One week ago, Jenny who was Dana’s flatmate asked us that if we would like to go to Sunshine Coast and Aussie Zoo with Dana and her on July 2 and July 3. Lily and I had had a plan to the Australia Zoo so we agreed immediately. In the rest of that week, Lily and I prepared some steamed bread with mince pork, some sushi and baked some cookies for our lovely weekend. 

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Last week, on our way to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Lily’s university classmate, Darren, told us that there would be an open interview for jobs of a strawberry farm in Caboolture where there were lots of backpackers looking for farm jobs. Darren who had a part time job for picking passengers up from Brisbane Airport said that this information was provided by a well-known celebrity who was very enthusiastic about helping backpackers. Darren needs to collect second visa because his wife is studying in Brisbane now. Thus he decided to take this interview and shared this info with us.

Originally our plan is to find jobs after finishing our language school courses on July 29. After considering our situations and discussing with Lily, we adopted Darren’s suggestion since it is really hard to live here by NTD. Moreover I found this is a 5-star farm job which we want to apply for by surfing the internet. Why do people say that? First, the welfare in this farm is much better than others. For example, you won’t be afraid to work overtime. Second, the salary is also very good for the jobs. Basically there are two ways to gain salary in farms, one is by time and the other is by piece rate. In this farm, the salary is 18 AUD per hour at last and if you worked fast, you could change your wage by piece rate which means you could earn more than 18 AUD an hour if you want. Even I saw some blogger said she could earn 29 AUD an hour at most.

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I think visiting a zoo is the most must activity we need to do in Australia because you don’t have any chance to cuddle a koala or watch kangaroos jumping in Taiwan. Today Lily and I took the bus 430 from Cultural Centre to Lone Pine. If including the journey from our home, Sunny Bank, to Cultural Centre, we spent 1 hour and 20 minutes totally to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. 

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Several days ago, we had planed the trip of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I had expected the day coming eagerly, but the weather was contrary to my expectations. Until last friday, it was clear up and there were no clouds in the sky. We got our things ready and departed for Lone Pine. About 70 minutes, we had arrived at it. There was a placard marked the price and timetable of daily shows front the entrance.
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Recently it was just the period of continuous public holidays in Australia: April 22 for Good Friday, April 23 for Easter Saturday, April 24 for Easter Sunday, April 25 for ANZAC Day and April 26 for Easter Monday. You could see many typical goods and representatives everywhere for example Easter eggs, hot cross buns and bunny ears.

Actually after I had tried a hot cross bun, I would never try it again because the smell of cinnamon.

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Speaking of outdoor activities, 90% of Australians will suggest you to go to the beach. If you like surfing, you must hear the famous place, Surfers Paradise, which is located in Queensland’s Gold Coast with endless beaches, lots of shops and restaurants. It was lucky that Lily’s cousin, Carrey, would go to Harbour Town which was a very big outlet shopping center on Gold Coast so we asked him to drive us and convinced him to go to the beach as well. Totally there were nine guys and two cars, one for Carrey, his girl friend and three 26s and the other for me, Lily, Carrey’s sister and Carrey’s friend on this journey.

 

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Everything here is more expensive than Taiwan. The rent, the fee of internet surfing, the fare of food and transportation and the salaries of Australians are much more than ours. How to save money to afford such situation? Here let’s talk about food first. Like Europeans, the people in Australia always prepare their light food for lunch and cook dinner by themselves if possible. While in Rome, do as the Romans do. Now the chief cook, me, will introduce you that what we had cooked for the first week here.

 

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After 9 hours flying from HK to Brisbane, we took immigration cards filled in advance on the airplane to across the custom. There were few questions when we passed and then we went to baggage claim to wait for our baggage. There is a big difference between AU and Taiwan that is we need to take our check-in baggage to cross baggage checking counter and it is very very very serious for checking baggage in AU. In that time, I was blocked by the Customs officer. In the beginning, he asked me if the baggage is mine, if I read all the details on the immigration card. Fine, I said yes but in the meantime I started doubting that if someone put something illegal in my bag and became nervous. Then the Customs Officer started to turn over the discipline written on the book with multi language translated. “Wow! No Chinese version”, I thought. Finally, the Custom Officer asked me to check my bag. “OK! Here you are! Let’s see what’s up!”, I pondered. The Custom Officer took my stuff out and I saw there was a smile on his face. Ha! That is our LOCK with my wife’s pantyliner. I think he must regard LOCK as a box with sandwich, bread, ham or something else. 

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One week ago, I quitted from the company where I have served for military service for more than 4 years. I didn’t prepare too much for this Working Holiday of Australia but only apply for Visa and buy two round trip tickets, one for me and the other for my wife. I remember when I talked to my wife that I want to go Working Holiday last year, she didn’t seem to believe me but just considered I was joking. Afterward, every day I talked to her that it would be very interesting and meaningful if we went to Australia. Not only could we experience the different life but also expand our world view. Finally she accepted my decision and became more excited than me.

 

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