<bgsound src="http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2BFBCGCPAD" > My Big Big Adventure: November 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A friend for all seasons - adapted from The Star 27/11/2005

IN kindergarten, your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have her red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In the first year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

In the second year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.

In the third year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who shared her lunch with you because you’d left yours on the bus.

In the fourth year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch partners in the science lab so you wouldn’t have to be stuck with Nasty Nick or Smelly Susan.

In the fifth year of school, your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat at the back of the bus for you.

In the sixth year of school, your idea of a friend was the person who went up to your new crush and asked him to dance with you, so that if he said no, you wouldn’t be embarrassed.

In the seventh year of school, your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the Moral Studies homework the night before that you had to hand it in.

In the eighth year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old toys, but didn’t laugh at you when you finished and broke into tears.

In the ninth year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who would accompany you to a party thrown by a senior so you wouldn’t be the only junior there.

In the 10th year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who changed her schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

In the 11th year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who gave you rides in her new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn’t be grounded, consoled you when you broke up with your beau, and found you a date to the prom.

In the 12th year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pick out a college/university, assured you that you would get a place there; and helped you deal with your parents, who were having a hard time letting you go.

At graduation, your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as she congratulated you.

At the end-of-year party after the 12th year of school, your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you clean up the house; assured you that now that you and your beau were back together, you could make it through anything; helped you pack up for university and silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at the 18 years of memories you were leaving behind; then sent you off to college knowing you were loved.

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of two choices; holds your hand when you’re scared; helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you; thinks of you at times when you’re not there; reminds you of what you have forgotten; helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer; stays with you so that you will have confidence; goes out of her way to make time for you; helps you clear up your mistakes; smiles for you even when she is sad; helps you become a better person; and, most importantly, loves you!

This thought-provoking article came through the e-mail. If you receive similar stories or anecdotes worth sharing, send them to starmag@thestar.com.my. Include the source or author if possible. Today’s story was sent in by Charmed.

Brain down the drain - adapted from The Star 27/11/2005

A Yuppie's Progress By Effendi Azmi Hashim

MANY people have asked me why I came back to work in Malaysia. After all, I don’t have a scholarship tied round my neck and had a number of job opportunities in London.

Having lived there for so long, a lot of people expected me to continue to live there and end up being a grey coat in the city.

So when I took up the offer to work in KL, and packed up and left ol’ Blighty, friends and relatives from both sides of the hemisphere were equally surprised.
I always used to put it down to the words of my late father, which still echo in my head. “How do you know you don’t want to work in Malaysia if you’ve never actually worked there?”

Short, sweet and straight to the point. At the time, it was the killer statement that made me return to KL and give it a shot.

As I’ve said in previous articles, I’ve never looked back. On the whole I’m pretty glad to have come home, and I have yet to change my mind. In fact, I still strongly believe that this is a great place to live and work (and I say this despite being offered another chance to work in Europe again).

However, I am always stunned at the number of times I hear people telling me how much of a fool I am for not having stayed in London. “But why did you come back to work here?” is a common cry.

There are professionals in Malaysia who wouldn’t think twice about leaving the country to work elsewhere on this planet. Thankfully, some of them just want to gain some overseas experience in the belief it will help their resume and make them more marketable here.

However, some really have a genuine desire to leave the country and go back to the place they studied or spent some considerable time in.

But the thing is, if these people were not “incredibly smart” or unable to contribute something significant to Malaysian society, then it probably wouldn’t matter so much.

But a lot of them are people who are really smart and could give a lot back to this country. It’s tragic when you think about it. Some of our true national talent wanting to dispense their immense grey matter elsewhere.

(Sadder still, when you think that there are also sub standard people staying back, thinking that they’re talented and believing they’re making a contribution.)

So it’s good to know the Government sees this as a serious problem. Just like a company, Malaysia as a country has to look at retaining its talent. The Government is constantly looking at ways to attract Malaysians who are working abroad to come home.

Imagine, in total, 30,000 Malaysian graduates are thought to work in foreign countries. Some have held scholarships in top universities overseas and have decided to stay at the end of their studies.

One of the plans to address this issue of brain drain was to reach out to them by making it attractive for them to return, and by highlighting opportunities for them in Malaysia.

Renewed efforts to lure home Malaysians working overseas were announced in an attempt to reverse the country’s brain drain. Proposed perks include better pay, improved contracts and earlier retirement, as well as increased investments in research and development.

A good start, but the way I see it, it only goes so far (meaning, not far enough).
Most of the people who told me they wanted to leave the country said it wasn’t necessarily because of the incentives, citing other reasons.

Like a company, sometimes you don’t leave because of the pay or the perks or the compensation. It’s about the culture. I seem to see that people leave the country disillusioned with what they see on the whole.

Whatever opportunities or salaries you then offer will make no difference whatsoever.

These are the issues that also need to be addressed if we’re to continue to keep and attract our “best”.

A couple of my friends actually make the effort to talk to people who are “fed up” or just want to pack up and leave.

For those who slip through, at least we know that they gave it a go here and left on an “informed” basis.

Then again, for those thousands out there who never even made the effort to come back in the first place and try to “make a difference” here, that is tantamount to disservice to our country, our home and our roots, and above all, disservice to themselves!

Effendi Azmi Hashim, born and raised in London, now lives in Kuala Lumpur as a regular yuppie but with a sense of humour. E-mail him at starmag@thestar.com.my.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ancient Philosophy and Methodology of Chinese

My colleagues like to share some of these Feng Shui insights with me, especially using techniques acquired from the over-exposed Lillian Too, or 28-year old self-ventured feng shui master Joey Yap. But I find these to be overwhelming at times.

My mother used to take up I-ching 易經 classes, which I think it's quite amusing to learn. To me, I-ching's philosophy centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.

These ancient philosophies and methodologies depend on our destiny. We can use other charms or amulet to change what is not in favour to us, even our future course in life. Understand feng shui, I-ching or palmistry, for that matter gives us a piece of mind and to understand ourselves better.

However, when everyone starts to interpret these metaphors lightly, or even follow it blindly, things will be getting out of hand. Just like our Chinese-dialect-speaking grandmother who believe in superstitious, tend to fall prey of misunderstand the whole idea of this wonderful thought of work.

Do it with care. Believe its positive note, discard or overcome its negative implication. Then, these philosophies will provide the insights that one is hoping for.

Westerners vs Asians

Today, I was reading this article by Trixie Kwan's column "All A Girl Wants ..." - They Don't Know the Truth, about recent Durex global sex survey. Malaysian fairs only 6th on the global bottom ranking. In her article, she mentioned that most Asian countries also fair low among our western counterparts.

It made ponder for a while.

Just recently I was also reading Adeline Yen Mah's on her book, Waiting the Tree. In her book, she recollects her thoughts and observations in the UK. She mentioned in one of the pages, a comment made by her boyfriend, "Chinese love for food, likewise European love for sex". I think it made sense.

The world has rotated its course. The younger generation of Asian community is going after western civilisations; while the westerners are discovering the awe and wonders of Asian hidden heritage. The uniqueness of our Asian heritage and cultures are deep into our roots and in our blood. That's what make westerners so immensed with the rich cultural background and its diversed people of the Asian continent.

I sometimes pity our Asian people who are keen on western cultures, feeling that these are the first class superior culture to be followed; whereas shyed away from our very own root that was shared among the same colour and people who share common trait; perceiving it to be inferior and shameful to be acknowledged or mentioned. It's just sad.

We are different. That's why we are Asians. We don't need to out-do with foreigners with regards to sexual activities, nor put up with other illicit misbehaviour that our western partners take pride in. We are just plain different. No one should play judge or even question our own pride in our daily life.

Toyota classsics 2005 - The Budapest Operetta Theatre Orchestra

The Budapest Operetta Theatre Orchestra , consisting of 57 professional talented musicians from Hungary, performed wonderful lively pieces on the night on the 16th annual Toyota Classic, Malaysian chapter, 25 November 2005 at the Auditorium Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam.

It offers magnificent performances of singing, dancing and instrumentals reflecting exquisite Hungarian culture. The orchestra has performed in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, USA and most recently performed at the Donaufest in Germany.

The orchestra was performed under the leadership of Istvan Sillo. Accompanying the orchestra were soprano Zsuzsa Kalocsai, winner of TZ Rose Award in Munich, Germany and tenor Zoltan Nyari, recipient of the Mari Jaszai Award, and supported by ballerinas of the orchestra. Ballerinas will also be erforming with the orchestra.

Serving the community has always been an integral corporate tenet of UMW Toyota Motor and Toyota Motor Corporation and the Toyota Classics has always been an integral part of this international effort. To this end, all gross proceeds from ticket sales and corporate donations will be channeled to Persatuan Kanak-kanak Istimewa Kajang, Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-kanak Cacat Taman Megah and the Kuala Lumpur Society Of The Deaf. Since 1990, through the organisation of the Toyota Classics, UMW Toyota has raised and donated RM3.7 million to 23 local charity organisations.

Program of the night:

Hungary – Budapest
J. Brahms - Hungarian Dance No.1 in G minor

E. Kálmán - “The Mountains are My Home” from “The Gypsy Princess” - soprano
- “Greet for Me the Sweet Ladies” from “The Countess Maritza” - tenor
- “I Want to Dance” from “The Gypsy Princess” - soprano & tenor

- West Side Story
- My Fair Lady


Austria – Vienna
F. Lehár - “Gold and Silver Waltz” Op.79
- “You are My Heart’s Delight” from “The Land of Smiles” - tenor

J. Strauss II - “Voices of Spring” Op.410 - soprano
- “Auf der Jagd Polka” Op.373
- “Drinking Song” from “Die Fledermaus” - all singers

F. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

E. Kálmán - “Let the Gypsy Music Play” from “The Countess Maritza” - soprano
- “Come, Gypsy” from “The Countess Maritza” - tenor
- “Come With Me to Varasdin” from “The Countess Maritza” - soprano & tenor
- “Jaj Maman” from “The Gypsy Princess” - all singers

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Honesty is not the best policy

Since when did our mother and father tell us not to be honest? Since when your teachers or your bosses telling you the same thing? Well, it just did, in action anyway.

We are sometimes so self-absorbed with the real fact, that we brainwashed ourselves to accept the lies. Because we all know honestry is not always well rewarded. Forget about George Washington with its tree cutting honesty, or even returning wallet dropped by some strangers. It's not going to happen, just a fable, the end!

I cannot tell a lie ...

I remembered witnessing a mother commanding to a toddler over a counter, "don't utter a word, keep it in a bag!". It's about an excess change that the teller has mistakenly returned. Or sometimes, we promise more than we have the ability to fulfill them. In the end, we just pass the bulk and point our fingers to someone else to take the blame. It's the real world we are talking about.

It's just pity to note that people who are dead honest are just plain stupid, sometimes idiotic. Even worse to know that these people actually dig their own grave for being too honest, and not being able to notice that someone had already backstabbed them until they are left bleeding to death.

The world is not a fair place to be. We just have to be careful who we are dealing with, and not to reveal too much just not to get hurt. It's no wonder all of us living in a sad world even though more civilisation we are exposed to.

Farewell, my home

After 17 years of living in the same place, I am going to miss all the vibrant lifestyle in this small shack of my family within the reach of full amenities (like buses, wet market, library, hospital, hockey stadium, astaka, shops, mini market and McDonald's), and convenience in PJ oldest territory - PJ Old Town.

I have moved into this place since I was 8. I used to remember missing my friends in Taman Ehsan. Worse still when I got first place in my life as a student that semester and forced to leave my "legend" behind just like that. I was really pissed then for having to forgo so many. But now, I am just blessed being able to be in this community of PJ Old Town and experienced a different adventure all this while.

Commencing December 2005 marks the farewell to this wonderful place where I have lots of fond memories; and where I spent most of my childhood, adolences and partial of my adulthood in. It's just sad that I have to leave it all behind and move on to a new place. It's somehow put a permanent marking onto a milestone in my life.

I am moving on. Farewell my beloved home of 17 years.

To my friends who have been visiting, either during fair or rainy days, thank you for the wonderful company. Do come by my new shack soon to reconnect our new friendship bonding.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Eng Teng!

It was a belated birthday to Eng Teng, our dearest friend from Klang.

To commemorate this, I have organised a karaoke cum makan-makan session at Galaxy Subang for our gang to gather and have fun. You must be wondering why karaoke session this round. Here's the rationale:

1) Our birthday boy is a great impersonator of Jay Chow
2) Victor, our karaoke king was there
3) Long awaited to see Stephen in his reminisce of karaoke with Andrew till 4 am
4) Chee Hooi the friendly neighbour was there just across the street

I was late due to my work schedule. Hey, at least I made it.

I was so into the three's company, i.e. Steve, Vic and ET, on their singing act, especially the songs which were familiar to all of us. We just sang, shouted, and laughed about it throughout the whole event.

At one point when ET was doing his performance, the funniest moment I remembered was that Vic can't differentiate whether Jay or ET singing there (Vic thought the minus-one was off). Then, with ET's deperate look pointing to himself saying was his, we just broke into laughter. It was fun.

Of course, joining in the singing with an on-and-off tune (especially everyone's tone and pitch is different) was another exciting highlight in this birthday celebration for Eng Teng.

The last few song pieces before we called the day off, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Eng Teng, with a yellowish creamy cheese cake decorated with strawberries and chocolate was brought in with candles by the handsome waitor. We have had a mouthful. Yum~

I was having so much fun. Everyone was at their relaxing moment.

I was relieved that everyone was having a great time. The unfortunate part would be the turnout could have been better if the event was held during the night.

Still, we are a great gang. So,

Happy Birthday, Eng Teng!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kevin Kelly: Why pencils? - extracted from Pencil Revolution 10/11/2005

Kevin Kelly famously writes about his favorite pencil, the Derwent 3B:

"A pencil can generate megabytes of text, needs no batteries, and has no user manual. It is comfortable to hold, it smells good, and it is relaxing to turn around in your hand as you try to think of the right words. Pencils don't need ink; all they need is a sharpener. They are warm and friendly; they have souls."

Well said!

Friday, November 18, 2005





我喜歡的書簽是就地取材的;如 一張用過的巴士車票、明信片、別人給的名片,都拿來充當書簽。













我反復思考,不斷思索,結果答案還是一個而已 --回到原點。





很多時候,設計廣告建築的行業中專業都喜歡尋找失去的那段刻骨銘心的美好時刻。所以,在他們的作業上,秉持著他們的信念與不變的原則,很多時候都可以找到 大家的共鳴。也可能時代的日新月異,我們不得不回頭看一看我們的初衷,反省一下到底我們現在所做的是不是我們已達到了我們理想中的目標。


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Steamboat Dinner

fullfillig yet delicious steamboat

It was drizzling outside. My mom had called earlier to inform her date with Aunty G in Puchong. So, no dinner plans tonight I guess after work.

My colleagues, Chen, Eonn, and Tiffany were to go for dessert in Section 17. Since I am tagging along, we instead, decided to go along with the steamboat idea at Bandar Menjalara, taking into consideration of the drizzles too.

With the cold weather, still raining outside, can't wait to dive into the delicious soup of the steamboat. It was a sumptious meal. We had big tiger prawns, bouncy fish balls, meaty pork balls, fresh but scarce vegetables, crispy "fu chok", and other delicious items to fill our hungry tummy.

It was a delicious meal. I was so full that I can't even sit straight for the rest of the dinner. When Chen was sharing his few really funny jokes, I could feel my stomach in a burst after the joke. I was just too full.

In fact, I can't remember when was the last time we have had fun time laughing and eating in a relax setting such as this.

Maybe we should do this more often.

Do it with a Heart (Pasion)

I have been reading manga comic all these while. The thing I enjoy reading manga not only for its interesting subtance and comical jokes, but also the informative insights and the moral of the story wishes to impart to its readers.

I was hooked while reading the manga genre - culinary or any art form (e.g. sports, wushu, kendo...). The story lines are the same - learning skills, competition, or anything along the line. But one thing I found in common is - doing it with a heart (passion).

Reflecting upon my recent attitude towards my work; I have been less motivated lately, not doing my work as passionately as I set out to be. I was lost.

Reading manga has re-routed my course of direction towards life; somehow it lifted my spirit dramatically. The moral I have learnt:
  • To seek my lost passion.
  • To relinguish the fire within me. Most importantly,
  • To do everything with a heart (passion).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005





實踐生活例子,我們自己也是希望我們個人的聲音被聽見,往往不由自主地表達出來。不管它是多麽繁雜,多麽的令人討厭,我們還是會和烏合之衆一塊兒發表我們 的微不足道的意見,而且還是爭先恐後。要是一人一句,嚷個不停,看來和凸現自己的樂器沒有兩樣;即不能達成和諧,也失去它悅耳的交集,是多麽不幸的事。


European Union Chamber Orchestra - 15/11/2005

European Union Chamber Orchestra (EUCO)
Date: 15 November 2005 (Tuesday)
Time: 8:30 pm
Venue: Pentas 1, KLPac
Presented by: The British Council in Association with KLPac

Was in concert with my mom and little brother to this wonderful not-to-be-missed chamber orchestra in KL yesterday evening.

It was a lovely evening as we can savour some wonderful orchestra pieces from the following numbers:

Concerto for Two Horns in D Major (Telemann, 1681-1767)
Spiritoso ma non allegro
Adagio - Allegro
Allegro assai

Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major K219 (Mozart, 1756-1791)
Allegro aperto
Tempo di Menuetto

Blessed (Elaine Agnew, b. 1967)

Two Waltzes Op. 54 (Dvorak, 1841-1904)
Allegro Vivace

Symphony No. 64 in A Major 'Temporar Mutantur' (Haydn, 1732-1809)
Allegro con spirito
Menuetto (Allegretto)

The event with EUCO has been interesting. With its rich cultural symbolism of European collaboration where it represents the European music to an international audience. Proudly presented by British Council, Malaysians like me have a chance to witness great music from the EU.

The orchestra was formed by 19 members; 6 violinists, 6 violalists, 2 cellolists, 1 double bases, 2 horns, and 2 clarinets. Quite a small group which plays solely classical music, especially string pieces which I particularly enjoy.

It has been a wonderful night, though it is not a full-seated hall. But it was a good evening to remember. Just hope that the next time round, the promotion of this great orchestra could be extended.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sandy Beaches

The weather has turned cooling by end of the year. I am longed to be away from the rain and be in the sun and fun!

Wish I am somewhere near sandy beaches just as what the picture portrays - relax and carefree!

Leasehold vs Freehold from my point of view

Am I old fashioned or not? Still having to believe that Freehold property is the best investment to get in Malaysia.

Well, not anymore.

Buying a property is about three things: location, location, location. It is always true to make this the most important point when looking out for a property, despite it being a leasehold property or a freehold property.

Unfortunately, our forefathers who are good in procuring properties throughout the years still teach our sons to get freehold property instead, which in one way or another could be foolish if the sons are without prior property knowledge will get caught in (i) not getting a property, a first house for that matter, (ii) too pricey to even get one that is freehold, (iii) if it were a freehold, the area might be just too remote to travel using public transport, and so forth.

A true investment of property needless to say would be based on the appreciation value that one could fetch. Same story that goes to leasehold property around PJ area, like 50-year-old Old Town, Section 14, Tropicana, or even the booming Kota Damansara for that matter. It all boils down to the three keys which I have furnished you: location, location, location.

I think the reluctance in acquiring a leasehold property is largely driven by the perceptions and the lessons learnt from dealing with hostile local authorities, i.e. the land office/ PTG, and local councils, such as MPPJ, DBKL when it comes to transfer and lease renewal. With these two tactical queries addressed and resolved by our rakyat representatives, a.k.a. government, I think it would be easier to convince our fellow Malaysians that leasehold property is not such a bad idea afterall if the location is just right.

But then again, even our so-called bumiputera (native locals, kononnya) are looking for freehold themselves. When I asked them the reasons, the common denominators heard are, "ada harga kalau nak jual", "senang nak transfer", "boleh jual kat non-bumi". Unbelievable! That's what I call people with vision and enterprising spirit of anak Malaysia when it comes to property.

Should leasehold property have the qualities of the freehold, in terms of the two factors: flexi renewal period and easy to transfer; many will opt for any propery on sale in Malaysia, especially the hot spots in Klang Valleys. If these factors are not properly address, risk takers will still go for good location products, but many still sceptical about leasehold property will go after freehold for ease-of-mind reason.

Best still, if the leasehold property could convert its title to a freehold property, wouldn't it be great?

Traffic Jam

Traffic jam, a nightmare for all citizens who are driving on the roads of Malaysia, especially during the rush hours of getting on and off work.

The car load on the roads have been increasing dramatically over the years. With cars easily and cheaply available, no wonder it has contributed to a high traffic woes that causes headached to many road users these days.

A study shown that prolonged stress causes by the jam could be detrimental to our health, which may trigger Alzheimer. Scary isn't it? I should say it is.

Let's hope that Malaysian government could improve on our road systems, efficient public transport system; and the mentality of road users, especially road hoggers or reckless drivers, to ease our current traffic condition.

English cottage with a taste in Sri Hartamas

I have discovered a lost English cottage in the heart of the town, Sri Hartamas. It's called Mesra Terrace. Yes, maybe I was wrong to have found it with my colleagues during our venture into the remote part of the Sri Hartamas area; but I was right when it comes to exciting project such as the low-density luxury semi-detached unit that has the designs that put into thoughts for the environment and to the disabled.

It is located next to Suteramas Condo by See Hoy Chan Group, which is expected to launch it by end of this month in welcoming the month of cheerry Christmas of December.

It has an American-English theme, inside out, and nicely decorated landscaped park with pool to share with 40 happy owners for that matter. With a size of 27x50, built-up areas from 3,719 sq. ft. to 4,986 sq. ft., and it's a four-storey semi-detached homes with an automated-door garage and private lift servicing the whole unit, complete with fully fitted kitchen, smarthome and broadband capabilities. Isn't that amazing?

I thank Rosemary and her husband, Stephen Chia for the insightful tour to the show unit prior to the launching. It's breathtakingly beautiful. Recommended to you who are looking for something different for a change, and in a security-tight gated community with facilities, this will fit your profile just right. Luxury with a price tag from RM 1.4 mil to RM 1.9 mil.

Niche as mentioned by Rosemary, whom she got her design idea from Boston and in Washington D.C., her designs could be altered to suit customer's specification, especially if one has a wheel-chaired bound elderly with you. Three generations could live under the same roof, with maximum privacy assured for each individual.

I think, nothing more appropriate than the phrase "Home Sweet Home".

Details of these beautiful homes, Rosemary and Stephen can be contacted at:
Palam Mesra Sdn. Bhd.
74-3 Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2300 1800 Fax: 03-2300 1840

P/S: I don't work with the developer.

Overtake by signalling please?

I wonder what Malaysian drivers have in common when it comes to overtake. I think the most accurate answer would be the courtesy to put on a signal light.

Many accidents occured on the road are due to recklessness of the driver, and the lack of courtesy to let others go first, which mainly due to the fact that not a single signal given when crossing the path of others, overtaking I mean. I think this is rude and careless.

I have encountered a number of drivers who overtake whenever and wherever they feel like it; without giving a warning to signal. Putting on the signal light means a word of caution to other drivers that he or she is going to overtake or cross over to the other lane. I think this is more appropriate than by just coming out from nowhere into the lane where a driver might just speed ahead without warning to slow down or even stop. It could lead to fatal accidents if it is not handled with careful thoughts.

I have nothing against any of you overtaking or even crossing one's path at any given moment. But please heed my plea just a little: Put on your signal light when you want to overtake PLEASE?

Monday, November 14, 2005


I remembered asking my dad a bike of my own when I was younger. I didn't get one. I was largely disppointed by it.

Grewing up in a small sub-urb, and living most of my life in a walk-up flat, I didn't get to use the bicycle. It's inconvenient, looking at the storage issue that I have to deal with, if I were to have a bicycle at my home.

I started to learn my cycling lesson with a friend from school during my high school years. Yes, I must admit I am a late boomer in terms of what you would consider a simple task in life when it comes to cycling. The lesson didn't go well. I was fall into a big drain during my first lesson and I gave up ever since then.

Was I afraid? Well, I was most pissed off at my friend's stunned face when he saw me in the drain with his bicycyle. I think he was in a shock at that point of time. I don't blame him. But, hey, you will get bruises when you started to learn anything. It's part of the package. Crudely, I have decided to stop this menace once and for all.

Ironically, all my brothers are good in cycling. They just have the talent for it when they started riding on their friends' bicycle or even my aunt's during our visit in Pahang. I felt so ashamed.

Maybe there is a time where I could pick up where I have left behind. It's time to heal the pain from my fall during that drain incident. Afterall, cycling with the breeze brushing my face is a wonderful idea.

Private instructor, anyone?


Staircase, an evolvement from a simple ladder to its artistic and practical form.
It's long believe that the staircase can mean anything in life - ladder in career, stepping stone in life, stairway to heaven ...

I am mystified by the majestic of the staircase leading from the grand living hall to the rest chamber on the 1st floor. While climbing up the wide steps to the top, I am impressed by the lovely craft that each railing has beautifully crafted on. It's tastefully decorated.

Until you reach the top, from there, you could see the beautiful opening below - how grand the entrance it sitted on and also how beautifully laid beyond the living hall. It symbolises the triumph when one has reached the top - a great eye with a view for the winner that made it to the top; just like you would have, if you have made it to the top of the Himalayas.

Great views!

How to write a letter to Malaysian Government - adapted from Adam

Writing a letter to a Malaysian government official or even a Minister?

Most of us absolutely have no idea how to go about it and we were no exception. However, over the years, I have gained some experience in this matter. Hope that you don't make the same mistake we made.

Here are some guidelines according to government officers, some retired and others still serving Minister's offices at Putrajaya.

1. Make the letter short. Usually not more than 3 paragraphs and on one page. Remember these are busy people who have no time to go through 3 - 4 pages. We made this mistake.

2. Write in Bahasa Malaysia.Letters in English are not entertained. Made this mistake once.

3. Verify that you are addressing the right person.Discovered that 2 officials we once wrote to had been transferred to another department.

4. Get recommendation letter/s whenever possible.Helps in getting the letter through. The most valuable one is from the Prime Minister himself (tell me if you know him personally). We really need his help.

5. Preferrably, hand deliver the letter.If you send by post, there is no gurantee that they may reach the intended receipient. So drive down to Putrajaya and get there before office hours.

6. Follow up. This is to ensure that your letter went through and not put in KIV or have been thrown into the rubbih bin.

BTW, we finally see some light at the end of the tunnel or is that another lamp.

Adapted from http://ok-lah.blogspot.com/2005/09/letter-to-malaysian-government.html

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Budi Bahasa, Budaya Kita

Since early this year, the government campaign of "Budi Bahasa, Budaya Kita", which has been taking the airwave of our local media till now, has seen some results.

Thinking back on the realism of our Malaysian attitude, it's disheartening.

It's true that our advertising people are trying very hard to portray our Malaysian identity on print or electronic media, which in turn being bombarded and strongly debated in our parliament. Geez, I wonder what's the big huh hah? Isn't that what we are? I guess, Malaysian are ALWAYS in denial. That's a it too sad.

I am glad that people like Yasmin Ahmad can contribute to the betterment of our society; for that matter, cater to a greater mission of correcting Malaysians' attitude by reflecting our "ugly" side in her work with the aid of mass media.

Let's us share the wish of most Malaysians to be more courteous when it comes to manners - Budi Bahasa, Budaya Kita (our manners, our culture).

Saturday, November 12, 2005


在休假的星期四,特意到了隆市中心的星馬購物廣場一趟去探索我尋求的日劇電視劇配樂。找了很久,還是沒找到我夢寐以求的 - 将太の寿司以及ニューズの女這兩部日劇的電視劇配樂。真的有點遺憾。說真的,我喜歡得到星馬那裏,因它雲集了許多中日韓的舶來貨。

我是很熱衷於日劇的音樂配樂,因它的種類繁多,曲目也非常悅耳動聽。我看,我的有關收集品也是蠻多的。從中學時代已愛上OST(英語電影的),到大學時代 迷上日劇後,更是對他有關的OST更愛不釋手。至今,每到唱片行,我還是會徘徊在Soundtrack/OST這個分類區域去尋獲我的獵物。

這兩年内突來的韓國風,吹得很猛。增加了我搜獲喜愛日劇音樂配樂的高難度。真的,當我一踏進星馬的地底的陳列室,哇,不得了!全都是韓國產品,這下我可慘 了!找啊找,翻啊翻,還是找不到,反倒把店裏其他所剩下的日劇音樂配樂,聼過和沒聼過的,全掃盡,毫無保留的餘地購買下來。慶幸存貨不多,不至於讓我大出 血。這時才了解到“血拼”的真正意義何在。

找不到我的最愛 - 将太の寿司以及ニューズの女,特地托了アニメ店的老闆娘幫一幫我詢問廠家。雖有點不好意思,也還是問了。只希望我的CD可以早日有消息。不然,石沉大海,音訊全無,那,我該怎麽辦?




女性結婚后,名字前面會多加丈夫的姓氏;老土的中文名字會以很炫的英文名字代替;以前校園的同學都有了其他意想不到的別名;老人家從小到大給我們叫得乳名;恩愛夫妻情侶們的小號, 等等。。。

突然間覺得名字雖是一種對人家的稱號,一種招呼的方式,可是要使名字姓氏都牢牢記住,真的要花費一點功夫才行。我們畢竟在人生的旅途中,曾遇上無數的新朋 友或過客。也因爲是這樣,我們要謹慎選擇和我們為伴同行的朋友;也因爲這樣,我們要找到摯友和我們分享生活上不管多瑣碎的事物;更因爲這樣,我們要別人在 日後的幾十年還記得我們的鼎鼎大名,流芳百世般的銘記在心。


Friday, November 11, 2005

What Hug Can Do

Got this forwarded mail from a friend. Sharing it with you guys!

A hug is a wonderful gift to share,
A way to show each other that we care;
There is so much a hug is able to do,
When you feel those arms holding you.

A hug is a place to feel safe and warm,
A comfort for a sad heart that is torn;
An expression of the love in our heart,
For ones who we wish, never to be apart.

A hug is a greeting when we meet to say hello,
Or to say goodbye when we have to go;
It can hold us up when life gets us down,
And makes us smile, instead of frown.

A hug can be given for no reason at all,
And given to those, both big and small;
We're never too old to feel the joy it brings,
As it is one of life's most pleasing things.

And for all of this beauty, a hug is free!
It costs nothing, yet means so much to me;
We should all hug another to show we care,
For to feel a warm hug, nothing can compare.

Business Guru Peter Drucker Dies - extracted from CNN 11/11/2005

Friday, November 11, 2005; Posted: 9:22 p.m. EST (02:22 GMT)

Drucker, author of more than 30 books, was known as the father of modern management.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Peter F. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management for his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world, died Friday, a spokesman for Claremont Graduate University said. He was 95.

Drucker died of natural causes at his home in Claremont, east of Los Angeles, said spokesman Bryan Schneider.

"He is purely and simply the most important developer of effective management and of effective public policy in the 20th century," former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday. "In the more than 30 years that I've studied him, talked with him and learned from him, he has been invaluable and irreplaceable."

Drucker was considered a management visionary for his recognition that dedicated employees are key to the success of any corporation, and marketing and innovation should come before worries about finances.

His motivational techniques have been used by executives at some of the biggest companies in corporate America, including Intel Corp. and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

In 2002, President Bush honored Drucker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Business Week magazine hailed him as "the most enduring management thinker of our time," and Forbes magazine featured him on a 1997 cover under the headline: "Still the Youngest Mind." He has been called "the world's foremost pioneer of management theory" and a champion of concepts such as management by objective and decentralization.

In the early 1940s, General Motors invited Drucker to study its inner workings. That experience led to his 1946 management book "Concept of the Corporation." He went on to write more than 30 books.

"He's very much an intellectual leader, and that's not common," said D. Quinn Mills, a professor at Harvard Business School who shared the podium at several conferences with Drucker. Quinn described Drucker's insights as rare.

After the big stock market decline of October 1987, Drucker said he had expected it, "and not for economic reasons, but for aesthetic and moral reasons."

'Disgusting spectacle'

"The last two years were just too disgusting a spectacle," Drucker said. "Pigs gorging themselves at the trough are always a disgusting spectacle, and you know it won't last long."

Drucker termed Wall Street brokers "a totally non-productive crowd which is out for a lot of easy money."

"When you reach the point where the traders make more money than investors, you know it's not going to last," he said.

"The average duration of a soap bubble is known. It's about 26 seconds," Drucker said. "Then the surface tension becomes too great and it begins to burst.

"For speculative crazes, it's about 18 months."

Drucker was born in Vienna, and educated there and in England. He received a doctorate in international law while working as a newspaper reporter in Frankfurt, Germany. He remained in Germany until 1933, when one of his essays was banned by the Nazi regime. For a time, he worked as an economist for a bank in London, then moved to the United States in 1937.

He taught politics and philosophy at Bennington College in Vermont and for more than 20 years was a professor of management at New York University's graduate business school.

Beginning in 1971, he taught a course for midcareer executives at Claremont Graduate School in California, which named its business school after him.

Drucker's management books included: "The Effective Executive," 1966; "Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices," 1974; and "Managing in a Time of Great Change," 1995. In 2004, he put out "The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done."

He also wrote scores of articles for the academic and popular press, and two novels and a 1979 autobiography, "Adventures of a Bystander."

While much of his career was spent studying employees in the workplace, Drucker also dedicated time to the service sector, founding the New York-based Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, known since 2003 as the Leader to Leader Institute.

Jack Beatty, a senior editor at Atlantic Monthly magazine who wrote the book "The World According to Peter Drucker," described the management guru as "uproariously funny (with) a great rapport. You ask him a question and it can go on for some time."

Drucker is survived by his wife, Doris, and four children.

Thursday, November 10, 2005



很久沒有真正體會到雨季來臨的一刻了。偏偏今天遇上狂風暴雨的時候。寒風刮在我被雨淋得像落湯鷄的衣裳上,好冷,好冷。才察覺很久沒試過這樣在雨中淋溼身 子漫步回家了。撐著一把小得可憐的破爛雨傘,拖著被雨水浸濕的cargo褲,加上兩寸高的高跟鞋,踏上離車站大約八分鐘路程兼凹凸不平的歸家之路。難過極 了。



下起雨的這一刻,也使我的被窩涼快起來。好想快些鑽進我的被窩裏頭, 讓我的體溫暖和就要入睡的被子裏,好舒服。心情也頓時好起來。



我國的今年的交通意外比去年的同一時期增長了15%。以昨天(Ops Sikap IX 的第十二天)的統計顯示是10,991宗,比起去年的9,572宗。真是恐怖的數據。

因爲事態嚴重,政府已下令要根治這些意外的伸延,設法剝奪危險駕駛的公路使用者的權益 。以現今的狀況,申辦更新駕照的年限是最長五年(以往是十年);違反者,一律扣留駕照至六個月並罰款三百大元不等;合法駕駛年齡提升至十八嵗,還有更多更多的法律途徑。






浪漫滿屋劇照 - 韓智恩(宋慧喬) 和 李英宰 (Rain)






"Eh, you know ah, Mrs. So-and-So's son got a scholarship to UK do medicine? Wah so good ah!", "Mr. So-and-So daughter's getting married finally, you think they invite us ah?", "You know boss gave Ms XXX a raise, how come didn't raise me when I am more deserving?" ... so many of such.

I think this sort of gossips usually happens in life. I mean truly, so long there are intellectuals like the human beings, a.k.a. homo sapien with a mouthful, there will be gossips. Can't help it, I think by nature it is like that.

But looking at a bright side, gossips can be a good thing to keep the community alive. Any community for that matter, so long it is alive. Hahaha. I realised this, as a matter of factly, during my visit to my malay friends' home during the raya holidays. People just want to share bits and pieces of their lives, and to be bonded to the people around them. I think people are not islands, they are a bonding within a community, even a nation.

Still, gossips could be harmful in some ways, especially when it is decoded wrongly by the listened party. It can lead to detrimental results. That's why we have politicians. Hahaha. It is only my fervent hope that this type of gossips can be minimise, if best, eliminate it at its root cause. By then, I guess it would be a more harmonious place to be in. As mentioned in my second paragraph of this article, I don't this will ever happen. Just hope that this people who are spreading deadly-disease-like rumours/ gossips will get his/her share of "returns" one day. What's goes around, comes around. I truly believe that.

Gossips, a livestock of human's secret and information sharing. It's always too overwhelming to share around, yet, it's still alarmingly fun to be part of it. Gossips, a love and hate collide measure of a two-sided coin. You simply hate it when it is true (alsmost) on your side, and love it when it's about others.

Pss... that's gossips!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Birthday, Toh!

Today is a big day of my dear friend, whom everyone known as "Uncle Toh".

Happy Birthday!!!!

So, this afternoon, the five of us, the birthday boy, Chee Hooi, Fedelia, Victor and I went over to Grandpa Bak Kut Teh for a birthday lunch. I was stuffed with the "Loh Mee" to be indulging the delicious yet small-sized bak kut teh.

It's has been a fun-filled afternoon, especially with Victor around. He's a fun person to be with when it comes to jokes. Sure lighten up the day a bit for me. Thinking of which, maybe I have not been laughing out loud recently, and with Victor around, things just got so much better. Thanks, Victor! You have surely brighten my day, of course so does others.

Birthday boy's birthday wish, I presumed, would be with the princess he loved and live happily ever after in a freehold hut somewhere serene and out of town. I just wish his dream will come true!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005









今天看了幾則文章關於節約。裏頭分享了文字作者的心聲及他們對世人的希望 -- 舉例:平時揮霍自如的師奶們,寧願花費在包裝精美的超市桌上佳肴上,也不願意上濕氣重重的道地巴刹去選購價廉物美的新鮮蔬菜。或是把稍微損壞的番茄,不假 思索地丟棄。當遇上經濟約束的時候,才後悔當初沒好好儲蓄以作後備之用。







可愛的,吵鬧的,撒嬌的,好動的,文靜的 -- 形形色色的純真小孩的脾性一一表露無遺。







這部俏銷玲瓏的器具, 喜歡它不礙位子,方便置放。











初めてノマ猫のマイアヒflash見た、大好きよ。(剛開始接觸Noma貓的maiahi flash 的時候,非常喜歡)





走上e-時代的我,總是思考很多繁瑣的事情。雖然不經意得到了構思,可是當我想表達出來的時候,往往會令聽衆愣住,發傻,好像目睹我這傻大姐語無倫次似的。我頓時覺得好笑 -- 笑我的友人迷惑的樣子和他們的無辜,更笑我自己表達能力的不及。

友人也安慰我說,“你也別太傷感了,你本是這副模樣。只是你的腦袋的運作可能比你的言語表達來的快一兩倍而已,沒什麽的。” “所以,你得想清楚後,在有條不濟地呈現你的思緒,也許可以改正過來,你嘗試一下。”




Monday, November 07, 2005


如何して私の恋運が来ない? 全然分からない。











如果你也是和我一样喜欢到北海道,不妨上官方网站洽询: 北海道ぐるり旅



已知道华族的四好(坏):好烟,好酒,好色,好赌 (粤语简称:炊,饮,嫖,赌),但是还是非常讨厌。当我到槟城的一家博物馆时,我看见里头介绍我们华族的恶习为以往华族的历史特征。虽觉得没有比这个更妥 当的图表解释,可是,我还是不想别人联想我们华族原来就是以这四种特坏习惯为区别。


好 色,好烟,好酒之事,迟早会病魔缠身致死,不大碍事。好赌成性的可是导致家破人亡,妻离子散,凄惨悲剧收场的例子也多不胜数。要是你们有点时间,不妨到 访街边的4D或是Sport Toto之类的马票连锁店,或更为高级的云顶赌场,相信你可看见赌徒们不眠不休的穿梭在赌场的人群中,搏杀!明明知道输钱的 机会比较多,还是秉持着朝圣的一份坚持去买个“希望”。真的死性不改,自投罗网,无可救药,唉哉!


Sunday, November 06, 2005


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Art of Batik

Batik fully handcrafted

Batik, a form of art and craft, which mainly found in the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia and India from over 2000 years ago. It has becoming more well known for its innovative and creative designs on cloth by employing traditional methodology of implying wax and dye which has been practicing over the years.

In the archipelago of the Indo-China, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, where you can find some of the world finest batik cloth is still made at these part of the South East Asia. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik that means to dot.

The art of Batik has been facinating, especially with the personal endorsement by our late First Lady, Datin Seri Endon, for her love towards Batik and its colourful culture.
Batik itself is rich with traditions, full with colour. As what Batik Guild has written, "Batik is historically the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The ever widening range of techniques available offers the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in a flexible and exciting way."
For further reading on Batik, click on its Batik Guild, or The Art of Batik.

Japan is a joy to visit - adapted from The Star 5/11/2005

Japan is a joy to visit


THE idea of travelling to Japan at a time when the powerful typhoon Nabi was churning towards the country was far from comforting.

But the fact that Japan was hit by 10 typhoons in the past year meant it would be a while before I could visit a typhoon-free Japan. However, an official from Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MOFA), the organiser of the 10-day tourism promotion campaign, assured us 10 Asian journalists we would be safe.

Visiting a Shinto temple in Tokyo.

Japan – comprising Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido islands – is one of the most captivating nations in the world.

To me, it has always been an enthralling blend of development, natural beauty and unique cultural heritage.

The trip, which took me from Tokyo – one of the world’s largest cities – to Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and the northern island of Hokkaido revealed how the island nation and its people have managed to put aside the undercurrents of the past to adopt a distinctive style of living.

Recently, government planners have been concerned with the growing population of Japanese who are living longer and having fewer children.

The number of people aged 65 and above now stands at 15% of the total population of 120 million and is expected to reach 25% by 2020.

Tokyo, known, as Edo during Imperial Japan, is still very much a developing city with a unique administration system. It covers 617sq m.

Our hotel, the Keio Plaza Hotel, is located in Shinjuku, one of the largest urban towns in Tokyo.
Our knowledgeable tour guide Cheiko Sakihana explained that Shinjuku, which literally means “new place to stay’’, boasts one of the world’s busiest train stations, handling more than 1 million commuters daily.

The station is considered to be a major transfer point for both metropolitan and regional trains and for subways.

It was indeed an eye-opening experience to see the Japanese commuting on the trains during the morning rush hour.

I felt like a mole burrowing my way through one subway after another, joining millions of Japanese as they rushed to catch their trains.

Tokyo is not all state-of-the-art technology, where elevated highways practically stare you in the face when you open your front door or window.

Here, one can also appreciate the festivals, botanical parks, museums, amusement parks such as Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, and theatres such as the Kabuki-za, a venue for Kabuki located in Ginza, centre of entertainment and shopping.

The shinkansen(bullet train) has become a symbol of modern Japan.

From hectic Tokyo, we travelled in our comfortable coach for the next six hours to the spa resort of Fujikawaguchiko, at the foothills of Mt Fuji.

It was unfortunate that we could not see the tip of Mt Fuji in all its splendour as the heavy rains brought by the typhoon had created a mist over the mountain range.

Fujikawaguchiko has five lakes referred to as the Fuji Five Lakes comprising Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, Lake Motosuko and Lake Yamanakako.

This tourist spot has hot springs, art museums and craft workshops.

One of the main attractions is the Herb Festival, which features herbs and flowers of all colours and shapes.

The 15th anniversary of the Kawaguchiko Herb Festival will be held from June 16 to July 13 next year.

The Kyomai is a Kyoto-style dance which one can catch at the Kyoto Traditional Musical Theatre.The next day, we boarded our coach for the Aichi Prefecture in the Chubu region of Nagoya.

Aichi is rich in culture and history and enjoys a mild climate. It is the birthplace of the three Shoguns who shaped Japan’s pre-modern history, namely Odu Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

The Aichi area was one of Japan’s leading castle towns during the Edo period. Among the famous is the Nagoya Castle, the symbol of Nagoya.

The castle was built in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and features a pair of golden shachihoko (legendary dolphin-like fish) perched on the castle roof.

The next morning, we visited the 2005 World Exposition Aichi Japan.

This first world exposition of the 21st century was held from March 25 to Sept 25.

Pavilions and exhibits were spread out over the Nagakute Area in Nagakute town and Toyota city, and the Seto Area in Seto city.

Some 121 countries including Japan and four international organisations participated in the expo, themed “Nature’s Wisdom’’.

The international event was held to pool together the knowledge and experience of mankind and explore the power of life and nature.

The most impressive pavilion, which drew the largest crowd, was the Toyota Group Pavilion.
The highlight was a 30-minute show staged in the pavilion’s main theatre.

The whole theatre was enveloped in darkness. This was followed by the rich sounds of trumpets, trombones and horns reverberating in the theatre.

The seven “musicians’’ on stage were actually robots developed by Toyota, playing When the Saints go Marching in.

The impressive show also featured the “i-foot’’, a two-legged robot that could carry a human rider – a notable feature of the Expo.

It was truly a memorable visit. The last time a similar event of such magnitude was held was in Osaka in 1970. W

Old & new
Unlike Tokyo, where a visitor is surrounded by concrete jungles and neon lights, a visitor to Kyoto can marvel at pebble gardens, the intricate and sensuous contours of a temple roof or simply catch a glimpse of a geisha.

The city also boasts 2,000 temples and shrines, palaces and dozens of gardens and museums.
Kyoto, which was spared bombings during World War II, remains an important cultural and educational centre of Japan.

It is also home to 17 Unesco World Heritage sites.

At the Gion Corner, I had a taste of Japanese traditional arts and entertainment at the Kyoto Traditional Musical Theatre.

Since 1962, Gion Corner has been a popular nightspot where tourists can enjoy Japanese traditional arts such as Bunraku (Puppet Play), Kyomai (Kyoto Style Dance), Kyogen (Traditional Comic Play) and Gagaku (Court Music).

Tourists can also witness Kado, the art of floral arrangement, Chado tea ceremony and the serenading sounds of the Japanese harp, Koto.

On our way back to our hotel –the Kyoto Brighton Hotel at Gion Corner, we chanced upon a geiko (or geisha).

Just as our coach was making a turn, our guide, Cheiko-san spotted a geiko crossing the road and we practically jumped out of our seats to get a glimpse.

I was reluctant to leave Kyoto as there was just too much to see and explore.

We moved on to Osaka, a modern Japanese city that combines historical and cultural attractions.

The Osaka Prefecture, one of the nine Prefectures in the Kansai region, has a population of 8.81 million, the second highest in Japan.

The Osaka city itself was once a major port and mercantile centre and is today Japan’s second most important metropolis.

Our guide, who hails from Osaka, said despite the locals’ entrepreneurial spirit and sense of independence, the Osaka people are easy-going, open-minded and down-to-earth.

On the last leg of our tour, we took a domestic flight from Osaka to Hokkaido to visit the Shiretoko National Park.

The 386sq m park, covers most of this remote volcanic peninsula jutting into the Sea of Okhotsk.

To the indigenous population of Hokkaido, known as the Ainu, Shiretoko means “end of the world”.

The peninsula’s natural beauty with its pristine landscape is indeed a sight to behold.
The government’s efforts in preserving the forests and rivers resulted in Shiretoko being inscribed onto the World Heritage List this year.

To explore most of the park, a car or motorcycle is necessary.

At the start of our trail to one of the five lakes in the park, our guide Kanako Arai reminded us to stay calm if we were approached by brown bears.

As our group moved along, we spotted claw marks on the tree trunks indicating that bears had tried to climb the trees.

The park, which attracts visitors between May and October, is home to brown bears, shikadee dears, foxes and blackstov fish.

Our 10-day sojourn finally came to an end. Despite the whirlwind trip, it was with a heavy heart that I bade farewell to the land of the Rising Sun.– By K.KASTURI DEWI

Friday, November 04, 2005


Recently just finished a Japanese drama "電車男". The real-life story unfolds the romance journey of a Japanese geek in his early 20s who saves a beautiful woman, Hermes from a drunken groper on a train, and then chronicles his subsequent dates with the woman and requests for help on the Japanese mega-BBS 2chaannel (in the TV series referred to and remodelled into the semi-fictitious "Alladin Channel").

It tells a story of the typical "Akihabara" geek seeking to lead a normal life - to be in love. This drama was aired in July this year. After the show, many have changed their mindset towards Otaku (obsessive geek towards anime and manga). With humour and touching elements into the story, the whole drama of 11 episodes seems to come alive.

I strongly recommend this to everyone, especially the shy ones, who is afraid to open up to the one they loved.


Jalan Sungai Buloh-Batu Tiga Trunk Road

Today, I am on this Jalan Sungai Buloh-Batu Tiga trunk road three times. I find myself loving this place.

From my driver seat, I saw undeveloped green against the background of the blue sky filled with white clouds, it's breathtakingly beautiful, if you asked me, for I never realised it is so, until now. Could it be because of the low traffic due to the festive seasons? Or the sky and tall trees just happened to marvel me during my journey along this trunk road used most often by lorries. I just couldn't tell.

Maybe on other days I was rushing, and just let this beauty passed me by. Or maybe I just gave up on the beautiful scenery within the city (which it is hard to find). Realising how naive I am towards simple thing in life. It just made me ponder more.

The next time I travel on this road again, I will look at scenery more carefully with detailed thoughts. Perhaps, going home on a new route is just an exciting dicovery afterall!

Hari Raya Celebration

This morning seems to be a fine day for Hari Raya visiting. It is just as fine as my feeling and mood of today's Raya celebration. I am just so thrill to be somewhere where I could celebrate this joyous occasion with my mutual friends.

I drove to Shah Alam specially to visit my friend, Faeza, whom I have acquired during my accquaintance at Sunway Damansara, a place near IKEA. She is very hospitable and amiable host. I am stuffed with her home-made rendang, ketupat (with daun ketupat) served with kuah kacang, carrot cake and some other delightful delicacies, which you can only find at Malay homes. I am very enjoying myself very much. Thank you Aunty for your wonderful dishes.

With her relatives (uncle, auntie, cousin, cousin-in-law and niece) coming from nearby neighbourhood to celebrate with them, the whole environment becomes so alive! I am thrilled to be part of it, as if I am part of the family too. We have great laughs, and happily filling in each others about the latest happenings and exchange ideas. That's what I call the Raya spirit. Guess what? Faeza's dad gave me a Raya packet, and I am more happy to know that I am still young (for Malay tradition, only non-working youngsters get Raya packet). Thank you, Uncle!

Instead of leaving Faeza at home, she and I made a surprised visit to Kalsom's place that afternoon for lunch. Kalsom lives in Puteri Subang, a stone throw away from my future home. She served us lemang, chicken rendang, serunding (dried sautied meat), nasi impit, and mihun hailam. The food is incredibly delicious. From my conversation with Faeza, I realised that Kalsom does catering before. No wonder her food tastes so good!

Hari Raya has been a distant celebration for me, as I do not have many malay friends to celebrate with. I am glad that Faeza has invited me over brunch to get to know her family and her tradition. Happiness has been shared with me, and in return, I intend to return them a favour by asking them to my place during Chinese New Year.

Thanks, Faeza and Kalsom for the warm hospitality. Wishing you a happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a festival celebrated by our Muslim friends all over the world. After a month of fasting, it's time for celebration.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish my Muslim friends:

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Deepavali!

Deepavali is a great celebration that our Hindu friends celebrate. It's a festival of lights when everyone in Malaysia celebrates it, not limited to just our Hindu friends.

Today is a good day to celebrate this exciting event as it brings joy and happiness to the families I have visited as well as my own family. The weather was fine, the people are lovely and amiable. Just can't wait to be visiting all day!

We started off to our next door neighbour to have a breakfast opening for this Deepavali celebration. My dad brough along champagne, a gift from his friend, now to our host of the day on this joyous occassion.

Next, my brothers and I were off to Prema's, my lovely colleague from work. She has this best meal cooked awaiting for me, which delighted me the most. Simple dish and the company you are with: Priceless! I brought along a sparkling juice and a decorative present for her. I hope she likes it. We have fun chatting, and my god, my brothers were so into the movie, Pattiyappa, and if it's not for Prema's visiting relatives, I think they will still be glueing to the box set.

In the evening, we went to Kumar, our dear colleague from the project department. With the hospitable, Latha- Kumar's wife and his two children, daughter (11 years old) and son (14 years old), we are being at ease in a complete strange home. It was our first visit there, and a first time hosting for Kumar as well. I must say, we have been well received and I am glad that he invited me to his lovely, nicely decorated home.

Deepavali to me is a time to think of how to fill an empty stomach to the maximum capacity. The food was so delicious that I got so full and could I hardly move. Hahaha.

I still think that Deepavali is a joyous moment to spend with family and friends. How I wish there are more Deepavali to come.

To my Hindu Friends, Happy Deepavali!