Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Dear NTU SAO

Your letter isn’t very comforting.

Dear Terry

Thank you for your email. We are sorry to hear that you are unable to secure accommodation. Due to the big band of waiting list applicants with 14 points, not all will be offered a place. Only successful applicants will be notified.

Much as we would like to help, we are sorry that we are unable to make an exception to help you as it would make it difficult for us to answer to the many other undergraduates who are also unsuccessful, as to why we are unable to make exceptions for them too. Application result is based on points assigned at the point of application. Please offer for your turn to be offer.

Regards

And you made me realize that it’s impossible to talk sense into the SAO officers. Yes, they’re polite and helpful. But dishing out sympathetic replies doesn’t really remedy the situation, does it?

The worst thing is that I am being punished for the mistake of the other person who have registered with me. It all came from a careless mistake made by him that made both of us roomless.

Sometimes I really think good people die earlier. I can’t even.

It’s a road trip!

This blog has been slowly withering without my attention and care, so I’m here to give it a little help before I get busy with my semester again.

Roadtrip Preview Photo

Roadtrip Preview Photo

Remember the road trip my friends and I embarked on in December 2009 and January 2010, which I promised to post but never really quite got to it? Now it’s right here, staring right at your face.

Note: This post is a little long, so I’ve split it up into several pages. Get some coffee and let’s get started!

Preamble

The idea of having a road trip at the end of last year was conceived almost 1.5 years ago – during a steamboat dinner with my orientation group friends, somebody suggested that we should all embark on a pan-Malaysian road trip, or at least, one that will bring us to various cities along the Western coast of the Malaysian peninsula. The idea was met with enthusiasm and many people signed up, and we even playfully assigned each other positions – of course, I was given the “official photographer, publication and publicity manager” position, which I could never run away from in any occasion anyway *laughs*

The semester melted away and due to real life commitments, more and more people backed out of the plan, leaving a handful of us still sticking to the road trip plan. Basically, only me, Soon Leong, Weng Fei and the lovey dovey couple Bregitt and Rick remained as the traveling people, while a few others like Wen Cin, Jackson and Sin Yee played our hosts in their hometowns.

The summary of the trip:

  • Day 1 – 3: Penang
  • Day 4 – 5: Ipoh
  • Day 6: Kuala Lumpur

Destination Penang

Bregitt and Rick came to my house for a stayover the night before – it was a very memorable one lest the fact that our semester results were released the very same night and all three of us cuddled around my pathetic little laptop screen waiting for the goddamned result slips to load.

My GPA took a tumble but I knew nothing is going to ruin this roadtrip of mine.

The next morning, we woke up in the wee hours of the morning to board a bus that brought us from my home in Petaling Jaya to an island up north called Penang.

Day 1: The Snake Temple

Our very first stop of the day was the Snake Temple on Penang Island. Fortunately, and very miraculously, all 5 of us managed to squeeze into Jackson’s tiny little car :D

But very unfortunately, Rick just felt compelled to ruin the very first photo I took:

Rick the photobomber.

Rick the photobomber.

And this is Soon Leong, the leader of the pack, in his cowboy hat.

Soon Leong, our group leader

Soon Leong, our group leader

And interestingly, the dogs at the snake temple are very gentle – even with toddlers. They’re so demure and quiet, you don’t even notice them sneaking around unless their start to snuggle up with your legs.

Toddler and the dogs at the snake temple.

Toddler and the dogs at the snake temple.

And of course here’s an obligatory shot of the front entrance of the snake temple – looking awesomely majestic!

Snake Temple in Penang

Snake Temple in Penang

By the end of our visit to the Snake Temple all of us were already smouldering underneath the intense heat from the afternoon sun. We scampered into Jackson’s car and went to Kek Lok Si.

Kek Lok Si

Kek Lok Si, Penang.

Kek Lok Si, Penang.

Of course we grabbed every single photo opportunity that we came across. My camera was passed from people to people so that every single one of us would appear in the photos, ha.

Group Photo #1 at Kek Lok Si Group Photo #2 at Kek Lok Si Group Photo #3 at Kek Lok Si Group Photo #4 at Kek Lok Si

We managed to catch the last funicular heading to the top of the hill before it was closed for the day. The view from the funicular is simply too beautiful for one to behold:

View from the funicular

View from the funicular

The bronze status of Kuan Yin and the 16 dragon pillars surrounding her. The statue is around 30m tall and was a replacement of a white plaster status of the same goddess that was damaged in a fire years ago.

The Kuan Yin statue

The Kuan Yin statue

We spotted a row of statues depicting the animals of the zodiac along the walkway, and took a group photo with them.

Statues and us.

Statues and us.

I’m looking horribly dorky and juvenille in this group photo. Soon Leong forced me to don his silly cowboy hat.

Bregitt, me, Soon Leong and Wen Cin.

Bregitt, me, Soon Leong and Wen Cin.

A few more photos of Kek Lok Si while we waited for Jackson to arrive with his car – without him shuttling around, we were effectively handicapped.

Kek Lok Si against the evening sky

Kek Lok Si against the evening sky

Kek Lok Si bathing in the warm glow of the evening sun

Kek Lok Si bathing in the warm glow of the evening sun

Continue reading “It’s a road trip!”

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Bookmarked: 40 Astounding Examples of Abstract Photography

40 Astounding Examples of Abstract Photography

Colours, textures and patterns are the hallmark of abstract photography. With abstract photography there is only one rule and that rule is there are no rules. Rules for composition and proper focus don’t really apply. Speaking of which, I’m itching to give it a try when I’m free.

The Cab Driver

Yesterday midnight I shared a cab with two exchange students, Alan and Merel, because the Jurong East Modification Project was so bad it disrupted train services and we couldn’t make it in time for the last bus.

Coincidentally the halls we live in were next to each other, so I just have to drop both of them off at a bus stop earlier before proceeding to mine, which is barely a five-minute walk away.

Before Alan and Merel alighted, the cab fare came to around $4.60, which I thought I’d just cover when I alight later.

The fare’s on me, I turned around and said. Alan piped up first and said no he’ll just pay his share, and Merel nodded in agreement. So I made them pay me $2 each, on their insistence.

Shortly after both of them alighted the cab and shut the doors behind them, the cab driver chided me for being too friendly with foreigners. I didn’t really give a flying flagnog about what he said until he mentioned that foreigners are “heartless and don’t know how to appreciate things”.

I was pissed. But I didn’t explode right in his face considering that it was his hands that were on the wheels and not mine. He went on and on, blithefully ignoring the growing anger and flashes of red on my face, about how we shouldn’t be too nice to them because they’ll leave Singapore afterall and forget about us.

* * *

Is that really what the Singapore hospitality is about? I know he is probably just a sore thumb sticking out from the friendly local populace – I am not a local per se, because I was born in Malaysia and just happened to land a place in a Singapore secondary school almost a decade ago. I’ve been living in this island country ever since.

During my early years, it was the very helpful locals that made life so much easier and pleasant for me.

I could still remember how a very friendly cab driver actually talked to my friend’s father over my mobile because I couldn’t tell him the address of a place that I wanted to go.

I could never forget how I stopped strangers in school, in public places, in MRT stations and even on buses and trains to ask for directions. They helped me out, and some even accompanied me to the location before they had to leave.

* * *

Back to the cab, the ordeal lasted for around 30 seconds. I felt like riding on a moral high horse and give him a good lashing about how his perceptions about exchange students were wrong, and that we should very more help them out when they’re in need because the whole Singapore experience is still a very alien and unfamiliar concept to them.

I counted 4 $2 bills out of my wallet, placed it in his hands and got off before he could return me my 50 cents change.

I didn’t need it from a xenophobic person like him.

Bookmarked: Nicholas Hance McElroy Photography

Nicholas Hance McElroy Photography

Nicholas Hance McElroy (aka Nick Hance) is a photographer living in the American West. You can find his works on Flickr, as well as on his site.

I adore his work because they have a very subtle vintage look to them. The landscapes are stunning, the portraits are beautiful and inanimate objects are breathing life through his photos.

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Hello Easter Egg hunter! You've discovered the magic of the Konami Code!

Yea. You probably know what the Konami code is before getting to this page. So now what? Here is a randomised YouTube video on my favourites list... which includes Rickroll, if you're luck enough to get it.

You are currently watching Heineken - Walk in Fridge. Loving it? You can even watch the video in its full screen glory :)

The Konami Code:
Konami Code sequence