Google Year in Review

Words by: William Huynh
Art by: Marissa Hor

2021 was the year that as a Melburnian, I was able to get a taste of normality again. Of course, this freedom was short-lived as slow vaccine rollouts, the Delta variant and snap-lockdowns ultimately defined a significant part of my year — and its Google searches.

Thus, here is a list of things I googled in 2021. 

Can you eat the core of a capsicum?/How to chop an onion/Basic knife skills

This year saw me move out of home for the first time, and having not been much of a cook in my younger years, I made a lot of embarrassing searches like these. I’m not going to lie; the culinary learning curve was steep in those first few months. There may or may not have been the odd occasion where the end result was near-inedible and Uber Eats came to the rescue.

Why is my washing machine making a loud banging noise?

Another chronicle of the trials of living out of home. This time, the field of battle was the laundry room. I mean, who knew there was an optimal load level for your washing, and you couldn’t just throw whatever amount of dirty clothes you had into the wash? Not me, apparently. 

Short-term overseas Spanish programs/Flights from Melbourne to Madrid

Having sadly lost my uni exchange to Spain last year, I was hopeful 2021 might offer the prospect of international travel. My year started with searches of overseas Spanish programs and flights to Europe and Latin America. Looking back now, how naïve was I to think I could potentially leave in the middle of the year? Thanks, Delta.

Budgeting tips

As many will know, living out of home is a financial adjustment. So, I preemptively tasked Google with protecting me from financial ruin. I was disappointed to discover that my days of impulsively dropping $200-plus on a pair of shoes had come to an end.

Is Hinge any good?

This year saw my first foray into the dating app sphere in my hometown. I had previously used them while travelling abroad, but had a weird insecurity about getting onto them in Melbourne. However, 2021 quickly became my year of saying screw it. I’m going to be stuck in my home city for the foreseeable future, so I might as well put myself out there. And Google tells me Hinge is all the rage. 

Where to go in Gippsland during winter

After four attempts at going to Sydney in the last nine months — each plan forcibly scrapped by snap-lockdowns — I decided to have a crack at travelling somewhere closer to home. I was certainly ‘feeling lucky’ (is that button still there?) to have snuck a winter trip in before Lockdown 5.0.

Art Deco/Bohemian/Mid-century/Scandi

I found myself having to Google a lot of these Facebook Marketplace buzzwords when looking for furniture this year. I wonder if people actually know what they’re saying when they use these words? I certainly don’t.

Melbourne exposure sites

The Coronavirus Victoria public exposure site website was easily my most visited last year. I probably should have kept that bookmarked, because it still feels like I’m searching it up every second day — depressing, I know.

Vic lockdown end date

Writing this in Melbourne’s sixth lockdown, I’m still waiting for the answer…

Zoom fatigue tips

I was really hoping we had left Zoom in 2020, but here we are again. Surprisingly, after an entire year, I wasn’t as well-versed in overcoming Zoom fatigue as I thought I would be. I guess Zoom in 2021 hits different when you get a taste of in-person classes and meetings, only for Delta to take it away again. Hoping for less of this in 2022. 

How to repot my monstera

One of the pros of lockdown is that at least my plants have been getting a lot of love! While others may have their cats, doggos, or other animals to channel their affection, the fact that I’m in a sharehouse (and would probably cave under the pressure of owning a live animal) means I’m limited to plant pets. 

How to leave Australia during a pandemic

A search that sprung from lockdown frustration and a bit of curiosity, but evolved into an idea that might be worth entertaining. I mean, I’ve always wanted to work overseas. And now that I’m vaccinated, maybe the pandemic has accelerated these plans? I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.

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