Catching a break. . .

Friday, May 31, 2013

After so so long, finally I had a very good one week break. And this time round, I really enjoyed my one week vacation. Though I never went any far away places, but the agenda of my vacation was really interesting, and it was really with some amazing people. So let's begin:

For a short 4-day 3-night getaway, I went to Chiang Mai, Thaland, with Jia Pin and another friend, Yong Jun. The trip was planned about a year ago. In fact, the story of what sparked this trip was quite funny, but it's not a story for now. Haha. Let's leave it for another day. So we went to Chiang Mai, and it has been very long since I left the country for vacation(Singapore doesn't count, I work there). Being in my position, it's really difficult to go on a out of the country vacation. But anyway, I guess this trip counts? In fact, I really enjoyed this trip because of how some of the photos turned out. My friends who know me will know that I have interest in landscape/scenery photography, and travelling around gives me good opportunities to shoot what I like. And, from the few photos that I'm very satisfied with, I'm quite happy with this trip =)
However, aside from static landscape shots, I hope to learn to shoot pictures with humans in it. I realised that I am very bad at composing shots when people are moving around. I never got any good candid shots from all the night markets that we went. We reached Chiang Mai on a Saturday, and when we checked into the hotel(this photo is of the hotel's swimming pool by the way), the receptionist told us that there will be a Saturday night market near the hotel we're staying in. And on the next day, after coming back from our one-day tour to a few places outside of Chiang Mai, our tour guide told us that there would be a Sunday night market in another area that is near our hotel again. To top it off, there is another night market out in the city area that is held everyday there. So I guess that got our night activities covered.
During the days, we went for tours, one of it being the obligatory elephant tours. There, we learned about elephants, ride on them, watch them perform, and of course, get smacked by the reality that an elephant can paint better than me. The elephant ride was fun! Though the elephants tend to be quite show-offs and enjoy walking very near to cliffs or edges of the road. I'm glad that I made it out in one piece.
Aside from that, we visited some temples during the day, and at this particular temple, I took my favourite shot of the trip! This temple was in fact near our hotel, and we found it while visiting all the temples that were nearby our hotel on the first day, since we arrived in the evening and there weren't anything much we can do. When I was taking this shot, I was merely testing and playing around with the angle, until I realised that the sun was setting, hence I decided to try to get a shot like this. Turned out much better than expected. Trying out win! =)
This is also another of my favourite  photos from the trip. This picture is of the waterfall on top of the highest peak in Thailand, at Doi Ithannon. As I prefer outdoor activities over shopping and walking around the city, we decided to visit Doi Ithannon instead of the popular suggestion Chiang Rai. And we had a lot of fun here. Mainly because we went without a tour guide telling us what to do, hence we ended up climbing around the waterfall, taking photos and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Though I have to admit, holding a camera at such a place is quite dangerous, and it kinda restrict me from having fun with the ice cold water.

Anyway, the Chiang Mai trip was half the reason why this one week vacation was amazing. I would say that my trip back to Ipoh was fantastic as well. Met up with many old friends, had a lot of fun, and one of the friends I met particularly actually made my trip back more aMAYzing(pun intended). However, I do feel very very very very guilty about a small accident. Hence, to a certain Miss Tan, if you're reading this, a thousand apologies!!

Last but not least, my vacation ended with 3 visitors to Ipoh. Two of them from KL, and one of them from Singapore. Alison and her two colleagues came down, and since I was in town, I thought I'd hang out with them, bring them around in their Ipoh foodhunt. As Malaysians, the three of us are very proud and happy that our Singaporean guest enjoyed Malaysian food very much. The only one thing we're not so proud of, is when we talked about the state of Malaysia(politics and stuffs).

And hopefully, I'll have more things to write about to keep this blog as alive(or as less dead) as possible.

The Greatest Power. . .

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Like the title says, what do you think is the greatest power in the world? If you think this whole post is about cheesy stuffs like "the power of love", please, go sit at that corner there and cry yourself to sleep. Cause I'm not talking about that. Started off my day with a little discussion of "the value of money" with a friend over a Facebook photo. The photo reads, "Don't educate your children to be rich, educate them to be happy. So that when they grow up, they'll know the value of things, not the price".

What'd you think? For me, I completely disagree with the saying. In fact, I think if you want your kids to know the value of things, educate them to be rich! Only when they realized that money are hard to come by, they'll see the true value of things. Personally, I believe that everything has a price tag on it. Everything. Everything we have in this world can be translated to some monetary value, and that's the price tag on it. So probably whoever's reading this will think that I would vouch for "money" to be the greatest power in the world? Well, honestly, I thought so too, not until a few minutes ago. I sat and thought, and I realized something.

The greatest power in the world is knowledge, not money. I'm not talking about academic knowledge, I'm talking about the fact that you know or you don't. Humans are afraid of things that they don't know about. Humans fear uncertainties, and unpredictabilities of things around us creates qualms and worries. The whole idea of health/life insurance feeds on this fact. You're not afraid of the dark, you're just afraid of what you can't see. You're not afraid of being poor, you're just scared because you don't know how to live without money. Knowledge, or the lack thereof, is the greatest power in the world. It drives you crazy for not being able to know. There's not one person who is not curious about anything at all in the world. The urge of needing to know, drives research and discoveries, but at the same time, kills. The saying "ignorance is bliss" is a fiction. It is because you that you KNOW that you choose to ignore, which means that you're just afraid of knowing.

Knowledge rules over all emotions known to men. The lack of it causes insecurities and fear, while the presence of knowledge drives greed and desires. It is truly, the most terrifying power in the world. Last but not least, this whole post, was written because of my own lack of knowledge. Because of the things I don't know, I feel insecure, I'm scared, and I finally realized the power of knowledge.

Ticking Time Bomb. . .

Monday, January 7, 2013

So Jia Pin told me the other day, "Bro, your blog is dead, the last post is in October 2012!" I was like, wow, now that you remind me, that's true! Nonetheless, I have not been in the writing mood since that time, until today! I took the bus to work in the morning today, and it was very quiet. Probably because it was off peak hour, and there are not many people boarding the same bus. You see, quiet is bad, quiet makes me think, not to say that thoughts are bad, but yours truly here sometimes think too much.

Well anyway, the die is cast, and those thoughts that ran through my head on my way to work, already happened. So here it is. A few paragraphs of writing to myself(and to whoever who's still reading this), hopefully I'll be better.

You see, it's 2013 now. Of course, what's fascinating is not the fact that it's the new year, everybody knows that. Even people who don't own any form of calendars will know that it's a new year from all the fireworks and celebrations going around. As usual, it's a weird culture we live in that we're celebrating the transition of time. Time, as I've mentioned to me, is continuous, not discrete. It doesn't make sense that we're celebrating one particular instant of time. It's weird that new year is the only time of the year that we're making resolutions, so what, does it mean that by the second half of the year we get to slack off the remaining time of the years and wait till it's the new year before we start making resolutions again? Peculiar culture indeed. I don't share the sentiments of having to make a big hype of new years, but at the same time, with all the extravagance going around, it kinda slaps me in the face and make me think, so let me arrange my thoughts properly.

The last event I attended in the year 2012 was a blast. My buddy in Ipoh, Ros Nea, got married. Here's a picture:

Of course, we're invited to be his gang of "brothers" in the whole "kidnap the bride from her house" ceremony during the wedding day. Chinese traditions. I don't think I'll talk much about the details of the weddings, and photos can be found on Facebook. Not gonna share here.

Ros Nea's wedding was a great reunion to us all, and it also made me realized something. Time and time again, I have been telling my friends that I'm actually feeling more homey in Singapore now than in Ipoh. I'm not saying that it's a good/bad thing, it is what it is, that's all. Even though I do have my parents in Ipoh, life there without a career or social life is mundane. Home to me is a place where you turn to after a tough day at work, the place you start everyday before going off to work. By that definition, Ipoh is more like a boring vacation place to me now. I go back to Ipoh without much to do, especially when my friends are not around. I spent most of the day holed up at home doing nothing, and the internet is pathetic. I can't get anything done in Ipoh, at the same time, it's not like there's anything fun to do when I'm back in town alone. It's, empty. Sure my parents are there, but they're working, and I get to see them at night only. Which is why to me, Ipoh feels less homey compared to Singapore now. However, during Ros Nea's wedding, when all my friends are back, and we've got so much to do for the wedding, Ipoh feels like an entirely different town to me.
When everyone is back in town, this place is the best home. For the 2 days of Ros Nea's wedding, there were so many things to look forward to, so many plans to be fulfilled, so much to do with the best company that I've ever known. So here you have, in this picture, according to Jia Pin, from left to right, is The Hulk, Thor, Ironman, Captain America and Hawkeye. There's an inside joke to each and every one of them XD

Now, back to 2013. The year started of quite well, I'd say? During Ros Nea's wedding I get to meet some new friends, new people and new interesting possibilities. But again, it's an alarm clock to me. I'm living in a ticking time bomb of decision. With all the new possibilities, come all the new challenges and trials, which calls for decisions. I have 1.5 years left to decide, and even if I do decide, will I succeed? If I don't, where will it lead me to, and if I do, will it come with some precious sacrifices? So much uncertainties, so many possibilities, so much risk and so many conditions. What will be of my 2013? Time will tell, based on the things I do, but I don't know what I should do. I guess I'm starting off the year feeling a bit lost, hopefully it'll get better.