Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

This is the birthday card my little nephew made for me. He explained to me what he drew:

The wiggly line at the bottom is water.
The wiggly line in the middle is a mountain
The wiggly line at the top is snow.
There’s a flower on the left.

Then he hugged me and said ‘I love you’.

To me, all those translate into these words:

Kasih dan sayangku
Seluas lautan
Setinggi gunung
Seputih salju
Seharum mawar

[my love
as big as the ocean
as high as the mountain
as pure as the snow
as sweet as the rose]

How sweet of him.

p.s.: Sorry I couldn't find exact the English word to describe the exact feeling. Even the Malay words was helped by his mother. Though she saw the ‘painting’, she had no idea what my nephew drew until I told her.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yet another cellphone

Two days ago I fell into a deep sleep while commuting to KL. As it turned out, it wasn't the only thing that fell. My trusty K700i also fell. I really like the simplicity of the design. Simple camera to take reasonably sharp pictures for this blog. Internet connectivity for my T5 / computer to update this blog. And also little white light in case I need to find my car keys in the dark. Oh, last but not least, the radio with superb audio quality to keep me company. What sadden me most was that I didn't get the chance to use it until it broke. This is the second phone I lost in so far.

So yesterday was spent in scouting for the right phone. I had almost bought the same K700i because I really like the features. But since I've always told myself, next phone would be a 3G, so I had to find one. Phone with features that I wanted was not manufactured with my price. Knowing how I (ab)used phones, I wasn't prepared to pay more than RM1k for a phone. I finally settled for a Nokia 6233, which suprised those who knew me. I am not into Nokia. What can I do, that's the only phone I found met most if not all, the critirea.

Today was spent in configuring the 6233 for 3G settings. Just like the K700i, it took me several calls to get it done. I almost blew my top talking to the good people in the call centre. Fortunately, the setting the computer and T5 is the same. Otherwise it would be weeks before I could blog about it. Now, I'm back online. Unfortunately, from where I am right now, there's no 3G coverage. So, I have yet to experience increased in speed which is a bit dissappointing considering that most of the time, I'll be online from here.

By the way, my previous phone broke around this time, last year. Perhaps this is God way of saying, "Go out and buy things for your self". :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Riding my two wheeler

The weather was just right. Not too hot. The wind was breezing softly. A great day to be out. So, I started my two wheeler and rode to town.

The world looks somehow different from the bike. For a starter, there's 360 degree view, unlike in a car where your view is limited to the windscreen. Then, you feel closer to your surrounding (of course you will, you don't have doors seperating you from the outside world).

I turned the trottle. My wheels zoomed in and out the traffic. Well, that's totally an exaggeration. I didn't zoomed in and out the traffic. It was more of cruising along the roadside with cars and other motorbikes zooming passed me. Even so, the wind was blowing on my face. I felt free.

Then I put on some more gas. I picked up some speed. With the wind was stronger and a bit of a bumpy ride, I felt as if I was flying. I finally understood why 'mat rempits' (young reckless men on 'motor cub') would do those dangerous 'superman-like' stunt on their bike. I too was tempted to do the same!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Flying to JB

I had some work in JB. Initially I was suppose to be in JB from Wednesday till Friday. I was looking forward for the trip (or more precisely personal side trip). The plan was: drive to JB on Tuesday noon, and perhaps go to Singapore on Saturday before heading back to KL on Sunday.

Then another e-mailed followed. I have to be in KL the whole tuesday. And be back in KL for meeting on Friday morning. I was to fly down to JB, complete whatever I am suppose to do in two days, and fly back to KL. Normally, anyone would jumped at the opportunity of flying for free (i.e. at company's expense). But the thought of having to rush down south and back to KL, and not to forget the rush to complete the job in two days, diminished the excitement.

And so, on wednesday morning, I had to peel myself out of the comfort of my bed at 5.30am. Had a cold shower and got ready to leave for KLIA. By 6.45 am I was already in KLIA, checking-in. The people on the flight were mostly dressed in 'power-suits'. I guess most were business travelllers. Perhaps who in the right mind would want to get on the first flight early in the morning other than people with urgent matters.

The plane flew above Johor around 8.00 am. It was a welcoming sight to see acres and acres of green land from the plane window. A stark contrast from what you would see above Klang Valley. Sorry no picture to show since cellphone was switched off.

I wanted to take the airport taxi. I headed to the ticket counter at the airport entrance. It wasn't the counter for taxi, but the counter for bus. The helpful man at the counter pointed me to the direction of a yellow bus near the car park. It was the normal bus. Boarded the bus and drop the bus fare into the coin box (similar to the box in Rapid KL buses). It only cost me RM1.90 to get to Skudai versus taking a RM20 taxi.

At the end of the day, a colleague sent me to a budget hotel - Rose Cottage Hotel somewhere in Taman University. I had intended to spend the night in Hotel Kelana but since the colleague was willing to fetch me the following morning and send me to the site, I agreed. The hotel was actually shop houses converted into budget hotel. Room rate starts at RM58 (for single bed) with breakfast. The room was quite small but big enough for one person. Facility provided were a single bed, tv opposite the bed, an aircond above the tv, a closed, a dresser, and attached bathroom complete with hot shower. Very basic but was better than the room I had in Good Hope the last time I was in Skudai.

The next morning, I headed down to the lobby for breakfast. The lovely lady told me to help myself for the bread on the counter. The breakfast was simple, loaf of bread neatly arranged in a plastic container. An electric toaster for the bread. A bowl of half-boil eggs. There were also some spreads (kaya, butter and jam) to go with the bread. At 7.30am my colleague fetch me at the hotel and sent me to the site.

I reluctantly left JB on the 6.40pm flight. Reluctant because after there was much more to do. And not to forget, the absence of KL-like-traffic jams.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A night by the beach in PD

PD stands for Port Dickson. It is a town in Negeri Sembilan. Around an hour drive from KL (minus all possible jams in KL itself). Most famously known for it's beaches. The idea of camping in PD was mooted a few weeks ago. Due to work commitments, it had to be postponed until we finally got to actually do it last weekend.

To locals, when you said PD beach, it would refer to the beach near the town. Other beaches away from the town includes Blue Lagoon, and Teluk Kemang. We didn't have any preference on where to camp. Just as long as it is not entirely secluded (thus making it unsafe) and have (usable) public toilet. After a short drive from the town, we stopped by a place somewhere near Batu 4 (around 4 miles from the PD town or according to the milestone, 37 km to Melaka). The place is right next to the main road. There is a small coffee shop at the entrance of the gravel road.

It wasn't exactly marked as a camping site, but there were already few tents there. There were pine trees that shaded us from direct sunlight. I guess the trees also absorbed most of the noise from the main road. The sand near the camp site are white and relatively clean (except for a few rubbish left by previous picnicers). However, the sand near the water and the water itself, was a bit 'muddy'. It is more of a 'fishing' beach, which explain why there were many small fishing boat anchored there.

Later we found out that the coffee shop opens their toilets and bathroom to picnicers and campers 24 hours a day. There were 2 toilet 'booths', 2 shower booths, and one bathroom. The bathroom is the kind that you scoop water from a tub not the kind you lie in. They hanged a coin box on the wall. 50 cents per entry (and choose with booth you want to go). Though the 'booths' were small and very basic, there were clean. Cleaner that most fancy public toilets that I've been to.

We set up our tents and took out our foldable picnic table. We also brought along our barbeque grill. Since we had problems starting the barbeque in the past, we decided to start the fire early. By sunset we had our coal burning. We also had a little bon fire. The bon fire was a funny story in itself. The beach wasn't exactly littered with driftwood. Just little twigs from the pine trees. So, my brothers had to drive somewhere else to find firewood and brought back to the camp.

The menu for the night was baked potatoes, barbequed chicken, lamb chops, sausages, corn, prawns, squids, and fishes. Unfortunately, we could not eat the fish since it was already dark. We didn't want to choke any fish bones. The cooked fish was set aside and eaten for breakfast the following day. We managed to boiled the water kettle using the barbeque grill. Didn't really used the portable gas stove that we brought.

The next morning, I woke up to find that we had new 'neighbours'. They must have come while I was sleeping. And I must have had a deep sleep, for I didn't realise when they set up camp. Reheat the fish and had it for breakfast. The coal in the barbaque grill was still burning. So I just add fresh coal and boil water for breakfast. Later when the tide was low, we walked to a small island off the beach. It was a rocky island. There were mostly mangroves trees. But the water and the beach was cleaner there.

On my way back to the camp, there were people flying kites. The kite resembles a lot like Malaysian Wau, but with a more modern design. The kites made a buzzing sound when flew. It took around 4 men to rise the kite into the air.

Around noon, we packed our things, cleaned our camp site, and left. We were a bit tired, but it was a great outing.