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  • Gabriel

Quarantine Day 3: Essentials

Updated: May 20, 2021

Being in a health hotel, it's essential for them to make sure everyone here is in good health. That requires a daily pulse and blood pressure check in that takes place at 9:30am or so. That's officially our quarantine alarm clock in the morning.

Since I got woken up early, my day started early (Sarah was asleep or pretended to be so she didn't have to get up). Today was all about getting all the essentials in.

#1: Groceries from Woolworths

Side note: While I'm aware the Aussie term for Woolworths is Woolies, it seems a little pretentious to have been here for three days and suddenly I'm all Aussie terminology Maccas, Woolies, biccy so it's Woolworths for now.

So quarantine allows grocery deliveries with no restrictions on alcohol or cigarettes. Strange being a health hotel that they would not bother about these vices. Our order came up to $100ish which included:

  • Chapsticks for both of us

  • Red Rock chips because Australia

  • Instant noodles because Asian

  • Chewing gum because we're Singaporean and now we can

  • TWO bananas. Yes, just two.

  • A bottle of wine for just $5 (Cheaper than a MACCAS meal!)

  • A 6-pack beer

  • Paper towels and a box of tissue

  • 6-pack San Pellegrino because we ATAS like that (ok it's cheaper than in SG and we enjoy drinking it)

  • Gillette shaver + blades. Necessity. In Winter.

Arrived in 1.5 hours!

#2: SIM Card

After realising that without a SIM card, we're pretty much locked out of all food delivery apps, we placed an order for a SIM card.

Fun fact: Did you know Circles.Life is in Australia? Now you do.

I use Circles.Life in Singapore and am quite a big fan especially going from a $90 to $100 monthly bill to a $39 one with Circles.

- End of advertisement -

My SIM card arrived late night after some delivery hassle. SIM in my phone, activated, up and running in 30 minutes. Food delivery sites, here we come!

#3: Get a job

My Sydney job hunt started way back in September 2020. I've applied to over 160 jobs from then till now with six replies for an interview or 3.75% hit rate. Out of those six, the furthest I've gone is to the final round only for the job to be pulled. Every other role I didn't progress past round two.

Job hunting is hard work. It's an extremely depressing process. Search, apply, wait, "thank you for your application", repeat.

The semi-rumour (semi because I spoke to a few Sydney recruiters about the process) is that if I'm not in Sydney, it's going to be unlikely I would land a role. The employers are 1) Generally leaning towards hiring locals; 2) if they make an offer to someone overseas in this pandemic, there may be some doubt if the candidate would actually make their way down to Sydney.

So I started going after Singapore based companies in Sydney. ShopBack was one. And then I found out Circles.Life operates in Sydney as well. Unfortunately there wasn't a role open then so I made a cold call through a mutual contact to the Head of Australia. He responded saying he would give me a call but never did.

A week or so went by, I decided to send my application to one of the department heads in Singapore instead. He connected me with a really lovely lady who looks after marketing in Australia. She spoke to me as a round one call. Then I had HR as a round two. Then an Australian executive as round three. Head of department in Singapore round four.

In total, I did eight rounds of interviews across a two week period. Phone calls, Zoom, and in-person.

And just today, I signed off my contract to work at Circles.Life.

There wasn't a big celebration or a I got a job kinda thing for some reason. Maybe because of everything else going on it didn't seem like a big win. Imagine asteroid heading to earth, zoo animals on the loose, fire everywhere. None of them would stand out because they would all feel the same.

Looking back, it actually is a big deal. Sarah says it is and she's always right. Considering the fact that we both moved here without work, finding a job is going to provide us that freedom to truly enjoy what Sydney has to offer and it was my biggest fear that coming here would lead us to financial ruin. I've actually mentioned that fear to a few people before.

I start next Monday and it's really God at work. Actually all of my jobs have been God at work. I think He's a little tired of catching me and providing for my career. Story for another time.

#4: Food

Lunch wasn't too bad. We got a Poke Bowl which Sarah ate because it looked normal.

I opted for a frozen meal instead. BEEF RENDANG WITH RICE.

Dinner going forward is likely going to be food delivery and we ordered pasta which wasn't great. Comparable to the frozen food.

Not the actual pasta dish. Leftovers because we didn't take any photos of the food.

After yesterday's poor movie choice, we went back to a classic - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Needless to say, that movie was a win.

Fun fact: A total of 27 owls were used in the Half-Blood Prince. Every owl had a minimum of three stunt doubles, and they all came from animal sanctuaries.

Made a call to reception to rearrange the pulse/blood pressure checks in the morning to the afternoon so we can get a proper sleep in.

Had some late night drama when Sarah accidentally locked us out of our only toilet. That's tricky because 1) There isn't a second toilet so if we had to pee, it would be in a bottle I guess?; and 2) Nobody is allowed into our apartment because it's quarantine so even a call to reception wouldn't fix that.

Not sure why I took a card and started going at the lock knowing this was roughly the technique to get out of these situations. Like a deep, hidden memory that I never knew. Anyway, the door popped open and all was well as we ended day three.

Day three check ✅

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