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Showing posts from 2011

From Bangkok, With Love : Bangkok Jam and Porn

I'VE just checked into the Baan Amphawa Resort and Spa in Maeklong, Thailand, and really, it's been a long day. All thanks to our really sweet but also over-ambitious tour guide who was very insistent on visiting 'just another beautiful place' before the next destination. With that, we've managed to squeeze in the Maeklong Market tour which includes watching the train pass through the market and visiting the community temple, Siam Cultural Park, a visit to another temple before shopping at the famous Amphawa floating market by the Maeklong River, dinner and a one-hour boat ride along a canal to see twinkling fire-flies. That was my day four of a six-day work tour to some tourist attractions in Thailand in an effort to promote the Northern neighbour after the November flood disaster.

The first three (and very packed) days were spent in the Bangkok city centre where we put up at LIT Bangkok and travelled out to a couple of Northern provinces including Ayutthya that wa…

It is Love

I wish to god I could sing. I really do.
I mean, wouldn't it be glorious to have a rich voice that demands attention like that of Annie Lennox ? I just sooo wish to god again and again. Coming from a family of musicians, it's easy to presume that I'd at least, be confident with a tambourine, but sadly when we gather I never ceased to feel left out as they strum guitars and violins, and sing. On many Friday nights, my brother and Uncle Nat would bring their guitars, violin or a banjo, just to sit at this alley joint near home where they'd entertain some senior citizens. From having no friends there, they now have many. Music brings people together. It's like love. It is Love.

On that note, this is a personal favourite from Lennox' Christmas album from last year. I can safely say it's my most favourite Christmas album.

Don't you just love that voice.

The Tree

MY Christmas tree is finally up and lit ! 
It's been a bitter sweet experience for me to buy and decorate one in my own house for the first time in my life. Since I had always gone back home to my parents' or gone off to the Middle East for Christmas, I've never had a reason to put up one in my living room. But this year, Christmas is where I live and my husband insisted that we have one. I  wasn't crazy with the idea and so Compromise brought us to a 'small tree'. And then I went shopping...

... and ended up with a 8 foot tall dark forest, weighing 18kg (minus ornaments), and dragging the box containing it up to the 18th floor where I live must have been assisted by a divine force because it was all dead weight.  Why the hassle you ask. It's because average-sized  trees in every type were sold out, and I didn't want to mall-hop + I went shopping alone mightily. But I did take the elevator up the floors :)

Putting up the tree was a breeze but decorating wa…

Killing Honour

Here is a review of a book that came in my way recently.  

A YOUNG woman with a potentially bright future succumbs to an arranged marriage to a man from the same clan to honour her family’s wishes only to be trapped in an abusive union. Woman turns to family for support but is shunned because she is now the husband’s property. By then, it is all too late and her fate is a sealed tragedy.

Sounds like an overworked plot? But here’s the thing. It isn’t the plot in BaliRai’s Killing Honour although it is the backbone to the story. What makes the British author’s new book different is that Rai has cleverly approached the common plot from a fresh angle, making it dynamically interesting.

I read Killing Honour in one sitting, with minimal toilet and texting breaks. Then I went to bed only to experience parts of the scenes from the chapters being re-enacted in a series of disturbing dreams. It was pretty haunting, not in a nightmarish way but in way that prompted a sad realisation tha…

Watching Watches

YESTERDAY I had the chance to meet one of country's most influential businessmen in a session where he spoke about his love for time pieces, his personal collection and his take on life. It was a timely meeting for the fifth edition of the Journey Through Time exhibition which would be held at the Starhill Gallery from Dec 1 to 10, where collectors from all over the world would fly in their private jets to pick out their Christmas gifts. So there I was in a high-end watch gallery, surrounded by time-pieces, each worth more than my annual salary. Brands that I've heard of and those that I have not. I love watches but you wouldn't catch me hanging in a Patek Philippe show room or stopping to check the price tag on a Vacheron Constantin simply because they're not on my league :)

But perhaps, after the eye-opening meeting with The Businessman I would, well, at least start educating myself more on watches and clocks. After all, I grew up with clocks ticking around me and wat…

Honey Passion

I've always loved honey but I'm kind of obsessed with it these days. The 'nectar of gods' as it says on a bottle of Malaysia's Wild Honey from the deep jungles of Kuantan, Pahang was recently given to me by the man who markets it. It's been just weeks, but the content is already measuring very low in the ML scale. I should go get a new one soon. The thing about wild honey is that the flavour varies from season to season, depending on what plant is flowering during a season. So if you like the flavour of a particular season, you better grab a few bottles of it while stock lasts. Honey harvested during a rainy season may not hold strong in the flavour department too. Well, that was what the honey man told me. My current obsession with Simple Sugar is probably also psychological but I find going to bed after a glass of warm honey gets me to sleep like a baby. I also look forward to drinking it in the mornings. But the morning recipe is a refreshing one with passio…

God Bless Her With A Jackpot

SO I went to this press conference where a local councillor had wanted to announce a good work he has done for a group of people. Politics play I know but who cares. I'm not into politics and I can never be, although it's an interesting ball game to catch. So I turned up at this meeting on time, and waiting before me were a few press members from a couple of chinese dailies. They usually don't talk to non chinese-speaking media members, and frankly, even if I start a conversation with them, it's not like I can expect much from it. Some talk but there are those who would go with hand gestures and cute facial expressions or a one or two-word answers. They usually stick together, and sometimes probably talk about me but I know not Mandarin to figure it out. If they do speak to me with questions, it would be along the lines of my face like...

...why your eyelash soo long one ah?
Because my mama made me drink lash tonic first thing in the morning for the first seven years of …

My Superhero

FOR some reason, I was thinking of my childhood sports hero today. She was more like a superhero really, but well, that doesn't matter. 

I was nine during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and was glued to the TV, watching the games, and the very first time I saw her on the track, I was taken up by the super-human appeal. As a child, it was one thing to see someone run that fast but I was also smitten by her sense of track costumes, hair, nail and make-up. Very flashy, 80s and the world was tuned to her. Much like an American superhero. She touched the finishing line with a victor's smile. I felt all that energy bursting through that little TV that hung in our bedroom. It was over-powering and instantly began my adoration for American athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner or famously known as FloJo. 

If you remember her (although I believe if you had seen her, you'd never forget her), FloJowas the fastest woman of all time. She won three gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in S…
The Old Tree

 I am telling you the Old Tree across the street has got eyes, a pointy nose and lots of hair. It seems so real that it may quietly come to life when you're not looking. Close your windows, My love, before you go to bed. I don't want the Old Tree peeking at you while you're fast asleep on your naked ass. Or I'll come over  and chop that tree down
for Firewood.
But I won't worry much
for there is a younger and beautiful tree in your own lawn
and the Old Tree
might just decide to stick to its kind.
Even then,
close your windows, My Love.
You might just a catch a cold
and have a headache for the rest of the day.

Still At Lost

AFTER weeks of tests and follow-up check-ups with different doctors which started earlier this month, I'm diagnosed with something called the Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS). It's an uncommon exercise-induced condition in which increased tissue pressure within a closed muscle compartment compromises blood flow to the muscles and nerves within that compartment, resulting in potential tissue and nerve damage. In simple words, it means that I have to quit running, kickboxing and boot-camping as not to aggravate the condition, which also means a complete change of lifestyle.  

I'm still at lost here. My only references are my podiatrist and every article I can lay my hands on. This condition is not like a heart-attack where I can share notes with my father-in-law and half the world's population. Not that I'm asking for a cardiovascular condition instead, but this change of lifestyle is not going to be easy. Yesterday, I went swimming as that's conside…

A Sunny Sunday

The gods have NO idea how much good this sunny evening does to my sanity. I'm loving it from every angle and I pray that every evening is as bright as today. It's been a few weeks since we've had this sort of evening that casts a shadow on my sofa by the window. That invites children to splash out at the pool downstairs. That allows kite flyers and joggers to fill up the nearby park. I love the smell and sight of the sun, and the hope it brings. I'm not too sure how many would agree with me on how therapeutic sunny days can be to one's mind and soul but it does me a whole lot of good. If I can represent myself through an emoticon, it would have to be this bright yellow type with the largest crescent for a mouth. I'm finally bright happy in a month that's been testing every fibre of my mental strength. No, it's not one-of-those-months kind of month. October 2011 has been a spirit dampening month, just like the stormy evenings over the past weeks. Well, t…


FORMER Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is dead, but what a way to die. Hunted down, killed and the body, stripped and paraded around like a roadkill, followed by a nationwide celebration. Jubilant victors then get snapshots of the corpse for a photo in a frame. Personal belongings found on him taken as memorabilia. I think I even read a man saying that he'd die happy now with Gaffadi's death. And these are possibly the future leaders of the country. 

I don't see a difference between them and the dead man. 

At least for all their crime against humanity, lucky bastards Saddam Hussein and Osama Laden died a pretty decent death. One tried, found guilty and hanged, and the other hunted down, killed and buried in the sea. 

I would've loved to see Gaddafi in the International Criminal Court. 

Eyes on a Doctor

MY search for the ‘best’ eye-cream has temporarily ended last week with the purchase of Kiehl’s Line Reducing Eye Brightening Concentrate (right). For all the researching I did, this product was a random pick. I bought it after a couple of glasses of wine with Jasmine, who is a huge fan of Dr Sebagh  - she has almost everything that’s on the very expensive beauty counter and she also uses all of it in a nightly ritual after a warm shower. She says she loves what the Doctor does for her and I suppose that’s all that matters.

Before settling on Kiehl’s, I had my eyes on a Doctor too. dr.brandt that is. Very tempting reviews from the lady at the counter (naturally), and more convincing testimonies from personal friends who have sworn by the Doctor. The counter lady said that she has stopped using concealers after turning to one of the eye creams and even her under-eye oil sacs have vanished. How interesting. As for my friends, I think it’s just psychological for them - a mere feel-good fa…

Goodbye Mr Jobs

IT'S ironic that the first news I read on my i-Phone when I woke up this morning was that of  its maker's demise. Steve Jobs, was a man who had changed the way I live my everyday life. The co-founder of Apple with an eye for detail, a taste for both art and science, was revolutionary in his offerings. A tech genius. He was all about thinking-out-of-the-box. As an Apple fan, I am compelled to dedicate a post in his memory.

This qoute below by Jobs in a 1985 Playboy interview just before he was fired by Apple CEO John Sculley kind of sums up his outlook on life, career and personality. 

"I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back. And that’s what I may try to do. The key thing to remember about me is that I’m still a student. I’m still in boot camp. If anyone is read…

Tired Eyes Bother Me

I am officially on a hunt for a good eye cream now after what my brother (he is not gay, it's just that the men and women in my family have a way of noticing and pointing out the obvious among us, without tact) had said about my under-eye wrinkles. Well, yes. I know they exist. They've existed for some years already and have just become more pronounced in the last year. Something dry and wrinkly on a face that thankfully, is still quite flawless does stand out quite a bit. But still, when my brother merrily pointed it out during a family dinner, it kind of caught me off-guard and got me thinking. 

It is true. My eyes are the first to tire and show signs of tiredness by a day's end no matter what I do. I miss a couple of hours of sleep, it shows on my under-eyes in forms of dry, gray skin, and over-sleeping causes puffy upper eye-lids. Allergens in the air especially smoke causes them to tear. A poorly ventilated bar, a newly built room with fresh paint and wood works , and …

From Doha, With Love : The Do-hell Drivers

I hardly curse or swear. But when I'm on the road, experiencing various forms of irresponsible driving, it brings out the monster in me. The blood pressure and the middle finger go up as I honk and swear at a suicidal motorcyclist or the retard behind the wheels of a poshy Beemer, who has no road courtesy at all. Unladylike of me, but really - I was once tempted to hire a bulldozer to graze the stretch of illegally parked cars along the ramp across Phileo Damansara I in Petaling Jaya (PJ). It's not funny how these immobile vehicles can drive me crazy. The selfish drivers, who refuse to pay a small parking fee at the basement car park rather take the easy way out by obstructing traffic at the ramp and the road below it, which leads to the Damansara - Puchong Highway (LDP). During the evening rush hour, the path to LDP becomes severely obstructed due to the odd vehicles which take up one side of the road. Council enforcement and the police do summon them occasionally, but I stil…

From Doha, With Love : Summer In The Desert

    SO I'm in Doha again, this time experiencing summer since so much has been said about the Middle Eastern summers. All my trips here to visit the husband had been during its cool winters, and while I do like the region's mild winters, I'd also love to experience its legendary summer heat.
"It's not too bad now, you're lucky. At its peak, which is usually in June, July and August, the temperature can go up to 52 deg (Celsius). Just stepping out of a building totally drenches you like you've taken a bath. Clothes stick to your skin and you're just sticky all over," warned a Malaysian aircraft engineer whom I met on my flight here on Tuesday.
So I'll need waterproof mascaras during summer time, I thought to myself. But I still couldn't imagine such an extremity.
Fifty-two degrees. I've never experienced anything more than 34 deg, which is the hottest in Kuala Lumpur and even that doesn't occur all the time - only d…