It has recently come to my realization that to my mind, blogging is like going to the mental gym. It has become a necessity. As long as things and events accumulated over time, I felt the increasing pressure to quickly document it before I forget them. This week was definitely one of them.
What a hectic week. It wasn’t just outwardly hectic- moving house, falling down and getting crutches, falling in love with BBC Sherlock, unboxing Zaf’s parcel + a huge surprise….it was also emotionally busy- lots of thoughts, buzzing in and out of my mind. They come and go as they like. Sometimes I catch them down on paper, well, sometimes they leave.
1. Moving Out
So…I might have briefly mentioned that I was moving out. Truth is yes I did! Last week. Can you believe I have been staying at my new place for almost a week now…time flies…
It was a Monday after class. I packed just the day before, super last minute behaviour ugh. Godfrey took the time out to help me move in the afternoon. Bless him, because I had 3 pieces of luggage, 1 duffel bag, 1 box, 1 backpacking bag, and 3-4 other small bags + 1 laptop case. Don’t know how I would manage if I have no friends with a car hahaha. Special shoutout to him. Especially he’s very annoying in the whole car ride hahaha. That’s not to say I’m not thankful though!
Here are some pictures of my beautiful place!
I love my room. It has a large bed, large window, huge desk, and best of all, a wardrobe. You may think: these things are pretty basic, aren’t they? Truth is, I didn’t have these things at my previous place! I don’t have a window, don’t have a wardrobe, and my table’s pretty small. Most importantly, heaters are provided at my new place and it’s included in the bills. Yay. I’m a person who’s really afraid of the cold, so I’m going to die if they don’t give me heaters. It is a need. I think my favourite thing about my room is that it is very cosy, it feels like home. I don’t need a big room but I need it to feel like a lovely place for me to retreat back after long and tiring days.
Even bedsheets are provided!
So currently there are 5 housemates (including me) living in the house. I live on the 2nd floor. 2 of my housemates live in the back building (it’s something like a granny flat) and the house is SUPER HUGE. It’s even bigger than my previous place at Johnson street! It has two kitchens, two dining areas, a huge pool table (yes) and even a fireplace. A fireplace! How cool is that hahha. It’s my first time living in a house with a fireplace so pardon me if I get too excited.
The living area. With a fireplace.
Oh yes, I live with my landlord. They’re Aussie, really pleasant, welcoming folk. They have been doing this renting business for 12 years, and while showing me around the house, led me to a huge world map stuck on one of the kitchen glass doors. “These are the countries our tenants have came from over the past years,” I looked up. Numerous countries were marked with colored, post-it notes. “We’ve had one Singaporean once, but that was many years ago.” I was amazed.
The tabbed world map.
Funnily enough, one of the things Sarah pointed out after we visited the house was, “I think they’ll take care of you.”
(further recounts will be provided later to illustrate this point)
Yeah. I thought that if they can be bothered to put up things like tabbing the countries on a world map, it shows that they are very much involved in the lives and well-being of their tenants. I guess they just want it to be a home away from home. They even allowed me to use the common areas, something which mum never lets our tenants do back home (oops busted).
Level 2 common area.
My housemates are all females, from China, Bangladesh, and Jamaica. I’m glad they’re all females because sharing toilets won’t be an issue then. (I mean, not sexist or whatever). At first, I was really worried if they’ll be nice to me, and if we’ll get along just fine. I still think it’s too early to say, but after a week of interaction with them, I am pretty sure they are decent people. Just…no more house drama please…in my previous house there was so. much. drama. But oh wells it’s a story for another time.
Before moving in, I guess my main concerns would be the dark road I have to walk to get home, getting along with my housemates and the fact that my house is not close to any station at all. However, after I moved in, not only I found most of my fears to be invalid, but that the road I have to walk home isn’t even that dark at all! My housemates are nice, and even though my house is not close to my station, the train stations are closing down anyway, and I’m so glad my bus stop is just about 2-3 mins away from my house. For lazy people like me, it is great to keep walking to a minimum. I will be thankful when I am carrying heavy groceries.
I guess why I am so afraid and conscious of dark roads is because my first house in Epping was dark, hilly, and long. I have to walk about 20 minutes, up the hill, in the darkness and cold during winter, with my hunger and heavy groceries. NEVER AGAIN. hahaha. Another favourite of my house is the flexible lease period – we can leave anytime, and we’ll just have to inform our landlord two weeks before. That is great because I tend to feel pressurized by the long-ass lease.
I spent about two days unpacking. It was only until a few days later that I realized I had left my penguin soft toy and frozen foodstuffs back at my old place. And I left my SugarBearhair vitamins in Godfrey’s car. What a forgetful loser I am hahaha….
Oh I also went to explore the neighborhood on the first day I moved in! So spontaneous hahaha. I have not even finished unpacking when I left the house. Usually, I won’t leave until I finished putting everything in its rightful place. To be honest, it was because I was too lazy to cook, so I texted Sarah and we went out for dinner together at a mall nearby. Won’t say which mall for privacy purposes but I have moved nearer to Sarah now! The mall was soooooo pretty omg. I honestly prefer that compared to macquarie centre. Even though it’s slightly smaller, but it’s still so pretty (but they don’t sell cheap food sobs). We just ate, walked around the mall and talked. That was really a lovely day, and the weather was great too. Really cold.
On my way back I boarded the bus and was the only person on the bus. The driver started talking to me, who thought I was American because of my slightly turned perfect-English accent. And this is not faking an accent, this is called speaking in a way that is actually understandable compared to embarrassing Singlish. I just found it so hilarious as to why he thought it sounded American. Someone needs to enlighten me please.
I still alighted at the wrong stop, and walked for 15 mins home instead of 5. Ugh. So annoying. The weather was so cold and I was carrying my groceries. Then, the following day, I visited the mall again and blew $50 on groceries. Kill me pls. I thought I had bought everything the night before…
We have two kitchens can you believe it. This is the kitchen that I use and share with the landlady.
Then this is the 2nd kitchen at the back of the house, where other 4 of my housemates share. Don’t know if I should be happy or sad because I get a kitchen all to myself, or feel pressurised having to share it with my landlady.
Anyway. I am very thankful to God for giving me this place to stay. It is an answered prayer- I prayed relentlessly for this. I have visited about 5 houses beforehand but none of them really appealed to me. All the houses that I saw were either really dirty, or I’ll have to share the room with someone else…to illustrate my point I decided to show you some pictures of the dirty houses. (yes there were more than one)
Yellowed pillows…hoards of stuff piling up…and worst of all, to Sarah and my horror we saw dead flies on the kitchen table…are the landlords even aware that their place is so dirty?
Then there was this place I had no issues with and I really loved, but they had a minimum stay period of 6 months and no heaters. That landlord was so expressionless when I visited, I can’t read her.
Honestly, I don’t mind sharing a room with someone else but I have never done that in my whole life before and I don’t know how well I’ll react to having my personal space taken away from me. I visited Nadia’s and I really love her room, but the rent is above my budget, so oh well. Yin Mei’s place was nice, only if I hadn’t had to walk that far. Yin Mei loves walking so it’s not an issue for her.
Living area. They have a huge pool table.
All in all, I think the experience of searching for a house was really tedious but super interesting as in I got to learn and ask a lot of stuff. Here are a few tips I’ve compiled for anyone needs it + questions that you should ask your landlord before moving in! Hope this helps anyone out there in the same situation as me:)
-are bills / wifi included in the rent?
-who is currently living there? Can you tell me a bit about them? (Gender, nationality, occupation, etc)
-Are heaters allowed?
-Transport options: is the bus / train frequent? Is the location convenient?
(assess: do you have to walk far to the station? How far do you have to walk? Is the road hilly or dark? (safety reasons) Are you okay with it?)
-what is the minimum lease period?
-how much is the bond?
-is rent paid in cash or card? Do I pay it weekly/fortnightly/monthly?
-Is the bathroom shared? If yes, between how many people?
-are things like bedsheets/pots and pans/dishes provided?
-Am I living with the landlord? Is the house bought or is the landlord a lease holder?
-do you have kids? do you have pets living in the house?
Also, it might be good to observe the environment and assess: is the house clean? Talk to other tenants already living there and ask for their experience. Chances are they’ll say nice things about living in the house cos they don’t want to offend but you can sort of deduce how passionate are they about the house from their answers.
Johnson street, you’ll be dearly missed.
2. Unboxing Surprise
So before I moved I called out for a live video at about 3-4pm that documents my big move + unboxing video of a parcel Zaf gave me. I received a parcel from Zaf about a week ago prior my move and didn’t really want to open it because I thought it’ll be more convenient to move it together with the rest of my stuff.
Was so touched when I received it in the morning, it made my whole day! She had asked for my address a few weeks back but I kinda forgot about it so when the postman knocked at my door that morning and suddenly outside my doorstep sits such a huge parcel…well, it caught me by surprise. It even says $97 on the outside like wtf why did Zaf even spend so much money on me…..I don’t deserve this
I was pretty shocked even though I have been skyping Zaf lately. Why would she spend so much??? Boyfriends don’t even spend that much!!! I knew there were dry food, a plastic tumbler, and paper cards inside because the package said so on the outside. I was more or less prepared and expected to see what I should see.
So, on that day, I took to Instagram to ‘unbox’ and uncovered various gems—such as the bak kut teh pre-mix and salted egg seasoning…yums! Got super excited on live and it was very fun!! Even though I already more or less expected what to see, I am still very excited and my heart warms at each mini ‘surprise’, as various local delicacies pop up and I suddenly feel so happy…one by one I took out the foodstuffs, including the plastic tumbler, which is from Starbucks!!
But I was so wrong…….so wrong………
I did not expect to see what I am about to tell you.
After I unwrapped almost everything and the box was almost empty, I reached into the box to grab out a handful of cards…
…that’s when I realized those cards…are not written by the same person. They look like they’re written by different people.
No WAY!! No way.
That’s when my friends who were watching the live at that time began commenting “DO YOU LOVE US” “CRY CRY CRY” and began to laugh and I began to bury my face in my hands, that’s when I realised I have been fooled, the present is a combined effort from all of my poly friends.
Sobs…I do not deserve this.
Here’s the gifts! I was going through a tough time in April when I received this parcel. Unwrapping all these just made me feel so loved, thank you.
PS/ I tried to salvage my whole Instagram live but couldn’t. I managed to salvage bits and put it together, but all the comments are gone, it’s just the video, a very jumpy and bumpy video with glitches that made me look like I’m having spasms hahhaa. So these screenshots are all I’ve got 😦 I swear my reaction + the part my friends were commenting telling me it’s from them is so funny hahhaa.
I think one thing about living in a four seasons country is that it makes you more aware of the passage of time.
The weather is beginning to take a turn this week. It’s getting colder. This is my first autumn in Australia. The trees surrounding the walkway in my uni has turned to a yellow, golden colour. They are no longer evergreen. Yesterday, there was a big breeze that sent lots of leaves flying to the ground. Walking on them seems therapeutic.
I have a love-hate relationship with the cold weather because it’s when I get to wear my favourite black coat, but at the same time, I am so afraid of the cold. The first few nights of moving into my new house I couldn’t sleep because the cold was coming in through my huge window.
This was a sunset near my old neighbourhood. Beautiful isn’t it. My newfound love for nature came early this year. I found that nature calms me down and it’s a reminder of God’s beautiful creation for us. I always feel the magnificence when I stare at the sky or something.
4. Scholars' Reception
Attended a scholars’ reception on Thursday. Very funny, because I went alone, and bumped into 3-4 friends there. Sooooo coincidental ahhahaha. Everyone said they came for the food lol. I didn’t even know dinner was served, and certainly didn’t even know that they were scholarship recipients either. My scholarship award is presented to the top 1% of the elites in my uni, I’m less concerned with receiving the award but more concerned about making my parents proud. So excited to show them the certificate afterward hahhaa.
So many people!!
They also had a really beautiful dessert table. So many important people were there, the academic advisors, Macquarie International staff members…was just mingling, networking and talking the whole night. Was very glad my mood was good that day, if not, I wouldn’t be bothered to socialise hahaha.
The food was good, even though I went home and was hungry again. Took a few pictures with the Arts faculty, took my certificate and gift pack and left happily for home afterward. I was still adjusting to my new house, and with my newfound interest in BBC Sherlock, I am happy.
5. Ankle Sprain
Yeah so I fell down again. And that was not long ago, just a few days ago on Friday. I was on my way to work when I tripped and fell on the pavement. I don’t even know why or how I fell, I wasn’t running, and my high heels weren’t particularly high. My right knee was bleeding, sharp pain in my left ankle. I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t stand up at all. It was getting embarrassing sitting on the ground for a full 5 minutes so I struggled to get up- I didn’t want to attract any attention. It was embarrassing. But the pain was so excruciating it wouldn’t allow me to stand. By the time I almost thought I was going to manage it was too late. “Are you alright?” a woman got out of her car and hollered at me from a distance.
I can only whimper in pain. I don’t know, shouting back seems really weird hahahaha. Then she came over. “Are you alright?” she asked again. I told her I had fell, “I think I have sprained my ankle.” Then another jogger came and stopped in concern. Then my housemate came out, and she was so surprised to see me sitting on the ground hahahha. After some time I managed to stand up, and the woman (the first one who got out of her car) offered to drive me home.
She was late for work, but she drove me home.
I was just saying a few days back that when we are living overseas, we are put in the craziest situations that allows us to extend such kindness and also receive such kindness. The pain was getting to me then, but thinking back, I am so grateful. “You can hold onto me if you want,” she said. I held her arm. She saw me to my doorstep. She gave her name before she left, but me being me, I’m so bad at names I forgot it. Today, as I was walking to school, a car honked at me. I looked to my left. It was her, waving! I waved back. I just think back on her act of kindness and I feel so, so good. Like it sets the tone of my day- positivity, gratitude and it made me believe there is some good in this world.
I skyped Janessa that day before I moved. She asked me about how is it like living alone. “When you’re living alone you have the craziest situations allow you to be tested for your kindness.” she said. “A lot of times in Singapore we are very sheltered, and we don’t really have the opportunity to render help to others or to receive it in return.” Well, if this is what kindness feels like, I really love experiencing this beautiful side of humanity.
Anyway, I didn’t turn up for work that day. Went to the clinic instead, and we went back to the same clinic I got my flu jab from one week ago. I was so. terrified. The flu jab I got was done by a nurse with very bad service. She seemed like all she wanted was to get her job over with quickly and jammed the needle into my arm which resulted in my most painful vaccine till date. Idk, usually nurses that does my vaccines would be really warm and reassuring but this nurse was just COLD and rushing everything through. After she’s done, she was like, “Ya, you can go now.” as if she was so keen to get rid of me omg. Didn’t even open the heavy door for me even though my arm was clearly hurting. I was supposed to wait in the waiting room afterward, but she didn’t even say something like, “Please wait in the waiting room, turn left and walk straight.” It’s my first time here, how am I supposed to know how to get around?? Nothing, just a sentence that screams bye very loudly. Tbh I almost cried at how bad the service was that day. Please, don’t you realise how you treat people can make or break their day….
On I went, my thought process interupted. This time’s service was better though, I got served by a female doctor who’s seriously so funny, caring and nice. She spoke in a loud, assertive voice, but also personal and real. We joked and I showed her my ‘battle scars’ from last semester and told her I’m so prone to injuries and she laughed, “Oh my god, Grace!” She insisted that I needed crutches, and sent me for X-ray. Gosh I had to navigate through the whole shopping center to go from the clinic to the X-ray center…in crutches. It’s so embarrassing hahaha, because I was clearly struggling (first-timer here). At least two passer-bys came up to me and asked, “Sweetie are you okay? Do you need me to carry you?” HAHAHHA some people even cracked jokes like this pssh…it was so cute.
The funniest thing is, by the time I got home and iced my ankle, I didn’t need crutches to walk anymore. My ankle was much better the next day, the next and the next. And the clinic forced me to spend $50 on crutches hais. “You’ll need it!!” my doctor said. They even wanted me to go for physio, which I politely turned down because of the scary costs that were not covered by insurance. (are you kidding me?) So here am I, complaining why do I have to fall and spend money again zzzz.
The other side of me was happy. Hell yeah, because it means I can stay at home and not go to work. I was really reluctant to go to work that day because I just had so many things to do at home. Which is watch a Marvel movie hahaha. I was planning to watch Doctor Strange. But guess what, I didn’t in the end. Because who procrastinates watching a movie? Me…
I’m kidding, I had a lot of assignments.
But by the time I got home, there was hardly any time left. It was past noon, and the clinic made me wait so long until my hunger was bothering me more than my injured ankle.
PS. Also, when I went home, I took a closer look at my X-ray scans and realized it looks beautiful. Like a work of art. My friends think I’m mad, but it’s because I never really got to keep my own X-ray scans before.
6. Mother's Day
I was going to share a long caption on Instagram on Mother’s Day…in the end, I just edited out bits and pieces. Here’s the original caption, uncut.
“Many times this year, loneliness always hits me when I’m living abroad and I wonder why it hasn’t hit me earlier when I first moved to Sydney last year. Maybe I was too excited. Maybe loneliness isn’t a place, it isn’t the absence of people, it’s a state of mind. Yes, wonderful opportunity studying overseas, yes internship opportunities, yes traveling, but saying yes to all these also means saying yes to moving house thrice, yes to cook wash clean up buy groceries by yourself, yes to walking home by yourself in the cold. Yes to picking yourself up when you are upset because no one will take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself. I can no longer go home to piping hot meals cooked by my mum. I want someone to pick me up after work, someone to dine with me in the CBD after work, someone to tell me after a bad day that everything’s gonna be okay.
There are a lot of distractions and temptations in this world, people may stop seeing your worth, stop loving you, give up on you, but a mum doesn’t. Happy Mother’s Day.”
Ordered flowers to be delivered to my mum back home on Mother’s day. It wasn’t a last minute idea as I have always wanted to do that and thought that this is the least I could do to express my gratitude. One of my best self-improvement techniques this year is to make an effort to show love to those who love you (basically return the love) and don’t give a sh*t about people who don’t care about you. I have always been guilty of putting in too much effort for people that don’t care, and taking for granted the efforts of people who care about me too much. UGHHHHHHHHHHH just typing this out frustrates me hahaaha. Why am I made like that
So, the idea stayed in my head and I took a very long time to start executing it man….It’s so funny cos I was looking up on ‘International flower delivery’ when I realised that I can just call and order from a shop from Singapore hahaha.
The floral shop didn’t allow me to specify the exact time I wanted the flowers delivered so I could only take a bet and hope that my mum is at home (or at least someone is at home). Of course, the ideal situation would be my mum opening the door and she receiving them firsthand. On the day, they delivered it in the morning and she was out with her friends lmao…my father received it and got so excited and immediately called my mum because he couldn’t contain his excitement, which was a wrong move by the way. I was so annoyed inside. The plan was supposed to be a surprise and he just ruined it by spoiling my mum with a phone call. SERIOUSLY I WAS SO PISSED. Couldn’t he wait until my mum came home and let her see it for herself?? But of course since its a happy occasion and both of them were so happy, I didn’t say anything. Was just glad they liked it anyway, even though it didn’t go according to plan.
My mum was so happy in the end I was positive she was overreacting (as always). 😒 She actually put the flowers in the FRIDGE instead of in a VASE because she didn’t want it to die off so soon. She actually recorded a video and sent it to me to express her thanks (mum, you already called me and said thanks)….it was very sweet of her but at the same time very cringey to watch…….oh my god
Anyone who has a dysfunctional relationship with their parents please raise your hand!
7. BBC Sherlock
I really don’t want to make this post so long but here’s the last point, and the most important one. I am currently so addicted to this series. I am raving.
It all started when May and Ian, my previous landlords, loaned me their DVDs for BBC Sherlock. Ian is a film buff—I went to their place, and goodness me…shelves and shelves of DVDs of movies and TV series just towered over me…..I was amazed. I carefully took Sherlock off the shelf. “When you’re done, you can come back to loan more.” I was screaming in joy inside.
I have started on the series many years ago (probably 2015) but only managed up till season 1 before I couldn’t find the rest of it online anymore. Those I found wouldn’t stream properly, and Netflix didn’t have them either. I was aware it was a good series, and Benedict’s acting…just #wow. I was impressed then, but not charmed.
Now I am charmed.
It has been about 3 weeks since I’ve fallen in love with the series now…so much so that I couldn’t tell if I’m in love with the character or the actor 😂 Out of curiosity, I just stuck my head into the Sherlock fandom and oh……god…….my eyes……….this fandom is savage. Full of Cumberbitches, Johnlock shippers, fanfic writers (a zillion of them, flooding the net with smut and fluff), fanart, lingo such as SHERlocked, Sherlockian, Holmosexuals, or “I forgot my pants!” or the slightest mention of upturned collars and cheekbones would make Tumblr go crazy. I have now memorized the funniest and famous scenes in Sherlock, fan theories, oh god….my head is filled with all kinds of (good) rubbish now.
Oh! And John Watson, the character in the series, is an avid blogger. His blog actually exists on the internet! Hahaha. That sort of inspired me to blog more often I guess. The show linked blogging to a part of the characters’ lives, the blog was even frequently discussed in the show, which is so interesting hahaha. I am really going to blog more from now on. If John Watson enjoys this mental exercise, I really do find some joy in it too, especially when I’m seriously living by this phrase “I am alone. Alone protects me.” hahahaha.
Some of my favourites:
-“Sherlock is actually a girl’s name” means “I love you” in Sherlockian
-“I’m in shock. Look, I’ve got a blanket.”
-“I always hear punch me in the face when you speak but it’s usually sub-text.”
-“Girlfriend? No, not really my ‘area'”
-“Take my hand!”
I could go on and on and on: Mrs. Hudson is the biggest Johnlock shipper. Sherlock’s character development over the seasons is amazing and impressive. Sherlock is human. And most of all, how BBC Sherlock is full of subtext, usually subtext that screams “gay”.
If I could have a wish upon my intellect, it would be to think like how Sherlock Holmes think. Based on the 16 personalities, he is an INTP, which makes me rave even harder because I am an ENFJ, usually compatible with INTP. I had to remind myself that he is fictional. HAHAHA
I have also gone to eBay and purchased myself a Johnlock poster. Don’t ask why. Maybe I’ve just moved in and my walls are too empty.