Sunday 28 February 2010

Anyone know what fruit this is?

I think the first time I had it was when I was 13, the year I joined the Boys’ Brigade. We have this place that we call “Rock Garden”, and the tree is located there.

After school, or during our limited Boys’ Brigade break time, we will be on the look out for it. Some are within a jump’s reach while some require a certain amount of climbing before you can lay your hands on it.

Those located high up are not spared. To us, they are just a shoe’s throw away. Oh yes, we were quite accurate in our throwing too. One throw sometimes gave us up to 3 fruits! Though they dropped on the road, we never wash them. Just a wipe on our sleeve and we’ll eat it. Those days, hygiene is not priority.

Its diameter is about the size of a 50 cents coin. Inside the fruit is a brownish seed that’s inedible. Remove the seed, and the whole fruit will down into our mouth. If we managed to get those that have ripened to light yellowish in colour, its sweetness is heavenly.

Till today, my friends and I who have eaten this fruit have never seen it anywhere in the market. It would appear that they only tree bearing this fruit is located in Rock Garden, a stone throw from my school.

They are going to tear down the place though, to make way for a huge multipurpose hall. It’s a project by the church. Ya’ know, churches are very fond with mega structures nowadays.

Hence, I am interested to know. Has anyone seen or eaten this fruit before? Any idea what it is called?

Friday 26 February 2010

A great 3rd day at the Wall and Tomb

“Wang Li Chang Chen” (translated as 10s thousands miles long city), famously known as The Great Wall of China is located out of Beijing. We booked an English guided tour, thanks to PurpleMushroom’s recommendation. It was a good choice.

We departed from the hotel an hour before the meeting time but the morning traffic chaos is akin to KL, we were late, albeit just a little. Glad they waited for us. We were they only Asians in the tour.

The guide, Iris; gave us a brief introduction of the Great Wall before telling us to take a nap for the 1 hour+ journey.

We opted for “Mutianyu”, the most scenic part of the Wall. There are other more challenging parts where it was said that one has to literally “climb” up the wall. Me and Jules were not feeling that adventurous. Well, it’s supposed to be a holiday; I don’t intend to tire myself. Hence, we opted for the cable car.

Scenic view from the cable car / Wall…

It is not easy to walk from one tower to another. The steps are huge and some stretches can be very steep. It makes me wonder, how did the soldiers during ancient times run up and down the wall? They must be quite well built and have extremely strong leg muscles. Hats off to them!

A few options to get down from the Wall, we chose the most intriguing one… via the Tobagan. It’s roller coaster ala Great Wall! It was one helluvan experience!

After the Great Wall, we had lunch and headed to the Ming Tombs. As the name suggests, these are the tombs of former emperors of the Ming Dynasty. The structure there pretty much resembles the Forbidden City.
This piece of monument is very unique. On one side, the glory of the Ming Dynasty is written on it. When the Qing Dynasty took over from Ming Dynasty, the Qing people wrote about the stupidity and wastefulness of the Ming people on the other side of the monument. If only I could read Chinese…
Having been here, I believe Rome comes out on top in terms of monuments and culture. The entire city of Rome is well preserved while most part of Beijing has been turned into a metropolitan city, thus making Beijing losses that bit of magic. Nevertheless, it is still a must-visit for everyone. If you have not been, you should consider making a trip there.

1 year ago…
Uri-updateA new trend with the couples

2 years ago… Significance of non-voters

3 years ago… A very close encounter with the rempit kind

Wednesday 24 February 2010


Today was an important.

Today, I was put to the test to see whether I am up for it.

Today, I have to be convincing.

Today, I have to demonstrate enthusiasm and confidence.

Today, the drain becomes nearer.

Today, the drain made an offer in principal.

Today… has been a great day.

Tomorrow, I might fall into the drain.

1 year ago…
The story of Mr. Suck Plime

Monday 22 February 2010

2 similar stories

A story was told about a man who fervently prayed to God, asking God to let him strike the lottery jackpot. He is a man who diligently fulfils all his religious responsibilities and was a man of faith. He too, never gave up, keep praying and believing that his prayer will one day be answered.

Alas… he never did, and died without his prayer answered.

Upon meeting God in heaven, he asked why his prayer was never answered despite being faithful and all. The answer God gave was…

“I cannot let you win the lottery when you never buy a lottery ticket”

Another story was told about the people of this nation, who fervently prayed to God asking for changes to happen in their nation. Drastic changes were required; else the nation will fall into oblivion.

This people are men and women of faith too, never gave in praying and organised mass fasting rallies and forging huge prayer groups.

Alas… changes never happen, and many died with their wish unfulfilled.

Upon meeting God in heaven; naturally, they asked of God why their fervent prayer was never answered. And God replied…

“I cannot let changes happen when you never register to vote and vote”

James 2:20 --- “You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?”

1 year ago…
It felt like shite

2 years ago…
Thoughts from govt talkA matter of unproven record?A piece of humour in the current light

Thursday 18 February 2010

Where Kilkenny became kill Kenny

True story…

Terence was having lunch with his colleagues when he got a call on his mobile. A quick glance and it showed that it was from an unfamiliar number.

“Hello” he answered.
“Siapa ni?” (Who’s this?)
“Kamu yang panggil saya. Kamu siapa?”
(You are the one who called me. Who’re you?)
“Ini serius. Saya tengah buat siasatan. Apa nama kamu?”
(This is serious. I am doing an investigation. What’s your name?)
“Siasatan? Siasat apa?” Terence thought it might be a gotcha call.
(Investigation? Investigate what?)

There was a slight pause…

“Ini Inspektor Halim dari cawangan X. Ada orang buat laporan polis yang kamu ni pembunuh upahan. Saya nak nama dan nombor kad pengenalan kamu sekarang”
(This is Inspector Halim from X branch. There was a police report saying that you are an assassin for hire. I want your name and identity card number now)

This was when Terence felt a bit uneasy as the tone of the voice didn’t sound as though they were from is a local radio channel notorious in making prank calls. He apologised and informed Inspector Halim that he will have to verify his number before he discloses his details.

A quick check with the police headquarters in Bukit Aman confirmed that the call was indeed made from branch x police station. Terence nearly pissed in his pants.

What happened was --- Terence was in a pub drinking Kilkenny the day before. The pub was having a good deal where you get 2 Kilkenny for the price of 1. By the way, Kilkenny is a very famous Irish beer.

Such a good deal prompted Terence to sms “Kilkenny, 2 for the price of 1” to a friend named Gavin. In perhaps his tipsy-ness, Terence sent the sms to the wrong Gavin. Now, this is where it gets interesting…

Apparently, the wrong Gavin has terminated that number. Apparently, that particular number was recycled by the telecommunication operator and was acquired by this person, let’s call her (yes, it’s a she) Moron. Apparently, the Moron had a fight with her boss the day before. And apparently, the name of Moron’s boss was… Kenny!

When the Moron received an anonymous sms saying “Kilkenny, 2 for the price of 1”, she thought someone was offering to kill her boss (i.e. Kenny) for her. And the Moron… went and made a police report!

And so, poor Terence had to explain to the police that he doesn’t know the Moron, nor Kenny. And certainly, he is not a hitman for hire offering his service to kill Kenny. And not just any killing, 2 for the price of 1! When trying to explain the Kilkenny is actually a beer, the Moron even said that she is a drinker but has not heard any beer name Kilkenny before. Now you know why I call her Moron with a capital M.

On one hand, kudos to the police for taking police reports seriously. On the other hand, why didn’t the police investigate the Moron? For someone to have an argument and then made a police report when the word “kill” was mentioned, the Moron certainly have something in her mind, don’t you think?

Whatever it is, make sure you say “Kilkenny, the beer, 2 for the price of 1” the next time any of you intend to send such sms out.

1 year ago…
“Doh Yu”

2 years ago…
A take at the scandal

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Reflecting this CNY

Since the passing of my grandmother slightly less than a decade ago, I have always had the impression that my 3rd aunt is the most traditional person in the family. She is a spinster who stays with us, and has been dictating how things should be done in family when it comes to Chinese practices.

Having now spent the 3rd Chinese New Year without my Mom, I think my impression may be inaccurate…

My 1st CNY after the passing of Mom was spent in London, on secondment. Nothing much can be done about that. Strange though, the 2nd and the recent 3rd CNY spent without Mom, there was absolutely no emphasis placed on the CNY eve reunion dinner. My aunt didn’t seem to “enforce” it that much.

We also have this tradition of “hoi lin” (commencing of the new year), which falls on the second day of CNY where again, everyone has to be around for brunch. It is a significant event for my family. However, this tradition seems to have lost its fang this CNY and the last. My aunt doesn’t seem care much if everyone is around for brunch that signifies the commencement of a new year.

Rewind the lunar calendar a little, and we have the “Tung” festival, the one where chinese make “tong yuen” (those little rice balls in sweet ginger soup). I have always been thought that “tung dai go lin”, which means “Tung” festival is actually more important than CNY. I have never been home for dinner during “Tung” since my Mom passed away…

Reflecting all these made me realise that my Mom was the driving force behind all the traditions, not my aunt. Considering that my Mom came from a Malay village (she’s Chinese) and she didn’t speak much Cantonese or eat much pork when she arrived at KL, she must have taken a lot of effort to do all that.

The 15th day of CNY, the “Chap Goh Meh” is another date where being home for dinner is of great importance, or so it used to be. My aunt’s reply to me when I asked about it was “Up to you ler”… I think the least I can do is to make sure that this dinner happens, as it used to be…

1 year ago…
You better give yourself a choice before…

2 years ago…
Absolute bolehness

3 years ago…
A Chinese New Year missing

Friday 12 February 2010

It can't what???

We all know this country never fail to surprise us. But this has got to be one of the best… one of the very best…

We have helicopters that can’t really fly.
We have toilets that can't flush.
We have power window that can't move.
And now…


KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (AFP) - Malaysia's first submarine, a European-made Scorpene delivered last September, has developed problems that make it unfit for diving, the defence minister said Thursday.

The KD Tunku Abdul Rahman sailed into a grand reception last year as the first of two commissioned from French contractor DCNS and Spain's Navantia for a total of 3.4 billion ringgit (961 million dollars).

Named after the country's first prime minister, it was hailed as an important acquisition despite opposition allegations of corruption in the deal.

"The submarine can still dive but when we detected the defects, we were advised that it should not dive," Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters.

"The (parts found with) defects are still under warranty so the supplier and contractor are repairing them," he added.

Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said a problem first emerged in the submarine's cooling system last December. After being fixed, another defect was identified in a different system last month.

"We hope it can dive again after February 18 so we can carry out the tropical water trials," Abdul Aziz told reporters.

The navy chief said the second submarine, the KD Tun Razak which is named after the nation's second premier, is expected to arrive from France on May 31. It was originally scheduled for delivery in late 2009.

The two submarines have attracted controversy since the deal was signed in 2002.

Malaysia's opposition claims that a 540-million-ringgit commission was paid to a close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak in brokering the contract. Najib has denied there was any corruption in the deal, which was made when he was defence minister.

1 year ago…
An original pick-up line

2 years ago… 2 true remarksLondon Chinese New Year discovery

3 years ago… No time?

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Just for the class

If you walk into any badminton hall in this country, chances are you will witness badminton game played at a reasonable level. Yes, you do see some people going there just to hit the shuttlecock across the net or totally miss the shot altogether or just merely running around swinging the racquet while giggling.

Nevertheless, you will most probably be able to witness at some courts where proper technical badminton with smashes, drop shots, etc. are played, even if those are just casual games. Even if you are not a badminton enthusiast, you will somehow realise that there are quality in their games.

The same cannot be said about tennis though, at least to me…

I have been watching people playing tennis quite a bit in the last couple of months. No disrespect to tennis player out there but… really… I haven’t really seen a tennis game played the way tennis should be played, if you know what I mean.

Some, they played as though they were playing pinball. Some just sky the ball to get it over to the other side and the other player will sky the ball back to the original player. Some just keep hitting to each other regardless of whether the ball is in-court or out of court. Most just end up picking up balls more than hitting the balls. Basically, I just have not seen a proper tennis rally being executed.

I am not trying to belittle tennis or make fun of tennis players. I am sure there are people out there who can really play tennis. But the reason why I am writing is because I overheard a conversation between 2 “supposedly” tennis players where they claimed that they play tennis because it is of a “higher class” compared to badminton.

It is an undeniable fact that golf is a game for the rich and tennis tends to skew towards that as well. But to play a game simply just to be of a specific “class” where in actual fact, you can’t really play at all, it is unnecessary pride.

Are we humans so concern about status and class? Sigh… the perils of an affluent society…

Honestly, has anyone seen a proper casual tennis game being played before? As in with proper throw-service with rallies and volleys?

1 year ago…
Lost hope

3 years ago… Morons of the same brain park togetherRespect for Malaysian drivers

Tuesday 9 February 2010

I did it... again!

It has never occurred to me that Putrajaya is that hilly. Up a steep slope… down… then up again… and down… I should really put some gradient when I run on the treadmill.

And I still don’t quite understand why the roads can never be close for an official run. Man and machine on the same road --- 2 lanes for cars, 1 lane for runners. I suppose it sort of added a Malaysian flavour into the run.

Was so afraid that my calf will cramp up like the last time. Thank God for holding my calf muscles together. No cramps at all this time round. I think the Phiten necklace that I tied around my calf helped as well.

Managed to chip 4 minutes off my Singapore Stand Chart Marathon time … Yay!

P/S: The lack of blogging is due to a very screwed up internet connection, it just go down every night during “prime” internet time. It’s like there is a conspiracy to stop me from getting on the net at night…

1 year ago… High what?

2 years ago… The 3 seeksAn enlightening beer-less encounter

3 years ago… Chinese culture, what’s not and what’s lost

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Short & Sweet: Ep. 5 - How does work life balance end?

It ends when…

When the company gives you this…

Monday 1 February 2010

A very powerful moment

I think I was still in Form 1, which means; ages ago. I had to go to my classmate’s house to discuss on some project work, probably Geography or Science. I can’t remember.

As I got down from the bus, I took the usual path to his house. His house was located rather deep into the residential area. Hence, it was a good 10 – 15 minutes walk.

It was not my first time going to his house, but something extra showed up that day. As I took a turn at one particular junction, that’s when I saw it… a very fierce looking German Sheppard. I can still remember that sound… that growl… and then, it started to bark…

The don’t-run-when-you-see-a-dog just didn’t apply to me then. I ran. And instinct made me ran towards my friend’s house. Yes, the dog gave chase and I was very sure it will take piece off me, literally.

As I reached my friend’s house, the usual locked gate was the difference between safety and much pain. Till today, I didn’t know how I did it but I did. I jumped across the gate. I was 13 and not exactly short. Having jumped over, then only I realised that the gate was at my shoulder level.

My friend came out and astonished to find me inside his compound. He asked me to do it again but I just can’t. But at that crucial moment… being chased by a dog, that adrenaline just powered me across the gate.

Have you had such “powerful” moment before?

1 year ago…
The Bau-Thai experience

2 years ago…
What’s with the awareness fuss?When our instincts fail

3 years ago… How was your weekend?Guess the tail of these tales