Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mucking Around In Kings Park

We visited Kings Park a couple of weekends ago. I couldn't resist mucking around with the camera and the fountains. Check out the pics.

FB Facebook Album - Just Mucking Around In Kings Park

The Kokoda Track Memorial was a bit of a killer on the way up. And I had been feeling it with my old man knee on the way down already.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If I Were A Cop

As I left the building at the conclusion of the working day today, I spied a vehicle out the front. It was occupying the clearway. A big no-no in my book. Mate, there's a reason that it's a clearway at that time of the day and that's because there's a bloody lot of traffic that wishes to use three lanes instead of two. Besides, it's dangerous for you to be there then. Not only that but the car was still running and the driver was talking on his mobile phone. Another bit of illegal behaviour. His car may have been parked in an overly large parking area but he still managed to straddle his parking lane and the driving lane next to him. Not only that but he was parked in two parking spaces.

If I were a cop I'd would be throwing a very large book at him.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Twist To An Old Fish Tale

Yesterday, for something different, we decided to go for a picnic. Miky made kimbap, sushi for the uninitiated in Korean culinary delights, and we drove to Burswood next to the casino. There's a nice little park and playground area. The weather wasn't too flash and it was (almost) blowing a gale. She had no intentions of sitting outside in that weather. So we headed to Heirisson Island instead. The car park was a little more sheltered there.

We ate our picnic in the car and it rained as we did so. After lunch the Boy and I played some soccer. Man, I need to get fit. Since returning from our holiday nearly six weeks ago I have lost four and a half kilos but I do need to do a bit more running around. Once we'd finished the game and sat out another rain interruption we decided to head to the other side of the island for a walk and to see the kangaroos. While the other two went to the toilet I stayed in the car. Another car pulled up with two Aboriginal girls inside and a teenage boy. One of the girls, the driver, got out of the car and checked out the contents of other vehicles in the car park. Then she got back in her car and squealed in delight to her friends. It was at this point that she realised she was being stared at and yelled to me, "What the %$#@ are you looking at?" If that's not an admission of bad intentions I don't know what is. It was a bit worrying to leave our car there in the knowledge that she intended to break into another. Luckily she took off after that. When the owner of the car came back, one from a group of three cars with some overseas visitors, none of whom were carrying bags, I informed them that someone looked as though they were going to break in and that they shouldn't leave valuables inside. "We didn't know," was the reply. Didn't know? How naïve!

As we walked alongside the river I noticed a sandal floating by. We arrived at the Causeway Bridge and I spotted the matching sandal next to a fisherman. He was trying to cut a blowfish from his line. I mentioned that he should go fishing for the sandal and he said that he'd tried that but all he caught were blowfish. Isn't that a new twist on an old fish tale?

Didn't see any roos. Did see some fish jumping out of the water in a lake as they were chased by a water bird however. The car was alright when we return as that girl hadn't returned. Not a bad way to spend the arvo.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frugal Bastard's Cruise 2008 - Day 6 - October 9th 2008

We didn't have to be ready for our tour this morning until 10am so I did a workout on the exercise bike prior to breakfast. Our tour today was to Patong Beach in Phuket town. The only thing to do at Patong Beach during the day is shop for copies by bartering. By night it is apparently pretty lively as a bar scene. I'm not good at bartering but Miky is. I didn't look forward to the experience at all. Miky would look them straight in the eye and say, "Give me your best price and I'm going to check other shops." Many shop owners didn't want to give her a price after that.

Rather humid in Phuket, as you can tell from the photo.

Humidity removed and the scene returns to normal.

Interesting sign - Take a Bath. But where do you take it?

Petrol price compares well with Australia - about 25 baht to the dollar.

We found some salt and pepper shakers in the shape of animals and talked the guy down from 200 baht to 180 baht. A lovely cushion cover was offered to us for 450 baht. The guy wouldn't deal with Miky after she asked for his best price for four of them but in the next shop she managed to talk the owner down from 250 baht each for the same cushion covers and 500 baht elephants down to a total of 450 baht. It was difficult to find something that you wanted to buy in several shops as they all seemed to sell different goods. Miky got one t-shirt down from 300 baht to 120! And it appeared to be reasonable quality too. Bangla road had lots of shops to visit.

Tuk tuks. Everywhere. Bothersome drivers.

Bars in Patong, Phuket. This place must be alive at night time.

Every man and his dog owns a motorbike in Patong, Phuket.

Miky wanted to visit the shopping centre to buy cosmetics and lunch. We ended up having sushi and Pringles for lunch. With only an hour after lunch before we had to be back at the bus, we had three and a half hours in total, we went wild and spent all but 17 baht (about 75 cents). I was quoted 100 baht for a 250 baht kids t-shirt, but not in a market stall, but when I came back they wanted 200 baht. Miky ended up throwing the money at them and taking the shirt. A deal is a deal. We got the salt and pepper shakers for 170 baht in the end. The stall owner still had a smile on her face afterwards.

No safety for welder. This dissapoints me to see a lack of worker safety.

Construction workers must be thirsty - they have a drinks truck just for them.

I'm not too keen on electrical work.

Crazy wiring.

This wiring is a real rat's nest.

Made the bus with less than five minutes to spare but couldn't find our stickers that we required, sort of like a boarding pass, as Miky had them and she wanted to spend the last of her money. Sat next to Westley and Shelley, the performers, on the bus and talked about all of the places that Westley has toured, how he is friends with Konishiki and Akebono, etc. Looked at the old bombers at the port before having afternoon tea. Yu-Jin wanted to go to child care and so I headed to the sauna room for a dry sauna followed by a steam sauna. Lovely.

Shelley and Westley.

No idea what these signs mean.

Markets at the port.

Some old planes at the port, Phuket.

Got dressed for tea at the Ocean Palace restaurant onboard - pretty swanky, posh place. No wonder your shirt had to have a collar. Great service and great food. Yu-Jin ate very well which isn't like him at all. Just finished in time to see some entertainment in the form of the Mr & Mrs Game (how well do you know your spouse?) with John and Val who'd been married for 56 years, Peter and Lyn for 17 years and Paul and Donna-lee 25 years. Very amusing.

Swank restaurant onboard the Superstar Gemini.

Couple after a hard days shopping.

The Boy after being dragged around shopping all day.

"This is it!" was then performed by the crew. There was cross-dressing, striptease, singing and dance - the show had it all.

Don't ask me what my finger sign means. I was just getting down with the homies.

Hot babe.

Changed some money for the Langkawi cable car tomorrow as they didn't accept credit cards. Went to write my diary in the Bar Gemini and ended up chatting with Rosemary, Brian, Rod and Liz (they only work 6 months a year and holiday the rest). Late night, great day.

Going back to the cabin and Miky thought that I had gone to watch the crew show again because I was gone for so long. We went for a walk around the ship and bumped into the two Malaysians we'd met earlier, Mr Ng and Mr Tan. Chatted with them for the next hour and a half. Upon returning to our cabin Miky discovered that she'd lost her access card. I retraced our steps but there was no sign of it. I went to the reception area to cancel the card, as there was a S$1000 limit on it, when Miky came to me. The Malaysians had brought the card to her. Thank goodness for that. Bed at 1:30am.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Frugal Bastard's Cruise 2008 - Day 5 - October 8th 2008

Today we anchored off the coast of Krabi, Thailand. We didn’t intend to go to Krabi today instead our plan was to head for some beach bumming on Koh Poda (Island). Transport to the island was by water taxi and there were quite a few available. A busy cog in the local economy, no doubt.

First view of Thailand.

Koh Poda (Island) at rear - our destination.

Our destination from water taxi.

Unloading the water taxi.

Beach on Koh Poda (Island).

Rest of beach on Koh Poda (Island).

The first noticeable thing upon landing was that the monkeys were roaming around in packs and annoying people. The monkeys rifling through everybody’s belongings whilst they were swimming or snorkelling. Not long after we landed a lady was bitten by a monkey she was trying to chase away. She had to return to the ship for medical treatment and I heard later that she was taken away to hospital. Not a nice, abrupt finish to the holiday. Another lady stepped on a sea urchin and they were unable to remove the barbs so she had to go back to the ship to see the doctor. Perhaps a warning about the dangers faced with monkeys and sea urchins might be advisable from the tour operator.

Koh Poda is a beautiful island. There’s a small shop and it costs 10 baht to use the toilet and 30 baht to have a shower. Kayaks or sea canoes could be hired for about 80 baht – that’s cheap.

The range of tropical fish, coral and sea slugs was very similar to Hawaii. The tiger fish nipped Miky and Yu-Jin. I didn’t like the way the small school of these fish encircled you. We did quite a bit of snorkelling and met Tony and Lorraine from Wales, after a monkey tried going through our belongings. In actual fact, the monkeys were great for helping you meet other cruise passengers. You had to stick together to protect your things! I was videoing a monkey who was doing some thieving and it was Lorraine behind me yelling at a monkey to go away. She and Tony said they would take care of our gear whilst we snorkelled. This couple took five or six holidays a year, not all cruises, so they’ve seen some fantastic places.

Cheeky Monkey on Koh Poda Island in Thailand

Thieving monkey.

There was another island nearby and I decided to swim to it. Next to it was a smaller island in the shape of a jet ski. The round trip took me 25 minutes and it was about 300m offshore. It was a little disconcerting not being able to see the seabed for quite some time and it only reappeared once I was about 10-15 metres from the small island. There was a huge school of silvery coloured fish however and a great many sea urchins.

Nearby island to Koh Poda (Island).

Fair way back to the ship.

Coconut trees everywhere.

Looking back at the mainland.

Welcoming sign - Poda Island.

Not so welcoming sign - tsunami warnings.

Three hours on the beach was enough so we headed back a little early and prepared for a late lunch. Miky had a workout upon returning, Yu-Jin went to childcare and I had a sleep. Too much swimming (that’s my excuse). Excellent meal after Yu-Jin had a swim later.

Back on the water taxi.

Me on the water taxi.

Heading back to the ship.

The next stop was Phuket which we reached that evening but we weren’t interested in leaving the ship for any of the night shows. We went ashore at the port to have a look at the markets there but it was only for about two minutes before the rain and wind drove us back. Whilst walking around the ship’s deck we noticed lots of people heading towards the Galaxy of the Stars so we ventured in. It was for the gameshow “The Weakest Link” and I was chosen as the seventh and last contestant. Matthew, a year nine student, was voted off first. I remember his father entering the room and announcing, “Here are the losers,” which was rather ironic with his son being the first loser. Matt James, a software engineering student from UWA, was voted off next. I was left with four women, Liz, Susan, Mary-anne and Rosemary, who worked for a politician but wouldn’t explain further, gave me three votes in the next round and I was voted off. I can safely say that I was never the weakest link so I’ll have to satisfy myself with the title of Smartest Man On Board. It was good fun in front of everyone – mainly older people who might forget by tomorrow anyway. Before I headed to bed I listened to some singing in the Bar Gemini.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Konglish Word of the Week

This weeks Konglish word of the week is "abusement". It sounds like a mixture of maltreatment or improper use in a funny manner but is meant to be an adjective along the lines of abuse. Miky showed me a video of some parents playing a trick on their kids where they were playing a harmless computer game and then a horrible picture filled the screen. One kid was most upset by this and Miky thought it was a case of child abusement.

Macro World - Curtin University

The other night the missus wanted to go for a walk. Not just any walk around the block but specifically around Curtin University. There are lots of well maintained gardens and it's quite beautiful. I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to take some close up photos of tiny things. So, here's my first post on Macro World objects.