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…Fishing!!

I have always wanted to actually catch a fish myself, and, if it was edible, cook it and eat it.

Finally, I have done just that.

I went fishing with Mr. Mo a few weeks ago in Fremantle, and the weather was perfect. No wind, cool ambient temperature. It was around 8.30pm and we decided to just go for a quick fish at the E Sheds. Yes, I know, not the place to fish, but still decent.

We caught 5 fish; but all were inedible (trumpeter!). Still, it was so much fun.

What made it less fun was a bunch of stupid teenage boys (or maybe they were in their 20s but they sure acted like juveniles) who were using a net to catch fish. This was not the problem for me. The problem was, they emptied their net all over the ground – dozens and dozens of writhing fish, their silver bodies glimmering against the black asphalt – and what did they proceed to do? Pick each one up and launch it back into the water with a hard kick. Basically, they were practicing their footy skills on those poor little fish.

Stupid people; they’re everywhere, evidently.

Anyway, despite that awful sight, I still had a good time. It’s always a thrill when your line gives a couple of hard jerks and you’re reeling something in that’s fighting back. I can’t believe how much fight even the littlest fish have! Imagine when I actually get good at fishing and can start taking on marlin and other fighting fish!

A few days later we fished off a jetty in Mandurah. Aaah, now there’s a perfect fishing spot! I caught two fish, a herring and a bream. Mr. Mo didn’t catch anything this time (lol) but his sister did and she generously offered us her herring to take home, which we did.

I was terribly excited about eating fish I caught myself for the first time. We took these home and cooked the bream first  (with lime, butter, salt and pepper in the oven – mm, mm!), after Mr. Mo expertly cleaned and gutted it.  A week later we grabbed the two herring from the freezer, Mr. Mo cleaned and filleted them, and I pan-fried them Hungarian style (according to a recipe I found online), with salt, pepper and flour. It was delicious!

Can’t wait to go fishing again… in a couple of weeks, down south in Pemberton! Woo hoo!!

Yeah, I know. I’m living the life. Heh.

*Note: I still haven’t gotten around to actually cleaning and gutting the fish myself but… as long as Mr. Mo is happy to do it, I’ll, er… let him. Hey, at least I can tie a hook onto fishing line and stick the bait on the hook nice and securely, getting gross prawn juice all over my fingers!

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Lonely.


I spent 11 days in Malaysia, visiting family and friends, constantly surrounded by loved ones and engaging in conversation, that to come home to an empty house here in Perth leaves an empty feeling in my soul.

I miss my boyfriend so much. He is away on holidays at the moment and won’t be back for a while. It’s just not the same without him. The dinners in front of the TV, the drives, the walks in the park, feeding the ducks (and having our stale bread scoffed at by the black swan)… I miss all these things.

I know I used to complain about how he can sometimes be ‘overly spontaneous’, like suggesting we go for a quick walk and it ending up an excursion, when I’ve got a pile of Uni work to finish and can’t afford long, meandering walks… but now, I miss it. I need a welcome distraction from the stress of my uni work which is threatening to bury me.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t heard from him since yesterday afternoon. I hope he’s okay. I mean, I know he is, but it’s still not nice missing them and not being able to hear their voice. He’s having phone problems (battery is dead or something), and he usually sends me an email a day but… so far, nothing.

I just miss him so much! It’s been 2 weeks since our mini-airport scene where I saw him properly tear up for the first time ever, as I got ready to board the plane to KL.

Just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat.

 

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As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to do two things: draw and write.

Back in Year 1 (Standard 1), I recall we were asked in class by our teachers to fill out some form, and one of the questions asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to put down ‘artist/writer’. Instead, upon seeing all my friends writing ‘doctor’, I chickened out and wrote ‘doctor’, too. What a wuss!

I love(d) drawing. I started drawing from the moment I had enough hand-eye coordination to hold a pencil and make some squiggly lines into a picture.

I still remember how my father would come home from work with heaps of computer paper – the kind that went into an old-school, dot matrix printer. Yes, with perforations and everything. Reams and reams of paper, all connected, to be ripped apart at the perforated seams by myself and my sisters for our childish doodles.

Only I didn’t stop there. I drew on art blocks my mum bought us specifically to draw on, in exercise books from school, and notepads that were meant for grocery lists. I remember I filled up one such notepad, cover to cover, with an illustrated story (an early ‘graphic novel’, if you will), about a boy snake and a girl snake who met, fell in love, got married, got pregnant. The pregnant girl snake demanded that the boy snake go to the witch’s garden to steal nutritious vegetables for her to eat (“Or my baby will die,” I remember were the girl snake’s words). Yes, I did not yet appreciate the fact that instead of pumpkin and watercress, snakes prefer frogs and rats. But I digress.

In the early days I liked drawing “friendly ghosts” – not really Casper, but just ghosts who had skirts and lipsticks and handbags. Later on, I drew more talking animals like snakes, rabbits, dogs and cats. Later still, I got into drawing unicorns and girls and people. I was always told how well I drew.

These days… I don’t draw so much. I doodle when I’m on the phone. I can really draw some interesting, nice things that way. But generally, as a way to pass the time, I don’t do it anymore. And it makes me sad. I always tell myself I want to draw more – heck, I even bought myself an art block so I would just start drawing stuff – but it still sits collecting dust in the shelf, under the Foxtel decoder.

Now, I want to talk about writing – something I am obviously more healthily engaged in (what with my blog, and having to fill out paperwork, tax returns, badgering immigration people, etc).

Back in the days of my childhood, the budding writer in me managed to write (and finish!) a few works that, when I revisited them as an older, more mature writer, made me snort with laughter. How unsophisticated and inane! But what can you expect from an 8-year-old? Or a 10-year-old?

I remember my best friend Lin and I would create illustrated works of serious writing. Not bad for 10 and 11-year-olds. Series about teenage ghost fighters (culled from my favourite cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters – how ironic!). And about teenage space travellers, set in the future. With lengthy descriptions of their appearance and clothing. We even collaborated on some of these. I still think they’re pretty good.

Later on, in my teenage years, I would write romantic dramas about young people in hospices, dying of some incurable but noble diseases, the inmates falling in love with each other. My depiction of sex scenes were incredibly humorous. No other way to describe it, really. Just… totally out of those filthy romance novels Lin used to borrow from her aunt, bring to school and lend me (with the ‘good parts’ conveniently dog-eared for me to skip right to). Ahh, good times.

I have been trying for the last 5 – 10 years to finally write something coherent, and of substance. It is my dream to publish a best-selling novel before I get too old. Geez, but where and when to start? Here and now is the only answer.

But I am just too scared that my ideas are stupid and the story will stagnate. As it has done for much of my mid-to-late teens. Every time I hit upon something good, I’d advance full steam… then lose it all a few months later in tears of frustration. In my early twenties, I tried again and lost faith.

Now, I want to try again.

I have found these links pretty useful and humorous, not to mention inspiring:

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (Part 1)

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (Part 2)

I want it t be my project over the holidays to at least come up with a skeleton of a book for me to fill in with meat and fat over time. Fingers crossed.

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Loo, Loo, Skip to my Loo…


There’s something that’s puzzled me for a fair few months.

It’s to do with toilet paper (yes, how interesting).

For some time now, every time I mention it to people, they give me a puzzled look: “What? What is that item you are talking about?”

It’s not that they don’t know what toilet paper is.

It’s because for some reason I’ve taken to calling it “Loo Roll” instead of “Toilet Paper” or “Toilet Roll”.

Forgive me for using a phrase that nobody seems to understand. Somehow it crept into my vocabulary and I have favoured its usage over the more conventional ones stated above.

For some reason, I honestly thought it was an Aussie thing and that using it would better facilitate understanding between myself and those around me here in Australia. I used to just say “toilet paper” which is the standard in Malaysia, but adopted “loo roll” as part of my efforts to assimilate into different cultures and avoid any misunderstandings.

So imagine my dismay when I say things like “Jason, where’s your loo roll?” or “Amir, we need to buy more loo roll” and I am met with a blank stare followed by a “Wha-?”

According to Wikipedia, the term “loo roll” does indeed exist, however I didn’t read much more of the article (only the first paragraph, really) to find out if they mention at all where that particular one originates from. I really didn’t want to start reading a whole article about the origins of this paper product designed to decompose in septic tanks (there, I already read much more than necessary!).

So I guess the point of this somewhat pointless post is to wonder aloud to the cyber community: who here has heard this term before, and where the hell does it come from?

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The flow of dough right now is currently one-way.

Going out:

– Rent

– Bills

– Groceries

– Fuel

– Parking

Coming in:

– ???

– #$@%#**!!

Those are my main expenses. I haven’t eaten out in ages. Well, I ate out on Monday night with Gaya – we had Japanese. Even then, dinner cost me $13.50 for fresh, raw salmon and tuna on rice. BIIIIG bowl, not too bad of a price. So it’s not like I’m going crazy and eating out at fancy-schmancy places every night, spending cash like there’s no tomorrow.

I eat most of my meals at home (well, Amir’s home anyway). We cook. Sometimes it’s something really awesome (his bolognese, my chicken/beef curry, his healthy baked trout with veggies, my baked chicken and potaotes…)

Sometimes, when money’s tight (or time – hey, we’re both busy people!), it’s… not so awesome (Indomie, scrambled eggs on toast for dinner, TOAST for dinner, a sanger for dinner… you get the picture).

Bottom line: I haven’t been spending money on frivolous, luxury items.

It’s the everyday things, bills, and so on, that have caused my bank balance to slowly head south for the winter. And guess what? There ain’t no money coming in, nuh-uh, oh no you di’in’t girlfriend.

Why?

I. Still. Can’t. Work.

No, not because of my achy breaky back (which still causes me to fantasize about firebombing that house in Bateman where that jerkoff lives).

Because of my bloody visa situation.

I’m still on a bridging visa which allows me to stay here and attend Uni, but

… no permission to work.

UGH!

Throw me a friggin’ bone here!

Sometimes, a girl just wants to have fun. Luckily I was able to go out shopping the other day with Gaya because Amir had given me, as a gift for Nawruz, a gift card at a leading department store here in Perth. So I bought myself a new handbag and some other odds and ends. It was fun to shop for pretty things again!

Plus, sometimes I just like eating well. I like spending a little extra money on premium fruit and vegetables. Or on that extra lean, extra delicious cut of meat. Or on that lovely fresh fillet of salmon or trout. And not have to worry that this one meal may be the death of my bank balance.

Meanwhile, I have rent, bills, petrol and weekly groceries to pay for. And trust me, I ain’t the fussy kind when it comes to food. I like good food, but I can basically make myself survive on poor-Uni-student fare like instant noodles, toast and nutella (or Nutino if you’re really on a budget), $1 canned tuna (which come in flavours so you can pretend you’re eating a lovely, hearty curry or even a full-blown Italian meal with sundried tomatoes and basil… oh, who am I kidding!).

But good nutrition has got to come from somewhere, sometime! Or my body’s f*cked! And I care about my health just as much as the next person (maybe more!). Every time I go grocery shopping, I am armed with a list of items that I saw were on special that week. I haven’t paid full price for an item in ages! Sometimes it is to my own detriment. Like buying the cheap meat (reduced by 30%!) and then opening the package only to be punched in the nose with a smell that I believe is reserved for an abandoned abattoir. Or something the cat dragged in.

I don’t know if it’s because I am disorganised and procrastinating (as usual) but I am also so overwhelmed with Uni work that I am not even sure how much I’d be able to work even IF I was able to (with the Permission to Work thingy that comes with a Student Visa). Still, people have been telling me about jobs that I could definitely get that pay like $20 an hour or more… geez! I’m dying for a job like that! So close, yet so far.

*Sigh*

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Challenge Yourself.


I’ve been at Uni, doing my Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) at ECU.

That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve been AWOL when it comes to this blog (sorry, Danu!!!).

This week has been especially challenging. It’s professional practice week, a 1-week orientation/observation prac to get acquainted with this whole teaching thingymajiggy.

Although I’m not a complete newbie to teaching (I did 8 weeks of teaching during my CELTA course last year), this is a whole different ballgame.

Teenagers are involved.

Remember what it was like to be 12, 13, 14, 15, 16??

It was stressful. A hormone-filled time of dizzying confusion. When you were trying to carve out your own niche, yet at the same time feeling compelled to conform to the status quo, to belong, to fit in with your peers. A phase in your life where you felt so afraid, so incapable, so helpless, so uncomfortable in your own skin (or was it just me?).

In any case, I find myself fighting the automatic reaction in my mind (“ugh, stinkin’ teenagers!”) whenever they do or say something insolent or obnoxious, and trying to remember what it was like for me at the time.

It has been an interesting, scary and exciting experience so far. I haven’t actually taught a full class but I have participated in lessons and conducted pop quizzes (which I’m sure they just LOVE). I am getting to know the kids a bit more, learning as many names as I can for when I return in May for 4 weeks (yikes! Caffeine, here I come!).

I didn’t realise just how exhausting it is to be a teacher. That is, a real teacher who takes her job seriously and actually cares what the students are up to and how they perform. I come home every day, at the latest by 4.30pm, and I am SPENT. I crash on the couch and watch an episode of “Charmed” (…I have no excuse for this), then fall asleep in bed for an hour. Then I get up and drag myself to the dining room table where I have been doing most of my work (can’t, just CAN’T work in my room, too distracting what with the bed yelling at me to come and sleep all the time).  And I get fuck all done, and it’s already bedtime.

God am I tired. I didn’t think teaching was gonna be easy, but boy did I not realise how much it takes out of you.

Phew!

Aaaannnddd of course I’ve had NO social life for the past week. Which basically means I have spent all of two hours in total over the last week with my boyfriend. Ugh. I miss him! I miss my friends! I miss my family!!!!

Boo hoo. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Inayah.

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The Bee’s Knees


This post is just a shoutout to my good friend Esther Rani! She’s having knee surgery (on both knees – eek!) today, right about now, actually…

Best of luck, sweetie! I’m sure everything will be fine and you’ll recover in no time 🙂

BIIIG hugs!!

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