Sunday, April 28, 2013

Felix and Ting

When my good friend Felix whatsapp-ed from Taipei last month asking me if I would be available on 26 April, my immediate reaction was 'You are getting married!'. I was right. Despite the short notice, I was determined to attend. I first met Felix when we were both students in Switzerland years ago, I was working a winter season in Leysin and Felix was attending a hotel school there. We would often cook up a storm at my staff living quarters, both of us craving for some Asian food, he Hong Kong cuisine and me a taste of Malaysian dishes. We've kept in touch over the years, and would make it a point to catch up over a meal or two whenever he came to KL or when I was in Hong Kong.
I was happy to be invited to the wedding and I thought either Hong Kong or Taipei is just a short flight away. A few more messages later and I was advised that the wedding would be in Guam. I am always game to head to a new destination, but work commitments and flight schedules were a challenge, no matter how enticing the exotic images of Guam were. Once I told Felix that I would do my best to be there, I was determined to keep my word. With no direct flights from KL, I relied on the services of a travel agent who I must say was extremely patient with me. I kept demanding for various route options, trying to strike a three-way balance between work commitments, getting there on time as well as cost. It took a whole two weeks before we agreed on a route that would take me from KL to Singapore, then on to Tokyo before finally arriving in Guam. A trip that would be 22 hours to get there and 26 hours to get back.
The verdict? Totally worthwhile. To be present at a good friend's wedding, a milestone in his life, is an experience that we will both share for the rest of our lives. Spending time with the newlyweds and their immediate family for a couple of days will strengthen the bonds that we have already nurtured, and I hope that our friendship will continue to hold strong in the years to come. Once again, congratulations Felix and Ting and may you enjoy everlasting happiness. It was an honour and a pleasure being invited.
The newlyweds emerging from Aqua Stella Chapel at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Guam.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Janet Lee @ Rama V

My friend and industry colleague Janet was performing at Rama V in celebration of Songkran and I was privileged to be invited by the team at the latter to sample their Songkran menu as well as enjoy the show. I invited a few friends along for the evening just to have a night out and free our minds from work.
Being in the line of work that we are in - weddings - can at times be stressful. Although a 'happy industry', one often needs to tread carefully. A wedding is a milestone in a couple's lives and most would want it as perfect as can be. We try to deliver but it is not always a bed of roses. Emotions can run high and stress levels can rise.
When an opportunity arises for us to just chill and relax over a nice dinner and music, we appreciate it. An evening with good friends is just the right tonic to help us clear our heads and reinvigorate our spirits. Thanks again Andre and Hazel for the invites!
Photo of ZZ Lim, Janet, Veralyne ,Tjun Hong, Leticia and I, shot at the entrance of Rama V in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Auntie Jenny's Surprise Birthday Party

Auntie Jenny and Uncle Tony have in the past year begun spending more time in the US with my cousins Ivan, Raymond, Loretta and their families - in Fresno, Toledo and Seattle. They however returned to Malaysia for Chinese New Year and will head back to the States soon.
As Auntie Jenny's birthday falls end April, we decided to organise a dinner for her, as a surprise. I would have to say that my extended family are pretty good at keeping a secret, and even better at play acting. My cousin Moses, Auntie Mary and Mum, are worthy of Oscar nominations if I may say so myself, haha!
Suffice to say, the birthday gal was pleasantly surprised, emotional even on numerous occasions during the course of the evening. Milestones such as this are best celebrated with those closest to one's heart. And when family makes the effort to plan the celebration, well, emotional one would be, I guess. Happy birthday Auntie Jenny! And see you again when you next return for a visit.
Auntie Jenny and Uncle Tony, during dinner at Noble Mansion on 18 April 2013, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Suk Leng's Treat

My cousin Suk Leng who's a physiotherapist at Sheffield Hospital in England is back for a holiday and treated the extended family to a dinner a couple of nights ago.
Having been abroad for a number of years, it was great to catch up in person rather than just on Facebook. Another cousin, Moses and his family, drove up from Singapore to join us at the gathering too which was an added bonus.
As the Wong family always does, we had a great time over good food. The feasting continues and tonight we'll be heading for an alfresco dinner, at the mamak stalls that is. More food and definitely more bantering among us cousins. Hopefully, the others spread out in the USA and Australia will join us at the next such gathering.
Some of us at Formosa Restaurant in SS2, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time To Choose

The time has come for us Malaysians to choose again. To choose who will lead us in the next five years or so. The ones who will chart our destiny as a nation. The ones who will shape our social outlook and how we relate to one another. The ones who will hopefully make us a better people.
Rightly or wrongly, we make decisions that determine our future, either at a personal level or from a wider perspective. We reap what we sow. At times, we make careful considerations while at others, our gut tells us which route to take. Whichever the case may be and however we reach our decisions, the important thing is to never regret the paths we have chosen. Hindsight is of no relevance in most instances, and it is much better to make the most of the opportunities that have arisen from the paths we have chosen to take.
Good luck my fellow Malaysians. May we determine our own destiny.
Photo shot at Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Giving Thanks

I am one who believes that when one gives thanks and is truly grateful for the good in one's life, then more good will come of it. I appreciate the life I have as there are others who are less fortunate. Similarly, there are those who are much better off, and making comparisons serve no purpose really. To be contented is key. This is not to say that we should not aspire to do better. We should. What we shouldn't do is to compare and be envious.
I am fortunate in many ways. Sure there are areas of my life that are lacking but for the most part, I am pretty lucky. I am grateful for the good. I persevere and continue working to improve the areas that need betterment. An optimist I am.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook a few days ago ... 'to win in a race is to get yourself ready in tip-top condition and confidence; to not worry about or criticise others who challenge you' ... how very apt. To concentrate on one's own path, charting one's own destiny. Thank you for these wise words my friend.
Photo of a temple in Krabi, Thailand.