Laziness abounds

if you’ve been a regular reader of my blog (one of my few followers πŸ™‚ ), you’ll realise i last posted ages ago. it’s been a combination of laziness and nothing really to report about. we haven’t really done much since the last post (which once a month ago). life has currently become going to work and back (although i work quite a bit from home as well)… and when i’m not working, i’m just being lazy – watching tv and series.

our new favourite beach is at Mooloolaba – it’s an hour north of our apartment – and it’s lovely. nice waves and perfect water temperature πŸ™‚ we were also at Coolangatta – which is just over an hour south of our apartment – it’s at the lowest end of the Gold Coast and is right on the border with New South Wales (it’s actually got a time zone running through the centre of it – one side of the main street is one hour ahead of the other side. can be confusing πŸ™‚ the south of queensland (the gold coast) is way too commercialised – that’s why we prefer going up to the sunshine coast – it doesn’t have the miles of straight golden beaches like the gold coast, but it’s got lots of lovely beaches that are protected a bit from the ocean.

in other news, i have my drivers licence test this week thursday – hold thumbs i pass with no problem. then i get my QLD drivers licence which becomes like the ID book back in SA. can use it as my identity. antonio has his test on 2 April (Exactly 3 months after we landed in australia).

we’ve been settling in nicely – antonio is still looking for work, but we’re holding thumbs he gets something soon.

anyways, that’s my story for now – have a good sunday and week ahead


Exploring Brisbane and the Surrounds – Part 3

thursday and friday were rainy, so we were hoping that saturday would be sunny – then that would mean that we could either go to the sunshine coast or the gold coast and either laze at the beach or go to one of the zoos. in the end, it was still rainy, so we decided to go up the sunshine coast to underwater world which is in mooloolaba (yes, the names here are actually quite strange). on the way there, we first thought maybe we could go to the Australia Zoo (the zoo founded by Steve Irwin), but as we got to the turn off, it started pouring with rain – so that just meant that our original plan of the underwater world was where we were going to go.

we were actually starving by the time we got to mooloolaba – because we didn’t have breakfast. luckily, it was 11:30, so it was time for lunch. when we got to underwater world, there was a Hogs Breathe cafe. now, Melanie has been telling us that we should go to one (we tried to in surfers paradise, but the kitchen was closed because it was between lunch and supper) – so we were quite happy to see it was just outside underwater world – and they had just opened for lunch. perfect timing! the speciality at Hogs Breath is prime fillet – so obviously we had to order it. they had a number of varieties. they were delicious! soft and juicy – nom nom nom! and their chips are the shape of pig tails! hehe. once we were finished eating, we were STUFFED! it actually took us until 8pm that night to even start feeling hungry again.

now once we were done there, off we went to underwater world. really cool place – lots of fish and pretty stuff. the sea horses and the otters were my favourite! we watched the seal show – really cute. but it seems pretty standard at all places. then we saw the otter show – the otters were the cutest ever! 2 brothers and another male. real partners in crime. the presenter tied some toys around the place – the one otter was fascinated by the rubber tube tied to a string. he attacked it – going absolutely crazy like it’s his favourite snake that he likes killing! the presenter couldn’t talk properly because she was laughing so much! once the presentation was over, we went through the rest of the place to explore. lots of nice stuff – but i can’t wait to go to a zoo now.

once we were finished, we were thirsty and decided to get something to drink. now, i know there are fans of jelly bellys out there – and i found a jelly belly cool drink! it’s AWESOME! got to find another store within the brisbane area.

we then went for a walk on the beach (because it stopped raining). we ended up walking about 5km – was really nice. the surf was a bit crazy and the water is extremely muddy because of all the rain and storms. luckily this weekend is nice and sunny – planning on going to the beach tomorrow. but anyways, once we finished our walk on the beach, we hit the road back to brisbane (it’s about 90 minutes to the sunshine coast). when we got back, we went to the hot water tub (spa pool) when we got back to the apartment. was nice – and we also ordered pizzas. yum yum!

sunday was the last day that my sister was visiting – we weren’t really lus to go driving around all over the place, so we decided to take a chilled approach to the day. we thought of maybe going to the movies – so a quick check saw that Underworld Awakening was showing. so off we went – it was good action movie – don’t think of following a strong story line, just enjoy it for what it is. eventually we went back to the apartment for melanie to pack. eventually took her to the airport (which had a crazy amount of people being dropped off). off she went, and off we went back home. and guess what – i missed the turn off to our suburb and ended up going on an adventure across the river – and 2 tollgates before we could get home. so annoyed with myself.

it was a good weekend in which we got to enjoy more of australia and see a bit. will plan on visiting my sister sometime this year for a weekend and see sydney a bit.

am looking forward to exploring more of the country!

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Exploring Brisbane and the Surrounds – Part 2

in the previous post, i talked about the first day that my sister was here. this is just continuing that weekend.

friday morning we woke up to rain rain rain. now obviously this is depressing… it’s the height of summer and the sunshine coast and gold coast are not exactly living up to their names. but anyways, we obviously tried to make the best of it. on thursday, i had booked for a show called the “Australian Outback Spectacular”. but that only started at 7:30 (and we needed to be there around 6:30) – so we had the whole day to find something to do. so, off we went to the gold coast to try to find something to do while it was raining outside. usually we would think of going to the theme parks – either Wet ‘n Wild water park or the Warner Bros’ Movieworld, or even the beaches… but this time we looked for some inside activities. i remembered the previous day that we drove past a putt putt venue called King Tut’s Putt Putt – and i though maybe that we would be a good place to start.

so, we went directly there for some friendly competition. they have 3 courses of 18 holes – 2 are inside the warehouse and one is outside. so, because it was drizzling very lightly, we decided to start outside first, just in case it came bucketing down later. now i have to say, the putt putt courses that i’ve played at four ways in JHB, the one at Brooklyn in PTA (before it shut down) and even the one at the boardwalk in PE are more challenging. it is still more entertaining that sitting inside and doing nothing. it was quite competitive – the lead changing back and forth. melanie managed to start off the proceedings with a hole in one and antonio and i also managed some, but in the end, melanie ended with more holes in one. BUT in the end, in the best of 3, i won 2 rounds and melanie the third. i think that antonio and i need to find more putt putt places and ones that are definitely more challenging…

once we finished there, i thought maybe we can go bowling. it’s been absolute ages since we’ve bowled, so we were all rusty. the last time i had actually gone bowling was in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. in Dubai, i would go to the Ibn Buttuta mall and buy a 1 hour block and just bowl bowl bowl. usually by the end of that, i was moeg and my arm was almost dead! but it was always enjoyable (and i managed my highest score of approx 220…). but this time, it was antonio and melanie that out bowled me. was great fun – definitely need to go play a bit more. once we finished off there, we went off for some gelato. i know the weather wasn’t that great, but i was just lus for some yummy gelato πŸ™‚ we all got 3 scoops and just found a bench inside the mall where we could sit and just enjoy the yumminess of it.

the bowling alley

the bowling alley

as we only needed to be at the Australian Outback Spectacular by 6:30, i thought i’d be the early bird and leave surfers paradise early and get to the venue early – as i didn’t want to get there late in the event i take the wrong turn and went on an adventure (more on that later :)) – so we eventually got to the venue around 5:30pm (yeah yeah – early, but i like being early). antonio and i had a quick change of clothes and then we went and stood in line. once the doors opened, off we went inside and when we check in, we got a free hat! how awesome is that! once inside, we were directed like cattle πŸ™‚ to photo booths where they take photos of us. from there, into a large venue where you had the bar, could take photos of horses and the dogs from the show etc. there was also pre show entertainment who sang a lot a country type songs. was cool sitting down and just enjoying ourselves. then everyone was split according to their hats – the hats either had a red band or a yellow band, which is part of the show. everyone went into the venue and once you found your seat, you had your starter (the show included a 3 course meal). our started was a spinach and ricotta quiche. was delicious. once we finished eating, the show began. it started with a video clip on the HUGEST screen (one side of the venue is a white wall where all the cast and horses come out of – and a video is projected on the wall). it started off showing amazing scenes of Australia and the Outback. was really cool how during certain portions of the video, you’d see a horse rider in the video coming towards the corner of the “screen” and then all of the sudden, a real horse rider would come running into the venue from that corner. was really amazing. there were lots of bush stories and “competitions” between the 2 stations (as signified by the red and yellow hats). we were given our main course during the middle of the show which included eye fillet steak with plum sauce (delicious! and they served lots of drinks throughout the show and they were included in the price) – and while were eating the cast of the show were in the middle of the set telling bush stories about horses and Australia. the next portion of the show included telling the story of the legendary horse called Phar Lap – one of the greatest horses ever to be produced in Australia (if it was an american horse, it would most probably get a movie like Sea Biscuit and some other horses got). in the end, there were more competitions on stage and then they also included the audience in the competition. they had the cutest dwarf horses. everyone went like “cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute” πŸ™‚ our desserts was awesome pavlova – and then the final portion of the show was all the cast on horse back doing amazing “dancing” with the horses. all in all, it was a great way to spend the evening (the only thing that ruined my evening was the 2 couples sitting next to me – who arrived late, moaned about the food, argued with the waiters that they were strict vegetarians who didn’t eat eggs and then they demanded the pavlova (like WTF), and then left early. but at least i still enjoyed the show even if they didn’t). i would definitely recommend the show to anyone – great story, great food, great venue and just a great night out.

The Australian Flag outside the venue

The entrance to the venue

Just outside the main hall of the venue

one of the horses

so, even though the day was gloomy and rainy, we actually had a great time.

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Exploring Brisbane and the surrounds – part 1

this past weekend I had my sister visiting from Sydney. i haven’t seen her since she moved to australia in October 2009, so it was nice that she came to visit so soon after we arrived here.

now, the weather the past week and a bit has been pretty dreary – rain, rain and yet more rain. now, it was nothing on the scale of the rain that queensland experienced last year in january when brisbane flooded, along with many other small towns and communities. seeing all the videos on the news in the 2nd week of january still doesn’t put into perspective how badly it flooded. today on our way back from a meeting, anne pointed out to me the extent of the flooding in the Brisbane river – we drove over a bridge which was approx 6m above the river level – and the bridge was actually totally covered and the hills up to about another 3m! that is INSANE! some of the images we saw was of the river walkway that was built on the river washing down the river! craziness. so you can imagine with all the rain how the people that lived through it last year felt. there were lots of areas flooding in and around Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

so, with my sister visiting, it was raining and that limited our options of what to do. usually if it’s sunny, we would have gone to one of the theme parks or go lie on the beaches (some of which were actually washed away). but we had to make other plans to maximise the fun of the long weekend πŸ™‚ (thursday was Australia Day, a public holiday – and i was given friday off – so it was a nice long weekend). first things first – off to collect Melanie from the airport. she was supposed to land at 10pm at the Brisbane domestic terminal, but of course, with all the rain she was delayed by an hour from Sydney. now, Brisbane domestic terminal is one giant ass construction zone – so needless to say it was messy when arriving there and trying to figure out where to go. in south africa at OR Tambo, everyone goes to the same counters and the same gates to get to departures. here there are 3 distinct areas – Qantas arrivals and departures, JetStar arrivals and departures and right at the far end, Virgin Australia which Melanie flew. very messy and disorganised.

anyways, when she finally got off the plane, we were off! it had managed to stop raining wednesday night so it was nice to drive home. when we got home, antonio and i set about pumping up the air mattress with a foot pump! it took us like an hour to get it done! quite a leg workout! (And then of course we had to re-pump it every night because it seems to have a slow leak 😦 ). we eventually went to bed after midnight… thursday morning arrived – dull and dreary outside BUT not raining! so first thing we did was buy tickets for a show for Friday called the “Australian Outback Spectacular”. once we ate a hearty breakfast, we quickly got ready to tackle the weekend and try to make the most of the break in the rain.

first thing we decided to do was to go to Mt Coot-tha. Mt Coot-tha is the highest point in Brisbane being 287m above sea level and it offers a great view of Brisbane. It’s a nice drive up to the top (and of course there was a traffic officer with a radar gun checking speed – which is 50kph), and once at the top, there is tons of tourists! obviously everyone had the same idea as we had to make the most of the dry. Other things to do at Mt Coot-tha is to visit the botanical gardens and the planetarium, and for the health conscious, there are quite a few hikes in the area.

The view from Mt Coot-tha of the Brisbane CBD

with my sister

after we took the obligatory snaps of the CBD and the surrounding areas, we decided that the next place we were going to visit was Mt Tamborine and go to the Skywalk. Mt Tamborine is just south of Brisbane – in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Had a lovely drive on the winding roads, lush green fields, TONS of horses, creeks etc. Very scenic and idillic. really pretty! the drive up to the Skywalk is stunning and EXTREMELY twisty! can’t really drive more than 30kph for fear of driving off the side of the road – but it’s really great πŸ™‚ once we were up at the Skywalk, you pay a couple of dollars entrance fee and then you just follow the path. we were there for almost 2 hours – it’s just so nice walking through rainforest, listening to all the insects making noise, listening to the river running through it. i was a bit disappointed that i didn’t get to see any koalas or wombats etc (but i’m guessing we’ll just have to go to a zoo to see them). we saw some amazing ferns growing in trees, lovely orchids and vines that have twisted their way around other trees… just so pretty.

The Skywalk Entrance

a view of the skywalk

pretty ferns

some plants

interesting "flowers" of the tree

close up on an orchid

a little stream

the river running through the rain forest

a view from the cantilever bridge

a cute insect (with a scorpion look a like tail)

i have too many pictures to upload, so these are just a snapshot. once we were done at the Skywalk, we drove down Mt Tamborine and off to the Gold Coast again. We went for a quick walk on the beach – even though quite a lot of sand was taken by the sea and the seas were quite rough. It was nice to just walk on the edge of the pacific ocean and see how people were enjoying the break in the rain. from there, we drove back home to go rest – otherwise you wipe yourself out before you’re even halfway through the weekend! πŸ™‚

well, that’s it for part 1. i will post the rest of the weekend in separate posts – depending on how much time i have to write it all up πŸ™‚



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my precioussssss

ever since i saw the new kia rio last year, i was drawn to it’s prettyness and just general awesome look πŸ™‚ with us moving to australia, i obviously didn’t think of buying one in SA, but i had to contain myself not to stalk the car at the dealership – hehe.

once we landed in brisbane, i started doing my car search, but of course my first stop was kia – i had previously communicated with a dealership here indicating that i’m looking for the 1.6 SLi automatic. initially i was told that they don’t have any in stock because kia isn’t allocating that many to australia at this stage. but luckily within a week of arriving, the dealer informed me that they have a black demo model that kia is lending them. i of course jumped at the chance to go for a test drive. it drives very nicely – the only thing here in australia is that they are really strict with traffic laws, so you can’t speed to test the performance. but at least the drive is really good and the SLi has everything already on the car – no options to add (except parking sensors).

after the test drive, i expressed my interest in buying one – but the salesman initially could not tell me when they’re getting any new ones – they were waiting for the delivery from south korea. and i was also interested in 2 other colours that i saw in the brochure. he eventually found out that they got a car with the colour “latte” coming in within january. i was a bit iffy because i was drawn to the darker colours. but to book the latte, i needed to put down a $500 deposit. i also spoke to the financial officer and he applied for pre-approval for finance for me.

last week i got the good news that the latte rio was going to be arriving at the dealership friday and that i would then be able to go and look at the colour and see if it’s the colour i want. when antonio and i got there, we immediately knew that it’s the car for me πŸ™‚ so we went in and booked it. the finance guy said that my finance was approved (and there was no problem with it – unlike telstra who still refuses to give me a cellphone contract!). what was lovely was that there was such a tense atmosphere in the dealership because my sales guy didn’t tell the other salesmen that i had already booked it and those salesmen had to inform their interested parties that the car was already sold πŸ™‚ i was then told that i could fetch my car on tuesday 18 january. the car first needed to get the paint treatment and windows tinted before i collected the car.

on monday i phoned the dealership to confirm that i could fetch the car tuesday and the salesman asked me for my queensland drivers licence so that they could register the car. he seemed to have forgotten that i’ve only been in oz for 2 weeks – so i had to go take all my identification and utility bill and rental agreement and my whole life again to the dealership so that they could use that to register it. this was done on my first day of work where i eventually only spent like 4 hours at work and 3 hours at the car dealership. my boss Anne was with me the whole time. while we were there, we started pushing them to see if they could get everything done so that i could get my car monday night. so at 4pm they went online to start registering my car – we just managed to squeeze it in before the traffic dept closed. so then the rest of the afternoon we waited for the finance guy who had 4 other people come finalise their purchase as well. i eventually finished signing all documents just before 7pm and then got my car at 7pm.

i was so happy – finally got my own set of wheels! i like my independence and prefer being able to go wherever i want. i really appreciated anne’s help taking us around brissy and fetching me for work, but it’s not something i like to do for long. independance is always better πŸ™‚

so, here are some photos for my new precious πŸ™‚

in SA, the models that are on sale is the 1.2 and the 1.4 l models. in australia, you also get the 1.6 with 103kW. sorry if it seems technical – i just know it means there is more power in the 1.6 πŸ™‚ the model i bought was the 1.6 automatic – i love just putting my foot down and the car does everything else. no more manual for traffic! WOOHOO! πŸ™‚

in other news, been at work for 3 days so far – basically the same as in SA, just waiting for the amount of work to increase – currently getting familiar with the projects that are currently on the go here. looking forward to learning more and meeting new clients.

have a great day!

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And so ends week 2

it feels a bit hard to imagine that week 2 is coming to an end – it hasn’t been the most eventful week, still was doing some admin and just getting some essentials for the house.

the first “major” thing we got for the apartment was a desk / bookcase combo from ikea. i have been in a ikea previously – that was in abu dhabi and dubai, but i never bought anything because i was there. but now that we’re in australia, we can actually buy stuff.

ikea actually has a really good range of stuff to buy – and they have a LOT! it’s difficult walking in there and only getting what you need – and not go crazy and forget what your actual purpose is there and buy the whole store (which would only be possible if you were filthy rich because ikea does go on and on and on and on… ). for those that haven’t been inside an ikea, the store is divided into 4 areas – the restaurant (which makes good food and its cheap), the showroom, an area where you select all the small stuff for the house and then the warehouse.

at ikea they have designed the stores that kinda force you to walk through ALL the display areas in the showroom. it’s mostly one way – and unless you know shortcuts between the different areas (such as living areas, kitchens, Β bedrooms etc) you have to go through the whole store. the showroom shows all the stuff they sell set up as various sets. when you start off in the display room, you take a piece of paper and pencil that ikea provides, and whichever items you’re interested in, you write the details down and also where to find them in the warehouse.

once you’re finished in the massive showrooms, you move on to the selection area where you select stuff for kitchens, bathrooms, decorations etc. that is also just as big. once you’ve got those items, you move to the warehouse which is pretty huge and then you select the items that you want to purchase. these are your big items which all come packaged. from there, you go an pay – and they have self check out terminals where you scan all your items yourself and then pay by card. no one helps you. of course we’ve seen this at other stores as well – reduces labour. and don’t think that you can just walk out without scanning everything – there are cameras watching you, plus there are 2 security guards that ensure you do scan your stuff.

the beauty of the stuff from ikea is that it all needs to be put together by you. so the bookcase / desk combo we bought came in 2 flat boxes. at home, it took me not even 30 minutes to put everything together. everything is really easy to put together – screws and wooden pegs. the result of my “handy man” phase was this:

the desk and bookcase combo

the only thing that is currently missing is the iMac that i want to buy πŸ™‚

during this past week, we also took a drive down to the gold coast – just to do a little bit of exploring. before we went, we first went to get gotags – these tags are used for the tollgates that are on some of the freeways around brisbane. so yes, we always complain about the tollgates that they’re putting up in SA – but i thought i could get away from them, but got them here as well. anyways πŸ™‚ driving to the gold coast is nice – as you reach the gold coast, you see turn offs from the freeway for WB Movie World, Wet ‘n Wild water world, Dream World theme park and another water world. Seaworld is also on the gold coast. so there is more than enough to do – on top of the beaches and other drives through the mountains etc.

interesting fact: Gold Coast is actually the 2nd largest city in Queensland and 6th largest in Australia – having a population of 540,000. i always thought it was just an area – but it’s actually considered a city. the border between queensland and new south wales also runs between the gold coast, but only in the extreme south of queensland.

while we drove around, we just wanted to get to the ocean – wanted to see it and put our feet in the water. we eventually stopped at broadbeach – there is approx 70km of beaches on the gold coast apparently. and it’s quite busy but really pretty – as can be seen below

A view from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise (those high rises are all holiday apartments!)

Looking south towards Tweed Head and Coolongatta

this was my first experience in the waters of the pacific – it’s lovely and warm πŸ™‚ not like the waters around cape town! we didn’t spend much time there because antonio has been sick since we got here (he is doing a lot better than what he was), so we just took a drive along the beach up through surfers paradise. very pretty – does have a feeling of camps bay – very pretty. we will be going back later once antonio is 100% better – can’t wait!

other than that, we haven’t done a huge amount of sight seeing. we were still sorting out admin – we finally received our bank cards and medicare card in the post. we got our tax numbers as well. so nice how everything is posted with no problems. now at least we can use our money in the bank accounts here instead of using my SA account and have everything converted to rands. it’s awful when you still think about rands. and having a bank card and the medicare card also makes it easier to apply for stuff here – because they want 100 points of identification – and at minimum it must be passport, bank card and medicare card. without they refuse to actually help you.

and as we are south africans, we don’t have queensland drivers licences – and drivers licences seem to be one of the easiest ways to get anything done here. so yesterday we actually went to the traffic department where we started the process of getting our drivers licence. sadly it cannot just be converted, we actually have to a written and practical exam to get our drivers licence. i sommer did the written portion yesterday and scored 30/30. was happy about that because it costs $20 each time to write the test. antonio couldn’t do his because the bank messed up his bank card by leaving part of his surname off his bank card, and the lady at the traffic dept said that it needs to match his passport with his full name *sigh* so we will go back again to get that sorted. for me to do my practical, i need to go to a driving school for a lesson and using their car – because i need to do it with a manual – and the rental car is automatic, plus my car i’m getting next week is also an automatic. i have realised that i am going to have to practice the parallel parking thing, because i seem to be extremely bad at it currently πŸ™‚ in south africa, we usually could just drive into the parking bay – here they LOVE parallel parking. but anyways, we have another 2 and a half months that we can drive with our SA licences – so got enough time πŸ™‚

speaking of cars, i have almost got my car. we ordered one last week – but we weren’t sure about the colour (the kia dealership gets batches of car and they never really know what colours are going to be on the ship) – so i was told that the colour they definitely know that is coming is “latte”. it’s a pretty colour in the brochure, but i was drawn to the colours “dark blue” and “graphite”. so i put a deposit down to book the car (they didn’t have a buyer for it yet) – but i wasn’t sure about the colour. then yesterday i was told the car had arrived and i quickly went to check it out – it’s an awesome colour – love it and then i said i’m definitely taking it. so they are doing the window tint and the paint protection and then i will be picking it up tuesday morning! cannot wait!

soon to be mine!

i am financing the car – and i got the finance very easily! i was pre-approved even without my contract. on the other hand, i cannot get a cellphone contract because i dont have a credit history! now that is super silly – you’d think that getting a cellphone contract would be the easiest way to get credit and start building up a credit history! but of course not – my life was not going to be that easy. the poor sales girl at telstra tried her best, but the credit department was useless saying that i don’t have a credit history and i’d have to build it up first before i can get a contract. now, doesn’t that sound like the chicken and egg problem.

i’ve been sounding like a broken record to antonio and the sales person, but how is a person supposed to build a credit record if i can’t apply for credit. really retarded. and you’d think i would have no problems because i could apply for car finance – but anyways <end rant> πŸ™‚

i’ve also joined a medical aid (on top of medicare) – they say to join private medical aid, just so that we can also go to private hospitals and just have more cover. was simple enough and we just joined over the phone. i’ve also signed up for internet – i should get it in approx 7 business days – it might seem long, but we live in a building where the services are managed by a company called OptiComm. the whole building has already been wired for fibre, but they first need to configure all the access, and only once that is done, will a service provider start setting up the service for me. then i called a service provider which has an agreement with OptiComm to provide internet and phone to my apartment. the option i chose was fibre to the home (FTTH) which is 100Mbps and i’m starting off with 100GB per month. no contract, so i can cancel or upgrade as i see fit. gonna be awesome – seeing as my line at home in south africa was. gonna be lightning fast now – hehe πŸ™‚

i also saw kevin and anne this weekend. which meant that i finally got my work contract – which also helps getting admin done. and i also learnt the dangers of the gps when i went to meet them at toowong towers – if you don’t specify the exact suburb and the street, the gps will take you somewhere totally different. i went to a car dealership the morning i met kevin – and from the car dealership, it should’ve taken me 5 minutes to get to toowong towers, meanwhile i was driving far and when i saw the gps wanted to take me over the river i was like “wtf – this is wrong” – and google maps on my phone saved me when i saw what other options i had to get to toowong. good thing otherwise i would’ve been an hour late methinks πŸ™‚ but all worked out in the end – i’ve already learnt a couple roads and how to get to places such as the chermside mall, the cbd and ikea without using the gps. still got lots of new roads to learn though.

i know i’ve already posted a picture of the cruise terminal that is across the road from us, but i’m posting some more because there has now been 2 ships docked here this part week and another cruise ship just went past the one that is currently docked here this morning.

The Sun Princess

The Pacific Dawn with another ship coming down the river

The smaller cruise ship coming down the river this morning

i just love being able to look outside the apartment and have this vista in front of me. one day in the future antonio and i will also be boarding one of these cruise ships and going for a cruise for 7 or 15 days πŸ™‚ think it would be a lovely holiday. Β also options are available to fly to sydney and catch one of the other cruise ships that are available in these areas.

other than that, nothing much of interest has happened. brisbane had it hottest day since 2004 this week. was only 37, but the humidity does make it worse… but compared to abu dhabi and it’s 45 or so, this isn’t that bad. but we do have aircon in our apartment, so it does help to keep us cool, plus we can go downstairs and swim.

this weekend is going to be lazy – i’m taking the rental car back later today, so the next 2 days we will be making use of public transport – such as the city cat to go into the city or further down the river. monday i start work – s0 my 2 weeks of holiday are actually almost finished – which is sad. would’ve loved having a holiday of like a month! but no such luck πŸ™‚ and then the other thing to really look forward to is that i’m getting my car next week tuesday. that will be the highlight of my week next week.

i’m leaving you with some photos of our trip down the river as well as of our apartment building

looking at the CBD from South Bank

The view from Newstead/New Farm towards Hamilton - our apartment is just behind the tallest building in the right of the picture

Our building - check the red block in the picture - that's our apartment on the 14th floor

Our apartment building (on the right) at night

Portside Wharf and Hamilton Harbour (our apartment building is the 2nd tallest building in the middle of the picture)

i hope you all have a great weekend! and for those in the eastern cape talking about the heater there, hopefully you get some respite and it rains.

take care!

As so starts week 2

to think – this time last week, Antonio and i were 2 hours away from landing in brisbane. it feels as if time has flown by so fast and that the last week was a little bit of a blur.

since we’ve landed, we’ve moved into our new apartment, used public transport (city cat on the river), explored a bit, applied for tax number, opened a bank account, joined medicare, spent money to buy some stuff for the apartment and some clothes (we purged a lot when we moved). i’ve rented a car to start being more self sufficient, taken antonio to the doctor because he got a cold – most probably caught something from the flights and the stress of the move and then the humidity and air conditioning. we’ve booked a car that we are going to purchase – just waiting for the correct colour. and we’ve spent a day at home just chilling.

looking back, it has been quite busy, the dust is settling from the move and now we are ready to tackle week 2. as i am still on leave, we’re going to try to see how to arrange our queensland drivers licences, buying the car and just exploring more. it all just requires us to leave the comfort of nice cool apartment for the heat and humidity outside (it’s supposed to be 35 today).

in other interesting news, there was a qantas flight this past weekend where turbulence was so bad and so sudden that there were 11 people injured on the flight. just brings back memories of our flight last week from abu dhabi to singapore where we had severe turbulence as well. about 5 minutes or so before we hit the turbulence, the captain put the seatbelt sign on and even told the cabin crew to go sit (it was in the middle of supper service). when we hit that turbulence, it was actually quite scary because we dropped a couple feet the whole time. i was actually holding on to the seat in front of me because the drop was so sudden. it was about 10 minutes of serious turbulence before we got through it. don’t know if anyone has experienced that before, but it’s not nice. and then when you see a story on the tv where people were injured because of turbulence, you realise how luck you were.

but enough of that – it’s the start of the new week – let’s get ready to tackle it with gusto! πŸ™‚