Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Thing I Desire

This world is crumbling. Even if it’s not the end of the world, any sane person can see that it’s not getting any better. Evil surrounds and gets us at every corner. As gloomy as it sounds, I’ll continue anyway. Whether or not you feel the same, I think it'll be interesting for you to read on.

You know, that leads me to think, we all have one thing in common. We all need God! Moreover, in such times, we must realize how much we need God. None of us are spared from what's happening - whether we're rich, poor, or in power. We are wretched beings and we need God's saving grace. Not just a God where we can go to like a gumball machine, whom we can ask whatever we need when we’re in trouble and get it instantly. But we need a God who gives hope in a dying world, a God who’s merciful. Because we all need mercy.

How many people know that? How many people would give up pride, humble themselves before God, and admit they need His saving grace?

When we’re in a bad situation, most of us will ask God, “Why, why, why?” But I realize that the “why” question will get us nowhere. Some questions are just never meant to be answered. We must learn to ask the right question and ask the right person. My dad shared with us a juicy quote yesterday, “Any fool can give a good answer, but it takes a wise man to ask a good question.”

Sometimes we have the right questions, but we're asking the wrong person. Or it's the other way round. Either way, the catch is to ask the right questions and go to the right source – the best source – which is God, of course!

God may not give us instant answers, and sometimes we may still be left in doubt. But I do know that no matter what happens, as my parents always remind me, GOD IS STILL ABOVE IT ALL. If we press on in faith to seek God, without doubting His sovereignty, we too will rise above our doubts and troubles to soar high above this crumbling world.

But if we think like the rest of this world, if we live by the world’s wretched standards, if we seek approval from men, if we doubt God and try to find our own answers, we will get nowhere! And what’s more, we will never rise above our doubts and increase in faith to be where Jesus wants us to be – with Him.

I learn that whenever I doubt, I shouldn't turn elsewhere for answers. But all the more, I must turn to God and be honest with Him. Talking to God doesn’t have to be all flowery and rhetorical. God gives us room to doubt Him. And if we ask the right questions and be honest about how we feel, I have no doubt that God will answer and reveal us His awesomeness!

I admire the Psalmist David for his faithfulness to God even in unpleasant situations. He continued to worship and proclaim that God is his strength. In Psalm 27:14 David says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Above everything else, David knew that if he placed God in the center of his life, everything else will fall into their rightful places. David sang a psalm that is truly the core of what we must all desire in life.

"One thing I desire of the the Lord,

This is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life,

To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord,

And to seek Him in his temple." - Psalm 27:4

I, too, want to pray the same prayer – that I will place God in the center of my life. That I'll be faithful to seek the things of His kingdom and dwell in His presence all of my days. After all, it’s the only thing that matters, isn’t it? And once we do that, I know that God will place everything else in their right order and what's more, we'll view our life in God's perspective.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Heat Wave Strikes Down Under!

Yes, it’s true. We
are struck by a blistering, hot – and I really mean hot – heat wave. Yesterday I said it feels like a sauna – today, I’d say it’s more like an oven! The temperature soared to 50 degrees! I know this sounds like a weather report, but I find it incredulous. I’ve never experienced such hot weather. Never.

I’ve just read in the online news that in Melbourne alone, about 150 public trains have stopped working because of the crazy heat. And in some areas, the electricity is out because too many people are blasting their air-conds at home. In Adelaide, the trains have stopped working altogether. I didn’t believe it when my dad told me this morning. It’s no doubt that more bizarre news will keep us stupefied in the coming days.

What’s more incredulous, The Herald Sun reported that it’s the first time since 1875 that Victoria has experienced such a sweltering summer. The news even described it as "furnace-like". Even after saying that, I should add that in 1875, the highest temperature recorded was only 43.3C – and it lasted 2 days. Today, the heat has definitely broken the record to 50C
. The forecast says this heat wave will last till Sunday.

Yesterday night our family actually slept together in the living room
so we can all share our only air-conditioner in the house! HAHA. It's so hot that we can’t even go to the beach, for crying out loud! Or even the toilet. It doesn’t have ventilation, so the tiny space is stuffy with a 48 degree heat. This is definitely not the summer we imagined.

A few weeks ago, people told us that this year’s summer is pretty unusual – in other words, it’s not hot enough! However, the weath
er (like what’s happening in the rest of the world) has taken us by surprise again. Boy, oh boy.

Everyone is flocking to the shopping malls and libraries today – FREE AIR-COND!!! Sounds desperate? Even so, our relief was shortlived when the electricity died. Can’t you believe it? How could such a thing happen in a library?! So anyway, we sought refuge in another library – and bought ice-cream on the way (which melted before we even licked).

We all know it’s nothing new that the world has turned topsy-turvy. But really, I am still stupefied by all these bizarre things happening. This world is falling apart. That's what I truly think.
God help us!

"The world is passing away… But he who does the will of God abides forever." - 1 John 2:17

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Summer Dresses & School Lunches

Phew, today the temperature has soared up to 45 degrees! Time to wear shorts, ditch the jumpers, and hit the beaches! ;) The skies are too blue to be true. We have no protection from the blazing sun if we step outside. The sun has become a big white patch with unbearable rays burned into the blue sky.

When I went out to hang clothes in the backyard this morning, I was struck by a heat wave! Have you been to a sauna? It feels just like it now! The air is very dry here, so at least you don’t sweat. That’s what my dad likes about it here. He doesn’t sweat at all!

Man, I can’t imagine having to endure this heat in school next week. Hopefully the temperature won’t stay stuck at over forty. What’s more, I didn’t buy a summer dress for school! I must say, the school uniforms here literally cost a bomb. We bought second-hand ones. Sadly, they didn’t have my size for a light, airy summer dress, so I’ll have to wear black pants and the school polo shirt instead. Gah.

Yesterday night, my sisters and I were planning our “lunch menu” for next week. For the first time, we’ll have to prepare our lunchbox for school. Sound like spoiled brats? Haha no worries, we’re far from that – I should think. Having enjoyed the privilege of lunch at home, I’ll have to start packing recess food now. Haha, quite exciting huh. :P

While my sisters have already met a handful of friends at orientation last December, I don’t know a single person! However, I was ecstatic when a girl by the name of Lin Li added me on Facebook and we found out that we were both living in Melbourne! What’s more amazing, after exchanging a few mails, I found out that she goes to Blackburn High too! :D :D :D

After prodding my memory a bit, I finally recalled that Lin Li and I had met at a Rangers’ Pow Wow camp some 3 years back. She was from Sel #6, so some of you should know her. Man, it’s so exciting to find out that she’s here! Although I barely remember her, I really thank God that somehow we meet again on Facebook and now I actually know someone who’s in the same school. So cool right. :D

I’ll conclude that though I used to find Facebook a bit retarded, I now find that it has proved to be amazingly useful. Sometimes I’m a bit annoyed by random adds, but some of them have made really cool connections!

A shot of Janna with her helium-filled balloons. I love the sunlight falling on her and the grass.
G'day mate! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Ang Paus This Year!

Today is Chinese New Year’s eve! Honestly, the novelty of Chinese New Year has been kinda’ lost on me. It’s not as fun and exciting anymore. Anyhow, what’s more, we’re in Australia this year! No family, not many friends, no pineapple tarts, no sweet and sour titbits, no cheongsam (I outgrew mine ages ago), no family reunion, no playing Black Jack with our cousins, no firecrackers, and saddest of all, no ang paus!

Can you imagine?!?

It’s a bit gloomy, but oh well, we’re still very blessed to have each other for company. Five of us! Now that’s a luxury. Big Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear, and the Three Little bears. Wouldn’t you say we’re so lucky? :D Compared to other smaller families out there, or to the many students who’re studying here and are away from their homeland, we are very much better off. Haha, thank God.

To celebrate the occasion, my parents decided that we’d have a simple steamboat dinner tonight after we get back from church service in Crossway. Steamboat! What a luxury. It’d be good for winter days. :D

Tomorrow, the first day of Chinese New Year, also happens to be Australia Day! Haha, so we’re celebrating two things at a time. Well, we’re not citizens of Australia, but who cares, we’ll be there to celebrate our making of a new home here and watch the fireworks! :P

Anyway, here are the pictures we took at our steamboat dinner. =)

The three bears, as our relatives like to call us. :)

It was indeed an awesome steamboat dinner among ourselves!

We had beef, chicken, sotong, mushrooms, and prawns. Simple, but it was a hearty dinner indeed. =)


We hope you guys are having a wonderful Chinese New Year’s celebration, too! You are all very lucky to be receiving ang paus back home, ya’ know. :P Hehe. And to all our family members and cousins: We really miss all your lively (and noisy) company! We miss playing Black Jack and Cho Tai Ti with you cousins. And of course, to our uncles and aunties and grandparents, we miss receiving your ang paus! :P Harhar.

Happy Chinese New Year! Lots of love from the Beh clan. :D

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beauty Beneath A Flower

I wanted do something different. I took pictures of a little purple flower at all angles. And finally, I discovered what I wanted to take. It was different from what I normally took – usually the flowers were taken upfront. I turned the flower upside down and snapped the shutter. Viola!

Then I realized that the beauty beneath a flower can be portrayed in a photograph. I love it. It’s unique to me. =)

"And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" - Luke 12:28

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

November 4th 2008

November 4th marked a defining moment in our lives. It was the very day we step foot in Melbourne. Our lives were changed right that moment. No matter how much I prepared for it, I wasn’t prepared for the real feeling of “no turning back” and that we were moving on. I never had the chance to write about how I felt when the plane took off. Perhaps this will be an interesting time to share it.

The finality of our big move finally struck me when we took off. Yes, the finality of it. Just 20 minutes ago we had bid farewell to our family and friends. Now I was on the plane, with Janna beside me. We had the window seats. Dad & Mum and Jirene were sitting in the middle row, separated from us. I wonder what they were thinking.

I knew what an enormous step it was for my parents to take. I admire them so much for it! Also all the more because we didn’t have the money like most people did when they migrated, or a secure job, or even friends or relatives we could fall back on when in Melbourne. I wondered how big a change it must be for Dad & Mum. They’ve been in M’sia for over 40 years. I’m sure it must take a lot to let go and move on.

No one said a word when the plane went up. No show of excitement or sadness. But it was the silence and the reality of it that finally got tears rolling down my cheeks. No one saw it. Not even Janna, who was silently sitting beside me. Although just half an hour ago I had been quite cool at the farewell, I finally felt a raw tinge of sadness.

In that moment, I prayed. I think I prayed aloud. No one heard me because of the dull roaring of the plane. Honestly, I was also afraid. The only comfort and hope I knew was that God is watching over us and that He was hearing my prayer right then. At the same time, I decided I would savour the unique experience and remember it well.

Interestingly, November 4th was also a very significant day in history for U.S. and for the world! It was the day when Barack Obama’s victory was announced. In his victory speech, he said, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.” Reading his victory speech really got to me. This man spoke passionately of change. And for that, he was different.

Early this morning, I stayed up with my parents to watch Obama’s inauguration. It was around 4 am Melbourne time! Boy it was worth watching. His inaugural speech will be in history books and I glad to be hearing it live on TV. Here’s the link where I read his speech. If it’s worth listening to, it’s even better to read it.

I find it intriguing that November 4th, being such a significant day to so many others in the world, was also our day of change and an opening of a new chapter. At that time I wondered how things would play out by January 2009. Now here I am writing this. I thank God so much for leading us up to this point. For the people we've met, and the places we visited. For the few open doors of opportunity. And yes, I am now wondering how things would play out for the next few exciting months to come!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change is in Our World

People all around the world will be seeing the inauguration of Barack Obama in about 12 hours time. It’ll be live on TV at 3.30 am Wednesday where we are. Although I don’t really know much about what’s going on, I still do know enough to feel a sense of excitement and awe to be living right in this historic moment of time.

As we all know, the world situation is just a mess now. I don’t know much, but I do know that we’re living in such scary and insecure times. The word “turmoil” is stamped all over. It all does bother me a bit. I know that we are very blessed to be where we are now. But no where’s secure or safe nowadays, I guess. We just have to keep moving on and trust God every step of the way.

Many people are awaiting change. Or perhaps, change has already come. Obama’s inauguration in Washington D.C. is expecting the biggest crowd ever – abut 2.5 million attendees! Wow, I expect it’ll be a “wow” moment for every one who’s watching it. Hopefully I can watch it. 3.30 am is not exactly an ideal time to be watching TV, though. Haha. :P

We can all see that change is in our world. It is in our times.
So many crazy happenings have been on our news headlines. There’s the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I was just thinking about all that’s been going on, and I wondered how long I will live to see many more unusual changes happening in the world. It’s a bit frightening to think about, but there’s no use avoiding it I suppose.

Although we live in such troubled times, many of us are still oblivious to the rest of the world. We continue to live our jolly good lives and do not expect change to reach us. But I think that it will. If we do not prepare ourselves and commit our lives to stand steadfast in God, we will not be able to live out our days with purpose and hope in our hearts.

The Mr. & Mrs. Obama and their two girls, Malia and Sasha.

It makes me wonder in awe what excitement they must be facing now. Those two little girls being the daughters of a man who will make history and is now making history in not only America, but the world! It’s simply amazing.

It’s frightening, yet very exciting to live in such times. No matter what happens, I must remember to always swing back to God for strength, courage, and guidance. I hope it goes the same for y
ou too! =)

(Pictures taken were taken from Google images.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back to Square One!

Hey ho, how’re you guys? I’m blogging at the library again!

Here’s an update in the life and times of the Beh family:

My dad has quitted his telemarketing sales job after less than 10 days! HAHA.

Well here’s the truth, Dad didn’t like the job at all. He was desk-bound from 9 to 5pm five days of the week, and being the restless guy he is, my dad told himself “man, this job is killing me!” And so, he did the best thing ever, he quit.

Now we’re back to square one – back to job-hunting! Prayerfully, Dad’s next job will fit his persona better. Haha. When my dad told us he was quitting, I wasn’t surprised at all. In fact, I was very happy for him. Better to quit now than to waste your time day in day out doing what you don’t believe in!

The past two weeks have been a bit uneventful. So what have I been occupied with at home? Well, other than burying my head in the books from the library, I’ve been doing what I think do best – practicing music. Yes, I’ve been trying to practice my violin and piano! I need more self-discipline now that I don’t have a teacher. I’m not too driven cause’ I don’t have anyone to please. HAHA. xD

Truth is, it’s not easy to focus. Also, my parents haven’t been nagging me like they used to. So each time I practice, I pray and ask God to help me through it. But I know that once I resume lessons and join the violin ensembles in school, I’ll definitely be more enthusiastic to practice. I can’t wait – school will add a lot more excitement to our lives!

In the weekend, we spent time shopping for school materials and uniform. It was quite dreadful. I was so tired of walking and comparing prices between all the big stores like Big W, Target, K mart, and Coles. But in the end, we pretty much ticked off most of the stuff we needed on the list. Phew, thank God for that! =)

Yesterday, we visited two churches. In the morning, we went to CityLife, about 15 minutes from home. We’ve been there 3 times. It’s a big church. And in the evening, we went to Crossway. They have two morning services and one evening service at 6 pm. We’re pretty comfortable with Crossway so far. Plus, it’s only 5 minutes away! It’s the only church we’ve visited where we don’t know anyone. Crossway has a large congregation, and there are many nationalities.

We met the youth pastor, Christina Aiton, and she says that youth will resume on Feb 6 (in Aus, the youth & children’s ministries in most churches take a break during summer hols). It’s called SURGE and comprises more than 200 youths. It all sounds good, but we’re always mindful to not just go wherever’s most convenient or happening. We want to go where God wants us be; and I believe as we pray and seek His will, God will lead.

I hope that you too will begin 2009 with your eyes fixed on Jesus and seek Him to lead you where you are meant to make an impact and grow in Him. With God, you can never go wrong!

Before I say “G’day mate”, I’d like to post some pictures we took in our rooms some days ago. =)

On one particularly boring day, I took peek in Janna and Jirene's room and found Janna writing her diary while Jirene was sadly playing Monopoly on her own! HAHA. Don't worry, she always does that.

I got them to hold out the photo frames their friends made for them as a farewell gift with their pictures in it. So nice lah. Jirene's one was from Debbie Chew, and Janna's from Ashley. I also got one from Diane. I think it's one of the sweetest things to give someone as a farewell gift!

See the board behind me? I actually made that from the cardboard boxes we had from the shipping. I made it into a sort of clip board cause' I thought my room looked so plain. And I clipped all the cool pictures of me and my family & friends from M'sia.

Haha, I didn't have a desk. But my dad managed to create something for me out of the special Ikea furniture.

I have the smallest room, but it turns out to be the most spacious 'cause I have a single bed and no wardrobe like the others. And one thing I'm happy about is that my room has a two big windows. I love natural light! I wakes me up in the morning. Haha.

And oh, I thought I'll just add this. Here’s a picture of a group of the Hope Christian church youths with Esther Chieng in the middle. I’m standing beside her. That was her last Sunday here. She went back to M’sia last Friday. Coincidentally, I found out that she’s Esther Teo’s best buddy back home! Haha. Is it coincidence, or is the world just getting smaller?

Now, blogging done, I’m gonna’ search out some people on Facebook. :P God bless and G’day matey. ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Doubt

I think today is the hottest summer days we’ve had so far. The forecast says its 37 degrees! I’m sitting beside my bedroom window and I can feel the heat of the sun blazing on my arm. People say that this year’s summer is pretty unusual cause’ it’s still not getting hot enough. The temperature goes up, and then it goes back down. So has the weather been any more unusual for you guys back in M’sia?

In my previous post – the one which I think you guys like very much (Su Ling says Jirene looks like one of the kids modelling for Pumpkin Patch! Haha!) – I mentioned that my dad has found his first job here. And yes, he sure did! It’s pretty amazing that he got it although it was only his first interview. We really thank God for that.

My dad started work last Monday, and he’s been travelling to the city by train every weekday. It’s a sales job to sell holiday packages. Well, it’s not what my dad particularly has in mind, but for now, it is indeed a blessing – at least we have the money coming in! Hehe.

All this while, I’ve been seeing with my own eyes and experiencing for myself God’s goodness working in our lives. I can feel for sure. I’m sure you guys have read for yourself and know that we wouldn’t have gone this far if God was not with us. And that’s the most amazing thing that I want to share with you of all – that we had the guts to take this leap because we are assured that God is with us!

But of course, it is not as if we just sit back and wait for all the nice things to fall from heaven. We still had to worry about what comes next and try to make the right decisions. Dad and mum had to do what was sensible to make things work. But the awesome thing about it all is that God has been our strength and our security.

There was a time when I doubted God. It was a foolish attempt of my mind to be “logical”. But then I was reminded of my encounter with God. I remembered all the miracles and answered prayers. I remembered how God touched my heart and changed my view of life. And so I shunned my doubt. God has been and still is so real in my life – how could I have doubted?

How is God real in YOUR life? I suppose it’s a bit daunting to find an answer at first, but you should give it thought. If now you realize that God hasn’t really taken action in your life, you should really ask Him to. It’ll be the best thing that you’ll ever ask for. And once you’ve tasted the goodness of it, don’t let it go!

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” – Psalm 34:8

Friday, January 9, 2009

Of Wildflowers & Jumping Girls

A few days ago, I got my sisters to “model” for me in our beautiful backyard. Well actually, the backyard isn’t exactly “beautiful”. Half of it is covered with unkempt yellow wildflowers and unpleasant weeds. But anyhow, I think the pictures look splendid with the wildflowers in the foreground!

Before we took the pictures, I had a hard time coaxing my sisters to actually be my models in the backyard. Well, you have no idea how demanding I can get to just take that one perfect shot. My sisters have an idea, though. Hahaha.

In the end, after much negotiation (seriously), I came up with a deal that if they both were to model for me unconditionally, no matter how many times I ask them to jump or pose – until I get the shot I want – then I’ll do one of their daily chores for them. Seriously! I was that desperate. HAHA.

One of the reasons they didn’t want to pose for me was because I even wanted them to “dress up” for it. But eventually I managed to persuade both of them to don some “pretty clothes” and got Janna to braid Jirene’s hair into pigtails for a certain shot. I already had it pictured in my head, and I wanted it snapped in real life!

After nearly two hours of snapping wildflowers and my sisters - who were getting a bit grumpy with me - I had nearly 200 pictures in which I was looking forward choosing the best ones to edit. Yes, I was close to satisfied. Thankfully, my sisters had quite a fun “outing” to our backyard after all. It was our first time taking pictures in the backyard. But to my dismay, after the shoot, they pompously reminded me that I’ll be doing one of their chores for the day. Sigh, the things I do without thinking… Hahaha. :P

You would have guessed that out of the near 200 pictures, I deleted half of it, and selected only my best 20 shots for some touch-up. Haha. So lo and behold, I present you the 20 shots that I am very pleased to have taken. :D

I actually chose this outfit for Jirene. Haha, not bad eh. It suited the poses that I wanted her to do. And those pigtails! I love it. :P

Yeap, that's only half of our backyard, really. It was quite messy. A few days ago it was mowed. So now there are no more yellow wildflowers. And oh by the way, the tree on the left is a lemon tree. To our delight, we also discovered that our backyard had two types of plum trees!

Jirene on her new bicycle. It is actually a farewell gift from our Aunty Rachel. We bought it here with the money. So yeah, aunty Rachel, Jirene's been using it very often. Every evening she'll ride around the neighborhood with Janna. =)

The wildflowers sprout so quickly. Its actually not a very nice sight if it is taking over your backyard, but for taking pictures, it's actually quite lovely. Hehe.

Hmm, that's a lot eh.
I wanted Janna in a white dress, but she didn't have a white dress. So we made do with a skirt and my formal-looking white blouse. She was attempting to do the "jump" that I had in mind. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as I pictured.

I actually cropped this one. Its more suited to be a close-up. And I'm thrilled that its so crisp and sharp!

In sepia. It suits well. And it's candid. I should do more candid shots of my sisters, huh.

Yes yes yes, this was what I pictured! Thank goodness Jirene finally got what I wanted (after nearly 30 shots and multiple jumping attempts) before she started whining that I'm being too perfectionistic. LOL.

Janna blowing a puffball! You know, I actually couldn't remember what you call those white puffballs, so I googled something like this, "flower that you can blow", and hey presto, I actually found my answer: its called a dandelion!" HAHAHA. xD

They say that we shouldn't blow them. The pollen is bad or something. Haha, well, who cares. I wanted that picture. Janna was shrieking in this picture cause' she thought that a piece of the white feather thing flew into her mouth. :P

Ooh, I like this one. It gives a certain "feel". Its in "cross-process".

You can really fly in pictures. At least it looks like you're flying. Haha. I was literally lying down on the ground to take this few shots. And yes, for the first time, I didn't want to be in any of the pictures. I didn't look very "presentable" - more like a cuckoo-fied nut, rolling on the grass to get some silly picture. Hahaha.


Yeah, I know, Jirene looks like she's "haloed" by a ring of light. I didn't intend for that. Anyway, I still think it's a nice picture.

Whoopee. I'm done! Man, at this point, Janna and Jirene were already starting to get a lil' fed up with my photography mania. Hahaha.

Anyhow, it was worth it! Before I say my turrahs, here’s a news update of the life and times in the Beh family:

My dad has gotten his first job here!!! And it was actually his first interview! It’s a miracle, definitely. Thank God for his favour, it is truly a blessing. I’ll say more in the next post. You guys take care and have a good start to the first week of 2009, okies? ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At this Intersection

It really amazes me how everything has played out these two months. It feels somewhat, surreal, if that’s the right word.

At this point, my parents are still hunting for a job. My mum would get a part-time job. But since it’s still summer holidays for most people (yes, even for adults), they’re all slow on hiring new workers. So yeah, we’re praying hard for an opening. I’m sure that in God’s perfect timing, at the right “intersection” in this time of our life, we’ll get it.

It also amazes me how God has placed certain people along our way to bless us, and simply, to be our friends. It’s that simple. Friends can make such a big, big difference! In this new chapter of our life, it feels like a “reset” button was pressed. Coming here, we have to make a whole new circle of friends – and thankfully, we’re still adding to it.

Last Friday night, I got a call from Eleanor. She asked me if she and her sisters could pop over to hang out and play some board games, cause’ their parents were out that night. I grinned at the thought of it. And of course, they came over. We played Pictionary and some other card games, in which I failed badly due to my usual “blur-ness.” Everyone was laughing at me!

I find it amusing that even my new friends here are already making fun of me being so blur. In M’sia, some of you have seen how I play card games… Hahaha. I can be so unaware of what’s going on, who’s bluffing, who’s cheating, that everyone will shake their head in disbelief and laugh like I’m some big joke. Haha, no worries though, I don’t feel harassed – it’s just part of the fun. :P

After the girls left at about midnight, I went into the quietness of my room and thanked God so much that we crossed paths with such wonderful people. I think we’ll make good friends. One week staying with Eleanor and our families just click so well. It really amazes me how our friendship played out!

I also thanked God that though we’ve only stayed in our house for two weeks, we already have some friends to hang out at our place! It’s really cool. I’m so glad that we’ve crossed paths with all these new people at this intersection in our lives. And I’m sure that as we pray for God to send along our way many more good friends, He will use us in this new land to also be a blessing and a good friend to someone out there.

All of us playing Pictionary on Janna and Jirene's beds. Haha.

Hannah and her pretty drawing skills! (Really, Hannah, you were better than all of us.) Haha. :)

We were a bunch of screaming girls playing Pictionary. When anyone won, we'd cheer in triumph. It was real funny. :P

After that, my mum called us for supper. We had sweet potato tong sui and nachos while playing UNO.

Janna, Eleanor, and I :)

It was a fun night. Thanks for popping by, you guys! Come more often. :P

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year’s in Melbourne City

On the 31st, we travelled to Melbourne City by train – all the train rides to the city were free! We went to Federation Square at about 9pm, and sat on the hill that was over-looking the Yarra River to watch the early fireworks – it was directly in front of us! It was a beautiful display. But we were reminded also of the poor people in Israel and the Gaza strip who were having a bleak New Year’s with all the bombs and rockets coming their way – real fireworks indeed, huh.

The city was sardine-packed with people by the time it was near midnight. There were quite a lot of programs and parties going on. I think it was the first time we spent New Year’s on our own. In the past years we would’ve been at the watch-night service in church. This year’s was a bit out of the ordinary.

There were loads of partying people around. There was once when a drunk woman dropped a bottle of alchohol in front of me. She picked it up and started talking nonsense to me and my dad. We nodded at her and smiled. The tipsy woman reeked of alchohol and caught me by surprise when she brushed my face with her hand and then did the same thing to my dad! Haha. The lady nearly got caught by the police after she hobbled off.

On ordinary days, people are not allowed to drink alchohol on the streets. But on New Year’s Eve, nobody could care less. People were hollering and hooting and shouting. Rubbish littered the streets. I suppose once people are given the once-in-a-year chance to let their hair down, they’ll do just that. Though there were many patrolling policemen around, most of drinkers didn’t get caught – there were too many of them!

We had quite a fun time observing all the funny people out there. As it neared midnight, there were more and more partying people flooding in from the station. It was quite a sight! We squeezed our way back to the Flinders Street station, our legs sore from walking so much, and left in time to see the last fireworks display from the train windows at about 12.

I never thought we’d be spending New Year’s in the city. It was quite a night!

Dad and Jirene in the train. Yikes, they always happen to wear that same shirt! Hahaha.

Aw, ain't that nice. :)

The Flinders Street station! And yes, the crowd you see is only the "beginning". It was still quite early.

I love this shot. With all the movement and the clocks on the building. It feels somewhat, "timeless", if you get what I mean...

Janna and I standing right on the tram tracks with St. Paul's catheral in the background (I think it's St. Paul's... haha) . Its a once in a year occasion to step in the middle of the tracks and not have a tram coming your way!

Hey, there's actually a "BATMAN AVENUE"!

Another catheral. The spots on the building is caused by the sunlight.

"Flying" balloons! Hahaha.

The Melbourne performing and music arts center stands out on the right.

We were sitting on the hill of people up there.

Hehe, can you spot my dad???

This was beside the Yarra River and right beside the place where the fireworks was fired. I love the sunrays peeking out from the tree and the prominent shadows of the people sitting under it.

Janna and Jirene

I like this one. I happened to notice the sunrays streaming through the leaves and making it all shimmery. It's almost enchanting.

Fireworks! Okay, that wasn't fireworks - it was the "beginning" of the fireworks. Haha.

I read in the news that they spent on 5 tonnes of fireworks that night (including the 12am one)!

It was pretty interesting because as the fireworks was blasting, there was also a music "accompaniment" that followed it.

Now that's what I'm talking about, man! It was sardine-packed! And still, people were flooding in from the station.

The three of us with the Flinders Station lighted in the background.

Mum and dad.

Jirene got tired of walking and pleaded with my dad to give her a "piggy-back". *Rolls eyes* (I don't remember being like that when I was 11!) Hahaha. The youngest in the family will always be the biggest "baby" around. :P

As the crowd got more "interesting" by the hour, we decided to stand behind these bars to do some "people-watching". Hahaha. It was quite funny to watch. We would've stayed longer if our legs weren't so tired. :P
Yeap, it was quite a night. Our first New Year's in Australia! How cool is that. Haha. =) Hope you guys had a fabulous one too.
Have a nice day and God bless! ;)

The Visitors