Quick Play (Updated)

Just as the mid-sem break started, a couple of event came up without me realizing that they were there; and so the Easter weekend that just passed was filled with a lot of tiring activities that have set this week to one of recovery rather than study.

 

Ronnie’s R (something…)

Ah forget it, I couldn’t think of another R word to make some alliteration haha! Anyway Ronnie was free Easter Saturday and for some reason or another wanted to come up to the Hills area, where most of us CBS people lived. So he called up Nat asking is he could crash her house and form some sort of impromptu social; that was Friday night. I tried to help organize it, we were trying to work out what to do for dinner – whether we should cook or not. The idea of cooking as a group sounded like fun only the problem was that we couldn’t decide on what to cook; not to mention that we had to buy the stuff just prior to the night.

 

An e-mail was sent like on Saturday morning and I tried my best to rally some forced through Twitter at work, since Facebook got blocked >.<” Things didn’t get far and so the cooking idea was a no go. A number of us showed up at Nat’s place around 5-6pm where we tried to figure where to go for dinner; again that was a kind of fail discussion because nobody had ideas or preferences. Jumping onto my end of the story, I was talking to Athena in the afternoon and she offered the idea to eat at the pizza place she was working at that night. And looking back now, that was probably a better idea than no idea.

 

Nonetheless we ended up going to Castle Towers to see what would happen, walked around for a while, not wanting to go into any expensive restaurant – Athena’s pizza place was clearly a good idea at the time had we not already parked there. Eventually we listened to Matthew’s idea to go eat at Nando’s T.T” and so we all had like the family feast meal deal or whatever it was, spicy chicken, lemon chicken, random sides and a big plate of chips. Didn’t fill us up all too well, but hey, fail dinner is fail dinner haha!

 

We all drove back to Nat’s place again afterwards and this is probably a good time to introduce our multimedia item for this post:

 

 

Just to add more to the story than what’s on YouTube, Nat was trying to park as close as she could to the left wall of her garage but she was afraid of scraping the side and so she continually ended up slightly away from the wall. I just thought it was funny that she just kept going rather than just give up and leave it as is; in the end she didn’t manage to fix it up (on her own). There is Cantonese dialogue, which I’ll add annotations for later, for the non-Chinese speakers.

 

Played “Articulate” and just chatted, watched some YouTube videos and had ice cream. It was a nice chill time for all of us. Nat’s sister later complained about Ronnie’s loud voice, which projected very well within Nat’s house – he had it coming, he always does. We left at around 11pm, before Nat’s parents came home from their weekly mahjong-ing with family friends.

 

 

Cherie’s Baptism

The very next morning, we all had to wake up early to get ourselves up to Thornleigh CABC (Chinese Australian Baptist Church) for Cherie’s baptism – same group of CBS people, hence why we had to leave by 11pm, but then we had the daylight savings extra hour of sleep. I haven’t been back to that church since I left it in year 4; so many years ago. I hardly remember the people there anymore, a lot of new people came after I left so I don’t really know the church anymore.

 

Anyway Jacky was paranoid of not getting a parking spot, which was fairly likely to happen because their carpark was heaps small. So we drove there early, carpooled Sarah and Bec at the same time to save driving space. We were like the first ones there funnily enough, though we were only like 15 minutes early. We sat down in those nostalgic pews (to me) while the music team practised. I now realise that they also had those huge baptism pools as well that few churches have (I think). The only other one I’ve seen was at Matt’s church.

 

Anyway the rest of out group arrived soon; we had two closely-connected groups, one was for Cherie the other was for Michelle, whom I met at next gen like last year. Anyway the baptism video is on my Facebook, in all it’s awesome HD glory now haha thanks to my new camera (finally). And just randomly, seeing Fairen Tam today reminded me of how she bullied me when we were kids, I don’t remember the scene too well but I remember it happening a lot T.T” She gave me a small wave, and I’m pretty sure she remembers it too haha!

 

After their service some of our group decided to come crash our church since our service had yet to start; and so we all drove back and today our church had lots of new visitors…from CBS haha!

 

After our service we went out for lunch in Eastwood at the Shanghai place, because everywhere else was full and stuff. Paul Chan helped us scout for restaurants that weren’t full and in the end only 6 of us went out for lunch, oh well. That was Easter Sunday.

 

 

Steph’s Party

Oh wow it just goes on. The very next day again, Easter Monday, we went down to Bicentennial Park for Steph’s barbeque party, which was organized by Eva. Me and Jacky met Adrian again on the train at Epping, and we were like the first ones there. Olympic Park was packed with people by 11am, and it was very hard to find a spot. One of Steph’s friends, Janice, managed to guard a barbeque with her parents but we didn’t have a table. Luckily the Asian couple just next to us were happy to let us use one of the tables, and even gave us a mat to cover it (at least I think that’s what happened).

 

Anyway we waited for Eva to come by with the food, though no-one else was here. But that made sense because of traffic and how difficult it must’ve been to park there today. Eventually Eva came with the food and we began to cook. The party was more Abbotsleigh Girls than CBS but hence I overlooked the fact that someone had to cook for the barbeque. I volunteered myself in other words. I don’t mind cooking, I’ve cooked at like the last few barbeques we’ve had so yeah.

 

Today’s special restriction for the barbeque was…using only two tongs. That’s right, two tongs ONLY! Eva admitted she doesn’t barbeque much and so she only brought two tongs. I thought “okay, challenge accepted” although in hindsight  whether I accepted or not didn’t change the fact that we only had two tongs to use. I’ve barbequed enough (with mistakes) to think that the following materials are needed at a barbeque (minus obvious ones):

  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Oil

Give me those three things and a barbeque can go alright. Having only the tongs was indeed challenging; but there were ways to get around not having the other two things. Oil was of course the hardest thing to compensate for, but that’s what sausages are for. Although I forgot to do so at the beginning, I should’ve cooked the sausages first, let all the grease come out and use that as oil for the other meats. A tip for next time I guess. We cooked anyway and did our best without any oil and such. The spatula is there for the cleaning process rather than cooking. Last time we demonstrated that coke is an excellent cleaning agent to get all that burnt carcinogenic crap off the barbeque, you just need a spatula to help uproot it all.

 

Hope nobody is eating and reading this because your appetite is now about to be ruined. We turned on the barbeque right next to us, so we were using two, and about 10 minutes afterwards, little cockroaches began to spawn like from a crack next to the second barbeque. They were just crawling around on the brick parts. I suspect they came out because of the barbeque getting hot and forcing them to spawn. The really bad thing was that some cockroaches panicked a bit too much and ended up running onto the barbeque. Yes, that’s right. Fortunately they didn’t run onto any of the food as it was cooking but they did run onto the barbeque and I watched them suffer a very painful death. Extracting the corpses proved to be rather…disgusting and disturbing for onlookers at the same time. Eventually there was another group who wanted to use the barbeque after us. so we just gave them the infested one and halved our production.

 

Halfway through cooking we had to clean the barbeque slate, and without a spatula to scrap all the burnt meat off, it was going to prove exceedingly difficult. Thankfully, the people we gave our other barbeque to were kind enough to let us borrow theirs, in exchange for letting them use our knives, and so we mutually shared some utensils for the rest of the afternoon; it was nice of them. Everyone stood around and chatted, I think. I was too engaged to worry about what else was happening. Food eventually was served and we finally had a party going.

 

Brandon and Jacky helped with the cooking, I took a break after about the 3 hour mark and left them to do the rest of the cooking. You have to admit, it’s hard to cook for a long period of time without taking a break. I ate a bit while I was cooking but yeah it is tiring haha. Everyone just chatted into the afternoon until we had the cake and then proceeded to clean up.

 

 

Mandy’s Déjà vu

This post will be left off with this hanging: tomorrow is Mandy’s party, exact same format, exact same place. So tomorrow will be exactly like Steph’s party, and perhaps the same people once again haha! I’m still deciding whether I should go or not. Saw her today at Eastwood with Elon buying the food for tomorrow. Hmm…

 

UPDATE

 

Okay so I ended up going to the party. Nat came and gave me a lift there, though she was exceptionally late; she was meant to pick me up at 12:30pm but ended up picking me up closer to 12:50pm T.T” And then she still had to pick up…Cassian? One of her law buddies. So by then it was already 1pm so we were clearly late. Nat kept freaking out on the way because she didn’t know the directions too well. I had the map in front of me but it was slightly hard to follow Brandon’s instructions; probably because Nat copied bits down wrong or something.

 

Eventually we got there, after much childish panicking and people questioned our lateness. Nevertheless I got straight to picking up the cooking with Elon and Brandon and also dug into some food. Mandy provided more vegetable alternatives to meat (or simply alternatives I guess) and Ronnie pulled in later with more meat because we had pretty much run out.

 

Throughout the afternoon we chatted much, Mandy brought some board games for us to play, Jacky came in much later but brought a ball so the guys had something to do. The icky thing was that Cassian kind of slipped on the ball and nearly twisted his elbow, I’m not sure what was going on, but it was bleeding, not severely. Oh I almost forgot, Mandy’s theme for the party was to dress up as Cartoon characters from when we were young. Few people bothered to; and it was wet also so it wasn’t entirely desirable. Funny though because it was pouring around 8am but Mandy still decided to hold the barbeque.

 

We played cards as the sun went down and cooked the rest of the chicken drumsticks which took ages to cook. We then packed up and were going to head back to Mandy’s place before dinner, which was moved from the city to Parramatta now. Dinner was at 6:30pm but it was already 5:30pm so getting back to Mandy’s place seemed inefficient. Nevertheless we moved off. I stayed with Nat because after dropping Cassian off at Concord West, she’d be the only one left; I mainly doubted her ability to get back to Mandy’s house given the way she panicked on the journey here.

 

And as I expected she panicked once again because there was quite some traffic from the Easter Show and we soon lost sight of our convoy, so we were on our own. I didn’t know the way either so it kind of was a fail plan. I vaguely remember Olympic Park well but we drove past the Aquatic Centre and ended up back on Parramatta Road, I was at least comfortable with that area. I directed her back onto Silverwater Road and she knew the rest of the way which was good.

 

The ironic thing from all of that was that we were the first ones there at Mandy’s house, not even Mandy herself was back yet, which was mightily strange. But I just thought given Nat’s driving (from the above video too) that we were naturally be the last ones to get there. But we were first by more than 15 minutes which was a huge surprise. The reason was that everyone took the M4 but that was uberly flooded because of the Easter Show and so everyone else was stuck in traffic except us. Nat was very pleased at herself.

 

Mandy’s parents let us in and I finally got to meet her huge dog, who was like 50 times as big and as active as Nat’s entree (we were going to eat him that Saturday night after Nando’s haha!) Eventually everyone else turned up and Mandy pushed her restaurant booking back half an hour. We sat in a circle in the living and played some simple games, Mandy opened her presents in our midst. Eventually we had to go, some of us weren’t going for dinner (like me) because of the need to study. And when you think about it that’s fair considering how much I’ve been out this mid-sem break. And now it’s Friday as I wrap things up and I have camp later on today. There goes the mid-sem break >.<”

Semester 2 Exam 2: ACCT1511

Round 2, right after round 1; no time to rest. I poorly spent the rest of yesterday; mostly gamed to get down the nerves and such, did a bit of reading. But hopefully having done most of 4 past papers that I was ready for today. Well I can’t complain. Today’s paper wasn’t too hard, it was long of course but not too hard. Luckily most of the questions that required short answers were mostly common sense and just some simple bs-ing.

 

Weekend trains weren’t too helpful. We were almost late to the exam, arrived with only a few minutes to spare. Examiners didn’t let me into the room with my blue drink bottle because it was not “clear”. Well I could easily that granny’s ugly face fine through it, as if it wasn’t transparent. And since we’re on that topic, I’ll buff this post with ramble from yesterday.

 

The examiners for Macroeconomics yesterday were rather appalling. The head examiner exhibited a suspected case of PMS; but at her age that almost seems impossible, right? She kept talking in a loud voice, and repeatedly, saying the same thing over and over again: “Examiners please hand out the exam papers now.” “Examiners please come down to the front and distribute the exam papers.” “Examiners, we have to start the exam in one minute please distribute the exam papers quickly.” “Examiners we need the papers distributed very quickly now.” Oh my gosh! Shut up! Talk about being rude to the examinees and her own colleagues, just what was this woman “on”?

 

Most definitely hate the hypocrite examiners who tell you to turn your mobile phones off but keep theirs on; and it’s obvious when their phone goes off with a loud retarded ringtone and they answer it inside the exam room during the exam. That pms woman was one of them. Tsk tsk. A general rule that power comes with responsibility, and obviously this woman has demonstrated a lack of skill and simple etiquette, far from respectable and deserving of her role haha.

 

But anyway luckily nothing disturbed the accounting exam as such. I was seated in A1, for once. Wow a corner seat; of all the odds. It wasn’t a great position because being in the corner means it’s harder for the light to shine onto my table. And then I had examiners towering over my desk because that’s their “at ease” position when they’re not patrolling the exam room, right in front of seat A1, smart.

 

I got fed up with the exam at 2 hours in, like last semester. I had finished it and checked it relatively thoroughly once and then left. I only checked my calculations and multiple choice. Any bits of short answer writing I didn’t bother going over. I would not know how to get rid of that answer and write a new one in the same place, without making a complete mess of my exam paper; best leave it as it is and hope for the best.

 

Some people left before, I didn’t count. I could’ve been the first if I hadn’t bothered checking haha! But I was about the 10th person or so to leave. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s no more accounting for me, ever. I mean perhaps it is an okay subject. But the course this semester was taught in a disgusting way, with those pathetic lecturers; made every Wednesday afternoon a day to die for. And now we come down to the final 2 big exams: Actuarial Studies and Mathematics. Now the game is really on.

HK Chronicles: Part 2

Food

Oh boy; the food in Hong Kong was great, heaps better than in Australia, and of course  much cheaper. I remember on the first day after I got there, I had ramen for lunch. Actually, it was spicy ramen, and it has got to be the spiciest I’ve had so far. Well it’s got to be; I mean it gave me a runny nose AND it made me cry, now that is hot haha. I ramen several times in Hong Kong; most places were good, others were dull. But price-wise, a $28 bowl of ramen is perhaps the best deal; it also came with some sushi AND a free drink. That’s a mere $5.60 AUD for all that, and the bowl of ramen was fairly large. Ah I’m going to miss Hong Kong for the food.

 

Apart from that obviously we went yum cha many times, mostly with relatives. Apparently, I heard from my uncle that some of the food in yum cha restaurants are now imported from Shanghai and stuff;as in the food prepared isn’t fresh. Hmm, someone can do research for me on that if they want. But yeah, there were a few times where the food actually wasn’t good, which is a shame, and it also does support the imported food rumour.

 

And also, the whole “tipping” thing is rather confusing and annoying now. My mum says it’s courteous to tip the waiter only if they present your change on a money plate; if they don’t then you don’t need to leave any tips. So I found it strange having to leave tips in shoddy restaurants which don’t deserve anything, and also not having to leave tips in huge restaurants because they didn’t use the money plate.

 

At home dinner wasn’t exactly great, apart from what my mum made. As explained in the last part, the  servant was rather annoying with food. Apparently she’s a Jew (everything makes sense now! Just joking) so she didn’t eat pork. In fact she didn’t eat anything, which is highly suspicious because over 18 days I don’t think she lost weight; very suspicious indeed.

 

I had pigeon on the second last night; that was nice haha. My mum was sort of petrified at seeing a dead roasted bird; I was slightly taken aback by it too but oh well. I suppose pigeon is halfway between chicken and duck in terms of taste and how hard the meat was. Yet there wasn’t much to eat since obviously the pigeon is small; actually kind of got sick after eating the bird because it finally sank in what I had just eaten then.

 

 

Relatives

Of course one of the major reasons I wanted to come back to Hong Kong was to see my relatives. I haven’t seen them for 4 years now and particularly for my cousins younger than me, I wanted to see how much they’ve changed.  Most of my relatives are heaps older than me, my cousins on my dad’s side are like 30+, with my eldest cousin in mid mid 40s. There is obviously no equality with them and most of the time I think of them as a generation older than me rather than as people in my own generation. My cousins on my mother’s side are closer to my age. My eldest cousin is at 28, with a younger sister at 24. And then I have younger cousins at 13 and 9.

 

I saw all of my relatives more than once over the 18 days which was good.  The first Sunday back everyone (nearly) from my mother’s side all met up at my uncle’s apartment and we all had dinner. And this was my first chance to get a look at my cousins since four years. I guess the 28 year old one somehow didn’t look 28. He’s working in computing and yet even at 28 he doesn’t seem to be getting close to “settling down” in that sense haha. His sister was away in Beijing so I didn’t get to see her. All I know is that she’s a Hello Kitty maniac, obviously from all the posters and the plushies. My 13 year old cousin has matured massively since I last saw her; she’s still just as cute as I remembered haha. But yeah it’s interesting how she’s managed to develop quite an “open” personality so she’s pretty hype and sociable. But as I remembered she was a bit plump but otherwise she’s just as I remembered her. And her younger brother, well, I never really talked to him much but he’s getting taller pretty fast haha.

 

Apart from that huge dinner we had, me and my mum also had yum cha with his wife, my aunty on several occasions; I think I saw her the most by far. And then I met up with my father’s side for this buffet down at Wan Chai. What me and my mum didn’t was that it was my uncle’s (dad’s brother) birthday. So we were there and my cousins said “happy birthday dad” and we were like: “Oh, you serious?” But the buffet was quite good. Quite massive and all;. Oh and just for the record, I ended the buffet this way: To Sharon in particular, remember that huge bowl of vanilla ice cream I had at next gen? Yeah that one. Well after the huge dinner, imagine a bowl of ice cream that was like 50% larger than the next gen one. Now imagine all that as chocolate. And finally imagine it nearly swimming in chocolate topping. THAT was my dessert 😛

 

Funnily, the night after the buffet, my uncle from my mother’s side invited us out for an expensive dinner at an Italian restaurant, well Italian-themed anyway. The place was okay, and the food was average though considering how expensive everything was. But yeah I was more or less happy to catch up with my younger cousin, only because she was like the only person closest my age the entire time I was in HK T.T” But yeah she’s pretty cool haha, fairly popular unlike me xD Can’t wait to see her again like here in Australia. They’re rich enough to do whatever they want haha so she’s fairly powerful. She said to me like: “You know…the chicks are hotter here in Hong Kong…” and sadly I’ll have to agree with her. She helped me look for cosplay after we had dinner…in Causeway Bay…I don’t think so. But yeah it’s nice that she tried; and embarrassingly enough for me to say: “I want to buy anime costumes…”

 

Apart from meeting all my relatives, we were surprised to find that they were all giving us like red pockets even though new year’s was way over. And so that was how we funded part of our shopping; using the odd $2000 or so red pocket money to buy stuff haha. But overall I was happy to have seen my relatives again, and for them to see me haha since I am practically the only one here in Australia; unless you consider my other aunt, who now is kind of really messed up so she doesn’t count. I won’t elaborate on that here.

03. The Heart of Evangelism

During my time in Hong Kong, my exposure to Christianity there was severely low. It was only during the last Sunday of the week before I was to leave that I found some Christian activity being conducted. It was open evangelism in a Yum Cha restaurant. The back of the restaurant was sort of bordered off, enclosing a few tables and a stage with people preaching through a microphone. Everyone in the restaurant could hear but I guess the main audience was those enclosed by the barrier.

 

Anyway there was something strange going on in there that had me remembering a similar scenario back here. The woman was very loudly preaching gospel through words such as these: “God has a gift for all of all. A gift of eternal life. He wants you to receive that gift; it’s free. And once you do you’re going to feel a change in your life. Once you start following Christ everything is going to feel so nice; your life will be different and much more joyful.” And towards the end: “Let us praise God for His wonderful gift. He is so great because His gift of eternal life makes us feel so great…”

 

Sound familiar? Well perhaps not the words but mood-wise it does remind me of something. There is a chance I am stepping into a hostile zone by mentioning this but the woman’s “preaching” sounded much like the mood that gets produced at places like Hillsong. Suffice to say, my mum was very displeased with the woman’s preaching because it was done in a loud voice. To her it sounded like mindless yelling and it sounded the same to me. I couldn’t call that evangelism. And no matter how many people were “lured” by that woman, I could never call that a successful evangelism.

 

Personally, I have never viewed proper evangelism to take a form like that: a person shouting into a microphone about the great feeling you get from receiving God’s grace. But unfortunately there is a lot of it going on in the world; so perhaps that’s why it’s not seen as “wrong” because it is slowly becoming a “cultural norm”. And of course by that I am talking about the Hillsong “church”. Sadly, as mean as it sounds, they do seem to always try to pass off mindless jabbering as evangelism and preaching.

 

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

 

I don’t believe that one who preaches in the way Hillsong does can actually make proper Christians out of his or her audience. I do not want to overstep the mark here but here is an extreme of what Hillsong evangelism MAY sound like:

 

“God is so great; He fills our hearts with joy everyday. And just following Him everyday gives me such relief from all of life’s problems. The feeling of having God with me all the time is so good that words can’t even describe the feeling…”

 

Read that out aloud over say 20-30 seconds and tell me: in that 20-30 seconds what did you learn about God other than the fact that “you get a good feeling from following Him”? Absolutely nothing. Frankly, using this extreme I could describe sex in the same way and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between God and sex.

 

Evangelism needs to be conducted carefully because it acts as a starting point for new believers. If you use a bad starting point to teach them then they’ll keep that bad starting point as they mature as Christians. And as humans it is sometimes hard to “unlearn” something. Like can you possibly forget how to ride a bike? You can’t. And if evangelism is conducted in a poor manner, the new believer is going to have a really hard time growing properly as a Christian.

 

What the examples above illustrate is that emotional evangelism has no fruit. I can tell you all about the emotion and feeling you get from following God; and surely you would take that in and through your heart “feel” how good it would be to follow Christ. But at the end of the day, all you have is a feeling; there is nothing you can reproduce through words that demonstrates what you know about God. This type of evangelism merely presents you with an emotion but you never actually learn anything about God. Yet in proper evangelism there is still emotion involved of course. But the difference is that: knowledge about God produces the warm feelings which emotionally influence you to follow Him but not vice versa. Emotions do not create any sort of comprehensible knowledge about God (ie in words of some sort). You cannot voice a feeling in words.

 

I do strongly believe this is the type of stuff they do at Hillsong and this is why the church isn’t highly regarded amongst other Christian churches. Even at KYLC / next gen, of all the 38 songs we sang over the week, not one of them was a Hillsong song. If you get people following Christ through something as fragile as a feeling, their faith can easily shatter because once that feeling suddenly disappears during suffering, the new believer doesn’t have anything tangible to fall back in to reaffirm their faith in Christ. And from undisclosed sources, I’ve heard that their music jamming concerts do roughly the same thing. The music gives you that really good feeling which emotionally gets you worked up and then it becomes easier for you to accept God. True, but those people accept God through their thoughtless emotions, rather than thoughtful logic.

 

For example, if I say to you that abseiling is an exhilarating activity because you feel so light and free as you sort of float down through the air, there’s your positive feeling. But in ordinary emotionless words I could say: jump down from the rocks carefully because you risk hurting yourself . But of course some people would prefer the first statement to attract them to abseiling. So assuming you just take the first statement and you start abseiling down a cliff-face. What happens when that good feeling gets a hold of you, and you start abseiling down very fast, too fast that you end up smacking yourself against the cliff-face and hurting yourself. Hang on, the first statement that I heard was talking about this good feeling I was meant to get; how come there is suddenly pain? Hmm…this discourages me from going abseiling now.

 

So the first statement presents the positive feeling you get. But the second is giving you information about how to abseil. A feeling isn’t very tangible and if you don’t explain Christianity with something tangible, faith can be destroyed very easily. The verse above says that our hearts can be deceitful which is true. Because if something feels good we are drawn into doing it because after all we are human. But feelings can deceive and when you realize that it’s wrong it leaves a scar on your heart, because that’s just how fragile the heart is. But of course in life we always try to use our heads to figure out whether something is “good” or “bad” rather than have our feelings lead the way; that is common sense. And for evangelism, the mind should always lead over the heart, never the other way round.

 

Well apart from faith being shattered, is there anything else that can result from emotional evangelism? Again I hate to overstep my mark but I have been in contact with Hillsong attendees who were also co-leaders of our high school Christian group. Although they never preached much, it only took them just one of their “talks” for me to realize how artificial their faith is. When they preached they sounded somewhere along the lines of the examples above; surely not to the extreme but there was a fair emotional side to it. And I do recall one of them was struggling in their faith because things weren’t going the way they wanted. Again we go back to the feelings offered during evangelism. When things don’t “feel” the way they originally did, something goes wrong because you’re uninformed of the negative feelings. And that’s how fragile their faith and knowledge was; that was a product of Hillsong.

 

Of course I’m not bagging out those people but the church in the way they were preaching. Evangelism needs to be done without providing emotion as a stimulus. Why should you be telling people how they should feel towards God? Instead, shouldn’t you be giving them the information so that they can use it to build their own emotional response to God? Everyone should always learn to think with their mind rather than their heart and in the same way we should be targeting out preaching and evangelising at their minds, not their hearts.

HK Chronicles: Part 1

Okay I’m going to re-type this post because I obviously didn’t do such a great job with that other post. Anyway I’ll progress in sections this time so things won’t necessarily be in chronological order.

 

The Plane Ride

Well we woke up at 6am to catch the plane at 9am ( I think). Anyway my mum was planning to pack because the objective was to buy as much as we could over in Hong Kong. But actually on the way back we were almost overweight for luggage and that was also after my mum decided to leave a few things behind. Oh well. Man customs is really dodge; takes ages for them to let through one person. And, oh my was I shocked; these Curry security guy pulls me over after I pass through the metal detector,hands me this card telling me that they’re going to search me for “explosive material” and that physical contact was involved. Also, if I did not cooperate I would not be allowed to proceed any further. Geez what the hell? they dabbed my palm and clothes with some cloth and then put into a reader of some sort, so there was no serious contact which was good. But seriously, stupid Curry turd; as if I’m going to bomb my fellow country, idiots don’t use logic. Why would a Chinese bomb a Chinese country? If anything they would be the ones to carry explosive material to Hong Kong. My mum reckons they took me in because I was a kid; and that was probably the reason.

 

The plane ride was sort of boring, actually I watched 4 movies in the 9 hour flight (we were on Cathay Pacific, yeah sorry, wasn’t Quantas). I watched The Mummy 3 (yep it wasn’t that great a movie), High School Musical 1 & 3 and then a Japanese film called “The Homeless Student”. I felt like crying at the end of both HSM movies, I don’t really know why. It was either the storyline was that interesting; or I was just depressed considering the way I watched those movies for the first time: alone and on a small screen on a freaking plane T.T” Anyway “The Homeless Student” I thought was a really good movie; quite touching and unique. Basically this junior high kid, his older sister and brother lose their house after their dad becomes broke; kind of funny how it happens. The door to their apartment is barred and all their stuff is lying around outside. Their dad comes back and is like: “Yeah, due to financial difficulties we don’t have a home anymore. Well I wish you all the best of luck for your futures,goodbye.” And he takes off on his bicycle. What the? But yeah after that the film revolves around the kid struggling to survive on his own. The reason he didn’t stick with his older siblings was that he didn’t want to burden them financially. And that is brave, to choose to isolate yourself from others in order to protect them. I can’t help but somewhat think that it is something I myself would want to do. Towards the end of the film it sort of gets to the point where he feels like killing himself, again so that he doesn’t act as a burden on his siblings. And I suppose there is a scenario where even I myself think suicide as a noble act; but yeah that’s just me haha.

 

The food on the plane was okay., had a beer and stuff, better than nothing I guess. The major problem was that everyone was always keeping their eye on the toilets. Sure, no-one was lining up because that’s kind of silly; but as soon as they became vacant people would rush out of their seats. Luckily I sat fairly close so it was easier to get to the toilets. The plane was a tad slow for take-off so we kind of got to Hong Kong slightly later than expected. It was much faster getting past customs in Hong Kong.

 

 

The Place to Stay

Well during Hong Kong I stayed at my new Grandma’s apartment up in Tuen Mun. The place was heaps nicer than her old apartment back in Tsuen Wan. For a start it was now far off from the ground (the 34th floor) so less noise from traffic can be heard at night, which is good. Secondly it was more spacious and cosier. Overall it was nice to stay in an apartment like that. Even the garden around the building was nice and all; quite a nice place to live.

 

However, there was one thing that was unpleasant during my 18 days there. My grandma has had some rather bad “servants” taking care of her. My mum said the servant before the one at the moment was really horrible; didn’t even feed my grandma haha. But anyway I only had a first-hand experience of the one now; and I can tell you I cannot begin to imagine what the first one was like considering how bad THIS one behaved.

 

She was Indo with a really bad Cantonese accent; an accent which annoyed the crap out of me over the 18 days but I guess that can’t be helped. But okay here’s the thing: she’s fat…like possibly obese even. Now let’s consider how that works. Well, people are fat from 1. a lack of exercise and/or; 2. eating  too much.  Okay so put 2 and 2 together and you get this: The new Indo servant is fat because 1. she doesn’t work and; 2. she eats heaps. What the hell? A fat servant in itself is an oxymoron yeah? How can such a thing exist?

 

Well like I said the stupid servant doesn’t work much. Well obviously since me and my mum came back, she has to put on an act and seem as if she was hard-working. But apparently my grandma says she’s normally lazy and all; doesn’t like clean the floor, or the furniture, or anything really…stupid dirty Indo w****. And also my grandma suspects she’s been scabbing money from her stash in the room; how else does she get money to go down to the market to get food? And I think she’s right. On the second last night before we came back, we had dinner with my uncle and his wife. So the servant took $200 HK to buy 3 types of meat and 2 fish. The two fish are like cheap cos they were small. Then she bought like a large chicken for $50 HK. And after the other meats she bought she came back with $27 in change. So that’s $173 for like 4 things;  which is $45 AUD. WHAT THE HELL! Seriously, how can anyone spend $45 AUD for 4 types of meat? And especially in Hong Kong. Funny as well, she didn’t come back with any coins of less than $1.00 denomination. And she was stuttering when my mum asked why. She was like: “Well…umm…you see…oh yeah…all the prices…yeah…they were all…to the exact dollar..haha…what a coincidence.” Oh please phony b****, you can probably physically :feed: African children that crap but seriously don’t try it on me or my mum.

 

Okay so she’s lazy AND a scam. But there’s more. She’s actually a huge snoop. Far out, even single time my mum was talking about family stuff with grandma, the servant would always be sitting down (cos she’s a lazy bitch), and listening attentively to the conversation. But then it’s because most of the time my mum was discussing the problems within her family/generation, like with my suicidal aunt haha, and she’d always be there listening in. I guess I felt like I didn’t have any privacy when I was living there. And her freakish snooping doesn’t end at conversation. Every single time after we come home from shopping; she’d snoop around at what we bought and stuff, making comments about whether this was nice or not; or about the price of it. Man she shoves her fat ass into everything we bought nearly. Especially when I got my new phone; man she fully jammed her fat ass crack into the little memory slot of my new phone. Okay sorry that was too graphic, but yeah I was kind of annoyed she wouldn’t look away and, simply put, p*** off.

 

And now more stuff has popped up. While she’s lazy, she actually hogs the TV remote sometimes. She actually flicks through the channels, adjusting the volume and everything. “Oi b****! Since when you did you mastery over the f***ing remote?!” I nearly caught myself saying once. But seriously why does she get to hold the remote? The only time I was strongly defensive of the remote was when anime was on. Oh hell no is she getting the slightest chance to change channels; I guarded the remote in a fairly vicious manner, it was noticeable I reckon if you watch carefully. And during some dramas shje’d comment really loudly and she’d keep commenting loudly. She wouldn’t shut up for some reason, so loud and disturbing. “Oh b**** shut the f*** up! We’re trying to watch the drama without you and your twisted Cantonese interrupting every 5 seconds!”

 

But seriously, this was a disgusting servant because she acted as if she was part of the family. She doesn’t deserve that status, she’s a servant for crying out loud! I don’t think she understands the chain of command and that’s fair since she’s taking care of a fragile granny; I suppose it’s easy to reverse the roles, which makes her a bad servant therefore. Ah man my time at “home” wasn’t that great because of her. The only nice thing she did was give up her bed for me, because I couldn’t stand sleeping on those hard board beds…my bones were bruised after the first night so she swapped over starting the second night. But other than that, she wasn’t very respectable, nor respectful. I heard she scabs money and uses it to buy stuff to take back to her family; very unfaithful and all. Oh well, she better be gone next time I return to Hong Kong.

Primary School Reunion (January)

Once again Grace managed to organise up a reunion for people from our primary school, particularly our year 6 class. And as usual we didn’t get the entire class. In fact our numbers have been small these last few times (probably because Tony keeps trying to drag everyone out to the middle of nowhere…). This time we decided to just go out to the city and do random stuff. Can’t remember who came or how many, didn’t bother counting but there were a few people I haven’t seen for the 6 years and I barely managed to recognise them.

 

Me and Matt travelled together on the train. I  don’t get why his return ticket from Epping was only a mere $2.80 and yet my single was already $2.50. Stupid CityRail. Matthew opted to get off at Central (though I don’t understand why he only wanted to travel that far. Town hall would’ve been a better stop because we were going to Hyde Park. So we made the long walk from Central to Hyde Park and got to that fountain at the northern end of the park at the time we were meant to meet at; 11am.

 

Not many people were there; of course there was the new-couple, Mark and Holstein; good for them. After a while more people showed up and we went down to the grass to play…Uno. A bit too passive maybe? Oh well. Eventually we decided to up the ante and add variations. Eventually it got to the point where we were playing Mao style and were also adding our own rules. Matt and Holstein both had random rules set in place. Of course, not intending to play Uno all day, I managed to finish and immediately added the silent rule which quickly sent everyone away in frustration. And that’s game. Also surprised that Steph arrived without that desire to brutally kill me in some way.

 

By then we had enough people. Oh by the way, as usual Tony arrived late; kept calling my mobile the entire morning giving updates and asking questions about what we were doing. Geez, why does he even have my number. But the thing that troubled me a bit was the fact that he had two piercings on the same eye and then an additional clip-on on the same ear; eww much?

 

One of Grace’s ideas was to play this weird exchanging presents game. Basically everyone was meant to bring a cheap random present (kudos to me, Matt and a few others that didn’t >.<”) Grace covered our gifts at the cost of a few $$$. Didn’t quite understand why each present had to be wrapped because first thing was that we revealed what each present contained. They were all random though so not much point going into detail about it. After that each person was able to shift a pair of presents around between people keeping in mind that presents can only move a maximum of  three times. So the watchful person would wait till a present they liked was moved twice and then they’d swap it with them self and then done. Slightly flawed but I was happy being able to cause chaos and making Tony end up with a book, which actually probably had the most value out of everything. I ended up with Steph’s home-made biscuits, some chocolates and some post-it notes. Ended up giving her cookies back because she got hungry in the afternoon.

 

We went off for lunch after all that; went off to umm…Central Westfield, grabbed some food and headed back to the park to eat. I guess food isn’t too expensive but surely I can’t keep spending it like this every single time I go out, if indeed I go out much these days. When we got back there were so many people at the park now and there became fewer spots with shade. But we still found a good spot and had lunch; a good long discussion which later became fruitless because then we were just sitting around unable to decide on what to do next.

 

But after much idling we started moving off to that weird art museum at Darling Harbour; huh, what?! But yes the museum was a somewhat odd place to go to and we were basically the only “kids” there. Funnily enough for me, there were a few pieces which I thought were nice and interesting; of course I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate and understand the thoughts behind each piece of art so there’s no point for me trying to delve deep into

 

Don’t know what happened to Tony but he disappeared and then called me up while we were on the 4th floor. We were all a bit tired so we all sat down, and I pranked Tony by making him play hide and seek with us. He gave up 10 minutes later and started getting angry haha. I was determined to keep the game running because everyone thought it was funny but I guess some amusing things have to come to an end.

 

We left and it was still just as hot; and to cut things short, our group began to disband as we moved towards Central. But the time we had gotten to Capitol Plaza and decided to go take sticker photos, our group was reduced to 6. Now, the really lame part of the day was that it was everyone’s first time taking sticker photos, shameful yes I know. Steph always kept the irony that you never do end up looking like a Jap person in sticker photos despite what the sample photos look like on the machines. I personally have no idea how much time should be allocated to having everything done but I do know that taking the photo in the first place was hard enough as it was. Cramming 6 people in a booth is no laughing matter and on a hot day as today, it certainly is not fun. But after that Matt was running short of time so we tried to decorate the sticker photos as quickly as we could. Didn’t spend much time on it and so most of our photos weren’t really over-dramatized, which may have been the right thing to do. But yeah, you live and learn and it was fun.

 

Forgot how we disbanded as we went home after that but it ended up being just me and Steph on the train, although Matthew and Tony were also meant to be. But it was good catching up with her I mean after all, last time I saw her was on a hockey field and she was poised to unleash a psychotic swing from her hockey stick, scary days. But yeah when she’s in the right mood she’s not as scary as she used to be all those years back. I still believe she’s still slightly agro, just lucky not to see it today.

 

Future reunion next week due to lack of people coming? Maybe.