Sunday, July 15, 2007

NO more new post here

Well some of you may have noticed that there were no post.

The reason behind it was I was attempting to renovate this blog by combining 4 blogs into 1, and that proved to be a HUGE headache.

Instead I found it easier to just import the entire blog away.

If you are still interested, the address is

I have found wordpress to be a much better place to host as it does not have as many ads and also no annoying pop-ups.

Cheers, see ya soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day 1 of trip. Siem Reap

Today as I type this it has been one heck of a tiring day.

Early morning we took the bus to the KLIA LCCT and then thankfully it was a non-delayed Air Asia flight to Siem Reap.

Slept most of the way heh as I was still somewhat sleep challenged.

Arrival in Siem Reap gave us a nice surprise, Malaysian citizens no longer need to pay that US$25 entry visa. Yay for once a Malaysian passport does net some benefits after all.

We had a Land Cruiser pick us up from the airport and bring us to the hotel which is known as the Khemera Angkor Hotel. This is a NICE hotel as the rooms are HUGE and clean. This one is no backpacker joint though.

Enough about the hotel, we decided to go for lunch, silly us to ask the driver of the vehicle to bring us somewhere for lunch. Ended up being ferried to one of those 'rip-the-tourist' type places. OK it wasn't bad, but I am sure there are better places.

The next was a drive into the main city area. The city area is built upon a grid system. Very well planned actually. But unfortunately it is littered with peddlers of all kinds especially little children who are out to get your money.

We found this place that I was hoping to go to called the Blue Pumpkin. This is a nice little cafe run by a frenchie which is quite good. The drinks are good, food above average but what is best is the chairs :D Will post some photos later.

After the walking around, we took a trip to the Tonle Sap lake, this is one of the largest flood plains in south east asia. It is actually extremely dirty. Personally I wouldn't recommend this trip as there isn't much to see. It can be somewhat depressing as well to see all the little children living in such terrible conditions.

The boat ride will bring you along some floating villages and also will show you some of the harshest or rather poorest living conditions there can be. Homes that have to be dismantled due to floods.

The one thing that did interest me was whether there was any wildlife left in the lake. But no one would know the answer.

It started to pour like cats and dogs towards the end of the journey and we were lucky we came in an SUV instead of the motorcycle buggies.

We headed back to the hotel for a shower and then dinner at Viva, this is by far the best Mexican food I have had since leaving USA. Seriously speaking, it is damn bloody good. I am sure I will be coming back again before I leave :)

Then it was massage time. It was quite good, somewhat a mix of a Thai and Chinese style. You either love it or you hate it. Personally I like all massages so it doesn't matter hehe.

Then it was time to go to sleep, for tomorrow I shall go see the Angkor Wat.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A short weekend away : Cameron Highlands.

Been rather tired lately, especially with the heat of the sun and also constant gardening which just doesn't seem to stop.

Decided to go out of town for a bit, just for that much needed break.

Needed some cool clean air for a bit. Usually it will mean one of the highland resorts. Guess this time it is not too different.

Cameron Highlands it is again. Drove up on Friday afternoon and arrived just before dinner and in time for a round of scone and cream. Staying again at the usual joint at this place called Cameronian Inn, it is a decent place. Fairly clean, decently priced and for the most part quite convenient to move about as it is in the smack of Tanah Rata. Plenty of food nearby and even in the Inn itself you can get food, but I would recommend going for a walk to the town centre for a better variety..

Friday night our usual joint called OK TUCK in Brinchang was closed, so we decided to try for some KFC. I suggest you give it the wide berth next time. I know I will be.

Saturday, got up to a late start as usual. But still had some time to do some sight seeing. Started out at this cafe called Uncle Chows, in the new shop lots in Tanah Rata. This place is opened by a retired couple from KL. Most things are quite good. Prices are reasonable for the quality you are getting. Then it was to KHM Strawberry Farm in Kampung Sedia. It is a nice place to have ice blended strawberry juice. I like mine with no sugar :)

After that it was the trip to the peak, it is called Gunung Brinchang. It is exactly 666.6 feet above sea level. Basically this is the highest point of this highlands. Normally it is a very peaceful place to be. But this time there seemed to be some gathering here by some government agency. Place became a nightmare :(

But as always the drive up here is nice. It is not difficult to do, even if you have a small engined vehicle like a Kancil. Just make sure it is well maintained, especially the cooling system. The roads aren't the best, that much I can tell you as there are HUGE potholes on the way up.

Dinner, was a quick trip to OK TUCK for my steamboat. Somehow I love to have steamboat here. In reality it is nothing special. Just the cold weather makes it taste better or rather the heat does not aggravate you as much. However their vegetable dishes tend to be better. In my opinion that is.

Sunday the same ole usual thing.

Then it was home.

Good weekend. Next trip will be less than 3 weeks time. Destination has already been decided, in fact trip has already been paid for.

You will be hearing about it soon enough

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Operation Clean Up Gardens.

The exterior of the townhouse has started to become a total mess lately.

Much of the garden work I did has somewhat overgrown to be a forest like environment. Then there is the weeds which seems to be an everlasting and enduring problem around here.

First step is to get that weeds taken care off.

The first 2 flower beds aren't too difficult, just do some smart placing of the plants and repotting should do the trick.

The back possess a different problem all together.

BUT for now I will concentrate on the front.

Changing the pond to a bigger one will be the main priority. Then instead of soil surfaces will move towards mulch based surfaces. The idea will be plentiful but minimalist. No more bushy hedges, just clean neat greens.

The first flower bed, decided to change it to be palms and some general ferns with this money plants hanging on top.

Second flower bed opted to retain the general bamboo them with pine and various ferns to be hanging down. Soil area to prevent the weeds will be purely pebbled up. Now I hope there is enough pebbles around.

It will be a slow project though which I am sure would only be finished sometime when it is nearing my time to jet set again.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Place where I keep on coming back.

I do tend to have a fondness for living in hotels it seems and obviously the more expensive the better.

My favourites tend to be small luxury boutique hotels especially those you find in Britain. But right now am staying at the executive club floor of the Mercure Roxy in Singapore.

Since leaving Australia, it has been just a few days. The weekend most did nothing, then on the Monday had to go to get my passport renewed. All was set and the next day headed for Singapore. This time decided to come by express bus. Took the dual deck (though the bottom deck is just an area where they store baggage. Journey was decent.

Had a Thai buffet at Marina Parade, was alright but nothing special. Also had a go at the Tony Romas which is quite good just leaves you with an ever faithful thirst for water or anything sweet (come to think of it, most foods in Singapore does tend to do that to you)

I am as I write this blog wondering where we should head to next. Thinking somewhat of going to Thailand for the sole sinister reason to massage :D But since politically the place is somewhat of a disaster am unsure if that is the best of place to go to right now. Also somewhat rather go to a place that is a lil out of this world and you know a place that you can somewhat see some real history. Perhaps East Malaysia, but it is so freaking expensive to do anything within Malaysia and flying to the other part of Malaysia is not a cheap affair. Maybe another trip to China? Why not........ but I have already been there and would like to see someplace different. Hmmm Cambodia?

Ahh enough of this dreaming for now. Gonna go enjoy the perks of living on the executive floor.

By the way it is wonderful :D Especially when you don't have to pay for it :D :D :D

Friday, March 9, 2007

Goodbye Australia.

Well the day has come that I will say goodbye to Australia.

Somehow I still felt somewhat like a tourist today, surprising since I've spent so long here and this is the first time I have actually done the touristy stuff.

Today after packing up, I decided to take a walk to the CBD area.

Then I decided to jump on the city circular tour.

First one was to Bondi Beach.

It was somewhat cold this morning. But it was still an interesting area. My guess is at the height of summer this must be the best place to be.

My breakfast at Bondi beach was a grilled Lobster with a piece of grilled salmon and chips. Damn it was bloody good.

Bondi itself isn't really anything special, generally just a huge happening real estate developement.

The next stop was the city circular.

My impression on Sydney isn't really fond. It is one of those places that seems too old to be new, yet too new to be really old. In terms of old factor, Tasmania seems to be better.

Architecture and skyline seems somewhat like an eyesore. It has somewhat of the multistyle of the mix of old and new, just it doesn't blend in as well like say those in London or England in general.

Had a nice good lunch today, lamb shanks and mashed potatoes.

Amazingly I never took a single picture since I left Tasmania. Now I wonder why is that. Perhaps my interest in photography is wanning. Perhaps there just isn't anything significant I would like to snap on.

Anyhow, after lunch I decided to take a stroll back to the hostel, packed up the car and made my way to the airport.

The airport in Sydney isn't really anything to shout about per say.

Decided to do some last minute shopping and bought what I been hoping to buy for a long time. An iPod. Decided on the 80GB version, hope it somehow does not become a white elephant like all other small electronics I have ever purchased.

Anyways, it is time to board now. I will remember my time in Australia and Tasmania for all the happy moments I had and for the relaxed lifestyle there was. Someday I will definitely want to return for the sole reason that it is a nice place to be, however I am pretty sure things would be different from what I knew it to be.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Goodbye Tasmania.

Somehow I am feeling somewhat nostalgic.

The last few days I been traveling around Tasmania.

Mitchell and me had been driving around at Cradle Mountain as well as Lake St Clair National Park.

This is a beautiful region. Reminds me a lot towards my time in Montana.

I will post more pictures on this place later.

Left Tasmania yesterday after a drive through Queenstown, Stanley, Devonport and finally Launceston where I flew on to Sydney.

Picked up a car at the airport and drove on to Redfern. After throwing the bags into the hostel it was onwards to the Chinatown district.

Looking for food in Sydney after hours is actually quite a challenge, but thankfully the Chinatown had sufficient choices around.

Had a quick bite of a yang chow fried rice and then took a drive to the ANZAC brigdge (just for kicks)

Today in the morning since I had nothing better to do, I took a drive to Blue Mountain. It is okay. But after coming from Tasmania and previously spending time in Montana this place is somewhat lame. Plus most things are quite expensive here as well.

Later on took a drive to Canberra. Interesting scenery getting there.

One thing for sure, driving here can involve some tiresome long journeys due to the relatively low speed limits here.

I can't believe tomorrow will be my last day in Australia, 10 days short of being a year in Australia.

Somehow or rather I am somewhat glad that it is over, but at the same time I am somewhat sad that I am leaving. Granted if I wanted to stay on, the choice is always there. But just somehow I feel that I could achieve more by returning to England.

Someday I shall return, but somewhat I feel that it would be a long while before I return as I would like to see new places and perhaps my next port of call will be somewhat further from Australia. My aim now is to be again closer to Europe.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

My last weekend in Hobart.

I can't believe it, but my last weekend in Hobart is here and what did I do? You guessed it right. I was working.

Days off were cut short due to staff shortages, but it was alright could do with the money anyways.

Yesterday had some big time partying at Isobar, it was good and I had loads to drink.

Today was bloody murder as I had to be at work.

Sold off the Alfa today for AU$450 was quite happy got back some money for it. But nevertheless was sad to see that car go.

Started packing today as I leave next Friday. Now the challenge is to have everything fit in the same Samsonite bag I came with and a smaller backpack for the laptop and some carry-ons, oh my is it a daunting task or what.

Will be flying out from Launceston on Wednesday for Sydney and will spend a few days there.

Well stay tuned for some updates, as before Lauceston I still have 1 more trip within Tasmania to do.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Foul mood whole day today

Been in a foul mood whole day today.

Early in the morning had my slumber disturbed by an emergency call at work. You guessed it my week off was cut short and was called back to work.

Some processes had changed and there seemed to be quite a few new faces.

At work I found someone had nicked by boots and had to wear a leaky pair today, I hate it when my feet get wet. Lots of walking and running around today. Damn speaking of feet, I really wish could go for a reflexology session, which brings me to the next point of foul mood.

Being dead tired and since I had a pay pack in the bank account, I decided it was time to go waste money. So I book a reflexology session at the only Thai massage place. Specifically told them I wanted it at 5pm as 7pm I had a dinner appointment.

Show up at 4:55pm and they can't find my booking. Then am told I have to wait 30 minutes, so off I go to have a quick drink while waiting for the 30 mins to pass. Guess what? 30 minutes goes by and they tell me there is no staff to do it. I told them forget it I will just go without.

At a few minutes before 6, I am already sitting at Ball and Chain waiting to order and I get a call. The person who took my reservation is asking me why I had not bothered to show up for an appointment. Man I tell you was I livid. I gave her and her manager a piece of my mind and only to realize that nearly the whole restaurant had gone silent......whoa.

Thankfully my steak arrived and damn it was good.

Upon returning home, I find the carpets of the entire house soaking wet and wettest point was in my bedroom. I was wondering what the hell happened because in my room even my photos hung on the wall got wet.

Turned out there was 2 sources of leakages, first leakage was the washing machine, the washer drainage system was buggered and the water somehow or rather was not going down. The entire floor was wet. That also caused some of my books to get buggered.

Then the other part was the rain has exposed a leaky roof due to the horrendous wind storms we been having. Damn all my pictures are gone. Thankfully the laptop was not in the room or that too would have gone. Even my bed is all wet.......sigh.

Today will have to sleep somewhere else till my bed dries out, they better fix this stuff up.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

So warm it is, 1 week off.

Another tough week came and went. Worked 6 days and on average 10 hours a day. I am officially horrendously exhausted.

Next week the classes at uni starts and that will mean more work for everyone involved as scheduling becomes even more impossible and finding people becomes a major challenge.

I have decided not to continue for this year. It is time for a year off for me as I feel I need to look after my health issues, intermittent chest pains and the high blood pressure seems to be taking a piece of me everyday bit by bit. Thankfully the chest pains turns out to be related to breathing issues due to nose and sinus blockage rather than anything coronary related.

The Alfa is giving problems again, the starter motor had completely gone and since I have no intention of replacing it I have just opted to park the car on slopes or jump start it. I actually sold the battery which was fairly new a few days ago.

Since I got a whole week off, I have decided to rent a car and do some traveling around.

Yesterday for the first time I explored a lil more of southern Tasmania, around Dover and Hastings. I finally discovered that after Hounville there are actually little to no places to eat. Usually anything available tend to be some shitty deep fried fish and chippies shop.

The Hyundai Getz which I rented ain't a bad car, but I finally realized why it just never caught on in more developed countries. For the most part, this car is rather wallowy in ride and it is not exactly a spirited drive. Gearshift is vague and rubbery, and well for the most part it fits the typical korean crap car impression I tend to have for most Korean built products.

Hastings has an impressive cave which is well worth a visit if you are into this type of outdoor activities.

The other thing that is really worth looking at is the steam train if you are an enthusiast. Personally I love this type of stuff.

Today am doing another trip down south, going to explore a lil more here and there. Hopefully do some fishing as well.

Damn I can't wait to get out of the house as it sure is getting hot again.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hobart in the summers.

Summer season is here, it is hot, it is humid and at nights it is cold though every now and then it is muggy.

I generally do not like summers that much even during my days in USA I preferred those cool days of spring and the balmy autumn weather far more than summers. But my favourite season has always been winter.

Summers I have never liked, you may say that I should be used to it since I hail from Malaysia. Yes that is true, but in cooler climates your homes as well as buildings generally do not have any air conditioning and the buildings tend to be better suited for the hot climate. In cold countries homes tend to be built in such a way that the heat needs to be retained.

My bedroom as it faces west tend to get the hot evening sun. I really DO need an aircond but that is out of the question.

Today however it is a bit rainy, which is good. Water restriction has set in already.

Weekend off is such a luxury.

So whats been new lately?

Well not a whole lot, still working like crazy.

I finally got myself a car, it is a 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta. It was a cheap deal that I couldn't resist only AU$400 and it still had 7 months rego left on it. Rust is definitely a problem with this car, it will need new floor boards soon. I will just drive this thing till it drops and well I must say I have driven nearly everywhere with this car already :D

Virtually all of southern Tasmania I have been to already.

I always wanted an Alfa, and finally I have one. The sound of that dual cam engine roaring away each time you floor it is just unbelievable. Now if only it had an airconditioner. The starter motor is on it's way out, there are a few things that I need doing to this car as it is a tired one having covered nearly 350k km already. Amazingly it still can do 110km/h or so and stop within reasonable distance. Fuel economy is not this car's strong point though.

Yesterday had a few too many to drink. Was at Isobar till the wee hours of the morning and then a stop at Mykonos for a late snack. Gosh it was rough.

Now that the internet is connected and it is good too.

Been downloading Prison Break Season 2 and thats the series I been keeping up with.

Headed out to the market now, as it is Saturday and it is time to go see the Salamanca Market and see how is it like in the summers. Plus could do with a meal as well.

Friday, February 9, 2007

New toy today.

Heh got a new toy today.

The N70 after a year of abuses is slowly starting to act up here and there.

Decided it was time to get a new phone, originally thought of getting the Sony Ericsson P990i but at close to AU$1800 for the handset, the budget just doesn't stretch that far.

So what did I get instead?

Decided that the phone must have 3G capability and at least a 2MP camera like the N70 and it must not be made by a Korean company.

Finally after some testing around, decided to take the N80 for the sole reason that it exceeded the specifications that I wanted and it also had the WiFi capability, not that I was after that capability though :P

Opted for the black as been having the silver for the N70 and thought it was time to get away from silver stuff for a while.

So far nothing to be disappointed with it, reception is good, the data is quite fast. But sadly trying for any WiFi hotspots is not the easiest thing in the world around Hobart.

Anyhow the phone works well.

What am I going to do with the N70, well it is not yet condemned so I reckon it must still worth a few pennies here and there.

Will see what happens when I head back to KL.. more than likely will just give it to Dana and let her use it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

3 Days OFF!!

Gosh work is really killing these days. Sometimes I wonder what the heck is the meaning of this. I wake up at 4 each morning I am on duty, drive as if I am in rally often breaking all the speed limit laws to get to work then do a job till all my energy is gone then I go home.

At home I have a quick bite then I doze off for a couple of hours, then I wake up cook dinner and the next day's lunch and mess around the house here and there and go to bed and the day starts again.

Since the start of this week I have been given supervisory powers, which means I get to scold those goons who don't work up to standard, I must say every now and then I do enjoy it as well.

But enough about work already.

Tomorrow is 3 days off, today went for a medical check up, blood pressure is still rather high, weight is down. I did my enrollment for next semester today. But somehow I feel that I should take a break, maybe a year off would do me good.

But will see if that is possible or not before I make such decisions.

Now that I have 3 days off, what do you think I will be doing?

Well today I did my grocery shopping for the next 2 weeks.

Tomorrow I will get some rest. I am gonna sleep in and not worry about waking up.

The day after I reckon I will go look for a car. Then at night will go for a good dinner and then head for a clubbing session.

The final day off I hope to maybe go out of town.

Anyways that is all that can be written for now, need to jet as the lab is closing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Lots of work lately.

My hopes for a weekend off was severely dashed.

Worked 7 days in a row and on average 9 hours per day.

Today I finished work early and decided to reward myself a lil.

I bought me self a new outfit and also treated myself to my first meal out since I started working. It has been either pizza, sandwiches, or some chinese stir fry since work started. Am pretty keen to not have to do it for awhile :D

Anyways I decided to do some Japanese. Buffet. Damn it has been awhile. Hobart doesn't really have any good Japanese restaurants but some are better than others.

Still no internet at home, hope it will come soon enough.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

I have not done anything lately.

Since last post till today I have done nothing but work nearly 12 hours each day.

The salmon plant is not an easy job, in addition to it being nearly 2 hours on the road each day, the work is quite demanding.

Right now I am just learning the ropes on the safety practices observed, the cleaning procedures and the standards required. Thankfully do not need to do the packing as that's left to others.

There are 2 shifts each day.

Basically the plant is located near a river mouth and the salmons are reared in pens. This is a very common aquaculture way of producing fish and it is arguably the most environmentally friendly manner of having your fish. It can be disputed but it is widely accepted that this is generally the cleanest form of fish as well.

The first shift begins in the day generally around 3pm or so, and pumps are activated in the pens to vacuum the fish into the factory onto a conveyor belt where you have to kill the fish and the fish is moved into large bins (similar to that used in a dumpster) Along the way the fish blood is drained and water is sprayed on the fish and it drops into a bin and ice is pumped into it. There are only about 10 or so people working and each are expected to kill around a fish every 3-4 seconds.

The bins are then stacked up and this goes on till around 10 or so or until the production target is reached.

The other shift begins at 6 in the morning.

On this shift there are several roles that one will have to do.

The first role is the grading table, where a forklift dumps the salmons onto this table and you got to feed it into different slots. Each slot corresponds to a different type of grade the fish is between premium and all the way to discarded.

From this grading station it goes into a Gutting machine, here you stand on a platform and feed the fish into this conveyor belt and this machine made by this company called Baader will slit the belly of the fish, and using a combination of vacuum and high pressure water blast will clean the salmon guts and stuff away. Fairly easy actually this process, but it does not clean the fish out 100% therefore human intervention is still required. Every now and then, this machine will get stuck and you gotta find out why and quickly remedy it so the production does not get hampered.

Should the machine stop, the fish will go from the grading table straight to the human table which is basically this round table and here humans do the cleaning.

At this station, the fish first arrives on a pile up table and you have to remove the gills, and then place it on the rotary carrousel where you use this J hooked knife and slit the fish open from the anus. Then using a spoon like end, you remove much of the guts and anus and you cut up the part where the blood of the fish is still at.

Then someone with a vacuum apparatus will vacuum away the blood.

The fish is then moved onto another conveyor belt where it is graded and cleaned, this conveyor belt is the busiest area of the factory as it is also fed fish from the gutting machine.

You must very quickly remove the gills and then someone with vacuum like apparatus will clean up the entire fish to the standard required.

Then it is weighed and sent to the packaging area.

The packaging area is quite simple really, though it is quite sophisticated in it's own way. Again all the equipment is made by Baader which is from Germany if I am not mistaken.

Basically someone in the office will type out who needs what fish, some of the fish from this small lil factory will go as far away as Japan and nearly every corner of Australia.

The packaging machine will sort the fish according to weight then each of the fish is dropped into a polystyrene box and filled with ice. The box is then sealed up and sent onto trucks.

However not all fish are sent away to customers. Some are sent away to be further processed. Many are sent to a freezing plant where the fish is just kept frozen till the winter months when stocks are low, this ensures a constant supply of fish in the market.

Some of the smaller fish are sent to a plant where they are smoked.

Then there is another batch of fish, usually that looks a bit ugly or deformed or damaged by the machines and can no longer be sold to customers as premium fish, it is sent to a processing plant where it is deboned and filleted. Every now and then I will be sent here.

I am looking forward for next Thursday when it is payday. I have already clocked in 60 hours in 5 days of working.

However I am more looking forward to next Saturday when it will be my day off, officially at least. I hope I could get Sunday off as well but it is highly unlikely that will happen as the factory is on short stuff.

Oh oh and please eat more salmons so I continue to have a job.

Also in case you are wondering, yes I DO get to bring salmons home :)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year

It has been that time of the year again.

Christmas came and went just like that.

For xmas we had a rather interesting time, had a bbq session which was well a little too cold as it was raining non stop for much of the day and trying to get the coals going was rather difficult. But it happened and it was good.

Did not really buy any gifts for anyone this year as am a lil tight on funds and in reality don't believe in buying gifts.

But it ain't too bad today. Yesterday was New Years, a bunch of us just cooked and had some drinks at home while waiting for the fireworks to go off.

After that we made our way to the city and had some fun and back home and finished up our drinks over some game of cards.

Won nearly $300 from blackjack. Not bad consider I just borrowed $40 from my housemate since I had no cash on me that night. Blame it on beginners luck.

It is still freaking cold considering it is supposed to be summer.

Anyhow tomorrow I start a new job, though wish I could have a lil longer break.

Will start working for a salmon producer. But every day it is gonna be a 1 hour journey to get to work.

Guess time online is gonna be on the barest minimum as there still does not exist any internet access at home.