Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Bye 2014, Welcome 2015 :)

2014 will end tonight. Time really flies! Especially this year, I really didn't feel it was that long ago we were counting down to new year 2014, but here we are, about to do another count down to 2015.

Many and many things have happened this year, especially the bad ones... I do have to squeeze my brain hard thinking what were the good things that happened this year. I really hope 2015 would be better than 2014 for everyone.

2014 was full of accidents and terrorism. Ferry accident in South Korea killing pretty much a whole year of students. 2 accidents of Malaysia Airlines just in the gap of 3 months. 1 was accidentally shot down by either Russia or Ukraine, none of them admitted yet. 298 people onboard. The other one with 239 people onboard was missing while flying between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing (I think) and still not found until now. The search team was searching for weeks but still nothing was found. Another plane accident happened in Taiwan mid 2014 due to weather. And just to end the year, Air Asia flying between Surabaya and Singapore lost contact an hour into the flight on 28 Dec. There were 162 people on board. Yesterday, Indonesian SAR team found some debris and dead bodies of the passengers floating on the sea 10 km from where the plane made their last contact. It was Air Asia's first accident.

2014 was full of terrorism too. ISIS was busy this year beheading people and broadcasting it to all over the world. A lot of fanatics both men and women flew to Syria to support Islam. Men to fight, women to be sex slaves. It's not just rumor, some people did depart to Syria from Australia to help. Early 2014, Sydney had text messages circulating about ISIS planning to grab and behead random people in Martin Place. And Sep/Oct 2014 police caught people who planned an attack. And just 2 weeks ago, Martin Place siege happened. A gunman taking hostages of 17 people for 17 hours. The siege ended when the hostages tried to escape when the gunman starting to doze off. The gunman and 2 hostages died.

There are other things too I.e. Thailand military taking control of the government, and Hongkong protests. There was Taliban school shooting in Pakistan too the day after Martin Place siege took place. 145 people died, mostly school kids.

Many crimes happened. I'm not going to list all of them, but the ones that made big news were the killing of Ade Sara by her ex and the new girlfriend and a mother killed her 7 children and another child.

And a lot of celebrities passed away this year, including Robin Williams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Although on the bright side, Little Prince George is growing up cutely.

The only good thing I can think of was Jokowi was inaugurated as Indonesian president. But even that didn't happen  smoothly, a lot of drama happened just to make him the President of Indonesia. But at least he was finally inaugurated and we now have a president who actually wants to work :) the second good thing I could think of was close to Jokowi too. With him taking the post as President, Ahok, the Vice Governor of Jakarta by default becomes the Governor of Jakarta. Again that didn't happen as smooth and I was again glued to Kompas and Detik to read all the news about protests and demonstrations to not let him become the number 1 guy in the capital. But finally he was inaugurated as Governor of Jakarta by his former partner in crime, the current President :) and he got a partner that he chose himself to help him lead Jakarta. That partner seems to be a good guy and seems like he wants to do work too.

2014 was also the year of ALS Ice bucket challenge. Though seriously, a LOT of people just did it for the sake of taking the challenge and not to spread awareness or donate for the cause.

Although 2014 was not all happy memories, at least people surrounding me and I are all living well. So it is still a good enough year to us :) Let's just hope for a better year for all of us in 2015 and let's begin the countdown to tonight's midnight fireworks!!!! ^^

Cheers!!! :))

Friday, December 26, 2014

Korean Food in Berry Sq

One day last week I was busy and could not get out to buy lunch. Little Missy was so nice and offered to go buy me when walking back from North Sydney. So I told Little Missy to buy me anything, and the Korean lunchbox was what I got.

Yep, luckily North Sydney has Korean food in Berry Square food court. It's called Bimbab I think. They sell bibimbab, kimbab and lunchboxes. It's reasonably priced too. I can't remember all the prices, but normal lunchbox with rice cause $7. So when I don't want to spend to much money, that is what I will get. In addition, when I feel like dieting, they have the option to change the rice for brown rice for $1 extra (though brown rice really doesn't keep me full more than an hour -.-).

They also have sashimi bibimbab which I haven't tried. I've eaten their bibimbab for so many times and I like it. You can add fried egg too to it. They have a few selection of sauces for bibimbab, I.e. miso, soy sauce, traditional spicy beef and vegetarian spicy sauce. I usually get the traditional sauce. I keep telling myself I will try their sashimi bibimbab one day, but still haven't got the chance yet. It should be nice during summer :)

Okay, back to how nice Little Missy was. These were what Little Missy bought me, Tuna Kimbab with fried chicken and prawn lunchbox and melon flavoured soy milk. I did ask him to buy me sushi and soymilk. I was thinking of sushi or onigiri, so with milk I should be full enough. But I got lunchbox instead.

That's all good, but... I don't like tuna T___T and I don't like melon T__T well not to the point I won't eat them, but I wouldn't choose them for myself. Well at least the tuna is in sushi, less tuna flavours. And the melon flavoured soymilk turned out to be okay. Lucky lol!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Martin Place Siege

Can't believe another week has gone past... Last week started off with a major terrifying event. Just at 9:44 am on Monday, a man walked into Lindt Cafe at Martin Place with a shotgun and took everyone in the cafe, both customers and staffs, as hostages. He had them stand at the window with hands pressed on the glass holding Islamic flag. Then the 17 hours siege begun.

My colleague forwarded the news to me about half hour after it started. From then on, I had my mind on it and kept checking the news every time I could. Martin Place was soon made exclusion zone. The buildings in close proximity were immediately evacuated. The other buildings within exclusion zone were soon locked down by police. No one can come in or leave the building. Martin Place station was closed and no service going between Central and Bondi Junction. The peaceful and usually busy Martin Place soon became an eerie and frightening place.

I have some relatives and close friends working around Martin Place. My cousin works just a block away from Lindt Cafe and few other friends work around the area too. Throughout the day we kept emailing or texting checking how it was, whether they were safe or whether they could go home.

Few hours after, Opera House and NSW art gallery were closed. There was also news that a suspicious object had been found in Opera House. It got even more scary.

When that happened, we didn't know much of the detais. We didn't know how many gunmen were there and how many people were being hostages. The news only said at least 1 gunman was there. Some news said there were 13 hostages while the others said 40-50 people were in the Cafe. And we didn't know why the gunman actually wanted too..

The siege carried on till afternoon. I was already running out of data, only had 45mb left to use in 3 days, but I couldn't stop myself to keep talking on whatsapp to get some updates.

Around 4 pm, 3 hostages got out. We didn't know if they escaped or were let go. An hour after another 2 got out. Police didn't tell us anything and no further information such as how many gunmen were there or how many hostages exactly.

It went on and on until night. Still no news eventhough my family was all glued in front of the tv until we went to bed around 11 pm. Even when I was in bed, I still checked on

Then I woke up the next day and straight away checked my mobile phone. The message on my whatsapp was from my sister's, "It's over. 2 hostages died..."
Part of me was relieved it was all over, but the other half was sad that 2 people innocently died. As the news described, it was bittersweet...

Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson died that day. I bet they didn't think when they went to work that morning, that they wouldn't be coming back... I also bet, never in their life they thought that their deaths would be mourned by most people in Australia and a lot of people all over the world. Martin Place even until now, has been transformed into sea of flowers. Not by government, but by the people. Their colleagues, their families, workers in Martin Place, and even people who live further away from the city spare their time to come to Martin Place to place flowers or notes for them. The sea of flowers continue to grow. On Saturday, my friend on his way back from Brooklyn (about 1.5-2 hours train ride from Sydney CBD) met an elderly couple who brought flowers with notes written "To Katrina and Tori". That's the extent of efforts people do.

If I have to find 1 positive thing this siege has brought us, I would say it shows us how people still care about other people. And that people are still compassionate. And wether you are religious or not, that Monday had almost everyone in Sydney and also anywhere else in the world to pray or at least kept hoping all day for the safety of the hostages. That is something, isn't it?

It also started #iwillridewithyou campaign. It started when a woman on the train saw a Moslem woman quietly taking off her hijab after the siege began. When they got off, the woman chased the Moslem woman and then said to her, "Put it back on. I will walk you home." The Moslem woman then hugged her and cried, and then left. The next day after the siege ended, a lot of people posted #iwillridewithyou on instagram and offering company or car ride for people who are scared to go to work alone. It's true, one evil person having certain religion, doesn't mean everyone in that religion is evil too. And it is nice to know that a lot of people are open-minded and not attacking everyone in that religion. If it happened in Indo to minority race or religion, the majority people would start attacking the minority group as shown in history.

Rest in peace, Tori and Katrina. I wish your family and friends strength and courage to move on...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

All is Because of Money!!

I just realised today that all issues appear because we don't have money *nodding*

I went to some houses inspection today, and while the price was quite reasonable for the location, type of house, and the house age, I kept questioning it and kept trying to find the fault of it. I said to myself, the location is really good, and the house looks quite new and it is not that old. However, I also said to myself, but the house doesn't have double bricks! It's made of gyprock! And there is only 1 bathroom and the courtyard is not big. But then I said to myself again, but you all loved it the moment you stepped into the house!! Isn't that what matters?

Then it just hit me! It all because I don't have a lot of money -_-! Imagine me having a truckload of money. I wouldn't worry about all of those. If I like it, then I would buy it straight away! I don't need to worry if the price worth it. No need of building inspection, pests inspection, etc etc.. Once I don't like it, I can always resell and find another one I like, isn't it? Also, I wouldn't be telling myself I don't want a swimming pool because it's troublesome to clean, and costs a lot to replace the water. If I have a lot of money, I can hire someone to clean it every week. And replacing the water won't be an issue anymore. Right?? Who actually doesn't want to have a swimming pool?

Now where can I find that truckload of money? Hmmm....

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Being a girl is hard!

It is definitely hard being a girl. First, you definitely have an uncomfortable, messy and moody combined week every month. The constant worry to check the back of your dress, the bad stomach pain and back pain, dizziness, and some food you shouldn't have in order not to make it worse. But if you don't get it this month, you get worried if something is wrong. Hard eh? It's like you don't wanna see someone, but you wanna see him/her too!

Second, apart from that annoying week, there is a week 2 weeks before the annoying week where you can turn into a complete BITCH, and a pig. Literally a pig. When all you can think about is food. The constant craving to eat certain thing. And when you're full, your tongue still wants to taste another flavor and you can't not give in to that. For my case, this week is worse than the previous one. My emotions go through the roof and the volcano inside me explodes in 1 second with just the simplest comment or gesture -_- that, trust me my friend, is VERY energy consuming. So when you become the target of my volcano, remember that both of us are at least equally pissed. I still think I waste more energy than you though :P

Third one, after that 1 week of that eating, you are left with extra kilos that you desperately want to get rid of. It's not as easy as getting them on!!!! After that 1 week, usually I lose all appetite. My tummy grumbles loudly but my mouth doesn't have appetite to eat. Though it's annoying, I actually feel grateful for it. This is the right time to go on a diet yay!! But unfortunately it doesn't last that long. 3 days max and you're back on your usual appetite. Damn!! -__-

Fourth is the clothes. If you are a girl, have you ever open your wardrobe and looked up to bottom, left to right and complained, "I don't have clothes!". My sweet cousin once said, "Then what the hell are all those clothes hanging in front of your eyes???". Girls need clothes for so many occasions, and then the matching shoes, accessories and bags! Last week, my female colleagues were busy thinking what dress they should wear for our office Xmas party. Even going to the extent of buying new dress or accessories to go with it. I already had something in mind, I just needed to put it on to make sure it still fits (i did put on some kilos after my holiday T___T and no it hadn't disappear >>>__<<<). So I put it on, and showed it to my parents. My dad then said, "It is indeed hard being women. So many types of clothes for every single occasion. Guys only need shirts, pants, ties and suits. For ALL occasions." See? Even he agrees!

I haven't even talked about make up, gossips, and all the comments directed to girls by unfortunately girls too. I.e. if she wears no make up, people say she can't take care of herself, or "No wonder her husband plays outside". If she is a fulltime mum, they frown and say "Fulltime mum? Why doesn't she help bring money for the house? She has a master degree and just letting it go to waste!". If she puts her children in childcare and go to work, people say she is a bad mum for not taking care of her kids herself. So??? :/

See, I told you being a girl is hard.

Greenwood Barbeque

Today I wanted to eat something warm, tasty and thick saucy kind of thing with rice. So I remembered of the tofu seafood from Chinese bbq restaurant next to Greenwood Yumcha at Greenwood Plaza.

They mainly sell bbq pork, roast pork, roast duck and soya chicken with rice or dry noodle. I've tried roast pork and roast duck with dry noodle, it was good! But my advice to you is to not get the roast duck. It was a little bit smelly. I think their roast pork and bbq pork taste better. The soup they give along with the dry noodle is good too. The price was between $9.90-$11.90 from memory. I think dry noodle with 2 choices of meat cost $11.90. Dry noodles cost 90cents more than rice too.

Apart from that, they also have 2 choices with rice or noodles. They have quite a few selections I.e. honey chicken, salt pepper pork, black pepper beef, hot chili chicken, tofu seafood, some curry, stir fried veggies, pork belly with preserved veggie etc. Last time I tried the tofu seafood and pork belly with preserved veggies. Both were very good. The only thing I didn't like was the pork belly has coriander in it. Not very strong, but enough for you to notice it.

Today I had tofu seafood and hot chili chicken with fried noodles. Told you I want something warm and thick consistency. Have a look at the picture. The tofu seafood is a bit hard to describe. However, the texture of it reminds me of steamed egg consistency. The chicken was alright. It had strong vinegar taste and had a lot of ginger. It wasn't spicy too for me. I might not order it again in the future. The fried noodles tasted pretty good, but had too much cabbage! I'm not really a veggie lover, so I spent some time taking the cabbage out lol. Next time I will stick to rice :P oh, total damage for 2 choices with rice is $9. Not too bad for Greenwood price.

I Love Pho's Pork Roll

I didn't plan to go to Berry Square today, I was actually wanted Subway for lunch. But Little Missy chose Berry Sq. So I thought I will try the pork roll.

Well... In conclusion, when you crave for pork roll in North Sydney, don't go for I Love Pho's pork roll. The bread was hard. Half way eating, my jaw was tired and started clicking -.- the bread outside was not crispy and the inside was hard. They only have 1 type of pork, rather than 3 as the other places have. And they aren't as generous with the salad as the other places. The salad looks sad too :( For people who can't stand chili but like a bit spiciness, get the chili. It wasn't spicy at all. The pate... I don't know, it tasted different. I like liver, so it was ok for me. But for people who doesn't like liver smell, their pate is quite strong smelling. It costs $5.5 for pork roll, $7 if you want soft drink too.

My suggestion is to go to Clock Tower food court if you want pork roll. Viet's Pho's pork roll is better and cheaper too from memory :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vietnamese Food in North Sydney

All I could think about for these past 3 days was food and only food. Then yesterday when I was researching where I could have Pho for lunch, I realised there are 3 places at least in North Sydney. Then it suddenly clicked how lucky I have been to work in North Sydney! True, the price is more expensive than those in Hunter Connection. But I'm pretty sure I can find almost anything I want to eat in North Sydney. So starting from now on, I will try to write every lunch I have including the address, and other similar options :)

My lunch yesterday was Vietnamese Rare Beef Noodle Soup from Pho Express at North Point Food Court, Miller St, North Sydney. It costs $10.90 for rare beef noodle soup, and $10 for normal beef soup. They also have other Vietnamese dishes I.e. combination broken rice - which is ordered quite often but I haven't tried it myself, 3 choices dish (if I remember it correctly, it costs $7.9 for small size. I will try that too one day), and other kinds of Vietnamese vermicelli. Oh, also pork rolls and chicken rolls for around $6. That's a bit pricey for pork rolls, but still cheap lunch.

The noodles were alright. The soup is not as good as Pasteur in the city or the ones in Cabramatta, but if you crave for Vietnamese beef noodle soup, then this one is decent. The meat was a lot though. I kept stirring to make sure there's no meat left, and I kept finding some! So I was happy.

The other 2 places selling Vietnamese food are I Love Pho at top level of Berry Sq Food Court and Viet's Pho at Clock Tower Food Court on Miller St. I ordered spicy rice noodle soup from I Love Pho long time ago and it was ordinary. I haven't tried Viet's Pho noodles, but I love Viet's Pho's Lemon Grass Pork Roll. It's more tasty than your normal Pork Roll. My colleagues GI Jane and Miss Green loved it too. Now I miss them T__T Can't remember the price, but it was cheaper than Pho Express. Well, in general North Point is more exxy than Berry Sq and Clock Tower.

Now I wonder what I should have for lunch today :D and I'm supposed to lose weight -_-!

PS: if one day I say Yellow building, that refers to Clock Tower food court okay? The whole building is yellow, hence the nickname.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Memorable First Times

I might have mentioned that I grew up in a big city. I was also very fortunate to be born to be into an okay family. My parents were not rich, but I didn't have to wait until I grow up to let say, go to shopping malls, or flying on an airplane. However, of course not everyone is as lucky, and I had some friends who did those for the first time when they were adults. The results were kinda funny :p

Let's name this first friend as Hiro. He grew up in a small village in India, not sure what the village name though. Anyway, he said that all his life he lived in that village, never been to the city. He then said, the first time he ever took an escalator was when he was 18. One day he visited his uncle in the city for the first time (seriously, I don't know how big this city is, Bogor is a city, Solo is a city and Sydney is also a city, but I dunno the size. Well, he said it to me as a city). Then, he went to a shopping mall, and he stopped in front of the automatic door, stunned seeing it open and close by itself hahahaha.. :p I know it's normal since it was his first time, but imagining him as an 18 years old stunned in front of the doors is really funny.

Then, he went into the mall, and he found this other weird object. Can you guess? Escalator! He stopped, looked at it up and down, down and up, confused. He said to me, he stopped and thought for a while, when is the right time for me to step into it???? LOL again, keep in mind this was an 18 years old boy :P

Another memorable first timer is the water tap, one of my colleagues. His flight to Sydney was his first time on an airplane. And he flew ALONE. Then, there was this guy named John Smith coming up to him after he got into the plane. Mr Smith asked him if he mind swapping seat with him as he wanted to sit next to his companion. Water tap being a nice guy said ok. Then he swapped seat and swapped his boarding pass too. He thought just like in a cinema, if you swap seat, then you need to swap the ticket too. Then the plane flew to Denpasar, Bali.

In Denpasar, Water Tap needed to get off the plane and transfer into flight going to Sydney. That's when the problem occurred.. he needed to produce his PREVIOUS boarding pass in order to get his connecting flight boarding pass!! Mr John Smith got off in Denpasar, so Water Tap couldn't swap the boarding pass. To make it worse, Water tap was a country boy who didn't speak much English! It was very hard for him to explain the whole situation. the officers kept asking him why did he need to swap the boarding pass just to swap seats? he told them he thought it was like in the cinema! I bet those officers were like what the.... Water Tap was very stressed. He was alone with little English. And he didn't have the phone number of his friend who will pick him up at Sydney Airport. There's no way for him to contact his friend. 

Luckily he had all his university documents with him. He gave all those documents to the officers and told them to check with his university to prove him legal. Now that I think about it, the airline should be able to get his information from the database, showing his passport should be enough. But this happened 12 years ago, so maybe it was like that back then.

The officers then called the university to check Water Tap identity. Luckily the phone call was picked up and Water Tap identity could be confirmed and he could get on to that flight. Until now he's still pissed off with Bali and what he refers to "YOUR people" LOL

Another small funny story is one of my cousin's, Ija. It wasn't her first time flying, but it was her first time flying with non-budget airlines. You know we all get earphones to use for watching movies on the plane right? She never had that with budget airlines. So when she flew the first time with Qantas, she was confused of where she should plug them in. Then she SKSD-ly asked the middle age guy sitting next to her.

Ija:  "First time flying with Qantas, Sir?"

Mister: "oh, no... I've been few times."

Ika: "oh! *excitedly* where do I plug these into???".