Sunday, April 30, 2017


I'm sorry, this was last year's in thing, but I only just watched it last week.

Hottest thing last year: Descendants of the Sun.

Conclusion: well worth watching.

Droolworthy. Our men really should do this too.
Despite reading the synopsis, I thought it has something to do with Sun Yat Sen. As usual, had to give it a test drive before committing to watch. Pilot episode went well. I tried to  pace myself because ahjumma had a lot of work going on, but by the fifth episode I was already a diehard junkie!! I was a little disappointed that there were actually only 16 full episodes, the other 3 on the list were actually song/scene compilations and TV interviews. Can't complain though, I really enjoyed the "behind the scenes" clips.

So... what's so good about it? 
Like Faith, it was between a military captain and a kick-ass doctor. But that's of course not the main reason. It was a fairly realistic take on what problems can arise when people of vastly different backgrounds and job scopes meet and try to get together. The captain being called off to a danger zone every other week was of course far-fetched, but hey, it's K-TV. You need things to happen.

What got me was again the occupational pride and honour like in Faith. The army guys try their best to do their jobs well, and so do the medical team. Plot was solid, there was humour and witty conversation. Not much cliche. Again, really bad, bad guys. Kickass captain- this time it's a dae-wi, not dae-jang.

There was romance, bromance, and a 'cinta terhalang' too. The captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Seo Dae Young are thick as thieves, and get into the most ridiculous fights, even with their own guys. Real giggle-worthy. At the end of the day, it wasn't just a sappy love story about two people, it was about a lot of people who cared and took care of each other.

Romance: YSJ and Dr Kang Mo Yeon meet and fell in love, but it took a while to commit since their dates always got interrupted. It finally blossomed when they were working side by side in Urk.

Bromance: YSJ and SDY are best buddies, and their team loves them too. initially I thought Si Jin looked like a schoolboy and not tough enough to be captain, but he's a damn good actor. Respect. Dae Young (Jin Goo) is more of the strong & silent type, which I find irresistible. He's married with kids in real life so cannot have too many hot scenes with co-star, nanti bini marah seh.

Myong Ju's overprotective dad.
Painful love: SDY and Myong Ju are crazy in love with each other, but Myong Ju's commander daddy wants Si Jin as his son-in law. Jeez, these Korean parents always so busybody meh? MJ would do anything to have her guy, but Dae Young is an honorable, old-fashioned guy who would never take advantage of her without daddy's green light. Cue long sigh here.

Sisterhood: As you can imagine, the two girls ended up being friends despite being arch enemies due to a previous crush with the same sunbae.

Humour and jealousy: It gets REALLY funny when cool and sensible people get caught out by their partners and jealousy rears its ugly head.

Sidekick romance: The love-hate relationship between Dr Song and Nurse Ha is obviously just a sideshow, but a fun one. It's rather stupid though, how it dragged on for years and years without the doctor finding a way to take it to the next level.

Team spirit, fun and camaraderie: Med team and army dudes, of course. There was the long-suffering army boss, nurses, Chi Hoon and a whole bunch of people. Plus other UN peacekeepers and Dr Daniel + Yehwa. I loved the early morning marches of bare chested men, which the girls enjoyed every morning; riling up their respective love interests.

Yummy :)

Of course you need the bad guys too. The slightly annoying ones were Chi Hoon's mom, the Chairman, manager Jin and the bad cops. The really bad guys was ex-Captain Argus and his henchmen,

The north Korean guy was kind of a "friend from far away". Meaning that they were on opposite sides, but they held a similar code of honour. Pretty cool.

There was quite a bit of English spoken during the series, since they were dealing with international relief workers etc. Thankfully the pronunciation wasn't too bad. Sometimes it really annoys you to hear them speak!

I loved the intensity of happenings during the earthquake rescue period, how the teams put their best in helping the victims. I loved it when the medical team stepped up once they had to do real rescue work,

The only part I felt weird was Chi Hoon's overacted mummy's boy/ conflicted Schweitzer wannabe persona. Too emo lah. Some more when he was agonized over abandoning the survivor, I thought he must be gay or something. Despite him having a baby on the way...

At the end of the day, it was a heartwarming story about people - from immature idiots to loving fathers, the series had it all. And I enjoyed it very much.

Gamsahamida, Korea!! Saranghaeyo!

Ahjumma is a Busy Lady

Haven't used this expression since my TKC days, it seems. I HAVE been pretty busy lately; learning serious photography is pretty time consuming and challenging. I like it :)

Got on the Nature Thru The Lens exhibition on a Bumi ticket. I'm not proud of it, but thankful all the same. I have LOTS to learn about photography and editing.... My sunbaes are not letting me off easy either.

Work is another challenge. Despite my best intentions, it's really hard to get things done. I'm always doubtful and wrong footed it seems. In these dark days, sometimes an escape is what keeps you sane.

Last year I discovered Lee Min Ho in Faith. Have not watched anything else (thankfully) because nothing captured my interest. This year, everyone is all crazy about Goblin, starring Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook. I tried watching it and just fell asleep. I gave it up at episode six. If a K-drama can't keep me awake, it's not worth watching. Ahjumma has other things to worry about.

However, have since discovered other worthy dramas like Personal Taste and Secret Garden. PT is quite lighthearted once you get past the terribly clumsy and clueless heroine. It was necessary though; so that we can see how she blossoms from being an insecure, naive and inept girl to a wise woman with the help from hero Jeon Jin Ho. Jin Ho is of course too perfect, but we swallow it anyway. It's the perfect boost for an insecure woman in her darkest days.

Secret Garden was good for so many reasons. You can forget about Hyun Bin being handsome and all that crap. Ahjumma has no interest in these Ah Boys. I loved the kick-ass heroine and Phillip Lee as the action school director. And seriously respect their ability to act as the other person when their souls (supposedly) switch. It was QUITE hilarious. The family ties and camaraderie also made it so adorable to watch. i might watch it again. Maybe. The only thing I hate is the overbearing mum thing (again). Same woman some more. Auntie, enough la. Tak larat nak tengok.

The latest in my rather long bout of addiction was Descendants of the Sun. I just finished and hell, I might start watching it again. Song Joong Ki as the team captain was really, really adorable. He might look like a schoolboy, but he DID finish military duty and he's super smart in real life too. Heroine Song Hye Kyo is pretty (so what else is new?); but she totally rocks her role as doctor/surgeon. The kind of acting, expressions etc are really lacking in local dramas. OK, I'm guilty of NOT watching local dramas because most of them feature hysterical women and useless men. Waste of time betul. In any case, I really liked it, for various reasons. It needs its own space, because I've saved so many favourite scenes. Yes, it's THAT good. Just gushed about it to Shamila. Haha...

I'm also busy planning my Korean holiday with Graham. :) It would be nice to have my old man back for a bit...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Apples vs. Oranges

I remember the days when I could "live on" Rm200 a month. 20 years ago lah. These days, I need roughly RM200 a WEEK just for petrol, additional groceries and daily meals. Well, I can still eat on RM50 a week if I bring bekal to work... But I'll still have to pay for ingredients and fuel for the car. Dulu, minyak motor baru Rm2 a week. Makan kat dining hall, dorm room paid for. So the money goes to buying student supplies like slide film and processing, paper, pens, etc. "Makan luar" is neslo from Cafe 5 or kuetiaw kerang from the pasar malam. Sekarang... I need to pay for either breakfast, lunch or dinner outside. Usually dinner I eat at home. Breakfast and/or lunch I eat at nearby stalls kalau tak tapau. Sekali sekala makan kat kopitiam dah RM16!

When I first started work, I could supplement fresh food for the family - i.e. chicken, fish, prawns and veg for around RM50 a week. Seriously!! Sekarang... hahahahaha.... maybe dapat chicken, eggs and veg aje kot. Then again, it WAS a long time ago. Bengang jugak pasal harga barang naik mencanak canak lately. Especially seafood, which I prefer to chicken and beef. Itu tak kira dry goods like kicap, sos, minyak masak, beras etc.

So.. what's my point? That sometimes comparisons are out of context. You can't compare things that are fundamentally unequal to each other. Someone annoyed me earlier for mouthing off about DSLRs. Why? What's the point? To say that mobiles can take photos just as good? What's the point of your point?

Yes, some mobiles take great photos. Radzi's, for instance. I jeles gila that he can take such amazing shots with just a Huawei. My Samsung - tak payah ler. Selow gila. Can never capture the moment. Even Peter is now ambassador to some mobile camera. Leica lens la, of course.

I won't say dia dengki. Probably dia just tak faham kenapa orang sanggup bayar beribu-ribu lemon for a DSLR. To me, it's the functionality. I love nature, and I want to capture and showcase them in the best light possible. And after years of trying, I realise that it's quite difficult to get a great shot using a point and shoot camera.

As soon as I got a second-hand, entry level DSLR, I got it right away. You can DO STUFF with a DSLR. Or a mirrorless camera. Or a mobile with optional controls. Basically, each camera has their own pros and cons.  Mobiles are great for social media and basic shots. You don't need a fancy camera to record the dent in your car. Sure, mobile shots can be used for articles and photo-journalism. But there are limitations.

If you want your photo printed in a high-end coffee table book, you'll need RAW images. Not all cameras can take RAW images. Even some expensive mirrorless cams can't do it. No one, except for photographers, even care about RAW.

Oh well, what's the point of ranting and raving? I need to get back to work. Biar si Luncai terjun dengan labu-labunya.... Bye!!! :)