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samedi, mai 31, 2008

 Oh chillis!

This post is dedicated to Ronnie, who's the only one who'll really understand and fully appreciate the title.

I was on a golf course taking photos for someone about a week ago, and while the scenery was pretty awesome (as awesome as land-scarce Singapore can get), the one thing that really tickled me pink was the stick of an onion and a chilli, stuck on the first tee-off uh, spot, or whatever the golf jargon is.

Look at it! So happy! So red! So hot! Just stuck there, looking at home and not at all incongruous beside the pot of sand (that's used, I assume, for levelling the playing field, or whatever the golf term is.)

Every single group of golfers that tee-ed off asked me about it. (I was tempted to ask - what makes you think I know? I'm just the photographer - but you know, VVIPs and decorumcakes) It's apparently some Malay superstition to ward off rain - or ensure sunshine, which makes more sense actually. There's supposed to be a garlic or small onion too, but given that the weather was searing that day, I suppose it was enough.

Hey! This could be the reason behind climate change! Too many golf courses in the world, and too much chilli stuck at each hole...

Libellés : ,

[Oh chillis!]
Sngs Alumni @ 31.5.08 { 0 comments }

jeudi, mai 29, 2008

 Stephen Fry is da man

Ten minutes of geek hilarity will ensue when you read Stephen Fry's amazing FIRST blog post, where he engages in an unparalleled fit of mobile nerdiness.

Not that I needed any more reason to love this guy. Anyone who appears in The Black Adder, V for Vendetta, then Bones gets my vote.

Libellés :

[Stephen Fry is da man]
Sngs Alumni @ 29.5.08 { 0 comments }

mercredi, mai 28, 2008

 Bookshelves and Beds

(This is the first from a number of backlogged posts. SX kicked my ass on MSN to post.)

Having friends who are architects means being somewhat informed about the structural possibility of creating your dream home. It also means occasionally having supper at 2am in the morning, which is both fattening and fun.

While waiting for Ben to finish some work, I was struck by the gorgeous bookshelf that his company had built for their reference books. Books of all shapes and sizes were in this bookshelf that spanned the wall - my ultimate dream bookcase. It was stained a darker shade than I would have preferred, but the idea was there - a wall-to-ceiling-to-wall bookshelf. I told him I wanted that for my house next time, except I wanted my bed built into the bookshelf somehow as well - yet another benefit of having architect friends: you can make all sorts of ridiculous demands on their skillz.

While waiting, I also perused a book - which was written in FOUR languages - on staircases. There were a number of things which drew me to the book: (1) I could not believe that there could possibly be a book on staircases alone, (2) the book was really thick, and (3) there were numerous post-its sticking out of the book, which was a testament to its popularity.

The book (and the hour I spent perusing it) was highly educational. So many staircases, so many materials, so little time. Metal, wood, plastic, even glass; the possibilities were endless. Given that we build up, instead of sideways in land-scarce Singapore, it helped explain and justify the crazy amount of flags there were in the book. One staircase which really raised my eyebrows (and intrigued me) was a set that were stuck into a wall, with no bannister or support.

Something that looks like this:

Pretty nifty huh? Not very safe for kids, but an argument could be made that firstly, I wouldn't be that irresponsible to let my kids access that staircase till they could walk confidently, and next, that I wouldn't want to raise kids that were dumb enough to test the stair's safety. But yes, accidents do happen. I'm just saying that it's a cool way to make stairs, that's all.

Libellés :

[Bookshelves and Beds]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.5.08 { 0 comments }

mardi, mai 13, 2008

 Ryan Adams - Desire

Two hearts fading, like a flower.
And all this waiting, for the power.
For some answer, to this fire.
Sinking slowly. The water’s higher.

With no secrets. No obsession.
This time I'm speeding with no direction.
Without a reason. What is this fire?
Burning slowly. My one and only.

You know me. You know my way in.
You just can't show me, but God I'm praying,
That you'll find me, and that you'll see me,
That you run and never tire.

Some events have made me even more introspective of late, and I'm taking a trip down music memory lane... and discovering maybe I'm just a country girl when thinking about life-changing events.

To you who's going through the worst time of it now - I love you very much, and am praying very hard. Stay safe, stay warm, and come back - all five of you. Soon.

Libellés :

[Ryan Adams - Desire]
Sngs Alumni @ 13.5.08 { 0 comments }

lundi, mai 05, 2008

 Back from the peak!

Basic Itinerary
29 Apr - Travel to Sabah, Kinabalu Town, watched Keanu in Street Kings (with bonus eye candy of Chris Evans, aka The Human Torch)
30 Apr - Hike up to Summit Camp at Laban Rata, via the Mersilau trail (8am-6pm)
1 May - Hike up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, 4095m (2am-12nn, round trip - yes, 10hrs of hiking in all), quick lunch, hike back down again (130pm-610pm - approx 5hrs)
2 May - Whitewater rafting, arrived back at 5pm, dinner and Iron Man movie (for RM6!)
3 May - Snorkeling at Manutik Island, jalan-jalan at market, dinner at open air market, flight home

I won't lie to you - the trip was hard. Climbing up was hard on my heart and lungs, and wheezing panting hard along the way up the hike was difficult for me. (I actually have a hard time going uphill on a normal day.) My overall pack was the lightest among our group - 5.6kg before water - I brought 3l in total up the climb with me - 1.5l of water, and 1.5l of 100Plus.

We started at approximately 1500m above sea level, using the less popular Mersilau route up to the summit camp. It's a much nicer walk than the other route called the Timpohon route/trail, as it's got more features (plants, trees, terrain, waterfalls). Timpohon is much shorter though. We used Timpohon on the trek down, and it looked rather boring. Step after step after step. It was better maintained though, as it is probably the more popular route.

Some of the team got sick along the way up - if you overexert yourself (i.e. go too fast), and if you don't drink enough water, you'll get Altitude Mountain Sickness (or AMS for short). Characterized by a headache, nausea, and vomiting, in extreme cases, you might have to turn around and descend if the symptoms get too bad.

We started the climb at 8am, and the first among our group reached at 4pm, a total of 8 hours of climbing. I was the slowest, and I took another 2 hours to finish, at 6pm. The summit camp was a rest house at Laban Rata. I cannot remember if this is the name of the place, or the name of the rest house, but I think it really does not matter.

The next day (1 May 08), we woke up at 130am and started our final assault on the summit at 2am in the morning. The fastest among the group made it up by 6am, while slowpoke me plodded away, and reached the place 2 hours later, at 8am. I still managed the sunrise on the mountain though! Look at how gorgeous the place looks! Completely barren after approximately 4000m, but the sunrise was so beautiful.

That's me in the summit photo below. You can probably tell by the relief on my face that I was so incredibly glad to reach the top. It took me another 4 hours to descend, which made my round summit trip a total of another 10 hours. After that, it was a rest of about an hour for lunch and packing up, and then the descent to Timpohon Gate, where our tour operator was to fetch us.

The next day was whitewater rafting day at Kiulu. We were supposed to go on the Class 3 Padas trip, but the transport train derailed, and we had to settle for the Class 2 river instead. The paddle and swim were refreshing, and to top the holiday off, we went snorkeling the next day at Manutik Island (where I burnt myself to a red red crisp.)

It was one of the most fun holidays I've ever been on, and I must say that one of the major reasons why it was one of the best was thanks to the excellent weather that God provided for all of us, and my most excellent friends along the trip. I've said this before, but never have I meant it more now: I could NOT have done it without my friends along the way.

Climbing is an extremely mental sport (I mean, besides being physically challenging), especially if you're always the last one climbing. You really have to tell yourself NOT to give up, and you have to tell yourself it's okay to be the last; that you'll still get there eventually. I DID feel like giving up, especially at the point on the summit where I realised I could see the summit, but it would still take me another 2 hours of climbing to get there. I will admit - I did cry a bit in frustration and despair, but I think that's where will solidifies, and mettle is proved. Encouragement helps though - many trekkers on their way down (!!!!!!!) said very encouraging words to me, all strangers from different places - France, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore - and it helps, it really does.

The summit picture was nice, and the satisfaction of reaching the peak was satisfying, but I think the most satisfying thing for me was knowing that I could do it - that I really DID do it. Do I feel invincible now? Not really. But this trip really challenged my mental perception of what I could do, and it's been a long time since I've been challenged that way. If you're ready to take on that sort of personal growth, I say - go tackle Mount Kinabalu. And match yourself.

Libellés :

[Back from the peak!]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.5.08 { 1 comments }

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