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!

Is it being lazy or being efficient?

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.

Learning to cook the hard way

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 :(.
  4. The sieve is so important for draining stuff!!
  5. Don’t put oil in when the pan is still cold. LOL.
  6. Cook things separately to make sure they are well cooked before mixing together. LOL.
  7. 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!
  8. 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).
  9. 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. :(.
  10. 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

It looks better than it tastes xD

Home style Pumpkin Soup

Ever since I was little, I’ve been addicted to pumpkin soup and I am not even sure why. Might be the salt in it…for some reason I am addicted to salty foods! At work, my colleague and I have a soup each day, with the exception of one day last week in which our kettle stopped working and also took half the pharmacy’s electricity along with it.

I’ve always just loved pumkin soup and whenever it was on sale and when it wasn’t-( esp during the Covid-19 stockpiling saga) I would always have enough soup on hand in my locker at work and in the kitchen in my corner to last me for days. I’ve tried other flavours of soup, but nothing really tasted as good as I thought pumpkin soup tasted. I tried chicken noodle curry, mush room, ham and pea, I just didn’t like the artificial taste in these other flavours. That’s until one day I swapped a pumpkin for my colleague’s DUTCH CURRY. Now every time I have an instant pumkin soup, I am craving a Dutch Curry. I am not sure how to describe a Dutch curry and I’ve never tried the real thing, but it really hits the spot you know?! It’s a little spicy, but not too spicy..and it has rice and peas in it! Just enough to allow me to last till lunch time. It’s super cold in Adelaide these days… hot soup is the best!

Suddenly I am no longer buying my pumpkin soup, but Dutch Curry.

I have changed so much this year. What’s happening to me?!!?

The Toilet Paper hunt continues

During my walks around the neighbourhood, I think I may have mentioned previously how there are people putting teddy bears or other soft toys in their front gardens for kids to find. I just realised that the supermarkets and shops are also doing the same for adults! Except, ours is the hunt for toilet paper! I kid you not, a facebook group set up for Health Care workers to adopt one another has turned into my latest source of information for where the sacred Toilet Paper is! So and so will post “St Peters Coles- Quilton 20 pack for $10”. Then a few hours later someone will comment “SOLD OUT-None left :(“. I am guilty of checking it just for that reason…It’s become a habit that everytime I enter a supermarket or shop that might sell toilet paper, I am always checking. Is something wrong with me?!?! I’ve had several dreams about finding toilet paper in a supermarket and being super happy.

The last time I saw toilet paper in the shop was three weeks ago when I woke up early to get to Coles at 6:45am for the early opening for health care workers. I kid you not, that felt like a dream come true! Almost as fond memory as when I met Taka from ONE OK ROCK.

Anyway, my hunt for this rare toilet paper continues!

Happy Hunting Folks~

JL

mona lisa protection protect virus

How to help a Hoarder – Part One: Perishables

Happy Easter people! To those who celebrate and to those who do not. I do not, but I did go to work today. I am super guilty of relapsing in my old ways and working way too many days consecutively (again)..and it looks like my next day off won’t be till the 25th of April…which I HOPE IS NOT a public holiday..coz if it is..it means I’ll be working…and my next day off will be May.. !? ANYWAYS, that’s not the point of this post, the point of this post was to gather some tips on how to STOP hoarding. I think this is especially important during a pandemic, as the temptation is there…to hoard as much as you can! Even when you don’t need it at all and you have no space left in your fridge!!~ As a former (?) and daughter of two hoarders…I’ve thought of some ways that perhaps we can resist that temptation and just buy what we actually NEED and not Hoard. Coz hoarding is baaaddddd…

I am gonna seperate this into perishable (food/things with expiries) and non-perishable items (toilet paper). Today’s post will be about FOOD! The next post will be on non-perishables.

FOOD:

  • Buy what you need and try not to be tempted overbuy. 
    Will you actually finish that loaf of bread that is on sale? I mean, yes it looks so soft and fluffy to touch now…but like it won’t be that soft in a few days…it will get stale and hard :(. Unless you freeze it straight away… But isn’t your freezer already full of all the other stuff you have hoarded?!?!
  • Do a stocktake of what you already have at home!
    This is especially important if you have multiple people living at your home, who also go out and buy groceries. There is no point all three of you going out to buy milk, because if you do, you will end up having 3×2 Litres milk expiring in a few days plus another two bottles 1 Litre of soy milk, taking up like half of your fridge. This is what happened to my family…and the funny thing is, most of us are lactose intolerant ?! Before COVID, we usually at MOST have one bottle of milk, which often goes out of date… If you already have lots of fresh fruits in the fridge, don’t go and buy more…just eat what you already have….which brings me to my next related point.
  • Eat what you already have at home!
    If you followed the above step, you would have realised that you already have 10 cans of tuna that you bought last year! So you don’t need another 10! Eat those first before buying more…if you don’t, you will risk LOSING MONEY!!! No point buying more when you already have heaps. If something is really hard to eat (like a tastless nectarine!), try eating it with like yoghurt…icecream or something good xD….to reward yourself…don’t chuck it away if its still good (and healthy)!
  • You will save money and minimise food wastage.
    These points could have been enough to have their own dot point.BUT. Minimalisation is good?! Help stop food from being chucked into our bins, by buying only what you need and will actually eat! You will save a lot of money but using up what is in the fridge. Obviously, it is vital to check expiry dates and throw away mouldy things…But remember, there is a difference between “Best before ____” (which is a suggestion) and “USE BY ___ ” (throw it out now!!).
  • Give away what you know you won’t eat
    Whenever people give me chocolate or something too sweet, I bring it to work. While I don’t do that now (sharing germs is baddd), you can always give things in whole packets to people who you know will actually eat it. For example, my friend sent me some plum candies from Japan…Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of plum candies…so I regifted the gift to my younger brother who has a massive sweet tooth and will literally eat anything given to him. When I mean regifted, I mean I knocked on his door, and without a word..just put it on his computer table, and left. LOL.
  • Grow your own vegetables and fruits!
    Well, my mum is an avid gardener as I have mentioned…and we have a lot of vegetables that we can eat from her garden…so she used to be like “OMG we need to go out and BUY MORE VEGETABLES”…now she is like “OMG WE NEED TO GO BUY MORE VEGETABLES…oh wait a minute, NAH we good…I’ll just go pick some”. I, sadly do not have a green thumb and have even managed to kill a small cactus that I got for my birthday one year..  ANYWAYS, since this coronavirus, I have decided I am going to try raise a small plant from a seedling.  Woolworths last year gave out free seedlings to people who spent over $30 in one purchase…it’s like the predicted this pandemic would happen! Anyways, I have a seedling for some Pansy flowers…sooo I have put it into my mum’s pot, that already has some succulents growing on it. ANYWAYS, wish me luck that I will remember to water it daily…and will it grow?! Who knows… 
  • Don’t buy in bulk coz it’s cheaper…especially if you know you won’t finish!
    For example, I know being lactose intolerant I can’t have a lot of dairy at once…so having a large tub of yoghurt is a nono :(. I will open it..eat a little and more often than not, I will forget about it and it separates and becomes all watery and gross. I know it costs more to buy those small little cartons of single-serve yogurt…but it really saves me money in the long run, because I actually know I will eat them..I crave yoghurt every now and then…but I want to eat one that isn’t separated and watery!These are all the tips I can think of now… if you have any other suggestions to help stop people hoarding food, please share in the comments below.. And Remember, there is no need to hoard food because there is not likely to be any shortages of food! Supermarkets remain open during this time, so just buy what you need and leave some for others!!!

Watch out for the next post about other items that don’t expire (I thin)~!! Like toilet paper, cosmetics..clothes!

 

Stay safe and wash your hands :)~

 

JL

 

woman in white long sleeve jacket shopping for fruits
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