Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Today is Malaysia's Independence Day. i'm not there to celebrate it, but if I were, as if I would! I'd probably sleep until noon as I would on a day off.
If yesterday I had lunch at the Taj Mahal, Today, it's the Tandoori. The menu's exactly the same, makes me wonder if they're actually related. One more surprise here was when the waiter asked if I'm a Malaysian, and suddenly spoke in Malay when I said I am. So my advice is, when you're in Cambodia, if you meet a Muslim, don't be shy to ask him if can speak Malay. Chances are they might.

At 4pm today, I'm heading to Angkor Wat to buy a one-day pass and catch the sunset there. I'm excited!!

Later today:
Yeah, the Angkor is majestic from afar. Today, I only went to Phnom Bakheng for the sunset. Came back pretty early, bored, went upstairs to watch the TV. There was nothing interesting on. Dead bored, played pool with the one of the drivers. As expected, I lost all of the matches. But at least, I wasn't too bored anymore after that. Playing with him was kinda fun, and having the other driver to chat with was kinda ok too. Although it got me kinda nervous being the only female in a company of local guys that I didn't even personally know , but hey, it ended up being my best nite here, so what the heck. It's almost 10, I better go to sleep, tomorrow, I will need to wake up really early for the sunrise at Angkor, then rush back for my bus to Phnom Penh. It's gonna be a tiring day.... and I'm gonna be missing riding the bicycle that I've been riding around Siem Reap for the past 2 days. Good nite y'all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Hahahaha, I didnt go to Angkot Wat. I was so tired from yesterday, I woke up only at 10am, so I took a bicycle from downstairs and wandered around town.

Siem Reap is a very small town, it's almost impossible to get lost here, even for someone with hopeless sense of directios like yours truly. It's a town where traffic law seems almost non-existent. Cyclists are seen riding in the opposite directions with no worries whatsoever (so I also did the same). The roads are in a pretty bacd shape. Most a tarred, but by the roadside, there's very little grass....or something they use to prevent the soild from turning into dust.

Well, as for halal food. It's difficult to find. Even the Muslim girl I met at a bagage shop said so. Hungry, I went to the Taj Mahal restaurant as the food is advertised as 100% halal. I'm a fan of Indian food (at a moderate amount), so this is really something.

After lunch, i visited the Old Market. It's just another market. Seeing the word 'Old', I assumed there must be a 'new' market somehwere, but couldnt find it, and nobody even mentioned it, so it probably does not exist. Bought a couple of stuff and went back to my bike ('my bike' konon). On the way back, I saw a tudung-clad in a clock/watch shop. I asked her, "Are you a Muslim?". She said yes. So I asked her where i could find halal restaurant that serves local food. Instead she suddenly asked, "Dari mana?"

Wah, cakap Melayu . Apparently, she used to study in Kelantan in 1999 (i think she used the wrong number, she's pretty young). She even has relatives all over Malaysia which probably explains why she's pretty fluent in Malay. On the halal subject, she admitted that it;s difficult to find in Siem Reap. But she offered to take me to the night market at 7pm tonite. Great!, I thought. At 6:53pm, there I was waiting for her at her shop, drawing confusions from ther family members. So we went to this small nite market that sells mostly food. She left me at this stall that sells rice with about 5/6 'lauks'. While wondering of what to buy, a guy who was eating greeted me with an "Assalamualaikum". Unsure of what I had heard, I muttered a low 'Waalaikumsalam'. The he asked, "Nak makan apa?", OMG , another Malay-speaking dude, and this guy did not even know where I was from. Surprised, I was speechless. Faizah (oh, tht's the name of the lady) came to offer help. The guy, sensing my unresponsiveness, just left. Sorry dude, I was confused, puzzled, shocked, I ignored u, but thanks for your offer to help.

I bough almost everything that Faizah suggested....which was probably too much. I didnt finish it all. I didnt know if they're Khmer food, but they sure looked foreign to me. Nonetheless, I feel good of what I accomplised today. Althought I missed Angkor Wat, I've made new friends!

** update: got this comment at my other blog.
Maharajah, Royal Indian Cuisine
The one & only Authentic HALAL food in town.
Next to Pub Street between CAB bank and Provincial hospital, Old Market Area. Siem Reap Cambodia
Tel: +855 63 966221

Monday, August 29, 2005

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The immigration process at the Thai/Cambodian border was hassle-free today. No payment (bribe/tea-money) required, and I was in fact the first person to reach the Cambodian immigration. For a while there, i was a bit nervous, was afraid that if i could not find anybody to share the taxi with, i might have to resort to using the pick-up truck service. Luckily, I met this nice English couple and together, we got a taxi at 1200 baht which i thought wasn't so bad. Tomorrow, I'm going to the Angkor Wat.....maybe not, I need sleep, But we'll see...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand

While trying to figure out where i was on at an intersection, i got a hit on by an Indian tourist...or maybe i was just perasan. But if he's looking at you for longer that a second and greets in a long, soft "wasadikap", then maybe you a getting hit on. Well, anyway, i was too taken aback to respond, and all i could manage to say was a "uh", and it took me a while before i realized what had just happened.

But wait a minute, shouldn't i be in Cambodia today? Yeah...well, i kind slipped back into my normal routine of waking up in mid-morning to avoid fighting for the bathroom with the French family, and hence, I missed the 5:15am train.

As for the French family, they left this morning. Had a lil' chat with the son, he joined me to watch Paycheck after I asked him to join me when I saw him stopping at the stairs to watch the action scenes. When the scene ended, I asked him if they were leaving, and all I got was a "No speak English"....Ok, but surely a little, right? so I asked again, after some repetition and paraphrasing, got what I wanted, a confirmation of where they're from. France that is. Wanted to show off my French skills, but all i could remember at that moment was 'bonjour' and looking at the time, maybe it wasn't appropriate.

Before i knew it, the film almost ended. His father was calling from downstairs. He hurriedly picked up his bag, bid me goodbye and just after he left, I remembered the word that I should've have used, "au revoir". But it a little too late.

Guess tonight its gonna be real quiet. That is if i fall asleep before the haggard-looking coughing man next door comes back late as he usually does. And guess tomorrow, I'm really gonna be going to leave this place...maybe it's about time. Actually, it is time, after all, I was only supposed to be here for a nite, now it's been 3. But then again, if you;re in may place, it's bound to happen. Its charm , its greenery in the the midst of Bangkok dust, the 3 adorable little girls that attach themselves to you before you even put down your bag on arrival. U know u'd forgive yourself for overstaying.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand


My heart is filled with sadness as I'm writing this . Tomorrow I'll be leaving Ban Hualampong but my heart is begging to stay. Yes, I am alone here, I rarely talk to anybody here, but I have never more welcomed. For me, this is an ideal Guest House. It's unassuming, its quiet (except when the French family in the next room are back), it's clean (clean enough that i walked to the bathroom barefoot), beautifully-designed and everything else that a GH should be.

Tonite, I took pictures, lots of them so that i wont forget just how quaint this little place is. I enjoyed the cool night breeze at the roof that i had just discovered a while ago and realized that that could be turned into a cool little party area, complete with a bar stand if the owner wanted to, but i really hope they wont. I need to sleep but I wanna enjoy it with my eyes open.

Oh, well, maybe in the future, I'll return to this place. But what for? Bangkok isn't really my kinda place, only the GH is. Should I advertise it in virtualTourist? it'll be good for their business. But then it might lose its charm when tons of people swarm all over it. Arghh, I'll just let time decide. As for my heart, let's just break it. Besides, this is just a GH, and besides, it's not like it hasn't been broken before. Good nite!

Bangkok, Thailand

Let's see...went to Chatuchak Market which was featured on the Lonely Planet. Too many choices, too confusing, if i buy something, i'd have to carry it, so i didn't buy anything. Then, got hungry, but couldn't find anything that i could eat, so i resorted to mt theory that if i could a masjid, chances are there'll be halal restaurants around it.

Found one on the map. Took the train, got there, found lotssss of choices, chickens, beef, all halal. Thought I'd order everything, go crazy a bit. however, i found myself wary of what to order. Probably due to the incident in Chiangmai, or maybe it was just me being paranoid.

Anyway, had rice and beef soup at the first restaurant. Walked a bit more, found many more restaurants, so i went into this small eatery, and had one hell of a time trying to converse with the people working there. At one time, the cook, the waitress and even the lady froom another stall tried to help. Eventually, I only ordered noodles with fish cake. After it arrived, a fellow customer helped us to communicate. she asked me if I didn't eat me, i told her I only eat halal ones. She assured me they all are, after all, the owner is a Muslim....what a relief....Although, I actually already knew it pun looking at the Allah, Muhammad stickers all over the place.

Kenyang, I left the restaurant and stopped at a few other classier restaurants along the streets. Found a few Malaysian families in those restaurant...takpela, upper-class/middle-class restaurants pun berlambak with Malaysians, which pretty much spelled b-o-r-i-n-g.

Next stop, Siam Square. I had no idea what the place was, but it was mentioned in an article "So u wanna be a VJ?" in a local newspaper, so I bet it must be somewhat like BB, Lot 10 area, except that it was bigger, and the train system is better. Hanged around for a little while, went to Watson's (of all places...ceh) and EGV (movie tickets cost 120baht), are Malaysians lucky or what? Got bored, much like any other metropolitan city (what was I expecting, this is bangkok???) and went back to Hualampong.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand

Met another Malaysian family today on the bus from Chiangmai to Bangkok. Spotted them from a mile away from the tudung the wife was wearing, only Malaysian wear tudung the way we do. Anyway, when I arrived in Bangkok, got off the bus, headed straight Ban Hualampong (thanks to the girl on the bus for showing me the way to the taxi stand!), the guesthouse (GH) where I'm staying tonite.

Now, this is Bangkok, for 270 baht a nite, I really don't expect much. Nonetheless, when I got here, what greeted me not only exceeded my expectation, it was totally beyond my expectation. You see, I'm a pretty simple (and anti-social?) kinda person. Normally, when I reach a GH, I get my keys, get to my room, and lock myself in until the next morning, or if I'm there before sundown, I'll wander around a bit. But tonite, I didn't' get that luxury. Instead, I HAD to go out for dinner, HAD to study the map of Bangkok, HAD to entertain talks about what sounded like MATRIX MULTIPLICATION (wtf is this?? didnt know it then, still don't know it now, heck, don't even know if the spelling is correct) and some engineering maths, all because I didn't have the heart to say, "No" to him. Who is this guy, serious, I had no idea. But he had the characteristics of an eccentric mad scientist, with his wiry thinning hair, thick glasses and an excellent command of English. This is not somebody you wanna say (If you wanna appear smart, that is). Especially, when he excitedly showed me places on the map of where you can find halal food. But him, he just eats at the other eateries as long as it's not pork, coz' (in his words), "I pray 5 times a day" (ye la tu, pakcik :P).This man's really kind, helped mecarry my bag up the stairs (kerja bellboy tu, hohohoho), drawing laughter from a fellow guest, I don't know, probably because that should've been somebody else's work, and the man even gave me a book o the history of bangkok to read....weird. Chatted with him a lil' and finally found the answers to all the weirdness. Apparently, he used to study Mechanical Engineering in Berlin in years. He even went to high school there.....And just 4 years ago, he was the Dean in one of the universities in northern Thailand.
Whoaah, that explains the cute, classy interior design of the GH,
the cool refreshing green tea served to me the moment I checked in, the extravagant European tea set complete with bread and butter at the lounge area that he was having while reading his German newspaper.
He offered to drop me at the Muslim village so that I could have dinner. Brought along a young guy/kid with whom he said would accompany us and be my translator. Fine. After we got off his Mercedes at this tiny night market-kinda place, I asked the kid, so how would I know what I can eat. He looked at me.... blankly. GREAT, my translator doesn't speak English. We tried to communicate, tried this method, tried that method, tired of trying. He asked me to wait, he needed to make a phone call. While waiting, I ordered a roti pisang by the roadside. He arrived, immediately paid for the food with the money the old man gave him. What the....?? Great, but why? Told ya, the man's weird, but extremely hospitable. Got my roti, a girl arrived, she introduced herself, "I'm from the guesthouse, sorry, my brother don't speak English". You mean you came running all the way from the GH???? Oh ok, that explains the sweat. Thanks for coming, but if only it was you that he brought along, that would've saved us all from all the troubles......

Ban Hualampong was a last minute decision that I made so that I be near the train station. But boy, isn't this the best decision ever (apart from Hotel Beautyland in Yangon). It may suffer from some eccentricity, clashing concepts of high-class owner and kampung staff/gh keeper. Nonetheless, I feel welcomed here, from the friendly owner to the gregarious little girls that greeted me (daughters of the GH keepers, perhaps?). I may not yet be certain of who owns it and who the kids playing the video games are. It appears as though everybody does everything here, but I am sure by the time I find out, this place is gonna grow on me so much it's gonna be difficult for me to leave behind.

The younger sisterThe younger sisterKakak pon nak join

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chiangmai, Thailand

Now that I'm back in Chiangmai, I go about the same routine, Internet-dinner-massage-bed. But his time, I had a foot massage....nice. Also, while buying my 'metaba' (me think it's murtabak, only sweeter) by the roadside, saw a very Malaysian-looking couple standing behind me. I inched back to catch their accent. Sounded very Malaysian alright. Before I left, I followed them like a stalker to the nearby 7-11 to satisfy my curiosity. Yup, they're Malaysians. Chatted, exchanged stories with them and they introduced their little daughter, Farah to me. They told me that they've come to an age they they wanna start saving and 'bawak famili jalan-jalan' which I think is really good for them. The father also asked me if my grandfather was Dutch....erk, what was that all about???? Anyway, after about 15 minutes of chatting, we said our goodbyes and parted.

On the way back, I quietly walked down this narrow alley back to my hotel. Saw a signboard to the left that'll lead to some special shows. So I went in, saw lots of bars surrounding a kick boxing ring. Too bad no show tonight, only some traditional dances on the ring...boringgggg...., plus, the women and the baps(read: pretty transvestites) were all staring at me, and so I just left. Now, I'm safely back in my room. Tomorrow, I'm heading down to Bangkok and till then...tata........

Monday, August 22, 2005

Pai, Thailand

I made a mistake, Pai was a disappointment. It's overpriced and over hyped. Considering that it was terribly flooded the other day, and there's mud everywhere, I thought they'd lower the costs of things a little, but noooo, they didn't. I can't understand how some tourists could actually decide to stay there for months, and some for eternity, guess those ARE the weirdos who are outcasts back in their home countries. They needed to feel accepted and they could only find it in Pai, and it is all very Asian and very accepting of everything Caucasians.

I'm leaving Pai today, I guess the main highlights of my time there was actually finding out that the owner of the cafe that I frequented everyday could speak Malay.
The awning of the cafe
The awning of the cafe
Apparently, he was from southern Thailand, his father was from Kedah (KEDAH!!!!! Yooohooo) and his mother was from Kelantan which explains his thick accent. Boy, was he glad to speak Malay with me. Occasionally, when he was at loss for words, he'd look up, looking for the right word, when he failed to find it, he'd sheepishly smile and say, "Saya orang Thai.....hehehe". He had the typical look of a Muslim Thai man of the South (whatever that means). Large eyes, tanned complexion, long bearded. My guess is he was probably a tabligh member on a mission when he reached Pai. I made this conclusion based on the fact that he used to teach here for about 2 months. He probably found love here, settled down here and now owns this cafe. We talked a lot. Our conversation went from his origin to where I'm heading next. When I told him it's Cambodia, quickly he asked me for the route that I'm planning to take. He offered some advice and a telephone number that could be useful as he too had gone to Cambodia. Before I left, just as I was about to walk out of his cafe, he shouted, "Muslim ke?", "Yes", I said, and immediately he waved at me apologetically, Why, I don't know. Possibly to apologize for not responding to my salam 4 days earlier.

Anyway, after I got on the bus to leave Pai, I didn't feel sad at all, instead, I felt excited. Excited that I get to go the next stop where the bus will be taking a toilet break. You see, I have stopped there on the way to Pai, and discovered a really quaint little Muslim restaurant that serves noodles that is super cheap and tasty. Now, I can't wait to have a taste at it again.
Once I got there, had my noodles (my noodles tu, perasan), chatted with the owner. After I told him I'm a Malaysian, instead of asking me if I'm a Muslim , he asked me if I could speak Chinese.....errrr, sorry la, I don't. :P

Pai, Thailand

I saw him from afar, long, white bearded, he seemed fragile, but he sure knew what he was doing. I approached him, greeted with an "Assalamualaikum", and his face lit up. I asked him what he had (I've been told he only served noodles, but I asked anyway), "You have only noodles?", "I got a puzzled look...."errr...mee?". "Yes yes, mee, no rice". Funny how a word that I thought only Malaysians understand is understood more than its translation in English i.e noodles....So it was mee that I had for dinner.
The chalet where I stayed at.
In a country known for Buddhism, it's amazing how easy it is to find halal food. Even here in the small, idyllic Pai town, there is a thriving small Muslim community that seems to be good at running business. Along the main road, ok, street is more like it, there are a few Internet cafes by the name Jib-net, a tea and coffee shop selling Gano (Gano, can you believe it???) products, and yes, that includes tongkat ali, and a few Muslim cafes, not to mention the noodle shop run by the old man.I find that in countries where Muslims are the minority, they are usually very interesting. For example, the girl running the Jib-net speaks really good English, even the old man understood me completely. In addition to that, I found that Muslims here are also very famous for their breads, wonder where that came from. But one very impressive thing about the Muslims here is that the men almost always be wearing a skull cap, and the women, head covers. Heck, there are probably more purdah-clad women here than the whole of KL (Arab tourists not included, ok?). Even young kids as old as 5 are already wearing them. I suppose when one is the minority, one tends to stay faithful to his/her culture, people an religion. When they are the majority, they tend to let loose a little, and with Malaysians, they let loose a little too much.
I've been here only a day, but I already feel the charm. Too bad it still hasn't recovered from the flood disaster that struck a week ago. Because of that many guest houses are still closed, activities seem to slow down a little, and if it gets too boring, I might be forced to leave Pai sooner. But I'll give it another day, see what will happen. But if I decide to leave the day after, I am almost certain that I'll be coming back very soon.

Chiangmai, Thailand

I remember reading a issue of Time magazine about the writer trying to find a place called Pai in northern Tahialnad. His discription captivated me, and today, I'm determined to find it.
I woke up, again with a heartburn, thanks to the hearty unneeded dinner that I had. Worried that I might be losing some sleep, I tried to get back to sleep. Not long after that, the alarm went off. Arghhh, is it 615 already?...never mind, just a bit more, went back to sleep, and when I woke up, it was already 6.53am. Yikes, can I make it? I need to catch that 8am bus. I heard it's always full by 7.30.
Anxiously, I left the hotel and just stood there in front of it, hoping that a red car/taxi would come my way (me didnt want the hotel to get a taxi for me, it's cheaper if you can get it yourself), and luckily, it did. Stopped it, asked it to wait, got up, got my bags and off I went.
At the station, I asked for the next bus that goes to Pai. It's at 7, she said.. 7???? I looked at my watch, 639am. Wait a minute, I woke up at 6.53. How could this be??? Then I remembered, my alarm was still set at Malaysian time. Great, seemed like I did lose some sleep after all....but then again, when I think about it, thank God, I did!!! (or else, I would've probably missed the bus).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Chiangmai, Thailand

I'm wet, cold , it's nearing 10pm and I'm lost. Not to mention that I'm getting pretty damn scared too, scared of the wrath of my mom if she finds out about me wandering around an unfamiliar city at nite alone by myself....Probably it's better to just get a tuk-tuk to get me back to my hotel, but then I'd definitely be overcharged. I know my hotel is somewhere around here. Let me check the map again.
You see, when I left the hotel the sun was shining brightly, but once night falls, and the bazaar starts, the roads are differenent. Stalls line up along the streets, making it difficult for me to find my way back. Maybe I shouldn't have hung out too long at Porntip Plaza, but "the Internet was free". Maybe I shouldn't have gone back to Ayusarn Market to look for that halal Thai, Chinese, Seafood Restaurant (when I've just had my lunch just 3 hours earlier, But I was craving Thai food. Then maybe I should've braved the pouring rain (rain, again?? In the previous week, the heavy rain caused the worst flood in Chiangmai ever, that killed several people...found about about it only when I was in Chiangmai), insted of waiting under the makeshift massage parlor, then I wouldn't have been lured to spend 50baht for a 30 minutes back and shoulder massage that was aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh..........just what I needed. By the way, it also included arm, hand, shoulder, neck and head massage as well, oh, and armpit too...yuck. hehehehe, I actually had to clench my jaw from laughing the moment I felt her finger inching up the pits of my arms. Nonetheless, overall, it was great, and very intensive, at one point, I could feel her feet up my neck, then her elbows on my collarbone, and when I thought it was over, I could feel both her feet on my back. Crazy, but I LOVE IT. Just what I needed to re-energize myself for my quest to find Pai tomorrow, , the so-called "Ubud of Thailand".
Now, if only I can find my way back to the hotel......

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Yangon, Myanmar

The stay dogs, toilets and spitting aside, I gotta say I love Yangon. I may have spent only a day there, but I am charmed by it. I can't really pinpoint the exact reason for it. Maybe it's the excellent staff of Beautyland Hotel (btw, this is more of a guest house than a hotel, ok, maybe a 2-star hotel), or maybe it's because I don't understand their language, whatever it is, I just love it. Or maybe it's just like the old saying...."Hujan emas di negeri orang....", and that we actually need a foreigner to tell us what greatness we have back home, just like what the old myanmar/pakistan/arab/bangladeshi(?..ok, real origin unknown) owner of a hardware store said to me upon learning that I'm a Muslim from Malaysia, "Malaysia is a fine country! The old PM, Mahathir is good. Now, who is the PM? What's his name? Anwar Sadat?" thinking, Pak Lah really needs to promote, real badly.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Taunggyi, Myanmar

The phone call came at 11.40am. The phone call that I've been dreading all morning, that i wished we could just ignore. I didnt mind not getting the $5 worth of experience that i paid yesterday simply because I'm tired of visiting pagodas and all i wanted was just to relax and enjoy te cool mountain air of Taunggyi. Nonetheless, I packed up and stuff and relented.

- 2 hours later -
Yes, I'm guilty of ignorance. Yes, i find a pagoda is a pagoda is a pagoda. However, when we arrived at Kakku, my views were changed for there stood the largest most impressive ancient pagoda of all of Myanmar, imho.

We was told that for years it was kept under wrap by the government, partly because it was undergoing major repairs and partly because it is situated deep inside the villages of the Pa-o people who for many years ago were hostile towards the government.

Today, it is open to visitors, but probably not many ppl know about it so much so that we spent almost 2 hours there all by ourselves. And the best thing about it was because it is still relatively uncommercialized, they didnt make me pay a cent even when knowing tht I was a foreigner - something I found extremely surprising in a land where foreigners are charged double for almost everything.

On the way back from Kakku, we passed by the Pa-o villages again. Occassionally, we would stop, snapped some pictures and continue. One memorable stop was when I was busy shooting on some traditional houses.
Far from a distance, I saw 3 kids waving, teasing me, beckoning me to come over. And so I did, got my friends to join me, brought some Hwa Tai biscuits and went over.

When we got to the house, the kids that earlier seemed very gregarious changed their demeanor almost immediately. One boy ran to his mom crying, one boy called out to his mom who was at the time out in the farm to come and join us (ok, it was in their language, maybe he was calling out for help, who knows), and one boy just stood there blankly staring at us. In an instant, from just 3 kids, it seemed as though the whole family was there.

Pa-o ppl really are an interesting bunch of ppl. History may describe them as rebellious, but once you got to now them , they really are very warm and friendly, which probably explains why spies love to hide amongst them as they are almost impenetrable, but yet still very open to friendly outsiders.

In addition to that, they are also very industrious. Their land is seldom left unattended. If you drive around the villages, u'd be able to see paddy fields, soy and a lot of other plants left and right. Interesting how some of them are able to squeeze so many plants is such small pieces of land...impressive, just impressive.

We left hurriedly as it started to drizzle (although i'd love to hang around a little longer). The experience in the Pao-villages will remain as one of the more memorable things that happened to me in Myanmar. I loved the way the villagers stared at us like we're a bunch of aliens (although 4 of us are from Myanmar and I'm the only alien here). I really hope Kakku will remain isolated. But most importantly, I really hope they'd untouched by commercialism as they are now.....forever.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Taunggyi, Myanmar

It's hard for me to describe Myanmar. But my stay here has so far been nothing but sweet and sooo.....tiring.

Tonight is actually the first tht i get to properly sleep in a warm cozy bed. The first nite was spent on the bus tht took soethu and me from Yangon to Mandalay. The second again on a bus tht took us here.

I suppose i cant really comment much on Yangon and Mandalay as I hv yet had the time to really experience it. But Taunggyi, I can tell you because it's on the hillside, plus it is now the rainy season, the air is so cold you practically need a real think blanket to sleep in even during the day.

Anyway, a little background info on Taunggyi. Taunggyi is the capital city of the Shan State. Shan State is the oldest state in Myanmar, and the ppl are said to be the prettiest bunch of all races (?) in this country. Sha State is also famous for its Inle Lake which we visited today....nothing much to say about the Lake though.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Arrrghhhh....this haze thingy is killing me, can't stand it, my head hurts, my throat is dry, all the more reason for me to get out of selangor asap. Can't somebody do something about it, is there anything at all tht i can do to help....this is really really bad. Damn those indons arsonists for putting us all thru hell..., and their govt as well for not taking some real effective measures...

or maybe this is all intentional, maybe they've been planning this for years and just waiting for the right season and wind direction, and once executed, our economy suffers, our ppl suffer ...after all, we all know, they've got tons of grudges against us, (recall the sipadan, ligitan dispute, their lawsuit against malaysian employers for the unpaid wages of the ILLEGAL indon workers in malaysia (only to be proven tht their corrupt indon agents were the guilty parties), the defaced malaysian websites early this year etc etc and "their ganyang malaysia, selamatkan siti (?)" mantra)...and all we do is just sit here, accept their apologies year in and year out, and when they have problems, we'd be the first to jump at the opportunity to help (recall the tsunami tragedy and how we were the first to extend aid).......mannnnnn, what is our PROBLEM????? why cant we, for the first time ever, forcefully retaliate??

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Thursday, August 04, 2005

i dont understand public transport

...hence, i decided to walk from klcc to BB/Sg Wang/LowYat. If it weren't for the whopper sweet izan had bought me, i probably wouldn't hv had the strength to make the trip possible. Thanks Izan for calling me out amidst the rushing KLians, if u hadnt done tht, i probably would've just walked straight, ignoring everybody around me....biasa la kan, org pon selalu kata aku ni kalu jlan menonong je ke depan, dah tak nampak dah kiri kanan....was very surprised to know tht she has heard of st nicholas convent after looking at my old school school (the repetition is intentional) t-shirt tht i was wearing, ye la kan, my school no longer stands where it used to be plus it was probably the least popular schoold among all convent francisees. Used to be quite prestigious, my parents sent our old maid with a pillow to queue up in front of the counter the nite before my registration to ensure tht i got accepted, and mind you, my mom was a teacher there at tht time and still couldnt pull some strings, tht was how pretigious it used to be, but not long b4 i left it, the principal was changed, dicipline problems were in abundance, intakes were no longer filtered, and now, i hv no idea wht's happening to it, i just know tht the state govt moved it elsewhere..anyway, from our chat, i found out tht apparently izan and i used to know the same girl from my old school....tu je.

You know, I realize when u walk, you see more things, like today, i found a 100yen shop (which originates from japan) along jln sultan ismail (i think). Hmmmm, cute, except that everything is sold at 4.90 which is obviously more than 100yen. So, i didnt even bother to enter it. Also, since i didnt hv to worry about finding a place to park and the parking charges, i stopped at hsbc along tht road with no worries whatsoever. Those who know that particular hsbc will know tht there's no parking lot anywhere near it.

Anyway, got that sd card I've been wanting to buy. Also traded-in my old beloved 8210, damn!!! i should've taken a picture of it ... it was my companion thru thick and thin for almost 4 years, that's 40 handphone years, u know!! Man, i'm gonna miss it, damn, i'm still thinking about it, arrrghhh, i miss it oredi..... and guess whom i met at the sonyEricsson booth, allauddin, of all ppl... guess he's probably the closest male version of me anyone can find around here, heard he's into lelong too....whatever la, but i'm not so kamcing with him, in fact i'm not so kamcing with any of my dept members...wait a minute, who am i kamcing with in this uni? dunno, but certainly not him, especially after he came standing in front of me while i was nodding off waiting for the sony guy to test my phone, terkejut aku, took me a while to register tht face b4 realizing tht it was him...lagi terkejut when he asked, "tak keje ke hari ni?". eh mamat ni, cuti belajar i answered, "cuti belajar aaa, tp satgi pegi la office, hehehe...tak keje ke?", hah, padan muka, kena balik. he answered, "tak, nanti cuti belajar, tp hari ni mmg cuti"... ok..