Monday, June 30, 2008

You did it....

Just want to say a big congrats and proud of you girls who have taken the first step to join a run...You did it!! And most importantly, I hope you enjoyed it!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What the *toot*

5.15 am. Alarm rang…I woke up groggily…
Eyes half opened, I dragged myself up…
Surprised that my parents are still not awake…
Turned on the bathroom light, brushed my teeth…washed my face…At least my eyes are fully opened now…
As I was passing by my parents’ room…my mum woke up and came out…
She asked “Why so early?” (in Cantonese la…)…I was still in a daze…
I replied “Work ma…” (also in Cantonese la…)

Then it hit me…

Today is Saturday!!

What the *toot*…

And furthermore…

I am having PMS (very bad mood, so stay away) these few days…

And a big pimple just popped up yesterday on my forehead and today have to attend annual dinner and Beauty and the Beast…


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beauty of nature

The beauty of nature is amazing, isn't it? Let us all take some time off once in a while and soak in the wonders that it brings. Protect our Mother Nature and let our children enjoy these natural beauties.

(all pics taken at Bukit Tinggi)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

To the Pinnacles and back pt 2

Thinking back, I have a vague idea of how I got myself into this adventure. It was either Yen Erl or Poh Wai who told me about this Mulu trip and I immediately said yes without thinking much. I did not even know that we are going there to climb the pinnacles at that time.As the trip was drawing near, Tony Quay, our organiser sent out emails on the itinerary, what to bring, tips and some information about the trip. I began to google about Mulu Pinnacles and found that it will not be as easy as I thought it will be. And so I went with an uneasy feeling as I have not trained much and I know I am very weak at going up and downhill (after Gunung Dato's experience).
14th June
Journey started with the group gathering at LCCT at 6am in the morning. Boarded a 2.5 hours flight to Miri at 725am. When we reached Miri, we waited a couple of hours for the next MASWings flight to Mulu. And thus, we reached Mulu at about 1pm. Mulu airport is small, simple and surrounded by empty lands and greenery...We were rushed to Mulu HQ, our humble abode for the first and fourth night. After settling in (which included tucking in our own bedsheets in the dormitory-like room), we were prepared to explore Lang and Deer caves followed by a bat exodus.

The walk to the caves entrance is 3.5km plankwalk from the HQ. We saw different kinds of insects along the way and the Penan Burial cave.Lang's cave is the smallest of the show caves but its rock formations are well worth seeing. Deer Cave, in contrast is one of the largest cave in the world. Walking along pathways, it eventually leads to the "Garden of Eden" where a hole in the cave roof lets in light which allows the rich green vegetation to grow. Another feature is the famous face of Abraham Lincoln.

We went to the bat observatory and waited for the bat exodus at about 6pm. It was an amazing sight. Millions of bats came out in groups, flying in a zigzag manner to avoid predators. This formed snakes-like figures for us watching from below. We walked back to the HQ and call it an early night after dinner.

15th June
Morning started with breakfast before departing to Camp 5 (at the foot of Gunung Api) at about 8am. We stopped after short long-boat ride (which fits only 6-8 people in a boat) at a Penan settlement.

Saw some long houses. Penan villagers were selling handicrafts and I am humbled by their simple way of living. After hanging out for a while, we continued our boat ride along Melinau River. At some points, the boatmen had to jump out and pushed our boat as the water level was too low and the current was strong.

After a while, we reached Wind and Clearwater Caves. A plankwalk leads from the riverbank to the entrance of Wind Cave, so named because of the cool breezes which can be felt at some parts of the cave. Wind Cave has many impressive stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals, some of which are illuminated in the 'King's Room.' Clearwater Cave is the longest cave in Asia. It has a subterranean river running through it and the water is so cooling.

After a tour of the cave we climbed down some steps to a picnic area. At the base of the steps there is a crystal clear pool that is filled by water that flows out of the cave. This pool reminded me of the Crystal pond in Krabi. This was where we had lunch.

Journey continued. We arrived at a riverbank and this was where our 8km trek to Camp 5 began. It was not a hard trek. Flat trails along the way with 2 canopy bridges. What made it hard was the heavy rain and the leeches!! I hate leeches. Basically was holding a packet of salt all along the way. We finally reached Camp 5 with our shoes soaking wet (thank God for raincoats). Camp 5 has very basic facilities. Common bathrooms and a thin mattress to sleep on. We slept in dorm-like style next to each other.

Most memorable at Camp 5 was our chef. He can cook up a storm (or maybe we were too hungry). The curry chicken, mee and even 'pucuk paku' tasted so good. It was raining through the night and I was freezing cold. I put on 2 layers of clothing and jacket.

16th June
By 7am, we gathered for a short briefing (in our soggy shoes). The hike of 2.4km per way (but rises some 1,200 metres) began at 730am. The first hundred meter was flat ground but we were soon greeted with the real thing. 200m onwards, it was ascend all the way.

60-80 degrees of climbing, I was scrambling all over the place looking for footholds and anything to grab to pull myself up. Think of Bukit Tabur and multiply it by a few times. Some parts were near impossible but we had to find ways to go through it. Sweat was dripping like river as it was very hot and humid. We managed to reach the checkpoint just before 11am (2000m). Another 400m to go. Sounds easy right? WRONG!! The last section of the trail is near vertical, with rope sections, small planks to walk across deep holes and 15 aluminium ladders.

After what seemed like eternity, we finally reached the 2400m marker. The view was beautiful but cannot be compared to Mount Kinabalu. We had a quick lunch, accompanied by some squirrels seeking for leftovers.

Then the real challenge started. We were the last batch to descend. And we got really unlucky when it rained as we were making our way down. Slippery, with one wrong step, that's it for us. When I think back, it was really scary. We had to take one step at a time. The rain costed us much time and energy. I felt my legs were giving up on me and the only thing I wanted so badly was to go home. But thanks to Bee Hong, I kept on going. But luck really was not on our side. JUst as we passed the 300m mark, it began to grow dark. It was hard to see by then but we can still go on without using torchlights.
As we were approaching the 200m, it started to rain again and this time, darkness fell upon us. Holding on to torchlights and soaking wet, we tried to make our way back. The park ranger came looking for us but as there were still people behind us, he told us to make our way back slowly as we were near and he will look for the rest. As hard as we tried, we couldn't see the marker anymore. At the point just passed the 200m, we sat there, on the slope, not daring to move further as we knew we will be lost. Saw a distant light and we called for help. At that moment, I could not remember what I was feeling. I was thinking that we were so near yet so far. I panicked and Bee Hong was there to calm me.
What a relief when we heard another park ranger's voice. He heard our shouts and came looking for us. I was really thankful at that moment. And so, he lead us out to safety. The lights from Camp 5 was such a welcoming sight. Many of us had leeches bites, scratches, bruises and insect bites all over. I managed to sleep without thinking much or having any nightmares.
17th June
With muscle soreness and wobbly legs, we had to make our 8km way back to the riverbank (in soggy shoes again...ewwweee). No more rain along the way, thankfully. After a sunny and hot boat ride, we reach Mulu HQ safely and wanted nothing more than to take a good nap.

The evening ended with another 3.5km (per way) walk to witness the bat exodus again. This time it was more beautiful and mesmerizing. We saw fireflies on the way back to the HQ.
18th June
Our final day in Sarawal. We took the 1010am flight back to Miri. We explored Miri town by bus and foot. My legs felt like they are ready to give up on me anytime. Most memorable here was the food. Lunch was served with HUGE, FRESH prawns (lots of it), deer meat, steamed fish and vegetable. It only costed about RM 30 each. Before going back to the airport for our flight home, we had the famous Sarawak kolo mee. Delicious! I had the 'Teh Si Special' which is nice. We landed in LCCT at about 11pm. With memories and an experience I will never forget, I slept soundly in the comfort of my own bed, thankful to have this luxury again.

PS: Thanks to Tony Quay for organizing and to everyone who made this trip a memorable one. And Poh Wai, I will definitely go Mount Kinabalu next year...:P
(some pictures are courtesy of Poh Wai and Bee Hong)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To the Pinnacles and back

4.8 km up and down- sounds pretty easy...YET NOT...Rain, leeches, bruises, darkness, muscle aches...Full report coming up...Hopefully by weekend...Need to catch up on my study, work and SLEEP!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

It ain't easy, but it's going to be ok...

I know it's hard. Time heals. When either party has made his/ her decision, learn to respect that decision. Learn to accept it. I know you have not given up. But holding on to the past will only make it harder for both of you. I know right now, any word of advice/ empathy will fall on deaf ears but sooner, you will see that it ain't that hard to pull through this. I understand, as I have been in both end of the situation. Clear your mind, toughen up your heart and heal the wound. It might hurt again once in a while but that is absolutely fine. As long as you know how to stand back up. Take baby steps now, soon you will learn to walk and then, run again...
You are a good person and I am sure the right other half will come across your path on day.
To this good friend, hope you are reading this and if you need anyone to talk to, I'm here to lend my ears. It's going to be ok...

(ps: allow some time to be sad but pull yourself together after that period.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Food Review: Rice Dumpling

Zong (bak chang) or rice dumpling, as we all know, is made of glutinous rice with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. Every year, on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar, Chinese will celebrate Zongzi or Dragon Boat Festival. There is a story to this day.
This day is to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin Dynasty general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet's body.[1] Another version states that zongzi were given to placate a dragon that lived in the river.
(taken from Wikipedia)

I was requested to write a blog entry by someone who gave me a bak chang couple of days ago. According to him, the bak chang is damn nice. Nicest bak chang that I would have tasted. And indeed it is true. The rice is boiled just nice, neither too hard nor too soft. The fillings- meat (with a little bit of fat layer), salted egg yolk, black mushrooms and beans- are tasty. It is indeed one of the best bak chang I have tasted. Thanks ya...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
and now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
Nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And It's our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

Scooch closer dear
and i will nibble your ear

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
My breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed
I guess what i be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
this is our fate, I'm yours

Well no no, well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find the sky is yours
Listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
A lá one big family (2nd time: A lá happy family; 3rd time: A lá peaceful melody)
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love love love

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

No please, don't complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

No please, don't hesitate
no more, no more
It cannot wait
The sky is your's!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To the top...

In a few days, I shall be enjoying the view of the below (that's IF I can make it up there):
I will be in Mulu in a few days' time for a 5 days 4 nights adventure. Full report when I come back. Meanwhile, some snippets I got online...
'The pinnacle formations of Gunung Api and Benarat are spectacular examples of this limestone feature. Mulu’s Pinnacles tower above the surrounding landscape, some reaching heights of 40 to 50 metres. Centuries of water have eroded and dissolved the rock into razor sharp spikes which knife skywards through the surrounding rainforest.The trail to view the Pinnacles is only 2.4 km long but rises 1,200m and the last section is near vertical with ropes and ladders to climb.'
We will be visiting some popular caves like the Lang and Deer caves and will be watching the bat exodus. A little bit scared as I have not done much of mountain climbing, a little bit excited also but I will try to enjoy every minute of the climb.

Love? Naiveness? Ego? part 2

Continuing with the story, the guy is very determined with his decision. He wants to girl to achieve her ambition and dream. And he knows that he will only be a burden.
He is sincere. (Su, I understand what you meant but in this story, the guy is indeed very genuine and he loved the girl too much to hold her back). He only wants the best for her.
IMHO, I admire the courage the girl has. She never gave up. She knows what he wants but yet, she tried to make him see that, together, they can still achieve their dreams.
In the end, knowing how stubborn he is, she decides to follow what he wants her to do. In her heart, nothing will change. She will still pursue her dream and she will be successful as what he wished her to be.
If only the guy can explain to her instead of doing all the hurtful things to shake her off. They will not have to go through all the pain if they can just sit down and talk. She will understands how he felt and how much he wanted to be with her.
They both know that the love they have will keep them strong. The timing is not right to pursue it now. Hopefully, in the near distant future, both of them will be together again. Both will be successful individual who has no regrets of sacrificing for each other's happiness.
Love. So complicated. Neither party is wrong nor right.
Still, deep down inside, I do believe that love can overcome obstacles. You need to trust and have faith in it and in each other.
For all the lovebirds out there, believe in each other and talk it out if you have any doubts or arguments. For the singles, have faith that the right person will come along some day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Food Review:Crystal Jade Kitchen

Crystal Jade Kitchen (CJK) is in the chain of Crystal Jade's outlets, like Crystal Jade La Mian, C Jade or the latest Amuleto in Mid Valley. CJK is located at Pavillion, KL.
Offering a variety of Dim Sum and chinese cuisines, this outlet does not serves La Mian or Xiao Long Bao. Some of the must-try are:

More like Siew Pau. One of the best I've tasted.Tasty minced meat inside a crispy-buttered layer of skin.

Famous Siew Yoke...crispy skin with a little bit layer of fat.
Sizzling Pork with Tau Foo-hot and goes well with steam rice.
Lemon chicken-not too sour, crunchy on the outside, tender in the inside.
I love the variety of food in the menu but be prepared to fork out some money as prices are quite expensive here.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Love? Naiveness? Ego?

Guy: If you have not met and fallen in love with me, you could be living a better life.
Girl: Why no one understands us? As long as we are together, we can face any problems and difficulties.

In the situation above, guy and girl is madly in love. At the beginning, everything seems to go smoothly. Every moment spent together was wonderful. Then, reality sets in. Girl has bright future. Opportunity is right in front of her. But the guy is poor. Nevertheless, he is very determined to be able to provide for her. But soon, he begins to doubt this. He loves her too much to let her suffer with him. To let her go through the difficulties with him. Girl, on the other hand, does not care. She is prepared to go though thick and thin with him. Even if it means letting go of that opportunity to a brigther future.
Being in love is a complicated thing. It is wonderful yet, it can break our heart into a thousand million pieces. Will you let your loved one suffers and sacrifices for you? Ego in the guy-makes him feel like a failure as he can't be a good provider, naiveness in the girl-to her, love can overcome everything.
What will happen to the girl and guy? It will be posted soon. In the meantime, what do you think of the situation above?
(picture courtesy from here)