Sophie


After almost 12 hours in the air, I finally landed in LA. Watching the sunrise was incredible, and there were these two islands off the coast of LA that I feel I need to know more about. After leaving Brisbane at 11am on Wednesday, I arrived in California 12 hours later at 7am on Wednesday. See kids, time-travel is possible, its just not as fun as TV makes it out to be.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Natventure: En route


So the trip to worlds has begun, but not the fun bit. Actually doesn’t feel real yet, not helped by the epic plane ride that comes with competing over the other side of the world. Its not as small as people lead you to believe.
Continue reading

Animated Natventure


Here’s a better look at me animating my natventure.
Only a few more days til I leave, so watch this space for updates ūüôā

The Malaysia Diaries Episode 4: Pet Shops are Depressing


 

First and foremost. Apologies that Uni and Training related priorities meant that blogging had to take some time on the bench. And I was giving WordPress the silent treatment after it continued to eat my blogs instead of publishing them.

I’m sure you all missed me dearly.¬†

So lets head back to February 2012, when I was still in the land of cheap stationary, delicious food, and minimal weight gain due to maximum humidity. 

I Inspected myself upon awakening after 3 days of eating my weight in food to find that I am yet to gain a kilo…WIN…unless the mirrors here are chronic liars…

On the cards for today is more eating…and more shopping. I am impressed that there are so many quality malls so close to each other. Back home, malls are easily a 45 minute drive (minus traffic) away from each other. On todays menu, Roti. Not this¬†Rotti.¬†This¬†Roti. Think like a plain naan bread, that you dip in assorted delicious…all for around $1 AUD. Today I discovered that banana flavoured Roti, tastes insane good when dipped in some unknown fish delicious paste that appears to be John West style tinned tuna thats been mashed in a food processor. Trust me, my description does not do it justice…it was actual good. I was also intrigued by the cafe decor. There were portraits of this couple all over the place. Turns out they were the king and queen. I said to my friend//tour guide, “Can you imagine walking into a cafe back home, and seeing a giant photo of¬†J Gill¬†and ¬†Queen Liz¬†on the wall, with¬†Quentin Bryce¬†thrown in for good measure?” to which she replied,

“I’d just walk out.”

THREADING.

It was during a visit to the local shopping centre that I first experienced threading. I had never…ever heard of it in my life, but my friend assured me that it would make my eyebrows look all perdy like. Just a bit of background. I haven’t let another human near my eyebrows since this chick at Pure Indulgence mangled them just before the school formal. Apparently she appreciate ‘lump & line‘ brows…I did not agree with her. I figured it was time to learn to trust again..

So, I get taken through to the back room, and even though everyone over here speaks English, I’m still struggling to understand the locals. I need to get out more. So yeah, this beauty therapist talks to me and asks me questions and I’m literally just like. uh-huh. yep. natural look thx…While my brain is like WTFFFF.

So then we get down to business,¬†threading¬†is like, ninja weaving this piece of thread around your fingers and using it to pluck or shave or something the hairs off your face. It felt kinda like a mix of the two. But. It hurts a lot less than waxing where you have to endure the double owwie of having hot wax poured on you…then having your skin ripped off.

When all was done. I was legit impressed. Minimal redness, and she didn’t mess up the natural shape, I once again had manicured brows, and it cost me a whole lot less than it would back home.

 

After an afternoon nap and a magnificent haul of cheap clothes and toiletries, we headed off to one last family dinner. We went to this amazing lakeside restaurant as my friends Dad flies out tomorrow and she heads back to Australia a few days later. The place we ate at was called steamboat and holy damn. If there is one of these in Brisbane…or even Australia…I need to be notified immediately. Essentially you sit down and are brought out plates of raw meat, dried noodles and other assorted deliciouses. In front of each of you is a pot of boiling stock (we got chicken), and its like, DIY food. You throw in any combination of the food in front of you, and when it floats to the top, its good to go. Genius. New food fave. Golden mushrooms. Yay for being a grown up and learning to love veggies.

After dinner we wandered over to the nearby pet store to take a look at the adorable pets. I got to see my first ever hamster, which was not only delightful but also a prime example of how sheltered and unworldly my upbringing has been. For anyone else out there who has never seen an actual live hamster, they’re like, rats without tails, and they stand on their back legs like¬†Meercats¬†and bounce around like¬†Hamtaro¬†(who funnily enough IS a Hamster). I also got to see adorable kitties and puppies and¬†pigly‘s, but with every pet store (Australia included) the longer you stay there, the more you notice and the sadder you get.

There was this adorable little Sheltie looking pup who was so playful and quite enjoyed bouncing around in his cage and chasing my fingers as i stuck them through the bars. But his cage was so little and he hardly had any room to bounce and play. Behing his was a glass cage with a mere 3 guinea pigs. Although. Having said that, a good clean out of their cage wouldn’t have done any harm. The poor little piglies were walking around in a sea of poops.

Next I visited the Kitties. When I was a little girl I wanted a ginger kitty more than anything and I wanted to call him Jess after¬†Postman Pats Cat¬†(I am aware that Postman Pats Cat was indeed black and white…but I wanted a ranga kitty). Mum couldn’t find one, so we adopted quite possibly the grumpiest tabby from the RSPCA and I loved him so much that he ran away from me twice. Nearly 20 years later, at this store, there was not one, but three ginger kitties. My inner child died with excitement. Until I saw the conditions the kitties were in. Once again the cages were pretty small, but the kitties were so friendly. I looked a little closer and noticed that one of the kitties had super scabby ears, as I tickled his fur through the bars, I could feel the rest of his poor skin was dry and crusty too. Even the other Kitty was getting a bit of skin crust growing on his ears. I wanted so badly to take them both home and get them treatment, but there is no way I could have afforded two cats, and then been able to get the two diseased cats past Australian “Fort Knox” quarantine and back to my house.

I decided to catch up with the other guys who had moved to the back of the store. They were hanging around this Golden Retriever who was already too big for her cage and was unable to stand up anymore. As I stroked her head she looked up at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life, longing to get out of that cage and come back to my home, wherever that may be.

I like many other visitors had to say goodbye and leave her and the other pets behind. On the way out I grabbed all the change I could find and donated it all the the SPCA donation box near the door, which realistically is all I could do. As we walked back to the car i daydreamed of one day owning my own house and saving all the pets and letting them live with me in my big happy pet house.

Serious point. If you are looking to get a new pet. Don’t get one from a pet store. Unless its a little pet like a Guinea Pig or a Rat. If you want a cat or a dog, go to a breeder or adopt from a shelter.

Luckily dessert helped me take my mind off the poor pets. We had these awesome Snow Mountain looking Fruity Deliciousnesses. Its like, a pile of crushed ice, coated in sugary sauce of fruity awesome. I tried to ignore that the guy making it was using his bare hands to handle my ice, and the fact that he wasn’t wearing shoes, and the fact that my GP had sternly warned me to avoid tap water and ice while in South East Asia. I also chose to ignore that my GP is from India and knows a little something about undrinkable water. Thats why I’ve been taking self-prescribed anti-gastro travelling pills right?

Oh well, hospital cover is included in my travel insurance policy so I’ll be fine…..right?

MALAYSIA DIARIES. Episode 2: A Chinese Wedding.


Its my first day here in the house and already there’s been comments on my excessive sleeping. They ain’t seen nothing yet. Personally I am quite impressed with my slothing abilities, and if anything, others should be inspired by the example I am setting. Today we headed to the wedding of my friends boyfriends friends friends friends friends friends. Jokes, they’re close. We headed out into the suburbs of KL to the Brides residence, where the groom && his peeps have to pass a series of tests && get past the bridesmaids && the father of the bride.¬† In the end the guy gets the girl, happy happy joy joy, lots of food for everyone. Their initial offering was a giant roast pig, glistening in its deliciousness. My friend and I watched on as the boys ate weird stuff, danced to ‘sexy and I know it’, promised the Bride the world, and emptied their pockets for the Father of the Bride. In turn, I was being watched with varying degrees of judgment for being the only uninvited overdressed white girl at the house. Apparently that’s what you get for being a blonde western chick in the suburbs. Once you say hi, everyone is perfectly warm and welcoming, strangers walking down the street continue to judge though. In all honesty I’m not that used to having judgment rained down on me, quite often I find that I’m the one passing judgment which really suits me perfectly fine. Randoms throwing chat to each other about you in languages you don’t understand is also pretty interesting. But I maintain that they were just conversing about how awesome I am.

There are several things about a Chinese Wedding I like the sound of. Not only do I enjoy the idea of scoring mass bribes from the groomsmen (although in all honesty I think the Dad just kept the money…which would sit pretty well with my step-dad, mum would just return the money. bless), but I also love that the groom and his entourage bring with them an epic delicious entire roast pig. Like an actual whole pig. It had the most delicious crackling//skin ever. *drools*. I was also pretty stoked to experience my first “home cooked meal”. Even though my every move was being watched and judged as the other guests tried to figure out why I was there, I was provided with food, chrysanthemum tea (awesomely good), pig, food, tea, food, tea..and so on.

On the way home I spotted yet another baby wedged between its parents on the back of a motorcycle…yet to get a pic…but I will. Apparently several families can’t afford cars && their only mode of transport is motorcycles, which is fair enough, but god so dangerous. Especially since no-one wears more than a helmet. It kinda made me feel lucky to live in a country where we have a minimum wage and a government that gives some assistance, even if the cost of living and god forbid parking in Australia is ridonk.

After another mall trip and a cat nap (I told you I sleep a lot), it was time again to fix my face and head to…you guessed it…another mall. Malaysia is all about shopping, and which mall is bigger and better and shinier than the others, so each one is a different adventure and trying not to get lost is a challenge. My friends were heading to the wedding dinner, so I headed to play at KLCC until the afterparty.

Once again I played the role of overdressed white girl as I explored the infamous mall located at the bottom of the beautiful twin towers. I discovered many things, such as paid restrooms (not that much better…but drier…and they do give you free towelettes). I observed that Malaysian malls have plenty of food && classy clothing stores, but hardly any newsagents, drug stores, and dirt cheap ‘cut the labels off’ clother like Ice && Supre. I eventually did find a Chemist, and yes I’m about to go into information overload, but for whatever reason, there are next to no tampons and aisle after aisle of lady pads and even full brief nappy type things. As someone who doesn’t live in the middle ages, and values comfort and lack of tell tale scent, I don’t understand this. Please explain.

Oh and for a country where everyone speaks English, I may or may not have had some difficulty ordering food. Apparently “Bottle of water” sounds an awful lot like “bolognaise”, and so I was stuck with more meals than I wanted to eat while in public. I tried to explain this to the cashier…but to no avail. We regressed into using hand signals and I eventually ended up having to talk to the manager//supervisor cause she had no clue what was going on. He did throw in a waffle, so in the end. WIN.

10 pm finally arrived, shops closed, and I power walked back to the dinner and avoided eye contact with EVERYONE. Dinner wasn’t quite finished, but there was a spare table so I managed to score a last minute ¬†dessert invite. Apparently its Chinese tradition to ‘out cheers’ each other by making as much noise as humanly possible when its your tables turn to congratulate the happy couple. Another tradition. Scotch. Lots and lots of scotch.¬†¬†Affectionally referred to as Chinese tea. I have never seen so much Johnny green in my life, and especially not being skulled rather than savoured. I also learnt how to say “yo mamma” in chinese. A;; in all…good night.

MALAYSIA DIARIES. Episode 1 : The Adventure Begins


The last few weeks have been boring. Completely mundane and exhausting. I apologise to everyone for anything and everything I have force written in the past few weeks cause I guarantee it was relatively terrible. Entirely because I’ve been feeling pretty terrible. The only interesting stuff has been breaking through walls and break downs at training (which to anyone outside of the cheer realm essentially has no meaning) and that guy that crapped the floor in the change rooms at work (which although I wasn’t there for, I sure laughed at A LOT when I heard about it). Apparently all work, no sleep and no play turn Natalie into an emotionally volatile mess…and are a substantial contributing factor to my recent epic face plants and head stacks. A human mess that sweats as much as it cries, rarely has time to eat and or sleep, has semi-formed and yet melodramatic actual human feelings about things, and packs in && breaks down every 2 days. Cyborg Nat worked and trained and worked and trained until she could do no more, and so, she jumped on a plane and flew to Malaysia.

Observation 1: Plane sleep does not equal real sleep.

Upon learning that my flight would take 8 hours my first thought was SLEEP. I had fond memories of the plane ride home from NZ last year when I continues to fall asleep during Megamind && took me the whole trip to watch it in its entirety. The seat reclined, mamma donated her in flight meals, and life was sweet. On my KL flight, I was fortunate enough to get the non-reclining seat && so I looked on with intense jealousy at my fellow passengers who were able to recline at an angle greater than 90 degrees, and as such, sleep without dribbling all over themselves. Of course my travel pillow was not really any help, yes it was smooshy and amazing, but it pushed my head even further forward and substantially increased the saliva flow, causing me to continually wake up mid-dribble and hope that no-one had seen me. On the upside, my constant awakening led me to not find myself in an epic pool of my own saliva, which is something that happens far too often when I crash out.

Eventually we landed in Malaysia. All in all the flight wasn’t too bad, no babies, semi-attractive man meat littered throughout the plane && no salmonella from the interestingly unfresh looking airline food. My first thought “OMG THEY HAVE GIANT MENTOS TUBES HERE!!!!!!”, swiftly followed by “Damn there’s a lot of palm trees here.” I jumped in the cab and took my first looks at this land where palm trees outnumber people, indicators are fast becoming obsolete, unnecessary seat belt use if riding behind shotgun, babies on motorbikes, reversing sensors, and¬†FOOD. Oh so much food; Western food, Asian food, desserts, fast food restaurants, coffee shops.¬†EVERYTHINGG!!!. And all oh so inexpensive. Naturally my first question was “If there’s so much food && its all so beautifully priced, why is everyone so skinny??” Apparently the heat and humidity mean that everyone sweats out all the calories that they consume. I maintain that there MUST be something in the water cause I come from Queensland where it is hot && humid as a mother and we have enormously fat and sweaty people all over the place. Maybe if they turned off the aircon in KFry, Mickey Dees, and the Queen street food court Australia wouldn’t be the fattest nation anymore. Or.. undeterred by the heat, fatties would continue gorging on junk and we would become the fattest and the stankiest nation as all the skinny decent smelling people would GTFO. Not that I’m really in a position to judge the fatties considering my plans for the week include a healthy routine of sleeping, eating, and more sleeping, followed by a potential shock on the scales when I get home.

Who am I kidding, I’ve earnt my right to pass judgement on those who don’t love themselves enough to take care of their bodies, and as such, learn from their example and NEVER treat myself like junk.

So after a half day of eating, shopping, exploring and being introduced to new friends who are so kind as to show me around and let me crash under their roof thanks to my dear cheer friend, I crashed….and hard.

becomingjuliet;

An actress' guide to love, life and making it BIG in an even bigger world.

The PageantFile

Ever Upward in Pageantry