May 30, 2008

A Tag To Start The Weekend

Man, I haven't done a tag in ages! Why you no tag me? :(


Bea tagged me a "five-question" post, and that I have to post this a week after I received this on Friday. So here it goes.

1. To watch or participate?
Well, it depends on what it is to watch or participate. Most of the time, I'd prefer to watch. But if it's a stage production, then I'd wanna participate BIG time ;)

2. Malls, catalog shopping, or the Internet?
Oooooh this is a toughie. I'd say malls, 'cos I love to be able to peruse and touch the items. But things are pretty much overpriced here, so I'd resort to the Internet to get 'em. As for catalog shopping ... nah.

3. A bath or shower?
Taking a bath is like stewing in my your own filth :p I'd take a shower anytime. Even in fancy hotels with gigantic tubs, I'd still use the shower stall. I'm funny that way.

4. To talk to people by telephone, in person or by e-mail?
Hmm. I love emails, but sometimes I'd want to chat with the person face-to-face.

5. Typing or writing?
Gosh, I type so much more than I write these days, that I can't even write properly anymore. Still, nothing beats a personal handwritten letter or card. I really treasure those.

I don't know who to tag specifically, so I tag YOU, YOU and YOU. Go crazy ;)

PS: Check out Adino's reply to the tag. Priceless!

May 25, 2008

Oh What A Start To A Chilly Sunday Morning

Our peaceful slumber was rudely awakened by the loud whirring of the helicopter blades looming near our apartment this morning. When the sound got louder the next 10 minutes, I grudgingly got out of the toasty-warm bed, slipped on my Kahunas, and braced the crisp chill at the balcony to find out what was going on.


Apparently there was a chopper a block away lifting a piece of machinery out of the building (yeah, on an early Sunday morning. Tsk tsk tsk). But that was not the most surprising sight which greet me in a very long time. I looked up to the sky, and through my blurry, sleepy vision, I thought I saw five blobs in the sky. With the great sound of the chopper, my first thought was "Is this a war zone?!"

Rubbing my eyes a little more, my vision cleared. And what I saw just blew me away. For what was floating right above me, were four colourful hot-air balloons.

Hot Air Balloons

Green Hot Air Balloon

I had no idea what a hot-air balloon was flying over our roof, let alone five. But the vision alone was breathtaking.

What a delight it was to start the beautiful Sunday morning. And it continued to be a good one.

May 22, 2008

Thank You For Your Lovely Email

I need a piping hot cup of Milo for the early chilly mornings to perk me up. I need to check my emails right after I wake up because I'm simply hooked to the Internet. But what I did not need, early in the morning, is this. I woke up to an email looking something like this:

"So how's life? Very good in your current "job"? Being a wife, with housework and all."

Okay, what the serious f**k does that mean? As though I do not hear enough of that from my parents, I have to wake up to this?

I'm sure she meant well, but still, I did not need that. Well, let's see, I cook, I clean, I shop for groceries, I wait for the husband to come home, fetch his slippers, massage his shoulders, simply waiting and doting on him hand and foot. Oh, and I'm bloody good at that. So yeah, I'm doing damn fine in my "job".

I'm so sorry sarcasm is lost on you. I really am.

May 15, 2008

Damn Lady, That's A Lot Of Gold

So I had a good time in the city with Julia (aka Mrs Zewt) yesterday. Zewt, you lucky bugger, she's absolutely lovely. And so pretty! :p

Picking The NoseFunny thing yesterday, as I was taking the train home. It was rush hour, so I decided to take the limited express train home, which would bypass a lot of the suburbs before reaching mine. As it was rush hour, there were a lot of people on the train, with many squashed to the sides. As the train I took at Flinders St was the first train, I managed to get myself a seat. A couple of stations later, a Caucasian lady got in, and sat opposite me. A station later, an Indian lady got in and sat next to her.

Throughout the entire train ride, the Indian lady spent every 2 to 3 minutes picking her nose. And I don't mean a discreet flick of the nose; I mean the whole index finger, jammed up the nose, digging for every bit of gold. You can even see her finger moving in the nose! The first time she dug for some gold, the Caucasian lady (who was reading a book) glanced at her in utter disgust, shook her head, tsked quietly, and back to her book with an eyebrow raised in disgust.

And that happened every time the Indian lady dug for gold. She was totally oblivious to the Caucasian lady looking at her in disgust. I was so amused at the Caucasian lady's reaction that I didn't even flinch in disgust at the Indian lady's horrible habit. She was really uncomfortable, frowning, shifting in her seat, raising a lot of eyebrows, etc, and the Indian lady was oblivious to it all the whole time. That must be a heck lot of gold up that nose. Dig, flick (eeeuwww!!), dig, flick, dig, flick. I have a feeling the poor dude next to her (who had no idea what was going on, as he was leaning forward at his seat, with earphones on) must have a lot of extra "goodies" on his back :P

When we were reaching our stop (oh yeah, Indian lady got off the same station I did), I was so tempted to say to the Caucasian lady "hey, at least I don't have to look at the digging". *shudder*

As there were still many people on the train, we had to hold on to the sides to walk to the exit doors. Even though there was space left on the handle where the Indian lady had her hand on, I looked at the "spade", and decided to hold on to something else.

I don't need the extra "gold" :p

May 13, 2008

My Learner's Permit. Yay!

I've finally, finally gotten my learner's permit!

Learner's Permit
I've decided I didn't really like my picture after all :(

I had my learner's permit done at the Vicroads branch at Burwood. Tim had his license done there as well, so he thought he'd bring me there and give them a piece of his mind in case I get the same crap I had gotten at the Oakleigh branch.

Initially, I did face the same problem with my name as well, just like I did before. The problem with my last name smacked in the middle of my whole name in my passport.

"Sigh, Malaysian passports always confuse us."

That's it. All the person did was looked at the passport, and said that. So irritatingly nonchalant. She didn't mention any sort of solution, but neither did she give me more crap about my last name. It was simply because one of the managers on duty yesterday was a Chinese, who cleared everything up pronto. The application process went on quickly, and I finally got to take the test. Finally!

Oh, and I passed with *ahem* 100% *ahem* :p

Anyways, now that I've gotten my permit, I'm going to be lodging a formal complaint to Vicroads about this. There should be some sort of policy for Malaysian passports made known to the Vicroads people. My passport was not the first Malaysian one they encountered; they must have encountered thousands of Malaysian passports with last names not in the "right" position, which would also mean that they should know what to do. Instead of shaking their heads and giving us all that "Oh, Malaysian passports confuse us" rubbish and inconvenience us by asking us to get our passports changed, names changed, etc.

I have yet to take my Hazards Perception Test, but when I do, I'm going back to the Oakleigh branch, just to shove my permit at the faces. Hmph.

So yeah, I'm now officially an L driver in Victoria. Whee!

PS: Thanks very much for all your suggestions and advice on getting my learner's permit. It's so cool when you can get help on the blogosphere. I really appreciate it :)

May 07, 2008

I Don't Cuss Enough?

Man, how G-rated's my blog?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

For the record, I cuss more in real life. Shh, don't tell my mother.

What's yours?

PS: Constant Drama, you so have to do this ;)

May 06, 2008

Help Needed - I Don't Want To Change My Name!

I'm having a very big problem with identification in Australia.

I couldn't take my driver's learner's permit test today. Not that I was not allowed to, but after a long discussion with the Vicroads lady (nice girl, Jenna), I realised that it would be pointless to apply for something which I would be using as an identification other than my passport in Australia. For the very thing I did not expect to give me problems with is, well, giving me a lot of problems.

My name.

Now as a Chinese, I have a Chinese name (duh). I also have an official Christian name attached to my birth certificate, Malaysian identification card and passport. For explanation's sake, let's say my name is Amy Lim Yen Lee (it's not, by the way) - first name Amy, second/middle name Yen Lee, and surname Lim. That's how it's written in Malaysia, and that's how I'm known as. Now over here (basically almost everywhere else BUT Malaysia), my name would be Amy Yen Lee Lim. My surname would be last. You know what I mean?

When the Vicroads lady checked my passport, she was dismayed to learn that it was a Malaysian passport. Apparently this was not the first time they've encountered this. She explained to me that my surname is Lee, not Lim, regardless of what I wrote in the application form, nor any bank statements, etc. They insisted that unless my surname and first names are clearly specified on the passport, they have to read the name on the passport from left to right. In that case, my surname happened to be Lee. And that would be my name here.

This is a huge problem for me. If I were to apply for a driver's license here, my surname would be changed. Due to some new department policy, they have to read my name as it is on the passport, even though I told them specifically my surname was Lim, that it's written in my passport, birth certificate, etc. It would not make any difference to them; they just have to read it as it is, on the passport, from left to right. They suggested a way around this would be if I were to get the Malaysian consulate to change my passport, or to have some kind of note on the Observations page in the passport to indicate what my first and last names are. If not, then the name will have to be Amy Lee, not Amy Lim.

Now, all explanations aside ... this is RIDICULOUS!! I mean, come on! I am not the first Malaysian they encountered, and yet they just wouldn't bend to see reason. It's all just black and white. When I asked them what the rest of the Malaysian applicants did with that problem, and they told me that they just kept their "surname" that way. In other words, their names were changed. Oh they sympathised with me all that, but there was nothing else they could do. Unless I was all right with such an identification, there was nothing they could do.

I don't get it. So they're all right with us changing our names just to fit their policy?? This is going to cause a real havoc with my life here in Australia!

Are there any Malaysians in Australia facing this problem? How did you get around it? I don't want to have to go to the Malaysian embassy in Canberra just to get my name right. The Malaysian friends I know here did not even face such a problem. Is it because I have an extra Christian name attached, that's why my surname was squeezed in the middle? I had this problem when applying for Medicare too, but they closed an eye and let me through, with my actual surname intact.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Coffee or a meal on me. Seriously.


PS: I went to the Vicroads at Oakleigh South.