The 3rd Koala Visa Application

Went to VFS this morning to submit my Australian visa application. Can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I last applied for one! I honestly felt my Perth trip was not too long ago, but in fact it’s been more than 2 years! (My very first Australian visa was done when I was 11 years old)

So what’s different now? For a start, they no longer accept application at the Australian High Commission. They now do it at a dedicated visa centre called VFS where they partner with the embassy for visa application, and their service covers a variety of country, e.g. Australia, NZ, UK, Russia, etc.

My previous submission took quite a long time (almost 2 hours if I remember correctly), but that was mainly due to me needing to make a copy of ALL stamped pages in my passport (more detailed story in the hyperlink above). So this time I remembered to make a copy of all stamped pages in my passport, and I also submitted my previous Australian visa AND my old passport with all the stamped pages to show more travel history (cos my current passport is only a year old and it’s not really full yet… excuse to travel more? Hehehehe).

I arrived at the centre at 8:30 this morning, had a security guard checking me and my bag’s content, took a queue number and went inside.

I only had to sit for about 2 minutes before my number was called. They have quite a number of counter so that really helps with the crowd control.

Another thing that’s different now is that I had to give them my passport as well for biometric registration (previously it was not needed). So after submitting the documents and paying the fee (S$148 visa fee + S$42 processing fee = S$190), I waited for about 10 minutes before my number was called to one of the biometric registration rooms.

Once I was inside, it was the standard stuff: verification of personal detail, fingerprints recording, and photo taking. All in all, it only took about 3 minutes and the staff handed me 2 receipts: one for the biometric registration and the other one for the visa application itself.

And I was done! I checked the time and I only spent a total of 26 minutes there! So efficient, I like it!

I applied for business visa this time, so the processing time should be within 5 working days. I hope it goes through smoothly and I can fly off early next month!

Oh, this application actually happened because… I accepted a new job offer from an Australian start-up! So yea, I’ve tendered my resignation at Circus and my last day would be in 2 weeks time.

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Post-Taipei Syndrome

Just came back from a 5-day trip to Taipei on August 17 – 21. Feeling the post-holiday blues now and I haven’t got time to sort the trip photos yet. In the meantime, here’s something cute to feast your eyes on:

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Yes, little Udong went to Taiwan too. This is her at Jiufen (九份) enjoying the bustling market.

Hello from Emei Mountain!

I’m at Emei mountain (峨眉山) now. Stayed for a night here and going back to Chengdu today. Holiday is coming to an end in 2 more days 😦

So far almost everything I’ve seen were so pretty! Those images of Jiuzhaigou I’ve seen on the net and from friends’ photos do exist. Okay, not all of them but the scenery is really beautiful!

We’re gonna visit the giant panda research centre today! So excited to see the furry black and white balls!!! 😀 I’ve never seen a real panda before (if I remember correctly) so I can’t wait! 😀

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the past days:

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At the boarding gate

Blogging from gate E 24 Terminal 2 of Changi Airport. Hahahaha i sound so suaku.

This is gonna be a pointless entry as I am doing this just for the sake of blogging from Changi… And while waiting for my delayed flight as well (it’s just been announced a few seconds ago -_-).

Anyway, my pre-departure meal:

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My favourite lu rou fan (鹵肉飯) from Ruyi at Terminal 1. You know you love a dish so much when you are willing to walk from one terminal to the other (ok lar, to be fair I took the sky train) just to have it 75 mins before your flight takes off. Hahaha! So far this is one of the best lu rou fan I’ve ever tasted in Singapore. Would love to find makan places that serve nice ones!

Then it’s Burger King’s vanilla cone for dessert as I was craving for something sweet:

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For some reason, the amount of ice cream was a lot more than usual o.O

Huffff dunno how long will this delay be for. I hope we could take off soon. Feeling kinda sleepy…

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Solitude.

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Solitude.

According to Merriam-Webster, it means the quality or state of being alone or remote from the society.

I believe everyone needs his/her moment of solitude once in awhile. You will be lying if you say you don’t, especially in today’s world where things move at incredibly fast pace and where ‘stress’ is a term you can easily find in daily conversations.

I do enjoy being alone once in awhile to just put my mind to rest, to just do some activities that don’t require my brain to work hard, to just close my eyes and enjoy some soft music (Emi Fujita and instrumental are my best friends in times like this :D)

When I had the chance to visit Perth in April this year, I finally understand why people enjoy living in this land down under. I visited Adelaide back in 1997 when I was 11 and I have seen how laid back they could be, but I was very young then so I guess I hadn’t really grasped the concept of it and it didn’t affect me so much. This time, I really felt it.

Stores close at 5 pm (the only ones open until 9pm near my friend’s house where I stay -in the suburb- are supermarkets). But wait, they do have late night shopping days too. Usually it’s Thursday in suburbs and Friday in town. When I asked Cimir how late is the “late night” during these days, she said “9pm”.

-________________- –> and this was my reaction. LOL! We are so used to late night shopping in Asia until midnight or even more.

Anyway, looking at the pictures below is giving me some serene and peaceful feelings (and I’m listening to Emi Fujita as I’m typing) in this hectic Monday. Erghh Monday after a long weekend is always extra blue.

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Photos taken in Western Australia.

I <3 Airports

If you ask me where are my favourite places to be at, airports would be one of the answers on my list. There’s something about airports that attract me every time I walked into one. I love the feeling of taking trains/cab/any mode of transportation to an airport. It gives me a feeling of excitement (and sometimes sadness).

I love the feeling of walking to the check in counter and handing my passport and ticket over to the counter staff. I love the feeling of walking through the Immigration area with my passport scanned/stamped. I love the feeling of roaming around an airport. I love the feeling of simply sitting down by the huge windows facing the ramp watching planes lining up in rows and occasionally watching them taking off or landing on the runway. I actually think it’s pretty therapeutic to do so.

Glass windows at Changi

There’s something about airport that draws me to it. It’s a place where goodbyes were exchanged, hugs and kisses were given aplenty, where people sent their loved ones away on a trip, where they welcomed them back and embraced them with big smiles on their faces. Airport is a place that can provoke lots of emotions by just being at one place.

So far I’ve been to….. *wait ar, lemme count* I think around 23 different airports or so. Not many, but most of them hold some memories to me. Here are my favourites so far:

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Blue sky, crystal clear water, cold sand.

Right now, I just wanna be here:

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Poetic bloggers may write something emo/poetic/something about life/something about how great nature is/ something about how beautiful life is/or something like that you get what I mean right?

At first I was thinking of doing the same thing too, but aiya cannot be bothered to do so. I’m not poetic enough in the first place anyway. During my early years in secondary school, I did try to write some poems, but of course they were only comparable to those written by kindergarteners. They were so hilarious (-ly bad) that I can’t remember how they were like anymore.

And I once thought of becoming a writer -_____-

*Dreams shattered* wtf

Anyway, the beach in the photo above (iPhone 4s’ panoramic function is so good!) is Greens Pool in Denmark, Western Australia. When my mum told me that one of the itinerary was to visit Denmark, I was like ‘Huh? Denmark? So when are we going to Paris?’ hahahaha sorry ar, very lame.

It was gorgeous!!!! The weather was still quite cold (but I love it) when we went there so it was quite surreal for me to be stepping on cold sand and in the cold sea water cos usually it was always warm/hot (It was my first time visiting a beach in a 4-season country). Nevertheless, we had fun there. Braving the cold water (sounds dramatic hor?) to went up to the big stones to snap pictures (read: being shameless and posing like nobody’s business).

And the sky is so blue omg! Ok I admit I did enhance the colour a little bit in the above photo but the real colour was not much different! 😀

Oh! and though it was quite cold, we saw a woman in her bikini happily playing in the water o.O