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Saturday, March 07, 2009

"The one day at Preston Market..."

Great news! I'm now officially hooked to the world wide web! Courtesy of Three's mobile network, which hooked me up with both a new mobile phone and mobile broadband. Well, I may have to fork out AUD100 a month for convenience of these services - but then again I'd consider the two as being more of a justifiable necessity now.

Plus, I got a free handset to go with it! Of course, getting on the iPhone contract was just too costly an option, that I had to settle on the next best thing - the Samsung's Omnia i900 after fiddling around with PakTam's a while back. At least now I can also snap some pictures on the go. Quite decent picture quality, but definitely an awesome piece of gadget. FYI : the first picture above was taken on my way back from La Trobe across Bundoora park, using the Omnia's 5mp camera. Not bad, huh? Internet connection speeds could've been better, but this is understandable considering I live in the suburbs of Bundoora - at least now to get connected I don't have to pester Jimin for his anymore. Kesian mamat tu, asyik pinjam mobile broadband dia je.

It's been a week since I left Malaysia, leaving behind mostly everything to pursue a new chapter here in La Trobe. The transition has been smooth; I have a great housemate, a nice apartment and wonderful people around to keep my sane - at least for the next few months to come. Food's been abundant and easy to acquire as well; almost all the cafes and restaurants in Agora (Uni Central, much like UM's Perdanasiswa) serve halal meats and food. Things are quite expensive but then again with a little budgeting and thrifty spending it's not that bad. I guess living in Central Melbourne would come with a significant increment in the costs of living as well.

Which means that both Jimin and I have been doing a lot of cooking lately. Last time I did the full-pledge cooking thingy was in Sheffield while catering over chemoboy, so this was a well welcomed memoir to relive. We share similar tastes when it comes to food, so racking up something on the stove was more convenient than a nuisance. That's why, today on a Saturday morning we decided to pay Preston Market a visit to stock up on some groceries and halal meats. Fendi was kind enough to provide us with a means of transportation as he also had planned to drive there. A good 10-15 minutes drive and there we were, engulfed in an area where stores are mostly catered for the international community of Bundoora.

Preston Market is every bit as Asian as you can get while being abroad here. Almost every stall is set up by non-Caucasions, and that means you can find stuff here that you usually can't get in the local supermarkets. Somehow, this place reminds me a lot of the Filipino Market in KK. Considerably spaced, and this morning people of every race and age flocked the corridors and walkways in search of a good bargain.

I was told that Malaysians usually come here to get Halal meats and condiments that can be found back home. As a matter of fact, many shops do actually sell stuff from Malaysia. Got Halal chop from Malaysian Government summore. Maggi stocks, Knorrs chicken cubes - you can even find Brahims packets being sold on the shelves and counters. Finding the stuff you need comes as to no particular difficulty, and most of them are a bit cheaper than usual.

Jimin and I bought stuffs just for the two of us, while Fendi was shopping for a party of five. Just imagine the adversity in how much he'd have to carry and spend. Our total combined grocery cart was about AUD60, and considering what we'd bought it might last us a good 1-2weeks before we need to stock up again. I wonder how much Fendi spent and bought.

All in all, this trip was quite a nice experience for starters. People here are both friendly and warm, greeting you at every instance and sharing smiles at every corner. Even in packed hallways, you'd be suprised as to how nice these people are. I guess its just the weather that keeps them in a dandy and chirpy mood. It's a cosy 12deg outside with very mild winds. Just perfect to go for an outing.

Tommorow we're looking forward to a mass gathering at Melbourne central for, what more but free food! The Malaysian students society of Melbourne are holding up a bbq for everyone, and undoubtly we'll be on the 1-hour tram ride bound there. Might even run into Ina, if I'm lucky. Fifah had already gave me her number and probably it'll be good to get in touch with her soon.

Malam ni dah janji dengan Fendi and Jimin nak masak tom yam. For lunch, we'll finish up what's left of yesterday's dinner; kurma daging Jimin masak. InsyaAllah.


P/S : Over dinner last night the Eastern surburb of Melboune was crackled with a 4.7 richter scale quake. Quite a scary experience, although only lasted a couple of seconds. At first we'd thought of it as vibrations from the trams and lorries but when we were shaken off our sofas it proved to be quite a daunting thing to go through. Herald News reported this to be the first after more than 10 years - last time at Thomson Reservoir in 1996.

Jokingly enough, Mok attributed this to me arrival in Melbourne. Siut je.


Anonymous said...

Assalmualaikum wbth,

So how did ur tom yam turn out? Hope u didnt dissappoint ur housemate! I'm sure I'll love ur bundoora market. We'll make it a must visit when I drop by.....mana tau in the not too distant future. I have this God-given luck of conveniently getting official visits to places where my children are..I may get lucky again!

btw, what have u done to Adi's tooth? n did u get to meet Prof Kathy?

Gd luck on your future meal endeavours...lov, mama.

Mokrish said...

Gosh...Fendi jamu sape je sampai beli barang banyak giler...