Good Bye Kagami aka Brian

Exactly 364 days ago, I saw Brian in Mid Valley Shopping Centre with his friends. I waved to him but he never waved back. He was one of my first few online friends. A computer expert, we never run out of things to discuss about. I never met him until years later. It was a coincidence. My friend and I were happily loitering in some petrol station’s groceries store. I bumped into m3ng and next to him was a big sized and hairy Indian boy. m3ng introduced him to me as Kagami (Brian’s IRC nickname). We gave each other a firm handshake and a smile.

365 days ago or exactly one year ago, I was woken by a phone call from MoreCool (Esmund) in the morning. The first thing he said was “woi, Brian is dead!” I was completely shocked, I told (Esmund) that I just saw him yesterday, MoreCool replied with a certainty that Brian is gone, the funeral is tonight, at 7pm, St. Xavier’s Church.

My friends and I planned to go to Genting Highlands a day before Brian’s dead. I decided to go ahead with it since the funeral was at night. I showed no emotion on his death while I was in Genting, probably I still couldn’t believe that he’s dead. As 7pm approaches, I was late for the funeral and I had no time to go home and change. Driving as fast as I could, I arrived in the church wearing a yellow t-shirt. Esmund, within the speed of light, quickly handed my jacket to cover up the t-shirt.

Loads of my friends were there in the funeral and loads of them were crying. I made my way to the room where the coffin is located. As I approach the coffin, Brian, with his face pale and scarred from the accident, lies completely lifeless. It’s not the first time I’ve seen lifeless bodies. Years ago, my classmate died of a motorcycle accident, her face was pale and scarred too. And both of these experiences were not pleasant.

Brian’s death was caused by a car accident. One of his friends was driving at high speed somewhere in Taman Mayang. The car lost control at a bend and the passenger seat (where Brian was sitting) smashed onto a tree. Brian died within minutes.

Brian was cremated 2 days later. Everyone gathered around his coffin before cremation and sang him a song. As soon as the song ends, the staffs started moving the coffin to the cremation room. Brian’s friends and family starting crying loudly and his friends started wailing out his name. I stood emotionless but no doubt I was sad.

Rest in peace, my dear friend Brian, it’s already 1 year since your demise.

Dedicated to Brian Oliver Corray

Melbourne 20

Melody and I had coffee at Greco’s Café, a Greek Café that serves really good coffee and cake. While I was lifting the cup, the handle suddenly detaches from the cup and all my coffee spilled. We complained to one of the staffs and within seconds, he cleaned our table, took Melody’s coffee and few minutes later, 2 new café latte and a huge piece of tiramisu are on our table. It’s as if the whole table has been reset! And the best of all, it’s all free!

Happy 43rd Independence Day Malaysia!

Melbourne 19

It’s Hen’s birthday today. Happy birthday!!

I feel so bad. While I was in Brisbane, I some how promised Hen to spend his birthday with him. I was supposed to bring him clubbing tonight but it seems I didn’t keep my word. I feel so bloody guilty! The reason for not going? Well, Melody’s housemate will not be home this weekend and she’ll be home alone. She doesn’t like staying home alone and I decided to accompany her. damn, I hate conflicting interests.

Melbourne 18

Hen is in Melbourne for a 10 days holiday. I brought him around the city today. We managed to cover almost the entire Centre Business District! We started off with lunch in A1 for the delicious roast duck rice with egg chiffon. I showed him my Aussie backpacking pictures and chatted for quite some time. Bourke St. was our next destination. I asked him whether if he want to eat free candies. I brought him to a Candy shop inside Royal Arcade where they give out free samples (it’s really good!). Hen felt so embarrassed that he took 2 small candies and ran out from the shop.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was next. I’m always fascinated with Cathedral. I love their architecture and their artwork even though i’m not a Christian. Hen doesn’t seem interested with it and we left as soon as we circled the building.

Since we’re near Crown casino, I decided to bring him there. As we passed the flaming towers, I told him the story I heard from our Grampians trip bus driver. The construction of the flaming towers was completed before the completion of Crown itself. Hence, it was left unused for months and birds started to nest on top of the flaming towers. And on an the day of Crown’s grand opening, without checking or cleaning the flaming towers, the staffs blasted the flaming tower at maximum power. Witness claimed that they saw flying pigeons on fire and charred remains of pigeons on the ground.

He headed back to Russell St, the Asian hole, to meet up with Hen’s girlfriend, a petite girl, cute face with huge eyes. We spoke for few minutes before Hen and I headed to the arcade (Hen is training for the Daytona Competition on Sunday!)

I had to leave Hen in the arcade for an hour to help Melody sort out some stuff in Melbourne Uni. We met up again in the city for dinner and this time, Irene joined us. She broke off with Kwok Hoong a month ago. geee, I wonder if they’ll get back together again. They’re always on and off.

Getting Irene and Hen sitting together on the same table is surely fun. Both of them are funny and entertaining. We never stopped laughing.
Yesterday’s Post
Melody, her friends (9 of them) and I went to Dracula’s. It’s some sort of cabaret performance with food provided in an old building. Their theme is quite interesting. It’s based on the western supernatural namely vampires, skeletons and frankenstein. Their staffs are dressed in gothic style ie black leather and painted faces. The staffs really put an effort in their work. They had to act, scream and laugh like a mad man every minute. The building is heavily decorated. Since the theme is based on western supernatural, they decorated the place with skeletons, taxidermies animal heads, ghoulish portraits and so on.

As we arrived, we were greeted by a tall man with a fake hunchback and his face well painted. He leaded us into the building and then descended the stairs to a little bar. He announced that we have to get on the ghost train in order to enter the dining hall. The train ride isn’t a simple train ride. It’s actually a little ghost house. It was completely dark and ghoulish figures pops out suddenly. Melody, Tiffany (Melody’s friend) and I shared a 4 seats train. It was really freaky. They even had real people popping out to scare the shit out of you! Tiffany was so scared that she screamed non stop.
The ride lasted only about 5 minutes. As we got out, I realised that we’re back in the same spot. All the train did was just going in a circle. The dining hall is actually downstairs!

The cabaret changes their theme frequently and this time it’s called Terrorvision. They made the whole scene like cable TV (they call it Channel 666). They even have their own MTVs, advertisements and movies (they performed Moulin Rouge)! The best was Dracula’s home video. It’s actually the videos of the person scaring people on the ghost train. It seems that ours was the best. Everyone laughed loudly as they watch Tiffany screaming her lungs out.

The night was great, great performance, good laughs even though I was with 9 strangers the whole night. The performers made the show great even though sometimes they really come out with corny jokes. There were mainly 4 performers, 2 man and 2 women. And as usual, in most cabaret shows, they always have wacky performers. The guy with the fake hunchback and another annoying girl were the wacky ones.

The performers always tried to get the audience involved. The annoying girl had this little interviewing thing, running around the room interviewing people or just to insult them. She would walk to a person, ask couple of questions and then insult them on either their clothing, hairstyle, looks or origin. Fortunately, no one took it seriously. Everyone was a good sport. However, unfortunately, the annoying girl came up to me and asked where I am from. I replied Malaysia. She then said, “oh I know some people from Malaysia. Dark hair and short (sounds like me!) and their names is like, kicking a tin into an alley! *Ting ling pang ling!*

Melbourne 16

Melody brought me to the Anatomy Museum in Melbourne Uni today. The admission is free and tables and chairs are provided for students to study there. Pieces of human body are preserved in glasses. As we enter the room, we were greeted with jars of preserved hands, followed by legs, bodies, head, brains and foetus. To me, the exhibition wasn’t gruelling at all but it was sure disturbing. There’s this body of an old women with sagging breast and traces of pubic hair on her genital. It was the most disturbing (or I might say disgusting) sight of all. There were also some interesting ones ie well preserved foetuses and severed brains with eyeballs intact. Most of the organ donors are old individuals, judging from the persevered heads. Unfortunately, photographs are not allowed otherwise I’ll start snapping pictures. I wanted to take couple of sneak shots and started thinking whether should I. Suddenly, a sudden glimpse of a black shadow appeared on my corner of my eye. I turned and there wasn’t anybody there. I guess it’s a sign for me not to be disrespectful to any of the souls in the room.

Melbourne : Grampians National Park

The trip to Grampians National park was absolutely tiring. I’ve never hiked so much in my life.

We almost missed our bus to Grampians. We were late and I lost the boarding pass but thank god the bus driver allowed us in.

Our bus driver is a kind and intelligent middle aged white man. He gave us information in great details every place we passed (even small little farms!). He has great knowledge of the forest and the history of Australia.

We passed a long stretch of road called Avenue of honour in Ballarat. The road is to commemorate the 3000 soldiers perished in the World War (either 1 or 2, I don’t remember). Each and every soldier who perished is represented with a plat of the soldier’s name and a tree. 3000 might sound like a small amount but once we drove through the 3000 trees in the Avenue of Honour, 3000 is no longer what we consider small. The stretch was endless and it took us a while to go through the avenue. War is really devastating. It is the old man who wage the war but it is the young man who fights the war.

Our first stop was Hall’s Gap. It’s a small serene little town located on the foothill of the Grampians.

We stopped for a quick lunch. The bus brought us to this small little shop which serves simple but really expensive food. Melody and I had a quick bite and took a stroll around the park. We bumped into a group of wild kangaroos in a small field. The field was filled with kangaroo dung.

I set up my tripod quickly and took a picture of the kangaroos and us with the Grampians as the background.

After half an hour of driving upwards to Grampians, we arrived in the balconies. From the balconies, a picturesque view of Victoria valley, with flat green luscious trees on the bottom stretching endlessly only ended by the mountains.

Melody and I ventured on our own, within the rocky cliffs of the balconies. It was fun and exciting but a small little mistake could send us down towards the bottom of the mountain. But the beauty of the place made me forget my fear of heights.
Our own little venture is much fun than those provided. We braved through trees and high rocks rather than walking on the man made path.

Our next stop was Mackenzie falls. Our kind bus driver offered everyone billy tea, biscuits, lamingtons and vegemite. Billy tea is some sort of tea but it’s specialty lies on its process of making it. Nothing special actually, it’s just boiling the tea on a tin can (but it tasted good). We sat down in a small field with kookaburras, crows and a kangaroos around us.

Most of the people were amused with the kangaroo and kept on feeding it but the poor crows scavenged on the leftovers. Our bus driver told us that we could choose a few locations to go in Mackenzie fall, either to the base of Mackenzie fall or the outlook of Mackenzie fall. However, according to our bus driver, anyone with a heart problem or unfit are not advised to go to the 1.75km walk to the base of the waterfall. Melody and I, with great confidence, decided to go for the base. The trip down was easy and quick but the trip wasn’t rewarding. The water seems bubbly and dirty. We took couple of photos and headed straight back to the bus.

The trip back was hell. We were late for the bus’s departure time and we had to rush up. We almost die of exhaustion.

The bus drive gave us a brief summary of Vegemite. When it was first released (not under the name of Vegemite), nobody liked it. The company decided to change its name and it had a public competition for a new name. A 12 year old girl suggested the name vegemite because of its vegetable extracts and the similarity to marmite. Furthermore, according to our bus driver, during World War I, Vegemite saved hundreds of life. The Australian government provided Vegemite to the Red Cross to deliver to Aussie prisoners of war. Due to the fact that vegemite has the highest vitamin B than any other food, many of the prisoners were saved from malnourishment.

Our last stop was Zumsteins Park, a kangaroo park. According to our bus driver, when the park first opened, there wasn’t much kangaroos. The owner then tried feeding the kangaroos and soon, the park was populated with them. However, years later, the government declared the Grampians as a national park whereby it prohibited the feeding of kangaroos. Soon, many of the kangaroos left but few stayed behind. And a few kangaroos are what we saw in Zumsteins Park.

Our bus driver decided to drive along a ranch to cover up the disappointment most people have on the kangaroo sighting (I don’t know why people wanted to see them so much, kangaroos are regarded as pest in Aussie). And this time, we saw loads of kangaroos and sheep and even emus! Kangaroo and Emus are featured in the Australian coat of arms. But why roos and emus? According to our bus drive again, it’s because both of this creatures are not so physically capable of taking a step backward. This symbolises the attitude of the Australians, always a step forward, not backwards.

Kangaroos have a very short period of pregnancy. The baby kangaroo is born within 36 days of conception (to be precise, the baby kangaroo climbs out from the mother’s womb to the mother’s pouch). The new born baby is only a size of a jelly bean; blind; furless and it’s journey to the pouch is guided by instinct.

We had dinner at a hotel called Commercial Hotel in Ararat before heading home. Their carbonara sucks big time.

3 hours later, we’re back in the city. We thanked our bus driver for the great time and the information. He replied “excellent!”

I watched “A Wedding in Ramallah”. The movie is based on real life action. It’s about a Palestinian man’s arrange marriage in Israel and how the marriage went. It also shows the brutality of the Jewish soldiers against the Palestinians. There was once a tank shot an apartment along with all it’s inhabitants inside. They even showed Jewish soldiers shooting kids on the streets!

Fights in Russell St. arcade are common and I almost got myself involved today. An Asian guy challenged me in a game of King Of Fighters 98. I beat the guy 6 times in a row and he started to get pissed. Soon, he started banging the buttons and on the last match, he stopped and stared at me. I stared back and went like “uh oh?” I was beginning to fear for my life, who knows what if the guy pulls out a gun. My years of martial art training would be down the drain! However, he stood up and left. *phew* thank god. One of my arcade friends came few minutes after that. I asked him whether is it common for people to fight when they lost numerous matches. My friend replied with “oh no, he wasn’t pissed because he lost, it’s because you played cheat. In this arcade, you’re not supposed to catch the opponent (one of the common moves in King Of Fighters), it’s considered cheating”. geee.. Back in Kuala Lumpur, everyone used that method and no one complained about it. No wonder sometimes I get my opponents banging their buttons hardly.

Melbourne 14

I went to Wei Chen’s place today. His friend and him shared a huge house together and linked all their computers together. They even had a small little network neighbourhood. They have unlimited supply of anime, songs, movies and obviously porn! (There are about 3 guys in the house) I brought my laptop over to copy some anime and movies. Damn, I cant wait till I move to my new place in Sheffield where 8 of my friends and I are staying together. We’re gonna have a huge network!
11:18PMBen hai is an ass

Melbourne 12

I’ve been busy this couple of days. That explains the lack of materials in my updates.

I’m going for a one day trip to Grampians National Park tomorrow. It’s a lofty mountain zone that rises steeply from the flat expanse of Victoria’s west. Surrounding the park is a land rich in attractions. Throughout the Grampians region there are heritage towns and villages, award-winning wineries, rivers just right for fishing and boating, ancient volcanoes, contemporary cafes and restaurants, splendid art galleries, superb state and national parks, enthralling wildlife, graceful botanic gardens and timeworn goldmining towns (yada yada, I copied this shit from somewhere). The trip would start at 8:45AM till 9:15PM. Initially, Melody and I were planning to stay overnight but it seems that the tour agency doesn’t provide any transport back on Sunday. They could only fetch us back on Monday. However, according to them, the Monday bus service isn’t guaranteed. If they couldn’t get anyone to go Grampians on Monday then the bus wouldn’t be coming to Grampians and we will be stranded in Grampians till the next Friday!
11:33PMMelbourne is not a safe place even though the presence of the police is in every corner. Every time I hang out in Russell St’s arcade, I get worried. The street is famous for it’s drugs, gangsters, mugging and even shooting. Vietnamese are well known for their notoriety. Never ever try to ogle with Vietnamese girls otherwise the next time you’ll know is that a group of Viet guys trying to beat you up. Sharon’s cousin had the same experience but the group spared him. He gave his wallet and his phone to them. Poor guy, all because of a Vietnamese girl who liked him.

Not so far away, few blocks away from Russell St, there’s this place called Lygon Street. It’s famous for fabulous Italian food. The whole street is literally filled with Italian restaurant. However, every shops in this street is linked to the Italian mafia. Italians made up one of the largest migrants in Melbourne and obviously, the presence of mafias are always there. According to the taxi driver who I spoke to last week, the mafias in Melbourne aren’t so violent anymore. They prefer to make money, drive big cars and enjoy life.

Melbourne 10

My relationship with Melody’s housemate is getting worst. We had dinner together just now and she refused to talk or greet me. She even criticized my all time favourite show, The Simpsons by saying it is stupid, ignorant etc. Obviously, I do respect her view on The Simpsons but she doesn’t need to say it when I’m watching it! Furthermore, she changed the channel as Simpsons was about to start!

Before my arrival to Australia, she told Melody that I have to move out on my 2nd week during my 3 weeks stay (which apparently didn’t happen after some discussion). She complained that I don’t take the initiative to get know her during my previous stay here (obviously I wont, I didn’t like her from the start). And then she started finding faults in me and sometimes just things that Melody and I don’t even notice. godamnit, I still have to face her wrath for few more weeks.