Monday, March 28, 2016

The Young Messiah

I am very surprised that this movie is already out since I do not see it around. I only find that it is showing at Cathay and it seems that there is no more screening after this Wednesday. I decided to watch it today and only 5 people were in the cinema. Lol. I was worried that I might be the only one and they would cancel the screening.

The Young Messiah tells the story of the Holy Family's return from Egypt back to Nazareth after the death of King Herod who wanted to kill baby Jesus. Things do not really change as Herod's son hear about child Jesus' miracles and tasks his centurion to capture Jesus. In the Bible, there is only one story on Jesus' childhood which is when he was missing at the temple. It is quite a gamble to create a movie about Jesus when there is no mention about it in the Bible and the odd likely favours disappointment.

Let's not discuss the story as anything related to the Bible is definitely boring. Lol. Either it is boring because we are already familiar with the story or it is boring when it tells something completely out of the Bible. Let's talk about how it makes me feel about the movie. I think the movie is great as the story is quite believe-able. The 7 year-old Jesus is not aware of His being the Son of God and hence is confused with what he can do. We also get to see Jesus' cousin, James. We know that James is a holy person who became Bishop of Jerusalem eventually. Despite this, his depiction as a kid here is also believe-able. He is irritated, and perhaps somewhat jealous, with Jesus. But still, they will talk and play with each other. Boys will always be boys.

With young Jesus not realising his God-hood yet, I feel that the focus on the story is on Joseph and Mary. It is mostly about their struggle of raising up Jesus: they trust in God but sometimes things are getting too tough that they are worried that they are not strong enough to carry out what God wants them to do, challenges from people around them who may not fully believe in what happen to them so far or suspicious with Jesus' miracles, not able to answer Jesus' questions yet as he may still be too young to understand things which adults cannot even comprehend. In fact, the movie can be summarised as what Joseph says "How do we explain God to His own Son?".

Put me in their shoes and I think I can empathise what they were going through. It gives me a new perspective to the story of finding of Jesus in the temple. Joseph and Mary's worry may not simply like how parents feel when they lose their child in shopping mall but they are worried about Jesus' safety. Most importantly, it gives me a new perspective on the kind of faith that Joseph and Mary have. We may think that it must be cool to have the honour of taking care of God's only son etc but from what this movie is telling, it is something full of challenges, trials, and tribulations.

Despite showing Joseph and Mary's human struggles, the movie does not show them succumb to human's emotion. Mary never doubts, never complains, and never gets angry to God. What she feels is if she will be strong enough to carry out God's mission for her. Joseph does not have any spoken words recorded in the Bible so I was quite worried if the movie will somehow 'destroy' my impression with his words. Thank God, the movie is faithful to show him as the protector of the Holy Family and support both Mary and Jesus when bad things come.

The movie ends with Mary telling young Jesus on the story of the Annunciation and asking him not to manifest his power until the time has come. Fast forward to wedding at Cana and no wonder Jesus 'scolded' Mary and told her that his hour has not come yet. Haha.. Last time that was what Mary told him ma... Quite plausible right?

Despite all the negative reviews, I am glad and I feel blessed that I watched this. I don't watch this for entertainment purpose and I am not watching this to verify its accuracy (there is no verification needed in the first place as there is no written evidence of Jesus' childhood). However, I am glad that I feel recharged spiritually to see how the Holy Family could possibly struggle and yet remain holy and faithful. It definitely inspires me to press on to follow the Way of Life no matter how shitty life can be. For that, I like this even better than Risen that I watched last week.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter joy

Easter feels different this year. Since last year, I started to attend the 7am Easter Sunday mass and waking up that early is usually not a good day for me. Last year I came very close to the starting time and although I still could get a seat, it was pretty crowded for a Sunday morning. So this year I decided to come earlier. I was surprised that I woke up feeling very on this morning and I managed to leave house at 630am.

The joyful Easter is not only felt by me. I feel that the priest was more energetic and excited than usual that he even forgot to incense the bible before the Gospel. Lol. He did that after the Gospel reading ended. The altar boys, however, seemed to be still sleepy. One of them dropped the stick for splashing of the holy water and another one rang the bell at wrong timing. Another thing which surprised me was the choir whose members are quite young. I always associate Sunday 7am mass as a mass for old people as young people will stay in bed until late on Sundays. They sang loudly and with full of spirit and the energy was infectious. It made me consider of going for 7am mass now since the timing of Japanese lesson has changed too.

I always enjoy Christmas but I usually associate Easter with doom and gloom, particularly after Good Friday. Only today I realise that there are a lot of nice Easter and uplifting Easter songs. In fact, my perspective between the 2 events sort of changed right now. Christmas songs which are more upbeat and happy tend to be more secular and about holiday and Santa Claus while Christmas songs which are more religious tend to be more mellow. At Christmas, we are happy in anticipation of something i.e the birth of Jesus or the coming of Jesus. It is a different kind of happiness when compared to Easter when we are happy for something that has already happened i.e Christ is already risen.

Going back a bit to the Good Friday, I realised that usually there are 5 masses on Sundays, including 1 sunset mass on Saturdays. However, there are only 2-3 Good Friday services. Does the church expect 40-60% of regular Sunday mass goers not to attend Good Friday service? I felt so irritated that the church was so crowded and it made the whole atmosphere not conducive. Last year I came almost on the dot and I had to stand. So this year I came about 15 minutes earlier and there were only pockets of seats left. I know it is so petty to complain about these inconveniences when Jesus suffered and died on the cross. I was surprised that I felt more irritated this time by the people around me who had to stand as compared to last year when I was the one standing. Bleah.. Anyway I saw my friend's photo at another church where people were denied entry because the church was already too crowded. One of the comments mentioned something similar happened on the Maundy Thursday evening at another church. Seriously man!

Anyway, wishing everyone a very happy Easter and may this Easter spirit last :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Samurai High School

Mochizuki Kotaro is a cowardly 17 year old high school student who spends most of his time goofing around. One fateful day, on his way home from school, he came across a mysterious history library. The librarian lent him a history book about a samurai from Edo era who has the same name, Mochizuki Kotaro. Since then, when faced with danger, Kotaro will turn into a samurai. What does the samurai want by travelling 400 years into the future and meet his descendant?

My opinion:
I started watching this in November last year and just finished the last 2 episodes tonight. There are only 9 episodes in total. Lol. So yeah, that is how bad the drama is. I can even watch while playing online games on my phone or tablet.

I am expecting this to be a comedy but the supposed funny parts turn out lame instead of hilarious. It seems that the actors are overacting for the funny scenes and they just turn out not funny at all.

There is no plot at all. Each episode is completely unrelated and the 'conflict' presented in each episode is too trivial and the conflict resolution is always too abrupt and forced. There is no overarching plot to tie the series at all. Kotaro wants to find out what the samurai wants but everything that he does does not have any relevance to this particular purpose. Until the end, the samurai's purpose of 'getting' justice is also lame.

The relationships among the characters are bad. I have never watched a series with a school theme where the main character hardly interacts with the classmates. Kotaro's relationships with Nakamura and Ai are lukewarm at best and Mochizuki family dynamic from an episode to the next is like flipping a pancake. The teachers also do not provide any educational value or learning point to the audience also.

In short, the series has no purpose, no story, and no message to deliver.

The only credit I will give is to Haruma Miura (who plays Kotaro) and Yu Shirota (who plays Nakamura). Haruma Miura plays both lame and samurai Kotaro and it is amazing to see how he plays these 2 characters with completely opposite personality. He can be goofy, can be stern, can be scary, but one thing he cannot do well is to be emotional and tear-inducing. By the way he plays Eren in Attack on Titan movies and I think he is pretty bad as Eren. Lol. Yu Shirota surprised me by playing this wimpy character as usually he plays strong and serious characters like Tezuka (Prince of Tennis Live Action), Shinjo (Rookies), Kagurazaka (the first Hana Kimi). Even when he is being adamant during police interrogation, he still shouts in a wimpy manner instead of being manly type of shouting. So he is always being in his character.

My afterthoughts:
None. This is the first school themed movie that I find disappointing. No moral lessons, no friendship or family tear jerking moments, and nothing memorable. It is actually extremely disappointing because given the themes of samurai and school, they have a great potential to make a great series.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gods of Egypt and Risen

I still have not gotten over the bitch and I decided to take MC for today and tomorrow. Hehe.. I think the dinner last night contributed to some stomach problems but honestly it was still bearable. It is just that I cannot be bothered about work anymore so I may as well use it as an excuse. So much for going for confession last week and the fact that it is Holy Week this week. Once a sinner, always a sinner.

Since Easter is coming, I decide to watch Risen. When I reached the cinema, I saw Gods of Egypt still showing. It was the one and only show so I decided to watch it first at 1215pm.
I come with an open mind as the reviews I read on this movie are polarising: some people hate it so much and some people think it is pretty good. I honestly don't understand why people hate it so much. From the synopsis alone, it is expected that the plot will be quite predictable of the usual good triumphs over evil and the gods-mortal interactions will not be faraway from a disbelieving mortal having to rely on the gods and the gods having second thoughts about mortals after being helped. So I don't expect much from the story but the CG really impressed me. They can do much more considering how rich Egyptian gods are with their histories so it is kinda wasted that the focus is mostly on Horus and Set (and perhaps Ra) and the rest of the gods are completely neglected. The story may not entirely make sense as Bek, who is just a human, is able to break into Set's vault or how Horus finally is able to defeat Set who has taken over the power of the other gods he has defeated. Anyway don't think too much and this will be one fun brainless entertaining movie to watch.
Timing was just nice and after Gods of Egypt, I watched Risen at 2.30pm. I was surprised to see the cinema hall was nearly full! Honestly it was unexpected because Risen has only very few screenings, whether it is at GV, Cathay, or Shaw, and considering the movie is less than a week old and Easter is coming, I thought this would be an unpopular movie.

The movie takes a unique angle from Easter story as the focus is not on Jesus and the disciples. A fictional Roman soldier, Clavius, is tasked by Pontius Pilate to oversee and prevent any unrest among the Jews from the crucifixion of Yeshua. Being a Roman, Clavius is impartial with the conflict between the Sanhendrin and Yeshua's follower. He becomes intrigued with the case seeing how the Sanhendrin is so interested in the matter to the point of forcing his 2 soldiers to tell lies regarding the actual happening on the Easter morning. He becomes more intrigued with Yeshua's followers after interrogating some of them. The turning point for Clavius is when he sees Yeshua in the upper room who then mysteriously disappears. This leads him to follow the disciples to Galilee where Yeshua promises to see them again. (By the way, I am glad that they use 'Yeshua' instead of 'Jesus' as it makes the movie feels more historical rather than being taken from the Bible straightaway).

Risen is not trying to be the usual biblical preachy type of movie. As a movie, it is quite boring and it does not help that Joseph Fiennes, who plays Clavius, is unexpressive at all. I can't tell whether he is angry, confused, or any other emotion because his face is always like that. I am quite excited to see Tom Felton (who plays Lucius and I wonder if it is deliberate since Draco's father in Harry Potter is Lucius) but his role is like completely redundant.

However, with Easter coming, I find this movie is very relevant. I imagine myself living in those era and I will feel completely lost like Clavius. From outsider's view, Jesus' followers really seem crazy: they are happy when Jesus was recently crucified and with the missing body, they are very sure that He is risen. Some even testified having seen and met Him after the crucifixion. So how do people end up following Jesus? It is all about personal calling and that what happens to Clavius. He does not come to believe because what Jesus' followers tell him. He comes to believe after seeing Jesus' face. At the start of the movie, it was quite shocking to see dead Yeshua with eyes bloodied and opened and Clavius looked at his face. However, this 'seeing' plays great importance subsequently when Clavius has a dream of this face and then seeing this face with his own eyes in the upper room.

Anyway I think it is great that to see how the movie is able to insert a fictional character into the Bible stories without actually doing any disrespect or changing what the Bible is trying to say. Of course we can only imagine what really happened to Jesus' followers on the first few days/weeks/moments after resurrection. But what Risen presents actually feels quite possible and believable.

The life of Jesus is indeed the greatest story ever told. Even when I already know certain things and no matter how many times I read/hear/see certain parts of the Bible, these parts are always touching and I always shed tears. The most touching part for me is the words from John 20:29 and I actually open my Bible to copy this sentence: "You believe because you see me, don't you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe". In the Bible, this sentence is said to Thomas. In the movie, the same line is mentioned to Clavius who still cannot fathom what is actually going on. Is it significant to me? Most definitely yes. When things don't go my way, I grumble, I complain, I feel that God is non-existent and things that line. It always makes me wonder how do people who are living in suffering can still hold unshakeable faith in Jesus. I still have long way to go.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Planning to quit

Post-holiday.. I thought I would feel refreshed and regain my enthusiasm. But when God plans otherwise, what can man say. I kena complained by a bitch after I 'gave' in. Haiz.. I should not have not given in and let the bitch suffer if I will get a complaint anyway. When you have multiple prescriptions with long durations and for the past 2 months have been collecting 2 months worth of benzodiazepine and opioid, I have the right to be suspicious and refuse.

Well having unreasonable assholes complain is to be expected but what ultimately really make cannot tahan is how the higher up simply gives in to these people. Here I am just doing my job, getting unfairly complained, and the unreasonable people still get what they want. This seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back and I am not only seriously thinking of leaving but seriously planning of leaving. In the past, I am only looking at lecturing at polytechnic as a potential next job. Now I am also considering teaching at secondary school or JC. That's my dream since my JC days anyway. Anyway I have 6 more months until my bond ends so I am praying for a miracle that somehow there is a chance for me to get a HQ job. Otherwise, I have to tidy up my CV since I have not been updating it since I graduated in 2011. Lol.

Thankfully I was away for a course on Thursday and Friday. My mental state was not optimal and very negative because of the bitch.What's the point of doing everything that I do when customers are like that and higher ups are also like that. I caught up with my friend from uni for dinner on Thursday. Finally!! We made an agreement to meet in 2014 and it was only materialised now haha.. I was too busy in 2015.

I am also feeling a bit stressed with my Japanese language as I missed the last 2 lessons when I was in Australia. Although I enjoy learning it and I want to learn it, I have to admit that I am starting to struggle. There are a lot of vocabs and grammars that I forgot. Bleah.. So yeah, I have the passion, I have the enjoyment, but in the end I still feel stressed. That is something for me to consider as I am looking for a new job. It may not be 100% stress-free but at least it will be better than my current state of hating my job. After the lesson today, I felt much better. Hehe.. Sensei is very encouraging: It is okay to forget, just look at the notes again to remember. Don't try to remember/memorise. We learn by forgetting and then relooking again for many rounds.

It is Palm Sunday today and I almost skipped mass again. Shame on me! I was planning to go to the newly renovated Sts Peter & Paul after my Japanese class but it took me longer than expected to eat so I could not make it to the 4.20pm mass. I was so lazy to go Holy Spirit, up to the point that I actually went home first, before remembering the Holy Door indulgence thing also mentions about receiving communion. I am such a sucker. Well, whether I get the indulgence or not, at least I am happy that I went for mass today.

Last but not least, my wait for Kinokuniya 20% sale since CNY is finally over and I finally bought Gundam Wing Frozen Tear Drop artbook. Yay!! I am so happy with this: 91 pages worth of illustrations and the only 5 pages of writing are actually epilogue of the manga. I don't follow the story (someone please translate the manga or make it into anime) but anything with Heero Yuy, I will collect :D

Monday, March 14, 2016


I applied leave until today as the initial plan was for my mum and sis to spend additional night in Singapore. They changed their plan but I am too lazy to work. Yep, call me an idiot for 'wasting' a leave day just to do nothing. I guess I am really sick of work as usually I will not take leave even when I take a late flight which arrive past midnight here.

I went to see my skin doctor and I was surprised when she said that everything seemed to be on track. Wow.. I thought my face worsened because of the weather in Australia. Well I am not gonna complain with a 6-month TCU and that will save me money.

When I saw the Door of Mercy thingy in St Mary's Cathedral last week, I was not too bothered about what the whole thing is all about. I guess I was just being a hypocrite because in the end I still wanted to go to confession just for the indulgence. Bleah.. Terrible me right? So yeah in the end I went to Risen Christ in the morning. I was surprised with the crowd!! I think it took me longer than usually when I go in the evening.

I want to watch Gods of Egypt and I am very surprised that it is already not showing in many cinemas. The movie is only about 2 weeks old leh!! I end up watching Zootopia and hell yeah, it is as great as what the reviews say. With the lack of singing, I don't really get a feeling that this is a Disney's movie. Lol.
As a word play from utopia, Zootopia represents a utopia for various species of animals to be living harmoniously together. This is possible as the animals have evolved enough to overcome their savage-ness. The main character is a rabbit who aims to be a police officer -a job considered not suitable for a rabbit because of its small size. Judy Hopps overcomes all obstacles to become the best cadet in her cohort and finally joins Zootopia police department. Hoping to be a police who makes a difference, Judy is disappointed to be assigned to trafifc duties. When an otter comes for help to look for her missing husband, Judy volunteers herself to solve the case so that she no longer does traffic duties. Seen as a sign of insubordination, Judy is given 48 hours to solve the case or else she has to quit her job. The missing animal case turns out to be just a small part from a large sinister plot for "prey" animals to get rid of the "predators" from Zootopia.

Zootopia is excellent and very well thought off. First thing that blows my mind is the design of the city to cater to a lot of animals: from the big, the small, the tall, the short, the fat, etc. They make the animals do human things like taking subways, going to work, going to restaurang, etc without being lame. The character designs and personalities are believable and like-able too.

However, what really sets apart Zootopia is the theme. I will not say the plot as the story is kinda straight forward but when you replace the animals with humans, the underlying theme of discrimination is really striking. Zootopia is like a metropolitan melting pot city where different species (think about races, nationalities, or religions if we are talking about humans) live together. However, outside Zootopia, there are still other places like Bunnyburrow where Judy comes from and from its name, only bunnies live there. Despite having overcome their savage-ness and the animals are not eating one another, discrimination (like bunnies should not be police officers) and biasness (like foxes cannot be honest) still exist. That perfectly reflects human society: we can live harmoniously on the surface but each of us still holds some prejudices to people who are not like us. And despite everything is peaceful, there will always be some jerks who go back to follow their animal instinct and create trouble.

Zootopia will not be as good without the humour as well. If you have a good laugh, admit that you are a racist. A lot of of the jokes are playing on the stereotypes of the different animals. So think of the animals in Zootopia as humans in real life and that means we are laughing at our racist jokes. However, there is one funny part which is not playing on this stereotyping. That is the part of the nudist club. Animals don't wear clothes. We are not bothered with naked or half-clothed cartoon characters. Therefore, I was surprised that I felt uncomfortable seeing the naked animals in the nudist club. Lol.. Of course the action they do are exaggerated and if you think of the animals here as humans, it is very uncomfortable. Haha..

Compared to the last few Disney's movies I watched such as Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, or Big Hero 6, Zootopia is definite juggernaut with both the entertainment as well as moral values. It is worth watching, it is worth watching repeatedly, it is worth buying the soft toys BUT, in my honest opinion, it is not as memorable as Frozen. Why? Because Disney's movie does not feel Disney without songs and Zootopia only has 1 song :( I had a high expectations as Shakira sings the theme song but the song is nothing compared to let it go~~~~

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Australia Trip Day 10: Airports

My Australia trip is officially over and I am typing this from Singapore :( Today I spent the whole day travelling from one airport to the next. I am glad that the flight from Melbourne to Darwin had in-flight entertainment. It allowed me to catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens which I missed. The movie is amazing and I kinda regret did not watch it in cinema. I am not into Star Wars franchise and yet I am still able to follow the movie. That's why I think it is very good and enjoyable. I continued with 3 episodes of Big Bang Theory which were available. My initial impression was that it was rather lame but after 10 minutes or so, I was giggling like crazy in the plane. I watched Adele's concert but after 2 songs, I fell asleep. Sorry, Adele! Haha...

There was a 4+ hours of layover at Darwin which was rather miserable but I survived. Lol. I got the chance to try Hungry Jack for lunch which was disappointing. I was expecting it to be similar to Burger King (since the menu also has Whopper which I believe to be Burger King's trademark) but it was quite rubbish. I had a bit of scare at the immigration as my passport was not scan-able. I was asked to wait at a corner while my passport was being photocopied inside the office. When it was returned to me, I was asked if there was any issue with the passport when I entered Australia. 

The flight back to Singapore was only half full and after take off, the stewardess went around to inform people to freely move around. I went to empty rows at the back to sleep although I was only sleeping on a seat and not lying on a row. I still want to take care of my image lol. That's why I still have the energy to type this now but I am so tired to unpack my things. I am also feeling down because the black shadows on my laptop screen is wider now as compared to last week before I left. I am going to run some dead pixel fix software tonight and see how it goes tomorrow morning.

I realised that I hardly took pictures without myself being in the picture. I think this is an indirect effect of doing photobooks. Because of the limited number of pages, I only choose the pictures with myself for printing. Thus I think that there is no need for me to take picture of objects or sceneries as I can google them online if I want. However, I did not foresee the other impact of not having pictures to post for my blog.

It is time to lose the 3kg gained in the past 10 days. No more holiday until I lose these 3kg .

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Australia Trip Day 9: Melbourne

We went to Victoria Market in the morning as my mum wanted to get hams to bring back. It was an eye opener to see such a high class 'wet' market. I put apostrophe because the floor was not wet at all. Haha.. I almost bought $4 souvenir shirt but unfortunately the design I like had the pictures printed, rather than sewn, on the shirt. It won't last so I did not buy.

We spent the day with my cousin -from my dad's side- who is living in Melbourne. The only objective I have for the day is to get macadamia nuts which are packaged in a bottled container. My cousin who used to stay in Australia always gave that to my dad but I never found such packaging be it in Darwin, Sydney, and Melbourne thus far. I don't know why they are only available in the Chinatown. I got what I wanted so I am happy. Lol.
Melbourne's Southbank
We overate at a Japanese restaurant and then we walked to St Paul's Cathedral, Flinders Station and the river quay before taking the tram to the parliament house. From there, we walked all the way to her apartment. It was near to the pizza place where we had dinner 2 days ago and we went to a famous ice cream place. My uncle mentioned about the same place too but we were too full after the pizza to even think about the ice cream. Well, I have tried Mao Shan Wang durian ice cream in Singapore so I was not too impressed with the famous durian ice cream from that shop.

My cousin's apartment is making me jealous :( For the same price ($550k), I can only get a studio apartment in Singapore and the location will be far from city as well. My cousin's apartment is near the city and has 2 rooms :( My negativity and ungratefulness returned as I wanted to study in Australia for university but my parents did not want pay for me. I know that there is no point thinking about 'what ifs' but I just can't help it. We waited there until my uncle picked us up and we had one last trip around Melbourne. The various dormitories for Melbourne University look very Harry Potter-ish. It must be quite an experience living there as compared to dingy NUS dormitories. Haiz..

We had dinner at my uncle's place and we called it early day today. Gotta pack up now and officially my holiday is over. Sob sob...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Australia Trip Day 8: Mt Dandenong, Yarra Valley

I am really getting old. Despite having enough rest and waking up later than usual, I still feel very tired throughout the day. We left house at about 10am and had a nice trip to Mt Dandenong. At some parts the fog was so thick and after we made a stop, I would like to take a nice picture in the middle of the fog. My sister crossed the road before I asked her to do that and by the time we were done with the shopping, the sun was very bright and the fog was gone. Sianz...

My aunt planned for us to try Miss Marple's Tea Room. I believe that it is a famous place as people were already waiting outside before the opening hours. While waiting, we went to a nearby shop. There is this shop selling random souvenirs and the owner has a very cute dog. I wanted to take a picture with the dog but there was another customer. I did not dare to take play with the dog without the owner's nearby although the dog was very cute and friendly. I looked into its eyes and it looked back at me. When I tilted my head, it followed my tilting. Not even once it barked or what. Grrahh!!! Because of power failure, the eatery delayed its opening hours so we gave it a miss.

We went to the Sky High which has nice gardens around. The view to the city was covered by the fog though. Oh and crazy me suddenly felt like climbing a tree to take photos but there was no suitable tree to climb. Lol.

We then went to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and the view outside was more interesting than the chocolates. Haha.. Upon entry, there were 3 gigantic bowls of chocolate chips with milk, dark, and white chocolate. Visitors can scoop them for free. Although I am not a fan of chocolate (except if they come as milk or ice cream), I have to admit that they made pretty great chocolates.The portion of the food we ordered for lunch was scary for Asians so we shared. Haha..

After that we went to Domaine Chandon winery. I was dreaming of taking photos with me squating in between the grape vines but tourists were not allowed to enter the vineyards T_T The sceneries around were even better than the chocolate factory but the ground was wet. So I could not lie down on the ground under a tree or something haha.. I did the wine tasting for $5 and that was for 6 different wines. I was almost knocked out after the 2nd one but the guy kept pouring into my glass although I was away from the bar so I kept coming back. Lol.. Anyway it was worth it for $5 because the amount poured was very generous. It was about a quarter glass for each wine. I was not so disappointed to get flushed just after 2 wines as the other Asians were also getting red pretty quickly.

We went to Chadstone Shopping Centre and I believe Marina Bay Sands had its concept stolen from here lol: long alleys with full glass ceilings. We visited the Chemist Warehouse and I decided to buy Nicorette gum here since it is OTC here and the price is only $10-ish.I am very curious to find out how the gum taste like so that I am not talking rubbish when I do my smoking cessation counselling.

We had dinner at one Asian restaurant which is famous among Indonesians in Melbourne and their number 1 dish is quail. I hate eating things with bones and I hate dirtying my fingers while eating. I forced myself to do both out of courtesy. Bleah.. I did not enjoy it but I still think the sauce is good. So for those who like to eat this kind of thing, I am pretty sure they will find it amazing.

That's all for today and tomorrow will be the last day before flying back to my normal mundane life.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Australia Trip Day 7: Melbourne

Our flight was at 11am but my mum and sister wanted to go shopping at Sydney Airport first. We went with the 830am shuttle bus and I felt honoured when the driver asked me to take the front seat. Lol. I would like to recommend Hiro Sushi at Sydney Airport which is reasonably priced, has wide range of fusion sushi, and most importantly tastes excellent. No comment for the flight except that I felt quite embarrassed to fall asleep and lean over to the guy next to me.

After the heat in Darwin and Sydney, the cool weather at Melbourne felt amazing. My uncle is very rich so his house is also super amazing. Haha.. I felt bad to my cousins as one of their rooms was given to us so they had to share rooms during our stay. Paiseh.. It was also embarrassing that my aunt prepared lunch for us. I don't know if normally she cooks or she specially cooks to welcome us. So I had to give face to eat more than what I usually eat.

The weather changed to drizzle when we went out to South Melbourne Market. We also drove past the beach but because of the rain, we did not stop to take photos. We went to the city to eat at DOC pizza which is an authentic Italian pizza place. I have been aiming to eat pizza right from the first day in Darwin and I finally get the chance. Each pizza comes in a big plate and sliced into 6. My uncle shared that usually the locals order 1 for 1 person. No way we would be able to eat like the locals and I ended up eating 7 slices. Hahaha...

That's all for today :) Melbourne has very similar feel to Europe with a lot of shop houses at the road side instead of shopping malls. I saw more locals too so it definitely feels more Australia than Sydney and because of that, I prefer Sydney. Lol...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Australia Trip Day 6: Blue Mountains

I had no idea why I was so tired in the morning and I was asleep on the tour bus. It took us nearly an hour to reach Darling Harbour to change to another tour bus because there was an accident at the Harbour Bridge which caused massive traffic jam. It cut short our tour time at the Blue Mountains but well, shit happens.

We traveled across Harbour Bridge and there is actually a pedestrian lane. I will remember this and walk across this on my next visit to Sydney. Hehe.. The tour guide is very good. His accent is not as 'sticky' as the tour guide we had in Darwin so it was much easier to understand. He shared a lot of information right from the history of Australia as a nation, the places we were visiting, and even Australia native animals. Well done!

We had a toilet stop at the city of Leura. It would be nice to walk around to take photos there but we only had limited time for toilet so too bad. We then reached the Scenic World Blue Mountains and we only had about 1.5 hours. It was not enough to experience this place to the fullest. From the drop off point, we took the Scenic Skyway which runs every 10 minutes. Bleah.. I should have done a 5 minute walk to the lookout point for some pictures and taking the next skyway. I thought of returning but time simply did not permit so I missed the lookout altogether.

The Scenic Skyway should me amazing if it was not so crowded. The floor in the middle turns transparent to allow us to see what is beneath. On the right is Katoomba Falls (which was not amazing due to lack of rain this year) and on the left is the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters. Sadly when it is so crowded, you can only choose one to see depending on where you stand. There is an alternative way on foot if you do not want to ride the Skyway. I would like to experience that in the future :(

We then continued with the Scenic Railway which is the steepest incline railway in the world to reach the bottom of the valley. It is really steep and I was almost standing on my feet (and minimal contact between my butt and the seat) during the ride but sadly the ride was too short. The railway goes back up again without turning which means if we take it to go up, it is moving in opposite direction from the way we sit. Will be interesting to experience that too.
The railway track
At the bottom, there are a few routes to walk but because of the time, we could only choose the 5 minutes walk before reaching the Scenic Cableway for the journey back up for lunch. This will be one place that I will revisit as I have not experienced it to the fullest. However, I have to warn you that the Three Sisters look too small from the various lookout points so you will not get photos as nice as those you see of the rocks online.

I spent too much camwhoring and we decided to skip the next destination to Waradah Aboriginal Centre. Luckily the tour allowed us to do that by making a return trip 30 minutes later after the first departure from Scenic World in case people need more time there. I am not disappointed skipping it but I definitely am disappointed to miss the photo taking opportunity at the Echo Point which is outside the Centre. Sian.. Really need come back to Blue Mountains sia.. Despite being called Blue Mountains and the weather forecast predicted 27 deg C, it was freaking hot. I must be looking like an idiot wearing jeans and long sleeve hoodie while outer tourists were wearing sleeveless top and short. So yeah, just something to take note.

My dream of petting koala and wallaby is fulfilled in the next trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park. Koalas are so lazy but cute and the staff were very helpful in taking photos. The wallabies are also extremely friendly as they are roaming around freely in the park. The one I took photo with was happily lying on the ground totally not bothered by me stroking it. I bought kangaroo/wallaby food but I could not find animals to feed so I decided to just leave it somewhere. Gone is my dream of feeding a wallaby and to take a picture :( I did not know that further down, there is another opportunity to feed. There was no food to buy near there although there were so many wallabies running around. Sian.. I also got very angry with my sister who missed the opportunity to take picture of me with 4 wallabies lining up. I was so irritated when she kept saying she was scared of them. I was the one posing near the animals so why was she the one being scared. Haiz...
Definitely must come back here!
Cute but lazy koalas
Cute wallaby which is not bothered by the humans
Oh ya, I almost forgot about Tasmanian Devil. It looks nothing like the Looney Tunes character but it is really devilish. I wanted to take a photo and it was running and getting ready to jump over the fence.. hii... I decided to run away. I also did not manage to see dingo.

It was almost rush hour on our way back to Sydney so to prevent that, the tour organiser is very smart to arrange a ferry ride across Paramatta River to reach Sydney. The ferry terminal is near Sydney Olympics compound so we got to see and pass it by. I would not say I really enjoy the ride as I could not take picture. My sister and my mum wanted to sit comfortably in aircon inside the ferry :( And I was already too excited to meet my friend later on. Hehe..

The ferry ride allowed us to alight at either Circular Quay (where the Opera House is) or at the Darling Harbour. We chose Circular Quay. My mum wanted to take picture with the Opera House again hoping for better pictures as the sun had moved to the west. Well, I am glad I was happy with yesterday's photos. Although it was more shiny in the morning, there was very few tourists.

I met my friend and his wife at the hotel and had a dinner paid by him. Hehe.. Shame on me. Lol.. Anyway the soba was rather terrible. It was great catching up with him. We were quite close in secondary school and then we sort of lost contact. In 2009, he was trying to get into NUS (he did not manage and hence he did his masters in Seoul eventually) at that time. Our plan to meet failed because I was too busy but we ended up meeting unexpectedly at LT27 bus stop before my lecture. I ended up skipping my lecture to chit chat with him at the bus stop. Lol. I did not take a picture to remember that occasion. Our meet up this time was rather unplanned to so I definitely would want to take a picture. I asked someone at the hotel lobby and I got a blur picture. Sigh.. Why?? Why?? Why?? :(

I was very full but I realised there was a Starbucks just across the hotel so I forced myself to give it a try. The menu is not as much as the Starbucks in Singapore but the matcha taste is definitely more generous. I also realised that Capitol Theatre is just across the hotel which means that the hotel is also very near to Paddy's Market. When we took the light rail yesterday, the journey felt quite long.

I can finally relax now. Tomorrow we will be flying to Melbourne and with my uncle there, everything will be taken care of. No more stress of finding directions and deciding itineraries. Hehe...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Australia Trip Day 5: Sydney

We had an early day today as there were a lot in our itinerary: Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Darling Harbour, Paddy's Market, Bondi Beach, and St Mary's Cathedral.

Our first stop was St Mary's Cathedral as it is the nearest from hotel and we reached at about 8am. The sun was not very good to take a picture of the whole Cathedral but I managed to find an angle where the sun was blocked. It was a good decision to come at this time as both the Cathedral and Hyde Park opposite it were still very quiet without tourists and only few people going to work. By the time we left, there were already tourists to the Cathedral and my photo taking experience was ruined. Anyway, Sydney Tower is also visible from here so that makes 3 tourist spots at one location. Great!

St Mary's Cathedral is a special place to me as I was here in 2008 for World Youth Day and until today, it still gives me the same awe when I stepped inside. I take it as God's blessings that St Mary's Cathedral has its Holy Door opened for this Year of Mercy. Thus the trip has become a sort of pilgrimage for me. I am thinking of skipping confession this Easter as the penitential service at my church is when I am away in Australia.  But seeing that confession is one of the requirements for the indulgence, I will definitely do it: I will go to Risen Christ on the 14th when I am back. I have to thank my sister who was the first one to see the big board about the Holy Door and Holy Year etc as I was too busy being a tourist and snapping pictures inside the Church. Yes shame on me :(
Nice angle from which the Cathedral and Sydney Tower are visible. Tourists were already arrived so I did not take a picture with myself from this angle :(
We then went to the Opera House. Thank God the timing was right again and we could take pictures against the Opera House and Harbour Bridge with almost no other tourist at the background. By the time we left, there were many groups of tourists arriving. I realise that Opera House is actually not that fantastic in the sense that the beautiful angle that we usually see in photographs is actually taken from the river side. Thus there is no way for us to take a picture from that beatiful angle. The Botanical Gardens is just next to the Opera House and we went as far (actually as near will be more appropriate) to the 200 sign as the Gardens is celebrating its 200th year anniversary.

Going to Paddy's Market means that we got to experience the Light Rail system which is essentially tram. Lol.. To our horrors, the Market only opens from Wednesday to Sunday and today is Tuesday!! Roaaar!! Luckily there is a nearby shopping centre, Market City, and we went there and bought some souvenirs. I am happy enough with that since my main purpose going to Paddy's Market is to look for souvenirs anyway.

We continued to Darling Harbour which we find disappointing because there is no landmark there. Lol. I had the best steak in my life at The Meat & Wine Co and I am not exaggerating. The meat was tender and nice to chew but not too soft until like a beef stew. It was near 2pm by the time we finished with lunch and I decided that I will give Bondi Beach a miss. I wanted to go back to St Mary's Cathedral to buy a souvenir coin as the shop was not open yet when we left at 9am earlier. There were even more tourists at this time so I should not be complaining about the sun this morning since coming in the afternoon when the sun is better will mean having tourists in my photos.

After getting my souvenirs, I am done for the day. The rest of the day was up to my sister who wanted to go shopping. We went to the various shopping centres Market St and George St area (the other side of the Hyde Park opposite of where St Mary's Cathedral is) and these are really atas shopping centres. They are nice to see but not to buy. Lol.. There were $14.90 Uniqlo jeans for sale but my size was not available. Oh well :( After this we went to shop around our hotel and I think my sister is disappointed. Lol.. I told her that there will not be a lot of things to shop around in Sydney. Now be grateful that I rejected her and my mum's suggestion to spend an extra day in Sydney purely for shopping.

We were back in hotel at 7pm which was quite early to prepare for another early day tomorrow for Blue Mountains tour. We did not dinner as the 300g steak for lunch was still in the tummy. Haha.. I don't normally post pictures during my trip but I make an exception for Sydney as Sydney is the very first overseas city  that I visisted for leisure. It has a special place in my heart and I want to show it off on facebook. Guess what? One of my Indonesian secondary school mates who is living in Sydney happened to be checking his facebook and see my post so he asks to meet me tomorrow. Darn I don't know where he goes after he went to Seoul a few years back. If I know earlier, I will ask him to meet me today. Tomorrow will be tight because of the tour but surely I am excited to have a meet up although just for a short while in the evening.

God's blessings are with me today and I really love Sydney :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Australia Trip Day 4: From Darwin to Sydney

It is quite a relaxing day with the flight to Sydney at noon. I was planning to laze around in the hotel in the morning but my mum wanted to walk to Mitchell St for breakfast so I decided to be a good boy and accompany her. It was already hot in early morning. I offered her to walk to the Esplanade for pictures since she had none taken there yet but she did not want the heat. Oh well. Lol..

I was quite nervous during the trip to the airport as the timing was rather tight. However, the timing of the shuttle bus was based on flight timing and the check-in for domestic Qantas flight closes only 30 minutes before flight time. So actually there was plenty of time. It is quite interesting to do the self-check in as we have to stick our own luggage tags. Lol. Usually those machines only print me boarding passes at Changi. Luckily there were staff at the counter to help with sticking of the luggage tags. The screening at the airport is not as scary as I imagined. I did not need to remove my tablet from my bag and even drinking water was allowed. Wow.. There are some eateries and a souvenir shop so the 4 hour transit for the flight home should not be that boring.

The flight with Qantas was pretty enjoyable with pretty generous seat space. I guess Asian butts are narrower than ang moh's so there is quite a big space. The food is okay but I am impressed with the fact that they were served hot from the oven in the plane and not the usual warm from the oven at the airport. There was no screen for in-flight entertainment so I spent most of the 4+ hours flight sleeping.

We reached Sydney in the evening and the airport is quite impressive. My mum and my sister are already planning to come to the airport early for our flight to Melbourne so they can shop. Luggage was efficient as by the time we were done with the toilet, our bags were the last view to be uncollected from our flight. Lol. My credit card came to the rescue again as we decided to get Opal cards and go to the hotel using train. I was hoping for a shuttle bus or something but there was not any. It took us about 15 minutes to reach Central Station and the train was not crowded at all.

The platform of Central Station reminds me of Japanese train system and both are equally overwhelming for someone new to the city. It was already pretty dark when we were out of the station and I was pretty nervous to quickly get into our hotel. Located in the heart of the Chinatown, the area totally does not feel like Australia at all. 9 in 10 are Asians (Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesians etc) and this truly feels like a global city. If Singapore wants to be a global city, it still has a long way to go as our foreigners are only PRCs and Filipinos.

We are staying at Metro Hotel at Pitt Street. The hotel looks classy from outside but the inside really needs a lot of improvement. The lift door is making noise, the aircon is hot, the wardrobe sliding door is falling apart, and they asked me to buy my own toothbrush from 7-11 across the road T_T We ate dinner at Rydges World Square and I chose a Chinese mixed rice for $14 with 3 meal choices (does not matter if your meals are vegetable based or meat based). The portions were huge and they tasted great! When I went to Sydney 8 years ago, the Asian food I had were horribly tasteless so my expectation was as such. The supermarket gave another surprise. Unlike in Darwin where plastic carriers are chargeable, Sydney provides free plastic bags. Lol.. I guess they know a lot of stingy tourists here and mostly Asians who are not so bothered about protecting the environment. Haha..

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Australia Trip Day 3: Litchfield National Park

Thank God that I enjoyed today's trip to Litchfield better than yesterday's trip to Kakadu. The weather was as bad and unbearable as yesterday but the sceneries and the photos were better. Hehe..

The first part of the itinerary is the town of Batchelor. I was expecting that we would stop for awhile but we only passed by it. It is quite an old scenic town which I think will be quite wonderful to take pictures at.

The first stop was at Florence Falls. The waterfall is very huge and very distant from the viewing platform. In fact there is one tree branch which is blocking the view of the waterfall.  There are 2 ways to reach the swimming hole at the bottom: a 160-step staircase or a 1 km walk through the forest areas. I opted for the staircase. At the end, I had to walk across a wooden bridge with a stream flowing underneath. I was so tempted to stand on the rocks on the stream which are still higher than the water but the thoughts of crocodile kinda deter me. I know they will inform us if there are crocodiles nearby but the thought of risking my life from being eaten by a crocodile just for a photo is very stupid. Although I am not a swimming person, I have to admit that the swimming hole looks pretty comfortable and scenic to take photos as well. There is another way back up which is about 1km walk through the woods. Normally I will be adventurous to try different part but I chose to climb the stair back up as I don't find the vegetations to be that interesting.
Florence Falls viewed from the viewing platform.
They should cut away that tree at the corner which blocks the view.
The second waterfall for the day was Tolmer Falls. The surrounding area is dryer than Florence and there is hardly any trees to form canopy. However, one side of the track to the viewing platform overlooks something like a cliff and the view is really breathtaking.
Tolmer Falls
After that, we went to Wangi Falls. Unlike the previous two which are seen from afar at the viewing platform, this waterfall is accessible from the bottom which happens to be a large swimming area. It looks even nicer than the swim area at Florence Falls. There was a crocodile sighting so the swimming area was closed. I am not complaining since that means I got to take pictures without strangers at the background. Hehe..
Wangi Falls which is as beautiful as its tourism pictures.
Lunch was at the cafe nearby and it was a similar buffet spread from yesterday. The weather was amazing as it changed really fast: from the scorching sun, to heavy rain on our journey to Buley Rockhole, and back to the heat when we reached Buley. I thought Buley would be the most disappointing one but it turned out to be the best. Unlike the name which suggests it to be a large 'hole' filled with water, it is actually a long streaming river on a gentle gradient where people can take a dip at the more flat parts. I enjoyed walking along the stream and the challenge of finding a solid ground to step on. I also finally had the chance to have a picture in the midst of the tall speargrasses. Yay!

On the way back, we made a stop at a termite mound at roadside. Termite belongs to cockroach family and after googling the pictures, I kinda regret touching the mound. Lol. It was raining heavily on our way back and because of the vast open areas, I can finally appreciate why Northern Territory is also famed for the lightnings.

It is my final night in Darwin so I took the chance to take pictures at the Esplanade. Unfortunately it started to drizzle halfway and I had to skip photos on the children's playground. Lol.. Despite the weather fluctuations, I am thankful that the rain did not ruin the phototaking opportunities at Litchfield :) And to have a little bit of walks before reaching the phototaking destination is my kind of holiday. Hehe...
View from the Esplanade. Nothing fantastic here.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Australia Trip Day 2: Kakadu National Park

The heat was killing me.. the flies were so irriating.. the nice sceneries cannot be pictured with my face.. and the photos with my face cannot have nice sceneries. Today was so disappointing. Kakadu has nice reviews online so I cannot believe that the tour was so horrible. I checked Kakadu map to realise that Kakadu is a huge area. We had a 12-hour tour and to reach the nicer parts to get those beautiful pictures that we see online (Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Gunlom), 12 hours are not sufficient. What we had was already the best that we could have in 12 hours. So yeah, going unprepared resulted in unreasonable expectations and unfair disappointment.

Kakadu National Park is really an eye opener for me and it is nothing like national parks in the tropics. I was expecting to enter a proper park and then to walk from one attraction point to the next. Kakadu National Park is damn huge that one attraction to the next is few kilometers away. Thus the tour was mostly sitting and sleeping on the bus. The scenery is nothing like I have ever seen before but it gets repetitive. The driver-cum-tour guide has plenty of interesting stories along the way but after 2 consecutive days of 4-hour sleep, I fell asleep for most of the time.

I love sceneries but Kakadu is too outback for my taste. The plants are unique and I have ner seen them in the tropics but they make bad sceneries. With wide variations of the weather, some areas may be off limits during different times as well. We visited a lot of places listed in the itinerary but they all almost looked the same. The nice photo taking opportunities are along the way in the middle of knowhere instead of at the attraction places. Of course going with a tour, those photos were just in my imagination.
The only object that is allowed to be photographed at Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A place worth skipping if you ask me
The one I 'enjoyed' the most was the 1.5 hour cruise on Yellow Water Billabong. It was quite an experience to see a large bodies of water whose coverage change depending on how much rain that the area had. There were plenty of nice calendar pictures but because the boat was shaded, no way I could take a nice picture with myself in. I would just look black under the shade. I regretted not taking pictures after the cruise as I thought we would be back there after lunch. The tour guide moved the tour bus nearer to our lunch spot. Lunch was buffet of cold meats (bacons, salamis), potato salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw. I was happy enough with those.
Believe it or not, all these plants are on water surface
Calendar picture
We traveled to Nourlangie Rock after lunch. It looks magnificent from afar but we went to see the Aboriginal arts on the rock surface. Thus no way to be able to take a photo with the full majesty of the rock at the background. I saw the magnificent sight on the way there so the tour should have stopped first to take a photo there :( It will be interesting to be able to climb up and enjoy the scenery but given the heat and the insects, I was glad that we only had less than 1 hour there. The sightings of wallabies somewhat improved my foul mood because my sister could not take a nice pictures of me.
Not exactly the best view to see the majesty of Nourlangie Rock
The tour bus sent us back to the hotel but before that, we went to Cullen Bay to drop the people who were staying there. It fulfilled my curiosity of the area. It is not exactly what I picture the area to be but it is the elite region. Haha.. I am glad that I did not forgo Mindil Beach yesterday to come here when we were the roundabout and lost our direction.

The day ended completely ruined for me. I was so excited to get Kebab for dinner but the sauce burst from the bottom of the wrap even before I started eating and it dripped to my trousers. Fuck.. I hate food stains and I had to wash jeans in the middle of the night.

It has been a nice once-in-a-lifetime outback experience for me but this is not something that I will recommend. If you really want to go to Kakadu, make sure that you get to go the waterfalls and Gunlom. Otherwise it is totally not worth it.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Australia Trip Day 1: Darwin

I could have slept longer and saved on my cab fare since the flight was delayed for 1+ hours. Truthfully I thought the flight was kinda overwhelming. There was no inflight entertainment, one of the toilet was not working properly (continuously flushing), and the plane crew were chit chating very loudly at the back. I was expecting something more from Silkair.

Darwin is very hot, even when there are plenty of clouds in the sky. It is a small city and there are not many cars although the roads are big. It seems to be kinda quiet too. Despite not preparing anything, things were pretty smooth. The airport shuttle was just outside the terminal and less than half an hour later, I reached the hotel: Double Tree by Hilton. Hot chocolate cookies were provided as welcome gift but I still feel pissed that no free wifi simply because I did not book directly from Hilton website. The hotel was facing the Esplanade but I went to explore Mitchell St behind the hotel in search for water -drinking water of course.

With the limited map I had, I failed to locate the bus terminal. The whole street is basically the life of they city although a lot of the eateries were not open yet, perhaps waiting for dinner time. Mitchell Centre is a saviour with Coles supermarket which is open until 10pm. No worries for stocking of water. I walked to the end of the street to reach the Darwin Waterfront. There was no way to estimate the distance from the map so 15-20 minutes walk to reach there was reasonable. Honestly there is nothing fantastic here. The so called Wave Lagoon is a very shallow fake beach. The sea is walled to form a safe wave pool so photos taken are not exactly great either.

Next target was Mindil Beach. Based on the estimation of distance and timing from hotel to Darwin Waterfront, it would take at least 45 minutes. It was basically walking from the east end of the city to the west end. There is a bus terminal but I have no idea how bus system works here though I know which bus number to take. I was too shy to ask strangers too but anyway we had no coins.

We walked via Smith St Mall which had all the shops already closed. My mum and sister were struggling along the way. I offered them a taxi while we saw one but they said no since they thought I was referring to the beach opposite the hotel. At the junction between Cullen Bay and Mindil Beach, my sister took out GPS and it cost us 15 minutes. Bleah.. I still trust the old paper map and road directions.

Mindil Beach is an utter disappointment. I know the night market only opens on Thursday and Sunday but I did not expect that the beach would be completely deserted on other days. We reached past 7pm and the sun was already setting. To reach the beach, we were supposed to walk over a humped area and next to the passageway, there was a notice 'Do Not Enter'. After passing the third of such thing, I decided to walk over the passageway to realise that the notice was meant for the vegetations surrounding the passageway!! Those passageways are the correct paths to reach the beach.

I am so glad that there was a taxi at the Skycity and it only cost us $10 to Mitchell Centre. After all the walking, I could not imagine walking another half an hour to walk back. The taxi meter was quite scary though. It was literally 10 cents per second. The whole street was bustling with life at this time and I am not worried about dinner for the next 2 days. Hehe.. Anyway we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant at Mitchell Centre because I had not had rice for the whole day. The food was quite authentic but I am a bit sian because some soy sauce splashed onto my shirt. We went for grocery shopping before returning to hotel.

There was a shortcut from Mitchell St to the Esplanade and it is actually through the Double Tree by Hilton Esplanade. It is a hotel just next the one I am staying at. Well I did my research and I could not find major difference between the two so I decided to choose the one with higher rating. Bleah.. the other one is better because it is also nearer to the busier part of the Mitchell St.

Oh well.. another 4am day again tomorrow for another adventure tomorrow..

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Going down and under

This is going to be a short post. I am going to Australia for holiday tomorrow. I have about 5 hours before I am going to airport and I am still in the midst of packing. Haha.. Holiday should be a happy occasion and therapeutic. But I think too much and plan so much about the details, sometimes even about things that I cannot control such as weather. At such frustrating moment then I will have the negativity about travelling. Sigh.. I have a long way to go to be a free & easy traveller.

I realise that I am used to be just following someone else during travelling and this time I try to plan things and find routes on my own. Bleah.. It is not something I enjoy and in the end, I just decided to be gungho.:just screenshot some maps from Google and print them. Over at the foreign land, I will just open my mouth to ask for directions and see how things will be. Anyway I am okay not to be to xiong and just sit down at a cafe lol.

Well I see how things will go. For now, I can only pray for safe flights, good weather, nice sceneries, great photos, and being safe + healthy + happy for the next 10 days.