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Monday, September 29, 2008

the Holy Land experience

Mt Nebo- a sight of the "Promised Land" which God gave to Moses before his death (Deut.32-48-52)
After note: I went there with a tour group, and i wasn't sure if that's the right choice or not. Pros are, you do not need to worry about itinerary and transport. It's crazy if you try to drive (roads are horridly narrow, drivers are fierce). Public transport is available but i doubt you will really wanna go find out how to get around.

Cons are well, very obviously it's not going to be a at-your-own-pace holiday. So 80% of the time i felt hurried. Which is good, i suppose. The fast pace (and heat) kept my heart pumping, which in turn keeps me slim while pigging out on Peta and hummus. Thus the holiday really only started the day i got back because immediately i went for a body scrub, a massage, a manicure and a facial. Haha..

But of course, i am really blessed to be able to go on the trip (thanks Dad!) and to have my eyes opened to the blessed country and its exotic cultures. Plus, got to take stunning pictures too!
Israel still is a place to visit.
Disclaimer: I can't match the pictures to the correct names anymore. There's 1'103 pictures, i was there for 12 days, and i've been back for 5 days. So i think i'm just gonna account what i can remember.

Or rather the remains of Hercules Temple. He's a mythological character by the way. Don't mix him up with Samson. Although the pillars reminded me of the ones Samson was chained to. Must be those pictorial depictions.

This was a self- shot on timer. Haha..i was so bored of the museum and my parents were busy oohing and aahing at every artifact, i snuck out.

Thank God for Timothy who snuck out too at the same time to help me with these shots. Hah.

The Amman Archaeological Museum was also found here and the relic of the day was:

this jar which is buried under the living floor walls of a home.

with the remains of a baby. So as to keep the dead child within the family.

This was taken in Qumran- ruins of the community associated with the Dead Sea manuscripts.

I don't know why i had to show my arm pits. Oh well, ran out of poses to do already.

Apparantly the Dead Sea scrolls are a HUGE thing. Each time Pastor mentions the Dead Sea scrolls, everyone OOOOH and AAAAHHH..i'm still clueless as to what's the freaking BIG DEAL! I think it's somewhat related to Isiah's scriptures or something.

Lemme warn you first. Israel is a country of synagogues after synagogues. Ruins after ruins. Churches after churches. Although each one is different from the other, i feel you needn't go to every. So i guess i'm already posting some of the nicest pictures= memorable places= must visit.

En Gedi Spa for the Dead Sea experience. First we slathered on mud from this container. You know like the long rectangular container where horses get their water from, pigs get their feed from? Yeah, that sort. Then we helped one another to slap some Dead Sea mud on.

I wouldn't let it touch my face. Was afraid i will break out.
Then we baked in the sun for a bit and washed it out later. The amount of mud we used for one body is worth $90 USD.

Then we got transported by a tram to the Dead Sea.

I swear my feet came out so smooth after gingerly stepping around in the sea. The salts were SO huge and rough, you got to walk really really slowly to minimise pain.

Yes, my dad happens to be able to read Hebrew.

Tim is right. We got so dark mainly because of the Dead Sea Experience. Look how black i am compared to the fair ang moh in the distance!

Oooh yes, i shamelessly bought expensive dead sea products. For the body and face. Such a sucker, such a tourist. Its supposedly pure and full of minerals, good for your skin. Self declared birthday's gift from Dad. Guilty as charged.

Nazereth Village

This is what Nazareth would look like during the time of Jesus. When i heard that we're visiting a theme park, i was expecting roller my disappointment, it's just a replica of old Nazareth. But i got over the disappointment as it's just as fun playing make-believe.

In the olden days, the yarn were coloured from natural resources. E.G onions to make orange, sea snails to make burgundy which is a royal colour! they squeeze the snail for their juice?

As the characters were actors, the sheep were going everywhere! He's not a real Shepherd, obviously.

The mother's version.

The daughter's version.

This girl is freaking beautiful. The woman on my left is her mother. Her dad is the one with the donkey. Two combined produced this stunning looker.

Lemme show you a close up.

She has a 7 month old baby already. Sorry to burst that bubble! Heh.

Yardenit- Jordan River. Nothing much about this one, except that it was the river that Jesus supposedly got baptised in. Therefore, throngs of people rent baptism gowns to go into the river for baptism because of its significance.

Jordon River, what a fanciful name. It's actually this greenish water behind me. Quite like a canal to me actually, except i see large cat fishes inside.

Food! This is the usual fare.


So glad for the other young person in the tour group. This is what he does for a living. Taking pictures in the mirror. He wants to contest Karen Cheng's facebook group. Eesh.

Speaking of accommodation, we were like nomads!! We changed hotels almost every night, if not every other night. But i'm not really complaining actually, it allows us to accomplish so much more than the usual holiday!

I think it's at Kibbutz Kalia where they milk their own cows, so we have them at our breakfast table.

Hahaha, that guy is so funny! Reminds me of some cartoon.

Crowne in Nazareth is the most luxurious of them all. The rest were quite like chalet style. Meals in Israel were not fantastic, but i'm quite an easy going person. So long as there's food, i'm thankful.
This cow is only 3 DAYS old only! So huge!!

Olives are abundant in the Holy land and has its significance and so everytime the Pastor points out an olive tree or shows how an olive is processed, everyone ooohs and aaaahs. Is it just me or is it them?

I'm glad to be back and i'm glad to have gone. Israel is beautiful in her ways and its not about the locations that proves He is real but rather the faith that should prevail. Quite frankly, i am not 100% convinced of certain spots because of the tourism and commercialism but that hasn't made me doubt my faith in any bit.

Instead, going to Israel has made me that much more interested in reading the Bible to relate to the places i have visited.

The Bible, the Country, the People, the History and the Culture...its one mystery.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dad's 21st.

Obviously, the oldies simply will not do a 'fun' pose.

My dad was so surprised at his best friend from the army days arriving that he went abit ku-ku. He stood up with a NAPKIN tucked in his pants, shook my friend's hand and said Happy Birthday to her!!


I initially planned for a yatch. but due to certain circumstances, it did not happen.

Nonetheless we had a great time with interesting fantastic nutritious food and surprise guests!

We ain't superstitious, so i got dad a watch with interchangeable straps. Metal for normal wear, leather for smart wear. Don't know, i find leather smarter. But i'm into men with nice watches. Having a nice watch on a wrist speaks of class and manhood.

I think it's one birthday that my dad received the most presents in. Dinner, a watch and a PDA cum phone cum camera from his friend! I'm so happy to see him so happy that night. Good men deserves good things and good love.

Oh, oh so my dad was showing off the functions of the watch to his best friend, and his best friend was showing off his phone (which his daughter got him for his birthday the week before) functions to my dad. Me and my friend, we rolled our eyes. Hah.

The menus were like kung-fu style, all inspired by herbs.

Look at the fast hand actions! This was dessert. They were pieces of yam and sweet potato coated with malt candy. What you had to do was to quickly dip them into bowls of ice cold water. The result, crispy delicious fried pieces of yam and sweet potato. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. How interesting is that!

Ivan is like damn manja lah...but ok, he's rather handsome. I'm officially broke. Dinner for 10 at Clarke Quay+ a watch. But still, i couldn't resist buying Levis for my brothers. It was quite a steal! 1 bottom ($159) + 2 tops (59.90 x2) = $199. So i bought 2 sets! The bottoms belong to me, the shirts for the boys. Impulse buy actually. After buying, i calculated and i only saved about $80 for that 6 pieces of clothing. Aargh!!

But you know how Levis bottoms always hugs your figure so perfectly? I was weak..damn those mirrors!

Our church is undergoing renovation soon! Fragments of our childhood memories are fading bit by bit.

This tree trunk used to hold our tree house that we played "family" in.

P.S they now give away crutches when you buy a drip.

P.P.S I'm in Doha now, on my way to Israel. Be back next week!

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