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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trip to Singapore - Part 2

We took a 15mins break (or so it was supposed to be) while me, YM and Mimi shifted our luggage from Nurlin’s room to ours (hers was ready first). The little groupie consisting of 3 girls + Penang and Ipoh boys + Nelson started on the supposedly planned destination: the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. At the bus stop, I remembered that everyone must be properly attired to enter the temple so Danny was sent back to the hotel to change his pants (oops~ my bad. Sorry! =p) while the rest went to 7-11 to get small change for the bus ride.

Oh! I forgot to mention, Mimi’s friend, Nicholas, joined us. Due to time constraint, we decided to scrap our original plans (so much for printing maps and routes) and headed to where Mimi needed to buy her stuff. Singaporeans were so used to using this ‘similar to TouchN’Go card’ called the EZLink card that the bus driver wasn’t so sure how much we were suppose to pay for our trip to the MRT. Lol So I just chucked in a dollar. xD

Tourists as we are, we got off a bus station earlier than the one we were suppose to get off. xD We walked the rest of the way to the MRT and luckily it wasn’t too far. @@ (Oh!! I saw real peaches sold at the shops along the road. ^^) From Aljunied, we took a train to Paya Lebar where we interchanged and carried on to Promenade...or was it Esplanade?? @@ I think it was Esplanade since I think I remember seeing City Hall later during our walks (this is just a small hint on how far we walked that day).

We got off the train and walked to Suntec City where Mimi wanted to shop for her stuff. I believe that was also where you could actually get tickets for the Duck Ride (waddle waddle... oh no... I need to get that out of my brain. >.< Go youtube “Duck Song” to see what I’m talking about. WARNING: It gets stuck to your head fairly easily if it doesn’t annoy you first). Mimi decided that we should split so we didn’t have to tag along with her and Nicholas to find her stuff (hm...).

Aimless, the rest of us wandered about while trying to decide on a place to go. The boys were all on up-to-you mood, so that left me and YM to decide. = = I thought we had time to go to the temple after all but thinking twice, maybe not. T.T

Since we were so near the Esplanade, we impromptu decided to go have a look since YM wanted to see the Durian structure. Singapore road signs are pretty complete. We managed to wind ourselves through the labyrinth (yes, this expression is right even for someone who is good with maps and roads) of shopping complexes and ended up inside the Esplanade without realising it.

From Suntec City, we actually walked 15minutes all the way to Esplanade but it wasn’t so bad since the whole walk was pretty air-conditioned or simply not boring with things to see all around; expensive looking shops, restaurants, garden looking places, artistic displays, etc. =D The only downside is our aching feet, even Dixon started to request for a foot massage in case we flatten his feet before the tournament the next day. xD

The walk was so long that nearing the end, we were fairly certain that we were lost. Passing a walkway empty of crowd, across a large space where youngsters were hanging around getting ready for something artsy-fartsy, a further dimmed walkway with pictorial displays next to what seems to be a carpark, it really made YM worry and started contemplating about turning back. Actually, the fact was that we were actually inside the Esplanade already. When we saw hints of sunlight on the way up an escalator, YM actually exclaimed, “Civilisation!!” xD

The display at the entrance was creepy, no matter how beautifully artistic it was. >.< It was similar to a bunch of theatre actors (the postures) confused as circus acrobats (the costume colours) with STRINGS ATTACHED. *shock* An ultimate distortion of the mind. *cough* Good reason to go out and take pictures of the building structure more than the odd display. *nod nod*

Outside, the space was very wide, useful for event functions. We could see other city buildings of Singapore, but due to the haze, it was a little fuzzy. We took pictures here and there. Hm...actually, the building looks more like a cempedak than a durian due to its longish shape. Lol Thank goodness the building doesn’t smell like either. @@

We took a “shortcut” back to the nearest mall only to notice we were so near City Hall MRT. = = WN manage to solve his EZLink card matter there I believe. There were SO many people at that MRT station. @@

Anyway, it was still too early to look for Mimi, so we turned ourselves into a food scout party. xD I thought of trying McD IF the menu was different. Unfortunately, it was the same, except for the prices. = =

We walked on and finally found MOS Burgers; a fast food joint where they sell unique burgers in Japanese themes! The majority were normal burgers with teriyaki patties, burgers with its bread replaced by rice and burgers that are wholly vegetables (it looks very green >.o)!

The other fascinating thing was that ¾ employees were elderly people. *shocked speechless* OO
*can’t resist but to take a pic* OO
So nice! ^^
But you need to listen REALLY hard to know what they are saying while asking you for your order. X.x

Most of us had one round of burgers before Mimi arrived alone. Then WN and Nelson had their second round while I shared a rice burger with Danny. Hm...the rice was actually tasteless, so they added some soy sauce to it. I preferred my original burger with teriyaki chicken. >.< Oh, our sets were packaged really nicely; they came in plastic baskets. =D Additionally, as dessert, YM, WN and Mimi each had a frozen strawberry. Was that ice or icing on it?? Oo

There were 7 of us, so we had to split ourselves to 2 tables; boys one side, girls one side. I don’t remember what we were talking about but I think we were spouting nonsense and had really good laughs before we left. ^^

We took the nearest train back. Oh!! We passed an interesting shop that sells paper art and crafting goods. So nice!! =3 But expensive. = = See see enough lor... xD Then, somewhere I remembered I saw this HUGE 7-11. *drools* +.+ YM, I think I was engrossed with 7-11s during my whole SG trip because it was actually something we have back home. >.<’

On our way back, Mimi was on camera frenzy. We had some good random shots at the MRT stations and of course, lots of cat pictures to WN’s delight. The cats were lazing near the bus station and the bus was late...so you get the idea... lol But the cats were really fat and well kept like pedigrees.....on the street!! =O

On the bus ride back, we were looking out for the hotel when we passed this ice cream shop that tempted us all. But...the buffet was already over at that hour. Too bad, Dixon. Lol

When we arrived, the referee senseis just returned from their referee seminar and dinner. That’s surprisingly late. Oo Ishii-sensei and Wong-sensei both looked so tired. Lucky for them, they had an unexpected entourage to accompany them back to the hotel, us! xD The other senseis from different countries all headed another direction. We think they went karaoke. @@ Semangat..

We returned to our respective rooms for a short rest and bath before we headed down to the lobby again for our AKT briefing/meeting. We got our participant number tags, a booklet with schedule and AKT participant details, a luggage tag as souvenir and our own souvenirs to present to our opponents. Chris told us who we were fighting (YM started freaking out by then), what was the arrangement like for the next day, so on, so forth. We mingled a bit after that and Kennie dropped by after work to join us (such a good supporter >.<). We were all quite tired out by our trip out, so we around much and retired to our rooms "early".

YM was still half freaking out while fixing her shinai next to me. But she got over it while I was trying to sleep. In fact she slept faster! @@

That night as like all other first nights on any trip was a horror. I had trouble sleeping and kept getting up to look at the time. 12AM...1AM....2AM...I’m still not asleep? Hear snores, find source, assumed it was YM... YM turned around...eh?! So soft one her snore...so that means the motor-loud one was....Mimi’s?! Two beds away! X.x Cover ears; one side with pillow, the other with jacket. I think I probably slept ‘coz I didn’t see 3AM, but I saw 4AM. 5AM...just about to get comfortable, Mimi’s awake...meaning time to get up soon....and I probably only slept 2-3hours.. *groans*

5.30AM. Good morning Singapore.

Thank goodness Mimi took a bath, the bathroom was warm though with a fogged up mirror. Lol Chris gave a morning call while I was still washing up. We wore our hakama and gis (Kendo uniform), and went down for breakfast.

There were toasts, cereals, porridge, English breakfasts, drinks, etc. The 3 of us sat at a smaller table on our own and later joined by Wong sensei. In the middle of the restaurant was occupied by a joint tables of...either Thailand or Indonesia’s team...I think...can’t recall well.

I was worried about how I’ll perform with the lack of rest I had, even Wong sensei was asking me how am I going to fight. Well...I’ll deal with it when it comes. Just need to get some rest whenever I can.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trip to Singapore - Part 1

Due to the looong-winded posts, I had to type when I actually typed out the actual bits so not to confuse on what I was feeling at the moment...at least to me. @@ Sorry for the confusion caused. xD


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Written 29/10/2010 night]

I seriously shouldn’t be typing this right now knowing that I need to get up really early in the morning tomorrow. What’s more I’d been having this floating/fainting feeling the past few days, all the more I shouldn’t be staying up late. But if I don’t start somewhere, sometime...this post will never be done and up before all my memories are lost. Well...not to say that I’ll totally lose all my brain cells. Just that....well....my memory really doesn’t serve me well (else I wouldn’t have to worry about law paper. >.<).

Just last weekend, I had a trip to Singapore to participate in the 9th ASEAN Kendo Tournament (AKT). The preparations consisted mostly of dreadfully necessary training which resulted in many bruises, light and heavy ones. Careful planning and packing the day before departure and I’m ready to go!


22 OCT 2010 FRIDAY (DAY 1)

[Written 31/10/2010 night]

The bus was supposed to leave at 6AM. But I had to get up about 4+ in the morning since we were required to gather by 5.30AM. = = So I did my last minute checks and stuff. Nelson came over to hitch a ride, and we were off to JCKL.

Almost reaching, I realised we were tailing Mr Yap’s car. xD Abul, Hakim, Boon and Ishii sensei were there already. Apparently they didn’t sleep much but Abul looked energetic enough as always. Haha As we waited for the rest to turn up, Mr Yap gave me work to do.

The bus made its entrance with its reversing alarm sounding like a car alarm that got scared by lightning. So early in the morning!! I pity the neighbours. >.< We packed our luggage into the bus and got on. Everyone was there except....Suan. None of us could get her on her handphone and some of us thought she overslept. Luckily she arrived in a nick of time and we were ready to go.

After Mr Yap told us to be good (xD) and left, we were off to Singapore. Along the trip was a variety of activities which generally included sleeping, Abul talking, Peter working, me reading, some eating, sightseeing, chatting, some singing the Duck song (waddle waddle xD), etc.

An hour away, at our first stop, we had an early breakfast. Groups split to going to washroom, cheap stall food and KFC. Lol I was being fickle whether I should eat since mom packed me lots of goodies to eat. @@ But I ate anyway. Xp

When we were done, we headed back to the bus and along the way, found Mimi entertaining with her yoyo tricks (which soon after caught KS’s bugging attention for more). The driver and conductor still at the stalls left the bus door locked except for the driver’s door! @@ Peter being Peter, climbed up to the driver’s seat (*shock!!*) and opened the passenger door with the automated alarm. (Some commented he could be part-time bus driver already and take us to S’pore. xD)

Before we reached the customs, Aimi put up videos of Japan High School Kendo Tournament matches which I took a glimpse of a few rounds. I was analysing how they fought and compared them to my fighting style. I noticed they just WHACK AJE LA! Well..sort of. xD

To be precise, there were no hesitation in cuts and they reacted very quickly. I took those into consideration to fix my weaknesses. That and a thought of wanting to end my string of losses and draws; to finally win back my matches and take something home. Well...we’ll see to that the next day. (Read on. xp)

At the customs, we did a quick stamp, back to the bus and a little on more....we’re in Singapore!! The customs there was so different; so big and nice, with so many officers checking our passports and bags. Ooooooo~~ My handphone decided to vibrate as messages flooded in notifying of the change in service provider. Wah~~~ So efficient my line. xD It was around noon already.

Sightseeing the new environment, I was kinda disappointed to see that many of the roadside decorative bushes were dying and there were some rubbish around. Maybe my expectations were too high. Then again, there was haze at Singapore. =/

It took us another half an hour or so to reach the hotel, which the bus had trouble entering and resulted in us hopping off at the housing area next to it and “climbed” our way to the lobby.

There was a huge banner indicating the hotel to be the official staying venue for the AKT participants. We littered our luggage at the lobby, making a huge mess as we registered ourselves and waited for our rooms to be ready.

We hanged around the lounge area, Mimi entertained with her yoyo again, some took pictures and oh...Chris came and briefed us a bit. Then he took us to lunch at the row of shops opposite the back of the hotel. In fact, adjoining the hotel behind was a...rather run down building that only comes to life at night with pubs and stuff. Yeah, you get the picture. >.o It even had those one-by-one escalators, so you could see us going up and down in a line like lemmings. xD

Oh!! There are many 7-11s in Singapore!! (Here starts my fascination. xD) There was one on each side of the road and it almost like a bound to be one in between each row of shops. Anyway, we went for Kahtong Laksa + Otak-otak (though I was the odd one out, ordering Nasi Lemak. Picky picky. xp). Some went next door for duck rice. After lunch was free-and-easy, do as we please. Lol

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Old stuff: Treasure or Junk?

Wow...it’s almost 2 months of abandonment. Well, I could have dragged longer since I don’t really have anything to talk about. Reason being, days have been passing by quite quickly; everyday almost a similar routine.

There’s been a bit of change though. If not to I, then it would have been my surroundings. With the passing on of a family member, responsibilities at home are shifted and taken upon. Old things are cleared and rearranged. Well, now I have a mini library. And it really keeps telling me, “YOU STILL HAVE SO MANY BOOKS LEFT UNTOUCHED AND WAITING TO BE READ!!”. >.< Ok ok...I’m getting there.

After all that work, it’s a wonder to know that...it’s probably only 10% of the house that got cleaned up. @@ Still got so much... T.T

Anyway, in the midst of clearing, I found really old things which most I had given away. However, there was one of my poems which I found quite amusing...the things I create during that life phase. I typed it out again...yeah, digitizing anything I can...most of it left as how it was originally written. I only edited certain words and added in the last few paragraphs that I added in...dunno when. ^^’

Hope you enjoy it. =)

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Battle of Fine Men and Barbarians

(Fine Men)
The day has come, for us men
To wield harm in one another’s face.
It would be a day, to know one’s fate.

Be it young, old or dame,
Be there a scratch on their frame,
I swear thou shall be shamed.

Guns shouldered, cannons loaded,
Straight are our men,
Ready to hold our beloved land.

But what do we find
Across the plain, it seems like pain
To know the men we fight, are beast alike.

Be still,
Let ye be thrilled.
Flee, leave and let hearts be free.

~~~~~

(Barbarians)
The day has come, for us men
To wield harm in one another’s face.
It would be a day, to know one’s fate.

Be it child, geezers or women,
Be there a strong form to fight,
They shall honour our kind.

Axes hovered, bows loaded,
Hasty are our kind,
And ready are we to behead some fine.

And here we find
Across the plain, it seems like shame
To know the men we fight, are tins alike.

Be still,
Let ye feel frilled.
Flee, leave and let hearts be hearts.

~~~~~

((Fine))

(Mother)
Look there, my child,
Look where thou lord stands
Ready to bring peace back to the lands.

(Child)
I see, Mother,
I see, My Lord,
As clear as any eagle above the clear blue sea.

(Elder)
Have hope children,
Would there be a wall, keep it still,
Pray and hope this would hold,
Oh how I dread these wars.

Come children,
Be safe; sight and sound,
The pieces would move soon as the drum starts to role.

~~~~~

((Barbarians))

(Mother)
Look there, my child,
Look where the rogues stand
Ready to bring store back to our lands.

(Child)
I see, Mother,
I see where the rogues stand,
And may they be swift,
For me tummy is rolling as fast as their beating drums.

(Elder)
Be strong children,
Be there a will, there is always a way,
Pray and hope our bodies would hold
As long as our fathers would draw breath.

Come now,
Be safe, even a line away,
The war is starting soon as the men gets edgy too.

~~~~~

((Battlefield))

(Fine Soldier)
Come now, come quick,
For my dearest waits behind the door
With her sweet, sweet smile.

Her lips red as the red, red roses in the garden,
As sweet as the wine down below the cellar.
Her arms white, the silk over them as soft as waves,
Her golden locks, priceless to my eyes.

Her cooking, deliciously satisfying,
Her songs, like the birds chirping by the window sill,
Her melodious voice like a harp to my ears.

What say you?

(Barbaric Rogue)
Come now, be swift,
For my wife waits behind a wall
With a hungry child.

Her lips red as the red blood spilled this very day,
As dry as the valley beyond the hill.
Her hands rough, the rags over them as tattered as my own,
Her dark hair, worth only coal.

Her cooking, exaggeratingly grainless,
Her songs, like the old owl hooting in the night,
Her hoarse voice like a drum to my ears.

Though so, she is the only one meant for me,
But hear me now, and hear me well,
If I could turn back time,
I would have traded mine for yours.

(Fine Soldier)
Barbarians,
You know not of love.
You treat your wives as slaves,
Your land as waste.

If my grandmother was here,
She would have fluently said,
“Shame on you, boy.”

(Barbaric Rogue)
Proud,
You know not of culture.
You treat your lady as deco,
Your land as toll.

If my gramps was here,
He would have chattered,
“Bless you, my boy.”

~~~~~

(Fine Captain)
What is wrong with those men?
They quarrel like women
Then fight like men.

What is this world coming to?
They speak of their wives
In the middle of a battlefield.

[added edition]
(Barbaric Leader)
Oh spare me!
My hopes, shattered,
Is there no peace from women on this land?

(Fine Captain)
Stop it, friend or foe,
This war is about to end
Under my command.

(Barbaric Leader)
Hold your tongues
Or ye wife shall be called to be mine
At this very night.

Date: 10 Aug 2004   Time 5:29pm