Thursday, December 31, 2009

a final rant for 2009

some will be at gurney drive, some in the vicinity of KLCC, while yet others at pubs & ballrooms.

i wished i were at the watch night service.

but i'm stuck here doing the count-down in hospital.

so seriously, do you really want your kids to do medicine??

because, I SURE DON'T!!

finally, the F word....

i finally have to say it.....


it's the stuff you have to swallow to clean your bowel before a colonoscope. yeah, that's right - it's the year-end & i'm giving myself a rear-end look-see. well, actually my friend the surgeon has the dubious honour.

1st, i had to skip the usual breakfast, & instead dissolve a packet of fortrans into about a litre of water. that's the easy part.

the "fear factor" part is trying to swallow the lot in 1 sitting. actually, it doesn't taste like maggots or cows' intestines (not that i know how they taste like) & it doesn't taste horrible at all but at the same time, it's has bland sort of unpalatable taste.

it doesn't get absorbed into the body like how normal fluids do, but instead function as a bowel wash-out. after a few hours, i get a bloated kind of sensation in the tummy but nothing else happened.

that's what the 2nd packet is for. an hour after taking this, with much difficulty of course (remember fear factor?), i had to go to the toilet & out came yesterday's breakfast, lunch & dinner in 1 fell swoop!

at the surgeon's clinic, i was given sedation with a pain-killer, & the procedure went without a hitch. at certain stages, i felt a sharp discomfort but that was bearable. it was over in 20mins.

the examination result was NORMAL...yayy!

although cancers may not be avoidable, there's no reason why we all can't submit ourselves to screening procedures proven to be effective diagnostic tools for early detection for the disease. so guys, go for the scopes & ladies, pap smears & mammograms.

good health to all for the new year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

flown the nest

usually a trip down to The Little Red Dot during christmas would be a happy event for the wife. the lights, the shopping (not necessarily buying anything) & the festivities are sure to put a smile on her face.

not this time though.

we sent the little girl (she'll always be our little darling!) to boarding school yesterday. well, actually we helped her settle in the hostel with her stuff. the orientation, including buying uniforms & books, applying for student's pass, opening bank account, etc. starts this week.

it helped that her current school-mate who was also accepted into the new school is her room-mate. the other roomie turned out to be a cousin of another ex-schoolmate. friends....that's an important good start.

what's more crucial was that we were able to attend church & met some members, including the pastor, who offered to sort of "foster" her & help bring to her to church & related activities.

as expected, for the wife & the boy, both were all tears when it was time to leave.

for me, it's time for the eagle to soar.

**a note of thanks to Ling who also kindly offered her help . because it was a short trip, i didn't manage to contact her**

Thursday, December 24, 2009

part the waters

this was the message i shared with the congregation on sunday, one essentially of faith & mercy. i included a clip from the movie 10 Commandments where Moses, played by Charlton Heston, led the israelites across the red sea. the obvious miracle in that scene was, of course, the parting of the waters which provided the escape from the pursuing egyptian army. what's barely noticeable was that they crossed on dry ground.

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. exodus 14:29

unbelieveable, isn't it? after a downpour, the ground is usually wet & soggy, but here the sea bed is DRY & the isrealites could flee without getting bogged down!! & this is mentioned FOUR times in this chapter. God loves & cares for us. although we often only notice the significant mercies in our lives, we overlook the little nitty gritty, eg. food on the table, roof over our heads & good health, which are no less a blessing.

to emphasise the faith of the israelites & grace of God, i recounted the woman with a bleeding disorder who remained ceremonially unclean by levitical laws, & was a social outcast for 24 years. but in faith, she stretched out her hand to Jesus for a cure, & although the healing was immediate, it wasn't complete till she confessed & the Lord replied:

"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." luke 8:48

nowhere else in the scriptures has Jesus addressed anyone this intimately. it just shows that despite our wavering faith, like the israelites, & diseased state, like the woman, God the loving Father, will continue to care, heal & show mercy.

if only we are prepared to reach out to Him.


**song of praise in response was Part The Waters, originally sung by Evie**

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

hong kong (conclusion)

a unique drink i savoured was coconut milk with sago - had 5 cups in total & the cholesterols must have swarmed my coronaries.

after having gone thru avian flu, SARS & now H1N1 scare, they take personal hygiene seriously. dispensers for hand sanitizer....

were placed prominently at malls & other public places & tourist attractions. & like this cable car we took at Ngong Ping 360 at lantau island..

...this lady cleaned every car that has just been vacated.

there's a light display at harbour front each nite at 8pm....

...touted to be a "must-see" but i'm not convinced.

we stayed at disney hollywood hotel for 2 nites. 2 offers we made use of were (1) we got a 2nd day free entry to the theme park because we stayed at it's hotel for at least 1 nite, & (2) the hotel room was 25% less if booked at least 21 days in advance. check here.

what caught our attention at the entrance was this make-shift tent used to house luggages of incoming as well as outgoing guests....

....because check-in is at 3pm & check-out at 11am, so people early in the morning to leave their luggage before proceeding to the theme park which opens at 10am, while departing guests check-out early & again leave their luggage here to get into the theme park for a 2nd time.

check-in was a breeze & the reception staff were not only very efficient but also trained well to drum up more business for the hotel by offering room upgrades for a special price. however, what she said went in 1 ear & out the other, because even at early-bird offer of HKD1050 a nite, it's the most expensive room i've stayed all my life!! an upgrade to a room on a higher floor & facing the theme park (to view fireworks) costs at least another HKD200 a nite.

a regular shuttle bus service operates between the 2 disney hotels & theme park. also the MTR operates a special stop just outside the theme park. i think this station & line may have been paid for by Disney.

the trademark mickey shapes are everywhere on the train.

a reminder as you enter the Magic Kingdom...

besides the rides.... shoots....

& interactive games...

the stage shows....


& fireworks were very well choreographed & performed. you have to go to youtube for a better look at the fireworks because my camera battery ran out just as it started!!

even after the theme park rides were officially closed at 8pm, people still thronged the shops selling merchandise, like it's free.....

despite the huge crowd, i noticed there weren't any CCTVs anywhere.

i wonder if shoplifters, if any, were having a field day!!

life in HK is not much different from ours. take away the high-rise buildings & chinese govt, they also flout traffic rules....

have a sense of humour...

(this is a shop selling ladies' undergarments)

succumb to diseases...

& believe in God.

one TV channel they have which we will never experience here is a christian channel called Daystar - 24/7 of messages, sermons & testimonies.

& they proudly announce who they are to the world...

the world's top economic power in the making??

Friday, December 18, 2009

hong kong (2)

staying in kowloon means you're never far away from a marketplace where cheap stuff can be purchased if you search hard enough.
i've always wonder why HKers are fascinated with jade?

there's usually a crowd where it is sold. food is also cheaper here.

using the Mass Transit Railway was a piece of cake. even the boy knows how to purchase tickets from the self-service booth...

....& unlike in KL, all the lines are integrated & so you'll never have to exit & walk in the open to another station to change lines. also its passenger info system with litted route indicator is slightly more advanced than s'pore's MRT

if you're an avid fan of HK serials, you know this place often chosen for important meetings, eg. lovers, long-lost relatives & feuding parties.

it's the Avenue of Stars where bronze figurines of the local film industry stand, the most famous being that of Bruce Lee..

...& where palm imprints of movie stars are cast in concrete. idea probably taken from hollywood's Walk of Fame.
you'd never think those posh shopping malls would offer anything cheap. usually not, but try this for a real bargain - a couple of reeboks for just under HKD200 (RM89) a pair.....

according to my brand-conscious daughter, reeboks rank behind adidas & nike, but it didn't matter to me because you can NEVER get it at that price back home. she chosed a pair of skechers herself...
apparently, these cost RM250 back home while she got them here for HKD250.

i'm certain there's one place your regular tour guide would NEVER bring you to, neither would you consider visiting while in HK. how about the Science Museum?

in fact, we thought we'd just spend a couple of hours there to kill some time but it turned out to be a half-day excursion!! FYI, museum entrance fees are waived on wednesdays (normally, HKD25 for adults) & we were fortunate that on that particular week, the museum showcased the works of Nobel laureate Prof Charles Kao, the pioneer for fibreoptics communications. i was personally fascinated by this as well as the other exhibits, taking up 3 floors of the building....

kids have plenty to keep them occupied with activities...

....& mind games.

one dish that is a must-try is the roast goose.

i'm no food connoisseur but it tasted just like duck, except more fleshy with a thicker layer of fat.... .

also don't forget peking duck with the crispy, roasted skin..

you can't say you've been shopping in HK unless you've been to the ladies' market in mongkok. one thing i noticed the moment we step off the MTR station here was the strong police presence...

there were at least 3 patrol cars like this one in the area alone.

it was still crowded when we got there at 9pm & here you CAN bargain without being told off. besides, just walking off is sometimes enough to get you the stuff you want.... these T-shirts at 5 for HKD100 (RM9 each).

next: magic kingdom & why we're all humans