Friday, December 30, 2005

Current update - 30/12/05

Another year another number... What's in a number anyway... I don't feel any different.

The past year has been eventful, for me at least. I finished my degree, though I don't feel any smarter. I got a new job, though I'm not sure if it's for the better yet. Got a part time job though I haven't seen the first cheque yet. My cousin got married, my brother got married, gained a new nephew, and I think I lost few kilos though I never intend to lose them.

Don't know what else to say so here's the normal monthly update...

Read: The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Reading: Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
CD: None
Favorite song: Vehicle by Bo Bice
Playing: anything online
Watching: The Drew Carey Show

*No. of times asked if I have a boyfriend: 7
*No. of times asked when I will get married: 21 (approx)
*No. of times asked when I will have kids: 2
Note: * Since I started this blog of course. I've been getting these questions lots of times before but you can't honestly believe I would count them, right? I just thought of this lately. It's interesting to know the average number of times a single girl at a marriageable age get that million dollar question. I hope other single bloggers would do the same. Maybe we can write a thesis on it! I also change "ppl" to "times" since one person can ask all three questions.

Quesion no. 2 has turn into 'approx' because I lost count amidst the busyness of my brother's wedding. But man... can you imagine? 21 times a year? That's an average of almost 2 times per month. I wonder if it will increase when the age increases? Hmm... need more research.

I do have one conclusion though. Whenever I interact with a baby around a group of friends, the "Kau bila lagi?" [When's you turn?] question popped up. So I try to get as far away from a baby most of the time, especially when it's a friend's newborn baby. There are lots more people fussing over it anyway, I'm sure the baby can't stand one more.

Happy birthday to you too...

Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling, Buffy and one of my favorite movies, Bring It On)
Tiger Woods (Tiger who?)
Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang from Smallvile)
Tracey Ullman (comedy actress)

and also to those who could have celebrated their birthday today but just didn't live to see the day...
Rudyard Kipling (author of The Jungle Book)
Davy Jones (of The Monkees)

Friday, December 23, 2005

And then there were three Part 2 - The Loot

Attending a wedding also mean acquiring certain items, which may or may not have any use, disguised as tokens of appreciation. And having a close relation with the one who held the wedding mean you get to have moreof these things that may or may not have any use.


From top then left to right...
1. (The green one) For those who 'renjis' [bless] the couple during majlis berinai which was held right after the akad nikah.
2. (The yellow one) For those who was seated at the main table during the wedding reception which was held the day after the akad.
3. For those who 'renjis' during the wedding reception.
4. Acquired from the 'hantaran' [gifts] from the bride to the groom.
5. One of the 'hantaran'. There was a bouquet of this.
6. For family members of the groom who came to the wedding reception.
7. I don't remember how we got this one Image hosted by

I never really cared about these stuff unless it's something different or something that I can actually use. My mother would normally keep them until she got sick of the space they took and ended up throwing them away.

However, this time around yours truly decided that she will keep 2 of them i.e. nos. 4 and 6 because they are potpourri and they look kinda nice. And I loooove no. 3 (on the far left) because the flowers were made off pinang, kapur and gambir, something that I've never seen before. Very traditional. In this modern times I always love a touch of tradition. Here's a close-up and some guides if you don't know what I'm talking about.
I don't know their names in English but they do have a role in weddings, which I don't really know either. But we usually put them in the Tepak Sirih. They can be chewed together with sirih leaves kind of like tobacco. In the olden days the representative of the groom will bring the tepak filled with sirih, kapur, gambir and pinang to the girl's house. Both families would then discuss the wedding over a few sirih leaves. People don't chew sirih nowadays so I think it's just symbolic in Malay weddings.

For those who were not so closely related to the families involved would of course get something too. Guests who came to the bride's wedding reception still get their loot though not as many as I've showcased here. We, the groom's family members, would still get these in addition to those that I've shown earlier Image hosted by

For the ladies...
Yes! A bag. I certainly can use that. But what's this? There's something inside...

Sweets (already opened because I ate one at the ceremony) and.... drum rolls please....

a big slab of DODOL!
I could definitely use that!

There's something for the guys too, though it was not as big as the bag...

And there's something inside these too...



And they were very nice too...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

And then there were three

Yesterday was the day that my brother officially ended his bachelor days. It has been so long since my family organized a wedding. The last one was my eldest brother's about 13 years ago.

This is my first experience of being closely a part of a wedding from the groom's side. During my first bro's wedding I was at boarding school. Though I was home when it was my family's turn to hold the wedding reception.

Overall, not so bad. Not as bad as the girl's side I must say. I think the most nerve-wrecking part about the whole thing was that small two-minute ceremony called the akad. So much so that some people had to do it twice... if you're lucky... like it was in my brother's case. Some had to do it a few times. Though two times is the most that I've witnessed so far.

After one hour of waiting, the most important man in the ceremony,
Tok Kadi, finally arrived.

Attending a wedding can be a nice experience unless you're holding a camera and would like to capture some significant moments for memory. You have to fight through these people first.
Eyes of the lense is on you kid

For each professional photographer and his crew there must have been 5 amateur photographers, including me. But I was so pissed off with my cousin when I tried to get a shot of this one important moment. She was so busy trying to capture the scene on her camera phone that when I finally asked her to give me a chance, all I got was this...
Supposed to be a picture of my brother kissing his father-in-law's hand.
Turned out to be a picture of my brother kow-towing to his father-in-law.

My new Sony DSC-T5's first night out was a bit bumpy. I'm still don't know how to adjust the setting to suit the surrounding. There was a lot of trial and error, and shots with people's backs. My shutter speed is pretty slow so my subjects still get to move after I press the button. A lot of blurry shots.

So I tried to minimize getting official group shots for anyone. I was afraid it would turn out ugly in the end and pisses everyone in the process. A lot of it were stolen shots like the time the couple took a picture with both parents. I mean you have to let the professionals do their job right? Why the hell we pay them for? So my job as the amateur photographer was to take snapshots from another point of view.
A train of people climbing towards the bilik pengantin.

This afternoon was the wedding reception and next Sunday is my family's turn to bear the headache. In the meantime My Sony (and me) will need more practice for its next day out on the scene.
See. Even a self portrait is blurry.

Hopefully after this I will update my photoblog more often .

Note: If anyone happen to recognize anybody, please feel free to keep it to yourself. Thank you Image hosted by

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

First Anniversary

Today Kampung Gal in the City is one year old!

Wow... can't believe it's been one year already. I remember how it all started. I used the PC at the office to start a blog. Those were the days when I can still dawdle at work. Now, no chance in hell. I should be so lucky if I get to sit down for more than one hour without the constant interruptions from customers with stupid questions.

It all started when a friend advertised her blog to our group. And her name is Along of Along's Blog at (enough mentioning Along?). I've known what a blog is all about at that time but I wasn't sure that I would have enough drive to update it regularly. But so far so good.

I used to be known as Silent Dragon because even though I'm a dragon who is supposed to have an agressive nature, I'm not. But then I changed it to Kampung Gal because it's easier to have the same name as the blog name. And I think someone called me Kampung Gal once instead of Silent Dragon and I thought it sounds much nicer.

I was a bit reluctant when choosing the name Kampung Gal in the City because it seems like such a cliche. I'm sure there are other Tom, Dick, Harry, Peter and Jane in the City out there. But I love it because it's one way to describe who I am. Even though I was born and raised in the city, I feel so kampung sometimes. For the record I don't watch the show.

Looking back on my first post, I thought damn I still have nothing to show. Still living with parents, with no savings and no boyfriend (still debatable). I'm still working at a bookstore, though it's bigger with better pay. Blog-wise still talking about the same old thing. Well, I guess in my case you can't change much in 12 months.

Aiya... suddenly I'm feeling depressed.

But one thing I like about blogging is that I get to be a part of this small yet wide community that connects people without putting much effort. Since I don't go out much, I still get to 'meet' and get to know people like Eyeris, Dina, The Visitor, Desparil, Yasmin Ahmad, Afdlin Shauki and many others. Without this blog I don't think I will ever get to meet these people let alone having them respond to my comments. Blog is such a wonderful thing Image hosted by

I also tend to talk to myself less since I started this blog, which is a very good thing. Sometimes my thoughts became too much that I just had to say it out. Believe me, having a blog and typing it out is so much better (and saner) than talking to yourself.

Here's to another year of Kampung Gal in the City!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Harry Potter 4 x 3

Book 4 has always been my favourite. It has more actions with a twinge of emotion in it. It also, for the first time, gave a glimpse to the readers of how big the wizardry world really is. Kids all over the world suddenly felt that the magic was not limited to the boundaries of the western world anymore. Oh, if you still don't get it, I do love the Harry Potter series and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Style-wise, Rowling does not offer anything new or great that's worth being studied years from now. It's strength lies in the story. The idea that a lone kid suddenly discovered that he has hidden talents is nothing new. But the story and characters that unfolds around him are pretty interesting. What I like most about the series is how one small detail mentioned in earlier book would suddenly become significant in later books. Spells and potions are not made up just to get the plot going. The same spell would appear time and time again under different circumstances. Readers are taken a tour through Harry Potter's eyes who, like the readers, are oblivious to the amazing world of magic. When he learn new things, we learn new things, when he met a new creature, he was as surprised and excited as we are which I think is why the books appeal to kids so much.

I find it interesting that when HP was adapted to the big screen, most of the time the characters, creatures and plots didn't suffer much changes in the transition. Which shows that the story works both on the page and on the screen.

I managed to watch the movie on the second day of opening at GSC Berjaya Times Square. I'm not so important as to get hold tickets for previews like some people do so second day is fast enough for me. Anyway, one thing I have to say about GSC-BTS is that it's a pretty cool place to watch a movie. The seats are comfortable and the stadium arrangement is great. The distance from the screen to the first row is quite far so even if you only get third row seats it would still be comfortable enough, not like TGV. I remarked to ST that we should come here more often for movies. I still hate the building but GSC over there is great.

The movie started pretty much like the book as do the rest of the movie actually. No major changes in the plot which is a great thing about Rowling books, the movie maker don't really have to change anything, it's all in there. But some things are cut too short especially the Quidditch World Cup. I was so looking forward to watch how professional quidditch is played. If the matches in school was such a thrill, can you imagine what the professionals can do? The beginning I felt was a bit rushed. You don't get to let the excitement of one thing settles in before the next one was thrusted in your face but the pace slows down once they get into the Triwizard Tournament part.

Half hour into the movie I noticed that the movie is pretty dark. No I'm not talking about the tone but the overall look. There was no color. I thought it was the cinema but I experienced it again when I watched it for the second time at TGV.

The second viewing was still nice. I still get to enjoy it. I can't complain about lack of excitement, no element of surprise or that sort of thing because the chance of experiencing that is evitable even in the first viewing having read the book and all. I think it was also because in this one there are more things to see like the Quiddith World Cup, the Yule Ball, dragons, other schools (and their method of transportations), other creatures like the merpeople, more fleshing out of smaller characters like Neville and of course the tournament itself. After awhile I forgot the non-existence of any professional Quidditch playing.

I can go without the third viewing but I promised my sister I'll take her kids so I did. Third viewing was not that bad either. But I have to admit it was a bit too much for one movie. I only get to see LOTR on the big screen twice plus one at the Starlight Cinema but that don't really count. Can't believe this one beat the record.

All in all, below is a summary of my thoughts on the movie.

What I like
1) More Weasley twins
2) Moaning Myrtle
3) The small yet important stuff are in there like the pensieve, Neville's efficiency with botany and the story of his parents.
4) The movie shows that wizards and witches still love to rock, kind of pulling the story closer to present time. Viewer/readers didn't get the feeling that Hogwarts is in another place, in another time.
5) More complexity on the Ron-Harry relationship, which is even more developed in the book.
6) My favorite line, "Fraternizing with the enemy" is in there.

What I don't like
1) Hermione is too emotional in this one
2) Cedric is not good-looking enough
3) Krum is not ugly enough
4) Too little Snape
5) No Mrs Weasley
6) Too much built-up to the Quidditch World Cup, the tents, the amazing stadium, but alas no World Cup
7) Didn't show how the first three champions completed the first task. Well it was not described in the book also but they can improvise right?
8) No house elves
9) How come they didn't show Krum's mini dragon?
10) No Bill and Charlie Weasley
11) No Pigwidgeon
12) No annoying Percy Weasley

Some things you should know if you didn't read the book
1) Cho Chang is a year older than Harry
2) Cho and Cedric are from Ravenclaw.
3) The Horntail that Harry battled was the dragon that Hagrid acquired in the first book.
4) In the book, Malfoy's house elf was the one who conjured the dark mark at the World Cup not Barty Crouch Jr.
5) With the lost of Scabbers, Ron got a new animal, a small owl named Pigwidgeon. Answers to the call of 'Pig'.
6) If you're wondering why the kids went out with Hagrid in the woods when they found what they found, it was probably because Hagrid wanted to show them the maze.
7) Fluer is a veela, beautiful and seductive, something like sirens on land. If the movie expanded on the world cup they might mention the word veela.
8) Madame Maxime and Hagrid didn't get so mushy-mushy in the book. She got close to him just to get some early scoop on the tasks.
9) The was a monetary reward when Harry won the tournament. He felt guilty of winning with Cedric's death and all and because he has more money that he could count, he gave them to the Weasley twins which they used to set up their own business of selling magical candy in school. Maybe movie no. 5 won't mention anything about their business but I feel it's important because it led up to a quite significant event at the end of book 5.

*Warning: May contain some spoilers*
The final task in the movie was a bit of a disappointment. For a competition that brings eternal glory to the winner, it was such a breeze. You just need to find your way through the maze while dodging some greenery. However, the maze in the book was much more complicated than that. There were creatures and illusions that really puts the champions' knowledge of spells and incantations to the test. You can truly get the idea that no regular witch or wizard can go through it and understand how students could've die in previous tournaments.

The ending, with the happy farewells betweeen the three schools and the threesome's light-hearted pact to write to each other was still a bit too cheerful for me. The most evil wizard was just resurrected and Hermione was more concerned about getting letters from her friends? I don't think so.
*End warning*

I can't wait for the next movie. I want to see the Ministry of Magic and more characters with the introduction of The Order of Phoenix. You'll get to meet some aurors, some sort of wizard police. Finally, some real action from real wizards and not just some small magic from amateur students anymore.

Well, I guess Harry said it better himself, "I love magic."