Friday, December 31, 2004

The Year 2004

Today, the year 2004 is going to leave us, and we will be welcoming 2005 tomorrow, with the hope that it will bring us a new beginning, a new start. Lot of things have happened in the year 2004, both happy and sad, grief and joy. I list some of the things that you may or may not remember that happened in 2004...

I started blogging this year in the month of June. I have been following Jeff Ooi's blog ever since he started it a couple of years ago. Then earlier this year, I discovered Project Petaling Street, and I was so surprised and excited that there are so many Malaysians keeping a blog. So I decided to give a try. After some investigations and a few clicks later, I got my free Blogger account.

According to Merriam-Webster, Blog (short for weblog - a combination of 'web' and 'log') is a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. The US dictionary publisher has also chosen 'Blog' to be the Number 1 Word of the Year 2004.

We learnt about Tsunami the hard way. As I was typing this, the death tolls of the Indian Ocean Tsunami is still climbing, with new bodies being found. According to Wikipedia, Tsunami, from Japanese meaning 'harbour wave', is one or a series of deep water ocean waves that can occur after a large earthquake (having a vertical component of movement), seaquake, volcanic activity, landslide, slumps, or meteorite impacts in or near the sea. The Indian Ocean Tsunami was triggered when a massive earthquake at the moment magnitude of 9.0 struck the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. A series of tsunamis, with speed up to 800km/h, ravaged coastal regions all over Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Maldives, Somalia, Tanzania, Seychelles, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa, and Madagascar.

So what is more destructive and can caused more damage than a tsunami? A MEGA-Tsunami!! It is a very rare tsunami of more than 100 meters high, and normally caused by a very large landslide into a vast body of water, such as an ocean.

GMail is a free web-based email service provided by Google. It was announced on 31st March 2004, and launched 1st April and it is still in Beta testing. One of the main features of GMail is it's 1 Gigabyte of free storage space. I got my GMail account from Zhi Xin of Odds and Ends. And I am using it for the emails for my blog. I have since sent out invitations to friends and family, as well as my reader out there. And I still have 10 invitations. For those who are interested, drop me an email!

You can do it in a Kancil
On August 2004, Malaysian found out that you can actually have sex in the back seat of a Kancil, a small and cram car. A 20-year old woman was having her 'Lambada' lesson with her lover, when two 'intruders' tapped on the window of the vigorously shaking car. The buck-naked woman, immediately, jumped from the backseat into the driver's seat, and sped off - without realising that the intruders' motorcycle was parked in front of her car. So she rammed into it, and dragged it for several miles.

The intruders turned out to be 2 policemen who were on their rounds. And they found their bike 6 km away.

The Minister and his Space-Age Carbon
"MRR2 is falling down...falling down....falling down...."
On August 2004, the 2-year old Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kuala Lumpur was closed when structural problems were detected on the 1.7km flyover between the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) interchange and the Taman Bukit Maluri interchange. Consultants from the Monash University and another from Germany studied the bridge and they recommended further studies and immediate repairs. Not satisfied, the Works Minister engaged a third independent consultant to find out what's wrong. It turned out to be caused by design deficiencies, which the minister had been denying. The public cried fowl, because it's still a new bridge of 2 years. The Anti Corruption Agency made their investigation, and I am still waiting for the outcome. At one point, the minister said they will used "space-age carbon fibre" to repair the bridge, although I very much doubt he know what it is. 3 months later the flyover was re-open, and no mentioned of the "space-age carbon fibre".

"I was mis-quoted."
...was the most favourite statements made by various ministers and government officials in 2004.

Superman died on 10 October 2004, after suffering a cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. Christopher Reeve was 52. n May 1995, he broke his neck during an equestrian competition when he was thrown from his horse. He was left almost completely paralysed and bound to a wheelchair. With help of friends and loved ones, he fought back and emerged from his tragedy and became a passionate advocate of spinal cord research, especially on behalf of fellow sufferers of spinal cord injuries. He also returned to acting and won himself a Screen Actors Guild Award. He played Superman in all 4 movies of Superman. A Superman in films, a Superman in real life.

David vs Goliath
It began when a commentator, nickname 'Anwar' made a remark in a 'somewhat unknown blogger' Jeff Ooi's Screenshot weblog, equated Islam Hadhari with faeces and urine. Jeff responded by immediately cautioning 'Anwar' and banned him from the commenting system. However, one day later, Berita Harian vilified Screenshots on frontpage and blamed the blogger, instead of the commentator, for allowing such statement to be published. Soon, various politicians and a news agency based in Jalan Riong were beginning to 'bash the blogger'. Malaysian bloggers soon rallied behind Jeff, giving him support. Mimos was directed to investigate the matter by the Energy, Water and Communications Minister, who was clearly not happy with how certain medias were playing up the issue. The medias then slowly got off Jeff's back and concentrated on 'Anwar' instead. 'Anwar' was later identified and .... well, nothing. I am still waiting for the actions there are going to take on 'Anwar'.

The real Anwar
Anwar Ibrahim was freed on 2 September 2004, when the Federal Court overturned Anwar's sodomy conviction in the year 2000. His adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja, who had been convicted of the same offence, was also freed. The talk on the street was that there was a deal between Anwar and the PM, which both of them denied.

Best Actress
And the Oscar for the Best Actress Award goes to........Datuk Sharifah Aini!!
On the night of 14 October 2004, Sharifah Aini was driving her Mercedes Benz in Bandar Utama, near TV3 building, when two men on a motorcycle signalled her to stop. When she pulled over and wound down her window, the two men approached her, grabbed her and pulled her hair. She was then dragged out of her car and beaten up. The men even injected her with some liquid twice, on her neck and her arm. They then pushed her into the drain. A passer-by spotted her crying in the drain and went to her aid. She was then sent to the hospital. "I thought I was going to die!" she said. The news on TV interviewed her in the hospital and she was still in shocked, with bruises on her arms. The police were called in to investigate. However, their investigation revealed otherwise. There was no evidence of the two guys on motorcycle. The only thing visible from the image of the TV3 building surveillance CCTV, which was surprisingly in working condition, was her Mercedes Benz. Tests on her blood samples also turned out negative for any foreign substance, and the doctors could not find any wound/holes caused by the syringe. The police kept saying they are finalising their investigation report, and I am still waiting for the result.

Malaysian Idol
Jaclyn Victor was announced the first Malaysian Idol when the show ended on October 2004 after 6 months of competition. Jac, 25 of Kepong, KL received a whopping 76% of the total vote of nearly 1 million SMS, beating Faradina Mohd Nadzir. She won a BMG recording contract and a chance to perform at World Idol. When 8tv's Chief Operating Officer, Ahmad Izham Omar, was saying ‘For all we know, the first Malaysian Idol could be from Kepong!’ while launching Malaysian Idol show, he had no idea he had hit the jackpot.

Papimami's readers
Last but not least, blogging has given me the opportunities to know some of the wonderful people out there who read my blog. Some of them have a blog of their own (which I thoroughly enjoy), some don't (or maybe thinking of starting one?), while some others prefer to be a silent reader. Whoever you are, I really appreciated your support.

Sometime, at the end of the day, Mami will come to me..

Mami : Eh? Got people comment already lar.

Papi : Is it?

Mami : Ya, 2 comments, very funny one.

Papi : OK, I will reply to them later...

Mami : So what u want to say ah? Can't wait..

She is more excited than me.. :)

Well, if you asked me what is the best thing you get from writing a blog, the greatest feeling is when people are coming and reading your blog. It feels good. A sense of achievement.

I am taking this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for all my readers out there. For those who have commented and emailed us, I appreciate your comments and ideas. Please continue to do so, and I will continue to keep this blog alive for as long as I could.

Thank you again and have a very Happy New Year!!

Good Bye 2004, Hello 2005!

From Papi, Mami and Yiyi.

Tsunami Tragedy - The Aftermath 3

The death toll has surpassed the 100,000 mark. I was watching the news this morning when the newscaster announced that more than 125,000 bodies have been found. And they expected it to climb up some more as rescue teams are going into the remote areas.

This has got to be the deadliest tsunami in recorded history. Lord Richard Attenborough lost his granddaughter in this disaster in Tsunami. His daughter and her mother-in-law are still missing. The Thai King also lost his 21-year old grandson in Phuket. Jet Li survived the killer waves in Maldives but sustained minor injuries while trying to grab his daughter when the hotel started to flood.

But I don't understand this. The Malaysian public are swarming movie video outlet to buy disaster movies. Business was so good that almost all the disaster movie titles have been sold out and they have to re-stock. Titles like The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, Dante’s Peak, The Perfect Storm and Earthquake are selling like hot cakes. Sometime, I thnk Malaysian is getting too comfortable; no major earthquake, no typhoon, no hurricane (which I am grateful for), that we have to rely on movies to shock us.

Please check out my updated entry on how you could contribute. No cheque? No problem. Now you can donate through SMS. Check it out!

Also check out the excellent Tsunami Disaster in Penang blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami Tragedy - The world is coming together

The death toll now has soared to about 77,000! And it is predicted that it would surpass 100,000. Let's hope the prediction is wrong.

I m getting a lot of hits for my entries about the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Most people are looking for information, and the Internet seems to be the best place to find it. With updated reports and statistics, the Internet has provide one of the most accurate news media and speedy dissemination of information.

The world is now stand united and working together in the relief effort for thos who are affected by the killer tsunami. Relief funds are pouring in, ships and planes carrying medical supplies and personnel are moving in to these coastal regions, while rescue personnel are sifting through the debris.

Check out the excellent SEA-EAT blog for various information related to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, including news and information about resources, aid, donations, and volunteer efforts.

In the mean time, if you wish to contribute, please check out the UPDATED entry here, with a new fund by The Star/Maybank, Cuepacs and SMS your donations thru Celcom and Digi.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami Tragedy - The Aftermath 2

The death tolls now stand at more than 56,000. Yesterday's figure has doubled and still rising. Indonesia has updated its death figure to more than 27,000! A more than five-fold increase. While Sri Lanka death tolls now was reported at 21,700. Thousands are still missing and rescuers are still looking for bodies in remote areas.

We learnt that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did tracked the earthquake within 15-20 minutes and issued a warning of a tsunami through their information buletin. Information was also emailed to Indonesian officials but they didn't know what happened to the information. So if they were to contact Malaysian authorities, do you think the tragedies in Penang, Kedah and Perak can be avoided? I doubt it. Oliviasy has the answer:
"my bf's colleague felt tremors in his condo block and rushed out like avone else. he then tried to call our meteorological dept to find out wat is happening, only to get the answer no one's working!!!"
Maybe they think natural disaster don't strike on a Sunday. Aren't they suppose to have a 24-hours forecast office/operation centre? Well, at least that's what I understand from their website.

Various countries, aid organisations and NGOs are coming together to provide aids of funding, supplies, and personnel to the countries affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The United States has pledged a total of USD35 Mil, Japan USD30 Mil, Australia USD27 Mil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia USD10 Mil, Germaby USD2.7 Mil, Canada USD3.2 Mil and many more. Li Ka-Shing, the Hong Kong telephone tycoon is pledging USD3 Mil. Spain sent a plane with medical kit and personnel and other aid material. Australia sent 4 C-130 Hercules with medical supplies, clean water and health teams. Italy, France, Pakistan, Argentina, Russia, China, India, and many more countries, also sent medicine and rescue help.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are also redirecting some of their aid budgets towards the aid relief of this disaster. International Aid organisation like Red Cross, CARE, Oxfam, Christian Aid of London, Unicef are all raising funds and sending relief effort.

This going to be one of the biggest aid operation to help the Asian countries affected by this disaster. No black or white, no political bounderies or ideologies, no developed or developing countries, no poor or rich, no religion borders. Just people helping people in need. Countries helping countries in need.

Please check out the updated info on how you could contribute by clickinghere.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

An Early Warning?

So far, 60 Malaysian have lost their lives. According to The Star, 43 in Penang, 11 in Kedah, 3 in Perak, 1 in Selangor and 2 in Thailand. Many more are missing, and hundreds were injured or have lost their homes.

Could this be avoided? Or at least the number of deaths minimise?

On Sunday, at about 8:58:50 am Malaysian Time (00:58:50 UTC), an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 9.0 struck the Indian Ocean, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Tremors were felt by residents in high rise buildings along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Then 3-4 hours later, the deadly tsunami struck Malaysian coast. (According to Wiki, the tsunami struck Malaysia at 1pm).

Although we could not predict earthquake, we certainly will know when a massive earthquake with a moment magnitude of 9.0 had struck. So, how long does our Meteorological Service Department figured out that there was a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean? Did they also figure out that when a massive earthquake struck the ocean, the possibility of a tsunami is very high?

I picked this up from Wikipedia:

While there remains the potential for sudden devestation from a tsunami, warning systems can be effective. For example if there were a very large subduction zone earthquake (magnitude 9.0) off the west coast of the United States, people in Japan, for example, would have up to 18 hours (and likely warnings from warning systems in Hawaii and elsewhere) before any tsunami arrived, giving them some time to evacuate areas likely to be affected.

Although we don't have 18 hours, but we have at least 3 hours before the tsunami arrived at our shores. Warnings can be transmitted to various organisations and armed forces, such as beach-side hotels and chalets, travel agencies, police, bomba, RELA, persatuan nelayan etc. I was watching some local news before noon, and all I saw in the news were a VIP felt a tremor while having his teh-tarik.

Update 1:
This letter from a retired Capt Abdul Rahmat Omar to The Star got my attention.

Update 2:
I was reading Buaya69 entry on the Tsunami when I found out that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is part of US Department of Commerce, did issued a warning within 15 minutes of the earthquake. The NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii issued the information buletin at 8.15 pm EST Saturday, but didn't know who to pass the information to. (!!)
"We don't have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration director Charles McCreery said.

But I think the main reason can be found on their website ("NOAA REACTS QUICKLY TO INDONESIAN TSUNAMI"):
...Because the earthquake, reported to be one of the strongest in the world in the past 40 years, occurred in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific, there was no threat of a tsunami to the West Coast of North America.

I am not sure about you, but I could get the telephone number and fax number of our Malaysian Meteorological Service headquarter in Jalan Sultan, Petaling Jaya, in less than 2 minutes of Googling. And I got Indonesian Meteorological Department phone number in 3 minutes, and Deputy Director of the Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology phone number in 5 minutes.

Tsunami Tragedy - The Aftermath UPDATED

As of yesterday, the death toll stood at more than 23,000. Sri Langka, India and Indonesia are the worst affected by this waves of destruction. From Sri Langka alone, more than 11,000 had been killed.

Yesterday, immediately after returning from work, I stayed glued to the TV set, scanning for news. Images of kids hanging on to a hut in Sri Langka, and then being washed away by the strong current really broke my heart. Back home, an amateur film that was taken while a family was picnicking in Penang were shown over and over again. In the film, we could see the waves hit the shores in seconds! Stories of death of family members and close friends were now all over the media.

By now, a few organisations have set up emergency funds to help affected families to lessen their burden. Malaysian government has also announced immediate aid of RM1000 for the families of those who died, while RM500 for families who have to evacuate their home, and RM200 for those who were injured.

NST and Berita Harian (with TV3 and 8TV) has set up a Malaysian Tsunami Disaster Fund, with various businessmen pledging donations publicly. Contributions can be sent to the New Straits Times or Berita Harian at:

Balai Berita,
31, Jalan Riong,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

and cheques should be made out to New Straits Times Press Berhad. On the reverse side of the cheque, please write NST-BH Malaysian Tsunami Disaster Fund.

The Star, with association with
Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Mercy Malaysia has launched The Star Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund. Cheques can be sent to their headquarters at:
Menara Star,
15 Jalan 16/11,
Section 16,
46350 Petaling Jaya,

or to their Penang office at:
The Star
Northern Hub
202 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.

If you want to donate to MRCS, please write your cheque to Malaysian Red Crescent Society and mark “Tidal Waves Victims” at the back of the cheque. If you want to donate to Mercy Malaysia, please make your cheque to Mercy Humanitarian Fund with “South-East Asia Earthquake Appeal” written on the back of the cheque. The Star will hand over the cheques to the respective organisations at the end of the appeal campaign.

A fellow blogger, Mack Zulkifli (Brand New Malaysia) has also started a donation campaign. You can contact him at

A reader has also sent me this thru the commenting system. For our Indonesian friends, hop over to
PUNDI AMAL SCTV on infomation of how you could contribute.

For international efforts, Acorn has a list of links various relief funds and international NGOs. Please check it out.

From The Star, The Sri Lankan High Commission sets up two collection centres at the Brickfields Buddhist Temple and Sentul's Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple. They appealed for tents, blankets, linen and pre-cooked food items, as well as medicine like Panadol, antibiotics, dressing, suture material, disposable syringes, intravenous infusions (saline and dextrose), portable generators and any other things needed by the victims. For more information, call the
Brickfields Temple at 03-2274 1141,
the Ti-Ratana Community Centre at 03-2287 3800 or
the Sri Lankan High Commission at 03-4256 8987 or 03-4257 1394.

If you are in Subang Jaya or USJ, the SJ/USJ community has set up the SJ/USJ Tsunami Disaster Fund. Check it out.

The Star has teamed up with Maybank with another relief fund, The Star/Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund. All contributions will go to the Tabung Bantuan Bencana Negara. Those who wished to contribute (by cash or cheque)to the fund can walk in to any of the Maybank branches nationwide, or through third party transfer via Maybank ATM machines. The account number for The Star/Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund is No. 114013169092.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (CUEPACS) has also set up a relief fund. For more info, contact them at:
No. 34, Jalan Gajah
off Jalan Yew, Pudu,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone: +603 92856110, 92858104
Fax: +603 9285 9457

And now you can SMS your donation through Celcom or Digi. I saw the news yesterday, but I can't seem to find the info on this. Each SMS will be charged RM4.

OK, I got the donation thru SMS for the Celcom or Digi subscribers only. Type AIDBENCANA to 36677. Each SMS will be charged RM4. I think this is organised by NTV7, you can get the info on their website. I called Celcom Careline and they gave me another SMS number and a telephone number. I followed up with that telephone number and the guy I was talking to was absolutely clueless!

AMP Radio (MixFM, etc) is also collecting donations for the National Tsunami Disaster Fund thru SMS. Simply type AMP and send it to 32328. Each SMS costs RM1. For more info check out their websites.

Monday, December 27, 2004

What to do during an earthquake?

Well, if you asked this question a few days ago, you are more likeky to get "Aiya! Don't worry lar, Malaysia where got earthquake one!" or "Ha ha ha, Earthquake in Malaysia??! Ha ha ha..".

Peter Tan of The Digital Awakening has a list of 'what to do' during an earthquake. But I think it is also applicable in any emergency situations. I re-published his list below as a guide for all.
  1. Remain calm - do not panic.
  2. Open the door to secure an exit route.
  3. Turn off all sources of fire.
  4. Do not evacuate until the earthquake is over.
  5. Seek shelter under a sturdy desk away from glass and windows. Cover head and face to protect from falling debris and broken glass.
  6. Keep away from tall cabinets that could topple over and fittings that may fall.
  7. Get out immediately after the earthquake stops, taking with you keys, wallets and emergency supplies only.
  8. Put on your shoes before going out.
  9. Close the door behind you when evacuating, watching out for people who may need your help in getting out.
  10. Do not use the elevator.
  11. When outside, move away from buildings, trees, power lines and lamp posts.
  12. Do not make unnecessary telephone calls. Making phone calls to the emergency services to get information may hamper their rescue efforts.

Tsunami Tragedy

This morning, at 7.30am...

Phone : ring ring......ring ring.....ring ring.....

Papi : Ermmm......*sleepy* ....Halo?

Dad : Hello? Papi?

Papi : Ya? *blur*

Dad : Indonesia had a great earthquake lar.

Papi : Ya, I know..

Dad : Do you know ML handphone ah? (ML's my bro girlfriend)

Papi : No, why?

Dad : I want to see whether they are ok or not. The earthquake, a lot of people died, and created great big waves too. Penang, Thailand ....

Papi : Ya, but they are in Bali. Bali is south of Singapore.

Dad : it?

Papi : Ya, don't worry, I think they are fine there. I will try to get her number and try to contact them, ok?

Dad : OK, just let me know when you contacted them. But don't let your mom know yet.

Papi : OK.

My brother and his gf are currently having a holiday in Bali. Typical of my brother, he would never call back to tell us that he' ok, leaving my parents worried and all. So how am I going to contact his girlfriend? He didn't bring his mobile phone along, 'coz he doesn't have international roaming. I think I could get her number from his mobile phone. I think they are too far south to be affected by the tsunami, but nevertheless, I will still try to find out whether they are ok.

Looking for information on the quake yesterday, I found out that the preliminary magnitude was set at 9.0, making it one of the world's strongest quake ever recorded. The highest and most powerful ever recorded was at 9.5 in Chile in 1960.

But the killer wasn't the quake, but rather the Tsunami. It is estimated that the big waves has claimed more than 11,000 lives (!!) in the region, and the number is still climbing. India, Sri Langka, Maldives, East Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sumatra and many more countries in the region were affected.

In Malaysia, according to The Star, at least 53 Malaysians were killed, and 34 reported missing. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Our prayers are with you.

My bro has called home to say he's fine. But being a blur sotong that he is, I think I still wanted to call him to warn him about the tsunami and aftershocks.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas!!!

My company had declared a half day off, but I have some work to finish off, so I guess I will stay on a little longer. Today, we got our Christmas presents from the company. Guess what is it??
An early paycheck!! ha ha ha...

For as long as I can remember, salary was never early. It was either on time, which is the first day of the month, or late, sometime 1-2 days, sometime 1-2 months!!

Mami : So where should we bank in these cheques?

Papi : Emm...? I think we bank it in Bank 1. (Bank 1 is normally for our daily expenses)

Mami : But how about our credit cards, loan and bills?

Papi : Oh..ya! Then we bank in your cheque in Bank 2 and mine in Bank 1. (Bank 2 handles our loan, bills and credit cards)

Mami : But I think not enough lar.

Papi : Like that ah? Then mine in Bank 2, yours in Bank 1 lor.

Colleague : Aiya! Let Mami enjoy her cheque first lar. So fast you all discussed how to use it.

Papi : ha ha ha ... *sob sob - There goes my cheque!*

Papi, Mami and Yiyi would like to wish everyone out there, wherever you are, a very happy and merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


It was me, actually. It happened when I was a small kid, although I have no memory at all of what happened that night. So this is actually based on what my parents told me.

That night, my parents attended a wedding dinner with my late grandfather. It was the wedding of a relative. Everyone was there, my two uncles and their families, my aunt and her family, and all other relatives and friends. It was quite a grand dinner, I was told.

Then out of a sudden, I started crying, got iritated easily and was throwing tantrum (and a major one too). All efforts to calm me down failed. Funny faces, cooing, making weird sounds, temporary toys, milk, all failed to quiet me down. My grandfather was embarrassed. He got angry and scolded my parents.

"How do you look after your child?!! Like that also cannot quiet him down!!"

My poor parents then decided to take me out of the restaurant and tried to quiet me down outside, but still, with no success. They noticed that there was a supermarket near the restaurant. So they figured that maybe they could get me something. I was still crying when they got into the supermarket.

Once in the supermarket, they went straight to the toys section. And according to them, straight away, I pointed to a big police truck (with siren and lights). And the moment they handed me the police truck, I stopped crying. When they took it away, I would start crying. So, leaving them with no choice, they had to buy the toy truck for me.

But when they saw the price tag of that toy truck, they got a shock. It was about RM20. Back then, when 50 cents can get you a decent meal, and with my parents total income of about RM400, RM20 was a lot of money. First, they tried to persuade me to get a different, and cheaper toys. No. Then they tried to trick me by telling me that they will come back later to buy it. Failed. No choice, they had to buy it. And RM20 was gone.

Back to the restaurant, I was happy with my truck. My grandfather was happy, everyone was happy, but my parents was not-so-happy. But then, a good news came out of nowhere. Apparently, my parents has hit the 4D!! It was first prize, and I think they won about RM5000!!

So every now and then, this story will pop up in our chats. And still they couldn't figure out why I behave so strangely that particular night. And according to them, I have always been a good boy and that was the only occurence that I threw my tantrum. It was as if I knew they have hit the 4D and insisted of having the police toy truck. So, some kind of paranormal, telephaty going on there? Pure coincidence? hmmm... I don't know.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Web Games

Phone : *ring ring*

Papi : Hello?

Mami : Hello, Papi.

Papi : Yes?

Mami : I want to tell you score now 269, 100.

Papi : errr....ok?


Phone : *ring ring*

Papi : Hello?

Mami : Hello?

Papi : Yes.

Mami : I want to telll you new score is 310, 800.

Papi : True or not? Don't bluff lar...

Mami : You want to see the screenshot? I can send over by email.

Papi : he he need lar...just give me 2 hours, I will have a higher score.

Mami : I give you 4 hours lar...he he he...


Mami : Just now 10.30am. Now 2.30am. So 4 hours already. So how?

Papi : Aiya, you don't come here eksyen eksyen lar, I sure will score higher one...

Mami : he hehe ...

Seems like Mami has been hit by the Bejeweled 2 bug! Since she has no work to do in the office, and with the holiday just around the corner, and no mood of working, the web game is keeping her busy. And everytime, she's got a high score, she will call me on the phone to tell me about it. ha ha ha...

So, if you are like Mami, no mood working, then try PopCap website. But if you got caught by your boss, don't blame Papi... he he he..

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas Gift

"Yiyi, do you want me to give you a hundred ringgit or do you want a present?"


Yiyi was giving her Aunty (Mami's sis) the blur and confused look. She was trying to understand what Aunty is trying to tell her. Aunty asked again, this time with hand gesture: an index finger signalling 1, meaning 100 ringgit and then two hands apart with palm open, as if holding a imaginary box, signalling a present. Again, Yiyi looked at her with a confused look, eyes not blinking.

I was sitting nearby with Mami. You see, exchanging Christmas gifts was really not something we do every year in our family. Firstly we are buddhist, and secondly, although we celebrated Christmas like any other races in Malaysia, but we don't exchange gifts.

Suddenly I realised that if Aunty were to give something to Yiyi, she is actually starting a new trend in the family! I would have to 'return the gift', not only by buying presents for two of her sons, I also have to be 'fair' to others as well. So that would be, 3 of Yiyi's cousins from Mami's Elder Brother, 2 cousins from Sis 2, and 3 cousins from Sis 3. And then there is the Younger Brother. And this will go on every year! Apart from the CNY angpow. Alamak!!

I made a quick glance towards Mami, and she looked back. I can see the same fear in her eyes and we seems to have the same thought. I bet Mami was thinking "Give us the 100 ringgit, then we can use the money to buy presents for your sons."

Ha ha ha actually we are not haji bakhil or kiam siap. We have been quite generous with gifts and angpows, but this month, we are on the tight side. We overspent last month, and this month too. And we hope that this month, the salary is on time. *pray*

But on the other hand, it will be great too. At least the kids will have a great time with the gifts this festive season.

*sigh*....Looks like Papi has to dig deeper into his wallet!

Haji Bakhil: A character in a P.Ramlee's movie who was so stingy with his money.
Kiam Siap : Hokkien meaning stingy.

Skinny Naughty Girl

Over the weekend, we brought Yiyi back to Mami's hometown, to see her Ah-Mar (Grandma - Mami's side). It has been 2 months since we last went back.

As always, she took some time to adjust to her new surroudings. She will sit quietly, in Mami's arms, observing everyone. When Ah-Mar wanted to carry her, she would turn around and looked away, and clutched Mami's cloth tightly.

Mami also brought her to see her Ah-Chor, her great grandma, a short walking distance from Ah-Mar's house.

Aunty 1 : Wah so pretty ah.

Mami : he he he..

Aunty 1 : But why so skinny one? small size lar.

Ah Chor : Yalor, why so small size one?

Mami : She doesn't eat much. Nowadays, even more difficult to feed her.

Yiyi has lost some weight due to her fever last week. She is also very picky about her food now. And she seldoms take her formula now. We have been giving her porridge, cereals, bread, baby biscuits, cheese, fish, chicken etc but still she is skinny. Furthermore, now it's more difficult to feed her, she just refuse to eat. Looks like we have to come up with some new recipes for her.

At Ah-Mar's house, when she started to get used to the new environment, and started to feel comfortable with all the 'strangers' around her, she started to become active. With her other older cousins running around, playing, she wanted to join them to play. She was so exited, dashed around, crawled, jumped, kicked, screamed, sang and climbed. When we tried to stop her from doing what she wants, she would start crying and screamed on top of her lungs. Ha ha ha, she already know how to control the adults by doing that. By the end of the day, both of us were so exhausted, and we were having body aches. My mom said Yiyi is being manja by her grandpa. Aiya, it's not easy to take care of an active child.

Now, where did I keep my Yoko Yoko?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Boring Story - Finale

Want to know what happened next? heh heh on..

Q: So you begin to have some feelings for her. What did you do?
- I know I had to do something. Because it could be the last time we get together. I was still considering whether to continue my study or start working. It could be the last time I see her.

Q: So you made your move?
- Yes, but actually it wasn't a plan, it just came naturally. Faith, I guess, ha ha ha.

Q; What happened?
- On the way home, on the bus, the same thing happened. We were again 'forced' to sit together. Mami was a bit uncomfortable. So she put on her headphone of her walkman to listen to some music. I was trying to chat with her, so I asked her what she was listening. It was a compilation album, "Now (That's what I called music)", she said. I said, "Can I borrow it?". She said, "Sure".

Q: And then?
- A few hours later, we reached the bus stop at Hilton PJ. Mami and a group of friends were getting off here to catch a bus back to her rented room at SS2. I wanted to so much to follow her and asked her out, but I was too shy and with a bus load of jokers, I decided to find another way, some other time.

Q: So you didn't get to ask her out or anything?
- No, not at that time. But then suddenly, I remembered. I still have her tape! Yahoo!! Later I found out that she actually wanted to ask the tape back, but decided not to. Kasi chance to Papi lar.... he he he...

Q: What did you do with the tape?
- As soon as I got home, I started calling my friends, asking for her telephone number. The reason, I wanted to return the tape to her. When I finally got her number, it took me almost 2-3 hours to finally called her. I was walking up and down the telephone, deciding what to say, how to say it, and mustering enough courage to call her. Malu mah...

Q: So you called her?
- Yes, I finally called her. And we 'clicked' instantly!! It was like we have known each other for a long long time. We felt comfortable talking to each other, and so many things to talk about. She was telling me lots of stories. And I miraculously spoke fluently in Mandarin. I still speak Mandarin with her. We ended up talking on the phone for 3 hours. She has the sweetest voice on the telephone.

Q: So what happened next?
- The next day, being the shy person that I am, I called up 2 buddies for a movie. I figured if I get a group to go, maybe Mami won't feel awkward and will join us. And she did. Again we had a great time. That night, we spoke on the phone for 4 hours!

Q: 4 hours! Wow!
- Yeah! And my ear was burning hot! Ha ha ha... Anyway, the next day, I was at it again. I called up 1 friend, and get Mami to join us. We went jalan-jalan, window shopping, makan makan. And that night, we spoke on the phone for 5 hours!!

Q: First, you get 2 buddies, then down to 1, then what?
- ha ha ha On the third day, I finally asked her out on a date, one-to-one. We went for a B horror movie, Metal Beast in the old Section 17 Sentosa cinema. A lousy show, but it was one of the most memorable moments in my life. And Mami's too.

Q: So that's when it all started?
- Yes, we started pak toh-ing that day.

Q: How about your friends? Were they surprised to see both of you together, after all that teasing?
- Yes, of course! One day I went to Mami's house and as always, I parked my car on the side of the road, in front of her house. The same friend who started all the teasing, happened to pass by her house, and noticed my car. Curious, and still couldn't believe his eyes, he decided to check it out. So he went to the back lane, Mami's room was at the back, ground floor. He called for Mami, and when he saw me came out from Mami's room, boy! was he surprised!! He just couldn't believe it, he just kept on laughing and laughing, but it's not like he saw something funny, it's like he saw something weird and scary. And this guy called everyone he knew to tell them about us. By the next day, the whole class knew about it. And they were happy for us.

Q: What happened next?
- I then decided to continue my study with the same college, where she was still studying. We also further our study to the UK, in the same uni. We helped each other with our study. We travel together. Then Came back to Malaysia, and started working. Even, now we are working in the same company, different department though.

Q: Wow! Both of you did everything together?!
- Yup, we are comfortable with each other's company. We still missed each other, if the other one was not around. She is more than my wife to me, she's my best friend, my soulmate. She's also my colleague. he he he

Q: When did you decide to tie the knot?
- We have been going steady for 7 years before we decide to get married. Things have been going well and smooth, so we decided to bring it to the next level. We chose a special date for our registration, which was also the day we started pahtoh-ing. And a year later, we have Yiyi.

Q: Interesting! Anyway, just curious, what happened to the tape?
- Ha ha ha .... I still have the tape with me, I never got to return the tape to her.

So there you go. That was our pak toh story. Writing it (or rather typing it) and reading it again, sure brings back a lot of memories. Sweet memories and sometime not-so-sweet memories. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I writing it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Boring Story Part 2

Here the continuation from Part 1 of the Boring Love Story...

Q: So how did Mami feel about all this?
- Mami was quite angry and embarassed. Later when I asked her, she said she actually hated me. She thought I was the one who started all this, creating all sort of stories about us. But I explained to her that it wasn't me. It was a prank by a wacky friend. It was meant to be a joke.

Q: So you know who was the prankster.
- Of course we do. Actually her is one of our closest friend. But we do not blame him on anything. It was just a silly joke played by some silly college students.

Q: How long did this go on?
- It went on for 2 years. However, we still went for outings in a group, eating out. But we still felt awkward being around each other.

Q: What happen next?
- After 2 years, most of us were graduating, including myself. However, Mami has to stay for another semester for some other subjects. So a group of us planned a trip to Pangkor Island to enjoy ourselves after the final exam. It was quite a big group, a 3 days 2 nights trip, Mami and I joined the trip.

Q: So this was when sparks flew and the fireworks started?
- ha ha ha Not yet actually. You see, the teasing continued even in the trip. In the bus, Mami was sitting with a friend, and I was sitting with another friend. When we stopped for a break, Mami's friend actually took my seat, leaving me only the seat next to Mami. So I went and sit with her, I tried to strike up a conversation with her. Nonetheless, both of us felt awkward.

Q: What happened during the trip?
- We rented a few motorcycles to tour the island. As you would have guessed, I was 'forced' to take Mami as my passenger. It was the first time she rode a motorcycle. It was also the first time she touched me. he hehe...

Q: So, that's when all this started?
- Be patient, not yet. You see, she was quite nervous, it was her first time riding a motorcycle. So she was holding tightly the rail at the back of the seat on the kapcai. Then I told her, to hold my shoulders instead, much more safer. She was a bit reluctant, but later she eased up a bit, and we had some fun. And then there was this story about the ants.

Q: Ants?
- ha ha...yup! The boys had a story about ants. There was this guy who came to the college by motorcycle. One night he had to fetch a female friend back home because it was late. One the way home, with the road bumpy and all, and the girl is a busty chick, she was leaning her body way back so that her tits would not touch his back. So we used to joke that he should have jam-brake the motorcycle, sending her body forward and pressed her tits against his back. And when she asked what had happened, he could say there were ants on the road, and he didn't want to killl them.

Q: So you did that to Mami?!
- No lar, I am a gentleman. Actually Mami knew the story too, and on the bike , she warned me "If you saw ants on the road, just press on and roll over them. Don't brake!".

Q: Did you and Mami enjoy the trip?
- Yes we did. The final exams were over. We were just having fun and a great time. And because of this, we actually let our guards down, loosened up and ease up a bit with each other. We talked, played games together, enjoyed the stars together. I bought her some souvenirs, she bought me an ice-cream. We both bought some t-shirts which we still keeps. And I beginning to have to have some feelings for her.

Next! Papi made his move.....

Phone Cards Part 4

This will be my last post on phone cards. Over the years, we have managed to collect quite a number of Malaysia phone cards. All with the help of friends and family. A cousin in the mobile phone business also helped us alot, especially getting those hard to get ones. Here are just a few of the Malaysia phone cards we have:

Keris Sempena

Periuk Kera - Pitcher plant

"How do you enjoy your food, Sir...Ma'am? Er... I guess BANYAK PEDAS". Check out the lips of the mat sallehs.

The pakcik ordered "Teh Tarik Tongkat Ali kasi satu!"

"Ayoyo! Roti ini selalu naik tinggi... Jangan nangis, saya pinjam ini pedang sikit jam la!"

Chinese New Year

Happy Deepavali - Kolam

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Boring Story Part 1

Due to popular demand (he he he), I present to you, our pak toh story. But because I am too lazy to type, and also I think it's boring, so I am presenting it in FAQ Q&A format. Yup, engineers love FAQs Q&A. So here goes....

Q: When and where did Papi meet Mami?
- We can't exactly remember when we met, but we were coursemate, enrolling into the same course, the same college, the same batch. I can't recalled seeing her on the first day, neither does she. It was August 1993. Later I asked Mami whether she attended the orientation week. She said "No lar, that one for stupid people only. My senior housemate told me no need to go, because they will play a fool with you. So I slept at home."

Q: What happen?
- Nothing. We were just friends and classmates. She had her own gang, and I 'lepak' with my boys.

Q: Then?
- Then out of a sudden, our friends started to tease us. You know, people started to make jokes of us. "Papi had a crush with Mami." or "Papi likes Mami." blah blah blah. And these 'stories' was spreading like wild fire!!

Q: How do Papi and Mami react to these?
- At first we didn't pay much attention to it. But slowly, it's getting worst and worst. Suddenly everybody seems to know about Papi and Mami. Students that I have never met before will come to me and say "Hey, so you're Papi. So how's Mami doing?".

Q: Are your friendships affected by this?
- Yes. We were embarassed and began to avoid each other. One day, Mami was walking down the stairs and I was walking up. The moment she saw me, she turned around and walk back up!! ha ha ha...

To be continued....

pak toh : Cantonese meaning dating.
lepak : Malay meaning hang out.

Phone Cards Part 3

Here's some more phone cards from other countries that we collected over the years.

The Muppets series - Mami's favourite.

Kermit the Frog

Miss Piggy

Fozzie Bear

Rizzo the Rat


Merry Christmas!


Boat Quay

"Gotta go play now"

Chinese Proverb : "The ox tail beats the moon". - It's impossible.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

14th December

"Do you know what day is today?"

Mami shot this question to me as I entered her office, looking sweet and smiling. In an instant, my brain went into super-hyper-threading, hyper-speed processing mode. It scanned through numerous important dates and events in my life, scanning rows after rows, tables after tables of my vast life database. Birthdays, first date, first kiss, first time holding her hand...



"Of course I know, my dear, it's our wedding anniversary!"


Yup, 2 years ago, today, I took Mami as my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, until death do us part, in a 'simple' Chinese ceremony.

Frankly, I didn't know it was our anniversary today. First, I didn't know today is the 14th of December. Secondly, many things have happened for the past few days, which pretty much occupying my mind right now. Yiyi fell sick over the weekend, with high fever of 39.5 degree Celsius, and lasted for 3 days. And then there was this work on our new lawn by our contractor. They were supposed to complete the work in 2 days, ended up finishing it in 3 days. And then there were work in my office. But I think among all these, the reason I didn't think much about it was because it's actually not an important date for both of us. Mami also agrees with me about this.

Today's date was actually the day we went through the chinese ceremony. The tea ceremony, the honk-your car-horn-like-crazy-before-reaching-the-bride-house ceremony, the picking-up-the-bride ceremony, the open-door (hoi mun - Cantonese) ceremony, the angpow giving ceremony and the grand Chinese dinner (one thing about the dinner was that both of us insisted no karaoke session :). So traditionally, we were married on this date. But lawfully speaking, registration, that is, was another day. Which both of us has purposely chose to be the same date we started 'phak toh' as well. So that date is much more special to us than today.


Happy 2nd Anniversary, Mami! (Traditionally speaking, that is)

Phone Cards Part 2

Here's some other phone cards from other countries that we collected over the years.


The Monkey God

The Monkey God and the Peach of Immortality.


A black figure hydriske, a sort of liquid container. (500 b.c)

Greek Gods and Goddesses

A painting by a Greek artist

My personal favourite

The back of the card, nice...


A design by Roland Garros (1996). Sometimes, French phone cards can fetch millions of dollars, like a collector's item, especially those designed by famous artists.

More to come...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Phone Cards

Whenever I am overseas, I always look out for old used phone cards for Mami. She collects used phone cards as a hobby. While I was in Jakarta, I managed to get a few for her.

Normally, we will select those cards that represent the country, rather than just the telco logo and company information. We look for something that shows the uniqueness of the country, their culture, their people, their tradition etc.

Indonesia Phone Cards:

Bull Racing

"Dia juga perlu mandi" is printed on the card. (Translation: He needs to bath too)

To commemorate Asean Environmental Year 1996

Putri Indonesia - Jakarta(wearing traditional costume)

Putri Indonesia - Sulawesi Tengah

Putri Indonesia - Papua

Putri Indonesia - Jawa Timur

Wayang Kulit - Arjuna-Pandawa Lima

More (from other countries) to come!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My IMAX Experience

I have been reading Sashi's and Narrowband's experience with the IMAX in Berjaya Times Square. Let me share our experience with IMAX. In Barcelona.

Mami and I were backpacking in Europe. Towards the end of our trip, we headed for Spain. The first city we went to in Spain is Barcelona. It was a great city, amazing architecture, with Antoni Gaudi's works such as the La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, and Güell park, it was one of the best place to visit in Spain.

It wasn't our plan to go for a show in the IMAX theater at the beautiful Port Vell. But it was near to the Maremàgnum, a complex with shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants, and the L'Aquàrium, and we had some extra time, so we decided to check out the IMAX theater. We went for a 3D show about the ocean life, which is a documentary.

There were not many people, as it was not peak tourist season, in the middle of fall. At the entrance of the theater, the attendant passed us the 3D glasses. We were pointed to our seat, which was like 3-4 storey high. The screen is more than 5 storeys high.

Before the show starts, an attendant came up on stage to welcome us and to introduce the theater to us. She was speaking in Spanish or French (maybe both, I couldn't make out), so both of us was like "Huh??". But from her body language and hand gestures, we figured out what she was saying. Well, almost.

The show starts......

Papi : Mami, the show starting already, quick, put on the glasses. *put on glasses*

Mami : OK, OK *put on glasses* Eh? you sure ah?

Papi : Yalar, later we missed the 3D effect.

The show was about the rainforest in the Amazon.

Papi : Wah!! You see, like real lar.

Mami : Err...? where got, like normal only. Where got 3D?

Papi : You see lar, look at the trees, look at the river. Very real lar. Wow!

Mami : *look left and right, up and down* You sure we should be wearing this now?

Papi : Yalar, wear it. If not you won't see the 3D effect. Wow! Look at the birds! Very real lar. Fuiyo!

Mami : Eh? Why other people are not wearing it ah? You see that lady below us. *point to the row below*

Papi : Huh?? Eh? Yalar. Everyone not wearing it yet. Let me see. *take off glasses* Eh? No different with the glasses on or off lar. Maybe the 3D show not started yet lar.

Mami : *trying hard not to laugh* Then why just now you said like real?? he he he The angmo must have think these two stupid asians wearing these 3D stupid glasses watching a non 3D show.

Papi : he he he...*malu*

Later we figured it out ourselves. The show is divided into two parts. The first part was a short documentary about the rainforest in non-3D format. The second part, of which, in the beginning ,has an instruction "Please put on your 3D glasses now" flashed on screen, was about the ocean life shown in 3D format. I guessed the attendant must have informed the audience earlier about this. That's explained why no one wore the glasses earlier in the first part of the show, except those two stoooopid asians.

At the end of the show, we just couldn't contained ourselves, and laughed all the way out of the theater.

malu: Malay meaning embarassed

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Yiyi had a haircut....again

It was just 6 weeks ago, Yiyi had a haircut. Now, her hair had grown, especially hairs covering her forehead. It almost touched her eyes. It also made her eyes area itchy, and she would rub it with her little fingers.

So last week, we decided to cut her hair again. It was during her bathing time. She sat on the bath room floor, playing with her rubber ducky. Mami was holding her, trying to distract her from me, while I was holding the scissors. It's a special scissors for babies, with no pointed edge, but rather a rounded one. With one hand holding the scissors, the other hand was trying to grab hold of her hair, with my fingers making a scissors shape. *snip snip*

Mami : Aiya!! Too much already. Too high lar!!

Papi : Cannot lar, she is moving a lot, and doesn't allow me to touch her hair lar.

Yiyi : eemm.....*brushing off my hand*

Papi : Yiyi, you see the rubber duck duck...... *snip snip*

Mami : Aiya not nice already lar.

Papi : Senget lar. Right side higher than left side. Don't move Yiyi. *sinp snip*

Mami : Ha ha ha ... look likes coconut head!!

Yiyi posing coolly with her new haircut.

"Look Papi, Superman"

We only cut the front part (forehead), so we let other part of her hair to grow. Hmmm....this should last till Chinese New Year.

Christmas Wish

I was reading Lilian's 5xMom blog on Baby Ryan's Christmas wish and I decided to do my part. BTW, Mami is a big fan of 5xMom, and her 'gangs' (TwinsMom, mumsgather).

Ryan and her mom has a little wish for these festive seasons, that is to give all the children in the University Malaya Medical Centre (Kuala Lumpur) a small gift as a loving gesture from Baby Ryan to his friends in UMMC. UMMC has been Baby Ryan's home since he came to this world on 8 August 2003. Baby Ryan has a condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), with an opening in his diaphragm.

You can check out Baby Ryan wish for the New Year here (with instructions on how to contribute). You can also read the story of Baby Ryan here and continue here.

Papi and Mami will do our part. Please help or contribute anyway you can. Let's give Baby Ryan and friends in UMMC a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

Photo Source: 5xMom

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My trip to Jakarta

Last week, I went to Jakarta again for a meeting. We departed from KLIA on Wednesday, and came back home on Friday night. The meeting went smoothly. The trip was fruitful. My colleague (in Marketing) also managed to see some of the VIPs to push for our company. Good job!

So what did we do in Jakarta? Makan, of course! The first day we arrived, our local agent recommended a grilled fish stall. "No aircond, just open air stall. OK?" he asked. My colleague and I looked at each other and said "No problem, let's go!". We arrived there after some driving around, I think the local agent got lost. He even needed us to tell him where to go. We reached there slightly passed lunch time, so the lunch crowd was not there. Good bcoz we could have some peace and quiet. But some of the dishes were sold out. We ordered 3 grilled fishes (1 ikan kerapu, 2 ikan kue (??)). It was fantastic!! The fish was grilled on a metal net, with coconut husks. The fish was fresh. It was well marinated, with sweet and slightly sour taste. My colleague said it tasted like percik sauce, but I tasted it like satay marinated. We ended up ordering 2 more fishes, and 2 more big plates of rice!! Other than fish, they have squid, prawn, chicken, lamb, and beef. All barbeque style. Our local agent was concerned that we are not used to lunch outdoor, in open space area, and not so clean environment. But I think he should have seen our Chan Sow Lin Fish Head restaurant.

At night, we entertained some VIPs, so we only managed to grab some fast food. Nothing special. But the next day, we went 'jalan jalan cari makan' again. We ended up in Pondok Sedap Malam.......mmmmmm...... (Translation: Nice Night Hut??)

It's a typical Sundanese/Chinese restaurant in one of the ChinaTown in Jakarta.

This is exactly how it was done in the Grilled Fish stall I mentioned earlier.

We noticed they also have grilled fish, but we decided not to have it, since we had grilled fish the day before. The food here tasted so-so. Bolehlah..

One thing I noticed in Jakarta, is that it's people are so poor that they have to find ways to make a living. One is the car jockey, as the Indonesian called them. These people actually help and guide you to park your car, help to guide you to reverse out your car onto the main road, help you make u-turn by blocking the on-coming traffic for you, help you to block cars on the main road so that you could drive your car out etc. Normally they expect a tip from you, around Rp.1000 - 2000. Another group of people actually sings. With a portable Karaoke set that they sling over their shoulder, and a microfone in their hand, they walked from one person to another asking for money. Normally they will bring along a baby and a toddler for added impact (kesian lah...).

But these guys top my list..

A bunch of Indonesian guys were spotted doing the lion dance! Complete with matching kungfu outfit, drum and cymbals, these guys went from one house/office to another, dancing all the way, hoping that someone will asked for their service to dance in their house/office. I guess life is really difficult here.

On the last day, I have some free time to check out a nearby market, about 15 minutes walk. On the way I spotted a stall on the kaki lima selling used phone cards! Just what I was looking for. It was actually Mami's hobby, she keeps used phone cards. I will blog about this in the future. The market looks like our Petaling Street, complete with the roof. It sells cloths, shoes, souvenirs, leather goods etc. Going back to the hotel, I decided to try the Bajaj.

Inside the Bajaj.
It costs me Rp5000 from the market to the hotel, about RM2.

With all the security precaution taken by the shopping complexes and hotels, I felt safe in Jakarta. Being a Malaysian and able to speak and understand Bahasa Malaysia is an advantage. There is no problem getting around Jakarta, the food is nice. I will definitely come back to Jakarta. Maybe a holiday with Mami. Backpack, the two of us. :)

makan: Malay meaning eat.
jalan jalan cari makan: A food/restaurant review TV show in Malaysia. Malay loosely translated as to look for food.
ikan: Malay translated as fish. Kerapu and Kue are two types/species of fish.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Missing Yiyi

"Do you think a mother will cry when she saw her own daughter crying?"

Mami asked me one night, her voice choked with emotion. I can see tears welling in her eyes. Yiyi was crying in her GrandMa's arm, behind the AutoGate, while we were in the car, getting ready to drive back to our house.

"Of course, she will. For a mother , seeing your own child crying and yet, you cannot do anything to comfort her is very heart wrenching."

Mami was silent. I can see she was trying hard to fight the tears back.

"Don't worry, we will be back tomorrow. She will be fine with her GrandPa and GrandMa. She will soon forgotten and will be running around happily in no time." I tried to comfort her. She nodded.

I started to drive, while Mami made a few glances over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of Yiyi. I know she has started to miss her. Yes, Papi miss you too.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Internet-less in Indonesia

Last Tuesday, our company received an urgent request for a meeting in Jakarta, following our last trip to Jakarta. After some last minute arrangements, preparations and bookings, we managed to book a flight to Jakarta on Wednesday morning.

That day was a hectic one. With a proposal deadline on the same day, and preparation for the meeting in Jakarta, I found myself in super-multitasking mode. And fortunately we managed to pull it off.

The trip was fruitful. The meeting went smoothly. They took note most of the recommendation that we put in during the meeting. The next day, we received information on some new ammendments that the client has put forth, which is exactly what we have discussed in the meeting. Looks like they are paying attention to us, which is good. But still, there are lots more to do.

In Jakarta, we went back to Hotel Borobudur. I was unable to access the Internet, although my room has Internet connection. So no blogging and emails for me for the 3 days stay. It could be my old laptop but I suspected problems with their server. Anyway, the technician came and checked, and found nothing wrong. :(

Back in Jakarta, I was able to see more of Jakarta, and to understand it better. I managed to check out some markets, shopping malls and I even took a ride on the Bajaj !! (Indonesia version of auto rickshaw). But that's will be another entry (with photos, of course!).