Sunday 13th March:
Off into the city this morning to get Guy’s AUS mobile sorted. Got a Vodafone pre-paid SIM and wanted the 365 day plan. All paid up and when we got home discovered that the girl had mistakenly made it a Flexible plan. So registered on the web but no go in changing the plan.
Rang the Vodafone help line (Indian speaking lady) and she was actually very helpful. Ten minutes later she had changed it all over to the correct plan and also transferred the full amount of the recharge as Guy had made some calls already.
A plus for Vodafone on this occasion.
Also picked up a few things for us like a “good” can opener, a potato masher, a vegetable peeler and a good knife sharpener (I already had one for many years but wanted another one for a backup so bought two).
On the way back to Sandy’s dropped into the supermarket to get a few more things and some lovely gourmet sausages for a Barbie at Doug & Bec’s. Over to their place at 5:00pm for a very lovely evening with Doug & Bec, Ray & Trish, Wink, Cath and four kids all under four. A great time was had by all.
Monday 14th March:
Public Holiday in SA today but not in the other states so we spent the morning on the phone doing business in NSW. We were calling businesses to sort out bank stuff, income tax, hire car, accommodation and the Philippine Embassy.
The best news all day was with the call to the Embassy (in Sydney) where we were informed that our marriage certificate has been certified and once we pay $45.00 AUS we get our letter of certification and I can then get my Filipino residency.
First thing tomorrow morning we will Express Mail a postal order to them and they will process the certification and deliver it to a friend in Sydney (Boots) ready for us to pickup next week. Then when we are back in Manila I can get the final paper work underway and hopefully within the next two months I will be a resident of the Philippines which will make things much easier for me living there.
Headed for my brother’s (Craig & Rae & Jessa & Jarod) place up in the hills dropping Sandy and Brian off at the WOMAD music festival in the city on the way. Had an afternoon with them where I retrieved a backup disk I had left with Craig back in May last year. Formatted it and carried out a fresh full backup of the MacPro and I will leave it here with Craig once again. Just to be sure to be sure.
Quiet evening enjoying some of Brian’s nice fast stable Wi-Fi.
Tuesday 15th March:
Up and into the city to get our money order and Express Post organized for the Philippines Embassy in Sydney so that our certification will be ready for us next week.
All done and off to my Superannuation Fund for a chat to see about accessing my funds. Very lovely lady helped us and as I am now 55 my funds are un-preserved and can access 75% of them now tax-free and the remaining 25% after I turn 60 years old.
I can get access to my funds via a monthly pension or just take out lump sums as required. The only stipulation is that it has to go into an aussie bank account, which isn’t an issue at all for me.
The lump sums require a little paper work that has to be hard copies so I will need to complete it and courier it to the fund as required. That too isn’t an issue even if it does take a few weeks. But hopefully we won’t need to access these funds for quite a few years yet.
Had a very nice Laksa lunch (not as good as Sydney, Kim) and a bit more of a wander to round up the last of our goodies (tin punch, tin opener (yes another one as we got one on Sunday), knife sharpener, travel bag thingie + packing tape, MacPac shorts (for me), zip ties, etc. Only one more to go (Tea Tree Antiseptic Lotion) but will probably get that in Sydney.
Back for an afternoon siesta. Well for Guy anyway as I had to endure Qantas Frequent Flyer as I needed to book a return trip to AUS using points, as it is required as I am not a Filipino resident yet. What a saga. I had to purchase 500 more points and then go back to bookings. Three phone calls later and after explaining why I only want a one-way ticket, it was sorted.
You can’t book a one-way ticket on the web using FF point from Manila to Sydney without paying the taxes in Manila in person. Anyway the lady was able to link the flight to my existing ticket going back to Manila so this avoided all the crap I would have had to go through. AAaggghhhh…. What happened to the simple life….
Had a great dinner with Deb (my cousin) and Pam at a Nepalese Restaurant at Glenelg. They are going to be visiting us in May on Marinduque so was great to catch up and have a chat about travel plans before they arrive.
Wednesday 16th March:
Bit of a sleep in this morning after our hectic week so far……..
Did a load of washing as this will now get us through till our return back home to Marinduque. Then a pleasant drive to Port Willunga to Sandy and Brian’s beach house (5 minute walk to the beach).
Pulled out my old printer we left there and printed off all our plane tickets to Sydney and then Manila, our tax stuff ready for Wednesday next week and some other change of name forms for banks for Guy.
We had a quick look at a bag of stuff we left here 12 months ago and grabbed a few tee shirts. Left the rest of the stuff there as it is winter stuff and will never be needed in the Philippines. But will be used should we ever come back to AUS in the wintertime.
On the way home, after a drive by off the beach, we stopped at Seaford shopping centre and had a late lunch at this very nice little café that we have eaten at before. The food was still grand.
We had dinner with Scotty (and old work friend from Adelaide). I had the good old lamb shanks and with mash and they were dam good. Melted in your mouth. Guy had the Atlantic salmon which was equally delicious.
Thursday 17th March:
Paper work and more paper work this morning. Getting there and will have everything done by the time we leave next week (touch wood). Into the city and got our Medicare all sorted for the next five years. It is our back up plan just in case we get really sick and have to come back to AUS for treatment.
Guy pickup some transfer forms for her Superannuation and has a further discussion with her existing fund tomorrow before she decided what she will do with her fund.
Off to the T-Bar tea house in Rundle Mall for a very nice Chai and Orange & almond cake with real whipped cream. Yuuuuummmm.
Caught up with Jason, Mike, Rik, Sandy and Brian for pizza dinner, which was very nice indeed. On the way home dropped in to see my Mum and say our goodbye’s as we fly out early tomorrow morning.
All packed up ready to go in the morning.
Friday 18th March:
Up at 6:30am and off to the Adelaide airport for our 9:00am flight to Sydney. Left on time but had to hold over Sydney (due to traffic we were told) which made us half an hour late getting in.
Over to Thrifty to get our small hire car (which we had booked) and none available immediately so looked like another delay. But the very nice man had an 8-seater van, which he could give to us as a complimentary upgrade so we took it. Much nicer to drive round and as we were off to Canberra for the weekend with Jordan, lots of room as well.
Pick up Jordan (Guy’s son) and took him to the orthodontist for a session on his teeth. While he was at the ortho, Guy got her Australian driver’s license renewed (as it had expired) for the next 5 years and had her named changed and address changed. I also had my address changed so we both now reside at Boots place in Sydney. The very helpful RTA man also told me how to get my license renewed from overseas when it expires in 18 months time.
We want to hang onto our Medicare card and Drivers Licenses, as these will make it much easier in the future should we ever have to come back for any reason. Just a bit of a safety net for us.
Then off to Canberra and the traffic going out of Sydney was bloody awful. Our 3-hour trip took 4-hours so not too bad I guess. Arrived at Jo (Guy’s daughter) and Dave’s (her partner) house in Canberra at 7:00pm just a little tired and weary.
Jo cooked up some Adobo chicken so we felt right at home. Guy also gave pretty much all her furniture to Jo when we left AUS 12 months ago so we were re-united with a lot of our “old” possessions. Was a little weird seeing them all again but they have gone to a great home so all good.
Saturday 19th March:
Bit of a sleep in and then off to McDonalds for lunch at the kids request. I had the Angus Burger and I must say that it is the best McDonalds burger I have ever had. Still not that great but bearable.
Then off to Target so Guy could get her Zumba dance DVD kit (look out Marinduque). On the way home we headed up Mount Ainslie for a sweeping view over Canberra. It is a beautiful place nestled in the valley around the lake.
Home for a cup of tea and then packed up some picnic food and at 4:30pm headed for a park by the lake for the Sky show, which has a grand finale of this great fireworks show all set to music. The fireworks are set up on 11 barges out on the lake. The show consists of the good old sky burst shells as well as a display of fireworks that are let off on the barges. Will post pics in the next blog and you will see what I mean.
We snared a great spot on the hillside only a few hundred metres from the stage and the lakes edge so had a fantastic view of the whole show.
The pre darkness show consisted of an okay band, a FA18 Hornet doing tricks over the lake (impressive), skydivers and the local rescue helicopter fly by doing circles.
At 7:30pm Jessica Mauboy put on a stage show for half an hour. Was okay. Then at 8:30pm the fireworks show commenced and lasted for 20 minutes. Really great show from the 11 barges of fireworks on the lake and all set to music. Must say it is the best fireworks show I have ever seen (even beats new years eve on Sydney harbour).
Guy and I are certainly not accustomed to the cool weather after Marinduque. Tonight for the Sky show we had to borrow some warn jackets, as it was cooool. Looking forward to getting back home (Marinduque) and some warm weather again.
Life is very good.
Trevor & Guy