28 February 2014

The Journey (Movie)

2014 movie, made in Malaysia

Movie review from a recently married lady's perspective

I had the honor to watch the preview of this Malaysian blockbuster in Singapore.

Married last year, I could identify with the stress of preparing for a wedding. My hubby and I wanted a simplistic wedding. However our families do have certain expectations on how it should be done.

Even though my wedding is over, I still wish that my family could gave us more space and time to plan the romantic wedding I dream of, at times. It's about hubby and I getting married anyway, why should we let others interfere when, where or how it should be done?

After watching this comedy, I learnt that observing the Chinese wedding traditions (personally hand-deliver the invitation cards) are not just rara to keep the traditions alive or to show off how filial or well-off we are.

As Chinese, we hardly express love. These traditional Chinese wedding rituals are to helps us to convey our love sincerely..
~ Love for our spouse.
~ Love for our families.
~ Love for our relatives.

Preparing Chinese wedding is the teething moments as the couple learn about both families's expectations. As we get to know one another, understand their thoughts, we grow to love them. Along the way, somehow all the ideals of a fairytale wedding fades away. This process is an excellent opportunity to learn about compromise. From this touching movie, I learnt the most important thing about a matrimony is not the banquet or the photos, but to receive blessings and acknowledgement from people who are close to our hearts.

7 Cool Factors:
1. Biking road trip with father-in-law! Need I say more?!

2. Reminds us of Singapore in the 70s and early 80s.  In olden days, people had their wedding banquet in their own house. How meaningful it is to hold a wedding party at the home that we grew up in?! Certainly more memorable and authentic! Perfect movie for kids who are keen to see the Kampong era which their parents had grew up from. Ok.. I am a sucker for Nostalgia...

3. Covers very real prevalent issues – cross cultural marriages with globalisation, old age, parenting, death and even "Pang-dang" taboo Chinese traditions.

4. The giant DIY balloon is truely an icon of Malaysia's unity.  Impressive massive effort is required to collect plastic bags from different parts of Malaysians – no joke in a big country like Malaysia!

5. Achievement for Singapore as we can see the censorship are relaxed for dialects movies. I love dialects as they are colorful languages that connect us with our roots and our old folks. Even ministers connect with the masses through dialects!

6. Captivating cinematography of undulating green farms, beaches and Chinese festivities around Malaysia.

7. I especially liked the fact that the family "U-turned" for their loved ones. They are willing to go off track and go the extra mile to make their loved ones happy. A symbolic scene of love.

Movie Synopsis:
SPG (without the sexy sarong) seeks permission and blessings from stubborn farmer dad to marry clueless Ang-mo boyfriend.

Organic !
Most of the casts are not professionally trained in acting. They are just typical Malaysian Chinese who speak fluent colloquial dialects – which retains the original flavour of the multi-racial country; comfortably.

My impression for the lead male character grew as he grew up. Ben Pfeiffer is a promising actor who could develop the character with depth.

The lead actress, Joanne Yew, is a very sweet, fair lady. Her lushious hair reminds me of the Korean actress, Gianna Jun, in My Sassy Girl. What attracts me about her is her outstanding screen presence. However, I would hope to see more soulful expressions than her rolling of XL black contact lens.

Yes, teens and family friendly too! A movie without the Hollywood glamor but will capture the audience's heart.

Bring tissue along.

Lydia's Ratings:
8 out of 10 stars.

Release Date:
Singapore - 20 Mar 2014. Cathay cinemas.

Please click here to view.

22 February 2014

Coastal Settlement

It's been a while since I brought 83 year old Mum out for a date. Her idea of eating out is the standard Chinese round table restaurant or Zhi-char. Once in a while, I will bring her out for something unusual for her. I love to expose her to theme restaurants and see her expression. Hehee... As she puzzled why this queer restaurant owner picks up junks she looked around fondingly at the stuffs we used to have. Mum and I had an incredible time basking in the peace, greens and nostalgia of this unassuming house.

The Coastal Settlement 

200 Netheravon Rd, Singapore 508529 (Changi)
Opening hours: 10.30am - 12 midnight, closed on Monday.

The Charm of Karung-Guni Randomness

Green & Serene

Retro Cheeky Contrast

Hung Up Oldies

Almost every household used to have this TV

Mayo Dip, Luncheon Meat
Crispy without the oil. Addictive!

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Prawn Bisque
Would be much better if served warmer

Half  + Half = Double the fun! 
Prawn + Mushroom Beef Pizza

Yuzu Tart
Burst of freshness and textures...The ultimate finale of every ideal meal 

Ambience: 9 out of 10

Cleanliness: 9 out of 10

Uber-friendly to humans, pets and wheelchairs.
Warm helpful staffs (from the waiters to the valet drivers). The waiter volunteered to wheelchair my Mum to the handicap restroom with me. The valet driver offered to help me carry the wheelchair into my car. Excellent service!
Free private parking in the restaurant or public carpark at Turn House road.

13 February 2014

8 Sure Ways to Snuff Out Romance

Valentine’s Day is here to remind us to cherish our partner and set aside this day to celebrate with them. At times, we are too caught with the stress of living that we neglected the purpose of this special day. Romance is like candlelight that needs to be maintained with gentleness and care. Snuff out the flame and more efforts would be required to re-light the fire again. Thus, be aware of these behavior that could extinguish the tender feelings silently…

1) Critical
The chicken should be marinated longer...
You shouldn’t use plural whenever you use the word…
You should shave...

Some perfectionist got so WHINY, not only they spoil the mood, they miss out on the fun of the occasion totally. In the bible, Jesus confronted Martha for fretting over the small stuffs and direct her to focus on enjoying his companionship instead.

Nit-picking on the smallest details frustrates people, especially the person who plans the date. The partner felt the critic had undermine the sincerity and efforts that was put in to plan the date. Feeling unappreciated, I wonder if their partner will ever try to romance their demanding partner again…

2) Calculative
Being calculative over the amount spent on your date just spells out loud that your fear of being shortchanged super exceed the love for your partner. That said, everyone hopes their efforts would be reciprocated with appreciation.

3) Dishonest
Imagine constantly trying to catch and match the consistency of the words and actions. It can be very tiring to date a chronic liar. Without trust, how can your date let their guards down and let the loving feeling glow?

4) Unfaithful
Victims of unfaithful partners would be too consumed with bitterness to appreciate any romantic gestures. Some adulterers are unaware of the hurt they have caused their partner; they thought that an expensive bag or dinner would do the trick of rekindling the love. Not so easy! The key to reconcile is to sincerely apologize and repent. Feelings of betrayal and anger have to be appeased before any romance can be established.

5) Insecured
Am I attractive? 
Am I fat?
Do I look good in purple?
There are folks who are so self-absorbed with their own issues and insecurities, they fish for compliments and assurances throughout the entire conversation. Their date end up feeling used as a tool of validation.

6) Offensive
No matter how sexy you think you are; being rude, loud or inconsiderate utterly puts people off.

7) Yo Brother! Hey Sister!
Do this only when you wish kill every possibilities to kiss him or her (applicable to Christians too).

By acknowledging your date as a sibling, you are putting your date into the “friend-zone”. He or she will get the drift and AUTO log-out of “romance mode”. Any idea of romance thereafter would suggest incest. Eeks…

8) Spoilt
Princess or prince wannabes think that by being unrealistically demanding, it will keep admirers on their toes to impress them.

Winning the heart of these haughty might seems challengingly fun for the admirers at first. Over time, it can be very demeaning to be the slave. Once these admirers realize they are looking for an equal partner (to love and support each another), and not a royalty to please. Poof!!! They will scram for freedom!

Hope these 8 tips gives you a better picture of an enjoyable Valentine's Day with your partner.