Friday, 20 November 2009

How Do You Do Etiquette

I wonder what the deal is with How do you dos. I don't think I've ever had so many how are yous thrown my way back in Malaysia. The most I get as a way of greeting is a Good morning/afternoon/evening. It's probably an Australian thing. I get at least 4 of that everyday and one of my colleague has a tendency to ask me that everytime we walk pass each other.(hopefully not because he sees me frowning all the time) My responses have always been predictable and lame. "I'm fine thank you" (remembering to smile here)..and I sometimes like to vary it with "I'm good! How about you?" or "I'm's a bit hot today don't you think?" To spice things up, I sometimes just said good morning, smile and left it at that. Even if my house had been swept away by typhoon and my body is crippled with a disease, I'd probably still answer "I am fine thank you" (with a smile). I've never really felt comfortable talking about myself and I am almost sure no one would want a long winded story of how I REALLY am. Everyone probably just ask that and expect to hear the customary answer. Imagine asking that and having someone answer "Not good...not good at all. I just found out that I am in the last stage of cancer" (silencee~~~~sounds of crickets) (-___-)

I have a client who always seems to be in a hurry. An example of our phone conversation would be as follows;-

Me: Hi..Peggy speaking
Client: Hi Peggy. xxx here. How are you?
Me: Fine thanks. Yourself?
Client: Peggy, can you help me with.......

See that? See how he didnt answer my question and left me hanging?? He did that EVERY SINGLE TIME!! and still I am obligated to ask as it is common courtesy. *sigh* I sometimes think why bother.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Canberra Trip

Back from Canberra! I guess it's a blessing in disguise that we have to fly all the way there to get our passports renewed. Eventhough it's an inconvenience, not to mention made us a few hundred dollars poorer, I really needed the break.

The trip started badly enough. I took a half day off on Thursday so that I can slot in a doctor's appointment before leaving for the airport. Unfortunately, I missed my bus and had to wait for the next one. The downfall of taking public transport is that a domino effect starts to take place once this happens. Missing my bus in turn made me miss my train which in turn made me late for my appointment. When we reached the clinic, we were informed that my doctor had left for the day. I had to reschedule my appointment to a Monday night and pay for overtime. *sigh*

Reaching home I had a quick lunch and shower before making sure that everything we need is packed and ready to go. And then came the waiting...and waiting...and waiting. My brother had asked one of his friend who lives near the airport to fetch us. We stupidly did not anticipate that there would be a horrible jam at that particular hour. When he failed to turn up more than half an hour after the designated time, we panicked and my brother contemplated calling up another friend to drive us there. At the last minute, he drove up our driveway and we frantically began shoving bags into his car boot. It was a torturous drive to the airport. The traffic was pretty bad and we had to drop by my sister's office to pick her up which made us even more late. Everyone was pretty tense, my brother's poor friend tried his hardest to tackle the traffic and mum prayed real hard for us not to miss our plane. The counter was supposed to close 45 minutes before the flight and by the time we reach the airport, it's already well pass our check-in time. My sis and myself dashed off to the counter as soon as the car stops while my bro and mum trailed behind with our luggages. Fortunately, we managed to check-in just before the counter closes.

Reaching Canberra, we got into our rented car (we received a free upgrade to a bigger car which is a good turn of event) and started the drive to our motel. We took a wrong turn as soon as we got out of the airport and ended up getting lost. Everyone's temper was pretty frayed by this time and blames started flying. We only reached our motel after an hour plus of driving as well as furious thumbing of the local directory. The receptionist had left but fortunately we were able to check-in ourselves. The room was really small but serves our purpose well as it's cheap enough and has an attached bathroom.

After dumping our bags in the room, we left again in search of dinner eventho it's already well pass 10pm. Driving around, we settled on good ol' McD. After dinner, we drove around the city and stopped by the casino to take a few photos. As everyone is already tired out from all the rushing, we agreed to call it a day.

The next morning, we left early for our appointment at the High Commision of Malaysia and were able to reach there without getting lost. There's a hitch when my brother was told that they require a copy of his student visa which he'd left in Adelaide. After sheding much cold sweats and thinking that his journey was going to be a total waste, my dad phoned to say that he has an electronic copy of my brother's visa. Everything went well after that. We bought 4 packets of Nasi Lemak from a jolly man who works in the High Comm. and was told to be back to collect our passports by 3pm.

We stopped by a park in Yarralumla to have our lunch and took a few photos. The next stop was the Cockington Greens Garden. Entry fee was pretty expensive at about aud16++ per person but we enjoyed ourselves as everything looks gorgeous! We then drove back to the city to check out Canberra Centre. A security guard saw me taking photos while we were on an escalator and reprimanded me. He told me rather firmly that photo taking is illegal in the building. I apologized but was mightily pissed off. Well excuse me for being ignorant as to the reason why. I mean if that were to happen in a Casino or a museum, I'd understand but a shopping mall???

Our planned destination after that was the War Memorial but reaching there, we couldnt bring ourselves to leave the car as the day had turned really hot and mr.sun is in full glory. We changed our mind and decided to stop by the High Comm. earlier to get our passports. After that, we went on towards the Parliament House. It's a spectacular building. The landscape which is pretty minimal is impressive nonetheless and suits the building to a T. And the view from the rooftop towards the War Memorial is so well planned out it gave me goosebumps.

We drove back to the War Memorial soon after as my brother has set his heart on a photo of the Centurion Tank. We did not get to go inside as the Memorial is already closed which is a pity. After driving all the way to Woden for dinner, we decided to go back to the motel as we have an early flight to catch the next morning and everyone's bushed by that time.

I enjoyed the trip. Really. Eventhough there's a lot of hitches along the way and I felt that we were not being a real tourist by choosing to miss out on museums, I'm just glad to have the chance to visit the capital of Australia.

p/s: Photos to be posted when the author is less lazy. In the meantime, please check facebook for uploaded photos of the trip. =p