Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Who left their shaggy dog at the bottom of the ocean??? - A Hairy Frog Fish
Ornate Ghost Pipefish
Devil Stinger (front view)
I hope she doesn't read this but I think Ariel's pictures are cool (she'll never let me hear the end of it). Not bad for a hot number cruncher.
As you can see, the sea may be shit but with moments like this it more than makes up from getting fish bones tangled up in your hair.
Getting to Lembeh:
Fly AirAsia from KL to Manado. Land transfer about an hour to Bitung where you take a boat to Lembeh Island. The resort Ariel stayed in was the NAD Lembeh Resort. Dive package available is about RM1,800 5 days 4nights inclusive full room and board and diving. Flight cost separate.
For more on North Sulawesi go HERE.
*All Pictures property of Chloe Chin
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Yesterday we decided we would wait out the day in a normal way Malaysians enjoy a spectacle - in a pub. With beers and juicy bacon and cheese rolls.
Um...why are we talking takeovers? Why do we need it? At the bar no one seemed concerned. There were a few concerned more about the market and economy but obviously these are not of real concern to all sides in these interesting contest.
Malaysians are Can Do People. We're lepak aje. Selamber Joes. We don't do conflicts and takeovers. We have teh tarik and talk cock. Hit a Karaoke with a few girls called Fanny and Apple, sing a few songs, bond and it's all good. Problem solved. Yay.
I know that's how I would do it. I know in that pub that's how the bai fler, the Chinaman, the macha and the Pak Cik playing drums in the band would do it. I know most if not all folks I know would do it. We dont do drama as a collective. Individual agendas however are a different ball game.
Is it too hard to just get our economy back on track? Can we do this without a new government?
I just ordered some Star Wars statues from Singapore and I need our Ringgit to strengthen pronto! Help!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
""This is a blessed country do you know that? I don't know what you bastards keep bitching about," said the gentleman from India who had spent two years in Malaysia. "When the economies fucked up in '97 you survived, when the tsunami hit, every one around you got fucked, yes you lost a little but it was peanuts compared to the rest. Thailand gets military coups all the time, Indonesia gets earth quakes, China earthquakes, wars all over the place, you go through metal detectors in Manila just to enter a shopping mall, your politicians busy fighting among themselves and YET still the economy seems OK! And you people complain when the price of rice goes up! I'm telling you, this is a blessed country!"
Yesterday I took a couple of friends to Janda Baik. Among them was Kimiko (not real name but all Japanese girls in this blog are called Kimiko), and she has been living in Malaysia for the past two years and has extended her contract as a Japanese language teacher here for another year.
She was talking to the rest about all the food she loves in Malaysia. Her eyes shining as she recalled every little town from Penang to Melaka that she has sampled our glorious culinary offerings. When we started the hike she looked up into the sky, a brilliant blue backdrop spotted with wispy white clouds, she said with gentle awe, as only Japanese women seem to be able to do, "Soooooo beautiful, not like real, like painting." Even when i apologised to her for the tough mud trails that we had to walk through, she only replied, her eyes bright, " I love it! It's fun!" She loves it here. She knows she will extend her contract again next year if she can. There is too much too see and enjoy.
I had a guest from France. I took him out for dinner one night and drove him around KL to show him some of the sights. "It so beautiful!" he said in hushed tones when he saw the Petronas twin towers but it was when he looked out from the car and said, "your country is so clean!" that I felt like I'd slipped into the Twilight Zone. "What the hell??? This can't be right" I thought to myself. So I drove down Chow Kit, along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and to some dodgy parts of town. "See, it's not all that clean," I said, feeling a little traitorous. "No, no, it IS clean. Not like Paris." he said softly craning his next about to look up at the buildings. Cleaner than Paris?
Cleaner than Paris.
It's beautiful. So much to experience.
Maybe. Just maybe.....
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Sis who can grow bonsai in the Gobi Desert personally escorted me to Sungei Buloh to pick out some plants. We bought some lovely tall plant things that we then planted in the trench outside my front balcony and some smaller potted plants.
Anyway, I was watering the smaller plants at the balcony that were looking rather tragic.
The mantra of talking to plants and it helps their egos and morale kept swimming in my head. " Oh well....what the fuck..." I thought to myself so I took a deep breath and said, " C'mon la chibai don't be a pussy la. The money plant OK wat and you just sitting here like a fukin diva. OKOK...look lets give you a name. c'mon how bout Vinnie like Vinne Jones? He's a hard ass mofo ler. How you want or not?" And you, how got flowers...hmmmm, gotta be a girl name. What do you want? Petunia? Haha! Fuker...(yeah I laughed at myself....) OKOK, you look like a Priscilla. Set! You kids be nic..........
I look up and see one of my stoner security guards just outside looking at me with a look of startled panic at what the fuck kind of residents talk to their plants while wearing only a towel and watering his plants from a used mineral water bottle at 11 pm at night...
Monday, September 8, 2008
Ducks on the Serpentine, the man made lake.I envied the joggers who could run in this beautiful park (my busted knees quietly begged me not to do anything stupid). Extremely well trained Labradors and even one Rottweiler frolicked between tree trunks as their owners chatted with each other. Any loose Rottweiler in Malaysia would probably eat my ass up in a minute...
The Statue of Physical Energy. As some girls in PJ and Salak South would say, "So man!" Sculpted in 1904.
While walking among the trees and sculptures and the lakes all I could think of was that THIS was a labour of love, protected and maintained for ALL to enjoy and appreciate. And of course this thing of raw simple beauty would never see the light of day in Malaysia where unscrupulous developers are ruthlessly tearing down everything that has a leaf on it in the immediate vicinity of KL and PJ and making nature now a domain of the rich and influential especially in the cities.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I popped by the Hasbro toy sale in Shah Alam in the morning. Always good fun watching adults clamouring for toys, sales people throwing Transformers and Star Wars toys into the the crowd and folks scrambling and jumping about to catch them. Also a very stupid strategy of lining tables with toys that were hard to sell and throwing the saleable toys into the crowd (they would have to pay on the way out). This meant a huge crowd parking themselves in front of the tables with slower selling toys which other customers couldn't even see and get access to.
Also it seemed that they sales staff had more fun making folks plead them to open more boxes, and jump about whenever they flung a Animated Bumble Bee into the throng of hungry toy collectors.
The ONLY place I've ever seen where people turn up at a sale lugging their own cartons and huge boxes to take their purchases away!
Wasn't it a gorgeous beautiful day? Blue skies, lovely weather and sunshine - perfect for bak kut teh!
Pussy Cat Dolls at the Fashion Rocks concert in New York. C'mon girls, where's the compulsory 'sari fat' which comes with wearing a sari? Tsk....
Friday, September 5, 2008
Food court in Dubai International AirportAn average of 38 hours in planes and airports to only spend 19 hours on English soil before I was back home in Kayel sipping teh tarik.
Not a bad trip actually. Got my ass into KLIA at about 11.30pm on Tuesday and managed to wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed early Wednesday at about 8am. Surprisingly the only effects from my Lightning McQueen trip to London was me falling asleep while standing in one of those frakkin queues at Heathrow on my return flight to KL on Monday night. I probably wasn't out for long but the already slow queue had already moved about 10 feet in front and here's the best thing, the crowd behind me did not move an inch! They did not know that i had dozed off so they probably thought I was meditating or something but they actually waited patiently behind me! No sound, no shoves, as in Malaysia they would have just brushed me aside and gone on. Mat Salleh maju ler. Actually not quite, as the folks behind me were a mixture of Arabs, Indians and Aussies so We are the World Boleh!
The Heathrow Express Tube to Paddington Station - only 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport!
I landed in Heathrow at about 2.30PM UK time and surprisingly went through immigration fairly quickly. Took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (Do not take the Underground unless you're NOT in a hurry to Paddington) at about 15 pounds at the counter (and NOT 8 pounds as I was informed). Checked in just before 4pm and rushed out again to meet Mel for tea.
It had started pouring as I waited for her at the entrance of Paddington Station. I spotted her even before I knew it. Only she would walk that way in the pouring rain(i used to call it her storm trooper march), umbrella covering her long hair, knee high boots, skinny jeans and a scarf that she used to love wearing in KL but more appropriate in the English Fall. The 3 hours went by soo fast it really felt like 30 minutes. Before i knew it, it was 8pm and Steph had just smsed that she was at the Bayswater Tube. We walked over Mel and I, my mind still reeling from how fast the time had light speeded by. There was still much to talk about. I promised I'd be back as we hugged goodbye. Dunno why, she gets married in December.
Steph in a way is much like Ah Chanz, a major babe with the potty mouth of a Russian sailor so we had a great time knocking back beers and baby back ribs in some restaurant in Bayswater. I got back to my hotel near Paddinton at about 10pm, made a vain attempt to sleep and ended up doing work from 2.30am to 6am.
Burlington Avenue - along my walk from Pall Mall to Padddington Station.Went for my meeting at 10am that ended about 12pm. Since it was my first time in London I decided to take my time and walk back from Pall Mall to Paddington. It was not bad but that part of London just looked like any old street in Manchester or Liverpool just a lot more West Indians, Africans, Middle Eastern chaps and of course Malaysian students sipping tea in some chic cafe.
I got back at 3 pm and since my flight was at 10pm I took a walk to Hyde Park which was about less than 10 minutes from my hotel. (More on that in another post)
Commemorative Princess Diana marker along the pathways in Hyde Park.
All in all it was a solid trip. It was a full 19 hours in London and it meant a lot that I finally met Mel after all those broken promises two years ago. Catching up with Steph is always fun and the meeting went well although I know I'm a small player going against giants. The wandering around Hyde Park was lovely with the wind rippling across the lake and rustling the branches of willows, reeds and oaks, the squirrels playing catch around the trees and little kids feeding the ducks and pigeons around the waters edge. On the flight back it helped that Emirates has a great CD selection and when you're tired and flying over the Indian Ocean and you can choose between U2's Where the Streets Have No Name, Purple Rain, a couple of Van Morrisons, Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing and What's Going On or Bob Marley's Waiting in Vain AND play them all back to back, you know life is about stumbling across AND enjoying the simple pleasures it offers.