Lesson No. 1

When travelling during the Ramadhan month, DO NOT expect the husband to drive all the way from Jalan Ampang to Shah Alam within 2 hours during peak hours to pick you up and send you to the airport.

Because he won’t make it.

And you may just miss your flight to Australia.  Unless, of course, by some stroke of genius you decide to drive yourself to the airport, break all speed limits, dump your car in the open air carpark with hourly parking rates, and rush in to LCCT to check-in just on time.

And pray that the husband finds the spare keys so that he can locate the car and drive it back, because there’s only 25 bucks left on the Touch ‘N Go prepaid card which you zapped for the parking.

Lesson No. 2

If like me, you decide not to spend 20 bucks by pre-booking your seat on Air Asia X, do not expect to ask your friends (who did pre-book their seats) to get a nice aisle seat for you.  This is because you will still be allocated a seat, so do request for that aisle seat you have your eyes fixed on.  Failing which, you end up being sandwiched between the businessman who uses the corniest pickup lines on the stewardess sitting diagonally opposite him (oh, you have Chinese features…good thing your mother taught you Mandarin hor, but your body shape ar…can tell look like Malay lor), and the sleeping beauty on the right who spills over to your side everytime there is air turbulence.

Lesson No. 3

Air Asia is punctual.  So don’t bother booking a connecting flight to Sydney 5 hours later (in anticipation of a delay by the Malaysian carrier) coz by the time you visit  all of ONE duty free store in the Gold Coast airport, it would take a whole 8 minutes, after which you will wonder if the book you’re carrying will last the remaining 4 hours and 52 minutes.  (It won’t.)

Lesson No. 4

Learn to bake.  Viva la pavlova.

Lesson No. 5

When visiting the Sydney Fish Market, it is best to bring your wallet.  If you fail to bring cash, and you’ve already booked a place on the guided behind-the-scenes tour of the fish market, you will need to spend some time explaining to the guide, in front of the other 15 people who did turn up with cash, why you cannot go on the tour.  Thick skin is absolutely necessary.  Of course, the guide will most likely tell you that it is only 7.00 in the morning, and things will get better eventually, so tag along until some money magically appears.  And of course, if you pray hard enough, and you’re able to make a call to a very sleepy uncle, the wallet will be hand-delivered two hours later by a stylo-milo uncle in sunnies and an open-top Beemer.  The two hours before that is a painful lesson in poverty and starvation.

Kumamoto and Pacific Oysters

With money in hand, try the fresh seafood, both raw and cooked, at the market.  Remember, eat outside and risk sharing your scrumptious seafood meal with the gulls.

Lesson No. 6

EAT!  Scour the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for an idea of what’s good out there.

Longrain Restaurant

Try Longrain, a restaurant with only 3 long communal dining tables, for a touch of Thai….

Betel leaf topped with prawn, roasted coconut, mint and chilli Eggnet with beansprouts, peanuts, pomelo, coriander and sweet vinegar Crisp fried duck and banana blossom salad with sweet fish sauce Soft shell crab topped with sweet pork ginger and green chilli salad

The food at Longrain is refreshing, and that’s how it is when one uses and pairs only the freshest of ingredients. Dining in Longrain, one can almost feel the energy at this place; there is a festive air as groups of people find their places at the long tables. And this is what communal dining represents – camaraderie, friendship and sharing.

85 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills, Sydney

Lesson No. 7

View from Altitude, Shangri-La Sydney

Make sure you get a table by the window, especially when you’re on the 36th floor overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.


For modern Australian cuisine with European influences, this is a great restaurant to dine at. Service is excellent and attentive. And if you’re thinking of surprising that special someone, call ahead and ask for this:

drinks menu

Ain’t nothin’ like swallowing your very own diamond.

Shangri-La Sydney
Website HERE.

Lesson No. 8

Always carry a spare camera.  Because when the right moment comes, you want to be able to capture it and show off the amazing National Geographic-like pictures of the whales that you saw after braving the tumultuous waves out in the unpredictable seas.  “Thar she blows!” you shout excitedly, and reach for your SLR, only to find that. it. has. stopped. w.o.r.k.i.n.g.  And the only proof you have is this:

Whale pic

Note: For pictures of the real thing, see Precious Pea’s blog.

Lesson No. 9

Throw away your watch.



Rejuvenate your senses.


Vanilla crème brulée bread Braised lamb shank with white bean & shallot ravioli, young carrots & cavolo nero Cauliflower leek and cider soup with gruyere cheese dropper scones

The Bathers Pavilion
Website HERE.

Lesson No. 10


Embrace love.


The good people of Abu Dhabi may view pictures HERE.