Merry Christmas and… Happy Birthdays!

Yeah. Before I begin with what I want to post, I shall wish everyone a (late) Merry Christmas!!!

(Image: Alegoo)

So yesterday, on Christmas Day, was a day I’d been really looking forward to! It’s the day when I hosted a Christmas Day dinner for my beloved peeps from my Sec 4 class! I was really happy (and yes, I AM still happy right now) that this ended off as a successful event. Well, definitely must feel happy because I had planned and organised the entire event since a month ago. It’s a long process to plan and execute the event, and also to predict any problems that might occur and to do up a backup plan. It has been really long time since I last organised an event (Yeap, the last being some school event back in my Secondary School days when I was an EXCO member).

I must admit that from choosing the food to buying the presents for these beloved peeps was really really difficult. But it’s alright! Because seeing the smiles on their face at the end of the day, made me think that everything is just worthwhile.

Ah. Shall not talk much about the planning process or anything before the day itself. Shall share with everybody the joy that we had (or more specifically, the joy that I had) yesterday!

So yesterday, before everyone came, I was keeping myself really busy with all the housekeeping, collection of food, last minute present shopping and wrapping of the final batches of the gifts. While I was really really busy, the rest of them (excl. Yichen, Kayven, Qing and Junwei) were at Brendan’s house baking the cookies and enjoying themselves! (hehehe!)

The cookies that they tried to made. And yeap, they brought it to my house. Ate them only today and it’s really delicious! ūüėõ
Back to my side here.
I was running out of time, some presents not yet wrapped, and a birthday cake was awaiting my collection at Clementi. Luckily, I found someone to help me! Chen Yu! He came and went to collect the cake for me. OMG! THANK HIM SO MUCH!!!! He helped me to make sure everything was done in time.
The peeps came at around 7pm. And I was shocked by the clothes they wear. Some of them a bit formal only uh. The first thing we do was of course to greet each other with Merry Christmas! HAHA! Thn they settle down to play Charades. And while they are playing, I was heating up the Turkey, ham and the pork knuckles. Thn some guys came in (Adam and Brendan) to check on me. And thn these 2 decided to get Chen Yu to help us buy some beer to go with the food. HAHA!
Once Chen Yu returned with the cake, the few of us went to the nearby shop to get some beer. Yes, and we returned with 2 cans of Sapporo. Aside from shopping for beer, we went around the neighbourhood in search for candles for the birthday cake, and while on this mission, Brendan saw a rather big ass lighter and bought it for $1.20. He was so amazed by that. Wow.
Chen Yu, Brendan, Adam and me met up with Junwei and Yichen before returning back.
And back at home… They were playing with my camera…
“See how cute I am!” *cough*
Aspiring to be a future model.
The girls trying to do some creepy smile…
Qing had arrived while we were out. And since we returned, it means that everyone has arrived! Time to start the feast!!!
Basically, it was Brendan and Adam doing the cutting, Chen Yu and Weihao doing the testing and me doing the heating up. Ok. Guys, now times have changed. The girls are outside watching tv and majority of the guys are in the kitchen doing the preparation of food. Let’s give ourselves a round of applause.
(Image: weknowmemes)
Must really thank Brendan and Adam for doing all the saikang of cutting the turkey, the ham and the pork knuckles! THANK YOU!
Look at Brendan trying to cut the meat.
Junwei and Chen Yu got the privilege to have some of the meat first because they can. ūüėõ
The ‘feast’ for the night!!! Sorry, Brendan’s box of turkey was not caught on film. Gee… ūüėÄ
During the meal, some of us guys were gathering around the table, drinking beer and talking about any bullshit that we can think about.
So after the feast… Here comes…
Yesh!!! It’s time for the surprise! While the rest of them are watching tv in the living room, Brendan and I were trying to prepare the cake and the candles. And when everything is ready, brought the cake out for the surprise!
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU…”
As everyone in the room started singing, Qing was staring at us with her poker face and Junwei was seating by my foot, staring around. They didn’t know what happen. Well. I understand the feeling, it’s the exact feeling I got when Yong Kang and Co. surprised me with a birthday cake during the BBQ session on the 26th October. Well well well. That was 2 months ago.
Yes Yes Yes
They were both caught by surprise. *Mission Accomplished*
Wanted them to take photo with they cake, but since I am holding the cake… Hehe. Photobomb? ūüėõ
 
Time to cut the cake!!!!!!!
The interior of the rainbow cake! Looks really nice! It’s the first time most (if not, all) of us get to taste Rainbow Cake!

 

Qing and her cake!

 

Lan Jiao Wei with his cake!

 

Well. I’ve got the cake from this, erm… should I called it a blogshop that sells cake? Ah well. Take a look at her instagram!
Yes. Her shop name is call Sugar Rush. She makes a lot of different kinds of cake! From cupcakes to 6’/8’/10′ round cake to even cake in the shape of cookie monster! ¬†Go check out her instagram if you want to order really nice home-made cake for any event, be it birthday celebrations or any sorts of party! Feel free to contact her at 91851154 as she’s a really friendly lady.
Yes. If you guys are wandering what kind of cake I’ve ordered from her this time, it’s actually a 10″ Red Ombre Rosette Rainbow Cake. And it only cost me S$47. Brendan thought such cake cost around S$60++. See, affordable! If you have a really sweet tooth, don’t even think twice, order the cake from her to complete your entire celebration or event!
So after this, we had our Christmas gift exchange!!! It was really damn funny. Brendan was hoping not to kena the Ferrero Rocher, but in the end, he really got it. That was really kind of funny! There were still lots of funny parts but not gonna depict them one by one here.
And then, as they decided to open their gifts (er… I know some of the gifts were like unwrapped :P), I went into my room to carry all the 12 presents that I wanted to give to them. So much so that I’ve hug them out. Everyone was shocked. Didn’t expect I was that generous right? Actually, I am just learning from Peishan (my friend in SRJC). Yesh. All this gift thing started when she said she wanted to give me a Christmas present so… Since this is a season of giving, I might as well get some presents for my really close ones? So I ended up buying a lot of presents!
They seems touched by me.
Aww. I never fail to make them feel touch since they never fail to make me feel the same way.
Everything ended around 11+ pm and I suggested we take a group photo together since it’s really rare to get everyone together! (Although we took the group photo without Meiqi because she had to rush to the airport to send her brother)
The so-called formal shot.

 

The fun-shot!!!!
Wait guys.
WTF did I see?
Did Junwei just tried to take a selfie in front of a camera, in front of a camera? Photoception well done. ūüėõ
As everyone left, I must thank Adam, Junwei and Chen Yu for staying behind to help me clean up the mess!!! Couldn’t have done it fast without them!!!! ūüôā
Overall, this is the best event that I’ve ever planned and organised to date!!! That calls for a celebration!
(Image: troll.me)

Dear Mandela

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013
 
On the morning of 6 December, Singapore time, I received one of the shocking news ever through the internet. Yes, one of the greatest political figure ever lived, Mr. Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95.
 

It was really saddening, not only to the people of South Africa, not only to the inhabitants of the African continents, but to the entire human race. Mandela had dedicated almost his entire lifetime into helping his own people to find liberation in their own land.

As tributes are flowing into the South African city of Johannesburg while I am writing this blog post, let us recap how this man brought about a revolution to his own country.

Born in 18 July 1918 in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa, to a Thembu royal family. He was given a forename of Rolihlahla, which was commonly translated as ‘troublemaker’. However, he was later known by his clan name, Madiba. His father was supposed to be the chief of the clan. He served as a councilor to the tribal chiefs for several years before losing both his title and fortune over a dispute with the local colonial magistrate. When Mandela was 9 year-old, his father died of lung disease. His life changed completely this point of time. He was adopted by the acting regent of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo.¬†

He studied in a one-room school beside the palace, where he was exposed to African history, in which he developed an interest towards. He learned how the African people had lived in relative peace until the coming of the white people. According to the elders, the children of South Africa had previously lived as brothers, but white men had shattered this fellowship. While black men shared their land, air and water with whites, white men took all of these things for themselves. 

As a Thembu royalty, Mandela attended a¬†Wesleyan mission school, the Clarkebury Boarding Institute and Wesleyan College, where, he would later state, he achieved academic success through “plain hard work.”¬†¬†In 1939, Mandela enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare, the only residential center of higher learning for blacks in South Africa at the time. Fort Hare was considered Africa’s equivalent of the University of Oxford or Harvard University, drawing scholars from all parts of sub-Sahara Africa. In his first year at the university, Mandela took the required courses, but focused on Roman Dutch law to prepare for a career in civil service as an interpreter or clerk‚ÄĒregarded as the best profession that a black man could obtain at the time.

Young Mandela, c. 1937. (Image: Wiki Commons)


While he was at Fort Hare, Mandela was elected into the Student Representative Council. However, in alignment with the rest of the population who threatened to boycott the election due to their¬†dissatisfaction about food and lack of power held by the council, Mandela resigned from the Council. He was subsequently expelled from the school. When he returned home, Regent Jongintaba announced that he had arranged a marriage for him. Upon hearing this, Mandela decided to run away from home and eventually settled in¬†Johannesburg. While in Johannesburg, Mandela worked a variety of jobs and at the same time, completing his bachelor’s degree via¬†correspondent courses. He enrolled into the University of Witwatersrand after that in order to¬†pursue law.

Mandela soon become actively involved in anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1942. For the subsequent 20 years, Mandela directed peaceful, non-violent acts of defiance against the then South African government and its racist policies. These include the Defiance Campaign in 1952 and the Congress of the People in 1955. The law firm, Mandela & Tambo, he founded with Oliver Tambo provided free and low-cost legal counsel to unrepresented blacks. However, in 1956, Mandela and 150 over other activists were arrested for treason and were all acquitted of the crime subsequently.

In 1961, Mandela, previously committed to non-violence struggle against the government, began to believe that armed struggle was the only way to achieve their aim. He co-founded the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which is an armed wing of the ANC dedicated to sabotage and guerrilla war tactic to end apartheid. 

In 1961, Mandela orchestrated a three-day national workers’ strike. He was arrested for leading the strike the following year, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

In 1963, Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis and, as a black political prisoner, received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. However, while incarcerated, Mandela was able to earn a Bachelor of Law degree through a University of London correspondence program.Mandela was brought to trial again. This time, he and 10 other ANC leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment for political offenses, including sabotage.

A 1981 memoir by South African intelligence agent Gordon Winter described a plot by the South African government to arrange for Mandela’s escape so as to shoot him during the recapture; the plot was foiled by British intelligence. Mandela continued to be such a potent symbol of black resistance that a coordinated international campaign for his release was launched, and this international groundswell of support exemplified the power and esteem that Mandela had in the global political community.

In 1982, Mandela and other ANC leaders were moved to Pollsmoor Prison, allegedly to enable contact between them and the South African government. 

On February 11, 1990, Mandela was officially released.  The South African government then unbanned the ANC, removed restrictions on political groups and suspended executions. 

That same year, Mandela was elected president of the ANC and continued to¬†negotiate¬†with the South African government (led by State President Frederik Williem de Klerk) towards the country’s first multiracial election.

In 1993, Mandela and President de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize¬†“for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.

Mandela & de Klerk receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, 1993 (Image: SABC)

        

The¬†negotiation eventually turned out to be a success.¬†South Africa held its first democratic elections. Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the¬†country’s first black president on May 10, 1994, at the age of 77, with de Klerk as his first deputy.
(Image: Blackpast)
Mandela swearing-in, 1994 (Image: BBC)
Also in 1994, Mandela published an autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, much of which he had secretly written while in prison. The following year, he was awarded the Order of Merit.
Cover, Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela (Image: eBay)
From 1994 until June 1999, Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to black majority rule. He used the nation’s enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks, encouraging black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. In 1995, South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the young republic.
Mandela also worked to protect South Africa’s economy from collapse during his presidency. Through his Reconstruction and Development Plan, the South African government funded the creation of jobs, housing and basic health care. In 1996, Mandela signed into law a new constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing both the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.

Freedom for the blacks in South African is finally being achieved.

(Special Credits to biography.com)
——————————–

Yes, Mandela has done a lot to the South African community. However, not only that, his action also affected the rest of the world, leading to anti-racism campaign everywhere. I am a person who don’t really know how to craft a really emotional script but here’s what I want to say to Mandela:

Dear Mandela,

Thank you for all your hardwork that you’ve put in for the blacks. Thank you for showing the world that how important it is to build a multi-racial society away from racist policies and that racist politics has no right to be existing in this world. You are a leader. A legendary revolutionary figure. Your influence does not end within the borders of South Africa, neither it ends within the borders of the African continent, in face, your influence is of no limit. You did not only change Africa, but the world too.

After 1994, everyone learnt that there can actually be equality of rights among the whites and the blacks, the yellows and the browns. In fact, because of your influence, skin colours have already made no difference in world politics: everyone is regarded as equal.

Thank You for your existence. May you be in peace.

Happy Birthday, Pei Shan!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEISHAN!
Yes. This girl has finally turned 17 years old. I mean like a finally. Yes, before I knew when was her birthday, I really thought she was older than me (I am referring to the month) cos she just look erm… way matured? I guess. I remembered when she told me her birthday was on 2nd December, I was like…
(Image: salzdummyspit)
I could still remember how she stared at me when I can’t believe she’s really younger than me by a month plus. (Well, one does not simply imply that a girl looks older than what she really is. Ohdear, I am gonna be dead if she read this paragraph.)
Alright. Let’s skip this nonsense, before I can imagine her saying, “Nonsense uh, Eddy.” (Yup. I can imagine that with her voice. Okok. Staph staph.)
Let’s be blog about the entire birthday celebration. Which was really rather epic.
Few days ago, a few of us went to buy birthday present for Pei Shan’s at nex. There were Nicole, Adrian, Wan Lin, Michelle and myself. (Apparently I could still remember the rather unpleasant moment at nex’s Pastamania. Fine. It’s not really unpleasant but the kind of mixing that Wan Lin made from the left over was really haunting me still right now. I should apologies to the Pastamania people for wasting their resources the other day.) After dinner, we went to get balloons and card for Pei Shan.
Initially, because we were afraid that too many people will be crashing the hotel room (at Hard Rock Hotel, Sentosa) that her parents booked as a family birthday celebration for her, only Charmaine and Wan Lin were supposed to go. But in the end, I don’t really understand what happened, they decided to jio more people. In the end, Yap Qi and I tagged along. That Ashley and Adrian wanted to go but in the end had to miss it due to personal reasons.
We decided to meet at 9AM at HarbourFront’s Vivo City.
Yes. 9A.M.
It’s kind of early. Very early actually. I don’t remember when’s the last I left home so early apart from school, CCA or work last time.
Well. I must make a confession here, I left home at 8.50A.M. And I hoped I could really reached there by 9.30A.M. so that the girls need not need to wait too long for me.
When I left Ang Mo Kio, Wan Lin was complaining that people had been staring at her because she was holding a balloon inside the mall. I felt really really bad. So I told her to give me sometime so I can reach there and help her with the stuff.
She then told me she’s meeting Charmaine and Yap Qi first. And I was like, oh man, I’m gonna be the latest again. (I must really admit that I am always the one whom people always have to wait for. Sorry ya!) As I reached Douby Ghaut, Wan Lin called me. And guess what?
THEY WERE STILL AT SERANGOON.
What a nice twist of plot in here.
(Image: knowyourmeme)
That means I’ll be the earliest. (THAT’S SOUNDS REALLY NICE! No sarcasm intended. :)) And really, I reached at 9.45A.M., being the earliest to reach there. ¬†I predicted that they should reach before 10.30A.M. While waiting for them, I decided to walk around Vivo. At that timing, many of the shops were not yet open. The entire shopping mall was really very quiet. I went round and round the area. The girls eventually reached at around 10.15A.M. (I guess) and we travelled down to Sentosa.
It was raining out there, so we had to take the sheltered walkway to Hard Rock Hotel, despite me being there just last week, we still managed to get loss because we can’t find the lobby of HRH. We went around in circles trying to find the sheltered route to HRH but we got lost. We even walked down to some unknown place and even almost hijacking some restaurant. (Yesh, we found ourselves at the back door of some restaurant in which we don’t even know what is it.)

But luckily for us, we eventually found the route, but we just have to bare with the tiny rain droplets hitting hard on our body.

Wan Lin went up first while Charmaine, Yap Qi and I were at the hotel lobby. The two girls were trying to complete the writing the cards.

We went up afterwards and found the room eventually. I swear that the hotel corridor is so damn freaking long and a bit complicated. Charmaine and Yap Qi were trying to hide on the left side of the door while I was hiding on the right, with my sunglasses on. Knock few times already and no response from inside, so this Yap Qi tried to kick the door. That was really hilarious.

The door opened and the girls shouted ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY!’. I was still trying to hide at the side, trying to find the best opportunity to give Pei Shan an ultimate scare. And if you guys are wondering, yes, I’d succeeded. She was shocked by everything that was happening at that moment.

She didn’t know we were coming, she only expected Wan Lin. (Charmaine told her that she had went Malaysia and would only be back on Tuesday. Nice prank.) And best prank of all, Wan Lin told Pei Shan that she had called for manicure service for her and she really bought into her story. The bell rang, and no, not manicure service, but 3 familiar faces. This Wan Lin and her way of hiding things up.

Passed the cake(s), two huge balloons and presents to her.

I admit I was quite awkward there with Mr. and Mrs. Lee around. But I eventually got comfortable. They were really nice to us. ūüôā

So apparently, we bought Pei Shan a skateboard and there was a sticking under it stating the cautions. One caution was the one that I decided to use against Pei Shan for the rest of the day when she was trying to skate. It wrote (it was in Traditional Chinese, so I am doing a literal translation here):

Please note that user must have a certain level of skills in order to use this safely.

I broke into laughter while saying it. Everyone else laughed.

I shall try to fast forward things… But here are some photos we had taken in the room:

 

 

We decided to go to the Loge to enjoy the 2 rides. One of the ride was fun and the other one was… terrifying.

Before we went there, we took some proper #OOTDs.

(Images taken by our best photographer, Wan Lin)
You have to agree that these pictures were taken in a very good quality. Not sure if it’s the person taking the photos is good or the background is really awesome. ūüėõ
Went to have Mac (I am sinned), and it’s a treat from Pei Shan. (I felt a bit p.s. No pun intended, I swear.)

After lunch, we took the tram to Imbiah Station.

I saw my long-time-no-see friend there. I remembered the last time when I saw this dude at Sentosa was around, let me guess, between 6 to 10 years ago? That’s really long. The place there really has changed a lot. Singapore is in a constant development. Hence what I saw there today, may not be there any more in the future. Okay. Let’s cut short my ‘reflection’ here. We walked to a place called The Luge. For those who don’t know what I am taking about, here’s a screenshot from the official website:
(Image: Screenshot of Skyline Luge Sentosa’s website)
What I didn’t foresee was one of the scariest moment in my life. I paid the ticket without knowing what shit I was putting myself into. We walked to the starting point of the Skyride, my heart palpitated and my goosebumps developed. WHAT ON EARTH DID I DO WRONG?
I am gonna be hang up high into the air? I mean… WHAT?! Are you serious? Oh dear. I felt like running away right now. I have been afraid of heights since young. I remembered how I once refused to take the escalator from the top level of the shopping centre because I did not dare to look down. I was afraid that the escalator is going to collapse and bring me down with it. Now, I am going to face my worst nightmare and take it as a fun ride? Ohgod.
(Image: planetaurbe)
But still, I still took the helmet and put it on. And I was being really paranoid and make sure that my helmet was really in place because I am afraid of v = gt acting on me. (For those of you who don’t get what I am saying, do turn to your Physics book.)
Yap Qi suggested to take a group photo together before any really happens. (I am kind of glad I am not the only one thinking too much.)

We headed to the other part first. Go-kart. Finally I am able to breathe properly. Go-kart was really fun. And it turned out to be awesome! I was like speeding throughout the circuit. I felt like a certain Aryton Senna or Michael Schumacher. I felt like a speed demon.

There comes the nightmare in bright day light. The skyride. Wan Lin and Charmaine took the first cabin while Pei Shan, Yap Qi and me squeeze into the one behind. And here’s a fun fact: The ones in front were showing no signs of being afraid, while those at the back were on the verge of screaming and breaking down. The guy was trying his best to make himself comfortable, but on the verge of breaking down. The 2 girls were cuddling each other, afraid of looking down or anywhere else as the cabin went further up into the sky.

(Image: Taken by either Charmaine or Wan Lin while we are trying to make ourselves comfortable at the back)

I am glad that I eventually made myself comfortable, even trying to stretch my legs out to reach the leaves below me. I felt like I am trying to be like a certain Mr. Bean. I turned to the back and saw the beautiful scenery of the beach. Beautiful.

(Image: memecrunch)

However, those two siaocharbors beside me were still screaming. Guess what? They even sang… “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB.” I tried to be really extra and sang together with them, only to realise that the two angmohs behind were laughing at us. I think we were really a nice entertainment in the middle of no where (yes, literally in the middle of nowhere). I am sure we are the best opera singers around the region.

After all these, we went to get Starbucks, took some pictures and play with the skateboard before returning to the hotel.

 

And oh ya, I must really mention this. We took photo with a snake. Yes. And this Peishan was really afraid of the snake that she almost dare not touch it. I was like saying, ‘Are we trying to get Peishan to overcome her fears today? Today mcm her Fear Factor Day sia.’
I don’t to comment much, but look at Peishan’s face here.