Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Reflections

2014 is probably the craziest, the messiest, but also one of the most blessed year that both EG and I had.

Even since we're married, all the good things happened to us - we bought a terrace house in Penang (when everyone said we're crazy), I got pregnant, and we had our first child after 2 years of marriage, and our girl grew up beautifully while I braced through the journey of breastfeeding, and we marched through the journey of parenthood together, and then we had our second princess after 2 more years. We changed our car, we got promoted in our work, we very much enjoyed our family time within our small little family, and then we made probably the biggest & the craziest decision in our life - we let go of all the beautiful things that we had, and our whole family migrated to Australia together in Feb 2014.

As I wrote in my previous entry, we have been settling very well in this new place. Today, on the last day of 2014, I recall how we have gone through our year this year, there's only one word to describe it - MESSY. 2014 is truly the messiest year that I have had in my life. But of course, it's messy in a good way - in the past 10 mths, we got a car, settled all the children schooling, childcare, banking, settled in a church, moved in our place, started new jobs, setting out routine, made new friends, joined small (cell) group, etc.

It really amazed me that how on earth we could do so many things in just 10 months.

Now, my company closes for 3 weeks for Christmas/New Year holiday. Many were shocked that we're closed for so long (not a good sign for business, plus it's forced leaves). But for me, I have been waiting for this break for a really long time. Now, 50% of my holiday has passed, and I feel very much rested, especially mentally. I do not need to wake up early to pack Eunice's lunch box/water bottle/ fruits & snack box, I do not need to rush in and out to fetch children to childcare and rush to work, I do not need to think what to prepare for lunch a day ahead, and I can relax and spend time with my children, driving and bringing them around the suburbs to check out new things or new places, and I can tidy up my messy home after living here for 6 months! I have time to plan out the kids' schooling next year. And the thing that I enjoy the most is, I can spend time with my hubby everyday for 3 weeks!

Though 2014 has been a great year for us, but it's also a sad year. There're three airline disasters in Malaysia in this year alone, the flood in east coast Malaysia, a friend's neighbor whose child used to be Eunice's classmate in Penang passed away, leaving behind her hubby and 2 children who's the same age as mine, and another good friend's nephew passed away.

One thing that I really wish to thank God is that we always have faithful spiritual friends around us wherever we are - in Penang, and now in Melbourne. Their friendship and their sharing have encouraged and helped us a lot in going through this crazy 2014 year.

On the last day of 2014, as I reflect on this year that is going to pass, I thank you God for all the blessing that He has poured unto us, and my prayer is that everyone in my family, and all my friends whom I know will stay healthy and safe in everything that they do.

So, goodbye 2014, and Bring-it-on 2015!

Happy New Year from all of us :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mango Smoothies

I love mangoes.

It's now mango season in Australia. Yum yum! The price is getting cheaper and cheaper since it's at the peak of the season now - we can get $2 for 1 mango, or sometimes less if buying in bulk! So, I've been cutting mangoes for our fruits pretty often for the past week. Last week, my friend from church gave me another 3 mangoes! *Drool big time*!

I try not to give the girls mangoes too often - Chinese believes that mangoes are heaty and might cause cough (especially since Nat has been coughing occasionally), but I can't keep them for too long as they might get overripe. As I was wondering what else I can do with them, I then came across this super simple smoothies recipe in a magazine.

We're having simple pizza for lunch today and I decided to make this drink to make the lunch more complete (lazy mum - I know!). I didn't follow the original recipe 100% but tweaked by using whatever I have in my pantry. Result? Oh, it's very very yummy! And it's very refreshing. Eunice had 2 cups. I didn't have almond meals so I didn't put into my drink. Now I know what to do if I have more mangoes. :D

Mango Smoothies
Mango & Honey Smoothies
1 mango
400ml of fresh milk
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp of honey

1. Peel and chop mango into small pieces and place into a blender with milk, yogurt and honey.
2. Blend until smooth.

As simple as that. Yum! I must go buy almond meal one day and try with it. It should add extra flavor to the drink. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A day in Melbourne City

In Penang, EG and I worked in the same company for the last 5 years. We spent a lot of time together when going to work, having lunch together almost everyday, and leaving office together to fetch kids. Ever since we moved here, we've been really busy with all our daily chores and spending time together is almost mission impossible - maybe only after kids are asleep at night, but by then, both of us will be exhausted too.

I actually miss those times that we can talk and chat with no distraction from the kids. EG works in the city and has been asking me to go with him one day just to tour around or see how he travels to work, and have a look at his work place.

So, we both took a day off from work, sent the girls for full day childcare, and I went to the city with him.

We spent a lot of time in Melbourne Uni, where he showed me around - things that he learnt from his orientation, had coffee at his favorite coffee house, walked around the gardens, etc. And we took the city loop tram a bit, and went for Vietnamese lunch, and off to QV and Emporium for some window shopping. Time passed very quickly and we needed to rush home to fetch our two girls from childcare.

It was a good time spending time together just between two of us. As usual we both enjoyed each other's company a lot. I guess it won't happen very often, but I believe now we really should make an effort to have some times for ourselves once a while. :)

Melbourne Central. Stopped for a while to watch the clock "sings" :)

Different corners of a part of Melbourne University

House of Cards Expresso in Melbourne Uni
EG insisted that we should have a cup of coffee at his favorite cafe in the uni.

Did a we-fie :P

Me @ different corners of the Uni

EG brought me to this place and asked me to guess what it is. It's a very special car park. Above the car park is a nice lawn where ppl will sit/lie down to read/rest/eat. In EG's orientation, he was told that each pillar in the car park is either the tree trunk or some drainage for the lawn/garden on top.

The very special car park :)

This is the South Lawn on top of the car park

We tried to be "artistic" and went for to the Ian Potter Museum Art for some art viewing. But sadly, we don't really know how to appreciate those art... :P

There's a story about this Leckie Window, since 1935.
Apparently it's from some hall that caught fire, this is the only piece that they could save.

I love this part of the of the Uni - love those plants around the buildings

The best thing about this outing is that I didn't plan anything. :P... I let EG do all the planning by himself. Whatever he asked me what I wanna do or where I wanna go, my answer is, anything, up to you. Hehehe..! It's always nice to just relax and have someone to plan the trip for you. :)

My tour guide checking the itinerary :P

EG said this sun dial still works... Trying to figure out how to read the time :P

After we left the uni, we took the free City Loop Tram, and decided to stop by Parliament building to take some photos, and not going for the rest of the journey as we're running out of time

Exploring the city in the free City Loop tram - but completed maybe 20% only :P

Time passes very quickly as we walked around. We went the famous Lygon street for food hunting and decided to have Vietnamese food for our late lunch. Yum yum!

Went Lygon street for Vietnamese food. Ordered a big bowl and both of us share

Now, our adventure is over. And we're back to our usual routine, with our two lovely girls. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Picnic @ Tim Neville Arboretum

Our small group (cell group in Malaysia context) has family gathering about once a month (or maybe once in 2 months). Most of us have young children, and I love my small group leader as she's so detail in choosing a safe park for children to go.

A few things that she took into consideration including number of exits in the park (in case kids run out while parents are busy chit chatting?), the park landscape (any obstacle where kids can hide and we might miss them? like behind the tree? can we all watch the kids at a distance at a glance?), safety (river? stream? pond?), etc. I feel so "safe" for her to choose the place because I know all that I worry will surely be taken into her consideration - So I can relax. :)

The previous gathering we had it at Greythorn Park @ Bawlyn. I love that park (hope I can blog about it next time). And this round, for a difference, we decided to go Tim Neville Arboretum @ Ferntree Gully, Knox.

The park is quite a distance from where we live - about 30 minutes drive. Kids were very very excited (oh, they love parks!) and were behaving well in the car. I told them to take a rest or a short nap if they want, and they did sit down quietly in their car seats to take a rest throughout the short journey.

It's a nice park, with big trees with shade everywhere. My small group members and friends put the picnic mats on the grass under a big tree for shelter. The weather is good, sunny and windy. Park is amazing - so many things for children to play. Needless to say, my kids (*again*), hardly ate anything, they just snacked on crackers, potato chips (argh!), and fruits while they kept playing.

I didn't take much picture this round comparing to the first outing as the play area in this park is a distance away from where we sat - so I couldn't really stand or sit around eating while watching my kids (like the last round). I needed to bring them into the play area and watched and played with them.

We did have a great time. Thanks to friend's children who actually helped to watch over them. It was a public holiday yesterday in Melbourne hence the park was crowded. My kids didn't play with other children, but only with the familiar faces - my another migrant friends' children who were also invited for the outing.

Overall, it's a good outing. Girls were happy. And parents had a good time catching up and chit chatting with other parents. I just love going outdoor activity like this in Melbourne. Very relaxing with the good weather here!

It's supposed to be a bring-your-own-lunch event (quite common here apparently! :P).. But as Asians, it turned out to be a pot luck session! But some of the Caucasian friends really  just bring their own lunch for their own family. I actually love this idea - food is not the most important thing during the gathering, but it's more for the catch up.

Anyway, took some pics of the yummy food.

Gado gado by my Indonesian friend

Putting the nice crispy crackers yum yum!

Curry beef with hard boil eggs

Nasi lemak - Very very authentic!

Homemade Sambal! Been craving for this big time :D

And now, some pics of the children - Like I said, I didn't take much. And I actually let Eunice went around freely with another Eunice (friend's daughter) and she really likes her. So, she told me what she did later on while I was busying chit chatting with my friends with Natalie around me.

This swing is really cool! Like a car seat on a swing!

Don't be deceived by her sad face - She actually quite liked it!

All kids love swing!

Daniel bringing Natalie for flying fox!


Eunice's turn!

She's actually quite terrified - hence the tension face :D

My fearless baby going for her 2nd ride!

Another side of the park - my kids haven't explored this yet!

Families around, with their children. Mostly fathers yea?

Enjoying the hammock..

I didn't know that there's a pond with ducks at the other side of the park.
Eunice actually took some bread from our picnic table and fed those ducks. She told us there's a mother duck, and some little ducklings around. Must be big Eunice che che told her this. :)

A small stream for the kids to play. My girls didn't play here (I quickly walked away) and I was too lazy to clean up wet children!

Location of the park:

Monday, November 03, 2014

Baked Chicken Nuggets

One of the biggest challenges after moving to Melbourne is the need to cook every meal everyday. Well, my family, especially the father, he doesn't really like to eat out. I have been cooking almost 3 meals a day, 7 days a week since I came. I could count with my fingers on how many times I've eaten out so far. But I am not complaining. My family is not complaining. In fact, EG is such a happy man that he could eat at home for most of the meals. Simple logic - he happy, I happy, kids happy, everyone happy. :D

Cooking here is simpler - ingredients are easily available, weather is good - I cook with my sweater on most of the time, like cooking in aircond room haha! (I'll soon share when I have to cook during summer). Because of the different culture here, I can find many different types of food - greek. asian, japanese, korean, etc. Some of the cooking websites, like or Jamie Oliver's website, have all their ingredients available in the major grocery shops here.

So I decided to document down some of my recipes in my cooking journey. I am a full time working mum, with two clingy children, so my recipe is not going to be the super canggih one - but mainly the simple, quick, and easy recipe that can whip up a meal in 30 minutes or less. Maybe slightly more complicated ones during weekends or holidays.

To start of, during the weekend, I found chicken breast in my freezer and decided to make baked chicken nuggets for my girls as a treat. I surfed around for the internet to find the easiest recipe and I found one in, with most of the ingredients available in my kitchen. I tweaked it a bit to suit the ingredients I have.

1 pc of chicken breast (about 250g-300g)
1/3 cup of plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Whisk egg in a small bowl
2. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another small bowl
3. Put the plain flour in a 3rd bowl.
4. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces (not too thick).
5. Dip chicken breast pieces into the flour, dust off the excess, dip into the egg wash, and finally coat with the breadcrumbs and cheese mix. Press the crumb mix onto the chicken pieces. Place the chicken on the baking tray with aluminum foil (*Note 1).
6. Refrigerate the chicken pieces for 30 minutes.
7. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Put in the chicken pieces in for 20 minutes (*Note 2) until cook through.
8. Serve with ketchup.

*Note 1: The original recipe uses baking paper but I used aluminum foil. It still works, but the chicken pieces stick to the foil. I probably should have sprayed some oil on top to prevent them from sticking.
*Note 2: The original recipe only asked to bake for 10 minutes but I baked for 20 minutes as I worried the chicken pieces are not cooked through.

I am pretty happy with the final result. The Parmesan cheese makes the chicken pieces really flavorful. Girls love them so much that I have to keep it aside so they will eat the rice instead of keep biting on the nuggets.

Chicken pieces, flour, eggs and crumb mix

Ready to go into the oven.

Yum yum healthy nuggets!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pyjamas Party in Office

One of the team leaders in the office sent an email that the next day is a Pyjamas (or Pajama) party.

I brought a pyjamas long pants in my bag the next day, thinking of changing it in the office (instead of walking around in it to childcare), but I didn't put it on in the end (COWARD, I KNOW!). But I am amazed how sports my colleagues are. When my MD came into office in his boxer with long sleeve shirt in the late afternoon, I regretted for not being sporting enough. Anyway, he gave 2 hours meeting in his pyamas outfit, which we spent 15 minutes laughing at the start of the meeting.

Quite a fun place at work, don't your reckon? :)

The fun bunch. I love the onesie! :D

The boss!

Director in pyjamas pants and UGG boots :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Membercard

I used to read a lot when I was younger, like when I was a teenager. I remember reading after my mum off the lights. And I remember my mum had to keep my novels so I will go study my textbook for the next day test, instead of reading the novel.

But I was reading more on Chinese books, more on sci-fi books. Reading the Wisley series. Somehow along the way, I stopped reading somehow. EG has been trying to make me read again but he failed miserably. 

Moving here, library is so easily accessed. Every suburb has a good library well stocked with many books. I called it EG's heaven. There's this library opposite my office, in walking distance. I went over one day during lunch time and was pretty impressed. So, in my heart, I made it a new resolution to pick up reading again. And finding chinese books is definitely a tough task here (there's one rack of chinese books though!) as there's limited variety. So, I'll venture into english books then.
My library member card
Library membership is free, and I can borrow up to 70 items! There're DVDs in the library - but most children one are on loan - you need to be quick and fast in getting them. We've been getting Disney cartoons for the girls.

I tried to get some books for myself but I am totally lost in the library looking at the books. So, in order to make sure I don't give up, EG has been getting books from the library at the Uni that he works in. So far I have read one book and reading another one, and I try to read when I am sleeping the children, or when I am on the public transport. Like eg, he's reading on the tram. :D

I hope I will start to put down the phone with all the whatsapp and Facebook, and start to read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I am always proud of my hubby. 
Great job.
Praise the Lord. :)

Try spotting him :)
Link to:

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Shopping in Melbourne

Nope, this is not a post about the retail shopping. :).. I am never a shopping person - not even when I am in Malaysia. Shopping therapy never works for me.

One thing I love about Melbourne is the choices that we have to buy things. My aunt brought me to Salvos (Salvation Army) in a few suburbs and picked up a few good second hand stuff with GREAT value. And she told me, You don't need to spend a bomb in buying things for your house. Just look around you. And on that day, we picked up beautiful plates for my kitchen, cutlery, and a casserole. And you won't believe the price I paid for them! Most of them are less than $10, and if it's of better qualities then it'll still be less than $15.

My uncle told me before that we could pick up good deals from Salvation Army here before we moved here. Deep inside me, I felt so sad. In Penang, we used to donate our old things to Salvation Army and after we move to Melbourne, I need to buy things from Salvos. How sad. LOL! How wrong I was! Salvos here are like a boutique shop! They arranged things accordingly on the racks, and clothes hanging nicely according to sizes, with proper fitting room, and their people in nice uniforms and always friendly and helpful.

Ever since then, I always "shop" in Salvos, Op Shop, and any 2nd hand shops. Because Melbourne is a big city, there're many people donating their things to Salvos when they move, and I managed to pick up many things. Besides these shops, we have also been looking at 2nd hand stuff with good condition from the most famous gumtree website - where people post their stuff to sell 2nd hand.

2 stainless steel heavy sauce pans for $7.25 and $12.25 each

My favorite casserole in the kitchen! Used it for one-pot dish in oven very often!
Paid $9.25 for it I think?

Sometimes I picked up good deals for kids clothing too! This is one of the cardigans that I picked up for Eunice. $5+

My first woolen sweater that helped me to survive our first winter in Melbourne!
It was on 50% off and I think I only paid like $5 for it!

My another favorite baking dish in the kitchen. Been using it for pie or quiche.

6 made in Italy wine glasses. Saw the price there? How to resist to not buy them? :)

There's a Salvos nearby my office @ Nunawading which I'll pop over during lunch time from time to time. My aunt brought me to one @ Camberwell and that is a real good one as the Salvos is big and plenty plenty of choices. There are also many opportunity shop or charity shops around that sells good things in a discounted price.

I haven't gone for any retail shopping for the past 8 mths here. Haha! But no worry, I'll surely plan one soon! :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cultural Differences

Before moving over to Melbourne, Eg and I have been reminding ourselves about the cultural difference in Australia comparing to Malaysia. So far we've been coping quite well as things are within our expectation, and we're always talking to others, and learning the ways of living from the locals here.

But there're a few conversations that EG and I shared after work that make us chuckle. As much as we awe on some of the ways things are done here, the locals here also find our lifestyle back home rather unusual, or bizzare.

1: Milo
Aussies put milk into everything - tea, chocolate, milo, coffee, etc. Local milk here is nice, I don't deny that. Even the cheapest milk in the supermarket also taste really good. But the way I drink milo is only put milo powder, and hot water. I once told my colleagues about it, and they went big eyes and asked,"Serious? No milk?"

2. Sambal
EG's workplace (a university) has a student union house that sells Malaysia food. Once, his colleague bought mee mamak and it came with sambal. He shared with EG and EG put into his home-packed noodle for extra kick. And when his colleague saw the amount of sambal EG took, he went, "That's suicidal!"... And EG told him we're used to this taste. And he asked,"And you have nasi lemak for breakfast?" EG said yes, and they all went shocked as they couldn't understand why would us take such a heavy tasted spicy food for breakfast. But later on they deduced that it's probably healthier as it contains rice, eggs; instead of usual local breakfast of cereal which contains more sugar. EG begged for differ and lots of explanations went on that I'd skip here. :)

3. Coffee
This is again from EG's workplace. When he introduced himself and mentioned that he's from Malaysia, a lady asked him, Oh, you guys eat nasi lemak for breakfast right? (point #2 above), and next that we never expect - "And you drink coffee with ice?".. Hmm at first we thought what's wrong with that, and later we found out, locals here they drink coffee to keep warm due to the cold weather here. No wonder I never see Starbucks being any popular here.

4. Leaving home
While chit chatting during lunch in the pantry, my another colleague who came from Malaysia and been staying here for the past 9 years shared his story. He said he left home to Melbourne at the age of 17 until now. All my colleagues were shocked and asked him how did he cope initially. I told them it's common in Malaysia for someone to leave home after high school. And one of my colleagues mentioned, "Oh yea, I have a friend who did this. He left home to another state, and the parents paid for his fees, rental, food, everything!" And later on they just kept saying that they can't imagine themselves doing this etc etc. Hmmm.....

So far these four are those that we thought it's the usual common which really make locals here jaw dropped. I'd think the coffee is really something that we never expect from anyone.

Anyway, it's interesting to see how others think about us. Nevertheless, we're having lots of fun exchanging our experiences with others here too.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

About Introverts

Saw a friend shared this in Facebook and just clicked in to have a look while taking a break from work.

I was laughing while reading it. I believe I used to be an extrovert. But after marrying EG, as a submissive wife,  I believe his introvert genes has eaten into me. Now, EG sometimes thinks I can be more introvert than him. The article explains us pretty well - I could relate to almost all the points. But the one that makes me laugh out loud is #7. :D.. I think only EG and I will share this joke. Hehehe! :)

I do hope some friends will read this and know why sometimes we're just so reluctant to come out. And we hate it when we have to justify or give reason why. Gee, there're times when we just want to be left alone (refer #1). :P.

So, excuses us if we sounded rude. And don't ask why. :D

Copied from:

Things You Should Know About Introverts

1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule #1 for dealing with introverts – Don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy.
Introvert and shy are actually two different things. Google it! In my case, I’m a shy introvert (the double whammy!).

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining.
See #1 and #2. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But – here is the thing – I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you.
See #3. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans.
I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts.
My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100% on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting.
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around.
That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions.
Just because I have difficultly sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Working.... in Australia

Never in my life that I ever thought that I'll be working overseas.

Ah well, I did travel a lot in my first job, where I went to Indonesia for a month, and then Vietnam for 11 months, before I decided to quit the job and got myself another job that doesn't need me to travel often.

Now that we moved to Australia, it's truly God's blessing that I can get a job in such a short time. I consider myself really lucky to work in this company. It's a small local company that does survey collection and I am hired as the Business Intelligence Analyst who is supposed to help with the IT support, data warehouse, data analysis and reporting.

My office is only 5km away from my house. When I first started work and while we're still staying with my aunt, I took bus to work most of the time as EG needed the car to chauffeur Eunice to/back from kinder. But ever since we move to our own place in June, I've been driving. It's only a 10 minutes drive. And the office hour is from 9am to 5pm, hence I could still cook lunch, and prepare breakfast for everyone, and only leave home around 8.45am.

Many have told me about racism in Australia. Deep inside me, I used to fear to work in a whole new environment in a whole new culture. However, I over-worried! My colleagues are most young chaps, so they're really a fun bunch. Of course, they have their unique working ways (foul words, relax, take-it-easy) but so far they treat me really well. I have a few female colleagues who have children and we have total different topics when we bump into each other in pantry, or during lunch. I have heard stories of Asians being discriminated in the work place but not for me. Most of my colleagues greet each other in the morning when they came in, and when they leave, they'd even come to my place to say bye to me as well. :)

Communication used to be a little bit of problem as we're still adjusting to each other's slang, but after 3 months here, I think I have picked up the right way to talk here, and now I can chit chat with my colleagues pretty well. But ah, most of them are young chaps so they have their jokes that might be too "modern" for me to comprehend but nevertheless, it's still good. I am pretty happy about it.

For my bosses - I report directly to my MD and a director. They're really nice to me and have been very accommodating. There are times where I need to go and settle some of the children's stuff and they let me have my time-off. Besides, they also trust me and allow me to work from home for 2 days a week so I could save cost on the childcare. I am really glad and thankful for their trust. Besides, they treat me with respect and lots of courtesy. They are really courteous when talking to me (maybe I have the good-girl look) but so far, I am very thankful for them.

None of my colleague eat out. Most of them bring their own lunches from home so I did that too. And we normally sat on the table in pantry for lunch together. I joined sometimes, but half of the time, I took the 30 minutes lunch break for a walk at the nearby shops near my office. Just to have some window shopping and looking for things that I might be interested in. Besides, the lunch break walking also helps me to take a break apart of sitting at the computer the whole day.

I wouldn't say Australians are very laid back, but it is probably more appropriate to say that Australians are very understanding, or accommodating. There are times when my director would ask if I am overloaded before passing me more work, or even ask me to pass some of my work to others when they see me looked really overwhelmed. Besides, they are very family oriented. Never once in my 3 months of working experience here that they request me to work over time. Most of the time they'll just tell me to do it the next day when I come back to office. I was so worried for the children arrangement when EG found a good job, and was thinking hard for 2 weeks to think how I should tell my director that I'd wish to work from home since childcare is just too expensive. When I finally gathered all my courage to tell her, I could be very frank on the reasons, and all she said was, "Hey Winnie, no worry, go ahead! Just let me know the plan when it's all confirm." You cannot imagine how relieve I felt deep inside me at that moment.

Anyway, this is a small company that I am working in. Probably this is why everything is more relax as there're less red tapes or processes. But so far I really enjoy myself working here. I do have job satisfactions, keeping some of my technical skills intact, earning some income to help paying bills and buying food, while still be able to mind our children is office is nearby to home/school/childcare.

As a summary, I'd say I am really, really lucky and blessed to get this job. And I am really thankful that it's an all awesome good experience for me. :)

The bus station that I waited for bus for first 2 months before we moved

The busy street

Right outside my office entrance. I love the sunlight in Melbourne in the cold weather. Ironic, I know. :)

The side street that I walk everyday from carpark to my office

PS: If you're curious, EG is enjoying his work place even more than me. He works in Melbourne University with all the technical teams, so the buildings are awesome, good facilities, nice colleagues and fantastic team members and colleagues.

I really can't ask for more. :)