Saturday, January 31, 2009

Offending an Asian Dude outside the Ross House

I left home donning a hat for the very first time today. I have hunted for a suitable hat every Spring but have always been disappointed because it has been nearly impossible to find one to fit my grotesque head. Then I came across this cheapo at Big W and it looked pretty good on me when I tried it on. So, I bought it and today, after hiding indoors for the past few days, I wore it for the very first time. As we walked from Southbank to the City, I kept telling M what it was like to wear the hat. It was an all new experience for me. Little did I realise that I was about to commit a heinous crime.

M had wanted to drop by the City Library to pick up an item he had ordered. I didn’t really want to go but gave in because we weren’t planning to stay for long. All I wanted to do was to get the grocery shopping done. As we walked down Flinders Lane, we jostled with other pedestrians along the narrow and busy footpath. Inside my brain, I was trying to remember all of the extra items not listed on my usual shopping list from Safeway. Just outside Ross House, a ute was parked there and a builder/contractor/workman (sorry that I don’t know what the right word to identify such a person is) was busy loading/unloading stuff from the ute. M was walking behind me. Down on my left side just a few steps ahead of me, I saw probably a couple of witches’ hats/traffic cones on the ground but I didn’t pay too much attention to them (that was mistake #1). Kiasu me saw that there was a chance to keep walking along the narrowed part of the footpath before pedestrians from the opposite direction, I went ahead and along the way, my left foot stepped on something the builder had earlier fixed. Believe it or not? I actually wasn't aware of what I precisely did at the time. There standing at the door way of Ross House was an Asian dude who witnessed my heinous crime. This was his opportunity to bombard me with his falsetto voice. “Don’t step on that!” “Didn’t you see that he just fixed this?” Other stuff was said as well but honestly I was both wondering what crime I committed and was also intrigued by the sound of his voice. Obviously caught red handed, I uttered a sorry and kept walking. It was utterly embarrassing to be scolded like this in public. Then I heard the builder asking, “Did she step on that?” and the Asian dude responded, “Yes, she did!” I called out another ‘Sorry’ but that was it. I hit the roof. Ok, there was no roof where I was standing at the time.

After our very brief visit to the library, I came out fuming. I know I was in the wrong. There is no excuse for being so careless. People like me should not cause any inconveniences to anyone. An apology to the builder went straight to the top of the to-do list if he was still there. He was, and I walked over to apologise to him like a sulking spoilt brat as featured in many episodes of the Super Nanny. He accepted it. Standing just inside the automatic sliding door was the Asian dude. I was in no mood to say anything to him. M was extremely worried that I was about to tear the dude into pieces. LOL.

Did this guy need to blast at me like that? He might as well just round up his henchmen and drag me down to the City Square so while kneeling on glass, I can be forced to admit to my wrong doing in front of the masses gathered there to watch the people participating in the Flying Trapeze workshops. Wouldn’t that be more fun? That may be too much for a wee dude to carry out on such a hot day. Besides, I think he already had his jollies yelling at me in front of the other pedestrians. It looks like Cheap Shots and Power Trips are becoming more and more common each day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Totally Disgusting Day!

I didn't bother popping up here to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year and/or a Happy Australia Day yesterday because I was fuming. I had a rotten day on the most auspicious day of the year. I did originally plan to post photos of events in the city but I experienced something totally gross that ruined my day. I am still not in the mood to blog about it but lets just say that it involved a couple of middle age idiots hurling a spray of a cheap shot at me and a little Aussie next to me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our New ‘Shed’

A couple of days before the New Year, I called a few storage facilities near us but visited only one in January. The facility we visited is almost brand new and we fell in love with the unit we were shown almost instantly. LOL. We absolutely love the cheaper rent and the larger size. It is actually twice the size of what we have been renting.

We started moving in on Thursday – the worst day to carry out moving jobs. It was like working inside a fan-forced oven because it was hot and blustery. When we returned with our second last load for the day, one side of the entry gate was partially damaged by the strong winds. After I logged in, the other side of the gate was still working but I had to hold on to the broken side to let M drive through or the broken gate might have slammed into the car or me. The guy at the office had left and we had to call him to notify him of the problem. He promised to return to fix it. Someone did come and fix it because when we returned with the last load of the day, the gate was temporarily fixed. The gates worked but looked fragile because the wind was just so strong.

Friday was a finer day. We started out really early. When we got to the new storage facility, the gates were properly fixed. The service we have been offered by this company has been good so far. When we signed the papers, I let the dude (the 3rd guy we dealt with) know that I needed everything to run smoothly and he obviously passed that onto his supervisor (the 2nd guy we dealt with). They emailed and then posted us our first bill (including our access code). They also followed that up with a friendly phone call to make sure that we received our access code. The service I had been receiving from the guys at the other storage facility had been satisfactory as well but the staff members at this new facility seem a tad better so far.

We are planning to return to our unit in a fortnight’s time because we need to sort out our stuff properly. In the beginning, we did try to store our stuff in an organized manner but due to time constraint and exhaustion, we ended up just chucking things in to make certain that we are out of that other storage facility by Friday. This kind of stuff has got to be done before the first day of Chinese New Year - which happens to be on Australia Day this year.

Almost Done Like a Dodo

M bought a copy of the Herald Sun on the last Saturday in December. We don’t buy newspapers regularly. I decided to read it a few days later and to my disbelief, I came across an article about the storage company where we rented a unit. Back in November, I posted about how our rented storage unit was broken into by its owner. That was the story we were fed and we believed them. Well, I personally didn’t quite believe that a mining hotshot would just break into my unit for no apparent reason but I didn’t want to rock the boat and thought that if we moved to the new unit (on a different level) offered to us, everything would return to normal. We have used this storage facility for a long, long time and we have always tried to pay our rent on time. There had been instances when we paid our rent a day or two late because M was too busy to get there to pay it himself.

A week or so after we moved our stuff to a slightly larger unit with a pretty auspicious number, we received an email requesting us to fill out a new contract. That was fine for us. Then we learned that we weren’t allowed to pay cash for the rent anymore. We had to pay via direct debit. We also learned that the storage facility would no longer open on the weekends. Now, that’s totally inconvenient for inner city residents like us. Imagine not being able to access one’s shed on the weekends. Since there was no other payment option, we reluctantly went along with paying via direct debit. Then we received a phone call from a lady telling M that he had filled in the wrong form and that they couldn’t find our details. We were asked to fill in another form and M did as he was told. I personally do not like internet banking, direct debit or credit cards. When it comes to using our hard earned money, I prefer a ‘concrete’ experience over an ‘abstract’ one. So, before Moosh sent off the second form, I photocopied it. I kept copies of all of the forms we had to fill. Guess what I noticed? The first and second Direct Debit Request forms were slightly different! I won’t go into great details here but was something fishy going on?

After I read the article at the end of December, I made the decision to move to another storage facility ASAP. We patiently waited for the ‘investments company’ to extract the rent for January and luckily it went without a glitch. With the rent paid till the end of the month, I called and emailed to let them know of our interest to move out. That went without much trouble also. Well, they did tell us that they won’t be refunding us any unused rent if we moved early. That was fine to us because I just wanted to be out of there. M and I spent two days moving out. On the second day of the move, we decided to have brekkie at McDonald’s before we start. M got hold of a copy of the day’s Herald Sun for restaurant patrons to read. When we got to page 39, I nearly choked on my hash brown. The headlines made me very angry. Up until just before that moment, I was actually feeling sad that we had to move out of a facility we had used for such a long time. After we read the article, we just wanted to rush out and start moving the rest of our stuff quickly. Because our car is small, we had to move four more loads before the move was completed. As we moved our stuff, we noticed that many units next to us were still occupied. These people probably aren’t aware of things going on behind the scene at this facility. We wouldn’t have known if we didn’t read these two articles in the newspapers. On the first day of our move, some people were moving out just like us but on the next day, we saw at least two parties moving in or dropping off more stuff to be stored. Bizarre! Maybe some people are just not bothered by what is going on. I am just glad that we had moved on our own terms. Imagine if everyone is asked to move out ASAP because the facility is shutting down suddenly. I can see tempers flaring because everyone wants to use the loading bays.

Let’s Fly! - Free Holiday Fun in Melbourne CBD

There are always fun things going on in the city. This one at the City Square is one I really like at this time of the year. Everyone is welcome to sign up for a free workshop. There are some very brave kids and nimble middle age Melburnians out there. I think, if I am not wrong, this activity will continue until the 1st of Feb. Sorry that the photos are crappy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Busy Me

We are going to be very busy between now and Australia Day. The year of the Ox is just around the corner and this time, the first day of the Chinese New Year lands on Australia Day. What a coincidence? There are quite a few things we need to sort out before the 26th. This includes cleaning our ‘pigeon hole’ again and sorting out an issue we have with someone – I will definitely blog about this ASAP. We are determined to get things done so we can have a fresh clean start in the New Year. Today and tomorrow are going to be hot but we are lucky that we haven’t yet experienced many extremely hot days this Summer. So, I do seriously wish that the weather would be kind to me for the rest of the month like it has been.

Little Black Bird

On my way to the city yesterday, I saw a dead black bird behind the National Art Gallery of Victoria. It was a sad sight to me. It had landed on its breast and neck with his legs stretched out. Judging from the sand around its head, it must have struggled to get back onto its feet. How very sad? Do animals know when they are dying? I didn’t stop for long because I didn’t want to attract the attention of the guards from the art gallery. The bird died near the benches used by the guards during their short breaks. Council workers might have binned it by now. I just hope that the bird has gone on to a better world. Do you know that birds are living relatives of big dinosaurs that used to roam the Earth?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Week of 2009

This is just a short post to give myself a pat on the back. The first week of 2009 is almost gone and I am proud to tell the world that I have been sticking to my mental to-do list each day without fail. One of my goals for this year is to not be lazy.

Turned Into a Mouse

Today is the 7th and as always I blog a little about my Guinea Pig on this day each month. I recently discovered a blogger who keeps multiple Guinea Pigs (+ other pets) and have been popping into her blog quite regularly to keep up with the latest news. After reading about that blogger’s recent post on the escapades of her son’s mice, I dreamt that my little Guinea Pig had turned into a mouse on Saturday night. LOL. Yes, my dreams can be quite bizarre.

In the dream, my Guinea Pig looked the way he was except that he was small enough to fit on the palm of my hand. He had escaped from his cage and was all over the living room. We tried to catch him, worried that he might run out to the balcony and fall to his death over the edge. Guinea Mouse he might have turned into but I was told that Guinea Pigs have poor eye sight and have difficulties differentiating heights. At one stage he somehow got himself up on the clothes rack and was hanging on one line for dear life. The vision of him holding onto the clothesline with his front paws looked suspiciously familiar. When I got up, I had a little laugh at what I just dreamt about. It was later in the day that I realised where that familiar vision of my Guinea Pig holding onto the clothesline came from. Around the time when the Olympics was on last year, I saw a series of photographs of Guinea Pigs doing sports and one of them was of a Piggy holding up weights. It looked just like my Guinea Pig holding onto the clothesline in my dream. LOL.

I sound like I am getting on with my life but there are still moments when I become incredibly sad, thinking about where his final resting place could be. In moments like this, I also get incredibly angry at those people who might have ruined my Guinea Pig’s final journey. The problem is that there is no absolute certainty whether these people did the right or wrong thing. There is no absolute way of proving what had or had not happened. I do try my very best to focus on all the good times we had with out little friend though. He was very cute and was such a good companion.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Sun Shining at Eureka

I took this picture of the sun shining at the Eureka on Saturday morning. You can't even see the sky deck's outline. It was probably not operating at the time (around 9:15am).

Friday, January 2, 2009

Potential Con Job in Progress!

I am absolutely fuming at the moment (and it is only the second day in the New Year). The reason is because I think we have been lied to again. I had suspected something was not quite right in November but M thought that I was thinking too deeply into things. (M has a tendency to think the best of everyone.) Then I came across an article/story in last Saturday’s Herald Sun proving that something fishy is indeed going on. Luckily I did flip through the paper out of boredom. We are going to sort out this issue on Monday (5th of January) and will blog more about it later. It’s hard to believe that there are so many (heartless) local weasels out and about aiming to make a quick buck without giving a damn to damages they cause others during their greedy process.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Is Here

Happy New Year Everyone!

Like I have said before, I am not sure if anyone is reading this blog but if you are, I thank you for visiting my blog. I hope it is not too boring. Although things are improving, the last 7 months have been quite horrible and this blog has helped me in some way. Do leave me a comment if possible and if you have a blog, share it with me so I can read about your life too. I do enjoy reading blogs and there are a few that I pop into almost every two or three days! On another note, the weather has been very kind to me lately. It hasn’t been too hot. My Guinea Pig would have enjoyed a less fiery Summer too if he is still around.