Tasmania: Take a Walk

I’m already finished my trip to Tasmania, and it was so awesome! So how did it all come about? Well, my flatmate (Beena) had to go to Hobart for work on Monday and she wanted to make a long weekend out of it. A couple of weeks ago, she messaged me onSunday afternoon and asked if I’d be interested in joining her. Originally, I wasn’t planning on going to Tasmania until the summer since it tends to be a bit colder than the rest of Australia, but once I looked at flight prices and saw that it would only be $160 round trip, I figured why not go twice?! I decided to give myself Thursday and Friday off, and we booked our flights that night. We got an Uber to the airport at 6:15 Thursday morning and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to go through security and have breakfast. A few things that shocked me upon flying within Australia is first, they didn’t ask for identification or boarding passes to go through security and therefore, anyone could go through whether they were getting on a flight or not. The second thing is you can bring an unlimited amount of liquids of any size. I brought through my water bottle and two bags of toiletries and didn’t get stopped at all. Lastly, they didn’t even check identification to get on the plane – they just scanned the boarding passes. I could have given my ticket to a friend and they wouldn’t have known! Everything was a lot more relaxed than what I’m used to.
Our flight was only an hour and fifteen minutes, so we arrived in Hobart just before 10am. We picked up our car rental and started our drive towards Freycinet Park. We made a couple of stops along the way to get some snacks and see some views. Then we made it to Coles Bay (the nearest town) at around 2pm. We stopped at the only restaurant we could find, ordered a pizza to go, and ate next to the water. Then we were ready to go hiking!

In order to see the famous Wineglass Bay, they said it would take an hour and a half round trip. It was only 16 degrees outside, but both of us were so hot walking up to the lookout! We were both dying once we made it to the top, but we only took 22 minutes – half the time! From that point onwards, Beena started joking about whether a specified hiking time would be for normal people, or “Janelle-walking-time.” I guess I tend to speed-hike just as much as I speed-walk… After we went back down, there were two wallabies waiting for us in the parking lot, and one of them even had a baby in its pouch! We then went to a few other short hikes, and then finished our day at Honeymoon Point, where we sat for an hour and waited for the sunset. After that, we did another 2.5 hours of driving to Saint Helens. I knew that the lodge that we’d be staying in would have a cat, but I stupidly only brought Benadryl so by the time we got to Saint Helens, I was nearly passed out. I made myself stay up until 9 and then I was good to go to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

On Friday, we stopped at a cute, little bakery in Saint Helens to have breakfast before starting another activity-filled day. We started by checking out Bay of Fires, which is 50km of pristine beaches. There wasn’t a soul to be seen and it was absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately, it was still too cold to have a beach day so we wondered if the beaches were just as quiet during the summer. After exploring for a couple of hours, we left Saint Helens at 10 and started the 4-hour drive to Cradle Mountain. We arrived there at 2pm, had lunch, and then waited for the shuttle to take us to the mountain. What we didn’t realise was that the last shuttle left the mountain at 5pm, so it only gave us two hours to hike. We decided not to do the lake circuit because they said it would take between 2-3 hours (even though we had full confidence in our speed-hiking abilities). Instead, we walked down to the lake and then did a 1.5-hour hike to Ronny Creek, which was another shuttle bus stop. The weather at Cradle Mountain tried to be on our side – apparently the fog had (for the most part) cleared up right when we arrived, but towards the last half hour of our hike, it started raining. The coolest thing about the hike was the amount of wombats that we were able to see! We caught the shuttle back to the
On Saturday morning, we went to Salamanca Market, which happens every Saturday and has about 300 stalls. I got a smoked salmon omelette on a roll for breakfast, which was so good! Tasmania is apparently known for its food, and Hobart definitely did not disappoint! We spent about an hour and a half exploring the market, then drove to the ferry terminal to go to Bruny Island. Fun fact: Bruny Island is the same size as the island of Singapore, but instead of having 5-6 million people, it has a population of about 600. We got to the ferry terminal with ten minutes to spare, got on the ferry, and took the 20-minute trip to the island. We then drove a half hour to the Fluted Cape trail, which is a 2.5-hour hike. Unfortunately for us, it was quite misty and foggy on the island, and it started to pour for nearly our entire walk up the cliff. When we finally got to the top, our view was a white fog into nothingness. Luckily, the fog slowly started to clear as we made it back down, so we were able to see some views (and a couple of wallabies!) on our way down. We were completely soaked and freezing once we got back to the car so we drove to a cheese restaurant and split a cheese and bread platter. We then drove an hour to the very southern part of the island (the southernmost part of Australia) to see the view from the lighthouse. It was FREEZING up there, and the wind nearly blew me off of the cliff! Our plan was to stay until sunset, but we only lasted about 5-10 minutes before we decided we’d rather spend our time next to the car heater. We drove another hour back to the ferry terminal and had to wait about 40 minutes to catch the final ferry back to Hobart. By the time we got back to Hobart, it was about 8pm so we went to a restaurant called Urban Greek and had a delicious late dinner. I had forgotten how good real Greek food was, and it really made me want to go back so I could eat my way through it! I do think Greece was one of my favourite countries to eat in, as everything was so delicious!
On Sunday morning, we arrived at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) right when it opened at 10am. We had breakfast at a cafe there and split a frittata and a beef & ale pie, which were both so good. And then we decided to also split a slice of carrot cake because I had been talking about carrot cake nonstop the entire weekend, so why not have it for breakfast? We then spent about three hours going through the museum. It’s quite modern and abstract art, and it deals a lot more with other senses rather than just eyesight. I didn’t really understand any of the art, but it was still interesting. It reminded me a lot of the Pompidou Museum in Paris, as the types of art were similar. After the museum, we decided to check out central Hobart, so we walked along the cold harbour and then found a restaurant called Mures, where we had a late lunch (and I had an amazing seafood chowder!). Afterwards, we spent an hour checking out the shops until they closed at 4pm, and then we went to the cinema to watch Crazy, Rich Asians. The last time I’ve been in a cinema was about three years ago when I got a free ticket to watch a movie in London. This is cause I’m too cheap to spend 15-20 dollars to go to a movie. However, since Sunday was a rainy day in Hobart, there wasn’t much else to do. And the movie was cute – Beena and I both cried (I think we have similar tastes in movies). After the movie, we went back to the hostel to rest for an hour and a half cause we had a dinner reservation at a place called Templo for 8:30. The restaurant offered a tasting menu for $65 per person, but we decided to each just get the gnocchetti/anchovy/lemon sauce dish, and then share the swede dish (which here, a swede is a rutabaga). Both dishes were absolutely delicious! We were so full after only eating half our meals, but we couldn’t stop eating them. I was shocked as to how good all of the flavours meshed together!
On Monday, we got up and packed all of our stuff. Beena’s work meetings started at 10am and my bus to the airport left at 10:45, so we parted ways and I stopped at a restaurant called Waffle On. There, I had a bacon and banana cinnamon waffle, which was so amazing (again, the food in Hobart is spectacular, so no surprise!)! I then walked to the bus

stop, took the half hour bus ride to the airport, got screened for a random drug test, went through security, and still had an hour until boarding. Then, I found out that my flight would be delayed by 45 minutes, which is when I decided it would be useful to write this blog post. So here we are! Officially on the flight as I’m finishing this up, and then I’ll have tonight to unpack and repack my stuff to fly to Brisbane tomorrow morning (I’ll be going from 10 degree to 22 degree weather). Hope everyone’s doing well! Love always

Take a Walk – Passion Pit


Okay, so now all I have left to catch you up on is September (and only two-thirds of it, since I went on holiday the 20th!). ! I’ve been really trying to put myself out there since I’ve moved to Melbourne so I could make myself feel at home here, since it was so difficult to meet people in London. In Warragul, most of my friends were from Taiwan, or Japan, or Hong Kong, and one thing that I noticed about all of my Asian friends was not only how hospitable, kind, and friendly they all were, but also just how vulnerable they were when meeting people. I’ve noticed that normally when we all meet new people, it might be at work or through a random friend, but both parties are often too scared to make the “first move” and ask that person to meet up outside of work, or outside of their mutual friend group. With my friends in Warragul, it was so easy because they were basically like, “We’re going to be friends whether you want to or not, why don’t you come over for dinner sometime?” (Okay, they didn’t say it exactly like that, but that’s what they implied). It made me realize that maybe we should all be like that! What do we have to lose, and why are people so scared to make the first move? I met so many awesome people at Hudsons, but the first time that I went out with them all together (other than the Christmas work party) was during my last weekend in Saskatoon. We had a blast but couldn’t do it again because it was too late! Anyway, now I’ve learned to be a little bit more vulnerable when it comes to making friends. I’ve been creating multiple events on the “Canadian Ladies in Melbourne” facebook page (I already have a

reputation as the planner), and usually a lot of the girls who I met at the very first brunch join in, and sometimes we even get some newbies as well. With a few of the girls, I’ve clicked with them really fast and we’ve already reached that, “We’re going to be Melbourne BFFs” stage, which has made my time here so much  more fun! Anyway, I decided to start a Food Club, where I would plan a different dinner at a restaurant every 3-4 weeks. The first weekend of September was our first dinner, which was at an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant called Okami. Eight girls showed up, and we literally ordered everything on the menu (and some items, we ordered twice!). After dinner, a few of us went to a nearby bar for drinks before heading home. On Saturday morning, Sabriena and Sarah (the two Albertans) came to my house and we made sugar cookies. We literally ate the first batch before it was even cooked all the way through (so hard to resist!). I think we only had about 12 cookies left to split amongst ourselves after we finished baking everything. Sarah had to go to work, so Sabriena and I met up with her boyfriend, Nathan, and the three of us went for Mexican food at a restaurant by my house called Fonda. On Sunday, Allen and Viola came to Melbourne later in the day. Allen seemed to be suffering from the same throat infection that I had suffered from the week before so he wasn’t feeling that great. However, it was Viola’s last weekend before she moved back to Taiwan, so he wanted to make sure that we could see each other one last time (before I go visit in Taiwan!). We went to the cat cafe, where we got to spend an hour with multiple cats, but nearly all of them slept the entire time. Afterwards, we went to a hot pot restaurant for dinner, where they had a selection of meat and veggies that you could add into your

The Hot Pot Restaurant

own bowl, and then they cooked it in broth and brought it out to you. It was really good, and I think it helped both Allen and I with our sicknesses!

On Monday, I was finally starting to feel better from my throat infection. That night, I had planned a Canadian Wing Night for the “Canadians in Melbourne” facebook group. I’m hoping to make it a monthly thing and this was the first, so we only had a turnout of 8 people, but it was a good group! Hopefully more and more people will keep coming as the months go on. The wing night is at a place called Kodiak Club, which serves real Caesars (for approximately $22 each!), and apparently real poutines (yet no one has tried one yet), as well as deep-fried pickles (yum!), and a dozen wings for $6. It was a good night! That week, I ended up teaching prep to year 2 everyday so lo and behold, by the end of the week I ended up being completely sick again, but this time with a cold. By the time Friday came, I had to cancel plans again and I passed out before 8pm. On Saturday, I went to Matthias’ house to have Caesars with him and Ryan, since I still had my Clamato juice that I had gotten from Trivia Night. A few new people came as well (all from Canada). It’s weird cause in London and while travelling, I met up with so many Aussies (and seldom met any Canadians) and now that I’m in Australia, all of my friends are Canadian (and I seldom meet Australians). On Sunday, there was a Ukrainian Festival at Queen Victoria Market, so a group of us went and I got to have some borscht, as well as some kovbasa – so good! The perogy line was over 45 minutes long, but I decided

Ukrainian Festival!

that I could just get them at the restaurant by my house. After we spent some time at the festival, Sabriena, Nathan, Ryan and I walked around Queen Victoria Market for a bit before heading back home to get ready for the following week. That week, I suffered from my cold the whole time. The worst part was when I’d have coughing attacks in the middle of class and start crying in front of all of the students because I couldn’t breathe. Towards the weekend, I started to feel a bit better, which was a plus!

On Friday night, I met up with Ryan for a couple drinks. Then on Saturday, a group of us decided to do another bottomless cocktails night. Sabriena, Nathan, Alexa, and I met up for dinner at another Mexican restaurant called Hecho en Mexico and then we met up with everyone else for our 6:30 session at the bar. Remembering how the last bottomless cocktails night had went, I decided to take it easy this time. We had such a good time, and I was still able to walk the 28-minute walk back home at the end of the night. On Sunday, I did some cleaning and tried to get everything organized for my trip to Tasmania. That week, I only had to work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which was so nice to have such a short week, especially since I was only asked to teach prep to year 2 again every day. On Wednesday, I was told that I’d be teaching year 1/2 the entire day, but was then informed that it was as a music teacher. The one teacher was like, “Have you taught music before?” and I said I only had once, and

she was like, “Well, did you prepare anything for today?” Kind of taken aback (as she had JUST told me I’d be teaching music 30 seconds ago and even so, why would I prepare something?), I replied no. She said that this week was the school’s planning week, so the students only had specialty subjects (music, art, phys.ed., etc.) so that the rest of the teachers could plan, and therefore there wouldn’t be any lesson plans that day. So I had to improvise two two-hour lessons with two different year 1/2 classes. Needless to say, I was so happy when it was finally the end of the day since I knew my holidays had started. That night, I went home to pack so I could go to Tasmania Thursday morning! I’ll write about Tasmania in a different post and keep this one short 😀 Love always

Golden – Parade of Lights


I’m already one day away from being in Australia for 8 months! Where is the time going?! This is literally the fastest year that I’ve ever been a part of!! So.. what have I been up to since the beginning of August? Well, quite a lot actually! First of all, I actually went on my first online date in Melbourne. Yes, I set up a new dating app called Bumble, which is apparently
First AFL game!

the new, hip dating app since the girls have to make the first move. I wasn’t a huge fan… Anyway, I went out for drinks with a doctor from Aus who seemed nice, but you know that vibe/connection that I always say that I look for when I meet someone? Yeah, I didn’t get that from him… So, I said no to a second date and I think I just came to the conclusion that online dating isn’t really my thing. I always meet the best people randomly, especially when I’m travelling so I guess I’ll leave it up to fate! That weekend was also the first weekend I went out in Melbourne. First, I went to a restaurant called Borsch, Vodka, & Tears with a couple of the Canadian girls (Sabriena and Jess) so that we could have some well-deserved perogies! The food was actually really good, so we’ll definitely be back again. After dinner, we paid $30 for two hours of unlimited cocktails at another bar, so we met up with some more people and got started. I stupidly thought that my alcohol tolerance would still be at the same level as it was in London, but I should have known better since I hadn’t actually gone out since I was in Saskatoon seven months ago. Therefore, as you can imagine, I had only realized that I

had gone too far once it was already too late. I got one of my friends to request an Uber on my phone but (unbeknownst to me), he had put in the wrong address. Therefore, when I got in my Uber, he said we were going to Richmond, and I said I lived in St Kilda East. He asked me for the address, I spelled it for him, closed my eyes, and fully concentrated on keeping all bodily fluids inside of me until I safely exited the vehicle. A few minutes later, he asked if we were at the right place and I asked if there was a church (because I live across the street from a church). “A what?” “Nevermind, I’ll get out…” I got out and realized I didn’t know where I was. I got out my phone and realized that I was on the right street, but I didn’t know which direction I had to go. I started walking, felt like I was going to be sick, and let it all out on the sidewalk. At the same time, three men walked by and one asked if I was okay. I said I was fine, told them to keep walking, and thankfully they did. I sat down on the sidewalk so I could figure out where I needed to go, and realized that I had been walking in the wrong direction. Anyway, I ended up waking up at 6 in the morning fully clothed in bed, with my contacts still in so I got up, got ready for bed, and went back to sleep. I don’t think it’ll come as a surprise that I haven’t

The Air Canada Tram 🙂

had another crazy night out since that night (up until this past weekend). I know things could have been a lot worse, and I’m lucky to have made it back okay. Anyway, that day was when I first started feeling sick and since then, I’ve still been sick on and off, so it’s been a long journey! The next day, I went to my first AFL (Australian Football League) game with Breann. Aussie Football is not like American football nor is it like soccer. It’s kind of like a mix between soccer and rugby, but with a whole bunch of other rules mixed in. We happened to randomly sit on the winning team’s side, so it was fun being in the crowd! The next morning, I met up with a few of the girls that I had went out with on Friday, and we checked out the St. Kilda Market and wandered the area.

The next week, I ended up not going to work on Wednesday cause I still wasn’t feeling very well. I made pumpkin cupcakes on Friday and then on Saturday, I went to Warragul for Viola’s birthday. Allen wanted me to come as a surprise, so she didn’t know that I was coming until they picked me up in Melbourne! It was so nice to see them again since it had already been a month. All of my flatmates from my first place in Warragul were there as well, and most people would be finishing at the tomato farm within the next couple of weeks (technically my 6-month contract would have finished the day before Viola’s birthday). We ordered pizza and watched a couple of movies, and Allen even drove me all the way home at the end of the night, which was so nice of him because otherwise I would have been on the train for two hours. The next week, I ended up working at a K-9 school and the organizer asked all of the substitutes if anyone knew any music. When I said that I
Me, Allen, and Viola

had played piano since I was 5, she asked if I’d want to take a music teacher position for the next four weeks, starting on Monday. I wasn’t too sure what to say, since I had just arrived that morning and I had no idea what the school was like. She told me to see how the day went, and then to let her know at lunch. I still wasn’t sure because I didn’t want to commit to four weeks, especially when I’d be responsible for making sure all of the students get their work done during that time. I ended up working the first week there but by the end of the week, I decided that I wouldn’t want to do the full four weeks. However, when my agent called, she convinced me to stay one more week and then she said she’d find someone else to do the last two weeks. On the Monday, I wasn’t feeling very good at all – I felt shaky, I had a major headache, and I was so tired. I just thought it was because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, and I ignored it. On Tuesday morning, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go in – I kept going back and forth between the shakes and the sweats all night, and I still had the worst headache, as well as a really bad sore throat. I didn’t have any cold symptoms though, which was weird to me. I called in sick, went back to bed, and ended up sleeping for over 12 hours. The next day, the same thing happened. I went back to bed and ended up sleeping for another 12 hours. I was still so exhausted but my throat hurt so bad, so I went to the clinic. After spending $100 to find out it was just a throat infection, I went back home to spend the rest of the day in bed. My agency called me right when I got back and said that the school didn’t want me to come back for the rest of the week because I had already missed the last two days.

Anzuk event

The agent figured that the school was just looking into it too much, and they made it sound like I was just calling in because I didn’t want to go there. I ended up feeling even worse because that obviously wasn’t what my intentions were, so I wrote my agent and asked if there was anything else I should do or follow up on with the school, and she said she’d look into it but never ended up getting back to me. While now I look back and I don’t care, at the time it really made me feel horrible.

The weekend before I got sick was pretty eventful (which is why I thought I was feeling bad on the Monday – I didn’t think it was virus-related). On Friday, my agency hosted an event for all of the international teachers. Most of the people who I met were Canadian, but I also met a few English and Irish people as well. It was fun being able to chat with other people in the same situation, and I met quite a few new people. A group of us went out dancing afterwards, and it was a lot of fun! On Saturday, we had Canadian Trivia Night. One of the bars in central Melbourne had put it on, and it was quite popular! There were 22 teams and we did amazing the first three rounds – we stayed in 6th position the entire time. However, we completely lost our place during the fourth round 😦 One of the Saskatchewan guys who I met at the Anzuk event the night before (Matthias) was there and he brought his other friend from Saskatchewan (Ryan), so now I have some friends who know what a bunnyhug is! After the event, a few of us stayed for more drinks since the bar had a special deal on their Molson Canadian (they had over-ordered back in July for Canada Day so they were trying to get rid of it all). After we noticed that we were the only ones left in the bar and the bartenders were cleaning up, we decided we should probably leave. However, when Sarah and I were about to walk out, the bartender asked, “You’re not going to stay for more drinks?” He
My super-awesome 3-person sweater!

grabbed some more beers for us (on the house), so we sat at the bar and chatted with the bartenders while they were closing up. I asked what they’d be doing with their leftover Clamato juice and when he said that it would get poured down the sink, I was NOT impressed. “Do you want some…?“ Of course I did! So he grabbed some jugs and refilled them for us to take home, yay! I was also able to talk one of the bartenders into giving me a three-person sweater, which was one of the prizes for Canadian trivia. So no, we didn’t win trivia, but I still won in my heart 😀 On Sunday, we celebrated Sabriena’s birthday by having bottomless brunch. We got unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, as well as an assortment of pastries. As usual when we go to a bottomless brunch, we stayed out for 5 or 6 hours. This was the day that I really started feeling tired and was the very beginning of the throat infection that I would suffer for the next week. On Monday evening, I went out for dinner with Breann and her parents. Breann’s time in Australia was nearly finished, so her parents came to visit so that they could do some travelling together before going back to Canada. Therefore, I got to meet some more cousins! It’s so weird how they don’t know who

The bartender looking so happy to bring me my Clamato!

my dad is and vice versa but upon meeting them, I could definitely tell that Breann’s dad was part of the Achtymichuk family. It was so nice to meet them, and put faces to the names of people who I had been writing to! For the rest of the week, I had to cancel all of my plans cause I literally felt like I was dying in my bed. And that brings me to the end of August, yay!

Recently, my excessive use of exclamation points has been brought up to me multiple times. Before Justin was about to pick me up before my photoshoot, apparently my exclamation point number went from 1 to 2 to 3, and when he came to pick me up, he asked if everything was okay. He was concerned because he thought I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of exclamation points I was using. I had to explain to him that I’m just an avid exclamation point (over)user. I’ve realised that I really appreciate someone who takes the time to press that extra button to put a ! in their message. There’s something that really annoys me when someone’s like “that’s fun.” or “that’s exciting.” Like…is it, though?! It doesn’t SOUND exciting when you say it like that… I’m someone who edits other people’s text messages when they’re sent to me (in my head, obviously) and I look into the punctuation and use of words. Don’t ask me why, I just do. Maybe it’s the
Me and my cousins! (Breann, Ty, and Corinne)

teacher in me. If I’m annoyed or upset with someone, my amount of exclamation points will decrease. I don’t think anyone notices, but now I guess everyone knows! So beware of fewer exclamation points… I had this discussion with a couple of friends and I was saying that maybe I should type like everyone else, but they said that I type in a way that I would speak, and it makes me sound more enthusiastic. So I will continue with my grammatically correct text messages (and blog posts) with excessive exclamation points, whether people like it or not!!! (3 exclamation points for emphasis).

Anyway, I will write about September later – I just wanted to post about August now because I’ll be starting my 2-week holiday tomorrow! Therefore, I’ll have even MORE to write about once I come back. Hope everyone’s doing well! Love always

Not Too Late

Oops, I guess it’s been over a month and a half since I last posted a blog.. A few people have asked if they missed a post, and I realized that I’ve been falling behind. I’m a week short from being in Melbourne for two months but it already feels like I’ve been here much longer! First of all, I’m having a blast here! That’s not just me trying to make everyone think that my life is spectacular while in reality I’m having the worst time, because really – my life is spectacular! I have really found my niche here, and I already feel so at home here, moreso than I did in London. Sure, some of the schools that I’ve been sent to aren’t the best, but it’s not the end of the

world (yet… I seem to slowly be losing my patience). When I last wrote about what I’ve been up to, it was still my first week in Melbourne and I was planning to go to work on Wednesday. Well long story short, that didn’t end up happening. And me working for the rest of that week didn’t end up happening either. I ended up giving myself an entire week off, which was really helpful for my transition to Melbourne. I got talking to my cousin Breann, and we decided to go to Wizard of Oz – the musical, on Wednesday. The musical only had two weeks left and in order to get cheap tickets, we’d have to go to a matinee production, so I decided to give myself the day off. The musical was good! Not the best I’ve seen (I think I actually preferred Wicked), but it was cool to see! After the musical, we found a cafe in a bookshop and enjoyed some coffee with dessert. On Thursday, I met up with one of the girls who I met at the Canadian brunch (Jessica), and she also brought another friend who had just moved to Melbourne as an au pair (from America) named Brianne. We walked up and down Chapel Street (by my house) before finding Prahran Market and had lunch at a restaurant there. After lunch, I had to get the train to Warragul because my tattoo appointment was at 4pm. We started walking back to my house because Jessica had her au pair family’s vehicle, so she was going to drive me to the station but upon realizing how long it would take us to walk and drive, I had thought that I wouldn’t make it to the station in time. I decided to walk to the nearest train station and transfer from there but I had went to the wrong side of the platform so as I went to walk to the other side, the warning lights started flashing and a gate came down, which blocked my path. I therefore had no choice but to watch my train stop, pick up the passengers, and leave right in front of me. I had missed the only way I could get to my tattoo… Feeling defeated, I started coming up with ideas in my head – should I try to catch a tram to the other train station? Should I call an uber? I messaged Jessica and she was nearly at her car so she said she would come pick me up and try to take me to the station. However, by the time she got to me

through the crazy traffic on Chapel Street, I knew it would be too late. She got me to the station about ten minutes after the train, meaning I had to wait 50 minutes for the next one. By that time, it was only about 2pm so I still had two hours until my tattoo, so it really sucked knowing that there was nothing I could do. I even contemplated looking up a car rental place nearby so that I could drive over. I didn’t have time to go back home to get my phone charger but luckily, there was a shop closeby so I had to buy a new phone cable, or it definitely wouldn’t last until Warragul. The good news was that the next train would arrive at the Warragul train station at 3:59pm and the tattoo place was only a 3-4 minute walk away, so I would hopefully only be 5 minutes late. I called the parlour and told them that I’d be late, and they seemed fine with it, and I ended up arriving exactly when I said I would! I already wrote about the tattoo so I’ll skip over that. After my tattoo, I went back to my old house because I still had a few more things that I had to take back to Melbourne. I visited with Paul and Gabi for a bit and then made my way back to the train station. My tattoo actually ended up hurting more on the train ride home than during the actual tattoo, and it lasted for the next day as well. I had decided that I would go to work the next day, but when I went to bed, I lied there for hours and I could NOT fall asleep! There was still so much adrenaline going through me so I decided to change my availability (since I’d get less than 5 hours of sleep) and decided to just start working the following week.

After my first day of teaching on Monday, I already started questioning what I had gotten myself into, and wondered if I had left the tomato farm too early. I decided that I needed to just power through, and I hoped that eventually, I’d get back into the swing of things. The teaching agency requires me to be at Flinders Street (the main station) by 7:30am everyday, so I have to leave my house by 7am. Then, I need to wait for a phonecall there. On my first Tuesday of work, I got to the station by 7:25am and waited for a phonecall. By 8:30, I still hadn’t gotten anything. I decided to just walk around central Melbourne until 10:30, and then I figured I probably wouldn’t be getting a call, so I went back home. Since then, I’ve gotten work everyday, which has been good. My teaching agency said that in order to guarantee myself work, I’d have to be flexible with the type of schools that I agree to go to, so they said

I’d get more work if I worked in primary schools. Even though I’m technically qualified to teach at primary schools, I hadn’t had any training in primary schools during university, nor had I any previous experience of working in primary schools. The agency (at first) said that if I got asked to go to primary schools, they’d try to give me the older years (years 5 & 6). They did really well the first couple of weeks, and I worked in secondary or year 5/6 the entire time. However, as the weeks went on, I started getting more year 3/4, then more prep and year 1/2. Actually, this past week, I ONLY worked with prep, or year 1 and 2. I still don’t know how to deal with them – I’m pretty sure I still treat them like they’re 15-year-olds. I don’t have the patience to deal with, “Johnny won’t let me play with him,” or “Lucy won’t let me read her book,” or “Kevin said stupid,” being said to me every ten seconds. Plus the germs… Oh, the germs!!!! I NEVER get sick and when I do, I get REALLY sick. Well now, for nearly the past month and a half, I’ve had an on and off cold or flu at all times. I’ve been stocking up on hand sanitizer, probiotics, throat lozenges, and cough, cold & flu medication in order to combat the billions of bacteria that I’m exposed to every day. I’ve had students walk up to me, sneeze directly into my lap, and walk away. Kids are coughing all over the place. I’ve been finding myself passing out before 9pm multiple times during the past two weeks because I’ve been completely worn out. And I’m continuously cancelling plans with people because I’d rather spend the evening in bed, resting. Last week, I had to call in sick for two days because I had gotten a throat infection. This week, it’s just a cold so I’ve just been having coughing attacks and crying in front of the class. I’ve been scheduled to teach science once since I’ve started here,

and that teacher didn’t leave any lesson plans, so it ended up basically being a free-for-all. The last time I was in a secondary school was over a month ago. So needless to say, no I’m not loving teaching here. The students are way better than in London, but the organization is killing me. I am seriously considering looking into other agencies, or looking into other career paths.


During my first week of teaching, the photographer who wanted to do a photoshoot with me wrote, and asked if I would be available that Thursday. He was wanting to do a graffiti shoot, and was hoping for the ripped jeans and leather jacket look. Looking through my closet, I really only have cute and innocent clothes since I’m a teacher. I’m not going to show up to school dressed up as some bad-ass rocker chick, or someone about to go out to the club. I don’t have any “going out” clothes because I rarely go out and if I do, I’ll still wear something modest. I’m not all that fashion-inclined. I buy stuff and keep it until it’s no longer wearable. I still own clothes that I bought in 2008. I don’t buy things because they’re trendy – I buy them because they’re cheap. And I’m PROUD of all the good deals I find – if someone says, “I like your dress,” I’ll respond with, “Thanks, it was 15 dollars!” Practicality is more important to me than how I look. If it takes longer than ten minutes to do a hairstyle, it’s not worth my time. Same goes for makeup. I guess I’m pretty low-maintenance compared to other people around Melbourne. One thing I noticed when I went for my first bottomless brunch was how different everyone looked. It was like I was in a different world! It was the first time I had seen people with lip injections in real life, and I found myself continuously looking at them because I was shocked as to how much their lips were protruding from their face. I felt like an alien observing humans for the first time. I don’t think the photographer realized that he may have chosen the wrong girl to be his model. I suddenly remembered that I DO have a “cool” dress that I got from Yang for my birthday and excitedly went looking through my clothes to find it. However, I couldn’t… I then remembered that I decided to take it out of my suitcase because I only wore the dress in London once. No cool clothes for me… So then I basically started looking up how to be cool. When, I finally decided that I might as well just go for ripped jeans and a leather jacket, I started doing my research to do it in the cheapest way possible. First of all, I’ve never bought a pair of ripped jeans in my life. Why would you pay full price for something that isn’t as functional? What is the practicality of having ripped jeans, other than for the style? Plus it’s winter.. who wants to shave their legs in winter? So now, what am I supposed to do – just shave those three areas? And every time I try to put on the ripped jeans, my foot gets stuck in the hole and I have to stop myself from tripping and falling. I walked to the Big W (Walmart) on the look-out for “cool clothes.” They actually had a bunch of stuff on sale and I walked out with my first pair of ripped jeans on sale for $15 (woot woot!). The next day, I went to K-Mart to search some more. They also had a bunch of stuff on sale so I got a hoodie on sale for $7, a light spring/fall jacket for $12, and some heeled boots on sale for $15. A leather jacket was found on Facebook Marketplace for $30 (originally 60), so in my opinion, I think I did pretty good with finding deals! On Thursday, I had to run home from work and get ready for the shoot. I decided not to bother with trying to curl my hair since

it would only stay for about 5-10 minutes before falling straight again. I continuously questioned if this was actually a good idea since I would be going into dark alleyways with a random man/stranger who I had talked to for less than an hour. I think every possible scenario had passed through my mind about how the night could go. My parents had taught me about Stranger Danger, but I have also learned to do any new experiences when given the opportunity. My flatmate seemed legitimately concerned when I told her if I didn’t come home that night, to send help. Anyway, everything worked out fine. Justin came and picked me up at about 7:30 or 8, and we were out until 11 before I said that I needed to get back home since I’d be waking up at 5:30 the next morning. It was absolutely freezing that night, so I was just focused on trying to stay warm! He was basically just wanting to try out a new style of photography – lighting up certain areas without using any editing whatsoever (all pictures are non-edited). So a lot of it just had to do with me being patient so he could move his lights around in order to get what he wanted. It was a fun experience, and the pictures turned out quite good! I’ve attached the private link if you want to take a look – https://www.jzaffphotography.com/Graffiti-shoot-Janelle-26th-July-2018/n-cs7vjv/

That weekend, I had dinner with my flatmates. It was the first time (after two weeks) that all of us were in the same room together. Since then, I can probably count the number of times that we’ve all been together on two hands. Everyone has very different schedules! Many times, I’ll hear Laura come home from her night shift at 7am, right before I’m about to head to work. However, both girls are lovely and when we do see each other, it’s always nice to catch up with what’s happened during the week. That Sunday, I went to another bottomless brunch with some of the Canadian girls, as well as some au pair girls. These events have been an awesome way to expand my friend base here in Melbourne, and many of the girls that I met at the first brunch have met up with me multiple times since then. It makes it a lot easier to go to more events once you know at least one person – we all agreed that it’s the first event that’s most difficult to go to but once you get it over with, it’s so worth it! Anyway, that brings me to the end of July and I feel like if I write about August as well, people might get bored and stop reading (if they haven’t already). Therefore, I’ll write about August in another post when I have more time to write. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer in Canada! I want to feel bad that you’re going into winter but I can’t because I’m really looking forward to summer here, so I think it’s about time that we did the switch… 😀 Love always
Not Too Late – Moon Taxi