UK Trip Day 1 – My Aunt’s Garden and Sutton Town

Can’t believe I’m more able to blog when I am so far away from home compared to when I am back home. *Stares guiltily at photos from months ago*

So anyway, this was just two days ago! My first day and first time in the UK!

Even though it’s the end of summer, it’s like Genting Highlands! I almost needed to wear gloves yesterday and there were locals tanning themselves in their bikini in the parks. @.@


Obligatory ‘On Vacation’ photo.


Probably closest I can get to a Double Decker bus now, says my Uncle.


Looks like Cameron Highlands right? And my aunt and uncle kept pffting us saying that it is nice and breeze what are we talking about.


My Uncle Terry has been playing cook (as I type this, he is preparing sandwiches for us on our day out! I help to wash the dishes one okay, so I am not that useless.) and creating dishes I’ve never even heard of! This was some cheese, tomatoes and puffy pastry dish.


Plenty of tomatoes were sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter.


Like in my childhood picture books when they depict some grandma’s kitchen.


We had salad for lunch! I particularly like what we had for dinner. It was just chopped up lettuce, boiled lightly in half a pot of water and with a dash of salt. Fuss free and so yummy!!


That’s after we popped it in the oven.


Lunch is served!


Wrinkly tomatoes are the bomb!


Uncle Terry on his pretty balcony! I was just plucking tomatoes off those hanging plants you see in the pic to munch on. Damn niceee.


L-r: Aunt Judy, Mum, Myself and Popo.


I didn’t even have to wander far off from our place to take in the sights. The garden was already quite spectacular.

Roses were a must.


Outside my aunt and uncle’s place.


Some berries.. I think these were poisonous.


Daisies just rise up from the ground like weed!


I think these are lavenders.


More beautiful daisies! I could kneel on the ground and snap away and didn’t even pick up any grass stains!


Poppies! But no morphine in this one.


We thought it was made of plastic.


Buttercups in the wild!


yea we have this back home too.


I don’t know what these are! But it is nice!


Someone’s backyard.


The door way into the apartment block.


Uncle Terry was tossing an apple in the air.


Half way tossing. Hehe.


APPLE TREE!!!


Too amazing. Apples were strewn all  over the floor!


Aren’t the shrubs cute?


You could just pluck things off from any random bush and munch.


Though admitedly I would need my uncle/aunt to tell me which is poisonous or not.


Rotten apples were littered all over the floor under this apple tree.


So desperate housewives!


Across between a prune and a grape.


Uncle Terry took some back to make salad.


eeww.


And on the flip side of that rotten apple.


Some sort of cherries which went up, up, up.


Under another apple tree nearby.


Somehow this picture reminds me of Halloween.


Brickwalls!


Hollies for Christmas!


White and yellow daisies! It doesn’t get prettier than this!


Found my uncle’s pipe. Never seen one before!


Aunt brought us down to town which was just a bit of a walk away.


Ahh, I’ve yet to go on that.


Just around the corner.


Don’t you love how quaint their signboards are?


No cars are allowed there!


It was quite busy though for a supposedly sleepy town.


And at every corner, the buildings were like this!


Took this photo for Chee Kiang. Hahaha.


I don’t know how they find their things. It’s so packed!


That’s my aunt walking along.


Oooh! Damn iconic!


This was a toy shop, something like the one the Weasley twins have!


Saw some balloons outside of the phone shop I got my sim card from. Had a good mind to steal them. I love helium balloons!


Nice right?


So organized!


They brought us to proper pub and I had diet coke. -__-


Dad had a diet coke as well.


We sat out in the ‘sun’ but it was freezing.


Oh look! A real pint!


Still can’t get over the flowers there!


More apples on an apple tree!


A big rose!


Some graffiti along the way done for a church by some volunteers.


Squirrels just running wild like that.


Aunt brought us to take a short cut through a graveyard. The graveyard is not even scary at all.


A really old tombstone.


With the local church!


Just to get the blue skies in!


There’ll be more of this!

IMG_6878 copy by you.
Like the Harry Potter’s wand shop! Williwander was it?

IMG_6879 copy by you.

I love how they incorporate the flowers into their decor!

IMG_6881 copy by you.
Pity I couldn’t go close to the graffiti to see if it was just a big piece of sticker or perhaps it was actually actual paint!
IMG_6882 copy by you.
Ah something for the people back in Kedah. πŸ™‚

IMG_6883 copy by you.
Trees towered over us everywhere..:)

I’m heading out now to go see castles! Ta!

My Feeble Attempt At Live Blogging From Dubai Airport

When god gives you wireless internet access, you make a blog post out of it.

So hello from Dubai airport! My family and I seem to be the only chinese people around. I thought Asians were common!


My brother gave me an apple sticker to put on my beat up old dell inspiron. Baby steps to a true blue white macbook!

A little bit of jakun reporting to be done:

I was bubbling with excitement as I sat on the train from within KLIA to a far off gate and even more excited when I finally got onto the Emirates plane. The last time I sat on a proper aeroplane was to Vietnam in 2005 and perhaps back then there wasn’t even a sophisticated in-flight entertainment system yet.

There were so many movies and tv shows to choose from on board that I didn’t even know where to begin! Ended up watching reruns of Friends and laughing out loud. Thankfully the whirring of the plane drowned most of my laughing out.

For such a huge brand, Emirates does indeed have a very classy plane and their staff is made up of a huge variety of races! No duplicates! But the staff are quite aloof and they don’t come to you when you call them. At one point, I was sweating as it was quite hot.

And then there’s this breath taking ceiling along the aisle.

It’s so freaking gorgeous! When the normal cabin lights are turned on, it’s just an unassuming ceiling, very normal aeroplane ceiling kind of ..uh, ceiling. You can’t even see the tiny holes where the lights emit from but when the lights go dim… I was in Jolene heaven. Where glitter is a necessity of life.

My future house will have such a ceiling!

Oh, and the name of the network in Dubai is damn cute:


Du. Maybe Du as in ringing tone kind of Du Du.. Du Du..

If you’re thinking about Angel, she’s putting up at a dog hostel. Got aircon one man, don’t play the half.

Another 7 hours of butt-aching plane ride to LONDON!

Perhaps I shall watch some of the Disney classics available on the plane. I was half way through The Rescuers Down Under when I reached Dubai, a cartoon that I loved so much as a kid!

NUS Rag Day 09/10

August usually means Singapore for me and when I am down there this time of the year, I usually get to catch the very colourful NUS Rag Day celebrations. I am continuously in awe of how amazing all these floats turn out to be! The dances, the costumes and the minute details on their floats, simply brilliant.

The NUS Rag Day should be a freaking tourist attraction!

Sadly, this would be my last time witnessing the grand parade. Chee Kiang is now in his fourth year of pharmacy at NUS and will be graduating next year, just two months earlier than me. It is through him that I get snippets of how fun it is to live in Sheares Hall, all those games and strange posters everywhere and drinking sessions up on the balcony, looking out into the harbour… good times. πŸ™‚ So fun right.


At least this time I get to have him with me! Unlike my first Rag Day back in 2007 when he was still a gung ho junior who was totally consumed with Rag duties.


I think this was the Medicine faculty! Heard some comments going around about how Medicine is much better this year. It’s usually the halls who will really wow the crowds and faculties usually come up with so-so floats due to lack of manpower. Plenty of juniors to enslave from hall.


The theme was corpse bride hence the coffins.


It’s kind of hot to see medicine boys dance. Like it’s brains and sexy moves… mmm. *licks lips* And white make-up does it for me.


Medicine girls were pretty good too!


Then some green goblins came in. I started to lose the plot at this point.


But just like every other rag performance, the acrobatics is something to watch out for.


I wonder how long they took to paint their entire body! Another very fun aspect of Rag is the entire get-up of the performers. They come in all colours and designs!


They even spin each other.


Oops chao kong.


The end! (of Medicine’s performance).


Check out the guy on the far left. DAMN RIPPLED RIGHT! 0_0 Some more so much of testerone like that, raging manliness and all.


Hmm.. for a bunch of engineers, they could have done far better than all the other students there. Like do something to make us talk about for years! Most of the other floats had one mechanical contraption or another going on. The theme was Saturday Night Fever, with songs from Grease, High School Musical, Hairspray and I think Enchanted. It reminds me of boxes my standard 3 teacher asked me to bring to school and wrap with coloured paper to make a ‘city’.


More effort could have been placed in the guys’ costumes. I mean I know it is Saturday Night Fever and all that, but if I was the designer, I’d be all disco balls and sparklier pants! Love the colour combo though. The idea is there! Hahhaa.. don’t mind me, I’m not trying to sound like some Rag expert, but I’m just giving my two cents.


The girls’ costumes were alright.


Notice the heart on the cupid’s chest? I like it coz it looks like a wound or a sunburn.


I can’t remember now but from the pictures, their dance moves seem pretty synchronized. So props for that! πŸ˜€

Hahaha.. this is so typical of dental students. Anytime we are allowed to get our hands on some paint and craft stuff, we start infusing dental elements into every piece of artwork.


The faculty of dentistry chose a pirate theme. So did the Law school. And a few other halls were doing something along the same lines. Plenty of the floats had something to with the sea, above and below.


Possibly a future colleague.


My favourite bit was the jellyfish! So pretty right?


For a small school, I thought their effort was pretty good. Maybe it’s dental student biasness, but it’s pretty good effort for a team of less than 50 people. At least that’s what they mentioned in their introduction. IMHO like quite bitter about their manpower like that. πŸ˜›


HAHAHHAA Starfish could possibly be my colleague too. Hello Starfish!

Chee Kiang was keeping track of all the Nemos on that day and Eusoff had the best Nemo, apparently.

Turtles! And the funniest creature present has GOT to be that crab at the back. LOL. It’s two people in a costume and their heads are the eyes. DAMN CUTE LAH. Go Dentistry!! Woohoo!


One of the great things about having an underwater theme as I had observed that day is the freedom to just go mad with colours on your face. All the performers were wonderfully made-up with colours and glitters. So up my alley!


LOL Another very typical dental student trait. -_-


Okay lah, so so for costumes. Good effort, better than Engine at least. But when you see Eusoff’ Halls costumes, you’ll be like “Wtf, those people should be doing it for a living.” I think they won best float.


Yay for dentistry! See the little tooth on the flag behind.


I think they were the ones who used the most fire extinguisher for their float.


Team spirit is very much a part of Rag Day. Deafening cheers can be heard from all corners of the venue.


They had plans for those balloons!


What an adorable play of words! Sea Beh as in sibeh sian. There was another cardboard boat with the phrase, “Sea Mee” You decipher that yourself. I’m not too familiar with Hokkien.

I noticed one thing too though. Some of the cheers were in Hokkien… I thought that would sort of ostracize non-Hokkien speakers and also non-Singaporeans. Malays and Indians included as well.


Ladders are carried around for the cheer leaders to do their thang. You can see them going all out super semangat one. Very entertaining.


This year, the NUS Flag Day manage to generate over SGD400,000+++ and the funds were distributed to various organizations. To show their thanks, the recipients sent reps over to showcase a few heartwarming performances.


I thought these kids did a pretty good rendition of “Good Morning Baltimore” which they changed to “I Love You Singapore.”


Kena cheated .. but very good drum-syncing going on there.


Okay, okay! Halls’ floats starting! *excited*


This was Temasek Hall’s performance. It had something to do with a scientist going back in time and meeting some ancient civilization. It was a performance to look out for because I was told that year in, year out, Temasek is known for their skimpy costumes, delighting boys all over the campus.


The cauldron is damn cute. There’s someone inside there, who was holding on to a string, which was attached to an orange cloth, that was placed on the ‘logs’. So when he tugs the string a few times, the orange cloth dances like a flickering flame.


See the details on the time machine!


Strange dance moves from the scientists.


What a happy scientist!


And then he went back in time. I also lost the plot somewhere here.


Nevermind, just look at the girls dance.


Chee Kiang and I were barely grasping the storyline at this point. Were they trying to eat the scientist?

These girls can still have a big smile on their faces as their falling down. I’ll have a super worried look on if it was me.


This part looks quite organized!

Prepare for some crazy shit from King Edward VII Hall! Look at the friggin’ whale la!
This side prop was spinning on its axis!


Would you look at the colours on that whale? I was told that most of it is made from corrugated cardboard. Amazing. Simply amazing..


Look at the colours and the details?!?!


And the tail freaking moves okay??!!?!?! Perhaps one of the best floats I’ve ever seen. But back in 2007 there was a Buddhism inspired float, with a gold Buddha with movable hands.


Fishes dancing. They made the costumes themselves too! Purple leggings, green leggings.. i love the colours so much.


And the body paint is awesome too.


The girl in the middle looks like Linda Chung, don’t you think?


*foams from mouth* This was the best dance number on that day. Hands down.

The colour combo is top notch, the bandana is a clever touch and the vest, gosh. I really can’t get over the make-up. It’s too good already. Disney can hire them to be kelefehs for the next installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.


Check them out up close!


I overheard some boy near me saying that the main dancer is the dancing king of KE7 Hall.


And as if their float is not great enough, the flaps on the whale lift up to reveal cannons that actually shoot out. It’s just the effect cleverly positioned fire extinguishers but still damn awesome la!


The only thing that I didn’t like from this float was the mermaid’s costume. What’s with those shells just plastered on the boobs? You guys were already astounding! Just go all the way and alter some bikinis and really make it shell bikinis! The Sticker Monster doesn’t approve of Shell Boob Stickers!


Body paint don’t survive sweaty armpits. Still very cool though!


I nearly choked on my drink when I Saw the skeletons dancing on top of the whale. It can actually support their weight.


The captain damn strong.


Beautiful colours. I love love love the skeleton’s blue vest so much.


Sheares Hall!! For them, their performers pretty much more than made up for the deficiency of their float and props. The clowns were a beautiful touch to the ensemble! Chee Kiang, or was it Jon or Karthik who told me that Sheares is known for their cute cute costumes. Love the big bow!


What a happy clown!


The theme was something about Thomas Edison and a theme park. Everything was light bulb themed. There was a lot of potential with the ideas they had and the obvious talents. Only problem would be the scale of one prop to another. The ferris wheel was just as tall as the carousel! The moving carousel saved the entire float. Later that night, Chee Kiang and I saw some girls giggling while sitting on the horses and having a good time camwhoring. πŸ™‚


Hahaha the guy in green is too adorable.


Something from Thomas Edison’s era. The costumes are simply gorgeous! Props to the costume designer! Not easy to source such outfits or even make them!


Nice, I like. Got the right attitude going on there!


See the mini Ferris wheel or not?


Sheares Hall had the best acrobatic performances!


Like damn light like that.


And then the people of Sheares released their helium balloons.


Raffles Hall! There was some technical glitch as they began. Pity, it was a really nice upbeat they were dancing to. The nice organizers allowed them to have another go. I totally blurred from the beginning. I didn’t get the float at all but all I know is that the costumes are classy and eccentric. Sexy, in fact.


Another Angel. *blur*


I think the Angel was a leader, he was briefing them after the technical glitch.


Oozing maximum gaya!


Even the Angel is cooler than the first Angel. This one is more ‘fallen angel’ type. Oh wait, the other one was a cupid. Different, different.


CONFUSED!


This is really nice. If only I knew what was going on. Or maybe I forgot and didn’t hear the emcee give the introduction. But those are some mad skills there.


More balloons. Would be nice if they had more!


These are a few of my favourite things~~~!


Just admire the body paint okay!


More costumes for your visual pleasure.


Kent Ridge Hall’s residences bringing out their super elaborate float! A tea party!

Honestly, I can’t remember which float belongs to which float so I had to google the halls’ names and check out the photos. I came across this blog about a couple bringing their kids to watch the parade. The couple stayed at Kent Ridge when they were studying at NUS. In a way it’s quite heart warming. πŸ™‚ I wish Chee Kiang and I can do that too one day. πŸ™‚


I kind of regret not going nearer to check out the floats. Looking at it from a distance is probably not good enough.


Ants carrying sugar! Damn cute right. πŸ™‚


I love the silver body paint too. It makes them look like real performers.


Wonder what were the backsides made of? A pillow?


Pixies? Lost the plot again.


Posing pixies!


I simply adore the Hansel and Gretel-esque costumes! And the make up is damn cute lah. Very doll like!


More of the cute costumes!


It’s like they have rubber backs or something.


All the colours just go so well together!


Can you see the cup in the background? The blue cloth is ‘water’ and it actually ‘flows’ from cup to cup. The same cloth gets pulled from cup to cup!


Candy!! Damn cute.


When they took this out I was enthralled by the blueness of it all but mostly it’s from the glitter particles on the blue cloth. Can you see it?


This is the magnificient Eusoff Hall’s float. Instead of corrugated cardboard, they used some kind of sponge to create the float.


So the blue cloth is used to simulate waves.


A bunch of scuba divers opened their performance. I thought this was different! I mean most of them are in elaborate costumes and these are just..scuba divers.


And they were super funny at that!


Their expressions are so cute! I didn’t know Scuba divers can be sexy! My next costume for Chee Kiang to wear!


Check out the ‘fishes’. Instead of copying exactly the anatomy of a fish, the extremely talented costume designer took elements from various fishes and made the outfit. I don’t know if they actually made it or rented it, but this is some mind blowing costume they got there.


Caught fishes?


Jelly fish and Swordfish!


The octopus is damn cute! The big fish and octopus are made from sponge and cardboard which is why it was quite light.


They even thought of this. They totally deserved the winner’s title.


A school of swordfishes.


Seahorses i think?


I just love the colours in this one!


You see the yellow fins? Those were made from straighened out clothes hanger. And they moooove.


Pretty waves!


Sort of reminds me of a chinese dance though. But another very beautiful and elaborate costume.


I think the yellow sea horse in the middle is super cute. Look at the way she smiles!


Happy jelly fish / mermaid?


Happy winners!


The view from the bus stop. We didn’t want to stay on after the halls finished performing.


πŸ™‚

My Friend Met Michael Jackson in 1996, Here, In MALAYSIA.

I just had to share this as the conversation I had tonight is quickly fleeting away!

I was at SS15 tonight with some friends and one of my friends was like, “Eh, saw your blog that day. Wahhhh what a long post on Michael Jackson!”

I was all, “YES! OMG He is so hot so hot so hot so hot. In the 90s lah.”

And he goes and drop the mother of all bombshell, “Did you  know I met him before?”

I slammed both hands on the table, “WHAT?!? START TALKING!”

Here was a boy who grew up and lived in Subang Jaya, just like me. Attended the same primary school as me and secondary school as me and he had a once in a lifetime opportunity of meeting Michael Jackson.

It was a morning in 1996 and his mother was running late. The time was 7.15am and school was starting at 7.30am. The 10 year old Jonathan (okay lah, I think it’s okay to say his name… and it’s Jon Ooi for those who are wondering.) was fretting as he would be late for school. The 9 year old Jolene was probably doing some rounds as a prefect at that time in that very same primary school, all early and stuff. Anyway, back to Jon.

His mother then said, “Okay, no need to go to school already. We’re meeting Michael Jackson today.”

His eyes widened to dinner plates size.

This happened because he had an aunt who was a diehard Michael Jackson fan. She had some connections who knew that Michael was having a “Meet the Children” session at Hard Rock Cafe KL.  He only wanted children so for any adult fan to come see him, their only ticket to this golden opportunity was a child. It’s so amusing to think of my friend as the sacrificial kid! That’s so typical of Michael Jackson right. πŸ™‚ As much as I want to be his Lisa Marie Presley, and I’d even settle for a Debbie Rowe kind of post, it’s okay to have a giggle at Michael jackson’s fascination with children.

Michael Jackson was in Malaysia at that time as part of his History tour. It was quite a hoo-hah. Even a kid like me who didn’t read the papers and only saw a few bits of advertisement on tv knew that the king was coming!

So apparently, he, his brother, his baby sister, mum and aunt were there at Hard Rock Cafe. About 30 over children were allowed to roam around the venue but the parents were confined to the bar. I’ve never been inside so I don’t really know what’s the layout but apparently the bar is kind of restricting.

All Michael wanted was to come and make friends with the children and play some games. Parents were not part of the plan but they had to be there to watch over their children.

When Michael Jackson finally entered the venue, all the children swarmed around him. Most of them were on a mission, like Jon, who was made to get Michael’s autograph on a Michael Jackson picture book. He was promised RM100 for each autograph and after getting the first one, he went back to his aunt who scolded him and said, “GET SOME MORE ! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!” LOL i’d probably do the same. I’ll definitely drag my nephew if I had one who can already talk. *waits impatiently for Ethan to grow up*

Jon said Michael Jackson did not say anything the whole time but enjoyed the company of the children for about 15 minutes. Apparently, the parents went ballistic. They were CRAZY. They were trying to climb over the bar to get to Michael Jackson. For the 10 year old, he had never seen adults lose control. And we all know what kind of effect Michael Jackson has on his fans right? Fainting, screaming, crying..etc. A crowd of screaming fans had already gathered outside the restaurant by then.

Michael was apparently, according to Jon, pissed off by the commotion as all he wanted was some quiet time with the children of Malaysia.

Even Jon’s mum (HI Aunty! I wonder if you’re reading this! :P) was slightly crazy but couldn’t go all the way cuckoo because she was holding on to his baby sister. The security guards wanted to take his baby sister to Michael to hold but she was crying. His aunt later chided the poor kid for the missed opportunity. LOL.

Jon’s younger brother was running around, quite oblivious to everything. He stopped in front of Michael and looked up at him. Michael reached down and ruffled his hair.

After that, his aunt continuously ruffled the brother’s hair going, “OMG MICHAEL JACKSON TOUCHED YOUR HAIR. HE TOUCHED YOUR HAIR! MICHAEL JACKSON TOUCHED YOUR HAIR!!” The ruffling continued.

I love his aunty, she’s so funny! Hahaha.

And just before they entered the venue, the aunt made sure Jon’s mum remembered to load batteries and film into their analog camera. The aunt was going trigger happy the entire time. When they wanted to develop the photos, they realized that the film was actually inserted the wrong way. -________________________________________- I’d go mad. So mad… I was actually very angry when I heard it at the dessert table just now.

I found Jon’s story so fascinating because he actually met the legend as a young boy. It’s just so amusing as you keep hearing all these accounts of children visiting Neverland and spending time with him. And Jon actually had the Malaysian version of it. How I wish I was one of the children at that little Meet The Children session. But won’t it be wrong for a 9 year old to be thinking, “Hot damn, if only I could tear off his clothes… that long white sleeve shirt and those black slacks…mmmmmmmmmmmmm”?