Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rantau Abang : An orange on the beach

I thought it was pretty exciting to find an orange among the broken shells on the beach. I'd never seen that before and this was long before Chinese New Year

The two week long Chinese New Year celebration (Feb 14 - Feb 28) is now officially over, but I only remembered this picture today. Should have remembered earlier. Darn.

There's a tradition among the Chinese single women (not sure if it's a Malaysian thing or an all over the world thing) to throw oranges into the sea (or any body of water) during Chinese Valentines (15th day of the Chinese New Year) in order that their future husband might pick up their orange.

Oh, but before they throw their orange into the water, they write their phone number onto the fruit. Oh, and the men will be right there, waiting to catch the orange of the woman they fancy. Make that orangeS and women. Using nets too to catch as many oranges as they can!

I think it's such a cute tradition. I think we Asians have so many cute traditions. :)

Anyway, so I'm wondering if this was such an orange. Only, it wasn't the right time then. And there was no ink on the orange either. Hmm, it could be someone who couldn't wait two more weeks! Perhaps.

I think next (Chinese) Valentine's I might throw an orange into a lake. :)

More skywatch images here .


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kuala Abang : a little hut and the blue blue sky

Just sitting in a run down shed; I think a shelter and place to nap when it's too hot to look for clams on the beach, and looking up.

The shade of blue looked so pretty against the dark of the roof. And then a wisp of cloud floated in from one end.

I whipped my camera out (as fast as lightning) of course :) But the clouds were faster. They moved so quickly out of sight again! Before I could take more pictures. Dang! Well, I did, but they weren't as pretty as I wished.

Two guys joined us soon after; just come back from the beach from clam collecting, both hot and thoroughly burnt from the sun! One guy had a little bucket full of clams; for his tea later, or perhaps dinner, but it didn't look like it would be enough for dinner. Well certainly an extra small portion by my book! Maybe he doesn't eat much. Maybe it's just appetisers. Maybe.

Click here for more sky images!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pink under the sun


Whenever we are on the East Coast, we always make it a point to have lunch or dinner at this place. It's a wonderful little place, where the proprietress is a lovely friendly Chinese lady, and the waitress a sweet sweet friendly Malay girl who remembered me when I went for the second time! She couldn't remember my travelling buddy though. Haha.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Early morning on Melinsung Beach

Hope you like my Skywatch post! Check out more images on here.

I just love visiting my sister. She lives right next to the beach and it's great to wake up early and hear the surf outside.
I slide open the door and the sound is instantly magnified! 
This was last December. Can't wait to get back there again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kuala Abang - a fishing village

We were back again on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia last week of January. It was much much hotter than it ever had been since we first started going mid last year. And of course I forgot my sunblock. And of course we spent too much time under the sun. And of course I was badly burnt. Ugh. Don't ask. Thank you.

But the clear skies and sunny sun meant everything looked technicolor brilliant and amazing! Each time we go to the east coast, we explore places we hadn't been before; take that little road there, follow the sign that promises some exotic obscure village or something. This time was no different. And we found a little fishing village called Kuala Abang, not far from Rantau Abang.

It's such a quaint little place; so much activity going on; bustling even! It was hot and fishermen were coming in with their catch, and there was a little station (more like a little hut) where they got their catch weighed in. And there were others who were playing cards. Some napping on makeshift counters. Some shooting the breeze, talking coffeeshop talk. Ohhhh, it was nice!  I wish I could have taken pictures of all of that but everyone kept staring at us wherever we went; quite unsettling! Sigh. I need a camera with those huge lenses so I can go far far away, and take pictures unobtrusively! I had to settle for empty sampans (little 2-men fishing boats) :) But it's okay, I still like this picture :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To Nani with Love

My late grandmother, Ottilia Bokuta, a wonderful woman, who single-handedly raised 6 children after her husband passed away in 1945.  Amazing.

It was her birthday on the 15th. She would have been 102.

My darling cousin scanned this picture and put it up on facebook! So lovely of her, otherwise, this picture would remain in memory only. Now I have a digital copy! Technology is so cool!


Kijal - a sunny afternoon by the sea

This beach in Kijal is one the prettiest beaches on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.  I've been here four times already, maybe, in the space of a few months.

I always see something different each time I go. This time it's a mom and her three kids frolicking in the (extremely hot) sun.

One time we went, we went by motorbike. We parked the bike and went off to take photographs. When we returned an hour or so later, one of our helmets, that we'd left dangling on the bike, had been taken. All that was left was the strap. That was a nasty surprise.

Another time we went, there were mats and mats of fish being laid out under the sun to be dried. Dried salted fish! Yummm! Didn't smell too good at the time though.

Yep, something different each time. Can't wait to come back here again!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love Vandalism

I drive by this abandoned building something like twice a week, and have done so for at least a year now but only saw this sign about four weeks ago.

The first time I saw it, I didn't have my camera. Aaarghhh!

The second time I drove by it, the battery was dead. Double aaarghhh!!

The third time I drove by it, traffic was going too fast! What a scream.

Finally, a day came that everything was in place. Camera, check. Batteries, check. Traffic situation, conducive. 

Still, I didn't manage to take a good picture. :(

But I so want to mention this sign, and this building!

This building has been left vacant for some time now. It's by Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, just before the left turn going into Jalan Maarof. It had been looking a bit discrepit of late, and maybe even bordering on scary. 

But then again, that's relative right? Scary to some, inviting to 'others'.  Guess someone saw that too and thought an appropriate sign was in order! I love it!!

The first time I saw it, I thought, oh wow, is this where my tax money goes to??? A 'no ghosts' sign??? 

Then I saw that it's a painted cut-out and glued onto a sign. My next guess is that someone pilfered the sign from somewhere else. 

Haha, this vandalism I thought so cute! But I shouldn't say that. Really.

Aphid in Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur

Caught in Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur!! A giant aphid on a heliconia! A gigantonomous aphid for sure!! Never seen any that size before, but then again, why am I surprised. I saw some huge huge Atlas Moths not too long ago in the same park!!!  Not sure what the park keepers are doing right... or wrong... maybe seriously wrong...!!

Nevertheless, it was beautiful to behold, so white, and so fine, all the pointy things, feelers I guess, moving in slow motion, as if underwater. Alien-like even. 


Friday, February 12, 2010

Patrick Starfish

(one of) My favourite cartoons reincarnated as a flower. This beauty can be found (in abundance) in Cameron Highlands (at the Boh Tea Plantations)

Fact trivia : Starfishes are one of those animals without a true brain.


Bungus Beach at the end of a wonderful day.

The best thing about little places is the big surprises they have in store for you.

I had no idea about Bungus Beach, except that it was quiet. And I'd seen pictures and read stuff on the internet.  No tv, no fancy stuff. Which was what I was looking for. Quiet beach; hopefully no other holiday makers: just mingle with the locals.

And that was exactly what I found on this little bay facing the Andaman Sea.

Each evening, the fishermen in the area work together to bring in the catch. That evening, there were some five other fishermen pulling the net in.  So synchronised, so rhythmic. Such a lucky break for me. Yaayy!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Such a curious tortoise! He stuck his head out, staring, staring, him at me, me at him, in total silence, until I had to fill the growing uncomfortable silence with mindless chatter. And he continued staring.

You can say hi to him too at the National Science Center in Kuala Lumpur.

Nature on Love

I love the innocuous way that nature sometimes employs to surprise me. Cheeky, cheeky!

Found this leaf on the sands of a pretty little cove in the Teluk Bidara area. A stranger among pebbles, broken shells, and polished pieces of glass.  A lovely little imperfectly almost perfect leaf. Not caring that it might be out of place. Making a statement in its own right.

Perfection? Not. Perfect!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



 We were on our way to Tabawan Island: passed this solitary hut in the sea.

Not too sure what it is, but I think it's a place where fishermen stop to rest. Maybe they prefer not to float about while they catnap!

I think that's a reasonable explanation! :) Maybe someone out there has a better idea? :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Evening sun over Tabawan!

Darvel Bay has got to be one of the loveliest place I've been to. We stayed in this cute little wooden house on stilts in the water just 50m offshore of the island of Tabawan.

Imagine waking up to the sound of water lapping against the stilts of the house and ending the day with a sunset like this to the sound of crickets. Or some other insect. Maybe cicadas. I think we heard crickets.

Check out my video 'Sound of Silence' early morning on Tabawan island. No human sound. Just the water and the insects. Pure bliss! :)

Yayasan Sabah Building

That building brings back so much memories.  It was the tallest building in the state (don't know about country or the South East Asian region, I'd like to think so, but it probably wasn't) when it was completed. I just found out that that was in 1977.

And I just also found out that it's now called Tun Mustapha Tower!!! How awful.  But that's just my personal opinion on the matter. I guess they (whatever authorities are entitled to do so) wouldn't have changed the name had there been a lot of protests.

This view is from the Likas Hospital, some 10km from Kota Kinabalu. I was in and out of the hospital visiting my mum, who was undergoing an operation at the time. Aug 2009. She's okay now. Recovering nicely and in the best of spirits. :) Love you mum :)

Those are Sabahan (left) and Malaysian  flags.

Peace and Quiet!

I love the beach. When there is no one else around. Well okay, not completely empty. Maybe just another soul per square 40000 meters. Yes.

And be the first one to make footprints on the sand.  Yes!

I've been to this coastline at least five times now. And love it even more everytime.  :)

This particular beach is Cherating. Quite famous. Not sure why. Because there are other more beautiful (imo) beaches along this coast! Okay, it's easy to fall in love with this beach. But wait till you see the other beaches. And I mean wowowowow. :)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Epitome of Serenity

Last November, we went 'wat-hopping', saw more wats than I ever had in a day and probably in a long time too.

This image of Budhha can be found in Wat Photivihan in Kelantan.  Okay, I will say it, a Malaysian state steeped in historical and cultural heritage dating back to, possibly even earlier, the Srivijayan Empire in 3BC.

But really, we were surprised by the gems we found in Kelantan. Looking forward to another trip in March. Hopefully.

The Blue Lotus

Wandering around someone's garden while waiting for a friend, I found this gorgeous flower! Lucky break for me!

The little bee was struggling to get nectar? I don't know but I made sure to get my camera quickly and capture the moment!
I love the title to this post too - The Blue Lotus - one of the titles from the Tintin series - my favourite comic book hero! Woot!

1 2 3...

Finally managed to load a counter!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Displacing a tribe? Not that hard to do.

I was on Carey Island recently for work. Work. Hah. That's a lame excuse really. 

I've been wanting to go to the island since time immemorial. An exaggeration, of course. Haha. Really. 

Anyway. I had to 'research' Malaysian artforms, and Mah Meri sculptures were identified as one of them. 

Lucky me. Woot! Someone said when you love what you do, it's not work. Clever fellow. :)

Check out the mask huh? This is what the Mah Meris call Moyang Kalo. Each mask tells a story. And how. :) :(

It's a masterpiece by this guy. Check him out. Master carver (30 years experience no less) Pion Anak Bumbong. 

Firstly, it was mind blowing just to be speaking to him. Prior to the chat, I'd only read about him on the internet. He's a pretty famous guy in his own right. Wining miscellaneous awards. UNESCO among others. Giving interviews like some A-list hollywood star. That's pretty cool in my book. :)
Still, our chat was tinged with sadness. On my part. He was totally cool about it all though.  His is a tribe that is on the edge of extinction. Or rather, assimilating into the generic general nameless faceless community at large. No identity. No name. No history. No heritage. Maybe I'm exaggerating. In this case I like to think that, but I'm afraid that I may not be.

His story told me of a rich heritage that will disappear in the name of development. Of palm oil estate development, to be specific. Give them 10 years? Maybe 20. Even while I was looking for them, and asked an orang asli girl, she didn't know what I was talking about. Maybe it was my strange (to her) accent. Haha. Sigh.


I love coconut!

Except in the milk form. It allegedly does things in your arterial system and makes you susceptible to all sorts of nasty medical conditions.  Yekk.

So I was so shocked when a friend told me his niece drinks coconut milk as a beverage. What! Like omigod. Why?

Falling in love with...

... Frangis!!

Found and fell in love with the white frangipanis in Rantau Abang.

There's a place in Rantau Abang that we always stay at. The guy who keeps the place is such a workaholic, he leaves the place spotless! Sterile almost! But one evening he wasn't quick enough, so I went snap happy!!

Oh, did I mention? I have a new camera and it takes pictures like a dream! Am so loving it. Pardon my McDonalds.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dreaming in Teluk Bidara

Was in Teluk Bidara over the weekend. Super weather! Super skies! Super water! Super scenery! Super travel companion! A super weekend altogether!

Bidara means angelic beautiful woman. Pretty apt for this beach, in my opinion. :)

Feb 4 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

J D Salinger

I mourn quite a bit. It's a persona I adopt to suit the 'moody writer' image. It suits me. Most of the time.

That's my netbook. And that's a cup of Masala tea to help me mourn (or calm down or just daydream in general).

So Mr Salinger left us last week. It was a bit of a sad moment. Not that I knew him personally. But I had read Catcher in the Rye, and was quite affected by it. So that allows me some kind of license to make a tribute of some sort doesn't it? Kinda. A bit. I guess.

My favourite bit in the book is the visit to his old English teacher and the events during the visit that, to me, lead to Holden's disenchantment with adults in general, and an eye opener for me to the unelegantness of being old.

I just spent the morning looking for the book. And couldn't find it. Hummm. Guess I left it back at my old house. Must get it this weekend. And read the book again. For old time's sake. :)

Au revoir Mr Salinger.