Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Yes I'm alive M. Charly

I was on my way to Penang on the 26th of December when my stepmom's friend called from there. I picked up the call and I thought I heard her wrongly... she said that there'd been a tidal wave in Penang! I didn't want to ask her to repeat it, so I just said okay...

And later we got other calls telling us about it and then we heard about tremors felt back at home. I didn't feel it because the ground was supposed to have shaken at about 9am but I was in church (thank God!) and at about 1pm when the tsunami struck Penang, I was on my way up there.

However, being in Penang wasn't much. It was rather quiet and everyone was going about their normal business. Only the area around Tanjong Tokong was quite destroyed but the authorities had cleared them all up. Didn't manage to get pictures of that. I didn't go up to Batu Ferringhi either... heard it was closed up because there was quite serious damage up there and further up at Balik Pulau. I saw the papers this evening and a bus driver who'd taken his family up to Balik Pulau for a picnic holiday had all 5 of his children killed! And another man lost his wife and 4 children. I just hope their other family members give them the support they need and help lift them out of this sad time.

And in the other countries, accumulated death toll of over 20 000! That's massive! And think of all the families, children and grandparents who've been separated...

We must pray for their souls and for their surviving family members and friends.

Anyway, my family and I were already on our way to Penang so we arrived safely and the Penang Bridge was FINE!! Contrary to some stupid SMS rumour people were spreading around saying they were expecting seismic activity around that area. This country does NOT have seismic activity! The tremors were only from the huge earthquake experienced just off Sumatera. (And by the way, I was just looking at the map and thinking that if Sumatera wasn't where it is, we'd have the same situation as Sri Lanka.)

Oh and tragedy for Phuket Island as well. 40% of their US dollar revenue was from Phuket Island. Now that it's destroyed, what are they going to do? It's all really quite terrible.

Okay okay, back to me :P

I took some pictures of the beach in front of my hotel...





Here's a cool one, showing how people are still brave enough to walk on the edge of the sea.




A study of light as Claude Monet did... the top one was taken in the afternoon, the bottom in the evening. Notice how the afternoon sun is yellower and more orange, while the evening sun is more white and grey. Just a note hehe...





The notice stuck on red and white striped tape to stop people from wandering out to the beach. However, as shown in the first picture, it don't make no difference, mate.



Me, little sis and Dad.




Penang is the Land of the Motorcycles (and most horrendous drivers, I might add). We've coined a slogan for this Pearl of the Orient : "Make your own rules." To be related to driving, riding motorcyles, hawker stalls and just about everything else.




I love taking pictures of motorcyclists. This is a smashing picture I took of this lady while I drove past her. So glad she didn't come and bash me up after glancing in my direction.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Smell of Brownies... mmm...

The scent of the brownies I just baked are wafting up the zig zag staircase and into my room... YUM! I can't wait for dessert. Mumsy's cooking the dinner now with the help of Mr Ho who charges an outrageous amount for his meat. Talk about taking advantage of the season! This is the season of giving, n'est ce pas?? BOYCOTT MR HO!

Hehe... don't sue me.

Anyway, I feel the urge to lead a peaceful existence in merry old England. Having tea and scones at a little café blablabla... and at night maybe a trip to Leeds which supposedly has good clubs? Well that's what my friend Jap-Chick-Krazy Dale says anyway.

Listening to electronic/ambient music from online radios always makes me feel like being in Europe dancing and drinking the night away. No idea why. So not me. Right, Grandpa G? :P

Here's 2 pix from Christmas Eve do at my aunt's place:


Me and me sis being reindeer for the night. NEIGH!!!!!

Poor baby getting cameras flashed in her face. Photographer's fault. My cousin's cute little daughter. If anyone wants a facial done, contact me. She's very good! My cousin, that is.


I heard it's snowing up in North England. How nice. But apparently not enough snow to build me a Calvin-type snowman. Bah!


Les Commentaires

Sometimes I wonder if I've made a mistake by putting a Flooble chatterbox on my page. This stops people from actually leaving real comments for my posts and leaving the number of Parisians who love me to a measly zero :( Boohoo...

So if you have any comments for my individual posts, do click on the underlined number under my posts to leave a comment because the Flooble comments get deleted very often as I set the limit to display 10 only.

Thank you.

And as a token of my gratitude, here's a joke from FHM's Best of Bar Room Jokes 2 page 28:

A man comes into work on Monday with a black eye. His fellow workers ask him what happened. "I was in church yesterday," says the man, "when a young woman came in wearing a summer dress and sat in the seat in front of me. When she stood up the dress was caught between the cheeks of her bum, so I leaned forward and plucked itout. And she hit me!"

The next Monday he comes in with two black eyes. "I was in church yesterday," he explains, "and the same young woman in the same dress sat in front of me. When she stood up her dress was caught between the cheeks of her bum again, and the man beside me leaned forward and plucked it out. I knew she didn't like that, though, so I pushed it in again..."

:P

HOPE YOU HAD A GREAT CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

I'm EMPLOYED!... and Merry Christmas!

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I am officially EMPLOYED.

Gonna clean toilets and stuff like that, ain't that fun?

Well, that's not the only thing I'm doing of course. In fact, I'm gonna be working in Cat's Whiskers (the place where I found the totally great bracelet) and guess when I'm starting work? NEW YEAR'S EVE! Haha... what a life. Doesn't really bother me actually. This year I don't seem to be in a festive mood, I wonder why...? Maybe because there's no one special beside me :( Boohoo...

Anyway, I'll be getting staff discount so I've a feeling I'll be quite popular with my girlfriends this coming new year.

Oh, and if I don't see you this Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

GMAIL

I've been finally awarded the supreme privilege of giving out 6 Gmail accounts. However, I feel like everyone already has one. But if any of you happen to swing by this blog, do write me a nice plea for the Gmail account and I just might give it to you, stranger!

Friday, December 24, 2004

My Wish List #1

Okay I know it's a bit late for Christmas, but here's my wish list so I'll remember what I'm aiming for : (and as you can see it's Wish List #1 meaning there's more to come in the future. No more asking what I want as gifts!!)

...in no particular order...

1. Calvin and Hobbes (post a comment if you want to know which ones I already have)
2. La Senza gift vouchers (if they had any)
3. iMac or iBook/PowerBook
4. New branded PC (sick of custom made ones)
5. Air ticket to England (or Stockholm, Amsterdam and Prague)
6. Baby doll high-heeled shoes
7. Very nice bracelet in Cat's Whiskers
8. A temporary job for January 2005

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Boyfriends' mothers

I'm afraid to say, boyfriends' mothers really freak me out and scare me to pieces! You never feel that you're good enough for her son from the way she looks at you.

She probably looks at every girlfriend of her little boy and automatically judges if she's going to be as good as the mother in looking after her darling. And of course the answer will 99% of the time be 'No'. Daunting, isn't it?

This post didn't come out of any particularly recent experience of mine. I was just thinking about it one day.

Anyway, if any of you are in the mood for posting comments, can anyone give me any recommendations for books to read? I like most sort of books, like suspense and crime (Agatha Christie), preferably fiction.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Another way to live?

I was reading The Count of Monte Cristo last night and there was a couple, Emmanuel and Julie, who had planned their life out in the way I was talking about a few days ago. About happiness being more important than working your whole life for money to be happy.

Emmanuel and Julie had gotten married, then worked in their own business for about 6 years (maybe a few more... these classics use language in such a confusing way) and saved up enough money for them to live moderately in comfort and never have to work anymore. She was only 26 when they settled down.

Well, it's not always possible to be like that, maybe you'd need more time, and of course it won't work if you're the ambitious type. But if what you're looking for is happiness and an easy, simple kind of life, I'm sure there's a way.

London

More pictures from London!


Big Ben at night... so beautiful. It was amazing actually being there. I had to pinch myself 11 times.

Me and this really cool dude outside a reggae shop. He's so cool!! And he kinda looks like Bill Cosby too.



Me and Nobita in front of the London Eye, the big ferris wheel, for great views of London. Apparently one turn takes half an hour. I can think of better things to do, mate!



On Portobello Road where the famous market is. Nice looking front for the bar.



The scene from the bridge of Big Ben (no, it's not London Bridge) and the Houses of Parliament. The view is really beautiful at night of the buildings along the Thames.



Couldn't resist taking a picture at the tube station near Sherlock Holmes' dwelling!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Life and Death

It's true that one has to experience life to know about it (what Malaysian Devil said on the Flooble - by the way, he's not even Malaysian!!) but then your whole life would've passed you by before you knew what it was about, isn't that right?!

So I figure my understanding of it is useful to me so far as it sort of puts my goals and wants in perspective.

Talking about death too, I used to get really scared and upset when I thought about dying. Well I still do now sometimes, but two things give me some comfort. One is that when you're old (assuming you don't get into an accident, which I hope none of us ever do) and your body's shutting down, you just want to die and stop being reminded how you're not young anymore. So it turns out to be a blessing, huh? Secondly, I've started seeing Life as a journey and Death as a sort of 'portal' to Heaven.

I heard once that dying is a very liberating feeling. You die but at the same time your soul is released from your mortal body and you just get a tremendous feeling of freedom like everything's stretched. I don't know how that person managed to get that story, but to me it makes sense, and it also comforts me, knowing that this life is merely a journey to our freedom eventually. And that's hoping all of us make this journey worthwhile and good.

Treasure Hunt

I actually came to my blog to write that I'm going for a treasure hunt tomorrow on the monorail! Woohoo! Then I got sidelined reading the interesting flooble entries. Thanks for your participation guys!

I don't think I'll be bringing my camera tomorrow so sorry no pics from the amazing race! But just cross your fingers my team do well (I'm teaming up with Sharry Berry).

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Meaning of Life

I hope I can put it in words eloquently.

You know how when people start out as kids, they play, then they go to school and study, first primary school then secondary school and then college, uni... maybe go overseas to get that degree. After studies, of course naturally comes work. So you work every day 5 days a week, maybe more, maybe less. But generally you work. You get your salary to pay bills, eat, buy things.

This is the normal routine people follow and that's all fine and dandy. But do they know why they're doing this? Sure, you can say I work to get money to eat. But I think most people think of work as something that has to be done. As in... we breathe, we work. Do you get the meaning? This is not easy to explain. It doesn't seem to come out right in words.

Basically I think that a lot of people, especially in Asia, think of work as a need in life. It's like eating and drinking. It's a part of life just like walking and talking.

It actually isn't.

I believe that life is for us to enjoy and be happy. It doesn't mean that if you don't work, you'll be unhappy. I think a lot of people would enjoy life much more if they didn't feel obligated to work. Okay that didn't come out right again. I know people will be arguing with me saying that people should work so they don't snatch old ladies' handbags.

But work is here to serve a purpose, and that is to feed us and to make us happy. Not the other way round. We shouldn't feel fulfilled by having a job. Or a job that pays well. We should be USING work to work for us. If we want to go on a holiday, we should be using our work to give us that. And not work so hard for promotions and money and awards, thinking that that'll make us happy.

Remember ourselves as kids feeling free and happy? That's when we're free of obligations. We can still achieve that as adults when we go on holiday. Even when we work.

I also realised that many people feel that they've shut their eyes and suddenly opened them 30 years later. It's like life flew by, isn't it?

That's because many adults live life in the tomorrow. They plan what to do. They can't be satisfied if they don't know what they're gonna do tomorrow. Of course planning meetings for businesses are important but it shouldn't take up your whole week. It'll fly by before you can realise it's arrived. If it's not possible to relax during the week, at least do it during the weekends.

Don't sit at home and laze around during the weekends. It doesn't make the day longer, it shortens it. The secret is to wake up and then plan what to do for the day and do it. The less time you've planned something and the more time you spend doing things, the more time you seem to have. That's the secret little children have. Remember feeling that you were gonna be 9 forever?

Now I know this is getting boring so I won't keep going on and on trying to clarify my statements. I know what I realised and I hope that this renaissance will come to you guys soon too.

Just remember not to force yourself to do something. Life is a gift for us humans to enjoy and make the best of our senses, feelings and emotions. It shouldn't just be stress and nerves. We're capable of so much more happiness if only we'd realise what's truly important (and I don't mean only boring stuff like family (which is of course very important) but I also mean having fun, being in love). And somehow, the days will lengthen magically.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Bound for Hell

I watched two movies this past week. One was Supersize Me, the other The Polar Express. Both really broke my heart.

In Supersize Me, there was one part where a few young kids about 6-8 year old were shown portraits of famous people. The first picture was of George Washington, whom most of the kids didn't recognise but a few found his face familiar. The second portrait shown to them was totally unknown to them. All heads were shaking in ignorance. The photo was then shown to the camera and guess who? World's Most Unrecognisable Face (to young Americans today anyway) - Jesus Christ! Last portrait shown was instantly recognised and called by name - Ronald McDonald.

I don't have any objections to all kids knowing who Ronald is. What I AM really worried and disturbed by is that none of the kids even recognised a picture of Jesus! Please, anyone out there who reads this. Make sure your children (or sisters/brothers etc) know who Jesus Christ is and what Christmas is really about. Even if you don't follow Christianity, surely you know that Christmas is the day Jesus Christ was born on this earth as a baby boy, and isn't just a day we get presents from Santa Claus, or a day we stuff ourselves with food, or get drunk and stoned out clubbing and partying.

The Polar Express movie never even mentioned anything about little baby Christ. But apparently it's because they are a movie and shouldn't promote Christianity. What??! Unbelievable. People will believe what they want to believe whether you promote something or not.

On the subject of promoting Christianity, apparently Sydney has decided not to decorate itself with Christmas decorations because they don't want to "impose" Christianity on anyone. If that's really true, then - HOW DUMB!

All this subject of religion is getting so overboard nowadays. What happened to Love Thy Neighbour? You can love your neighbour regardless of his religion or race. We are all humans at the end of the day.

Some HTML help please?

By the way, can someone help me figure out why my posts appear so low down the page after my sidebar has ended? The posts should appear next to the sidebar on the left, but it's just all wonky now. Please let me know if you can help me. Thanks!