Tag Archives: shopping

Two weeks in!

Feels like I’ve made some real progress in settling down here, the majority of the admin hurdles are out of the way and it’s a waiting game for some. My Barclays app has unlocked however because I don’t have a card yet, I can’t really pay anyone.

I’ve set up a limited liability company in anticipation for contract work that hasn’t happened yet. I still find the fact that I’m a director of a company rather amusing, not to mention the things you can do as a company made my laugh. For example, I’m allowed to gift myself something of up to £50 value each with a total of £300 a year, tax free! Other things like the company being able to buy your own used  equipment off you as an expense to reduce your tax! Totally awesome! Not to mention you can basically pay yourself up to £45k pounds at 9.5% tax :O.

Anyway, been out and a bit and already onto the music scene. Above and Beyond played a gig at the O2 and I decided to go last minute, £45 a ticket, but the show opened at 7.30 and only went til 11, supported by Luttrel and Gabriel and Dresden!

Barely made it in for Luttrel because the line to get in was super slow moving, also bizzare that there was no cloakroom and the service at the bar was super shitty and slow. Venue-wise it’s quite similar to Qudos. I’ll add another post with some videos.

Also found it weird that the crowd wasn’t full of 18 year old Asian LGs but more like an average of over 30 and white.

Also went to check out Kolsch play live at fabric, a pretty well-known name in London clubbing, but apparently has lost its charm after closing and re-opening. Pretty cool place, feels a little bit underground but not exactly grungy. Kolsch has been in Sydney previously but I gave it a miss, definitely glad I made this one. Being able to ride a bicycle to the venue was also super cool.

Club was super packed packed and it’s kinda cool that it has a mezzanine that overlooks the main dancefloor.

In more music/festival related stuff, I booked flights and tickets for Transmission in Prague, one of the events on my bucket. Despite it coming to Melbourne and having made fomo over it, I decided it’s best to check out the real one.

After A&B though, I did make the mistake of ordering a kebab, which is not the same as it is back home, it’s more like a weird open sandwich but there’s no BBQ sauce! Have only found out later that I need to order a wrap.

Went to check out a World Press competition photo exhibit which was rather small but quite impactful. The nature photos were great, especially one about pandas and what China is doing to preserve them.

Some of the war-torn and impoverished photos hit pretty hard, there’s one in particular about a man who was stoned and then hung from a crane that was absolutely brutal. Amazing the time and effort (as well as chance) to make these photos happen.

Had a taste of what Sydney life was like with the visit of Bec who’s doing a mini round-the-world trip. Great to see a friendly face and have a few beers and some amazing pie! Chance pick from google and it was delicious! The gravy that went with the mash was divine. It’s a pub called The Windmill in Mayfair.

Good news – found a place to live, it’s right next to old street station so it’s super well connected and flexible lease agreement, no ridiculous notion of 6 months rent in advanced! Room is a good size and it has a living room. There are so many places here that turn the living room into an extra bedroom, leaving a tiny kitchen as a communal area, just couldn’t live like that.

Can’t wait to get out of my Airbnb! Especially when this couple decided it’d be appropriate to bring a screaming toddler along.

Job wise I had a last minute interview with a bus and transport company called Arriva for a Product Owner role, not something I was initially planning to go for, but why not? Would be pretty convenient as it’s a 25 minute walk down the road to my new place and should be an easy 10 minute ride on a bike.

While walking around I also stumbled upon Hamleys, a huge and crazy toy store! Filled with enthusiastic staff demonstrating and playing with the toys, it’s quite a spectacle!

Really cute displays out the front windows too.

Hanna’s found work at a hip bar in a somewhat questionable area, we were pleasantly surprised when we got there that it was a pretty decent establishment. A few beers and Gin and Tonics were had. I had a Nikka Coffey Gin which was pretty damn good.

A few drinks in with everyone laughing at me for holding the glass like a goblet we dreamt of innovative ways to consume G&Ts from such glasses. Scotty invented the Swan challenge whereby you hold it like a goblet but flip your grip and try to drink from the glass.

Went on a shopping trip Bicester village which was over an hour away to check out some outlets! £17 pound train ride here and I walked away with just a Superdry jacket and a pair of Chinos from Ted Baker. It’s a high end market with mostly designer brands, their target market is clearly the rich Asians. I’m not being racist, but they give Asians a 10% discount if you have a passport or UnionPay/Bank of China card.

I missed most of the Bonfire Night fireworks as they occurred on the same night as A&B but Victoria Park set up some fireworks on the Sunday, which is actually the proper date, November the 5th. Yes, the same date referenced in V for Vendetta from which the story about the treason is based on the real bonfire night, also called Guy Fawkes night.

New shirts – Threadless

As the my addiction of daily OzBargain checks, a coupon for 40% off at Threadless.com and free shipping had me looking around. It also made be realise, how did I not shop from here before? So many cheap, simple and fun t-shirts to be had!

Ended up buying 9 shirts:

(There’s only 8 here, 9 made the photo look funny)

The ones I bought (left to right, top to bottom):

1 – The Last Move
2 – Photographer
3 – It’s a Bird? It’s a Plane?…
4 – Technicolour Rex
5 – Funkalicious
6 – Friday, I’m In Love!
7 – Urban Oscillations
8 – Sky Aperture
(not pictured) Listening to My Song

All for $110, too easy.

Day 17 – Nagashima Spa Land

So on this day, Gavin and I had split with Ed and Tang as they prepared they prepared to leave and the fact that it would be too costly for them to get a Shinkansen to come along with us to Nagashima Spaland, another amusement park.

The entrance

So going in, this place was completely deserted! Hardly anyone in sight, this was both a good and a bad thing. It meant that we didn’t have to line up for a ride, but it also meant there wasn’t much of an atmosphere to enjoy the place either.

Close enough

Continue reading Day 17 – Nagashima Spa Land

Day 16 – Osaka Aquarium

As it was towards the end of autumn, the weather is quite cold, the bright people in Japan had a very awesome way to solve this problem. Heated vending machines which spit out warm drinks. First up was a warm banana drink, next was a milk coffee, nice and warm and lovely to hold in your hand.

Warm banana drink
Warm milk coffee

The trip today would be towards Osaka aquarium, train ride wasn’t too far and it looking out you could see the complex network of highways Japan has.

Insane bridges and roadways

Continue reading Day 16 – Osaka Aquarium

Day 14 – Osaka and Namba

So we had arrived in Osaka early in the morning but for some reason we had difficulties getting to our hotel room despite seeing it on the first night we arrived. It took about an hour for us to find our way around and it was during the walk around we noticed that this area was kinda dodgy. There were people trying to sell random crap on the streets, presumably stolen goods as they included random remotes, gameboys, headunits, etc.

When we finally found our hotel, we couldn’t check in as it was too early, so we left our bags and went to find something to do, luckily we found an attraction nearby, known as Spa World. It however would open at 10am, about 40 minutes after we arrived, so it was more walking around to kill time. They had various shops and cinemas around, but interestingly enough, some of the cinemas would screen adult movies and it’d be freely advertised.

As 10am hit, we got into Spa World for a bargain price of 1000 Yen, as opposed to their regular fee of 3000 Yen. So Spa World, as the name suggests, is a large spa or onsen, this place had heaps of different spas and each differed in setting. Being Japan, these onsens are strictly full nude, bar a tiny little towel, this made it particularly interesting for us 4 guys.

After being vitalised and relaxed by the hot spas, we went to check in and head off to explore. Namba was our destination to be. Exiting the station you immediately see this funky building surrounded by an array of streets and overhead roads.

Radio station building

Our destination in Namba was Dotonbori street, a busy street full of restaurants, bars and shopping, along the way though, you see the area has heaps of love hotels, some quite vibrantly decorated like the one below.

Love hotel

Continue reading Day 14 – Osaka and Namba