The Northern Territory

Welcome to the two season state in Australia!

Autumn was just started and the temperature was down to 9-14°C at night when I left Perth. There were days when I wished the toilet seat had heater lol. On April 27th, I said bye bye to the cold weather (it wasn’t even that cold because it wasn’t even winter!). I left Perth wearing t-shirt, covered by a sweater and it didn’t take 10 minutes to have my body sweating from the heat in Darwin lol. Darwin was fcking hot and humid!

I went straight to my new place, hungry, and a kind housemate appeared and shared her lunch with me *cryinghysterically*. Thank you Okta! My place was located not far from the CBD and omg Darwin CBD is so small xD. I remember Han was astonished when we went to Perth CBD and he said: I feel like coming from the jungle, there are no tall buildings in Darwin CBD like this. LOL. I felt like downgrading myself but who cares! I’ve got a job hereeee!!! Actually, Darwin is not that pathetic; speaking of tall buildings, I think the hotel where I work at is high, 26 floors tho! But yea, you can barely see other tall buildings here, you can only count with one hand lol! And whoever said Perth is quiet, Darwin is much much more quiet to me T^T. And it’s a good thing when the centre is small, you can walk on foot to everywhere. I only have to walk 25 mins from my place to the hotel 😉

I completed all application documents on my first day in Darwin and I got accepted right away; would start working on May 2nd! I also remember Han suggested me to print out my resumes, take a day to walk around the city and drop them to restaurants, cafes, etc. The dry season had just started in Darwin and that means more tourists will come, good business, and more people to hire. Han also said finding a job in Darwin wasn’t hard therefore he insisted me to move here ASAP. What he said was right. The day after I came to Darwin, I dropped my resumes and one restaurant called me and asked me to work starting on THAT DAY. *cheers to a new good life xD*

Exotic North Indian Cuisine (image from Google)

Exotic North Indian Cuisine is practically the first job I had in Darwin. It’s located in Cullen Bay and it has a beautiful view of parked private boats in Cullen Bay Marina area. Many customers said we have the best Indian foods in Darwin, some of them also said, the best Indian foods they had ever tasted. I agree tho, the foods there are super delicious! I got accepted there as a waitress and all the people there were soooo kind :'( Especially other waitresses; they taught me everything and molded me from nothing to be a waitress that receives appreciations from customers. All the kitchen staffs are Punjabi people and most of the waitresses are Nepalese. They are soooo kind, love them :’).

Working as waitress became my second job and I only worked in evening. My first job is of course working as housekeeper at Oaks Elan Darwin Hotel.

Image from Google

My first 2 months there was hard! Housekeeping was haaaaaardddd! You rooms need to be (almost) perfect: clean, nice, tidy, and presentable. To make a very nice room is not hard but the problem is you need to get it done within a limited period of time. My manager, supervisor, and workmates are nice and kind but I was stressful because of myself lol. I always came late because I wasn’t get used to the routines. In the end, I still often finish late but as long as the rooms are clean, it’s tolerable. What I like about working at the hotel (especially in Australia), they are fair to you. Everything is money (not to mention the pay rate here is good xD). Weekdays, weekend, and public holiday have different rates. In Indonesia, I will not be happy if I have to work on weekend or public holiday but here, I happily welcome the roster because those days mean mooore money lol. Another benefit working as housekeeper is that you can keep the items that the guests left; we call it SHOPPING. Like recently, a big group of Singapore Defense Army stayed at our hotel. There were 2 batches, each batch stayed around 3 weeks. Those Singaporean bought so so so so so many things (especially foods) while were staying at our apartment rooms. They liked to cook by themselves. Whenever we did their check out rooms, it was like two sides of a coin: felt so crazy and tired to clean the super duper messy room but at the same time, you’ll find so many items left that you may need. It saves you so much money xD. The leftover things you can get: foods, spices, rice, fruits, instant noodles, ice creams, beers and wines, mosquito repellent, shampoos, liquid soaps, vapes, even household items, and of course, money :v

I’m still working there now and everything is better. Love being there <3

Really nice heh?

As WHV holder, we tend to get more physical jobs in the field that are seen lowly in Indonesia. There’s no way I have experience as waitress or housekeeper in Indonesia therefore it was kinda hard to apply the job here unless you have a good connection (so the employer can be more rest assured to hire you coz some don’t care about experience because they will train you anyway) or you’re one of the LUCKY BASTARDS (that’s how we call lucky whv holders here lol). The key to survive is to have the can-do attitude and maintain good relationship with workmates.

My manager in the middle
Before morning briefing lol
Wait until you see housekeepers with make up. *Damn blurred T^T*

I think I am so lucky, I met so many good people here from many nationalities. And I am so thankful because I made new good friends here, with Indonesians. With friends, life becomes so much easier and enjoyable. Because of them, I become happier. You’ll find the story soon 😉

Forever Home

If you have read my previous post, you’d remember I wrote about how I sensed Mark would be one of my biggest support systems. When my contractor contacted me that our farm cut me off, I was kinda in shock although I was expecting it to happen too at the same time. I only thought about one thing: I just wanted to runaway from Gingin. LOL! But, I got no money so I couldn’t afford to pay rent if I want to come back to Perth. I called my previous landlord but he didn’t pick up then I called Mark right away, in tears lol! After I explained everything, I asked, “Would you please help me to stay there and let me pay the rent later when I get any job?”. He answered right away, “I help you“.

I am forever grateful for your gesture, Mark <3

On 2nd April, I moved in to Mark’s house followed by a new guy a few hours later. He was Han; we talked earlier on Whatsapp regarding his choice to move in. My first impression of him: he was trying hard to look cool. HAHAHA. So, Han came to Perth from Darwin to pursue a new job which its office based in Perth. However, the recruitment process took so long that we even worried if Han didn’t get it ;( Meanwhile, I stayed jobless but thank God, I still got on-call job as cleaner. This time, it was Mark’s friend who helped me.

Wayne.

Wayne is Mark’s best friend and he owns a house nearby, only 4 houses away from Mark’s. He was going to renovate the house so he could move in and I was hired to clean the house and furniture which he eventually found it useless because he decided to put the house under major renovation lol. He was super funny and thoughtful! I was easily sweating while working and he was in panic; he kept shouting at me, “DRINK PRITHA, DRINK!” lol! And when I requested a 15 min lunch break, he said, “DON’T TAKE 15 MINS, TAKE 2 HOURS!” XD. Wayne became my best best best friend and I loooove him so much! He cared about me and Han; especially me coz Han is a guy lol! Sooooo, it was 3 of us in the house: Mark, Han, and Me. Sometimes 4, because Wayne often slept over at our place. And another friend of them, Duane, always paid a visit everyday. The house was merry and lively, I loooooveeeedddd the vibe.

My everyday routine was: woke up, had breakfast, applied many jobs online, cooked lunch for me and Han, sometimes stayed at home with Han, sometimes went somewhere with Han, then cooked dinner for me and Han, watched movies with Han and Mark, talked silly things with those guys including Wayne and Duane. Basically, Han and I were happy jobless pair. HAHA.

at the Fremantle.
I wasn’t sure if I took a pic of this beach but South Beach in Fremantle was also well known as dog beach.
At Cottesloe Beach. I spent hours swimming and tanning, I dunno what Han was doing lol!
On our way to have dinner at Northbridge.
Went to the market at Canning vale.
On our way to Serpentine, to see Ajahn Brahm’s meditation centre and Bodhinyana Monastery.
At Jhana Groove meditation centre.
Heirisson Island.
With this cutie at Heirisson Island.
With our friend, Hera, at Spencer Village food court. OMG, it has the best Indonesian restaurant!!!
The famous London court in Perth CBD.
Infinity flame.
State war memorial at Kings Park.
At Kings Park.

When we went to Kings Park, Han was informed he got the job. So happy!

Han was the one who helped me so much with the job thing. He is in the second year now and he had so much experience to tell. He taught me many things and he helped me to find a job in Darwin ;’) He recommended me to the place he worked at earlier and I finally got a job there. THANK YOU HAN :”'( My flight to Darwin was on April 27th, just two days after my birthday. And you know what, I was so thankful they celebrated my birthday!

Han, Duane, Wayne.
Cyntia, Me, and Mark.
Happy girl.

Mark, Wayne, and Duane are South-African born and I don’t know much about South African people, that was the first experience for me. What I could see was, they were so so nice :’) Their friendship and familyhood were strong and they loved to help each other. They were so warm and silly and omg, they were like my dads lol. I remember when I had a tinder date (first time for me) they were acting like grumpy fathers xD.

Han with South African guys.

I was so sad I had to leave Perth but I had no choice, Perth wasn’t meant for me at that time. And, I really really felt so thankful to be given the opportunity to work in Darwin (because I could also complete one of the requirements for my second year visa). Han worked hard; called A, B, and C to help me. I will be forever grateful and actually I miss our silly talks, our jokes, etc. Dunno how I will meet him again in the future but I hope he has the best of luck in his life.

Thank you Han.

Till we meet again

See you again Perth, my home.

Me Before You

It’s funny to think in a certain point of time, your life changed because of someone. I knew about this Work and Holiday Visa program from my senior, Christie; and my life in Perth, even in Australia, changed after I met Han. This is Han.

xD

But I’m not going to talk about it now. Let me tell you about the bittersweet story as a newcomer when I was in Perth instead.

I chose Perth out of all other states in Australia because somehow it captured my heart even though I never came there before and it eventually really did. I came to Perth by myself after crazy delays in Indonesia airports. I still remember Perth airport was cold at 5 in the morning.  I’m grateful there were several Work and Holiday Visa (WHV) groups where I could ask about many things as well as about the accommodation. Redcliffe was where I lived for 2 months and I lived with a New Zealander guy and another WHV holder from Indonesia.

As I said in the previous blog, the first 2 weeks were the hardest lol! I cried a lot, made so many video calls with my friends and family. The house where I lived wasn’t warm either; my housemate, Cyntia, was kind but she didn’t talk much and my landlord was a serious man that I somehow preferred avoid talking too much about serious matters. My first impression about Australia: beautiful and expensive but not that expensive. I could still manage to spend my money well but transportation in Perth was kinda pricey. After several days of playing around, I was ready to enter the battle field: JOB HUNTING.

It was hard to find a job there and not to mention I had no experience they needed: barista, waitress, housekeeper, etc. I applied many jobs online and dropped resumes at many cafes or restaurants but thank God, one day I finally got accepted for a trial. So, some places will request trial from applicants and we are usually asked to do 2 hours working so employer can decide if they want to hire us.  I was so happy when they invited me to do so; I told my parents, my friends; I bought new outfits and new shoes (here all new workers usually wear all black). On the D day, I arrived 1.5 hour earlier; I put makeup on and felt so nervous! Then I was asked to work as a server. That was my very first damn time working like that! I had no experience at all and I thought all I needed was a good mentality. But I got no confidence, I worked so timidly when I served coffees (and seriously why coffee must be served so full like it want to spill??); 15 mins later the manager called me and sent me home politely. I knew I didn’t make it.

My day went even worse, I was rejected to be a Plasma donor by Australia Red Cross because I got typhoid 8 years ago. I had to see a doctor to get medical clearance and to prove that I was free from the virus but seeing a doctor and running a blood test were very costly to me at that time. I was thinking like, “Oh come on! Even I am rejected to donate my blood too?!” :'( I kept having unlucky days about the job seeking but I one day I saw an ad in the group to work as gardener and I grabbed it so fast so tadaaa, my very first job in Perth was to be an on-call gardener lol. My very first boss was an Indonesian lady who owns a house in Perth but left it for months that its yard covered by 40-cm deep dead leaves. I worked 6 hours to sweep ALL and clean the outside of the house. My body was sore but believe me, nothing beat the good feeling about having a job lol!

I made a good friend with Venny, another Indonesian girl who lived 4 houses away from me. I spent so much time with her; she was very talkative and I found it was comfortable to hangout with her.

We had this view in just 2 kilometers away from our homes!
I found it first when I went out for a jog. Venny liked this so much!

Her landlord, Mark, was a very adorable man lol! All of us had fun in the summer! We went to Hillarys Beach (I had fun so much I didn’t care about taking pictures) and Yanchep Lagoon with Mark’s boys.

Handsome boy.

Someday Venny and I got an opportunity to work at a farm in Gingin. I thought it was like a destined job for us because everything happened like it was meant to be. We moved fast; we found another 3 people to share car and house expenses in Gingin.

We had a small farewell with friends in Redcliffe. Mark in white shirt, Venny is on my left.

I knew Mark would be one of my greatest support systems ever since he hugged me and wished me a good luck. So, yeap, we were ready for our new life in Gingin!

Gingin is located about 90km away from Perth and what I liked about the journey was the road scenery! We passed Swan Valley, a famous winery and we could see many grape farms along the way. Actually the view was mostly about bushes but dunno what it looked so damn good lol! Gingin is a pretty small town, I fell in love with it.

Our favorite garden where we usually had our lunch. There’s a small mill and SO MANY DUCKS.
From the backyard of our house.
How lovely.
Housemates!
The farm.

The farm is managed by a big company and we were hired as raspberry pickers. I thought it would be a quite easy job, just picking fruits you know. BUT I FAILED. They cut me off after 2 weeks because I was always in bottom 5. There were 20 something pickers and everyday there would be a list from the fastest to the slowest picker. To me it was kinda ridiculous and not so fair because we had to pick ALL fruits (ripe, overripe) but we were paid based on piece rate; on how many packs of good fruits you can do in a day. Most of the fast pickers, they only picked whatever were visible in their eyes, mostly in the top area of the plants. They didn’t care about the fruits that lied under and the supervisor would always told us to pick all fruits, the overripe fruits too. I was kinda scared to rebel and I just wanted to follow the system so I spent much time doing the right thing. Plus, I was so selective when I packed my fruits. All were good fruits, I didn’t cheat (because there was a trick: hide the several bad fruits so you wouldn’t lose so many numbers of packing). I was an idealist, I worked honestly but sometimes idealism can help you nothing. That’s how I lost my job.

Que Sera Sera

I lost much money. I hurt my feet and my knees yet I didn’t regret anything. And I was thankful I got fired therefore I met Han in the next day.

Later, Gingin!

Living To The Fullest

Good day, Mate! Cheers from Straya! xD

It’s been 6 months since I came to Australia and I am still in the same euphoria as when I landed my feet at Perth International Airport on last 20th February 2018. Life has been so good to me until now. Several days ago, I reread my old blog (here) and flash-backed how I was so confused with my life back then. Quarter-life crisis hit me and I was really not happy with myself; kept asking about what I should’ve been. I demanded myself to know what to do even though I knew finding an identity was not that simple; at least for me. If I have to ask myself right now, I still don’t have a good picture about my future: about what kind of long-term job I want to do, what kind of life style I want to have, etc; BUT, ever since I came here I got so much resources to move and explore.

I am a Work and Holiday Visa holder (visa subclass 462). Only 1000 people from Indonesia can go to Australia with this visa in a year. The first time I heard about this was in 2015 and I actually wanted to join in the next batch in 2016. Somehow life gave me another privilege to enjoy my time in Indonesia until I finally departed in Feb 2018. I still remember I started to aim this in early 2017 and I thought I was be able to make it in the same year. Nevertheless, I never regret anything and I really really believe in God’s timing. During my waiting period, I enjoyed my work life with Jasmine Tease, I enjoyed my friends company, and I enjoyed spending time with my family until the time for me to go had come.

It was hard indeed. I had never lived alone before and fully depended on myself; being away from home made me really sad! I really missed my Unyung, my family, my friends, my clay, and everything. The first 2 weeks were the hardest and it was worse because I didn’t have so many activities to do. It was hard to find a job and I didn’t have much money to survive PLUS, I still had bills to pay in Indonesia. It was hard yes, I should’ve been so stressed but funny, I was so happy too! Life somehow tasted much sweeter when I had no money. I thank universe for leading my life this way and I am so grateful I met so many kind people whom without them, I wouldn’t have been here, living happily right now.

Now, I have a job, I earn good money, I can help my parents and others, I have savings, I can go on holidays, I meet so many good friends, and most importantly, I KNOW WHAT TO DO at least in the next 5 years. Seriously, that’s what makes me soooooo happy. Well, everything is uncertain; I may get many surprises along the way; I may experience the good and the bad. But, good? bad? who knows! I totally dare to live my life to the fullest.