A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne

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Eiga Sai or the 16th Japanese Film Festival in Melbourne

I have been a fan of Eiga Sai. So much so that I can be at the cinemas the whole day and night. Back then, I’d be rushing to the mall, where the cinemas also were, and catch as many films as I can. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to watch this year’s movies, but am I glad that I’m wrong.

We were walking around Melbourne that sunny day and wandered upon the Australian Center for the Moving Image or ACMI. Not knowing where to go or what to do there, we just grabbed a couple of brochures or catalogs and read them. The La Mirada Film Festival was already drawing to a close and we were sad we missed the chance to see any of the films selected by the guest curator Gael Garcia Bernal. We put that one aside and read the other brochure in our hands. Our faces lit up instantly. It’s the 16th Japanese Film Festival presented by the Japan Foundation.

16th Japanese Film Festival, Movie, Movies, Cinema, Melbourne, Australia, Oz, ACMI, Hoyts, LezGoMelbourne

Afro Tanaka – The film and character on the cover of the 16th Japanese Film Festival brochure/catalog

Eiga Sai or the 16th Japanese Film Festival is here and it has already started. November 29 marks the first day with Thermae Romae as the opening film. Today is the second day. Good thing I remembered to share it with you guys, so now you won’t miss out on the rest of the films. They’ll be screening these movies at two different locations, at the ACMI Cinemas and at the Hoyts Cinemas Melbourne Central, corner Swanston and La Trobe St. Tickets are $15/adult or you can get the $60 5-film pass. Not all the movies they’ll be showing comes with a price tag though, there are free tickets for certain sessions or what they call Oldies but Goodies. So if you’re on a budget, you can still enjoy the movies.

So go get a catalog or go online and read each and every film synopsis as I did or read . This year, there’s a couple of films I am most excited to watch. First is Always – Sunset on Third Street 3. I have watched the first two movies and now I can’t wait to find out what happens 5 years later. The other one is Rurouni Kenshin. If you follow and read the manga, then you know what I am talking about.

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The complete screening time, including venues, of the 16th Japanese Film Festival brochure

There are lots of movies to watch and it is highly useful that the brochure has marked the films into different categories such as Laugh Out Loud, High School Hits, Tear Jerkers (and that one is still different from the category Drama) and Chick Flicks among others. Included in the selection too are some highly awarded films, so you can never go wrong.

Other films that pique my curiosity include: Key of Life, Afro Tanaka (the film character is actually on the cover of the brochure, so that might be interesting), Robo-G, Space Brothers, Bushido Sixteen, My S.O has Depression, Bunny Drop, It’s a Beautiful Life, Tug of War!, Dearest, Postcard, Chronicle of My mother, and Until the Break of Dawn.

TIP: Check the schedule, pick out the movies you want to see, and save yourself a few dollars by getting the $60 5-film pass. I know I will!

So hurry, the film festival only lasts until December 9, 2012.

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Hello Melbourne! And the First 10 Things that Happened or I Did When I Got Here

Hello Melbourne!

Swan St, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia, Oz, Dimmeys, LezGoMelbourne

Walking about town on my first day in Melbourne

This city makes breathing wonderful and difficult at the same time. Lols. The latter is quite true if you’re a smoker. As of date, I have been smoking an average of 1-2 sticks of cigarettes per day ever since I got here, which is somewhere around a couple of weeks. I am quite amazed at myself as to how I was able to do that. I usually smoke around 10 cigarettes a day and maybe even more. I hadn’t really put much effort into quitting or stopping, nor did I plan to drastically change my habits. I guess when you can’t smoke inside the house or anywhere within the compound; you’ll be more than forced to cut down on smoking.

As much as I would want to casually light up here or there, I’m basically afraid of getting caught not smoking where I shouldn’t be. And if I wanted to go out, sometimes I’d want coffee too, and a cup of joe can cost me anywhere between $3-$5, which is a bit heavy on the pocket if I do that at least twice a week. It may be chump change for some, but let’s do the math; Australia sells the most expensive cigarettes I know. For $16-18 dollars a pack, I could buy one, even two whole reams of cigarettes back home. And so, smokes and coffee can easily reach to $100 expenditure a month. Yikes! The government can really dissuade a lot of smokers if they keep adding up the numbers. Anyway, enough about my vices.

I am glad to be in Melbourne. I am loving our apartment, the neighborhood, the weather, the parks, the buildings, and the food. Oh, there is so much more to see and explore I can’t wait to tell you what I managed to find, to read and to do.

Even though I haven’t updated this blog with more recent post as much as I want to, (and even though that’s bound to happen one way or another either because I am living my life or other stuff kept getting in the way) I’ll be sharing my experiences however mundane they are so you could learn too and manage your expectations. Here’s a short summary of what I have encountered, and some tips too along the way:

1. I got the flu. The first week I arrived, I was shot down with the colds and fever. Boo (my partner) told me that almost everyone she knows who gets here becomes sick. I guess you just have to get used to the weather fast or else. But then again, if you have lived where there are 4 seasons in a year, or in Tagaytay, or in Baguio, I don’t think you’ll have any problems.

2. Know how to use your keys, which opens what gates, and which button buzzes in your partner, or your friend, or the courier delivering your package and other goods you ordered online.

3. Boo got me a prepaid sim card and I tried to talk to a machine with as much accent as I could muster so I could activate it. Tip: If you have the same telecommunications provider, SMS or text messages are free. Yes, just like back in the day when Globe or Smart didn’t charge you for anything.

4. You need to save your $1 and $2 coins if you live in an apartment with communal laundry. There are instructions left in place, either in the room itself or on the machines, so people like you and me who has never seen or used a coin-operated washing machine/ dryer can get these things to work and clean our undies.

5. Get to know the neighborhood so you know where you could do your errands or simply ride the nearest tram or train. And for that matter, get a Myki card. Boo got me one so I didn’t have to deal with that one.

6. I shopped at Coles and checked-out and bagged my own grocery without any hitch (I don’t live in a cave, but it’s kind of a novelty to me because we don’t have or do them back in the Philippines).

7. Always have a couple of tools handy like a screw driver and a hammer, especially when you have an unfurnished apartment. You know you need to assembly those pieces of furniture you bought from Ikea.

8. Know how to operate the oven. Actually, I’m still having a difficulty with this one as I can’t find any manual on the internet about Gorenje Pacific freestanding cooker/oven. All that the knob indicates are the numbers from 0 – 60. I am guessing that this is the timer, but I still can’t figure out how to properly manipulate the heat.

9. I tried doing all the simple things like getting a bottle of Coke from the vending machine. But stupid me, I wasn’t familiar with the denominations that when I dropped in a big coin that says 20, I had initially thought that I had already sufficiently paid for my drink. My Boo was kind enough not to laugh at me and said I dropped in 20 cents and not 20 dollars. Argh. The humiliation!

10. Collected the mail and saw how many catalogues and unsolicited posts are jammed in it. Yes, you will regularly get this. Even though others don’t want it, I kind of like it. It makes me feel like I have important shopping to do. Must not let those discounted items go to waste!

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Veteran theatre artist/performer Monique Wilson, famous for her role in Miss Saigon alongside Lea Salonga, finally reveals that she is a lesbian. All I can say is bravo! It is time to shine in your own fabulous way.

It actually came as a surprise for two different types of people. One was for the  people who knew she was gay and was surprised to know that she has gone public about it just now, and of course the others were just simply clueless. Oh well. It still is a happy piece of information.

She will surely become one of the most influential role models out there for other women. It is high time we encourage and celebrate women for being true to themselves. Encore!

You can read more about this at PEP.com or the Philippine Entertainment Portal.

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Counting the Days till Oz

I am counting the days until I take my first flight to the land of Oz. It makes me feel more anxious and excited at the same time.

It’ll be a new chapter in our lives. The surroundings, the culture, the weather, the food, the people, the lesbian community, the possibilities, the future – all of it makes my heart go giddy.

It’ll definitely be an exciting journey for us.

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Lezgomelbourne live!

Lezgomelbourne is live.

This is one of the many firsts of our journey as we chronicle our adventure as a lesbian couple moving to and living in Oz.

Cheers everyone!