Thursday, August 31, 2006

Robin Returns

Screw Superman.

Screw Batman, who needs them when Robin is around? And now.... Robin has returned to Kuching !!!! Woooo Hooooo..

I have traveled far, from Perth, stopping in KL for 5 days and now finally, I have reached home, with the snail connection of 1515 blogging and reading blogs. Hah, laugh all you want, I can't even load my own blog page properly, since I have been so used to doing all those with my precious broadband back in Perth. What goes around comes around eh? Tortures whipping back to myself....

Anyway, I am still a little beaten up from all those travels and good times I had in KL. Everything has been very hectic lately, and I have not have enough time to catch my own breath. I need rest, and some time away from blogging. I know I have been absent for longer than I expected. I love this blog, I shall get right back on track when my body is finally adapted to the humid, hot, hazy and sticky weather of Malaysia and getting used to sleeping while sweating.

I have so much to blog, I have so much to tell. Here are the things that shall come here in robinwong.blogspot.com...

- Perth farewell
- Flight to KL
- KL events
- Journey Home

- from here onwards, I shall blog about Kuching instead of Perth...

Until I fully switched myself from Perth mode with a little jizz of KL into Kuching Mode, I shall recover myself and embrace into the wonders of Kuching, the place where I call home. I am glad to be back, the past weeks have been one of the most difficult times of my life, yet the happiest and uplifting at the same time. I look forward to share all those moments with you guys. Please stick with the patience, and I shall catch up with you cool bloggers in no time.

Now, if you would excuse me, I shall attack Kuching food now.

Side Note: For those of you in Kuching, please please come find me, contact my email and we can arrange something. I wanna meet up with you cool people !!!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Graduation far away

During the UWA Expo (click) that I blogged about not too long ago, most of the buildings in the university were open for public viewing, including the grand Winthrop hall. This was not my first time stepping into the hall, but somehow, I had a different feeling while I was standing inside looking around the entire space. I felt, sad.

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To those of you who have no idea what that place is, that is the main landmark of the University of Western Australia, and that is also the place where the graduation ceremony will be held. Yes, graduation, that word bears a very interesting meaning nowadays. I am a graduate from the university, but somehow somewhere some things go a little complicated and, well, things just do not quite work the way they are supposed to be. But I have fought hard, I have tried my all, not giving up, not giving in, and I kept moving on.


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And I know somehow, I have seen a little ray of light shining on the success awaiting ahead of me.

Like I mentioned earlier, I felt sad while standing in that hall. Yes, it felt grand, and certainly I could feel the prestige of this University which is incredibly renowned internationally. I felt sad, for I have not fulfilled all the requirements to graduate this spring. (two graduation ceremonies each year, spring and autumn). I felt sad, because there are many things here in Perth left undone, and unaccomplished. I felt sad, because I know I will be leaving Perth soon, sooner than I wanted and planned. I felt sad, because I have fallen in love with Perth, and being there in the hall, knowing I wont be there for my graduation in spring, and I will leave Perth with such heavy heart, I just wished that things would be better, somehow.

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But not everything has gone wrong. In the past few days, many things happened, and many of them had been good. It is inspiring and soothing to have some happy news. I shall share more of that in the future.

I shall be flying to KL (Kuala Lumpur) on this Saturday (26th August), and stay there until the following Wednesday (30th August) before I find my way back to a place where I miss and love so much: KUCHING !! Part of me wants to go home so desperately. I miss Kuching, I miss the people, I miss the food.

So guys, anyone wanna meet up with me? Just email me, or drop a comment here. I hope I can get back to you guys in time.


Side Note: Bloggers meet in KL anyone?? Ahaahaha I know I am not qualified to make that call, but hey, would be nice to meet some of you bloggers in KL. I wont be updating much, during my travel back home from Perth-KL-Kuching. Will be rewinding and relaxing a little.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Malaysian Food in Perth

Being here in Perth for many years already, I dare say that there is not many events or festivals organized here specifically for Malaysian food. Being away for so long now, one could not help but miss the food back home dearly. Thanks to a dear friend Tzu Yen (click), I have been informed and invited to join his group of cool friends to this Malaysian Food Festival held in Queen's Park last Sunday. Coincidentally, the UWA Expo which I have just recently blogged about happened at the same day, and at the same time, hence it was really a rushy day.




I have promised my dear friend Lorinda to hunt for satays, take pictures of the delicious unique Malaysian delicacy and also some shots of myself stuffing few sticks of satays right into my mouth, munching happily away, and post those photos on my blog. But sorry to disappoint you Lorinda, by the time I arrived at the place, all the satays were GONE !!! Arrrrrrghhhhhh..... Blardy, why would they not make more satays when they know the demand was there? Sheesssshh...




Alright, lets cut to the chase. The hall utilized for this event was not that huge, and the variety of food left for us when we arrived was rather limited. This is predictable since the entire event was supposed to be organized for charity and the entire profits will go to one of those charity bodies somewhere in Malaysia. So much for community spirit, well I have done myself and the community around me some good have I not?

WHAT'S THERE...

Fishballs on Sticks




Roti Canai (Some call it Prata)




Curry Puff



And errmm... Many more food which I was too lazy to take any picture of. *cough* *cough*


Anyway, I bought a 10 bucks coupon, which by all means I MUST spend in that event, or else the coupon would be useless and be just plain papers. It was really difficult to decide what to buy and what to eat, not because there were too many good food to choose from, but because.. because... because nothing being sold there screamed my attention. I know they were all Malaysian food, but.. I just did not find anything that interested me enough to really spend my limited cash on. Do not get me wrong, I love Malaysian food, if it makes you all feel any better, blame it on my appetite.

WHAT I BOUGHT...

Fried Rice --> 5 Bucks




FishBalls and a can of Coke--> 2 bucks + 1 buck




2 Spring Rolls --> 2 Bucks



The fried rice was so and so, the fishballs was fantastic, and the spring rolls were AWESOME !!!

Tzu Yen ordered this... which I do not know the name of... but it looked delicious, and tasted really good. Ohh anything with curry gravy would taste good.


THE PEOPLE

Here are the people that came along for the festival and savoured the sumptious Malaysian feast on this fine afternoon.

TzuYen and David




Yi Ting



Me and Khee Hwa..




Errmm... enjoying the food a little too much??



On the whole, I would say it was a really good event. It may not be something that would make a person go Oooohhh Aaaahhhhh or scream in tears of joy, but definitely a festival like this is extremely rare in this land and worth checking out. Afterall, contributing a little for good cause while feasting on some quality home food may just be a good combination for a lazy Sunday's lunch. Thanks Tzu Yen for inviting me and bringing me to the event !! I seriously appreciate that.


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Monday, August 21, 2006

UWA Expo 2006

This is another one of those yearly event organized by my university to draw in more people, especially the prospective students. This is like the old school open day concept, with most of the buildings being open to public while all schools and disciplines lined up their most attractive tricks and attention grabbing materials to tell their wonderful "stories" about what they can offer to the students. People come from all sorts of places and flood the university ground, and of course, everyone working at the exhibition did a great job hiding what hellish depressing torturing and God knows how painful university stress and pressure can be. Well, is it not the university is all about pressure and stress?? That point seemed to be casually missed.




Let's see all their lies and tricks, shall we?


Computer Science





If you study computer science, you will get the chance to play with this stupid looking robotic life-less mechanically retarded dogs that sucks up batteries. Now if only someone is kind enough to traumatize the kids with the hassle and mind-boggling details of programming languages... I'm sure the dogs would look less interesting.


Physics



Now this is where the heart of actions are at. By studying physics, we will gain the power to produce and control the lightning !!! How cool is that??

Electricity



By learning physics, we can turn a rubbery material into solid !!! This is what we call magic !!


Nitrogen Liquid



I recalled the similar exhibition held back in Kuching during the science fair in 2001 somewhere in Kota Samarahan, where someone dipped a fresh green leave into the nitrogen liquid, and the leave came out really crispy. That was why I said that the rubbery ball would turn crispy, though in truth it turned out brittle, and rather hard, NOT crispy !!
I was just whispering to myself, but somehow, the person heard my whisper and said it out loud !!!

Smoke Ring Cannon



This is my most favourite item of display, smoke ring cannon !!!!

Look, its so special, the cannon blasts smoke, and the smoke puffs are formed in hollow rings !!! Its genius !! See, science is interesting, physics is interesting !!!

And of course, the statue of naked man (click) with full details of balls and penis being displayed all the time throughout the exhibition. I wonder what the kids would think that means, and what they could ever learn from Physics.


Engineering






You get to build your own car if you study engineering. No kidding, the motor sports project in UWA require the students to work in teams to produce the sport cars from scratch. So kids, wanna build your own care and play with it? It sure looks better than your cheap Tamiya cars, and certainly you can ride on this one. What is the catch you say? Well, just a couple of months spent with basically no life, every night going to the laboratory doing testing and tweaking and engine performance testing and trial and errors and.. well, in summary its just a LOT of STRESS and hard work involved to actually complete a prototype. If I were you, I would stick to Tamiya cars. After all, if I screw up, I could always get a new one. If I screw up the motor sports project, I could flunk and get expelled from the uni !!!


Law



Like usual, all papers and words. No more than that. It is surprising how much the exhibition can tell about each school and discipline.




People, I have been to this university for so many years. Do not let the promotional gigs deceive you. Nothing is what it seems. The simple truth is, UWA is not any different from any other universities. The expo may seem like a lot of fun, but in fact I never recalled having any fun at all in my engineering years. It was sadly filled with over-loading stress all the time. And if you stay long enough, you may even be lucky enough to turn into a walking monster (click) !!


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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Little Ceasars

Somewhere in Perth, a group of crazy people decided to go somewhere really far and do some really really crazy stuff. Interestingly I am included in that group of crazy people, and with two cars we drove all the way from Nedlands to Mundaring for slightly more than an hour. For what? To where?

Many people have mentioned about that place. Cynthia (click) has recommended the place. The place itself has won many national, and international awards, proudly being displayed right at the entrance. The place is...

Little Ceasars !!






They serve authentic Italian pizzas here in this little shop, and upon arrival, we could not find any free seatings left, so we had to wait for a bit. Not surprising for this fact, since it was a Saturday night, and we are not the only crazy people who would drive for more than an hour just to get to the place. We ordered our selection of pizzas, and waited for quite a bit. Interestingly, by the time the pizza came, we have already found a vacant table !! Now talk about perfect tming...

Now, is it worth traveling this far just for pizzas? When the food came, we know the answer right away from the aroma and beauty of the food...







Gosh, I was too hungry that I quickly took all the pictures and did not bother to get the names down. I tell you, so far in my life, these are the best tasting pizzas, ever, and I have to admit, they purely lived up to their reputation !! The pizzas here are not about quantity, or the excessive toppings and cheese. But, the pizzas here are prepared to near perfection in taste !! Everything about the taste was just perfect and all the ingredients blended in very well. The pizzas were never too oily and the texture of the bread was just right. I gotta tell you guys who have not tried Little Ceasars, the pizzas here are truly world class !!

We had two of their desert pizzas too. The pizzas were served with generous amount of chocolate inside and few scoops of ice-cream toppings.







Of course, good food will never be fully enjoyed without good people around. Those people are the craziest people I have met so far in Perth. Crazy that I laughed all the way, cramping my stomach while I was rigorously digesting all those yummy pizzas...





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I have blogged about Broadway Pizza before, and I have mentioned how good Broadway was. Chun Chow (click), I gotta tell you, Little Ceasars is waaaaay better.


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Friday, August 18, 2006

Transport Revolution

Walking may be the most versatile and economic mode of transport, but.. don't you just hate the unpredictable rain and scorching heat of the sun? I am sure no one wants to walk a long way with inconvenient umbrella in one hand...

A car or other petrol eating vehicles may be more "advanced" mode of transport, promising speed and shelter from harsh weather.... but don't you just hate the traffic jam, the parking troubles, and ridiculous amount of money spent on ever-rising price of petrol ?? Not to mention maintenance costs etc...

Public transport? Affordable, yes, but if only the bus drivers have their watches working according to ours !!


Now.. introducing a new mode of transport....




With this...

You are sheltered from rain and excessive UV radiation...

You can travel faster than walking...

You do not use petrol...

No parking problem (can squeeze anywhere)

And the best of all, you look COOL on the streets !!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just a bit unwell

I have come across a lot of charity activities and operations from all around the world functioning for all kinds of reasons, many which would involve both huge and small scale to induce sympathy amongst people living ordinary everyday lives and in hope that they would fork out a copious amount of money from their pocket to fit into funding of the purpose of whatever the operation intended. It has become such a norm that whenever there is a street beggar asking for a dollar, I would just instantly look away and shiver with the thought that... "Geeez.. those creeps are everywhere !!!"

And then one fine day, I stumbled upon Yvonne Foong (click), an infamous Malaysian Blogger, whom coincidentally is also doing a stretch of fund raising activities. What struck me the most is, she is doing those things, for one reason. She is fighting to stay alive.

Looking through some of the older archives in her blog, it really hit me hard. First and most apparently, I am deeply touched by her will to live. She has been inflicted with a disease (Neurofibromatisis) that caused her to suffer a great deal, yet her spirit is not dampened. She stayed strong, with sheer determination, she is surviving and pulling through all those difficult times. She is fighting death. Now this is not just an ordinary girl, this girl, lives with an astonishing purpose.

This girl lives her life to stay alive !!!



Photo STOLEN from www.yvonnefoong.com

What I truly admire in her, is that she has been doing all those, with smiles on her face. Such angelic smile, showing so much love and compassion, though she is suffering only God and her knows how much. Her smile, is truly dazzling, and heart warming. A smile from someone who so unfailingly believes in hope, and walks forward on the thorny and fiery path, no matter how much it hurts. A smile that shines through pain and desperation. That is really, priceless.

She has not been idle. She has done so many things, rock concerts, T-shirt sales and so on just to raise funds for her operation. However, the amount raised so far is slightly over 30% of the required amount.

She wrote a book, entitled "I'm Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell: Life With Neurofibromatisis".





Photo STOLEN from http://cynical-idealist.blogspot.com

The Sypnosis:

From her lifelong battle with Neurofibromatisis to her being crowned as The Most Outstanding Youth of 2005, Yvonne Foong's story is both moving and extraordinary. If you have ever wondered what it was like to cope with an incurable illness, this book introduces you to the day-by-day realities of the teenager who is the girl next door.

This book is published and made available for sales purely to raise funds to support the surgery for Yvonne. All the benefits of the book sales will completely be directed to Yvonne, and no profit or whatsoever shall be pocketed by any party. Although I have not read this book, I can tell that there is a very strong message of HOPE in it. Hope is something so fragile, something seemed fable in this fast moving and ever changing world full of tears and desperation. Hope is very much needed by the world today. I believe this book will strongly portray the powerful message of Hope from frist hand experience and the inspiration that would touch our lives extensively.

Please, fellow bloggers, please help spread this word in anyway that you can, dedicate a blog entry on Yvonne or anything you can do in your power to contribute what you are capable of for her operation. God has a plan for her, I strongly believe she will be the message and icon of hope for this generation, and her story of survival will change the lives of many. Her hope will shine through her life. I know she will make it. I have faith in God, as well as in her.

For those of you in Perth, go to Cynical-idealist (click) for purchasing details. For more enquiries, please email charmainehon@gmail.com directly.

Do grab a copy. Why? Because I will be getting one.

To Yvonne, we will walk with you !!


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

God thinks you are to die for

Like many other guys in the world, I am deeply depressed when I look at myself, I feel my appearance lack many things, I feel less than what is considered "normal" in this society today.

I feel bad having pimples on my face, though I am turning 22 this year.

I feel horribly sad having flabby area around my stomach instead of six packs.

I feel terrible having extremely deteriorated eye-sight causing me to wear glasses, looking like a nerd.

I feel helpless, when I see that I find nothing much attractive in myself.

No wonder I am still single. Sadness. Maybe being gay is not so bad after all. Maybe...

I feel really ugly. And then I saw something...





Then it struck me, I may not be so bad after all. You may think I am ugly. But I think you are just blind to see the beauty in me. It takes time and effort to know someone, and see the beauty in that person.


Makan Kuasa Dua

I have been out whole day through to the late night, for the previous five days or so, helping out a friend who has just arrived in Perth from Tasmania with his parents, and oh boy, being busy and stressful with a purpose and actually doing something good made me feel like I have finally saved the world from total destruction. Well, I feel like myself being rewarded with much joy and happiness, doing what I can though my biological battery was completely drained out along the process, preventing me from blogging on usual rhythms.

Finally on Saturday I have got some air to breathe, on very final minute I decided to meet up with Charmaine (click) and friends at the South Perth Church of Christ for a fund raising concert. There I was spending my Saturday night in a church. Where would you guys think I would be doing instead? Blogging at home? Oh I've got a better life than that. Or so I would like to think that way.

Right after the fund raising project, we went right down to this really cool place that opens till late in Victoria Park, called Makan Makan. Alright, I know most of you Malaysians and Singaporeans have probably in more than one occasion tried out that place before, but this poor soul blogging here had not much chance of travel, thus this being the first visit to Makan Makan. I had many friends who have been there before, without me. What good friends I have.. sheesssshh...



Looking at the sign, I would prefer to call it, Makan Kuasa Dua. (Makan = Eat, Kuasa Dua = Square)








Basically the place, like the name implies in Malay word, serves mainly Malaysian delicacies. There is a wide variety of Malaysian dishes to select from the menu, but nothing really stood out and screamed my name that night. Probably I was not exactly that hungry, so I decided to have just a drink. Charmaine recommended their Teh Tarik. And so I, with almost everyone else had Teh Tarik.





Charmaine and Mabeline had Sup Kambing.... slurrrrrp...







The ambience of the place was more of the fizz one would get at a local bar or music cafe, with dim lighting, funky interiors, comfortable dining furniture and utensils. This however is rather in a huge contrast with the food that is served there which was rather mamak style, which originally in Malaysia would be portrayed as open air, hawker style food environment. I guess this works just fine in Perth, and people here have this specific mind-set on dining experience and preference. Well, whatever works fine for the locals.

Me and my Tassie friend...




Charmaine (2nd right) and her soldiers !!



It was already quite late at night and people are still flooding the place. I admit I enjoyed sitting there, occasionally staring at the blankness of the ceiling, sipping my piping hot teh tarik, and of course, enjoying a company of lovely ladies. After all, this was my first time in Makan Makan, and my friend had the privilege to join me there !!

Anyone cares to invite me to Makan Makan?? Anyone??


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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Poor Innocent Kids

I have seen many street performances in Perth, with people doing all sorts of weird and abnormal things as their effort to beg for money from the "passer-by"s. I have been to Fremantle lately, and I have seen something rather striking to me.



For those of you who are in Perth and familiar with Fremantle, probably this is nothing new. For the first time, I see children of very very young age doing street performance. Here is the video clip I shot on their performace.



I have to admit, those kids did a very good job grabbing attention from the public and impress everyone with their violin chords. And it is superbly cute seeing young people lining up in variety of height and synchronized themselves in performing music to the audience. But something just feels very wrong looking at the faces of the children. Here is one of the close shots I have on each performers.




They look perfectly normal, yes. Innocent young sweet children. However, if you take a better look at their faces again, you can detect in each and everyone of them some taste of bitterness. I sense sadness and pain when I see the expression of their face. I am not being overly sensitive or sentimental here, watching their performance was an eye opening experience, as well as the look in their eyes. Maybe I exeggerated the scenes there, but the content of my description on how I felt is true. It was as if they felt they were out of place, and being forced to do what they did. A large pang of pity hit me as I looked back at those pictures.



Many of us come from fortunate family, fortunate in the definition and sense that most if not all of our basic necessities are fully provided by our parents/caretakers without us scrapping for income by forced labor in our innocent childhood era. Maybe some of us come from more difficult and tough background from the others, maybe some can relate the suffering and pain that should not be burdened upon children of such young age. No child should be burdened with such pain.




Then again, people may shoot me with all those "what about the children in Africa" and those "children who have AIDS" crap. Oh well, lets not compare here, it may be relevant to a certain degree and made my case seem rather small here, but that does not change the fact that they are still young children, and the point I am trying to make here is, they deserve better life than this. Heck, every children in this world does. It is just not fair to have them carrying burdens of financial problems, or other issues that only haunt adults.

Alas, there is nothing if little that I could do now. I may feel in a certain urge or need to act in any way that I can, but I know I am just powerless to do anything now. There are many things in this world that may seem just so wrong, but just do what we can, and we can't possibly fix everything. Not everything can be fixed. Some things are broken for a reason, some of them are not meant to be fixed.

I can only so look into their eyes, and see the invisible tears.


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sarah's Birthday

The Birthday Girl


Sarah and the love of her life, Diaz

Remember a good friend of mine who cooked the infamous Laksa Sarawak, and the delicious water-chestnut desert? Her birthday is coming and her friends have gathered and planned her a wonderful celebration to commemorate this magical and glorious day for Sarah. Since we all know the fact that Sarah is overly obsessed and crazy over Japanese food, the celebration was pulled out as a dinner at one of the very renowned Japanese restaurants in Perth, Seizan.


The Place



The setting itself is ideal for any occasions involving huge group of people. I personally like the idea of bringing the Japanese culture of sitting on the floor with low raised tables that was practiced in the restaurant. This somehow promotes the feeling of as if we were dining at home. The lighting was just right, not overly dim like most other restaurants, and there were ample spaces to move around which is very important for a large group of people dining together in one long stretch of table. The decor portrays strong Japanese feel and even the waitresses wear the traditional Japanese costume called kimonos.


The Food

For the price ranging from AUD15-25 you can get basically the combo set of main dishes ranging from all sorts of Japanese cuisines. I forgot to jot down the Japanese names of the food that we ordered, but here are some of the pictures of what we had. I would not rank the food to be anything out of the ordinary. There is very little to complain about the food, but not very much to shout about either. The taste and preparation of the food in this place shall be rated moderate by me. Nevertheless I do admit that I enjoyed the meal and services provided there.











The People

Alright, time for photo overloading !!! I personally believe that birthday will never be complete without celebrating it with the circle of friends. Friends who have been there to hear your troubles and help you through those difficult times, friends who lend their ears and shoulders to cry on. Those people are the one factor that can determine the meaning and success of the celebration, regardless of the food and place. It is always good to share our happiness and joy with people around us that we care and love. Having spent bithdays with friends, I tell you it is priceless. I hope Sarah would feel the same way, for I know she has many and always been surrounded by good people !!

David and Grace




Chung Yi, Sarah and Ritz




Firman, Sarah, Chris, Jak Yew




Me, Sarah, Melissa, Wei Yi and Celine



Sharon, Sarah, Wei Yi, Grace

The normal pose...



and the acting "cute" pose..




ALL THE GIRLS !!! Wooo Hooo.....




People, I know I have overloaded the pictures on my blog again. I have tried to minimize the numbers of photos to be posted up in this entry, however, I could not exclude any more. If any of you are still using dial up, I am truly sorry for the heavy downloading from this blog. However, in occasions like birthday celebrations, only pictures can capture and convey the feelings and emotions of the people, not much of words can do. I can try to describe how beautiful a smile of an insanely sexy girl to you, but one photo of that smile would do the job much better.




Me and the Birthday Girl, Sarah !!

To Sarah, it is really great being your friend. Thanks for being there for me when I needed your help, and I continue wishing you well in whatever you do, and may Heavenly Father bless you and your life abundantly. Happy Birthday and let it be one full of cheers !!

Side Note: Sorry if I do misspell some of the names... please correct me if there is any errors.. I shall get to them immediately.

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