Thursday, July 3, 2008

Updates, updates, updates

The whole purpose of setting up this blog is to provide personal updates and so update I will.

It has been 12 days since I've landed in Sydney and I'm not sure if I've accomplished anything substantial yet. I have opened up an Australian bank account, transferred all my Singapore dollars into that account and got my ATM card working. That certainly put a large part of my mind at ease. Also, my 3 boxes arrived safely with only one opened by customs for inspection. I think everything is intact and that is good too. The only thing now is to find a place to neatly stash all my belongings in Ision's studio apartment (he complains night and day about the huge mess I make). We have to tidy the apartment up every Wednesday when his Reiki clients come visit and I think we are getting very good at speed-tidying.

Since I am not sure whether or not I will end up in Melbourne for the long term, I did not join a gym but instead bought a 10-visit pass at a gym near our place. I expected the 10-visit pass to be quite a bit cheaper than 10 individual visits (of $20 each) but I end up only saving $21 with the pass. Oh well, this is but a temporary arrangement and I can bear with it for the time being. The cost of living here is certainly higher than that of Singapore and I kind of just discovered that I might be earning less than my last-drawn salary. Oh well, what can I do if that's the case right?

The weather here is ultra nice but I guess my residual problem of nasal congestion (from all the dusty spring-cleaning work before I left for Sydney which triggered my allergic nose to go crazy) kind of lingered. It should have recovered by now because the air here is lighter and cleaner than Singapore's but it still hasn't. It is getting better though, slowly but surely. One great thing about the weather is that I can finally use my winter clothing, which I brought along with a lot of clothes from Singapore. I mean, a lot!!! I know I will not need to buy clothes for a long time but I guess I will (I like nice new clothes!) when I start to have an income.

And that brings us to the job front. Although it seems on the surface that I have not achieved much in this area because I am still jobless, in fact I have attended a first interview with the biggest recruitment agency in Australia. Too bad a lot of the jobs in my Chemical Engineering industry lie in the suburbs (about 1 to 2 hours away from Sydney's CBD on the train) and Ision doesn't really want to move to those places for fear of not being able to secure his own employment. However I still expressed my interest in those jobs during the interview because I want to have as many options as possible (a la kiasu Singaporeans).

The good thing though is that I have a big basket I can place most of my eggs in at the moment and that basket is the Process Engineer position for a really big company in Melbourne. My second interview has been scheduled on the 7th of July and the air ticket has already been paid for by the company. I just discovered that there is another candidate vying for the same position and this made me rather nervous about my chances (which dropped from 75% to less than 50%). I know that I have consciously not put in a lot of energy/emphasis into my career in the past because a balanced existence is my life's goal. I am just afraid that will show up in the interview in the form of a lack of solid work experience when asked behavioural- and scenario-based or technical questions. I only hope that the other guy doesn't have the experience I have working for the same company (but in Singapore), which is the only trump card I have under my sleeve. There are certainly more Chemical Engineering type jobs in Melbourne (compared to Sydney) and they are also much closer to the city or even within the city. Come to think of it, with or without this Melbourne job, I think it is still good to relocate to Melbourne to find a job. My only concern is that if that happens, Ision and I will both be jobless and that is kind of unacceptable. We have to discuss further about that.

Until that interview is over, I will not feel settled. And if I do get that job, I will try to delay my start date as much as possible so that I can move to Melbourne together with Ision (he needs to give 3 weeks' notice to his boss as well as his landlord). In the meantime, I can only sit on the edge of my chair, try my best to prepare for the interview and hope that the day will come as soon as possible. I hate interviews (all that faking, which I am not very good at) and it has been such a LONG while since my last interview. My rustiness in that is exacerbating my anxiety.

Other than the impending interview, there is nothing much happening for me except passing the time with jogging around the apartment (the waterfront view is excellent), hitting the gym, playing old computer games that I brought from Singapore and enjoying the pile of media I have downloaded over the past few years neatly stowed away in my two external hard drives.

I was supposed to have a weekly webcam chat with my mum on Monday evenings but I forgot about that last week and so I rescheduled the Monday session to today but no one is online at the moment and my niece is not replying to my messages. I need her to go online so that I can get the session going. If only my mum knows how to start a MSN video conversation. That being said, how many aunties in their 60s can do that in Singapore?

At the start of this new phase in my life, I told myself that I am no longer a tourist in a foreign country and so there should be less spending, eating and fun in general. On the plus side, I can maintain my weight (in fact I think I am getting lighter, which is always not a bad thing). Ision is a great cook (of course, anyone can be a great cook compared to me) and I really enjoy his culinary creations. In fact, I am eating steamed and pan-fried dumplings straight from the steamer/pan as I type this as he cooks away in the kitchen (it is his day off). I would rather stay at home most of the time for now to curb my spending (no income = minimal spending) but when we settle down eventually, we will definitely go out more often (Ision prefers to stay at home and maybe his reason for that actually stems from the same source as my current one for doing so). Oh by the way, I have added Ision's earning/expenditure into my (TRADEMARK) budget spreadsheet and that Excel file is really getting more complicated and exciting.

So these are my updates in a nutshell of a blog entry. I am sure my future blog entries will branch away from mere reports of my boring life onto greater (and hopefully more interesting) things. I am glad that I started this blog and as a result can reach out to the maximum number of people with minimum effort.

Now I just need to spread the word that I am a resident of a new continent and a netizen of this new realm we call blogosphere.


Unknown said...

Woo Hoo.. sure are getting settled down really fast.

have fun...

Kim said...

Hey, thanks for the comment. It is the first one and it means a lot!!

Anyway, this is not my first time in Sydney lah. It used to be like my second home and now it IS my home! So I can adjust quite quickly and get things done fast.

How have you been? How's your job situation?

Anonymous said...

hey man, hang in there for its only a matter of time before u get a job. remember though, don't exaggerated during the interviews and tone down a bit. i reckon aussies are still conservative.

Kim said...

Yah, I will err on the conservative side for sure seeing that I have not stretched my interviewing muscles for a long time now.

I read your blog Gabriel. Very grey -- content and colour scheme. I guess you meant it to be like that.

Kenneth said...

Hey Kim - am just starting on reading your adventures now that you're in the land down under ... ;) All the best!

Kim said...

Thanks for dropping by Kenneth!!!