Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hong Kong Trip - Day I

Now everyone can fly!

This is our first trip abroad and CM really put in effort to plan the itinerary for this trip. We travelled from Singapore to KL by bus on Jan 7. Despite only 4 passengers (an Indonesian couple and us) on board, the bus departed on the clock to KL and the entire trip was pleasant and comfortable. A good start. We reached KL at about 1pm and took the LRT to Sri Petaling to meet my little sis, hence this post. After a delicious curry mee feast, ST dropped us off at One Utama where we would meet up with CM's sis, who offerred us a place to stay overnight.

Ocean of clouds.

We took the 7am flight next morning, managed to salvage a couple of hours sleep. CM got excited when she saw the sun rose over the clouds, unveiling a sea of cotton and started snapping with my D60. We arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at 11.05am and easily made our way to our hotel via the airport express train and MTR. Incense Harbour, here we come!

We stayed here - small, cheap, clean, strategic.

After we checked in and a quick bath to freshen up, we proceed to a nearby eatery for lunch and headed north towards Mongkok. Hong Kong is a city of people - I was amazed at the mass walking along the walkways, the influx of people crossing the roads in haste, the throng of commuters in the MTR. And thus I am all the more impressed by the efficiency of the MTR system.

People mountain people sea.

I think Hong Kong is the most backpacker-friendly place to travel as throughout our stay there, we managed to find and reach each and every destination with ease, guided by a map, a tour guide book and the signboards. If everything fails, a brief conversation with almost anyone on the road would just make it. In the past, you probably need to speak in accurate Cantonese intonation and accent, but after 1997, most of the Hongkies have picked up mandarin pretty well.

Leng lui I met at Jordan MTR.

Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street is very much like our Petaling Street or Pasar Malam. We took a brisk walk through the market, browsing the merchandises displayed. Half an hour later we were off to Goldfish Market and spent relatively longer time there as both CM and I are animal lovers. We were mesmerized by the colourful guppies, palm-size goldfishes, and the wide variations of pets available on the same street. As a fish fanatic since young, it was an ethereal sight for me!

Ladies Market.

A cobbler making an earnest living at Goldfish Market.

We reached the Avenue of Stars at Tsim Sha Shui at about 7pm and waited for the laser show. It was freaking cold at night despite the fact that the weather is similar to Genting Highlands’ climate. But when the wind starts to blow and drains the heat from your body, you’d better wish that you’re comfortably clad in a winter coat or windbreaker.

Met the same leng lui at Avenue of Stars. Affinity?

The laser show starts at 8pm daily and lasted for approximately half an hour – it is not as fabulous as I’d expected and I wouldn’t return for the second time because of it, but I would definitely come back for the endearing night view. With the vibrant neon-lit buildings across the sea, pleasurable ambience settings and the correct weather, it is by all odds a great place for dates and a holy place to fall in love:) ~Love is in the air by John Paul Young playing in the background.

Night view of Hong Kong Island from Tsim Sha Tsui.


  • Hui Lao Shan (许留山) with its famous mango desserts. A chain shop which you can find almost anywhere. We also tried their latest creation - Bird nest stewed in coconut juice with hasma - and trust me, it's worth a try. ~slurp
Mango Hors d'oeuvre (芒果拼盘).

Bird nest stewed in coconut juice with hasma (燕窝椰皇燉雪蛤).
  • There are lots of shops selling curry fishball, but to be frank, it's not worth the drumming. Imagine chewing a miniature squash ball covered with curry powder. But usually the same shop will sell braised cow's haslet which is sinfully delicious on the contrary, albeit not recommended for those with high levels of LDL cholesterol.

Braised cow's haslet (卤牛杂).

  • Fu Kee Porridge (福记粥品) at Fa Yuen Street (花园街) offers a variety of porridge/congee at reasonable price. We tried the famous Kap Dai Zuk (及第粥) for supper to warm up our stomach for all the good food that is bound to be savored for the following days:p

Kap Dai Zuk (及第粥).

  • Da Liang Ba Ji (大良八记) - sesame paste, walnut paste, peanut paste, coconut paste, egg stew (炖蛋), milk stew (炖奶), you name it, they have it

Egg stew (炖蛋).

Walnut paste (核桃糊).


  • CM met Lawrence Cheng at the MTR, unknowing that we will run into 2 superstars the very next day;)
  • Bought my first Next Magazine (壹周刊) with Zhang Ziyi's juicy nude sunbathing story on the cover.
  • Mongkok's night is forever young.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ECards for Sale

Do let me know if you want eCards design by Sung Studio:) There are more designs in my portfolio.

Keyword: Chinese New Year, eCard, greeting cards, 春节贺卡,牛年

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I am utterly speechless when I had to commute from Puduraya to Sri Petaling via STAR LRT on a recent trip to KL. The route to the station is a long passageway, almost hidden behind Pudu's terminal bus station. Without someone experienced to lead the way, I would have had a hard time locating the entrance. Upon reaching the station, I was baffled by the inferiorly decorated interior of the LRT station. It was as if I were in one of India's bus terminal. Walls not painted, pipings unconcealed, dimmed without proper lightings.

The railway supporting structure forms part of the roof for the lobby. When the train approaches, you could hear loud howling from miles away and the screeching sound of the train braking, not to mention the tremor you can unmistakingly feel by touching the pillar of the structure. Flabbergasted!

When I mentioned it was dimly lit, I was obviously wrong. There was no lighting at all! Here's a picture of the escalator with and without flash. Notice the ugly cement pillar beside the escalator? Energy saving natural lighting? I really hope that this is not an act of being GREEN.

Unlike in Singapore or Hong Kong, where the announcements are pre-recorded, recited in clear and soothing feminine voice, and played accordingly; STAR LRT prefers the captain to make the announcements at each station - in mumbles - as if he is Jay Chow. The same Sungai Besi stop can be pronounced as "Sung.. Bes" and repeated as "...Ngai ...Si" in the lowest desibel that human ears can pick up. I wonder what happens when the captain has a sore throat or a thumb-size oral ulcer.

This is my first (and probably the last) time traveling with STAR and I would say that the standard is really nothing compared to our neighbour. How could the rakyat tolerate with this third world facility? Despite it being a privatised project, how could the government condone the impact of this sub-standard facility towards our tourism and belittle the people's rights to enjoy better infrastructure? Now I totally understand why Selangor falls into the hand of the Oppositions. With this lackadasical attitude in governing a nation, Barisan Nasional stands to lose more. Johor may be next.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy New (牛) Year

Due to tight schedule and last minute rush to wrap up my work before Chinese New Year, I foresee that I will not be able to update my nook for the rest of the week. So here it is, my early greetings with an e-card from Sung Studio - a card specially dedicated to my little sis born in the year of the Ox.





Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sand King of Egypt

Searching everywhere for this baby by Al Ahram. Not Sakara Gold, I am looking for Sakara King! CM loved it so much, she remarked its much better than the ale in Brewerkz.

So if any of you seen this beer, try it, and please let me know where to buy:)

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's not about the food or the wine...

"What time r u coming bac on Thursday? Uncle Donny is inviting al of us 2 a Christmas party on 24 if you can make it. let me know."

Mom sent me this message 3 days before Christmas. CM and I initially planned to go home on Christmas eve, meet up with my parents and travel to Penang the next day. Uncle Don's invitation spiced up our plan and there was no reason to refuse. So a minor change of plan, Mom and Dad will meet us at JB and we will sashay our way to KL for Christmas. Passing through the Sultan Iskandar CIQ was smooth but when we returned from our holiday, it was a different story.

Sultan Iskandar CIQ - tip of the iceberg you see here.

The journey up north was jolly despite the fact that we brought one too many luggages and the car was stuffy. We reached PJ at about 6.30pm, expected to reach Uncle Don’s place at 7pm, but we missed the junction. Thanks to the confusing road sign and the lack of intellectual acuity to place it strategically. We attempted to make a U-turn and was lured by the signboards to the toll plaza. RM1.30 gone. Followed the signboard and again we were directed to the second toll plaza. RM1.60 gone. Made a big round and finally back to the toll plaza again. Another RM1.60 gone. When we told Uncle Don about this, he remarked that the sign boards are design in a way to channel us to the toll deliberately. I learnt 2 lessons that day:

  1. Carelessness is costly!
  2. Never Trust the Road Signs in KL!

We reached his house at 9pm and the feast commenced shortly after my other aunts arrived. We had the famous Banting nasi lemak, Kajang satays, Muar otak-otak, roasted pig trotters, chicken curry, fried vermicelli on the table and the Egypt Sakara lager, Netherlands Bavaria, Carlsberg, and Jacob’s Creek just couldn’t wait to be served.

After the feast...

I don’t remember since when alcoholic beverages became a mainstay of Uncle Don’s home, but I do remember the time I got knocked out after 3 bottles of Anchor Ice while we celebrated Christmas at Genting Highlands under Uncle Don’s persuasion. I was just a secondary boy then, how could I “disobey” my elders?

"Come on, you’re big enough to take it. Come, one more for you." And he removed the bottle cap with the opener suavely.

So Dad, if I ever become a drunkard, now you know who to blame lah!

Uncles and my pap.

And so we ate and drank, laughed and chatted merrily.

I was chagrined that there was so much to catch up with everyone. Dad, Uncle Don, Uncle Eric and Uncle Raymond chat-boozing in the dining hall while Mom and her sisters gossiped on the veranda; Uncle Don’s landscape business is going strong and steady, his pitaya farm and sales are doing good; Alanna is going to college and probably fly to Australia a year later; the uncles and aunts enjoyed themselves so much during their recent trip to Kluang, sang their hearts out and agreed that the karaoke session was the climax of their trip down south; my hyperactive juvenile cousins (some of which I also don’t know the names, generation gap…sigh.) played at the garage; the adolescents (Alanna, Lip Ren and Winnie) watched the TV and surfed the Internet on and off.

CM and I were busy taking pictures.

Finally, we retired at about 5.30 in the morning.

Sometimes, it's neither about the food or the wine, nor the fireplace or snow...It’s the moment family members gather together blithely, the jokes and laughter, the embracing and encouragement towards each other, the memories we share and reminisce over the dining table, that all matters.

Mewie Kissmus