Australia, October 2015

Recap : Sydney – Melbourne 2015

Dates: 8 – 18 Oct (11D 10N)

Itinerary

Date Agenda
8 – 11 Oct Sydney
11 – 15 Oct Sydney to Melbourne road trip
15 – 18 Oct Melbourne

Accommodation

All accommodation booked via Booking.com and Airbnb.com.

Transport options

  • Sydney: Public transport using Opal card (max A$16/day) and friend’s car
  • Sydney to Melbourne road trip: Car rental (Toyota Corolla) via EuropCar
  • Melbourne: Public transport using Myki

Useful things to note

  1. All Singaporeans need an Electronic Travel Application. Get yours at S$10 via Jatravel. This is also the cheapest option.
  2. The most affordable SIM card option is the $2/day Optus card which gives you unlimited calls, SMSes and 500MB of data. If you exceed 500MB, you’ll be bumped to 1GB/day for additional $2. Minimum top up is $10.
  3. One Australia-sized meal generally equates to a meal for two Asians and leaves you space to grab a snack/dessert/coffee.
  4. Cheapest groceries are in supermarkets – avoid convenience stores!
  5. Remember to purchase car excess for your car rental. The most expensive option is to go with your car rental company and the cheapest is a third-party insurance. The staff will also remind you that in any accidents, the company will deal with you directly (that is you pay first) and you will need to claim against the third-party insurance.

Gorgeous photos by Camistry Lab.

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Unboxing BoxGreen!

Let me just caveat this upfront: This is not a sponsored post and I paid for my own box myself.

My sister calls me a squirrel these days. I’m all about granola, healthy snacks and nuts. Dadster used to sneak into my room and scurry off with spoils but now, he slinks in and quietly retreats because he says, “you eat hamster food.”

Anyway, while subscription box frenzy is slowly dying, I didn’t see the hurry to hop onto the bandwagon.

Initially, BoxGreen started out with surprise snacks I think. I am not one for unknown – I need to know what I am paying for. With the new plan they rolled out: your choice of 4 snacks (3 packs of 30g each) in each box, I thought, why not?

My box was shipped out maybe 2 business days after I carted out and took 3 business days to reach me.

Shipping was free for me but costs $1.70 for BoxGreen

 

Continue reading “Unboxing BoxGreen!”

Travel buddies #meowgershu

We started planning for our trip to Australia quite early (or I’d like to think so), somewhere in March when we were slated to travel in October.

Yep we met up… for a grand total of one time and we were ready to travel with each other for 11D10N.

In our defense, we were old travel buddies.

Penang 2012

 

Hong Kong 2012

 

I think it makes a certain breed of friends to travel together and thankfully the three of us would have worked well.

  • Both of them can drive and value add in this point. I am the loser driver who has a license but cannot drive.
  • Roger takes beautiful pictures and can read Google Maps
  • Shu just makes us laugh a lot with her ditzy-ness and takes care of $$$.
  • I am the planner of the group – I’m all about reading Lonely Planet, doing hell lots of research and memorising almost everything I can about each destination.

Do you have a couple of friends that you travel with too?

 

Dee’s Story: My ex-boyfriend didn’t like me dancing

An old piece (published back in.. 2013 maybe?) which was previously written for Dance Lah.

Dee* had been dancing even before she met her ex-boyfriend, Ivan*. They were acquainted with each other in secondary school but only started speaking to each other in junior college.

“I always caught glimpses of him along with my class corridor in secondary school,” she said.

“I didn’t think much of him. He used to hang out with a bunch of Ah Bengs and he liked to wear his pants loose and low. One tug and I’m sure they would have fallen to the floor. He seemed to be playing basketball every day after school,” Dee disclosed.

She explained that she could observe all of this because the dance studio was right next to the basketball court.

Somehow, the two of them ended up in the same junior college where they joined the same Orientation Group. Sparks flew between them and the rest was history.

The disagreements started then. Ivan was unhappy with the amount of time Dee spent dancing.

“He kept saying that I put dance before him and that dance is more important than him. How could I have rationalised things with him? Dance and him were really two different things. If you took dance out of the picture, we would have been a perfectly happy couple.”

Ivan also disliked Dee doing partner work in dance or dancing in items with revealing costumes.

“Basically, anything that revealed my cleavage or midriff; any skirt shorter than mid-thigh and above were no-nos. I had to find creative ways around costumes to appease him. For example, I’ll wear nude stockings if I had to wear shorts, ” Dee explained.

Fast forward to university.

“If you had danced in junior college and in university, I think you would have known that these are two very different environments. Dance back in my junior college was contemporary, where costumes were mandated “safe”. You spend less time on dance because the ‘A’ Levels came first.

In varsity, I think dancers are afforded more freedom. University dance groups put on dance concerts frequently with each dancer taking on multiple items. That means you spend more time at rehearsals. I remember for a particular concert, I had rehearsals five days a week. The other two days were spent catching up on school work. Whatever time that was left over, went to dates.”

During their relationship, she set her Facebook profile to review tags so that she could filter out the photos and videos that Ivan would have picked arguments over. She had to inform her friends ahead of time to ensure that they did not upload photos or videos of her doing partner work.

“Sometimes, I would pretend that I was too busy doing hair and make-up so that I wouldn’t have to take pictures backstage. Even if there was an item that I really wanted to do, I’ll automatically opt out of it if I knew that the costumes were going to be problematic. It was just less tiring that way, ” she added.

Performing in concerts is supposed to be a happy thing, right?

“I’m the happiest during concert-time. When people write notes post-concert lamenting about how much they miss the show moments, I spend my post-concert time doing damage control. Even though I would have loved to have him watch my concerts but the idea of having to deal with him post-concert stressed me out, ” Dee sighed.

Eventually, they broke up because of other reasons.

It was a tiring and tumultuous relationship. Ivan always made Dee felt like the smaller and more selfish person.

“He was constantly guilt-tripping me because he claimed that I prioritised dance over him. It made the relationship tenser and we argued over the smallest things. I never had the courage to tell him that I hated the things that he made me do.

Remember in algebra, your maths teacher would have taught you that pears and apples are different units and cannot be used in the same form? The same way, dance and your boyfriend are two different things and cannot be compared.”

Dee’s last words:

“Don’t give up. One day you will find the perfect soulmate who loves everything about you and everything that you do. Someone who will love you for being a dancer, and who appreciates dance itself. But until then, know that dance will always be there for you and will never give up on you.”

*All names have been changed.

Illustrations by my sister.

Patience my young Padawan…

And so, I never thought this would happen to me…

My photos on my free account has exceeded the bandwidth so I just coughed up some cash to revive my images. I apologise if you have been seeing this!

Secondly…

ImageShack just told me my images are going to be unavailable. The last I checked, I have some 500 images with ImageShack for this blog, mostly 2013 and earlier, which means travelogues for Hong Kong are currently unavailable.

It’s going to be a lengthy process re-uploading my pictures and re-linking them but I hope to refresh the links by end of the year. If there are any blog entries that you’re seriously keen in, please drop a comment on that entry and I’ll push that to the front of the queue.