Melaka Revisited

Jalan-Jalan di Melaka

Melaka has always been one of my favorite places to go every year. I like the old charm that exudes from every little corner in the small town, the camaraderie of people from all walks of life and parts of the planet, how worship places are situated along the same small lorong, flanked by century old buildings with pork sellers, restaurants, little knick knack shops, etc cropping at rare intermediary lots. I just love old Melaka!

Religious. Almost every houses has one!

Last weekend, I made a trip down to Melaka to attend some function. At the same time, I took a walkabout the place. I guess the heat must have gotten me a little under the weather. I suffered “controllable” diarrhea. Haha! If you notice, there is no such thing as “controllable” diarrhea, but this was it. Every time I go to the bathroom, I had to go big. It was really uncomfortable.

The houses have red lanterns too!

However, this time, I managed to try the Poh Piah Lwee which I missed in my previous trip. After all the big hoo hah over it, I decided to try it this time. The popiah skin is slightly too thick for my liking. The fillings however caught me by surprise. It came with generous serving of lard. The first bite was quite a put off due to the thick popiah skin, but subsequent bites were more pleasant and I ended liking it because presence of pork lard and siew yok smell. It is nothing like the normal popiah I had before! For those who dislike parsley, please let them know in advance!

Gold smith street

Another new gem I found in this trip is the nasi lemak sold at the end of the Jonker’s Walk. It came in a small basket like the ones sold at old town but this one only cost RM4.50! Such a good buy considering it came with a piece of ayam rendang!

It was exhilarating to come to Melaka at night instead of the normal one day trip. We got there on Friday night and took night shots. It was unbelievably dumb of me to even forget my tripod! Most of the night shots were taken without tripod, so forgive the shaky hands. Lesson no. 1 – never ever forget the tripod. It’s your best friend for night shots.

A deserted Jalan Tukang Emas at  1 am

Well, I guess for this post, I just let some pictures do the talking. (actually, I am lazy to write long, long post lah! Haha!)

All Bottled up

View from Geographers on setting up of Jonker’s Walk

Taking a nap in the sweltering heat

Million Stars and Fireflies

Last Sunday night, everybody in the family was feeling restless. It was a hot and humid night, despite the shallow rain. I was surfing the internet while the rest of the family hogged the tv watching some Astro’s singing competition.

I waited for my cousin sis to buy me some sweet corn from the pasar malam. It’s almost like a Sunday night ritual. Sweet corn, Taiwanese sausage or popiah – sometimes a combination of two when I don’t have a proper dinner.

When cousin came back with the sweet corn, we huddled in front of the tv, regardless of what’s shown and munch the goodies away. What a comfort zone!

Bamboo hut

Then, I thought of the orang asli settlement area somewhere in Gombak that I went visiting briefly that morning. Most of them are still living in some bamboo or wooden huts. As it was a cloudy morning, it was a pleasant walk. As I strolled around their kampong, the villagers were ever generous with their smiles. It’s a good feeling to be welcomed to a place where skin colors , political ideologies, social status, etc do not matter.

Friendly Kiddo

I bumped into a friendly kid and I persuaded him to strike a pose for me to take a picture. He obliged willingly.

I didn’t stay long as we are going to other places as well.

I couldn’t help but wonder how these people live in their simple world of small huts with basic amenities. Well, I did spot an Astro satellite dish in one of the houses though. Hehe! I guess some of the more advanced houses have electricity while others still do not have.

Even the cats are friendly!

I look back at my own life and felt ashamed that I complained about the petty things – weather, the taste of abundant and good food, internet is moving too slow, too many old and lousy movies on Astro, Astro is not working because of the bloody rain, Air Asia not having sale to the places I wanna go (haha!), my fridge magnets got confiscated, etc.

We should be grateful with what we have.

Except this one ganas Kitty!

On the contrary, perhaps, the orang asli are laughing at us for using most of our salaries to pay for escalating costs of amenities when they get their water for free from the flowing river. They get to breathe in the freshest air in KL without air purifier! And they have fewer diseases like hypertension or diabetes because they work out a lot in the woods and live stress-free, longer and more contented lives than all of us combined? And while we moan and groan when electricity is cut off for a few hours, they are happy in the company of a million stars and fire flies every night?

Staying True

Well, I just finished reading another great book from Haruki Murakami – What we talk about when we talk about running. A memoir.

I am not going to review about this book. I just would like to share with you some spot on paragraphs found in this book.

“And now here I am living in this unimaginable world. It feels really strange, and I can’t tell if I’m fortunate or not. Maybe it doesn’t matter. For me – and for everybody else, probably – this is my first experience growing old, and the emotions I’m having, too, are all first-time feelings. If it were something I’d experienced before, then I’d able to understand it more clearly, but this is the first time, so I can’t. For now all I can is put off making any detailed judgments and accept things as they are. Just like I accept the sky, the clouds, and the river. And there’s also something kind of comical about it all, something you don’t want to discard completely.”

“But in real life things don’t go so smoothly. At certain points in our lives, when we really need a clear-cut solution, the person who knocks at our door is, more likely than not, a messenger bearing bad news. It isn’t always the case, but from experience I’d say the gloomy reports far outnumbered the others. The messenger touches his hand to his cap and looks apologetic, but that does nothing to improve the contents of the message. It isn’t the messenger’s fault. No good to blame him, no good to grab him by the collar and shake him. The messenger is just conscientiously doing the job his boss assigned him. And this boss? That would be none other than our old friend Reality.”

How do these two paragraphs ring true to you?

Sometimes when life is good and happening, it’s always too good to be true. As we may be happy that things are finally going our way, but we also should be ready to accept it when good things are abruptly taken away from us. Even the brightest stars in the sky would fade over time. Even the most beautiful and famous actress would grow old and grey. Yet, most of us are still too clingy and refuse to let go.

Sometimes, when reality catches up with us, we do not know how to react. We blame God. We blame others. But we never blame ourselves.

When reality hits us, then only we scramble out from our comfort zones and start to think hard. Till then, would it be too late? We hope we could foresee before reality strikes but not all of us are that lucky. So, we have to be prepared all the time. Do not let our guards down.

If reality strikes, we prepare to embrace it – like it or not. We mitigate. We try to do everything we can to return things to normalcy. After all, we humans are creatures of habits. Is there something call normalcy when reality had struck, especially bad ones? I guess the definition of normalcy depends on individual’s perception.

When reality does strike, we may be lost for a moment of time. We may be lost longer than we expected. But that doesn’t mean we have lost ourselves. We must not give up. For the time being, we just need to stay true to ourselves and cultivate an understanding of who we actually are.

Adam Lambert’s Day

I shall declare today as my personal Adam Lambert’s Day. I was not able to work the entire day. Since morning, I was obsessed. I think everyone should know by now that Kris Allen is the newly crowned American Idol for Season 8.

We, the fans of Adam Lambert couldn’t be happier! We wouldn’t want Adam Lambert to be singing the stupid coronation song in his debut album! I think if Adam wins, he probably gonna shoot himself in his foot and give the title to Kris.

I googled the internet for some feedback on the really, really bad song that Kara wrote. Poor thing. I think her days as a song writer are over. Here are some of the funny ones I found from fellow commentators:-

“I’m angry and bitter! Along with millions of others, I’ve been mesmerized by Adam. He’s already larger than life. And I wanted him to go out with a BANG! But making him sing “No boundaries” was like putting sour milk in the gas tank of a Ferrari! Whoever wins, I feel sorry for them. What an awful “song” to hope to start a career with! It’s not even a song. My dog could have written it.”

“Obviously, this one was the worst. It was a horrible experience to see Adam and Kris singing this. I am an absolute fanatic for Adam, but I almost could not vote for him, imagining ‘No Boundaries’ as a single, his single. I imagined googling him and that song coming up, I imagined going on iTunes and seeing that song, I imagined hearing it at the finale tonight, I imagined hearing it sung at the end of the Idol Tour concert. It was all just so horrible. I spent an hour and eight minutes debating with my sister whether I should vote for Kris instead of Adam so Adam did not have to be saddled with that song.”


Anyway, when I got home for lunch just now, my mom asked me in hokkien, “En dao ba iya ah?” (Hokkien: The handsome guy won?)

I told her, “No”

Then she was visibly frustrated and said, “Ah?? Eyeh pah piano eh iya ah?” (Hokkien: The guy who played the piano won?)

I said, “Yes”

She echoed the sentiment of almost everyone’s. Adam Lambert should have won.

But I explained to her otherwise.

Since morning, I have been telling my colleague that I want Kris Allen to win. She was puzzled because I am such a Glambert! (New term for Adam Lambert’s fans). I said, after watching the show last night, I hope Adam doesn’t win because, I don’t want him to get stuck with the stupid song in his debut album.

Seriously, for those of you who managed to watch the live telecast yesterday when Kris Allen was belting out, “No Boundaries” co written by the most obnoxious judge – Kara Dioguardi, he sounded like a chicken at the verge of being wring to death. Perhaps, Kris himself was praying hard for a major power failure that instant so he could just run away and hide.

Whatever it is, we know who the real winner is. This “winner” touches the heart of many fans across the world, not only in America. I guess I would stick to my gun regarding not watching a single episode of American Idol ever again in the future because I believe, there can only be ONE iconic and extraordinary Adam Lambert in the whole wide world.

Now, please excuse me. I am going to buy myself some black nail polish, eye liner and print a t-shirt- “My Doctor says I have Glambertitis.” Isn’t this cool?? Hehe! Forgive me for gushing like a school girl… seriously, I can’t help it. I am star struck.

Read also We’re Live Blogging American Idol Finale by Jim Cantielo here and check out the last paragraph.

Crowning Glory

Dreamin' of Adam Lambert

I was telling my friend a dream I had about Leslie Cheung many years ago when he performed live in Kuala Lumpur. I dreamed that he was my classmate. I was sitting alone in class when he came in and sat beside me. I asked him why he didn’t choose other seats because the class was empty and he had to sit beside me. (Yeah, back then, I was also quite anal and stuck up). Yet, he smiled at me and took a whiff of my hair. He said he liked the smell of my hair. LOL! This dream occurred in 1988, 21 years ago but the scene is still very vivid in my mind!

For people who knew me the longest, they know that I am not adventurous at all when it comes to hair styling. I always have short hair and occasionally, when my feminine moods strike, I would keep long hair. There was once in college, I kept my hair for 2 years without cutting at all. The hair grown past the shoulder length, then I did the unthinkable. I went to perm it. LOL. It was quite disastrous.

I think I only perm my hair 3x in my life this far. Once when I was 2 or 3 years old, my aunt decided to perm my hair despite my mom objecting furiously. I ended up looking like a little hippie. Another time was my aunt used me as a model to learn a new hair styling technique and I ended having this very curly maggi mee styled hair which I hated! I think the hair didn’t even last a month because I insisted to cut it all off. The third time was in college as described in the above paragraph.

When I was in primary school, my mom always tied my hair to two pony tails. My form teacher always complained that I have two brooms sticking out from my head. Sometimes I wonder since when do teachers have a say on how a student should wear their hair? (Not unless you are in Chinese private school where all students’ hair should not be over their ear lobes! That includes females.)

And, because of the stupid remark, my hair went shorter and shorter. Once, my hair was so short that I looked like a convict. I didn’t know what’s got into my aunt’s mind that day when she cut my hair. Everybody asked if I was going to join another friend, who so happened had her head shaven before going to India. My hair was just an inch away to becoming a skinhead.

Then, in secondary school, because of Aaron Kwok, everybody’s hair was parted in the middle. Of course, I didn’t follow the hair style. I would look ridiculous. But I was always very generous in using hair gel, mousse, oil, cream, spray – whatever I could get from the shelf that would give the hair strong hold. I think if there is a typhoon blowing in my school with everything ended up in disarray; the hair would still be immaculately in place! I didn’t understand why the school banned the use of gel. I just like my hair to be neat, so I defied all rules on using gel in school. But I was never caught because I was such a teacher’s pet. LOL!

I think my best hair days would probably sometime around 2004. That was the party going time. And of course, I actually looked good because I exercised. LOL! Perhaps, when you exercise, other than having the feel good hormones endorphin excreted excessively, your hair would tend to be healthier too? Is there a connection?

Now? I don’t know what is wrong with my hair. It is getting curlier each day even without perming. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning having dragon ball hair without use of gel or hair spray. It was as if the hair has a mind of its own, and everyday it would end up having new styles, unfortunately not at all flattering. I envy people who could have out-of-bed look so effortlessly good.

Talking about hair, I want to rave about Adam Lambert’s  thick hair. I think his raven black hair suits him more than his natural strawberry blonde. I think rockers of all times generally have black hair? Look at Elvis Presley! He dyed his hair (and also chest hair!) black too!

Speaking of that, don’t forget to watch the finale of American Idol tonight and also tomorrow morning! Adam Lambert rocks!