Holiday in Gold Coast

During the long Easter weekend a few months back, our little family had a short getaway to one of Australia’s most popular holiday destination – Gold Coast! I have been meaning to blog about the trip much sooner but there was always something that got in the way. Anyway, as they say, better late than never. :) We only went for a 4-day trip, and being our first domestic vacation that required a flight, we, especially Little J, were particularly excited! Everything was pre-booked, from our airport car park, accommodation, car rental, travel insurance and of course, flights. Yes, even though it’s just a short domestic trip, there are lots of things to arrange!

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Grumpy face at the airport

There were plenty of flights from Sydney to Gold Coast daily, and I chose the 11+am flight allowing us enough time to drive to the airport, park, and take the shuttle to the departure gate. We left home at around 8.30am, thinking there should be plenty of time for us to get there since we only needed to be there about an hour before departure time. However, as luck would have it, Saucer missed a turn into the tunnel when we were about 10km away, and we were stuck in terrible traffic then! The traffic was so slow and clock was ticking (we found a stalled car in the middle of the road after ages!!), so needless to say, I was getting really worried about missing our flight! Also, because we wanted to save on the expensive car park fare, we had pre-booked to park at the Blu Emu car park which was a few kms away from the airport. We were also meant to take the shuttle from there to the airport, which meant extra time that would eat into our buffer. I think we eventually parked with about 45 minutes left to departure! We quickly removed all our luggage and a stroller from our car and ran to the shuttle, which was thankfully making its rounds just then, and just prayed for the best. By the time we reached the check in counter, we saw a message saying flight delayed for 30 minutes! Never was I so happy to see a flight delayed in my life! :) At that point, we heaved a sigh of relief and just continued queuing in our line.

After about 5 minutes or so, there was a ground staff walking up and down the line, asking if anyone was going to Gold Coast on a specific flight. It turned out to be our flight! So she asked us to move straight to the front of the counter and allowed us to check in straightaway. I love how the Australian airports operate – when it’s near the gate closing time, they would just give priority to whoever was still in the line queuing and allow them to check in first. I’d say I’d rather they do this than to keep everyone in the plane waiting!

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Much better :)

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Daddy and Little J

Once we’re at the gate, Little J was curious with everything and sat on various seats just for fun. Thankfully, the flight itself was short, about 1 hour plus, so it wasn’t too tough to handle the toddler. We kept him occupied with iPad and snacks most of the time. Once we reached the Gold Coast airport, we had to call our car rental company for them to come and pick us up to their depot. It only took 5-10 minutes for them to arrive and their depot was less than 5 minutes drive away. So it wasn’t that much of an inconvenience for almost 1/3 of the price compared to rentals at the airport!

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Waiting for our rental car pickup

We stayed at the Meriton in Broadbeach, which was rated #1 in TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, our check-in experience was far from #1. We arrived at around 1.40pm and were told that our room would take about 20 minutes to be ready. That was fair enough because the standard check-in time according to their website is 2pm. I was hoping to get the room by then so that Little J could have his nap. However, more than 20 minutes had past and still no one came to inform us that our room was ready yet. I got a little annoyed and asked Saucer to check with the counter again. He was told that the room was being made up so we just needed to wait for another 5 minutes or so. Needless to say, 10 minutes passed and still no word. Worse, we saw people who arrived after us getting their room keys! At about 2.30pm I was getting quite frustrated because we had already waited almost an hour and still no room. The guy at the front counter told me that it’s going to need another 20 minutes (!!!) and apologised for the delay because we requested for a baby cot so that needed extra setup time. By then, we were hungry and tired and Little J was getting cranky too. Finally, at about 2.50pm, we got our room keys! Once we got in our room, what do you know? The cot was not even there!!! I was furious to be kept waiting for more than an hour, to be told that our room needed more time due to the cot, only to find that the cot wasn’t even there in the end. Anyway, no point getting angry at the start of the vacation, so I just quickly let Little J nap on the king size bed. The cot eventually only arrived when we were out for dinner, and only because I reminded them again by then.

Chilling at the lobby

Chilling at the hotel lobby

Making himself very comfortable :P

“I can slide down this!”

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Selfie!

Other than the sour check-in experience, the stay at Meriton was pretty pleasant to be honest. I loved how the rooms were kept tidy and modern, how the kitchen was so completely equipped with lots of utensils, gas cook top, range hood, microwave, oven, full-size fridge, toaster and dish washer! Basically, everything you need is there. The living room floor was still damp when we arrived, which meant that it had just been mopped minutes before we entered. The room’s bed was as big as a King-sized one, but it was really 2 king single beds joined together (a shame). Otherwise, the pillows and sheets were plush and comfortable. There was also a fully-equipped laundry room with a washing machine, dryer, laundry basket and detergent provided. It was so convenient because we were sweating every day from going to theme parks, so I could do all my smelly laundry before heading home!

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Kitchen and dining area

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Living area (floor still damp)

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Bedroom

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View from the balcony 1

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View from the balcony 2 – Jupiter Casino

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Balcony

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Toilet and bath

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Shower too!

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Laundry area

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Utensils

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Cooking utensils

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More utensils!

Our room was situated on the 20th floor and boy, was it windy at the balcony! Saucer and I used to live in high-rise apartments back in KL and we never had problems with height. However, after a few years of living in a landed property here, suddenly we were terrified when we were standing at the balcony! LOL! We also made sure Little J never stepped out to the balcony because it just felt so open and insecured with the strong wind.

Another plus point with the Meriton was the proximity of the beach. It was merely a few minutes walk to the famous Broadbeach and we took a walk there before our dinner on the first night. The weather was nice and cool but not freezing in autumn. Little J was so happy to be walking on the super fine sand on the beach that he didn’t want to leave. Our only regret was not allocating more time to go to the beach during the day time because we spent most days at the famous theme parks in Gold Coast. Will write about them in the next few posts!

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Chilling at the beach before dinner

Visiting Malaysia 2014-15

Work has been really crazy for the past couple of weeks. I finally have some time to take a breather and post a long overdue update on our trip back to Malaysia! In the interest of time, this post will contain mostly pictures and less words since a picture speaks a thousand words right? So I have tens of thousands of words worth in this post. 😀 As mentioned in my previous post, we made a trip back to Malaysia during the year end holidays with Little J for the first time. If you haven’t already read, I also shared some tips on flying with a baby, which might be handy to you some day should you face with the same situation.

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

As expected, a trip back home wouldn’t be the same without the familiar food from the familiar places! Our first stop was back in Kampar where my hometown is, and breakfast was at the market without fail almost every morning! It’s just amazing how things were still the same after so many years. More expensive, no doubt, but generally still the same food, the same style and the same people. Some hawkers even recognised me as the daughter of so-and-so even though I had not been back for years. Anyway, that’s the beauty of a small town. Enough of that, let’s see some of the pictures of the food we had over the course of a week there. I really miss the variety of food you could get just for breakfast alone back in Malaysia. Over here in Sydney, the most common breakfast is bacon and egg roll, toasts or pancakes if you like at McD’s. Can’t even think of much else!! Even those HK congee and noodle places only start at 10am, which I think is too late for breakfast.

Roti canai

Roti canai

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Nasi Lemak

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Fried noodles

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Nasi Lemak bungkus

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Char Kuey Teow #2

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Apam balik

Of course, we also had plenty of home-cooked meals by my dear grandma. It still amazes me at how she could whip up dishes after dishes for close to 10 people every day and night! And all of them so yummy too! Sigh, looking at this picture just makes me feel miserable now. :(

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Home cooked dinner

After a few days in Kampar, we made a road trip to Penang, just the 3 of us, for a little getaway of our own. We chose to stay somewhere near Gurney so that it’s easy to travel around and close to the sea. The cheapest hotel (if you could call it that) that we could find was the Apple1 Gurney, which cost RM120 per night. It’s located just next to One-Stop shopping centre, which was a good landmark. The room was reasonable – clean, decent-sized and had a clean bathroom. It’s similar to Tune Hotels I would say, except that there’s no extra charges for air-con, towels, TV, etc. So, I guess we’re quite satisfied with it considering we’re only there for sleeps and out most of the day. It was small but had just enough space for our portable cot!

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Chilling in Apple1Gurney Hotel Penang

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Little J’s OOTD

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Ooh, is that a button?

What did we do in Penang? Honestly, we spent way too much time in the malls here because of the hot and wet weather! The first day was spent at Queensbay Mall since Saucer had to get something from his friend there, and then we went to check in to our room. After that, we went to Gurney Plaza because it was raining, and had dinner at Dragon-I. Next morning, we wanted to have the famous Super Hokkien Mee at One Corner Cafe Penang, but it was sold out! :( So we ate whatever the other stalls were selling, and went to Gurney Paragon because it was still raining. Little J had a blast at riding all the different cars in the amusement park there. When the rain stopped in the afternoon, we decided to go to Kek Lok Si temple so that our Penang trip was not all about shopping malls! Luckily it wasn’t crowded and we managed to get there quite easily. Left Kek Lok Si and went back to hotel for a rest, before coming out to Paragon again for dinner with friends. On the last day, we had breakfast at our favourite kuey teow thng place in Taman Sri Nibong, went back to Queensbay Mall to meet Saucer’s friend, did some shopping and visited Saucer’s brother before we left to Kampar.

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Hmm, should I get into this car or the next?

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Next one it is!

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What’s that green thing?

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A bigger car!

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With the Christmas tree at Gurney Paragon

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With daddy at Kek Lok Si

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Learning to pray

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At Kek Lok Si temple

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One for the album

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With our niece!

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Busy with toys

The next few days in Kampar were spent chilling out with family, going out for breakfasts and eating home-cooked food. It was awesome not having to worry about cooking, cleaning, chores, etc. Feels nice to be pampered once in a while eh? :)

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Start ’em young!

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Free rides in Giant

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With great grandpa!

On the last day in Kampar, we decided to bring Little J for a hair cut at the local barber. He was all fine and still when the barber was shaving the back part of the head off. Then, he started to use scissors to trim the front part, but Little J started moving frantically and was crying too. So the barber said he had no choice but to use the trimmer to shave the front part off as well, since that’s the fastest method. That’s why poor Little J ended up with almost ‘botak’ head. LOL! For the record, it was only RM5, which was less than AUD$2, so it’s well worth it still. :)

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Oh no! Where’s my hair gone?

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Tom yum soup in KL

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Just chillin’, don’t mind me

We spent the last few days in KL with Saucer’s family, where Little J fell in love with this egg-shaped chair. He loved to sit on it and to have us push and rock him. Maybe I should get something similar here so that I could have a few minutes of peace when he sits on it. :) We spent the last few days doing a lot of shopping!

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No daddy, I want to stand here on this piece of glass!

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Hui Lau Shan for tea

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Waiting for us to finish our Chilli Pan Mee

Overall, I think it was a pretty great trip! Flight was good on both ways, Little J was generally good too, except during meals with extended family members where he got very cranky, maybe because of unfamiliar faces? Otherwise, he had a great time there and we also managed to meet with lots of family members and relatives and did lots of shopping! So that’s a lot of agenda ticked. :) We should probably do this more often! :)

5 Tips for Flying with a Baby

We have just recently returned from a 2-week holiday in Malaysia. Before the holidays, part of me was really excited in getting the chance to meet family and old friends after 2 years but part of me was also very nervous about the 8-hour plus flight back. For the first time, we will be bringing our almost 1.5 yr old son Little J on board. Being the super active, enthusiastic and stubborn child that he is, I was really worried about his behaviour during the flight. Will he sleep? Will he scream the whole plane down? Will he be running up and down the plane? I worried about the flight so much I was almost missing out on the experience, the adventure and the joy of a child going on his first flight! Luckily, just before I realised it a little too late, I told myself, it’s just 8 hours! In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a big deal at all. Instead, I reminded myself that it was my son’s first flying experience, I would be excited, overjoyed and curious if I were on my first flight too!

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Happy Little J waiting for his first flight

All things considered, I think we had a pretty good flight experience overall! We survived the 8+hours to and fro Sydney-KL, with Little J causing no dramas at all! Our flight from Sydney was at 10pm and he fell asleep a little while after the plane took off and continued sleeping right through deplaning, customs, luggage collection, right to the car park! He only woke up when we transferred him to the car seat! And coming back, we had an 11.35pm flight. He fell asleep when the plane was taxiing and woke up about half an hour before it landed (when I transferred him out of the cot for landing). So I think it worked out really well because then he actually managed to experience the plane taking off (during SYD-KUL flight) and plane landing (during KUL-SYD flight). The gentleman sitting next to me on the returning flight even told me what a good baby he was for sleeping almost the entire way of the flight, and even made sure to bid farewell before he left the plane.

Now I’m sure I don’t fly enough with a toddler to claim that I know the best way to do it, plus every kid is different. But I’d sure like to document down the 5 tips that I thought were useful for us during both flights and hope that they would be useful to you somewhat, some day.

1. Book a night flight

If possible, book a night flight. I’ve got opposing opinions on this but for me, the night flight really worked. Try not to let your baby sleep/nap before the flight, so that he’s tired enough to doze off during the flight. Also, the baby’s circadian rhythm or body clock would make sure that he’s sleepy when it is night time. It helps if you have a good sleep routine that you always follow (see point 4).

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Keep your baby awake before the flight

2. Bring a travel stroller/pram

We decided against this at first because with all the big luggage and a car seat that we’re bringing home, the last thing we wanted was another piece of big luggage to lug around! But we ended up bringing a travel pram anyway and it was the best decision! Imagine going through customs or luggage checks carrying a baby in your arms. It will be difficult just to search for that all-important passport or the boarding pass that’s somewhere in your bag which is held by your only free hand. Also, there’s going to be a minimum of 2-hour wait from checking in to boarding so you’ll thank yourself for having that pram to help you out. Plus almost all airlines offer free allowance for the pram anyway so why not make full use of it?

3. Book/Pay for the bassinet!

Again, something that we debated for quite a while, only applicable if you’re booking no-frills airline. For full-cost airline, it’s a no-brainer to book the bassinet seats of course, since they are free of charge. Firstly, you get the extra legroom that allows you to stretch your legs when you’re too tired carrying the baby to sleep. Secondly, you get the bassinet that you could let your baby to sleep in, even though he only sleeps in it for short periods of time. That gives you at least some time to go to the wash room or have your in-flight meals without having to worry about carrying the baby in or waking the baby up in case he’s sleeping. And thirdly, in case he sleeps in your arms, you don’t have to worry about the seat in front reclining and cramping you even more than you already are.

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Free your arms!

As I mentioned earlier, we hesitated with the purchasing of bassinet seats for our no-frills/low-cost carrier (AirAsia) flight back from KL. The main thing that was deterring us was the cost really, which was around RM120 per person! In the end, we paid for it anyway and boy, were we glad we did! Little J fell asleep on my arms when the plane was taxiing, then when the bassinet was setup after take off, I transferred him into the bassinet. He continued sleeping in there through the whole flight, with occasional stirring but went back to sleep with patting. The only thing I didn’t like was whenever there’s turbulence, I would have to take him out of the bassinet to strap him to me. I know it’s for safety reasons but I really hate to transfer him/wake him up unnecessarily when he’s sleeping so soundly. Otherwise, the bassinet allowed me to dine in peace and to go to the toilet as well. I was so glad that he could still fit in it (just!) even though he’s actually longer than the bassinet itself. :)

4. Sleeping routine

Try as much as possible to stick to your baby’s sleeping routine. Does he have a bottle of milk before sleep? Does he wear a sleeping bag? Does he have a favourite blanket, toy? Does he use a dummy? Make sure you have everything that he usually uses on hand, so that he knows it’s bed time. For me, I made sure that Little J had his bottle before bed time, because that’s what he usually has at home. So I brought with me a small thermos mug with hot water, his milk bottle and a packet of cow’s milk and warmed the milk up before his bed time. Of course if you’re breastfeeding, that’s even easier since you don’t need to worry about packing all these stuff! I also dressed him like how I would dress him to sleep at home then sang him lullabies and patted him until he slept. It’s all about familiarity. If you do the things that you usually do when he goes to sleep, he will get the message.

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Stick to your baby’s sleeping routine

5. Plenty of water

Last but not least, make sure you prepare a bottle of boiled water for your baby (once they are old enough). The air inside the plane is very dry, so it’s good to always keep your baby hydrated. It’s also good to let them suck on the water bottle during take off and landing to help them equalize their ear pressure. So it’s a win-win situation!

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Getting comfy for our first flight as a family

There you have it! My 5 tips for travelling with a baby. Again, every baby is different so what worked for me might not work for you, but I sure hope that you try to enjoy your flight regardless! Have a safe flight!

Australian War Memorial

Just before we left Canberra, we made our way to the Australian War Memorial, which was recently named as the top landmark in Australia by TripAdvisor. As its name implies, the Australian War Memorial was built to honour the members of its armed forces and supporting parties who have perished or contributed to the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia. I was surprised that it was open even during public holidays (Easter weekend) and parking was a breeze in the undercover car park.

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Australian War Memorial, Canberra

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Australian flags in front of the memorial

My first impression of the memorial was that it was gigantic! I initially expected a museum-like experience that would be boring (no offense) but it was actually pretty interesting. There were areas encompassing World War I and another on World War II. There were pictures of soldiers all along the walkways and real-life fighter jets within the building too. I was just sorry I didn’t allocate more time for us to visit the memorial. We only reached there around noon and were planning to drive home around 2.30pm so we would reach home before dark. That left us with slightly more than an hour to roam around, leaving less than an hour for lunch.

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View from the top near the entrance of the memorial

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The huge war memorial

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Making our way in

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Pictures of soldiers

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Little J didn’t seem very interested 😛

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More pictures of soldiers

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Badges of honour

We spotted something that looked like a metal cage during our visit and eventually realized it was flight trainer. It was from an Avro Anson plane that used to be a bomber and later salvaged as a training plane. It certainly did not look very comfortable in there and there was no screen whatsoever to display any information. It looks like we have really come a long way in the aviation industry.

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Inside of the Avro Anson training plane

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The olden days cockpit

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The Avro Anson trainer information board

There were also a few life-size fighter jets and bomber displayed in the memorial. One of those was the Kittyhawk “Polly”, which I took a picture of because the Lieutenant who flew this plane actually named it after his girlfriend. So romantic! :)

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Kittyhawk “Polly”

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ANZAC Hall entrance

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Another air craft

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Avro Lancaster Mk I Bomber ‘G for George’

Just before we left, we took a stroll along the Memorial Courtyard. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, perfect for photography. I guess you can tell our visit wasn’t very comprehensive based on the sporadic pictures and short description on my post. Hopefully when Little J is a bit older, we would return to the memorial and allocate more time to fully appreciate the wealth of information it has to offer.

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Memorial Courtyard

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Some familiar countries on the wall

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Our little family

Visiting Parliament House and Brodburger, Canberra

Right after we submitted our application for Little J’s registration of birth, we took some time to visit the Australian Parliament House since we were in the vicinity. It was close to lunch time though, so we thought we’d just make a quick stop, take some photos, and go for lunch. The weather was amazing that day. Gorgeous blue sky, clear and sunny with cool temperature. I was worried that Canberra would be cooler than Sydney but I guess we were lucky because we didn’t even need to wear our jumpers when we were out.

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 Parliament House in Canberra

The Parliament House was apparently the most expensive building at the time of its construction, costing over AUD$1 billion! It’s also interestingly shaped as a boomerang, reflecting Australia’s culture. The Parliament House is actually open to the public, but because we were in a rush that day, we only managed to scour the grounds outside the building. Interestingly we parked at this spot just between the old and new parliament houses, and got ourselves confused at first when we saw the 2 buildings and wondered which one should we head to? LOL.

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Old Parliament House

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Heading towards the new Parliament House

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With koala bear Little J in front of the Parliament House

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Saucer, Little J and his fat tummy 😛

The Parliament House was just massive! Even from a distance, my camera (which has a wide angle feature, by the way) still failed to capture the building in its entirety. It’ll be interesting to know how it looks like inside now that we’ve seen the outside of it. Perhaps a good excuse for a return trip next time? I’m sure there will be plenty of those whenever our passports are due for renewals. :)

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Trying to capture the wide building but failed

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One end of the Parliament House

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Flag poles

After the brief visit to the Parliament House, we made our way to lunch. We had not been to Canberra before so we weren’t sure where to head to. After asking a friend who’s from there, she suggested for us to try the burgers at Brodburger, which was apparently the burger joint to go to in Canberra. After a search on Google and the GPS, we were finally there in Kingston.

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Brodburger, Canberra

And lo and behold, the waiting time for our burgers was a whopping 50 minutes! To be fair, they did inform us when we placed our order at the counter, and we had the option to walk away then. But we did not, since we were already there. Plus, we did not know where else to go. #losers So we said we’d wait, and were given the UFO thingy that would beep when our orders were ready. I actually noted the time that we placed our order, which was circa 12.30pm. Armed with that UFO beeper, we wandered around the area on the nice sunny day, while our tummies rumbled away. LOL.

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Saucer and the pram with Little J

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Walking around Kingston

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Benches facing the water

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Mini pier

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Nice apartments by the waters

It was quite a nice walk around Kingston, except that most of the shops were closed since it was a Good Friday. The only shops opened were countable with one hand, and most of them were packed. About 10 minutes before our order was due, we made our way back to Brodburger just in case our beeper might not work if we’re too far away. By then, the crowd had eased a little bit and we managed to find some seats available so there we waited. At right about 1.20pm, the beeper vibrated and beeped! Oh my, 50 minutes on the dot indeed! I wish I had more pictures of the burgers and fries that we ordered that day.  Alas, my hands were full … Not with food, but with Mr J here. :)

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Little J playing with the beeper

Applying for Malaysian Passport from Australia

As mentioned in my previous post, we went to Canberra just before the Easter break to register for Little J’s birth and to apply for his Malaysian passport. There were a lot of planning involved in that trip, not only logistics (Little J’s food, clothes, nappies, timing the trip with his nap/sleep time, etc) but also preparation in terms of the documents we needed. The last thing we wanted was to drive all the way there after making an appointment a month in advance, to find that we forgot to bring an important document needed to register his birth! That would really be a disaster and a waste of all the effort we (I) had put in.

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Nothing like a sleeping child on a road trip :)

Anyway, as with everyone else in Sydney, our nearest option to register for our child(ren)’s birth with the Malaysian Consulate would be in Canberra. All the information you need really is in their website. One key point to note is that to register for your child’s birth, it is highly recommended to do so before he turns 1 year old, because after that period, you would need more documents and have to wait for a longer application time (more than 6 months according to the website).

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We’re there!

For the list of documents required for the registration, you could check out this link. For passport application, check out this link. Other important key points to take note:

  • Make an appointment as soon as possible. Note that appointment times available are only from 9am to 10am, Monday to Thursday. So if you are making a day trip there, it means starting your journey from Sydney at 5.30am the latest. Or if you are planning to stay the weekend there, you might want to book a Monday morning appointment. For us, we managed to get the appointment on the Thursday before Good Friday, so we got to stay a night there after our official business.
  • Take passport photos of your child beforehand (if you want to save money). If you are like me, trying to save the AUD$15 for photos, you could take the photos of your child beforehand at home. It’s actually not too hard especially for babies who are not that mobile yet. Just lay them on a piece of white cloth and snap the picture with his/her eyes looking at the camera, mouth closed and head straight (not tilted). We did this and the officer accepted our photos! Printing the photos ourselves at the photo shop only cost us AUD$0.15 by the way. :)
  • Double and triple check all the documents required for the application. Most importantly, make sure all the original documents are with you. If you don’t/forget to make enough copies, as long as you have the originals, you could still make the copies there. But without the originals, your application might have to be put on hold.
  • Parking off-street in front of the consulate. Since it was our first time there, we were not sure where to park and tried to enter via the gates which were closed. After several attempts at the intercom, we then found out that public cars were not allowed inside the building. We had to park outside by the road or across the building. Entering the building was via a side gate which was unlocked.
  • Child registration and passport application are two different processes. Read more about this in my experience below.

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Posing in front of the Malaysian Consulate

We reached there right at 10am on the dot. We were worried about being late but there was actually another family in front of us still in the process of renewing their passports so we sat down and waited. There were 3 counters but only one with an officer. There was no numbering system so we thought we just had to wait until the family was done to get to our turn. That family actually took more than 30 minutes (3 adults and 2 kids) to renew all their passports and by the time the officer was available, it was about 10.45am. So we quickly went over to the counter, ready with documents. When the officer asked for Little J’s Malaysian birth cert/Borang W, I said I didn’t have it and that I was supposed to apply for it then. Little did we know that the officer that we were waiting for was actually in charge of passports ONLY, while registration of birth was handled by another officer who was freely roaming around in the office behind the counters. :( When he came out, he said “Oh I saw you waiting earlier. Why didn’t you call me?” I felt so stupid for waiting for 45 minutes with a hungry Little J for no reason. Stupid for assuming that everyone was supposed to wait for that one operating counter. Anyway, to cut the story short, we had all our documents ready, Little J did some thumb prints, we paid the fees and proceeded to the next counter for passport application. Thankfully, the officers were quite nice and fast, so we managed to submit everything within half an hour.

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Malaysian Consulate in Canberra

On another note, we kept hearing about the famous nasi lemak that was sold at the Malaysian Consulate before and I asked the officer about it. Unfortunately, since the processing of passports moved from Canberra to Melbourne, there were less applicants at the Canberra office, which resulted in declined market for the nasi lemak. Apparently, the nasi lemak was made by one of the staff in the office to sell to people who had to endure long waits for the passport processing back in the time where you could collect them within the same day. Now that passport processing is done in Melbourne (or Perth), we could only submit our application in Canberra and wait for a month for the passport to be ready.

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Are we done yet?

By 3pm on the same day, we were able to collect the Borang W (Malaysian birth registration certificate) from the office. For the passport, we had the option of providing an Express self-addressed envelope to the officer to mail it to us when it’s ready, or to go back to the office and collect by hand. We opted for the postage and within a month or so, Little J’s passport arrived in the mail! I have to say I’m quite impressed with the efficiency of the Malaysian Consulate.

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Little J’s Malaysian passport!