Programming concepts revisited

Although working in the tomato packing shed gives me enough wages to pay accommodation and food, it's not good enough to me to save some money for next traveling to other city. Main reason is 'cause that the harvest season doesn't really start off so there are many day-offs now, thay said as if I care about the situation. Well, I should've cared. In short, I'm blocked here.

However, as a worker doing repeatedly dumb packing of the job, I have to figure out some way to cheer myself up or I'll be bored to death. Some colleagues listen to iPod while working. I don't wanna do the same 'cause the working environment is noisy so you have to volume up very high. That definitely does damage to the ears. Sometimes the speed of incoming tomatoes is so fast such that the only thing I could do is just filtering out bad ones. You know, I became a robot at that time. Sometimes the speed is slow, I got some time to think.

Let me briefly describe the content of my tomato-packing job. I know that one picture worths one thousand words. But it takes so much cash to get an internet computer with uploading-photo capability so I just can afford to use the free computers provided by local library. Although there are USB slots, but they don't work. I'd tried many times to hack the library computers. But somehow they have a specially customized Windows OS, the only thing I could do with the computers is just browsing. Thanks god I can log in Blogger or you can't
see my blogs for a long time. (Well, maybe you don't care at all :P) The internet cafe here charg
callback function

evaluate performance

--Oops! I was caught using emailing this morning. That's why this blog published as half-baked.--
--The library secretary caught me log onto blogger and there was a string "gmail.com" right there on the top-right cornor of the window. And she said emailing must be charged $2.60 per half hour. Required me to log out immediately and asked me to leave. Well, although the system I was using is a blog system instead an email system. I thought that's still againt the policy of the library. Faint.--
--So, now, I have no place to go with free internet+blog. And that means, you mates won't see my next blog for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time. Cheers.--

The internet cafe here charges internet access $5 for one hour. That means, almost two meals. Holy banana. Holy tomato.

Well, this blog was supposed to something about the correlations between programming concepts and tomato packing. But with that said(I was caught!), I can't afford to write something online costing me so much. So I hands up.

My current status:
I am re-reading the essays of Stevey(old and new) which are the only worth reading in my laptop. I regret that I didn't copy/download more online articles into my MacBook.
I bought a sudoku book. But the first one sudoku puzzle is so hard that I can't solve it by my brain and hands. So I decided to write a program to solve it for me. Still in progress. I think this is a good exercise because I know nothing about sudoku. So I have to build the know-how from ground up. Yap.
I am practicing cooking, as you know.
Maybe I will play chess with the New Zealand or German guys.
Watch TV drama program: Friends.
Speak to the Ireland girl, I still have problems with her Irish tone.

Thanks mates. You won't see me soon so go other place else.


Too crowded

Now the backpacker I live in is almost full. There are so many people gathering around here. Sometimes even comes sightseeing travellers. I dare say I really don't like this at all.

First of all, the kitchen will be occupied by many Japanese. Well, I can't blame them. Everybody needs to cook to feed himself. So do I. According to the "matter occupies space" which is a trivial statement teached by my junior high school teacher, if there were some lads and lasses standing in front of the stoves then there would be absolutely no way that I could do my cooking. Sigh, one night I couldn't cook dinner until 9:30pm which was not a good time to eat before sleeping.

Second, those Japanese talk to each other and start to watch Japan movies or dramas. In Japanese language of course, that's not good. Well, again, I can't blame them. I'm just a little bit grumpy. Sorry.

Consequently I have to change my daily schedule of getting up, falling asleep and especially cooking to avoid timing conflicts with others. In short, cooking earilier than others. Then I can do my cooking freely and easily.


When lost memory

If one day you miserably lost your memory, what exactly one skill would you want to keep?

I watched the movie "The Majestic", starring Jim Carrey, which was rent by some mate in the hostel. In the plot Jim once lost his memory about his life but still he could remember the scenes and conversations in the movies he watched before. And he also could play jazz piano fluently. Wow, memory is a complicated and tangled thing to understand, huh.

A question I asked the German mate(or French mate, whatever) who studies music and at the same time can cook and make cookies. If he lost memory, which one would he want to keep: a) music or b) cooking? He couldn't answer immediately.

However, the same question, you can ask yourself. If one day you miserably lost your memory, what exactly one skill would you want to keep? It must be utterly unbearable if you lose that skill. It must be the distinguishing skill that seperate from you and others. You can't live without that.

In the other movie I watched before, Resident Evil, starring Milla Jovovich, also has the same situation. Milla lost her memory but still remembered how to fight and gun-shooting.

By the way, the hostel I live in now has many Japanese come in. Maybe more than eight. Wow. And here came four French guys, they played console games(maybe PS2), soccer and car-racing, a lot.


What does Echuca mean?

Echuca, means "the meeting of the waters". Goulburn and Campaspe rivers join the Murray Rivers here. And the Murray river is the boundry between New South Wales and Victoria(I believe but not sure). So south to Echuca is Victoria, north to Echuca is NSW.

What a great name!

Take a look on google map.

View Larger Map

By the way, I'm highly appreciated that any of my friends who left some comments on my blogs. Every time I get a chance to hang on internet and see the comments from you in Taiwan, that always makes me grin and feel cheerful. Thanks.

Dust in my nails

Today and tomorrow are day-offs. That means no work. Because they said the harvest season doesn't really start yet. Well, that's bad to me.

After several days of tomatoes packing, there exists much dust in my nails. It takes a long time to clean and I can't completely clean it up even after several times of washing. This reminds me a Japanese movie, Hula girls, one girl in the movie said "No matter how I've tried, the coals in the nails are just there, dark and dirty." Well, I suppose I'm luckier than her.

After one month and half passed in Aussie, I'm calculating the money I've spent and the amount I need to travel to other city. In shot, I'm doing something bookkeeping and accounting which I'd never done before. Haha.

I think I'll settle down in this town for at least two months to save some money. And there are several things to do when no working, for examples, watch english movies without subtitles, read some articles about computer science, practice programming on my MacBook, exercise english conversations with other backpackers, cook my own meals, read english novels, etc..

It's darn hot here, the highest temperature is 37~41 degree. I hope you, my friends in Taiwan, enjoy the winter. See you.

Something beyond this topic:
1. My senior labmate, gamma, uploaded his wedding photos. Take a look!


I met several mates

Currently I live in a hostel, Echuca Backpackers. This is a work hostel, the owner has good connections with employer. So usually people come here for a job and live here for a long time.

A young(maybe between 20 ~ 26) couple from German. The male studies in music. The famale goes to tomato packing shed with me.

A young(about 22 years old) couple from Korea. The male is in his second year. I think he comes to Australia second time for being with his girl friend. By the way, he played StarCraft also in university lab after the professor goes home. Haha. There should have many Koreans in Australia, because in big city such as Sydney and Melbourne you can se Korean groceries, internet cafes, and supermarkets.

One Japanese girl from Osaka. I talked to her in the first day and she seemed a nice girl. But later, it seems that she wouldn't wanna talk to me anymore. Strange...

One Japanese girl from Nagasaki. Have been in Australia for 8 months. I told her I went to Osaka to see sakura flowers. Also goes to tomato packing shed with me.

Three Japanese boys in second year in Australia. Newcomers in the hostel. Have yet to talk much.

One girl who is the driver takes three workers to tomato packing shed. Not yet to ask her where is she from. She have travelled to many many countries. For traveling I mean staying in that country at least a couple of months. Not short visiting or sightseeing. What a good girl. (She is from Ireland.)

An old Australian man who already has four grandchildren. Might leave tomorrow.

A guy from Canada. Love to get online even if the cost is very high.


What I learnt when poor

As a poor man, there are many things to learn to struggle for life. First of all, I can't afford to waste anything. For example, toothpaste, do you know how much minimum toothpaste needed to wash and clean the tooth? After several days of practicing and experimenting, I got it. I used as less toothpaste as possible. It's really much lesser than the amout I used before. Well, there is a question left: Does my teeth exactly be cleaned? :P

Another example is inspired from a Japanese comic, because I don't know its original Japanese name and I can't type Chinese now so I directly translate the name from Chinese to English here, "Poor noble prince". In it, the man character can eat any food even already exceeded exipry date. Wow, fabulous. Toast and marmalade, you let me live for one another day.

I learnt to wash clothes, socks, and pants by hands. Because washing machine and dryer usually cost 2 AUD per each. In city it will cost even 3 AUD. Although it takes one or two hours to wash, I could spare it. The sun in summer here beams strongly and for a long time. Sunrise and sunset are usually at 5:30 and 8:45. Dry out my clothes, Mr. Sun.

To live by myself, I need o learn a lot of things. Pity that I didn't recognize this simple fact in Taiwan.


Status update

Well, sorry to such a long time no blog for you, mates. Perhaps someone wonders whether I'm alive or not. Haha. No photos, no long rubbish sentenses. Just some notes about my recent status.

I couldn't get a job in Melbourne, and one day morning. Someone called me to fruit picking(apricot). Wow, I was running out of money then. So I immediately went to the small town "Echuca". Maybe you can find it on google map. It's about 3.5 hours by train from Melbourne.

Two days of apricot picking, many mossies, hot sun burning my skin. It's a contract job. But by working 8 hours per day, I could merely make two and half bins of apricot. That's only 75 AUD. Well, that sounds not good and not bad. But...accommodation fee per one day is 20 AUD, car hire per one day is 7.5 AUD, and gasoline per one day is 16 AUD(shared by three works). Faint, so I quitted.

It's near new year's eve. No job. Thanks to the owner of the hostel, who helps me to find the job. So I got 11.5 hours of dish washing cash-job in an Italian restaurant. Wow, good experience.

Then I just fooled around, again and again. Struggle to eat less and lesser. So I move as less as possible. Because moving wastes my energy. And so, I don't take pictures at all. :). Because I really had no cash at all. Cry...

Yesterday(2008.1.8) and today(2008.1.9) I went tomato packing shed. Working indoor and filtering out bad tomatoes. Not bad, I can handle it. Wish I can make a lot of money there.

Now, I'm wondering how to pay the accommodation for next week. Because it takes several time that the pay to enter into my account. Thinking...

Echuca Victoria Australia. A charming small town. That's where I am. ^_^