Haw Par Villa

Jhon and I had planned to visit Haw Par Villa in 2011 and we didn't visit until October 2013. (Yes, this is an overdue outing) Haw Par Villa is actually a themed park unlike any other. The place consists of hundreds of dioramas revolves around Chinese/ Buddhist values. Their main attraction was the Ten Courts of Hell, which features gruesome depictions of Hell. The admission is free and all sculptures were handmade. Appreciate not only the theme but also the workmanship. Some of them were pretty fantastic.

It may be creepy to some but a little bit more for Jhon because he has an irrational fear of mannequins. Yes, even the ones you see at the malls. I don't think it's severe but he would always get freaked out and stand clear of mannequins. Hence, the delay. He finally summed up his courage and went for it for photography sake. This outing not only will test his fears and also one of his weakness in photography, which is harsh noon sunlight.

We alighted at Haw Par Villa MRT station and  within a few steps, we were facing the main entrance.




Tickle fight!











Playing with the gorillas. 



 ???This one bedek aje.... Just to make the shots 'interesting' lol





 Dioramas teaching values.






At this point, Jhon and I strayed away because the noon heat was unleashing the cranky within the both of us. Jhon tried to cool down while I try to make new friends to change my mood. haha 10 minutes break and we are okay. =) 



Ten Courts of Hell was next which had massive fans to cool down. 
Dioramas are more violent and gory here as it is where sinners were depicted being punished. These group of photos were also said to be scary to edit in the middle of the nice as told by Jhon. =P 









You might sometimes think you are poor but you will never be feeding your own breast milk to your grandma poor.




The outing was not as nerve wrecking to Jhon as expected and no, it did not overcome his fears. I was glad to share this forgotten gem with him although the noon sun was a killer. Check list ticked.


   

Ladies Day Out

When anything is captioned a 'Ladies Day Out', most people would picture ladies out for a spa day, doing pedi and mani, out shopping or pampering themselves with sweet delights.

When Fizah and I found out that our boyfriends were not available on the same day (both overseas), we decided to go trekking like good old days, just the 2 of us.

Story-mory/ gossiping while losing weight? This is a recipe for a healthy relationship mentally and physically. haha It's been years; perhaps 3 years since we last trekked together at MacRitchie Reservoir so it was exciting for us.

We started the day at 8am, had breakfast and had an attempt of guess which bus goes to MacRitchie Reservoir from Toa Payoh MRT. Fizah has always had a good eye for directions and roads so I just let her did most of the work. =P

I only started to take some photos about 4km into the walk because we were so engrossed with our stories. My face was glistening with sweat by then due to heat and elevations. Although I do 6km walks once a fortnight, trekking was still more tiring because of the slopes.



After a while, we reached the HSBC treetop walk. If we don't cross this bridge, the walk would seem incomplete.



As we happily crossed the bridge, enjoying the strong gust of wind, giggling around, we were reminded that there would be lots of stairs climbing up ahead. Steps and slopes are our enemies because these 2 aunties has weak knees.


But we survived, all 10.82km including all the stairs and steep slopes of it.


We took longer time than usual because we took longer rests and pace was very slow because it's been a while since Fizah exercised. hehe But it didn't matter because we bonded, sweated and work those rusty muscles.



3 hours later (excluding rest stops), we headed to Bishan and ate at Manhattan Fish Market. We chit-chatted and took our time and eventually headed home. Poor Fizah was feeling aches and pains throughout but I truly felt the pain (like cannot jalan properly) when I reached home. What hurts the most was the back of the knee.

But it was totally worth it.

   

Tainted Wedded Fingers (Henna)

Henna, Mehndi, Inai.
Call it whatever you want but the same thing comes to mind; to stain hands/arms and feet in an artistic manner mostly for wedded couples.

This practice is common for Indian and Malay weddings although some will debate the need of henna for the latter. You see, henna was originally from the India and somehow or rather, most probably due to inter-racial marriages, intricate henna design culture seeped into Malay weddings too. I remember during my parent's wedded days (from photos of course), they only stained the tips of their fingers.

I believe henna was mentioned several times in 'Hadiths' (Islamic Literature) about hennas used  women's nails, being used for medicinal purposes etc but never mentioned specifically for a ceremony. [read detailed info here] Why suddenly it's a religious factor? There has always been a debate on the need of a henna and how it's not important and not "Islamic" but cultural while another group would say it's Sunnah. But for generations, our bloodline are so used to this practice that it's always a must to have henna on our wedding day.

As I mentioned, it's a debatable topic and by the end of the day, it boils down to the bride, groom and/or family. As for me, I am right in the middle.

Like every Malay, I grew up accustomed that henna  on wedding day is a standard practice. To me, without henna on my wedding day is like 'botak' BUT I not a fan of intricate designs. This is not a popular preference. Just click search for henna vendors and that's what mostly you will see.

I am not saying the designs are not pretty whatsoever. In fact, I am amazed on some of the detailed skills the artists have. I find them lovely but I don't want it on me. Pretty much the same opinion on tattoos.

[Saheli Henna]

It's just not my preference and some uber detailed ones seemed to look like a mess from afar. You know the ones I am talking about...

And for the simple designs out there, macam takde feeling kahwin pulak. It seemed to be too casual, Hari Raya bazzar Geylang type.

[Rosr Henna Collections]

I do not only have strong opinion on design but also the color stain. The popular preference is very dark stained shade of red; almost brown.

[SyraSkins]

But not this minah. I want it reddish orange.I find such color fresh and fun. The problem is, I do not know how to achieve this color. Besides the fact body temperature holds a big factor (hotter = darker), the chemical component of each henna paste differs.

What is my ideal henna design and stain?

Just tips of the fingers and toes and a basic design on the palms. I do not want design on my the back of my hands. Here's my type of design and color. It is just so perfect, even the shade of red.
Simple yet eye catching henna.


[unknown source]

This is Jhon's favorite and I agree.


Okay, here is the budget conscious in me comes out. The cheapest quote for henna is $80 and for the kind of design I want does not seem worth $80. With that design, the artist can probably finish in 1 hour with 1 closed eye. Chicken mak dodol, you know? 

The obvious route would be DIY. Buying henna cones would cost about $30 depending how much you need and if you get your hands on a henna plant, lagi best! Plus, my mom is familiar with henna capping so it wouldn't be an issue for that extra line, use scotch tape lah.

Note to self: Bring Mak to Fort Canning to forage for henna plant. lol Shh....

I suppose the only problem is the palm design. The only artistic person I know is Jhon but tak kan the groom inai-kan the bride kan? hahahaha! buat gelak ke pe? I am okay with really simple design and I kinda like this one. Simple to make right? 6 big globs, 1 small glob and use a toothpick to join. Smart or not?


As for Jhon, he will get his 3 fingers (middle,ring and pinkie fingers) tainted just to match and have the pengantin vibe. He does not have strong opinions on this which was cool. hehe Ada ke, takde ke, no big deal. 

So yup, basically I have decided on the design and my plan as for now is DIY. Let's see if this plan holds up since we all BTB are well known to keep changing plans. haha



   

The Chaotic Morning

As mentioned in my previous post, Jhon was leaving for Philippines and that day was today. His flight was about 6+am so basically he had to leave for the airport about 4+am. Technically, it was way too early but someone at the tour agency had to changed his time from 10pm to 6am for don't know what reason.

Jhon's plan was to stay awake until departure time.

Well, guess what? Worst case scenario happened. He overslept 3 alarms (which I made him set) and woke up at 5+am. Along with the help of his roommate, Rommel, he frantically got ready, took a chance and rode away to the airport.

For the first time, Jhon missed his flight.

I could only imagine his stress. While all this is happening, what was I doing? Snoozing away. I must declare that I always help and send Jhon to the airport except when flight times are too late or too early. It is because Mr Jhon Tolentino here would get worried about my well being. "Sayang..katakan.."

I initially wanted to date him out until wee morning but I worry I might tire him out and he worry about tiring ME out... sighs.. I tell ya, we worry too much for each other that sometimes it's annoying.

Anyways, since Jhon had bought his tickets through an agency and the fact that it was under promotion, he can't re-book which would be convenient. He tried to buy a ticket via HP and internet connection was weak. In the end, he took a cab home and headed all the way to Lucky Plaza to get another ticket.

Fast forward to 9am, I woke up and was shocked. I didn't got mad or anything because the damage was done. I just told Jhon not to tell me the total damage cost. O_o

His new flight time was 4.30pm which meant I got to send him away.
This was taken at Abg Jamil/Jhon's home.


I just wanted to show off my LSP socks.



And my Marceline shirt.
I have 4 more merchandise bought by Jhon the night before but I will share them some other time.

Since Rommel was home too, he also helped Jhon with a box of computer casing and since Jhon handled the luggage, I yet again stood around like a pole. It's nice to be around helpful gentlemen but I tell ya, it feel awkward when I can't help too or it's just me? I think many people would take advantage on this. lol

Anyways, Jhon checked in on time so we spent the last hour sitting around and had lunch/dinner.

I am going to miss Jhon extra this time because he has been constantly pampering me more than ever. haha I tell you, I am never the clingy, needy girlfriend but now, I can officially say that this man has soften this heart of stone. So Jhon, whenever I am needy or whatever it's your fault ah... lol

Mahal Kita!

Meantime, you try to gain more weight and I try to lose weight my flabs.