Monday, April 28, 2008

Phua Chu Kang in Kuching !!


Out of nowhere, suddenly there was a Uniquely Singapore festival happening at the newly opened shopping mall, Spring in Kuching. The event was a platform for the travel agencies and much tourist related business opportunists to promote whatever they were selling to the unfortunate souls of innocent Kuching People. Of course, we do not exactly get these kind of events happening much these days, but what I believe to be the most looked-forward-to-activity lined up for the event was undoubtedly a special appearance of the TV star, Gurmit Singh aka Phua Chu Kang.

THROUGH A SONY CAMERA

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Phua Chu Kang has become, somewhat a face so popularly known amongst Malaysians !! I mean, who hasn't heard of Phua Chu Kang? Who hasn't?

I remember the first time I watched the well-rated TV show back in my secondary school days, when NTV7 first started their airing over the local network. Yes, it was that long ago, back in 1998 or was it 1999, approximately 10 freaking years ago !!!

Yet the show lived on, and the characters from the drama-comedy series remain favorites among Tv-viewers of all age !! As lame as many of the episodes and jokes being portrayed in the series, somehow, I just could not picture the TV scene without Phua Chu Kang, the show itself was unique, and many of us can easily relate to the stories being told.

PEOPLE EVERYWHERE

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EVERYONE WANTS A PIECE OF PCK

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And so Phua Chu Kang made a special appearance, to support the Uniquely Singapore festival. After seeing him for years in Television, and missing a few opportunities seeing him live when he previously visited Kuching, and after seeing the entry with beautiful pictures posted by Luxferi (click) yesterday, I decided to see Phua Chu Kang live this time.

I sure would not want to miss this chance, though I myself am not exactly a huge fan of his. It is not an everyday thing stars appear in Kuching you know. So this was kind of a big deal for Kuching folks.

I SWEAR HE WAS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME !!! EEEEEPPP

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HIS TINY BOOGER

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Knowing Phua Chu Kang from the screens of the television, he appeared somewhat more radiant in real life. This could be because he was not exactly acting anymore, but making a presentation on stage for a live crowd. He connected to everyone so well, and goodness, he can interact with almost anyone !!! The kids freaking loved him, I swear I even saw some old uncles and aunties screaming in extreme excitement !! He totally seemed like a rock star conquering that mini stage. It was also the first time of me seeing Spring being flooded with people from God knows where.

The show kicked start with a bunch of PCK wannabes dressing up and trying to replicate PCK. Then the kids were invited to go on stage, and dance with PCK !! Gosh, it was scary even to think that the kids love him this much. Imagine one of your kids saying "Daddy, when I grow up I wanna be just like Uncle Chu Kang !!!" Not that having the life of Phua Chu Kang is anything near bad, but you get the picture.

THE KIDS LOVE HIM !!!

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DANCING WITH THE KIDS

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"PLAYING" WITH THE KIDS

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The last thing that Phua Chu Kang did on stage was... SINGING !! Yes he blardy sang a song by Robbie Williams, Better Man. And gosh.. never have I imagined him being able to really sing.

KARAOKE CHU KANG

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SWALLOWING THE MICROPHONE

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FULL OF EMOTIONS

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Something rather annoying happened though, which I have been meaning to blog for some time. From my pictures, you can see that I must have stood rather close to the stage. Some time in the middle of the show, some really rude horribly ugly looking girls popped out from behind me, and tried to nudge, push, and shove me aside to get their way to the front. There were two girls to be exact, smaller and MUCH SHORTER than me but armed with a DSLR camera each. I did not flick even a bit, stood my ground, and as a result they tried to push in harder.

I was like...

WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFF !!!!!!!


And gave them the WTF stare straight into their demon like eyes.

Seriously, I came here first, I waited long before Phua Chu Kang came on stage, and I blardy deserve to remain on my spot. Hello? First come, first serve? Now you just push everyone aside and expect everyone else to let you pass to get your auspicious position? Having a DSLR does not make your boobs any bigger. You know a good position is important for photography, so get in line and back off bitches!!

I think I must have pissed them both really bad, and me being 6ft tall, standing in front of them, did not help any bit at all.

SWEATING CHU KANG

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Excluding those two girls, I believe the whole event was quite enjoyable. It would be nice to talk to Phua Chu Kang in person, but I think everyone would have wanted to do so too. Everyone wanted a piece of him. I just can't help but think how cool it would have been if the entire crew of the show flew in to Kuching, and made a live comedy action show on stage !!

So, are there any Phua Chu Kang fanatics out there? Speak up !!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Invictus

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced or cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight a gate,
How charged the punishments of the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.


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I believe most of you must have come across this superbly well known work of art somehow somewhere in your lives. if you have missed this out... goodness... where hath thou been all this timeth???? Is it not captivating to feel so much emotion and energy radiating from just beautifully arranged words?

There is torment, much misery in life. But it is up to us to step down, or decide that we must not give in to the circumstances, and stand up to the face of darkness. Fate will never be kind, life is no fairy tale, but as long as we are doing whatever we can in our power to walk on and look up ahead, I am sure somehow, we will find our way.

Whenever I am thrown into the pits of darkness, I always remember the last two lines of that breathtaking piece of art I have just shared with you guys.

I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Real Hot Dog



So I was at lunch with Georgette, who suggested the new Chicago7 place at 2.5 mile which was opened not that long ago. My first thought was an ordinary Western Food place since the Chicago word was rather prominent, but it turned out to be a replica of over popularized American fast food chains, similar to KFC in many ways.

The two main things that stood out from the menu were broasted chicken (which I thought would have somehow linked the food outlet to the dying Sugarbun until the idea was disputed by Georgette) and of course, the HOT DOG.

Initially, I was glad because I could finally find those heavenly grilled Hot Dog that was everywhere in Perth in Kuching !!!

Unfortunately.. what came to me was this...


HOT DOG @ Kuching

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After seeing it.. I have to say that... I should never expect anything western from Kuching to turn out anywhere similar to western at all in the first place. Nothing similar in the sense of size, appearance, and the ingredients used to produce the food.

You call that a hot dog? Wait till you see this...


THE REAL HOT DOG @ Perth

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You may not be able to compare the sizes based on those photos, but I can tell you that the sausage was TWICE in length and girth.

And it was made of REAL meat not those already cooked hot dogs availabe at supermarkets waiting to be heated up in microwave oven.

Again, I am comparing, and making ridiculous expectations out of what I find here in Kuching.

Note to self, I am no longer in Perth. Try to live with it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And Then There was FREE COFFEE



It was one of those mundane ordinary days, that I walked my way to Starbucks, the nearest free provider of Wi-Fi Internet connection and leech it off on my laptop to download some illegal stuff get some work done, and if there was any spare time left, update my blog for you beautiful people out there. Of course, the comfortable couch, the friendly staff, and the oh so cool air conditioning were really inspiring and aided me in my "productivity". I have been here heaps now, and something unusual happened this particular day...

When a group of bloggers that I was recently connected to came in Starbucks.. and booked themselves a corner to spin their webs around, I knew something was going to happen. I still refused to believe something out of the ordinary would ever happen, thus continue to bury my head into the pile of work in front of me. As time went by, more and more people came in, and I knew something was not quite right.

Heck, even Kenny Sia suddenly popped out of nowhere.

STARBUCKS CREWS

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Eventually, I got out of my seat which was formed with the perfect shape of my ass to ask around, and finally found out that there was this promotional event going on at Starbucks, to launch their new product to the public. Hence bloggers and a few other significant figures were invited to the event, provided with free food, free drinks (expensive drinks we are talking about here), free giveaways, games, and heaps of fun. I was so tempted to jump in and participate in the activities prepared for the audeince, alas, I had to finish up a task I had been promising a friend.

And guess what, I left my camera back at home. GAAARRRRRRRHHHHHHHH

Ok you guys can start lecturing me now on the responsibilities and necessities of bringing my camera with me all the time being a blogger bla bla bla bla bla bla...

Like what Jasonmumbles said after I told him the whole situation....

"FAIL"

ROBIN with FREE DRINK !!!

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Nevertheless, not all was lost. I have got myself... THREE GLASSES of free ice blended drinks from Starbucks !!! Wooo Hoooo !!!!

I gotta say.. that was pure caffeine overload !!!

Guess who else showed up at the event?

SAMANTHA and ROBIN

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Samantha Poh !!! I have been meaning to dig out some time to look for this gorgeous blogger that I have known since the early days of my blogging activities. Ufortunately, I have had my hands full with a few very urgent tasks that are somewhat, unexpectedly time consuming and evergy draining. She is one scary chess player, with admirable skills and I must say I seriously look forward for few rounds of great games with her soon.

I was so surprised to find her there of all the places !! Since there was that Starbucks promo event going on and all.. and me focusing on my task on my lappie, we did however find a little time to catch up a little. It was really great to finally meet Sam again, and gosh, we MUST go for a drink and CHESS CHESS CHESS !!

KENNY SIA and ROBIN

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That evening has turned out rather interesting. Free food and drinks, meeting up with Sam and Kenny, seeing all the staff members of Starbucks go crazy, and yeah... I even got a huge part of my assigned task done.. I dare say.. shooting plenty of birds with an arrow.

Side Note: Thanks Sam for the camera !!! You are a lifesaver. By the way, your camera rocks !!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Single Track Mind @ Bing

I know that Kuching is an exceptionally small place, yet I am always the last one to find out about events and happenings that are worth checking out. Such has happened yet again recently, when I just found out about the local music independent artists coming together to perform live at Bing, one of the most raved about coffee house in Kuching. Alex Wong from Single Track Mind, Evenstar and many other local independent artists were expected to wow and blow the crowd away.

The best part of all about that event, it was free.

Thank goodness for Allen who informed me and brought me to the event, or else I would have been missed out.


JOHNSTON and ALLEN

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I believe that part of the reason why the event was not exactly publicized openly through local media was because of the original intention to keep the event within a certain limited size of audience. I can quite understand, since the performance was held at Bing, which has considered a restricted space, definitely not fitted for such event to cater for huge crowd response. Things would have gotten out of hand if half of the Kuching population found out and flocked to the coffee place. Now that would be a scene worth blogging about.

Nevertheless words travelled fast, and as predicted, the whole space was completely flooded with Kuching folks.

Anyway, the night kicked off with some fresher and newer upcoming talents, slowly building up to the more known and respected performers.

EVENSTAR

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It was wonderful to be out there, listening, and supporting Kuching local music scene. I may not exactly be overly crazy about their performances, but I dare say that they do possess true talents, that could have made it HUGE elsewhere in the world, should they be given the right opportunity for exposure.


Interestingly, Alex Wong from Single Track Mind performed a few songs that I was very fond of. One of them being "storm" from Lifehouse, which has been an inspiring and uplifting song, circulating around my music player's list for years now. I thought that the way he expressed the song was rather weird, but yeah, Alex has got his own style, but I wished that he could make the song sounded a little smoother and more in flow.

ALEX WONG

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Another similar song, which I think Alex failed to mention and credit to the original artist was "sometimes you can't make it on your own" by U2. It was one of my favourites from u2. (well, come to think of it, who wouldnt love u2?) I was just disappointed that Alex did not have the courtesy to mention the original artist who wrote and recorded that particular song. Other than that, his performance for that song was exemplary.

It felt somewhat very refreshing to participate in a public event in Kuching, a small place where everyone would have been connected to everyone else around somehow. It was great to see all the familiar faces coming together to an event and having a fun time with each other. I have been away from Kuching for so long and it was a surprise for some people to see my face suddenly popping out of nowhere after disappearing for a whole long year. It was great seeing those joyful smiles again.

THE GIRLS

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Georgette, on of the Kuching bloggers that I have met since the very beginning of my blogging career (alright, I know its not a career but what the heck) was also there, but she came as a reporter to cover the event for Borneo Post. She brought an interesting lady, all the way from the United States !!! So it was not only one night of seeing everyone familiar, but also making an unusual connection with someone who flew in from halfway across the globe. And it was her first time in Kuching too.

GEORGETTE TAN

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AMANDA (all the way from Boston)

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I guess I was back at the right time. All the times all the good events happening in Kuching I was in Perth, and just had to miserably click on blogs to catch up on the entries covering events which I could have attended should I have been back here in Kuching. Nevertheless, coming back here, and taking this short break that I so oh deserve, I shall make full use of it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Near Death



I woke up to this ordinary morning...

And I looked to the sky...

Where the sky screamed agony and misery....

ANGRY SKY

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And my camera started to show signs of dying.

There was this incident at the second week after the purchase of the camera that it was accidentally dropped from the shoulder height to the cold hard floor DIRECTLY. The power was on, and the lens was fully extended...
OUUUUCCCCCCHHHHH was an understatement..

No it was not me, I would never did such a thing to my precious...

I was amazed that it was still alive, and functioned like nothing happened to it...

Until now, 10 freaking months later... I think the camera has done its best in doing his job, and miraculously stayed alive. Do not ask me why he is a he, because he just is.

No, it is not dead yet. 2 or 3 out of 10 pictures turn out completely WHITE, or jagged with horizontal lines. This will definitely cause plenty of problems shooting pictures in any occasion.

I think, it is time again to hunt for a new, and undoubtedly, more capable camera.

Maybe... this time...

a...

Dslr.... ???


Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Small Gathering

Yeah, so I was back in Kuching, and was extremely eager to meet everyone up. There I was tapping away on my phone, sending texts out to familiar few numbers that I hoped still remained the same. A few responded, a few seemed really eager to catch up for a drink, the rest, either were too busy to bother, or shoved my text up to oblivion with a press of the "delete" button.

Either way, there were a few that I truly want to meet, and hope to have a round of "yum cha" during my limited time in Kuching.

I originally texted Ann (or more popularly known as Luxferi) and she got back to me "Starbucks, Spring, 8pm Saturday". Everything sounded great, I thought it would be the usual suspects and all. So yeah, I was really looking forward to see everyone again, and see what happened to everyone since I left. Things must have been pretty interesting since I have been gone for more than a year now !!

KUCHING BLOGGERS @ STARBUCKS


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Little did I know, apart from the familiar faces, there were more !! Yes, more. Apparently Ann contacted Irene, and she somehow dragged invited quite a number of more bloggers.. and what initially I thought was a small catch up/drink coffee session turned out to be a... mini-bloggers meet.

I was glad to see that everyone has been doing well, and still has a passion for blogging, and growing interests in Photography. Like usual, the cameras will do much of the talking in blogger meets, and yeah, without even realizing when, the cameras took over the spotlight and started flashing themselves around. There were superior DSLRs, and I kinda felt a little "paiseh" with my budget compact camera. Nevertheless, a camera is a camera, and it has to do its job too.

I have a tradition in bloggers meet (not the HUGE scale one lah) that I would go around and snap their individual pictures and post them up individually. Yes, that is MY trademark ok.

Here goes...

Lets start with the ladies ya?


ANN from http://ann.twoflavours.com/


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Marching on with the guys...


FRANKIE from http://funkye.blogspot.com/


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There were also times actually a heck lot of times when bloggers goof around in public places that the attention generated from camwhoring could be rather alarming.

SIX PACKS? Or 6 WEEKS PREGNANT?


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SOMETHING TO BE EATEN


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It was a Saturday night filled with plenty of great fun. Working the camera around and talking to everyone have been really wonderful.

Guys, lets do it again some time soon !!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring, What Spring?

Alright, now that I am in Kuching, it is time to walk around, and explore much. Obviously there have been some changes there and here, and the most notable one happened not exactly that far from where I reside. The newly opened (ok, not so new now, but cut me some slack ok?) Spring Shopping Mall that has made it worthy to blog about and had been appearing in many Kuching blogs since its opening dated months back. Now, it is my turn to check it out.

The SPRING

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I believe most people who have been to the Spring must have made a comparison with the super-sized and more "modern" shopping malls scattered all over the giant city Kuala Lumpur. I guess it just cant be helped since the shopping malls at Kuala Lumpur have somehow become a sort of benchmark to look up upon, in terms of categorizing any newly open shopping malls elsewhere outside KL.

I know I have not been to Singapore yet, but I already am daring to bet that their shopping malls can PWN KL shopping malls big time.

Alright, back to the Spring.

To be honest, the Spring is the only place that actually look like a shopping mall in Kuching now. Seriously, the other places used to be pretty decent once upon a time, when the spaces were not eaten up by tiny stalls being set up at every single virtual corner and walkway there was everywhere within those malls !! Obviously, one important aspect I love about a good shopping mall would be space, lots and lots of open spaces. Most of the other places are just too cramped up and the congestion just made me feel like a tuna sandwich which I just had for lunch. Ok sorry for the bad analogy but I am really really hungry now. Excuse me.

INSIDE

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THE FOOD PLACE

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A lot of people have complained that the prices of the items on the racks in Spring are somewhat ridiculous and extremely high for Kuching standard. Right, there we go again, "Kuching standard". I know the manufacturers and the big-companies have been having tough times marketing their new products to Kuching, why? All because of the Kuching local regulations and "standard pricing" which should not be exceeded, otherwise, none would even take a second look at those new products.

No wonder Starbucks came into Kuching so freaking late.

I also am aware of the fact that the earning potential and power in Kuching is generally lower in comparison to the bigger cities like KL and such, but that does not justify the fact that almost everyone here is downright freakily unwilling to spend that extra 10 cents on a product if they found out that another similar product is being sold 10 cents cheaper 15Km drive away. My point is, being prudent and wise in spending money does not necessary mean, not purchasing, or trying out something new, or slightly pricier. This mentality that has been holding the Kuching citizens back, are to be blamed for not having any similar shopping malls built locally like those in KL or Singapore.

And you know what the worst part is? The locals still dare to complain that Kuching is oh very BORING and NOT HAPPENING for not having all those shopping malls, and when the shopping malls are actually here, they are not willing to spend their oh-so-hard-earned-money. Seriously guys, WTFFFFFFF?

NATURAL LIGHT

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Therefore, I believe the development of the Spring was quite a bold move.

It is about time, Kuching people shift their perspective, and start embracing the shopping mall culture that they should have done so a decade ago.


Nevertheless, I think the Spring still lacks a handful of qualities that would make a shopping mall, a great shopping mall. Perhaps I should hold on to my negative comments for now, since the place is still considered rather new and fresh, and almost half of the retailers are still not opened at this moment. Lets just hope things would brighten up, and move along the positive expectations, once the Spring has become fully functional as a shopping mall.

I particularly love anything, or any place that has plenty of natural lighting. Sunlight has got to be the best source of lighting, if careful planning and design were administered into the interior architecture of the building.


For now, I am just glad that, there is Starbucks, not too far from my house.

Why?

CAFE LATTE And MY LAPPIE

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Simply ROBIN @ STARBUCKS

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Because I can come here and leech off connect to the broadband Wi-Fi and update my blog for you beautiful people out there. Otherwise, writing up an entry for this blog using a dial-up at home would be rather painful.

A cup of Caffe Latte anyone?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kuching, I Love Thee


It is really wonderful to be back here again.

It is great because of...

TOMATO FRIED NOODLES

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and and and...

SARAWAK LAKSA

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Trust me that bowl of laksa was the first of many, many more to come....

I am so loving Kuching right now. The fact that I will leave soon again pains my heart.

I believe those two particular dishes can never be found at other places than Sarawak, even if you do come across other versions, they all suck real bad.

So yeah... Home sweet home.