LezGoMelbourne

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


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10 Tipid Tips: Frugal Shopping in Melbourne

For a cheapskate like me, snooping for a bargain is second nature and is always a thrilling challenge. I love finding anything that I can buy with just a gold coin.

Of course, you’ll save more when you don’t spend. But when you have to, these tips just might be useful.

1. EOFYS
June is the start of the winter season. It is also the start of the end of financial year sale. Everywhere you look, stores are dropping their prices. This is the best time to take advantage of the huge discounts they offer on different merchandise, from clothes to small appliances, and of course furniture.

2. $2 Dollar Shops
If you see a $2 dollar shop in your neighbourhood, I am telling you it is well worth a visit. Sometimes, what you just can’t seem to find at the supermarkets is right there waiting for you. I was able to find anywhere from congee spoons and rolling pins to Halloween costumes here.
Sure it is not as organized as the aisles of a grocery, but I think that it’s part of its charm.

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Take a peek and take your pick. $1 bags of produce can yield a good haul from the market.

3. Markets
When you frequent a market enough, you get to know its inner workings. You start to notice when is the best time to come, what bargains you can expect, and what you can buy at a wholesale price. Don’t go ignoring the $1 bags they offer, because sometimes it isn’t as bad as you think, especially when you need a whole bunch of stuff to cook right away. You just have to scrupulous

4. Sales
It’s true what they say here; when you see it on sale, grab it. You don’t know when the price will go down again. It’s okay to stock up on the essentials like soaps and toothpaste and anything that just seems to run out in your household quicker than you think.

5. Catalogues
Some people don’t like junk mail, any unsolicited material that comes in your mail. But I love catalogues, and that’s where I can find and compare items up for sale. You can also look up at catalogues online, especially ones from supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi.

6. Furniture
So, how do you furnish an empty house without breaking the bank? First, tell your friends and I’m sure they have stuff they want to part with. Second, look at classifieds on the internet like Gumtree. People would rather see old furniture go to someone else who may need them, rather than just dumping them. So, if you have the means to get them, then do so.

7. Op Shopping
One of the places where people can get a hold of other items at a much cheaper price is opportunity shops or op shops. The goods are donations from good samaritans and deceased estates. So yes, it’s like the “ukay-ukay” back home.

The stock on each store varies, but you’re likely to find heaps of clothing both new and used, furniture, books, and anything under the sun.

8. Free Stuff
You can get free stuff, if you give away stuff. You can visit Ziilch, a site dedicated to recycling and reusing items by giving them away to people who may need them.

9. Groupons
Take advantage of promotions and discount coupons or groupons. They can be worth it, especially when you want to splurge on something.

10. Bulk
The nice thing about supermarkets here is that the price also tells you how much you will be paying for each item. So, if you look closely, you will be able to see how much you are paying for each roll of tissue in a pack.

You can also see how much something is worth in kilos. For example, you might be paying $4 for 250grams of nuts from Brand A, which makes it $16/kg. But if you look at Brand B, it may sell 400grams of nuts for $5, which makes it only $12.50/kg. So, if you know what to look for, you can save where you need and make the most out of your purchase.

 

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.

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Moving to Australia: 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property

Moving to Australia 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property, Melbourne How to Rent a House, Glasswork, Melbourne Houses, Lezgomelbourne, Go Melbourne, Leasing a Property Melbourne Australia, Living Moving to Melbourne How to Rent a House

You can find some beautiful glasswork in well preserved houses. This one, however, can be found in the RipponLea Estate.

You can find a lot of literature about moving to Australia. That’s one of the first things you notice when you do your research online. There are brochures made by the state and local government which you can download. The wealth of information is out there if you know where to look.

But sometimes all the straightforward information you get out there is not enough. Some of us need to work with the details; some of us need some context so we know when and how we can apply such information.

I would like to think that I am one of those. So let me share with you a bit of what I know about leasing a property in Melbourne.

1. Referrals
Renting out a property includes a referral, either from your personal or professional network. So, it is best to know a couple or so people who know you and can vouch for you. Check with your real estate agency too it written referrals are needed.

2. Inspection Times
You may find yourself walking around a neighbourhood and saw a sign for a unit or house for rent. You don’t just barge in or try to snoop around the property. You have to contact the agent and get the details for an inspection time. Be sure to not be late though as some inspection times can be quite short.

3. Rent Rate
Apartments or houses are most commonly leased on a weekly rate. Don’t forget this as you compute and compare your options. The rent is also paid on a fortnightly basis or every two weeks, unless otherwise specified in your contract.

4. Lease Periods
Apartment units or houses are commonly leased on a yearly basis. Although, you may find some that allows you to rent a place from a monthly basis to a 6-month contract, especially in the city where a lot of travelers transit.

5. Location
Research and know what you are looking for in a neighbourhood. You can situate yourself in proximity to public transportation or to where you are looking to send your kids to school. It all depends on the needs of your family so it’s best to plan your priorities.

6. Furnished or Unfurnished
It all depends on your needs, really. But most of the time, the units or houses for lease are unfurnished so you may want to adjust your budget and expectations accordingly.

7. Utilities
Ask about the utilities you need to pay, the due dates, and where or how you can pay them. Depending on your lease or contract specifications, you may be billed for gas, aside from water and electricity. Other monthly bills you may need to pay are for those that you applied for such as internet, phone, and cable television.

8. Bond
A bond is similar to the security deposit we know back home. Typically, a bond is a month’s worth of rent. Knowing this, you have to allocate a budget for the bond and anywhere between 2 weeks to a month’s worth of rent to be paid in advance when you apply for a lease.

9. Always ask your agent
Do not be afraid to ask your agent anything regarding the house. It’s important to know the condition of the house, how certain amenities work, and what to do when something acts funny. Keep communications line open with your agent. For everything else, the real estate agency will update you if a new agent has been assigned to you.

10. Parking
If you see yourself buying a car in the very, very near future then you need to consider your parking options during your lease. If you leased a self-detached house with its own garage, I doubt you’ll be having problems. But in a crowded city where there is barely space for cars, you need to study your options and research the parking rules regulations in the city. It is best know what parking permits to apply for, what on-street parking rules are in your local area, and the terms in a strata parking in your building.

Resource: Melbourne Parking

 

Here are other links that you may find useful:
PDF Guide by the Consumer Affairs Victoria on Renting a Home
PDF Relocation Guide to Melbourne by the Government of Victoria
PDF Relocation Guide for Skilled and Business Migrants by the Government of Victoria
www.immi.gov.au
www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
www.newcomersnetwork.com

 

 

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.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Packing and Buying Winter Essentials Part 2

You remember Wency Cornejo’s song Next in Line that goes, “What’s there to look forward to beyond the biting cold?” Well, I finally get. What I mean is, I now know what the biting cold feels like. It’s so cold, you feel like someone is pinching your nose or your skin. If you don’t want to wake up to that kind of morning or to settle in for a really, really long and uncomfortable evening, then here are a few items that may just help you.

1. Bathrobe ($20 and up)
Fumbling out of bed, one of the first things anyone would reach out for is a bathrobe. Yes, you can either grab a bathrobe to wrap yourself with or drag the blanket out to the kitchen as you make the morning coffee.

2. Slippers ($3 and up)
I always go barefoot inside the house, I don’t know why but I do. However, nothing compels me more to wear a pair of slippers than the cold floor.

3. Quilt or Duvet ($30 and up)
Sometimes, a blanket is just not enough .

4. Heater ($30 and up)
You don’t have to have a fireplace to keep your house warm. Just plug a heater to the wall and you won’t be shivering in your sleep.

5. Mattress Topper ($40 and up)
If you have a foam mattress, then you’re in luck. You don’t have to be disturbed by the fact that every coil in a spring mattress feels like ice. The cold seeps through the fabric or the pillow top and it almost feels like you’re lying on the bare floor instead of the bed. The only thing I can think of to reduce this is by increasing the barrier between the spring coils and the skin, therefore a mattress topper.

6. Rugs ($15 and up)
There are houses that are carpeted wall to wall, but if you don’t happen to live in one of them, then maybe a good area rug will do. Anything that can ward off the cold helps, especially when you are still fumbling in the morning looking for your slippers.

7. Pocket Warmers or Heat Packs ($6 and up)
As the name suggests, keep these in your pockets to help you and your hands keep warm. Follow product instructions carefully to avoid misuse.

8. Door Draft Stopper ($2 and up)
Keep the cold wind from coming in by placing a door draft stopper. I didn’t know what it was until I came across one in one of our friend’s houses. You can buy one or if you’re crafty enough, you can make one. It is simply a cylindrical or tubular fabric filled with weights to keep it in place.

9. Heavy fabrics ($20 and up)
Choose heavy fabrics that will help keep or maintain heat in the house, from your bed sheets to your curtains. Wool, flannel, fleece and velvet are just some of the fabrics I know that insulates well.

10. Chocolates ($2 and up)
Chocolates don’t only ward off dementors, but the cold as well. For me at least, that holds true. Lol. Drink a hot mug of chocolate or maybe eat a couple of truffles and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it works.

With these tips, I hope I have given you a good idea on how much budget you should set aside for your home this winter and on what you should spend them on. The price range is a very rough figure and is only based on my personal experience. Expect the minimum price to vary from store to store.

Click here to read Part 1

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.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Packing and Buying Winter Essentials Part 1

Brrr! Autumn is the season where you start piling one layer of clothing after another. It is also the season where you have to wrestle yourself out of bed every morning. And now that it is almost winter, it only gets colder and harder to wake up and leave the comfort of those warm blankets.

If you’re moving to Melbourne or Australia during this time, and if you’re not used to cool temperatures like that of Baguio and Tagaytay, then you must prepare yourself and pack some of these items with you. Sure, you can find and buy these items when you get here. It won’t be a problem if you have a budget allotted for winter clothing.

But then again, with temperatures of 7C – 17C, can you brave the cold with barely anything to keep you warm? Besides, you can buy all of these back home at much cheaper prices.

1. Beanies
In the Philippines, we call these bonnets although that may not be accurate. Anyway, bring some with you, especially when you are prone to getting headaches from being exposed to cold weather.

2. Gloves
As I am typing this, my fingers are feeling numb from the cold. If you’re like me whose hands turn to ice whenever the temperature drops, then bring a pair or two. You might want to buy a full finger glove and a half finger glove. Half finger gloves expose the tips of your finger so you can easily text or sms someone on your touch screen smart phone.

3. Scarves
It’s not just a fashion statement; you can keep warm with a simple scarf wrapped around your neck on a cool, windy, winter night.

4. Thermal undergarments
If you like to keep warm without putting on thick layers of clothing, bring thermal undergarments with you. I did because I don’t have any idea how cold autumns or winters can be. Others will tell you it is not necessary, but a pair is okay. I think it will help you adjust to the cool temperature better.

5. Umbrella
It sometimes rains in Melbourne; it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or autumn. You have to have a sturdy and reliable umbrella with you, especially if you don’t want to get soaked in freezing water.

Umbrellas here aren’t cheap and the cheap ones end up in the trash really quickly. So buy a really good umbrella and bring it with you. I’m not telling you to buy golf umbrellas since you won’t be able to put that in your luggage. Just buy a really good one, one that can withstand strong winds. It can be windy here so cheap umbrellas don’t last long.

6. Coats or Jackets
There are many kinds of coats or jackets that you can buy, but what you should be bringing with you is one that is thick enough to keep you warm. There are puffy jackets or vests that you can buy and bring with you. If that is not your style, you can buy a cape, a parka or any coat made of fleece or wool. There are also jackets that are thermal lined so you can keep warm without wearing too many layers.

7. Sweaters & Cardigans
You don’t have to bring a ton with you, just bring one or two so you can layer your clothes. Sometimes, when you attend dinners or parties, it can be too warm to wear a jacket indoors. You have to leave your jacket at the cloakroom, but still keep warm wearing your sweater or cardigan.

8. Boots
If you want to keep your feet and legs warm, then you have to wear boots. But I suggest you invest in a pair that you can wear to work or wear for hours on end. Let’s be practical here. You will do a lot of walking, so invest in a pair that won’t torture your poor feet.

You can buy a good pair of leather boots in the Philippines or you can buy them here for anywhere between $150 – $200. It’s your call. And while you may be able to find $10-$30 boots from big department stores, I don’t think it will be real leather. So, invest wisely.

9. Tights
Tights or leggings help keep you warm. I don’t know how or why but it acts like a second skin for me. So yes, you can wear your dress and keep warm by pairing it with tights or leggings.

10. Facial moisturiser
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter; I find my skin drying up like the dessert. There is very little humidity here so you have to keep your face and body moisturised. Buy some facial moisturisers to take with you and remember to choose one with a good SPF. Australia is near the hole or tear in the ozone layer, so you have to protect your skin.

On my next post, I’ll be making a list of items that you can buy to make you home more warm and cosy this winter. If you have other suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment.

 

 

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.


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Planning Your Melbourne Vacation: Making an Itinerary

Time flies so fast. It’s May already and the temperature just keeps on dropping. I almost didn’t notice it until I saw how many weeks of blogging I’ve missed.

The thing is, I’ve had a couple of friends and family who came for a visit. So yes, I was out most of the time and drained the rest of the evening. That’s how many of us do it, right? Vacation for us means a lot of sightseeing, walking, picture taking, and so on. By the end of our vacation, we need another one. Lols. It’s funny how true that is.

So, days before, I have been researching. What is there to see or do in Melbourne? I asked this question multiple times. I haven’t had much chance to explore Melbourne very much so I had to do a lot of reading.

April is not as eventful compared to January, February or March where droves of people would go and see the Australian Open and Australian Grand Prix, celebrate Australia Day and Moomba, or watch the city light up for White Night. Still, April has its own merits and there are a handful of things you can still do and see in Melbourne. Even with the temperature dropping, even with the cloudy skies and bursts of rain, there are many ways for you to experience Melbourne.

So, if you are looking into customising your own trip, here are tips that I would like to share with you when it comes to planning your vacation.

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1. Interests
It’s best to cater your guests’ interests so they can have a memorable time during their stay. Some people explore the city, others want to experience the outdoors. Some enjoy knowing about a city’s history while others want to know it through food.

2. Budget
You can explore Melbourne in any way you want. You can do a walking tour, go on a bike ride, cruise around town in a top down convertible car, or even drive to the valley in a limo. It’s your choice how you do it, but there’s a price tag.

But, you can easily keep track by allocating a certain attraction or activity for each day. This way, you can stick to a daily budget and not go overboard.

3. Weather
It can definitely get hot in the summer, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a spell of rain the following days. The same is true when it’s spring or autumn. So, you have to prepare a range of activities that you can do indoors when the weather is too wet and cold outside.

4. Zone it
If you are to visit a certain attraction, it would do well to build an itinerary around that particular route or area. This way, you can easily reach different spots on your itinerary without tiring yourself. A good example of this would be a day going around the city on the City Circle Tram or the Free Tourist Bus Shuttle.

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Melbourne is littered with wonderful parks and gardens. Isn’t that grand?

5. Themes
I use themes in my itinerary to describe the type of activity that would be involved for that day, i.e. Parks and Recreation Thursday or Sunday Church St. Shopping. This makes it easier to compile and remember all our destinations and options.

6. It’s All in the Details
List everything that you can about the places you will be visiting; addresses, fees, train and tram routes, and even operating hours. These are all essential. You don’t want to waste your time and energy visiting an attraction that is closed for that day. Trust me, it happens.

7. Plan B
There should always be a Plan B and even a Plan C. Even with the most meticulous planning, it can be quite hard to stick to a schedule, especially when you are enjoying yourself. Having other options saves you time from worrying and deciding where to go next.

8. Group Size
Size does matter, especially when you are planning activities, making reservations, and juggling schedules. It might not occur to some, but the demands of a small group are different from a big one. Something as simple as a taxi ride can be tricky when you’re a group of five when the taxi only carries 4 and restaurant reservations might be tricky for more than 8 people at short notice.

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It’s not enough to watch just one show or two or three.

9. Booking and buying tickets
There are perks when you prepare a schedule ahead of time. For one, some offer discounts for online bookings compared to walk-ins. Second, you can easily guarantee a seat to a show or event without wasting time waiting in line.

10. Souvenir Shopping
I know you would have gone to a lot of places where you would have purchased a souvenir or two. But being Filipinos, souvenir shopping means we have to have some good stuff to bring home with us for family and friends.

Yes, it’s a tradition that you either hate or love. But I love it because it means shopping! So, aside from your personal purchases in stores and boutiques, remember to dedicate a day or at least half a day for your souvenir shopping. Remember, the markets and malls close early in Melbourne and wouldn’t stay open past 5pm on weekdays or 7pm at the latest.

However, there are still places for you to do your shopping. Grocery or supermarkets stay open until late, some as long as midnight so you can grab candies and chocolates here. Big name stores such as Big W, Target, and Kmart are also open for longer hours. Time, however, varies for each store so you many want to check them out before going.

Well, that’s about it. On my next few posts, I’ll be sharing with you an itinerary and a glimpse of the places we’ve visited the past few days. Until then, take care.

 

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.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Documents and Paperwork

Some people move here with job offers, others with little or no prospects at all. The latter can be really troublesome, time consuming, and cash draining. Remember, you’re starting from scratch. Not unless you have a friend or relative who can house you for free, all you have is yourself, your time, your health, and your savings.

Building a new life in Australia can be difficult for anyone, but not impossible. It’s best to prepare for everything. No matter the circumstances, you can make the transition a smoother one if you have one less thing to worry about.

What I have listed here are just documents you have to accomplish, things to apply for, and other essentials you need to remember and prepare before and after coming to Australia.

1. Contract
Print your job contract stipulating your salary, your official role or designation, and of course, your own signature. You will be presenting this to POEA when you apply for an exit clearance. Consequently, you will be attending the PDOS or the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar.

Frankly speaking, I don’t know what is the purpose of the PDOS. It just wastes time and resources. If people have access to the information they need, they wouldn’t have to attend this seminar. Imagine, the taxpayer’s money goes to pay for utilities, rent, and salary of various speakers who have to give out these seminars. If you compile that into a handbook, into catalogues or brochures Filipinos can just pick it up, pack it in their luggage and we would all be on our way. And in case you forget, you can always read it online or download it. It’s much simpler and cheaper that way.

Besides, if you have travelled overseas as an OFW or business consultant, you are more than familiar and informed of what you can encounter in another country. You know what your rights are and where you can seek help if any need arises.

2. Print your Notification of the Grant of a Visa
You have applied for a visa and it has been granted, congratulations! The Australian Embassy at the Philippines no longer prints the visa on your passport, but it is attached electronically. However, for some reason, the immigration officers at the Philippine airports request to see your visa or a proof of it. Even though they know that the Australian Visa is attached electronically, they still insist! Isn’t this just pure incompetence?! Argh!

So please, save yourself the headache and print it.

3. Apply for a Medical Insurance
It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, a worker, or a dependent visa holder, you will need a medical insurance. You need to take note which one is right for you, what extras you may need to pay, and how long is the waiting period.

4. Bank Account
If you have an international account, you can easily access your money here through Visa or Mastercard. If you have a BPI account, don’t forget to activate Cirrus before you leave. Also, if you want to transfer some of your money from one BPI account to another, you would have to “apply” for that account in your local bank in the Philippines.

You can also apply for a bank account in Australia even before getting here. It requires you to fill out some forms, details like your date of arrival, and of course, proof of identification.

5. References
If you do not have a job offer upon migrating, you can always secure not only your employment clearance or history, but references as well. You need both professional and personal references so you can have a better shot at applying for a job and renting an apartment. It is also helpful to have references based in Australia as well.

6. Get your Tax File Number or Australia Business Number
You can apply online for an Australian Tax File Number or Australian Business Number, so you don’t have to be anxious about

7. Identification
Australia uses a point system for identification when you make an application or complete transactions such as receiving a package from the post.

8. Get connected
Set your phone on roaming 24 hours before your flight, afterwards, buy a $2 simcard so you have a local number and access to the internet.

9. License to Drive
Secure a driving license if you or your family will be settling in the suburbs with little access to public transportation. More information can be found here. Simply select the appropriate state you will be moving to and it will direct you to the respective website.

10. Research
There are plenty of resources you can use, read, and download regarding immigration, work rights, and other information or concerns regarding visas like this one or you can always visitwww.immi.gov.au.

I might be echoing some tips I have written before, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to accomplish these. It helps to know what you need to do and to remember. So hopefully, by reading this, you are better prepared and more confident about moving to Australia.

 

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.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 2

They say it’s autumn but it still feels a lot like summer. Is there a sign that would signal the start of autumn? I really have no idea. The abundance of dry leaves on the streets isn’t much of an indication since trees have been shedding all summer.

Anyway, I’m giving you the second part of my list which includes shops you need for particular necessities, recreation, and of course, food.

1. Your Barbeque Spot
Summer is about the outdoors, the picnics. So put on some sunscreen and grab a bit of sun. Fire up the briquettes and grill some sausages and burgers. Man the barbie or laze out on the grass. The choice is yours. The parks here are amazing. There are trees everywhere, so you really have plenty of shade. So pick out a nice spot and spend the afternoon with your friends. Afterwards, maybe you can walk off some of that meal.

Lezgomelbourne Goodness Me Gelato Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne

Goodness Me Gelato on Bridge Road, Richmond

2. Gelato
Summer is the best excuse to have some gelato. I’m glad I am within walking distance to two famous gelato shops. Why is it essential you ask? Well, it seems I can’t find a tub of pistachio ice cream on the grocery aisles. So, if you want a good range of flavours, this is the place to go. Many popular gelaterias include Il Dolce Freddo, Casa Del Gelato, Fritz Gelato, Goodness Me Gelato, and Trampoline Gelato among others.

3. Sushi Rolls
Anywhere ranging from $2 to $3, these sushi rolls are compact and really filling. The city is littered with them, there’s a stall every corner. This is one of the cheap eats you must try and have on your list.

4. Convenience Store
Groceries stay open till late, so why would you need a convenience store? I could give you three reasons. One, for when you run out of smokes in the middle of the night. Two, when you just want to get some slushie on a really hot day. Three, and the most important one, when you need to top up your Myki.

5. Video Place
There are just some titles you can’t find anywhere. I was able to rent Fingersmith at my neighbourhood video store. Hooray for lesbian titles!

6. Chemist or the Pharmacy
Need a first aid kit or your prescription filled? The chemist is the place to go, especially when you need some advice on which over the counter medication is best suited for you.

7. Locksmith/ Key cutter
People moving to a different country or area would most likely have the number of the police or the fire brigade as a standard practice. However, as a precaution, you need to keep the number of a locksmith near you as well.

8. Shoe Repair Shop or Cobbler
A really good shoe is worth an investment, but what happens when your scruff it or wear out the heel of that stiletto? A good shoe doctor is handy to be around.

9. Op Shop
Where can you get a bargain every day of the week? Op shops or opportunity shops are somewhat similar to the thrift shops we have back home. You may also identify it as “ukay ukay”. Op shops are run by charitable groups and institutions who sell donated items from clothing to house wares. A lot of the items here are second hand, but there are also new stuff mixed in their shelves somewhere. And if you fancy some vintage pieces or clothing, this is the place to go. Some of the popular ones include Salvos or the Salvation Army, Savers, and Vinnies among others.

10. Recreation Facilities
Fancy a game of tennis? How about a dip in the pool? Organizing a game of basketball? Pumping some iron? You might want to consider a membership at the local recreation centres near you or you can scout a good gym that provides you exactly the facilities and services you need. However, if you can’t afford an annual membership just yet, remember you can make casual visits to the local recreation facilities. For example, a casual visit to the pool can cost just $5 for adults and $2.50 for students.

You can view and read Part 1 by clicking here.

PS. If you have some ideas to share, please do 🙂

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