Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sitiawan - A Little Bit of History

51st Merdeka Celebrations....so it's only apt that I take a walk down memory lane...

Sitiawan will always be a place close to my heart...that's how one is supposed to feel about one's birth place, I suppose. Ask that to any CTA1 native and they'll probably repeat the same mantra....kompian, mee suah, kampuan, ko-ru, ko-rau-wu, chap-chai, ngi-pien..all of them your regular Fuchow favourites. Settlers were brought in at the turn of the 20th century from North Fujian to cultivate rice.

Why the Fuchows? Apparently the colonialists wanted a group that was not connected to any of the existing Chinese groups in Malaya then who had come from South China - the Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka and Teochew. The Cantonese and Hakka were in the tin industry, the Hokkien in commerce and the Teochew in sugar, gambier and pepper cultivation. It was in this scenario that the Fuchows came into the picture....to be rice cultivators. But it was not to be. Rubber became their cash crop because of the timing. Early 20th century was experiencing fantastic demand for rubber. And rubber grew well in Sitiawan. Sitiawan prospered.My paternal grandfather fled China and came over here where he became a rubber tapper. Rubber tapping is hard work....more so for him because he was brought up privileged but because his family lost everything in the years culminating to the Opium War, he had to start with nothing.... He used to tell us how he had a tutor for martial arts, the Chinese classics when he was a kid...the life of the privileged class....all that gone!

As a child growing up in Sitiawan, I remember cycling through the rubber estates and searching for the strongest rubber seed....we'd press 2 seeds against each other to see which one cracked! And that was fun. In later years, and also because of the economic downturns which affected the rubber plantation owners, many tried other crops. Oil palm has replaced most the the rubber plantations in recent years.And this...the swift started making their homes after one particular bad year of haze in Indonesia. That was back in 1989. It has brought wealth and changed the skyline of the town. Swifts now dwell among people in buildings built for people.

Was back recently and we took a walk around the Chinese Methodist Pioneer Church in Kg Koh. As a child I attended its Sunday school. This is the first place where I had my first experience of singing solo as a 6 year old. I came in third, I think. Many of my school mates started their Sunday school here too...so our friendship really goes back a long way. The above picture is the 'Moksu-Lau'. In Fuchow dialect it means Parsonage...home of the Pastor. I used to come to this place sometimes on Sundays when Pastor Yu was pastoring the church. It's now a Sitiawan Settlement Museum. A new Parsonage has been built at the back. Most of the early migrants were brought in by missionaries.

The Fuchows, even in those early days understood the importance of education. Some historical recounts stated that they organised classes taught in Fuchow almost right from the time they settled here, even before they had permanent places to stay. Education has always been important. And for a small town like this, the number of her young people who made it to the local universities under our stiff NEP quota system and fierce competition is a testament to that. And this small town has produced many of the country's top scholars, both at SPM and STPM/HSC level. The legacy of the Fuchow attitude on education.... along the main road you can find more than 10 schools!Just a couple of feet away are wells dug to supply water to the town folks. Opposite the Parsonage is ACS Sitiawan, and right under the school's bus bay was once where the first well was dug. This well to Kg Koh residents was like what Perigi Hang Li Po was to the Malaccans. Words passed down had it that it gave out water of the best quality!This is ACS Sitiawan...my alma mater. Started by a German missionary, Dr Leuring in 1904, his name remains in the school song till this day. It's a place where I spent 13 years of my life. By 1912 the medium of instruction was changed from Fuchow to English. And in 1916, Rev Horley renamed it ACS Sitiawan. The name has stayed since. ACS Sitiawan is unique in the sense that it is a co-ed school. There are other ACS in Malaysia but they are generally all boys school. It has produced many of Sitiawan's illustrious sons and daughters. I have many fond memories there....had great teachers who awed and inspired us!This is planted right in front of the Sitiawan Settlement Museum. It gives a brief account of the establishment of the settlement.
The Chinese Methodist Pioneer Church Building...this building was constructed in 1927. This is the flagship of all the churches in Sitiawan. There are so many churches in Sitiawan ... and they're conducted in English, Mandarin, Tamil and the local dialects. If you attend church in Kg China, you get to attend services conducted in Hokchian. In Simpang Tiga, church service was conducted in Kutien... such is the diversity even within one race.The bell tower was added in 1955. Growing up as a kid and right up to the time I left Sitiawan, we could hear the church bell tolling on Sundays. How I miss that! And songs would be played through the loudspeakers. It's within earshot of my house.

It's been an illustrious history for Sitiawan...I hope it will live on.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A little bit more on Taman Jubli Emas

I have blogged about this park here and here. Been there twice, but the gates were still not opened. Remember reading from the papers soon after the ceremony that the State Government would be looking into appointing a company to upkeep that place.
This morning, after breakfast, took the kids for a short drive there ..... just to try our luck. We saw this..man made flight and natural flight! 8) Noticed also that they still working on the place. Grass was being cut and weeded.
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And they have built this...sure would be a hit with the skateboarders and maybe BMX bicycle enthusiasts. Right up till now, there're not many proper places for young people to go try out their skills. There's one at the stadium but it's sort of a makeshift thingy. So this would be good.
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And this also. Not sure what they are going to be...maybe tennis courts or lawn bowling? But whatever it is, it would be good if the public have more places to go for healthy activities. Even if they charge a nominal fee for usage, I think it's okay.

But now...to wait for them to actually open the place up...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

DSAI back in Parliament!!

Behind every successful man is a good woman...

As expected DSAI won..with a bigger margin. Thought the people were disillusioned enough when Azizah contested. Looks like that feeling is still unabated. With this latest replacement, guess the Parliament will be even more 'meriah'.

By mid afternoon of polling day, news had filtered through that the PM had left Permatang Pauh ... lost cause for BN. So what next? The forming of a new government as so boldly claimed by DSAI? Whatever it is, Malaysia still seems to be heading towards uncharted territory...which may not necessarily be a bad thing. The US had been led by the Democrats and Republicans, the Brits by the Conservative and Labour parties. Malaysia has been governed by BN for as long as the country has been in existence! So change may not necessarily be bad.

Been reading about so many things with direct and indirect bearing to him. Swearing on the Holy Book is one of them. Aren't we setting a dangerous precedent here? Cos if a man standing for heinous crimes such as murder or rape swears on his Holy Book that he is innocent, are we to take his word for it? After all he swore on his Holy Book....such is the consequence of using God's name in vain.

Sometimes it feels to me like we are descending into the European Dark Ages. Then yesterday there was this second reading of the DNA Bill at the Parliament which caught the Opposition MPs by surprise. Looks like they are doing all they can to nail him. And latest, the blocking RPK's Malaysia Today website by TMNet, at the behest of the MCMC. Aren't there more worthy things to concentrate on, like eradicating poverty perhaps or making life for the man on the road easier? Yet the whole judiciary, executive, enforcement bodies seem to be picking on the mundane....so much waste of our resources.....

Transparency, accountability, good governance, integrity, fairness ... that's what the people want. If they are able to give that, then there is no fear over what is written in websites like Malaysia Today or those so called alternative websites.

We are lacking those...and that is why Permatang Pauh is retained with a bigger majority. Instead of trying to bring back the support of the people by painting a bad picture of your adversary, perhaps the powers that are should concentrate on the above. Then maybe...people will go back to them.

Anyway, one more vociferous voice in the Parliament would be good. He will be sworn in this Thursday...in time for the tabling of the Budget. And he has boldly stated that if he were to be PM, he'll have 5 DPM - Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazandusun and Dayak. And after his tenure, the PM can be from any of the 5. There's still an essence of race here but it's a step forward, quite a dizzying one, if I may add.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New era of Datukships???

So now it's Datuk Misbun Sidek... First it was Nicol David, then Lee Chong Wei... some high profile sports stars for a change. I think Misbun deserves his Datukship, it's kinda sad that his 'anak murid' was given first before they remembered him. Kinda reminds me the usually forgotten people behind the scene. He has served the country well, having been quite a prolific player during his time and also a coach who has done his share of grooming the country's badminton players.

As for Nicol, I'm not saying that she doesn't deserve it. She has been a true professional in her game so far and has brought much fame to our country. But it's kinda weird to be calling her Datuk Nicol at this point, I feel. And I still find it difficult to imagine a Datuk running around the court, all sweaty, chasing after a ball. LOL!

For Chong Wei, his silver at the Olympics is an accomplishment but I think it hardly merits the award as his was not the first medal our country has ever won. What about those who have won before him... Don't they deserve the Datukship more? Razif, Jalani, Rashid, Soon Kit and Kim Hock - they were there before him.

I supposed if people start clamouring for them to be awarded, then maybe they'll also get their Datukship. It feels like that now...one fella gets his Datukship, then people bising-bising about those who are more qualified and this will be followed by more hasty announcements of Datukships being given out. My two sen today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Makan-Makan...Banglow

There's this place opposite the Grand Crystal Hotel, near Sentosa called Cafe Banglow. Dunno whether they called it this... Ban glow? Bang low? Or just it's supposed to be mean bungalow since the main building was a former bungalow. LOL!

From the outside it looked kinda quaint. So one Friday night, the 6 (HS, HL and the ma, other half, Lil Rainbow and I) of us decided to give it a try.
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Place looked nice enough. Kinda 'fun' to sit in these pondoks and eat your food kampung style, surrounded by lush greenery. But that's where the fun ends...cos the mozzies came zooming in even before we had settled in. We had to ask the waiter to light up the mozzie coil. As usual, Nancy is the early target. LOL! Somehow she always seems to attract their attention.
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They even have a big screen for those who want to watch sports or anything interesting I supposed. There was no one else there... and we soon found out why.
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The choice of food was very limited. Drinks were exorbitantly expensive by Alor Star standard. Nice surrounding but very so-so food. My feeling is this place might not last long.

Pulling hair...

Update: 5.09 p.m.
Came back...line at home working already.. what a relief. But since I was out in town, I decided to check out the offer from Celcom...seems there is a special offer for gahmen servants. Enquired..yup, it runs till 3oth Aug. But when I said I am using a Mac...the gal said, they have no driver for Mac. Aiyo! This is how ulu Alor Star can be when it comes to the type of computers. Sigh! Another price to be paid for tryin to be different. One more thing, I tried looking for the promo online. Save for the few mentions in blogs and forums I had a hard time locating the actual offer. How to promote if they don't publicise? Or maybe this is just one of those lip service thing?

Streamyx at home down...at work place also down since yesterday. Double whammy! On friend's Celcom Broadband now... belas kasihan. I feel kinda disconnected from the world. Have not 'pacat' on this kind soul's connection for some time but one thing, the connection speed seems to have improved. So, maybe I'll get myself one..... see how long I can tahan this one out.

Also means I have to go back to my trusty old hp-compaq nx9040 as this Celcom broadband is running on a Dopod. Dopod and MacBook don't seem to go together since the former is running on Windows Mobile. And I've tried to use my Nokia E65 to connect... have to download a script it seems. Have downloaded but not enough time to try it out. Price to pay for trying to be different.... ha! ha!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics Habis Liao...

Yesterday was a significant day...the last day of Olympics and the last service of our church at our present premise. We'll be moving on come next Sunday. I think many of us were filled with a certain nostalgia... The church has been worshipping here since the 60s.
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We hung around a while after that... then it was time to move on to dinner. Because of the move, we'll soon probably will find it difficult to get together for dinner after service as it will start later and also end later.So since today also happens to be the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic, we decided to have a makan together at Ah Ho's place. It's pot bless this time. The spread... By the time the food was laid on the table, Lil Rainbow was already seated, ready with her fork and spoon. She must have been famished.For Lil Rainbow this home was also a place she went almost every day for nearly 4 years except during hols. It's a place with many fond memories and familiar toys for her. I think she still enjoys coming here.After dinner, we sat around and watched the Closing Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. I'd rate it as rather boring actually. Probably because we can't really identify with what was going on and also a lack of familiarity with those on the screen. Nor could we make sense of the symbolism; if at all there were any. But we found this interesting though... This is the guy who played the electric guitar which accompanied the British side. GB will be hosting the next edition of Olympics. Does he look like someone we know? There were some of us who thought he looked like Pak Lah. LOL! Can you imagine Pak Lah as some rock star?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kelong Trip

We were on our way out from City-A-1. As usual we have to go through 3 of these bridges to get up north. This is one of the 3 bridges which span the Dinding River....(I hope I got my Geography correct). Anyway, we decided to stop just under the bridge to 'look-see'. This graffiti caught our eyes.This is the 3rd of the bridges...away from Sitiawan. If you are coming in from the north it will be the 1st bridge you will cross. It is also the longest of the 3 bridges. We walked around...other half and son were clicking their cameras away... saw many hermit crabs. Kids seldom get such opportunity. And being so 'urban', Lil Rainbow was actually afraid to go after them. I remember when I was a kid, we'd chase after them, even dig them out from the sand! Anyway, we saw this boat moored and a young man cleaning a car. So we asked him about taking a boat ride. He agreed to take all of us across the river for RM20.But as we were chugging along, he asked us whether we wanted to go the kelong. A kelong is a structure built in the river or sea to fish. We said okay as we had not been up one before. This is a shot of the kelong taken from the bridge. It's right in the middle of the river. Thankfully it was already almost evening...else it would have been even hotter!The small one on the left from the boat. It's quite small one, as you can see.This is the larger of the two kelong(s)...We took a walk on the kelong. Lil Rainbow was hanging onto the wooden handrails ....she was afraid of falling into the water. Walking on the floating 'bridges' was actually quite fun. They have built some shades all over the kelong so that you can sit under the shade and pancing ikan. Should be quite fun, I think.We spent quite some time walking around the kelong. They even have their own fish enclosures for their own fish which they are rearing. Then there are also rooms for those who want to spend a night on the kelong. They're quite spartan but looked okay. According the proprietress, they charge RM120 per adult and RM70 for kids for a one night 2 day stay, lunch, dinner and breakfast included. Dinner is fresh seafood .... I think the rate is quite reasonable. There is a small area to hang around.... Would be quite a nice place for small groups to get together and do some fishing or hanging out.On our way back to land, I noticed the mangrove swamp. The trees and their roots...reminded me of the history lesson about Malacca which I taught son and his friends when they were in Lower Secondary...how those roots which were sticking out served as a natural defense against invaders. If one were to fall on those 'akar ceracak', he'll be 'speared' by nature. The dense foliage would slow an advancing army. But the scenery was actually quite beautiful.

While chugging along, we saw a seagull circling in the air. The boatman told us he was going to dive for a fish. True enough, as we watched, the majestic bird skimmed the surface of the water and snagged itself a fish. We could see the scales reflecting the sunlight as the gull flew off with its catch for the day. Truly a wonderful experience!However, even before we got off the boat, Lil Rainbow was quite teary-eyed....not from the boat ride but apparently, the palm of her hand had lots of wooden splinters...from hanging on to those wooden handrails on the kelong. Other half counted 14 of them; big and small. We had to stop in Pantai Remis to get a tweezer from the pharmacy to pull them out...and 7-11 to get a drink to quench our thirst... from all the basking under the evening sun.

Twas an interesting trip...

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Beijing Olympic 2008 Banners @ Random Shots

3rd revamp of this post. The last shall be the first; the first shall be the last...mainly for easy maintenance. The banners for my blog for this Olympic season done by my other half.
Update 17/8/08
Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt both have made history. One with his 8-Gold Medal haul with records and the other, breaking the 100m with an unbelievable sub 9.7s and another record for 200m. The last athlete to achieve that was Carl Lewis.

The 6th banner....yay! athletic events start on Friday. My favourite sport in the Games. These events are as old as the Games, as original as you can get and they represent the sheer human spirit in attempting to beat the odds...Usain Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world. But the 100m sprint will witness more than its share of sprinters capable of dipping below 9.8 seconds. In the mid and long distances, watch the endurance and staying power of the athletes...after all the running events were the only events held in the first 13 Olympics. Those days athletes who win get free food and free theater tickets for the rest of their lives. Guess that is also like the RM1 million promised to any Malaysian who comes back with the gold medal.Fifth of the Olympic Banner fever series. This one features The Water Cube. With its depth of 3 metres it is believed to be the fastest pool in the world. Maybe that's why so many world records have been established here this Olympics. The Beijing Olympic torch is known as the Lucky Cloud and it's made of aluminium. Designed to remain lit even in harsh weather conditions, it is shaped like the traditional Chinese scroll. And finally, Michael Phelps, a phenomenal swimmer; American and already winner of 5 gold medals at the time of this writing. His total so far, from 2 Olympics stands at 11. He's gunning for Mark Spitz's haul of 7 gold medal in one Games. It seems within reach. He will go down as one of the greatest Olympians!The fourth in the Olympic series - the terracotta warriors. In death Qin Shih Huang Ti remains larger than life with his army guarding over this tomb which till this day has not been located. Works of art in themselves, these figures of clay are also showcases of the Chinese craftsmenship. Marvelled as one of the greatest 20th century archeological digs, it has given us insights to the life of the early Chinese civilization.
The 3rd banner in the Olympic series. Reminiscing about past glories....China, one of the world's earliest ancient civilizations. We have witnessed her rise and fall; and the dragon is rising again. The Great Wall of China....the legacy of Shih Huang Ti, the first Chinese Emperor. Built to keep out the barbarians, it heralded the beginning of a great civilization; east and west converged to it - The Middle Kingdom. In the similar vein, Beijing Olympics is perhaps also heralding in a new era of 'greatness'. A slumbering giant has awakened.
This one is The National Stadium...also known as the Bird's Nest. This is where the Opening and Closing ceremonies will be held, as well as the track and field events. It shares the same design as the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in France. First banner. Red is the auspicious colour for the Chinese - birth, prosperity, courage, loyalty. So red is the choice colour for the first banner. Fuwa is the name of the mascot. There are 5 of them in 5 Olympic colours and they embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals -- the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow. Dancing Beijing is the official emblem of Beijing 2008. And it is red also ... and styled in Chinese calligraphy with a dragon somewhere in the design. Everything Chinese!

Notebook Generation Gap

Little girl was all excited when her dad told her yesterday night that he had something for her. He always brings her little surprises, you see. So, when little one pestered him what it was...he replied - notebook....but he forgot to take them home.

This morning she asked me to remind him to bring the 'present' home. She was so excited when the papa came back for lunch and immediately asked for it. So when the father gave her the notebooks, her face fell. Papa was surprised why she was crestfallen ....

Then she asked, "Where is the notebook you said?"
The Papa replied, "There, these are the notebooks."
She answered, "But you said the notebooks...the computer notebooks."Then it dawned on us....notebooks to this gen of kids refer to a totally different thing..... now, is this generation gap or not? She thought her papa was going to give her a laptop computer. LOL!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008...

The Olympics has entered its last few days... been interesting so far. Michael Phelps and his 8 gold haul, Usain Bolt and his amazing double records for the sprints. Then of course there is Lee Chong Wei and his silver medal for Malaysia...it's not our first medal but it's the first from men's singles...though his winning the silver medal has also brought in the crows and the hawks to share his fame and glory for personal mileage(s)...him being whisked home, then to the Parliament followed by the Datukship award..... all with the Permatang Pauh by-election just around the corner. Sports should not be tainted by politics.

Then there is Natalie du Toit who finished 16th in the women's 10km swimming marathon. She finished 16th out of 25 but she is going down in history as the first amputee to compete in the Olympics. I agree with the gold medalist of this event...she deserves a medal for her extraordinary feat and character.

As for the team events, volleyball, beach volleyball and basketball are my favourites. The US and Serbia heart-stopping volleyball game was a favourite of mine. The Australians played well against the mighty US juggernaut in the basketball though they lost. Beach volleyball is highly entertaining to watch, the US gals won the gold. But I guess, if I were to pick an event or sport that truly reflects the indomitable human spirit, I'd pick all the marathon, triathlon events...on land and in the water. Those are events in which you can't even steal a second to gulp in the air or rest so badly needed by your body, where your aching muscles are screaming for relief.... They push the human endurance to the limit.

China will dominate this Olympic...as shown in their gold medal haul. Her emergence as the new superpower will be enhanced by her dominance in sports and will lend it the credence as well I supposed. It will probably stir up some sentiment of pride in Chinese all over the world because of the historical ties....Chinese were shipped out of China as coolies at the turn of the 20th century... that was how low the Chinese Empire fell. It has risen from the ashes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Avril Lavigne's Concert Is Off

Update 26th Aug: It's on again...but PAS Youth is still objecting strongly. What else is new?

This is the latest of the concerts cancelled because they are deemed not suitable for the eyes (and ears) of our people. Not that I am Avril's fan though I do listen to her songs ... can't help it since they are played so often on the radio, can I?

Same went for Gwen Steffani's concert last year if memory serves me, right. At the rate the authorities are going, they'd be cancelling 80% of the concerts in no time. Seems the youngsters will do drugs, go rempit, binge on alcohol if they enjoy themselves at the concert. The authorities say they are doing the responsible thing by cancelling such concerts. So here they are harping on the holier than thou thingy while failing to make sure that their very own backyard is kept clean of hanky panky stuff .... so this is the typical trumpeting of upholding moral values when sendiri punya moral values are full of holes.

Anyway, maybe they have forgotten that we live in an internet age...there're more negative influence there than an open concert. In the confines of four walls, more negative things can take place than in an open field of the concert. So, shouldn't we ban the internet also then? After all, you can download Avril Lavigne, Gwen Steffani and countless other 'worse' entertainers into your computer and view them at will as many times as you want.

Even unsolicited sms to your mobile phone have worse effects.. lately I've been getting lots of messages asking to subsribe to sexy babes and other porn stuff. So why aren't the authorities looking into such abuses? This is also out in the open and they're getting more blatant about it. Just in case they have forgotten, they're plenty of young mobile phone users out there. Now wouldn't the young people be influenced to have their own orgies and what have you not because of such easy availability...right to their doorstep (mata) some more? Sometimes, I wonder why our authorities are so myopic!

Whatever it is, negative influences....they're there, they're as old as the human race.

What a Father Would Do For His Son...

A friend sent me this and I found it really meaningful... a reminder of the love of our Heavenly Father as well as our earthly father has for us..... only that sometimes we don't see it.



Anyway, I did a little more looking around and found their website. Go check it out...it's an inspiration. Team Hoyt: Racing Towards Inclusion...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Holiday and Brain Freeze

It's school hols and it's also a season of brain freeze. One of those times when ideas and thoughts are zooming past but 'tangkap' nothing ...

Now that Michael Phelps is done with his fantastic feat...it's Usain Bolt and his bolting around the track. Would be interesting to watch him run his 200m. A little island in the Caribbean can produce so many world class sprinters.

A population of under 3 million people with 2 golds and 2 silvers so far...and the figure is set to rise still. We have 25 million people...and 1 silver to show. Aiyo! We had dinner together with Ah Ho and George on that night at their place - hoping to see an action-packed game between Super Dan and Chong Wei. No go...by the time we were done with our makan, the game was almost done! But food as usual was superb. She cooked Japanese this time!

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Mushroom and prawns...Yummylicious! Especially the mushroom!

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Simple and delicious...

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Chicken in Teriyaki sauce.

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No Japanese meal is complete without this! 8)

Anyway back to my little world... Boy! When life slows down somewhat .... everything follows suit.

But holiday does not mean a break from the mundane... in fact it magnifies it.. marketing, clearing the house, catching up with Lil Rainbow's lessons (not getting very far with it and the hols is coming to an end already) etc... I'd rather go to work. This morning I had to spend quite a bit of time 'unclogging' my sink. It was a messy job! At home, I become the maid...at work, at least I don't have to do such things.

Pictures at the market taken from the height of a 7 year old kiddo. 8) Hols is also a time where I get taken to the market, Nancy takes me ... and I get to take Lil Rainbow along. LOL!

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That's as high as she can go! That's her eye level!

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The food stalls by the side. But like most Malaysian markets, you have to contend with the smell. So it kinda puts you off where the food is concerned! But most people don't mind. High time they upgrade this place!

Got a Kodak EasyShare M853 at the Pikom Fair for the kids to bring around and snap whatever catches their eyes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lye Huat Garden

Decided to take Lil Rainbow out for an excursion during the weekend. Since she always enjoy feeding the fish at Lye Huat Stone Garden, we decided to head there. Situated at KM19.7 of the North South Highway, this is actually a very nice place to visit. It's privately owned but I call it an all-in-one place. In it you get a park, a very nice one, a mini zoo which is really quite well-stocked with animals, an aquarium, a mini museum, an extensive stone collection, bonsai park and a few other interesting stuff. The facade of the park. BTW, entrance is RM10 for adults and RM4 for kids below 12.One of the exhibits that greets visitors upon entry. These are bronze replicas of the terracota warriors ... they're right down to the actual size.This is from the museum...don't see this kind of machine these days. Was used to separate the rice from the husk, I think. This brings back memories...as a kid I used to stay beside a rubber factory. Those days they used this to flatten the latex. Once it is flatten they will smoke the rubber pieces. The smoke would get into everything!Came across this decapitated sculpture while walking around.An albino python.... I've seen this one grow. Son has put it around his neck before, but it was quite small those days. But don't think so he'll dare to do so now that it is so humongous.Bambi's friends. There is also an aquarium in the park. You can see the pirarucu, a fish native to the Amazon there. I think there are quite a number of them, each one measuring 8 feet or more. Miniature replicas of scenic locations in China as well as Malaysia.Bicycle collection. The bicycle collection is actually quite extensive.The owner of the park has been able to get all this pieces of door frames with intricate carvings and transported them here. They're really works of art.Bonsai park, they're lots of them all over the park. The landscaping is actually quite nice.This is another one of the many bonsai overlooking the lake. It's kinda unique.The reason why we went to the park...to feed the fish. You can buy the fish food from the entrance at RM1 per packet. It's really nice to feed them cos they come in droves.And you can actually touch them and they actually eat from your hand!It's one of the nicer places up north. If you happen to be on the way to Haatyai, you definitely have to pass by it. The owner started the park over 10 years ago as a place for tea lovers. It was supposed to be a place where you can go sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the evenings and sip tea at the same time. It has evolved since then.