Nuffnang invited several bloggers to The Apartment Downtown @ Suria KLCC for dinner. It’s more of a meet and greet social dinner as a prelude to discussing some Serious Issues (TM).
We were served Cranberry Juice (great for UTIs) and a variety of starters which includes stuffed squid, pita bread with a curious combination of butter and cheese, stuffed eggplant, and chicken liver pate.
I think the last one scarred Pam a little…she’s a very PETA type person. I hesitate to label her as a tree hugger coz the reason she doesn’t like pork and stuff like that is due to the offense it instigates to her olfactory senses.
The main dishes arrived after that with highlights being the lamb, creamy melt-in-your-mouth cous cous, salmon with udon noodles and mussels cooked in curry. I notice a distinctive apprehension at my table whenever I took a mussel. I realized it’s due to my poor motor coordination in opening up the shell and spearing the flesh inside. Pam actually warned me not to send the poor crustacean flying. I think she also mentioned something detrimental to my well-being if any landed on her. ;)
The dessert was individually served with chocolate mousse, meringue (reminds me of Pavlova actually), and some peanut butter infused creation. It was great!
We adjourned upstairs to have a discussion about several pressing issues relevant to the blogsphere…
…before the camwhoring started in earnest. This is Tzia, featured blogger of the month.
It was a great night of fellowship among the Nuffnang staff and the bloggers. It’s kinda like church and cell group meetings, except we don’t have a Jesus. ;) It’s great for building rapport and all that corporate speak. I’m looking forward to the next one already. :)
Malaysia Airlines organized an yee sang dinner for bloggers at Mum’s Place. There were 25 bloggers in attendance occupying three tables – most of them familiar faces, but I met a couple of bloggers that I haven’t seen IRL before. It was fun! It’s my first yee sang dinner of the year.
The yee sang with salmon!
It’s a tradition in Singapore and Malaysia to lau sang during Chinese New Year. It’s supposed to kickstart an auspicious new year by collectively mixing the ingredients with chopsticks while chanting phrases like “prosperity in the year to come” and all that. :)
I just like the colors of the dish and the community aspects.
Steamed rice was served and a plethora of dishes came in quick succession after that. I love the huge prawns – very juicy and succulent.
Another highlight is the Assam Fish. It’s fabulous!
Other memorable dishes were the chicken curry, vegetables, delicious beef slices and the desserts. I had a banana split.
Camwhoring time was scheduled after dinner.
Lots of familiar faces here…
…and people I haven’t met before or haven’t seen in a long time.
Miscellaneous group photos.
Eh, dun la mug me after I just got mugged.
Miss Wai Fong who hosted the dinner. Thanks!
MAS was also very receptive to suggestions on how to improve their service – I offered an experience when I was flying KL – Melbourne on New Year’s Eve and nothing happened at 12 AM. Most of the passengers were left hanging, awake and waiting for some sort of in-flight celebration, but the New Year passed with nary a peep. They took note of that, so I hope your NYE’s flight would be filled with merriment (or at least some party favors and an announcement). ;)
MAS was kind enough to give us all some home made pineapple tarts and a gift pack containing a diary, a DVD and a nifty red USB drive that can be twisted around your wrist like a bracelet. Nice! More coverage here: Sultan Muzaffar Wingz Red Mummy Babe in the City
Eevon just sent me the wittiest offline comment a.k.a. text message this morning alerting me to a disastrous typo. Okay, it’s DIARY, not DAIRY. Amended. :)
I went to the Kakiis Night Out event last night at Euphoria by Ministry of Sound. I think it’s the only non-smoking club in town. I went there with KY and Eiling as my team members.
I am honored that the organizers felt my 27-year-old self worthy of an ID check for a free voucher of Carlsberg Draft…until I realized they asked everyone for ID.
Pinky Tham! I less than 3 you! OMG, that was so random. Moving on.
I haven’t been to Euphoria before but the place has a great sound system and excellent lighting. It’s operated by the esteemed MOS in London.
The Kakiis event kicked off with a performance by the Break B’Boys. They’re quite good at what they do and it got the crowd pumped up for the games. Kakiis Night Out has 10 booths with 10 games where you go and get footprints. DJ Steve from FlyFM was the MC for the night and briefed the crowd on the challenge.
The games range from Kakiis Extreme (with electric shocks and dubious sea creatures and worms) to the more intellectual games like Kakiis IQ. You’re supposed to complete all 10 challenges. I didn’t go there expecting to win, but I was surprised (in a good way) that Eiling is rather competitive by nature and wanted to finish all the games. ;)
I wanted a drink before that though, I just had two and needed a bit more of the amber fluid inside me to be in the right frame of mind. I managed to bum quite a few beer coupons off random people. I didn’t know it wasn’t free flow or I would have started drinking at home first. ;)
Meet Team 37! We actually won one of the games and walked away with a prize, which we didn’t expect.
The most interesting challenge of the day is the Kakiis Tornado where a blower blows pieces of paper around in an enclosed phone box type contraption and we grab the pieces from the air. We had to wear goggles – watch our team in action!
Dinner was provided and we stopped to grab a bite to eat before continuing the games. “Dinner” was mainly finger food without any substantial carbohydrates except for the cakes and desserts. Coke and other soft drinks were free flow but they ran out of ice at one point.
Me: Look Pinky, you have like two leng chai sitting beside you! Pinky: Where? Where got leng chai? Me: …..
Anyway, we went back to attempt to complete the games after that. The more memorable is the one where you have to dig for coins in covered boxes. Two contains water and eels and the other two contains sawdust and sago grubs. There are four groups and each group of three people tag-teamed the way through.
This is the game where we won (fastest time). It’s a contraption which delivers an electric shock with the two mesh wires inside. You have to reach through and grab a ping pong ball to spell out…
…KAKIIS. I got shocked twice, KY got it once and Eiling didn’t get the electric treatment. I think you need to touch both the wire meshes for it to deliver a shock. We thought we did pretty well on this one but didn’t think much of it.
There was also a challenge called Kakiis Chill where you dip your feet into a small pool of ice-cold water and attempt to fish out ping-pong balls with your feet spelling KAKIIS. Fun.
This is the best-dressed group IMHO – they were wearing reindeer antlers and matching outfits. They won one of the video awards too.
There was a yodeling competition going on at center stage while we were outside fishing ping-pong balls with our toes and everyone got a 16 GB Pendrive Sliq so our group immediately joined the next game…which was cat walking and showing off our kakis (kaki also means feet in Malay, wordplay on the social networking site).
I’m sure there are at least two compromising videos (and probably some photos as well) of me taking off my shirt and showing my beer belly (potbelly?) for all and sunder to see. I was about to start taking off my belt too before DJ Steve from FlyFM shook his head. ;)
Our team won the Kakiis Shock challenge though. I think we all knew we had a chance and looked at each other before the winner for that challenge is announced…and true enough it was Team 37!
We each snagged a 16 GB Pendrive Sliq for having the fastest time in that challenge. Team 37, FTW!
My sister just had her second wedding reception last night at the Grand Jasmine Ballroom in RH Hotel, Sibu. The KL wedding reception was held exactly one week ago and last night’s festivities were for the bride’s family and friends.
The Grand Jasmine Ballroom was used since we had 40 tables seating 10 people each. Both Jasmine 1 and Jasmine 2 were used to accommodate for the wedding. I just found out that each table costs over RM 450 so that’s about RM 18,000 for the wedding reception alone.
Gifts were respectfully declined and my parents did not accept any ang pows at all. My parents wanted this to be a casual get-together for friends and family without the traditional trappings of Chinese wedding banquets. It’s giving back magnanimously to the Sibu community to commemorate the wedding of their daughter.
The sales personnel of the local newspapers were politely kept away from the ballroom area to prevent their hard sell advertisements from bothering the guests and we roped in relatives to do the seating arrangements and ushering duties.
It was a huge task since there were 400 guests from various groups (church, organizations, corporations, family, schools and friends) to be seated at their designated tables.
I was slated to be the MC of the night and there were two main events that I had to coordinate – the entrance of the bride and groom from the flower arch down the red carpet lined with flowers and all the way through the second wedding arch before being seated.
The night’s festivities began with the bride and groom walking in before being seated at the main table.
There are ten seats on the main table: 1. Alvin Ng (groom) 2. Poh Yih Jia (bride – my sister) 3, 4: Mr & Mrs Poh (parents of the bride) 5, 6: Mr & Mrs Ng (parents of the groom) 7: Paternal grandmother (of bride) 8: Maternal grandmother (of bride) 9, 10: Poh Huai Bin & Doris (brother of the bride and girlfriend)
I started off with a short welcome speech before showing a presentation of my sister’s progress throughout the years. The bride and groom came on stage to acknowledge the efforts that went into the events management aspects. My sister did a great speech thanking my parents for her upbringing, waxing nostalgic and generally trying to be a tearjerker. It’s a good thing some sand got into my eyes. ;)
The good Reverent said grace before dinner and the first dish was served.
The interesting bit and the flagship feature of weddings at The Grand Jasmine Ballroom is the presentation of the first dish. The lights went dark and music started playing as a parade of waiters and waitresses choreographed a candlelit performance while carrying the first dish before serving the dishes. It’s quite unique and novel.
There was the time-honored cake cutting ceremony by the bride and the groom after that, followed by the champagne pouring ceremony, some kissing action from the newly weds and a toast led by me where everyone raised their glasses to bless the holy matrimony of the bride and groom.
This is a group photo of the immediate family at the main table. You’ll notice that there are only eight of us – my paternal grandmother went to the washroom and there was an empty seat meant for my maternal grandmother. Unfortunately, she had a bad Alzheimer’s attack before the wedding and couldn’t join us. Both my grandfathers are deceased, both coincidentally from lung cancer.
The food on the main table is served individually for some reason, instead of being a communal dish.
I have yet to figure out the reasoning behind this.
I went up and sang The Wedding a.k.a the “Ave Maria” song with my mom before the end of the night.
I actually sang it twice, the first one was dedicated to my girlfriend and I did a solo on that. My apologies for subjecting everyone to the auditory assault – I don’t sing well, but I sing with my heart. :p
The wedding reception ended at 9:30 pm and our relatives stayed back and helped clean up the place. Doris is seen here feeding me fake champagne – it’s a actually a prop that expels confetti when pulled.
There was just one major blunder at the wedding – the three-tiered wedding cake was not sliced and distributed by the RH Hotel staff after the cake cutting ceremony, which they were supposed to do. We all forgot about that since we were busy with other stuff and only realized it when it was still on stage when I thanked the guests for coming. Oh well, at least it was all packed up and given to relatives so it’s not that bad.
Congratulations to Alvin Ng and Yih Jia on their wedding. I guess I’ll have to start to call my sister Mrs. Ng now.
The Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 has come and gone and the closing ceremony during the weekend was a grand affair, with fireworks and performances to mark the end of the BCF 2008. I have attended the festival for most days of the week and the turnout was great, with the festival being packed full of people despite the drizzle.
This is a performance by TUKU KAME featuring Jerry Kamit during the closing ceremony. They’re also slated to perform at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) later this week in Kuching.
I haven’t had dinner yet, and thus we went in search for food with Eddy, his nephew, Mary and Mr. Poh (not me). Last call for tuak and all that. ;)
We had pansoh ikan (fish cooked in bamboo)…
…and lemang (glutenous rice wrapped in pandan leaves).
I heard a haunting refrain of The Phantom of the Opera and went to film a video of the performance. You have to watch this – the vocal range of the female singer is amazing!
I also went to Simmy’s booth while I was there and talked to her about photography and models in Sibu for an upcoming project I’m doing. She’s a professional freelance photographer and she has a website with her photography portfolio.
The major hairstylists were out in force at the BCF 2008 with free haircutting sessions. I just got a haircut but went for it anyway just for fun.
She ended up butchering my hair a little, with one side longer than the other but people claim that it’s not very noticeable anyway, having the chubby face that comes with my weight gain.
I’m not very sure what to think of that. Blessing in disguise? Or friendly hints that I need to lose some weight? Hmm… ;)
The BCF 2008 is also about having fun and the carnival games is a place where you can get fleeced into paying RM 100 for a Made in China stuffed toy that costs RM 0.20 and yet have fun while doing it. Fleeced for fun. ;)
There are a lot of different carnival games ranging from bingo…
…to ping pong ball based games.
I managed to get a turtle key chain for my efforts.
“May you have a prosperous and beautiful future”. Wow, thanks turtle! =D
There is also a shooting game that I played in an inebriated state…
…doing the usual stuff people do when they’re less than sober. I love the expression of the guy next to me. :)
I find that I’m a little bit annoying (even to myself) when I get past a certain state of sobriety though.
It’s also not a good idea to be going for the dart games in an inebriated state. Look at how far the girl is dodging from my questionable aim. Hmm…I didn’t notice that until now. She memangsiam hui hui.
I managed to win RM 2 after spending RM 25…and I felt pleased. Jesus Christ…
I’m so childish sometimes, I amaze even myself…
Mary, rating higher on the sobriety scale than myself, managed to win two pillows. Hmph…
BCF 2008 is fun for all ages (and especially for the inner child in you). There are cultural shows, fashion shows, and games galore. You can drink yourself into a stupor and shoot less-than-straight photographs of the events (which is quite fun in it’s own right). ;)
I’m not sure if you’ll want to fly all the way here if you’re not from Sarawak, but the timing is good – right before the RWMF 2008 kicks off in Kuching, so drop by if you’re already here. Cheers from Sibu!
This is Nasir from Virtual Malaysia who also has a music related blog and Debby Ng (who has an environmental awareness blog) from Singapore coming under the auspices of Asia magazine to cover the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008. I met up with them for lunch after work just now and we’ll be going to the final night of the BCF 2008 soon. I’ve gotten some pretty interesting feedback about the BCF 2008 from two non-Sarawakian media. More updates after I get back. Cheers!
The BCF 2008 ended the Borneo Dayak Festival (BDF) with a tuak (local Iban rice wine) drinking competition, a finale highly (no pun intended) befitting the Dayak themed festival. The Dayak is a collective reference to a local ethnic group comprising of several subgroups of which the majority is Iban.
The Borneo Dayak Festival is centralized around a long row of food stalls bordering the BCF 2008 perimeter grounds. The food stalls offer a large variety of local delights including pansoh manok (bamboo cooked meat) and tuak.
There are also stalls showcasing the native art of the Dayaks with their knitted tribal designs being the most popular.
The shapely legs of the locals are also on display in certain stalls, though I suspect it’s not for sale. ;)
There are also a lot of stalls catering to the thirst of the crowd with local mixed drinks like air bandong (a popular concoction of rose syrup and evaporated milk), air jagung (corn drink, tastes better than it sounds) and coconut juice.
I came across a stall selling fresh sugarcane juice. Fresh sugarcane is made by using a pressure roller machine to extract the negligible moisture content from a sugarcane plant. It takes a lot of plants to make a single cup of the juice.
The sugarcane is first peeled and then inserted into this medieval looking machine with a hose that directs the juice down into a filter.
Careful Pakcik! The rollers are not friendly to human fingers! ;)
I would be remiss if I didn’t eat the pansoh manok (meat cooked in bamboo). It’s a local Iban delicacy where the meat is stuffed inside hollow bamboo plants and then cooked slowly over a charcoal fire.
It is then unsealed by taking out the leaves stuffing one end and emptying the contents into a plate. There are plastic seating arrangements at the BCF 2008 for the food stalls.
Of course, a meal of pansoh manok would be incomplete without the obligatory tuak (Iban rice wine). Tuak is made from fermented rice and it’s sold in 1.25 liter PET bottles that once contained 7Up or Coke for RM 10. ;)
We had the pork pansoh manok (RM 15). There are three different types of pansoh manok in this stall – pork, chicken and fish.
I was a little inebriated after drinking the 1.25 litre bottle of tuak. Tuak can contain anything from 9 – 14 % alcohol. There’s really no control in the fermentation process and some tuak is “fortified” with cheap distilled liquor for more oomph…
In fact, I was more than a little inebriated from the tuak. I went and played some carnival games after that and a video was taken of me that projects me in a less than complimentary light. More on that carnival games tomorrow – I’m going again tonight. :)
Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 is a week long annual event at Swan City (Sibu).
I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 just now to catch the high school girl’s basketball competition. The BCF is an annual week long event held to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Sibu and I went to the opening ceremony last night (full write up tomorrow, got a pool party to go to in an hour).
You may recognize the female in the gray sweatshirt from the previous XX Chromosome entry. I didn’t want to take photos with minors for that particular category lest I get hauled off for 10 years of jail time and 10 strokes of the rotan (caning). ;)
She looks much better in person actually, and she’s a teacher (albeit a very young one).
The girl’s basketball competition was surprisingly entertaining (and not for the reasons you’re thinking). I meant that in the most platonic manner.
There was a fair bit of competition going on, being a contact sport and all that. It turned me on…to sports. You didn’t let me finish speaking. I meant I’m into basketball now after watching all that. ;)
It’s my ball. No, it’s my ball. The other girls weren’t looking at me by the way. The referee was standing beside me and they were waiting for her to make a decision.
…and as we raise our hands in silent prayer,
We beseech thee to be our guiding light in times of duress.
I took too many photos to upload, so here’s a video of the girl’s basketball competition.
This is my favorite player (in a totally non-sexually connotative way). I just like her repertoire of expressions. :)
Hello! My name is Sam and I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival just now coz I like bright, shiny lights. I don’t like crowds though but mom and dad was with me so it was OK.
This is a Heng Hua stall that my daddy told me is
my heritage. I tried to eat one of the pastries and it’s actually
pretty good. I got a boo boo though when I fell and scraped my knee
while trying to take photos.
I heard sounds coming from the stage so I left mommy and daddy and went to watch some girls almost bo cheng sa one. I don’t know why but I felt funny down there after looking at the girls.
My hands were also shaking so the photos are blurry. I don’t know if
it’s from the girls or coz Huai Bin kor kor didn’t give me any pills
today. There are a lot of stalls at BCF with ethnic segregation e.g.
Melanau, Chinese etc.
The stage show then changed to guys so I don’t want to see anymore.
I went to walk around and saw this girl so I touch her nen nen. I don’t know why, but she scolded me and ignore me after that.
I was hungry after all that grabbing action and got myself rice cooked in bamboo to eat.
There was a man making popcorn and I ate that too.
I also bought four (4) SIM cards coz I’m retarded.
016 885 3221
016 864 7478
015 885 1428
014 680 7844
Seriously though, I’m think about maintaining just two (2) lines,
one for business and one for friends. I had a really good number (016
869 0110) but tardiness made me lose that one. I’m using 014 680 2348
Which of the four numbers above is the easiest to remember? 7478 and
7844 means something in Chinese but I don’t like the prefix. I want to
just maintain one.