1月10日香港時間晚上11時許，我人在紐西蘭北島，其時網上顯示餘額只剩112名。於是不加思索， 遞交了過往工作、教育履歷、基本個人資料及費用加幣150大洋， 立即開了IEC Kompass户口作第一輪申請。
1月29日 收到電郵通知合資格及暫時接納書(conditional acceptance letter)，須申請MyCIC户口連同接納書，進行第二輪工作簽證申請階段。
4月29日又收到電郵。以為是自動回覆說已收到翻案請求，一看，大驚。加拿大駐港領事館以香港人的速度，回覆簽證POE Introduction letter已批出，須於15年2月10日前入境報到。
Two third of 2014 has gone, I feel like just came back to Hong Kong not long ago being restless and struggling between work and family since back late January. I’m still trying to remember and write about my year in Australia while leaving for Canada within a month.
Many friends of mine asked the reasons I leave Hong Kong for Canada working holiday. I would say it looks cool but I did hesitate and somehow feel a bit speechless. Canada was the only country I could apply for working holiday before my birthday this year. I just tried to fill out forms online when the application was opened and got myself a seat ASAP without any research since there are 200 quota each year. It was a bit late by the time I figured out how complicated the consequences will be. There was a time I thought I was actually applying migration to Canada (it’s gonna be 100 times more difficult I’m sure.) during those three and half months. I have thought about the failure of my application and even had a ‘back up’ plan go backpacking somewhere else, however, I got the visa granted unexpectedly! So…. Canada here I come!
10th Jan- I was in North Island, New Zealand while Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong announced suddenly that the application started for International Experience Canada 2014.
There were only 112 placement left when I checked their website around 10pm Hong Kong Time. I just wrote my CV, registered an IEC Kompass account, and submitted my application plus CAD150 right away without second thought.
11th Jan- Received confirmation email said that I created my IEC Kompass account successfully around mid-night Hong Kong time. That meant I got myself a seat temporarily.
29th Jan- Got an email and a Conditional Acceptance Letter which means they are happy with my background and the letter allowed me to go on the second stage of the visa application to create and MY CIC account and apply the work visa.
3rd Feb- figured out how to create the MyCIC account finally. Got email confirmation, filled out my whole family information and some other forms online, scheduled the very lame medical check appointment (HKD2,700) and Hong Kong police check certificate (HKD$205) before starting my new job, then wait. Here comes the ‘interesting’ part when I received email notification 2 weeks later. Canadian immigration request applicant to hand in police check and driving record from any country they lived over six months. So I had to get the related documents from Australia……I called the AFP and Vic Roads, assumed I would get the documents (AUD54) in a month time but I got everything I need in my Hong Kong mail box from unbelievable efficient Australian in ten days!
I just started my new job by that time and remembered to hand in the documents a month after. As it states on the web that the visa application takes six to eight weeks to process, all I could do was waiting and nothing else.
27th Apr- Received the notification about the application status- Failure! There was a moment I actually felt relieved and then I was like ‘What the hell??!!’ I read through the letter carefully and the reason I was rejected for was I didn’t give the Australian Police Check! Excusez-moi???? So I wrote a compliant letter a very polite enquiry email the same night, asking to review my case with the Australian Police check certificate attached.
29th Apr- Thought I got the auto reply about they received my enquiry. I was amazed when opened the email box seeing the work visa (POE introduction letter) to Canada has been approved! The Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong handled my case in Hong Kong speed which is incredible! I will have to enter into the country on or before 10th February 2015.
I believe a girl like me who grow up in hot, humid and fast paced Hong Kong, the two BIGGEST challenges to survive in Canada will be the extremely cold winter and their slowness!
Entering Victoria Park 入緊維園
A family of three 三口之家
Big shower 下雨了
Still in Victoria Park waiting to start 仲係維園等緊正式出發
Sky was getting dark when start walking! 起步時天黑了!
It says everything! 一語道破！
Today is a memorial date. It was my very first protest and maybe the last one as well.
You can imagine how non-functioning Hong Kong government it is if people like me who usually are the silent ones chose to go protesting.
This could be the last 7.1 protest indeed. Here are the possibilities: 1) the government eventually got the gust to resolve the conflicts and follow general public’s will since then (probability=5%); 2) the government continues neglecting and fooling Hong Kong people as Beijing is the boss (probability=85%); 3) No more protest is allowed in Hong Kong! (probability=10%)
There are opinions on media saying those go protesting are stupid and being used by different political parties. Others tell you it is useless to go protesting cause nothing will be changed, why not stay indoors to enjoy the cool air-conditioning and do shopping.
For those who think they are the smartest in this entire world:
It is awesome if you can be ‘used’ by different political parties or organizations cause Hong Kong right now is still not rule by ‘the one and only’ party. It is a kind of happiness to go protesting and sweat cause we still have the right to choose either stay in or stay out. No one will keep you at home to ‘enjoy’ air-conditioning in order to maintain the stability of this city. No one will forbid you from gathering friends together to ‘have a walk’.
I am not a supporter of any political parties, and not a pawn in this protest. (well, we are all pawns at some point) I went protesting because the CEO of Hong Kong SAR- C.Y. Leung has been enforcing destructive policies; because of those shameless council members from pro-Beijing camp. I went protesting for those wanted to be there but had to work on the day; for those who are disappointed but still hesitate to take a stand. After all, the walk is for Hong Kong’s future and next generation!
The walk from Causeway bay to Central usually takes about 45 minutes. My friends and I made a stubborn decision to begin the protest from Victoria Park. It took us six hours and 30 minutes to complete eventually from 3:30pm to 10pm! It was a typical summer day in Hong Kong. Thousands and thousands of people walked and waited under the sun and heat, under stuffy weather with a drizzle then steam after the rain, and big shower again with lot of sweats, others’ sweats and everyone’s odours after a long day…
No one was complaining. No one was whining. Everyone was determined and completed the protest in an organized manner. We sang and spoke out the changes we want to see loudly along the way. I will never forget the youngest 2 months old infant in Daddy’s arm; the very old man in his eighties with weak hearing, a walking stick, his little and slow steps…
Look pale after 350cc blood gone…捐到面青口唇白… -_-“
Let me show off first in the beginning of this entry. Today was my twentieth time to give blood to Red Cross Hong Kong! They sent me a certificate after I completed the whole donation process. Yeah!
Frankly speaking, I was a bit stupid in my childhood.
I hear this sentence, I speak the sentence but I didn’t understand the meaning of ‘It is more blessed to give than to received’ until I went to secondary school (Grade 6). Although I understand the wordings, it didn’t touch me. I would even think, ‘My family is quite poor in Hong Kong standard, how it is possible for us to be givers.’ The time that I truly know the meaning of this was because of a car accident in an oversea trip.
I’m far from wealthy, not ambitious at work. But I’m so grateful that my parents give me a healthy enough body and good tolerance of pain, I can give blood to help people in need of it.
Wish all my relatives, friends and myself always have this blessing. Love you all!
Left: My lovely co-workers in Melbourne Right: From the event i worked in Darwin
Oz Odyssey –The ‘must’ have in your wardrobe
I made a big simple mistake when preparing my backpack for this working holiday trip. I didn’t bring any clothing in black as I felt that I had enough of it.
The mistake revealed when I was asked to go for a job trial.
Phone rang one day. ‘Hello xx, can you come over for trial tomorrow?’,’ That’s good. Just wear in black and black shoes. I’ll see you tomorrow.’
Holy Moly, I remembered I was running around in Melbourne city to look for cheap pants and shoes for the next day.
So don’t forget the ‘working’ part and your black top, black pants, black shoes and white shirt. These will make your life so much easier for most of the job you gonna do. (e.g. waitress, shop assistant)
But don’t panic even though you are broke, just go to the Target or Big W nearby and you will find these in affordable price.
一 次想要趁維多利亞菜市場收市前撿便宜菜，因那陣子天氣炎熱，市場比平常早結束。正當以為無功而還之時，眼見收拾後的眾多攤檔旁留下或多或少完好的蔬果。於是乎我就厚着面皮開始撿剩菜！反正不拿白不拿之餘亦是浪費！來來回回走了幾趟，發現人類真的太會浪費資源，看到一大個貨車升斗的青椒即將變成垃圾，我皺眉心想：「攞幾多好呢? 我點食得完呢 d青椒？？！！」
Rethinking Living- Days of being a ‘diver’
A Chinese idiom says, ‘Once left his homeland, a man becomes valueless, and a specialty goes priceless.’
It sort of explains my days in Australia. As the more money I save up, the better sense of security I have. I rarely went to any proper restaurant for decent meal therefore. I only bought veggies and fruits in season, because it tastes the best and usually the cheapest to buy.
One day I passed by Victoria market quite late before closing and hoped to get some good last minute deals. Maybe the weather was a bit too warm and I was a bit too late, all stalls were packing up. When I was walking to pick my bicycle and ready to leave with disappointment, I found that there were a lot of veggies on the floor in good and edible condition. Probably not many people would appreciate my action as I started to walk around and pick those up from the floor, from the dumpsters. If you willing to do this, even just for once and for fun, you will be absolutely shocked by the amount of food resources we trash every single day. There was a dumpster filled up with green pepper, a whole dumpster!
I buy and dive food since then. I’m proud of ignoring others curious looks to me, also putting the ‘ego’ down.
This definitely gained me a whole new horizon on food resource topic. What can we do to share this cake and try our best to let everyone have a bite?
Will these be the solution or inspiration?
SecondBite from Australia: http://secondbite.org/
The Leftovers from Hong Kong: http://overleftover.wix.com/theleftovers
My first ‘dive’
Yum from the dumps
墨爾本從Northcote到North Melbourne到Fiztroy North再到Brunswick East。
達爾文由Knuckey Street到Smith Street到Leydin Court 再到Dashwood Place。聽落好似搬開有鋪癮咁，大部分澳洲有的房屋種類都差不多住過晒。公屋、公寓、獨立屋等，分租屋同分租房都有。回憶永遠比當時經歷美好一點。而家逐一慢慢講。
之前提過初到貴境，有幸得朋友接濟，而落腳的地方正是Northcote。坐火車離市中心約三十分鐘，坐電車則需時約四十五分鐘。 Northcote是一個安全、靜中帶旺的社區。住過兩星期後，俾我係Gumtree（澳洲黃頁網站，搵乜都有，真正包羅萬有）搵到個絕世筍盤，認真平到無朋友。於是乎好快拍板，搬到North Melbourne 去了。故名思義，North Melbourne位於市中心北邊，行路去市中心係無問題的，行四十五分鐘就到。懶的話就坐電車。搬入去無耐，我就買了一架二手小童爬山單車代步，咁就返幾夜工都無問題。住所鄰近有三間公立醫院、消防局、警署，真係有咩野衫長褲短都無有怕！講到咁正，梗係有辣有唔辣啦。咁平其實係公屋，同包租婆一家住！佢係一個單親媽媽，係越南帶住兩個子女唔知用咩途徑移民到澳洲，出租房係搵額外收入。同佢地住了三個多月，其實好少會見到面（我基本上只返去沖涼訓覺），包租婆人好好，好多時煮野食會預埋我，但朝朝晨早被過百隻癲雀嘈醒、包租婆個男朋友同細仔令到我感覺唔良好（故事請向本人詢問），加上人流有些少複雜，於是我又密密上Gumtree搵過個竇搬。
又有筍盤！俾我搵到個離潮區極近的屋，又係平到笑！講緊係Fiztroy North，間屋係兩個潮區Fiztroy同Brunswick中間，房東又係越南人，今次係同佢個女，其他背包客做室友。附近有單車徑，公園，咖啡廳。 我日日係對面街買新鮮出爐麵包或鬆餅，咬住踩單車返工，諗返好回味…但呢轉難忘事件係身痕！住了大概兩個星期後，開始晚晚俾野咬，除了嚴重影響睡眠質素，仲浪費了大量金錢！（稍後詳述）
My ‘Homes’ in Melbourne
My home in North Melbourne
The backyard of the Fiztroy North share house
Close to Brunswick
Oz Odyssey- Places to stay (I)
So… I have lived in 8 different ‘homes’ during my six months in Melbourne and four months in Darwin.
In Melbourne, it was from one neighborhood to another which was Northcote to North Melbourne, then Fiztroy North and Brunswick East.
While in Darwin it was from one street to another street! First on Knuckey Street, then Smith Street, to Leydin Court and the last one on Dashwood Place.
Well, I don’t enjoy moving places particularly but I have learned a lot about houses, apartments and cultures in this unintentional moving journey. I did share house and share room. There were unforgettable moments for sure and here we go.
My first stop in Melbourne was in Northcote, I was so luckily got hosted by my friend. Northcote is well connected with train and tram. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to the city. After a stress-free 2 weeks in this quiet and safe neighborhood, I found the best deal on renting a room in North Melbourne on Gumtree (you can simply find anything and everything on this site). As the name says, North Melbourne located in the North of the Melbourne CBD which is close enough that you can walk to the city in 45 minutes or a 16 minutes tram ride will also do. I finally got a second hand kids mountain bike after moved into North Melbourne and increase my mobility from place to place no matter how late the night or how early the day is. Also, I felt completely ‘safe’ as the building is surrounded by three public hospitals, a fire station and a police station. Isn’t it sound like you dream share flat? Well, you get what you pay for. I lived with the ‘land lady’ and her 2 children the whole time for this good location and cheap room (I was there for sleep and showers only). She is a single mum migrated to Australia with the children from Vietnam, trying to get a little extra income from renting the room out. The land lady was very kind indeed. She always invited me to share her tasty authentic Vietnamese meals, however, being awake by more than hundred of crazy noisy birds every 5am, her live in boyfriend, her eight year old young son plus the ‘interesting’ neighbors in the building drove me to look for another home on Gumtree.
Again, I found another great deal on Gumtree and this time is a share house located right between the two trendy, up coming neighborhoods of Fiztroy and Brunswick! My landlord was again Vietnamese and I shared the house with their uni aged daughter and other working holiday makers from UK, France and Italy. It is a truly lovely area with bike path, awesome cafes and parks around. I couldn’t forget my days getting a freshly baked muffin or croissant just across the road. Riding on bicycles to work while taking a bite of these delicious pastries! What more…the most miserable happened after two weeks I moved in. I was suffering from irritating itchiness, had less than four hours sleep since then. Needless to say wasted lot of money (details in the later post)… :(
Melbourne winter came after my two months lived in Fiztroy North. I decided to leave and hit the road again with my nearly nervous breakdown mental condition (lack of sleep mainly). My last two weeks stayed with my caring friends in Brunswick East. I eventually enjoyed my beloved Melbourne more, its numerous cafes, cake shops and ice cream shops without rushing to work. Also, created my new highest weight record!
Oz Odyssey – The end, The map
Working: From down South Melbourne to top end Darwin.
Holiday: the GOR, Adelaide, Alice Spring, the East coast.
Give me some times and I will tell you some stories.
Finally found a store sells top quality of ‘thousand years egg’, cooked a perfect pot of rice porridge with pieces of ‘flowers’ on the egg floating on the porridge. Yum….!