Monday, March 31, 2008

Circular Quay, Sydney / March 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Qaisarah!

Listening to: -

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sydney CBD / March 2008

Listening to: -

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wayang Lampu rehearsals / September 2006

Earth Hour is from 8 - 9 pm tonight. That's when households and businesses turn off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for one hour. The idea came out of World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) in 2007 to promote electricity conservation and lower carbon emissions.

We will be at Darling Harbour tonight to watch the city lights go off and on.

Listening to: All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople

Friday, March 28, 2008

Omar, Singapore / February 2008

Up at 6 am. Groggy but managed to have breakfast and walk over to Broadway Mall to get some moolah.

It's 7.20 am and they're not here yet. Let's do some statistics:
  • first time waking up at this (ungodly) hour
  • first time wearing my crocs out (no one wears them here at all except kids, doctors and nurses)
  • first time traveling out of Sydney city
  • 2.5 hours of traveling to get to Port Stephens
  • $100 (or less) is the amount of money I'm going to spend today
Listening to: -

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur / February 2008

I'll be going to Port Stephens with some Indonesian friends tomorrow. From what I hear, you can surf sand dunes and watch dolphins. Woot! Heikal has taken the liberty of teaching some Indonesian phrases, such as:

"Please scoot over" = "Geser dong sedikit" (to be used when I get into the van)

"Gue pengen pipis" = "I need to pee" (to be used when nature calls)

Port Stephens is about 2.5 hours away from Sydney so I'll be gone for the day. It's not a bad plan for the holidays especially when I've not done anything during the Easter break. No Royal Easter Show, no zoo, etc.

But as for now, I'm going to the city for late-night shopping with Sabrina, Nabilah and their friend from Melbourne. Then dinner with Najib. I'm hoping to buy a griller somewhere in between now and dinner.

Listening to: Wow (Radio edit) by Kylie Minogue

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Borobudur / March 2006

I had someone asking me about places to go in Indonesia. It was some guy from Sao Paolo, Brazil. He saw some of my Indonesian photos on Flickr and wanted my suggestion for another place to visit. Caio, who turns out to be a professional photographer with a nice studio - Estudio Manus, has Lombok and Borobudur in his itinerary so this was my reply:

Hi Caio,

Thanks for the message :)
Let me write about the places in point form so that it's easier for you to read:

  • Borobudur (Buddhist temple) and Prambanan (Hindu temple)
  • You can also catch some traditional art performances like Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) and dance in Yogyakarta
  • Mount Merapi in Kaliurang
  • Visit Ketep, where it offers a great vantage point for a spectacular view of Mount Merapi and Mount MerbabuIt
  • 1 hour away from Yogyakarta and you can go by train
  • The town is nice because it has a lot of old Dutch buildings. I think you can rent a bicycle to tour around town
I hope this helps!


Listening to: All I See by Kylie Minogue

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Webcam Shots / 2007-2008

Fahmi will be rockin' NYC in no time! Woot!

While I was at Photojojo last night, I came across Postcrossing - a place where people can sign up to send and receive postcards from random strangers. I, hahaha, did sign up and, hahahaha, asked for an address to send a postcard to. My first postcard was for someone in Finland. I think she's a software designer or something, with a 7 year-old daughter and all. I wrote her a nice postcard. Then of course I got ambitious, right? I just had to ask for another address and Postcrossing gave me an address of a woman in Florida. Mother of 4 who'd like to learn more about the sender's place, culture, weather, etc. So I thought, "hey, I'll be nice and send this family an old school 1953 Qantas advertisement postcard, the one with the lady in a red bathing suit." Then it struck me that, hullo, you don't know much about Sydney, Myra. I had to Wikipedia Sydney to find things to write on this bloody postcard! I gave up writing halfway after I couldn't think of things to say besides the Sydney Opera House, population and weather.

It's the morning after and I feel very stupid for signing up with Postcrossing. I'm not going to send the postcards out.

I. am. not. a. loner.


Listening to: A Hard Day's Night by Goldie Hawn

Monday, March 24, 2008

Light etching / 2007

You're moving too fast for me
And I can't keep up with you
Maybe if you slowed down for me

Listening to: -

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cotton On, Market City / March 2008

Happy Easter Sunday!

Watching: The King and I on telly

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Palette Palette Junkyard Sale / February 2008

The sudden jump from the sunny 26'c to the cold, windy 16'c today has called for winter jackets, coats, jumpers, scarfs, boots and umbrellas to be taken out. The weather don't look good for the next few days.

It's good that I didn't sign up for surfing lessons this coming week!

Listening to: Fallen from the Sky by Glen Hansard

Friday, March 21, 2008

100 year-old building on Broadway, Sydney / Good Friday, March 2008

I tried making friends with Sabrina's brother's new pet ferret this morning. I let it out of the cage so that it could stretch it's tiny arms and slinky body.

furittus, a Latin word for "little thief", not only sleeps 20 hours a day, but it also has the habit of hiding small items in nooks and crannies. They're curious, very energetic and very interested in their surroundings. Did I mention they're carnivorous too?

I don't quite understand why you'd want to keep a carnivorous animal as a pet. They're sneaky bastards! They can take items around the house (toys, forks, keys, shoes, toilet paper roll) and stash them in hidden locations. And apparently, they form attachments to some items and will repeatedly steal the same items if it's removed from their hiding place.

Now, I tried making friends with a ferret this morning without knowing anything I've written above.

I let the ferret out and it ran around the room. Sabrina left the room while I tried to get the ferret to jump onto the bed. It got too curious that it wanted to climb up my dress. It did. I pushed it away. It came back (this must be the attachment thing). I tried to take hold of it, which aggravated it. It bit my left hand. Then it bit my right hand. Then my left hand, giving very little chance for me to shoo it away. Personally, I wanted to throw it away but the ferret's last bite on my right hand was serious. It bit my palm and latched itself there. I, having fears of a chunk of meat from my palm getting bitten off, had to prey the bloody thing's mouth open to release the bite. I got
feddup and carried it to the cage, while the ferret was having a go at biting my hands.

Gila right? Ferrets' teeth are damn sharp and banyak, fyi. I look at my hands and theyr'e just filled with teeth marks.

Sneaky kleptomaniac bastards.

Listening to: -

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yogyakarta, Indonesia / March 2006

Via SMS today

Myra... maroon 5 datang on the 5 April.. u nak gi ke? I pindah next tuesday or wednesday

I nak tlg u pindah. I hv nothg to do nx week

U nak datang the day I pindah or the next day?

Tak kisah. Tues after 1pm ok. Maroon 5 berapa ticket dia?

I rasa dalam 100 kot... malam yang u tolong I tu... tido ah rumah.. then kita SingStar.. then swim.. I rescue u.. u rescue I.. kita tido

Hahahaha (I was really laughing out loud in class!). Bodoh. The best Easter plan ive heard so far

Listening to: Oprah

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Singapore / 2007

My room is connected to one of the many, many courtyards at Unilodge. For most of last winter, it was a quiet courtyard. This semester, however, is a different story. Apart from the new and bigger intake at the beginning of the year for all Australian universities, the courtyard is also the only smoking area in this 'no smoking, no alcohol zone' building. So, yes, people have been socializing in the courtyard, which is nice because it's not too quiet around here.

The courtyard is also where I got to know my neighbors - Ahmet and Osman.

(The other neighbor busies herself with her bf, instead of socializing with fellow 1st Floor neighbors).

"Is there a place called Izmir in Turkey?" was my question that propelled Ahmet (who believes his English is bad and will not speak in English in front of his Turkish friends) to get his laptop from his room and show us (Heikal and I) photos of Turkey. Despite some language barriers, Ahmet managed to describe a bit of Turkish food, places of interest, geography and history. He did a good job and he was terribly proud to show us Turkey. Each photo made him smile and sigh because Turkey, particularly Istanbul - where he's from - is really beautiful. Ahmet's feeling homesick too. I saw a photo of his nephews and nieces on his desktop. I can hear them playing Turkish music next door. "I just come here to learn English then I will go back to Turkey," Ahmet admitted last night.

Then I said, "Ahmet, there's Tarkan right?" Hamid looks at me, in disbelief, and shows me his collection of Tarkan's albums. Extensive. Superbly extensive that it's not even funny! Ahmet played some of Tarkan's songs while we talked the night away.

ps. Happy 12th Birthday, Rach Quek!

Listening to: -

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Annexe / December 2007

Today's headlines from The Star and the Malaysian Insider:
  • Missing files from Perak's cabinets
  • PM to announce new cabinet line-up today
  • "The cause of the deterioration of Malay support for Barisan Nasional must be identified first," says Perak State UMNO Youth chief Zainol Fadzi Paharudin
  • Anwar Ibrahim's announces plans to replace NEP with Malaysian Economic Agenda. The new MEA will keep the Malay agenda and draw up new agendas for the Chinese and Indians. "A color-blind initiative aimed at lifting the fortunes of all Malaysians."
It's going to be an interesting week!

On another note, I was invited to join the Kelab UMNO NSW on Facebook the other day by some dude. I paid them a little visit and found some things I didn't like:
  • Tagline: 'Why Stand on a Silent Platform?'
  • Everything is written in Malay
  • "KUNSW ialah kelab masyarakat di New South Wales yang bernaung di bawah parti UMNO di Malaysia. Walaupun keahlian kelab hanya untuk Bumiputera, aktiviti-aktiviti yang dijalankan bersikap terbuka dan sosial tanpa mengira kaum, fahaman politik, atau umur. Aktiviti KUNSW antaranya ialah get-togethers, sukan, dan sambutan perayaan."
It made me feel uncomfortable. Firstly, what platform are you talking about?? Secondly, why do you have to write everything in Malay? Does writing it in English make you a lesser UMNO-er? While I do support Malaysian Student Organization programs and activities, I do feel that there's no need to establish a club that's for a particular race. We're miles away from home. No need lah like that. You're here. Go out and make new, non-Malay, non-Malaysian friends.

Listening to: Haruskah Pergi by Iwan Fals featuring Indra Lesmana

Monday, March 17, 2008

Newtown / March 2008

Once is a damn good movie with a damn good soundtrack. But Glen Hansard reminds me so much of Damien Rice.

Quick Googling shows that both men are from Dublin, Ireland. No wonder.

Listening to: Fallen from the Sky by Glen Hansard

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sydney Fish Market / 2007

Did I tell you I went to a massage place last year here in Sydney?


[chuckles] Yeah, my futsal friends brought me to this place for a massage. All the masseuse
are Asians. I paid $100 for an hour.

M: Uh okay.

Yeah and they [masseuse] wears costume. You know, like genie...


Nurse, secretary...


And they sit in a glass box. When you walk into the room, it's dark... so you can choose which
girl to massage you. It was good. I picked the secretary and talked to her during the massage. You can also spend another $50 to, er, do other things but I didn't. They say you've not been to Sydney if you've not been to that place.


Listening to: I Have Dreamed by Sean Ghazi

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bondi / 2007

Heading to the beach today. Not Bondi but Coagee, which is quite far from the city.

I'm still sleepy because I slept at 3am. Heikal came around and we sat in the courtyard. We met some Turkish students before heading back to my room to talk about Indonesian history and politics. Supersemar, his grandfather's assassination, his feminist grandmother, Soe Hok Gie, a certain Bandung gambling mafia, etc.

But guess what I got to dream off last night?

Meeting Justin Timberlake.


He performed. I was nearby sitting on a bench. He sat next to me and I became his assistant during his meet-the-fan session.


Listening to: What Goes Around Comes Around by Justin Timberlake, yo

Friday, March 14, 2008

Singapore / March 2008

Thanks to Heikal, I'm a fan of WildBoyz.

The Discovery Animal Planet meets MTV Jackass show is hosted by Chris Pontius and Steve-O. Spanning over 4 seasons, the boys travel around the world to "learn" about wild life and local culture in their tight Speedos. Their learning methods are stupidly funny: performing stunts and acts with animals with no fear (or maybe suppressed fear). Sometimes they even dress up in animal suits and run with the animals they encounter.

Ever since watching it, I've been a closet Steve-O fan. He monkeys around and spends most of the time puking out whatever he tries to eat on WildBoyz. Steve-O, in many strange ways, is my hero.

But Steve-O isn't perfect. He's in hospital at the moment. You'd think he's there because he got attacked by an animal. He's actually on suicide watch after threatening to take his own life (he emailed suicide notes to some friends, blaming it on broken romance).

Get well soon, Steve-O.

Listening to: a B-grade afternoon movie on Channel 9

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Palette Palette Junkyard Sale / February 2008

I'll be making a magazine from scratch for this second and last semester! We were asked to bring in a magazine for today's class and I, konon-kononnya cool, brought in Monocle.

Ya, ya, ya... I'm 10 issues late.

But I do like Monocle. Well, I'm actually in the process of finding what I like about it because the thing is damn thick. Ignoring the ads of high-end brands, the magazine is nice to look at. I like the fact that they use multiple kinds of paper stock and startling photography. The grainy paper, I think, brings out nice hues (and slightly blurrish feel) of the photographs.

As for content, I must say it varies from Finnish border guards to men's sweaters. An eclectic collection of so coolly and far-reaching articles (writers and photographers are sent to over 50 countries to deliver stories).

If only it wasn't priced at $20 AUD.

Listening to: No One by Alicia Keys

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Glebe Market / March 2008

I won't be going to Melbourne for Easter after all. I couldn't find a cheap ticket on Virgin Blue for any day during Easter break. Jetstar's cheap but I was told it flies to an airport that's 1 hour away from the city and it'll cost a lot of money to get to the city. Plus a lot of the shops will be closed.

That leaves me to:

a. Sydney Royal Easter Show
b. A short road trip around Sydney (Port Stephens, Double Bay, Hunter Valley)
c. Maroubra - nonsengs with Nadine in her new pad
d. Unilodge aka stay at home

So how?

Listening to: Daydreams by Adele

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Singapore / April 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Livi Quek!

Happy 6th Birthday, Shazriq!

Aunty Myra

Listening to: Float On by Modest Mouse

Monday, March 10, 2008

Palette Palette Junkyard Sale / February 2008

10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka tells the day of hartal - a mass protest involving a total shutdown of workplaces, offices, shops as a form of strike - on 20 October 1974. Directed by visual artist and activist, Fahmi Reza, 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka explores the event through the eyes of 5 individuals who were part of the movement 34 years ago.

This documentary is available on DVD (RM 10). Alternatively, you can download from here, here and here. If your internet sucks, then just watch it here, here or here. If nothing works, then bring your usb thumb drive around and wait for Fahmi Reza to appear at a social gathering. He'll give you a copy of the documentary.

For more information on the documentary, updates and fan mail for Fahmi Reza groupies, please visit the 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka blog.

For Facebook addicts, there's a fansite on FB for you to join the hartal!

Listening to: Punch Card by Sean Ghazi

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Around the house / January 2007

With very little sleep last night (I was a nerve wrecked monkey refreshing the Malaysiakini website every 2 mins while getting updates through sms from Malaysia), I'm pleased with the general elections' results!

Opposition parties (consisting of DAP, PKR and PAS) have won over 5 states and ultimately, gaining a two-third majority in Parliament.

Anwar Ibrahim describes it as, "a defining moment." On a lighter note, Brian's observation on the results tickles me. His facebook says, "Brian is no longer an Opposition supporter... well, at least not in Kelantan, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Selangor anyway."

That makes the two of us, Brian!

It feels good to wake up to a new Malaysia.

ps. Congratulations, Siva!
pss. See you, Sammy, Shahrizat & Zam :)

Listening to: Elektralow

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Singapore / March 2008

I wish I was in KL at this very moment. I'm not a registered voter but that doesn't stop me from feeling nervous and antsy about it. I'll be checking Malaysia Votes and Sivarasa4Subang throughout the day for updates.

If you're a registered voter, I pray that you are not afraid of change. By not being afraid, you'll know where to place the 'X' today. Vote wisely.

Listening to: Good Life by Kanye West

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bukit Timah, Singapore / February 2008

Mickey, Chip and Dale can tap their feet to the music. If you connect them together, they can actually sync their feet to tap together. I found this on the Queks' piano. Livi, who is turning 3 next month, was the one who revealed the magic of this simple looking toy.

Listening to: Oprah going 'ooh' and 'aah' at a Pilobolus performance on her show

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Around the house / January 2008

Summer is still here in Sydney. Warm sunny days, skirts, shorts, slippers and tanned faces are holding on to the last bits of summer. When (freak) winter comes, the skies will look like the one in the photo.

Listening to: Grey Room by Damien Rice

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Light etching / 20 November 2008

I'm bad at writing so the plan is to post my own photos which (hopefully) will distract you from noticing bad grammar, missing commas and mundane details of my day-to-day activities.

This is getting boring already.


Listening to: Far Far by Yael Naim