Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Fasting

To all Muslim friends, Selamat Berpuasa.

God Bless Malaysia! Happy Merdeka Day

Gone were the days when we glorified our superficial achievements by the "biggest-this" and "longest-that" idiotic record-breaking feats to commemorate the independence days that continuously hypnotize our mind.
Now come this 51st Merdeka Day, let us ponder and really think about our nation's future, how to work out the problems surfacing after donkey years of oppression under the dictatorship of a powerful leader to face the bigger problems and challenges that we definitely gonna face soon.
There are so many people who's irrelevant in the current political scenario that had to be phased out for the better future of the country to stop them from blocking the progress that we desperately need.
For once and all, stop "meng-angkasa-kan" a particular race or "men-setinggan-kan" or "meng-Hindraf-kan" others, and instead, start building a better Bangsa Malaysia. Let's be MERDEKA in its truest and purest form of mentality and mind.
God Bless Malaysia!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preview 2 : Paris Je Taime

Another preview....
Eiffel is a grande steel structure which is useless (to quote my dear friend, Pierre) but it's amazing to see it at night!!!


The sun came out at finally in Paris and it's good.
And for MALAYSIA, hopefully it's a NEW BEGINNING!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mother of All Election

OK, I should be out and exploring Paris but I haven't. It's 825am which is way past my usual go-out routine when I'm travelling and also my usual routine of having breakfast the most 1hr after I wake up. The sky is gloomy, oh... it had been raining on Sunday though yesterday was sunny and I get a good glimpse of Eiffel and Notre Dame Cathedral. So maybe it's gloomy turn today.
However, I do hope it's gonna be all sunny and bright in Malaysia especially in Permatang Pauh. I hope all the voters go out and vote for whoever they think can represent them. It's their basic rights and whoever try to prevent them from doing so or manipulating them in any way are in no respect to the country's constitution.

OK, I will stop being neutral, I would like to say, vote for Anwar. I am not totally convinced of how he can turn the country around but at least he's a good choice compared to Arif Shah who represents the racist-corrupted regime BN and UMNO. And again, with change, there's hope. And it's this hope that sparked me to believe that we can be a nation of one Bangsa Malaysia.

To the racist corrupted regime, this is for you.

(I took this picture in the Basilica in Grenoble where a contemporary art exhibition was held, aptly dedicated to the racist corrupted regime)

I will wait patiently for the sms informing me of the result of this Mother of All Election while pondering where to go exploring in Paris....

Preview : Paris, Je Taime

Just meant to be a preview..... taken while biking around Paris on Sunday evening

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Touching Moment in 2008 Beijing Olympic

Not the endless display of fireworks, not the revealation of the "unpretty" real singer during the opening ceremony, not the exceptional records breaking feat by Phelps or Usain Bolt but it's the moment the winners of the 10m air rifle event, Nino Salukvadze of Georgia embraced Natalia Paderina of Russia. That's the true display of sports spirit of Olympic.

Biar Papa Asal Bergaya from KickdeFella

GO read the blog of KickdeFella who was publicly condemned by Pak Liar for flying the flag upside down in his blog. This particular post is interesting.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

In Wake of National Day

These are the leaders of the current crop of UMNO. What future do we have? Of course, my 1st place nemesis was given a prominent air time in the YouTube below:

Friday, August 22, 2008

In Awe

Fascinated and Overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity.

Foie gras, creme brulee, beach, sun, tanning, Chateau d'If, Notre Dame de la Garde, Grenoble, Marseille, Saint Jean en Royans, Paul Cezanne etc etc......

I'm too overwhelmed and full of eating. Updates especially photos... soon. Gotta sleep. Gosh, must have been gaining few kilos at least hahaha....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good People Aplenty - Thanks Olivier

OK, my trip this time was again blessed with good people I met along the way so far. And my host in Montpellier is one fine example of that!!!! Olivier is a complete anti-thesis of me but at the same time quite alike me in some ways. He is quiet, not excessively and VERY generous (these are the parts similar to me haha...)

I stayed with him (I know him from CouchSurfing) for 3 nights and he's indeed an interesting guy. He likes Chinese culture well, he has a Chinese girlfriend and he has Chinese character Tshirts. I got to know that he's practising Mandarin from his profile in CS and unfortunately, we didn't manage to practise a lot haha... He cooks too!!! Thanks to him, I tasted rachlette and of course nice desserts which he love. Went with him for a French dinner in which he patiently explain the menu to me for about 15mins and the waiter came to take our order for at least 2 times but we haven't finish the explaining session. He introduced me to the "looks like coffee-smells like coffee" drink chicoree which I'm shamefully drinking one cup every morning.

He's very knowledgable in the culture of France and answered lots of questions from the ignorant me. He's well equipped with suggestions of places to visit and go, not only in Montpellier but other part of France as well. Thanks to him, I embarked on an exploration of the "fake-painting" in Montpellier on my last day there.

Oh, on the last night, he offered me a free ticket to watch a movie. I did watch a movie in Indonesia before I mean how different can The Mummy 3 can be in Indonesia besides the seat was much better than Malaysia's but watching a movie in France? Haha... but tat didn't seem to be a problem for me, well not because I'm fluent in French in 3 days but the movie we watched was Wall E, which hardly has any dialogue at all so the French dialogue didn't bother me that much. And it's a good movie too!!! Of course the cinema is nicer and more comfortable but the price also higher. The discounted ticks is 6.70euro but the full fare ticket will be about 9euro, about RM45.

I really thank him for his hospitality and wish him all the luck in his future plan working nearer to his girlfriend. Montpellier definitely very enjoyable to me thanks to his friendly and comfortable couch!

Monday, August 18, 2008

14-17 August : Montpellier, France

Stansted airport became nicer, from my last time there about 3 years ago. And by that, it also means that more chairs to sit or rather sleep on haha..... It's a lively place cox the whole airport is full of people like me who take Ryan Air and Easyjet airlines. The beauty of budget travel haha...

interior in the brand new 737 of Ryanair

Did some final charging before stepping foot on France as the plug will be different and I only had one I used in Indonesia, hope it's the same but turned out not to be. Montpellier airport is quite small as showed in my previous post but I guess it's good enough.

stansted from the flight

I had some trouble looking for the house of my host, Olivier. The instruction he gave was perfectly detailed and simple; take a shuttle bus from airport to the Place d'Europe which I had to go to the tram station and take the one going to Mosson. The station I should get down was clear and simple but once I was at the tram stop, I can't find the street name in the map!!!! (it's called plan for French). OK.. this spelt trouble as I dunno any French besides moi (which means me and not I, as reminded by Sebastian), je t'aime, bonjour and oui.

The street I got is Rue (which is street) Jean but the one my host gave me was Jeanne XXXXX(the female version) so I hentam saja and follow the direction to the Rue Jean. It turned out to be wrong!!! How now? I speak no French and I didn't have the number of Monsieur Olivier really problem lah. Turned out an uncle saw me despaired and clueless pondering and walking and he approached me and asked if he can help...OK, I deduced it myself as he speaks "yat lun jui" of French words and I "tia bo". He saw the add I wrote in my notebook and he also didn't know where is that.

He brought me to a bakery nearby and asked the owner, a sweet and helpful lady who said she dunno as well but offered a small map and booklet of the streets in Montpellier. Thank God but wait....still couldn't find the street mentioned. I started to have some back-up plan in my mind now; worst come to worst, I will go to any McDonalds (I spotted some along the tram journey just now, hopefuly they have WiFi connection as I don't see any Starbucks here!) and try to login CouchSurfing and hope Olivier replied my latest email and tell me his mobile number.

The uncle bid goodbye as he can't help much anymore and I really grateful for what he did. But before he turned into the small alley behind the street, a lady came out from nowhere and on the way to the grocery stores we stand nearby and the uncle asked her about the street and VOILA!!!! She stays on the SAME street!!!! Gracious God!!!
I felt so thankful that moment as it really felt like Godsend haha.... She's a kind lady but she asked me to wait at the store for about 10mins for she has to go to other nearby store to get some chicken or something. And yes, she speaks some English. So, 10mins I waited and yes, she came back and we walked together to the street. It turned out that the area is new and not included in the map at the tram station. By the way, tram is cool and it will nice to see places like Penang has it, now I understand why Anil Netto keep promoting it.

And the apartment that lady lives is just next to the one my host live and thanks to her, I reached Olivier's house about noon time. More on Olivier and Montpellier soon....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breakfast at Montpellier err....not Tiffany of course!

The Montpellier airport, about 1hr 35mins from Stansted (London) airport which cost me 38pounds. Small airport with no fancy thingy but it's good enough, it's better than the Padova airport I went flying from Stansted to Venice couple of years ago.

The Euro 5.20 breakfast I took while waiting for the bus from airport to Montpellier. Yes, at 5.0 exchange rate, a croissant, a mini cup of Kopi-O and orange juice costs me RM26.

Olympic oh Olympic!!!

9 days, 8 golds and 7 world records = Michael Phelps and I say wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also Usain Bolt from Jamaica stormed into 100m world record EFFORTLESSLY!!!!!!!!!! And I mean REALLY effortlessly!!!!!!!!!! Watch his clips and you will know. And he still has another 200m bid which proved to be elusive to most athletes previously.

And now I'm waiting anxiously for the mouth-watering Chong Wei-Lin Dan match. I just hope Chong Wei played his BEST game ever and whatever the outcome, may the best man wins "uncontroversially" know what I mean....

140808 London National Gallery

London’s National Gallery is always good to visit. You can do it within one hour if that’s your fancy or that’s so much that you can soak yourself with or if you have plenty of time with you and looking for activities to fill the gap, it’s really a must go. I discover the joy of the gallery when I first went to London 3 years ago. Scouting for places to go and making sure that I “at least” step in the gallery. Overlooking Trafalgar Sq, it’s extremely easy to find and it’s a good place to take cover during the surprise shower London is famous for.

This time around, there’s a special segment done on LOVE. Yeah, the gallery explored the topics and love is the theme. A video presentation conducted on the portrayal of love in the drawings and notably a project by Yoko Ono called Secret Piece III, 2007. It’s actually a collaboration of the masses where visitors wrote on a stick-on note and paste on the canvass before being shipped to America for her to complete the piece. She actually asked for photos to be stuck together too but few follow the instruction. So, imagine looking at a giant drop-me-a-message notice board filled with love messages or just imagine reading the vandalized carvings on certain trees in the public park you get what it is all about.

I dedicate this pic I took to liangmoi since his idol lost in his Olympic single bid; apparently someone supported their idol till National Gallery

And art appreciation is being done in its best here as I saw. On the day of my visit there was a workshop for children and also one together with their parents. 2 falicitators took turn to talk to the children and asked them questions on one of the paintings. The painting referred is one with kids as well (you gotta engage the audience with similarities right?), music box, food, a bird in the cage and also a cat. You will be surprised to see how kids “interpret” the paintings and it’s surely an eye-opener to what kids pay attention to. The whole session is open and the kids were sitting in front of the painting and their answers induced laughter and amusement from the public and not to mention some awed feeling by the children’s innocence and creativity. The facilitators also treat the kids as adult in the way they ask questions such as “What do you think the cat wants?” instead of the superficially-cheerful-but-mindlessly-dumbing tone and cutesy facial expression that you always watch in the kids programme. I know children like things fun and active but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be serious right?

never-fail-to-make-a-statement note besides a photo and note expressing the love for the children

I wish our museums or galleries in Malaysia do the same thing to encourage more art appreciation. Being the typical Malaysian, I already had countless excuses or reason why it can’t be done. First of all, most of the administrators in government bodies/department in charge of museums and galleries are not artistic or at least “know” about art. Most (at the risk of generalizing or stereotyping but I’m referring to majority) of them are just graduates from unrelated course who can’t find job in the market place. How to educate the public on art if the educators themselves know nothing about it??? And also if the session is ever being conducted, it will be one way session with the facilitators become “lecturers” and no feedback from the audience. Haven’t we see enough of this?

Passing the day slowly with no specific plan in mind, how luxuriously stressless is that??? I just need to reach Stansted airport by midnight where I sleep for the night before catching a flight to Montpellier.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Euphoria Burst?

OK.... I think whatever hype about hope etc after the previous election is not going to realize. It hit me just now with a bang.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big Ben, Tube, Coffee, Free WiFi and Olympic

Well, the title pretty much sums up what I am doing here. Yeah... WiFi not only to blog but to settle some unsettled work as well, OK that's the frustrating part. More over, my official business/work task which starts after my fat lan sai trip requires tonnes of preparation and I am expecting this will be a partial holiday for me, means work and travel gosh!!!! OK, I should learn to be grateful and yes, I learn to accept that.
Took the efficient Tube from Heathrow to Central London to leave my luggage at the drop off place so I won't carry my fancy work/formal attire along my fat lan sai trip. Now sipping overpriced coffee at a place called Coffee Republic (deliberately avoiding Starbucks but still paying for the hefty coffee and free WiFi). Enjoying the view of people walking to work or jogging (it's 8am now Aug 14) while charging my phone, borrowed iPod (thanks liangmoi) and watching the Olympic swimming event on TV.
Will revisit some London landmark later or just walk around enjoying the summer sun. Will take late night train to Stansted airport, stay overnight to catch a flight to France tmr morning 850am. Yeah... call me a cheapo hahhaha!!!!
Take k everyone!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fat Lan Sai.... Here I Come

Fat Lan Sai..... here I Come!!! But before that, I will say Hi to Big Ben!!!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beijing 8.08 08.08.08 七月初八

Amended : The title should be seventh lunar month instead of eighth.

Orginal :
The date itself is the perfect blend of superstitous element which sounds good to the Chinese tongue included.

The opening well is grand though I think YiMou overdo in the puppet and some solo dance segment. The opening 2008 pax drum sequence was stunning. The brush-writing-dancer segment was kinda haunting yet captivating and endless claps should go to Mr. Li Ning who "fly" around the stadium with wire hanging around his waist to do the sky-walking routine to light the torch!!!

Well, my mom said a tad boring with serious stuff on Chinese culture and civilization. But I am glad it was done without the cliche-overdone elements such as tanglung/lanter, dragon dance and yes....surprisingly panda!!!!!!!!!!! And also..... where're the 5 fuwa??? Maybe closing I guess...

The ASTRO stopped the live after Jackie Chan, Karen Mok, Sun Nan and Han Hong sang a number, much to my dismay!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, not that I like to hear Jackie's singing......

Oh, Malaysia's squad uniform is BORING and the color is SO DULL!!!!!!!! Well, not that the China's contigent is anywhere better though you can't deny that their yellowish-orange and red were sharp among the other contingent's color.

The medal chase began!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Untitled - maliq & d'essentials

ketika, kurasakan sudah
ada ruang di hatiku yang kau sentuh
oh, dan ketika kusadari sudah
tak selalu indah cinta yang ada
mungkin memang, 'ku yang harus mengerti
bila 'ku bukan yang ingin kau miliki
salahkah 'ku bila, kaulah yang ada di hatiku?
adakah 'ku singgah di hatimu?
mungkinkah kau rindukan adaku?
adakah 'ku sedikit di hatimu?
bilakah 'ku mengganggu harimu?
mungkin kau tak inginkan adaku
akankah 'ku sedikit di hatimu?
bila memang 'ku yang harus mengerti
mengapa cintamu tak dapat 'kumiliki?
salah 'ku bila, kaulah yang ada di hatiku?
kau yang ada di hatiku
bila cinta kita tak 'kan tercipta
'ku hanya sekedar ingin 'tuk mengerti
adakah diriku, oh singgah dihatimu
dan bilakah kau tau, kaulah yang ada dihatiku
kau yang ada di hatiku
adakah 'ku dihatimu?
syg, adakah?