Saturday, 21 November 2015

if you are the one

Recently my friends convinced me to apply for the Australian special of hit Chinese dating show If you are the one. I'd heard of it, and have also watched the 2 movies with the same title - though I've never watched the TV show.



The concept of IYATO is, in essence, 24 single ladies being 'wooed' by a series of male suitors. The male contestants appear onstage one at a time, and pitches his suitability as a boyfriend and describes what he is looking for in an ideal girl. 'A dating show' is what the public sees, although the executive producer says that it is, an essence, a talk show showcasing what the Chinese youth are thinking.

Fifi roped in her boy Thomas and KW to put together my application to join IYATO as a female contestant at her farewell dinner. The girls drafted my script, tidied my hair and Thomas recorded my 1-minute video describing why I want to join IYATO.

Right before the deadline, I stayed in on a Friday night to fill out the lengthy, very personal and badly designed application form.

The braid that was not to be.. 

video

Why do I say 'badly-designed'? Because one day, my friend texted me, what kind of guys do you like?

I'd replied with a screenshot of the 'Future Boyfriend' section my application form. After awhile he'd texted, 'Very tall.'

'High income earner also.'

Haha the only reason why it's so tall is because the answers on the form were capped, ie. my minimum height requirement is 170cm, but the options are 169cm - 173cm, 174cm - 178cm, etc. So I picked 179cm - 183cm.

To my surprise I made it to the interview round, and went to Intercontinental last Sunday, armed with the few episodes of IYATO I'd watched in preparation. There were other applicants filling out forms in the waiting room, and I was surprised by how.. not very attractive everybody was (all looked like some version of me, some slightly worse). It's a stark contrast to the beautiful Sydney girls out in the city.

After waiting for an hour, I was led to a screened-off area to meet the producer. She skimmed through my application (I haven't written Chinese in years!) then murmured questions like, 'You said you broke up with your ex because of XYZ, please elaborate.'

We briefly went through my 'ideal guy' - Asian, single lids, responsible.. then she suddenly stopped and said 'That's it for today, we'll email you next week if you are successful.'

Obviously, the one-week is up and I haven't been selected :'(

(That night I attended a forum at the University of Western Sydney, where the producer confirmed what my friends told me - the contestants should be distinctive and eloquent in order to carry the show. Guess my one-word answers didn't quite cut it.)

Still, it was an interesting experience, because there is nothing I enjoy more than talking about my failed relationships to a stranger with a camera in my face ;p

So I guess if I want to meet The One / go to Nanjing / Maldives, I'll have to do it some other way!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

coulda, woulda, shoulda

Recently my cousin shared her feelings of mum-guilt* at not spending enough time and effort in appeasing the monster in her son's room ((smiles. I'm no mum, but in her I see my mother, who still kicks herself over the time she didn't let us sleep in her room when we were in primary school.

What happened was - my sister's friend had loaned her a Child's Play VCD, which is a totally inappropriate movie for kids. Still, being kids, we insisted upon watching it and ended up being scared witless and unable to sleep at night.

My memory is fuzzy, so I can only recall us 3 kids (it's good to have siblings!) huddled outside our parents' locked bedroom door. I was kicking myself for watching a movie meant for adults. I'm not sure if we knocked - probably too scared to - but somehow mum found out eventually and was racked with mum-guilt over it.

She even mentioned it when I visited home last year. It's been - what - at least 15 years since that night! Plus we kids had it coming for watching movies we shouldn't.

Despite the 'trauma' we grew up reasonably well-adjusted. Kids are a lot more resilient than they appear to me. Children understand a lot more than one expects.

Ah, the all-consuming emotions of motherhood.. this is probably why my mama doesn't recommend kids ;p

*a special kind of guilt only experienced by mums, not dads. Coined by me, who has neither a PhD nor kids.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

bang bang bang

okay la finally my dream came true and i managed to upgrade to a VIP seat at Bigbang's MADE concert in Sydney!!!

As time went by the scalpers probably realised they overdid it and were selling their tickets at a lower price than Ticketek. And Ticketek released more tickets themselves. So yay!!


The VIP Package includes was supposed to include -


  1. One VIP Reserve Seat ticket
  2. Exclusive access to the BIGBANG soundcheck
  3. Early entrance to the venue before general doors
  4. Commemorative VIP laminate
  5. Specially designed BIGBANG gift bag (exclusive for VIPs)
  6. Designated VIP check-in.
What laminate? Laminate my foot! And what specially designed gift bag?! It was for sale at the merchandise kiosks! (To think I woke at 7am on a Sunday to go pick up my 'specially designed bag'.)


Award Entertainment cannot be trusted.. but still, can't complain, because they were the only organisers who had the funds to bring BB into Australia. (Heard from a friend that usually Asian celebrities only get paid after the concerts, but BB has enough clout to demand upfront payment just to show up.)

(Of course they have clout, behind BB is YG, and behind YG is.. LVMH!!!)

(Looks like I cannot escape from LVMH in this life.. 此生逃不出 LVMH 的魔掌)

Now let's look at the VIP Package Schedule
* Times may be subject to change.

Main point - * Times may be subject to change.
* Times may be subject to change.
* Times may be subject to change.

Why don't they just tell the truth - * Delay by 3 hours.

I think it's getting obvious that I never want to touch anything by the Award Group ever again.

10am - 11.15am
Collect VIP Package accreditation and specially designed BB gift bag from the designated VIP check-in ^Please do not be late or you will miss out on the Sound Check.

Reality: I arrived at 10.30am, there was a long line, and the designated VIP check-in WASN'T EVEN OPEN. Surprisingly, a number of people went alone. I met my doppelgänger - another 26-year-old girl from Malaysia who works in Sydney now.

And from what I eavesdropped, there are fangirls who were at their concert the day before!!! And are attending again!!!



11.30am
Entry into the venue for sound check to begin!

Reality: After cloaking my bag at 11.30am, I was informed that Sound Check would begin at 1pm. ((faints. The hardcore fans were sitting down at the Sound Check entrance - I left Allphones Arena in search of breakfast and coffee. Too old for this shit!

Thankfully I had brought a book with me.



2.50pm 
Early entry external doors open.

Reality: I'm waiting for Sound Check to begin. At 3pm+ BB finally trails onstage in sunnies / face masks. No photos of BB because security was super strict. 

This Chinese girl kept exclaiming, 'Wow! Look at that girl! How can she read in here?!'
I wanted to say, 'I can understand you, you know.'
Looking at these photos, I'm also thinking, how on earth did I read in this crowded semi-darkness?!



The yet-to-be-filled arena
Personally the Sound Check was my favourite segment :)) Finally seeing BB in the flesh, close enough to see the ink on GD oppa's arms.. it was amazing and weird at the same time. They are ridiculously handsome and fit - GD is not as skinny as he appears onscreen, and Daesung is more good-looking IRL. TOP is just.. wow. 

And as usual, Seungri tried the hardest. ((摸头

They sang 3 songs and left, which is good, because any longer I might've died from overexcitement. 

5pm
BIGBANG on stage.

A surprisingly good turnout

Reality: A bit after 5pm BB came onstage, which was quite punctual. I was seated behind a middle-aged ahjumma who came alone, and next to this passionate white chick with BO. Every time the passionate white chick 'waved her hands in the air' I nearly died.

Seungri said his mother is attending the concert, and I couldn't help but wonder if the ahjumma in front of me is his mother - she smells expensive, and why else would a middle-aged lady attend a boyband concert alone? 

Concert was good - I can't say it was excellent, because Sydney is a tough crowd. I think I have only been to another concert in Sydney (Mayday) and Sydneysiders are hard to please! A good concert requires not just a solid performance but also a responsive crowd, and Sydneysiders are a bit cool and chic when it comes to responding. (Also I felt drained from all the waiting around and reading, and didn't have much energy left to cheer endlessly.)

The boys were working really hard, and of course Korean entertainers are of very high calibre. They spoke good English albeit with limited vocabulary, and were goofy. I liked the funny mini interactions best, followed closely by GD x Taeyang's Good Boy. They bounced off each other well, and seemed like they really enjoyed themselves, which makes it fun to watch.

Of course I was disappointed that GD did most of his fan service at the other end, but whatever, they can't actually see us anyway. 

More disappointed by the fact that I continue to love him anyway, and the second I saw his Space Grey iPhone 6s on Instagram, I'd changed my mind about getting Rose Gold and ordered a Grey instead. Just like that.

Epilogue 

On Monday I bought my morning coffee from Mecca opposite Four Seasons Sydney, where they were rumoured to be staying. (There were 2 Chinese chicks buying coffee as well, one with a Four Seasons envelope, looks like they are more fangirly than I am.)

Lunch? Four Season's Pei Modern with Maz. I didn't like my entree (because I didn't realise my wagyu would be cured) and the coffee took so long to arrive I'd left without it. And of course I didn't see BB because according to XXXIBGDRGN, he was on a boat at sea for the day! Only good thing was catching up with the lovely Maz.

And lunch today was spent sitting outdoors at Starbucks (close enough to Four Seasons), speculating with my colleague if BB are still in Sydney.

(My 20-year-old housemate told me her classmate caught Taeyang's scarf at the concert, but had her knuckles clawed badly by other fangirls. 

'What did the scarf smell like?' me.

'WHAT?!' April.

'I swear, your classmate would've sniffed it. Lucky girl!'

'But her hands look really bad!'

'I wish I could've caught GD's towel! I bet it smells like lemons!'

'Min, you talk like a teenager!')


Now they are in Melbourne, 姐也圆了我的少女梦。

Need to grow up now. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

society

recently my manager's wife had a baby.

our office sent a baby hamper.

i'd asked my director, 'if i have a baby, will i have a baby hamper?'

the answer is 'yes.'

that got me thinking, wtf. why does society still only celebrates family-oriented events?

if i announced, 'i'm not going to have a baby, i'm going to have my tubes tied.' do you think the office will send me flowers?

the more i thought about it the more ridiculous it seemed.

so over dinner i shared these thoughts with the 20-year-old baby of our household, Apes.

but, min, being a mother is a sacrifice.

what sacrifice? being a mother, like other things in life, is a choice. one actively chooses to be a parent. we are here because our parents decided they wanted a family, we didn't force them. so why are parents 'making a sacrifice'? if i have baby, i'm choosing to 'sacrifice', it's my choice.

Apes looked at me like she was getting indigestion from her own cooking then and there.

.. i haven't really thought about it like that.. you didn't say that to your parents, did you?

i'd said once that i didn't ask to be born. they took it well. ((laughs.
they probably said they didn't get a consultation before being born themselves as well, so get over it.

(and although i really wished i'd been beaten up and berated less as a child, my parents gave me everything they could, for which i am grateful.)

and maybe one day we'll have tubes hampers ;p

Sunday, 20 September 2015

gold coast || weekend getaway

It's been years since i flew somewhere for a holiday, so when my friend said he will be working in Gold Coast and living in a nice one-bedder with a sofa bed I practically invited myself over. Poverty knows no shame.

I'd always wanted to go on a weekend getaway - in my imagination, it is the activity du jour (?) of young professionals. But on Thursday night, faced with the task of packing after class (after work) I was starting to regret my brilliant idea.

Still, I made it to the Hilton in one piece after work on Friday night using public transport at 10pm! Google Maps 万岁!

Hilton Surfers Paradise lobby

My sofa bed
 I had the grand tour - my sofa bed is bigger than my bed at home!

After I'd soaked in the bath tub (I love bath tubs!) it was midnight and after deciding on our itinerary for the weekend I sank into the man-shaped indent of the (must be very old) mattress and slept.

Saturday

As usual, I woke before my 7.15am alarm rang. My legs were a bit cold but otherwise I had a good sleep. Thinking back from my forever-freezing room, I can only say, central heating is a wonderful thing to have.

I felt sorry for my friend who had to wait for me to get ready in the morning - even I don't understand how I can 东摸西摸,摸来摸去就是摸不出门!

We had buffet breakfast at Salt Grill because.. friend gets discounts! Food was okay, the soy flat white was undrinkable, maybe because I only drink Bonsoy, which doesn't seem to exist in Gold Coast. I bought our Dreamworld tickets over breakfast - it's not cheap.



After breakfast we caught a bus to Dreamworld. We'd considered renting a car but the thing is that in Gold Coast, driving or cabbing it only saves you 10 minutes, but costs a lot more - and with renting we'll have to find parking.

Public transport is pretty good in Gold Coast, apart from rude drunks at 4am. We didn't learn about the Go Card until the last day, which would have saved us a pretty penny. It's the Gold Coast public transport card, and it charges cheaper fares compared to the prices for single tickets. There's also a $10/day unlimited travel version for tourists, which I bought to go to the airport.




Crocodile!
Every time I see a crocodile I am reminded of this joke -

Why did the crocodile die after knocking on the door?
Because it kok-kok-die!

Hahaha so funny! Or is it just me?


Rest area for kangaroos (and iguanas, if you can spy them!)
Moto coaster


觉得这个 rider storage 设计的非常棒!

上车前把东西放上去,下车时只要旋转就可以在对面拿,省时又比较不会拿错东西。

其实姐是带着一颗期待的心来旅行的。

毕竟蛮喜欢坐 rides 的,想吓吓自己放松一下。

没想到岁月真的很残忍-我小时候去云顶高原常常想,长辈怎么不陪我们一起玩 rides 呢?

在这残酷的一天终于发现。。it is probably because they are physically unable to!

才坐一个 ride 就觉得有点不舒服了。

但因为付了(有点贵的)入门票还是继续坐,但朋友不行了所以都在 ride 下面等我一个人玩。妈妈的,一个人有什么好玩!(唯一的好处是排队比较快。)


后来我们打算休息休息,走走,拍拍照(老人行程无误)







Shrek! I love Shrek - the ultimate anti-fairytale fairytale.


We were so bored that when we stumbled upon this fortune-telling machine, we decided to have our fortunes read.

It asks you a bunch of questions like what your concern is, what is influencing you.. and after it gives you your predictions it prints a summary out onto a piece of good stock paper((笑
那张纸真的相当厚,相当高级。


晃着晃着终于晃到老虎区了!

其实看到 trainer 和老虎这样0距离接触还挺惊人的!


但 my favourite part of the day is this (look up!)

A tiger cub had recently been born, and it's just like a puppy!

I must have stood in front of the display for at least 10 minutes!

video

I want one too!

After the tigers, we grabbed lunch and did more wandering around the park, partaking in more retiree-activities like a train ride around the park and a short film (where the most annoying little girl kept kicking the back of my seat, kids can be such monsters).

At around 4pm we went to get our photos for the day. The uncle at the photo shop saw that we had very few photos taken - as we rode on very few rides - and offered to take some photos of us at the park entrance. GC people are nicer than Sydneysiders in general, most of the people we've interacted with have gone out of their way to make our trip more pleasant [heart]

Next stop: Jupiter casino. It's the only casino and Gold Coast and full of retirees and.. Pacific Islanders! I didn't know GC was such a popular destination for them.

Because I don't gamble, I applied for free membership so I could get free drinks, then bought a magazine and promptly fell asleep while flicking through it in the lobby #realretiree (friend was amazed by my ability to drop off anywhere and everywhere.)

We had a 5-course dinner at the restaurant in the Hilton followed by a drink in the apartment -

Kirin Apple Cider with a touch of Pear
I almost finished the whole bottle, and we stayed up till late talking about this and that. Poor friend was exposed to my entire arsenal of Min Questions like What is the meaning of your life? What do you think heaven looks like? 

I need to make normal conversations about property and basic politics but CBF! Can somebody help me give a f? What do people talk about if they're hanging out for a weekend straight anyway?

Sunday

Laziest Sunday in the history of Min -

Basically woke up, went out for breakfast at Elston -

Nutella pancakes
With marshmallow and maple syrup. Sugar overload.

I ate, and ate, and ate, and still had half the thing left -



What a waste. It's cheaper to DIY at home. Since having pancakes at GC, I've tried making pancakes with Morinaga hot cake mix, and they always turn out well.

After breakfast, guess what we did?

.. We returned to the apartment and I spent the day planning my next holiday while friend watched TV.

We only went outside again around 4pm to the markets - which was small, and I didn't find anything to buy.


After an early dinner at an overpriced Korean BBQ restaurant (how overpriced? Let me put it this way, we paid almost the same amount as our 5-course dinner last night for meagre portions.) we returned to the apartment to prepare for my re-entry into real life aka my friend was egging me to start trying to sleep at 7pm.

I'd booked the first flight back (6:30am), which meant I had to wake at 3am to get ready and catch a bus to the airport orz. I was surprised that I made it through the day!

It was refreshing to relax for a weekend, though I'm not sure if I'll do it again. Still, a weekend getaway is something I'd always wanted to do :)) off my list now!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

the teeny world of Sydney

A couple of Fridays ago I caught up with Jazel for dinner and as soon as we were seated she'd exclaimed, 'We have a mutual friend!'

'Who?' (Not that surprising, seeing as we were introduced by another mutual friend.)

'Jun Shi! You were at her wedding!'

'Whaa.. I was the MC!'

'How did you know her?! I was looking at her wedding photos and thinking hmm.. this girl looks familiar..'

'Yeah haha! That's me!'

'Heard her husband is really smart!'

'That's my cousin!' (She said the right thing!)

'What?!'

'Yeah Jun Shi is now my cousin-in-law!'

The world is so small.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Shinagawa Monkey

As she responded to all these questions, Mizuki was struck by what an uninspired life she'd led. Nothing approaching the dramatic had ever touched her. If her life were a movie, it would be one of those low-budget environmental documentaries guaranteed to put you to sleep. Washed-out scenery stretching out endlessly to the horizon. No changes of scene, no close-ups, nothing exciting, just a flatline experience with nothing whatsoever to draw you in. Nothing ominous, nothing suggestive. Occasionally the camera angle would shift ever so slightly, as if nudged out of its complacency. Mizuki knew it was a counsellor's job to listen to her clients, but she started to feel sorry for the woman who was having to listen so intently to such a tedious life story. Surely she couldn't suppress a yawn for ever. If it were me and I had to listen to endless tales of stale lives like mine, Mizuki thought, at some point I'd keel over from sheer boredom.

Haruki Murakami
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

;;;




Last Saturday I watched Go away, Mr Tumour with Cat. The trailer didn't pique my interest - maybe because I'd already seen the lead actress Bai Baihe die not just once, but twice onscreen in ridiculous movies and didn't particularly want to see her die again.

Maybe because my expectations were nonexistent, I found the movie quite enjoyable. The slapstick humour was a bit much in the beginning, and at times Bear's (lead character) fantasies broke the flow of the story, but there were moments when I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. (Can't remember the last time I was so amused.)

As the movie title suggests, the plot is about a girl battling cancer with unbelievable optimism. Despite the heavy subject, if I could use only 1 word to describe the movie it would be 'funny'.

And Daniel Wu, now 40-years-old and a father, has still got it.


Still so handsome after all these years!

Bai Baihe is really pretty in this movie - I was thinking, She seems to be a bit meatier than usual. Then in an interview, she revealed that she had to gain weight to 60kg for her role as the real-life Bear was quite chubby. Still, Baihe looks wonderful with the added weight and still quite thin despite the 8kg gain. I'd thought she was a young actress but she's already 30 with a child in primary school! She's also one of the top actresses in China, where Go Away toppled her other movie Monster Hunt from the top of the Chinese box office.

哪怕是冲动,也就是后悔一阵子,但要是活得太怂呢,就会后悔一辈子。所以,抓紧有限的时间,燥起来!

This is my favourite line from the movie. 

(After the movie Cat told me it was based on the autobiographical comic drawn by a late cartoonist in China while she was undergoing treatment to distract herself, which makes the movie all the more poignant.)

;;;

And in the spirit of not living a safe and dull life, I mustered up the courage to say hi to the cute guy at work today.(天啊我好怂啊)

.. Aannndddd he responded with a look which can only be described as 'pure horror'. 

I'm not sure why because despite the fact that my mascara has somehow decided to move from my lashes to under my eyes, I think I still look like a normal human being. 

现实和电影还是有差的((笑

I don't care, 明天见到他再跟他 say hi 多一次嘿嘿~

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Turning 26

My last birthday celebration was a 'surprise' birthday dinner at Kanzi Club, which is a Korean restaurant blaring club music - and which turns into a club at the end of the night. It also serves flavoured Korean alcohol - sweet soju and rice wine, which is my favourite alcohol ever!

Dinner was considerably smaller and more intimate compared to last year, and when I asked people, 'Why did you not attend my birthday party?!' the answer is invariably 'I wasn't invited.' Haha you can only use that excuse for so long!




I adore sparklers, and was stoked that Kanzi provides them for birthdays. It just makes everything much more festive!



And here we are trying to re-enact a photo from last year's birthday haha.

After dinner we went to Muse for karaoke, and at the end of the night Rogie surprised me with a little video he put together for my birthday!

It was quite embarrassing because he must have scoured my FB for photos before organising them with captions and music. Man those photos.. there was even one of my brother because R thought that was me! If you ever want to feel paiseh just look at your old photos on social media.

R also wrote 'She was cute..' in the video, implying that I am no longer cute!!! Ok lah I must admit I'm not as cute as I once was, but still! No need to immortalise that in video form. (Still, thanks for the effort oppa, even if he's a different kinda oppa from GD oppa!)

Although I'm struck by how I look strangely sad in the video (not R's, but the video of my birthday) I had fun and danke to my friends for showing up and buying me food, liquor and entertainment to counter the horror of getting older! x

I'm still nowhere near where I should be in life, but at least I have rapidly stabilised upon my return from Malaysia, and am usually in much higher spirits than I was prior.

Tonight is GD oppa's birthday. #Happy818GDay#

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

the arduous journey to getting my #BIGBANG MADE ticket

My second language English cannot fully express the mental anguish I went through to secure my Big Bang concert tickets.

真的很折磨人。

#我怎么还活着

Okay 故事这样开始。就是我17岁时(没错,真的要从一开始开始写)我的中学 bestie 那死女人介绍 G Dragon 给我,一直说我会爱上他,他完全是我的 style。当年的我还没现在这么 open minded,看到漂白头发+化浓妆的 skinny guy,完全顶不顺。

GD circa Heartbreaker


外加 GD 当时还没整容,也真的没现在这么瘦骨如柴这么帅。

但我那位朋友很会预测我会喜欢的艺人。她介绍的艺人我都是一开始不喜欢,到后来爱到死去活来的(for example:东方神起,Jang Woo Hyuk)。

= 5 years later =

第二次接触 Big Bang 是因为我弟弟不知道怎么接触到了 GD & Top 的歌。

第一次听 High High 就完全爱上他们(尤其是整容后的 GD!!!)

GD 实在是迷人到我默默地跑去学他 get a tattoo of a word on my inner forearm 囧

是真爱(or 是神经病)


好听到我来悉尼后每天播,播到连我的德国室友也莫名其妙开始唱‘High high, I'm so high’ 哈哈 完全是替他们免费宣传。

And then 德国室友 Skype 他的朋友时还会跟他们介绍 GD & Top!


连最讨厌韩国明星的 S 也被我洗脑,不知不觉跟着唱 Knockout。This is double double, double double, combo, double double, double combo。。完全顺口好吗。

 后来 BB 与 GD 都有持续出新歌,虽然好听但我也慢慢长大了,没有以前这么执着想嫁 GD oppa 了。


GD oppa 好迷人。


1-take video for Love Song with the beautiful lyrics I'm afraid that there is no meaning in life. (变成 BB video 特辑哈哈哈)

今年 BB 出 M album 时,觉得 Bae Bae 这首歌特怪(妈妈的,结果现在超喜欢)。



没想到听到 Bang Bang Bang 是完全重拾我对 BB 的热情!(虽然我朋友说很 flamboyant,就是这样才有趣啊!)



然后一发不可收拾,上网看了 BB 的专访后,连他们的老板 YG 的专访也默默看了一遍。

然后也开始 follow 他们的 MADE album releases。最近 series E 也给他们这次的专辑画下完美的句点-超好听,all-kill,横扫所有排行榜。


Zutter 里面 Top is super kawaii! Almost more attractive than GD oppa! 重见 #GDTOP 的心情,非常棒!

看完了,BB 也开始世界巡回演出了,我也时不时会跟朋友提 and 上 YG Family website 看票儿开始卖了吗。

当时的心情是轻松的,还有点担心 BB 在 Sydney 的粉丝不够,怕反应冷清(我就是去过一场很冷清的五月天演唱会,太可怕了*抖*)。而且朋友们也一直 express surprise that a Korean boy band is brave enough to hold a concert at Allphones Arena, which is HUGE.

Lesson learned: Do not underestimate the popularity of BB.

现在回想起来觉得自己是白痴!当时就应该更注意 presale 这回事的!!!

First presale (Wednesday 12pm)

其实这个 presale 我这个笨蛋完全错过了!因为我 signed up for Ticketek presale,没想到别的 organizer 会有其他(更早的)presale! 

Lesson learned: search for and sign up for every presale available!!!

所以 这个 presale 是和朋友聊天时偶然发现的!虽然迟了几个小时(presale tickets 也卖光光了)但我还是很淡定,想说除了 second presale 还有 general public sale,而且澳洲是洋人国家,应该不会买不到票儿吧!

Second presale (Friday 12pm)

I was totally prepared for this. (Having read that BB's first concert in Newark, USA sold out within hours, I wasn't willing to take any chances.)

At 11.55am - my debit card was loaded, I was signed into Ticketek and refreshing the app while I waited for a client.

The second my alarm buzzed at 12pm, I was off!!! 

And so were the effing bots.

Only bots can be faster than me.

I did everything right, and there should be no reason for me to miss out again!

Lesson learned: The bots are real.

General public sale (Monday 9am)


Last chance. At 8.55am I was sitting in front of my laptop with laser focus.

The second my alarm buzzed at 9am, I was off!!!

And so were the effing bots.

Only bots can be faster than me.

I did everything right, and there should be no reason for me to miss out yet again!

Otoke?!!! I was starting to panic, because all categories were unavailable within the first few minutes of release.

So I called the useless machine-operated Ticketek phone number, where the stupid computer voice confirmed that there are no tickets available.

这时候人生完全 over 了。

好吧,看看墨尔本的票,VIP Reserved Seating 也没了((跪

到底有多红?!这时候只能向朋友求救,朋友在 viagogo.com 找到 VIP 票,但他奶奶的竟然从500刀涨到800刀!想到讨人厌的 scalpers 这样赚钱就不爽,至死都不会向他们买票!

Lesson learned: Ticketek is freaking useless. Their presale is useless, their phone number is useless, their agencies are useless too. Using a laptop doesn't help.

结果很黑暗地过了一天。大家都安慰我说 BB 应该会再 release more tickets,我也只能抱着这样的信念活下去(到底有没有这么夸张)。

好像很 over,但想见 oppa 这件事不是两三天的事,外加我这两年过得相当不顺,很难得有令我这么开心的事儿。(演唱会票快上架时,我乐到我的同事问我,‘Min, why are you so happy?’-他还以为我谈恋爱。开玩笑,this is better than being in love!)

有朋友说 next time,但 oppa 们可以红这么久吗?都到该去服兵役的年龄了!我也不会永远年轻爱 oppa 们。

后来我另一个同事鼓励我买墨尔本 Gold Reserve,我也因为太失望了而认真考虑。上 Ticketek 查票时,竟然发现 oppa 们决定在悉尼开第二次演唱会!

人生顿时充满希望与意义!((发光发热

有朋友建议我去 agency 买,于是立马 create event in Sunrise calendar and reschedule working hours!

我也上网搜了一下 how to beat bots at buying tickets, and it seems like the only way is to write your own bot.

Second concert , NSW - general public sale (Wednesday 12pm)

我 desperate 到午休的时间到 agency try my luck.

结果 concierge recommended a General Admission Standing, since VIPs were all snapped up within a minute of release. 虽然有点担心我一个人去站区会被其他粉丝踩死,但 concierge 很热情地说 it's right in front of the stage! 我就尽量往好的方面想。(曾经在大马买过最贵的 VIP 票,但是站区,很累也看不清楚啊!我当时气的拿东西丢挡着我视线的粉丝,气死我弟 oops!sorry 但本人脾气很臭~)

刚才朋友的男朋友问我,票到底买到吗?!因为他有在 FB follow 我的心酸日记哈哈!

结果是-我买了 GA Standing。

虽然不会像周一那么失望,但也算不上开心。毕竟人家一心想有 VIP 又可以坐的经验。

现在还有点担心我一个人在站区会被人挤死。

也担心我期待这么久去了 cannot live up to my expectations。

你看我死不死?!

这时候只能抱着想见 oppa 们的心,勇往直前(看一场演唱会要打一千个字还这么多内心戏!)orz

我现在正在认真考虑 BB 来悉尼会去哪里玩儿,好想巧遇他们啊!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Turandot

Turandot isn't a real birthday celebration with people. I just wanted to watch it, and since they had a show on my birthday, I decided to treat myself.

I was a bit excited about Turandot as I had liked Nessum Dorma and the story of Turandot for a long time (love wins!). Plus the promotional images I had seen was so intricate and dramatic -


It's still annoying to keep alternating my eyes between the stage and the translation projected above it, but the storyline is quite gripping (compared to the only other opera I'd seen, La Traviata) and the set so lovely I couldn't pick one to focus on.

Usually I think people might get a bit bored and fidgety at the opera but during the second act where Calaf was trying to guess Turandot's 3 riddles you can feel the tension in the audience. None of the answers made any sense, but then the entire story didn't make sense if you want to get logical. Does Hope appear each night and dies each dawn? Why? I thought it would be the other way around.

Ping, Pang and Pong


The music was okay, apart from Nessum Dorma which is of course awesome. Ping, Pang and Pong made me laugh. (Opera can be funny!) It was quite amusing hearing 茉莉花,a Chinese children's song to me, in an opera context. Puccini used it as the princess' theme.

Admittedly, I think I like Turandot slightly less after I watched the entire performance, because of how stupid the whole thing is. I know that the essence of opera is in OTT suffering, and that Turandot is actually not that far away from reality, but still.. falling in love just because a woman is beautiful? Betraying all for a woman?

Still, Turandot is quite engaging - the set was very creative (although the audio was slightly worse off in order for the visuals to work in the case of the Emperor). But then people have said that the audio in Sydney Opera House isn't the best.

I would watch it again (but Dan wouldn't).

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Kundasang

5 July


Fish paste noodles in tom yum soup
Dry noodles + spicy and sour soup with fish

On our last full day in Sabah, we had breakfast with our cousins. They grew up well! Very polite and clean. Especially mei-po, who is still fresh-faced. When I was her age I couldn't bear to go out without makeup.

After breakfast we drove to Kundasang, which was like an abandoned town after the earthquake.




It was drizzling so we couldn't go far. Tao bought expensive ice-cream and we breathed some fresh rainy mountaintop air.

;;;

Of course, I received an ubiquitous scolding from Mum. It must have been bad, because afterwards Dad, Tao and even Fann came to pat my shoulder. But honestly I felt nothing. Everything she said is what I have observed about myself in the past 2 years - I am underperforming compared to my peers.

I used to get angry/cry whenever I received a scolding because I was convinced that I will be good at life, and that her words were unwarranted. (Back then I was doing better, and I didn't like how she was comparing with people in completely different situations.) But now because she is just vocalising the unfiltered truth about my life, I have nothing to argue about.

It might sound harsh to others, but to me what she is saying sounds no more harmful than saying, 'You have 3 freckles on your face.' My newfound 'zen' (aka lack of dramatic response) is no less irksome, now it's all, 'You can't just agree to what I'm saying! You have to fix it.'

Of course I have to fix it. Do you think I like being anxious all the time?

;;;

On the way down we passed by some fruit stalls and stopped to buy some pineapples and bananas.


There were even red bananas - it's my first time seeing them.

I love Malaysian bananas, they seem to have a chewiness and springy texture which I don't find in Aussie supermarket bananas.

On the way back to KK we stopped at Tuaran for Tuaran noodles and to check out one of the temples. We stopped to admire the 9-storey Ling Sang Pagoda and wander around the colourful grounds. Dad gave a mini history lesson on the 3 statues of generals guarding the entrance. Apparently they came to be because a prince had murdered his brother to ascend the throne and had been so afraid that his brother's ghost would come haunt him he had his generals stand guard at his door.



There were also statues of the Eight Immortals. I remember loving the Singaporean TV show 八仙过海 Journey to the East which I watched as a kid, though the producers took some liberties with the story of White Peony.


Back in KK we took a short nap before joining the Lee family dinner. Here's Nathan being affectionate. The butter prawns were so delicious!