Favourite posts from my Aussie blog: Malaysia to Adelaide

Yes, I DID blog about my journey to Australia - from visa application, to moving there, to life there and then back to Malaysia! The blog is called Malaysia2Adelaide, and for a while I toyed with the idea of importing the posts from that blog and incorporating it into this one, but I've decided to leave it be because migrating all the comments to Disqus would've been an abysmal nightmare. Also, having a simple linky link would suffice, methinks:

Here are just some of my favourite posts from Malaysia2Adelaide

Of course there are a lot more posts in the blog, from the random food porn, cafe entries (Adelaide made me a coffee addict. The coffee there was divine), to my adoration of Adelaide's many beautiful beaches and even a post on how I de-stuffed my life to move to Oz (it made me determined to be a minimalist who will only take an hour to move homes!)

Reading the blog again made me rather nostalgic of Adelaide. What a beautiful place Adelaide was/is!

Appearing on 891 Book Club

As I said in the post before, ABC Radio contacted me because of a post I wrote about my visit to the Life of Pi set.

You can listen to the interview in its entirety at the 891 Book Club Archives.

It was an interesting experience, being on a radio show. Especially if you're the one being interviewed! I'll tell you the truth - my heart was pounding when they asked me questions about the book because I read the book over two years ago and had to refresh my memory about the details.

(The interview happened because 891 Afternoons presenter Sonya Feldhoff came across my post about my visit to the set of Life of Pi when I was a journalist.)

The ABC radio offices is quite polished, and it was fascinating to watch the studio operate. On one side is the presenter and guests with their mikes and earphones, on the other are these people operating switchboards and computers.

Outside the glass-encased studio is a regular office where I assume the journalists work. Ah, how I missed that world!

I was ushered into the glass-encased studio, asked to put on the headphones and sit in front of the mike. I felt as if I was going to sit for an exam!

Still, my bestie in Malaysia said she could see me via the web telecast of the show and said I was just fine. Well, you be the judge!

You can listen to the interview at the 891 Bookclub archives here:

This is what this episode is about according to the 891 Bookclub website:

It was a special thrill in our 891 Book Club to welcome one of the authors whose book we are focussing on this month. Karen Lord from the Caribbean was in the studio to personally discuss her book "Redemption in Indigo", which has been described as a modern day fairytale.

And it was interesting to hear her describe how she fleshed out the fool in her book, a character rarely afforded such attention.

Our other book in the spotlight is now a much loved modern classic.

I must be one of the few book lovers who somehow missed reading "Life of Pi" in the first few years after it won the Mann Booker Prize but it's been wonderful to finally catch up on it for our 891 Book Club.

Timely too, with Ang Lee winning the Best Director Oscar this week for his movie version of "Life of PI". I managed to track down and welcome to the studio Elizabeth Tai, a freelance writer, who has not only reviewed the book before but visited the movie set in Taiwan to interview Ang Lee.

I will be a guest of ABC's 891Book Club

I received an e-mail a few days ago from the producer of the show. She happened to come upon my post, Cover the Life of Pi, where I wrote about my experience visiting the set of the movie.

She thought that it'll be interesting for me to come on the show.

To be honest, I've been on the other side of the mic; in 1999, while I was a journalism student in Curtin University, I worked in the community radio show as a reporter and actually interviewed people (ministers, activists, the lot) and even acted as producer for the show. I'm used to being on the other side, the one asking the questions. I'm not used to being asked questions!

Well, I'm not sure how big a part I'll play in the show, but I'm intrigued to witness how Australian journalism is done. If I'm not mistaken, I'm one of the book reviewers that they invite to the show - these book reviewers are often members of the radio station's book club.

You can listen live to the show at 2.30pm (Adelaide time - 12pm Malaysian time) today (Friday, March 1, 2013) at their live stream: http://www.abc.net.au/adelaide/programs/webcam_radio.htm?streamFile=localadelaide&streamTitle=Conversations

Book addiction

If there's one reason for me to migrate to Australia, it would be the lovely, lovely, love (x10) libraries. It is wonderland for book lovers. Crack for book addicts. Paradise for Movie lovers. Haven for magazine readers. I can go on.

When I was told by the librarian at Burnside library (which is really near my home, which is another reason why I heart my neighbourhood so much) that I could borrow 50 books or magazines and 10 DVDs at once, I laughed.

"Who the hell could read that much? Who in the world would borrow that much, anyway?"


Apparently, me.

Last Saturday, a librarian at Burnside said to me that I should return some books because - read this - the computer couldn't print a borrowing receipt (which tells you when to return a book) that long!

I was (cough) kinda embarrassed, especially when a friend said that by borrowing so many books I was depriving people from reading them. Yes, I feel like a chastened school child, so I dutifully did a marathon reading session on Saturday and returned nearly 15 books. (They were mostly manga! I'm no genius speed reader :P)

This time, I managed to curb my borrowing this time and borrowed only ... 5 books. Hey, it's a feat for me, okay?

First days in Adelaide

After years and years of hand wringing, I'm finally in Adelaide, South Australia. I honestly didn't think I'd be here. Heck, the friends I have here were quite convinced that I'm not coming over because I kept going back and forth endlessly. Should I stay in the safe and certain or should I jump off cliff into the unknown? In the end, I decided, what the hell, I'm going to give it a try.

Now that I'm here, I'm glad I did make the leap!

The weather is chilly, but not Hokkaido icy or Edinburgh wintry, because these two places were the two coldest places I've been in. The kind of cold that seeps into your bones and do not let go. In Adelaide, at least, it gives you a break sometimes. Today, for example, is almost like a cold night in summer!

North Adelaide reminds me a lot of Bangsar with its quaint cafes and restaurants. It is just about the central business district of Adelaide (CBD for short) and is full of picturesque houses. I have fallen in love with the little library in the neighbourhood where you can rent out books, DVDs and read magazines and newspapers. And did I mention the free bus that takes you to the city? The idea that such a thing exists bowls me over.

Worries? Yes, I have many. But I'm taking things one step at a time. I told myself that even if I can't get a job to pay the bills, I would've tasted life in Australia, and that is worth every penny (or sen).

Leaving friends and family was hard though. My first night here as I sat in the studio apartment that will be home for the next few months, I did wonder if I made a mistake. Was I attempting something impossible? Did I do the right thing? What am I going to do without my dear friends and family?

The pain is lessened a little by the new experiences I have here – meeting the neighbour and her Rhodesian Ridgeback Gordon, sitting in a park with the icy winds in my hair, cuddling a fat cat called Jack and sipping tea while staring at the lemon tree at the back of a friend's house, and rushing to IKEA in “heavy” traffic. An experience only because in Adelaide, what is called “traffic jam” is like a nice drive on Sunday in Subang Jaya!

Whatever the future may hold, I'm glad I mad the move. It's an intoxicating sensation, to fall back without knowing where you'll land.