Changes in OMF Bungalow, Cameron Highlands

The main bungalow building
The linked bungalow wing
View from the bungalow’s rose garden 

I felt tired and I needed to take a break, have a good rest. So I tried OMF Bungalow. Usually at such late notice most rooms would have already been taken but thankfully and incredibly, there was “room in the inn” for the dates I wanted.

Payment

It wasn’t easy for a Singaporean to pay upfront as one would have to access a Malaysian account. Especially when you do not have much time to make the payment. Thankfully in my case I was given a reprieve and I paid up when I arrived at the bungalow.

Taking a bus there

I took the SGD99 Konsortium return night bus. It left Golden Mile at about 10pm, and after a stop at Yong Peng and several pee stops, we reached Brinchang, Cameron Highlands at about 7- 8am in the cool morning. The 27 seater bus had spacious and reclinable seats, so we had no difficulty sleeping. For an additional SGD30, I could have stayed a night (with breakfast) at Strawberry Park. It’s a tie up between the hotel and the bus company. The return trip is in the morning from Strawberry Park hotel at about 10am. The hotel is a short 5 minutes walk from OMF Bungalow.

Many changes but Mrs Chye remains the same

There were many changes that have taken place. However,  Mrs Chye the person in charge there provided an unchanged comforting presence. Her warmth and hospitality is OMF Bungalow’s vital advertisement.

Some of the changes we noticed included:

  • All the rooms now have attached bathrooms.
  • The dining hall and the sitting area were switched so that there would be space to serve more diners.
  • The TV-games room has been converted into a twin room with attached bathroom.
  • The pricing has moved upward too, including an end to discounts for pastors and missionaries.
  • There is no tea time. However you can help yourselves to free coffee, tea and biscuits anytime.
  • There was no TV, but now they have installed decent wireless.
Comforting unchanging Mrs Chye
New dining room
New sitting room
New furniture in the rose garden
With Chong Swee Tshung & Tau Fan former pastors of Community Baptist Church, Puchong

During this stay with my wife we slept, ate, rested, read, walked and prayed and met whoever was there during mealtimes. We also met with a few other guests at the bungalow and shared stories and encouraged each other in the Lord.

I returned feeling refreshed and more relaxed.

Samsung Note 5: my new smartphone

This is my problem. I am not willing to fork out the large sums required for the latest mobile smartphone model. To me it does not make sense as new models are way too expensive. I would rather hunt for models that are older as their original prices would take a dip and become real value for money.

So it happened with the Samsung Note 5 when I visited the Starhub shop. The salesman told me with the $50 voucher I have, the cost of a Note 5 is only $299.

I asked, Why is it so cheap? He replied, They are discontinuing production of the old model.

Note 7 had a problematic battery and had been recalled. There was no Note 6 as they were aligning the numbers for marketing purposes. So Note 5 was the best Note smartphone currently available on the market. Why not, after all, I loved the S Pen. I had been using the Samsung Tablet Note 10.1 for several years and found the Note 5 S pen even more sensitive, responsive and a pleasure to use. It will certainly be useful for recording  ideas that pop in my mind for sermons or blogposts or ministry. Its great for  To Do lists and reminders and quick jotting of numbers and addresses of people I bump into, and do great screenshots on which I can write instructions and draw arrows and circles. Its great for taking action notes in meetings.

So I am now a happy owner of a new smartphone with a better camera than my LG G3 and with a great capacity for note-taking. Loving it.

Using the phone on a hike at Bt Timah Hill
Testing out the close ups – some bokeh in the background.

Visiting Toowomba and Brisbane

This was a trip my wife and I looked forward to. April 2016 would mark about six months since my son Matt, his wife Juyoung, and our granddaughter Chloe headed Down Under because of work. Of course they had looked forward to it and were excited. We weren’t for we knew we would miss Chloe. She stole everyone’s hearts.

It has been a long time since we were last in the eastern coast of Australia. The last time we were there, our children were primary school age. We went to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and its theme parks, and we visited Sydney and the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Camden. So it was good to make a visit to those parts again.

We enjoyed our time thoroughly. We stayed with family and it was good to catch up with them and play and read with Chloe. They brought us around Toowomba and the Mooloolaba Beach and Brisbane. I returned with fresh impressions:

  1. Australia is a big and beautiful country.
  2. Chloe grew up fast: taller, smarter, more agile, able to converse intelligently with her mother in Korean, but less so in English.
  3. Small churches in small towns struggle. Although I made a decision not to preach outside of my church in 2016 I felt I had to accept an invitation from a small Korean church that my son’s family attends. He gets relieved from preaching for one Sunday.
  4. I met a few skilled workers (mechanics, photographers, etc) who were trying to obtain or who had already obtained permanent residency. It was never an easy process.
  5. The rate was reasonable but staying in an apartment under Airbnb felt awkward as the owners’ clothes were hanging in the wardrobes, the bicycles and golf clubs, the magazines and books, the food in the refrigerator and their family photographs on the wall. Here is a slideshow of our trip: