Archive for August, 2006

40 kilos of rice!!!

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Today I cooked 40 kilos of rice!!! New record for me! A bizarre one, but still. How many of you could say that you’ve cooked 40 kilos (dry weight) of rice in a day? That’s right, I thought so. Special thanks goes out to Ian Brazil. With out you, we would never have made it. Nearly all of my friends here failed my today, but Danny pulled through at the end, and Ian wins the Hero Cookie for arriving at 9am and cooking rice with me, non-stop, until 4pm. With 7 rice cookers at one point. We were a truly awesome team. Many interesting conversations were had, and he’s the first person here who’s seen as many Simpson’s episodes as me, and can quote them even better. Any time you need to procrastinate, let me know, we’ll do it again.

The Broome Cam

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Check out where Sue works! Broomecam

Shark Point and Durian, Eels and Chinese Fighting Fish

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

This morning I went diving at Shark Point with Rob, Ziv, and Fuji. It was awesome! I like diving during the day so much more than at night. Well, I like both, but I just love the colour during the day. And we saw sharks! Shark Point is said to be called shark point in the same spirit that you nickname a 300 lb man Tiny. But we saw a little baby shark, and Rob caught it by the tail and held it so we could feel it. It fely just like sandpaper. Now I know why famous swords in old stories have sharkskin handles. Hilts. Whatever. Rob, maybe you can give me the proper sword word from the knife store next to your flat.

Fuji has an underwater case for her camera, so hopefully we’ll get some good diving photos out of this trip so that you can all see what it’s like. A bit. As much as a digital photo can capture the spirit of diving, anyways.

In the afternoon Roland, Budi, Ly, Danny, Ziv and I went to an Indonesian festival at the University of Sydney. It was mostly food, with some other things like mini-golf and a jumping castle for kids, a big tug-of-war area, traditional dancing, and a stage with a band. But the main thing was the food. Two new weird foods for the weird food list: avocado juice (very good) and some strange drink made up of ice, sugar water, coconut milk, green worms made out of wheat, and crushed durian fruit (not so good). Sydney Uni reminds me of a castle. Or a monastery. It feels old, old, old, and quiet. Even when there’s an Indonesian festival celebrating Indonesian Independence on the front lawn.

We had a random assortment of foods at a food court for dinner, and Roland told us of this other game that they play in Indonesia on Independence Day. How it works is this: You have a bucket full of eels, and you have to pick up the eels, run across to a bottle on the other side of the pitch or whatever, and try and stuff the eel into a Coke bottle (or similar) as fast as you can. It’s done as a relay race I think, like spoon-and-ball races. Only with eels. LIVE eels. That wriggle all over, and are often dropped on the ground as you’re running because they’re so slippery and wriggly. And then they get stuffed into a Coke bottle. And then, what happens to the eels? Roland says they probably just eat them. They’re probably dead after this whole game anyways. But Roland says it’s very funny to watch.

Oh, and where do they get these eels? The open sewers! What? Yeah, Roland says, when they were kids they used to go eel fishing in the open sewers (there were apparently tonnes of eels in the sewers, and they’re all open, like they were in Ghana, only I imagine they have more water. Although Roland says he wouldn’t call it ‘water’ so much as ’sludge’). So they’d catch these eels in the sewers, and sell them to this man who would take them and sell them in the market. Roland’s family would then, I guess, go and buy back the sewer eels in the market. Ugh!

As a child Roland also used to have Chinese Fighting Fish (a.k.a. Beta Fish). You could buy them outside the schools for about $1, and then the kids would raise them and train them to fight. Roland did this by feeding his betas live fish (again, from the sewers), sometimes he’d feed them fish as big as themselves. And the beta would always win. Roland had about 20 at one point, all kept in their own jars, and trained to fight. Then all the kids at school would face off their betas against each other and put bets (marble bets, not money) on whose fish would win. Over half of his lost, so I guess he wasn’t all that great a trainer. I feel that Indonesia’s animal crueltly laws are pretty lax. Although cock fighting is apparently illegal, so they do have some sort of laws. They just don’t extend to fish I guess. Both eels and Chinese Fighting Fish.

Indonesia sounds crazy. I’ll have to visit someday.

North Bondi by Night

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

The first time I went to North Bondi it was ill-fated. North Bondi became my nemesis. We were going diving, it was rough, and night, and I managed to lose my gloves, a fin, and the boot off my tank. For me, the dive was aborted. But it wasn’t just me that had a bad night. One guy forgot his tank, another his regulator. Rob’s o-ring failed and he hadn’t brought a replacement. I think of the 8 of us there, only 4 actually ended up diving.

Last night was different. Well, we did show up one tank short, so Fuji decided not to dive as she’d already gone twice during the day yesterday. We took the easy entry. And other than one flash light (mine) getting flooded on the dive, no other mishaps.

North Bondi has amazing rocks and caves. We swam through caves that were dark, but glowed pink in our lights, covered in sponge and coral. And we saw sharks! Not dangerous sharks. These particular ones had no teeth, although I didn’t know it at the time. Rob and Adam somehow grabbed one and were wrestling with it. I saw another on my own later, a smaller one, but I was still cautious of it.

It was an excellent dive. I got home after 10pm. I’ve seen very little of my flat-mates since I’ve been back. I always get up, and generally leave for school, before any of them are up. In the evenings I have either been going out late and not seeing them, or coming home early and due to exhaustion and jet-lag, falling asleep by 9pm and missing them in the evenings since they all have night classes this term. So it was exciting to see Kushal yesterday when I got home from diving.

Aaaaand…. she’s back!

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

In Australia. I was pretty homesick, leaving Canada again. Guilty about leaving home again, wanting to stay with all you wonderful people in Canada. I arrived in Sydney Friday morning, had my fastest ever trip through Immigration and Quarantine (under 30 minutes from stepping off the plane to stepping onto the #400 bus home), took a nap, then went to school. Where everyone has missed me! It’s nice to be missed, and I’m happy to be back now. Ziv’s gone over-board with planning things to do this weekend. Today we’re having a picnic in the park, with soccer to follow. Tomorrow is the City2Surf, followed by an Israeli lunch (I assume), bowling, and Thai dinner.

We had a group meeting yesterday. Turned out my supervisor was in Denver for a conference this past week, and will be in Hong Kong for the first half of next week. So I don’t really feel to guilty about missing 2 weeks of research anymore. I like my supervisor!


Saturday, August 5th, 2006

I have been working in Broome now for about a week and the job is going well, I really have no clue what I am doing since I have never worked in the restaurant business. I did get a promotion the other day which is kinda big since they offered me full time and to do some managing on a salary of 37,000.00 dollars a year haha. Of course I took the job and then asked what does that work out to be per-hour cause they know I will only be working for a couple months. I also get a free meal which only managers get, I kinda feel bad cause other people have been their longer but they are also backpackers and will be leaving sooner then me, but as you know my plans change daily so who knows. So I have a place to live which is working out well, there is a horse that lives across the street and about 15 camels that live next door - I was wondering why it kinda smells like a barn out side and now I know. Broome is a very small town mainly a tourist place for cotton-tops, the guy who lives next to me took me around to show me the town, took only like 20. The next day I was wondering why I never saw Chinatown? well apparently I did see Chinatown it just there are no Chinese people or Chinese food- hmmmmmm. Casey is coming to visit in September so that should be good fun, can’t wait. That’s about it for now my life is work and sitting on the beach, what a life - i love oz.

New Photos!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Check out the gallery for lots & lots of new photos, including a bunch from Jason & Chau’s wedding this past weekend!


Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Picture testing. Everyone relax.