Sunday, July 11, 2010

HOR-LAN the journey [updated 16 July]

HOR-LAN the journey

How it all began?
Jay called me up, 2 days later we set off. It was impromptu.
The night before we left, we went to The Three Monkeys,
looked through some maps and we thought "fuck the planning"!
Which caused a lot of regrets later...
Why did we do it?
We felt we were not exposed to the "true" Australia experience
We're getting old and wanted to do something crazy
Asians (besides Japanese) rarely hitchhike
Also we wanted to experience the unorthodox mode of transport
which is both environmentally-friendly and cost-saving
Lastly, to prove that Australians are friendly+helpful, as advertised
Did we know hitchhiking is illegal?
Yes we do
Was the trip a full-hitch?
No, we cheated on a few occassion
cos no one wants to pick up Asian dudes without boobies
Moreover we are weakling nerds
Our patience is only of a horribly lengthy DotA game - 200min
How long did the journey take?
We took 5 days to reach Melbourne from Brisbane
I'm just gonna go through this very quickly
cos I'm in the library and its closing soon

DAY 01

8.39AM We left from Beenleigh, Brisbane

9.15AM A kind grocer from Marika Asian Groceries
provided us with an A2 sized paper
and marker which we used for our first map
An old lady, Ann picked us up
drove us 2 min and dropped us on the highway
In less than 30 seconds, we were caught by the highway police

0930AM BP-Stapylton
We claimed we didn't know it was illegal
and he dropped us at a nearby service station
We tried to hitch a ride with truckers
but they refuse to give us a ride cos we do not have boobies
Many claimed it was "company policy"

A kind retired teacher, Ray brought us to Tugun Beach, Gold Coast
and to his house for toilet break
We helped him bring his laptop and groceries to his apartment
Very nice old man

A lady gave us directions (a 30min walk) to Coolangatta Airport
which ended up 1.5hours walk

Most of our waits are hour-long
Chat with a local, Ryan
who is a surf-photographer with Canon EOS 40D

0120PM Next we were given a ride to Tweed Heads
We were starving

So we had granny-food at the local bowls club
not too bad, really
Got a ride from a plumber, Michael

03.25PM Next we arrived near Byron Bay
from BP-Chinderah with Kim and Veronica
who went up town to buy Nintento Wii Games

03.40PM A copy-writer lady, Christabelle brought us to Arts Factory
with her Prius (electic car)
A pleasant surprise

Its like a secret hideout/getaway for arty farty people like myself
cheap accomodation, close to nature, simple life
$60 for 2

Very hippie
Very near Nimbin

Dinner was at Fish Heads
Fish and Chips $9.80

Awesome fish & chips
but the cold wind was merciless

Had a drink at the Buddha Bar with live band
Beer $7 (I think?)

More here:

DAY 02

07.30AM Woke up to the sound of Bush Turkeys

Stranded near the highway

Got a ride from Andrew
who took us to Broken Head
where we took a ride with Jamie, his girlfriend Shirley and his son Zic
Jay was sexually harassed by 6 year old Zic
who told Jay to sit on his finger and wriggle around

10.50AM BP-Ballina
a god-forsaken town
We thought we need a new sign that says "South"
while eating a $7.40 deep-fried drumstick

11.06AM Saw the BIG PRAWN
Ran into some crazy people
A nice but eccentric Korean girl
Oh well..
Got picked up by a nice lady Jane
munching on fish nuggets n chips
told us she's doing her "good deed of the day"

11.22AM Broad Water
Once again got dropped off in another God-forsaken town
Got a ride shortly with Joe, Canon EOS450D photographer
who plays the stock market
and catches snakes with her four-year old daughter

12PM Arrived at Woodburn
If you see a town without Asians or Asian establishment
You know you're in somewhere weird
or what I would call "an unpolished gem"

and it was time for lunch at Parkside
pretty good meal we had
cept it was deep fried frozen food
but we were not picky
I had Salt+Vinegar Chicken Combo $8.90

Waited really long before Rod picked us up

Really really nice guy
who had a romantic story..

He's a single-dad mechanic and picks up road-kills for a job
Has 2 boys and 2 girls
Really into building his own cars and stuff
and using frogs as "golf balls" when he was a kid
Met a girl on a social dating site and decided they should both
take a week off and spend it together
Told us some spooky tales about his daughter's experience
with her dead grandma which convinced him
that there are ghosts out there! O_o

09.3PM Arrived in Sydney
We gave him $20 for petrol and good-will
and bought him a $4 mocha-cinno
at BP Clybucca midway

Dropped us in front of St. Mary Cathedral

Its a soul-less city
everyone is busy doing their own shit
No smiles on their faces..

Bus drivers here are not friendly unlike Brisbane
and no one says "thanks" upon alighting

10.30PM Found a backpacker accomodation
Village Backpacker's Hotel (Glebe)
I dunno, its about $25 each I think

Went to hunt for food
Saw a lot of drunk people on the streets
They weren't as repulsive as the ones in Brisbane

11.50PM Arrived at Bogart Pizza Cafe

Fettucine House Special was pretty awesome

More here:

DAY 03

0730AM Rise and Shine

Hmm.. It has a pretty strange smell
Our room mates has bad personal hygiene
(see video links)

German girl who's heading Brisbane next
Shit I dun remember her name

Very pretty receptionist, Grace
Jay insisted that she look Penny from Big Bang Theory

0930AM Weekend Market

Pretty much like our West End Market
Difference is that its cleaner here
and venders are happy that you take their pictures
They understand THIS is free advertising
I guess Sydney people could be smarter - maybe

Taiwanese selling Tacopachi etc
I have acknowledge that Taiwanese replicate Japanese products better than the Koreans

Korean boys practising for a church game

10.00AM Sydney Fish Market

What shall we do to the drunken sailor
early in the morning?

Two adorable Indonesian girls selling teppanyaki
Bought some from them
$4.40 per stick

They want your money

1200PM Sydney Opera House - finally

Majulah Singapura

Bumped into our mates from Brisbane
Richard, Xuan, Yen, Pierre, David

and Mei Tien the local

1.20PM Had a good fulfilling lunch at Lowenbrau
before we left off

3.45PM Realised we took a super long lunch T_T
What a waste of daylight
Took a horribly long train to BERRY

06.40PM Berry Station
Yes the train ride is that long
Pretty nice lil town
but unforeseen was the weekend market and a wedding
so all accomodation were taken
we had to backtrack

I lost my notebook on the train on my way to Berry
On our backtrack ride,
Jay was harassed by 2 delinquents on the train
when they alighted, four policemen were waiting for them at the platform
and performed body search - nasty!
Anyways a girl took my note book and put it in her bag
but before she alighted, she put it back onto the seat
Bless her kind soul, i will give her one-free-sex coupon.

10.30PM Spent the night at YHA Wollongong

11.50PM Kebabs for dinner/supper at Fat Boy Pride Kebabs Grill
Noticed our dinner are always close to midnight
more here:

DAY 04

0730AM Rise and Shine

Hours of wait
and no one pick us up FML
Asked a few locals but they were totally clueless
or gave us bad directions

1030AM Had Subway for early lunch

Met a nice chinese dude, Jack Zheng Zi Zhen from Guangzhou
who drove us to the train station before we became dried corpse
and we took a bus
Wait I just realise his initials are "ZZZ"

11.30AM Arrived at Moss Vale by bus
and Jay was complaining that he needs to poop
cos he din manage to give birth after much effort in the morning

Kids playing hide-and-seek
Very relaxing place
Bought an apple from the supermarket

1.46PM Hitched a ride to Shell
with Ian on his BMW
He has a Ukranian wife who's parents
came to Australia as a German slave labour
2.10PM Tony picked us up and arrived at Queanbeyan
Tony is a retired football player
Played for England in 1974
gives his 14yr old daughter $10 for every goal she score
Tasked us to investigate about the vanished lake

3.40PM Queanbeyan City
Had some chinese fried rice $10.80
at Slow Noodles Fast
the chef was a malaysian
spoke some shit we din understand

05.30PM Arrived at Canberra City
FML I din know a city could look like this

At any point of time
there are less than 20 people on the streets
and its a weekend
I would call this a ghost town

Accomodations were full
YHA recept told us a 40min walk could get us to another backpacker
so we walked...

Holy! Looks like a HDB in Singapore

Got a shock from a forest gnome, Bradley
who appears in and out of bushes every now and then
during our walk to assist us - weird, but helpful

8.50PM After a 2 hours walk at -3 degrees celsius
we arrived at Formule 1 hotel
(part of the Accor Hotel group)
$89 for 2

Yes we were feeling rather helpless by now

More here:

DAY 05

06.30AM Rise and shine

7.05AM Nice brekkie at the hotel $7
Simple yet fulfilling

Kids came to play against Canberra (inter-state football game)

I don't know if this could keep us
from the blistering cold
A nice dude, Robert
who works in OPTUS
gave us a ride towards the Barton Highway

Frost all over the place
Shivering beside the highway

A nice African, Hassan, picked us up
He works in Gloria Jeans, studies Forensic Science
and hopes to be a detective one day
Father works in the Saudi Arabia Embassy
quote "I have not seen an ugly chick in Canberra
but they're stuck up; but once you get there
they're really cheap, can do whatever you want"

Dropped us at Caltex-Murrumbateman
and a couple, Paul and Barbara adopted us and brought us home
to Wodonga before we froze to death
for some home-made Mexican cuisine
Both of them are doing HR jobs
We stopped by Holbrook to look at the huge submarine

Look - Tiger Beer
Paul said he's done a bit of travelling in his younger days
and has received help from all kinds of people
He hope to reciprocrate the kindness on us

Of cos we helped prepare a bit

Really kind souls - Paul and Barbara
Kindest people we've met in our lives - indubitably
Dropped us near Hume Highway 31

However, later we got a ride from Gavin
who works in an air-conditioning company
who threw us in the middle of the highway telling us
we're 5km from the service station
After walking for an hour, we saw a sign that reads
"5km to Service Station"

There were no street lamps
and Jay was giving up
I would say this was the toughest part of the journey
We had a lil tiff at this point
as he blamed me for not stopping in a town for accomodation
while i insisted we should all-in for the final dash

So we walked in pitch darkness along the highway
Saw wild foxes running along
I think they wanna gank and eat us up
Especially when Jay has that much fat O_o
and also dead ones like this

and arrived at BP-Glenrowan after another 10km walk

8.44PM Brett took us to Melbourne City
Friggin awesome guy
He works as a service engineer for blood banks and stuff
Said when he visited Singapore, he bought a Potong ice-cream
thinking it was strawberry/raspberry
but got disgusted upon discovering it was actually red-bean

We were adopted by Erica
who made us Coles Chicken and Mash Potatoes for dinner

11.30PM and brought us to Ten Ren Tea Station for bubble tea

Hot Almond Tea with Pearl - intriguing

12.30PM Went to look for the Singaporeans after bubble tea
at Party World (Centre)
Jean, Kendrick, Andy and Feeona

More here:

DAY 06

8AM Rise and Shine

Jay in Hello Kitty bed
Not cute when you can hear him machine-gun fart

I love trams
They're like the Kings of the Roads
Not only can you control the speed,
no one blocks their way in the middle of the streets
and they have zero-tolerance for notes - NASTY!
(So everyone carries rice sacks of heavy aussie coins out)
I wanna be a tram!

Only accepts coins
quite a bitch huh?

10.20AM Visited THE OTHER Ten Ren Tea Time across the road

To try Mr. Daniel Chia's recommendation - Beef Wrap
Pretty tasty

Falungong Preachers
Illegal in Singapore

12.10PM Federation Square
No prize for guessing

Its Tim Burton's Exhibition
at ACMI, Melbourne

Concession for ALL Australia Students
$14 (Concession) $19 (Full)

No photography allowed
Very heavily guarded

I drew this in the interaction area
Keep a look out

This is their State Library
which do u prefer?
the tasteful colonial style Melb or multi-storey Brisb

We took a random bus to Lygon Street (Carlton)
but were not impressed
so we went back into the city

5.10PM Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant 阿凡提
Two girls for no reason bought us dinner - I'm serious!
Agnes from Malaysia and Yuan Yuan from China
I still find it unbelievable! Thanks ladies.

The golden tower?
Anyway we saw the filming of City Homicide (Ch7)
Pretty awesome!

7PM Crown Casino
Because of the FREE scumptous dinner
we missed the $20 seafood buffet at Crown Casino

and all of us lost money at the casino
except Andy and Jean

The fire structure is amazing
but also a fierce fengshui element

11PM Maccas
Had a snack wrap and milkshake $5
Reminded of how my heart first melted..
More here:

DAY 07

8AM Rise and Shine
Bought a $3 Latte
from Nicolson Street Baker
Pretty good

Daily Full-fare ticket $6.80
Anyways students do not enjoy concessions in Melbourne

10.12AM Parliament of Victoria
I think Melbourne is the perfect place for wedding photography

My Vespa Dream

Graffiti City
Anyway we had some friggin awesome Dim Sum at
West Lakes Restaurant
$37 Dirt cheap and very fucking good!

A lot of Wing Chun Kung Fu Academies in Melbourne City
No idea what wing chun is?
Its 詠春 (Yong Chun), made famous by Bruce Lee
Passed down orally by the teacher
Nothing is in writing
If you have seen the movie Ip Man
thats what its about

0215PM Michael's Camera Museum
Lots of antique cameras there

CJ Lunch Bar
A korean establishment
$7 Chicken Bulgogi on Rice
Very cheap, very good

On our way back we met a Singaporean girl, Connie
who works in NEWSAGENT
No no the one in the photo is Erica


more here

watch video here

hitchhiker's tips


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