Crossing the line

Workplace romance is a common sight. Afterall, you devote most of your waking hours to work. You see the same old people everyday. It’s really hard not to know their likes, dislikes, food preferences and even details of their personal lives with the daily interactions.

I met the hub at work too. So many years ago that I have lost count. It’s definitely so much easier to date someone who has the same schedule. Plus you know that cliché 日久生情. 🙄

Then there’s also the more scandalous relationships where one or more party are married. I heard stories of couples beating the odds of time constraints to have trysts during daylight hours just so their partner wouldn’t notice their absences. The hub often shares the 暧昧 stuff his colleagues did. I have also heard stories about stuff happening at my workplace too. People see. People talk. Even when you thought you had undertaken all measures to be discreet.

Do you believe in platonic relationships? I do. But are there boundaries one shouldn’t cross? Definitely. What are some of these boundaries? When is it considered too much? What will you share with your colleagues whom you call a friend? How far will you go out of your way to be nice to them? Just how far will you go for these people?

What prompted these people who may already be in a relationship or marriage to cross the line? Have they considered the things that they may lose? Reputation? Family? Career? Is it worth losing it all? What was the trigger? That pumping adrenalin knowing you had tasted the forbidden fruit, the thrills of successfully hiding the affair from your spouse(s) or just simply cuz they feel that they have got nothing to lose/that they can beat the odds? #yolo Could it be that their better half was too blissful to disregard all the signs?

They say that love is blind. I doubt so. One went into a relationship with their eyes wide open. So choose your partner wisely. Indiscretions destroy the sanctimonious nature of marriage. You wouldn’t want to be part of this unfortunate statistic right? 🤷🏻‍♀️

What do you think? Any scandalous stories to share?

Subiaco Farmer’s market

We started Saturday at Subiaco Farmer’s market which was a 5 minutes’ walk from our AirBnB apartment. The stalls are set up on the grounds of the Subiaco Primary School and rotated on alternate weeks. While you can expect to pay an arm and leg for the stuff here (okay, granted our pasar malam also not cheap) the food stuff is surprisingly good.

There are stalls that sell plants, fresh produce like fruit and veggies (expect a snaking queue and lots of local patronized this store), pickled onions, macadamia nuts, soup and plenty of hot food.

Saw this and messaged my favourite person in school who happened to be molesting some animals in Gold Coast

Little boys on the field while there’s also a ballet class nearby

We love the beef sausage too

Ez had not been eating well at this point of the trip and so when he saw people eating ‘prata’ (a wrap with egg benedict and stuff) and wanted it, we bought it for him. A plain one with cheese cost $9aud while that of bacon, eggs and whatsnot cost $13aud. But what the boy wants, whatever the boy gets. If he only wanted to eat plain prata, plain prata it was. Then he wanted mushroom soup and it’s really good so no regrets paying $20aud for 2 small jars.

Spanish Tortilla

There’s also a petting pen for the kids to get into close contact with the farm animals. But you have to pay to get in. I think it’s $6aud per kid but I can’t be sure. There’s a few hungry sheep, ducks, chicken and rabbits.

Do check this out if you happen to be in the area. All in all, Subiaco is not a bad area to stay in as there’s Woolsworth, Coles, Target, lots of restaurants and also this Farmer’s market that’s open every Saturday so you should definitely keep this area in mind.

Fire Safety Education Centre and Museum

We spent a couple of hours at this ex fire station turned museum. One can expect to see the mundane stuff we see in a fire station in Singapore. There’s a display of the fire trucks, new and old, the gears such as the water hoses and their parts, helmets and fire fighting jackets. There’s also a rack of ‘uniforms’ the kids can put on and lots of helmets for the little ones. While most of the fire engines are “do not touch”, they do have one specially for the little ones to climb up. The experience comes complete with buttons to press and switches to flip.

Then that’s where the similarities ended. While the ones we can visit every Saturday in Singapore are fully operational, this is not. I am quite impressed with the exhibition on level 2. By the way, this museum is wheel chair accessible as there’s a lift. There’s also toilets and a diaper changing table.

While we are fortunate enough not to have to worry about bush fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and even earthquakes, this also translates to being inadequately prepared for the elements when we are on holidays overseas. The exhibits are big on information and yet not boring. The hub stayed with the kids while I had a quick walk around. Words and kids don’t go too well.

But fear not, there’s a kids corner to keep them occupied. There’s lots of colouring pages of assorted fire-fighting related theme, colouring materials, puzzles and even toy fire trucks to keep the little ones entertained.

This museum is only opened on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm.

Here’s the address.

Fire Safety Education Centre and Museum (Central Fire Station)

25 Murray St,

Perth WA 6000,

Australia

What we missed in Margaret River

Due to time constraint and also partly cuz we couldn’t be bothered, we left 3 interesting activities unexplored. You would have realized that we skipped the cave explorations, the Tuart forest and also the lighthouses.

Prior to the trip, these were on my agenda. However, 4D3N in Margaret River ain’t enough and we decided to cut the caves off because we didn’t like stairs and there’s lots of steps through the caves. The thought of babywearing the kids while struggling with stairs ain’t too appealing. Plus caves are echo-y and Ez is going through this shouting phase where he deliberately make weird noises just to hear echoes. Stopping him is beyond my control. So for everyone’s sanity, we sacrifice.

There’s 4 different caves to explore and 2 lighthouses.

Ngilgi Cave: pronounced as neelgee. There’s a semi-guided tour that takes about an hour and then you get to roam on your own. You will learn more about the Australian Aboriginal mythology from the visit. (Sounds like something the kids can’t appreciate. Yet.)

Mammoth cave: A limestone cave that’s within the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park featuring fossils of extinct animals (jawbones of marsupial species!). Initial tours were conducted by lamplights until 1904! Can’t imagine the tourists then being able to see much. Wheelchair accessible for part of the tour. Free for children under 4 years old.

Lake cave: This is my favourite and I really wanted to have a look. What deterred us?! The 325 steps each way! Goodness! I don’t think I’m fit enough to do this anymore. Expect to see a breathtaking lake that reflects the formations, a suspended table that weights tonnes and also stalactites as one descend through a sunken Karri forest. Nice. Not suitable for young kids as you are supposed to be quiet in order to listen to the dripping sound. Try telling the kids this.

Jewel Cave: The largest show cave in Western Australia with a depth of 42m. This cave contains one of the longest straw stalactites at 5.43m. Not much of a geography student so the formation of this cave eludes me. Sand cemented together to form limestone by the action of rainwater. Interesting. One is also expected to stick to the group the entire duration. But again, I doubt Ez and Lè meimei are interested in listening about sand and rainwater.

Two iconic lighthouses marked the start and finish of the cape to cape track in Margaret River.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is situated at the most south-westerly tip of Australia where the Indian Ocean meets their Southern counterpart. One must climb up 176 narrow and winding steps to get a view of the seascape. However, children under 4 years old are not permitted on the tour.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is thus more suitable for families with little kids like ours because there’s only 59 steps to the top. There’s also a new observation platform where you can enjoy the coastal landscape.

Tuart Forest National Park has the last remaining Tuart forest in the world. These trees only grow on coastal limestone. I would love to check this out but somehow I doubt Ez and Lè meimei would be impressed by them. Coupled with the bad weather and the lack of time, we gave this amazing piece of nature a miss too.

So many places to go, so little time. Perhaps the reason why it’s cool to bring little children overseas is just so that we can have an excuse to double back just so we get to complete what we missed. Looks like we are coming back to Margaret River again. Maybe not in the near future but WE WILL BE BACK!

AirBnB at Subiaco

Our return to the city took slightly more than 3h despite driving non stop as we came back towards town during the peak hour. It took awhile to get through the traffic lights.

The AirBnB host, Kylie, wanted to meet us at the apartment but because we were going to be quite late, she left the key in the letterbox and gave very precise instructions to retrieve it.

The unit is right next to the lift on level 2. This 2 storey apartment comes with a designated secured parking lot in the basement.

My three loves

Tired Ez on the enormous couch

Tired Ez and Lè meimei even though they slept through most of the 3h drive

Washing machine and dryer

The second floor is where both bedrooms and bathrooms are. Despite my misgiving about the stairs, it turned out alright. Lè meimei managed to master the arts of stairs climbing (up) in our presence. She could pull herself up step by step by holding the railings with both hands (walking sideways).

The host has a boy so her house is pretty kids friendly. Ez loved his room partly because of the double decker bed and mostly because his toilet had adjoining doors again. It can open out to his room and also to the corridor. He loves such an arrangement. The owner has left us some children’s books and toys. We didn’t touch the toys but read the kids quite a few stories. I read some of the books myself. 2 of them about Minecraft zombies (yeah I’m a voracious reader) and another of Roald Dahl’s Boy (nice one).

The apartment is situated right between lots of restaurants and eateries. There’s also a KFC and Hungry Jacks (Burger King) right around the corner. Baskin Robbins is just next to KFC. Less than 5 minutes’ drive away, you can find a Coles which has a Target in the same building as well as a Woolsworth. Usually parking is free for the first 3 hour. Remember to get a ticket and display

Fussy Ez hadn’t been eating well. He wanted rice. Hard to find that in Margaret River but fear not, there’s quite a few eateries that sell rice and noodles (not spaghetti) in Subiaco. Bibik Chan, Rice Baby, 2 other Japanese eateries are just right round the corner.

There’s a free bus that will bring you to the city and there’s also a Subiaco train station. Since we were driving, we didn’t explore them. But you can probably check in with the host to find out more. About 10 minutes away by foot is the Subiaco Primary School where the venue is used for the Subi Farmer’s Market every Saturday. Do check it out if you happened to be in the area.

Here’s the link to her listing.

Margaret River Chocolate Factory

We spent a stormy morning hanging out at the chocolate factory. After touring the Ishiya Chocolate factory in Hokkaido, this one looked very very small and very uninteresting.

Though touted by many bloggers that chocolate lovers can try out unlimited chocolates, in reality, there’s only 3 types of chocolate buttons. White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. They did have 1 huge bowl each. Lè meimei and Ez loved them. And we made the mistake of giving them chocolate samples the moment we entered. So we had 2 sugar overloaded kids by the time we had our breakfast served at the cafe. Don’t make the same mistake as us.

$2 each

Sugar fueled weirdness

We ended up spending about $100 on chocolates and cocoa drinks and about $80 at the cafe. The fish and chips ain’t too shady but the Waygu burger was a tad too salty. I had the mint chocolate milkshake and my suggestion is to skip that. Can’t taste the mint and it’s pretty diluted.

Then we bid the chocolate paradise farewell. Pockets pretty emptied and a shopping bag that ain’t too full.

Whale watching @ Augusta

Augusta is about an hour’s drive from our accommodation. Previously, the hub had arranged for the tour to be on Thursday but because of the storm alert, it was cancelled. That day, it rained cats and dogs (and that’s an understatement actually). Trees were uprooted and roads were closed due to ‘ponding’. During this period of thunderstorms which brought us lots of rain, even the ferries to Rottnest Island were canceled.

We decided to try our luck at rescheduling the whale watching to Friday, the day we had to drive back to Perth City. We drove there with all our luggage. Heard lots of horror stories about carsthat got broken into for mere tissue paper so we were quite apprehensive about leaving our bags there. The hub used the Doona travel bag to ‘cover’ our luggage. Theoretically, the first thunderstorm had past and the next one was only due on Saturday so we thought it would be alright to proceed. We thought wrong! Haha.

During our one hour drive down to Augusta, it was raining intermittently. Not thunderstorms but more like an intense drizzle. Wind speed was alright too. The trees weren’t bending over like the previous day. However, when we got to the boat, it was pouring.

The boat ain’t those open air kind. There’s 2 levels with sheltered seats. You don’t have to pay extra to sit next to the skipper. There were 2 other families. One from Aussie and the other family from Malaysia. The Daddy from the Malaysian family got sick too and he retired to the lower deck midway.

Grey skies

Our handsome captain

Cheeky – motion sickness hadn’t kicked in

We got Lè meimei this gray jacket from Target. Very thick and very warm. Only $15! What a steal!

Back to the whales.

The season for whale watching in Augusta begins in June and ends in August. After that, you will depart at Busselton Jetty from September onwards to catch a glimpse of the whales. Each session is about 2 hours and they more or less guaranteed that you will see a whale or two. If you are really unlucky, they will give you a DVD with photos FOC. The package also includes biscuits and tea. There’s 2 departure timing, one at 10am and the other at 2pm. Bring along a jacket and no high heels please.

There were only a couple of boats out at sea. Initially, the waves were still manageable. Ez and Lè meimei could still stagger around cheekily. Then once the boat ventured further from shore, the kids began to get quieter and paler. The skipper (aka the captain) communicated regularly with the other skippers on alleged sightings then they would close in. We had quite a few false starts and kept changing directions which made us even more queasy.

Ez started complaining of a tummyache. Then he got crankier. He insisted on heading back but we barely started our ride. Then Lè meimei stopped saying “Wah” to everything and instead started making retching sounds. Poor her. She absolutely had no idea what’s happening. She just clung onto me and told me by pulling on my Tula to indicate she wanted to get in. I started feeling sick too. I blamed it on the 2 ice cream I had in the car. That ice cream promised us a gay time but obviously it’s not so wise to eat them when one’s heading out to a choppy sea.

Not having much of a gay time cuz ice cream and choppy sea don’t go well.

The guide saw us struggling and offered us a puke bag. Thank god for that cuz I puked the ice cream out in no time. Then the hub got sick too. Poor him. He only had an ice cream but he puked way more than me. He grabbed my puke bag and proceeded to puke his guts out. He puked so much that he filled the puke bag. 🤢🤮😰

The above were some of the photos captured by our guide using my iPhone. Because by the time we saw the whales, the sea was really choppy and we had to hang onto the railings to keep us from being flung off our seats. Of course by this time, the hub was so sick that I had to hold onto both kids so it was impossible to get any shot. We just wanted to get back to shore.

Such a miserable experience.

If you think you have sea legs, you should experience it yourself. Book your tour here.

Ez emerged champion because even though he was crying and complaining so much, he didn’t puke. This little guy is not bad at all. Really. Cuz he ate half my ice cream and he only ended up with a queasy tummy. Lè meimei fell asleep and only woke up to puke after we left the boat.

After our puking stint, everyone was hungry and we went to have some fish and chips. It was really good and everyone passing through Augusta should try it. Much better than the ones we had later on at Cicerello.

The average wait was about an hour. You could call ahead and order in advance. This place has baby chairs though not too many and comes with FOC chilli and ketchup (in case you wanna BYOS). Here’s the website. Check the opening hours before you head out to avoid disappointment.

Lè meimei became a chips-eating machine on this trip.

And with a full tummy, we wrapped up our Margaret River experience.

Onwards to Perth City.