Thursday, August 30, 2012

One week, one year

Hi Anna!

Glad you liked that little gift. Aw... it reminds me of the wonderful time I had in Florence with my parents. Strange that it arrived after I've seen you. If only I had known I'd be in Perth I'd given it to you in person.

It's been one week in Perth. What has happened? Well actually not much and I know not much has happened and it is worrying that I haven't taken any photos at all apart from when we went out last Saturday night.

Later on the afternoon I'm picking up my new secondhand car and that really means I have to give Perth a good try. I've spoken to my mentor and I'm thinking of doing volunteer work whilst I wait for my teaching registration to go through. I'm also going to try relief work. We shall see. It is a little scary being unemployed but it's definitely what I need right now. Some time to recover and like my mentor says,  'to recharge my batteries'.

It has also been one year since we joined in on the madness of La Tomatina. I know two separate sets of friends that are doing it this year too. I wonder if they've had experiences of dried seeds flaking onto their pillows the next morning. When will be our next crazy adventure? I'm already missing the travelling and it's only been a week back. However I had a great week catching up with friends and of course wining and dining with you, my perfect Saturday night date. Not even a jaw dropping dead gorgeous hunky dory guy could make it as exciting and fun as you did. I sensed mum suspected I was on a date with a guy. Sorry to disappoint!

Feeling 18 and definitely must've looked it too!
No 26 is not old. You're not 27 yet December baby! What is troubling is looking young and not being able to attract people your age. Like we've experienced, either too old or too young. Like that 20 year old guy. Doesn't help when men tend to look older than their age either.

Anyway, this is just the beginning. Here's to plenty more AnnaandChia adventures!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Can't believe you are here

Hi Chia!

I still can't believe you are here. I can't, can't, can't!

You know that on Saturday, I was getting nervous... what do I wear? How should I do my hair? Damn, I've gained weight over the past few months... Even my mom asked suspiciously "are really just going to dinner with Chia?"

Anywho, I eventually got to Oscars and looked around to find you. When I saw your slender frame and your spunky trademark bun in the distance, I was unsure. I didn't want to get too excited just in case my outdated contact lens were defying me.

But it was you! And I just couldn't believe it. It's been almost a year... actually, as you had rightfully pointed out, exactly a year since I've seen you in person! This time last year we were in Valencia exploring, and getting amped for La Tomatina!

Anywho, I loved catching up with you, chatting about life and stuff! I am so glad that you are finally feeling ready to settle and give Perth a try!

I was thinking about typing about our night, but decided against it. Let's just say, getting hit on a 50 something year old man is never really flattering, and on the other side of the coin, getting hit on by a hot 20 year old, to be then given a look of disgust after finding out our age difference is also just as unflattering.


Why is it that we never get hit on by guys of the appropriate ages? It's either way too old, or way too young!

Kev was a sweety and re-assured me that I'm not old. 26 years old isn't that old right???

Having an awesome time togetherrrrr!

And Chia, another thing that's got me tripping out that you're here is that when I got home today, I found this on my desk:

Mail from the UK?

I was mega confused! But then when I read you card it all made sense! I loved remembering our time in Barcelona when we went shopping and how we found that book/writing store. I'm so sorry I spent forever in there! And only ended up buying one or two things. But you know me so well and have such a good memory! I was looking a wax seal. But they only had one letter per seal, and I wanted to save money.

But when I read your card, I got extra excited...

I lovvvvveeeee the seal sticker!

My new wax stamp!

I couldn't believe it! It's so pretty!!! Thank you so much Chia! I imagine that I light the candles and use the wax from there?

I can't wait to use them! =)))))) Thank you so much!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello Perth and hello Perthlings

Hi Anna!!!!!!!!! Or should I say Sassy Wolf? :P

Excessive use  of exclamation marks. I know I overuse them when I write but of course there is a reason why there are so many this time :) By now most of my friends know that I'm back in Perth and no longer am I halfway across the world and oceans away from you. I'm in the same city as you!

The last week has been tumultuous for me but short story was I missed my friends and family and made the huge decision to be back home. When I was in KL, there were a few sleepless nights and billion thoughts running through my head, but in the end I'm glad that I'm here.  I didn't want to discuss it with anyone because I wanted to make sure it was what I wanted to do. I know it might be selfish at times, but I've always made sure my happiness comes first. I made sure I enjoyed KL as much as I could after I made the decision. I wandered down the streets ducking into little hawker stores for a bite, window shopped, and even went to watch a movie by myself to kill some time before the flight. I forget how cheap it is in KL- 3 AUD for a ticket. I have no idea what I'll do in the next week/month/year but I'm going to take it as it comes and really enjoy and appreciate what I have here.

It was unbelievably good to be stepping out of the airport and on the way home. Mum picked me up in the wee hours and I couldn't stop commenting how clean and orderly everything was. The wide open spaces, the fresh air, the clear morning sky, it seems I've forgotten how beautiful Perth is. Coming straight from KL and becoming an expert in navigating through crowds in London made my trip to the shops to get my license renewed and new sim card extremely... well.. too quiet and calm. I think I expected traffic jams and surges of people to flood through the shops.

I expect everyone will tell me that not much has changed, and I think it's fascinating that not much has changed at all. Definitely helps with the transition. But if one looks into the smaller of things, I think there will be plenty of things that have changed and I cannot wait to hear all about it. I cannot wait to congratulate wedded couples in person. I cannot wait to meet friend's daugther for the first time. Of course I cannot wait to congratulate you in person on your grand final win and to hear your account of the Mudd Rush :)

What an entertaining way to spend the day! It immediately reminded me of Wipeout or one of those crazy Japanese shows with contestants that try to cross a balance beam and unfortunately get bashed by big giant foam hands into mud or something. Out of all the activities you described and on the videos, I think my favourite would be the water slide. One day I'm going to relive and upstage my pre primary days and roll out a huge plastic tarp and have soapy water to make a slippery way down a giant hill. I wish I was there to watch the team go through all the obstacles, what a laugh it would be.

That's all from me for now.  I'll leave you with a photos of food I've eaten in KL and the last of my solo travelling adventures until a long while I think. I might just stay put as a Perthling... we shall see! Looking forward to seeing you and perhaps it will end up as a Mez like night.

Sat here smelling in the smokey wafts of satays while waiting for my noodles. Wished I had room for satays :( Times like these I wished I had people to share food with.

Heavenly coconut juice straight from the shell and wanton noodles.
One rainy night I craved for duck and more noodles!
Late lunch across the hotel. Man in green heaved a whole pile of the briyani rice on my plate and I scooped up and helped myself to some lamb from the bain marie.

Not the most impressive looking plate but believe it was bursting with all sorts of spices and flavours and only over 3 AUD.
Waiting for the lights and on my way to Pavillion Mall to watch The Expendables.Thank goodness it was action. A few tears were shed though! Yikes! I learnt a few Malay words thanks to the subtitles.
Fresh fruit. I hate how regretful I get when I look at food photos. In this case, wished I had the jackfruit on top of the watermelon and guava.
Takeaway nasi ayam or chicken rice. I don't think I even need to mention the price, take a guess!

Smiles but definitely a huge dollop of uncertainty right there and then. My flight didn't leave until midnight so I checked out as late as I could. Can't believe I lugged around nearly 50kg from London with me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Superleague & Mudd Rush

Hi Chia!

Oh what a weekend! I am sore and battle-scarred, but I am loving the memories of the challenge, comradeship and accomplishment of this weekend.


Saturday morning I was nervous about the grand finals. In the previous round our team had won 5 games but lost 2, and to be honest, it shook up my confidence a little bit. To be honest, I think my confidence has been shaken a bit too frequently in the past few months in all facets of my life, so perhaps that is why I was so nervous on Saturday, when really, I had nothing to worry about.

So all morning I was listening to pre-game songs to get me amped up. My ultimate 'pre-game' playlist include:

  1. Amazing - Kanye West
  2. Better, Faster, Stronger - Kanye West
  3. Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
  4. Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
  5. Yeah 3x - Chris Brown
  6. I Gotta Feeling - Black-eyed Peas
  7. Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Anywho, I listened a lot to the top 3 songs and they really got me pumped! I also realised that even though Kanye West is a little bit full of himself, his songs about being so awesome and that 'you should be honoured by my lateness, that I would even show up for this fake Sh*t...' is the kind of positive self talk we need at times. Perhaps him being full of himself is good for some situations =)

Anywho, here's some pics from the day:

Team photo pre-game

Mom and Dad ended up coming to watch my finals too! It was really nice having them there, and it made me remember back in the day when they used to watch my hockey games. Anywho, we ended up winning the grand finals this year! YAY!

The Inaugural Western Mudd Rush

On Sunday, I woke up like every other Sunday morning. I rolled over Kev who is always still deep in dreamland somewhere, to grab my iPhone that has been plugged into his MacBook to charge overnight. I had a quick look at Facebook and then remembered that it was wasn't any old Sunday, but it was Mudd Rush day.

Our heat started at 3pm, so we had a whole morning to enjoy. But man, 1pm came around so quickly. Ben, Amy, Kev and I met at Thien's at 1pm and drove to the Mudd Rush together. 

Chia, it was awesome! What I loved the most was the atmosphere! The vibe was just fun fun fun! There were awesome costumes! People dressed as brides, prisoners, cowboys riding horses... and because there were no prizes, everyone was just there to have fun and finish the thing. It was a 9km obstacle course filled with lots of running and lots of physical challenges along the way.

We first had to crawl through this black plastic tunnel just to get through to the starting line. We were then waiting in the starting area with the MC amping us up with music and just general encouraging and inspirational chat. He was awesome. He got us all excited.

When it started we had a short run until we reached our first obstacle. The organisers did not hold back on us; we needed to crawl under barbed wire! From that obstacle I was completely covered in mud.

My shirt was caked with mud and my participant bib was hanging by 2 pins as the mud had weighed it down, ripping it off the pins.

The other obstacles included: - 
jumping over logs which had mud under and on either side of them, climbing up a rope net which was draped over a log which was about 3 metres high and which you had to climb down on the other side (this one had someone injured), a huge hay stack which you had to climb up, over and down the other side, a massive waterside that was literally a plastic sheet with inflated rubber walls on either side to contain the water (and people) that ran down a very steep hill, was scary fun, but it also had a serious injury there, climbing up a wall by holding onto a rope, ongoing 'hurdles' which were these metal fences which you had to jump/climb over and then crawl under (this shattered me). After that we were met with an ice bath which we had to jump in and trawl through which made all my muscles in my legs and core muscles seize up for the run which had 'fk off hill' in it (a steep up hill climb). After that there were more running parts and crawling through mud etc. 

By the end of it, we were all exhausted but super happy with our accomplishment. There was this warm camaraderie amongst all participants - people from different teams helping each other over the obstacles, mass encouragement for those who needed it and of course, there was friendly competition. 

For us, there was this group of people dressed as American Football players. They just kept catching up to us, and vice versa.  But they were good fun. However, we ended up beating them =P

Here's the pics I got from the day. Unfortunately, I didn't have my waterproof camera at the time, so here are photos courtesy of Kev's camera!

Muddy Asians

The Wolf Pack - Strong Wolf, Fat Wolf, Lambert, Evil Wolf & Sassy Wolf

Evil and Sassy Wolf

The Guys

Mission Accomplished!

Even though I didn't get any videos of the Mudd Rush or any action shots; here's some videos of it that has been posted on YouTube.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Hi Chia!

I don't know where you are at the moment! Hopefully you've arrived in Kuala Lumpur all safe and sound!

I loooooooovve your posts! I just loved the colours, the smiles, the pride of being Australian and meeting other happy people from all around the world!

Thank you for sharing your happiness and joy! It definitely has made me want to go to the Olympic Games one day! :)

Tomorrow I have my Superleague finals! Last year we lost the grand final game and came runners-up. Hopefully this year we will get first place! I'll need to get some good sleep!

Then on Sunday, I have the mud rush! Unfortunately, I've lost my waterproof camera :( so I won't be able to get those 'in action' shots.

But I'll try and get a before as after shot at least. Can't miss out pics of having fun in mud!

Since I've lost my waterproof camera, I'm looking to get a new one. I just don't know which colour to choose! I like the orange and green one. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The lucky last

Hi Anna!

Forget the last post, I'm definitely excited now!

 My room is totally bare just like the first day I moved in. I gave away a whole lot of stuff  and I'm all packed. Just under a couple of hours until Benny gets here to help me get my things to the airport. It was difficult deciding what to leave behind but in the end I managed to get just over 30kg into my suitcase and happy that my favourite belongings are all in there including my rollerblades! Haha. They weighed about 3kg alone but I wanted to make sure I had them with me. I'm terrible because yesterday when I was in Oxford Street I wanted to buy more things to take with me. Clothes of course. Pull yourself together Chia, you're going to a place with a gazillion shopping malls not the jungles of East Kalimantan.

I'm  not so sad anymore because I know there are plenty of things to look forward to and I get to see a familiar face in KL! Wohooo!!! Additionally, thinking about all the wonderful things that I've experienced made me feel like I made the most of London. I shall leave you with one of the highlights of London.

I was here for the Royal Wedding, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and I was here for the OLYMPICS 2012!!!!!  I couldn't have picked a better time to come to London. It was one of the most fantastic experience ever and incredibly blessed to have Shaz and Lauren with me to celebrate and join in the fun. My Ausdon buddies hooray!

I felt very patriotic and proud to be supporting team Aus and although I haven't been back home in a while, Australia, Perth you will always have my heart! I will come back for you, I will!!!!!

GOOD MORNING OLYMPIC STADIUM :) The stadium looks rather small in this pic.This is us at 8am with our hockey tickets. Totally worth every quid. I still can't believe what great seats and fun we had.

View of Olympic Park. Shame about the grey clouds.

We were  here London 2012!
Our Aussie flags

Waiting for the game to start. So no one else wanted to wig it except for me. Took ages painting the flag at 5 in the morning. Should've thought of the tattoos. Looks odd when I smile too haha!
The damage. What a super game!

First game of hockey I've ever watched. Excitement, Mexican waves, win, hotness, no rain. Nothing else I'd ask for.

Celebrating with our beers.

We had a few people wanting to take photos with us including these American/Mexicans.
Why didn't I think of this idea?
We stayed for the whole day after the game exploring the park and doing strange poses. Well I was.

I'm thinking of the night when I was leaving Perth to London and you wrote our first post. I am so proud of our blog and love how we still have it up and running. I loved reading about what you've been up to and your updates on Perth.  I am feeling a little sentimental about the whole blog now. I just wanted you and all my friends to know what a great support they have been and no way would I be able to do all of this and get through it without you or them.

 As the title suggests, this is the lucky last post from London, but it sure won't be the last post at all.  I'm finally here. This is the last day in London.

See you on the other side Anna!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Saying goodbye to Hampstead

Hi Anna,

Your last post was really cute! Haha! I love how small simple things like that delights you!

I'm in a sad mood and I don't really feel like blogging about the Olympics. It's been ages since I've posted. My parents have gone back, I went to watch the football and hockey match, explored Olympic Park, ticked off a few more things on the to-do list, packed the room, and this time on Tuesday I will be on the plane to KL.

I know how much I hated London because of the weather but now that I'm leaving all I can think about are the happy memories. London has left me so many wonderful memories and I feel heartbroken to be leaving it all behind. I knew I would only be here maximum of 2 years so saying goodbye was expected. But now after all the talk, it's nearly time.

I deliberately planned a lunch date in Hampstead with Lauren today just to be there one last time. I wanted to be where I used to live, where I first lived, when I was all new to London. I wanted to stroll down the familiar streets again. I think whoever is up there was playing tricks on me because the weather was warm and sunny and it made me wish I wasn't leaving just yet.

 Hampstead will always have my heart. I love it to bits and I came home feeling emotionally exhausted with memories of everything that has happened here playing back in my head. Wild nights stumbling off the bus and onto the empty street. My birthday picnic. Seeing snow outside my window for the first time. Friends who have visited me and the cafes we sat in. Walking to the bus stop to get to work when it was pitch black in winter. Sprinting up and down the hill like a mad woman.  Fondest first date with a lovely British guy. Bumping into Pene on the streets when I'm out doing errands. Sigh...I am glad I have kept a diary and blogged my time in London. Perfect whenever I'm feeling nostalgic.

My friends know I have a love/hate relationship  with London. I don't think I can ever say that I loved London but I know I will go endlessly about how much I miss it.The hardest thing about living and working abroad is saying goodbye. Unfortunately it doesn't get easier the more you do it either. Who knows what awaits. I feel like my life is in blocks of two years. Two years in Indonesia. Two years in London, well almost, and now it will be two years in KL.

I am going to bed and hopefully wake up feeling a bit more alive and positive. I would like to do a post with photos of my last week in London and I know you would love to see the Olympic photos.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Markers of Growth & The Olympics

Hey Chia
I had drafted this post a few months back and totally forgot about it.

But in the spirit of the London Olympics, I thought that I'd post this anyways!


"Two weeks back I had my first round of superleague. My team did really well (we won all of our 7 games).

When the day was over, Kev and I reflected on how each of us had played in our respective teams. I then remembered that a long time ago, I had promised myself to increase my jumping height so I could jump spike one day.

It was a quasi serious goal. Part of me didn't think it was possible because that would mean changing myself physically. But I thought it was a fun idea to try. So Kev made me jump as high as I could and touch his bedroom wall at the peak of my jump. He then made a pencil mark and dated it.

Kev also marked his jump and I remember being so disappointed with mine, as I was jumping so low, no matter how hard I tried.

So when I remembered my promise/goal, I asked Kev if he could measure my jump again, and to my surprise this was the result:

Between 2009 and 2012 I gained 6cm in my vertical jump height!

This was after a full day of superleague, and after not boxing or running or Pilates for a month. I was so surprised and couldn't believe it. I also realized that perhaps if I had not stopped the boxing, running, or Pilates I would have jumped higher! "


Haha! So yea, I was pretty chuffed with that.

However, lately I've been totally loving the Olympics from the London point of view! Kev was so awesome and found a way for us to watch the live stream of the Olympics from BBC.
Consequently, instead of watching only the events that Australia is in, I have been able to watch other events such as volleyball, badminton, handball, some wrestling and many more!

Obviously, when Australia is playing I'm on it! However, it's really refreshing seeing other countries and other sports. I love the idea that all these countries have sent their best to compete in one place, in one competition.

I am wishing more than ever that I was able to visit the Olympic village with you! I can't wait to hear about your awesome time there!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Winter activities

OMG Chia!

Your photos are hillarious! They made me laugh so much! Especially, when I really needed the smile!

I think it is so cute how your Dad really did try to get the shots. I love the sitting-on-the-old-woman's-head one! That's gold! Your Dad totally planned that one out.

I also quite like the shouting one. I do not know what that's all about, but its randomness is so funny! =D

Thank you so much for sharing and keeping me updated. It definitely the sunshine after the rain.

I would love to post some photos of myself all dolled up, however, I haven't really been going out for those kind of dates. Work and sporting commitments keep me out of the heels.

However, as you had alluded to in your post, I did have some photos from the Truffle Festival at Mundaring which I attended last Sunday.

It was super yummy! Especially after a whole day of superleague competition the day before!

This weekend is probably going to be pretty low key. I am going to try and complete my tax return, finish Game of Thrones, going to the Dentist at noon to get a filling (sad face), hopefully watch the not-so-new-anymore Dark Knight movie and then I have superleague training tomorrow morning.

Next weekend however, is a completely different story!

Saturday - Superleague Round 4 in Fremantle
Sunday - Mud Rush!

What is Mud Rush? - Well to be honest, I am not too sure. All I know is, our team starts at 3pm and we have to complete an obstacle course which is filled with MUD! I am really excited about this! I will add it to my 'being-completely-covered-in' things experience: tomato and now mud!

I will hopefully get pics of both events! I'll bring my waterproof camera to the Mud Rush which I had used at the La Tomatina.

By way of preview... I had made the team shirts for us and here's what they look like:

I am pretty proud of my shirts! I tend to enjoy making my own stuff, and not to blow my own horn, but I think I have a knack for designing stuff.

Anywho, we will be wearing white (or at least I will be wearing all white... so I'll definitely take a before and after shot for ya!).