Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Springbrook - Glow Worms

Adrian, my secondary school friend was in town for a couple of weeks so we met up to go sight seeing. So nice to have a familiar face around, although it has only been 6 weeks here.

He came down from Brisbane and picked me up from my place, had dinner then set off to look for glow worms. Was quite excited about it. First real sight seeing experience since I came to Australia.

It was about an hour's drive to Springbrook from Southport, and we reached there at about 9pm.

Here is a map at the park. You can roughly gauge how far we went in from the coast. Think its about 30km from the coast. Ulu to the max.

After the entrace at the park, the whole place was pitch dark. I don't think you can get this kind of darkness in Singapore, what with all the night lights. It was really something else.

I didn't bring a torch, but I had my (sometimes only) trusty O2 Atom (aka Mota) and turned on its camera flash light. It's quite power actually. Lit up the pathway very well. Thanks Mots.

Below are the actual glow worms. They are just tiny spots that emit a luminous green glow, and because of the pitch darkness, they light up prettily (is there such a word? hmm).

You can't really tell how they actually look like from this picture, so just imagine you are in this large cave, and it's pitch dark, and you have thousand and millions of these little green glowing dots on the ceiling of the cave. That's pretty much what it looks like.

It took me quite awhile to get the picture above. Firstly, no light (not low light). Then no tripod, then the glow worms are on the ceiling which is quite far away, and they are not very bright too. So, I disabled the shutter, zoomed in to the max, turned on self timer, and placed the camera on the handrail nearby facing the glow worms. Had about 7-8 tries and that was the best I could do.

Driving to and from Springbrook, the night sky was so clear, and there were so many stars out in the sky. Never seen so many stars at once before.

Oh yes, saw this owl sitting on top of a road sign on our way back. Stuff you only see in moves/tv =)

Quirky quirks from the land down under #00002

7-11 convenience store.

No, hang on, it's a petrol station too.

That's Adrian, my secondary school friend from MSHS. He came down to Brisbane to settle his kid brother down, for school at QUT.

We were on our way to see glow worms down at some ulu national park. More on that later (Hmm I seem to be saying a lot of 'more on that later' but still haven't got around to blogging it... heh)

Just hope slurpee doesn't come out of the nozzle into the fuel tank.

Friday, February 23, 2007

View from the Library

Ah the library. How many days and night did you spend there during your schooling days? I think I'm going to have to spend a lot of time there.

The library has a not too bad a view as you can see.

In the picture are of my companions Tabby (laptop), Mota (Atom). And of course, Tortora (textbook). And not forgetting my sunnies and Tag.

Been a little slack this week due to CNY. Kinda tough studying when you know everyone back home is having a good time with the festivities. This would be the first of a few (hopefully) for me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Griffith University

Why Griffith? Cos it's colour coincide with mine. Red.
Yes I am that frivolous. Moving along.

The school is a 7 storey building. Yes one building. It connects to the Gold Coast Hospital at the back. 7 storeys, fully self contained medical and dental school.

It seems kinda small, just 1 building, 7 storeys. But amazingly, they have designed it very ergonomically, with
- 2 labs: First encounters with cadavers. The sight of it is ok, but the smell can be overwhelming. Must learn not to breathe in too deeply. Otherwise *ou*.
- 2 lecture theatres
- 1 library
- 1 computer lab
- 20 tutorial rooms: That's were I show the rest of my tutorial group how helpless I am... ha
- locker room: Mine's empty, less lab coat.
- administrative offices
- bookshop: Opens at 7.30am. Who the heck goes there at that time?
- cafeteria: cannot make it, sandwiches and pasta, I think. Never bothered. Don't think I'll spend more than $10 on them this year. And I've already spent $2.80 on a small bottle of juice. Think the only thing worth getting is the coffee. Then again I haven't tried it yet also. See how.
- clinical setups

And all this not inclusive of dentistry labs.

Do I like the place? Well, structurally, it's what any student would have hoped for. New building, new furniture, new computers.... everything's new. But I think because the school is so new, it lacks character like those older schools, e.g. University of Sydney, and probably a lot of the universities in UK, I think.

How about NUS? hmmm.... ok la, my Alma Mata after all. That's where I had lots of good memories. I miss hall life...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quirky quirks from the land down under #00001

Part of this blog would be to highlight some of the quirkiness of this land.

Well, I thought that I would start with something not that weird, so that it won't go downhill.... ha..

Here, a bike parked in a car lot. There are no parking lots for bikes, at least not in public areas, so the bike has to park in a car lot, and pay the car parking charges.

I think its quite cool =)

More quirks to come!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Touchdown - 0 week

Hey everyone...

This blog been a long time coming. Hope it was worth the wait.
I have been in the Gold Coast for slight over 1 month now, and starting to miss home a little.

Where am I exactly.

It's been an eventful month thus far, and here are the highlights of the first week there:

14 Jan 07
- Flight at midnight, family and close friends from 93-94 NYJC Canoeing Team + friends, brotherhood + friends from RH(NUS) were there to send me off. Thanks all =)

- Flight was good, got an ailse seat and could stretch out my legs. Couldn't really sleep much cos I always get excited when flying.
- While preparing for take-off, there was some confusing in seating arrangements, and some SQ pilot cadets were trying to 'act cute' with the hostesses, trying to be charming. Well, it was quite disasterious. To me at least.

15 Jan 07
- Touchdown at Brisbane International Airport, bus to Southport, Gold Coast.- Checked-in at Swan Lane Apartments (the place where I stayed for my interview).

- Did mostly adminstative matters (e.g. banking, mobile), and made calls about accommodations.
- Viewed one room, where there were 2 guys, one of them Maori, quite the party aniaml. The place was not too bad but just a little far from school and the neighbourhood seemed a little too secluded for me.

16 Jan 07
- Went to see another place, and this is where I would end up. It was a nice, resort-like, place with a small pool.
- Landlady seemed really nice, and I am quite grateful to have found this place. More of this later.

17-19 Jan 07
- My long lost secondary school friend from MSHS, Bernard, came to visit. It's been quite awhile since I've seen that giant. Was good to see a familiar face when you're in a foreign land. Was great catching up on old times.

20 Jan 07
- Moved into my new place.
- After settling in, I made my way up to Brisbane to visit Bernard, for the weekend. My first time in Brissy and it is quite the bustling city. More on that later.

So that's it, first week of the rest of my life in Australia.