Living Alone vs Living with Family

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.

Living Alone

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.

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.

Adulting Milestones and fails

So, I spent the whole night yesterday on a wet mattress protector and hence I had a pretty uncomfortable sleep…My only quilt cover was not dry either..despite a whole day of being under the heater…my electricity bills gonna be so high :(. Gonna really try not to open the heater today.. :(. I was super mindful that I don’t want to sweat too much coz my quilt is gonna get dirty! So much stress TT. I have opened the windows and continue to dry the sheets and quilt cover on my makeshift clothes airer…

Next time, I think it will be ideal to not do all of them at the same time and do it in batches…coz,, yeah it doesn’t dry that well in the dryer..probably doesn’t get clean that much.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I can buy one week of groceries at one time. it seems so redundant that I have to make several trips to the stores in one week…and now with COVID, I am trying to do click and collect more often…however, I always seem to forget something…and then I have to wait till next time to get it..and by then I would have forgotten something else.

Other than that, I have officially almost spent an entire week living by myself and interacting with literally no one asides from the grocery unpacker when I click and collect. I am super cautious about those people too…lol…last time I did click and collect, they just left the product in a trolley and let me take it out myself. This time the kind man opened my boot and put it in bags for me in. Whilst that was very kind of him, he could have just left it there for me to pack…Because after that I had to sanitise my boot handle, bags, and everywhere he might have touched. 😦 You know..just in case.

BUT on a side note, I got for half price a set of 10 containers for only $12.50! WOOHOO. can’t wait to label them and fill them up with stuffs.. xD

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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

Things that I have found most useful since moving out

I can’t believe it has been one week already (almost typed one year) since I packed up all my stuff into my tiny little Toyota Yaris Hatchback and drove 12 hours over to another state in Australia. I have had to adapt and make do with what I have as best as I can. I am super grateful I have a credit card, as it allows me to make some large purchases without worrying about how I am going to pay for everything straight away.

Living alone is peaceful, but I have to admit it is a little lonely…I can spend days and hours without speaking to someone in real life. I have decided to compile a small list of things that I found most helpful when moving out.

  1. Get connected to WIFI. It helps give you peace of mind that when you video calls your family that you aren’t blowing all the credit on your mobile phone.
  2. Get a shower mat…it’s sooo cold going out of the shower at night!
  3. Get a pedal stool bin or automatically opening bin. You don’t know how better life is with a bin that closes and opens basically without you having to touch the lid. A swing-top bin is just NOT the same! It gets dirty easily and it won’t stop the odours from coming out of your bin! It’s just so convenient to have a pedal to open and close the bin, especially when cleaning out the sink or while cooking.
  4. Get some good sharp knives, they make your wrist and life so much easier! I just purchased my first knife today. Yup. It took only 29 years on earth to get this far…I had no idea that the cash register person had to double-check that I was over 18 before being able to purchase a knife! LOL. I got a Santoku knife, which is a type of knife really good for cutting things thinly and not having to rock back and forth. Who knew there was so many different types of knives out there with all sort of purposes?!
  5. Laundry baskets. Never appreciated them so much till now. Great place to store dirty smelly clothes.
  6. Kettles bring life. Makes coffee, tea, and instant soup…what else can I say?
  7. Hand held vacuums are the bomb. Easy storage..quick and easy. Makes vacuuming sort of fun and less of a chore.
  8. Paper towels are not just for wiping hands…they are for cleaning grease…lining draws..temporary placements… holding hot stuff. They are the best.
  9. Try to recycle everything that you can. Whether old bottles…cardboard boxes…containers..lids…rubber bands…they could come in handy someday.
  10. Be enviromentally friendly and also saving on the electricity bill at the same time! Try to heat up your house in other ways besides turning on the heater..i.e. exercising, cooking, or just wear more clothes so that you don’t feel so cold in your apartment. You could even make something warm to drink like soya milk or just drink hot water. Done.

 

Anyways, my brain hurts. I took a few montage style videos of my apartment block and the surrounding suburb today…I never knew HD camera setting on iphone is sooo nice! It makes me look like a semi-pro, even though I am noob. LOL once I figure how to to transfer to my laptop I might post it!

Doing Laundry in a shared apartment complex takes a full day!

As the title may suggest, I did my laundry today. I was thinking of making Sunday the day of laundry and of cleaning once I start working. I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all…It is ideal to do laundry during the day time here…BECAUSE the light in the laundry room is BROKEN. Dodgy AF. Oh, how life would be easier if I had my own washing machine and dryer in my room…BUT ANYWAY I’ve signed a 6-month lease and moving would be a pain.

So I have to run up and down the stairs checking on my washing every 30 minutes or so…As it’s my first time using a front loader…I didn’t realise how small inside was! Our washing machine at home is a top loader and fits heaps and heaps of clothes! I can wash all my clothes at once..however…because this machine is quite small…I had to separate my washing into two batches…Then there was small slot on the slide which said “DETERGENT” and the other “SOFTENER”…cool I have both…I looked at the bottle for instructions on how to use it…they said 50ml cap and then others said capfull…HOW DO I EVEN KNOW WHAT 50mls is?!! I YOLO and put about half.

I wasn’t sure what mode to put the washing on…so many options…I can even choose to clean the machine, bedding, eco…delicates..what if I have a mixture of everything!?? A friend on the phone suggested I do “COLOURS”..wash time? TWO HOURS and that wasn’t the longest one either. I shrugged and tried pressing a few buttons to try get it to start…finally it started making some noise and I left.

TWO HOURS LATER…

Alright finally…I can put it in the dryer..unfortunately due to my clumsiness..I may have dropped a few pieces of clothing on the floor as I made this transition. I am not familiar with dryers…we’ve never had one at home…as my parents said, “WASTE OF MONEY JUST HANG IT IN THE SUN”…But it’s Melbourne…it’s like cold and rainy almost every day :(… There is a dial and it looks like you can only turn it one way…it goes from 0 to 150mins (I think). How long do I put it for? I am not sure…I just did it at 60 minutes..hopefully, that’s enough. The machine didn’t make a sound…doesn’t it usually spin? It wasn’t moving…Maybe it’s heating it up inside..who knows..I went back upstairs and came back an hour or so later.

ONE HOUR LATER…

At this stage, I have finally got my clothes airer set up in my room, which takes a considerable amount of space when opened up. I go check on the clothes which I have put on the dryer and I also take the second bag of washing down in my new laundry bag..which I intended to put the “hopefully dried clothes” into. The handle on the dryer is broken…HOW DO I OPEN IT?! I struggle for a bit and maybe with sheer force I manage to open it. I feel the clothes..still a little damp..but I take it out anyways. So I empty a second lot of dirty clothes into the washing machine…BUT this time I choose the “FAST CLEAN” option…56 minutes. GREAT.

Go upstairs again, put out all my washing on my clothes airer and turn on my heating system to help dry the clothes.

ONE HOUR LATER…and I can’t remember what I did during this time..but after one hour has passed.

I went to check on the clothes.. DONE. Great. put it in the dryer more successfully than the last time I did it…and this time I turned it to the maximum time of like 2 hours and went upstairs…Put on some shoes and took my first walk around the neighbourhood…I saw a few colleges…and then walked into Monash University…so beautiful and modern! I wonder how it would feel like going to a university like that… hmmm…I found that there are some shops that are still open on campus! Saw their sports area, which hopefully I will be able to play badminton in once the restrictions are lifted. I took some photos which I will post at some stage when I have time…okay I have heaps of time but I am extremely lazy to upload pictures from my phone. :(…I walked past the Monash Uni Music Section and feel a teeny bit sad about the guitar I left back in Adelaide… Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fit that into my car :(. Stupid toilet paper. grr.

Come back home…pull out my yoga mat which I haven’t even touched since I moved to Melbourne…I opened the usual Blog Pilates Cardio and Stress yoga videos and do that for half an hour…the clothes STILl aren’t ready..so I open the freezer to see what I can add to my left-over failed fried rice from yesterday…A small packet of frozen dumplings falls out…It must be fate. It wasn’t fate sadly…I have no idea how to cook it…and being lazy I put it straight into the air fryer. AND YUP after 5 minutes you guessed it! The skin was burnt but it was still so cold inside the dumpling. I turned down the heat and put it for another 5 minutes. STILL COLD. So I took it out and just microwaved it for one minute…and I THINK IT WAS COOKED?!!? But the skin was really gross and chewy.. ..LOL but the food is food.

TWO HOURS PASSED…

I go check on the clothes…it’s pitch dark and borderline creepy in the outside laundry room…I forgot my phone..went back upstairs and grabbed my phone to be a torchlight…never want to experience that darkness again…I balance my phone somewhere so I can grab the clothes…the feel soo warm and DRY…so it takes two hours to dry a small load of clothes. OKAY… SO basically it took a really long time to wash my clothes which I had used in a few days…I just went back to count…SIX HOURS..WTF.

And anyway, this update was a bit boring…but yes I finally have a clothes airer, a nice looking (fake) wooden clock on the wall..containers for my sugar and nuts…and some pegs…which I honestly didn’t really need, but I will find a use for it.

On a more random side note, when I went to pick up my items from KMART, I decided to do a test-drive to the hospital I would be working at on my first day…and guess what…theres an IKEA store down the street! There’s actually a pretty big looking shopping complex there..DOH…I told myself, maybe IKEA doesn’t have click and connect…I drove a bit further and see a sign saying “IKEA CLICK AND COLLECT”..dAMMIT…oh well there’s still a heap of things I still need to buy…IKEA SHOPPING TIME >:D

Day three (I think)…Haven’t moved in yet

So I finally got my keys today. But, as with all things, there are mishaps when you want to move in, the property manager called and said there was a crack in the shower floor and it might leak water into the unit below…so I had to wait for about 3 hours for a plumber to seal up the leak…and then I am not allowed to use it for at least 24 hours apparently.

Anyways……Whilst waiting for the plumber…I went up and down the stairs around 13 times..! As I had to move everything by myself I was only able to carry a little at a time..boy was it a major struggle trying to drag what seemed like a 30 kg suitcase up the stairs…

It felt SOO good to finally unload all of the crap that has been weighing down my car for the last few days and consuming so much more petrol than normal…soo good..but it took me ages to get everything out…I miss the days when I was living at my house in Adelaide and the car is soo easy and I don’t need to lock my door and the front door every time I leave the room.

As my aunties and uncles told me, I needed to make sure I documented with photos and videos the place before I moved in, just in case I get told off for damaging the property and losing my bond when I move out…I have to say, there was a lot of stuff that I didn’t realise was there previously..a greasy microwave, a dirty fridge, dusty bed frame, dusty everything! Also, the mattress itself was disgusting… the previous tenants obviously didn;t use matress protectors..coz there was all these blood stains and other stains on it..EWWWW..I tried getting rid of the stains with the antibacterial wipes…but not much luck sadly…..I also found out one of the desk lamps don’t work, not sure if I just need to replace the lightbulb…I am a bit scared to change them lol…I used an entire pack of antibacterial wipes to cover almost every surface (that I can reach) of the apartment. It just felt so unclean..not knowing who has touched that surface or when it was last clean. I then proceeded to spray Glen 20 (an antibacterial spray) literally on every surface and on matress. Then I opened the windows to air out the place a bit..who knows how long it has been vacated for..

Then I started unpacking..it’s a bit hard to say where I will keep stuff at the moment…Most of my clothes are still in the vacuum sealed bags…coz I haven’t decided what to do about them yet..I am not sure if I have enough clothes hangers either..I just grabbed a whole bunch and didn’t think about it too much… When I took them out, it didn’t seem enough…but we’ll find out I guess!

I opened up the big fat suitcase and started taking out sanitary pads, label maker, dishwashing liquid (I don’t know why I bothered to buy it all in Adelaide lol), face masks, more face masks, and random stuff that I bought in Adelaide. I unloaded all the snacks that I received and I bought before my long trip to Adelaide…and yes unboxing all my new appliances..like my kettle and air fryer…and the water filter jug…sooo sleek looking…I love it…I had to try decide where to put stuff and I am still working on it..I guess the top draws are the more frequently used stuff and bottom is less used things…so u don’t need to bend too much.
After I had enough of packing..I decided to stock up on some food..since all I had is instant soup, the snacks, and some instant noodles from my aunt. My aunt said there might be some issue with food shortages happening because the supply change is being affected and told me to stock up on frozen and long-life products.

So me being me, just wrote a list out, but didn’t really follow the list when I got there. I used a plastic bag to put groceries in when I got into the supermarket…then it got really heavy with all the canned foods, pasta, and pasta sauce I bought…so I took a basket and pretty soon that felt like it was going to break…so I decided to pay for this basket full of stuff first and then go back in with a trolley.

I spent wayyyy too much…but I need this stuff to survive…who knew living alone would be sooo expensive! It would be nice to have someone to share with…it would be a lot cheaper…but then again…the perks of living by your own rules and the design feels great! I bought a whole bunch of frozen food…vegetables, chips, fish, DUMPLINGS…and I bought fresh bread to put in the freezer… I also bought 2 bottles of long life soy milk…and yeah …canned fish, canned chicken, canned vegetables, and 2 cans of spam. I think there was a limit of 2 of each item in the store….Since my aunt said I need staples like flour, sugar, (I forgot salt), mayo, tomato sauce…I bought these also…So $$$ buying all this stuffs.!! I also bought some kitchen scissors which should come in handy. I went ham on the disinefctant…well not too ham since there is a limit of 2 items per person…but yeah there is SOOO many and like …I am so confused so i just grabbed whatever is cheapest. Also got some disposable hand gloves, reusable hand gloves, something to clean the toilet and something to clean floors…and window wipes…and air freshener!! Antibacterial hand soap!! LOL. I am cheapskate now I am living on my own. I’ll try to survive on the cheap stuff before I can invest in more expensive stuff…Cheap cling wrap, flour, sugar…lol.

I saw they had a $20 rice cooker…should I? How often will I cook rice anyways? I bought 2 packets of microwavable brown rice in case I felt like it.

What I haven’t bought is cleaning applicances..like a mop, a dust pan and sweeper…or anything like that…vacuum cleaner…I did notice a small hand held car vac in the apartment…maybe it was left behind by the previous tenant? I am not sure..didn’t try it if it works yet…will try tmoro…maybe that would be sufficient to clean my small apartment?!?! I really want a Dyson Stick vacuum tho….but soo $$..>gotta be more careful with money now that I am paying so much in rent per week T_T

So exicting and so exhilarating to be living in my own place!!!!!!!!! Still so much to do however!

Unfurnished Homes

I am just realising the importance of having furnished verse non-furnished houses…

So many houses come unfurnished…have to buy your own fridge…microwave…washing machine..Bed…so expensive..especially if you are not planning to stay there long-term.

Then there is the cost of installing such things..which can put the cost to thousands and thousands…and is it really worth it.. :(?

I have also realised that a lot of the places I am looking to rent. like studio rooms with kitchen and toilets…are unfortunately STUDENT ACCOMMODATION. It’s damn cheap, small, but has everything…but I AM NOT A UNI STUDENT ANYMORE T_T Cries. Sucks when the cost is good, location is good, but they only take students.

I was up till like 1 am just checking through property after property and shortlisting some…It sucks how I can’t go into inspect..but I guess video is the next best thing…

Things to think about when renting a place

Looking for accommodation is such a headache. But honestly, I think the more headache now, the less headache later…Finding the (near) perfect place will make a life that is more comfortable and you aren’t stuck in a lease with terrible house mates.

I am not a big fan of share houses, but I have lived in one before (in Japan), which wasn’t too bad! But, this is Australia…Melbourne…I feel like I am not ready for sharing my life with others who love alcohol or partying…

I have come up with my own list of things that I want in a rental property:

-Own ensuite bathroom and shower…I like the ability to taking a shower when I want..and I don’t want to keep moving all my cosmetics and hair washing stuff every time.. LOL and I am scared of germs.

-No-Smoking!! Or drugs! Or alcoholics! I just can’t stand the smell of smoke, drugs, or alcohol.

-Not very sociable people please…I don’t want to be kept up by party animals. I need my beauty sleep.

-I don’t mind pets…I actually would love to live with a dog or cat…as long as they are toilet trained…don’t eat my stuff, and friendly …xD

-Clean people…people who clean up after themselves…I HATE cleaning up other people’s messes and sharing a place with someone dirty…eeek

-If in a share house, I def want my own lock on my door…because I don’t want to worry about people going into my room when I am not around.

-Private parking on-site (preferably) a bit worried about street parking…because apparently there is higher crime rate in Melbourne.

-Heating and cooling.. I am super sensitive to cold and hold temperatures..LOL

-Safe neighbourhood and low crime rate..I am willing to pay more to feel safe!!

-Shops nearby for easy access to groceries.

-Nice restaurants nearby for takeaway for those lazy days.

-Quiet street and not too many cars or near a railway/airport…etc.

-Furnished…please..I don’t really want to fork out all that money to buy furniture when I am renting and also not sure how long I will stay in Melbourne

-My budget is max $250 a week..LOL…I feel like I am going to be broke renting and living in Melbourne T_T

-Having public transport nearby would be handy if I don’t want to drive to the city etc.

-Nice friendly neighbours…

These are personally the things I want to look for in a share house…I have such high expectations..I think I am better to rent my own place. LOL.

House Maintenance

Another aspect of owning a house would be to learn how to look after it…to the best of your ability..

So my parents on a spur of the moment thing decided to change the tap in our kitchen sink..they bought the tap and asked my brother to put it together.

My brother went in blind, with no instruction sheet or nothing and began the dismantling of the sink with a variety of make shift tools-because he deemed my father’s tools inadequate. So the kitchen knife became a makeshift saw. Once the tap was off it was all about trying to install the new tap. But, alas..how are we to hold the tap in place?!?

My brother looked around and fold a squarish piece of metal and assumed that was what  would hold the tap in place… however! It did not fit.

This is when my expertise was called upon. He asked me to google, “How to remove and install a faucet”. We watched the youtube video… but still we seemed to be missing a crucial part to the tap…I asked him if he had the box or something from the tap.

He said, no my parents had only given him the tap and the squarish metal piece and some random screw. I did not believe they would throw away the box that fast! (being the hoarders they are)…I located the box…and lo and behold…what was in the box? The instruction sheet and the missing parts we needed to install the tap…

and alas with our “teamwork”- (I found the pieces !! and I used my phone a torch light- crucial essential elements) we as a team managed to install the new tap. To our great surprise, it worked~ but yeah the tap is still very loose…not sure how we can fix that…

I think plumbers usually change taps and things like that…but my parents are more stingy on spending money to get things done properly, when they can give it a crack themselves…

It is however, I observed a strain on the back and painful working upwards…

I so much more appreciate the hard work plumbers do.