Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Golden Week Gathering 2008 - Barbeque & Self-Introduction Session

"This is a guy's romance
that ladies would never understand"
Seng Chye,
referring to the feeling of setting up a campfire
It was planned earlier for a cooking competition to be held among us but unfortunately, due to some time constraints, it was cancelled. A few groups comprising of a mixture between kohais and senpais were divided and they cooked dinner together, instead of the intended cooking competition we had in mind earlier. We were divided into five groups and all the ingredients everyone brought there were evenly distributed to each group. It was left to every group to utilise and dig every cooking skill they have in their sleeves to cook whatever they feel like cooking with the ingredients provided. Although it was not a cooking competition anymore, that was the chance for every groups to pit their wits against the other groups.
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How often do you get to see future engineers getting busy in the kitchen?

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There were several cooking pits in the barbecue area for us to prepare our dinner.
As soon as everyone has been spilled into their respective groups, we got ourselves into work straight away. First was setting up the fire at our own cooking pit but in the end, most team just took the short-cut by lending some burning firewood from the main pit. My group however, has a scout in James and he claimed that he is a half King Scout. I was left to ponder whether there is such thing in the first place. He later explained that he didn't complete the course of obtaining a King Scout status because he was just halfway through the tests to get a certain number of badges that are required in order for you to be considered a King Scout.
Confused? Never mind, back to the story of fire making in our group. Eventually, we managed to set up the fire from scratch, many thanks to James. At another corner of the barbeque area, a group of kohais was busy preparing the raw stuff to be distributed to each group. There were people cutting cabbages, mincing onions, slicing carrots and the best of all, opening a pack of potatoes.
Elaine's famous facial expression.


Elaine looked like really tulan with Gane already for some unknown reasons. (Tulan means got pissed off)
You play-play with this girl and you are going to face the consequences because one misquote or wrong action could cause an absolute mayhem to everyone. However, the atmosphere was not that tensed up as it seemed to be. Everybody was enjoying themselves, that some went a few steps too far by over-enjoying the moment by coming out with crazy stuff and fooling around.
This two girls were using sausages to splash water at each other. Water Festival, isit?


Another group preparing the ingredients for the chicken curry.
The gathering this year has been relatively different from the past in terms of the activities held, because not only there was a hiking in the afternoon, but it continued with a barbeque session later that evening. The atmosphere got even better and it felt as if there was one huge cooking feast going on, because some senpais cooked a whole big pot of chicken curry for everyone. The pot used was quite big because it needed to cater almost eighty people that night. Although it may sound a little bit ironic here, it was the guys who were doing the stirring and mixing of the curry for almost all the time.


I was in charge of the fire, Teng Kang did the stirring while Kit How was the supervisor.
Guys, again.
Even when the curry was being distributed, it was done by guys. PPKTJ's guys can be considered real gentlemen here, don't you think so? Needless to say, the curry just tasted great and if nobody mentioned that it was cooked under such circumstances, you would have thought it was from some restaurant. When the curry had already cooked, it was time to distribute it to the groups and there is no other better way to do it, than like the picture below. It reminds me of the times during my camping days then, when we usually cook canned sardine to go with white rice and just sat on the ground to eat them with our friends.
Looks like a scene at a refugee's camp during an earthquake occurrence.
The real fact is however, it was not only the guys who were lending their hands at the cooking as you can see from this picture.
Koey teow Yakisoba satu, tambah telur, tolak cili padi, bahagi sama rata.
Seeing Lee Wei working alone on her yakisoba, several guys went to help out.
The heat around the cooking area was really hot as you can see from their facial expression.
Back to my team's pit, everyone was helping each other wherever possible and although there were quite a huge number of group members in each teams which made it turned into a total havoc situation at times, we enjoyed ourselves very much. Some were busy controlling the fire, some stirring the sausages and meat and some passing plates around while yelling and giving instructions, a scene which you only get to witness at fish market normally. It was as if Japan was going to sink and we were preparing for our last dinner that night. Nonetheless, it was really fun and exciting because this is one of the rare chances that we get to get crazy, away from our hectic daily schedule in school with the rest of our friends.
We kept on cooking whatever available and in the end, we realised that the food was a little bit too much. We wanted to invite people from the other groups to share our food with them, but Boon had a smarter idea. He suggested that we apply the Dasar Pintu Tertutup first until everyone in our group were full. When most of us were almost full and felt we could not finish our food anymore, it was then that we changed our policy into Dasar Pintu Terbuka and invited the others to finish up our food, which was well-accepted by the rest. Here is the group photo of us, who were selfish for their food initially, but turned to be the kind ones subsequently.
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Everyone was just waiting to whack the food on the table.
The event followed up with one of the main activity of the day, which is the self-introduction session. For the first time ever in the history of the gathering over the years (correct me if I'm wrong), a campfire was set up at the spot where the session was being held. I was among one of those who went there earlier to prepare the firewood and stuff along with a few other batchmates and senpais. While we were working on that campfire, we had fun chatting and sharing stories between us. The campfire was just a small one initially but we felt that we should just make it bigger and higher. In the end, we surrounded it with huge trunks and the campfire turned out to be much bigger that what we expected.
Here is how it all started, by using a few pieces of wood to form a pyramidal base of the campfire.
It didn't work out well, in which James suggested for us to try another method.
Chang Yuan came out with an idea of forming a spaceship-like base.
James was giving his best effort to start the fire.


The fire finally started to come out, and James rushed to the toilet get more small twigs.


While collecting more firewood for latter usage, we rested on the wooden trunks while having light chats with the rest.
By the way, the campfire was set up without the assistance of any oil or kerosene because according to some, once you use those stuff, the pride of setting up the campfire will be gone. We only used the simplest things available to us there like tiny branches and twigs, some newspapers and a lighter. Newspapers and lighter might made it sound like we cheated a little bit here, but you would not expect us to start the fire with a couple of stones as well, right? That sounds so Flintstone-ish.
When the cue was sent that the venue was ready, people began to crowd the area and the event went underway. There were several benches made of tree trunk on the slopes facing the campfire and it made the place looking like a mini theater for us to be entertained with what was in store for that night.
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That campfire was really this high.
A short introduction by the MC-cum-organisers for the gathering this year, Yow Keong and Bao Cong kicked-off the session and it was followed up with the self-introduction session. Gane, an Indian who speak better Chinese than some of us, was given the honour to start the session from the batch of the newly arrived kohais. It later continued with every new kohais and Elaine was one of those who managed to make herself known to everyone with her noises and short tales during her turn.
Just like every year, there will usually be interuptions in the middle of the session by the senpai and it was no exception this time. The most common questions would be asking about the status of the kohais and everytime "I don't have any girlfriend boyfriend yet", or "I'm still single" kind of answer came out, it will be greeted with loud cheers from the crowd.
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Where did Yow Keong come out with that mask?
Who else will pose like this if not James, with the new kohais just behind him.
For some who are yet to have any idea about the new kohais, here are all of them.
Clockwise from top left: Chai Ei, Elaine, Yien San, Chee Tuck, Jun Hui, Shi Wei, Jia Hui, Alan, Gane (middle).
There are thirteen of them in total and not everyone was shown in the above pictures. Another four more kohais form further two pairs of couples and here are the young love birds of PPKTJ this year.
Wei Shen and Ming Jing, both coming from the same kosen - Nagaoka.


Bik Yee, who chose to go to Kisarazu instead of going to Nara with Chi Wern.
The session continued with the rest of the senpais from the following year and as it was not getting any earlier anymore, the event ended rather early, around eight. Most opted to overnight there and joined the rest through the night while for the rest, they bid farewell to the ones staying.
The group that returned on the same night.
Back to the ones staying overnight, we all went into the same hall and before anything, the two treasurers went around collecting accommodation and food fees because if was not done then, then there will not be other time anymore. So, while those two Ah Longs were busy with their jobs, we just hanged around the hall talking stories until one suggested that the topic of the night would be ghost stories. The ironic thing is that at the end of every story, we would end up bursting into laughter. Crazy, isn't it? I guess we just got possessed by the laughing ghost that night. From ghost stories, I found out someone who knows basic palm reading and what being told to me turned out to be quite true, for my case at least. Then, everyone started crowding around him asking him to read their palms. Anyhow, we would just come out with weird stuff to do that night.
At the same time, it was camwhoring time again.
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With the guys' kohais, plus a few senpais.
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With the girls' kohai, and some guys behind.
I am well aware that it will take a few more years at least before my hometown can match other towns in terms of having the most number of people coming from a particular place like Sungai Petani or Sibu, but for the meantime, this are the three of us who came from Taiping. And we already have one more kohai in Malaysian who is coming to Japan very soon.
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Sii Lee, since when you came from Taiping?
Most of us didn't go to bed as early as we normally do because we were just too high and enjoying the moment together talking away through the night. However, every meeting will always have a parting and it was the same case here. However, I am very sure there will be another same sort of gathering in the near future and everyone will definitely look forward to the next gathering, most likely this winter for the ski trip. It was a hell of a gathering and everyone has had a great time together, although I cannot deny that in the end of the day, tiredness just crept inside our body. And this was mainly made possible with the great handling from these two individuals from Kisarazu Kosen. It just seems that it has been a tradition to have representatives from the same kosen to organise the gathering each year. A hint to Chai Ei and co. next year.
Bao Cong and Yow Keong, the two boys men behind the gathering this year.
A group picture of us, which was taken at the top of Mount Kusato will wrap up this post.
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Till we meet again.
Minasan, otsukaresamadeshita.


Anonymous said...

u didnt get pics u all setting up campfire at very first time coz i am having most of them and i didnt upload yet..

and here is what i said when i was there.
"When guys are doing this kind of work,girls shall just let them have fun doing it and no need to interrupt.They like to share their experinces and knowledge."
and someone answered,"and ya!girls should just cheer for us and the guys will even put more effort in their works!"

(I guess it is not refering to me,who was the only girl there right?)

calvin said...

@ ns29:
did you take our pics when we were at the early stages of setting up the fire? then i shall steal the pics when you have uploaded them =P

of course that reply was directed to you and who was that someone again?

Anonymous said...

SURE i have.
i think alan has some too.
maybe we two only that took some pics for the early stage.
(others just so enjoy setting up i guess :P)
and i cant believe u didnt take any pics of it!!!

syaza said...

saya nampak sze ting!

Anonymous said...

haha,as seng chye said,setting fire is the romance of is true indeed.girls should just sit down and relax and cheer for guys.
btw,who would it refers to if it is u ns29.=P

Calvin ,u are just too detail in everything.and it shall serve as a public diary and memory for those who attended the gathering!

elaine said...

Nooooooooooo...My image have gone...So many people are reading your blog everyday...I looked damn ugly in those pictures..Gane Gane..I dont remember why I looked tulan with him..Mmmm..Maybe he was too smelly that time.Busuk busuk! haha.

calvin said...

@ ns29:
how could i take any pictures when i was helping out with the fire thing? but i'm glad that there are at least a few pictures taken during that process, so that i can steal them ^^

calvin said...

@ syaza:
didn't you see me as well? =P

calvin said...

@ lyk:
i think the only cheer and support that came from her made us decided to make such a big campfire that night ^.-

call it whatever you want, but i'm sure when i go through all these entries again one day in the future, i will get to reminisce all the fun moments we had during the gathering ;)

calvin said...

@ elaine:
first of all, sorry for putting up your pictures without your permission. i did that on purpose =D

haha, when you shoot at people, you really didn't give face at all hor? i shall see what would be gane's reaction to your comment ;)

Anonymous said...

yeah, we know how to set up a fire, we know how to cook, we know how to clean up the mess, but from all the pictures i see in these few recent posts, the blue alien leader can only be seen in those cam-whoring pictures >_<

p/s: hey, i told u to dress suitably for hiking and bbq la mr AJK

Jasmine Teh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasmine Teh said...

Felt curious...So tried to read this benglish version post...OO!!Am I outdated??Couldn't understand it...Thought I am able to understand since m speaking broken English all the time..Wa..Both the English version here...very high standard!!Hah..our dasar pintu the end still couldn't finish all the food...By the way,your blog have very great effect,recalled the moments while reading it..^o^

Anonymous said...

hope to hav next gathering soon!really had fun with all of u...

Anonymous said...

hey little girl, its time to sleep. 23:47 still reading blog, tmr hv to get up early la ^^

Anonymous said...

wow,so many kohai are rushing to check whether their tulan faces were being posted here or not.=P

calvin said...

@ bao cong:
haha, i think we shall stop shooting our mr AJK and show him all the respect he deserves ;)

perhaps the attire he chose to wear that day was only for his comfort. i'm sure it wasn't meant to impress anybody, since that person was absent that day =P

calvin said...

@ jasmine teh:
that application has been there for some time already. most of the engrish used come from our daily conversation in manglish and in case you are offended with the spicy words there, paiseh lor hor =P

i think the food was too much but later that night, a few of us was at the cooking area chatting while finishing up the remaining food :)

and i'm glad that the entries have had the same effect as what i would have wanted it to be ;)

calvin said...

@ bik yee:
we will be very keen to see what would be your plan for the gathering next year. take this as a challenge. try to better the gathering this year ;)

calvin said...

@ bao cong:
sasuga ii senpai ne.
you are making sure your kohai goes to bed when it's the sleeping time. but it's the weekends and who would sleep that early? =P

calvin said...

@ lyk:
haha, who ask them simple pose for tulan faces =P
but i won't be that bad to pose people's picture without their permisson, although i do that so often >.<

Jasmine Teh said... no..m not offended..just pity my languages / dialects spicy words all finished up the food?I thought I heard lots of food were thrown away that night..was thinking what a waste..hah:P..good thing the entries have the same effect as what you wanted it to be..:)

Anonymous said...

the HINT creates a lil pressure will have to work hard to make sure u have lotsa fun stuff to write in ur next golden week post ...
* i counted my appearance in ur golden week post from beginning to end...banyak gak...;)

calvin said...

@ jasmine teh:
never mind, with the rojak family we have here, i'm sure you can learn whatever dialects you want. even me have already learned one line from the foochow dialect, but i won't mention it here =P

well, we didn't finish up everything but at least the food thrown away wasn't that much, although it was still a waste. never mind, lesson learnt and we shall not repeat this miscalculation again ;)

calvin said...

@ chai ei:
you will perform better when you are under pressure, right? haha, i don't think i will be writing as much as i did this year again next year, but you never know. it also depends on how free i am. and anyway, there are so many better people who can write much better than me, i am sure of that ;)

mestilah banyak. i thought you have paid me some sum to feature you as much as possible in the entries? =P

stevelee67 said...

wow..nice group photo of me being molested there...

calvin said...

@ stevelee67:
haha, who ask you to be so sexy? =P