Posted in Diary by Alvin on December 30, 2010

I posted a hopeful note for 2010 as 2009 drew to an end. Twenty ten, a year which wheezes by, with changes in pace, life settings, environment and perspective. The first half of the year was practically a routine, the last leg of varsity and momentum switches as I handed up the very last paper of my undergrad study.

I squandered a few weeks being a couch potato, and the rest of it with intense traveling. The later was one of the highlight of the year, traversing 4 countries with a backpack and myself, minimum budget, maximum goodness.

Convocation, I almost skipped because parents and I weren’t enthusiastic about it. I did attend eventually and it was all good. Best of it, classmates meet-up, kodak moments and seeing everyone got through in mortar board and huge fluffy gown.

Then it was time to don in ties, slacks and white coat. 4 months in the workforce cooks everyone up with expectations, requirements and a paradigm shift from students life. But a good set of working colleagues and batch mates somehow deviate the heat to sauna-like comfort. 

2010, in 4 short paragraphs. Literally simple, but overwhelmed by their significance and impacts.

2011, a hopeful year ahead. 🙂



Posted in Diary by Alvin on December 20, 2010


That stroll along the old street as it slowly comes alive, carrot cake, Chinese tea, conversation and great company, it has been a while since I last enjoy early breakfast. A relaxing respite.

Post-call, getting my caffeine kick and luxury of unlimited broadband. 🙂

Sometimes, in the midst of din and hullabaloo, all it takes is a shift in pace to put things into perspective.

Not First Class

Posted in Diary, Thoughts by Alvin on November 25, 2010

Mum called the other day citing an article from the papers, reporting the number of undergraduates whom were awarded the loan-turned-scholarship scheme under PTPTN. And the question of why didn’t I apply for that follows.

I felt rather guilty after that phone call.

Then there is this surge of thoughts and realization that, once not good, twice not good, then I was, am and not going to be good.

I wasn’t positive, at least for that night. In fact, a hodgepodge of guilt and disappointment lingers and it shall stay.

Posted in Diary by Alvin on November 7, 2010

DSC_0084 (Large)

Rattan arm chair, wooden tables, nostalgic photographs, guitar and the voice, next to the luster of a stand lamp. Found this cozy lounge, in a snug traveler’s guesthouse, off Jonker’s main street, where the indie singer-songwriter strummed a few mandarin 90’s ballad, Damien Rice, Katie Melua and Priscilla Ahn, just to name a few.

Best treat, post-call.

Posted in Diary, Thoughts by Alvin on September 25, 2010

I fb-ed about me needing a new hobby last weekend and I did actually gave a serious thought about it. Some of the quirky responses I’ve gotten ranges from fishing to arranging flowers. lol

There’s something good about keeping a blog, to note and log those worth doing so. I spent Saturday afternoon rummaging the old archives, reliving retro thoughts, events and antics. It was amusing to read and realizes how impactful and perception changing these happenings could be. And photographs were the main catalyst to get all the reaction going. So much like the cliché saying how it conveys a thousand words. Mediocre proficiency, but I guess I am still in love with capturing what I feels worthy of that click on the shutter. That bulky machine of mine still sits in the sack after I got back from Bali.


I bet the historical city has a lot to offer.

Work is currently adjective-less. 🙂

Posted in Diary by Alvin on August 27, 2010

I’ve just watch a skydiving video, on a blog I frequent.

Recalled the other day when PJ asked,  after all that I’ve tried, is skydiving next? From the video, the plunge looks pretty much the same like bungee. Free fall and speed, with the exception of 5000 feet above sea level. Now, you do the math. I am batophobic, and I am not going to skydive. But I have no resistance to the temptations of thrills. Oh wells…

I was quite sure of keeping a complete travelogue of my trip and it somehow got stuck in Vietnam and there’s more on Vietnam, Taiwan and Bali to go. Memory failing so lazy no more.

Holiday coming to an end and I miss school. 😦


Posted in Diary, Thoughts by Alvin on August 21, 2010

I left the airport at 10.50pm, wondering where and when’s the next trip. This departure concludes a sum of 45 days in foreign land, setting foot in 6 different countries.

Every trip and venture meant different sets of exposure. Those pleasant experiences and encounters are definitely memorable. But potholes, crappy hostel, scams, rip off, long tiring bus journey and inhospitable people of yesterday are equally unforgettable.

Holiday as it may seem, these rendezvous are what making all my backpack trip worthwhile.


Source: Meng Fai

and so it ends.

Laos: Randomly, Brief

Posted in Diary, Thoughts, Travel by Alvin on August 1, 2010

Random thoughts and incidents in Laos, which worth to pen and remember.

Crashing a Laotian wedding

Last day in Vientiane, a few of us decided to hit the bar after dinner. I couldn’t remember the name of the bar, but we somehow got hold of a promotional pamphlet which says happy hour: buy 1 free 1. BeerLao for half the price, why not?

As we were making our way to the junction, we heard loud speakers playing Laotian songs,  and one of us suggested that there’s where the real party was. We stood in front of a live band belting out traditional songs, and 2 canopies filled with guests, and a buffet line. We gave out an awkward smile and in split seconds, we were ushered to a table, and the locals started popping bottles and bottles of BeerLao, filling out glass to the brim and dished out plates after plates of food.

‘Welcome to my wedding’. A lady who looked a little tipsy, spoke to us in Laotian accent. The real party starts after that brief introduction. We had unlimited flow of beer, dragged out to try out Laotian dance with the guests and a kid who kept us entertained despite speaking zero English.

Guests left not too long after, and as the band disassembles, and we were asked to join the host and a few of her close friend. ‘Lao style, Lao style’, a man started pouring a glass of beer and it went down at one go. That’s ‘Lao style’, he says. We went a few rounds of yam seng, before he brought out a bottle of Black Label and goes ‘Lao style’, grinning.

That was the night, we first tasted what’s truly Laotian hospitality. And we had our free flow beer, whiskies, got really drunk and a bad hangover the next day.

Hello, my friend

It was raining that night in VangVieng. Rain got heavier near midnight and the whole town blacked out, probably due to storm. The bar counter at Island Bar was fully filled with party peeps sheltering. I bid an early goodbye to the rest, making my way back to the guesthouse, wading through wet road and drizzles. I was soaked wet half way through the journey before I heard a motorcycle from far, slowing down as he approaches me.

‘Crap’, I thought. Having to live in KL for the past few years, dark quiet alley/roads + motorcycle = snatch thieves/robbers. The bike stopped in front of me, with a local guy who looked pretty tipsy and wet.

Biker: Hello, my friend. You ok?

Me: Hi. Yes I am.

Biker: Where you stay?

Me: Just right in front (Randomly points at the nearest building)

Biker: Ok. Take care my friend. Good night.

Me: …….. Oh..err..good night!

I stood there, as the bike made a left turn, and disappears into the dark. I sucked a mouthful of chill cold air and laughed at how I paranoid I was.

Khob Jai Lai Lai

One of the best thing about traveling alone is randomly meeting other travelers. Apart from what Laos had to offer, other backpackers I’ve met made my trip in Laos more enjoyable. Company aside, I’ve learned a lot from random travelers I’ve met and spoke to.

Icing on the cake!

Posted in Diary, Thoughts by Alvin on July 18, 2010

An elaborative facebook status update.

1) Compact digital camera + waterproof/underwater casing – my big chunky dslr’s good but I am missing loads of picture because dslr’s way too huge and fragile to carry. So, no picture while swinging and tubing in VangVieng, Kuangsi waterfall rendezvous in LuangPrabang, trekking in Sapa and other random picture moments on and off trip.

2) One-way flight ticket – train will do as well. Thanks to the drastic transition from being on the go while travelling to not doing anything at home, and I call it withdrawal.

These answered ‘What’s on your mind?’

So Far,

Posted in Diary by Alvin on June 4, 2010

1) I’ve done nothing but a couch potato, watching seeded players going down in Roland Garros and random TV shows.

2) I’ve read 3/4 of John Grogan’s ‘Marley and Me’.

3) I’ve been sleeping a lot, tried to exercise, shot zero pictures, meet-up friends and laze around the house.

4) It has been non-productive at all.

Anyway, I am leaving on a tour to Hat Yai and Ko Samui tomorrow, substituting my dad. And if the final verdict allows, I might wander off overland to Laos and Vietnam right after the trip, the Alvin way. 🙂

See you when I see you because I myself isn’t too sure what the plan will be. 

Spontaneity ftw! 🙂