Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sydney & Goldcoast Vacay, Week 1

So. I've been here a week. Let's start with some of my thoughts, in brief, about what I think my trip has been so far:

Sun is scorching.
Breezes are freezing.
In the first few days, it was so cold it felt like I was in Cameron Highlands - but dressed for Langkawi.
The subsequent doctor's consultation fee to treat my cough & cold was 60 Aussie Dollars. The nasal spray and anti-biotics prescription from the chemist an additional 80 Aussie Dollars.
Travel insurance is fantastic to cover that. If you have it. Which I don't. Bugger.

Pubs are strange.
Babies and children play at your feet.
They're smoke free! Rather, smoke was probably at liberty once but has now been arrested by unbribable Aussie cops on horses.
The same Aussie cops have also arrested the white person's ability to dance. Dance clubs are mostly dance-free, cool (as in the temperature) and with breathable air.
Parking is far from free. About 3 Aussie dollars for 1 hour in the parking meter.
Cover charge is about 15 Aussie dollars and you get one free nothing. You just get to go inside.
Strip club covercharge is also about 15 Aussie dollars. WHEE. I am going to one tonight!

I am smoking far fewer cigarettes.
Arse-freezing weather cools the inclination to step outside for a quick fag.
Killer high-heels that are holding your toes for ransom also make it hard to walk outside 'again'.

No one here has heard of Salem cigarettes!
Milo is sold in the old-school style - granules in tins. No 3-in-1 options.
Condensed milk appears to be a myth.
"Servings are Western sized. You can only eat half their portion" is also a myth. I seem able to consume all my food. HAH.
Chu-char, Thai food and Indian food are prepared as individual servings with appetizers & entrees. Be warned... Tom Yam soup is not a soup to be shared. It is YOUR MEAL.

A bottle shop does not equal a 'botoi' shop.
Chinese uncle-loids and aunty-septics have adopted a very strange combination of Chinglish + Aussie accents.
Not all Chinese people are in fact, Chinese. Some of them are Japanese. haha.

Mornings are bacon & egg filled moments of sin.
Satay is twice the size for quadruple the price.
Thai lemon chicken tastes like chicken satay.
Bread slices are twice as thick.
Bacon rashers are twice as big.
My weight is now twice as much than when I first arrived.

Surfer boys aren't really 'rawr' worthy.
Good looking white chicks tend to mostly look like Nicole Kidman from afar.
Flat chested Chinese chicks are almost nil.
Clothes have bust sizes that are too big for my bust. Whee.

Strange boys in Casinos will hug you on a whim... provided you're a girl apparently on your own.
Betting 25 Aussie on blackjack doesn't feel as bad as betting RM50 in Genting.
Losing 100 Aussie dollars doesn't feel so bad if you've been gambling from 12am till 5am in a Casino, with a steady flow of Vodka Orange & cute croupiers.
The Chinese aunties crowded around gaming tables are conspicuously missing.
Mahjong hasn't made it to Aussie casinos yet either. lol.
Findi**s are annoying, no matter where you find them.

Oscillating devices aka 'fans' are not a standard home fixture.
Hoses next to the toilet, with which to wash your arse after a massive alcohol induced shart, are ALSO not a standard home fixture. >.<

Slow walking people abound.
Patient drivers who will stop for pedestrians to cross roads also abound.
I fear for my safety when I am eventually let back into the wilds of Penang traffic. I may actually try to use a zebra crossing and realise my error when I become jam on the asphalt.
Now I understand Daniel's tendency to walk in the middle of the road as though he were invincible or Findi**. Over here, pedestrians seem to have equal rights.
The only motorcycles I see on the roads are superbikes.

Over and out, for now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Teaching Brings Joy to These Women

Figured I'd best blog this for my archives since the article is no longer up on the Star website. This was published sometime in May 2006, if I remember correctly.


PETALING JAYA: You could say teaching is in Gayle Barbosa’s blood. Her parents and grandmother were also teachers.

That could explain why Gayle, at the age of 29, decided to quit as a copywriter and pursue an education degree instead.

Her grandmother Anna Capel, 84, was a teacher for 33 years, starting her career before World War II. Gayle's mother Marion Barbosa, 64, taught at SM Convent Green Lane in Penang for 34 years.

Gayle, who is in her foundation year, recalled how she once told herself she would never become a teacher. But after venturing into advertising, she realised her real passion was in fact in education.

“Teaching is what I enjoy and I look up to my mother and grandmother as model teachers,” said Gayle.

Anna said she started teaching after secondary school. That was before the war. During the Japanese Occupation, she stopped teaching on the advice of her husband.

“When I went to the Penang Convent after the war, it was a total mess, because it had been used by the Japanese as a base,” said Anna, adding that she enrolled as a teacher again as soon as the occupation was over.

Anna felt that there was more respect and appreciation for teachers before, noting that many new teachers were indifferent towards their students.

“It’s very sad, as the students want to learn but often can’t find the right teachers,” said Anna, who still has her former students visiting and sending her greeting cards.

Her daughter Marion initially got into teaching because she was not sure what she wanted to do.

“My parents basically decided for me, but I don’t regret it for one minute, because teaching was extremely rewarding,” said the retired teacher.

Marion felt that the decline in students’ behaviour nowadays was due to teachers and parents as well.

“I was a very firm teacher, and manners were very important to me. My students even used to call me the ‘dragon’! With the right techniques, positive values can be imparted in every lesson, not just during moral class.” she said.

“It is extremely gratifying to see a diamond in the rough emerge to be something wonderful!”

With Teachers Day on May 16, this is a good time for everyone to express their appreciation for their old or current teachers.

Just send in an SMS and see that message in the print or electronic media. The SMS campaign, conducted by the Education Ministry together with Sdn Bhd, will continue until May 31.

Each message costs 30 sen. Just type GURU, space, followed by the message and send to 32020.

Source : The Star Online

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sucks To Be Jabba

I'm allergic to shellfish and some medications. My friends know this, but have never really seen me go through the 'transformation' from being a human being named Gayle to being Jabba.

Well, I am at Concepts today, just killing time until I have to pick Daniel up from the airport. While hanging out and playing around with Aaron's computer since he's on leave to go fishing with the boss, I found incriminating photographs in a folder entitled "Concepts Clowns Part 2".

The folder just screamed to be opened besides begging the questions... Am I an ex-clown? and Where is Part 1?

Among the photos I found were some named like this:
  • Balaclavatwat
  • Myanus audio
  • Pseudochink
  • Scratch
  • Wanker
  • Harsky and Starch
  • Do you think I doggy; and
  • Dumbasserist
And of course, as I had expected, I found "Jabba 1" and "Jabba 2". So, I certainly received the answer to my first question "am I an ex-Concepts clown?" The answer is a resounding 'yes'.

No doubt, cousin goblok Capes has been saving these photos to blackmail me. These pictures were taken in August 2007 at my desk in Concepts. CLICKY HERE for the post I wrote about what had happened to me that day.

Here I am about 15-20 minutes after I'd taken the painkiller.
I could still see & only let him take the photo because he was the only one in the office at the time and thus, my saviour.

Here I am about 15 minutes later. By this time my eyes had pretty much swollen shut and all I sensed was a flash of light that kinda told me my 'saviour' couldn't resist another photo opportunity. I was desperately trying to see out of the two slits that were now my eyes.

I is Jabba.