Others (under construction)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pre-climb Dinner

No, I'm not going to climb Mt Kinabalu this year.

Just before every Mt Kinabalu climb, we will organise a pre-climb dinner to introduce ourselves and to have a final briefing for every climber. Not all climbers knows each other, so this dinner is a a good time to introduce and get to know everyone.

Rachel and I were invited to the dinner. Not sure why, probably the organisers wanted us to blog about this event.. haha.

I think it's a good idea that that dinner is contributed by everyone in a sense that each brought something to the dinner table.

Look at all the good and yummy food. Rachel and I brought meatballs with potato and brown gravy. It was cooked my mom (or Tusi).

Dinner started at 7pm with a word of prayer by Peter Lai, who was also an invited guest since he won't be joining them in this climb.

So many people, so much food. The food was more than enough for 40 people and there were only about 30 of us.

Happily eating..

After dinner, Messner showed them a short video on Mt Kinabalu. It seems some movie stars from HK climbed Mt Kinabalu and was video taping the whole trip. Rachel and I watched this video when we first went in 2007.

After the video comes the briefing. Both Messner and Sirdar took turns to brief them of the coming climb and also to share their past experience.

Sirdar was well prepared to become the model to show the climbers on the importance of proper dressing up in the mountains. He brought a thick jacket with him too, but it was too warm to put in on, so he didn't. Otherwise you can see him in the whole outfit all ready to take on Mt Kinabalu.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Extension

It was a few years ago when I wanted to get an extension plug that looked like this -

At that time, I was so reluctant to buy it because it cost RM26.90 and I thought I could wait a little longer and see if they would reduced the price during sales.

Furthermore, I have installed a temporary extension (above picture) which serves me quite well. One point is for the lamp, and the other for the -get-rid-of-mosquito thingy. This plug point is just below a table and on top of the table is my laptop. As you can see, it's too troublesome to put my laptop plug underneath this extension and so I have to use the next nearest plug point which is across the room.

This is what I usually do. Connect two extension wires and insert my laptop plug and phone plug (to charge the battery while using the phone as a modem) into the second extension wire. This makes the place look so messy with wires everywhere.

So when I went shopping with Minch & Rach two Sundays ago, I had the extension plug in mind and tat was one of the first things I bought. It cost RM29.90. Should have bought it the first time I saw it. :(. Anyway, I had a 5% discount on that.

Ta da.... Now it looks neater, I would say.

But my table top is messy with wires. Ah well, you can't have everything...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What a Pretty Sight!

The garden where my mom lives, well, the flowers are blooming to their fullest.

The developer of this garden planted them some 5 or 6 years ago. My mom said that these flowers were called Decoma but I can't find this in the internet.

In full bloom. It's really an amazing sight to see but those living close to these trees will wish that they were planted elsewhere because......

... the petals drop and leave a mess on the ground and once the wind blows, guess what you'll be doing every evening? Why, sweeping the ugly dried petals off your house compound! Additional chore is no fun at all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nuang Chapter 2 – Closing The Unfinished Chapter

Since the infamous climb of 2nd June 2007, the spectre of G Nuang had been haunting PeterL & KGT. After so many mountains under the belt, including Mt Kinabalu (twice together and one other time separately), the unfinished business had been lurking at the back of their minds. They resolved to complete it before the end of 2008, after the boost of a successful G Ledang climb on 4th October.

Haji Day (8th Dec, 2008) seemed like a good day. However, when the idea was mooted, the response was very poor. Some of those who had attempted earlier were too traumatised; others were frightened away by the horror stories.

Finally, a party of 20 took shape: Uncle CK Leong & wife from KL, BoeyFC fr GT KL with wife and 3 sons, Pastor Peter N from Kuala Pilah’s Children’s Home with 4 youngsters, 2 climbers from IMU, VivC & FongY, FrancisT & EveL from Seremban and another IMU guy, WilliamC, with his younger brother.

The day started off on a gloomy note, with heavy rains everywhere. The group reached Pekan Bt 18 very early but could not find any place to have a cup of hot coffee, as all shops were closed for the holiday. After some deliberation, they decided to start the climb at 0700, as the rain showed no sign of abating.

They trudged off into the heavy early morning mist. It was cold and wet. After about an hour, Boey felt the effects of his recent flu, which he and his boys had not fully recovered from. So he decided they would only proceed to a designated point and instructed his wife Shirley to lead the rest of the group to the summit.



The river crossings were quite interesting, due to the high water level from the rain. They did not waste time in taking off their shoes but just ploughed across as quickly as they could. Progress was good, right up to Kem Pacat, which took about 3 hours. From there, the terrain became much more challenging. They met some other climbers descending and sent word back to Shirley that she should turn back with her family.

With an anxious eye on his watch, KG struggled to keep up with Peter, who was in much better shape and setting a good pace. When they reached Puncak Pengasih (the False Peak), they met Pastor Peter and his boys, who were about to descend, thinking that they had summited. After a short discussion, they continued. The initial trek from Puncak Pengasih was a bit doubtful because they were going downhill for quite a distance but they knew they were on the right track, from the feedback of friends who had summited successfully during earlier climbs.


After crossing a ridge and skirting the side of the mountain, the summit was in sight. Finally! It was a special feeling for Peter & KG to summit together. Even the leech bite on Peter’s hand 10 meters from the summit had to wait for treatment. From Puncak Pengasih to the summit, it took about 45 minutes.

The summit was wet and very windy, a really desolate place. There was not much to see as the heavy mist shrouded the view. Most of the climbers were shivering uncontrollably in the cold. KG really kicked himself for not bringing his usual flask of hot coffee. After the picture sessions, they descended a little ways to get out of the wind, change into dry gear and to have some lunch. WilliamC and his brother arrived shortly. Their lunch pack was impressive; like a mini feast!


As Peter and KG were descending some distance from the summit, they met VivC and FongY. Though it was slightly past the turnaround time, this pair still had the fire to summit and requested assistance. So all dumped their bags at that point, taking only the cameras; Peter & KG assisted them up the last leg of the journey.

The descent was slippery, as the rainwater was gushing down in mini rivulets, causing the climbers to slip and fall many times. The use of a walking stick helped in maintaining traction. At one point, Peter slipped and almost twisted his knee. It would have been catastrophic...

The group of 4 (Peter, KG, VivC & FongY) reached Lolo and the start of the gravel road at about 6 pm. Thankfully, the rain stopped then. After a brief rest, they continued along this famous “Never Ending Road”. One heavy step after another, into the oncoming twilight. The signs of fatigue were obvious and they could hardly hold up their heads.

At about 7:30, they met Uncle Leong, walking in alone with spare torches and raingear, looking for the ‘lost sheep’. This gave them a fresh spurt of encouragement. It is really a blessing to have such a caring team member. Another 30 minutes and the end was in sight.

Uncle Leong had some drinks and biscuits ready. It was good to wash off the grime, mud and sweat and to attend to some leech bites.

As Peter & KG limped gingerly from the car into the restaurant at Semenyih for a late supper, the feeling of utter weariness was so great that they thought of taking a 2-month hiatus from climbing so as to fully recover.

The trip was a success; all 11 who decided to summit made it. Yes, it was a great feeling to finally complete this unfinished business, which began one and a half years earlier. It was not an easy climb but they did slay the goliath, through good teamwork and perseverance. Though the wet weather was a damper initially, it helped to keep the climbers cool.

All glory to God for a safe climb.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ladies' Fellowship

Late last year, a group of ladies decided to get together for dinner and fellowship. After 2 months of talking about it, they finally decided to have it on the 16th of February 2009. Instead of going to a restaurant, they opted for a pot bless dinner in my mom's house. All of them were good cooks and each cooked her own speciality.

Look at all those oh-so-yummy dishes. Clearly they were enjoying not only the fellowship but they had fun tasting each other's food.

After dinner, my mom taught them how to make cream cracker biscuit cake and Christina taught the group how to make another cake.

Too much food, we had to call the guys to help us eat, otherwise it would go to waste.

While I was there, I sat for a while at the "guys table". They were talking deep stuff about the bible. Then I went to the "ladies table". They talked about things like... "I remember when we were young..." and "oh, I like your wall colour. I will never dare to paint this colour..."

Hmmm....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shopping Day Cut Short

Two Sundays ago, Rachel, Minch and I went for this J Card Privilege Shopping Day. It was the final day to use the coupon and so we went..... with expectant hearts. (Well, at least I did).

First things first. It was lunch time and we had to choose a restaurant which we felt comfortable in. You probably would think that this sounds weird; Minch's taste and ours are way too different. The last time we were here, we ate in Honkie Kopitiam. I wouldn't mind going to that place again, but Minch absolutely refused to enter that restaurant again. She mentioned Japanese food, but we opposed it. Finally, we settled at Johnny's, a Thai and steamboat cuisine. I ordered ginger rice, Rachel - hot and spicy rice, and Minch, stir-fried prawns .. something. It was something new and was on promotion.

I thought mine was good. Rachel liked hers too... but Minch.... she complained about her food. Sigh.. I think if she comes with us the next time, we have to skip this restaurant too.

We started shopping, taking the ground floor first. It was a quick one, but we managed to spend about RM300 or so. That was because Rachel bought a car lock (Minch forced her to get one) and that was the bulk of the purchase.

We stowed all our newly purchased goods into the car and went for round 2.

And then Mctc called. He said that his mom had to go to the hospital because her abdomen/stomach area was painful. I said I could only come in 1 or 2 hours' time because I didn't know how long we wanted to shop. It wasn't only my decision so it was hard to tell him that I could come right away. He said okay, he would wait.

Less than 20 minutes later, he called again asking what time I could leave Jusco. I said, not so soon.

Then he called again after a few minutes. My answer was the same.

Then he called again and said that his mother is in a critical situation. My mood for shopping was gone and fortunately Minch and Rachel were about done with their shopping. I called Mctc once we left the parking lot and agreed to meet him at the hospital.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Wedding

Today I attended Huong's wedding.

If you know his background and the hardships he has gone through, gosh.. you just gotta admire this guy. He is simply amazing. From a broken man, to someone who's so changed. He's got a very big heart now especially for people who are helpless and needy.

And today is his special day.

He asked Rachel to help him take photos of his wedding. We weren't sure whether he had asked other people to take pictures for him, so Rachel asked if I would tag along with her to the bride's house. Following the Chinese tradition, Huong would have to "collect" his bride from her house. But before he could see her, he would have to do all sorts of things requested by the bride and her friends. Fortunately, he was asked only to sing a couple of songs and one of two other things. The conversations and songs were all in Mandarin.

At about 1.30pm we left the bride's house to go to church where they officially became man and wife. The wedding service was scheduled to start at 2.22pm. Yup, today is the 22nd of February and we suggested to him that he should have the service at 2.22pm.

I sat in the last row, and took some pictures when the bride came into the sanctuary. There were more than 250 people who attended his wedding.

And now you may kiss the bride.

I was too lazy to move from my comfortable chair and so I zoomed 16X to capture Huong kissing his bride.

Friends and relatives congratulating the newly married couple.

There was a wedding reception after the service. One of the best receptions I have had so far despite the heavy downpour.

After the wedding, I went home and had a good evening nap, interrupted twice. Once, to hang my laundry, and the second time, to answer the phone.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

I was treated to the Manhattan Fish Market meal for Valentine's Day. It was his favourite, and so we came here. He had the normal Baked Herb Fish and I had something different this time - Salmon Cajun. We had Tucan Tiramisu which was the Restaurant's signature dessert. I thought it was just so-so. Probably because it tasted like the Philadelphia's unbaked cheesecake.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Philip's Not-So-Surprised Birthday

Two Wednesdays ago, we celebrated Philip's birthday. It was supposed to be hush-hush, but somehow Philip knew about it.

We had a late dinner at the Curry Leaf Restaurant and John brought a cake with him.

We sung the Happy Birthday song and the cake was cut and eaten by those who were present. (Some 12 of us or so)

Then Eddie brought out another cake, a plainer one, but well, it's the thought that counts right? Poor Philip had to hold the cake while we sang and he had to cut the second cake for all to eat.

And then, Marifa (someone who works in the restaurant) came in with a banana split and a candle. We sang the Birthday song for the 3rd time.

Seriously, I don't recall singing 3 birthday songs for the same person because there were 3... err.. cakes/dessert. What a fortunate guy, this Philip is.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Security is Tight At GH Seremban

Based on previous experiences in GH (General Hospital), outside the visiting hours, one can only visit after 9pm.... that's for night time lah. I'm not sure about morning. The visiting hours for weekdays visits goes like this -

6.30 - 7.30am
12.30 - 2.00pm
4.30 - 7.30pm

and for weekends and public holidays -
12.30 - 7.30pm.


Continuation from my previous post - I'm about to rant, so please bear with me. :)

We went to Mctc's house to collect some personal stuff for his mother, then went to my mom's house for dinner. At slightly after 9pm, we headed back to GH.

We reached the hospital at 9.18pm. We were so surprised to see a long queue at the security counter. We had to get passes to enter the wards and the security personnel (let's call her Z) who was handling the passes was super slow.

For every person who wanted to visit someone in the ward, Z had to radio the security guard on the particular floor to check if the patient really needed an extra hand or if there were other family members around to help so that there wouldn't be any need for this person to visit the patient. Some were allowed but many were denied entrance to the wards.

When it came to our turn I let Mctc explain the situation. The conversation were all spoken in Malay. He told her that his mother was warded at 5pm and he was here to bring her personal stuff to her and I was there to help clean her.

Z radioed the guard (let's call her G) at the 6th floor and ask if there was anybody looking after the patient. G at 6th floor said there was someone there with the patient. When we heard that, Mctc said to her that there was no one there and he just wanted to go up to bring the things up to his mother. Again, she radioed 6th floor and asked G to check properly as the family member down here (meaning Mctc) confirmed that there wasn't anyone looking after his mother. G confirmed again that a family member was looking after her.

Z glared at Mctc and said that he was not allowed to have a pass and asked him to return the next morning at 6.30am. She wanted to write him off, but he tried his case again saying that there really wasn't anyone up there and he just wanted to bring her personal stuff to her and clean her.

Z then spoke to G and said that she would allow only 1 person to go up and immediately we asked Z to allow me to go in too because Mctc would need my help. I voiced out to Z saying that I was there not to visit but to clean Mctc's mother. Z kept insisting that there was someone up there and she only allow 1 person to bring the personal stuff to the patient. I was mad and her, but I told Mctc that if he needed help, call the nurse.

After a few minutes, Mctc called from 6th floor asking me to go to the counter. G was on the line with Z asking her to let me into the wards.

The conversation goes like this :

G : Please allow the girl to go up. There is no one here to look after the patient.

Z : No, I have given permission for only 1 person.

G : Please allow the girl to go up. I repeat, please allow the girl to go up.

Z : No, I won't allow. The son said that he only wanted to bring her personal stuff up and I have given him the pass. She doesn't need to go up.

This went on like a broken record till Z finally said :

Z : She doesn't want to go up. (Dia tak nak)

I was furious and said " I want to go up".

Z immediately looked up at me and said, "You told me just now that you didn't want to go up???" in an angry tone.

I said " Just now I said, I didn't come here for a visit but to help clean the patient".

Z then issued me a pass to the 6th floor.


Phew.....

And you now how long it took for me to get that pass to attend to Mctc's mother? Let's see, I was there at 9.18pm. When I finally reached the 6th floor, I immediately checked my watch. It was 10.05pm . More than 45 minutes!!!!

I think something ought to be done with the current system. It used to be better.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To the Hospital Again

Another round of visiting the hospital again.

Mctc's mom was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, 15th of February. She complained of stomach pains and she didn't fell good at all. It sounded critical because usually she doesn't complain at all.

So we took her to the hospital (it was about 3.10pm at that time), and after the routine tests and questions, we were told that she had to be warded. In my heart I was like "Whaaaaaat? She was here 3 weeks ago."

It was almost 5pm when they wheeled her to the ward. After another series of checking and testing, the nurse asked us to change her into the clothes provided by the hospital. At the same time we changed her diapers too, but didn't do any cleaning because we didn't have any towels or wipes with us.

We left at 6.30pm, intending to come back later at night to clean her before she sleeps.

to be continued in the next post...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nin Ko

This thing doesn't appear very often in my mother's house. I asked my mom, why is it so popular, why is everyone buying this and giving it as gifts during Chinese New Year? She said there's a Chinese belief whereby one of the gods will come down to earth to check on mankind and in order to stop him from reporting bad things, the people will give the god this sticky thingy (or make it into a cake or something) so that he cannot open his mouth and give bad reports to his superiors.

This means that he will not be able to give good reports too... No wonder, life is so bleak sometimes for the Chinese.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Contentment

What is contentment?

This is a question put forth to us by our cell leader last Friday.

That's a big question.

One answered "being satisfied"

Another had a longer answer. Whatever the circumstances, whatever situation or problems you are going through, whether good or bad, if you can live with it and be satisfied, that is contentment.

Then the cell leader looked at me expectantly and after a few seconds of silence from me, she said "Eunice, I think you are a very contented person." In my heart I said, "Whaaaaat?" Aloud I said "No, I don't think I am".

Now, when I have more time to think whether I am contented or not, well as long as I don't think about myself and compare with others, I am fine. I guess I'll have to live with whatever I have , whatever I'm going through and find peace within myself. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jeram Toi

On Tuesday morning, Dan smsed Mctc asking if there were any plans lined up for them that afternoon. Mctc was feeling sick so we did one thing at a time. We agreed to take them out for lunch. Since they love Malaysian food so much and could take spicy dishes, we thought Curry Leaf would be a good choice.

So after lunch, we took them to Jeram Toi. Not very far from Seremban, probably about 30 minutes drive from err... the police station or bomba (fire brigade) in Rahang.

First sight - Wasn't that impressive because there wasn't much rain for the past few weeks.


The waterfalls (there should be 7 waterfalls but we saw only 3, mainly because we didn't explore deeper into the jungle) lead to this big man-made pool and which leads to this -

.... a knee-deep pool for children with slides (the red thingy) to double their fun.

You can take the stairs and walk up to a certain height.. or you can....

... climb up the slippery rocks like what some crazy Americans did a few years ago. (No offense Keith, you guys are simply amazing!) :)

As we walked up the stairs (yup, we went up the civilized way), we saw another waterfall. What a beautiful sight.

View from the top of the stairs.

View of the bottom taken from mid point. You can see the big man-made pool from there.


View of the 1st waterfall.

video
A video clip of Jeram Toi.


Exciting...

Entrance to Jeram Toi.

This girl and her brother were so excited to see us (well, maybe they were more excited to see Dan and Patty) and kept wanting us to take pictures of them.

We were there for about an hour just enjoying the cool air and good shade by the surrounding trees. It was a perfect place to read, swim, have a family picnic or even bring your date here for some... hehe.
If I were staying around this area, I would spend most of my free time here.

After that we took Dan and Patty back to Seremban intending to leave them at the KTM station so that they could take the train to KL to meet another group of friends. They said it was still too early and so we took them to Top Curry House to have a drink. Then we took them to church to get their plane tickets printed because apparently, they have not printed their e-ticket for the next day to Indonesia.

It was about 6pm when we finally said our goodbyes at the KTM station. We hope to see them again sometime... next year. :)