Friday, May 12, 2006

A Crazy Week

I’ve just come back from an absolutely crazy week in Melbourne. It’s really hard to summarise everything into a few short paragraphs but I just wanted to say that it was THE most fabulous week where I felt really spoilt!
My week started early Monday morning when I arrived at our Melbourne office at 9am jumping into my first interview half an hour later. I had been up since 5:00am so I was tired but eager to get started.
Left: The building where I work
Right: This is probably the only photo of myself this whole trip (taken in the lift).

Our Melbourne office is pretty stunning (I think it’s a prerequisite for all law firms to be really nice, though Sydney is due for a renovation soon). The Melbourne office is very 'new age' and 'hi Tech', for example the lights turn itself on and off as you enter and exit the rooms (energy saving purposes). There are cappuccino machines on every level and a glass atrium with arm chairs and a view of the city for people to relax and chill out.

Each level has a colour and HR is located on Level 11 'The orange level'. This is part of our kitchen area and like Sydney, the kitchen is always stocked up with a lot of fruit and biscuits. Mark is a Witness to this, and could tell you that I am a big fan of the biscuits! Though Melbourne doesn't get the fresh hand made ones.

I stayed at the Sebel which is basically the old Treasury building. The place is stunning! It is only 2 mins walk from work, but as you know I'm bad with directions so on the first night I got really lost (I left work at 5pm and didn't make it back to the hotel till 30mins later!).

I thought that my room would be nice, but I didn't expect it to be so big! My suite was 2 levels. This was the bottom floor where I had kitchen facilities, TV, in house movies, cable internet and a couch.

Then you go up these stairs to the upper level to my bedroom and bathroom.

This window reached from the ceiling to the floor and during the night the wind would blow against it so hard that I would wake up a little scared. It was a massive suite for one person to stay in, and like I said before it's probably a bit too big for a scardy cat like me.

Minibar Goodness
The Coffee
On the second day, I came to work with a Hudson's coffee in hand. The girls looked at me with shock and exclaimed "ohhh! you must be from Sydney if you drink Hudsons!". I just picked up a coffee from the nearest place so I could warm myself up (it's freezing in Melbourne! I went no where without my coat). They quickly showed me the error of my ways and introduced me to Donatos a little cafe across the road that makes THE BEST hot choclates!
The Cocktail Party
I run the Graduate program for all of Sydney and Canberra and I often assist Melbourne and Brisbane. This week I was here to meet with the Melbourne Partners and to carry out the 2nd round interviews. From 900 applications we had narrowed it down to 40 people for 21 possible spots. To get to know the remaining students a bit better we held 2 information nights followed by cocktails and drinks. The cocktails were absolutely delicious!!

Breakfast & Dinner
I was basically given a budget to spend on food everday, but the daily total could easily feed me for a whole week in Sydney. I must say that my spending for this time was very sensible. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get the chance to eat and explore many of the places that I wanted to, because at around 6:00pm every night it would pour with rain! I did go to eat buffet by myself one night at Crown Casino (yes by myself...what a nigel!).

Compared to Star City, the buffet at Sante is such good value - $15.90 all you can eat!

I also made my way to Mekong on Swanson Street. Every time I go to Melbourne I come here, it's famous for its Vietnamese cuisine. The store proudly displays photos around the walls of all the Chinese celebrities who have visited. The food is ok....but I prefer Pho An in Bankstown (Sydney) any day!

If you look hard enough you can find some very cheap eats in Melbourne! (The locals will usually tell you). For lunch I found a little Indian retaurant that served a variety of curry from Northern India. Below is a big plate of vegetable curry with tomato rice and salad for $3.50...yes $3.50!

Other times I would just order room service. All the room service Meals were prepared by the hotel restaurant The Treasury, and delivered by the best looking guys!! I'm talking about tall model types....and there I was in my daggy tracksuit - hawt!

Left: Pizza with prosciutto, goats cheese and confit peppers, Right: French onion soup

The hotel also did an amazing buffet breakfast every morning, (no piccies because the hotel people would think I was weird). Instead of honey out of a jar, they had fresh honey comb that dripped honey onto a plate for people to put onto their yogurt and toast - it was just amazing.

I guess despite having such a great time, I really started to miss friends, family and most of all Jacky. You can be at the nicest places but at the end of the day, it is never that great when you don't have someone to share the experience with. Career wise it's been such a long road to get to where I am, and I'm so grateful...

Next work trip - Wollongong!


Sophia said...

lol - taking a photo of yourself in the elevator mirror - what a dork! :P

All your photos make everything look fabulous...

I wish there was yum indian food in sydney for $3.50.

PiCkLeS said...

Sophia: hahaha yes a dork! I'll take was a bit sad but how else would I get myself into a picture?!?!

Mark said...

ooooeeeeefffffffffff..... that's unbelievable....

and you do eat alot of cookies. my guess is your work mates have given you the name 'cookie monster' or..'cookie emstar' hehe get it?

DJ Ho said...

that hotel room is definently too big for one person. it looks like you could easily fit a couple of people in there. and that honey comb things just sounds awesome!

jeut said...

*falls over from being impressed*


reverendtimothy said...

What an awesome week!

Did you win any money at the Casino, Nigel? :-P

PiCkLeS said...

Mark: hahha I think I'm the most well behaved when it comes to the cookies at work! the others in my team is much much worst. You didn't try the good ones when you came last time. My favourite are these brown chocolate biscuits with the ends dipped in white chocolate or these little tiny cookies with macadamia and chocolate chips!! Yum yum....can't wait to see what they have at work tomorrow.

Matthew: I think whenI go next year I'm bringing people with me!

Jeut: yeah it was nice.

Tim: haha i had planned to play like $10 after buffet but i over ate felt sick and wanted to go back home. I don't have that button in my brain to tell me to stop eating because i am full.

Sarah said...


Well trip of Ems I'm sure we can all crash her room...for her sake, so she doesn't feel lonely!

I will also help you with the food budget!

Damn the offices are hot over there!! Lucky Gal!!

So My dear...any pics of the house u love so much??

Bosco said...

thats massssive

PiCkLeS said...

Sarah: I took Betty and Kat there on Saturday...they gave it the thums that's good but now we're negotiating stuff with the lawyers and waiting on loan approval (crazy times). Will get some pics if all goes well.

Bosco: yeh i think i'm requesting a smaller room next time.

trish said...


sounds like fun em! and where do u get the time to take so many food photos! don't the grads look at you weird if the 'HR lady' whips out her camera phone to take photos of finger food?


big smiles!

PiCkLeS said...

hahha Trish I snuck into the kitchen of course!!

Maulleigh said...

I love your photographs! Beautiful. You should photograph seriously.

PiCkLeS said...

Maulleigh: thank you! though I really don't have the talent to pursue photography any further. I just enjoy having pictures to remember things by.

ChiLLii said...

Hey Em, nx time when ur in Melb for work, make sure u give me a buzz, i'll sure to keep u company, so u dun have to go eat buffet alone.. hehe.. jk..