Miss Malaysian Chinese (Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu) – Miss Photogenic photo shoot

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I headed down to Rejang Esplanade for this early this morning. It
was supposed to be at 8 am but I forgot that Sibu is running at GMT + 9
(+1 is Tardy Savings Time) instead of GMT + 8 like the rest of
Malaysia. :) The photographers and subjects (12 girls – finalists of a
local pageant) only started trickling in when it was nearly 9 am. This
is supposed to serve the dual function of providing photos for the Miss
Photogenic judges and a photography contest. There is no charge unless
you want to enter the contest (RM 10) but that requires negatives +
prints so digicams would not qualify. I think I managed to get shots of
all the girls before my battery ran out. I had to use fast flash in a
lot of the photos due to a strong backlight (the sun). To tell you the
truth, it became hard to differentiate which ones I’ve taken and which
ones I haven’t – it didn’t help that most of them were wearing similar
colored outfits so I had to go “red w/ black spots – done”, “red w/ boa
– done” etc etc. It was fun nevertheless – there was a low photographer
to subject ratio so you could get a lot of one on one time with the
candidates, it’s pretty versatile. Anyway, here are the shots from
today:

Girl #1

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Girl #2

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Girl #3

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Girl #4

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Girl #5

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Girl #6

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Girl #7

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Girl #8

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Girl #9

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Girl #10

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Girl #11

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Girl #12

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Couples #1

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Couples #2

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Couples #3

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Candid #1

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Candid #2

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This is going to be a bandwidth killer.

Melbourne Moomba Waterfest

I went to Moomba with a couple of my friends on Saturday night.
Moomba is an annual festival and the word is from an Aboriginal word
which means “getting together and having fun” and it lasts a week.
There are concerts, street parades, waterskiing competitions but we
just went to the carnival and fireworks show.

The place was totally packed by the time we got there, which was
slightly after 9 pm. I had to apply contrast, gamma correction and
sharpen liberally to some of the pictures coz my battery was low and I
could not use flash all the time.

The east bank was full of people since it’s the best place for
watching the fireworks show. The boats you see in the middle of the
river are the barges they let the fireworks off from. The west bank had
trees and lamp posts that obscure the vision slightly, so it’s not that
popular.

Well, there were so many people there that it’s hard to even walk at a reasonable pace!


The barge they’re letting fireworks off from

We watched the fireworks, which was okay, but Christopher said that
it wasn’t as impressive as the one our “Au Yong Contingent” produced
this year. Heh. We both live around the Au Yong Road region back in
Sibu.

Anyway, it was good for me to watch the fireworks since I came back
early this year. I didn’t get to spend Chinese New Year in Sibu coz of
my summer subject and IE. I failed my summer subject, which makes it a
fucking waste, but let’s not talk about that. :)


The finale, taken with flash

Well, the atmosphere was pretty good, lots of smoke and that that
fireworks smell which is associated with Chinese New Year in my mind.
It lasted probably 20 minutes, and then we walked around for a bit.


The finale, taken without flash

A couple of us went on the Ranger, it’s that ride that goes 360 degrees.


The Ranger

I was planning to bring my digicam on it and take a photo while it
was upside down but hmm…it’s a good thing I didn’t coz even though
technically you know the centrifugal forces will hold you down, there
is a strong psychological urge to hold onto the bar anyway.


Me in front of the Moomba directions signboard

Anyway, there were a couple of other rides there:

Dodgem bumper cars.

A ferris wheel behind the carnival stalls.

Some kind of swing which “allow your to defy gravity for 4 minutes”.
It’s kinda like a cross between a huge trampoline and a reverse bungee.

The Thunderbolt! A mini roller coaster.

Some kind of spinning thingy which will make you throw up so I didn’t get on it, considering we just had a huge dinner before.

The Scorpion. Another mini roller coaster ride.

This is us – the bunch of high school friends from Methodist High School, Sibu who’re in Melbourne

From left: Chuck Yong, Adrian, Karen, Ung Hing, Huai Bin (me), Chuck Fong.
Not everyone was in the picture.

Moomba is fun!

Karen’s Birthday @ Dion

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Happy birthday Karen! It was Karen’s birthday today so we got her a
cake and decided to go for some Greek food. We actually planned to go
to Antipodes but Dion
[dionrestaurant.com.au] was just two doors down and we haven’t eaten
there before. The Dion PR guy standing outside saw us standing in
between and contemplating which one to go to and immediately approached
us and invited us inside. He said Dion is an award winning restaurant
and we won’t be disappointed. Heh. Alright, dude.

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Going off on a different tangent it seems that a lot of restaurants
here have PR people (promoters?) standing outside trying to pull
customers in but I don’t see that a lot back home in Malaysia.
Interesting. Oh, I bumped into one of my old college friend while in
the city today. It was good to see him again, haven’t seen him around
for a while.

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Anyway Dion has a really nice ambience, the lighting was great and
it’s a very popular place to eat. It was empty when we went there early
but it soon filled up to capacity. There were only two waiters and two
waitresses and but the service was still good.

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Karen (the birthday girl) with Ung Hing her bf

Oh, guess what I had today? Ouzo! [greekproducts.com] :)

I had wanted to try that ever since I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
They were drinking shooters of it during one scene and it looked so
tempting. I didn’t actually know what it was called, so I asked our
waitress whether she has watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Haha! Well,
she smiled and said yes so I asked her what that shooter they were
drinking is called.

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God’s gift to mankind

It wasn’t on the menu, but they had it (it was a Greek restaurant
and even the waiters and waitresses are Greek). Anyway, I ordered two
of those and downed them. It’s really, really amazingly tasty! There is
a strong smell and taste of liquorish and it’s very sweet and has a
very satisfying aftertaste. Very, very nice, if you ever see it around,
do yourself a favor and have one of these things. It’s so tasty it
ought to be illegal! :)

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I could drink these things all day, but they cost A$6 each, which
wouldn’t be expensive normally, but I’m running short this month due to
having to replace most of my computer about a week ago. Delicious,
delicious stuff. Devine! I reckon you can get it at Greek bottle shops
too, there’s one in Clayton so I’ll pop in and check someday.

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Thien Na showing us how to properly butter a bread. Apparently, just slathering it on top is not considered appropriate

Anyway, I’m digressing so much. Just don’t miss out on having this
if you get the chance. It’s absolutely amazing stuff. Well, four of us
had the dinner banquet and the others had the main meals. The dinner
banquet was really too much for four people, but it sure was
interesting.

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If you can’t read the menu from the picture, I’ve cut and pasted it from the Dion website. The banquet we had was:

MIXED DIPS – Various Dips
DOLMADES – Vine leaves filled with rice and herbs
SAGANAKI – Pan fried graviera cheese, lemon and oregano dressing
LOUKANIKA – Char-grilled Greek sausages
KEFTEDES – Char-grilled Greek style meat rissoles
MIXED SOUVLAKI – Char-grilled lamb and chicken on skewers
OCTAPOTH1 XITHATO – Marinated octopus
FILLETS OF FISH – Fillets of fresh fish
PATATES – Oven baked potatoes
ELLENIKI SALATA – Greek Salad
DESSERTS – Exclusively from Medallion Cakes

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The dips were the most interesting thing. There was a purple dip, a
pink deep, a bizarre green dip, an orange one and a yellow one. At one
point, I was just eating the dip with a fork just for fun. They look so
interesting.

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Karen eating…

I’ve had heaps of dolmas before so I’m familiar with it. I used to
get it in cans, my lecturer in college is such a big promoter of dolmas
and got us into eating it. It’s good stuff, but the Dion ones beats the
ones of out the cans anyday.

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Saganaki was too cheesy, I didn’t really enjoy it, and I think no
one else did too. Loukanika is pretty spicy and that’s good but I was
so full at that time I only ate half. Keftedes wasn’t really anything
special…tasted like meat patties filled with herbs. The grilled lamb
and chicken was my favorite!

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One side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Thien Na, Huai Bin (me), Christopher

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The other side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Adrian, Chuck Yong, Karen

This is so bizarre. Ung Hing is missing and I don’t remember the seating was this way before.

The marinated octopus was great as well, but I didn’t eat much of
the fish and potatos. I’m more of a meat eater although I like fish,
just not in fillets. The Greek Salad was good as well, but the goat
cheese was a bit too hard. Eh, so I’m a food reviewer now, it seems. :)

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Okay, now the best thing is the desserts. It comes from Medallion
Cakes, a place three doors down, which serves the best cakes and
desserts in Melbourne. In my opinion anyway! They’re elaborate works of
art that looks almost too good to eat!

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Well, Thien Na had to leave after the main course to fetch her bf to
go to Moomba and we got her to carry a lamb kebab with her. We left
soon after to go to Moomba as well, and that’ll be the next post. I
feel sleepy now but I’ll write it if I feel more awake later. It’s
probably going to be tomorrow though. Yeah, it’ll definately have to be
tomorrow. *yawn* Anyway, Dion is a great place, I’ll go again, if only
just for the Ouzo. Heh. It’s at Lonsdale St, I’m sure everyone in
Melbourne knows where it is, since it’s on such a prominent street. Oh,
funny thing was, we forgot to bring the cake out! We left it at Karen’s
house while waiting for her to change. Heh. Happy 22nd Karen!

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Did you know? That everyone is this picture was from Methodist High School, Sibu in 1998 :) They’re all my high school friends.

Chinese New Year Eve dinner

This is what I got for the New Year reunion dinner without the reunion today.

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Honey chicken, kai lan in oyster sauce, sliced fish with scallops and ginger.

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Steamed rice, garlic prawn and char kueh tiaw.

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Magnum almond ice cream, Sara Lee Bites – frozen cheese cake and fudge brownies.

Mmm…I’m going to attempt to eat everything in a gross, disgusting and totally unacceptable manner. :)

Victor/Nicky Chung Concert @ KDU

I arrived at KDU for the Victor/Nicky Chung (both Malaysian artists)
concert at around 7:15 pm to find the car park full, cars circling
around and yet more cars streaming in. I saw a small space at one side
and pulled into the spot, wondering why no one had parked there. Upon
opening the door, I found the reason – alighting would be a problem
since both sides of the cars were surrounded by very deep water due to
the heavy rain.

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Oh well, after circling some more, I finally squeezed into a spot
near the main gates. I went into the auditorium and sat near the front
waiting for the show to start. The auditorium was pretty full at the
time I arrived and there was a stand selling flowers meant to be given
to the artists. I found that strange and rather disturbing.

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Well, there ware a couple of speeches and some ribbon cutting at the
beginning. This was a charity concert which was meant to raise money
for two churches. I think a total of RM 75,000 was raised. Anyway,
after the ribbon was cut, there was an explosion of graffiti. I was
sitting there thinking that this would be a very nice place for a rave
should there be a speaker farm like the ones at the front every 5
meters.

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Anyway, the show started with a performance by some KDU students. It
was a choreographed dance, and it was pretty good actually. I moved
right to the front of the stage where the VIPs and press were, and
camped straight in front of the stage for the rest of the concert. Heh.
No one stopped me.

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After the 3 minute performance, Nicky Chung was introduced and he
belted out a couple of songs with several costume change in between.
There was some audience participation after that, with three audience
members invited to come on stage for a bit of fun and games. That
involved getting the three to attempt to speak clearly while having
their mouths filled with mineral water. I know the first girl said
“Nicky Chung, ni hen suai”. Heh.

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The crowd was then to judge which participant was the best by
cheering loudly. The first girl and the third guy all got good cheers
but the second one got a lot of boos for some reason. Nevertheless, all
of them left with the same prize.

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In the middle of the third song, Nicky Chung got out a stack of
postcards and started giving them away. Now, this prompted a swarm of
cheering fans to the front of the stage in an effort to get one. I was
camped right in front of the stage so I got trampled a couple of times.
Ouch.

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The RELA members (RELA = a local crowd control/bouncer group) was
slightly panicked by this apparent breach of security and immediately
started pulling people away from Nicky and herded them back to the
seats. I told them I was the KDU magazine photographer (you gotta do
what you gotta do) and no one asked me to go behind the barrier after
that. Heh.

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Anyway, after Nicky Chung did his 3 (4?) songs, the KDU dance group
came out again and did another performance. This one was nicely
choreographed as well and the girls and guys all looked pretty good. I
had a *cough* good vantage point since I was still camped out in front
of the stage. I didn’t have a seat so I was kinda kneeling on the floor
and I had an…ah, pretty low vantage point. ;) I actually enjoyed the
choreographed dances more than the two singers coz I don’t listen to
Nicky Chung or Victor.

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Anyway, Victor came out after that to plenty of cheers and he sang a
couple of songs. I didn’t stay till the end of the set though. I left
early and went to watch LOTR: The Two Towers with a couple of my
buddies. Now that movie was amazing, I loved every part of it. The
scene where the elves came to help defend the keep was a personal
favorite. I’m a sucker for scenes like that. However, I found the
massive (epic!) battle at Helm’s Deep the highlight of the show. I
almost wetted my pants, it was that damn good.

Annual Christmas Procession 2002

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Did I die and go to heaven? ;)

Our town has a history of having a Christmas street parade every
year. This year’s had a praise and worship thing going on before the
actual parade and was held at the Sibu town square. I went there at
around 7 pm with Ting Chuan.

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Silent night, holy night.

There weren’t many floats around this year though, there used to be
heaps and there was a competition to see which one was the best. I
don’t know if they still have that competition going on, but there
wasn’t a lot of floats around.

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The drivers of the floats actually need guides to navigate.

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The crowd watching the procession.

Anyway, after the church service was over, the procession started
with a float followed by several walking groups and then another float
and so on.

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Cherubic mascots on a boat float.

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A float mounted on a trishaw.

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The back of a float.

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Ghetto.

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A float with a nativity scene.

There were groups of various denominations and churches. There were
a lot of bands which are affiliated with church groups too like the
Boys Brigade and the Girls Brigade, to name a few.

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A very satanic looking Santa Claus with huge heart shaped testicles giving everyone the finger.

I also stumbled upon my church’s (Wesley Methodist Church) group and
one of the lay leaders invited me to join their entourage. I didn’t
feel like walking though, just wanted to take a couple of photos, so I
declined. I also saw my ex-college’s group who was also part of the
procession. I saw Remy, someone I haven’t seen in several years. We
used to talk a lot in college and it’s good to see her again.

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Remy and myself.

Anyway, going back to the floats, there was two in particular that
stood out. One had a giant TV screen showing Christmas carol movies
complete with karaoke style lyrics at the bottom. The other had several
girls dressed as angels standing on the float, which we all agreed were
aesthetically pleasing. Hmm…am I talking about the float or the angels?

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A closer look at one of the angels.

There was also a massive police presence to provide crowd control
and several streets were closed off to traffic to make way for the
procession. There was this group with children carrying balloons. On a
whim, I stopped one cute little girl who didn’t look more than 6 years
old who had two balloons and asked her for one, and she gave one of
hers to me. hehehe Thanks dear!

Well, we were standing near the exit of the town square so we
managed to see the procession first. It wasn’t really long, perhaps the
whole parade took 25 minutes.

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Cute.

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Frilly.

There was something nice that happened though. A pretty girl dressed
as an angel who was giving out sweets gave me one. I was pretty
surprised as they only gave those to children so I looked up and who
did I see but Alice Lim! She’s from my high school, I was in Form 5
when she was in Form 1, but I know her from seeing her pass by my
father’s office every day to get the record attendance book (she was
the class monitor). It’s good to see her again and I’m glad she still
recognizes me.

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Alice in the parade.

Anyway, after the procession, we walked around Wisma Sanyan for a
while and came out the other side only to find the procession winding
up there. We joined and walked with the procession for a while and I
gave my balloon to a balloon-less little girl standing in the crowd.
She was shy and her mom told her to say “thank you”. Heh. That’s my
good deed for the day. My car was blocked by the procession, so we had
to wait for a while until all the groups have finished. I did see Alice
again though when the parade came back around and snapped a pic, and
she said Merry Christmas. :)

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This is a clearer picture of Alice taken 6 months ago.

The most electrifying event in sports entertainment

I decided on a whim to check if there are any tickets left for WWE’s Global
Warning Tour at
Ticketmaster
[ticketmaster.com.au] under the A$109.99 price point this
afternoon. I saw some going for A$199.99 yesterday night, after Adrian saw
on the news that they’re making some more seats available, but that’s a
bit too much. Anyway, I saw that there were only two seats left in the
Gold Box (A$109.99) area, so I rushed down to the Ticketmaster outlet at
Chadstone and snagged myself a ticket to tomorrow’s event. =D This was the
event that sold out in 48 hours after the tickets were available.
Apparently, they managed to squeeze some more seats in by creatively
arranging the seating area. Goodie…I’ve wanted to go but have failed
trying to get tickets to this sold out event before.

The updated card for this shows that:

WWE GLOBAL WARNING TOUR MELBOURNE : COLONIAL STADIUM, SATURDAY AUGUST
10 @ 7.30pm

WWE Undisputed Championship
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H

Edge vs. Chris Jericho

Tag Team Championship
Christian & Lance Storm vs. Big Valbowski & Hardcore Holly

Cruiserweight Championship
Jamie Noble (with Nidia) vs. Rey Mysterio

Rikishi vs. Kurt Angle

Randy Orton vs. Test

Billy Kidman & Hurricane vs. Chavo Guerrero & Rico

Bra & Panties Match
Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Keibler

Three-team Elimination Match
Mark Henry & Maven vs. Billy & Chuck vs. Batista & D-Von

Plus a special appearance by SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie
McMahon

Too bad Hollywood Hulk Hogan had to pull out because of a back injury but
at least Stephanie McMahon will make an appearance. Heh. I’m in the Gold
Box area, which will be hydraulically moved out to the front to be closer
to the ring. Not as good as the Fightdeck, Platinum and Diamond seats, but
those go for twice the price. Woo hoo, I’m pretty st0ked to watch one this
one live. I’ve always been interested in professional wrestling (okay,
sports entertainment) and the storyline is pretty good too. It will be on
tomorrow at 7:30 pm at the
Colonial
Stadium
[colonialstadium.com.au]. They allow still cameras so I’ll be
posting pictures up late tomorrow night after the event. I can’t wait to
smell what The Rock is cooking.

3 on 3 Basketball Competition @ Catholic High School

I dropped by Catholic High School on my way back just now to catch the
basketball competition that has been going on the whole day. Managed to
watch SMB Methodist (my alma mater) lose on penalties to another team.
There was also a girl’s competition going on, and I watched a bit of that
too before heading home. Interestingly, there was a cheesy techno
soundtrack pumping from the speakers the whole match. Heh.

SMB Methodist

Blackstreet Girls vs WLD. 299

Crowd shot at the stadium

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