Browsing Tag: australia

    Inspirational, Migration

    Red Cross SHOP…what is it?

    November 19, 2018

    Have you heard about Red Cross Shops? No? That’s okay. I was in your position until we moved in Australia. Red Cross is not all about blood donation, first-aid, help during and after disasters which we normally see on television. Australian Red Cross has shops: boutique and pop-up shops. Their facebook page says, “We sell fab recycled and new goods to raise funds for the everyday work of Australian Red Cross.”

    South Melbourne Red Cross Shop is one of the A grade red cross shops in Victoria. It means the shop sells new and pre-loved fashion with quality. Yes. You heard it right. They also purchase and sell brand new items. Some of their new products are:

    • Jewelries
    • Socks
    • Underwear or padded undergarments
    • Lingerie
    • Beauty products such as soap, lotion or bath sets
    • Stationery such as greeting cards, gift cards and gift wrappers.
    • Pillows
    • Tableware such as dining sets and cups
    • Scented candles and aroma reeds
    • Scarves

    Outside the shop is a bin where people drop their donations. They can also go inside the shop to personally give them to the staffs. So how do an A grade shop sort your donations? Well, there are guidelines to follow.

    1. Definitely, clothes with stain, even how small it is, will not go to the display.
    2. A missing button is a big no.
    3. Zipper must be smoothly functioning.
    4. Worn out clothes are not tagged.
    5. Shoes, bags, homewares, toys, books must still be in good condition.
    6. Pre-loved underwear, bra or padded undergarments go to trash bin. DO NOT donate these items.

    Today is my second day as a retail volunteer. It requires minimum of 4 hours per week with 2 shifts to choose from: 10am – 2pm and 2pm – 6pm . What do we do? On a daily basis, we clean the shop, sort your donations, clean and tag the items that will go to the display, steam the clothes, dress the mannequin(if necessary), sort the displays to make them look more appealing, assist the customers or those who need help in the fitting rooms, take charge of the cash registry, chat and make friends with other staffs.  It’s a fulfilling job and an opportunity to learn new things.

    So if you are in Melbourne, thinking of buying some Christmas presents and like pre-loved things, head on to the nearest red cross shops. You get what you want, you shop with a cause. And if it is not enough and you want to do more, support the community by applying as a volunteer.

     

     

    Parenting & Kids

    What could possibly happen when you got stuck in a traffic jam with almost 20 kids in the bus?

    November 2, 2018

    It wasn’t boring at all.

    Last October 28, 2018, we boarded bus 439 in Werribee Park and Mansion bus stop which is actually inside the park at 3:05pm. We expected to reach Werribee station at 3:20pm. Little did we(4 adults, 2 kids) know that there was a traffic jam ahead that’s why the bus was late for 15min. We’re just so happy coz we thought we missed the bus. Going to the next bus stop(Werrribee Zoo) took almost 1 hour. The passengers were mostly families with small kids. We got stuck in a heavy traffic jam, that’s the last bus,  the bus driver took his mandatory break for 15min and reached the Werribee train station at 6:43pm. Finally. But that was almost 4hrs inside the bus. Oh my butt and legs!

    So what happened in those 4hrs? It’s all about kids and parents. We are aware that each kid is unique and parents’ response mostly depends on how they behave.

    1. Almost half of the kids left. One mother has 4 daughters and she’s still breastfeeding the youngest. Salute! Two of the kids cried and so they left. Those who left were the kids who cried inside the bus or the parents decided to alight. We didn’t know what they do next to get out of the place.
    2. Play drum and piano toys. Two kids have their piano and drum toys. You know what happened next. Of course, it was noisy but what can you do if that’s their way of killing the time.
    3. Bubbles inside the bus? Why not?! Even I poked the bubbles and enjoyed it.
    4. Change seat, walk on the aisle and play with other kids. Will your kids stay still in their seat for almost 4hrs? I guess not and this was expected to happen.
    5. Going up and down of their seat. Some kids were obedient and won’t leave their parents. But it doesn’t mean they will stay still. It’s the least they can do. The two kids with us, are among them.
    6. Watch a movie. If you want to make them sit all through out the journey, take the tablet out and let them watch the Minion movies.
    7. Sing like The Wiggles and that’s what the boy did. “Everybody clap, everybody sing, la, la, la, la, la
      Bow to your partner, then you turn around, wohoo!
      Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh”
    8. Sleep, eat and watch the other kids. These were our daughter and my friend’s daughter. They were tired and it was their nap time so they slept for more than 1 hour. Afterwards, they ate biscuits, watched the other kids, talked and laughed.
    9. Pee on the tree. Hahaha! That’s one of the advantage of being a boy. He can just asked the driver to open the door, pull down his shorts and release. Being a kid, he didn’t care if he peed right in front of our eyes and many can see his precious little thing.
    10. Clap their hands when we reached the main road. Finally we were out and noticed the empty lawn which was full of cars in the morning.

    Most parents keep their cool including us, unexpectedly. Maybe that’s because we were with another family but most of all the kids had so much fun that there was no room for tantrums. We even queued for the famous ramen in the CBD since it was already late to prepare dinner at home.

    Are you curious why and how we got into that situation? Ok read more.

    We attended the Children’s Week Picnic in Werribee Park and Mansion which is located on the west side of Melbourne. It was the first ever event we attended in Melbourne. It was my daughter and my husband’s first train ride outside Melbourne CBD. It was our first journey to the west. It was our first time in Werribee. It was our friend’s birthday and they also went with us. Sounds super fun and exciting, right? It was.

    The event was held in front of the Werribee Mansion. It took us almost 2hrs to reach the place, 30min waiting time for the train. From the Werribee station, we took bus 439 which took us directly inside the park vicinity. Kids must wear a wristband with contact number just in case they get lost. The event has many activity booths and people can setup their picnic mats on the middle. So many things to do but our kids didn’t like the face painting and no patience for queuing, so as the parents. We settled outside of the event’s place where kids were free to run around. Eating our packed lunch and nibbles under the sun in a cool breeze surrounded by the beautiful view of the mansion and spring flowers, was so much fun.

    At the end of the day, if your kid said she was happy, whatever mishaps we encountered didn’t matter anymore.

    Migration

    Melbourne in My Eyes

    October 17, 2018

    In my previous post, I promised to write about Melbourne. It’s been 8 months since we started living in this city. When I say Melbourne, I meant Melbourne(with 3000 zip code) and Inner Suburbs. It is the second most populous city in Australia and we choose to live here in spite of the fact that we do not have any friends nor relatives here. Why? You know the this-is-it feeling when you see something, that was what I exactly felt the first time we visited last year around this time. The cheaper rent(compare to Sydney) and the tram, to be honest, attracted me too.

    The Place. There are very few malls or maybe none if I take Manila and Singapore malls as the definition of mall. It has a Munich, Germany feel: old buildings and structures, the smell of coffee and breads in the morning, the smell of beer in the beer garden at night especially on Fridays. Shops mostly close at 5pm. Melbourne is known for their arts that’s why most of the places have graffiti. Playgrounds have wood chips not rubberized. There are many beautiful parks which are perfect location for friends and family bonding. Our favorite is Albert Park and Lake being the one nearest from our apartment, just 20min walk. Libraries have many activities for the community from babies to oldies and most of them are free. Membership signup and borrowing books are free. They provide eBooks and renewal of borrowed items online. Melbourne is not as clean as Singapore. You can see trash everywhere, broken bottles, human’s spits, dog/birds’ poop and even leftover foods. But they are serious when it comes to segregating recyclables from general waste.

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    The Food. Australia’s common foods are fresh salads, avocados, cheese, hummus, crackers, steaks, BBQ and sausages. I think every local household has cheese board. Woolworths, Coles and Aldi are the three major supermarkets and they already stop giving single-use plastic bags. People don’t care anyway if they bring the goods without any bag. They all have a wide-range of ready meals or ready-to-cook(with seasonings) foods which make working people’s lives easier. Perfect for mom who’s already juggling between work and home. Their favorite drinks are coffee and beers. Melbourne has a Colonial Tramcar Restaurant that goes around the city while diners are enjoying their meal.

    The People. Ohhh they are so warm. Smiling and greeting a stranger is a common thing. They love dogs. Some shops have water bowls for dogs outside and drinking fountains in the parks and beaches. Black is their fashion color and fashion style is like European’s. And the look, I find them gorgeous but they are not brand conscious. They are friendly people and they greet people by saying, “Hi! How are you?”. I admit I found it awkward and unable to respond on the first few months. Should I answer? Then I only ended up smiling. But now, I am already used to it and adapting the same whenever I meet someone(except Filipinos). It’s is normal to see police officers in the city with their horses. With all the good things I said, you’ll see the opposite as well. There are homeless people who live in the street or in their car or yacht. There are also people who lose their minds and you’ll see them shouting or talking to nobody or simply talk to you without any sense. Some people are also asking for money from young to old. I got scared many times already but one person who saw me said, “Although Melbourne has people with special characters, they are harmless in general.” Depression seems like a normal topic. I already heard from few mothers I met that they experienced it and the community offers lots of support.

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    #melbournepolice 🇦🇺

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    The Transportation. Melbourne is known for its tram network. There are also trains and buses but car is a necessity especially if you are living in the suburb or travels most of the time. One good thing is that you only need to use 1 card called Myki to pay for the public transports. However, I find their fare system a bit complicated. There are free tram zone. It means you don’t need to touch on or touch off. In tram, you only touch on on Zone 1. Touch off is not required unless you’re travelling to Zone 2.  But for buses and trains, touch on and off are required. Daily fare is AUD8.60. Some may find the trains and tram’s seats dirty. But I think it is expected when the seat is padded and not easy to clean. There are many taxi companies too but you cannot hail them anywhere you want but the taxi stand. A 20-minute walk is near. Train and tram doors are not automatic. You have to press for the door to open or manually slide them sideways. Tram stops can have a proper station but sometimes they are in the middle of the road which are on the same lane as the cars. I’ve been to many suburbs, got lost a few times already when finding the stops but I still like taking the public transports. I like the view of trees, graffiti, houses and building structures.

    The Weather: One word, as many people say, CRAZY. Now is sunny, later cloudy, then cold, then rain, then sunny. What do they say about it? Ah, four seasons in a day. Today’s weather prediction, may not be the same tomorrow. It is always advisable to carry a pocketable jacket and a sunscreen if you will be out for the entire day. But hey, don’t be discouraged to visit Melbourne. Although, the weather is crazy, it makes the place unique and it is not happening everyday anyways. In my 8 months here, I only experienced this kind of craziness twice. Also, it feels nice to be a bit colder early in the morning before it gets hot mid-day and then a bit cold again at night.

    credits to fragrantica.com

    Our life is far from perfect but I can still say that we have a better quality of life here in Melbourne.

    Disclaimer: All the information I mentioned are based on my observation only. Should there be any incorrect details, feel free to tell me.

    Thank you for reading my blog.