Forlorn.of.thee (fa'lo:n ŭv thē), p, my only strength and stay,forlorn of thee, whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
Paradise Lost by John Milton
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mobile Blogging

Here it is, my first blog delivered via the Blackberry from the station. So how does it look? I've no idea how to position the photos.



Guess mobile blogging is great for short mutters and limited (read one !) photo.



Next stop, Bondi Beach !!

Sent via BlackBerry® from Telstra

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dust Storm - Sydney

Woke up on 23 September 2009, to find everything bathed in an eerie red glow. Sydney was smothered by thick cloud of fine red dust, carried by strong winds from inland NSW.

By mid-morning, the red hue was gone but the dust storm still raged. This was not fog...


Thank goodness, the storm has cleared today and we've got back our blue skies...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Aussie favourites and other goodies...

I've done a few parcel exchanges in my time, (usually with friends Stateside). Seldom have I given it much thought, throw in a couple of packets of Tim-Tam, a jar of Vegemite and so on.

The postage, costs three times the value of the goodies, maybe it's time I put a little effort into the task. So I ask myself, what's typical Aussie? Wine is out of the question as bottles are too heavy and likely to smash...

Here it is, my list of eight Aussie icons.


1. Lamingtons. Sponge cake dipped into chocolate and pressed into desiccated coconut.

2. Twisties. Cheese cereal snack launched in the 1950s.

3. ANZAC Biscuits. Made from rolled oats, flour and coconut, baked by anxious wives, mothers and girlfriends during World War I, packed in food parcels, and sent to the Australian soldiers in the trenches. Originally called Soldiers' Biscuits later renamed ANZAC Biscuits.

Worth noting: ANZAC is a word protected by law. One can say ANZAC day and ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC cookies, NO!!!

The Department of Veterans' Affairs say... "It should be noted that approvals for the word 'Anzac' to be used on biscuit products have been given provided that the product generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape, is not advertised in any way that would play on Australia's military heritage, and is not used in association with the word 'cookies', with its non-Australian overtones."

4. Milo. A chocolate and malt drink developed in Australia in the 1930's. Associated with Aussie cricket and the favoured beverage for the Tim Tam Slam.

5. Tim Tams. Biscuit smothered in a coating of chocolate. Bite off the ends and suck your Milo through it... the Tim Tam Slam!

6. Whittaker's Chocolates. There is no distinct Aussie brand so I picked one from NZ. The most common chocs in Australia are made by the multinationals, Cadbury, Lindt and Toblerone.

7. Vegemite. A dark brown and salty spread made from yeast. Yum on hot toast and butter!

8. Mandura Teas. From the tea plantations in northern NSW, founded by Michael and Norma Grant-Cook in 1978.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fish therapy anyone?

Garra rufa or the reddish log sucker live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects.

Read a little bit more here.

But have you wondered what happens to the fish from devouring all that dead skin... they grow!

For M$5*, you get to while away 10 minutes, with you feet dangling in the tank and fish gnawing away those tootsies!



M$3 = A$1 = U$0.80

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm a sucker for...

...sob stories? Or a pretty face :)

Danish mum, Karen seeking August's dad... maybe maintenance support :)



Heidi Clarke, looking for Prince Charming, left his jacket at a city cafe...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Food, shopping and stuff...

Sometime ago Vixel mentioned that she would love to try durians. Finally, after almost a decade, I've reacquainted my taste buds with that fruit. Durians have this hard thorny shell, quite difficult to open. Nowadays, one can buy them conveniently prepacked in Malaysian supermarkets. Bought four packets for M$ 10*.

The taste, heaven. The smell? Er... not unpleasant. My mistake however was to carry the recently acquired durian around in the shopping center.

On shopping centres... visited Berjaya Times Square. Can you imagine ten floors of shops, with cinemas, bowling alleys and a theme park as diversions. The shopp-a-holics can leave the kids and partners...

(I was exploring the food hall !)

The month of Ramadan has just started. This is when Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown (not even a drop of water !).

For the non-astronomers, sunrise and sunset times are published in the dailies.

During this month, there is a proliferation of little roadside stalls selling typical Malaysian fare. The daily breaking of fast in the evening is one of celebration. People buy their evening meal (...cooking is the last thing on your mind if you've been working and starving the whole day).


... and these stalls sell a famous Malaysian dish... satay!


... and Nasi Lemak (coconut rice) was a dish for the poorer members of the community, now it's found in all the 5 star hotels. It comprises the rice cooked in coconut milk, a sprinkle of fried peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies?) and a dollop of sambal (a kind of thick chili paste).


... and I had my nasi lemak with beef rendang (a mild dry coconut curry). Not going to tough it out with a couple of peanuts and anchovies...



More weird and wonderful fruits, bought a kilo of mangosteens for M$3*. This sells for A$1* each in Sydney. Unfortunately, rambutans (the red hairy ones) weren't in season.



Much better than the Aussie Beef jerky is the Long Yok. It's thin slices of pork, marinated and then smoked.... sweetish and it's yum!



Wandering the wet markets, spotted mud crab for sale at M$22* a kilo. Crab sells for A$40* in Sydney. The poor crabs landed up on the dining table looking a little... er cut up?


Finally, Bak Kut Teh (literally translated spare rib tea). Ordered my bowl at this place, it's spare ribs cooked for hours in herbs and soya sauce.


Planning my next trip... who's coming?


* M$3 = A$1 = U$0.80 = £0.50