Month: February, 2010

Twas the Night Before Med School

And all was exciting!

I had my international students only orientation today, which was somewhat informative but really was another excuse to see the international students. There was a guy who had been in Adelaide for the past month but missed out on a lot because he wasn’t on the mailing list, a girl who arrived just yesterday and many usual people that I’ve seen already. We have our own winery tour on Saturday so that should be fun times.

I got my eyes checked and ordered glasses for next week. My right eye is the “bad eye” and if I was to get contacts, I would only need one for my bad eye. I think I will get used to wearing glasses first then move onto contacts or something. The optometrist was very nice and said that my English sounds funny – he was Asian so I wasn’t offended but maybe I would’ve been if he was white?

Tonight I took Shawn to Third Foot Adelaide’s West Coast Swing dance lesson and social dance. He had done WCS before but I am pretty sure he learned it wrong it Saskatoon because his counts are off. Other than that, he’s a fairly strong leader and gentle enough too. Many women were thrilled that there was another young guy with potential and very glad that he would be around for the next 4 years. Shawn enjoyed it a lot too so we’ll be going back as often as we can.

I gotta get up bright and early tomorrow and make my way to school to get my locker and start orienting. After a full day of orientation is a pre-drinks party at a second year’s house then a meet and greet at a bar. It’s going to be awesome!! 🙂


Visas and health issues

At the internationals’ dinner last Saturday night, I spoke to some second years who strongly advised me that getting Shawn onto my visa would be very helpful for his job hunting in Australia. Given that he hasn’t had any luck yet and thinking out the logic behind it, we decided to do just that.

Because of internet technicalities, we have to lodge paper applications for our visas and I noticed that on the paper forms, it asks me if I will be studying to become a doctor and if so, I would need a medical check done!! Online forms just asked if I would be working as a doctor so I didn’t need a medical check for the student visa I got back in October. Some second years thought it was weird that some of us didn’t get a medical check but I guess now I need to have it done.

I went to the medibank office for my first appointment where they do screening, bloodwork and x-rays. During my screening, I flunked the eye test with my right eye. It was pretty pathetic. I couldn’t make out even the single biggest letter on the wall – I guessed an H, it was a T. Although U of Saskatchewan med students were in awe of my apparent 20/20 vision by their ways of testing eye sight, today’s eye exam revealed that I am almost blind in one eye. This would explain why the other eye twitches and I get massive headaches. Shawn thinks that this would also explain why I sometimes think that he is making weird faces at me.

So I booked an appointment with an optometrist this Thursday after my orientation. I’ve been here for a while, enjoying a leisurely lifestyle and just as school is about to start, I have these errands and issues pop up. That’s the way it goes!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love. Love. Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 🙂

I slept in after staying until midnight at last night’s dinner at Dr. Tony Edwards’ house for the international students. I gotta get my social fitness on. I met some very lovely friendly people and the food was amazing. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet and mingle. I can’t wait until O-Week activities and school starts!! It’s going to be so much fun!!!

Shawn and I had lunch at Sushi Train on Grenfell St. I’ve been having sushi quite often because it’s relatively cheap and pretty good quality. We picked up some chocolate at Haigh’s and headed up to Adelaide Zoo.

We saw lots of animals at the zoo and I was surprised at how much fun it was. There were some native Australian animals like koalas, kangaroos, wallabys, etc. and the zoo just got two giant pandas in December so we went to see them too. For a zoo that’s within walking distance from downtown, it was impressively big and entertaining.

I was pretty tired from walking around and got a few mosquito bites including one on my foot!! So we ordered great Indian food from Raj on Taj – Hyde Park instead of going out for a Valentine’s dinner. This week is going to be pretty hectic. Some housekeeping errands to run and orientation activities begin! 🙂

Thursday Nights

I now know what I will be doing on Thursday nights when I don’t need to be studying or other school-related things.

West Coast Swing at Third Foot Adelaide!!

I have known for a while that there was a WCS group in Adelaide but kept forgetting to go check it out. I’m so glad that I went. People were very friendly, welcoming and quality of instruction was impressive. There are some good dancers and lots for me to learn, which is great!! I got a concession rate for a lesson, which is 45 minutes long followed by 30 minutes of dancing. Some dance studios offer classes and dances that run way too long that you become a sloppy tired dancer but I think 1.25 hours of dancing is perfect. They even did a warm up sort of line dancing! After learning all 14 moves of the beginner course, you can enter a competition and get a medallion that puts you on the international swing something registry (I think it’s like Taewondo). At the end of the night, I met a few people during the class and afterward at the bakery, and was given a ride home by a complete stranger. I am so happy that I went there and I will try to go as often as I can. 🙂

No More Melting!!

I bought a portable air con today at The Good Guys – Edwardstown from a Canadian salesperson, Paul W. He offered a great deal on a unit that was already on sale and now my lounge is at a cool 24 degrees. 8)

The hot weather in Adelaide comes in waves. There are warm days where temperatures linger at high 20’s during the day and it’s cooler in the mornings and evenings. Once in a while, there are cool days where temperature “falls” to low 20’s and you see a few people wearing sweaters and jackets. Then there are 3-4 days of heat wave, where temperatures spike up to above 30’s and reach even over 40’s. It’s not too different from severe heat wave days in Toronto where people are encouraged to stay inside and drink lots of fluid and tele-commute to work, except that people here go about their own business like it’s another day. Some even wear jeans – full-length!!

Thankfully, the next few days will be cooler. I hope there won’t be too many more heat waves for the rest of this summer.

Waiting Game

So it’s been a month now since I’ve been in Adelaide. Now that I’m pretty much all set up, I need to think of ways to fill my days because internet can only entertain me for so long.

I made an eye pillow from scratch. I went to Lincraft (kind of like a mixture of Fabricland and Michael’s but more chaotic and less pretty) and got fabrics and a sewing kit. I picked up some linseeds (flaxseeds) and dried lavender flowers from health food stores in Central Market. When I was in Toronto, I really enjoyed restorative yoga classes at Kula yoga and I have been wanting to get an eye pillow ever since. I was so surprised at how relaxing it is. Now that I’ve made one with the help of internet, I can relax my eyes any time I want. I plan to make one for Shawn too.

I’ve been to the library, the beach, and I don’t want to go to my school because I will be there plenty later on. International and interstate students are arriving now to settle in before school begins. I went out for a meet and greet dinner and drinks with them last Saturday and there were about 20 people who showed up. We ate at a nice Thai restaurant called Lemongrass, then moved a few blocks down to Belgium Beer Cafe where I had a glass of Stella Artois. Maybe I’m going into student mode (and I usually hate beer) but I enjoyed my beer very much. Some second years came by to meet us and lead us to a place with cheaper beer across the street, called Electric Light Hotel. Thinking back, I can’t remember many people very well but there will be lots of time to be spent with each other in the years to come.

One thing I took away from the beer night is that people in Adelaide dress up to go to the bar. Like clubbing dress up. So yesterday, I went to the Marion shopping centre to escape the heat and to pick up a pair of heels. It’s been pretty hot the last few days and although there are many great things about my place, air conditioning is not one of them. So I am wondering now if I should get one because I can’t focus enough to make food, let alone study, when it’s hot. I will probably buy one tomorrow.

Two Weeks in Twenty Items

On the jetty in Glenelg

1) I moved into an apartment! It’s close to the city and to a bus stop where I can catch my school buses. It’s recently renovated and barely furnished but good enough for living. I’m not in a huge hurry to buy absolutely everything.

2) I’ve been testing out recipes and eating fairly well. I have even been writing them in my recipe book. It really helps that the quality of food is great at the markets. The past few days, I have had green curry with chicken, salmon nori rolls over soba noodles, East African sweet potato corn patties, and prawns (shrimp) in chili garlic sauce.

3) The hot weather makes me drink water a lot. I don’t think it’s 8 cups a day but probably close to 6 cups.

4) The night sky in my neighbourhood is very clear that stars are super bright. I want to pick up on constellation books so I can identify star patterns like I used to when I was a child.

5) Sizes for clothes are weird here. I have been a size 0 and a size 8 on the same day.

6) Shawn is looking for a job. It’s slow going but he’s working on it.

7) Going to Glenelg beach and feeling the ocean breeze reminds me each time how much I love oceans and the salty air.

8) Coffee is better here compared to Starbucks back home. There is a large Italian population in Adelaide so there’s quality to maintain. There’s usually no brewed coffee in cafés, they make it to order. It’s easy to find good pastries at the market too. I like Cibo.

9) Shawn and I met up with “Canadians in South Australia” group. Most of them are older, around our parents’ ages but it’s good to have Canadian connections in a foreign land.

10) I’ve met up with some fellow future meddies and well, it’s going to be an interesting experience.

11) It looks like my fitness aspect of life will have to be satisfied at home. I am not into club-scene meat-market gyms and my school gym kind of sucks for the 3 million it took to build. My xpert x-pole arrived yesterday. I have yet to try bikram yoga here and that’s on my to-do’s for next week!

12) In one of the “How I Met Your Mother” episodes, Marshall and Lily have something called death letters. They contain important information about personal accounts and any last words. I started mine today…just in case!

13) Public transportation here is good and bad. Shawn and I like the tram quite a bit – especially the new red and blue ones. Buses are hit and miss but there are plenty – if you are not in a hurry.

14) I went to my first Aussie house party last Saturday to celebrate Kate’s birthday. Really, I don’t know how I would’ve turned out without her help in my first week and a half in Australia. She’s wonderful and I am glad to have caught up with her over coffee this week.

15) Mangos are still awesome but we’re going into melon season now! Mmm rockmelons (cantalopes).

16) I get lots of perks with my full-time student status. Concession prices on public transport and movie tickets! I joined Palace Nova Cinemas to get $10 tickets + 2 free tickets.

17) I don’t know if it’s because people don’t tip here or wages are not based on concession but customer service can be pretty awful. Especially Adam internet call-centre people.

18) There’s a chocolate museum near my place. It’s the same company as the one we get truffles from few times a week, called Haigh’s Chocolates.

19) I’ve bought lots of organic/natural beauty products to keep me hydrated and well-adjusted to this Mediterranean climate. I think it’s working and my face smells heavenly.

20) I miss my family including my love Skylar. But each day goes by too quickly.

Cathay Pacific Flight Pictures

As I think I promised, here are some pictures on our Cathay Pacific flights. This one will be a photo-post. We flew from Vancouver to Hong Kong then to Adelaide.

Shawn filling in the form for his Asia Miles membership in Vancouver airport

Shawn with his remote control for his TV and...well, Asian Mr. Bean. 🙂

My dinner

Shawn's dinner

Flying over Japan

"Asian Breeze": A really lovely fruity floral drink!

Flying business class

I love toiletry goodies.

Fancier dinner as I watched Will & Grace

Tropical fruits and cheese tray for brunch. Dim sum followed.

Now that internet is in full motion, I will be blogging more regularly. Sorry about the absence! Updates to come!!