Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Few Of My Favourite Things 2007

Its amazing how fast time flies. In a blink of an eye, a year is almost over and in a couple of weeks, we'll be ushering in twenty-oh-eight. Looking back (as I always do), this has been quite a busy year for me, with all the travelling around the world (well, mostly South East Asia) and getting very caught up with work as well as an ever expanding social circle. Overall it has been a very positive 12 months and through it all, I've learnt a lot about myself and also a lot about the world around me. Hopefully the next twelve months will be just an enriching, if not more.

This year's list is quite an eclectic one, one which includes items which I never would have thought possible if you'd asked me about it a year earlier. Goes to show, life really is like a box of chocolates.....

1. Favourite travel destination: Angkor Wat
Imagine this: one dark and stormy night in January, two doctors (Wymen and I) who had too much time on their hands were sitting in front of their laptops hammering away on the internet, trying to score free flight tickets to ... well, anywhere, actually. And anywhere became Siem Reap which is the Cambodian city nearest to the famour Angkor Wat, Southeast Asia's most revered religious site. It is also the largest, most well preserved and most impressive. No superlative can and would do this ancient Buddhist temple complex justice. All I could do was to continuously remind myself to pick my jaw from the floor.

2. Favourite Song: Never Again (Kelly Clarkson)
"I hope the ring you gave to her turns her finger green." 'Nuff said!

3. Favourite TV programme: Amazing Race Asia
I never thought I would actually bother to follow another reality show. The US version never caught on with me, and in fact I only actually started viewing the Asian version halfway through the race. But once I did, it was all I could talk about for weeks. And the final episode when our Malaysian lasses Joe Jer and Zabrina became the first all-girl team to win the race was truly nail-biting to the end. Syabas girls and Malaysia boleh indeed! Now on to the second season!

4. Favourite Movie: Rattatouille
I've always been a fan of Pixar movies and this year, they really outdid themselves with this charming story about a peasant rat with a culinary gift. Romantic images of gay Paree interspersed with the madness of a haute cuisine kitchen were so lovingly portrayed that I willingly forgave the producers for the one faux pas in Ratatouille - that everybody in France speaks french-accented English while the two lead characters, Remy the rat and Linguini the plonguer spoke American!

5. Favourite Book: The Power Of Now - Echkart Tolle
I bought this book on a whim about a year ago, read the first few pages and then promptly forgot about it. It wasn't until last July that I was reacquainted with it when I saw an Oprah rerun about the book and its author Eckhart Tolle on tv. I was nursing a bit of a broken heart back then, thanks to my uncanny ability to fall for people who have really short attention spans. So this book ,which basically took all the blame for all my misery and placed it squarely on erm.. my mind, really helped me get over whatever little dramas I was putting up for myself and allowed me to look at things more calmly and objectively. And I shall trust Oprah with all her recommendations from now on.... except the ones about dieting. Ha!

6. Favourite Dish: Gion bread
The brochure (yes, the bread comes with its own brochure!) said that it's fresh 'Danish' bread and yet maintains that it is an original recipe from Kyoto (which I assume is the one in Japan). Anyway, this bread is TO DIE FOR. So deliciously aromatic especially when it's freshly toasted out of the oven, so good you can even eat it on its own. Really. Oh one more thing. One loaf costs RM18. Aiyah, you get what you pay for mah....

7. Favourite Gadget: Canon EOS400D
It was only a matter of time before I caved in to temptation and got myself a digital slr. And really, it does take better photographs than my compact. As much as I loved the S80, the 400D easily beats it hands down especially when it comes to close-ups and macro shots, even when using just its kit lens. And when I plugged on the Tamron 18-250 zoom lens, it was love at first click. So now the S80 has been relegated to just underwater photography which sadly I hardly did much of this year. Well, at least it did get to go to Beijing with me, when I FORGOT TO BRING THE 400D!!!!!

8. Favourite Experience: Climbing The Great Wall Of China
There is a famous saying in China. "You're not a good Han (Chinese) unless you have climbed the Great Wall". Well, I guess I am a member of the elite club now, something which I never expected to be part of so soon. It really was an unforgettable experience to be walking on the very bricks that ancient warriors and conquerors once stood on to defend the Middle Kingdom. The scenery from the top was breathtaking and the air was crisp and cool. Now, if only they had built a cable car system...... Just kidding.

9. Favourite Drink: Aik Cheong 3-in-1 Teh Tarik
You have to try this. It doesn't taste like a 3-in-1, in fact it could rival any of the mamak stall teh tariks... almost. ;) It is aromatic, richly flavoured and lightly sweetened, just perfect for one of those afternoon tea breaks along with a slice or two of fresh oven-baked Gion bread!

10. Favourite people: All my friends.

Nigella Lawson says it the best. Too much of a good thing can be good for you. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by so many good friends, and I feel blessed to have made some really great new ones this year, especially Adrian, Alex, Brett, Eddie (Ah Boy), Erwin, Leo, Nan, Rachaelle, Said, Saifuddin and Shah. Of course, I am forever grateful for my 'family', the G8++, without whom I'd be a tad crankier... and definitely a lot more drama. ;)

And that's it. The list to top all lists for twenty-oh-seven. It's been a memorable one, if nothing else, for the wonderful people in it who have enriched my life in so many ways and made it a lot more interesting. ;) So, here's to a great 2008 and may all your champagne wishes and caviar dreams come true in the new year.


Nickxandar said...

Great list!

Still working on mine :-p

Shah said...

You somehow make me feel sad that 2007 is coming to an end. Had loads of great memories this year. Here's to lots & lots more in 2008...

Amazonman said...

Nick: Take your time... but don't take too much time... dah tinggal satu minggu saje.... ;)

Shah: Amen to that!

Beruang Madu said...

Heeee jangan takut Amazonman... 2008 mesti akan lebih hebat untuk kita semua... cinta, kekayaan, kerjaya, keluarga, politik, ekonomi... and our unique life... kan??

Amazonman said...

Memang unique sekali kan? ;)

cute PANDA said...

mmm... so encharted la.... 2008 and future more bahgia lah... i baru nak check diary nak recall per blaku tahun ni:-P

crewcut75 said...

Well, life wouldn't certainly be a lot more bland without having you around.

Happy 2008. :)