I’ve returned from Vietnam

Hello world, I have just returned from a nine-day vacation in Vietnam. I was travelling with three of my university friends, and we went to three places: Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Vietnam’s capital Hanoi.
 
 Me at the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City
 
Ho Chi Minh City was previously known as Saigon and served as the capital of South Vietnam, before the North successfully reunified the country in 1975, and renamed the city in honour of their great leader Ho Chi Minh. Although nowadays the people here use both names interchangeably.
 
Me at one of the royal tombs in Hue
 
After touring Ho Chi Minh City, we flew to Hue in Central Vietnam. Hue was the ancient capital of Vietnam, and there are many royal tombs in Hue, belonging to Vietnam emperors. Apart from visiting the tombs, we also visited the ancient palace known as the Citadel.
 
 I visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi
 
Lastly, we went to Hanoi. There are many museums in Vietnam, showcasing its rich culture and history, in particular its fight against French colonialism, as well as the Vietnam War against the Americans. Since I am interested in history, it was a real treat for me to visit the museums, as well as the many places of historical interests such as the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, where Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is displayed for all generations to view.
 
In Hanoi’s Army Museum, this is the famous tank that crashed through Saigon’s Independence Palace.
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She's just not that into you, so what's the point?

RANT, RANT, RANT…
 
I have figured out a long time ago that, it is not a crime to get to know friends. And it is also not a crime to try to develop upon one’s relationship with friends of the opposite gender. Who knows? Maybe there’s someone who similarly likes you, and something amazing could progress from there. Personally, I believe that with whatever effort you put into such an endeavour, you will get your due and just returns. But, from my observation of my friends, as well as from my own personal experience, it does appear that many girls perceive that any attempt by guys to get to know them better, even as a normal friend, is some sort of unforgivable crime, and some believe in it with a vengeance. And sometimes I even ask myself, why do I even try so hard, if I am just going to scare her away, and we wouldn’t even be able to talk to each other anymore.
 
Let’s just take for example the innocent actions of a typical guy who wishes to make a good impression of himself in the eyes of his female acquintances. He may dress smartly, stand up straight, groom himself properly. He may also talk with confidence, and act like a gentlemen, display courtesy and generous behaviour. All these in the hopes of getting off to a good start. Strangely enough, some girls may become annoyed at this guy who is acting all-so-proud and so full of himself, suspicion may even grow as to the motives of this guy’s kindness towards them. Usually by this point, the girls would already be giving the guy the cold shoulder, leaving me to wonder what have I done wrong this time round?
 
Perhaps a more common theme that has been floating around almost forever is the idea that girls would prefer guys that are confident of themselves and take the initiative, instead of some spineless, cowardly loser who cannot make the simplest decisions. So I take the initiative, start a conversation with girls, invite them out for dinnner or movie. Rather than feeling flattered at having received such attention from guys, some girls would become seriously offended by this upstart who thinks that he even has the right to talk or socialise with them, and henceforth they would literally shut me out of their lives. They don’t seem to realise that for guys to even try to approach them required enormous courage and nerves of steel. And to get such an outcome is, simply put, devastating. Not only is a possible friendship totally destroyed before it could begin, it’s not even recoverable.
 
It seems that in my above examples, the girls in question belong to a category that regard themselves as having no necessity or desire to know any guy friends, either because they think that they already have a satisfactory pool of friends (usually all female ones), or they are simply hostile towards guys for no tangible reason. In my personal opinion, this kind of behaviour cannot be normal, especially when if she is not interested, at least we can still be friends, but instead she treats me like a fool and avoid me like the black death. This only goes to show a lack of maturity on the girls’ part with regards to making friends. I thought we humans are all a social people, needing interaction and association with each other to live our lives meaningfully. 
 
And almost every time I try to befriend someone better, it always seems like some sort of disaster in the making, such that I have to be very careful in what I say or do, so I could at least stay on talking terms with her. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And still, I keep on trying, not because I like to fail all the time, but I believe that somewhere out there there is the special one for me. Nothing is ever achieved through zero action. And trying is not a crime, the crime is in not trying. To give up without knowing what it could have been, what can be even greater sin than that?
 
And with each experience I come away having learnt what had I done wrong, and hopefully know what mistakes to avoid when I make friends in the future. Life goes on, and what that does not kills me makes me stronger and wiser. I have decided not to feel too bad if the girls I try to associate with have no interest in me, from my perspective they are only losing out a great opportunity to know me as an ally and a friend. Frankly speaking, if a girl is unable to even continue as a normal friend with some guy who tried to be nice to her, it is her serious problem. Not mine.
  
P.S. Can anybody guess which movie did I derive my blog title from? I don’t believe it, never see it happening.

Awesome Toy Collection – Batman: TAS part 3

In “Batman: The Animated Series”, for most of the time Batman works alone in his fight against the criminals of Gotham City. But when Batman needs additional help, he can count on the support of his loyal sidekick, Robin the boy wonder! Dick Grayson was previously a member of a circus trapeze family before his family was brutally murdered by the mob. Taken under the tutelage of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson mastered the fighting arts and he takes on the persona of Robin, and now joins Batman in his fight against crime!
 
Batman and Robin
Actually, many collectors were disappointed with this Robin figure as it is actually a reissue of the Robin body sculpt from the “Batman Returns” line, only that the head is replaced with that of Batman:TAS Robin.
 
However, despite years of partnership, Dick Grayson got fed up with having to be at Batman’s beck and call at every moment, and after several major disagreements with Batman, Robin called it quits and decided to step out of Batman’s shadow to become a superhero in his own right. Dick Grayson is now Nightwing, still fighting against crime in Gotham City, and occasionally teaming up with Batman, both having put the past behind them.
 
Dick Grayson is now Nightwing, in an all new costume.
 
In the meantime, Batman has recruited another protege, the second Robin! Tim Drake is the street-wise son of a small-time gangster who was killed by the villian Two-Face. After accidentally finding out Batman’s true identity as Bruce Wayne, Tim insisted on donning the Robin costume to fight alongside Batman and apprehanding Two-Face. Bruce then takes Tim Drake under his wings and trains him in the fighting arts. Tim Drake is now the new Robin, and Gotham’s dynamic duo patrol the city once more!
 
The new boy wonder Robin
 
Batman’s true identity is Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy and CEO of Wayne Enterprises. After Bruce’s parents were brutally murdered during a robbery attempt in front of the young Bruce while during the family’s night out at the theatre, Bruce pledged to honour his parent’s memory by taking upon himself the mantle as Gotham City’s protector. Having acquired exotic fighting skills from the Far East, Bruce Wayne has returned to Gotham, adopting the identity of a busy socialite by day, and patrolling the skyline of Gotham as Batman by night.
 
 This is Bruce Wayne, in an outrageously bright red coat that he obviously never wore on the show.
 
Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Catwoman, and Phantasm. Seeing double yet? Here are some of the Batman villians accompanied with their repaint variant. The definitive versions stand in front. I would usually try to avoid collecting too many variant figures. It is costly and the figures take up space. In these cases, the variants were packaged together with the figures that I was acquiring. Fortunately, I was able to resist the temptation to buy several more repaint Jokers when I was at CSC last Sunday.
 
 
And I am still trying to figure out why did I buy this pink-coloured Mad Hatter variant, especially since most repaint variants never actually appeared on the show, including this. Perhaps I was fascinated by the Mad Hatter’s character.
 
And this concludes my rather exhausive showcase of my awesome Batman: The Animated Series collection. At least for now, since I’ve gotten in touch with a contact who could perhaps help me get some of the Batman: TAS figures that I am currently lacking. Soon.