Monday, September 01, 2014

Battling Alone


This piece was originally a trash, or a sketch. I found this piece of unwanted cardboard in the office and decided to just doodle on it. I reflected on how our everyday was to go against odds and battle our way to survive. Not that our life is hard, but that there's something worth fighting for. However, many of the times, there are things we could fight alongside with our friends and family. There are, however, things that only ourselves could go through. Others can only do so much. And these are the times when it is testing and challenging us. Fear not as we battle alone. Take a rest, and battle again. Hence, this piece. It's like a little moment when one take a break from a long time battle, and decided to get a quiet time somewhere, which is pretty much what I do most of the time. Drew this using a black pen and I was surprised by the effect.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

All Of The Stars by Ed Sheeran


Really really like this song by Ed Sheeran (actually I like many of his songs). It was featured in the movie The Fault in Our Stars. In the video however, there were so many encouraging messages and many related to the movie/book.

Here is the lyrics:

It's just another night
And I'm staring at the moon
I saw a shooting star
And thought of you
I sang a lullaby
By the waterside and knew
If you were here,
I'd sing to you
You're on the other side
As the skyline splits in two
I'm miles away from seeing you
I can see the stars
From America
I wonder, do you see them, too?

So open your eyes and see
The way our horizons meet
And all of the lights will lead
Into the night with me
And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
All of these stars will guide us home

I can hear your heart
On the radio beat
They're playing 'Chasing Cars'
And I thought of us
Back to the time,
You were lying next to me
I looked across and fell in love
So I took your hand
Back through lamp lit streets I knew
Everything led back to you
So can you see the stars?
Over Amsterdam
You're the song my heart is
Beating to

So open your eyes and see
The way our horizons meet
And all of the lights will lead
Into the night with me
And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
All of these stars will guide us home

And, oh, I know
And oh, I know, oh
I can see the stars
From America

Happy Independence Day or National Day, Malaysia!

It's 31st of August, and it is the National Day in Malaysia.

Just as every year, there will be among us, some who would dig out about the Malaya Independence Day instead of Malaysia topic. Well, this piece is solely my opinion and let me get this straight.

By technical date, 31st of August 1957 was indeed the declaration of the Malayan Federation. It was not until 31st of August 1963 that Sabah finally declared Self-Government Day and later joined in by Sarawak. However, the joining of the two Borneo states with Malaya Federation to form Malaysia was not going very smoothly, with tension from Sukarno over from the Indonesia side. And hence, it was until 16th September 1963 that Malaysia was officially formed. 

If you ask me, is the debate of 16th September being Malaysia Day more appropriate, I would not say no. However, while we are firing questions about how true is this and that, I realized we are slowly losing the point.

National Day or Independence Day, is eventually just a date to commemorate an event, where our nation was no longer governed by the crown of British, but our own. It was a note, that there was a point when we were given the chance to grow up and run our own country and be on our own. It is not, however, a literal representation of a certain date, like birthday. Going down the literal line, I wouldn't be able to tell on which day I should celebrate Christmas, or when was Aristotle born due to the different calendars used and the really screwed up time difference at that time.

In my humble opinion, I see this day, as a reminder, for who we really are and to reflect on whether it is worth it, whether all the effort done by all the people during the time were not in vain. Have we really gone independent? Are we able to run on our own? Are we keeping up with the rest of the world? Are the people better off now and treated more at home?

These are the questions we should ask and in response, refining our personal quality, to work towards a better country and provide a better place for generations and generations to come. 

I'm proud to be Malaysian and glad I have a home there. But let's not forget that we are the children of the world too. 

Indonesia-Penang Trip VIII

2 June 2014

Shopping and Durian Ice Cream
After the small snack, we were supposed to head for what many tourists came for, shopping. I was not particularly a fan of that, but it was nice to have a look at the place. Our trip took us along the streets with shophouses and stalls to neighbourhood area. We even get to pass by their railway. Look at the train!


The places where we were visiting for the shopping were like standalone shophouses among others. They were quite nicely decorated and very well maintained. It's like a small little boutique themselves. And I quite like the variety of clothes they sell.


The prices are quite reasonable and the reason why there were branded clothes sold at such price was due to their factory being located here. It would be very suitable for those who vy for certain brand of clothings. I, on the other hand, did not put brand at the priority list. Instead, I looked for the clothes texture that can suit my rather 'delicate' skin. Anyway, I was running low on cash (because I just changed enough money to survive), so I didn't buy anything, haha. Next time, if I ever come back, I shall save some money for this. Who doesn't like cardigans in rainbow spectrums right?


One of the place was like a ring of shops with a small outdoor garden in the middle. It was nicely arranged that it felt very nice. And since I was not really buying anything, I spent quite a big amount of time there, enjoying the weather and a moment of peace.


While the others were shopping, I do enjoy making use of the props available to take funny photos, such as this cute little ladder. Or I would observe really elegant indoor decor. Or I would take candid shots of others.


In between shopping, we walked along the street, which felt very comfortable because of the stalls. And check out this stalls that hang durians like nobody's business. This is a durian ice cream stall, and they have real durian hanging at the stall! It is not just the ice cream being durian, it was even mixed with durian - so much durianfulness.


In case you wonder what is the end product. This is. It is very very nice. Unlike commercial durian ice cream, this is very durian-ish where you get to chew some real durian flesh once a while. Sip!


On the street, there were many different stalls, like how you would see in Malaysia. Many selling traditional toys, which I guess was due to the fact that that area was known for touristy. There's this Cilok which are mountains of meatballs in the cart. 


We did walked to different stalls for shopping. There were quite some lovely flowery shirts and this (right one) super long giant dress.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip VII

2 June 2014

Jakarta to Bandung
Late previous night, all of us had talks and most of them were just nonsense chat. But I guess when you are out of school, there were only those few times when you get to chat with someone till sun rise. We didn't chat till dawn, of course. We stopped around midnight and rushed back to the room to pack for the next day. That's because, the next day will be our trip to Bandung.

So early in the morning, Fanny's father drove us all in the car to the taxi area. It was interesting. Back in Malaysia, when we are to travel somewhere around the country, that would be plane, train and the last one bus. And this one was a bit like the bus. Chartered by a sort-of private company, for trips between certain places - only that there were no bus, but six-seaters. It was awesome and an unfamiliar experience. We were seated with two other passengers and started our trip to Bandung.

This is where we started:


And we passed by some small town and went pass buildings, including that castle-like Carrefour.


And finally the view was different. Instead of driving on a subway looking upon towns and buildings, we are among the buildings now. There were cars everywhere and lots of people.


And we were dropped here finally. Apparently, this company has branches around the place, just like bus companies in Malaysia. And another good thing about them, they provide lots of water, which is something I like about the service.


And the moment we stepped out of the car, the weather hit us just at the right time. Wham! Good impression! For a person who had been sweating like a water fountain in tropical countries, I really enjoyed the weather in Bandung. The air quality was not so good with some visibility issue, but the weather was really just nice. It was cooling and yet not chilling, neither humid nor dry. I could let my hair fly all day, which was rare back in Malaysia or Singapore.

And so we waited for Lucky, Fanny's friend who will be our tour guide during this part of the trip. He has been a good tour guide so if you're interested in knowing one, here is his blog. And below is me while we waited, drinking more water and enjoying the cooling weather, even though we were in fact just under a shelter.


And sure enough, Lucky arrived moments later. He helped us with our bags and provided us with more water (hooray!).  We were to have our first small meal first. So we sat in the car and sort of had a tour around the area. We could see lots of buildings and also institutes and schools. According to Lucky, Bandung was known for the amount of universities and colleges situated there. And the right photo was a building of the common communication services in Indonesia, Telkom Indonesia. There were also stalls parked at the roadside, which somehow reminded me of Apollo. 


After some time, we arrived at the eating place. It was a cute little shop house selling different kind of food. But our main aim here is siomay. We took our seats at a table with chilli and the Bango sauce. And as many of the Indonesian stall we visited so far, they provided with the menu list for ordering. Since Lucky is the local, we leave it to him to decide which food fit us.


And here is us, waiting our food to arrive, taking selfie as we go.


One of the snacks we ordered was this kue pancong. They came in two options: savoury and sweet. The Savoury ones has a bit of coconut milk or santan smell. WHile the sweet one is sweet with flour with a bowl of sugar. I personally preferred the savoury ones. It could be quite filling though, seeing it being comprised of flour mainly.


And here is the main dish, Siomay!

From here, I would not be sufficient in explaining how Siomay taste like, but I will try my best. THEY ARE AWESOME! Partly because I liked fish and lekor. So when this dish was served into my mouth, I was so so happy. It has the lekor taste and sauces accompanied with it. I could see that as a very very nice snack. The texture was not too hard or soggy or chewy like most lekor appears to be. It felt more like a compact fishball with a little dash of tauhu texture. The sauce that came with it was nice, even though I wouldn't mind eating without it.

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