I was fortunate to travel to two countries that have close relationship to my life
1) Taiwan: as a descendent of Chinese, it is normal for me to compare with Chinese descendent in Malaysia and in Taiwan

2) Japan: I watch Japanese drama, love Japanese food and use Japanese product. It was dream like for me to be able to travel to Japan

Interestingly, these countries are closely related to each other.

Taiwan was under Japanese colonial for half a century. Till todate, many things in Taiwan are still heavily influenced by Japanese.

The train, they way they being polite, the product they use, they way they promote the products/awarenes, tv shows.... Etc

I immediately realised this on day 1 I stepped into Japan (i went to Taiwan in April, then to Japan in October)

In Taiwan, I went to Taipei, hualien, kaohsiong, taichung, alishan.

In Japan. I went to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, nara and Hokkaido.

Nice view in Taiwan... In terms of nature sightseeing in alishan & hualien.

Taipei, taichung and kaohsiong are urban cities (shop till you drop in Taipei and weather in kaohsiong reminds me of KL)

We thought of visiting Taiwan again in few years time but... Malaysia Airline gave us early Christmas gift: we managed to hunt return ticket to Osaka with just... RM189

So, spent another total RM7000 in this trip. All in.

We were pleasantly surprised with all the five places in Japan. Each of them have their own uniqueness.

Osaka: a city with historical places to visit, various food, even more shopping than Taipei

Kobe: peaceful city ... Lots of European style buildings and... Kobe beef.

Kyoto: city of temples. Extra nice if you visit during autumn leaves season.

Nara: city of deers. Where deer > human

Hokkaido: RAMEN AND SEAFOOD! You can't go wrong with those two (er... Skiing wasn't part of the plan so can't comment)

Hokkaido is unique on its own. They have many products produced and sold only in Hokkaido (maybe a marketing strategy, but still feel exclusive) and their airport sells seafood and fresh corn (!!!!??)

When we were back home, my parents stopped mentioning about visiting Taiwan in near future.

My mum kept the Japanese yen asking us when are we going to Japan again.

And the couple spent the next one week revisit the photos taken in Japan.

If you have visited Taiwan, try Japan. You won't be disappointed.

Malaysia is a secular state, and I feel it is best it is maintained so.

Religion is a very personal belief.

I would compare religion as your favorite colour.

There can be a lot of reasons why you love a particular colour, it's a feeling, it's a trust, it's a belief that can make you feel good.

But you can't force others to have the same likings - they have their own preference too.

Even if a person loves blue colour, there are navy blue, dark blue etc (e.g. Protestant and Catholic in Christianity, or Sunni and Shia in Muslim). I can't

So if a country is ruled by religion, especially a country that has multi-religions.. just imagine a person who loves orange colour, and force the whole nation to paint nothing but orange colour for their house, and wear nothing but orange shirt.

If you feel ridiculed - you can expect the exact ridiculous stuff happening in countries ruled by religion.

I randomly thought about several products that we use daily - they are mostly made in Thailand.

I guess most of the FDI, previously parked in Malaysia, had been routed to Thailand.

Well, if I am foreign investor, I would do the same too - cheaper labour, no silly issues such as quota ratios..

To sum all up - openness is the key.

The moment you try to control a country with rigid elements such as religion or closed-door policies, you will start to see downfall.

Example? Myanmar. It was once a very rich and prosperous country, but due to its closed-door policies, it had become one of the poorest in SEA.

It starts booming as it opens its door again.

Looking back what happened in the past one year, the first half was drama to the max.

I would say my mind and soul went thru various dramatic encounters, be it willingly or unwillingly.

The second half was a lot more peaceful. But I consider yet another drama - initiated in the first half of the year - ended in early April.

To be honest, I don't regret for the decisions I made, I believe they were the best attempts to move forward in life.

I am happy, especially on the career part. At least it was something that I've been searching in the past few years.

Life wise, I triggered a drama early last month, by chance.

Quite positive so far but the insecure me, will always worry how long will it last, what if it doesn't last, what if it lasts.

Should I blame it on horoscope for it tells that, from my natal chart, I have very mutable personality?

To summarise my currrent state of mind: happy, nervous, positive, worried, calmed, contented, hollow

Or put it in this way: split personality at work.

If only time can stop at that era.

Personally, I think that was the time people of Malaysia lived in harmony.

People, regardless from any descendant, would come together watch the movie, laugh and talk about it.

Talk about now - which was the last Malay language movie that all Malaysians last watch?

If you look at P.Ramlee's movie - its value is still relevant, the humour is still silly and funny.

You can feel that the people back then were really honest, straightforward and simple.

I hope someday, the day would come - that Malaysians would realise that, happiness means simple things.

It's not peer pressure, it's definitely not emotional - it can start by smiling in this hard time, just like how P Ramlee stayed positive in his movies.

That was my first job.

But in the past 7 years, I was able to re-use that knowledge in different job, to create tools to automate manual processes.

Recently I was tasked to automate some manual works, the objective is to have data keyed in, and the tool/application should generate a Gantt chart to clearly show the dependencies and timeline.

While it is definitely a challenging task to do, but I think if it is done, it will be my personal breakthru, too.

I feel blissful to have given the opportunity.

Something wonderful happened to me in the past 7 months.

New job, new environment and bumped into an interesting person.

Unfortunately timing was wrong for me to get to know that person further.

Actually from day 1 I knew the person would vanish.

Now everything is back to where it started. The person has vanished. I've learned the power of "source of inspiration"

It was a memorable roller coaster ride

Let's look at the big picture: the government who knows how to give cash to citizens is nothing.

Any country can do that.

The current government, which failed make good policies, and make them well run, is the root cause of this country's deterioration.

This is the reason why you hear noises against the government which failed to make good policy, that people can feel.
It is the policy

Bonobo's fifth studio album(I disregard the last remix album as a studio album) is a matured downtempo album.

One example is "Cirrus", which its MV is like a kaleidoscope show.

Easy to listen, but with groovy beats and hint of exotic feel.

It's not just Bonobo's orchestral of different sounds - the album also feature soulful voices of singers such as Erykah Badu.

All in all, with a full glass of Bailey's on Saturday night, you won't go wrong (to chillout) with this album.

Rating: 7.5/10

Whatever campaign that people participate, apart from posting an Fb photo that you are "participating", what really matters is will you take action as communicated on the campaign's objectives.

Would you stop wasting food after the hunger campaign?

Would you really find ways to stop wasting electricity in daily life after you switch off lights for 1 hour in Earth Hour?

Would you stop buying smartphone(it's hard for me to stop using, I admit), or change the existing working smartphone to the newer one, (this I can do it easily) because you know the impact of rare earth production waste - because smartphone needs rare earth material?

Would you stop using plastic bag, or at least start reusing plastic bag, because you know it harms the environment?

Would you contribute your vote in coming election, knowing that it helps to make a change?

Everything starts from small. Everything is small before it becomes big.

Everything is hard before it becomes easy.

It really depends on you, whether you're just a campaigner, or an influencer with your action.

It starts from small and it starts from you.

Verdict: Randomly fun romantic comedy

The movie has a lot of talking, but even if you ignore those noise, you can still get it.

The fact that this movie is so random that I didn't have time to really digest or remember what they had said.

Just follow their acting is entertaining enough: especially Jennifer Lawrence, who acted as a bit overreacting person, due to her post-trauma of her husband's death.

You'll see some cliché(as this is romantic comedy after all) in the end but I'll still say Jennifer Lawrence deserves the award as she's partially acting out herself.

Rating: 9/10

Verdict: occasionally funny moment with slightly sluggish script. An OK fantasy film.

So, you've got a cute actor, trying hard to act but he acted a Shakespeare drama at Broadway.. That's how it feels like thru out the film.

I can say the fantasy part, was more interesting than Tim Burton's Alice in the Wonderland (which tried too hard to explain every tiny little things too detailed), but the 130 minutes could be trimmed to 100 minutes.

I like how this movie used the magic or illusion to counterattack witchcrafts (which might be the same thing after all)

It's more like a movie for kids but, with RM10, you can spend 2 hours for some good laugh, during this hot Malaysian weather.

Why not?

Rating: 6.5

So I heard from tc that Taiwan is a heaven for shopping. Here's how the ladies in her group shop:
1) used up all the cash
2) started using card
3) borrow money from trip members who still have cash
4) when they get money from VAT refund, continue shopping again.

My family and I will be there next month.

Considering my sis has already been shopping monthly from Taiwan e-shop such as queen shop, Tokyo fashion, bai momo etc...

Good luck.

This morning I had a phone call from an old friend, he asked me on the pricing of subscribing Google Storage.

It started as a little proposal on how he can backup the document for his office in a slightly risk-free way.

On top of that, he will be able to access the document from home, without the need to setup a file server, SSL connection etc.

To be honest, Google Drive/Documents helped me in the past few years, especially in terms of collaboration.

It is amazing how cloud storage has its possibilities - and it is set to do even more.

I'm amazed how it can really affect me.

In fact all the plans what done during this period would need adjustments.

This is no joke.

This seems like a spam but if anyone out there believe in horoscope you should really Google when will the mercury retrograde and its effect.

This will affect greatly on Virgo and Gemini.

Suddenly I felt that I've learned something new ever since I study horoscope in 2007

In the past few months I feel like I've been doing occasion reflection.

At some point, I've even stopped all the usual hobbies so that I could find out what's my greatest fear.

Not much drama happening but it's my choice to make it deteriorating or improving.

Am not a faithful servant but I shall pray faithfully again.
Am not a song writer but I will try to write a piece
Am not a trip organiser but I will organise a trip again.
Am not a pro blogger but I shall post again.
Am not very well now but I shall rise again.

It was after World War II. I was tasked to act as Chinese from China, to go to the area controlled by Russia in East Germany to steal some information for the British government.

I had the equipment in my bag, so I was walking in the street carefully.

A Stasi stopped me, I spoke to him in German: "Ich moechte nach Russian ambassy gehen.", meaning "I want to go to Russian embassy"

The Stasi let me go, but his colleague wanted to check my bag. I shouted at the Stasi who let me go "Warum? Sie sagen das Ich habe kein problem!" (Why? You said I have no problem!)

Then I was awaken

Yesterday I had a "judgement day"-ish dream.

Everybody was running for their life, on the land of no life.

A huge piece of dark cloud approaches us.

It seems it will first choose a person, then the punishment will be given if the person is found sinful.

A chosen person will be sucked by the dark cloud to the middle of the air, then the sinned person will be dropped hard onto the ground.

By the time it reached the ground, the body was already charcoal look alike.

I was running for my life too. I was able to dodge a few times, witnessing the person beside me being sucked into the sky.

At one point, I stood up and stared at the dark cloud with fierce thunder. The land was dry with no rain falling. The wind was strong but there's no sand or smell at all.

I thought to myself: This is a judgement day.

That's when I opened my eyes from dream. Time: 530AM

Verdict: Fan of 'Cloverfield' would love this. One of the best mockumentary in recent years. This mockumentary is about two policemen doing their daily routine. Sounds boring it may seem, but the criminals are what you and I heard of: drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficking etc. Gun fights scene checked, fighting with the triads checked, tears on losing someone checked. Its always hard to explain in detail what does a documentary talks about, but this movie does seem like a tribute to police forces for their bravery on daily life. Rating: 8/10