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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

NEWSLETTER

31/01/2008

Surfers Paradise, then to Christchurch!

Well, it was my cousin's convocation in Brisbane. Out of issues privacy, I shall not put up any pictures of the family at this time..Then we headed up to Gold Coast for the windy swept beaches of Surfers' Paradise.

About time I cam-whored and without much ado, presenting a first in the series of my pictures...

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The windy swept beaches of Surfers' Paradise.

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My cousin, Adrian..

Surfers Paradise
Something exciting up there...

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In Christchurch.... the Botanical Gardens...

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Christchurch Botanical Gardens
Enjoying the cam-whoring...

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Little Blue flowers in the Garden..


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Little yellow flowers in the Garden....

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The infamous Christchurch Chapel at the Square..


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From Christchurch, we drove down to a number of places. But because I had caught a fever in Christchurch, I was not in the best state of mind to cam-whore at some of the other places... More pictures later...
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Politics: A question of power.

30/01/2008

Politics: A question of power.

Courtesy is seen to be what holds a person in a good light. Yet it is very much a part of the intricate web of what goes unacknowledged, yet existing in everyone's mind that is called "politics".

As of the time of writing, I have experienced the situation of what many would call a question of "politics". Politics at its grassroots level. Something unseen, not physically given, yet personally felt and dealt with every day of our lives.When we need something from our parents, manager, or even want to ask a favour, we have to play by the rules of politics.

Yet when dealt with a threat, the person with power has only two ways to deal with it. Confront it, or get rid of the problem. The underlying rule one gets from watching yet too many episodes of Yes Minister is people in authority do not like change.

Its not really something fathomable when one is just a bystander. We nod our heads in agreement, but until we have personally felt it, we realise not how much of politics that people have to play by everyday.

Many would say the same about my motherland. How can anyone not let their voices be heard, having seen a situation that deserves rectification, and just let it be? In a similar situation, the same scenario extends to both. Yet many would rather risk a little discomfort than to be pulled up for questioning. They'd rather live their lives in fear, afraid that they could not find something better.

It's either a matter of fight, or flee. I'd rather fight, thank you very much.
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Happy Australia Day!

27/01/2008

Happy Australia Day!

Today is Australian National Day! Happy Birthday Australia!

Whilst hanging out at the hostel, I met Daniel an Aussie-Chinese-Singaporean-Malaysian-France combination bloke. Singapore born. Parent from Malaysia. Bred in Australia. Wife from France. Yeah, and he speaks English. French. & some Hokkien.

I had yet to have actually met a chinese who could speak French fluently. Maybe I should go out more... haha.
Anyways I, JeJe (a korean girl), Lau, & Dan headed off to Darling Harbour to watch the fireworks at night.

Woah! It was fantastic! Dan carried me (like literally!) on his shoulders! Who'd know so many years of navy training would make a man that strong, eh?

Here's a video of the fireworks for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

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Heath Ledger (1979-2008)

25/01/2008

Heath Ledger (1979-2008)

Heath Ledger passed away yesterday.

The world is in shock. The entire entertainment world is in shock. I am in shock.

That could be me up there. Born on the same year. We're both the same age. It's really difficult to see someone who is your age pass away before their time.. It's just really sad.

I have no other words to say.
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SWAMPED!

20/01/2008

SWAMPED!

Yup, that's what it is.

This place is swamped with Working Holiday Makers from across all continents on the globe! Koreans, Taiwanese, Hongkies, Irish, French, Germans! You name it!

How's anyone gonna get a short-term job with so much competition, one wonders?

Lodged in my female dorm room in the hostel I'm currently booked at, my hostel mates consists of mostly Koreans, Germans, French, Irish....etc. I actually get to hear the German language spoken in practice (though I don't understand a word of it).

The streets are overflowing with Asians.. suspended in time, you might for a moment think you might be somewhere in Hong Kong or Taiwan for that matter, if it weren't for the fact that you were holding a street map of Sydney. Just in the past few days, from where I am seated now, I've heard the drums playing to the lion dances in procession. They even have Chinese New Year celebration slated for the first week of February (which when I checked online, did not appear anywhere on the list of events for the other Aussie states surprisingly!).

After chilling out (mostly in my room sadly), and updating my CV for the past week, I am finally ready to hit the beaches (again!) of Manly, Parramatta River, and Bondi. A girl's got to do some tanning, and breathe a little (if you get the gist).

So far there was a house-warming drinking party (not that I drink much either) of a mate, Peter, whom I met during my Contiki tour in NZ. You do understand that the typical lifestyle of most Aussies consists of beer drinking (a common staple drink, so don't be judgmental, if that's what you're thinking!). There's also the 30-cents McDonald's soft cone. Convenient and cheap for those who want something cold at midnight, or any hour late if that burger at 8 o'clock earlier was a little too light for your liking. ^^

Not to mention, the Paddy's Market. Where one bag of vege/ fruit/ whatever leftovers sells for $1 one hour before closing time... it's like a madhouse! It's amazing by how much you can stretch $5 dollars in that last one hour before it closes!

This morning, instead of Hillsong, I attended a Baptist service in English on the street up where I am staying. It claims to be the first Baptist Church in Australia. Interesting. However in retrospect, I feel more suited to a Bible-believing and Spirit-filled structured church. Some people are just made for something more robust.

I believe that my presence as His Salt has brought changes into the people's life around me. It's something that I perceive, and probably indiscernable to the common eye, but my spirit man tells me that I should persist in whatever I have done so far.

Am I enjoying myself, you might be asking? It's really difficult to say. If it's God's will for me to remain here, I will. But at this point of time, I depend daily for His Strength. Going only where He leads me to...
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Back Down Under...

14/01/2008

Back Down Under...

Hi guys... I've actually got an entry prepared, but it won't be up till I get my lappie back from a friend who is currently safekeeping it for the time being.

As you can guess, I am currently back Down Under here. This time in Sydney. Till date, I have met up with some mates from uni, and am staying at a hostel till I find a better & more permanent flat.

What, you say?!!

Yes.. I have decided to stay here for a while.. at least till my visa runs out. As much as I'd like to see the sights & sounds of further Australia, after seeing it all in NZ, I have to say that nothing can be stated in comparison to the sights of Milford Sound, Coromandel Range and probably Lake Taupo. (I am biased, I know).

Am basically chilling out here in Sydney. I have seen Opera Harbour and the casino (lol), as well as to Hillsong Church (in the city). If you have any further questions in regard to my change of heart, please do address here. I will gladly be of service to answer them all ^^
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Twas was the land of the long white cloud...

10/01/2008

Twas was the land of the long white cloud...

As at the time where this entry is penned, I am currently typing away in the Qantas airlines that is ferrying me to land of Down Under once again. This time to the upswing, bohemian and modern city of Sydney.

Having had just a shot of my good friend Jim Bean & his partner-in-crime the infamous Coca-Cola, my brain is in a rather temporary state of frenzy. Saying that, this entry may not even make its way to my blog (if you see it, it means I didn’t change my mind after all).

The last 35 days in New Zealand has been in my opinion, a rather interesting experience for me. I went there not knowing what to expect, having never actually spent that much time in close proximity to my cousin, Winnie and her family, and my two nieces in tow. Except for those brief moments back in KL which didn’t particularly count.

I really enjoyed learning about the history of New Zealand. In particular, the different geographical formation of both the North and South Islands. In terms of landscape and scenery, I particularly was fascinated most by Milford Sound and its waterfalls.

Having experienced touring using a prepaid everything-arranged-and-accomodations-booked Contiki Tours in South Island, and as an independent traveler on Kiwi Experience and backpacking with a total group of strangers, I reckon that I thoroughly enjoy the latter more. I met people from all walks of life, and a lot of them are traveling and backpacking, with a huge ratio coming from UK (England), America and Canada.

Asians are normally few and rare to be found on such trips, but to my surprise, I met a Japanese girl, Haruna, traveling alone amongst the group. She was on her last fling before her intended marriage that was to take place, and saying that, said she had to do this before she got married as her intended better half had no interest in going on a tour. So with or without a partner, Haruna decided to it alone against all odds.

In a couple of hours, I’ll be meeting with my old flatmate, Avadhut who will meet me at the airport when I arrive. The first few days in Sydney will be spent meeting up with old uni mates, and probably the others that I have met during my tour in Sydney (if I’m lucky to do so!).

I believe I have really developed if not, some sort of attachment with my cousin. The first week, especially during Christmas, was a period of adaptation and adjustment for me, as I am person who does not take well to changes easily. After seeking for advice from some mates, I was able to sail and then thoroughly enjoy my time and bonding with Winnie and her family.

It also enabled me to understand and experience how asian families who have settled down in a place like New Zealand live their lives. Winnie has already spent over half her life, spanning more than twenty years there. Everyone needs time to adapt to a different culture and way of living, and this was no different for Winnie as well. I’ve already spent only two years in Australia, and even I don’t half understand their lifestyle there yet! LOL.

The most important thing I have learnt and taken away from my time with Winnie is that we all have to do what we have to do. We have to fight for our choices no matter what background we come from.

Regardless of what other people may say, at the end of the day it is our choice and we have to live with it. Just make sure you do not regret with no regrets and as the famous Christian writer Joyce Meyer says, “I Dare You: Embrace Life With Passion” because you only and will only have one life.

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The Lakes of Taupo.

06/01/2008

The Lakes of Taupo.

Today will be the last lap in my Geyserlake Kiwi Experience tour around North Island. We finally arrived at the Lake Taupo and checked in at the X Base here.

The only thing I can say about my X Base accomodations is that the best one is found in ChristChurch, and second best was in Wellington. The ones in Rotorua leaves much to be desired whereas the one in Taupo could do better with more information on the front desk. Basically the person manning the front desk are among the most important people a company could hire as they represent the "image" of the company, regardless whichever business or who its clientele could be.

Black Water Rafting this morning was well..... interesting. For a mildly and fairly pricey tour, it was not too bad. But I can't afford to do too much of it. We went caving in the watery underground caves of Ruakuri. First we had to sign some indemnification papers (or something like that) and then put on these really tight black wet suits, "socks", boots and a helmet with a light on it.

Tonight one of the girls is celebrating her birthday at the bar, so we are supposed to dress up as pirates and bucanneers. woo hoo... oh, and I'm making hamburgers with one of the other Kiwi Experience travellers for dinners. Its pretty convenient when there's a Woolworths around the corner.

Tomorrow I was thinking of going up the Tangariro Crossing, but with my less-than-desirable-state-of-fitness, I have been thinking twice about it....it's a one day 7 hour walk across volcanic rocks.. Not too sure if I'm up for it though. =P

You know, I came to New Zealand to tour, but I think I've been exercising almost everyday since I started the North Island tour!

Ok, see you guys later...
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Dipping my feet in the hot pools of Rotorua

04/01/2008

Dipping my feet in the hot pools of Rotorua

Kia Ora, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!!!

I know.. I know...it's been a while. It's just a bit hard to update my blog when I'm on the move.

Anyway, dropping some ink from Rotorua now.

Christmas was interesting. I spent a lot of time with my cousin's friends and their friends... Because Chinese New Year is not celebrated with much pomp, Christmas takes precedence, and most people (in this case, my cousin Winnie) takes this time to celebrate it by having dinner after dinner every night.

I also learnt to adapt to my cousin's family and "way of life". As you all know, being organized and tidy is not one of my best features. :P

Anyway, I'm currently at Rotorua now. I booked a tour with Kiwi Experience, and am spending two days in Rotorua. Tomorrow I'm heading off to Waitomo for one night, then Lake Taupo for two days before heading back to Auckland on 8th January.

Today I went for my first ever White Water River Rafting on River Kaituna. Something extraordinary for someone who does not even know how to swim!

The main leader of the rafting guides (or one of them) will say a prayer before they start the rafting trip... I'm not sure what he said, but he ended it with something sounding like "Amen".. to which when I heard it, then it struck me. One thing I realised as I went down in the raft down on the rapids was that I believe in my heart that the Lord God Almighty did not only create these waterfalls and rapids for his own pleasure, but for ours as well. To paraphrase the famous phrase from the movie Chariots of Fire, "I feel His Pleasure when I raft".

Tomorrow I'll be heading with the Kiwi Experience towards Waitamo. I'll be going Black Water Rafting in the Waitomo Caves (or something like that.. not too sure of the details) which sounds rather exciting and looking for glowworms...

Rotorua is also well known for its geothermal activity, mud pools, hot springs and the place kind of smell like "rotten eggs". Today I also went for a dip at this place called the Polynesian Spa which is part of the hot springs.... I could not resist the pomp and grandeur of "dipping myself into the pool until my toes wrinkle"

Well, let's just say that after my first time, it will also be my last time.. Sitting and dipping in the pool for one hour really does not seem to excite me that much. But hei, at least I can tell you guys that I did it!

There's been much happening, but I can't write it all within this time....so till then, g'day mates!
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