Five Day Weekend

Well, thanks to Labour Day, this week has provided me and many other people a five day weekend, which is pretty cool; it’s almost like another mid-sem break. No uni from Friday all the way to Wednesday. I took this as an opportunity to have some fun and obviously catch up with other people DESPITE the fact that the smarter thing to do would’ve been to catch up on work that I’ve left behind because of all those exams in the past three weeks. Oh well; that’s what happens when you’d rather have fun now.

 

Friday

On Friday I went out with my high school group; most of us came, only a few decided not to turn up; half our group was free that day while the other half was free after lunch time. At first it was me, Matt, Tim, Chris and Jono who met up and headed off to North Sydney in the morning to Ryo’s Noodles, which has the best ramen in Sydney, or so Tim and Chris say. So we went to verify that fact; took a train to St Leonard’s and walked the rest of the way; it did talk a while to walk but obviously not long enough for Matt to finish chewing his long bread roll he got at Woolworths prior to lunch.

 

The restaurant (soon to be reviewed by Chris – I’ll add to my blogroll) was a tad small and had limited seating capacity, it also didn’t look very fancy but then that’s fair if you consider such a place to have good food; it should not be easy or quick to replicate. The prices went a bit higher than what we originally anticipated but the food definitely was good. It does come at the top for the best ramen but not by that much. The restaurant was out of the way and the quantity per serving wasn’t all that exciting. What made the ramen good was the soup and the noodles. The soup was nice and rich with flavour and rather thick, like proper soup, not like water. And then the noodles seemed to have been made more delicately, and didn’t seem to have come from a packet or something, like other restaurants haha!

 

After lunch we went back to the city and met up with the rest of our group and we all went to net cafe; we haven’t gamed together in a long time and we’ve all turned to different types of gaming yeah. We played DotA and I would still say that I still stand second to none in my group. Regardless of what they may all say, to identify the exact skill of a player cannot be done solely by seeing the teamwork. Being an all-round player for any game is being able to play every role as well as each other. We played UT and also CoD4, CoD is pretty fun I wish I could practice more at first person shooters but at the moment my laptop can’t handle the newer games and I’m still waiting on a new desktop once Windows 7 comes out.

 

We gamed for a good 3 hours, played a lot of games; it was okay although we were all seated in different places. It was 5pm then and we couldn’t decide what to do then. It was too early for dinner and yet it didn’t seem right to go for 3 hours of karaoke, 1 hour seemed too little as well. But fate helped us decide when we found that Big Echo was full at the time so we went for dinner. Went to the Japanese restaurant across the street, where we were joined by Diana and Arthur o.0” First time we actually went out for dinner together as a group haha.

 

Afterwards we weren’t satisfied for the day so we added another hour of karaoke with that; Big Echo was full again even after dinner so we went back all the way to K-Squared. Too much karaoke in the past 4 weeks T.T” And it’s all too repetitive as well: Love Story, Viva La Vida, and a bunch of Linkin Park voice-wrecker songs. It was still fun but for one hour we really had to be time efficient between 8 people. The night ended with a huge storm just as we got on the train; somewhat glad we left the city before the storm got worse at night. It was quite a fun day; very long, very expensive T.T” but fun.

 

 

Saturday & Sunday

The weekend was just as long; stuff day in and day out. On Saturday we had our church meeting at Kenny’s house. Met the entire day and afternoon to reflect, go over plans and such. Quite a lot to organise, lots of things to fix up and stuff but generally our meetings are a waste of time in that we achieve so little in so much time; very inefficient T.T” But I guess sometimes that’s bound to happen, we just have to put up with it.

 

Later that night we had our Mid-Autumn festival. I didn’t actually stay for all of it; just for dinner and then had Quentin drive me back home. Feel utterly pathetic still not having my Ps while he’s had them for more than half a year now T.T” How pathetic indeed *sigh*

 

On Sunday we still had youth group and had to come up with a game the night before; so that was last night out. We had a Trivia activity with all these bogus questions from Jess; they were all fairly random like “Name the four Wiggles” and “Which two words have no other rhyming words?” and even “Who was the first person to go out into space?” It’s those sort of o.0” questions which you would consider quite random. “But I know the answer to the,” says Jess. Weird.

 

Had to plan a few things in the afternoon for Monday and I guess somehow the night just wasted away and once again I got no work done.

 

 

Monday

Today I went out with Sharon and Erica to watch “Up”. I think Sharon was the one who raised the idea; but then I had to drag the nearest guy, Ken, into this because it’s kind of suss having just the three of us wandering around Towers yes? Not to stranger, no, who cares what they think. It was just in case people I knew saw us. Of course Ken was sort of out of place in terms of age but then if you consider us as a church group then it’s okay haha!

 

Finally took advantage of the Monday Student deal offer, $7 tickets wow! They are awesome I’m glad I watched a movie today because of the value haha. One problem we had today was that Ken didn’t have his car, and me and Erica can’t drive. Which meant that the only driver available was Sharon; thanks Shaz you make a good chauffeur haha! So she had to come round and pick each of us up and then drive us to Towers; we had plenty of time but the cinemas were pretty packed today considering it was a public holiday.

 

Felt a bit sad that everyone who walked into the movie was a kid; whereas you have us grownups, oldies, whatever, walking in and watching it haha. I think we laughed just as much as the kids too. It was a pretty good movie; it wasn’t all laughter at every point; it had a few grown up elements in it too, like all Pixar films, which was good. We had lunch afterwards. I chose not to conform to having burritos but I guess I’ll probably try one next time T.T”

 

We walked around afterwards and went clothes shopping; guys follow girls >.<” Does it always come to that? It was alright I guess, except for that bit when Erica was trying to make me try on high heel shoes. I reluctantly gave in, just to not be a spoil sport, had trouble fitting my fat male feet into them so I did eventually give up. I guess that’s why they have a girl and guy section in most shoe stores because there’s a difference in the shape of the feet? I don’t know. We walked around for a good hour as Erica went hunting a for a good dress to the formal; visited a lot of stores. It was an interesting afternoon, just to cut it there without saying anything more. Sharon drove us home before that huge storm came which blew the power for a while.

 

And there you have my long weekend, well there is one more day tomorrow but I swear I really have to use it for work otherwise I am going to have wasted it (for a good cause – the word is “spent” then), but I have no regrets having fun with my friends; just really need to get back to work T.T”

HK Chronicles: Part 2

Food

Oh boy; the food in Hong Kong was great, heaps better than in Australia, and of course  much cheaper. I remember on the first day after I got there, I had ramen for lunch. Actually, it was spicy ramen, and it has got to be the spiciest I’ve had so far. Well it’s got to be; I mean it gave me a runny nose AND it made me cry, now that is hot haha. I ramen several times in Hong Kong; most places were good, others were dull. But price-wise, a $28 bowl of ramen is perhaps the best deal; it also came with some sushi AND a free drink. That’s a mere $5.60 AUD for all that, and the bowl of ramen was fairly large. Ah I’m going to miss Hong Kong for the food.

 

Apart from that obviously we went yum cha many times, mostly with relatives. Apparently, I heard from my uncle that some of the food in yum cha restaurants are now imported from Shanghai and stuff;as in the food prepared isn’t fresh. Hmm, someone can do research for me on that if they want. But yeah, there were a few times where the food actually wasn’t good, which is a shame, and it also does support the imported food rumour.

 

And also, the whole “tipping” thing is rather confusing and annoying now. My mum says it’s courteous to tip the waiter only if they present your change on a money plate; if they don’t then you don’t need to leave any tips. So I found it strange having to leave tips in shoddy restaurants which don’t deserve anything, and also not having to leave tips in huge restaurants because they didn’t use the money plate.

 

At home dinner wasn’t exactly great, apart from what my mum made. As explained in the last part, the  servant was rather annoying with food. Apparently she’s a Jew (everything makes sense now! Just joking) so she didn’t eat pork. In fact she didn’t eat anything, which is highly suspicious because over 18 days I don’t think she lost weight; very suspicious indeed.

 

I had pigeon on the second last night; that was nice haha. My mum was sort of petrified at seeing a dead roasted bird; I was slightly taken aback by it too but oh well. I suppose pigeon is halfway between chicken and duck in terms of taste and how hard the meat was. Yet there wasn’t much to eat since obviously the pigeon is small; actually kind of got sick after eating the bird because it finally sank in what I had just eaten then.

 

 

Relatives

Of course one of the major reasons I wanted to come back to Hong Kong was to see my relatives. I haven’t seen them for 4 years now and particularly for my cousins younger than me, I wanted to see how much they’ve changed.  Most of my relatives are heaps older than me, my cousins on my dad’s side are like 30+, with my eldest cousin in mid mid 40s. There is obviously no equality with them and most of the time I think of them as a generation older than me rather than as people in my own generation. My cousins on my mother’s side are closer to my age. My eldest cousin is at 28, with a younger sister at 24. And then I have younger cousins at 13 and 9.

 

I saw all of my relatives more than once over the 18 days which was good.  The first Sunday back everyone (nearly) from my mother’s side all met up at my uncle’s apartment and we all had dinner. And this was my first chance to get a look at my cousins since four years. I guess the 28 year old one somehow didn’t look 28. He’s working in computing and yet even at 28 he doesn’t seem to be getting close to “settling down” in that sense haha. His sister was away in Beijing so I didn’t get to see her. All I know is that she’s a Hello Kitty maniac, obviously from all the posters and the plushies. My 13 year old cousin has matured massively since I last saw her; she’s still just as cute as I remembered haha. But yeah it’s interesting how she’s managed to develop quite an “open” personality so she’s pretty hype and sociable. But as I remembered she was a bit plump but otherwise she’s just as I remembered her. And her younger brother, well, I never really talked to him much but he’s getting taller pretty fast haha.

 

Apart from that huge dinner we had, me and my mum also had yum cha with his wife, my aunty on several occasions; I think I saw her the most by far. And then I met up with my father’s side for this buffet down at Wan Chai. What me and my mum didn’t was that it was my uncle’s (dad’s brother) birthday. So we were there and my cousins said “happy birthday dad” and we were like: “Oh, you serious?” But the buffet was quite good. Quite massive and all;. Oh and just for the record, I ended the buffet this way: To Sharon in particular, remember that huge bowl of vanilla ice cream I had at next gen? Yeah that one. Well after the huge dinner, imagine a bowl of ice cream that was like 50% larger than the next gen one. Now imagine all that as chocolate. And finally imagine it nearly swimming in chocolate topping. THAT was my dessert 😛

 

Funnily, the night after the buffet, my uncle from my mother’s side invited us out for an expensive dinner at an Italian restaurant, well Italian-themed anyway. The place was okay, and the food was average though considering how expensive everything was. But yeah I was more or less happy to catch up with my younger cousin, only because she was like the only person closest my age the entire time I was in HK T.T” But yeah she’s pretty cool haha, fairly popular unlike me xD Can’t wait to see her again like here in Australia. They’re rich enough to do whatever they want haha so she’s fairly powerful. She said to me like: “You know…the chicks are hotter here in Hong Kong…” and sadly I’ll have to agree with her. She helped me look for cosplay after we had dinner…in Causeway Bay…I don’t think so. But yeah it’s nice that she tried; and embarrassingly enough for me to say: “I want to buy anime costumes…”

 

Apart from meeting all my relatives, we were surprised to find that they were all giving us like red pockets even though new year’s was way over. And so that was how we funded part of our shopping; using the odd $2000 or so red pocket money to buy stuff haha. But overall I was happy to have seen my relatives again, and for them to see me haha since I am practically the only one here in Australia; unless you consider my other aunt, who now is kind of really messed up so she doesn’t count. I won’t elaborate on that here.

Crossfire and CBS Summer Edition

 

Crossfire

 

Well I suppose this can be a bit of a follow-up from next gen. Kenny asked us, the new Crossfire leaders, to go to  his place for a meeting regarding the youth group. The new leaders are: me, Jess Y, Jess L, Natalie S, and Eva H. Eva was in HK so she didn’t come. Jess can and drove me and Nat to Kenny’s house; I really need to get my P’s on that note T.T” Getting there.

 

Kenny seemed to be having a playgroup there or something; like his sister came over with her three children and when we came in there were 5 small bodies just crawling all over the floor haha. We had a Korean-style lunch, I can’t really describe because I’m not really acquainted with Korean-style cooking. The lunch was nice, Jess L made Korean pancakes, out of Chinese ingredients, and lunch was good.

 

In the afternoon we looked over a chapter in a book about youth ministry; sort of similar to what we’d do on the nights we have “Training in Ministry” or whatever Kenny wants to call it. And then we went around discussing our experience, what our expectations are and also what we think needs to be changed. I don’t think we got very far because the primary concern we discussed was the punctuality of everyone. We don’t have enough time to run a program if everyone shows up say 15 minutes late. We’re meant to start at 9:30am and go till 11:00am, that’s 1.5 hours; but if everyone turns late then we end up 15-30 minutes late and then we’ll only have 1 hour or so for a youth group, that’s obviously not enough time. And with our Chinese congregation moving over to Cherrybrook Primary, as a new venue, we will probably have to make more adjustments to the time.

 

Me and Nat still say to change our youth groups to run on Friday nights, when everyone else is having their youth group. That way we can actually compete with them for times 😛 But anyway that’s what we’ve only discussed so far, more to come next week I guess. Oh but then I’m not allowed to divulge our plans because they’ll all be surprises 😛

 

 

CBS Summer Edition #2

 

Okay later at night, we were invited by UNSW students to attend a monthly talk at their Christian group; I guess it’d be good to see how the Christian group there is running. Me and Charlie managed to gather up a party of 6, with a 7th person to show up later. So let’s get on with it.

 

Came home at like 3pm so I had 2 hours before going out again; the CBS talk was at 7:30pm and also featured Carl Matthei, one of the speakers from next gen but was only there for the 1st week so we didn’t see him personally. Caught the train at 5:16pm to Epping, got off and saw: Matt, Tim, Sophia and Jess Q (that’s 3 Jess’’ for the day haha!) We chatted about our jobs (if we had one) and how we were faring in them. Shame to Matt and Sophia, who are only earning a maximum of $15 and $13 respectively per hour at their tutoring centres, which are funnily enough like two doors apart. Jess is clearly dominating with her 10+ hours a week at $30 for piano. That’s rich I can tell you, over $20K salary.

 

We met Charlie at Central, who somehow is always there really early and at the least gets there before us, we were early too. We decided to go out for dinner, rather than opt for the dinner at UNSW for $10 provided by CBS (Campus Bible Study). Tim said he heard about a good Japanese restaurant, called Ramen-kan, opposite Entertainment Centre. The hard bit was getting up there via the lift, which seemed unstable. It was us 6, plus two random adults, and the capacity according to the lift is 8 people or 612 Kg, that’s about 45 Kg per person, and since we had 8 adult-sized people, things didn’t look good. But we survived haha, thought the lift would be the end of us all.

 

Despite the dodgy lift, Ramen-kan was quite a nice-looking restaurant. It was well decorated and the furniture and stuff was nice. They seemed to be full but luckily they had a large empty space exactly for 6 people, we were in luck. I ordered ramen because I’ve been so ramen-deprived these months, Matt ordered a crab and corn ramen, everyone else was Udon or rice.

 

It was then that we realized that trying to walk to a restaurant from Central, eat and then walk back in 45 minutes was a near impossible task so we were going to run late. The food came out after a while and it looked great. In fact I was really impressed with their food; for once it’s actually worth paying, my $10.90 spicy ramen was definitely worth it; haven’t tasted anything so good since Tokyo Ramen in Hornsby Westfield. So I was contempt for the night! Everyone else ate their food; Tim and Sophia didn’t finish their rice dishes, Tim said he was full and Sophia said (while eating with one arm under the table, what the?! o.0”) that her rice was too hot. SO both of them didn’t finish and sort of just threw it out, what a waste T.T”

 

We walked back to Eddy Ave to catch the bus and came across Chris, forgot last name, who is also from Ruse. So our party of 7 waited at the bus stop for the bus, which came nearly 20 minutes later. But the time we got on we were already maybe 15 minutes late, estimating to arrive 30 minutes late. And here’s where our calamity begins:

 

About 5 minutes from UNSW (did it have to be so close to our destination?) the bus stops at a bus stop but doesn’t continue moving on as normal. Some guy who was already on the bus was holding it up, telling the driver not to go. We didn’t know what was going until 10 minutes later it seemed he was looking for his bag, which he suddenly lost; he was searching the seats and everything. He must’ve held the bus up thinking if anyone had stolen his bag, the thief would still be nearby. Although, after 10 minutes walking from the bus stop; I’m sure the thief would’ve gotten away, idiot.

 

And over the next 5 minutes after that (15 minutes now), people started getting off, opting to walk rather than wait for the idiot man to “find his bag”. We were considering this too, but it would be a minimum 20 minute walk. Actually there this man with a soft voice who overheard that we were heading to UNSW so he politely asked if this was so, and then gave us information that it;’d still be 5 minutes and about 5 more stops. He also told us that it’d be a 20-minute walk if we had gotten off the bus at that point; he was a nice ,man and I was glad for his advice; which does reinforce the kindness of strangers in the city.

 

But as for the other man, oh no, he kept holding up the bus, wouldn’t let it go, asking everyone if they had seen his bag.  People starting getting annoyed, at a 15 minute hold up you bet your ass you’d get mad! One woman was extremely annoyed and started yelling at him to just forget about his bag, and for the bus driver to keep moving. and then also to kick that retard off the bus for holding it up. The man countered with: “I have $40 worth of stuff in that bag.” Oh geez! Can this man not earn more than $40 an hour? Pretty crap pay if so.

 

Okay background check up now. He later then said that he’d been sleeping on the bus, and when he woke up like a short while before the bus came to the stop we were stuck at, he noticed his bag was missing. So okay that’s why he started causing a ruckus so recently; which means a thief probably hadn’t taken his bag at this stop, and there’d be no reason to stop the damn bus. If his bag was still on the bus, it’s not going anywhere even if the bus moves. If it’s not on the bus, it’s long gone. No reason to stop the bus either way.

 

The woman started more pissed, he started yelling at the man saying that everyone is tired and just wants to get him and that he should “piss off!” So the man replied: “No, you piss off!” Wow, what a pathetic idiot. And I thought it was going to come to blows rather soon and for a moment we were afraid of being caught in something bad on the bus, oh well. Nothing happened thank God and after 20 minutes, we decided to get off the bus while he called the police; the bus wasn’t going to move.

 

We walked for 5 minutes, obviously not getting anywhere, we were really late then, nearly an hour. And after 5 minutes of walking,  the same bus pulls up next to us and the driver honked at us to get back on; very kind of him too =) So we got back on and that asshole was still there; but this he got off when we got on and just called the police from the kerb there. We were finally rid of him as the bus pulled away from that idiot and we sped off towards UNSW.

 

By the time we got there we were an hour late and even then we still took another 10 minutes to find the lecture hall where everyone was. When we finally got in, we were so late that people looked at us funny and we only managed to hear the last 10 minutes of Carl’s talk. Not the best evening Christian-wise haha! We joined everyone for ice-blocks from Home Ice-Cream afterwards and chatted to people we saw from next gen, and also this Ruse graduate called Andrew, Gan/Dan, who apparently was discipled by our Kenny, funny that. And that was our evening. We all caught the bus back and caught the train home, having another long chat. Somehow the 7 of us didn’t feel like a Christian group for some reason, didn’t have the atmosphere and we didn’t talk about church or anything…T.T” But it’s just good to know that we were all Christians and that we all managed to gather, and were also willing to gather again for CBS for O-week; haha good to make new friends in Christ!

 

But just one last note about that stupid bus incident, I will give my own personal input. I was about to butt in too and yell at the man because I was losing my patience at his stupidity. I was going to tell him that if he were going to sleep on the bus, you’re taking that risk of losing your own belongings and if that ever happens then it’s your own fault! You can’t blame anyone else because you could’ve prevented the theft, by not sleeping, duh! How stupid do people get? But oh well this is the world we live in *sigh* Still a fairly exciting and fruitful day!