Monday, May 30, 2005

Papa mama left Perth

Well, every good occasions will come to an end. Papa mama's one month visit to Perth come to an end. So fast!
The air ticket is fixed, otherwise, they probably would have extend it for another 2 weeks... I'm glad that they enjoyed the stay. :)
I burnt 3 CDs worth of photos and video last night so that they can bring them back straight. Didn't get much sleep due to that.
Woke up 5:30am, went to airport and that was it for this special family month.
My brain doesn't really work now, that probably explains why I'm still sitting in front of computer don't know what I am doing... But my stomach is empty, dilemma... Eat or sleep?

(idle for n minutes...)


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip - Day 28 photo - Mama Birthday, Hogs Breath dinner, Timezone game

Papa mama Perth trip - Day 27 photo - Thira St George Collage, Siok Dimsum, Pottery, shell decorations

Friday, May 27, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip - Day 26 photo - Freo Fishing Museum BBQ

Papa mama Perth trip - Day 25 photo - Kings Park

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 6 photos

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 5 photos

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 4 photos

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 3 photos

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 2 photos

Papa mama Perth trip - UpNorth Day 1 photos

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Back from North

Trip to North of WA concluded today. Six days in a campervan, living like nomads - See whatever we like, stop whenever we like, sleep wherever we like. It's like a snail, dragging our home with us, it's so cool!

We got back to Perth at 9pm. Had dinner at Viet Hua. Now dead tired! We covered 600km to get home today.
More photos and trip diary tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 17

Good trip take time to prepare. We are leaving to North tomorrow noon, so today was spent shopping for stuffs, and packing...

I brought Papa mama to Landmark tonight. Thira told me there's a special intro tonight and we went together. It was good. I refreshed a bit on my Landmark forum and papa mama get to see what it is. It's a bit hard for them because it's in English and there were people with all sort of accents. I'm not sure how much they actually got. But they are open to it if it's conducted in Mandarin.
And I found out that they actually have it in Singapore in English with a Chinese translator. The bad news - the price is almost doubled because of high standard of living in Singapore! We'll see how it goes...

Gotta sleep earlier tonight...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 16 - Perth Zoo

We went to Perth Zoo today.

I thought it's half price Tuesday at Perth Zoo but it turned out to be Wednesday. :(
Well, I have lab on Wednesday anyway. So even if I know earlier, we won't be able to make it on Wednesday...

They have Ipod for hired there. For $3, we get an Ipod loaded with animal information. So, we just choose the animal and play it when we want to know more about the animal. I thought it'll be way cooler if it's bluetooth-enabled and at every animal station there's a transmitter telling the Ipod what animal it is and it'll just play the info of the animal... It's a good start, they'll get there one day...
And to my surprise, I get to keep the earphone when I return the Ipod! Another bodiless headset lying around. :P

We spent a good 6 hours in the zoo. Several cool animal to note: big crocodile upclose, long brushy tail monkey, very human-like Orang utan, weird lizard with tail looks very much like its head, elephants showing off their skill, playful otters running around nonstop, cute fat wombat, etc..

It's great fun going to the zoo. It always reminds me the song that goes like: "Let's go to the zoo, the zoo is very ?good?, the animal is beautiful... there are lion, tiger and leapard....".
Can't remember if it's an advertisement song from Zoo Negara or something from KFC??!! And there are some other weird versions of the it that get my memory mixed up....

We're going up north to Monkey Mia in campervan on Thursday. Time to get everything sorted out and ready!

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 16 photo - Perth Zoo

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 15 - Mama made big dinner

Shopping and cooking is today!

We went to Coles to do some shopping in the morning, then I went to school. Mama started her preparation for tonight dinner. We invited Nola and Rongxin upstairs for dinner tonight.

Mama made fried (pork+prawn+water chestnut) wrapped in beancurb sheet (炸腐竹皮肉卷), curry chicken, beer spare ribs and steam vegies. I cooked my Fuchow beancurb peppery&sour soup. All turned out well. I especially like the beer spare ribs, the beer fragrant exploded in my mouth when I bite the spare rib. Yummy!!!
Nola made dessert - blackberry pie with macadamia nut base & King island cream topping. Super fantastic good!

Papa mama went to bed early because they were exhausted by the whole day of cookings.

Tomorrow we are going to the Perth Zoo. Stay tuned.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 15 photo - Mama made big dinner

Monday, May 16, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 14

Didn't do much today. Shopping, yumcha, shopping, rest.

We went to Subiaco to get fruits and vegies in the morning. Spent some time at an antiques and replicas shop which has quite some interesting stuffs from China. There are caligraphy masterpieces by Linzexu (林则徐) and Xushichang (徐世昌), and some interesting containers, vases, swords and even government contracts from Ching dynastic. Some, the shop owner believes to be real antiques while others are replicas.

Lunch was yumcha at Northbridge Chinese Restaurant (六福). It was a bit of a drama when I absent-mindedly left my car key locked inside the car, without even turning the engine off! (How the hell did that happened!) Well, luckily Kaz, my housemate was at home and nice enough to bring me the spare key for the rescue. While I was waiting for him in the carpark, I played the games on my mobile phone the first time - Bantumi was like Congkak game I used to played back in Malaysia.
We had great yumcha at the restaurant with Kaz and Akira, my two lovely Japanese housemates joining us. The food are great! Fantastic charsiew bao, chickenfeet, siewmai, gaochoi gao, etc.. almost all chicken, pork and prawn dishes. very very good! But the chiongfun was not up to standard, thick and taste a bit floury. The dessert - mango pudding and coconut jelly are so so too, wouldn't order those again.
Also, it's pricey! More expensive than other yumcha places.

After the good meal, we went to the upper William Street - the grocery stretch to get some meat and Chinese groceries supply for tomorrow night big dinner.

Nothing much happen after we came home. Just rest, eat, play some guitar and sleep.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 14 photo

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 13 Freo

Fremantle today.

We followed a city walking map from one of the travel brochure to see bits and pieces of the city attractions.

The highlight of the day was the submarine tour from the WA Maritime Museum. It was the first day on the job for our guide, but he was a submarine engineer for 15 years, and has worked in this particular submarine that is on display.
What's really amazing about submarine is the space inside, which isn't much at all! Everything is sqeezed into tiny little space that is barely enough to work around. Three level bunked-beds were installed within the space about my height. And the toilet is so small that some big bloke can't even close the door when they are in there. :P
The submarine weight about 2500 tons, carries some 20 torpedoes which weight 2 tons and cost $4.5millions each!!

We also went to the Fremantle market for a quick stroll before it closed.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 13 photo Freo

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 12

I woke up late today, slept in and recharged. :)
Had lunch and we went to see the Perth city again. Nothing really special that are notable, we just walk from shop to shop, looked at stuffs that caught our eyes...

We went to Dragon China restaurant (聚龙阁) in Northbridge for dinner. The salt & pepper softshell crab (盐椒软壳蟹) is really really good, quite salty though (durr! read the name of the dish again!!). Papa mama also love it. The combination tofu hotpot (八珍豆腐煲) was good also.
It was actually quite hard to make the order because only 3 of us are eating. Two dishes may be too little, but we most probably won't be able to finish 3 dishes... We ended up with only 2 dishes and it turn out to be only slightly more than enough. Very satisfying meal!
Two more thing to praise are their services and their value-added soup & fruit! The waiters/waitress are very well mannered and warm. They seems happy working there. And they give us free lotus root soup before the meal. That was fantastic soup!! (well, I love soup) We were surprised again by a small plate of free orange before we pay the bill. The total bill was very reasonable also. Can go back to eat next time. :D~

We did some more window shopping before the city closed at 9pm. Then we sat on the CAT (bus that goes round and round the city) for a while to see more of the city and finally got home at about 10:30pm.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 12 photo Perth city

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 11 - Carousel Shopping center & Perth Night at Mill Point

I woke up early and went to school to do some work while papa mama were still sleeping. I came home for lunch and found out that they went to Broadway jetty and did some fishing. They got nothing but blowfish (globefish), :P

Mama made sushi for lunch. Nice! :D~

I went back to school after lunch to attend visvis(Vision & visualisation research group) seminar. Today Hongchuan presented a complete invariant descriptor that can handle translation & rotation. Pretty cool talk!

After dinner, we went to Carousel shopping complex in Cannington. We went there last Sunday when it was close, today we finally got to see it. It's my first time in there as well. We only managed to walk through the left side of the complex.

We then went to Mill Point Road at South Perth to see Perth city skyline at night. A bit cold there. We took lots of photos. :D

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 11 photo 2

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 11 photo - Perth Night at Mill Point

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 10 - fishing at Cottesloe, Nola & Rongxin dinner

This morning, 6am, we set out to Cottesloe beach with Nola, my neighbour upstairs for some fishing. Papa was very excited about it and he stayed up late last night to make sure the fishing rods are ok and there's enough hooks and sinks... It has been long since he had his hand on fishing gears because the river back home is polluted and the artificial fishing pond was closed.

Nola directed us to the destination. It was still all dark when we got there. Wave was rough. Papa put on a first bait, threw it into the water, and within 10 seconds, he got a 25cm brim!! What a great catch!
I later joined in the game as well but I don't have enough strength to throw it far enough out and it was swept right back in within seconds... :(

The sun started to rise when we started our actions. Papa and Nola was busy casting and waiting, I was casting and casting and putting bait and casting and casting and putting bait. Mama was taking photos, eating breakfast and don't know what else she was doing because I was busy casting and casting and putting bait and casting and casting and putting bait...

By 8am, when it started to rain, we still only got the first welcoming catch. Well, we had to leave otherwise we'll get wet. We went to a fishing supply shop and got some more gears - floats, pollard, maggots, fishline, etc.. Papa was happy and can't wait to the next casting. :D

I went to school after that, came home for lunch and back to school for teaching.

Dinner was a fantastic one! Nola and Rongxin invited us to their place for dinner. They cooked so many dishes and they are all great! There are chilli chicken cubes, panfried spiced lamb, sour potato & carrot shreds, big platter of salad, fresh king prawn & scallop on rice, fried crumbed cod fillet, baked brim with pinenuts, and miso soup. We were all so full after the dinner. :D~

After dinner, papa mama told Nola & Rongxin about the Tiens Acupoint magnetic acupuncture device. Nola loves it and after 20 minutes of treatment on her back, she had a big relief on her back pain. She instantly wants to get it and also the Tiens Dream mattress which has great healing effects of alternating magnetic field, negative ion and far infrared ray.
So we looked into the forms and paperworks to sign her into the system and do the purchase so she can has the healing ASAP.
I'm so glad that she accepts that, it'll definitely have miraculous effects on her health and well-being. Just need to wait and see it happens.

Dead tired now. Good night.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 10 photo - fishing at Cottesloe, Nola & Rongxin dinner

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 9 - Fremantle, Maritime museum

Upon waking up this morning, I realised that it is Tuesday. And usually places like zoo or museum are cheaper to visit on Tuesday. So we decided to go visit the Perth Zoo after lunch.
While searching for the brochure I got last time I visited the zoo, i came across the brochure of WA maritime museum and found out that it's free entry on every second Tuesday of a month. A quick calculation shows that it's equal to a saving of $25 for three of us. So plan change and we headed straight to Fremantle.

It took couple of U-turns to finally get a parking at E-shed market, which is very close to the musuem, and took another walking U-turn to realised that it was really very close. :P
So we finally got there, went in and had a tour in the maritime museum. Lots of stuffs about boats, fishing, sailing...

By the time we got out, it's almost 5pm. Most places in Freo are close. So we went to Cicerello, a restaurant famous for its fish & chip. And we verified the claim to be a truthful statement. It is indeed very nice. Another big bonus is that Cicerello has several big fish tanks. There are many diffrent type of corals, starfish, lionfish, 'nemos', crabs, sea cucumbers, etc.. It's comparable to a small aquarium. Papa and I took many photos there. :D

Shall sleep now. Tomorrow we'll go fishing in the early morning.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 9 photo - Fremantle, Maritime museum

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 8

We didn't do much today. Papa mama went for a walk to the end of Broadway and finally got to the river that they couldn't find last week. It took them 2 hours to walk there and back. They were all sweaty when they got back, it was pretty warm today.

We finally booked the campervan this afternoon. It was quite fully booked. The Pioneer that I initially think of getting is booked out till June so we have to settled for the smaller Hi-top. And due to availability, we postpone our trip for a week, so we'll leave for Monkey Mia on 19th and be back by 24th.
Alessandro told me about a company called Britz that does campervan rental, so I called up their office in Perth and got a quote. I then check the internet and found backpackercampervan, called them on the 1800 freecall number and got a cheaper quote of the same condition! And the operator told me that they operate Britz as well?! Strange...

Dinner tonight was great! Mama cook mapo tofu, stirfry bok choy and seaweed soup. Papa mama said the seaweed and bok choy taste a lot better than those back home.

We went to the broadway jetty again tonight. Not raining like last week so we stayed a bit longer. Papa was very keen on checking out the fishing conditions. He can't wait to have his hand on. (Well we'll go fishing on Wednesday morning.)
We also went for a walk around UWA after that and saw the uni at night.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 8 photo

Monday, May 09, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 7

This morning we went to a parent's day celebration at a Buddhist temple at Willetton. There are performances and games there, though not as professional as the play the night before, still entertained us pretty well. A couple of the singers are really impressive! Vegetarian lunch were provided, very yummy!
We had a chat with the reverend and learnt a bit more about the center and Buddhist teachings.

After the temple visit, I searched the map and found that Carousel shopping complex is not far from where we were and thus we headed there. But unfortunately most shops weren't open except for eateries and game arcade. So we went into the arcade and played a couple of games and a game of pool.

After we got home, papa mama was quite tired and they had a nap while I was preparing the mother's day dinner - Grilled salmon, fried zucchini with egg & vermicelli, and bamboo shoots.

At night we watched Sepet, a Malaysian-made film about the love story between a Chinese boy and a Malay girl. Good one!

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 7 photo

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 6

We went Subiaco Station Street Market today. Bought lots of vegies and fruits, as well as a couple of weird funny little toys. Had Indian rice with lamb curry, dhal, spinach, pumpkin and chickpea for lunch. Papa mama like it.
In the afternoon, I went for my usual Saturday Taichi and table tennis sports routine.

After dinner, we went to a Church play. It's at Hamersley, about half an hour drive from my place. Jason invited me, his dad is in it. :D
The play is named "Ah Ying & Ah Xing" (阿英&阿星), the story is about this Ying girl got into drug and the boyfriend Xing wants to help to get her out. Ying's dad is a taxi driver who work long hours and Ying's mom enjoys making herself pretty and playing mahjong with her friends more than taking care of the family. Ying has no one at home to really talk to and she turns herself into drug when she got into a bad gang of friends. Xing on the other hand has close relationship with his parents although his dad is working overseas. And they have strong faith in Christ.
Ying fainted in a park due to drug overdose one day, hospitalised and investigated by police. Her mom visited her in the hospital, had a big quarrel (which is one of the highlight) with her and decided to give up. She then become even more rebelious after.
Eventually bla bla bla, Xing got her out of drug by bringing her to church and her druggy friends also accepted Christ and turn over a new leaf.
They also cleverly use an appropriate song to fill in the blank between each scene. So they have a choir of about 10 people and a band with keyboard, drums, violin, bass and electric guitar.

I afterwards found out that the play is actually written by one of the church member who's formally a HK TV series script writer and director!! It was a very well done play, lots of laughters and tears.
Jason's dad played the policeman, a funny character. Rina and family was there as well.

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 6 photo

Friday, May 06, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 5

Papa mama went for a walk to the river themselves while I went to school in the morning. They didn'eventually didn't make it to the river because it's quite far away and they weren't sure if they took the right route, however, they saw some nice hibiscus and flaky-trunk trees on the way.

I came back in the afternoon and we went to Harbourtown. I navigated and Papa drove. He was a bit nervous and it's like a character swap compared to how he used to instruct me to drive back home and I was all sweatily nervous! We made it to Harbourtown after some U-turns. It was my first time there too although it was opened in late 2003.

Harbourtown basically a shopping complex where many big brands have their discounted factory outlets there. Most things are still quite pricey to my standard after the discounts. We a couple of hours strolling from shops to shops. Mama checked out those woman clothings while Papa and I ran off to search for a nice pair of shoes for Papa. Papa wears a new boots-type shoes here and it's not very comfortable for walkabout.

We saw a pair of nice HushPuppy shoes but decided to see the Nike shop before the final decision. We spent a good hour plus in Nike shop trying out many pairs of shoes. The heavily discounted $30 ones don't have the right size or features. So we were there scratching the head on which one to get... Papa finally had his eyes on a brown-colour rugged-looking pair while Mama got a silver-colour modern-looking pair. There goes my headache for Mother's day and Faher's day presents, they chose their own. :D But easy present ideas comes with big price though... :b Well, at least I know they really like the shoes. That's the most important thing. :)
We also bought many caps because they are on $2 super sale!!! It's good quality Nike cap that is usually $20-$30!! I was very happy with that because I got a matching yellow cap for my yellow jumper.

The food are not bad in the Harbourtown too, Mee Goreng and Seafood Horfun at the Noodle Inn are very authentic, especially the horfun, very good. The sotong(squid) and prawns in it are very fresh and taste fantastic!

One thing wierd about Harbourtown is the parking. 1-4 hours parking cost $1-$4 proportionally. But 5 hours cost $8! A big increase! It doesn't make sense to me!! I realised it when I put some stuffs back into the car before second round shopping. It was just about to hit 4 full hours. So I paid it and drove the car out the carpark, did a u-turn and came back in again, saved $3 in <5 minutes of hassle. Somehow the pay machine gave me $1 short of change and I had to press the 'get assistance' button to get the security and he refunded me the $1 manually.... Rather strange.

After we came out of Harbourtown, I drove to Northbridge to show papa mama how Perth Friday night is like at where it happens. We also had some Bubble Tea at Utopia - Strawberry flavour with Redbean Sago - my favourite. They like it, although it took some practice to suck the sagos up without spilling or chocking. :P

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 5 photo

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 4

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 4

Again, I have teaching to do this morning. Papa mama walked to the nearby Matilda Bay, strolled along the river and back home through UWA.

I came home around 1:30pm and we walked to Hamden Road to get some cheap lunch from Student Cafe - $3.50 chicken rice or nasi lemak. Met Shih Ching and Jason on the way.

I went back to school after lunch. Came home at 6pm and we went to Subiaco, a nearby suburb for some late night shopping.
Papa wears a new pair of shoes and it's really uncomfortable to walk around, so we walked to the Nike factory outlet to see if there's any good deal there. To my surprise, it's already moved to harbour town, a new shopping complex in West Perth! Do'h!
So we just walked around Subi went in and out some small shops. Visited the Pavillion Market and finally ended up in Woolworth supermarket.
By the time we got home, it's already 9:30pm, we had a late dinner - discounted roast chicken from Woollies. :D

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 3

I have lab to attend today, so papa mama were on their own.
They went to the nearby grocery shop (again) and got some really nice big plums. Juicy.... :P~

At night, after dinner, I invited my neightbour Nola to come with us to the King's Park. She walks to King's Park every morning and turned out to be the perfect guide for us. (I didn't expect that, just thought that it'll be nice to bring her along at night)
And I took some really nice long exposure shots of Perth City. The trees were well lit up with various colour lights, so there we had more photo backgrounds.

It was a short 2-hour trip, but well enjoyed. It was a bit chilly in the wind though. After that I had to came back to lab to do some more catchng up with work... :(
AH!! And it's now 1:30am! Tomorrow morning still have Computer Vision lab... Good night! Hope I have good quality sleep. :)

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 3
Kings Park at night with Nola as our guide.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 2

I brought them for some city-sightseeing today: Took a bus down to city, walked to Northbridge (chinatown), turned to the cultural area and had a look at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA).
There are some really weird art in PICA, but I found the instalation art, which a whole room is decorated to be the masterpiece, very interesting. One of them has lots of fragmented sentences written on the wall, which I think is some screamings from the author's heart...

Then we went Taka to had some nice Japanese lunch - eel don, teriyaki fish and chicken karaage. Good as usual!
Walked more in the Hay street mall & Murray street mall, visited the Australian Geographic Shop and were amazed by many cool and cute stuffs.

Came home, ma was a bit tired and sick, she went to bed and I cooked some pasta for dinner. After dinner, I went back to lab to do some work and that's about it for the day.

When I got back from the lab, ma's already in bed, not sick anymore, thanks to papa's acupoint treasure skills! :D

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 2 photo

In front of the mall. City of Perth flag behind. :)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Papa mama Perth Trip: Day 1

Papa mama Perth trip: Day 1

Didn't do much today.
They caught up with a bit of rest they lost due to the night flight. There went the morning.
For lunch, it was my homemade turkish bread sandwich with chicken breast, tomato, sprout, mushroom and cheese. They love it. :)~
Then we chatted and toured around the house, checked out some of my stuffs, prepared for dinner, and went for a walk around UWA, took several photos just before it got all dark.
Then it was dinner - Mom's homecooking. :P~
At night, we went to Broadway Fair for a walk and then the Jety at the end of broadway. But before we could walk past Jojo the restaurant, it started to rain. Then there goes the night out.
Set up bed and then bath and now I'm here ready to Zzzz... (when my hair is dry).

Battery gone flat AGAIN!

Stupid me! I left the headlight on after coming back from airport. It was still rather dark when I went to airport but it was all bright up when I came back. And I thought the car would beep if the light is on and I leave the car, Oh well, it didn't.

Kaz told me about it when he wanted to use the car, and I got Shih Ching to help me jump start it. The nice guy in Caltex station borrowed his own cable to me when I asked him about the price of the cable. I think I'll buy one and put it in my car sometimes...

Crap! :(

Shih Ching told me a good reminder: lock the car when you turn on the light, and when you want to leave the car, you'll be locked and remember to turn it off. I shall put it in practice!

Papa mama arrived

Woke up 6am, got to airport at 7am. Picked them up and went back home. Night flight is bad, they didn't get enough sleep. So they are now sleeping in my room while I come in to lab to do some work. :)

Piled Higher and Deeper

A fantastic comic about PhD students' life. Some are spot-on! :D
Check it out at Piled Higher and Deeper

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Papa Mama are coming to Perth

Two hours ago, they boarded the flight. Stop over in Kuching and shall reach Perth by 6am.
I spent several hours cleaning up my room and the house to make it ready for their arrival. Now it's all good.
Need to wake up early to fetch them. Lack of sleep expected.