Archive for May, 2006

Transpo Updates

Posted in Aussie Life, Home Front on 29 May 2006 by Leah

I have been in Oz for almost three months now and have majorly been dependent on J for transportation. For some reason (there always seems to be a reason), the weekend is always filled with activities and J cannot teach me how to commute via the buses here in Canberra. Last Saturday, J finally put his foot down and decided to postpone all errands so that he can finally teach me the transportation system here.

It’s really quite easy. A big help is the Action website that tells you all you need to know about commuting. You can even buy your bus tickets online. It’s that efficient. All you really need to know is the bus schedule and at what time the bus passes the stop nearest you. We actually missed the first bus because we clearly underestimated this schedule. Obviously they were almost always on time so we had to make sure we leave our house at least ten minutes before the time the bus passes. Since it was a weekend, we had to wait another hour for the next bus to come (On weekdays, the bus comes every half hour). Lesson learned!    

Prepaid Bus Ticket, Click to enlarge.The rates are very reasonable as well. They just charge you a flat rate of AU$2.50 per adult. It doesn’t matter which part of the route you get off. You can also purchase a prepaid bus ticket and just swipe it everytime you board the bus. This saves you a lot from the hassle of rummaging through your bag for change or waiting for the bus driver to give you your change.

Now I am much more mobile. Going to the malls is so much easier because all bus interchanges are located behind the malls. Hmm.. now, that’s a thought. Maybe when I’m really bored, I’ll just go to the malls to while the time away.

J now lets me take the car two blocks away from our house. Woohoo!  Although it isn’t too far a distance, it pretty much allows me to practise my stop-look-drive skills. Next week, J promised to let me drive around the suburb for a good two hours. I’m both nervous and excited! 



Posted in Ramblings on 23 May 2006 by Leah

Yeah, and they say we are poor.

But with the opening of the SM Mall of Asia, malling has definitely been taken to a higher and different level of experience. Ironically, we are the land of malls. Good malls, I might add. And yet our economy is still struggling.

The malls here in Oz, on the other hand, are different — not as gigantic and as numerous as those in Manila. Stores here close at five in the afternoon, except on Fridays (they close at 9PM). If you’re a mallrat, you most probably will not enjoy the malls here.

I miss malling in the Philippines. It is a culture all its own.

Odds and Ends

Posted in Aussie Life, Bits and Pieces, Home Front on 16 May 2006 by Leah

Remember Baby G? Well, here she is now at three months of age.

Ain’t she the cutest? It looks like I’m going to miss out on a lot in seeing her grow up. She might not even remember when we get the chance to go home for a vacation.

Oh well, other things await me here. Can’t wait to have our own little angel soon. I’m sure I won’t be pining for Baby G by then anymore. We’re still crossing our fingers!

Last week marked my second month here in Oz. It also marked a few “firsts” as well.

For starters, J has finally allowed me to drive the car. Yes, I was so happy he finally let me take the wheel. But before you go and ask which places I’ve been to, think again. I have only been allowed to park and take out the car from our garage and drive it around the cul-de-sac at the end of our short street. That is about it.

I have yet to gather enough guts to take the car for a real drive around the area. Apart from observing proper traffic rules, I need to concentrate as well on gear shifting as our car is not automatic. I do drive a manual back home, but it’s the right-hand orientation that challenges me.

My three months are almost up and by then, I’d need to take the exam so that I can secure an Australian license. But before that time comes, I hope I have mustered up the courage to drive independently so I can pass the exams with flying colors.

Oh, and I applied for a job for the very first time too. I figured since there were so many opportunities for people in health care, I might as well start finding one. I’m taking this in a happy-go-lucky kinda way as there really is no need for me to rush.

If there is a job offer soon, I’d happily take it. If the right job has not come along yet, I’ll just wait until the right time has come. Besides, I only intend to work part-time so that I can still have time to manage the house and I don’t overly stress myself (fertility-wise).

Que sera sera.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Food for Thought, Relationships on 14 May 2006 by Leah

Happy mother’s day to all the mums in the world! Since I am in the spirit of “sharing,” I’d once again like to post a short article sent by a friend thru e-mail. This is a far cry from the joke I shared earlier with you guys as this one is very touching. I’m pretty quite sure all our mums can relate to this.


We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”

“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?” “It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. “I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?”

That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails, and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mum!” will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will have to use very ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honour. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, and not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

I miss my mother. 😦

A Woman’s Secret to a Happy Marriage

Posted in Food for Thought, Relationships on 11 May 2006 by Leah

I just wanted to share something that was forwarded to me by my aunt thru e-mail. I got a good laugh reading it! Found out why.

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000.

He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling all the dolls…”

Too bad I don’t know how to crochet a single darn doll. 😀

Pasta Night

Posted in Food, Home Front on 10 May 2006 by Leah

)It was pasta night last night because J was requesting me to cook Rachael Ray’s vodka cream pasta we saw the other day in the Oprah Winfrey Show. And because silly me didn’t jot down the ingredients as we were watching, I just had to rely on my memory to recreate it in our kitchen. It didn’t quite look the same as it was on the show. But it still turned out to be yummy (sans the salt)! Ask J.  I served the pasta with pan-grilled tuna fillet in olive oil and garlic and some garlic bread.

Now, did that just make your mouth water or what?