Category Archives: Australia

More Chinese New Year Superstitions

Bad luck Chinese New Year Superstitions:
Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck amongst some Chinese. The word “shoes” is a homophone for the word for “rough” in Cantonese, or “evil” in Mandarin.

I am not planning on buying a pair of shoes since I just got a new pair of “red” boots while in Australia. I ordered them while I was there and just received them. Red symbolizes flames, which will scare the evil away. Traditionally, people wore red shoes, but today it is underwear.

P1000179I am all set to scare away the evil spirits.

The Nian monster tells the story of the origin of the festival. The fearsome Nianshou is a mythical beast who has a taste for human flesh. Nian, also a homonym for “year”, used to roam wild at the start of spring, terrorizing villages and devouring townsfolk. (Reminds me of the story of Abiyoyo) One year, an old man fought off the creature with firecrackers, loud drums, bright lights and red banners. That old man set the CNY stage for a millennia to come.

I am ready to jump into the tradition, with my new red boots, will have to buy some red clothes, watch some fireworks, and embrace 15 days of the loudest, wildest cultural festival on Earth. I don’t know if it can get as loud as it was in Changzhi when the guards were setting off what seemed to be sticks of dynamite (huge huge firecrackers) at 7:00 in the morning. Will let you know.

No more slimy flowers!

While in Sydney Australia, Mark and I were able to do some shopping for items made in Australia.

I fell in love with this flower vase.

flower vase 2 006

It is made of Australian sandstone with a chromed metal stand.


Sandstone is a sendimentary rock composed of mineral and rock grains (quartz and feldspar). The sedimentation process takes many millions of years (over 500). The sand becomes sandstone when it is cemented by the precipitation of minerals between the sand grains. These cementing materials are silica and calcium carbonate.

flower vase 2 002

You just put a little water in the stainless holder and the stems are held in place with the circular holder. Voila! no slimy stems.

The only difficult part with bringing it home, was that sandstone is not light weight.  It was worth the sore shoulder.

Some of my favorite pics from the trip

I just received some pictures from one of Mark’s colleagues that were taken of the both of us on the trip.

J and M in-front of the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

opera house

J and M eating kangaroo meat.

email kangaroo meat

M and J at Ron’s house in Perth eating the most delicious Australian beef steak.


My favorite of Mark and I inside the Sydney Opera House (where photos were not suppose to be taken).

Sydney Opera house email

We visited a dog cemetery.

Perth (Mark's photos) 164

J and M walking in Sydney.

P1030155Goodbye to Australia and New Zealand.

A day trip to the Pinnacles Desert

The Pinnacles Desert, with its striking limestone pillars, is in Namburg National Park, in Western Australia. The Pinnacles are limestone formations. Emus and kangaroos are frequently seen here.

Perth (Mark's photos) 043

Perth (Mark's photos) 049

Joan and tour guide Victor

Perth (Mark's photos) 055

Kangaroo foot prints (look for 2 lines with dung in middle). Victor said they usually just come out at night.

Perth 023

Victor holding some kangaroo dung. He says it has no smell, and I just took his word for that.

Perth (Mark's photos) 048

Our good looking group!


Beautiful Beach on North West Australia

On one of our day trips we stopped at a beach on the north west side of Australia.

Perth (Mark's photos) 011

the sand was great

Perth (Mark's photos) 018

the water was looked amazing

Perth (Mark's photos) 026

Bus driver Jen, and the bus we drove around in.

Perth (Mark's photos) 036

the tiny wild orchids were beautiful

Perth (Mark's photos) 075

Wave Rock in Western Australia

After spending 4 days in Sydney, we all boarded a plane for the four hour flight to  the city of  Perth on the west coast of Australia.

We spent 11 hours driving in a van one day to see this remarkable sight.


HYDEN, Western Australia

14 metres high, and 110m long, the face of Wave Rock appears ready to crash onto a pre-historic surf, now frozen in time.

Believed to have formed over 2700 million years ago, Wave Rock is part of the northern face of Hyden Rock.  The shape of the wave is formed by gradual erosion of the softer rock beneath the upper edge, over many centuries.

The colours of the Wave are caused by the rain washing chemical deposits (carbonates and iron hydroxide) down the face, forming vertical stripes of greys reds and yellows.

In addition to being an impressive tourist attraction, the rock has been converted in to a catchment for the town’s water supplies, with a foot-high concrete wall around the upper edge of Hyden Rock directing rainfall into a storage dam.

Perth 028 (Mark's photos) 157

Perth (Mark's photos) 159

This was an amazing sight to see and worth the long drive.

Meeting the Rellies!

My dad’s older brother moved his family with 2 children to Perth Australia way back in 1967 as he wanted a warmer climate, and that Canada did not have to offer. I was 10 years old at the time and my cousins were younger.  My cousin Carol and family made a trip to Canada back in 1994 when Mark and I were in the process of moving to Utah so we were unable to see them. So after 43 years I was able to reunite with Carol, meet her husband Chilly, and their 2 grown children Megan and Chris.

Carol and Chilly emailChilly, Carol, Joan, baby Amber and Megan

Carol and Chilly and family emailFriend, son Chris,Chilly, Carol,Joan, Megan, Amber, and husband Steve

Carol, Chilly, Joan in PerthChilly took us for a drive so we could see the lights of Perth.

It was so cool to hear them talk with all the Australian slang.   This is some of what I learned.

I loved meeting with my rellies (relatives) and learned that Carol works at Woolies (Woolworth’s) and says” No Worries” when people say Thanks.  She uses the sheila (woman’s) dunny (restroom) when needed.

We heard alot of G Day Mate, and fair dinkum (genuine, true).

We had a great time visiting, sharing stories, pictures and lots of laughs. Hopefully it won’t be quite as long between visits in the future.

We bought a Didgeridoo!

Today we purchased a wonderful souvenir of Australia.

Perth 031

1. Possibly the world’s oldest musical instrument
2. A wind instrument originally found in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia.
3. Is made from limbs and tree trunks hollowed out by termites (insects).
4. Is cut to an average length of 1.3 metres and cleaned out with a stick. or hot coals.
5. Was used as an accompaniment to chants and songs.
6. Produces a low-pitch, resonant sound with complex rhythmic patterns.
7. In sure tribal groups only played by men but in most groups by men, women and children.
8. Traditional various forms at the didjeridoo where found in Central Australia around Alice Springs.
9. The Didgeridoo is the sound of Australia.
10.If the earth had a voice it would be the sound of the Didgeridoo. Mark purchased a CD of their music, so now we know what he will be practicing in his spare time.

Before I left Sydney my tour guide Dan took me to a beautiful spot where the ocean  feeds into Sydney harbor , called Watson Bay.

Watson's Bay 005

Watson's Bay 003

Watson's Bay 010

Watson's Bay 009

Watson's Bay 011
Watson's Bay 014

Watson's Bay 015

Next on the trip a 4 hour flight to Western Australia, so Mark can visit his old boss from China, and I can visit with a cousin who I haven’t seen in over 43 years!!

Yummy Australian Food

Mark and I have enjoyed some delicious food while in Australia.

the works burger, with eggs, bacon, and beets….


meat pie with mashed potatoes and mashed peas on top


the potato pie was delicious



just had to try these, not as good as my cheese puffs


quite tasty!


Along with delicious seafood we quite enjoyed the food.

Australian animals

The animal park was small and well taken care of, and the weather was cool so pleasant walking around.

Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 1 metre (39 in) in length with a very short tail. They are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The name wombat comes from the Eora Aboriginal community who were the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

Zoo and Olympics 039

Zoo 007

Zoo 003

The kangaroos (mostly young) were cute.

Zoo 006

Zoo 015

This little guy just wanted to get out so I had to chase him around.

albino kangaroos

Zoo 022

The picture of the dingos did not turn out so I will tell you they were off white dogs. The major difference from a dog is that they don’t bark.

Zoo 021

He was enjoying the warm sun.
Zoo and Olympics 045

The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae now found in the wild only in the Australian island state of Tasmania. The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world after the extinction of the thylacine in 1936. It is characterized by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour when stressed, extremely loud and disturbing screech, and ferocity when feeding. It is known to both hunt prey and scavenge carrion and although it is usually solitary, it sometimes eats with other devils.

Zoo and Olympics 041

This guy didn’t look to scary.

An albino peacock! A first for me.