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Monday, July 27, 2009

A Little From Nepal

Just so you know, this picture of the Annapura range (2nd tallest after Everest) is not a wallpaper. It is taken on the rooftop of our 4 storey hotel from Daddykins' humble Point and Shoot Canon.

Nice?



These pictures below are just a short collection from daddy's camera since I still could not upload pictures as I am still stuck here in Los Angeles International Airport waiting for my flight to Detroit, then to Kalamazoo.


Gosh. I really can't wait to get home. Just to lay on my bed.


This is such a tiring trip. It was a full flight just like the trip from Los Angeles to Dhaka, Bangladesh. The only difference is that I arrive Dhaka in the middle of the night, just in time for bed. As for Kalamazoo, I am currently teaching my biological clock to stay awake just so I don't suffer from Jet-lag during rehearsals.


So hectic. Thanks to fully booked flights :(


In Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
Mum and I walking towards Boudanath (Buddist Temple)

Lynn and I at Pashupatinath (Hindu Temple)

Mr. Pretend to be Important Monk.

As we were walking across the streets of the temples, many times we see people like this guy next to me dressed up in a religious costume sitting in an area with awesome view, signaling to people to go and sit next to him, as if we would get inspirational powers if we do.
Well, tourists like me would be darn interested in taking pictures with him and so I went.
As I sat next to him, smiling at the camera that daddykins was holding, he spoke from his fake smile, with his teeth grinding, "Eh... 100 Rupees."

Of course I knew that I have to leave him a tip. But One Hundred Rupees?
*Lu Ingat Bapa Aku Print Money Kah?*

I gave him 20 Rupees instead.
He was the only 'costumed character' I took pictures with. There were many other dressed up gods who looked ridiculously...(I don't even know how to describe)... dressed up?

There was someone who dressed up as the 'Monkey God', who really did look like a money.

I would say that the person who dressed up as him really did have GREAT stage makeup skills because for a moment I thought I saw a really money as big as a human in a dress.
No kidding!

Our family and Mr. Javed, our host

Lynn and I in a Museum which we didn't get to go into because we were rushing for our flight back to Bangladesh.

Mum, Lynn, and I a.k.a. The Three Musketeers at the City of Fine Arts, Lalitpur

One of the few things we did a lot... Bargain, buy, bargain, buy...
I must say, my mum is a Pro. She basically gets all the prices that she wants.

Another city of Nepal called Pohkara- surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Lynn and I at the lake right outside our hotel.
Check out the view!
If you look closely you can see the peak of Annapura in the clouds.
Daddykins, the awesome photographer.
***********
*groan*
I am having a headache, I don't know from what. I guess my body is just pretty messed up from the short naps instead of having quality sleep.
Till then,
I'm just going to finish reading Waiter's Rant and fall asleep.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Till I Leave on an Air Bus

My 20 day vacation is finally coming to an end.
Coming to Bangladesh is certainly not the best thing that I had in mind as I didn't have any clue about anything here, last minute plane tickets are extremely expensive, Visas were a headache, and I miss Malaysia, the things to do, the people there, etc.

In short, I would definitely not choose to come to this place if it wasn't because of my daddykins working in this crowded, extremely conservative, unpleasent weather, and a country that I know of no one but my parents.
I also hate to say this but it kinda sucks not being able to spend my 21st birthday with my friends, especially Jeph, and probably will never ever have the chance as he will be shipping off to the Navy in October.
How ironic, being with a person for more than a year and never spent a birthday with him.

However, coming here has certainly opened my eyes to the world that is so much less fortunate compared to my well blessed life. Seeing the beggars on the street with only skin and bones, barely dressed, rickshaw riders getting paid only 8 to 10 Rupees (less than 0.30USD) after carrying passengers at least twice the weight heavier than himself on the rickshaw from Point A to B, and handicapped mothers with naked babies sucking on her breast underneath her torn saree knocking on your car doors as you stop by the traffic light sure breaks my heart.
And yet, there are still so many others in the world, wasting away their lives, and taking advantages of the full course meal on their table.

Coming here was not only an opportunity to leave boring old Kalamazoo, the best thing was to see my parents waiting for me at the airport, calling me chubby and short compared to everyone else as they hugged me tight. I always thought that I could live through the few years without seeing them, just because I thought that I was independent enough. I guess I was wrong.
Since daddykins got posted to Bangladesh, our family of four is divided into 3 totally different places. I pity my mum the most since she was the one getting left behind, and it is the hardest for her. Being all alone in a huge newly built house that was once planned for the the entire family, sure ain't easy. If I were her, I'd rather not move to an entirely new place all by my own.
But, choices were made, and plans have changed.
The reunion of us four is probably the happiest thing for our small family and the fact that daddykins can't help but to smile at himself during our first dinner together will always remain in my mind to remind me of how important it is for us to be together.

Throughout my 20 days here, I have experienced so many things that I have never thought that I would imagine, like getting stuck in the middle of a rural village in Nepal for 5 hours in the hottest time of the day, with no air condition, bathroom, food, an almost empty gas tank, or even a decent shelter for us to rest, unable to go anywhere because the villagers were angry at an accident that just happened earler that day. Insane?
Yeah, I guess I never understood what Third World Country meant until I got here.
I had to go to the bathroom and I politely asked a local shop owner if I could use their facilities and I was led to the backyard of the shop.
He pointed to the tall grass near the corner of the wall and told me to do my business there.
Gosh, what was I thinking?
I politely declined and proceeded back to join my parents and sister who had just bought a bottle of Coca-Cola from them because it was all that they had.
In contrary, I have had the most amazing oppotunity of visiting Nepal's old historic temples and some that no one even knew when they were built. The best part for me was the simple meals we had as a family, talking about everything while enjoying the Himalayan beauty around us.

Well, till I leave on my 40 hour air bus journey back to Kalamazoo tomorrow night when life awaits me there, till I see you all since I don't know when will our family reunite again, till I become famous and you and mum are proud of me because of it, till I buy you your first plane ticket to US, to my Broadway show, thank you for letting me come back to see you guys, thank you for the awesome meals we had, superb champange on my 21st birthday, thank you for the sarees that we bought shamelessly, thank you for the family vacation to Nepal, thank you for being our parents.


*gosh... I am actually dreading the long journey. I pray that there are no plane delays and that I arrive on time for my show in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Till then,

xoxo

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do You Know...

There are some people in the world who may seem to be the happiest, but on the other hand, deep down inside, they feel like the lowest person on earth.

You may think that the girl standing on stage is the most confident person you will ever come across, just because you think she would not be standing up there if is she was not comfortable with who she is and how she looks. You are wrong.

Just because she looks at you from the corner of your eye, does not mean she envies your stick thin figure sashaying into the sea of people, clicking your heels on the marble floor, telling everyone with your body language to just look at you.
And yet, you complain about being fat.

Seriously, if you are obviously nothing but skin and a bag of bones, please stop complaining to the world that you are overweight.


Don't mean to be rude, but I just can't help but to roll my eyes and just yell in my heart for you to shut your face.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Tell You Arrr.....

Having Diarrhea during a vacation is a No-No.
I don't mean to be disgusting lor..... I haven't farted for the past 3 days of my life just because its either I poop water, or I poop water. Choice would be with my pants on or off.
Sumore hor... I like to eat lerh!
Go vacation cannot eat, everyday drink Lemon Soda Water not sien wan arr??
I swear I had more than 6 packets of Poh Zai Yin adi lo!
Walau-eh....
Boleh pengsan


=.="

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ohmigawsh...

I'm Back.



Thank God for an 8gb memory card, I'm dying to upload my pictures from my camera...
Boo....

Till then, I am missing Kalamazoo.. :(

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Billy Elliot and Shoes

As you can see, I have been blogging every single day because there is nothing much to do here in Bangladesh UNLESS I step out in the the crowded, stuffy, humid, totally different world just outside my dad's apartment.
*dang*

Not what I wanna do right now.

I was bored and I watched some videos on youtube and I have been dying to watch the Tony Award Winning
Billy Elliot the Musical
ever since it premiered. Heard that it is magnificent.
Well, I might be going to NYC in September/October, I hope.





Here's a video on what it is like.


On the other hand,
I think I fell in love again.






*


*


*





This time, with shoes.
*big shinny wet eyes*

Anyone wants to buy them for me for my 21st birthday present?
It's only $27.
*flutters eyelids*


Okay, I promise not to blog anymore within the next seven hours.
Till then,

Lynn is coming to Bangladesh in a couple of hours and she can join my housewife clan!
*erm.. did I just say housewife? Yea, that's right. That's what I feel like right now and I'll tell you why in the next post*

The Star Aritcle

I was approached by Nasa Entaban from local paper The Star Publications a couple of weeks ago when she found pictures of Vulcanz on my blog.
Lolx, that was ages ago. Come to think about it, I have graduated from SMK Seafield about 4 years ago. Gosh, those good old memories. Being Captain of the Cheerleading Squad and all, high school was one of the best times besides all those overrated childish dramas.

Kay, back to Star Publications.
Nasa Entaban asked if I would give them permission to used pictures of the Cheerleading team with Puan Chen, our teacher advisor. And I said yes.
Couple of days later, she emailed me and asked if I wanted to write for a column on People, Out and About. Obviously, I said yes again.
And its finally published in today's Star Two :)


Stateside dweller By NG SUE-YENN

I HAVE always wanted to study abroad after secondary school and now, thanks to my parents, I am here in Kalamazoo, Michigan, studying Music Theatre Performance at the Western Michigan University (WMU) in the United States.

It has been two years since I left my parents and my sister. Being a typical city girl, the first thing I realised when I arrived was how much “nature” was part of Kalamazoo, and I was awed by the greenery.

However, Kalamazoo is not a glamourous university town like the one we are used to watching on television. Unlike the fashionable students we see on One Tree Hill, Gossip Girls (and the real students at our local colleges in Malaysia!), students here go to classes dressed down, some even in pyjamas.

Then, there is the quiet life. There are no places to go “yumcha” as most shops close at 6pm or 7pm. The only place we can hang out at is the 24-hour Wal-Mart!

The writer at Washington, DC.

Language was also a bit of a problem. While I grew up speaking English, I still encountered culture shock especially when waiters could not understand me when I asked for a glass of water.

You see, the Americans tend to silent their ‘T’s; so instead of saying water (wa-Ter), they would say water (wa-Dher).

Because my allowance was minimal, I had to look for a job in order to have a once-a-fortnight feast, and to travel to different places. I’m not complaining, though, as the experience is one of the most valuable lessons that I could ever have.

I grew to become independent and appreciate the value of money because I worked for every single material item I own. I even feel embarrassed when some of my American friends tell me that they have to pay for their own tuition fees and living expenses. Many of them have two jobs, and are studying, which made me realise that some of us are extremely spoiled, being used to allowances from our parents and complaining that it is still not enough.

Asians are obviously the minority here in Kalamazoo, most of us being international students (and a small percentage of Asian Americans). Being the only Asian in the Theatre Department, I was not very comfortable when I first got here.

I didn’t get the chance to play certain roles because of the way I looked and the way I speak.

For a moment, I felt lost; I struggled with my own identity of being an Asian living in a foreign world.

However, things changed as I grew to be more comfortable with who I am. I started appreciating my ethnicity and became proud of where I came from. I participated and helped organise international student events with the Malaysian Student Association of WMU, and even won first place in the International Festival 2009.

The writer and her theatre friends.

I also became more active in the Theatre Department as more diverse opportunities came along.

I am pursuing the career of my choice and am so glad to have my parents who supported, guided and encouraged me to reach for my dreams.


+++++++++++


Heck. I look so large in that first picture in Washington DC, I don't even know why did I gave that picture to them.


Anyway, thank you for the opportunity Nasa! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Little Warrior

I was blog hopping a couple of minutes ago when I came across a post in Karen Cheng's Blog about a four year old Singaporean Girl fighting a rare case of cancer.

I always have had the mentality of "it will never be me, nor will it happen to anybody I know", it finally hit me that anyone from living in any kind of lifestyle would had a chance of contracting this mind blowing illness when my dad's sister who is probably the most conscious and healthy eating person got diagnosed with cervical cancer in late 2007.

It is so unfair, just because there are people out there flinging their bodies around like they don't give a hoot, putting in as much crap and drugs, as they want would be lucky enough to not experience anything like that. Yet, someone who is legit and gave to the world more than receiving anything would come across this horrendous illness.
I mean, who am I to judge but doesn't she deserve to live more than any random rapist/pimp/drugdealer?

I am no doctor of any kind, but like any kind of Flu, even if cancer don't kill you, it kills your immune system and that is when other kinds of diseases would step in and cause more trouble.

++++++++++++++++

Here's 4 year old Charmaine's blog link below.
Hope that we can pass it on and lend a helping hand.

Feisty Char needs bullets to fight!




Till then,
xoxo

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seven Fun Facts of Bangladesh

*or should I say... only some*


1. The humidity here kills. You'll probably have to shower 8 times a day and still feel disgustingly sticky. *argh*
Then again, I think it does contribute to my weight loss mission...
*wipes dripping forehead, smells nasty damp underarms wtf*

2. It is insanely crowded in Dhaka (current city that I am living at) with people, trishaws, buses, cars, goats (yes I said goats) wherever you go at whatever time of the day or night. And I thought China was crazy.
Vehicles, bicycles, trishaws, buses, goats, cows, people.... anything you can think off all share the common road, and everyone, anything has the right of way.
It is definitely nothing but chaotic.

4. Lets talk about road rules.
Basic rule i) Leave at least a 2 feet gap between cars no matter how bad the traffic jam is.
Basic rule ii) Be courteous please, it's always okay to give way.
Basic rule iii) Look before you turn into a junction.
Basic rule iv) Keep in you own lane!

As you can see, these basic rules above are not even rules like *person on the left must have the right of way/ stop at the stop sign*.
And yet, driving here causes stress levels to increase and even death just because there aren't any rules here! Okay, maybe there are.

Bangladesh driving rule i) Squeeze in whenever you find a space. Even if you know you can't fit.
Bangladesh driving rule ii) You are the King of the road. Even if it takes you to push the other vehicle/human/bicycle/goat off the cliff, you still are the King of the road.
Bangladesh driving rule iii) When it is a two way street, you drive in the middle of the double line, just because... no one cares.

And that is only the brim of road courtesy, as I don't wanna dwell in it too much.
However, I swear... I died a couple of times already although I have only been here for less than a week.

5. Babies for rent.
Beggars can be seen everywhere, and many times they play the guilt game by using handicapped people and worst, babies.
How would you feel when a skinny girl comes up to you wearing only enough to cover herself, with no shoes, carrying a naked baby, begging for money?
Although sometimes, it is true that they really do need money, but many a time, it is a scam.
Babies are often carried around to help play the guilt trip, and sometimes you don't even know whether to trust these beggars or not.

6. Pretty Genuine River Pearls
Bangladesh is known for its pretty underwater treasures. Pearls are known to bring prosperity and luck, for those who are superstitious, pearls are too known to "light the spiritual path" in life, and after death.
Pearls do make a timeless gifts and since pearls are in now, I think it would be good but buy genuine ones for a slightly more expensive price and to have it last a lifetime.
Many foreigners would invest in pearls and sell them in their own countries of a much much much higher price, and it would still be considered cheap. They have a wide range of natural pink/orange/white/black colored pearls in different sizes from 7mm to as large as 12mm.

mother of pearl

pearl designs

So, anyone interested in purchasing pearls and Mother of pearls, hand me the design, size, and contact information, and I would get some for you in a good price, and ship it to wherever you are.

7. Weekends are Friday and Saturday
It's true. I was surprise when I found out that my dad goes to work on a Sunday, then only I realized that majority of them are Muslims that's why they opt to have that rule.



Till then,
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and stay tuned for more Bangla Fun Facts

Saturday, July 11, 2009

argh.
Life with a camera without a USB cable to connect to the PC is equivalent to life withOUT a camera when it comes to blogging.

*sobs*

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In Less Than 8

I am currently blogging from my Dad's apartment in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
It's been a LONG a little more than 48 hour flight from Kalamazoo to Chicago, to Los Angeles, to Taipei, to Malaysia, and finally to Dhaka.
Thinking of it makes me feel extra jet-lagged... zzzZZzzzzz

I just realized that I can't upload any pictures from my camera because the PC that I am blogging from right now has no outlet for a memory card reader, and I left my camera USB cable in Kalamazoo. Boo.

Anyway, I had the best 7 short hours in Malaysia.
After chatting away in a 4 hour flight with super hot Canadian Channing Tatum identical
(in a slimmer, less buff version)

I am not exaggerating at all..... :)

I was greeted by my beloved masked Chee Wei, Cheng Choo, Sebestian, and of course Big sis.
*And when I said masked... I mean it.*

You should have seen it, four of them were the only bunch in the crowd wearing masks, just because there were afraid that I was sick. It wasn't till later that they gave up wearing it because it was hot, and then Lynn made me wear it so they could take it off.

We then dropped by Lorong Seratus with Shi Yin Dearie aka. MissyCheerio for Sour Plum and Calamansi (Kat Zai Xun Mui) and Char Kuey Teow, which was a teeny tiny portion compared to normal US sized meals.

Best part was, we got to visit my newly build house which I have not seen before.
And many thanks to MissyCheerio, here are the pictures of my humble home.


Part of my living room next to the TV


Living room with Ellie

Current view from my porch.... neighbor's house building process

The size of my house.... as you can see, I have no neighbors yet as everywhere else is still in building process.

The front.

Kitchen!


Lolx. I just realized that these pictures don't show my house at all and I kinda regretted not taking more pictures around. :(
Owh well, which means that I will have to go back again and enjoy the house more.
It's just a pity that it a big house with nobody living there since Daddy works in Bangladesh and Lynn and I are stuck in the zoo all they way in Michigan.
Mummy loves it though... I guess she would be the only one enjoying till we go back.


Till then......
*continues jet lag*

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Transit

Despite all the drama with Visas, Plane Tickets, I-20 Forms, etc., I finally bid Kalamazoo goodbye this afternoon at 12.15pm.
Had an extremely short flight to Chicago and waited for my next flight to Los Angeles.
Never in my life have I seen so many Filipinos in one area (food court) besides my Boy's house during his father's surprise birthday party.
I thought that I should have the most American meal I could find since I would not be getting any for the next 3 weeks. I landed myself with some soggy "famous Italian Beef" sandwich which I thought was a waste of money.
Thanks to Amin and Cheryl, I have an awesome iTouch for the flight to keep me company.
I still have no applications in it and still don't know how to use it to the fullest, but I am content with awesome music playing my my ears for now.
Lovin' it. :)
After 3 hours, I finally left to Los Angeles.
I love window seats, just because I get to admire everything below.
For once I could imagine being 'god' looking down on puny little houses, landscapes, and uber cool freeway layers.
I have never been to LA, hence the super 'jakun-ness' when we flew past the snow white colored deserts. For a moment, I thought it was snow. Obviously not.
It's LA for god's sake. Not Alaska.
I must say, being the only person wearing a face mask in the plane makes me feel like everyone thinks I am sick when in real life, I am trying to NOT get sick.
*vitamin C, echinecea, multi vitamins.... keep it coming*
I had dinner with a random lady from China, SzeChuan to be specific.
She works here in the States and is extremely wise, informative, and really nice to talk to.
Probably the only person I actually had a conversation with for the past 10 hours.
We had MC Donald's for dinner, and those were probably the worst, greasiest fries I have ever come across in MC D's lifetime.
I finished reading *Okiku-a tragedy retold script* which I am thinking of using for my directing scene class next year.
The best part of the night, I could not stand waiting 5 hours for my next flight to Malaysia so I paid $10 for an hour in a Relax Lounge to chill and use the computer.
Sounds silly and impulsive?
After the disgusting Beef Sandwich and Greasy Fries, I thought that this is probably the best choice I have made today! They even have complementary green tea and pineapple juice!
:)
Malaysia here I come!
Gotta do what I can do in 8 hours.
*plan plan plan*

Friday, July 03, 2009

Malaysia Airlines.

I don't mean to be offensive or anything. Heck, I never even plan on putting this out in public. But I am extremely disappointed with the service of Malaysia Airlines.

First off, a representative told me that I have nothing to worry about after changing my return flight date. If it was not because I was just checking up on my flight itinerary details randomly a week before departure, I would not have known that my ticket has not been reissued yet.

Secondly, after MULTIPLE calls and waiting, Malaysia Airlines promised to reissue the ticket.
I swore that I spoke to a representative at least twice a day to make sure they remember to have my tickets reissued and to make sure everything was fine.
However after 3 days of waiting, I still have not gotten my ticket reissued and emailed to me.

I was told that I would be charged $75 for the ticket change which is not a problem at all. However, after taking down my credit card number, and saying that $75 has been charged TWICE, not only it has not been charged but it was even in the system.
If you were not going to charge my credit card then why did you even bother asking for the credit card number and saying that you were going to charge it in the first place?

Today you tell me that your Los Angeles office opens at 6am and when I called at 6.50am someone picks up and says it does not open till 9am.

Is this even really happening?

Isn't Malaysia Airlines known for its 'tip top' services? And yet, they can't even handle a simple ticket. All I needed was my ticket to be reissued and since you can buy a flight ticket on the spot in the airport, it is obvious that reissuing a ticket is just a click away.
Why make things difficult, wasting my phone minutes calling, waiting, transferring from department to department, talking to representatives that was supposedly helpful but ended up not helping at all.

I will be taking off tomorrow and how can I not be nervous about my tickets?

I am extremely upset with its slow service and the fact that if I was promised that my ticket would be reissued 3 freaking days ago, and it has not been done yet.
You either promise and do it, or don't even say that you will do it.

After all this bull-crap, I demand for at least a flight upgrade.
Tell me, what am I suppose to get my ticket reissued? After the departure?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

THIS IS THE WORST TWO DAYS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!
HOW WORST CAN IT BE?

OH YEAH, I AM OVER REACTING. I MIGHT NOT EVEN ENTER THE COUNTRY AFTER LEAVING ON SATURDAY TO BANGLADESH.
!@#$%^&*()(*&^%$#@#$%^&*

I CANNOT TAKE THIS STRESS ANYMORE!
GOD HELP ME.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Worthy or not?

I never believed in lotteries.
There so many people in the world applying for the same damn ticket and who gets it?
Only one person.
So what makes you think that YOU are worthy enough to be that one lucky person to get big bucks?
I mocked people silently who buy lottery tickets, saying that it is their lucky day, that they would be a millionaire tomorrow.

Yet with much hope and faith, I applied for my first lottery last December.
It was not a Wannabe millionaire lottery, but a Green Card lottery for the United States.




I thought, if I won, I could stay here longer to pursue my dreams. I have the opportunity to do what I can do in that little time that I have. I would have the chance to prove to the world that I am just not any oversize Chinese Malaysian who has a childish dream of being a star.
I want to be given the chance to do this.
The fact that I only have 3 months to get a job after graduation scares me.
What if I don't? Then I'll get deported.
Getting hired long term in the theatre industry is not realistic, in fact it will not happen for nuts. I'll probably have a contract for 6 months and then I'll probably be out in the streets auditioning for another show again.
How am I suppose to do this when I can't even stay in the country?



I'm extremely disappointed with myself.

Am I not worthy enough to be chosen?