Showing posts with label Casual. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Casual. Show all posts

Monday, 16 May 2016

Transferwise: the best way to transfer money from overseas to Malaysia

Sometime ago I want to transfer some money from Australia to Malaysia. I researched for many companies to look for the best (cheap and effective) way. Here it is.

Trasnferwise is the best company you could possibly find for fund transfer from Australia to Malaysia (and I believe for other major currencies to MYR too). Established in the UK, Transferwise supports all major currencies and is invested by Sir RichardBranson, the founder of Virgin group. 


1. It uses mid-market rate. This means that your transfer rate is even better than BNM's buyer rate, i.e., the exchange rate they offer is exceptional. In contrast, traditional telegraphic transfer (TT) using banks comes with a 5-10% spread as compared to BNM forex rate.

2. Small transaction fee and no other hidden fee will be incurred. For AUD-MYR, you will be charged 0.7% of the amount you transfer. And because you do not "lose" in forex rate,  this means that the money you receive is only 0.7% less compared to the "optimal amount". I bet you can find any company doing better than this.

3. Fast and efficient. From my experience, the service is very impressive. I received the fund the next business day after they received my fund.

4. Reliable and secure. In the process of fund transfer, you will be updated at each stage about your fund status. This gives you peace of mind. You can read some review here. I am not surprised that this company receives 9.5/10 for their service. 

If you want to transfer fund from overseas to Malaysia, abandon the exorbitant fees charged by banks and start using Transferwise by registering here. Yes, I have to tell you that this is my referral link. If you signed up using this link you will have a free transfer of up to GBP 500. And if you successfully refer your friends and they have made a transfer, you will be rewarded with cash.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Leaving Australia for good: the tension of opposites

It has become pretty clear that I will have less than 1 month in Australia. Nothing is going to stop it.

Living for 3.5 years, Sydney has become an ordinary city to me, nothing more, nothing less. The excitements that I have had when I first came to this beautiful place have unfortunately, yet inevitably, turned into normalcy. The good things have been taken for granted and the bad things have already been accustomed to. Ridiculously, the city that crowned the top 10 most livable cities in the world, a place that so many people long to visit, is also the place that I cannot wait to leave.

I experience the tension of opposites*: part of me want to leave here so badly, yet part of me know that there is nothing better back in Malaysia. When I think of I have enough of Sydney, the mind starts generating all kinds of reasons to justify the thought, e.g., I miss Malaysia food. But then I also know that I am going to miss Australia very much: the fresh air, the days of cycling and the fun of swimming & snorkeling in the sea, etc. More importantly, I like the way Australians think, the mindset, the "software", which determines the "quality" of a community.

Which makes me realising, once again, that you always get some and lose some at the same time. Life is only fair this way. Time flies and there is not much I can do to hold on to all these things. This experience only happens once in a lifetime. I cannot, and do not want to leave any regrets while in Australia. This means that, appreciating all moments while I am still here is the best I can do to for the rest of the days in Australia.

*The tension of opposites was mentioned in  <<Tuesdays with Morrie>>, my favorite book written  by Mitch Albom

Friday, 13 November 2015

Catalyst: The myth behind cholesterol‏

Another TV show that I feel like to write something about.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)'s Catalyst programme once broadcasted a two-episode of 1 hour documentation titled "Heart of the matter", explaining the "cholesterol drug war". It was more than 2 years ago. I wasn't aware of this until recently, when Sydney Morning Herald reported about  60,000 people quit cholesterol medicine after viewing "unbalanced" TV program. Sensational, isn't it?

ABC has now removed the video from its Catalyst website due to the pressure from related authorities. Being sceptical about the medicine industry, I went on-line to find these videos, and thankfully, it can still be viewed (at the moment of writing).

The programme explains about how the "weak hypothesis" of the link between cholesterol and heart attack can  become today's medical dogma. I do not deny that the programme is biased, but if this is the truth that has been concealed for decades, what is wrong with being biased?

WARNING: The following videos in this video may utterly change your view on cholesterol.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


It will be very rare of me to share a TV programme, but Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)'s Q&A has impressed me so intensely that I think I should write something to promote it. Q&A is broadcasted live on ABC every Monday at 9:35 p.m. AEST.

Q&A invites a panel of 5 to answer questions from the audience which is made up of the public. While you would expect most of the issues discussed are about Australia (politics), there are other general topics that are "borderless".

Despite getting funding from the government, Q&A can discuss all kinds of issues openly, including criticism to the current government. No censor. No manipulation. No brainwash.

Below are some topics that I found interesting:

The discussion about death on 18 May 2015, minute 1:14

Death, something that we perceive as being in the distance, but in fact it is always just around the corner. The panel has given some insightful opinions on this topic.

The discussion about marriage equality and religion on 8 Jun 2015, minute 11:30

Dr. Cornel West talked about "Revolutionary Christianity". His view on religion has impressed me. Religion has increasing become something that, in my opinion, is used as a tool to manipulate the public. It's sad to see that religion has been twisted in so many different ways and levels, but it's glad to see that there are people whose mind remain open and wise. His response gained an applause from the audience -- when you can gain an applause from a public audience regarding a topic like this, you know how good the answer is.

A full hour of discussion on mental health issue 5 Oct 2015

I have to confess about my admiration to one of the panel Fay Jackson, with her ill condition yet she still has the courage and bravery to turn public. Bravo!

A full programme of Q&A can be found on ABC Q&A Website.
For the latest 4 episodes of Q&A, you can view it with closed-caption on ABC iView.

I hope you will enjoy the programme as I do.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tasmania, my second destination in Australia

Tasmania is a heart-shaped island located in the south-east of Australia. Locals here like to use short form for common name, e.g. Aussie for Australia; Brissie for Brisbane and Tassie is the name they give to Tasmania.

I always tell myself that I have 3 destinations to go while I am still here: Cairns, Tasmania and Uluru. Cairns trip was "accomplished" at the end of 2013. Last year I went to Tassie. I have little interest in Melbourne or Gold Coast. These places are so common that I will have heaps of chances to visit even after I leave here. But for these 3 places, although not considered as "popular destinations" when you fly from overseas, I am certain that they do not pall in comparison with those "popular destinations".

It was a very enjoyable and memorable self-drive trip of 6 days. Words fail to describe the beauty of Tassie. It is a very well-preserved place. All nature wildlife and forests are very well protected. The clear blue sky and the white clouds of Tassie seem so low and so close to you. The scenery is absolutely impressive.

The two largest cities in Tassie are Hobart and Launceston, with other small towns located all around the island. People here is very nice and have a very laid-back lifestyle which I adore deeply. Big supermarkets here (Coles and Woolies) don't provide plastic bags as in other states to reduce the use of plastic bags. This makes me feel like I am in my beloved hometown Penang.

Seafood is famous here, with oyster tops the list. Mussels, scallops, prawns and fishes, all you can eat here. They are really nice and fresh with Tasmanian salmon to be my top favourite. I have bought some cherry. I guess they are the top quality cherry in the world.

Driving from place to place in Tassie, you couldn't see tall buildings and apartments. It doesn't give you a feeling of a developed place, but it is indeed developed -- the mindset of the people here are developed that they know to protect the mother nature is a priority. All you can see are trees and grasses on both sides of the road, with cows and goats eating grasses. A house is built in a large area of green field, completely isolated from the outer world. Can you imagine how good is the air quality here, and how healthy (good) / boring (bad) is the life here?

Because it is during summer and Tassie is really close to the Antartica, the sky will only turn dark as late as 10:00 p.m.. This is the first time I experience this, as if the dark never fell.

Owing to its geographical location, it can get to 9oC even in the summer. This gives me extra appreciation to the weather in Sydney, although disgusting at times, but is still quite "mild" as compared to other places in Australia.

Some photos.

Stanley is a small town located at the north-west tip of Tassie.


Bristowe Lavender farm is just amazing. The time we went there is just the season to flower. What a good time to visit Tassie.

There is a wild kangaroo looking for food in wineglass bay.

On the way to Hobart:

Mount wellington is a place where clouds are literally within your touch and you can look out the Hobart city.

Tasman bridge in Hobart city.

Brunny Island is the nearest place to the south pole of our beloved Earth, the crew member said that this "gigantic" seal came from the Antartica. And it is only there for a few months, so we are lucky to see this type of seal.

Last but not least, a shop known as Foxhole Medals has the front mirror stuck with this quote:

"Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Because right Now is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will ever be."

The quote says it all. Enjoy life.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Book review: The Five People You Meet In Heaven

I realize that not looking at the stock market is a good decision. Now, I don't look at it as frequently as I used to be. It has been "a while" since I don't write non-investment stuff, today I am writing a book review, a book written by my favorite author.

Title: The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Category: Fiction (Philosophy)
Year: 2003
ISBN: 978-0-7515-3614-0

The first time I saw this book was in 2008, where I have a glance through the Chinese-translated version of this book. I skimmed over it very quickly, have a feeling that this will be a good book to read. My feeling could not have been more accurate. I am impressed by the author's writing skill. Later on, I bought the English version.

The background is about an old man, Eddie, working in an amusement park for most of its life. He felt bored of the work and useless about himself for not accomplishing anything in his life. This book describes Heaven as a place where you seek answers for unanswered questions in your life. After Eddie's death, he met five people in the heaven. These people answered the questions that he has been seeking in his life, as to why these people crossed his path, as to how these people altered his life and as to why things happened as they did.

The first people he met is a guy that died for him. The whole point of this lesson is: Everything happens for a reason. I believe in this:  that what goes around comes around;  that there are no random acts; that all things are connected; This has nothing to do with religions though, is just a way of looking into life.

I like a quote in this chapter, that Eddie said it isn't fair that why the guy has to die for him and why he doesn't have to pay for his "sin". The guy replied:
"Fairness, does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young."

The second people is Eddie's captain during war time.  Eddie lost one leg in the war. Everything changed after that. This lesson tells us that we have to make sacrifice in our lives.

Sacrifice. We made choices everyday, big and small. We inevitably need to sacrifice something to gain another. You win something, you lose something. Give and take. There is a balance to it all. The important thing is we can't keep thinking about what we've lost or what we should have chosen instead.

Another quote:
"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you are not really losing it(the thing that you've sacrificed). You are just passing it on to someone else."

What a quote! This is strengthening what the author wrote for the first lesson, that all lives intersect.

The third person is a stranger to Eddie, yet she is connected with Eddie somehow. Eddie was angry with his father for the whole life, thinking that his father is accountable for all of his losses. But holding anger is a poison which eats you from inside. Hatred is a curved blade, the harm we do, we do to ourselves. That's why we need to forgive.

I like the analogy of curved blade. This is similar to people saying, when you point one finger to other, you are pointing three fingers to yourself.

The fourth person is his wife. His wife died early. Eddie lives by himself after that. His lost wife is the person that he has ever loved. This lesson is about how love goes on, even after death. Death merely ends a life, not a true love.

"Lost love is still love. It only takes a different form -- memory."
"Life has to end, but love does not."

Eddie's job is to maintain the rides in an amusement park. He felt his job is useless, boring and accomplished nothing. Therefore, the fifth person is to let Eddie knows that his job is important to maintain the safety of others, to kept the rides in the park functioning properly. The message conveyed is: Do not belittle yourself, do not feel unimportant for what you are doing. You may not know it at the time, but you will, in the future.

This is a very short review of the book. There are still a lot of great quotes and stories in the book. This is a great book. Totally awesome. However, on the way reading the story which leads to the lesson may be boring. Give it some patience, you will find the time spent is worthy.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Cairns trip, the Great Barrier Reef, people met

Continue from Cairns trip, the Great Barrier Reef, a memorable experience.

F is from Italy. She spent her Christmas holiday traveling around Australia. She managed to travel to: Adelaide, Tasmania, Sydney, Cairns and Uluru in two weeks time. This is just too short. It requires determination: if you don't travel now, you will not have the chance next time. This is why I travel to Cairns. During our conversation, when we talk about having meals, she said that she wants to save money for Uluru, her last trip, during Christmas. Traveling to Uluru during Christmas? God knows how much it would cost. But I understand that. This is all about experience. 

G is locally born, just graduated from University. He was the "translator" between F and I, as the English slang by F is too hard for me to understand. When we first met, F asked me a question: So you are a student here? (she student pronounced as stadent). I didn't get it. 2 seconds later, G said she mean student. I laughed nonstop. Looking back, it is this small things that made up a large part of this memorable experience.

L is from Poland, having two weeks break for her holiday, she chose to travel in Queensland without any plan. I like this, no plan. Unlike me, I plan everything before the trip. I realized how "thoughtful" I was for my trip, which turned out to be redundant sometimes. I guess this is the difference between eastern and western culture. No plan, don't have to think so much for this. Just wing it* as many others here did.

* wing it, verb, it means to accomplish something without preparation, i.e. is like flying through with a wing. E.g. She traveled to Cairns without booking any accommodation and just wing it upon arrival. (i.e. she found her accommodation on the spot).

He is a Canadian, ages 50s from my guess, sold all assets in Canada, traveling since Feb 2013, and will continue till the rest of his live. I admire his bravery, something that I doubt if I have the courage to do it. Living in my comfort zone for years, I couldn't imagine what will happen if I lost a place to stay. Thinking the other way round, why would a person need a certain place to stay? Wherever he wants to go, wherever he intends to stay, just go for it. He planned to stay in South East Asia for sometime, as these places are relatively cheaper.

C is from Switzerland. She came to Penang before. I like to hear this. Listening someone praising my home town made me proud. She travels for 3 months in AU and NZ, has been traveling around other parts of QLD.

Ch is from UK. "Well, I am 40 now and I haven't traveled around the world." He quited his job and started traveling for 3 months. Another difference. They desire of traveling around the world. At the age of 40, I doubt if I could give up my jobs and everything and just start traveling for months. My trip "unit" is days. Their trip "unit" are weeks and months, or even years.

This trip has widen my views and experience. Meeting other travelers is just amazing. The differences in cultures show that there are something we can to learn from each other. It is about embracing the good from other cultures. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Cairns trip, the Great Barrier Reef, a memorable experience

I traveled to Cairns (CNS) alone last year. Solo traveling is not something 'miserable' as I've thought, as I've got chance to meet other solo travelers along the trip, which is part of what making this trip to be memorable. . Cairns is located in Queensland (QLD), Australia, very far north from Brisbane (BNE), a city that would not become a city without tourism industry. Great Barrier Reef is the main attraction in Cairns, a natural gift for Australia with more than 1000 km of reef along the ocean. This is something that I've long sought after for, a place that I would go regardless of how much it would cost.

In travelling, it is always a good idea to rent a car with friends so that it is always easy to go anywhere. In Australia, I would always go for VroomVroomVrrom (click here for website) for car rentals. It combines many car rental companies in Australia so that you can compare them in a click, is really convenient to use.

The first day trip is to Green Island, where turtle can be easily spot. What is wonderful about this trip is the sub-marine tour, where I got a chance to observe the reef through glasses. The view on that day was not excellent, due to the rains few days ago.

great barrier reef

great barrier reef 2

In the city, on the way to Cairns Central, a shopping centre, you will walk by this bar with a creative, humorous sign board:

creative sign board

The second day trip is about a Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. The tour guide is in his 30s, very outgoing, sociable and passionate about his job. This is what makes him a good tour guide. On the journey to the destination, which took about 2 hours, he explained some history, the locations past by and sharing some of his personal experience. He mentioned about how he traveled around Australia with his girl friend (now wife) in his 20s, and finally decided to settle down in Cairns. The way he sounds when sharing this story reveals how much affections he has to Cairns, the same feeling that I have to my home country Malaysia. 

Cassowary, a big eater, only in Australia and Papua New Guinea


WALUWURRIGA Alexandria range lookout point

Alexandria range lookout point

Another look out point:

The tropical climate in Cairns is humid, which somehow compensates the dryness in other parts of Australia. This is part of what making Australia to be a great place: a seasonal climate in the southern part, a tropical climate in the northern part. 

The last day trip is to great barrier reef, which I purposely planned for, which didn't disappoint me. The event crew on the boat are all very helpful, fun and humorous, a typical way many Australians would behave. The coral sea is so beautiful. I opted for a helicopter scenic flight. The view of Great Barrier Reef from the helicopter is just spectacular and amazing.

Crystal clear water:

a fish

Life experience - helicopter scenic flight!


Nice view from the helicopter:

spectacular view

 This is just spectacular:

spectacular view 2

How beautiful is this?

spectacular view 3

Staying 4 nights in a backpacker resort, people come and go. Each and every day I will meet new travelers staying in the same room. We always talk and exchange experience. The next post will be about people met along the trip.

Sunday, 25 August 2013





有些事情看不过眼,也不知道就是为什么。理性告诉自己他人的事情不用去理,感性跟我说看不过眼就是看不过眼。那种斗争的时刻,就是所谓的“对立面的冲突”(<Tuesday with Morrie> by Mitch Albom) 所提过的。


最迟就是到年底。也没有什么更糟糕的了。不习惯也习惯了。 经一事,长一智。换个角度想,这种经验还真难得,其他地方都找不到了只要想,时间很快就会过去的。

Friday, 16 August 2013

关于人性 关于诚信



我比较不认同的是对马股的评语 -- 马股是用来炒的。没有学人家炒股就动股票?马股不能动的。2、3线股没有成交量的。原来在有些人的眼中,股票只能用炒才能赚钱的。原来他曾经是一家上市公司的董事。买股真的得看管理层的诚信。那家公司我一听就知道是炒股。所以,炒股还是别动好了。没有诚信的管理层只会顾自己的口袋而已。股东的?吃自己。



Monday, 15 July 2013

La Perouse -- 只有漂亮可以形容

La Perouse,名字知道法国命名地方位于Sydney南方地方衔接一个小岛,叫 bare island。地方,只有漂亮可以形容。了。

这次去爬山。我很喜欢爬山。这小片丛林叫 botany bay national park。单程1小时,不会很难走。澳洲有个专为爬山而设的网站,里面资料很齐全,叫 Wildwalks

这次去的是 Henry Head, 资料在这里:Henry Head


la perouse view

洁白的沙滩,叫 congwong beach。

congwong beach

小岛 bare island,二战时期是监狱,现在有tour guide。上面插着澳洲国旗:

bare island


Australian, kite

爬山爬到这个地方,brown rocks,鬼佬钓鱼的地方。

brown rocks

爬山爬到 henry head,看过去是一望无的 south pacific ocean。漂亮!

Henry Head


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Centennial Park 聚会

今天有个马来西亚聚会。地点Centennial Park。这个公园我非常喜欢。够清静。心烦时去树下坐着,喂鸭子和鸟吃东西,躺在草地上,烦恼自然会消失。

天性怕生,因为去的话就是全部不认识的。如果不是朋友过去不大去。朋友去年BTN认识,只有来到Sydney其他英国了。真的没有想到,当初她开始了"Hi, I haven't met you. My name is XX " 就可以造就了这长久的交情。看回去,也是一种安排。面对陌生人,我不倾向于开始对话。如果没有当初她的一句话,我们到现在都不认识。

聚会很开心。认识几个朋友,很尽兴。马来人的pattern还是一样,友好善良,喜欢帮助他人。谈笑之中不乏幽默。我基本上就是笑整场。那食物,充满马来西亚的味道,还有Nasi Beriani. 太好料了!


有个看上去比较单纯的女生就说:“Tapi I mahu pilih ...... " 那种声音,是Negative Exponentially 变小的!讲到最后的那个名字,还可以听得出是谁,不过已经是小声到...再加上她的表情,那种样子,我直接大笑!朋友来圆场,用手势表示这里大家都一个样。看起来,受过教育的友族都知道有些东西必须改变。


Friday, 8 March 2013



KL的4年,至少3-4回家一次。这一次,就是超过6个月。可怕是,时间快得超乎我的想象。来到这里,赐予KL 4训练,一切安好。抛开学业不谈,一切过得不错的。







In the end, it's these small things that you remember. The little imperfections that make them perfect for you.


过去 - 注定








Sunday, 17 February 2013




我看到了<The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People> by Stephen R. Covey. 这本书大学时期有2个教授介绍过。一直都没有去看。现在看到了,就直接买下来了。实在不敢相信,只卖2块钱。

还有2本都是手痒买下来的。因为真的忍不住要买。才1块钱,而且还是Hard Cover. 作者是Joyce Meyer,知名激励作家。


Saturday, 15 December 2012



这彩虹出现没有5分钟就消失了。李商隐的《登乐游原》中的  夕阳无限好,只是近黄昏 说明了美好的事情都是短暂的。夕阳至少还可以维持几十分钟。彩虹就那么几分钟而已。比夕阳短得很的。

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Coogee Beach 游泳 ~ 爽!


Coogee Beach是位于Sydney附近的一个海边。那天到了Coogee,天气非常好,不会太热。海滩躺着很多人,也有很多人在游泳。

Coogee Beach 一览:

记忆之儿时去的Batu Feringghi都没有那么多人。这里整个海滩都是人。洋人就是这样躺着晒太阳、听歌、看书或者就就躺爽。真会享受。



Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Wollongong 是距离 Sydney 1小时半车程的城市。坐火车过去也是差不多这个时间。中文名字叫卧龙岗,好听又有意思。坐火车的沿途经过的地方都非常漂亮。有山有海,很爽。没想到我才去了一次,就已经爱上这个地方了。

当初去Wollongong是要去拜拜的。那里有所谓南半球最大的寺庙 - 南天寺。因为南半球的国家本来都不多。最有名的就是纽澳,非洲等。所以南天寺就成文人家口中 ‘南半球最大’的寺庙了。



岸上有座灯塔。当然还有就是草地了。一到草地就是躺在草地上,这是澳洲人的 pattern,非常舒适写意!


Saturday, 17 November 2012

口音 Accent

以前在马来西亚吉隆坡,一开口说华文,很多人都听得出是北马口音。然后第一个猜就是槟城人。哦,对了。最近跟人家介绍自己的槟城人的时候都会加一个“整个”。因为自从有了半个槟城人的出现,我没有说整个的话可能人家会误会的。= =||| 这有时候会闹出很多笑话,很好笑的。


最经典的就是后面加一个 koh。e.g. “我还没有吃koh”
还有什么 pun。 e.g. “他也是没有去pun”
还有la。 e.g. “人家不会理你的la。”
还有 liao jiu。 e.g. “liao jiu = 然后就”


最有趣的是遇到中国人。他们每次看我名字就知道我不是中国人。很明显的。然后我就会开口说中文。然后他们的反应99%是:“你是中国人吗?怎么会说中文?怎么说得那么好?” 才来了没3个月,就已经被问了N次了。见惯不惯了。


Friday, 26 October 2012

澳洲生活记事 (生活篇2)





Monday, 22 October 2012

澳洲生活记事 (生活篇)



这里的店说关门就是关门的。Shopping Mall 如果是5点关门,5:01就不用想进去了。全部关掉了。上次要买肉,才迟了3分钟,店已经关到好像没有开过这样。This is Australia!

澳洲人普遍上都很不错。见面会跟你笑笑。都比较亲切。上次我刚到的时候,在地铁站找方向,有人看到了就立刻提出帮助。又有一次,在巴士站看info的牌看了2分钟,转过头去,有人问我where are you looking for? 然后很热情地为我指路。我好感激。