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Monday, March 09, 2009

"The one with free food in the park..."

My last Sunday culminated a week's stay in the blessed land of the Aussies. About seven days ago I left the comforts of home and family for a bigger phase in my life, and I can't deny my feet still trembles upon the shackles that is a foreign land still. To manage homesickness, I managed to persuade Fendi to tag along with the gang on another food heist in Melbourne Central - this time our host was the Malaysian's Students Association of Melbourne. Word had passed about an organized BBQ on a park nearby Victoria Market grounds, and I spent no less thought of using this as a ruse to tour yet another part of the city.

As usual, the normal route of transportation would indefinitely be the tram and like the UK before - Melbourne also has a special fare for weekends. Jimin rendezvoused with Mahathir and Milah for a visit to a carboot sale nearby so Fendi and I decided to just meet them in the city afterwards. Along the hourly journey which really did felt a lot shorter this time around, we passed time basking in the ambience of being the odd race out. Lucky Fendi's just as chatty as I am.

Figuring that the BBQ was adjacent to Queen Victoria Market, we'd scheduled ourselves for a quick tour of the surroundings; a must-see tour attraction according to Fendi. Victoria Market is definitely suited for tourists; you can get particularly everything Aussie here, as far as souvenirs go. You'd definitely have a feel for its eccentric atmosphere; people from every part of the globe spread all over. With sufficient attention you'd even be able to spot an Indonesian stall or two within the premises.

The establishment's segregated into a few sections, truly dividing a wet and dry market apart, as well as a flea market trading gifts, bags and the usuals. At a glance, this is probably Melbourne's version of Namdaemun Market in Seoul - only I reckon it's only about a tenth of its size. Namdaemun would take you a solid day to finish touring, while it took us a mere 15 minutes to circumsfere the whole place up.

We'd reached the park grounds about ten minutes past noon, greeted by an already growing crowd of Malaysians. Which, from the looks of it comprised a majority of undergraduate kids and definitely made us both feel utterly obsolete and, not to mention OLD. Then again, it's free food so no one's complaining. Helped ourselves to a LOT of food, and it wasn't too long before the other half of the gang arrived.

The weather was mildly cool and wonderfully in its teen degrees; if only I had a portable thermometer handy to mark the temperature. It certainly felt nice, and we also had our fair share of comfortable breezes that day. As the day progressed, the crowd grew bigger and bigger that you'd start to find it difficult to grab enough grub off the grill. This, was our cue to stop eating (apart from the grizzly gazes we're getting) so we decided to mingle around.

I was lucky enough that day to rekindle with a few familiar faces. Mostly people I'd known from my BTN previously. Mislah had contacted me earlier to meet up but had to postpone due to some unforeseen circumstances. She made me promise to take a raincheck for next time. Alas, I was quite pleased to see quite a few familiar faces that day. Really helped to the process of fitting in.

And speaking about familiar faces, guess who else I'd run into that day?

None other than the future doctor-to-be, Fifah's younger sister Ina. It was a nice pleasure meeting her at the event, and she looked to be on the top of things by the looks of it. She seems to enjoy Melbourne very well, but is adjusting to her already busy schedule. She had a few exams coming in the following few days. Shame that by the time we'd met I was already on my way back. Exchanged a few chats and stories, updated on ourselves before parting with the promise of meeting up again in a few weeks time.

On our way home, Fendi brought me to this donut parlour whom he reckons serve one of the best donuts around town. The place's a renovated caravan called American Doughnut Kitchen. And yes, before you judge - they are in no way associated with anything related to the zionists nor Gaza. So I had the all-clear sign for a quick bite.

The donuts were indeed very nice! I'll sure to bring mom here when she drops by one day, because their donuts had her favorite filling - strawberry flavour. Kudos to Fendi, for another successful foray into Melbourne central.

God has been very forgiving of me lately, with the weather being very nice and cosy. I've been walking my way to and fro campus. Thanks to the nice breezes and cool temperature my journey has never been a burden nor tiring. With temperatures falling slightly with the coming of autumm, it seems that everything would only get better, insyaAllah.

Speaking about free food, there's another one coming this Wednesday. This time it's organized by LTUIS - La Trobe University's Islamic Society. One things for sure that day - where there's (free) food, there'll bound to be us around. Alhamdulillah, murah rezeki.

-JeP

p/s : This week is Afzal's recovery week. It's been a while since I've heard from chemoboy, kinda miss him. Hopefully he's all well, in the pinkest of health all the way in Filey St. He's been in my prayers ever since. He's halfway there and I'm especially very, very proud of him.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum wbth,

Free food again! Well, that's rezeki, so go for it, plus it's also opportunity to put yourself on the Malaysian students' map on Aussie soil.

When it gets colder come winter, you may need to think of other means of transportation...maybe sticking to the tram..it may be too cold to walk all the way to campus.Don't worry so much about the money you'll need to spend on transport..think of keeping healthy!

Looking forward to smapling that strawberry-filled donut!...Bye..mama.

Mokrish said...

Gosh....seronoknye tengok ramai Malaysian...duk tanah belanda ni kalau nak carik orang malaysia berkumpul ramai is only during raya at the embassy, itu pun xsampai ratusan macam kat melbourne, sooo jealous ok.

And yes...i have to comment on Fendi being chatty, that's soooo him and sooo sesuai with u.

One more thing, just spend your money on transportation ok...not worth it if you get sick because of the weather, do remember you orang Malaysia...xtahan sejuk.

Fellie said...

jeff, macam malaysia jak tu... i dont see blondes around... or people with minimal clothes..:P

Anonymous said...

Ada satu perbezaan ba Lai....Boleh duduk atas rumput tanpa tikar! sebab tiada "bomb", unlike rumput di Malaysia....auntie Inchun.

Fellie said...

haha, not only the bomb from the animal society, but also the human aunty... :)