Monday, 30 June 2008

Thursday, 26 June 2008

South Korean cram school



I never knew schools like these existed until I read this article on International Herald tribune. I shall briefly explain here.

Apparently, these boarding schools are targeted to youths who have finished high school. In these schools, boys and girls are stripped from cell phones, magazines, internet, TV, PSP, iPods etc. No accessories, no dyed hairs etc. You get the drift.

Why?

These things are deemed distractions. These students are at cram school to study. For those who have failed to enter the university of their choice. Apparently in South Korea, the competition to enter top universities are very intense.

Students wake up at 6:30am and go to class at 7:30am. Only at 12:30 am are they allowed to go to bed, or continue studying till 2am. The rules and regulations are so tight and the school is miles away from the nearest public transport that students have nothing else to do except study.

Most students who enter this cram school have been rejected from universities and have understood failure.

Copied this:

Students wrote pep-talk notes on pieces of colored, sticky paper and kept them on their desks. "I may shed tears of sadness today, but tomorrow I will shed tears of happiness," one said. Another common note said: "Think about the sacrifices your parents make to send you here."

Some more, these boarding schools are expensive: 2 million won, or $1,936, a month.

Manners

I was reading an article on International Herald Times when one article stands out. Visa limits undermine Beijing's tourism. What with the earthquake, and government officials trying to limit entry to foreigners, tourism has declined.

But what interests me is this:

Indeed, after years of preparation and mammoth building projects centered on this city's playing host to the Olympics, including teaching thousands of taxi drivers English and instructing local citizens on how to queue up in line (not something common here), Beijing is looking a little less welcoming for foreigners.


I find it hilarious actually. If Olympics had been hosted in any Asian country, the government would have to teach the locals to queue up. For example food at restaurants.

I was at this buffet dinner on the way to Norway in a cruise. Everyone was starving because it was the second seating already and hundreds had to wait as the waiters refilled all the trays and added more food. Finally when all the trays were ready everyone rushed in to get their seats and rushed to the buffet tables. But, everyone still queued up for food. No cutting the queue, no pushing or jostling. Still polite. Most of the people present were English and Norwegians.

Now, if this was Malaysia, people cut in here and there with no sorry's, excuse me's and there would definitely be jostling among the people. And swearing.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Seduction

In the GAME of seduction

There is only ONE rule

NEVER fall in love!

What if I am already in love?

I failed.

Miserably.

With You.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Southwark Park

Trees are no longer bare, but all green again. I've watched all four seasons in this park for nearly 3 years. So many memories in this park alone, just less than 5 mins walk from 168B Jamaica Road.

Jogging with Nifer in the freezing cold winter mornings because we ate too much the night before.



Buying cheap loafs of breads and bringing our stale leftovers to the park to feed the ducks and swans.



And all 3 of us forgot to take the key out in our eagerness to feed them. Terrible. Had to take a 30 pounds taxi to New Cross to get the other pair of keys on Christmas morning. Some more we had house guests with us during that time. We left them waiting at the park, in the cold. Sorry guys.



Shirley, Nifer and I attended bonfire night 07 at Southwark Park which was quite a disappointment really. Barely 5 minutes of fireworks display. Spent the time eating hot dogs, chips and just talking.


Fireworks.

Without make up.

Also, watched dog show and the parade alone in the park while taking a break from studying.



Lots of after class walks in this park alone with my iPod keeping me company.


Sign says: Do not exercise or allow your dog to foul the estate.

Walks in the park with Willie in an effort to take in some outdoor exercise even though I could barely jog 3 mins. My ears hurt whenever i try to jog outdoors. Yea, I suck. I know. And no, I don't want to wear a hat to jog.


Plucking berries off the tree to eat. Nifer and I didn't know it was edible until we saw a woman plucking some off a tree to feed her kids. =P

Nifer looking all summer. Barefooted, flower in hair, and sundress...

I shall end this with this photo. Snowing outside 168B.

Summer is in the air

Summer is in the air. Its time to bring out the shorts, skirts and flip flops again. Its the time when shops are full of bikinis again. I have yet to wear mine. No chance to wear actually. Its always too cold in London, and too hot in Malaysia. I'm afraid of the cold here and afraid of getting dark back home. Haha. Bit idiotic, i know.

Time to start eating summer fruits again. I love strawberries and cherries, but they are unfortunately very expensive in Malaysia. But back here, I'm going to eat as much of them as I can. Why are the cherries in Malaysia so bitter whereas the cherries here so sweet? I mean the cherries on top of cakes. Are the processed or what.



One of the most delicious pearl juice drink is this: mango peach juice with pearl. Its really filling too. The drink is smooth but still thick cos its filled with little mango and peach pieces in the drink. Yumm.. Normally what I order at HK Diner, Chinatown. But it doesn't come cheap though. It costs 3.60. If I compare it to McD, I can get a Medium Quarter Cheese Meal with Coke and it would cost me 3.69.





The sandwiches comprises a beef patty with ketchup, mustard, pickles, sliced onions, salt, pepper and two slices of cheese on a sesame seed bun. I prefer this to Big Mac. Never tried Big Mac and probably never will. Doesn't attract me at all..

I was at HK Diner with Shirley last night. While she enjoyed her chicken curry, I had my drink and camera. Took random photos of people walking by the window. I'll just let the photos do the talking.


C*bai Amy don't want to eat with me..


The view opposite from where we're sitting.


Long bus and bike.


Police. I think.



And me.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Division

You chose to surrender the best thing that's happened to you
What were you missing
Were you just tripping
Running away from your fear was the best you could do
you made this decision
you chose our division

LSC

I went to LSC today to get my certificates and academic transcripts. After waiting for half an hour, it was my turn.

He asked: when did you apply for them?

Me: Last year.

Him: What?

Me: Yea. So it should be ready by now.

He gave me a dark look and went to search for it. Then came back with a not-so-thick stack of certs and transcripts. After searching through he said: Its not here. Maybe its not ready yet.

Me: What do you mean not ready?? Michelle sent me email saying it was ready.

Him: I think maybe its thrown away. Because you took so long to come and collect it.

Me: I was in my home country. I came back for graduation only.

Him: Ahh..ic. I understand. Well, we can't keep hundreds of transcripts you see. So we must have thrown it away. But you can reapply again. This time you don't have to wait 6 months. I promise it will be ready in 6 days.

How could you throw it away? Its not even 6 months yet. We haven't even attended our Masters graduation ceremony.

I gave him another receipt which claimed I can get 5 pounds back from my graduation robe back in January.

He said: I can't. My colleague is not here. Come back next time. She deals with it.

Me: What if next time I come here and she's still not here?

Him: Good question. Hmm..let me see what I can do.

He goes away a moment and comes back to inform me that his colleague is out to lunch. You'll have to come back later..

Sigh. Why am i not surprised?

Back again

I brought 2 laptops to London again this time. My Toshiba to repair at PC World cos its still under warranty. The Kuching Toshiba manufacturer told me that it'd take a long time for the parts, warranty procedure and also that my Toshiba laptop model is not sold in Malaysia. So, I should bring it back to London to repair. Boo!

So, my hand carry is quite heavy. From Kch - KL, the few people around me watched as i tried again and again to lift my heavy hand carry to the luggage compartment on top. No one offered to help. And I hurt myself. Finger bleeding. Damn..

KLIA's satelitte terminal. I was killing time, waiting for my flight

From KL - London, its a different story. As soon as I lifted up my bag, 3 pairs of hands came to help me lift it up. Yea. I was saved. We were brought up in a different way. During disembark, the nice gentleman next to me stood up and asked which one is my bag and lifted it down for me straightaway. Thank you. He was very nice. Kept talking to me throughout the flight and making jokes. Unfortunately, his Scottish accent was too strong and I hardly understood his jokes. I just smiled lamely and replied some only. Silly Amy.

Cotton wool . Marshmallows. Clouds.

12 hours 45 mins + 2 very unsatisfying meals + Ugly Betty episodes + Spiderwick Chronicles + Just For Laughs, Jumper + Dr Norton Hears a Who + countless orange juices minus sleep later, I arrived at Heathrow. Sleep deprived. Dehydrated. Tired.

Queues at immigration again. Same questions again. Said goodbye to nice gentleman who sat beside me. Waited for luggage and went out to meet Shirley. But she was late. Again. =) Hahaa..

Not too long later, 3 bitches reunite at Southwark Park.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

VA and MOJO

Friday night went out with Winnie, Pivian, Kitty, Steph, Sarah, Lyn and later on with Angelo them.

I shall let the photos do the talking here. In the beginning of the night, Me, Pivian and Winnie. My new hairstyle btw. Red and short. Not liking it.



Kitty, Sarah, Steph were up at Camp Permai for a day trip and rushed home to get changed and came to VA. Freaking tiring I imagine..This is our group photo at VA. Its ladies night.



Hot Chicks. Winnie, Pvn,Kitty and Lyn.



The more the merrier. We must be the loudest group there that night.



Dancefloor. I like Pivian's camera. Much better than my own..



After VA, we went to MOJO to meet up with some other guys. This is our group at the end of the night..outside MOJO.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Nightmares

For a long time now, I've been having nightmares on and off. Normally when I have nightmares, I wake up instead of going back to sleep. But last night, I kept telling myself. Sleep. Next dream will be better but its not. I woke up 4 times in total and gave up trying to sleep.

In the dream, I was someone else. Always I'm a stranger and the people around me are strangers, people I don't see in real life. I vaguely remember them now.

In one dream, my sister (stranger) shot me many times with a gun. I didn't die cos I was shot in the hand. She didn't want me to die, just wanted me to be in pain which is why she shot my arm, my hand.

Then I was running to a restaurant with 2 other girl friends when I was knocked down by a car? Don't remember..

Dream changed. I'm a little girl again (stranger too) and I was crouching by a corner. A guy was coming to me, he was going to rape me. Then I ran to my dad for help. My dad was also a stranger. Someone I've never seen before. My dad-stranger started stroking himself. He was going to rape me himself..

I woke up gasping for breath. Trying to control my heart beat and I just want to forget..

Do I have a really imaginative mind or is something wrong with me? Why do I dream of these things?

*sigh*

Unfortunately for me, I think I know exactly why I'm having nightmares night after night.

My New Hairstyle

Ok, I'm not the most adventurous or daring person. I normally go for cuts that suit/flatter my face shape and body size. lol. But now, I'm doomed... I cut and dyed my hair and i hate it.

Before I reveal how I look like now, I shall show some vain photos of previous hairstyles..Bear with me please.

This photo was taken in 2006 on a cruise to Amsterdam. I had long hair but of course you can't see it. I tried looking for photos of my hair down. But anyone who stayed in London knows how the wind is sometimes..London weather is like a girl's mood. Can be bright and sunny one moment then gloomy and cloudy and dull.



The closest photo of me with my hair down in this computer is:



This. With a cap. Shot taken outside Buckingham Palace. I was with Shirley and her mum to see the guard changing.

Anyway, I had curly hair too. New Year's Eve 2006.



To be honest, I was very worried how it'd turn out since I never curled my hair before this. All the time in the salon, I kept telling my hairdresser: what if its not nice. Be careful ok. Not too curly. I'm scared. I never did this before. Like losing my virginity. OMG.



After the curls, I straightened my hair and cut it. The result:



Like I said, bear with me. This is a very bimbo post with vain pictures. Hahaa..



Previously before I cut my hair, it was like this. Yellowish. Highlighted, and looks very dry. This was before.



OK..New hairstyle coming up.. Next post. Sorry. Its too hideous. I regret!!!



I shall upload the New Me next time.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Saturday night

I might as well blog about last Saturday night at Soho since everyone else has already done that. I'm LAZY!

I just finished watching Bring It On. In It To Win. And yea, good movie. I like the hot chicks, their bods, and also their dance moves. Hell, combine beautiful people, sexy bodies and hot dance moves, and yeah I'm in!

Its a typical high school film with the cheerleading and gay cheerleader, drama between girls, cat fights etc, but still not a bad movie. Because of the dance moves only. Watch it!

OK. Last Saturday night, I was driving. So, i watched others drink.



Lynn downing her Flaming. Her first time and first night in Kuching btw. She just got off the plane and went straight to Soho. Thats why the others were getting her to drink and she was so damn happy after drinking. She had Corona, Flaming, 2 Tequila shots. And she is gone. Kidding. Nobody was drunk that night though Lynn was very tipsy. She kept saying thank u, thank u.



This was taken in the car on the way back: Kitty, Lynn and Steph.

As usual, I love clubbing with party people who dance! And everyone in this photo is so up to it. I haven't met many guys who really enjoy dancing and so far the best male Asian dancer award still belongs to Wai Tjun. Hahaha.. Our very own Drama and Dancing King.



The non Asian best dancer is Simon. My Polish friend, a musician. Naturally high when there is music. Even in London in the clubs, people were staring at him jumping up and down. No photos cos my laptop has gone haywire on me. Update next time.




This was taken at the end of the night. Kitty and I with Angelo, Tausif and Shaveem.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Sleep?

This is our family room. Mum, Winnie and I share a bed, while daddy has a single bed on his own. I hate sharing a bed with winnie and mum.



Shirley probably remember that night in Sunderland, what did I say on sharing a bed. "I only share a bed with guys" Her mum probably had a seizure hearing this. Truth is, I forgot aunty was there. Got used to kidding around with Nifer and Shirley like that.

Anyway, one night of sharing a bed with mum and winnie. Winnie was kicking the whole night. I slept 4 hours and gave up. I woke up early and read in the bathroom myself for 3 hours till they woke up.



Next day, I got an extra blanket from Housekeeping and slept on the floor. Its been months since I slept on the floor. That time was in 168B, with Willie. Even then it was uncomfortable. Now, it was torture. I wore a t shirt, jacket, long jeans to sleep and a thin blanket. And i hugged myself to sleep. When I woke up, I felt like I hardly slept. No willie to keep me warm anymore..

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

KL Trip



I don't know about others but I love traveling in a plane. I like being on the plane. Long distance though. Not Air Asia. Its so frustrating to have to jump up and run to queue at the departure gate with everyone else because there are no assigned seats. Its based on a first come, first serve basis.

At the check in counters, you have to push and fight your way to the front. It sucks. No, that wasn't summed up correctly. It SUCKS!! It FREAKIN SUCKS. Tony Fernandes, do something about this. I know its a low cost airline, but dammit. You're turning all Malaysians into Barbarians!

As soon as the announcer comes on, everyone jumps up and grab their bags and push their way to the front. The only other alternative is to pay RM20 for Express Boarding meaning you get on board ahead of everyone else. Lucky I'm very kiasu and have a very thick face and walk fast so I somehow manage to get to the front of the queue almost all the time. =)

That aside, I'm talking about my KL trip right?

We stayed at the Federal Hotel which is not recommended for other people. I doubt if we'll ever stay there again. Dad somehow decided to change his routine of staying at Melia, and told us to book Federal this time. Where do I start?

The disastrous reception staff just could not understand what I was saying. He was obviously in the wrong job man. Seriously. We were staying for 3 nights and he booked us for one night. Then he gave us 2 rooms separated far away from each other. Then he looked blur when I asked WHAT??!!

This is mum and winnie at The Outback restaurant. I'm thinking its an Australian restaurant since they have a huge poster of Fosters. And Cheese fries on their menu.



Winnie ordered this. Melted cheese and bacon on top of fries. Very fattening and delicious. Mayo on the side. No wonder I gained weight. Sigh.



One good thing about the hotel is the pool which I love:



but unfortunately can't swim in because my period came on the day itself. Talk about bad timing.

Mum loves to shop at Sungei Wang, and dad at Lot 10. So here we are:



Our little iban family on holiday in KL. Minus winnie photographer and kev in kch. I'm totally kidding about the iban part. We are as far away from Iban as possible. I just like to joke about it. Behind dad's back of course. =)

While mum and dad went up to Genting, I had to babysit underage winnie lest she gets kidnapped by some stranger in KL. Kidding. I wanted to go to Genting to watch dad at the roulette table. But my period was in heavy flow man, and also of winnie.

Winnie and I went to Times Square where we wandered away happily, browsing but buying very few things really. We decided to catch a movie at 6:50pm. My Wife Is A Gambling Maestro. A Hong Kong Film. Bought the tickets and waiting for the time to pass when I said: This is such a waste. We can watch movies in Kuching. We should be exploring KL!!

Winnie agreed. But what about the tickets? Well, I wasn't about to throw away RM 18. I decided to go around the cineplex selling the tickets for the movie which is about to start 10 mins from now.

I went up to nearly every person I saw and said: Hi, do you want to watch this movie? I sell you cheap. Discount price. Chinese movie. A comedy. Very nice. We have good seats etc etc.

An Indian couple was interested and was asking me about the movie. I neglected to mention it was a Chinese movie till they finally realized: what? chinese movie? ohh..no no no no no. Winnie added helpfully: It has subtitles. lols

Then to my big surprise, a Malay couple beckoned to me: Come. I buy from you. Cool!!! I got back my RM 18. yea. cheapskate Amy. The tickets were sold by 6:50pm. Right on time.

Through this funny sales experience, I came to realize that most people were quite scared/wary of me. Probably thought I'm insane or what. Most people eavesdrop when I talk to someone else. But the moment I look at them and walk up to them, they turn away, look at the floor, eyes averted till i have to tap them on the shoulder and ask:

Excuse Me. You want to watch this movie? *big smile*

This is what I looked like selling movie tickets:



Am I that scary?

Gawai

Over Gawai holiday, my parents, Winnie and I went to KL. This was apparently a ritual over the past few years. For those who don't know what Gawai is, allow me to explain the little that I know.

It falls on 1st June every year in Malaysia. It is celebrated by the indigenous groups in Sarawak: Iban making up most of the group, Bidayuh, Melanau, Orang Ulu etc. As a Iban myself, I really know nothing much of this rice harvest festival. I've also never tried tuak, the rice wine. This is the traditional costume for Iban:



Back in Secondary School in SMK Tabuan Jaya when I was the new student. The school was full of Malays, Ibans, Bidayuh etc.. Chinese were only a handful or less. So, when they saw I'm a Iban who don't speak a word of their language. Naturally everyone thought I'm stupid. An idiot and a disgrace. I hated it.

My grandfather is Iban, my grandmother Chinese. But we've always celebrated Chinese New Year even when my grandfather was still alive. He was the only one in our whole family who speaks Iban, and also Mandarin, Hokkien etc.

I'm getting side tracked here. I was planning to write about the KL trip. Next one..