Friday, November 28, 2008

Wedding Up North

For having written the past 7 posts without any images at all, I am going to compose this one with photos, and as little words as possible (I hope). Last weekend, I went up north to attend the wedding of a good friend and since I wasn't part of the ji muis, I sort of had the freedom to squeeze myself in-between the crowds to snap photos.

The guys at the hotel, before departing to the bride's house. There were 8 heng tais, including the bestman, and if I am not mistaken, they outnumbered the girls. However, being the most sporting and gentlemanly troop that I'd ever seen, they didn't bully the girls in any ways.

We arrived at the bride's home a little earlier than expected.

The professional photographers were busy snapping away, not realising that a little kepoh here got a shot of them at work.

"You're too early. The bride is not ready yet..."

"Fine. Fine. We'll wait."

5 minutes later, they were still waiting. 10 minutes later, they were stilllll waiting.

"Come brothers, let's just go. We'll go and have a second breakfast."

"Wait! We're ready now..."

The "tasks" provided by the girls were by no means hard, nor demeaning, nor humiliating, nor involving pain / horror. The groom had only to answer a series of questions, and his supporters eat some disgusting stuff.

"Question 1: What is the date that you first dated your bride?"

"Yikes..... think, think, think!"
Luckily he got that one.

Conventionally, the girls will prepare food items comprising of the 4 basic tastes - sweet, sour, bitter, hot - to represent the ups and downs in life that the married couple will face, and overcome together. So the first food items were these slices of raw bitter gourd.

The girls said the groom's men could share out the lot, but one of the guys stepped forward, "There is no need. I shall eat all of it!"

And he did. Very quickly. In fact, he was so quick to gobble down those raw bitter gourd slices that I only manage to take this one shot of him doing it. This was the precise moment I realise that this ragging session was going to proceed at high speed.

"Question 2: Where did you bring your bride for your first date?"
I forgot what the answer was, but the groom got it right again. And this time, the guys had to drink the little glass of rice vinegar. Again, the girls said they could share, but again, 1 fella insisted he would gulp it down all by himself.

And he did! And if you look at this shot carefully, you would see that the bitter-gourd guy was still chewing. This is a good indicator of how fast the ragging session was progressing.

"Question 3: When was your registration of marriage?"
The groom remembered the date and month very well, but almost stumbled on the year, because it was a year or two back. Almost. Pheeewww.

I dont' know what they put inside those mini sandwiches, but it was something sweet.

Then, it was time for the groom to sing a pre-agreed song.

He actually prepared the lyrics and also accompaniment in form of mp3 in his phone! Smart fella!

The final task: perform 50 push-ups. There were all in all 9 of them, so basically, each one would only need to do 5-6 times. Nothing could be easier, really. Surprisingly though, no one stepped forward to volunteer to do it all by himself, so the guys went down 2 or 3 at a time.

The girls kept count so they couldn't cheat. But who would cheat when asked to do only 5 push-ups each? I wouldn't cheat if I had to do 10 or even 20. If 30, then I would perhaps cheat a bit...

At the 40th push-up, the groom stepped up and told everyone to stand back. He declared that he would do the last 10 himself! The whole hall rang with cheers.

1, 2, 3, ... 9, 10!!!

The final "snack": mini sandwiches with wasabi in them.

The girls got their ang pau and ...

*count count count*

"Not enough wor..."
"It's the only 1 I have!"
"Errr... give a bit more la. Make the total a nice figure."
"I don't have anymore ang pau la. Seriously."
"Arh? OK lar... we accept. You can go in now!"

Like that also can. First time I saw such nice ji muis.

Woo hoooo! I got my wife! Thanks, buddies... let's take a group photo.

The wedding dinner was held in a chinese restaurant on the same day. I almost squealed with delight when I saw the wedding favour:

A cupcake! A very elegantly-wrapped cupcake!

Lovely, and very, very tasty!

The stage decorations were simple but beautiful.

The evening began with the marching in of the newly-weds and their parents and some important relatives. The bride's father is a somewhat VIP in the area, and some Orang Besar actually attended the dinner.

The Orang Besar and his wife were invited to sing a song for the newly-weds, and they actually sang in Chinese! I was so impressed! Although there were relatives of the bride who "entertained" the crowd with their singing, none was exceptionally awful, so I'm not going to be sarcastic about it here.

There was also a dance presentation. Extremely extraordinary, I must say, and very interesting.

The first dish - a combination of stuff, including that huge lobster. I am not particulary well-versed in describing food, so feel free to just feast your eyes on this and all the following photos.

A chicken which had probably been cooked since that morning, or afternoon, in that pot of soup along with chinese herbs. Extremely good!

Braised duck. I know you can't really see that it's duck, but it was.

Steamed fish in ginger sauce.

The 7-colour something something vegetarian dish. This one was the most extraordinary of the evening - extremely light and refreshing.

The huge prawns. To emphasize on how huge they really were:

That's a regular-sized soup spoon.

Glutinous rice wrapped in some sort of leaves. In the center were spicy dried shrimp sambal-like stuff. Well, I did admit I am no expert in food-describing.

Dessert was chilled longan with small pieces of jelly. Nothing special, but a nice, sweet end to a scrumptious dinner. While dinner was on-going, they also had the usual line-up for the newly weds.

That included the champagne popping and pouring, the toasting, and the cake-cutting ceremony.

The wedding cake was a REAL 3-tier cake. A REAL one! I don't think I'd ever seen a real wedding cake at any wedding dinner before. It looked so good!

At the end of the wedding, I couldn't stop myself from taking a closer look.

It was indeed REAL!

What a lovely wedding for a lovely couple. This dinner was hosted by the bride's family, and we'll be attending the one hosted by the groom's family this coming weekend. Why attend so many? Because getting married is once in a lifetime (usually), and 20+ years childhood friends are extremely rare :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Important ones!

(from Joke-of-the-Day)

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

6. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

7. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

8. A person who is nice to you but rude to a waiter is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

9. Your friends love you anyway.

10. Men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Some people seem to dislike Wednesdays. Well, don't... it didn't choose to be in the middle of the week. Have a nice one ;)

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Really Nice Wedding Dinner

Well, see - I am not always sour and negative, and writing bad reviews of others' weddings! I do praise when things deserve to be praised.

ST and I went to a wedding dinner last week. It was held at Tai Thong Imperial China Restaurant in Subang Jaya, on a weekday. Despite the rain which caused a massive, MASSIVE, MASSIVE jam which turned our supposedly 30-min drive into a 150-min journey; despite that we arrived about 90 minutes later than the time printed on the invitation (that was very, very late, even for Malaysian-time standards); despite that the first dish had already been served when we arrived, and we missed the very beautiful (so I was told) and special march-in of the couple, I still enjoyed the affair very much. Here's why --

The food was simply marvellous! I am no expert in describing tastes, but if I'm not being sarcastic about it, the reader can be sure it was really good. I was also very impressed with the restaurant's service. The waiters / waitresses were quick, light-footed, observant and professional. For instance, our glasses of tea were never empty - almost never half-empty either, because the refills were very prompt and regular. For another instance, someone at my table finished his bowl of sharksfin soup, and almost as soon as he placed his spoon down, one of the head waiters (I think you call them... captains?) stepped in to serve him a second helping. Call it an isolated incident, or coincidence, if you will, but I'm pretty convinced of their superior level of service. I'd never experience such efficiency during wedding dinners, or any dinners, before.

Since the bride and groom are ACTIVE members of the Young KL Singers choir group, there were numerous live performances by their counterparts. I simply love live singing! They did several songs beautifully, and even sung one called How Do I Love Thee? which lyrics are of the very famous poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning of the same title. I had no idea someone had it put to song! The melody itself didn't impress me much, but who would need the music to be great, when the words alone could melt one's heart? Here:

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

*melts* Never mind that 2 of them butchered the duet version of From This Moment, and later, also butchered TTSG (a person who refers to Time To Say Goodbye as TTSG is, most assuredly, a super big fan of it, so I may be biased...) - I was mesmerised all the same by the performances that evening. When the groom played and sang a song, which he himself composed, to his bride, I knew I would most probably never experience another wedding as special.

One more thing - NO boring speeches! There were speeches of course - 2 speeches, to be exact, but they weren't boring. There were 3 collective toasts, and no compulsory table-to-table toasts. The entire program was just so smooth, elegant and romantic!

So there - a really really nice wedding dinner, and I've written about it really really nicely. I am not as evil as some people make it seem.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The GAH Wedding Dinner

I've thought about this for over half a day - is it right for me to write badly of someone's wedding dinner? Well, we all know that if we do not have anything nice to say, then we ought to just keep quiet! Lady A said it is also downright rude, and I should just keep whatever thoughts I have to myself - "i cant belive u even has to ask" (his very words, copy & pasted from my chat archive). But the temptation to do this is too much to resist, and as Oscar Wilde said, the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. So there.

I guess it wouldn't make me more noble if I started by saying that the groom looked charming, his bride breathtakingly lovely, the food tasted great and the live 3-fellow band spectacular.

First of all, the wedding was one of the THREE held in a really huge Chinese restaurant which was divided into 3 sections, separated only by those thin, moveable partitions, that didn't even reach to the ceiling. It would be stating the very, very obvious, to say that they weren't in the least soundproof. Each of the 3 receptions played their own loud music whilst the guests were arriving according to the conventional "Malaysian time". The reception I attended was strategically the one in the center. Besides the very irritating noise spillover from the receptions on either side, someone from the restaurant's management had to repeatedly (and I really mean repeatedly) make an announcement about such and such toilets being under renovation, and would the guests proceed to use the other such and such toilets. That really put me in such a "romantic" mood for the wedding... GAH!

The management wouldn't had to had worried about guests needing the toilets if they knew how their waiters / waitresses were performing that evening. After seating myself down at a table, I remained seated for the most of the next hour without a drink. Those walking around with beer and wine simply passed me by, countless of times, as if I were invisible. (Did I die and not know I died? Wait, let me buzz someone online - there, there is a reply - so either I'm still alive, or my spirit is hallucinating right now) No matter, because I didn't want alcoholic beverage anyway. There ought to be at least someone serving hot Chinese tea, oughtn't there? Under normal circumstances, I would had called one of those who insisted on walking by me, ignoring the fact that my glass is empty, and asked outright for what I wanted. But being in a sour mood (oh yea... very sour), I couldn't be bothered (and well, sat there and festered in my silent dissatisfaction till the idea of writing this post came up...) When the dinner was about to start someone filled my glass with a carbonated drink, which I didn't fancy, but was the closest thing reachable without the assistance of a waiter / waitress. A little while after the dinner actually begun, I felt a little less sour (I did mention the food was good...) and asked for hot Chinese tea. The waiter who was asked took forever to get back to me (his definition of waiting must be 'you wait for me', and not 'I wait on you'), and instead of bringing me the glass of hot Chinese tea I wanted, said "We ran out of glasses. Can you finish your drink first and I'll refill it with tea for you". I have no other expression for this, other than... GAH!

Halfway through dinner, this really fat guy came swaggering around the tables carrying a month-old infant who belonged to someone else, showing her (the baby) off. He obviously did not know how to carry a baby, and several times I cringed inwardly witnessing the precarious way he "cradled" the baby using 1 arm, while mindlessly flirting with girls who cared to pay him attention, perhaps due to the baby he had that wasn't his. Twice or thrice I suppressed the urge to jump up and slap him senseless because he carelessly let the baby's head drop outwards to the side of his flabby arm, because he didn't know how to support it properly. A month-old baby! So small, delicate and fragile! And as if it wasn't enough, at a later time, the same fat fella brought the same poor little one to my table, and passed her to a fat girl there, who proved even more ill-experienced with the very young! This incident is simply too horrible to recount. Thank heaven thank earth the baby escaped the ordeal unhurt (I hope!). What were the parents thinking, letting such an inexperienced 'friend' carry off their month-old little precious, to be paraded around a cramped, crowded and noisy wedding dinner, and who'd let an even more inexperienced fella tumble her around in her (also) flabby arms?! I am most surely not the best mother around, but I am possessive enough to know that, if I can help it, I would never allow anyone to carry my baby around, showing her off as if she was some exhibit! And to those who like to show off babies so much - do it with your own, not with your friends'! GAH!

I am not an expert wine-drinker. Fine, I am not a wine-drinker at all. I know nothing of wines, and know nothing much about how they ought to be drunk. But I do know one shouldn't add ice-cubes to their wine, much less water, and (bee ree is sooo gonna cringe at this) 7up. And yes - those at my table kept doing it the whole evening. Maybe they confused wine with hard liqour? Whatever. Just know that it made me roll my eyes and go... GAH!!!

Again, I guess it wouldn't make me more noble if I ended this post with a positive note - but well, there was NO KARAOKE throughout the affair! Woo hooooo! Congratulations, and I hope you two will have a great life together. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marry Me!

Say yes! Then read the following and see if you would change your mind...

(from Joke-of-the-Day)

Marriage is not a word. It is a sentence (a life sentence).

Marriage is very much like a violin; after the sweet music is over, the strings are still attached.

Marriage is an institution in which a man loses his Bachelor's Degree and the woman gets her Master's.

Marriage is a thing which puts a ring on a woman's finger, and two under the man's eyes.

It is true that love is blind but marriage is definitely an eye-opener.

Getting married is very much like going to the restaurant with friends. You order what you want, and when you see what the other fellow has, you wish you had ordered that instead.

It's true that all men are born free and equal-but some of them get MARRIED!

A happy marriage is a matter of giving and taking; the husband gives and the wife takes.

Conversations between son & father:-
Son: Is it true? Dad, I heard that in ancient China, a man doesn't know his wife until he marries.
Father: That happens everywhere, son, EVERYWHERE!

There was a man who said, "I never knew what happiness was until I got married.... and then it was too late!"

Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

They say that when a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it is love; after marriage it is self-defense.

When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a ten-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.

There was this lover who said that he would go through hell for her. They got married, and now he is going through HELL.

Yes? No? Yes?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weight and Vision

Yesterday, I took the train to KL Sentral. The train was rather crowded and at my destination station, quite a number wanted to get off the train. As usual, before all those alighting could get out, those boarding were already pushing their way in. And there I was - small and obscure, trying to wriggle my way out. At the same time, a man, tall with a tummy the size of Barney the purple dinosaur's was pushing his way in. As fate would had it, just as we passed each other by, he took a step sideways towards me, and when I took my next step forward, my shoulder and upper arm bumped straight into his big belly. And I was bounced back - yes, my entire body bounced off the belly of that man. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I don't think he noticed me at all, though. Funny? Ha ha. However, incidents like this and my smallness give people the general impression that I am slim, which is definitely not true. It would be bearable but for these people never hesitating to impose their opinions of my weight on me. All the you-should-eat-more and the-wind-will-blow-you-away and there'd-be-nothing-left-if-you-lost-any-more are really frustrating, if not infuriating. I am, in fact, getting rather sick and tired of having to defend my rights to lose a little weight and get fitter, so there - one fine day, I forced my husband to carry me around and asked him if I ought to try losing some weight. He replied, arms throbbing and wobbly, "YES, you need to lose at least 5kg!" There! Ha ha.

A friend recently had his eyesight surgically corrected and good-naturedly indulged me and my curiosity by giving me a detailed narration of the procedure. While I was still squirming over the horrid fact that he had lasers firing at his eyeballs while he was fully conscious, he poured on me the emotional impact of gaining perfect vision, after having lived with the blurry one for 20+ years. It is profoundly life-changing for him. In his own words, he would be so much more free to go to places and do things without having to worry about hauling along his contact lenses and lense solution, or the risk of breaking his spectacles and being rendered without usable sight. Then, he told me how he didn't remember ever having seen things clearly unaided in his life before the surgery, and that he, in some strange ways, missed his blurry sight - something which he'd never experience again. It was a whole new perspective for me, who has somewhat good vision all my life (granted, I have a certain degree of short-sightedness and astigmatism, but I had long made peace with a blurry, but tolerably comprehensible view of the world around me, using my spectacles only when I go for classes) While my heart was still reeling from the impact from being exposed to the emotional journey he's going through, he went on to say that he also had a night-vision problem, which could not be corrected by means of spectacles or contact lenses, but was significantly improved by the surgery. What sort of night-vision problem? He explained that he couldn't see light clearly at night. What he sees are halos and starbursts at any light sources - such as streetlamps and tail-lights. But wait - I see those too! All my life I'd seen light sources with halos and starbursts at night, and I thought it was perfectly normal. "No, it isn't normal. You have impaired night-vision as well," he said. But, but.... Oh, nevermind, at least the nights are starrier for people like us, compared to "normal" ones!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Who would send something without a return address? Who would sign it with a smiley face instead of a name? Who would know I would get all worked up not being able to determine his/her identity? Who, who, who? Who is this anonymous sender? I'm clean driven mad!