Category: Reflections on Perth

Perth Food

So I went down to Spectra on Wednesday to pay my old workplace a visit.

Surprised to see that not much has changed since I resigned earlier this year. All the old faces are still there and everyone is still sitting at the same spot as they were 7 months ago. Even my old desk was intact, except maybe for the layer of dust covering it. Gary said they’ve been advertising my old position but haven’t yet found any suitable candidates.

I offered to clean up the mess I left help them out for a few days while I’m here, which is why I haven’t been updating this site as often.
My former manager David said to me, “We’ll take you back right away if you want.”
I felt a squish inside as I replied, “I can’t…”
Considering Kuching has so much cheap and delicious food, I didn’t realize I actually miss Perth food a lot, but I did.

I’m doing this as a tribute to my favourite eateries in Perth. They may not have all the glitz and glamour or be as fancy as the exclusive restaurants around town, but they damn sure are responsible for the extra kilos I’ve piled on.

The $3.50 Chicken Rice

Back when we first arrived in Perth with very little money on us, all the restaurants around town were charging at least $7 for a steamy pile of bullshit.

At the time, the $3.00 chicken rice shop at Karawara was God sent. Nowhere else can we have a taste of home without paying ridiculous Australian prices. 8 years later, they’re still around and their prices have only increased by 50 cents.

Don’t be fooled by the innocent-looking Singaporean couple running the shop. In the morning, they work their asses off serving hungry Curtin students. At night, they put on their best suits and gamble their fortune away in the Burswood Casino VIP room.
Thai Village Garden’s Squid Pepper Rice, Karawara

Just next to the chicken rice shop in Karawara is Thai Village Garden, another student favourite. Their $7.30 squid pepper rice is simply mouth-watering. Best served with their homemade spring roll sauce.
George’s Kebabs at the Curtin Uni Tavern

Officially awarded the best kebabs in Perth for many years running and more. They are so popular that every lunchtime, the lines would all the way to the outside of the Tav. You don’t get kebabs as fat and tasty as theirs back in Malaysia.
Utopia Bubble Tea, Northbridge

They started with one shop hidden away in Northbridge but rapidly expanded to 5 stores all over Perth. $3.50 for a bubble tea may be expensive but it’s worth it. Other bubble tea outlets that offer cheaper alternatives come and go, but Utopia is still growing strong. Try their Summerlove Milk Tea with Jelly – you don’t get them anywhere else.
Kimchee House, Northbridge

I used to go to this place so often, the lady boss still recognized me though I haven’t been back for 7 months. I reckon Seoul is overrated and Arirang is only good for their BBQ. For the best Korean food in Perth, it’s gotta be Kimchee House in Chinatown, Northbridge.

I like their $6.80 Korean pancake and $9.60 seafood tofu stew.
The Moon Café, Northbridge

Perth is dead after 9pm and there aren’t a lot of cafes around that opens till late night. I used to like Fast Eddy’s, until their food takes 20 minutes to arrive. I used to think Oriel’s in Subiaco was good, until one of their waiters got permanent PMS. Then I discovered the Moon.

The best thing about Moon Café isn’t the food, but the relaxing environment it offers to people who just wanna sit back and chill out with friends. Get in there Monday/Tuesday for $9.95 pizza /pasta with wine, or Thursday night for their live jazz band.
Chilli Mussels at Conca’s

If you ever wonder why the Italians in Perth are so rich, take a look at Conca’s.
Everything in there is old: The furniture is old, the computers are old, heck – even the people serving the food are old! Yet, these grandmothers have the audacity to charge $23 for a small bowl of chilli mussels that used to cost $17 a few years back.

By any means, every single item on their menu is WAY overpriced for a run-down shop like theirs, but for some reason people kept coming back for more. It could only mean that their food isn’t just good – it’s DAMN good.

Man, I got so hungry writing this entry. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna eat a koala bear now.

My Final Moments in Perth

I’m back in Kuching, Sarawak. Nothing much to say except everything up to this point was very hectic. I had not had a proper sleep for 2 days, and my body was overdosed with Red Bull. My last few days in Perth was spent selling off everything that I can’t bring, packing everything that I can bring, helping Nicole move to her new place, driving Nicole’s parents around, and removing 8 years worth of junk in the house so that the new owners can move right in.
The amount of junk in my bedroom

The amount of junk in my bedroom

Nicole’s parents are such a cool bunch. They were in town to attend Nicole’s graduation on the 26th February. Funnily, her parents seems to be happier on that day than Nicole herself. Her mom and dad are ever so ready to pose for my camera, whereas the graduation girl would hesitate like its no big deal. “Its just Curtin Business School, not Harvard Business School.” Sheesh, KL girls! 🙂
Curtin University of Technology Graduation Ceremony

Curtin University of Technology Graduation Ceremony

The graduation ceromony was held outdoors in the courtyard on campus grounds. The weather that evening was cool and soothing, which makes it ideal to hold such event outdoors. The ceremony itself followed the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) – boring speech, give out some awards, inspirational speech, give out more awards, one more trying-to-be inspirational speech, the end.

Fireworks! Oooooh…. Ahhhhh….

Probably the funniest moments during the ceremony was listening to the ang-moh MC trying to pronounce the long and complicated Indian and Thai names with great difficulty. The ceremony concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.
Asian food stall

Maybe the Asian food here was meant to be for the Kwai Lo?
There were several foodstalls serving international cuisine later that night. Here’s the photo of the Asian food stall. Pardon my rusty Mandarin, but I think the Chinese word on the stall said Gui, which means literally – Ghost. Whoever designed that food stall must be a very disgruntled employee. 😉
Perth Cityscape on the 28th February 2005

Perth Cityscape on the 28th February 2005

By Sunday evening with a few hours left to board the plane, we managed to clear everything out of our house. Without a bed to sleep on and reluctant to rent a hotel room, Nicole and I went on a car ride around the city and ended up in King’s Park where we had a brief heart-to-heart talk. I took one last photo of cityscape of Perth.
The taxi to take me away from my home to my home

The taxi to take me away from my home to my home

When we returned home, the taxi was already there waiting for us.
I arrived at Perth International Airport, still relatively calm. Perhaps I was sedated by the fact that I did not sleep for 2 days. Ignoring calls asking passengers of MH126 to go through the gates, Nicole and I spent our last minutes drinking coffee at Dome Cafe. I was still calm.
Perth International Airport

Perth International Airport

We hugged, and I walked through the sliding doors into the departure hall. Then I remembered how long it was going to be before I see her again, and all of the sudden I just lost it and cried. Say what you want about men crying, but I teared and wept even when I presented my passport to be stamped. What made it even worse was that Nicole’s parents were at the departure hall as well waving at me happily like nothing happening.
Kuching International Airport

Kuching International Airport

So now I’m back in Kuching. Hot, wet, humid. And for someone like me who have been away for 8 long years, I’ll probably experience reverse culture shock. As much as I try not to, I’ll probably inadvertantly try to compare Kuching with Perth. Well, things are more or less back to normal now, and is more or less back in action.
Only this time round it’ll have more of a Malaysian laksa-flavour.

Reflections on Perth – 2004

Re-editted from draft.

5 hours left.

5 hours left! Surprisingly I’m relatively calm, but I suspect
not for too long. I apologise I cannot visit blogs/reply comments/take a piss
these few days without paying $4 an hour for internet access here whilst being
surrounded by dozens of pimply-faced teenagers screaming obsceneties whilst
playing Counterstrike. Dammit, 5 hours left – I should be I standing tall by
the beach watching the sun rise, one foot stepping on a rock, wind blowing
my hair, acting sad yet strong, whilst Leaving on a Jetplane plays
in the background.

Xiao Sha

Stupid Hollywood.

Well guess what? I ain’t leaving Perth till I finish the final entry of my Reflections on Perth.


The year was 2004.
Ok let’s jump straight to the point – 2004 sucks. Big time. You may remember
that in 2004, Bennifer became
no more. J-Lo married Marc Anthony. Rebecca Loos and Malaysian-born Sarah Marbeck
all claimed to have slept with David Beckham just so that they can earn a few
extra bucks from the gossip magazines. Britney Spears married Kevin “Golddigger” Federline
who happen to have two kids. And then there was The Nipplegate Scandal when
Janet Jackson’s left tit said "Hello!" to the whole wide world.

The Nipplegate scandal

“Hello everybody! I am Janet Jackson’s left boobie! :)”

On a more sombre note, George Bush and John Howard lied about the WMD, spent billions of dollars in iRaq and both won re-elections, confirming two things: lying gets you to places, people care only about themselves. Sad but true. The largest natural disaster of its kind – The Asian Tsunami crisis took the lives of over 200,000 people on 26th December 2004.

I had mentioned numerous times in my previous entries how much I disliked 2004. That’s no secret. For many people 2004 is the year the world went through war, famine and suffering. For me, I went through a near-crisis in my relationship, multiple burglaries and the beginning of a difficult journey when the news about my father come about.

In front of the School of Physics

Fresh grad ready to kick ass!

The year started steady and strong. I was 22 years old. I was a fresh graduate who only just started my employment with Spectra, and still earning a few bucks here and there tutoring Business Statistics.

Nicole had just finished her course at Curtin University in July. With her
Student Visa finishing up, she applied for Permanent Residency in Australia.
So while we were waiting for her application to be approved, I encouraged her
to work casually as a farmhand in a place called Gingin, where a lot of backpack
travellers are also working there to earn some cash. Looking back, I regretted
letting her go.

Gingin - the place that took my girlfriend away

Gingin – the place that took my girlfriend away and changed her into a different person.

Gingin changed Nicole almost into a totally different person. The people Nicole
stayed with in Gingin were mostly Europeans in their late-teens/early 20s on
their gap
. The fact that they are so independant at such young age make Nicole
feel that she missed out on the best times of her life. I do not disagree with
that. In KL she lived with her parents, whereas in Perth I played the role
of the restricting boyfriend. One night in September while I was lying next
to her, she turned to me and said "I needed my own space."

I agreed, thinking that every couple need some time to be apart from each other for the relationship to grow. It was just a temporary phase that most couples need to go through. I could handle it.

But I was wrong. What I thought was 3 days become a week, then 2 weeks, then
a month, then 3 months. During this period of time I prevented myself from
trying to meet her. She was in Gingin with her German friends and I was in
Perth alone. We grew apart and many times we felt like just normal friends.
She would rather stay at her friend’s place for the weekend instead of meeting
me. The worst part was when we are supposed to go out with our group of friends,
I went there alone and when I was asked "Where’s Nicole?",
I had absolutely no idea. There was no longer ‘we’ in our relationship,
just ‘her’ and ‘I’.
I was in a relationship, but I never felt more single in my life. I gave her
the space that she need, but many times I fear that the relationship is just
not going to work out.

As if things couldn’t get worse, my car was continuously burgled. Those low-life scumbags would smash my car window ($250 repair) and took whatever was inside the car – sometimes nothing at all. I had my car broken into 3 times that year. Among the things stolen were some spare change ($10), my speed camera detector ($200), my jacket ($100), the faceplate of my CD player ($170), digital camera ($200) and my time spent to process the insurance claims (priceless). The stupidest thing was that I deliberately left my car unlocked so that they could steal anything inside if they wanted to – yet they still smashed my car window! Gerammmm….

My house was broken into

My car, my house were broken into many times throughout the year

I had tried many ways to calm myself down, entertain myself a little and take my mind off all the commotion. So I bought a Microsoft XBox gaming console one evening as a Christmas gift for myself, wanting to spend time with it because Nicole was away in Gingin and the rest of my family were away in Malaysia. I had it for one night, just a one night stand. Until someone broke into the house and ran away with not just my XBox, not just my Playstation 2, but also my pride, my dignity, my love.

Dear thief, if you are reading this, I have only this to say to you… You can take away my XBox, but you can never take away MY FREEDOM!!!

At that point in time, it seemed as if everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. None of them seemed to prepare me for what was about to happen on the 26th October, when I learnt that my father has contracted cancer. All of the sudden, my plans changed totally, and nothing else seems to be as important anymore.


This is the last of my Reflections on Perth. If you have been following this memoir of mine, thank you. I know its such a dry read because I fell asleep several times whilst I spell-checked it.

And so, this closes one chapter of my life, and opens up a new one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the beach watching the sun rise, one foot stepping on a rock, wind blowing my hair, acting sad yet strong, whilst Leaving on a Jetplane plays in the background.

Goodbye Perth

Goodbye Perth. The past 8 years was simply bloody amazing.

Reflections on Perth – 2003

7 Days Left.
This time next week I shall leave Perth for good.
Nicole arrived two days ago. We have this much time to spend together before we leave each other, not knowing when we will meet again.
People often ask me, “Kenny, are you sure this is what you wanted to do?”
I gave them a very simple answer, “I have only one father.”
The year was 2003. Arnold became the Governator of California. The planet Mars became visible on our skies. The SARS virus hit most of Asia, causing thousands of deaths. Meanwhile, fashion trendsetters in Hong Kong released… Hello Kitty face masks! On a more serious note, Mahathir stepped down as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Love him or hate him, everyone have to agree that he had made an amazing impact during his term.
Don't cry for me Malaysia...

Don’t cry for me, Malaysia…

On 20th March, George W Bush showed the world how powerless the UN is, and led the Coalition of the Killing to drop bombs over Baghdad, starting The Gulf War – Episode II. The entire world was in killing mode. On 13th December, Saddam Hussein was captured from his “Spider Hole”. By then, everyone seemed to have forgotten why the war started in the first place. The Weapons of Mass Destruction were yet to be found, but none of the big wigs seemed to care because they all think they are doing a good job by democracizing Iraq.
Statue of Saddam toppling down

Saddam Hussein’s statue toppled in April 2003. Saddam Hussein himself was captured in December 2003. Still no signs of WMD.

2003 was easily the best year I had in Perth. I was 21 years old and I was about to start my fifth and final year at Curtin University.
Dating a KL girl is both good and bad. The good thing was that I started to pay more attention trying to look good. The bad thing was that as a result, I started spending A LOT of money buying plenty of designer clothes unnecessarily. Suddenly, I realised how fun it was to buy my own clothes. I discovered the world of Retail Therapy. Slowly but surely, I turned into a brand bitch, and I didn’t even realise it myself! Spending every cent of my bank account balance instead of putting money towards savings is a very bad habit and its not something I’m proud of.
I had saved up a lot of money from all that tutoring the year before. Curtin students (in fact, all uni students) always had the bad habit of doing last minute cramming for their exams. So what happened usually was – when they found out that there’s so much stuff to study, they panic. And when they panic, they call Kenny. And when they call Kenny, Kenny got rich. 🙂 It wasn’t easy though, because in between studying for my own exams, I had to make sure that my students are prepared for their papers as well.
Kenny's Fashion Evolution

From thrifty, to affordable, to brand bitch.

Regardless, I had saved up about AUD$1,000 by the end of the year. The exchange rate at the start of 2003 was AUD$1 to RM2.60 – and that’s more than enough for me. I stopped by KL with Nicole before I depart for Perth, and we spent so much money we almost bought the KLCC twin towers. Whilst previously I could only afford to buy some “ochipala” RM20 clothes from Sungai Wang plaza, this time round I had no regrets splurging up to RM80 on a pair of Calvin Klein underwear. I told my mom that, and she said “Your kacheng made of gold one is it?”
Anyway, 2003 was the year Nicole transformed for the better. With my encouragement, she was elected as the Deputy Convenor of the International Students Committee. Her circle of friends expanded, she became less dependant on me, and generally Nicole just became a much happier person compared to the way she was the year before. I was definitely happy for her. As my own group of friends slowly left Perth, I started hanging out with her group of friends more and more – which was how I started knowing people like Jacky, Tiffy, Dine & David, Jamie & Angeline, Candice & Steiner, etc.
Rottnest Island

(Back L-R) David, Tiffy, Wennie, Joey’s Bro, Jamie, Phang.
(Mid L-R) Joey, Dine, Angeline.
(Front L-R) Nic, Kenny

Nicole moved out of my place soon and started staying with Candice in King’s Park. It was a good change for the both of us. She became more disciplined. My mother and Nicole found a common ground and they became friends again. World War 3 ended and I couldn’t be happier.
Kenny and Rey Mysterio

Kenny and Rey Mysterio Jr during the WWE Smackdown Tour 2003

Life was cruising for me in 2003. It was easily one of the most carefree life I had during my time in Perth. I was in the world of my own with my family and Nicole. My nephew Jayden was born. I watched Craig David in concert. I hung out with my favourite WWE wrestlers when they toured Perth. I even get to travel to eastern Australia, Shanghai and exotic places like Seoul. Instead of tutoring high school students, I started tutoring Business Statistics 101 to rich international students at Uni, and that allowed me to fetch up to $30 an hour.
University work wasn’t too bad, except for my final year Engineering thesis. Being a smart ass that I thought I was, I chose a rather difficult topic for my final year thesis that involved both Physics and Engineering Departments.
I had a supervisor from each department. The Physics supervisor was coincidentally the Head of School of Physics. He was largely dissatisfied with my work and often criticised me for not being scientific enough. The Engineering supervisor on the other hand had absolutely no idea what I was doing in the Physics department, so as long as I appeared confident, anything I said to him that sounded correct, will be correct! But then I figured it out… since this is an Engineering thesis, regardless on how atrocious my Physics supervisor think my work is, only my Engineering supervisor will be marking it bah!
Meausirng the thermal expansion of materials

Meausirng the thermal expansion of materials. Fascinating piece of bullcrap.

Honestly speaking, I had absolutely no idea what I was writing in my thesis – I was sure it wasn’t something my Physics supervisor would approve of. 🙂 All I remembered was that I praised my Engineering supervisor like he was the Sultan of Brunei in the Acknowledgement section. I submitted my thesis… and in the end, I received a whooping 87% for a pile of professional bullcrap!
I must be a genius. 😉
As if that’s not enough, things continue to go uphill from there. I had the last Uni exam paper of my entire life on the 6th November. Then I received a phone call – Spectra decided to offer me a job as a Software Engineer, and that I shall start work on the 13th November 2003! Needless to say, I took up the offer, and that’s where I worked until today.
I was young, fit and able. I had my finance, my career, my family and my love life all sorted out. I was on top of the world, and life couldn’t be better.
But its exactly when you started thinking that way, life throws you a curve ball, and your whole world starts crumbling around you.
I was on top of the mountain in 2003.
The following year, my mountain crumbled.

Reflections on Perth – 2002

14 days left.

I’ll try not to say Happy Valentine’s Day, because to some, it can be quite insulting. As a matter of fact, nowadays its considered hip to shun the V Day. So I’ll just do it subtly. 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day my baby. You’re far apart but you’re always in my heart. I love you! *muah*

Anyway, here’s another installment of my Reflections on Perth. New readers who have no idea what I’m talking about might want to wander off to the first entry of this memoir.


Kim Jong Il

The year was 2002. George W Bush called Iraq, Iran and North "I’m so ronery" Korea the Axis on Evil (cue Darth Vader’s Theme Song), despite him being nearly choked to death due to an evil pretzel. Brazil won the FIFA World Cup in Japan/Korea. The war in Afghanistan raged on. With the US and Australia doing so much, I feel very "safe". Meanwhile, snipers are randomly killing people in the States. Then on 12th October, car bombs exploded outside popular nightclubs in Bali, killing 202 people, a majority of them Australians.

It has been a year since I got together with Nicole. Over the past year, although we had our ups and downs, everything seems to be pretty ok. I was in Kuching at the end of 2001 during my University break. That’s when Nicole told me that she’s flying to Kuching to visit me. It was a sign that the relationship was ready to be taken to the next level. Previously, our contact was limited to just the internet and the telephone. As anyone who had dated their penpals or had an internet relationship would know, meeting your partner for the first time is a very big thing. Would appearance matter? What if she’s ugly? Scratch that. What if she thinks I’m ugly!? After all, I did put on a whole 15kg since I last sent a photo of myself to her. And besides, I’m the one who choose which photos to send to her. She would think that I look like Legolas when in fact I look more like Samwise Gamgee.

Samwise and Froddo

I was overwhelmed to be meeting Nicole for the first time. I was determind to make a good first impression. So I had my collared shirt, my best jeans, best shoes and a bouquet of yellow roses waiting in the car boot ready to surprise her. We finally met face-to-face at 8am, 3rd December 2001 at the airport. I hugged her, she didn’t hug back, and that’s when I realised that I had accidentally stepped on her feet.

So much for a good first impression.

My mother had her suspicions, but she never knew I was dating Nicole for the past one year. In my family, my father’s attitude towards me has always been a relaxing "you can do whatever you like as long as its not too damaging". My mother, on the other hand, is the Worrier Princess. A typical traditional Chinese mother, she would worry about every single minute detail of every single thing in my life. That’s the reason why I think its a bad idea to tell her that I have been dating some KL girl I have never met, over the internet, who happen to be a year older than me and speaks no Mandarin. As far as she’s concerned, people who chat on the internet are all the 不三不四 bù sän bù sì type (literally: "not 3 not 4". meaning dodgy people).

Genting Trip

Anyway, my mother has the habit of skillfully sneaking up to me innocently when I am, say, watching some VCDs. First, she would talk about some mundane stuff like the aunty she met at the Sunday market, then all of the sudden she would steer the topic towards girls. "Kenny ah! You have to choose the correct girl ah! It will affect your life ah! Bla bla bla bla bla…" So I figured, ok lah! No use hiding about me having a girlfriend anyway. Besides, unlike my first girlfriend, I’m serious about Nicole.

So one evening, I decided to bring Nicole to my place. I approached the front door with her, and my mother opened the door for me. She saw this unfamiliar girl, and I said to her "Mi, this is my girlfriend Nicole." Her jaws dropped, followed by her signature ‘pai-seh smile’. Nicole muttered softly "hi aunty". And then it happened. Right there on the front door, the interrogation started. "Where are you from?" "How old are you?" "What are you studying?" "Which school?" "You cannot speak Mandarin ah?" "What dialect do you speak?" "Bla bla bla…". My poor girlfriend was interrogated for a full fifteen minutes on the front door of my house before she’s even allowed to take off her shoes and come in.

Other than that, everything else went well. My father greeted her with a smile. Before I left for Perth, I stopped over in KL where I met her family. After that, its another five months of long-distance separation maintained by phone calls every evening.

Genting Skyline

These international phone calls don’t come cheap, which is why I had to work again to finance this habit. With ISC out of the way, I finally have a lot of free time to hit the gym and so on. So I started tutoring high school students again. Only this time, I decided to do it big. Canning College is a high school located near my place that’s catered towards international students and local mature-aged students, but obviously I don’t care about that. To me, all I see was $$$. 😉 I received a phone call from two girls by the name of Elvina and Charlotte, who coincidentally are both from Kuching as well. And just that, and through word of mouth, I began taking in more and more students. Some come and go, but I took in around 15 students a week at my peak, which translates to a week’s earning of about AUD$200 to AUD$300. That’s pretty handsome for something I did part time.

One of the best things about tutoring students from Canning College is that you get to interact with students from all over the globe on a more personal level. There are a few memorable ones. Apart from a few local Australians, I have tutored Malaysians from small towns like Sibu to big cities like KL, a couple of Singaporeans including one who drives a Boxster 911, a young English soccer player who insisted on going topless and showing off his six-pack during class, a girl from Beijing who always put on heavy make up, an American living in Australia, one very rich Indonesian and his Vietnamese girlfriend, an even richer Italian with his million dollar house by the Cottesloe Beach, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, a Muslim student from Somalia who is very smart yet financially poor.

Sister's wedding

I met up with Nicole again in June. My sister and brother-in-law were getting married and we had a unique two-day wedding reception spanning from Kuching in Sarawak to Bentong in Pahang. Now, Bentong is a very small kampung (village) where everyone knows everyone. The wedding reception was definitely unique to say the least. It was held in a school hall. Apart from the usual yamsengs and all that, the programs for rest of the night was actually filled with karaoke. Mind you, its not just any karaoke. Its karaokes for the UNCLES AND AUNTIES! Seriously, there were aunties the age of my mother who got on the stage and sing! I had to put on my sincerest smile and clap hands when in fact, I feel more like throwing out a one-liner from Simon Cowell. If that’s not enough, someone actually brought a television to the hall and watched Brazil Vs Germany for the World Cup final! Near the end of the night, everyone had forgotten about the bride and groom!

By then, Nicole had already made her decision to study in Perth. Obviously, I was ecstatic. One thing for sure is that I no longer had to spend my money on international calls. And finally, I can at least start having a real relationship instead of all these long distance crap.

Happy Birthday Nicole, from Mead's Mosman Bay

The first thing we did was to sort out her accomodation. We owned our house in Perth. My father usually stayed in Kuching whilst my mother would commute back and forth, usually spending more time in Perth together with my brother and me. I asked permission to have Nicole move in with us.

Bad move.

My mother, being the traditional Chinese mother that she is, had very clear terms about letting Nicole live with us. She is willing to let Nicole stay for free, provided that she helped out with more than her share of the housework and cooking. Nicole was obviously willing to help out. But at the end of the day, she was still a student who have assignments to complete and exams to cram. It didn’t help the fact that she’s new to this country and had virtually no other friends at all.

A typical day for me at the time looks something like this: Wake up, go to uni, go tutoring, go home, hear mom complain about Nic, hear Nic complain about housework, sleep. World War 3 I tell you, with Kenny stuck in the middle of a crossfire of tears, tantrums and torture.

Note to self: Never ever let your girlfriend live with your mother. No matter how nice they are to you, they are never going to be nice to each other.

Reflections on Perth – 2001 (The Student Leader)

Need I say more? Happy Chinese New Year to everyone! 🙂
Here’s the second half of me reminiscing the good old days of 2001, namely when I was an international student representative. Friends not from Perth will probably find these quite dry and uninteresting, so please bear with me. Friends from Perth can probably relate to what I write, as it is most likely through the ISC that I got to know you.
Being the youngest in my family usually mean that my opinion aren’t entertained by others in the family. Its just one of those things that’s embedded in the traditional Chinese culture – always respect and obey the elders, and never question their decisions. Usually when I suggest to my elder sister, say, a different technique of doing something , her favourite reply would be the standard “Don’t ask questions. Just do what I say.” So I grew up taking orders and doing what other people tell me to do.

When I was elected as the International Student Committee (ISC) Convenor, I knew I was in for a different kind of challenge – the last leadership experience I had before this, was to babysit my little cousins when I was 12 years old.

Student bodies in Australian Universities are very different to those back home. The ISC is totally funded by students, the University has no direct control over its operations, and apart from social and cultural events, and the ISC Convenor together with University management has a role in the operations and directions of the Uni. All these sounded very boring and ‘tua liap’, but the fun comes in when you start meeting and interacting with new people.

I started the year with 7 other students. We organised an orientation trip for the new students and through simple projects like that, we bonded. You might have noticed that 6 out of the 8 of us are girls. For the record, I have tremendous respect for female leaders. From my experiences, I find that most male leaders want to be a leader because its a very big-ball thing to do – they want the power, the important-sounding title, yet they don’t put much heart into what they do. Female leaders tend to display the level of loyalty that’s critical the organisation. They can lead and be led, and their careful attention to detail to the job is something I am very impressed with. My recreation officer Connie handled a traditionally difficult position with relative ease – leading, training and educating many new volunteers during her term. My publication officer Huey Ying is one of the most outstanding, hardworking and relentless individual I have ever came across – she is one of those who put so much heart into her work, that she will not sleep until she gets the task on hand 110% done.
The 4 ISO Presidents of WA in 2001. Kenny (Curtin), Nick Tan (ECU), Steven Han (Murdoch), and Lendon Chong (UWA)
Anyway, after the semester started we recruited a few more volunteers (who also recommended their friends to volunteer for the ISC) which expanded our group from the original 8 person team to 40-plus active volunteers. After that, we built links with the many country/religion-based clubs on campus, and we got to know more students from Curtin. Through NLC WA (state-level student body), we met up with similar student organisations from other WA Universities, got to know even more students. If that’s not enough, around mid-year the NLC (national-level student body) held a conference and we got to know students from all over the country! 🙂

If Friendster existed back then, my friends list would probably cripple the Friendster network. Unfortunately it didn’t, which means I have to settle with less than 100 friends on my list now. 🙁

It was really great to get to know so many people so quickly. Forget about socialising in pubs and clubs, everyone should join a student association at University! In fact, I know a few people who actually met their current bf or gf that way. *cough*Chrissie*cough*Naomi*cough**cough* :). You can’t blame them though. We’re talking about a group full of young, brash and confident 20 somethings getting together and working through day and night to achieve a common goal.
One of the few perks of being a student leader is that you get to travel a lot. Every now and then there will be a meeting here or a conference there to attend. Being the international student representative from Curtin University, I need to uhh… meet with the decision makers who hold welfare of international students in their hands. 🙂 I got plenty subsidised trips during my time with the ISC. Usually we would attend meetings and boring stuff like that for the first few days. After all that is done, its all fun and games. So far we’ve been to…
Melbourne Skyline
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Australian Parliament House
Curtin Miri
Even Miri, Sarawak! I was there because Curtin University had just started its offshore campus. The student union in Curtin Bentley is concerned about the quality of services over in Miri, so I was sent on an ‘ambassador mission’ to touch base with the Curtin Sarawak Student Council and then report back to Perth. It was a simple job and it was memorable.
Pasar Malam - Full Moon
Looking back I reckon we did a pretty good job leading ISC. One of the most memorable events happened in the lead up to the Curtin ISC Pasar Malam – our biggest cultural event. The event was held on 12th September 2001. I wasn’t sleeping much at all the night before – I was glued watching the news on the terrorist attacks till 3am. The next morning at 8am I was called into an emergency meeting with the University’s International Office. The first thing that went through my head was that they were going to ask me to cancel the event (!). Of course that didn’t happen. 🙂
Pasar Malam - Celebrations
The Pasar Malam went ahead as planned. After talking to the University we figured that events like this celebrates our differences in culture, which is especially important in the aftermath of 9-11. During the Pasar Malam, there was an American student wearing American flag who approached the mic stand. He made a touching speech about staying strong and pledging tolerance. I later saw him having a chat and getting food from the Muslim Students’ Association stall. And I thought to myself “What the world needs is more people like him.”
New friends and free airplane trips aside, being a student leader is still no easy job. Try juggling assignments and running a student organisation and before you know it, you are occupied 18 hours a day, everyday of the year. I remembered countless times when I called Nicole, only to doze off with her on the other end of a very expensive international call. Sometimes I promised to call her but I didn’t call at all, which is like me tickling Saddam Hussein on the nuts – asking for a major ass-whooping.
Kenny Before and After
Its a good thing she’s not in Perth though. During this period of time I did not have the time to visit the gym at all, and my weight ballooned. I didn’t have time to get new clothes, so imagine a fat Kenny wearing clothes two sizes too small for him and you’ll get the idea.
Ba Zhang
I earned the nickname “Ba Zhang” (glutinous rice dumplings).

Reflections on Perth – 2001 (Nicole)

21 days left.

Tomorrow is the eve of Chinese New Year. One of the traditions of Chinese New Year’s Eve is the “tuan yuan fan” (reunion dinner), where members of the family get together around the dinner table. Its one of the many times I feel thankful and blessed to be part of this family.

Peking Duck

My parents and brother are touching down Perth tomorrow, so we can celebrate CNY as a whole family. Considering the circumstance, this very precious moment is something I am definitely going to cherish.


I would be lying if I say 2001 wasn’t the biggest and best year of my teenage life. In fact its so huge that it will probably be best if I write it in two parts. This is the first part on my reflections on 2001, and details my how my relationship with Nicole started. GFCB (girlfriend censorship board ;)) has given approval to put up pictures of her. So please enjoy the pictures before she changes her mind.


Australian PM John Howard refused permission because he declared that the refugees threw their children overboard.

Anyway, this claim was found to be untrue. The Australian public smartened up and in the next elections, John Howard was voted off.

Oh not wait. What am I talking about? This is Australia! I mean John Howard was RE-ELECTED as the Australian Prime Minister!

September 11th Terrorist Attack

Then on September 11th, two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers in New York. 3,000 civilians dead. On October 7th, USA, UK, supported by Australia etc invaded Afghanistan hoping to capture Osama bin Ladin. The result – more than 20,000 dead on both sides. Osama bin Ladin must be laughing in his cave. In western countries, racism and negative sentiments against Muslims and Middle-Easterners surged almost immediately. This marked the start of a series of violence between the USA and poor developing nations, consequently changing the world we thought we knew, forever.

Enough world events. This isn’t CNN, this is Kenny’s blog dammit! 🙂 Its all about me Me ME!!!

Nicole and Kenny

My own life-changing event occured around January 2001. Nicole and I were still doing that online-chatroom thing. One evening, she asked me to pretend to be her boyfriend so she could ward off some unwanted guys who were going after her. We agreed to act it out for one month, after which we will just go our separate ways. So we began acting. The first few days were alright, and we talked to each other a lot all in the name of ‘research’ and ‘acting’, sometimes from 10pm till 7am the next morning. This online-chatroom-thing eventually turned into a phone-call-everynight thing. We were flirting with each other alright – we would call each other cutesy little nicknames that if I repeat here, would cause’s readership to drop by 90%. But we weren’t together because we were only acting.

One day before the one month expiry date is up, I suddenly felt this heartache inside me. I thought to myself "Shit! At first acting acting nia, how come now I got feelings for her?" I decided that I was not just going to let it end just like that! Once again I acted on impulse. Since these are all happening on the online chatroom, I figured I got nothing to lose apart from the size of my balls. So that night, I put on my straightest face and confessed my feelings to Nicole.

Tulips of Araluen

I wished I could tell you that beautiful words came out from me sweet like candy, and she was so touched that she cried and said that she secretly loved me all these while. But it didn’t. It came out in a mess. A total mess. Here’s what happened – after confessing my feelings to her, I asked her "Eh, can we don’t pretend to break up or not?". I could sense her pity for me when she replied "Ok lah! :)" when she probably meant "Stupid asshole. What a total failure trying to be romantic lah! You think I really like you ah? Dream on lah! I pity you nia, so I said yes just to make you happy."But I was still happy. Though now come to think about it, I never officially asked her to by my girlfriend. Oops!

This prompts me to question. Does a guy really have to ask a girl to be his girlfriend for it to be ‘official’? Can’t we just act naturally and assume that she is my girlfriend if we were doing everything lovers do? We’re not asking for a marriage proposal after all! I am interested to know how many boyfriends out there, like me, never bothered to pop the question because well… the answer is obvious enough!

Reflections on Perth – 2000

28 days left.

I just got off the phone with my mom. My father has been losing more and more weight. Last time I was back, he had already lost a lot of weight. His clothes were clearly too big for him, and his big broad shoulders that used to be round was instead caved in. It pains me to imagine what he look like now.

Well here’s another instalment of my time in Perth. I got a digital camera around that time, so do enjoy the pictures. No more irrelevant image placeholders. 🙂


George W Bush and Tony Blair

Can we go to war please? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we?

The year was 2000. At 12 midnight, the Y2K Millennium Bug struck, causing thousands of airplanes to fall of the air… wait that didn’t happen. 🙂
Something worst happened though. George W Bush won the highly controversial US Presidential Election against Al Gore, thus beginning his reign of terror. More conspiracy theories about Lady Diana’s death surfaced on Women’s Weekly magazine. And my all time favourite reality TV series – Survivor premieres.

I was 18 years old, which means I was finally legal. 🙂 It didn’t matter though because for the past 2 years, I had been successfully following my father into casinos without the bouncer checking my ID. They would always check my sister’s ID and sometimes my brother’s too, but never me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Its my second year at University, and I was beginning to feel the pressure of keeping up my good academic grades thus far. The kiasu spirit in me was failing and I could feel it. When I was in high school it was easier to compete with other students, but its a whole new ball game at University. At Uni, the students here chose their course because they’re good at it and they like it, not because they are required to do it. They’re mostly DUXes, Best Physics and Best Maths students in their respective schools themselves. I was competing with the best of the best in Western Australia, and it was difficult.

It came to a point where I said to myself "Ahhh… screw it. I have had my peak. I was the DUX in my high school; I graduated in the top 0.6% of the state; I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve and its time for me to enjoy life." And that was that. I began to take it easy, stop being so kiasu, get involved with the International Students Committee (ISC) more. And goddammit I need to change my nerdy image.

Thus beginning my transformation, for better and for worse.

THE BAD: As soon as I put less emphasis on my studies, my grades slipped from an 80 average to a 70 average. 🙁

THE GOOD: I finally have a life. 🙂

Instead of burying my head in the books as I did for the past 3 years in Perth, I began going to the gym, organising major social and cultural events on campus, and just meet lots and lots and lots of people. My social circle virtually exploded this year.

It was definitely a refreshing change for me. I had course mates who finished University after spending 4 years of attending lectures, go home and then study a bit more. They graduated Uni without meeting anyone other than their course mates and their lecturers, and they went through their young adult life without even having a girlfriend. Sure they get a scholarship offer and a first class honours in the end, but they’re missing out some of the best moments in life and social opportunities that they simply could not get outside of Uni.

As soon as I began to have more acquaintances, I began to go out more. And as soon as I began to go out more, I began to want to look good. The clothes that I got for free from some Coca-Cola promotion simply doesn’t cut it anymore. So I committed a sin. I began buying my own clothes. Nothing expensive though, just the average middle-priced range of clothing from Levi’s, ROMP and Just Jeans. That’s enough to put a strain in my AUD30 a week allowance from my parents. I did not have a AUD500 a week allowance or a gold Visa card that my friends had from their parents. And despite how I ask/beg/plead my parents, they simply wouldn’t budge. Money no enough. I need more money.

So what’s an 18 year old boy gonna do when he has no money? Work at McDonald’s? Wash toilets? Prostitute myself to rich housewives or *gasp* gay lords? No no no no no. I had to return to my nerdy roots. I rememberer how I tutored Wendy before and I enjoyed it. I decided to do it again, and this time round I will ask for $$$.

Kenny and Sylvia Ngooi

Kenny and Sylvia – WA Multicultural Week 2000 Opening Ceremony

I put up an ad offering tutoring services in Physics and Mathematics for high school students. It didn’t take long for a father of a Year 12 student to respond to my ad. My first client. Damn I was nervous. I was shaking when he called and spoke to me. This father was no easy person to deal with. He wanted the best tutor for his child, and he would accept no one without first asking for their resume. A resume?! I don’t even have a resume! I was 18 for God’s sakes! I hastily prepared one, listed all those big big awards I won and faxed it over to him.

Luckily he liked what he saw, and he asked me to meet him at his place so he can introduce me to his daughter, Esther Lee. Did I hear daughter? I was secretly smiling inside. The initial meeting went well. It was supposed to be a meeting to evaluate her progress in Physics so far, but to me it felt more like going for a matchmaking service. I was so nervous I trembled everytime I talked. It didn’t help the fact that Esther is Korean and looked naturally beautiful. We agreed to meet for 2 hours every week at Garden City library, and I charged her AUD20 per hour for the Physics tutoring. It was still the best job ever – I get paid to hang out with a pretty girl to talk about topics that’s second nature to me.

Then I committed another sin. I took my first pay, went to Garden City shopping center and bought a Tommy Hilfiger perfume. Then it became a terrible addiction. My next one was Burberry Weekend, then cK Eternity, then Davidoff Coolwater, then DKNY Man and next thing you know I have this huge collection of perfume in my bathroom and no money left in my wallet. I don’t even know how the heck I was going to finish using all these perfume. I think if I were to go into the coffin and it I still all these perfume left, I want to be sprayed with all of them first before they put the lid over me.

Guild Elections

Guild Elections 2000 – Team eXpect

Anyway, near the end of the 2000, two life-changing events occurred. The first was that I ran and won the Student Guild (student union) elections for the position of International Student Committee Convenor (president), thus beginning my first serious step into student politics, and also marking the first leadership role I took. Just for the record, it wasn’t as bad or as boring as it sound. 🙂 But I’ll spare you from the pain and write about it in the next instalment. Heh.

The second occurred in an mirc internet chatroom #ironic which Wendy had introduced to me a while back. (Yes, in the olden days, there were no blogs and the only way for people to socialise online was through mirc.) I had been popping into this channel sporadically back then. Most of the time I was inundated with ‘asl’ when I went online and finished with a ‘gtg’ after 3 lines of conversation.

One day, I was helping a friend of mine do a survey, so I was privately messaging each chatter and asking him/her some questions. Unfortunately for me, I was mistaken as a pervert and subsequently banned from the channel by an operator nicknamed sapphire`LiL`aNgeL. I wasn’t happy. So I asked for mercy. She unbanned me, and strangely enough we began talking. I introduced myself as Kenny…


…And she introduced herself as Nicole. 🙂

Reflections on Perth – 1998

6 weeks left.

So here’s more of me reminiscing the good ol’ days. I know these will be very dry and uninteresting reads and I’ll probably lose whatever pitiful amount of readers I have left, but its important to me to write it down because its a memoir, things that I still remember now and I don’t want to forget when I leave Australia. I seriously don’t expect anyone to read it, much less comment on it. So please bear with me while I write my thoughts down. 🙂

Note once more that the images are mere placeholders and is not related with the text in anyway. I’ll scan appropriate pictures in once I return to Kuching.


Perth skyline shot

The year is 1998. Viagra was released on the market, giving spam e-mailers something to annoy people with. BJ Habibie became Indonesian president, which I still think is the cutest name for a president until Susilo "Bang Bang, you’re dead" Yudhoyono comes along. Gossip mags were still talking about Princess Diana. And Bill Clinton said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Year 12 in Beaufort College were more or less the same for me. I was still a target for bullying. I was still having my silly little crush on Vicky. And the friendship I shared with my gang grew stronger by the day.

Perth skyline shot

At 16, I became more aware of the social ills around me. Sex, drugs and gang fights were still new to me and to hear about it happening to people I know at high school was a rude awakening. One of the more amazing ones I’ve heard is this. In the boarding house at school, the girls stayed on the 2nd floor while the guys stayed on the 1st floor. Girls are not allowed on the guys floor and vice versa. So in the middle of the night, the girls would go out to the balcony, climbed over the railings and dropped down to the guy’s balcony, have sex, then climbed back up onto 2nd floor again. Truth or urban myth I have no idea, but that’s what they say™ .

There’s on little incident happened that year that puzzled me. I caught a not-so-close friend of mine crying in the men’s room. When I asked him what’s wrong, he said "My stupid parents lah. They wanted to cut my allowance from AUD500 to AUD200 a week. Crazy lah! How can I survive?". Yes, it must be very difficult to survive on a AUD500 a week budget, considering you spent AUD50 from arcade games, AUD200 in the casinos and the rest of the money doing God knows what. Some people have it too easy.

Prom photo

Something amazing happened to me mid-year in 1998. For reasons I can’t explain, I suddenly lost a lot of weight. Around the same time I ditched the glasses that I wore religiously for the past 5 years and went for contact lenses. Suddenly there’s chatters about some girls liking me or something, though I did not pay much attention to them. I went to our high school prom night wearing an expensive *cough*hired*cough* suit. Next thing I know I was actually nominated as the Beau of the prom. Seriously, if you were to say to me 12 months earlier that I am Beau material, I’d laugh at you showing my crooked teeth and double chin. I didn’t win, though I did get to dance with a very pretty Year 11 girl from China. It was my first time holding a girl I don’t call ‘Mom’ so close to me, so that was interesting 🙂 – except I don’t even remember what her name is now.

Family photo

I had a major argument with my parents regarding the choice of my career. "This is my life and I can choose what I want to do. All you think is yourself and your business, what about me?" These are stinging remarks I said to my parents and the thought of it hurts me till today because my father actually still remembered what I said. I told him that I wanted to study a technology-oriented course at University. Being a entrepreneur himself, he’d rather see his son study Commerce, be his right-hand man and take on the family business. My father replied, "Doesn’t matter if you don’t want to study Commerce. Doesn’t matter if you don’t want to take on the family business. I can always sell the business off anyway. I can’t take it with me to my coffin." Considering the circumstances now, I really wished he didn’t say that.

DUX shot

Academically I didn’t do too bad, since I was one of those boring straight-A students that everyone hate but parents like to rave to their auntie-auntie friends about. I graduated from Beaufort College as the DUX of 1998 after achieving top marks in all four Maths and Science subjects, did my parents proud and secured the title as the uber-nerd of the nerds. The DUX title did do me some justice though, because the bullying stopped almost immediately. The first time I bumped into Hazis after I won the title, he actually said hi to me. Apprently you gained some sort of temporary celebrity status when you’re DUX.

Wendy shot

It didn’t seem significant when it happened, but when I returned to Kuching that year I was appointed an ambassador (fancy word for "marketing tool") for Beaufort College. The consequence of this was that I was introduced to a girl called Wendy. Wendy is my age, studied at St Theresa and was about to do Year 12 in Beaufort soon. I was asked to help polish up her Maths skills, so I started to tutor her. With her being from an all-girls school and me being freshly officially rejected by Vicky after I confessed my feelings to her, my relationship with Wendy blossomed quite rapidly. It was actually her that introduced me to mirc and the channel #ironic which we would use to keep in touch when we’re not *ahem* studying Maths. Anyway, ugly things happened between Wendy and I in the end, but the fact that I knew about #ironic actually became important later on as it was through that channel that I met someone who virtually changed my life.

Reflections on Perth – 1997

7 weeks. That’s how much time I have left. After 7 weeks, on February the 28th to be exact, 2 days after attending Nicole’s graduation, I shall be leaving Perth for good.

8 years. That’s how long I have stayed in Perth. For 8 years I have called Perth home. Its the place I grew up into adulthood. Its where I met amazing people that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Now, due to my father’s condition, I have to leave Perth – albeit very relunctantly.

To count down to my final moments in Perth, I shall dedicate an entry a week to reminiscent each year that I spent in Perth, until I leave. Unfortunately most of my old photos were left in Kuching, which means I have to put up" image placeholders" until I can scan those photos in. Anyway, lets hop onto the time machine and rewind back to 1997 to see what pre-pubescent Kenny was like.


The year is 1997. Start of Asian Economic Crisis. Hong Kong returned to China. Princess Diana died in a car crash. Titanic made ‘You Jump I Jump’ famous.

My family touched down at Perth International Airport. The reason why we chose Perth is a very stupid one. My sister had just graduated from Limkokwing College, and she was looking for further studies overseas. A not-so-close friend of hers approached her and said "Hey! Let’s all go to study at Curtin University in Perth!". So she brought up the idea to my parents, they approved, paid all the fees and packed our bags to go to Perth. Upon arrival, she called up her not-so-close friend, who promptly said "Ha? What are you doing in Perth? We have all decided to study in Singapore instead!".

Thank you, sis.

Anyway, I got myself enrolled into the now defunct Beaufort College, which at the time was the largest international student boarding school in Perth at that time – at least according to their brochure. Then I realised that there must be very few international student boarding schools in Perth. I found out that the entire area of Beaufort smaller than Karawara shopping center not including the carpark area. So much for a great start.

I was 15 years old at that time, but I was doing Year 11 (equivalent to Form 5). Most of my classmates however were 18 years old. (Useless fact: I skipped Standard 6 whilst I was in Kuching, and later I managed to enrol into Year 11 because of I had good English and Mathematics scores. My classmates had to do Year 11 after finishing Form 5 because their English isn’t up to scratch. This explains the 3 year age gap between us.) Now, coming from Kuching, where fashion is non-existent and clothes are meant to be worn not flaunt – to a school full of hormone raging youngsters with rich parents to buy them hip clothing isn’t the easiest thing on Earth to do. With my young age, thick specs, mooncake face, residual baby fat, crooked teeth, AUD20 a week allowance, fake Guess T-shirt and very high Maths scores – I fall into the category of a nerd. Quite easily I became a target of a group of gang from Indonesia headed by their master chief Hazis Sorbono. I still remember the times when I had pebbles thrown at my head, my oral presentations interrupted by loud laughs from the back of the class, or my sandwich ‘accidentally’ bumped off my hands onto the floor. Yes, life was tough when you don’t look or behave the same as others.

During this period of time I’ve also had friends that I keep in touch with even till now. Christopher Chong was and still is my closest mate who argued about everything from Chemistry to the philosophy of life – he’s now running his father’s shipping business in Penang. Eric Fong was someone who supplied me with too much information to pollute my innocent 15 year old mind – he’s now enjoying life in Penang helping out his parents’ MLM business and managing very pretty models. Daniel Kuh became my mate when he offered to drive me to Bentley where we were both staying. Despite his pimply face and riceboy image, Daniel is actually a very down-to-earth genuinely nice guy. At that time we stayed very close to each other, but what he didn’t know was that Vicky lives right opposite his place.

Ahhh… Vicky. No high-school nerd story would be complete without a crush. Vicky was my crush. I still remembered how she walked into the Economics classroom with her Esprit shirt and yellow miniskirt and lights up the room. Yes, I know she’s 3 years elder than me, but I tell you – its love at first sight. I don’t know how but somehow one way or the other she and I managed to become friendly enough for her to invite me into her bedroom… to study Physics.No, not that kinda Physics you dirty mind! Year 11 Physics.

Daniel and Vicky knew about each other, but they didn’t exactly like each other. In fact, Vicky hated him because of his bad boy image. Anyhow, I let Daniel and Vicky know how close together they are staying. Now fast forward 8 years later…. as of writing, Daniel and Vicky have been dating for almost 2 years. *applause* This begins the series of many lovely couples that I’ve inadvertantly created.

At the end of 1997, my mother was still trying to get used to living life in Perth whilst my father was home in Kuching. Despite all these difficulties that I went through, I achieved academically well enough to earn myself a scholarship for Year 12. I was not experiencing homesickness too much. I was, in fact, starting to enjoy life in Perth.