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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010 Day One

As usual, on the first day of Chinese New Year (which was also Valentine's Day this year, not that it meant anything to me) we visited my uncle's (dad's elder brother).

He and his family used to live in Malacca until recent years. They now live not that far away. (perhaps 20 mins via car, as opposed to the near 2 hours back then)

Outside uncle's house

Inside uncle's house

Everyone hanging out in uncle's house


We usually eat vegetarian food on the first day of Chinese New Year. So the dishes in the following photos, despite the fact that they looked like meat, were all vegetarian!

Vegetarian meat

Vegetarian curry

Having lunch

Having lunch

Auntie and uncle

Cousin Chuan and uncle


My cousin's Malay colleague made us some nice and delicious cheese tarts wishing us Gong Xi Fa Cai. When my country is constantly appearing on international news due to its racial tensions, tiny little incidents like this feel my heart with warmth. Muhibbah forever.

'Gong Xi Fa Cai' cheese tarts

'Gong Xi Fa Cai' cheese tarts 2


This year's new year was particularly enlightening. All these while, I never knew that we eat mochi too. I thought mochi was just a Japanese thing, but apparently my uncle's wife had always been making mochi for dessert, just that because we were usually stuffed after lunch, so she didn't bother to take it out for us!

Aunt making some mochi


My cousin Sze was helping out with making some of those corn cakes as well.

Cousin Sze cutting up some corn kuih


(click here if you can't see embedded video)


Mom definitely enjoyed it.

Mom loves the mochi

Mom and sister enjoy dessert

Having dessert

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chinese New Year Eve 2010

Heya folks and Happy Chinese New Year.

It's been a while since my last update due to the slow internet connection (I feel demotivated), the sudden malfunctioning of my camera (couldn't open its lens suddenly on the second day of Chinese New Year, when I was in Ipoh), and mostly because I was busy preparing for this new film with Ming Jin that I'm producing (and editing).

Did anyone miss me? Guess not.

Anyway, I'll start it off by sharing with you all photos from the Chinese New Year Eve (13th of Feb).

In the afternoon that day, I headed off to the B & BEST RESTAURANT in SS3.

B & Best Restaurant

Inside B & Best restaurant


The place is known for its fishball noodles, which is my dad's favourite.

Dad eating fishball noodles

fishball noodles


The restaurant owner likes to put up photos of him with different sorts of gargantuan fishes too.

Owner of B & Best restaurant with big fish


Actually aside from having lunch there, dad wanted to buy some fishballs home for the Family Reunion Dinner.

After lunch, we headed off to a nice roadside cendol stall for some dessert.

Roadside cendol stall from afar

Roadside cendol stall

Nice cendol


It was unsurprisingly delicious.

During the evening, my friend Kai Fai came over for the Family Reunion Dinner. He's considered part of the family and comes for our Family Reunion Dinners every year.

As usual, we had 'steamboat' (Malaysian/ Singapore version of Hot Pot) for dinner.

Family + Kai Fai = Family Reunion dinner 2010

Steamboat

Everyone eating merrily

Fried tofu, tofu skin, etc.

Lavish abalone

Dishes for steamboat

everyone in action during family reunion dinner 2010


It's been two years since we last had our Chinese New Year Eve dinner at home (we went to a steamboat restaurant in previous years) The steamboat heater isn't working particularly well though, think it's time to buy a new one.

At eleven something at night. We lit up incense in the praying room.

Prayer room in my house

Prayer room in my house 2


So yeah, that's how I celebrated the beginning of Chinese New Year. Without fanfare, without anything big, just usual family warmth. All my life I've never actually missed a single one (Chinese New Year usually happens when I'm back from overseas)

After that I went to watch Jacques Audiard's The Prophet on DVD, not exactly the best film to watch on Chinese New Year, probably explains why I didn't seem to enjoy it too much. Thought it was decent, but maybe I was in a better mood for a comedy then.

So, where did you guys have your dinner on Chinese New Year Eve?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A radio interview that almost happened. Almost.

A few days before I returned from Tokyo, I received an email from a radio station asking for an interview with me. So I said yes, I was coming back to Malaysia anyway.

After coming back, I remained in contact with the guy on e-mail, finally confirming the time for the interview. I was asked to go to their studio on Chinese New Year Eve.

At 3pm just now, I arrived at their place. No one was in the office, just a few people in the studio.

I rang the doorbell.

Being a recording studio that was soundproof, no one was able to hear me.

I rang the doorbell again.

No one could hear me either.

I rang again and again and again.

No response.

I called the guy who was supposed to be coordinating everything with me. He wasn't in the office, but he handed me his producer's number and asked me to call her.

I called.

No response.

I called again.

No response either.

I left her a text message: "Heya, I'm Edmund Yeo, I thought we're supposed to have an interview...?"

Minutes later, I received a reply. "Oh no! The interview wasn't confirmed, so I'm doing another recording. Can I call you later to reschedule? I'm sorry"

Wow. Was the only reaction I could think of.

I replied: "Er, but I had confirmed the time with ____, and I was told to come here today at 3pm."

I was about to call the first guy again, but before I could do so, he emerged from the elevator, having rushed all the way from a family lunch to see me. He was very apologetic.

There was a mix-up. A miscommunication. Another program was scheduled instead.

Like I said, he was very apologetic.

In the end I had no choice but to leave the studio with him.

After standing there ringing the bell for half an hour, at least there was a resolution.

Was I furious? Angry? Nah.

I was just stunned, incredulous, awed.

After doing a couple of interviews myself, of course I absolutely wasn't expecting something like this to happen. To have such an occurrence was an extremely educational eye-opener, a nice reminder for me that life's full of surprises. I'm proud of my country. It was silly of me to not prepare for this at all!

What a way to spend my Chinese New Year Eve 2010! Thank you for this remarkably unprecedented experience. RESPECT~!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dilapidated buildings in KL had a strange charm

I think I picked up photography after I went to Tokyo. Everything was new, fascinating, so I decided to snap photos of them and post them online. To share with others the views of a foreigner in Japan.

It's no coincidence also, that I got into photography around the same time as filmmaking. Somehow after I started making films, things around me just felt a little different, and I just cannot resist the urge of taking snapshots of things I liked, at that very moment.

These photos were taken yesterday when Ming Jin and I, along with the current Greenlight Pictures team, went to KL to do some research for our upcoming film project.

This Cheras Ria. It had a nice view of the city.

View of KL from Cheras Ria apartment buildings

Cheras Ria apartment buildings

Team discussion

Cheras Ria apartment buildings 2

Cheras Ria apartment buildings 3


Then we headed to Imbi.

Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

Flock of crows

Building at Imbi

Street of Imbi

Preparing for location scouting


There was an abandoned house nearby.

An abandoned mansion?

Interior of abandoned mansion


Was a little startled to see a dude sitting there, smoking by himself. He didn't notice us.

Dude smoking in front of mansion


The funny thing is that, after coming back to Malaysia a few days ago, I cannot resist the urge of snapping photos of random things. Somehow what was once my home became a little unfamiliar to me, a little more exotic, a little more colourful.

Twilight train in Shah Alam

8th of February. After resting for a night, I immediately headed off to the new GREENLIGHT PICTURES office in Shah Alam for a meeting with Ming Jin. Actually, we are going to prepare for another film shoot over the next few weeks, and you'll be hearing a lot about our project soon.

This is the new office.

Greenlight Pictures' new office


That's Ming Jin and his wife Tomoko. Kenny, assistant cinematographer of LOVE SUICIDES and one of the two cinematographers of my yet-to-be-released new short AFTERNOON RIVER EVENING SKY, is now working in the office, and we have two interns too.

Greenlight Pictures' new office 2


After that Ming Jin dropped me off at the Batu Tiga train station.

The sun was already setting.

Batu Tiga train station

Batu Tiga train station 2


A cargo train passed by.

Batu Tiga train station 3


The annoying thing about KTM trains is that, there's only one train every 15-20 minutes, so the wait is quite long. I guess I've been pampered by the train service in Japan.

Batu Tiga train station 4


And so we waited.

Batu Tiga train station 5


Behind me, under the darkening purple sky, cars streaked past illuminated buildings.

Batu Tiga train station 6


Unsurprisingly, the train, which was scheduled to arrive at 7:39pm, had yet to arrive at 7:40pm. A common occurrence. But the train would arrive 2-3 minutes later, so it was a relief.

train wasn't punctual


I remember last year during the shoot of AFTERNOON RIVER in Klang, the train I was waiting for with my cast and crew was more than half an hour late. So I went to the train station's office to see what's going on. The woman in the office, instead of answering my question, realized she had more important thing to do... like whining and bitching about me stepping into the office when it was 'only for staff members'.

I'm glad to see that our country will always have people like her who is always so aware of her company rules. Good work, woman. I almost vomited in my mouth.

I entered the train.

inside a train


Arrived at Subang Jaya station a short while later.

Subang Jaya station at night
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