First day of Hari Raya!

Okay, as promised, here are the photos from the first day of Syawal! It's all about stuffing oneself after a month of "starvation", haha! Just joking, but it's true there's a lot of food being served, hehe. ;D Anyway, Hari Raya in Berlin this year was really fun. Meela's cousin (long2) and his friend, Maarten (yeah, he's wearing the traditional baju melayu even though he's German!) came over for a few days to celebrate with us! Anyway, the day started off with the Bruneian guys going for sembahyang Hari Raya at the Malaysian embassy, then back to our apartment for the first meal of the day. At lunch time, we all went back to the Malaysian embassy for "open house" and at 3 pm, we had our "open house" as well. Ate lots and sang lots of karaoke! In the second last photo, you can see me, long2 and Maarten being the last ppl singing karaoke, I think it was past midnight, haha! Yes, Hari Raya was brilliant! One thing that would have made it even better was if my brother, Haslann, was there to celebrate it with us! We miss you, aniki!!!


Music: "Nur ein Wort" & "Von hier an blind" (Wir sind Helden)

So it's the second day of Syawal - I'm being all relaxed and lazy, after a full day of celebrating yesterday. I have to say, I had a brilliant time and I hope everyone else did as well. Anyway, I won't go much into it at the moment, but I definitely will later when I post the Hari Raya photos! ;D However, right now, I just want to share with you something I thought was cool - Nazim (a.k.a. long-long) showed it to me the other day. It's the music video of "Nur ein Wort" (Only one word) by "Wir sind Helden" (We are heroes), the German alternative (or is it indie-pop?) band I had blogged about earlier on.

The first song I liked by this band is "Von hier an blind", which is also the name of the album. The music video is also really cool (it's animated!) and you can view it here. Maarten (long2's friend) told me that they sang this song in three other languages (English, French & Japanese). I've heard all of them but I think the Japanese one is the coolest of the lot (after I got used to it, that is, hehe!). You can download the real media file here, but you need RealPlayer. Anyway, enjoy! Let me know what you think of them! :D


Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri!

... or Happy Eid... or Eid Mubarak... or Glückliches Zuckerfest (i think!)... Anyway, many best wishes on the first day of Syawal to all Muslims, especially my family and friends! As we say in Malay, maaf Zahir dan Batin! I can't really write much at the moment, since I have to go to bed soon! Following Rozi's Eid greeting on Facebook, I've decided to also make a digital hari raya card, hehe. Hope you all like it! Tschuss!!! xxx


Anime: Seirei no Moribito

This anime series is on my top 10 anime list and it's a new series, the last episode (ep. 26) being aired in Japan last September. "Seirei no Moribito" is based on the first novel of a fantasy series written by Uehashi Nahoko. The title stands for "Guardian of the Sacred Spirit" and the story is as the title depicts! The anime is set in a world much like ancient Japan or even a bit of ancient China. I'm really into this historical fantasy genre ("Juuni Kokki" and "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" also being on my top 10 list!). Anyway, the story starts off with a female spear warrior called Balsa (who works as a bodyguard in order to atone for a past sin) saving the life a young 12-year-old royal prince of named Chagum. Due to several assassination attempts (because Chagum was believed to be carrying the egg of a water fiend/spirit) by the Emperor, Balsa ends up being his bodyguard and takes him away to be hidden.

To summarise, this story concentrates on the mother-child relationship between Balsa and Chagum and shows how Chagum copes with the trials of being the so-called guardian of the egg. There are a lot of very cool fighting sequences (a spear is really cool if one knows how to use it!), really touching moments and even humorous ones. All the characters were developed really well and at a good pace. Some people might find this series a little too slow for their liking, but to each his/her own. Trust me, it really picks up near the middle of the series and the ending is totally worth it! I give it 9.8/10.

Oh, almost forgot, another plus for this series is the music, especially the opening and closing themes. The opening theme is a song by L'Arc~en~Ciel called Shine and the closing theme is called Itoshii Hito e by Tainaka Sachi. Please help yourself to the songs, let me know if you like them. :D

And so ends my backlog of posts! Finally! By the way, I apologise for bombarding my blog with so many new posts over the week! I'll try to space it out better next time, hehe. Anyway, till later, people! xxx

Ship Ahoy!

The friday before last, one of my good friends in my German class (Bekir) surprised with this miniature model ship. It took him a week or so to make, three hours a day. He actually started making model ships/boats just a few months back - I'm impressed at his talent! To give you an idea of how big (or more correctly, small) this model is, the height of the ship is exactly 15 cm. The two hemispheric-shaped parts under the ship are actually walnut shells, hehe! The Brunei flag is a print, he tried to draw it himself but it was too difficult because of its small size.

He also made one for himself and another for our other friend, Wojtek. He's also working on a bigger model ship for his wife. It's amazing how patient he is with this hobby. The ship he made for me actually fell and broke into many pieces the night before he gave it to me. If it was me, I'd have given up already, haha! ;D Anyway, I want to say again to Bekir:


I'll think of something soon as a thank-you gift!

Music: Wir sind Helden

I actually came across this band while listening to the music albums found in the Singapore Airlines flight entertainment system on my way back to Brunei last July. The band is called "Wir sind Helden" ("We are Heroes", auf Englisch) and they are currently one of my favourite German bands - appropriate since "Heroes" is my most favourite TV show at the moment (I'll blog about it later, I think!), hehe. Below are the two albums I own, my favourite being the first one. You can listen to samples of all the songs from these albums here, and someone decided to translate the lyrics (not 100% correctly, but it's good enough). My playlist of this band would be (blue font indicates the songs I really, really like!):

Album: Von hier an blind
  • Von hier an blind (From here on blindly)
  • Nur ein Wort (Only one word)
  • Zuhälter (Pimp or Pimps) - hehe, I know, I know, but I love this song!
  • Bist du nicht müde (Aren't you tired)
  • Geht auseinander (Break up or Separate)
  • Ein Elefant für dich (An elephant for you)
Album: So und so
  • So und so (So and so or Like that and that)
  • Der Krieg kommt schneller zurück als du denkst (The war returns quicker than you think)
  • Labyrinth
  • Kaputt (Broken)
  • Lass uns verschwinden (Let us disappear)


Poll: Which genre(s) of book/film do you like?

Oooh, I've discovered a poll option!!! So I'm going to try it out! The question is as you see above and the poll can be found somewhere on the sidebar. It's set for a week - after that, I'll post the results here! Looking forward to your participation! ;D

ps: I discovered a slight glitch, when trying to change votes. So pick your answers (you can choose more than one answer when voting!) carefully before making the final vote, you only get ONE chance!

update (13/10/2007 - hari raya!)
so the results are as follows:
  • thriller - 3 votes
  • sci-fi - 2 votes
  • comedy - 2 votes
  • romance - 2 votes
  • fantasy - 1 vote
  • non-fiction - 1 vote
  • cult - 1 vote
  • horror - 0 votes


Happy German Unity Day!

Today is a national holiday in Germany! It is to commemorate the anniversary of the reunification of the country in 1990! So let me say again:


Photos: More friends visiting Berlin!

Okay, this set of photos is long overdue as well. Early September, my Irish friends (Debbie, Hugh, Eoin, Aine and Andrew) came to Berlin for a visit. It was really great seeing them (I miss them and the others in Dublin!!!) and even though it was only a two-day visit, we managed to see a lot of places. Some of the places may seem familiar to you (I've posted other photos before!), but they are also new ones, such as the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, Kaiser-Wilhelm- Gedaechtniskirche (Emperor William Memorial Church, auf Englisch), Humboldt University, Neues Palais (New Palace, auf Englisch) in Sanssouci Park and Checkpoint Charlie. Sorry, I'm a bit tired so I just gave links if you want to know more about these places. The only thing I'll mention was how depressing and sad it felt when we visited the concentration camp. It's amazing how something like this ever existed! :( One of the photos shows the gate at the camp entrance, which has on it the words "Arbeit Macht Frei", meaning "Work Makes You Free" - did it really then?! I doubt it! Anyway, the visit left me with a lasting impression. Finally, thanks to Eoin for providing me with some of the photos!