Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finding House

1st place we viewed. Smaller than our current place. $420/week

Accommodation in Australia is freaking expensive. Period.

We used to pay $1820 per month for 2 bedroom 1 bathroom. That's equivalent to RM5460 ! wtf.

Anyway long story short, we got evicted cause the owner's moving back into the property. So we have to find a new place to move.

Kennedy St

We managed to locate a place nearby at Kennedy St. 2 bathrooms 1 bedroom 1 car space and an enormous rooftop bbq area with a view of the city, all going for $575/week.

We applied for it and were apparently the only one who applied. Great news! Got it. We even had the price reduced to $550/week. *starts to imagine having BBQ there during new years eve with a view of the fireworks *

Problem solved or so we thought.

Actually I told the agent I wanted another view of the place to measure the door cause we have a massive refrigerator that could potentially not fit through the walkway.

Went back there 1 afternoon with the agent and lo and behold she brought another potential tenant to view the place. A caucasion in his mid 30s. Next day the agent told us the other applicant has got the place.


I asked for the reason and she mentioned that it was the preference of the owner. Racist. ;(

2 bedroom 1 bathroom - $440-$460 / week (meek street)

After that we had to continue our search. The only problem was when we thought we already had that place, we gave a notice to move out in 3 weeks time. And we couldn't retract that notice.

So die die must move out in 3 weeks time.

2 bedroom 2 bathroom for only $460/week. Foryst st. (damn cheap)

There was 30-40 interested parties in the place and we had to line up just to go view the place. We didn't apply cause the place was quite dirty.

2 bedroom 2 bathroom 1 LUG - $625/week (Elizabeth street)

This one is super duper nice. It's quite new, only 1 year+. But it was quite pricey + the carpet smelled like someone's cat died there. *blueh*

Wifey also viewed another property - THE JAMES during the week. 2 bedroom 2 bathroom for $450/week. Good price considering it's landed property. It was our 1st choice when we first saw the ad on the net.

Turns out it was so pathetically small "it's meant for mouse to live, not human." (wifey's comments)

New place

After all the searching, thank god we managed to find our place. 3 levels, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 2 balconies and a car space. - for $450/week

What happened was I called the agent once we saw the ad on the internet. So he agreed to let us view the place on thursday, before the official inspection on Saturday. Once we saw it we applied for it and placed a deposit on the same day.

It was quite sneaky and I felt real bad when I joined the official inspection on Saturday. I wore a cap to avoid anyone recognizing me. The poor agent had to explain to them that the property had been taken and boy were they pissed!

Among them stood one of wifey's colleagues, Clancy. haha. She still doesn't know we were the one who went through the back door and placed a deposit on the place. I don't think she should ever find out. ;p

*It was actually a good thing we got rejected for the 1st place on Kennedy st. Now we get an extra bathroom and save $100/week. Plus it's only 100 metres from our current place.* Glee

Anyway we'll be moving next week. Busy busy.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

CNY eve + Rita's Farewell

Nice looking gift wrapped box

It was the 13th February, the eve of the Valentines day. I had previously went down to the city to buy a present for my babeh.

So I was contemplating whether to give her today or tomorrow. Finally decided to give it to her today, can't wait to give it to her. haha

She gave me a lovely V-day card the next day. Left it on the computer when I went to brush my teeth. So cheeky.


It was a set of earrings from Gucci. Hoped she liked it.

Besides that, it was also the eve of CNY. So excited. But there wasn't any CNY mood at all. So sad. ;(

We went down to Chatswood Mandarin to catch a cantonese flick, in search of some CNY mood through the movie.

72 Tenants of Properity

We went to watch the 72 Tenants of Prosperity. Initially I assumed it was a CNY-themed movie with red posters and the launch coinciding with CNY.

But apparently it's a remake of a 1970s film from the Shaw Brothers. Not exactly CNY-themed but still damn funny nonetheless.

It had so many famous actors & actresses in it because it was partly sponsored by TVB. It also had scenes from famous TVB series as well. Really ROFL.

Fish Soup Beehoon from May's Malaysian

Before the movie we had lunch at the food court below the cinema. Yummy fish soup beehoon for about $9.00. Luckily we only ordered 1 dish to share as the portion was gigantic.

At night we meet up with some friends for Rita's farewell. She's going back to Shanghai after a failed attempt at marriage and under constant pressure from her parents to return to the motherland.

We gathered at a korean BBQ buffet for $30/pax. When we sat down we started to chit chat while waiting for everyone to arrive and got told off for that! What nerve! The taukeh simply came over and ordered us to start eating.

No exaggeration. ORDERED!

I hope the place closes down the next time we pass that area.

All the food

Anyway the atmosphere was like a kopitiam with air-con, with the buffet table located right in the middle of the establishment.

There was a huge selection of pork, beef & chicken marinated in different sauce. Small variation of seafood included prawns, squid, mussel.

It's quite a good value for that price if you feel like gorging yourself.


Beware of eating buffet with PRC. They can't stop revisiting the buffet table to get more food eventhough they can't finish it themselves. The mentality is, "Since I've paid for it, I MUST get more value than my money's worth". Shoves all those food on the table and get others to finish it up.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Valentines Day 2010

Chinese New Year 2010

It has been long hiatus since my last post. So here's a post on V-day 2010 to kick-start things for 2010.

Mr. & Mrs Sim =)

It was quite fascinating this year as V-day fell on the same day as the 1st day of the Chinese New Year.

This year for valentines we decided to go to AZUMA KUSHIYAKI in Chinatown. It's located in Chinatown just a few steps away from the cinema in George Street.

We initially wanted to try the branch at Chifley Square, the menu looked more delicious but alas they don't open on Sundays.

When we first entered the vicinity we were shocked by what greeted us. It's like a cafe style, noodles takeaway type of establishment. A far cry from the suitable dining place for V-day.


Thank god the actual restaurant is further inside the complex. It's a typical japanese restaurant setup with very "zen" lighting.

We opted for the Special Valentines Menu for $88. Actually we didn't have a choice as ala carte wasn't an option. But it was quite good value for 7 course degustation.

Appetiser (4/5)

  • Crispy Lotus Root marinated with Smoked Salmon & Avacado.
  • Grilled Abalone with Mornay Sauce.
  • Duck Breast Tatsuta Fritters.

We started off the night with the appetiser. Man this was really good especially the Crispy Lotus Root with that lovely sauce.

When we saw the menu and saw 3 listings under appetiser we thought that we had to only choose 1 option. So we were pleasantly suprised to get all three. ;)

Seared Tuna Salad served with Ponyu Vinaigrette (2.5/5)

Seared tuna was nice, but the gravy was quite salty. I'd prefer to have seared tuna on a sushi plate.

Simmered Silver Cod with grated white radish (3.5/5)

The cod was so fresh it literally melted in our mouths. The prawn was a pleasant addition but I did think it was a weird combination with cod, prawn and eggplant.

I did finish slurping up all the gravy.

Wagyu Beef Steak with Soy Garlic Sauce (4.5/5)

Near perfection.

Recently we had bbq wagyu beef at another japanese establishment and we were blown away by the tender sweet tasting taste.

Needless to say we had high expectations for this dish and it definitely didn't disappoint.

Simmered Scallop Soup (2.5/5)

Tasted like miso soup with lots of enoki mushroom.

Scattered Spring Sushi wrapped in Bamboo leaves (2/5)

Now this was a weird one. I kinda liked it cause I generally like sushi but Mrs Sim didn't. So I had 1.5 and she only had the remaining 0.5.

It quite sweet with some mince meat, salmon roe scattered around the rice. Extra points given to the presentation with the bamboo leaves.

I initially hoped that it was the triangular rice cakes that you find in japanese supermarkets. I don't know what it's call but I refer to them as triangle cakes. They taste really superb.

Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Cake (1.5/5)

Poor attempt at dessert. But I'm not a dessert lover anyway.

Overall it was quite a pleasant experience. Not overly romantic as I would have liked but still pleasant nonetheless.

It was also quite interesting peeping at the pair of hongkie cum japanese wannabes with full blond hairdos and japanese anime dressings sitting behind us.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm back

So much had happened since my last post.

- Got married to a beautiful woman
- Ventured into business .... and failed ;(
- Shifted office
- Learned many things about myself, still trying to improve on the lousy bits
- Religionized myself
- Honeymooned in Bali

There should be a couple more which I can't recall. But if I can't recall it's probably not important enough.

Anyway its time to start blogging again.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Anonymous

Dear Sir,

I'm terribly sorry I spat on your food. I feel humiliated and utterly ashamed of my behaviour. Trust me, it was an accident!

I, infamous for butter fingers was handling your food when you requested it to be recook/realtered for the uptheemth time. On the way to the kitchen a spider ran across my path and I'm terrified of spiders (can't explain why). I freaked out and your food dropped on the floor.

In my hurry to pick it up, i accidentally stepped on it. (your food, not the spider) But all's well because nobody saw me and I flicked off the dirt of it.

The fright of the spider sent chills down my spine, and activated my urinatory glands. So I rushed to the washroom to answer nature's call. I had to place your food on the floor because I broke the plate (spider) and you don't expect me to single handedly solve my problem at hand do you? (It got caught in the zipper once and it hurts like hell)

Don't worry about the hygienic level of our washroom floor. I mop it every night. ;o)

After that, I realized that it had been 7 mins since I fetched your food from your table. Being the responsible waiter that I am and respecting the "7 mins rule of waitering", I decided to return your food to you.

I tried to get some tap water to wash away the speckles of dirt but all the taps were occupied. Tissues don't work cause they leave bits & pieces everywhere. So I did the next best thing and spat on it.

And returned your food to you.

Have a nice day.

Your's sincerely

Your responsible waiter.

P/s. Don't mess around with us. We are your waiters, not some low life that you can fuck just cause you had a lousy day.


I've been really busy at work now, but it's all good. ;p

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photography Session with Jenny Sun

On the 25th September 2008, the wife and I met up with Jenny Sun, for a engagement photography shoot.

The duo in action

We had engaged her services 2 months back and were slightly worried if the weather would hold out. There's is no greater wet blanket than pouring rain.

Bright Orange Background

Sydney has tons of beautiful places for outdoor shoots. But after discussing with Jenny, we finally decided to select "The Rocks" district for our shoot. Initially, we pondered over a beach shoot idea but we had a shoot at "Coogee Beach" thanks to YM.

Sitting on steps

We were both excited yet apprehensive. We had been following Jenny's blog for quite some time now. She makes it known that she's very bubbly & talkative during her shoots and we were afraid that we would be a bore (we being the non-talkative bunch)

Leaning against each other in the alley

She brought along her friend, Joyce who's a hobby photographer/student currently in her final year of fine art photography course.

"So Jenny, is Joyce your apprentice?" I enquired.
"No, no. She's just a friend."
To which Joyce replied to us, "You have no idea how many people want to shoot with Jenny and it is such a good opportunity."

Jenny demonstrating how to pose

From their conversation, we could see instantly that Jenny was a very humble person. She's gaining recognition in the photography world but she's not Louis Pang's standard in terms of status, NOT YET at least.

However her photography standard is definitely on par with Louis Pang's.

Wooden door background

During the 4 hours shoot, we walked through every possible nook and cranny in "The Rocks" area. Jenny particularly likes shooting in alleys and other people's houses, which will be shown in later pictures.

FYI Jenny carries around 2 cameras on her shoulders and 2 other lenses in her camera bag. What a heavy load for such a tiny frame.

Bright contrast

Initially I expected the shoot to be all natural, where we'll just stroll around and do our own stuff as she shoots away. All the photos on her blog were so natural.

Outside someone's house

But the amount of posing that we had to do was tremendous. "Close your eyes" "Lean closer" "Stretch your legs out" etc etc

This shot was taken outside someone's house. I'd imagine the owner to get a fright of his life if he opens his door then. haha

Look at her on the ground photographing the wife's engagement ring

Jenny Sun is a really professional photographer, who ain't afraid to get down and dirty as shown in this shot above. She goes to extreme measures just to get the right lighting and exposure so that the pictures will turn out perfect.

Remains of an old house

She was also able to maintain an amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm throughout the 4 hours. Her ability to lead her subjects (us) through the different shots and poses really prevailed. She kept assuring us that the photos will turn out great.

Tables & Chairs remains

Stairways to someone's house - AGAIN

This is another shot outside someone's property. She'll tell us how to pose, then ask us to creep up the stairs quietly which she remains on safe grounds. Then after a couple of quick shots we quickly went back down.

Feels like having an affair. haha

In the park

After much sneaking around we ended up in a lovely park overlooking the harbour bridge. We were never up here before and it was a lovely place to bring your dog for a walk and to have a picnic.

Lying down on the patch of greenery

Amazing view

Turning around like in a Bollywood movie

She made us chase each other around and turn around and around and around. Only element missing is a Bollywood tune playing in the background and some trees for us to play hide-and-seek.

Gazing into the sun

Risking our lives

It wasn't a very busy road but it was a road, nonetheless. She made us to sit down in the middle of the road for this shot. haha

Last shot of the day

To be frank I was very glad it was finally over. The 1st hour was pleasant and exciting and everything in between. As the clock ticked past the 2nd hour, it started to feel tiring and the muscles on our faces started to tense up.

By the 3rd hour we started experiencing cramps (joking) and started feeling fatigue. On several occassions I was tempted to tell Jenny, "Look why don't we call it a day and I'll give you a discount of 1 hour?"

It was definitely one hell of an experience. But I can't help but think, if I'm feeling so tired after 4 hours, how am I going to survive our wedding day next year?

It had been 2 weeks now and I can't wait to see how the photos will turn out. Fingers crossed.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ayam Goreng 99 Indonesian

Ayam Goreng 99

Located just down the hill from our place, Ayam Goreng 99 is an eatery we passed by often but never ventured into.

We finally decided to give it a shot after Fung's recommendation.

Narrow but compensated in length

The shop was quite narrow, only just fitting 2 normal sized tables at it's widest. But it stretches all the way in till we reach the kitchen. Must be quite an exercise to be a waiter here.

We arrived at about 12+ pm and the place was packed.

The concept of ordering is similar to taiwanese eateries where you jot down your orders on a piece of paper and pass it to the waiters.

Teh Botol $1.50

Famous indonesian drink. Tasted in Batam before and was quite good. This particular one in paperpack version had a strange odour in it. (Like toilet smell) haha

Bihun Goreng $9.00

A lot of customers ordered this dish so we decided to give it a try. That's normally our tactic to figure out what's the best dish around, by observing what other customers are trying.

It's quite tasty and the rice vermicelli was tastefully prepared. Topped with fishballs and vegetable, it was steaming hot when it arrived. Felt it was slightly overpriced.

Ayam Panggang - BBQ, Java & Goreng $5.50 each

Each of us ordered 3 different varieties of Ayam Panggang (grilled chicken). When it arrived, we just starred blankly at the waiter. "How to differenciate the 3? They all look similar."

As it turns out, the waiter pondered over our question and wasn't sure as well. Only after affirming what our orders were did he manage to pinpoint the culprits. Luckily he didn't have to make sure by licking them. But I suspected that he wasn't very sure.

After tasting our chickens, the waiter was right! "I apologize for doubting your waitering abilities."

BBQ & Java was quite nice but the Goreng was quite normal. The indonesians really know how to bakar (burn) their chicken. ;o)

Pepes Ikan Bilis $4.00

We wanted the mushroom version but they were out so we chose the anchovies instead. It comes wrapped in pandan leaf, consisting of various bits and pieces not recognisable by our taste buds.

The taste resembles "lemang", a similarly pandan leaf wrapped breakfast snack sold in kuching markets.

Overall the food was delightful. Prices were reasonable but portions were quite small.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Central Locking Installation

Black Widow Kit

Couple of weeks back I got my hands on a DIY 4 door central locking kit for our car. The used car we got doesn't come with central locking and it's really a hassle (call me lazy) to manually lock the doors.

The kit costs $69.00 and includes 1 master and 3 slave actuators, a whole lot of wires and 2 remotes.

The electrical diagram

Before I got the kit, I did my research online and found that it's quite easy to fix it up. But I didn't read the fine print (a certain level of understanding of electronics is required).

So I was quite stunned when I saw the electrical diagram. Even the guy at Strathfield where I got the kit from advised me not to do it unless I know what I'm doing. Leave it to them he says, but he probably just wants to earn my money.

It costs a ridiculous $65 per door to have it fixed. That's $65 X 4 + $69 = a whopping $329

All the wires from under the steering wheel

There are so many wires at the drivers kick panel that I'll be 80 by the time I identified everyone of them. I also risked electrocuting myself (slight exaggeration but 12V does hurt) and messing up the car's electrical circuitry.

There wasn't much chance for trial and error as I didn't want to end up with a few thousands dollars worth of scrap metal just for the convenience of central locking.

The various equipments needed

Taking off the door panel

Another main obstacle was removing the door panels to which I'm proud to say I'm an expert at now. haha It took us 2-3 hours (me & roy) to remove our first panel, which we did in the dark with a fumbling torchlight.

All the wires lead to a central control box

After installing all the actuators at the separate doors, I linked the wires under the carpets to the main controller under the steering wheel.

I was able to locate all the main wires except for the headlights, which will blink to indicate the remote has been activated/deactivated.

After an exhausting search (turning your head upside down and searching in a cramped environment), I finally gave up.

Fixing back the door panel

Everything works just fine now, without the indication. I am so proud. haha

It took me a total of 3 days spread out over 2 weeks to complete. Now I can include "Central Locking Kit Installation" into my resume.

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