Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 bestest

Vacation: Australia

Lodging: Jasmine Lodge, Siem Reap

Book: The Diaries of Jane Somers
Author: Doris Lessing

Sunday, December 18, 2011

smiling with your eyes

we roamed the city last saturday howling "Merry Christmas" and singing our heart out at this parade. it was fun, especially because it didnt rain and the road was completely closed for vehicles. thousands spectators joined along the way and it was a very lively occasion. thank you dy, for inviting me out.

and i learn to say "Merry Christmas" and really meant it to strangers. Longing for them to know the real reason for Christmas. may the Peace of Christ, touch our lives this festive season. have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year 2012.

i'm heading home. muli'd walai.

p/s; For Jane: Tis for you

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pontianak 3

this would be the last installment for my Pontianak series. not that i'm out of story to tell. the short rendezvous, certainly gave more than what i bargain for. and on top of the list is the desire to face my fear, trying to live life to the fullest (if there's any such thing) where great stories usually sprawling beneath.

my bus to Kuching departed at 9.00 pm. i booked a taxi through hotel receptionist (obviously, that's the only way to book a taxi in town---taxis are rare). i leave the hotel at about 8.15 pm and arrived at Eva bus terminal a few minutes later. we only departed after 9.30 pm. some delay for the economy bus and affected us too. (i took the 'super' bus (seating 18 persons instead of the 'economy' one, seating 40?, and i bought a return tix in Kuching). i'll provide link for Eva's website and their tix pricing later.

13 passangers + 2 drivers (alternately change every 2 hours, elderly, polite gentlemen, chinese, speak indonesian fluently). of the 13 passengers, 6 are seeking medical treatment in Kuching. a young couple with a baby and a girl toddler were going to Kuching for that little girl monthly medical check-up. she have problem with her digestion tracts. i cant imagine going for the ardous journey once a month (i'm not saying anything about the cost!)

i, once was a sickly kid too. when i was 6, my dad was posted in a remote area in Ranau (he's a primary school headmaster). no road to his school, we had to leave our pick-up (Datsun!) at the neighbouring village and walked for miles to reach our quarters. most of times, i piggybacked on my dad (remember, i have a younger sister -- by 2 years, and she had to walk!).

so, i get it, i really do understand that young dad when he softly said to his young daughter "papa, ngak apa-apa kok, vera, tidur, istirehat yang tenang, esok kita ke rumah sakit". he adjusted the seat and pillow, blanket etc, attending lovingly to his sickly child. and he sat on the bus floor, holding that girl all the way. i have a dad like that. a man who put his family first above all else. i made a decision there and then, to buy him a trip he always wanted. while, i have the chance to do so.

it's a full moon night, and everything glow softly under luna's soft beam. i will always remember Pontianak as my first solitary romantic gateway. its certainly, not the most beautiful place to visit, with nothing especially special. but, it'll haunt me for life, for the simple truth that, i found a piece of me in that place. a dim enlightment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pontianak 2

"60 lah kak, batu layang itu jauh" plead the boy
i agreed. he went for 'helm'. after waiting for about 15 mins, while watching the 'bapa ayam' expertly 'tucked in' and retrieve motorbikes at their parking area (they're paid by the motorbike's owner-about 1000 Rp/bike)

the good looking boy came "ayolah kak, disana kelihatan mau hujan". then, we went. being 'chickenest' at riding motorbike, i hold to that bony boy. everything's fine, until we cross the traffic light at the main road heading for Kapuas Bridge. A policeman flagged us down. ooooooo... i panickly thought of my passport. ngak ada spion, motornya.. adeh.. (sum of fine= 250,000 Rp)

amazingly, the boy looked calm (macam biasa jumpa polis saja ni). he promised to be back to pay the fine before 6.00 pm. (but, the police said, the fine should be paid at the kantor pengadilan?--bribe?) i didnt ask.

we crossed the kapuas bridge 1 and another bridge (over Landak River?). tightly jammed. (like crushing to lorries/ trucks on both side of the road) its amazing i didnt faint. on the roadside, the large drain (more likely a water canal-- but garbage esp, plastic bags float on it), people are taking bath (like they're in their private bathroom) in the canal. not bathing naked, of course, but, they're there for everybody on the road to see.

its drizzling again. the boy stopped near a stall selling gas (ya, they sell gas by jug, macam jual air tebu) "kak, mau hujan ni.. balik ke hotel aja ya?". i agreed. and thats the end of my failed journey to tugu khatulistiwa. i paid the boy 100,000 Rp. (he got some bribing to do, aint he?)

bersambung... the bus ride home

Monday, December 12, 2011


i was there for my birthday. took the 11 am bus from Kuching to arrive at almost 9 pm in Ponti, Kalbar. its a pleasant journey. took a trishaw from the bus terminal to Hotel Gajahmada. he asked for Rp 30,000 (and i gave, i knew the rate is Rp 15,000- too tired to argue). went out for makan, ended up a few blocks away from hotel and settled for KFC. i ordered bergedel and Oriental Bento (nah... yang teda di Kuching ni). and went shopping for food at Mitra Ligo (adjacent) to my hotel. and oooooo.... fresh fruits banyak ni di Jalan Gajah Mada.

local time differ 1 hour from Kuching's time. and i'll quote Ponti's time throughout. 9.00 pm back in hotel. felt a bit dizzy and tired but i couldn't sleep. live performance at hotel's cosy cafe. friendly bunch of amateur performers. i had long island iced tea and mojito (disappointing!) no Pina Colada in their menu...adei..(the drinks helped me sleep and thanks for the late night sms. i. love.) cheer me up.

huge buffet breakfast. went to morning service (GPdI). i was early, and have a good chat with the bapa gembala. service started at 9.00 am and finished at about 11.30 am. (bapa gembala introduced me to the congregation--i feel like a superstar-- astaga bikin malu!). i walkaway before the closing prayer. walked aimlessly. after 30 mins, asked a youngster at the roadside for nearest mall. she points me to Matahari mall. (they have 3 major malls here, largest = Ayuni, 2nd Ramayana and Matahari is the 3rd). bought myself a T-shirt. tried to avoid lunch by eating sundae at Texas Chicken. went shopping at Carrefour, seperti biasa, yang dicari bumbu tradisional and i bought pangi here.. astaga.

heavy laden and not sure of way to my hotel. i asked the first smiling guy on motorbike for a ride (and i dont usually ride a motorbike, mind you). for 15,000 Rp (he asked for 10,000 Rp) i was saved. i ate one of the three avocados i bought last night. i was hungry, but determined to eat a posh dinner at the first posh looking resto in town. so, i soaked myself in hot bath, reading Doris Lessing and wait for evening. i went to opposite direction from the previous night. saw a huge banner of Bumbu Desa Resto (bukan yang ada di IKEA ka ni?) i tried checking up, but, it was full with people (majlis doa urapan untuk para missionaris). hotel is out of question. ada majlis pernikahan, so, its really crowded. i ended up eating at a halal outlet with no alcoholic beverages.

after dinner, i walked some more. bought dodol at gerai makanan khusus pontianak and it started to drizzle. i hurry back to hotel. had my tea at the lobby with a guy from Singkawang.

the plan is to visit The Equator monument and Istana. but, it rained heavily all morning. so, i read. Diaries of Jane Somers.

its almost lunchtime i went out, walked a few blocks from my hotel and saw their souvenir stalls street. went out to look for tortoise/turtle figurine (i collect those). no fridge magnet. i got a very karatan one for 2,000 Rp (less than RM1). the seller cant believe i wanted it!. walked some more, (i have no idea where i was) its a street like India street in Kuching. then, i got hungry, and looked for a decent place to eat. decided to go eat at the Texas Chicken (after sporting 2 kedai makan with 'Texas' on it names--they love cowboy that much?). drizzle again. asked for a motoride.. no luck. i walked to Matahari mall. rain again.

its almost 3.30 pm, the sky's still cloudy. i went out of matahari. try my luck on motoride. the sweet boy agree to give me a ride for 50,000 Rp to Equator monument and to Hotel. his 'bapa ayam' hiked it up to 60, 000 Rp. what can i do? he's a sweet boy. i wanted him!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

fixing the temple of God

because this girlfriend and this girlfriend proved shedding fats is not impossible and because from my recent walkabout i knew i'm not in my fittest form (bah..). i decided to join the girls to play badminton. and now, my sayap macam mau tercabut..

i rarely admit that, yes, i'm overweight, by 10 kg. maybe its time to acknowledge the actual weight and work hard to get rid of those extra kilos. i do my medical check-up annually, and my latest check up showed i'm healthy. but, somehow, with the extra baggage of fats, i don't feel very healthy. i've always been on a chubby side with few extra kilos from my ideal weight. but, now is the baddest (it hits 2 digits!). so, ya.. time to move my lazy bums.

December is not exactly the best time to start a campaign on losing weight. with the Christmas celebration and numerous wedding invitations (think of the food!), its an uphill battle. but, as orang Sabah says 'dari kau saja baitu'. i'm braving to declare on war to lose my stubborn 10 kg, and i'm giving myself a semester to a fitter, lighter me. (next year's travel will definitely includes hiking and visiting more temples. Borobudur in mind)

for friends and family who read this. i'm in dire need of support and help. This, temple of God needs fixing badly.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 book read

i finished reading my #54 book on 28th, Nov in Siem Reap to reach my reading target for this year. and i still have 25 days to read before the end of 2011. i am aiming for 60 books. and, here's my 54:
  1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
  2. Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
  3. Land Below The Wind by Agnes Newton Keith
  4. Survival is Not Enough, Shift Happens by Seth Godin
  5. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
  6. 'Tis by Frank McCourt
  7. Sky Burial by Xinran
  8. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Dang Tuay Tram
  9. The Street Philosopher by Matthew Plampin
  10. The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  11. Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijk oleh HAMKA
  12. Lark Rise by Flora Thompson
  13. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
  14. New Life by Orhan Pamuk
  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  16. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  17. Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
  18. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  19. God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  20. Stories We Could Tell by Tony Parsons
  21. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  22. Come to Grief by Dick Francis
  23. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  24. True Evil by Greg Iles
  25. Turning Angel by Greg Iles
  26. The Teahouse on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owen
  27. Velocity by Dean Koontz
  28. Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell
  29. Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell
  30. All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell
  31. Phantoms by Dean Koontz
  32. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  33. The Killing Game by Iris Johansen
  34. Whitehorn Woods by Maeve Binchy
  35. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  36. Blood Memory by Greg Iles
  37. Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami
  38. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  39. Shadowland by Peter Straub
  40. Island Beneath The Sea by Isabel Allende
  41. No One To Trust by Iris Johansen
  42. Teacher!, Teacher! by Jack Sheffield
  43. Against Medical Advice by James Patterson & Hal Friedman
  44. For All The Tea in China by Sarah Rose
  45. Dead Sleep by Greg Iles
  46. The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe by Betsey Osborne
  47. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  48. City of Thieves by David Benioff
  49. Earthly Joy by Phillippa Gregory
  50. Correcting The Landscape by Marjorie Kowalski Cole
  51. The Lady and The Poet by Maeve Haran
  52. The Midnight Club by James Patterson
  53. Hornet Flight by Ken Follett
  54. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
5 books i would recommend others to read:
  1. The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  2. Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami
  3. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  4. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  5. God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
i dont know how i missed to include:
55. The Edible Woman by Margaret Artwood
56. True North by Kimberly Kafka

57. the Diaries of Jane Somers by Doris Lessing
58. To Room Nineteen by Doris Lessing

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Learn You Inside Out

After a brief holiday, i come back to office with mixed feeling. A friend asked what i concluded out of my recent walkabout, and honestly, i don't have any. without a doubt, the walkabout was one of my major achievement this year. but, i am still too dazed and stunned to talk of what i have witnessed along the holiday. its a very humbling experience, of how limited our capabilities and understanding are. and how lucky i am to be who i am, where i am.

Cambodia is a very beautiful and romantic place to visit (think of old temples, vast lakes, paddy fields as far as the eyes can see). it is also safe for woman, solo traveler.

Lifehouse's Learn You Inside Out rings true for what i feel for Cambodia.

See my feet on the ground, But it feels like the worlds gravity drowned, When I'm with you I'm high

Instead of hiding my face, My minds in your eyes, Can your love embrace, Me as I am

In the silence you stare at the world, Your eyes are screaming to be heard, I want to learn you inside out

When time isn't on our side, All we have is now, For the rest of our lives, Let's stay up all night

In the silence you stare at the world, Your eyes are screaming to be heard, I want to learn you inside out

All that changes is time, Can't keep you inside of me, You're out of my mind, I wear you on my sleeve

In the silence you stare at the world, your eyes are screaming to be heard, I want to learn you inside out

I see all that you want to be, Look into your soul, Looking right back at me, I want to learn you inside out

pic from Google Image..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Golden boys

we can never thanked them enough for the pride of bringing home the gold, home. thank you, guys!

AFP picture

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i was in KK for a few days to settle some personal matters and i finally met this guy. i used to follow his blog, but has been neglecting it for quite sometimes now that his blog is not in my blog roll anymore. its amazing how this technology bring us together and translated into real life. Welzan, all the best! (you know what I'm referring to)

i missed my friends' walkabout earlier this year. but, i'm making it up by traveling the route on my own by the end of this month. I'm traveling solo. yay!

on the reading progress, after almost 2 weeks of heavy reading: ETP, GTP, DEB and so on. i'm dividing my free time reading James Patterson's the Midnight Club and Malcolm Gladwell's Dog. its a huge relief to read for the sake of enjoying the story and not absorbing facts. i'm short of 3 more books to fulfill my 2011 book read target. and i'm planning on doubling the number for next year's target (i used to average 3 books per week). nowadays, time is the luxury i cant afford for leisure reading.

p/s i'm still giddy with excitement over Malaysia's 1-0 against Indonesia last night. those golden boys of ours. our pride and glory. Go! Harimau Muda!

*pic from google image

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Jane!

Happy Birthday, Jane. the leading role in the pics. You have been amazing to all of us. and you deserve all happiness in the world. God bless.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Lady and The Poet by Meave Haran

Let me tell you what terrify me the most in my course of work. and its not even in my job descriptions (it was there, alright, subtly concealed as tugas-tugas yang berkaitan dan diarahkan). besides being a tutor, i am also a warden for the girl's hostel (a.k.a cikgu pemusnah cinta as most of nights i went out to see their curfew being observed and sacked those naughty ones, usually deep in their idle conversation with their bf and literally dragged them to their dorm and abused them with profanity) hahhaha... actually, i just shooed them away and follow the girl with ekor mata to their dorm.

while i try my best to follow rules and assert discipline, there are many times, i bend certain rules to make their campus life more bearable. that make me an easy target for luahan hati. that's what terrify me the most. when you were given the power to steer someone's else will. i found out, desperate young minds absorbed whatever thrown their way by a person they trusted. what if my advice led them astray? or, even, my silence might be interpreted wrongly?. the hugeness of responsibility terrify me, especially regarding heart's matter.

in The Lady and The Poet, i found the role of Ann's grandmother the most intriguing. She's there as a mediator to her son and her grand daughter, a stern personality that never let go of her high moral standing, while wholly supported Ann in her quest for seemingly ungodly way to love. i aspire to be just that, tolerance enough to see other ways while never compromising on my own faith. and wisdom to fairly draw the line of separation.

Ann More was a free-spirited girl with quick mind and well-read (thanks to her grandfather) in the era of Elizabeth reign (the virgin queen of England). She refused the privilege to be in the Queen's service, a post most sought after by any girl in the realm, because it almost guarantee an advantageous marriage. she then, served at her aunt's York House where she met John Donne. this is the assumed story of Ann and Donne love story from Ann's perspective.

pic from Google image

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Correcting The Landscape by Marjorie Kowalski Cole

Willie Nelson, younger self

correcting the landscape

i am a sucker for koboi music. yeah, country music. and really, i didnt mind the 'seven Spanish angels' playing over and over from my elder brother's car's stereo on our way back home to Ranau. we even discussed the lyrics and debated over it. Willie Nelson is a gem!

so, when a book mentioned of a bookish lead character resembling Willie Nelson, i have to have the book. and the book didn't disappoint me. though, at first, i fear the book will be too heady for me. its the winner for 2004 Bellwether Prize for fiction.

Editor/publisher of a dying weekly newspaper Fairbanks Mercury, Gus Traynor narrated the story of his personal struggle with his personal matters, career and his close ring of friends and family.

the story reminded me so much of my own people. back in the 60's-70's, when timber tycoons raided our native land, my people were poorly educated to understand and estimate the value of the produce. they were given a very, very small fraction of money as compensation and to those lucky enough to get more than other people, they were drowned in the 'luxury', alcoholism is one of the by-product (not to mention that the Dusuns are always heavy drinker). still, the majority of my people failed to climb out of poverty, while the outsiders tapped on our natural resources and prosper. more than half of the land in Ranau (of any commercial value) belong to outsider and the locals work as kuli for the new land owner. pathetic? hopeless? heart breaking truth? at least, Gus Traynor was an outsider. Try being a local and not being able to do anything to help correcting the landscape (or rather, stopping the erosion).

it still hurt when i remember a nasty comment from a friend who, half-jokingly said "Bapa kau beli 4-wheel drive? dia jual tanah kamurang?".

*pics are from google image

Monday, October 31, 2011

BOOK: City of Thieves by David Benioff

i tried perming my hair once and was chided by my younger brother for looking so 'timorese'. but, i really love curly, fluffy hair. ikal-ikal gitu. however, i stick to my straight hair (after a year of failed permed hair). i dont know how others did it, but, i refuse to spend hours to tidy up my hair. so, i'll just go with my straight, no fuss hair. it's not glamorous, but, its certainly not disastrous either.

NOT Eric Bana. David Benioff

(now, you got what i mean by loving curly locks eh?--- look at his hair! YOU'd die to run your fingers to that lovely head).

two innocent prisoners, Lev and Kolya were thrown together in a mission to find a dozen of eggs. sound easy? this was in 1941, in the coldest winter in history, in a starving city under siege. they were given 6 days to fulfill the mission or they'll die. they scoured St Petersburg for eggs and chicken. after failing to get any (they did get a rooster), they traveled out of Piter. they got involved with the Partisan and held by German soldiers after trying to save some prostitutes. their salvation came when a senior officer agreed to play chess with Lev (he's very good with chess). thrown together in the deal is a dozen of eggs if they win. they killed that senior officer and Lev managed to runaway with the dozen of eggs and sent it to the colonel just in time. Kolya died protecting Lev. the eggs are for the colonel's daughter's wedding.


Monday, October 17, 2011

BOOK: For All The Tea in China by Sarah Rose

For All The Tea in China

Earlier this year, i made a list of 'must do' this year. #12. read more of culture and history. this is the first 'history' book i managed to read so far.

the first book from BBW book sale i finished reading. it's a petite volume, so it took just a few hours to get done. Jane took picture of this book with my other treasures from the book sale. click to her blog.

this book caught my eyes not because it's a history book. its the plant's outline that hooked me. (if you ever cross-stitched, you'll know what i mean), and i did amateurish plant sketches when i was younger and eager to study them (theses in environmental science with a chapter of plant taxonomy). and i am a tea drinker. how can i resist a book with acaption on it's cover: how England stole the world's favorite drink and changed history?

England accumulated it's wealth in the East by East India Company's monopoly over opium and tea trade. however, the company had no influence over tea price, as the best tea were produced far inland of China. Chinese are mischievous and intelligent businessmen, and they controlled the price of their produce. thus, began the dream of the Company to produce their own tea. but that require seedlings and technology of making tea, which was known only to the grower in the remote places of China. and the greatest quest of all, they need to do it in big scale with utmost secrecy. came Robert Fortune, a passionate horticulturist, great spy and thief, a brave adventurer. he's the man responsible for stealing seedlings and transporting them safely to Saharanpur, northern India for planting. he also stole the skill of tea-making by transporting experts from China to India.

as always, my synopsis is oversimplified. this is a great read with no footnote of references to distract from straight reading (eventhough, i have to admit, i love footnotes). and the author made this book as simple as possible by giving general basic information before probing deeper into each subjects.

BTW, i drink Lipton. Polos*

*Polos = Just tea. no sugar, cream or lime added. (indo lingo, teh polos)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


updates on the killing attempt at BBW.

it was glorious and i'm not exaggerating. the turnout was unbelievable, people actually bought books by boxes, and who says Malaysian doesnt read?. oh.. ok, buying books and actually reading it is entirely different matter. but, still... my point is, if the price is okey, people might consider buying more books and eventually read it.

i almost cried looking at so many youngsters eager faces, considering and reconsidering on which book to haul, and i totally get them (i was them, once, decade ago-sigh!-tight budget) . i even overheard some of them negotiated with each other to assign who bought which books for book swap later on.

i spent a little over RM500. with more than 60 books, half of it hard covers, i'd call that a real bargain. (i usually got 4 paperbacks and maybe a couple of magazines for Rm150-my monthly allocation for books). my only regret is the Nora Roberts' purchase, i was always reluctant to get acquainted with her works. but, for RM8 per book, i thought, i have nothing to lose. after all, i have a sister who read cerita pontianak/ hantu jerangkung, i'll just dump all those books to her. so, congratulation Pong, you have your Christmas present a bit early this year.

thank you: Jen, for the ride and help hauling the books (i'll bring more homemade jeruk to you. muahahaha..). BookXcess, for the sale and BX's helpful staff, thank you guys.

to those who missed the BBW, your loss.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am heading to that bad wolf galore.. muahahha.. and i feel like a vampire smelling blood. and i hope i can bully somebody to drive me up to do the killing. and to pacify me when the taking get too serious.

For more info and direction to this place, click on this link

the magician. Lev Grossman

I am discovering the magic of Lev Grossman. the handsomest and smartest author i've discovered so far. well, second smartest actually, my genius author is still Stephen Jay Gould. i'll post a review on Lev's book, The Magicians sometime next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

in no particular order

we managed to handle the mid-term exam okey-ly.
18/46 of my diploma kids failed chemistry. devastating.

Steve Jobs died.

PM abolished ISA and proposed a more humane acts (?)

that loud Chinese guy keep on hitting on Lim Guan Eng (i started to feel really sorry for him-Lim)

i bought 'Ainuddin Pejuang Melayu Degil' and think its a very well written book. thoroughly researched.

Alternately reading Straub's a dark matter and Grossman's The Magicians. not really wise, as i tend to mixed them up. i'm experimenting on how my mind compartmentalizes. Next, George Eliot's Silas and Poe's collection of short stories.

The mere mention of Bosou (pekasam) mengecurkan air liur. its foolish to even think of satiation. mana mau cari owh?

Budget announcement is due this afternoon.

i read the ETP's exec summary after watching 'Eat that peanut' video. somehow it shifted my mind to believe, the transformation is actually achievable. realistically. we, shall make this work.

i should be writing a book review/ synopsis. instead this list for a blog post. pathetic. i know.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BOOK: Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami

i was not impressed by my first read of Murakami's (A Wild Sheep Chase). he leaned heavily on the fantasy side, which irritated me. and a sheep is just a lamb chop for me. so, i leave the Chase. maybe someday i'll read it again.

and if you ever heard/read of Haruki Murakami, maybe you'd be telling me. 'why don't you read his Norwegian Wood?'. Because: i dont want his best to be my first. i'll read that too, someday. for the time being, i'll let my mind to be occupied by the charming Alexander Rybak, each time i heard of 'Norwegian wood'. (and not some forlorn Asian lovers).

i read Kafka on The Shore, mainly because of the name "Kafka". i have yet to read any of Kafka's works, but he's a big name and the title made me curious. so, i bought the book and read on. i was blown away! it was absolutely beautiful. multi layers of stories, neatly piled up. did i mentioned crazy too? yeah.. it's crazy.

A 15-years old boy (Kafka) runaway from home, trying to get away from his father. he ended up in a remote town with a lovely private library, where he found sanctuary and friends, the head librarian and her assistant. A simpleton, old man, named Nakata, have the ability to talk to cats, make things fall from the sky and super sixth sense. Nakata's quest of locating one missing cat ended up in him killing Kafka's father (or whatever it was, when he spoke to Nakata). led by his sixth sense, Nakata leave town to find 'the stone'. meanwhile, police tried to locate Kafka. Kafka, by the help of his new friend hid away far in the forest. the stone apparently was the key to open another realm, in where, Kafka was tempted to stay. he chose to stay in our world and face his problem. Nakata died peacefully after fulfilling his last task.

i leave so many delightful details, to avoid confusion in the synopsis. and i'm not a spoiler, so, go on, read this book. i'm still mulling over two very prominent questions in mind after reading the book. #1: if memories and talents were taken away from us, what will left of us? #2: is it possible for a ghost (spirit) of a person to be seen by others, while that person lives and what does it mean?

did i mentioned the book is heavily peppered with notes on music, musician, history, philosophy, great books and magic? yeah.. loaded.

p/s: i am a firm believer in the existence of the spirits. be it evil or holy. and we can sense their presence if we open up our soul.

This post has nothing to do with our football team loss to Japan in Fukuoka last Wednesday. why we watch Malaysian football? yeah, pasal ada si Apek..

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christina Aguilera, You Lost Me

my music pick of last week was Christina Aguilera's You Lost Me. As soulfoul as she's always (and a still a bit trashy in her outfit selection). This is a song that stayed with me throughout the week. Sorry, this is a yesteryear's song, not something new that pop out of Billboard chart. i was just so absorbed in a book i read last week that, i felt, the song appropriated the mood. and it's not about other person betraying me, or leaving me. i'm afraid of me, betraying me, losing me. if you haven't properly listen to this song, go to this link, or as always, the youtube channel.

As you probably already knew, Aguilera is one of the mentors in The Voice. (i still dont have a TV---i have TV, but no antenna, and i vow off ASTRO---so, the TV in my apartment is just a junk, useless). i was a parasite at a friend's house in Kajang for over a week during Raya holidays and she has this obsession for Flat Screen TV and i got hooked to StarWorld (The Voice)(thats what i hate of TV, i can look at the box for hours!). eventhough, i'd say, 2 hours off sunday night to watch The Voice is a good deal.

Anyway, i'm rooting for team Cee Lo! he is uncharacteristically sexy.

(pic from wiki)
NOT STARWORLD. The Voice is on AXN. my bad. (8-10, sunday night)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Jen, Dawn, Me, Juvi, Popong, Fread

[i like this picture, because somehow, i got a dimple (and i love dimple, instantly freshen up a look) which is not actually a dimple. it's a laughline (positive) or a deepen premature wrinkle (very..very negative)] on our recent visit Downunder. for more pictures of us, go to her

i tried not to compare the place with ours, because it'd be really unfair. it's an expensive place to live in, eating out everyday is out of question. even at the sloppiest fast food joint. but, how can one not fall in love with a place where even a construction workers spend sometime off their lunch time reading?, and where books are waaaaaay cheaper than a cuppa? their waiting area at airports are almost like a library, people read while waiting for their flights. its a culture, we must aspire to adopt.

Personally, i'm still short of 20 books to read to reach my annual bookreads of 54. reading will not make us any smarter then those who doesnt, or make us any better than the non-reader. but, reading certainly broaden up perspective and with that, better understanding of others and oneself. and i guess, that's how we armed our self to face the world.

my students are still away for their mid-term holiday. the office is quieter than usual, many of my muslim colleagues are still on holidays. truthfully, i miss my kids and colleagues. the holiday was great. Australia is a lovely country. i'll go again next year maybe (Perth). but, right now, nothing will settle me better than normal classes to attend and the mundane tasks of tending to my kids.

advice for Malaysian visiting Australia, please dont bother applying for a room at Malaysian Hall Melbourne (they still exist? they didnt reply to our numerous e-mails and phone calls and faxes). and i also dont recommend staying at Malaysian Hall Sydney (something should be done there, the place looks really rundown). but, at least MH Sydney replied to our enq promptly. and the students squatting there are mostly polite. with one exception for the golombon* kid. haiya... teda orang ambil gambar kah si golombon?


p/s: astaga.. makin golombon plak sy lepas cuti-cuti ni

Thursday, September 1, 2011

after august

a few updates:
1. i have made up my mind. i'll go study again. where? first choice would be Melbourne (for the fresh fruits in Victoria Market). what to study? hahahha...
2. i am suspiciously 3 months pregnant and showing. i'll put up pic to support the allegation. later.
3. i am looking for Mr. Yuta Tanaka. the last time i saw him was at Paddy's Market in Sydney. he played wicked guitar. i bought his CD only to be left in the CD player in that AVIS car. so, if anybody have any info of this guy, i appreciate the help.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

chilling out

So, finally a motion to standardized air-cond temperature in gov offices eh?
its lawak, i knew. but st**id workers in public sector need SOP of air-con temperature in their offices (before you growl in anger, i too, work in public sector, so, chill out). seriously, i never have problem with air-cond (as i have my own office and i set my own room temperature at 23C, apparently, i have to hike it to 24C after the standardization). but, i knew a colleague who set her aircond at 16C and put a shawl and heavy sweater on! i wont really mind if she ever been overseas to study. mungkin terbiasa kan?

i was once in KLIA and overheard a group of tourists commenting on our super cold airport. i used to sleep in KLIA when i was a graduate student, lining up for half price ticket at stand by counter. i was always tempted to bring my sleeping bag, i usually had a double socks on, on such occasion. its freezing cold in there. i wonder what's their standard in-building temperature.

i was raised in Ranau, a hilly district with cool temperature at night and early morning. i was tormented when i went for my study in Kota Kinabalu. i still feel, KK is a hot hot place to live (and that cover the hot bars and pubs too ya). so, its kinda relief to work in suburb Kuching. i live in Kota Sentosa, 7 miles from the city centre. we had our hot days in Kuching too, but not as fierce as in KK.

So, as i observed, the issue of temperature is of personal preference. i sincerely hope, scientific evidences were put together in the standardization decision. and not because the said minister cant tahan suhu sejuk ?

Sorry, i'm not making any point here. it's just, the issue of temperature has been in our 'hot' discussions (among my kaibigans) lately. and because hati rasa sejuk today, because of the bonus from government. thank you. but, at the back of my mind, questions keep on nagging, can the gov afford the bonus ? bikin panas kan ?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Boyce Avenue

You've probably heard of them. they're VERY GOOD (like, really, really good). please go to Youtube and listen for yourself: BOYCE AVENUE. i have yet to decide which of the cover i love the best. so far, i've seen about 5 (and i love their version of Katy Perry's Firework)

i'll miss their Australia tour this august by a few days. darn!
here's their tour schedule in Australia

23/08 Perth
25/08 Melbourne
26/08 Sydney
28/08 Brisbane

and no, they're not heading for a tour in Asia (at least not in 2011).

my current favourite of covers they did is "How far we've come" by Matchbox 20. theirs mellower version from the original one. i guess, the riots in London influence my mood. God forbid, the riot to spread.

edit 2:
their good taste starting to turn stale to me. the voice is (to say the least)-mediocre. have to tinguk muka dia baru macam siok.. Cait!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Holy Month of Ramadhan

its Ramadhan again! if you live in Kuching, there's Kuching Fest for 3 weeks at MBKS from 5 pm onwards. its food heaven. i have yet to go to this food fair. will go there this weekend.

first week into the holy month of Ramadhan and have you heard of the (in)sensitive ads by 8TV? (just google 8TV ramadhan ads you'll have lots of links, however, its no longer available on youtube) and please read the comments by our muslim friends, those who truly know the meaning of fasting and observing it, not because they have to, but because they wanted to.

Each year, the church where i belong, held a fasting month in the month of august (coincidentally during the Ramadhan this year). we fast and pray, mostly for our family, friends, local authorities, the government, YDPA etc. usually, its a 40 days fast and prayers marked to end by 16 September (Malaysia Day). i started participating in this church activity in my univ days (when i had to save lunch money for books and also because i desperately need guidance in what to believe in). now, i believe, you cant imposed faith to a person. one only can lead a donkey to where the water is, but to make it to drink is a whole lot another matter.

i am aghast reading of church raid in Damansara Utama. Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, please dont undermine the faith of your fellow believers.

Monday, August 1, 2011

listen, listen harder

i have a brother who love reading. not as much as i do, i guess. because he put it second after computer games. but he does read and buy books. his favourite author is Mitch Albom. i spent half of today, watching Mitch Albom live (just type mitch albom on Youtube), and i found him endearing. the reason why people talk to him was because he listened.

and as i went reading the star online, i read older post of Wong Chun Wai in his column "talk less, listen harder". Dy, you'll absolutely agree with his latest post "Cut the frills, make it simple". (astaga.. punyala sy sokong!). its exactly what i want to say, only he wrote it better and more articulate.

i am currently hooked to Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk. he's no singer. but, his music.... fine grade. and i totally got Greg Iles's saying his paragraphs got rhythm. when you read a book and you listen hard enough, it does have rhythm. bad books contain haphazard rhythm. bikin pening

students sometimes asked me how i managed to memorize their names. i always replied by saying, all of them are too naughty/ too kind to forget. the truth is, each of their name have taste in my tongue/ scent i can sense. but, by confessing that, i might scared them off. sound like a perv, or something, dont you think?

pause awhile. listen. listen kindly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You Know I'm No Good

Tis' my favourite song of Amy Winehouse. You Know I'm No Good. she's quirky, super talented singer.

Amy Winehouse. RIP.

Who in the end, ended it all in a pathetic closure. But, lets not dwell on that. Her short life was a gift to us, who enjoy good music. her voice on loan to us, lets appreciate that. she had her shot in life. maybe, in her own way, she had it well. maybe.

life is short.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Funny Foochow guy

we received our new intakes on july, 1st. then, straight to Matang Wildlife for 5 days of orientation. that's the reason for my recent 'no update'. i was away, facilitating the program.

One of our college tradition is to learn a 'chant' Guri-Guri Cha' Cha' (its a dance-chanting coordination challange). and the wording is gibberish.

Guri-Guri Cha Cha
Yam Yam Cha Cha
Teleng Teleng Cha Cha

Guri Cha, Yam Cha, Teleng Cha

a chinese guy from Bintangor failed his chanting test. he chanted:

Guli Guli Cha Chat
Yang Yang Cha Chat
Peleng peleng Cha Chat

Guli chat, Yang Chat, Peleng Chat.

and how can i get mad when in all honesty, he believed he did it right?

he said "ampung tuangku belibu-libu ampung, kami menghadap tuang putli bawang melah, bawang putih, bawang besi, bawang bakung, bawang goling kliuk kliuk galing".

and i have no idea if the other student purposely said "Ampun tuanku beribu-ribu ampun, kami menghadap tuan puteri bawang merah, bawang putih, bawang besar, bawang bakung, bawang goreng, kromp pram pre" (in a very convincing thai)

a guy was in a seminary school and asked for the Bishop to relieve him for two years to complete his certificate program. a girl was in a trial to become a nun and leave for her diploma. let's see what'll become of them. i have yet to find my favourite. none so far.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A boy was performing his freedom of expression at the bank of Melinau River, Mulu.


he was in the river, but, seeing us approaching, he climbed on the boat, perched, put on a smile and flaunted his agile small body. i was giggling like maniac (i was at the front of the boat, so i noticed everything in front, first and it was an honour to get a free show such as this) and hurriedly took my camera from a strapped bag, just in time to captured this blurry image. good for him (and me).

by the way, along the river, in the afternoon, the Punan community have their cool bath. so, really, there're more scenic views than this flamboyant little boy, but, i, of course was polite enough to respect their privacy.

in the Dusun culture, taking picture of woman bathing in the river (without permission) is a serious offense and punishable under the sogit* law

sogit* = local law

Monday, June 27, 2011

BOOK: House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

i took a course in my sophomore year in Fakulti Pengajian Islam, (the only girl with gleaming black, long straight hair in the only lecture hall in the whole uni practicing gender separation) and get to know a very beautiful Iranian lady, Azadeh. my parents, just went for their overseas trip to Holy Land and took a lot of pictures from Jordan. so, i talked to her of Jordan and what little i knew of Iran. from her, i knew that Iranian speak Persian, not Arabic. she speaks Arabic because she studies at Jordan uni.
and how can you miss "Children of Heaven"?. click on to see the trailer


edit: the trailer was cr*ppy. sorry, i've just checked it. the trailer failed to trailed the film. its a brilliant film. and i mean, really, brilliant in a very humble way.

if i have a chance to travel in the Middle East, i'll certainly put Iran in my itinerary. that, after i manage to pull all my courage to even think of going there. wars devastated the land and made it almost unsafe for women travelers to enjoy traveling in these part of the world.

the House of Sand and Fog was a story of Iranian family seeking asylum in the States, fleeing a new reign of power in their homeland. Behrani, a former military intel specializing in purchasing military weaponry (high salary) found himself with lowly jobs of picking trash along the highway and tending a small convenience store at night. he lived a double life, as he ought to keep appearance in order to get his daughter a suitable suitor. after his daughter married to a successful doctor, Behrani and his family moved to a smaller bungalow he got at a bargain price.

the bungalow was belong to a recovering alcoholic lady who was forced to leave her house because she failed to pay her tax. she befriended the policeman who evicted her and got in an affair with him. while struggling with his domestic chaos (divorcing his wife and leaving his kids), the policeman tried to help her to get her house back, up to a point he threatened the Behrani family to leave the premise.

the story ended tragically, with the lady hospitalized, the policeman jailed, Behrani and his wife went back to Iran to face a firing squad and his only son died, shot by the policeman.

this is a story, where you dont know who to pity. because, it seems, everyone was a victim.

and if you think the storyline's horrible enough to make a good movie, yes, there's a movie version of this book. Ben Kingsley played Behrani. and if you wonder how the author can even think of writing such heartbreaking story, do click Andre Dubus III. i read the book 3 times, each read tempted me to change the plot. its too helpless.

i'll give 3.5/5. because, i dont see a point of clearly defining the numerous sex act(s).

long overdue doc, but, ya, finally a review.

#1 honeymoon spot: Mulu National Park

ya, i was there last weekend

to see him

and his family

with my colleagues (me, apai jang, nyonya, is)

not on a honeymoon of course, but, this would be my first pick for honeymoon venue (no doubt).

i'm packing my whole family (9 adults) to this place. robbing the bank to fund the flight tix and thinking of going to the along for other expenses. i know, the place wont dissapoint.

for those with doubt (of thinking of going but not really sure what to expect), log onto their website
send e-mail to them. they patiently answered all my e-mails (about 9 in all, i kept e-mailing them since january until june with macam-macam soalan) and secured the booking of our accomodation. i think, this is the best kept national park in the country. neat without being too showy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


my music pick of the week. partly, because this is a highly toasted video clip in the music community in malaysia at the moment. but, mostly because, i enjoy good music and this is quite good. Prema yin can sing and dance (she's hot!). and the guy, can act (if its even required, given the situation)

aaaa.. check his fluttered eyelashes at 4:06. super sexy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

pictures from the wedding

my fave pic from the wedding

ooo! never mind the P sticker on the car

ooo! look at the ruffles and the feather fan

ooo! not the most synchronize dance, but it was fun. purposely donned the selipar jepun to show uniformity?

good looking couple

as promised, pictures from the wedding we attended. the bride is a cousin from our mom's side. (we're closer to the cousins on our dad's side). i should watermark my pictures, i know.

Monday, June 20, 2011


i love the idea of minimal usage of words to transpire something. or better still, with no words at all. But, only few people can do that with satisfactory result. the millions of us, have to rely on words. that's why FB is such a hit. and blogger like us, write and feed our own soul with words (most of the time, with no substance at all)

lovers should understand this most intimately. a little nod, sly smile and bamm! a go.

parents to their children. my parents never cease to amaze me with their extrasensory perception, my Gapa, for example, once, called me and asked if i was okey, and it was the third day in a row, my heart's in my throat, choked of depressions. but, how would he knew that? i said, i was okey and asked why he asked. and he said, o, having a bad dreams this past few days. bugger!, i suspected in depressed state, i released more radical ions and they went up to their original orbit in my dad's subconcious system and spread the news. how else?

we abuse words on the not so important things in life. but, when it comes to what matter the most, words fail. the heavier things in life, require more weight than mere words. action speaks louder. sometimes, (as of late, i learnt) a text sent was not as important as the act of actually sending it off. the idle talks and laughs between meal was just a poser for the act of actually being there on a date. the enjoyment came not from the conversation itself. but, from the connection. that deep down, you know, the other got you.

that's the level of knowing, i acknowledge as the climax in human relationship. the sense of belonging. and sorry, you cant bribe into one with words alone. unless of course, if you could write as good as this dude. he's unbelievably thrifty with words and yet manage to sully my heart to tears. thats what i hate of poetry. they pretend to belong, without me understanding a line.

sorry for this lenghty post. Pamuk poisoned my mind with his "New Life". and the picture, a teaser, i know.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rolling in The Deep

Have you listen to Adele's Rolling in The Deep? gorgeous!. this one is waaaaaay lively than my last favourite from her. Click on the first link to download the song. and to h**l with MCMC intention to shut us from the generous websites linking to freebies. this is an example of the amazing talent we'll be missing with no Youtube around. yup, Mike Tompkins beatboxing Adele's Rolling in the Deep. Amazing.. amazing.

Mike Tompkins, heavy boxbeater

and to MCMC, you know, you're rolling in deeps**t, if the hackers pay homage to our domain.

my bad, Youtube was not listed in the blocked (banned?) sites. click to this link to get the story straight, Keong. be warned, he writes in haste and in anger. get the cream, leave the rants.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BOOK: The Edible Woman by Margaret Artwood

For background information and summary of the book, click onto this wiki link

This book was written when she was 24 (1965), so there's a lot of nervous energy, doubts and idealism presented in the story, as expected from a young writer. but the effortless way she wrote about matters undoubtedly deep and witty. the book pushed Artwood's career to the sky, when due to negligence the publisher only published her book in 1969, coinciding the heat of Feminism movement in North America.

She surely have secured her place in my must read list. i love the way she wrote, the raw passion and honesty. the dialogues were totally believable, the storyline fantastic. she wrote lots of quirky nonsense that actually make sense, once you try to think it over. and she's funny.

OOOO... forget all those qualities, she won my heart over when she correctly mentioned pitcher plants as bulbous leaves. Kukuanga* loves you girl.

so, i must thank siti, for lending me this wonderful book. because on my own, i wont go near this type of book (feminism and all). its too intimidating. i dont see the point of fighting for something as elusive as gender equalisation. where in the end, the fighter dont even know how to handle victory. that's the problem with us girls, we dont actually know what we really want.

i was dumbfounded when a certain lady in position within the Ministry i serve made a comment on the paint colours of our building when the main discussion was on the future intakes of students and development planning for the college.

* Pitcher plant (in Dusun language)

Friday, June 10, 2011

the southern men

i once made a mistake of showing my admiration over Dr. Chua Soi Lek manly attitude over his sex scandal issue. i thought, its pretty brilliant that he confessed and admited the scandal publicly. my colleagues hooted over my opinion and regarded it as admission to a lower moral standard in our political leader. i dont agree on his 'sin'. i just admire the guts and determination in his action.

and just as i thought i'll never be wowed by a malay political figure. Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad did just that in 2006 by going against the party policy by agreeing to the motion by opposition leader in Parliament. he stood his ground. which was rare occurance in Malaysian politic. and for that, should he write an autobiography, i'll be among the first to queue for it.

The reason why i write the 2 paragraphs above is this man: Said Zahari for his triology. i'll dig my piggy bank to get those books. his life is worth reading.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

skeins that skinned me

i really should post this in my other blog, since this relates to my cross-stitch project. i have this beautiful peacock picture for cross stitch and a senior colleague will retire in october. he once commented on how beautiful cross-stitch hangings are. so, i'm making this for his retirement gift. (i certainly wont hang a peacock on my wall!)

i dont know about your place, but it's a bit hard to get DMC floss here in Kota Sentosa, Kuching. i have to hop from one store to another to get all the colours, and the quantity of skein per colour is also limited. and it's RM1.60 per skein!, last year, its only RM1.40. and for this particular project, i need about 23 colours, 92 skeins.

so i thought it's a clever of me to get a deal from e-bay, USD100, 275 skeins + 5 arranging boxes and 100++ ziplock plastic baggies for the thread. the shipping cost is USD62. pandai. so, per skein i'm paying RM2.00. i just failed my domestic economy 101. i'm paying extra for the boxes and the baggies, yes? as if i need those that much. but, hey, they're pretty neat. and the lady in Iowa is so charming! and finally, i got the chance to activate my PayPal account.

Oh, yes, lets just say, the skeins really just skinned me off my tight budget. we're planning a trip to negara orang yang lebih maju and i refuse to sleep in their lovely park. hence the arahan menghimpit belanjawan bulanan.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


i'm away for long holiday break in my home state. our family Kaamatan* celebration went well. we went picnic in the morning and dinner in the evening. we really should do that more often. it was quite fun. i'll put on pics soon.

i brought home, Dr. Hidayah's books, with intention to read and write reviews. but, so far, i havent finished reading any. i bought two books in KL a day before i flew home. that too lay dormant in my backpack. the holiday mood seep through me thoroughly, making it hard to concentrate on reading, however light. i spent too much time watching movies on DVD. my sis have quite a collection.

Two days of movie marathon, about 8 movies down, only two worth mentioning: Black Swan and The Blind Side. Black Swan for, Oh! so there seductions (it's a very sexy film) without being too pornographic. The Blind Side for, Oh! glorious tresses and fine outfits. and finally i watched Hikayat Merong Maha Wangsa, which requires a post on its own. the movie was impressive, minus the Chinese princess and her handmaiden and the mirror laser, the fake tiger's skin, and the tattoos and way too white....ya, better create a separate post eh?

A bit late, but better late than never, here's my wish to all Dusuns: Kopiinsanagan do Tadau Kaamatan and to the Dayaks: Selamat Gawai. May we truly understand the spirit of the celebrations.

* Harvest (festival)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Incubus Concert in KL

So, Incubus will perform again in KL. i saw the advert in (where else?) AirAsia in flight magazine. ya, they'll be in KL, 23rd july. yes, they're the demon band, haunting and arousing women with their music. they're that wicked!

get more info on Icubus concert in KL from this guy.

despite the busy week with piled up works, a blogger made me smile at the silly blog entries. sot! my incubus.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


A recent conversation between me and Ira (5 years old daughter of a colleague) over her art job.

Me: what colour is this? brown? yellow?
Ira: it's beige aunty.

precisely. she blew my dream bubble of becoming art critic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

get to know the man behind the mess

I'd like to introduce to you: Datuk IBRAHIM ALI, MP of Pasir Mas, Kelantan. without a doubt, one of the most influential Malaysian in our country. Persuasive, charismatic and outspoken. Google him up.


over the current issue of serious (baseless) allegation by UTUSAN MALAYSIA. Let's just hope, Malaysians at large are more sensible than the man above and the Editor of this newspaper.

btw, i dont read this malay paper, only aware of this issue after reading the sunday post of BORNEO POST: this and this

Friday, May 13, 2011

vegetable stall near Bundu Tuhan junction, Ranau

i heard rumor of jalan KK-Ranau notuhan* again. a friend who did her masters on types of soils surrounding Ranau-Kundasang highlands aptly named the loose soil as tanah sumurong, literally means soil that move. and yet, the Environmental department approved on building up a posh hotel nearby Kinabalu National Park (but of course they can afford all those expensive safety measures, right?). they're messing the landscape of Kundasang town (much to my dismay)

i just hope, our favourite vegetables stall (near Bundu Tuhan junction) will still be there for many years to come, to remind me of my root, the hardship we endure and the comfort of knowing where i belong.

i miss home badly.

*notuhan = landslide

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BOOK: The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

481 pages and you have to read each page to get the storyline correctly, because this is a book with main plot, sub plots, sub-sub plots, where each character played important role in building up an intricate, very mazelike content.

i was hooked from the first paragraph as the author described the dawn of early summer in Barcelona in 1945 as "dawn poured over Rambla de Santa Monica in wreath of liquid copper". Oh! i wished, i had his clarity in giving description. Reading those line made me SEE those street as if i was there. No matter how bizzare this might sound to you, he transported me to places, introduced me to people with different characters. This book is, magic.

The summary of the book is simple. a boy read a book and wanted to read another book by that author. His dad was a second hand book dealer and through acquaintances, found out the author had written several books but, mysteriously dissapeared. The boy's copy might be the last in existance. His quest to unravel the mysteries trapped him in a very complex situation, where his own life might be condemn to despair. The boy who started off to seek the truth, returned a man with changed perspective of truth.

Dont be decieved by my super simplified summary. The book is a must read. If i could read in Spanish, i'd read the original. Lucia Graves made an excellent English translation (she even gave different english accent to the man who spoke different Spanish accent)--which is for me neat and seriously funny. Ruiz Zafon was lucky to have her.

i'd give the book 4.75/5

i dont usually go and check author's fan website. but, this is the link for Carlos Ruiz Zafon's. this is the second book i borrow from this lady

Monday, May 9, 2011

here's Aere

i should be posting a book review yesterday, but i have no idea how to write it. and besides, we are busy with our final exam (the idea of ME taking the job over as a setiausaha peperiksaan next semester) really scare the wit out of me.

anyway, i am going to post the review of "Shadow of The Wind" sometime this week. this is one of those rare long novel that hooked me perfectly in sync with its story, i even dreamt of it. i ended up reading the book in super slow mode---tasting the words in my tongue. yaa..(rolled your eyes), that's me, indulged in a very sexy book written by a Spanish author. one of my most satisfying weekend, reading the said book. never mind the heatwave that seems to surround our country these days.

thanks to Aere, we'll experience stuffy, hot days for yet another week.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

seitan dishes

stir fried seitan with chinese cabbage and black beans in oyster sauce

stir fried seitan with fermented chilies and greens

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I was on a date with a gf last night and we decided to watch Thor at The Spring MBO. we got a 'super comfy' auto reclined seats and with the air cond at low temp, its almost a miracle we didnt grope at each other. it was cold!, even with a sweater on. (how can we blame the kids at the back in doing what they're doing?) i'd say, super supportive environment.

Well, i usually talked of outdated movies in this blog. but, i couldnt help myself commenting on the movie i watched last night. the long anticipated Marvel comics adaptation, Thor. it was a major dissapointment. and he's scheduled to make another appearance in Captain America? Oh! Marvellous. No?

Seriously now, casting Anthony Hopkins for Odin?. its like casting saiful apek for Sultan Mahmud in Puteri Gunung Ledang. as for Natalie Portman, she's fabulous. it's just, with her all over the news for doing it great in Black Swan. somehow, it reminded me of Agnes Monica popularity in Indonesia (she's almost on every advertisment, ranging from ubat tolak angin to high-tech gadget, billboards, TV, even on the side of buses----at least this hold true the last time we were in Jakarta) edei.. teda orang lain lagi kah?

i was expecting something heart stopping moment like i felt watching Transformers or Iron man. none. Oh! wait, there's one scene with the expelled Thor in tight jeans, topless, that was breathtaking. But on entirely different pulse. hmph..

so, yeah, to be in the rank of gods (etched to memory and worshipped at heart), Thor certainly still have a lot to learn.

Monday, May 2, 2011

BOOK: True North by Kimberly Kafka

To what extent do you think you would go to start anew in life? would you abandon everything and go to the end of the world for a second chance in life?. most of us, me included, are too bagged down, deeply rooted that moving away from our small niche, familiar habitat is simply a risk not worth taking.

But, what if you could afford to get away?

Bailey did that. After the death of her only sibling, she moved away from her hometown to the unknown territory of Alaska. She bought a piece of land, without really knowing she’s tempering with the native’s politic ie: The native’s cooperation. Kash, who would do anything for his people including seducing Bailey to get her land in their campaign to unite the whole native land under the cooperation, was the leader for that Coop.

Living in Alaska as an alien fighting torrent weather, with short summer and long, dreadful winter, Bailey adjusted her life by trying to live adjacent but not involved with the native. She even tried to be indifferent to Kash, with little success. But, all was good and in peace until a young couple lured by the gold prospect in Alaska decided to come under the guise of camping and hiking in the wilderness.

By some twist of fates, in the goodness of her heart to help Kash, Bailey ended up being responsible to send off the young couple to their basecamp. the sensitive natives went aggresive towards the whites when they suspected the true intention of their guests. Bailey stucked in the middle of the aggresion when she found out that, the young girl might be linked to her past private life and tried to save them from the natives aggresion.

Kash, torn between protecting his natives rights and his true affection to Bailey must act fast and precise, to save not only his people's honour but his heart's angel.

your love is my shelter
my compass, my true north
wherever i go, your love is guiding me forth
(Eternity of our love- Millette Addison)