Sunday, April 29, 2007

Parliment House

On our way back from Mount Sewlyn, we decided to drop by Canberra to take some photographs. In fact that was my first time going to Canberra. The other time we did not make any stop-by as the car was driven by a guide.

So, obviously that was my first time to the Australia's Administration City too. Canberra is the capital of Australia and I must confess, it is a very beautiful place... though it was not as popular as Sydney. Many people has the misconception that Sydney is Australia's capital.

Since we are there, we can't miss going to the Parliment House which was kind of on top of the hill. The entire place was very well kept.

Here is a shoot which all of us loved very much....

The crazy group!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How I was hooked into diving?

Never have I imagine I will get a diving licence as I am not a good swimmer. In fact, I got my diver licence even before I got my driving licence! Well... it's a big joke but it's the truth!

I was hooked on diving after got to know a group of diving freaks back in the late 90's. I was in this chatroom talking to a diver and without realising I joined one of their outing and ended signing up for a diving course! I di not think much why I want to go diving but I was telling myself how can I forgo the chance to see the other world???

So, off I went to Tioman with a big group of about 40 people for a dive course cum holiday over a weekend. There were only 6 of us who were taking the course and the rest are certified divers going for leisure dives. Before that, I attended two pool lessons which was done in Singapore over two weekends.

I must say swimming in the pool and the open sea is an entire different experience. The open sea is such a huge place and full of uncertainties... but that was the thrill!

At the end of the course, we have to sit for a written test. I failed once so my instructor let me redo and I passed before we left Tioman. And I was certified as PADI Open Water Diver. This will allow me to dive up to 60 feet below sea level. Well, most of the corals are around that depth or even shallower as they require sunlight to survive.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Applying for US Visa in Malaysia

Ever since 9/11, getting a US visa is so much tougher especially residents hailing from Islamic countries. And being a Malaysian, we are are spared either as our country is considered as an Islamic nation.

I went to apply mine last year together with my son for our LA trip in November 2006. There are a few categories of visa and ours falls in the Non-Migrant Visas group. Since we are travelling on our own, we have to do the visas by ourselves. If we are joining a tour group then the travel agency will do on our behalf.

Firstly, we have to log on to this site, to download some forms and to get our appointment letters. We can choose the appointment date and time and be at the US Embassy on the chosen date and time slot for the interview. I find that this arrangement is more productive as we don't have to go too early to queue unlike those First Come First Served basis.

The stuff that we have to bring along are:
  1. 2pcs of passport photograph
  2. International Passport
  3. Supporting document (letter from company)
  4. Bank draft receipt (USD100/RM380)

For (3), if you are not working, your spouse will have to write a letter on your behalf to certified that you are not going to the US for employment and etc...

If you are getting visas for your kids, you can do on their behalf if they are below the age of 12. And if your kids are still babies, you don't have to bring them along.

The interview is quite simple. However, never say that you have any friends or relatives in the US though or your application might be rejected! This is to curb the many illegal immigrants that flocked to the US for employment.

Sometimes, the interviewer might judge from your looks as well wheather if they want to grant you a 30 days visa or a 10 years visa... so be sincere. :)

For those who need to park their cars, there are ample parking lots further down the road... make a turn at the end of the embassy and you should be able to find some lots which is FOC.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Rottness Fun!

For just AUD$100, you get a 3-Day 2-Night trip to Rottness Island with logging and food included... would you go????? Ok, my cousin said it was too pricey but I don't think so! Ok, he's a dumb-dumb for not taking this offer!!!! And he did not get to go Rottness at all! Hiakz! The ferry ticket alone was AUD$45 then... so ain't the package price 'dai-toh-lan' (worth till torn in Cantonese)???

It was one of the trip organised by the club I joined during my uni days. Rottness Island or more commonly known as Rotto Island is a small island located off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. Rottness got it names from a Dutchman who actually named the place 'Rat Nest' as it was infested with huge rats! However these rats are one of the friendliest creature found on the island and it's called Quokkas, which is a wallaby, a type of marsupial.

We took a ferry from one of the port in Perth. The ride is about 45 minutes in total. There's no other vehicles on the islands except buses, bicycles and cars belong to the caretakers/workers. We travelled on the free buses provided around the island or we can hire bicycle. If not we can walk and walk!

Will talk more on what we did for that 3 whole day later in a separate post.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

2nd Ski Trip

If there is a ski trip being organised by my friends during my single's days, I will sure not to let go of the opportunity! I am just so in love with playing on the snow field. Since we don't get snow in Malaysia and Singapore, where else beside Sydney to satisfy my ski crave? :P Well, I can go to Korea since it's nearer but without the group of friends, the trip would not be as superb!

My 2nd ski trip was not at Perisher Blue but it is still within the Mount Kosciuszko area. It is at Mount Sewlyn at Snowy Mountain. It's a much smaller place as compared with Perisher. The ski trails are shorter too.

I guess what is important is the fun with my group of friends. This group was from UNSW and most are much younger than I am! I was a friend of one of the guy who was their senior.... long story again but confirmed he was never my boyfriend... hahahaha! :P

Monday, April 2, 2007

I'm flying a plane!

When I started to think back on all the trips I made to Sydney, there are just so many great memories. Doing things that I could have never have the chance to do if I did not set my foot in that place! I count myself lucky to have met with some very nice people. Though I do not kept in contact with most of them now but the memories lives on.

I met Philip who's an Aussie through the Internet. We have been chatting online for a few years before I finally made a trip there. The initial plan was not to meet up with Philip but to accompany a friend's boyfriend... (a long story). My friend was then studying at UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) and one of the club she joined organised a sking trip to Perisher Blue. She wanted her boyfriend to go and she asked me to go along too so her boyfriend would have a company during the flight...

A nice shot @ the cockpit

Since I'll be in Sydney, so I contacted Philip and he planned a 4-day trip bringing me around to various sight seeing places in Sydney and beyond. Philip has a private flying licence so to make my trip even more meorable, he planned a flying trip for me! The view was great (get to see the entire Sydney through bird eyes' view leh!) and the flying a small jet plane was even more priceless!
If I've not forgotten, the airport is one of the flying college where Philip did his training. It is called Basair Aviation College, located Bankstown, Sydney. I can't remember the name of the air craft (could be Cessna) and it can fit 4 person. It's quite small and shaky but the entire trip was fun!