Monday, May 08, 2006

The First Floor

We finally have a computer! When we first transferred flats in March, I didn't think it would be such a big deal not having our own PC and we could hold off buying one but it was just difficult. Gryphon is a techie and he can't live without one. We got a monthly instalment deal and we're excited because it's got a TV tuner and we get to watch television in the comfort of our room. And it also gives us the chance to connect to family and friends via YM and Skype. Gryphon turns it on first thing in the morning to see what the temperature is and since yesterday, it has been a top of 13 degrees, signaling well and truly that it is winter. One blessing we received in connection with this is that our churchmates, the Sisons, donated their old white computer table that was destined for the scrap heap. So things worked out well.

Now that Gryphon is here, our weekends and holidays have been full. We spent Good Friday at the St Albans Uniting Church with the Filipino congregation (another hook-up courtesy of the Sisons). It was so much like being back home, just wonderful to meditate on Jesus's seven last words. Then we were able to meet up with Kuya Bener, Ate Candy and their family, former churchmates at the Kamuning First UMC. We were able to watch the video of their son's wedding while eating turon (fried banana in spring roll wrapper) and freshly cracked almonds.

St. Alban's
Uniting Church of Australia
We went driving afterwards and looked at lakes near their home and we reached the posh suburb of Williamstown. It was just wonderful fellowshiping with them and filling in the gaps of the years in between.

One Sunday we ate yumcha at a suburb called Sunshine with another couple. It was an adventure as we were served chicken feet and lots of dimsim with prawn (which Gryphon is unfortunately addicted to) but we managed because the food was great and it was good value as well. Then we looked at model homes in the new suburb of Point Cook. These were huge fully furnished homes that gave us ideas of how we would like our dream homes to look like. We definitely want a huge kitchen but not huge everything else as cleaning will be a nightmare.

Inside a display home
at Point Cook
It was great following after the other couple in their sports car because I kept up with their speed and found myself flying through the highway. Mind you, I had always been scared to go on the highway before this point. So that was a real learning experience in terms of driving.

Last Saturday, we hosted our Bible study group for the first time. There were about 10 people who came. We served them munchies, hot arroz caldo and chocolate chip cookies (my friend Luci's recipe). The discussion around the book of Ruth was inspired and our table spread was a hit! We bought some silverware (spoons, forks, teaspoons) and some placemats the day before. Then that day, we went to Preston market and bought the ingredients. Our friends loved the flat and the view because it's like Baguio.

Gryphon is currently taking classes for professional migrants to help them find work in Australia and to understand the culture. He's learning so many things and he comes home excited and full of hope. One thing he is learning to adjust to is the cold. We have bought an electric heater in our room and he puts on layers of clothing but I guess nothing really prepares you for the stinging cold wind.
When in Oz...

The first floor of a building is called the ground floor. The second floor is called the first floor. So right now we live in the first floor of a two-storey flat (maybe we live in the second storey). Go figure!

Other than that, we have been visiting one of my aunts a lot, scouting for a PC, going to the Immigration Museum to look at their Greek exhibit, buying things for the flat... and learning to live as husband and wife. There are times when I wake up and marvel that Gryphon is here, that we are finally together. Even now that we have only lived one and a half months together, I cannot imagine life without him. We are slowly climbing up and struggling and adjusting but always thankful that we have each other.