Yeah, it’s 25th January and it’s a little too late to say Happy New Year to anyone. In fact, I got an email from Watermark Hotel and Spa Gold Coast wishing me Happy New Year and hoping that I had a great Christmas! I have no idea why they only sent out email like this at this time. Watermark Hotel and Spa was the hotel that Mee and I stayed when we went to Gold Coast, Australia. If I remember correctly, it is about 15 minutes away from the airport and 5-10 minutes away from the Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast. It was a good hotel and we were comfortable during our stay. The thing I like about the hotels that we stayed while we were in Australia was that the rooms were big and with two double beds. Yes, two double beds and that’s a standard room. However, it’s not cheap. If you were to talk to Mee and me about Australia, our first impression would be that everything was expensive!
Anyway, the email is to tell me that the weather is amazing on the Gold Coast and that, I should visit again. Well, I haven’t got that kind of money to pay Australia a second visit!
The above picture is taken from its website. It’s nothing like this, but close though. We didn’t have to worry not knowing how to get back to the hotel. Gold Coast has just two straight parallel roads; one is the two-lane motorway and the other one is just a single lane with lots of traffic lights. The hotel is tall enough with a huge Watermark sign with blue lights on the top floor. Hence, we could already see the sign a few blocks away.
It’s nice to be back, or not… Well, the trip to Australia and New Zealand had been tiring but it certainly gave me a lot to think about. Mee and I have spent most of our time travelling around Europe and I would say they are pretty much the same but different. I don’t really know how to describe but Australia and New Zealand have nothing much in common. It’s like travelling to another world, hence, it’s quite refreshing for me. And hence, it makes me think a lot. My visa is going to end soon and though the HR manager has kind of given me the assurance that the company will support my visa application, I haven’t been given any concrete information. One of the HR staffs has promised to find out if the college is eligible to extend my work permit before I went on holiday and to this date, I heard nothing from them. That’s the kind of efficiency that the company is trying to promote I believe.
Anyhow, there’s always the need for plan B. Would living in Australia or New Zealand suits both Mee and me? Hmm… it’s not like I can just go there and live whenever I like. I may or may not qualify to live there based on the point system. Most importantly, IT may not be classified as a shortage in most countries. Then again, there’s the waiting time, IELTS test and other tests in order to complete the application. I think that I still need more rest to have a clearer mind. I have been thinking too much lately.
Today is not as sunny as yesterday. In fact, it is cloudy at the moment. I am watching tv at the moment and every channel I switch to, it is almost always advertisement. Like UK, the advertisement in the afternoon is always about sales, loans, discounts and of course, easter sales as it is good friday this week and easter Monday next week. Some advertisement that we don’t normally see UK is about whispbar roof racks at cracksandracks.com. I think it’s because of the weather here where the materials used to built the houses here are different from UK. In fact, it’s very similar to Malaysia except that the houses here are a lot bigger.
The weather in Melbourne is kind of temperamental. It can be hot in a moment and chilly next. Like now, it’s quite windy. It’s quite hard to decide what to wear for the day. In addition, they rely on the national weather forecast for the day’s weather. As we have missed the opportunity of visiting the Werribee open range zoo today, we have decided to go there tomorrow instead. Should be an exciting day tomorrow before leaving for Sydney!
A question that always come to our mind before travelling is how much foreign currency should we buy. Mee and I both think that we won’t be coming back to Australia in the near future. Hence, it’s best if we could spend it all and we decided to not buy too much Australian dollars. We were a bit wrong as we spent almost half of our money during our time in Perth. The living expenses in Australia is quite high though Australians seem to earn a lot compared to other countries.
Take for example, Mee and I bought a SIM card just for the sake of convenience. The hotels that we booked in Sydney and Gold Coast do not provide free WiFi and we kind of need the internet while we are there. Anyway, the SIM card costs from AUD2 to AUD5 and a minimum recharge from AUD19 depending on the service providers. And every recharge has an expiry date. I thought expiry date was history. My friend in Perth told me that it costs them AUD60 for internet connection only with a 50GB allowance per month. Every meal costs at least AUD10 and the cheapest meal you can get is fast food like McDonald.
I guess Mee and I will have to eat a lot of cup noodles while we are in Sydney and Gold Coast.
Eight more days and Mee and I will be doing our first out of nine flights. We haven’t started packing and I haven’t finished planning the trip stuffs. It all sounds a bit hectic and the worst part is that I feel unusually tired since last night. My muscles are still aching since Sunday’s gym session. I guess I won’t be doing any gym-related things tonight and just take Mee to the gym for her AquaFit session.
By the way, I wonder if I will be needing an umbrella in Australia as all my umbrellas are broken. Might have to make do with just Mee’s umbrella. Mine had broken for quite some time already but I haven’t got the chance to look for a new one mainly because it hasn’t been raining. It’s just one of those things where you don’t think about it until you really need it. Anyway, if only consumer’s umbrellas can be as strong as like the market umbrellas at PatioUmbrellas.com. Those types of umbrella could easily withstand strong winds and bad weather. Mee’s umbrella is quite strong too considering that I have two broken ones and her umbrella is still perfectly fine.
Anyway, I just can’t wait to have a relaxing three weeks holiday.
I still can’t get around with the idea of hotels not offering free WiFi access. Well, I appreciate that in some parts of the world, internet is not cheap but I would have thought that internet should be widely available in a country like Australia. But no, 80-90% of hotels in Australia incur a charge of at least $12 for 24 hours access. It would be a lot higher if you go for per hour rate. It may seem that a charge from 50 cents per hour (should you go for the 24 hours access) is not too expensive but when you look at the hotels’ rooms prices, the charge is unnecessary. I suppose Mee and I will be going to McDonald as it’s our best bet to get free internet access.