exordinarily ordinary

A tail of a girl..

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We say goodbye again...

Here we are again.After months of indecision,a boring friday afternoon had at last propelled me to do this. It's time again for goodbye...


proudly hosted, helpdesked and bankrolled by king moo.

I am home at last.Otherwise reachable by nasilemak@sourrain.com

Friday, January 26, 2007

Baby steps

This, is Joel, otherwise known as smellie
Don't know why his mommy call him smellie
But he sure is a cutie
(of course, takes after me :P)

Its always scary when your friends start reproducing - you're torn between feeling left behind and a tad afraid that the day might finally arrive when you reproduce. I don't even feel quite adult yet;how am I supposed bring a baby up?

And after 25 hours of labour, one of my oldest friend had produced this:
Hi there.I am a cute char xiu bao

Baby's first hi-five

Konon looks like he belongs to us…

And then he wee.And then he poo.So we left:).Actually,left to pig out at Zen & Kim Gary. Baby steps ya…let me try out being a kai ma (god mom) first…

With two parents being some IT pros, the baby,of course, has his own personal blog.But warning ahead - do not view if you giggle uncontrollaby at the sight of a breast milk pump (I don’t even know they exist!!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Australian adventure

If you've missed any of my previous installments on the track to Australia, well, below is just for you! A summary of Le Barkers' Australian tour of 2006

Making it from Leeds
Sun, Surf, Lobsters & burgers
Victoria's Great Ocean Road
Philip Island's Kangaroos & Penguins
U of Melbourne's Graduation
Yarra Valley & Lygon St.
Sydney's Rocks Weekend market & Haymarket
Sydney Fish Market, Star Casino, Aquarium & Towers
Manly Beach
A do-nothing day
Bondi, Coogee & Paddy's Market

Ahhhhh...I am so proud of myself for finally cataloging this.

Oz day 12 - Washed away memories

This is slotted to be the last in my OZ series. Not many pictures - mainly because my poor camera was literally washed away when a giant surf hit me .

Bacon had insisted that even if it was thundering or raining cats and dogs, there was no way he was going to miss out on Bondi. Thank god the sun was shining and all was well in paradise.

We agreed on,Breakfast on Bondi, Lunch at Coogee, Dinner at Darling. Today it was bus time, and we took a bus from just behind our hotel all the way to Bondi beach front. Initially we wanted to catch the bus to Bondi Junction - apparently that was the bus stop,not the beach.Thank god the driver was very nice and asked us if we were actually heading to the Beach.

After a pleasant 40 mins meandering up to Bondi, we hopped off to be greeted by a long beautiful stretch of beach with a matching row of shops and restaurants. Guess what did I have for breakfast?

Mouhahahah! It is actually a very famous Scottish delicacy,but I couldn’t find it when I was up at Edinburgh, so of course, I had to have it.Deepfried.Yumm

Can you see the melty nougat centre?OMG TO DIE FOR. It tastes just like a melted mars bar, gooey,chocy,but warm as well - sort of like deepfried ice cream but warm

Stomach satiated (if not a little nauseus) we headed on to Bondi - where a naked photoshoot was going on! Hahahah! Bacon refused to walk in front of the seedy-looking man shooting this blonde with small tits squirming against the hot australian sun. The thing was, there is nothing wrong with nudity/toplessness - sunbathing topless is a almost a requirement on Bondi (and the other beaches that we went to that day) but the fact that after that naked photoshoot she was filmed running down the beach topless made it extremely hilarious!

Sorry, thought it was rude to shoot her.Don't know why though.They might think that I would sell those softporn pixs off.

Contemplating Bondi

I wanna bag myself a surfer boy…yumm:)

Can you spot yourself a topless one?

Bondi-ed feet

I want to live in one of em…

After lying in the sun for about an hour, it was time to move on again - Bacon wanted to walk towards Coogee (I think a 3 hour coastal walk!!) but I veto-ed it immediately. We then headed to the taxi ranks and took one of them instead to Coogee, which is a located about 15min drive from Bondi and much smaller and quiter. Plus it also seems to be more local rather than touristy snap happy.

One of my fav food in oz is sushi - due to the closeness of many of the major ports,the fish is VERY FRESH.Heck, all it's seafood are very fresh and delicious..we had a AU2 for any plate sushi for lunch and popped down to the beach immediately to see what the fuss is about with Coogee. Even the cabdriver said that it was nicer than Bo

Man overboard!

Just as I snapped this picture,my poor Nikon was splashed by a giant wave,so we waved it goodbye for a while..I was quite traumatized by it…but seeing that this was our last beach trip, I just shut my eye and tried to enjoy the sun for a little longer.I still like Manly the best from all three Sydney beaches, and if you only had time for one, I would recommend Manly.Sigh…I miss the sand.

We left at 3 to head back towards the city, and seeing that it was a Thursday, bought a monorail day pass and headed towards the famed Paddy's market by chinatown(haymarket). We were expecting it to be a full fledged market like Victorias' market was in Melbourne but it falls short of expectations.However, it had a great selection of souveniers - bought some tea towels and oven mitts to bring home. I also went to the shopping centre next door which had a Mambo discount centre - suffice to say, I splurged again,like I was never going to see mambo stuff ever again. I even bought a makeup bag,like how bizzare.At 5pm the market traders were starting to shut - seeing that we were in chinatown I had to have one last bowl of Pho - this time at a hip pho restaurant just outside of Paddy's.It was decorated with all red and black chinoiserie chic, but ran by vietnamese they produced a pretty decent bowl of pho. Obviously no pictures=no recollection of the restaurant's name - now I know why I take pictures. My memories are all intact in Flickr's safekeeping:).

Sigh- wet camera=no pix

Anyway, I don’t know how I do it, but we headed home to change and immediately left for Darling Harbour again, kiasu what,don't want to waste the monorail day ticket at AU 9 each.This time, in search of another ribhaven -

Camera showing subtle signs of life…thank god.

We ordered nearly the same thing that we ordered yesterday - the ubiquitious rib platter
I want myyy---baby back baby back baby back ribs, sings the big fat blob from Austin Power.

Yummm…it was definitely better than Hard Rocks' and did not had such a problem with their service, although, our server, which I think is Japanese, could only speak really broken English.

After the huge meal, it was time for one last walk on the harbor. We took it slow, savouring our last view of the beautiful Sydney nightscape.

Christmas was fast descending..

I love fake-looking pictures that is caused by the twilight back light

Sydney is a very special city. It has so many obvious attractions that are just in-your-face; attractions that makes it uniquely Sydney and unreplicated anywhere else. It has the charms of docks and beaches whilst being a fast growing city. It is so vibrant, and filled with character that it sometimes reminded me of San Francisco, with its crooked Lombard St, Fisherman's wharf ect.

We were both quite upset to leave Australia.

Tales from hicksville 1

I have been randomly sharing stories of strange (mostly ridicullious) encounters that I've had since moving here - because they are mostly short I don't usually blog about it,but sharing is caring so here you go!

Le Bacons are lazyasses.We don't like cleaning (vac,toilet,mopping) but it is a fact of life that everyone has to clean sometimes. So I was thinking of hiring a temp maid (well, to be very PC, they call it cleaner)of maybe 2 hours a week to clean toilets,vac and mop the floors.Being the stupidass I am, I advertised it as paying £8 per hour - which will equate £16 for two hours and if you convert that into RM my mommy will probably grill my lazyarse. Seeing that the min. wages are £5.70, I am paying quite a good rate by any standards.

Anyway.I have been getting all sorts of applicants through my email since yesterday and most of it is so bizzare - some send a whole cv which reads:

Master of Tourism, with a specialisation in Tourism Economy at Higher School of Economy and Tourism in Warsaw

Bachelor of Tourism, with a specialisation in Tourism Organisation and Handling at College of Tourism and Recreation in Warsaw

WHY would someone with a Masters in Tourism want to work for me as a maid??Hell, I'm not even that educated.

Another one states that she has been an au pair/ child minder for the past 12 years (if her cv is to believed) and she has a degree in sports management and she is very 'sportif'.Again, WHY? Maybe I should pay her to be my personal trainer whilst she clean.

Best was,

hi dear..am single man 40yr old looking for apart time job becaouse buzy
some time would verey nice if contact me for more information on
0779xxxxxx ......thnk you

Now,I am not advertising for some porno/stripper shiet,why would you want to tell your 'potential' employer that you are single and call her/him dear??bacon's only response was, "His england not powderfull huh". He's sounding more and more like me every single day - so proud:)

I had a couple more applicants from the new EU countries i.e. Poland,Slovakia,Romania and a couple with african-sounding names. I initially thought it was piss hilarious (still do) but obviously I should stop laughing as they are only offering to do menial jobs because they are new immigrants - and jobs are not easy to come by,menial or not.Sides, I pay really well:).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oz day 11- And it rains in paradise...zz

Christmas in the sun V 5

We woke up, went shopping,ate,came home,slept,the end.

You think I'm kidding?

After such a tiring couple of days, we were supposed to take it slow today, and head down to the world famed bondi beach.However, after 3 days of perfect weather, it was bound to happen - it rained cats and dogs all day long. We hopped from one shopping centre to another,not buying anything in particular.In fact,I think the only thing I bought in our 'shopping trip' was a rip curl luggage…and that’s a shared purchase,so nothing magnificient.

Had lunch at Nandos for their 'chicken riblets', which is only available in OZ, tender chicken collarbone meat that is finger lickin good.And that's about it really! No kidding.Oh.Had a couple of KrispyKreme - found them lurking at the corner of a foodcourt *smirks*

The Swarovski christmas tree at QV shopping centre (next to town hall)

So the pretty...

Did not do much at night,but my handy guidebook speaks of a all-you-can-eat ribs at hard rock café….which is strangely enough located at Kings Cross again.Because we had not purchased any bus all day ride tickets today,I had to make that trek up again..


It is very strange where this Hard Rock is. We went up and down the street looking for it,and passed right by it because it was so inconspicious. Hard Rocks are usually in the middle of town..but anyway

Ordered a full rack of ribs to be shared between us.Due to the utterly non-existant service, I was too hungry by the time the food finally arrived 50 minutes later.When I asked to be seated by the bar area (so I can actually snap pictures with the skylight the rude waitress looked at me like as if I was dumb, "You can either sit ON the bar or at the dining area". Prick. I then asked what is the area by the bar called,wildly gesturing I WANT TO SIT THERE….she then reluctantly explained herself that the bar area are fully booked. There was about 10 customers at that time in the whole restaurant.Bitch.

This was one of the problems that I would regularly have with restaurants in Sydney.It takes them too bloody long to serve the food up, 45mins is de rigeur.If you are hungry, make sure you snack before to ruin your appetite…because the laidback attitute sometimes translate into the tidak-apa attitute, so servers don’t care what you really want…or they are not very helpful bordering on rudeness.Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, Fullhouse was manned by a very very friendly and efficient waitress and Don Don serves their food up on the double. I just realized that both are asian restaurants.Hmm..

/rant over

The only thing that I manage to snap a picture of is the American brownie, because by then I was satieted enough to not lose it any more

No light=bad picture

ps:this is post 301.I've come a long way:)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oz day 10 - Darling-ly Manly

After an exhausting day at the fish market, it was time for Manly beach (Moo's recommendation) -where boys turn into men.

In 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy left England with a fleet of ships to establish a colony in New South Wales. He was to be it's first Governor.
In January 1788, the fleet arrived at its destination, Botany Bay, which was found to be unsuitable for settlement. So, on 21 January, Phillip with others travelled north and examined Port Jackson, so named by Captain James Cook in 1770. They spent three days exploring Port Jackson and Phillip, impressed by the "confidence and manly behaviour" of a group of aborigines in the northern reaches of the harbour, called the place "Manly Cove".

Taken from Manly's website

Manly is reachable by the ferry which leaves Circular Quay at every 20min past the hour. You have a choice of going by the Manly jetcat (speedy boat) or the old skool way of ferries. We got up around 9, and went for some breakfast at the Museum Train station, which was diagonally located to our hotel. After some confusion/debate with the station master,we bought the day combination ticket for all rail & ferries at AU 12. We chugged our way to Circular Quay and got off at 10am, which was fairly good time and I was quite proud

Then I realized I left my rings on the bedside table.

AGAIN.So we rushed back on the train, got off at the wrong exit and I ran 3 blocks back to the hotel, by this time it was getting quite late and I was afraid that housekeeping had already been in our rooms and made off with my rings.Thank god it was there, and after catching my breath, headed back to Museum station. Drama over.

Some say that the journey to Manly is half the fun of actually being there, and I must admit that I agree. I ran straight in as the gates to the ferry opened up (kiasu what) and bagged seats on the top open air balcony of the ferry. And I had the best 20min ferry ride of my life..and some absolutely amazing pictures of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge…


It moves! Scroll quickly - sequence of pictures taken 2 minute apart

Blown over. There were loads of sailing going around that day.

After a very pleasant 20min ferry ride, the Manly Pier was in sight

The terminal itself is quite happening, with loads of shops and restaurants. We did not make it to the Ocenarium due to lack of funds,but headed towards Manly beach with its strip of surferchick shops

I'm dead obsessed with Mambo - my first bikini was from mambo and I bought another one from Mambo this time around

We had a very pleasant lunch at Café Rouge, facing the main Manly beach
My Fish n Chips - looks really healthy

Bacon's grilled sardines with kibielsa sausage

We went for a stroll down the beach after lunch,trying to find a nice spot to camp. Due to me being an idiot, we did not bring books to read or towels to sleep on - my bag can only carry that much stuff!
Butts sunning.

So I left Bacon on the beach, and went off in hunt for a beach towel. I returned an hour later with a new pair of shoes,a wallet for me and a wallet for bacon. No beach towel in sight. Extremely shameful.Oh, and a large smoothie.

I heart smoothie

He was bribed to pose(ur) for this 'manly' shot

Later in the afternoon...

My poor shopped-out feet.Even my brand new Birkenstocks couldn't save it from being shredded to pieces.

We laze around the beach without a towel and with sand getting into every nook and cranny - it was a nice sunny day with lovely soft winds from the sea. At around 4pm, the beach started emptying, with daytrippers leaving and those staying on Manly having a drink at the nearest bar as the sun started to be a little tamer.We followed the crowds and rushed into the ferry as it was taking off - I was too tired to snap-happy so was quite content napping in the downstairs bunk. Reached Circular Quay and grabbed the bus back up on Castlereagh…to promptly crash out as soon as I reached the hotel room.

Bacon shook me awake from my reverie around 5.30pm…its time to jalan jalan cari makan (walking around looking for food) again! This time, we braved the unpredictable rain to walk the 20min. stroll to Kings' Cross, the flesh-ier side of Sydney.Where you come across shops that like to Lick

No, they don't sell human lollies.

And tonnes of strip bars sitting side by side with bars with only immaculately groomed men holding hands with each other. Wonder why.

As usual, we argued all the way along the strip, unwilling to be the one choosing the restaurant in fear of choosing something that don't taste good. And then I came across this little cute café, completely crammed inside, there was a piece of paper and a pencil at the entrance and a list of names and seats required.

Go where the locals go. Due to sheer luck, those people who had written their names out had just stepped away, and I was seated 1 min after penning my name in. It was a japanese bento place, and seeing that we weren't that hungry, orderd some gyozas and a set meal to share. I am having difficulty remembering the name of the dish (??skippy??)


Chirashi-something?Tempura veggies & meat topped a bed of rice, it comes with a teapot of something which looks suspiciously like green tea, and you pour it over.Yummilicious, ableit a little strange.

Christmas in Summer V.3 at Kings Cross centre.

After dinner, we walked around a some more, and decided that since we still had the day pass for buses,ferries and trains, would head towards Darling Harbour, this time by ferry.Caught a bus from Kings Cross to Circular Quay and walked through the Library (!!!) which was where I stepped on this amazing lighted floor.

It was a model of Sydney, all lighted up and under your feet!

The Opera House in minime version.

Christmas in the sun V.4, outside the Library

Like I've mentioned earlier, I love ferries, and I must say they are the best photo opp in Sydney,where so much of the attractions are seafront, affording you an interesting view of familiar sights. Due to the lateness (7.30pm) and more importantly, the rain, the upperdeck was quite deserted in this ferry, making it quite romantic actually.We passed by different suburbs of Sydney, and seeing Sydneysiders get off their 'commute' on the ferry to head home made me extremely jealous. Journey to work for me is a 25-minute bus ride through the worst areas of Leeds (I pass by the area where the majority of the 7-11 London bombers were born,bred, and lived). Life sucks, get used to it.

Blowing in the wind.

The Opera House in twilight. Sigh…..so pretty.

I like this shot.It looks like one of those cut-out that you photoshop into a background.

Bridging the twilight

Luna Park - I've not seen the entrance of an amusement park so cute before.Disneyland nonwithstanding.

By the time we got to Darling Harbour, it was too dark for any more pictures. We walked along under the rain to a brewery and had a couple. It's been another long, long day in paradise,and we headed back to the comfort of the hotel at around 9pm

One interesting tip. There are many different ways to get to Darling harbour from the CBD (Central Business District):
Walk: 20 mins
Monorail: 3 mins
Ferry: 30 mins
Bus: Untested
Light Rail: 5 mins + walking time (untested)

But I still say that the best way is the get there by ferry.If that was my commute to work, I would happily look forward to getting into work every day.