Saturday, 16th July '05

Lockjaw. Shit.

Qiong finds my miserable condition hilarious. So here's more fodder for the snigger-ers. sleepy Ok I'm hyping it up a bit. I'm not really in any critical condition, I don't have tetanus, and the discomfort is quite bearable. No worries.

But here's the deal. I somehow ended off this nice relaxing week with a lockjaw-esque condition. Alright, a bit of internet research reveals it's officially called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Kaoz. Such an important-sounding name for such a stupid little business.

Essentially, the Temporomandibular Joint is inflamed / swollen / overstrained / going on strike indefinitely.

On the last weekend of the Sydney trip my right TMJ started getting a bit creaky. Nothing spectacular, I always have it a bit creaky at odd moments. Usually it'll pop back into place within the day or so. No go; by the time I was back in Singapore I was SURE there was a significant discomfort. Another day and when I opened my mouth to make a breakfast of a Truffles Tim Tam my darling TMJ responded with a howling "NOOO!" - in TMJ language this translates into the sound of creaking hinges and jolt of pain - I was sure there was something up.

The problem with TMJ (now also affectionately known as "TaMadeannoyingandstiff Joint") is that he tends to get into a better mood by afternoon. So lunch (instant noodles and a chicken drumstick) was not a major obstacle. But the durians Dad brought home that evening were another matter - I was reduced to a dainty, ladylike nibbling-around-the-edges since giving the whole seed an "Inside Deep Throat" experience was not an option.

Another two days in which TMJ wound his panties tighter and tighter (that's a metaphor, folks) and today there was significant pain in crunching away at my oat-prawn's heads. To cut a long story short, my Dad had always been sure the pain would go away, but TMJ today wasn't to be denied his moment of glory. TMJ decided, and let me know early this afternoon, that until he was happy I would not be allowed to open my jaws any wider than 2 finger-spaces apart. That's lockjaw, by my standards.

Didn't help that I spent the afternoon watching a couple of gripping episodes of "Lost", so teeth clenching became a part of the afternoon too. TMJ didn't like that either.

Right, but I was talking about the oat-prawns. That was the last straw lah. If Hian-Ko makes such good food and I can't eat it there must be a problem. Quick decision to march down to Uncle James' (my cool, MC-spewing doctor uncle) clinic for some help. But first I finished watching Dadi and Uncle Fa torturing Hua-jie with their affections and lamenting the sheer moronic nature of the fact that Dahai didn't just kick Fyn's ass and go home to his (equally moronic) wife.

So once "Tong Xin Yuan" was over, Uncle James pronounced darling TMJ's problem. TMJ was either unhappy that I:

[a] Had eaten a lot of something exceptionally chewy and tough over the past few days (oh gawd, the rump steaks!);
[b] Had done some sort of wierdo mouth exercise (couldn't be the durians Inside Deep Throat, could it?);
[c] Had talked too much (no shit, really?); OR
[d] Had picked up a habit of grinding my teeth at night, a stress-related event (not entirely absurd, seeing as how I cleared 68 emails threads from my Inbox recently).

I don't honestly care why TMJ is acting up. The point of this whole spew is that I have to eat MUSH for the next TWO WEEKS AT LEAST, THREE IF I'M UNLUCKY and INDEFINITELY IF I'M DESTINED TO GO ON A VERY HARSH DIET. Uncle James had this before (crap, could be heriditary since Dad has creaky jaw too), it lasted a YEAR. Good grief. So it's minced meat and porridge until TMJ is back on his feet again.

Oh yes, MINCED MEAT AND PORRIDGE. So screw the Jack's Place dinner I had planned to take Daddy on for his birthday. The best part? Uncle James says NO TIM TAMS.

*bursts into tears*

Instead of Tim Tams, I now get to take muscle relaxants and vitamin B1 for breakfast. I guess this also rules out the Koko Krunch.

The probable consequences of disobedience are really too dire for me to play around with. Apparently if TMJ pulls any more hissy fits and I don't give in and give him his rest, it could result in me seeing a dental surgeon to wire my jaw - a fate that, judging from Mum's reaction and Uncle James' expression, might well be worse than death.

And tonight I just surrendered the pack of Weather's Orginal Chewy Toffee to Mum. Bugger it, at least she and Daddy will enjoy them. Mum was very happy to pinch them off my desk - says I got no use for them anymore, which is of course the truth.

A childish part of me wonders if I can get off brushing my teeth for a while since the whole procedure IS rather tiresome when your mouth won't open at will. After all if it's that much work and the doctor ordered rest... but I guess a toothache wouldn't make the situation any more fun. Ah well. At least I can still nibble daintily around the edges of my durian seeds! rolls eyes

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:30 am
[9 photographs developed.]


Wednesday, 13th July '05

Inventory

Hah. I bet you want to know what I bought in Australia. Included in this list are all the relevant gifts. I hope I actually get around to giving them out because the last time in Thailand I didn't end up giving all the gifts I wanted to, idiot that I am.

Clothes and Winter-y Things
(It's nice that Aussies don't make clothes that will fit only Kate Moss.)

White padded marshmallow jacket with fur trimming - that seems to keep shedding.
Velvety like purple Jay Jay's jacket - Jay Jay is Limin's favourite Aussie budget brand.
Pink flannel turtleneck
Mint green knit-wear cardigan
Gradient green-blue jumper
Two fleecy-like Jay Jay's jumpers
Blue-green / Black off-shoulder top with scrawly design
Aqamarine Fcuk trucker cap + two diamonte visors - goodness, if the factory outlet can sell these so damn cheap what are the retailers doing?
Three ah-lian belts - again, what the heck are these doing selling for this cheap?
Two pairs of classic boot cut jeans

CDs
(Whee! Best Bloody CD Deals I've Ever Had. Each item cost AUS$10, and the look on my face? Priceless.)

Trainspotting Soundtrack
American Psycho Soundtrack
3-CD Legends Pack
G. Love and Special Sauce - "G. Love and Special Sauce" - Limin and I still can't believe I found this. G. Love is Jack Johnson's good friend and main musical influence, just so you know. smile
G. Love and Special Sauce - "Yeah, It's That Easy"
The Very Best of Simply Red
Nirvana - "Nirvana"

Other Ling-Longs

Two intricate bohemian-looking rings from Glebe Public School Markets
Entirely too many pairs of chandelier earings - mostly gifts for all my home-girls.
Hackey-Sac - just a small childhood dream, alright?
Dolphin bangle
Silver bangle with five-petal flowers cut out and pink glass gems
Mudgee Old Liquer Aleatico - the yummy wine I was teling you about...
Four sheets of silver and gold craft stickers - again, after seeing these prices I swear Spotlight is ripping us off like mad.
Rose-tinted sunglasses - so, well, I can look at the world through rose-tinted sunglasses.

Food
(I can't believe I am actually giving food away as gifts, but the supermarkets were crazy good.)

Two giant packs of Tim Tam Originals
Two standard packs of Tim Tam Originals
Two standard packs of Tim Tam Dangerous Liasons Truffles Flavoured
One standard pack of Tim Tam Mandarin Orange
One standard pack of Tim Tam Coconut
One standard pack of Tim Tam Tia Maria - are you sensing a pattern yet?
One box of Camomile Tea
One small pack of Rasberry+Peach tea
Coles Savings honeycomb chocolate - extremely budget Cruchies.
Homebrand buttercandy
Weather's Original Toffee - the chewy kind we don't get in Singapore.

Now that was retail therapy. hehe

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:42 am
[4 photographs developed.]


Tuesday, 12th July '05

Hello Mackie!

Oh good grief I have actually given my Powerbook a name. For the love of Mike, I'm turning into Limin. Eeek.

Well it's be exactly 2 weeks since I left for Australia and coming back to Singapore, my life is a train wreck. Here's why:

1. Dalhousie course selections are definitely open. Which means I must select like NOW.

2. Tickets need to be booked. Still can't figure out pricing. Should I take Northwest Airlines to transit at Narita and Detroit on the 23rd? Roy says there will be too many scholars. Hmm.

3. YMCA Lease Contract!!! I hate being 21 sometimes.

4. I haven't read blogs in ages. I am most peturbed by the fact that I now know absolutely zero about what is going on in Ave, Bec, Aud, Siti (though she doesn't blog), Kai, Gnet's etc etc lives. Crap. Too much to catch up on, please guys, meet me soon! (The problem being that I should really be sitting at home finishing my Dalhousie things.)

5. Last I checked, 68 gmail threads. Holy shit. Which means at least a 100 emails, really. 80% of them Dance Ensemble related. Best part? Mel and Zaini in Yogya, so who the heck do I ask for an update??

6. Need to call Nawaz for something about the VCDs.

7. Need to figure out if I should reply to all the Dance pple who messaged me in Australia.

8. I think I'm getting lockjaw. Seriously. I can't open my mouth more than halfway because the right jaw is bloody stiff and painful. It's gotten worse the past 3 days and the flight today totally killed it, somehow.

9. Happy about the Aussie shopping though. Generally got pretty good deals on everything and didn't waste unnecessary money. And oh, the CDs!

10. Stomach is disoriented from the rubbish put into it at all odd times of the day. Blame the sun that sets at 4:30pm and penny-pinching in Coles, hehh. smile I think I will eat nothing but porridge for the next 3 days.

11. Got incredible craving to go swimming... AVE??? The chlorine smell at the Sydney Aquatic Centre at the Olympic Park even without going in is quite enticing. Plus my back is feeling disgusting from all the plane rides and extended walking tours. Need to straighten out spine.

Need sleep now. Night.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:38 am
[1 photograph developed.]


Sunday, 10th July '05

On Cyrus' Cheena-fied Computer

Hi all.

I write this as I struggle to work on a computer that has everything on it written in Chinese. Windows commands and start menu and everything. All i can say is thank goodness this isn't a Mac because I wouldn't be able to just go by instinct and click the right things. But mucho thanks to Cyrus for lending me the computer - I wouldn't be that nice if someone were staying in my house, haha. cool eh?

Well tonight's the last night in Sydney. Getting quite sad to be leaving Limin behind when I fly back to Singapore... Having her around for the past few months since February, it was almost like she had never left and she was always around to entertain us and hang Smub together and do the chalet things etc etc... well Babs, just want to say that I'll miss you, and when every you're lonely (and have noBOdy for your ooooOOOOWWWNNNNN!!!) you cann think of the nice warm fuzzy white hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream and the humongous cake and be nice and fulfilled knowing that us Smubbies are thinking of you!

In other news, I went a bit crazy CD shopping today... bought a Legends 3CD pack for parents (and heck, I'll benefit since I'll play it in the car too), Simply Red Greatest Hits, and Nirvana Greatest Hits (for my own education and benefit). AND, I found two oddball soundtracks that I'm sure I will love - American Psycho (haha Kai Lynn) and Trainspotting. I already like the Trainspotting soundtrack. AANNNDDD, I bought 2 CDs by G Love and Special Sauce!!! How cool is that? I decided to invest because each CD cost AUS$10 and I'd NEVER be able to find G Love in Singapore.

Walking around with Limin today was a lot of fun... we popped in and out of shops from which we couldn't afford to buy anything (CDs being an exception) and then went for Gloria Jeans. Happy. smile

Alright then. I'll be home really soon - tomorrow evening to be exact. So tonight we're bumming, I'm walking down to Dixon's to buy honey chicken and cook pasta while we bum and watch "30 Going on 13". To Mum and Dad and Kai and all the Smubbies and Qiong and all the 401ers who I've missed in Singapore for the past 2 weeks, seeya REAL SOON! smile

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 04:30 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Saturday, 9th July '05

U-Brow, I-Brow, Everyone a Brow-Brow!

Um. Hopeless title there, I know. rolls eyes

Well... so the past few days have come and gone pretty quickly and our time in Sydney is soon expiring. Sigh. Will be quite sad to leave Babs again... sad and somehow the trip has made me feel even more nostalgic about home. See this is the longest I've ever been away from home on an unplanned and un-chaperoned trip that involves looking after ones own transport and food and budgeting all by myself. And living with Limin and her friends and visiting Siao Charn thus far has given me quite a bit more insight into the life of a not-so-rich overseas student alone abroad. A sort of mini-taster for my life about to come as I leave for exchange in August. A bit exciting, a bit worrying... oh, I don't know!

But serious musings aside, Thursday was a day for half-bumming. Andre scooted off back to Singapore and Limin went to send him off. Bert declared this same day his Alone Day which effectively declared it an Alone Day for yours truly as well. Not that I minded, seeing as being an only child has tends to have the consequence of making one very reluctant to share extensive periods of time with even one's best friends.

First thing I did in the morning was to go a little crazy at Paddy's Markets, thumbing through all the art and craft stuff in sight, harassing the earing-sellers (all my 401 gang, look out! You get market earings! Yay! smile) and taking altogether too many pictures. And then I waltzed into a few factory outlets and got a fleece sweater for Mich. Hope the size is right.

And I had actually taken out my (Damn Friggin' Heavy) Hannibal Lecter omnibus for some bumming and people watching from what I assumed was going to be Gloria Jean's, and ended up in an Internet Cafe (where I wrote that last "Stupid Asians") entry. Ah well. That just meant I had to carry the whole book all the way to the Olympic Park.

So right, the Olympic Park. I always think of the 2000 Sydney Olmpics with a little more fondness than usual because it was in my O-level year and all us 401-ers were a little bit high on Olympic Fever. I remember having all those "No Hoogie! No Thorpe!" debates with various people and watching the gymnastics events when I really should have been studying for the prelims. So although no one here with me in Sydney really cared about it otherwise, I had to go trekking around the place. And I had quite a time soaking in the atmosphere, thinking about the sweat and tears and blood that had been shed around that place; the passion and the discipine that had brought those athletes to the pinacle of their respective sports; remembering the exhilaration I felt watching and cheering on those games. It was a good time to spend by myself (Limin and housemate Pinky shot off to some sale somewhere), although my pictures now have a dearth of, well, me, seeing as I couldn't quite photograph myself at the same time.

I poked around the Torch (it looks like a spaceship, really), spent too long crawling around on the patch of ground where they emboss all the medal winners' names looking for my favourites, and then it was time for Hillsong.

As my everlasting good fortune would have it, even though Limin and I got into the Public Access queue half an hour before time, immensely popular evagelist guy Reinhard Bonke (he's a bit wonky, and yes, I intended that to rhyme) ensured that a good at least ten thousand people were queuing up before us. Grr. crazy So to cut a long story short, we didn't get into the 5:30pm service.

But presumably it would have been the work of the Devil if we were all to give up a go home, so we decided (all at least ten thousand of us who failed to get into the first service) to stick around, much overpriced hotdogs and shiver in the cold to get into the next event - MICHEAL W. SMITH. Hah. The good thing is that I was never really interested in Bonke in the first place and just wanted to come that night to see Smith.

And THEN, it started to RAIN.

There we all were, hopping in the cold for about an hour and then it rains. Geez. Now if you can imagine the queue for Americal Idol sitting out at Superdome praying for the silly raindrops to stop falling on our heads so that our eyes wouldn't soon be turning red, you can imagine it was a pretty powerful thing. The rain stopped, just as I was having a little conversation with God (telling Him that He was a pretty sneaky bugger sometimes). At least He took the hint. sleepy

Well it was all worth it coz Smith put up a great show - my first live concert! Woohoo! - and was really good about reminding him the concert wasn't about him at all, but really about prasing the Lord. Nice.

And then we took the train home to find Bert armed with little presents for us. Coles Lemondade for Babs and an avocado for me. AWWWWWW.

Friday morning. Bert and I get out of bed (leaving Limin there) to go to Bondi Beach. I seem to be very unlucky as far as beaches are concerned because what was supposed to be swarming with people sunbathing (in winter! yeah!) and surfing was rather empty. Bleugh. Just my luck. So Bert and I contented ourselves with taking silly shots, U-Brow had an excellent time havocing around, and I got some New Kids on the Block-esque poses with the grafitti. Haha. I wish Wenz and JnJ were around for that. Bert just didn't know the retro thing enough to catch the feel.

You guys HAVE to see U-Brow's pictures. He's adorable. We really just ran amok U-Browing everything, much to Limin's chargrin. Evil girl never brings her toys out for any fun! angry, grr

Oh, and we found Cheap Cakes Deluxe! *grin with mouthful of pastry and orange liquer cream* Heavenly cakes!

And in the evening we returned home to be informed by an amused Cyrus (other housemate) that Limin had woken up at 4pm and just left the house. Sigh. When she got back we had a humongous dinner at the Dixon Food Court, and returned home to watch the MTV Movie Awards with Pinky and her almost-there-sort-of-boyfriend, Jarett. Typical Aussie dude, that fella, and I'm quite impressed in a in a kind of horrified way that he has watched every single dumb movie on the planet - Dude Where's My Car, Deuce Bigalow, Meet the Fockers, Dogdeball - I can't even begin to list them all. Gee whiz. And he can QUOTE from them.

Then Limin and I jogged off to supper with Chris and the Churchies (that refers to the rest of his church friends, don't ask me why it sounds like a 70's pop band). Suffice to say that Pancakes on the Rocks is just that. It ROCKS. satisfied Limin and I had Blueberry Heaven. Shiok city.

And because, like my GP essays, I have again failed to budget my time, let's just end of we me telling you Bert and I played Bball at University of New South Wales with some of Siao Charn's friends, I took too many pictures of the Aussie guys playing Bball (there was one that looked a bit like and Abercrombie and Fitch model should look, haha), and then pranced off to discover that the Rocks Market was severely overpriced.

Alright really got to run now, bye!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 05:12 pm
[1 photograph developed.]


Thursday, 7th July '05

Stupid Asians, Never Seen XXX Before.

Sometimes I think I take make big events of and take a million photographs of the most absurd things:

Monday morning, bright and early, we dragged our weary and frozen off asses out to the Radisson Plaza hotel to wait for the minibus to take us to the Hunter Valley. And we were so glad we did, because that part (at least to me) became the highlight of the trip thus far. My word, the scenery is marvellous... vineyards just go on for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see. I had my first ever proper wine-tasting lesson from a really nice dude who sucessfully demystified wine for us by encouraging us to just make any kind of comments we liked. He wouldn't let us call the Altico "yummy" though. sad Apparently that word's just reserved for experts like himeself.

And so there we were, goggling at the sheer amount of land around us, the slight temperate mist, the sunsets, the EVERYTHING. Snapping photos all the way, of course. Sometimes I just thought the bus driver must have thought: "Stupid Asians. Never seen grapes before." / "Stupid Asians. Never seen sky before" / "Stupid Asians. Never seen grass before."

Sigh. But it was awesome.

And the company was great too... our tour group had 2 Brit girls from Leeds University (medicine students) and an Irish engineering professor (really young though - I'd estimate about 28) from Limerick. So us all being young, academic sorts, pretty much got on like a house on fire! And were all pretty much warm and fuzzy, red-faced (FORTY different types of wine from 4 wineries leh! Yum.)and very happy by the end of the day. We also raided the chocolate factory and cheese factory for tasters...

"Stupid Asians. Never seen cheese before."

Tuesday it was off to the Blue Mountains to see Limin's territory. We got off at the Leura train station and it really IS a quaint little village. Cottage-y looking shops selling curios and antique books and teapots and the like. Limin of Leura, of course, was an excellent tour guide. At times she actually knew where she was going! No I'm kidding. We wouldn't have had such a lovely day without her.

So on our treks to the school and Echo Point (which really echoes - yes, we tried: "Stupid Asians. Never heard echo before.") we clowned down the roads... took lots of pictures of maple trees, suburban houses ("Stupid Asians. Never seen house before.")... and then we eventually wound up taking spoof shots of the 3 Sisters and making entirely too much noise, hanging around and ooh-ing and ah-ing at the sunset ("Stupid Asians. Never seen sun before."), and LYING ON OUR BACKS IN 2 DEGREE TEMPERATURES TO WATCH THE STARS FOR AT LEAST A GOOD HALF-HOUR (lest you forget, "Stupid Asians. Never see stars before.") But it was well worth it. Gorgeous.

And then we had our excellent special dinner (a Smub travelling tradition, you see), and took photos of that too: "Stupid Asians. Never seen salad before." / "Stupid Asians. Never seen lambchops before." / "Stupid Asians. Never seen wine glasses before."

Haha.

Wednesday we crashed out half the day. The walking in Blue Mountains plus the 4 hour trains rides were too much. Andre and Limin woke up at 1pm, the pigs. That left about 4 hours of dayling with which to run off the the Sydney Fish Market. I love the Fish Market! It's like that slice of life I look fpr when travelling - I don't want to see the touristy things (well, some I do, but well) but I do want to see people going about their daily business and doing things unique to the setting. This was it. Lovely. So I took lots of photos and videos (yes yes "Stupid Asian. Never seen fish before.")

Large cheese shop also caught my eye. Was in the middle of making a video of it when a HUGE muscular angmoh dude comes up to me and goes "heya, what you doing?". When I turn around I nearly faint. He's with this other almost as large friend, he has tatoos that look like I could decorate a wall with them, and I have a sneaking feeling he's one of the shopowners who doesn't like me taking photos of his wares. Wah liao, my stomach drops to my toes.

Turns out he's just a nice friendly Sydney-sider who lives around the corner and wanted to make conversation (with the Stupid Asian who obviously hasn't seen cheese before). *phew*.

And then I left the group to meet Zhang Yi (yay!). So much fun! smile

And I'm out of Internet time, so I'll just end off by saying we went to a Superdome night at the Mlympic Park as part of the Hillsong conference and it was awesome. We saw Guy Sebastian live. Haha. smile And of course took too many pictures (altogher now, "Stupid Asians. Never seen Australian Idol before.")

Right then, gtg, bye!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:23 am
[8 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 3rd July '05

Just Bite Me.

Biting has become a national pastime, here in Sydney. There I was lying in my sort of warm little bed, toasting my toes next to the heater, and reading about Hannibal Lector's assaults on this nurse (bit off her tongue and the better part of her nose or something), while Limin keeps everyone awake by threatening to BITE Andre.

Yes folks, step right up. The amazing BITING BANDABOON*.

* The Bandaboon is a is rare, endangered, hybrid creature that hide amongst the eucalyptus trees in the Blue Mountains. The last known Bandaboon was spotted terrorising 3 Singaporean travellers. A cross between a Bandacoot and Baboon (don't even want to know how that happened!) it is a particularly potent combination. A bit shorter on fur than its original counterparts, it keeps warm by snuggling into black trenchcoats and big white jackets. It attempts to make its prey believe the latter makes it look huggable, thus luring the unsuspecting prey dangerously close to it. After which, the Bandaboon morphs into a rather frightenting trenchcoat mafia gangster, and tries to bite everything in sight. A good diao usually is the best defence mechanism.

Right then, I don't know why I wrote that. Bored, I guess. Today we went to Hillsong and heard a pretty good speaker, Joyce Meyer. I like her, she's cool and logical and makes SENSE. She doesn't appeal to emotion to get her message (about praying agressively) through, and I enjoyed the fact that she didn't get all melodramatic about it.

Siao Charn also made us the most GORGEOUS pancakes in the world today. She had us over for call in pizza at dinner too. She's the bomb.

Ok. Gotta run now, or we'll miss the last bus back to our accomodation. Thanks Siao Charn for letting us use the computer!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:50 pm
[1 photograph developed.]


Saturday, 2nd July '05

And You Held This Letter... Probably Got Excited But There's Nothing Else Inside It.

Hi Ma and Daddy!

Limin arrived yesterday... really early in the morning. The backpackers hostel was safe but a bit dirty... but no one was expecting hotel standards. Hair in the loos, leaking ceilings (and it was raining a lot, so some bright spark sneaked a few pots out of the kitchen and we stumbled upon them lying in the corridor on top of soaking carpets), and a truly filthy pool table (so we didn't play any). Other than that it was fine... before you enter the hostel area you have to show that you have a key (proof of being a customer), so no Toms, Dicks or Harrys (Harries?) could just waltz in. The discrepency in that was that when Limin arrived she just told them my name and they let her in, and imagine how surprised we were to find her knocking on our door before 8 in the morning. We were all still asleep.

We also had a roommate, a Scottish lady who was taking a break from her job - social work. More on that next time.

When Limin came we migrated to her friends' place... that's slightly more central, but there are pocketed spring mattresses! Haha, that's quite a luxury since the hostel's had springs that would actually stick you in the butt like in the cartoons. Her friends are great... quite neat and clean and very hospitable. The apartment is safe too... scanning key access like PGP lah. And I loved the heater they have in our room - I like having toasty warm toes! The Polar Buff I bought from the Queensway shopping centre is coming in handy too, just so you know the $52 was well spent. smile

And your message about the floods was quite surprising, especially since we knew it had been raining, but not that much! The first day it drizzled intermmitently, and the second there were bursts of real rain. The horror was the third day when it just rained and rained and upset our plans to walk to the Sydney Fish Market for lunch. We ended up sitting at Starbucks for half the day people watching because it was too wet to do anything else! And then the next day we saw all the newspaper headlines with corresponding photos of the floods. *sigh* Andre's mum says flights to Sydney were delayed / cancelled, so now I know why you were worried! we won't be going anywhere Queensland or Gold Coast, so no worries! And we're keeping an eye out on the front page news too, so it's alright.

Anyway, the weather cleared up when Limin arrived, so that was good. She brought us to browse Paddy's Markets - winter stuff is really cheap there! Perfectly good padded / fur-lind jackets for about AUS$29... and today I bought one almost identical to the one I wanted to buy in U2 for SING$99 for AUS $36! Heh. smile Got a couple of jumpers too, today at Birkenhead Point (this big factory outlet shopping mall). One of them is fleece! Whee! Very snuggly.

We stocked up on groceries to save money... we had cornflakes for breakfast and we'll be cooking pasta for dinner one of these days. Coles and Woolworths house brands go at dirt cheap prices! And I love Aussie milk... always tastes better than Singapore milk - and I haven't a clue why!

Oh, and yesterday we took a ferry to Manly Wharf (that's across the harbour) and had a MUCH better time than the last time we were at the harbour. For one, the weather wasn't miserable, and the Opera House looks SO much cleaner and less dreary when flanked by blue skies. Lots of photos when I get back! The seagulls are enchanting too... hahaha... you know me. The only thing was that once again I forgot to bring something to feed them. *frown* Manly Beach is a bit empty in winter, save for a few garang-type surfers. I'll never get to surf; Dad would not approve. sad Then we trekked to North Head's lookout post, and ended up lost in Sydney National Park. We had to walk all the way back to turn around. Gah. Nothing dangerous, don't worry, but it was really tiring. Me got blistered toe. Need sayang. Haha.

Last thing we did today was go back to Darling Harbour for a free night-time concert of Gershwin ("Porgy and Bess") and Berstein ("Westside Story") pieces. Darling Harbour was SO MUCH more fun without the rain... and since it was a weekend night, everyone was there. There were fireworks and people (yeah, normal civillians) were dancing on the street; there were street buskers too. Quite a sight - videos when I get home!

Tomorrow we'll be heading to Hillsong Church in the morning after my council friend in Sydney, Siao Charn, has us over at her place for breakfast. Then back to Birkenhead for more shopping - anything you would like me to get? Can SMS me. My friends insist it doesn't cost the Singaporean party any extra.

Yep, I guess that's about it. Daddy's birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthday Daddy! We go for dinner when I get back (just... no angmoh food... had a few too many rump steaks lately, and was very glad to have some honey chicken and stirfry today at Chinatown).

Love lots,
En Ying


***


And some other notes:

Dear Qiong,

Yes! Be impressed! Haha... I'm paying good money just to be connected to the world - though I just largely refuse to check my email since the Dance Ensemble related mails make me feel like worrying and working and there's precious little I can do today anyways.

I got your dolphin thing... hehh... quite a cute dolphin, and the jewellry was more unique than usual, so I hope you like it! satisfied And send me mailing add for postcard, please!

rolls eyesrolls eyesrolls eyes

Dear Kai,

Heh... I decided I missed you, you little strawbz, so just writing to see how you are. Limin and I kept seeing things we knew you'd want, and then I actually caved and bought you something. It's so you... geez. Cannot stand it. You will SO be wearing it and ACBC-ing, I think I might just have created a monster. crying Wait, I changed my mind, I'll just keep it for myself instead...

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Dear Gnet,

My other silly little sister - I haven't found you anything yet! Any requests please say... how's school now? I can't believe we haven't spoken properly since you left for NY, and we really have to meet when I get back.

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Dear Mich,

Same thing... I can't quite decide what to get you - will one of the above-mentioned fleece jackets do? I know you're going to need it as a much as I will!

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Dear York and Liangwei,

Haha, I just thought of the 2 of you blokes when I saw the enormous flood of DE mails which I am religiously refusing to crack open. Liangwei, have you sent your mail yet?!? And Please tell Mel to keep breathing... I hope she's not too stressed. York, I saw a York Street in Sydney... haha... was quite amused. Three cities not enough for you already is it?

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Dear "Smub" Boys (Ben, Shaun, Lucas, Heng, the Blueberries),

*waves* Hope you all are doing fine... Lucas and Heng especially, remember to spend your time in Singapore wisely coz I'll be back to torment you soon. *evil grin*

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Dear Ningz and Tzo (and Wenyuan that comes along in the package),

Hee... nothing specific to say... just wanted to say HI!! And yes, make your shopping requests. You too... send me your mailing adds (you know my email) if you want a postcard!

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Guess that's it for now. Gotta run! Bye!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:19 pm
[4 photographs developed.]