Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Hunter Valley

A two day road trip with my family to Hunter Valley to end the s#!ttest (synonym: poopiest) year of my life by far, 2013. Even though there's not much to do there because the area mostly attracts avid wine drinkers with its extensive vineyards and wineries, we all had heaps of fun just knowing that we were 3 hours away from Sydney, and a change in scenery is always exciting.

 photo HunterValley1_zps037d3470.jpg  photo HunterValley2_zpsb72bded8.jpg

We didn't do any wine tasting, but did a whole lot of fast food eating. Actually, we kind of spent our time there doing elderly things like strolling through gardens and playing putt putt by the lake. I made dad stop driving every few metres because the view here is so picturesque. The good thing is that there are hardly any cars around so we could stop in the middle of the road and I'd stick my head out the window like a dog then take photos.

 photo HunterValley3_zps1cf3628a.jpg  photo HunterValley4_zps81c8d2d5.jpg

An attraction there are the Hunter Valley Gardens during Christmas. Each garden had a theme and at night, there would be Christmas lights and a whole lot of festive music. The whole area felt like there were singing gnomes hidden in the hedges. (Also got told off because there was this blocked off entrance to one of the gardens and there were elephant lights basically greeting me at the gates and I really wanted to see what was in there and a worker caught me after taking two steps. At least we know somebody's not sleeping on the job.)

 photo HunterValley5_zps5131ae35.jpg  photo HunterValley6_zpsbc9f102e.jpg  photo HunterValley7_zpsf6d533fd.jpg

Stayed at a motel for the night and watched weird things on TV (like how this guy was addicted to eating glass...), had instant noodles and fought for the single beds - The typical stuff. On our second day, we did a bit of chocolate and confectionary browsing at a few stores that looked like little barns and cottages.

 photo HunterValley8_zps656a1579.jpg  photo HunterValley9_zps3fdf6359.jpg  photo HunterValley10_zps4d043e36.jpg  photo HunterValley11_zpsc4f2c777.jpg

We stopped by The Entrance on our way home and went to the beach. The water is really shallow so it looks like there are small islands where people can also go fishing. There is also a fair nearby where I painted a ceramic dragon and ate a lot of cinnamon doughnuts.

 photo HunterValley12_zpsfc4e11f6.jpg  photo HunterValley13_zpsd69f8034.jpg

Look at the amount of power that lady has. Look at how hypnotised the pelicans are. If you have one fish in your hand, you can control an entire population of pelicans. It's almost abnormal to see how behaved they look, until the fish is thrown into the air and they all become chaotic animals again.

 photo HunterValley14_zps34d7244e.jpg

In summary, a successful road trip because no one got sunburnt in 30°C+ weather! *raises glass full of sunscreen*

Monday, 9 December 2013


For someone who claims to despise the beach, WHY HAS MY FOOT MADE CONTACT WITH SAND THREE TIMES THIS YEAR? THIS IS NOT OKAY. I was on the verge of threatening to shave all my hair off because I was eating my own hair due to the wind whipping it into my mouth. My temper level is at an all time high when I'm at the beach.

 photo Nitor1_zpsc781c820.jpg  photo Nitor2_zps05402fbd.jpg

I busied myself taking photos, which I ran out of things to photograph. I busied myself penny boarding, which I gave up on because of the brick-like cracks everywhere. I busied myself reading, which I also gave up on because of the goddamned wind in my face and book. Then came the flecks of rain and I just gave up on everything and wrapped myself in a towel, counting down the minutes till our Korean BBQ buffet.

 photo Nitor3_zpsd56498c0.jpg  photo Nitor4_zps6884323d.jpg

Highlight at the Korean BBQ buffet would be Vivienne's odd creations - Grilling watermelon and mixing ice cream and yoghurt together. It was strangely... nice. Then we drove around looking at houses covered in Christmas lights. There were these two particular houses that were insane. Their lights and decorations were flashing in sync to songs played on a radio station. All nine of us sat in a row, on the curb, watching for a long time with sleep washing over my eyes. It was a nice moment, minus the mosquitoes.

While driving to all these places, I got to be pick the car music. I realised that my friends haven't heard of the kind of music I usually listen to, which made me think, Australian indie pop/rock and alternative bands don't get enough recognition, both in and out of the country. So here is a playlist of my favourites. There will be bias involved because I saw The Jungle Giants a couple of months ago.

▶ It's Nice To Be Alive by Ball Park Music
▶ Plans by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ This Fire by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ When The Night Falls Quiet by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ Time And Place by Last Dinosaurs
▶ Weekend by Last Dinosaurs
▶ Rocket Ship by San Cisco
▶ Fred Astaire by San Cisco
▶ Wild Things by San Cisco
▶ Mr Polite by The Jungle Giants
▶ She's A Riot by The Jungle Giants
▶ I Am What You Want Me To Be by The Jungle Giants
▶ Come And Be Alone With Me by The Jungle Giants
▶ Young by The Paper Kites

 photo Nitor5_zpsafd2f7b0.gif

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Humans Of New York

I am usually the type to stand in front of my chosen scene then wait for everyone to walk out of the range of my shot no matter how long it takes to get the "perfect" photo with minimal people in it. Or sometimes I would go to the extent of editing stray people out of my photos because I think they "ruin" my shots.

Brandon Stanton is my favourite people photographer because he makes me want to take photos of complete strangers, ask about their life stories and hang onto every word they say.

 photo HumansOfNewYork1_zps272211f2.jpg

Humans of New York is a compilation of Brandon Stanton's photos made into a book. He basically goes around taking photos of people on the streets of New York then asks them a simple question or strikes up a casual conversation then captions his photos with quotes from these ordinary people. He then posts his pictures daily on his Tumblr and Facebook that I read everyday like a morning paper (except I don't read morning papers). We get a little window into these strangers' lives and I really like how real it feels.

 photo HumansOfNewYork2_zps42b5baea.jpg

I think my favourite thing about Humans of New York is that it shows everyone has a story and they're not just another mundane person living their mundane life doing mundane things. (My overuse of the word 'mundane' made that sentence sound mundane towards the end. But you get my point?)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


It is strange that one day you are considered a teenager and the next, you are not, according to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun hitting the same point of when you were born however many years ago. I still get nervous driving without parental supervision, still think eating gum in class makes me a badass, still laugh till I'm gasping for air at Nickelodeon shows and I still can't cook (unless instant noodles and premix pancakes count as cooking).

So for my birthday, I had breakfast with my group at The Chalkboard Cafe. I had the breakfast tasting platter, which had a bit of everything. It all tasted really good and was worth the trek there early in the morning.

 photo Tantillus1_zps3349818e.jpg  photo Tantillus2_zps6eb846e6.jpg

Afterwards we went shopping for a bit around the city then two hours of karaoke. It was a nice catch up with everyone after the aftermath of uni exams and assessments. Now two months of no responsibilities before flying across the Pacific Ocean with a majority of this lot. I'll try make the most of the summer break being as unattached to the air conditioning in my bedroom as possible. Which means I have to go outside and do things in the heat. Help.

Friday, 11 October 2013


How cool would it be if you could see bokeh in real life? Like you're lying on some patch of grass, where a dog has probably chucked a dump on before, staring off into the distance and there's these light coloured dancing balls hiding in the trees. (If you can't tell, I'm obsessing over the bokeh in these photos all taken by Andy.)

 photo Aureus1_zps7caeb606.jpg  photo Aureus2_zpsd2fddcc9.jpg

So I finally hung out with Andy and Annie at Newtown after uni. We explored the main street a bit, got accosted by RSPCA recruiters ("What did I tell you about smiling at strangers?"), ate at Black Star Pastry and Guzman y Gomez, saw Janice Lee (known as 'jayesslee' on YouTube) with her husband eating at a Thai restaurant and kept walking back and forth wishing the window that separated us would disappear like for the snake at London Zoo in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

 photo Aureus3_zps744dd114.jpg  photo Aureus4_zps9c9e64b9.jpg

We went back to uni and chilled on the grass for a while, watching people at the quad graduate and rooting for a guy to drop his laptop on his face. It makes me wonder if that'll be me one day. Not the dropping laptop on face part (been there, done that), but the graduating part. The things I want now, and the things I want for my future are two completely different conflicting things. Yeah... Anyway, then I played in the ball pit and it was all fun and games until I saw a booger looking thing stuck on a ball and had to get out of there ASAP.

 photo Aureus5_zpsdee8be94.jpg  photo Aureus6_zps7d44553d.jpg

Saturday, 7 September 2013


My favourite kind of beach is the one I’m not in. I don’t like the feel of salt and water stuck all over me. I don’t like the change rooms and bathrooms there. I don’t like the thick and sticky feel of sunscreen. I don’t like how the beach air turns my hair into twigs. I don't like waves smacking into me, determined to knock me over. I don’t like how the sand makes it twice the effort to walk - I’ve already gone out of bed and made the effort to come all the way out here, why would you make it more difficult for my willpower to walk?

 photo Coogee1_zpsd828df64.jpg

But I went to the beach with Trang anyway, because I have been a potato for far too long.

 photo Coogee2_zps635bfd82.jpg  photo Coogee3_zps4242b0f8.jpg

The only thing I liked was the rock pool. The lack of sand and fortress of rocks made me forget I was at the beach for a moment. There were also little crabs and fishes. I tried to google "how to hold a crab at the beach" so I wouldn't get snipped, but all I could find were instructions to dig holes for crabs to fall into. Thanks, wikiHow.

 photo Coogee4_zpsb1d056ed.jpg  photo Coogee5_zpsb11debfe.jpg  photo Coogee6_zpsf6fe473c.jpg

I came home and excitedly told dad that I saw crabs and his first reaction was "DID YOU CATCH ONE" then quickly became sensible and told me it's illegal to take them home. IT'S LIKE HE KNEW MY INTENTIONS.

Friday, 30 August 2013


We went to Chefs Gallery as an early Father's Day dinner. You can watch the cooks hand make the noodles and all the dishes have a modern look to it. Surprisingly, I liked everything except the dessert. I don't like sesame so the piggy buns weren't for me and the snails were weird. The ice cream was the best part.

 photo Epulo1_zps26942c68.jpg  photo Epulo2_zpsc7230faa.jpg  photo Epulo3_zpsa657c866.jpg  photo Epulo4_zps743f43b5.jpg

We'll definitely be back to try everything else!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Chinta Ria

Food coma night out with the group at restaurants that make our wallets cry in mercy. We had dinner at Chinta Ria, which is a Malaysian and Chinese restaurant. A big laughing Buddha statue greeted us at the door. I found the food there really ordinary and the dishes were really small and not worth it. The highlights would be the roti and vegetarian curry, and I'm not a vegetable person so it was that good. But I would just go find a local restaurant for those dishes next time because it's not really worth going back.

 photo ChintaRia1_zps4f65bba5.jpg

For dessert, we went to Lindt Chocolat Café. We got "share" platters that I could've probably finished myself.

 photo ChintaRia2_zps44555dbc.jpg


 photo ChintaRia3_zps509b2d01.jpg

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Of Monsters And Men

Do you want to know what real talent is? Real talent is when you can navigate from your light switch at one end of your room to your bed with the lights off and you manage to dodge every book on the floor, odd sock, chair and dangly butterfly decoration hanging from the ceiling. Real talent is also sounding perfect when you're singing live in front of thousands and still sound exactly the same as you do in your recorded songs, but somehow even better. Suck on that, autotunists. (The only time auto tune is okay is when you chipmunk-esque your voice.)

 photo OfMonstersAndMen1_zps7e41409e.jpg

I went to see Of Monsters and Men perform live. They were so amazing and perfect. The supporting band, Mammals, was also pretty good. The sad thing is that I can only find two of their songs online. They're not that well known so I can't find anything on them. I don't know any of their song names either so it feels like such a lost.

 photo OfMonstersAndMen2_zpsc4b268af.jpg

I love Of Monsters and Men's Icelandic accents. They're such a unique band and seemed to be quiet natured people.

 photo OfMonstersandMen3_zps9545e7bb.jpg  photo OfMonstersAndMen4_zpsab930f74.gif  photo OfMonstersAndMen5_zpsa29bb65f.jpg

I really hope they write more songs because it felt so short since they only have one album. At least they played an unheard song that didn't make it into My Head Is An Animal! I'd say my first concert was pretty good.

Monday, 29 July 2013


University. It is that period of time again. It starts off the same as every other day. You bump into your high school friends at your local train station and sit there realising how everyone has grown up as you share your life stories. Then you bid your goodbyes as you get off at your stop and join the solemn march of tired students up the stairs of the station. As you walk out, you're greeted by a homeless person with a cup of silver coins clasped between two hands, who has now become a part of the city tapestry, camouflaged into the walls because you're so used to his presence. A pang of pity hits you and leaves as fast as the lingering smell of cigarettes at the café you've just passed.

You face your first challenge of the day - The three sets of stairs that leads you to the main campus. By the time you reach the top, you take quick glances to your left and right hoping the people around you notice you're out of breath and panting. For the next and most difficult challenge for the socially awkward, you strategically choose your seating arrangements in your first lecture to sit right in the middle so you don't seem too eager at the front or too badass at the back, leaving one seat on either side of you to leave room for friendship.

Yeah, it's all been thought out carefully for me because I do not know how to initiate conversations. SOMEONE JUST BE MY FRIEND AND MAKE THIS NEW SEMESTER LESS MISERABLE. And did I really just word vomit all of that?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


After living in this city for my whole life, I've never been to the Royal Botanic Gardens nor knew of its whereabouts. Fiona and I came across it when we decided to randomly get off at Wynyard station to explore. I was kind of expecting flowers and colours exploding in my face. It was mainly all greenery and every plant looked the same.

 photo Ficus1_zps2b14ed50.jpg  photo Ficus2_zps743b4d7d.jpg  photo Ficus3_zps14aff835.jpg  photo Ficus4_zps4ddd655d.jpg

You'd think that I'd know how many campuses there are for my uni, but I don't. I had to go home and google "castle royal botanic gardens sydney" and found nothing because the supposed castle is a part of the University of Sydney for music students. I still prefer to think of it as my castle, but instead of horses, we have unicorns.

 photo Ficus5_zps9388784a.jpg  photo Ficus6_zps3e69c0a0.jpg  photo Ficus7_zpsa1e5db65.jpg

This guy was drawing this massive artwork of Spongebob and Patrick at Circular Quay. It's supposed to look 3D once it's finished. I can imagine business people rushing towards the station at peak hour, hoping to get a seat, and having to stop for a few seconds to turn back and curiously look over at this artwork, and maybe even give up a little more time to peer through the lens. I like little surprises like this.

 photo Ficus8_zps91773737.jpg