Friday, April 29, 2005


Ever felt so boh mood to do anything, and when you are pondering about what do to, blogging just temptingly comes to your mind? Well, it's 8.45am now and I haven't slept yet. I just came back form a jog and I ate breakfast, which I rarely do during holidays. And I am still boh mood to sleep and in my mind, blogging is THE thing to do, the desire even overpowers that of anime or DotA. Hmmn...desire alone aint enough, I need a topic, dammit!

Ok, today I am going to talk about the dialect I dearly miss, Hokkien. Hokkien wa is a tongue I most commonly use, when I am at home or when hanging out with friends. As a matter of fact, most of the people I am close to know this wonderful dialect. Without a doubt, Hokkien is part of my life and without it, I feel incomplete and handicapped, like now. I have to admit I did not exactly realize that it encompasses such a huge part of mylife until I am in this land where the dialect is almost unheard of. When speaking other languages, the very essence of speech is gone, and whatever spoken seems to lack something, like sincerity or credulity. And don't get me started about people who try so so so hard to imitate the native speakers here. One word - travesty. NowI feel the urge to use Hokkien even to a couple of my friends here, whom I would normally 'speaking' to. Hehehe, I am so desperate lah.

Now, with the emergance of Hokkien Blog and after reading TV Smith's The Hokkiens, I miss Hokkien wa even more. I am not TV's fan, but that article sort of hit me right at the cord. Ahh, nostalgia.

I recall an occasion during the meeting with Pak Lah in Sydey. While I was having the gastronomical pleasure over the deserts, I met three Penangites and we started talking in Hokkien immediately after we found out all of us could speak in Hokkien! Ahh, the comfort that I hadn't felt for so long. So we reached a state which I would like to call, speech zen, where I could just talk so so naturally without stopping.

On another ocassion, a friend from China told me I look like the people from Fujian. I was about to tell her I was not related to anyone from that part of China when it struck me that Hokkien Langs actually come from Fujian. Hmmn, now only I know that Hokkiens do have some similarites in their looks. But I am happy to know lah, that they are all good-looking like me. Yay!! Hokkien rules!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Weeeee!! Ah, something that I have been looking forward to has started. It is the period when my productivity mode is set to the lowest, and for the past few days I have been sleeping a lot. Oh, did I mention how I watched the 50-episode Full Metal Alchemist in just 2 days? Ahh, I never feel better. Muahahaha. Anyway, now it's the time to report what I did since the last post. Let's see..

On April 8th, the PM, Abdullah Badawi was in Sydney for a diplomatic visit and all govenment sponsored students were required to attend a dinner-cum-meeting with the PM. Besides sponsored students, members of the Malaysian Student Association from the universities in Sydney were also invited. So motivated my the prospect of having dinner at Shangri La Hotel as well as the spirit of patriotism (ehem), we geared up in our formal attires and headed to the bus station. Ahh, did we look like a platoon of immaculate excutives heading to a place of great importance! Also, Hui hoong looks really nice in her new Kebaya, bought at Jusco. Hahaha.

As expected, Shangri La hotel was thronged by for all formally-clad guests, most of whom were students. We had to queue at registration, where we later got 10 bucks each for transportation subsidy. Hmm, not bad. That means we actually profited about 2 bucks, as the bus fare costed less than 8 dollars to and fro. Wohoo! But we became even more elated upon seeing the array of food! My stomach was grinding for hours already, so I just grabbed the food without the care of the world. It was a bit of a dissapointment, as I was expecting ala-Malayisan food, but what the heck, I tucked them all in. The food was also nothing laudable, but definitely better than those at college! Then it's time for desert! I took some time to ogle at the vast selection before helping myself, then going for second and third helping! I would go for the forth if we were not informed that we had to gather in a room as the session would begin...


All the seats were full when were arrived at that room, so the bunch of us just stood at the back while waitng for the PM to arrive. Pak Lah, with a few ministers finally made the grand entrance and out of the blue, the crowing start shooting the ministers! Hahaha, with camera lah. I also took a few snaps, then shook hand with the ministers as they passed by. After the ministers had settled down, berkumandanglah lagu patriotik di udara, sementara para hadirin menyanyi dengan semangat yang kental bagaikan pelajar Malaysia yang belajar di perantauan. Ahh, dont you just feel more patriotic when you're not at your home country?

Then, the Pak Lah gave his speech, urging us to work on our competitiviness, which I think is also timely. Other than the usual stuff that we hear over and over again, at least this is something that we can relate to. After all, the words from a man who runs a country shall not be taken lightly at all. After that came the question and answer session and there were a lot of eager people throwing questions one after another. Some of them were well-thought and acceptable, while some I just couldn't help to feel that they were just asking for fun or just wanting to show that they are "concerned" about the issues. But all questions were satisfyingly answered, in my opinion, no finger-pointing and dodginig, a favourite among many an important figures I know. When the event was about to end, there were still many enthusiatic hands raised in the air for a chance to bombard the poor Pak Lah with questions, but Pak Lah just keep on entertaining without any sign of impatience. I would be damn pissed I tell, ya! They knew that the event was going to end already, but they still won't let him go.

The event did finally end and, we thought it would be nice if we pay a visit The Rocks for its famous pancake as we were in the area. So, we walked towards the place, and then we thought it would be a good idea to checkwhat time the last bus to Macquarie Centre was. Then manatau so suay there won't be anymore bus, and at that time we were already in Circular Quay. When we decided to go to the bus stop at Wynyard to check if there were still any busses. On the way to Wynyard we got seperated, which took us a few phonecalls and some time wandering to be reunited. Sigh...But we were grateful as we could find a bus in Wynyard, but by the time we reach there, we were already so taxed we didnt mind sitting on the floor with our formal attire. We just couldn't care anymore about the grace and the high-flying corporates images that we previously carried. In the end, I was back in my room feeling hungrier than I was before the dinner. Huhuhu

I have posted the pictures to this page : . This is where I upload my pictures, so check it out if you haven't. I have also posted some pictures I took during the cool RMC Masquarade which took place about 2 weeks ago.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


note : this post has been editted and i apologize for the rampant errors. no time to proofread mah. There should be less errors now. Eheheh. Komendasai!

Last week, I was innocently pulled into an event what was probably the best thing yet occuring to me in this land of Billabong and Roxy.

I first got a call from Lee Yoong, asking me to join her to a retreat organized by the Buddhist society of UNSW at Hwa Tsang Monastery for three days during the Easter holidays. I didnt give her my word at first, as three days was quite intimidating. Hahaa. Staying over for nights is not exactly my thing. And to live a life as a monk?Me?? But to make long story short, I finally agreed to follow Lee Yoong, Hui Hoong, Sheng Chieh and Han Wei to something that I first took with an air of uncertainty.

We arrived at the monastery after taking a bus and a train. The beautiful place immediately made my feel more at ease. It was peaceful, disturbed only by the flock of lorikeets feeding on a tree. We were then told about the theme of the retreat, which was Compassion and Forgiveness and were briefed shortly about the place. Basically we had to all shut the hell up when we were there, or being 'mindful' as they called it. Then, we were served with lunch.They were simple vegetarian diets, but no words can describe how satisfyting they were. And the best part was, undoubtedly, indisputably, the main course, which is this!


Cut chillies in light soy sauce, ahhh ambrosia! Just like the one I always had at home. It would be even nicer if chopped garlics are added in, but I am asking too much, am I? Of couse, we did something else doing the retreat, not only eat. Every night, after the evening chanting, we had to get our butts to the beds, which were nothing but platforms made of wood at 9.00pm! Then we had to wake up at 4.00a.m and got ready for the morning chanting and meditation. Speaking about meditation, I slept throught all the sessions. How can I help it? During meditation, we were instructed to set aside all thoughts, sit in a comfortable position (they provided cushion and blanket, as it was cold) and concentrate on our breathing. Hahaha, it was impossible for me, especially when I was just out of my bed. But the consolation was breakfast! Usually it's stir-fried noodles and porridge. Yummy! We normally went for second to third helping. Then, other activities took place such as Dharma talk and discussion. The medium used in this monastery everyday is actually mandarin, but our Sifu (yes, i also thought it sounded like in kungfu films) who is a nun from Malacca, spoke to us in English. Other activities included working bee and cleaning up the temple, but they always had rewards! Lunch and dinner! As usual, we would not leave the dining area before going for a second or third helping. On the last day, we woke up as as early as usual and went for the morning chanting and meditation. That day was quite an important day for the monastey as they will be carrying out the ritual for Kuan Yin's (aka. Goddness of Mercy aka. Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara) birthday! We helped to arrange the table and to prepare for the occasion. Around 10am, the quiet monastery was transformed to a marketplace, as visitors all poured in. Then, the special chanting session began! I swear it took about two hours, and I really couldnt believe it that I actually managed to go through it. Moreover, all the chantings were in Mandarin and all I did was reciting from the book, without knowing what it all meant. However, some parts were translated.

After the long chanting, of course all prayers were rewarded with good food. Then, we all gathered outside the Abbot's residence for his speech. He had also spoken to us prevoiusly on Compassion and Forgiveness. I totally look up to this wise and witty monk. His speech was all carefully worded, and the messages that were sent across truly signified his wisdom. After the parting speech, we left the place with heavy heart, and we promised we would go there again if given the oppurtunity.

So do I really learn to live a simple and peaceful life as monks do after the camp? Hmmn. Lets see..I ate voraciously, more than the amount to just keep me satiated and I slept during meditation. So I would be lying if I said yes. However, the experience, the teachings that I have picked up, the new people I have met, and not to mention the heavenly food were something very precious and I am immensely grateful to be given this oppurtunity.

Friday, April 01, 2005

It's been awhile (2)

Then, we headed for the Chinatown, then Opera House. I must say going to a city at night was quite a new expereince. And the Opera House looked much prettier than daytime! We took plenty of photos and I have uploaded some of them here. Come midnight, we lit the candle on the cake which we had secretly bought in Chinatown and surprised Cheok Quen. He said he was totally oblivous of us quietly planning while we were all walking together! Hahaha, our stealth is phenomenal! So that night, with much gusto, camaraderie and warm companionship, six friends concluded their week in the city flared with luminous neons and beside the dark, windy sea with the waves crasing on the pier, they celebrated an event so memorable and mementous. Hahahaha, puke at the last sentence.

It's been awhile

Yes, I know. But I am not procrastinating. I am just very busy. Hahaha. Its weekend now and I have some time to spend. There are so many things that have happened for the past few weeks, all deeply burried at the labyrinth somewhere inside my cranium. Nevertheless, I will try to dig them out for your amusement's purpose! Hahaha!

On Sunday, the 13th of March, all JPA scholars around NSW had to gather at the Malaysian Hall to greet and meet the minister of higher education. Cheok Quen, Raymond and Heng Liang had also just moved in ot their new home ( they stayed temporarily at the Malaysian Hall before that), so we were, of course automatically invited to their new abode. So we planned our trip to the city so that we canstay over that their place ofter the meeting at Malaysian Hall. Coincidentally too, Monday would be Cheok Quen's Birthday! It was a trip with three-pronged purpose, it would definitely be more than worthwhile!

We set up for the Malaysian Hall early in the morning and met a group of other sponsored Malaysian students at the University bustand. Then off we went!

The Malaysian Hall was already crowded when we arrived! It was completely packed, and never have I thought that there would be some many sponsored students! And that was only for the NSW area. How about the ones from other parts of Australia like Melbourne and Adelaide who were not there? We were given a subsidy for transportation of 10 dollars when we registered, but what we paid was actually slightly more than that. But it's money, nevertheless. Hahaha. Cheok Quen, Raymond and Heng Liang met us there, and we left for their house after a free lunch at the Malaysian Hall.

Their house was preety good, with a spacious living room. But maybe it was not filled with furniture and appliances yet. We wnt out for a dinner at a chinese restaurant and it was very good! It reminded me of food at home, as the food was like the chinese food in Malaysia. It was very reasonable too, and of course we ate until stuffed.