Wednesday, September 30, 2015

World War 2 in Borneo

I was born in Borneo, nine years after the end of the World War Two. An era where there was no electricity, no radio and no televison. Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Mom and Dad spent evenings telling us of The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, 9-18 , 九一八事变 and the heinous Japanese occupation 日本占领. The favourite hero was Captain Fong.
The impact of Captain Fong was so great that Luke, my Grandfather was still telling about his hero for twenty years. Fifty years later, his grandsons were rehashing Ah Kung’s hero. His great grandchildren in faraway Australia and New Zealand are very proud of this Captain Cina.
The older grandchildren thought Captain Fong was a figment of Ah Kung’s imagination. When I wrote "From China to Borneo to Beyond," 海外华人的中国魂, a journal of my people I did not include it in the Chapter of “World War Two.”
It was only in 2014 when Ann connected with Larry Wong, curator of the Chinese Canadian Military. During our discussion, it dawned on me and my brother Joseph that Captain Fong could be an alias of Captain Cheng. I confirmed it with Larry Wong. I felt by omitting the Chapter on Captain Fong, we omitted an important part of our History.
The Canadian soldiers worked in secret in the Canada military Operation Oblivion, people did not know they existed.
To do justice to Captain Fong/Roger Cheng and his men, I wrote this fiction/nonfiction book.

Night: shady

an insect hotel in a shady area.

"NIGHT" (Dark, Low Light, Twilight, Evening, Shadows, Long Exposure, City Lights,...)


Alphabe-Thursday letter T: teeter-totter

teeter-totter at a BMX park. I grew up calling it a see saw. What do you call it?



Saturday, September 26, 2015

PhotoHunt for today is Quaint . . .

My cousin Cecila and I dub the ancestral home the Kong Villa. This is not the original house but the current one.  In the old house, the best part was the sundry shop attached to the house. There were fruit trees, a jetty, and a fish pond. It was Utopia.

When we visited either Grandfather Kong we would invade the sundry shops as though everything was free. We took pencils, rubber bands, colored pencils, erasers, rulers, exercise books, art blocks, sweets, biscuits, fishing hooks, lines and sinkers and the whole shebang. It was always a great bonanza and we had goodies galore both in our stomachs and in bags. Grandmother Kong never told us off but we were sure they were glad we did not come too frequently.
Grandmother Kong never complained, instead they always said, “Take, take, take as much as you like.”

The PhotoHunt for today is Quaint . . .

attractively unusual or old-fashioned.

Alphabe-Thursday letter S for salsa sauce



Monday, September 14, 2015

Thursday Challenge: Tranquil.

The beach, with it's gentle swooshing of the waves,
gives a feeling of tranquil.

Leave behind those who are jealous,
People who back stab and spread rumours.

Embrace good friends.
Friends who stick to you thick and think.

Enjoy life, appreciate the tranquility.
Auckland is very lucky to have lots of beaches.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alphabe-Thursday letter R for Ru.

I just finished reading this book, from a child growing up in Saigon, escaping in a boat and becoming a refugee in Malaysia. I was thinking of the boat people and refugees of today.

A runaway bestseller in Quebec, with foreign rights sold to 15 countries around the world, Kim Thúy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning Ru is a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland.

Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp.

I had friends who were Vietnamese refugees and relatives, as I read Ru, I think of them.



Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Zealand Māori: waka ama

outrigger canoe :  New Zealand Māori: waka ama;  can sail very fast.

Photohunt: fast


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nigel Latta’s Advice and Power Off Devices

 Thousands of Kiwis Take Nigel Latta’s Advice and Power Off Devices
Kiwi families have recouped hundreds of thousands of hours of family time as part of a device free campaign, led by clinical psychologist Nigel Latta.

More than 17,000 families switched off their devices for almost 650,000 hours according to Latta, who says research has shown a direct link between excessive time  with smartphones, tablets, computers and television can have a negative effect on children.

Latta, an ambassador for the Hyundai Power Off/Family On campaign, says the nationwide campaign encouraged families to switch off and spend time together during the weekend. 

The initiative was also a timely reminder to mums and dads that they too need to switch off their devices and set a better example for their children. 

“If you want your children to power off, then you have to power off as well. You have to show them that real life happens in real life and not in posts or status updates.”
The general manager of Hyundai NZ Andy Sinclair says he was pleased to see so many families get behind the campaign and spend quality time together without the distraction of devices and technology. 

“This campaign was a timely reminder for us all to reconnect again as a family and get back to basics. It was heartening to see the breadth of activities Kiwi families were engaged in, from building forts and baking to playing board games and family walks along the beach,” he says.
The Hyundai Power Off/Family On initiative was a continuation of the company’s Family Time Project which encourages Kiwis to spend more time with their loved ones.

To learn more about the campaign Kiwis can visit www.poweroff.co.nz
For high res images please click here

Written on behalf of Hyundai by Impact PR. For further information or images, please contact Fleur Revell-Devlin fleur@impactpr.co.nz (021509600)
September 9, 2015,

Alphabe-Thursday Letter Q for queen

Queen Victoria

Pussy cat, pussy cat, 
where have you been? 
I have been to London to see the Queen,
Pussy cat, pussy cat,
what did you do? 
I gave the queen a teddy bear...... 

Today, Queen Elizabeth broke the record of the reign as the longest queen of Queen Victoria as of 4.30am.



Friday, September 4, 2015

Photohunt: Toes.

Stray cats are fed and desexed in NTU. The volunteers work very hard. I went with her for a short time, and I told her I had to leave. It was hot and swamping with mosquitoes.
Member of Cat Cafe in NTU feeds stray cats. She tells me that a lot of her cats have disappeared, not to London to see the queen, but chased away by dogs.

When I was in Singapore, I was living on the campus of Nanyang University. With some like minded friends, we formed the Cat Cafe. We took care of the stray cats.

Photohunt: Toes


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morris Minor.

I have two funny anecdotes about the Morris Minor. So when I was driving back from the Water World on the Gold Coast to my brother's place, I spotted this car. I asked Josh, my 10 year old nephew to take a photo and he started experimenting with my camera.

My first story was when I was in primary school, we moved to a house next to this family. They had a Morris Minor and the wife didn't drive. Mum asked her why? She said when she was learning to drive, coached by her husband, she came to a junction. "Stop!" screamed the husband. Instead of the brakes, she slammed on the accelerator. We just need to imagine what transpired after. She never drove again.

We grew up, and Mum and Dad taught us to drive. Dad always reminded himself and Mum about that woman who never drove. Mum said she always lose weight. When I instructed my daughter to drive, I reminded myself that same story. That is why she preferred me to instruct her rather than my husband though he is by far a better driver than me.

In 1975, I went to Canada and made friends from Singapore. They told us how difficult it was to get a driver's license. The tester kept failing them and the testing vehicle? The Morris minor. According to them,the Morris Minor is the hardest car to drive, if you can drive a Morris Minor, you can drive anything. When I visited Singapore shortly after, I saw long lines of Morris Minor cars with an L.

A skeptic said may be the driving schools didn't want to retire his fleet of old cars spread this rumor. What do you think?

Of course now, if you have a Morris Minor, you are cool!!!!

Once, in 1976, my Singaporean friend Jeff and I tried to hike to Toronto. Nobody would give us a ride. we were a male and female team, and friends told us, that was a mistake.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Alphabe Thursday Letter P for parade

I gave my New Zealand fashion show tickets to my friends. They enjoyed the parade very much. They presented themselves very smartly. I told them, they could go on the catwalk.