Tuesday, June 27, 2006

count my blessing

Some people find its rewarding to have an office on the 66th floor of the world’s tallest twin tower.

Sure! Such a prestigious address and a commanding view of the city before your eyes, beneath your feet.

I wonder how ONE feels to have an office on the 88th floor of Tower 1. Literally, the highest office in the country.

I am on the 15th floor of an office tower in Damansara Heights. The view might not be as commanding as the one you can get from the floors of KLCC, but, it’s beautiful and inspiring, nevertheless. It a bird's eyeview of nice houses (not all).

I can see the whole stretch of my playground from here. The view of Bukit Kiara, perpetually waving at me, tempting me to immediately leave work and hit the trails.

Once in a while, I did succumb to the temptation...

Glad I did.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Besides potentially abusive substances, one of the main ingredients of our parties was the LCD projector.

One of us would secretly smuggle out the sleekest model of projectors available from our respective offices.

It helps to have friends in high (no pun intended) places, in a multinational that can leverage his position to bring home a state-of-the-art-dictionary-size-feather-light LCD projector.

It also helps to have a friend who runs his own creative outfit to maximize the utilization of office automation into a great party tool.

The visual and audio affects are simply outstanding.

Feels like you are diving through a myriad of colorful asteroids.

Now that's what I call a great party!

Could you be stoner than this?

Malaysians ARE rude

I was on a flight to Kuantan. A smiling stewardess handed me the newspaper.

Headline of the day: THIRD RUDEST CITY

I could not agree more because I think many Malaysians are just plain rude. Rude!

Even the mat sallehs are a lot more polite.

I went to school in the French province of Quebec. I was one of the few Asian students in the whole province of Quebec who look different and hardly speak any French than rest of the Francophone community.

Yet, every time, and I mean every time, I took the bus to school, the driver without fail would greet “Bonjour Monsieur!” “Çava?” and I would respond “Çava bien, merci” and “Salut!” before I get off the bus. With a smile. These are orang putihs who never claimed they were polite bunch of people and proud of their polite traditions.

And we are supposed to be Malaysia, Truly Asia .….

As if!

Do the bus drivers greet you here?

Only this morning before I board the aircraft, as usual I need to show my ID. The ground crew requested for my ID just by saying: “Ada IC?”

Excuse me! Where are the P’s and the Q’s?

I shall stop here before I waste my time talking about the government servants (Immigration Department, oh my God!), the KL drivers and the waiters at the mamaks. (OK those waiters might not be Malaysians, but still!)

What have happened to us?

Monday, June 19, 2006

view from the chair

Mrs. Macquarie's Chair is actually a rock cut into a chair/bench shape on a peninsula that is part of Sydney Harbour and forms part of the Royal Botanic Gardens, at the end of Mrs. Macquarie's Road.

Literally carved in stone.

Mrs Maquarie was the wife of Governor Maquarie. Folklore has it that she used to sit on the rock and watch for ships from England sailing into the harbour.

These are spectacular views from the chair.

I was in Melbourne and Sydney for a friend’s wedding. Beautiful wedding in the park. The bride and groom arrived in a vintage Rolls and the ceremony was accompanied by a string quartet. Reminded me of the scenes from Four Weddings...

I framed up this pair of photos for the newlywed. One of them was on the wall of their apartment (at least the last time when I was there).

life's a beach

I was cruising on my two wheels from downtown Sydney. As I was descending towards the heart of Bondi beach, I could not resist but to record this view.

It was a hot hot day with lots of hot hot bodies!

You’ve got to be there to really know what I mean.


This shot was taken when I was walking along the beach in Pulau Pangkor.

I like, naturally, the striking yellow color and the repetitions.

Quite abstract, I thought.

spice bazaar

As soon as I entered the bazaar, I know I was in the Spice Bazaar. It was a feast for your senses. The sight, smell and sound of the venue, hence the name.

I recognized some of the spices judging from their aroma. They are in various striking colors but most of them, didn't have a clue what they were. One thing for sure, the aroma was outstanding. You could cure your sinus instantly.

Among others, you can also find

fish(quite an expensive commodity here),

cheese(endless variety)

and olives (I have never seen so many types of olives in one shop).


We call it kopi.

The Arabs call it kahwa.

In fact my grandmother called it kahwa too.

The Turks called it kahve.

I captured this after exploring the Spice Bazaar. It’s a shop window of an established coffee merchant in Istanbul. I bought some for my coffee drinker brother and friends.

In black and white, it looks classic.

Do you notice a reflection of Istanbul in the background?

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Early morning in Bersia Lake, Ulu Perak. Deep inside the forest reserve.

The sun was about to rise.

I took a walk around the campsite. It’s an island on the lake.

The surrounding was still in semi darkness.

It was very quiet, the air was fresh and cool.

So peaceful, almost meditative.

I sat on the grass, alone, looking at the water, the tress and the little sampan….in silhouettes.

I framed the moment.

Everybody else was still asleep.

Did they know what they were missing?

kl erections

A view from my office

Only 2 of KL prominent landmarks were visible.

The rest, hidden in thick….

fog? haze? mist? smog?

another close call...

During dinner with my brother and sister last night, I can’t help but to notice some uneasiness in my sister’s face.

Is she back yet?

No, she has been missing since afternoon.

WHAT? I almost dropped my fork and spoon.

6.30am today

My sms: is she back yet?

Answer: nope

My sms: I am coming over now

When I reached my sis’s apartment, what a pleasant surprise, she was in the living room.

According to my sis, she turned up as soon as I sms-ed I was coming over.

My cat is back, and black (filthy!)

Animal instinct?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the way you look tonight

Seriously, of all the different versions of the song The Way You Look Tonight, to me Tony Bennett’s version is the best.

I can listen to it over and over again. I have it in my laptop, i-pod, car and at home.

If you have a hot hot date, do try this at home.

Switch on the air conditioner, dim the lights; play Tony Bennett’s The Way You Look Tonight, just softly, almost ambience music. Sit back and relax in your plush sofa. Sooner or later you will get a nice little kiss on your cheek and lips.

Too bad the song is quite short.

If your date decided to stay longer, turn to channel 111 on Astro. The jazz channel. Hook it up to your hi-fi. The effect of soft music in a dim room is amazingly romantic……

Will I ever get lucky again?

tribal beauty

With brass rings around her neck, she is the symbol of beauty in her tribe.

I politely asked for her permission for this picture to be taken. She’s very shy. She hardly spoke to tourists. In return I bought some handicraft made by the tribal community. I think I got a silver bong for a friend who likes to smoke weed.

I was told the brass rings actually distort the growth of their collarbones and make them look as if they have long necks - which they don't.

The row of brass rings does not actually stretch their necks. In fact it squashes the vertebrae and collar bones. A woman generally has about twenty or more rings around her neck. This neck ring adornment is started when the girls are 5 or 6 years old.

A friend from Versaille once told me. There is a saying in French; it takes a lot of pain to be beautiful.

Is that beauty to you?

bluer than blue

After a typical Turkish breakfast on the roof top overlooking the Bosphorus, (One of the world’s most strategic waterways - the strait between the Black Sea the Sea of Marmara) I decided to walk to along the Bosphorus to Beyoglu, the ancient city across.

Clear blue sky and the strait was as usual busy with commuter boats ferrying passengers from Asia to Europe and vice-versa.

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful fishing day for the locals.

As I walk along the Bosphorus I bumped into hundreds of anglers from different walk of life.

I gathered, these two are brothers fishing while their father was busy preparing for some baits behind me

Fantastic bright colors coming from the sky, the clear water of the historical Bophorus and from the young anglers themselves.

Predominantly blue.

Am I feeling blue?

bed supperclub, bkk

After a wonderful authentic Thai dinner at Lemongrass, one of my good friends who live in Bangkok took me to Bed Supperclub.

I can understand why he loves it there and he doesn’t want to move elsewhere.

I like low light photography though good opportunity comes very rarely.

The DJ is spinning some nice lounge music. I was sipping nice cocktails, chatting away, observing the crowd. Actually I was very impressed with the deco and ambience. I read about this club in Wallpaper a while ago.

Managed to capture this image while having a couple of drinks before we hit the road exploring other clubs. Wilder clubs….. Seriously, KL is nothing!

We returned home after 3am when I can barely feel the ground I stepped on and my head was very light.

That was one wild tuk tuk ride through the sois of Sukhumvit.

Could you get enough of Bangkok night life?

oil on canvas

This is a painting at a friend’s place. It belongs to the landlady, the owner of a beautiful flat in le Marais, Paris.

My friends and I think the painting is about two women passionately making love.

You think?

aya sofia

This church was built by the Byzantine emperor, Justinian, between 532 and 537 A.D. It was converted to a mosque by Mehmet the Conqueror on the very day he conquered Istanbul in 1453. Now it’s a museum.

Still under restoration during my visit.

You can see mosaics showing the Emperor Constantine and the Empress with Jesus on the wall.

At the other corner you can find the 'mihrab' added by the Ottomans when Aya Sofia was converted into a mosque (it was a church for more than 1,000 years) as referent point to the direction of Mecca (kiblat).

This is the view taken from the gate of the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) shortly after exploring one of the mosy beautiful mosques I have ever stepped my foot on.

I like the quote after the film GUBRA: "The lamps are different but the light is the same" - Jelaluddin Rumi

What would the world be like if there is only ONE religion?

market, sukhothai

I like to explore local markets as I am always inquisitive about the locals’ taste buds.

I must admit that I like to eat and always quite adventurous with food, with some limitations of course.

These are images of some local produce sold in Sukhothai market. They are colorful and fresh.

I find simple local authentic meals are more interesting than those in the hotel buffet spread.
In fact one of the most memorable meals I had was a simple breakfast in a little Thai village. A glass of warm soya milk (with sugar) and some chakoi. After my meal, the lady poited her finger to the other side of the street and said "menam, menam". She wanted me to check out the Chao Phraya. Like other Thais, she was very proud of her river.

Don’t you wonder how these veggies taste like?

Monday, June 12, 2006

latin quarter

One of my favorite photos taken during my holidays.

Taken in Latin Quarter, Paris, while I was looking for a little café for lunch. You know one of those cafes with small tables and all the chairs face the street.

I like those cafes.

A nice little corner where I can take a break, sip a cup of coffee, take a puff, daydream, while writing my travel journal.

I recently enlarged the photo to poster size.

It is now hanging on the wall of my apartment with elegant white frame decorating the dining area.

Why is this photo my favorite?

It is a candid shot. Someone happened to be walking in the middle of the wet street which created a subtle reflection.

Quite ironic, really. There are no motorcars captured in the frame despite busy Paris traffic.

Should I start planning for another cycling holiday?

move on

Life can be very simple at times.

Like wake up early Sunday morning, brush my teeth, put on my cycling gears, ride my bike from my doorstep, eat simple breakfast with a couple of riding buddies. In less than half an hour, you get the adrenaline rush. I have the best time of the week on the saddle of my mountain bike re-exploring the ever changing (never ever boring) personality of my playground Bukit Kiara.

High on endorphin.

Simple, highly fulfilling, rewarding and highly therapeutic.

On the other hand, life can be quite complicated.

Nothing seems to be straight forward.

Perhaps it’s a test on me to find out what do I actually want in my life… or who do I actually want to be with in my life…

While picking up all the pieces, let say I meet someone. Someone nice. Someone really nice! But, I am unsure. I think I am on a re-bound. I want to do a lot of things for myself. I want to be selfish for the time being.

I wonder sometimes... am I missing one hell of a great opportunity?

a voyage

A long journey

Satu perjalanan, pelayaran, pengembaraan

I like it!

Do you?