Sunday, March 26, 2006

Chris' Hot Spot

Playing with Picasa - the easiest software for photo editing

Thursday night, after the important event I went to SS2 for a dinner with my good friend Christina. SS2 has always been our favourite spot for casual dinner and long chat because its stall concept does not require us to dress up and we could sit there for hours without feeling pressured to leave. It’s just nice.

As usual Chris will order her Nescafe Panas (no tarik) and as usual the waiter will always give her the ‘tarik’ one. She will grumble about it and her good mood will be affected. In the case last Thursday, the waiter heard her grumble and he apologised for it.

According to Chris, hot Nescafe is her favourite drink. That is why she’s very particular about it. It has to be perfectly prepared, truly hot and no tarik what so ever because if you tarik the drink, the taste will not be the same. Different preparation will give a different taste. She will go on and on up to saying that the molecules in the drink will joint differently and bla bla bla…. That’s what she believes and I guess she’s right. I like Nescafe too and I like mind with pure condensed milk with no sugar. Sometimes, our local mamak likes to add in sugar to save the milk. That’s their business tactic I supposed and it’s not commendable at all. Sometimes, I will tell them off that never put sugar into my Nescafe or Teh Ais drink please or I will ask them to do another glass. I can always tell.

Well apart from the lousy drinks, the rest of the food was excellent (at least to my standard). We usually enjoy our diner from almost all the stalls (including the burger stall) and it’s very cheap.

SS2 is a residential place with a majority of Chinese population but our favourite dinner spot has a unique mixture of all the races of the rich and the poor. No one will care. This is normal in PJ and KL areas. The one thing everyone shares is the love of food. What else to do when you have so many varieties and choices. You just got to taste them all at a rotating basis.

Another interesting place to visit in SS2 is the book stores. They have quite a few and my favourite is the Rent a Book Store. It has all the old and new fictions that I like. The rental price is only RM4.00 per book for as long as forever, anytime you like (you have to put a deposit so therefore, you could keep the book if you like). Chris and I could browse the store for hours.

There is this one special corner in SS2 that sells all sorts of durian (but I never buy from there). Durian lovers could check this place out. This people are really serious about their durians, they have a website to promote this business. Umm… Yummy. I just love durians (but rarely ate them nowadays). My father knows where to get the best durians in Bentong, Pahang. We went straight to the orchard if we wanted the high quality ones. My favourite is D2.

I know not all people can eat durian especially the foreigners. They’d rather eat bull’s testis and all sorts of weird things but not the durians! Okay, I know, it’s the smell. Well, once they got used to it, they will never stop I’m sure. They don’t call it king of all fruits for nothing.

Well everyone. That’s all about SS2. I’m sure many of you Klang Valley people know the place especially those who live in Taman Tun, Bandar Utama, Damansara Jaya, Kelana Jaya and the neighbouring townships.

VVIP Visit

The Prime Minister & the President of the Senate, Parliament of Czech Republic
Photo courtesy of BERNAMA

Last Thursday we had a VVIP visits, a special delegations from the Czech Republic. They were here by the invitation of our Parliament, special guests to Yang Dipertua Negara, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh for a 3-day visit to Malaysia. The Embassy of Czech Republic who had once came to our place, suggested to bring their President of Senate and the senators for a visit to our place. They were interested to get to know the vegetation of Malaysia and what better place to know it all but in Taman Botani Putrajaya.

Czech Republic Delegation during the briefing at the Garden View, Taman Botani

The Director of Landscape and Parks Department Tn. Hj. Shahoran Johan Ariffin was very meticulous in guiding us with the programme to make sure the delegations get what they are expecting of Malaysia. He said this is a special guest and we need to give the best hospitality. At first I thought of giving them a casual tour to the garden since that was what initially planned by the Czech Embassy, but following the wise advice of the Director we managed at the last minute to change the programme to make it more formal and hospitable.

We were told that there will be a translator for the President of the Senate, H.E. Dr. Premsyl Sobotka and the rest of the delegates. They can understand English but some of the things need to be translated. However, most of the senators do not speak the language so we had a little bit of difficulty in conversing.

H. E. Dr. Premsyl Sobotka was a very handsome person as you could see in the photos. I was impressed the moment he stepped out of his limousine because I thought he looked like Sean Connery, another delegate looked like an actor as well (I forgot the name of that actor) and another one looked just like Albert Einstein (see that little man in the photo).

In showing their appreciation of the tour of the garden His Excellency gave our Outdoor Supervisor who headed the garden tour, a CD featuring songs played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Most probably he brought the CD in exchange of his visit with the Petronas Philharmonic Orchestra at the KLCC the day before.

Garden Tour - photo of the lakeside at the Ficus Shade (Teduhan Ara)

For myself, I was given a silk scarf by the Head of Protocol Department of the Senate, the lovely lady in the black dress. My Director of Operation was given a set of pen. It was all really lovely; I mean to be able to represent the country. We all had a role to play especially next year when we will run the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 in conjunction with the 50th Independence Day. At that particular time, everyone is an ambassador.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Creatures of the Sky

In fond memories of my beloved Lucky Dog

My family has always been fond of animals. We had many kinds at home before, even those you couldn’t have imagined (such as orang utan, small marmoset/very small monkey and deer – we returned them to the forest of course). But the most cherished and often in the scene are cats, birds and fish. We’re a bunch of animal lovers. In my posting this time, I wanted to share my story about birds.

I remember when I was little; we used to have many kinds of bird in big cage. My father and brothers especially always insisted for big bird cage, or bird house to be exact so that the birds will not feel too trapped inside. It's understood that birds too need some space to live just like human being. Now that I am an adult, I just hate seeing birds in cages. I wish I could free them. But it’s not as easy as that. Once birds are caged, it might not know how to live in the wild anymore because it used to being fed and no longer know how to find food. We used to have colourful love birds, hill myna (tiong), pigeons (merpati and merbuk) and a few other species that I don't know of. They all were part of our life once upon a time ago.

In the garden where I work now, there are lots of birds around. In the morning and at dusk, their chirping was very visible. This sooth me somehow to know that birds are living in harmony in our garden. I had this crazy belief that if a bird comes near you, it’s a good omen. I will speak to it and believe that it will understand my speech. Birds are like a messenger that carries my news; they will hear my plight and bring it up to the sky for God to hear :) Ummm…. That’s just a superstitious belief.

I talked to birds and cats all the time, greet them if they are lingering nearby me. All living things have feelings. They could feel joy and they could feel pain, hence they have souls. The photo I took here proves that a bird can feel the pain of losing its partner. The bird on my desk here was looking very sad because its partner had died of broken neck. It sat there beside the dead bird for a long time until one of my staff brought it to me. And it stayed on my office desk oblivious to its surrounding unmoving even when I touched it. I stroked its feathers, it just let me. I touched its beak, it just let me, then I took a water straw, put a little water through the plastic straw, so it had no choice but to swallow. A few minutes later, it regained consciousness and became more elert. There’s nothing wrong with it, just plain depression of losing a partner that it lost the will to find its own food. I gave it to the vet later on and the vet promised to look after it then will release it back to the wild.

We’ve seen and read also in our daily lives of how a cat or a dog gets traumatized if handled wrongly by its owner. I could even tell the different personality of my cats, one is cheeky, and the other one is obedient. They all have different kind of soul. Human beings are created above all creatures on earth as the ‘khalifah’ (the leader). So therefore our function is to protect weaker beings, all things precious to our living and to retain balance of the ecosystem (all living things has its purpose of existence) and we need to stop unnecessary destructions towards animals and nature. That’s why I love my job. It educates people especially children about the relation of nature to our existence and why we need to conserve it.

Getting back to the main topic of discussion here, about birds; I saw once in the Discovery Channel the beautiful Bird of Paradise (species that can be seen in the deep jungle) makes funny sounds with its wings during mating time. And there was this bird dance that blows your head off because you just can't think of how a bird can do a moon walk and other ridiculous things. It’s amazing.

Bird of Paradise is a mystical creature due to its beauty and rarity. The Chinese called it Phoenix while the Malay called it ‘Cenderawasih’. The real Cenderawasih are believed to be born in paradise, they live in the sky and only come down to die. It is believed that some people in Indonesia have seen Cenderawasih that descents from paradise, but once in every seven years. Anybody who sighted them is considered the lucky ones.

There was one Malay song sung by Ahmad Jais (a popular Malay singer in the 60s) that sang about this bird and relating it to a lover’s longing for his beloved;

By Ahmad Jais

Cenderawasih… burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbang melayang berkawan-kawan, (Fly away in twos)
Terbayang di mata siang dan malam, (On my mind night and day)
Rindu kasih pada mu tuan. (Longing and loving you)

Cenderawasih burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbang melalu segenap desa, (Fly high above all terrain)
Terbayang di mata setiap masa, (On my mind, always)
Rindu di hati terlalu biasa. (Heart is yearning, all too common)

Cenderawasih burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbanglah hinggap di pohon yang tinggi, (Fly high to the highest tree)
Terbayang di mata dapat dipasti, (On my mind, that is sure)
Rindu melarat membawa mati.
(Yearning for you till the death of me)

Don’t you love things mystical such as this :)

Now another romantic side of birds; their mating time is in winter and summer. It is believed that in ancient time people in Europe celebrated February 14th as a time to find their bride. This is following the act of birds. Birds usually will find their mate on the 14th February each year (that’s what they believed). That is actually how the old story of Valentine’s Day begun; it was way back before the existence of Saint Valentine.

Birds are a symbol of romantic love and courtship. In finding their mate, they will sing their song, do their sacred dance and they court their love interest. During the courting period, the male will try to impress the female and some species even feed the female at this particular point. E.g. pigeons usually are known to mate for live and there are other species as well who stayed with their couple for the longest time.

However, not all stories are a happy one. The bird flu is one of the bad news, then there’s the development around us that destroyed the habitat of most birds. Birds have to adapt to living side by side with human being and that’s not easy as well. For instance in the garden where I work, I have seen many death of birds such as in the photos. Most of it died because of broken neck caused by collision with glasses around our main building. They don’t see the glasses in their vision because of the reflections. It was really sad. I took all their photos as evidence and for my personal collections as you can see here. I wish I could suggest someone to build a nature friendly building in the future, but of course not all wishes can come true. It involves the demolition of huge building with equal fund to match. Looks like I have to see more deaths such as these especially in February.

Okay, that’s about it. All things I know and care to share so far about birds. It has been a great pleasure to write it down after keeping it in my folder for so long. I hope you all could enjoy it as much as I do writing it down with my heart.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Wisdom of Rose

Every colour of roses has its significant meaning. For instance white/crème means the purest of heart, humility, sincerity and a happy beginning. Yellow means an offering of friendship or happy domestic life (if given to a wife). The rose above is actually crème in colour not exactly yellow as it seems. My favourites are white and blood red, i.e. pure passions, true love and desire. So make sure you know your roses before giving it to someone because it will tell your intention and you wouldn’t want it to be wrongly thought of.

Hi everyone… I’m back!

It’s been a long sabbatical leave but now I am back with new vigour.

My fingers are itchy to write a thousand words. Who could have thought that blogging could be an addiction :)

Anyway, it has been such a testing period of time for me that I thought I would never blog again. Thank you everyone for supporting me and for your concern. Thank you for coming here to visit me. I love my blog too much to ever abandon it for too long.

This blog is about my life, a slow walk in reaching my destiny (I don’t know what that is; I’ve walked too many roads). That is why I called it ‘Gentlecreation’. It is how I walk my life and the truth of my existence. I pay tribute to the universe for my small existence (metaphorically I used the word gentle). I believe that all has its destiny and all destinies mysteriously have been written by One. There…. I’ve explained it all.

Usually I will write about things that inspired me along the way. For instance, I wrote about people around me, about my watching the news, my readings, my observation of nature and animals and about my experiences. It gives me great relieve and pleasure to write down my mind.

Hmm…. What else? This is a warming up session. I have a long way to go. Just to let you all know that I love you all for keeping up with me.

Here is a beautiful poem by someone I admire; the genius of her time. She lives a short life but her spirit lives forever through anyone who reads her poems and her once in a life time
Rarest Master Piece (some of you out there will appreciate this kind of literature).

EMILY BRONTE (1818-1848)


Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree --
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.


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My mind says:

  • If it's not you, who else!
  • Love your country. Keep it SAFE & GREEN...