Leaving Anhui after a week holiday, all full of love, was simply the greatest.
6 weeks later, leaving my wife at Jinan airport, I bawled my eyes out. My handkerchief soaked with tears and sniffles jerking my whole body. Nothing the airline staff could do, would comfort me in the least. I was grateful that my colleague and mate Ivan was there to drag my sulking corpse onto each of the flights.
Amy is born in the year of the monkey. It was most auspicious to have recently discovered that my birth date falls in the year of the tiger where
- Their energy and love of life are stimulating.
- Tigers are romantic, passionate, and playful.
- They love life and want to live it to the fullest.
If you prefer the alternative low down on your Chinese zodiac, check out Snarling Tiger, Dirty Rat: A Short and Nasty Guide to Embracing Your Inner Beast (by Stella Hyde). The Mating Mistakes combination of a tiger and a monkey are :
Monkeys know how to ride you, and you love having your fur groomed. But then they tease you, and you lose your temper and roar and look foolish.
Amy’s visa came through so quick, it definitely smashed all the Olympic records. A much needed 40kg baggage allowance ticket was found and finally we are counting down the hours. I have arranged Monday off work and my dad has come to help with airport transfer bright and early on Monday morning!
Naturally I’ll be occupied, taking care of MY wife. To keep the rest of you entertained on Monday, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity :
27th August; the day the whole world is waiting for.
Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky, starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on 27th August when Mars comes within 34.65 million miles of Earth. Be sure to watch the sky on 27th August at 10:30pm. It will look like Earth has 2 moons. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.
çŸ³é¦–å› (shi shou jun) is my Chinese name – “Wow!”
Weifang æ½åŠ International Kite Festival was a spectacular and colourful event that highlighted our weekend. With both foreign and local friends together, a day-trip to the festivities was just what I needed. Every year in the middle of April, competitors from all over the globe come to fly and fight against each other for the prestigious title of champion kite-flyer.
The military clad lads didn’t hang about much after we arrived.
The amazing kites aloft included a theme set of marine life with a giant sea-horse, squid, lobster and sting-ray aloft in the sky. Others floating around included the dragon kites, some hoop kites, a fat Winnie the Pooh, a pheonix, a Homer Simpson and the famous box kite.
The deluge of celebrity stardom treatment over us was far more than there ought to have been. We checked out the international competitors pavilions and met any folk we could say
Hello to, in their native tongue. When strolling around with Ivan, it’s not too hard to cover most of the globe in this way. However the shear number of locals who would simply request a token photo with us foreigners, is sky-high. Never mind your name, nor any other interesting details, just shut-up and smile! It was quite hilarious and bizarre at the same time.
Unforgettable was the cute girl who must have been in training for how to pose. It was her reflex to do so when I asked for a photo of her and her Hello Kitty balloon. Check out the resulting photo!
On our return train ride to Jinan, the conductor? guy decided to meet the foreign crowd with a little more curiosity. First up, we must establish who is the stronger. A simple arm-wrestle will decide this. One by one, he tried on all the boys in this game of manhood. The conversation only came to a halt when the conductor? guy had to get off at his stop.
This years main Australian Photographic Expo is in Melbourne, May 3-6. The show is run by the Photo Marketing association of Australia and the Photographic Imaging Council of Australia.
A feature of every years show is an exhibition of photographs from the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers.
This year however the organisers would like to invite members of the Melbourne Flickr groups to submit images to be used in a special ‘Electronic Gallery’.
In keeping with the sharing nature of Flickr, we have created a wall of LCD frames of various sizes that will feature a constant electronic slide show of images of Melbourne. This Electronic Gallery will feature nothing but images of Melbourne taken by Flickr members.
I won’t be able to make it to this event. If you are in Melbourne though, please check it out and tell me what it’s like.
Today I spent my afternoon with Yasue, cruisin’ around various cityside venues, checking out their potential for her wedding later this year. It just goes to show, you don’t have to live within 500 metres to explore a new area. At least we didn’t end up like the cow from Hey diddle diddle.
To all my international friends, take a leaf out of the flickr blog on The Australian Lesson. It’s not just about roo steak!
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Australians in the wild before, but next time you do, just remember these 4 simple rules:
- Keep us outside, preferably near the beach
- Cook us something on a barbecue
- Talk about sport, and
- Give us a beer
Happy Australia Day!
A Toblerone at The Atrium where the view is best from the loo. Followed by meeting up with Christie, Craig and Liz. I hadn’t seen Craig since climbing days in Squamish! After the fireworks display, we stuffed ourselves at the Blue Train Café and chatted until the last train took me home.
Chris had staked out a patch of the Yarra bank, holding fast to his blanket. Sori had arrived after the first wave of fireworks had subsided. Through swelling crowds swarming over the Princes Bridge, I wove a line with my mobile pressed firmly to my ear,
Where are you? With the live music blaring and colourful dancers and lights atop Federation Square, it was all quite mesmerising.
Giant Piñata Seen in Mexico City! To celebrate the record-breaking success of Viva Piñata™, the Xbox 360™ team in Mexico City decided to break a record of their own: by building the world’s largest piñata! Forty five dedicated team members and 800 volunteers built a giant Horstachio that stands 48 feet high and weighs a whopping 4,400 pounds!
If you are concerned about your safety (or your children’s) then perhaps you should try the parents’ and the children’s safety videos! Now who says we can’t sue Microsoft because our children bashed us up using their new Christmas present?
The real piñata got his arse whipped until his leg broke and his guts spilled out. So much for the viva! All in the name of great fun at my cousin’s 21st birthday party.
The good and the bad of being born on New Year’s Eve:
- Everyone’s already in party mode (this can save you heaps on your catering budget).
- You get the best fireworks show of the year.
- Proximity to Christmas means you often won’t get the full value of 2 separate presents, rather a single crappier pressie.
Happy Birthday Pete. I hope you enjoy sleeping with the girls.
Please remember to bring a plate of yummy food (it can be anything, so long as it tastes good) and whatever you want to drink (we have plenty of water!) Also, the way the weather is looking, it might pay to bring your warm clothes. See you at our house! Merry Christmas!
Christmas morning! Time to open the presents. Kate of course received a game of Postie Kate! Gill received the penguins cup, and I have started wearing my new Union Jack boxers.
Afternoon feasting began shortly after everyone arrived. In a spookily similar fashion to last Christmas, this year we spent the day with international friends and one of Kate’s family members. Last year it was her brother Matthieu, this year it’s 100% Gill, the flamenco dancing, kangaroo-ears wearing, often shopping and always fun loving mum of Kate.
chucking Christmas chocolate on Vimeo
At the Strike Bowling Bar for $7 you get a game and free French fries. That’s cheap! – but at about 6:30pm last night we had to make a booking for a 2-hour wait… It seems we aren’t the only ones who like Tight Ass Tuesday!
At the nearby Oxford Scholar Hotel (despite my protest of how terrible it has become) a few friends gathered for a couple of ales and to catch up on gossip. It wasn’t long before we returned underground for some lane and gutter action.
bowling at Strike on Vimeo
Thanks to all our friends who came along: Fujio, Takeshi and Takako, Boyun and Yasue, Chris, Helen, Mark and Jin. There certainly was a strong Japanese and Korean contingent from the CELTA course gang to make it a great fun night. Until next time,
First day of work for a really long time! I’ve got Mondays at Victoria University (ELICOS) for the next 5 weeks, teaching the Upper Intermediate class of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The class will have around 12 or more students, from Asian, European, and Middle Eastern countries. This should be fun. At least I’ll finally have some income!
Wonder where I’ll be spending my Monday afternoons…