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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..
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