Smith’s State of Origin special edition

I’m not going to talk about State of Origin match here but rather some special edition of Smith’s potato chips that is only available during the State of Origin season.

On the Friday before Origin Game 1, Coles advertised on the Courier-Mail about their latest grocery promo. Three packs of Smith’s 175g potato chips cost only $5 till Wednesday (which is SOO Game 1).

I was curious about this special flavour and tried to locate it Coles Central at Myer Centre but to no avail. If it can’t be found at Myer Centre, I didn’t expect to find it at Coles Central QueensPlaza either. Did I fall for Coles advertising gimmick? You decide.

Last week after my grocery shopping at the Saturdays West End Market at Davies Park, I went to Coles Mollison St (West End) just to buy prepacked food not available at the market. Then I came across these boxes of Smith’s SOO special edition besides the frozen food area.


I forgot to mention earlier that this special edition is only available at Coles. The packaging shows two colours, blue (NSW) and maroon (Qld – my current state). It’s pizza flavour as it turned out to be. I thought it was some special flavour. But then again, do you expect pavlova or lamington flavour for your potato chip?


As the theme of this potato chips is State of Origin, does anyone living in Albury-Wodonga or Ballarat or any other place outside NSW and Qld able to locate this at your local Coles?


It tastes quite similar to pizza-flavoured potato chips that I had tasted a few years ago. That was back in Singapore, usually I bought it either at Cheers or 7-Eleven (well, as an alternative to Lay’s sour cream & onion or Polar puffs or Pokka Lemon Tea). I forget the name but it was Japanese brand.

By the way, it’s a mystery I never figure out. Why isn’t there any Lay’s potato chips sold in Australia? Is this the same case as Burger King branded as Hungry Jack’s in Australia?


FMOB – Supreme Court Open House

This writing is taken from my old blog. I put it up here because it has some educational value. This writing is dated 15 March 2009.

I decided to put up this blog post as the Queensland Law Society will organise an open house of the Brisbane Supreme Court at George St this Saturday. Let’s see how similar the Australian and Singapore judicial systems are – certainly no ‘Murri Courts’ in Singapore since there’s no such thing called ‘native title’ over there. And instead of Humpty Dumpty, QLS will have a mock trial of Hansel & Gretel, believed to be involved in a murder.


The Supreme Court, photo was taken two months ago

The publics were enthusiastic in the event

Yesterday, as part of my weekend short-getaway, I visited to the Singapore’s Supreme Court, in Indonesian known as “Mahkamah Agung”, Open House that lasts till today. I don’t know what time the event started nor the closing time. But one good thing about this is they really educate the public on laws and the appropriate behaviour in a court trial.

The first floor, taken from an escalator

Going to the “attic”

They will conduct a safety check on every visitors using both X-ray scanners and metal detectors, I don’t know why but I thought I did put my wallet, coin purse and bag on the X-ray scanner. The security guards are hired from Certis Cisco. I realised that I forgot to take out a scissors in my pencil case inside my bag. They confoscated it and I claimed back later. At first, you will be welcomed by volunteers (or may be it’s the law society, I don’t know) wearing orange t-shirt. Then, they will give out brochure on the event, summary of the Supreme Court as well as quiz that need to be solved by discovering through designated places in the building. Each question earns you one stamp and if you’ve collected all the stamps, you can redeem a prize at the first floor.

Parliament in the middleground and financial district in the background

A not-so-good-shot of me on Asian Civilisations Museum
Parliament again with restaurants along the Singapore River’s bank

There were 12 questions in the handout. There was also a parody trial of the case “Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty”. I didn’t attend the mock trial as the queue then was very long. And if you noticed the architecture of the building, it has some kind of UFO-like attic (or should I say roof?). There you could snapshot the Clarke Quay area (CMIIW) from 100 metre above the ground. A rare experience for peasants like me. You could also take some pictures of the financial district on the opposite side of the bank.

Going down from the “attic” or should I call it a pod?
Last shot before heading back, not to forget claiming back my scissors

There was an article on The Sunday Times today (15/03) regarding the open house that was held yesterday. They said that more than 10,000 people attended and it was the first open house since the judiciary body moved to the new premise in 2005.

Saybons’ crepe
I opted for ham & cheese crepe
The shoebag on the left and the mineral water on the right

All in all, I could say that the event was succesful and I also managed to finish the quiz. The worst of it, the prizes that they gave was quite lame. It was a shoe bag with nothing inside (at least a goodie bag or something like that), a D’elifrance voucher that entitled you a slash in price of their bottled water (50 cents from S$1.00) or isotonic drink, which I believe is Coke (60 cents from S$1.20) and a Saybons voucher that entitles you to a discount of 10% on crepes and soup. The vouchers also could only be used on the F&B booth outside the building and valid till today. Better than waste all my efforts, I decided to use it after all.

Ipswich Art Gallery

Ipswich Art Gallery is located next to d’Arcy Doyle Place. Entrance is free but bulky items that you carry (e.g. backpack) must be stored at receptionist. Photography is allowed inside the campus including toilet (they have art pieces put up in the toilet area).

Torpedoes or missiles or whatever it is, hopefully have been deactivated, are just some of the pieces the gallery showcased.

Bad modified motorbikes, don’t ride! It’s for art purposes only!

Mechanical doggie eats wrench instead of bones.

Some ceiling decoration made of colourful fabric?

One of the first Ipswich porcelains shown, made in Australia.

Fish & chips, ice cream, tomato sauce, German butcher?

At the end of my visit, I collected my bag which was stored by the receptionist and the lady asked me to fill out some survey about my overall experience to the gallery. Quite an amusing experience. I will be back again when they are having another exhibition. And I think Ipswich residents are slightly friendlier than their state capital’s counterparts.

It’s a thrill to explore another corner of the great southeast.

North Ipswich

After visiting the Ipswich Information Centre (which is strangely located in the suburb rather than CBD, in Queens Park), I decided to go to North Ipswich where there is the Railway Workshops Museum, another campus of the Queensland Museum. Unfortunately, I didn’t go in because I didn’t have enough money. But at least, the next time I come around, I know the way to go.

From the Ipswich Transit Centre, I crossed a bridge but I don’t know the name of the bridge. However, it is similar to all other bridges in Brisbane, it connects the north and south banks of the Brisbane River. This time in another city.

Believe it or not, this is still Brisbane River. Riverlink Shopping Centre is in the north bank. Facility for recreational purposes are created on both sides of the river. Somehow it reminds me when I fell down while riding a motorbike last year in my uncle’s house in south Denpasar. His house was located near a river where people play, fish and bathe (seriously).

The other side of the bridge lacks pedestrians. But at least, the infrastructure is there.

The south bank of the Brisbane River with recreational and sporting facilities shown. Remind me to go to Waterboom once I reach home.

This photo was taken facing the Ipswich CBD from Riverlink Shopping Centre. The tall building on the right is Commonwealth Bank and on the left is some kind of business or economic council. I think I have seen more skyscrapers in Darwin than in Ipswich.

Spot the difference(s) with the picture above.

This is Riverlink Shopping Centre. It has the three major supermarkets (Woolworths, Coles and ALDI), Super Amart, Target and Officeworks just to name some. For us Indonesians though, it is uncommon to find a shopping centre with so many supermarkets. Mostly have two at most.

Under the tree stands a small billboard welcoming ‘us’ to North Ipswich. Red carpet would have been better.

Finally after some 10 minutes of walking, I could see the Railway Workshops Museum.


On the last day of November, I decided to go to Ipswich. This year Ipswich celebrated its 150th anniversary. It was Brisbane’s main rival to become Queensland’s capital city back in the days when the state had just seceded from New South Wales.

I took QR Citytrain to go to Ipswich, taking train from Central Station, using the Ipswich line and stopping at Ipswich station.

After almost an hour-long journey on the train (it feels like eternity in commuting time), the train finally reached Ipswich. My first impression was ‘Wow, finally another Queensland city!’

The Ipswich train station is located across Ipswich City Mall. The city mall is sort of similar to Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall except for the lack of crowd. Ipswich City Council definitely is already on Christmas mood. See the decoration. At the end of the city mall lies Woolworths supermarket.


This is Brisbane Street. I came to know about and have the interest to visit the city thanks to Channel Seven’s local advertorial programme Great South East Sundays at 5.30pm. It once showed host Sofie Formica walked down Ipswich’s Brisbane Street looking for vintage shops.

Still on Brisbane Street stands Ipswich Post Office with its mini clock tower and next to it is the Ipswich Art Gallery. I will have a separate post on my visit to Ipswich Art Gallery to see the F-111 exhibition.

Next to the Ipswich Art Gallery lies d’Arcy Doyle Place. Again, I think it is the Ipswich version of Brisbane’s King George Square. This is where Premier Anna Bligh and Ipswich Lord Mayor Paul Pisasale cooked during Jamie Oliver’s Ipswich cooking class. A report shows that 56 percent of Ipswich residents are obese. That’s why Jamie Oliver held cooking class. d’Arcy Doyle Place is also decorated with Christmas tree.

Taking photo of Brisbane Street westward, you could see the GPO and Ipswich City Square. Cross the Ipswich City Square to the east and there is the Ipswich train station.

Before the absolute end of Ipswich City Mall, there is a right turn heading towards the train station. From this photo, if you walk straight passing the corridor and turn right you will see Woolworths.

To make sure that I was really in Ipswich, I took a photo of this.

I’m not sure what is the purpose of the transit center but what I do know is that some buses begin their journey there.

See you soon.

Farewell, ‘One Eleven’!

This afternoon, RAAF fleet of F-111 based at the Amberley Air Base flew over southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales for the last time. I read on City News it would be over Brisbane’s sky at 11.20am, then today’s Courier Mail wrote at 11.50am. In reality, it flew after midday. My bet is bad weather (Australia’s wettest start to summer in 111 years as The Australian wrote). Hmm, ‘One Eleven’ and 111 years? A coincidence?


The photo was taken by yours truly while he was having his daily dose of newspapers at the Tim Fairfax Room at the State Library of Queensland. The guy who was seated next to me in the room commented that he actually wanted to take photo of ‘One Eleven’ but he forgot his phototaking device.

The jets left Amberley Air Base flying over Ipswich and Brisbane and parted way. Some of the fighters would move northwards to the Sunshine Coast up to Noosa whereas the rest should fly over the Gold Coast down to Byron Bay. So long, ‘One Eleven’ after your 37 years of duty! As part of my commitment with the F-111 story, I will post my visit to Ipswich Art Gallery to see the F-111 exhibition there.

That’s all for now!

UPDATED: A news story from Seven News later in the evening about the F-111 or F1-11 (which ever way you prefer it) farewell

State Parliament House

Yesterday, I took a guided tour of Queensland’s State Parliament House in the southern tip of Brisbane’s CBD. Tours are organised regularly except for parliament sitting days. During this tour, there were only three participants. One is me (of course), another one is a woman from Townsville who speak Danish and the third one is a lady from Denmark. And I think the guide is of a German descent.

After a thorough security check, participants needed to sign on a pink book and take a pink-coloured visitor’s pass. The other colour is green but I’m not sure for whom it is intended. The time we enter and leave the Parliament precinct must be told and written in the pink book.

This is the main foyer. There are two blocks in the Parliament House, one is the ‘skyscraper’ and the other one is the ‘older, grander’ building. Whenever a British royalty comes, a red carpet will be extended from the staircase down in front of the main entrance (visitors enter from the side entrance). The Parliament House is considered an old building by Queensland’s standard (if it’s not for Australia’s young history and Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s mindless developments) built in the 1860s if I’m not mistaken.

There are four flags waived in the Parliament precinct. From left to right: Torres Straits Islander; Aboriginese; Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia.

After a brief explanation to the Parliament, we were guided to the Upper House sitting area. Queensland, however, is the only Australian state that does not have an upper house in its Westminster-style state parliament. If I’m not mistaken the reason was because laws were hardly passed by the Upper House and ‘low-quality’ debates. It was abolished inthe 1920s.

Despite its uselessness, the Upper House sitting area is still properly maintained. Like this lamp, it is cleaned every year usually in January. If it’s not properly maintained, say bye to another Queensland heritage.

I’m not sure who does the symbol belong to. I presume it is written in Latin so it must be dated back to the ’20s.


Down the hallway, we passed this stained glass honouring the then Queen of England, Queen Victoria. And anyway, isn’t the state’s name is also in honour of the same person?

Before we entered the Lower House sitting area, we were brought to this room that contains all the state parliamentary debates across Australia. Victoria in the right, then Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and finally Western Australia in the right (the photo only shows up till New South Wales, the rest is located in another shelves). The materials are regularly updated and lawmakers can use these resources for parliamentary debate. I bet there should be the debate about extension to Perth’s trading hours 😀 .

Located above the room is the library. But, we were not brought there.

Entering the Lower House, this is where the backbenchers sit. The seats have been preserved of its orginality. Currently, the ALP leads the state government with Anna Bligh as the premier whereas on the opposition side is John Paul-Langbroek from LNP. A state election is due before 2012 and it is predicted that Labor will lose power (after the Victorian election defeat, where Ted Bailieu of LNP will be sworn in as Victoria’s premier).

One electoral constituency in Queensland should contains 30,000 voters. Usually the size of the constituency is quite small in southeast Queensland but it can be very big in the western areas such as Mt Isa or Charleville.

The guy on the left is the tour guide. As usual, four flags shown.

The Queensland Government trusted Samsung as their computers for parliamentary purposes.

The seat of the speaker with deputy speakers on the sidelines.

There is a limit to the length of speech given by lawmakers. In Canberra it’s 4 minutes for each answer sessions and 30 seconds for question time. In Queensland it’s 2 minutes for …, 4 minutes for … and 30 minutes for … . There was a case in the past when a lawmaker had a speech for 27 hours and that’s why the time limit.


After that, we were brought down again.

A mannequin of Captain Cook

The attire lawmakers used in the early days of Queensland parliament

In the name of the Queen

And the Aboriginese

Queensland Parliament currently has 32 women lawmakers and was the first state to have a woman lawmaker in the parliament.

That’s all for now, folks!