Thursday, June 29, 2006

Destination: Redang Island

Tanned, tired, but thrilled... I want to revisit that island again!

Just take a look at this:

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THIS, my comrades, is the vacation we deserve, after slaving over paper products at the expense of blood and sweat for the past 2 gruelling months. Breathtaking sunny beaches, soft white sand, sparkling blue waters, hunk/babe watching, salty sea breeze, mmmm...

The sight of this beautiful island was especially surprising, considering the ride there didn't go as well as I had hoped. The bus ride, is ultimately the WORST I've ever had. People, don't you ever go for non-VIP ''Mutiara'' buses. This is a community service message. The seats are microscopic (okay, so i exaggerated a little, but hey, they ARE small, not that my bum is large anyway...), but the worst thing about it is the part where you lean on. I can't find a way to describe the discomfort I felt leaning against it. No matter how I adjusted my posture, or manipulated the seat, there was no way I could find a comfortable spot on that piece of junk. Gah, so much for snoozing in the bus. Its no wonder my pictures turned out so horrible, eyebags and all.

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We had several amusing snorkelling trips there. Lol, found out that Xian couldn't swim, so some of us were giving her some swimming lessons, FOC. Then there was this trip to the Marine park, and we were given bread to feed the fishes. Xian sorta gave a little scream when sum hungry little fishies came near her bread. That made her let go, LOL, I couldnt stop laughing. BIG MISTAKE. I should've done the same thing, minus the scream, of course. While I was happily feeding, a large colourful (purple, blue, green, and yellow) fishie took a big bite on my finger. OUCH! I know my fingers are all soaked so wrinkly it resembled a raisin (wonder if fishes eat raisins), but would it please let go after biting it by mistake? I have a high suspicion that it happened to be carnivorous as I had to shake it a little before it finally let go of my finger. Tsk, tsk, tsk, I was forced to be a lefthander for several days afterwards. Other snorkelling adventures include swimming alongside FOUR baby sharks. Boy, they're so beautiful, it sparked up my interest in Zoology again. Once again, the offer from Melbourne poped up. Ironically, the sharks are not the ones who bit me.

Lookie who I found bikini-chicks-hunting...
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Oh, I can't resist not talking about this. We have alot of Ah Pek's with us on the trip, especially Ming! "Tired", "Pain" and "Sleep" was all he whined about throughout the trip. I bet even Ah Pek's themselves have more stamina. Loong whined about sunburns, and Anthony suffered that too. Poor guys, should've asked us for a large dollop of sunblock lotion. I also pity them for having to put up with me dehydrating them all the way, Leong in particular. The Goddess of Sweat has to do her job you know? TuanEe, well, has been a good sport at our little games. Way to go Mr.Pie! Girls, I hope you all recover from those burns real soon, especially Zuo En who now has a wonderful but painful red tan. Chii and Le has exceptional stamina, and went for more snorkelling than any of us, OUTDOING the boys. HAH! A point for the girls!

The accomodation's cozy and comfy. I won't say its awfully pretty or high-tech, let alone well equiped, but it's, just right, ya know what I mean? Sure, there's no telly (no world cup), no refridgerator, no shampoo prepared, no keycards, no telephone, somehow, we didn't seem to be needing them throughout the trip. Just ourselves for company is more than enough to drain out every last bit of energy from me. Especially the karaoke session where we celebrated Anthony's birthday, which is followed by a short dance session ala-disco by the beach.

A very touched Anthony...
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Too bad I don't have the shot of TuanEe groovin'...
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Beach babes revealing abit of skin (arms or legs)... feast your eyes peeps!
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Err, the boys wanna steal the limelight by revealing more skin...
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On the last day, we were supposed to watch the sunrise together. Expectedly, only a handful of us had adequate willpower to get out of bed. This is what most of you all missed.

A magnificent sunrise, admire those skies...
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And so we left Redang Island on a beautiful Monday morning, with Mr. Robert chasing after Zuo En's blemish =)

p/s: for photos, click HERE. Password: 0501pm2

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Evil in Parenting

Words and phrases that ring synonymously with chinese schools are:

* teachers aka disciplinarians with tempers that would intimidate even the most courageous of lions, armed with endless supply of bloody red inkers.
* thick cane sticks, rulers, and other torture instruments.
* enough homework to make a student's life miserable.
* XXL sized schoolbags which do more than just obscure the students entire back, leaving only half-a-head and a pair of scrawny legs in sight from behind.

and etcetera...

For those in the US, they have the 'American's Dream'. This, is the typical 'Chinese Parents Dream' and also 'Chinese Kid's Nightmare'. 90% of my cousins are now living it, and I symphathize them. The road maybe unpleasant, but later on, you guys will understand, trust me. My observations tell me that the severity has been significantly reduced since my time, but it remains a nightmare, nonetheless. Will there be a chance for it to turn into a dream? Highly unlikely, I think, at least not in the near future. Be grateful, you guys, for 10++ homeworks are way less torturous in comparison to the 20++ I used to struggle with. But of course, results tend to vary from teacher to teacher. Here's something else to ponder about. I find that, the popularity of a teacher is directly proportional to the number of homework she distributes, which happened to be directly proportional to a student's performance too. As much as I hate to admit it, this is true for MOST cases.

Why is it not true for a certain minority then? Someone once enlightened me with the following bit of information before, but I refused to believe it then. Some parents actually do the homework FOR their kids. I believe it now, because someone I know is doing it. Although I strongly disagree with her actions, I am aware that I am in no position to argue. She's proud of 'saving' her kids like this, and being in a typical chinese family, I am taught that the elders are ALWAYS right. It is ridiculous and it sucks. Recollections of previous experiences encouraged me to shut my yap for the time being to avoid any unnecessary implications. How can people these days do such a thing?

They claim that they want to raise their kids to be responsible, hardworking, independent, and more. It's all bullshit because they're ripping their kids off the chance to be so. Talk about spoiling their kids! This is absurd, I say. If you don't want your child to go through the uncompromising life of being a chinese school student, then why send your child there in the first place? You made that decision, so bear with it. Don't want to? Transfer away. It's that simple. Don't go cheating the teachers, ruining your child's life in the process. Gosh, I do feel sorry for the young. They don't know any better. The same goes for the teachers, who are duped into thinking that the student did all the work in such a mature manner. Teachers do this for a reason. Despite their measly wages, these educators are at the top of their field and are willing to spend their youth (life before 55, erm, we'll consider it as youth in the mean time) facing little brats and rascals. It instills independence, responsiblity, as well as pushing the students to increase efficiency, enhance productivity, at the same time boosting the ability to think faster and better.

I'm not one to 100% support this method I deem as rather harsh for young kids, but that's how some geniuses are churned out. Sure, there are other more merciful means, whereby brainiacs can be groomed too. I do not deny that.

*Long Sigh*

When the kids do not perform up to expectations in major examinations, they blame the teachers, the school, even the local education system. They dutifully write lengthy, critical letters to newspapers, and government bodies, intent on defamation. The hurtful truth is, the ones to blame are in fact themselves, and no one else.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Public toilets

It's Fathers Day.

Originally, there were plans to bring good ol' daddy to a cozy little western restaurant for a nice dinner. At the eleventh hour, we got invitations to join a bunch of our relatives for dinner. They promised us Tai Thong... Thus it's only natural that we abandoned our previous plan in favour of the other, under the impression that we were getting daddy a BETTER meal. And guess what? The restaurant was understandably full.

There were no reservations made by our inviters. I mean, honestly, it's a Sunday which coincidently happened to be Fathers Day too. You don't just walk in a restaurant at peak hour without a reservation and expect to have 17 people seated?! And I thought I was the naive one. Since we're already in the area, we did some exploring...

May I present to you, the most attractive public toilet I've ever seen.

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Apparently, there's a dude there collecting spare changes which the visitors are more than happy to unload, other than unwanted body fluid, and with any luck, pounds of 'chocolate cake'. No wonder the toilet is so well maintained. There's a marketing genius behind all this, you can't possibly miss a toilet like this.

Enough about my obssesion with toilets now. Back to where I left off before I digressed...

Spent more than an hour hopping from one location to another just to be disappointed due to the large turn out in each outlet. Those people are earning big money by marketing Fathers Day as a gimmick. Maybe I should just give up studying to set up a restaurant instead, lol.

When we finally got settled at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, the plates were cleaned by a bunch of kids as hungry as hyenas before you can say Bon Appetit. Though the food was mediocre, and the service is quite horrible, (I asked for 100Plus on two separate occasions, yet they ended up serving me Sprite) We had a fabulous time catching up with each other. Lol, William did amuse us by running round the table kissing everyone in sight, licking Suet Wah like a lollipop all over (sounds obscene, but it's actually cute yet unhygienic), and tickling us one by one. That little boy is all it takes to bring out the smiles from grouchy me, sometimes. Girls here are your photos...

My bro being 'bullied' by Suet Wei, lol.
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My sis and William, who's been trying to get his hands on her all night.
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The powerful army of female Tiongs, and a boy.
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And what does the all these events sum up to? A happy daddy...
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Letter to Gong Gong...

Dear Gong Gong,

I haven't seen you for over 3 months now. Everybody seems to be missing you alot. Lol, the funny thing is, we sometimes feel as if you're among us, like the time Seng and Sam got married, when the fact is, you're so far out of reach...

Bet you must be feeling very proud now. To see your grandchildren gaining responsiblity as a member of the family. We really did have fun creating a mini-campfire in order to produce smoke to ward off evil bloodsuckers from terrorising our parents. My little cousins have all grown up, you need not worry the family breaking up now. They even worked hard, scouting for twigs, leaves and branches, just to keep the flames alive. Not even the younger toddlers threw a tantrum, let alone a sob, although it was hot, smoky and itchy. If there's one lesson we learnt from your departure, that would be to stand together as a family unit. And though you left us in sadness, it has brought the family closer than ever before. You have always been a little peculiar to me you know? Always managing to do your thing, when a little of your granpa-magic is needed. Yes, even when you're no longer in our presence.

Gosh, you looked so pretty decked with flowers today. I hope you liked the pink carnation I brought you, its gentle appearance reminded me of you. You saw your eldest son lead the prayer today, right? I felt so proud of A-Gu, for taking over the position as the one in charged of this extended family. He's doing a good job at it too, just look at the large turn out today. My mom and A-Yees, look to have finally come to terms with your departure. They have accepted that you're in a better place now, back home with God. Lol, they even said they'll bring your favourite black coffee that you like so much, and also some seeds from your favourite herb the next time they visit. A-Yee even said that you could help the seeds grow like you used to if you happened to be free, lol. Ah yes, you've always been our favourite medicine man with that herb. You used to be the only one who cared to take the trouble processing it for our wellbeing. Let me assure you that I've taken up the responsibility to keep circulating that miracle herb in the family. Do bless that my young seedlings grow well =D

Happy Fathers Day, gong gong...

Love, Snow Bell.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Announcement: I am currently co-authoring Pass the Veggy Please. This entry can be found on both blogs. Please support it too ya?

I was still rejoicing after Spain's spectacular 4-0 win over Ukraine that night, when all of a sudden *click* the house went pitch black in matters of milliseconds.

Just then, my entire vocabulary of swearwords ran through my mind. (I picked most of these up unintentionally by being audience to many friends who are a big fan of vulgarities.) Thank God, they did not fly straight outta my mouth! My parents were there in the living room, teeheehee...

Great. Powercut on a World Cup night, with 2 more matches to go. No internet, no music, no Zeus (the name of my computer), no air conditioning, and not even a warm bath before I disappear into my covers. You bet I was devastated! My only companion throughout the night was...

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Looks kinda pretty, eh? The photo's kinda dark, well, there's obviously no electricity available... A soft, flickering warm glow radiated from the little tea candle in the Ikea lantern, to gently brighten up my room. The light, not invading nor blinding, did well to create a kind of 'mood' to my room. To tell the truth, my room looked kinda romantic, teeheehee, only that I was alone in my room =(

It occured to me, that lately, especially, we've become too preoccupied with our petty concerns to notice the little things around us. During this blackout, I strolled out to the little balcony attached to my room, for the first time in months.

I saw stars, plenty of them, twinkling back at me, instead of the warm lights that illuminate my room.

I felt the cool night breeze brushing past my skin, and not the brutally dry air conditioning.

I heard the music orchestrated by crickets, frogs, and other little night critters which co-occupy this land, in place of the soundwaves I so frequently blast from my Edifier speakers.

I sensed serenity and tranquility rejuvenating my soul, replacing the stress, irritation and boredom I have been battling with for so long.

Ahh~ it was blissful, that moment. One just needs to wake up to notice the wonderful natural surroundings that God has created for us. We often take these for granted. You'll be surprised how invigorating 5 minutes of nature's therapy can be.
*wink wink*

Being Eighteen

Yesterday, we had a strange idea of creating the most sian outing, EVER.

It all started well, initially...

Jian Loong and I reached MidValley at about 10.40am, which is very late, from the agreed 10.00am. Chong Ming gave us the time, and yet he turned up later than us, really a true Malaysian. Pei Chii also joined us, much later on. Tsk, tsk, tsk... Malaysian timing *shakes head* The highlight of the day was that, we were able to get tickets for THE FAST & THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT !!! Woohoo~ we're watching it on the premiere, the first show on the first day, an 18+ movie, at student price. This is my first time! Lol, inexperienced little girl who lacks exposure here.(Pretend to be excited for me also lah) I'm so proud of this, I'm keeping these in my little Box-o-Memories...

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The movie RAWKX, I tell you. Although I thought the movie is lacking with male eyecandies (yeah, there also loads of female eyecandies, skimpy japanese chicks for you boys out there) it is not deficient of action, check out those drifts, especially when there are several cars doing that at the same time, what a sight! It got my fingers tingling a little... Thank god there were no steering wheels in sight throughout the day. I personally recommend it. Get you tickets now!

With the movie over, we spent some time just deciding where to eat. There we go, another signature habit of Taylorians? For lunch, we joined Pei Xian, Wai Ken, Johnathan and Ann Ye at Kim Gary. We had a lovely time there, teasing, blushing, chatting, eating. For the first time, I managed to get to know Johanathan and Wai Ken better, two figures whom I'm familiar with in college, but never had a real conversation with. The most hilarious thing was, WK ordered a dish with a generous amount of super concentrated GARLIC sauce, concentration being 5 mol/dm^3, as he claimed. LOL, we were saying it was a violation of DATE 101! However, luckily for him PX loved eating garlic herself *wink wink* Unintentionally, I became one of the extra bright lightbulbs that day.

Then, disaster came. Pei Chii left, we got separated from Pei Xian's group. CM, JL and I were left in MVM to lepak and chick-watch for the rest of the 2 hours. Thanks to the both of them, I now know a thing or two about gap lui, lol, I also learnt that, most 'chicks' with hot bodies, don't come with a face the guys are satisfied with. Those two has got to be one of the fussiest males in town! I wouldn't be surprised if the ended up in Bachelor-ville, if they keep up being so picky.

By the time we FINALLY agreed to leave, we found ourselves plagued by sore spines, heavy arse, lost of leg strength, permanent head damage aka PhD, and sniffles (only me)... Talk about an amusingly unproductive day! I thought of going to bed early, and pray for a speedy recovery. Once again, I have surrendered to temptations. I did watch a little football, but apparently someone decided that, I've had enough of telly for the night. In the end, I chatted the till dawn, lol, please don't let this piece information get anywhere near my parents. I had a great night nonetheless, with my 'football reporters' updating me, met a new amiably funny friend Samuel, and had a nice long chat with alot of those that I miss.

Now, that's what I call a HOLIDAY!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mushroom Soup for the Bored Soul.

I am not pregnant.

And yet, I'm suffering from a symptom commonly found on women with swollen abdomens.
The sudden urge to have a certain kind of food... no matter what it takes.
Ice-cream wasn't a problem, there's always a spare tub in the freezer. So's chocolate. As dinner time slowly crept up on me...

" Mom, what's for dinner? "
" Steamed chicken, bla bla bla... "
" Got soup? "
" Now you're telling me?! Should've told me earlier...bla bla bla..."
*nods and pretends to listen*

note: conversation is summarised to minimise the nag-effect.

An hour later...

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Voila, my very first attempt at Cream of Mushroom.
If there's no soup, I'll make soup. Because... I want soup!
It smelt right. Looks okay. ( with comparison to my mom's version )
For the Grand Testing Ceremony, we have...

Judge Tiong Wei Shien, aka very picky younger bro.
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He took a whiff, then made several strokes in the bowl with the spoon.
An eyebrow raised. That's promising.
He delicately took a spoonful of the untested liquid which I claimed to be edible, into his mouth. After what seemed like ages, he finally gave the go-ahead.

Weeee~ Woohoo~ I made it! Nyahahaha, that's another culinary milestone for me. Considering the fact that I don't even know how to cook anything other than Maggi a few years back, its a pretty big achievement.

Stay tuned for another one of my culinary adventures, lol...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

First day out with my new digital camera, and I've got the 256mb card filled full to the brim! Surprisingly, I still managed to return home with 2/3 of battery life left! Shutter speed is fast, and the flash is not too blinding.

My recommendation: get the Lumix DMC-FX8 camera now!
(Panasonic should be paying me for the advertising...)

The night ended, with lots of stars. No, not the type of stars u see in the night sky. Its the stars you 'see' for straining to keep ur eyes open while focusing at the camera's blinding flash... However, I have to say it was worth every single star I saw that night. I've got the photos up HERE. Password: 0501pm2.
Please click the BLUE line that says "CAL GRADUATION BALL 2006" for MORE photos.

Like every other Prom Nights, there are 'awards' for a lucky minority. Sadly, none of the ''scouts'' saw any PM2-ers that night. I'm sure there would've been a PM2-er up there on the stage in the running for a new Motorola cellphone, IF the ''scouts'' did pay a little more attention to the tables at the back. Oh well, what's done is done. I hereby present to you, our very own CAL Graduation Ball Oscars 2006!!!

On the red carpet,

Arriving ala-stars.
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The boys looking charming in their suits...
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while the girls are the stunners in their dresses.
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extra shot for the lovely girls,
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And now, for Best Hair-do...

Female Category: Pei Xian

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LOVE those curls, and the little tiara. This ultimate Princess-look.

Male Category: Denny
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A style not even the wind can mess with.

Best Dressed...

Female Category: Yen Sun
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A break from the conventional black, Yen Sun shows that Baby Blue is the colour to go.

Male Category: Chong Ming
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Another one who didn't turn up in the usual black and white. Purple is your colour dude. (and formal wear is like your second skin.)

Best Make-up: Zuo-En
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Daringly dark, this green make-up made girls go green with envy.

Best Poser: Poh Seik
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He deserves it, for being the all time favourite poser.

Special Awards:

Best Cartoon Impersonator: Seetho
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Seetho, you look more like Mickey Mouse than ever in this shot.

Best Bodyguards: Chong Ming and Anthony
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"Somebody's gonna get hurt real bad..."

Best Photographers: Everybody
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Cue: Applause for all the winners.

Thank you all for weight-lifting our cameras, stoning at a pose for a looong a period of time, suffering mouth cramps for smiling too much... I hope to see you all again for the Redang Trip. Missing you guys already, muax!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

CAL Graduation Ball 2006

A night to remember...
A night that is unforgettable...
A night so special...
This is OUR night...

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Catching Up.

The air is fresher,
the skies are in a sweeter shade of blue,
even the toilets are less stinky...

Why can't everyday of my life be like this?
But then again, if everyday is the end of my exams, that would be less desirable too lah.

Now, I've got a new problem to solve.
Here's how long 3 months is : Let 3 months be 92 days.
92 days = 2208 hours = 132,480 minutes = 7,948,800 seconds

I have lost my way. There's no deadline to rush for, no notes to study, no homework to do, no classes to attend, no friends to see everyday... That's alot of 'NO's, mind you. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will eventually lose their appeal, because everyday is a day off for me. Everyday will be a bland ol' day.

On the bright side, this is the opportunity for me to have another go at breaking my very own sleeping record, muahahahaaa...
Current record : 15 hours
It's not long really, but its a tough job, going without food and water for 15 hours. When I'm up, I can barely stand 5 hours without a toilet visit, let alone 15 hours. Besides that, I'll have to make sure I can wake up before any World Cup match. Woo~ World Cup!!! The return of all the great looking dudes chasing a round thingy, drenched in sweat, all for a golden trophy that you can't even eat, or hug to bed with, or drink coffee from (eh FIFA, give a golden cup lah, more useful).

MEN, hahahahahaha!