Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last year, first time

As most of you know, this is my fourth year in Sydney. It also means that I would have attended four MFests, which I have. But this year, it was different. I was not only there at Tumbalong Park as a spectator - I was there not only to watch other people perform on stage, to eat the delicious Malaysian food or to pour words of encouragement and gratitude to the student committee members. This year, I was there as a volunteer myself. Yes, after four years (and not to mention after graduating from uni), I have decided to re-live the feelings of being part of a group of enthusiastic youngsters who have just started the 2nd decade of their lives.

What to do? Siapa panggil I kenal committee member semua? I know so many of them even though I'm not part of the committee! Actually, I know more people outside of my own uni's comittee. Jenny and Miow were the presidents of MASA and SUAMS respectively. Nic was the sports direcotor of SUAMS. And from them, I got to know Joy, June, Jolyn, Julian, Diane, Yamud, Salina, Sunny, Michelle and Bernard. Superb (and hyper crazy) lovelies, they are...

As a volunteer of MFest, I chose to be part of the marketing crew. My job: to walk from Darling Harbour up Liverpool Street to Hyde Park and proceed to Market City. We were extremely lucky that day as we had terrific weather after an entire week of rain and wind. We had the sun, the blue sky. It was perfect and it was the first time in several years that MFest was blessed with such fine weather.

I thought we looked real snazzy in our bright orange T-shirts. They made us stand out in the crowd. Sara and Yona, my coursemates also made it there.

Sara brought containers and a big bag to bring some food home to eat for her next few dinners and lunches. So smart! Unfortunately, Vim couldn't make it this year. I was rather disappointed as we meet only once a year at MFest. I guess the next time I'd meet him would be at his engagement party or maybe his wedding. Hehehehehe.... But, I did manage to meet up with juniors from primary and high school: Jack Phin

and Wei Sheong:

Our history dates back to when they were in primary 1 and I, in primary 5. I used to be the prefect in charge of their class... goodness...

And surprise of all surprises, someone who knows me from primary school 'found' me! Kok Kit, who found me familiar struck a conversation with me during a break from rehearsing his Chinese fan dance. Both of us got so excited when we found out that we studied in SKTD! He was in the same class as my second cousin, Stephanie Hiew Ting Ting, Petra's sister, Elizabeth and also knew Weng Onn. So cool!! Amazing that he could still recognise me. Thank you yea, Kok Kit... feels nice to have another Desarian nearby...

At the end of the day, I pulled Jona backstage to help me take a group photo with the dancers.

These blokes are really friendly, especially Edison. He even asked me for my number and e-mail! Wah.....

Although I was dead tired after that, I went with Angeline to Jenny's place to continue thinking of steps for our Chinese fan and ribbon dance. So 'kan lek' hor? Sigh, what to do? They gave us only 3 weeks to come up with a dance from scratch leh. No music, costumes, nothing. This experience I will share in my next post. =)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adelaide Winter Adventure (Episode 3)

Day 3 started slightly earlier than the day before. At least we didn't wait until after midday to begin our journey. We were, however, lost en route Whispering Dam. It's great how travelling in a small (and overheated) Holden with three young men can be so exciting! The Holden is just classic - it can't move on flat roads but driving across small bumpy and hilly roads at 100kmph was no sweat! Along the way we passed flocks of 'meh-meh's, 'baa-baa's and 'moo-moo's. I just had to ask them to stop to let me take pictures of the sun atop a crisp green hill:

And then it was time to cam-whore!

Josh: Oh, so take picture with me you stand far far away la??
Me: =P

Josh: Wah, then you take picture with them you stand with them la?
Me: =P

The boys, or rather Josh, decided to bring me to Whispering Dam on this day. The name derived from the echoes that could be heard from the opposite side of the dam. You'd have to turn your speakers up REALLY LOUD if you want to hear the voices of Yu Sheng and moi. We were on the other side of the dam from Josh and Lucas.

The dam was a sight to behold although it was somewhat small-sized. Cannot imagine what Bakun would look like. I was so terrified with the volume of water the wall was holding. Just looking at the water made me feel sick...

Unfortunately, the grapevines were barren. I still took pictures! I mean, how can you come all the way to the Wine Central of Australia and not take pictures?

And, look at what I found!:

We headed back to the city to have dinner. We had to collect Jenny from uni before heading over to Lucas' old apartment. If I recall correctly, it was a Belgian restaurant that they took me to. Apparently, this place is famous for mussels. Boy, did we eat plenty of 'em - all three big pot-loads of' em!

They came with complimentary fries, which were presented in a fashionable manner:

Of course, how would the night be complete without dessert? Around the block was Adelaide's version of Max Brenner, Cocolat:

I seriously have no idea how our dessert session became a ghost story sharing session... I covered my ears the whole time.

My last night in Adelaide was spent playing Monopoly with the boys! First time since I was 10!

I was tricked so many times by Josh and Lucas (anyone who ever plans to play Monopoly with them, please remember where they were BEFORE they roll the dice so that you'd know if they were trying to cheat!). Those two ar, I tell you, bullied me like don't know what!

Oh, and I had to take a picture of Yu Sheng's food collection for keepsakes:

All in all, it was a good albeit short breather from Sydney life (and life in that Epping apartment that houses strongly-opinionated individuals). Many thanks to the three gentleman and the smart young lady who were generous enough to bring me around and introduce Adelaide to me. =)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Adelaide Winter Adventure (Episode 2)

My second day in Adelaide started really late in the morning. Why? Because dear old Josh didn't finish work until half-past one in the morning. I didn't get my usual hours of sleep! We ended up in Hahndorf in the arvo, in time for lunch. This time, Lucas and his girlfriend, Kiki, joined us. It was so hilarious to watch Lucas drive his small little Holden! And oh, in my opinion, Lucas is such a gentleman... =)

Now, for some pictures....

Loved the architecture of the place. I was very impressed with how well-preserved the buildings were. The German bricks, the grapevines, the structure of the roofs. Definitely deserving of the 'Tidiest Middle-Sized Town' award they'd won a few years back.

Oh, and Hahndorf is where the famous Beerenberg jam is produced:

One last pic of Hahndorf - German sausages!!! Just look at that pretzel!

After Hahndorf, Lucas and Kiki went home while Josh, Yu Sheng, Jenny and I continued to Glenelg. Hm, nothing much really at Glenelg. Resembles Manly a little. Oh, but they have this really cool building which houses an arcade and water slides! So tempting but it was winter and freezing cold.

We then headed to Uncle Shiang Foo's house. It was great to catch up with Aunty Gaik and him. It was also great to see Darryl again. Had the most amusing conversation with them at the dinner table. Coincidentally, it was Uncle Shiang Foo's birthday so we were treated to yummy ice-cream. Took pictures with the cousins and Anton showed off his skills on Darryl's guitar playing a short bit he had just learnt.

And then it was off to Casa de la Yu Sheng for some mahjong!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Adelaide Winter Adventure (Episode 1)

I can see so many heads nodding and thinking, "Finally, this Chrys decided to updated her blog!"

Sorry la, I have been busy with work and other things, such as my graduation, my PR application, a new housemate and touring parts of this rock of an island. So, shall we embark on a travel back into time?

I am going to post mainly photos of my first day in Adelaide in this post because I more or less summarised the day in one of my previous posts. Don't worry, I will introduce the more peculiar-looking pictures...

That's Josh's room and yup, that's his 'whiteboard'. Creative sial...

Rundle Mall is like Pitt Street Mall in Sydney, just WAY shorter. Seriously, if you compare, Sydney allows you to shop non-stop while Adelaide, um, you can finish 10 times quicker. And of course I had to take a picture of this shiny twin globe structure in front of David Jones. According to Yu Sheng, I was lucky to be there AFTER they had cleaned and polished the thing!

My next stop was the University of Adelaide. Just one word - impressive!

First thought that went through my head when I was shown this plaque: SIA is freaking rich!

Spot the similarities... haha... we Malaysians sure bring our gastronomical habits with us to every corner of the world, don't we? Oh, apparently Adelaide and Penang share a very strong connection - both were founded by Francis Light.

Yu Sheng, Josh and Jenny then brought me to other parts of the city to enjoy the sights and sounds. Yu Sheng exclaimed, "There, Adelaide in 45 minutes. Not bad!" Try doing Sydney in the same amount of time. I think you'd only cover one place - the Sydney Opera House. But then again, I shouldn't be comparing. Totally different community in these two cities. One is fast-paced, one is slow, literally. Heck, I don't even have to walk as fast in Adelaide as I do in Sydney! I find South Australians friendlier, though. More angmohs, less Asians. Less humans for that matter.

Later that night, Yu Sheng introduced their friend to me. Well, we had to get acquainted because we were riding in his car to North Adelaide to have something called the AB for dinner. I don't know his name but he's called Ah Boon. So Hokkien, eh? Well, he's Bruneian, if that explains anything. Ex-national swimmer for the rich country. And he knows Wu Chun! Yes, Wu Chun as in the latest craze of warm-blooded teenage girls across Asia. Ah Boon said that everybody knows everyone because the Chinese community in Brunei is very small hence they are close-knit. Makes it really hard to do something naughty as well - news travels extremely fast. He sounded like he was speaking from experience. Hahaha....

Monstrous, just monstrous. I meant the dish, not his friend. After that, we headed to a dessert place called Elephant Walk. Cool set-up. Like the decor and atmosphere. The food, totally heaven!

Chocolate banana pudding - the best I've ever had!

Strawberry pancake - they can give Pancake on the Rocks a run for their money!

Take a close look at the piece of paper deco placed under the spoon... look familiar? We collected the other pieces and placed them together and look at the revelation:

Looks exactly like the kind of paper the Chinese use during All Soul's Day, doesn't it???

As Josh had to work, I waited for him to finish at Yu Sheng's place. Ah Boon and he graciously taught me how to play mahjong. See, I had to travel all the way to Adelaide to learn this art. Sigh...