Archive for the ‘Outings’ Category

Today’s a public holiday, but I was up since 7am.

It’s a special day for my dear brother Jeremy L. Fidelis, who had taken the important step of dedicating his life to the Lord Jesus Christ by deciding to be water baptised today. One of the most wonderful occassions to me, next to a wedding, is a water baptism ceremony. I’m always filled with that sense of holy awe when someone is immersed in water, re-emerging as a spiritually cleansed person – a public declaration and testimony of the person’s devotion to Christ.

You’ve made an awesome decision, Bro. Jeremy! Praise the LORD!

Then, after the water baptism ceremony, which was held at my Tamil pastor’s apartment, I went home to take a good rest and to prepare for 2-movie outing at Sunway Pyramid with two of my church youths – Alex and Joshua, who are both cousins. This would be my first ever outing together with them in the four years since they joined my church so it was pretty awesome. Wanted to watch the new Narnia movie, but alas, the time I wanted was completely sold out. So, we ended up watching a pretty cool (though the script could do with a little polishing) action movie called The Warrior’s Way.

After that movie, I took the boys out for a cool dinner at Italiannies, which happened to be Alex’s first time at Italiannies. And what a first time it was for him! He finished off a huge plate of seafood pasta in 20 mins! Then, it was off to another movie and since both boys seemed to enjoy horror movies, we went to watch the latest Singapore horror flick called Haunted Changi. The film was shot in the same style as The Blair Witch Project but this Asian version is much more cornier and a little comedic. But there were some terrifying parts near the end though.

All in all, I’m just glad that I managed to spend some quality time with the two boys. Alex’s had been wanting to go see a movie with me for ages and I just didn’t have the time but I am thankful that I did take the time to go see a movie with him and his cousin. The boys had fun and that’s all I care about. Hope I’ll be able to commit to more mini outings such as these in the future. Not just with these two youths but with the others as well.

Well next major event to look forward to… the annual ZCF D’Gen Y & Dwelling Place Church Youth Camp from Dec 19 – 22! Can’t wait! Praying for a mighty move of God throughout the camp period!

Advertisements

I was among a 1,000-strong crowd that waited outside the gates of KLCC Park Mall to attempt to be first in line to get our grubby paws on one of three copies of the special limited edition Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that Kinokuniya Bookstore was giving out.

As you can see from this picture:

So many people already queueing up! Boo hoo hoo! :-(

My chances were somewhat dismal…

It got even worse… the moment we were given the go-ahead by the strict, mean-looking KLCC security personnel, the mob just madly, wildly rushed in… pushing against the glass doors, trying to get past and squeeze in as much human fleshies as possible through the small opening of the glass doors. People were falling over each other, trampled upon and a few were purportedly ended up with broken limbs! Terrible! I could still hear one of the security guards’ screaming, “OYY!!! JANGAN TOLAK, SATU PERSATU! JALAN SAJA!! JANGAN LARI!! TAK TAHU ARAHAN, KE??”

In short, it wasn’t pretty… all manner of garbage and early morning food stuff were simply abandoned and tossed on the floor for the poor cleaners and guards to clean up. The injured muggles were all left trailing in the wake of the others. It goes to show that Malaysians’ civic-mindedness goes kaput the moment everyone had set their hearts’ desire to obtain something for free… at whatever cost! It’s every man/woman/child/hermaphrodite for themselves!

After about an hour or so of waiting in line, I finally came face-to-face with the Portrait of the Fat Broad herself…only that she’s there in the flesh!

The Portrait's ALIVE!!! Nah...it's just the front entrance to the Kino Bookstore, helmed by the Fat Broad who requires a password before one can enter.

In my opinion, she looked great, probably one of the best-looking fat ladies I’ve ever seen and the dress does complement her size.

So, I got the book at a 30% discount as I managed to cut out discount coupon that came with last Sunday’s StarMag’s paper in the literature section. Retail price of the book was RM109.90 and after the 30% discount, I only have to pay RM76.93. But that’s nothing compared to the price these two hypermarkets in Malaysia are offering! Smart move to encourage the lower-income earners to buy the book to read, and I totally think that MPH, Times, Popular and Harris are complete idiots to refuse selling the books in their store. I don’t think anyone’s complaining anyways, it’s their loss and all I can say is that they deserve it for trying to squeeze every single penny from us ordinary folks.

Before I went home, my friend Ian managed to snap a picture of this happy quartet who were No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.9 in line at the queue, and thus, went home with lots of Harry Potter goodies:

Lucky winners Donovan Liew (far right), Daniel Rajasingham Subramaniam (second from right), Dayana Liew (third from right) and Lee Swee Bee (far left) show off the goodies they walked away with after waiting in line with hundreds of others - all wanting to be the first few in KL to get their hands on the book.

I’m glad that it were mostly kids who managed to be among the first 13, so I’m not that disappointed. I’ve already decided that if I do get to be among the first 13 in line, I’ll be willing to give up the space to any forlorn-looking kid. After all, I got the money to afford buying the book.

Me and Ian left KLCC and headed for MPH 1 Utama to pick up another copy of the Harry Potter book which I pre-ordered which Ian bought off me. We expected quite about the same number of crowd, so imagine our shock when we greeted with near-deafening silence – no screams of joy, no “hip hip hoorays” or any of the shindigs that was promised by MPH. That’s when we found out about them refusing to sell the books. Luckily, they still let those that pre-ordered them earlier to come pick up their books but stupidly turning away walk-in customers who were looking to buy the book.

A special “limited edition” mug came with my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The mug’s ain’t nothing to shout about so, not going to waste paste by putting up a rather boring-looking mug. Would most likely put it up for sale on eBay through Ian’s sister.

Shortly afterwards, Ian and I made our parted ways to make our journey home. I got back about two hours ago, washed up, had a bit of chow and getting online to blog about this morning’s events and finally, I began reading the book…

My ppprrreeeccciiiooouuussss copy of the final book in the Harry Potter saga.

No spoilers! ^_^

That’s all folks! For further Harry Potter-ness, including a review (which I would write the moment I finish reading), head over to my litblog.

Yo yo yo!

Guess where I am now, peeps? Am at the coolest newest chill out place in town right now with my colleagues.

I’m telling you, there ain’t no better place in town right to while away the hours over a cup of revitalising coffee/tea/ice chocolate! Want to know where this new, hip place is??

It’s right at one of my favourite shopping malls – Cineleisure Damansara!

Want to know more??

More info to come!

Ta ta, now, my favourite readers! Yes, I mean all of you! 😀

Today, the management, security and residents’ association of my condominium almost ruined the group swimming fun that my pet sister had organised over at my Kelana Mahkota condominium. I was so infuriated by the stupid, unfair rules that these idiotic personnel had made up. I’ve been staying here for over a year now and I’ve never heard of this one rule and have never had any problems before…until today. Venture further for more details of this injustice

Had a fantastic night today. Just got back from the Matsushita Sports Centre in Shah Alam, Selangor where the Bon Odori 2006 was being held.

It was amazing! The atmosphere was really fantastic, it was electrifying – the crowd were enthusiastic participants, joining in the song and dance. It was just wonderfully fun. There were so many people, I think there had to be about 20,000 people who attended, people from all walks of life from different cultural backgrounds. It’s another great demonstration of the spirit of camaderie among us human beings, though we may look different from the outside, we’re all essentially the same on the inside. It was great fun to see a couple of Malay women dressed in kimono while wearing the tudung. It was certainly a unique fusion of two cultures!

Kudos must go to the organisers and all those who participated in the planning, organising and performance must be praised for this well-organised event.

What is Bon Odori, I hear you ask? It’s held during the Bon Festival which is actually a Japanese Buddhist festival similar to the Chinese’s Qing Ming festival – which is to honour the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. Like the Chinese counterparts, the Bon festival has also evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people from the big cities return to their home towns and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves.

The Bon Odori, however, is an event held during the Obon. It is essentially celebrated as a reminder of the gratefulness one should feel toward one’s ancestors. However, the traditional religious meaning of the festival has changed with the passage of time and in today’s modern times, Bon Odori is now a dance festival associated with the arrival of summer.

Tonight, the Japanese expatriates came in droves to celebrate this festival and the Malaysian public was welcome to join in and partcipate and celebrate together for wonderful time of song and dance. For many of us who has grown up exposed to Japanese culture and elements in the form of anime, manga and J-Pop & J-Rock, it was a chance of a lifetime to experience a Japanese festival right here in our own country. I was moved beyong words and I can guarantee that I will certainly be back next year!

Don’t get me wrong though, my Malaysian Chinese identity is firmly intact and I am not suffering from confusion of my cultural identity. I just love the Japanese way of life and their customs, language and culture. It’s really beautiful and very, very different from that of the Chinese. It’s also a way for me to show my respect for the Japanese people, to show that the past is effectively the past and that we should all move on with the times.

The Japanese people of today should not be put at fault for the atrocities of the past – which is why I think the Chinese and Korean governments are overreacting to the Japanese PM’s frequent visits to the Yasukini Shrine. What’s the big deal of paying respects to the dead, even if they’re the war criminals? No matter how bad people who has died are, they still deserve to be prayed for that their souls may be able to rest in peace despite everything.

But I disgress. I don’t want to be drawn into something which I am still learning to understand. The fact of the matter is this – we should not let our differences and past hurts get in our way of forging mutual and fruitful relationships with one another…which is why I am truly happy that we get to celebrate Bon Odori here in Malaysia as well. I wonder why I never knew about this until this year? Nevermind, now that i know, I will certainly make Bon Odori a fixture in the years to come!

Thanks aplenty to my imouto-chan, Naoko, for letting me know about this event and letting me tag along with her friends from the Comic Fiesta Forum. While I did stick out like a sore thumb and clueless about all the CF-talk, I did enjoy myself tonight with your merry bunch of otak tak centre friends! 😀

Below are a selection of photos which I had taken tonight at the Bon Odori Festival. Click on each of the thumbnails below to access the larger version of the photo which I had uploaded at Dropshots. Let me know what you think of my photography skills, ya! 😀 The best way to learn and improve for me is through the criticisms of others, so I’m not really averse to harsh criticisms – so long they aren’t personal attacks or unfair.

Alternatively, I have also made a slide show version of these photos over at my The Eternal Wanderer’s Cool Videos & Podcasts via Slide.com. For silly/funny/lame captions, go there! 😀 It’ll take a minute or two to load, so be warned if you’re on dial-up!

Hope you guys and gals had as much fun as I did at Bon Odori 2006! See you all again next year’s Bon Odori 2007!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Ok… so most of the pictures are of food, but how can I resist taking a few practice shots of the food laid out before us? I wasn’t disappointed by the Japanese food at all in the Arena food court of Jusco 1 Utama (which was Japanese Soba). Pretty filling and the sushi selection wasn’t at all that bad too. I would rate what I had, which was the Chicken Katsu (RM8.90) and the Sushi selection (RM4.90), at B+ and B respectively. How would Naoko rate her Zaru Soba? I wouldn’t know but she did mentioned that it was a tad salty but was tasty to her. Anyways, here are the photos…

My Chicken Katsu (RM8.90) Looks good, doesn't it? ^_^

A closer look at the Chicken Katsu

Naoko-chan's Zaru Soba...

Captured by Naoko-chan, this is Jinja showing us photos of his work in Cambodia while we lunched..

The Sushi Selection!!! (RM4.90) The two brown ones on the left were delicious!

This is Naoko-chan acting silly with the scarf Jinja gave us as souvenir

And this is me... self-gratuitiously taken

Next, after 1 Utama, we adjourned to Vivo’s at The Curve, which was not more than 15 minutes drive away from 1 Utama. The thing is, as I told you in the last post, we were at The Curve for about 30 to 40 minutes, walking round and round before settling for Vivo’s. Here’s what Naoko-chan and I had…

I had the Baked Salmon Spaghetti with Creamy Sauce (not the exact name) and it tasted real fine. The salmon was well-cooked, soft...instantly melts in your mouth. The sauce wasn't that creamy, but it suited the salmon and spaghetti well. An A-!!

Naoko-chan had the Solo Pizza, basically 7inches cut into 4 slices. Looks good, not sure how it'll fare against my faves at Pizza Hut

Well, there you have it! Yesterday had to be the most fun I had in the last month or so. Kudos to Naoko-chan for inviting me and setting it up! ^_^