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!

Returning Home to Adelaide

Coming back to Adelaide for the first time since I left was weird… at times it felt like nothing had changed… but underneath the surface, when you looked a little closer, things has definitely changed.

Since I made the move to Melbourne in August, my friend had a baby, 2 of my friends separated from their partners, my sister finally moved into their new home, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes….my brother bought an ipad for $13!! Houses have been built, buildings have been knocked down, many shops have been forced to close, the covid-19 situation leaves its sting on each business. There are QR codes at each business so that people can check in.

My home hasn’t changed … it’s still as messy and full of hoarded stuff.. everytime I see it, I feel sad.. I feel like I want to clean it up, but it’s not really up to me to tell my parents they need to start throwing away…. for example, I tried washing my clothes this morning and the Washing Machine started shaking, vibrating, and stopped working completely… I had to HANDWASH every item and I know I did a shit job. Lol. Haven’t handwashed anything in forever. I dont even have a bucket to do that in Melbourne.. and of course we don’t have a dryer so some of my clothes are still wet 😅😅😅….

My pet turtle is hugeeee now!! Maybeeeee coz I haven’t seen her for so long!! But she looks hugeee! I am so sure my dad is feeeding her wayyy too much.

My little nephew is as cute as ever!! He has been growing taller and since he has started walkingc he has been losing his baby fat! No longer the chubby baby I once knew! He can saw random words on demand..i.e. the colour BLUE, the name EMMA (the yellow wiggle), and the numbers 8 and 9.

It’s weird feeling like a stranger in your own home, I feel like a guest, but then I also feel like I am not. Hard to explain.

Was this whirlwind last minute trip worth it? Definitely… I just hope there won’t be any last minute breakouts which mean I have to immediately self-isolate or quarantine when I head back to Melbourne… fingers and toes are crossed.

Now, let’s all enjoy that weird time between Christmas and New years.

Cheers to a better year in 2021 🥂

Covid- experience at the Adelaide Airport

I thought I would write about my unique experience flying on a plane during covid-19. So as expected, facemasks are mandatory inside the Melbourne Airport Terminal and on the flight. The airline I flew with provided free facemasks and single use hand sanitisers before boarding the plane. There was no food that was sold in the flight. They did however give us an individually wrapped slice of cake and a tiny bottle of water each.

We were encouraged to not move around the cabin .. if we needed to use the bathroom, they recommended no more than 2 people to be queuing for the bathroom. The flight was probably around 80% full, they tried to leave the middle seats free between passengers. Lucky for me I had the whole aisle to myself!

It was my first time flying on Christmas day…the staff donned Christmas hats and made jokes about remembering to take off the face masks if we needed the oxygen masks. The flight attendants were also making comments about the number of people who were writing last minute Christmas cards on the plane. I have a feeling many were travelling to visit their family and friends…-I highly doubt the travel was just for leisure…this was shown by the many gifts people carried for their loved ones. My entire suitcase and guitar case was full of stuff to bring back for my family and friends…

Once i touched down to Adelaide… I realises that there was not many people there and that there was a lot more security and police guards around. I do note that some security guards had colourful lights attached to their vests.. LOL… they had serious faces but the lights made them seem..”human”. We had a passage that mean we had to walk single file down to an area where we had to sure officials our permits to enter South Australia and to ensure them we haven’t traveled to NSW, Overseas, or been in contact with anyone with Covid-19…. I also showed them my passport as my photo ID…I do note that the staff were not 1.5 metres away from each other, which made me extremely uncomfortable because the passenger next to me was super close… I do also note not all airport staff were wearing facemasks… it feels surreal that we don’t need to wear masks indoors here… surreal!!!

Other than that complaint about the non-socially distancing staff, I was given a ticket which I was to show the staff and police man that I was okay to go. The police man just said “Merry Christmas” and I went on to find my luggage. I do much prefer SA police than Vic police.. all my encounters with Vic Police have been unpleasant so far…

I finally found my guitar case I had checked in as oversize baggage and headed out of the terminal. I noticed that flights from Sydney to Adelaide were still happening, however those passengers would need to complete mandatory quarantine for 14 days and get swabbed 3 times during those 14 days. I saw some people in full body PPE conducting swabs of return passengers… not sure if Sydney or overseas passengers ….

Merry Christmas

I am at Melbourne airport at time of posting this. It is a lot quieter here than I have experienced previously.

The effects of covid are both positive and negative..: negative because by travelling you are taking a major risk that you could be stuck somewhere in quarantine. I am reminded of this because I can see all flights to Sydney have been canceled. This is due to all the others states in Australia shutting the borders to Sydney in response to the recent outbreak that was discovered in the Northern beaches. In order to travel interstate for me , I’ve had to apply for a permit to enter South Australia and also a permit to re enter Victoria when I come back.

It’s been so long since I’ve been at the Melbourne airport.. the last time I was here was when I had to transit there after coming back from my New Zealand trip.

The airport in Melbourne is super far away for me! Around an hour drive.. that’s even longer than the flight from Melbourne to Adelaide. LOL.

Well, time to do pre-flight stuffs.. toilet.. fill up bottle.. chill.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone 😍

Positive Points of the Pandemic

How are you guys? I hope you are doing well? Wherever in the world, you may be at the moment. I was really surprised after posting the previous post about things to do in the Pandemic at home…I had a 4000% increase in viewers of my website o.O!? And the majority of them were from America!! That’s amazing that this humble little blog from a small city in Australia has been visited by so many International guests from around the world. Anyways, I understand now is a time where it can be hard to remember to be grateful for the small things that we still have. I am not trying to say that I am glad this pandemic happened, but I want to point out the things we have learnt and the unusual positive consequences that have arisen from it. If I don’t laugh in the face of adversity, I will cry…so why not laugh?

 

  • I have never seen petrol prices so low as it is now!! In my 29 years of life,…I have neverrr seen it so low! the lowest I have seen it around is 80 cents per litre! That’s supppper cheap… The average cost is usually around $1.30 per litre for Unleaded 91 petrol.
  • I have saved money on petrol not only because it is cheap, but also due to the social distancing restrictions, I have literally nowhere to go after work -except back home! No more driving to badminton or to the gym…or to visit my sister..or shopping etc. So one tank of fuel lasts for a loonnnggg time. Due to people using less petrol for their cars and fewer flights, I guess that’s good for the environment…!
  • I have saved money because I can’t fly anywhere…so even though I have the travel bug, there is a reason why I shouldn’t/can’t fly at the moment. I am super grateful I was still able to go on my trip and come back safely from New Zealand before all the travel restrictions and quarantine rules kicked in Australia. Super super grateful!
  • I have a legit excuse to skip the gym after work … xD I am usually pretty hard on myself and force myself to go, whether I feel like it or not! But, now with the gym closed, I am forced instead to take walks during lunch or after work and enjoy nature. I am finding out all sorts of cute and quirky things in my neighbourhood.
  • As a pharmacist, I always felt like our profession was always undervalued,
    forgotten, and underutilised. Through this pandemic, there have been so many changes to the rules that have allowed pharmacists more authority than ever before to exercise their clinical expertise more than any other time before. It is also highly recognised that pharmacists who are administering influenza vaccines to the public are helping to decrease the burden on the already overflowing GP clinics. We have also been given the (temporarily) authority to change strengths and forms of prescription items so that supply can be given to the patient without prior approval by the GP. Emergency supplies of medication to people who can’t get into their GP have also been approved in certain circumstances.

 

  • Random Strangers have been more friendly and strike up conversations. I remember when I first heard of the toilet paper shortage, I went to the grocery store and bought two small packs. The random stranger next to me asked me why was everyone buying toilet paper… I said, “I don’t know, but I am just going to buy some in case!”.

 

  •  I have never appreciated the supermarket workers as much as I do now and also never felt appreciated as much as now…With their friendly smiles and small talk, it is pleasant to make small talk with them. In particular, the supermarket near my hospital has been giving away free soup to the hospital, police, and emergency workers. I later went to purchase some items after work and told the checkout assistant that I loved the free soup I got today and she said she was extremely grateful for the hard work that we do. I said, “I appreciate you guys immensely too!”. Because I do, without those workers going in every day to fill the stock, we would have no food to eat! In addition, today, I called Medicare to ask about concession and safety net entitlement cards for a patient and the man I spoke to said, “Stay Safe!” at the end of the conversation…I know these are small things and they are from people I don’t know, it just feels nice to know that people do care about each other. I know these are really small things, but they really do…

 

  • Being grateful for a normal life. After this pandemic, I will always remember how good it will be to meet friends, to go to the gym, to play badminton… to attend concerts, do exams, fly overseas…All of these things that I have taken for granted for so many years… I will be super grateful to be able to do all those things again! #grateful

 

  • EVERYTHING IS SOOOO CLEANNNNNN! I love it. We’ve never been as aware of cleanliness till now. Maybe it is just me, (as you can see in my post about being a germaphobe), but I am glad there is hand sanitiser everywhere and supermarkets having gloves for us to use! I like the idea of having personal space of 1.5 metres between everyone…coz even before I hate hearing people breathe loudly near me or get into my special personal space …xD … My dad is guilty of not washing his hands after going to the toilet, thanks to this pandemic I have stressed the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and using soup! If you haven’t already seen it, you should the video on how to handwash -the proper way by WHO.

 

  • I’ll put the video link here:

 

Stay safe and wash your hands (properly)!!

Adelaide Fringe Show

Last week was a tough week with all sorts of new rules, legislations, and bans happening in Australia… I have been studying for an exam for almost three months and was going to take this exam on the 21st of March…HOWEVER, Mr Corona Virus decided to stop that from happening… 😦 The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison announced all non-essential meetings of over 500 people would need to be postponed or cancelled. So far, we haven’t received any further information as to when the exam will be. He announced this on Friday the 13th of March that this would take place on the 16th of March.

Anyways…Leading up to the exam, I like to do nothing but the bare minimum of stuff I need to do… Work, Exercise, and STUDY in all my spare moments. So I had no time to check out the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Which usually starts the start of March and Finishes Mid March), which I try to go to at least one event each year. I didn’t think I would make it this year, because…you know prioritising studying for the exam. HOWEVER, we found out on Friday 13th that the exam was cancelled, so I tried asking my friends last minute if they wanted to go to the festival…However, most of them already had other plans or have already been to the shows that I wanted to go to. All good. I will go by myself…with this ban in place, who knows when the next community event will be? Everything is being cancelled or postponed, left, right, centre.

I went to an art exhibition experience called ‘1000 Doors’…which is basically many doors…I don’t think there was 1000…but there was a hella lot of doors. If you think about it, doors are pretty interesting concepts…they hide behind them the unexpected, the unknown, and the secret. In hindsight, given the current situation the world was in, it was probably a mistake for me not to have worn gloves while opening those 1000s of doors… LOL.. anyways.

Prior to entering, they allow a gap between the previous guests and for you. There was only one rule, remember to close the doors and yes we could take photos. I was told that everyone experienced a different wave of familiarity, fear, or sensation in each type of room…I was super hyped and intrigued.  It was a super interesting experience, especially since I went by myself… I went at my own pace…it felt like a maze…and indoor adventure almost. The first door I walked through led me to an alleyway that reminded me so much of an old (and creepy) hospital corridor! Nostalgic. The lighting of each area also suited the different environments that they were trying to portray. Some cosy doors reminded me of my grandparents home in which I used to visit almost every week as a child. Some doors led to small places like a closet or a chimney. Some rooms felt like they were abandoned and made to look like a home for street people. There is one room in which you can only see through a small hole in the wall, lets you see into a super creepy room bathed in red light. Possibly an interrogation room? In some of the rooms, I felt like I was going back into time …one had a super old working radio and one a piano…I have attached some photos in this slide show here, unfortunately, because of the low lighting in some of the rooms and my haste in trying to take photos when no one was in them, led to some photos being too blurry to post :(.

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This is the Dolls House a three-storey recreation of a dolls house created by the Visionary Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi in the middle of Rundle Mall in the city centre of Adelaide. There was a long queue to go into the house and I stood among many young families grandparents, and kids to enter the magical looking building. I am amazed that he was able to build the house so quickly! He has only built something similar only one other time, and that was in Paris in France. Entering the house I didn’t know what to expect! It felt so much like a real house…with some real furniture, real fridges, sinks…yet everything was just so pink and so cute! Everything else was painted on…it really blended the real and the fake and you do feel somewhat like a doll. If someone living in a house that cute and bright, how could you not smile? I guess one downfall is one side of the house is completely made of glass so everyone can see what you are doing. LOL.

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Overall, I enjoyed my small escape from study, work, or exercise. The Prime Minister made another announcement today that because of the Corona Virus meaning that we can’t have gatherings of more than 100 people now… That will really affect big birthday parties…weddings…funerals… However, he says Universities and Schools should still go ahead as usual. He believes it’s better for kids to go to school rather than stay home and be looked after by grandparents who are at more risk of complications if they get the disease. There is also rule that there can’t be any more than two visitors at a time to aged care facility residents…they are also banning any children under 16 years old from going, except for exceptional circumstances. From the 1st of May, only those who have had their Flu Shot will be able to go into aged care facilities. No one who has come back from overseas in the last 14 days is also allowed to go in… All sorts of social gathering and activities have been recommended to be cancelled. Sounds like a really depressing time to live in aged care right now… :(…

In other terms of changes, The Prime Minister has asked ALL Australians to come back to  Australia as soon as possible and recommends no one leave UNLESS they really have to. Anyone who comes back from overseas from ANY country in the last 14 days has to self-isolate themselves for 14 days…failure to do so can be persecuted. I am really lucky that I didn’t have to cancel my trip last month to NZ and also that I don’t have to self-isolate… but unfortunately, my sister and her family are in Japan at the moment and they will be self-isolating for 14 days when they return to Adelaide this Saturday…

What a time to live in. :O

Stay Safe and wash your hands everyone!!

New Zealand: Things to do

I am back. With part two of the NZ related blog posts. I have tried putting the photos in a slideshow…hopefully that is more useful than the Mosaic with descriptions.

 Mildred Sound Full-Day Tour

Apparently a must-go…and we did…We had to travel for almost 5 hours on the bus there and 5 hours back to get there from Queenstown. During the time we went to Queenstown, they had only just reopened up the road for Tour Buses ONLY…It can be damaged and closed for a few days because of flooding (I think)… Apparently, there are more rainy days in Milfred than dry days…

Mirror Lake: This was one of the stops we made on the way to Milfred Sound and it is super pretty and worth making the trip for the photos…! This was one of the highlights of the day tour, to be honest! I didn’t even know we were going to be stopping here…The name ‘Mirror Lake’ suits it perfectly…as you can see the image of the mountain reflected so clearly onto the motionless and still water. It’s so calm…so Zen

Milford Sound Cruise:

The cruise was roughly 2 hours long and the package we got included lunch… Our boat was a Jucy Cruise Boat…and to be honest…I don’t know why I was expecting a buffet-style lunch…but man I was severely disappointed! We all got either a vegetarian meal of rice and vegetables…or a chicken calzone… and everyone got a kids pop top…Let’s just say I did not finish my food…and I am glad I had eaten snacks along the way on the trip. My friend and I went to the front of the boat to take photos…and when the boat came to a waterfall we thought we would be safe…waterfalls are just light rain isn’t it? No…we got drenched from top to bottom… 😦 was the photo worth it? Probably not! haha But the captain of the boat was telling us…there is a folklore that this water will make you 10 years younger…given I already look like I am 18…I think I am good. haha.

For the next waterfall, we went to…I smartly stayed inside the boat and took a photo from there instead. As you can see it looks like the boat went in a terrible storm! Everyone that braved staying outside was fully drenched…even worse off than the first waterfall. LOL.

 

Milfred Sound Cruise was great for the photos…but I mainly just soaked in the views..as it was quite windy outside and I had no phone strap or anything I was afraid to take photos at the front of the boat, but luckily my friend took plenty of awesome photos and I have included some on the blog.

Preparation for getting off the boat was a hassle…The captain announced half an hour before we went back on land that now would be an ideal time to go to one of the two toilets on the boat before landing…because when we landed we need to go back on the bus ASAP. So anyway, being girls my friend and I lined up for literally half an hour to get in one of those precious toilets. So, if you are a girl, make sure you go before the rush before the landing.

Glenorchy Horse Riding -Half day trip (2 hour horse trek)

A bus picked us up near our hotel…and picked up several others that were going to Glenorchy too. The bus trip from Queenstown was about an hours drive away. The tour that we went with had their own stables about another 15 minutes away from the main town that we stopped briefly in to let others off to do other activities in the same area.

The horses in NZ seemed huge in comparison to the ones I had ridden in Adelaide…Maybe it was just that the one I rode was an ex-racing horse?! I forgot the name of my horse….but he was a bit temperamental and had a bit of a mind of his own…but that’s alright…It was fun..and I didn’t get kicked off.  We were taught how to instruct the horse to move forward, how to stop, and how to lead them to go left or right. We were also instructed on how to stand up in the stirrups to remove pressure from kidneys when they pooped or peed.

The trek was nice, gentle, but to be honest the two-hour trek is a bit too long…I think the one hour trip would be sufficient enough. On our horse ride, we saw a few birds and some wild rabbits..other than that we didn’t encounter any other wildlife, unfortunately.

 

Kiwi Conservation Park:

Entrance to this park is expensive, but all proceeds go into maintaining the park, so I guess you can see it as a donation. My friend and I were curious to have a look at the Kiwi bird, which we haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, Kiwi’s are nocturnal so their habitat was in almost complete darkness and you couldn’t really take photos of them. They are an adorable and unique bird though! A super long beak!

Skyline Gondola:

Paragliding – G-Force, make sure you call before you go up to the top because they won’t refund your luge ride, unfortunately. That’s what happened to us, we were not told by the Viator company that we had to call the company at 8:30am of the morning of our flight to check if weather conditions were suitable for paragliding…we found out when we got up to the top… A return ride on the gondola was about $41! Not cheap… I was quite disappointed that we weren’t able to go :(, we, however, got a full refund as it was not our fault that the trip was cancelled.

Luge Ride:

I think it’s a fairly unique experience and pretty fun. Sort of like driving a little car that does not use any electricity, but moves from gravity. Watch out for kids that overtake you though… A family-friendly activity.

 

Park Run-NZ

Park Runs are timed 5km run across the world on Saturday morning and NZ is no exception. The run is held in the park in the city…While I didn’t run, I walked the track and enjoyed the views. This is a free event and is something you could consider doing if you have nothing to do on a Saturday morning.

City

On certain days, there are small market stalls that are set up in the city. A regular busker there and his singing sheepdog ‘Happy’, is incredibly cute. There are many delicious restaurants in the city, please see my other post on food.

Hiking: 

New Zealand is so beautiful…there are numerous number of walking trails around the city that lead to amazing views,

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New Zealand: Food!

Hi All!

I am back!! After some initial sickness post travels and adjustment needed for time difference…I am almost back to normal… Back to work already :(…saving up for that next holiday.. HAHA

I have decided to split my post about New Zealand into separate posts! Today’s post will be about the food I ate in NZ…! The next one is probably going to be places I went to…and  the third about the activities I did while there… I hope you enjoy this short mini-adventure series…since I don’t go on as many travels since I started working 😦 #sadlife. #worklife

It was great to get away from work and to destress…soak in the views…and eat some really yummy foods!! My friend and I aren’t foodies…but we do love getting recommendations from locals and from people who have been to Queenstown NZ before.

Our first proper meal in Queenstown was a Japanese restaurant called Tanoshi..and it was a teppanyaki-style restaurant…A little on the more expensive side, but it was really tasty. Surprisingly there were quite a few Japanese restaurants in Queenstown city as it is a popular place for Japanese Tourists.

From left to right: The sashimi was really nice and soft in comparison to Australias…The Cheese potato pancake was a first for me…so yummy! The Japanese pancake was really yummy and cooked just right. The last dish on the right is lightly fried scallops with wasabi sauce…also really really yummy.

Underneath that is some Vadu and Larder cafe…in which I got a pulled pork burger with fries and a matcha latte…while my friend got a salad with a Tumeric latte.

There was a french restaurant that had lots of icecreams and chocolates…I got a vanilla bean popsicle and opted to have it coated in dark chocolate…so yummy..while my friend got their raspberry sorbet in which had won a few awards.

The next meal with the pasta and the pizza..was at ‘THE COW’, which was recommended by one of our tour guides in Glenorchy as a good place for Italian food. She recommended that we MUST order the garlic bread (which I forgot to save a photo of) and you will know why when you order it…it is very unique. I will let you go and try it yourself to find out why! At first, we were just going to order a vegetable pizza (The just wrote it would be any vegetables they had on hand)…but then we saw that they do half-size pasta and we ordered the half-size seafood pasta…and I am so glad we did! The pasta was the favourite of the day! It was so yummy and light…with fresh seafood. The vegetable pizza was interesting! It had lots of vegetables as promised…mushroom, tomato, celery, zucchini…but I personally ain’t a fan of celery…especially not on a pizza!

Here’s a photo from our trip in Arrowtown of the ‘Flat white’ I ordered… I am sure I ordered a latte…but I think I got a flat white instead??? It was more bitter and did not have as much froth as I would have liked…but maybe it was because I asked for soymilk.

Like I said before, NZ seems to have a lot of Japanese Restaurants and to my excitement, they were just opening up a new GreenTea Dessert Place called Tsujiri…which is a well known Greentea company in Kyoto, Japan…which has branches around the world… Their tea is really nice! I have tried it before from Kyoto. It is a bit on the dearer side for tea, but it is really good stuff. I had a Matcha Shaved ice with Matcha Softserve and shiratama. The soft serve was delicious, not too sweet, bitter but that’s the way I like it. My friend ordered the matcha crepe…and it was probably the best matcha crepe I have had! Really recommend trying this in Queenstown -or wherever there is a branch :P!

Back in Arrowtown, this is the bakery that is well known in this area…They have an assortment of different pies on sale..including a butter chicken pie! Unfortunately, I was quite full from our brunch and only bought a vegetable Calzone (No photo sorry) and an Apple Strudel (which I didn’t really like because it had sultanas-which I am not a fan of). My friend bought a cinnamon scroll..it looked delicious …but I didn’t get to try 😦

 

Last but not least, We splurged on one of the dinners using the deal on 1st table..which allows us to book an early table ($10 booking fee) and get half-price off the final bill. This dinner was really worth it..as we really wanted a taste of what seemed like ‘Typical New Zealand food’. This three-course meal was normally $60 per person, but thanks to the deal we only paid $35 per person. After the first two dishes came out…firstly a soup..then some damper (I think) and some salmon..on the plate with the salmon..it actually isn’t caviar or salmon on there! I think it was some sort of jelly that was made to look like it and some cooked watermelon…very smart! The ‘Final course’ was actually four dishes which surprised both my friend and I..as we were expecting maybe one dish to share. This is where I fell in love with the Kamara Potatoe…These were the best potatoes I have ever eaten…so crispy…so delicious. The lamb in this meal was so splendid and beautiful…melt in your mouth special! With the dish in which I think they are rice balls (?)..that was quite nice too…but the roasted vegetables underneath them were a little bit too dry for me. ALSO I must rave about the chocolate covered broccolini…who would of thought dark chocolate and vegetables would mix SO WELL? So yummy…I am thinking of imitating this at home…so nice….

Those last two photos of snacks that tasted good in NZ are their chips…Made from NZ potatoes! SO tasty…And also in the centre of Queenstown and literally also in every store that sells food…is COOKIE TIME. We went to the actual store..and yeah it’s super busy….and you can get lots of freshly baked cookies there! It is quite yummy…but it makes. a big difference when you buy the fresh ones from the store 🙂 I bought some back as a souvenir for my Aussie friends and family.

Other recommendation:

-At top of Skyline Gondola- The cafe there is pretty nice…I had a mixed berry crepe there…quite nice! My friend bought some Tip Top Icecream up there..it was quite generous for the amount they give you…I think it is an NZ brand of ice cream.

-Ferd burger, Ferd Bakery, and Ferd Ice cream. They are all in a line next to each other..and you can’t miss it…there’s always a line outside Ferg Burger. To be honest, the burger doesn’t look that awesome on the outside…hence no photos posted…but it tasted really nice! I got the lamb, but my friend got Venison…but yeah I preferred mine more…Would I get it twice? Probably not…the line up was about half an hour…then we waited an extra half an hour because they forgot my friend’s order…really bad service…and I guess average food…but …it is quite cheap in comparison to the other places we ate at I guess!! Worth trying…but make sure you ask where your order if you suddenly see other people’s numbers going before you.  They have the feeling of being a fast-food restaurant with no service…but yeah charging more and slowish service…

I think that is mostly what I ate out! If I didn’t take a photo or mention it here…it probably wasn’t worth mentioning! I had a great time eating delicious foods while here… 🙂

Look out for the next blog about activities I did in NZ…

 

Thanks for reading and supporting this blog as always :))!!

Not really an update…BUT..

As the title says, not really an update..but, I am going on a trip to New Zealand! Super excited!! I haven’t had a proper break from work or life since I started this blog almost 3 years ago…Go hard or go home…or go NZ.

I’ve never been to NZ so I will have lots of photos and experiences to share when I get back. Excited to see their sheep, experience their delicious Ferdburger, Paragliding, and exploring the Lord of the Ring movie backdrops… :O

Just a reminder to everyone work hard..but also remember to relax and enjoy life!! Or you will burn out like I do… sizzlee…..You only live once but you only die once too! More about this another time…

SUPER happy not to have to go to work for a week…LOL just so over it today… just let me go home!!! I still have some last-minute packing to do tomorrow morning…but other than that I am pretty much set to go…

I have packed some facemasks for the plane trip…thinking whether I need alcohol gel or antiseptic wipes…=s

I’ll update when I get back!!

Take care till then!

 

Novel Coronavirus in Australia

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard of the Novel Coronavirus that has recently broken out in Wuhan, China. News spread throughout the world and now everyone is scared that they will be the next to get the virus. There are over 12,000 people and has killed over 250 people world wide….

Currently, there are about 14 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus in the whole of Australia, with two confirmed cases in South Australia. Yet, despite the low number of people with the virus, everyone is worried. Facemasks are all sold out…hand sanitisers are also on the way out. I just heard on the news today that Australia has banned all Chinese National Tourists from coming here and also any foreigners that have recently travelled to China..Unless they are a Permanent Resident or Australian Citizen, they won’t be able to come here. Australia is not the only country to ban Chinese tourists into their country…

I can’t even imagine the repercussions that this virus has had on the tourism industry… Australian Universities rely on income from International Students, especially from China. To have this ban come into place…means a massive source of income that is gone…

On a more personal level, my parents have asked for a refund for their tickets that they bought last year… The status of China is “Do not travel”… Airports are now filled with thermometers and facemasks for everybody. My university has sent an email to all staff and students not to travel to China…There was one pharmacy in the middle of the city that has temporarily closed its doors for fear of the virus….

I work in a hospital and luckily we have not had any cases come to us yet…however, we are getting daily email updates about the virus and where it has gone to…It’s scary, yet I also feel like it is overhyped. It’s normal to fear what we don’t know know..the fear of the unknown… We don’t know how to cure this virus..we have no vaccine… It’s difficult to know how to detect it.

This is the era of the coronavirus…there are so many jokes about it..but is it as bad as it seems? Or are we just afraid of the unknown?

Travel is like medicine for the soul

While I was studying at University, I would always go overseas each year in the Uni holidays, without fail. It was the event that I most looked forward to at the end of the year. It was the sweet reward for my hard efforts that I put in through the year…Working hard to pass my subjects and then working hard after class in my part-time job to save up for my precious holidays. To me, travelling was medicine for the soul. Unfortunately, since I have started working full-time, it has been incredibly difficult for me to go on holidays because this is subject to being able to take leave, and if you have enough annual leave left.

There are many benefits to travelling, this includes benefits to one’s health. It can decrease stress and also be good for the clearing of the mind and allow you to relax. It also has many physical health benefits, because it will force you to get moving around and doing different activities that you normally would not do. It is good for your mind to because you get to become familiar with a new culture and the customs of a society that is different from your own. You get to meet new people, taste exotic foods, and see beautiful things that are greater than anything you have ever imagined. I firmly believe that those who travel have more stories to tell and are more interesting people to talk to and spend time with. Travel can teach us an invaluable lesson in life, teaching you to appreciate what you have, or encouraging you to try harder to achieve what other cities have. Basically, you are going to ‘A Whole New World’. Pun intended.

In saying that, there are a few things that travel is unfortunately not good for. Travel costs money. Usually. A LOT of it. You need to buy flight tickets, accommodation, transport, food, travel insurance, and so forth. It is not a cheap activity, especially if you are struggling to survive day by day, how can you afford to travel? Or if you are trying to save up for a house or something else…it just sometimes doesn’t seem necessary. It can be risky too, especially if you are going to third world countries where you may contract an infectious disease. You could also be at higher risk of being mugged, or a target of scammers because you are a foreigner. For some, who have a fear of flying, water, or motion sickness in general, travel could cause more headache than it is worth. It is also a time-consuming activity, which generally requires lots of planning…and if you factor the time you spend ‘travelling’ it could be days of precious annual leave that is being used up, in which you could be ‘Chilling at home’.

Travel has a multitude of benefits for one’s mental and physical health and allows us to become more culturally informed. However, it is not a luxury that everyone can afford and it also comes with some risks and dangers. However, for me, travel is a medicine for my soul and the longer I don’t travel, the less alive I feel. Even if it is a temporary medication that drowns my sorrows, only for a moment, it is worth it.

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Can’t believe it is 2020.. This year i am going to be posting short like essays like this, which I use as a preparation activity for my exams 😀 …

Random rants: Expensive​ Hobbies

I have a friend who likes loves cars…I am talking obsessed. Basically, their whole life is cars. Buying them, selling them, fixing them, cleaning, you-name-it and they are probably have done that to a car. They have their own car that they have modified to their liking and use it to go on tracks to race with. As I can imagine, it is an expensive hobby… apparently, each time they take their car on the racing (?) tracks they have to spend hundreds if not thousands to have all the tyres, brakes, and other parts of their car replaced. To me, because I do not understand why someone would waste spend so much money on such a temporary ‘in the moment’ high kinda thing.

Then I was listening to a podcast about people who collect ‘high-end shoes’. Someone on the podcast said they had around 40 pair of shoes in their collection…the thing I don’t understand is that they just buy the shoes to put on display…they don’t even wear them! That boggles my mind that you would buy something just to look at them…Each pair ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand…Did you know there are such things as ‘Shoe Conventions?’

I don’t mean to belittle other people’s hobbies and interests… I guess it has made me more aware that other people have passions and interests that I might not understand. I think back to what I spend most of my money on…and it has been on travelling overseas in different countries and learning…so I guess that is my passion and to other people, it may seem like a waste of money.

What are the things you spend your time and money on?

 

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Big fish in a small bowl

So I listened to a podcast about an interview with a girl that was part of one of ‘The Bachelor’ series. If you don’t know what this series is about, it’s basically like one guy that around 24 girls are trying to fight with each other to win over. It actually sounds quite stupid, if you ask me. What makes that one guy that special that 24 pretty girls are fighting over him?

I guess it may be the big fish in a small bowl effect. Because they are all taken out of their normal lives, with no access to the internet, other people..etc they just all behave differently than they normally would. In the real world would you really fight over this one guy that you know is seeing 23 other girls at the same time? NO, you will just think of him as a dirty player and find someone else better that does not go out with other girls at the same time as you. Most of them wouldn’t even swipe right on Tinder for them I don’t understand how the girls in this show could genuinely be in love with this guy…doesn’t it piss them off to know that he is seeing so many other girls at the same time?! That would piss me off greatly. L.O.L.

Anyways, I am using this example to try and explain the tunnel vision that sometimes we may have in our lives. We think that things are a certain way because that’s all we have ever known, but elsewhere..be it another state or country…things are done differently. People are different. There is so much of life that is yet to be explored and sometimes we feel like there are not enough fishes in the sea, but maybe we just haven’t been brave enough to explore the ocean in its entirety.

For example, you may think… that you will never meet ‘the one’ for you. But, maybe he or she is not living in your small town…what are the chances that your soul mate is conveniently located in the same place as us?  Maybe, we have to expand our world a bit further…and become a small fish in a very very big bowl.

ps…and in other words…I am starting a new job tomorrow! First day…feel very much like a small fish entering in a massive seaworld themepark ..>.< wish me luck!!

pps. Thanks for the 2000 visits to this page!

 

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