Great Weekend

Trying to upload photos and keying some words but somehow couldn’t seem to go about it. WordPress’ platform is unlike dayre, which is much more user friendly! Oh well.. so I resorted to booting up my laptop to type these!

Thought of sharing some pics I took over the weekend in FRIM. I’ve been a regular on weekends at Kepong Botanical Garden and this place never ceased to amaze me. Every other weekend (well, I try to go every weekend but if only weather permits or feeling not too lazy!), I observed changes, dying trees being replaced, the digging of soil by the wild boars along the side of the walkway nearer to the forest, the two tortoises turning up on the fallen branch for a sun tan (I wonder if they are the same pair?), the benches along the lake which changed positions.. etc. It’s a nice and calm place to be in every weekend!

They seemed to build more platforms like these for yoga, picnic etc. Lovely!

Wonderful sun rays for generous supply of Vitamin D!

Had the privilege to spend Saturday noon with some old friends. Really surprise some friends whom I have lost touch with, but nevertheless still care very much about took the trouble to meet up for lunch, followed by coffee and cakes to catch up with old times.

1

Haha! Kia si lang! Meeting with MQ always ended up with at least 20 packets of meehoon from her factory in Sitiawan!

Ah.. I waited almost 20 freaking years for this burger!! I still remember back in those days.. I think back in 1998/99, where McDonald’s launched the Sesame Street collectibles, I dutifully went to buy Mc Veggie and eat it as my lunch when I was working in a bank in Jalan P. Ramlee. I remember they used to call this Taj Mahal burger or something.

Taste wise – I guess after 20 years, you probably will forget how it taste like… but I remember the fresh dhal taste from this burger and it is still tasty! Guess I am going again and again till this burger is taken off the menu again.. and probably has to wait another 20 years to eat it again!

Off Beat Lepak

15 Aug
Went to #offbeatlepak with Ikan Patin. It is just a gathering of friends and strangers alike in offbeat places like a vintage kopitiam – to hang out or lepak.

15 Aug-1
Prep while waiting for the lepakers.

15 Aug-2
It was very nice of the lady owner of this quaint kopitiam to let us just lepak there. The first #offbeatlepak was a few months back. Today’s a second one.

15 Aug-3
Nasi lemak is served for breakfast with a few choices of dishes. This is cooked by an Indonesian lady from Batam. Delicious sambal!

Around noon, nasi lemak stall would be replaced by Indian rice serving both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes.

The Kopitiam serves drinks and roti bakar or roti stim.

15 Aug-4
While waiting for others to arrive… snap photos of the old shop.

15 Aug-5
And the show begins..

15 Aug-6
Aunties enjoying the company of the youngsters. Old and young mingling. And some middle-aged people too. Lol

15 Aug-7
One last photo of the day.

My 100 Titles

Since we are still at it, I might as well come up with my own 100 titles – the books I’ve read.

This list shows what I’ve read the past 10 years. So, it’s like only 10 books per year. I should read more. I do not include the books that I’ve read half way. The list also does not include books that I’ve read and disliked. Haha. So it’s rather exclusive. Wah… I am such a nerd!

1. About A Boy, Nick Hornby ( I watched the movie 7x)
2. Adrian Mole From Minor to Major, Sue Townsend
3. Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years, Sue Townsend
4. Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years, Sue Townsend
5. Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction , Sue Townsend
6. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
7. After the Quake, Haruki Murakami
8. A Scarpetta Omnibus: Postmortem, Body of Evidence, All that Remains, Patricia Cornwell
9. Are You Afraid of the Dark? Sidney Sheldon
10. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
11. A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
12. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami
13. Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding
14. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Paulo Coelho (My first Paulo Coelho’s book!)
15. Chronicle of Death Foretold, Gabriel García Márquez
16. Dance, Dance, Dance, Haruki Murakami (I love this book!)
17. Dr. Mahathir’s Selected Letters to World Leaders, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad
18. Eleven Minutes, Paulo Coelho
19. Empress Wu, Lillian Too
20. Falling Leaves, Adeline Yen Mah
21. Farewell to my Concubine, Lilian Lee
22. Flowers in the Attic, VC Andrews
23. Forrest Gump, Winston Groom
24. Four Blondes, Candace Bushnell (Occasional chic lit!)
25. Francis Ford Coppola, David Bergen
26. I know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb (I love this book!)
27. In Evil Hour, Gabriel García Márquez
28. Just Cause, John Katzenbach
29. Kafka On the Shore, Haruki Murakami
30. Like the Flowing River, Paulo Coelho
31. Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles, Will Clarke
32. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (Read with a broken heart for better effects)
33. Master of the Game, Sidney Sheldon (My first Sidney Sheldon book!)
34. Man and Boy, Tony Parsons
35. Man and Wife, Tony Parsons
36. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
37. Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Gabriel García Márquez
38. Middle Sex, Jeffrey Eugenides (Quite tragic)
39. Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami (I love this book!)
40. Number 10, Sue Townsend
41. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
42. One for My Baby, Tony Parsons
43. Rebuilding Coventry, Sue Townsend
44. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
45. Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing, Coleman Barks
46. Saving Fish from Drowing, Amy Tan
47. She’s Come Undone, Wally Lamb
48. Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh, Mo Yan
49. South of Border, West of Sun, Haruki Murakami
50. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder (Super susah to read!)
51. Sputnik Sweetheart, Haruki Murakami
52. Strange Pilgrims, Gabriel García Márquez
53. Survival in the Killing Fields, Haing S. Ngor with Roger Warner (I cried my eye balls out reading this!)
54. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
55. The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan
56. The Bride Stripped Bare, Nikki Gemmell (Love! Love! Love!)
57. The Cider House Rules, John Irving
58. The Confession of Max Tivoli, Andrew Sean Greer
59. The Devil and Ms Prym, Paulo Coelho
60. The Edge of Reasons, Helen Fielding
61. The Elephant Vanishes, Haruki Murakami
62. The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho
63. The Firm, John Grisham
64. The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
65. The Gargoyle, Andrew Davison (Love! Love! Love!)
66. The Girl in the Picture: the Story of the Story of Kim Phúc, the Photograph and the Vietnam War, Denise Chong
67. The Girl Who Played Go, Shan Sa
68. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
69. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Sue Townsend
70. The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan (My first Amy Tan’s)
71. The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
72. The Interpretation of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
73. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
74. The Kitchen’s God’s Wife, Amy Tan
75. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (So sad!)
76. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
77. The Malay Dilemma, Mahathir Mohamad
78. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards
79. The Opposite Side of Faith, Amy Tan
80. The Outcast, Sadie Jones
81. The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coelho
82. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, Iris Chang
83. The Secrets of a Fire King, Kim Edwards
84. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
85. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche (This one I read till my kepala also almost pecah and took me many years till now, and am still reading it)
86. The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole, Sue Townsend
87. The Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
88. The Valkyries, Paulo Coelho
89. The Winner Stands Alone, Paulo Coelho *Just finished reading this week!
90. The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coelho
91. The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, Haruki Murakami (My first Murakami book! And there’s no turning back!)
92. The Zahir, Paulo Coelho
93. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
94. Underground, Haruki Murakami
95. Veronica Decides to Die, Paulo Coelho
96. Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson
97. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
98. What Your Teacher Didn’t Tell You, Farish A. Noor
99. Wild Swans, Jung Chang
100. Yasmin Ahmad’s Films, Amir Muhammad

My book reviews in my old blog here.

About my reading habits, here.

Best selling list, here.

100 Titles

I’ve been struggling to get my momentum back into reading for the past few months, glad to say that I’ve managed to read 3 books in a month!  This year alone, I’ve read 6 books. *A pat on my back* I’ve made it a habit to read at least 3 pages per night before I go to sleep. If the book is too good, I would end up reading a few chapters instead. So if you see me “fishing” in the office, you know that I’ve been reading a good book the night before.

So, what have I been reading? I just finished the Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. In fact, I read her first book – the Interpretation of Maladies many years back. Then, I watched the movie “the Namesake” which is based on her second book. Quite a prolific writer, if you ask me. She made ordinary lives of the Indian immigrants to the US/UK seemed extraordinary. I have this habit of reading books by the same author. Once I like the way the writer wrote or narrated, I would devour everything from the same writer. That is why I’ve finished almost every book from Haruki Murakami, Amy Tan, Paulo Coelho and Gabriel Marquez.

I’ve just finished a first novel, The Outcast by Sadie Jones – easy read. I finished it within a week, even before the new smell of the book dissipated into the air. And now, I am reading the Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho.

A friend shared with me 100 titles of books recommended to be read by the BBC. A quick check on the internet, this list was compiled back in 2003. I guess after 7 years, there are many other great books that BBC might overlook. Anyway, here are the 100 titles – so what have you read so far? Watching movies don’t count! I’ve read the ones highlighted in red. For the record – I cannot read fantasy book. I fell asleep reading the first page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone . It’s so damn boring. And I don’t read chic lits too. Sorry.. just not my cup of tea.

1. 1984, George Orwell
2. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
3. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
4. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
5. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
6. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
8. Animal Farm, George Orwell
9. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
10. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
11. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
12. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
13. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
14. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
15. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
16. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
17. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
18. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
19. Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes
20. Dracula, Bram Stoker
21. Dubliners, James Joyce
22. Emma, Jane Austen
23. Eugenie Grandet, Honore de Balzac
24. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
25. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
26. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
27. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
28. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
29. Grimm’s Fairy Stories, The Grimm Brothers
30. Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
31. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
32. Holes, Louis Sachar
33. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
34. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
35. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
36. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
37. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
38. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
39. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
40. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
41. Memoirs of Fanny Hill, John Cleland
42. Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
43. Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
44. Middlemarch, George Eliot
45. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
46. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
47. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
48. Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
49. Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
51. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
52. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
53. Paradise Lost, John Milton
54. Persuasion, Jane Austen
55. Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi
56. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
57. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
58. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
59. Tales of Terror and Mystery, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
60. Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
61. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
62. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
63. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
64. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
65. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas, père
66. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
67. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
68. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
69. The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
70. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
71. The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
72. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving
73. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
74. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
75. The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
76. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
77. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
78. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
79. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
80. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
81. The Provost, John Galt
82. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
83. The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
84. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
85. The Stand, Stephen King
86. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
87. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
88. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
89. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
90. The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells
91. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
92. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
93. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
94. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
95. Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Jules Verne
96. Ulysses, James Joyce
97. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
98. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
99. Watership Down, Richard Adams
100. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Only 19/100? Damn sad. Haha! How did you score?

Spending My Time

I have the feeling that the days are way too shortened. How time flies. Now it’s already going to the end of a quarter year! By the time my eyes reluctantly open to greet the day at 7.45 am sharp every morning, before I knew it, I am already on my way home to have lunch! Then, going home for the day to watch some meaningless soap operas on tv, and eventually going back to sleep and continue to have scattered dreams. And the cycle starts all over again.

It’s pleasant to know that, I’ve booked my flight ticket since last May during Air Asia sale and got the tickets dirt cheap. With seats allocation and meals both ways, I only paid Rm173 nett. So, I am going off for the weekend to Macau and Hong Kong again for the third time. I love Macau! At least there are some changes in otherwise routine days.

My friend in Hong Kong suddenly said, his mom and brother in law will be visiting him over the same weekend and apologized profusely for being unable to host us at his house in Yuen Long. I don’t care lah. This time Yung Kee’s roast goose is on him! Haha! A frantic last minute plan was executed. We were thinking of doing HK for a day but since a friend who hasn’t been to HK will be traveling with us this time, we decided to bunk into cheap hostel for a night. (Actually, it’s more about the food! Haha!) Instead of going to HK on Saturday, I will be making my way to HK on Sunday and going back to Macau on Monday night. Hope that the weather is agreeable with us. It’s not going to be pleasant to be traveling on ferry on stormy nights.

A friend complained that I haven’t been updating my blog religiously. Well, to make matters worse now.. my house wireless router decided to die on me. Haha. Kinda good also. No more gossiping at night to add on to my already overflowing demerits which secured me a spot in hell. Haha!

The book I read, the Gargoyles by Andrew Davidson – well, I must say, you guys shouldn’t miss reading this book. I’ve been spending restless nights reading it way past bed time. It didn’t appear to be a romance book at first – well, I’ve passed the age of wanting to read soppy romantic stories but, this one, is not the “usual” kind of romance. The wealth of emotions it portrayed is rather extraordinary. It really stirs your emotions as you read on and there is an unexplainable thirst after finishing one chapter. A thirst for more stories, more suspense, more heart breaks, more shocking moments, etc. that made you keep turning the pages. I cried in 3 parts while reading the book – page 360, 446 and 461.

“I love you. Aishiteru. Ego amo te. Ti amo. Ég elska Þig. Ich liebe dich.”

Well, here’s wishing you guys a good weekend ahead. Will find time to blog after my trip.