I sleep with the alarm on during weekdays and try to wake up around 7 or 8-ish. I’ve tried 6, but found that too early. On weekends, I sleep all I can until I’m ready to get out of bed. Today, I was woken up by the doorbell around 10:30am. I immediately jumped out of bed, took a few quick seconds to look into the mirror and tidied up my appearance, and rushed to answer the door. I have been expecting a package from Australia and when I tracked it the night before, the status shown was that it has landed in the local delivery office, so there was a chance I might receive it today, if not Monday. I didn’t care that I looked unkempt, if I didn’t answer the door today, I would have to pick it up myself next week. It was a cats print (a clowder of cats) raincoat and a kangaroo and white cat Christmas ornaments I ordered from an Aussie gift shop during their Boxing Day Sale. Since I couldn’t travel there, I thought it would be nice to have bits and pieces of Australia sent to me. It started with Aussie snacks and food in Sep 2020 and it quickly branched out to other categories and shopping online from Australian-owned, designed or made stuff became my new hobby. I’ve made more than 20 purchases from Australia in the last 15 months or so, I wonder if the staff working at my local post office and those at the airport customs have already recognised my name and address, thinking “oh, here’s another package for xxx”. Here’s a list of things I bought between Sep 2020 to Dec 2021:
- snacks and food from the Australian Food Shop, four times (during my birthday and Christmas purchases, I requested for a hand-written message in the card, which they did and it wasn’t just Happy Birthday period or Merry Christmas period, they sent me greetings that were warm and friendly, even gave me a surprise when I saw they drew a cute picture of a koala in the Christmas card!)
- teas from T2, five times (T2 is a retail tea shop we would visit as they often come up with new and limited edition teas for those who love to try different things. They have a branch in Singapore but we always bought from their physical stores in Australia. They offer free international delivery for purchases more than AUD120 when you buy online.)
- the package that arrived this morning came from Monsterthreads, a retail gift store with branches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. They collaborate with Australian and international artists to create products such as clothing and houseware goods. This is the second time I purchased from them, they have a flat rate for international shipping and my first purchase from them was 12 months ago when I bought discounted Christmas baubles, which I sent as a gift to my brother this Christmas and Aussie animals print shirts.
- Dom N 8 Designs is a Brisbane based shop that sells clothes with Australian-themed prints featuring kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets, koalas, wombats, etc. and native plants such as wattle and kangaroo paw. I bought a pair of koala print shirts from them in 2018 for my brother and nephew when I was visiting the Brisbane Riverside Market. I saw a rainbow lorikeet print jacket on their Facebook page that I like and wanted to add something Aussie to my wardrobe so I contacted them. I made a second purchase later and bought a kookaburra and cassowary print shirt.
- Erlenmeyer is a Sydney based shop that sells greeting cards, art prints, stationery, playing cards etc. designed and illustrated by Stephanie Gray, whom I met at The Rocks Market in 2018 and bought some greeting cards and cat art prints. She was originally from the UK and has returned to the UK last year. It has been a tough time for her (as for many small local businesses) for the markets were closed during lockdown. She had a moving sale and I bought the remaining series of the cat art prints from her online store. The package came with a touching message, we both had fond memories of The Rocks Market and hope we get to meet again one day.
To be continued next week…