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Precious Moments

Published on Monday, October 1st, 2007 by lizzie

Its good to be able to write again. Lately things have been moving so fast that I hardly had the time to sit down and pen my thoughts. I left for Sydney on the evening of 14 Sep, after rushing through a hectic half day at work trying to finish as much as possible and do a proper handover to my colleague.?Plus, I?had to rush to finish packing all my stuff, as my family would be moving house when I was away. Its kinda weird to leave home and come back after 2 weeks to a new home. Anyways, we’re putting up at a rented place till our new place is ready.

The two weeks in Sydney flew by…as happy times always do…but it?gave?us?precious moments where?it was just the 2 of us in our own world. We were so aware that the clock was ticking, that every moment had to be cherished. It made every emotion twice as intense and every action twice as meaningful.

There were days when we would just laze at home, cheonging Battlestar Galactica (I never knew I was into Sci-Fi shows until this one blew me away) and Ty would cook up a storm.

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Super yummy lamb shank! It simmered in the oven for over an hour and simply melts in your mouth! Ty adapted from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes. :)

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No better way to start a day with?a hearty breakfast! Cream of mushroom soup, fresh bread, scrambled eggs and strawberries with sugar. Yummy!!

We managed to visit Hunter Valley this time round and we drove his trusty little 20 yr old Mazda (I call it a SIMS car cos it really looked like the one in the game..sounded better than Ty’s nickname for it – Old Shit) for almost 3 hours to arrive at Sydney’s popular wine region at 1 pm.??The little vintage endured Ty’s speeding of 130km/hr, uneven roads, gravel tracks and many many slopes.

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Man behind the wheel.

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The vintage aka Old Shit aka SIMS car

We stayed at this quaint guest house called “Hilltop Guest House” cos its right at the top of a hill and has great views overlooking Hunter Valley.

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Wedding arches!! Apparently many couples get hitched there. :)

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Misty morning at our little back porch at Hilltop.???

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Ty : FOOD!! Yummy Steak….

It was pure indulgence…we went for wine tours, wine tasting and we bought 12 bottles of booze, chocs and cheese. Ty bought this liquor called “Dragon’s Breath”. Can’t remember what its made up of but it definitely had chillies floating in it and it does burn a trail down your throat as the name suggests.

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The Golden Grapes Estate where Ty bought the “Dragon’s Breath” and I bought my White choc liquer.

And on our third?morning at Hunter Valley, we went horse riding!! I was expecting a more spirited horse but they gave me a horse that was in the words of the horsekeeper “A charming elderly that would be equivalent of a 74 yr old gentleman”. I suppose that was because of my size. I might not have been able to?control?a bigger or stronger?horse. We were taught how to control the horses, how to?make them turn, move or stop. The fine weather and?breathtaking countryside scenery made me so relaxed, I actually sang to the horse….hmm at least?I know he can’t protest. :P

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After our road trip to Hunter Valley, we decided to stay in Sydney for the rest of my trip. The weather was getting warmer as Spring set in, so much so that it was warm enough to hit the beaches. Our first beach stop was beautiful Bondi beach where topless women and washboard-tummy surfers were aplenty. But of course I only have eyes for Ty. :P ?We visited Coogee Beach the next day. It was?nearer to?Ty’s place, more quiet but just as beautiful. So after 2 days of conscientious sun-tanning, we were looking more bronzy. :)

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Unlike my last trip, this trip saw us dancing much more. For 2 weeks, we went to the Establishment which had Salsa nights every Sunday. I must say the standard of the average dancer there is pretty good! Just last saturday, Sydney was having its Latin Fiesta?at the Darling Harbour area,?which was a 3 day event spanning Fri to Sun and there were performances, workshops,?live bands?and?carnival style stalls.?We only went on Sat and the highlight of the night was a string of performances, many of which were by Oliver and Luda. Its amazing seeing this dynamic couple in the flesh. We managed to record down almost all the performances but cos we were quite far, we didn’t manage to get a very good view. All the performances were really good! Very synchronized and smooth. There were many really nice moves and stunts which we liked.

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At the Latin Fiesta at Darling Harbour

And that was how the 2 weeks flew by….we would have to wait for another 8 weeks before Ty comes back. At least he would be staying for almost 3 mths this time round. :)


Upheaval

Published on Sunday, August 12th, 2007 by lizzie

Upheaval…I seem to be undergoing it in all sense of the word. First of all, we have just sold our house, which means lots of packing and that not so nice feeling of being uprooted from a comfortable place. Worse of all, we haven’t found a new place so for every weekend for about 3 weeks now, we’ve been going house hunting. I have lost count of the number of houses that?we have seen…we would probably have to rent a place first. And the packing is tedious. When I first started, I took a look at my puny room and was confident that I didn’t have much to start with anyway…but how wrong I was. I’ve packed 6 huge boxes and there’s still loads of stuff lying around and my two wardrobes still look crammed.

Amidst all that packing, my mum said that we probably can’t move during the 7th Month….and that would end around 14 Sep. And then it hit me that it was the date I planned to fly to Sydney….Not to mention I had Marketing Meeting on the 13 Sep, so I wouldn’t be able to take leave even if we could move earlier. What a mess. My mum wouldn’t be very happy if I was happy holidaying while they were moving house.? Plus, I haven’t booked my flight…and its only a month away. And the reason? Because I’m in the midst of a job change….

So the second possible upheaval is in my career. Just 3 weeks ago, my good pal from Uni called me and said he had?two job offers…the company that he turned down asked if he had anyone in mind who might be suitable for the job and he recommended me. So it started…the interviews…I went for 4 in all over a span of 2 weeks and its not easy trying to keep it from my boss cos some interviews were during my lunch break. If I get this job, it would be the next step up my career ladder, plus I get to travel and get some regional exposure. I was pretty excited about this new job until a call came last week from my dad’s friend. Now our families?have always been?pretty close…so when he offered me a post in his company….I was sorely tempted…because he wanted me to assist him in opening up the Australian market. That would mean frequent visits to Australia and extended stays there….plus he knows about Ty and that I’ve always wanted to find a job in Sydney. Catch is, he’s in logistics and joining him would mean moving out of Real estate and wasting those 2 years of training… I spent another week in a dilemma..weighing all my options and speaking to Ty, my family and friends….finally I came to a decision…a difficult one I must say… That if the new company offered me, I would take it instead of the job with my dad’s friend, despite how attractive the opportunity to be near to Ty was…. I spoke to him about it too and he respected my decision.

I would know their answer by this week…which would determine how many days leave I was to take to visit Ty…which would determine when I book my flight…so many things converging at the same time. I hope everything will fall into place soon…


Harry Potter

Published on Saturday, July 21st, 2007 by lizzie

At 8 am this morning, I was awakened by the loud sound of the toilet door opening and closing. Disoriented, sleepy and a little grumpy, I peeped out from under my blanket, which was up to my nose due to Ty’s air-con (which seems programmed to match Sydney’s freezing weather). I saw Ty’s face grinning at me and I vaguely registered him saying “Look behind you”. Now that was a weird thing to say at 8am in the morning and I had this fleeting phobia that I’ll find a cockroach or something…still I obeyed…and when I flipped onto my other side, I saw an orange paper bag with the words “HARRY POTTER” staring back at me. My mind honestly went blank…then I squinted harder at the bag (which was by the way touching my nose) cos I’m essentially as blind as a bat without my glasses.

Then it hit me that the last book in the Harry Potter series would be out today. Ty knew I was quite the Harry Potter fan, having read all the 6 earlier books, made him watch the Globet of Fire with me on VCD and dragged him to the movies to watch Order of The Phoenix. Yup, so my dearest had actually pre-odered the book from Borders when he first came back 3 weeks ago, woke up at 5am this morning?to go collect the book, braved the throngs of people and endured the “similar to?Hello Kitty” queue and rushed back home before I woke up. And I slept blissfully through it all….and my mattress was just?by the side of his bed….amazing. Not to mention I was with him that day in Borders 3 weeks ago….I was wondering if he was having a terrible stomachache, cos he was stuck in the Border’s toilet for almost 15 min…He revealed today that he sneaked out and back in..right under my nose….talk about me being blur…and that idiot actually played the part of having a bad tummy ache so well, I never suspected a thing…darn…oh well I love him anyway.

The rest of the day seemed to fly by….cos he was busy getting ready to fly tonight. I packed his bag for him in half an hour flat; 7 books, tonnes of clothes, toiletries, medicine and latex rubber gloves for his lab…:P Judging from the way he packed his stuff the last time, he would never have packed all of that in. I barely managed….having stuffed socks in every nook and cranny. As the evening approached, we both seemed to get quieter and the enthusiasm of the morning seemed to wear off. As we made our way to the airport with his parents, I could feel my heart getting heavier. After dinner, we strolled ever so slowly to the departure gate. I could tell that his parents were reluctant for him to go as well.? When the final moment came…I had already gathered my composure….a final hug and he turned to leave. I should have gotten used to it but I guess I haven’t…it was heart-wrenching…another 8 weeks…and thats cos I’ll be flying over in Sep. how many times do we have to do this…over and over again.? I stood behind his parents and they stood there too, until he disappeared from view. His mum said “another 4 months” and his dad answered “Its for his career…maybe next year he might not have time to come back but we can go over…” That didn’t sound comforting to me at all…


The Old Shit from Gymea a.k.a. “300″

Published on Thursday, July 12th, 2007 by Tien Yew

So two friends of mine and I got ourselves a new old car we’ve affectionately named “Old Shit” (it’s brown) – for $300.? Lots of people who’ve seen it doubt its abilities.? But I’ve driven it and I tell ya, it’s?a beast of a car!? It’s also my first car, so…

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Old Shit and I in my carpark.

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View of Old Shit from the other side without the annoying human.

The great thing about this car is that even though car thefts in Sydney is fairly common place, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would steal Old Shit.? I mean, look at it.? Nevertheless I make sure she’s locked up at all times.


Back!

Published on Thursday, July 12th, 2007 by Tien Yew

It’s great to be back to familiar sights and sounds, not so great about the heat and humidity, but the cheap food and tantalising smells mask it to an extent – somewhat.? But all that pales in comparison to seeing lizzie pressed upon the gates while I lugged my 23 kilos worth of baggage (I always overpack) through the gates.

I really hadn’t really danced much in Sydney so when?lizzie and I?hit Xen that first Sunday, months of pent up dance starvation was unleashed on the floor – and it was explosive!? The combination of blazingly fast music and lizzie’s great follow made the night so memorable and I couldn’t help but want more.? So we went down again the next day, and then on Wednesday and then on Friday and Monday and last night, and I have a sneaking suspicion that we might be making an appearance tonight.

So I haven’t really done much since I’ve been back but I suppose that’s because I’ve been dancing way too much.? But I think lizzie would agree that it’s a healthy overdose.? I have, despite my packed schedule consisting of dancing and sleeping, managed to slip away to sample the local fare to remind myself that Singapore is still the best damned place for good food.? And it so bloody is.? Unfortunately, though, I CAN’T EAT CHILLI NO MOAR!!!? Since I’ve been back, every spicy meal is shortly later?accompanied by a visit to the gents.? A small price, but I think I’d better cut down anyway.?

There’s something that bothers me – I don’t feel at home, I feel like a tourist visiting a familiar place.? And it’s not that I feel Sydney is home because it obviously isn’t.? But it bothers me that back in Sydney when all the other Singaporeans were missing Singapore, the food, shopping and whatnot, I didn’t.? I only missed lizzie.? Oh well, it’ll sort itself out.


Together again!!

Published on Friday, July 6th, 2007 by lizzie

11 weeks apart may seem short for some couples??for such a ‘sticky’ couple like us, it sure was difficult…not just emotionally but also financially. :P My phone bills for the past months have hovered around the hundred plus range.? Anyway, Ty touched down last sat night and I had my nose permanently glued to the glass panels, squinting really hard to spot him. It seems our most intense moments (parting and reunion) always happen at the airport.? He engulfed me in a huge bear hug and suddenly, those 11 weeks apart melted away.

We hit Xen’s dance floor on Sunday night with a vengeance. It was exhilirating to be able to dance?again after so long. I told Ty I actually missed the multiple spins and dips, on2?and the crazy speed that he loves doing so much. I remembered when we last danced at Thumpers, this australian guy came up to me and commented that Ty really worked me to the bone…haha and true enough on sat, after 2 dances, I was perspiring like crazy, had hair all over my face, spun so many times i couldn’t walk straight and had wobbly legs…what a great way to lose weight..haha

We danced again on Monday and wed night and he really grilled me doing on2. ?Still, nothing beats dancing with him cos we just have so much fun! :) Tuesday was a transformers movie day for us and after the show at?Marina, we headed to the Esplanade taxi stand to catch a cab….we waited for?about 45 min…and we both were just contented standing next to each other, holding?hands. I suppose what?other couples take for granted,?is a luxury to us. ..Thurs was buffet day. We met up with Jianyang,?James, Jiwei, Nigel and?Grace at Kushinbo and?ate our hearts out..or rather our tummies. They all headed back to Xen after dinner but Ty and myself were totally flat out of energy. We went home. :P ?

?And now its 4.30pm on Friday and I’m looking forward to more dancing and more Ty later this evening. :) ?We’ve met?everyday since the day he was back…and I reckon we’ll probably be seeing each other at least 6 out of 7 days for the next 2 weeks…oh well, time is of essence!!??


Sydney Bridge Climb

Published on Sunday, May 6th, 2007 by lizzie

Its been almost a month since I left for Sydney and I haven’t gotten the time to finish up on what we did for that 10 days….partly because I’ve been so caught up in my research on how to get a job in Sydney. Not to mention most of my spare time is spent on tuition and my auctions….gotta slog real hard to get the $$ to visit Ty again in Sep. :P Anyway,?I shall?pick up where?I left off….

10th-11th April – I woke up in a panic on Tues morning. It was so bright I thought we had slept till late morning. You see, I had an important meeting that morning at 10am. I was to meet this guy from a real estate recruitment agency to discuss my opportunities of getting a job in Sydney. My panic was uncalled for..it was only 7.45am.

I was seated at their office at Pitt Street by 9.30am. Ty would be loitering around town till I was?done. This recruitment consultant turned out to be a young chap called Nick. I had a pretty comprehensive discussion with him on what are my chances of getting sponsored and just learning more about the real estate industry in Sydney. I left his office?with mixed feelings…I gathered from the conversation that it wasn’t exactly a no hope situation…nor was it an easy task. I didn’t want that to spoil my day, especially when we’re doing the bridge climb that afternoon.

By the time we finished lunch and?walked to?Circular Quay, it was 12.30pm. The climb was at 2pm and I intended to be there at 1.45pm. Now the bridge and the Sydney Opera House were located on opposite ends of Circular Quay and the distance apart didn’t look too far. Ty convinced me that we could make it to the Opera House and back to the bridge by 1.45pm….We ended up in a mad rush because the bridge was further than it looked…and we just couldn’t seem to find the elusive bridgeclimb office… We made it 2pm on the?dot…all hot, bothered and sweaty.?Alright, at least I was bothered and irritated, being the ‘kan cheong’ spider…??haha. ?And Ty was cool as a cucumber.

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Sydney Opera House!! Finally saw it again after 12 years…

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Sydney Harbour Bridge – Phew thank goodness I brought a change of clothes…such a warm day!

After an hour going through all the safety procedures and?getting into the assigned gear, we were ready to set off. Ty really liked the outfit;?he claimed it looked like some pilot’s?uniform. I must say I was really impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the?efforts made to ensure the highest standards of safety. All of us were attached to a metal railing that runs along the entire bridge route, via?some sort of?metal ball bearing. The climb itself wasn’t as strenuous as I expected but the standing for 3 hours did take a toil on my legs, which felt kinda wobbly…Even salsa-ing for 3 hours is not that bad. haha. Overall the view from the top was spectacular and having Ty with me just made it even more memorable. :)

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View from the top! Check out the pilot suits…

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Across the centre of the bridge!

We were done by about 6pm and all that exercise sure led to growling stomachs…so we headed for dinner at the Pancake place. We has some really good seafood/ potato crepes, followed by dessert which was crepes with cream cheese, ice cream and strawberries. We were so stuffed that even after we left the restaurant, we had to sit down at a bench by the road after walking for less than 5 minutes…and we stoned…

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We were bored…..

We were supposed to go to Establishment to salsa but Ty was still sick and we were both exhausted after the climb….so we ended up going back for an early night…

Wed was a shopping day! We headed down to Bondi Junction in the afternoon with Ty’s friends and must say I was really pleased that I got some good buys! 2 pairs of capris at FOX cost me only $30 aussie cos they were having some mid season sale.? I got this cute hoodie jacket (very useful when it rains..) for only $10 and this cowgirl looking red bag that cost $9.90. Ty bought some more cook books (to cook for me…) and this star wars T-shirt which he was going goo goo gaga over…it had a pic of Darth Vader with a speech bubble that said “Sith happens”. Yup that cost $10 too.

We checked out this Chinese restaurant at Kingsford for dinner and had a pretty decent meal! The food was good and the portions were huge!! Plus the price was reasonable. 3 of us (plus Ty’s pal, Nick) actually struggled to finish 3 dishes…cos the portions were gigantic. With a full stomach and great company, the cold night walk back seem shorter than usual.


Salsa in Sydney

Published on Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Tien Yew

I remember that back in Singapore someone once told me that there was no salsa scene in Sydney.? That got me rather worried because, well, I really liked to salsa.? That someone was totally and utterly wrong – the Sydney salsa scene is very much alive and kicking ass!? You know how there’re these these few pros in Union Square who you always watch and drool?? In Sydney, there’s this hotel in town called Equilibrium and there’re pros with dance moves you can drool over all over the place – and they’re there every Sunday night.? Granted, there’s a $15 cover charge but who the hell cares when you get to see Jamie Jesus and Little Liz and Oliver Pineda and so on and so forth.? Did I also mention that they serve water for free?? That’s just such an essential for us dehydrated salsa folk that Union Square back home doesn’t provide.? Instead, Union Square provides 2 free drinks both of which are almost certainly going to be some form of sugary?liquid that’ll get you all thirsty again in approximately 5 seconds.? So, you know, whoever told me that Sydney’s salsa scene is non-existent, you’re an idiot.

On the downside though, you get one or two oddball Cuban style dancing perverts but that doesn’t really bother me because, well, being the homophobe I am, I generally don’t dance with guys.? And another odd thing I noticed about the scene is that as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t seen any rueda circles in Sydney at all.? That might be disappointing to some but that’s just great stuff for me.? No rueda circles = more space to dance.? Honestly, I don’t understand the fascination with rueda anyway, but I shan’t digress here.? The point is that I’m enjoying salsa in Sydney even though I haven’t been down to the floor much due to both my studies and the absence of lizzie, again, another story.


Darling Harbour

Published on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 by lizzie

8th-9th April – I woke up on a very bright Sunday morning and expected it to be like 9 or 10 but it was only 7 am plus. Ty was still asleep so I slipped as quietly as I could out of the room. It was a cold morning and after washing up, I sat in the hall, curled up on the sofa,?with a hot cup of tea. It was so quiet and I was just looking out of the windows at the neighbourhood….such a sleepy and quaint neighbourhood and all around, the houses were low-rise and constructed with bricks. There was just something surreal about it. Maybe it’s cos I’m so used to the hustle and bustle of Singapore and Randwick just had this old-fashion charm which appealed so much to me. Plus the fact that Ty was here…and would be for a long time…it seemed clear to me that?my earlier dilemma about coming to Sydney to work was already resolved.

Ty was up 10 min later and like every morning since I was here, cooked breakfast for me.

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Ahhh…about time he shaved..must be all that nagging…

We headed out in the late morning and went to Paddys Market, which had lots of fresh veg and fruits. I got some really good dried apricots and Ty bought a bag of nougats. Yum. We walked on to Chinatown and it was just this small stretch of chinese shops and?restaurants with neon lights and expensive stuff. Haha.

We?strolled on to Darling Harbour. We just stood there at the edge, holding hands, staring out at the water, with the sun on our faces and seagulls flying all around. There were just so many things on my mind at that point in time. Are we going to continue like this for the next 6 years, with only fleeting moments like these spent together? Are we going to be satisfied with long distance calls, web cam sessions?and occasional visits? Do we want to be missing so much in each others’ lives? Maybe because time would always be short for us, at least while we’re worlds apart, that moment just froze in time and all my emotions felt magnified.

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???????????? Darling Harbour on a lazy Sunday.

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???????????????????????????? Reluctant shot….

We were just in time to catch the show at the outback centre. It was a musical presentation in which Ty fell in love with the didgeridoo, this wind instrument used by the aboriginal people. Yeah he bought a CD which we played that night at Danny’s place. Danny had cooked Bah Kut Teh and invited all of us over to his place for dinner. That was the first Chinese dinner I had since I came to Sydney. Haha. Anyway, Ty fell sick that night….probably got my germs…oops. As expected, Monday was a stay-home day for us. Recuperation…with lots of water, redoxin, sleep and Scrubs…..we were?very disciplined?for most part of the day…but at dinner, we cooked brandy chicken and had fettucini! Think we emptied half?the bottle…oops.


Good Friday in Sydney

Published on Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 by lizzie

6th-7th April – Good Friday was quite uneventful, simply because the weather was not cooperating and it had been raining almost the whole day. Ty and I spent the whole morning and early afternoon catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. Apparently he hasn’t watched any of the new episodes and was waiting to watch them together with me. So we sat glued to his laptop screen, squashed together on the same chair (yeah there’s only 1 chair in his room and I’m not taking any from the kitchen…they all have suspicious patches on them…). Think we finished 5 episodes in all.

In the evening, we went to watch 300 with his friends, Nicholas, Jeremy and Sean. The Cinema is called Ritz and it was about a 20 min walk from Ty’s apartment. We caught the 7pm show and to my surprise, it was free seating! At least that would ensure that people go early to get the best seats. And i was disappointed that they only had salted popcorn?? What happened to the sweet ones?? Haha. Anyway I was watching that for the second time (it was released in Singapore almost a month ago?) and it was still good! Yup as I expected, Ty loved it. I think he especially loved the part when some people got decapitated….doctors-to-be sure have morbid fascinations…

Saturday started with a slight drizzle in the morning but we decided to go out since we’ve already stayed home for the last 3 days. We took a bus to Oxford street where we walked further down to the Paddington flea market. We were at the traffic light junction and was just about to cross the road to the market when it started to pour. We were half wet by the time we crossed the road. Thankfully the stalls were mostly sheltered. After walking about the limited number of stalls for 10 min, we quickly realized?that things were very expensive?there…a pair of earrings costs $30! So we settled down in this?little cafe for some food and coffee. It was 4pm when we finished and the stalls were closing by then.

We?decided to go to Bondi junction instead. Over?at this shopping centre at Bondi, we wandered into Harvey Norman and?did our first shopping for the day. Ty bought speakers for his comp and I bought a hair dryer..haha We met up with the guys for dinner at this sushi place at coogee. It was supposedly $18 for the?all you can eat buffet. And it quickly became a eating contest. I teamed up with Ty and we amassed the greatest number of plates…think close to 30? Haha dinner turned out to be $22.50 per person. The night was still young, so we bought some bottles of beer and headed back to Ty’s apartment, where all 5 of us sat at the living room to chat and drink beer. Not such a bad way to warm up on a cold night.