below are some of the things i did last weekend, while my parents are away, that resulted in me having to double up on mugging for my upcoming test today.
cool shit. dont have to wring the cloth with my hands!
below are some of the things i did last weekend, while my parents are away, that resulted in me having to double up on mugging for my upcoming test today.
cool shit. dont have to wring the cloth with my hands!
Let’s pray for our friends in japan.
i should be in bed now but i haven watched a good movie in a long while and i decided that i should post something about The Adjustment Bureau.
this show dosent have much suspense which is why some people dont like it. ironically, it’s cus of the lack of suspense that drew me into the movie and made me wana keep watching- i was pretty engrossed, waiting for the climax to arrive and it did so gradually towards the end of the movie. the plot is clever. i am deeply moved by how Matt Damon’s character, david, fought against his fate to be with the girl (Emily Blunt’s character, elise) he fell in love with after a brief albeit eventful encounter in the gents.
ive never really liked Matt Damon and have never really thought much of Emily Blunt but their chemistry in this movie was swoonful. Both their performances are commendable but i must rate that Emily’s better given that she had to tackle a handful of emotions.
a few days back, i read somewhere about Emily Blunt being lauded as one of the English Roses, alongside Emma Watson and Keira Knightley. Emily Blunt dosent come across to me as gorgeous/ stunning but i now see her in a different light. she exudes some kinda aura that charmed me. it’s so difficult to explain how i now feel for this British actress but at least now i know how her honourable English Rose association came about. i have never been a fan of romance movies and movies in English but this movie certainly captivated me and i also look forward to seeing more of Emily Blunt.
for movies in English, apart from Salt, The Adjustment Bureau is undoubtedly the best movie ive ever watched.
ps: huang and i came to a consensus that the cactus shall be a symbol of the middle finger because the person who created emojis, or whatever it is called, conveniently left out the middle finger sign; and the cactus happened to be the emoji that resembles most like a middle finger.
A little chap with green framed sunglasses too huge for his puny face was walking towards me. I obviously stared and smirked at his strange getup and he posed like superman, sped up towards me, and PUNCHED ME!
If i werent in front of my contingent of colleagues, i wouldve picked the chap up and threw him into the construction site adjacent to the pathway we were on.
Now, i can only say:
_|_ CHEEBYE _|_
eat while type violently.
this bear surfaced, when mother did spring cleaning, together with a crate of koala bears and kangaroos and pink dolphins from australia.
i dont remember playing with them after we returned to singapore o,O
nevertheless, i think these toys should stay while my littlest sister’s tweety birds should go. GO!
these are the only memories i have of my stopover in Dubai.
because i very conveniently left my camera on the airplane.
Time now is 2340hrs and my youngest sister and i are watching her kindergarten graduation concert video. orbiang!!!
after more than half a day of flying, i finally arrived in Continent Africa, Country Egypt, Capital Cairo, at 0520hrs. upon arrival, i was instantly awe-struck by the poor albeit charming country. of cus, words cannot describe this country which is made up of a whopping 82 million people; only pictures can.
before u proceed, please be rest assured that this post will be entertaining.. only if u have the time as it’s gonna be a really lengthy post (because of the duration of my stay there), with facts and pictures and a whole lot of more words to describe my feelings.
okay, without further ado, let’s get the story rolling:
first stop was to visit the pyramids! camels’ droppings can be found everywhere. we, people from the green country, were not used to the dirt and were busy dodging poos until we finally figured that if we continue to do that, we’d miss a chunk of the beautiful scenery.
negotiating price of camel ride.
this little boy was in-charged of my camel. i was initially terrified cus the others had grown guys guiding their camels. so for every few seconds, i would stop the little boy and ask “okay?!” he steadily nodded his head each time. i eventually relaxed and started to take pictures of the breath-taking landscape.
u cant see it but my aunt was in a semi-petrified state.
one of The Three Great Pyramids of Giza. an option for curious people to buy tickets to explore the inside of the pyramid was available and im a kpo queen so i obviously had to get my nosey nose inside the pyramid. the walkway was extremely narrow vertically and horizontally and the steps were far apart plus steep. i was bending so low my back and knees were aching big time. after that fateful insightful trip down-pyramid, i suffered from aching muscles for 3 days.
there are actually three pyramids, built by Cheops, Chephron and Mycerinus. but the only one on the list of the 7 wonders is built by Cheops, the grandfather. The pyramid built by Cheops, as seen in the above photo, is the oldest, yet the only surviving of the seven ancient wonders. awesome wholesome aint it?
try to see through the sand in the wind in the background and you’ll be able to see The 3 Great Pyramids of Giza (the one on the extreme right with it’s top chipped off is not counted).
ive been to 2 other wonders of the world but when i saw this, i was dumbfounded. the pyramids were built before the birth of Christ. how in the world did the Egyptians build such a majestic thing back then?
about 350m from the Cheops’ pyramid stands the father of terror, The Sphinx, 1 of the 7 forgotten wonders of the world.
The Sphinx from another angle.
we moved on to have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe at Grant Hyatt Hotel. the food there was American and definitely edible. as Hard Rock fans, we couldnt stop ourselves from spending on collectibles before we filled our raging stomachs :(
duper duper duper humongous Egyptian Museum with a whole level of mummies and coffins; the word ‘fascinating’ was created for this museum. it’s a pity no cameras are allowed inside. well, that just gives u one reason to visit this amazing place. ok, basically, there’re
1. an array of jewelry once possessed by the Pharaohs and the rich
2. enormous coffins made of serious gold!
3. a badly stained condom used by ancient Egyptians
4. beds which were buried together with the dead
5. statues found in pyramids
6. mummies of animals (this is cool)
7. a demo, in the form of papers, of how the Hieroglyphic language kick-started
8. PLEASE, JUST GET A TICKET TO EGYPT.
ok return to hotel to bathe and be out for dinner.
even though the view of the pyramid right in front of our restaurant was jaw dropping, no pictures were taken cus at 7pm Egypt time, i was horribly jet-lagged and couldnt be bothered to lug along a camera.
the food was disgusting. we had naan and dehydrated tough chicken and half cooked rice and raw vegetables [almost the main things we ate in Egypt (which explains my drastic weight loss)]. and this fateful dinner moment, i witnessed a happy insect running on my naan, thanks with love.
anyway, to compensate for the lack of picture, here’s 1 interesting fact:
the Egyptians’ lunch time is from 3pm to 5pm, and their dinner time is from 10pm to 12mn.
saw similar kinda pavilions in my resort in Phuket but these are obviously chio-er la.
view from the bus on the way to El Baharia Oasis (desert).
fact: the people in the Oasis react very slowly because the weather there is soooooo hot it wears them out a lot.
View from the bus of a little boy tryna get his bicycle going.
the weather in Egypt is so extremely hot Singapore’s like snowing merlions. due to the heat, we had to keep ourselves hydrated by downing litres of water. but then, toilets are scarce. so we usually end up holding our pee in our bursting bladders until the bus godthankfully stops at A TOILET STOP.
but! the toilets are so dirty your neighbourhood kopitiam’s toilet is like heavenly. check out the beautex tissue packet peeping out from my pocket. everytime i use the toilet, i use up one packet of tissue.
View from the bus of a quaint house.
the houses are mainly coated in the original colours of mud and concrete cus painted houses are deemed to be owned by rich Egyptians and that, they have to pay taxes to the government.
View from an international 2-star hotel’s trellis fence. dont that building look very hansel and gretel?
we had lunch at the 2-star hotel. putting food into our mouths was a chore cus houseflies were everywhere and my left hand was constantly fanning the flies away from my naan as my right hand tackled the food.
1 of the group members in my tour group was intrigued by my colourful shawl and took some photos of me in it. i was a little creeped out at first but then i thought what an honour i have to be part of what his worth-a-whopping-5-figure-sum-camera-plus-lens captured.
after a tiring lunch, we embarked on a 4x4 jeep ride into the deepness of the desert. i took the passenger seat and was cam-whoring as the others were getting prepared to set off.
woohoo! just the beginning and my camera lens was tainted with sand and dust all because the jeep was not air-conditioned and the windows had to be wound down. anyway i was in this very jeep 5 :)
the jeeps were supposed to move in a chronological order. i was in jeep #5 so i was behind jeep #4, doh.
followed by #6 and #7.
just like how the grasses on the big field look like after your ahmah’s favourite Teochew opera stage finally leaves.
Big Sand Dune wheeeeeeeeee! we were 1% drained out of engery after walking up the thing we were on cus the sand was so fine and soft we kept sinking into it every heavy step we took. tons of efforts, seriously.
i reckoned my facial skin could no longer withstand the scorching heat and decided to turn myself into an Egyptian. i blended in so well our Egyptian tour guide bestowed the name ‘Fatimah’ upon me.
fact 1: single women don colourful clothings. married women don dull-coloured clothings.
fact 2: men were allowed to marry up to 4 wives as many women were left behind when tons of men got killed in war. but happy the men may be, they have to treat their wives fairly like if wife #1 has 2 houses, wives #2, #3 and #4 have to have 2 houses each too.
took this picture from a pretty weird position. i chose not to take the designated footpath to the top of the Crystal Mountain but to climb very unglamourously. and there, while climbing, i found this rock that looks like a howling dog. o and check out the neatly aligned bokehs :)
i finally reached the top of the mountain.
yoga on Crystal Mountain.
i kept asking our jeep driver to stop cus i wanted to snap the gorgeous sunset and lo and behold the driver couldnt keep up with the group and lost his way. o my heart. phew for working mobile phones.
arrival at the Sand Dune Camp. this Bedouin was preparing bbq chicken for us
like really in the middle of the desert where there was just us and sand and rocks and our jeeps. this is serious coolness. even cooler than your freezer man. and i mean cool like literally too cus it started to get really chilly as the night approached.
we had dinner in this tent like set-up. i made new friends, sio and liyen, here. 15 minutes into our conversation, i asked them if they could help me keep a lookout for passersby as i peed in the open. they were astonished but were kind enough to oblige. together with my cousin, they were vigilant in detecting for wandering chee-ko-peks.
anyway, the moment i peeled my pants off, i kinda regretted ever deciding to pee in the vastness of the desert cus the wind was blowing straight up my butt crack and i just wana GET OVER AND DONE WITH PEEING.
dinner in the desert is the most romantic thing to do on earth. cus right above our heads were clusters of stars and they look really near cus it was pitch dark except for the lights coming from camera flashes, lights from the tent set-up, and torches. i dont think anywhere in Italy can beat this experience. (tour guide shared that some people traveled all the way there just to have sex. how do u beat that you tell me?)
after dinner, we traveled quite a distance back to our international 2-star hotel. our jeep driver was pretty insane he kept straying from the group even though he did not know his way. then he was driving at 80km/h when the front was totally foggy with sand and huge boulders lying EVERYWHERE. i touched my heart and prayed that i can return to Singapore alive. o and the driver actually thought i was egging him on when i screamed. i was in fact too horrified to clarify.
the picture above was taken outside the room i stayed in. chio right? wait till u read about my ‘delightful’ stay.
my room was insects-infested my cousin actually killed 2 insects that were happily crawling on her pillow. there were ants as huge as my finger nails and one group member found a poisonous desert spider in her bathroom. AND HOR, the water that came out from the tap was brown with algae one okay? super survivor style. but this hotel is the best hotel in this desert. ok to be fair, this hotel is good enough cus what do u really expect out of a hotel in the middle of a desert?
black desert. charred sand everywhere.
this is the uncle and his mighty lens.
these twigs were strategically situated in front of this beautiful mountain that grew to look like a pyramid, perfect for framing work.
mini camels behind us.
Egyptian men used to give camels instead of dowries to their fiancés.
camels are pretty shy animals who mate in private.
im wang fei
beneath this thing is a Roman’s tomb. very very deep in and on this day, some of the group members were still suffering from aching muscles. so just imagine how painful it was for us to descend, crouch low to reach the inside of the tomb, and then ascend.
after which, we visited Alexandria’s Temple. he controlled the hearts of the Egyptians who lived in the oasis by building temples to show that he worshipped their gods too (the Egyptians are very religious people). no pictures allowed in the tomb nor at Alexandria’s temple so 2 more facts:
1. nobody has found Alexandria’s tomb as yet.
2. all Egyptian men are to serve the army unless the chap is the only son in his family. and the enrollment into army goes on this basis:
- 1 year if the chap is gonna enroll into university
- 2 years if the chap is not gonna enroll into university
- 3 years if the chap has no education
on the same day, we visited the Museum of Mummies. no photo-taking allowed so im sorry.. anyway, the museum was not very worth taking photos of cus it was so run-down. seemed like they were gonna tear the museum down soon. we were only allowed into one room where they displayed the mummies. some members felt spooked as soon as they stepped into the room while some thought they smelled something fishy. it was kinda eerie cus the room was so small and the mummies were really close to us.
their kinda shops.
10 years ago, import of any kind of product into Egypt was prohibited. now, there’re supermarkets like carrefour.
we stayed in Cairo for another night and woke up very early the next morning for our 0715hrs domestic flight to Aswan. had a horrible check-in experience cus my cousin and i got stalled at the x-ray machine when we didnt have our passports (with my aunts who had already passed the body scans) and to add to the delay, some rude people had to cut my cousin’s and my queues.
The Aswan High Dam, one of the 7 forgotten wonders of the modern world.
been to Hoverdam in Arizona but this is more than Hoverdam-WOW.
sorry, we blocked the dam. ha ha! but i wanted to show u how windy it was there.
now here u go.. cameras are allowed but we were not allowed to zoom.
on the ferry to Philae Temple.
ok at that point of time i felt weak and felt like i couldnt go on. so i didnt take much photos but was instead taking tons of pills to strengthen my immune system.
this view is super greece.
after a super hectic start of the trip and people beginning to fall ill, we were just looking forward to get on board the cruise cus that was when we could truly sit back and relax as the cruise sailed along River Nile.
after checking into our cramp rooms, we went on a felucca ride.
these are the Mayors’ tombs called Agha Khan Mausoleum.
CHINESE! -wave frantically and start taking photos of each other-
electrical appliances such as kettles/ irons were not allowed to be used in our rooms cus this was what happened when the appliance/s was/were left unattended.
total wreckage mans!
we were in the lounge in our cruise. very poshly furnished but we didnt spend a lot of time there cus we were mostly in our room playing Gin Rummy.
i was trying to act cute in front of Kom Ombo Temple.
organic paint (that can last from before the birth of Christ till now) and not nippon paint okay?
this is sio the architect, the friend i made at the desert. she and her friend liyen felt that i was very cool and lady gaga-ish. the cool part is fine but the gaga part?
horse carriage ride to Temple of Horus / Edfu Temple.
wheeeeeeeeeeeeee~~ our horse was really fast!
This temple took 7 Pharaohs a total of 200 years to build and is the most well preserved temple in the entire Egypt. and if u wana know, Horus is a falcon God.
hot air balloon sighting!
erm, we returned to our room to see this thing staring at us. i was so bloody tickled i asked the chamber maid to do another one for me and i think i paid him a chunk of USDs as tips ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! then my aunt knew i was going crazy so she kept my wallet away from me.
this is the impressive Luxor Temple.
King Ramses II liked to erect his statues everywhere so this explains the number of statues of him u see around the temple (there’re more than the pictured 4).
fact: 90% of the population in Luxor work in the tourism industry.
this mosque is interestingly situated right smack in the temple.
the mosque from the end of the row of pillars.
Little Sphinxes can be found outside temples- they were known to be guards to temples.
what is left of a statue.
tap water is not safe for consumption so bottled water were issued to us throughout the trip. this was how we passed the bottles in the bus.
possibly the nicest unfinished building i saw in Egypt.
some of us took on an optional tour on horse carriage that brought us into the housing and shopping districts.
housing- pretty dirty but children nonchalantly ran around bare footed as their parents watched them from the side walks. we peeped into some of their houses and i saw a bulky tv set with fuzzy images while my aunt saw a motor bike parked inside the house.
bazaar- like our orchard road but way simpler. people could be seen culling and bartering and it was pretty noisy. streets were really narrow and the Egyptians had to siam one side for the carriages to pass through. women were solemn to the extent of fierce. because of the lack of space, the women stood really near to our carriages and glared so hard my cousin and i kept looking at the sky to avoid their eyes. the kids were excited to see us and some tried to touch our yellow skins.
the next morning, we visited the Valley of the Kings. no photo-taking allowed so i bought post cards instead. the post cards are of bad quality so not worth putting them up. basically, we visited 3 tombs that belonged to Ramses 3, 4 and 9. before the Kings died, they chose what they wanted to be buried with them. after their death and the proper burial, their tombs were covered up to look just like any other mountains.
people who discovered the tombs would die 10 years after their great discoveries. people speculated that the ominous happening was due to the contact with the dead. it actually was due to the toxic gas inside the tombs that caused the discoverers’ death. imagine 3000 over years of air trapped inside!
now, fresh air had to be pumped into the newly discovered tombs and the archaeologists have to wait for 1-2 days before entering the premise.
this is not a sand castle but a temple built by Queen Hatshepsut. she was the ruler then as her son was too young to rule the country after her husband’s death. the temple is in a bad shape as it was destroyed by her son when he grew up and wanted to take over rulership of the country by force.
i have no idea why my aunt was wearing her wind breaker cus it was really really hot here!
these are statues of soldiers but statues of Queen Hatshepsut were also very manly as the men who were tasked to knead her statues felt that it was not right to knead females’ body parts.
it was so sweltering hot that we took photos the fastest we could and made a headway to the cafe for ice cream.
mould and knead and then..
sell. alabaster that is.
more organic paints.
134 or 139 (cant recall) such majestic pillars.
the fastest (45 minutes) and weirdest (air stewardesses did not check if we buckled our seat belts and inclined our seats during landing) flight ive ever taken.
Sharm = crack of coral reefs
Sheikh = all wise men
Sharm El Sheikh has some of the world’s finest resorts and Sharm El Sheikh is known as the place where the rich go to relax.
arrival at this enchanting resort beside the red sea was at night. despite the beauty of this luxurious 5 star resort, the service kinda suck, as warned by the tour guide. our names and other group members’ names got mixed up and 2 families ended up being assigned to one room. we spent like more than 45 minutes disputing over who should occupy the rooms until the hotel manager and his staff finally made their long way to our rooms to address the issue.
shops and super marts right opposite our resorts make tourists like us happy! but there honestly wasnt much to buy cus all the shops basically sold the same stuff.
optional tour to ride quad bike also known in Thailand as ATV.
all ready for the dirt ride!
first stop in the middle of the desert and still going strong!
my aunt and my cousin looking shagged. my aunt was pillion to my couz and their bikes were in the first place so they did not get the bulk of sand and dust and fumes like the people at the back did. i was in the middle but caught up a bit by doing illegal over-taking and when people in front stopped cus their engines stalled or when their hats or whatever flew off.
this was where the group members had some drinks at stop #1. cozy little place but within a few minutes, it was time to go.
this was stop #2. like u see in the photo, we had to travel in a straight line. i got lashed at for overtaking a few slow pokes. i have no idea what’s there to be careful about and riding really slowly. the fun part of this quad bike tour is to speed and bop up and down as we hit rough terrains isnt it?
my ali baba cousin and my aunt who works in a tea plantation in Sri Lanka. ooooo, kidding.
at the end of the tumultuous ride, we dismounted from the bikes looking like sand men and sand women. those who brought their cameras without their camera bags all kena jialat. 1 uncle lamented that his camera would need an overhaul ha ha ha that was hilarious!
back at the resort and more photo-taking.
the water was so clear u cant really tell which rocks are under or above the water.
last shot of the Sharm El Sheikh before we left for a half a day busride to St Catherine. we arrived at St Catherine pretty late and dragged our feet and luggage back to our spick and span hotel room before we headed out for a horrible dinner of rock-hard bread and nasty tasting noodles. we retreated early, which we had to, for the next morning was gonna be a taxing one. i’ll tell u why in the following photos taken when the sun was up:
because we had to wake up at 12am to scale Mount Sinai in total darkness, on rocky paths. the reason to waking up that early was cus the mountain is not Bukit Timah Hill and we had to reach the peak in time to catch the sunrise.
we can choose to reach the peak by traveling by camel (poor camels) or by trekking (poor feet). i chose to trek and u shall read about what happened to me..
i was on the road to recovery (yeh i was sick for 3/4 of the trip) but 1 hour up the mountain i was coughing like a mad camel and blowing my nose like a mad horse all over again. i felt like i was gonna collapse soon. every 5 steps up, u’d slide backwards by 2 steps because they didnt have proper paths and the paths were so rocky, slippery, steep. i had such a hard time even though i bought a walking stick for freaking USD1, i raised the white flag upon arrival at the first station (see picture).
as i was one of the first to reach the first station, i had ample time to think if i really didnt wana continue. when the last person reached where i was, i decided to push my body but my uncle was adamant in his objection. i obediently stayed behind.
the snacks on sale at the first station were exorbitantly priced but i had a delightful time eating cus i was so damn bored. the people who continued had to climb for another 3odd hours, and then watch and take photos of the sunrise before they make their way downwards which would take another 3-4 hours. i ate and napped and peed and star gazed and asked tour guide to ask Egyptians to shut up.
as soon as i saw a smidge of sun light, i made my way up the mountain.
i trekked for 45 minutes and i still couldnt see Mt Sinai’s summit. so i decided to make my way down…
to feed biscuits to a camel ha ha. the camel was so gentle. unlike my crazy dog.
anyway, the lady in blue was my pee-companion on Mt Sinai. she was dubious about peeing in the open but i assured her that it was okay by peeing first. instead of keeping a lookout for me, she watched me pee. very amusing. and then when it was her turn to pee, a man decided to walk down the mountain. she kept asking me if the guy saw her and i asked her to concentrate peeing. funny shit.
after the rest of the members who made it to the top, like moses did, reached the bottom of Mt Sinai, we continued our tour in the famous St Catherine Monastery. the monastery was quite vacant and some group members were so excited to see fathers one of the members actually forced one father to take a picture with her. the father calmly told her that he did not work in this monastery and that he was from Russia. ha ha ha!
back to our international 2 star hotel at 1000hrs to have breakfast and at 1030hrs, our luggage were to be out of our rooms for our return journey to Cairo. it was a helter-skelter 30 minutes where my couz bathed, i pang sai-ed, and my aunt brushed her teeth simultaneously in the same toilet. we then dumped our stuff into our bursting luggage, pushed them out and assembled at the lobby of the hotel.
our bus passed deserts after deserts and it was hours since i kept my bladder from exploding that i stood up and asked the tour guide to please stop the bus at somewhere so that i could release my shee-shee.
when he did, the tour guide proudly told me that he stopped the whole bus just for me. i told him to look at the queue at the toilet and replied that everybody needed to pee but i happen to have thicker skin so i unknowingly became their representative. wHaTeVa~
view from Triumph Hotel in Cairo, before we left for home sweet home.
Egypt is evidently the most enthralling place ive ever been to in my 21 years of life. i will not go back to Egypt again anytime soon or ever though because this trip pretty much summed up the tons of activities a normal-to-crazy traveler would do. now, back to reality and ready to cringe when i receive my phone bill cus i kept making calls to bf in Singapore and my parents in Taiwan to ensure them that i was safe in that faraway land (ya la i go Thailand my parents dont even want me to call them).
Ready-to-serve attitudes coupled with gleaming smiles - I take my non existent hat off to the retail staff at marina bay sands.