Melbourne versus Sydney

October 27, 2009 § 2 Comments

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That is an audition of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ at Federation Square in Melbourne.

Spending 2 nights in Melbourne is almost like going to a whole different country. Everything is different. Although I’ve been there countless times, it still feels like a whole different world everytime I step foot there. Fine, I’m exaggerating, but as the feud between Melburnians and Sydneysiders sees no end, it’s pretty clear why Melbourne outshines Sydney in many ways. Before I get bashed up by Sydney – RELAX! I would never give up living here. However, there are many things we do fall short of.

Among the few things that Melbourne trumps Sydney is art. Melbourne has got outstanding art. From buildings to street art to furniture and fashion, it wins. Everything is designed. From the artwork on the bridge to sculptures everywhere in the city. I liked it.

Towers. As in high observation ones. Ones where those with extreme vertigo get sick just thinking about going up there. Somehow I was convinced to go to the Eureka Tower to visit the Skydeck. It is apparently 300m above sea level. Not only do you get to go to the Skydeck, but for a mere extra $12 you get to go to THE EDGE. At first I was stupidly agreed to go. Luckily you can only buy tickets on the 88th floor, so once we got up there, I quickly (and cleverly) chickened out, after witnessing wild gusts of wind knocking against a 3 x 3m glass box suspended 88 floors above Melbourne. 88 floors! I do not want to look down a glass floor 88 floors down to the street and pretend I am floating. Luckily, I am afraid of heights. Yes, I am not unproud of it.

Anyway, the point I was making is, even for someone with extreme vertigo, I admit Eureka Tower is better than Sydney Tower.

OH! I should talk about things in Melbourne that do suck. Left hook turns suck. I drove a car one time there, which was most definitely the last time. Can someone please explain why a car should stay on the left lane while wanting to turn right? Yeah, trams. It is a dangerous act of road behaviour. I don’t care what anyone says. Left hook turns should be banned.

St Kilda beach sucks. It sucks so much I wanted to go back and embrace Coogee beach in Sydney straightaway. And the weather. I do not even want to talk about it. People wearing scarves and hats in spring. It is insane. Although apparently I had missed a bit of wild weather over the weekend in Sydney. Rain! Lots of it. Where was I? Enjoying the cold sunshine in Melbourne. And now, winter is back in Sydney. Boo.

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Prague!

October 23, 2009 § 1 Comment

Recently I had been feeling nostalgic for lands long forgotten. I mean I miss travelling, and had been reminiscing about all the cities I visited last year. Lately, my body has been craving for Czech food. Ever since I left Prague back in February this year, I realized one of the best things about it was the delicious food. It was good, plentiful, and cheap. For those who don’t know, Czech food consists mainly of pork, duck, bread dumplings and sauerkraut. Note to vegetarians: don’t go to a Czech restaurant if you are adverse to meat.

A few weeks ago I read an article that suggested that one should try Prague in Kings Cross, should one ever feel the nostalgia for Czech-related morsels too much to bear. So last night, finally, I checked it out. Or should I say, CZECH-ED it out. Yes, ha ha, I am rather funny.

The minute I sat down at the table and glanced through the menu, I knew I wanted to try every single dish on it. Golden roasted young duck or succulent pork neck? Tasty pork knuckles or grilled meat skewers? Sauerkraut or sauerkraut? So many decisions, and after some quick minutes of pondering, the companion and I agreed that the Traditional Bohemian Party Dish, which had a bit of everything, would satisfy all cravings. At least for the night. Another note: bring at least one eating companion who likes meat equally as much, and, you will then truly and surely enjoy yourself.

Since I’m not much of a food reviewer, I shall say one thing. YUM. Everything was YUM. Wine was YUM, and even strange beer mixed with Coke was YUM. I would also point out that service was excellent, with ‘authentic’ Eastern European waitresses to serve your dining needs. It was a great night, and it was one of the best Thursday nights I’ve had in ages. And that’s saying a lot. So, folks, CZECH IT OUT. Ok, I’ll stop saying that.

Reality bites

October 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

The old man was right. It was early last year when during a moment of insanity I decided to seek answers from a fortune teller. I was visiting my parents in Malaysia and chanced upon a palm-reader who was apparently rather famous, which I cleverly deduced from his many published accolades plastered outside his ‘office’. This I took as a sign of non-fraudulence, and as I stepped into the 3 x 3 meter room subtly decorated with hanging curtains and various gizmos, I sat down on the wooden stool to be greeted by Master Chin.

During our short 15 minute session, Master Chin not only revealed that I was to have a challenging few years ahead of me, but also suggested that the one making it hardest was to be me. I was skeptical. In hindsight I can see that what he had said was vague and general, but now I think there might have been some truth to what he had alluded to. Having stood at that fork in the road last year, I chose a path. It was a path no normal person would have gone down, but I was impulsive and wild. It was an unknown path at that time, but deep down inside my heart I knew it had to be taken. It has been long and often dark. It has broken my heart over and over again.

Every once in a while, I flip through my travel photos, play a few videos, and reflect on the amazing places and people who I’ve encountered along this path, and know that it will lead somewhere, eventually. It’s the only thing that makes my life real.

Confusion galore

October 17, 2009 § 2 Comments

Sitting at home on a Saturday night with nought for company except my own delirious mind, I can’t help but wonder about the state of my current situation. Early last month I bit the bullet and went to work a temporary job. I took it knowing I would be doing tasks beneath my qualifications and accept a big pay cut. Gnawing my knuckles throughout the entire 6 weeks, I became anti-social and I’m pretty sure I’ve made some office enemies during my short stay. But that was quite alright because I stayed knowing I would leave, and just could not see myself going back for even one zombie-fying day. So I told the upper management exactly that.

However, upper management turned around and decided to offer me a full-time job, at 10% more than what I was paid before I left Sydney. WTF? I hesitated. Although some would argue that given the GFC, I really can’t ask for more, why then do I have the same sinking feeling I had when I left Sydney exactly 12 months ago? Coming back was supposed to be about being able to turn over a new leaf, not going back to the old one.

Weighing my pros and cons, I have decided that it would be unwise to refuse the offer. I do hope it’s only temporary. REALLY temporary. There is more of me, yet to come, and it cannot be revealed being an office zombie, working on projects I care nothing about and with people I care less about. This, I realize, is not a good attitude at all. But if happiness could be measured, working in this office would not be part of its defining parameters. In fact, it would contribute to measuring sadness. I have copious amounts of that at the moment. See? Money really doesn’t buy happiness.

I smell trouble

October 12, 2009 § 2 Comments

Just some of the many things that makes me, me, are a few things – neurotic, neat, impatient, stubborn, short, and the list goes on. One of the things I’m not, is religious. Which I find very ironic seeing that I’ve currently spent almost 6 weeks working in an office filled with church-related work, people, and various religious paraphenalia. While I totally support freedom of religion and what-not, I do find myself taken aback when strangers who are religious approach me and not only make conversation related to religion, but try to convince me to go to their side.

Here are a selection of questions that I’ve been asked recently, and not just at work:

– Do you go to the CCC? (Chinese Christian Church)
– Do you want to come and check out my church?
– You know the Christian channel?

Usually I just say I don’t go to church. But occasionally I do find myself being tempted to say that I’ve sinned so much in this world that no church will ever accept me. To which I related to a friend who cleverly responded that it would prompt them to work harder to convince me to go to church so that they can save my soul. At this I pondered. And guess what? I’m Buddhist. No one can save my soul. I hope no one gets offended.

Another day in the life

October 10, 2009 § 2 Comments

I wish I had a weird and wonderful story about my absence. But I don’t. However, amongst the many uneventful things that has occurred in the past 2 weeks, I do have some highlights to share:

– Heard my neighbour having very loud sex. From what I could gather, it was fairly good. It was a cheerful end to an otherwise cheerless night.

– Finishing up my agonizing contract work next week. Goodbye to water views and screaming children from Luna Park.

– Got a temporary (reluctant) housemate.

– Hosted my second couchsurfer, this time a girl from Chicago. It was a rather neutral experience.

– Printed my e-book manuscript, which was fun. Randomly posted it to some publishers, but I’m not crossing my fingers.

– Have a pretty brand spanking new Ipod dock, courtesy of the lovely companion. Music never sounded so good!

– Watched the movie ‘Moon’. Recommended for Sam Rockwell and its unexpected sojourn into ‘what the?’ halfway through.

– Embracing the Sydney winter which decided to make a comeback.

– Flipped and got the new Dan Brown novel after all. Good mindless company throughout all the wet weather, as long as you don’t expect too much out of it.

– Planning my next escape from reality.

Where Am I?

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