Senin, 31 Maret 2008

0 Forgotten Architects

[Image: A spread from Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects].

Earlier this month, Pentagram released a pamphlet called Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects.
    In the 1920s and early 1930s, German Jewish architects created some of the greatest modern buildings in Germany, mainly in the capital Berlin. A law issued by the newly elected German National Socialist Government in 1933 banned all of them from practicing architecture in Germany. In the years after 1933, many of them managed to emigrate, while many others were deported or killed under Hitler’s regime. Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects is a survey of 43 of these architects and their groundbreaking work.
The work thus presented is based on research performed by Myra Warhaftig, and it is available both online and in a small, beautifully designed booklet. Four of the images you see here are spreads from that publication, courtesy of Pentagram.

[Image: Spreads from Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects].

As Warhaftig wrote in an introduction to the project:
    On 1 November 1933, a few months after the German National Socialist Government came to power, a decree was issued banning Jewish architects from the Reichskulturkammer für bildende Künste, the state-governed association of fine art to which membership was required to practice architecture. Their academic titles were revoked and they were denied the use of the professional title "architect." Just short of two years later, on 15 September 1935, another law was adopted, further excluding from the association all so-called Half-Jews and those who were married to Jews. In total, nearly 500 architects were affected by the ban and forced to leave Germany. Those who stayed had to go into hiding or were deported to ghettos or concentration camps.
[Image: A spread from Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects].

She continues:
    After long and circuitous routes, I have succeeded in locating relatives of the deceased architects. Scattered across all continents, they were able to offer additional authentic material. These historical documents and biographies, as well as photographs of the architects' buildings, are published for the first time in my book German Jewish Architects Before and After 1933: The Lexicon.
Many of the buildings these architects produced were absolutely extraordinary – and, frankly, it seems impossible not to look at these images and judge 20th century Germany in light of the catastrophic stupidities that led to its murderous exile of the creative classes, whether those were physicists, novelists, abstract expressionists, or even architect members of the Bauhaus.
Indeed, it's impossible to look at today's European landscape in general and not spot absences, or losses, voids here and there punctuating the 21st century town and city.

[Image: Tietz Department Store in Solingen (1930?), designed by Georg Falck; photo via Archive Dr. Hagspiegel].

The images here show some of the buildings that Myra Warhaftig's research, performed up until her death only three weeks ago, uncovered. Many more shots are available on Pentagram's project website.

[Images: Showcase House, Werkbundsiedlung Breslow, by Moritz Hadda (1929); Terraced Houses, Berlin, by Alfons Anker (1929-30); Arnold Zweig Residence (1929-30), Eisner Residence (1927), and Schulze Residence (1928-29), all in Berlin and all magnificent designs by architect Harry Rosenthal; and a police station in Berlin by Richard Scheibner (1930-31)].

Referring to the architects whose work is featured in the above seven photographs:
In 1933, Georg Falck fled with his family to the Netherlands: "In Amsterdam they survived in hiding until the end of the war. Falck died in a New York Hospital in May 1947, just six weeks after he and his family had emigrated to the USA."
Alfons Anker's business partners joined the Nazi party in 1933; six years later, he "managed to flee to Sweden, but never succeeded in re-establishing his career as an architect. Anker died in Stockholm in 1958."
Harry Rosenthal, architect of three houses featured above, "was born in Posen (today Poznan, Poland) in 1892. He lived and worked in Berlin where he ran a successful architectural practice. In 1933 he managed to flee to Palestine, but suffered from the subtropical climate. In 1938 he emigrated to England, where despite numerous attempts, he did not manage to re-establish his architectural career. He died in London in 1966."
In 1941, Moritz Hadda "was deported to an unknown location."
Richard Scheibner's "fate is unknown."

(Thanks to Michael Bierut and Kurt Koepfle at Pentagram for sending the booklet and spreads).

0 Revealing Your Inner Super Hero

Written on 3/31/2008 by David B. Bohl, the author of Slow Down Fast.

Everyone wants to be strong, intelligent, confident, and incredibly adept at everything we attempt. Yet everything we do is clouded to some degree by uncertainty and fear. We fear we will make mistakes, we fear we will be rejected, and we fear outright failure. No matter how confident we may outwardly appear, every one of us has inner demons we must battle.

What we forget – or fail to realize at all – is that each one of us has special qualities and talents that make us unique. We cannot excel at everything, but each one of us excels at something. Sometimes we need reminders that allow us to change our self image and see our own talents and abilities as the rest of the world sees them. Most of us are far more critical of ourselves than anyone else is, and we need to be reminded of our own special abilities.

Next time you find yourself needing a boost in confidence, try doing these exercises to remind yourself that you are indeed special and worthy.
  • Look at Your Own Heroes: Think about the people you have looked up to and admired in your life. These could be fictional characters in books, on television, or in the movies. Or they could be real people in your life, who have helped you and guided you along your path to self improvement. Think about the qualities these people have that you admire. Determine which actions they took that embodied the characteristics you value – trust, strength, honesty, determination.

    Once you have decided who your personal heroes are and why, examine the actions you have taken in your own life. Find things you have done that demonstrate each of those qualities you admire. Find ways in which you have the same characteristics as your heroes, and ask yourself what positive changes you can make to enhance those qualities.

  • Listen to How Others are Described: For a period of a week, take notice of how your friends and family describe others. Particularly pay attention to how they describe people they admire and look up to. Make a list of both the positive and negative qualities that are discussed. At the end of the week, compare your characteristics with those on your list. Take note of the many positive traits you have in common with those who are looked upon favorably by your friends and family. Take notice as well of the negative qualities you share, and determine how best to change those behaviors into positive attributes.

  • Identify Your Fears: Many times you may behave in certain ways because you are trying to compensate for fears. You may be trying to overcome insecurities, you may fear growing old, or you may fear failure. Trying to hide such fears can often lead us to behave in less than desirable ways as we try to outwardly appear stronger, braver, and more capable.

    Rather than fall into this trap, try to identify those fears that cause you to behave in a manner you may not be proud of. Then try to determine ways in which you can either overcome your insecurities or behave in a manner that is truer to the values you wish to exude. The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, allow yourself the opportunity for self growth by employing the new behaviors.
Each person on this earth has characteristics that make them special, unique, and worthy. Rather than allowing yourself to fall into the trap of insecurity and self-deprecation, mentally review your list of personal heroes and remind yourself of all the positive attributes you share with them. If you need to, write them down and carry them with you, so all you have to do is pull out your list and read it from time to time.

Taking the time to identify your personal heroes and find areas of comparison allows you to realize that you, too, have many positive attributes. Rather than get pulled down by uncertainty, mentally reaffirm to yourself that you share many strengths and abilities that your own role models possess. Doing so will not only give you the confidence to achieve your personal goals, but it will allow you to realize that you are a hero to someone you know.

Minggu, 30 Maret 2008

0 Earth Evolves

I've been looking at Ron Blakey's maps of the tectonic evolution of the earth's surface again, and I just absolutely love these things.

[Image: The earth 600 million years ago, in the late Precambrian Era; mapped by Ron Blakey].

In fact, I think Blakey should be given some sort of science prize for putting these together; these help to visualize broad historical processes in a way that is visually clear, conceptually unforgettable, and imaginatively provocative, to say the least. And these images, posted here, are only one series among many that Blakey's assembled – and these aren't even all the images in that series. For that, you'll have to visit Blakey's site.
So what you're looking at here is continental drift over a period of 600 million years, beginning with the Late Precambrian Era, above, through to the present day, in the penultimate image, below.

[Images: The tectonic paleo-history of the earth; mapped by Ron Blakey].

That sequence of four images, above, gives us the earth as a kind of northward spray of island arcs and micro-continents, small landmasses moving toward evolutionary isolation.
What must it have been like, I wonder, if we could somehow have taken a sailboat in and around those tropical seas, weaving through vast semicircular island chains, finding reefs and bays, lagoons and inlets, anchoring offshore and camping on the beaches of an absolutely dark earth, electricity-less and lit from above by stars – with all the constellations different back then, as even the galaxy itself is still unfolding, full of alien patterns in the sky.

[Images: The tectonic paleo-history of the earth; in the last two images, you can see recognizable landmasses just beginning to form. Maps by Ron Blakey].

Something else that fascinates me – and you can see this in the next three images – is the fact that, until relatively recently, Europe was actually an Indonesia-like archipelago, distributed throughout warm northern latitude waters. One of the residues of this geography is a massive fossilized reef that I wrote about here on BLDGBLOG almost exactly two years ago.
Referring to that reef in an article from 1991, New Scientist wrote that, "if we could travel 160 million years back in time," we would find a reef "that occupied most of what is now Europe."
    At first sight this reef and its communities have striking similarities to the Great Barrier Reef. But this ancient reef structure is unique; its main architects were not corals, but multicellular marine sponges, many of which have no match today. And this reef was even bigger than the Great Barrier Reef. Its fossil remains stretch about 2900 kilometeres from southern Spain to eastern Romania, making it one of the largest living structures ever to have existed on Earth.
If you look at the following three images, then, you'll see how and where "one of the largest living structures ever to have existed on Earth" was able to form.

[Images: The earth from roughly 150 million years ago to 50 million years ago; mapped by Ron Blakey].

Then, of course, we hit the present day – pictured below.
Suddenly this arrangement looks rather impermanent.

[Image: The earth in its present continental configuration; mapped by Ron Blakey].

It's extraordinary to realize, then, that this sequence of images represents only 600 million years of geological time – because the earth has something like seven and a half billion years to go before solar extinction. And though plate tectonics may actually cease someday, let's say that a healthy billion and a half more years of continental rearrangement are still in store for this world; what fantastic inland seas and archipelagos might yet be waiting to form?
Extrapolating from these very images into the future, as our planet continues to delink and spread, maneuvering its surfaces around in endless reconfigurations, is a time-consuming but worthwhile thought experiment; if we could get Blakey to speculate upon the tectonic future of the earth, for instance, that would indeed be something to see.
Of course, this is something that New Scientist actually wrote about this past winter, suggesting three possible evolutionary scenarios for where these nomadic fragments of our planet's surface might end up:
    Geologists now suspect that the movements of the Earth's continents are cyclical, and that every 500 to 700 million years they clump together. Unfolding over a period three times as long as it takes our solar system to orbit the centre of the galaxy, this is one of nature's grandest patterns. So what drives this cycle, and what will life be like next time the continents meet?
The article then gives us the hypothetical outlines of three possible supercontinents.

[Image: Three possible supercontinents, as mapped by New Scientist: Novopangaea, Amasia, and Pangaea Proxima; view larger].

As if these things are a matter of preference, let me absurdly point out that I am actually not a big fan of supercontinents; I think they're boring. Luckily, they seem to crack apart based upon their own weight and bulk; in other words, like many Americans, supercontinents are too heavy for their own good.
Personally, I like archipelagos and island arcs.
In fact, might there be some way to hack the earth's surface and ensure a supercontinent-free planet to come? We could somehow help certain portions of the earth's surface to unzip, forming new island chains, and we could perforate continental shields the world over to assist with their future fragmentation...
In any case, what's also interesting about these maps is that, taken as a whole, the last 600 million years appear really to have been a kind of mass northward migration of landmasses, as if the continents were pulled from one pole to the other by temporary, if monumental, spreading and subduction zones.
Again, though, these are not all the images in the series; for that, you'll have to check out Ron Blakey's website. And, seriously, someone needs to give this guy a fellowship or an award or something – these maps are just fantastic.

[Image: These images are also available in a small Flickr set].

Sabtu, 29 Maret 2008

0 Power Plant

Passing electricity through soil, and into the roots of plants, might stimulate the accelerated production of certain chemicals, New Scientist reports.

"The roots of garden pea plants were exposed to low-level electric current and subsequently produced 13 times more pisatin, an antifungal chemical, than plants that were not exposed to electricity," we read. The specific experiment on which this claim is based involved applying "a 30 to 100 milliamp current to the growth-medium of plants grown hydroponically, or, in the case of barrel medic, to the solution surrounding the cell cultures."
So is this the future of gardening? Growing hydroponic plants in an electrically charged, semi-liquid matrix in order to "stimulate" the production of new forms and compounds? You could perhaps plant star anise in vast, swampy test plots surrounded by High Voltage signs, and thus derive new anti-flu drugs from electrically active roots. Or generate new orchids, supersymmetrical and glowing, plugged directly into an electrical earth. The Philadelphia Flower Show will never be the same.
Or plug gardens like this into a solar power plant out in the desert somewhere – and a weird new form of exponential photosynthesis is born.

Jumat, 28 Maret 2008

0 Google Maps of Sci-Fi

I've got a new post up on io9 this afternoon, and it might be of interest to readers here.
That post asks: Can fictional sites and spaces – in particular, things taken from science fiction – be included in online map sets, and what might the implications be? You look up "New York state" on Google Maps, but it includes a new layer of information: the routes and locations traveled by characters in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds. Or you go to London only to find that the dashboard navigation system in your car includes all the major locations from The Day of the Triffids. In other words, if we can map science fiction into our cities, using online tools, how might that affect our experience of urban space?
These and other questions all pop up in Google Maps of Sci-Fi. Let me know what you think.

0 5 Reasons Why You Didn't Quit Your Job

Written on 3/28/2008 by Alan Johnson of TheRatingBlog.com.

Last week we discussed several reasons why you should quit your job. While there may be loads of reasons why you'd want to hit the road, it's all easier said than done. For most people, the the "I hate my job" epiphany arrives after they are under an enormous financial strain: house, kids, spouse, retirement planning, etc.

Despite the presumption that happiness may be an "I quit" away, there are several reasons why people don't. Today let's take a deeper look at why most people won't take the plunge and quit.


  1. You Are Afraid of Financial Consequences: More than a few people not satisfied with their jobs choose to hang on to them because they are afraid that, if they make the decision of quitting, the financial consequences can be severe. If you are going to jump to another company, this aspect isn't that tough: get a job lined up before you leave.

  2. If however you are leaving your job in order to start a business, you are playing an entirely different ballgame. Where is the health insurance coming from, do you have a way to ensure your "must pay" bills are going to get paid?

    If you are serious about taking things to the next level, you have to take a few calculated risks here and there but like most things, a good dose of due diligence is required before you jump with both feet.

  3. You Are Afraid of Social Consequences: There are quite a few folks who don't quit their jobs because they are afraid of social consequences. In other words, they are afraid that people will look down upon them and they are especially afraid of the 'get a job' phrase.

    If you choose to live your life based on what others think about you then I am afraid that being truly happy can and will prove to be quite a challenge.

  4. It Secures a Comfortable Lifestyle: "Comfortable", this is indeed an extremely dangerous word and a lot of people end up deciding not to quit a certain job because it secures a 'comfortable' lifestyle. If you really want to be successful however, such an attitude is definitely not the way to go. Again, it's easier said than done, but you should not replace happiness with comfort.

  5. You Are Used to Having a Passive Attitude: Are you the type of person who, whenever there is something you do not agree with, never says how he or she feels, never does anything about it and prefers a passive attitude? If so, then I'm afraid that you will have to implement some serious changes as far as your way of thinking if concerned because, unfortunately for you, such an attitude will get you nowhere.

  6. You See No Better Alternative: A lot of people end up sticking with a certain job as a result of the fact that they don't have any better alternatives in mind. They are not satisfied with the way currently stand, yet they lack vision and are not able to think of something better for themselves.

    Is that your case? If so, then some serious brainstorming is in order. If you genuinely try your best, it's next to impossible not to be able to come up with something better than your current job. Use your imagination and you will most definitely find a certain field you are passionate about and where you are able to provide value as well.
Best wishes,

Alan Johnson

Rabu, 26 Maret 2008

0 Awana Resort, Langkawi

ADVERTORIAL

Super happy!! As you all already know, I got invited for a 5 day 3 night stay at Awana Resort in Langkawi!!

I bought Qihua along with me!

PICS PICS!!




Our flight there. Super excited lor!! We called the synchronise our clothes and stuff (you bring shampoo I bring facial wash etc).

Flying Silk Air!! Yums. We bought slept at 12 noon that day (MJ till late) and woke up at 3 to pack. Haha!



So pretty! The seats are sea blue/green.



And we fly!!

1.5 hours later we land...

IN LANGKAWI!!!





Wan from Awana was there to pick us up.





Qihua told me to take a mugshot from the nameplate.
How? Grumpy enough not??




KK standing in front of our beautiful hotel's lobby desk.



And we explore our room!



Two queen beds...
Can each bring one boy home and do naughty stuff.









Curl up on the sofa and eat fruits. So nice got super sweet mango and the baby mandarin oranges are so round and cute and yummy!!



Camwhoring in the toilet.

It was 9pm, and we were famished!!

Lucky for us, a buffet's waiting... All food within the resort is complimentary!! :D



KK loves Seagull cafe, although she is mortified by birds and thought the model of the sea gull in the cage is real.











Yummy Asian food.



I don't know how I manage to photograph the noodles to look like worms, but they are really very nice!! Supposed to mix with the egg drop sauce and eat.



Supposedly artistic shot of KK with my watermelon juice.

After eating, we took a walk outside the cafe and was shocked...


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The resort was built JUST BESIDE THE OCEAN!!!



Photos not very clear but it is sooooooo romantic. The wooden patio overlooks the sea and there is a salty breeze blowing through your hair while you can look at the stars in the skies.

ROMANTIC LA!!! Mike is super jealous that he couldn't go due to work.



Al fresco dining. I thought the branch they put there was lightning lor...

We had a bit of a chat in the easy lounge with Awana personnel, listening to the live band, but predictably at around 9pm I couldn't take it anymore.

Only slept 3 hours you know!!!


SO WE K.O.



DAY ONE


Next morning, I woke up at.... 6.30am. INCONCEIVABLE!! It is now 7am and I haven't sleep lor!!

Wandering around the room, I decided to open the curtains to look out of the window since we didn't bother to the night before...


AND PLEASANT SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






HUMONGOUS SEA VIEW BALCONY!!!



Is it just plain romantic or what!!!

KK and I watched the sunrise together and we fell in love with each other until a while later I realised she wasn't really my type. Smelly...



(Without her glasses, KK said the island looks like a dinosaur. I really don't see how it looks like a dinosaur until I realised she was half-blind.)





Just below our room little boats were decked.





Our neighbours.



Sunrise

Le sigh.......... LANGKAWI IS SO BEAUTIFUL LEH!!!

After watching the sky turn rose, we start doing more important stuff... Like dressing up for the beach!!!






How vain am I?

Not more than KK who is attempting to draw a mole on her zit. -_-


HOTEL BREAKFAST!!






Sorry I was very hungry so I ate before I took photos... Hahaha!



My beach bag for the day



We wait around for the Captain Ah Long to bring us!

He is our "hired" tour guide for the day, and not only scoots us to many different locations on boat, he also does a great job introducing olden Langkawi myths and legends to us - and not to mention show us the magnificent attractions around.

And we go!!!





Super excited!!

This girl called Soo Hwa (sorry if I spelt it wrong babe!!) from Awana joined us for the day. She's from KL and initially she was very quiet but as she got more excited from the boat ride she opened up. SHE IS SUPER NICE LA!!! She's so unassuming and smiley and positive and Qihua and I both like her so much.

Qihua even said to me after Soo Hwa was gone that she (Qihua) keeps hanging around people like me then she never realised that in the world, there are people who are sincerely nice and kind.

WTF??? I just treat her to free trip she like that say me!!



Happy KK and SH.





SH is super enthu about taking photos la!! She very cute right? Come visit Singapore soon leh babe!!!



Captain Ah Long on the right!! Our lives are in your hands!!



*imitates boat motor* Off we go!!!




THE BOAT MOVES SUPER FAST AND WE ALL GOT WET!!!

But it is super duper fun!!!!

SH keep whooping to herself the entire time. Hahaha!



What is this? See the background?



IT IS THE SHAPE OF A PREGNANT MAIDEN LYING DOWN!!

The island we were heading to is called the Island of the Pregnant Maiden, and Langkawi myth has it that once you drink the water from the lake at the island, you will become fertile again and will be able to have babies!!

I made crude jokes about men doing rude things in the water and thus pregnancy. Ahem.

I asked the captain why the pregnant lady got extra set of boobs (is it she do boob job then the real boobs sag and the fake boobs stay put??) and he just laughed.

KK said, very pompously mind you, that the "lower boobs" is the lady's arm, resting across her stomach.

CAN LIKE THAT ONE MEH?? OWNSELF PRESUME!!



The sea's colour is gorgeous.







We arrive!!





MONKEYS!!





With babies...



This one found a newspaper and is interestedly pretending to read it to show off to tourists.

Unbeknownst to it, the newspaper is facing the wrong way so everyone's laughing at it!! Haha stupid hao lian monkey!!

After climbing for 15 mins steadily up flights of stairs, we arrive at the famous lake!!

I was super happy coz I can finally tan!!!

The water's 20 feet deep and angmohs were all wading happily in it.










I am crazily oiled.





This Soo Hwa super loves to take photos lor!!
I never ask her to take!! She volunteer one!!


This monkey baby looks strangely like a human being.



To location TWO we go!!



EAGLE FEEDING!!!

Captain Ah Long throws chicken skin into the water, and these majestic and gigantic birds then swoop to the water's surface and have some fantastic lunch!!





I AM AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER CAN?!?!



They are so beautiful and there is just something grand about watching them fly so gracefully... The skies were full of these eagles and KK was trembling in her bikini coz she hates birds!!

I told KK... Eagles look so strong and they are supposed to be like aloof and cool... eating from humans seem to make them look like average kiasu birds leh...

KK scoffed at me and said something to the effect of "Eagle don't need to eat meh?"


AND WE ARRIVE AT THE FANTASTIC BEACH!!

We were told that to get to the most beautiful beach, one must take a boat ride around 1 hour out of Langkawi into the more secluded and smaller islands (which we did not do).

I really don't get it though... You mean there are beaches nicer than this?







Can you see how beautiful it is? I didn't even have to photoshop it.
It IS this colour.



We are all happy girls!!



Tide out...



Tide in... Look how clear the water is!!



Wallpaper not!!! Clickable!! SH took this photo for me and I SUPER DUPER LOVE IT!!

Know why I am so happy in the sea?

1) Finally getting tan

2) THERE WERE LIKE A MILLION LITTLE SILVER FISHES DARTING AROUND MY LEGS!!

These fishes are so daring, they swim around us as we sit in the shallow waters to tan, but they never do touch us!! They just see to swim close enough to curiously wonder what this big human lump, then they flap their little tails and move away in unison. Very cute right?





SH caught me with an expression that plainly says, "Darn this sand in my bikini bottom!"



Qihua had the brilliant idea of shooting jumping jacks.

I look soooo horrible that I cannot even photoshop it better. My expression was that of someone very constipated, yet very happy. It's better that you don't see it or you will die of laughter for sure.



KK and SH.... I super like this photo la!! Very cute and happy!!

After frolicking on the beach for a bit, someone called to me and told me a monkey was digging into my bag!!!

Horrible right the monkeys - so daring!!!

I yelled "Oi!!" to the said monkey and he gave me a look and continued digging through my bag as through he wasn't just interrupted by someone 5 times his size!!

I then kicked sand at him so he moved like 3 feet away and sat there placidly, looking at me cover up my bag mildly interestedly.

I got annoyed with him so I threw my suntanning oil at him, but it landed just beside him and he didn't even move or flinch ok!! He just continued scratching his ass!

And then, one of the monkeys started digging into the knapsack of an angmoh couple!!

The couple just stood there and let the monkey do it, until the monkey found a tupperware it was interested in and ran a little way back to examine his loot:







He figured out how to open it, realised there was no food inside, and tossed it unceremoniously aside.

Back to the hotel!!



Boardwalk





Us posing with our ornamental plates!!

We got stealthily taken photos off!! Mine is chio so I bought it. :D





Back in Hotel Lobby after a nice long shower...

And we were going to:



UNDERWATER WORLD








Humongous and ugly fishes!! Hahaha look like Shuyin.



Mandarin ducks?





A bit pointless... Both of us look so blurry.



Aren't flamingos so weird-looking?? Look at how many joints there are at the neck!! And the legs are so skinny!! Like got design flaw leh... I think if God really created us then flamingos are a bad design coz it looks too GIMMICKY.

Like I am imagine this mad scientistish guy saying, "And then I am giving it thin and long legs so it can stand in water... Very long neck so it can look for food underwater..."

Someone logical replies, "Why not just make it be an underwater creature in the first place?"

And the mad scientist ignores him and says, "Yes... Wings too of course, but purely aesthetics... cannot fly. AND YES. PINK."



Ugly ducklings or beautiful swans?





Can you look at this?!? KK is bad at photography lor!! I take so chio for her she cut off my body all!!!

When I pointed this out to her she haughtily said, "Hmpf!! Maybe it's the subject?"

WAH!!! Shitty photography still don't wanna admit!!

BTW tamarin (?? how to spell) monkeys were behind us... but cannot see.

PENGUINS!!!



So tumbly and cute!!



This old one is extra puffy!!



Nothing to do must air armpits.




WHAT IS THIS????


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Star-shaped sea urchin!!





I hope he wasn't lurking in the beach when I was there...

Check out this banana-strawberry marshmallow sea slug!!





The colours damn chio la!!! It's totally pink and yellow stripey!! It looks like one of those gummy things we eat.





Shark with identity crisis.... Guess what its name is??

ZEBRA SHARK. Mad not? Totally look like leopard. -_-






"Woooo fountain! Let's take photos!!"



Otters!!



Did you know sea urchins have like little sparks of light emitting from them? Curious isn't it?



Yucks!! Sea worms!!



Super cute pufferfish


Bloop bloop.......... Jellyfishies!!





Look like brains floating... This species not chio one... Brownish purple...



Then we saw the prettiest jellyfish EVER:






It is pure white and has a LONGGGGGG train of flowy stuff trailing behind it... it is so dreamy and floating and reminds me of songs played at beauty salons!!

Qihua say it looks like a wedding gown!!





Scary-looking sea horses

After this we go back to the hotel for a short rest... VERY MAJORLY TIRED LOR!! Why is it that going to the beach just drains all your energy away?!

We then go for our SIZZLING STEAMBOAT!!



Al Fresco dining beside the sea. Very very romantic!



Our food... check out the fresh BIG scallops!!
AND BIG MUSHROOMS!! I love mushrooms!!







YUMMY!! Can you see how tired we look though? Haha...

At 10pm, we slept for the night.



DAY 2



CABLE CAR RIDE!!



It goes WAY HIGH UP!!

Qihua was going on about how she is very very scared of heights and this cable car right is making her sweat balls, but I was never really afraid of cable cars leh... I couldn't understand what's so scary about it either.

She kept saying that once the cable car line in Singapore broke before... She's a trooper in the end though and braved it with me!!






Qihua with faltering brave smile








Ok... that's a tad high...



Make that very high... NOW I can see why people would be scared...



Qihua was mumbling about how fall down also cannot find corpse etc... -_-

So we took photos to distract her.



Gorgeous views




ME NO SCARED~!!!



Qihua's timid sweaty palms





Look down from way up high is infinitely more scary than the other way round...




Bully the scared Qihua to help me take photos.



Pretty hor? It's so grand.



Got part 2 of the cable car right that goes to another summit!! We didn't go though since Qihua was already freaking out. But of course, the cable car system is very safe and we arrived back at ground floor without a hitch.












We were cam-whoring at the Oriental Village afterwards when Wan, our tour guide for the day, called out to us to go over to where he was standing with a local.

And lo and behold!!!!












SNAKE!!!!!!!!!!!! *Hisssss* *attempts Parseltongue but fails*



KK carrying snake...! She's not scared of cockroaches (can catch with bare hands) and hugeass pythons but she is scared of birds (even little chicks) and heights. -_-







Me with snake... Heavy la!

The owner of the snake kept asking us to do funny poses with his snake.

HE KEPT URGING ME TO KISS THE SNAKE!!!

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As you can see, I am a tad unwilling. The snake keeps shooting its forked tongue out... I don't wanna taste that lor!!



Look ma, no hands!!

And off we go for food!!



Grumpy coz very hungry...



Qihua told me to pose and since I was exhausted, I gave her damn forced smiles.





Hahaha!!

Our rice arrived:





So cute star-shaped one!!




After this, we go to a luxurious spa treatment back at the resort!!


Excitedly stepping into it

Apparently, Awana's spa is new!! It is very big and the service there was impeccable.



Once we stepped into it, the trained masseuses dressed in traditional Bali robes came to ask us what we want to do. Very warm and friendly!

Qihua and I were led into different rooms and I must say I was impressed with mine! The beds are all covered in traditional purple batik prints (is it paisley??) and at the end of the room was a hugeass bathtub for guests to take baths in.

Photos were of course not allowed in the rooms (us being nude and all), but I had a fantastic 1-hour long traditional massage, and Qihua took a milk bath (coz she was sunburnt and wanted something soothing) which she claimed made her skin like MADLY soft.

I also want!!!

After this, we dine at Villa Rossi, Awana's in-house Italian fine dining:









It's quiet and beside the sea... The place is so serene and gorgeous I really don't feel like going back to Singapore anymore where everywhere is filled with humans... :(



Seafood chowder!





My steak



KK's cod fish



And a shared dessert of cream caramel!



Villa Rossi!!!




DAY 3

Rest and Relax day!!! We decided to just go the the resort's swimming pool to tan the day away!!




Ordered food to the poolside...

You can't see, but the nuggets are heart-shaped!!



So much food... Very very happy lor!!







And the sun's a-shining. =D


After this, we go on the thing we've been looking forward to the most...


SUNSET CRUISE!!!








KK is a tad grumpy coz she broke out into a heat rash due to a bit too much sun... :(





A lot of angmohs onboard with us!!!








My tatt faded a little



Honeymooners



What is this??



Gorgeous sunset



Qihua is shocked... What's happening?



HELP!! WOMAN IN WATER!!!



Ahhh!!! This net is actually called a "salt water jacuzzi" and you can sit on it, have a beer and chat while the yacht pulls you along and you get "massaged" by the sea!!







Food is being prepared as we act poetic:



Machiam very emo...



This one also.

We both sat side by side along the yacht, and Qihua suddenly squealed, "O.M.G!! Look!!!!"

And we spotted two of the brownish-purple jellyfishes just floating around the surface of the sea!! Super cool!







YUMMY!!!



Finally, we see the sun setting...

Quickly take photo with it!!







It took like a mere 2 mins and the breath-taking spectacle is over...

And then in the morning, we head back to SINGAPORE!!!







I must say, the overall experience I give a 9.8/10! I don't even know what the 0.2% missing is, but I think if I gave it a 10/10 some of you will be like, "Sure or not!! You only saying that coz they paying you right!!!" Hahaha!!!

I still miss the ultra beautiful beaches till today and I so wanna go again!!

The service has got to be the best thing that Awana offered us though. Our sorta tour-guide/chauffeur Wan was very very friendly and extremely patient as he waited for hours on end while Qihua and I went to various destinations.

If I had to wait for 3 hours for two frivolous girls to do their shopping I'd be super grumpy lor!!

When we asked him questions, he always gave informative (and funny) answers, and never once said "I don't know" but instead checked everything clearly. If you go you must try to get Wan as your tour guide!!

At the end of the trip we even gave him an envelope saying "Thank you for your excellent service" and rm50!!


I LOVE LANGKAWI!!!



If you want a perfect holiday too, you can go to Awana's website for more information. I'd say it's ideal for lovers (so many other honeymooners there it's hard not to feel romantic) or bigger groups of friends, especially if they are into all the beach stuff!!
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