It may be almost the end of January 2009, but I am still in 2008.  Perhaps it is the flurry of activities that has me gasping for air, but it could also be age that’s slowing me down.  Anyhow, I am, as always,  too lazy to comprehend the meaning of life, so if my mind says that I’m still wearing last season’s fashion, then I say hallelujah, bring out the char siu and celebrate.

The good news is, I FINALLY finished going through my 1,000+ photographs from our recent trip to Australia.  Bald Eagle played a big part in this accomplishment.

6/1/2009,  Bald Eagle, in an excited tone:  “You gonna blog about Oz?” *bounce bounce*  Me: “Yeah, definitely, dude!” *bounce bounce*

9/1/2009,  Bald Eagle, not so bouncy:  “I see you blogged about Pan Heong.”  Me:  “Sowwwy sweetie, I haven’t compiled my pictures.”  *bulging puppy eyes, brimming with tears* “Next post, k!”

The whole of the next week,  Bald Eagle:  “Not working on a new post?”  Me:  “Busy, busy!!”  *trying to avoid eye contact*

20/1/2009,  Bald Eagle:  “You blogged about Extra Super Tanker?!”  Me:  “It’s almost Chinese New Year, mah….gotta show picture of yue sang!”  *still avoiding eye contact*

23/1/2009,  Me:  “Before you yell I have a valid reason it’s Kenny Mah’s birthday but the next post will definitely be Oz!!!!!”  *taking deep breath*

This week,  Bald Eagle:  “I’m gonna stop reading your blog until you update it!”

Yikes.  Every reader is valuable.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the unsubtle way of ensuring that Lyrical Lemongrass updates her blog with a very overdue post.  So if you see pictures of fireworks from 2008, don’t scold me ar.  Scold Bald Eagle.

Where to begin, where to begin?

A long time ago……ok, in the not too distant past……fine, LAST MONTH, there lived a tiny creature known to the world as a Momiji.  Unlike other babies, the stork didn’t bring her to the world.  Nay, she came packaged in a brown noodle box with a label at the bottom announcing her name as Silly Billy.  Oh dear, with a name like that, she was teased mercilessly despite having silky-looking white resin hair with purple baubles and laughing eyes.   People can be quite unforgiving sometimes.  So she jumped into a medicine box together with her friend, Twinkle (a little girl who wanted to see the world), and ran away to the land down-under where stranger looking creatures existed.

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“I want to see the sea!” exclaimed Silly Billy.   “I want to press my ear to a seashell and listen to the ocean’s lullaby.   I want to bury myself in the sand and feel the waves wash over me.   I want to sip champagne and eat oysters.”  Yes, this little Momiji wanted to do so much, and can you blame her?  So she lazed by the beach for two whole days, and at night, she slept soundly, tucked in her tiny blue bed, and dreamed of Barossa Valley bacon and smoked salmon sandwiches and spicy prawn pasta and cheeses and oysters and cherries, all washed down with bubbly that made her head light.  And best of all, waking up from her slumber brought her back to a reality that wasn’t very different from that rainbow in her mind.  “I could do this forever, Twinkle!” she declared to her friend.

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The ever fidgety Twinkle replied, “I want to see the world, Silly Billy.  I like it here, but don’t you want to do other things too?  Like go-karting and clay-pigeon shooting?”   Silly Billy thought for a bit.   Twinkle was right, of course.   Silly Billy loved Callala Beach, but the reality is that time stands still for no Momiji.  Life has a way of moving on and taking everyone with it, which isn’t a bad thing considering that most Momijis don’t get to experience much beyond their brown noodle boxes.  So they packed up their bags and boarded a train that travelled a thousand kilometres north of Sydney to the Gold Coast where they got to try go-karting and clay-pigeon shooting.

“I haven’t seen any strange creatures yet, Twinkle,” said Silly Billy.  “Let’s go to the Australia Zoo….perhaps we may see some humans there?”  So they trekked further north towards the Sunshine Coast where they finally arrived at the Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter.  “Crikey!” said Twinkle, “look at that human feeding the crocodile!”  They saw elephants and tigers and crocodiles and wombats and kangaroos and koalas and lots and lots of humans.  But they soon got tired and yearned for some hearty food.  The Ettamogah Pub looked friendly enough to a couple of tiny Momijis, even if some of the patrons looked a little scary with their very big motorcyles.  The beef, bacon and cheese burger was humongous, twice Silly Billy’s height, but she ate it with relish because it tasted so good.  Twinkle was terribly hungry and ate a 350gram succulent pork cutlet which she enjoyed oh so much because it was juicy and tasty, and washed it all down with a cold beer, just like the hairy patrons of Ettamogah Pub.

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Silly Billy and Twinkle were sad to leave their friends in Gold Coast, but they were excited about their road trip back to Sydney.   “We can see The Big Banana and The Big Prawn along the way!” squealed Silly Billy even though she knew that they were kitschy and pointless.   She didn’t care, because she liked being silly.  She liked being silly!  That’s right! She didn’t care what the the other Momijis thought of her because she was having fun while the other Momijis were stuck in their boring little boxes.  So she yelled hello to the pink flamingos as she whizzed by (within speed limits, of course, for it wouldn’t do for a Momiji to get a speeding ticket) and waved to the man in the lighthouse.  She ate delicious eggs benedict in a cafe in Byron Bay called Spoon. It was a most exhilarating road trip indeed.

Thus ends Part 1.

I don’t normally do multi-part posts. In this case, for the sake of marital bliss, I am compelled to put up this post as soon as possible (otherwise, it’s off with my head), and to be honest, there is so much more I’d like to share with all of you. The second part of the Momijis’ adventure is even more exciting with loads of good food featured. Addresses for all restaurants featured will be included in Part 2 as well.

Hope you’re having a good Chinese New Year break!