Melbourne Expat Diary blog series was inspired by the interest to read about the life happenings of other expat bloggers. I started writing my own version ever since I moved to Melbourne. I hope you enjoy reading the summary of the last 30days of my life, as a Melbourne expat, as much as I love writing it.
You might have noticed that I skipped last month’s recap. There were soul-crushing reasons for it, which resulted in a few horrible weeks, but I really don’t feel like getting into the evil details of it. Anyway, here I am, back to my normal queen-like self. Ready to conquer the expat world, one post at a time.
Melbourne Expat Life Highlights
Melbourne entered Spring this month and despite today being 10 degrees and raining, we have had a few warm weather days. Brighter colors, lighter drinks and shorter skirts have been frolicking Chapel street on the weekends.
We went to Chris’ D’Elia live performance at the historic Athenaeum theatre. The show was a real treat, so much so that it convinced Fafa to start listening to his podcast, Congratulations, something I asked him to do months ago.
I worked on Diwali, which sucked because I rather be at my parents’, eating Mama Kween’s and aunties’ food while hanging out with my cousins. I sneaked during lunch time to see Hokusai’s exhibition at NGV to cheer myself up. It didn’t help. Over the weekend, we were invited to a home cooked lunch at a couple friends’ house (bless their hearts) where I ended up befriending their 5yo son. On the same night, we went to another couple friends’ house warming party and hung out with a bunch of interesting people. In conclusion, Diwali sucked, but not too much.
A silver lining of what felt like living in a particular kind of hell in the past few weeks is realizing that I have an iron clad support system. Fafa has been nothing but patient, kind, understanding and everything nice whenever I had my “episodes”. I also hung out with my best friends in Singapore, had a heart to heart with cousins over vodka and tears. Both Vi and Jik took time off of their busy lives to just be with me at my lowest. I rekindled with my friends from Uni. I had a Starbucks date with Che, just like old times. There was Liz who has become a quintessential part of the Melbourne expat life and Frida who introduced me to the concept of catering to the inner-child.
Another favorite day in October was when I spent the whole afternoon recording hour-by-hour iPhone pre-order with Ji, which included emptying a “celebratory” bottle of wine, being accused a grape killer and missing out the first batch order because I was too drunk to focus.
On my last day in Singapore, I visited the temple. It felt like I was transformed back to a decade ago, when I came to the same place asking God to take the pain away. I remembered Enson’s text back then too. He said: “There are times which felt like we knocked down everything. We are disappointed with ourselves, of our inability, incapability and failures. Don’t give up! About feeling empty inside, you will come up with something, but first pull yourself together.” So I did. I pulled myself together. Ten years ago and on that Friday.
New and Favorite Things in Melbourne Expat Life
You know how sometimes we do weird things to feel better? I have been playing Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men on loop all month long at work. It has been helping. Tremendously. I also released the birthday balloon while requesting the Universe to grant all my intentional wishes.
Liz took me to Madam Brussels and Kettle Black (really good flat white!) on different days to have a heart to heart session (yeah, there were a lot of heart to heart have been happening lately). I love both places!
In September we went to Tasmania; visited the Museum of Old and New Art, ate countless fresh oysters and drove to a small town called Ross where Kiki’s original bakery is located as a tribute to Miaw. There were boozy road trips to Mornington Peninsula on my birthday weekend with Jik and to the scenic Marrysville on a random weekend.
I had never empathized with suicide stories, I even had a lengthy discussion with Manda on 13 Reasons Why. She understood the Hanna’s reasons and I didn’t, maybe because I am a cold hearted bitch. But my perspective changed recently, so much so that I woke up in the middle of the night to find ways to contribute to the cause beyond financial support. It’s interesting what and how a single event could change a lifetime perspective about something,
Related to the craziness of last month, I had an impromptu chakra cleansing session in Jakarta (didn’t remember that I wrote down about it in the last Melbourne Expat post. A classic case of beware of what you wish for). The session was err… okay. I don’t know whether it helped at all, they told me that I had a blockade in my solar plexus chakra. I knew that even before going there!
Birthday gifts this year served as a reminder how well my friends know me. I feel so much loved. Thank you guys!
Jik gave me a full day meditation retreat as a gift. It was on a Sunday, there were 16 of us, meditating and journaling all day long. I passed the 20mins and 30mins meditation sessions easily, but struggled with my own demons when they up it to more than 40mins in one seating. The practice has been stuck with me so far. I have been doing a 10mins meditation at home at night ever since, not judging and letting random thoughts flow.
I took a sip of Hoegarden on the first night in Singapore after such a long time, which felt like years of memories were released from the bottle.
Melbourne Expat Work and Domestic Life
We had a Halloween party in the office today. Many dressed up as witches, including yours truly, obs! I decorated the non-existence cubicle with crystals, Miaw and tarot cards. I even managed to read my colleagues’ future on which hair color to get next and whether they would score a girlfriend before the end of the year. We also celebrated Diwali at work, with not-enough Indian food, 80s Hindi songs and bright color clothes.
I have been drinking a lot and my Instagram feed starts to look like an AA ad lately. Okay, that sounds sad, but I have my reasons, which includes figuring out whether I like Pinot Noir or Shiraz better. Turned out I like both equally.
My watch was lost recently and I have been so sad about it. The watch had a lot of happy memories. I got it and its’ twin for my cousin in Japan in 2015 and I got the strap from Singapore in 2016. It felt like carrying a part of those two countries, both the past and the future, and wearing it in my present, Melbourne (I am good at symbolic stuff). Unfortunately, it also means losing it felt like losing a part of myself.
We had to pronounce death on my Bikini Bottom II the kokedama succulent. That’s another shitty thing that happened last month. I don’t know what went wrong; I watered it, put it in the sun, I didn’t water it as much, put it in the shade and everything in between; but still it withered and die. I know should give up, but then again, I am a self proclaimed plant mama! So I am studying the Little Veggie Patch book on how to grow chili in the pot. I will be damn if there is no self-grown chili in the food I cook next month!
This might be the most mundane question ever, but how often do you buy socks? I thought socks were like a lifetime thingy, but the ones I owe have been tearing apart one by one 🙁
Melbourne Expat Media Consumption and Internet History
I have been going through the archives of Masha’s blog, Unlikely Pilgrim. I first read about her walking journey from my current read The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–through Italy, India, and Beyond by Torre Dorche. I love the way Torre writes, it’s raw, happy and humble. I am so in love with this book, almost as much as I was with her first book, Love with a Chance of Drowning.
Liz, you will be happy to know that I am reading Chicken Soup For The Soul series, all thanks to you for putting it in my head on our charity walk day.
Meanwhile, Yin inspired me to read How To Fall In Love With Anyone, but I stopped when the memoir touched her grandparents’ love story, just couldn’t relate. I also hit pause on The Dead House halfway because even though the concept is brilliant, it’s too complicated for a commute reading. The only fiction I finished was Good Me Bad Me., easy to read and was so damn delicious!
I also read tons of poems this month thanks to Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers; it made me crave for more. I devoured No Matter The Wreckage, Letting Go Is An Acquired Taste, The Last Time I’ll Write About You, and Pillow Thoughts. I remember how much I despised poem as a YA before finally understanding the magic of it. Does this mean I am ready for Rabindranath Tagore’s?
TV God has come through for me in this difficult month. I am treated with This Is Us (hello Jake!), How To Get Away With Murder (hello Nate!), Scandal (hello Fitz!), Grey’s Anatomy (Hello Jackson!), Broad City (Hello Ilana!), Law & Order SVU, Law & Order: True Crime, Criminal Minds (Hello Eric, I mean Luke!) and Will and Grace (Hello Karen!). I tried to watch Slasher, Mindhunter and Riverdale; all were too boring, even for me, who has a very low silver screen standard.
Fafa used the movie-date voucher I gave him out of love on a random day and made me watch Thor: Ragnarok. You would think I hated it, but non super hero knowing brain of mine kinda enjoyed it, especially the pagan parts.
I scored an awesome-sauce boho throw from a hippie store in Fitzroy and featured it on the new apartment tour. I also wrote about solo traveling, 88 reasons why I love Singapore, 50 ways to celebrate World Food Day, Singapore cat cafe, Nice France, and fun facts about Kulture Kween.
Melbourne Expat Next Month
I am counting the days for Manda to be back from her US trip so we can finish our discussion about Harry Potter being a loser for marrying Ginny Weasley. I also owe her lunch for not keeping up with my promise of not touching the phone during working hours. Ugh!
Travel-wise, this weekend, I, and apparently half of my office mates, will be over-crowding the Gold Coast. I don’t think we will bump into each other though, they are planning theme-park afternoons and drunken nights, while our itinerary includes whale watching, road trips and nighttime beach walk. Jik is coming for a short visit next weekend, yay! And at the end of the month I and Liz are going to our first girl trip together to Adelaide. Time to love me more Liz!
Lastly, a Happy Birthday shout out to November babies! A new revelation for me is that most of my friends are Scorpion. Jik, W, Pedro, Sumit and a few others. It makes me wonder, why does the Virgo want to befriend them? To find out more stay tuned for future posts. Btw, if you haven’t done it yet, do follow me on BlogLovin and Facebook.
Wanderlist update: I crossed off one of the wishes from my latest birthday list of trying 3 new cuisines; Vi treated me Nanjing food while in Singapore, I took Nilam to Russian restaurant in Fitzory and Fafa took me to Afghan restaurant last week.
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