I recently took on a new role as Principal Mobility Network & Security at BHP Billiton (officially on the 5th Dec 2016) converting to a full time employee. This was a big change for me, given I’ve been a contractor for them coming up to 5 years. Along with it, came an opportunity to travel to Perth (on the 10th March) to visit one of BHP Billiton’s mine site for the first time, and to meet all the technology guys that I will probably work with a lot going forward. Got to say, it’s not everyday that I get to dress up in full protective gear, and stand next to these giant mining trucks!
I’ve never travelled to Perth on a company paid trip, and had not visited a BHP Billiton mine site before either, even though I have worked and dealt with them (as a contractor) for the last 5 or so years! Wifey and Ethan came along this trip (which they have been for every company paid trip so far), and we stayed at Pan Pacific on St George Terrace for our stay over the 2 weeks.
Mind you, Perth was my first Australian ‘home’ when my family migrated here in 1990. So it was not exactly a new destination for me. There were definitely moments of ‘oohs.. ahhs’ when our flight landed in Perth Airport with plenty of curiosity in me and wifey’s eyes. Elizabeth Quay is definitely new. The iconic “R&I” bank building is now “South32” (offshoot of BHP Billiton), and we noticed a few new tall buildings here and there. I swear Swan river used to look a little bluer than the reddish brown that I saw. Apart from that, I didn’t see too many changes in the Perth city at all. I liked the term that one of the taxi driver told us one day. He referred to Perth as really just a “big village”, which I thought was so true!
We had 3 weekends in Perth with time to explore outside the city. Fortunately, we had a car courtesy of wifey’s dad who still lives in Perth but was out of the country at the time. Ethan didn’t really look all that happy sitting in his car seat though.
We wasted no time just going for a drive and covered quite a few places with the weekends that we had.. namely Caversham Wildlife Park.. where Ethan gets to meet his first kangaroos and koalas!
Cottlesloe Beach was a highlight for me.
We don’t expose Ethan to much sand in Singapore. He definitely seemed to love sand a bit more at Perth beaches!
In fact, we liked Cottlesloe so much that we came back a second time!
And of course, you can’t go to Cottlesloe Beach without sampling at least a bite of fish & chips!
Oh.. and just look at the sunset…..
Adventurescape Playground near Mandurah was a highlight for Ethan..
Indoor Playgrounds (Crocs PlayCentre & Tropical Twist) were also highlights for Ethan..
Maylands Waterland.. well, the water was probably a little too cold for Ethan to enjoy.. it was cheap though!
Yes, arguably the weekends had all been about Ethan, and I’ve got to admit there were plenty of choices! To think Perth was so ‘boring’ back when I was young.. gosh.. we definitely weren’t bored! Other days, wifey took the opportunity to catch up with quite a few of her high school friends and her sister. While we were at it, we definitely had some nice food! To start with.. there was steak at Roxby Thai Bar & Grill…
Oh, old school Chicken Treat classic chicken roll!! Can’t believe that’s no longer the star menu item anymore!
And something that definitely did not exist when I lived in Perth.. Sarawak Laksa! And kolo mee!
I do have my moments of, “why didn’t I come back to live here?”. After all, I did have pretty fond memories spending my early teen years over here. Maybe we’ll be back here again.. who knows?!!