26022017: Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

Uni starts again tomorrow (good god, where did the time go?). Normally I would stay home – like I had been for the past few days – because I need a lot of time by myself to mentally prepare for socialisation. BUT I’m also serious about this travelogue project, and I needed to get out more anyway, and use those shoes, and not be a sad and isolated hermit.

So off I went, for the sake of TCH, to the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival (website).

The city frequently hosts multicultural events – showcasing the art, dances, music, crafts and (most importantly) the food -, which highlights the diversity and international appeal of Melbourne. That’s what I love most about living here; just as in Malaysia, there’s a celebration of multiculturalism, and a kind of welcome to tourists and residents alike to explore and support a different culture. You can always come in freely to Fed Square and try Sri Lankan food, or purchase some Indonesian crafts, or whatever that’s happening.

The only difference was that back home (Malaysia) our celebration of multiculturalism is…normalised? We celebrate and recognise each other’s holidays, and when Chinese New Year, or Ramadan, or Divali comes it’s a long event by itself – in the wet markets, in the malls, in the radio, in our houses – and it permeates everyone’s daily living for a while like a relative coming in for a visit. It’s quite mundane actually. It’s not like in Melbourne where a culture is confined into its own space most of the time – quiet and unseen- and only once a year for a day they go public. Not that there’s anything wrong. It’s just an observation of difference. Between a loud and quiet person.

Anyway to return to the present, while I thought it was good I went out, I immediately regretted it. 28 degrees celsius never felt warmer, especially more so when you’re shuffled along in a tight pack of people and waiting in long lines trying to get food and water. Can’t imagine the folks working behind the teriyaki stalls, trapped in smoke and heat. Bless them.

I ate some food though. Had an unlucky purchase with a ramune bottle (still unopened). I got donuts and I went home after that to get away from the heat. Not that I would be spared – the next few days are going to be a scorcher. 33 C, 34 C, all that.

Of course, the heatwave had to happen during my first week of uni. What did I expect?

21022017: Sketch

I went to the city today to socialise – in addition to being The Connoisseur Humanist, I’m a Connoisseur Introvert – and I’m glad I did. The weather was perfect today. Cool and sunny, without being too sweaty. It’s the kind of weather you appreciate and wish there was more of in Melbourne – the city of mood swings (one day 35 C and sizzling, the next 12 C and storming, and sometimes, in one day!).

I’m still experimenting with the format of this travelogue. I’m confused because it seems like I’m the only one who plans to do a travelogue the way I’m doing now – sketches and drawings, with notes and prose underneath. It’s usually one or the other. And if it’s both, it’s usually PHOTOGRAPHS, not drawings or sketches. I suppose the format will find me one day (hopefully before the Camino), but for now, I apologise if everything’s a mess and inconsistent.


15022017: The Crux & Co


Today is my birthday! It’s a pretty simple affair – some cakes, some reading and then The Book of Mormon tonight.

I dropped by one of my new favourite cafes – The Crux & Co – yesterday to treat myself to some birthday cakes (small, cute, and just the right level of sweet).

They have a branch (the original) at South Melbourne, and I haven’t been there yet. This little one – just a little way down Little Collins St, nearby the Windsor Hotel and Parliament House – is just as nice. It’s cozy, it’s airy, it’s coloured in yellow and white and decked with all sorts of greenery. It makes a nice place to sit and have a coffee – close to the hustle and bustle of the CBD but far enough to offer peace and quiet.

But the atmosphere of a place is always secondary (or more precisely, a bonus point) whenever I visit a restaurant or a cafe. The main thing – always, forever – is the FOOD. The DESSERT. I came here for the eclairs originally – small and aesthetic finger bites, and they have a huge array of colours and flavours. I would recommend trying at least one. They are pretty good. But what satisfies me – in terms of price (as a uni student) and gastronomical fulfillment – are their cakes.

They are round deliciousness – with all the cakes I’ve tried so far they share a subtle sweetness. No element is too overpowering. And they are all cute! Well designed! What I like most overall is their hazelnut cake. I suppose the note I’ve written in the drawing is adequate in describing why personally it is above the rest.

Dessert Run draws: the eclairs, the cakes, the crogels (not drawn; Croissant Bagels) and the absolutely adorable matcha latte.

Zomato: https://www.zomato.com/melbourne/crux-co-patisserie-cbd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecruxandco/

Website: http://www.thecruxandco.com.au/

14022017: first post



This is the first post of this new travelogue project I’m embarking. The Connoisseur Humanist has gone through several iterations since I thought of the name itself, but I think this is its final form? It’s in line now with me as a person and a storyteller (an artist and a writer). Drawn content is something I can easily provide – it’s a lot less daunting than writing – and now with an iPad, it could not get any easier.

I’m going to try, for the whole of 2017, to return to sketchbooking. I haven’t done it in years, and not as frequently as I should. It’ll just be of simple things: drawings of food, of places, of people, etc. I’m going to document where I’m currently living a lot more intimately. So that’s my first travelogue: about Melbourne.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll post a couple of things (a recipe and a dessert review) later.