Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deepavali


Happy belated Deepavali! This year, there were some confusion over the actual date of Deepavali holiday, which was listed as one of the reasons why Deepavali is the most 'kesian' holiday in Malaysia.

Well, despite this public holiday landed itself so near to my recent trip back to KL and home, I did not extend my leave partly because I don't want to leave my project to the cobwebs for too long and partly, I'm reserving my leave for better use in future >.< Therefore, I was to celebrate this day in Singapore. When I was back in Penang, we used to go to people's house to taste great Indian cuisine, mostly thanks to all the Indian colleagues of my parents and neighbours. But this year, there was no special occassion except an invitation for a walk, which led me to the tale of my unfortunate illness. It's no big deal, an all-in-one package of flu and fever and coughing. I was recovering but six in the morning I was coughing real bad, so I decided to skip the walk and meet up for lunch instead. So there was me, sitting at Seah Im Food Centre.

It did not take deliberate planning but I did end up having two very Indian food in the context of South East Asian Indian culture: Teh Tarik and Murtabak. I wanted prata/canai but my attention was diverted. And there's me savouring my murtabak with great vehemence while sipping gleefully off the traditional glass of teh tarik. They were so awesome!

After the meal, we strolled around Vivo and I got myself boxes for my books. It was when I thought I will come back later if the box could fit all my books. I went back room to rest and get a go on the new books and watch some movie. Late evening, I went to lab to settle some of the minute procedures, as a bridge between yesterday's and tomorrow's experiment. Then I set off to mall again in the hope to drink some hot soup. 

I was struck miserably when I was facing the gazetted area of SoupSpoon, which was no longer there! I ended up eating fish porridge, which looked suspicious because it was just fish soup with a bowl of rice added into it. It was surprisingly nice. On my way out, I met with my high school friends and her sister, who was my high school senior. Small world it is. Not wanting to disturb further, I went on to get a big cup of ice-less carrot juice. The uncle used up half the bucket of carrots he had and had to change the blender blade through that one cup. Power juice ya!

After that, I walked around to spot some of the shoes on sale. My shoes are getting holey and I reckoned it is time to start spotting a new one just in case. On the other hand, I managed to get another book box and was later found resting happily in my room.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Riding Bicycle on Rainy Days


Watercoloured with only black colour, I tried to depict the memory of mine on rainy days. Most of the time in my primary and secondary school, I spent my life inside school. We have class till two and we have activities after, or we have extra classes. So a lot of the time, the schedule was so different that my parents were not able to fetch me like a chauffeur. So, I get to ride a bicycle to school if I get to go back home or my aunt's place during lunchtime. If not, I would be walking back. Having a bicycle is not all good sometimes. It means you have one more responsibility, to bring that bike back, to make sure you lock it, even during rainy days. There were days when I was just not patient enough to wait for the rain to stop, so I decided to cycle in the rain. And if you have ever tried cycling with a raincoat, you will know how redundant that idea is. It was not always a gleeful experience. I like the way the wind and water splashes, but I am not very fond of the water splashing on my glasses. And if you are not careful, you might get mud spots at the back of your clothes. 

Of course, after I got my licences, I do get to ride a motorcycle, but I started to develop a habit of staying back instead of stealing time back home. Sometimes, I do get to hitch-hike my friend's car, but most of the time, we didn't even get the time to walk to and fro from home. We walked to nearby shops for meals and we return to school for the rest of the day until the sun goes down, which were usually when I'm sure my parents were free to fetch me home.

Those were the days...

The Daleks


This is a piece where I drew a Dalek on my Wacom tablet. It wasn't very nice or detailed, but I still like it. The Dalek is probably one of my favourite part from Doctor Who. I know that a lot of Whovians, particularly Classic Whovians, would be quite afraid of it. Me, I am very very attracted to this creature, part love part hate. I went back to watch The Daleks, the first appearance of Daleks in the whole Doctor Who series. The background story was somehow satisfying, very much closed to you-know-what-i-mean. Plus I endured quite several minutes of Susan Foreman's or Barbara's high pitched screams (I watched this on a not that HD version videos, so you can well imagine how bad the screaming quality would be). Since then, Daleks would always make their way into the show, every now and then, somehow getting cuter and cuter. Despite their improvements, they seemed to be getting funnier each time too. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip X

1 June 2014

Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park, Lembang - Bandung

We were drove uphill, passing by lots of hills, where we could spot layers of plantations and how the locals grow the crops like staircases along the hills. It was pretty and calm and not as green as those photoshopped on the Internet. Nonetheless, after staying on a small island like Singapore for quite some time, being able to look at such massive landscape, is a luxury to the eye. For once in a while, you experience how small humans are and how far we came by. The whole thing was just surreal.

When we arrived at Dusun Bambu, literally means bamboo orchard/farm, we could recognize it straightaway. The roads were lined with decorative bamboo and there was this totem pole/structure made out of bamboo. It immediately reminded me of those bamboo structures we built during camps in secondary school.


As all the places in Bandung, the weather there was awesome. It was not very cold - cooling and yet with sunshine, just nice for me. The park was more like a recreational park. So there were lots of families or tourists around. 

We were greeted by this very nice pool of duck, quacking away and spotted this carriage. This is way too colourful but I like that hippie-ness. 


Needless to say, good weather with good scenery equal to really nice place. Phototaking was inevitable.


These place are not real paddy field I think - at least not the full scale. But by building bridges and paths next to it, brought people nearer to these nature. To be truth, the last time I walked on a paddy field, was during cross country run in my secondary school (not to mention my encounter with cow dung). Many people didn't even get the time to know how does it feel to be so near greens.


And so here our journey went...


The park was renovated at loads of its side. As in, it did not look like original forest where you get trees everywhere and for a region like this, probably a jumble of shrubs with layers of flora. It was clean, decorated and sperataed into sections. Well, it does make the visit a pleasant one, because it felt like 'a walk in the park' than 'trekking the jungle'. There was a section where families could let their little ones build this mini-car-racing tracks.


There was a canopy walk kind of place and bird-nest like stations for resting. Even the rubbish bin was so cute. Part of the park was made into playground, which included this instrument - in case you wonder, it gives out different sound as you hit them, according to the length of the wood. On the other side, there were swings!


One-person swing was too mainstream, let's have one with everyone on top! This was extremely difficult to manouvre because you need the unity of all riders, plus the seats was actually a log. Instead of sitting and swinging, I was busy balancing my butt on the round thing. 


The canopy walk was rather crowded but we managed to take some photos. We get to look at the bark of a tree closer at a greater height. Not just that, at some point, you'll be able to look further and oversee the hills from the park. It was nice, but I do feel that the walk should be a loop or bigger distance.


This is how we look at trees.


Look at the sunshine and cloud and - yowzah!


After we passed by the food place, there was a plain with little funfair-like stalls. There were rabbit-feeding stations where kids were pouring lavishing love over the bunnies, rubbing and scrubbing the little animal. I'm not sure if all of the children know how to handle the bunnies properly, but for the period of time when I was there, they seemed to be quite gentle. Another station was all about ctaching little fish. This is a bit like what you get in Bon Odori, except you use a real net rather than some paper-net. 


Even though I know all these flowers and plants were planted for decorative purposes, I have to say I quite like the place. The plants were not naturally grown there, but they made the whole environment very peaceful.


We even spent some time sitting on the grass! Oh, we spot a 1000 rupiah note on the ground, so we ended up donating it out as a tip.


There was also a wooden platform near this little lake where you could sit down. I suspected that was a performance stage when it needs to be, but that day, it was a place for visitors to chill.


And here is me trying to spam photographs!


Note how the water surface was so calm that it reflects! 


And thus, we finished our visit to Dusun Bamboo and made our way out of the park, with very very fond memories indeed.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip IX

1 June 2014
Theatre-themed Warung and The Bomb

After the whole shopping frenzy, it was time for lunch. We went to this warung that was themed like a theatre, 60s 70s kind of theatre. And there were posters describing known Indonesian celebrities. Other than that, there was a screening going on in the middle of the warung with theatre-like step seats. Surrounding it were some small stalls as explained to imitate how stalls used to park around the theatre during the old days.

The dish were served out like mixed-vege style, only in Indonesian/Malay-like cuisine. We get to pick what we want and how much we need and get it calculated at the cashier.


The plates looked so old-school. My aunt has these in her house and I prettymuch ate using these for my whole primary and secondary school. And these are the regular beverage menu there too!


After picking here and there, we finally gotten five plates and feast on them. Most of them were very nice and were cooked with enough spices. 


We tried the concau here. There were two kinds of cincau. One was similar to what we drank in Malaysia and Singapore. Another one was cincau hijau, which gave a more grassy smell. However, the drink was rather refreshing and I think it is quite acceptable.


After the meal, we were drove to a roadside stall that sell these legendary chips. They were THE BOMB. Came with level 3, 5 and 10, according to its spiciness, I think level 3 was too mild while 10 was quite a challenge. This time, we were just trying our first time.

According to our local friend, this brand was started by this lady Ma Ichi who sell her chips on these small stalls and later scaled up. It sounds cool!

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