Friday, December 30, 2005

Table Top Advertising

On the morning of my birthday, Chun Chow and I were having our drink, waiting patiently for the Watana Snooker Center (one of the only few snooker places left in Kuching) to open up at 10.30am, at Central Park, 3rd mile. And we saw something.




Table top advertising !!! Fuiyooh !! TV, Radio, Newspaper, not enough ah?? Need to stick on table also meh?? On Coffee Shop table somemore.... Am I supposed to see creativity in this?

All I could picture on my mind at that time would be this...



Damned power ah !!! Robinwong.blogspot.com advertised right on the table top !! How much cooler can it be?


Alright, I know that bit I added was way too lame. Well, lets just wait and see how far this table top advertising would go in Kuching. I am not judging. I am simply observing.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Birthday ROBIN

Birthday was never a big thing for me. I seldom have birthday cakes, never had a birthday party, and seldom receive birthday presents from people around me.

Robin: Aidan, its my birthday today, wish me happy birthday.
Aidan: Happy Birthday Robin !!! How many presents are you expecting?
Robin: NONE
Aidan: !!!!!!!!!!

I grew up thinking birthday is a waste of time and money. All for the celebration of my previous birthdays were small gathering and simple dinner to mark the growing number of my age. Also, since my birthday is just the day after Christmas, focus was set on Christmas celebration itself. I never bothered. And none of my birthday wishes ever came true anyway.

When I started my life in INTI, 2002, my new group of friends has very different views on birthdays. Our small group of 6 to 7 people would come together, have the birthday person picking one medium-class eatery/restaurant and be treated with full lavishness. It has become a tradition. It was new to me, and I accepted it open-heartedly. Sometimes, we do pool together our cash and purchase a unique gift if appropriate to the birthday person. All was sweet and meaningful I would say.

There are people who celebrate their birthdays to a LARGE scale, inviting hundreds of people to a luxurious restaurant. There are those who have simple gathering with friends, say BBQ, and throwing the birthday person into the water. Genius, I would say. People get drunk on birthdays too. People party. Some would go wild and crazy. Birthdays are interesting.


Few days ago, it was my birthday.

At 12am, 26th December, I had a surprise visit from Mike (Clouded Pawn, launching soon) and Ivan



Yes, I was surprised, though I believed that was not really the exact expression that my face pulled off spontaneously that night. They shocked me right at my doorstep at the very first minute of my birthday.. hahahaha.. Now thinking about it,,, it was rather thoughtful and sweet of them. Many thanks Mike and Ivan, for bringing colors and spark to the very first few minutes of my birthday this year. I truly appreciate that.



Mike and Ivan... thanks for the wonderful surprise.. Pardon Mike for wanting to remain anonymous...



Yes, I know I wear pink.. and it looks gayish.. but but but... I like it worr..

And so we went off to McDonald’s, the only one of the few places that was still open in Kuching around that time of the night. And I was treated with full prosperity meals. I was feeling lucky, privileged and prosperous altogether indeed.



Prosperity Meal at McDonalds... yummy..

Came night, I was asked out with the group of old friends. I was getting ready to be thrown into the Sarawak River. Of all the things they could think of, they chose to play DOTA as my birthday activity. I got to admit, I was surprised with this decision they made too. Well, I did have fun after all. I guess that matters.

I see birthday as a celebration of life. We celebrate, for we have lived pass yet another year. It is definitely a time to look back and be thankful for all the blessings and beautiful experiences, as well as sulking and cursing at those undesired moments of depression and sadness that I believed every normal living person would go though. To me, I marvel at the sight of the number of my age changing from 20 to 21. To most people, this is a significant change. To me? Gosh, I am no longer a boy. Yes, I am an adult now. I have reached the legal age in my country. Is that something to be proud of? Is it something truly worth celebrating for?
Not that any of those questions would matter that much now anyway. The following is the list of my wishes for my birthday this year:
- Please oh God let my life be less painful
- I need to love and be loved in return

It is difficult to grasp the beauty of birthdays when ones life hurts so damned much. Birthday may seem meaningless if ones redemption seem far away. However.. I would say this much: I am grateful to have great friends surrounding me and wishing me well on my 21st Birthday. For that, I found joy.

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and presents. Birthday this year is indeed remarkable.



Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Life in Perth: Part 1

Coming from Kuching, a small town in Malaysia, I consider myself lucky having the opportunity to travel and study overseas. I went, I saw, but sadly, I never conquered Perth.
Veni, Vedi... err.. "no" Vinci??

Since my dear friend Jason gave me a good advice along with his birthday greetings on how I should reflect my years of existence, I shall reflect on my life in Perth. What better way there is to celebrate Christmas, my Birthday (26th Dec) and to end the year all at once than to look back and relive those irreplaceable times spent and lost?



Perth City view from the South Highway

I have been studying in Perth for one and a half year now, 3 semesters to be exact, and I find myself somehow attached to the life there. Knowing there are plentiful to share about my life there, I shall break my posts down to several separate but continuous parts. In this first part, I shall focus solely on my first semester in Perth, which was in the duration of June 2004 - November 2004.

Lets kick off with the bad experience. On my arrival, I was stood up by a regretfully unwilling and inconsiderate personfriend from hometown who promised to greet me and my course mates that went along with me to Perth, but he purposefully slept his way through and meet us three hours later. I had to deal with the lonesomeness and alienated by the strange new environment, with miserable 5 degrees of cold morning winter temperature. I would have screwed him left right front back I was so enthusiastic and excited to meet him, coming all this way from Kuching meeting an old hometown friend, but inopportunely it was the exact opposite in his mind. Obviously, not everything went well when I settled in, but in the end, no major disaster happened. Thankfully.



Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia, Perth

Academically I thought I was doing well, but again, I was proven wrong. Somehow I find it rather difficult to adapt to the expectations and educational systems in The University of Whores and AssholesUniverity of Western Australia (UWA). Those bloodsucking jerks and evil morons UWA teaching staff (lecturers + tutors) were unreasonably stingy in their marking and more than often marked us down, demoralizing and discouraging us to work harder. No matter how much hard effort we put into our assignment and projects, all we get in return would be crappy marks. I knew from then on that life in UWA would be tough, and getting through the finals would be like doom for real. maybe if I had treated the lecturer to the luxurious restaurant and slid AUD20000 under the table… my life would be easier It was seriously a miracle for me to survive the first semester, and there are still times I wonder how I did.



Perth City View and Swan River, from King's Park

Socially, my life sucked. I was surrounded by many types of people in Perth.

1. People that I liked and wanted to hang out with, but they did not seem to be interested in me and did not want to hang out with me.

2. People that I did not want to get anywhere near 100 miles radius, but they were always within one arms reach.

3. People that I truly cared about and treasured, but they saw me as just another ordinary person with nothing special.. and just.. sadly plain

4. People whom I hated so much and would just KILL them if only killing is legal in Australia.

5. People that saw me as a normal friend, and I saw them as normal friends too.

6. People that are super-KIASU. (hokkien slang)

7. People that I considered truest of friends, yet I was constantly LEFT BEHIND.

Half a year, and I do not have a close Ang-Mo friend. Yeah, we do mix around and hang out, but nothing more than casual. That’s mainly due to the fact that I already have a steady going group of friends, mostly from my hometown studying and living together in Perth. Everything went fine until… those morons starting to show their true ugly horrible colors me and some innocent friends were LEFT BEHIND. Yeah, being left behing sucks big time. Being left behind is so depressing, especially by the person whom you thought you are close friends with. I would not claim this as entirely a bad experience. We learn about people more from each experience we shared with them. The only regret I have now was not being able to see through all those depression and LEAVE them all BEHIND in return. I guess my balls were no where as huge as Kenny Sia’s Giant Coconut Balls to do just that. I treasure friendship more than anything. But sadly, many people do not agree with that value in me. Its painful losing friends. It hurts like hell, still.



King's Park



Mathilda bay and the white boats

Despite all that, I like Perth. I love Perth. I would give anything just to go back there now. Life is slow and peaceful there. There is no traffic jam. The air, water, streets and the grasses are impossibly clean. Heck, the public toilets in Perth are much sparklingly shinier and squeakily cleaner than my house toilet there. The standard of life is just incredibly comfortable and relaxed. Water is deep blue, sky is mostly clear, and the grass is green. Weather is unbelievably pleasant, dry and cool throughout spring and autumn. Sceneries in Perth are nothing less than breathtaking. Life in Perth is just simply wonderful. Just walk along King’s Park, or check out the hot babes in bikini watch sunset at Cottesloe Beach, and do some illegal fishingcanoeing in Mathilda Bay… Nature may not be at its best, but it simply is worth living for. Unfortunately due to limited budget and time constraint, I did not manage to go to many places in Perth in my first semester there. The following are the places I have visited: Fremantle, Subiaco, Harbor Town, Cottesloe Beach, Carousel, Garden City, Perth City and Northbridge, Perth Showground (Perth Royal Show), South Perth, Mathilda Bay, King’s Park, and Claremont.



Cottesloe Beach, WA



Carousel Shopping Mall

I love the food there as well. Simply love Gelato… the ice cream. Gosh… they have all sorts of flavors, freshly produced from real ingredients, the ice creams in Gelato or Gelare are heavenly tempting.



Heavenly ice-cream.... syiok nya !!!

I simply adore the pizza there… nothing beats Broadway pizza !!! The toppings are fuller, the cheese is thicker, the crusts are fresher and tastier. Obviously one main important ingredient is PORK, with bacon and ham in pizza, gosh.. its just scrumptiousThe pizzas in Perth, Broadway Pizza particularly, are just irreplaceable. Ask Chun Chow, he would convince you thoroughly !!! We agreed that Pizza Hut, Malaysia SUCKS !!!



Broadway Pizza !!!! Yumm...

Frequent dining place for me in Perth would be Northbridge, the China Town. However, the food there is mostly overpriced. Decent asian dishes can be found easily, but nothing spectacularly worth noting.



China Town, Northbridge !!!




All in all, my life over the first semester in Perth was fun, fulfilling, sad, depressing, and meaningful all at the same time. I made some friends, I lost some friends. I have seen new places, and explored beyond the borders of my home country. I have breathed different life, and tasted sweetness and bitterness in it together. I have new food cravings. More importantly, I survived academically, though miraculously. Sadly, I was LEFT BEHIND.

Interestingly, I have fallen in love with Perth.



Side note:
This shall be the ending of the first part of Life in Perth. I will not slot in the next continuous postings immediately, but instead I will come back and resume the part two some other time. I hope this entry gives you readers (those who know me, as well as general readers) some clues about my life and experience. If there are further questions, please feel free to email me personally at
hamish7ian@hotmail.com or just kindly drop a comment
.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas In Kuching

People see Christmas in many ways. Christians see Christmas as the celebration of the glorious birth of Jesus Christ the King, the second grandest celebration of the church after Ester Sunday and Good Friday. The Americans in general perceive Christmas as common holiday festival, celebrated with joy, food, spirit of togetherness and lots and lots of laughter and joy, though these bear no significant resemblance to the Christmas celebrated by churches. Also, Christmas is a commercialized cliché, a business opportunity for many and worshipped by money spent on shopping pointlessly.




Over 20 years of my life in Kuching, I have never felt Christmas as a grand celebration in my hometown, Kuching. Looking pass all those different views, I dare admit that Christmas in Kuching is just less magical than what I hoped for.

Here are my reasons why Christmas in Kuching is not so Christmas-sy

1. There is no snow too much rain



Sadly, there would never be winter in Kuching. No white Christmas. No snowball fight, and no snowman in Kuching. Thank you very much, American television for providing us such wonderful perspective of Christmas celebrated in cold winter snow. All we get is rain rain rain, and more rain in this time of the year. Worse still, there is an alarming amount of risk of flash flood occurring with such heavy and frequent downpour. How disastrous can Christmas be in Kuching.

2. There is no real crappy Christmas tree





There are no real Christmas trees in Kuching. All we have are artificial Christmas trees that are mostly lighted up with more colours than a rainbow. Staring at the random crazy blinking of the lights alone can cause severe headache. Festive season indeed.

Some trees are so horrible looking I feel like ripping them off on the spot. Like this supposingly a Christmas tree just located inside the side entrance of the Tun Jugah Shopping Mall. Man, can any tree get lamer than this?


3. There is no mistletoe



No mistletoe, no kissing in public. How tragic.

4. There is crappy Santa because I killed the real one



“Fake” santa claus in Kuching, making appearances at Everise or Tun Jugah would only know how to scream in such menacing devilish ways “HO HO HO!!!” sounding more like “MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!” wolfish kind of laughter, distributing miserably cheap candies and sweets for passing by young children. I tell you, 9 out of 10 kids in Kuching would picture Santa Claus as a Monster, waiting to kidnap and eat them up. What happened to the old-style santa that sits by the roadside, letting children hopping up his lap and make a wish?? Where has the friendly hopeful magical touch of Santa gone to?

5. There is ridiculously early Chinese New Year promotion

As sad as this sounds, Chinese New Year preparation overshadows Christmas, though it is still ONE MONTH away after Christmas. CD selling shops play bombastic drum bashing cymbal clashing Chinese New Year tunes over melodic sweet harmonious Christmas music…. Well… People just could not wait nowadays. This simply makes Christmas in Kuching feels less majestic.

6. There is crappy Christmas Shopping



There is practically “nothing” worth buying for this holiday season. The shops and retailers know how to decorate their shops suiting the mood of celebration, but show no concern on their products and pricing. Discounts my Ass. Everything is still bloody expensive.

7. There are no Christmas greetings.

It would be great to have greetings from someone in the city, say the Supermarket cashier, “Merry Christmas”. No, we see people with all kinds of faces, black as charcoal and sour as vinegar. As if the word that would come out from them is CELAKA !!! Please lah people, it is holiday season, everyone should be happy, there should be festive mood surrounding the atmosphere. Smiles should fill people’s faces, and joy and laughter must be spread. Just a simple greeting “Merry Christmas” would spark all that up. Is that so hard to do?


I am not expecting Christmas in Kuching to suddenly turn into all western style just over night. There may be no snow, mistletoe or real Christmas trees in Kuching, and I cannot blame the geographical factor for these. However, what the people have been doing here is not helping any bit. Where ever I go in the city, I do not feel the festivity in the air. Something has been missing. There is no joy. No magic of Christmas.

Well, Christmas in Kuching may be small, but it sure has not lost its meaning. To me, it is strictly a celebration for family and friends, where people come together and experience the power of rebirth of Christ in each of us. We marvel at the coming of Christ, the King, and I believe that is what matters the most. Kept simple, brief, and sweet, this joyous celebration is always filled with much happiness and heartfelt love. I believe that the spirit of Christmas comes once a year, and in every way we can, though small and plain, we must celebrate it and embrace the magic.

To my friends, family and others who do read this blog, I wish you all

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR…

Monday, December 19, 2005

Complete Vocabulary

There are not many bookshops left in Kuching, and this is a sad case. The famous Belle's Bookstore closed down earlier this year, and there is only the Popular bookstore left in the Kuching City Center. (I wonder if Kuching is qualified to be a city...)
I am not a big reader. I personally would not sit down for hours and fix my eyes on ink and papers. That is just so not me... but there are times I read, maybe when the book is highly recommended by friends. And I particularly indulge myself into the works of Stephen King. Man, that guy knows how to use words to raise my goosebumps. I personally love the Langoliers and Children of the Corn.






My latest trip to the Tun Jugah Shopping Center has been interesting. Yup, I visited Popular and I spotted this...



Since when the Primary School in Malaysia has COMPLETE English Vocabulary in the academic syllabus?? I guess, after studying this particular work book, any primary school student will be equiped with COMPLETE vocabulary, just like a walking dictionary.


Forming the next level of Malaysian English and education... Truly amazing...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

PC by the road side...

During my time in Perth earlier this year, on the way back from the famous IKEA Factory Outlet, I found something very very interesting, and worth noting. Right at the roadside of Scarborough Beach Road, just outside a computer retail store... I accidentally and SHOCKINGLY found this...







OMFG !!! A PC under the sun, on the parking bay, by the Roadside of Perth..

1. The PC does not require any power source.

2. The PC is fully wireless functional, you can connect your printer without any wires.

3. You do not need any keyboard or mouse to operate this PC.

4. Somehow, the monitor needs to be connected to the ground via the supplied cable.

5. The PC has a mobility of a laptop; you can even operate it by the roadside.

6. The PC is weather proof, be it rain or severe sunshine.

7. The operational system is so simple even a dummy can operate this PC.

8. You can get this PC for as cheap as AUD 149 (approximately equivalent to RM450)

9. The best of all, this PC can only be found in Perth.

Can any other PC beat that?? Heh !!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Santa.. a "few" of my wishes for Christmas

Dear Santa Claus,
I have been a good good boy over the year, I eat my vegetables, I do my homework, I follow all the rules and I have been kind and helpful to everyone around me. You see, Christmas is coming, and I want things to be more special this time around, since my Birthday is also coming, you know?? I know you will reward me for being such a good boy, and here is my list of requests. I am a very modest boy, never greedy or wanting anything too big or expensive, I would say my list of requests for my Christmas gift is very reasonable and plausible. Please consider my requests wisely.

iPod Nano




You see, everyone around me has an MP3 player, or a music player. From my observations, 3 out of 5 people in Perth own a decent iPod, and all I am requesting is the thinnest and the tiniest of all… iPod Nano… why can’t I be like a normal kid? Why don’t I deserve an entertainment gadget on the go while virtually everyone else does?? Please send me an iPod Nano… I want I want….. Please…

Kodak V550



Santa, my old camera is sooo big and heavy one, so bulky, so hard to carry around. I am sure you know my passion for photography, and this lousy camera of mine would not make me progress any further. I am not asking for an SLR or any of those HUGE professional cameras with super high zoom and lots of MegaPixels. I am only asking for a pocket camera nia, the smallest and lightest.. ok or not?? Can larr.. Santa…

Philips Mini Hi-fi



Santa, my old Mini Hi-fi is already 7 years old. The Cd player is failing to function ordinarily, and the sound quality has become obsolete. I need good sound in my life, I need a new Philips. Good sound is my soul, it inspires me to move on, and good music speaks to me whenever I feel left out or alone. This is an important part of my life. Please… I didn’t ask for a 5.1 channel Home Theatre system with Dolby Digital Surround and Subwoofer, just a small Mini Hi-fi would do….

Kenny Sia
and his evil Russian twin, Ais Ynnek (click for details)



Santa, I want you to get me Kenny Sia. I think he is cool. You see, we are two different persons. But we share similar lives partially. He was from Perth, so was I. He is now in Kuching, so am I. He misses Perth, so do I. He wants to be in Perth, so do I. He is insanely in love with his huge coconuts, but…. Sadly I am not. You see Santa, if you can GET him for me, I would have a new good friend, and I would be very happy. So can I have Kenny???

Jennifer Love Hewitt



I lust for love Jennifer Love Hewitt. I particularly adore her huge breasts and perfect curve beautiful sparkling smile and deep sexy eyes. I want to just see her naked once, and maybe have sex dinner with her or something. Yeah… that would be awesome for Christmas !!!! Santa…. I am not asking for anything much.. just Jennifer…. A young boy wanting to meet his sexual fantasy favourite singer/idol. Is that too much too ask for?


Perth





Santa, I miss Perth. I want to go back to Perth. I think celebrating Christmas in Perth is crazy lah, so hot in summer cool and would be exciting. I miss walking along the beaches and watch the sunset, and touching the blue waters of the Swan River. I miss the clear blue sky.



I miss jogging around the green King’s Park and breathe its free fresh air… I miss Taka Sushi, and Fremantle Fish and Chips.. I miss my friends in Currie Hall. I miss my life in Perth. Please… can you take me to Perth?? Air ticket so expensive now… free ride with your flying reindeers would be AWESOME !!!!

Hug

In these times, I wish I would have a hug from a friend, and a shoulder to cry on. I need someone to listen to my heart and comfort me. A warm hug can make all those worries and fear of unknown go away, and a hug from a true friend would be magical in Christmas celebration. I am desperate, Santa, and I know you know that. Please, if no one else is around, would you please be there for me? A hug from Santa… priceless..


Santa… I need you. I do not ask much, and I know wishes of mine you can grant easily…. And I am trying my best to be modest here. I am not being selfish or anything, but I want those gifts.. I want I want… I am begging you…

However.. if you do not comply with a young boy’s wishes and desires, I will find you.. and for the sake of millions of children around the world who believes in the magic of Christmas… I shall hunt you down… you see.. i have no choice..



Merry Christmas Santa !!! Muahahahahaaaa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ruthie

I have a lot of things to be thankful in my life for. Looking back at my times in Perth this year particularly, I am deeply blessed to be given an opportunity to cross paths with Ruthie Seetoh, a gorgeous young lady from Singapore studying alongside me in UWA (the University of Western Australia)


This kind and loving lady has been there with me and my coursemates through the group assignments and projects, and I deeply admire her dedication and passion towards group work. I am the laziest one pushing all the works to her She is the most hardworking member, and she inspires and motivates us to go on and complete our assignments in time do our best. She has so much energy and charisma, that whenever she is around, it is never a boring moment, and the working environment wont be as condusive without her presence !!! Undoubtedly, thanks to her, we have achieved a great deal of good returned marks for our assignment and projects.

She loves to call herself a bunny. She says she has a bunny brain. She says she has a bunny smile. And of course, we all know she can run like a bunny (she is indeed one of the top atheletes in her college). Hearing all those bunny resemblence has made me picture this in my mind....

There are times when my coursemate Wei Thien and I used to make fun of Ruthie's name at her back call her different names. Firstly, we refer her to the ROOF, since the pronunciation of ROOF = RUTH. This is so appropriate at that time of year when we were studying Steel Design where calculation of variables regarding the Structural ROOF Members of a building was introduced. At first, this was an inside nickname, but somehow somewhere, things went wrong, and basically everyone else calls her ROOF (in other languages as well, Chinese and Hokkien) ... opps... this may be the part I say... err.. Sorry??



ROOF Ruthie is always helpful and being around to aid anyone in need. She is patient, independent, and very responsible when it comes down to work, or off-work. It has truly been wonderful knowing you, and best of all, be your friend, and with my sincere thoughts, all the way from Kuching... East Malaysia, i wish you..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTHIE !!!!



May your dreams and wishes come true, and the blessings of heaven continue to flow in your life abundantly. May you seek happiness and joy in everything you do. Be cheerful always !!!



I wish I could celebrate this awesome event with you.. but hey.. I guess you are having a great time over there with your pals and family !!

Stay strong in faith, and keep that Bunny smile up !!! Your Bunny smile is simply priceless...



Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Results, depression, dota, death

Ok, it is seriously depressing having to wait this much for some crappy results from my university. It has been dreading too long, and many unuseful thoughts have crossed my mind. What if I failed so badly and not make it back to Perth for the coming semester? What if something happened to my paper that.... bla bla bla.. what if this, what if that, what if coconuts....... Heck, i felt so depressed that i started to try out one of those quizes you could do online to test the level of your depression...

Why not you try it out yourself, click here.

And here is the returned results...



What the.... Moderately severe depression my Ass !!!! I never thought it was THIS serious !!! Help.. i might commit suicide.. probably I will jump my Ass off the Civic centre or right into the mouth of a crocodile in Sarawak River. Sure, the Civic Centre tower sounds better.

And so... I played lots and lots of DOTA... just to keep my mind of depression while waiting for results. Those sounds playing out loud... Killing Spree.... Dominating... MMMMMMMonster Kill !!!!! can just shrug off some of the tension... gosh... never knew gaming would be this rewarding at times.








And maybe I got so depressed i could not make it to see my results.... and maybe this shall be in the hidden column some where deep in the local newspaper...




Alright Alright... I know i got carried away with that. Results came out. Jeng Jeng Jeng....




Happy, am I? Sad, am I? Nasi sudah jadi Bubur Ayam (rice has turned into the chicken porridge due to overcooking effect, a Malay Proverb for being too late to do anything at that particular moment)

Heck, any Bubur Ayam in Kuching would taste like heaven ok?? If served, just EAT lar.... Same goes to my results... nothing to do liaw what.. just accept it lar.....

I am fine, and glad to clear off everything. Thank God... Praise God.. Halleluia !!!!! Heaven is still smiling down on me...