Ingenious ways of living

One thing that strangely perks me up early Monday mornings when I have to travel the one hour train-cum-bus ride to Joondalup is seeing smart office folks in peak hour traffic.

The hustle-bustle of rushing crowds and cars seem quite like Singapore, except the people here look more aesthetically pleasing. Well, don't hit me now, but Singaporeans in the early hours look like they wanna pulverize you. Jesus. Is smiling such hard work?

(Yeah well, I should speak for myself.)

Which brings me to graffiti.

Graffiti is big here in Perth. On buses, signposts, walls, street signs, windows, you name it, they've graffitied it. I was going past this group of condo-esque apartments when I noticed this spray-painted word (that I could not recognise) there - a new addition. Plus, some signposts get twisted in the wrong direction which renders map-reading completely haywire. I'd know. Yours truly spent 15 bloody minutes figuring the right direction to the bank simply because someone had turned the sign to the childcare centre in a wrong direction! Hmph!

Some help eh.

Cooking is another problem.

Fortunately dinners are taken care of by a group of us who contribute to a kitty. They cook and I help wash up. Not that I can't cook, mind you, I can do wonderful soups and pasta and sandwiches and all things microwaveable, but hey, if someone else wants to do the cooking, by all means!

Anyhow, I just did an entire packet of sea shell pasta for my week's brunch. Whew. Unless one happens to love cooking (the type of love that puts cooking before one's partner), preparing one's meals every single day is simply damn, for the want of a more suitable word, sian. As such, I've taken to preparing food one week in advance.

Just like my housemates, we cook our week's meals in advance, store in fridge or freezer, and when time comes, helloooo microwave! Isn't that completely ingenious? So my pasta sits in little balls of cling-wrapped, urm, balls for me to easily microwave. Heh heh heh. Sorry lah, uni students too busy to cook one. You understand. :)

I really should be doing something else


I've downloaded Google Talk and gave it a try. Other than being good at aesthetics, it really doesn't do anything else MSN Messenger can't do. Besides, MSN allows group conversations and smileys, Google doesn't. Despite being a fervant Google supporter, I'll shall stick to MSN and Skype for my online communication needs. :)

Guys! Most of us have a gmail account right? Could we please give Google Talk a try? For those of you who die die also don't wanna get gmail (ahemjoahem), I'm generously offering invites now!

It only takes up 900k, and lets you instant message and make quality voice conversations. Download ok? :)

Viewpoint from across the causeway

One of the friends I met in uni is thinking of getting a car. That decision, however, comes with a bit of hesitation because my friend, a Malaysian, has to triple his costs due to the currency rates.

A dollar here costs three dollars in Malaysia, whereas for my case, I just multiply 1.3 times, which amounts up to less stress for me.

So logically speaking, if I were to get myself a set of wheels, I wouldn't feel the pinch as much as he does. Considering the cost of getting a second-hand car here and the number of "2nd-hand car for sale" notices in school, buying my very own transport is just at the tip of my fingers.

But I'm not even seriously considering a car myself - buses and trains here are a lot cheaper than back home despite their long waiting times.

Today I spotted a flyer in the media store:

"2nd-hand car for sale. Auto, in good condition. Call 04xx xxx xxx."

I msged my friend, and our conversation went thus:

"Hey dunno if u've seen it, but there's a car for sale notice at the media store, auto, abt 1300..."
"Really? So cheap must be not that good I think. Anyway why dont you buy it haha"
"Haha... Can go test drive mah, if i buy, i tihnk my mum will kill me... :)"
"For you not expansive (sic) what. Anyway need to make sure the car is worth buying it. Not the matter of price must see the codition (sic) of the car. If not later service"
"Ya not expensive but my mum told me b4 i left 'u dont go n buy car ah!!!' so i hv 2 listen 2 her.. lol"
"If like that no choice have to wait lo hehe. Now i cant buy yet no car id here and dad will not let me buy with out car id. Try ask your mom again maybe can le."
"Win lottery easier lah... Can get jaguar..."
"Singapore ppl are like that really hope on lottery one haha. Scare lose de la."

I don't know what to say to that. I think he hit the nail on its head though. "Singapore ppl... really hope on lottery one" You think? Everytime we encounter something beyond our dream we say "I win lottery then talk", I never ever heard my friend mention winning the lottery for the six weeks I've been here, and he just comes from the country across the causeway, not some far off land like China. Amazing, isn't it.


Friends, Romans, Countrymen,

Lend me your ears!

You know the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"? Same goes for Perth.

"When in Perth, eat as the Australians do."

Go to the supermarket, preferably Coles, buy pure Australian food (hotdogs for the bbq), eat pure Australian beef (at McDonald's), drink Australian beer (Tooheys).

Do this for your own sake, and for the goodness of your health.

Asian food down here sucks BIG TIME.

We tried cooking assam fish the other day with those assam fish paste, the ones where you just add water and viola! assam fish. Maybe the Australian mates here will find it all hot and spicy, but it was just bland to me. Same goes for cabbage and mushrooms. How do the Australians eat, I wonder.

The only good thing about food here is their Nutella is richer, and Singapore kaya can be found. Now the only thing left is Skippy Peanut Butter. :)

It doesn't rain, it pours.

It pours, and it drenches you. We've had thunderstorms for three days now. The rain comes down the entire day, drizzles and downpours taking their turns to soak us.

When the time comes for you to walk to class, the storm hits. By the time you step into class, it's reduced to a trickle, sometimes, maddeningly, the sun peeks.

The rain, bolstered by the wind, whips sneakily under your umbrella, rendering whatever minimal self-produced shelter you've got effectively useless. You get completely wet anyway.

Welcome to winter.

Selamat Datang Ke Malaysia

Don't hate me but I've joined the Malaysian Students' Council.

Well I'm part of the Singapore Students' Association too, if that's any consolation.

Today we were at King's Park for an MSC get-together and free lunch was provided. I'm such a sucker for free meals now 'cause free meals = no need to cook for myself. Haha.

Haven't got much to say, the people here are very nice, the animals don't bite, the crows are bigger, wine is cheap, I get to wear winter clothing, spring is coming...

There's just one small bit of problem.

On Thursdays we get a shopping bus that takes us to a nearby suburb for all our grocery needs. Seeing how bloody cheap wine is here (lowest price I ever saw was $4 for a bottle of white wine), a couple of us decided to get one. Friday nights are now Wine Night for us, lol.

So this went on for about two weeks until my housemate decided to tell me she can't have her food sharing the same fridge as my wine. I decided to get to the bottom of it:

"Oh no alcohol?"
"Yeah. No."
"I'm sorry then, I'll take it out right now. I'm so sorry."
"Nah, that's ok. I'm glad you are so understanding."
"No worries."
"So lemme get this straight, your diet is halal?"
"So I can't have pork or ham too right?"
"No pork is fine as long as it's not on the same shelf as my food. But alcohol, definitely not."

Then we exchanged some pleasantries and that was that.

Look, I understand her bit about the alcohol and her diet restrictions, but we are sharing an apartment and a fridge here. Shouldn't everything be fine as long as you didn't drink my wine? Or does having alcohol in the fridge tempt you?

I think this is a matter too trivial to be brought up, but I'd discussed this with everyone I know in the student village and they all said she was wrong to ask me to remove the alcohol. Sigh, like that how? My wine's just sitting there...

The people in unit 29

Throw someone in a new environment and it's bound to arouse his or her curiousity. In my case, put me in unit 29 and I'm bound to be curious about my other five housemates - their rooms, their habits, food they eat, things they do (besides going to class), friends they make, yeah you get the idea.

I have a Hong Kong-er, a Brisbane-ian, German, Kenyan and Malaysian in my unit, what a regular united nations eh. Perfect environment for breeding curiousity. So far,
the Honkie is a photo-nut,
the Brisbane-ian is the nice girl-next-door (literally),
the German is a party-goer and social smoker,
the Kenyan plays badminton at night (where it's like 10 degrees),
and the Malaysian's the only person who can understand when I use "lah".

I love spying on the neighbours. :)

A very special night

Someone says I have to blog and post pictures, so here I am. My father is also chasing me for pictures of Perth, but... giving him the address of this blog? Over my dead body.

On a very special night last friday (5th August), we went on a night tour of Fremantle Prison.

Our tour guide was not your usual come-everybody-let's-follow-my-flag type, he was a storyteller, complete with scare tactics and mesmerizing plots. I would have to say almost all of us were frightened at some point in time.

One thing about drivers in Perth, or at least, Singaporean drivers in Perth: they never go above the speed limit. If it's 70kmph, then you drive at 70kmph; whereas in Singapore, drivers whiz around at 100kmph all the time. I actually thought Perth drivers were all just really slow when I realised it was Singapore that was going fast.

On the other hand, service at fast-food outlets are definitely what you'd call slooooooooooooooooooow. It can't called fast food if them waiters move at normal speeds, for heaven's sake. You think we have all the bloody time in the world?

One for the fish

I've always wanted a pet fish, or two. But parental obstacles had prevented me from doing so (because I knocked over the fishbowl when I was younger and killed my goldfishes).

Now that I'm pretty sure I've lost about 99% of that embarrassing klutz kids inevitably seem to possess, I guess I'm just about ready to rear fishes again! And Post Modern Pets has delivered a brilliant Hanging Fish Pod, a goldfish bowl with a hemispheric shape that is made to hang on a wall.

Isn't it dandy? A mighty conversation piece too, if I do say so myself. Now I just need someone to get this for my birthday. :)

The word 'Screwed' would be just about right

What happens when you say some things intentionally to throw a guy off the wooing path? You get him pissed. Then you wish you hadn't said anything at all.

I made him look like a fool during my "Hey I have something I wanna tell you" on msn last night. Everything I'd typed was with the (evil) purpose of getting him to give up; I had initially thought jetting away to Perth would cool things, but it's just taught me to never underestimate a desperate guy.

I am so screwed now.

Now I want to avoid him more than ever but he's doing the exact opposite. He keeps wanting to "find out the truth". Just what is it with you boys?


This is hostel sweet hostel guys. I have pretty nice housemates (I wasn't paid to say that). Despite that, I have about 70% made up my mind to move out come this summer. The student village's nice, but it's not home, y'know? Like those bathroom taps where you have to turn the hot water halfway, then turn the cold tap halfway to get a good temperature. Well, home is flicking the switch on the heater and turning a single tap to get hot water.

School started today. It was such a long vacation for me so adjusting's gonna take some time. I have to do Media Law & Ethics and Communication Research this semester. Phylis Peter and Ping are gonna be so proud, copyright laws and quantitative research all over again!