch of Frequent Flyer Points which I was hoping to use to go to England (dreams crushed this year) and I used those points to pay for the return fare in its entirety! It also included checked baggage both ways! BONUS! I was so happy that I was able to come back home to Adelaide and spend Christmas with my family and to see some of my friends! It was a rushed 4 days…as I hadn’t booked any extra leave I was only there over the public holiday and weekend. Adelaide itself hadn’t changed much, but the people had changed…a bit. Since I left, a friend had a baby, another friend told me she is moving to Brisbane for a new job, two friends had broken up with the long-term partners, and I think that is it?
  10. Dec 31st 2020: The last day of the year 2020, I slept in! Because…I can :)! I had a day off today! It was an accrued day off that just happened to land on the last day of the year. Lucky me! I met up with my sister and her family for lunch and did a bit of window shopping in Melbourne city. A friend told me about a special Free parking voucher that could be displayed to park for free in Melbourne city…Then I came home, cooked the last meal of 2020, and did my last round of laundry for 2020…had my last shower, called my mum for the lastst time, emptied the trash for the laste time, and now I am typing the blog entry for 2020 on here. So many last times for everything. Oh, did I mention that the annual firework display for NYE has been cancelled for both Mellbourne and Adelaide? The Sydney famous ones are still going ahead, however they will not allow people to watch it from the shore. Also, sadly in the last few days we got a few cases of local transmission and now we have some restrictions reinposed, i.e. maximum 15 people in a house at one time…so the Family New Years Lunch is cancelled for tomorrow sadly…

    Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better one!! Stay Safe, Wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres a part, and wear your mask!

ONE OK ROCK: Eye of The STORM Australian Tour

As not promised, I am posting about the ONE OK ROCK concert in which I attended yesterday night. I haven’t recovered from my ‘high’ yet… The adrenaline drop from all the shouting, moving, singing, phone recording and straining to see (short people problems)…I felt the only way I can stop thinking about the concert as much is to write about it here… Feel free to skip this lengthy fangirl account if it is not your thing ..I won’t be offended…xD

I’ve been a ONE OK ROCK fan for the longest time…probably a little over 10 years. The most memorable song that I heard from them was, ‘The Beginning’ and that song still holds a special place in my heart. During my short stint as a keyboardist for a Jrock cover band (which you can hear about in my podcast..(which I might have to update soon XD), ‘The Beginning’ was one of the songs we covered and my favourite. Unfortunately, when I was in Japan for exchange during uni, they were away touring America so I missed out seeing them in Japan! I hope I will be able to attend one of their concerts in Japan! They look epic. Sorry, I jumped the gun… I forgot to say who ONE OK ROCK is…they are a four-piece Japanese rock band the lead singer, Taka- sings in both Japanese and English. They are currently on a world tour promoting their new album -Eye of the Storm. I believe they are one of the most well-known Japanese rock bands in Japan. I hope that was enough background information for you guys (probably the majority?) who don’t know this band.

I bought my tickets last year in December after I saw an ad for it on Facebook…I was super shocked, grateful, and excited to see that ONE OK ROCK had added Adelaide to one of the places in which they were touring this time round! Last time they came to Australia (Which I found out about too late), they were only in the other major cities..Sydney, Melbourne..Brisbane. I just HAD to get tickets..and also…I wanted to aim for VIP tickets…MEET AND GREET? YES PLSSSS...I put it in my diary to make sure I made myself available to buy the tickets as soon as they came out…a friend also showed me how we can sign up for pre-sale tickets..super glad I did that! I managed to get one of the much-coveted VIP tickets for ONE OK ROCK.

Fast forward a few months and the concert day was here! Unfortunately, I got told two days before the concert that we needed to get there strictly at 5pm (normal admission is at 7pm) in order to have the VIP experience… I hadn’t taken a day off work or anything so I had to ask last-minute ask if I could leave earlier from work…Anyways…by the time I finally got there…there was already a massive line!!  I bumped into a friend and asked if they had VIP tickets as well, they said they had General Tickets but we’re lining up early #dedicated. After some asking around another VIP ticket holder and I was placed in the right area for getting the VIP experience. After much waiting…ticket checking…ID showing and marking off. We were let inside and we all received a wrist band saying ‘ONE OK ROCK’ and a ‘VIP ONE OK ROCK Lanyard’. It was here that I also had to give my gift to the organisers…we were not allowed to give it directly to the band…which makes me wonder if they actually receive the gift at all??? It was anything super expensive, I just got them some South Australia/Australian snacks… and wrote a love letter… LOL..

Anyways…then it was back to more lining up for the photo we get with the band. It was freezing outside! I didn’t bring a jacket…because I know from previous experience when people are in a moshpit..it gets quite hot and I am too lazy to carry it around…In hindsight I should have bought like a thin cardigan of some sort… -.-” …about an hour later…The organiser said to get our phones ready and that we were going to go in and have one photo with the band. No autographs, no gift-giving (we had to give our gifts to the organisers)…and yeah it was one photo then go…Apparently, we aren’t allowed to take photos of other people getting their photos either…it was only the organisers that were allowed to take the photos.

I talked to the girls behind me as we waited nervously for our turn to get our photos taken. We observed what poses and things that other people did. All the girls gave all the band members hugs…the guys did some handshakes… I decided I was so going to give them hugs too ..XD…but I did not plan what I was going to say to them…and suddenly it was my turn already….! All that came to my mind was “Thank you so much for coming to Adelaide’ in which Taka (the lead singer) replied, “No, Thank YOU for letting us come here”… OMG so sincere and like totally fangirled…they are super humble and nice people… I gave them each a hug…my favourite hug was with Taka of course..HAHAH…and then I smiled awkwardly and got my photo with and then it was off to wait for the concert to start at 7:30.

There were two other bands that played before ONE OK ROCK, they were good…but I was there for one reason only..LOL…ONE OK ROCK was scheduled for 9:30…so it was a bit of wait…but anticipation was building and building…and I was not disappointed. The musicians came on the stage *I THINK* (because I am too short to see) one by one and started playing…TAKA came out last and there was a huge cheering and yelling as he came out. I swear he has the demeanour of royalty…He was the star of the show (in my eyes)…! I could see the passion in his eyes…in his voice and his energy was infectious. All the members were sweating like crazy… My highlight of the night was when they started playing ‘The Beginning’, the first song that got me into the band. Everyone went crazy and I legit recorded the WHOLE song on video because. I had to.

At the unfortunate end of the show…they went off stage without a word. I think that was our cue to shout ENCORE. And of course, we did not disappoint.  We started with “ENCORE ENCORE”..then changed it to “ONE MORE SONG”… and after what seemed like the longest time… (I think they needed some time to retune the guitars, fix the drums, etc..sound check everything-before their ‘Encore’ which is planned LOL )…they came back on stage…and woohoo I forgot the last song..but it was good. Then Taka brought out a flag and said THANKYOU to us. He also then took out his phone and took a sweeping video of the audience in which he posted to his Instagram account. The drummer chucked his drumsticks out into the audience…a damn lucky guy near me caught one of them…we all had a look…the drum stick had ONE OK ROCK labelled on the bottom..but yeah they looked destroyed…! After one set…! They smashed the drum so hard… dedicated. The guitarists and bassists threw their picks into the crowd (I didn’t get anything T_T #short people problems) ..and Taka threw his towel and water bottle into the crowd…and that was the conclusion of an epic night. A memorable and wonderful night…it was about 11pm at that time…

I could be here forever typing out every detail..but I need to go back to work tmoro…LOL I took a day off today to recover my voice…hearing…and energy…but yeah I spent most of the day reliving the memories..searching for photos /videos on FB from other people…and listening to ONE OK ROCK…on replay…LOL

EYE OF THE STORM- If you have a chance to go…I highly recommend you attend..! This band is actually one of the few bands that sounds better LIVE than on their recordings in my opinion…even though their recordings are AWESOME good.

I had a few friends who bought their merchandise…which I personally think is a bit expensive…but it does support the band..I supported the band in a different way…but paying double amount for my ticket. In comparison to a jumper, I might buy and never wear after the night…I rather have the memory of having met the ‘KINGS’ live and have my photo to prove it. If you know me in real life, you would have seen my display pictures for my social accounts change to my photo with them. HAHAHA … ><

I hope they come again.. I will be waiting for you..!

Thank you for reading this far (if you did)…next post will be the next part of NZ mini blog series….

Photos I took at the concert: