Sunshine Coast, where sleepyheads rule the town.
(super long post with heaps of pictures)
I am hallucinating about a mug of hot mocha latte at this very moment.
Yesterday after badminton we watched TV as usual, but instead of watching the taped shows in installments as civilised working adults normally do on a weekday night, we watched the whole lot, which was 3 hours' worth of Getaway, Missing Persons Unit, and Amazing Race. Crawled into bed only at 2+ am, having to wake up 5 hours later. So Wayne was a grump the whole morning!
This whole week has been such a relaxing week because I have simply been left to my own vices with a computer in front of me. Which is why my blog posts have been materialising at quite regular intervals because otherwise, at home everyone is taking turns hogging the phone line there is hardly any time for peaceful blogging, except in the blind of the night. And since I've finished all my reports, today is like taking a full day leave to cyberspace. Does that deserve a yay or what?
Sunshine Coast pictures, oh finally! :D
Last saturday Wayne had badminton tournament (again! that badminton junkie!) at Sunshine Coast so while he was sweating it out on the court, maysan and I went sight-seeing. I had been downloading bus and train timetables a few days prior to the trip, but while excitedly ploughing through rows upon rows of numbers on the timetable, it was with utmost horror that I eventually discovered, the train line along Sunshine Coast comes only once a day! at night! Like HUH?!??
So pre-trip bad premonition aside, we left home around 6 am because Wayne's game started early morning. But the moment the car finally wound up at Nambour around 830 am, the only thought that was in my mind was, "Omg, what kind of a shithole sleepy town is this??"
The town just had this slumberish and lazy kind of atmosphere that I fell compelled to just immediately check into a random motel and snooze the day away.
We took a bus to Eumundi Market, a famous giant market which happens only every wednesday and saturday. It was hugeee.. with many nooks and crannies, small alleys and all, that it probably would have helped to have a compass while you browse the rows of stalls that seem to go on forever. A market is like singapore's equivalent of pasar malam, but more high class, with way better stuff, and way more happening.
Then we went to Noosa, the place where our dreams got shattered.
No, seriously. That's because all the travel guides and brochures had made it seem like Noosa is a damn happening place, maybe a sleepier version of Surfers' Paradise. But blimey, I didn't expect it to be THAT sleepy. We started at Noosa Heads, and then took a ferry down the coast to Noosa Ville, a stretch of road along the coast which was supposed to be "really beautiful" according to the fella at the information centre. Come to think of it, seeing that he is probably a generation older, his idea of happening probably would have meant sitting for 5 hours on his butt fishing for trout. We should have known better!
Because alas, Noosa Ville was just a tiny suburb with some very mediocre shops along the road which were not even worth patronising. So much paying 12 bucks for the ferry! So. When all else fails, what do you do? You take lots of pictures to get your 12 bucks' worth.
Waiting at the ferry terminal. Well, at least the place has got some nice views to compensate for its somewhat lack lustre tourism appeal.
I really love this last picture (of the boat) that I took while on board the ferry! :)
And just like that, the day had passed us by. We came back to Nambour to meet Wayne and drove to the place where we were supposed to spend the night, which is a caravan park!! I got so excited when Wayne told me that he had booked a place at a caravan park instead of a typical motel, despite all his "typical-wayne" false alarm, about the place being really crappy, small, devoid of utilities and all.
The caravan park was like a parking place for caravans (duh), but they have a few demountable cabins which looked like little containers. Reminded me of my NYJC days when we would have lessons in containers while waiting for the new building to get built!
I personally think that it was a great place! Fuzzy and quite comfy too. Maysan and I slept in the bunk beds while Wayne had the queen sized bed at the other side of the cabin.
We went to Mooloolaba beach for a drive after dinner before coming back for a super early night (because there was nothing else to do in this lazy town!)
Bedtime affair was really hilarious because after closing the partition (see 2nd pic) between our bunk area and the main room, maysan and I were left to our claustrophia-inducing little space wedged between the toilet and the beds. I had such a laughable moment settling down to bed, because to squeeze myself into that little space above the mattress without making myself feel like an elephant was just such an impossibility. Come to think of it, I must have made a heck lot of noise.
"How come the door is closed?! I feel like I'm in a storeroom!!"
"Oh no, I cant get onto this bed!"
"How do we turn off the light? I can't get out!"
"How come I can't open this window?"
"It's so dark, I can't see anything!"
"This bed is so short, I can't stretch!"
So while I squirmed and wriggled in the dark and bumped my head against the ceiling a hundred times a minute, Wayne was in stitches at the other side of the room.
The next day we went to the Ginger Factory, which I enjoyed tremendously!
They've got the factory tour, where you also get to taste some of the products like ginger refresher, ginger BBQ sauce, ginger cheese spread yadda yadda. They also made their own ice cream, which was a myriad of mind-boggling flavours like (you guessed it) Ginger cinnamon, Ginger mango, yadda yadda. I had a scoop each of Gingerbread and Ginger chocolate chip flavour, and they were surprisingly yummy. Damn, I should have just bought one whole tub.
They also had a very impressive collection of ginger products for sale at its humongous ginger shop. All the stuff that you never thought could be edible. Ginger champagne cherry marmalade, Ginger syrup, Ginger lemonade refresher, they had a whole lot of bizarre concoctions which made your taste buds tingle just thinking about them.
I wanted to buy so many things! Which was heart-breaking because I knew I couldn't carry them back. But isn't it such a shame, having travelled all the distance, all the way down under, and not being able to shop with total abandonment just because of a 25kg baggage allowance. SIGH.
So i only settled for a bottle each of Ginger, Lime & Lemon Conserve and Ginger & Mango Marmalade. Gonna bring one to melbourne for Rudy. Yang, which one you want?? :D
They had other non-ginger stuff for sale too. All the exotic sounding sauces in pretty little bottles. But instead of drooling over them, Wayne and I were going from shelf to shelf inspecting, examining, and having retarded conversations such as this:
"You see, this one the machine must have been not hot enough. The capsule isn't wrapped properly."
"Hmm yeah.. but the labelling quite impressive. See how they are all so perfectly aligned. We normally have a lot of problems with it at work."
"Yeah you're right."
"They need to wipe all these bottles. Noone will buy them if they've got so much dust on them."
"Hmm true.. true.."
*nods in agreement*
I hope the shopkeeper didn't hear us because gawd, we must have sounded like such dorks. The woe of working in QA department.
Then we went to Ettamogah Pub! Which is one of the landmarks of Sunshine Coast and such a head turner of a building. It was a quirky little watering hole, with all its cartoon graffitis and typical OZ nonsense one liners and quotes splattered all across the walls. There was a car on the roof of the pub too! But can't be seen from the picture.
It felt a bit strange going to a pub in broad daylight, but I suppose the place was more like a tourist attraction than a pub, so...
Anyway, Wayne bought us a drink each! I asked him if he could just choose a beer for me, and he ordered me a glass of Pure Blonde.
"I got you Pure Blonde. Because it's got low carbohydrate."
And the bartender gave me a very amused look while trying to stifle a laugh and I just burst out laughing.
The beer in Australia is so cheap. I think our beer cost only around 5 bucks each, and for a popular tourist spot like Ettamogah, I thought it was quite unbelievable. But then again, if you buy a carton of beer in a supermarket, one can is only about AUD$1.50. Another reason to migrate to Australia, people!
I loved Ettamogah Pub and the Ginger Factory very very much! Can't say the same for Sunshine Coast in general though.
My verdict? If you do visit Sunshine Coast, maybe you could give Noosa a miss. If you are looking for beachy spots, Mooloolaba is better. It was a great weekend though! The last weekend trip before we fly off...
Anyway, a few weeks back on a particularly cold day, Maysan was wandering about the house wearing her toe socks, which amused Wayne to no end because he had never seen a toe sock before in his entire XX years of existence. So when we were at Eumundi market on saturday and I spied a little stall selling various multi-coloured toe socks, I just couldn't resist.
I chose the most gawdy colour that I could find and made Wayne wear it around the house. We had SUCH a great laugh.
Wayne, don't worry about not being able to pick up any chicks in them. At least they keep your toes warm! :D
Labels: aussie, travel
I have difficulty concluding.
My final report is almost done. But I'm procrastinating on writing the conclusion, because it just seems like such a final gesture. Writing the conclusion of a final report.
Yesterday was Anzac day. And while that meant a relaxing day off from work, it also meant 20 bucks less to earn. Bugger it!
We met up with the badminton gang again for a mini lunch gastronomic escapade, because Kwang wanted us to try out Hainanese chicken rice at this Asian restaurant in Brisbane. But alas, it was closed. So we ended up at another supposedly more inferior Asian eatery at Sunnybank called Little Singapore. But even this inferior place had a queue snaking all the way through the entrance, yo. It was a crowded house, full of homesick singaporeans and typical yabbering asians, yelling across the tables at such high decibels that I developed migraine. I swear my ear drums very nearly went kaboom.
The four guys had Hainanese chicken rice (Jesse had TWO servings, that glut!), maysan had malaysian prawn noodle while I had Singapore style char mee after the patriotic Kwang very strongly hinted against me having beef hor fun.
The portions were humongous! They were not bad, but I am still craving for my dim sum! Flaky and buttery egg tarts! siew mai! and xiao long bao!!!
After that we went to Mt. Coot-tha lookout at Brisbane for a bit of last minute sightseeing before we leave next week. It was a somewhat more commercialised kind of national park, but from the lookout point we could see the whole brisbane, with its jutting high rise buildings and all. Quite cool. :)
After walking around a little, some piccies snapping and loud talking (you know how it is when you go out in a big Asian group), we went to some cafe at Mt. Coot-tha and had cakes.
And for all those stuff that went to our bellies, Kwang paid for everything! It was just incredulous how he refused all our money (especially maysan and I, since we are leaving). So he paid for lunch, and he paid for cakes. And last week on my birthday he paid for coffee as well. While it does feel shiok to be somewhat "pampered" like that, especially when I am so damn broke, I felt SOOOO very bad.
So maysan and I are just gonna give all of them a treat for farewell dinner next tuesday. Eat and eat and eat all the way, yea!
The gang :)
Labels: aussie, travel
If my face looks red, it's just the wine.
I have given up with my report for today. Even with the help of chocolate, I accomplished close to absolutely naught. Nadda.
If chocolate hadn't helped, nothing else would have. Hmm.. except maybe potatoes. With melted cheese and a dollop of mayonaise.
Anyway, approximately 2 hours ago, out of the kindness of my heart, I asked Wayne if he needed any help in the lab. And I jolly well should have just minded my own business and hid in my little office cubicle. Because then he sent me off to approve TWENTY FIVE palettes of rock salt and raw sugar at the raw material warehouse. Letting poor attachment student like yours truly do the very thing he loathes doing. That sly angmoh!
And approving raw materials is just such a wonderfully pain-in-the-ass job to do, not only because of all the nitty gritty details to record, but also because you would have to battle with sticky tapes and minutely sized palette slips and then dig through layers upon layers of cling wraps to find a good spot to stick the damn thing.
But! It turned out to be quite fun because all the palettes were stacked high about 4 metres above the ground at the top most layer in the warehouse and so, Al had to plonk me on an empty palette while he scoots me around using a forklift. Up and down and all around the warehouse. Cheap thrill I know, but it was quite exciting! :D
Anyway, after MUCH much much procrastination on my part, yesterday Wayne and I finally watched Saw 2 on DVD, which had been sitting around for 2 weeks and gone through one re-rental.
As though it wasn't quite satisfying enough to put me through the fear and terror of watching Saw 1, he just freaking had to make it into a sequel. I suppose Saw 1 was alright, just for good fun's sake. But I must have been out of whack to let him convince me to watch Saw 2 as well, because now the bugger has the cheek to ask me if I am game for Saw 3 !?!??
And the best thing it, the bugger had already watched Saw 1, 2, 3. The whole freaking lot. He just found it very amusing to turn off all the lights in the house, put me through the ordeal and then guffaw at me while I squirmed and twisted the couch cushion until there were zipper prints on my palms.
The movie was absolutely grotesque. Wait, actually BOTH Saw 1 and Saw 2 were disgustingly gory. And while I must admit that the plot was genius work, it only reminded me why I made the right choice by staying away from horror movies.
Watch Saw 3? NEVER!!!!!
Yesterday night while watching TV:
F: I am really going to miss your couch.
F: okaaaayyy.. I am going to miss your company too ok?
W: You are supposed to say that FIRST! BEFORE the couch!
But Wayne really has got the most comfortable couch in the whole wide world! :D
Labels: aussie, quotes
and when I wasn't distracted by internet, I was busy daydreaming and thinking about impossibility.
But this morning I left for work having the gut feeling that I may be needing endorphin some time today, so I packed a Kit Kat Caramel.
And GOD BLESS MY GUT FEELING, yo! Because now I'm going to gobble it down and hopefully derive enough inspiration from this heavenly combination of cocoa and milk fat to finish up my bloody report so I can enjoy Anzac Day holi tomorrow.
3 1/2 hours more to go. Stop watering the rocks in your head, Felicia!
Labels: mumble jumbles
O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk
My Industrial Attachment is ending in a little less than two weeks. Last week and this week has been spent working in the office, which is the epitome of slack-fest because our supervisor simply ran out of assignments for me to do and hence, while maysan is busy slogging it out in the lab, I have got all the time in the world to bury my head into the computer screen surfing the ne.. I mean.. doing my reports. With ehem.. lots of breaks in between.
I had forgotten how it felt to be cannibalizing my brain cells doing lab reports. It feels AWFUL! But small matter, small matter. Because despite the annoyance at all this obligatory academic paperworks, I am still ahead of myself, having completed the second progress report to be handed in at the end of this week. And the sheer thought that I am spared the last minute mad-reporting before I leave for Melbourne on 5th May was just such a comfort.
But there is still the final report. And my ass has been glued to his swivelling chair for nearly the whole morning in the final battle of spewing it out from my system. My brain has been swimming in the frying pan for quite a while now, so much so that there was hardly any time for monday blues.
Monday blues.. not because there are there are still 4 more days to the weekend, but because another week has begun, and I know it will be over all too soon.
Anyway, so we spent the weekend at Sunshine Coast, which was SUCH a sleepy town that the train only comes once a day.
Before I embark on the gargantuan task of narrating the weekend in words and pictures (I can just feel laziness seeping out from my bones this very moment), I shall first reserve this space for the pictures from the O'Reilly's tree top walk that we did eons ago during the Easter break.
Yes I know.. But better late than never, heyyy? :)
Anywayyy... so Nathan came over to stay for a night during the long Easter weekend and the next day the ever so nice uncle wayne brought us to O'Reilly's for another date with mother nature. Man, this place just never seems to run out of mountains to climb and national parks to explore. The polar opposite of Singapore, whose only claim to being green is... Bukit Timah Hill. And East Coast Park.
The weather up there was colder than it was at the bottom, but it was a comfortable air-con-y cool kind of weather, and I absolutely loved it! Maysan, however, the less cold tolerant one of the lot, had to resort to wearing a beanie to warm her head. haha.
The tree top walk consists of many segments of bridges that seemed like they were suspended mid-air, snaking through all the lush greenery. We were practically walking through the canopy and the bridges creaked, squeaked and swayed left and right while we the fat elephants, trudged through the little wooden planks.
Doesn't that look mighty cool!! :D
There was also a few timber deck sections where we could climb all the way up to the tree tops to see scenery from up there. It was a very steep and vertical climb, so much so that the lady after us bailed after barely halfway up the ladder.
The whole national park is just so humongous and full of countless trails that it would literally take half a lifetime just to explore them all. Some of the trails were over 20 km and some takes a 10-hour walk, which is quite insane! So anyway we just did the baby ones.
There was the Wishin Tree, which is this huge tree with a huge trunk and a somewhat hollow middle. Theoretically, you are supposed to stand inside and make a wish. I didn't believe in all this wish-wishing tell tale stories though, so while everyone else got into a frenzy of wishing for a new house, a new car, a new boyfriend/girlfriend/dog/cat and whatnot, I just strolled through the hole. haha.
We could do bird feeding too, a little like the one at Currumbin, but this one was way better because there were no fences, no barrier, just a few big trees, the birds, and us. Wayne bought a packet of bird feed and all we had to do was scoop a handful of it, put it on our palms and lift it up high, and barely a minute later a random bird would just come swooping down and perch on our wrists while pecking at the seeds.
The birds really had a lot of nerve because they made many landings on our heads too, those cheeky little things! We spent quite some time feeding the birds and had a jolly good time, even though by the end of it my wrist had some angry red criss-crossing marks from their claws. Wayne had none! And we had had many discussions about this, but this just proved my theory that Wayne has a thick skin. Like, totally. haha. Maysan wasn't very comfortable with the birds so she didnt do a lot of feeding and at the end of the day, I was the only one who looked like a junkie after many failed suicide attempts. Gross!
It was a happy day :)
Sunshine Coast pictures coming up next!
Labels: aussie, travel