The title for this entry came on the bus to Sungkai yesterday. And when I looked through the photos, the phrase 'catching up' suggested itself immediately.
4th Sept: Miss Shanti turned 47! She treated me and Ruth to lunch at Canteen opposite Central Market. Lovely place, and a lovely figure on the bill. ;-)
(Michelle likes this picture.)
4th: Lydia shares the same birthday as Miss Shanti. Ruth and I got back in time for the post-PKV 'celebration'.
Everyone wants a piece of Lydia!
5th: Rebecca Choy's birthday was celebrated by the Boys' Brigade of the First Baptist Church. It was great catching up with Alicia after these couple of years since I bumped into her in my first semester.
9th: My classmates and I stormed Hartz Chicken Buffet in Sunway Pyramid. It was a very special night, and among other things I learnt not to eat too much jelly and drink too much water at once.
Great company, good food, and a one-of-a-kind quote on the wall. What more could one ask for?
10th: The staff at Sahur's Café work very hard. The place doesn't close during buka puasa as many other places in UM do; instead, the staff take a break at 8-something to break fast, and I think they rotate. But they are always nearby in case an order comes along.
15th: Dinner with the Vice Chancellor and student leaders of the University.
Old friends and new
8th: Soo Tian, Lydia and Doulos. Long live film!
(This, and Miss Shanti's picture above, were shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with a Nikon FM10 and 50mm f1.8 lens. Soo Tian's Zenit 19 should be arriving soon, and Doulos has entered the fray with an FM2.)
15th: Finally, I meet the famous Andrew Loh. And I haven't seen Esther in ages!
18th: The return to Mapley (Selera Jaya 223), featuring Kaun, Hyma, Ruth C and George.
22nd: Visited Ida in Kajang with Thary, after the discussion with Di Kor Tune. It was a very nice way to spend three hours of an evening, although our conversation reeked of ecological tones all the way through!
23rd: Chili's with Miss Shanti, Sui-Jon, Danial and Amy, and Aunty Agnes and Uncle Peter. Jon Siao failed to turn up and thus owes us all a round of drinks.
It was really something, catching up not just with each other but also with the old hangout, Bangsar Shopping Centre, in its new incarnation. Now if only I can find photos of the old Concierge area!
Speaking of new incarnations, I came across Austin Chase (the café) at The Gardens recently. We used to have many debate discussions at the BSC outlet, and then at some point in closed down.
On another note, shortly before dinner I picked up Paul Theroux's book Ghost Train to the Eastern Star from Times. For what it's worth, I still think Times stocks a great collection of thought-provoking books; what it lacks in volume it makes up for in substance. Anyway, I can't recall where I'd come across Paul Theroux before, but the book's premise generated enough interest for me to fork out RM50+.
A couple of decades ago, he journeyed from Europe all over Asia and told the story in The Great Railway Bazaar. Recently, he undertook that same journey again and writes about the changes in this new book.
Along the way
7th: Thary and I were very fascinated by this polychaete worm we found amidst the seaweed we brought back from the Cape Rachado field trip. We spent quite a bit of time during practical class chasing it under the microscope before bringing it over to Dr Sase for some discussion.
27th: Outing with Tim.
I'm impressed by IKEA, and how they make the customer responsible for a lot of things, including clearing the plates, cups and cutlery after using them at the café. Three words come to mind: ownership, responsibility, sustainability.
And then there's us Malaysians and the 'someone else will do it' mentality.
* * *
A thought: ecologists vs. conservationists.
The latter are crazy, calling for total protection. 100 million years from now, man-made plantations will be fossilised treasures.
So why bother saving the world? It survived the giant meteorite and the Ice Age, to name a few. If history teaches us anything, the planet will survive the Human Age also.
Of course, we won't lah.
(By the way, strictly speaking I am NOT an ecologist; my interests lie in conservation, not merely management.)
* * *
Sept 29, upon entering room SB.4 for the first Ecophysiology of Marine Organisms class with Prof Phang...
Ben: I'm allergic to mothballs.
Thary: (pause) Come in, sit awhile, make yourself comfortable.