Pentecost 1 – Monday
Feast of St. Justin, Martyr at Rome and Apologist for the faith (Anglican and Roman Catholic Calendars)
God our redeemer,
who through the folly of the cross taught your martyr Justin
the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ:
remove from us every kind of error
that we, like him, may be firmly grounded in the faith,
and make your name known to all peoples;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
So it’s been a while since I actually wrote a decent entry. So here goes…
The trip to Malaysia was refreshing but also rather annoying (you’ve already read about the weather in my previous post). Was good to catch up with relatives and to see Ah Ma, Jee Kor Poh, Jee Chim Poh & Ber Kor Poh on Dad’s side of the family, plus my Mom’s only surviving uncle (I think I have to use his title of Sook Gung when addressing him). And the usual cast of people there as well like Ber Kor, Minnie, Uncle & Auntie Tan, Wei Ting Cheh-Cheh, Ah Chuan Chek, Daaih Yi Ma, Yi Cheong, Daaih Kow Foo, Yee Kow Foo, Aunty Des, Ah Choo, Paul koh-koh, Ewe Jin, Deniece, Jin Hoe and Kar Hoe. Plus I can’t forget Ah Choo & Paul’s two daughters, my nieces. Jeez the two of them have grown up a lot and the younger one remains as cheeky as ever (while also being the one I am the most concerned and worried about too).
Shopping in Malaysia now isn’t what it used to be. It used to be a lot cheaper than Oz. Not anymore. Now things are about on par. The food is still relatively good but blardy ex compared with last time (though I am assured by Dad & Mom that it still isn’t as good as “the old days”). Did manage to pick up some books from Borders over there, some JPop cd’s from Rock Corner Subang Parade and Rock Corner The Curve, some Moleskine notebooks and a to-die-for red Italian made merino wool jumper from Debenham’s at The Curve shopping mall that is extremely light, very warm to wear in winter and only set me back RM95 (about A$35 @ AUD1=RM2.67) after it was discounted down from RM309 (~A$116 @ AUD1=RM2.67). Bargain.
Penang was very nice. Haven’t been there since about 1992 on my last trip with Dad, Mom and Ah Kong. And that was a memorable trip. For all the wrong reasons (think diarrhea/diarrhoea). Much cooler and nicer weather than in the Klang Valley (where KL is). Penang Hill was a good trip and the food at Ayer Hitam wasn’t too bad either. There were a bunch of uni exchange students from Canada (and exchanging with USM) visiting at the same time as we were there. The monkeys at the top were also cute as even though they are a scavenging, territorial and cunning bunch. A lot of development though down at the Bayan Lepas side of the island. Queensbay is humongous – both the shopping mall and the planned residential development. One Utama near Bandar Utama still looks the same though. The same goes for Seremban as well.
The one thing that was unsettling was that in the two weeks away, I only stepped into a church once and that was on the Sunday before we came back when we went for the English service at Wesley Methodist Church, Seremban. In Penang, I passed plenty of churches, like Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Jalan Macalister, Wesley Methodist on Jalan Burmah, the Chinese Methodist on Lorong Madras and Christ Anglican Church in Ayer Hitam. But I never stepped a foot in them. Instead, I visited the Kek Lok Si temple at Ayer Hitam where Mom’s older sister and her husband paid their respects and devotion to and which I found rather surreal as it is supposed to be a sacred site but yet the racks of souvenir items and trinkets are on sale within the temples themselves instead of being fully contained within a separate store outside of the temple proper. While not entirely relevant, I could only think of Jesus entering the Temple in Jerusalem and upending all the traders there instead… Now I’m glad to be back in Brissie so at least I can get to lunchtime Mass at least a couple of times during the week at St. John’s and then EMP on Sundays.
Wait, there was a second thing. Of being asked at least 26 times (it might have been even more than that) whether or not I have a girlfriend and/or when I am going to get married. The first time was on the plane to KL when Dad and Mom were talking to one of the leading stewardesses and even she was wondering (so auntie-auntie that behavior man) whether or not I had a girlfriend yet and if I hadn’t whether she could set me up with the young stewardess in her team who was still single (while it looked like I was sleeping, I could hear their conversation crystal clear). And to pre-empt questions: yes, the leading stewardess was already married with a couple of boys. And once that happened, the rest of the trip, I was asked at least once a day a variation on one of those two questions. Sucks to be single in an Asian family at times…
But now that I’m back in Brisbane, I was saddened to see today that the CMS Bookshop in Webber House, Ann St is closing up shop on 26 June 2009. There goes my contact for obtaining Anglican resources locally here in Brisbane (unless I can find another place). On the bright side, seeing as they are closing they have some right bargains in their closing down sale from 1 June 2009 to 19 June 2009. Like the (rather handsome) copy of Exciting Holiness: Collects and Readings for the Festivals and Lesser Festivals of the Calendars of the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and The Church in Wales I snapped up today and from which the collect for the feast of St. Justin (above) is taken from.
There is 30% and 50% off certain books in a number of categories (theology, prayer/devotions, Christian living, biography, mission/evangelism, reference, fiction, youth). A flat 20% off all other books, prayer books and Bibles—I am so tempted to pick up a New Oxford Annotated Bible, Augmented Third Edition with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books, that Anglicized Cross-Reference NRSV with Apocrypha and maybe even the Everyman’s Library edition of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer with the appendix of the setting of Mass from the first 1549 Book of Common Prayer). 10% off audio, visual and multimedia/computer resources. I think I might pick through what’s left over the next couple of weeks to add to my library.
And curiously, they are also giving 10% off clergy shirts. Maybe I should pick up some now in case I get ordained in the future…
Too early you reckon?