31 August 2008

Weekend in KB

.Weekends in Kuala Belait is as laid back as one can imagine.
Everything here seems to move in slow motion...

Until Elisa brought a new board game over, Time's Up, where you pick a card and depending where on the board you are, you will either draw, explain or act the clue. We were hooked for 5 whole hours screaming in heavy laughter and suffering from stitches.

Elisa's masterpiece
The line depicts 1 word with 3 syllables.
She started with a moon, followed by a bee hive. Hung solved this in no time.
Answer: Honeymoon

My piece of crap
It didnt hit me that my drawing is worst than a first-grader.
2 words; 1st word has 2 syllables.
I started with a butterfly which my partner eventually got it as "moth", then went on to draw an ugly mathingie that looks nothing like a horse, a caravan with a lady in it. Time was ticking and he still couldnt get the geist of it, so i drew a lady and a crystal ball. He was drowning in confusion! You cannot imagine the words that came out of their mouth, amazingly they could tell it's a horse, "lawyer", "caravan", "bus", "prison", "fortune teller". Muhuuhuu.
Answer: Gypsy moth

Boon's classic interpretation
I should have been able to guess this straight on BUT!
2 words, 2 syllables each.

He started with something that looks like a manhood, and then the female anatomy. I said "vagina", he nodded and went on to draw a cat. "Cat", "kitten" he nodded but it still wasnt the right answer. He kept pointing at the cat and then the vagina.
I was like "WHAT??? vagina?? Cat?? kitten??"
He gave up and moved on to the 2nd word, sounds like pillow. And time was up.

Answer: Pussy Willow
We almost laughed the roof off when we knew the answer. How did i not comprehend??

That was just the drawing. The acting was insane.
This is one good Saturday.

30 August 2008

Team spirit

The past 2 months at work has been nerve-wrecking and has put some of our competence to test. I'm the mudder hen clucking workshops, briefings, documentations, deadlines and my little ones has all either met or exceeded my expectations. Even our intern from ITB, Yana, is churning work like a natural.
We have 3 weeks left till we hit the 'big-gong' and i smell success. It's near.
This project is our baby, its excellent performance is not due to any one person, but seriously right down to ownership, commitment and team spirit which no doubt is something every company seeks but lacks.

So we went to Takara for dinner to pat ourselves on the back.

.Some of my pride and joy.

Other lil' ones not in picture are: Peter B, Rosnani, and Afshah.
.This is the mudder of another nest that came to freeload dinner.

I'm a beaming mumma. ;)

28 August 2008


This is me now.

This will be me in 29 days...

I just have to be patient, i.e. if i dont go insane between now and then.

27 August 2008

Feeding Frenzy!

Day: Friday, 22 August 2008- Day Dive
DiveCrew: Me, Caryn, Edward, Ann, Ching Ching, Dave, Chris, Vee, Rozie, Cik Azli, Uwais and Hj Kula
Dive Site: Champion Reef, Harun's Wreck, Hornet's Reef
Viz: Super
Max Depth: 20+m
Dive Time: As long as our air holds.

As usual, i woke up late and had to rummage through the store room for my dive gears. But that doesnt compare to the classic 'prawn-head-of-a-me" case.

Thursday evening, Steven was kind enough to help me get dive tanks and weights from Cik Azli and deliver it to my office carpark. I swear, Steven, i was going on and on about what's missing, something's missing, didnt i!

When i was at Jerudong, gleefully attaching my BCD to the dive tank, my damned memory came back, "#&*$! REGULATOR! I forgot my regulator!!" Sigh... luckily Azli had a spare one otherwise this is one damned day.

.(L-R):Kimchee face, taking advantage of the human sunshield.

.Hj Kula loves his paaaruuut.
.Vee, one interesting lady i met and the 1st Bruneian marine biologist that i know of, though working in the UK. Her take on diving in UK is "boooring, crap viz and we dive to take mud samples".

Champion Reef
This reef lends its name to its close proximity to the offshore Champion rigs. I've always heard stories from friends that being in Champion is like being in a steel-up resort, the water's clear and fish are aplenty. True enough, even a distance away from Champion, i can see right to the bottom of the reef from our boat. Muhuuhuu, at this time of the year, this is pure bonus.

The first thing that caught my attention as i was descending was this bumphead parrot fish chipping corals in circles. Seeing 1 bumphead parrot fish in Brunei is definitely of no comparison to that in Sipadan, where they are of a bigger size and comes in a larger scale, however seeing 1 bumphead parrot fish in Brunei is somewhat exciting because this is not a common sight here.

.This site is like a mysterious ground of tangled reefs. I like it.
.Waters in Brunei are not exactly flattering for reef profiles and without big-ass strobes, i cant compensate for the lacklustre portraits. That is why i still prefer macro shots.

.This bicolor blenny is the most common variation of the blenny family. Hide-n-seek is probably their favourite past-time. Very often they can be tricked out of hiding by you hovering perfectly still. They are one of the cutest thing underwater. I have yet shot any that literally looks like that have makeup on.
.Somehow reminds me of enokis.

.It was eyeballing my every move.

.One monstrous looking thing puts an end to our 1st dive.

Arun's Wreck
Typical of the names of other wrecks here in Brunei, we usually name it after the person who located it. But i dont know who Arun is or whether Arun is actually a person =P The atmosphere at this wreck is what i would depict as a lunch break rush hour!. It's a frenzied state of mess.

The wreck was swarmed by a massive school of cardinalfish and fusiliers. Some are parked still, some are darting for preys, some are darting for dear life. It's like watching a blahdy symphony in action.

.Chris said when up close, the fluffy corals reminds him of Narnia.
.The lionfish' unfaltering sulk.
.Spot the flounder.
Caryn spotted this flounder by the sandbed and signalled that it was feeding. But i had no idea whatsoever she was signalling at that time, so i swam pretty near to this flatbread. Almost instantaneously, i felt nudges. There were fish darting straight at me; whamming my stomach, my hands, my knees. It's neither funny nor cute if you're not prepared for it. I was cursing the life of these fish and swaying my hands like a nut so they'd avoid my face. Then, a sudden leapt, drizzles of sand later, one of them was gobbled by the flatbread. HOLY! What's left of the fish was its tail flipping and hanging from the flounder's crooked mouth. And in a matter of seconds, it effortlessly swallowed the bugger. If you look closely, you can see a bulge below its gills.
.The trapped sweetlips and puffers that Chris, Rozie and Vee tried to save, but to no avail.
.OMG i want a tank filled with these jellyfish!.

This dive is superb, so good that even after constant banging of calls to ascend, people still lingered on at the bottom. The anchor man freeing us from this spot to the next dive site.

Hornet's Reef
My first question was "is this reef named hornet's reef because it was infested with bees??" Rozie related a tale told by fishermen that when they were hauling their traps, a swarm of bees/wasps/hornets burst out of the waters. Whatta! But apparently that's how it got its name.

This reef is one of a kind. We dropped off to a depth of 6m, then the reef starts plunging to 9m and 13m and then 16m like a cliff face. It is so unique! It's quite unimaginable that 20mins away from shore, the bottom of the sea is only 5 metres from the surface. You can practically snorkel here!

.Gobies, another interesting species in the same family group as blennies.
.Parrot Trace's favourite underwater 'plant' - Oh, for crying out loud!'

.Underwater Cranium. The navel village.

.If only i can landscape this into my backyard.
.Last shot before my camera kapooot.

I took over the wheels from Hj Kula on the way back to Jerudong. I must say the captain's seat needs to be cushioned. I suffered from bruised back and bones for 3 whole days.

After this dive, i wonder if i ever can and will be a dive fanatic again. I doubt i can repeat the every weekend-underwater routine anymore. But i think the one thing that remains unchanged is; the sea is still my comfort zone and is the one place with no boundaries.

26 August 2008

Loven Ramos

Random clicks landed us on this page - the House of Joyce - in his blog. This house is that of an American author who has written several books about Angkor's world heritage temples, snapped so eloquently that we thought "wow, we should go have a look".

So i exchanged mails with Loven, sadly it is not open to public viewing... but Loven offered to show us other interesting spots in Cambodia when we arrive.

I have just made my first friend in Cambodia.

21 August 2008

Savong - 2nd exchange

When Savong replied to my mail, he posed me a few questions, to which i replied:

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 12:29 PM, Lee Ming <bubbles_222@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hi Savong,

Thank you for your reply and sorry for taking so long to reply you. I'm shocked to know that you're only 27 because I am 27 too! And you have already achieved something so great, you should be very proud of your endeavors.

To answer your questions:

1.Why do you want to donate the people in my country ?

There is no specific agenda or reason for choosing to donate to the Cambodians. It is by chance that we want to do something meaningful and memorable for the place we are visiting. And research led us to your school.

2.Is it very main and useful to you in helping the people ?

I think I speak for all 8 of us when I say it is definitely rewarding to be able to help anyone in need in any possible ways. Though we are unable to help you to the extent of running your school or in any long term arrangements, we are able to offer once-off donations, to each person's discretion. We are also keen to share some knowledge, perhaps a new language? or coordinate some activities with the kids during this short visit.

3.If you already helped them after what do you need from them ?

At this point in time, we have no reservations as to the way you manage the school and we do not expect anything in return. Our gifts and time are unconditional. The only thing we expect out of these children is to be able to enjoy their time with us.

We are planning to visit your school either on the 1st or 2nd of October for half a day. Some of the questions i have for you is:

1) In what currency do you prefer donations to be in?
2) What time does school start and end, and on what days of the week?
3) Will we be spending time solely with just 1 class?
4) Are there any specific stationeries/books we can offer to you?
5) Do the children speak basic english?
6) Can you suggest some activities that you think will be appropriate for the children?
7) These children are generally of what age?

Thanks Savong!

Tonight, i received an email from him:

From: savong svay (svaysavong@gmail.com)
Sent: Thu 8/21/08 2:51 PM
To: Lee Ming (bubbles_222@hotmail.com)

Dear Lee Ming,

Thank you for emailing me back and have some questions to ask me and I am happy to let you know what you want to know.

The school starts opening from 1:00 to 7:00pm and I also have teaching from 5:30am to 7:30am only one English class. And opening from Monday to Friday.

We have teaching two languages is: English and Japanese .And I have 6 teachers and 377 students .You can teach from 1:00pm to 7:00pm if you want.And when you are teaching I have teachers to accompany you .Main things are : I need comic books short and long for the library .Anyway,if you have any friends who can help out me computers for the school It will be good for the students because there are too many students want to study computers .

The students can speak basic Englisht some of students.If you want to offer stationaries to children I think that it is not enough because I have many students .and if you can offer comic books for the library it will be useful very much because the comic books are always in the library all the time and it is possible for each teacher if they want to read books.

The students are 9-25 years old .

Finally I have a thing to do for the school .Could you help out me to connect internet at the school .In connectiong will pay $300 in arrangement first and when internet company already connected it I will must pay $45 monthly.so I need you to help out me this .It is very main for me.Anyway,It will be better if we have internet at the school and the students can use it .

And how do you think about my idea ? please you let me know if you have any questions .
I hope that you will can help out me and the school here.

Hoping to get an email from you soon.
Kindest regards
What do we feel about giving them access to a priceless bank of knowledge, and a heap pile of rubbish out there in the cyber world . . . .

Rush hour....

Ok, i know i havent been blogging much.
I am doing the balancing act.

I'm up to my neck with weddings, crunch-time at work and planning for my next adventure. I've stood up my schoolgirls twice in a week! Please switch to your understanding mode and do not threaten to keeeeeeeeeel me.

Above is the link to our Cambodian adventure. It's all about planning, planning and planning. It is rather raw at this point in time and seeing that we have one more month to go, it will be filled with information about food, drinks and places to visit in Cambodia. It might be useful for you when you decide to go to Cambodia someday. ;)

I am diving tomorrow after 6 long months away from salty water! I am scared, i am excited,
i wish i dont get sea-sick!

20 August 2008

Thought for the day

.Tutong Beach, Brunei.

"A bell's not a bell 'til you ring it,
A song's not a song 'til you sing it,
Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay,
Love isnt love 'til you give it away~"
Oscar Hammerstein ii

15 August 2008

Nag........ nag......... tag.........

I've been nagged... i mean Tagged!

Before Jess puts a hole on me with her new *bling*. Thank you for nominating me as a Kreativ Blogger, eventhough my kreativity doesnt come on full dosages. I'd pong it back to you because your scrapbooking skills is hitting the roof, but i think we should pong others for moral support!

So, here we go:

The Nomad: Zing, you're the one and only nomad in the family. Sometimes, seeing the world through your eyes or a place through your experience seems good enough. I think the planet can do with more alienzincs like you!

Noooonnie: NoooOOnnie, not only does your blog make me laugh, so does your man! He can be sooooo blur but smart, ok wait, maybe only you can call him blur =P

Limubear: No, i refuse to be the BEST MAN for your wedding! What the hell are you thinking!?!? Please dont stop drawing, your drawings are the only reason why i kept my internet access. . . . . .

Tomyamface: Eventhough you're not as kreativ as me, *kwakwakwa* your babblings in India kept you close to home and enough to make me go to that godforsaken country. I love those amazing underwater eye and mug shots!

Mister and Missus: Just because your food makes me drool all the time.

14 August 2008

My Honey Ma

"Honey, y w dinner at home?"
"My swtht, y w dinner 2nyt?"
"Sweet head, y w dinner?"

Sweet what??? Sweet heeeeeaaaaaaaad???
After a few attempts, she got it right...

"Sweetheart, y w dinner?"

That's my sweethead mum, almost without fail at 4-5ish every afternoon.
.Old man's somewhat best shot after xth number of time. Who's the munkey!!.

Sweethead ma, wo ai ni pao pao...~
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