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Archive for November, 2007

After weeks of planning we finally went to Blue Mountains on the past Saturday. Blue Mountains is about 2-hours away from Sydney city by train. The area is known for its spectacular scenery, particularly the cliff-top views into the valleys of gum trees and across to craggy outcrops that tower up from the valley floor.

On fine weather, the visitors can see the spectacular “Three Sister”:

or something like this:

But we saw none of these on the day went.. Why?? Because that day the mountain wasn’t BLUE but MISTY!!

(more…)

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25 Nov 2007 Chatswood Shopping

We went to Chatswood to do some shopping on the past Sunday. Chatswood is few stops away from Wollstonecraft. A lot of Asians there and a lot of Asian shops there. There is one particular market that I like to go as I can buy “ayam brand sardines” and “100-plus softdrink” there!!

Anyway, we didn’t go to that market on Sunday. Instead we went to Westfield Shopping Mall to do some “luxury” shopping. This is the first “luxury” shopping I did in Sydney and it was fruitful.

I bought a pair of skinny jeans! Yeah.. my first pair of skinny jeans as it is not easy to find a pair that fits perfectly one me (and I found one!) for AUD40 in a shop called “petite chic”..haha.. so suitable for me!! We also bought a two-tier wooden storage box at AUD15 and it is made in Malaysia 🙂

These photos are taken at the railway station of Wollstonecraft after our shopping trip. Can you spot the differences in these two photos?

01

02

There are reports saying 1 out of 2 Australian develop some kinds of skin cancer throughout their lives. So we have to take precaution as we are going to stay in this country for few years. Mind you, Australia has the harshest sunlight (higher UVs) in the world. So we bought ourselves the following: (more…)

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Internet in Australia

Before coming to australia, my life was almost inseparable with Internet. I eat, drink and sleep Internet. Internet in Singapore was quite affordable at that time as I was sharing with my housemates and each of us had to fork out around sgd 10 per month. With this little amount of money we enjoyed unlimited, high-speed broadband services.

Things are really different here in Australia. Everything is more expensive, especially telecommunication/internet services. For example, I need to have at least AUD0.50 in order to make a local sydney call, which is a bit “insane” to me as in singapore/malaysia you can use Sgd0.10 or Myr0.10 to call someone “locally”. But slowly I have to get used to the fact that: “Everything in Australia is more expensive except cars!”

Back to Internet services, subscribing Internet has been our top priority. But due to my stinginess, we only want best deals. After a little survey, we found out that, apart from two main ISP (Optus and Telstra), there are over 20++ smaller ISP in Australia. There are different types of services also, like ADSL, ADSL2+, cable, satellite.. The ISPs here seldom offer unlimited broadband services like Singapore. Instead, they offer different “download limit” plan. For example, a 200MB plan allows you to download at the “high-speed” for 200MB at most each month. If you exceed the limit, you are either “charged” with per-minute-rate or capped with a certain lower speed like 64Kbps or 128Kbps. But what can we do with 200MB?! Of course they also offer plans with more download allowance at higher price of course. This is one of the huge culture shocks for me as I use Internet like drink water 😛

After much comparison, we got ourselves the most “value-to-money” plan offered by TPG Internet. We will have 30GB(20GB/10GB) per month at the cost of AUD50 monthly. Together with the monthly home phone charges of AUD20, our monthly expense on Internet will be about AUD70! A significant increase from sgd10!! The speed is ADSL2+, about 10Mbps. If exceeding the usage, the speed will be capped to 128Kbps (must be extra caution about this when subscribing!!) We ordered online and the router/modem was delivered to our place within 2-3days. Then have to wait for our home phone provider (telstra) to activate the ADSL service. And finally, we are able to online at home yesterday!! Hooray! Up to now, the speed is fast and we have used up about 150 MB peak hour data usage and it is still counting…

This is our modem with wireless and VoIP function:

By the way, these are a few websites that help us to decide which ISP to use:

http://whirlpool.net.au/

http://broadbandguide.com.au/

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2 November 2007

2 November 2007

Guess what? Today I had an interview in Google. Yes!! GOOGLE!! But guess what was the position I applied for? Programmer? No! Software Engineer? No! Researcher? No!! The answer is “Trainee Sourcer”. What is “sourcer”? Actually sourcer is a position in Google that help the recruiter to find a list of suitable passive candidates who are not working for Google but Google wants them. Hmm.. if I were to be hired, who wants to come to Australia to work for Google?? Hahaha! Hands up, please! The position sounds interesting but it is not what I have studied for. I am not going to apply anything I learnt in the last 10 years in this position and the pay is much lower then what I could get if I were to work with some research institutes (if they are willing to hire me). But it is GOOGLE! Dilemma?! Anyway, I still don’t know the outcome of this interview. Maybe they don’t want me at all. So it is not time to day-dream. Instead, I should just continue with my never-ending job-hunt.

 

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31 October 2007

31 October 2007

We moved into our new place in Wollstonecraft. The place is only 20 minutes to Ethan’s workplace. We are renting a one-bedroom apartment which is on the third floor of the building. The place is very sunny and bright. Quite spacious as well. However the place was not furnished, so we had to buy everything ourselves. Yesterday I went to IKEA and bought a lot of furniture. It was amazing that I handled three big trolleys on my own. I bought a double bed, a sofa, a table, a 3-chest drawer, a coffee table and two armchairs. Spent quite a lot of money to buy all these furniture and we expect to spend more to buy other necessary electrical appliance. Today they delivered all the furniture to our new place. The most interesting part of buying IKEA furniture is that we have to assemble everything ourselves including the bed, sofa, table, drawers and also the coffee table. Because Ethan has to work in daytime and I don’t have the “required strength” to tighten all the screws, we could only assemble one item a day. The first item to assemble was, of course, the bed! This is my bed. Extra firm and comfortable.

The bed was not that tough as we only had to attach 4 legs + 1 supporting leg to this wooden-based mattress.

This is, in my opinion, most value-for-money bed (as I really love an extra-firm bed). We spent AUD300 on it! It is really comfortable but I guess I can’t bring it back to Malaysia when we decide to go back to Malaysia in future. Such a waste!

 

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