Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hamster Birthday Madness!!

Actually, I celebrated my birthday last Saturday at the Wahaha Restaurant. Yes, that's the name of the place and no, it's NOT a kiddie place, ok? The place actually reminds me of the bars of GB3 and Libis, the ambiance great. The guys were joking that this was my debut, 25 years of happiness. Also, what made my day was while the place is so upper class, the bill was average.


Lots of people came...come to think of it, actually invited the whole Beijing Pinoy group. The guys planned something surprising at the end, I was ready to give my speech of thank you's and bidding everybody good night when they dragged me to the center, and made me eat 25 spoonfuls of cake and dance with 25 girls, ending with my crush, Silence, the one I've been talking about these past couple of weeks. Lovely.

All in all, had a really great time. One of the best birthdays in my life. When do I ever again get to dance with 25 beautiful ladies again? Sigh...

After that, spent the next three days imprisoned in my room. Apparently, too much icing can really cause you severe tummy aches that makes u wish you would curl up and die, just to get it over with. It was so bad that I'm always in the bathroom every hour! Damn damn damn...
Today, I spent the day recovering from the sickness, and went out with an intimate dinner with friends to celebrate real birthday. A simple get together with laughs and joys. I still get to foot the bill though...

Looking back, I made wishes last year, some feasible, some impossible, some even a with a touch of weirdness. Going to China changed everything though. Anyways, time to update and perhaps add some more...

1. Build A Website: Yes, this project is still ongoing, and with finished, this was actually feasible. Too bad I had to leave for China before things could happen. Perhaps this year...

2. Lose Some Weight: Still ongoing. Might have lost a few pounds here in China, but that's just might have been wishful thinking...

3. Propose to this certain girl: Yeah, I know. I might actually scrap this resolution and just wait for God's Gift to me. Just wait and pray...

4. Web Design: Same as number 1. Will soon learn once I'm back home.

5. Write a Novel: Might have just been dreaming, but now I think I possess the drive to write...only problem is the finding the time...

6. Join a Rockfest: Not gonna happen anymore, but did perform live here in China, although only acoustics. Nice.

7. Collect Anime DVDs: Yep, China is the place to find the goods. Business? Still thinking about it.

8. Update regularly: I'm trying to. And I might change blog sites. We'll see when I come back. Finally..

9. See that I can focus and persevere and get my lazy ass off daydreaming.

That's it. Perhaps next year, there'll be less of wishes and resolutions.

This is me, Hamster, now 25 years, that's a quarter of my life there, wishing everybody to have a good time, thanks for the greetings and stuff, and hope that everything turns out right. I'm out.

State of Mind: Reflective Mood
Song of the Day: Twinkle Star by Nyoy Volante
Number of Guests last Saturday: 53 really cool people
Bill Amount: 1537 yuan

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

My Name is "Dances With Ice and Snow"


Just came back from a three day tour of Harbin, somewhere out in northern part of Beijing and near the Russian border. 41 students, 90% Filipinos, some Indonesians and a Korean and Japanese, out to venture into the colder reaches of China. We rode the train, total travel time: 12 hours. The tempreture dropped drastically from a cold -10C to a freezing -25C. Everybody was dressed for the weather: thermals, two shirts, sweater or two, peejays, two socks, two gloves, scarfs, earmuffs and wide variety of headgear. Constant griping about the cold rang intermittantly throughout the trip.

But not me.

With a smile on my face, I only wore thermals, a shirt and a jacket. I've walked and skiied in this simple attire for the whole trip, even taking my top off to pose for some unbelievable pictures that even the Americans gawked at me and even took some pics also. With internal body heat, resistance to cold and snow, I am invicible. Nice.

Well, nearly invicible. I still get frostbite, but only in the ears and fingers, in about 30 minutes without gloves or hats. Still, it was enough to make me earn the nickname Snowman, or "Dances with Ice and Snow". Cute.

As I've said, Harbin is near the Russian Border, and the place is a nice blending of the south and north. There are shops with Chinese and Russian names, and the locals both speak the languages, even if the community is 95% Chinese. Turns out this is actually a vacation resort for the Russians.

Back to the trip, we were just in time for the Ice Festival, and we saw massive sculptures of ice and snow, some reaching two or three stories high. Nothing special though, just something to be ooohed and aaaahed at. Then on the second day, the fun started when spent the day frolicking in the snow. The first half we spent skiing on the slope of some unpronounceble chinese mountain. I didn't care though. It was my first time skiing, and I took to the sport like a duckling trying fly. My first trip down was a blur. Travelled at 40miles per hour, 1 kilometer down. Sure, after that I fell down once or trice, for fear that I might hit someone down the line. I mastered the art of speed skiing...now if someone could only teach me how to turn or, more importantly, brake and stop...

Afternoon saw us divided into groups, the larger half opting to go sledding down the slope again while the smaller half got ready for some snow hockey. Now, if it was ice I'd probably join the folks up dragging a sled but since there was no skating involve, grabbed a stick and trooped down the arena for some serious puck bashing. Flashback from the High School days where the reigning movie was Mighty Ducks and me and my friends tried to recreate adn play the game with some brooms and a very slippery floor. Both experiences have something in common: they are absolutely fun fun fun...

Night saw us bowling at the hotel, nice way to tone down the excitement by knocking down pins. Beaten my old record in my Manila days in Megamall Bowling of 107; got my highest ever of 137. Nice.

Next day was the tour of the churches, then lunch at a Russian resto, then shopping in the afternoon, then dinner at a local dumpling place, before leaving for our trip back to Beijing. Beijing dumplings are more tasty though. Since there were a lot of leftovers, the gang wanted a dumpling eating contests. Four groups, four tables, no time limit. In the end, two tables were tied since everything was eaten to the last lumpia wrapper and it came down to two contestants, me and my buddie Golden Sun. Ten dumplings, all "Saozi" (veggie ones) and no time limit. I lost. Well, I kinda gave up in somewhere in the 5th dumpling and saw I couldn't eat another one. Later in the trip home, I found that overall he only ate around 30 dumplings while I ate somewhere in the high 50's. Ah well, congratulations to him all the same. I'll never look at a dumpling the same way again...

The train trip home was a blast, what a way to end the tour. A Korean versus a Indonesian. The Battle: Cursing in the Filipino Language. It was fun watching them spit out words like "Putang Ina" and "Pakshet" in totally different tones. The Indonesian won in the end, since our language and theirs are much closer then the Koreans. Fun eh?

Harbin turned out to be a trip and a half. Now if it only were a little warmer...

State of Mind: Defrosting Mode
Now Reading: Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook 3.5
Lowest Ever Temp Recording in Harbin: -40C
Most used phrase by the tourist guide: "You understand my mean? Then everybody get off the bus!"

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!!!

Well, New Year came and went, and me and the gang celebrated at one of our friend's pad in Huaqing, just two blocks from school. Since it's a Filipino party, pot luck is the name of the game and I was asked again to cook my Spagetti Espesyal, a secret family pasta recipe. Cooking's no big deal, its the lack of cooking utensils that makes this enterprise a little hard to do, since I have to do it twice with a little sauce pan.

Anyways, the party was blast, with lotsa food and drinks all around. A lot of people complimented on my pasta, with the follow-up question of what's the special ingredient. I just smile and say "Milk". Surprise? Hehehe, that's for you to find out how does milk figure in pasta.
Also, me and Ben choosing the champagne turned out to be very tasty indeed, just right for the party. Perhaps what really made them make yummy noises in satisfaction was after hearing how much does one bottle cost: only 15 kuai=120 pesos=2.20 dollars. Cheap yet delicious=very nice.

All in all, New Year was fine except for the given fact that my family isn't here, and they have fireworks here, even just a simple cracker. Now that sucks. I'm used to being deaf and blinded in every New Year from the massive fireworks display and loud noisemakers. Only in the Philippines does New Year can cause fatalities and accidents equal to a sinking cruiseliner...perhaps even more, with neighbors competing with each other for the loudest, brightest and generally the most outrageous bang-for-your-buck ever. Damn, I miss those...
Especially the food!!! Smoked ham, fruit salad, tocino...arrrgh, the list goes on. The Chinese cuisine here is making me a little too fat. Okay, maybe even more fatter then...

Damn, got to stop thinking thoughts back home, especially those dealing with tastebuds and stuff.

Anyways, that's it, I'm pooped/tired/no energy left to think and move. Hope you all have a happy new year!!!

State of Mind: Dizzy
Song of the Day: Big Machine by Goo Goo Dolls
Now watching: Goo Goo Dolls Live in Poland
Number of guests in party: 40+