Saturday, January 21, 2006

Notice to one and all.

This is just another one of my notices.

Well I'll be on my merry way about 6 hours from now to the Land of Far Beyond. And no, I'm not dying and walking towards the bright light. I'm just living my dream of being a globetrotter, trekking through unexplored terrains and whatnot.

America's west coast is not exactly unexplored terrain, I must say.

Anyway I will be back with all my wild and wacky adventures soon. I won't be posting, since it will be rather ridiculous to find a notebook and start BLOGGING when I have better things to do.

Like gambling.


Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! And may all your angpow "earnings" this year be more fruitful than the last.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Hong Kong trip.

Hong Kong has been fun.

My first time in HK was 3-4 years ago and franky, I thought HK stank. It was boring, since all the places I went were just shopping malls selling international brands that I could find ANYWHERE in the freakin' world.


The only bit of HK-ness I came into contact with on my first trip was probably all the fast Cantonese chatter the salesgirls said to me. Of course, I couldn't understand anything, and even my English was uncontrollably dumbed down to "No no.. don't understand." Perhaps I was unconsciously trying to do the whole "I'm a tourist from a land so far away and I don't understand your language" thing. What a patronising goon I was.

Yeah. That was my first trip.


This is my 2nd visit to Hong Kong and my first time at Victor's place. This is somewhat like the beginning of (what seems to be a VERY long term) Long Distance Relationship.


I've finally got to spend some quality time with Victor after months of separation. It was nice, and being the person that I am, there were plenty of awkward moments with his family.

It's not easy, since my Cantonese has suffered tremendously due to lack of practice. You see, I couldn't speak a word of the dialect when I first met Victor. So, in order to communicate better and do away with writing on paper, miming and my sign language, I picked up Cantonese.


Anyway, it's a long story. Conclusion: Many awkward pauses when I spoke to his parents in Cantonese.


Food, glorious food!








This is takoyaki, a Japanese snack originated from Osaka. This is a shop that sells JUST takoyaki and the queue is unbelievably long. We queued so long my left leg went numb, just for 6 takoyaki. But it was worth all the numbness in my leg and HKD$24.


Of course, going to HK will not be complete without a trip to The Magical Kingdom, The Happiest Place On Earth.





-- the train to Disneyland!



Do not be fooled by the friggin' map guide. The park looks huge and full of attractions in the guide, but it is actually very small. What seems like a long trek round the park, takes only 20 minutes tops.

But do I care? NOooooooo!


I went on all the rides, except the stupid Cinderella's Carousel and Dumbo the Flying Elephant rides. I think I'm overaged for that.


And I got Mickey ice cream just because it's in the shape of Mickey's head. Coolio! HKD$15.




And of course, anyone who knows me will shake their heads in despair because I have once again bought something based solely on appearance. Even if that ice cream is puke-flavoured, I will still buy it and maybe NOT eat it JUST BECAUSE it is in the shape of Mickey's head.


There are plenty of cutesy Disney merchandise all over the park to lure you over to the dark side. I must say that the Great Disney Corporation is very good at marketing and packaging. Just one look at the tiny Mickey stuff makes you go "Awww.. that's so cute!" and before you know it, you'll be parting with hundreds of dollars just to bring part of Disney's cute and useless merchandise home.

Just like I did.

Well, I guessed I put up a valiant attempt at fighting the inexplicable urge to buy Minnie Mouse's headgear and Mickey's Gloves. Freaking cute, but there's no way in hell I'm going to wear them on the street.




Anyway the ticket to Disneyland costs HKD$295, and it's considered expensive since the park is too small to warrant such an expensive entry fee. However, I feel that the awesome fireworks EVERY EVENING makes up for it.




Good lord, I nearly stopped breathing when the lights dimmed and fireworks adorned the night sky above Sleeping Beauty's Castle.


And yes!!! Bloody Mickey and co. speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin! Imagine my shock when 2 baboons spoke Cantonese to the crowd during The Lion King's Festival of Life play.

"Wah.. Simba ge shuk shuk, Scar, yew hoi koi ah!"



Totally worth my HKD$295 just to see all this. With the exception of the Dumbo ride.


Hong Kong is a very very very very crowded place. Plus, the houses are freaking small. And by houses, I mean apartments and NOT landed property. Signboards hang from EVERY corner and hawkers are peddling local fare on street corners. Plenty of jostling on the street and people talk over one another because it's too noisy.



Not that all these are bad, of course.

Despite my personal bias against crowds and loud noises, Hong Kong emanates some sort of vibe which makes all these part of the Hong Kong culture. Without all the signboards, from miniscule ones to gigantic big-ass ones you can probably see from space, Hong Kong will just be another sterilized conformist city in Asia.

Can't wait for Victor to come visit me!



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Short vacation.

I will be away from Friday (the 13th no less) till next Tuesday. Flying off to land of dimsums, shopping and urm... triads "Infernal Affair" style.

Yes I'm going to Hong Kong to visit Victor and his family!

And even though it's a 5 day trip, my small Samsonite seems to be inadequate. I haven't even put in my pjs and the damn thing is already having problems being zipped up.

It's cold and windy in HK, so wish me all the luck in the world that my luggage arrives intact, and JetStarAsia is a trustworthy airline carrier.

I hope $300 airfare can get my to HK safely. No skidding on the runway!


Working wardrobe: Part 1.

After writing about my "holiday", the one that doesn't end till I get myself employed, I come to a realisation (of sorts) that I lack a working wardrobe.

Yeah I know, it's TOTALLY important that I write about this since nothing, with the
exception of world peace and the topic of renumeration, is more important than looking good at the workplace.

I need

1) shoes (spiffy and posh looking ones)
2) tops (flattering and NOT shirty bookish ones)
3) skirts (damn I love skirts.)
4) pants (headmistress-like high-waisted ones are not welcome.)
5) bags (non-flashy ones. I don't think showing up your boss in branded bags is going to score brownie points.)
6) jewellery (I'm not sure skulls and dangly disco earrings are appropriate.)
7) blazers (fitted ones only)
8) dresses (because I like 'em. It's wearing one piece instead of shirt+pants combo. Less laundry.)



Ok I can do with this one.



Good lord, that will be enough "shopping" to write about for ages.


But before I embark on the journey that is expanding the working wardrobe, I should probably work on the casual one. I feel like a misfit ever since I got back. All my decent going-out clothes seem too.. proper and put-together for a trip to the cafe or the shopping mall.

You see, I love the whole put-together look. I am not the type who wears slippers to the mall, simply because I think I look like a hobo who can't afford shoes. But sometimes when I go out with friends, I feel over-dressed. It seems like I dress nice enough to meet my in-laws, instead of a casual cafe appointment.

But... but... that's who I am!


I've tried to "lighten up" the way I dress. Tank tops (I've stocked up quite a few), casual bags, and cotton billowy skirts. I need more jeans and maybe I have to start the whole "I look like the homeless in my Havaiana slippers" thing. Even though I really HATE the damn rubber slippers.


Maybe I shouldn't even try at all. Why should I, who's comfortable in my own skin, clothes, weight, give a shit about the MASSES who are just people who pop diet pills and look like EVERY OTHER GIRL on the street?!

I'm no cookie cutter clone.



Friday, January 06, 2006

Holiday, shopping dry spell, boots and stench.

I know I haven't been posting much since my "holiday". Actually this may go on for a longer time than expected because

1) Until I find a job, I'm officially still on "holiday"
2) Nothing EVER happens during my holiday


It's true. So far nothing exciting, wait make that 'nothing', happens when I'm spacin' chillin' out during my break. No hot summer crushes that's worth mentioning, no exotic holidays, no getting into trouble etc.

Nothing happens. Especially when you are stuck in a small town like JB.

Well except the fact that some guy died in the alley behind my house yesterday. Totally random, I know.


I used to post a lot of shopping-related stuff. I would love to resume that "hobby" of mine but when there's nothing in the shops that is WORTHY of my attention, I find it slightly difficult to gush about say, non-existent take-my-breath-away skirt.


Well maybe I shall write about reverse culture shock.

Ever since getting home, and hitting Orchard Road with vengeance (albeit a mild one), I've noticed a trend among Singaporean women. They wear boots.

Not that this is wrong and as much as I'm a boot lover, I will NOT wear boots in Singapore or any other country with almost 100% humidity and an average temperature of 30 degrees all year round.

Do you have any idea how HOT your feet will be?! I mean temperature wise, not fashion stakes wise. With the humidity, heat plus all the perspiration from walking all day in boots, your feet will STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN.

I don't know why. Even if the boots make me look cool and fashionable, I will give them a miss. Even if they make my legs look slim and as if they go on forever like Gisele Bundchen's, I still won't wear them in this climate.

Can you imagine the awful stench when you take the boots off?? Not a good idea if you are trying to impress your date/bf's family after wearing boots for an entire day.


Maybe I can strike a fortune by selling extra longlasting industrial strength odour eaters for boots. Not a bad idea, eh?

Oh well. Culture shock, who said it will be easy?



She's coming back!

My closest, nicest, goodest (Ed: no such word) friend Jo got her Australian PR and she's coming home for a LOOOOOOOOONG holiday!


AWESOME!!!


Jo, I think I've told you this but should your boss not let you go on a long leave, I'm always willing to assume the role of your baby sister/grandma/naggy aunt who wants you back desperately for a FAMILY REUNION.

Come back real soon and let's go crazy again!


I miss ya!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I still miss you.

It's been quite a sad week.

His case is being reviewed and splashed all over the news. Apparently his instructors were negligent. It doesn't help to find out that someone dear to you is taken, simply because some people were just not doing their job right.

No matter the outcome of the inquiry, MINDEF will never be able to make it up to all those who love him.


Everytime I hear his name being mentioned on tv, a little part of me just breaks down. Everytime I read about his case on the papers, a little part of me dies.

It feels like I'm reliving the entire tragedy again. The logical thing to do will be to avoid listening or reading up on his case, but I just can't look away. I need to know why and how he was taken from us.


I met up with his sister and realised, we both miss him dearly. No one to crack corny jokes to us, and no one to brighten our day. No one to send me sms-es from the middle of nowhere. I realised all the things I gave him were still in his wardrobe, and his favourite scent was still the bottle of fragrance I gave him.

After half a year, it still feels like yesterday. I can't really look at the corner of my room where we used to sit for our photo.


Jia Hui, I miss you dearly.


Sometimes I just wish things didn't turn out this way.


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