The Trials, Victories & Adventures of Los PaulOS

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:18

Friday, May 20, 2005

31 Gone and 39 More To Go *winks*

Just turned 31 a couple of days ago.. Huzzah!!

*Excuse the title.. it's just my personal countdown... I don't expect to live beyond 70 years old*.. it's just a thought. If the Lord gives me long life ok what! If short, also ok what!

As always, I am not much of a birthday "celebrator" or celebrant. I do enjoy blessing others at their birthdays, but I don't expect people to organise my birthdays, coz I don't quite like too much of the attention. However, it's nice when people organise a b'day party for me.

It's been a practice of mine to just remain quiet during my birthday and be reflective, pensive and in a state of fasting for the whole day.

This year has been a bit different actually. Without saying much, it's been a year of changes, and my mood around my birthday this year was filled with some anxiety/frustration. Nevertheless my birthday was still a good one.

On the monday before my birthday.. I was delightfully surprised by the Dew Crew members I was teaching. Yes, I teach.. I was teaching a bunch of Dew Crew members about Sound technical items and terms that will help them understand how to handle Sound Mixing in church in the future. At the end of the class, they brought out a cake and Sang the "Happy Birthday" song for me. I couldn't stay long as I had to run off to the airport to pick up my parents who were coming back from their Perth Holiday.

Unfortunately this year, my parents couldn't stay back to celebrate my birthday here in KL, as my brother was due to go up North to conduct a seminar at the Northern University, so my parents went up to Ipoh to hitch a ride with him, and to also provide accomodation for my brother during his stay.

On the eve of my birthday, I was just chilling at home, waiting for Eric to come pick me up. We were supposed to go together to purchase our Star Wars III ticket. Otherwise I was just not feeling nice to be alone on the eve of my birthday.

Thanks to Eric and Li Ping, it was a good way to spend time with 2 good friends(without them knowing). Eric picked me up at approximately 9pm, and we went to 1 Utama to just buy the tickets and chill. After buying the 12 tickets for a bunch of us (yes, we're "bananas" .. a bunch of... ;) ) we went to makan Roti Jala and Ice Kacang at Penang Mari.

Then I brought them home coz someone had to answer the call of nature.. (btw.. this blog is quite late.. it's now 3rd of June)... and we played UNO till past midnite. I won 3 out of the 5 games we played. I just kept silent about it being my birthday already.. and no one noticed. It was fine with me.

Went to bed, with some reflection on what God was gonna have in store for me that day.. and just continued to praise God in all things..

Work was quite the usual, and as always, i fast on Wednesdays in preparation for cell. I found at that morning, a few of my Engineering Dept colleagues were leaving. It's a pity I didn't get to share with them the Gospel of Love and Salvation. *sigh* another missed opportunity. We gave them a farewell lunch at this Seafood Restaurant at Kayu Ara. While they ate Seafood.. all I did was "See-Food"

I remained quiet about my birthday throughout the day until a colleague asked.. "Hey, so what are you going to do tonight?".. I said "I'm excited because I am gonna celebrate my birthday with my cell group"...

My cell members came, without much as a "peep" or inkling that it was actually my birthday that night at cell. I still didn't feel un-loved. I felt God's love ultimately.. and it was fantastic. Only towards the end of the Cell Meeting did they suddenly realise it was my birthday.. They sang a "funny" version of Happy Birthday for me.. and I was touched.. and shy at the same time. Thank God for my funny cell members :)

We then adjourned to Penang Mari for dinner with Anson, Sharon, Emily and Cheah Wei. We had a fun time joking and makan-ing. Satay, Roti Jala etc etc. It was indeed a day to rejoice and have fun with my cell members..

They did celebrate my birthday a week later at a combine cell meeting at my place.. and I was indeed touched once again.. when I received my birthday present given to me by 5 of my cell members. Indeed thoroughly blessed

Firstly they bought me this item..

Image hosted by

But I had to get it changed because it was too small for me to use and I might just lose it. So now I have a brand new spanking handphone..

Nokia 1100
Image hosted by

The Panasonic phone was half the size of this phone..

So yah.. thank God for a wonderful birthday.. and indeed greatly blessed!

Thank you my loving cell members.. I do indeed love you so very much. Cheerioz

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Vacating Tower Longshanks

Early Sunday morning, I was woken up by Gabe as he was preparing to leave for Church at 715am. He told me a few things, of which I only remembered one thing: “Grace’s number is on the table”. I then went back into slumber land for the next 30 minutes. After which I got up. I just messed around with something’s online, chatted with Chris for a while, took a bath and then popped in a CD. Tower Of Power, an excellent band playing Funk and Soul.

I got ready to go to church, gave Grace a call confirmed that she was gonna pick me up at 10 am. She was there on time and we then zoomed off to Gabe’s church, Church of Our Saviour. Not sure where it is, but it’s near Queenstown MRT station.

Got into the church foyer, and Grace met a few of her old friends there and I just stood there taking in my new surroundings. I noticed that there was another church just next door to this church (it was under construction) not even 50 metres away.

*my recollection of this day is running as I am blogging this 2 weeks after*

Well, we got into church, and worship was great and it was Holy Communion Week. I like the way they carry out communion. For me it’s a mix between traditional and New Apostolic Reformed style.

When it came to communion time, the ushers/wardens (as I would call them), would walk up aisle to the back of the church, and start ushering the congregation, row by row to walk forward. At the stage/altar, the congregation would line up in 2 rows. The front row would be waiting with their hands open, and the communion ministers will start distributing the host (the white wafers) to each person, and would recite “Body of Christ”. Then another communion minister will come around with a chalice containing wine (real altar wine) and present it to the person with the host saying “Blood of Christ”. Then we’d dip the host into the wine and then we consume it. The wine was sweet and tasteful, like how I remember it used to be. (Erhem from my Altar Boy days)

After celebration was over, I met up with a few of Gabe’s church friends and his brother Ernest, who’s taller but thinner than Gabe. Ernest plays drums very well, it seems he does session recordings and is able to sight read drum scores. That’s an amazing ability actually.

We then went for lunch (Italian) at a place, I can‘t remember the name. I had lasagna, and shared pizzas with them with some brinjal-cheese salad. They then left me to go about on my own to explore Singapore by myself because Gabe had to work and Grace had some family things to do.

I explored Singapore by myself for the first time, without a map and it was a disaster. I usually function well with a map. I asked some people for directions and all they did was confuse me. I wanted to get to Funan Centre from City Hall but they guided me in the wrong direction. So I ended up walking so far that I found myself near Bugis Station (near Sim Lim tower). I went in there to look for some computer accessories etc. It was labour day and some of the shops were closed. Some of the shop owners were nice, but there was this one guy who gave me “attitude” I had the notion to “pop” him in the face. But, hey… it’s a FINE country and I don’t wanna do that. *grin*

So in the end I couldn’t get what I wanted and wasted the whole afternoon there. Gabe, called and he picked me up in a cab not too far away from Sim Lim (Near our Lady of Lourdes Church)

We then popped by his parents place for dinner. Had a nice chat with his mom and dad. His mom cooks an excellent Chicken Curry and we had “thairu” yoghurt which I don’t usually eat, but it went well with the Briyani rice. It was a very nice visit to Gabe’s parents and dinner. Home-cooked food is so good.

Gabe then took me to Harbour Front so that I could buy my watch. After buying the watch which I am now wearing on my wrist, we then took the MRT back to Clementi (I think) to meet with Mr. Grant Knisely. Grant was a friend I had met over the Chinese New Year Holidays this year. Grant is an American dude from Ohio/Iowa (I forget) who’s come to Singapore to work with teenage kids of expatriate workers in Singapore. This ministry is called Young Life, and Grant (23) is a cool handsome and a man after God’s heart.

It was good to see him again, and then we caught up for some drinks (beer) by Gabe’s poolside. He quickly gave me a DVD called, Hope for Haiti (not Hi Tea), about Hughes Bastien who has successfully started a school in Haiti (in all the political unrest and poverty) for the children. I encourage you all to watch it. It’s a good ministry documentary to encourage us to keep praying for the down and outs. Please let me know if you wanna borrow it. It’s only 52 minutes long. I’ve already screened it at my CG.

We were then joined by David Elliot, another young Kiwi lad who’s lived most of his life in Singapore. He’s also working full time in World Vision, providing help and assistance in starting up exploratory work in different places in this region of SEA, and beyond.

It was good to be surrounded by such men who are involved in God’s work directly, impacting lives. Gabe, Grant and David all belong to this group called Purpose Driven group that meets on Tuesdays to help them on with their lives at work, ministry and personally.

Gabe and I then retired for the night, but not without praying for each other first. I went to sleep that night tired after a long day out in the city. The next Monday, I awoke fresh from my slumber, and after packing and bidding Goodbye to Gabe, I alighted a cab to my bus to head back to PJ. The bus left on the dot at 930am. I met Kim and we had a good talk on the bus, and hope that she’ll call me up sometime so that I can invite her to meet up with some of my church friends in hope that she’ll come to know the Lord someday. My cell members, Sharon and Emily picked me up at Menara Axis, PJ at 3pm and sent me home.

I thus ended my Solo Singapore Roadtrip, which has been thoroughly fruitful, because I got to meet up with Gabe and be really refreshed by a good friendship.

PaulOS Blogging Off


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Batam oh Batam..

Dear Blogiary,

Today Gabe and I got up at approximately 815 am. Gabe prepared his famous oatmeal breakfast, melted in a bit of chocolate into the oatmeal, along with some heated up "cucuk kodok" and prepared a hot cuppa Ipoh White Coffee to go with it.

We then left the house @0920 to go see Grace, Gabe's friend ok ok.. girlfriend... sweet gal. We had to after all return her car. So we then drove to our next destination.. Harbour Port... why? We were going to visit Batam Island, Indonesia. We bought our round trip tickets for Singapore-Batam-Singapore, on the spot... for SGD27 each. We then proceeded to make our way to the immigration gates. I decided to purchase a cheap kodak box camera for SGD13.90...

Our water transport vehicle (boat-lah) was due to leave at 1020. So we hustled to our gate to only discover that the boat had not yet arrived. We waited for a few more minutes and then our boat the Asean Raider arrived. We boarded the boat at 1030 and took the open air seats. It was warm but I had hoped that the sea breeze brushing against our faces along the boat ride would be a welcome treat. The boat did not leave until 1055. The boat ride took nearly an hour to reach Batam Island. From there we passed through the customs only to be greeted by a hoarde of taxi drivers. Gabe was trying to point out to me a few CPF bounty hunters. (CPF is like EPF in Malaysia.. and these "bounty" hunters are out to identify pensioners who have withdrawn their CPF to be spent on the oldest profession in the world)... or so Lord Longshank tells me. I did not see any of them but.. as the Rock says.. "It doesn't matter"

We went to the hypermarket across the street to look for some maps of Batam. None were to be found at all. I had to whip out my Bahasa Malaysia with an Indonesian accent to communicate with the locals. Nothing much was to be found at this place. We then took a cab (after some negotiation with the locals) for a price of 25000 Rupiahs (1 SGD = 5760 Rps) .. So the cab ride was ok.. took about 20 minutes to our next destination.. the town called Nagoya. We arrived at a food stall that sold Nasi Padang. Food was nothing great to shout about.. and hence no pic were taken.. the bill came up to 77000 Rps... a rip-off.. the woes of a tourist huh?

Anyways, we walked around town, looking at different stuff looking for maps, a telephone cover for my old 6210.. it's cracked.. badly.. and there was really nothing much to look for.
Gabe bought a Polo shirt and then at 1500 we made our way back to the port.. we had already grown bored of Batam Island.. The taxi ride in this new looking Toyota costs us another 25000 Rps. We went back to the Hypermarket to have another look see before heading back to the port.. ho hum.. bored bored.. exchanged my rupiahs back to SGD.. and then went through the immigration and into the waiting lobby. We were expecting our boat to depart at 1615. Our watches showed.. 1550... and we were just waiting to get back to Singapore.

Then Gabe just prompted me.. "Hey, our tickets doesn't say which boat we're gonna take back. ".. I then took my ticket to the officers in the waiting room.. he looked at me with a "give up" look and said that I need to book a seat on the boat back. And the booking needs to be done at the ticket counter. So Gabe and I ran out of the waiting room, informing the custom officers that we were gonna book our tickets at the counter... We then went to the information booth, and local guy was kind enough to help us to the ticket counter to help us with booking our tickets. We booked our tickets for the 1615 boat ride. So we hurried back through the customs and down to the waiting room, hoping that we wouldn't miss the boat ride. It was 1610. And we were sure we wouldn't miss our boat. And to our relief-dismay, we were informed that the boat had not yet arrived.

So Gabe and I stood around waiting for the boat. Time passed by (1630) and still no sign of the boat.. the Golden Raider.. (what's this a sick episode from Indiana Jones?) So I went to the officers and asked them again.. "Where's the boat?" then they told me.. "The boat has not arrived yet, it will only arrive at 1615..... *Twilight Zone* .. then it dawned on us.. that we were there too early. Batam time is 1 hour behind Singapore. We were looking at our watches and still thinking in terms of Singapore time. AAARGH!! ha ha ha ha

So we sat there at 1640, waiting for our Golden Raider. Gabe was nodding off at this point of time.. poor dude.. The boat only arrived at 1710 and we boarded the boat and took a ride back to Singapore.. it was a relief...

We got back at nearly 1810, passed through a slightly congested immigration. I went to have a quick look at watches. My current Casio (given to me by Kerry in 1997) is getting a bit old and brittle. The price is not that bad.. I got my eye on a couple of watches...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by

About RM100. Not bad eh?

We then made arrangements to meet Grace at Holland Village. Gabe and I took a cab to Holland Village and agreed to meet at NYDC Cafe and there we were shortly joined by Grace.

I ordered the Potato Salad
Gabe had a pasta
Grace ordered the Chicken Pizza.

The company was so good that I forgot to take pictures of the food... but I did not forget to take pictures when the deserts arrived!!

Grace had the Jedi Mudster
and I had the Cookie Monster Mudpie

*picture to be inserted here!*

I can't remember the composition of either one.. i should've taken it down... but
1. Jedi Mudster ; Maltesers, Macadamia Nuts, Almond Ice cream and some stuff like that
2. Cookie Monster Mudpie ; Oreo Cookie Bits, Chocolate Chips, Almond Ice cream and some stuff like that

I daresay.. better than Swensen's.. well we then went home to Gabe's crib and chilled by watching the movie "Be Cool" (on his new Infocus Projector). We had all in all a great time yesterday..

Am now preparing to go to Gabe's church. Well, Grace is coming to pick me up for the 1000 celebration. Gabe's already gone off to practice and to play at the first celebration @0830.

That's all.. will attempt to blog another interesting day of shopping and adventure..

PaulOS Blogging Off