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1 week in London so far

While at first things seemed to move really slowly, one week flew by pretty damn quickly! Admin wise I’m getting closer with a bank account opened, but no way to transact and my National Insurance number application completed.

Process for the bank account was a little slow but they’re really thorough with the identity checks and making sure you’re aware of the T&Cs, something that seems to be glossed over in Aus.

Been out and about a bit too, went to visit the Science Museum which was pretty cool, my favourites were the space exhibition and the planes/air transport.

On entry, you’re greeted with these huge engines from the past, including the horizontal piston engine below, the size of it is insane!

Went to meet up for drinks with a high school friend and her friends and crazily enough one of them is Kaz’s friend. Strangely enough it turned out to be the girl she bumped into randomly last time we were here in London on holidays. Small world!

Met up with Cathy at the Ninth Ward for a drink, silly me didn’t realise it was happy hour and ran off without my change! Thankfully the bartender found me afterwards. Then it was onto The Winemakers Club a nice little wine bar that felt like you were in a cellar. 3 bottles down we decided to move on back to Tracy’s place and more wine and Indian food.

Saturday rolls by and pleasantly woken up with photos and videos from Bob and Sylvia’s wedding. Seeing the shenanigans made me miss home a bit.

Also, thanks for the song dedication guys.Β I was practically there! Even (partially) dressed for the occasion.

Hoping there won’t be too many more things I’ll miss, it looked like a blast! All the best guys. Also missed Β Art and Lemon’s engagement already and that’s only a week in! Better have your wedding on an appropriate date!

Went for Uyghur food afterwards and it was one of the things I was craving before I left for London. Glad to find some locally, was really craving the lamb skewers. The skewers were okay (pricey though!) but they had this pot chicken with handmade noodles that was absolutely delish!

A few drinks with Long around Shoreditch wrapped up the Saturday. Gin and Tonic in large glasses, sorta like wine glasses, seems to be pretty standard here, not like the tumblers you get back home. A tip, don’t try eating the dried juniper berries.

Sunday was a lazy walk around some markets, Old Spitalfields and Brick Lane.

No shirt for me this time, but this caught me eye:

There were also food trucks next door and some smoked brisket was lunch of choice.

It was pretty damn tasty, there was a heap of caramelised onion that went beautifully with the smoky bbq sauce (strange fact: BBQ sauce isn’t commonly used here!)

Brick lane had a vintage market as well and some of the clothing looked seriously cool. Nothing I could pull off (and vintage clothing is bloody expensive!).

Plenty of graffiti and street art lurking in the lanes too. Plenty of politically motivated ones but will post up more in another post.

Party-wise I’ve locked in Transmission in Prague with flights and tickets sorted! Pretty psyched to be honest! Found out Kolsch was playing a live set a fabric so that’s locked in too!

Feeling good at the end of the week, feeling like most of the admin hurdles are progressing and I can focus on the job hunt.

There’s a few photos to put up from my walks around Brick Lane and Westminster and Southbank (no, not the one in Brisbane).

The first few days

It took a few days to hit me that this is actually harder than I thought! There’s a few reasons for it but the main one probably stems from typical me of having a very vague plan and figuring out the rest.

Figured that it wouldn’t hurt to just chill for a little while and take that time to get settled into the accommodation get the admin stuff done then explore the area. The job stuff can come later. I think that mostly came apart because I don’t quite like the accommodation, that was really compounded when a family of 4 moved into the room downstairs and I realised that shit, there could be 9 people living in this place in total. 1 bathroom and a tiny-ass kitchen. On top of it, it’s at least 10 – 15 minutes to get to the busy sections of town, the park while nice, the climate’s not the best for sitting out on the grass.

So I’ve tried to do more to get some semblance of a routine of home life, going for a run, the weather’s still tolerable for now, not sure how long that’ll last and cooking breakfast. Toast with pate, rocket and eggs.

Been into the local area a bit too, had a ramen dinner with Hanna at a place called Shoryu. Looked promising when I got there and it’s mostly good but doesn’t quite hit it. Seems like it needs more flavour or something. Also it’s not cheap, especially with the service charge on top (what is up with that?!).

There’s some funky architecture which breaks up the area, not sure how I feel to be honest, but they definitely are bold.

This lot of apartments really caught my eye. Must be baller!

With some more exploring, I found the Viet area, or at least where there’s quite a few Viet restaurants, will have to check it out some time. I did notice they had a few things that normally aren’t on the menu for example, thit kho (kinda like a braised beef) or pho bo lan (seems like when the beef is tossed in a wok with garlic?)

Grabbed a bite at BIRD which do fried chicken. Had the classic burger that was pretty good and a pack of wings on the side. Wings were disappointing to be honest, crunchy but felt a little stale? Wings were small too.

Hung out with Long in the arvo and it’s nice being able to chill with someone else who’s not working. In the evening he turned into Chef Long and cooked dinner. Pork chop with tomato rice. Ended up having dinner with Long and Sibei.

It’s helped getting out of the room and seeing familiar faces and not so familiar places.

My Graduation

Last week would be one of the last times I’d ever be back at Uni and it was for my graduation. After a strenuous 4 and a half years of study, it was time to claim my prize and take home that precious piece of paper that would certify me as a bachelor.

Ceremony was an early 10am start meaning to register and collect my gown, I’d have to be at uni before 9am, something I hadn’t done in a long time. Certainly don’t miss the terrible traffic driving up.

Waiting for my gown

Once inside, I was already feeling hungry and the graduation ceremony was to be a big one, the entire auditorium was full and the number of people graduating overfilled the front rows into a section of the audience. There’s a sense of nervous-ness as you stand there waiting for your name to be called out for you to collect your testamur, as for me, I was a little unique in getting a Bachelor of Information Systems (as opposed to a Bachelor of Science I would initially sought out to achieve. Quite lucky to have graduated with a couple of people I knew, I had feared it was to be a lonely graduation as I was a bit of a lagger. Congrats also to Winnie Tran, Suching Wong and Sumeet Kukar.

Collecting the testamur

After the ceremony, it was the obligatory rounds of photos across the various landmarks of the university. First is one with the family.

Family photo

Then the library lawn (with the UNSW library in the background)

Library lawn stargate

Then the lookout above the quad, as well as the obligatory flying cape photo.

I can fly!

And at last, the main walkway, or in this case, being on top of the globe!

On top of the world!

To top it off, you’ve gotta have some drinks to end the day, and this would be my chance to check out this white house place they built while I was no longer at uni during the day time.

Punch at the white house

Thanks to Jimmy Lam for the photos, you can see the rest of the album below, there’s also a few photos of my cousin who handed in his thesis, marking the completion of the work required for his PhD, so congrats to him!

Click here for the rest of the photos

To end the day would be some dinner and more drinks πŸ™‚ and generally a good time πŸ˜€

Day 9 and 10 – Back to Tokyo

So after the news of the attacks on South Korea, we decided to stray from travelling there, who knows what it could have escalated to. So after saying goodbye to our new friends Lilly and Isabella, we took a bullet train up back up to Tokyo.

New friends Isabella and Lilly

I decided to try out the food on the train despite the lady selling it not being extremely good looking like the one we saw on our first bullet train ride. I had no idea what was inside but the box did look pretty and so did the pictures, 1100 yen later and this is what I’m presented with.

Train food

Inside is nicely presented (like most Japanese food) a few of the items in there were rather strange and I had no idea what most of it was. Not bad tasting, but not exactly gourmet tasting food. Can’t complain too much, it is train food after all.

Rather well presented

Getting off the train, we were presented with some rather crap weather, but due to this a rather interesting sight. The Shibuya crossing filled with umbrellas, it was quite an impressive sight and would have been moreso if it was busier.

Shibuya crossing on a wet night

Continue reading Day 9 and 10 – Back to Tokyo

Three long months without a post…

It’s been a massively long time since I’ve added anything to my blog despite being out and about a fair bit, nothing spectacular like New Zealand but hanging out with friends and whatnot. More recently though, I’ve been rather sick and that’s made my Uni break fairly unenjoyable, being sick on a trip to Nelson Bay (well Anna bay) is not a good feeling and apologies to the people I spread my sickness too =D. This post will cover stuff I’ve done from the past three months including plenty of piccies.

I’ll try to update this thing more often…

Nelson Bay

From the last thing I did, the Nelson Bay trip, which wasn’t so great seeing as I started to get sick the day before we all left meant the bed was my best friend for a couple of days. Staying home while everyone else went fishing didn’t make such a great trip and by the time I had recovered, I had already infected others leaving only a few of us to have a few drinks on the last night. Other than my sickness, it was a nice 4 days despite a lotta trouble organising the trip with transport and all that.

Sexy Six B’day BBQ

We celebrated Bettina, Chris, David, Lily, Kathy and Sylvia L.’s b’days all together at Bicentennial Park in Homebush Bay. It was a great day despite being in the middle of Winter, the sun was out and it was lovely.

Awesome Foursome B’day Dinner

I managed to catch a bit of Bob, Gavin, MP and Tina’s B’day, unfortunately it was also my dad’s b’day that night and I had arrived late and caught up with a bit of Karaoke as well.

VSA Soccer Day 2009

Bankstown Youth Festival

Headed out on Saturday to the Bankstown Youth Festival with Stephen Du to check out the Young Designers fashion show in which Lorraine Bou took part as a designer and Anita as a model for Lorraine’s design. Lorraine was hoping to win the first prize of two hundred dollars as well as the chance to be a designer on Australia’s Next Top Model. Unfortunately Lorraine did not manage to take out the top prize but came a close second, she did manage to get a taste of victory as some sort of mistake or incompetence landed her name on the large novelty cheque. Congrats to Lorraine for her efforts, her dress design was outstanding. Other shots from the day was some black belt martial arts school who has been on Australia’s got talent and made it through to the semi-final, they were there to put on a demonstration.

Only managed to snap up photos from the fashion show and the karate demonstration as I had to jet towards shooting one of my first events for UpAllNight, the event was a small music festival called The Secret Garden and it was held on a farm in Brownlow out near Oran Park. Had a blast shooting the event as the crowd was really friendly despite having unlimited alcohol included with the entry fee.

Photos from the day are below:

Coldplay & Kim Le’s B’day

Feels good to finally have my site back up after my host decided to go bankrupt πŸ™ not to fear as it’s back now and unlikely to go down again. I’m still in the process of redesigning my site and splitting it up to three sections, you’ll see when i’m done ;).

Anyways, March was quite a busy month with Uni starting up again and getting busy already despite only have 3 days of uni. So far in March though I’ve been to Coldplay’s concert which I found to be quite good, our seats were quite far back as we only managed bronze reserved. They put on a good show with pretty nice visuals, the lasers were wicked, really bright and vivid colours. Highlights would have been Yellow and Viva La Vida for me, moreso Yellow due to the dropping of the Yellow balloons/balls, sucks that we weren’t on the floor so we could grab some of the butterflies. Although it was a great show, I felt like there should have been more and being my first “real” concert, it was damn short but I guess that’s the norm.

Pics are below, they’re the best I could do.

Also in March was Kim Le’s 20th b’day, we celebrated with dinner at Positano at Parramatta, we all had different meals which were quite nice. Headed out to Bamboo in the City afterwards for a bit but ended up being a waste of time, that place is shit, horrible atmosphere and people moving all over the place as they get to and from the bar. Not going there again, lucky I didn’t have to pay to get in though.

Pics from Kim’s b’day are below:

Tang’s 20th B’day

I’ve actually got a few things to catch up on with posting, but since Michael Tang thinks he’s so awesome, I decided to post about his birthday outing first. Very simple night consisting of dinner, karaoke and clubbing for a few of us, awesome night out and felt good to go clubbing after a while (even though it was RnB). Dinner at Oscars Bar or Restaurant, just across Pyrmont Bridge and then Karaoke at CEO and clubbing at Havana.

Photos are below

Short post, because I really can’t be bothered XD.

January of 2009…

Since I’ve been quite lazy with posting on my blog I’m just gonna keep a single post for stuff that happened in January of ’09 until I catch up to the things I’ve been doing recently. At this point I’m still unemployed and still really can’t be stuffed looking for a job, recruitment companies are such arseholes.

But anyways, in the whole 31 days of January a few things happened, I went up to the Central Coast to the Entrance again with my dad, some relo’s and my dad’s friend’s family for a fishing trip. t was a nice day to head up but unfortunately I didn’t even manage to catch a single fish by the end of the day which was quite disappointing seeing as there was a massive rush to the entrance as the tide was changing. Fishermen were standing almost shoulder to shoulder and the fish were coming in constantly, but by this time our bait had gone all crap and dead and the fish didn’t want to bother eating it. No pic

we managed to go on our hiking trip or as John described it, our “Practice Hike”, granted it wasn’t too difficult of a hike and would love to go again. It was a pain in the arse to lug around a DSLR onto the hiking track and more so to lug a tripod which doesn’t fit in your bag. It was an extremely hot day and lucky we left early in the morning as it was scorching by the time we had finished the hike. Thankfully Richard’s water holding canister maintained some ice and had cooled my drink down to chilling levels, once refreshed, I decided to head on ahead and finish the hike earlier, about half an hour later I reached the lookout and there was a nice view of the mountains around us, snapped a few panoramas and headed for the car. Not knowing exactly where the car was, I headed off along the road which had a couple of car parks on the way. After walking for a good 15 minutes nothing looked familiar and I wasn’t even sure I was going the right way, but I pushed on and 10 minutes later, I reached the car and boy was it hot inside. I turned on the engine and left the aircon on for a good 5 minutes before heading off to find something to eat. Driving around there was nothing in the surrounding area so I had resorted to a petrol station for an ice block, some lollies and a couple of bottles of Gatorade. Refreshing stuff. On my return I decided to annoy the rest of the laggers by driving behind them as they all walked to their car, the video is on Gab’s camera, might ask him for a copy. But anyway, here are the few pictures I took on our hike.

We also went fishing/beach one day at La Perouse, don’t quite remember exactly when this was but the day could have been better, the weather was becoming cloudy as we headed up there and there was a bit of a wind. Fishing wise, we managed a single tiny bream and a fat puffer fish, this thing was massive, I had never seen a puffer fish so big before. We had some fish and chips for dinner at the rocks and attempted more fishing there but it got dark quick and our lines were getting stuck, so we called it a night.

As January passed on, we also crossed into the Lunar New Year or as some call it, Chinese New Year also the same date as Australia day. My LNY celebrations were a few a little early, it was a couple of day before it on the Friday night as that day was also the anniversary of my Grandpa’s death. We had a typical family get together with dinner and then wished all our relos the best for the new year in exchange for some red pockets, the best thing about the Lunar New Year. Funnily enough, two of my younger cousins learnt a very valuable lesson about greed, they were challenged to eat a whole chilli, with no liquids until they were done, in exchange for $50 or so, and so they did, well they tried. Eva, the slightly older one decided to tackle the problem slowly by taking small bites of the chilli and could kinda handle it, minutes later, it was too hot for her to handle and she paused for a moment, but determined to get the money. Wilson on the other hand decided that it would be smarter to take the chilli whole, he placed the whole thing in his mouth and to our surprise he maintained a neutral face until it was discovered that he had not bitten into it rather just sucked on it. The expression on his face was priceless the moment he took his first bite, his face went all red and he couldn’t manage the heat and drank up his milk. Eva gave up soon after and both were rewarded with some cash anyway.

On the actual night of the New Year, I headed off to the Chinese temple opposite Mounties with Stephen Du, Louis and Chris and prayed to the gods while enjoying the festivities available, primarily the firecrackers and the fireworks show. Saw a couple of people that night too including Nugo, Alan La, Ae Jen, Paul and more, was a good way to spend the New Years, better then staying at home, haha.

That’s it for now, I’ll put another post up soon with photos from Top Gear as well as the cruise with 4 Strings.