Sunday, December 28, 2008


Vietnam through my eyes

This is Vietnam in my eyes. It may not be Vietnam as witnessed by others, and it may not even be the true Vietnam. I am writing this, about MY Vietnam.

Welcome to the land of familiar alphabets but incomprehensible words - Vietnam. A land of my favourite!!

Didn't really expect to go Vietnam, but I ended up there many thanks to the random impulsive decision for EB trip! And I never regret that.

Vietnam is a developing country and it shows full characteristics of a developing country. The characteristic that intrigues me most is the orderlessness. Nothing is ordered there. Take building as an example. The buildings here have no standard height per storey, so even within the same street of residential housing, you can see houses of different height per storey and different length. And the shophouses are not planned. You can see branded boutique on one side, art shop on the other, and cobblers and street waffle sellers (they made waffle by putting the maker directly on top of burning charcoal!) in front of the shops.  

Take the traffic as another example. Vietnam seems to have laneless roads. Thanks to the amazing amount of bikes on the roads, the vehicles (too many types of mode of transportation to put them to specifics) here do not follow proper lanes. You see motorbikes going everywhere in all direction, and taxis can take a U turn in the middle of the road. The best part of being a Vietnam tourist, is to cross the roads! I had so much thrill crossing busy roads flooded with motorbikes and other vehicles. You sink yourself into the roads, merge yourself so that you become part of the traffic picture, then somehow wade yourself perpendicularly to the traffic direction to get to the other side of the road. At first it seems to be horror, but very quickly we learn that you just have to be confident to cross and the traffic will take care of itself around you. I came back safely,  after crossing a dozen roads everyday, unscorched by anything!

Another thing I love about Vietnam is all the boat trips I had at Mekong delta. Over the 3-day trip, I took so many types of boats - double-row boat, motorboat, rowing boat, sheltered boat, unsheltered boat etc etc etc. It is a joy to cruise down the huge wide river or the quiet narrow stream, enjoying the scenery, the calmness, the wind, sometimes the bobbing water plant, and the bobbing feel. I have never taken so much boat rides in my life, and this mode of transport really interests me very much. I enjoyed the floating market, where people trade in boats, where you have coffee boats coming close up next to your boat to offer you drinks or fruits, where there are beautiful Vietnamese ladies in natural elegance rowing boats - posing wonderful shots against the scenic background. I like how I can extend my legs out of the boat to enjoy some sunshine, and how I can dip my fingers into the river water which is used by everyone for every purpose - bathing, drinking, washing, disposal of waste.

Vietnam has also shown me different ways of living - other than the urban living that we know and only knew. There are houses on the water. Instead of having different kinds of cars, people have different kinds of boats. Big boats, small boats, motor boats, rowing boats, all parked outside their water houses. We also visited a little island in the Mekong delta. Children there do not go to school. They have alternative means of childhood. Which made me ask myself the question - Who says education is the only way to learn to be competent adults?

The thing I like most about Vietnam, is that the culture it exhibits are not culture retained just for exhibition purpose. People are still living and breathing the culture that the world knows them for. Girls wear ao dai - the Vietnamese traditional costumes to school; many people still use the pyrimidal bamboo hat that people show at Global Village; they still sing the Vietnamese songs and speak Vietnamese.  Vietnam, is as true as it is to the world.

Last thing I can recall of, but definitely not the last thing on my mind, is its delicious chocolate and cheese. Vietnam has the heritage of being a French colony. Signs are globalisation is very slight in the developing Vietnam. Imported snacks such as M&Ms and Snickers are being carefully kept in the display cabinet, so you can't get it off the shelf on your own, but have to ask the shop lady to get it for you. But the thing that makes this yet-to-be-globalised Asian nation stands out, is its genuine cheese and chocolate products. Trust most of the chocolate and cheese things you buy in Vietnam, especially those locally made. Our first meal was Western buffet, and the lasagna served was so filled with good cheese. I bought another cheesecake off a random cake shop in a shanty town for 10,000 dong (equivalent to SGD1), and it was sooo satisfying.

Vietnam has a painful history of Vietnam war, where 3 million lives were lost. The worse impact to Vietnam, I feel, is the deformed generation the chemical weapons caused. These innocent victims are referred to as Orange victims, named after the chemical gas - Orange gas used by the American soldiers during the warfare. You can see many beggars in Vietnam, many of them have weak legs that cannot support them. They moved around using creative means, such as a own-made small wooden plank mounted on wheels, and they maneuver using their hands on tattered plastic slippers. They normally smile very happily, so happily that you start doubting the truth behind. Ok my bad for not trusting the surface. We visited the Cu Chi Tunnel (Its pronunciation is close to Gucci), which is an extensive network of tunnels built by the Vietcom guerillas to defend themselves and attack the American soldiers. We visited also an art piece manufacturing factory the Vietnamese government built to create employment for the Orange victims. It aches to see them working so happily in the fate laid out for them. While I am happy that they are happy, I feel that they should have had the choice to choose what they want to do, instead of following the path narrowed by their deformity for them. And who caused the deformity? While people justify war with various reasons cited, can they justify these impact that changed millions of lives thereafter? I have no position to say or impact, my emotions don't even matter, because it isn't my life that is changed, but the Orange victims.

Hmm I think I have reported enough of Vietnam, but this is definitely not an exhaustive description. I love Vietnam, for what it is, and I hope I can return there again, to explore more of other areas!

My Vietnam with friends - clockwise from above me: Long from Vietnam, Rach from Singapore, Joel from US, Li Jun from China, Siew Yik from Malaysia, and photographer Wei Wei from Singapore!

The motorbikes here are as many as the bicycles in China. 

And of course we took a ride on it! Feature An, a new Vietnamese AIESEC friend we met!

At Ho Chi Minh square, which is in front of the beautiful People's Community - a building with French influence.

A rose I bought because it is so pretty!

Learning the difficult language on a busy street.


The Vietnamese astonished us with their petite size. See how even a small tree can support them.

The Cu Chi Tunnel. See how small the tunnel is.

Beautiful artwork produced by the hardworking and artistic workers who are unfortunately the Orange Victim.

Street food!! Something we so insisted on eating till we get diarrhea.

Fruits! Rampant in Vietnam.

Best zi char stall in Vietnam! 

Sinh To! Vietnamese for fruit shake. Possibly the best shake in the world, being so genuinely fruity.

The cafe, by Vietnamese definition. The best sinh to comes from them. Taken with a 12-year-old lottery selling kid we met on the street.

We went to Mekong Delta.

Made interesting friends from different parts of the world. This is Daniel from Israel - a country Malaysians can't go. I told him that and he's so shocked to see that written on our passport. And I was shocked at their coins - say 1/2 shikil.

Beautiful Mekong River. Beautiful beautiful.

Cafe boats selling you drinks and fruits.




Monkey bridge! Something I suspect they made just to scare tourist. They succeeded.

The hammock. Well used by everybody to enjoy a lazy afternoon.

At a temple on a mountain overseeing border between Vietnam and Cambodia.

I have enjoyed Vietnam. Thank you!



Labels: , , , , , ,

0 rustlings

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You think you know what is life?

Don't be too confident. You think you know what life is?

Life doesn't begin when the foetus is formed or when cells are capable of reproducing itself. Life doesn't end when cells die or when the heartbeat stops. We, everything, is just part of the Earth resources. For human, we take in Earth resources and pile them in our body, and then there's heartbeat and we are capable of sustaining the body. But one day, we will degenerate and just give everything back to the Earth, as gases or compost.

We are just part of the bigger picture, and we are not at all different from the paper box next to us or the air we breathe. We are just alternative forms of Earth resources. So stop thinking you are at all important and continue piling up resources. Decompose.

0 rustlings

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's a numerical question

100 sec from log in to ready for use
44 sec to open My Documents folder
75 sec to open Safari

Intel Centrino Duo T2400 @ 1.83GHz

504MB RAM

Can upgrading of RAM to 2GB make my lappie run faster? Or is the processor just too old for good?

Labels: ,

2 rustlings

海角七号的七封信 


   第一封: 
  一九四五年十二月二十五日 
  友子,太阳已经完全没入了海面 
  我真的已经完全看不见台湾岛了 
  你还站在那里等我吗? 
  友子, 
  请原谅我这个懦弱的男人 
  从来不敢承认我们两人的相爱 
  我甚至已经忘记 
  我是如何迷上那个不照规定理发 
  而惹得我大发雷霆的女孩了 
  友子 
  你固执不讲理、爱玩爱流行 
  我却如此受不住的迷恋你 
  只是好不容易你毕业了 
  我们却战败了 
  我是战败国的子民 
  贵族的骄傲瞬间堕落为犯人的枷 
  我只是个穷教师 
  为何要背负一个民族的罪 
  时代的宿命是时代的罪过 
  我只是个穷教师 
  我爱你,却必须放弃你 
  第二封: 
  第三天 
  该怎麼克制自己不去想你 
  你是南方艳阳下成长的学生 
  我是从飘雪的北方渡洋过海的老师 
  我们是这麼的不同 
  为何却会如此的相爱 
  我怀念艳阳…我怀念热风… 
  我犹有记忆你被红蚁惹毛的样子 
  我知道我不该嘲笑你 
  但你踩著红蚁的样子真美 
  像踩著一种奇幻的舞步 
  愤怒、强烈又带著轻挑的嬉笑… 
  友子,我就是那时爱上你的… 
  多希望这时有暴风 
  把我淹没在这台湾与日本间的海域 
  这样我就不必为了我的懦弱负责 
  第三封: 
  友子 
  才几天的航行 
  海风所带来的哭声已让我苍老许多 
  我不愿离开甲板,也不愿睡觉 
  我心里已经做好盘算 
  一旦让我著陆 
  我将一辈子不愿再看见大海 
  海风啊,为何总是带来哭声呢? 
  爱人哭、嫁人哭、生孩子哭 
  想著你未来可能的幸福我总是会哭 
  只是我的泪水 
  总是在涌出前就被海风吹乾 
  涌不出泪水的哭泣,让我更苍老了 
  可恶的风 
  可恶的月光 
  可恶的海 
  第四封: 
  十二月的海总是带著愤怒 
  我承受著耻辱和悔恨的臭味 
  陪同不安静地晃荡 
  不明白我到底是归乡 
  还是离乡! 
  傍晚,已经进入了日本海 
  白天我头痛欲裂 
  可恨的浓雾 
  阻挡了我一整个白天的视线 
  而现在的星光真美 
  记得你才是中学一年级小女生时 
  就胆敢以天狗食月的农村传说 
  来挑战我月蚀的天文理论吗? 
  再说一件不怕你挑战的理论 
  你知道我们现在所看到的星光 
  是自几亿光年远的星球上 
  所发射过来的吗? 
  哇,几亿光年发射出来的光 
  我们现在才看到 
  几亿光年的台湾岛和日本岛 
  又是什麼样子呢? 
  山还是山,海还是海 
  却不见了人 
  我想再多看几眼星空 
  在这什麼都善变的人世间里 
  我想看一下永恒 
  遇见了要往台湾避冬的乌鱼群 
  我把对你的相思寄放在其中的一只 
  希望你的渔人父亲可以捕获 
  友子,尽管他的气味辛酸 
  你也一定要尝一口 
  你会明白… 
  我不是抛弃你,我是舍不得你 
  我在众人熟睡的甲板上反覆低喃 
  我不是抛弃你,我是舍不得你 
  第五封 
  天亮了,但又有何关系 
  反正日光总是带来浓雾 
  黎明前的一段恍惚 
  我见到了日后的你韶华已逝 
  日后的我发秃眼垂 
  晨雾如飘雪,覆盖了我额上的皱纹 
  骄阳如烈焰,焚枯了你秀发的乌黑 
  你我心中最后一点余热完全凋零 
  友子… 
  请原谅我这身无用的躯体 
  第六封 
  海上气温16度 
  风速12节、水深97米 
  已经看见了几只海鸟 
  预计明天入夜前我们即将登陆 
  友子… 
  我把我在台湾的相簿都留给你 
  就寄放在你母亲那儿 
  但我偷了其中一张 
  是你在海边玩水的那张 
  照片里的海没风也没雨 
  照片里的你,笑得就像在天堂 
  不管你的未来将属於谁 
  谁都配不上你 
  原本以为我能将美好回忆妥善打包 
  到头来却发现我能携走的只有虚无 
  我真的很想你! 
  啊,彩虹! 
  但愿这彩虹的两端 
  足以跨过海洋,连结我和你 
  第七封 
  友子,我已经平安著陆 
  七天的航行 
  我终於踩上我战后残破的土地 
  可是我却开始思念海洋 
  这海洋为何总是站在 
  希望和灭绝的两个极端 
  这是我的最后一封信 
  待会我就会把信寄出去 
  这容不下爱情的海洋 
  至少还容得下相思吧! 
  友子,我的相思你一定要收到 
  这样你才会原谅我一点点 
  我想我会把你放在我心里一辈子 
  就算娶妻、生子 
  在人生重要的转折点上 
  一定会浮现… 
  你提著笨重的行李逃家 
  在遣返的人潮中,你孤单地站著 
  你戴著那顶… 
  存了好久的钱才买来的白色针织帽 
  是为了让我能在人群中发现你吧! 
  我看见了…我看见了… 
  你安静不动地站著 
  你像七月的烈日 
  让我不敢再多看你一眼 
  你站得如此安静 
  我刻意冰凉的心,却又顿时燃起 
  我伤心,又不敢让遗憾流露 
  我心里嘀咕,嘴巴却一声不吭 
  我知道,思念这庸俗的字眼 
  将如阳光下的黑影 
  我逃他追…我追他逃… 
  一辈子 
  我会假装你忘了我 
  假装你将你我的过往 
  像候鸟一般从记忆中迁徙 
  假装你已走过寒冬迎接春天 
  我会假装… 
  一直到自以为一切都是真的! 
  然后… 
  祝你一生永远幸福!

我应该,  你  放在哪个  世界    才完美。

Labels: ,

0 rustlings

Thursday, December 25, 2008

离开

0 rustlings

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

岁末

今年的岁末感觉起来是灰涩的,沉重,没有一点生气。天空阴沉沉的,厚厚的云层让阳光怎么也透不过来,周围一片冷清,空气寒凉得钻进骨子里,吊杆湿湿的还挂着水珠,房间暗暗的空荡荡的只有风扇在呼啸,打扰这根本不想动的空气。远处听得到喧哗的鸟叫声,但他们怎么也不接近这里。关上门,关上窗子和窗帘,根本就只剩下自己和影子,和亮着的电脑屏幕。感觉有什么要结束了的感觉,又或者已经结束了。

是生命吗?

待在孤独的房间里,因为孤独而选择继续寂寞。不知道还有什么能让自己活回来。

今年,就让它结束吧。

新年,希望是快乐的。

0 rustlings

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

from a stranger's blog

Thanks to SY, I went to click on my friend's blog to show him a template. Then thanks to my itchy finger, I went to click 'next blog', a button which has always intrigued me. And I landed up on a spanish site, then a mexican's site, and next was a English site! It was by a couple which has set up a family with an adorable daughter and a newborn baby boy! So I continued to read, and I realised I was tagged there! The post went like this, 'If you are reading this blog entry then consider yourself tagged. So I decided to be obedient and do the questionnaires. And for you! If you are reading this entry then consider yourself tagged and DO THE QUESTIONS!

Copy the list below and bold all of the ones you have done.

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby’s diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said “I love you” and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. 
Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don’t
56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office

98. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book

128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon

136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa (I will make this bold by next May)
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter (to an ice-cream seller on bicycle at hom)
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hotel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation 
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Labels: , ,

3 rustlings

Monday, December 01, 2008

To join or not to join


That is the question.

Sideline: Would Shakespeare predict that this line will be so well used?

Today the non-constituent club (NCCs) presidents or representatives met up to discuss about selecting representatives to represent NCCs in the Hall Admission Scheme revision team. There was a whole lot of discussion and generation on what the representatives need to do, what is the vision and goals, and about the sensibility of the structure. A lot were discussed, fruitful or futile. And eventually, we decided to hold another meeting when we knock the senses into more presidents so that they will attend the meeting and voice out their opinions.

The day is Friday.

I am deciding if I want to fight into becoming one of the representatives. It will be a whole lot of work, more than what I am doing now, especially if I want to be a good representative to show people what NCCs are capable of doing, and to set an example for future NCC representative. I need to really speak to the 56 clubs and obtain their opinions, I need to fight hard, and all these require time. AIESEC is getting more packed with activities next semester as well, with a lot of big plans to make dreams come true. I need to allocate time to manage those as well. I still want to breathe life, I still want to study well, I still want to enjoy friends and family. See all the reluctance in me to be bigger than what I am.

The choice needs to be made before Friday so that I will fight for the mission.

A bit farn now.

Labels: , ,

0 rustlings

Live
~ wan xin
* a feel
* a soul
* a mind
* an emotion
* an inspiration

+ 13071986
+ ENFP
+ Blue
+ Cancer
+ Buddhist
+ Malaysian
+ Psychology NTU
+ AIESECer
+ Hwa Chong 04S73
+ SCGS
+ MES
+ Choong Hua

我的語言
- 土生土長的華人
- 學校教了我英文和馬來文
- 環境教了我福建話
- 電視劇教了我廣東話
- 大學和喀麥隆教了我法語
- 在一個早上接觸了手語
- 最後一學期一口氣學了日語和西班牙語

Ticking

My whenabouts at my whereabout

Rustle

~Leave me your contact method~

Footsteps

Free Web Counter
Counters