SUNDAY RENDEZVOUS

On Sunday, I went to Sg. Pelek, Sepang to see my TAR College ex room mate, Ms Pok together with another ex housemate, Ms Gan. Yes, it was a Mandarin speaking trip. I haven’t been on a Mandarin speaking trip for awhile, and I am glad that my mandarin is still smattering impressive; considering that I once mispronounced “mirror” as “sperm”.

Well, you people could consider this as a very mini fei chai trip… with the usual food galore, laughter and candid photography.

Being the one who is better in identifying routes, (despite always getting lost on my way to church), I took charge to drive Ms Gan to Sg. Pelek – coz if you depend on Ms Gan, you might as well ask the blind for directions. A piece of advice to drivers, especially the ladies, please learn to remember directions/ routes, other than going to your office from home, for your own good.

Ms Pok was a splendid host. She took us to Tanjung Sepat for brunch. Unfortunately, her usual haunt for ass-kicking Bak Kut Teh (Hokkien: Pork Rib Herbal Soup) was sold out by 10.30 am! Funny why she didn’t take us to her dad’s stall, selling the same thing, which was only 2 minutes drive from her home. We drove 15 minutes to Tanjung Sepat instead. (Sg. Pelek, orangnya pelik-pelik – Malay: The residents in Sg. Pelek are all weird) Heck. We drove 100 km away from KL to Tanjung Sepat for seafood.


Not discouraged, we were served the second best choice of dishes – the fish paste soup, stir fried ikan merah with bean paste and spicy calamari. The seafood was so fresh that I swore I saw the fish paste wiggling in the pot of hot soup.

After a hearty brunch, we took a stroll at the infamous Lover’s Bridge. I didn’t quite remember why it was called a Lover’s Bridge – considering I over ate during brunch and all my body energy was channeled into my gut area for digestion. The fishermen upload their goods from the boat to the shore using the connecting bridge. Ms Pok said, it was a sight to behold in early mornings to watch the fishermen coming back from the sea.

Lover’s Bridge

After basking in the hot sun, snapping away pictures, we were taken to this nice little kopitiam (Hokkien: Coffee shop) 2 minutes away from the Lover’s Bridge for a cup of aroma-rich authentic black coffee – the way my late grandmother used to love. The kopitiam also served the best toast bread that I had ever tasted. It was a delight to watch the elderly villagers nonchalantly kill time, playing Chinese chess on the porch of the kopitiam.

Stuffing our face with so many things in two hours proved much too heavy for us to bear. We went back to Ms Pok’s house for a breather. I took a short nap, sprawling on the cold floor of her living room. Yes – I am shameless. And the people in Sg Pelek do not close their doors during daylight. You could actually see people sprawling (not dead) in the living room to alleviate the heat from the sun, or just to chat with fellow family members. Don’t you just love small towns?

Cucumber in the Sky

We drove to Morib, which is about 30 minutes from Sg Pelek. There, we blended into a sea of people in their chatty and happy camaraderie; there was a small fest going on; bands and singers, ice cream sellers, colorful balloons and kites. It was an ideal place to bring your family members out. We had Ms Pok’s home made strawberry ice-sicle.

Morib

On our way back to Tanjung Sepat, Ms Pok took us to the mushroom culture plant. There, we could see how mushrooms are cultivated, harvested and packed. Couldn’t resist, I took some pictures – the boss of the plant was nice enough to explain the use of the many species to us.

Mushrooms

Backyard Swamp

At the backyard of the mushroom plant, we could see people harvesting lala in the torrid sun. Ms Gan and Ms Pok, being Puteri Lilins (Malay idiom: Wax Princess), couldn’t withstand the heat, they took a shelter in the car with fully blast air condition while I, being the one with elephant skin, snapped away pictures at the mangrove swamp. It was low tide and just perfect for picturesque shots. I offered to take pictures of a lovely couple whose camera chose to run out of battery unceremoniously at such a Kodak moment.

We had our lunch at 3.30 pm at the Lover’s Bridge’s seaside restaurant. Since we were all drained from the heat of the sun, we ordered dishes with a lot of water in it; fishball soup, lala soup, and fried mee hoon with crabs and the famous fried boneless fish (as claimed by the owner of the restaurant, this dish was recommended in the newspapers together with their famous fried calamari).

The boneless fish tasted a bit like keropok lekor, only slightly crunchier and flakier. The owner of this restaurant should come up with a signature chilli sauce to go with the fried fingers of fish. We were given an off-the-rack bottle of chilli sauce, which was an utter turn off for a serious food connoisseur like me. I wish there were a suggestion box where I could give them my two cents worth.

Not wanting to drive back to Kuala Lumpur in the dark with my sunglasses (yes- my spectacles are still missing), I suggested that we go home earlier. We made a brief stop at Bagan Lalang to check out the place. The sand was still soft and white. Unfortunately, there were too many litterbugs. The people should keep the place clean.

Colors in Bagan Lalang

The place was more commercialized compared to the last time I came here, some 8 years ago. There was a nice addition of colors to the place though. Those days, my group of friends and I would stay in a cargo made into a mini rest house. We would go to the beach; with spades and pails; not to build sand castles but to fork out the kepahs (Malay: mussels), embedded in the sand. We would take the pail of kepahs to a nearby restaurant and they would help us clean them up and cook up a dish for a mere RM3. Those were the good old days.

Family Outing

After filling our tummy, getting a nice tan, (for me – it is more like a heat stroke and sun burnt) and swearing off seafood for a week, we bid farewell to Ms Pok and promised to return again to fly some kites in Bagan Lalang.

NASI LEMAK FREE WEEK

Yes, I know the pics here had nothing to do with the title.

I didn’t have nasi lemak since Monday for my daily morning breakfast. I had toast instead. When Sugar requested me to ta pao for our regular Friday’s breakfast from a partially blind pakcik – fried mee hoon with fried egg and lot of sambal, I didn’t get one for myself – usually I would have it with beef rendang. Talking about discipline. I am very proud of myself.

Well, if a serial procrastinator can alter his lifestyle, I don’t see why I can’t! We have a healthy competition here.

Instead of going to FRIM today, I went to Batu Caves. I think scaling the 272 steps three times would be enough to burn some fat cells off. I will do it again tomorrow.

Apart from the threats from the ferocious monkeys and occasional bird shit (consider it lucky!) on your head, it was a satisfying climb… and a bird really shitted on my right arm today while I was taking pictures at the staircase.

My sister and cousin sister are training for their Mount Kinabalu trip this June. I cannot understand the hype about scaling Mount Kinabalu as I don’t believe in paying for self torture. Both my sister and cousin sis get to go for free – it’s a company’s trip. Hhmph.. come to think of it, the management has found a better way of laying off employees, minus the retrenchment cost. Arrange such a trip and hope they never return?

I didn’t manage to get many good shots… the climb obviously made me see some stars. Here are some of the best out of the 100 pics I took.

Guardian of the Gate


Inside the Cave


Sadly, Vandalism is still at large


The Monkey God


Lucky Birds


Treacherous Steps

After the climb, I rewarded myself with some dim sum and big ass plate of “man yee min” in Petaling Street with Ed and his friend, Daniel. Supposedly having French toasts and half boiled eggs at this hainanese shop, Yut Kee in Jalan Dang Wangi, but it was closed. Bummer.

Then mom cooked a scrumptious lunch… okay, I had a few pieces of steamed shrimp and fish paste wrapped in Chinese lettuce. Guess I have no choice but to skip dinner again today.

Lunch at Home

PUTRAJAYA: REDISCOVERED

I took leave on Friday to run some errands. One of them is to be Sekinchan Boy’s negotiator to buy a digital camera at Putrajaya. (CK said, it is cheaper by RM100 – RM200 there) Being too nice and chin chai, SB is always a gullible subject to be bullied and taken advantage on. So, I am his guardian angel to protect him from these predators. Now, come to think of it, I was the one being taken for a ride of some 80 kms away from home just to buy the damn camera. Lucky thing, he was the one driving, and I got to indulge in my photobug frenzy.

“Why not you ask CK?? He is genetically programmed to haggle for a price! He is much more terrorizing if were to be compared with the housewives haggling for 20 sen discount on kangkong!” I reasoned.

Sekinchan Boy replied, “He said I have to lick his ass if I want him to do me this favor.”

So, I thought, “SB prefers to lick mine, instead?”

I know. This is a sick thought.

Since we were there, we went on a photobug trip to Putrajaya Lake, to test his new Nikon 5900, 5.1 megapixels, 3x optical zoom, 16 feature modes and with D lighting. (I want this camera bloody OH-SO-MUCH!!!)

The pics here are taken with my trusty Canon Ixus II 3.2 Megapixel. I will upload his pics in my photoblog, if he remembers to pass me the pics. Enjoy.

Red Canna


The Pink Mosque


Bed of Flowers


Is this Bahamas?


Flower in the Sky


The Prime Minister’s Office


Macro Mosque

PHOTOBUG PARADISE

I was bitten by a photobug while in Sekinchan yesterday. The acres and acres of paddy field are simply breath taking. I can’t wait till harvesting time. There will be more interesting shots to be taken.

As I have mentioned in my previous entry regarding my mini fei chai trip, well, it was really a MINI mini fei chai trip. We had simple meals, mainly ala carte (Pan mein, Pork Noodles and Fishball noodles) and, towards dinner, we merely had a meal which didn’t go too well. The marmite crabs were not fresh, in fact, they were ugh.. foul.

Food…

It was a trip of pure photography, more like a photobug trip, rather than fei chai trip.

Guess I will have to blog more about a fei chai trip in near future, due to Toxic’s demand. *Smile* There is one coming.. soon.

And.. we chose the wrong night to go see the fire flies. It was 3 nights before full moon night – hence, too bright for us to see the luminous fire flies, lighting up the mangrove swamps like Christmas trees… we would have to go again to enjoy this nature’s beauty. The boatman who ferried us, advised us to go in November or December, during rainy season when fire flies prefer to come out and play when the weather is cooler.

Perspective I

Perspective II

Perspective III

Just Another Jackfruit Tree

YY was fascinated by this tree, so we took a pic of this for her remembrance. Probably can be used as a good feng shui pic to be placed in bedrooms of newly weds – to bear fruits?

Three is Company

Taken in front of the Ninth God’s temple.


Pisa in Sekinchan?

The camera is tilted to avoid taking into focus, the debris of construction beside the pagoda for joss papers burning.


Above the Clouds?

This is not a camera trick. *Grin* It was inverted from the original sunset picture. Rotated 180 degrees.


Sunset in Sekichan

Many thanks to Sekinchan Boy (Boon Seong) for taking me around for this photobug frenzy and for not pushing me off the sampan while in Kuala Selangor, and thanks to WY and YY for bearing with us, the photobug freaks.

For more pics, click here!

THE ORGANIC HORROR OF SEVEN SPINSTERS

Friend: So, What are you doing this weekend?

Self: Going off to some farm with six spinsters, to get in touch with the vegetables as therapy.

Friend: Cucumber?

Self: I prefer carrots.


Bad alternative to Diet Camps

Nope. I am not talking about ghost stories or the new movie, the Village. Perhaps a little bit of the Village. Like the story goes, it was a man made hoax to prevent villagers from migrating out of the village (something to that effect – I have yet to watch it). In Titi Eco Farm Resort, the owner closes its door by 6.00 p.m. to prevent its hapless patrons from escaping involuntary detention at its “resort”.

Titi Eco Farm is situated in between Semenyih and Kuala Klawang. If you don’t know the directions there, stop to ask the friendly people in Semenyih, they would be more than happy to help you. (If you still plan to go after reading this blog). The map given is totally useless.

Self: Uncle#! Is this the way to Titi Eco Farm? *Showed him the map*

Uncle: *Gulp* It’s a jungle out there! You sure you ladies wanna go there? You sure?

# In Malaysia, we address anyone older than us by Uncle or Auntie out of courtesy, even if we have no relations.

The seven of us – all unmarried ladies in their late 20s and early 30s went to this farm organized by Ms Tambi (my gullible ex manager) on Saturday. We parted in two separate cars – my car catered for those under 30 (Still-got-hope spinsters) while Ms Tambi’s car took those above 30 (running-out-of-time spinsters).

The journey sure dampened anyone’s mood – winding road and uphill. Those who have motion sickness – get ready your puke bags. No wonder Uncle was worried when we stopped for directions. There was an overturn lorry at one sharp corner. The only consolation was probably the nice view at Semenyih dam.


Semenyih dam

Itinery Saturday, 21 August 2004

2.00 pm – Checking in

3.00 pm – Waterfall – unguided. Meaning you have to drive down the long and winding road again yourself and see the waterfall which is now under renovation – what?? Waterfall under renovation? You mean it is not natural? We made a pass. I brought my swimsuit for nothing.

5.00 pm – Fibre Bread making demonstration. Looks easy. But the bread taste bland. Prefer the RM3.50 gardenia bread, and you don’t get your hands dirty

6.00 pm – Dinner. It sure consists of five colored vegetables as recommended by the nutritionists for healthy eating– light green, pastel green, dark green, blue green and shit green. I have met my fibre intake quota for the entire week with this one meal.

8.00 pm – Fire Flies – depending on weather. Pathetic. I don’t think I need to pay RM160/- to see that two fire flies at Kuala Selangor even if they are at the brink of extinction. (RM640/- (@#$%^&* expensive if you tell me) quad sharing room with no air condition and the electricity is limited – 12 hours standby solar energy)

8.30 pm – Star gazing. I could see stars from my house balcony, minus the mosquitoes.

9.00 pm – Organic farming methods. I made a pass and went to my room to shower and read a book.


Vegetarian Prison

Itinery – Sunday, 22 August 2004 – Oh… screw it.

It is not a boring place if you are a FANATIC organic food lover. Ms Tambi and another friend seemed to be enjoying themselves. It is definitely not a place for those city dwellers who couldn’t last an hour in the morning without a cup of caffeine laden beverage – coffee.

We were shocked when we were denied hot water to make our own coffee this morning, as the workers at this “resort” insisted us to have a healthy lifestyle – making us drink water from unidentified boiled leaves and a plate of fruit platter with dried hibiscus petals as breakfast.


Eating Vagina

Ms Tambi: What are you eating?

Self: Vagina.

Come to think of it, aren’t that reproductive organs of a plant? Fruits – ovaries, petals – vaginas, pollen – sperms, etc?

It was indeed an uneventful two days. The elderly were so bored that they asked if they could play mahjong. The children complained about the food. I saw a kid with red spots all over her face. What do you expect? It is a mosquitoes infested area. I think we are there to feed these blood suckers. They should pay us instead! At night, it was the mosquitoes net securing you from all kinds of bugs hovering at your verandah. Scary. It were as if you were in some B grade movie, featuring flesh-eating bugs.


Children at the brink of suicide over hunger

There is nothing much to talk about this trip except boredom, no coffee, eating plants reproductive organs, complaints, complaints and more complaints. Not to mention you have risk your life driving on the winding road.

And you have to wash your own dishes. A mother was screaming at her son for leaving the mug for her to wash. She reacted by throwing the forks and spoons into the basket provided as if she had been possessed by a lazy ghost. Should have brought along her maid to this resort.

TFF, YCF and myself went back earlier than scheduled as we couldn’t tolerate another meal with the five shades of greens. We went to Ampang for Yong Tau Foo instead.


Ampang Yong Tau Foo

Some pics of Titi Eco Farm Resort. Looks can be deceiving. Now I understand.


Conned by the alluring exterior of the resort


The Swamp thing?


Sunset


Pretty Yellow Flowers in such a boring place