January 15, 2013

My 20th Birthday

It started off like any other Monday... Wake up early, go to college, class which was really boring. I almost fell asleep even~ A few of my friends wished me.

Class over, time to go back for lunch. So I bought my normal chap farn, some chicken bits and veggie for RM3.50. Mmhmm.

When  I got home, there laid the surprises on my bed....

Only from my brother and daddy dearests <3 . I just beamed and giggled like a little boy admiring them for hours. Then I replied some wishes on Facebook, then at 2:04pm while I was having lunch I got a call from an unknown number who wished me happy birthday.

Eh? o.O

Then it struck me it was Rachel!! who amazingly dropped her phone down the toilet a few days ago and borrowed a friend's phone to call and sing me a sucky birthday song. Since she lost her phone she asked me for my number so that she could call. Then I told her to call after 2. And when she did I forgot it would be her. Aiseh me....... 

And then after that, some blasted neighbour in the same apartment block as me decided they wanted their balcony to be sealed, so on went the renovations which gave me a birthday headache. >__<!

Then I took a half-nap (half asleep half awake), waking up initially with the headache throbbing furiously and then slowly residing. Then I suddenly had the mood to go jogging, which I havent done since my accident in November. 

So while I was getting ready my ever hamsaplou friend Houey called!! I cant remember the last time we contacted each other.  o__o And yet after so long we havent drifted apart an inch. :)

 After that I went to the stadium to jog... which wasnt too long because the headache acted up again. >.< But at least it was good to get out and sweat a little.

After my short workout it was rest time before going out to Manhattan Fish Market in Subang Parade with dad and brother. famous for their fish and chips, naturally that was what I went for. We also had mushroom soup, and shared a combo plate of rice chicken scallops fish fingers and chips.

Dory fish is the most awesome fish ever!! The texture is just so soft and a joy to have mushing around your mouth. I wonder if mum can do something with them for CNY. hehehe.

Anyway, what we discovered was their clever tactic of serving a smaller fish portion and going overboard with the chips. Not only are they FAT, they served a whole lot of them! But overall its a great place with great quality food and drinks.

Oh and while we were looking for parking we stumbled upon this!

With a very stuffed tummy, that's how my first 24 hours of entering a new age era ended. It wasnt as epic as last years where I got to watch the Malaysian Open live at Bukit Jalil, but at least nothing was there to ruin the day. Okay, the headache might have been an annoyance.

I woke up then, this morning, with the dawning upon me how those 24 hours just flashed by so fast... too fast. Just like that, *snap* another birthday has come and gone. It's not that it wasnt grandly celebrated, its just that, it didnt feel like it lasted as long as it should.

Oh well. Cheers to the age of the 20s now!

January 6, 2013

2013 kicking us in the teeth already

Gosh, if the months leading up to the end of 2012 wasnt rough enough, there had to be some spillovers coming into 2013...

To start off, dad's back problem which amazingly went away few weeks ago has returned. It isnt as bad as the first time, but yeah. Recurring pains isnt welcomed by anyone. Hopefully physio will fix it soon enough.

Within half an hour of returning to KL, I got a call from dad that my brother's car broke down (distributor failure). Again. This is the 4th incident involving our cars in 2 months. What hasnt been mentioned here was a breakdown (another distributor failure) AND an accident which damaged his front and rear left-side suspension while my Datsun was under repairs. Luckily it should be a quick and (relatively) cheap fix. 

With one car temporarily out of order, my brother took dad's Myvi while dad borrows the Datsun. Then dad calls to tell me the Datsu's engine keeps dying out. Hopefully a quick adjustment of the carburetor will fix it.

Back at the apartment, I find that my laptop's wireless connection has stopped working. So now I have to use a LAN cable to connect to the modem. So now I cant use my lappy from the comfort of my room.


January 1, 2013

Youth Dhamma Camp 21

I've just returned from the most unforgettable camp ever, YDC 21. Organised by Subang Jaya Buddhist Association, this camp was held for 5 days; 1 day at SJBA before heading to Dusun Eco Resort Pahang. Not only was this my first ever SJBA camp, it also was my first camp already as a committee member. The executive committee/EXCOs who supervised the planning of the camp somehow saw the potential in me to be a committee and thus approached me to ask if I was interested to join. 

After 3 days of thought, I signed up to be in charge of security, which mainly meant taking care of the campers, standing by for first aid service, laying down the rules of the camp, crowd control and keeping track of time so that programs dont run late. I had an assistant by the name of Wei Wen. who handled security duties for the girls.

So what was my 5 days of security duty like?

Day 0

Named as such because it wasnt in Dusun Eco yet. We started with the registration, which was unusually non-Malaysia as campers started arriving half an hour early. o_o After that was the introduction of members and the committee, ice breaking, and other stuffs which I'm not really bothered to write because I'm a tad lazy. On my part, I assigned the boys' accommodation. At 12.45, it was lights out... for the campers. Committee members had to stay up for a day-by-day post mortem. 

Today's verdict was: Bad and messy.  We got a hammering from the Excos, and from there we knew we had to buck up big time if we wanted the camp to succeed. Even I made an error of  wrongly interrupting the Mahapuja session.  If it was any help, there was praise for the unusually fast assigning of the dorms. Lights out for us at 2am.

Day 1

With less than 4 hours of half-sleep, it was time for the camp proper. Boys being boys, some were slow in waking up and washing up. In the end we were 15 minutes late for morning puja. Luckily it didnt take long to complete the session. Breakfast, a personality workshop, and then off we went to Dusun Eco. I rode in my chairman's car so we reached there an hour before the campers.

Once they arrived it was dorms assigning, rules briefing and lunch. On our way to our dorms we found that there were a bunch of rowdy, rough and cari pasal men who stayed in another dorm block nearby to us.  On top of that one of the campers had a mental breakdown and couldnt go to lunch at first. Not wanting to leave her behind and vulnerable to the men, I stayed back with another Exco. There went half an hour of lunch time.

After she was okay, we went to the cafeteria. Upon reaching, I was greeted with more news. I was in charge of organising a station game (which we had settled before camp). The game is about collecting random materials to build a voodoo doll mascot thing.

 I was told the Dusun Eco staff warned of evening rains. Concerned, the vice chairman told me to push my game one hour in advance. What this meant was I now only had 30 minutes to prepare my station game. In addition to bringing it forward, I had to find extra committee members to be station masters due to the  cari pasal men in the area. This took 15 minutes. And I still havent eaten. 3 times I was reminded to eat but I didnt.

Rushing with my logistics man Her Jun we managed to set up everything before the game started. *phew*
THEN, one of the station masters told me she doesnt have her voodoo doll materials to give out. Oh my tua pek kong. So there went more rushing and digging around looking for her items (drinks cans). In the end, she found out THEY WERE WITH HER THE WHOLE TIME. I collapsed onto the bench.

Then another station master told me he forgot to give the stack of newspapers for another station. What made it worse was this station was at the faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr end of the resort which was a bloody long and steep uphill walk. Nonetheless I delivered them. Before I knew it, the time for the  game had finished. Later, a debrief of the game was due. My assistant for the game initially said to do the debrief together. Then all a sudden the whole thing was pushed to me. Apparently my heavy breathing and dripping sweat was not made clear to her how I was. Whichever way I was too tired to be pissed off so I just did it.

After the game I treated one guy with a sudden rash from an unknown source and another who had  his ankle cut by a rusted piece of metal. Thankfully they're both okay.

Later at night, we were supposed to have a night walk in the jungle. However it got cancelled due to the rain.
So then we did a brief indoor game to pass some time before supper and sleep.

Day 1 post mortem, my chairman was overall satisfied with how my voodoo doll game went, despite the sudden change in plans. Did I mention I skipped lunch? Overall, the Excos were happy with our improvement compared to Day 0. Off to bed at sometime-after-1am.

Day 2

A mostly indoors day. We had a huge game about money, bribes, taxes, the government, and all sorts of real-world aspects. Aptly, this game was called Game of  Life. After that was a workshop on changing negative feelings into positive feelings. Lunch, hymn singing then water captainball. Captainball is a sport with a combination of basketball and netball. Get the ball from your half to the opponents' half of the play area, then throw the ball to your catcher. One catch earns one point. Team with most points win. Ours then was held in the water. At the end there was an all-stars campers team Vs  committees match.
Tragically, the committees lost 7-1. 

During the game, one girl cut her foot on a metal ladder and another had an insect bite. Meanwhile, one of the boys suffered food poisoning and vomited +  lau saied a total of 3 times.

At night, they watched a movie called Shutter which was chosen by yours truly. It was a Thai horror film which scared  even some of the boys. 

Finally was a horror-themed station game. I was a station master which involved holding an Ipad for participants to watch a video and count the number of times people walk past the camera. Sitting there for 2 hours alone was a bit creepy. Night meeting without a post mortem, but only focusing on the next day's main event; Project W. 

Day 3

The night was so cold I wrapped up in my blanket like a popiah. But still, I had the most sleep of the whole camp. Starting with exercise, our vice chairman Ching gave us a little dance routine to follow (she's a hip hop dancer mind you). I struggled to keep up with the coordination of some moves. xD

After the last workshop on overcoming fears with confidence, we moved on to Project W. Campers went around doing another station game, collecting clues. That was Phase 1.

Phase 2's secret plan accidentally flew out of our programmer's mouth. The plan was for the participants to plan, coordinate and direct an entire talent night. Committees can help in the planning or contribute as a performer, but main control was all done by the campers. In the end, the result was absolutely magical. Entertaining, smooth flow. Except for when some of the boys had a bit too much fun and broke a window pane. =/

But despite that, the show was an overwhelming success.

After a failed campfire because the wood was wet from rain, we had our final committee meeting to prepare Cryana Mitra. Off to bed at almost 3am.

Day 4

Not even 1.5 hours had passed before having to wake up again. During Cryana Mitra, campers were woken up at 5, walked all the way to the canteen. There, they wrote on a paper what their fear was. Walk back up again, put the paper in a balloon and blow it up. Blindfolded they were, and walked along the corridor into the hall. Here, Exco Yvonne and Adrean did a fantastic job evoking the sadness  of the participants. A lump in my throat formed too. Then we watched a montage of photos and videos throughout the camp.

After that, it was bonding time among campers and committees. Everyone gave hugs and spoke out whatever they wanted to. I've never hugged so many girls in one morning. It was also here where the Excos sang their praises for the job well done I did throughout camp, describing me as a "one hit wonder", among others (alamak bangganya aku). So then we finished up our other activities, had lunch (the worst meal throughout camp), and at 1.30pm, we bade farewell to Dusun Eco.

After first reaching SJBA, I then went back to my apartment. Half an hour later dad was back from work and we both left at 6  to come back home. 

Looking back on the 5 days, despite the difficulties I went through especially on the first 2 days, I can only say this has been the best camp ever. Probably because its the first camp outside school. And maybe because of all the new people I got to meet. No, wait. Those ARE the reasons why. People who are all really, truly great.

With that, I bow down to 2012. Except for being an absolute basturd in the 2-3 months leading up to camp, you've been awesome. No ups without the downs I guess. Deric Chan signing off for the last time in 2012.

In your face Doomsday believers.