Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 8. Byron Bay, Dreamworld, Brisbane AU

16 March 2012, Thursday

Very fast, one day down, another day down. Its my 8th day! We woke up at 4am. King woke us up. Seriously how did he manage to wake up so early using our phone alarms? I'm seriously impressed at people being able to wake up so early, because I'm one who cannot wake up early myself.

We prepared ourselves, and headed out. The weather was gloomy, and it was drizzling. I just noticed that our rooftop had windows to the sky! Its beautiful. Only that it was still dark. Pfft. It took around an hour plus to reach Byron Bay, and King mentioned that we probably would be late to catch the first sunrise. But the weather... it slightly drizzled.. and drizzled.. and drizzled..

Upon reaching, we hiked for a short distance. Hmmm really, we cannot see the sunrise. Due to the heavy fog, the 'salted egg' was covered in between the fog, and it had risen up. Weeee.

The lighthouse was pretty. Really nice, accompanied with the surrounding scenery. Its similar to the lowhead lighthouse, where the surrounding seas and the walkway to it were so comfortable to walk along and enjoy. Byron bay lighthouse was built beautifully, very victoria-like. A picture to go along~
Not processed yet. >.<
This picture was actually taken in a haste. Because suddenly the drizzle of rain, from little drops, became bigger and more. There were photo spot, so I fixed this camera on the spot and took together. Upon taking this precious shot, we all quickly rushed down the lighthouse to seek shelter. I was the last one, because I wanted to take more of the lighthouse.

It rained heavily. Luckily it stopped after some time, and all of us rushed back to the car. Had our breakfast at one of the cafe situated in Bryon Bay town. It was savory. Coffee was good!

Seriously, the days we were in Gold Coast, seemed to be gloomy, if not raining almost all the time. Whew, I told them luckily I did my sky diving yesterday! Because it was drizzling for the whole day. I'm really lucky. So far. I'm really thankful as well. Sometimes, during holidays, one just needs a tiny weeny luck to get through. Holiday luck, we call.

From Byron Bay, we went back to check out from our hostel, and went to Dreamworld. Alas, it was raining the whole day. Drizzling quite heavily, I would say. Then it made no sense to go Dreamworld anymore; a lot of rides weren't opened. And it also meant I would be drenched by the time I finished the rides. Awww... I took one picture of Dreamworld before we left. Goodbye Dreamworld. Will I be visiting you again? I've no idea. Because I don't know if I'll be visiting AU in the near future.

We then sped up to Brisbane straight. The moment we stepped into Brisbane, my feeling was, hmmm.. so was this Brisbane? Feels 'normal'. A little just like home. Checked in and then we just walked around in town, the man-made beach, the ferris wheel, and all the buildings around it, I had almost mistaken it for Sg. Hahahaha.

Night time King came to pick us up, and we had korean food cuisine at Madongsan. It was reallyyyy tasty. It had been a while since I had korean food and imagine I had it here in Brisbane. Couldn't forget the taste of the beef sashimi salad and the pork belly (Bo ssam). My impression of Brisbane was really food, food and more food. Haha. Breakfast, Lunch, dinner, supper.

Went to drink hot chocolate at La Dolce Vita. Oooh, its really yummy and left a very fragrant aftertaste. The chocolate was creamy but it would leave you craving for more. King said it was too thick for his taste, but to me and Sb it was fine.

All these hangout places seemed to be the ones the younger ones hang out at. And Brisbane is considered a city that ends later as compared to the other cities in AU (even though I'd never been to Sydney, Melbourne, but I'd heard the shops closed pretty early as compared).

A special mention: The YHA hostel at Brisbane was very clean. In fact really bright and clean. ^^

Friday, June 29, 2012

PS Cafe @ Paragon, Orchard, Sg


I am able to post a food post properly after all the woo haa that had happened earlier on this year. Which also meant that finally I had the time to arrange my photos and give it some light in the blog now! Hahaha. Yay! Started on some simple posts first. I've some glitches with the way my blog is presented anyways. Got some stuff to learn and edit as well. My photo resolution (which is affecting the mobile presentation, grrr), anyone who can help me? >.< its all the complicated html thingy. And I also want to remove my profile and all the other stuff from the sidebar to pages so leaving my main web body with all my posts. Wanted to put a certain default handwriting for posts. I'm always so not satisfied with my blog. Guess that's the only way that keeps me going. Because I'm always not satisfied and I crave for more changes that could be done.

25th January 2012, Wednesday

It was the first day back to work after the Chinese New Year! While it may have been the day for some to head back to school, it was ours back to work, as per normal just like the other working adults. The Japanese girl and I agreed to eat something nice, and I suggested PS cafe as I had heard it was good. Come lets go!
 Have heard that PS Cafe is not bad, but upon reaching, it was pretty crowded over at the outlet at Paragon, 
and its like upclass market chatting away instead of the comfortable cafe-like atmosphere. 
 I have to be frank. Their food was so so. And yet pretty expensive for us working adults, for lunch. 
I had this very cheesy macaroni. But it doesn't leave a great aftertaste and after sometime, I felt 'jelat'.
(i.e. feeling full just by eating another mouthful, or seeing it)
This was laksa pasta that the Japanese girl had, and it wasn't that fantastic as well even though it was touted as the best selling. 
Are you sure its one of best sellers? I saw people ordering more of their sandwiches across several tables straight. Haha. 
Yep, so it wasn't as good as what the reviews had mentioned.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The lethargic me for the week

I haven't been resting well for the whole week. Yes, well is the word to say it.

Ever since my exams ended last week, immediately I scrambled back to work the next day. All of my friends were like that too; we all have the same problem: No leave anymore! Except one that I know of. But that was because he had to do re-service for that whole week as well before popping back to work yesterday. Work and study.. sigh, everyone in this line all knows it. 

Today is exactly one week after the end of my exams. Being back to work, really felt like ages, the start of checking my flooded emails, the start of receiving calls and calling back, the start of clearing my paperwork. Woo hoo~

I hadn't been resting well enough. Only a few nights of sleeping earlier so far are absolutely inadequate to recuperate my energy. Anyways, its the same, I still have to wake up at 7.20am in the morning everyday. Long gone were those days when I could sleep till 12 noon. I'm getting older. I'm suffering from memory loss. I can't even remember what my colleague had for lunch just now, and I nearly can't even remember my own lunch too! When I had just finished it like 15 mins ago?

Exams are killing me, softly. Good or bad? Good, in a way I knew I really studied very hard this time round. I could seriously feel the exam mood coming back to me when I did my revision. It was as though my pre-exam times in uni. I could feel it myself and I felt good with that, to be honest. The previous sittings, I wasn't able to concentrate enough. Somehow, it just didn't feel right and I felt I didn't give my best. 

I can say, I was happy to get that mood back, because I hadn't been able to find the initial strength when I furthered my studies with ACCA. True enough, I was sleepy when it came to 1AM, but I was determined to to finish my revision and that probably kept me going all the way until 2AM, afterwhich I walked slowly back home. In a daze. But that also meant, I was in deep stress and I broke down twice during the midst of my revisions.

Bad, in a way. I chose not to remember all the other rest that were not important, and that made me suffer memory loss as a result. I can feel it. Last time, a few times reading it, and I was able to remember and recall it well. Now - I write out the answer several times and its still not inside my head.

Now. There is something I will like to point out. Setting our priorities is very important in our life. A lot of stuff gets hindered in the way (i.e. either not accomplished, or often we sighed that we are capable of doing it better) because we do not prioritise and focus on what is the most required as of now. This is something I had realised all along, but I didn't do anything about it. But through my revision this time round, I really understood the meaning of 'study hard'. Its hard for ladies, our thoughts tend to drift away, out of the study league....easily. But. I managed to concentrate, well enough. I'm glad. Hopefully I can pass.

What should I eat, to get the younger me back?? Hahahaha.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 7. Kirra, Snapper Rocks, Surfers' Paradise, T1 Observation deck - Gold Coast, AU

15th March 2012, Wednesday

A night's rest, and we woke up in the morning, pretty early. The room was okay, mainly because we were able to take in King for tonight! Hahaha. We booked 2 singles room instead of the hostel room. So as to be able to accomodate King for the night. And when we went in, albeit small, but there was a queen size bed below and 2 single beds at the top bunk. Lucky! Because it meant King could have a whole queen bed by himself while we slept at the top.

King had some stuff to do for the day today, so with the car we had rented last night, we drove to an eatery cafe King had recommended for breakfast. Kirramisu. Not bad, it was good and tasted delicious! Expensive though, but the portions were huge. Ordered pancakes, and smoked salmon omelette. Yummmyyyy. The weather was drizzling, but then somehow it felt comfortable. In such a weather, it wasn't good for travelling but its best to just laze around and do nothing for the day. And that's what we had felt. Haha, but we couldn't! We needed some push, and finally we left our seats...

Drove to Snapper Rocks, and I would say that the sea view from there was the best in Gold Coast. The deep blue waters, were lovely. The strong breeze blew accross my face. Relaxing.

Actually before this I thought I would be able to do my sky diving. I thought in any weather it would be possible to do that. I forgot that weather was the crucial factor; if it rains, we wouldn't be able to jump. We drove back to our hostel to check if it was possible to do it anytime of the day today. The hostel people helped me to check and they mentioned maybe perhaps in the afternoon when the skies had cleared. But it could be possible that the jump had to be cancelled today as well if the weather turned gloomy. So that was why we went to Snappers' rocks first. It was relatively easy to drive in AU. The roads were simpler. My friend had a sore leg, so I drove. Better for her to rest well.

I heaved a sigh of relief when they told me I would be able to do the dive! YES!! It was my most anticipated activity of the day and it would be my biggest disappointment if I hadn't been able to accomplish it. And when the hostel crew drove me to the sky diving place, I frowned. It was just beside Kirramisu, where we had our breakfast earlier on! We sure didn't notice. Haha. It was just a small opening to the second floor.

The dive was expensive. But it was worth it to jump in Gold Coast because of the magnificent coastal skies and sea. 450AUD, with photos only. Several couple of people had jumped when the weather was good and were just back. My friend was rather excited for me, and I was asking her, do you want to jump too? Come lets jump! Haha. She wanted to do her surfboarding and sun tan, but apparently the sun wasn't good enough. Haha. Oh wells. A little funny that the initial me who did not even had anything to do had something to anticipate now, but my friend who had planned something for the day hadn't had the chance to fulfill it. ;)

In half an hours time, we were ready. Oh my gosh! Coming true!! Its realising! They briefed me, and the van came and drove us to the spot to take the aeroplane. I was still feeling alright, its just sitting inside the aeroplane; I seriously had no idea why I had felt so courageous that day. I was not nervous at all, and even joked around with the instructor. It really felt normal, sitting inside the aeroplane was just like the normal planes flying off. And I immersed myself in the wonderful views of Gold Coast.

Hoho, the main part was when the aeroplane started to stablise itself midair, and I knew it was going anytime now. The moment the door was pushed open, wow, the experience was really something I couldn't forget. That was when my nervousness kicked in, OMG OMG I'M REALLY JUMPING, was what I had thought in my mind. The jarring sounds of the aeroplane and the outside wind gushed in, the moment I was told to lift my leg out to step on the outside wing board of the aeroplane, hahahahaha! I looked down at the skies, it was such a lovely blue, and the clouds were so cute! Can I float among them??

Then came in my instructor's voice, "Now we are going to enjoy the jump! Relax and shout as loud as you can! Yeah!! Five, four three two one------------" I felt the momentum of the push, went out already! Hahaha. I made sure I opened my eyes wide wide. 10,000 feet above sea level, I jumped above the clouds, dived through them, and poof! I saw the gorgeous view of GC.

The andreline rush was the first 40 seconds. Hmmm, after that the parachute opened and I was pressured upwards, before floating down, slow and stable. A good 10 minutes of floating down, around the coast and taking pictures of it (Note: the instructor takes for you, not you holding a camera and snapping it away; we are not allowed to bring anything up). Needless for me to say anything more right, how fantastic the experience was. Hee hee.

Superb. :)

My friend was on the other side of the lane waiting for me, but I had to get back to their shop to get the equipment removed. She rented her surfboard. Then we went to surfers' paradise to visit the T1 Observation deck. Oh man, twice in a row I got to view such awesome coastal lines of GC. I'm in a lucky streak today.

At Surfers' paradise, we went to the beach. The beach was.. so so. Plus there weren't a lot of sun; in the end my friend wasn't able to do sun tan. Haha.

Feeling a little hungry, we had nachos at Hard Rock. Actually what's the special thing about Hard Rock? Isn't it just a restaurant? What made it so famous, opening it world wide now? The nachos was delicious. But some time later, when I was at the Penang's Hard Rock, the set meals doesn't taste that good. Hmmm...

Walked on, walked on. The shopping street seemed to be so deserted. Hahah. Its more of a row of restaurants but then all weren't opened and we were kind of hungry before we reached Hard Rock.

Skies darkened, and King contacted us, he was coming down! With his directions, we headed to a seafood store, which seemed to be rather popular with the locals as well as the tourists, we saw some Sg people eating there too. Had fish and chips, it was pretty fresh. Special mention: the Aioli sauce. Something like tar tar, but taste not quite similar. Its nice! Anything dipped with the Aioli sauce, was simply tasty. And I finally had my oysters there! Bought half a dozen and I had four while King had two. Hmm its really fresh. I should have eaten oysters in Hobart while I was there. I kept thinking, a dozen was too much for me, even for half a dozen, and there was no one to share with me. Sigh~ Thinking back, I should have proceed ahead to buy half a dozen to try. But its alright, I had it in Gc, I'm satisfied.

We went to return the car afterwards. Wanted to catch a what? movie watching from the car? Hmmm I cannot really remember the term to call it, but anyways it was raining. So its impossible to watch and we went back to our hostel and chill. Haha. We had a long hearty chat. It was so long ever since the three of us had gathered together to chit-chat. I don't know, but to me, 3 of us had kind of shared a friendship bond, the everyday travelling to school together and the little things like that. Both of us used to tease him often and laugh out loud in the mrt, with his hilarious reactions. An awesome catch up. Chat until we all fell asleep. And we had to wake up very early until the next morning. Because we were going to Byron Bay. Heh. ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 6. Gold Coast, AU

14th March 2012, Tuesday

And so... Unknowingly half of my trip has passed. Its time for my next destination. I still could remember my feelings when I reached Tasmania on the first day. Everything felt slow. Relaxed and I could still decide what to do for the day! It was until the day tours kicked in and as well as reaching Launceston, time really flew like nobody's business. Oh time. 

I am really thankful for my accommodation in Launceston. Thanks to Alvin, Jackie and their family, I had lots of fun. I'll give you guys a good treat when you are back k! P.S. If timing allows and I'm also in SG. We will have to plan. Heh. I enjoyed the slow pace overall in AU. Initially I couldn't get used to it, the first obvious point was the internet connection. Nowadays everyone are connected. Even for a person like me, I'm considered quite okay not getting connected all the time. However upon reaching AU, because I didn't buy their prepaid card, I found it so hard to get used to the little connection in AU. A lot of places weren't offering free wireless as compared to back at home. My hostel even charged for wireless at an 'incredible' rate. It was so expensive. 

Today was really saying bye bye to Tasmania. Alvin and Jackie sent me to the airport and we bade farewell right in the morning. My gosh, these 3 days passed so fast! 3 days seemed to combine into 1 day only. Keep in touch, peeps. Do keep in contact when you guys are back in SG and lets go eat something good. You guys had given me such a memorable trip. Will keep me reminiscing for some time in future. Cheers. ;)

Off I was, taking the plane to Gold coast, transiting at Melbourne. Alas, because the plane wasn't able to reach in time in Melbourne (it delayed in Launceston), I missed my flight to Gold Coast and had to wait for the next flight. Supposedly to reach in Gold Coast at 1pm, I only reached at 4pm. Its okay. Made a call over to King and he laughed and laughed. 

He came to pick up Sb and they already had lunch when I arrived because it was rather late. I saw Sb! Hahahahahhaa. We were so excited when we saw each other. My goodness she looked gorgeous. Not drop dead gorgeous, but enough to make quite a couple of guys along the street to turn around. In contrast, I look like one japanese high school kid. HAHAHAHA. And I seem to come from winter, she seem to come from summer. Haha!~

After picking me up, we went straight to check in first. Room was pretty alright, and we were situated at Kirra coast, where its famous for surfing. We spent our time looking at the sunset. It was beautiful. The sun rays, albeit slowly made its way down, it still shone through the evenly cluttered clouds, combined with the blue skies. 

I actually had no idea what to do in Gold coast, unlike my friend, who was pretty determined to sun tan and do some surfboarding. I... really didn't know what to do. How to spend my time...? I didn't want to do any water sports.. the water was cold, it wasn't the right season. Hmmm.. I may consider to do some walking and shopping.. but in my mind I was thinking was there any other activities I could join? Checked out with the hostel reception, there seemed to be a whale watching! Hmm! Sounds interesting and I wanted to register for it. Unfortunately they mentioned it wasn't the season and had to be cancelled. 

King was then flipping through some brochure and I just peeped. Sky-diving. Mm. Mmmm. MMm! Sounds good. Come on man, I should just go for it! Sb and King looked at me in awe, 'are you sure' expression written on their faces. And I was like, yeah man why not. Since I had time, since I was free, since I had nothing to do. Lets just do it man. Little did I know... 

Night time, we went to have dinner at some western stall, and the portions were pretty huge. Burgers, salads... yummy!! After dinner we went back to the airport to rent a car to drive for tomorrow. Luckily the good thing was Kirra wasn't far from the airport, unlike surfers' paradise. Because King wasn't going to be here tomorrow to bring us around, we figured that we should rent a car to navigate around. It would be easier. Perhaps a little more expensive, but its more flexible than waiting for their buses. 

And that's was around it for the night. Sb and I had a drink downstairs below our hostel. I had white wine and she had a red wine. Cost quite cheap, only 3AUD per glass? And we shared our experience, she explored with Melbourne, Sydney (less than a day only, lol) and me with Tasmania. I was so surprised she took most of the photos with iPhone when she had a digital camera! Haiyo~~!! While chilling, we also had a small incident. No idea why, suddenly a group of kids broke through a car by smashing the windows and took a carton of beer, if I'm not wrong. We kinda freaked out, because it was playing directly in front of us. And I just told Sb, lets quickly finish our drink and get out of here. Haha.

I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's activities! A difference when I came from Tasmania was the busily Gold coast atmosphere. I could feel the slower movement in Tasmania. But the people were more relaxed in Tasmania. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 5. Launceston design museum, Royal Park, Automobile museum, Cataract Gorge, Seaport - Tasmania, AU

13th March 2012, Monday

I think I was pretty lucky. Today, in AU, was Labour day! Which meant that all working adults were on holiday and students did not have to go to school as well. That was too much of a coincidence because I did not see that coming. I was still thinking perhaps I would do some walking on my own in Launceston since the aussie family would be studying. I was pretty prepared, alas, today was a holiday.  

That wasn't bad, so to say, all in all, it was pretty good, I gotta to be thankful once again. Jackie was free to accompany me to the design museum and I must say I'm pretty fascinated at the designs using wood to craft out. To me, I'm not a design student and of course I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate, but coming to these stuffs, its a way of making me relaxed. Putting my mind away from school and work, was just some of the 'me' time I required, just like how I put my time into blogging all these 'me' thoughts out. Writing for who, nobody I would say, but I write solely for my own pleasure. Ah, and also to improve on my language. It certainly did. I read my writings a year ago and now; they felt different.

We then slowly sauntered our way to the Royal Park. Jackie said because it was a holiday, all the shops weren't opened. Good and bad. Haha. The Royal Park was so peaceful. Good for a read in the afternoon. Then we went to the automobile museum. Hahahaha. I liked the cars, I wished they were mine! So I could display them in my house. As if my house was that big. Pfft. 

I was being brought to their school, University of Tasmania (UTAS) since it was on the way. Interesting part about this was that this was converted from a train depot. The train depot was preserved and some parts of the area were refurbished for a school. And some parts were preserved as tourist attraction. Oooh.

Time really passed fast for the day, together with Clara and Justin, we were whisked off to the Cataract Gorge in Alvin's car. Whisked, I would say, and emphasized because I really felt that feeling. A moment I was here and the next moment I reached another place. Hahahahahaha. That car. The existence is already a wonder. I got to know it was a 1988 year car, or something like that?! My goodness and still working well there in Tasmania. Hmmm.

I liked the gorge. Did a little hiking, and reached to the viewing point. Beautiful. Sat on the chairlift too, enjoyed the high view! Is a must visit to the gorge, when you visit Launceston. I heard when there was a flood, the whole gorge was flooded. Can't imagine. Left me gaping a little. The gorge was pretty big, to be flooded like that meant the flood was pretty serious.
Last but not least... we went to the seaport for a fish and chips dinner.. Haha you would say its not again. But that's what they were famous for, even when I went to gold coast I had fish and chips also.. Guess what when I went back home, I didn't had any until recently a week ago. CMI la, the ones at Hans, bugis library. Actually what food was good at Hans? I would say, only their cakes and pastries and the beverages (i.e. coffee and tea) were good. The rest, so so, can eat only.

I liked the view at Seaport, that was the kind of view I was looking for when I was in Launceston. The unique view of the houses situated on the hills that created the picturesque hills of houses was what I was looking for. A night when we were driving back, I saw the night view of it and was deeply mesmerized. It was a view that was deeply carved into my mind. Still couldn't forget it till today. The lights in each houses are like the stars shining in the rich navy night. That was special.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 4. Launceston Sunday market, Fishing at Lowhead, Lowhead Lighthouse, Penguin watching - Tasmania, AU

12th March 2012, Sunday 

I slept well last night. One night's sleep fully all the way till the morning, without any interruptions in between. I could totally credit it to the blanket. Theirs was the kind specially for winter season, very warm. I felt good. Intentionally left the blinds slightly open last night, so the morning rays could seep through the window and across my face to wake me up instantaneously; a natural alarm clock for me. But just in case, I still left my alarm switched on. Somehow, in other people's house, I told myself I had to leave a good impression, no matter what. I don't have jojo unnie to wake me up! >.< 

7am. Woke up and washed up. I then went downstairs to peep around. Haha sounds wrong, but since I had nothing to do, I just made something to drink first. Everything was so quiet. Even back at home my house I'm sure it wasn't even this quiet at 3am. I don't know I'm just so not used to the quietness. Then I heard shuffling of noises. Oh Justin woke up. OMG. 7.30am. So early! *Gasp*

He sure is a independent kid, a 90'yr old kid coming to AU to study is a feat. Ah, but as compared I sure do have a 90'yr dongseng who had already completed her degree and is now in Korea to further her language studies. I don't know, it just feels that the young people nowadays are so hardworking. Or is it because that I lack that kind of energy anymore? I think so. Ahem, but I'm young toooo! Keke, I WILL have the energy~~~~

(On a sidenote, having just came back from the exams, somehow I still cannot conjure up a proper sentence, I do require more time to write. What was I writing about again?)

Sooner and later, all the house people were up, I think I would just refer them as the aussie family for short from now. We went to the Launceston sunday market. Its so much different from the Salamanca market, now to come think of it, the Salamanca market was so much more commercialized than the Launceston sunday market. The sunday market felt more like the sungei market back at home, but of course as compared the market 'quality' is definitely better; some of the new stuff were a steal; even the second-hand stuff were still so new. One thing I had noticed; the people were really living a slower life, they don't seem to care if they had earned enough for the day. Really, do they have enough bread to eat for the day? That was what I had been thinking while breezing through the market. A very homely market I would say, as compared to the Salamanca market, and I liked the food kiosks selling hot dogs, and the one selling the coffee. No why, I just liked. I should have taken more photos there. But when I'm there, I thought its sufficient for my eyes to absorb all that was available. But apparently not. 

Haha haha, after that we went to Lowhead for fishing. Sounds funny, the whole group of us and other people as well, total about 10 over people, but in the end only 1 fish was caught. But it wasn't really the season and I could credit it to that. Haha. They commented, during the winter season, they could catch a lot of fish. White cod somemore. My goodness, lucky. That was so expensive in sg.

Then I was whisked off to catch the lightpost at lowhead and the world's smallest penguins. I loved the sunset. How it made the sky looked so dramatic. Scenery by the lighthouse was good. And I still remembered we went to see some rocks by the ocean? All was at Lowhead. The rocks were a little red colour, so I supposed the rocks from the Bay of Fires could have been redder. But still they were lovely. For a period of time, they were washed by the ocean, thus because of the minerals, overtime the rocks formed the red colour.

It was quite a different experience for the penguin watching. We first sat at the penguin observatory deck to hear an explanation of the penguins, their special traits and characteristics. Then after that we proceeded to some other parts of the beach to see their homes. It was pretty interesting to hear about their mating process. If you have the chance you should go! Special mention about the penguins, they were really so cute! Small and only at the height of my limb, they made their way through clumsily, from the sea to where they stayed for the night. It was my first time seeing them from such close proximity (they brushed our feet, but we must stand still and not to move, to frighten them) and it was really amazing to see that. 
Luckily I wore enough because the seaside to catch the penguins in action was really so cold. By the way, I liked the weather over there seriously. Winter is so cold, and summer is so hot, so the only seasons left was spring and autumn. Not too hot and not too cold, and I'm able to dress up, this kind of weather suits me. I've expected it to be more colder, but nevertheless it was still alright. What I couldn't tahan was when I went Gold coast and Brisbane. It was still warm.

Pretty tired out for the day, the wind blew into my eyes and I had to constantly blink it to prevent it from drying. My face was blown by the cold wind until they were really icy cold. But it was shiok (i.e. wonderful), it had been so long ever since I had been to cold countries. I missed that feeling. 

And off I was to the next day ahead. ~

Exams ended! Time to look forward to SOMETHING!

The moment the invigilator said "Time's up", I just went blank. Energy totally seeped out from my hand, all the way till my brain. Seriously exams... can just burn half of my brain cells. Hey, my brain cells are so precious okay! 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 4. Salamanca saturday market, Launceston - Tasmania, AU

10th March 2012, Saturday

I woke up at a slightly later time today, around 7.15am? Since the saturday market opened at 8am and was only a 5 min walk from the hostel, there was no need to wake up so early. Sam was still sleeping when I woke up; she slept on the bunk above me. It was a little hard to sleep yesterday. Was constantly awakened by the cold weather, me thinks the blanket was not warm enough. I even put an extra layer of blanket! It was the piece I took from Emirates flight for just in case.. And it turned out really cold and I was really glad I had that. Sam could feel it too, she told me she constantly feel that the double bunk was moving, and creaking. Haha. I tried my best not to move around! But I just couldn't sleep well for the night.

And so I left with Sam and her friends to the Salamanca market. I was really excited to have them along with me, because it would be more fun, and yes finally I have someone to share food with, instead of just having to eat it all by myself. Traveling in a group ensued more fun, definitely.

Hahahahaha, the girls were so funny! We practically enjoyed ourselves, it was my first time of being able to chat so much and clutching my tummy, laughing out loud on the streets. In our own language. So comfortable!! Hadn't spoke for so many days. They were so nice to hang out with. One of the girls were searching for the famous Bratwurst saugage hot dog stall, she said it was featured on their Hong Kong magazine. Then we just walked on, and there I spotted it. She was so excited and snapped practically everything of the stall. The uncle grilling the sausages just looked at us, appalled at how we were going gaga over the stall, I guess. I was there laughing and laughing. Then we ordered, a beef and a pork one I think. First food of the day, yummy! The sausages, coupled with the sauteed onions, were so juicy and nearly scalded my mouth since they were so hot. But as usual, food always tasted best when its piping hot, wouldn't they. 

Then we continued on the walk, there were simply so much interesting stuff to see on the way. Saw some handicrafts on accessories, they were so pretty, but so much overpriced, and that stopped me from buying. But they looked so sweet. I'm leaving my hair longer and could wear those soon though. Awww. Gotta admit those were pretty unique and could only be found there. But they cost 8AUD! (translates to 10.8SGD) You tell me, can buy or not?! And its only a handmade fabric badge hair band. The price was not justified. I expected maybe 4AUD.

Walked on, and ate a piece of pizza that looked so appetizing. But its so so only. Then walked on, ate a box of blueberries. They were so sweet and fresh. Most importantly they only costed 7.5AUD! And a big box, mind you. Now, these are the things that are worth buying, because back at home they cost so much more and are sour, and comes in a small box.

I don't know if its in my character or what, the market was just so fascinating to see, but if you were to ask me if I'd anything to buy, I would just look at you blankly and shake my head. When traveling, the culture of the country attracts me more than shopping. Maybe its because I'm quite a seasoned traveller, having seen more things in some other countries, since I forsee I'm not going to utilise it, so why waste the money. Pretty, does not mean useful. Its like throwing money into the selfless ocean. Asking me if I'm gonna do shopping in AU, the answer is not really, unless its reasonable and worth to get. Sometimes its even more worth to buy back in our own country, especially during sale period, like our GSS, for clothes.

Also, to me, Australia is not a place to shop for stuff. The shopping places are always in Taiwan, and Hong Kong, isn't it. So I kinda expected that I wouldn't be able to get some things. And they were expensive anyways. During the period I went, currency of AUD shot up to 1.35. And immediately when I came back they dropped to 1.24. WTH. *stomp my feet on the ground*

2 of the HK girls wanted to get the handmade crafted mugs. OMG so heavy, how are you going to use it?! Hahhaha, but they were so pretty. Walked on and I recommended them to go to Battery Point. Easily we spend like 3 hours plus in the market already. I didn't join them for the walk to Battery Point since I had been there before, so I popped into one of the art galleries to have a look. Alas, by the meeting time, the HK girls were not back yet, apparently they had a problem with their aussie phone line and were at a shop trying to settle it. Time was ticking; I had a coach to catch to Launceston today. I then had to bade farewell with one of girls who came to look for me, and I forgot to get their contacts. Oh dear. Awww. I missed them already.

I still had some time to spare. Tried their cinnamon doughnut, bought some water, and enjoyed the music of the swiss band. Hahaha. Bought some postcards for future use as well. Then I saw the crepes stall which Sam and I had promised to eat together. Just the thought itself made me go awww, I wouldn't be able to share with her anymore. When will I get to see her again? I ate the spinach and feta cheese salted crepes. Nice! With the tomato topping it was delicious.

A so called considered lunch, before I took the coach to Launceston. Made my final packing and off I was to the coach stop in Hobart. Quite a distance from the hostel, I must say. And it reminded me of Korea along the way. The houses were built on hills, so walking up, and then walking down, trugging my heavy luggage along with me. Korea is also similar, just that there were more wires hanging, and the houses in Seoul were built closer to each other. But the hills in Seoul were steeper. And once again , the silent cursing went on in my head. Actually it was made better due to the 4 wheels of the luggage, but the roads were not smooth, so it was better to pull it.

I must admit I was quite apprehensive on my way to Launceston. And yet, at the same time, looking forward to the meet up with Jackie and Alvin as well. No idea why, I worried about how I would be giving trouble to them. Indeed. To be honest, I wouldn't require to think so much if I were not meeting them. I would be just off to land tours all the way, in fact landing nicely on the days I was there, after some research. But somehow.. somehow, at the back of my head, there was a lingering thought. Its not easy to meet people who are on overseas studies in a country. In other words, I would say the opportunity doesn't come easily. Just like King, it would be a miss if we had gone after June; he would be back in Sg. By that time, regret also no use, isn't it. But King was different. King was so much closer to us, if we say ON, he would be sure to pick us up. I hate to say this. But the fact that we were aquaintances led me to consider a lot. I didn't want to give trouble, but at the same time I felt I had to give it a try, no matter what. Success or not, that's for later to think about. Most importantly, its whether I had given in my best effort without regrets.

So. Since opportunities don't come easily, when they do come, I should grab it, shouldn't I. And so, I did and now I'm on my way to meet them! Can't believe its all turning out true. Couldn't believe I'm realising my planned trip one day by one day. Hehe. Does it goes to say, I planned it pretty alright? Hmmm. I made the effort; try my best to contact and make the odds work. Thus when they do work finally, I can't help feeling a sense of relief, and peace. I did not want to go with an unease mind, like what am I supposed to do for today, are we meeting up for sure (?), so I made sure these friends were able to confirm with me before I left for Aussie.

Saying in words is very easy, but to put it into action is way so much harder. Ooh the coach reached earlier than the arrival time. Read a book on the way, gosh, it was one I had bought some time ago, but didn't had the time to read. Coming from Hobart, such a bigger city, Launceston gave me a feeling like a big town instead. Did not seem like a city, although it was stated as the second city in Tasmania in the books. There weren't much cars, even though it was a saturday, and the roads were clearly smaller than those in Hobart.

Hahaha I didn't see them yet, so I went to the washroom. For a moment, I thought hmmm... what should I do... Then their call came. Hahahahahahahhahahahahahaha.

I saw Jackie... hahaha... and then I saw Alvin... hmmm how should I describe the feeling?? No apt word could describe accurately how I felt that time. Relief? Happy? Excited? All in all, thank goodness! Hahahahahahahaha.

Overall, in a foreign country, seeing familiar faces greeting you really makes one feel warmed at heart. I think its this kind of emotional attachment that grows. This is also probably why the foreign communities would bond tightly together, no matter in which country. The connection is there.

They brought me to their house, and from there I got to know their housemates. Ben, Celia, Clara (ahem, not the clara in south korea, hahahah!), Justin. So many people living in the house! Plus me for a temporary short stay of 3 nights. It was quite different from what I had imagined. I can only say, the landlord was pretty smart in renting out the rooms to the students studying here. Heard that the garage was converted into a room for their current house. Really smart of him to do that.

Time just passed so fast, it was dinner time. All along, I knew life in Australia was pretty laid back and relaxed, but I realised basically even the students were having a good life as well. But living in AU, it meant you have to mingle in groups for survival. Food is expensive, shops close at 5pm sharp, supermarkets or marts are not so easily available for some remote areas, unlike in Sg, Hk, Tokyo, Seoul, etc, where food is instantly available and eateries operate until 9 or 10 at night. Students in AU practically have to cook at home. And if cooking is required, normally to cook for a group and eat together would be more easier and convenient.

We had japanese style curry chicken, it was scrumptious. Actually to me anything was good, OMG rice for the first time in my trip. Can you imagine, R I C E . hahahahahahahaha. Not that I missed rice anyways, I'm adaptable, its okay if its pasta or bread, or any other forms of western food for all my trip. I knew I'm going to have rice when I'm back home; thus it doesn't matter that much to me. Since during travelling, I've always believed we should experience the culture and the food in different country. We shouldn't be choosy about food. Unless its really something that is not edible or the taste is really something everyone can't accept. Trust me, after you have been through a trip to China Jiu Zhai Gou (九寨沟), and everything is fine? Everything is OKAY for you to go anywhere, practically. Asking me? My brother and I, ate everything that is laid on the table for each meal on that trip. Without any complains. Yes. That was kind of how seasoned we were.

I think letting children experiencing the developing countries first, then going to the first world countries is a better choice than the other way round. Its my first time to a western country, and I totally sink into the level of comfortableness it gave me, and yet accompanied with the high alertness every now and then, from the experience I had from the developing countries. And because we have been to such places before, we understand the different culture and are able to accept it palpably, but kids who had been to the first world countries first, out of 10, 9 cannot accept the culture, even the adults. What about the remaining 1? He tells his parents, next time they can go on their own. Haha.

Jackie cleared his room for me to stay for that period. Thank you so much and sorry you had to bunk in with Alvin. :) Night time, we went to supermarket, Coles and Kmart. Then I saw this BIG moon! Wow, its seriously so big, in front of my eyes. Later when I told this to the japanese girl, she told me, carrot do you know you can see this in Bedok as well?? -_- Fine. hahahaha.

Night time at Launceston was really like deserted town. Frankly speaking. To compare, its as though like Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar, but our areas weren't that remote in the evening as compared to there. No joke. You won't dare to walk out alone in the streets at night, because there wouldn't be any soul up the next 10 clicks. Hohoho.

**Such a long post for today. No time to check grammatical errors as well. Apologies in advance..**