Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kuala Lumpur's Best Rojak Buah

The stall is located at the corner of Lorong Chow Kit 1 (In the background is the old A&W restaurant)

My favorite rojak man.. he makes each pack and eah kuah individually hence the long wait... but the taste
have never changed for the past 30 years. I guess that must be his secret

For months I have been craving for my favourite 'rojak buah'. The old man selling them used to set up his stall in front of the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Pahang, just before the Pekeliling roundabout. I have been his customer since I was 6... well, initially I was mom's errand girl, standing in line to buy the delicious rojak.

Apparently, since about a year he has changed his route, business hours and site... hence my failure to locate him the last 2 attempts. Anyway, someone told me to look near the old Federal cinema and to my delight there he is today. His stall is located at the corner of the old A&W (now a printing shop) at Lorong Chow Kit 1. As usual, the line was long and I booked my 7 packets of rojak before I went shopping.

What is so good about his rojak? I can't explain but the kuah (gravy) is so thick and tasty plus the fruits are freshly cut just before you buy them... and on top of it, he puts fried chakoi....Hmmm....

Another reason why I like the old man is he always give priority to those who come first. As a kid, I used to wait and wait for my turn and occasionally some adult who is in a rush would come and try to get him to serve them first instead of me. He would not argue but smile and continue to make my order first.... I guess the made even kids feel important!

Anyway, because of this I am happy.... by the way who ever wants to try the BEST rojak buah in KL should see him at Lorong Chow Kit 1 ( his business hours is from 1.30pm till about 4pm).. Just be prepared to wait in line.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chiengmai - The Leisure aspect

Although I was in Chiengmai during puasa I managed to squeeze a few recreational activities during our free time.

In a gist, Day One - we went to see some elephants (though if I was alone I might not want to spend 1200 Baht for the entrance fee). All of us felt cheesy but then the organiser did made an effort to keep us entertained. Later that evening, buka puasa was at the Night Market and after that the boys went berserk shopping.... who says boys don't know how to shop!

Day two, first day of course. At night was the Course Dinner at a seafood joint. Initially planned to go shopping again but I overate (Gluttony!!!) and thus went back to the hotel and slept. (sheesh)

Day three, workshop ended early. Initial plan was to go out at about 5pm and walk around. Came down to the lobby and none were around. The others apparently felt tired and wanted to laze by the pool and jacuzzi... Oh ya, did I mentioned we stayed at this very, very nice hotel - Kantari Hills Hotel and service apartments which has great facilities. I would not mind coming again here

And so, the hyper me went off walking from our hotel to the northern part of the ring road and later reach the Night Market just by the time nearing breaking fast. Actually I cheated a bit; after about 3/4 of the distance I was a wee bit tired and I hailed the red cab (that charges flat rate of 20 Baht). Anyway, found a muslim hawker and bought some food there.

Temple seen at the northern ring road - note the silver and gold tree at each side; reminds me of the times the Malacca government used to send 'duit emas' as protection money to the Siam empire

Later i went for a massage for 30mins of relaxing back and shoulder massage I paid 80Baht(CHEAP!!!!) ; by the way if only costs 120 Baht or 200 Baht for an hour or two respectively.

This paper shop in the Night Market have loads of handmade textured papers that is not so expensive. My favorite find of the day!

And then, I went on a shopping spree. Bought unique hand made stuff like hair clips, key holders, handphone charms. I must say, the market in Chiengmai have more unique stuff; loads of ideas that I enjoyed seeing. I must plan my next trip there soon... and this time it is only for a holiday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Cadaveric Workshop -Chiengmai

The past few days I was in Chiengmai attending a cadaveric course on arthoplasty. This is my 2nd cadaveric course the first was the MIPO (Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis) course in 2008 in University Malaya.

Outside the cadaveric Workshop (aka disecction hall)

This course was jointly organised by University Malaya Orthopaedic Department (Arthroplasty Unit) with University of Chiengmai. It had only 9 participants hence the hands on workshop was excellent with one on one guidance by the facilitators.

The participants and facilitators

Cadaveric disection workshop is an integral part of enhancing a surgeon's skills and Department of Orthopaedic Chiengmai University have been organising similar workshops since 4 years ago. It helps the surgeon to appreciate the anatomy with relation to the surgeries or procedures they are practising to perfect.

The bodies were donated by the people themselves for the purpose of helping doctors improve their skills. They were treated with great care and respect and it is no surprising that the cadavers were nickname 'grandmaster' by those who benefited from their use. At the end of the day, the bodies are given a royal burial with blessing from the King for contribution to the nation's future.

I assume this means 'Department of Orthopaedics'
Everything was in Thai. Thank god we had our 'tour guide'

As a sign of respect, we were asked to observe a moment of silence prior to the workshop session. It is such a great sacrifice by these people and one cannot help but feel humbled by the whole experience.

I was glad I went and kudos to the arthroplasty unit UMMC for the great leap forward.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pale as Death

Pale as death is used to describe sickly people who are not in their 'pink of health'. I always thought that it was pretty gruesome way to tell someone they are unhealthy and may be nearing 'death'.

For one, I never thought that phrase can be used elsewhere, well, until now.

Over the weekend I went to dive in Redang Island. Redang for me for me used to be synonym with the Gipsy Divers and that was where the love started. The love for Redang wonderful and diverse underwater realm. And so when the Gipsies left for greener pastures I was left with no place to hang out in the idyllic island.

And so, it has been one and a half year since I was in Redang. I returned this weekend to rekindle my love for the place. I stayed at the village in the local 'homestay' and dived with Berjaya Resort Dive Centre. I did a total of 5 dives; one on the first day and four on the 2nd (however, the last can be considered as almost a non-dive as it is at the depth of 3-5m only).

We went to Holysand, Stinger Reef, ,Pulau Lima and Carmello's Cave (near Berjaya). The underwater life is as usual wonderful; more nudibranches and critters were seen during the dives. However, the state of the corals was depressing. And that brings us to the mortality issue.

Our first dive we visited Holysand, a sandy dive site without any corals. There was a newly sunk wreck and that was heavenly.

Only the second day I realise that there are obvious 'changes' in underwater Redang. Everytime, as I descent into the water I was greeted with patches of whites - ivory white corals i.e. DEAD CORALS. Some although still alive are showing signs of dying; pale and lifeless.


This table coral peripheries are white and 'bleached'. Is it dying?

Even the anemone were sickly looking. The bright red anemone was pale pink when compared to the bright colour of the tomato anemone fish. This is true for the other species, I have always loved taking photos of the anemone and its fishes and so I would know the difference.

The anemone is a very distinct pale yellow. I have never encountered this before and initially thought it was a different species.

I do not know what may be the cause but there are many possiblities that come into mind.

Can it be due to the global warming? During our dives the water temperature was 30-31 degrees higher 1-2 degrees when compared to 28-29 degrees 2 years back.

Or can it be due to the numerous resorts and development in the island? I can see some part of the island being cleared for 'development'; and this is despite the development BAN that was highlighted a year ago in the local news. For one,I saw a new 'posh' resort on Long Beach that can accommodate more than 300 people. And in the kampung there are so many 'homestays' that are sprouting to meet the local demands.

The newly opened Sari Pacifica

Or is it because the place is now so accessible that the number of people visiting and of course the amount of sewerage and rubbish have increased exponentially that the underwater ecosystem cannot adapt? Previously Redang is only accesible via jetty in Merang and visitors have to make prior bookings at resorts or home stays before they were allowed passage to the island. However, this changed in 2006 when the Syahbandar Jetty in Kuala Trengganu opened ferry services to the island during non monsoon season.

Whatever the reason I can only speculate but something need to be done. The recent government outburst on banning 'al-cheapo' visitors definitely is a joke. The huge and expensive resorts i.e Berjaya, Laguna and the new Sari Pacifica can at one time host about 1500 guests; still a huge quantity of people. And EXPENSIVE guests does not mean QUALITY guests; during one of my dives a diver staying in the Berjaya Resort (where a room would cost RM 900 per room per night according to their front desk) was seen ascending uncontrollably into the water destroying several corals in her path. It was such a tragedy!

Note: The dives for me were great and I had lovely photos of the 'living' underwater world. That will be put up in my next post.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Getting Wet Again!

In 6 days time I will be underwater again. It has been 6 months since my last dive. And it will be my 36th birthday when I am there. Whether this is my 6th time there, I don't think so... I have been there more times (I think).

I can't wait. My gills are dried out!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Relay For Life - Cancer Never Sleeps

My dearest friend is working for the National Cancer Society and has been part of the organising team for Relay for Life.

Last year we joined in the crowd in the activities organised. This year I thought I would do something different. I made some crafts for the association to sell. All proceeds goes to the Relay for Life fund.

I made tote bags, handphone pouches and handphone charms. I hope they sell (fingers crossed)

I hope people would attend the event as it shows our support and empathy to cancer patients, survivors and their families.

For more information on Relay for Life, visit the National Cancer Society website (here)

Note: Since this is such a big and important event I decided to post the same entry in both my craft and this blog.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

KK Getaway

It was almost a last minute planning for my Kota Kinabalu trip. Although the flight tickets were bought 8 months ahead initially it was for a diving trip. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances the trip had to be cancelled and I was left with the paid flights.

Although this is my 4th visit here I never had the chance to explore the area, land exploration especially. I have dived twice at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park but then I have already decided this should be a land tour and so diving is definitely out!

Our first stop was the Tamu Jalan Gaya. It is situated right in town about 20m from the Tourist Center. There are a lot of wares peddled catering for both locals and tourists.

Animals on sale (different types of tortoises, dogs, fishes, cats etc)

Most popular stall - local ground coffee

On sale - natural loofah, local basket-ware, antiquities.

In summary it is a 'pasar malam' with a few unique finds.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cukai 2009

It is tax time again. LHDN has announced that 30th April 2010 is the last date to submit your tax forms. The bad thing of being a government servant is that you cannot lie about your income plus mine was cut monthly under the PCB. I have to do the tax filling carefully to ensure I am not charged more than needed. As usual I will do mine online.

This year search and research on tax at the LHDN site revealed several interesting super-saving facts:

Tax Exemption
Leave passage

Leave passage within Malaysia not exceeding three times in a year and one leave passage outside Malaysia not exceeding RM3000

Tax Relief

Purchase of books, journals and magazines 1,000 (Limited)
Purchase of personal computer 3,000 (Limited)
Purchase of sport equipment for sport activities 300 (Limited)
Subscription fees for broadband registered in the name of the individual 500 (Limited)

Ah, now I have to dig for receipts of my holidays and diving equipments.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Small change

A businesswoman?

I am definitely not one. But surprisingly this week I actually sold some things I made. Yup, sold some of the craft I made.

It has been a long journey with my first ever craft book was one called 'Make and Do'. The book taught me how to become a hoarder as it uses everyday item to be converted into gift etc. Over the years my collection of craft books (stamping, origami, paper mache and others) have grown and so have my 'collection' of junks.

Lately I have gone crazy making handphone pouches for myself. And in between I was experimenting with making yo-yo embellishments for to go with them. And finally a wonderful balance was found and I had the perfect combination to make my wristlets look unique.

And since my R&D craft needed constructive critique I decided to bring them to the office. And that is how four wristlets got sold :). And thus my craft fund is finally off the ground.

Note: I have decided to put craft related posts on another blog (here)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chicken Roosting

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mini Project - baby toiletries basket

Hafizah who is about 36 weeks' pregnant wanted to make a basket to put her baby bathing thingy(i.e powder, lotion, shampoo etc. She bought everything and then realise that she is too exhausted to complete the project. And so, she asked me if I am willing to help her out. She gave me the design and I TRIED to execute the photocopy (but it is not exactly as in the picture...oppps); however,I hope she likes it.

Note: The bears were supposed to be part of the design but I did not find a suitable way to incorporate it into the basket.

Mermaid in the making

For a two year old she definitely have no fear. Oh yeah, the occasional 'takut' and 'hantu' but otherwise she is a fearless two year terror. And that scares the whole lot of us. About 5 months back she coolly stepped into her 'atuk's fish pond. And while the grandfather worriedly jumped in and fished her out she was just laughing happily. To my dad, it was deja vu of an incident 34 years prior when my eldest brother, then two decided to step into the deep end of a swimming pool at Primula Hotel in Trengganu.

And so dear aunty was assigned with the task of making darling Aida a water babe. Not that the aunty minded; aunty is always looking for avenues to spend time in the sun and 'surf'...haha... What a perfect reason!

Anyway, last Sunday merman and I decided to bring Aida to Sunway Lagoon. This would be her 2nd visit there and ever since the first 2 months back she has been pestering us to go 'wimming'. And as if she knew she was going to have a fun fun day, she slept soundly from 5pm the night before. Batteries fully charged!!!

Well, she had fun. It is the aunty and uncle who were struggling to keep up. And after she was tired from swimming she ran up and down along the 'beach' and kicking the artificial waves and splashing water at 'innocent' bystanders. The girl is surely lovable and a few people were smitten by her friendly demeanor (She was 'HI'ing everyone she met there).

The photos reveals more that what I can write and she is definitely on the way to be a mermaid.

Merman risking his life fighting a hippopotamus

Aida at the deep end paddling away

For more photos of fun in the sun go here

Monday, January 25, 2010

Colours of Mabul

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sipadan Revisited

Tickets were bought 8 months back. As usual it was the Airasia Zero fare promotion. Anyway, diving life is great when you have a live-in dive buddy. Plans are way easy and usually there are no cancellations.

And then about 6 months ago two friends decided to join us. That was great!!! And they are great company too. So as late as 2 weeks ago we had four in the group. And then surprise surprise.... Wanie my old buddy heard about the whole trip and wanted to follow; she had not dived for three years and during that time delivered 2 baby girls with the younger one 7 months back... Time to re-breathe compressed air,mommy!

This time around we decided to stick with Billabong Scuba. Last February trip was great though the food was a bit 'routine' and bland. That time we had cabbages daily and only cabbages for our requirement of fibre.So we came prepared, bags of tidbits and instant noodles. It has now been three days with two to go. Surprisingly dinner so far dinner has been good. Different dishes for dinner daily. I guess my complaining during our previous visit did not fall on deaf ears and the management did their best to improve the quality of the food. Looks like we are going to have the Maggi at home ;)

As for the diving it has been great. But then, when it comes to diving I never have complained as I have dived in conditions with only 3 feet visibility and still enjoy it; go figure!

Having said that, this time around Sipadan and Mabul have the worse visibility so far: 10 metres in Sipadan and about 5-6 metres in Mabul. And the water is damn chilly 26 to 27 degrees centigrade....brrrrr... I tried my best to contribute to the warming of the waters but it only work for a very brief period.

The water conditions may be attributed to the heavy rains that plagued the area just prior to our arrival. We brought sunny rays to the shores of Mabul and so far it has remained sunny.... I hope it stays that way. As for the sealife, as usual it is amazing. I will let the photos do the talking. But there are more to come.

For now I am signing off from Mabul.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Verdasco and I

This was taken on November 2nd at the Proton Malaysian Tennis Open. I was lucky to catch the lucky ball and won a car. The best part is meeting Verdasco (who was so gorgeous in person)and getting kissed (on the cheeks of course) by him....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two weeks in 2010

It is two weeks into 2010... looks like time would fly this year. I don't tend to make resolutions (I think they are lame excuses to 'pretend' that you are doing something new and then say you failed miserably).

However, I have decided to be more organised - mainly in keeping the home manageable. Fingers crossed I have started with re-organising both my kitchen store and my craft room. I got more storage space by purchasing heavy duty DIY racks in Segambut (at RM100 per piece). I have put everything in clear containers or tag them clearly so that I know the contents without having to open the packaging.

I have also put rules (for myself) on how to do things at home:-
1. Immediate cleaning up of the mess that I make (either during cooking or crafting)
2. Put back everything to its original place!!!
3. Try to throw away thing I do not need (clutter, clutter, clutter)

As I am not a very disciplined person - I have my 'mandor' to supervise me... hopefully he doesn't go overboard.

Saw this headline on Harian Metro today.

Terkulai cinta Internet

The frontpage article highlighted the plights of three women who were duped by men they met on the net in having casual sex and later was dumped when they got pregnant. The three young ladies in their early 20s met their 'love' from various social networking programmes like Facebook, Myspace and Friendster.

This is not anything new. It has been happening ever since the Net got huge. I recall being one of those chatting away on mIRC and Yahoo Messenger years ago. I met enough people (men) that I come to the conclusion that Internet relationships are 'surreal' and many people LIE!

Therefore, apart from having sex-education in schools we should also have Internet Education. And it is not just women being duped but men too. Sex and money. The accessibility of the Net and the huge masses it reaches makes it a ideal media for conning people. And since 'It would never happen to me' mentality is in a lot of us - MANY people are gullible.

Internet Education may not solve the problem but at least it makes people aware of their vulnerability.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Arrest (Part One)

I never had so much time to myself ever since my wedding. Yup, that was 1 and 1/2 years ago. Anyway, I was given 2 weeks off and I have no plan or anywhere to go. Ah... HEAVEN. First on my agenda was organising. I am 'trying' to remove as much clutter in the house, people like me like to collect junk and are scared to throw anything away hence the 'clutter'. So far I have organised the kitchen and store and also my craft room aka my 2nd storage room.

In between I managed to squeeze in a few craft projects. So many free tutorials online that I would go cookoo looking just looking at them. But projects are easier when you have someone in mind to give them to. So walla.....

Baby boy blankie, made for a new addition to the family. My bro in law 2nd child born on 22 Dec.

The inner part I used a striped cotton material (that cost RM3.20 per meter at Nagoya

This is a project which is ongoing. My bag prototype made by copying the bag I bought from Siam Reap 2 years back. Still not happy with the lining I made and the stitching is a bit shoddy..... This is supposedly for my friend in Singapore but do not know when it will be ready :(

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christmas Holiday Projects

The past week I have been busy utilising my sewing machine. It is not a new year resolution to sew more but I was inspired by the arrival of my friend's baby two days before Christmas.

I suck at buying gifts for newborns plus always thought that stuff I buy may become redundant (1001 uncles and aunties are sure to buy the same things). And as I browse through the Net for ideas I see loads of handmade baby presents.

And so, I made a blankie (hope they liked it as it is my first attempt) and a pair of booties (got the instructions and templated from here)

So these are the results:

I also made a hairband for my niece while I was at these projects