Sunday, 21 October 2012
Doing housekeeping now and realised I wrote this while on my first trip to India...
Indian weddings are more fun and a great celebratory event with friends and family. And Indians can really dance! Their sense of rhythm and flexibility is fantastic. The richness of their culture can be seen from the ceremonial rituals, traditional costumes and jewellery donned, closeness of the family ties at the wedding events, choice of colours, flowers and decor used! So much money and effort are spent on weddings.
The country's income inequality is very huge but people continue with their daily business to survive and to live. The seemingly everyday problems Singaporeans face cannot be compared to those faced by the poor Indians. Problems with the MRT or local transportation system? Getting to work or home late? In India, what MRT? Your legs are your mean of transport. What work? Begging on the streets help keep you from starving. What home? The streets and hopefully a warm blanket is home. Singaporeans should be contented with what we have when many others do not every have the basic essentials for comfortable living.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Read this in Friends of Ikea. And I like!
3 ways to help the natural world on your holiday
1. Stay grounded - air travel contributes significantly to climate change. Use a WWF footprint calculator and learn how small steps can make a big difference: www.panda.org/how_you_can_help/greenliving/footprint_calculator
2. Respect the environment - stay on paths, do not remove plants, corals or shells, feed wild animals or leave litter.
3. Think conservation - if you really have to travel, support only reputable, conversation-minded tour operators.
Point 2 just reminds me of this weird group of tourists we met at the Similans. Miss J, Ripsu & I hitched a ride on a speedboat back to Phuket after our short 2D2N LOB with a group of snorkellers. This group of weird tourists took a bunch of shells after snorkelling. The boatman tried to convince them to put the shells back but ended up having to snatch them away. These people are so weird. They knew that this area is a marine park and they have been told not to take anything away yet....tsk tsk. One of the women can even exclaim that the shells are plastic. Heh try harder lady! Such weirdos.
5 Dec's H & S was pretty good but tiring coz I was doing it all by myself. It's not easy juggling my chopsticks, container, clipboard, ID chart, at the same time searching for motile creatures, taking photos and recording down what I found! It's times like this I wish I had 8 arms like the octopus! Well no choice, my designated partner wasn't well that day and anyway we lacked volunteers. Good experience working alone though!
Olive Dog Whelk
Black long-spined sea urchin (Diadema setosum)
Red swimming crab (Thalamita spinimana)
Brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus)
Not sure what crab this is. Resembles the red egg crab but not really.
Saw 2 noble volutes laying eggs! Tis the season?
Wonder when is the next trip out to Semakau. Meanwhile I prolly should get my wetsuit asap so that we can head out to Hantu for dives!
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Haven't blogged for a long time. Finally I've some free time to write something.
14 Nov 09 was the 1st year anniversary since the start of Project Semakau. And I had the opportunity to bring family and friends to a place I spent hours either at dawn or at dusk for the past couple of months.
Didn't take much photos during the walk coz I was herding the group and trying to help guide the group with Sai Khoon. It was a pretty good day coz the weather was cool and we spotted a black sea cucumber that wasn't photographed till now. All coz of my bro's keen eyes but he thought it was a snake initially heh.
It was a pretty short trip and we didn't make it out as far as most other groups coz we started picking rubbish at the beach area before the start of the guided walk. But we picked up so much glass along the way!
But for this trip, I did see quite a animals that I've not seen on previous trips.
Finally saw the egg sacs of a noble volute, a pair of octopuses hiding in the rock crevices, a juvenile butterfly fish (Ron has amazingly sharp eyes!), a damsel fish, the Pilsbry's Headshield Slug (which initially I thought was a nudi), a pygmy cuttlefish and a tiny soldier crab. And I finally saw the spider conch pole-vault live!
The girls on the other side of the road to escape from mozzies while waiting for the NEA van pick-up. As usual Miss Goon showing off her long fair legs.
After the guided walk, we went to the southern part of the island for a BBQ dinner and kite-flying. Dinner was pretty yummy and the best part was we didn't have to lay a finger to 'peang' food lol
Jz makes the best roasted marshmallows!!!
Flying kite is in my blood!
Ros with my P.Semakau Hat.
There's 1 last hunting seeking coming up on 5 Dec. Hopefully I'll see more!
Wednesday, 02 September 2009
Finally got around to start writing part 2. Let's see what I still remember heh...
After Sat's Hunting & Seeking, I went home to sleep. Slept most part of the afternoon and evening. Woke up only coz my mom woke me for dinner and it's back to laalaaland. Finally regained conscious at 1030ish and it's time to revise and prepared for the Guiding. Feels like cramming for an exam! So much information in so little time I ended up reading all my notes till 3 am and it's time to get out of the house! Was wondering if the trip will be cancelled coz it was so stormy! Very heavy rains. Feels like December.
Shared a cab with Casey and ended up very early at the pier! The sky looked like it was clearing up but we could still still lightning from afar. Slowly a few bus loads of youths reached the piers. Most of them looked so sleepy. It was my 2nd time on a Guiding trip. My first time guiding (after 2 yrs) was with a very good guide Peiting! Learnt quite a lot from her but quite sorry about the trip coz I didn't help her much. She's a really engaging guide who knows a lot!
Peiting in action!
Ahh back to this Guiding trip. This time round I paired with dear Amitha! Poor girl, she wasn't well that day. She was down with a fever for the past 2 days yet she came to guide for the Walk. So I tried my best to help her with our group.
We were pretty lucky coz the boys and girls in our group were very obedient and nice youths. One of their teachers tagged along with us. Student-teacher relationships are so different nowadays. I don't recall my teachers being so chammy with us when we were in sec school....after sec sch maybe. New age teachers!
A before walk photo. Everyone's still not awake!
As we walked through the more squishy parts of the mangroves area, the youths became more awake coz they didn't like the feeling of wet socks and shoes. Pretty funny coz every few metres we walk we'll hear them complain about it. City kids! Never been out rolling in dirt! Haha as if I've done that when I was young! The youths are quite observant. They noticed lots of shells and a few of them asked us what they were. When they realised these are all living creatures one of the boys tried to watch his steps coz he was very worried about killing them! I had to coax him to walk properly in case he fell.
The first more interesting creature they saw were the common sea stars.
There were so many of them and the same "step-conscious" boy got worried about stepping on the sea stars. I told them to just look out for the star-shapes in the sand and keep their eyes open. Poor boy, he really made sure he WATCHED his every step!
For this trip, the hunter seekers found quite a lot of nudibranchs. Amitha found another when we walked around the coral reef area. Nudis are one of my favourites to seek out when I go diving. These molluscs or sea slugs are really colourful and pretty! Like with pretty women, their bright pretty colours are shouting to their predators to "I'm dangerous...beware!" Some of the nudis we saw:
1) Glossodoris atromarginata
2) Jorunna funebris
3) Phyllidiella nigra
4) Ceratosoma sinuate
Looking quite like a nudi (except flatworms don't have the exposed gills), these flatworms are exceptionally graceful when they move (through flapping its sides quite like a flamingo dancer moving her skirt).
1) Acanthozoon sp.
2) Pseudobiceros bedfordi
So much to blog...shall continue editting later~
Part 2 of Part 2 of this super long blog....
CORALS!!! Yes, we do have a large variety of corals in Singapore. In fact, there are more than 200 species of corals in Singapore (and the Great Barrier Reef has 500!). Didn't take a lot of photos of the corals we saw coz we didn't have time to. But I managed to get some more interesting shots.
(1) Sinularia sp., Dead Men's Fingers
Dead Men's Fingers (semi-submerged with the tiny polyps expanding out)
(2) Heliofungia actiniformis, more commonly known as Sunflower Mushroom Coral
We saw some interesting looking anemones too. Most of the time I've only seen carpet and swimming anemones
But on this trip we saw a Wiggly star anemone
After covering most of the stations, we still had a little time before the tides start coming in. So Amitha & I let the boys & girls do some hunting and seeking of their own. But nobody found anything unusual so we slowly made our way back to the secondary forest area.
And always...we must take photos to end off a good trip!