Sunny Days

This week has actually been one of my busiest weeks in Melbourne, even though I didn’t end up working the entire time. Since I didn’t get work, it gave me a lot of time to do life admin during the day, and catch up on my social life at night!
Thanksgiving Dinner!

Last Friday morning, I had to get up early to go to Warragul since my tattoo artist (Shanra) said that I could come 1-2 months after my tattoo to get anything retouched free of charge. She only works Monday-Friday so this worked perfectly since I wouldn’t have to take off work to come see her. I must have been in there for about an hour and still quite enjoyed the feeling of it (so weird, I know). But now, it looks even better than it did before – she spent a lot of time adding more contrast to the watercolour so I love it even more now! I got back home and checked the mail because I’ve been waiting for a letter for the past eight weeks. In Australia, we get our tax information around May or June, and then we have until the end of October to lodge our taxes. They automatically tax everyone for Medicare (Australia’s healthcare) no matter who you are. However, since I’m a Canadian citizen, I’m not eligible for Medicare (which is why I have to pay $70 every time I go to the doctor, even when they tell me it’s only a throat infection and to just gargle with saltwater…). Therefore, in order to get out of this, I have to opt-out of being taxed for Medicare. Now in order to opt-out, I have to provide a bunch of paperwork – I had to go to the police department to get them to certify copies of my passport and visa as well. I sent the paperwork way

My updated tattoo 🙂 

 

On Saturday, I met up with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in two years. We had taught at one of the worst all-girls schools in London for about a week, had exchanged information, but never met up again after. He’s Australian, lives in a town three hours away and was in Melbourne for the weekend, so we met up for brunch in Richmond. Afterwards, we went to his friend’s house to have some drinks with his friend before they had to go to an engagement party. When it was

St Kilda Beach

time for the engagement party, Leigh said that he had written his friend to ask if it was okay that I come, and he said that it was fine. Therefore, I found myself going to a random engagement party with a guy who I hadn’t seen in two years. It was actually quite nice and everyone was so friendly, so I stayed for a few hours before I went to meet up with Alexa, Sabriena, and Nathan for dinner. I got to Alexa’s house and we had fajitas, and then relaxed on the couch. The next day, I just tried to catch up on laundry and cleaning before having to go back to work on Monday.

On Monday, I got up at the usual 5:30 to slowly get ready for my first day back after the holiday. I got to Flinders Street Station at 7:30am, walked to Starbucks, got a pumpkin spiced latte, and waited until 9 before deciding that I likely wouldn’t get any work. I then made my way back to the Medicare Centre so that I could submit all of my paperwork. I had to wait for quite awhile to get in, but eventually they got everything sorted and I got reimbursed for my previous doctor appointments. So now I officially have Medicare, yay! No more waiting until I’m dying before going to the doctor! I went home to have lunch, and then I met up with Sabriena to sit on the beach in St. Kilda. After a couple of hours, one of my teacher-Canadian friends (Hannah) showed up, so we walked to a nearby cafe and had some gelato. That night was the second of my

The Thanksgiving Crew

 

On Tuesday evening, some of my friends and I had planned a Thanksgiving potluck so that day, I went to the store to get everything I needed and then I made two dishes: broccoli casserole and broccoli salad (cause if you don’t like broccoli, then you better learn to fast). I then went to Victoria’s house, where there were six of us who had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner! We had waaay too much food, but it was delicious!! On Wednesday, I had set my alarm for 5:30 but then decided not to go to work that day either. That morning, I spent over an hour trying to change my flight to Asia. You see, AirAsia actually changed the airport that I have to depart from in Melbourne so because of that, I’m entitled to change my flight up to 30 days sooner or later than the actual date. I had decided that since I haven’t seen Yang, Ron, and Evan in forever, and I

Our beautiful gingerbread house

haven’t even met Max yet (for those of you who don’t know, Yang and Ron are basically my sister and brother-in-law, and Evan and Max are my nephews), I should try to fit Shanghai into my trip. Therefore, I decided that I should leave for Bangkok a week earlier (December 15) and then spend a week in Shanghai before my travels started. After waiting in the queue, I was finally able to speak to someone and change my flights. Afterwards, I went to St. Kilda to meet up with Jessica for lunch. We split some nachos and then were keen on finding some dessert. We decided to just buy a cake at the grocery store and then saw that the Christmas section was already set up beside the Halloween section. We decided to get a gingerbread house kit (cause why not?), as well as some cider, and we went to her place to make the gingerbread house while listening to Christmas carols. I now understand why they sell the kits in October – when we’d put icing on a candy and attach it to the side of the house, we’d watch it slowly start melting down until it fell off. It was actually so difficult, and we eventually lost patience! I ended up staying there until nearly 11 because we couldn’t stop visiting. 

On Thursday morning, I actually got up and ready for work, and then made my way to Flinders Street Station. I sat there for an hour and a half again and then made my way home at 9. That day, I looked at flights from Bangkok to Shanghai so that I could get that sorted. Then, I realized that I’d have to apply for a visa in order to go to China. I filled out all of the paperwork for the application, and had to write Ron to ask him for his address. I also realized that if I had gotten a visa in China before, I needed to provide photocopies of it. However, my visa from China was given in 2012 on my old passport, and I had absolutely no idea where that old passport would be. I frantically wrote my mom and sister, asking them to look in my box of “important stuff,” but it wasn’t there. I have a storage unit way out in Delisle, nearly an hour outside of Saskatoon, with all of my stuff so my parents (bless their hearts) drove out and went through as many boxes as they could in the cold, but still couldn’t find my old passport. I decided that there wasn’t much else I could do except try to submit my visa application without the visa photocopies. That evening, I had my meet-up with the sport teacher, who’s actually a Canadian from Hamilton. He decided that we should meet up for drinks at 7:30, and then he had made a reservation at an Italian restaurant for 8pm. As soon as he mentioned that he made a reservation, I wrote my friends saying I couldn’t do it. I realized how much of a commitment-phobe I am cause usually any sign of something being too serious, I run in the other direction (obviously … I’ve basically been single for 28 years). Reservations were too serious for me! However, my friends pep-talked me into going and it was fine. We had a drink before going to the Italian place, and the food was absolutely amazing! Then we went to another bar afterwards to visit some more. Actually, I talked a lot.. maybe too much. I even somehow ended up talking about narwhals at some point. And every single one of my friends has had the same reaction: “How do narwhals even come up in a conversation?!” Honestly, I really don’t know. But this girl made it happen… But yeah, nice guy, good conversation, I won’t say anything more. By the time I got home again, it was after midnight so I decided I wouldn’t be getting up for work the next day.
On Friday morning, I decided I’d try to submit my Chinese visa application. The centre is only open Monday-Friday from

Drinks at Rooftop Bar

 

Brighton Beach Huts!

On Saturday, Alexa and I met up again that afternoon to go to a rooftop bar in central Melbourne. We spent a couple of hours there before going to a restaurant on the floor below to have Mexican food, and then we went back upstairs to have some more drinks at the bar. We even made some new friends, who we’ll hopefully hang out with again soon! We were in that building for at least 7 hours so by the time we were done, we were ready to get some dumplings in Chinatown before heading home. On Sunday, it was 28 degrees so Alexa and I met up again to go to Brighton. In Brighton, they have a famous row of beach huts, so we walked past all of them, took some pictures, and then spent some time on the beach. We also decided that we’d purchase our own Canadian beach hut but upon looking them up, we saw that the latest sale was for $326,000, which is a little out of our price range. We walked back into the main part of Brighton and had dinner before heading back home to get ready for the next work-week. This week was just what I needed after being away for two weeks, and it’s great that the summer is finally coming out. 
I was pre-scheduled to teach BIOLOGY today for the first time in Melbourne, so I was super excited about that! However, I woke up, got ready, and just as I was about to leave, my agency called to say that the school had cancelled. I then went to Flinders and waited for no phonecall, so I went to do a bit of shopping and checked out the State Library, which is absolutely gorgeous! That evening, I met up for drinks with some friends because it’s one of our friend’s (Sophie’s) last week in Melbourne before she goes back to Vegas for school. She’ll be back in June, but it’s still a long ways away! Hoping I’ll get work tomorrow because this is really starting to get old… Love always

Sunny Days (Michael 

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