Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Land Down Under : Day 3

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Day 3 - 9th October 2007
Greetings to kangaroos and cros! (the animal not the shoe) So on the third day, the session finishes early as the entire afternoon was slotted for recreation cum networking activities. Blithely Farinda and I choosed to network with the marsupials of Australia. Oh I haven't introduce Farinda haven't I? Farinda is a geologist whom is currently working on high CO2 gas fields in Malaysia. Even though we have known each other for only 24 hours, we seem to share the same "must do's" in Australia i.e to see the koalas and kangaroos! Today would be would be a good day to see them isn't it?
Perth Zoo is nearer to Burswood, nevertheless we were captivated by the fact that Caversham Wildlife Park allows wombat/koala cuddling and kangaroo feeding. Cohunu Koala Park on the other hand, is just too far; approximately 30km from the city. So Caversham Wildlife Park it is; preliminarily magnetized by just reading the brochure.
The boys never bothered to join us, they opted for vegging out to Perth City and shops like a girl.
To go to Caversham, it's more economical to board on the public transport. Here's how:
1. From Burswood, ride on the van shuttle to the train station, complimentary from the hotel
2. Take the train to Perth City and hop into the bus No. 60 to Morley.
3. Change to bus No. 336 to Ellenbrook, off at Whiteman Park where Caversham is.
The downside however, is time consuming. Since Caversham closes at 5PM and min&hour are the constraint, we had no choice but to take a taxi straight away to Caversham. It costs us AUS35 and the ride took approximately 20 minutes.

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Invest on AUD17 for a spectacular array of native Australia wildlife in Caversham. A simple map was provided, complimentary from the park, just to make sure you will not get lost while in excitement. As there were to many to hold in one hand (the camera, the map, the pinpointing with the mouth talking), careless me dropped off the precious camera and the rest is history. Forlornly, after 5 years of its tenure, my Sony DSC decided to call it a quit and choose it to be in Australia? Sigh. Farinda was kind enough to offer an equal share with her camera but it would not be the same. Everything seems nothing compared to your own.

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Putting on my yellow thinking cap to ignite my logical positive senses and and inhaling as much as O2 as I can, I will not let this challenge ruin my mood for the day. As an avid Sony user, fixing the damage is the last thing to do, considering the camera is 5 years old now. I aint cheap I tell you. Knowing it all after I ditch spending RM400 on a brand new casing for that old and scratched baby. Everything happens for a reason and the valid reason for this one - Start eyeing for a brand new camera, a SLR maybe? :) *grinning*
All shots you see was taken earlier on, while we were at kangaroo enclosure. In the spacious enclosure resides a big family of happily hopping, very friendly and lazy kangaroos and wallabies and a lost peacock, whom untiringly showcasing its extravagant plumage here and there when no one seems to bother. I have only known that wallabies are smaller than a kangaroo/wallaroo, but since they all do not differ much, I have no idea the macropod is either a kangaroo, a wallaby or a wallaroo. They all looked the same! One that caught my attention was a mommy and it's baby joey which I think is a wallaby. Cute and adorable!

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We held a 27kg smelly wombat known as Barb. The other one is Jenny. I particularly liked the wombats, which are possibly the cutest and cuddly ( even though smelly ) animals I've ever seen. Koala on the other hand is broadly similar in appearance to the wombats but with bigger nose. Koalas are shy and sleeps most of the time.
Mr Koala's pad is less spacious than Mr Garoo's where himself and his 3 wives and joeys reside. None of the family members were in a good mood for cuddling session. :(. It is stressful for them, the attendant says. I reckon, the pinching, patting and harsh stroking that comes along makes cuddling unfavorable for Mr Koala and family.
Besides koala, kangaroos and wombats, there were countless of others and there is no need for me to describe on sheep, goats, chickens and buffaloes in Caversham. Go figure it yourself.

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After 2.5 hours of networking and recreation, it's time for us to go. Before heading back to Burswood, clever Farinda told the taxi driver to drop us at Harbour Town, Perth only dedicated Outlet Shopping center. Along the way, Mr cabbie, a friendly Iraqi guy was feeding us with the his life story in Australia. Being friendly in return was the right act to play and he kindly discounted the taxi fee, we ended up paying AUD30 for the ride. He even recommended us to try the halal kebab, sold by another Iraqi friend of his at the mall.

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For me, traveling is the time to enjoy and experience the country's authentic and own specialty, thus shopping complex or even designer's outlet center is not really a place I look forward to. I can get my Armani even in KLCC. But definitely and without doubt, Coach is a must-buy if you are in the States.
Unfortunate Farinda ends up buying nothing since in few minute after the arrival the shops were all closing. We manage to cure Farinda's broken heart on the halal kebab :) Getting a taxi back to Burswood after 5PM was not easy. Traffic was slowly building up after the office hour. But it is still manageable compared to KL massive traffic. Oh how serene and peaceful if I were stay and work in Perth.

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Back to Burswood, we missed out the optional activity at 6PM and headed to Perth City instead. It was nearing to break fast, tried our luck to contact the boys so we can meet up for dinner but to no avail. So hookay, not a problem. Being "All the woman who are independent" as Beyonce sings it, we opted for our own "late evening shopping" at Murray Street. Farinda conveys her frustration at Harbour Town by splurging on chocolate and nougats. It is cheaper to shop for souvenirs in Freemantle but since we are no sure on going to Freemantle, I decided to bargain everthing in Oleh Oleh, one of the souvenir shop in Murray Street that offer the same prices as Freemantle prices. The sales girls was even a Malaysian whom is currently studying in Curtin University. The most expensive I paid was AUD3 for the fridge magnets and cheapest at AUD2 for the the koala bears. In between were tea towels, keychains, postcards for families, friends and my bos.
9PM in Perth feels like 1AM in Malaysia so it's time for us to go home. I so need take the Eau de Wombat off me. We took a cab to Burswood. Mr cabbie was not very friendly this time.
*"All the woman who are independent" - That's us. HA HA

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Wow it was indeed a busy day, my feet was aching but overall it was helluva fun. The biggest regret however was not able to have my picture taken cuddling a koala.

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Interesting fact to capture : A marsupial's baby is called Joey

The Land Down Under : Day 1 & Day 2

It was a great opportunity. Nevertheless, I was unconsciously flashing a reluctant smile when I spread the news to my bf. He knows how I hate last minute arrangement, especially when work is pilling up and no news on the baju raya from my tailor.
"Just go and have fun" He whispered to my ears.
It doesn't mean anything to you, but it was very soothing for me to hear such encouragement.

Day 1 - 7th October 2007
Being in Boeing 777 means I can enjoy my private TV screen for movies and musics. With hope the in-flight entertainment will be able to keep me survive for the next 6 transient hours. Absolument parfait!! Except for the seats, which could potentially win a Grammy Award for most uncomfortable seat after KTM Komuter.
I was fascinated to watch Jangan Pandang Belakang for the overwhelming reviews it receives. Even Acai, a horror movie freak, put thumbs up for the movie. To Ahmad Idham, for this attempt, your movie scores 2.5 stars out of 5 stars. You movie can do better with an improved version of Apa Yang Ada Kat Belakang tu. The Apa Yang Ada Kat Belakang is bit outdated and static. It needs a make over maybe? I like hantu from the Blair Witch Project. You can't see them but you know they are there. Eerie!
After 2 hours Jangan Pandang Belakang, 2 hours of napping, 2 hours of wondering around and drooling over next passenger's lunch pack, we landed safely at Perth International. I prepared myself for any circumstances and these 2 things had made me the last person to check out.
1. The fact that the space between my name matter much
* Name in passport is Za Lina Teoh , Name is Visa is Zalina Teoh
2. The fact that I am now with hijab but how come the person in the passport is a free hair*?
*Used to be a free hair, now with hijab
After the friendly officer confirmed that the entity in the passport is no doubt, the same person standing in front of him, I was allowed to pass and enter the country. En Ahmad, the Principal Engineer who traveling together with me, and I took a cab and headed to Burswood, 9km from the Perth Airport.
My first impression on Perth was "sunny". Perth is now experiencing Spring. It's very chilly outside, cause me to shiver each time the winds blow by.
For 4 days in Perth, we stayed in the luxurious classic twin bed room at Intercontinental Hotel, Burswood Entertainment Complex. Other than allergic to seats, my travelling blues would be staying alone in the hotel room. Even the expensive glass overlooking the city views and the hotel pool didn't really help. Having an Adult Channel in the room didn't help either :p.

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From Bed Can Straight Away Hop In To The Bath Tub

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The Scenery from My Bedroom Window

I shop where ever I go :p, so later that evening, we went to shop for titbits at the nearby grocery store. My pocket bleeds from the currency exchange at 1AUS = 3MYR. Suprise to see our local delicacies like beef rendangs sold at the grocery and nasi lemak and roti canai served in the hotel. It is great to see Malaysian food at this far.
I cried into tears when I saw the Twirl bar at the chocolate section. Twirl used to be my favourite chocolate bar but it was discontinued somewhere in the 90's for what reason I am not sure. Oh, am surely going to enjoy 5 days in Aussie in euphoria.

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Twirly Whirly Delight

At the welcoming dinner, the Workshop Co-Chairperson welcomes the participants. It was an informal ice breaking session where En Ahmad and I didn't stay for long. Meet another Malaysian, a Schlumberger drilling engineer whom is currently based in France. After that we retire for the night.

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An Entertainment Complex that includes a casino, hotel, golf course, day spa, several restaurants, bars and nightclubs

Day 2 - 8th October 2007

The sunshine by the window woke me up and was kind of suprise to see it was only 6 in the morning. Day 2 was a busy day. The event went on from 9AM until 6PM. There were another 5 participants from the Company. The Applied Workshop was on Capture and Storage of CO2. As we all know, CO2 has been the greatest contributor to global warning, predominantly from fossil fuel burning which originates mostly from energy industry. Therefore it stirred the industry to act to reduce excessive emissions of CO2 to atmosphere by capturing CO2 emissions at the source itself, and to find alternative use for CO2 other than securely storing them in subsurface reservoirs i.e geological sequestration. The ATW workshop sees the congregation of geologist, reservoir engineers, researchers, stakeholders etc to discuss further on this issue.
For Berbuka Puasa, we took a cab and headed to Perth City. We break fast at Love and Care restaurant, owned by a Johorian whom has been living there for 13 years.
A plate of Nasi Pataya and a glass of teh tarik costs me AUS10 (approximately MYR30). The taste could have been better. After the final sip of my mild teh tarik, I could not agree more on the phrase "Food in Malaysia - Excellent in Taste" than Malaysian food in (fill in the blank).
After that we walked around Perth city - Murray Street. The city sleeps early, business retire at 5pm, except for souvenir shops and grocery store. It's indeed a cool spring in Perth.

Interesting fact to capture :
Did you know what there is no time difference between Perth and Kuala Lumpur?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Debut (2007)

Another debut doesn't mean that I failed last time. I am introducing the more of "moi" and the lesser of "zal"s elements in this avenue. It's much safer to go anonymous these days. Even Human Resources and some bosses goggled.
Scary. Scary.
As long as I am breathing, thou shalt keep on writing.
Write what? A blog post? A diary?
I've given up on writing diaries long time ago. To my surprise, some people loves prying into my affairs; he and she even has the gut to read my diaries. I was even punished for what I wrote because from the honest word written in the diary, mum knew about my late night outings and ex-bf knew I was flirting with another guy.
Flirting, ladies and gentlemen, is not a crime. That's why he is an ex anyway.
I learn my lesson and from that on, I tend to keep things to myself.
Blogging, however, is an inexpensive way of keeping record of one's daily life. You just have to have the minute and hours. And for an incredible journey I've go through ever day, I would not mind taking few moments and putting it in a post. Composing your own text and telling your own story of how things happened gives it a chance in future to live again. I don't look forward for people to read my blog or expect for it to be top ten in the Blog roll whatsoever. Suffice for it to be shared with someone else, other than myself, so he or she can at least, know how does it feel to be in that position at the point of time it happens.
For certain times gone by, I've always imagine myself rereading the ever written and snapshots of past thoughts, feeling and life events. Smiling and giggling over the frolicsome photos, reminiscing how I've made it through the ups and down of life.
And that time, I am 80, with hubby on my side cuddling me and a ginger cat sleeping on my lap.