Saturday, 29th April '06

Shall We See How Far They Bounce?

I'm currently mildly annoyed that I have to type this on TextEditor and save it to put on the blog later, simply because the YMCA Internet connection has gone funny on me again. Phooey.

Anyways. Saying goodbye to people is a bitch. FOUR goodbyes in two days. Which makes it a total of NINE goodbyes said and two people missed. But oh well about that. Last semester there was really only the three law Aussies to say goodbye to and one Jess, and the G-Unit generally. This semester I know too many people. Maybe it's not about missing all the specific persons, but it's the drawing to a close that's kind of disgusting. And farewell dinner after farewell lunches, it's like one is supposed to keep in a perpetual sad state, which is somewhat tiring.

The thing about it all is that in some weird enough way, you KNOW you won't be keeping in touch with everyone. Much as you promise to. Thinking about it, there are people here I'd call friends that honestly, I would never have made friends with in any ordinary circumstances. *shrug* Call it International Adaptability.

Speaking of which, that came up over dinner today with Solene (the last French and last girl left standing). I thought maybe it was just me, but she mentioned she was a bit nervous about going home. I knew I was, particularly because of the vastly different cultures. Like how last Saturday I was telling Kai some stories and she was like "OMG, Koh En Ying, you did WHAT?" and I had to say that it was really NOTHING. Yeah, back home it would have been a rather large SOMETHING, but my point is that perception is governed by the norm you judge it against. And the norms have about 2 weeks to shift back or at least re-sensitise to what they were before.

Ok, re-sensitise. I don't want them to shift back, or the whole point of exchange and the mind-opening thing would be defeated.

But back to Solene. It was comforting hearing that from her, in a way, because the French culture's being closer to Halifax's and the fact that she's been here only since January somehow "legitimized" my feelings of weirdness. It's nice to know someone else shares your worries about fitting back into the whole scheme of things back home. For one thing, I'm not sure I'm going to react too well to being in a homogenous culture again. Well, Singapore is far from homogenous, but it's more a question of a disturbing sense of comfort. I think I got so used to having my comfort zone challenged here that if it were to be too easy again back home I'd go a little crazy. Older people, federalism, drunker people, different notions of entertainment, vastly different views on subjects, being the odd one out (kena diaoed for being the only Dal, the only Asian, the only girl - and believe me the problem with the last one is not, as Michi says, the problem of being spoilt for choice. Nah, the boys are great, at the very least for widening the breadth of the aforementioned perception).

Did I also mention I'm thinking of getting a dog again? Reading the literature on the net today I got a sense of how much I do miss Rio. I haven't actually thought about it since a year ago.

Bah. That's enough thoughtfulness for the day. Should save it all up for a big spew just before I leave. Maybe on the plane, I dunno. I hear SIA flights have wireless now, woohoo.

Anyhoo. After dinner with Solene, I went to the movies to watch "Hard Candy". Ok, this was THE BEST movie I have seen all year. Maybe I'm partial to Indie flicks, and character-driven stories with static sets, but this even beat out "V for Vendetta". Great premise, awesome cinematography, and impeccable acting. I was incredibly impressed with the lead actress's performance. She's only 18, for crying out loud, but her performance showed an understanding of a 14 year old's shyness, frailty, and sincerity mixed with a hardened, twisted, even psychopathic conviction. She's Ellen Page, by the way, from Halifax and as I just found out, Debbie's former classmate. She'll be Shadowcat in the coming X3.

And how often can you hinge a two hour movie almost entirely on the interaction between two characters, in one set, with no costume changes and no soundtrack. The tension they created was so thick you could cut it with a butterknife, and then intermittently fine-tuned (but not dissipated) with real gems of lines like "shall we see how far they can bounce?" or "I guess they weren't made of brass!". I think all guys should watch this movie, just so I can watch their reactions. Ha. Even I was squirming.

So if they show it back home - and I think they would, maybe with a "Mature Audiences over 18" tag - go see! Also, note to self, the movie "Brick" also looks like it's going to be a really good one.

Right, that's it. I need my sleep.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:21 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Thursday, 27th April '06

I'm Not So Sure What I'm Blogging About

This is going to be a collection of completely randomised sentences.
Yawn. I'm really sleepy. All this running around Halifax is too much. In two days I have been in and out of Second Cup, Dharma Sushi, that Bishop's Landing Gelato Place, Tim Horton's, Kara's, MexicaLindo, Il Mercato, Split Crow, Perks, MEC, Loomis, Le Chateau, DioMio and the Computer Science Lab.
I'm so tired. Geez.
And my head is woozy and my stomach is a little more than vaguely unsettled. I think it was either the Katamari (funny little PlayStation game that involves rolling this sticky ball thing and picking up all kinds of crap. Ingenious idea but it creeps me out because it reminds me of the kind of nightmares I used to have when I was five) or the Calamari from the Split Crow.
Thank God my annoying neighbour isn't pissing me off tonight.
I've been so hyper-cum-mellow of late, it's a little bit confusing. I think the hair colour got to my head.
Would you believe one of Mark (Leung's) Retardism videos mad it to MTV Uber's Clip of the Week? I'm dying to watch it but they don't support Macs.
Tamade.
Also been cussing too much recently.
Restless, restless, restless.
It's like I want to go out and do stuff because I can't sit still for long, and I also feel like I really should hang with the folks before I never see them again. But then I'm also starved for me-time. But then I get bored of me-time.
Vic and I are also fast exhausting ideas on what to do in the daytime. Halifax is nice for the partying, but in the daytime, not so exciting.
This blog probably also needs a new layout. Might make a commemorative Halifax one, only I'm not into fuzzy pastel looking layouts.
Brio on Spring Garden sells Bloch and Capezio dance sneakers. OH MY WORD. Finally, after 3 years of waiting and using those crap-ass Sanshas, I'm going to get REAL dance sneakers. Now we wait for 80 bucks to fall from the sky.
Was also thinking how my life in Singapore and my life in Halifax don't mix. Lunch today weirded me out a little - it was like mixing things that shouldn't be mixed (like Lingwei, a reminder of home, with whom the old Singapore ettiquettes feel they must be followed, and all the other dudes with whom I interact with completely differently). It's like it's hard to strike a balance, I can't be half-Singaporean and half-En ying the exchange student at the same time.
Doesn't that also make you think of how many sides to one person there can be? Feeling schizo, in a way. I'm a different person with so many groups. It's always been my thing to be able to get along with any group of people - I can survive with the cool people, and the geeks love me. But then sometimes one gets to feeling caught in the middle. It's not bad, it's just weird.
I think Vicki's weirded out mood has totally rubbed off.
Shall go read a book and get some sleep.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:37 pm
[5 photographs developed.]


"Macaam I Do the Nation Some Harm, Like That"

(Yup, Ave, you can now tell me if I spelt the title wrongly.)

Alright. It's finally official. I'm coming home. Leaving Halifax on the 15th of May and arriving at home at 6:30am on the 17th of May. I'm actually taking Singapore Airlines all the way from Newark to Changi - which looks set to be more than a 24 hour ride. I have Henghwa's assurances that I will not die or get deep vein thrombosis, but it's still going to be a mother-long trip. If the person next to me is fat, smelly or both, I think I might just kill myself.

I have to pass through the US' shitty customs again. Damn.

It also means the stopovers in London to visit all the darlings in Cam, UCL, LSE, King's etc isn't going to work out. The financials compell me to take the cheapest ride home, and really, I should spend some time with the parents. Dad's pretty estatic that Singapore's markets have hit a bull run and wants me to go home to
(a) sit in front of the TV and flip the TELETEX with him,
(b) figure out a way to hook the iPod to the new Honda Civic (but I don't think he's about to let me drive it anytime soon,
(c) pick him out a plasma screen with which to watch the World Cup (and then I told him I know people who are going to see the live games and now he's jealous. Boys never do grow up.)

So I was like: what's wrong with the old TV? Why've you got to spend money on a PLASMA SCREEN? Money grow on trees is it?

And Dad said: watch football mah. World Cup; must have big screen.

Piang eh. No one in my house watches enough TV to make this worth it. But my Daddy's damn cute lah.

In other news, it's been great having the final exams of exchange over with, and just hanging out and chilling. Had a big "Singapore Day" yesterday, and met up with Vicki, Bryan, Alvin and Lingwei. And you know what happens when you put any group of Singaporean males together, don't you? They talk ARMY. And that's ok with me, I suppose, because National Service stories are the most hilarious things to come out of Singapore. Alvin was totally the best - you should have just observed how his English degenerated in 4 hours. Alvin, by the way, is a TRUE BLUE Ah Beng. The "last-time-got-join-secret-society" type. So when we first met up in Second Cup, it was all good, he was speaking proper English, all trained up from 2 years in Canada. There was even a little North American accent. A lunch and two scoops of gelato later, he was regaling us with stories of his army life as a storeman and in particular, the woes of having a Lee Kuan Yew scholar as his understudy:

"Wah liao eh, I this kind ah, get Lee Kuan Yew scholar come be my understudy. Dunno what kind of things also I teach him. Macaam I do the nation some harm like that. Kanina. We all everyday sit there play Pokimon only; then got things missing from the store right? Then we go other people side and kope. I dunno do two years dunno kope how much from who, man."

Or the things that the sneaky bastards do in the Army:

"Wah, eh, you want tricks I tell you we got better one. You go find the guy, the going to ORD already one, then you ask him come sign the form. Then you tell the Sir, say: Sir, this one gone already, I cannot catch back the equipment leh, how?"

Or the bad fashion sense they exercised:

"I working in store that time, I wear the Army shirt with the camo pants. And then at the bottom? Slipper. But my place there got one guy better one. He everyday wear full PT Kit. And at the bottom - wear army boot."

HOW COOL LAH. It was so strange but so refreshing to hear full blown Benglish in the middle of Halifax. Well. For me, anyway. Vicki was in shock, i think (you guys would know why). In any case we were howling with laughter all the way. At least no one used the word "Ociffer". I would have keeled over laughing and died from lack of oxygen.

The next thing I learnt is that getting one's hair coloured in Halifax is super cheap. I got a cut and colour (bleach, hot pink and blue) for CAN$64 (tax included). I was actually supposed to go a 10-foil special, but getting pally with the hairdresser always helps. I think she went a bit crazy, so I got even more than my money's worth. I love the hair people here - they actually LISTEN to me. The hairdressers in Singapore are so timid, they just keep telling me that the stuff I want to do isn't going to work. And they never dare to go mad with the layers. Maybe it's also because I can never fully express what I want in Chinese, and then they try to hoodwink me in jargon about "fruit acid" and "ozone treatments" that I really don't need.

And the last thing is that I may have to get into a full-fledged fight with my next door neighbour soon. She had about 8 drunk friends over again last night, and when I went to tell them to shut up (for the millionth time), I had a run in with one of her weasely-looking friends. The little fuckface called me a bitch when I wouldn't tell him my name and what I was doing tomorrow night. Now why the HELL would I want to do that?

I just don't UNDERSTAND these people.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:42 pm
[3 photographs developed.]


Wednesday, 26th April '06

Mountain Songs

So, Fannie sent this awesome clip from a Herbert Grönemeyer MTV to the Dance Ensemble Yahoogroups a while back. I never had time to link it, but it's good. Tzo, this is mostly for you, I think. Go to the site and click on the 2003 music videos, and it's the third video from the top. It's Polina Seminova? I don't know who she is - maybe you do.

After that nice little clip, Juraimy sends a freakish Thai Dance video clip. I'm not going to load it, it really IS rather freaky. Nails and all. Not my kind of thing. It was pretty amazing that it was performed by a troupe of Deaf dancers, and they were all in perfect timing. I mean it wasn't my cup of tea, but nonetheless impressive.

And THEN, Julius follows it up with THIS. Kaoz. It's DISGUSTING. I don't even know what language that's in. Taiwanese? Canto? Whatever it is, three hapless people bopping in the middle of a forest with typical classic Chinese screechy vocals, that repetitive nonsense songs that these "mountain songs" tend to have tacked on. And I can barely understand what they're saying, but the subtitles suggest to me that the fact they call each other "little brother" and "little sister" is SO WRONG. I know I know, it's the classic way people used to talk (I suppose it's the Chinese equivalent of the Spanish "Papi"). There's another even worse vid too.

Someone please explain to me what all those songs are going on about, because my vague notions of what they're singing is just... disturbing.

The only person who can sing mountain songs is A*mei lah.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:57 am
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]


Sunday, 23rd April '06

Benglish

If you didn't know there was something more repulsive than Singlish written down, there's always Benglish to take it to a new low. That having been said, the KennySia Benglish Translator is deceptively good - not in its ability to take a perfectly respectible website and Bengify it, but just because it looks authentic and as if that was the way it was supposed to be.

See, for example, my "European Boys are Best Served Drunk" entry. Beware, it REALLY is rather crude, seeing as the transalator works by turning every
"I" --> "Limpeh"
"guy" --> "pukima"
"him" --> "lan jiao face"
"he" --> "cheebye kia"

I shouldn't even be TYPING words like these. Even my Mum wouldn't approve. She being the first person I ever heard calling someone a "pukima" - I believe road rage runs in the family wink. It's amazing how many Chinese swear words we have to describe genitals. plain Speaking of which, I think I had a discussion with some of the guys a while back and I've decided that Hokkien is the premier language of swearing. No other language has swear words as nasty as we do.

I have a high threshold for Singlish, but even this is a bit much.

HOWEVER, the Benglish Translator does have ONE saving grace - the fact that it can translate TZO'S words into Benglish. I love the way her comment now reads:

"Glad the show was damn power -- then again why wouldn't it be? Meanwhile Limpeh plod away at burning the 2am desk lamp (!!). Try not to feel too sad about peepur leaving... you can try to keep in touch (with the chao ginahs anyway wink ) and there are plenty of peepur back home who miss you wa si sure!"

Now the mere thought of something like that coming from Tzo sends me into convulsions.

And you'll excuse the Jefferson Starship endline, please. I'm tired from mugging.

We built this city on rock and roll!

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:22 am
[10 photographs developed.]


Saturday, 22nd April '06

European Boys are Like Prawns - Best Served Drunken.

Speaking of drunken prawns - I miss live seafood so much. I'm going to hit the Pepper Crab and Drunken Prawns the moment I get home, man.

Stars on Ice was also amazing. I swear, I could literally feel the buzz of being in the presence of greatness. Let me give you a rundown of the marquee names we saw:
- Kurt Browning (and Ryder gives himself 2 pats on the shoulder because Kurt's from Edmunton, Alberta) And I'm such a sucker I got an autographed poster. Heh.
- Elvis Stojko (Ontario) His Fox on Ice program to "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks was the FIRST real program I ever saw. I was 10, and hooked forever. So you can imagine me squealing away when he came out.
- Todd Eldredge (USA) Veteren, man. And I didn't even know he was performing. But when I saw the intro skate, and he did his distinctive goofy-axel (left-handed) I sat up and went "WHAT?". There's really only one elite male goofy skater.
- Jeff Buttle (Ontario) All fresh from his Olympic Bronze medal last February. Sigh. He was rather a disappointment. As everyone knows, his expressions and lines are gorgeous (total heart melt when he did James Blunt's "High") but he was obviously stressed out. I guess you could cut some slack for that. The only Canadian skater who placed this year, and thrown in with the best of the best. But falling on double loops is a bit unforgivable, for an Olympian.
- Joannie Rochette (Quebec) Techically pretty strong, but somehow she always seems a bit too heavy set to really go the distance. But definitely a deserving Canadian champion.
- Shen & Zhao (China) I never realised how good these guys were. And I mean REALLY GOOD. Humongous split-twists, clean smooth lifts, and impeccable musicality.
- Salé & Pelletier (Calgary & Quebec) Canada's golden couple, really. Olympic scandal or not, clear out Gold standard.
- Ina & Zimmerman (USA) Another couple of veterens I've been watching forever, and so great to see live. They had the audience really gasping at some of the insane stunts they pulled to "Vertigo". Breathtaking.
- Jennifer Robinson A Canadian too, but I didn't really care for her skating. It was a little weird that she was cast, because everyone there was a champion and she... wasn't.

Vic and I were laughing ourselves stupid - the whole production reeked (in a good way) of Scott Hamilton's goofy humour, and Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko were such CLOWNS. I mean, they were the laujiao around, so everyone let them do whatever they wanted. And they fooled around at the edges stealing the limelight from the people ACTUALLY skating. Clowns. But so lovable. And Kurt in LEATHER PANTS! *grins widely* Ok, Vicki says it was more like PVC.

It was techically and artistically the best show I've EVER seen. Granted, nothing real like this ever came to Singapore, and Disney on Ice counts for shit. I think what I liked the best was the VISION behind it, and the desire to break away from the bastardisation of commercial skating (read: Disney on Ice) and give the people strong technical and artistic programs focusing on the skating and spirit again, and less on storylines and plots and other gimmicks. A back to basics good time, is what I had.

In other news, the end is nigh. All SMU students have finished all their exams and spent last night getting smashed. Well, the guys anyway. Last night seemed to be a night for the girls to be rather reticent, which made it a little less fun than it could have been. But the guys - ha! That's why I say European boys are best served drunk. Freddy was so friggin' hammered I couldn't stop laughing. You'd have to know how well-mannered and nice he is when he's sober to compare the madcap thing he is when drunk. Poor Susann. I was like: "Susann! Take your Freddy in hand. NOW!" And whoo, never underestimate the drunken Italians. When you have two hot-blooded Italians to yourself, you don't complain. wink *chuckle* It was pretty damn hilarious at times, though, and I'd be quite tickled to find out how much of it they remember. Apparently Michi has self-proclaimed himself my "boyfriend" and I have promised to wait for him to come and marry me in Singapore. sleepy Um, mama mia? Now that boy puts even Jem to shame for being an XXXXX.

It's sad though, that it's the last time I'll see some of the folks. Susann, Clo and Andre leave on Sunday. The end has begun. Boo.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:06 am
[5 photographs developed.]


Thursday, 20th April '06

Pandora's Box Might Not Be So Bad After All

Argh. Family law exam was completeed about half an hour ago. I still haven't regained the feeling in my right elbow. All this touchy-feely stuff isn't for me at all. It's the first time in my life I knew better what to do for the policy-based essay then for the hypotheticals. Grrr.

PASS-FAIL, EN YING, IT'S ONLY PASS-FAIL.

Why do I have to be such an incorrigible, anal perfectionist? It's exchange. I'm SUPPOSED to make exact calculations and pass by the skin of my teeth. BLEUGH.

Anyhow. I'm refusing to do work right now and wondering if I should go play ball or watch some madcap comedy or go get my Securities Regulation text and start mugging.

Did I mention that STARS ON ICE is tonight? Qiong, I get to see Kurt Browning live. *muahaha*. It's all rather exciting, but I'm feeling a little guilty about not studying. Especially since this semester has seen me turn into a bigger bum than even my exchange philosophy can handle.

In other news, the Pandora Music Genome Project is one hell of a piece of work. It's free streamed radio, but catered to your music taste based on the qualities of an artist or a song you enter. And it's got a really good database too - obscure to famous artists. Very nice, I'm hooked.

Argh, brain ache.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:31 pm
[2 photographs developed.]


Monday, 17th April '06

Perfect Music For Property Division

How considerate. There's actually a soundtrack to my Family Law studying; check out these topics:

Marriage

And he knew as long as this old world kept turning
He wanted her by his side
So with a ring and a nervous smile
And some lines that he'd rehearsed
He said the sweetest words that she'd ever heard

And she said: "Yes," to his whole-hearted request.
And they'll hold on for dear life 'til the last stars fade.
No they won't let go, it's beyond their control
They lit a flame with a match God had made
When she said: "Yes."
-- Rhett Akins, "And She Said Yes"



Separation and Domestic Contracts

If you ain't no punk holla "We Want Prenupt"
("WE WANT PRENUPT!")
Yeah, it's something that you need to have
'Cause when she leave yo' ass she gon' leave with half
18 years, 18 years
And on the 18th birthday he found out it weren't his!
-- Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger"


I actually really like this stanza. That "on the 18th birthday he found out it weren't his" cracks me up everytime.


Divorce & Property Division

I told you why I changed my mind; I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed, but I've freed my head from your garden rails

Now it's a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It's a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

My mind's lost in a household fog; wedding gowns and catalogs
Kitchen furnishings and houses; maternity clothes and baby's trousers

Now it's a legal matter, baby
Marrying's no fun
It's a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on
-- The Who, "A Legal Matter"



Custody & Access

Crazy joy when I see the eyes of my baby boy
I pledge to you I will always do everything I can
Show you how to be a man
Dignity, integrity, honour and
I don’t mind if you lose long as you came with it
An you can cry - ain’t no shame in it
It didn’t work out with me and your Mom
But, yo, push come to shove
You was conceived in love
So if the world attacks and you slide off track
Remember one fact:
I got your back
-- Will Smith, "Just the Two of Us"



Child & Spousal Support

I know somebody payin' child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car and crib is bigger than his
You will see him on TV, Any Given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
She was s'pose to buy ya shorty TYCO with ya money
She went to the doctor got lipo' with ya money
She walkin around lookin like Micheal with ya money
Should of got that insured, got GEICO for ya moneeey
-- Kanye West & Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger"



Domestic Violence / Child Protection

我听说通常在战争后就会换来和平
为什么看到我的爸爸一直打我妈妈
就因为喝醉酒 他就能拿我妈出气
我真的看不下去 以为我较细汉
从小到大只有妈妈的温暖 为什么我爸爸 那么凶
如果真的我有一双翅膀 二双翅膀 随时出发
偷偷出发 我一定带我妈走 从前的教育
别人的家庭 别人的爸爸种种的暴力因素一定都会有原因
-- 周杰伦, "爸我回来了"


Must. Stop. Time. Wasting.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 04:15 pm
[3 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 16th April '06

Dum Dee Dum.


-- "阿朱小調""

I can't believe I'm listening to this ridiculous song again. I think the last time I listened to it I was 14 and it was actually funny. It's at moments like this I think my mp3 collection is FAR too big. I BET Zhihui remembers this song from 1998. I've known this girl too long. Oh and Qiong, I'm using the Gmail to store my embedded music, so don't worry about me consuming all the February-Rains space.

Anyhow, am back from my insanely long mugging session at Second Cup. Desmond's right - thank God for the Rafflesian Mugger Power that enables one to sit and study for 9.5 hours straight! And my brain's completely fried, so I'm rambling to pass the time while I wait for Susann to come pick me up for dinner. smile Suuuussssshhiiiiiii. I stole her from Freddy, by the way. *looks around furtively and runs*

*snorts with sudden random laughter* Sorry. I just got reminded of the "happy team" thing again. It's so damn funny. It just occured to me that in if I had it my way, the Chinese Orchestra would be called the "Chinese Happy Troupe". *ROTFL* But even so, you girls have to admit that tagging it onto the back of every damn thing is rather stupid. The band names are just that - NAMES. If we were to go literally into this translation business, everyone in the English speaking world would be forced to call me "Full of Graciousness" instead of "En Ying". Bah.

Right. I have OBVIOUSLY got to take a break from this studying business. I'm out, enjoy the disgusting accompanying music.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 07:13 pm
[5 photographs developed.]


迈克学摇滚

You know how I've always said that they teach us Chinese all wrong in Singapore? They teach us to memorise a bazillion 成语 and 谚语 and write hopelessly soppy 抒情文. But they never teach us anything that we can use in real life (words like "common law" and "civil law" and "legal accounting" come to mind, predominantly because of my strained conversations with my PRC classmate). I swear, if they had given me stuff like what follows below to study, I would have aced the class.

In any case, I was wasting time surfing China's Amazon branch (www.joyo.com - who the heck knows why it's called that) looking for album art to prettify my iTunes library. I was looking for the cover to Daniel Chan's "感觉贴心" album - which is a much harder task than you'd think. And that's when I came across one of the Michael Learns to Rock albums.

Would you BELIEVE the Chinese name for MLTR is "迈克学摇滚"?!?

For the non-speakers, this really just translates to: "Mai Ke learn shake roll". I suppose rock and roll could be approximated to shake and roll... *sigh*. As I told Dre... my expressing was literally: sleepy. I mean, I appreciate the beauty of literal translations, but this is ridiculous!

Of course, now that I'm reading the tax implications for Registered Retirement Savings Plans, it makes so much more fun (if not sense) to go back to joyo.com and see what other pathetic translations I can get of other pop culture celebrities.

Here are some other gems. They're TRUE, I didn't make them up. You can search 'em yourself.

WHAT is the world coming to???

Backstreet Boys = 后街男孩 ("behind alley male children")
-- I dunno about you, but the BSB have never sounded so seedy.

The Vines = 番仔乐队 ("turn small guy happy team")

The Foo Fighters = 喷火战机 ("fire-spitting battle machine")
-- Now which hat'd they pull the fire-spitting part out of?

Queen = 皇后合唱团 ("empress sing-together troupe")

Westlife = 西城男孩 ("west city male children")

NSync= 超级男防 ("super male side")
-- I don't know why they even bothered. plain

Take That = 接招合唱团
-- AHAHAHAHA... this has to be the best one. It's like a return to the kungfu, swordfighting ages. It REALLY means "Take That" in the fighting sense of it. Like: En Garde!

Atomic Kitten = 原子少女猫 ("atom young girl cats")

Green Day = 青葱岁月 ("verdent year month")
-- Ironically, every measure of time except the "day".

No Doubt = 无疑乐队 ("void of suspicion happy team")

The Smashing Pumpkins = 碎瓜乐队 ("fragmented melon happy team")
-- Tell me how the Smashing Pumpkins sound like a "happy team" to you?

Garbage = 废料乐队 ("waste type happy team")
-- Oh, NIX ON THE HAPPY TEAM ALREADY!

Nothing But a G-Thing = 只是个"G"的东西
-- That's a Dr Dre song, by the way. Hilarious translation, I can't even bring myself to say anything about how lame it is.

Linkin Park = 林肯公园 ("lincoln garden")
-- Sheesh.

Simple Plan = 简单计划乐队 ("easy tactic happy team")
-- One more "happy team" and somebody's gonna get a-hurt real bad.

Hanson = 汉森乐队 ("Han Shen happy team")
-- I tell you, even for a name that's a pure SOUND thing they have to go and put in a "happy team".

Spice Girls = 辣妹合唱团 ("hot babes sing-together troupe")

The Cardigans = 羊毛衫合唱团 ("sheep wool shirt sing-together troupe")
-- HAHHAHA. What a GORGEOUS bastardization of a halfway-decent name. Sorry David, looks like the Chinese aren't feeling kind to the Swedes.
I then went on to search the next group because I had a sneaking suspicion about how the translations might turn out. Seems I was right, there IS a pattern to this madness:

Suede = 山羊皮乐队 ("mountain goat hide happy team")
-- Ohhohoho. I can see Qiong getting mad now.

Boyzone = 男孩特区合唱团 ("male children special region sing-together troupe")
-- I'm not even going to THINK about Ronan Keating's special region. crying Worse, Steven Gately's.

Black Eyed Peas = 黑烟豆豆 ("black smoke bean bean")
-- One acronym: WTF? I suspect the problem here is that "眼" (eye: yan3) "烟" (smoke: yan1) sound too much alike for the American publicity reps to get it right.

Coldplay = 酷玩乐团 ("cool play happy troupe")
-- This is just stupid. 酷 doesn't even mean "cool" in the temperature sense. It means "cool" in the hip and happening sense. Geez.

Eminem = 阿姆
-- No shit. I can so see him writing an angry rap about this. It's completely untranslatable.

Outkast = 流浪者合唱团 ("vagabond sing-together troupe")
-- How is this even supposed to make any sense?

Sugar Ray = 甜蜜射线乐队 ("sweet shoot line happy team")
-- Oh my.

Matchbox 20 = 火柴盒20乐队 ("matchbox 20 happy team")
-- What I really don't get is this: when they have a perfectly translatable name that's really just an OBJECT (and therefore fully and easily translatable without any worry about context and connotations), is there some unwritten law of the universe that dictates they add a "happy team" at the end of it?

Ok, I should get going. I really wasn't intended to go on this long, but it had to be done. Just proves the PRCs can't leave well enough alone. Too bad they have such mainstream, poppy taste though. It's proven impossible to get some really potentially outrageous translations (I was looking for things like Blessed Union of Soul, Theory of a Deadman, Sixpence None the Richer etc.).

Oh well. Worth a laugh.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:16 am
[10 photographs developed.]


Wednesday, 12th April '06

F-Izzay Sh-Izzay, Ry-Izzy Zi-Izzy!

Ok, that's probably not exactly how that Snopp Dogg language thing is supposed to turn out, but that's my strongest impression of last night.. I think in real English it means "For sure, Ryder Ziola", but given the not-very-sober mental state of the people I was with last night, I'm really not so certain. confused

For the record, I'm going to make a big blog over this because it's THE FIRST TIME VICKI'S EVER COME OUT AT NIGHT. Yes folks, she is not allowed to go watch a movie with her harmless friend En Ying, but she's allowed to go out and get drunk with Ry-Izzy Zi-Izzy. No fair.

So all I intended to do was to go and give the girl a hug and congratulations on the finishing of university - and of COURSE, given the amount of study-discipline I have exhibited over the past months, it turned into sitting at Rogue's Roost playing with confetti (don't ask) and raspberry beer and having my name mangled beyond recognition by Vic and Ryder's friend, Ian. I guess at the back of my mind I knew I might never get Vic out at night again, and when I leave in May I may never see her again for... like... forever.

Dammit. This goodbye nonsense is getting too much. All this "it's the last time we'll do _ in Halifax" occasions are such bummers.

In any case, I'm not exactly sure why we ended up laughing so much, but I haven't had such stupid conversations in a while. Subject matter of the conversation oscillated between:

- Fact that their exams were all over. Mine aren't, by the way.

- Ian's "business cards" that Vicki was unabashedly shredding into confetti.

- The confetti fetish (say that 10 times quickly).

- That whole black ebonics speech thing. Now imagine this: 2 white boys and 2 Chinese girls talking about Snoopp Dogg and Jay-Z and assorted Hip Hop slang. Funnily enough, the live music dude at Rogue's Roost does a mean beatbox - upon which Vic seemed to find it appropriate to announce this:

Vic: En Ying knows every lyric to every song in the Lion King soundtrack
Me: NO I DON'T. I don... *thinks*. Um. Yeah, ok, whatever...
Ian: I think it's open mic night.
Me: No it isn't.
Ian: He [referring to beatbox dude] can do your backups...
Ryder: ...while you throw down the Hakuna Matata. [Proceeds to rap out "Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!" to the tune that beatbox dude is spilling.]

Good grief.

- The true connotations of the term "ang mo kia" (Hokkien for "white boy") and Ryder's growing frustration that Vicki's mum uses "racial slurs" on him. I maintain "ang mo kia" is a term of endearment.

- No, for the thousandth time, my name is not "Onion". *snort* These ang mo kia cannot make it lah.

- The Parking Baron (long story).

- The "tapability" of every Computer Science helpdesk / admin female. That was for the boys, anyway - and if you don't know what that means I'm not explaining it. Given that the females in question were CS girls, it was a conversation that was over rather quickly (ok, that's a bit mean).

In the meantime, Vicki and I contented ourselves with whinging about the typical Chinese boys' utter lack of taste - and how they always go for the sweet, petite, quiet, shy, characterless, slightly plain Chinese girls, leaving people like us with not very much in the way of options. Well, at least she lives in Canada. I still have to go home to humji Chinese boys (as Limin calls them).

- Sambuca tastes like shit. It's really the most disgusting thing I've tasted since Cod Liver Oil.

- The strange raw meat affair that some Chinese girl gave Ian. I still suspect she gave him pig's blood and didn't tell him.

Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention - one of my Legal Accounting classmates is a scuba diving instructor. He just gave me a useful factoid for my mum: the risk of injury in scuba diving is the same as in bowling. HOW COOL IS THAT? I think I might actually be able to get away with it this time. July, Malaysia, Pulau Perhentian anyone?

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:33 pm
[6 photographs developed.]


Tuesday, 11th April '06

My Crazy Neighbour

On Sabrina's goading - and because I refuse to crack open a Family Law book merely one hour after the Legal Accounting exam, I am sitting here in the Student Union Building at Dal blogging and waiting for episode 16 of Lost's second season to find its little way through the vast expanse of cyberspace and into my darling little Mackie.

I know. The Powerbook needs a better name than that.

I also do get rather rambly when I'm blogging for the sheer sake of time-wasting. So as I sit here, I'll try to piece together any observation that hits me - starting with last night.

I'll probably have to start this with a disclaimer stating that I barely know the girl and that she's probably a really nice person if you get to know her. But the fact is that I don't and I don't really want to because it's hard to be this annoyed at someone if the someone is your friend.

See, I think she keeps a hyena in her room. Oh yes indeedy. If she doesn't keep on in her room than she herself IS a hyena. No, wait, stop - it's a PACK of hyenas. And this Hyena (it or her, it doesn't matter) gets activated by alcohol. Once they start partying in her room - for heaven's sake! Go upstairs to the TV room, that's what it's for! - that's it for the peace and quiet on the third floor. So fine, a number of us - at least me, Franzi, Susann and Grace have gone and banged on the door and told them to shut up, but good glory, she doesn't seem to REMEMBER it. It really doesn't help to apologize everytime we meet in the bathroom when you're going to do it again anyway. You know how Scar in the Lion King sings to the hyenas "I know that your powers of retention are as wet as a warthog's backside"? It's true! Hyenas have no memory, and I know this because I've told the one next door a million times to keep it down, and it never remembers.

I guess what pisses me off is not the fact that it happens, but the fact that it happens in such an INCOMPREHENSIBLE manner. In the sense that I DON'T KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN HER/ITS HEAD. Susann puts it very well: "You know, I'm happy that she's a happy person, but is there really a need to screech with laughter every single minute?" Oh yes, folks, it's not general loud talking or drunken debachery we're talking about here. It's witchy, cackly, shrill, piercing, screechs of laughter that are about as soothing to one's ears as nails on a chalkboard. Try this:

RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKIAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKAAKAAKAHAHHHAHA
HHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAAHAA!!!!!!!!!


Ok, now imagine this happening 3 times a minute. It's not an exaggeration.

Now imagine this accompanied by
- foot stamping (oh yeah, I felt the earth move under my feet - and I'm not talking figuratively);
- German song singing (in aforementioned screechy pitch, each stanza gradually growing lower and intespersed with said hyena laughter); AND
- an open door.

The open door also drives me crazy. Sometimes I want to walk over and just slam it for them.

Excuse me for a few seconds while I take a short break to fantasize about nailing her hide to our shared dividing wall and using it as a dartboard.

But back to the incomprehensibility of it. It's incomprehensible because I don't even know how it's humanly possible to laugh like that - humans have God-given laughter that's supposed to tinkle pleasantly and be the best medicine! Our vocal cords and lungs (and our EARS) are not MADE for this kind of insane howling cries. Laughter's supposed to make the people around you feel good - not inspire them to engage in psychopathic hallucinations of sticking their hands down into your trachea, pulling out each vocal cord one by one and cooking them in spaghetti bolognaise. I also don't understand how a person can feel so little shame about being such a bloody nuisance. I don't understand how she thinks its REMOTELY socially acceptable to burst into laughter at FIVE BLOODY O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. Maybe she didn't have anything better to do, but I don't understand how did not see that her long-suffering neighbour might have a legal accounting exam the next morning. For the love of Mike, it might actually take EFFORT to be this bad a neighbour, you know? She'd either have to be stupid, inconsiderate, without a conscience, or all three.

By the way, she says she's stupid. Dammit, it was still the beginning of the semester when she said that and I actually said "oh no, it happens; forget it, just don't do it again". She's done it again and again and again and now I'm tempted to go right back to her and rehash the topic and go: yeah, maybe you really ARE.

It's gotten bad enough that Grace (who lives on the other side of her) has taken to banging on the wall so hard that Alex on the fourth floor upstairs hears it. Hahah, serves them right. I've just taken to sitting in my room and yelling "SHUT UP" - sometimes it actually works.

ROAR. I know I've said it many times to people - once you accept that the world is full of morons, you'll be a much happier person. I just didn't expect to live next to a social retard.

I miss Ben Schneider.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:14 pm
[4 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 2nd April '06

Zwei Und Zwanzig

Still amazed by the irony that I am learning more German in Canada than anything else. Well not as much as Sabrina (alas, I am not motivated by a "my darling Nils"-equivalent), but I at least thought I'd be learning French.

"Zwei und zwanzig" is German for "twenty-two", by the way. It took me ages to remember how to pronounce it, but it is a useful word when you have close to 20 Germans asking you how old you are in one night.

This is a big consolidated entry minus the photographs - there should be photos pending, but I need to pull them off everyone else because I was too lazy to tot my camera around.


Juno Kick-Off Concert

It all started with Vicki sending a bunch of the most enthusiastic texts I've ever received from her. The essence of it being: It's the JUNOS!! They start today! Go watch some events. There's a free concert tonight with the Trews!! If you don't go I will kick your ass. (And oh, by the way, I'm too busy with my thesis to go with you, so I'm going to NATO it - BUT YOU HAVE TO GO!) Alright alright mate, I'm going!

The Junos are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies. Big fanfare, big stars (Coldplay, Nickelback, Bryan Adams, Black Eyed Peas and a whole lot more) flooding into the tiny town for the glitzy night at the Helifax Metro Centre. Which I am going to sadly watch from the comfort of the stained couch in the drty YMCA TV room in about an hour. At least I have Vicki's Mum's EXCELLENT chicken curry with which to occupy myself with. smile

You won't believe how hard it is to find people to go to a free concert with Halifax Regional Municipality's best bands playing at. In the end I managed to drag Franzi along for the last 2 hours of a 5.5 hour long live music marathon. But it was really good stuff - although poor Franzi doesn't seem to be one accustomed to loud music. She said the Trews made her heart jump *chuckle*. By my standards the Trews were punk music, but we were so far from the stage it wasn't loud. Loud is not being able to hear youself speak the next morning.

The greatest part is we met this 50-odd year old DARLING couple who took the ferry over from Dartmouth to come watch the kick-off. You know the type - guy's balding, woman is all golden-haired but they're still evidently so much in love and hugging and head bopping to the rock music. Young at heart too. And it wasn't even in a "gosh, that's a bit sad" kind of way. Anyway, they noticed the confused foreigners behind them who didn't know the bands playing and explained all about where Matt Mays was from (the DRM, haha) and that the Trews were an Antigonish product... it was nice having someone tell us what was going on.

So yeah, that was Thursday. All a little dampened because I had to run home to prep for that Entertainment Law presentation on Friday.

---


Sugar Shack

Despite David's cheeky remarks about how I should be wary of maple syrup since the whole tooth incident, I tagged along with a whole bunch of Germans for a 2 hour drive to the town of Dean for a tour of the maple bush.

Maple bush my ass lah, that was the most rip-off tour any of us had ever been on in our lives.

Trotting down from the Y with Franzi, Jessika and the crazy Linda, we saw Susann (big green coat) and Freddy (big brown coat) already waiting. We were soon joined by Solene (minus Clo and Simon), Stephan, Andre, Per & Michael (and Tim Hortons) and Zerk (drunk/hungover from a mammoth pub crawl, so what's new?). After hanging around for 20 minutes, SMU International Centre dude Ysaac proceeds to squash the bunch of us and a swarm of other international sorts (Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese and PRCs) into a rickety black school bus.

Ysaac is incidentally the person of the most exotic descent I have ever met - he's gypsy! And a really nice friendly guy... it's hard to bitch about the lousiness of the tour when the organiser was such a personable sort. And of course, once he found out I was Singaporean he asked the ever important question that every real (read: non-exchange) student at SMU askes me:

"Do you know Bryan?"

Funnily enough, I DO know Bryan. In true Singaporean-style, Bryan has his finger in EVERY pie in SMU. Which doesn't explain how I know him, but oh well. Singaporeans in Halifax tend to know each other just by the sheer fact that there are a grand total of five of us in Dal / SMU. Six, if you include Lingwei. Excellent guy, too, everyone who meets me gushes about him and proclaims him as their "good friend". But on about the trip.

Out of a planned 6 hour tour, 4 hours were spent on the danged bus, so it warrants whining about. Cramped as an economy class airplane seat feels after 13 hours in the air, this bus was obviously designed to carry children half our age. Let's just illustrate it this way - the 1.93m Freddy couldn't fit in the seat. When he sat on the seat right up to the back, his knees literally extended beyond the next seat. Heck, MY KNEES were touching the seat in front of me, so for two hours he must have been damned uncomfortable. Add to that the fact that the 1.8m Susann was sitting next to him. Limbs everywhere.

And the rest of the 2 hour ride there and 2 hour ride back was spent bitching about the bus, listening to a Korean dude sing Korean songs and playing guitar (the same dude who we saw at Cheers on St Patty's), taking photos of each other falling asleep (damn you, Andre) and listening to Per and Micheal howl "Soenke has a girlfriend!" repeatedly in German because he was the only one who didn't have a bus buddy and ended up sitting next to a little Taiwanese girl. And I had another "German with Susann" lesson. Can now count till 29. Hollow victory, I know. big grin

Now on to that maple syrup business. We were first brought to a church and alighted the bus with looks of confuzzlement on our faces. A CHURCH? Turns out there's where we had the maple syrup buffet - pancakes, sausages, beans, brown bread, rolls and cake. All alright, I guess. Michael (in the interests of truth, an Italian, not German) and I were quite tickled by the fact that the food was prepped by a kitchen full of little old ladies - you know, the homely-looking ones that look like they could cook up a storm that would make Martha Stewart look like... um... Henghwa. Sorry Dage, I couldn't think of someone else who's really bad in the kitchen. Heh. Still, I think I would have made a better old lady lah. Like Andre said, for the 20-bucks we paid for the tour, we could have gone to Smithy's instead.

So we did the eating thing, asked for seconds, and had dessert. All decent, I suppose.

Then back onto the bus ("Soenke has a girlfriend!" refrains in the background. Boys need to grow up.). A few more minutes drive and we reach the "sugar shack". "Sugar shack" in BIG FAT INVERTED COMMAS.

It was a wooden room with one metal machine in it. The machine had a firewood furnace burning at one end and propane at the other and essentially all it did was evaporate the evaporate the excess H2O from the maple sap so you get the dark brown syrup. Firewood is used at the start because it's cheap and then propane is used to finish it off because it's easier to control the heat and you can shut it off at exactly the right moment. It takes 40 portions of maple sap to make one portion of syrup, and the sap changes from a clear, colourless liquid to a dark reddish-brown liquid by the end of it. There is no change in viscosity. Whee, haven't totally lost my Chemistry QA skills.

We were also told about how you tap the sap off a maple tree by sticking a tap into it, and progressively changing the tap positions in a spiral pattern, either down or up. And how all the taps are linked by piping. I.e., not like rubber-tapping.

And that was it. We walked around the machine. End of tour.

Left to our own devices standing on a dry wintered-out field for 45 minutes to walk around and take pictures and wonder if that was then end. It was. That field had nothing on but weeds.

I wish I could have seen just ONE maple tree. *sigh*

---


The Last Night Out

What started out as a planned post-maple syrup after party eventually turned into one llooonnnnggggg night with which to remember my last day being 21. Essentially I was doing my usual "let's tag along with the Germans and see what high jinks they can get up to tonight" thing, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable days here.

[I refuse to have birthday parties just coz I simply cannot bear the thought of forcing people to be in a place to celebrate the fact that I've been put on this Earth. I'm just inherently uncomfortable with that notion. For the past 10 years I've just sort of decided to have my fun with whomever I'm incidentally hanging out with at that time. And it's taken me from TCC with Smubs to sitting by the Singapore River with TC/Aud and the "Secrets" cast. It's much more exciting that way.]

The general lot met at 6pm at the Oasis, and various folks trickled in later. I gave up any plans of writing the major paper and trotted down about 7:30pm to find more people than I've ever seen in one place together. It's funny how I've started to think of people in "defined units", but there were the usual suspects of Susann & Freddy, the French Fries (Clo, Solene, Simon), the German Boys (Andre, Zerk, Per) & Michael and the rarely seen ones like Anja & "Ianz" (I really cannot spell the name), Stephan, Dominic & Alex, and people I've never met or never talked to (the names Andy, Tim, Kyle might float around but I can't always assign names to faces). I guessed what I like about that was that there were endless people to talk to and endless stories to hear and share - something that has become a bit rare now that I've been here long enough for social circles to have solidified. And it was a really great mix 'coz you sort of knew everyone well enough to have good conversations, but you didn't know them so well or see them so often that there was nothing new to say. The Oasis was absurdly abandoned for a Saturday though, quiet as a graveyard. But it's easier to talk like that.

We even got unwittingly involved in some students' beer commercial. All we had to do was look happy and yell "Grab a Canadian!". Molson, that is. The irony was that everyone at that table that was boozing was drinking Keith's. Sheesh.

After getting more German numbers coaching from Anja and her bf, and getting hiarious "Eminem" storied from Dominic... we started getting a bit bored. And we all know that most people get funnier as percentage alcohol in blood increases and percentage boredom in brain increases. So by 9pm I was getting treated to a side-splitting performance of German football cheers. I'm laughing now just thinking about it. Andre, Stephan and Susann clapping and yelling and punching the air with their fists going "Shalala-lala-lala-la HEY HEY!" and putting dirty spins on the old "Ole Ole Ole" cheer.

Then, because no one believed me when I said that Sloan was probably the best band playing that night - probably because no guy wanted to go to Reflections - we ended up at the Warehouse. And once we were there they nua-ed so long about the price of cover (10 bucks). Also because the beers were 4 dollars, I think. And because of that, the less picky of us waited outside. And because of that, I walked in on Tim (I think his name was) peeing in a bush:

Me, talking to Alex, notices a figure furtively facing away from the crowd but standing pressed up against the side wall of the Warehouse. I turn around to take a closer look wondering what the hell is going on. Suddenly the figure turns around and I realise him as one of the guys we were with at the Oasis. I'm about to say something when...

"Well don't STARE AT ME!"

And Alex bursts out laughing and I finally realise what just happened. Why do these things always happen to me... Now that I come to think of it, some guys get stuck when you stare at them. Should have done that. Haha. Like Dad used to stare at my dog to get him stuck. *chuckle* Dad can be so silly.

So we finally get inside and the guys spend inordinate amounts on the beer (4 bucks a beer must be murder, considering how much they need). Clo, Solene and I discover $5.25 cocktails (HUGE cocktails) which were a heck of lot more interesting. And then the bands started playing. At which point we discovered that we were in a place that was a little big high-class for us. As Alex said, we single-handedly brought the age-average down to about 25. It would otherwise have been over 30. Even the music (4 Juno nominees and 1 other band played) were jazzy / reggae styled offerings. Essentially they must have been the nominees in all the "World Music" type categories. At least the opening band was decent and the girls (and the ever-groovy Michael) managed to get some dancing in. The last band was pretty good too, but that was still a couple of hours away. In between we got tortured with the boringest carribean / reggae I have ever heard. Interestingly enough, one of the really bad acts won "Best Reggae Album" at the Junos.

THEN, Solene started cursing the Carribean singer's French. It's amusing how a mild-mannered girl, at least 3 beers and a Tequila Sunrise later, manages to yell "that's not French!" with abandon. As time wore on, our boredom with the music manifested in other self-amusing tactics. Once chitchat became impossible and we started getting hungrier, Micheal started stealing Doritos. The funny thing was we then found out the Doritos were to be given out for free anyway. And then we took ALL of them. Between the group of us we took ALL the Doritoes. No one in the rest of the bar had any.

And then the MINTS. Now that was trouble in the making. Between us we spoilt the market for the rest of the place lah. They had a few hundred little cute plastic dispensers of mints to give away and we totally hantum-ed the mints as well. Not even because we wanted mints but because the packs were so cute. So then we had more mints (or "pills" as Per insisted on calling them) than we knew what to do with.

Possibly the best thing about these Juno concert-party things are the freebies. It was about the time what we had finished amusing ourselves with the Doritos and mints that the JAEGERMEISTER GIRLS emerged in their red coreset-ed glory. To approach the obviously most obnoxious group in the place and turn us into Jaeger ambassadors. So that involved everyone getting plastered with the Jaeger tatoos and having our pictures taken for their advertising thing in silly positions. I was this close to, but ultimately couldn't convince Zerk to get the thing on the forehead, dammit. And then we sort of self-amused for a bit longer until...

Michi and Susann: "Five minutes to midnight!"

Oh yeah, I'd kind of forgotten that birthday business. But ultimately the whole lot of them were incredibly sweet... threats of singing birthday songs and stage announcements etc. Managed to settle for bear hugs from everyone. *sniffle* It was all rather memorable, haha. This must have been the only time I've ever been congratulated by this many people at one go, including people whom I didn't know. This must have been the first birthday with non-Chinese. This must have been the first birthday that didn't end with me having to run home by 12 or miss the last bus. And you must have seen this coming, but this must have been the first birthday with alcohol involved. Oh well, experience, eh? wink I have yet to figure out what some birthday wishes meant though. Andy's "so you're 22, that's almost 19, right?" is still unfathomable. I'm not sure people can count when drunk, though.

By the way, this is what Mum sent me a while back:

geokkwee: En, it's your birthday in about a week. Don't go for a big celebration. A few friends for a quiet one is enough.
en ying: haha, ma, i wasn't really planning much anyway. But why?
geokkwee: your friends may take it as an excuse to drink and get drunk.

*chuckle* It's really heartwarming that she thinks about the minute details of everything like that. I mean, it's always great to know your parents (i) remember your birthday, (ii) are concerned about your well-being, and (iii) are concerned about your friends' well-being even if they've never met your friends. It's just so absurdly hilarious that they have NO IDEA what my friends here are like. That they don't NEED excuses to get drunk. At least, anything associated with En Ying does not exactly scream "drunk fest". And that they don't get drunk in the pukey, "end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning" sort of way that my friends who drink in Singapore do. I don't know. It just hit me as a realisation about really HOW DIFFERENT the world I live in now is.

It just so happens, as Alex opined, she told you to have a quiet one and you went out with a bunch of GERMANS?

Well, we can't plan EVERYTHING!

And just as that musing was beginning to take hold, OUT COME THE JAEGER-GIRLS WITH TESTUBES OF JAEGER SHOTS. They were giving them out FREE. Notably, of course, they came straight back to the obnoxious bunch that they first did the tatoos on. Oh well, just whack lah. For all the being 22, I suppose another growing-up ritual was in order. For the record, it didn't taste as bad as all it was cracked up to be lah. But the point is, I've never seen people move faster than when the girls came up to us. They came first to me and the French girls, so we were the only people who actually got served. The rest of the German guys just descended on the trays like zombies in Dawn of the Dead, pulling and clawing away at the rack. It was hilarious. Zerk, who was sitting apart from us at the time, actually RAN, going "Hey! Hey! I want!". He managed to grab the last one standing. Damn funny lah, these boys. Even the usually sedate Alex was like "Jaeger!! GERMANY!! YEAH!!!!". confused And guess who would be the only guy to score TWO shots? Michi, who else.

So after one massive "bottoms-up" salute - the sight of a lot of young punks waving testtubes in the air is amusing - the obnoxious lot just managed to get more obnoxious. We had Simon bouncing like a rabbit on the dance floor, Solene blindfolding Andre with a Jaegermeister orange bandana (goodness knows where he got that) and then later throwing the mints into Per's beer, upon which the poor fella literally started hollering. Haha, my favourite part was playing basket ball with the mints and Michael's mouth and actually scoring... and then throwing the spare one at Andre. Who was so distracted that he didn't notice when it bounced of his head.

The problem with that with that particular exercise of the "try everything once" philosophy, is that no one ever told me the Jaegermeister was a bloody DIGESTIF. If you don't know what that is, it's like the German equivalent of ENO POWDER. You know that "ENO puts stomach fires out, that's what it's all about!" jingle? Kind of a self-medication that you take after scarfing too much food. The only problem was that it was 12:30am and the last thing I had eaten was a sandwich at 5:30pm. There was friggin' NOTHING in my stomach to digest.

Will spare the sordid details, but essentially, could feel the efferversence. sleepy The bottomline is, I know alcohol and Asians don't mix, but I seriously didn't expect to get GAS. sad This is also where I make a bad pun about German Gas (Singapore slang for "farts"), and acknowledge that it's a pun in very very bad taste. Thank goodness it only started to reach epic proportions when I got home. Too Much Information, I know.

So that was about it lah. Just milling around and then some of us went home while the 4 psychos progressed to the Alehouse.

And on the way out QIONG CALLED!!! Muahahahaha. YAYYYYY. Thanks Qiong. Another first time experience - running up the hill from the waterfront, the wind blowing like CRAZY, so much so that she couldn't hear a thing I was saying. I was laughing so hard because she kept yelling "I can't hear you!!" on the other end - the wind was carrying off everything I said and blowing feedback into the phone. In the meantime, my stomach was still effervescing. Kaoz.

---


Dim Sum with the Europeans

Managed to drag a bunch of them out again for lunch - had a Great Wall craving that needed to be settled. And I also wanted to take them to some REAL restaurant food. Not the egg roll / sweet and sour pork fast food crap.

This has been an absurdly long entry, and if you're still here reading it, I take my hat off to you. So will summarise it really fast:

- Started out by handing everyone menus. Food was so authentic that they all stared at the menus, closed them and said "En Ying, can you order for us?"
- Maitre'd comes and gives us the order slip. You know how in dim sum ordering you have write down what you want. Order slip is entirely in fantizi! So maitre'd says he will give it to the "华人", much to everyone's amusement.
- Ordered the usual shebang of charsiew sou, har kow, siew mai, charsiew bao, custard bao, chee cheong fun etc etc.
- Europeans are nice and serve tea. Problem is, while I'm not looking, they pour the tea into the SOUP BOWLS. I stare in shock.
- Teach Europeans how to use chopsticks. Proves to be a harder task than expected. Susann is hilarious... knitted brows, stubborn pigheadedness in getting it right... and announcing it to everyone each time she picked up something. Let them play for a while, but by the time Freddy's har kow started bouncing across the table, I decided it was time to ask the waiter for forks and knives.
- Forks and knives obtained. Table heaves a collective sigh of relief. 7 pairs of chopsticks out of a table of 8 disappear. No more bouncing har kows, thank God.

And last and certainly not least... thanks for all the wishes from the folks. Especially Susann, Freddy, Jessika and Franzi for the balloon and chocs and movie. And Qiong for the phone call again. And Ningz and Erge Dre, and Dage Heng, and Roy, and Bene, and Charlotte, and Liang for the spectacularly failed Skype call, and Debbie, and Alex (Wee), and Bert (my dear rooster brother, it's your turn damn soon too). And Auntie Lillian for wicked food once again. And Tzo for the gorgeous homemade e-card. And Vicki for the Tim Hortons mug and teapot - she was a bit high on her thesis writing, so:

vickisicky is smelling the red of days:
the curry cannot keep too long.
remember!
and happy tims mugs!
the pot was sooo cute so I got it for you!
you can dangle your tim's mug on the outside of your backpack when you go back to singapore!
like in the advertisements!
and then the cute canadian guys will come up to you and ask you: so, are you canadian? I'm canadian! want to hang out?

en ying "intellectualproperty.tragedyoftheanticommons.tollbootheffect.stiflingcreativity.":
HAHAHA
are you alright?

vickisicky is smelling the red of days:
HAHAHAAA
HYSTERICALLY SO!

en ying "intellectualproperty.tragedyoftheanticommons.tollbootheffect.stiflingcreativity.":
*pat pat*
that thesis is doing bad things to you

Yeah that's it. No school tomorrow either, Family Law cancelled. Wheeee.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 06:06 pm
[14 photographs developed.]