Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dear Sister Juliefer

Happy birthday to my beautiful, talented, loveable sister. you are a grown up lady now but to me, you will always be that baby sister who I have asked for as an ally but turned out to be another enemy. I remember being the youngest and only girl amongst our siblings. Being the centre of our brother's nasty teasing and obnoxious treatments, I always ended up crying. Even when I learned to defend back I always ended up crying. When dad called from the hospital to announce your birth I was crying. He was saying that my ally has been born to console me and that I will no longer cry (I can detect that slightest hint of irritation in his voice because I was crying again, a feeling which I've only understood recently). So I looked forward to your growth. A few years after, I started finding my stuff in mess or worse, missing, because of you. Don't worry, I have had my revenge. I used to hide your toys under the bed even though you wouldn't even notice and when you did, you'd have me get them anyway. So much for an ally hehe.

As a baby, you were really well behaved and good natured (what the heck happened??!). Even though there was always power outage every night you never fretted (that was the era when you couldn't tell your teacher that you failed to do homework due to no light because it was black out EVERY FREAKIN night). The music coming from the radio powered by the car always lulled you to sleep. I guess that was why you grew up so talented in music. Of course I am just being modest, you got some of it from me and I did train as you were growing up remember? :p

When you were about 4-5, My fascination was singing influenced highly by Spice Girls. I taught you their songs because you were so good with blending, a frustration I had with my self assumed girl band because we never sounded in harmony no matter how we tried (sorry cousins). But you, you blended so well with me. I even thought you the wavy style (vibrato accdg to internet) and you easily picked it up as young as you were. In fact, you were so good that you stole the lime light and performed at family gatherings to everyone's delight. Of course I was proud and happy until you started singing by yourself and refused to be taught by me.

During your late primary school days, your "Carrie"days (refer to Stephen King novel), you had a hard time dealing with the snobbish girls in school because you were so meek and mild (believe it or not). Whenever you had to undergo a difficult situation I felt furious. I remember when you were in Grade 6 and everyone in your class tried to bully you, even your teacher, I was distressed as if I was the one being harrased. One day, I decided to bring your lunch to school to check out on you. Wearing my highest high heeled slippers and maxi skirt, I went up to your classroom and with chin up and tallest stance, I asked loudly who's bullying you. I sat beside you throughout lunch and after that you just bloomed out of your shell and beat your classmates without effort. Naturally, you were intelligent and talented. You liked to surprise everyone with your hidden talents ie the piano recital and duet of "When You Believe" Mariah Carey's part.

Ever since then, you never stopped seizing the good things life has to offer. I am writing this to remind you that you are a bud of rose who contiues to bloom each year that God gives you. You have completely shed out your shell and have gone far from your comfort zone. Your contrasting traits of nonchalance (seemingly) and love for books and cats show that you are boundless and infinite. You are a special person and you deserve the best treatment from your man (ehem). I pray to God that you find happiness in Him. If I see you succeed and settled in life, happy, contented, then I know God has answered my prayer for you on your birthday. I am one proud sister.

May God always be with you. :)

PS: Sorry for the late post. Happy birthday for last 21 January 2013.

PPS: I would insert photos when I get the chance to scan the pictures I have in mind which are at our house over there so... It might take a long time. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Boxing Day, Then and Now

Last 26 December was the celebration of Boxing Day here in Australia. The first time I experienced it I found it rather disappointing because almost all shops were closed. Funny thing, when I heard that most people went to cinema during Boxing Day I thought it was to watch a Boxing match or something which was even boring, to me at least. To our enlightenment though, according to our relatives here, Boxing Day is actually a time when Australians open the gifts they have received on Christmas Day. Okay, I know it doesn't really take a whole day to do that and most people actually opened their gifts right away anyway so I figured out that they probably also watch regular movies or go to parks or just eat out too. Family stuff.

Last year, it didn’t matter that this was a no work holiday since we have just arrived and didn’t have jobs yet. After spending the eve of 25th over at relatives’ house, we went out at Blacktown the next day and as I have mentioned above, the entire Westpoint shopping centre was closed. Luckily though, a pharmacy next to it was open and had marked down clay and craft toys for kids. That was their very first Australia-bought toys.

This year, now that I have a job, I particularly looked forward to this day to spend time with my family with thrift shop hopping as one of the main activities. Usually, I have a few minutes to walk into thrift shops along the way to station every morning before I go to work as my shift doesn’t start until 11am. But it’s usually just for a maximum of 15 minutes. It is really not enough so I fantasy spending a day browsing through the shops with my husband to consult (and argue hehe) with. So that was my plan, to go thrift shop scouting on Boxing Day. I knew from experience that shops will be closed but I had to try my luck so we went to Penrith where it was supposedly the home of big thrift shops that is closest to our area. When we got there, my heart just sank. And we didn’t even eat breakfast so we could get there early.

Hungry and sad, we decided to eat at the first restaurant that we saw and that was Hog’s Breath. We tried their famous ribs, side salads and fish and chips for the kids. Overall, the experience was fairly satisfactory meaning, I was glad to have tried it out but I wouldn't prefer to go there again. First of all, it took so long to have our ordered food served. Next, I personally think that the food was good but not the kind that makes you think about eating there again. Finally, food was too pricey. Okay, erase the first two reasons. I’m not really choosy with food taste nor am I impatient I could actually wait. Food was pricey PERIOD.

After that devastating cost of food, we strolled around Penrith but everything was pretty much closed so we headed back to our dear home St Marys and try our luck with the Swimming Pools instead. Good thing, the pools were open but since we didn’t prepare for this, I had to go back to the house to get change clothes and towels for all of us while the kids and the husband took a dip in the pool without me. They were closing early, 5 pm, but we had like 2 hours to enjoy before something gruesome happened. This kid who was about 6 or 7 of age was approaching the pool with her shorts down and something yellowish could be seen through her undies. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out and as if JAWS has come himself, we were out of the pool in no time. Sorry for that disgusting tale but it was part of that Boxing Day escapade that I just can’t leave out. Hehehe.

And then we went home tired but happy. Just as the kids were happy with their new toys last year, they were happy with their new adventures this year.

And that was how we spent the holiday then and now.