Saturday, 31 December 2005

End-of-year musings

1) All sorts of organisations love to print such things carrying their brand name for their staff, their clients. But how many calendars can a household or office have? And how many diaries or organisers can a person have??

2) I don't usually receive Xmas cards but I did my first (of two) this year - it was from Partyworld KTV who also sent me my first birthday card *.* Would rather not have received at all but I must say I don't mind the vouchers :p KTV, anyone?

3) Washed my hair with Dove body foam and showered with Organics (normal hair) one night. Conclusion: can save bathroom toiletry space by having just one of either. Probably the shampoo cos I prefer it more foamy.

4) Someone - my memory fails me - did a double turn as I was keeping my pink brolly; he thought it was a vibrator! Yeah, I keep one in my bag in case I get horny but have no prey nearby..!

5) Thought of several friends that day as I was browsing through my stack of photo albums, predecessors of my Ixus. Faces whose names I've forgotten, faces of friends who were once close, faces of acquaintances whom I keep in touch with now and then, faces of my closest friends.. This is always the time for some nostalgic reminiscence..

6) Received a most lovely shoe bag from Na - thanks! :) It's all gold and shiny, with two heart-shaped thingies to stuff into my shoes! I'm so going to order that pair of dance shoes after NY; UK mail must be overloaded at this time of the year..

7) At yet another kopi session with the boys, Kok sat down with his fifth cup of tea.

Kel: That auntie told you excessive tea is bad for guys.. What if cannot??! *eyebrows raised, meaningfully*
Kok: Nvm la, no gf now..
Kel: Nonetheless, must check that everything is working fine.. Your $58.80 can help you.. Hahahahaha!

Subsequent bit of conversation related to whether Kok should use his master hand for clicking the mouse or, as Kel put it, self diagnosis..!

I find it interesting that they have no qualms sprouting all that crap in front of me. Thought of two interpretations for it:
a) They are comfortable around me; or
b) They don't see me as a girl.

Kel offered me an alternative: 50-50. Hmmm.. I admit I'm not too feminine, esp with them, but I would still like to think it's the former :p

8) Had a fabulous time with CY over dinner at Chocolate Bar - yes! Choc for dinner! :) Don't know if you feel it, CY, but I think we are getting crazier with age and with the time we have known each other - 15years! And we both like lao hong biscuits, soggy icecream waffles, nothing too crispy! :p

At one point, her colleague called to inform her that she wouldn't be transferred to another desk. I heard wrongly...

CY: My colleague helped me to ask Sheng J (her boss)
mf: Shen? Ask Shen (god)?!
CY: Haha! Ya, go temple *imagine funny praying action* Hahaha!

9) Na was trying to show me her haircut through webcam as we didn't meet for a while. The webcam window showed on my tiny monitor. Took some time before the first images came through and..

Ahh!!!!!

I freaked out; she had zero expression on, or maybe she had but her fringe was covering her face, or maybe it was the split frames due to my 56.6k modem - very eerie!! ~.~

She pulled all sorts of faces until I had to get Mother to take a look :p

Mother: I don't know her.. (She just couldn't remember, not to mention she didn't have her glasses on)
mf: *still laughing*
Mother: Huan gia ah?!
mf: Huh?! Winner! :p

10) One of those sms exchanges again. Kel said my paranoia might be due to a deeper psychological problem..

Kel: So I earnestly ask, what problems do you have?
mf: Sexual deprivation *.*
Kel: I sponsor you $40 or one dildo.

*.*

11) Watched Narnia this morning, my fourth movie of the week after King Kong, Promise, Chinese Tall Story.

I LIKE!!!!

I have a weaknes for this kind of show, rolling countryside, period costumes, ahhh... And the sheer magic of the show, ahhh...

12) It was raining and we were trapped in Paragon - five of us with one brolly, my pink brolly. Kel sent SY over to Lucky Plaza and then me. On his way back, he kindly gave a stranger a lift! Needless to say, it was a young girl who, Na informed when YX sent her over, would look very pretty with some make-up. Kel ah, very smart hor? Hee hee.. Ok la, he was being kind :)

13) Going to eat something now before heading for the countdown party at Ngee Ann Civic Plaza later with Na. Next I blog, it's a brand new year!

A blessed 2006, everyone :)

Friday, 30 December 2005

Chinese movies

Seldom watch them, especially those HK productions in Canto but dubbed into Mandarin, but this month, I watched three:

1) Perhaps, Love
Honestly, despite the ratings, I was bored. Perhaps the songs were new and strange to me. For musical films, I like only Moulin Rouge and De-Lovely. For West Side Story and Chicago, thought the musicals were better. Don't remember others.. For this movie, I remember only the one-liner sung by the female lead when she was a poor country girl:
外面的世界很精彩,外面的世界很无奈……
(Old song by 齐秦)

2) The Promise
This movie got a Korean and a Jap to speak Mandarin. Come to think of it, there was a Korean guy speaking Mandarin in the previous show.. I can understand why people say it's crap, eg the ridiculous scene where Kunlun was saving Qingcheng like he was flying her as a kite.. Two guys walked out in the middle of the show saying "it sucks!" :p But I quite like the show on the whole, pretty interesting storyline. Anyway, my main takeaway is something like this:
速度是看不见的,(凭感觉?) 就象你不知道叶什么时候变黄,婴儿什么时候长出第一颗牙,自己什么时候爱上一个人……

3) A Chinese Tall Story
Spoof of a spoof of Journey to the West? A bit slow in the middle but overall entertaining.. Not just cos of eye candy Nicholas Tse, ok.. Anyway he looked better in The Promise than here; too thin!

Back to movie.. Centred on Tripitaka, a coward who was bullied by his disciples! Reminded me of the Tripitaka in a much older film by Stephen Chow who nagged and nagged at the demons guarding him until they killed themselves :p But this one became very brave later in the show because.. he fell in love! Omg, a monk fell in love! He wrote a couplet on sand, only remember the second line, something like how to not betray both buddha and love: 不负如来不负卿

The ending part where he saved his love reminded me of this anime Video Girl Ai, if anyone has seen that before..

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Xmas photos


My fav tree this year is in the Ritz but I didn't have my camera when I was there.. This is next, at Taka.


The beauties in MoS bathroom! I didn't want to tower over them like a giant so I stooped a bit :p Do you know what it means when I could see the top of 95% of the heads on the dance floor? Heh heh..


They were setting the table while the rest of us were somewhere in the house, fetching utensiles, snapping pictures (this was by kel), eye power, etc..


Show me the money!! I, and subsequently SY when I left the game, had the most money cos I didn't buy much property but I did earn quite a bit of rent from my two railways..


We were eight that day - Kel was behind the camera :)


Tea took place 2hours after a heavy lunch.


Clumsy Santa was on his back, so cute :)


The spectators had just finished their Game of Life and sat around to vegetate. HL had left for a movie by then. I was totally engrossed in the city racing game. Moh must be exploring the city cos I was lost anyway! Tok was snapping about but where was YX?? He came to play later and kept beating me. "Divine intervention" by both YX and Moh didn't help me much; you can see below, 5th of five players :(


When it was determined that I had no hope of ever winning the game, it was dinner, 4hours after tea! *puke*

Oh, passed by a playground on the way to dinner. I hung on the pullup bar for a while but of course I could not pull myself up. Managed to cross a few monkey bars though. Resulted in a horrible ache that had only just subsided *.*

Monday, 26 December 2005

Booklist

Nothing to do, so decided to compile my reading list. I have very few books cos of the existence of NLB; think I first went to the library at 7 or 8. Whatever books I own are book prizes from school. But now I like to buy books for keeps.. In bold are those I actually own.

Have read:
Some Enid Blyton - Faraway Tree!
Fairy tales galore!
Other random children's books that I can barely remember
Youth sleuth fiction, ie Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Famous Five, etc
Agatha Christie - fave is Murder on the Orient Express
Danielle Steele
Jeffrey Archer - fave is As the Crow Flies
David Eddings - fave is Belgariad
Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
Life and Death in Shanghai, Nien Cheng
Jia, Ba Jin - no chance to read Chun and Qiu yet
Hong Lou Meng, Cao Xue Qin
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Harry Potter, JK Rowling - I will buy one day!
Zhang Xiao Xian
Xiang Zuo Zou Xiang You Zou, Jimi
Dan Brown
The Underground Man, Mick Jackson
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, Ross King
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Many others that I can't remember title, author or plot :p

Am reading:
Xi You Ji, Wu Cheng En - full text-only version, progress is very slow
Chang Hen Ge, by Wang An Yi

Next book is likely Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden, since the movie is showing soon :p

Busiest time of the year

The Season is staring at me with the most menacing eyes: write about me! ME!

I stubbornly refused to submit to its pleas in the beginning of this month. Then pleas became shouts of abuse. And now the screams are getting too loud to ignore. Fine! The Season wins!


This festive season is particularly long, starting with Xmas and NY, followed by Hari Raya Haji in mid Jan and Chinese New Year in end Jan. Factor in my birthday on the 8th (now you know it, you have to send me, at least, a long email expressing your heartfelt congratulations for my 26th! Don't forget to add that I still look like 18 =D) and I suddenly feel that the rest of the year may very well be rendered tasteless by this concentration of activities.

The coming CNY will be my third in Singapore after a four-year hiatus. I remember writing earlier that I fear the renewed novelty of such gatherings with my cousins during CNY is diminishing with time and, perhaps, age. I'm now developing similar sentiments towards Xmas; what's so special about clubbing and partying if I can do that any time?

As a kid, Xmas meant a whole day in front of the black box, ingesting endless cartoons and cookies in the same breath. I graduated from that to crowded street parties in my teens. Then I found Xmas in Oxford unbearable if not for the company of other overseas students who did not go home; decor was not as fancy and the streets were deserted with everyone at home with their loved ones. Or hidding alone pretending to be with their dearest.

The last Xmas, NY and birthday were spent with Hoegaarden and tequila etc on the dance floor. This Xmas has come and gone. The coming NY and birthday don't seem to look much different at this point. After that, CNY will be spent getting fat on cashew nuts, BBQ pork, pineapple tarts, chocolate and more candies. Cousins will play silly games, like last year, which was like the year before.

I'm grown now, and begin to feel the repetitive nature of these annual festivities. The activities never change! But I can't do the same thing or what is in essence the same, year after year. I don't need to go through it for ten years to feel such monotony; things become routine the moment I realise they are going to repeat, which, without a doubt, they will.

Perhaps cos such anniversaries do not mean much to me. I don't celebrate Xmas in the religious sense. I didn't feel it approaching until I happened to see the Xmas lights in the Orchard area when I passed by a couple of weeks ago. Already, I'm having pineapple tarts when it's not CNY, I can make logcakes if I want to, and with the proliferation of cafes, cakes are no longer restricted to birthdays only. Anniversaries have been blurred with mundane everyday life. I had wanted to dig out my Santa hat for the lunch party but decided not to; I don't want to force a Xmas mood on the party, though I did get a logcake for tea and cheer.

But I still like these holidays cos they offer a chance for a get-together, a chance to be away from work and perhaps see what the neighbourhood is like on a weekday. Still, well, it's hard to dislike Xmas etc la :p I just wish it could be different.. How different? I don't know. I'll think of it next year. Or now, to make NY and birthday different :)

Bedmates



??

If it's not obvious enough, it's an eye. A left eye. And it belongs to my dear friend..

*Pause: Wonder how that will sound like if the photo is not loaded for some reason..!*

.. my dear friend Eeyore!



He turned four on 23 Dec, my Xmas present in 2001. For the next six months, he sat on the couch next to my bed and watched over me as I slept. But this is a quiet fellow; I have never heard a single grumble from him, even during the 13hours he spent in the overhead cabin storage when we were coming back from Oxford.

But Bow makes noise, deep growls made for no reason at all. He was born two months earlier than Eeyore due to a misunderstanding, and subsequently resulted in the birth of his fraternal twin, Wow, who is black - except for the the right eye :p



Bow is my guard dog; he used to sit on the other side of my bed and more than made up for Eeyore's non-attention to his surroundings with his sharp sharp eyes.

Then there is dear Meh who shares my bed from the day I chanced upon her in a tiny gift shop in Stratford-upon-Avon, resting next to me in my arms as I sink deep into slumberland, and she remains in the comfort of my duvet in the day. Like Eeyore, she doesn't talk much but she responds to me and my whining with the most comforting pair of eyes that makes me feel understood and loved.



Isn't she the sweetest thing? :)

Now, all three of them line one side of my bed, keeping me company when I'm reading in bed, in vastly different moods: shy Eeyore keeping to himself mostly, looking at me only out of the corner of his eyes; lovely Meh taking in everything with a smile and not a word; brave Bow staring intently at me, giving his signature low growl every so often.



I'm bored :p Cos I can't watch Initial D in Jap on either lappy and I have no access to the VCD player today! =(

Xmas weekend

After more than an hour in the queue and about 10 min inside the club, I decided that I like MoS.

Was hanging out with CY and HW mostly though WS et al were there too. At the stroke of midnight, "snowflakes" descended upon the dance floor, quite gross but well, fun for the occasion! Had quite a lot to drink cos shared a bottle of Martell with HW's friends whom we bumped into. Had a flaming lamborghini with BH too but I remained strangely sober throughout. Too much mixers I think, couldn't take the brown stuff neat, yucks.. And hence multiple trips to the bathroom :p

The one on the ground floor was bright white and pink. The three of us took many pictures with our phones in there, heh! We spent a great deal more time in the one upstairs cos we were more worn out by then and sat at the dressing table to chat. We must have been in there for more than an hour..

When we rejoined the rest, I decided that I would tell this Indian attendant that he was cute! And I did!! Of course I received a compliment in return, nvm that it was only courtesy on his part :p

But something totally unappetising happened before and after this. I was tidying my hair, asking CY if I looked pretty :p and before she could answer, a head popped up from behind her: YES! We were shocked at this very unwelcome intrusion! He went on to intro himself but we were like omg and got rid of him in one min. Then we were laughing after the cute attendant left us when, horror of horrors, the same pesky guy came back with his friend and started talking to us and wanted to take pictures etc. But a friend found us - thank goodness - to fetch us back to the rest of the group. Needless to say, we grabbed the lifeline and left the two guys cold before they knew what was happening!

Hunger got the better of us - ok, me - so we left for supper before heading for bed.. Slept at 5..

Then suddenly it was 930 and I dragged myself out of the house to prepare for the lunch party at Tok's. We had so much to eat! Chicken and mushroom pie, some fusion minced meat in lettuce wrap, cocktail sticks, fruit and vege salad, fried rice, yummy :)

Sat down to play Monopoly (US edition - I'm not familiar at all!) with Kel, HL and YX. Kok was watching us, Tok was watching Moh playing PS. But Monoploy couldn't sustain me - I played too much half my life ago! Took out the logcake at the earliest opportunity and we ate again :p

I left Monopoly and took my place on the sofa for my fav game - racing! Can't remember name of game but we had to follow a beacon of light to get to the end of the race. Kept losing to YX but I wanted to win! Moh tried to help by messing with YX's controller but it didn't quite help the clueless me :p When I finally attained 4th placing (out of five) and declared I would aim for 3rd, everyone went o_O Haha! So three of us played for quite long with the others watching until it was time for dinner..

Dinner at a nearby coffee shop was funny but beyond Kel et al trying to sell me mutual guy friends and convincing me to sell Kok to CY (as usual!), I shall not say anything here :p

Oh, will put up some photos later.. I'm impatient, want to start watching Initial D, the anime!

Creepy man, or woman

Can't seem to get it out of my mind. Was out with the girls on Fri and saw a man carrying a Scooby Doo on this shoulder for his son. Memory flashback to the 1980s: in the corner of the room at some party at an aunt's place, this person - I couldn't make out if it was a he or a she! - sat on his/her own with a cigarette. I was very afraid of him/her; I thought he/she looked like Shaggy *.*

PS: Finished Pride and Prejudice on Tues but no time to blog yet.. Kiv..

Childhood playmate

Did a guest blog for Dave at Capital Region People. A very mf-ish blog unlike his usual entries and other guest blogs but well, mf-ism hit me on Xmas eve afternoon.

Is it the time of the year or me? I seem to be recalling a lot of old forgotten incidents and people this week. This rainy Sat afternoon, it was the boy who used to go to my paternal grandmother's place.

This grandmother loved me a lot and often brought me to her place to stay for a few days every other week, for she lived alone in a big house as housekeeper for a Chinese clan association who met there.

But I didn't like it; there was nothing to play with apart from a small wind-up car - I wasn't too in love with it - and dough figurines, which I didn't have often enough. There were no cousins near my age. In fact, the whole house was empty but for me and grandmother.

I couldn't run about cos the house was huge enough for a little girl to get lost, and it was dangerous too as the house was on a busy road. Grandmother kept three big dogs in the field behind the back quarters but they were not the friendly kind. I didn't like the parrot much cos it was squawking all the time and refused to talk like parrots did on TV. The lone cat was, well, a loner and ignored me. Grown chickens were also not much fun, and they got slaughtered too often :p

Side: I was once given two cute little chicks as pets, which Mother kept in a box in the flat. They were really noisy when grown and one day they were gone. Couple of years back, I happened to think of my chicks and asked Mother where they went to. "Your grandmother slaughtered them for chicken curry. In fact, you ate too." o_O

But sometimes, a boy would come by with his mother or grandmother, from somewhere down the road. I thought he was older than me cos he was taller. We would play quietly with dough or the car while the elders talked. We never talked. Perhaps he was shy as I was..?

When we were allowed, or when the adults weren't looking, we would play in the main hall of the house. Everything there was black; the many grandfather clocks lining both lengths of the room, the huge long table in the middle and its matching chairs. I remember sitting on the table top playing with the car. But we usually ran around the table playing catch or something. And all this time, we never talked. In my memory, we were always silent..

I didn't like the house very much, too dark, too boring, too many mosquitoes. But I liked my time there when the boy visited. Unfortunately, the visits were not too frequent and all too soon, I saw him no more =( Perhaps he had to go to school. I too had to attend kindergarten after a while and went to the house much less often.

Few photos were taken back then, and I couldn't find any of the boy in the old photo albums. But I was delighted to discover one with my puppy, which my grandmother kept and which enticed me to visit her often even after I started school:


I think the whole family visited her every week or fortnight but I don't recall the boy ever visiting while all of us were there. My grandmother is totally senile and can't remember anything now. No one else seems to know anything about the boy. Despite being my most valuable playmate in my early years, he will be a total stranger to me today. Whoever and wherever he is, I thank him for his company, and I wish him well..

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Xmas eve

Um, it still doesn't feel like Xmas to me *.*

I've been sitting around and napping since I got back from lunch.. Should be better when I go out in an hour.. MOS tonight! :)

Happy Xmas!!

Friday, 23 December 2005

I don't run; I jog

A boy called out to me as I was jogging one summer day of 2003:

"Can you go any slower?"

!!!

I should be offended. I mean, I knew I was going real slow, yet I was panting and all, but hey boy, that was rude! Still, I found it funny and tried my best to keep my composure, didn't want to embarass myself by laughing at such a dig at myself!

Then I saw two other boys urging their friend to jog along with me, at my speed. Now that was mean! Still, I wasn't about to flare at a bunch of teens, not when I was so out of breath! :p So I turned to the girl and amid my panting, waved and said hi to her. Then she stopped, looking a bit embarassed, and I very soon passed the whole group of idle kids.

I would like to believe I'm fitter now. And slightly faster. Insp has been a great motivation to me. When we first started jogging together just before CNY 2004 (omg that's a long time ago!), we barely went 10min before we gave up. Then she became Insp and her jogging improved so much I was totally in awe..

Her work keeps her away from the park and I have since stopped for the longest time. But I resumed jogging two Sundays ago; I've decided that with or without Insp, I must jog! I've not renewed my gym membership since it expired in Oct. Desperately need exercise to maintain and lose some weight if possible. More importantly, I need to build stamina for dancing!

The first Sunday was crap but the following Sat I managed to jog continuously around the park and went a bit farther! Motivated, I went again Tues evening but it rained. Shall do again this Sat :) A bit of exertion releases bottled frustration and keeps me happy and healthy and fit. I like :)

Monday, 19 December 2005

Peace

It was a most delightful Sunday night. Mother was watching TV in the living room. MZ was in Bangkok so I had the room to myself. Decided on Eason Chen's Lonely Christmas over Christmas carols. And I just sat on my bed with my sketch book and a charcoal pencil, listening to the songs as I sketched rubbish. Did that until my pencil became blunt. But I realised I had no sharpener. So I stopped, kept the stuff, switched off the lights, and just let the melancholy tunes and lyrics fill my every pore until I dozed off.

Tonight, I'll enjoy my fav jazz album of carols and read my book. I'll stop reading at certain songs and gaze smilingly into nothingness, perhaps breaking into song here and there. Ahhh, nice..

Tomorrow night, last night before it gets noisy again, I'll play yet another sad CD, or maybe the same Eason Chen one, and be quietly miserable. I like that, being miserable; there can be beauty in misery like joy in tears. I just like.

Wed night, back to normal. I shall be out.

Sunday, 18 December 2005

Kofi in town!

For the second time in my life, I took the bus back from East Coast and slept past my bus stop!!! Think a day, or half a day, in the sun tires me out pretty easily..

Had a most animated dinner with Kofi and Shu yesterday, decided that we would go to the beach today for some sun. I actually can't remember how I knew them, as we were in different colleges and different courses.. Think we talked a lot more in the past 24hours than while in Oxford :p

We made Kofi try wasabi last night - no feeling, in fact he liked it! Then as we were talking and waiting for food, he suddenly gave an exclamation and started tearing! Not delayed reaction la.. We didn't notice but he tried to eat a bigger bit of the green stuff and finally felt the full force! Na, still remember that tuna sushi row? Heh..

Learnt something from Kofi: "how are you" in his Ghanaian language Twi is "eti sen". That's one more in my pocket of greetings in different languages :) He said there are 14 languages spoken besides English as first language and French as second! So I don't know why he bought two CDs by Jay Chou and David Tao; he certainly didn't mention Chinese *.*

PS: I survived poorly without my Samsung yesterday - 13hours! And much to my anguish, Na's, SS's and the two guys'.. Sighs, I have to admit I'm a slave to my phone..

Friday, 16 December 2005

Celebrating my (cyber) existence

One-liner summary: it's reflective of real-life mf, crazily blabbering away this moment and whimpy the next, but you can't tell when I'm (dead) serious and when I'm (half) joking. Actually, I myself can't tell sometimes!

The past year passed by really fast. I could still vividly remember Xmas last year, most of NY and most (some would say less but nvm!) of birthday, three parties in weekly succession. I remember CNY a little while after that and remember fearing that this second CNY upon my return might mark its downfall into a boring annual routine. I remember events and strings of events that strengthened some friendships and injured one. I remember making the decision to take dancing seriously. And in between all these was my work which I grew to like more and more especially in the past year.

But I forgot a whole lot as well.

From what I remember, my 2005 has been a pretty good year. Most significantly, I had the chance to be with myself and just myself in Tokyo and Taipei, a rarity unseen since the days of 177a Iffley Road, to dwell on on my existence, to not smile all the time, to smile at nothing in particular, to be me in the purest state. (Though I would come back and blabber nonsense every time!)

Why this? Why now? Cos I suddenly remember that this space is becoming one tomorrow (today? Anyway it's 17 Dec), and the beginnings of mf's mini world were long tales of my three parties in three weeks, soon to be repeated. I'm glad I keep hard copies of my memories here. Not complete but it's ok, I only need this bit to help me along when I revisit all this 50 years on for sweet recall.

*yawn*

I must sleep, for tomorrow is a long day! Later today, I mean..

"Ee eu shew uh oh woo ai em, eu ah aakin ree-tah-erh"

Someone called FK this morning, said a string of unintelligible things like the above. Believing him to be truly handicapped in speech, she listened patiently for some time before the title line was uttered. Try saying it out loud and see if you can get it..

*give you 30 seconds*

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

*another 30 seconds*

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

IF YOU STILL DON'T KNOW WHO I AM, YOU ARE FUCKING RETARDED

!!!

I believe the whole office heard FK laugh! Then we met the prankster for lunch. Why Jason deserved the attention of four lovely ladies (FK hot as always, LC sweet as ever, Joyce cute beyond words and mf as you know her in the most positive sense), I have absolutely no idea! :p

Chapters 18, 22, 24

Between Elizabeth and Darcy while dancing at the Netherfield ball. I was hmmm-ing at bolded line when reading it :p

“Do you talk by rule, then, while you are dancing?”

“Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together; and yet for the advantage of some, conversation ought to be so arranged, as that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible.”

“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that you are gratifying mine?”

“Both,” replied Elizabeth archly; “for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.

“This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure,” said he. “How near it may be to mine, I cannot pretend to say. You think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly.”

“I must not decide on my own performance.”

And how sick this is! How unfortunate! How unacceptable! =(

(When Mr Collins made an offer of marriage to Charlotte and she agreed.)

Charlotte herself was tolerably composed. She had gained her point, and had time to consider of it. Her reflections were in general satisfactory. Mr. Collins, to be sure, was neither sensible nor agreeable; his society was irksome, and his attachment to her must be imaginary. But still he would be her husband. Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it.

Have I said I like Mr Bennet? He's funny in the most endearing fashion :)

Mr. Bennet treated the matter differently. “So, Lizzy,” said he one day, “your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Now is your time. Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably.

Chapter 6 - modern abridged version

Inspired by my "I suspect we can hear such an exchange in this time and day, albeit in less fancy language", Kel took it upon himself to delight us with his "modern abridged version" - and Singaporean too, I must add. Such a move solicited one of my longest and most flowery (read: crappy) sms to him:

I must, indeed, congratulate you on your admirable literary skills (and of cos summary skills as well) that quite amazingly insult a great piece of literature and yet generate so much mirth I'm but obliged to bury my indignance in laughter that neither could nor should be suppressed. In such light, I shall hasten to make known to the world your hidden abilities on my most humble blog for the benefit of others the very first thing tomorrow.

The "compliment" was, of course, returned:
You have become an accomplice in ruining her great work..

Now, turn your attention to the lines in red in my previous post, replicated with his kind permission..

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Chapter 6

Elizabeth and Charlotte are talking about Jane (Elizabeth's sis) and Bingley (suitor). I suspect we can hear such an exchange in this time and day, albeit in less fancy language. Ah, the delicate balance between expression and constrain, between feelings and rationality!

It was generally evident whenever they met, that he did admire her and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane united, with great strength of feeling, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent. She mentioned this to her friend Miss Lucas.

It is clear that they liked each other, and Jane's interest-at-first-sight of him was deepening into love. But she was pleased with herself, thinking that she had managed to hide her feelings well enough so that no one knew.

“It may perhaps be pleasant,” replied Charlotte, “to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a women had better show more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on.”

Charlotte said, "It is very bo-hua for her to be so shy, if she is not on enough about him, he will siam, then she will lugi. So she must fish him, then will he kenna conned."

“But she does help him on, as much as her nature will allow. If I can perceive her regard for him, he must be a simpleton, indeed, not to discover it too.”

"She does seduce him, but you can see how much ben3 qian2 she has. If I can sense she likes him, then he is lagi idiot if he dunno."

“Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane’s disposition as you do.”

"He is not so clever like you."

“But if a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.”

"If she is that obvious, then he must know."

“Perhaps he must, if he sees enough of her. But, though Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours together; and, as they always see each other in large mixed parties, it is impossible that every moment should be employed in conversing together. Jane should therefore make the most of every half-hour in which she can command his attention. When she is secure of him, there will be more leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses.”

"Maybe he will know if they can meet often. Most of the time they meet in a group with a lot of extras around, not enough time for them to buaya each other. If only they can have more time alone, like together in a room in Hotel 81…"

“Your plan is a good one,” replied Elizabeth, “where nothing is in question but the desire of being well married, and if I were determined to get a rich husband, or any husband, I dare say I should adopt it. But these are not Jane’s feelings; she is not acting by design. As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree of her own regard nor of its reasonableness. She has known him only a fortnight. She danced four dances with him at Meryton; she saw him one morning at his own house, and has since dined with him in company four times. This is not quite enough to make her understand his character.

"On la, I like it. If a super rich man is in target, I confirm use your strategy. She has only known him for 14 freaking days, how to know him inside out?"

“Not as you represent it. Had she merely dined with him, she might only have discovered whether he had a good appetite; but you must remember that four evenings have also been spent together—and four evenings may do a great deal.”

"Well she won't if they had merely eaten nasi, but if they had spend evenings together *wink*"

“Yes; these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain that they both like Vingt-un better than Commerce; but with respect to any other leading characteristic, I do not imagine that much has been unfolded.”

"No la, they are not so sui-bian."

“Well,” said Charlotte, “I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.”

"Good luck to Jane. I don't think time is an issue; happiness in marriage is all about heng-suay, like buying 4-D. You know the person well, but so what. You will soon find out more about his dirty habits, so it is better to be blissfully ignorant."

“You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself.”

"Mai-pian-siao, you know that is boh-koh-leng."

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

When ignorance is bliss..

Asked boss what her weight was, now that she was 6-7months pregnant.

She gave me a number and my chin went to my chest (considerably difficult given its terrain): I'm heavier than a pregnant woman!

Yeah yeah I'm relatively tall, by 9cm.. BUT!

Sighs..

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Pride and Prejudice - the movie

Remember one of those essay questions in school that says something like whether a movie adapted from a book can encourage people to read the book, or whether it is actually the easy way out for people who do not read books. It's the former for me, eg Harry Potter and now Everlasting Regret - bought the book in Taiwan and started it last week. But I'm going to pause this difficult book (traditional Chinese, vertical right-to-left read) and start on Pride and Prejudice - I must get the book today; I want to have a better picture of the whole story before I blog on it proper.

Still, I must first say that my fave character in the movie is Mr Bennet, just for these two lines from him to Elizabeth:

"Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins... And I will never see you again if you do."

Can't find the exact sentence but "I can't give you to anyone who is not worthy of you." Or something like that when she told him she would marry Darcy.

Kiv the rest.

Monday, 12 December 2005

mf decides!

mf: Let's meet at 730. You prefer Orchard or City Hall? You decide pls.

I had decided the time, and indicated options AND was specific that HE should decide, as I knew I was talking to an indecisive person but I didn't want to make unilateral decisions since it was he who asked to meet up. So all he had to do was to state either and end off with a "see you". Period. But no!

Him: Can la, either lor.

Wtf?! If I didn't state options, I bet he would have replied with "anywhere is fine"!

Is it a guy thing? That they want to appear nice and let their female companions decide everything since "they will veto us and decide on something they want anyway"? I can't stand this shit.

I replied with Orchard AND threw in the exact restaurant to save me from possible further agonisation, eg what shall we eat?!

From now on, I and I alone will decide e-ve-ry-thing. If you can't freaking make a decision of where to eat - you know, it's just food for a simple dinner, not some big occasion involving 300 people with varied dietary requirements - I will call the shots. And when I do, don't just complain that I'm always the one deciding and you don't get to choose; if you complain that you want a say too, jolly well have a suggestion ready!

Sunday, 11 December 2005

过渡时期

是天气、季风?
还是逼近的圣诞、新的一年?
是口疮的不适加上PMS?
还是对人生的种种无奈?

近来总觉得累、觉得烦,唱歌或谈天也几乎没有意义。除了词句的发泄、炭笔的涂鸦,我什么都不想做,只想一个人享受自己的寂寞。

改写张清芳一首旧歌的歌词,“我想我早该出去走走”……

In the "why do people say ***" mood

Suddenly remember I once read in someone's blog (can't remember whose!) that people will ask after your friend/ beau/ family in the following manner:

What does he/she do?
Where does he/she live?
Is he/she good looking?

and not like this:

What is his/her voice like?
What does he/she do for leisure?
How about his/her dress sense?

Seems that we tend to be more superficial? Or perhaps it's simply strange for most to ask in the second way, which seems more personal and really, could be answered with "none of your business"!

Yet another random thought this Sunday morning..

Have a good day!

Variants:
Have a good week!
Have a great weekend!
Have a fun holiday!
Have a fantastic year ahead!
etc

Do you ever wonder why people say that, as in why just that day or week or specific time frame? What about the next day, week etc? I gather that if it goes on and on, might as well say have a good LIFE!

Just a fleeting thought..

Saturday, 10 December 2005

Jiggle jiggle

Decision was to head for Zouk though there were only Sito and I on the confirmed list; wanted to check it out but in the end I thought it looked pretty much the same..?

1 - We noticed the jiggling girl on the central podium at about the same time. No wait, it wasn't a jiggling girl; should be jiggling bOObs! Obviously braless, she was shaking like nobody's business. Ok so it was nobody's business but we were laughing like mad! I rated her a B to C - perhaps closer to C. She was our entertainment for most of the night. (Oh, face not much to mention..)

2 - Then there was this guy dancing to a freaking pillar *.*

3 - Guy said, "Alone"? Well I don't know about you but I'm out with my friends - eh, friend! Ha, no I didn't say that but what kind of pick-up line was "alone?"! Not impressed. But Sito was quite shi xiang la, turned away when he saw the guy come near. Didn't need to label him gay :p

4 - Zoukout adverts were on the screen whole night. Dare I say it? Oh well.. It was only Thurs that I first knew Zoukout was to be held at Sentosa.. I know, very sua ku!!! *.*

5 - Was in bathroom queue when I thought of something: I love my pink stilettos! (Or stilettoes?) Considering getting another pair of a different colour. They're perfect for a night out cos they don't kill my (feet's) balls like my black pair does, nor do they kill my toes like my pumps do.

6 - Jiggling bOObs stepped down from podium. Nothing to watch le so I got hungry (for food) and we left. But we saw her on our way out and started laughing all over again! Sito regretted not saying something to her - I forgot what but it was funny! :p

7 - Had mee for supper and over-compensated for all that dancing.. Sito noticed old men looking at me.. Old men?! Very depressing to know I could only attract old men's eyes! Don't let me know next time =(

8 - Suddenly remember that the last time I went partying wasn't mambo three months back; I actually went to New Asia twice after that! But seems that that place is not for me, both times I felt rather lethargic. Or maybe it was a bad (hair?) day.

D'oh, don't have a 9! =/

Friday, 9 December 2005

Joyce Darling told the WHOLE DIVISION:

i want to complain!
i order my fishball mee from the gourmet restaurant@ 5th fl and the following dialogue took place...

brother 1(baldy specky): mf leh?
joyce: mf go out

(no service 5 min. only 1 person before joyce being served)

brother 1: you what?
joyce: kway teow dry packet

(brother 1 nods. still doing previous order)

brother 2 (wavy hair) appears. typical argument-talk between brothers.
brother 2: mf leh?
joyce: mf go out to eat

(brother 1 finished preparing the damn food.)

brother 2: you what?
joyce: kway teow dry packet

(brother 1 scolds brother 2 that the order is done)

brother 2 (smiling, to joyce): no mf then you no get.
joyce: wah lau.

(joyce, finally, after 10 mins, gets her food)


It's ok, my darling - you don't need their love (and nor do I :p) but you have mine :)

Too lazy to type in new post so I carry on..

Last night at Union, I asked Na if she had anything on after sending SZ tonight - she's flying to NZ and will be there for some time.

Na: Yes!
mf: Nvm then, thought want to ask you for Zouk..
Na: I'm flying to Bangkok right after SZ!

Kek?! I forgot she was leaving on the 9th as well.. Argh! So I'm sending two girls tonight.. Then Kel said his parents going to Shanghai same night too. Gee, I feel like going somewhere as well.. I know, I just came back! Sighs.. Well, shall content myself with some dancing tonight :p

Thursday, 8 December 2005

Amazing Wed night

Amazing part I: first private lesson after Taiwan was Sunday. Shifu said I tried too hard and I thought I did horribly that day too. But after tango class last night, we practised our waltz and it was not bad - in fact I thought we did quite well! Perhaps the lovely music had a part to play: Flying Dreams. I love to feel that music and moving to it! Sometimes when I don't get it right, it can be frustrating; but at times, I just like to prance a bit without a care about the beat and rhythm..

And then the awkward thing, shall I say, evolved.. We were just happily practising when another teacher using the studio came to us and corrected our posture a bit. Cool, thanks. Later he was giving some tips to Dan and Tru and we joined in. Then suddenly he just asked us to learn under him for competition..

"-___-

All four of us are currently learning from Shifu lor..

-___-"

We were like um-ing and er-ing when he asked us to join him for drinks. None of us was keen but we were eventually pressured to go but for a short while. Outside the studio, Tru and I were exchanging phone numbers when he HIJACKED my Samsung and refused to return until we went for drinks so my phone stayed in his pocket for 10min while we drove down..

My poor phone.. *pout and whine*

Later he asked for my phone again, can't remember why.. I wasn't about to let him hijack my phone twice! But Sito offered his in exchange - this one must say: THANKS pal! :)

Funny side: I was supposed to call Tru to leave my number (which I sort of forgot for a while) but she didn't receive my call. She even verified the number I dialled. Later, she called me instead and a different number appeared on my phone: she had given me her bf's number earlier! Super right? And I thought I was the one with pink brains.. ピンクの頭 :p

Anyway, we were lucky for Shifu was having drinks at the same place - he was our saviour! We managed to finish our lime juice - in record time - for courtesy only, and left at Shifu's urging, thus avoiding further awkward moments between the two coaches about the four of us *shudders*

Now amazing part II.. We were on CTE when *gasp* this AE86 overtook us on our right! AE86! With 藤原とうふ店 (自家用) on the side ok! Takumi's car! But no, that was not all; quite immediately Dan saw a S13 right behind the AE86! I knew about AE86 cos of Initial D but I wasn't sure about S13 - it was Iketani's car in the anime.

So I was very excited and asked Dan to catch up with the 86 - I knew he could make it and I was right! We got up to the car in no time and as we passed, I waved hi to the driver :p He didn't see me (and anyway the 0.1 second look told me he was no Jay Chou) but it was fun! Later when he overtook us again on our left, Dan drove up enough for me to take a picture heh.. On my phone la, but it looked something like


Source: http://www.toysnjoys.com/jadatoys/1_24initialdtrueno.jpg

Cool, right?? :)

86 was gone after I took the pict but S13 drove up right behind him, again! No time for a pict this time but it was so fun! Heard from Dan that AE86 was no longer produced but a number were made cos of the movie; SG brought in six. And I saw one tonight! Beats any lamborghini any day man.. 藤原とうふ店! :)

Now I want to watch the anime..

Update 9 Dec 05

Told YQ last night about the 86 cos he liked Initial D.

YQ: You lag la, old news and, I've seen more than one already!
mf: *.*

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

I have a small statue of Aphrodite and..

"You are most like the Goddess Aphrodite! Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, fertility and desire. Although she was married she had many affairs with both other gods and men - most famously with Ares. Her husband Hephaestus caught them in a net he had made and paraded them in front of the other gods. Aphrodite is mean, vain and jealous, and most often depicted with a mirror.

What Greek God Are You? written by mellyelf on Ok Cupid"

And I scored 58, higher than 95% on Godliness compared to other people my age and gender. Oooh...

* I don't know where the line in blue came from; I chose monogamous option for the relevant question! Like the mirror part, haha!

Anyway, my statue of Aphrodite.. Got it together with my devotion statue from Greece, the latter broke if you recall an earlier post. I don't know why but I like Aphrodite, perhaps the name sounds good - eh fro dye tee. Don't like the roman name though - Venus.. But there really is no rationale reason for liking something - or someone for that matter - right? Eg I like Meh - and that's someone to me :)

Monday, 5 December 2005

mf-ism is back!

An aspect of mf-ism has been missing if you haven't realised: randomness. Or perhaps it has not been explicit recently. But anyway, I'm bringing mf-ism back!

Was on my way to the ladies just now and a yellow door-stopper flew out and landed right in front of my feet. I stopped short, looked left and saw the door to the gents closing. I blinked, and again, and carried on to the ladies.. The door was kept open by a red stopper so I had a full-length view of myself in the mirror.. Look at those hips! Yucks =( And my legs are not very long actually - I measure 169cm today, shoes just 1cm thick. I need to go shopping for more flattering clothes.

But, wrt the hips, in the past month (before Taipei!), four persons commented that I seemed to have lost weight - "you look smaller" Hope it's not just my already non-existent boobs (thanks ah, Joyce Darling.. But I still have, ahem, "accidents" with them) I still weigh the same though.. And, everyone underestimated my weight, I'm delighted :p

Was wearing this necklace from Taipei yesterday and standing under the scorching pm sun waiting for a cab to bring me to my dancing. Then I felt pain on my chest and brought my hand to my chest only to find my necklace burning! Took it off and dumped it in my bag for later.. Anyway waited 25min, was damn pissed! We need more cabs!

Met SL for dinner after dancing; he's in town these few days on business. Didn't eat the fish in No Signboard Seafood cos the nameless fish - just realised it didn't even have a name! =( - just died; it felt "criminal" to eat fish (I had a bite of fish for lunch that day, thought of the poor fish, and almost puked!) Then all 18 of us went to his room at the Ritz just like we would back in Oxford :) - the room was very nice and the view superb on the 26th floor! But my fav was the shining Xmas tree in the lobby :)

Oh yes, Xmas is upon us once more. Recently, two guys told me that Xmas could be a lonely/ sad time for them. But it had meant nothing but party for me all these years; this coming one would be no different.. Unless I suddenly want to go for mass to look see..? Heard some lovely Xmasy songs last night and decided to dig out my Xmas CDs and be joyous! But there is also the classic Lonely Christmas by Eason Chen that I love so much - I'll listen to that as well and be sad. Yes I'm strange!

Attended a very funny (the pastor) and touching (her bro wrote a song for her) church wedding on Sat; Cloud looked so happy and I'm infected with her happiness too - happiness is contagious. Also met a couple of other seniors and learnt that one of them got married some time ago. As of now, I have four friends getting married next year. At this rate, very soon I'll be counting friends who are single instead of friends who are married!

mf-ism is also contagious. Eg XY, eg Na.. Hmm, seems to infect girls only.. It may be YOU, HE or SHE who catches mf-ism but mf-ism will not be called YOU-ism, HE-ism or She-ism! mf is still the giant infector and will remain the primary carrier of all strands of mf-ism.

Now as lunch time comes to an end, I'll end with yet another quiz..

HASH(0x8cf1d3c)
Remus Lupin
You are looking for someone sweet, intelligent, and understanding. Although he may have big troubles to overcome, with you by his side this wolfman will at least have a non-judgmental, loving romance.

Who is your Harry Potter love match? (for girls only)
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm a Hermione, but my match is not Ron??! But well, Lupin sounds like the right dose of excitment! :p Then again, at least Kel, YX and JD might go: what about girls? Cos they think I'm bi, old story stemming from this corporate newsletter thingy, where HR asked me to be one of their "company bachelors and bachelorettes" and to give my take on love in a one-liner. I said my idea of love may not be company friendly - and I never heard from them again! Was relating this to the guys over dinner and somehow the thing about me being able to be BOTH bachelor and bachelorette came about, and tada! I'm bi.. You decide if that's true..

Oh, one more: have you ever seen a roach that sniggers and then watches you as you sleep?? Check out the cute Guo Mei Mei MTV :) Don't get me wrong, I still hate 3D roaches..

Ok, last one, really! Some time last week, I realised I could be easily amused. Some people are so smug, so full of themselves, that I simply let them be while I sit back and enjoy the show they put up based on their misconstrued, self-perceived assumptions. Go ahead, make a fool of yourself for my amusement! *evil like the sniggering roach*

Food list

Realised I didn't mention the food we had during the trip.. Thanks Kel for compiling the first half; I added all others I could remember, my faves in bold:

香肠生煎包,超大鸡扒,蜜汁鸡扒,章鱼烧,糖葫芦,热狗,水饺榨酱面,萝卜糕,土司,小龙包冰红茶,臭豆腐,阿美豆花,烧仙草,肉羹面,螃蟹羹,油饭,果汁冰沙,蛋包饭,八宝饭,葱油饼,鲁肉花生卷包冰淇淋芋头糕,刀削面,面线

Saturday, 3 December 2005

Ilha Formosa - The Beautiful Isle

Finally I’m writing this! Warning: will be long, very long.. And warning 2: Chinese in parts :p

19 Nov - 你不是日本人吗?

That was the first thing a local said to me when I asked for directions to my hostel - strange cos I thought I looked less Japanese after cutting my hair.. Anyway, that was when I started re-learning the Taiwanese accent; perfected it by the next day. No one can tell I'm foreign unless I stumble upon some phrase I'm used to saying only in English, eg it's 公车 for cab, not 德士 or however you write that, which exposed me as a foreigner!



This is one side of the National Theatre. I find this cultural contrast interesting: Italian style cafe right outside, under banners advertising very Chinese Chinese operas. There were two men playing traditional tunes on erhu and keyboard just a bit away from the cafe, and above them just next to the banners were a few groups of students having their hip hop and cheerleading practice sessions.

As the sun set, I found myself in Ximending and guess what, I got lucky!



My eyes popped when I read "五月天" - I could barely believe my luck as they had only just started! 吴克群 was singing his new songs when I reached the concert area, where I stood for the next 2-3hours. A new band 轻松玩 led the audience to a new high - thought they were quite good - and the concert also featured some amateur bands - I doubt Singapore will hear them any time soon! - and then Mayday finally appeared to much cheer!



Took a few clips of the singing but I’ve no webspace to share them..



I was amazed at the crowds in Long Shan Temple even at 9-ish; perhaps cos I don't go praying in temples..



Snake Alley night market near the temple specialised in snake soup etc. I listened to this woman talk about the benefits of snake stuff but my eyes were fixed on the rabbit in her hand - what was she going to do to it?! I didn't stay to find out..

Met a Jap student in the hostel who was studying Chinese in Taipei, Shiomi. We chatted in Mandarin for a while as we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on HBO. His Mandarin was great though he had learnt for only about six months! Man, I would just die if we were to redo our conversation in Jap =(

20 Nov - almost brave

Took a day trip to a few towns along/ near the north coast. Jiufen was yummy!!!!! The whole street was full of food and some souvenir shops. The yam cake queue was at least 5m long, overshadowing fours stalls on its right side - I'm not kidding! I had one and it was indeed the best yam cake for me :) Didn't try the round round yummies but they were so pretty!



Bought six boxes of Huang Mama "ju3ruo4" - can't find the Chinese characters in my writer =/ Had two little cubes earlier on, very good chewy jelly! See the HUGE block of caramelised peanuts in the last picture? The peanut shavings on popiah skin formed the crunchy bed for icecream - the thing was then rolled up and stuffed into that big hole in my face :p

While transiting at Jilong for Yeliu, a Caucasian shared her faith with me in perfect Mandarin (wow!) but she wasn’t preaching, just asking me to visit them in a nearby church if I had time. Was surprised when she said, "你好漂亮" - I felt anything but pretty that day with a runny nose and besides, I thought she was much prettier! Nvm, cheered me up a bit cos I was rather pissed with the rain that whole day..

Side: Is it me or is it just plain weird that someone obviously prettier than you tell you you're very pretty? Or when someone obviously very thin say you're thin enough (I accept "you've become thinner"), and worse, that they're fat, right in your face?!

Anyway, the long journey to Yeliu was really worth it; had a lot of fun looking at interesting rock formations named ginger, Queen's Head, Fairy's Shoe etc - see for yourself:







Cool right?! I was so taken with that place, just standing around looking at the rocks and the huge waves from the sea. At one point where the waves looked like they were going to hit me in my face, I felt like Wong Fei Hong in this very old Hong Kong comedy starring Alan Tham (I think): he was a coward and the waves splashed onto him at the beginning of the show, but at the end after some hardship etc, he became a brave hero and managed to COMMAND THE WAVES TO RETREAT!



Now whose (rough) butt crack was that?!



Oh, it was a mushroom! :p There were plenty of these on one side of the rocky coast.



Nothing, just that I happened to look at the ground and spotted this little hump - thought it looked like a breast! :p

Spent a lot of time on buses and trains that day with my Zen nano plus - did I mention a bought an mp3 player a few weeks ago? Love it :) One song kept appearing on my randomised playlist: 20:30:40. Like the lyrics, especially "规则随便一改女人越坏男人越爱" :p Watched movie of same name with CY some time last year, about three women in their 20s, 30s and 40s and their respective exploratory lesbian love and naivety, multiple relationships and confusion, and failed marriage and strength in recovery.

21 Nov - arty farty day

Well, I had thought the National Palace Museum would be the highlight of the day but I was out in two hours! It wasn't very big and I must say porcelain bowls measuring 60cm in diameter and little bronze figurines didn't do it for me, although there were a few exhibits I liked. The ivory and jade ornamental pieces on display were simply beautiful. And "After work, what did the Emperor do?", which featured some curio boxes that must be opened and closed in a certain sequence. (Actually with the title I was thinking emperors usually had a number of concubines.. :p) Then there were all the imperial and leisure seals, beautifully carved – oh, I bought an acrylic seal with one character of my Chinese name in Jiufen :)





With time on my hand, I covered some itinerary for the next day too. Dozens of people were waiting for their turn to let the old ladies "collect their fears" - 收惊 - at Xing Tian Temple. I've never heard of that! So I watched for a while like an idiot.. Made a mental note, now written, to check out local temples one day..

Oh, a lot of people were at the temple to ask for their fortune or for permission to do things etc. Besides a whole room dedicated to written oracles (you draw a lot from a whole cylinder of lots but you've got to ask the deities if that is the correct oracle for you), there were a lot of fortune tellers lining the pedestrian underpass nearby. I was tempted to try but with so many, it was difficult to settle on one.



Finally I got to try the chicken chop from Shilin night market!!! But it must have been overhyped by too many people; nice but I didn't find it particularly fantastic.

22 Nov – cold cold hands

Rain rain rain! My hands were freezing the whole damn day and I was feeling so depressed most of the time! The miserable British winter came to mind but it seemed far too distant for me to be used to such weather again. Like in Japan, cold weather got to me again, and I was seriously reconsidering my future solo trips to China and UK, not aborting but finding suitable travel mates.





Felt much better when CY and Kel arrived. We had a fabulous dinner as you can see :) That was the beginning of our crazy days together, nonsense and crap at every corner, accompanied by Kel’s diabolical laughter as evil thoughts bloomed in his crooked mind!

23 Nov - 那你们就认了吧!

Hualian was honestly quite boring without a car or a bike. We asked a lady at a tiny cafe if there was any interesting place nearby that we could visit.

She: You can go to *somewhere*.. Just rent a motorbike, very easy..
Us: Huh, rent motorbike??
She: Aiya, very cheap, only NT300 odd dollars for the whole day!
Us: Um, we don't know how to ride a motorbike..
She: Eh? 那你们就认了吧!

Sighs.. It was thus destined that we had to roam the quiet city centre for that afternoon..



A pink motorbike with its pink biker!



Election campaigns were on-going and this guy apparently was fighting with some pro-nature policies. When we passed a huge banner by the same guy later, there were actually a cow and a goat chained there!



Two Nsmen stopped by the cafe and we took a pict with one of them. They sat with us for a while after that and we chatted for a while. The one not in the pict said he studied English in Singapore for a while some years ago, and commented that Singaporean English was weird! Haha! I had to agree :p

24 Nov - away from civilisation



See our breakfast choices? Amazing! And we had such choices almost every day in Taiwan, heh heh..



But this was the only eatery with such a cute waitress! She first appeared from behind, holding out my ice tea without a word. I took it from her with a big smile but she just walked off innocently to get other stuff! So lovable :))



We hired a cab driver to bring us to Taroko Gorge. This calligraphy was carved into the rock at the entrance of the gorge. There were a couple other calligraphy pieces as we went along, reminding me of this character in one of Louis Cha's novels who could write calligraphy on cliffs with his weapon but I couldn't recall who - help?



The shrine behind us was built in memory of the hundreds who died building the road into the gorge.



*blog fatigue, pant pant*





Reached this part of the gorge that looked like a frog and with a crown - it's *gasp* the Frog Prince!



We were crazy..



.. and we were "poetic" as well!





Like this 2-ton rose jade as you can see.. CY bought two necklaces and two pieces of 天禄 for her parents and herself, Kel bought a necklace for his mum, I bought a 天禄 for myself, no gifts! :p

And then we took a train back to Taipei and headed straight for Shilin, where Kel obviously didn't like fermented beancurd.. I couldn't take it too so after a few mouthfuls by unappreciative tastebuds, CY finished the rest!





Strawberries and cherry tomatoes dipped in red sugar syrup!



Now, these were different from the ones in Singapore - they were HUGE! Like the guy making them :p And besides octupus, there were broccoli, prawn etc in the same tako ball. We did some shopping too, some facial masks and socks!

25 Nov - 消费愉快



We woke rather late and headed straight for a hotspring treat in Beitou! The weather was great and the outdoor pools were filled with young and old in colourful swim wear. No photos were allowed because "what if people bring their mistresses here?"

!!!



Took this on the way back to hotel, it said "first Korean style cosmetic surgery centre" - the results, if real, were unbelivable!

The hotspring brought a nice red flush to my cheeks and we were all sleepy. Ended up sleeping in the hotel for a while, CY and me with our facial masks. Then, it's karaoke time!



Must sing and dance!



Partyworld was this huge karaoke chain and their latest branch was this BUILDING! We went to the cheaper but older branch across the street and took the extra small room to save some money. But the room was actually bigger than the small room in our Kbox here! And it had an attached bathroom, excellent and almost immediate service at the touch of a button, and lovely dim sum snacks. Yes, Mr Service-who-said-消费愉快-to-us-everytime, we had indeed 消费愉快!



We were still full of energy when we got back to the hotel - oh I moved into a small but very nice and cheap hotel with them - so we decided to have a bit of fun with..



.. Kel's eyes! His right eye had mascara, can you see? How about side view?



We usually bought some drinks and snacks from 7-11 on the way back to our hotel, and gathered in either room to talk rubbish and watch TV. The selection was amazing - 100 channels! It was usually variety shows or movies. We watched an episode of 我猜 and it was as good as ever. And also 女人我最大, which inspired me to do something more exciting with my hair! Then we found very old Hong Kong movies, classics starring Andy Lau, Mr Vampire - I like Mr Vampire though I was very scared watching his shows as a kid. Then some were porn-ish but revealing nothing. They were hilarious! Titles included what 满清十二酷刑 - you can imagine!

26 Nov - happy birthday to CY!

CY, you're 25!! :) We had planned to go clubbing at night but my nose was acting up very badly, sighs..



We lazed in a nice cafe for a few hours, sipping coffee/ tea and reading magazines, cos we were too early for the fashion market..



Now guess who was the biggest spender of the day? Not mf, not CY, so it must be Kel!! In fact, mf didn't bought any clothing during the trip, what an achievement :p But I bought two pairs of shoes, kena nagging from Mother already..





Discovered this great dessert 烧仙草 near Tonghua/ Linjiang night market. And it's not difficult to make! I've told Mother about it, hee..

27 Nov - 何必减肥



I like this photo, taken as a train came into the station. And check out Kel in his new clothes!



On the way to Mitsukoshi, we decided that we were very huggable that day :p



There was a promotion campaign outside Mitsukoshi to discourage women from smoking. Girl on left should be singer Lin Yi Chen, quite cute :) The day CY and Kel arrived I also saw a launch for no-smoking restaurants. mf supports!

We spent a couple of hours browsing books at the huge Eslite bookstore and got ourselves a few books and magazines. I was happy to find very cheap text on Jap grammar! Then as usual, we must have tea..



One day, I told Kel he should smile more widely, not so prim and proper.. Then he said his smile was very - get this - 庄严! CY and I were laughing like mad! 庄严?! You couldn't have meant a 庄严 event so it must be like a 庄严 BUDDHA STATUE?!!

Waiters at the cafe had very cute shirts!



So I had my cake in peace :)

28 Nov - magical Monday

Sighs, we came to the last day very soon. We were all tired but we were also having so much fun!

We thought we would just walked around the Taipei Main Station area before leaving for CKS airport at 2pm. But we chanced upon a magician! I was a metre away from him but could spot nothing until he revealed the secret of a few simple tricks. We had to drag ourselves away before the end of the free lesson..

My flight was earlier than theirs so they sent me off at the gates. Then I received them at Changi :p And so, we are back! Now I'm sure we all miss the food and laughter..
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