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Books
Books I have completed reading since January 201:

1. Angelopolis - Danielle Trussoni
2. The Magicians - Lev Grossman
me ain't pet!
Friday, February 10, 2012
On 19 November 2011...

This is also my last day in Brunei Darussalam.

My host mum knew I didn't get to eat amboyat (sago starch) during the open house on 17 November. So she made it just for me. It was pure white starch. I wad clueless when she gave me a bamboo fork for I have never seen such food! Host dad demonstrated to me and buddy. He dipped the fork into the starch and twist (like candy floss on a stick). I did the same thing and popped into my mouth.

I chewed. The sensation was new to me. As I was trying to figure out its texture, dad was already scolding me "OI! You don't chew, you swallow!". Yikes? I swallowed the next ball of starch onwards. It slid my throat smoothly. Brrrr...

Ahh.... It was an interesting experience. And I was told to finish the big bowl of starch. HAHAHA. And I did with some chili squid dish.

After finishing the ambuyat, my host parents drove us to the port. During the journey, my host parents kept on saying they do not wish us to return to the ship, and how they will keep us in Brunei. My buddy and I just looked into each other eyes with an expression that read "You must be kidding me!"

Spinoff: We reached the port safely by a few minutes late. HAHA. Host dad gave each of us a compact mirror and a cap as souvenir. His daughter gave us stationery from her company. I love them! Thank you!

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leaving without u
Friday, February 10, 2012
On 19 November 2011...

I think I was kinda pushy.

I insisted my host family that I wanted to bring on board local kuih-muih (snacks in Malay). Host mum and dad discussed for a while before agreeing to take me and my buddy to a local market that is located 40 minutes away from home. We started our journey at 6.30 am to the market.

I didn't know the market is so far from home. I will not insist if I knew this. In spite of my guilty pangs, I was glad I did request, because I would then get to see more of urban areas in Brunei.

The kuih-muih stalls are located next to the wet market. It was a standalone stall just for snacks. I hopped from one stall to another to check out their products. The food made me drool. I'm such a typical Malaysian. =)

My accomplishment for the morning elated me very much! Now I have lots of food to eat in my cabin!

Spinoff: Thank you mum and dad for paying my purchase! My team members loved the kuih-muih so did I. =)

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Yokohama Tower
Friday, February 10, 2012
On 3 November 2011 ...



The PYs were all given a map of Yokohama. I was purely ecstatic! But it didn't last long because I thought we could walk around Yokohama on our own. But ... but ... it was a guided tour. The only place we are visiting is the Yokohama Landmark Tower.

AIYA!!!

It poked my bubble of imagination.

Anyways, I thought it was cool to visit the world's former fastest elevator. Now it is ranked second after Taipei 101.

The view is nice as we can see the whole Yokohama 360 degrees. Since I view things pretty fast, I finished viewing in less than 15 minutes, and spent most of the time in the souvenir shop, contemplating if I should get something for home. I think I stood there for almost 40 minutes just to make 2 decisions: whether to buy chocolate and fridge magnet for my collector mum. I don't know when I became so indecisive.

At the mean time, one of my team members were searching for me frantically. When she saw me she just dragged me away to her destination. She kept on mumbling she needed my help to finish something. I was just simply blur and whatever she said didn't register in my mind until ...

I SAW ...

what she meant by needing me. I was brought to the cafe in the tower. The first thing that came out from my mouth was "Oh Mi God!". It was totally unbelievable.

It was the tallest drink I have ever seen in my life. And we need to finish it in less than 40 minutes. Both of my team members were grinning like a Cheshire cat while I was gulping.

Luckily, none of my other team members spotted us especially the National Leader!

Tidbits: This is the cheekiest thing I had ever done during the program. I know you won't understand what this post is about, so feel free to ask me for more details.

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Love is so troublesome.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Love is something humans often starved for despite being intangible and elusive. I have a friend who once shared that she will not give up in love regardless how many times she has failed. I think many of my friends have fell in and out of love an average of 7 times in their life until they finally found their current partner.

I don't understand why love is such a complex topic not mentioning infectious and contagious. I don't understand why there are times people have to intrude a relationship.

Recently my mum told me of a true life account of a colleague whose husband was snatched away via black magic. I ponder how could any one sought such methods in the name of love. Won't it be happier if the couple is loving each other willingly?

Sometimes it doesn't even need whatsoever magic to keep you falling for a person. You may have a list of characteristics the guy/girl needs to fulfil, but somehow you just change your mind when you met someone. And without any magic that person is nailed into your mind, which somewhat distract you from performing your daily activities. But the question here is ... is this what you called love? Or just a crush?

I have yet to ask my friend if she loves her husband now. Well, she arranged her own marriage to a guy she would never even consider of becoming friends. Why did she do it? She and her now husband did it in the name of personal development. I remember me and my friends just went gag. What a goal in life. I'm not sure if I can even do that. It's pretty funny talking to them when the husband is often blur while she has a sharp mind. I remember the first time I saw the husband in the car ... I thought what a cute couple!

What is love? How do you know you are loving that person? You know love can't make you full, but it can make you sleepless. Oh yea, it can make us thinner too.

If you look at marketing perspective, everyone is selling himself or herself as the perfect life partner. In short, we are all like products except this world is now populated with too many brands aka choices. But somehow it's kinda easy to weed out the brands that you don't want. Some brands will display some inappropriate or some characteristics that irk you, so you delete them from your list. Not that hard to downsize your list right?

Many friends of mine often wonder why I don't have a partner. Yes. Partner: a polite word for boyfriend/girlfriend. It's used to not distinguish the sexuality of one's partner. I thought it's such a neat word. I cannot imagine asking my homo friends which one of you is the guy/girl. I think I asked once jokingly, and my reply was a dagger stare from my friend and a cheeky grin from the partner.

OK. Let's resume with our market talk.

In the market, products are labelled with prices. The lower you go the more people will buy. Correct? The higher the price is the better quality is. Correct? That is what we assume la.

And yes I'm using market terms as allegory to describe the love players market here. I know some people get partner very easily. I also know my friends and even family members often ponder why my sister and I are partner-less. Friends commented that I sell myself too expensive. Their advise is reduce the price so I can be transacted. Right. They didn't tell me what kind of partner I will get should I lower down my price.

That is where my fear is found. My friends often advise me to reduce the price but they never even bother to ask why. Is the price that important? Just wondering which is more important between price and happiness. Do you think I should just simply get a boyfriend because by market terms, I'm reaching expiry date soon? I won't compromise on happiness. If I'm just too expensive, then just move on darling!

Sometimes I don't understand why people have to be judgemental when comes to a person's relationship. It's seriously none of their and even my business. Is it so hard to bless one's relationship? Well, even a villain can love a person. So why do some people have to butt in? Why can't they have faith in that person's relationship? Why didn't they realise no one wanted an unhappy ending in their relationship? So instead of judging why not assist the couples in creating more loving memories? It's ok if the relationship didn't turn out well, but in the least they learn right? So why do pre-curse their relationship?!

I also don't understand why some people would want to play with people's emotions. I'm not sure if my friends have been hurt recently or rather people say 'trap' when they have been posting some messages on facebook that goes like this:

After you said all those cute things, you just walk away as though nothing happen.

I think using emotions to hurt a person is more painful than dying in war.

My point here is ... err ... I don't remember my whole objective of writing this except love is so troublesome. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in happy ending in my own life. I actually have so many things related to this topic to get off of my chest, but sigh ... maybe next time.

For now, I just want happiness and joy for my friends.

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Breakfast at peak
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
On 18 November 2011 ...



My host father didn't join me and my buddy for hiking due to his knees condition. So we joined another host family who was hosting my SG- and DG-mate.

It's been a long time I have not hiked. I was pretty worried if I no longer had the stamina to climb. The climbs were not arduous although there were a lot of pockets of big holes due to landslide.

On the peak, I realised Brunei is still a huge green area since as far as my eye can see the area is covered in green. Later I was told that around 20% of land has only been developed.

I love the view and the fresh air. I ponder when is the next time I can inhale such clean air ...

Tidbits: I learned a lesson to always bring extra sportswear to homestay. I'm glad this lesson served me well.

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Black.Out.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
On 17 November 2011...

I was exhausted. My host took me and my buddy to dinner after visiting Pantai Kenangan. But I was glad to be able to meet up with PYs during the dinner ceremony hosted by a fellow host family. The venue was a fantastic place for it was akin to a mini palace.

The only thing occupied my mind after dinner is sleeping. So I quickly showered and dressed in my pyjama. My host mum left a hairdryer for me on the coffee table in our room. Since the hairdryer is two-pin type, I inserted the 3-pin connector I found in the room. I was relieved. I'm now a few heartbeats away from sleeping.

So I turned on the hairdryer and POP.

The whole house went BLACK. And yet I was still continuing blowing my hair until my host dad came by. I could hear my host mum mumbling something in the living room because she was watching tv!

I felt like Mr Bean in his Christmas episode where he unplugged the shopping mall's main lighting just to test his Christmas tree lights.

Spinoff: Host dad fixed the problem in a few seconds. I was later given a pen to plug in the hairdryer, because the connector is broken. I apologised profusely for the blackout. Host dad's eldest grandchild came and checked on me, and we ended up laughing.

What I didn't realise was my buddy was in the shower during the blackout!!! My bad!

I guess klutziness is my signature in leaving memories of myself in other people.

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