Tuesday, June 30, 2009
All things were fine and dandy until we wanted to leave the market. My sister suddenly noticed that she had left her knapsack at a stall that we stopped at earlier. She was in a state of panic as her passport was in there. Fortunately, my sense of direction was working that day and I managed to find the stall. Cold sweat in the autumn air. Quite an unforgettable experience dashing around the place like mad people. We went home quite pooped. In the evening, I went out poking around Fed Square again. Dinner was home-cooked, with more of Cole's ham, sausages, pasta and pasta sauce. Also had some churro (Spanish doughnut) dipped in caramel. Light, crispy and fragrant, but too bad it's sinfully fried and powdered with castor sugar. And you know what? Ang moh line up for doughnuts as well. **roll eyes**
Monday, June 29, 2009
Dinner was at Lygon Street, the Italian quarter of Melbourne. Had quite a challenging time trying to figure out which tram to take. And when we finally boarded, we worried about which stop to take. Luckily it was a small world and we were assisted by several Malaysian students who were on the same tram. The two chaps from Sitiawan pointed us in the direction of Papa Gino's. Cheap, delicious and fast service. Through the glass windows, you can see a row of sweaty working on the pizzas. Non-stop kneading and flinging the dough into the air. With the sweat glistening on their scalps they heap generous amounts of toppings on the pizzas. For four, we ordered the fettucine marinara, meat lover's pizza (heavenly sauce and fragrant pepperoni) and fritto misto (mixed fried seafood with excellent tartar sauce). Washed it all down with a cup of red wine that costs just a little more than a cup of coffee! Dessert was gelato from a shop down the road-- Gelatisimo. They make a wicked mango sorbet too. Like chilled mango puree! My bro-in-law vowed to come back to Lygon Street....
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Federation Square was quite a weird sight to behold. Geometrical mayhem. Was once called an eyesore it seems with its asymmetrical lines and multitudes of electronic signs crawling across its burnished metal facade at every possible angle. Along the square, one can also find the Australian Center for Moving Images, the Ian Potter Center, the National Design Center, Champions and several cafes. At the the Visitors Center, we managed to get what we were looking for-- information overload and a whole lot of brochures. Buskers are aplenty in the city, and apart from the usual crooners with a guitar (some were quite talented), a comedian was doing his slapstick at Fed Square. When a group of students from the audience started to leave, he shouted at them:
Hey kids! You don't need school! Just look at me! Hehehehe.
My bro-in-law was so entertained that he dropped him a twenty. Walking around Melbourne was pleasant with the pedestrian-friendly traffic and cool weather. Along the way, I purchased a Crazy John's sim card for AUD19 for AUD55 worth of credit! Fantastic coverage everywhere I went except for Port Campbell. Oh well, that's good enough. Lunch was at an al fresco cafe called Gordon's where we had warm pumpkin and rocket salad, chicken parma and seafood linguini. Heat was provided by elevated outdoor stoves. Post-lunch had us at the beautiful Royal Arcade. A very different feel with the unique "outdoor but indoor" feel. Bought chocolates at the famous chocolatier Haigh's. The night was spent at the Crown Entertainment Complex. Having no luck at the casino, we had dinner at Sante's, a buffet restaurant not unlike The Coffee House in Genting. Even otak-otak and char kuey teow were in the spread. Not bad for less than AUD20 per pax. Going home, we took the scenic route via the Sandridge Bridge across Yarra River....
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Arriving at Melbourne Airport, one gets a very un-welcome feeling. At the immigration counter, officers herd you like cattle and they handle your passports with latex gloves. After clearing immigration, I was briefly interrogated by an officer. I had a feeling he thought I was looking for illegal employment in Melbourne. Customs was worse. Everyone had to go through the baggage check. I guess it's better to declare every little thing than to risk being found guilty of not declaring. The officer checked my mum's knapsack and just found my nephew's potty and some knickers. That made her look no further. Outside, the weather was freezing. For the first time, I could see my breath fog up in the chilly air. While waiting for a cab, I managed to spy a whole busload of cute Japanese students on a study trip. Yum! Not long after, we boarded a large cab (complete with pneumatic baggage lift) for Punt Hill Apartments at Flinders Lane. Quite a nice place for AUD250 a night in the Central Business District (CBD). The only complaint was the creaky floor boards. Upon unloading our luggage, the first order of business was grocery shopping at the nearby 24-Hour Coles for my nephew's porridge supplies and the next day's breakfast. Found that most products had a cheaper in-house brand alternative. Didn't get much of an impression of Melbourne at that ungodly hour (except for the several peep show places nearby and the majestic Flinders Street Station). Zzzzz....
Friday, June 26, 2009
One of my Flickr buddies thought I had struck the Oz Lotto Jackpot!
This begins my lengthy Melbourne postings!! Late as usual la.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Early Saturday morning, POD, Nic, JJ, KH and I went to the Botanical Gardens. A whole lotta greenery! The landscaping was quite good and the foliage thick, making the surroundings quite pleasant to explore. Trees, flowers, ferns, palms-- you name it, they've probably got it. There's a ginger garden, a swan lake (got swan de!), eco garden (ECO-nomical and ECO-logical), evolution garden (a way to traverse a few hundred million years of evolution-- a definite pick for geologists) and an orchid garden. Plenty of joggers, church cell group members, tai-chi practitioners and photographers. It's all spread out across a huge area and I nearly popped a vein rushing from one end of the park to the entrance to avoid being late for our lunch appointment with Simone. Lunch was at a Thai restaurant in Shaw Tower. Don't know the name. Had green curry (watery), screwpine chicken (excellent!), tomyam, fish soup, fish salad (quite refreshing), fried vegetables and mango chicken (quite good). Overall, the execution was good, but the produce quality was regrettable. Dessert was at an ice-cream shop just opposite. Chose an interesting combination of black sesame and nut crunch (peanut butter and cookie dough). They even have wasbabi-lime, but that's too interesting even for me. Loitered at the Raffles Hotel for a bit, oogling at the luxury brands. Didn't get my Singapore Sling at the Long Bar though...
It was my last day in Singapore, so we had a farewell skank. I fell asleep soon after but KH did not sleep due to a headache from the morning's sun. He told me that he watched me sleep and moved me around (undoubtedly like an X-rated marionette), but I was too tired to notice. Now I wonder if there was any Eli Wong nonsense involved. KH woke me up at 5:30pm and you know what, my flight was at 7:30pm. Fortunately, I had packed earlier and the airport is just a mere ten minutes away from JJ's place. We had dinner at Dian Xiao Er, Terminal 3. Terminal 3 is really very beatiful with it's super high ceiling. Made me feel like I was in a futuristic cathedral of sorts. Attached to it is the Crown Princess Hotel, with its white, interlaced facade. An ugly thing. Something straight out of Hueco Mundo. The dinner menu was Ten Wonder Herbs Duck (doesn't make you fly), Lemon Kai-Lan and Treasure Beancurd. Quite nice, except that the vegetable had too much lemon juice in it. Service was good though. I ran off to the gate after dinner and as usual, the gate is the farthest in everytime I board late. Really had my blood flowing flying through the travelators. It was poignant waving goodbye to the guys behind the glass wall... I had fun.... :). Until next time!
Some random observations to end this long saga:
- Outram Park MRT Station smells of mildew
- I did not eat at a single food court this time round-- all restaurants! Taiwanese, Shanghainese, German, Italian, Japanase, Thai :P.
- I did not take many food pics, just at Fre(n)sh. My brother was VERY surprised. So gwai hor?
- I think I walked a combined 10km during my trip. No wonder Singaporean boys have such sexy calves.
- I didn't get to play the Tadaima, Okaeri conversation with KH as usually get home with him!
- JJ told me that KH seemed to be floating the whole time I was there... Do I really affect his gravity? :P
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This parable works well in our social interactions too. Serial
friendships, you can call it. Friends du jour. The flavour of the
month. From the new arrivals they end up in the bargain bin later in
the season. Then we go shopping again. Some go for serial courtships.
The thrill is in the hunt. Out with the old, in with the new.
Consumerism at its best.
Feel free to change the channel. ;)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
P.S.: As bonus, here's a picture of random cuteness from Raffles City Shopping Center...
Friday, June 05, 2009
At around 7:00pm, we went our separate ways. KH & co. went to see a play by Wild Rice at the National Library. I, on the other hand went to meet my brother for dinner at Brotzeit, Vivo City. Luckily, I did not have to line up till the escalator to get in, like the Sushi Tei next door. Since it was his belated birthday, I treated him a nice dinner of wurst, smoked pork loin with saeurkraut and mashed potatoes, lager and pancake with plum sauce. The food was quite good and German beer is certainly smoother, but I found it a little mild. We talked a whole lot about work and stuff, something that we rarely get the chance to do. He regaled me about his tale of hunting for the polka-dot bra I asked him to buy (not for me la!). The poor guy had to scour 4 department stores. Normally I don't get the chance to be alone with him, or most of the time his face would be buried in a book or the Nintendo DS. It's definitely something I would like to do more often. At 10:00pm, I said my goodbyes to my brother at Outram Park and went down to Raffles Place to meet KH and JJ for the trip home...