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Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Wish For My Homeland

For this 53rd National Day of my dear country Malaysia, I wish for us to have an open mind and eliminate racism.  To promote equal opportunity and one-ness.  Promote "1Malaysia" wholeheartedly, truly and not just an election strategy.  All leaders, be it MIC, MCA or UMNO, to come together, work together, towards the betterment of the nation.  Not races.

I remembered when I was a child, back home in Kluang, we are able to receive Singapore's channels broadcasts.  When nearing their National Day every July, I felt almost like a Singaporean immediately!  Patriotic songs are being repeated at almost every interval.  Till this day, I still can remember them... Why do I not feel the same when 1Malaysia song is being aired?

I was taught since young that sensitive issues like these should never ever be brought up to prevent another May 13.  That the Malays are the origins of this land and thus they shall enjoy the special privileges laid out.  No questions ask.  Our great grandparents understood it.  Accepted it as it is for peace and quiet.  For they have seen shedding of blood.  They have experienced the horror of war.  They have experience the horror of May 13.

I am third generation Malaysian Chinese.  Born & bred in this beloved Malaysia of mine - my parents and their's too.  The only place we called home.  The only Homeland we knew.  Even though we are still not worthy enough, we understood.  We respect.  We work hard to make a living for our family.  Work hard for that extra 7% to cost of roof over our head.  Work hard for that thousands to put our Malaysian children thru private universities when they unfortunately fall into the overflowed category.  

We are where we are today is because we worked our asses off and paid our dues.  All I am asking is just to be respected.  To be respected like any other of my Malay brothers and sisters for I am nothing but a MALAYSIAN too - not second class but first.

Selamat bercuti Merdeka!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TGIF (An Impromptu Up Hill Late Night Excursion)

It's strange when the husband came home from work last Friday evening and went, "Darling, what shall we do tonight?" even before he step foot into the house.  Trust me, when it is coming from him, it is strange.  As far as the both of us are concerned, I've always been the one that HAVE to do something on a Friday night (even though I don't work on Friday).  I think it has been drilled into me from a long time ago, that Friday night = party night, social night, relax night, late night... a night for some action & fun.  He on the other hand, is the... "Erm... Friday is just another day what..." kind.  

Oh god... what have I done to him?!?

Having nothing interesting/exciting to do, we headed downtown to Sg Wang for dinner at Kim Gary.  Halfway thru dinner, the mobile blinked an incoming message that read: "Need a drive to Genting tonight.. anyone keen?  Genting slow & easy drive.  Meet at usual place, 10pm.". We immediately punched in "Ok. Count us in." and sent.  Our savior to an otherwise boring Friday night.

Rushed home after dinner, changed car, grabbed a thin sweater and off we went to the meet up point.  When everyone arrived, we head up the hill.
It was a good impromptu drive.  Very nice & relaxing.  Relaxing probably cause I refused to look at the road this time round.  I just bundled up my hair in a beanie (prevent tangling from the breeze), enjoy the cool breeze, slide low, stuffed the headphones into my ears and enjoyed Linkin Park direct from my Ipod.  And it works to calm my nerve.  Next time, I'll probably watch some soap opera to keep myself distracted... lols... 
That's the impromptu bunch chilling out at New World's Starbucks.

Believe you me, when they said 'slow & easy', it meant 'their' slow & easy standards, where, there will still be tyre's screeching, corners flinging (baling corners). Not the general slow & easy definition in your's or mine dictionary.  I was too busy keeping myself distracted on way up and forgot to take note of the time.  But I do remember that from top to bottom and back to our house, it took less than 40 minutes altogether.
This is my Redbabe which the nick was initially for, which I ended up being.  Hmm... I look like a car?
There were altogether 6 cars that night - 4 MRS (red, dark purple, black & graphite), 1 MR2 (red) and 1 Cayman (yellow).
The Porsche Cayman that got sesat in a MRS/MR2 club.  Lols.. nolar.. actually the owner of this beauty, also owned a MRS.  That night he just decided to play with his Cayman. :)  We are just one bunch of car enthusiasts that turned good friends.  Enjoyed the company as well as the wheels.  Any wheels also can.  Tak kira one.  Upgrade ke, downgrade ke, as long as got 4 wheels... ok la...
Our taiko, Dennis of the graphite MRS, got us nice carparks right outside New World.

Nah, we didn't got ourselves clamped/towed.  We were merely playing with that warming sign.  Evie & I were very tempted to carry the clamp to the Cayman for a photoshoot though.  Cause we thought the yellow clamp sort of match the Cayman's colour.  Lols... Sugar high...
The weather was nice that night.  Cool & breezy.  Evie and I went a little mad (or rather I went a little mad) with all the fresh air.  We laughed so much.  Everything seems to be hillarious to us.  Again, blame it on the sugar.
As usual, the standard ritual that can't be missed, checking out each other's car.  Helping each other out with the problem they are facing with their cars.  Providing answers and solutions.  Support & tips. :)

It was a good impromptu drive overall.  I believe everyone had had a great drive that night.  As for me, though I didn't drive this time round, I enjoyed the fresh air, the latte, the cold breeze, the laughters, the craziness, the everything... and especially the company.

I am so thankful for the many fun loving companies lately.  It's nice.  Really nice.  They made me all warm and fuzzy again and re-believe in some things that I've gave up awhile ago. ;)  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Treasure Hunt Experience

I don't usually update my 'status' on FB, but when I got back from the hunt on Sunday evening, I simply HAVE TO.
After being stuck in our batmobile for 8 hours cracking and hunting down 35 horrendously mad cryptic questions, I even speaks in a little rhyme now. Lols...
Had so much fun and I was practically like that throughout the trip - like a mad woman with smeared mascara!  

When I got home that day, realised not only were my body aches from...

1) all the running around under scorching hot sun trying to make sense out of hundreds of signages;
2) all the salsa-ing at night;
3) all the exercises prior to the trip,

... my jaw and throat were sort of sore to the max too - a result of talking and laughing too much  :p
Our team gathered on Saturday morning in the huge carpark of Monash U for flagging off.  Red colour + SUPERHERO stickers were for the team spirit!   I called our team the 'Superhorrors' :p

The highlights of the hunt I would say will be the following...

1) The company
2) The company
3) and still is the company.

We had so much fun cracking the riddles.  With a bunch of crazy people, we get all sort of answers.  We had everything - creativity, innovative, originality... you name it, we have it.

3) Sounds like a cat with the king in hiding. - Kamunting @ Pasaraya Grand Union  (don't ask me how...)
24) Sounds like business against profits. - Shanghai Reflexology Sanctuary Sdn Bhd (correct answer: Kedai Ban On Thong - 'Ban Untung') *faint*

Like that la.... how la to answer?!
We were all boo-ing so loudly that night at the dinner when the answers were revealed and the organiser were enjoying every minute of it.  Our team got only 8 correct answers out of 35 questions; a score of 16/100!  Lols...  To tell you the truth, our aim was to be first counting backwards. I would say we came quite close to it... *ahem*.  Not bad not bad...
The most clueless part of all was not the riddles, but there were actually people who are able to solve  it with a fantastic score of 90/100!  - We all agreed that they are just nerds (sore looser talks). 
Now that we have a rough understanding of how it actually works, we are pretty confident that we gonna do much better next year.  For all you know, we might create a new history in Atmah's treasure hunt! - "First Time Ever... HOT Looking Winners!" with the song 'Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me...' playing in the background.
That day, all signages became a possible answer to us.  We got this one right!  The riddle was, "Your little finger served here I’m told." -->  Little finger = pinky.  Served = a restaurant.
And this, was later part of our hunt where we were rushing for time.  We simply whipped out our cameras and went trigger happy.  We review them only when we are enroute to another destination to save time.

This one we got here was actually an answer to one of those mad questions.  It says... "Top gear back for a quick runner.". --> Top gear = HAT.  Top gear back = TAH.  A quick runner = CHEE+TAH (cheetah).  Of course we didn't get it right... lols... pening le...
The cryptic riddles with all possible answer sribbled, all clues underlined.  Still... we only got 8 rights.
We were all running around like a headless chicken looking for answers without knowing what or where to find.  This dude here, Andy, even got time to pose for photo somemore.  No wonder their team scored only  12/100 (Euveng).  Busy checking out hot babes!
 When we got to Bidor, we pullover for lunch at their famous Duck Noodle - kononnya.
It was seriously NOT yummy.  According to Derek, a member of our SuperHorror team, an Ipoh mari, he said it used to taste superb.  Totally different from now.
Jason, the bapa ayam of our team, trying to act out his dissatisfaction to that bowl of Duck Noodle for my blog.  I thought he look more sissy than dissatisfied.
 Bunches of petai sold outside the kopitiam.   
Generation-Y Petai Seller (the butt crack depicts the character Y) - As we were waiting for our food, the petai seller bend right in front of us at the opposite table... all four of us went like... o.O + o.O + o.O + o.O.  Hmm... maybe Y is one of the answer to our riddles?!?  Hehehe...

The hunt was divided into two parts.  Part 1 consists of Question 1 -15 through Bukit Beruntung-Kuala Kubu Baru-Tanjung Malim which we submitted the answer at Midpoint in Tanjung Malim's R&R before 12:30noon.  Part two was for Question 16-35, through Bidor-Kampar-Simpang Pulai and submitted at Simpang Pulai right before we head up the hill at 4:30pm.  I tell you, at the submission point, we were like main tikam only.  Simply la... "Ours to be very first recent disaster." - Answer: Perniagaan Tay Soon. :p  Why?  Don't know.
The drive up the highlands was a pleasant one.  The air was fresh and nice.  Got to Equatorial at 6pm, checked in and this the view from our balcony! 
We took quick showers, changed and make-up a bit, even managed to camwhored a little before rushing down to the awaiting dinner in the ballroom.
The dinner function was really nice.  We had a long stretched of buffet line served all night, on-the-spot quizzes, performances, revelation of the treasure hunt's answers plus boo-ing session and lastly, prize presentation.
 That's I-Yin, one of the sifus in Dance Spirit doing a performance at the dinner.
Power le...
After the performances, sifu (Fasilito) lead a group to basic salsa steps. Everyone did really great!
Thumbs up to the DS's performance team!  Good job guys!
After the dinner, while waiting for the Cricket Lounge to be ready for our private salsa party, had a game of pool with some friends.  It took us forever to finish the game.  What to do...  we are only good at dancing... not so good at playing balls.
 It's SALSA time after the pool... we had so much fun that night dancing away to latino tunes.That's Jason & Ann doing all the canggih monggih style.  Nice nya.... when la I can dance till like that?
 That's Evo & Jeannie.
That's Florence and Waikong.  They sure had hell of a good time.  I bet you can tell from the BIG SMILES!
Halfway thru, some of us decided that they wanna tried some different stunts and began to jump around.  It was hilarious seeing how these photos turned out to be.  It feel so much like a movie poster....
 "COMING SOON.  KUNGFU SALSA.  Opening in Sept 2011".

Florence, Derek and I ditched the party at about 1:30am and decided to drive downtown for some ICE for that Vodka and Hennessy we brought from home.  The drive out was rather eerie - misty, wet and dark + 7th month.  You know, a perfect setting for horror movie.  We went anyway.  I guess we were just TOO thirsty! 
Back in the hotel, after our mee-in-my-mug supper, we kicked start our drinking session.  A new member, Andy, from Generation-Y (the younger salseros) joined us.  We had so much fun tok kok sing song that night.  I know I had fun!
You wouldn't believe what we were doing at 5:30am in the bathroom.  We were actually filtering the cognag from pieces of broken cork using a teabag.  
The whole process was crazy.  We laughed so much.  Not that we drank a lot.  I guess the lack of sleep + a little bit of vodka + salsa does makes people go mad a little.  The strangest part was, we still have the brain to think.  A teabag?  That's so ingenious!  I called us the McGyvers!  Lols...  Like I said, thirsty.  Not just any thirsty.  SUPER thirsty!  Lols...

Andy : "Ok, now we have to think of how to cork the cognag since it's cork is broken."  
Me: "Easy.  Just pour them into the empty vodka bottle."
Andy: "The vodka bottle is just 75ml and this is 1L"
Me: "Lagi easy.  We just finish the 25ml.  Case close."
Andy: "Ahhhh......"

Naturally, Florence and I missed breakfast.  Lols.  Who needs breakfast when we already had them at 6am!  Lols... When the rest of the gang asked, we told them we had breakfast with the muslims at Sahur.  :p
Checked out at about 12 noon.  Took one for the album with Sifu, Florence, yours truly and Andy (R to L) at the entrance of Equatorial. 
While we were waiting for our car, saw this antique blue taxi pull up to the hotel.  I thought it was rather cool!
With an additional 100 cars in Cameron for that Treasure Hunt, it was no wonder the traffic look like this on way to Boh Tea Plantation.  Bumper to bumper crawl.  The farmers in Cameron must have been cursing us!

From the dinner, I learned that this time round, out of that 100 cars, 10 was us, the salseros!  *big applause*
In this picture, actually I was aiming for the hill.  Spotted rays of sunlight broke thru the dark clouds.  Mana tau this bunch of fellas thought I was shooting them and walked extra slow.  Hahaha... But ok also la it turns out to be.
I didnt aim for this.  I simply swing my camera to a low level and shoot.  So happy it turn out rather nicely :)
Still doing jumping shots after jumping for the past 24 hours.  Must be on sugar high... so much energy one meh?
While they busy jumping around for those photos, I happily queued up for my food.  Yummy!
Nom nom time!.... We had scones, sandwich, pies, cake and of course tea.  Quality of food, ok ok only la.  Environment wise, NICE!

That more or less wraps up our hunt.  Cause after this, my camera batt went flat and I left my spare ones in the car.  Waikong insisted that he is from the X-Generation and he don't need the extra exercise of walking all the way to the carpark ;p.  It began to rain too.  All prior plans of sight seeing aborted and we headed straight back for home.  :)

Seriously, I so love this treasure hunt experience.  Had such a great time.  I think 10% was from the hunt itself and remaining 90% was the company.  Made some new friends, strengthen old ones.  Our group were so 1Malaysia.  Chinese, Indian, Malay & lain-lain.  Perhaps our politicians should start salsa-ing.  For, SALSA UNITES!

Will I join again?  Can't wait! ;)