Saturday, November 28, 2009

Some updates

After sitting at home for 'n' days today I managed to meet up with couple of high school mates. Good times watching movie, eating together and sharing each other's stories and recalling high school life. Small surprises such as exchanging souvenirs bought from foreign countries, reading high school class magazine... like going back to the time where we were still young and innocent, even can't bear to read the message I wrote to my friend during high school! However, the sad news was that one of my classmate died of leukemia a few years ago. He wasn't my best friend, but we were in the same class for a few years, and we sat next to each other, always quarrel but sometimes we talked in peace like friends. It's just hard to accept the fact that he is gone, reminding me of how fragile life is.

I wish I can socialise more in Kuala Lumpur. One of the biggest reason I want to stay here is that there are people whom I treasure never heard about Gospel. I want them to know, I want them to enjoy the privilege of knowing God and enjoying Him forever... I don't know the easy way, and it seems that I keep failing it, but I'm sure one day He will use me.

I'm having some emotional moments now, missing my friends all over the world, mainly New Zealand, Singapore, and some in Indonesia, the Netherlands, China, USA, Australia, London, Norway, Japan... I shared about New Zealand with my friends today, realising how much I miss the life in New Zealand, especially Palmy and Te Anau. Still feeling the leftover pain of leaving NZ, even after almost 2 years now, yet I can't bear to leave here again. I'm love Asia, I feel I'm belong here.

Am looking forward to the trip to Vietnam next month, experiencing more Asia. Yes, there are inequalities, frauds, scams and corruptions everywhere in South East Asia, but there are also sincere friendships, irreplacable cultural heritage, nourishing delicacies, and... life dynamics. Things are just interesting, seeing how different people striving to survive in their own places in their own ways...
I learnt that I'm not too much different from everyone else here, there are many people same age as me likes to travel, hiking, learning to use DSLR, working holiday and having trouble looking for their ideal job. Maybe this is the generation Y, where we need fun constantly, get bored easily, impatient, independent and insecure.

At this moment I wished I'm in Singapore, hang out with my friends, eating nice soto down the street, or watching a nice jazz performance, accompanied by a good wine and some cheese... hehe
No reply from job application to Vietnam yet, so am constantly checking local job sites. Two options: 1. Freelancer, taking projects/contract work like conduct food and nutrition training and consultancy, maybe do some network marketing as part time, and actively serve the new church ministry. 2. Find a job and go back to work in Singapore. Which one is better? I don't know. Unrealistic options such as serving full time in ministry, or working for NGO, or professional nutrition company in KL are ideal, if anything will happen.

May the Lord take charge of my life and stops me from wasting my life further. May I carry the cross and live up the purpose given by Him daily. May His love sustains me and strengthens me during weak times. May He bless my friends and family especially those who yet believe in Him. Amen.

Friday, November 13, 2009


It has been a while since I last blog, therefore I hope my writing isn't too bad here. Last Thursday 5/11 I went to Bandung, Indonesia to attend a wedding. I was annoyed at first on Thursday morning, because Air Asia has re-scheduled my pre-booked flight from 9am to 8:30pm, therefore I lost a day in Bandung. Since I have known this bunch of Indonesian friends, mainly from Bandung in Singapore, I always wanted to visit their hometown. They are so proud of their food, weather, culture, factory outlets etc. It was a pleasant visit, had a lot of surprises and amazement, only not having enough time to visit more places in Bandung. Bandung airport was small, reminds me of Palmerston North International Airport, first thing I realised was the cooling yet not too cold breeze when stepped out from the aircraft, I knew I'll love the weather, and everything else. They dragged my luggage, and custom officer requested to open and search my suitcase, so I did, thank God everything went well. The crowd cramps the arrival exit, then I saw a familiar face among them, my friend and her brother came to pick me up. Another impression of Bandung is that there is lack of lighting at night, it's darker compared to KL and Singapore, yet I liked the lower light condition in which reduces light pollution/noise. Didn't have dinner before I board the plane, so we went to hypersquare food court to grab some local delicacies: Sate, Otak-otak, lumpia, pempek...

and a fresh squeeze of fruit punch. Had some trouble looking for the place I stay initially, but was overwhelmingly pleased by the beautiful spacious house which I was staying in, don't forget to mention two friendly and super helpful embak.

Second day morning, I met the grandma in the house. She was a bit shy at first but since I can speak in Mandarin we started talking in Mandarin about our lives and our countries. The older generation of Chinese Indonesian still can speak some Chinese, mainly Hokkien and Mandarin, yet due to government's effort of ridding Chinese culture in Indonesia, they were forced to changed their names to Indonesian names, speaking Indonesian, and not allowed to celebrate Chinese festivals. Therefore, to the friends at my age, I usually speak English and slowly learn to understand and speak Indo.
After my friend's dad came to pick me up, we went to the salon (as I requested cos I never cut my hair since June/July!). It was a flash salon recommended by my friend's mum. I didn't really used to the luxury but since I was there I told myself just to enjoy as much as I can! Normally I only spend minimum on haircut, usually just cut, no wash, treatment or blow dry. Yet this time they did all to me! I liked the boss's and her staff's way of doing things "seriously" or "perfectly" even took longer time, unlike the hairdressers I experienced in Malaysia had mediocre attitude. I was feeling bad letting everyone waiting for me though, I thought just a quick haircut... Even things didn't turned out as I expected, the haircut was great, I had problem communicate with the staff since I don't speak Indo, so I just totally "put my head into their hands", let them do whatever they think is nice.

Shopping was great in Bandung, I couldn't see why it can't be famous of factory outlet shopping. Almost everywhere in Bandung you can see factory outlets selling clothings, bags and accessories. I thought it's just "normal" brand like Giordano or Hang Ten sort of level, but I was surprise to see Armani, Burberry, Gucci, Guess, CK, Zara, MNG, Roxy... all sorts of fancy brands you just name it! Price of clothings ranges from about 50 000 to 200 000 rupiah (SGD5-30 roughly!) , compared to SGD50-200 in Singapore shops those were considered very cheap. Loved the patterns too, can't really get those in KL. So I spent about 1 million within couple of hours in Jalan Riau!

Another feature in Bandung is Chihampelas Walk, with plenty brand/trademark infringements along the street, it's just interesting, like Movie World! You can see Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Rambo, Tarzan, Aladdin... on the shops, nice! Too bad we didn't have enough time to really walk the street. We had Sundanese food for "lunner" just opposite Novotel. It was challenging to cross the four lanes road with constant moving cars and motorbikes, one thing we need to do is to raise our arms and stop the car from hitting ourselves. It was the first time I had tried Sundanese food, they ordered some rice with various small dishes like chicken, beef lungs, mushroom, lele (catfish) and lots of fresh leafy greens! I reckon it was the best meal I had in Bandung, eating with fingers just make everything tastes better.

Evening we had dinner at Sierra Cafe with a nice view of whole Bandung from hilltop. Nice ambience with live singers, great food mainly Western like steak but also include local food like Balinese rice set. Cool breeze, candlelight, nice music, great view, awesome crowd. :)
Saturday was the wedding day, therefore pretty much no time for sightseeing or shopping. In the morning we had choir practice for the holy matrimony ceremony and Sunday service. We had authentic Indonesian lunch at Micasa, tried Balinese chicken, tahu opor, gado gado, coconut, chendol, alpukat (avocado) dessert...

At 1pm was the lovely wedding service in a medium size church. It was a simple yet grand, God honoring yet heart warming wedding. Nice to see the bride whom I never saw since she left Singapore few months ago, then first time meeting the groom. I agreed with my friend saying that without a church wedding, without honoring God in marriage, it's like an incomplete wedding, missing out something most important...

Then we went for the reception at night, and church service on Sunday morning, my first choir performance. On Sunday I flew back with most of the friends who need to go back to work on Monday in Singapore. Went for a wonderful concert by Vienna Boys Choir in Esplanade on Sunday evening. A weekend full with musicals and parties, I will always remember those joyful moments, because they give me strength to carry on and move on in life.