Monday, January 18, 2010

Sydney with Adrian and friends

Landing in Sydney airport after sitting on a tight seat for 19 hours, we were much relieved when our entire luggage we in order and the authority did not check much about the cleanliness, food and medicine.

Everything was much in order. Taking a queue at the taxi stand was mannerly. We were also informed about the taxi prices and driver’s conduct before getting on one. Good, there were no hidden cost, especially we came from USA were there are a lot of tariff and tax paid on top of the price shown and all written in very fine prints.

The first 2 things that shocked us were the expenses. I bought a can of soft drink (330ml) thro a café for take away in the airport and it cost a$4.00. The second was the taxi fare. Our destination was Adrian’s house and he told us that he’s very near to the airport. It was written clearly on a big signboard of a$5.00 surcharge for airport transfer. We get onto the taxi and I kept looking at the meter. I felt every clicked gets me nearer to the end of the world. The final charge for that 11km on about 15 minutes of click ride, we handed over a$30. The good thing about it was again our 7 luggage were always together with us and it got into Adrian’s apartment safely.

Adrian and I did national service together. We held the same role in the platoon and we slept in the same bunk for the 20 months. He was pretty quiet and had a bed near one corner and I was always cheeky and wanted to disturb everyone in the night while they sleep. He was the very first few to wake up in the morning, usually 530am and he had to spend some time with some late sleepers (especially me) to get down for morning routine.

After breakfast, usually we had to do area cleaning but the late sleeper gang would usually go for the morning shit or laze back into the bed. Adrian would be noising everyone to do the cleaning together. He was an ‘on’ and obedient soldier.

We had a chance to learn driving a jeep or motorcycle during the army days. We need about 60% jeepers and 40%bikers. Those do not have a civilian driving license or only had a motorcycle license would be in the fist of the list to learn driving. Those that would have driving license would be listed to be biker. For me, I had both so I would wait for filling up the vacancies. Nobody wants to be a biker because it was the toughest job in all the roles. Adrian was quiet and he let the others chose what they want and fill in the vacancies, so in the end he became a biker, like me.

The days riding the military bike with Dino, Daniel, Adrian, Alex, SGT Errol and me were terribly fun. There were some common topics that we always reminded each other about riding the military bike and laughed over it.

The blue cow incident? The round island trip? The Maharoodin orientation ride? The helicopter-bike lift? The drowning of engine in Mandai? The ride in Taiwan and Thailand?

There were so many funny and unforgettable events happen during my army days. Recently I managed to get in contact with a lost platoon mate thro facebook. I often tease him about the incident where he book into the camp wearing sarong (a traditional lower body dressing usually worn by Malay man. It is a piece of cloth and had a concept of skirt) where all of us wore long pants with tucked in t-shirts.

It’s the tale that we will not forget. To others, it seems to be a myth but we are the ones that experienced it.

Adrian facebooked me that he would not be at home when we arrived in Sydney. He gave us some phone numbers to contact which was his housemates. Arriving at the apartment, Iklin (from Malaysia), his housemate opened the door for us and we were greeted by Satoko, Jun, Misaki (from Japan) and later Ruchika (from India). Adrian gave us the access to his room facilities which we could sleep in. he also left a bus ticket and street directory for us to use. Later we also get to meet Christina (from Germany) which she came over to take over Iklin’s room.

About 1 week after we arrived, Adrian was back and we were shy to take up his room and we slept at the sofa bed in the living room. He cooked us some Singapore food that made us finally wiped our drool for the past 2 years: Chili crab, chicken rice and nasi lemak on the last morning before we left.

Christina from Germany.

Big Greg and us at the Malaysian restuarant.

I had an email from Chan, M-Technik of Singapore. He told me that he had a customer from Sydney that frequent order Africa twin parts from him. His name is Greg. I managed to contact Greg and our first meeting was him coming to our apartment to meet us. The moment I open the door, I greeted him, he walked into the house, Adrian saw Greg and shouted at him:


Greg took us to a Malaysian restaurant which smells homely. He shared with us about biking in Australia and help me on some technical advises on Africa Twin in Australia. There was only less than 20 Africa Twin in Australia so getting parts may not be an easy task. On our second meeting with Greg, he gave us some detail maps on the places that we intended to go. Thanks Greg for all the time and advises you spend on us.

Greg's Africa Twin with inverted fork. It had been some time that Hope Too had not seen his brothers on the road.

Adrian organized a meeting with LTA Lee S.K.

The last day leaving Sydney's home.

Kennie (1st on right) came to fetch me out of Sydney. Thanks Kennie for seeing us for the last time.
The stay with Adrian was really nice. We noticed that he had a sympatric heart, understanding and not narrow minded. (Is there an English word for not being narrow minded?) He was our tour guide for walking around Sydney CBD on foot which many there will be many places we will not be visiting with Hope Too around. Thou Adrian and his house mate do not live in a very big and fancy house but the fun we had will never end.

PING-PONG-PIANG! Adrian, see you back in Singapore!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

4D in Singapore, had fun at Kennie's place

any one won the Draw? Hope Too's number was the FIRST PRIZE IN SINGAPORE!!!

Draw No: 2955 Sunday 03 Jan 10

1st Prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

Starter Prizes
0613 0947 1248 1657 2776 6675 6969 8151 8874 9464

Consolation Prizes
0693 0734 2128 3101 4179 7406 7895 8565 8725 9916

and the below is something i did just for fun when we were having bbq at kennie's place.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sydney with Kennie and Edwin

We would like to thank Aaron Thor (Dallas, USA) and Hii Chun Hii for their generous donation, that helped in our visa extention in Australia.

remember the xmas video i put on youtube on my previous post? they removed the music. it took me 8 hours to upload this video again using blogger. hope you guys can view it again thou xmas is over.

On the day we reach Australia Sydney, we stayed in Adrian’s room as he was away back home in Singapore. We updated our location on the blog and soon, Kennie got in contact with me via email and we met up and rejoiced. With us was Edwin. Kennie and Edwin came to Sydney after their national service in Singapore. That was about 10 years ago for further education and settled in Sydney. I last saw Kennie was about 5 years ago and Edwin about 10 years ago in Singapore.

Kennie and I were classmates, band mates, gardening society members and buddy for the 4 years during my secondary school education. We were always sitting together in class and had fun teasing other friends around us and many times, joking about our teachers and giving them nicknames. When we were in secondary one, Edwin was in secondary three where he was our senior in the military band.

It was after secondary education and we went different institute and that gapped us.

There were so many things to talk about when we met up, especially about our common friends. As host, they brought us to many places in Sydney. Kennie brought us to a lobster dinner for the first night and introduced us to his wife, Sally. Both of them brought us to a dinner in a local hotel and we made an arrangement for a weekend ride. I was surprised that the two of them picked up motorcycling and had passion in it.

It was so interesting being my first time riding with my band mates. Everyone made an effort to wake up on a lazy weekend. This was the very first time during the trip where we rode to a Chinese temple and it was the biggest Chinese temple in the southern hemisphere. The ride ended in Kennie’s place where we had Australian BBQ. After the dinner, he also offered to guide us home, half hour away in his car until we reached Adrian’s house.

One of the weekdays, Kennie took off from his busy scheduled job just to take us around. I reckoned that it will be our last meeting in Sydney, else in Singapore. Edwin wasn’t available for the day as he was busy but he made up by coming to us at Adrian’s house to have dinner with us and we had a good time too.

On the day we left Sydney from Adrian’s house, Kennie surprised me by turning up at our place to say goodbye and guide us out of this busy city. We were very touched by his effort because we know that we will not have time to see each other that often again, being good friends when we were young and now, it’s sad to say goodbye.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We lost a friend.

Mdm Irene Tan Nee Ho Cheng Sim passed away peacefully on 5th January 2010, 1:35am. Casket resting at Church of Holy Spirit, 248 Upper Thomson Road. Prayer service tonight and tomorrow at 8pm. Please note parlor closes at 10pm. Cottege will leave for Church of Risen Chirst Toa Payoh for mass on 7th January 2010 at 8:30am. Thereafter to Mandai Cremetorium Hall 1 at 9:45am.

I was working in Country Manna Restaurant, Far East Plaza from 1995 for a few years. Auntie Irene was working with me. She is quite a fussy person to work with. Not many people could work with her but i was exceptional. She didn't like the other crews that were working with her except for a very few and i was one of them. She was the oldest lady that was on my back of my motorbike.

When Samantha and I got married in 2006 March, we invited her. At that time she had some mobility problems so i got my friend, Rick Ong, to fetch her and back for our wedding. That was the last time we met her. After the wedding, we were so busy in our business, making sufficient money to fund the trip. During that time I always told Sam that we should set time aside to visit her as she was living alone. It never happened. During our RTW trip, I told myself that when we go back, we must go to her house and have a small gathering.

Yesterday, Sam mentioned about Auntie Irene. I told Sam that she must be doing well. This morning, I recivied an SMS from Vincent about it. It shoke me alot. I went out and had a tears filling the cup.

Auntie Irene was a very kind lady to me and had taken care of me alot and now we are not able to see her again, for the rest of our life.

This incident made us think, the value of time with people around us.

Could someone sent our condolence to her family? I think she does not have much family members around.

Our last picture taken together during Vincent's wedding.

thank you Auntie Irene, we will miss you.