Last Week in Australia

Hello! Happy Canada Day, or happy fourth of July. My sister and I are now in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Eastern Canada), and I am writing this from the University of Prince Edward Island. My sister and I had a fantastic time in Toronto, and then a good night in Charlottetown, so I have even more photos that I’ve yet to upload. Before I show you some of the delicious eats that I enjoyed during my last week of Australia, here is a list of the activities I did, and the cafes I visited, during my four months in Australia.

Me with my landlord; vacuuming the yoga studio for the last time; delicious meal of veggies, halloumi, scrambled eggs, and falafel

List of Things I Did and Ate in Australia

FOOD-RELATED PLACES I VISITED

  • Cat and Fiddle Deli Cafe in Toowong
  • Jocelyn’s Provisions
  • Pearl Cafe
  • Mu’ooz
  • MADO Cafe and Restaurant
  • Fogata Latin Fusion
  • Anouk
  • Tartufo
  • Gauge
  • Crust & Co. Bakery
  • Harveys
  • She Bangs
  • Pourboy Espresso
  • Sourced Grocer
  • Morning After
  • Banneton
  • A Night In India
  • Corner Store Cafe
  • Campos Coffee
  • Bakers Arms
  • Chouquette
  • John Mills Himself
  • Abode Cafe
  • Bunker Coffee
  • Three Monkeys Coffee House
  • Nitrogenie
  • Pawpaw Restaurant
  • The Gunshop Cafe

FUN-RELATED PLACES I VISITED

  • Cultural Centre
  • Gallery of Modern Art
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre
  • State Library of Queensland
  • Queensland Art Gallery
  • Queensland Museum
  • City Hall Clock Tower
  • Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
  • City Cat ferry down Brisbane River
  • Roma Street Parkland
  • Museum of Brisbane
  • New Farm Park
  • Brisbane River walk
  • Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre
  • South Bank
  • Milton Sunday Market
  • Jan Powers Farmers Market: Powerhouse Market, City Farmers Market
  • Wheel of Brisbane
  • Streets Beach, Little Stanley Boutiques
  • Davies Park Farmers Market
  • City Botanic Gardens
  • Suncorp Stadium
  • Queen Street Mall
  • Eagle Street Pier
  • Anzac Square
  • City Centre Heritage Trail
  • BrisAsia Festival
  • Avid Reader Bookstore
  • Woolloongabba Antique Centre
  • West End (shopping)
  • Paddington
  • Science Centre
  • Fortitude Valley nooks, like Bakery Lane

Now, here are some of the things that I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to doing these activities or eating at these restaurants. I suppose that means I’ll have to come back to Australia in the future.

IF I HAD ANOTHER WEEK, I WOULD SEE:

  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • Eat Street Northshore Market
  • Sherwood Arboretum
  • Noosa Heads
  • Mount Coot-tha lookout
  • Story Bridge Adventure Climb
  • Spring Hill Baths
  • Australia Zoo
  • Kangaroo Point Cliffs Walk
  • Brisbane Maritime Museum
  • Moreton Bay snorkelling at Tangalooma wrecks, whale-watching

IF I HAD ANOTHER WEEK, I WOULD EAT:

  • Ecco Bistro
  • Naim
  • Cafe O Mai
  • Wild Canary
  • Lady Marmalade
  • Goodness Gracious
  • GOMA Restaurant
  • Julius Pizzeria
  • Popolo
  • Longtime
  • Merriweather Cafe
  • Marchetti Cafe
  • Double Shot New Farm
  • Gettin’ Place
  • The Yiros Shop
  • Corbette and Claude
  • King Arthur Cafe
  • The Cheese Pleaser
  • Billy Kart Kitchen
  • Flour and Chocolate Patisserie
  • Sassafras Canteen
  • Jam Pantry
  • Gertrude and Mabel
  • Scout Cafe
  • Miss Bliss Whole Foods Restaurant
  • Let Minnow
  • Lokal & Co.

This was one of the last, and most delicious things, I ate at Pearl Cafe. It was a sticky date loaf topped with date buttercream, poached pears, and honeycomb ice cream. It was a dreamy dessert with all the richness and fresh sweetness I could ask for. The ice cream, paired with soft pears and date loaf, was superb.

One weekend morning, I went to the University of Queensland yoga festival, where there were tons of food and clothes vendors, a corner for meditation, and a large outdoors yoga class. The sunny weather was perfect for some zen-time, and I enjoyed watching the yogis with a small cup of Blackdog vegan chai made with soy milk. Then, I said goodbye to the UQ campus!

You guys! How amazing does this look? From Nodo donuts, I enjoyed this homemade brioche bread topped with beet-cured salmon, a soft egg, dill foam, greens, yuzu pearls, and sorrel. The flavours were extraordinary, and it was hands-down the most unique eggs benedict-type meal I’ve ever enjoyed. I wish there was more, because that buttery toasted brioche was heavenly with a smear of brown butter hollandaise, and all the flavourful toppings. I will think about this forever.

I also had a small cup of chai and a delicious baked cheesecake with mixed berries. The crust (gluten-free) is so good, and I dare say it’s better than any gluten-containing crust I could imagine. It has a light nutty flavour that I love.

A lot of lists and schedules were made.

Goodbye, beautiful, beautiful Brisbane! The sunset was glorious one evening, and another day, Seline graduated from high school. The last image is from her commencement, where she received two big awards. The entire family was very proud of her, and she was simultaneously shocked and thrilled.

From Anouk Cafe, I loved their salmon pot pie with herb gremolata and arugula salad. For dessert, I had a buttery apple almond flour cake with sliced almonds on top, and two generous vanilla ice cream scoops. This is my favourite kind of dessert – a little fruity, made with almond meal, warm, and served with plenty of ice cream.

Another day, I had a Pearl Cafe strawberry shortcake cake, which was incredibly buttery and delicious. The strawberry jam, sandwiched between shortcake layers, provided plenty of fruity, summery flavour.

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Campos Coffee for lunch: mushroom risotto with roasted chestnuts and smoked cheese. I don’t have risotto as much as I’d like, because ravioli and gnocchi always seem more appealing, but this was divine. The smoked cheese on top was slightly melted and had such a sharp flavour that paired beautifully with the creamy rice. For dessert, I loved the peanut butter chocolate brownie, which came with raspberry puree, whipped cream, and two scoops of unpictured vanilla ice cream. The peanut butter swirl here was THICK!

One Sunday afternoon, I went to Brisbane’s Art Gallery. It was a beautiful, serene, thought-provoking place with many galleries that I thoroughly enjoyed. These were some of my favourites. The Garden of Narcissus was one of my favourites (it’s the one with the mirrored orbs on the water). According to the Queensland Art Gallery blog: clusters and constellations are formed, reflecting the building’s architecture back onto itself from an infinite number of angles. Not unlike the myth, there is a dreamy yet sinister aspect to the work — it mesmerises at the same time that it forces one to look away. I love how it blends art with architecture.

Lovely meal at home: a mix of salads, including my favourite with roasted cauliflower and date, and some quiche. One of them is a homemade tart with spinach and truffled goat cheese, and the others were purchased from Botanica. I am going to miss their quiche (the crispy, flavourful crust is unbelievable) so much.

IMG_E0665

Finally, I had a wonderful time at aerials before I left. When packing for the plane ride, I looked at these two websites, which informed me which healthy things I could bring onto the plane. Very exciting! Then, before I knew it, I was back in Canada. 🙂

Finally, a list that I’ve been working on, ever since I arrived in Australia!

Things I Liked About My Time in Australia

  • Class and campus
    • Play area on campus for children, like a day care, whose parents are in class
    • Cover page scanner for academic submissions
    • Lecture automatically recorded and uploaded to Blackboard
    • UQ Library website has previous course exams for the last five years
    • Classes are smaller, with about 30-50 students
    • Classes are more interactive, with discussions, debates, word banks
    • Professors and other speakers honour Indigenous people, the traditional owners of the land
    • 15 libraries on campus, and many of them are open 24 hours
    • Sleeping pods in the libraries
    • Buildings are numbered, and there are signs that direct you to different buildings
    • Classes are broadcasted on a screen outside the lecture hall, so you can always be sure that you are entering the correct room
    • UQ Nav app so I don’t get lost on campus
    • Professors and other university staff answer their emails very clearly, promptly, politely
    • Many microwaves and kitchenettes
    • Largest, most beautiful campus ever!
    • Many food options on campus, and open from morning until evening (including Chatime)
    • Free ice cream during O-Fest (Orientation Week)
    • All readings are available online; do not need to purchase textbook
  • Transport
    • Excellent bike lanes, bicycle lights, pedestrian areas
    • Slow for SAM (Speeding Awareness Monitors) on small roads with a smiley face
    • Bus times projected on screens
    • Large number of buses that go everywhere
    • Stops are numbered
    • It is very clear which buses go where
    • Bus drivers are kind and interact with passengers
    • People line up to take the bus, rather than crowding around the stop
    • Bus drivers wait until everyone is seated
    • Trains have U-shaped poles, so there is extra room for guide dogs
    • Trains have security and a lot of workers supervising
    • Trains have very cushy, comfortable seats
  • No allergies at all (no sneezing, no runny nose)
  • Because it’s so hot, I sweat a lot and my pimples disappeared
  • Super colourful birds with very vibrant colours
  • Mats at C!RCA training centre are very clean
  • Farmers markets (~15-20 per week?): over 50,000 markets, festivals, and events in Brisbane each year
  • Beautiful river with great bridges and comfortable, safe river walk
  • Foam soap that smells like soap from Princess Café
  • Free outdoor gyms for adults
  • Smaller bananas
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, etc. are more environmentally-friendly
  • Vegan market, many organic/raw/vegan restaurants, and many vegan options available in restaurants/grocery stores
  • Takeout coffee culture, so everyone has little reusable glass coffee cup that they take to cafes (many cafes have Keep Cup discounts)
  • A Night in India has kind waitresses and delicious palak paneer
  • Sun rises very early
  • Accents are occasionally tricky for me to understand, so I have to listen very carefully during lectures instead of zoning out
  • Dining outside is easier and more common, with great patios
  • Many butcher shops in malls, and many of which sell meat pies
  • Casual dress
  • Tips are incorporated into the bill, so tipping is not required
  • Tap water is drinkable, and there are water fountains everywhere
  • Many garbage cans out on the street, so there is little litter
  • People are generally very laidback, friendly
  • Wi-Fi everywhere, even on the bus
  • I have a moveable shower head
  • I live close to restaurants, shopping centres, grocery stores, and a great library
  • Tax is included in prices
  • Many seasonal fresh fruits (eg. Papayas, melons)
  • Tiny asparagus and giant blueberries
  • Farmers markets are typically cheaper than grocery stores
  • Grocery stores have massive yogurt selection
  • Vibrant colours: super blue sky, very green grass
  • Unique and beautiful plant life
  • Keys to home are not fussy; easy to use
  • Live music in the valley at night (great nightlife, and a lot of bars)
  • Time difference makes it quite easy for me to chat with family (they go to sleep around my afternoon/evening), and Mom wakes up before I go to bed
  • Excellent cafes with very unique menus
  • Laundry machine will finish washing clothes in less than 30 minutes
  • Fun vendors and booths everywhere
  • I have my own bathroom
  • Early morning yoga sessions (5:30 AM session, 6:05 AM session, 9:30 AM session)
  • There are bats outside in the evening
  • Lecturers end 30-45 minutes before they are scheduled to finish their lecture
  • At the mall, you can take the shopping carts around the entire mall
    • Shopping carts have store directories, phone slot, cup holder

Things I Disliked About My Time in Australia

  • My hair becomes greasy sooner because of the heat
  • In the rain, it is so loud when the raindrops hit the metal roof
  • Bluetooth issues
  • Lecturers alternate (eg. One class has three lecturers, another has five), with many guest lecturers
  • Difficult to find entrances to buildings on campus
  • Birds are very squawky and loud
  • Rain is spontaneous
  • Cafes do not serve tea lattes (but they do have chai!)
  • Crows may swoop down and bother cyclists, so people wear helmets with zip-ties attached to the holes of the helmet
  • Fruit can be quite expensive from Fruity Capers
  • No standing desks or standing café spots
  • Buses and train rides are expensive
  • O-Fest was not as fun as I’d expected
  • Fitness centre on campus is not free; student price for 1 drop-in pass is $14
  • Bus stops to go to campus are very busy at noon on weekdays
  • During the heat wave, had to shower twice a day from the heat
  • Water tasted mineral-y when I first arrived
  • Saturday store hours are terrible, and most close at 3-4
  • Cafes close early (2-3)
  • Many places closed on Monday
  • Random spider webs can go in your face if you walk under a tree
  • Fan at home clicks loudly
  • Need vehicle to visit cool, beautiful places near Brisbane
  • Ants in the house (very fast and smart), and cockroaches
  • Library closes very early, and is closed on Sunday
  • Some cafes don’t have bathrooms, so need to walk a few houses down to arrive at construction bathroom
  • Gets dark quite early; sun sets around 5:30
  • Some online videos are unavailable in Australia
  • Difficult to find the entrance to train stations
  • SIM card plans are complex
  • Chair at home is not very comfortable or ergonomic
  • Must hail bus drivers

Neutral Differences Between Canada and Australia

  • Most breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurants serve:
    • Milkshakes
    • Smoothies
    • Avocado
    • Halloumi
    • Chai
    • Vegemite toast
    • Sourdough
    • Golden latte (turmeric latte)
    • Beet latte, mermaid latte
    • Chai latte
    • Turkish bread
    • Flower decorations
    • Dukkah
  • Australian Polysporin = Betadine
  • Australian Restoralax = Osmolax
  • Australian Chipotle = Guzman y Gomez (GYG)
  • Australian Bed, Bath, and Beyond = Bed, Bath, and Table
  • Australian Booster Juice = Boost
  • Australian Cobs Bread = Bakers Delight
  • Australian Chapters, Coles, or Indigo = Dymocks
  • Australian Burger King = Hungry Jacks
  • Australian Lays = Smiths
  • Australian Starbucks or Tim Hortons = Merlo’s
  • Australian Rogers or Shaw = Telstra or Optus
  • Australian LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) = BWS (Beer, Wine, Spirits)
  • Australian Goodlife Fitness = 12RND (twelve round) Fitness
  • Steering wheel is on the right side, and people drive on the left side of the road
  • Thursday is the “late night”
  • GPA is out of 6 or 7
  • Very steep hills in some suburbs
  • Must push a button to get on and off a train
  • Wheelchair logo is reversed (mirrored)
  • Eating competitions held at festivals
  • High schools and malls are “outdoors”
  • Toilets have little water in them
  • Grammar-related
    • Use of ’s’ instead of ‘z’ in words (organised, fertilised, analyse)
    • Use of “ae” in words such as faeces, aetiological, paediatrics
    • No oxford comma
    • “ch” or “j” sounds instead of “t” sound (eg. Tuesday, produce, due date)
  • Australian food
    • Lamingtons and Snowdrops
    • Nougat
    • Beef jerky
    • Meat pies
    • Rocky Road
    • Macadamia
    • Tim Tams
    • Arnott’s cookies
    • Eton Mess
    • Hot dogs with white bread instead of a hot dog bun
    • Chicken parmigiana
    • Melting moments
    • Hot cross buns
    • Turkish delight
    • Sticky date pudding
  • School zones and other areas where pedestrians walk are painted
  • Eggs are not refrigerated
  • Playgrounds are shaded with a “roof” because it’s too hot
  • Pools are outdoors
  • Aboriginal names like Indooroopilly, Cooloongatta, Tangalooma, Woolloongabba
  • Tiny outlets can be turned on and off
  • Hole punches have 2 holes instead of 3
  • Many private-practice health practitioners who work out of their homes
  • Clothing-related
    • Spaghetti straps
    • Anello bags
    • School uniforms = dresses with big puffy sleeves for girls, button-ups, hats, white socks, standardized shoes and backpack
    • Colourful peasant blouses
    • Dark denim skirts
    • Flip flops or sandals
    • Bras are okay in public
    • Tote bags
    • Lorna Jane athleticwear
  • No radiators or dehumidifiers
  • Many dinner places have “banquets” which are like set dinners for 2+ people
  • Male and female bathrooms are often separate (i.e. in separate parts of a hallway)
  • Bathroom sink areas and bathroom stall areas are separated by a door
  • Many roundabouts instead of intersections
  • Lots of water dragons and geckoes
  • Separate colleges for boys and girls
  • Gum trees instead of evergreens, firs, or pines
  • Less time to cross the street
  • Sushi is pre-made and sits on the counter, uncut, so people can grab it as an on-the-go snack and eat it like a wrap
  • Walking on the right, standing/waiting on the left of an escalator
  • Some streets are also appear in Ontario: Dovercourt, King, Queen, Ann, Adelaide, Albert, Elizabeth, Edward, Morningside region
  • Traffic lights are black
  • Giant spiders that spin massive webs from tree to tree

Different Words Between Canadian English and Australian English

Canadian English Australian English
Bandaid Plasters
Whole milk Full cream milk
2% milk 98% milk
1% milk 99% milk
Outlet Power point
Duotang Folder (they use folders or clipboards)
Call Ring
Post-secondary students Tertiary students
Hashbrown Potato rosti
Darn, that sucks! Bugger
Period Full stop
A-P-A APA, pronounced “apa”
Hot flashes Hot flushes
Cotton candy Fairy floss
Raisins Sultanas
Exact change Correct money
Store hours Trading hours
Melt, or open-faced sandwich, or grilled-cheese Toastie
Tasting menu Degustation
Great Beauty
Pepper Capsicum
Sorry Soz
Coconut yogurt Coyo
Movator Travelator
Sunglasses Shades, sunnies
Fanny pack Bum bag
Elevator Lift
Pharmacy Chemist
Appetizer Entrée
Entrée Main course
Personal tent Swag
Gas station Servo, petrol station
Pass (passing someone on the road) Overtake
Eraser Rubber, or eraser pronounced ‘e-ray-zer’
Sweater Jumper
Tap (debit or credit card) Pay pass, pay way
Pay with card/machine EFTPOS (Electronic funds transfer at point of sale)
Papaya Pawpay
Kindergarten Kindy
Cafeteria Tuck shop
Area, section, or zone Precinct
Attendance Roll
Prom Formal
Math Maths
Tour Contiki
Umbrella Brolly
I believe, I think I reckon
Disaster, mess Dog’s breakfast
Tank top Singlet
Afternoon Arvo
Candy Lolly
Mosquito Mozzy
Tasmania Tassy
Brisbane Brissy
Meat pie Traveller meat pie, long pie
Drunk driving, or driving under the influence Drink driving
Biscuit Bicky
People on wheelchairs Ambulants
Washroom Toilet
Dropbox Chute
University Uni
Teaching assistant (TA) Tutor
Fries Hot chips, chips
Chips Chips
Hollow position Dish position
Streetcar Tram
Baby stroller Pram
Rent or borrow Hire (yoga mat rental = yoga mat hire)
Flashlight Torchlight
Tattle on you, tell on you Dob on you
Tattletale Dibby-dobber
Duvet Doona
Garbage Rubbish
That’s okay, no problem You’re alright (after receiving apology)
Interested Keen
Friend Mate
Whole grain Whole meal
Plants and animals Flora and fauna
Office hours Consult hours
Flip flops Thongs
How are you doing? How are you going?
Syllabus ECP (electronic course profile)
Sidewalk Footpath
Midterm exams, midterms Midsems
Water fountain Bubbler
Container Punnet
Barbecue Barbie
Curb Kerb
Green onions Eschallots
Ice box, cooler Chilly bin, esky
Hoop Lyra
Silks Tissu
Thrift store Op shop
What would you like? What are you after?
Feta Fetta
Garbage can Bin
The week after classes finish, and before exams begin (study week) Swotvac “study without tutor vacation”
Cup of coffee Cuppa
Bathing suit Togs
Avocado Avo
Cinnamon buns Scrolls
Good (in response to “how are you doing?”) Well (in response to “how are you going?”)
Redneck Bogan

Trip Planning: Notes on Cambodia + Things to Bring

Important Points

  • use USD, so there is no need to switch over to Riel
  • negotiate prices with everyone, especially with tuktuk drivers (start at HALF the amount they ask for)
  • renting a driver for the day should cost about $25 USD
  • SIM card for data and maps
  • visit temples very early (4:30-5:30 AM pickups are ideal, as afternoons are hot)
  • vaccinations include Hepatitis A and typhoid
  • November to March is high season; must pre-book everything in advance because temperatures are 21-35 (cool)
  • use money belt instead of purse
  • tipping is not expected
  • Siem Reap has Backstreet Academy (iron pencil sketching or copper wire bracelet)

Things to Bring

  • mosquito spray
  • dust masks
  • umbrellas
  • sunglasses
  • hats
  • sunscreen
  • extra t-shirt in backpack
  • pants that cover shoulders and legs (even for men)
  • paper map to show tuktuk drivers

Trip Planning: Cambodia’s Top Restaurants

PHNOM PENH TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Malis restaurant (beef in bamboo, goby with Kampot peppercorns, Battambang beef steak, prahok ktis fried rice) **
  • ALMA cafe breakfast (huevos rancheros, enchiladas) **
  • Sesame Noodle House (cold sesame house noodles with pork, veggies, egg OR killer pork pan-fried gyoza OR thor bun, closed Mondays, chocolate sesame balls, close to Russian Market) ***
  • ARTillery (healthy, sausage, eggs, bagels, near Sisowath Quay) *
  • The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (overlooks Tonle Sap river) **
  • Romdeng (NGO for street kids, Khmer classics like baked fish amok, beef loklak, deep-fried tarantula, red tree ants with beef and basil, unique handicrafts) ****
  • Van’s Restaurant **
  • Brooklyn Bistro (cheesy pizzas and burgers) *
  • Sovanna (grilled pork and beef, fish soup) **
  • Java Cafe (sandwiches, pasta, soup, burgers, pastries, coffee, gallery next door) **
  • Feel Good Cafe *
  • Brown Coffee *
  • Khmer Surin Restaurant (local authentic Khmer, beautiful decor, oldest Khmer restaurant) *
  • Backyard Cafe *
  • Khema Pasteur *
  • Daughters of Cambodia **
  • Friends the Restaurant (tapas, smoothies/lassis/shakes, sautéed quit with pepper, eggplant dip with bread, dessert, shop next door, very good cookbook, near National Museum) *****

SIEM REAP TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Sister Srey Cafe (breakfast) *
  • Fresh Fruit Cafe (#1 trip advisor)
  • Haven **
  • Blue Pumpkin (bakery, ice cream, pistachio, amazing desserts) **
  • Embassy (kdat soup) **
  • Cuisine Wat Damnak (curry prawns, fish) *****
  • Sugar Palm (Khmer classics, authentic) **
  • Mie Cafe (4-course menu) *
  • Chaney Tree *
  • Banllé (Mexican, with ice cream) *
  • Vibe Cafe *
  • Damnak Lounge *
  • Nest *
  • Marum *
  • Touich (salted grilled red snapper) *
  • Olive *

KEP RESTAURANTS

  • Sailing Club ****
  • Kimly ****
  • La Baraka ***
  • Breezes ***
  • Democrat **
  • Holy Crab **
  • Veranda (breakfast buffet) **
  • Beach House **
  • Mr. Mab (breakfast) **
  • Pain de Jade (breakfast) *
  • Led Zeppelin *
  • Brise de Kep *
  • Strand (breakfast, fine dining) *
  • Chez Bebe *
  • Eli d’Or (patisserie, breakfast) *
  • Kep Coffee (Mexican food and coffee, breakfast) *

Things That I Can’t Wait to Eat in Cambodia!

Traditional Cambodian Foods to Eat

Tons more info over at my good friend, Wikipedia.

  • prohok ktis (traditional fermented river fish, pork, coconut milk)
  • num banh chok (breakfast, thin noodles with green fish gravy)
  • Cambodian Khmer red curry with baguette bread
  • bai sach chrouk (grilled sweet pork, broken rice, broth with onions on the side)
  • lok lak (stir-fried beef in brown sauce of oyster/soy/palm sugar)
  • ang dtray meuk: grilled squid
  • kuy teav (pork broth rice noodle soup with garlic, scallions, shrimp, lettuce, etc.),
  • kdam chaa
  • lort cha (stir-fry noodles with greens, bean sprouts, egg)
  • fish amok (curry in a banana leaf)
  • bread with cream cheese
  • coconut milk dessert in the food stands
  • fried crickets
  • omelettes
  • bobor congee
  • samlor korko (pumpkin soup, pork ribs)
  • tropical sour fruits
  • Ah Ping
  • beef saraman curry
  • kaw (braised chicken or pork, topped with egg, sweet sauce)
  • Cambodian sandwich
  • tai krolap tea
  • lemon tea (tai kdao kroich chhmaa) with sugar
  • mango salad
  • Cha houy teuk (sweet jelly)
  • grilled and fried bananas
  • Num sang khya l’peou (pumpkin custard with coconut milk on top)

All in all, I’m super excited for 2018!

20 Random Thoughts of the Day

Without further ado…

  1. I learned that the plural of ‘beef’ is ‘beeves’! It’s even recognized by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary. Thanks, Buzzfeed.
  2. I missed World Zucchini Bread Day on April the 25. I love zucchini bread and had had that special day in my mind for quite a while. I’m sad that I missed it, and wonder why it isn’t in the summer when zucchini is actually in season.
  3. I’ve never had Eastern European food: Romanian, Slovenian, etc. Have you?
  4. Sometimes, I lose sight of why I write. Sometimes, I have no clue what TO write. Fortunately, there are so many (I repeat – SO many) writers who have created lists like this one (http://www.molly-greene.com/101-blog-topic-ideas/) to help people with blogger’s block.
  5. Do cheap, poor-quality sunglasses damage your vision? I’m not one to drop $39450 (okay, slight exaggeration) on a pair of expensive brand-name sunglasses, but I don’t want to risk deteriorating my vision.
  6. Do people actually use place mats and coasters?
  7. The Wei family is in the middle of planning our third Sunshine Coast vacation. This summer, the summer of 2017, we’ll likely be headed back to the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia with the Su family. I can’t wait for more trees, warm breezes, lakes, and birds. I think our annual trips are becoming a tradition. Do you have any beloved family traditions?
  8. Seline is studying law and economics next year. I know so little about law and economics, so I am looking forward to hearing all she has to say about the two courses next year.
  9. Speaking of Seline – she will be a senior next year. Grade 12. 18 years old. Applying to universities and scholarships. Whoa. She’s ready. I’m… not.
  10. Have I ever gone a day without nut butter?
  11. I hate recommending products, but the mint julep lip scrub from LUSH is my #1 favourite beauty/self-care product. It tastes like a chocolate-covered mint, makes my lips so soft, and is super easy to apply and remove. I don’t know what I did without it. Oh yeah. A washcloth.
  12. Zootopia is a Disney movie? I swear I thought it was Pixar!
  13. Fiji is the only non-European country that starts with an ‘F’.
  14. There is quite the hierarchy in the medical field and the world of medicine, something that I never truly took a moment to look at and analyze.
  15. Summer. Summer. Summer.
  16. Only one person in my family, my lovely mom, has a summer birthday. The rest of us, including grandparents and my aunt and uncle, are all born in late winter and early spring. No fall birthdays at all in the Wei family.
  17. I think this summer will be the first time that I try (as in, genuinely put an effort) into wearing sunscreen each and every day. Yay for UV protection.
  18. Why are pens from Japan so amazing? There is a store called Muji in Toronto that sells all kinds of minimalist Japanese home goods and stationery. I am obsessed with their pens and recently came home with TWELVE new pens. Well, five of them are highlighters. They write so beautifully. What are your favourite pen brands? Pentel? Bic? Or maybe you’re a Pilot fan?
  19. Will be writing my MCATS (medical school entrance exam) in less than 2.5 years. Exciting!
  20. This list totally beats my list. If Buzzfeed didn’t exist, I’d easily save a good hour each day.

Kill Your To-Do List in 10 Steps

Studyblr. It’s one of those things that I love, adore, and admire – but simultaneously hate like nothing else. Mostly because I’m jealous.

How beautiful are these study notes?

As I work on this post, a creamy “golden milk” turmeric latte in my hand, I can’t help but be excited for the next couple of weeks of this semester!

Anyways, I’m probably the only person fazed my inspirational study quotes and dazzling study notes. So this blog post is more of a reminder to myself, when I’m struggling with some tricky courses, that I. Can. Do. It.

10 Steps to Kill Your To-Do List

  1. Make a list. Can’t kill something you don’t have! Try to make ONE list. I have the tendency to be scatterbrained and want to do 4059 things at once, so it helps a lot to smash them all together into one ‘master list’ and check off items from there. It definitely looks more intimidating, but is way more effective for me.
  2. In the mornings, visualize yourself doing what you need to do. Imagine yourself, as vividly as you can, sorting through your laundry, working through that annoying chart from that annoying class, or finishing your dishes. In the mind, in the body!
  3. Set a timer. My roommate once introduced me to Pomodoro studying, where you set timers for 25-minute study segments and STOP when the timer goes off, take a break, and come back. It keeps me refreshed, and the only downside is not being able to get back to work. Regardless, having a timer makes me more productive. Likewise, countdowns can be great. Which leads me to…
  4. Write down all the dates. It also helps if you draw tiny bubbles with numbers inside to indicate how many weeks, months, or even days (!) you have left until a certain deadline/exam.
  5. Stay hydrated! How are you going to be energetic, bright, cheerful, enthusiastic, and productive when your throat is parched? It’s practically impossible. I need to give myself constant reminders to drink, drink, drink – instead of going for hours without water and then chugging my whole water bottle. Along the same lines, take deep breaths of fresh air to renew your mind and body.
  6. Get inspired. For me, that might mean a beautiful new notebook, fresh air from an open window, or sleek highlighters.
  7. Journal and track your progress.
  8. Reward yourself. For some reason, face masks and exfoliation are some things that I truly look forward to. Perhaps you could buy a new mug after that exam. Or have a relaxing day out with a friend after a productive week of studying. I’m all about the positive reinforcement for your hard work.
  9. Calendars, planners, tape, pens, and other stationery make studying a lot easier. You need the right materials to do what you’ve gotta do.
  10. Get to work! 😉

Too beautiful for words. If only my own study notes were this neat! They’re not.

What do you think? Do you like your notes to be written perfectly, with all kinds of calligraphic fonts, or do you prefer scrawling it down quick and easy?