Saturday, 24 June 2006

I've moved to the North Pole

Or at least that's where I think I've gone to. The new hostel we're living in (Pandan Mewah Heights) is as cool as one of mama sarah's summer berry ice cubes. No kidding. I spent the first night on my bed without my comforter, and ended up with a throbbing head, a couple of cold feet and a stuffed nose.

Conclusion: I am a weakling against the harsh cold. If I were an MMORPG wizard, my attribute would be Fire.

Even as of now, I still have a phlegmatic cough which I swear to you, is trying to take control over me. The evil monster is lurking somewhere along my respiratory tract, just waiting for me to forget of its existence. When that time comes, the beast shall strike, leaving me with barely a chance to breath! Aiii...!!!!!

Humour me here. It's been a long week, and I'm bored to death.


I think I'll stop here. Actually, there was something that I wanted to write on, but I'll have to reconsider whether it's appropriate to be put here or not. I'm afraid that some people might not be able to accept it coming from a person of my age.

p.s. Kenakelayan, should I dive into the Discworld saga by Pratchet? The library has the whole set, so I was wondering if it'd be a good idea to start developing a 'book habit', what with my status as a second year medical student.

Friday, 16 June 2006

It's Not Goodbye....

.....rather, a "See you around".

I'm going back to my hostel tomorrow (today actually, as the clock is already showing 1.36 a.m.)

Most probably I'll not have the time to be updating - and leave comments at the other bloggers' sites - as often as I would like to.

Therefore, my semi-absence is forwarded with many, many apologies.

Rest assured, I'll try to update and leave feedback whenever I can.

Can't keep a keen blogger back, can you?

Till then, see you around.

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

On Being In Control

Do you feel you're in control? It's easy to tell if you're the boss of some leading money-spinning, megawatt conglomerate. Or even when you're behind the wheels of a bus; you know you're in control (at least before you start nodding off to sleep).

How about your life? Do you feel that you're in control of your life? If yes, are you sure about it? Or are you just trying to convince yourself?

What does it mean to be in control of your life?

How do you know you're in charge, and not merely being played as a puppet?

Sunday, 11 June 2006


I think I really am getting old. Otherwise, how would you explain this remake of a Stevie Wonder tune?

But it really is a nice song. And no, I don't have any weird impressions of George Michael. He's a good singer as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, 9 June 2006

Lessons Learnt in Langkawi Part 3 (Or Get On With It!!)

This is a signboard to Pantai Chenang. However, I could not find a signboard to Pantai Chuchah.

In contrast to the misadventures we had on the second day, the third day was quite calm and relaxed. Not to mention hot. Yes, the sun was shining away happily, burning our sorry skins to a light crisp.

We managed a visit to the Paddy Garden in the morning. But to my dismay, the place was deserted! Save for the person at the counter, of course. Not only that, even the paddy were way past their harvest schedule. A few lots were supposed to be harvested sometime back in 2005, yet they still stood there like galiant soldiers protecting their turf.

This picture is dedicated to mama sarah, who hopefully after this will erase the 6-year old mental image.

Next up was supposed to be Galleria Perdana. That's where the former Prime Minister - namely, Dr Mahathir - keeps his old stuff. A convenient dump museum, I suppose. However, we never got to see his collection of memories as we ended up at the Langkawi Cultural Centre.

At the Cultural Centre, you get to see first-hand how several traditional Malay carfts are produced. They have these booths that house one or two people who diligently carry out their trade despite having a number of people ogling at observing them. My mom even sat down to have a light chat with one of the 'artisans' who was working on a terendak (that's what my mom told me)

Tekat? Tetak? Tekak? I do not know.

A nice surprise awaited us. It so happened that our visit this time around coincided with the last show of a troupe of traditional Malay dancers. The dances were entertaining, with them performing for around 45 minutes. Imagine the calories that they managed to burn that day! A few dances worth mentioning were the tarian payung, tarian kraftangan and tarian burung merak. Again, these are all made up names which I have come up to describe the movements of those eight or nine dancers. To repeat them in public is to open yourself to general humiliation. You have been warned.

Unfortunately, the peacock picture can't be included as it was err...unfit for publication.

Later in the afternoon, we stopped by the beach (the one which had a cendol seller) for one last time. I had the camera ready in hand just in case I could snap some nice sunset pictures. That was some wishful thinking indeed. Nice, my elbow.

They might be giants.

Two island men mending their boat.

On the final day, there was an atmosphere of slight glum. Probably due to the fact that we were finally going home; but I had a sneaking suspicion that it was also due to having to pack up our things into the bags. Not the happiest chore on Earth.

On our way to the jetty, we came across this slightly quaint looking building. "It can't be...." I thought to myself.

On closer inspection, it was! This was Prof Wafa's clinic in Langkawi! I wondered if the old professor was in. I never did get to find out as my parents beckoned for me to rush.

But where were we rushing to? It turned out to be that we were rushing to one of the shopping complexes to get my brother a new mobile phone. The lucky devil!

Lesson Learnt: If you whine and moan long enough, you will get your heart's desire. And a nagging afterwards.

We arrived at the jetty around noon, and since the next ferry was only at 1.30 p.m. we had lunch at Hameed's Curry House (is it a curry house?). Hameed's can also be found in Kajang, at the ground floor of Metro Kajang. So, you don't have to go that far to sample some of Hameed's cooking, which I consider average. Except for mynn and family, I suppose. When are you coming back to Malaysia???

The ferry used on our journey this time around was waaaay much better.

All in all, Langkawi was a nice vacation. The family teased each other alot; we exchanged jokes, and that to me is nice. Usually the things that we exchange is sarcastic (not to mention caustic) remarks. And then there are the parents who love to nag advise their beloved children. We all left Langkawi with pleasant memories, I'd say.

By the way, here is a picture of the plate I used during lunch on the second last day. I had the meal with some people whom are well known to a good number of bloggers here. Who were those people? Did they pay for lunch? Why aren't there any other pictures besides my "scrapped-clean" plate?

The comment box is now open for speculation :P

Monday, 5 June 2006

Lessons Learnt in Langkawi Part 2

Cool things to do in Langkawi. Stand-not-so-straight.

On the second day of our holiday in Langkawi, I woke up really early. Or at least, early by my standards. The reason being was because I was hoping to capture a few pictures of the sunrise. Unfortunately, the view from our unit was very limited. Not only that, I wasn't allowed to use the car to drive to a nearby beach to get my pictures. What a letdown :(

Luckily, the rest of the day turned out to be better.

After a simple breakfast of mushroom soup and some rather dry bread, we set out in search of adventure. However, initially, it seemed to me that my dad was just driving the car with nowhere particular in mind. All that changed when we came across the Marina Bay. I must inform you that I just made up the name 'Marina Bay' to describe the place; lest any of you go to Langkawi, try to look for it, only to return heartbroken. Anyway, we stopped there to take some photos. "This is turning out to be quite a photo trip", I thought to myself.

At the Marina Bay

A row, row, row of boats...

Lesson learnt: Photo opportunities may arise at any moment. Be alert at all times.

After having taken enough shots, my dad thought that it'd be nice to have a go on the cable car. And that's just what we did; have a go on the cable car. Langkawi's Cable Car takes you for a ride all the way to the top of Mount Chinchang, which stands approximately 700 meters above sea level. The scenery itself was worth every ringgit paid for the ride (RM15 for adults, RM5 for children).

That is the top-most station. Note the two viewing stands at either side which look like flying saucers.

Looks kind of like the "Sky Kingdom" to me. What say you?

After having enjoyed the breath-taking scenery, we went down and played with some rabbits. As we were entertaining the sniffing mammals, a man was walking around, selling rabbit feed for one ringgit a packet. Another money-making scheme, obviously. But since the kids were so excited at the idea of feeding real, live animals, my mom bought a couple of packets for them anyway. The end result? A lot of squealing (from my siblings, not the rabbits) and a few rabbits doing stand-up tricks.

This was one of the better behaved rabbits.

Lesson Learnt: Rabbits are cute things, but they still may nibble your hand. And that is not cute.

Next up on the agenda was a visit to the Seven Wells Waterfall. But owing to some unavoidable circumstances (read: the journey up was far too tiring), we settled for a cascade which was situated at lower ground. Whilst I was entrusted to safeguard the belongings, the rest of the family had fun splashing in the cool water.

A waterfall! What's that purple shade in the bottom-right bottom-left corner?

I can tell you, the rocks are arranged beautifully; so much so that they form some kind of slide. Naturally, my siblings had a go at sliding down the slippery slide. Although it wasn't as good as those slides in Sunway Lagoon, the setting still provided a nice ride down. Still, in the end, my sibs ended up with sore bottoms.

Lesson Learnt: Friction can be a pain in the arse.

The next day, it rained again. I was pleasantly surprised at this, and even said a small thank you prayer silently. Little did I know that the rain would bring more than just rahmat to the family that day.

Since it was a wet day, my dad decided that it'd be fitting to go shopping, or at the very least, window shopping. We rolled off at around ten in the morning with the rain drizzling lightly. A very funny thing happened on out way to the shopping complex; we followed a black van into the wrong road for no apparent reason. After realising the mistake, the car was steered into a mosque compound so that we could retrace our path.

It'd must have been an unlucky day for us. My dad Somebody behind the wheels reversed the car without being aware that the ground wasn't as sincere as it looked. To avoid any unneccessary headaches in describing the mishap, here are a couple of diagrams to explain what happened.

Diagram 1: This is the car being reversed.

Diagram 2: This is the car performing a balancing trick.

Lesson Learnt: You can guess this one by yourself.

To make things more miserable, it was raining heavily as the rest of us tried to push the car back up onto normal ground. As my dad put it, "I was laughing out loud to see you all wet like otters!". Grrr.

Anyway, we went on with the initial plan i.e shopping, and bought some chocolates, some kain, and a small towel to dry ourselves. Needless to say, it was rather uncomfortable walking around with very damp - and somewhat dirty - clothes. Our (mis)adventures for the day were ended with some nice cendol whilst admiring the vastness of the sea in mid day sun.

(to be continued....)

Friday, 2 June 2006

Lessons Learnt in Langkawi Part 1

That's the eagle which is suspected of giving Langkawi its name.

Lesson #1
You will come back from your holiday in Langkawi with your skin resembling the colour of an overcooked currypuff, so don't bother writing an entry beforehand expressing your hopes and dreams of a non-burnt future.

It's just like what drroza said; " Your island trip will have some form of education or other. Just be on the look out and for sure you'll learn something useful". Well, here is what I learned as I enjoyed my holiday in Langkawi.


On the day of travelling, we took heed of Pycnogenol's advice and set off very early in the morning. By early, I meant somewhat around 4 a.m. As we tried to find our way into the highway, I was quite surprised to see a few eateries still occupied with customers who were having either a very late dinner, or a very early breakfast. This was somewhere along Kepong and Segambut.

Lesson learnt: There are people out there who have the feeding habits of bats.

Eventually, after a few wrong turns and some half-hearted bickering, we managed to get ourselves into the highway. From there, it was smooth sailing all the way to Kuala Kedah. Of course, we stopped at one of the RnR centres for Subuh prayers and had nasi lemak to fill up our tummies (mind you, the nasi lemak was nothing to shout about), but that is of no significance to my tale, so I'm going to leave that bit out. Eyh?

We arrived at the Kuala Kedah jetty around ten. By that time, the sun was already shining brightly; and let me tell you, the sun shines brighter in Kedah than it does in other Peninsular states. Yes, it does. Eventhough it was only 10 o' clock, I felt like it was already noon. My dad left the vehicle at one of the 'car kindergartens' and was charged RM30. After having ensured that we hadn't left anything behind, my family and I made our way inside the jetty complex(?) to purchase our tickets. By chance, we were in time for the 10.30 ferry. Splendid!

Guess which one was our ride for the day.

We 'rocked and rolled' on the ferry for about one and a half hour whilst being served with the Thai movie Tom Yum Goong (Gung?). For those who don't know it, the story is about a young Thai lad who goes on a continental search for his kidnapped family. Continental because he ends up in Australia halfway through the movie. By the way, the family that I mentioned earlier takes on the form of a 3500 kilogram mother elephant and her baby. How can a Thai chap belong to a member of the Elephantidae family? Bugs me.

Lesson learnt: If you can't stand rock and roll, then you had better just stick to television. Also, Man and Elephant may be related, eventhough they look nothing as much as the other.

Finally, we arrived at the Kuah jetty somewhat around noon. Surprisingly, we were greeted by cloudy skies and wet floors. In other words, it was raining! Fancy that, rain in Langkawi!

Since most of the family members were already famished, we decided to have lunch at the LADA complex. No, it's not a chilli research buliding. LADA stands for Langkawi Development Authority, and they have a very nice cafeteria where you can have your fill. Luch was followed by some shopping at the shopping complex situated conveniently next door.

By 3 o' clock, we were ready to check in at our resort (by the way, we rented a sporty Wira to get around). The Perdana Beach Resort is in Padang Matsirat, a 15 to 20 minutes drive from Kuah. It's a nice, quiet place where you can relax far from the hustle and bustle of town.

Not wanting to waste precious time, my family and I bathed, donned fresh clothes, said our prayers and went to town. After driving around for a bit, we eventually arrived at Idaman Suri. Idaman Suri happens to be the hip place to buy household items such as melanine cookeryware (is that even a word?!), pots and pans, travelling bags, woodcrafts and chocolate. Is chocolate a household item? I very much doubt it, but my sister thinks otherwise.

My siblings ogling at some kind of machine from the past. I think it's called a public phone.

Only people with 'Wan Thai' can enter this restaurant. Those with two thighs are not welcomed.

Both my parents did some extensive browsing. I should've known better that that was a sign of things to come. We went window shopping until late into the afternoon. On our way back to the resort, we stopped by a beach to watch the beautiful sunset.

Note the boat under the tree

Playing against the sunset.
(to be continued.....)