- At The Moment of My Mind -

Taking leaps of faith only to fall in step with Him.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

** Hey guys, just taking a moment to wish everyone a very belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! 2007 woot! Here I come! What are your New Year resolutions? **

Monkeying Around Penang

Slept at 2am and woke at 5am. I just sat there dazing out…until…suddenly…out of nowhere…

Morning prayers from the nearby mosque rang out as loud as if I was in the mosque itself. I was jolted into awareness and wondered, “Why does Quin’s alarm has the morning prayer in it?” Okay, so maybe not fully awake still.

I was still blur as I showered and got ready for the Penang trip. PB was to pick us up and then we were going to meet up with everyone else for dim sum. It was fun seeing all of us wearing the guild t-shirt. Hee, I felt more part of the guild instead of a lost monkey. After a hearty breakfast, a quick stop at a petrol station, we were on our way.

This time I spent the trip riding with Sala, Eekie and Spire. It was fun as we entertained each other with stories during our 3 hr trips. Viewed the scenery made more interesting by Sala’s info on each one. The cave where people from the Communist insurgency hid…well according to Sala, or maybe my memory may be faulty.

Beautiful weather that day as well.

Sala pointed out the temple built into a cliff (we went too fast to take a pic of it, it looks amazing though) and the spot where they shot part of the movie ‘Anna and the King’. The natural waterfall, the perils of driving around that area because not too long ago a boulder fell on the road, quarries that made the moutains look like giant pieces of nougat. Mom would love to go hashing in those hills. Palm trees, lots of palm trees…it brought me back to my geography lessons where I learned Palm oil is one of the resources of Malaysia.

I loved the scenery, you don’t get much of this while driving from KB to Bandar…the only place I can think of that can compare is Shah Bandar and that is only if you do the grunt work to hike the hills, only then can you enjoy the scenery.

A quick stop to grab some Baskin Robins (mmm, pistacio this time) where we were entertained by ‘It’s a Bug’s Life: The Adventure of the Cave of Wax’ written and directed by PB.

We went to pick up Pozart first at Butterworth? Why does that name keep popping up in my head? I think it’s wrong but I remember reading Butterworth there…why do I remember Butterworth??? Pozart is from BM, btw, but I have no idea what BM stands for.

I tot Pozart would look kinda round, cute and with a dancing hamster on his shoulder. He turned out to be like more of an anime char from Pokemon. I have no idea what his family must have thought about us…I mean if my online guild friends suddenly popped out of nowhere one Sunday and wanted to take me out for a fun filled day of board games, my mom would prolly locked me up in my room without an internet connection and throw away the key.

After kidnapping Poring we went off to pick up Gary. Now Sala said Gary looks like a romulan…although the resemblance is kinda uncanny (all he needs now are the ears to complete the romulan cosplay) Gary also has this permanent scowl on his face like he has the weight of the world upon him. I dunno whether he’s thinking about lunch or contemplating Socrates.

Off to Gurney Plaza to meet up with Cicak, Mach, Xiang and Wei Ho.

What to say about these fellas, hmm…

Cicak – Tall, he had an unfortunate encounter with a toothpick on his ear, sleepy fella like he just drank a whole bottle of nyquil before coming. I accidentally sponsored him a root beer.

Mach – Tall (ALL of the Penang trio are tall, what do they put in the Penang food kan?), bulky fella, likes to make fun of me and sea spiders.

Xiang – Very quiet kid which is suprising since online he’s the chattiest.

Wei Ho – I dunno who is cuter, Wei Ho or Pozart… Wei Ho looks like the Asian version of Harry Potter especially when he put the guild tee shirt on. ROFL, the shirt practically ROBED the fella. Everytime he eats, he waves his wand “Consumedious!” and *poof* the food disappears.

After A&W at Gurney Plaza, we all went to check in at Sri Sayang Apartments. Nothing much to say about the apartment we rented. The shower is a bit funky and likes to surprise people, the chairs were traps disguised as chairs and if there is a killer on the lose, there’s no alternative escape route unless you jumped form one balcony to one next door.

The best part was the view. We were on the 14th floor you see and I loved it. I spent a lot of time just spazing out there. There was this one night, where it was full moon and you can see moonlight reflecting off the sea. It was windy and so soothing.

Most of us played RISK during the afternoon. RISK I find is a complicated game full of strategy, kinda like CIV (Civillization IV) except you don’t develop cities, and it’s a war game. It was fun to watch but I didn’t play, mainly I wasn’t too interested and it was kidna fully booked already. Everyone was in pairs. Haha. Spire didn’t play and we instead spent the afternoon playing MTG, discussing MTG strats and deck builds.

Soon it was dinner time and we all headed out for a simple makan at this Indian place where they can mix almost anything at your request. Just point at anything and they scoop a ladle full of that and plop it onto your plate, pay at the counter then eat.

Next they brought me to this place which I have no idea what it’s called but I named it ‘Hawker’s Street’ cuz the whole jalan just paved with hawkers stands. I had some rojak and some other stuff I can’t name now cuz I totally fogot what they are called. I took pictures of them though.

See? ^_^

We headed back to the apartment for more RISK, Monopoly and MTG, then finally sleep beckoned us all.

To Be Continued…

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Woke up at around 9 something, then showered and everything. PB came over and the three of us headed out for some breakfast dim sum at this nice place that I have no idea what the name is but it’s pretty nice. The chicken feet & ha kau there was good, very fresh. Got to remember to ask PB what the place is called. XD

Then it was off to KLCC to meet up with Sala, Eekie and Spire. Turns out they were having sushi there. Omg, sushi, but I was too full with dim sum liao. Nvm, I’ll catch the sushi next time I go KL. Hehehe. Really, it was ok, cuz you know why? It was Kinokuniya next…the kingdom of knowledge, the realm of the written word, the holy temple of text. There were just so many books there…I wouldn’t mind working at a place like that or opening my own bookshop one day. But then…I’m afraid that I would either splurge my entire salary and buy the books on employee discount or, hang up the ‘closed’ sign and spend the rest of my days reading in my own shop, thus heading straight for bankrupcy.

Haiz, my habit of reading everything under the sun will be death of me one day.

However, since I am on a budget trip, I spent the time mostly browsing (No, I didn’t walk around sniffing the books, despite what rumours say.) and looking for something that I think my sister would like. She’s a regular bookworm, just like me. ^_^

I was kinda disappointed they didn’t have the book I wanted in stock. It’s Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby which came out around last year I think.

Sidenote: Lady Murasaki was a courtesan of 11th century Japan. She was the writer responsible for the famous ‘Tale of Genji’, probably the first novel ever written in history.

But never mind if they dun have my book in stock cuz I’m in Kinokuniya. People asked me before, if I’m so into books, why don’t I just order them online. My friend, nothing beats entering a shop full of books, ok? The smell of new covers, the feel of crisp pages, the sight of rows and rows of books just waiting for you to pick them up, it’s just lovely.


Okay, after I bought a couple of books, we all headed off to Times Square. There’s another bookshop there which according to Spire, is a big place, I didn’t go there though. I swear on my Louisa M. Alcott books, I didn’t. Haha. Instead, after a quick stop at Baskin Robins for ice cream, we went off to the huge arcade there. (I have no idea how they manage to put a roller coaster inside that building, it didn’t look that big to me from the ouside.)

The last arcade I’ve been to was in Gadong, where they had the old street fighter and shooting games. Too bad the place closed down after the PS was introduced into Brunei. So, I felt kinda like 13 again when I saw the place. Noisy, crowded and dim, it was the ideal hang out place for teens. Spire wanted me to try the para para machine. Sure I will try it, when I’m all alone and inside my room under a controlled environment.

She’s good at para para-ing, I can give her that much.

It’s really something to see my friends, 30’s and 20’s somethings, gaming and shooting baskets along side with the adolecents. In truth, I’m more into the shooting arcade games there. The smashing music button game reminds me too much of the button music smashing game my brother plays on the ps2. There’s a game called ‘House of the Dead’ or something like that, that I really wanted to try but it was fully booked so I pulled spire to accompany me playing ‘Timeline’ or something, another shooting game. There were also the seasoned DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) kids. This one kid, woah, breakdanced through this really wicked song on invisible mode. Freaky.

If all fails there’s always the lollipop machine. All you have to do is to drop in a coin and push the button. Viola, lollipops comes out. Eekie loved this machine. All Hail the Lollipop Princess. XD

When we’re all done, it was time for us to go to WOE. Omg, woe…*meow*

Actually, other than being constantly under the air conditioning throughout the 2 hours or so, it was pretty good. 6 people, 3 on each row, all for one purpose. It was really weird for me because well, for one, I never actually reported verbally and I am neither used to taking orders verbally. But I can tell you it was not so bad, other than the fact that I clicked too much. I learned a lot that night, such as if I limited my clicking, focused more on the angle of my direction, my performance would be better. I found out its very true.

Also I was as nervous as a kamikaze heading for a mission because Sala (Guild Leader) sat right beside me. Dammit, I actually felt my hands shaking that night. Or maybe it’s the air conditioning instead. Well either way, I felt as if my body was drained of every drop of blood. I felt numb, nervous and numb.

In the end it turned out better than I thought it would be. All of us talked about the woe while we all headed for TOLA. I THINK I had nasi lemak and milo peng cuz I was still kinda numb at the time. Everyone was talking and eating, amongst all the chatter we discussed our plans for tomorrow. What gonna happen tomorrow? We were all heading for Penang to meet other guild mates! Woot!

Effy (not Eekie) and Calvin was suppose to join us at TOLA but they didn’t make it in time. Instead, Quin directed them to a nearby makan place and dropped me there. I introduced her to Effy. Effy, meet Quin, my KL jie jie. Quin, meet Effy, my good friend and sister under the So-So Sisterhood of Jen. After an invigorating debate with Calvin about the pros and cons for a Bruneian like me to migrate to KL, we headed home. (Effy kinda like, “Yeah! You’re right!” on the side. Lol. I think she very bored with me debating with Calvin like that. Can’t help it what, the fella baited me…kinda.)
See how bored she is? Sampai play play with her mobile instead. Rofl!

It was 1 am already when they dropped me off at Quin’s place. I was worried Quin would forget about me and lock the door, go to sleep liao. *meow!* I would deserve it too, for coming back that late. Fortunately, Quin is an understanding sweetie and opened the door to let the stray cat (me) in.

I quickly packed my stuff for the Penang trip and went to bed at 2 am.

To be continued…

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Come Fly With Me, Let's Fly, Let's Fly Away ~

When I went to KL last year with Shikin, I didn’t think I would visit again and alone even more. Sad to say ah, the last time I traveled alone was when I was sent to Singapore for job training and that was 4 years ago. So this is the second time I’m actually traveling alone.

The main purpose of going to KL this time was to visit my guild mates in KL and Penang. Even a guild mate from Singapore went. It was exciting to think I’ll be meeting and staying with friends I’ve only known online. Ones that I trust won’t leave me in a tub of ice with both my kidneys missing. This is gathering also marks the one year I’ve been playing Ragnarok Online. Haha, I remembered that I wanted to try RO just for the fun of it. Look at where I am now, still playing RO.

I was so excited the night before that I couldn’t sleep and finally snoozed at around 5am. Nevermind, my flight was scheduled at 6pm, no problem.

Reached the airport in time and checked in. Scan, scan, scan, everything put into the big x ray machine and scan. I put in Josey (laptop) first but when she went in, the whole machine stopped. Ah? My baby is still in there, at least let me pass le. Haiz, but couldn’t cuz the whole gate power down. Maybe they forgot to pay last month’s electric bill. So we had to wait for a while for them to sort things out lo. At least I’m better off than this guy who was in line before me. Since he had metal buckles on his shoes, he had to take them off and put them through the x-ray machine. Ended up his shoes on one side and the fella was bare foot on the other. XD

Finally seated in the plane, can hear my heart go bump bump bump, cuz in 2 hrs, I would be meeting Quin and PB in person. So excited! Kya~! >_<

So I tried to settle down when who I see happen to pass by? It was Mr. X, head of a department in the company I work for. Okay la, wave and say hello to the fella, that’s it, but a few minutes later, “Any one sitting here?” Aiyoh…

The fella talked mostly about investments, bank interests, inflation and insurance for 2 solid hours. Woopeee…

Trust me, I’ve tried steering the conversation into other topics.

“So why is Mr. X flying to KL?”
“Oh going to catch a flight to Penang around midnight.”
“Mr. X got business in Penang?”
“Not really, my family is there, and my father in law is celebrating his birthday this weekend so I decided to attend.”
“Oh, I see…I’m gonna visit Penang this Sunday.”
“Is it? You should really try the hawker food there, it’s really good.”
“Yeah, that’s what I heard too.”

*smile* *smile*

“So you already got your own insurance plan?”

Lord, give me strength.

Turns out he’s going back to Brunei on Sunday. He said it was a pity cuz then he could show me around in Penang. In my heart I was thinking there is a God after all.

Finally when the plane landed, I picked up my luggage and started messaging Quin. She asked me to wait for her at the coffee zone near by, and since I slept so late the night before, I was already lagging a bit and the smell of the coffee was so nice…

“Hi Mareen”

Huh? Who? Oh ya, that’s me. ^_^ Heh, not use to hearing people call me by my internet nick.

PB and Quin, I recognize them since I’ve seen their pictures before. Then I was introduced to Quin’s mom also. I tried to speak to auntie with my best mandarin le, but even that failed, PB had a nice time poking me. Damn me and my broken mandarin tongue.

Everyone dropped by Quin’s house first where I freshened up. Sala, Eekie and Spire presented the guild tee shirt (really cute! A1!)

Hmm…I dunno how to describe it lo, first time meeting the people who I’ve befriended and even grown close to virtually for a year now. I didn’t know what to say. It was kinda awkward for me. Most of the time I remember thinking how surreal it felt or maybe it could be because I was kinda tired. Everyone said I resemble Eekie but I think she’s like an energizer bunny and her voice matches her personality, very cute. I feel like pinching her now.

We all went out for supper.

Mino – bits of burger like meat (you can choose either chicken or beef) fried and mixed with cabbage and mayonnaise, all wrapped up in a nicely cooked egg with cheese on top.

I mostly spent my time studying their faces, occasionally saying something or answering a question or two thrown my way, otherwise I was pretty quiet. I like listening to everyone talk instead. It’s interesting what people say sometimes. Then after that, PB went home to finish off some work while the rest of us head for La Bodega for drinks. I’m not a drinker. I dunno what my alcoholic preferences are. I know I dun like vodka. I know I like good whiskey & wine. That’s it. In the end I ordered something called Mai Tai, which seems safe enough.

It turned out to be pretty nice. We didn’t drink much, mind you, unlike the last time when I drank any alcoholic beverage in KL. Ok, I better not get into that. (Shikin & Effy, shhhh! Don't have to say anything. You know, I know, ok, right?) XD

Everyone headed home and I managed to catch some sleep.

To be continued…