Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm still here .... kinda

My place has gotten increasingly messy and my computer has been moved to the dining table. Cooking has become one dish meals due to everything being reduced to bare minimum and playing the game of trying to fit everything we have into the cartons everything came in. The tricky part is that we have since gotten married and hence scored lots of wedding and engagement presents.

The solution: Offload older junk so we can fit newer junk into cartons yaaay!!

The plan: have a garage sale and make money to offset moving cost $980 plus coming up with bond $1120 etc etc.

Saturday morning dawned early. We had been forewarned by D who works with me that garage sale people can be persistent and arrive as early as 6 am!!! Richard errected a sign that said "Triple prices before 9 am" We stay up late as we can trying to get things ready in boxes to lay out the next morning. I have a fitful nights sleep as I did not want to be awoken with a start from people banging at the door.

We got up at quarter to 7 despite going to bed at 2:30 am the night before. We had been to a nice dinner party organised by B and did not get home until midnight.Anyway, Michael who is Debs husband came to give us a hand. We took down the sign so we could start laying things out and not 5 minutes past 7 cars started arriving and people literally started pushing past boxes to rummage through our things!! I was really shocked and asked them to please leave and return at 9 am. It fell on deaf ears and people started offering money for this and that. I was really unruffled but accepted their offers so they would leave. Yet more and more kept coming and I was really upset as I could not set things out the way I wanted, people were asking for this and that and it got really stressful. It was a totally harrowing exprience. I had never met the kiasu Australian before today. Kiasu is a Singlish (Singaporean English) term, defined at www.singlishdictionary.com: as kiasu /kiah-soo, ÈkiAsU/ n. & a. [Hk. kia fear + su loss; Mand. 怕输 pàshū] Also kia su. A n. One who is afraid to lose out to someone else, often to the point of selfishness; an over-cautious person. B a. Afraid of losing out to someone else, and therefore often behaving selfishly and disregarding others.

Singaporeans often laugh at this sort of behaviour and it is generally frowned upon, yet comes up quite often in social circumstances eg. arriving early to a buffet to beat the crowds and get the freshest foods etc. It is often a big part of their local satires. But I digress... I was extremely shocked as I had not seen much of this behaviour here in Australia yet here it was rearing its ugly head in my garage. I commented to a lady who asked if three were anymore books that they were gone because some inconsiderate people had arrived before time and took them. There was nervous shuffling from the group further towards the front who had arrived earlier. I felt bad but I could not hide my frustration at that point. Which part of 9 am in the newspaper did they not understand??

There was a lull from 10:30 am to 12 and that was the best part of the day as Deb and Michael (who bought some of our stuff) just came and hung out. We brought out the futon sofas to sun (as well as to see if we could get a reasonable offer for them) and we lay on them out on the front lawn. We had chips and juice and lazed about. We finished up at 3 pm and started deciding which of the remainder to toss and which decent items to give to charity. We ended up about $280 richer. Which wasn't a lot but it would help towards the cost of moving. Also it cut down the things we felt were too good to throw out find new homes. As D's daughter E plugged for her mum. " Come to our garage sale!!! Make our sh*t your sh*t!!" or Michaels milder version," Garage sale... where our crap becomes yours"

P/S For those who think wikipedia has not provided enough info about singlish, more can be found at http://www.une.edu.au/langnet/singlish.htm

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Girls weekend away 17-19 March

Hmm been so busy lately with packing that blogging has become not even secondary but tertiary on the list. What with garage sale this weekend, hubby sick, packing, organising changes in work, finishing off patient's treatment plans and referring those that I can't see before next thursday to my bosses here or to relavant specialists, writing referral letters ! Eek stress is reaching boiling point. Err thankfully stress relieved with Mario Kart double dash on the game cube. *cough*

Anyway here are some pics taken at a girls weekend away with some women from work a few weekends ago. It seems like a lifetime but thankfully we always have photos to remind us. These pics were mostly taken on the last day and will elaborate more on that later but quickly, our itenarary was:
Fri night - picked up people after everone dashed home after work for bags and goodbye kisses. girls helped themselves to beer brought along in coolers as I could only drink diet red bull being the driver :P to them. Stopped at Red rooster (aussie fast food chicken chain) in lithgow for dinner. Girls added scotch to the bottles of coke bought at fast food chain, pile into car and continue sipping. !!!
Arrived Sydney at 11 pm, settled into rooms, elected one room and brought munchies and grog there. chatted until 1:30 am. Went back to respective rooms and chatted more until 3 am Zzzz
Saturday-Morning walk to Bondi Beach (sorry forgot camera pics on linkpage!) had brunch there, browsed markets, stopped at pub. Hmmm I think these country girls have a theme going on here. Got in car drove to suburb of Paddington with swish markets more expensive artsy stuff. S and I browsed and were called on my mobile (cell) phone by D and B who had (surprise surprise) found another pub, the Elephant and Wheelbarrow. We met them there after perusing all the interesting decorative items, homewares and jewellery at the markets. This was an extremely English style pub. With leather lounges and wooden bar counters. (Check out the website and you'll get the idea)Went back, freshened up and went to big Johns for dinner. Two of us tried to share the seafood platter for 2 ($99) but it took up the whole table! Had to pack more than half of it home. It had a dozen oysters done in different styles, a dozen bbqed bay bugs, a whole snapper, 2 kgs of bbqed octopus, about a kg of crumbed calamari. Our tummies were quite sore trying to demolish the mountain of seafood in front of us. Clare of Eatstuff has a good review written up of the place here.

Sunday morning-packed up, went to pancakes on the rocks for breakfast. It serves a pretty mean American style breakfast with sausages, eggs, bacon etc. in different combinations served with really nice thick, fluffy buttermilk pancakes. I have never had pancakes this way elsewhere in Australia. The quality is similar to IHOP, but less greasy. It has a 24 hour menu so I actually chose a dessert one (bananarama) as I didn't feel like a greasy breakfast after all that seafood last night.

After breakfast it was surprise surprise more shopping as we perused the rocks weekend markets. I am not sure why this area of Sydney, close to the harbour is called the rocks. It has many beautiful old buildings though. Here you see the markets all set up and busy.
The back alleys are full of cobblestone path areas crammed with little shops and nooks and crannys to explore.

I snuck away just down the road for photos of this famous icon, taken from the opposite side of the cove. You can also see a ship called the bounty in the foreground which has a floating restaurant.

Another famous icon, the harbour bridge taken from the rocks. The warehouses you can see peeking out the back face the water.

Here are the warehouses lined up. They are now restaurants and very expensive ones at that too!

After that we went to ikea for a "quick" stop. It was meant to be an hour but 3 hours and a matress top, eggslicer, squeegee, CD boxes, etc etc. later, we conceeded defeat and decided we had to return. It was a good experience to go away and spend time with people you normally associate with work and it was quite enjoyable.