26 februari 2007

Gunung Stong, Malaysia

Spring Break in Singapore means time to catch up for local students and plenty of traveling for us on exchange. I started off by going to Gunung Stong Waterfalls trek together with a large group of Singaporeans organized by NTU ODAC.

They all turned out to be nice people and I got to know some more Singaporeans that can show me what life in this part of the world is about.
Well, off we were to Gunung Stong, by taking the train from Johor Bahru to Dabong.

Prepared for some three-four days of more or less intense activities as climbing the mountain, caving in one of Malaysia's caves, and sliding down natural slides in the waterfall I packed for what I was told cold weather - unfortunately this was not the same definition as I mine so 75% of what I brought was never used.

Of course some of us also made it up to the summit.

On the way to the caves

One of the waterfalls

A photo of my expedition group. Selamat Datang - as they say in Malaysi.
Gunung Stong
Click here to get to the photo album.

You can also read Yijie's reflections about the trip here.

20 februari 2007

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in Singapore, almost all families gathers together for some traditional celebrations with friends and families.
This means that for us foreigners there is not that much to do, it is actually quite hard finding anything to do. Almost every store shuts down, we even had problems finding places to go eat.
Of course we had to go downtown to see what kind of celebration they have down in the city, so me, Miguel, Izabella, Marlena, together with Mark and his flatmate, decided to go check it out.

For once we could walk around in an almost empty MRT station and walking the streets off the business quarters without running into people.
We went to see both Chinatown and the Esplanade.

A few days later Me and Timo were invited to Ruo's family to celebrate the New Year in a traditional way. This included of course giving parcels (containing money, even we got some), eating and drinking, just like our Christmas. But then came the big differences - gambling, which is a big part of the gathering. Of course we did it too. Spending hours learning new card games and loosing money at the same time.
This was a really appreciated night. Thanks Ruo!
(more pictures are found here)

14 februari 2007

Costume Party

Last weekend the Norwegians hosted their first party this year - a costume party!
It started up at in hall 10 and around midnight the party people went on to MOS, of course wearing our special attires. My idea was to dress up in traditional Chinese style with a silk costume, but since this was not enough I decided to add some extra bling bling ala Chinese pimp to match the entire outfit. Finally I was going to mix up with all the locals down at Ministry of Sound.
I have to admit that it was an interesting experiece to go clubbing in a traditional chinese super kung fu dress combined with a wall ornament (almost made me feel invinsible).

06 februari 2007

Matfest och kameraletande

Jodå, jag kan skriva på Svenska också.
Äntligen har det ordnat upp sig med mina kurser, så nu har jag lite mer saker att göra på dagarna. Jag läser nu Java, Databaser, Professional Communication och Digital Video Processing. Det är väl synd att kalla det heltidsstudier med tanke på tempot, men det skadar ju inte med lite extra tid att hänga vid poolen och ut och resa.
Helgen tillbringades i Singapore, utan att gå ut en enda gång, istället satsade vi på temat MAT. Efter att sprungit runt på Sim Lim Square för att skapa mig en uppfattning om vilken kamera det är jag ska ha blev det dags att varva ner lite. Det gjordes genom att äta sushi i fredags kväll kombinerat med bowling då vi missade biljetter till bion.
Ungefär samma sak var det på lördagen förutom att vi bytte ut sushin mot en gigantisk brasiliansk buffé - åååh vad gott att äta kött på riktigt. På detta ställe, Carnivore på Vivo City, spenderade vi flertalet timmar med att spänna ut buken. Efter att proppat magen full med mat var det ingen som var särskilt pigg på att springa över till St James för att svänga de lurviga i Sambatakter.
Söndagen avslutades med att äntligen se den där filmen som vi missade. För att sedan ta igen allt slappande tog jag upp tennisen igen för den här terminen, det gav mig rejält med träningsverk och mersmak.
Nu återstår bara den stora frågan; vilken kamera ska det bli som dokumenterar kommande äventyr?

01 februari 2007

Cameron Highalands

Over a long weekend from the 25th to the 28th of January, I and three other swedish guys (Maxim, Karl and Christofer) went to Cameron Highlands, a colder place in Malaysia.
It's considered to be a cool and pitoresque retreat filled with high altitude tea plantations that covers the mountains as high as 2000m over the sea level.

We stayed at a nice but oddly shaped gueshouse that looks like a bunker style half tube.

We took two half day tours with our guide Kumar, who tought us everything about the leafs and trees in the jungle - it's amazing how useful some of the plants can be. Kumar also took us to a remote tribe village, that we reached by Landrover. It was an interesting experience to see how people live without what we call civilization. During the tours we also went to see the Boh Tea Estate with plantages and a factory.

While being around we went for some jungle tours with Kumar and by ourselves. We also went to see a butterfly garden and a strawberry farm.