Friday 21 September 2018

catching up with friends

Konnichiwa y'all! Been so caught up with multiple things took me weeks before I finally post this. Things have been busy so when I have some time, I prefer to just chill. Age is catching up with me *sigh* 

Last month, an old (literally lol) friend came to visit when he was transiting from Kerala back to Australia so we met up over coffee at Lim Kee Cafe in Petaling Street. Been wanting to try the place for a while so glad I finally did. Just a bit curious how the interior was much smaller than I have expected. I know it is part cafe part hotel so perhaps they've reserved some area for the guests' longue IDK

It was great catching up with John. One of the many interesting conversations we had was about initiatives made in different countries to preserve the nature. Like how the Vietnam government banned kayaking in Ha Long bay just last year to managed the number of tourists so as to prevent them from inflicting long-term damage to nature. Apparently they did the same in another touristy location. Or how the Australian and New Zealanders, when they go fishing and happen to bait baby fishes, they let them go. This is a complete opposite in other third world countries. 

In terms of preserving and protecting our mother nature, I have came across articles how Reef Check Malaysia has been educating the younger generation about protecting our pretty reefs and having volunteers have been doing reefs health spot checks from time to time. Results have been positive, which is no doubt an amazing feat, kudos to RCM for that! Now what we need to implement quicker is our RECYCLING programs. Come on, it's been forever since the government has promised to do so! Better if more household brands could play a larger part in recycling. In case you have been living under a rock, H&M accepts old clothing to be recycled and Innisfree encourages their customers to recycle empty bottles. Then perhaps Goodwill in Malaysia is a great idea too. Yeah I'm asking a lot.

Then, the other thing that has been bugging me is our traffic. We have too many cars and particularly in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, majority practiced the one-car-one-driver policy which partly contributed to the overpopulation of vehicles. 
I say partly because there are tons of other contributing factors. Our neighbor, Singapore has already announced the initiative last year to control the population of cars. Mind you, they have less traffic issues compare to Malaysia! Well, Singapore has much advanced and connected public transport, I hear some of y'all argue. True but the quality of our public transportation has come a long way. My foreign friends have a lot of positive things to say bout that but funnily, locals don't agree... 

Being an avid public transport user myself (too much hassle to drive!) I agree we definitely have lots more space for improvement like how buses and trains need to be more frequent and timely. Plus, without the need to drive, you reduce decision fatigue _ a reason why Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg wears a 'uniform'. Even though you're forced to walk a bit but that means you get some well-deserved exercise! 

Enough of my ramblings, next!


Two months ago (was it so long ago?!), I found out from Facebook that my long-time friend whom I have gotten to know from uni, Daniel and his wife, whom I got to know when I was in Japan for the first time in 2014, (I miss Japan so much!!! In fact, Japan is always on my mind!!! Sigh, I really wanna go back there!) Naoko was around in Malaysia. When they were at Japan, I visited them and Naoko made us tamago kake gohan, rice topped with raw egg and eaten with shoyu which I still rave about to this day! In Japan, everything taste good!

Danny contacted me saying that he will be dropping by in Kuala Lumpur and so he wanted to meet up for lunch. Naoko has suggested Bak Kut Teh, a favorite of hers ever since she lived in Malaysia as an exchange student. That was also how Danny and I got to know her, being introduced by another common friend back in our university days

I haven't meet them since Japan but thankfully they love Malaysia so much they visit from time to time. I told them to drop by more often! Hahahaha. They did ask me to visit them in the UK but with the flight and the expenses involve, I rather fly to Japan. I'm sorry! I'm a terrible friend!

This is a photo of them both years ago, when they were still dating.

Since I am posting their photos from years back, just to be fair I shall share a photo of myself then too. This was me doing the Ugly Betty HAHAHAHA

The night before they arrived, I went to shop for omiyage (Japanese for souvenirs)_ packets of bak kut teh herbs especially for Naoko. Since she's going to cook it for her family, they are for everyone anyways LOL

When I heard they have a lot of luggages with them and a baby to handle, I felt bad for adding the additional weights into their bag. Thankfully, it turned out that they spared some luggage space for groceries shopping. The space was mostly dedicated for bak kut teh packets HAHAHAHAHA. More on that soon! 

For the same reason (having lots of luggages), our common friend Kelvin drove them all the way from Penang to Klang for lunch before heading to KLIA2 and back! That was really nice of him, "It is an obligation", he insisted. So yeah, our meeting place is in Teluk Pulai Bak Kut Teh in Klang. What I didn't know is that there are two branches of Teluk Pulai's BKT and ended up in the main one which closes early! Had to grab another ride to the second Teluk Pulai BKT. Totally FML situation.

After another 15 minutes, I finally arrived and after some greetings, promptly dug into my food. Couldn't help it, it was close to 3PM by the time we had lunch! After I finish my 1.5 plate of rice and pork, it was catch up time. Nagisa-chan was so calm throughout but she started throwing a bit tantrum when forced to eat. Oh, baby.

Later, we went shopping in the Aeon Mall nearby because they wanted some Malaysia & Japanese foodstuff. Danny literally cleared the entire shelf of A1 Bak Kut Teh! Told ya, these tourists are so obsessed with BKT! The other thing Danny bought is a tub of dish washer we went, "WTH, Danny?!" and laughed! Apparently you don't find that in the UK, seriously?? Ang moh can be so weird sometimes HAHAHAHA

'Em guys in serious thoughts in the spices and herbs aisle. Seriously, we were spending a lot of time here. Me was like baby-sitting Nagisa-chan.

Some of the conversation we had involving the baby.

Conversation #1

While we were eating at Teluk Pulai Bak Kut Teh shop, baby started biting at the broken strap of the baby chair and I was like, "DON'T LET HER BITE THAT!! IT'S DIRTYYYY!!!"

My friend went, "SHOOT HER!! SHOOT HER!!", making a gun gesture.

Baby's mommy couldn't be bothered so baby kept biting the strap WTF

Conversation #2

So, I was like kepo-ing and remarked how she (Bb-chan) is really big for a 10-month old. I had thought she is at least 2 years old.

Danny went, "No, she's really very normal for us (Westerners'). Asian babies look stunted."

Excuse me. I retorted, "Nah, all our nutrients go to our head." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Prior to meeting up with the Greens and my other friends, I was hanging out around Klang town, nearby the Klang KTM Station because Danny was telling me how they will be late, seeing that they are coming all the way down from Penang! I am super glad they could drop by even for a short while. Still wish it was longer though! Only after meeting them, I know that having a baby while traveling can get quite a handful especially with so many things you will need to bring! While she does have her tantrums, Nagisa-chan's quite a well-mannered baby overall. I told Naoko that Japanese babies are really well-behaved! I'm generalising but that is my impression when I see Japanese kids.

Anyways, so yeah, Klang. Once you leave the KTM station, you will be greeted by Klang's quaint, old town. Just a few minutes' walking distance away is the Klang's version of Little India. Rows and rows of shops selling Indian colorful, ornated clothings _sarees and punjabi wear, accessories and flowers. It reminded me that I haven't got the opportunity to explore Bricksfield and Batu Caves! One of my friends, Ben has been there a few times during Thaipusam to watch the kavadi procession, I want to do so too!

As a child, I remember having been in an Indian temple during a festival. My parents have brought us there to pay respect to the Indian deity. I have rather vogue memories of that day, just recollections of how crowded it was and on my curiosity as to why the joss sticks I held were shorter than those in Buddhist temples.

Highly possible that was my mom's idea because throughout my siblings and my childhood, we have been to Penang's Siamese temples and even the St. Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam. Myself, I have been to Sri Maha Mariamman Midlands temple just last month in honor of an acquaintance's wedding and even Japan's Buddhist temples, Sensou-ji and Shinto shrines, Meiji Jingu

I wished I had entered the pink mosque when I was in Putrajaya. Unfortunately, I didn't because I was wearing shorts and do not have jackets or shawls with me. One day, soon perhaps, I shall ticked off visiting both Batu Caves and the Pink Mosque (or any mosques!) from my bucket list!

Monday 17 September 2018

Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve

Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve, Jalan Merbah 10/1, Seksyen 10 Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Just last weekend, BFF and I were taking a stroll in the Kota Damansara Community Forest  (KDCF) Reserve, a place we recently discovered from the many articles that popped up on Facebook. We love doing hikes and stuff but only once in a while have the luxury of time to meet up and take a stroll. A lot of these amazing hiking spots are quite a drive away and that meant that I had to rely on friends, not many are nature enthusiast, sadly!

Thankfully, KDCF is simply under 30 minutes away drive, we were actually surprise such a hiking spot can be found so close in the city! And it is so beautiful!

The lake, whether man made of natural, is the first thing that greeted us. While this lake may appear just like any other lakes in Malaysia, I find it enchanting. There are dead trunks sticking out in the water (mangrove-kinda species, maybe!) and it somewhat remind me of the photos I've seen of Aoi Ike, the Blue Lake of Hokkaido. Because it isn't blue, I call this the Malaysia's version of Green Lake LOL!

IDK why but just feel like posting this 'iconic' tree twice.

After tons of photos by the lake, we are finally ready to do some hike! The trails were wide enough for one to walk comfortably and there are more even trails for bikes if you love mountain (or in this case, bukit) biking. The trails were well taken care of, we came across a guy, not sure volunteer or part of this KDCF community member, clearing the pathways from fallen leaves. Apparently, there are even "Community Dogs" cared by the KDCF Society. Pretty cool!

Only after our walk along the shorter Salleh Trail did we discovered there were multiple longer trails leading around KDCF. We decided to venture Temuan Trail then the Sahabat Trail and back via Serenity Trail.

At times, I was creeped out by how quiet and eerie the trails can get. Though every now and then, you hear the sound of traffic and the distant azan which was comforting. Reminds me that civilization isn't far away hahahaha. That was another reason why I chose this spot _ my goal was to reached the peak which overlooks Kota Damansara. I think it is really cool how you can have a view the city from the peak. 

Unfortunately for us, that didn't happen. We found warnings and even "No Entry" tapes at one of the trail leading to the peak. I do think it is still possible to get up there since you can opt to take the Unity Peak trail but since we already took quite a detour from the start which meant having spent hours in KDCF, we were tired.


After the mini escapade, it dawned to me how I miss being with nature and I really, really, really wanna do this more often! This will be like the caption for my very first photo in this post hahahaha.

Of course, I've been to Shah Alam Botanical Garden and Cameron Highlands this year and Putrajaya last year but I really wish I can do this more often! I haven't been on any islands in the East Cost of Malaysia such as Redang, Tioman and Perhentian Islands! *sigh* Anyways, I came up with a list of parks, forest reserves where I want to hike and even islands I want to explore #goals

Friday 7 September 2018

Double Tree by Hilton, Malacca

The day after Bon Odori, I woke up early and took the bus ride chartered by my company to Malacca. We were there for our company's team building and annual dinner. This year, we had the event in Double Tree by Hilton in Malacca, a change from our usual rendezvous in Lexis Hibiscus, Port Dickson. Our rooms are lovely, albeit without the personal swimming pool (or dipping pool as I call it).

This is the view from my room~

Aside from the activities that was held, the other main thing about this place is the food!!! I find the selection is wide here and everything taste so good! Most of our meals were held near the ballroom otherwise they're in the makan kitchen.

Our breakfast upon arrival~~

We spent most of the day occupied with activities hosted by the organizers. While I heard the hotel is not too far from the touristy attractions in Malacca, we didn't get much time for ourselves. After all it is my company's team building event. Later that evening was when the most anticipated event, the annual dinner.

After some speeches by our VIPs followed by very juicy musical performance later that evening, it was time for another feast.

My friend's plate. She was so hungry that she piled everything up lol.

Dessert, such guilty pleasures!

This is melon sago, my favorite!

Breakfast on the second and last day at Double Tree by Hilton. Again, there are quite a huge selection _ Chinese, Malay and Indian dishes, all of which are really good.

This is my breakfast which is just a lil' bit of everything since I was still feeling stuffed from the meal from the night before. Don't have photo but I also had omelette which the staff prepared right on the spot and it tasted just right.

What did I tell you about dessert?

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