Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MIA..... OOPS!

Missing In Action... :(

Hello my blog and maybe readers? ha ha ha I have been missing in action for almost more than 2 weeks.

My parents are here because of the Ramadhan and Lebaran (fasting and end of fasting holidays) for around 3 weeks. I am very happy and glad since I only get to see my dad once per year.
So now, we can eat nice food and this means a lot of happy tummies every night! :D :D :D

Anyway, during these past 2 weeks, I had a job interview on Skype which is widely use in today's interview processes. It was a very fun experience and less nerve-wrecking in contrast with the face-to-face interview. Unfortunately, the quality of the video is very poor. *blah*

Okay so in this blog, I would like to post an entry on my current work for a non-profit organisation and also my day trip to....... *scroll down if you want to know!*

1. My Voluntary Work

In the beginning of August, I started on a volunteering work at the Japan Foundation Sydney to assist guests for being an assistant to their most-recent gallery exhibition called "Japanese Design Today".

It opened on the 29th of July till the 16th of September.
If you like unique designs, or if you are a design student, or an inspiring upcoming designer who focuses mostly on interiors, do come and visit us and you may even more inspired in your works!

What is it?
Simply put, Japanese Design Today is a display of vast arrays of Japanese inventions for the last 50 years, from Aibo (the 1st robot dog in the world), to a display of the first hybrid car (Toyota I think?), even the most amazing unthinkable jigsaw-like erasers! etc

I do get a lot of visitors from many office-workers because we are located in the heart of the CBD. (Central Business District)
The common question that is often asked is "Can I buy them?"
And fortunately, global online shopping websites are readily available, just a click away.

We do have a favorite object in the gallery for example the Yamaha Scooter, and I still remember 2 office workers asked me whether they can borrow it.
And I jokingly said "OF course you can! But you can not touch it" hahahaa.....
They laughed away.

I also partnered up with a lovely lady, she is intelligent and really easy to talk to. I really miss her, and fortunately we took the last photo together with the coordinator.
Sorry, I had to blur their faces just in case.
Here we are posing behind the famous Yamaha!

I only have 2 shifts left for the next 2 weeks, but seriously, I never yawned or even get bored.
I am very happy being surrounded with like-minded people who appreciate uniqueness and the abstract minds of arts and objects and coincidentally I did Arts in university. ha ha ha (not that it's connected)

I hope that there will be more visitors coming into our gallery in the last closing weeks.
Anyway, the organisation that I am currently working for has a broad range of activities for example yearly Film Festival, designer talks, manga-artists conference, assisting with JLPT learning, Japanese lessons and even classes sadou 茶道 (tea ceremony)and 生け花(ikebana: flower arrangement) conducted in Japanese (you need at least N4 for language skill ability).

I still remember when I was in Chibadai, I was very interested in joining Ikebana but the membership fee and the dougu (tools and flowers) are very expensive, hence I did not join it.

Below are the details !

29 July – 16 September 2011
Japan Foundation Gallery
Monday – Friday, 11am – 4pm, Wednesdays open late until 8pm
Closed on weekends
Free admission

2. Day Trip to... Hunter Valley !!! 28th August 2011

Me and my girlfriends decided to go to Hunter Valley in New South Wales because we are wine fanatics. LOL

Just joking, I am apparently very weak to Sake/Alcoholic drinks because I am just.. weak. :p
Even a sip, I'll get drunk or heavily tipsy.

Now, the journey took us 2 hours and we heavily relied on the GPS navigating system.
Our trip started off by stopping at Mackers for breakkie, continued with non-stop munching the snacks that I brought.
(This is me and my friend posing with my fluffy furry hat which I got on Takeshita-Dori, Harajuku.)

Seriously, no one else thought of snacks and drinks except me. No wonder people call me mommy. LOL

The Australian country side is very interesting, they're just never-ending green pastures, series of horse ranches, cattle and their calves, more over, dead kangaroos on the road side. eeeuwww.w..w.w.w..w.w.w !!!
(More cows, cows, cows, munch munch munch) LOL

Anyway, I am just really happy to refresh my memories on Hunter Valley because the last time I went there was when I was really small, so I don't remember much. I have selective memory you know haha

Do you know why many Asians go to Australia? Well, apart from learning English that is!
One of the reasons is Australia has numerous numbers of European buildings like how we discovered this building just 20 minutes away from Hunter Valley vineyards area. Total Euro! LOL
This looks very European, it is a pub I believe he he he Me and my girlfriends were excited that we get to oversee a couple of restaurants and disbelieved about clothing shops. They were closed on a Sunday at 12 pm! LOL So, maybe we won't be moving to the suburbs yet. I think.

Anyway, when we finally arrived, we went directly to the Hunters Valley Visitors Centre.
They have heaps of brochure and just next to the Hunter Valley Airport.
What intrigues me is the line up of white Sakura trees that I can not resist not to take one.
This is our first stop! DE BORTOLI WINES.

I took several photos inside, there is no warning whatsoever about taking pictures, so I took a picture of their vineyard.
Here is the vineyard. Awesome ey?

I remember we were guessing why are the grapes gone? (Look at photo)

We suspected it's because of winter, they dry up and just waiting for the right season or some sort of reasons. LOL


Answer is very simple. They just collected them.
We were dumbfounded. :((( LOL we are too scientific to think up of simple reasons hahahaha

Anyway, this is taken inside the De Bortoli shop, it is like a warehouse and really grande!
There they are, you can see the wine barrels as well!
I took pic of this one, how awesome, rose wine?
I love the colour and the design, looks very posh, elegant and royal.

Then, it wouldn't be complete without jumping off in the middle of the vineyard.
LOL. FREE !!!!!!!!!!
Okay, I will let the photos talk and write few captions.

Anyway, we had a really nice lunch at Majors Lane Restaurant, I even bought their hand made sweet chilli sauce that's very pricey and I have yet to try. AUD $16.50 wow.

Putting aside the price, I had a really rare Australian luncheon style. Usually I eat Asian food like Washoku, korean food, Indonesian food, Thai Food, fusion food, so this is like a breath of fresh air to my diet.
Due to this healthy food, I can definitely tell you, my digestive system works better now (wink wink) hehehehe

Food photos next:
Smoked ham with brie, raspberry jam and bread.

Smoke salmon with fried mash potatoes.
Pate, bread, chutney, and other sauce I do not know what it is :(
Anyway, we also ordered chicken caesar salad, potato wedges with sour cream, and another plate of chutneys, plain awesomeness.
So, next is Blue Tongue brewery. In case you don't know, blue tongue lizard is Australia's native lizard species. When they had this candy that coloured your tongue to blue, we used to call each other 'blue tongue blue tongue'. blahh.. lame joke. hahaha

We ordered their beer paddles.
AUD $14.00 for each paddle, all by Blue Tongue brewery, the best is their ginger ale.
I like Japanese beers better! Like Asahi or Kirin, it suits my tongue!
I don't drink much but maybe because I don't drink much I know what is nice and what is not. ha ha ha Our afternoon chat was accompanied with this awesome guitarist, I don't know his name but he is amazing.
Rock on, Mr.Hendrix????? (Well Jimi Hendrix has a lot of old school guitars like this ojiichan has).

So next we went to Tempus Two! This is a very famous Australian winery factory.
Well, it used to be the French that operated the factory but then they sold it to the Australians and so they changed the name to Tempus Two. How do I know? The guy at the wine tasting counter told me so :P

I bought my sparkling wine from their 2011 selection and did not regret it.
It is spot on !! Not too sweet like their dessert wine, just, perfect.
Eat it with strawberries and it will enhance your taste buds. :D

And again, being narcistic in front of Tempus Two.
LOL I love these girls. :)

Anyway we left Hunter Valley around 5 pm and this is the sunset... How pretty and breathtaking.
Don't you feel like sighing and admiring and just, be grateful to this country even though it is not overly crowded and less shops to shop around... LOL

This is the last photo to end the blog, which way to choose?
Toronto (Canada) hehe he h eh eh eh h e h e he h ehe *cheeky Sasa*
booo hooo....

Hope you guys enjoy my new updated post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Japanese Sandals: 下駄


This time the topic is geta !
Because I am obsessed about geta... he he Urgh, I am not going to do the informative type of blog about geta because I am just going to tell a story LOL

To put things short, geta is Japanese wooden clogs or sandals, worn with yukata (summer kimono- very thin and not as heavy as real kimono that has layers and layers inside).
I asked my Japanese friend if I can wear it with shorts or just with plain western clothes, and he said no, it should be worn with wafuku (Japanese clothes). Shux, anyhow, I should respect it :D

A good geta is made from paulownia wood because it is very light and for many other reasons which I am not familiar with hahaha

Seriously if you want to know lots more about geta go to wikipedia LOL

Anyway I bought 3 pairs of geta sandals in a shop in asakusa just a couple of streets away from Sensouji temple. I'm familiar with the owners, a pair of lovely ojiichan and obaachan, and this is the thing about me, I came across this shop by accident.
I got the sandals, and forgot to take the business card and just too busy talking to the owners.

The geta that I've uploaded on this website are custom-made by the ojiichan fit only for me.
He adjusted the fabric thong to fit my chubby toes LOL

When my mom wore it, obviously it could not fit her feet well.. ha ha ha ha
She also asked me "why are your heels outside the thongs, not inside the thongs"
I said to her "I also asked the same thing to the seller but they said it is how you wear it"
And I have the answer to the question.
To balance! You'll know why when you own and put on a pair, I hope the sellers will explain it to you and I think it also depends on the type of geta you buy! :D

I opted for the 2-ha (2 teeth) geta, they are really pretty and more traditional, harder to walk in than the modern ones where there's just one continuous heel for the geta.

Anyway, geta is different to zoori, the Japanese sandals where geisha maiko usually wear or just with really pretty kimono(s).

For this pair, I paid around 7000 yen-ish. Not bad for a pair of traditional Japanese sandals. The ones I bought for my priest and my son were slightly more expensive, the wood is really nice and smooth. The guys' geta are square-ish and of course really BIG. Mine is for females so the dai (台)is more oval. Dai is like the shape of the sandals.

And I think if I wear it with my yukata to the Tanabata festival, I will wear my hair like this.
ha ha ha ha with a little bit of kanzashi (hair accessories) pin somewhere at the side. hehe
Too bad I can't go to any of the festivals.. :( sad....

Now, what about this picture??

WHY Do i post a picture of another type of wooden sandals here? hahahahaha
Because this is Indonesian 'geta'.
We call it bakiak (ba from bark, ki for key, ak from whack). so ba-key-ack. :D
Sorry, I have really poor examples LOL

Now I will explain the difference between Indonesian bakiak and Japanese geta.
The most obvious is, we wear bakiak to dirty places LOL
To the toilet, to the super slippery dirtiest market places, and usually good ol grandmamas wear them.
We wear them because they are not slippery and the thong, yea not the nice fabric thongs like the Geta, they are made from rubber band ha h ah ah aha h ah a

And they nail it on the two sides with 2 small nails and you're done. hahahahaha

Very simple, not artistic, we just think of the use not the esthetic value like the Japanese does. :D
Bad thing about bakiak, well, common sense, wood + water = mouldy bakiak(s). LOL

So after we use it, we usually dry them out in the sun but even if we do so, they still get mouldy.

Anyway, I really miss the shop in Asakusa, and I hope I can go to Japan again before I start any new job (still hunting) LOL.

Then, gonna go to Ryougoku and take my beloved Toshiba rice-cooker back to Sydney.

I love my brown coloured rice-cooker. It's like my baby.... he he he he

By the way, I don't know if it is just me, but when I buy something, I love it so much that I wipe it everyday just to get rid of the dust.

Am I a clean freak? ha ha ha ha

Anyway, enjoy the blog, gahhh!!!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Random thought #1

I saw a status update from my friend that's written

A real man never hurts a woman!!!

Be very careful when you make a woman cry, because God

counts her tears. The
woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his
head to be superior but from his side to be equal! Under the arm to be
protected, and next to the heart to be loved

Just thinking how scary it is, if God counts the tears of a woman who dropped a single tear everyday for 40 years because a man left her when she's at her utmost vulnerable state.

What would God do, will He avenge her tears?
What about when a woman hurts a man? God will also count his unseen tears........
It's even more heartbreaking.

TO be honest, no matter if you are a woman or a man if you do something wrong, say sorry.

I've seen too many arrogant men and women, and in the end they lose even more.

But the thing is, it takes guts for one to admit their faults.

How many people have 'guts' these days I wonder?

Just a random thought..

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fattening up week!


HOLY MOLY, I have not updated for almost a week, I usually update every 6 days or 5 days, not that much difference but still .... ha ha ha

This time, the blog is full of food because my closest 3 people in my life invited me to lots of food tastings, restaurant hops in Sydney.
2 of them had their birthday in this 4 days, and the previous days were spent in either Korean restaurant or Japanese restaurant.

Okay, in this blog I am going to write several topics and will be PICS HEAVY!
Why? Here goes the contents

1. Farewell lunch for Spongegirl
2. Bestie's Bday 1st celebration
3. Bestie's 2nd Bday celebration
4. Mom's Bday

Let's go to #1


Who is spongegirl? She's a friend I met back in TAFE 3 years ago when I studied Japanese, she is damn hilarious, talks her mind and blurts out like no tomorrow but with witty humour.

She's going back for good to her home country even though I also thought Australia is her home country.

We went to a Korean Restaurant near my house and apparently very famous for their ox tongue. But we didn't order that at all because we all wanted to eat Nabe with Makkeli.

So here is our photo, I may not be able to see her again, I don't know, I am so sad. I thought that when I am here, we won't go off all over the world anymore hahaha

Everyone has their own life.
Here she is.... she can eat alot and still slim, like many Japanese girls, I don't know how LOL

Then, what is Makkeli?

Makkeli, is a korean word for Rice Wine, hahhh.. not many people knew that right? hehe
Usually it is 6% alcohol, so my friends said it's pretty safe for me, they all know I can't drink hehe
See? You have to shake the bottle well so the rice mixes up well with the drink.
So, if anybody wants to go to this restaurant, go ahead since I am going to put the details here.

My recommendation is their ox tongue, their jab chae, BBQ to be honest, they are all good. Must be one of my favorite korean restaurants in Sydney.

The location is quite hidden in an alley but many people are well informed of this restaurant, you wouldn't get lost whatsoever! so I will just give you the details.

Madang Korean Restaurant
371A Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9264 7010
Mon to Sun 11:30am - Midnight

2. Bestie's 1st Bday Celebration

Now now, this birthday celebration is supposed to be a 3 DAYS celebration, gosh.. LOL
Costs me alot T_T money, i need money... 実はお金が大必要だ 笑!
So it was her birthday on the 5th of August!

I arranged a birthday dinner for me, her and my sister at this German Restaurant.
This restaurant is very famous too! They have real German band, authentic German antiques decorated on the walls, feels like you're in Germany! hahaahaaaaaaaaaaaaa *TOAST*

And of course the German beer.
Let the photos do the talking.

The name of the restaurant is Lowenbrau.
We ordered 3 beers, I ordered lemon beer (the smallest since I can't drink much and I ended up drinking only half, mango beer (VERY FAMOUS!!!!!!) and my sister ordered the usual beer. LOL
Yea, I was mesmerised by all the beers, i swear i fall dead if i drink that many.

For the main meals we ordered jagerschnitzel , pig knuckle and pork something... They're all pork pork pork, my fav food. LOL
Pig's knuckle.

This is the one that I ate
small but to be honest, fits my stomach perfectly.

This is my friend's order. I don't know how to say it, you have to go to their website and check it out and the name is so long...
It looks delicious, she finished it all off and since she's the birthday girl, she got any main meal under $35 for FREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lucky girl. Cos me n my sis had to pay LOL

But anyways, I arranged a secret surprise for her. I told the waitress to bring over someone from the band to play her a happy birthday song.


She was so shocked, death by embarrassment, and the good thing is I taped everything on video hahaha *evil mellon*

This is the trumpet player, he was literally like 20 cm away from her face LOL
The guys next to our table were even cheering and singing happy birthday for her hahaha I hope this will be an unforgettable birthday for her... :D

I guess she was so happy that she decided to give me a kiss..

Let me give you the info on this famous German Restaurant, it is located in the Rocks Sydney, so you can see the Sydney harbour bridge and just opposite to Guylian Chocolate Cafe. LOL
Awesome ey?
Book from website (they can confirm with you via email or phone) or call *if 2 days before booking*.

3. Bestie's 2nd Day birthday celebration

Okay, same person different restaurant LOL
She invited me again to have dinner with the girls, not-so private function located in front of Darling Harbour, Sydney.

I feel really happy that this time Darling Harbour put on fireworks for her, sounds like a great b'day huh. hahahaha

This time we ate at I'm Angus steak restaurant. I was going to eat the cheapest menu there but turns out is the biggest, yeah I know, I kind of suck LOL

I ate half-rack pork rib. LOL all my friends were laughing at me the way I ate, but seriously can you eat half-rack pork ribs with pretty manner? With knife and fork without wearing a bip?

I won't upload a pic of that but I will upload this picture of her birthday cake, AWESOME!
She got the cake as a present, how wonderful !! haha
The restaurant sliced the cakes with additional ice cream for us and FREE.. Awesome ey?

Now the details

I'm Angus Steak House
The Promenade, Cockle Bay Wharf
Sydney NSW 2000

T: 1300 989 989

4. Last one!!!!!!!!!!!!

This restaurant is called Encasa. Spanish Restaurant and for the last 12 years since I moved to the city, I have never stepped my foot even once in this beautiful mouth smouldering restaurant.

It's just that, it is always crowded, the line is long and kinda made you lost your appetite.
But this time since it's my mom's bday, I booked it in early and we even came 1 hour early from the booking time.

Here goes the pics
Fried potatoes with mayonnaise and a bit sour tomato chili sauce but OMG, everybody orders this dish. I saw that every table has this dish LOL Damn I don't know the name of this one, I was chugging down my sangria and went tipsy ha h aha

We also ordered Spanish spaghetti (or pene if you want), This one is called primavera.

This is one of the 4 tapas (small dishes) that we ordered.
Bread with very salty fish soaked in olive oil but OMG so delicious.

We also had pizza called Mediterraneo !
Classic plating, with 3 olives, perfect, belissimo (no isn't that Italian? hahaha)

I also took a picture of the decoration.
It is as if you're in a tunnel, totally authentic, even the table cloth feels like you're eating in one of those small-medium restaurant in Europe, a bit dodgy from the outside but feels totally warm and fuzzy in the inside !!

Now, more food pictures.. hahaha Another tapas! Bread with salami, yummmmmm
So delicious, the salami is not too salty it is just perfect and delicious.

Me eating salami. LOL
Yum yum yum yum yum......................................................
And we safely got back home, me a bit tipsy and mom cutting her birthday ice cream cake from Baskin n Robins, Haagen Dazs preferred but no cake from them LOL

Happy birthday mommy!!

Oh, how do people celebrate birthdays in Japan? Do people eat noodle as a sign of long life?

Sorry my blog is just full of food pictures, maybe unnecessary for many people but it's for fun reading he he he

Now if anyone can guess, WHAT IS THIS LAST PICTURE?

Have fun reading !!!!!!!!