Archive for June, 2009

A Week of My Life: Day 5 It’s finally Friday

Even though it’s Friday, it was a very gloomy and rainy Friday. When I wake up on Friday mornings, despite any exciting or fun events that I’ve planned for the night, I always think to myself ‘No, I’m going to cancel, I don’t want to go, I just want to go home after work and sleep’.

My bus crosses the bridge to get into the CBD (that’s Burswood casino in the horizon), for once, I was not caught in the rain.

It was a really really gloomy day. Such wrong weather for a Friday.

Farewell lunch for a colleague was held inside His Majesty’s Theatre’s cafe. The poor woman cried when she read our card, sigh, she’s very nice. I tried looking for a healthier option on the menu, but the only salad available was caesar salad, everything else was things like steak sandwich and beef casseroles. And we all know caesar salad is not healthy at all. Still, I enjoyed it, I love anchovies on caesar salads, and the croutons were very nice and crispy.

I was planning to leave work early but one thing after another caught up, by the time it was 5pm, I felt just like the crystal elephant on my table, faint and exhausted. I gave up and told my manager ‘ I don’t care anymore, I’m going to try and purge work from my brain all weekend’. She thought it was a good idea.

Caught up with Adrian, Bryan, Calvin (hey, ABC!) and Gerry for dinner at Joy Cafe, a Hongkong style cafe. They had the 4 dishes plus soup, rice and drinks for $62 deal.

I didn’t eat with them but had a bowl of soup, I think it was peanut chicken soup, simple but satisfying, I love Hongkong style tongs, but the best soups I’ve ever had were the ones cooked by H’s grandfather. So good.

The peking style spareribs drizzled with mayonnaise looked yummy.

My companions for the evening.

Gerry has just returned from Sydney. This guy just jets of to the Eastern states without telling anyone, we usually have phonecalls along the lines of ‘Hey, where are you now?’ ‘Melbourne’ ‘What? Melbourne hotel is it? (there’s a hotel/bar here called Melbourne hotel)’ ‘ No Melbourne the city’. (0_____o)” He bought me a cookbook, do you recognise who’s on the cover?  Sandy Lam the Hongkong singer! I was so surprised ‘she cooks meh?’ It wasn’t really her recipes, more like Shanghainese recipes from other famous chefs, but she introduces them in the book. Thanks Gerry!

Afterwards we headed to Exomod Cafe in Mt Lawley for coffee. The cafe is very popular, I quite like the cakes there but the service tonight was terrible. They not only forgot our orders, but gave us wrong coffees at the end. I would probably return just because it’s 24 hours thing is very convenient, but I hope this bad service was a once off.

Funny picture of Calv and Adrian. And that ends my Friday! Already I’m sad that Friday night is over, but at least there’s still the weekend to go, hooray!

A Week of My Life : Day 4 Thursday

Err I don’t know whether you all have noticed, but the number of pictures of my posts are diminishing by the day (=___=). BUT it’s FRIDAY tomorrow, so hopefully there will be lots of things to do and blog about this weekend, friends who are reading this, quick ask me out!

The sunny weather in Perth has disappeared and it was cloudy and raining all day. This was taken from my seat at the bus (I was way up front), can you see Perth city and spot BankWest tower in the horizon?

I almost forgot about my breakfast meeting this morning. My manager, A and I traipsed in the rain to a little cafe nearby where they had breakfast while I had a latte. I tried to take a picture of my coffee by stealth but no one could miss the sound of the camera. ‘Di, are you taking photos? This is a violation of my intellectual property rights!’ my manager joked. I had to explain that my sisters, Heri and I are doing the meme, they both thought it was a lovely and cute idea. (=^____^=) so shy.

It was a crazy day at work which had me working till past 6pm. By the time I walked out of the office, the sky was dark, so no evening sky photos today. Sigh, couldn’t make it in time for swimming too.  The terrace looks very different at night.

Jo greeting me in front of my bus stop. Jo called me while I was on the bus and said ‘where are you? I came to pick you up at Woolies’. She was worried that I would be walking home in the dark so drove to the nearby shopping center (where my bus stops) to pick me up. Haha, so sweet right?

Since we were already out, I suggested going to Carousel shopping center to pick up my colleague’s farewell present of a gift voucher from Myers. After what felt like an eternity, we finally got a parking space. An annoying thing happened while we were at the cashier, my coins fell on the floor and I took a step backward to pick up the coins. And stepped onto this young woman’s foot. I truly felt bad and kept apologising, Jo said sorry too. But this girl acted like we sawed off her foot and was groaning and grabbing on to her foot like we ran a truck over it. She made such a HUGE fuss and debacle that the cashier even said ‘do you need me to get the first aid people?’ which she declined. While we were paying she stood behind us with this huge scowl (funny how she recovered after people stopped looking at her). When her mother asked her something she said rudely ‘NO, I AM IN PAIN’. At first I was thinking of apologising again, but her attitude was so bad and rude that Jo and I decided to ignore her. In hindsight, she was wearing clunky leather boots and I was wearing flats, how could it be that painful? What a drama queen.

There’s a new donut store in Carousel called Dreamy Donuts. It reminds me of the Big Apple chain and Krispy Kreme with flavours like passionfruit, strawberry cheesecake etc. We didn’t buy any since donuts in Australia are much too sweet for me (but Krispy Kreme is too sweet too). Sigh, if only they had Mister Donut here, oh I miss those green tea donuts with red bean filling, so yummy!

I feel quite bad posting this up after Heri commented that my dinners are all so healthy looking. Because Jo and I sinned and bought takeaway for dinner! She had honey chicken with fried rice while I opted for Indian butter chicken, curried potatoes and rice. Haha, see, we’re not so healthy after all!

What can I say? Sometimes you just need a curry.

Friday tomorrow, so happy Y(^_______________^)Y!

A Week of My Life : Day 3 Wednesday

Today I walked out of my house  just in time to see the bus rumble past. I hate it when that happens (-____-).

This Old Perth Boy School is now a cafe. It seems quite popular and I always think it would be nice to stop there for a coffee and people watch some day.

The lights around my working area were still switched off when I arrived. When there’s no one around, I like to work in the dark. It was a relatively busy day at work, lots of walking around and impromptu meetings. Big decisions and small announcements. My ex manager will be leaving the organisation soon, I will miss him.

I was quite worried when I realised I had hardly any photos all day. Truly, my working life is quite boring. When a colleague invited me to a farewell lunch on Friday, I immediately thought ‘great! can blog about it!’ I stopped by the fishmonger on the way home to buy some prawns for dinner. I find it funny that they have Chinese New Year banners hanging at the shop.

I really do like looking at the evening skies with their changing colours, but one of my favourites has to be the pink sky. Jo was waiting at the entrance when I got home ‘how?! I have no pictures today!’ she exclaimed. Haha. We were both worrying about our mundane lives. I think  a simple life is a good life.

My imaginary dog Scruffy waiting to greet me at home. When you can’t afford to own a real dog, you have to make do with whatever’s available.

Dinner tonight was a variation of my Ah Ma’s famous fried sharksfin dish, only mine was the poor man’s version of stir-fried vermicilli with button mushrooms, crabstick, sausages, bamboo shoots, carrots, prawns and eggs. I love the crunch of bamboo shoots and carrots.

The vermicilli came with a bowl of chicken and sweet corn soup. It’s always nice to have hot soup during winter.

Like my James Herriot reading, no matter what dramas or shows I’m watching, I will always my revert back to my favourite ChibiMarukochan anime. She is just too cute. It just happens that in the episode I was watching, Xiu Yun Ji’s whole family were eating bamboo shoots too (^__^).

When Xiu Yun Ji eats something really delicious, her eyes sparkle and fruits or flowers start shooting from her head. I’ve been told that I have the same reaction to yummylicious food. (=^___^=)

I like Chibi Marukochan so much that even my bedroom slippers have Xiu Yun Ji on them! I guess after reading this post, you’ll all realise that I’m really quite childish and a kid at heart.  I hope tomorrow’s more exciting!

A Week of My Life : Day 2 Tuesday

I was just thinking ‘my life is so boring I have nothing to blog about’ when I realised I have almost 20 pictures for today! Imagine how many pictures I would be taking if my life was actually interesting.

I was running a little late for work today, hit the snooze button and ended up sleeping for 20 minutes instead of the extra 5 minutes. Luckily I still made it on my usual bus. St Georges Terrace has a new shopping arcade with a Woolworths supermarket. I’m guessing the supermarket will be very handy for workers if the government finally extends weekday trading hours to 9pm, the issue is being debated in parliament now, 7pm, or 8pm or 9pm? What’s the difference?! Just extend!

Side view of Bank West tower. Many years ago when my friend Ah Kiong was still in Perth, someone asked him ‘if you were gang raped by a group of men, what would you do?’ His answer ‘Go to Bank West loh‘. ‘Go to Bank West for what? Withdraw money?’ ‘No. Jump off from the top’. For some reason that morbid conversation has stuck in my head forever and I can’t look at Bank West tower without thinking of Kiong.

Permanent fixtures at my desk.  My trusty lavender smelling hand cream. The pink eared crystal elephant which was the souvenir from Thailand from my colleague. And I brought more apples in to replenish my never ending supply!

Lunch was seafood tofu slices, crabstick, egg tofu slices with lettuce. I like tofu a lot.

Recently B, my colleague (the same one that left me the box of chocolates at my desk) moved to the cubicle next to mine. We can’t see each other coz the walls are pretty high. Today I was typing on my computer when a paper boat landed on my desk, chucked over from B’s cubicle. B sent me an email with the title ‘Whoops’. So I returned the favour by folding a paper crane and throwing it over to her cubicle. She was very impressed and said ‘you are so competitive!’ Hahaha.

And it’s the end of a day’s work again. Every time I see the Gloria Jeans signboard I think of Jo. Sometimes she meets me at the neighbourhood supermarket and will always say ‘mmm… should I get a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate? I love the ice chocolate.. I think I will’, but she never ends up buying it. It is pure coincidence that she actually had a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate today and blogged about it in her day 2 post.

Today I bypassed the fruit and veg shop and walked into Woolies instead. Then walked out 30 seconds later when I saw the check out lines.

I like the colors of the evening sky. The sun was going down as I walked home.

Why are Jo and I wearing thongs in winter? Coz we’re going swimming!

The entrance of the Aqualife Centre, a.k.a. our swimming venue. Our Perth Stampark.

Hehe, photo of Jo taking a photo of the centre.

100 laps later, Jo and I were whispering to each other ‘Eh, can take photos or not?’ while stealing glances at the nearby lifeguards. I whipped out my digicam and took this quick snapshot of our nice heated swimming pool. Every time I go swimming, I tell myself that someday, I have to blog about swimming etiquette. Seriously, walking lanes are for walking, not canoodling or making out *vomit* with your boyfriend. Slow lanes are for slow lapping, not walking! And only go to the fast lane if you actually swim fast! Grrr..

Everytime we pass by this swimsuit stand I think of Jan. 40% off leh, do you want us to help you get one Jan?

Dinner was easy stir fried chicken with onions, stir-fried cabbage and rice.

Jo is working tomorrow so I prepared her lunch bento in this two tiered bento box.

Pretty much the same stuff as dinner with added sausage omelet with coriander.

It’s Adrian’s birthday today. We were going to go over to his place to pass him his presents and perhaps blow some candles. But for some reason or other, it didn’t really work out. Nevertheless, happy birthday Adrian! I hope next year it will be a better one, and hopefully, we can re-celebrate again for you later in the week.

So that ends Day 2, hopefully I can find more interesting things to blog about tomorrow, but my life IS boring!

A Week of My Life – Day 1 Monday

Both my sisters Jan, Jo (plus Jan’s friend Heri) and I will be posting daily  ‘A week of my life’ blogs for the entire week. Please visit their blogs (see my blog links on the right sidebar) and leave comments for their posts, we all love comments, the more the better!

Monday morning started as usual, shivering in the wind at the bus stop outside my house. Luckily I bought new tights to wear with my office skirt. Hooray for tights and stockings!

It was a good thing Jan reminded of our blogging project the night before because I almost forgot to bring my camera to work. I placed it in my workbag before going to bed but ended up forgetting to bring my mobile to work *slap forehead*. My bag was soo heavy today because I had to bring in all the work stuff from Alice Springs plus the laptop.

Waiting to cross the lights at the corner of St. Georges Terrace and William Street (the terrace is our CBD). Every morning I stand with the crowd and pretend that I’m a mature working adult, but really I’m listening to my Chinese pop songs on my ipod, staring at the blue sky and thinking up new excuses to call in sick.

Reaching my workplace, can you guess which is my office building? Rumour is we’re moving soon, we’ve been promised wide open spaces and river views. If that does happen, I’ll remember to blog about it.

I’ve been teased about the never diminishing supply of apples on my desk (funnily enough apple girl was also one of my nicknames in high school). I like crunching on apples when I’m feeling peckish or lack energy, I also share my apples with starving colleagues.

I received another present from a colleague! This time it was from the colleague who I helped at Alice Springs, she wanted to thank me for my assistance at the conference. So nice (^___^). Jan and Jo, did you all notice the lizard on the packaging, she bought the present from a store called Leaping Lizards, so scary (my sisters and I have a lizard phobia)!

Inside was a postcard of Ayers Rock with a lovely thank you message. My colleague  knew that I had been trying to take a picture of Ayers on the plane. Haha, so now I have the fridge magnet AND the postcard.

She got me a beautiful sandpot! I really really like it because it reminds me of the colours of Alice Springs and the gorgeous desert landscape. Very very pretty.

Lunchtime! Reading James Herriot again, in case you think I’m James Herriot obsessed (which I admit I am a bit lah) I’m re-reading the entire series and his books are great in that they’re spilt into little stories so I read a couple of stories every lunch.

Lunch was stir-fried Korean sweet potato vermicelli with chicken, beancurd, peanuts and cabbage strips in sukiyaki sauce. It’s been a while since I’ve had a hot lunch so I enjoyed it.

Time to go home, the sun is going down. My bus doesn’t stop outside my house but instead stops at the suburb center.

I stop at the supermarket and the fruit and veg shop almost every day to buy daily groceries. For some reason I don’t really bulk buy my groceries instead opting to buy my ingredients daily and planning my dinner/lunches depending on what’s available.

Today asparagus was cheap so I bought a bunch. Dinner was grilled chicken (seasoned with salt, pepper, dried rosemary and a dash of white wine), grilled tomatoes and asparagus. I still have half a bunch of asparagus left over so will have to think what to cook with it tomorrow.

End of Day 1. More tomorrow!

Alice Springs

I’m back from Alice Springs!

My journey started with Jo driving me to the domestic airport using her trusty Tom Tom which we have named ‘Ozzie’ because of his Aussie accent. Ozzie is not overly repetitive or loud, just gives you a gentle reminder every now and then. Jo and Ozzie are getting along well.

On the way we picked up some Subway cookies for brunch since as a rule I detest and never eat aeroplane food. I usually don’t like biscuits but Subway soft cookies are an exception.

Except I didn’t end up eating the cookies, instead, I entered into unknown territory and actually attempted to eat my inflight meal ! AND it was actually not too bad! I decided to mark this momentous occasion by taking a picture of the chicken and corn pasta meal. My father would be so proud.

The captain told us to look to the right window to see Ayers Rock. But the idiot who sat next to me in the window seat had the window closed and everyone else either shut the windows or just took up the window seats and SLEPT. So I missed taking a photo of the famous Uluru. (-______-)The Alice Springs airport was small but friendly. I felt like I was entering a resort town because everything felt casual and laidback.

I got into my taxi and country music was piping out from the radio, immediately, I felt like I was in a country town. There were fantastic rock formations along the road which I’m sad that I didn’t manage to capture on my camera. But in less than 10 minutes, I was at the 4.5 stars Lasserters Hotel and Casino.

My nice hotel room. I was thinking ‘should have smuggled Jo in my luggage’ because there was a double bed and single bed. had to prepare for the big dinner almost immediately and look for my colleague.

The warm sun disappeared and it was suddenly very very cold. Dinner was held at the Alice Springs Desert Park which even in the pitch darkness I could sense was probably a wonderful place to get a snapshot of the desert flora and fauna.

Dinner went wonderfully well and I learned so much in the space of a few hours. Exhilarating stuff. The foodie in me wanted to whip out the camera to take photos of the camel chiplotas (quite yummy) and kangaroo steak but I resisted. The night ended with a spot of gambling at the casino and me crashing into bed totally exhausted.

It’s 1 and a half hours in front in Alice Springs, so I found myself waking up around 5am Perth time to get ready for the conference. The sun was already up and it promised to be a beautiful day. The Alice Springs Convention Center is conveniently linked to the hotel and right next to the red mountain ranges. Nice view to wake up to.

Stressful morning and it was all over. We wanted to go into town and explore but somehow ended up soaking up the afternoon sun and having drinks at the hotel bar. My colleague introduced me to her favourite Coopers Pale Ale on tap which she described as ‘just beautiful… beeeauuutiful’. I think she was quite disappointed when I didn’t manage to finish my pint, which was way too big for me. I am not a beer lover. How will I survive in Australia?

Around 4pm, we took a cab into the town center or Todd Mall (where apparently everything happens in Alice Springs), really we could have walked there and I’m sure it would probably take about 20 minutes. That’s my pretty colleague at the corner of the photo. Even though it was a Friday, the town center was rather empty with a slow sleepy feel to it. I felt like I was going back in time and in a wild wild west setting.

We decided to climb up the Anzac Hill to take in the Alice Springs landscape.

One of the most visited landmark in Alice Springs, Anzac Hill is an ideal spot for an overview of the town. The lookout affords a panoramic view of Alice Springs and the  East and West MacDonnell Ranges. But it is a brief but steep walk up the hill, some people prefer to drive up.

The view of the town center from the top of Anzac Hill.

Besides the amazing rock formations and ranges, a lot of Alice Springs is flat red desert landscape. The Todd River is also constantly dry. The taxi driver said ‘we’re passing the Todd river now’ and I said ‘but where’s the river?’Aiyah, so stupid.

The ranges are spectacular and it’s a pity my camera couldn’t capture the colours or the stunning natural formations. It was as if there was some sort of art to it, and I began to understand what my Aboriginal colleague was talking about when she promised that  I would feel an emotional connection to the land.

The sun was going down and we decided to stay to capture the changing colours of the ranges.

As the sun went down, the ranges started growing redder till it was almost glowing with a fiery red hue. But we were started to get cold so headed down back to the town centre.

A couple of Cooper beers later, we had dinner at the historical Bojangles Saloon. The interior had a really ‘outback feel’, in fact, working boots were stuck on the ceiling and peanut shells were thrown on the floor.

I had the stteamed Barramundi lightly coated in a bush tucker nut crumble and layered on spinach and paperbark. Served with crispy potato wedges, seasonal house salad and lemon myrtle dressing. Taste wise it was quite average, the nut crumble was quite interesting, but the paperback really felt like I was eating paper.

My colleague had the Northern Territory Camel and Stout Pie. The pie had diced camel marinated in stout and fresh herbs and came with garden vegetables and topped with gravy. She said it was good and finished everything.

We shared dessert whichwas the chocolate indulgence plate with chocolate mud cake, chocolate kahlua mousse and a dark chocolate cup filled with chocolate ice cream, with a cup of chocolate fudge sauce. Chocolate overload and it was a good thing the plate came with kiwi fruit and grapes.

Another night in my comfy double bed and I was at the airport bright and early. When I saw these souvenir tubes of Vegemite I thought of Jan.  Buy one get one free ah!

I ate some of this on the plane as well! Does this mean I will be eating future in flight meals?

I specially requested a window seat and was armed with my camera to take a picture of Ayers Rock. But just when we were passing it, this huge mass of cauliflower clouds covered the entire rock and I didn’t see it!! I tell you, Ayers Rock and I are unfated.The ever changing wild desert landscape was arresting and captivating , and I understood why Alice Springs is also called the Red Centre.

When the red gradually turned brown, and the wild unscructured mass became neat little square parcels, I knew we were leaving Central Australia and the Northern Territory.

I managed to read James Herriot on the flight, after so much re-reading, I still had to suppress laughing out loud. I guess I should expand my reading material, but I love the classics.

Even though I’m a little miffed I didn’t get to see Ayers Rock, I still bought a fridge magnet with pictures of the rock, haha, so that will have to do. I also bought these kangaroo Alice Springs bookmarks for my sisters, so if you’re reading this Jan, one is for you!

So I’m back in Perth and I’m glad.  I really enjoyed my brief stint in Alice Springs and liked the country town, I was constantly awed by the gorgeous rock formations and the romance of the wild desert landscape,  but I do love Perth.

Red Earth

I’m flying off tomorrow, but I’m so tired!! I haven’t had time to look at the conference papers and will now have to read it on the plane, sigh. So much for my James Herriot indulgence.  The other day a 60 + old colleague stopped by my desk and said ‘I noticed you’re reading James Herriot, he’s one of my favourites too’ (= ^ ^ =) sigh, while everyone’s reading up and trendy authors like Dan Brown and the Twilight series, there I am reading old stories of a country vet and his veterinary adventures in Yorkshire. But I love him so much!

Today I was so busy doing last minute preparation for the conference that I forgot to eat lunch. Now I understand what my colleagues are going about when they start yelling ‘I’m so hungry’ while working. But I wasn’t hungry, just very very busy.

My sisters are all excited about my Northern Territory trip tomorrow, even started researching the conference venue and Alice Springs, Jo was like ‘Eh, there are lots of lizards and iguanas there!’ ‘Wild cats are a delicacy there, you will be eating wild cats!!’ Jan wasn’t any better, she greeted me on msn with ‘Hello Alice!’ Then proceeded to warn me not to go to the outback because she’s terrified of the outback after watching the horror movie WolfCreek. Jo has already invited Gill to hang out at my place watching dramas and eating pizza while I’m away, obviously she’s not going to miss me much. Sisters … *slap forehead*

Ok I’m finally going to eat my combination of breakfast, lunch and dinner, wish me luck at the Alice!

June 2009
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