Thursday, December 30, 2004


.. that I have not yet become the person worthy of the person who is worthy of me.

May I continually strive for a better attitude.

emotionally impacted.

While the topic on everyone's mind recently has been the Richter 9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami(s), it has been hard for the average man in the street to relate to the plight of the victims. Though Singapore is a nation in relatively close proximity to Sumatra, we are blessed to have been sheltered by the landmasses of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, as well as the relatively narrow straits that do not allow walls of water to build up. Thus, even though we are physically closer to the quake epicenter, we are completely unscathed. And though there are disaster relief funds, donation drives and medical mobilizations, to the average Joe life simply goes on as usual. The reality of the catastrophe has not yet hit home to many.

Five minutes ago, I opened an email from an ex-classmate that went like this.

Just a quick note: a close family friend is one of the 18 stil missing in Phuket. It's my mother's best friend and I'm rather close to her as well. Prayers appreciated.

Suddenly, the disaster was brought a step closer to home. Someone out there, someone I know, is grieving and worrying for someone involved in the catastrophe. Her life has been changed in a tangible way, and through her, my illusion of stableness and above-it-all-ness has been shattered.

What does it all mean to me? It casts a face upon the disaster, brings the human side of the suffering into clearer view, and makes me feel all the more fortunate that I am not the one writing that email. But I am better able to empathize. SMI, I'll be praying for your friend.

On a side note, there are updates on the tsunami relief efforts here at the tsunami help blog and plenty others (read Mr Miyagi for the list.) Friendster is also chipping in to help if you are a friendster user. More direct, though, call 1900-911-1110 to donate $ or post a cheque made out to "Singapore Red Cross Society" to the following address:

Singapore Red Cross
Red Cross House
15 Penang Lane S238486

Indicate behind:
"Tidal Waves Asia"
and include your name, address and telephone number if you want a receipt.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I am a xian2 qi1 liang2 mu3 candidate!

.. yes, a la Juan Juan. Why so? Isn't the first requirement of a xian2 qi1 liang2 mu3 the ability to cook?? And since when does HUIMING cook??

Ah Hah! Here lies a little known fact: I make a mean potato salad. And I boil fantastic water. Tah Dah! So, any candidates for the post of "Husband of XQLM Huiming" must have the ability to down innumerable quantities of potato salad, potato salad and only potato salad. And drink boiled water, boiled water and more boiled water.

I am in such a weird mood this morning, don't you think?

Oh well.

But my potato salad is nice, as evidenced by the members of Section 5 and 6 last night at our combined section outing. Hee. And my ability to shout loudly above the noise of 50 screaming people was also proven. Hey, XQLM must also have the ability to control a gaggle of kids ok?? Also the ability to talk nonsense freely in front of many and be the joke of the party (hm, since when was that ever in doubt?) was put to good use as the MC for the night. Renjie is also to be commended for being even more lame, and even more funny, than me. What a lethal combination to put as MCs! I think most of the people from Section 5 and 6 were kept in stitches the whole night through.

*a nagging voice in the back of my head reminds me that ANOTHER quality of an XQLM is to be able to sew. ahem*

I really am in a weird mood this morning. And I have to go back to work now. Oh well, if any potential candidates are unable to stomach too much potato salad and this kind of sewing (ie. being kept in stitches), may I refer you to the model XQLM
Juan Juan? *wink wink!*

Before signing off, some pictures of the night:

The Shuai Ges and Mei Nus of 5566! (Section 5 and 6!) Notice that the gals are in blue and the guys are in pink. Hm...

The Zhuang4 Nan2 of Section 5. Hey, now I call you all strong men already, so you must carry more chairs the next time we need to lay PIE ok?

With MF and XY a la POM.

MF, XY and Alex.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

boats at pier 39 in SF

flags outside moscone convention center, SF

the old mission in sonoma

carmel-by-the-sea. so christmassy!

good composition? you decide.

Maxie and Bambi in the sunlight. Aren't they gorgeous?

in the courtyard of a HK block

a roadside drink stall. do not ask me why, but i simply think it's beautiful.

ask me not what she is doing; i do not know. ask me not what she is thinking; i do not care. this simply makes a great photo (in my opinion)

a vertical view of a HK house

a HK road

a romantic sunset at the Peak.. sigh, why is the bench empty?

boat people's life

a corner for relaxation in Stanley

a tiny, hidden temple overlooking the sea

the sun setting through the bamboo groves on victoria peak

old building in HK. I love the richness of the red.

Friday, December 24, 2004

my photos..

are up at

I've decided to keep that site specifically for phlogging. Yay. There'll also be a permanent link on my sidebar, so enjoy!

Note: this is some, not all the pics. More on the way soon!

what a giant surprise..

From Tickle's Tests:

Huiming, your secret to success is your Ability to Organize

The devil probably isn't in the details for an organized individual like you. When it comes to planning a birthday party, a summer vacation, or a project at work, you're the person who makes sure that it goes off without a hitch.From you inbox to your shoeboxes, you're well versed in the art of organization. We wouldn't be surprised if the contents of your closets, drawers, and cabinets were filed, color coded, or alphabetized accordingly. Prioritizing, planning, and putting into order is no easy feat. But it's part of what you do best. And it's also part of what makes you one of the best! Bravo!


Can I just laugh my head off now? Me, organized, my leg!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And no surprise, my beauty lies in..

Plain Sight

Your Beauty lies in Plain Sight.
Plain, simple and the girl next door. People tend overlook you as you are the "normal girl", but you're actually very beautiful. And you have plenty about you to set you apart, but more that
lets you blend. People love the stability you have because as others may come and go, you will always be there and you may always be the same. You like simple things and that's what people like about you. You most likely enjoy things most consider normal, like movies, shopping, that sort of thing and are very friendly and probably have many friends. You are sweet and kind and that shows on you, but you're also strong and not very naive. You're a rather well-rounded
individual. Even though some people pass you off as just another girl, shrug it off because they don't know what they're missing.

Some Things That Represent You:

Earth, Light

Animal: Cat

Color: Pinks, Blues, Browns

Song: Girl Next Door by Pilot

Expression: Simple Smile

"To the world you may be one person, but to
one person you may be the world."
Where Does Your Beauty Lie? ..::Original Pictures Are Back! Detailed Results::..
brought to you by Quizilla

Drat. And here I was thinking I was something special. According to QuizFarm, I am also hopelessly middle-class, so there go my notions and aspirations of anything higher. Sheesh!

i'm back in singapore!

and blogging this from school.

yes, i went back to work already.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

100 things about me..

1. My Christian name, Joy, is supposed to stand for "Jesus, Others, Yourself." Someone told me that on my baptism day.
2. I chose the name myself!
3. But no one ever calls me Joy anyway. LOL. Don't start, please.
4. I am wondering how I am ever going to reach 100 things right now. Yikes!
5. I blog when I am bored - ie there's nothing else to do, or (as in now) the shops aren't open yet.
6. Thus, when you see me blogging long blogs, it means I am really bored and you should call me and rescue me from my boredom.
7. I do, however, manage to make computers and all other electronic devices fail within two weeks of getting my paws on them, so long blogs followed by long silence still means I am bored.
8. I am not kidding about the electronic devices failing.
9. Therefore, I sold both my Palm and Pocket PC in favour of a good old diary.
10. I like my diary too because I can put stickers on it (yay) and write in different coloured pens (double yay!). Imagine doing that on a PPC. *shudders*
11. By the way, I am half cured of my colourful-pen-addiction habit already. LOL. At my worst, in JC, I had over 40 different coloured pens that I would lug around to school every day. When I mean half-cured, I mean I have only about 20 different colours now.
12. I love to write. Was that ever in any doubt? Writing is my favoured form of communication, but I seldom indulge in it because of the TIME taken. Ugh.
13. If I could ask for only one more thing in the world, it would be to have more time.
14. The greatest gift I can ever give any person or any cause is my time.
15. The current scent I am raving about is Victoria's Secret's For Her 2.
16. The current cosmetics line I am raving about too is Stila! But it's an expensive hobby, hey hey..
17. Lipglasses from MAC are fantastic. But I already have three.
18. I have an extremely multi-national family. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, USA, France.
19. This arises because I have am extremely large extended family.
20. And no, I cannot for the life of me remember the correct forms of address in either English or Chinese.
21. I also have an extremely bad memory for faces, and I have the worst time connecting faces to names.
22. I only remember rubbish like the registration number of my mother's old cars (SBE8415J, SBG5549R), my old phone numbers that I had when I was a kid (4666995, 4699366), and my parents' IC numbers and bank PIN numbers (hey, I'm not stupid).
23. I have been perpetually trying to lose weight since the age of fifteen. But my success rates have varied wildly over the years. The skinniest I ever was was during and just after JC2. I aspire to that same weight now. =)
24. At fifteen, I weighed 70 kg. I am not kidding.
25. I am also 158-159.5 cm short (the measurement varies based on time of day and accuracy of measuring tape) and I have NEVER made it to 160cm in my entire life.
26. Does that qualify me as a member of the SFU (not San Francisco University, but Short, Fat and Ugly)? I'm just kidding. Sorry to any SF Uni graduates out there!
27. IMHO, the most important thing in life is love. To be assured that you are loved and valued no matter who you are and what you do is a knowledge that brings tremendous self-assurance, humility and strength of character.
28. I aspire to be a better servant.
29. My most recent Christian reads were Robb Thompson's "Excellence in Attitude", and I am still ploughing through his "Excellence in Ministry". They are not easy books to read but well worth the soul-searching.
30. My most recent non-Christian reads were Michael Crichton's Timeline (unfinished, because the book belongs to my aunt, and is sitting somewhere in Las Vegas right now) and Dan Brown's Deception Point (not a patch on Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons)
31. I nag anyone who smokes.
32. I live in a country where the thermometer seldom dips below 30C. Yet I am addicted to wearing jackets.
33. I have decided to cut short this blog to "50 things about me.." because I am running out of things to write.
34. I am also prone to last-minute, spur-of-the-moment decisions. See 33 above.
35. I love having dogs around. Thanks to Maxie, Bambi and Coco, who've made my sojourns away from home this time a little bit more home-like!
36. I have a high, kiddish voice. But it used to be low and mature. Rats, I am regressing as I age!
37. I am twenty-five. But I sound like a fifteen year old, look like a twenty year old, and think like a thirty year old. How schizophrenic!
38. I want to go to graduate school some day. One day. When I have the freedom to.
39. Ditto the above for Bible College.
40. I understand the power of human relations from the hospitality I've received from my mother's friends as I travel. But it doesn't mean I'm motivated enough to keep up MY human relation. LOL. Good for you if you're on MSN/Yahoo/ICQ, because these are probably the only methods of keeping in contact that I use!
41. I love to travel. But not alone *ugh*.
42. Countries I've been to: Hongkong, China, Mongolia, France, USA, UK, many parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia.
43. Countries I aspire to go to: Israel, North / South Africa, Spain, South America.
44. I am also a photography buff, but an extremely amateur one.
45. My secret dream is to be a National Geographic photographer. Note I say dream; I'm not going to pursue it! hah!
46. Secret dream number two is to be an interior designer / architect.
47. I am tone-deaf and have no sense of pitch.
48. Yet, I play the piano and I would also like to learn to play the guitar and the violin.
49. I also sing karaoke (please do not try to imagine what I sound like!)
50. I am really glad I've come to the end of my 50 things.

Have a good day!

My last few days in HK!

Notice how I am much more excited (with an exclamation mark, no less, in my title) about these two days than I have been over the past four. Hah! It comes from having company, that's why! Thank you, Leo and Alice, for coming out to pei2 wo3 for the past two days - I think these two days put together have been better than all the preceding four. It's great just to walk around and get lost, knowing you are in the company of natives who will promptly get you un-lost (or, in Leo's case, get even more lost, mwahahahahaha) the moment you get tired of roaming. =) Yay!

So, I wind down my final day in HK, slowly screw my head back on, and get back into my workaholic (in Jan's words, octopic, haha!) mode that *crosses fingers* will last me for another year. Yuppz, going on vacation is good indeed! It's really refreshing to be away from work - and work - and more work - of many kinds, for at least a while. For the morning after I touch down in Singapore, I will be right back in school. Sigh. Oh well. As I've said, dissipation does not become me, but did work have to start SO soon?

Saturday, December 18, 2004


does not become me.

I yearn for a purpose for my days.

Amazing how I have so much time to blog in HK, isn't it? I feel trapped! argh! not able to go around myself, having to listen to the grouses (and be the companion of) my mum's friend's 92-year old mother, and not having anyone to talk to. Sheesh! Leo, come home quick and rescue me! I want OUT of this boredom.

Look, I did ANOTHER quiz:

You're Yuki - the mouse.

Which Fruits Basket Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


I shall continue my blogging on HK! *beams* Not like I've written anything beyond the two sentences on Kungfu, but hey, I'm not bothered. Hee.

Oh! I digress for a while to stick up *yet another* pic from the quizzes I-so-love-to-take. Lookie all:

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile Tea...
You are Chamomile Tea.
Your an original! Helpful to anyone in need and
always willing to lend a hand, you take action
but not through violence, people listen to you
for you have a knack for giving wonderful
advice! Many look up to you and you try your
best not to let them down. You have many
friends steadfast or no who consider themselves
lucky to be near you. You may have been hurt in
the past but you dont let that stand in your
way! You have a wonderful outlook on life and
try to see the good in people which is an
awesome gift!

What type of Tea are you? {-With Anime Pictures!-}
brought to you by Quizilla

I am chamomile tea? Ugh, what's that?? Came-a-mile tea? Come-on-mild? Calm-and mild? *shudders*
Anyway, as appeasement, it has the nicest picture out of all the others.

End digression!

Yay! Let me continue my HK rhapsody..

Hong Kong is, in a word, beautiful. All places are good to look at I guess, but I think what really makes a place stand out as beautiful in my mind is the variety of sights that are available; the kind of thing that just makes you want to turn the next corner, and the next, and the next ad nauseum because you don't want to miss the next, priceless scene / slice of life. Like a tiny temple tucked away up on a hill, facing only the sea; old people playing mahjong in the front courtyard just off the main shopping street; a full-fledged Italian restaurant hidden in the maze of alleyways; dai pai dongs with enough space to seat only four on the single table in front, so on and so forth. Photographer's dream. And with the winding coastline, you simply want to shoot every vista you can, because you know that a different scene, in a different light, waits round the next bend. And the mountains! Hills, really, by any but Singaporean standards, but as you wind up and down the hillsides on their *really non-straight roads*, there is so much of a sense of being on an island, because the water's visible everywhere. Not like good ol' home, where you have to practically be ON the beach before you even know we're surrounded by H2O, and to all intents and purposes no one cares for the experience. Have I mentioned the buildings? Impossibly thin buildings rise to an incredibly tall height, each different from its' neighbour but yet so close; it gives the idea of a mishmash amalgamation of many peoples' visions and dreams. I just want to stare at each, from every possible angle, till the uniqueness and character of each structure becomes intimately known. But they pass along, like sunlit shadows (ok, oxymoron) in my dreams, as the car/ tram / whatever I'm in whizzes by. The alleys that run in between the buildings look dark and forbidding, but I cannot wait to traipse (knowing me, more like trips, however) down one and see what remains out of sight of the world in general. By the by, it is a mistake and a folly to simply remain at ground level in HK; every floor of a six-storey building might have a different experience to be discovered. Stanley, for instance, has a second, parallel and more relaxed bazaar above and behind the one at the foot of the hill. To al you lucky souls who are in / going to come to HK, things off the beaten track but not to be missed:

1. Stanley Market! This is so NOT HK-like *especially if you squeeze into TST/Mongkok before* because it's relaxed, laid back and on the waterfront.

2. Star Ferry rides! Whether it's just across the harbour from HK to Kowloon, or to an outlying island, the ancient ferries and docks will see you immersed in a sense of nostalgia. Each ferry has a different name, proudly printed in English and Chinese on its' prow; like Twinkling Star, Glowing Star, Shining Star etc. Sorry, this is SO not "off the beaten track" as promised, but it MUST be tried!

3. The Peak! And you MUST walk the Peak Road! At 2 miles, it's not too long but you get a fantastic view of HK. Go in the afternoon, walk till sunset, then take the Peak Tram down; although it runs two ways, down is definitely the scarier. And, if you can, squeeze into the first row from the front for a view you will *not* regret. Believe me, there is a reason for sure you descend backwards by building the seats that way; sitting facing down would be an oxymoron cos you'd fall out of the chair the moment the tram begins its' heart-stopping >45 degree descent.

4. Eat supper at Hor Hor (Ke3 Ke3 in Chinese) in Sheung Wan (I think). Both sweet and savoury foods are to die for, and the fried-egg-chee-cheong-fun and almond paste deserve special mention. Yum. Open from 6pm to 3am. The newspaper vendor outside also has THE cutest dog. =)

More? Sure, after my next few days. Tata for now, for I want to stick myself on a ferry and float to the outlying islands! Yay!

Friday, December 17, 2004

The world premiere of Kungfu!

I went to the world premiere! and saw Stephen Chow in person! Whoohoo!
More details tomoro, babes and hunks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004



This is instead of the original 18th, Saturday.


1. The cheap, cheap, cheap Sally Hansen, Stila, L'Oreal and Maybelline stuff. Did I mention that they were cheap? And you can buy these at *tah dah* 24-hour supermarts like Walmart's and Target! Whoohoo!

2. The endless sense of SPACE. The phrase [wide open wonder] suddenly seems to make perfect sense, as you gaze along kilometres (i REFUSE to say "miles", nyah!) and kilometres of undisturbed shoreline / horizon / roads stretching out into the forever-and-ever-ongoing distance. Carparks, too, well at least if you're NOT in San Francisco. Fantastic vistas for the photography buff.

3. The general sense of good-naturedness that people exude. Example: when you walk into a store, the attendants seek you out to greet you with a cheery "Good morning, how are you doing today?" The accepted answer, of course, is "Good / Fine / some other positive term" and when you begin to confess it, you really feel better! And you can take your time to browse and not buy a single thing and you will get just as sweet a smile as you exit. All this is done without motives; it's genuine good-naturedness.

4. The way people are flexible and go out of their way to serve you well. Like changing arrangements for airport shuttles, being able to return goods at the store, etc etc etc. The idea is really just to serve you better in any way possible.

5. The appreciation of art and alternatives. The country's not as straightlaced as many Asian countries are; galleries abound and so do museums. Alternative lifestyles are not looked upon with prejudice but rather tolerated, if not embraced. Seriously. I think sometimes white people might feel out of place in SF - they are probably outnumbered by Asians, Hispanics etc etc etc. Yet the city hums on with a happy contentment. You might be a hippie with the weirdest dress sense and say hi to a kid on a bus, and the kid's mother would probably smile and wave in return. That wouldn't happen in Singapore! This, by the by, is also one of the reasons why NOT, actually; will elaborate more later.

6. The education system. It is very student-centred and they take pains to make it so. Not the teacher-centred rhetoric that we in Singapore try so hard to acheive. Yes, our kids learn more and faster, and can recite facts and tackle tough math problems with much greater ease, but it is the American people who as a whole are more vocal and more able to tackle challenges; better able to think on their toes and better able to present their thoughts. Guess who, in the end, becomes whose boss. =)

7. The presence of things like CHOCOLATE MARTINIS (haha, not that I'd drink one, but that it even exists is amazing), IHOP (International House of Pancakes for you unfortunates who have yet to ever taste a REAL buttermilk pancake like the ones they make. Trust me, Mac's breakfasts are a pale shadow), baked potatoes that are are bigger than you can hold in your two hands (okay, I'm either exaggerating or have really small hands - you get to decide which is true) and BEN AND JERRY'S ICE CREAM (Yes! Ben and Jerry's rules the world!). This is the reason I get fat. Sob.

8. Feeling freaking small sized, anyway, regardless of getting fatter, when I go to buy clothes! Oh my gosh the people here are so HUGE, that the underwear shops have contraptions you might use to hold two watermelons. Or maybe draw the Stars and Stripes on and hang outside your window. mwahahahahahahahaha... clothes stores have evening gowns that look like tablecloths (and they wear like tablecloths too, I swear; I saw in Vegas!). Despite this, however, most American people carry themselves with a self-confidence and lack of self-consciousness I find sorely lacking in Asian people, myself included. Fat, thin, tall, small, Jesus loves us all, hey?

9. Cheap books! Oh my gosh! I will NOT elaborate any further, or I will miss my lunch, but books like Da Vinci Code go for $7.99USD (ie. about SGD13-14, sorry no calculator) etc etc etc.

10. The ease of intra-country travel. Travelling on Southwest Airlines is almost as easy as ABC. whoohoo!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Hey, I changed the time on this one to make it appear after the "ten reasons i could live in the US" one! Hey hey, it makes for more coherent reading, lah!

1. NO ONE SPEAKS SINGLISH! Oh man! Proud as I am of my hodgepodge nation and its hodgepodge mishmash of language that is Singlish, I am simply going nuts trying to enunciate perfect English all day long. Give me my LAHs, LORs and ANEHKUANs! Oh my gosh. I can't even MSN or YahooMsg in short forms, i have to take pains (i assure you, PAINS) to "write long". Help! In honour of the above, I will blog in Singlish for the rest of this entry (ok, ok, at least this paragraph please.. *winks*)

Mana ehsai anehkuan eh.. buay sai kong Hokkien, Malay n Chinese sibeh susah la. Hwah I tell u, machiam everybody down there speak english until like so perfect liddat, if i talk like this wah ka le kong, nobody can understan. Chin cham eh! Must every minute also try to watch my angmoh. England non-powderful pp sure CMI. And then hor, i speak got no American accent mah, so pp cannot understand me even my grammar is perfect. Then lagi must repeat again n again. Siao. No wonder everything down there oso so slow. Jia lak liao.. Wah eh angmoh peng you say Singlish like pidgin English liddat. I agree eh. But still sibeh proud of our chapalang everything pun eh sai language. Hey, this is called SYNTHESIS okei, high level of Bloom's Taxonomy eh! Take everything from everywhere, all throw together still can make sense. Singaporeans good eh?

English Translation:
"This is not possible! It's really hard to speak pure English without inserting some words of Hokkien, Malay or Chinese. People are so used to pure English, no-one would understand me if I spoke Singlish. It's terrible. I have to watch my tongue all the time to make sure I don't lapse. Singaporeans whose English is not too good will be in trouble trying to communicate. Also, because I speak without an American accent, most people cannot understand me though my grammar is perfect. So I have to repeat myself again and again. No wonder it takes so much time for me to get things done! Sheesh. My American friend says that Singlish is like pidgin English; I agree, but I'm still really proud of our hodgepodge language. Hey, this is called synthesis; it's a high level in Bloom's Taxonomy - to be able to draw things from different sources and make sense of them. Aren't Singaporeans fantastic?"

2. I will get FAT in no time. Yes, one and half weeks worth of American-sized portions (not that I can ever finish more than half my plate) and American eating style and I can feel the extra tyre round my stomach already. Ugh. And the worst thing is, the food is SO GOOD you don't want to stop!

3. The embrace-all-things philosophy that most Americans have. It's good (see my Ten Reasons Why I Could entry) but it also means that there are plenty of "off" influences around. I wouldn't want my kids to grow up in such a tolerant society that they lose all their personal values and convictions in favour of a love-all, tolerate-all mindset. Because there are some things that are just plain wrong. It's great to be exposed to so many things, when you're mature enough to weigh right and wrong, but not if you're an innocent, impressionable child.

4. The ignorance and condescension of *some* people. You'd be amazed how many "Oh, isn't Singapore in China?" and "You speak very good English!" responses I still draw. Yes, I have no right to demand that the denizens of this great country know where mine is; but hey, since everyone else in the world knows where America is, shouldn't the reciprocal be true? And for the record, MANY countries in the world learn English as a first language - not just mine! And we learn more than one too. Ironically, though I speak English, Chinese, some Cantonese, some Indonesian, some French and some Hokkien, I am laughed at by my family as terribly inept at languages because I don't speak Hainanese (lingua franca for my father's side of the family) and Hakka (ditto my mother's side). Life's unfair! =(

5. No non-dim-sum and non-stir-fry Asian food! I nearly died in happiness in HK today cos I got to eat my fave Cai Xin / choy sum or whatever name you call it by. A caixin by any other name would taste as good. =) Yes! How I miss non-potato, non-carrot, non-onion and non-pepperoni-like vegetables, HK-style porridge, heck even Teochew-style porridge, soyabean curd, sugarcane drink, Portugese egg tarts, Hokkien mee, goreng pisang, ang tao ni, yew char kueh, beef char kway teow, fried rice (nearly typed friend rice, LOL), malay kueh, double-boiled soups, Hainanese chicken rice etc etc etc. I might even get generous in my nostalgia and admit I miss Ke Ai Ji from Coronation (OMG NO, just kidding!). Sigh. Still a born-and-bred rice girl at heart.

6. That everything's so FAR AWAY from everything else! Good on the sweeping vistas, but I wish they could somehow condense into tiny little slices of land when you need to traverse them. I mean, to get from one stall to another in the same mall, my aunt DRIVES across the carpark lah. That's how long the mall is because it's just a series of shops strung out in a line! Like, compress all of them together and stack them up already! As a side note, I am SO glad to see TALL buildings in HK. Yay. That's a sight I sorely missed in Vegas (not so much in SF, but hey, believe me, our tall buildings are MUCH MORE and MUCH TALLER.) Sorry, what Asians don't have in bodily height, they make up for in building-ly height. Hey hey!

7. That everything else (other than the things I mentioned previously in the other post) is expensive, expensive, expensive. Did I mention (all together now:) expensive? I mean, you can't hardly have a decent meal for less than 5 USD. Please! in a Singapore hawker centre, $5 SGD would get you food, a drink and dessert to boot. I must learn to earn more money or learn to never save. Even their public transport is freaking ex! USD 1.25 for a bus ride, USD 3.15 for a train ride (that was only a mid-length journey) and a (get this) USD48 for a taxi ride that lasted like, at most, 30 minutes? Sheesh!

8. Lack of cute, funky handphone covers. I mean it! I am the Princess of Trawling Pasar Malams (aka night markets) to find Funky Handphone Covers. Ask all my friends who've ever seen me near one. Almost everyone comments on my pink HP cover because no-one's ever seen it before.

9. That everything, besides the 24-hour supermarkets, opens freakily late and closes freakily early.

10. That I would be an alien on US soil for ten years and more. My aunt's been there for close to seven years and she and her hubby are still waiting for their green card. Yikes.

Monday, December 13, 2004

i am BROWN? Ugh!

Look! Tickle's Tests say I'm a BROWN? Ugh!

Huiming, your true color is Brown!

You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

Yuck! Why can't I be PINK, PURPLE, WHITE, SKYBLUE or some other frilly, delicate colour? Why brown?? Ugh!

Day TWO in Las Vegas

Yes, my SECOND continuous day with uninterrupted, unadulterated INTERNET ACCESS! hey hey hey! I've even changed my MSN nick to ahming ~ i have INTERNET access! mwahahahahahahaha! It is just SO good to be back splashing my thoughts and feelings across the WWW.

So, I organize my thoughts for the day:
1. I have a genius for a cousin. Nevina Elizabeth Warsito, at the grand old age of five, is reading chunks of text off books and pronouncing, correctly no less, bombastic words like "electronics". She also, by the by, talks incessantly and argues with her parents on lots of things. And her arguments actually make sense! Am I impressed or am I impressed? Wow!

2. Las Vegas is a crazy city. Really. The casinos are themed after various things, and no expense is spared to make sure the interior of the casino, and often the associated hotel and shopping mall, are fully reminiscent of that theme. Today, I was in the Forum shopping mall; it's Roman-themed, by the way, and so each corridor of the mall is done up as some kind of ancient Roman street, with the ceiling a painted sky that changes from light (ie daylight) to dark (ie. night) blue. At the intersections of corridors, there are fountains, statues and an entire Michelangelo-Sistine-Chapel-like painted ceiling in one section. You could take a mini-tour of the world by simply strolling into more of the buildings along the stretch - like Paris (it is NOT run by Hilton group though!), Volcano (apparently Hawaii) and Treasure Island (some Mediterranean/Carribean mix). There are more I can't remember. Sheesh. I wonder how much money they spend on doing these things! the ostentatiousness of the entire makes me feel unclean.

3. Attended church this morning with my aunt. Having seen this church and many others in other nations, I am struck again with the strong discipleship and foundation we are prepared with in our church. Many people in this nation are Christian by mere profession and not in deed; the church was kind of staring at me when i sang loudly and lifted my hands during worship. And sad to say, besides my aunt, who runs the equivalent of chorus board ministry, I was probably the only one who did. I'm not being proud, judgemental or condescending.. but I am sincerely grateful for all I've learnt in my home church and how my faith and the application of it has kept me strong through it all.

4. I went to Target and Walmart's! Whoohoo! Now, to someone who's a native of this nation, you would probably laugh at me for being excited over the equivalent of a really large grocery store/Carrefour's/supermarket, but it is JUST SO COOL! They have ALL the stuff you could possibly imagine. Including clothes. And bags (my aunt bought me two) and accessories (i bought my mum a pretty rose brooch. Yay!) And food. And pharmacy goods, and cosmetics and everything under the sun. AND.. drumroll.. they are open *crows* TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY! A late night shopping spree, anyone?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

i am now in LAS VEGAS.

hey all.. my time in SF has paseed, and I'm now floating around in my aunt's home in LAS VEGAS, capital of hedonism, exhibitionism and sensuality. Sorry for the long appellations, but that's really how it seems to me. Everything is larger than life; loud, bright, and plastic. Everywhere you go, there are slot machines; yes, even in the baggage terminal of the airport. It seems like LV is trying too hard to maintain its reputation as gambling city. People smoke everywhere; and as i walk with my aunt, uncle and 5-year old cousin through the casino to reach the restaurant we are going to for dinner, i feel the irresistable urge to catch my little cousin and shield her from the influences that pervade the atmosphere. I find it disturbing that a so-called 'family friendly' restaurant has servers who dress in the skimpiest of miniskirts, that public shows that children go to include risque jokes and bawdy dancing, and that my little cousin actually LIKES those shows and accepts them as part of her normal life. She's FIVE! My GOSH!

~digress: it kind of reminds of a poem called 'Rising Five' (Seamus Heaney i think) - growing old before your time.

My opinion of the Strip might change tomorrow, in the daylight hours when its' denizens are perhaps a little more sane. But sitting here in comfortable LV suburbia, with the Strip far behind and far away, I find myself happier and more at peace. For all my hip (or at least *attempted* hipness!) dressing, blondie hair and multiple earholes, I am a conservative at heart when it comes to how people should dress, behave, and spend their lives. What is life without purpose? What impact does a soul make when it seeks only to gratify its' own desires? It seems to me, as I have realised in recent years, to be the ultimate selfishness. I do not pretend to be anywhere near selfless, but I want to move away from selfishness and self-centeredness every day. Read: Robb Thompson's Excellence in Attitude - what a person with an excellent attitude should be like!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

the loong post continued..

Not too long, actually, since I feel SO pressured to be quick on the comp when there are just ten for about a hundred plus people to use. =P We've been to Alcatraz, (blah) Fishermans' Wharf (blah), Union Square, Nob Hill (woah, nice houses, i wanna go again just to get shots of the houses!) Chinatown (as in all places colonised by Chinese the world over, squeezy, cheap and soooooo cheena it makes you long for home), North Beach (kind of like Little Italy; I WANT to go and hang out there and sip a hot chocolate and watch the world go by!) Macy's (quite ex) and Saks' Fifth Avenue (REALlY ex). Bought nothing from these two except cosmetics from *ahem* STILA, which is like 25% cheaper here. Yes, Tiffany and Keqing, if you read, it means your Christmas present is bought. Yes, already! =)

Also been to Hard Rock Cafe, and like HRC's the world over, it is an icon that tourists flock to all the time. Food's OK, shirts are bought (yes, Keqing and Tiffany again) and I got a box of chocolate mints for my mother in an Elvis guitar case! whoohoo! Pier 39, which is where this is, also provided an excellent place for donut eating (hot donuts + cold wind = so shiok!) and I think i've gotten my year's worth of carbs from the donuts and the *heavenly* Ghiradelli (say Geer-ar-delly, as their shop notice proclaims!) chocolates. Also had my gelato (there's a glutton-y picture of me with it), chocolate clusters and used up my 64MB SD card. Never fear, though, cos I brought a 512MB with me too; mwahahahahahahahaha, there will be LOADS of pics when I'm done!

The thing I've enjoyed most, surprisingly, is the solitary walk I had this morning through Union Square. Though most of the shops were not open, it was good to walk through the streets and soak in the essence of San Fran. Starbucks takeaway in hand, people stroll down the streets. Shop attendants drawl 'How're you doin' and I'm learning to respond in kind. The buses rattle down the roads and the sun rises behind hills. The view down a street, any street, is, I think, quintessential SF; all the roads here are REALLY straight, by the by. Buildings pile on top of each other; and basements are the order of the day. The light is diffuse and the sky blue; the leaves on the maple trees are a brilliant red. The flowers in the flower shops cannot be more beautiful, even though it is early winter. Come to think of it, the season probably explains the price (2.50 for a rose, siao la!) I think strolling, with no agenda in mind and no one else around, has become my favourite way to explore a city. France, Ulaan Baatar and now SF. Yay. Perhaps I shoud go climb more hills and tone my leg muscles? Hey, Nob Hill is a hill! =)

a really loooong post on SF!

Hello all! *waves madly*
I'm BLOGGING again! mwahahahahahahahahaha.. courtesy of the nice 17 inch LCDs set up by Thinkquest in their Thinktank (read: slacker's room). Only downside is that EVERYONE can see what I write because the screens are mounted so *high* that I'm almost craning my neck to see what goes on. I am SHORT. =(

Let's start with a really quick expansion of the stuff that appeared in my sideblog:

1. Flight
LOng Long LONG flight! three hours to HK, a stopover just long enough to get off the plane, run through a security check (so stupid) and get back on. Groan! Then another 11 hours to SF. Surprise #1: It was already full dark when we touched down at 5.30 pm. Beat that! Yikes!

2. Airport
Of all the things. Cannot find the sibeh irritating airport shuttle. So after waiting in the cold for almost an hour, we went to get on the shuttle bus to the *beat this* WRONG Mariott hotel. How to know that there are THREE hotels with the same name in the same city! ARGH! Ended up cabbing to the right Mariott. Urgh. Touchdown was 5.35; but we only managed to reach the hotel at 9 plus. Oh man! I miss Singapore's *convenient* and *accessible* public transport system. REALLY. The whole SF only has ONE MRT line, believe it or not!

BTW i nv bring my cable so I'm not able to post pics.. Will make up for it when I'm back in SG, I promise.

~cracked lips
~getting fat
~no time to shop

I will blog more, but the shops are opening NOW. Tata, till the shops close! =)

Friday, December 03, 2004

the blankness of my blog

i shudder to look at the blankness of my blog, for it reflects the blankness of my mind.

snapshots from my life:

10. Watching the magnificent sweep of a tree-lined avenue as I careen down the road to NIE, and suddenly the revelation that I miss the place too - for it reminds me of halcyon student days when the world and I were yet young.

9. Missing talking to my friends. Try hard as I might, I cannot pretend that I enjoy solitude.

8. Racing the rat race, knowing that I am just a step from falling off the wheel, and that it is only God's grace that keeps me on - that by my own strength I would be lagging far far far behind. Yet, knowing that there is still an indeterminable distance to run, I need to rely on Him even more.

7. Straining behind the double curtains at Logis to catch the words that Pst Robb Thompson spoke. Let the revelations sink into my soul, Lord - servanthood and humility. Amen.

6. She cried across the table from me that night.. A shock, because I had always imagined her strong and unfailing. As I reached my tentative hand across the table, I wanted more than anything else to be able to share that burden. Because I feel for you as a leader and as a friend. And I'm sorry if the revelation came a little late.. I hope I have made some progress. =)

5. The lights searing my eyes as I walk past the gates of the church. Perhaps this is what the entrance of heaven is like?

4. Not wanting to stop singing.. Your Name is like honey on my lips ~ Your Spirit like water to my soul ~ Your Word is a lamp unto my feet ~ Jesus I love You, I love You ~ and meaning it with every fiber of my being.

3. Liu and Lin becoming Matthew and Leah. How the world has changed. =)

2. The wind in my hair of late, always blowing it in the wrong direction. Yes, the Holy Spirit's reminding me to renew my mind, I say!

1. Blogging for perhaps the last time in two weeks - for in 41 hours (and counting) I'll be on the plane to SF. Hey hey hey! =)

watch the blankness of my blog.