Thursday, December 31, 2009

Judgemental Kills The Cat. Hmm..Yeah, That Cat.

"Tak Kenal Maka Tak Cinta" Is that true?

What about "Cinta Pandang Pertama" or Love at First Sight? What is that all about?

Whatever it is, many of us believe in that first sight love but also most of us know that, it takes time to be in love with someone.

There is a study found a man can fall in love after gazing at woman in less than 10 seconds, and the longer he looks, the more interested he is.

And if he is not interested, the gaze will drop to only 4.5 seconds. That is how fast people [especially men] fall in love.

Have you ever, don't like somebody at the first time you meet them? You dont even know him or her, but already you dont like them? What the heck is that?

Why do we sometimes immediately know that we don't like them?

We usually relates this with our instinct, intuition or gut feeling but the study have found there's something more going on that just barely meets the eye.

They call it MICROEXPRESSION. Remember that.

Human face is a medium or a sign that sends us message. When we "read" data, there's a lot of data to be coded, either it's long or angular or chubby? muscle tone? How big are the eyes? Thick lips? Bald? Nose etc.?

Usually when we meet stranger when the first time we meet them, we will try to match them to the face that we already know.

Which we will perceive changes that have taken place such as scarring, skin tone or wrinkles and also taking account of artificial adornments such as eyeglasses, makeup, tattoos or piercing.

We make personal judgement based on what the person has added by choice.

So if you ever had a stern English teacher, name Miss Lim when you were in primary 4, who always rotan you for not doing your homework given, she never smiled one.

And if it happens to be you who meet a lady with slidely looks like her somewhere, I bet your first expression to that poor lady is: she is fierce and stern. Eventhough the fact is, she is so lemah lembut and a very sweet soft spoken lady.

That is because of that microexpression of yours that do all the work of judgement for you. Same thing happen if you meet somebody looks like Angelina Jolie or Gerard Butler, its vice versa.

Something like that. You can read more about microexpression, just google it.

The best thing to do is, be fair and we should give people no judgement at the first time we meet them. Respect them the way they are and respect the choice they made for themselves.

That is my resolution for this 2010. Do not judge people. Respect their choice. Blend in more and make the world a better place to live.

I never had a resolution for new year before, in fact I never believed in one, but 2010 is different. I want to have one and will give it a try.

Happy New Year 2010!!

p.s: My significant other's name is Miss Lim too but she is way hotter, sweeter, lemah lembut and never rotan me. [so far]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Penang part II : the Motorcycle's Diary

On the second day in Penang, we decided to go for the island tour, by ourselves and out of many ways of transportation available, we chosed a motorbike.

To be specific kapcai Modenas Kriss that we rented from the nearby car & motorbike renting company for RM10 per day. and again, cheapskate? nah.. we just wanted to try various mode of transportation and this time, motorbike =))

Get to check the tyre air pressure was sufficient for the whole exciting roadtrip

We planned to go tour around the island and tried to stop for sightseeing randomly along the way.

With the blurrish direction given by A.G the day before, we headed to Stadium Bandaraya to check out Lorong Kulit Flea Market [the local called it Road Walk or sounded to me like Rowoq] that just next to the stadium. Its a flea market that sells almost everything under the sky.

My wife loves the stones

Right after we arrived at 9.30am, the rain poured out of nowhere and we ended up sheltering in the small restaurant next to the market.

Great. There we were, stucked in the crowded small restaurant waiting for rain to stop and that left us with no choice. So we just had our prematured lunch promptly and only managed to start roaming around after almost an hour after that.

Looking for our bike and it took us almost 15 minutes to find it. They all just look alike.

Lorong Kulit always impress me with quirky things on sale there from medicine and traditional herbs to fruits, from electric appliances to used pipe sink, from mundane household paraphenalia to genuine antic. Phew* One of the best flea market in Malaysia I've ever been I guess.

The very focus apek. He knew what he wants.

Off the record, when I went there back in my student era in mid 90s, I ever stumbled with the still wet jeans and the rice pot that still had rice in it being sold in this flea market. That amazed me too, alot =)

Craps for us but valuable stuffs for somebody else. The art of Road Walk.

After strolling around for almost every inch of the market, we off to our bike to our next destination. We didn't buy anything except a kg of sweet seedless grapes for us to munch on the bike along our tour de island trip.

Promptly we decided to go to Bukit Bendera or also known as Penang Hill, since we never been there before.

It's a hill system with a resort at the height of 833m above sealevel and about 6km from the city centre which we can reach the top using the Penang Hill Railway system from the downhill station.

Penang Hill View : source from internet

It was first cleared by Francis Light to grow strawberry and originally known as Strawberry Hill before they changed it to Bukit Bendera [Flag Hill] and the first hotel built, was back in 1890 at the top of the hill.

We arrived at the peak time, at 12pm and the only trolley available was at 3pm. Darn. So we just spent our time at the downhill station, eating ice cream, watching people and the trolley before we go to the next destination.

The never stop running train and it was packed for the whole day.

There was nothing much to see at the downhill station except of the crowded station with the local & foreign tourist thats including the Mat Banglas. There were alot of them. Maybe it's a weekend off so they took this opportunity to support our tourism industry.

Love your friend pose by the Bangladeshi.

Less than an hour, we fled to our next destination, Batu Feringghi & Teluk Bahang! Yeah. Beaches!

to be continued.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas : the American & Malaysian's

Christmas in US is something really different than ours back in Malaysia. I always get a quote from my friends back in Malaysia, saying that how wonderful Christmas celebration is in this west side of the world.

How white the Christmas are, how beautiful Christmas trees and ornaments to be decorated, how smooth Santa clause will fly from north pole sending gifts from house to house through the chimney for the kids [even he is damn fat to get pass through it] and how excited the people are celebrating Christmas. And it's all just an exaggeration. Big time.

For the people here, Christmas is just an another ordinary holiday season for them to breakaway from their hectic work or routine life but the holiday that they need to spend alot for decorations and gifts. Having family dinner together on Christmas Eve and everything will be ended by the end of the day of the Christmas itself.

And most of the people, they will opt to go for holiday at the warmer part of the world since this is one of the season that they can go for a long vacation and escape from the chillness in this north hemisphere winter. So where's the family spirit in Christmas?

But this is true, the shopping and prices in Thankgiving and Christmas Sales are CRAZY.

Back in Malaysia, especially if you are in Sarawak which we have 43% of Christian community from the whole population, we celebrate Christmas as we celebrate other religious festival. Balik kampung, family dinner is a compulsory, mediocre gifts and the most iconic culture for us, OPEN HOUSE and FOOD and more FOOD. I missed that very much.

It's the time for us to visit our friends, having good time together, get wasted and makan all you can. Most of the hosts of open house now really concern to provide halal food for muslim friends. which is a very good thing and show how we respect each others. It happens to other festives too such as Hari Raya or Chinese New Year or Gawai Dayak.

We went to The Baring's Christmas Open House, a couple from Sarawak who settled down in Philly

Don't expect an invitation to any open house here in the United States unless you're are a family member or a very close friend of the host because there is no such thing as open house. It's a very closed occasion. Well, it is just not their culture I guess. Which I am very lucky to be part of our culture back home which everyone of us can ignore our differences and celebrate our festive season as its ours and together with our friends [or strangers] from other races and religion.

Luckily we still have the value and culture to bring together and celebrating christmas as we always do back in Malaysia. Good company, good food and merrier christmas.

Everybody is celebrating the christmas. Thanks a lot to the Baring's family.

Yes, maybe we don't have white christmas or Caucasian look santa or chimney for him to get in but we still sustaining the real value of christmas itself. So be proud to be a Malaysian because of our open and sharing culture, together with the great value of it. Get rid of the prejudism. Ignore the politician race hatred propaganda. Eat as if there is no tomorrow at the open house and make sure you workout like hell aftermath.

Merry Christmas everybody, wherever you are.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Penang part 1 : its food madness

We headed northwest to Penang this time from Kuala Terengganu on a 9pm bus and again, one more of Nascar driving sensation we had the whole trip. I managed to sleep but have been kept awake because of the sudden brake of the bus. But what the heck, we just slept and only woke up when the bus made a stop at Baling, Kedah for the sake of my nature call. We arrived Georgetown Bus Station at 5am. That sounds so dejavu isn't it?

A bunch of nasi lemaks for our 5am breakfast at Georgetown Bus Station

But Penang Bus Station is more savvy and they have a cafe opened! Yeah! We had our breakfast of 2 packs of nasi lemak and teh tarik each. Nice* Nasi lemak bungkus with banana leaf first thing early morning.

Before we came to Penang, I've contacted my old college friend, Marzuki aka Anak Gajah [A.G]. He and his wife picked us up at the station. After we had our breakfast [part II] together, they sent us upon our request to this cheap backpackers budget hotel at Little India which called Broadway Budget Hotel. It was cheap! At only RM40 per night with a good looking and clean room which the restroom is just above a curry store that kept playing Tamil songs the entire time.

Common view at Penang Little India

We checked in, took a long nap and only woke up at 2pm, ready to terrorize any nearest nasi kandaq restaurant around. Yeap, one of the main reason we came to Penang was because we want to eat as much as we can the local Penang heavenly freaking food! besides sightseeing and meeting old friends.

A street at Penang Little India

So we strolled around the hotel area which is the Little India town. Wow. It was like we were in a town somewhere in India. Coming from Kuching, seriously, Malaysian Indian are rarely to be seen around because of their small population in Kuching. In Penang, the streets were colorful and the smell and aroma of herbs awakes us all the way. The shoplots are occupied mostly with Indian restaurants, textile shops, music shops and there are small stalls just beside the street sells magazines, newspapers or simple groceries. We love it!

This is not Pune of South India.

One of the small old honda kapcai parked at the front of the shop

My wife, with the least of patient level, charged in to the restaurant without waiting for me after she sniffed the food aroma from inside.

We just walked in this one exotic and old style restaurant at the end of the street . They served food on banana leaves and the waiters can't speak in Malay nor English. The food, especially the curry was magnificent!

What a way of hanging out at Padang Kota. I'm sure the Apek's christmas wish is to get a new iPod Nano for xmas gift. He's one cool old Apek.

The erosion beach view of Georgetown

After lunch, we roamed around some more, this time heading towards Padang Kota Lama that is just few blocks away from our hotel and spent the whole afternoon at this padang looking at people under the basking hot sun of the island heat. Damn. That was one hot sightseeing.

Fishing in the haze at Padang Kota seashore

E&O Hotel open restaurant. Still not yet open for business hours but we just charged in.

We walked and stopped at Eastern & Oriental Hotel. A big colonial classy looking hotel in the middle of Georgetown. With our sweaty look and off dresscode we just charged in and strayed around the hotel including their restaurant, lobby and private hotel garden to check it out. Actually we just wanted to cool ourselves down from the burning heat outside =)

Well, nothing much and from the foyer of the hotel, we took a trishaw aka beca to continue with our dontknowwhere sightseeing. So we asked the trishaw owner to bring us anywhere in one hour ride for RM20 package. Cheap 'ey?

Masjid Kapitan Keling : The Legacy of Indian Muslim of Penang

Khoo Kongsi Temple

Khoo Kongsi Temple

He brought us to Kapitan Keling Mosque and Khoo Kongsi Temple. I don't know what was the curse, everytime we hired a beca, the owner didn't look fit, either old or sick. This time the beca owner, is a Chinese old lad who admitted he got fever and kept coughing most of the time. But it didn't stop him from talking and explaining this & that about Penang Georgetown.

Our sick pakcik beca but still did his job tremendously well.

Hmm... kesian. Still gotta go to work eventhough sakit. And we tried hard not to inhale the contaminated air he spreaded everytime he cough since he was just at the back of our head. We didn't want to bring some viruses back home after the trip.

There was a Chinese opera show just cross the street from our hotel.

This auntie looked so enjoying herself reading the entertainment magazine right beneath the stage of the opera stage

After an hour of beca sightseeing and holding plus screening our inhalation, the trip ended again at Padang Kota Lama. We went back to our cheap hotel to get ready before off we go again with A.G for dinner.

AG tried hard to look for a good table at Gurney Drive food heaven

A.G picked us up at 7pm and off we went to Gurney Drive for dinner. The last time I went there was back in 1998 when I just finished my undergrad. The place looked crowded as usual and cooking smoke came up from all over the area. The smell of food was intriguing and my wife looked stun.

She stunned with how large the area are and how variety of food they have there. We had charkuewtiaw kerang, oyster omelet Teochew (O' cheow) style, rojak pasembor, grilled kerang, rojak buah, kuih doraemon [I don't know what's the name of it but it looked like kuih doraemon though] and other this and that which I forgot the name of it.

Grilled kerang & the super delicious oyster omelet Teochew style

And again, the ugly eating habit kicked in. Well, what the heck. We wont get to eat this kind of food again once we are back in Kuching, or worst, to be back in Philadelphia.

Batu Feringghi Night Market Baazar

After dinner we went to Batu Feringghi open night market. The place never changed, still jammed and crowded with local and tourists who looked for cheap things. We spent our time there till midnight before headed back to meeting more old friends of mine and kedai mamak in the middle of the city. Meaning, makan again.

Hameed Soup at Upper Lane Street

The nice looking soup

We went to this one kedai mamak called Soup Hameed somewhere in Upper Lane Street with my other friends who were already there. I had my first ever torpedo soup dip with benggali bread after being convinced by them that it tasted nice and good for my 'health'.

The soup tasted nice but deep in my heart, I can say the flesh itself tastes weird, chewy and a lil bit bitter. I don't really like it and I will never eat this soup again. Ever. I repeat. Never ever eat torpedo soup again.

The chewy thing I ate with soup

What a way to end my first night in Penang. Eating bull's penis as a late supper. We went back at 3am and ready for the new adventure the next day.
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