Monday, February 27, 2006

ex tempore

iskl victory, originally uploaded by mincaye.

In Latin, it literally means 'out of the time.' In other words, 'on the spur of the moment.'

Extemporaneous Speaking is a Forensics event in which the participant is given a question regarding current issues, and 30 minutes to prepare a speech using provided resources.

Considered one of the hardest events, it was into this 'deep end' that I was hurled by Miss Shanti in 2002, when I was in Form 3.

And it was here that I won the Gold Medal on Saturday, five tournaments later. T.S. Eliot's words come to mind (my favourite Eliot lines; also Miss Shanti's):

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

On a more contemporary note, the bridge of U2's 'All Because of You' covers similar territory:

I’m alive
I’m being born
I just arrived, I’m at the door
Of the place I started out from
And I want back inside...

For some reason, I never really liked this song; it ranks as one of my least favourite on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. But on Saturday, the words of the chorus rang clearly amidst the euphoria of victory:

All because of you
All because of you
All because of you
I am

God led me into this, and year after year it's been getting better and better... until this climactic point. What a way to exit!

Mum and Dad gave me a card that night, and quoted Psalm 21:2-3:

You have granted him the desire of his heart
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You welcomed him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.

And as I reflected on the word 'gold,' the majestic passage in Revelation 4 suggested itself:

Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads... the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

And as I read the words of the elders, Romans 11:36 flashed across my mind:

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Wow! It's like a pattern in all of creation, that absolutely everything travels full-circle: we begin in God, live through him, and end in him.

Max Lucado ended his book, The Applause of Heaven, with the depiction of heaven as our final home, where our last flight will arrive and depart no more. And he quoted Matthew 5:12:

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven...

The Extemp speech I gave on Saturday would be my last at the ISKL Forensics (at least in the capacity of a contestant); in many ways, it felt like I finally reached home.

On the way home, in the car, in the dark, I said a prayer of thanks.

And as I thought about it, I realised that the victory was so much sweeter coming at the end of my 'career,' than at any other time. Surely Beethoven must have felt like this, to have composed his most magnificent symphony last of all, ending with a bang.

In that final speech, I opened with a quote from U2's 'Like a Song':

Angry words won't stop the fight
Two wrongs won't make it right
A new heart is what I need
Oh, God make it bleed...

The question was, "Will the Shiite/Sunny religious tensions make stability impossible in Iraq?" I answered yes.

At the moment, Shern Ren is trying to convert Tee Ming's video of the speech into digital format. Once that is done, I'll probably put the speech up here.

Sometimes judges tend to get carried away with their comments, so I don't know if the following is very reliable. Anyway, one judge wrote:

"I was really impressed by your speech: I found it informative, persuasive and totally logical. Well done. Go into politics."

Thing is, I learnt the entire topic within the 30 minutes of preparation time. Prior to that, I was somewhat ignorant of the nature of the tensions; I only knew of the existence of the Shiite and the Sunni Muslims.

So at any rate, I am not an authority on Iraqi sociopolitics ;-)

A brief description of the montage above:

That's Jon Mah holding the Sweepstakes trophy for best overall school (yes, we beat even the ISKL due to an impressive run in the preliminary rounds) and the Rafidah Aziz shield for best local government school.

We started in the same year, but because he's a year older than me, last year was his final outing. As such, he never saw this victory in the course of his involvement. Now it has come, and he was there to witness it.

Below him is a close-up of the gold medal. And that's me punching the air with ISKL teachers looking on; from left: Alan McLean, Sue Francis and Noren Sahari.

But the group photo at the bottom... ah, this is the most meaningful of all. Standing, from left, are Fang Hai, me, Mrs Leslie Muri, Miss Shanti, Mrs Sally Painter and Jon Siao. Kneeling are Moi and Gustave.

Mrs Muri introduced me to Extemp when I began, and it was she who constantly encouraged me year after year. I know no judge who is as generous, constructive and encouraging with comments on the adjudication sheet.

Last year, Mrs Muri retired from teaching, and so Mrs Painter took over as Extemp coach for the Forensics. She's been teaching at the ISKL for some twenty years if I'm not mistaken.

The theatre (where the finals are held) in the background, the team and the teachers that made it happen... this will always remain a part of me.

All things considered, when I stand at the podium to speak, my words are not my own; they are the voices of my friends and teachers, and the echo of my God.

Glimpses of the ISKL Forensics 2006

iskl glimpses, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Back again at the International School of Kuala Lumpur for the South-east Asian Forensics Tournament. Here are some pictures of those with whom I crossed paths.

That's Tinesh and Li-Shia with Fang Hai above left. They came to support us, but couldn't make it for the Finals as they chose to attend Sports Day instead.

Miss Shanti poses with Ken Ming, who brought a McDonald's Big Breakfast into the campus on the morning of the second day.

Top right, Mr Scott Anders with me and Loo Ai-Ling. Anders was the Extemp preparation room proctor for the Finals; he gave me my question and kept time. Ai-Ling, the escort, is a Malaysian Chinese who lived in the USA and Taiwan for quite some time before returning to Malaysia.

Jean and Tee Ming came on my request to watch me speak at the Finals. Here they are posing with the Sweepstakes Awards 1st Place trophy and the Rafidah Aziz Challenge Shield, which we won this year.

Finally, the group photo below is a candid shot of the team (or whatever was left of it) pointing at Miss Shanti. Some are supporters, while some members of the team were absent or had gone home by then.

The V.I. contingent, 2006, by event:

Jonathan Siao
Wilson Lim

Duet Acting
Moi Kok Lum & Gustave Oon (bronze medal)
Christopher George & Vivekananda Sukumaran (finals)
Chan Wei Jieh & Yap Wing Tsun (semi-finals)
Richard Yap & Lee Han Sean (semi-finals)

Solo Acting
Gustave Oon (silver medal)
Moi Kok Lum (semi-finals)
Ahmad Farid Zamil (semi-finals)
Ismaail Mathews

Oral Interpretation
Ryan Chong (semi-finals)
Yong Yan Ling
Alexander James Choon
Satbir Singh

Original Oratory
Benjamin Ong (semi-finals)
Wayne Paul Simon (semi-finals)
Surrej Singh
Andrew Man

Extemporaneous Speaking
Benjamin Ong (gold medal)
Jonathan Siao (bronze medal)
Foo Fang Hai (finals)
Wong Ken Ming (semi-finals)

Impromptu Speaking
Benjamin Ong (semi-finals)
Foo Fang Hai (semi-finals)
Wilson Lim (semi-finals)
Jonathan Siao (semi-finals)

Among our supporters and to-be participants were:

Nazrin Shah Ismail
Jeremiah Lai
Chan Li-Shia
Moi Kok Ming
Danny Gan

And some old faces who returned to cheer us on:

Jonathan Mah (ex-orator)
Ho Sui-Jon (ex-impromptu speaker)

Thanks for coming and making it a great year (the V.I.'s best so far) everyone! This is going down in history.

For more information on the tournament, the full results, and also some really cool videos, visit:

(Yes, that's a '1' after the 'www.' Don't ask why; I don't know)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Full Circle

after extemp round 2
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

That's me and Ken Ming, after our second round of Extemporaneous Speaking.

Extemp, as it is known, is an event in which the contestant prepares a 5- to 7-minute speech on a current issue, posed in the form of a question requiring a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

For instance: "Is peace possible in Kashmir?"

Participants are given 30 minutes to prepare, using resources from magazines like Newsweek and Time, which are filed according to topic.

Anyway, it's been great so far for the V.I. All four Duet Acting teams got into the Semi-Finals this afternoon, as did all four Impromptu speakers and all four Extempers. We also had three Solo Actors, two Orators and an Oral Interpreter.

What I regret most is that I did not make it into finals for Oratory, even after extremely successful preliminary rounds. Somehow the Semi-Final judges did not understand my piece.

The subject was grace, and it represented the culmination of virtually all my most significant experiences over the last two years. Perhaps I will post it up here someday...

At any rate, we have six finalists, which is second only to the International School, Kuala Lumpur (our hosts):

Fang Hai, Jon Siao and me for Extemp;
Vivek & Chris and Moi & Gustave for Duet Acting;
and Gustave for Solo Acting

Here's hoping for the best ;-)

It's really come full circle for me. I began with Extemp in 2002, when I was in Form 3. And now, my very last competitive speech at the Forensics will be an Extemp one.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

--T.S. Eliot

These words were from his last poem, 'Little Gidding.' There is so much wisdom in them, and as the years go by, I see this more and more clearly.

But more on my five-year Forensics adventure, and the difference it's made, in a later post.

Meanwhile, I've got a theatre to rock tomorrow. Martin Luther: "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God." By God's grace, I shall!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Thoughts on Love

Earlier in the afternoon, Li-Shia showed my an article in the March-April 2005 issue of the EduSmith magazine, which she picked up from outside the Counselling Room.

Entitled 'What is Love?,' it was a very enjoyable read, with some profound insights here and there. I share some below.

We don't 'fall' in love -- we 'rise' in love! Real love enables, brings and gives joy and peace. It brings out the best in us, creates harmony and happiness and thus facilitates our work and adds zest to life.

'Loving' a person and maintaining a loving relationship are two very different things! Good loving relationships are not a matter of accident but a matter of achievement requiring intense effort.

The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Pech defines love as 'The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's or another's spiritual growth.'

Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in that recognition.

By God's grace, a ray of inspiration came down yesterday morning, and I was able to write the first draft of my Original Oratory speech last night. Miss Shanti finds it very promising, but it needs some work here and there, as all first drafts do. As Bono says, great is not the next-door neighbour of very good; it's in another world altogether.

So now I'm awaiting the second burst of ideas; but the title remains, 'A State Called Grace.'

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Ben Call?

the ben call
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

Don't worry, the KL/PJ School Christian Fellowship Leaders' Convention hasn't gone off the edge of heresy yet.

Nevertheless, this somehow does reflect the theme of Acts 17:11, in the sense that we certainly need to check all things against the Word of God, and not take 'truth' for granted.

This time, I used my primitive Ricoh point-and-shoot automatic film camera (the one used at NSCF '03, d'NA Stage 1 and NS) as Kevin took the Minolta for his Sports Day today.

More on the Convention once I get the photos developed and scanned into the computer.

The Great Reversal

reversal, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Yesterday, before heading to the Methodist Boys' School to set up the Convention backdrop, I decided to switch bags with Li-Shia. We then walked from the Form Six block to the carpark.

Wearing her bag in front allowed me the experience, albeit brief, of a pregnant woman's posture. Slinging my bag, on the other hand, made her walk with a slightly lopsided gait.

Here we're standing behind her Wira, which, I must say, sports a very striking metallic blue coat.

Thanks Wilson for taking the picture!

A few minutes later, we boys (me, Wilson, Karthik, Sean and Samuel) had much reason to fear for our lives, for Li-Shia was laughing all the way to MBS...

What's more, the car's underside landed on a bump in the school's compound! We can't be that heavy, can we?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lessons from the marathon

5000 metres, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Due to afternoon showers yesterday, the sports heats were postponed to this morning. Among the events of this first set, was the 5000-metre race (though 'marathon' would seem a more appropriate word).

A simple question: what's the difference between the two pictures?

Nothing, except that 'Take One' was shot immediately after the first few runners completed the race. Shyan (in blue) finished somewhere about sixth.

On the other hand, 'Take Two' was shot several laps later, when the eighth (or possibly ninth) runner finally completed the twelve-and-a-half laps around the massive V.I. field.

He ran very slowly, but nonetheless completed the 'marathon.' Another runner, also from Lee Kuan Yew (the yellow house), led for several laps early on, before finally crashing out near the end.

The event reminded me of Pastor Stanley's words on Sunday: "In a marathon, the winner gets the medal, but the one who finishes last gets the standing ovation."

I suppose, in life, as in the marathon, it's all about finishing. For although our aim should always be to finish well, in some races, to finish at all is quite a feat. And in actually finishing, we finish well.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1)

"Not that I have already... been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." (Philippians 3:12)

Let us run, and not give up or give in. Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A V.I. Valentine

valentine's, originally uploaded by mincaye.

This year, Valentine's Day in school was a rather special affair, thanks to the efforts of the Consumer Club and the presence of girls (one of the joys of Form Six).

The Consumer Club, powered by Li-Shia, Debbie, Ai Ling, Ee Mun and Shee Lok, organised a cookie/candy dedication. Very successful, I must say ;-)

In the pictures above, Ching Yeng poses with her haul of six gifts (the most in the class), while Kian Ti and Tsu Wern drop by the Prefects' Room to deliver Phon's.

That's me and Jino eating candy with our arms entwined... quite a nice picture; thanks Kian Ti for taking it! And in the middle, Amy gives Denise a decorated heart.

Something interesting happened on Monday: Jon Siao gave a speech at assembly, apparently by Datin Maimun's request, on tolerance.

It was excellent in every way, from the pseudo-narcissistic intro, "I am a Christian," right until the rousing call at the end for true love, not mere tolerance, in a pluralistic society.

As the speech turned itself over in my mind later in the day, I recalled the words I quoted in my dedication message to Li-Shia -- the words I quoted from U2's 'One':

We're one, but we're not the same.
We get to carry each other, carry each other

A beautiful song, which they performed with Mary J. Blige at the Grammy Awards last week.

Before going to bed last night, I suddenly recalled a verse I would've wanted to quote in that message, along with the lyrics and John 11:35. It is taken from John 15, and I quote it in context here (read it during quiet time in the Editors' Room this morning):

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends... I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you..." (John 15:12-16a)

This time around, I have no philosophical thoughts to offer, no deep insights into Valentine's Day and its massive theme of love. Just several verses that have come to my attention, all of which were written by the 'disciple Jesus loved.' I quote them here...

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 11:34-35)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

All Out of Love

air supply
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

Meet Wai Loon, a.k.a. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), the funniest guy in class. Over the last few days, we've been singing Air Supply's 'All Out of Love' again and again.

Interestingly, the probationary members of the editorial board also sang it on the music CD they recorded on Jinq Sien's request.

Fireworks just went off; I heard them through the window.

(If my calculations are correct, the full moon should be visible tonight in the east, say about 40 degrees above ground level).

Anyway, here's one for Valentine's, for all you lovebirds out there:

I'm lying alone with my head on the phone
Thinking of you till it hurts
I know you hurt too but what else can we do
Tormented and torn apart

I wish I could carry your smile in my heart
For times when my life seems so low
It would make me believe what tomorrow could bring
When today doesn't really know, doesn't really know

I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you
I know you were right, believing for so long
I'm all out of love, what am I without you
I can't be too late to say I was so wrong

I want you to come back and carry me home
Away from these long, lonely nights
I'm reaching for you, are you feeling it too?
Does the feeling seem oh, so right?

And what would you say if I called on you now
And said that I can't hold on?
There's no easy way, it gets harder each day
Please love me or I'll be gone, I'll be gone


Oh, what are you thinking of?
What are you thinking of?
What are you thinking of?
What are you thinking of?


Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Great God Experiment

bamboo light
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

Over the weekend, I slept for nearly 24 hours: twelve on Friday night, and eleven on Saturday. Have been very tired lately.

Pastor Stanley's message today was probably just what I needed to hear; it's nothing new, but a repetition of something I seem to keep forgetting.

I'll start off by quoting some verses he mentioned:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." (John 15:4)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed... Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages —- so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (Mark 1:35,38)

The Christian Dilemma, he believes, is this: to sit at Jesus' feet, or serve in His name?

He said, "If we are to remain steadfast and continue in service, we must abide in Christ. You don't have to be in charge always. Sometimes, you must turn to God, surrender and let him take over."

"When a deadline draws close, abide in Christ!" And this reminded me of something Martin Luther once said; "I have so much to do today, that I must spend three hours in prayer."

I have been so busy lately, that I think the fatigue over the last few days was God's way of saying "STOP!"

It's so hard, especially for those to whom much is given, for from them much is also expected. But I really have to learn to say no to some things at some times, and balance out my priorities.

At this point in time, they are:

1) Getting back into the rhythm of Quiet Time
2) Finishing the Biology projects
3) Preparing for the ISKL SEA Forensics
4) Getting back on track with Maths work
5) Preparing for the KL/PJ SCF Convention
6) Getting back into the swing of practising piano

Thing is, I've been failing at step 1, and so it is no surprise that I've been so exhausted lately, for I have failed to abide in Christ. I need to rediscover solitude.

Max Lucado once pointed out, in the context of 1 Corinthians 13, that we cannot give love if we are not receiving a love that will never run dry, and this morning Pastor Stanley quoted Parker Palmer;

"Burnout is not the result of giving too much; it is the result of trying to give what isn't in me."

Tien was right: it's time for a refuel. I won't be spending three hours tomorrow in prayer, but I'll certainly be meeting God once again. We haven't spoken in quite awhile...

Also, I now realise that what I recently shared with Joan on solitude, is now flying right back at me. Truly, it is something I need to learn, as much as (if not more than) she does.

God is gracious; his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Dad turns 47 tomorrow. We celebrated his birthday this afternoon, with lunch at the Fisherman's Cove in Starhill.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by mincaye.

I discovered this book in Popular yesterday. Seems to be a writer's nightmare and an editor's dream-come-true!

The joke, which I first heard during the Malacca reunion, goes like this:

A panda walks into a cafe, eats a sandwich, fires two rounds into the air, and walks out.

The surprised waiter asks why he did that. The panda tosses a badly punctuated wildlife manual at him, saying, "I'm a panda. Look it up."

Coming across the relevant entry, he reads it:

Panda -- mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Love and Learn

A beautifully tender song by Steven Curtis Chapman, from which I quote an excerpt here.

Please forgive me, my friend. May it never happen again. But if it does, may we also be willing to forgive one another. Thanks for bearing with me.

Echoes of careless words and slamming doors
Are still ringing in the night
I've taken my side and you've taken yours
We're both wrong and we're both right

Once again misunderstanding has turned us into enemies
I will forgive you, will you forgive me?

Love and learn, that's what we will do
Love and learn through the flood and through the flame
This world will turn and the seasons will change
But there's nothing we can't get through
As long as we both hold on to the hand of God and each other
And take a lifetime to love and learn...

Monday, February 06, 2006


jinq sien
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

Meet Jinq Sien, a.k.a. Jino, one of the four editors of the Victorian Editorial Board.

After today's orientation session, during which we went sponsor-hunting, he gave Lik Wen (another editor) a lift home.

Chatting with him a few minutes ago, he mentioned how he managed to find his way back home from Lik Wen's place, and added;

"Actually I salah jalan, but I manage to find my way back." [I quote verbatim]

Somehow it struck me, that those words were exactly what I need to hear at this point of time.

The Malacca reunion was in many ways a bad experience, and I cannot say that it was thoroughly enjoyable. Indeed, no fault of our excellent hosts, Matthew and David. My own blunders.

In the course of these foul-ups, I ended up terribly hurting a very dear friend. I am very sorry.

And the Editorial Board is getting more and more difficult. Add to this miry mix of tangles, an increasing discontentment with Form Six and the coming STPM...

I wonder if I will ever find my way back. So many wrong turnings in life; how many U-turns are permitted?

Someone once said (some claim it was Lao Tze, others Confucius), that "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising after every fall."

How many falls before a person cannot get up again? Or is there grace for a wayward heart, as Jars of Clay sang?

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (St Paul)

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Today's poem (from the Poetry Speaks table calendar I received for Christmas) is called 'Harlem,' written by Langston Hughes, who wrote poetry for the poor and marginalised in American society. Thus his poems are very accessible and shimmer with a sense of simplicity and directness.

A beauty, this one.


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

New Year invasions... er, I mean, visits...

visits, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Spent most of the afternoon with Tee Ming, Tee Keat and Jon at Keat Lim's house and the SU/FES Office. Nigel popped by the Chong residence at about four-something.

That's the Chong family above: Keat Lim with Mynn, and Wan Ching with baby Zjern (born 1 January 2006!).

The main purpose of dropping into SU/FES was for Jon to leave a Coke bottle on Michael's desk (he collects Coke bottles, and Jon has been working as a Coke promoter in Singapore lately).

There, we met Runa, Rachel, Siew Meng, Aunty Siew Khim and Uncle Michael (SU) and Annette, Kim Cheng, Darshini and Eu Pui (FES). Doris and a few other FES staffworkers were also around. The mandarin oranges were given by Aunty Siew Khim.

We left Keat Lim's shortly after five o'clock, and got lost on the way to Sivin's. We ended up on the highway to Cheras, before turning back, via Mid Valley, to the Federal Highway from where we safely made it into the Seputeh area. Even there, we made many wrong turnings before finally arriving at the Robson Condominiums.

Jon brought three Coke bottles in all; one was left on Michael's desk (having been signed upon by the four of us), and the other two were presented to the Chongs and the Kits. (That's May Chin carrying baby Elysia.)

A long day, but a fun one! The d'NA Malacca Reunion begins tomorrow, and will continue over the weekend.

Can a person have four stomachs?

phak hoe in action, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Now we all know that ruminants such as cows have four stomachs: the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. Professor Tee Shern Ren of the National University of Buffalo Science has confirmed this fact.

(He has also conducted studies on the mastication of grass by the mandible appendages of buffaloes, and the insect-repelling vortice effect produced by their ears. None of these are to be taken seriously by real students of biology.)

The question is as stated above. Anyone who has ever witnessed Phak Hoe eat, will have much reason to suspect that his digestive system is somewhat different from that of the average human being.

In the top-left picture, he is eating his first plate of pasta, the spaghetti bolognese. In bottom-right, he begins his second plate, fettucine carbonara.

The amazing thing is, within 120 seconds, he has finished it (top-right), and moves on to the apple pie (bottom-left). Carbonara is the Waterloo of many a valiant pasta-eater, but here it seems like peanuts to Phak Hoe.

Indeed if we can uncover the secret of his digestive system, I believe the V.I. stands a great chance of winning the Nobel Prize...

(In the centre is a rather unusual shot of Phak Hoe on the phone, taken via the co-driver's mirror of Chiam's vehicle... it was a Honda, but I don't know the model.)

A Pasta Lunch

pasta, originally uploaded by mincaye.

Went out pasta-ing with Ching Yeng, Phak Hoe, Li-Shia and Chiam (in red) this afternoon at KLCC.

Ching Yeng called a seafood alfredo, Li-Shia a fettucine carbonara, and Phak Hoe a spaghetti bolognese; I rounded it up with a spaghetti alio oglio.

Chiam defied convention by going for a Spicy Chicken McDeluxe. He said, "It's less fattening." I question the validity of that statement, heheh...

The apple pie was shared between the four of them, with Phak Hoe devouring about half of it.

We later adjourned to Mid Valley, where they met up with Phon, and where I left them for the second part of today's adventure.