Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I went to IMU in hope that I'll enjoy the orientation by watching the poor juniors kena ragging... But I ended up playing Settlers of Catan almost the whole time I'm in IMU!!! That's how's seriously addictive the game is!!! I can't stop thinking bout the game now... Man Wednesday seems so long away... Who cares about orientations... I want my game of Catan!!!

On the other hand, here's 1 thing I noticed when I observe the juniors in their cross-dressing costumes. While guys look horrible in skirts (the guys in pinafore appeared so awkward in it!), they almost look normal in non-skirt type of female wear, such as cheongsam and sari. Perhaps if some designers will come up with modified versions of such "dress", guys will start wearing them one day... Who knows? >=)

*11 hours later*

Juz woke up from my sleep... Have been dreaming about Settlers of Catan... OK, this is freaky...

Saturday, August 28, 2004


About a month ago, one of the workers in my dad's factory lost a small part of his flesh at the tip of his finger, and some minor fractures too, due to some accidents caused by the machine... About 1 month later, another accident happened. This time, one arm of a worker got crushed by the machine... but thank God, they still can fix it. His arm will still work in the future, thought it will probably be slightly misshapen...

And now, not 1 month after the 2nd incident, another accident occured... Heard the news while I was having my breakfast. Yet another worker got his hand crushed by the machine. I felt so sick... There have been only a few accidents after my dad started his factory about 5 years ago, and now, in the short span of 2 months, 3 grievious injuries have occurred!!! And worse... this time, nothing can be done to save his hand... I'm not very clear about the details, since my parents are juz too depressed to talk about it... But I heard that he lost all 5 fingers on 1 of his hand... Sigh...

Something really need to be done with the machines... It's really saddening and disturbing to know that so many have suffered permanently for their injuries. Heck, even my dad almost got his hand crushed once, but thank God that the machine was switched off in time. Still, that scar remains on his hand till this day... Well, I'll discuss with my parents when they're in a better mood... They dun seemed to wanna talk about it now...


The new batch has finally been divided into groups. Since I'm not an OO, I got the oppurtunity to "float" around to see the progress of different groups. Man all these were so much like the orientation of my batch 1 sem ago... with 1 exception. The M2/04s ppl are damn serious and solemn!!! They dun react much when details about the orientation were given to them... so totally unlike our batch back then! We were cheering and "oooo"ing and laughing like mad! Man hope they will loosen up a bit during the orientation, and provide some good sports! Hahaha...

Matt brought his newly bought Settlers of Catan boardgame to IMU today. Man it's 1 of the most gorgeously-designed board game I've seen! And we were seriously having fun then! Definitely gonna play that again next week!!! But then again, the OOs will probably be too busy then... Well see how leh... I was so close to winning today... Argh, I've nv win that game even once yet so far!!! Seriously need to bug Matt to bring it again next week! That game is damn cool!

Thursday, August 26, 2004


I was surfing around the net when I found an interview with Radiohead by chance. The band rarely give interviews, which explains my joy when I finally found 1. Fearing that the article may juz disappear from the net in the future, I figured that it'll be safer if I copied down the entire thing and post here in my blog... And well, juz in case, here's the link to that website...

radiohead: played in full

Radiohead seem to live, metaphysically, at least, in a fantastical place. A place of demure Martians and jagged, lonely mountains. A place where they sometimes don't even recognize themselves. And because they like to inhabit this kind of place, American concert arenas can be the stuff of nightmares. But that doesn't stop them from writing songs about homesick aliens and the coming ice age. Or from looking at people like they're dopey for thinking Radiohead's music is "experimental."

Radiohead, as we know them, shouldn't exist. They make melancholy music that can be as tough to digest as a butter-soaked filet mignon. Yet, somehow, it sells. Not like Britney sells, but certainly better than your garden variety concept albums about alienation. That's because they are seen as the real deal, as artistes.

Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway sat down with MTV News' Gideon Yago to talk about how none of this can last, why their music should be considered pop and how they'd like to throttle their 21-year-old selves.


Gideon Yago: Do you ever worry that by experimenting so much, like you have on Kid A and Amnesiac, that you'll lose some of your fans?

Thom Yorke: Kid A and Amnesiac were not that much of an experiment. Really, they weren't. I mean it's not f---ing rocket science. It's not. Compared to the music we listen to, it's pretty f---ing mild.

Jonny Greenwood: It's all repetition again, and chords. I think if we wanted it to be obscure we could do a much better job of it, but that's never a reason to make music.

Yago: It seems like Radiohead is the only major label band that's allowed to take these huge artistic and stylistic risks. Why is that?

Ed O'Brien: Well, not for any longer.

Yorke: We ended up on the wrong side of the fence when the bombs went off.

O'Brien: It's the economics of the fact that OK Computer sold 4.5 million records [worldwide] — it gives us some leeway. That's the bottom line. They wouldn't be giving us this amount of freedom if OK Computer sold 200,000 copies. No way.

Yago: But not everyone who sells almost five million albums decides to go into a studio and play around with noise and tone down the guitars.

Yorke: That's their prerogative. That's fine.

O'Brien: We dreamed about doing this. Even before we signed [to a label] we talked about it. All these things bizarrely came to fruition and it's, "Oh yeah, we can actually do this now. He, he, he." And we f---ing bought a studio and it's great. We piled up all the beeps. For years we felt guilty doing this stuff, or we didn't have the means to do it. But now we're like, "Why not? What the hell?"

Yago: You recorded all of the songs for Kid A and Amnesiac in one session, right?

Yorke: We did, although some people tend to think that Amnesiac was a panic reaction to Kid A, especially in Britain, which is hilarious.

Yago: Why were you in such a rush to put an album out eight months after the previous one?

J. Greenwood: It was going to be three months. It was finished, so why sit on it?

Yago: Why didn't you release Kid A and Amnesiac as a double album, then?

O'Brien: It wouldn't have worked. The tendency with a double album is that if there's quite dense material in there, you tend to skip it, you tend to move on. We realized that maybe at first listen it wouldn't come to you, but it warranted coming back to. It wouldn't have happened if we put it on a double album.

Yorke: It would have been a massive overload.

Yago: Can you tell me the story behind "Pyramid Song"?

Yorke: That song literally took five minutes to write, but yet it came from all these mad places. [It's] something I never thought I could actually get across in a song and lyrically. [But I] managed it and that was really, really tough. [Physicist] Stephen Hawking talks about the theory that time is another force. It's [a] fourth dimension and [he talks about] the idea that time is completely cyclical, it's always doing this [spins finger]. It's a factor, like gravity. It's something that I found in Buddhism as well. That's what "Pyramid Song" is about, the fact that everything is going in circles.

Yago: Does America seem different to you three years after the OK Computer tour?

O'Brien: Yeah, very. When we came over here, I remember it being a really dark time, and really not enjoying touring America. In fact, it was a f---ing nightmare. We suddenly found ourselves in these arenas at the end of the tour, and we were not in the right frame of mind to be doing that. But we did it.

Yago: Did having such a bad experience on the OK Computer tour scare you guys about going on tour again?

Yorke: Touring in America is very good at making you do lots of histrionics, hardcore stuff that makes you go, "Yah!" You do this move here, and you do that move there, and everything is scripted because it makes everybody in the crowd go, "Whoo!" But I would much rather be someone like Miles Davis who turns his back on the audience and just listens to what everybody is doing because that is why they are really there. They want you to f---ing play.

Yago: Thom, in October 2000 you told Kurt Loder that you heard yourself singing "Fake Plastic Trees" and you didn't recognize your own voice, and that that made you happy. I was wondering if you could explain that.

Yorke: That's why I still say what we do is like pop music, because there's an element of it that's supposed to be disposable and supposed to be something you don't remember. When I hear "Exit Music (For a Film)," I don't recognize the person singing it. The same happens with music like "Airbag" on OK Computer. I don't recognize us playing it. It's just that that's the way you were that particular moment and then you're something else.

Yago: When "Creep" came out, a lot of critics pegged you guys as one-hit wonders. Was there ever a time where you thought that might have actually been the case?

Yorke: Oh yeah, all the time. We're still doing it.

Colin Greenwood: We really didn't think about it so much. We were just enjoying being in America and playing little clubs then. It's a real privilege to see that side of things, and it's really cool because you get to hang around record shops and bookshops and stuff.

Yago: Do you find that you are inspired by the same stuff when you write songs now as you were eight years ago when you first put out Pablo Honey?

O'Brien: No, of course not. Music you listen to when you are 23 is very different from the music you listen to when you are 33. You can't stay with the same stuff. You can come back to stuff and realize why you liked it then if you haven't listened to it in nine years.

Yago: What does your studio look like?

Yorke: Messy.

Yago: Is there just stuff lying everywhere? Computer equipment? Instruments?

Yorke: A collection of old vintage computers, but of course we don't know what to do with them. They look great. There's lots of tapes all over the place that we can't remember what we put on them. There's a lot of gear.
When we built it we wanted it to [also] be a house where we could just hang out. But it's like we built it and then we immediately started working on Kid A and Amnesiac. So at the moment, it is literally a bum sight. [It's] like what we always dreamed of having, a neutral space we would go to when we do our own thing.

Phil Selway: It's kind of reminiscent of when we did live together.

Yorke: It smells the same.

C. Greenwood: Jonny never does the washing up.

Yorke: I have someone who does that for me.
Yago: In 1978, NASA sent out the Voyager Space Probe with a soundtrack from Beethoven to "Johnny B. Goode" and attempted to contact extraterrestrial life with these songs. If you could've put any one song on the Voyager space probe to contact alien life, which would it have been?

C. Greenwood: While we were doing the record, Jonny got the satellite program for listening to broadcasts from outer space, so we had that running on the computer. It was cool.

J. Greenwood: Yeah, I got a bit obsessed with all that. I copied the list of music you're talking about. I've got it in my book, all the things that people thought summed up with music. As to what I'd choose, they sort of got it quite right in a way. A song you want [on there]?

Yago: [Yes], a song.

J. Greenwood: "Shipbuilding" by Elvis Costello is a very good song to do.

Yago: Any from your own repertoire?

J. Greenwood: No.

Yago: Do you guys have any interest in scoring movie soundtracks in the future?

J. Greenwood: Yes. We're sort of tentatively trying a few things out. We're trying to turn our studio into something that can do that. We're assembling old televisions and video recorders and trying to work out how we're going to do it.

Yago: Is there any one director that you would absolutely kill to do a soundtrack for?

Yorke: Well, yeah, but it's best not to say. If we do it, it has to be a very chilled out thing. Because having never done it, we might f--- it up really badly.

Yago: "I Might Be Wrong," off of Amnesiac, is going to be in a commercial for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games?

Yorke: Yes! We need the cash.

O'Brien: There's no cash. It's charity!

C. Greenwood: There's no money involved. We're into the snowboarding event, it's really good.

C. Greenwood: It's advertising the lifestyle before the advertisers get to it. We thought we'd get there first with music.

Yago: You didn't include any songs from your first album, Pablo Honey, in your setlist for this tour. Do you guys never want to play those songs again?

J. Greenwood: Every time we rehearse all the songs we can just about play and whichever ones are sounding fresh and still sounding good, we'll include them. That's sort of how it works.

Yago: I read that Brian Eno used to keep these cue cards in his studio that said, "Whatever worked last time, never do it again." Do you guys have a similar philosophy?

Yorke: Don't have time to write the cue cards.

Yago: What would the Radiohead of 2001 say to the Radiohead of 1991?

Selway: There's going to be a dark moment in about one-and-half years when you record a song called "Pop Is Dead." Don't do that!

Yorke: And then there's that bit around '98 where you sort of have to take it easy and chill out a little bit, and do less of the distortion guitars and choruses. And maybe forget about the rock thing a little bit earlier. And take it easy, don't be quite so hard on yourself around '97, '98 and attempt to get a life of some description because it tends to help.

Selway: We wouldn't have listened anyway.

Yorke: No, no, we were bloody pig-headed. If I met my 21-year-old person, I would have bloody throttled him.

WELCOME M2/04!!!

The new Medicine batch has finally arrived! Went to IMU today juz to help out in their 1st ever tour around IMU. As they were getting ready for the photograph session, I joined a few other seniors who stood observing them... Hahaha, I still remember me wondering wat the seniors were laughing at last sem when we, the M1/04s, were preparing for the photo session. Funny how things turned out the same now that I'm a senior already! Well, my 1st impression on the new batch is that many of them look so... stern and matured to me... Kinda intimidating actually, considering that they are the juniors! Not to mention the guys are seriously tall!!!

The tour around campus came after the photo session. I joined with Jody and Charlene to lead a group of juniors, and among them I get to know Hau Chun, who also happens to be EV's old friend. We took about 45 minutes to go thru the whole campus and explaining stuff to them. Man time really flies... Juz 1 sem ago I myself was in a tour! We ended the tour in the Student Lounge, and I hang around for awhile b4 joining EV, Hau Chun and his gang at EV's place. We were asked if Sem 1 is tough... Well, between me, EV, and Bryan, all of us gave quite different answers!!!

Well, now that we have passed our Sem 1, Sem 1 did seems to be easy... I know it sounds funny, but all the stress that I've experienced prior to the tests and finals in sem 1 seems to be nothing more than a distant memory now... I guess this is wat a long break will do to u! So I gave them the answer that I felt earlier while I'm still preparing for the test: "It isn't exactly tough, but it's not easy either. U'll have little problem in understanding them, but it's almost impossible to remember every single detail..." Weird that we dun feel that way now anymore after we pass out tests...

Oh ya, I also got to meet an old friend of mine from Taylor's among the new batch. And also 1 Thomas Lee! No kidding! I've found him earlier thru friendster. He's a friend of my friend. Now... Should I go for the Meetings with the Seniors session on Friday?? Hmmmm...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


  • Woke up at 7am to drive sis to school.
  • Returned home, sleep.
  • Woke up again at 9am and drove to grandma's house along with bro to have dim sum breakfast with relatives.
  • Returned home, sleep.
  • Woke up at 11.45am to pick sis up from school, and along the way drop her friend at her house (which happens to be totally out of the way towards home actually).
  • Returned home, sleep.
  • Supposed to wake up at 1.45pm to drive sis and a cousin to tuition, but my aunt who happened to be at my house then save me the trouble by driving them there for me.
  • Woke up around 4.30pm, then drove to pick up sis from her tuition class, and drop cousins at grandma's house (which also is out of the way).
  • Reached home, rest for awhile, watched The Simpsons.
  • Nothing else to watch after Simpsons, so juz kept on switching the channels until I found a great movie played on one of the movie channels: Man for All Seasons, a biography on Sir Thomas More.

  • Finished watching the movie. Love it. Added another name to my "most admired people" list: Sir Thomas More. Others in the list included Sir Isaac Newton, Wolgang Amadeus Mozart, Gregor Mandel, J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Currently, wasting my time by surfing the net, desperately seeking to read interesting stuff and download some cool music videos/ live performances that are not aired (and will never be aired) in MTV/ Channel V.
  • Expected to continue wasting time till around 3am b4 I tire myself out and go for bed.

And so similar cycles repeat for the rest of the holiday... Thank God it will all end in about 2 weeks time!!! Can't wait for the next semester to start!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Well, 1 year has passed since I started using the "Rainbow Delight" template for my blog. As much as I'm fond of it, I think it's time for a change! And viola, change it is!

I'm kinda aiming in simplicity and clarity for my new blog template, and the change is in progress now... So far, wat u guys think of it? Gimme some comments pls!!!

As for now, I really need a bath... Haven't bathe since before I left for Battle of the Bands 2 days ago... Which is about... 55 hours!!! But still haven't break my highest record! Haha... I'll leave that to ur imagination! >=)

Monday, August 23, 2004


Although TJ told me about the Battle of the Bands a week earlier, I juz remembered about it a day b4 the actual thing! But thank God I actually made it!! I was a bit reluctant to attend it at first, worrying that it will be a waste of my time and money... Turns out neither is true. In fact, it actually rocks!

There were 10 bands that take part in the competition this year, and although the initial reason I came for the competition was juz to support TJ and his band Versatile, I ended enjoying almost all the bands that are competing. The sound system was awful, and there were times when I can't hear wat the vocalists were singing at all, but still, that dun stopped us from enjoying all the performance (well, almost all). My fav competing band that night was FunkyDogz, cuz they really sound very different compared to the other bands, and man can they play groovy music! I love their version of Jamiroquai's Canned Heat, and the guitar sounded awesome! They truly deserved to be the champion that night!

Well, as for Versatile, I can't really say much, bcuz I can't hear much!!! The sound system was really bad in the 1st half of the show. In fact, I totally missed out TJ's solo, which is seriously a waste. But well, there's plenty of oppurtunities still! So cheer up TJ!!! Also, 1 thing worth mentioning is how excellent the last performance by Larva Eve II was. They performed a medley, which songs that include Paradise City (by Guns N Roses - The vocalist imitated the singing perfectly!), Are You Gonna Be My Girl (by Jet) and many more. I was damn impressed!

Apart from the competing bands, a few local artistes performed too: John's Mistress, Dragon Red, and Disagree. Eventhough I planned to return home earlier (the competition is scheduled to end at 12.30am, but I expected it to end later than that), I stayed back all the way anyway, juz to see all of them performing (I juz dun want to regret missing anything in the future). Turns out I've made the right choice. I'm not very impressed by John's Mistress and Dragon Red, but I kinda like Disagree, and I love their 1st single Crumbs. In fact, I nv knew that it was composed by them until I actually look for it online!

I really enjoyed the whole thing (eventhough I have to stand for 6 hours long, and it was damn hot!), and I'll probably attend next year's Battle of the Bands as well!

Thursday, August 19, 2004


"Grave of the Fireflies belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made."
-- Roger Ebert

"Grave of the Fireflies is the Schindler's List of anime... It is the most profoundly human animated film I've ever seen."
-- Ernest Rister

As EV asked me if there's any good movies beside Schindler's List that I can borrow her, a long list of movie titles juz appeared in my mind - and of them is Grave of the Fireflies. Only that it is an animated film!

Having reminded (unintentionally) about the movie, I was suddenly compelled to watch it again, for the third time... And now, I juz did, and guess what? I still sobbed at the end of the movie! The whole show is juz so heart-breaking. It tells a tale of how 2 children- Seita, a 14-year-old-boy, and Setsuko, Seita's 4-year-old sister, struggle to survive when their home and parents were destroyed by the war. It started off full with hope and optimism, but gradually reduced into suffering and despair as the story progresses. It also shows how pride and ego can destroy all the things that we've laboured so much to protect, and how war can causes one to lose his innocence. The very 1st line of the movie says a lot about how the movie will proceed already:

September 25, 1945. That was the night that I died.

Nevertheless, as depressing as the movie is, I truly appreciate the all the little moments of joys and triumphs the children have amidst their struggle. How they found the "treasure trove" of "luxurious" food buried at their backyard, how they enjoyed themselves at the beach, and how they caught the fireflies and set them loose inside their mosquito net... Yet no matter how wonderful all the short moments are, they eventually end... in tragedy. Little Setsuko described it most appropriately in one of her lines, "Why do fireflies have to die so soon?"

The is definitely one of the best and most moving movie I've watched, and frankly there is no other movie that moves me as much as this does (with the exception of The Passion of The Christ). I definitely recommended this movie to everyone, so that all will know wat war truly is - hell...


After we went back ashore and have a few hors of rest, we returned to the dive centre to get the rest of the paperworks done. All of us passed the course!!! We all now have a temporary open water diving lisence while we wait for our lisence to be processed! Yay! After, all of us together with the instructors and Julian's chinese wife Yeen chat around for more than an hour. We discussed on enviromental issues (espeacially on coral reefs), and hearing how Julian passionately recounting how tourism developement has destroyed some of the reefs seriously makes me feel sad. Also, I'm considering not to eat shark fin soup anymore in the future... That's the least I can do to protect from extinction! Later that night, we tried out the grilled fish at the cool Waikiki Bar, juz as we ate grilled sting ray there earlier. Man they're delicious!

Next morning, after we checked out and left our luggages at the dive centre, 6 of us (excluding Wei-Yen, he went for another 2 dives after paying an extra RM 75!) went for a jungle trekking to get to a waterfall... Little did we know, we actually need to cross the jungle hills to the other side of the island to reach there! After 2 hours of trekking upwards, we finally gave up (well, not really. We stop bcuz we're afraid if we got lost!), but I seriously enjoy the whole thing. Caught some pictures of the interesting flora and fauna there, including a HUGE aphid, the size of my thumb!!! Oh and also a rather weird looking spider that kinda resembles a ladybug! I also heard that there's 1 species of frog that can be found nowhere in the world except in Tioman, but unfortunately we didn't see any of them.

After lunch, we returned to the dive centre to do our last minute stuff b4 we leave the island. Finally, Julian drove our luggages to the jetty with his motorbike (his van broke down 1 day after we reached Tioman!), and after we say our final goodbyes, he left us there at the jetty waiting for the ferry. The ride back to Mersing was, unexpectedly, MUCH MUCH WORSE that the ride to Tioman. The waves were juz wild!!! Seawater kept seeping into the boat, and the whole ride was incredibly bumpy and uneven as the boat keep "flying" and "dropping" as it cut through all the waves. Most of the time, I can't even see what's out there through the window, for the waves kept splashing all over them!!! I seriously give thanks to God when we finally reached the shore in one piece! That was one crazy ride!!!

We reached Mersing at 6pm, but our bus won't be leaving till 10.30pm!!! And so we hang around a really cool cafe called The Port, and we sit, eat, and chat there for the next 3 hours!!! The food there are very expensive, but since all of us were so tired from the return trip already, none of us really care much about it! The food was delicious, and it will remained as one of the best meal I've ever eaten in my life! The atmosphere was quite cool to! If I'm ever to return to Tioman, I'll most definitely stop by that cafe again! At 10.30pm, we left Mersing and finally reached Puduraya Station around 3.30am in the morning of 6th August, Saturday. At first, I was supposed to take a taxi home, but in the end, almost my whole family (except my sis) came to pick me up! Also, Hadrianto came to my house to stay for the night, and we have bah kut teh for lunch the next day!

Alrite, b4 I end this entry, there's sumthing about Mr. Paul Jambunathan (1 of our behavioural sciences lecturer) that I wanna talk about. He came to Tioman 1 day after us, and his behaviour is totally different from how he behaves at IMU!!! He's a true prankster!!! Once, after we came back from the dive and eager to take off our heavy and bulky diving apparatus (the gas tank itself is 15kg!!! Some of the girls can't even carry it!!!), he stopped us and tell us to go back to the beach, as there's a change of plans. He said that Julian wanna teach us sumthing else 1st b4 we rest for the day. As I've already took off my gas tank and BCD, I busied myself trying to wear the thing all over again while the guys who haven't took off anything walked straight to the beach. I was really surprised when the rather sharp Julian actually help me out it putting them on instead of hurrying me like he always did! Then some of the instructors started laughing... And I realized it was all a stupid joke! I shouted to the guys at the beach to come back... And Julian was then teasing us, "U call urself medical students?! And u believe that crazy guy?!" Man, that was embarassing...

Well, now that I have got my lisence, I hope that I can dive more often in the future. But one thing's for sure: I'm definitely going to go back to Tioman to continue the advance course, which include wreck diving and night diving! Most probably I'll do it next year, if I pass my Sem 3!!!


When I woke up the next morning, the headache has subsided. And from that day onwards, Alex became our main instructor, as Simon was off to Singapore and Julian was busy with his other students. Coincidentally, my birthday falls on that day too, August 3rd! Well, things proceeded as usual, discussion of the chapter reviews, watched the videos, do the quizzes, and off we go diving again!

During our 2nd dive, we learned slightly a bit more stuff compared to the 1st day. Actually, there wasn't a lot to learn in scuba diving, but the reason u took us such a long time to finish the course is bcuz we need to learn wat to do when all sorts of accidents happen, such as how to removed the water from our mask when the water seeped into it, how to get hold of our regulator (breathing piece) again after we lose it underwater, wat to do if the regulator malfunction, wat to signal when we're out of air, how to pass out alternate regulator to our buddy who are out of air etc. Of all the skills we're expected to master, the one I hated the most is this: We're to remove our mask when we're under the sea, open our eyes underwater and hold the mask on our hands for 1 minute before we put it on again, and use the previously learned technique to replaced our mask with air again. Sounds easy, rite? No way man! Firstly, keeping ur eyes open underwater for a minute is seriously uncomfortable. Everything went blur, and ur eyes became irritated by the saltwater! Secondly (and worse), somehow I juz can't stop breathing through my nose! So there I go, keep sucking in the seawater thru my nose everytime I inhaled! I tried to squeeze my nose so that it won't happen, but the instructor stopped me! And for that whole 1 minute, I'm sucking in seawater! I seriously felt like puking (underwater!) then, but I tried my very best to hold back. The headache returned again, more painful than ever!

Other than that, everything was ok. Most of us finally learned how to control our buoyancy (not completely in control, but improved a lot compared to yesterday la!), and we can finally enjoy the view in our 2nd dive (most of us were to focus on trying to control our buoyancy and movement in the 1st dive to pay any attention to the reef!). The underwater scenery is... well, beautiful, in a very alien kinda way. Everything look so... different down here, it felt like as if we're exploring another world! Although the corals and fishes were not as colourful as pictured in Finding Nemo, the sight of them was amazing. I juz can't described the view in words... One has to see for themselves! Oh but the sea urchins seriously look threatening! Also, I spotted 4 blue bumphead parrotfishes!!!

The Brain Coral. Fitting name, isn't it?

Blue Bumphead Parrotfish

And so the days go one with the usual routine: Discussion on the chapter reviews, watch the videos, complete the quizzes, and then learn the real thing (and finally, we have the final exam). All went well, and on the very last day of our course, we go to 2 different diving sites: Pirate Reef and Renggis Island. We actually get to dived past a Thai fishing vessel wreck at Pirate Reef! The sight of the corals growing on the wreck 20+ meters below seawater and all the fishes that swam around it was unforgetable and truly memorable. The shipwreck itself is seriously impressive! Although it wasn't exactly huge, it isn't the typical small Malaysian fishing boat either! My guess is that the boat is about 10 meters long and 4 meters wide! We actually got to dive past a stream of fishes too! It was awesome!

To me, Renggis Island isn't really an island at all. It's juz consists from a bunch of huge rocks with a tree or 2 on top of it. Also, the current was pretty strong around this island too, and I was constantly swept away many times during the dive! The interesting difference about this dive site is that there are much, much more fishes that habitate that coral reef compared to others around Tioman. Some of the lucky ones spotted a turtle, but as hard as I tried to look at where they're pointing at (I was behind them), I can't spot the turtle, for the visibility there was pretty bad with all the suspended particles floating around due to the strong current. Still, I saw clownfishes hiding in the anemones, and also coral cuttlefishes that look like rocks!!! Also, there are many gigantic clams!!! I saw 1 that is almost as big as a Kancil!

Click here for larger image

And of cuz, there were many other things that I saw there, but I juz can't list of them! In fact, I dun know many of their names too!

Monday, August 16, 2004


2 weeks have almost passed since I went to Tioman for my open water dive course... So I guess it's about time I blog about it b4 all my precious memory there begins to atrophy!

The 7 of us: Thaven, Hadrianto, Wei-Yen, me, Gowri, Anusha, and Jebbrine met at the Pudu Raya Bus Station on the 1st of August at around 11pm. It was my 1st visit to the bus station, and I have to admit the size of it is quite impressive. We left for Mersing, Johor around 11.45pm, and poor Wei-Yen lost his sunglasses then, probably dropped it when he was fitting his luggage into the compartment. It was a long journey, and none of us have a good sleep, for the bus kept ligths up when it reaches a few stops at Rompin. A few passengers leave the bus to a campus-like area in the middle of nowhere with forests all around it... I only remembered the word "Desasiswa" on the sign boards... I wonder wat the heck is that!

We reached Mersing an hour earlier than we expected, around 4am on the 2nd of August. Since our ferry won't be leaving till 7.30am, we hang around at the eating place, and no stores were opened yet then. I used that time then to read up my diver's manual, for I have only finished reading Chapter 1 out of 5! It's seriously very wordy la that manual, and really a lot to digest! At 7.30am, we took the Blue Water Ferry and off we go towards Tioman Island. The boat ride that is the worst boat ride I've ever had, for the wave was really violent and the whole ride was incredibly bumpy. When the wave hits the ferry, we actually felt like as if we have hit a rock! There were times when the ferry kinda "flew" and then "fell" too, and the sensation kinda resembles a roller coaster ride. Man the sea is wild there!

We landed on Tioman Island at Kampung Tekek, a small simple village with only 1 long road, and shops and houses on both sides of it. We were supposed to meet a white guy called Julian there at the jetty, and since we have no idea how he looks like, we juz look around aimlessly. I noticed a white guy staring at us with his back bent forward as he leaned against the railing and I ask my friends loudly, "Is he the one?" That guy replies, "How many white people do u expect here in Pulau Tioman to stand here and waiting to pick up somebody?" Ouch... Talk about 1st impression. Paul did mentioned that Julian is really sharp and sarcastic, but I think that he kinda understated it. After we entered Julian's van, Thaven was trying to close the door when Julian asked, "U're looking for the door? Things work different in Tioman!" And it was then we all realized that THERE IS NO DOOR at the passenger side of the van! Man that was seriously funny!

After a short ride which lasted shorter than 5 minutes, we reached Persona Resort. Julian asked us to put our stuff at the office there and walked over to the Tioman Dive Centre after we put down all our stuff, and taking the manuals along with us. The dive center is only about 10 meters away from the resort, and when I first spotted the dive centre, my 1st thought was, "Man, Paul really described the centre well with juz one word: a shamble!" The centre was nothing much but a small wooden hut, but it was pretty well equiped with all the necessary scuba apparatus. We sat down around a table, and started the introduction. There were 3 instructors there, all of them Caucasians. There's Julian Hyde, the director of the centre, Alex Walker from UK, and Simon from Germany. And without much delay, we began our class.

We learn a bit about pressure, volume, density, buoyancy, and also a few basic do's and don'ts of scuba diving, with the fundamental rule of: Never hold ur breathe while scuba diving. (Else u'll risk lung rupture when u're ascending in the sea!) There's lots and lots of Physics laws involved in the theoretical part of the course, and we learned (or re-learned) about Dalton's law of partial pressure, Henry's law of solubility coefficient, Archimedes' Law etc. After that we also watched some videos which talk about the materials we've studied to further aid our understanding. Then we took a few short quizzes. Heck I'll spare the details and go to the more interesting part: the practical itself!

The 1st task we're supposed to do is to swim at the sea for about 30 meters, without any swimming aids! I was a little anxious then... Swimming at the sea without my goggles? Man my eyes will kena badly for sure, especially since that I only know breaststroke! But all of us went anyway... By the time we went back shore, all of us complained about how salty the water is and how the waves kept pushing us towards shore etc. Man the instructors really enjoyed our whinings then. Espeacially after one of us exclaimed, "The water is salty!!!" After lunch, we returned for snorkeling, with our diving suits and fins on. The diving suit is seriously tight, and assembling the diving gear was rather complicated at 1st, with all the 1st stage and regulators and BCD and weight belt and gas tank etc. I have little problem snorkelling, for I've already have some experience in the past.

And next was our 1st confined water learning course and 1st dive course. It was pure CHAOS. We were told to breathe deeply and regularly, but almost none of us did that. We were panic when we were descending, many of us can't really equalize the pressure in our ears, which really hurts like hell when we're descending, as the water pressure is squeezing our eardrum. Many of us struggle to ascend after descending for a few meters only, for the pain was unbearable. I have another problem... I can't sink! I know, it sounded as if it's a good thing, but it isn't! I juz keep staying afloat while the others were down kneeling at the sand few meters below me! Eventually I descended with the instructors help, but I can't stay down! I kept floating away after a few seconds, and Simon has to keep pulling me down!

When we finally went ashore, many of us kinda regretted doing scuba diving for elective already. It's seriously hard and quite uncomfortable underwater. Nevertheless, the instructors encouraged us by telling us that this is normal, and things will get better the next day, as we already have our 1st experience underwater. Nevertheless, I can see that some of us felt like going home already. As for me, well, I'm determined to do better for the next day! But I suffered from a bad headache after I surfaced from the sea though... Lasted all day long!

Oh about the food at Kampung Tekek. Well, it's not exactly bad, but it definitely ain't good either. It was slightly expensive, but still within reasonable price range la. The shops were a bit disappointing, for they have very limited choices, not even souvenirs! The beers were quite cheap, but of cuz, I nv bought any of them. After I ate the panadol pills I've bought, I went to sleep and think nothing more about the challenges in the days ahead...

To be continue...

Saturday, August 14, 2004


Watched The Village (directed by the famous M. Night Shyamalan of The Sixth Sense) today with my cousin who juz came back from Manipal, India and my bro. I was a bit worried that I will be disappointed by the movie, since it has poor reviews by US critics (Click here to see the summary of all the reviews). But in the end, I kinda like this movie after I watched it.
1st of all, this is not really a horror movie. Indeed, there are elements of horror here and there, but the movie is essentially a human drama, and a very somber and serious one for that matter. The movie is certainly not for everyone, for many will easily be bored by its extremely slow pacing and lack of all the trademark chills and shock from The Sixth Sense. But I really love the portrayal of the small isolated community of the village, and their ideology is quite interesting and believable too. The movie touches on many themes, ranging from fear to courage to innoncence & to love. Although many complained that the biggest surprise in the movie is that the trademark twist by the director in all his movies isn't really surprising, I have to commend the director for the interesting and eerily beautiful tale he has produced.
In conclusion, The Village is worth a watch, but only for ppl who enjoy serious drama & acting!


I was invited to attend a farewell ceremony of Mr. James Tan (the add. math genius & an inspirational Christian) by the Christian Union from my sec. school. Finally I got to really explore the oh-changed-so-much surroundings of my school. The number of students in the afternoon classes seemed to be doubled (my guess is there are about 2000 ppl now juz in the afternoon classes!!), and I finally got to walk the newly-built "bridge" extending from Block A to Block C (used to think the headmaster merely toyed with the idea of building that bridge, and imagine my surprise when I finally see it came into existense right b4 my eyes!). The library still looked much the same as b4, but I'm glad to see that all the system has been computerized now. My batch was the 1st to start the gargantuan effort to catalogue all the books using the computers! Glad that the new generations will be able to enjoy this privilege that we started!

The number of people attending the farewell ceremony was really impressive! I think there were about 30+ people that have attended it, and about one third of them are ex-members and commitees! Even people who graduated as early as 1998 attended the ceremony! It was a wonderful and sentimental moment then. Mr. James Tan has taught in our school for the last 36 years (he even taught my aunt who is in her forties now!), and much has occured during this period. The saddest moment was when he lost his 19-year-old son when he attempted to save his friend from drowning under the waterfall. I can barely imagined the grief he must have went through, but all the teachers who went to his son's funeral commended that he and his wife were strong and peaceful even then, and were all amazed by the peace and acceptance that God has blessed them. I was surprised to hear to that many ppl heard of Mr. James Tan even b4 they came to my school, for his amazing mathematical abilities is that well known (can't really say I appreciate it... I always hated Maths. Heehee).

When it's Mr. James turn to speak, one part of his speech etched deeply in my head. He says that eventhough he is retiring, his race has not ended yet, and God still has a purpose for him. He asks us to always pray for him, so that he can continue to serve God according to his will. The following verses came to my mind then:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

Indeed, I will pray that God will continue to use Mr. James as his vessel, all the way until he finishes his race!

Have to skip the refreshment and fellowship time to pick up my sis in from school (coincidentally, my primary school too, and the same school I used to teach for a month in the past). I was seriously thirsty then, so I came down from my car to buy a drink at the canteen. My, all my ex-students were really enthusiatic when they see me! My sis told me how one of them kept asking her how am I now and constantly hoping that I will one day come back to teach them again... Well, as much as I'm "touched" by them, I dun think I will teach in a school ever again in my life... That 1 month was hell to me! But it has been a wonderful experience, and I thank God for it. Ever since then, I have a better admiration on teachers. Believe me, u dunno how tough their job can be, and how much patience is required!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Finally got my Steamyx installed at home... Heck I've waited it for so long that I'm not excited about it anymore. Juz bought Diablo 2 and the expansion a few days ago after Hadrianto gave me the idea of playing it again... Got hopelessly addicted to it! So I guess I won't be blogging bout my scuba diving course yet... But I'll do so soon I guess, before I forget everything!

Sunday, August 08, 2004


Well guys, I'm back from Tioman! And I pass my scuba diving open water dive course!!! Which means I can now dive to 18m below sea levels by myself (of cuz, I need a buddy la)! Yay!!! Well, I kinda in an apathy mood now, dun feel like doing much... Guess the "beach life" for the past 5 days has make me feel really laidback and everything... I'll blog more about my scuba diving lisence some other day!!! ;)