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Yumcha

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I always thought that it is a cliche for a Malaysian staying in another country to lament about the lack of mamak stalls, yet alas this is what I'm going to do. Not that I intend to whine about its absence when I return to Tokyo next week, but more on how fond I really am of these places right now as I am chilling, for a brief while, in Malaysia. The whole act of asking old friends out, going to a nearby mamak stall, ordering my favorite iced milk tea (occasionally I go for iced lemon tea), chatting our butts off about nothing can sometimes be such a mundane, yet strangely endearing lifestyle for us. I can never really understand why. Location: Jalan Semangat,Petaling Jaya,Malaysia

首名外國學生獲小野梓藝術獎‧導演楊毅恆揚名日本 Filmmaker Edmund Yeo becomes first foreigner to receive Ono Azusa Memorial Award for Art

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When your internet connection at home is so bad, it's demotivating to even go online, hence the lack of blog updates in the past few days. (aside from occasionally checking emails, and Facebook, I've been mostly kinda "off the grid", for the sake of reducing frustration and agony over crap Internet connection. I remember having faster internet connection during my dial-up days) Anyway, I was on Sinchew Daily 3 days ago, on the 4th of April (Monday). It's basically an article about me receiving the Ono Azusa Memorial Award on the 26th last month .

Buddhist ceremony for Qingming Festival

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Tomorrow is Qingming Festival, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day. It is the day when people enjoy the beginning of spring (doesn't apply to tropical Malaysia) and tend to the graves of their departed ones. A week-long Buddhist praying ceremony is held at the Cempaka Buddhist Lodge (I shot my new short there two weeks ago) that my mom had been attending. I've been to the place a few times in the past few years during the annual ceremony and I always liked how the praying hall is decorated.

Tan Chui Mui's YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER (Berkelana) press screening

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I went to the press screening of Tan Chui Mui's sophomore feature YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER last night, which was held outdoors at the fields of Sri Petaling school.

Tokyo sure felt pretty... normal.

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I'm now leaving for Narita Airport in an empty shuttle. Returning to Malaysia again after a whirlwind 4 days in Tokyo. I genuinely expected the worst when I flew here, imagining every single scenario I've seen in post-apocalyptic films and novels, wondering in fear how the city of Tokyo would shrivel or crumble under the aftermath of the quake, or the looming shadow of the nuclear reactor situation in Fukushima. I expected people to hide at homes, or walked around in rubber suits and oxygen masks.

Receiving the Ono Azusa Memorial Award in Waseda University

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So, you may know already that I arrived in Tokyo yesterday morning after taking the midnight flight . At first there was some suspense to know the fate of my room after the massive quake, to my relief, only my anime girl figurines suffered . After that, I immediately changed and headed off to the Ono Azusa Memorial Award ceremony in Waseda University. Here's an info from the Waseda website what this award is about.

The earthquake didn't make my messy room messier

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When I reached my room and was about to open it, I feared the worst. So when I finally saw that my messy room was only slightly messier than when I left it 18 days ago, I felt relieved, and even incredulous. I expected to see my glass figurines, or plates, or books, or CDs on the floor, but nothing. Even my two bottles of half empty mineral water and green tea left on the floor were still standing upright. The only casualties were, er, four of my anime figurines that I placed on my book shelf for decoration. One of them fell onto the floor, that was it. Anyway, I have an award ceremony to attend later. Location: 2丁目,Bunkyo,Japan

Finding the truth in Tokyo

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I'm now in Tokyo. In a bus from Narita Airport to my place. Having been in Malaysia since March 7, I have yet to return after the massive quake. I dread to see what my room has become. The worst case scenario I conjured in my mind is to see my TV flying off from where it was and crashing into the numerous external hard disks I placed on the floor, thus destroying many years' worth of invaluable data. I'm sure my books and CDs have fallen off their racks over my bed, and that some of my tiny glass figurines are probably gone. My room had always been messy, will it be even messier? Another one hour left in my bus journey, gonna know soon.

The window seat

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As a child, whenever I was flying, I would, of course, always pick the window seat. My dad was then working in both Malaysia and Singapore, so he had to fly off every other week, and sometimes my mom and I would follow. I loved those moments when we were taking off, or before we were landing, where I would see everything spread out like miniatures beneath me. Cars, buildings, the land, becoming smaller as I fly, or seeing them reemerging into view as I was to reach my destination. However, in recent years after I became a filmmaker, as I became flying with regularity, the aisle seat became my first choice. I've been taking 10+ hour flights almost every month nowadays. It's more practical to sit on a spot where it's easier for me to head to the toilet. That's what growing up is like, the simple little pleasures in life replaced by practicality, hence they end up being forgotten, neglected, scoffed at as childish whims. As I am writing this, I'm on a midnight flig

Shooting the rest of my short 'LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER'

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So, in the 11 days since I last updated the blog, I've gone through the grueling shoot for the rest of my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (March 15-18), and then rushed off to the Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 20 for the HAF (HK - Asia Film Financing Forum), and came back last night (March 24). This blog post is about the grueling shoot.

Thoughts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan

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Since the devastating Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan last Friday, I've been receiving numerous text messages, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts etc. from friends, family, online acquaintances worried about my well-being. (most people didn't know that I returned to Malaysia a few days earlier) I'm very grateful for their concern, and I thank them from my heart. However, my being safe in Malaysia should not diminish the fact that a great tragedy has occurred in Japan, which had more or less became another home of mine in the past three years. I don't feel relieved, nor lucky, that I'm not in Japan when it all happened, since many of my friends and loved ones are still there. I also can't explain why a part of me felt a little uncomfortable, guilty even, that I'm here. I'm returning to Tokyo in ten days. The Malaysian part of the shoot for my new short, LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER will begin tomorrow. Perhaps the most I can do now is just con