Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kuala Selangor

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the town of Kuala Selangor over the weekend. A small fishing village located at the mouth of a river, it is a modest town mostly famous for its population of fireflies. Just slightly over an hour from KL city, the town sees its share of tourists in the night.

However we were there for a different reason. My friend and I were there to carry out a charity programme and since we were in the area we did a bit of shopping and eating naturally.

My friend, Vish bought her kids with her so it was a very boistrous affair. We stopped at a fish market which both amused and grossed out the kids. City kids in wet markets are noisy affairs indeed. I wisely left the kids to their mom and busied myself with my camera

You can find almost everything short of a dugong here. Vish was excited to be here and I was starting to succumb to domestic instint by wishing I had a fridge so that I could "tapau" some squid or a snapper or two.

Vish bought enough fish to last her a month and I practised my people skills in getting people to not knock me down when I take their pictures.

The fishmongers were very friendly and this poor boy got so teased when I took interest in his catch. He may only look 12, but wielding his cleaver he expertly quartered the large sting ray within minutes.

After buying fish, we ate fish. The restaurant we patronised was right on the river bank and this much is true: when it comes to tucking into seafood one must forgo time, polite company and normal table manners and whack with all ten fingers. What would you expect when a carpenter's hammer comes with the crabs?

On the way back we stoped for rambutans and (oddly) pillows. Apparently the town also has a healthy cotton industry and along the highway, we often came across stalls with stacks upon stacks of pillows. And these are the kind of pillows grandmothers swear by, not the mass produced half-filled synthetic pillows you get at the malls.
But sorry la, no pictures of me and my blue bolster. It would be too embarassing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I am alive but barely

Oh to be a Chambering Student is equal to being plankton i.e. at the bottom of the food chain. The distinguished lawyers don't regard you and the judges treat you with disdain. And it is interesting also to see how like attracts like. The Oxbridge trained lawyers, with the infernal celup-English slang will congregate together, the posers, the students, the dedicated, the wise.. and I have found to my utter dismay, that there is no small talk outside the law.

Its always : judges, amendments, cases, statutes...


In any case, I had the chance to visit the Palace of Justice at Putrajaya yesterday. Oh my what a pain it was to get there as it is soooo far away from the civilization that is KL but what a grand building. It houses the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court - the highest courts of the land.

Fine, the name is ostentatious but the building and the regalness it inspires is quite something. Indeed it is a palace. I was suddenly proud to be apart of something so important and big and seeped in history. Of course attending to the High Courts in KL today completely cured me of all that.

But it is quite something to sit and learn but its the being ignored and made to be humble bit that I have yet to get used to. Growing thick skin is taking longer than anticipated.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Chinese New Year

This year, somehow there isn't much New Year spirit going on. Its just feels like another approaching public holiday.

At my old work place, my colleagues and I would be hanging lanterns and stringing plastic plum blossoms all over our department.

This year - zilch.

But it is a pervading lack of enthusiasm all over the city. The stores don't try to our do each other by blaring their different Chinese New Year music at maximum volume, no mandarin orange vendors spilling their wares onto the street, no bright red decorations draping the malls and homes.. in all it is very subdued.

I have tried to inject the spirit by buying two large plastic pineapples, now hanging at my victim's room to his absolute chagrin but he dare not remove them on penalty of my throwing a fit.

How odd. If anything I think the world needs more cheering up. In any case I am having my first lo sang ( I hope) this weekend. Lo sang is a Chinese tradition (Cantonese I think) which involves as many people as possible stirring a big dish of condiments together as a gesture of goodwill and prosperity. Then in true Chinese tradition, we eat it.

I want one

I have a thing for dogs. Nothing makes as happy as a good dog. I don't even have to touch it, I just need to see it and I am quite over the moon. It's my anti-depressant.

But they never take any notice of me. I am spurned like a carrot flavoured dog biscuit.

I like this image as it sums up just how I feel right now. Sigh.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I have a hard time accepting reality.

Things that ARE sometimes feel like a million miles away from what things are supposed to be.

A sense of helplessness and hopelessness over things I cannot change and the inability to accept that makes my journey a continous struggle. Like everyone else I can't change who my parents are, how I look like, who I fall in love with, the weather tomorrow.. even if I wish the stars down from the sky.

I just had a lesson just today. I have been very judgemental over certain individuals in the past about the choices they made and the lives they lead which initially appeared to me as deplorable. I was angry at them, in fact I was unable to see the other side of the coin, until I am suddenly faced with the same circumstance and understanding creeps in, and the same choices become available.
What do I do?

To take the same choices would knock me off my moral highground but the alternative is to sacrifice my long term happiness for status quo.

Why are things never the way there are supposed to be?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Changing Partners or How we bring food into everthing

Me: Monogamy?

Some guy: Well you can't really eat the same wantan mee everyday.

Me: Wouldn't the solution just be to find a wantan mee seller who can also whip up a pork chop or fried rice every now and again instead of visiting different stalls?

Some guy: Looks like you want an economy rice seller.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I thought the title would have been obvious

Oh joy! Today I finally managed to watch the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I dare say that it is a wonderful movie and I am so glad that I finally caught it.

A funny thing happened in the midst of the movie.

Sitting just a few seats next to me were a young couple with their son. I gathered the little boy enjoyed the movie immensely by the way he could not stop chatting.

But what took the cake was right at the scene where the children was to meet Aslan for the first time. As Peter raised his sword and asked to see Aslan, as the crimson tent slowly parted and a soft paw stepped out, before the full magnificence of Aslan can be shown, the little boy's mother yelped in anticipation, "Oh, look, its the TIGER!"

It was only the darkness that shrouded my astonished glare.