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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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'.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!"

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.

Heather decided to get an Australian haircut for the occasion.

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

And even old Pows got in on the act.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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!