Friday, August 28, 2009

Bibiliophilia

A book is treasure to one who values knowledge.

Reading is inspiring, goes the Popular message. Actually, reading is not only about books. The newspaper you read, the email you viewed, even this blog - you are reading it. But, in my opinion, nothing beats the fragrance of a good new book, wiht a glass of hot Teh Tarik on a cosy chair...

I love books, especially good books that can start the engine in your brain to think about the contents in the book just read. These books are usually expensive, but the knowledge you can get from the book is invaluable. Other than that, page-turners such as detective stories, thrillers and mysteries are my cup of tea too. I can gobble up a paperback novel in one night! Of course, I do not encourage this because good stories should be slowly chewed, tasted and regurgiated (this means to reread nice parts), but sometimes the urge to turn the page is too overwhelming!

One thing that put us bibiliophilics off is the dear costs of books, usually RM30+ for paperback novels; and any popular non-fiction would easily go above RM50. This hurts the wallets especically for students who are always urged to read more. Well, there si the school library, but more often than not te library is filled with books that are more suitable to put in the National Museum (Or in my case the primary school library next door, they have a collection of Enid Blyton's.) A solution is to share and exchange books with each other, but sadly not many of my friends collect books. Of course, I can share my collection with you, if you are interested please tell me!

And did you happen to wonder why did I chose to write about books? Well there was a book fair last week, and I spent RM120 on 3 books!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Silence is Not Gold

A few days ago I went to a motivational seminar organized by our school. The speaker, Uncle Sam briefed us with some important knowledge to step into society. This included what we call the 3Cs, namely Creativity, Critical Thinking and Communication.

Due to the obsession of Malaysian students (well, not all but most of us) with exams, we failed to develop and nurture these aspects. Sure, SPM is very important; but a few years after you graduate high school would anyone bother about your SPM results? No, what they want is your calibre, your quality, your 3Cs.

One of the reasons Malaysian students does not make it big on the world arena is that because they lack open-mindedness. They refuse to speak out their views and keep their thoughts to themselves. The lack Communication. You may have the best brains in the world, but if you don't use your mouth nobody's going to know it!

The Chinese proverb "Silence is gold/沉默是金" is totally WRONG!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Countdown to the Big S

The gears have started cranking, going 99, 98, 97, 96, 95...Countdown to the Big S, the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) or Malaysian Education Certificate.

Along with the gears in motion, it reminded me that my days in secondary are very much numbered. 5 years ago, I was then just a small boy, not in the slight bit matured when I stepped into Class 1G, facing a new chapter in my life... And in the blink of an eye, this chapter is coming to a conclusion too.

Over the years, I had made a lot of new friends, gain many experiences, learnt lessons....Well, I'll leave this to my graduation post ^^ Just reminding us all that time flies and you should appreciate and make full use of it now, especially the Fifth-formers this year who model tests and reference books are waiting to be dusted and read.

I'd bettter get dusting, too!

P/S : Look for a widget of a countdown at the sidebar, and remind me to study if you see me online too long on Messenger!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 4 - Of HRC and Ballibong clothes

We went to two beaches previously, but Sanur beach was jsut a pass-by and Kuta is too heavy with boats and water sports. Finally, our own discovering led us to Legian beach, the only beach that looks and feels like a beach ^^ White sands, blue water, sun, waves~~ In excitement I forgot to take off my watch and now I brought along back home some Legian seawater in the glass.

After playing we continued our exploration of Legian Street. It took us an whole hour of walking and yet no end is in sight. We passed by the Bombing Memorial, in memory of the tragedy at 12 Oct 2002 that claimed over 200 lives. It seems no one is taking pictures there, I just sneaked a pic for y'all.


On the streets there are a lot of surfing shops selling surf stuff and clothes, and besides them lies small, local shops that sells "Ballibong" clothes, and other souveniers especially keychains featuring curriculum of Form 5 Biology Chapter 4. Our mission was to find the Hard Rock Cafe, but alas it was too far away and we had to make do at the local pubs...Their Bali coffee is quite nice though.



Not forgetting that this is the last day, we checked out and went back to Ngurah Rai Airport to take our flight back home. Health screening in Malaysia is more stringent, and everyone who passes by the counter were amazingly silent - sounds of coughs and running noses filled the plane just earlier.

Our travelling tradition is to bring the oldest, lousiest clothes and dispose of it as we go. But this seems not the case this time, with tons of Ballibong shirts waiting for us to wash!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 3 - Azure Skies

Sailing over the clear blue skies, with the wind rushing in your face and everything becoming smaller and smaller... Parasailing is the word, you are hooked up to a parachute (or hot-air balloon), a motor speedboat tugs at you and you goes sailing on the clouds... Quite scary though, as you have only two hooks hanging you from the waist to the parachute and both your cold hands to hold onto the string.

To give you an idea of how high it goes...

After parasailing and snorkelling (the sea view there isn't really great, I've seen better), we went by boat to Turtle Island, they have a pet farm there with all the snakes, lizards, birds and of course turtles. Some turtles there are 60 years old!

Our next stop is another temple, Ulun Danu 'the temple on water' which is on Lake Beratan at the highlands of Bedugul. Fresh mountain air 1500 above sea level complments the scenery. The temples on the water although surrounded by water, is accesible by boat and in low tide.

Along the way we met with the terraced paddy fields, learnt in one Geography class years back.

Finally, before sunset we arrived at Tanah Lot, the "Land in the Middle of the sea" in Balinese language. A rock formation home to temples, sunsets there are one of the most tranquil sights on Earth.



The trademark beer in Bali is the Bir Bintang. Posing with the beer bottle (empty, of course) :

Alas , it's nice to see azure skies in Bali, Kuala Lumpur has been hazy, gloomy and cloudy days before. Skies signify infinity and blue for freedom, and blue skies gives a feeling of infinite fredom for me...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 2 - Island of the Gods


At the beginning of time, only Antaboga the world snake existed. Antaboga meditated and created the world turtle Bedwang. Two snakes lie on top of the world turtle, as does the Black Stone, which forms the lid of the underworld. The underworld is ruled by the goddess Setesuyara and the godBatara kala, who created light and the earth. Above the earth lies a series of skies. Semara, god of love, lives in the floating sky, and above the sky lies the dark blue sky (space), home to the sun and moon. Next is the perfumed sky, which is full of beautiful flowers and is inhabited by Tjak, a bird with a human face; the serpent Taksaka; and a group of snakes collectively known as the Awan, who appear as falling star. The ancestors live in a flame filled heaven above the perfumed heaven, and finally beyond that is the abode of the gods.


Our first Balinese dance was the Barong And Kris dance, a story about the fight of Barong and Rangda. Barong pacified the demon Rangda , but its servant took revenge and turned into another Rangda to fight Barong but was killed too.


And voila! The volcano Mt. Batur, fully in view from the highlands of Kintamani and giving picturesque sceneries. According to our tour guide, Agung, it last erupted in the 1960s. A check in wiki back at home says the last eruption is in 2000 and what’s more, its eruption 30,000 years ago was one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.

Higher up the hills we came to a coffee plantation. Bali is famous for its Bali coffee, and of course the kopi luwak made from the droppings of the civet. Sanur beach on the way to Uluwatu is popular among the locals. See the glass bottle of Coca-Cola? It's the first time I had ever saw one too.

Our final stop of the day, Uluwatu lives up to the title of Bali, ‘Island of the Gods’ . High cliffs lapped by huge waves, and over the cliff the sunset is spectacular.

In the evening there was a performance of the Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance. Ramayana and his wife Sita wanders in the forest where Sita is kidnapped by evil Rhawana. Ramayana sends Hanoman, the White Monkey to locate Rhawana’s residing place, Alengka and when located, Hanoman attempts to destroy part of the place but stoope by giants who attempt to burn him. He escapes and guides Rama to Alengka where he defeated Rhawana and reunites with Sita. A special feature is the circle of men surrounding the stages, making sound effects and shouting “Chak-Chak” sounds.


Day 1 - All's Right With The World

Amid bombings, flu and other issues around, we took off to Denpasar, Bali this afternoon. Everything is still very much running, with the tourism industry up and about; just the occasional masked guy reminding us of the H1N1 virus. At the luggage x-ray scanning counter we were greeted by a sign:

"Warning! Mango insects species xxx poses serious threat to Malaysian mango industry."

We touched down at Ngurah Rai Int'l Airport after 3 hours of flight, and proceed to a dinner of Balinese fare. We thought that the bones of the fried "flying fish" is to be eaten, but a peek at the other tables shows otherwise...Wel, it was quite crunchy and tasty.

















After reaching our hotel we took a stroll at Jalan Legian with the pubs and bars. Bali's quite a slepy town, a lot of shops are already closed at about 10p.m.. Jalan Legian was too long, we saved the street for another day :)

















The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven -
All's right with the world!