Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What is Love?

Today I watched Laws of Attraction on Star Movies, a romantic comedy star by Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore. The movie is pretty okay, but what caught my ears was a phrase Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) say, "Call me old fashion, but I believe I should give my love one whatever she wants". At that point, Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore) was asking for a divorce, and he heart brokenly granted her wish.

That gets me thinking of what is love again? This topic is so broad that it could have a millions answer and perspective or it. I was asked by my Ex if I love her. I can undoubtfully answer her "YES" during the beginning on our relationship, and it is no doubt the "Honeymoon" period and love is in the air. As times goes by, I found it more difficult to answer whenever she pops up the same question again. I asked myself, do I love her? How do I know that I actually love her? I ask a friend of mine did she love her boyfriend (they have been together for a few years, and the boyfriend gave commitment that they are working towards marriage); she can't gave me a definite yes as well. Does that mean we are all not in love, or we don't know what love is?

At the beginning of love relationship we are full of emotion emotions and feelings, but we are well aware that those don’t last forever. Somehow or rather, we would come back to our logical thinking and start analysing do we really love him or her. I read a simple email before which said that if you are in love, you would always think of her whenever she is not around, and you always want to be with her all the time. As we matured, I think love is much more than that. Then I thought maybe love is all about sacrifices, how much I am willing to sacrifice for her, for our happiness. I don't mean die for her (thought it might be), but more of maybe slowing down the career aggressiveness (less career-centric) to spend more time together, or do things for each other without expecting anything back in return. We have to be selfless, and put our love one upon us. If 2 people keep sacrificing for each other, maybe things will even out eventually. Rather than we doing things for ourselves, our partner will do things for us and vice versa. So I kinda agree with what is said by Daniel Rafferty, "I believe love is about giving her what she wants".

Of course, love can be so simple yet complicated. Maybe we humans are complicated being, after all, we are a collection of billions of cells (there could be some many random possibilities). We changed over time, the people around us changed and the environment changed as well, and our feelings shifted and our emotions go up and down. To answer the question "Do you love me?" can be very intriguing if you give enough deep thoughts to it. Perhaps I should ask myself, "Am I willing to sacrifice for her, making her happy and put her upon myself?” If her happiness highly relate to my happiness, perhaps she is the one. As usual, maybe words are indeed much easier than action itself. Perseverance perhaps.

Merdeka! (National Day)

This early morning is 31 August 2005, Malaysia's 48th Independence Day. Merdeka means Independence in the local language (also national language), Malay (Bahasa Melayu aka Bahasa Malaysia).

Well, I go to work as usual in the morning. I don't drive (though I usually don't drive as well) because there would be some major road closures and it could end up as an extremely unpleasant driving experience. Everyone try to get out of the city as soon as possible after work (unless you are in for the celebration) to avoid the crowd who would gathered around KLCC, Merdeka Square and Bintang Walk (Putrajaya and Sunway for those not in Selangor). There would be performances such as traditional dances for various races and tribes, singing by local artist, drums and definitely fireworks (though I couldn't hear much of them from my place).

So, what I did during the celebration? I am supposed to join Li Mun and Tang for Merdeka clubbing at The Loathe (I have no idea how izzit, where izzit or whether I spelt it correctly), but I have to cancel that due to various inconveniences. It is kinda sad as nowadays I have to follow younger girls for organising clubbing outing; my clubbing days are so over! Arghh, I am old. We end up having ice-cream for dinner at Swensen's in Sungei Wang. The girls seem to have much craving for ice-cream, and they ordered The Volcano which has about 8 flavours in it. Yummy, it does taste good actually, though I am not an ice-cream fanatic. The salted pepper mushroom is nice as well; they should give us more mushrooms. We have our usual chit-chat, about Tang's new mushroom hairstyle and Li Mun's onion hairstyle. Though they kinda complaint about their haircut, but I think it is pretty okay since they look cute. People start go gather on the street of Bintang Walk to watch some performances. Actually Swensen's is kind of a good spot to watch the performances, as we can have a good look at the stage, more spacious and comes with air-condition. Sounds like VIP seat to me. We leave the place around 7.30 p.m., I have to go to PJ to catch a ride home, Li Mun is going clubbing with friends and Tang is going home (I think). I thought of staying around the busy streets for a while, but what's the point. The performance just ain't that good without a good companion. A lot of youngsters (small business entrepreneurs) take this opportunity to sell lots of celebration spray, guess a lot of people are getting sticky tonight.

Is kinda a sad nite to stay at home during countdown, though I won't like the congested crowd out there as well. Go online, do some support work for MyMRP (my homemade Manufacturing Resource Planning software), watch some nice TV Series "Just Cause" and write this blog. Happy Birthday Malaysia, wherever you are. I pray for peace and prosperity :)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Why marrying a teacher is a good idea

Sometimes I wonder why married couple have kids when the husband and wife are working full time and don’t have enough time to raise the kids properly. What do these couples usually do? They usually left the kids with a babysitter or child care centre in the morning before they leave the house, and pick the child up again at night. Some left their child with their parents or grandparents, and visit them during the weekend. Basically, the parents are not there for the child during the child's growing, learning and exploration period. They don't spent enough time with the child to watch them grow, teach them new things or just to love and care for them. Won't the child feel neglected and the parents end up with little or no memory of their children's childhood? The parents are missing so much at the present, for the sake of the family's future.

I told the above opinion to Khim, and her reply was, "How should it be done then? Should the wife just stay at home to look after the kids? It is not fair. How about money? Nowadays both husband and wife need to work to sustain a decent living in the city. Should working couples not have kids then?” She is right in a certain ways. Nowadays, not many women would like to be a housewife to take care of the kids at home. They want to be somewhat independent. If everyone agrees with my opinion, then all working couples should not have any kids then.

What is the solution to this problem? Money. If you have sufficient money, probably you could spend less time working and more time with the family and children (theoretically, given that you are not obsessed with your work and appreciate your family life). But, not everyone have the amount of money required. A fulltime housewife may prove to be a challenge in modern day city living as well. We still need to have a job and socialise with more people, for the sake of self improvement and to have a fulfilling life. My theory is, we need a part-time (half day) mom which is knowledgeable and still pretty much in contact with the society, and have time for the children. It is not necessary for a woman to take this role (though it usually is), either one of the husband or wife will suffice. Given this criteria, I think a teacher fit this profile pretty well.

What is the benefit of have a teacher as your lifetime partner?

  • They only work half day (either in the morning or the afternoon), thus they should have at least half of the day for the kids and family.
  • They are still working, thus bringing in supporting income to the family. Not only that, they shall be able to have their own career (rather than being a full time housewife/houseman) and achieving some sort of self improvement. Constant active contact with the society and workforce is another important factor here. We need modern working parents which still have time for their children.
  • They should be good with kids, and be able to educate them well.
  • They are familiar with the education system and school environment, thus having a better understanding of the children's curriculums, syllabus, homeworks, exams, difficulties, pressures and alike
  • Teacher have access to free reference books or books discounts, which is an added bonus :)

Being a teacher should be more advantageous to the children, but is does suffer some downfalls as well. Teacher does have pride, and they would expect their children to do well in school. It would certainly look bad on them if the teacher's sons or daughters are not one of the elite students in school. Thus, the child might felt the pressure rather than enjoying the advantages. For the mother (I will use the word "mother", which could mean either the "mother" or "father" who is a teacher) and the child to be in the same school has its pros and cons. The good thing is the child will have a private driver to attend school and various school activities, and the mother will take care of every aspect of the child's school life. The bad side is the child would have less freedom (mommy knows what have you done in school), under more pressure to perform and might be teased by other the bad students (especially if the mom punished them before, or they might not dare to bully you, it depends).

Anyway, I still think it is good to marry a teacher (or be a teacher myself), for the sake of the children. If my wife (if I ever get married that is) and I do not have sufficient time to spend with the children, then I would prefer not to have any. I don't want my children to be left alone or to be taken care by someone else (this is not raising a child, probably it is even worst than raising a pet). I want to grow up with them, be with them and teach them. I don't want to have kids for the sake of having kids, I want to take care of them and spent time with them.

My mom is a teacher, and my dad work in a bank (he is busy most of the day, and only comes home after 7 at night). My mom takes care of me of most of them time, and I enjoyed most of the perks mentioned above. She did some home schooling with me during my early childhood which I hated a lot, since I am forced to study with her for a few hours after school. Now I sort of appreciate her effort as it does bring some significant advantage to me in my life, until now. Probably I don't feel the pressure from her because I am the top of the school, and I only felt the pressure from myself (once you are on the top, you don't feel like coming down). There are a few teachers' children in the same school as me, and they had outstanding academic achievement as well. One big downfall is lack of privacy and freedom, as big mommy is always watching. She will know if you somehow screw-up in school or had a new girlfriend. News does travel fast to her ears, absolutely no escape.

I feel that she raised me well, thus I felt having a mommy teacher is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Utopia@Tech.Corp One (Software House)

I decide to post all the serious stuff at Utopia@Tech.Corp One (Software House) instead of Blue Dragon. I will discuss about my work, programming, management, product development, sales strategy and alike at Utopia. Blue Dragon will only focus on those free & easy stuff.

Just posted the following articles at Utopia, based on something I posted in my day job to various people.
  1. Programmer Symptom: Weak Documentation and Support
  2. Transition of culture from System Integrator to Software House
  3. Basic Policy when Positioning an Employee
  4. Migration from Early Market to Mainstream Market
I just realised it had been a year since I last posted there, it sure doesn't seems that long.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Girls always Flock together

Just realise some interesting girl group behaviour pattern few days ago, though nothing spectacular, but noteworthy (this is not Discovery Channel, ok!).

Girls always stick together whenever they go out and they won't be willing to be separated even for the shortest time period. When they are travel out, all of them must stick together in the same car. If you have to squeeze 6 of them in a car, they will squeeze, even when there is another car with no females in it. Don't bother trying to separate them, as they will ignore you or show you a black face if you apply enough force. While in the car, they will make as much noise as possible, and pity the driver if it is a he (like Kenny describe it, is like a 5.1 surround sound system). A guy can be happy among a group a girls; but a girl might not be happy around a group of guys. Of course, nothing is absolute and they are bound to be exceptions, just talking stereotypically.

Come to think of it, I think I observed this trend quite a few times, when travelling, when dining, when sitting for conference and etc. Guys usually don't quite mind who they sit with, as long as they feel comfortable with the next person. Girls on the other hand, are more picky with who they sits with. Usually they prefer their usual partner, probably they need to chitchat to kill time (Guys are too boring and primitive, can't fulfilled their chitchatting need). If they can't find any of their preferred sitting partners, maybe they might preferred to sit alone and suddenly became very quiet (Then you would notice them as you are not used to the sudden peace).

Conclusion? Girl need to flock together to fulfilled their chitchatting need (and perhaps to avoid loneliness, even temporary ones). Probably it is written within their genes. What guys do then? Hmm, need to wait for another male observation blog from a female counterpart.

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Yesterday Mei Ru and Michelle join us for our weekly dance class, and probably would stick around for the next 12 weeks. Michelle likes dancing all these while, as she had participated in Belly and Line Dancing (so she feels quite at home). Mei Ru on the other hand is trying to figure out if she actually like dancing, or at least what kind of dance. They went to have a look at the Rock & Roll class and the New Jazz Class. At 1st I think Mei Ru is quite interesting with the New Jazz dance, as probably it sounds more interesting than the "oldie" Rock & Roll (or any other Latin Dance). Besides, being a New Jazz Dancer could be quite an interesting feminine talent. But, I think the class is kind of filled with young girls (16-18 years old perhaps) and the music is kinda kidish (I think is Jolin's (蔡依林) 野蛮游戏). Since she is not that young anymore, so Mei Ru decides to join the "oldie" music group instead :)

Question: How do we know if we really like dancing? I am not sure whether there is love at 1st sight for dancing, but it sure didn't happened to me. At 1st I was just pretty curious, and felt like doing the things which I never try before (out of the box thingy again). When I joined for the 1st class, it is not instantaneous love as well, but there is some attraction in following and joining all those simple steps together to form a dance. So far, I think it is still pretty fun, maybe it is the dance, maybe it is the crowd. Either way, I think I'll continue to stick with it for a while longer.

Now the class is crowded with much more girls, with Mei Ru, Michelle and another woman as the newcomers. If the senior men are not around, a lot of the girls would have to dance a lot without partner (lucky for me!). I think Michelle is picking up well in the class, as she had strong dancing background. Mei Ru seems a bit blurred, but some home practice could solve that easily (unless you are lazy and forgetful). It is another fun night, just might be a bit crowded (probably due to the raised rental at the place).

At the same time, Tang might think of joining a new Hip-Hop class. Like New Jazz, Hip-Hop seems like another trendy dance which appeal to youngster (are we still young?). It might be interesting to explore it further, as I am quite interested as well. Just afraid it might end up as another class filled with kiddies and we have to chicken out again.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mind-Boggling Thought: The Evil will always haunt you

Have you ever done something wrong and the images keep coming back to haunt you from time to time? I did. Sometimes while I was pondering, I would thought of one or two little stupid thing which I did and somehow regretted. It is usually "evil" stuff, embarrassing stuff or really stupid spontaneous action. But trust me, all these memories are all kept in the dark corner of your brain and comes out to creep on you once in a while.

As Human, are we naturally more incline towards good or evil? Do we naturally do evil and feel bad about it, or do we naturally do evil and feel good about it? Does our gene understand good and evil, or it’s learned though culture, experience and education. I dunno about you, but I do feel really bad when I did something wrong; maybe I am not the adventurous type. But does those who kill, steal, rob, rape, hurt others feel remorse in them, or they feel totally good about it. I know some people have to perform certain bad deeds in the name of survival, but do they really enjoy it? Some people say you would commit a crime when you know that you won't get caught. I think it is partially true, I might steal or cheat, but would I kill or hurt someone? I dun think so.

Conclusion (Mine, at least). If all our requirement and desire of life are met, no one would want to do evil. Every time someone committed evil, it is because he or she wanted to gain something, or afraid to loose something. Like people steal for money, kill someone to protect themselves or their family, etc (maybe do evil for enjoyment?). If we have nothing to gain or loose, we won't commit evil anymore. At the same time, would we still do good? Hmm, this is getting really complicated.

Mind-Boggling Thought: Effect of pornography on our sex life?

Personally, I think our sex life is pretty much being influenced by Pornography. I mean, without porn, how long would it take for various sex techniques and positions to reach the masses. It would probably take a long time, or even it might not reach certain household in a lifetime. Probably the porn industry determines the trend, what's hot and what's not. Just like watching fashion magazine and entertainment program to keep up with the latest style and trend.

Then again, are all these sexual pleasure a male dominated practice or the female enjoy it as well? Does female really enjoy all the act which are perform during porn shooting, or it is just to keep up with the expectation and keep the male counterpart satisfied? Hopefully there is a poll on the net about this topic (let me know if you find one). I encounter a few female friends who are disgusted by some porn videos. I wonder would they one day doing the act which they disgusted today. I mean, there can be so many reasons why that could happen.

I am not into SM and Torture stuff; it just doesn't fell right (got some eerie feeling of darkness and evil, not that I am an angel). Does pornography enhance or detiorate our sexual life? I guess as long as it doesn't cause harm and everyone like it, it should be good. If you are disgusted by them, just don't watch or follow them (if you can escape the trend).

One interesting question, who doesn't watch porn? When we are too young, we are afraid to admit that we watch pornography. When we get a little bit older, we admit openly we watch porn as it is perceived as the norm (mayb not too openly, else you might be categorised as a sex pervert). So, what if you meet someone who claim that he or she doesn't watch porn? I would assume he or she is either one of the holiest person on earth, or a suppressed pervert going-to-be (or just another shy person, hmm).

Mind-Boggling Thought: When is the right time to have a love relationship?

When we are too young, we are not interested with girls because they are different from us (or izzit because the hormone haven't kick in yet).

When we are a teenager, we are not encourage to have a girlfriend at school because we are students and should concentrate on our studies (this is the common discouragement in Malaysia).

When we are at College/University, we have all the freedom to do what we like (it's the time for us to move to big city to study, away from our family). But, I stupidly wanted to study and get a good degree so that I could get a good job (at least I was told this is how it's supposed to work). Tips: I personally feel this is a good time to start a relationship, things tend to be more fun and less worries at this stage.

When we finally graduate and get a job and a girlfriend as well. Then you would FEEL (actually you know it long before) the unromantic fact: love cost money. Hagen Daz Ice-cream, American Chillies, San Francisco Steakhouse, they sure sound delicious. Is not that we like expensive food, we just like nice food, just happened that most nice food are expensive.

Then this got me start thinking. Since we are spending quite an amount of money to keep our life happy and fulfilling, we don't actually have much savings (not as if we have a big fat salary). Continuing the relationship few years down the road will lead to the big day: Marriage (unless you plan to have a few more girlfriends before settling down, that would delay this transition by quite a bit). The bad news is, Marriage is much more serious and cost even more money. You would have to work you ass out to pay the bills, the house instalment and support your lifestyle. Most probably you might stressed up and strain your family relationship (people do get angry and do/say the wrong thing easily when things get tough).

So, end of fairytale. You end up being a work slave supporting what you love, but not having enough time to spent with or love the one which you work so hard for. Is this really what we want? Even though you might not end up working like a Donkey, but you will be financially constraint somehow (being a salary earner).

As for me, when I settle down with my love one, I would like to make sure money is a minor problem. I want to spent time with my family whenever I want (not constraint by working schedule). Won't it be marvellous if you could spent time with your wife on weekday, enjoying less traffic, less crowded restaurant, don't have to fight for fitting room when shopping. Go to nice restaurant to dine whenever we feel like it (most probably we will try all the best food in town), pamper her with her favourite gifts and travel round the world together. That's lifestyle (or izzit the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous?).

Then again, to achieve such lifestyle is not easy, it may take me 5-10 years of hard work, or I might never achieve it. So, men should start a serious relationship at 30? At the moment, my plan is to get the money first, then only the girl. People say love is blind, so when I am in love again, my mind may not be able to think straight anymore.

So, when is the right time to start a relationship?
- when you have fallen in love
- when you are wealthy enough

PS: I wrote this article quite a while ago, and it does sound funny when I read it again. I am not going to edit it, as I don't disagree with it :)

Migration of Mind-Boggling Thought

The Blue Dragon is Looking@Me is actually my 3rd blog. My first blog was Utopia@Tech.Corp One (Software House), which mainly talk about Utopian-Style Working Culture: How a Software House should be run. Actually, one of my dreams is to one day run my own software house, a place where an elite team can work in a productive and comfortable environment to produce good quality software which people actually like to use. Basically, I want to be tech entrepreneur, where Bill Gates kinda inspires me when I was young, and kinda wanted to follow the ways of Joel Spolsky and Eric Sink now. Running a small and respectable Software House is something I hope to achieve within the next few years. Sometimes I wonder am I after the money or a dream? It doesn't matter I guess, as long as I can make a living out of my dream.

My 2nd blog is Ming-Boggling Thought, where I use to write about questions which popup in my head from times to times (less serious stuff compared to Utopia). Somehow the site is kinda defunct now, and the content kinda suits Blue Dragon's theme. So, I am going to migrate all the articles here and kill the blog once and for all. I would keep Utopia as it had a good theme which I like to write about, just that I don't have enough time at the moment. I will get back to it, probably by next year :)

Coming up next is 3 series of Mind-Boggling Thought:

  1. When is the right time to have a love relationship?
  2. Effect of pornography on our sexual life.
  3. The Evil will always haunt u.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Should we fall in love with friends?

I was asked a question today; would I fall in love with a close friend? Actually I did think about this question quite a few times before. Theoretically, it would be ideal to choose a close friend as girlfriend. Why? Because we know each other well enough. We already spent so much time communicating with each other, trying to understand each other and supporting each other. In fact, we could have achieved more than what most other couple had achieved in their relationship, just that we couldn't take it one step further. If we had already shared some of out deeper secrets, it would be better. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the full truth all the time, if the relationship started in the wrong foot. With good friendship, there are less resistant, barrier and expectation, which make sharing of secrets easier and had a more open relationship (for good stuff and bad stuff). The blurred line between friendship and "lovership" might just be the missing ingredient for a successful relationship. You need the purity and openness of a friendship, at the same time you need to be couple to have a more intimate relationship towards more challenging sharing and tolerance.

The question is, why we usually don't fall in love with friends, and end up with someone whom we don't quite know or understand? Do we like the realm of surprise and unknown? Or perhaps we are satisfied with the way it is, being for each other without much expectation. Or falling in love is all about feelings. I mean logically we should fall in love with someone we know quite well, so that we would know whether the person suits us or compatible with us. If it is so, how could we have feelings for someone which we met for the 1st time or not that long? Is love really blind, or izzit love need new excitement and venture into the unknown?

My theory is people who are too logical will not be able to fall in love easily. Even when having a relationship, we could easily doubt about what is love? (I am sure everyone have their own opinion about what is love). So, what makes us have feelings then? I would say is the opposite sex physical attraction and their aura. What is the aura? I would say is the character they portray, their facial expression, their eyes, their words, their energy (maybe their personal electro-magnectic wavelength as well). Of course, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but physical attraction should include health (slim) and smoothing look (we want looks that make us at ease). Probably there is a thin line between having feelings and love, then how would we know that we are in love? The test of sacrifice. When I am in love, I would feel the willingness or need to sacrifice for my love one. I want to spend more time with her, and do things for her (to make her happy). I would sacrifice some part of my importance for her importance, completing her dreams rather than mine. Supposing, seeing the smile on her face is the happiness I am looking. Have I done and felt all that? Actually, no. I just thought it is supposed to be that way.

I think tonight I had talked a lot of philosophical crap. Back to the big question, should we fall in love with friends? I think we should, but just that we seldom do that because the feelings is kinda blurred through friendship. Probably is hard to determine whether you had fall in love with a close friend, as the feelings between friends had always been good. Maybe we are already in love all these while.

What happened to Miss Evil?

So, some curious readers (8 婆仔) ask me about my relationship with Miss Evil in the previous post, and whether did I take initiative to court her.

The answer is no. I found out that she is already in a relationship through Tang. I think Tang smell something fishy and warn me ahead, very sensitive and observant of her, perhaps. Probably too many people fall for Miss Evil easily before (I am victiom no. 101). I have this stupid Principal No. 1: Never court a girl who is currently in a relationship. Reasons? Probably stupid I think. Probably I think that a girl should have left her current releationship if she is unsatisfied or unhappy. If she is still be with her boyfriend, then probably she is a happy girl then. Another theory is most people are afraid to break off from their current relationship, due to 2 reasons. i) since they have established a relationship for years, it would be wasteful or pityful to throw that all that down the drain ii) they are afraid the next one would be worse, or there will be no next one. So, they end up being very toleratable with their current partner (which is a good thing as well, since toleration and compromisation is important in a relationship, as long as for the right reasons). So, if I would like the girl, I hope that she would be someone independent and able to make the best decision for herself with lesser fear. Probably a lesser reason would be I "accidentally" and almost in a relationship with a girl (some misunderstanding) during secondary school, which one of my friend like very much. So, I kinda feel guilty and the feelings is no good. The lucky thing we were not technically in a relationship, and I didn't make the fatal mistake of breaking up with her because of my friend as well :) The thing just didn't work out. A blessing in disguise.

Yup, I am left with more time trying to make more money again. If I have a girlfriend in the near future, there is much for me to sacrifice, especially with so many things going on at the moment. There is no absolute is this world, as the only certain thing is the past. Anyway, the next one should be someone worthy, someone which I would willingly and stupidly give up a part of my plan and dream in exchange for assumed happiness. Sounds a bit too "realistic", but this is the logical mind talking.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Story of 2 Miss 8 (8 婆仔)

When I first write this blog, I didn't plan to share it with anyone close to me or know me personally. It was meant as a way for me to express my most true feelings and opinion, and I don't want to have any writing barrier. If I want to keep it personal, why create a blog site then? Hmm, there are a few reasons:
  1. I want to immortalise my memory and thoughts, not having to loose another diary. Blogspot is hosted by Google; thus they should have a good data redundancy plan in place. Besides, Google have a good reputation of creating quality product and had not charged for anything yet.
  2. Blog seems to be the IN thing now. I don't mind people who I don't know to read about it, in fact I am quite glad someone read it (every piece of writings needs its admirer). But I would not like those close to me to read about it. Even if you know me and happen to stumble upon this blog, please don't tell me you had found it (I give you permission to be secretive, and is okay for me to live in denial).
  3. Blog is pretty convenient in the sense that I can post from anywhere in the world (as long as there is an input device connected to the Internet). Besides, I can attach some digital photo as well, which are too common nowadays anyway. Too bad they don't allow me to post my digital video yet.
Okay, what happen yesterday? Mei Ru told me that she found my blog site a few days ago. I was thinking WHAT!? I told you not to tell me. But she claims that I didn't tell her, maybe I didn't. She thought I was playing games with to find my blog, so it was fun for her. This is depressing news for me, as I know she would be reading from now onwards. Questions? Would I still be able to write as truthfully as I used to, without hiding anything? A question even myself can't answer it, only my blog will tell the truth. Anyway, I kinda push Mei Ru to buy me Sushi for telling me something that she is not supposed to (disregard of whether I told her to do so or not, hehe). I like Genki Sushi anyway, affordable sushi with Citibank Clear Card 20% discount. So, if you know me and you tell me that you found my blog, penalty is a good meal of sushi.

Okay, what happen today? Christine told me that she found my blog site as well? WHAT!? Why did you tell me? WHY!? I am very sure that I told her not to tell me, if she ever found it. She didn't quite explain she have to tell me. I would have to guess she is too happy about it, and need to share her findings with me. Else, I would have to think she couldn’t keep secret from me (Open Book policy), even though I had given her the permission to hide it from me. Now she is telling me she want to see my reaction after she told me, while I was writing this. Very bad of her.

So, what are the similarities of these 2 person, whom I know and first found my blog:
  1. I told them about the existence of my blog (silly me!)
  2. They are my close friend at the moment (probably do too much online chat)
  3. Both of them very 8 (as usual)
  4. Both of them very playful (totally inconsiderate)
  5. Both of them laugh about their finding together (4 the coincidence perhaps)
  6. Both of them are not very kind person (at least 4 2day)
  7. And they kinda irritate me (probably 4 more than 2day)
So, what is next. The important lesson is not to tell anyone about my blog anymore (no more self-promotion). Actually there isn't anything quite wrong with it, just that I am afraid it would create some psychological barrier in my personal postings. What is the effect of this incident, besides being make fun of by 2 girls over the IM. Hopefully nothing. Actually I am quite happy that they found it, but just a bit disturb by the fact that I know they found it. This is an extraordinary day. A happy day. A good day.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Superb KK Trip (Part III) - Survivor Island

We had reached is last stop of out Kota Kinabalu/Sabah Trip - Survivor Island. Survivor Island is actually part of Pulau Tiga Park (The Three Islands), which consist of Pulau Tiga (Survivor Island), Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Samit (Snake Island). According to our tour guide Alan: Pulau Tiga (公主岛) is actually a princess, once loved by a Prince. But, their love affair was spoilt by the Princess's Evil Sister. The Prince was blinded by hatred and turn into Snake Island (王子岛) to stop others from nearing him. The Evil Sister turn into a Dessert Island (坏姐姐岛), separating the Prince and Princess from every meeting again. Yup, that's all of a typical legend.

Survivor! Who you outwit, outlast and outwin!

Survivor Island Jetty

Pulau Tiga (the Reality TV Show Survivor is shot here) is about 90 minutes driving from KK town. The journey is pleasant, as I am accompanied by my beloved gang and 3 lovely and handsome friends from Hong Kong. We took a ferry to cross a river, followed by 30 minutes boat ride. The sea is beautiful, clear sky (I pray for good weather) and nice breeze. Soon, we saw the jetty. The island is pretty simple, but nice. I like it. We were greeted with cool juice and lunch. Nothing spectacular about the food, in fact it is kinda sucks. We checked in our chalet, and it is equipped with an air-con with 2 beds, and private bathroom. It is the best accommodation we had so far, since we usually stay at backpacker lodge or hostel. We stay at Pulau Tige Resort.

The 1st stop is mud volcano. Frankly I am not very enthusiastic about this tour, I mean, what can be so great about dipping yourself in mud? It is about 20 minutes walk into the jungle before we saw a few pool of mud. At first, Christine's leg got stuck in some pretty dry mud, and she is shouting as it is pretty hard to move around, and funny. After which, the rest got themselves into the real mud pool, the wet pool, while I continue recording with my DV. It is funny to see how they react to the pool. At 1st they are pretty cautious, den someone started to float on the mud and swim around. People start putting mud on their face and dip their hair in mud, and rubbing mud on each other, making mud-man. The entire thing is very fun and memorable, and we take lots of photos and video. We enjoy ourselves in the warm mud, and it is fun and relaxing. Looking up the sky while floating is like Nirvana for a moment (just kidding!). We steal some mud for facial (shhhh!). Then, a large group of people jump in and not only disturbs our peace, but force all the mud out of the pool. The pool maximum can fit 20 person at a time, shoulder to shoulder. We get ourselves up and get our stuff, walk through the jungle bare-footed in mud-man form back to the beach. It is pretty scary for the by-passer if they are new here. So do a mud sunbaths for a few minutes before jumping into the water to clean ourselves. Yup, really need to get off a lot of mud. We had our tea break and some volleyball after that. I had a serious game of volleyball with a bunch of doctor having conference there, and it is pretty fun. I like volleyball, though not very good at it during school. After a few games, the crowd started to gather. Michelle taught us how to swim there, and I learnt some very basic of freestyle. Yup, what a fruitful day, and I started to enjoy swimming (maybe could start taking lesson from her every week).

Entrance to the Mud Volcano. It is rumoured that the Director's Lodge is a scary place.

Warm muddy bath! Ahhh!

Mud-Man Transformation Completed

At night after dinner, we all gathered at Mei Ru's room for card games. Alan and our new Hong Kong friends join us as well. Christine suggested to play a simple observation game while we are waiting for the others arrive. Following is the rule of them game:

1. She would use her hand to point (shoot) randomly at different person.
2. In the end, someone would die (being shot to death), and we must guess who actually died.

A short game ends up being the longest game for the entire night. This is an observation game which require careful pattern recognition and probability elimination, and we shouldn't confine our boundary and need to think out of the problem box. It is quite a challenging game, and I think it is good for the mind. Christine is good at organising this kind of game, as she is after all a social worker for the school. There are a lot of faces with lost expression, some are extremely curious to find the answer while others just feel sleepy. Joanne and Terrence is moderate player, meaning they are calm and curiosity is moderate. Mei Ru and Michelle are absolutely blur and willing to give up easily if without further motivation. Alan is a extremely curious cat, an active person with rich emotion and expression (maybe quite a similar characteristic with Christine). I think Chee Hong and I are more similar: introvert, observant, logical and must solve the game. I solve it within 20 minutes, as I had some basic in playing similar game, which require observation and thinking out of the box. I think Mei Ru solved it last, as she had totally lost interest and almost fall asleep. We played another 2 similar game for the entire night. It was a superb fun night, with a lot of laughter and many many different facial expression on everyone. If observed carefully, it really show the characteristic of each individual. Too bad I couldn't see myself in the game; else I could understand myself betta. Alan and the Hong Kong friends left earlier, probably because Alan and Joanne felt sick. We continues with about 2 hours of Choh Tai D (锄大D) before catching our sleep.

Alan & Christine during the game session at night.

The next day we went to the Snake Island. Nothing much there, except the guide catch an extremely poisonous snake and allow us to take picture of it. Michelle is extremely afraid of creepy creatures. It is said that we would die within 10 seconds if bitten by the snake. The one we saw had blue and black stripe. We took quite a lot of photo there, as the scenery is beautiful. Joanne and Terrence didn't join us, as Joanne is sick. Poor thing. The next stop is the Desert Island, with not a single green plant on it. The entire island is a long white sandy beach, absolutely breathtaking. It is said that the island would never be covered by water. Next, they drop us for snorkelling in the middle of the sea. To me it is pretty scary, even with the life jacket on. But once I am in the water floating, then everything is just fine. Some basic learning skill I learned from Michelle yesterday proved to be very useful. Mei Ru panicked, probably due to the deep water and the inability to float properly and lift her head up. We could see the seabed properly, but most of the coral is grey in colour (dead coral). There isn't much fishes either, so 2 thumbs down for the view. We went back to Survivor Island for lunch, den we proceed with some snorkelling again near the beach. There are more corals here, but many of them are dead as well. Actually corals are pretty colourful; it would be a magnificent view if there are more of them. According to Mei Ru and Chee Hong, corals at Pulau Redang are much better. I think is saw a dozen of different corals and fishes, better than nothing.

Michelle with poisonous snake (the expression of smile+scary in one)

My model-look photo taken by Christine at Snake Island

The 3 pretty gals at Desert Island.

Desert Island beach view

After some swim, we have to clean ourselves and leave the island. Survivor Island is a fun place and we could have stayed there for 2 days instead of 1. We went back to Lucy's home in KK for the night, while Christine and friends stay the night at Shangri-La Hotel.

Breakfast at Lucy's home

Lucy & Mimi

We meet up for breakfast again the next day at Museum Kopitiam before taking our flight home. It is nice to know some overseas friends, as I only have friends in Thailand and Singapore. Terrence is a designer (commercial packaging), while Joanne do international sales of glasses (they are the manufacturers for branded and customised glasses). We took a lot of photo and video at the World War II cafe. We each bid goodbye to each other and left with heavy hearts. The holiday had ended, and good friends are leaving as well. After which, we took Air Asia flight back to KL. The End.

Museum Kopitiam: Lest We Forget

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Superb KK Trip (Part II) - Mount Kinabalu

Yup, Mount Kinabalu is next. There are 2 ways to climb Mt. KK, either through Timbohan (shorter path) or Mesilau. We took the shorter path, as it had been raining the entire week. We register at Kota Kinabalu Park with Wong and gang, travel by van to Timbohan gate, get our walking stick and start hiking. Basically we need to climb to Laban Rata to stay overnight, and the journey is about 6 km. The path is well defined, with steps and rocks. The path had quite a heavy traffic, where you see people coming down every few minutes. You could see how people carry between 30-40 kg of supply while running up hill (at least walk very fast). There are rest points every 1 km, with mountain water supply and with a small covered resting place.

Mt. KK Trail Map

Gang of 4 before departure

In front of Timpohan Gate. The full squad with Wong & Gang.

It started to rain after about 1 hour of trekking, luckily we are well prepared for it. We took out our raincoat and put our food and electronic gadgets into water proof plastic bags. The ground is getting wet; we got to be extra careful. At the same time, it is getting windy and cold. At about the 5th stop, we put on our wind breaker or jacket to keep us warm. At one stage the wind was so strong that it tore my raincoat. The higher we hike the lesser the trees and the stronger the wind is. It is pretty tiring, but still manageable. Besides, the scenery is getting better as we can see the rocky mountains and green valley. The view is one of a kind, and we took quite some pictures along the way (though it was cold and raining). We reach Laban Rata about 4 hours of hiking, from 11 am to 3 p.m. The wind was extremely strong when we reach the flat land at Laban Rata, but we can't help ourselves but to take some picture and video before going into the resthouse.

After rain.

Almost there.

The 1st we ordered in the resthouse is a cup of hot Milo (they run out of hot chocolate). It cost us RM 9.50, but it is as large as 3 normal cups. Supposing everything here is more expensive, since they need to pay the locals to carry the supply up. We felt satisfied with our achievement, and had a lot of chit chatting going on about our experience for the past hours. We ordered soups as well, and it is a large bowl of soup as well (luckily 2 person is sharing one bowl, phew!). Then we felt hungry, so we each ordered a different variety of fried rice (kampung style, oriental style and something). We were shock to see the portion of the rice (I think it is for 3 person per plate, should have see that coming). We treat our mountain guide and porter lunch. After some chit chatting, we head to our room which were 5 minutes walk away, and it is EXTREMELY windy.

Don't disturb me. It is COLDDDDDD!

Our room consists of 6 beds, where they would be 2 Hong Kong girls joining us later (we are not aware of this initially). We could hear the sound of the strong wind hitting on the wooden plank and it is very cold. We put on our long pants, extra shirts, sweater and jacket (basically everything we could wear, including socks and glove). The girls carry more warmth cloth than me, especially the Long John (I started to regret). The toilet is outside, no one wanna take a bath (though heater is available), not even brush teeth. It was so cold until we have to put on our ski mask or head cover as well. Michelle was changing in the room when the 2 Hong Kong girls walk in, she forgot to lock the door. They were asking her a lot of question while she is trying to change, it is pretty funny. The 2 girls are in their 30's (I couldn't recall their name, but I recorded it somewhere in the video). They are very fit and probably used to travelling and hiking. They took the Mesilau track up and I was told there are one of the very first to climb up and reach foot hill the very next day. We slept around 7.00 p.m. as we need to wake up at 2.30 am the next day to continue the climb to the hill top. I found it extremely difficult to sleep, even with all the clothing on with blankets. It is advisable not to move when you sleep, as all the trapped heat will escape and cold breeze sip under your blanket. The environment is so hostile that I felt I could get a fever easily, luckily I didn't. Chee Hong took 6 Panadols as he felt sick. Another friend of us with Wong's group vomited. Luckily the four of us felt all right with the altitude and hostile environment.

Climbing early in the morning.

We woke up around 1.30 a.m., pack our stuff and ready ourselves for the next climb. It was so windy the entire night that all of us are worry we would not be able to make it to the top due to hostile weather. If it rains, the management would not allow us to proceed with our climb, and it would mean great disappointment. Though the weather is bad, but it is not as bad as I thought it would be. We started the climb at 2.45 am with our head torchlight on. I was assigned to carry the bag, and it did put a lot of psychological pressure on me. First 30 minutes was pretty easy but tiring. Then we reached a steep rock wall that seems pretty challenging. I thought, "If the person in front of me could make it, so could I". After quite a distance of steep wall, we reach the Sayap-Sayap checkpoint. Actually, the view around the steep wall is quite magnificent, if you would just take a moment to enjoy it while you are resting. Only bring pure chocolate or raisins at this stage, as you would not feel like eating any other energy food. I switch the bag to Mei Ru, as she seems to be the fittest person among us. The walk after the checkpoint is just fine, but we still have along way to go. It is pretty windy, some strong wind might push you a few step to the side as you walk. At this stage is more of a psychological challenge rather than a physical challenge. My light went half way through, but I didn't change the battery as the moonlight is bright enough. We use the walk and rest strategy. While resting we could see the clear sky with big stars, and some town lights from the valley. It is quite a view as well. The journey had become more and more difficult, and we need to reach the summit before 6 to catch the sunrise. We reach Low's peak about 5.30 am. It is such a small peak where everyone try to squeeze themselves around the small little sign which say 4095.2 M. We didn't get to see the sunrise as it was still pretty cloudy. The peak is so crowded that we only get to stay around 15 minutes to take pictures and video. Actually, I wasn't very amazed with the view (probably I have high hopes, or izzit the weather is not especially nice). Though the sunrise and the cloud might be of disappointment, but the rocky mountain and valley view is still pretty amazing. We took quite a number of picture as we were going down, and it is still pretty windy and cold (we have to remove our gloves when taking pictures!). Yes! I am on top of the world, or at least around Southeast Asia.

Mountain view.

Valley view.

We continue to climb down and the scenery feels different as it is much brighter now. The steep wall look much steeper at this moment. We reach Laban Rata around 8.30 am. The journey down seems more difficult than up, as we need to be extra careful and our leg hurts. We pack our stuff, have a light breakfast and start coming down around 10.30 am. Michelle and I were the last to reach at 3.00 p.m. The journey down is slow and painful. 3 of Wong's friend didn't manage to make it to the stop, so they got a 2nd class certification. We all got a full colour 1st class certification, YEAH!

The 1st class team.

We stay at the KK Park hostel, nothing fancy about this place. It had some weird water heater here as only hot water come out from it and you can't mix with cold water, thus making bathing very difficult. Plus, the temperature is around 20 degree Celsius and it was pretty cold for us. We stay a night there to rest before taking a van to return to KK town the next day. We stop half way to buy some souvenirs, and I pick up a T-shirt for myself plus 2 nice bracelet for Li Mun and Tang. We went back to Lucy's home and had quite a nice sea food dinner for the night. This is the 1st time I tasted fresh oyster, there is nothing nice about it. Also we had some nice clamps, mantis prawn, crab, fish and alike. Michelle don't eat stuff that doesn't look normal.


Travel Video

Friday, August 05, 2005

Dream Girl had Arrived (when I least expect it)

Before I write further about my KK trip, I feel like writing something about this girl I meet during my KK trip. During the trip, Alan tries to hoax us about 3 pretty Hong Kong girls that would be joining us. He start describing his close relationship with them, how they ICQ until midnight and alike (I am not sure he likes one of them and he is trying to introduce them to us and his just wanna us to meld well together). Anyway, it turns out they are 2 girls and 1 guy, and 2 of them are couple. So, we are left with 1 available girl.

The 1st time I saw her I found nothing special about her. Though you could say her looks is above average, but there is nothing particularly stunning or attractive about her. We didn't have much conversation together during the trip to Padas, until I break the ice when they didn't understand one of the guide's pronunciation of "Sun Lotion". After which she let down her coolness and became very friendly. After some conversation, I found that she is very friendly, expressive and straightforward. She is an interesting person, where others (including me) could easily feel for her. She wanted to join us to climb Mt. KK, as her trip to Mt. KK is one day later than us. My gang and I have no problem with it, but Alan could not arrange for her. So she have to climb the mountain alone. I was a bit disappointed, as having her around would be fun and interesting.

We were separated again after the Padas trip, and reunited again when we went to Pulau Tiga. Our conversation was normal throughout the trip, as we still stick with our own gang. We get closer when we went for volcano mud dipping at Survivor Island (one big ice breaker), which was a pretty funny experience. The mud felt funny and scary at first. Everyone was laughing and it was really fun and memorable. The mud taste was terrible, make sure you keep you mouth shut. I was having trouble keeping myself sank, as the mud push me afloat easily. After the mud bath, we have to walk through the jungle as mud man for 20 minutes before we reach the beach to wash ourselves. We take the chance to take some sunbath with our mud on as well. We took a lot of mud man photos.

Human Mud Sculpture
(Back Row, from Left to Right) Michelle, Mei Ru, Christine, Joanne
(Front Row) Chee Hong, Me, Terrence

Her name is Christine, and she is a social worker for school. I was fascinated with her job as well, as there aren't much full time social worker I know of in Malaysia. We all gathered for games at Mei Ru's chalet for game that night. Christine came out with some interesting games, which test our observation, and thinking out of the box ability. Some manage to guess the answer within minutes, while other might take more than 24 hours (sleepless night for them). Some are more enthusiastic (Alan), while other stay dormant and feel sleepy (Mei Ru). Anyway, the game was very fun and interesting, and we have a lot of laughter. Christine has a lot of tricks under her sleeves, as she is after all a social worker that organises events for school kids. I think this will be a memorable moment in the few years to come.

We did spent more time when visiting a few island and snorkelling. After the island trip, we have dinner and breakfast together as well.

Frankly, I couldn't keep her off my mind after the trip. We keep in touch using IM. Mei Ru asked me of my feelings toward her. I quite like her, especially her personality. I suddenly realised that she actually met most of the potential girlfriend criteria I told Mei Ru sometime ago. Besides, I have this theory of marrying a teacher (a story for next time), and a social worker for school is pretty close. After some conversation, she knows I am fond of her. But I didn't ask her if she likes me yet. I don't wanna rush into things this time, and I should know her betta first. I can see 2 main obstacle i) she is in Hong Kong, so it is gonna be a LDR ii) she is a Christian, she hope for someone to have a spiritual connection with her (I haven't not been converted to Christianity yet due to some stubborn reasons, story for next time). Basically, she is the most promising girl so far in my life, so izzit because the hormone is pumping hard. I plan to know her betta. I am not sure what going to be done next, just keep my finger cross and see how it goes. BTW, my ex relationship is also a LDR, which makes me a little phobia of LDR. It is tough, expensive and verbal. BTW, her ex relationship is also a LDR, which lasted 6 years (OMG!). Mine was 2 years. BTW, Christine is a few years older than me ;)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Superb KK Trip (Part I) - Padas White Water Rafting

This is the 2nd time I go for a trip with Mei Ru, Michelle and Chee Hong (the last one we went together is Taman Negara). This is a long trip as we are staying 8 days at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

We arrive at KK flying AirAsia on 25 July 2005 9:35 AM flight (the 2-way air tix only cost us RM 200 as we booked 3 months ahead in non-peak season). The flight took 2.5 hours and it was pretty pleasant, except that the seats are a bit small for my size. We were picked up from the Airport to Lucy's Homestay, where our guide is there to meet us. Allen, our guide, is a plump and cute person. He looks like Doraemon and Andy Lau (刘德华) in 瘦身男女. 4 of us are stuck in a 3-bed room, sucks. Lucy was pretty uneasy with our complaints, and soon we settle for the unpleasant arrangement. Allen brought us for breakfast at a nearby shop and treats us coffee + tea mixture (鴛鴦) drink at the Museum Kopitiam (this is a pretty cool place to hang out). He explains what would happen in the next few days and we asked a lot of question. Today is free and easy, so we decide to go to The Beach waterfront to play pool. Since the table is occupied, we end up at Happy Hours drinking beer and chit chatting. It was raining heavily then, definitely not a good sign for our outdor activity. Anyway, we cheers for our second trip together. After Happy Hours, we look for a seafood restaurant for dinner. We end up at 不夜天 seafood restaurant, where we saw a lot of people eat lobster. We are tempted to order abundance of seafood, but I think it is pretty pricey and we could find better bargain else where, so we ordered a few normal dishes and a dish of Elephant Trunk Clam (it was pretty good). We went to CentrePoint to pick up some stuff after dinner before going back to Lucy's Homestay. The room is pretty cool due to the rain, but it is pretty noisy as we can hear people talk when they go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and early morning. This is the 1st time we stay at a backpacker's lodge as well, quite an experience. You can see a lot of foreigner, and everyone is friendly.

Mei Ru and Michelle in Museum Kopitiam (Upstairs with WWII soldier helmet)

Me and Chee Hong

We woke up early the next day, and Lucy prepared some simple breakfast, which consist of bread and bananas. Allen came in on time to pick us up, and we depart to Padas River for White Water Rafting. We are transported to another bigger bus, when we join up with a few Hong Kong friends and some hotels' guess. A guide named Terry welcomed us, and the journey took about 2 hours and we try to take some nap. We arrive at an old train station at Beauford town, where we took a train into the jungle. A lot of locals is on the train with a lot of fruits and ironing board (perhaps there is some sales going on), and there are quite a number of people selling food and drinks on board the train. The train is very slow, noisy and shaky. The train journey took us another 2 hours, passing through a lot of bus stop like train stop. We arrive at the ending point of the water-rafting path to change and drop our bags. We are given 5 minutes before we hop on the train again towards the starting point. We were served with watermelon and mineral water, while Terry gave us a quick guide on water rafting. We wore a floating vest and helmet. I remembered a small-sized guide named Param and a Chinese look alike guide named Ma Chai. The 4 of us get on a small raft with 2 guide and started our journey. At first it was a pretty easy stream, and we jump in the river to do some body rafting. Since I don't know how to swim, so it is pretty difficult to control my direction. But it was a lot of fun. We hop in the raft again and started our exiting journey of 4.5 km of water rafting. The water stream is getting rougher and stronger, and some people start falling into the water. Our raft capsized in one of the larger wave (I suspect the guide purposely capsized us), so I was trap under the raft. I try to get myself out and somehow manage to see some light and drank a lot of yellowish river water. Capsizing is definitely an experience of a lifetime; it was scary but memorable (thank you Ma Chai). We rafted further before jumping into the water again for body rafting towards the ending point. We took a bath and have our so-called BBQ lunch. The sad thing is we didn't manage to capture any picture during our rafting activity. We took some picture before taking the same train and bus home. They are a lof of Hong Kong people on the train, where the guys usually are tan and the girls are fair with red blushes. We were home happy, and we get of know the 1st 3 Hong Kong friend in my life, Christine Lau, Terrence Chu and Joanne Cheuk. Christine wanted to climb Mt. KK with us the next day, but the arrangement was not quite possible. It would be nice to have her along, as she have a very pleasant personality and very fun. We have smoked chicken and stewed beef rice for dinner at Museum Kopitiam before heading back to Lucy's place for the night again.

Mei Ru and Michelle in the "slow, noisy and shaky" train

Me after water rafting (too bad no photo taken during rafting). Some Padas White Water Rafting photo is available here.

Coming up next is Mt. KK and Tiga Island.


Travel Video