February 10, 2015

well this is not bad, not bad at all

a more detailed run down of things:

i got a Virgin mobile sim card as there doesnt seem to be a lot of differences between the operators, yet they seemed possibly the best. 29$/20 euro monthly cost which includes 1GB of data and 450$ of credit that can be used for calling or txt's. fair enough, i think. the sim card itself was 2$.

we headed to Aldi for hopefully affordable groceries but it closed just as we arrived, 8pm. it doesnt get dark until late so we hadnt kept track of time, and werent sure what time stores may close in general. so then we walked to another market, Cole's. i felt like we only got the very basics, but somehow the bill creeped up to around 35 euros. a healthy, 4 euro bread was not an option, so we got some tortillas and white toast.  0,5 liter coke is typically around 3 euros, but we found a big bottle for 2 euros in the end. and i found a sprite-like soda (generic brand) for half a euro, thank god, cos i need my carbonated drink! at least the noodles and beans are cheap....

after groceries we decided to eat out to celebrate the start of the trip. we found a nice bar but the kitchen had closed at 9pm - too bad cos they had pizzas for 4 euros on mondays! foursquare suggested a few places, but  many were closed because monday (welcome to the civilized world where shops and restaurants are selectively open). Newmarket Hotel was listed as a "$$" place, suggesting not too expensive, and the latin american menu sounded interested so we went there. i have to say the service was great (like pretty much everywhere so far), but the prices brought a cold sweat out. starters ranged from 8 to 14 euros, and main dishes were around 25 euros. doctor and me shared a steak that was slightly under that. but it was literally just the meat and some beans, no sides. the meat was super tasty though. a pint of beer seems to be around 8$/5,5 euros and a glass of wine around 5 euros. many places have happy hours though and i think we will be hunting for them... its been a long time since i felt so poor! and its not a nice feeling!

view from the balcony:

but all the whining aside, we are on track with my budget so far - i had done my research and so we did save up for this type of prices. and, how nice is it that even when you get the cheap house wine, u can pick between chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and many other choices, and when youre not sure, the nice waiter will recommend you something, and the wine actually tastes good?! and how about the international menus, the options, i do appreciate!!!! :)  the numbers just *feel* shocking at this point, i think it takes some getting used to. and we will be cooking home a lot. im so used to ordering my lunch that it is a bit of a downer to have to prepare my own meals...:/

we saw a couple of liqueur stores while wandering in the neighborhood. they even have Rekorderlig cider (in bottles), wow. at a 7$/5€ per bottle price. another wow. but i will for sure buy a couple of those...

doctor and Melis admiring the variety of beers.

the neighborhood of St Kilda is very 'sub urby' to me, but it is a sought after area, peaceful but trendy, green but still very close to the center, etc. for me, its a bit too calm, the streets almost empty, and i dont like to walk 400 or 700 meters to get my groceries, but ill enjoy the positives while we are here. there are plenty of small offices, art galleries and restaurants here and there, but they are rarely open. also some popular pubs nearby. and the beach of course, but we are yet to walk all the way there.

art gallery (Ministry of Art) with cool looking stuff. closed at 3pm on a tuesday, of course.

a pizza place and its opening hours. lol, i say.

today i went out and walked to 7-11 (700m, but it felt much further), boy has it been long since i visited one!  i found a new kind of Monster "absolutely zero" for 4,50$/3,1€. and Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a meat pastry. great lunch, i didnt have to cook after all, lol.

i was hoping to find Crest toothpaste here but i guess not... :(   now that i actually bothered to google it, i found that i might need to look at Oral-B instead, if they have that. should be more less the same thing, just a different label.

my inside and outside "offices":

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