Saturday, February 20, 2010

going to Brisbrane area

From last posting:

What was that ‘Ree-die-yah’ show that we made ourselves pulled out our saving of a$30 to watch?

As we walk, there were crowd and lights. There were kiosk selling hot dogs and beers. Didn’t they disallow beers to be brought into this event place? I recalled and it was no eskies and glasses, not beers. How would anyone bring in beer without glass bottles and keeping cool in the eskies? Perhaps in aluminum cans and stored in plastic bags of ice.

There were lights and it’s like a stadium. Then cows and bulls would run out from a gate with a cowboy sitting on it trying to resist the animal from shaking him off its back.


Ree-die-yah’ = rodeo.
Rodeo = reedieyah
Ro = ree
De = die
eo = yah

If we would know it was rodeo show, we would rather stay with the caravan and not go anywhere. Further more we had to pay ourselves, further more, we had to buy our own dinner which we usually do not. We chose the cheapest hotdog, shared one and keep our energy till we go home.

It was the most expensive show we had seen in our whole life. A two hour show of cows and bulls jumping, BYOS (bring your own seat), cost a$15 per ticket!

I was so angry about myself.

So what if I was educated in English and yet I could not understand American and Aussie English? Ok, it was my fault as I scored a D7 for my GCE’O’ level examination on English. I have lots more to buck up. By understanding English doesn’t mean that we could travel the world with it. So far not much countries spoke English except for Canada, USA, Australia and the previous British colonies like India. There were many travels like us that could not speak English but could communicate with the locals.

Rodeo = reedieyah?!
After 4 days staying in the bush, we decided to ride back to Steve’s house in Palmwoods where he said we would be much help to him with some paperwork on his job. We can’t wait to go back and see Steve again.

Xmas 2009 with Steve's 3 younger children

Me, Jeriah (Steve's 3rd son) and Natdaniel (Steve's eldest son).

We were really staying with Steve. We live with him, eat with him, watched him worked and get to know an Aussie’s life in the suburb. 3 days later, packed up and went to the south again, near to Brisbane to look for an ‘Ex-Singaporean’ that I met a few times over the past year. His name is Li.

I’m not sure where Li is but I found out from the internet on his farm’s address. It took us 4 hours to ride to his farm.

In this farm, Li is growing lots of plants, which is called a nursery. This wholesale nursery grew plants and distribute to big local supermarkets. When I say local, it meant the east coast of Australia that stretched from New South Wales up to Queensland. Sometimes it might take the driver a few days to deliver the goods.

We were so happy to reach Li’s nursery (Bau Farm). I went to the office, the manager informed me that Li does not come here often. Li usually stationed at his property near Brisbane. We were a little disappointed but the manager offered us a tour on his nursery. There were many things that I learned about during the visit, especially of equipments and different method of growing and maintaining plants.

There would be 3 students from Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, School of Life Science and Chemical Technology (LSCT), Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management (HLM), coming here for internship for a period of 6 months. I was so delighted to see these 3 students because they will be the future leaders in my trade and was happy because they were fellow Singaporeans I had met again during this trip!

Good luck for your future in this industry.

With the help of the manager, he phoned up Belinda Li and we had the exact location on where to look for them. That’s it for the day. It’s 4pm and the nursery was closing. we moved north again to the beach to look for a campground to stay for a night before going to visit Li.

We went to Byron Bay, the most eastern point in Australia. Nice route going to this light house. We were supposed to pay a$3 to park our vehicle in their carpark in order to view being ‘eastern’ but the security was nice to tell us that if we stopped along that big rock in the carpark and not to park in the lot, we do not need to pay. NICE!

Trying to feel being 'Eastern-izedation'.

We were in this touristy place during holiday season. All the campgrounds within 30-40km were either full or out of our budget. There were especially many ‘travelers’ renting van from a company and go around Australia. They were usually young students or in their youth. It’s nice to do that when they are young.

They would be ‘funky’ in their dressing, not to shave their beard (for guys to look rugged), have big beach towels, go camp in the caravan park (like us), cook delicious dinner (same as what mum cooked for them at home), drink a beer, listen to Bob Marley, read a THICK story book, try to write a diary. It’s really nice to be like them if we were 10 years younger.

When we entered the camp ground, I noticed from the side of my eyes that many campers were watching us, as usual. After we settled down, some would glance their eyes from us because they have not seen Asian on bikes traveling like us. I could see their curiosity in us but they were shy. Why?

Whenever we take out something (cooking stove or tent) from our bag or our case, they would stretch a bit of their neck, stop their diary pen or put their eyes away from the THICK book that they were reading. Some wore sunglasses and turned their head away from their body towards our direction (I know they are secretly looking at us because of their weird body position). Then turn my head and eyes to one of them I could see they quickly switched back to what they were doing before. We said hello and smile to our nearby neighboring campers and they did reply but after that they were busy doing their own stuff.

There was only a young guy that came over to chat with me. After a few words about our trip and Hope Too, I asked him if he’s a German. Yes, he and his friends were from Germany and came here to travel too.

I started to realize about this situation. It happen the same in the previous campgrounds. I told myself that this was no longer in USA. In Uranga campground, a Swiss travel and a Dutch couple chatted with us. Along the road, two New Zealander bikers, father and son, catch up with us.

A few days ago, we had a flat rear tire along a highway. During that 3 hours under the hot sun (about 35 degrees Celsius and always had to keep the tools away from the sun else it will burn my palm if I'm going to use it), I had to put Hope Too on his main stand on the side road filled with soft sand and flies around my ears and nose, unpack the rear luggage and fix the flat. At least 1 vehicle would pass us each way. For 3 hours under that unbearable place to be broken down, there would be at least 180 that had passed us. Only 3 vehicles stopped.

1) a couple on car that offered any help that we wanted. They were a couple from Germany traveling in Australia.
2) A local biker riding KLR650 and later I knew that he was also going for a round the world trip.
3) An Aussie guy in his late 40s, came out of his car and asked me:

How yah goin’ mate? Do you have a air pump?

I said: yes I do, thanks a lot!

Aussie guy: Oh, I just came to check if you need one because I had one in my car. Since you have one, then good luck about it!

He quickly walk back to his car and went off.

I was hoping that he could give us some water or offer some other help.

What was the rest of 177 (at least) vehicles that passed us? Maybe it’s too hot to come out of their air conditioned vehicle, maybe there were fake cases of vehicle breakdown that causes some crimes, maybe they didn’t see us, maybe they have trust in us that we do not need any help, maybe their brake wasn’t working at that time. Actually if we really needed help, we could wave to any vehicles to stop them, right?

Again here, we do speak English and we weren’t unfriendly but why we can’t make much new Aussie friends on the road?

It was a warm night in the tent and we managed to sleep well.

Do we really deserve a beating if we go in?

Upon reaching Li’s property on the next day, I was impressed. In this place where he was stationed, his shop, his office and his house were together. the collection of garden pots and stone ware that he was selling was incredible. He laid them from the front all the way to the back which I couldn’t see where the display ended.

The first time I met Li and Belinda was in Thailand in November 2006. I was in a nursery searching for new plant species and they were there too. The second time was in Singapore, they were invited by the national parks of Singapore for an event. They over flew with Steve. That was in June 2007.

We waited for about 2 hours in his place for him to end a meeting. (Luckily we had lunch before we reached). We had a nice time together chatting and discussing about the landscape industry in Singapore and Australia. Both of them came over to Australia from Singapore about 20 years ago and were forced to give up their Singapore citizenship. Li and Belinda had set up a place in Singapore to expand their business. I was told that my uncle (my employer before I set up my own business in Singapore) felt hostile about them being their new neighbour as they were both selling something in similar. I felt very ashamed on how my uncle and auntie expressed their feelings over Li.

Sorry Li, you only wanted the photo to be half bodied, not exposing your shorts.

Putting all these aside, we had a great stay with them and left on the next day back to Palmwoods.

There were so much things for us to do there, with Steve.

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