Deepavali holiday back in Malaysia.


Happy Deepavali to all my Indian friends and to the others who are celebrating this wonderful festival! May this Festival of Lights be a festival of joy, peace and prosperity!

This year’s Deepavali falls on a Tuesday (tomorrow) and many people including me are taking leave today (Monday). That means we got to enjoy a four-days long break after counting in the past weekend. I was definitely not missing out this opportunity to return to KL for a long holiday, desired entertainment, deserving rest and to reunite with my family.

Surprisingly, the bus trip back to KL from Singapore on last Friday’s evening was not as bad as I expected. There were massive congestion of cars but my trip was not affected as we are on the bus lane that was less crowded. I was still to reach home at around 3 to 4am as usual (I was reminded back then when I only got to arrive at home by 6am when I cam back to KL during the Raya holiday).

This long break allows me to have a good bonding time with my family. I also got to play rummy game with my family on last Saturday’s evening after dinner (didn’t play it for quite a long time already). Then, we spent the whole Sunday at Genting Highlands. Although most of us lost some money up there (me included, but I’m glad I only lost a bit), but we were still enjoying the trip with some awesome time especially when riding the Awana Skyway cable car from the Premium Outlet to the mountain resort at the top (my second ride). It’s really hard to win money from Genting (if not, Genting won’t be as grand, big and wealthy as it is today).

This time around, most parts of the new indoor mall called Sky Avenue at Genting Highlands have opened up to the public including cool outdoor dining area, cinema, etc. However, the indoor theme park inside the mall isn’t opened yet (it will open most probably on January 2019). The very much delayed outdoor theme park (20th Century Fox World) is still under-construction but all the shapes and main structures were built already. After years of delay, I’m expecting it to finally open end of next year. By the way, it looks very small and compact. The new Sky Avenue mall has taken up a huge chunk of the land, hence reducing the area of the outdoor theme park unfortunately.

(Image source: http://www.themeparx.com/20th-century-fox-world-malaysia)

Time flies. I’m returning to Singapore tomorrow’s afternoon and my ordinary working life resumes after that. Anyway, I’m still cherishing the break I have back at home. The next long holiday that I have got to enjoy would be the Christmas break end of this year.

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Happy Halloween! What’s the coolest Halloween gift you ever receive?


 

This famous painting of the nun from the ‘Conjuring’ film series would be the perfect Halloween gift for your friends! Give it as a surprise Halloween present for your playful friends! Haha. By the way, the painting seriously looks damn creepy. It would be terrifying if you really have this painting in your bedroom, right on the wall across from your bed. And when you turn off the light, the painting is slightly illuminated to reveal yet another sight of horror. I believe no one will dare to hang that up.

The movie ‘The Nun’ which was just released last month has been doing very well at the box office (it has grossed over US$360 million so farĀ  and is already the highest grossing film in the ‘Conjuring’ film series). It does not perform well to the critics though; earning less than 30% at Rotten Tomatoes. Have you watched the movie? It is a must watch if you are a fan of the ‘Conjuring’ film series. James Wan, a Malaysian born Australian film director is the man behind this. A very talented man (he designed this nun’s appearance as well as the creepy Annabelle doll too).

Anyway, Happy Halloween! Until these days, I’m still confused and curious on why do the Western people (or Christians) ‘happily celebrate’ and ‘enjoy with fun’ a festival that remembers the dead and puts ghosts and scary stuff to the spotlight. It is a norm for them to play trick-or-treat, pranks or other games, watch horror movies, attend costume parties, share horror stories, visit haunted attractions, and just enjoy the fun. Try imagine us, the Chinese celebrating Qing Ming Festival or Hungry Ghost Month Festival with games and laughter like Halloween. We would be grilled by the elders due to being very disrespectful. That’s such a different (totally opposite) practice by different culture. We said ‘Happy Halloween!’, but we will never say ‘Happy Qing Ming!’.

Halloween comes and it means this long month of October is finally coming to an end. I’m looking forward to the next two months (last two months of the year) where many holiday is coming such as Deepavali (next week!), Christmas and New Year celebration.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Mid-Autumn Festival isn’t complete without mooncakes!


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Since there isn’t any four seasons here in Southeast Asia, we usually called the festival as Mooncake Festival. Well, the festival isn’t complete without the mooncakes. I love to eat them, especially the original flavor (lotus paste with yolk). However for this year, I didn’t get to eat snow skin or jelly mooncake which are my other favorites besides the original flavor. They are pretty expensive and taste very sweet nowadays; well, it’s alright since we only got to eat them once a year.

In case you didn’t know or didn’t realize, Mid-Autumn Festival is actually the second largest celebration for the Chinese. Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month in Chinese lunar calendar, Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday in China, Hong Kong, and also Taiwan. Since Chinese forms the major population in Singapore, I think Mid-Autumn Festival should be made a public holiday too since it is a rather important and meaningful festival. Singapore has too few public holiday annually.

I went back to KL last weekend and had a nice dinner with my family to compensate for the supposingly family reunion dinner this evening in conjunction with the festival. Well, the festival falls on Monday and is not a holiday, so it’s not possible to be at KL with family for the day. I have to save my annual leave for my Chinese New Year’s trip to Europe early next year.

Monday blues today and it get worst as I was feeling unwell; stomachache and headache. They both came at once, giving me fatigue and a huge discomfort. Fortunately, there isn’t much work today. I should have just taken a medical leave today but I didn’t, and I don’t know why. Weird. Guess I’m saving on my medical leave too (pointless). I’m going to get a good rest tonight and hopefully will return to a healthy being tomorrow hopefully. Still have to go through the remaining long week ahead.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Selamat Hari Raya Aildilfitri!…looking forward to my upcoming Raya 2018 holiday back in KL.


Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslims, particularly to my Malay friends and blog readers here! A month of fasting finally came to an end and may you have a wonderful and festive Raya celebration with your family, relatives and friends! If you are returning to hometown, have a safe trip and don’t be stress out by the traffic congestion (it is inevitable). For those who are not celebrating, happy holiday as well! This is a slightly longer weekend, thanks to the Hari Raya holiday that falls on Friday this year. Hence, I wouldn’t miss this opportunity to return home to spend a bit longer time in KL.

I’m already expecting a huge crowd tomorrow at the two border checkpoints between Malaysia and Singapore after working hours. A lot of Malaysians working in Singapore (like me, and especially the Malays) will go back to Malaysia for this celebration or simply enjoying the holiday. Usually it would take an hour or two to get through the checkpoints, but for tomorrow, I’m expecting about 3 hours. That is craziness that will only happen a few times in a year (only during festive period). A bus ride from Singapore to KL will usually take 6 hours, but for tomorrow, I’m thinking 8 hours or even more. My bus ride will start at 9pm and I think it will be almost morning when I reached KL.

The crowd at the checkpoints is my first concern. The second one is the traffic congestion along the route. Authorities in both Singapore and Malaysia should really look into making the exiting and entering procedures more efficient and less time consuming. My suggestion is to combine the two checkpoints into one, making it much easier and convenient for everyone. For bus passengers like us, we do not need to get down the bus twice if this approach is implemented and the buses do not need to queue again and again. People would ask me, why not just take a flight? Well, affordability is still my priority.

There isn’t much Raya mood going on here in Singapore, mainly because Malays comprises only a very small portion of the population here. It’s considered just a minor celebration here as opposed to being one of the main festive seasons in Malaysia. I recalled the time when I was working in a small office where all the other employees are Malays. They would turn up the radio with all the repeating festive Raya songs, share the Raya snacks and biscuits, and organize break fasting session and I would join in the fun. When my former colleagues were taking additional leave on the Raya week, I am the only one left working in the office. That was some cool experience though.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all the Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri again! Have a great one! I’m looking forward to this weekend too in KL!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Happy New Year! It’s 2018 now!


Happy New Year!

It’s the time again to bid farewell to another year. Goodbye 2017!

2017 has been a smooth year for me filled with travels, studies and love from my family. I have spent most of the entire year in Australia for my study, and it was the same for the year 2016 as well. How about 2018? Where will I be spending most of my time in? Back in Malaysia or stays in Australia? I’m still undecided and I will let the fate decides for me (it means I will settle at whatever the place that I get a good and promising job). I will leave it open for multiple possibilities and hence I foresee 2018 to be a year that I will step on new territories, face new challenges, and work in the professional practice to my best effort.

Welcome 2018! I’m ready for this brand new year! But I’m here without any new year resolutions…why? Because I find them pointless and would not work. The most important is that you have your own goals in your mind and live your life to the fullest.

Have you enjoyed this period of festive season? Countdown parties, lovely gatherings, fun outings, amazing fireworks, and well wishes filled everywhere as we celebrate the New Year! This is the time again for me to check out amazing new year fireworks display from various parts of the world, particularly from Taipei, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Dubai and of course my city, Kuala Lumpur (but my city’s fireworks is the worst of them).

So, this post is technically my first blog’s post of the year! On the other hand, 2018 will be quite a special year to my blog here as it will celebrates its iconic 10th anniversary later this year, and is also expected to reach the milestone of having 2000 blog posts early this year.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and may you have an awesome year ahead!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Merry Christmas! Have an awesome one this year!


This year’s Christmas falls on Monday. That’s great as it has turned our weekend a day longer, giving us more opportunities to go for a longer continuous break or a quick vacation. Same goes to the New Year’s Day next week that is also going to be observed on Monday.

Christmas in Malaysia is nothing besides than seeing the extravagant Christmas decorations in major shopping malls in the country. Visiting these malls is the only way to bring Christmas feel to the table too as they are air-conditioned (hence feeling like being in winter and away from the outside heat). There are also various spots to take lovely pictures with the decorations, Christmas music filling the air, and End Year Sale (shopping time!).

(Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL mall’s main atrium this year. This is one of the malls in KL that is spending a lot on decorations annually)

Christmas in Malaysia is more commercialized rather than religiously celebrated as Malaysia is a country with Muslim-majority, I’m not being racist here but I’m trying to send out a message on this festive season that peace and unity should come above all. That is integral to maintain the harmonious state of the nation that comprises of people of various races and religions. There is no place for extremist views. I felt angered and disappointed over incidents such as the ‘Muslim-only launderette’, ‘protest over just a cross sign in Muslim neighbourhood’, and ‘protest over Christian sculptures in a public park’ that happened in Malaysia in recent years. Where is the respect? I believe all religions promote peace and respect. There should never be a thinking that one religion is above another.

Alright. Let’s not destroy the festive mood. How will you be celebrating the day? For Malaysians, we would just be visiting the malls. But for my family, we didn’t even plan to do so as those places are going to be very crowded and traffic congestion is also imminent. We will try to avoid that by staying indoor for most of the day but that’s going to be boring. Hmm…we still don’t have plan for the day. I think we will sort it out and we are still going to enjoy the day!

For all Christians who are celebrating, have a wonderful Christmas! May your wishes come true and may you receive the Christmas presents that you long desire! Have an awesome day with your family and friends! Merry Christmas!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

It’s my country 60th anniversary of independence today!


The 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia had just ended yesterday and now, we came to a big day in Malaysia! It’s our country’s 60th anniversary of independence!

Happy Independence Day to all Malaysians! Although I’m not in Malaysia now, but my heart stays in Malaysia! As I always said, I love my country (but not its government). Today is 31st August 2017, and on this day exactly 60 years ago, our nation proudly gained independence from the British. Without the effort by our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman and his aids, our country would not be able to achieve what it is today.

This is the day when I was reminded how I love to decorate my class every year in this one month of national celebration with many Malaysian flags. They were hanged everywhere in the class and in the whole school compound. Our class would sometime even win the prize for best National Day decoration. On the other hand, I also love the competition whereby each classes will have all of their students performing chosen Merdeka (independence) theme song. What I love about it is not the singing but the practice and rehearsal sessions for this competition that will took away some of the normal class sessions. Haha…Time to sneak away from boring classes.

I have to admit that our country is not as united or harmonious as it seems to be. The past history and mentality of some citizens of the nation are still hindering the national effort to bring all people close together despite the differences in races, religions, cultures and backgrounds. Anyway, the country is still considered peaceful and great to live in. The Malaysian food is the best! The Petronas Twin Towers are our glory!

Last but not least, I would like to wish to all Malaysians a Happy Independence Day! 60th birthday, man! Enjoy the long holiday too! What’s my wish for the future Malaysia? Grow much faster, have the government changed for the good of everyone, have the currency value (Malaysian ringgit) increases as much as it can since the currency is so low now, limit number of immigrants in the country (obviously too many of them now) and more united with no more racism. We should not call ourselves Malay, Chinese or Indian but as a Malaysian!

“Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan ke 60!”

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)