Saturday, December 31, 2005

sup mate?

These days when I meet my cousins on my paternal side at family gatherings and what not, I feel a sense of dread brooding within me. Its not because my cousins and aunties and uncles are terrible people, although some of them are terribly boring. Rather its because they keep going on and on about their intentions to bugger off to good ol Australia and essentially giving Singapore the verbal finger, though not as explicitly of course. But it just frikkin gets my goat hearing them all going on about down under as if it were the bloody El Dorado of the east. Treasure Island ahoy! We gonna be rich me hearties!
SMLJ! I mean, I'm no PAP fondler but dammit. Give this place a chance will ya? Where the hell fo you think you've been living the past God knows how many years? Sierra Leone? Being able to go out on the streets on your own in the middle of the night is a privilege a lot of people don't have. A privilege some people can barely even imagine for that matter. Education, careers, the chance to make your life what you want it to be. Its all here too. It might be more difficult to attain than in Australia, but they're not absent.
I hate that everyone on my paternal side seems to have taken up a complete defeatist attitude about their chances of making it here in Singapore. When I told my cousin that he said that I didn't understand that the working world was a survival of the fittest, to which I asked why instead of trying to get fitter, he was just buggering off to another race category. Its like instead of training up to run a marathon, you settle for the kiddy sack race instead. So you win a prize. Whoop dee doo day. Tra la flowers in the sun with cookies and cream. In my experience, just about nothing that you attained without a struggle is ever really worth it.
Darn it. The way things are looking, in a few years the only way I'm going to collect ang pow from my paternal side is if I get them to courier cheques to me. Either that or paypal.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

little drummer boy

Come, they told me pa rup pum pum pum
A new born king to see pa rup pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa rup pum pum pum
To lay before the King pa rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum

So to honour Him pa rup pum pum pum
When we come

Baby Jesus pa rup pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too pa rup pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring pa rup pum pum pum
Thats fit to give a King pa rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum

Shall I play for you pa rup pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded pa rup pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time pa rup pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him pa rup pum pum pum
I played my BEST for Him pa rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum
Rup pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me pa rup pum pum pum
Me and my drum


Saturday, December 24, 2005

choices choices

Oh my goodness! Its a groupie's wonderland!!!!!!!!

Oasis on 23rd Feb 2006!!! And to make it sweeter, Corinne May's coming too on Feb 12th in NUS!!!

And Queen's coming too!! Wahooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

hard to beat

Results just came out today and I'm not sure if I recieved a christmas present or a christmas disaster. I got a cumulative average of 3.9 points, which is just 0.1 frikkin points away from 2nd uppers! All because I somehow got a C+ for a political science paper that I'd thought I'd aced.
I know I did better than most people but somehow, somehow I always can't compare to my own friends. All the AC boys in NUS are doing so frikkin well. I don't think they'd appreciate me advertising their scores here but one of them even got a CAP score of 5.0!!!! Thats the absolute maximum you can get. A whopping 5 As! All the SMU dudes like JH and Ian and gang are doing well too....somehow I always end up....mediocre.

I know I shouldn't be feeling this. But dammit. I do.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

its smelling like ....

Just got home from Mark Seow's party and boy was it a blast! Problem is don't have pictures again. Brought my camera there but didn't bring batteries along. Ugh. I've been doing this kinda thing a lot. The other day Vivien's party I brought the camera but forgot the memory card. This time I remembered the card and forgot the batteries. Age catching up. I'm going to be 22 in less than a month's time!!! My goodness!!
If you're reading this, thanks for a great party Mark! And Grace and JH too! Good food, good company....and even better brownies! Courtesy of yours truly of course! Heh. Been a while since we've had a big gathering like that with everybody coming down and having a few laughs. Mark even introduced some new card game that eventually had everybody slapping their own faces, pinching each other's cheeks, and Mark having to conk heads with Grace every once in a while.

All of a sudden its starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Monday, December 19, 2005


Thought I'd finally managed to get a great deal on a road bike. My platoon mate offered to sell me his super ultra 'zhenged' roadie for a mere 900 and I was over the moon. All I needed to do was to check it out on Monday cuz had the YF camp over the weekend. Now he tells me some stranger came and grabbed the offer already. I'm not very sure if I'm right in feeling a bit betrayed.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Boy its been a loooooooooooong weekend. There was a time, just a few months ago in fact, when a looooooooong weekend meant looking back with longing, wishing it'd never end. Now it means quite the opposite. Well somewhat anyway.
Just got back from rehearsals for the upcoming YF drama and I am absolutely and completely knackered. Took the very first bus back to church for rehearsals right after the YF camp ended. Thats means I dragged my guitar and pedal ad cables and clothes and what not all the way to Ang Mo Kio from NUS and then all the back to Hillview again. And with a pair of severely blistered feet that I can barely even stand on, courtesy of a being dumb enough to play ultimate frisbee barefoot on a scorching hot basketball court in the middle of the afternoon.
That was yesterday. Just before my cell group and I took our leave from the camp for a while to attend Vivien's 21st birthday party. A COSTUME affair of all things. And in some recreation club in Changi Airport of all places. Anyway so Alan and I stopped over at my place first to dress up and a bit of brainstorming led to the both of us looking like the star attractions of a Martian freak show. He was a fashion faux pas Picasso in a too-big shirt, tight long john pants, Goretex combat boots and my frikkin spare red beret (minus the crest) to top it off. Yours truly went as a slightly off centre version of the phantom of the opera with a too small and bought from art friend white mask, a pirated nigga style plastic yellow chain and a dinky little hammer because I couldn't find a bloody sword. Good thing we managed to hitch a ride from Eleanor there, who conveniently decided to Picasso's wife. Picasso's SANELY dressed wife for that matter.
But of course good ol Murphy has to come round and when we reach the place all ridiculous and more than a little humiliated, it comes to our attention that NOBODY is dressed up. Even Vivien's idea of dressing up was a slinky traditional Vietnamese dress that made her look more elegant than anything else. It took 10 minutes and a helluva lot of persuasion before we walked through those doors.
But the real nightmare was getting BACK to camp from the airport. Everything just seemed to go wrong. We kept arriving at stations just as the train was leaving and when we finally alighted it was 2350 and all the cabbies were off performing their ritual hiding and meditation till midnight. Byt the time we finally got a cab it was 0030 and we were dog tired. Dropped by my place to grab my guitar and all first for worship today and then back to NUS. That was when the frikkin cabbie decided to try and pull a fast one and pretend he heard us say NTU. He kept insisting that he knew a faster way via PIE Jurong and so I stupidly decided to let him show it to us. We were half way to Nan frikkin Da before it occured to us where he was going and Luke was one helluva pissed.

'..but Uncle we said NUS a lot of times already..'

'Err..hehe..sorry ah'

'So like that we have discount or not Uncle? Have not?'


'Are you trying to cheat us Uncle? You better not be trying to cheat us I tell you.. its been a long night Uncle. Its been a really long night.'

All that in a menace filled voice that spoke of barely repressed rage. Even Alan and I weren't sure what Luke would do next, especially since he was sitting up front next to the cabbie. The cabbie must've been thinking the same thing. He took off the midnight surcharge from our fare.
Unfortunately that wasn't the end of the night for me. About 2 minutes after the cab left I realised I had left my dorm keys back home and they had to be returned early next morning. Had to trouble Eleanor again to drop me back on her way home. That was 3am. Woke up at 0700 to catch the bus to NUS but fell asleep on the way and overshot, forcing me to have to walk all the way back to PGP on two spectacularly blistered feet.
Ok enough self pity. I just made it sound like ministry work is nothing but a right pain in the neck. Far from it actually. The camp was a great success and a bit of pain and tiredness is a small price to pay for the hearts of the younger ones growing in Christ.
Anyway might as well plug myself a bit.

Defending Your Life. A Youth Fellowship production. 26th December from 7pm to 9pm. MGS Auditorium. 11 Blackmore Drive Singapore 599986.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

rat race

Back in Singapore and back to the hustle and bustle all over again. I can't believe it was only a week ago that I was Istanbul. The wonders of modern technology. This whole week has been so packed I've barely even had time to breathe. Even forgot I was supposed to turn lab rat again yesterday till the lab tech ruined my dreams with the clattering of the phone. Luckily he was pretty nice about it and even agreed to change my appointment to later. Couldn't possibly be going down to Timbre with a load of wires sticking out of my neck. Strap a ticking alarm clock to my chest and I'll probably get shot by some overenthusiastic cop.
I'm really worried about the coming drama and my first ever time playing for worship on Sunday. Two weeks from showtime and everything still seems really really amateurish. My own cell group's drama production earlier set the standard already and boy that is some standard. That plus I feel like a frikkin noob compared to all the rest of the musicians in the worship band. This better go well. Sigh. YF camp tomorrow till Sunday. Vivien's birthday party on Saturday night, which I still have to think up a costume for. And then drama rehearsals straight after the camp ends on Sunday.
Once again into the breach!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

turkey (super long post)

Turkey. Words seem to do nothing but injustice to the sights and sounds of the cradle of civilisation. Absolutely amazing, astounding and awe-inspriring don't even come close. Even if I didn't get to see snow. Frikkin weather had to choose then to go topsy turvy and have summer in winter.
Trip didn't start out too well though. Turkish Airlines must have some bloody gall, daring to call themselves a national airline. Must admit I had major reservations about the trip while on the plane. It was just soooooooo budget, so frikkin amateurish it became almost a comedy show. The antics of the crew were far more entertaining than anything they decided to screen on during the flight. Not that the screen was any good in the first place; lets just say the movie screen experienced far more turbulence than a hot air balloon in a snowstorm. The crew went about bumbling all over the place, even managing to somehow push their food carts in opposing directions on the same aisle and meeting in the middle with a terrific testament to their incompetence. The return flight was slightly better but if they're trying to send the message about the ability of their planes to get there against all odds then... well... they're doing a good job.

The Blue Mosque. Didn't get my wish and photograph it with snowflakes all around but Mosque didn't need a single speck of white to make the entire group's jaws drop open in wonder. Seeing it in real life is worlds apart from looking at it from pictures. And if you think the outside is magnificent, check out the interior.

I just hope that don't say allahu akbar

That dome is more than 30 metres high and every bit of the inside is covered in gorgeous painted mosaic tile. Imagine that. No electric tools, no computer diagrams and sure as hell no Phua Chu Kang. Every bit of it painstakingly done by hand. There was another mosque, the Hagia Sophia.

It used to be the biggest church in the world till the Ottomans took Constantinople (Istanbul) and turned it into a mosque. Architects today are still trying to figure out what on earth is holding that 40 metre high dome up and how on earth people in the 16th century could've put up something like that. Without much success evidently. All they've found is that if they move a single piece of stone in the structure, the whole thing will come down like house of cards. If you can imagine 100 ton cards that is.
Then it was off to Anakara and the Anatolian Civilisations Museum. Millenia old cave paintings and stautes and all, but somehow I was far more entertained by other stuff.

You'll have to excuse my friend, she lost her head

Obviously the feeling ain't mutual

Thats the darling of the tour group. Say hi to Christina! She looks sooooooooo darned cute in that coat. Like Boo fron Monsters Inc. She had people eating out of her hand every darned where we went. Our little super star in my sister's words. Ain't that the truth

When the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, died the Turks decided to bring up the ol architectural prowress again. And obviously nothing's changed. Thats just the courtyard of Ataturk's mausoleum. The actual ground area is way way bigger than that.

I sure wouldn't want to be doing drill practice there. Like these guys were doing.

I couldn't resist.

Food FOR the faint hearted

So we made our way down to this place called Cappodocia and along the way I managed to get the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen.Eat your heart out Michelangelo

Cappodocia is quite simply the land of the most amazing natural wonders. Utterly absolutely astouding.Like the fairy chimneys below.

And even some man-made ones. People actually used to live INSIDE these things. In fact some people still do. Many of them led to humongous underground cities that spanned miles and miles and went down hundreds of feet. The early Christians used this cave network to hide from the Arabs and Romans hell bent on annihilating them. Sounds eerily like a certain movie don't it?

So thats where urinals came from. Wonder where they washed their hands.

What the? I just asked where the sink was. No need to get all touchy.

Outside the caves.

My lovely lady what? Here's looking at you Fergie

Had a frikkin 12 hour drive after that to this place called Pamukkale but it was more than worth it when we got to see this.

Think thats snow?

Think again.

Ere the sun rises

Its freezing out but the water's lovely!

Somehow or other, hot water from some calcium rich underground source gets forced up and over the surface of those cliffs, hits the cold air and becomes just the right temperature for white calcium deposits to form. The result. Pamukkale, better known as Cotton Castle. One of the natural wonders of the world. A sight I could just sit and gaze at for hours on end. But the day was just beginning.
We went on to the town of Selcuk where lay the age old one time capitol of the Roman Empire, Ephesus. And also the last known dwelling place of the Mary, the mother of Jesus. Seems a nun in the 19th century had a dream about this place on top of a mountain overlooking Ephesus but no one believed her. Well at least not until someone decided to check it out and found ruins that, when analyzed and reconstructed on paper, matched her description to the bill.

The red line indicates where the ruins were still standing when they found the place. The rest of the pieces were uncovered and fit almost like a jigsaw. A centuries old, cobbled stone jigsaw that appeared in a dream to a woman thousands of miles away. There's a peace up there thats impossible to describe. As if all the cares of the world were but the seeds of a dandelion, gone in the brief insistence of a breath.
After that we went down the mountain and through the gates of a city that Paul himself walked and preached in. A city so significant he wrote a letter to its inhabitants lauding them for their contribution to the Christian cause.

For a city that existed more than 2000 years ago the Ephesians were pretty darned technoloically advanced. They had an underground pipiing system and street lighting. If you were rich you could even have hot water piped and pumped right up into your house. And their toilets were something else altogether.

If you ever wondered where the phrase 'doing your business' came from then, well, this is it. Ephesian toilets were the equivalent of modern day meeting rooms. People came here and talked shop, after having their seats personally warmed by slaves of course. Hot water flowing to get rid of the smell and a gorgeous water feature in the centre. These guys knew how to live.

It seems they were sticklers for education too. They built the 3rd biggest library in the world at that time and made it so beautiful that even just the ruins of the front facade are enough to astound you. And testament to their cleverness, they built the town's biggest brothel 'the house of love' directly opposite the library......and an underground tunnel connecting the two.

One of the oldest advertisements for the oldest professions in the world. The foot pointed to the heart, indicating the way to the house of love. The square on the right of the foot recorded the name of the prostitute.

Backgammon. The oldest game in the world. It ain't DOTA...but well....

Probably the most impressive engineering feat in the city is their very own auditorium. Check this out.

They carved that thing out the side of a frikkin mountain! Even better, somehow they manage to engineer the most amazing acoustics. You can sit all the way at the top of the stadium and still hear the guy in the centre perfectly clear, even if he was talking in a normal speaking voice. The guide proved that to all doubting souls.

Here's to you Samson

On the way out
Second last day in Turkey and we head up to this gorgeous city on top of a mountain called Pergamon and after that the movie famous Troy. But Troy was a total let down so I'll just show the Pergamon pics.

Finally the long drive all the way back to Istanbul. We covered more than 3000km in 8 days. Dinner was accompanied by a belly dance act that was only slightly better than the food, which was terrible. Its only saving grace, and the only reason I stayed awake.
Final day in Turkey.

We were supposed to be admiring the scenery but something else became the main attraction.

Champions of Europe!

One last goof off.

I'm damn proud of this post.