Apr 7, 2013

Do you hear the people sing?

do you remember this post where I (as always) posted some photos and failed to follow up with a detailed post about my experience at Sabah? this happened so many times here that now i don't feel like apologizing anymore.

that was my second time to Sabah on a mission trip.

on the first time, we were extremely hardcore. no water supply, sleeping on wooden planks, going without shower after trodding on in rain and dark, got flooded while sleeping, no electricity supply.

to look at the bright side of things, we city-goers got a slap and woke up right up to the predicament of others. we also loved the clean icy cold river which you can't find anywhere in the peninsular.

today, i choose to look at the dark side of things. how is it that a government can allow their people to live in such state? some locals look defeated when mention comes of their governor. it's such a beautiful place. so blessed with natural resources. yet so poor. so, so poor.

last week, the parliament is dissolved.

while the social media is teeming with friends expressing euphoria at the country's impending revolutionary change, i got shocked when there're still friends who are still willing to vote for the...... 50 year rulers.

No Judging. Sorry, mate.

Every morning when i take the train, i see huge ads plastered in the train, over the escalators, patriotic pro-gov music videos on repeat, all along the lines of "KAMI MENDENGAR KELUHAN RAKYAT".

so touching weh. :'( our government is actually doing something! how lovely. *wipes tears of joy*

two examples:

"kami mendengar keluhan rakyat tentang masalah pengangkutan: Mr Jimmy Tan says that now with the wonderful new system i don't need to stay in the traffic jam."

"kami mendengar keluhan rakyat tentang kos sara hidup: Ms Rotimah says that its really stressful paying the fees so a couple of hundred bucks really came in handy when the kids are starting school."


wanna know what i think?

thank you dear government, for doing things that you SHOULD have been doing for the past 50 years, and what we've been paying you for.

thank you dear government, for the incredible inflation resulting in us being unable to scrape 100 bucks together to pay our kids' stationery fees.

thank you dear government, for the wonderfully corrupted planning resulting in our legendary traffic jams and gridlock.

thank you dear government, for giving us free vouchers and throwing money when the election is near.

thank you dear government, for the good job you've done in ensuring a safe place for us to live in peace.

thank you dear government, for being a classic textbook example of what not to be when I grow up.

thank you dear government, for showing us what a clean election could be.

thank you dear government, for putting Malaysia in global headlines with countless classic incidents such as a scandalous court case of a 60 year old man who allegedly sodomized a 20 year old young man who kept the semen in his unhygienic ass as long as 5 days to make sure the doctor (he went to the second one because the first one can't find anything wrong) can get the evidence out and who would go to the prime minister first after such a trauma rather than the police or hospital like a normal person would?

wanna know how i feel?

i'm tired of seeing those ads. i'm tired of being made fun of by my own government. i'm tired of being expected to thank you and fall all over your feet for listening to us.

i'm tired of paying tolls.

i'm tired of the inflation. i'm tired of being poor.

i'm tired of being stuck in gridlock.

i'm tired of my intelligence being insulted.

i'm tired of walking on the streets looking over our shoulders, clutching our bags in fear, worrying about our sisters (and mothers and grandmothers!), and distrusting every dark-skinned person in sight.

i'm tired of reading useless shit in the mainstream newspaper where they don't have any self-respect.

i'm tired of the 1000 phantom voters who all reside in the same address.

i'm tired of Malaysia as a laughingstock.

i'm tired of the corruption, bribery, and cowardice.

worst of all, i'm sad for the future generation who think that all of this is normal.

is a clean Malaysia so difficult?

can't wait to vote already.

face the election like a man, dear government! 
(in case you don't know what that means, it means, honor, honesty, and everything you've force-fed us in the Moral books.)

Apr 4, 2013

BALI DAY 2- Uluwatu, Monkey Forest, and Violence.

GAAAH highly unhappy as I already wrote four whole pages of what we did in Day 2 and my wandering fingers accidentally deleted it! My heart and soul and blood and sweat. And tears!

Alright. This is a new chance to rewrite and hone my writing. Don’t expect too much haha. After our GWK trip, we climbed in the car and went on another long drive to our next destination. We’re so proud of our new badass tattoos, hence the non-stop camwhoring.

The destination--Uluwatu. After we bought the tickets, some officer gave us sarongs. There’s a temple in there so we have to show a certain amount of decency. Apart from that the guy also told me to put my glasses away as the monkeys are dangerous and love to grab whatever they can. So with that in mind, I clutched my glasses in hand and walked down the path with lots of trees around us. 

They call it Monkey Forest, and the term Uluwatu didn't mean much to me. The weather was windy and damp, the trees dripped water occasionally, and me being half blind, couldn't see any monkeys at all. So after about 30 seconds of that I can’t stand that blur anymore and put my glasses back on. Nope. No monkeys in sight. Nian Fong wielded a bit of branch and challenged the monkeys to come out. 

Imagine this. The layout of Uluwatu is a T, and the pathway we’re on is the vertical bit. 

The end of the pathway is a clearing (at the middle of the T) and you can see the ocean. Faaaar below you. At first my thoughts were like,“It's just a cliff.” 

After I put my head over the wall and looked down and WHOAA it’s the most amazing shade of blue! The cliff was impressive enough and looked pretty dangerous. Should be 70 metres high at the veryyy least. 
Back to the ocean. The swelling rhythm of the waves is really mesmerizing, and most importantly, it was a beautiful and frightening deep blue. The water moved and surged slowly, and I think that it’s really, really deep. 

But where the waves froth, it became a striking light turquoise. Isn’t light colored water supposed to mean that its shallow waters? The closest thing that resembles it is Listerine! 
 We spent a long time admiring, exclaiming, and being slapped by the wind.

Finally we managed to tear our eyes off it and continued to walk along the cliff. Sort of turning left at the T. There’s a wet and muddy path along the cliff side with the ocean on your right and tall wild bushes on your left. 

This is when I noticed that there’s a huge gang of monkeys lurking behind the bushes. Creepy.
Yam/(tapioca?) used to feed the monkeys scattered all round. 
 Sing Han climbed over the (fence?) to take this highly dangerous photo. HAHAHA after that we found out that there's an opening that we could walk through. 
More pictures of the gorgeous waves. 
To give you an idea of how serious the winds were. 
Walking back to the clearing, suddenly huge fat raindrops pelted us and turned into heavy rain. We ran for shelter along with the other tourists. Some brave ones tried to run up the path back to the entrance.

It wasn’t quite fun shivering in the wind and wet clothes. As suddenly as it arrived, the rain let up and then some tourists came down from a long flight of stairs. Up we go then. (Compulsory touristy group shot is really hard to take. Luckily a kind guy offered to help heh)
According the Wikipedia, the temple up here (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) is one of the oldest temples in Bali, meant to honour the gods of the sea. But while we were there, we didn’t exactly know what’s going on so I guess some signboards might be helpful. 
The wind increased levels and our sarongs kept flying up. Lots of Marilyn Monroe moments.

The monkeys appeared.

By this time I was rather disappointed because after hearing so many tales about pirate monkeys running amok, one should see some monkeys at the Monkey Forest right? Bunches lurking behind bushes doesn’t count! Hahaha so quite excited to see them.
Went nearer to take some pics. Nian Fong has some unfinished business with monkeys back in his childhood. This monkey seemed quite calm. Then it ran away and passed by a group of tourists taking a group photo. Casually it jumped up to take a bite at some random lady’s backpack hahaha. 
They moved somewhere else to lure their friends out. 
Then a tourist came over to pose happily while his friend fiddled with the camera. The monkey saw its chance and scooted over so fast that no one managed to react.

It clamped its jaws on the guy’s flip-flops and hung on even though the guy kept shaking his foot violently to shake it off. 

The monkey was even more persistent and there were loud monkey barks and yells. Finally it left when the flip-flop was demolished. 

We all backed away in shock and  Nian Fong kept saying “Holey Shiet” HAHAHAH. 

Having seen enough of monkey violence, we decided to leave.
All that's left. Poor guy.  
Here’s an old monkey. Legs wide open. In front of us. Peeing. Like a boss.
Reprimanding it. Like it even cares.

Some younger gangsta monkeys came by. One followed us aggressively. 

We got scared then. Walking faster than the others, by the time I heard “JOYCE! JOYCE!” it was already too late. 

I felt something jumping on my back and frantically tried to shake it off. 

Undeterred, the monkey fell to the ground and managed to grab a PUMA badge from Nian Fong’s bag for all its hard work. HAHAHAHA.

Laughing in shock, we hurriedly left. Nian Fong’s flip-flop also broke in all the excitement hahahahha.  Sing Han kept saying “I TOLD YOU GUYS NOT TO PLAY WITH IT” haha sorry boss.

What i really loved about Uluwatu is (obviously) the incredible ocean and cliff. Malaysia definitely does not have this kind of wind-carved landscape. so touched to be able to see this! They say the sunset is even more beautiful, but for me, having seen an ocean full of Listerine is heart-stopping enough. And i felt grateful that the rain made the monkeys less daring than usual. My brother told stories of monkeys grabbing cameras during his trip here. HAHAHAHAH. so. that's it. 

There's still a lot more to post about Day 2. We stuffed the day so full with so many pictures, I guess I will just spare you the agony and keep the next installment for another day. HAHA. Time to sleep! it's Friday tomorrow wooots :D

Goodnight and sweet dreams! remember give all your worries to God before falling asleep, that's the best way to do it :)