Name: Andrew Loh Zhu An
Date of Birth: 2nd June 1987
Nationality: Malaysian

andrewlza[at]gmail[dot]com

SMK Damansara Jaya 2004

Swarthmore College 2010


From the Andrew's Heritage Dictionary:

Andrew (AND-roo)

1. noun. common name.

2. adjective. smart, dumb, intelligent, retarded, clever, stupid, bright, dull, witty, tounge-tied, shrewd, stuttering, slow, quick-witted, moronic, autistic, lively, outspoken, eloquent, dense, daft, idiotic, foolish, thick, spirited, sharp, vigourous, rude, arrogant, pompous, bloated, ostentatious, boastful, inflated, direct, brave, cowardly, gullible, free, free-spirited, burdened, depressed, optimistic, pessimistic, defensive, creative, innovative, irritating, annoying, impossible, infuriating, shy, loud, displeasing, norm-challenging, harassive, irksome, troublesome, vexatious, worrisome, provocative, impatient, pleasant, diplomatic, unreserved, trouble-making, short, defiant, fickle, shallow, timid, audacious, brainless, indoctrinated, indoctrinatory, proud, exploitative, zesty, humourous, anal-retentive, rebellious, lame, innocuous, dangerous, explosive, spontaneous, adaptable, stubborn, pig-headed, nervous, offensive, pestering, useless, ironic, paradoxical.

Usage: You're so Andrew! [Interchange with any of the above definitions]

And yes, I did look at the thesaurus.

Google




   

<< October 2008 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08 09 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Disclaimer:
This is a personal blog and should be taken as such. So don't sue me if what I write pisses you off. Or if I write lies. Or if I give maladvice. Or if you fail to read through my sarcasm. Et cetera.

I like stalkers.

Is it in bad taste to quote one's self?

"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart." -- Andrew Loh

SMKDJ Pictures
SMKDJ Debating Hall of Fame
Homage: The SMKDJ Wira Debate 2003 Chronicles
Juxtaposition: The SMK Taman Sea 2005 HELP Law Olympiad Story
Malaysia High School Debate Experiences
Malaysia National Debate Competition Winners
Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2008

My Writing + Quasi-Creations
College Application Essays
IIUM wins ESL, WUDC 2007 (the Star)
IMPAC Dublin Article (the Star)
IMPAC Dublin Essay
MPH Essay
Muck Facs: An Ode
The Ninth of March
The Paradox that is Pengetahuan Moral
Pengetahuan Moral Acronyms
Saving Money in US College Applications
SMKDJ Debate (the Star)
This is Swarthmore
Why Swarthmore?
Why Study in America?


Makkal Osai Suspended for Jesus Picture
Haze in Aisyalam!
Israel's Catch-22
Mykad
Moral Education
Spare the Rod and Spoil the Politician
Why I Can't Be Like Mahathir

US Colleges
Swarthmore Spring (April 2008)
Swarthmore Chelsea Clinton (April 2008)
Swarthmore Winter (Feb 2007)
Swarthmore Sunrise (Nov 2006)
Swarthmore Crum Woods (Autumn 2006)
Swarthmore Autumn 2006 (Sunny)
Swarthmore Pre-Autumn 2006 (Cloudy)
Swarthmore Pre-Autumn 2006 (Misty)
Harvard
Yale
Princeton 1
Princeton 2
Columbia
Dartmouth
MIT
Washington University in St Louis

Touristy
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Schmap Photo Inclusion (California)
Schmap Photo Inclusion (Canada and Ireland)
Bosnia 1
Bosnia 2 (Zenica)
Bosnia 3 (Sarajevo)
Bosnia 4 (Mostar and Pocitelj)
Bosnia 5 (Zenica)
China (Beijing)
China (Beijing and Shanghai)
China (Hong Kong)
China (Guangzhou)
China (Xian)
Croatia 1 (Split)
Croatia 2 (Hvar)
Croatia 3 (Dubrovnik 1)
Croatia 4 (Dubrovnik 2)
Dublin
Istanbul 1 (Blue Mosque)
Istanbul 2 (Hagia Sophia)
Istanbul 3 (Topkapi Palace)
Istanbul 4 (Mosques, Istiklal Cadessi)
Istanbul 5 (Bosphorus)
Istanbul 6 (Pigeons)
Istanbul 7 (Princes' Islands)
London
Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Los Angeles (Hollywood and Chinatown)
Los Angeles (Manhattan Beach)
Los Angeles (Palos Verdes)
Los Angeles (Redondo Beach)
Los Angeles (Rodeo Drive)
Los Angeles (Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu)
New York 1
New York 2
New York 3
New York 4 (Fall Break 2008)
Port Dickson
UBC WUDC 2007
Vancouver 1
Vancouver 2
Wisconsin (Lake Mills)

Locations of visitors to this page

eXTReMe Tracker

Get your own Visited Countries Map from Travel Blog
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License
.


DJians
Adrian
Ashton
Chien Hui
Darren Ong 1
Darren Ong 2
Edhuan
Ern Sheong
Ethan
Fardina
Fu Han
Hazwani
Hui Yee
Hwee Ching
Hwee Lynn
John Lee
Jonathan
Joseph
Kalkena
Karl Vic
Keshia
Kevin Chan
Khai Lee
Law Weiling
Nic Ooi
Ning Jia
Patrick
Pui Ee
Pui Yean
Qu Hsueh Ming
Rachel Lee
Rachel Ngu
Sha-Lene
Shern Ren
Shih Ying
Siao Meen
Sook Yeen
Sufya
Suk Han
Suzzane
Tee Su Ann
Tham Ru Xing
Yee Yoon
Yvonne Tew

Americana
Andrew Wong
Amanda Tan
Ashley
Azhan
Calvin
Carol 1
Carol 2
Chen Chow
Darell Koh
Dom
Emily Yoon
Gabrielle
Geoffrey See
Joe Liew
John Lee
Joyce Tagal
Lyzzy
Matteus Pan
Nicholas Wong
Nithiya
Philip
Pinkpau Su Ann
Suet Li
UXinn
Valerie
YaoWen

Lain-lain
Aveth
Charlie
Chloe
Corey
Emy
Fara Alyaa
Hwee Yin
Irving Tan
Jian Wei
Jessica Kan
Josh
Ming Foong
Pei Ling
Rachel Kedung Bulan
Samir
Sharmin
Sher Reen
Soo Tian
Suraya
Wendy
Zhi Wei

Anakku
Adam
Adeline
Ariff
Daena
Daryl
Keefe
Lee Chee Fai
Nicole
Rachel
Rachel
Ren-To
Sam
Shaun
Sophia
Sue Ann
Trina
Yi Ching
Zafirah

Swat
a|x
Chris Green
Lois Park
Mia Adjei
Natalie Bowlus
Ruth McDonough
Tomi
Swarthmore Bosnia Project

Cili Padi
AFS YES Program
CEKU

Discover US Education
IMPAC Young Writers
to Inkyhands!
Tilted World
Tin Kosong
ReCom

Char Kuey Teow
Anil Netto
Education in Malaysia
Jeff Ooi
Lim Kit Siang
Malaysia Votes
Malaysians Say the Darndest Things
Nathaniel Tan
Soon Li Tsin
TED
The Other Malaysia
The People's Parliament
Tony Pua
Wikipedia

Roti Canai
Aliran
Article 11
Balai Rakyat
Bakri Musa
Bloggers United
Gapminder
HAKAM
John Ling
Kassim Ahmad
Malaysia Travel Guide
Marina Mahathir 1
Marina Mahathir 2
MGGPillai
Project Petaling Street
The Religious Policeman
Sisters in Islam
SUARAM
THINK
Wan Aimran
Yasmin Ahmad

Nasi Lemak
Malaysiakini
Malaysia Today
The Malaysian Insider
The Nut Graph
The Star
New Straits Times
The Sun
WebMobTV

Haggis
Suckball.com
Uncyclopedia





Quotes
"How many times have you chickened out?" - Qu Hsueh Ming

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Affirmative action is something the good don't need and the bad don't deserve" - A wise man

"The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us." - John F. Kennedy

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." - James A. Baldwin

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is but a broken winged bird that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Sir Winston Churchill

"Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?" - Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - John Calvin Coolidge

"We will either find a way or make one." - Hannibal

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

"War begins in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must first be constructed." - UNESCO Constitution

"The proper study of mankind is man." - Alexander Pope

"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death." - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

"Patriotism is to support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it" - Mark Twain

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

"Democracy is a system ensuring that the people are governed no better than they deserve." - George Bernard Shaw

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

"When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have freedom." - Thomas Paine

"I sense a learning: that much dumber people than you end up in charge. Look at the way things are. I'm no fucken genius or anything, but these spazzos are in charge of my every twitch. What I'm starting to think is maybe only the dumb are safe in this world, the ones who roam with the herd, without thinking about every little thing. But see me? I have to think about every little fucken thing." - Vernon God Little, Act II



Brag Sheet
My Resume
My Celebrity Look-Alikes
ESUM Public Speaking
Impac Dublin (the Star)
Malaysia National Debate Competition Winners
MPH
National Mathematical Olympiad
SMKDJ Debate (the Star)
Newspaper Articles







If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:



rss feed



Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Dubrovnik 2

So the next day I went back to Dubrovnik because I had only gotten a one-evening glance of the city the day before.

Picture 400

Libertas:

I like Dubrovnik because of its traditional spirit of freedom and liberty. It represents all the underdogs against the big bullies (Venice).

Picture 397

And when bathed in light, Dubrovnik is majestic.

Picture 450

It must have something to do with the light and the white of the marble and the red of the roof tiles and the cerulean of the sea and the azure of the sky mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Picture 410

Right outside the Rector's Palace

Picture 449

Picture 401

Picture 394

St. Blaise's Cathedral

Picture 398

And the sky was luscious.

Picture 392

Picture 451

C'est magnifique.

Picture 452

Picture 468

Picture 402

Picture 407

Picture 419

Picture 420

Haha this was in a cathedral so cute electric candles!!!!

Picture 389

Picture 438

:)

Picture 391

The narrow alleyways were both claustrophobia-inducing and strangely romantic.

Picture 431

Picture 440

I remember smelling lavender perfume at a stall here.

Picture 444

Picture 469

Picture 489

Picture 540

Partly because tourism is so crucial to Dubrovnik's survival as a city it has an amaaaaazing tourist board (which I will talk about later).

But I digress. Since Croatia is really well known for its beaches, I decided to check them out -- I walked all the way from the walled Stari Grad (Old City) through Ploce (as in the map) to Viktorija on the other side of the coastline so as to fulfill my walking quota of at least 10 km per touristy day.

Which partly explains my Turkish/Bosnian/Croatian tan with which I went back to Malaysia.

Picture 472

Picture 473

The water was super duper clear.

Picture 477

IT IS FORBIDDEN SEX ON THE BEACH

Picture 481

People-watching.

Picture 485

Picture 494

Picture 496

Picture 497

From the coast of Viktorija.

Picture 476

Jebi = fuck

Srbijo = Serbia

I like graffiti. In a sadistic photography sort of way. I think it reflects the spirit (or at least the undercurrents) of a society.

Picture 498

Picture 507

Picture 522

Hahaha these kids were so cute!!!!!!!!!!!

They were dancing to music meant for other performers dressed in pirate costumes hohohoho who just stood aside and watched them. I think.

And in the end the pirates graciously shared their tips with the cute little kids.

Picture 529

I like this photo.

***

So it was night when I walked back to Dubrovnik after bathing in the Adriatic and I felt this nagging feeling in my heart. You know the feeling: the one which dares you, tempts you, challenges you to do something you'd rather not because of convention or rules or tradition or norms or fear of embarrassment.

And there is this persistent tug-o-war between conventional wisdom and desire; whether to chicken out, follow the rules, and be boring, forgettable, and predictable, or to follow your heart, to be random and exciting and to listen to Nike and just do it.

But I figured that I'll only live once so why the hell not.

And thus, sober with self-doubt but drunk with courage, I strutted into an electronics store somewhere inside the walled city and looked around for a receptacle. I had no real criteria for the desired object -- all I wanted was something (for free) that could contain other smaller objects. Function over form.

Alas, at one secluded end of the sore I saw a cardboard box which contained a few scraps of trash -- and I asked the shopkeeper if I could have it. She said sure. I smiled. And I took my box and strolled out.

Now between life as normal and moments of great intensity there is this middle stage, the realm of the liminal. It is a point in time when it is not too late to pull out of the public speaking competition so as to not suffer embarrassment on stage, when there is still time to renounce one's commitment to a prior agreement, when it is still possible to walk off from the 20 feet-high diving board plank. These are tipping points -- where the situation is just as likely to end up one way or the other. Time stops. You hear your pulse. You close your eyes. You breathe deep. You search your soul. And while the overarching tension and enormity of the situation overwhelms most of the risk-averse population (which ultimately chickens out), you have the balls to take the plunge.

And so I walked over to one of the entrances to the walled city of Dubrovnik, claimed ownership over one of its marble staircases, took out my wallet, put some Croatian kuna in my cardboard box, and crossed out an item on my things-to-do-before-I-die list.

I busked.

And did I busk!

And I sang: Ave Maria! O Sole Mio! Hey Jude! Let It Be! Silent Night! When You Say Nothing at All! Cinema Paradiso! Angels We have Heard on High! And I was saturated with fear and excitement and vibrato and adrenalin that I forgot my lyrics and hummed (!!!!!!) to many, many parts of the songs.

And how they stared!

And how they gathered around me; some closer, smiling, laughing; some further away, aloof, but still staring.

And how they stared!

And how some laughed at this Asian kid who is evidently not Croatian nor a citizen of Dubrovnik and his gall, hohoho, no less for busking than for singing English songs in a non-English-speaking country!

And how some of them took no notice and just walked past.

And how some of them stayed for a while to appreciate the music.

And how some of them thought highly enough of me to whip out their cameras for a shot or two.

And how one Croatian man came up to me, posed with me for a picture, retrieved his wallet, made a big show of flipping through his cash, then left without putting anything in my box!!!! (I was vastly more amused than annoyed XD )

And how one (tone-deaf) American lady sang the Phantom of the Opera and Disney with me even though she didn't know the lyrics I knew and vice versa.

And how they threw money into my box!

And how grateful I was; how wide my smile!

And how much I enjoyed the attention, the limelight, the recognition as much as I enjoyed the moolah.

And how they stared!

And how I moved from my spot at the staircase to the other entrance at the Pile Gate for a change in scenery.

And how this super hot Italian-looking lady with long, wavy black hair smiled so sweetly whilst proclaiming "Bravo; bravo!" and dropped a 5 Euro note in my box when I was doing Ave Maria, when every vibrato, every soaring phrase resonated with my soul.

And how I sang again in the central square in front of the clocktower and the Libertas flag and St. Blaise's Cathedral, bathed in the moonlight and the spotlights and their beautiful reflections on Dubrovnik's marble tiles.

And how they stared!

And how this bunch of teenagers came up and asked if I knew any Croatian songs -- and how I sang Dino Merlin's Nedostajes to their surprise! (But only until I forgot the lyrics halfway through the chorus and lalala-ed my way through)

And how, retrospectively, I should've sang Tose Proeski's addictive The Hardest Thing as well to better appeal to the audience.

And how this 9 year old kid and his friend was so friendly and candid and had the balls to come up and chat with me after complimenting my voice. So cute!!! And such good English!

And how this family of five stopped by the flag for a full five minutes to listen to me and how the parents periodically gave the kids money to put in my box.

And how some of them came back repeatedly to listen to the music.

And how they stared, and how they smiled.

And how I sang, and how I smiled.

And how grateful I was for free water from the fountains of Dubrovnik.

And this is how I busked in Dubrovnik for an hour and made 185 kuna = 130 RM = 40 USD.

And now I remember, I reminisce, and I still smile.

Picture 531

But that was not the end of my adventures in Dubrovnik.

The next day I decided to go to Kotor in Montenegro, or Crna Gora; both terms mean black mountain. Montenegro is but a bus ride from Dubrovnik. And because Montenegro just split from Serbia, it didn't really have foreign relations with many countries of the world. So solely from the internet it was not clear whether I needed a visa for Montenegro. And I didn't have one.

The very competent and efficient Dubrovnik Tourism Board informed me that they had called the Montenegrin embassy for a visa-less Brazillian woman who wanted to visit the country -- only to be turned down by the Montenegrin side. So no visa = no entry.

Several versions of Lonely Planet, on the other hand, stated that one could obtain visas from the Croatia-Montenegro border crossing.

So I decided why not. Especially since busking the day before -- I couldn't just end my Balkan journey on a boring note; I had to try getting into Montenegro.

And I got on a bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor and almost screamed for joy when we exited Croatia and saw the "Welcome to Montenegro" sign, only to sink to an unfathomable low after realizing that there was another border crossing; the sign was placed in no man's land.

And so this Montenegrin officer came on board and proceeded to stamp our passports, almost carelessly -- which gave me some hope. But when he came to me and I expected him to stamp my passport without much thinking he repeated "Malaysia" out loud, got off the bus to double check his list, and it was at this point when I kinda knew that I wasn't getting in. :(

And true enough, I was directed to take my luggage and deboard the bus.

But I still had the Lonely Planet information -- and I asked to make my visa in the main office building. But for some reason the officer I met was incredibly rude (probably because he couldn't speak English well) and kept repeating no! no! and pointed me to go back to Croatia. So I was adamant lah I'm not going to give in to some rude officer -- and true enough, like the ticketing office of Dubrovnik's city walls, he finally gave in and let me into the main building. And there I spoke to another officer (with better English) and told him what Lonely Planet wrote. And he took my passport, and went into his office for quite a while! I thought that I was finally getting my visa -- perhaps the Montenegrin border services are just lazy and turn down all tourists point-blank, unless the tourists themselves protest vehemently.

But in the end he came back with my still visa-less passport. He had just called Podgorica and they said that the only way that the border office could issue visas was if my papers were sent to their embassy in Zagreb way in advance. So no can do.

So I still bear a grudge against Montenegrin visa policy because Singaporeans do not need visas for Montenegro.

But at least it was an experience lah.

And so I tugged my luggage back through no man's land to the Croatian border. But what the fuck man no man's land was a freaking hill. And pulling 20 kilograms uphill over a distance of a kilometer is not very easy.

So as in Hvar, I decided to hitch hike. It is easier to be thick-skinned when one is hot and sweaty and is but halfway uphill with 20 kilograms of shit.

And in true deus ex machina fashion, someone stopped. :)

Picture 539

They were a Bulgarian couple who had just returned from their honeymoon -- and they had rented a trailer! Funny thing was that one studied in Dartmouth and the other in UCLA so we all had an American connection. :)

So if one is muka tembok, one must be muka tembok till the end. I asked them where they were going -- they said Dubrovnik. The I asked if I could tumpang them back there (kinda not nice because intruding on their honeymoon, but what to do :( ). The guy was like yeah sure immediately but the girl was hesitant at first. And they were so nice :) so in the end I did end up riding back to Dubrovnik with them.

And on the journey we chatted about American education, Tito, similarities between Bulgarian/Serbian/Croatian, how Bulgarians were valedictorians at Dartmouth for two years consecutively (thanks Eng Han), and how Bulgarians and many of their East European, ex-Communist counterparts place huge emphases on reading and education. I like. Deep people. And I could connect with them.

And we stopped a few times on the way to Dubrovnik for photo sessions. The highways snake by the coastal mountains; such circumstances make for dramatic pictures.

Picture 532

Picture 535

That walled city is Dubrovnik. (I must've walked further than where I took this picture the day before)

And I took pictures of them -- since they were travelling alone I figured they couldn't have had many pictures together. And so I asked if I could take pictures of them together. And they said yes. :) And they were so cute together -- I took so many kissing photos!

In the end I gave them my last two Malaysian keychains/souvenirs. :) And I was glad that I had kept them -- perhaps I knew i needed to hold on to them even in Bosnia.

So I have a positive impression of Bulgarians. :)

And I'm still annoyed at Montenegro.

And after consultation with the ever-friendly Dubrovnik Tourism Board, I decided to revisit Mostar and Sarajevo before flying off from Sarajevo. And this to a large extent because they told me that since I had been to Split and Hvar, there was really nothing much to see in South Croatia (so honest! I like!) -- and it would probably be more fulfilling, touristically, for me to revisit Bosnia. So I took their advice, and ended a lovely stay in Croatia.

Hrvatska -- volim te; ti si tako lijepa!


Posted at 06:38 am by andrewlza

ylide
October 21, 2008   10:53 AM PDT
 
a great post!

so many lovely photos... and i like how you meet all these weird and wonderful ppl... that's the beauty of travel i suppose

i kinda have to read your other posts.. but i'm soooo going to bed now

:D thanks for sharing!
andrew
October 21, 2008   02:28 PM PDT
 
thanks for commenting!!! :))))

ya i think you captured the essence of travelling: meeting weird and wonderful people. ;)

c'est la vie, actually.
ashleyw
October 21, 2008   06:15 PM PDT
 
omg....... hahahahhahahaha

so funny lah you, busking in Dubrovnik. wah you really got guts
mike x
October 21, 2008   10:13 PM PDT
 
yo

are the pics PSed?
carol
October 22, 2008   03:23 AM PDT
 
2nd last picture damn pretty!

yah why singaporeans no need malaysians need! *bitter
Victor
October 22, 2008   12:05 PM PDT
 
Hahahahahaha... Busking. You got guts man. I wonder if I would do that here what would I get. Perhaps a warning. lol
EVo
October 23, 2008   03:42 AM PDT
 
Dude! u got more balls than all of george w bush's family combined!
 

Leave a Comment:

Name


Homepage (optional)


Comments




Previous Entry Home Next Entry