Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour 2008 @ ANU

You can do your part to save the earth, even if it's just one hour.

Earth Hour is an international event where households and businesses turn off their lights and electrical appliances for one hour.

This happens on the evening of 29 March at 8 pm local time until 9 pm to promote electricity conservation. The underlying motive is to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and green-house gases.

A cool picture - showing how many people in this world actually take Earth Hour up.

The main event was actually held in Sydney where you can really notice that most of the lights are switched off during the Earth Hour. However, ANU did its part too in this global call for energy conservation.

Candles on the plains : A. N. U.

Basically what ANU does is that they have a gathering over at Fellows Oval which started at 6pm. I did not attend it as I have some dinner with a bunch of my good friends here. (hence the lack of pictures from 6 - 8).

They had some free BBQ barbeque over there as well as some activities (that I am aware of). The main thing starts at 8 pm. Other residential halls in ANU as well as UniLodge took part in this event.

Tea-light candles protected with waxed paper, creating a calm and nostalgic scene

During the darkened hour, they had a display of a four men crew of fire-jugglers. It was quite and amazing feat to witness. They had samba music accompanying the stunts.

About Earth Hour

The volunteers for the event playing the samba beat that makes you feel like dancing

The people from Malaysia, China and Australia.

Here in Down Under, Earth Hour is promoted by World Wildlife Fund Australia (WWF) and the Sydney Morning Herald. Yes, you may think "One hour? What difference does that make?". Believe me, it really does.

My best picture for the night : Fire Phoenix and some weird doodle of a face. I like the Phoenix more.

The phoenix moving around in a blurry burst of flame

Last year, in Sydney alone during the very first Earth Hour, there was a massive 10.2% reduction in electricity consumption - where households switched off their non-essential appliances and businesses switching off their machines.

Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses took part last year.

Looks like a swirling flame.

A fiery heart - that is what I am.

Imagine the difference the world can make in just an hour. With more and more people and business taking part in this event, we could do something to save and protect our future generations.

I really don't know how to label this picture. It still looks cool in my opinion.

The performer throwing his staff up

There were various critics regarding this event as well as anti Earth Hour groups. However, this event does create an awareness regarding this major issue - the greatest contributor to global warming is green-house gases, caused by coal-powered electricity.

I like this picture after the Phoenix one : It's like a long serpent unwinding itself.

This looks like Cloud doing his omni-slash from FF VII

For more pictures or news regarding this event you can always head to their official website

As for ANU, I tried to upload the best pictures that I have taken. They are not really impressive some of them when compared to my friend's, who took the pictures with a Digital SLR.

Finally here are some extra photographs that are worth posting.

The above really looks like this --> o.O

I may not have any knowledge in Mandarin at all but the above really looks like some Chinese symbols though.

An array of fiery displays.

I actually thought it was a Terminator coming out from a time - vortex.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day, it's all about what you do now that will affect your world in the future. And hence, do your part to save the world. A little now may make a big difference later on.

The lighted path leading back to UniLodge


Pancakes - Simple to do, delicious to eat.

I would like to share a recipe with you guys. It is really simple to do and it takes little time too. Serves up to 3 people or 2 if you guys were to be big eaters. Some equipment you need before-hand just to make sure:

  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Lader

1 egg
1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla essence (optional)
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Beat egg until fluffy.
  2. Add milk and melted margarine.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Heat a heavy griddle or fry pan which is greased with a little butter on a paper towel.
  5. The pan is hot enough when a drop of water breaks into several smaller balls which 'dance' around the pan.
  6. Pour a small amount of batter (approx 1/4 cup) into pan and tip to spread out or spread with spoon.
  7. When bubbles appear on surface and begin to break, turn over and cook the other side.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Movie Date - Just the two of us

Only at Pancake Parlor's: A good time with a good meal and a movie.

Just face it; I got bored. I got stressed. I got sick of facing my books for the past 6 days in the row that I feel like puking and throw all my books away into the recycle bin.

However, it will cost me approximately AUD 220 of reading materials (and apart of a big scolding from my oldies).

But hey, instead of throwing everything away, I look at the above advertisement and say $15 bucks for some pancakes and a movie ticket? That's pretty cheap by the way. The original costs are:

Short stack pancake (2 pancakes) = $ 9.80 1 Movie ticket (with concession) = $ 12.00

You do the maths. I think we are able to save $ 6 - 7. (Note: The above prices may be wrong as I don't usual frequent the Pancake Parlor or the cinema)

Short stack pancakes - served with home made maple syrup and ice-cream.

I think I had a post regarding the shop; Pancake Parlor. Anyways, they serve really really good pancakes, served with either cream, ice-cream or butter. I like it with ice-cream. The warm fluffy pancakes will melt the ice-cream; giving much pleasure when you taste it in your mouth.

Vienna Cocoa - Hot chocolate drink topped with fresh whipped cream with cocoa sprinkles on it.

Oh, one thing about the movie deal - There are no drinks included in it. I ordered a Vienna Cocoa for us, as my dear loves chocolate more than anything else (besides me). It is not that bad, except the fact they put a HUGE amount of cream on top of it.

Dendy Cinema - 2nd floor of the new wing of Canberra Center.

After our dinner, we head straight to the Cinema to check out the availability of the tickets. We were way too early for our movie actually as it starts at 8.50 p.m. Nothing else better to do, we went for a walk in Canberra Center.

Situated up on the 2nd floor, it gives some class and flavor to it every time you head to the Cinema, you need to take the escalator up.

For those who unaware about the life in Canberra, here's an eye opener: EVERYTHING SHUTS DOWN AFTER FIVE. All of the shops were already closed and not one person can be seen - except both of us and the cleaner who was driving around some cleaning vehicle.

The long empty walkway of Canberra Center

It's almost like a ghost town. But I like the above picture a lot - and Canberra Center

Back to the Dendy Cinemas. Unfortunately, I took blurry pictures of the ticket counter, the refreshment bar and the foyer (with my k850i phone. I know it's a lousy picture with a good camera phone, but I am still new with it!)

It is nothing like Malaysia's Cinemas. Maybe it is like the newer ones over at the Gardens or Cine Leisure. The design is nice and suitable for a movie-goer, it just makes you FEEL that you want to keep coming here.

The foyer of Dendy Cinema

the Ticket Counter

the Refreshments Bar. The spooky shadow in the middle is Amanda by the way, she was keen in checking out the prices of the chocolates offered.

What movie were we watching? Step Up 2 - Where it doesn't matter where you came from (Malaysia), it's about where you are at (Canberra). As a dance movie, it is pretty good with nice dancing routines but as an ACTUAL movie, it gets pretty lame and cheesy sometimes (not to mention the fact that they made fun of Asians, giving the image of a Russel Peter's Cantonese Accent).

However, if you want to catch a glimpse of people with hot bodies doing their thing or cute guys breaking it down on the dance floor, this movie is perfect for you.

The entrance to the silver screen

Step Up 2 - the Streets

It is not very often I write about myself as I do not want my blog to be filled with "emo" thoughts (so as to AVOID thinking that I may have written too much bout my personal life and the whole world is reading it - you know, THOSE types of blogs).

-----Skip this part if you want to ignore my personal thoughts-----

I do want to say that spending time with Amanda is one of the greatest joy one earth, holding her hands when we watch the movie and saying occasional "I love you" when a cheesy or mushy scene comes up.

Nothing beats this feeling; spending with someone you truly love. Every second becomes almost forever as you play with her hair and hold her hands ever so tight. It makes you the happiest person on earth for that very moment.

Alright, before I get messages saying "Your blog so emo la" or "You got no shame arr writing bout your personal life, and like I care reading bout your life" I shall say that going for movies is really fun.

------Resume reading here if you skipped the above section -----

Especially when you have a ticket for two, with someone special holding your hands as you step up into the silver screen.

A ticket for two - Just you and me

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gungahlin - Shopping for groceries

Yes folks, a weird name for a district in the Australia Capital Territory(I assure you that there are even weirder names for other districts, but I shall stick to my post). Gungahlin is situated to the north of the city center.

It is a district comprising 7 suburbs with around 26,000 people of the 320,000 people in the Australian Capital Territory (June 2001 Census). It is not really a big place; a main district center where all the shops are located and residential areas surrounding it.

Alright, I shall not drag on too much about the geographical or historical data and will get back to the point. We (Amanda & myself) left UniLodge at around 10 am in the morning (it takes around 25-30 minutes bus ride)

A really really cool van parked in front of UniLodge

I guess it is an advertisement van:

Thankfully, I had most of my work done for the following week (tutorials and reading) so I guess I could spend some time relaxing myself with Amanda in Gungahlin.

Honestly, even compared to Melaka Raya in Malacca, (or to Taipan in USJ) Gungahlin town center is just like this: 2 long streets that crosses and a few 2-level buildings with shops in it. Yes, it is PRETTY small for a town center.

Gungahlin Marketplace

A cool clock. With the digits representing some Australian figure or symbol.

Besides having a few Chinese restaurants, pizza shops or fast-food joints, the Marketplace has a few departmental stores, such as Big W, Coles and my favourite, Aldi.

Told you that it is a long street with 2-level buildings. The sight is pretty plain actually.

The other long street that crosses the street in the previous picture. (Honestly I don't know what the names of the streets are. Shame on me)

The sight is not plain anymore, with a model in it; Amanda =) and with a Mercedes Benz

There is one thing that I like about Gungahlin more; it looks new. Compared to Belconnen, Dickson or Woden, the buildings here look much newer and more well designed. Even the interiors of the shopping malls look better.

Amanda in front of Mako Bar, one of the cafes around the Marketplace.

Now tell me, does the interior look nice mate? Certainly does

Finally, the MAIN reason for students of ANU to sit a long 25 minutes bus ride is not to look at buildings or fancy the long streets that cross at a perfect right angle, but to buy cheap asian groceries from a place called the Hub.

From Vietnamese spring rolls to Roti Canai, from Japanese Tofu to Indian Curry Powder, the Hub has everything that you want, especially when you are from Malaysia: the home of good food.

the Hub.

And with lots of groceries in our hands, I can't take any more pictures but all I can say is that for any Malaysians in Australia who are reading this, I have man tao and miso soup while you DON'T. Haha

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I miss Malaysia [Part I] - Chinese New Year's Eve

Meant to put this up last month, but well, been busy =P

I always remember my Dad as someone who loves staying at home when there are any big celebrations like New Year's Eve or other big public holidays that has celebrations outside.

Behold, the sight for sore eyes : Cendol

BUT not this year! I recalled that I was actually online writing a post for my blog where my Dad got so enthusiastic asking everyone in the house to get dressed and saying "let's go to Jonker Walk, I want to eat the cendol there".

Now if you really are a cendol lover, I could send you the picture of the shops name and you can head there yourself. The above picture is from another shop which is slightly inferior to the one i frequent. Nevertheless, it is still quite yum.

One of the alleys leading to Jonker Walk.

Then we are off to the very long, crowded and sweaty lane of Jonker Walk - a high class "pasar malam" where you can get everything, from bubble tea to beers and from expensive silk cheongsams to cheap sandals.

Cheap thongs and sandals; ranging from RM5 to RM 20

Having to crawl in the traffic for about 30 minutes it was actually quite a sight to behold. Red lanterns decorated the night and specially red spot-lights that were put up by the government adds to the New Year's ambience.

The ambience of CNY fills the night as red spot-lights decorated the walls of these historical buildings.

--> POLIS <--
Jangan main-main atau kena "ang pau" nanti
dan bayar saman.

One could witness an almost bumper to bumper traffic crawl in the heart of Malacca City and policemen with their motorcycles scouring the city floor to direct the traffic (or other reasons that I would not say - but you already KNOW-LAH)

The crowded alley of Jonker Walk; home of stories of blood, sweat and tears (actually you smell sweaty arm-pits more)

Jonker Walk was EXTRA congested on the eve of the year of the Rat. You can see families hanging out together or friends gathering with each other, adding to the mood of get-together. Temples near the Walk have special prayers for good wishes and prosperity for the coming new year.

Outside a shop: The shop-owner holds special prayers for prosperity and for more "chai" to come.

An occasional youngster which carries the brand "Ah-Beng/Ah-Lian" adds more to the mood that it really is a Chinese celebration. I guess today is the day where they can brag to their friends which brand of hair wax or gell that they use.

One thing that sets Jonker Walk apart from an ordinary pasar malam is that they have a stage! On every major celebration like CNY or Christmas, they have performances such as singing, dancing, lion dance or magic acts.

The area near the stage where the performances are held.

The stage which I was talking about. And the sea of people crowding around.

I guess that is all I can remember from a night from 1 month ago. I really miss the hot, humid weather sometimes (but I am glad that I am in Australia still). I really miss the cendol in Jonker Walk but most of all, I miss the spirit of get-togetherness with my family.

And finally, a picture to end this post. Toodles.