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.



OOTD: Swimming suit from Big W.

My blog is getting only pictures of food (people are asking if its a food blog now... lol).

So I had to put something different for today.

Here is a selfie taken after our swimming session this evening. Got this suit from Big W in Campsie for less than 20 dollars.(if I remember correctly).

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Australian: Google Adsense payment into NAB

A screenshot of the payment from Google Adsense.. 

Finally received a cheque into my Australian NAB account. Better late than never!
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Eats: Homemade Korean Pancake (Patjeon)

Chung Ah, Jo's sister was making dinner the other day. As the ever wanting to learn more different styles of cooking, I decided to assist her.

She wanted to make the quinessential Korean pancake, using flour, kinchi, and other stuff in the kitchen. 

Using normal flour, sift it into a bowl of kimchi. 
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Eats: Scruffys Murphys @ Sydney CBD

Thought I should post this up before I forget. 

So after our outing at San Churro last week, Pom and I headed shopping for some clothes I could wear during casual work. 

For dinner, we ended up at Scruffy Murphys, an Irish bar along George St, across the street from World Plaza. 

They normally have specials and Scruffy Murphys is having theirs daily at $8.95 with purchase of a drink. 

Oh look, Pom is standing at the door!
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Milestone: Floating, and Dog Paddling


Milestone: Floating, and Dog Paddling

Today I finally completed the entire stretch of floating, and dog paddling in the second lane at the swimming pool where Jo lives.

It is considered a milestone in a very practical sense as I managed to do both feats without the side lane as a scaffold. You know, just in case my body decided to sink to the bottom of the pool.

As I have an immense fear of the water, I had to watch how others did their strokes, and I had to copy and imitate their moves.

It was tiring even with the dog paddling, but I found it easier to manage my strokes and movements in deeper waters. 

The floating on my back was also easier in deeper waters as well.

It took a while, possibly two weeks to reach this level of depth, but eventually I reached it. 

Slowly by slowly, bit by bit, never to let that fear of the water get to you! I really had to ignore my curiosity on how deep the water was and get on with just the swimming!

It feels really good to have this level of skill, and freedom and I can wait to see how far I go even without learning the proper swimming skills!
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Eats: Chocolateria San Churro - Sydney CBD

On a lovely weekday earlier this week, one of my mates came to the city this week. As I was in the city, we decided to meet up. 

I suggested to head to San Churro for mid afternoon tea as that was a cafe known for its popular hot chocolate drinks, as well as other desserts.
The front of San Churro at Darling Harbour plaza.
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Ashfield: Looking for vacant room

Ashfield: Looking for vacant room

The thing about staying with your family members, and also working with them, is we dont realise the cost that we can save from sharing than having to buy the same things a few times for each individual.

On Thursday, I visited two boarding houses in Ashfield. In the first house, which is about ten mins from the train station, there were no common areas, i.e a lounge, nor a tv, and also no oven in the kitchen. But it had a very nice backyard. The rent is $155. The owner was egging me and trying to frighten by saying it was cheap for the area if I didnt take it, someone else will (I didnt think so, but kept it to myself).

The owner is from China, but I didnt tell him I am Chinese, and am used to cock and bull stories from typical malaysian chinese salespeople at home. So I just shrugged his story off.

The second house has a common area, which is a lounge, with three sofas, a big television, an oven in the kitchen, a separate male, and female bathroom/toilet, and a outdoor area with some table. It has a backyard which is shared with the house behind, and a little messy.

But neither of them had a table for dining, except for the former, which was outdoors and had roofing over. The rent was $140 and over, as there was a second room available but I couldnt view it.

In terms of socialisation, I much preferred the second one house. I am more inclined to choose that, but let God help me to choose should a better one come along.

After that, I visited the library in Ashfield. It's much bigger, with a completely newly renovated local Civic Centre.

After a chat with some mates, they said it was too expensive as there were 8 persons to be sharing the house and $165 was a bit too expensive in a boarding house of that many!!
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Eats: Making yummy Korean Curry

So last night, Jo's mother decided to make curry. Now this is not your normal curry. It's korean curry.

According to Jo's mom, whom we shall call Auntie Cho, said that Korean curry has a lot more vegetables.

The ingredients for Korean curry is:
Potatoes, carrots, onions, and meat. Portions needed depend on how many one is cooking for.
First, dice up the beef. 

Then cut up the onion, carrots, and potatoes into bite sizes.

Heat some oil in the frying pan, and stirfry the diced beef. When the beef is half cooked, pour in the vegetable mix.

Pour in hot water and enough to cover the potatoes. Then cover with a lid and boil for about ten minutes over medium heat till potatoes and vegetables are tender.

This is the curry powder used. This version is not so spicy and costs $Aud4.62 at the Asian grocery.

Pour in the curry powder into a bowl and mix with water. Then whisk it to create a thick liquidy paste.

Pour in the liquidy paste into the pot.

Continue boiling over medium heat. When the gravy is reduced to a nice thicker consistency, it is ready to serve. Serve it mixed with rice like bi bim bap.

Verdict: home cooked food is yummy!! Delicious and tasty even without needing to add salt, sugar or soy sauce.

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Australia: Porting from Optus prepay to Telstra prepay

Friday (11th October 2013)
Today is the day my Optus prepay credit was expiring.

Coles was having a $15 for $30 Telstra prepay promotion but it sold out coz I had tried three different places (World Plaza, Coles Express, Rhodes) and it wasn't available either.

As I had to recharge the expiring Optus credit, I decided I could give Telstra a try. 

So what I did was walk into the Sydney World Plaza along George Street where there is a Telstra shop. 

I bought a $30 Telstra sim prepay pack, and I placed the sim into my Iphone4. The consultant put in the order to port the number over for me. That was 2pm ish.

12th Oct:
One day passes, and its 4pm on a Saturday evening. I am done in the Sydney Ultimo library reading a book on job hunting and had to leave as the library was closing for the day.

I check my phone. I still haven't received any SMS from Telstra on the IPhone 4 telling me my number has been ported.

So I walk back to the same Telstra shop at World Plaza. A different consultant served me this time, and I explained to her what happened.

She calls up the Telstra help line and explained to the person on the other line what happened. First I was asked if I wanted to escalate the order. Then I was asked if I wanted to buy a new $2 SIM card. 

I was told my money could not be refunded but if I bought a new $2 SIM card, they could transfer it to the new card an make a new order. 

Ding Dong Ding Dong. 

Then when I do decide to get a new SIM card as asked by the consultant (Telstra should actually give me a new card and not make me pay for a new one!) I am told the guy on the other end of the line said it might be better to just escalate the case. 

This entire scenario took up to twenty mins. The consultant serving was then told that it may take another 24 hours or worst case scenario up to Monday or Tuesday before the number from Optus can be ported.

I thought it was a total waste of time because it really didn't solve any problem.

Seriously, Telstra. 

You guys may say you dominate the telco network in Australia, but your porting service totally sucks and way backward and behind technology!! 

13th Oct: 
 I call up the Telstra hotline on my Telstra prepay. I am being given the excuse that because its on a weekend, Optus offices do not work on Saturday or Sunday and I am given the reason that my number is not being ported over is due to that.

I am asked to wait for another further 24 hours.

14th Oct: (Monday)
Today is the fourth day after I made the order to port my number.

I return to the Telstra shop at World Plaza.

This time, I am told by the consultant, Eugene, that from the time I enquired about my service being ported over from Optus till today, nothing has actually been done to escalate the provision of my number. In fact, noone at Telstra has put in the order to escalate my order even on Saturday when I made my first inquiry!!

Eugene gives me his business card to call in case the staff at the other line of Telstra decides to be funny and make me wait another 48 hours. 

15th Oct 2013:
The phone number still is not ported. It is 23:25 hours now. 

Tomorrow I will go back to the World Plaza store and ask for a refund as Telstra is really shitty and can't give me a straight answer on what is happening.

16th 0ct 2013:
So when I went into the Telstra shop at World Plaza this morning, and they checked it, I was informed that the number had ported over! Surprisingly.

It took four workdays: Friday afternoon, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, + Saturday and Sunday. A total of 6 days to port a number.

I am relieved.

I however, am happy with the consultant Eugene for doing the right thing by giving me the phone number: 13 22 00 for Telstra complaints. I shall do that when I have more time later tonight at home.

About 17:00 hours today, I received a call from Telstra customer service in regards to the kerfuffle of the last few days. 

She said that in lieu of the trouble of the last few days, Telstra was giving me 1000 texts, and 150 mins which could be utilised apart from the free 6pm to 6am free call and text which my plan is on.

Ok, at least they did something to compensate for the trouble.


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Eats: Ba Sim @ Strathfield NSW

So on a Monday evening, about six of us met up at a Korean BBQ diner in Strathfield suburb.

Don chose to go to Basim.. 

The entrance of Basim

The interior of Basim.

Menu at Basim

Four superwomen. Me, Lily, Cecile, and Jenny. All Cantonese speakers from different parts of the world!

Banchan side dishes

Banchan steamed egg

Sam Gyeop Sal

Putting on the BBQ

Price : 84Aud for 4 dishes+ rice.

Verdict: This seems like a fairly posh area to go for BBQ dinner. We didn't realise it at first, but it seems that everything on the menu is for the BBQ.

The priciest dish on the menu is the Bassinet Bulgogi with two rice at $35.  It wasn't too bad, and tastes fairly delicious. However I wouldn't recommend ordering it unless you are with a group of mates.

It came up to about 14 dollars p.p for the six of us, which is about the average price for dinner around these parts anyways.

The food wasn't too bad. Though there wasn't anything too particular on the menu that really caught my eye to entice me to return that soon yet.

Corner of Churchill Avenue

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Eats: Making Dry Chilli Tomato Chicken

Ricky decided last night he was going to make dinner. 

Since I wanted to have something different (i.e Indian) apart from the usual Chinese fare that I normally make, I decided to kaypoh and help him out with the cooking.

In a large flat fry pan, heat up the oil and throw in shredded onions.

After the onions are browned and caramelised, throw in the raw cut up into bite size chicken. The amount you want to cook depends on the number of persons you are preparing for.

Stir fry until chicken meat is cooked.

In the mean time, in a separate smaller pot, cut up into small quarters tomatoes to be boiled separately.

Don't forget to throw in some gochu garu or chilli pepper powder or something similar. Also add on some chopped garlic, and chopped ginger. 

Continue to stir fry until gravy thickens.

In the mean time, put that separate smaller pot of tomatoes to the stove and put it to the boil.

Cut up some fresh chilli and throw it into the stirfry chicken mix in the pan.

Cover with a lid and put on low fire for about ten mins to let the chicken cook till tender. 

When the boiled tomatoes are squishy and ready, remove from the fire.

Chicken is now tender.

Pour that squishy tomato concoction into the bigger fry pan with the tenderised chicken mix.

Continue and put on low fire until the entire watery liquidy portion of the gravy has thickened.

This is now ready to serve. Enjoy it with rice, or pita bread. This portion was good for three adults.

Preparation time about 15 mins.
Cooking time took close to 45 mins.

Verdict: The gravy was fairly spicy but delicious!

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Eats: Fast Pho @ Sydney CBD

Today after church service at Hope Sydney, my Thai friend, Pom invited me to join them to try out the Vietnamese food for lunch. 

It was about a 5 min walk from Hope Sydney.

The entrance of Fast Pho. 
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Eats: Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam @ Sydney CBD

So today I joined three other Malaysians for a makan outing at this place called Sedap. It is a diner located at Regent Place.

It was a little hard for me to find this place as it is a new dining area that cropped up within the last two years since I left Sydney, so was my first visit there.

Table No.8. Lucky number, wor!!

Some kind of mee goreng. 12Aud.

Penang Wat Tan Hor 12Aud. I was recommended this dish.

Chao Kway Teow 12Aud.

If I was craving for anything Malaysian, it would be this dish as its among the hardest dish most Malaysians can make. It needs a fiery gas stove and 'wok hei' in order to get that nice fried flat noodles burned to the right consistency.

This place sold a lot of Malaysian dishes like curry laksa, Hainanese chicken rice, as well as other typical Malaysian hawker  dishes. 

Our bill for a table of three.

The customer profiles seemed to be varied and international but majority was Asian ethnicity.

It always seems to be the case that in most dineries in Sydney, the staff employed are normally from the country where the cuisine originated from. 

So I was surprised that the few staff that were serving were not Malaysian. I guess that for me, being Malaysian, I feel a lot more at home when I enter a diner in a foreign country and there is a person with a Malaysian accent serving me. 

Considering the price of the dish, the Wat Tan Hor that I had ordered was just 'mah mah tei' for me. The noodles could do with more of the 'wok hei' stirfry and the gravy could taste fuller with more flavour.

The taste of this dish is passable but has yet to meet the standard of the good 'tai chows' at home.

I think that this restaurant may have been too ambitious in providing such an extensive menu. The space was also a little crowded and a bit uncomfortable to sit.

Anyways, I've just been told by other Malaysians that Alice's Makan is just across the street from them... May just go and check them out instead.

Regent Place, 
501 George St, 
Sydney CBD 
(2 mins walk from QVB, and behind KFC)

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Sydney: Currently here longer than expected.

It happens, doesn't it?

You visit a place and end up staying than longer... 

Today is supposedly the last day of my trip to Australia. However I am extending my trip a little longer than expected.

Anyways, I am currently staying over at Jo's place with her family in Rhodes. It has a lovely view of the river, and lovely to take a run in the evenings.

Here are some interesting anecdotes of my trip in Sydney so far.

 Live musical Scooby Doo play at the Capitol Theatre! About 40 Aud. This theatre is located along Pitt St, and George St. 
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Eats: Cheers Bar @ Sydney CBD

Yup, this place is definitely named after the 1980s American sitcom series, Cheers.

The entrance of Cheers Bar at George St.
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Milestone: Floating backwards in the water!


Milestone: Floating backwards in the water!

Pretty lame for some, but I have been struggling to learn to swim for the last three decades...

Don't ask me how or why I never learnt... I just didn't.

So today whilst I was at Jo's place, I finally managed to overcome my fear of the water and float on my back. They have an indoor pool at their place and I decided to get a new one piece swimming suit for twenty bucks at Big W whilst we had gone shopping at Campsie.

It's a small milestone. But as they say, each milestone will lead to greater things in the unforeseeable future. I still can't swim but hei, at least I won't panic so much at deep depths of water! =.=
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Alice Springs: End of Uluru and Northern Territories adventure

Yesterday, on our unofficial 7th day together, the remaining of the crew from the Groovy Grape tour met up at the CBD for lunch.
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Rock Patrol: (Days 4 & 5) Yulara, Uluru and Kata Tjuta

We arrived at camp base of Yulara on (26/9) for the sunset.
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