Thursday, October 29, 2009

Celebration of Life & Wisdom


Fieza, Liza and Dhena @ SOHO Penang - don't you think we had an exotic combination here (Ms. Thai, Ms. Filipino and Ms. Ceylonese - which we are not (: )


Office Birthday Celebration with my Marcom team (the first 3 boys on the right and one on the left) and colleagues.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Light up your Life

Deepavali means 'row of lights' is Sanskrit and also known simply as 'Festival of Lights' in all over the world. It signifies the triumph of good against evil based on the Hinduism belief. To be exact, Deepavali marks the return of Lord Raama to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating Ravana - the ruler of Lanka in the epic story of Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both signifying the victory of good over evil (Cut and paste from Wikipedia about Diwali/Deepavali).

I had a great reunion with all that matters to my heart on Deepavali Day. The only thing that I regret was not having my camera with me to instill the memory of being together with the people I hardly see nowadays. I had no photos to show it here. Huhuhu...

Multiculturalism makes us a richer person if only we are willing to embrace the diversity that surrounds us. I honestly don't understand why some people are hesitant in exploring this gift that globalisation has given us to enjoy. The older this world gets, the more diverse we will be until one day all of us will not be able to recognise our true colour, race and origin. However, I would admit that one thing that might stay when you die is your religion. So choose your own belief and respect others’ belief as well.

Imagine mix marriages and migrations, what it would do to a person or a family’s origin and heritage? It will definitely create a whole new different generation. A person from mix parentage will have more than one claim to his/her inheritance. Say a Chinese married to an English. The children will have Chinese and English heritage and a whole new identity as a person. Then the Chinese-English person married to an Indian-French person. The children will have an even glorious cultural mix of Chinese-English-Indian-French. The world will be smaller than you think it is.

Thinking about it, human beings are made the same. In my belief, we are all children of Adam, the first man created by God which later disperses all over the world to become a family, a group, a race, a religion and so forth by the environment we live in. There’s no human being that is superior to the other. We are all made the same but what differentiates us is our mind set and for myself, I would add, the heart. It’s all in our mind and our heart. If you allow yourself to love, it will love, if you allow yourself to hate, it will hate.

Ever heard of these phrases, “think before you leap” and “you’re such a heartless person”. BRAIN makes you an intelligent person, but HEART makes you a humane person.

What I am trying to emphasise here is that we should get rid ourselves of racism and cultural biases. Light up the darkness so that we can see. Be a ONE WORLD… a world that embraces everyone.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day on Climate Change

I am called to update my blog for a cause. Today is Blog Action Day for all things related to Climate Change. So here I am catching up to update something on the subject so that I won't miss the dateline, i.e. 15th October 2009.

Climate Change or Global Warming is one of the subject I always have interest on. I wrote a few posting about it in the past. Here is one of the most recent one, about global warming. Being a nature person who loves adventure in the jungle and going up to the mountains whichever and whenever I choose and feel right to do so, I hate the fact that climate change will one day snatch away my passion. I don't want the situation of global warming to get worsen. I am very much concern that in the near future, our next generation will not be able to experience the same things that we all enjoy now. For example lots of animals and plants will go to extinction. May be in the tropical climate like in Malaysia, we don't really feel it because it's all-year round sunshine and rain.

May be the understanding of climate change is easier be understood with the example of the ice caps of North and South Pole. The ice that aged millions of years is now melting away which increases the sea level. This then affects the Polar Bear living in the Arctic which habitat needs the ice-cold condition to sustain its living. There you go the simplest explanation to all that doesn't know what is global warming.

As for Malaysian scenario, how global warming impacts us? The most obvious condition will be the uncomfortable living in extreme hot weather or extreme wet weather. Even recently we've already seen, unexpected heavy rain which causes landslides and flooding. Then the unexpected hot temperature which kills the crops and burns the forest. We had to be living in an uncomfortable condition of haze which causes other illnesses.... Global warming will have chain reaction to all on this Planet.

We might think that its nearing THE END OF THE WORLD. Very scary....huhuhu.

Note: Photo taken from wallpapers.free-review.net

Friday, September 25, 2009

EID me to NATURE


Melayu (Malay) House in Paya Indah Wetland, in Dengkil, Selangor - Photo courtesy of Mr. Stoned

EID MUBARAK! to all my Muslim friends and blog readers. It's the joyous celebration after one month of fasting and 'ibadah' (worship to Allah s.w.t). Unlike in other places around the world, Eid celebration in Malaysia has become a Malaysian tradition. The way we celebrate it is totally our own unlike the Arabic culture. It is truly a Malaysian culture by itself and we celebrated it with open houses for exactly one month.

During Ramadhan month, we have the Ramadhan Bazaar in almost every residential areas in town that sells lots of mouth watering dishes for breaking of fast. Some of the delicacies can only be found during the month itself which means only once a year. Therefore, all Malaysians in regardless of creed, race and religion will flock into the bazaar to find the things that they like most. There's surely something for everyone.

Eid is called Hari Raya in Malaysia. Everyone started their preparation of Hari Raya months prior to the special occasion. The most important thing is to have the Hari Raya traditional dresses or Baju Raya. It's a custom that almost everyone wants it to be tailor-made and following the latest trend and design. Being in the family of tailors, we are the busiest people during Ramadhan to get all the dresses sewed on time for Hari Raya.

Apart from baju raya, one more important thing is the kuih raya (small Raya cookies/biscuits). Like in Christmas and Deepavali, all houses must have kuih raya to serve the guests during Eid. The varieties of kuih raya can be as many as 20 types in one house alone. Home-made ones are always the best. Among the most preferred ones are the almond london, bangkit, batang buruk, makmur, suji dan tart nenas. Well... these are what I like.

Then the visiting part. Malaysian will open their houses to just anybody who wants to come for Hari Raya. And being Malaysian, the Malays have adopted the Chinese culture by giving away money packet to children who came to visit. It is called duit raya as a small token for children to make them happy.

As for my Hari Raya, I was sick on the first day. I did not know that I had a gastric pain, therefore I was bed ridden for the whole day unable to don my baju raya like my other siblings and parents. They were worried sick thinking that I was over-worked with the house chores and sewing cloths. My sisters all feeling guilty for getting me involved with the sewing thingy. However, I was back to my vibrant self when my close friends came to the house on second day of Hari Raya. They all took me for a trip to other friends' houses and later to the best place on earth, the WETLAND!

Being always an outdoor person, I just love the outdoor world in harmony with nature. So do all my outdoor friends. Being rough and carefree like we are, our Hari Raya celebration was also one with nature. We went to Paya Indah Wetland in Dengkil, Selangor to visit one of our friend and to explore the place since I had never been there before. It turned out to be very enjoyable and superb outing! All the pictures here are from from the wetland.

Paya Indah Wetland
was initiated by the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 2001. It is a place for nature enthusiast. Among the activities that can be done are fishing, bird watching, cycling, camping, team building or just contemplating the wonders of nature. It was temporarily closed in 2005 due to financial constrain but was relaunched again in 20th Oct'08 following the Environment Week. Lots of development work is still going on when were there. So it is obvious that it's not fully open to the public yet. As for us, we get to enter the place because our friend Amy works there. She took us on a 4WD ride around the eco-park.

I have high hopes for the Paya Indah Wetland. Being a nature lover to the bone, I will give my full support. In my next visit, I shall be able to cover more story of this wetland. It's important that the next generation understand the importance of wetland and how it contributes to the sustainability of our nature and animal species. This I must do, to educate everyone of the environment conservation and its impact on our lives.

Till then, again EID MUBARAK to all! Mwah! Mwah!


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Reunited in Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang



Cik Siti Wan Kembang with her pet antelope - Kelantan Ruler 1610-1677 (source of photo unknown)

Recently I went up to the East Coast to go to friends' houses in Kelantan and Pahang. It was a wonderful and enjoyable adventure. My last trip to Kelantan and Terengganu was like in 2001 and it was a one month non-stop travelling visiting hospitals and schools with my collegues, Amin because I was doing hospital and school advertising back then.

This time, I had the chance to go with two of my dearest friends, Azizah and Mie. It's been awhile since the three of us went for a trip together. We used to be inseparable. Four of us in fact, but that will fix itself sooner or later.

My visit to Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang (famous name to indicate Kelantan, a beautiful princess who became the ruler of Kelantan for 67 years. Source: 'Detik-Detik Sejarah Kelantan’, Sa'ad Shukri bin Haji Muda, Pustaka Aman Press, Kota Bharu, 1971 via Ibnu Hasyim's Blog) was very insightful and nostalgic. The famous long-winded and fatally dangerous route from KL to Gua Musang was a bit of a worry to us, all the time. Lots of people died on that road because of speeding, or simply being sleepy. We reached up to Kota Bharu early in the morning, around 6.30am. Beautiful freezing morning that makes you want to pee... heehee... but can't fine the loo. Fogs forming clouds from among the trees going up to the sky and serene looking paddy fields and kampung houses. It gives you peace of mind. So peaceful that you forgot your camera to capture the moment (:

Our first stop in Kelantan is Pantai Cahaya Bulan (used to be called Pantai Cinta Berahi or Beach of Passionate Love). Unfortunately, nothing interesting about the beach. Not much of a development for the tourist. Not even a toilet. I was trying so hard to keep my bladder. However, we were entertained by a group of goats. The offspring were all cute, jumping up and down like a clown (photo taken by Mie). It made us laughed out merrily (:

Interestingly, I never thought of what people call goat's offspring in English because in Malay Language we did not have different names to differentiate male, female or its offspring. We called the female as betina, male as jantan and offspring as anak, then followed by the name of the animal. So if it's a goat, we called it kambing. If it's a male goat, it's kambing jantan, if female, it's kambing betina and anak kambing for the offspring. Very simple. But it's different in the western culture and language. They have names to indicate gender and status. So just for everyone's info: Female goats are referred to as does or nannies, intact males as bucks or billies; their offspring are kids (Source: wikipedia).


I realised, little has changed in Kota Bharu from my previous visit in 2001. All looks the same. Hardly new building in Kota Bharu except for some slow development of new shop houses here and there. Most of the rest still remain the same. The opposition party that rules the state obviously has not put socioeconomic matters into high priority. Lots of young Kelantanese had to go out of the State to build up their career in Kuala Lumpur. But that's not a complain, we love Kelantanese in KL for they made up the colourful faces of KL. They bring us the opportunity to taste the Ayam Percik, Nasi Kerabu and Nasi Dagang (famous Kelantan/Terengganu delicacies) in KL itself! (Photo of Nasi Kerabu taken from Cooking Momster Blog).

After Kota Bharu in Kelantan, we shoot down to Terengganu State, famous for its beautiful island beaches and conservation of its turtle. Okay I'm sorry I bought the turtle eggs sold in Pasar Payang, but that was not from the endangered species. I used to eat a lot of them when I was in Sabah. That was way back in the 80s and 90s, not knowing a thing about turtle extinction. Huhuhu... not anymore, ya. The photo of the three of us inseparable bunch taken in Pantai Kelulut in Marang, Terengganu.

So, we went to Pasar Payang as I was excited to discover its famous intricate hand-woven songket and hand-painted silk cloths. I've already bought one silk in Kelantan but now looking to buy one more in Terengganu for my Eid traditional dresses but can't afford to by the original songket because it goes by hundreds and some by the thousands of Ringgit! The most expensive that we asked has a price tag of RM5000+!!! Then I can understand why. It is very finely woven with colourful treads and detailed motifs that tell you story. It's not even repetitive in some of the master pieces. I was in awe. The photo showed Mie and Azizah with some of the Terengganu Songket for man to be worn with baju melayu (Malay man traditional attire).

After Pasar Payang, we shoot down to Pahang State to break our fast in our friend's family house in Maran. We stopped to buy the never to be missed when visiting Terengganu, the keropok lekor. A mixture of flour and fish flesh to make into the most addicted, mouth watering delicacies. Ummm yummy!

Then we went down to the nearby beach to leave some footprints in Terengganu as well as to instill the moment with a few photos to remember in years to come. The photo showed all of us who went for the trip, courtesy of Nurul's camera.

We reached Maran, Pahang just on time for iftar (breaking of fast). Mawi and his family (our outdoor friend) were so hospitable towards us, by serving a lavish buka puasa spread kampung style. Just as we like it!

Thank you to Azli and Mawi for your great hospitality in Kelantan and Pahang respectively. Thank you to Azizah, Mie and Mariati for all the tears and laughters in the car along the journey. Thank you to Pantas, Nurul, Jaja and Sham for being a good buddy along our journey together to the East Coast. It was loads of fun! Yeay!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bless the Children of Adam


Kids and single mothers from Pondok Penyayang Raudhah

Ramadhan is here again. A month that is full of blessing, a month that is beautifully bonding and a month that is meant for sharing and giving. I am truly humbled.

Being in my position, I had the opportunity to do something for the community. Every festive seasons means lots of programmes for the less fortunate. That's one of the reasons I love my job and that's also one of the reasons that I stayed on in this line of duty.

For this holy month of Muslims, we have called orphans from Pondok Penyayang Raudhah, Batu 11, Gombak to share the abundance of Ramadhan Buffet at our famous restaurant, Swez Brasserie. A total of 40 orphans, 3 single mothers and 7 caretakers were present for the buka puasa session accompanied by the hotel management.

I was happy to hear story from the leader, Puan Ummi. She shared some information of the orphanage. They were pretty much independent for they do not get funds from the government. It was established by Ustaz Mokhtaruddin and his family. They have their own business and they are doing some kind of a farming to help ease the burden of day to day expenses. The children were taught to finish up their education and for those who are not into academics, were sent for vocational training. Orphans are aged from 3 months old baby to 20 years old teenagers.

How I wish I could be a rich person that I could give more to the unfortunate people. For the time being, my limited contribution hopefully will bring some kind of joy during this Ramadhan. Hope that Malaysians will always be charitable and giving towards one another in regardless of creed, race and religion. We all are the same red blooded human being. We do not have to see colours for doing good, ya. The rest, leave it to Allah swt to judge. That way, we will not hate, but we will love more.

A gentle reminder to those who are just about to venture into charity. Please know that, orphans, visually impaired people, old folks and physically or mentally challenged people are sometimes very eccentric people. They do not conform to our normal rules, therefore, pardon them for being different. Give with no expectation to receive.

Donation for this home can be made via MAYBANK: 564221610787 or call the home at 03-6185 2068 to arrange for a visit.

Last but not least: "Jangan lupa bayar ZAKAT"

Friday, August 14, 2009

BLACK & RED


Sales & Marketing Team - Eastin Hotel on Buddies Night 2009

I just started a new job this year. Feels like doing some changes to revitalise and challenge myself for just something new. It's been a wonderful 2 years of my career with The Summit Hotels & Resorts. I had fond memories of the people and friends over there. No particular reasons for leaving my comfortable position in the corporate office, but it's just time to move on to the next level.

So as always in my career history, I started my new job with a wonderful event at the new hotel to mark a new beginning. This time, it's the secretarial club's party on 6th August 2009. We called it Buddies Club and it was 'Men in Black & Women in Red'. About 200+ guests and media attended the function. Everyone was so sporting with the team. Hardly anyone you see without a colour of black or red on their dresses and shirts.

It's a night filled with friendly gestures, laughter and togetherness. For the guests, it was fun with good food, good music, freebies, lucky draws, fashion shows by SNIPS, cooking demo by the fun Chef Veron and massage talk by Tanamera Spa. What else to say.... well it's just a wonderful event to start with.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Would you marry me? Because I'd like to date you.

I was not feeling my vibrant self yesterday over a family issue. I had a date with my friend, Jasz to watch 'The Proposal' which she took an effort to buy the ticket a day earlier. Three of us girls watching, i.e. Jasz, Dr. Karin and myself.

I told her, this better be good because I really need a good laugh today. Well, being a fan of Sandra Bullock, I know she will not disappoint me.

It turned out to be the best ever romantic comedy for this year! So hilariously witty and touching at the same time.

A story about a Canadian Executive Editor-in-Chief, Margerate Tate of a publishing house, Colden Books who has her visa expired. She quickly came out with a great idea to marry her assistant, Andrew Paxton to save her from being deported back to Canada.

Andrew who was hardworking and desperate to be an editor, agreed with the condition that she promote him to be in that position with an immediate effect. So they made a pact and off they go for a three-day weekend at Andrew's hometown in Alaska to convince the immigration officer that they are a real couple and are getting married. From there on, their love story begins.

Even if the story was predictable but plot was beautiful to no fault and the acting were superb. Sandra Bullock was funny, high class and eccentric, which she made us believe her character very much. Ryan Reynolds was also a good actor. Very natural and cute, playing an assistant and a rich man's son who wants to break away from his family tradition. It makes you love this couple and follow through their story till the end.

I would say it is a modern day love story between a lady boss and her assistant. Hmm... very possible in this time and era.

Hahaha... I give THE PROPOSAL a 5 out of 5!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Malaysia's Got Talent


Susan Boyle - An amazing rare singer from the recent Britain's Got Talent Show 2009

About three months ago, I thought I needed to do something exciting in life. Besides dancing and shopping, what else can trigger an excitement. I just don't know. I was feeling down with no reasons. Relationship f***ed up, needless to say.

So I feel the need to go back to my sisters. I think I should be reconnected to my family. That's the best ever solution. It was crazy and addictive. Never in my whole life I would actually believe myself being able to adopt this as a hobby. Dancing maybe, but not SINGING!

Blame it to all my crazy sisters. They all were crazy enough to find time to actually go off their work and go to the nearest karaoke centre for a break. How can they do this? Well, they all entrepreneurs, their own boss. Of course they can take a break anytime they like. But not I. I had to do it on weekends or after work.

It started when I was feeling down and lonely. Life is just not lively enough to my standard. I need a new activity. Where else to go when you are down and blue but to your own family, right. So I did go back to my family to find peace of mind. Meeting my parents always give me some kind of rejuvenating energy to my dead feelings. I feel so blessed and they reminded me of my life purpose in this world of evanescent.

Then my sister told me that she wanted to go karaoke. I asked, what's that all about and who's going? She said, all my sisters going. They've been at it for months, singing together. I was surprised. How come I was not invited. They said, because I was always busy with my own life and career. Never wanted to attend any of their functions. I had no idea, what I've been missing.

I was impressed. Then the rest of it is history. I was a karaoke addict ever since.

One good thing about this activity was that it connects me with my sisters. It makes us closer like never before. We have found one activity that all of us like in regardless of our age difference. Six of us girls and all love to go for a karaoke. I even get to see my 2-year old nephew often enough to make him recognise me and remembers my name too. If not because of this, I would have not known my own nephews and see them growing up. I had 7 nephews and one nice. Eight of them. They grew so fast. It amazes me sometimes. Huhuhu...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Romancing the Rainforest of the Past and Present

This posting is rather late. I know. But I want to write it anyway.

I went to the recent 12th Rainforest World Music Festival 2009 which has been held from 10th- 13th July 2009 in Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong, Borneo Sarawak. It has been a very unique experience, I wound say (:

Before we move on further on the festival, I would like to reminisce my earlier visit to Sarawak in Year 2005. I went for a leisure vacation to Kuching with a dear friend. We had a great time in the Cultural Village. We enjoyed the cultural performance which to our opinion was of an international standard. It was a three-day brief visit to Kuching and I wish I would have stayed there longer.

Back then in 2005, I put into my schedule of places to visit and authentic things to try in Kuching. Among many things on my list was the Bako National Park since I am so into national parks and wonders of nature. Some of my career decisions were made based on these reasons alone. Example, Botany and Mulu. In my life, I always think that it would have been something amiss if I didn't go to check out the flora and fauna of any unique places that I came to visit.

So my friend and I went to Bako National Park and the Semenggoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre with a rented Proton Saga which we paid RM100 a day. I drove the car all over the city. The road was not so difficult to maneuver. In Bako, we took an impromptu jungle trekking, choosing the shortest distance possible just to have a feel of the place. So we took the 1 half hours trek that goes to a beautiful bay, Teluk Pandan Besar. It was so nice but unfortunately, we didn’t know how to get down to the beautiful secluded beach down below. It's just an appreciation of a scenic sandy bay overlooking the South China Sea. I wish I could just jump the cliff!

I would not forget the boat ride experience of Bako. It’s all bouncy, reverberated, wavy and wet. I love it to pieces as it gives me that kind of adrenaline rush. What a happy feeling I had. All soaked from head to toe. Then we bought our tickets and off we go to do the trekking as what I have described above.

Now back to the rainforest of Santubong. It’s totally another unique experience. The much anticipated event in my ‘this year’ list. I went there with high hopes and expectations. Of course most of my friends, whom I intended to go with, can’t make it. I managed to get an old friend to get interested, so off we go.

Instead of going with my usual free spirited friends on a loose. I was tamed by going with a friend and her family which included with them one small kid of 4 year-old. She's a bubbly kid with great enthusiasm for life. Her name is CINTA or LOVE in English. True to her name, everyone who came to be in contact with her, will immediately fall in love with her. It was totally a different atmosphere and style chilling out with this family. I enjoyed the experience and it makes me see things through a different perspective. Thanks to all of them.

*Here are some of the photos of my memorable journey to Kuching and Santubong. Words can’t describe a moment that is within your heart (:
*will upload photos later.

The eyes see and the heart feels. A thousand words unspoken because it is better left that way. Let it be instilled in the memory of thee and me.

Adios!


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

L.O.V.E to all the greats


Video courtesy of fonrims32 from YouTube.

This is the original L.O.V.E song by Nat King Cole recorded in 1964, his last album. One of the great musician in history. Well... This is a distraction of Michael Jackson memorial service that I am watching right now. An escapism. I shall write about him some other time. Not now.

Nat King Cole, a sad story in history. Why do people want to hate other people because of their colour? I just can't get it. What makes you so superior than the other. Cut yourself and the blood comes out the same red!

In his musical history, Nat King Cole was a victim of racial prejudice in America of that era. He would have been bigger and larger than life with his great talent. You can listen to all his songs now and find its remakes by many artists. It's truly magnificent and evergreen. UNFORGETTABLE, NATURE BOY, WHEN I FALL IN LOVE and MONALISA to name a few.


Video courtesy of loveblue15 from YouTube

Now this is L.O.V.E song remake by Joss Stone, an English fabulous singer which I adore. She sang this song with Nat King Cole own daughter, Natalie. It's the most beautiful song that will be remembered forever. Coco Mademoiselle used this song for their commercial which has delighted the whole world. If you all can remember that beautiful feeling when watching Keira Knightley in it (:


Friday, June 19, 2009

FLOWER POWER



“We are born owning many qualities; some we may never know we possess. It all depends what kind of run God gives us” – Colleen McCullough in Morgan’s Run

If you feel ill inside, do not let your head or heart clouded with negative auras that’ll only weaken the body. Go out for some air. It means you need to breathe something that is fresh. Fresh means new and new means change. Let’s take another run.

Whatever that rambling is, I am a happy woman today. A flora and fauna aficionado, I am a flower girl on a loose. I bought flowers of many colours and textures. It makes me so happy just to look at my creations. I am like a proud mother.

Even artificial flowers can give me that happy feeling, needless to say with fresh ones. I will fall in love, unable to take my eyes off it for days. That’s the power of flowers men should know. The importance of giving flowers to a woman was to make her happy. The smell, colour and shape of every soft petal give positive effect to human senses.

Not the artificial flowers though. It’ll only tell the woman that you are a cheapskate and an artificial person with a boring character (:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Animal Instinct in the Zoo


Animals on the loose in Madagascar 2

A couple of months back, I went to the zoo with a friend. My initial plan was to participate in their tree planting campaign in conjunction with Earth Day. It was stated in Zoo Negara’s calendar. I called a week prior to my visit to enquire about it. To my chagrin I was informed that the event has been called off due to non-participant of sponsors for the trees (why hadn’t they updated the website for God’s sake). My intention to volunteer on the tree planting finally became a visit that was insightful to share here in this blog.

My last time to the zoo was somewhere in Year 2007 when I brought my ex-colleague from Royal Mulu Resort for a tour. At that time, our Zoo Negara still has its aquarium collections (though awfully in need of maintenance), which consisted of fresh water fish and they also had the penguins. Where did all these animals now? I wonder. I went to see the Orang Utan show as well. At that time they had huge collection of monkeys. Hmm… why did I call the animals in the zoo as ‘collection’? Animals are not supposed to be a collection. They are species that need the same humane attention, tender care love and affection. Above all, we need to respect them. They have feelings so therefore, they can feel pain and they get hurt too.

Okay, forget about collection. There are many types of fish comprising tropical species and many types of snakes during my previous visit. The dwindling numbers of monkeys in the cages and even the snakes makes me so upset. Existing few that they have now were like impoverished, very sad and depressed looking. All the animals were looking like that! E.g. the sun bears, the Orang Utans, the chimpanzees, the cougar and the leopard. Thank God, the lions and tigers were well fed and looking fine if not bored. It makes me think, for the sake of education, we enclosed these animals against their will. How does that impact their lives? Huhuhu… I am thorn in between the right and the wrong of these animals living in captivity.

My heart aches. It reminds of Madagascar, the cartoon. How the Penguins lead the animals to flee the zoo.

Living in a place that is out of their natural habitat some of the animals shown signs of depression. No matter how much I tried to console my self that the zoo keepers are giving their best to sustain the animals in the most comfortable condition, I still feel sceptical about our zoo’s capabilities. In my opinion, Taiping Zoo fare better than our National Zoo. Not to mention, Singapore Zoo. It’s so far off to even compare! Huhuhu…

Looking around, the surrounding areas, obviously Zoo Negara was doing some kind of upgrading which was good. They had new trams driving visitors around the zoo which is commendable. There was some construction going on which I wonder what it’s all about since it’s like abandoned and no one was doing any work. What a messy scene. An eyesore to us, visitors.

The Safari was a sad thing as tall grasses left uncut, mosses found on the cemented floor, and it’s so disorganised. The Giraffes, Zebras and Rhinos, all looking like they were out of place. The theme ‘Safari’ did not meet up to the name. You just didn’t get the feel of it. Imagine what the animals had to suffer! Ahh!

I made some kind of summation in my head. Do we need the zoo or not. And the weight falls to YES we need the ZOO for the sake of education for our city folks who had never been to the jungle, who had never seen those animals from different parts of the world. But at least we need to make these animals live as comfortable as possible in exchange of them being caged and displayed for us human being, the caliph of this world.

The easiest to understand animals was from our own pets like cats or dogs for instance. They need to be treated like our family. Every cats and dogs are special with their own personality just like humans. They need, tender loving care. If not, cats and dogs will go into depression or behaviour disorder. Have you seen a depressed cat or dog? Well I have. And I hate people who tortured animals! I think, they will go to HELL.

Back to Zoo Negara, the issue now is obviously that they do not have enough financial aid from the government and the full support from the public itself. The entrance fees of RM15 (adults), RM6 (golden citizen and children below 12) and the tram ride for RM3 per round for me was reasonable for the upkeep of the zoo. Being a caring society, please support our zoo.

I’ve seen a lot of write ups been published by our local media to promote the zoo. Kudos to our good reporters. Keep up the support. The only thing now is for the management of Zoo Negara to look into matters pertaining their human capitals and quality deliverance of services. During peak season like school holidays, they need to have enough staffing to handle big crowds and to ensure good customer service to attract people to come back. Good products and good customer service come hand in hand. These should be looked into seriously. Hire passionate and experienced people to be in the front liner such as the PR and Event side. This is vital for the image of the zoo as it has been scrutinised by the public lately.

Oh dear, I am not in the position to tell people what to do. I love our zoo and hope it will fare well in the future and get to achieve its goal of becoming a world class zoo. Amin…

Sunday, June 07, 2009

There is a Soulmate for Everyone





"Who doesn't long for someone to hold. Who knows how to love you without being told"

This is a beautiful song. I dedicate it to all my young readers out there who are still looking for their soulmate :) I know it's not easy. Sometimes you think that this is it, he/she is the one but in the end, it's not the permenant one. Do not despair, all my dearest.

I've gone through that road. I have failed but still I believe there is a soulmate for everyone. You just had to be patient. Some will find him/her soon, some will have to go through a lot before finding one.

About four years ago my ex-colleague passed away because of colon cancer (and she's not the only one). She's in her 50s but she was like a mother to me. We were really close back in Year 1999. She was a Chef for one of the most prestigious food manufacturer in this country while I was an executive in the Business Development Department, helping her with new recipes for new products. She was a widow for 10 years and more at that time.

I had many fond memories of her. She's the fairest lady in her 40s back then. Her beauty was inside out. A beautiful lady with beautiful heart and beautiful taste in everything. I got to know from her, that she had many admirers asking for her hand but she refused. I asked her why she rejected all the proposals. She told me because her soulmate was with her, watching over her. She can feel his presence and his love still. Many a night, he will come into her dream. They will meet each other on top of a hill, with flowers in his hand and he will hold her without saying a word. She loved him every single day.

It made me humble listening to her love story. Theirs was like a movie material, really. Looking at the old photos of them together, the love was obvious in every expression and every pose. They never had children, but they had an adopted son. I will never forget her. Their love is an example of the existence of soulmate for everyone.

The husband died because of brain cancer. And she died because of colon cancer. It sounds tragic to people like us but in heaven who knows, they are happy together. May their loving spirits rest in peace for they had loved and had been loved. May Allah bless their souls. Amin...

My Goodness... lovey-dovey-head-in-the-clouds. Must be the full moon. I'm supposed to write something about the zoo!

Well... cheers everyone. Enjoy :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Importance of Customer Service - an example

I called a florist today to make an inquiry about flower arrangements for my friend’s wedding in December. These are what transpired between us:

Me: Hello… is this Ms. Eliza, the florist.
Eliza: Yes! Wait ha! #@($#$ *))*# (in Chinese)
Eliza: Yes, hello! (with an angry tone)

Me: Hi, my name is Liza, I got your phone number from Mr. Lesley the bungalow owner of my friend’s wedding venue. I am calling to inquire about the flower arrangement.
Eliza: When is the wedding? (answering with no patience)

Me: In December.
Eliza: If it’s in December, then don’t call me now. I am very busy today. Call me in December!

Me: Okay, then can we at least meet up to discuss this matter (was shocked with her reply).
Eliza: If you want to meet me, not during weekend. I am not around. Meet me weekdays only.

Me: What time do you close?
Eliza: We do not operate from office. We are 365 a year, 24/7 a week (saying it out proudly).

Me: In that case, can we meet you up after 7pm since my friend and I are both working people.
Eliza: Nope. I am not available at night time (with an arrogant tone).

Me: How can I meet you up, then?
Eliza: Now is very hi-tech. There’s a thing called email (saying it sarcastically).

Me: Why are you being so sarcastic? Is this the way you speak to your customer? It’s like you are so angry when I call you up to inquire more on doing business with you (in disbelief I was getting angrier by the moment of her rude behaviour).
Eliza: No…. You must know, that today, I am very busy. I have no time speaking to you (how would I know, right… and she’s denying of being rude).

Me: Even if you are busy, this is no way of treating your customer. Well then, we speak some other time.
Eliza: Ok. (she hung up the phone with no feeling of remorse)

There will not be some other time for sure. I shall never call her again nor would I keep her number for future reference. Period!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SMILE (:

What a challenging day yesterday. My car punctured twice in a week's time. Leaving me with no spare tyre to replace the second puncture. So I left my car at the petrol station to be at work on time.

Then my predicament started. I realised that it's just so difficult to find a taxi that will take me to work willingly. All refused to head to my work place, reason being, the traffic jam.! I had no choice but to take the bus. So I waited about 30 minutes for the bus to come. And I had to stand some more. Huhuhu... With my prim and proper attire plus three inch high-heels, I look so out of place. The Indonesian guy standing next to me were staring with one kind of a stare . I prayed to God, please let the bus speed up so that I will be off the bus asap.

Unfortunately, the bus didn't go to my office location. I had to go down halfway and take a cab. This time I managed to get a taxi with the condition that I agree not to use the meter. The taxi driver said, because of the jam and to cover the cost of returning without passenger, the fare is RM10 for a less than 5km ride. Oh dear... reasons, reasons, reasons.... I had to conform to the norm in order to survive this predicament. What ta heck.

Nothing in this world should bring your morning spirit down. The start of the day will determine the end, so it better be good. That's my mission and I had accomplished it with flying colours. I wore a mask that nobody knew what the trouble that I had to go through to be at work on time in one good smiling piece. Towards the end of the day, a magazine who's supposed to write stories about something else wanted to cover a story about myself in the Personality Page!

What a luck :)

Smile and the world will smile with you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

GREEN EDUCATION - The fun way


Register your participation here.

Treasure hunters... you all may want to join this hunt which focuses on environmental education. Symbolically teaching you about your carbon footprint, recycling and how you can actually contribute towards a Green Nation.

It is organised by MENGO (Malaysian Environmental NGO) and the COC (Clerk of Course) is Purple Antz. You may get more information by clicking to their respective websites. I won't tell so much about it.

Those who have never been to a treasure hunt before, you may want to try this. It does not involve any cars like usually done in a normal hunt. True to its name, Green Hunt, it requires participants to take on public transportation.

I would suggest students, families, executives, retirees and even physically challenged person to participate as this hunt is suitable for all walks of life. There are more than RM20, 000 worth of prizes to be won. Participation fee is only RM50 per person and proceeds from this income will go to MENGO fund for the continuation of their existance in research and as a voice of environmental sustainability in Malaysia.

When? 27th June 2009 (Saturday)
Where? Half Day Walk and LRT Hunt in Klang Valley only
Who? Families, Students, Physically Challenged, everyone!
How? Log on to MENGO
Why? BECAUSE YOU CARE!

For more details, you may want to contact:
MENGO Support Unit
Unit 30-2, Jalan PJU 5/16
Dataran Sunway
47810 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia

Tel: +603-6157 5708
Fax: +603-6157 6707
Person In-Charge: Mr. Awang Muzaiddin Ahat

Please show your support :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Dire State of Blue

Fight no more. Hate no more. Troubles you bring unto your selves. The dire state of Blue. Sigh… I need to cool myself down. Anger is not victorious. Hence come this posting. Here goes…

Our planet is called the Blue Planet. Why? Because from out of space, it’s the clearest blue of all. The atmospheric layers and the 70% water that covers the earth, earth is like a blue orb. Imagine how small the land area is. Only 30% and not all of the 30% are habitual. Minus the mountains, the dense forests, the extreme of Arctic (North Pole), Antarctica (South Pole) and the extreme deserts. We occupy not halve of the above sea level land area.

With the world population of 6.7 billion as of May 2009, a data from US Census Bureau, we are fighting for our own survival on this planet. All of us are only one speck of dust compared to the massive scale of Earth and its organisms that co-exist. No one should ever think that they are exclusive. No one should ever think that they could do whatever they like because the power that they have. No one is saved.

If Mother Nature wants to wipe us all, in one second, it can happen. We can’t control the amount of death caused by the rage of nature. For example, the Asian Tsunami in December 2004 (wiped out an estimated 230, 210 people – Wikipedia.com), Hurricane Catrina in August 2005 (about 1,836 death - Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, April 18, 2006), Sichuan Earthquake in May 2008 (estimated death toll of 70, 000 – from Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2009). The positive side is we do not have to worry about over-population of the Earth. Mother Nature has its own control mechanics :)

Back to the statistics, something interesting I found and would like to share. In a year, this world celebrated about 137 million of human birth and we mourn about 56 million of human death. World population is increasing obviously. Since births outnumber deaths, the world's population is expected to reach about 9 billion by Year 2040. Find all the data here. Can’t be putting data without reference, right :)

We should look after the ecological balance of this world. If Earth loses its balance, we all will pay the consequences. Having said that, my point is, no power is mightier than nature itself. We must take great care. I fear the wrath. Do you not feel the same?

So what ails our Blue Planet? GLOBAL WARMING! Everyone, this is very urgent. All individuals, families, communities, states, countries and the whole wide world must be aware what Global Warming is all about. This is because Global Warming causes ecological imbalance which causes the melting of the ice in the south and north poles which will lead to decreasing of land area (the rest you can imagine), the increase of average world temperature which causes bush fire and over-heating to us (unpleasant to live in a hot pot), the extinction of certain species (like the polar bears), the spread of diseases and many more unexpected situations.

We should have all these knowledge because knowledge is power. With knowledge, comes change. I’ll be writing more about this topic of my interest :)

Note: Photo taken from www.ablueplanet.org.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lovers' Impasse



This song sounds heartbreaking but somehow it makes me so happy :) Because I've done just that! Taking back my love and never ever going to give it back! Plus the throwing thingy as well. It feels great! The music makes you want to move your body, like you wish you are in a dance club at the moment. Letting go of your feelings and frustrations.

I am so happy for all my friends, i.e. Yoge, Josephine and Dinesh for getting married this year. I am so excited for Josephine that she has found her dream wedding venue. The bungalow is just perfect for her kind of wedding. After a month of headache searching for the right one, we found it at last. Thanks to Dinesh for sharing with me the contact. It's just perfect :)

Take a break everyone. True love is not material, not sex, nor external beauty. Think about it. Enjoy the song!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Good Read when You Need One



I am writing this at my parents' place. I seldom went home to stay overnight any more ever since I officially moved out in 2007. However, I made a point to go back home at least twice a month. My parents will surely miss me if I failed :)

I still have all my things in my room. One big wardrobe of my clothings, my desktop and my whole book collection which I didn't take with me due to no space to store them at the moment in my place.

Browsing through my book collections, I can see my all my favourite autors, i.e. Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Paulo Coelho, Steven King and many more. I pick up one book for I need it to kill time during my long wait for an important appointment. I wanted The Alchemist but realised that it's with my friend. Hmm... need to get it back.

The Alchemist is an easy read. A very short book with deep message that can last you a life time. For some of us, it could be a life changing knowledge when you come to understand how things work in this universe.

Lots of people have read it, I am sure. For those who have not, please run to the book shop to get a copy. You will never regret it :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ALL THIS TIME



I am emotionally feeling down today, therefore I need to do some kind of a distraction. A few days back I was trying to locate my music library for Berlinda Carlisle, a famous pop singer in the 80s and 90s. I still remember I had her greatest compilation of hit songs starting from La Luna, Run Away Horses, We Want the Same Thing, Heaven is a Place on Earth and many more. I listened to these songs during my study days. She's such an inspiration. I love beautiful woman who has great talents and her kind of music is evergreen :)

I am searching in my music library for something soothing to console my soul in replacement of a box of ice-cream or a Cadbury chocolate in order to make me feel happy right now. No endorphines via food. Not when I am trying so hard to be like the Biggest Loser. My decision is to listen to good music and get swayed by it :)

I tried to think of great singers of the yesteryears to match Berlinda Carlisle's. Then I remember Tiffany. She's famous with All This Time. I wanted to find the music video of this song via You Tube, but a lot of other song entitled All This Time of the now came out. Not bad that I discovered Maria Mena and Michelle McManus. Mena is a young singer from Norway and Michelle is a UK based singer, winner of Pop Idol 2. They are great singers and their musics are worth listening to. I sure will get their original CDs soon :)



Such a refreshing music and it makes me feel much better. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If you lose me...

"If you lose me then you know, you're just a bit too slow, I only go up!"
~The Saturdays in 'UP'~

In my experience of being in the rat race, I only believe that you give your best in order to get the best. You've got to stand out in the crowd in whatever that you are doing. That's the only way, no exception to the rules. This world is no place for mediocre. It's either you be on top or be at the bottom. Being in between means you don't know what you want in life and you are close to nothing.

Why do I say this? Because I just got fed up with people who has no ambitions or people who are scared to wish for the stars . I'm sick with people who give reasons for their failure. I loath, those who are complacent and happily satiated with whatever that is coming their way. Even when things go smoothly for them, they don't even bother to appreciate it. Until everything is taken away. Then, come the self pity. Blame it to the other person and bla bla bla... I will say, MOVE ON.

In my line of work, I have opened up a lot of opportunities for other people to move along with me. I love to see progress in people for their own survival. Nothing for me to gain but I expect commitments and enthusiasms that match my own. No doubt it's not as easy as ABC. But hey, every success comes with a price, isn't it. Take the opportunity and give the best. That's all the requirement is. Was it so hard to do? No, right. But people being people who have many kinds of excuses and attitudes will always think otherwise. Do doubt I am really mad at this moment.

What more can I say. If you lose me, then you know, it's your own doing. I do not conform to anybody who is trying to bring me down. For now, I only go up.

You are your own destiny. No one can help you.

Friday, May 08, 2009

HALAL CONSUMPTION

I had the honour to participate in MIHAS 2009 this year. It was launched by our Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. This is due to one of the group subsidiary company participated in the showcase of Halal food during the exhibition.

What is the definition of HALAL? Some of the non-Muslim surely have asked this.

Answer taken from Mihas website: In the Quran, the holy book and guide for all Muslims, there exists verses that call for Muslims to seek provisions that are ‘halalan toyibban’. The English equivalent for this phrase would mean lawful and wholesome. Therefore, halal is actually about everything from the food we consume to the businesses we conduct to the transactions we perform in our daily lives. It is the responsibility of a Muslim to ensure that what he practices and consumes is clean, hygienic and not detrimental to either his health or his well-being. Halal is an all encompassing concept which encourages a Muslim to seek and use products, ventures and services that promote cleanliness in all aspects of a person’s -that a product or service is safe for consumption, produced in a clean environment and health. Halal is the next benchmark for quality. Read more here.

Hadhari Catle Industry Sdn Bhd is now under the same group of company that I am attached with at the moment. So I had the chance to learn more of this business in the Marketing side. Hmm... very interesting. I realised how big the market for Halal Food is. It's not just for the Muslim, for the non-Muslim too because similarly to the Jews which they called it Kosher Food, is clean and save for everyone. That's the upper most teaching of Islam.

Hadhary Catle first operated in 2006 is now growing faster than a baby could walk. Malaysia as the World Halal Hub has helped a lot in promoting this business. At the MIHAS 2009 International Trade Exhibition, you will see more of the catle produce from Hadhari Industry and all can have a taste of Hadhari Beef as our Executive Chef Faizal from The Summit Hotel Subang USJ and his team are working hard at the Halal Kitchen. You can find them at Booth No. D58 - D65.

Hadhari Industry has brought Celebrity Chef Ismail to do cooking demonstrations and giving tips in cooking different types of beef. Don't miss the chance to taste what Chef Ismail has in store for the visitors. He will be at the Hadhari Food booth from today, 8th-10th May'09.

Try the special Hadhari Burger for RM3 a piece and you can also buy the beef produce available at the booth. Anything beef that you can think of, it's there for the taking. I begin to learn different types of beef and from which part of the catle they come from; like the ribeye, tenderloin, hotpot, striploin sinews, highrib and etc. There are different types of sausage and salami, different type of burger meat as well. Real burger meat without much fat in it. Amazing! It's educational for food enthusiast. Many types of steak meat to test your cooking ability as well.

How I wish I could be a great cook. Not my forte, though :)

International participation this year is very encouraging. You may learn a lot of halal product coming from countries like Egypt, Iran, Palestine, Republic of Serbia, Tunisia, UK and many more. Learn of their products and you will see how big the market is. Halal is not just the food. It includes, healthcare and beauty products as well.

Decorum Everyone!

What happened in Perak State last night and even since the last election makes me sick! I avoided writing about it because I hate politics and I don't want to tarnish my blog with sick political stories of our now to become sick society. Will you all just stop acting like we were born without proper decorum and ill background. Like we were never taught of good manners, respects and tolerance. Urggg.... there goes my frustrations :(

In regardless of what your political beliefs are, the thumb rule is, 'GIVE RESPECT-EARN RESPECT'. Decorum everyone!!! How can you be a future leader if you yourselves can't set a good example for the society. Do you think you fit the shoes you want to wear? Or was it a size bigger than your own feet. Answer this simple question and you know your credibility. Stop making fun of our country to others in the name of power and your own political agenda. I am so so so sick. It's damaging everyone of us. It's making me want to puke to see what happened on TV last night.

I think our society need to look into other areas of life that will generate positive thinking and healthy lifestyle. Look at our global warming for example. Everyone need to care for Mother Earth. Our government should impose more environmental friendly rules and regulations in all areas concern. Make it our priority now! It's getting hot in here. Weather changes have triggered unpredictable floods and droughts. No political powers in the world can save us if Mother Earth is destroyed. Who can go against nature wrath? Don't you see the urgency.

Our world is changing therefore we move in line with the changes in a positive way. Enough with political battle, wear your thinking head for matters like, health research, children education, conservation of the environment, elimination of poverty, empowering of the disabled people or OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya) and many other battles in this life that is vital in sustaining our existence in this world of evanescent.

STOP NEGATIVITY. Use your time to the best of all things that will generate love, happiness, unity and stability. How will you be able to do this? Simple.

Think positive, and the outcome will be positive. Think happy, you get happy. Think love, you get love. Fill up your time with positive activities. For example this weekend is very significant to most of us. It's going to be Wesak Day on the 9th and Mother's Day Celebration on the 10th. For a family activity and education, you may go for the Lupus Event as per my previous posting. Show that you care. Our children will follow this good example. And you can also go for the MIHAS 2009 Exhibition at Matrade. Something educational and may be a business opportunity for some.

Tons of activities that is healthier for your well being and family can be done if only you will it to happen :)

Note: Photo courtesy of Tourism Malaysia

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

LUPUS


Butterfly rash - common indicator of lupus (photo courtesy of MedicineNet.inc)

What is LUPUS? I am sure many of you out there are not aware of what LUPUS is. I myself only came to know about lupus last year when my colleague told me that her friend is suffering from an unknown disease that makes her weak and sick without knowing exactly what it is. Later she made a research on this matter and we have been talking about it.

A few months later, miraculously an association came to approach me, i.e. Lupus Malaysia to help support their event. Then, I remember about my colleague's friend and I did more research to understand it further. If not because of that, I would have not known about this type of sickness at all.

So what is LUPUS? Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. In a layman term, Lupus is a type of sickness that has no cure at the moment as we do not know in particular the cause or the right medicine to eliminate it from attacking one's body ammunition system. Read more here.

The easiest way and the most common symptom to identify lupus is the butterfly rash. A kind of red rash that appears on the nose and spreads like butterfly wings on the face. The rash is not itchy like pimples. It can be treated and healed without scars. However, lupus is a chronic disease, not to be taken lightly. Other common symptoms are joint pain, fatigue with no reasons, fever, photosensitive (sensitive of sunlight) and even hair loss.

Everyone has their own immune system that will fight diseases automatically via natural antibody. With lupus, your antibody will attack healthy tissues unrelated to any diseases. It can cause you problems of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints and even your nervous system (brain). Well... I am trying to explain this is a layman term because the article that I've read seems complicated enough and boring for some :)

The sad thing about lupus is that we do not know the exact cause of this disease. And we do not have an exact medication to treat the patient. I was amazed to know that some patients have to be wheelchair bound because their joints were too week to function anymore. Direct exposure to the sun will make the disease even worst for the patient. That leads Lupus Malaysia to organised the Walk-a-Payung on December, 14th 2008. With that event, I think a lot of Malaysians came to know about lupus.

In support of another of their event, I would like to urge all Malaysians to attend to their "Colours of Hope" children's art event as the following:

Date: 9th May 2009, Saturday
Event: COLOURS OF HOPE - Art event to mark PSLEM's World Lupus Day 2009
Venue: Ground Floor, Promanade (in front of Burger King & TGIF), 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Website: www.lupusmalaysia.org
Contact: 03-7957 7672/013-383 8644

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Climb



Looking back about a year ago, I was living in a dream. I imagined myself to be with someone that I love and willing to let go of my personal interest in life for the love of giving. I never wanted anything more but to be with THE ONE. I believe in THE ONE in regardless of what people preach or say to me. My mind says, home is where my heart is. I am still in that state of hard-to-believe naivety. Nothing will ever change that. However, my direction and enthusiasm towards life have changed. All for the better!

I began blogging when I first bought a laptop and a digital camera. The reason being, I wanted to be always up-to-date with technology and be independent in doing my own business conveniently. True to my plan, I achieved all that with flying colours. I never knew about blogger.com or blogspot at the beginning. All I know is that, I spend a lot of my time reading and I wish so badly to be able to put my thoughts into words like those successful authors that touches the hearts of millions. I feel things intensely which sometimes turns to pain. It would be a stress-relief to be able to channel it out somewhere.

After almost living life as a failure previously, or only in my mind, I thought myself as one (wrong mentality), I rise again to be at the top. Lucky enough in this life, God gives you second chance for everything. The choice is yours to take and I am taking it. Time that has been wasted for indefinite causes, now being utilised to the fullest. Not all of my loved ones understand my doings. I don't expect them to. Won't give explanation as well. That's my own choice and am responsible to my own action. Questioning me would make me mad.

I am building back my self, rebranding it to the next level. My inner side has been reformed. The gear has been set high. I need a compatible engine to match up the speed. Therefore I have done some upgrading. Limited resources teaches me to improvise here and there. Oh well... Patience is the word.

No one should understand this posting. This is my own ranting of a messy heart. For now it makes me erase my facebook and multiply account. I found it irritating and anoying at the moment. I need to disappear for awhile. Try find me :)

Listen to Miley Cyrus folks. She's cute and can pass as beautiful young lady soon, marvellous and just genius with her new song, THE CLIMB. It suits my mood at the time of this posting. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Penang, Pearl of the Orient

I've been to Penang Island many times in my life. It's one of my favourite getaways. It has a very unique culture, climate and most of all I love the food! However, my latest trip to Penang Island recently was like a maiden visit. Like I've never been there before :)

Here goes the story...

My friend Awang, who's working with MENGO (Malaysian Environmental NGO), a non-profit organisation formed in 2001 funded by the Danish based association to look into matters pertaining environmental issues in Malaysia, he invited me and my friend Jasz to volunteer for Water Day Penang held in Penang Botanical Garden on Sunday, 12th April'09. The event was launched by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng. It was the kick start of our adventure in Penang Island.

Getting to Penang

There are many means of transportation, however, we decided to take the challenge of express bus instead of driving. So on Saturday, 11th April'09 at 9.00am we started our journey from Pudu Bus Station with Transnational Coach to Penang. The ticket priced at RM35.00 per person for one way.

We arrived at the Sg. Nibong bus station at around 2.00pm. First thing first, we needed to check in to our hotel in Jalan Kebun Bunga, nearby the Botanical Garden. We saw taxis waiting outside the gate of Sg. Nibong bus station waiting for their prey, I think. True to my assumption, our predicament started thereon.

Penang Taxis

We realised that all Penang taxi does not use meter. The charges were fixed according to zones in regardless of the distance. Waterfall Hotel was only about 10km away from Sg. Nibong and the charge is RM30! The taxi driver explained, it’s their normal practice. No wonder the locals don’t bother to use taxi as means of transportation.

In my opinion, Penang taxi drivers should review their system and learn from KL to get better image from visitors and increase their income in the long run. Being expensive will only give bad image to the industry and eventually killing the business itself. I wonder why they can’t see the logic. So no argument, we paid our fare of RM30 and check-in at the hotel.

The next thing we need to do is to get our lunch. We wanted something authentically Penang. We asked the hotel reception, where we could eat. The answer we get was so cold because they wanted us to eat at the hotel’s restaurant which only served western food! She told us that all eateries are so far away from the hotel. Getting the cold and unfriendly respond from the second person we encountered was not a pleasant experience, but we didn’t want it to spoil our spirit. We still insist in getting the taste of Penang, so we decided to walk.

The walking part was fun. We took the wrong turning where the road was long and endless. We were happy and playful. At the end we hailed a taxi, no choice if we were to make the best of our limited time there. A less than 5km distance to Pulau Tikus, the taxi charged us RM10. We didn’t argue this time knowing very well that it was their culture.

Eating in Penang

We had Nasi Kandar for lunch. It’s very rich and delicious. You have you own pick of the servings from fish, eggs, chicken, mutton, beef and veges. Just name it and it’s yours. I had a kurma mutton with spinach. Umm… yummy as always!

After Nasi Kandar, we checked out an ice-cream outlet. We wanted to taste the ice-cream first before buying, but we were told, we can’t taste it. Not their practice. Huh! Okay, we had to respect people’s way of doing business. No worries, we selected our flavours and off we go to Gurney Drive area.

Walking gives us better view of Penang Island and its architecture. We noticed a lot of new high-rise, high-end condominiums under construction. New shopping malls too. Hmm… not bad as if the economy is booming. The walking and observation part was fun.

We ate some more at Gurney Drive before taking a bus to Feringhi Beach. Let's makan :)

So full with Nasi Kandar and Ice-cream, we want to check out the famous Gurney Drive hawker food centre. We saw these beautiful exotic snails they called Siput Duri, translated 'Thorny Snail' which I thought can only be found on beaches to be made of souvenirs. They were too pretty to eat. A full plate of beautiful snails was only RM10. It tastes great! We ordered some Chinese dumplings and a Yam Cake as well. Both cost us only RM4. That’s reasonable.

Feringhi Beach

Going to Feringhi via Rapid Penang is only RM1.50 from Gurney Drive. We were advised by two good Samaritan of policemen who were having their meals. The bus driver was a kind person. I was accompanied by a good-hearted elderly woman on the bus telling me things about the beautiful beaches of Feringhi and where to stop. We stopped ourselves at the Shangri-La Penang Beach Resort.

The beach was awesome with lots of people and activities. Since it was unplanned, we didn’t bring our swim wear. Nevertheless we had great fun riding on a horse which has a funny name and an attitude, namely 'SAY YES'. Hahaha... We were running in the water, lazing on the sand observing the crowd and finally the sunset. It was a beautiful and special moment for the three of us.



Gifts & Souvenirs

Usually I will buy Buah Pala (nutmeg) or Asams (preserved fruits) as gifts from Penang. However, this time around, I was not interested on those. I wanted something different. We browsed through the Feringhi night market for souvenirs. Most of the items were China-made, nothing authentic of Penang except for water-colour paintings of Penang scenery by local artists and t-shirts. Very disappointing because I would expect trinkets, handicrafts or anything local as we should promote local products as souvenirs to tourists. Finally I bought a dreamcatcher even though it is not authentically Red Indian’s. Someone used to give me one, so I just want to buy one for someone :)

Night Life

We took a cab to the new clubbing area near The Garage. The charge was RM15 from the hotel. It housed a few happening clubs like SS (Slippery Senoritas), Fame, Mois, Momo, Uptown and many more. We tried Momo. Clubbing in Penang was more expensive than in KL. On Saturday’s night, most of the clubs were patronized by youngsters of local Penangites. We took a cab back home at a bargain charge of RM25.

If I were to rate clubbing in Penang in terms of the crowd, pricing and delivery of quality services, it was 6 points out of 10.

Sorry folks :)

Places to Visit

There are many places you can visit in Penang. They have beautiful sandy beaches of Feringhi, beautiful UNESCO heritage buildings which features colonial architecture around the city, toy museum, snake temple, Bukit Bendera (Penang Hill), Penang Botanical Garden and many more to name just a few here.

Since our Water Day was the reason we went to Penang, we had a chance to walk around Penang Botanical Garden. It was beautiful although in my opinion, more can be done to it. It’s not supposed to be named a botanical garden at all. It’s not like Singapore Botanical Garden or even the Putrajaya Botanical Garden. There’s no learning centre or interpretive elements expected out of its name to the visitors. How I wish it could be a place whereby our future generation could learn something from the world of plants. Instead, it’s just like The Lake Garden in KL, a place for recreation activities.

However, I do love some of the trees I found over there such as the Canon Ball Trees, some low big branches trees which I didn't get to check the name and the Tabebuias (yellow coloured flower trees commonly found in Penang road sides).

Like wishing for the stars... but still wishing. I wish the local government could invest more in creating a real Botanical Garden with visitor’s interpretive centre to showcase our wide range of vegetation and create awareness of the conservation and research in the areas of botany.

After the Water Event, we went for a vegetarian lunch. Nice one :)

Then we went to Snake Temple near the Bayan Lepas area. Quite amazing. Lots of green coloured viper snakes coiled around man-made pillar branches passively. Not even a slight movement. It just sit there oblivious of people who came near them. Our friend, Hong told us that the snakes have been charmed by the monk at the temple. But it can also be the incense smoke that made them dizzy and passive like that. I am not sure… not enough time to really research on this matter.

In terms of architecture, the temple has many unique features. From the deity statues, to the bells, and the paintings. If only we had an expert to explain more of their meaning, it would be wonderful. Since we had so little time to catch on our coach back to KL, we made the visit short.

We went for a round to the USM campus. Hong showed us the Twin Towers of Penang. Hahaha… it’s actually a high end condominium with connecting bridge in the middle. Very expensive, it seems. About a million over a unit! I can do a lot of things with RM1mill.


Penang twin tower and Penang Bridge from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) view

Back to KL

So there you go my adventure in Penang Island with two good friends. It really feels like a maiden visit as we went to places we never been before, with means of public transports which gave us a different kind of experience. It turned out to be fun and adventurous :)

If you want something that is not boring, do it differently!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

My mind says:

  • "I CHOOSE TO LOVE EVERYTHING THAT IS MINE"
  • If it's not you, who else!
  • Love your country. Keep it SAFE & GREEN...