Monday, April 22, 2013

Last night

Good morning!!!

Hopefully this post works using the app.

Ive been awake since 6am. The guys are still asleep and I'm waiting until someone wakes up so I can go back to this little Thai cafe I went to last night for more pad Thai. I'm determined to be on a Thai diet even if it's for breakky.

I forget how cheap it is for meals here. Pad Thai for 40bht = $1.30 at Orchid Cafe. Oh it was delicious. I ended up bumping into Juan the Argentinian here after my nap and we both studied for our dive courses. I had to do my refresher course whilst he was studying for his advance.

I also found out that during his year off he's planning to go through Asia including China! Nothing is set yet and I love how travellers have an open itinerary and just go with it.

Later I decided that I wanted a massage. Persuaded Juan to go along and he loved it! Best 250bht I've spent so far! The ladies really know what they're doing.

So thanks to that, I had a wonderful sleep and now I'm all ready for a day of diving during my refresher course.

Here's the only pics I've taken because ive been too occupied!

Sitting in the hostel's cafe with the dive centre I'm diving with next door.

A snippet of what $6 gets you. I've got the top bunk!


Morning Chia!

Wow! I can't wait to hear all about your adventures over there!

Keep us updated! And please post some pics if you can! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

First couple of hours in Khao Lak

Greetings from Khao Lak!

I'm currently functioning on 2 hours of sleep and typing this in the cafe of the hostel I'm staying in.

The flight to Singapore was average. Why do airlines serve egg when it is impossible to do it right when  you're up in the air? My fork was bouncing off the omelette :( From Singapore to Phuket the plane was filled noisy tour groups. Definitely not feeling very rewarded from my frequent flyer points.

Anyway for 180bht a night, which equates to $6, I find myself in a room with three other men from Argentina, Canada and America that have travelled on their own. I had a chat with them and discovered they are all seasoned divers and for various reasons have taken a year off work to travel. I love how they only have plans for the next week.

I just thought it'd be fun to meet people this way and also to 'rough' it out a bit even though it's rather clean here. I might end up splurging on a nicer place when I get back from my live aboard.

For the rest of the day I'll take it easy, a bit of a nap, walk on the beach and get my scuba gear ready for my refresher course tomorrow. Oh and may go out and check out the bars with the guys!

Wish me blue skies and calm waters :)  Seasickness please stay away!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jamie's Italian

Hi Chia!

Hope things are well, how did the school assembly pan out?

The weekend that just passed, went so quickly! I guess that's normal after having a long weekend for Easter. I'm writing this post while on the train to work.

Had quite a busy weekend actually. However, I'll tell you about my Friday night.

Kev, Clem, Drew, Katie and I all met up at Jamie Oliver's new Italian restaurant in Perth. Kev, Clem and I rocked up at 5pm on the dot as they were not accepting bookings and the lady on the phone advised Clem that the line would get long at 5.30pm.

There was already a line when we arrived! However, we three just enjoyed the chat and catch up. We were not particularly hungry which helped. The restaurant was mindful of the people waiting and brought out some platters for the eager eaters to try out while they wait.

Nearly at the front of the line

Hrmmmm Olives....

The staff were all so friendly. They really loved their job. I also noted that a lot of them had an English accent too.

At around the 40 minute mark, we were finally allowed in the restaurant. Drew and Katie arrived and we walked up to the hostess. She asked for our a name and a contact number as there were no tables
available as yet, and they needed us to put our name down! We were actually ok with that, and opted to have a few drinks at the bar while we wait for our table.

First round

Here we ordered a few drinks, all of which were yum, and continued chatting. I also had a chance to talk to the bar man and ask whether he was from Perth. He said that he and a lot of the staff were from Jamie's 'At Home' restaurant in London. I just marveled at how much everyone working at the restaurant that night just loved what they did. You could tell it in their face, their body movements and how earnest they performed each task that they were happy to be there.

These kind of people I love watching. I watch in both jealousy and for inspiration. I want to find a job that makes me just as enthusiastic, excited, and drives me to perform every task whole heartedly.

The decor of the restaurant was something I'm sure you would love! It was rustic and homely when you glance at the lighting, the table settings and decorations such as the coat hanger at the door. However, there were touches of classy tradition such as the grand chandelier and the manner in which the staff presented themselves. They were formal and informative but they were relatable and they definitely made you feel at home.

After a further 30 minutes at the bar, we were led to our booth and we all enjoyed the atmosphere, the company and the food. Here's some pics:

Cool light

Interesting coat hanger and an umbrella holder?

Just in case we forgot where we were eating

Meat platter

Complementary bread!

Fish platter

Katie and I happy with our booth and cocktails!

Kev, Clem and Drew getting ready to order

On a funny note, Clem put me onto this. We got onto a Perth Meme! :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Belated Sculptures by the Sea

Hey Chia!

A quickie post!

Here's a photo which Kev took when we, together with Clem went to Cottesloe beach to see Sculptures by the Sea.

I had just finished snorkeling and caught up with the boys. I absolutely loved this sculpture!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Amazing strangers

Hi Chia!

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I've been both busy and unsure of what to write for our blog.

I hope you had a good Easter break! I loved catching up with you and having our girly dessert date! :)

One of the things that happened this weekend included meeting this wonderful couple at my beach on Friday morning.

I had gone for a run and went for a quick snorkel. The water wasn't the greatest as I was thrashed around the reef a bit and there was poor visibility. I pulled myself out of the water, camera and snorkel in one hand, and my other hand stabilizing myself from the insistent waves and the soft sand beneath me which sunk at each step.

I was a little sad that it wasn't a great session but I was happily buzzing from the adrenaline and chilled water.

I spoke to two fisherman who showed me their catch (3 whitings), a nice man in speedos who told me that the water should be better in the following days (he was an experienced diver), and a kayaker who had no luck in catching any fish and whose friend got stuck in his kayak in the middle of the ocean and threw the biggest tantrum on water that I've ever seen.

While I was talking to the Friendly Kayaker, the two fishermen called out to him saying that his friend may need some help. As we looked to the flat horizon, his friend was swiping and waving his arms up in the air, and angrily threw his paddle into the ocean on more than one occasion. The Friendly Kayaker just laughed and his good nature encouraged me to laugh too.

'Should you go help him?' I asked.

'Haha.... Nah. He should be fine out there,' he laughed as we looked on.

After a few minutes he sighed and said 'Yea, I better see what's going on,' and he laughed to himself as he pushed out his kayak.

It turned out that his friend ended up being caught on something, and resorted to cutting his anchor. When they returned to shore, the Angry Kayaker unintentionally caught a wave which tipped him over. We all laughed as we saw his angry head pop up from the water, hat soaked over his face and his fishing gear bobbing away out to sea. As the Angry Kayaker started swearing and shouting in frustration, the Friendly Kayaker kept laughing in good spirits as he swam out to help collect the escaping equipment.

It was a very humorous morning.

After that, I was getting a little cold and hungry so I turned around to walk back home. As I climbed the stairs I approached a couple enjoying breakfast with their dog on the look out. I smiled to them and the woman asked me if I saw anything out in the ocean during my snorkel.

'Nothing,' I sighed, 'It was just too murky out there.'

We then started talking about the stingrays, dolphins and sea lions that we all had seen out there. At some point in our lively conversation, Mr T pointed that he could hear a slight American accent in my voice. I then told him that my Dad was from the US, to which Mrs T excitedly claimed that she too was from the US.

We then went into our backgrounds and life journeys. It was an inspiring and exciting conversation. They both were such lovely and warm hearted people. So open and so engaging.

Mrs T then invited me to come visit them and meet their son who had a similar life journey as me and that it would be wonderful to exchange further experiences. I thanked them for their generous invitation as we exchanged contact details.

It was an amazing experience. I am truly in awe at the kindness of strangers. I find that the more I open up to people, the more I learn about other experiences, appreciate how there are so many different opportunities out there for the taking and I really feel the 'magic' of coincidences or things that 'happen for a reason'. It also helps me remember that there are people out there who genuinely do want to connect and help others. That desire for a genuine connection and finding it in the most random situations is what makes people and life amazing.

I ended up visiting Mr and Mrs T on Sunday and met their son who is an amazing musician.

I hope to find time to visit them another time in the future.

The long weekend

Good morning Anna

And just like that the long weekend is over.

I thought I'd quickly type up a post with pictures to spruce it up a bit because I'm unable to load photos in Narrogin.

Feeling very happy along the foreshore. Thank you Alicia for taking the pic for me and coming along for the walk. I really needed the fresh air and endorphins. This is my favourite spot of the walk but usually there's always someone fishing or couples canoodling here and I don't get the chance to have a sit.

 It was great to see you!
Hazelnut & Fig tart @ Rockpool. Best date I've been on in a while :p
I also discovered a great little cafe called Kitchen Inn thanks to Ching. In my entire life I have never had Kuching/Sarawak food and now I'm hooked. I really wanted to go back to the place yesterday but sadly they weren't open on Mondays. There's just so many things in life you don't know what you're missing out on until you discover it :P

Anyway, it's nearly 8am. I did plan to leave the house at 7am. Oh dear! Fingers crossed that most people would've driven back to the city yesterday.

Have a good week :)