LezGoMelbourne

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


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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 🙂

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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LezGo to Queen Victoria Market

I’ve been to Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne CBD for about 3 or 4 times. I can’t remember how many times exactly but I love going there. The fresh fruit stalls, the organic produce, the deli shops, and the outdoor souvenir and dry goods market makes you want to spend a whole day there.

Compared to Footscray Market, Queen Victoria Market is more accessible as it is situated in the CBD, so you can easily catch a tram or train to get there. You can easily catch the tram on Elizabeth St. from Flinders Station to get there.

It’s also nice that Queen Victoria Market has an organic produce section that allows you buy anything from the basic herbs such as basil to whole wheat flour. And if you know what produce are in season, you will easily find a good range of them being sold in the organic section at a competitive price. For one, I bought an organic rock melon for $4 apiece when non-organic melons are sold at $3 each.

The variety of deli shops is also mesmerizing. By mesmerizing I mean I’ve seen cheese being sold whose name I can’t even pronounce, and the cuts of preserved meat hanging on the stall windows, I don’t think I’ve encountered most of them. And then there are stalls that offer fresh baked bread, hand-made butter, and the now infamous borek. Fresh butter, how can anyone pass that up?

Fruits too can go for a real bargain with pomegranate sold for $2 apiece, strawberries for $3 for 2 large punnets, and figs for $6 a punnet. The supply and demand can be different on days so you really have to go and see what bargains you can take advantage of.

Basically, what you need is in Queen Victoria Market. However, if you want to easily buy chili leaves, green mangoes, plantains, and other goods that you would usually find in an Asian market, then I highly suggest that you go to Footscray market. Oh, the treasures I find there are truly one of a kind.

For now, here are some items I grabbed during my grocery shopping.

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Different shades of red. Roses $6 for two bouquets, Truss tomatoes at $1.99/kg, and Strawberries at a bargain for $3 for two large punnets

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All organic produce. Potatoes at $2.95/kg, Lettuce at $2.95 apiece, Red Onions at $3.99/kg, and Basil at $2.95 each

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All organic fruits. Golden Nectarines at $5.99/kg, Seedless Grapes at $3.99/kg, Rockmelon $4 apiece, and Bananas at $2.50/kg

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Non-organic but still fabulous produce. Figs at $6 per punnet, Coriander at $2 per bundle, Avocado is $3 per piece, Lemongrass is 60 cents, and Broccoli Leaves is $2 per bundle.

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Seafood fare! Ahoy mates! Prawns at $15/kg, Barramundi at $10.50/kg, and Live Mussels at $6/kg. Also Garlic at $1.50, Butter is $2.10 for $10 per kg, $3 Grated Parmesan, and Lemongrass at 60 cents apiece.

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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Footscray Market

Food is one of the things that I love. It is truly interesting how much joy it can bring, how creative you can get with it, and how each spoonful can be quite simple or complex, and both fantastic. Cooking, baking, and doing the grocery – I can just get lost doing them for hours on end.

So one day, I decided to go on an adventure and go to Footscray Market. It was just wonderful. Shopping for fresh produce, discovering new ingredients, and finding such great bargains, all of it just makes the trip more appealing.

Footscray Market is smaller compared to Queen Victoria’s Market, but it is packed with a great array of produce. You will find a lot of Asian greens, spices, and other items here.

Shopping in markets can be far cheaper than heading out to the nearest grocery store. It gives you a better idea of what fruits or vegetables are in season and gives you a far better range when it comes to variety. Also, you can get some real bargains, especially when you are keen on getting your money’s worth. For less than $80, I was able to haul all these goodies home from my trip to Footscray Market.

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Strawberries $1/punnet, Cherries $8.00/kg, Watermelon ₵79/kg, Seedless Grapes $2.99/kg, and a Melon priced at $2/kg

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Eggplants $1/kg, Squash ₵99, Bittergourd $2.95/kg and Okra is $8.99/kg
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Roughly a kilo of Green Mung Beans $1, Chayote $2.99/kg, a bunch of Bittergourd leaves $1.48, and Chili leaves $1.48

A jar of spicy sardines I had found at an Asian grocery was marked at $4.50. I had bought two but was charged only $3. Why? As it turns out, it was $3 for two bottles. See? I told you I was getting some real good bargains. Anyway, moving on.

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Mama Sita’s Sinigang sa Bayabas Mix $1.20/pc, Pandan leaves $2, Broccoli ₵99/kg, Carrots $1.49/kg, Coriander $1.00, and Mongo Sprouts or Mung Bean Sprouts for roughly ₵78. I also bought a cucumber for $1 but forgot to take a photo of it.

Vegans need to look away at this post and anyone who is squeamish about seeing a whole fish. If you get upset, it’s not my fault. You have been warned.

Anyway, the only upsetting thing that I had bought at Footscray Market was the frozen mussels. They were somewhat dirty but I didn’t mind. At the time, I had thought that frozen mussels was commonplace. But it was a bad idea, bad. They turned out really rubbery. We couldn’t eat a single one at all.

As for pork, I bought some but I don’t think it is essential to post the pictures. The price at the time for Pork Shoulder was $12/kg and Pork Liver at roughly $5/kg.

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Frozen mussels $4.99/kg, Tilapia $4.99/kg, and Taiwan Bangus (Yup, that’s what it said) $6.99/kg.

So there you have it. More than a week’s worth of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables for less than $100. I hope to venture out into other markets and buy more great items. And by then, I would probably have more time to capture pictures of the place.

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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Happy Australia Day Mate!

Today, the whole country is celebrating Australia Day!

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Happy Australia Day!

A lot of grills are fired up for the barbie. The flags are waving proud. And everywhere, everyone is gathering for today’s festivities. Enjoy Australia Day everyone!

P.S. I thought I published this already, instead it was saved in the drafts folder. Doh! Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.


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Australian Open 2013

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The Rod Laver Arena is full of excited tennis fans

Melbourne is buzzing with activity the past few days. The streets are flooded with the colours green and yellow. The televisions sets at home are fixed on Ch. 7. What else can it be? It’s Australian Open 2013!

It’s my first Australian Open in Melbourne. I must say, every day is a temptation. You want to get in on the action. You want to dash to Rod Laver Arena or Hisense Arena. You want to be there on the grounds with everyone and root for your favourite player.

I am a Serena Willams and Venus Wiliams fan. I am so damn proud of them. They changed the game of tennis.

Unfortunately, Venus was out of the running for this year’s trophy. And, they didn’t make it to the semi-finals too for the Women’s Doubles category. They were bested by the duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

I’m glad I didn’t watch that game or else I would have had my heart broken twice. Yes, I am that emotionally invested with these sisters. In fact, I am so freaking weird and superstitious at times that I believe I jinx them when I watch them play. How do I watch a game then? I turn away from the television set when either one of them losses a point to their opponent. I let my partner do the watching for me. I believe she’s imbued with good luck. And when it’s all good, I resume watching. I am dead serious.

Today, Serena Williams will be competing against Sloane Stephens. It’ll be a great match to watch since I l support both of them. But then again, my ticket is for the 5pm session so I won’t be seeing them live in action. I know, I know. I’m a bad fan. But hey, I am grateful to be watching Australian Open with a free ticket. Yeah, someone else paid. And no, I am not sponsored or affiliated with any names or brands mentioned on this blog or blog post.

So, for now, I can only but give a few reminders to other arena-watching-newbies like me.

AUSOPEN TIP #1
There really is no way of knowing who you’ll be watching days before you buy your ticket. But, if you plan to buy your ticket the night before, then you can easily view the updated tournament schedule the following day.

AUSOPEN TIP #2
Entrance to the venue can be limited by arena and by time, especially during the qualifying rounds. Your Hisense Arena ticket won’t get you in Rod Laver Arena. And, your day session ticket won’t permit you to watch beyond that time. Once again, make sure where and when your favourite player’s tournament going to be held.

AUSOPEN TIP #3
So, what’s a girl to do? Buy a ground pass! You can catch a glimpse of your favourite player practicing on one of the open courts. There’s a designated court and time when they’ll be warming up. It’s usually an hour or two before their scheduled match. Just seeing them up close for once is a dream of a lifetime. At least that holds true for me.

AUSOPEN TIP #4
It’s really better to prepare early on for events such as this. Check the weather, slather on the sunscreen, get your shades, and hold the coffee. You don’t want to be going to the loo every now and then.
And oh, don’t forget your jacket. Australian summer is a bit finicky. At times, it’s 16C in the morning, heats up to 24C to 36C or more during the rest of the day, and then cools down again to 20C and below.

AUSOPEN TIP #5
Explore the grounds and be aware of the people around you. They give you more clues than you can imagine. The lines tell you where the good eats are at, where the toilets are, where the freebies are, and of course, where the same people are cheering for your favourite player.

AUSOPEN TIP #6
Dress to your fancy. It’s the time to let some of your finest summer wardrobe see the light of day or night for that matter. Or if you prefer, let loose and wear a more festive attire. You’re sure to see avid fans out there like you and me.

AUSOPEN TIP #7
Check what you can’t bring in with you. As much as we love to capture as much photos as we can, tripods aren’t allowed and so are camera lenses with more than 200mm.

I’ll be adding more to this list, if ever you need more tips. For now, let’s enjoy the Australian Open 2013!

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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Things to Do in Melbourne: A Summer Day at Luna Park and St. Kilda Beach

I had to stop myself from jumping out of the tram as it passes through Chapel St. on our way to St. Kilda Beach. It was lined with beautiful shops, restaurants, and cafes. It seemed everybody was carrying a bag or two.  What made it all the more tempting were the sale posters the stores had put up and all over their windows.

Our original plan for the day was to get a pizza at Portone Woodfired Pizza along Carlisle St., but sadly they were on a holiday break during the time. We had to go to another shop to get our fix instead. If you’re not too keen on getting a slice of pizza, there’s more to Carlisle St. to be discovered. I do encourage you to explore the area as it is only a tram stop away from the St. Kilda. And if you’re like me, any excuse to try local food stores and favourite hang outs should be reason enough to at least walk a few blocks around the area.

Finally, we make our way to Luna Park – celebrating its 100th summer of fun.

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The Colorful Luna Park – Celebrating their 100th summer of fun

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One of the rides at Luna Park. Back home, we call this one Anchor’s Away

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One of the rides I would have thought of twice before riding. It doesn’t only rotate, it does its own revolution too or something. That’s as far as I go on describing this wicked ride.

My partner can’t go on rides. She really can’t. So we settled for the booth games and found ourselves going home with a lovely pair.

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Yup, we just stood back and watched.

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I was so good with this one, I was able to put 4 out of 5 balls at the number 5 slot. I forgot that I needed to aim at the number 6 slot. Next time then.

I had named the giraffe Cadbury and the black puppy she named Luna.

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Our prizes and new pets

We took our newfound pets for a stroll along the beach. I was warned the water is too cold for swimming even though it was summer.  They were right. I could only dip my feet in the water and that was about it.

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Dipping my toes in Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach. Brrrr

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On our way to the St Kilda Bath House

All that walking and strolling deserves a reward. So, we went to Acland St. and treated ourselves to cake and coffee.

The selection is endless. You might find yourself ogling at the window displays a long time before making your choice. I did. So don’t worry, you’re not the only one. And a lot of people really do, so there. Monarch Cake Shop, Acland Cakes, Le Bon Continental Cake Shop and Europa Cake Shop all sit in one block. You can take your sweet time deciding what you’ll have with your coffee.

Our short and sweet escapade allowed us to go home early, without feeling too exhausted or rushed for dinner. So, if you want a no-fuss itinerary for a day out, a trip to St. Kilda Beach is always a good idea.

PS. I apologize for the absence of food photos. Probably next time or in a new post. Thanks.

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A Prosperous First New Year Melbourne!

Happy New Year!

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2013 flashing on the jumbotron at ACMI Fed Square Flinders St, Melbourne

It’s our first time celebrating New Year in Melbourne and I must say, we did the touristy thing and headed to Federation Square for the fireworks display along with a million people. It was fun to see a sea of people on Flinders St. for a change, but I doubt that we’ll be doing that again next year.