Honeymoon: An Australian Farewell

:
Throughout our stay in Australia, we were constantly operating on a lack of sleep. To catch up adequately would have required a good day’s rest, but time was precious. I’m really looking forward to one day having a holiday where we can just wind down and relax and do absolutely nothing for a few days. But I would probably end up spoiling it by working out a way to do something constructive.

IMG_0829
Hong’s mum prepared a feast for us one night. She’s an excellent home cook and makes really good Chinese soups. Cooking in a restaurant and at home are two very different things. In a restaurant, everything is prepared and at your fingertips, but at home you’ve gotta do it all yourself.

Throughout our stay in Australia, we were constantly operating on a lack of sleep. To catch up adequately would have required a good day’s rest, but time was precious. I’m really looking forward to one day having a holiday where we can just wind down and relax and do absolutely nothing for a few days. But I would probably end up spoiling it by working out a way to do something constructive.

IMG_0829
Hong’s mum prepared a feast for us one night. She’s an excellent home cook and makes really good Chinese soups. Cooking in a restaurant and at home are two very different things. In a restaurant, everything is prepared and at your fingertips, but at home you’ve gotta do it all yourself.

And with a comparably less-exciting wok flame.

IMG_0830
I never thought much of cheese when I was in Australia, but I do like a bit of gorgonzola from time to time. Koreans are starting to open up a little more to cheese these days, but they put some shocking stuff on their pizzas. Pizza cheese in Korea is a white rubbery synthetic polymer with cheese-like qualities.

Forensic scientists would have a difficult time identifying it.

IMG_0836
This is Hong. He and I go way back to ‘lunchtime chess games in the school library’ days. Hong is a top bloke, and is the kind of guy who would remain calm if you rang him to tell him you crashed his car. Recently he’s been getting into photography and bought himself an Olympus faux-vintage camera. It looks like an old school film camera, but it has a digital soul.

IMG_0839
Here’s Hong showing his brother and Vu all of the different aspects of an Olympus with a 14-42mm kit lens.

IMG_0845
We ate dinner with some old friends at the Nu Thai restaurant in Adelaide Chinatown one night. It’s a pretty small place and I don’t think it really qualifies as a ‘town’ per se. More like a ChinaAlleyWay.

From left to right in the photo above is Cherry, Vu, Yeung, Hong, Me, Heather and three quarters of Mai*.

*Depending on which browser you are using. Firefox chops off the photo to make it fit, while Google Chrome extends it into the sidebar.

IMG_0852
After we had some pretty good Thai tucker*, we went back to Hong’s house to drink some wine. Australian wine is cheap and generally of a good quality. We used to drink it a lot when we were younger because it’s classy and doesn’t make you feel bloated like beer does. Back in the day, I used to walk to Hong’s place and we’d down a few bottles and talk until the early morning hours. Then I’d stumble back home and wake up around midday.

And hey look everyone, Yeung’s holding a teapot.

*Tucker (noun): colloquial Australian slang for ‘food’.

IMG_0854
IMG_0856
Here are some photos of us from the 90’s, when we were teenagers. All of our ex-girlfriends are there too. It’s funny to think back to those times and remember how much we thought we knew about the world.

IMG_0858
Once upon a time I used to be a raver. Techno always struck a chord with me and I enjoyed a self-awakening during the raving years. Although you’d never tell from looking at my clammy skin and lab-weary figure nowadays.

If you’ve never been to a rave party, it’s something you need to do at least once. I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tea though.

IMG_0862
And it’s good to see that at least some of us haven’t lost our groove. Hong once invented his own personal version of Tae-Bo, known locally as Hong-Bo. It had a small following of around seven guys, at its peak.

IMG_0865
Hong’s dog, Pow-Pow, is a finicky creature. He doesn’t get along with strangers and will often take a bite at most people. I used to pat him a lot, back in the day, but he still took a while to recognise me. He didn’t like Heather so much though. One night, Heather came back a little tipsy and wanted to hug his face. Pow responded with a loud bark and an open-mouth charge, leaving a scratch on her temple. Heather passed out for a good 10 seconds.

He has a habit of staring at you with an eye-of-the-tiger look.

IMG_0868
Korean barbecues and Australian barbecues are similar and different to each other. Both involve socialising with friends, an unhealthy amount of meat and an association with alcohol. But Australian barbecues have sausages. And that fact alone is what makes them superior.

Especially when Yeung is cooking.

IMG_0869
IMG_0870
And this is Hong’s mum. As an adolescent boy growing up, I often ate her cooking and benefited greatly from her kindness. She’s a pretty popular figure in our social circles back home and has a very loud but friendly nature.

LEE! You EAT? My cooking, you EAT – VERY NICE!”

IMG_0874
On our last night in Australia, we had a few friends over at Hong’s place and had some catching up to do. We used to be a little naughty in our younger years, so it’s good to see everyone grown up and getting it all together.

IMG_0877
Heather decided to get an Australian haircut for the occasion.

IMG_0878
Overwhelmed by the courageous trend-setting by Heather, Hong was inspired to do the same.

IMG_0880
And even old Pows got in on the act.

IMG_0900
Yeung and Damien found it easy to entertain Mai. They were demonstrating how to pose for photos in a natural way.

IMG_0890
IMG_0893
It wasn’t long before the first casualties of the night appeared. Hong soon performed his trademarked Sleep-in-the-Chair manoeuvre, possibly due to the fact that Mai overspiked his drink with a cocktail of rocket fuel.

IMG_0903
This is Damien. He normally goes by the name of Damo, or D-Mac, or according to him, Polish Legend or Polish Hero. He’s a very funny guy and a good friend. In this photo he’s allowing an exclusive viewing of his underwear for the LKB readers. He only does this on very special occasions.

If you look closely, you can see the authentic D & G sign.

IMG_0906
Here’s the aftermath of the night. In Australia you can recycle bottles for money. Back when I was young, it used to be 5 cents per bottle, but I think it’s gone up to ten cents now. Korea has a very comprehensive recycling program that is embraced by a large percentage of the population.

IMG_0908
IMG_0910
And then all of a sudden it was time to say goodbye. With only 6 nights in Australia, it did feel as if we were leaving a little early, but that’s life. The two little kiddies in the photo above are Mary’s daughter’s offspring. I forgot their names.

IMG_0913
Here’s Dad and his partner, Mary, with the two little kiddies. Dad babysits them a lot these days.

IMG_0911
And my buddies came to see us off too. We had a good time in Australia, due in no small part to the warm hospitality of the Ho family.

IMG_0925
The trip home was fairly relaxing. In between bouts of being woken for meals, I watched quite a few interesting documentaries. The on-board entertainment systems these days have a lot to choose from.

IMG_0927
And near the equator we saw this sunset out of the plane window. I guess that the effect is due to a higher altitude.

IMG_0932
During our quick stop-over at Hong Kong airport, we decided to spend our last foreign money on a 3am laksa. It’ll be a long time before we get to eat one of these again.

IMG_0937
And I have to admit, I was looking forward to getting back home a little, and to a predictable routine again. Travelling is exciting, but on a tight schedule it’s also draining to the point where you look forward to sleeping in your own bed again. We arrived back as newly weds in Seoul around 8am in the morning. But the honeymoon was still great and it was a long overdue holiday for the both of us. Catching up with old friends reminded me why I need to return home one day. It was also a good beginning to married life, which is going well.

Since then we’ve settled in nicely. Our honeymoon was nearly two months ago now, but it’s taken me this long to catch up on all the blogging. From the next post onwards, we’re back in Korea again. See you soon!



Leave a Comment