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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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….
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?
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!
Having lived alone for a month so far, I decided I will reflect on the perks of living alone versus living with family or other people.
The good things:
I believe promotes growth. Promotes independence and the ability to time manage and to plan ahead. You need to have a grocery list before you go shopping. You also finally understand why people froth at the mouth when they talk about knives or stainless steel pots. You start noticing why it is so important to be able to sharpen those knives…and how much easier it makes for cooking with a sharp knife.
The not so good things:
It is lonely however, especially because we are still in stage four lockdown in Melbourne… sooo technically not allowed visitors..I think because I live alone I allowed one visitor. Then again, I am so tired all the time, I barely can keep awake during a conversation with someone, especially at night. Also, it sucks when I cook, I cook a lot at a time because I am too lazy to cook often. But, I never finish all my food…but I also don’t like freezing the food…coz I like to eat it fresh..HAHA so I end up throwing away so much food… 😦 No one to share my food with or to help me finish my food.
Living with Family
The good things:
Hmm basically the opposite of the things I said for the perks of living alone. It doesn’t promote independence, because you always have someone to fall back on. Your parents do everything for you or most of it. Bills, groceries, cooking, cleaning, managing problems. You can always count on your parents to help with any problems that come up. Oh, they also can look after your pet turtle when you are away. You always have company if you want someone to eat with.
The not so great things:
There is no privacy. You can’t bring someone over that easily…otherwise they will be interogatted by your parents and there is no lock on your door. You share one bathroom with three other peopleand so you have to put everything back after you finish using it. Your mum complains your hair is all over the shower…your brother complains that you didn’t flush the toilet properly after you used it. Your dad complains that the dishes you washed are still dirty to spite you…coz he is notarious for not washing dishes properly. I can’t stand how dirty and crowded the house is…there is too much hoarding going on. Don’t get me started.
Today I managed to do a weeks worth of cleaning in one day. I was recording in a voice message to my mum what I did today.. and it was a lot (imo)..!
Woke up. Had breakfast. Then took the first load of laundry of undergarments downstairs. waited half an hour or so then took the next load, work clothes -on delicate mode- and put the undergarments in the dryer. Repeat x5. As I was hanging up the work clothes I get a call from my Aunty who was checking to see if I was alright…
After the call I try to do some study.. but I am hungry again :(. So it’s time to cook from all the left over ingredients I bought last week! So today and tmoros menu consists of frozen eel (soo delicious), frozen fishballs, frozen mixed veggies ( so colourful), fresh bokchoy x3 (coz its cheaper), 2 onions, half a garlic, half a box of smooth tofu, left over noodles…and voila! 4 or so meals are done. It tastes good too. You can’t really go wrong with these ingredients. I left of mess after cooking (and eating) as per usual.
So I started wiping down the kitchen bench.. then I realised the floor was dirty.. so I got out the good old two in one mixed head mop.. sprayed some disinfectant and water. Well, one thing led to another… I had the spray out already.. should I just clean my toilet and shower today instead of Sunday? It means tmoro I can just relax… hmmm anyways. So I ended quickly cleaning the bathroom too.. I don’t think I did as thorough as the week before.. but I’ll survive🤣🤣🤣 always feels sooo nice to have a clean toilet, clean clothes, and clean kitchen bench. My sink is still full of dishes tho 🤣🤣🤣…
Some of my colleagues are horrified to hear how I only clean once a week…but hey I live on my own and the mess is my own. If I can live with it, then it’s fine right? As long as no one else is affected 🤣🤣🤣imho.
Woke up feeling shi* this morning with a splitting headache… my mouth has been super dry lately and I suspect it had something to do with the Asthma Preventative Inhalers I take… I do rinse my mouth out after each use.. but I still managed to get something called Oral Thrush 😦 thus is basically a fungal infection of the mouth which causes your tongue and maybe the side of your cheeks to become white and patch.. and for me … it’s hard to swallow and in addition to that I have several mouth ulcers…
I don’t think I’ve been taking care of myself as well as I should… it’s hard. We are in the middle of a pandemic and in stage four lock down in Melbourne… I have to follow by the rules.. and that means only been able to eat and drink during designated break times… which often ai will skip if it is too busy. Stress sucks :(.
But anyways, I digress. So I was feeling shi* this morning and because I woke up several times in the night.. I slept in till about 11am? My mouth was super dry and I was always thirsty, even though I drank water! My appetite wasn’t there anymore… I just craved something soft and tasty. I looked in my cupboard.. and ALAS. The Burger Rings which I got on sale for $1 at Woolies.
Should I? It’s breakfast for goodness sake…. screw if. Imma adult now and if I want to have Burger rings for breakfast .. I am going to have it. For those who might not know, Burger Rings are these ring shaped (clearly) orange/brownish delicious snacks packed with Burger Flavour (whatever that is). They are sooo addictive and tasty. I demolished a whole bag 🤣🙃. Guilty pleasure. Yup. Did it hurt my ulcers? Yup. Was it good for me? Nope. Do you think I would do it again?. Yup. But everything in moderation and I don’t have any left anyways..
Anyways, I better sleep.. big day tomorrow ..training is over and the real Residency starts. Wish me luck and also please remind me to buy some oral anti fungal drops…!
P.S. cover photo is of the Japanese Curry I cooked today which I will eat for the next few days 🤣🤣🤣
So I bought some white rice the other day… brown rice is great, but it takes about two hours to cook in the rice cooker… well anyways, as you can see I am putting it to good use. As the responsible and clumsy me managed to spill my water bottle over the laptop.
I googled how to dry the laptop.. and apparently I have to wait a few days to dry it… before I can use it. 😭…
Other than that, I went to the Asian grocery for the first time… it felt like an outing… ! The supermarket is sooo huge… and I couldn’t find anything.. but still managed to buy quite a lot of frozen foods! Hopefully it will be healthier than the chinese pork sausages I have been using in my fried rice.
The Chinese pork sausage is so nice with the fried rice!! But so fatty .. cry.. other than that I am going to try do the 2 Week Ab Chloe Ting challenge xD.. hopefully can get a flatter stomach 🤣🤣🤣
I know why I don’t like cooking..it’s because I imagine it to be a task that takes too LONG when I am always hungry NOW. That’s how I thought about it when I was living at home back in Adelaide…if there was no food cooked by mum or takeaway…then I would just snack. I CBB cooking…it’s just so much hassle.
But now since I have moved out, I still suck at cooking…but I don’t think it’s too bad… yes I have to wait for a long time before I eat, but I appreciate what I eat (even though it usually tastes a bit strange). I am a bit of a YOLO person. Screw recipes, I will just try and fail. Then I will try again till I succeed..somehow ..xD
Here is a highlight of what I have learnt so far about cooking.
You should probably watch the stove when you are cooking. Because…once you turn your eyes away the water boils over and makes lots of noise, smoke, and is a pain to clean.
You need to invest in the right kind of knife for what you are cooking. It is important that they be sharp too, otherwise, you will be in struggle town.
You need a lot of sized dishes and pans and stuff…otherwise you will forever be washing while cooking when you run out of crockery :(.
The sieve is so important for draining stuff!!
Don’t put oil in when the pan is still cold. LOL.
Cook things separately to make sure they are well cooked before mixing together. LOL.
Frying a egg is pretty difficult. :(. how do people flip it?! Maybe it was mistake trying to try fry two eggs at the same time and in a huge ass wok. Like I said different sized pot and pans come in handy here!
It is necessary to clean the sink, cooking stovetop, and floor after every cook…Otherwise, that shit just go everywhere (or maybe I am just a messy cook).
It is better to put less of a seasoning than put too much…you can always add more taste, but it’s hard to take it away. :(.
It is okay to test your food!!! And important to do so…so you know if that pasta is undercooked or cooked…or if your sauce is not okay…you can change it while cooking.
I am sure there is gonna be a heap more of stuff I will learn as I continue to cook during my time in Melbourne Lock down!
I am proud that I haven’t yet ordered any take out as of yet…
P.S these are pics of the food i have cooked so far..xD