Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Early morning in Kuala Lipis.

After driving 1167km in 3 days, I'm back home. Sweet.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Sometimes I'm troubled by thoughts of her. She hasn't been back, physically yes but not in spirit. She said it was a mistake, I did not try to correct her. She said things will only get more complicated, and I did not disagree. She said we're better off like what we were before, before that Sunday.

She hasn't called as often either, last time it was last week to ask me how Mama was doing. Once in a fortnight is a far cry from the daily calls she would make just to share a story or two. These days she would just tell me that she's too busy and tired to talk that much. I know it's an excuse. I told her Mama was doing great, recuperating well. She said she might drop by Bangsar to see her one of these days, and I said Mama would love that. I know damn well it's an excuse because Mama calls her more than she calls me.

Mama loves Reen like her own daughter, sometimes I think she loves her more than me. It's a fact I've grown to accept. She even told Reen to call her Mama instead of Auntie, for Pete's sakes.

But I digress. Yes, I miss her terribly. These days she would still answer whenever I call, but something is missing in her voice. There always was a sparkling, youthful zest in her sweet voice but now the note is a little flat. Not noticeable unless you've been listening to it almost every day for the past 9 years. Something sounded off tune, like an old piano in need of a little tweaking. Sometimes I find her distant, even through the phone I can feel the growing distance. It's like she boarded a boat that day and is slowly floating away, pulled ever so slowly by the soft waves that's lapping at the sides. And no matter how hard I try, my rope never quite got to her. So she keeps drifting.

I miss you, don't drift too far.

Wrote this for my other blog, which serves as my writing pad for stories. 4 parts and I lost the plot. Muse, where art thou?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fine Dining?

Forgive me for praying to the altars of practicalism, there are so many things I don't get here in Malaysia (boleh-land is so overused, enough already).

My gripe for today is the pretentiousness of restaurants and their patrons.

There's so many restaurants around branding themselves as fine dining, I somehow feel the title is diluted now. If you're expecting the kind of service par excellence, you'll be disappointed. If you are expecting food that will delight your senses, you'll be even more disappointed. The service is supposed to be quick, attentive, yet non-intrusive while the food is expected to look nice, taste good and just enough to sate your hunger but not filling you up. At least that what I learnt from hours of watching and reading about Gordon Ramsay, Ferran Adria, Alain Ducasse and Michel Roux.

I've tried several and they ultimately let me down on both counts. Try asking a recommendation from the waiter, they'll randomly point to something on the menu (which is probably printed as Chef's recommendation in the first place). See, if I wanted the Chef's recommendation, I wouldn't have asked you innit? And try asking them which main course would complement the aforementioned starter, and a sheepish smile would just be followed by another random finger pointing. I expect a reasoning why it's your recommendation, and I expect you to show me confidence even if you know shit about what you are saying. If I drink wine, I'm sure the waiter would mumble their way through the list too. Perhaps, you can recommend a nice cheese to go along with that '77 Cabernet? You wish.

And the food, it's a tragedy. It's a travesty! Now is it any wonder they restaurants are always dimly lighted (atmospheric my ass), if you can see clearly you'll be put off. The portions are always ridiculously small, definitely not adhering to the sating-not-filling thingy. Perhaps somewhere along the way, fine-dining was translated to the-smaller-the-better. The garnishing often looks out of place and redundant, the taste is usually bland with a sprinkle of boring on top.

The decor are always generic, with the same furniture, theme and look-feel as the next one. Given, some places actually does excel in the decor section, but give it a few months then other copycats will emerge. Ohh don't trust the pictures on their websites too, a good photographer can make any dumpster look that nice given the right angle and lighting.

The patrons are somewhat a sad sight too. The yuppies in their expensive shirts and the flavour-of-the-week in tow decked in a pretty dress and a million dollar smile to boot, it would be nice if it's not so generic yet again. Everyone would try hard to look as rich and snobbish as they can, swing that Birkin, smoke that Cuban if you can. In the dim, I mean atmospheric, lighting even SPGs can look pretty. Oh I forgot to mention the SPGs! They can be found by the bucketloads, hanging on to their mat salleh boyfriends as though he might vanish in thin air should she let go. Kutuk SPG kena bukak post lain lah I think, hehe.

Despite all this I do still go to these places once in a while, just to try something new and perhaps I might stumble on to a gem of a place that won't disappoint for once. I have some recommendations too if you're looking for a nice place, ask me personally and I shall share. Better still, share with me if you have a recommendation. Otherwise, I'd rather save the money and go to casual dining places like Italiannies in One Utama where the food is always good and the service never disappoints. Or better still head down to your nearest mamak, for fast service at relatively cheap prices (not so cheap now wor these mamak places, no wonder they're making so much money).

Hrmm, teringat ayam madu and telur ikan goreng Pelita...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saying My Farewell

Hectic week, glad that it's over.

I only have a few days left being 25. Since my Streamyx at home is having problems, and I'm taking the day off on my birthday, this is the last chance I have to reflect on being 25 while I'm still one. Gibberish la pulak, lantak lah.

It's been a great year (by year I mean being 25, not the Roman year) for me, honestly. Of course there were some shit that I'd rather not think about ever again, but the good parts far outweight the bad ones. Or it could just be that with time it doesn't feel as bad anymore. The mind does that funny trick sometimes, you know.

It's the age where I managed to fulfill my lifelong dream, to travel the world. This year saw me walking the streets of Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, London, Paris, Barcelona, Venice and Amsterdam. Some of those places I never even dreamt of going, I still wonder with amazement when I look at the pictures. For people who travel the world on a consistent basis for work or holiday, it might not mean so much. I had to work my ass off for this, it made the experience all the more sweeter.

It's the age where worldly possessions are attained and I actually can't ask for me for once. After buying my own house before turning 25, I followed that up with Renée, my little black car. Despite the initial problems, she's been a loyal friend til now (cue 'awwwww' all around). Then finally I got a new smart phone a few months back and since then I'm actually contented with what I have. I admit I have given thought to buying new expensive lenses, and battery grips and remote triggers and an endless array of gadgets, but the thought of not having it doesn't bother me. I can live with it :)

It's the age where I'm starting to get more active with other things in life. I initiated the Wednesgay lunches, and it has since become a weekly event where we'll convene and talk cock (erh, pun unintended!). Yes it's a deliberate misnomer the Wednesgay thing, we aren't exactly the most serious people around. Then I participated in a CSR project at an orphanage for HIV positive kids. That was an eye opener, and gave me a better realisation of how lucky I am really. Now I'm also volunteering to help organise my batch's 10th year reunion in 2010. It's gonna be hard work, and likely to be underappreciated, but I did it in the name of love (haha, I am getting a bit cornier by the paragraph =P). Hey jokes aside, I am enjoying this alternative side of life, the non-financial yet satisfying side of it you know.

It's the age where hearts were broken and mended, and dreams die and reborn. It's the age swiftly passing by with every breath I take. It's the age where priorities are examined and plans are made. It's a good age, and I will miss it. Goodbye 25, though in a few days you'll be nothing more than a memory, be sure that some memories are there for life.

Hello 26, I believe we haven't met.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


If you don't know it already, I'm a photography enthusiast. I've 'invested' quite a significant amount of money towards it, and I'm not yet regretting it.

Anyway, I have a few friends who share the same love and we do go out and take pictures in places I normally wouldn't even consider going. I've made the taxing (yes, taxing for a fatty like me) climb up Bukit Tabur to take these shots:

Went all the way to Dengkil to look for the abandoned dredge but instead found myself in Paya Indah Wetlands since the they do not let people in the dredge area anymore. Paya Indah yielded pictures such as this:

I'm always on the lookout for nice spots to take pictures, and I have 2 places in mind for my next photography outing which I'm planning for this coming Sunday - Bukit Broga and plane spotting at KLIA. Arin suggested the derelict Flat Pekeliling before it gets torn down, and Eddie suggested Highland Towers sambil carik hantu.

So folks, any other suggestions to keep me occupied? I love nice sceneries, how about an open field of paddy somewhere? Or unencumbered tall grass field like the wheat field in Gladiator? I like weathered and abandoned structures too, old colonial houses? cemeteries? It would be great if it's within 1 hour's drive from KL, but I would still consider farther ones too if it's too good to let go. So, a little help here?

Monday, January 5, 2009


I was at KLCC over the weekend looking to buy the silver Japan Converse available at Isetan at 40% off. Good: they have my size! Bad: it's way too expensive for me to justify buying it. At RM260 more or less, I don't think I really need it anyway. Not when I have more than enough shoes in my creaking shoe cabinet, hehe.

Since I'm quite free, I'd just list 'em down (and now updated with pictures! I do need to get a better hobby):

Black Primavera dress shoes - Current everyday work shoes.

Black Renoma dress shoes - Former everyday work shoes, now relegated to backup duties.

Black Clarks loafers - Another backup work shoes.

Tan Clarks shoes - Usually worn on dress down Fridays or for a night out.

Brown Clarks boots - Usually worn on dress down Fridays too.

Dark brown Dr Martens 8-eye boots - Seldom worn really, but it's usually when I get that perasan-rockstar vibes =D

White/white swoosh/red soles Nike Air Force - Seldom wear this one too because I love it so much, don't wanna dirty it you know =P

Black stitched leather limited edition Jack Purcell - My frequently worn pair these days, supercomfy! Nice seeing Sam in Reaper wearing a black JP too, is it making a comeback?

Off-white canvas Jack Purcell - wore it during UK and Euro trip, now looks like something Cobain would've worn gladly. All dirty and grungy, it's my kasut lenjan now.

White/black strip/red wreath Fred Perry - bought in UK at half off, love it to bits too. Love it even more since it's not something you see every other kid having on their feet these days.

Now for those long gone yet still not forgotten:
Light grey/maroon swoosh Nike Cortez - Wore this one for years since I love it so much. Then the sole became detached from the body, so I put it aside to repair. Sadly some sob stole it from the shoe cabinet at my aunt's place where I was staying then.
White/turqoise stripes Adidas Superstar - Love this one since it's not a common colour, or at least I haven't seen anyone with the same exact colour. Lost it back in uni days.
White/dark blue stripes Adidas Superstar - Bought this one to replace the turqoise-stripe one, again lost it a few months later. Later I found out my housemate nicked it, and he managed to avoid getting his face punched in with the help of his friends. Takpe Nizam, aku still ingat beb.
All white Nike Air Force 1 - This one I don't know whether it's stolen, or I just plain lost it somewhere. I can't recall funnily enough.
Black Dr Martens 8-eye boots - My (then young and ranggi) auntie borrowed it, but it was nicked from my uncle's house in USJ where she was staying then.

Anyway, I know you guys are wondering what to get me for my birthday right, but please don't get me shoes. I have to really like a shoe before I buy it. A few years back was considering those Timberland boots, the grey ones not the standard yellow, but didn't because of the price and because I didn't want it enough.

(About the birthday part, if you read the 1st paragraph I did mention that I like a certain silver Japan Converse shoes. They only have 2 sizes left, mine is the bigger one =P)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Conflict & Conundrum

Last night I watched Schindler's List and I'm presented with a conundrum. Watching a depiction of the Nazi cruelties moved the humanitarian part of me, any sort of violence towards another human being is not tolerable. Especially when it's not provoked. The mass extermination of Jews was ruthless and inhumane, it was not to be tolerated. If I was watching those depictions before 1967, I would have symphatised and supported the Jewish cause.

But this is now. Look what is happening in Gaza now, the worst attack on Palestinian territory since 1967. Their justification was simple, because Qassam rockets have been directed at Israeli cities leaving 16 civilians dead. Their response has thus far left at least 2000 people dead or injured. To retaliate is understandable. But you must know that Israel is retaliating on the Gazans' retaliation. Yes, Qassam rockets was launched out of frustration, anger and sheer hopelessness. Israel have been putting a clampdown on the Gaza strip, letting in only a trickle of food and medicine for the 1.5 million people in Gaza.

However when Nazi Germany did those atrocities, Britain and the United States rose up to defend the powerless people. Perhaps Britain had an interest since Germany was threatening to invade their land, but the Americans were in it just to lend a helping hand. Where are they now? Do we have to wait for an Auschwitz in the West Bank to be built first, only this time with the Jews at the controlling end of Zyklon B.

Tell me, how different is Israel and Nazi Germany?

Happy new year folks.