February 2013

It is now 11:10 am – so, good morning everyone!  🙂

Iris decided not to go to school today as she had sniffles and a little bit of cough – which I think is not severe enough for her not to attend school.  Can it be she purposely making them up so that she doesn’t have to go to school?  If the reason is latter, then there must be some reasons behind it.  It is important for a child to know that he/she must always tell the truth and to tell the truth.  We can gain a child’s confidence by listening to what he/she has to say, digest the information and respond to them.  Kids appreciate it when we listen.  Most importantly, we shouldn’t brush away what he/she said at the first instance or telling them that they are making up stories.

So, I asked why she refused to go to school and she responded with a sniffle and one or two coughs – they sounded genuine but like I said, I think they were not serious for her to miss school today.  Again, I asked her if anything unpleasant took place when she was at school yesterday?  Barulah kawan buka cerita…  Apparently one of her friends was coughing at school yesterday and he was informed by the teacher that he shouldn’t be at school if he is unwell.  I don’t know the severity of his cough.  Probably it was bad that the teacher had to advised him.  Upon witnessing the incident, Iris may have computed that “coughing is bad” regardless how severe or mild it is.   Therefore, the though of being “told off” by a teacher (just like what happened to that friend) is not entirely appealing to her.  OK, I’ll give that a pass and monitor her condition later today.  What I know about my daughter is that occasionally she will experience sneezing and slight cough in the morning when it is cold and they disappear by the time it gets warmer.  Coincidentally, it was rather chilly this morning and she was affected.  Maybe.

According to the information booklet provided by the school, parents/guardians will just need to give the school a call if the child couldn’t turn up that day.  No medical certificate is required to attest our claim (if health reasons is given).  We did just that, and found out that several children have called in unwell that day.  Oh. Anyway, her teacher (Rosanna) is looking forward to see her tomorrow and extended her regards to Iris.  🙂  I am happy that we are dealing with very nice and well trained staffs.  No wonder the teachers are well loved by the kids.  And by the parents as well… 

Perhaps the drastic change in the temperature could explain this – we had warmer days (above 35 degrees) for 3 days consecutively (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and on Tuesday (yesterday), it plummeted  to 22 degree!  I guess in the attempt to keep up with the crazy changes in the temperature, the body system experiences some kind of “hiccups” which may explain the coughs and runny nose.

Hmmm, I can see that the sun is out now.  I need to check if Iris’ sniffles and coughs have subsided.  I am pretty sure that she will be fine – but just in case, my inner voice says “Na, go check on her!”   Until the next entry, bye everyone!

Update:  Called home to check on her 5 minutes ago.  She is fine.  The supposedly runny nose has stopped running and the coughs magically disappeared as the temperature escalates.  See, it was the weather after all.  I need to explain to her when I get home later.  Chioaw!


I travel to uni by train.  Since we have decided to reside in a suburb predominantly because of  the more affordable rental, traveling to uni requires more time; about 40 minutes approximately to reach my department at Bouverie Street.  That is an estimation on a good day.  In the event of train service delay, it took nearly an hour, more unhappy faces and more rantings regarding poor train services on MX by the end of the day.  Fyi, MX is a tabloid paper distributed for free to train commuters on weekdays.  🙂  Here’s a sample of the tabloid and the link to its site: http://www.mxnet.com.au/

This is what I am referring to... A must read for many commuters at the end of the day.

This is what I am referring to… A must read for many commuters at the end of the day.

What can I say about my commuting experiences on Metro?  On school holidays, I tend to encounter more unpleasant journeys because of insensitive school kids.  In proportion, you may have a handful of them but their disturbing behaviors can disrupt the whole car.  The worst I have seen was a group burning paper on board.  Laughing out loud like a bunch of mad hyenas, kicking the train door, cursing and playing videos out loud are only the occasional disturbances that I have witnessed thus far.  The more frequent ones are people talking loudly on the phone, playing music on their headphones loud enough for others to hear and “sharing” conversations with the rest of the train.  By default, I will take out my earphones and start listening to my kind of music, strategically to kill the disturbances outside.When I first arrived in Melbourne, I was “amazed” with the commuting behaviors portrayed in this city.  Almost 80% of the commuters will have their earplugs on.  At first, I thought that people just want to submerge in their own space despite how small it is on the train and playing their music is their way to enhance it.  Now, I do believe that some of them are forced to do so (having their earplugs on) just to get by – like myself.

In this postmodern individualistic society, we can’t expect people to address the disturbances directly with the person(s) who cause them.  Some of us choose to attack them as an anonymous.  Sending their rant to the tabloid is the best way to do so.  For this purpose, MX is highly significant.  Oh ya, lately Metro is frequently under fire.  Have a look at the recent rant on MX:

Metro was under fire on yesterday's MX.

Metro was under fire on yesterday’s MX.

Now that school holiday is over, the journeys I counted are significantly more peaceful.  Metro is contemplating to set aside quiet carriages IF the experiment on Vline offers positive results.  Apart from having quiet carriages, lets also set aside carriages for loud insensitive passengers.  They can kill each other with their twisted definition of “freedom of expressions”.  On that note; hey Metro – it’s time that you send plain clothes inspectors on the train to reprimand commuters especially youngsters who turn our journey into riding hell.  If your inspectors can tangkap a quiet commuter like me, it should be peanuts to apprehend those displaying anti-social behaviors openly.

Good afternoon everyone.  It is already Friday, how time flies!!  Tomorrow there will be gotong royong taking place prior to Kampung Vic North Maulidur Rasul celebration scheduled at Belle Vue School on Sunday.  Next Tuesday at 4.30pm is my meeting with Ruth and Kate.  How prepared am I for the meetings?  I often feel that my preparation for the meeting are never enough and I always feel that I should have done more.  OK, let’s move on to our topic today, shall we?

That morning at 9.00am, I was waiting for the train at Glenroy Railway Station.  The service was delayed by 7 minutes and the moment I boarded the train, I realized that the name of the stations announced on the train was a few stations behind.  For example, we reached Pascoe Vale Station but it was announced as Coolaroo (so was the name appeared on the LED display).  Oftentimes, I pay no heed to the error because I can always attest the name of the destinations by surveying the name on the platform every time the train stops.  That morning however, something took place and altered that view.

The train was getting packed by the time we left at Ascot Vale and more passengers boarded the Metro train at Kensington station.  After Kensington, it is North Melbourne and that is my stop.  Of course, during the entire time of the journey, the names of the stations were announced not accordingly.  As the train slowly approaching North Melbourne, I could feel someone pushing her way through and it was an old Vietnamese lady.  She’s small, wearing a straw hat and was pulling a trolley normally used for groceries.  She looked panicky and desperately looking for someone who could understand Vietnamese.  There were two Asians in front of me, a boy and a girl.  She grabbed the hand of the boy and asked if he speaks Vietnamese.  The boy couldn’t understand her so she proceeded to the girl.  I was relieved when the girl started to communicate with her in their mother tongue.

From their conversation, I could gather that the old lady wanted to exit the train at Kensington – and asked the girl how to get to Kensington now that she has missed  the station.  Once we arrived at North Melbourne station, the girl exited with her (although I strongly suspect that it was not her stop).   I could see that she guided  the old lady to the correct platform and I proceeded with my journey.  It is not done until I boarded bus no. 401 that will bring me to the department.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, I often thought that inaccurate announcement or display on commuting train can be pardoned as there is often other approaches that can be used to ensure that we are where we are.  The flaw with that assumption is that it doesn’t include persons who entirely rely on the announcement system to tell them where they are.  Perhaps, the old lady has taught herself to catch one word from the announcement and that one word is “Kensington” – suffice to indicate that it is the correct station to exit, at the least.  Therefore, it is a BIG DEAL that incorrect information is announced or displayed on the train because such errors can always cost people something, no matter how big or small.

Nevertheless, I still rate Melbourne public transport system as very efficient, of reliable service and having good Samaritans amongst us like the Vietnamese girl is indeed an added bonus to our commuting experiences.

Traveling by public transport is the most convenient way to get you to places in Melbourne.

Traveling on public transport is the most convenient way to get you places in Melbourne.

Note: While I was browsing for images to furnish this entry, I bumped into these!


The images of Glenroy Railway Station since it commencement in 1887 until now.

The images of Glenroy Railway Station since it commencement in 1887 to date (Source: http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/libraries.htm; http://www.victoriapictures.vic.gov.au; http://www.flickr.com)

Iris poses in front of her kinder. The door opens 8.30am on the dot.

Iris poses in front of her kinder. The door opens 8.30am on the dot.

Exploring the school ground before entering the building.

Exploring the school ground before entering the building.  Ohhhh… a sand box!

Placing her bag and hat on the hook that she chose on the day of orientation.  It has her name on it and an image of a butterfly at the side.

Placing her bag and hat on the hook that she chose on the day of orientation. It has her name on it and an image of a butterfly at the side.


Educating them about diversity from young?


Tea party on the ground. Iris said one girl refused to let her in because only 3 persons allowed on the mat. She went to play in the sand box instead.

Yesterday, we went back to Roxburgh Park Superclinic for the second appointment for Iris’ immunization.  But first, we need to drop by at Chemist Warehouse at Broadmeadows Shopping Center to collect the vaccines.  According to the chemist, we can’t leave it in the car as the high temperature will definitely ruin them.  Plus, the temperature yesterday was insanely high – not that we are not used to the sun in Malaysia – but the heat here is totally different.  It is hot and dry, which makes it “panas yang menggigit” according to Din.  In Malaysia, it is hot and humid, therefore it is not as bad as the humidity will shield the raging effect of the sun.

Show this receipt at the counter, and the vaccines is all yours.

Show this receipt at the counter, and the vaccines is all yours.

The appointment was set at 1.30 pm and we arrived at 1:15 pm, immediately passed the vaccines to the staff at the counter for storage (as advised by Dr. Rahaman) and we waited.  Movies are shown on the LCD TV to occupy awaiting clients and in between, there are commercials related to health/life insurance, and one or two commercials on the danger of smoking (that day, it was about a doctor getting ready to amputate a patient’s gangrene foot – all thanks to nicotine).   Someone’s reaction towards that commercial was priceless!

Tak berani tengok, tapi nak tengok... Notice the blushing cheek because of the heat?

Tak berani tengok, tapi nak tengok… Notice the blushing cheek because of the heat?

Anyway, we were called in not long after that and Dr. Rahaman explained to us that he will prepare the summary of Iris’ immunization.  We could get hold of the record immediately.  Thank you, Doctor!  Since the jabs will be administered on both arms at the same time, two staffs attended to us.  They are professionals, and they have this motivating scripts that (I think!) they rehearse all the time to  ease the child’s fear.  The moment Iris stepped into the room, Nurse 1: “Hey, I think we are going to have a brave one today…”; Nurse 2: “Yeah, I can see that she is a strong and brave girl the moment she walked in through that door!”.  THAT girls, was a huge score!

There is a big chair in the room where the mother will sit, and the child is to be seated on the mom’s lap.  I was asked to hold her hands (not in the locking manner, but rather to comfort them) and on the count of 3, both nurses stick the needles in.  It was swift, and there was no cry from her.  In fact, she was elated that the whole thing is over and was so proud of herself for being brave.  She showed off the patches to her daddy and shouted, “Daddy, I did it!”  Similar to what we normally see on TV, the session was concluded with a couple of lollies and praises from the nurses.  To the two nurses who tended my girl yesterday, you are the best!  I can’t thank you enough for making the jabbing session painless – or rather, a memorable one for my daughter.

Had a lolly on her way home...

Had a lolly on her way home… The glare behind gives an indication of the heat that day.

We rewarded her with a small Slurpee on our way home, not only because of her accomplishment that day but because we know that she would appreciate something cold in the burning temperature.   From this experience, I can conclude that mental preparation is extremely important.  We explained to her the purpose of the jabs, which is to strengthen her body.  We also explained to her that without those jabs, she won’t be allowed to school.  I think the moral boost arrived when she learned that her good friend, Laila, has received the jabs as well and that she didn’t cry.  Peer influence, ma…  🙂   Anyway, until the next entry, bye everybody!

Enjoying a Slurpee as her reward.  Notice the patches on both arms?

Enjoying a Slurpee as her reward. Notice the patches on both arms?

Like I said in the previous entry; different country means different requirements.  In the case of immunization, there are additional jabs that Iris needs to take although she has fulfilled all the immunization recorded in her health card in Malaysia.  Up to date vaccination is vital for school requirement, and the details will be kept by the council.  Seeing a GP in Melbourne is nothing like in Malaysia.  Here, we need to set an appointment, turn up at the exact time at the clinic, see the GP, obtain medical prescription from the GP and with the prescription, purchase the medicine at the pharmacy.  The consultation fees will be covered by the health insurance, however the purchase of medicine must come from our own pocket.

On Monday, we went to Roxburgh Park Superclinic to obtain the details of Iris’ immunization.  It is located at 101 Ravenhill Boulevard, Roxburgh Park, Vic 3064.  Having being informed several times about the importance of getting the jabs (no matter how much she dreads it), Iris was mentally prepared to receive the needles.  See the smile?

Budak yang tak sabar nak kena cucuk... :)

Budak yang tak sabar nak kena cucuk… 🙂

The required documents during the visit to GP - must also include passport for photo ID.

The required documents during the visit to GP – must also include passport for photo ID.

The GP is none other Dr. Abdul Rahaman Pozan (also from Kuching).  Apparently Iris still requires two jabs (for rubella and for some other illnesses which I can’t recall) – to be given on another day once we get hold of the medicine. Apart from checking the requirement for immunization, Dr. Rahaman also checked her weight and height (which she adores very much!).  At the age of 4 years and 7 months+, she weights 18 kgs and measures 109cm.  Based on the growth chart (by Australian standard), she is doing OK.  Between the height and the weight, the doctor is more concern with the weight because height is usually inherited while the weight indicates nutrition intake.  Hmm, I didn’t realize that – a measure may outweigh another due to certain factors.

Oh ya, Iris was rather confused when we left the clinic without the “injections”.  Anyway, she is already looking forward to the next visit.  Here’s a look at the prescription. We decided to get them from Chemist Warehouse as their price is often lower compared to other pharmacies.  I was looking at $300.00 to $400.00 for the medicines and it turned out to be $87.70.  Whoa, what a relieve!  Whew! Anyway, they are ready for collection on Wednesday (6th Feb. 2013) and we have set an appointment for the jabs on the same day, after Iris’ schooling hours.  Btw, I am putting plural for the jab because both vaccinations will be administered on the same day. Sounds horrifying, no?  Be brave, darling! 

The prescription for the two vaccinations.

The prescription for the two vaccinations. One copy for the pharmacy and a copy to be sent to the council – by the chemist (so said the staff at the counter of Chemist Warehouse).

Lookout for this logo if you are searching for relatively lower-priced medicines and supplements in Australia.

Lookout for this logo if you are searching for relatively lower-priced medicines and supplements in Australia (Source: http://www.riolife.com.au)


On January 4th, I rushed into the train at Oak Park station without properly touching on.  It was so happen that three inspectors were doing their checking on the train and I was reprimanded for traveling without a valid ticket.  The procedure is supposed to be straight forward but because I didn’t have any kind of evidence on me (at that material time) to inform them that I reside at our current address, they needed to attest if I am who I am by extending a phone call to Deen.  Of course, I could follow the conversation because it took place right before me.

The inspector asked Deen to state the following: (1) My name (correct); (2) My date of birth (this one took a while but he got it correct); (3) My year of birth (he failed to supply the correct year – so I asked the inspector if my husband made me older or younger??!).  The inspector smiled and said to me, “don’t worry mam, he got the date right so I think he is not in trouble.”  Ohhhhh, he is already in trouble!

Anyway, I am supposed to wait for a notice from the Department of Transport – chances is that I might get a fine or I can be spared (depending on the severity of the offense).  So I waited, and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited until one month or so…  Nothing came.  So I assumed I was pardoned probably because that was my first offense, I am still new in this country, yadda yadda…  Mana  tau, this arrived today!  The highly anticipated letter has finally landed in our mail box.  Yay, I have scored the most “intelligent” way to lose a significant amount cash!  How much? AUD207.00 if I settle the due by next month.   ( T _____ T )  That is equivalent to 4 sets of Corelle dinnerware! 

Why?? Why??!!

Why?? Why??!!



(Update):  Settled the fine yesterday at Glenroy Post Office.  Although it is mentioned in the notice that I can appeal to reduce/waive the fine, I was certain that I am not going to do that because I followed some thread online regarding the procedure and chances is high that I need to appear in court in order to decide the fate of the appeal/my pocket.  Naaaahhh, too troublesome – settle it quick – get it done and over with.  Perhaps, rant about it on this blog just to let out some steam.  Chooo choooooooo!!  I pledge that this is going to be only time I give away good cash due to my ignorance.  Insya Allah.  And that is why I seriously wait until the pedestrian light turns green every time I cross the road.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Sayonara peeps!

There, paid the fine. It's all settled.  Let's not have a second time, no?

There, paid the fine. It’s all settled. Let’s not have a second time. Amiiiin.

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