Saturday, 29 January 2011

To Be Me

My name is Donny, I’m thirty years old,
I was born quite normally, or so I was told.
I have a mom and a dad, and an older brother too,
Who thought bossing me about, was a fun thing to do.
And so growing up, I’d learned to behave,
To any authority, my attention I gave.
I would smile, I would nod, I would sit straight up too,
I would do anything, to make you think I was good.

But deep down inside me, I’m afraid you would find,
That I was far from angelic, nowhere near quite as kind.
If the thoughts in my head, to you were revealed,
You’d shout, “He’s crazy! He’ll never get healed!”
Ashamed and embarrassed, I hung my head low,
To be called a hypocrite, would be a great blow.
And so I thought, that for me all was lost,
A small glimpse of hope, was already a great cost.

But lo and behold, a surprise, oh surprise,
For Hope, she did come, hand in hand with the Christ.
Fear mixed with joy, I bowed down my head,
As He walked right up to me, then He stopped, and He said,
“I know you’re no angel, nor anything quite as kind,
I’ve seen all your deeds, all the thoughts in your mind.
You’re ashamed and embarrassed, you’ve hung your head low,
But now I have come, my grace I will show.”

Then He reached out His arms, a smile on His face,
As He pulled me towards Him, in a loving embrace.
“My child, I’ve known you”, He whispered to me,
“Before you were born, I knew who you’d be.
That you’d smile, you’d nod, you’d do all you thought,
That was good, but listen, my love can’t be bought.
You don’t need to act, in what certain way,
You just need to come, to me everyday.”

At last, I knew, there was hope left for me,
So I surrendered to Jesus, My new authority.
He’s the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end,
He’s the One I can trust, He’s more than a friend.
I’ve never been happier, every step of the way,
So to you my dear readers, I just want to say,
My name is Donny, I’m thirty years old,
I know my God loves me, this promise I’ll hold.

~ The End ~

Monday, 30 August 2010

Hungry Ghost Festival

Last Monday was “All Soul’s Day”, or so my mom tells me, and is also otherwise known as the “Hungry Ghost” festival. Early in the morning (and even the days before) both my mom and grandma were making preparations for the day. My mom went shopping for specific types of food as my grandma stipulated. “Don’t buy pork, ah gong doesn’t like the fatty parts…” or so she would say in that similar fashion. My grandfather or “ah gong” as grandma was referring to, had been deceased for a good thirty years now. But it was not uncommon for my family members to make food offerings to the dead on several occasions.
This is the background from which I grew up in. Not Buddhism, and not quite Taoist either, these were certain rituals of the local Chinese beliefs. My mom complains that such practices are lost to the younger generation. She has already conceded that even with her own self, such practices hardly carry meaning. “I’m only doing it as my duty, ok!” she exclaims when I pestered her for a reason. Unclear about the day’s festivities, I sought to clarify with my mom. The gist of what I gathered was as follows: (note: I do not claim accuracy, I am merely stating what I understand from my mom’s descriptions).
All Soul’s Day is the one day of the whole year that the gates of hell are opened for the spirits or souls to wander. It is the day that the ancestors will return to their family homes and feast together with the family. Paper money or “hell notes” are also burnt as offerings, and sometimes even paper homes, cars and even cellphones for the deceased to use. All offered just to make the deceased happy... but for ONE day.
Call it a revelation or whatever you want, I was shocked, surprised, astounded! “MOM!!!”... “once... a... year...?” I asked. “So where do they spend their time the rest of the year?” From the look on her face and perhaps even from the slight giggle she let out after, I could tell that she was about to betray her beliefs. Quite frankly, it sounds ridiculous. Who would want to spend all of their time in hell and only be let out a single day of their (deceased/after) life?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, I asked next, “And then what happens to those spirits who have no families? What happens to them? They don’t get out at all?” Well, they do, and that was why besides preparing food before the altar, my grandma was also laying some food and burnt offerings out by the roadside. Homeless spirits wander the streets to look for token offerings. Thus, the name, “Hungry Ghost”.
I could’ve cried. Not that I believed or accepted such beliefs, but for the fact that my mom, my grandma, and all those who have gone before me do. It was a fate they were willing to accept. They would rather spend eternity (save for a day a year) in hell. They would rather be hungry ghosts. They would rather be called faithful descendents of ancestors past they have not met, than be called faithful to the Lord of heaven. Mom! Mom! Jesus offers an eternity in heaven! Mom, Jesus offers us mansions to live in, in cities of glory, where the streets are paved with gold because they are the cheapest commodity! Mom, that means you never need to worry about going hungry. That means you never need to wander the streets lonely. Mom, can you hear me? Mom, can you hear Jesus tugging at your heart? Mom...
And then it struck me that she was not the only one. Statistically, there are at least 30 percent of the population who practiced. That’s about a good 7 million. What is the church doing? What are we doing? Why do we make such a tremendous fuss over Christmas and Easter (important dates, granted) when we make no efforts whatsoever on occasions like All Soul’s Day? I am not comparing their importance, but rather the time and efforts spent on each. Can we not do something for them? Will a church be branded heretical if she organises an event for All Soul’s Day? My parents have tried Christmas, they have tried Easter. But All Soul’s Day still matters more. Can we change?

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Patriotic by Convenience

It was kind of late and mom asked if I could just pop out to buy bread from the nearby petrol kiosk. She also wanted me to get some bananas, but at 11pm, I highly doubted I would find any.

So anyway, I decided to take the opportunity for a casual drive around Subang Jaya. So weird that I decided to do that, because it wasn't as if I hardly get the chance to drive around at night. Quite the opposite actually. But I guess things felt different because I wasn't really in a hurry nor was I headed anywhere in particular. So I quite enjoyed myself.

The bread was easy enough to find, there are so many petrol kiosks and 7-elevens all over the place. I wonder if anyone's ever stopped to count the total number in Subang alone? Nevermind, just a thought. Why do we need so many? Maybe it's a good sign that we live in abundance, no? Yes!

I found my way to SS15 and it was CRAZY! So late (relative, yes I know) and still so packed with people! Thankfully, I managed to find a parking spot nearby, and even though I was in the shop only a little while, I came back to discover that some bozo decided to double park his fancy-schmancy foreign 4-wheel drive car right behind mine!!! *GROWL!* What to do? Horn like crazy la!

I wanted to head back, but thought I'd give the search for the illusive late bananas one more try. So I drove to SS14 and lo and behold! There was an Indian convenience shop still open! "How Convenient!" (Haha!) But seriously, I was impressed! Where else will you be able to find bananas for sale so late in the night? Only in Malaysia la. Suddenly I felt so proud of my country. Despite all the political hoodlum mess, Malaysia's a pretty cool country to live in (not temperature-wise).

Where else is food so conveniently and readily available even in the wee hours of the night???!!! And there were Ramlee Burger stalls aplenty too!!! (Ooo... I was so tempted to eat lor! *RAWR* Dang you RAMLY burgers!!! WHy must you be so scrumptiously deliciousely tastily oily fatty unhealthily tempting me??!!!!! AAAARRGGGGHHH!)

But I forced myself to say NO! Rather, I didn't stop and get out of the car. Easier that way so's you don't get hooked after catching a whiff of the aroma~ mmm... (STOPITSTOPITSTOPIT!!!)

So in conclusion, Malaysia's a pretty cool place to live in (not weather-wise again)(Unless you're forced to be on a diet, which I'm not. I AM however, very random this evening, as you've probably already noticed). Incidentally, I'm participating in this event called Run For the Nation where we get to go on a prayer run and pray for our nation. We must pray for our country lor. If we should admit it, we actually love her deep inside if we love our Roti Canais and Nasi Lemaks and Char Koay Teows at 1am. (Shops in Australia and the UK closes at 6pm!!! Hello??!!! Where you gonna satisfy your midnite hunger pangs?)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

To Bangkok and back again

Currently on my term break... 2 weeks is all we get, but much appreciated nonetheless! I'm riding through my second week now, but last week was great! Decided to spend some time with my parents in Bangkok, and when they heard I was coming, they asked me to bring my 5-year old niece along. So that was a pretty cool experience! She was well-behaved, so no horror toilet-related stories to tell! Haha!

Anyhoo... I'll let this be a picture post! Enjoy!

Day 1:
After morning church service, brother literally (almost) flew to the airport (in a car).
Arrived at airport, boarded, and waited... and waited... and waited...
Eventually took off and arrived 20 minutes late. Whee!
Went back to dad's apartment, chilled, swam (I think) then went for walk at the mall.
Then it was late and I was tired, so early sleep. (Although the clock showed 11pm, it was 12am Malaysia).

Mom was waiting at the airport to welcome us.

Swimming pool at dad's apartment.

Day 2:
Woke up early, visited gym and swimming pool.
Had breakfast then went to visit "Ancient Siam".
Went for Thai Massage (awesome!)
Dinner, then movie on laptop "Christmas Carol".

Dad's apartment in the background. Behind me was the shopping mall. It's THAT near. Oh, and on the day the REDs were bombing the city centre, my family members all decide to wear PINK! -_-''

Ancient Siam is a place full of replicas of historical old buildings. Beautiful gardens too!

But the best part of the visit was that I got to drive...

THIS!!! Muahahaa! You could rent bikes too, but nah! "Get out of the way, slowpokes!"

No pictures of the Thai massage. But it was so relaxing, I nearly pee-ed! Haha! My dad next to me fell asleep and was snoring away.

Day 3: Songkran Festival! (Water Festival and Khmer New Year)
Woke up early-ish again and went gym and swimming.
Went to shopping mall, but diverted to Chao Phraya river ride instead.
Night time at "Limpini" (I don't know how to spell it) Market.

Songkran was an experience! Perfect strangers would stand by the streets with pails and water guns and white powder; all for the cooling effect! It was respectable for the younger ones to splash water on the elders, and to put powder on their faces. If you ask me, it was an excuse for the kids to get revenge for making them eat the last piece of vege leftovers the previous nite! =)

So traveling with the niece does have some of its perks! *Hello!*
... people kept wanting to give her freebies!
*ahem* (what did you think these 'perks' were?!!) =P

so here we go... boat ride on the Chao Phraya River.
Oh, and for those interested to know, this is the Bible Seminary in Bangkok. Next to the river...

After the (long, hot, sleepy) ride, we had a quick bite and headed to the Limpini / Limpuni / Limpungi (somebody help me out here) Market. I did manage to get a shirt or two.

Oh, but the highlight of the evening, I must say, would have to be the "tuk-tuk" ride to the Market! High speed, dangerous, packed ride speeding down the streets of Bangkok!

Someone obviously enjoying herself.

Day 4:
Woke up not too early this time, but still had enough time to visit the gym and swim again! Fuiyo! Feel so healthy!
Went to MBK mall for a little more shopping with the family. This time we rode on the bus and MRT!
After that, it's off to the airport for me and not too long after, touch down in KL LCCT! Home sweet home!

No pics of MBK. But you know what they say, "See a shopping complex, you've seen 'em all!"


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

EMO Alert!!!

If I get asked why I spend so much time on something seemingly unimportant when I should be spending more time on what is needed... I can only reply, "Because nobody is perfect..."

I'm better at some things (correction: I'm GOOD at those things!) than I am at others. But why is it that institutions and establishments demand the latter??? "Because nobody is perfect..."

*blech!* studying is becoming less fun. Correction: Assignment-ing is no fun! Learning Rocks!!!
And that's why Everyday is a schooling day. You learn something new.
But hey, if you don't always learn something... tough! Nobody is perfect!

I could go on ranting, but I'll stop. Apparently VENTING ANGER doesn't help you in the long run, it only encourages a person to be grumpy. (Bet you didn't know that, so there you go! Learned something new today! Haha!)

I *dislike* having to limit my time doing stuff I like because of the guilt I feel. (digest on that for a while).
Sigh... nobody is perfect.

Having said ALL that, there was ONE who was perfect. But when he turned up, we kinda spat on him and nailed him to the cross. Imperfection killed the Perfect for trying to show us the perfect way. And yet his perfect LOVE is still willing to remove our imperfection if we will, discover that his perfection meets our needs perfectly: Our need for a Perfect Saviour.

God's just perfect like that.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

I heard a rumour...

That if you don't update your blog in 6 months, it automatically gets deleted.

I guess that's fake! Rumour de-bunked!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Monday, 27 July 2009

A Corny Joke a Day, Keeps The Grouchies Away

I stole this from Joyce's blog in all it's slaps-fore-head, corniness!
Here are the jokes in full Singaporean glory!

Corny joke #1 (#9 on her blog)
Hickory dickory dock,
Three mice ran up the clock,
The clock struck one,
But the other two got away with minor injuries.

*moans and rolls eyes* - which is the normal reaction to corny ones

Corny joke #2 (#8 on her blog)
Q: What's the difference between boogers and broccoli?
I think in order to appreciate it's full corniness, you should at least attempt to think up the answer.
Don't be lazy! Got think already anot? Well, if you have, or haven't (shame on you!) the answer is: Kids don't like to eat broccoli

Granted, it's not politically correct, but you have to admit it's good! Haha!
Can you believe she was my cell leader for two years in UK?