Sunday, April 27, 2014

ANZAC Day at Surfers Paradise

Another long weekend for Australia residents! Last week was the 4-day Easter break and this week, the patriotic ANZAC day falls on a Friday. Dr. Fairus' 3-month attachment at USQ has come to an end and his flight back to Malaysia is this evening. To send him off, we decided to spend 2 days in the Gold Coast.

On arrival, we were welcomed by a series of detours and traffic jams. Some roads were blocked for the ANZAC day parade.

After shopping at Hard Rock Cafe, Hasben and most of the guys went for a splash at the beach while the ladies just lazed around under a tree.

Kimi with his little buddies! He did not want to play anywhere near the sea nor sand, "no play water...!"

So we ended up just taking a few pics with half naked men photo-bombing, ahaks!

At about 8PM, after relaxing for a while at Kak Rose's Homestay, we went back to Surfers Paradise to check out the nightlife. This would be our second experience, the first was with JuliZac and Zayra 3 years ago. Anyway, the night market along the beach was packed with visitors. No souvenirs or food here, more on handmade, crafts products. For souvenirs, it is best to go to the shops at Surfers Paradise Boulevard, much cheaper than Harbour Town i think.

The beach at night. The spotlights made it possible for people to hangout by the beach, not for swimming though.

Lively atmosphere of the night market.

A street performer on a stilt, juggling swords at the Surfers Paradise Boulevard.

By 10PM, most of the shops were already closed, but the bars were full. Best to head back home before meeting any drunkards. Next morning, Harbour Town! Grabbed a few bargains before heading to Brisbane, had our lunch at Malaysia Makanan...

... and said goodbye to Dr. Fairus who was staying a night at a backpackers place.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Opening of Toowoomba Mosque

The grand opening of Toowoomba Mosque was held on 30th March 2014, on a rainy Sunday morning.

One of the main events was a food festival, where stalls from Bangladesh, Sudan, Indonesia, Bosnia, Malaysia etc were setup to sell traditional food - all profit goes to charity.

We decided to sell nasi lemak on that day so all preparations were made at HanaJai's house, which basically took us the whole of Saturday and a bit of Sunday morning to complete.

I was thinking of the Malay saying, "Senang macam kacang goreng" when I decided to volunteer to fry the peanuts... But it wasn't really 'senang'! It took forever to fully cook, and might be because I was using the electric pan. After hours of waiting for the nuts to be crunchy, Kak Ramiza brought in the little camping stove, and to everyone's great amusement, the peanuts was cooked in a relatively shorter time! *Must note this lesson for future use*

I have also prepared bandung flavoured aiskirm Malaysia (popsicles) which did not make it to the event. More for me :-)

Anyway, this is our nasi lemak, which I had free for breakfast. Not sure if the local Aussies enjoyed the spicy sambal though:

This is our stall where Brother Yahya and Din were busy promoting the lovely coconut rice, initially selling for $5 each but after intense competition from neighbouring stalls, ended up being only $3 which I think is very cheap (and below production cost!):

A Bosnian stall, popular with the Malaysians due to its grill meat and Indonesian wife/assistance:

Chevapi, the Bosnian delicacy - bread with some sausage rolls.

A 10 year old Sudanese volunteer, giving out free Sudanese dessert - cekodok+donat combo (I should have asked what it is called... And also should have taken a few more):

Performed Asar prayer together before going home. The mosque looks lovely! I must say, the people who made this possible is brilliant and may Allah reward them handsomely, Amin...

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