Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Postcards from KK

I arrived Kota Kinabalu on January, 14. Here are are some of the treasure I cherished from the trip:

This was taken at the Pulau Manukan Jetty, a tourist was feeding the fish. I once thought 'Finding Nemo' was Pixar Studio colour avalanche until I snorkelled at Pulau Mamutik, a smaller island next to Manukan. There I realised, Nemo's coral paled in comparison to Mamutik's.

This was taken while driving through the many bends towards Kundasang. Jas, asked me to wind down the window. The mountain air filled my lungs and already I was too heady with delight. Looking at the peak of Mount Kinabalu, though just a glimpse as it rained later, I was in awe of its beauty. It was majestic. Now I understood why Sabah is dubbed as Land Below the Wind.

For the first time I saw the legendary slipper orchid or the rare paphiodellum indigenius to the Mount Kinabalu National Park. I was lucky to have seen it in bloom here at the Kinabalu Heritage Park/ Botanical Garden. A walk through the park revealed many other types of flora that I have never seen before.

On the last day of my stay in Kota Kinabalu I visited the Orang Utan Sanctuary at Tuaran. Here are two of the seven orphaned Orang Utan at feeding time at the sanctuary. I don't know their names.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kota Kinabalu

One morning, I woke up to a severe need of escape. Next thing I knew I booked a flight to Kota Kinabalu and a week later I was there. Alone, and enjoying every minute of it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two weeks

I was on leave for two weeks, and as always, it was heavenly. Not in any particular order, saw Nisa, Enid, Leha, Hanim, Pak Ghaz, Maaz, Kam, Bad, Adly, Amir, Meor, Hizral, Eleena, the doctor, my sisters Zamie, Kana, Nana, my parents and Anita Sarawak at a high-tea show.

Nisa: Enjoying unemployment and the leisurely life as a chauffer, driving important people and socialising with rich datins at high teas, boutiques and spas.

Enid: Happy to annoy her neighbours by being mysterious.

Leha: Cracking her head on a new novel.

Hanim: Just had a baby girl.

Pak Ghaz: Enjoying his new post as a no-post, as posted by a very jealous regime management.

Maaz: Very pregnant and has no clue of the baby's sex.

Kam: It was always about politics, Umno, MIC, MCA, and the office.

Bad: Optimistic about the new management and the changes in the office, but laments about the dogs in the neighbourhood.

Adly: About to have a baby. Doesn't care about the people in the office.

Amir: Started a radical blog and suddenly resigned from work.

Meor: Thought about leaving the company but stayed on. He is writing another novel.

Hizral: Into multi-level marketing.

Eleena: She is in love, deeply, madly and sadly.

the doctor: was very puzzled as how I knew him and why I came to see him.

Zamie: She dragged me to the gym. I nearly fainted after half hour on the treadmill.

Kana: She smiled, her in laws stayed for the school holidays. She bought another car.

Nana: Heavily pregnant with her first baby and suffering from severe backpain and water retention. Otherwise, very happy.

My parents: Apasal tak cakap nak datang? (I arrived at their doorstep at 1245am) They are happy. Mum's ever busy with pelamin. Pak with his new MP4.

Anita Sarawak: She cried thinking of Siput Sarawak. It was a good show.

Everybody has something to say about many things and events. Highest on list was the PM, Tun Mahathir, Proton, Bridge, Ghani Othman, petrol price, Petronas and 9th Malaysia Plan. Nobody spoke of traffic jams or road accidents anymore as was the normality of balik kampung issues.

Suddenly people are becoming very concern about the future of the country. Was it concern or fear?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Baby in Cistern

On 15 May morning (the Monday after Wesak Day) a shopper flushed the clean toilet and suddenly, instead of water, blood filled the bowl. It came from the cistern. She screamed her head off and the cleaner rushed in. The cleaner lifted the cistern lid and there was a bloated baby boy, blue black and maggoty, half stuck in the cistern. News papers carried the news on follwing day.

Kina who resides in Pasir Gudang said that was not the first time somebody abandoned a baby at the Kompleks Pusat Bandar Pasir Gudang. She asked why is it most of them babies are Malays. Could it be because we, Malays, abhor these out of wedlock child?

Could be, hence the term anak haram and not anak cinta (lovechild).

Kina said maybe if we have shown a bit more compassion these babies would not have ended up in cisterns or bowls. "Bukannya nak menyokong zina, tapi kan anak-anak ini tak berdosa?"

True, but the sad reality remains that people are not very nice to anak gampang (another not very nice term for love child). What if the Welfare Department trumpeted a campaign for suraus and masjids to have baskets for these unfortunate babies. Let me guess: Some clever people would say, " We are not condoning zina. This action symbolises support for immoral acts."

Have any of these clever people seen how the bloated babies look like? Not very nice. The image would stay in your unconscious and claim your peaceful slumber. Somebody clever however, must think of some ways to stop zina (if they are seriously against it) and stop these infanticide. It is cruel and dehumanised whoever did it.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Suddenly Muslim

There's a lot of money in 'muslim'.

Today the papers published about Al Quds Jeans an Italian designed material which is described by product development manager Susanna Cavalli as: "The idea behind the jeans is not political, ideological or religious at all. It is a cultural act." The jeans is specially tailored for Muslim youths for use in mosques (by that is roomy and allowed freedom of movement in prayers).

Then there is Islamic Financial Centres. Last week MB Johor said it should be a niche market in global finance world, and Malaysia should become a leader.

Then there is Halal product market world wide which is estimated at US$80 billion. Today Tesco said they will market RM1 billion Malaysian halal product to UK via 50 of its stores over the next five years.

All these after Sept 11 2001. Some brand Muslims as potential terrorists, others a niche market but whichever way you look at it Muslim means money, whether you are selling guns or groceries.

Closer at home declaring you are a Mulism may mean being pretentious.
Alaa pakai je tudung, bukannye baik sangat pun.
alaa nampak je ketayap putih, siang malam pegi masjid entah ye entah tidak.
alaa konon je pegi majlis agama sebenarnya suke juga kalau ada joget-joget.

Today, a friend over the phone said: "They are all such pretentious lot. The Abim guys, Anwar Ibrahim, uggh."

I thought eh?

"Ya laa... He took the media over and although that has nothing to do with music industry directly but the Islamic movement crippled creative people. We're banckrupt of ideas."


"That's why nobody wants to buy any CDs. We can't produce good albums. You think Siti Nurhaliza sells? Heeeh Only Raihan sells. It the cultural revolution I tell you!"


He butted in: "Exactly my point. That's why we need Islam Hadhari...." and he rattled on and on.

Quite lost with the exact point, I decided to let him be. After all, in a pretension game, the pretenders would pretend to win.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kueh Pau Day Out

Yesterday was spent, most lovely... It was my day off and I decided to treat myself to a nice restaurant and lunched alone. It was wonderful, no small talks, no pretense, no arguments, no wry jokes. Just me and serenity. I had read in the papers, a few days ago about creme brulee served at this restaurant, and thought I should give it a try. It was not what I had expected and feeling generous, I decided to fill in the comments card. To my surprise the manager actually read my comment and immediately reverted it to me.

"Why do you feel the creme brulee falls below your expectations?" In all seriousness.
Alamak. Err think think. "It lacks vanilla and the texture has bubbles."
He called in the chef and interrogated him in front of me.
"When did we make this creme brulee?"
"What's wrong with it?"
"We did not have enough vanilla extract."
"Ok." Next he turned to me and said,"We are very sorry about it Ma'am," with suddenly a heightened American accent, of which I could not quite figure out why. "We will definitely improve it and the next time you are here, the creme brulee is on us." Suddenly he whipped out a card entitling me to a free dessert.

Ooo wheeee this is what you call SERVICE!!! Then again they charged me ten percent of my bill for service charge. I did not get it free like at any 786 Bulan dan Bintang restaurants. Still I was happy.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Teachers' Day

Cikgu Rohaizan was in LRT with Nolly. She was very happy to meet one of her first students in an LRT far away from a class room, so she sent me an sms about it. Immediately, I called her and she bubbled away of how wonderful it was to meet her students now that she no longer taught.

Nolly, who is now pregnant with her seventh child (congratulations), and I were classmates and we had Cikgu Rohaizan teaching us Bahasa Malaysia decades ago. Ooh those ancient times. I was never any teachers' pets, being lembab, clumsy and blur all the time, but Cikgu Rohaizan and I grew close after last year's homecoming event.

Cikgu Rohaizan then, told me she had asked for a transefer to KL. She wanted a desk job. Early this year, her wish was granted but suddenly on Teacher's Day she missed her students.

"It's different. Everybody wished everyone Happy Teachers' Day, but it is not like what it was in school. Meriah!"

Teachers thinking of their students on their special day. Wondered how many students thought of their teachers today. I'm for one is terribly guilty, apart from Cikgu Rohaizan, I wished no one else.

To those who taught and prided in their noble profession, Happy Teachers' Day.

The Golden Spoon

There were a group of us at the food stall at JOTIC: Mas, Ayek, Inul, Norman, Nyngket and me. We had our breakfast, but late comers like Norman, who ordered vanilla coke waited for a while before his order arrived. Nyngket ordered Horlicks kosong with roti bakar, while Inul preferred nescafe. When the boss of the stall came he was summing up the bill, so we told him that we are still waiting for the roti bakar.

The mere question pushed him into an overdrive of emotions.

"Macamana nak buat kejap orang sana panggil kejap sini panggil. Kalau nak kena tunggu aaa."

Nyngket whose getting a trifle irritated, knit her brow and said,"Orang tunggu a nii."

The stall owner, who donned a red and yellow t with Sudu Emas Cafe logo printed on it, went into another burst of emotion about being over-burdened with customer orders. All of us could not make head or tail what he was saying. Norman got embarrased and simply paid.

He hastily took the money and while waiting for the change, Norman said,"The last time I ordered nasi goreng kampung, I had to wait for 45 minutes."

Obviously, the stall owner is someone who despise the customers for placing huge orders. Maybe he is happier if he has less. Maybe God would grant him the happiness he sought after.