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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Prayer

I led the congregational prayer at my church today. It was my first time to do an open prayer in front of so many people. I felt incredibly blessed and honoured to do so. The following is my transcript:

"Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you this hour asking for your blessing and grace as we gather here today.

As I stand here this morning, Father I just wanna thank you for the month of October.
Thank you for the autumn skies, so clear and blue, and even when the skies are gray.
Thank you for leaves that fall to the ground, for I know God, that only you will rejuvenate and restore.
Thank you for the beautiful fireworks that lit up the sky, for you are the God of creation, who created the world so beautiful.

And above all, thank you Lord for giving us the gift of Love, for it is said in the Bible,

'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps on record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

God I pray that you will always help us to love one another the way You love us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit, God, come and live in our hearts and make us complete.

Help us to be merciful to one another, and help us to be humble enough to ask for forgiveness when we need to. Thank you that when we love each other your way, you will bless us and show us your favor by surrounding us like a protective shield.

Last but not least, Lord, thank you for giving us community so that we may continue to grow in You. I want to pray for the College Group that as we continue to meet every week, our fellowship will become stronger. Bless us university students as we go through our midterm exams, that we may excel in our studies. And help us to be role models to our university friends, so that they may also come to know you and seek your guidance.

In all this I pray in Jesus's name, Amen."

-Megan Ng

Monday, October 11, 2010

4D3N Jeju Trip

Before I went to Jeju last summer, I'd been searching for info on the Net and all the info was so scattered! So, to commemorate our 101010 ROM anniversary, I shall write a travel guide on our honeymoon trip to Jeju island!

The ubiquitous Jeju hareubang, or "stone grandfather" statue

Jeju-do, or Jeju Island, is the largest island in South Korea. It is a volcanic island created from volcanic eruptions approximately 2 million years ago. The highest mountain in South Korea, Mount Halla, is situated here. (The highest mountain in Korea - both North and South - is located in North Korea.)

If Bali could be compared with the sunset, then Jeju would be the sunrise. Both are volcanic islands, are equally romantic and are a popular spot for honeymooners, but are as different as night and day. In Bali the popular things to do are temple visiting and clubbing the night away, but in Jeju it's all about getting up early and setting off on that eco trail!

We flew in by Air Busan from Busan to Jeju. Round trip tickets for two of us cost 267,000won. Jeju island is divided into 2 parts: north (Jeju-si) and south (Jungmun and Seogwipo-si). There's more attractions at the south so we stayed there. In the middle of the island is Mount Halla, whereas on the east side there's Seongsan Ilchubong (Sunrise Peak) and Manjanggul Lava Tubes. On the less visited west of the island are the Tea Plantation and Glass Castle. Here's our itinerary:

Day 1
Jeju Airport -> Mysterious Road -> Loveland -> Jungmun(中文观光区) -> Teddy Bear Museum -> Lotte hotel volcano show (8.30pm sharp)

Day 2
Manjanggul Lava Tubes (万丈窟) -> Gimnyeong Maze -> Seongsan Ilchubong (城山日出峰)

Day 3 - Olle Trail
Oedolgae (Lonely Rock) -> Cheonjiyeon waterfalls (天地渊) -> Jeongbang waterfalls (正房瀑布) -> Sambangsan Lava Dome -> Glass Castle (琉璃之城) 

Day 4
Jungmun Daepo Columnar Joints -> Airport

Getting around the island
Before going to Jeju we actually intended to rent a car and drive around the island. But after going there, I do not recommend driving yourself because a) Jeju-do is a large island, takes a long time to get around b) taking the bus is so easy! c) taxi is cheap d) easy to get confused with the signage e) but the most important thing was renting a car is expensive (from 65,000won per day exclusive of petrol, insurance etc) and they had rented out all their small cars (eg Matiz) and foreigners were not allowed to book beforehand!

For Day 1, we dumped our luggage at the airport locker room and took a taxi to Loveland/Mysterious Road (6000-7000won). Make sure you have marked down the Korean name of your destination because most taxi drivers can't understand English! As an alternative you can give the phone no. of the place to the taxi driver cos they can enter it in their GPS and get the location! Get the taxi driver to demonstrate driving on the Mysterious Road. After that, take a taxi back to the airport (6000-7000won) then take the airport limo to Jungmun (3000won) where the Teddybear Museum is located.

For Day 2, we took a bus from Jungmun to Seogwipo Bus Terminal and changed to another bus to Manjanggul Lava Tubes (not recommended, very long ride @_@ about 2 hours! Best is to spend a night in Jeju-si and take a bus from there to Manjanggul, it's nearer...) Then from Manjanggul, we walked 20 mins to the Gimnyeong maze. Get a discount at the maze if you reached there on foot! Then we took a taxi to Seongsan Ilchubong and spent a whole afternoon there. Then took the bus back to Seogwipo/Jungmun.

For Day 3, it was so easy to get around because everything was so nearby (around Seogwipo area). Took the bus from Jungmun to Oedolgae then taxi to both the waterfalls. After that, taxi back to Seogwipo Bus Terminal and took a bus to the west part of the island to see the Glass Castle. However we were captivated on the way by the Sambangsan lava dome so we got off the bus. Wait for a taxi to get to Glass castle (15,000won) but don't stay there for too long because you can hardly get a taxi back in the late afternoon! Luckily we managed to hitchhike our way back to Jungmun area.

Pictures:

Mysterious Road

Loveland

Teddy Bear museum

Jungmun area

Lotte Hotel volcano show

Manjanggul Lava Tubes (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Gimnyeong Maze

Tilefish (옥돔구이 okdong-gu-i) from Jeju

Seongsan Ilchubong (城山日出峰 Sunrise Peak) (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Jeju famous tangerine

Oedolgae (Lonely Rock) - 《大长今》拍摄地点

Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls (天地渊)

Another type of fish - long tailed silver fish (Kalchi-gui) in spicy sauce

Jeongbang Waterfalls (正房瀑布)

Sambangsan Lava Dome (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Glass Castle

Famous Jeju Black Pork BBQ (the food not the man)

Finally, Jungmun Daepo Columnar Joints (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Any questions, feel free to leave a comment on this page! Thanks!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

(500) Days of Summer


Finally somebody made a film about IKEA. Well, not actually a film "about IKEA", but isn't this what couples do, wandering through the labyrinth that is IKEA hand-in-hand, surveying the furniture, imagining and dreaming of building their comfy little nest together, cuddling like no one's business on the couch and "pretending" to be in their happy place.

We've all been there, done that. Falling in love, then you get your heart broken, for no particular reason whatsoever. She(he) just says those heartless words to you and is gone. You drink a lot, cry a lot, smash a lot of dishes, and complain to your friends everyday until they get bored of you. You keep on wondering why she(he) broke up with you. Racing through memories of both of you together, trying to pinpoint the exact point and moment where things went wrong.

And then by chance, you bump into her(him) again. Have a coffee together, talk a lot, get your hopes up that maybe, just a slight chance that grows and grows that maybe you could both get back together again, and then realise afterwards that she(he)'s with another person. Your heart breaks and you go through the whole depression thing again.

Until one day you wake up, and realize, you're completely over her(him). Because Autumn's here.

~~~~~

Chanced upon this indie film titled "(500) Days of Summer" while surfing the net. It premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (from Inception) and Zooey Deschenel. I watched this show because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt but fell in love with Zooey Deschenel instead. I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked hot in Inception and looks a lot like a younger Keanu Reeves and HK TVB actor 陈健锋! Whereas Zooey Deschenel's character in the movie is exactly like the Korean girls I see everyday, that same hairstyle, ribbons in their hair, the dress sense.

The whole theme of the movie is blue, my favorite color. And I liked how the whole movie was put together like a series of photographs.

OK now for the movie review, although it's a nice movie, but I felt it was a bit boring. Maybe it was a bit too pop-ish for me, and maybe Joseph Gordon-Lewitt's character lacked depth, or maybe the whole "first love first heartbreak" thing seems too faraway from me now. Anyhow, watch it and maybe you'll love it, although this movie wasn't for me! :-)

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time 時をかける少女


Found this anime in JG's place and watched it before I went to Japan to brush up a little on my nihon-go and get familiarized with the country.

Summary from here:

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells us a story about Makoto, a high school student who spends her time most (playing baseball in an open field) with two of her best friends – Chiaki and Kousuke. On a particularly “Nice Day” day ~ things started off wrong for her with first being late for class, then failing a pop quiz, and then setting fire to her cooking pan during a class and during break, she was crashed into by some guy who was goofing around with friends. For a clumsy girl like her could things get any worse?? Yup, on her way back home from school, her bicycle brake decides to fail on her of which sent her flying into the direction of an oncoming train. Things went into a slow motion pace for Makoto as she gets thrown off of her bicycle and as viewers see the train coming directly at her, things was surely going to end up fatal…

Trailer here:



Somehow, I resonate with the story. I like to sit and watch the blue blue sky with its fluffy white clouds. Just staring into nothingness. And clumsy things happen to me. Always. And if only I could wake up earlier. Just a few minutes earlier. Then nothing bad would have happened. And then the boy who tells her he loves her. And she tries to avoid...


And baseball, perhaps. I finally went to the batting range with him that day. Baseball on a nice, chilly night. 500 won for 20 balls straight continuous shoot, what a rush! 3000 won in total for two of us. Just hit and hit and hit without thinking. Until the whole world is empty except for you and the ball coming right at you. I hit until my arms and wrists felt the pain until today. And the adrenaline rush afterwards. And listening to Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" over and over again afterwards. Reminds me of my carefree high school days, each time. And now I have a new memory.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

October

This is the scene I'm seeing everyday now walking from my dorm to the lab. How funny a Four Seasons country can be. In Spring, the sakura tree is pink and blooming with only flowers. In Summer, the sakura tree is green and thick with only leaves. In Autumn, the sakura tree turns gold and leaves start to fall. In Winter, the sakura tree is bare and dull. You don't get to see that in Malaysia. I'm always reminded of how blessed I am to be here, at this moment.

Another tree with pink red blossoms

And my favorite university spot -- the fountain. It's so romantic it's indescribable. A lot of beautiful memories here, sitting here with my hubby eating warm toast (although the fountain was not on then), the beautiful mooncake party gathering with Malaysian friends (perfect setting for a moonlight party), and just sitting there for 5 minutes while on the way back to dinner, watching the children play around the fountain (I like to do that sometimes), listening to the water turn on and off and the whoosh when it sprouts up high.

Sometimes it looks like a birthday cake

My girlfriends at the lab. Can't imagine life without them.

Weather's already changed and I need a jacket. Got this for 50% off at a Nike store at Nampodong. Cost only 30,000+won! I like very 型 jackets, less of girly stuff please. But I still haven't worn it till now! Maybe will start wearing it next week. ^^


Nike swoosh

Been crazy busy this week. Had a lab seminar presentation on Monday, then had a "Wireless Sensor Networks"class presentation on Thursday and had to rush to prepare a 30-page presentation material for my professor to bring to his seminar on VLC (Visible Light Communication) technology. Crazy stuff. I wish I were better at elaborating technical stuff in detail. It's one of my weak points. Need to work on that. Only thing that kept me company was watching CSI Vegas Season 10. Wish I'd been a Crime Scene Investigator instead. Life would have been so much more interesting.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wake me up when September ends.


And so September ended yesterday. September this year was like a good dream. My hubby was still here with me early this month. Fall semester started and I'm now into my third week of lectures.

The Malaysian table at the dormitory food hall is growing. We have 2 new girls here at Pukyong National University, Sarah and Jing Huey. It's so fun to have more girls to shop, talk, cook with... and taking nice pictures together! We've gone out shopping for autumn clothing twice already - to Busan Dae and Nampodong. Cooking bakuteh for Mid-autumn Festival party! Gathering all Malaysians from all over Busan and having a nice celebration at our beautiful university campus.

Chuseok 3-day holidays. Went to Fukuoka with Shirly and Pearly for Chuseok! (Updates later...)

3 September babies in a row: Beelie, Shirly and James. Ending September with a nice Noraebang session and dancing the night away at the university club party!~