Archive for the ‘Travels and events’ Category

Tioman Island

June 27, 2009

Thanks to swine flu, overseas travel and flight-taking were banned in my family. Haha. Luckily, I still have Tioman Island as a holiday destination for me this semester break. Oh and ya, I have graduated, from the beloved Universiti Teknologi Petronas, now waiting for my convocation in August.

This Tioman trip is a really hectic one, no thanks to Mersing (the jetty where ferries will take you to Tioman) being so far away from Ipoh,  receiving a call to go for an interview and subsequently getting the job. More about the interview later. Anyway, this is account of my journey to and from Tioman. Hehe. I have to give credit to the driver who drove all the way from Ipoh to Mersing to KL and back to Ipoh. Hehe. He is none other than Mr Choe! *Clap* *Clap*

18/6: Mr Choe and I drove from Ipoh to Johor Bahru. He was the one driving, of course, and I was happily feeding him with Halls, Double Deckers and MiMi. Still remember MiMi? Haha. A snack so popular when we were young, only 20cents for 1 packet. Hahah.We met up with Mr Choe’s friends and put up a night in a hotel in JB.

19/6: Due to low tide, the ferries to Tioman couldn’t operate till evening so we lepak-ed at JB, til it was around 2pm. Then we started our journey to Mersing. We had two travel companions in the car that day, Amnard and Sin Yin. Hehe. Along the way, I think the tour leader received a call to ask us to go to Tanjung Gemok for the ferry. So we said bye-bye to Mersing when we passed it and headed to Tanjung Gemok. When we arrived at this fat tanjung, the person told us to go back to Mersing. It was like being duped! And it was like in the Amazing Race too. “The participants will now make their way to Mersing, the first 5 contestants to reach Mersing will make their way to the next round.” We reached Mersing at 5.30 and quickly got up the ferry to Tioman. The ferry ride to Tioman took around 2 hrs and we reached around 8pm. Those who are seasick, pls be aware of this; 2 hrs of torture ride.

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We had no one to blame, so we blamed the organiser. Haha.

20/6: I forgot to mention we stayed at Babura Resort at Tekek. The condition is okay-lahh, but the food could have been better. Hehe. Anyway, 2nd day at Tioman, it’s time for island hopping. We first visited an unknown island (I didnt catch the name), then to Salang where we had our lunch, next to the Marine Park of Tioman and finally to a small island called Renggis. For avid snorkellers, there’s not much you can see in the first three locations I mentioned. All you can see are just some common fishes you see in all islands. The Marine Park was disappointing as well; no corals spotted, only fishes swimming here and there looking for crumbs of bread. I was kinda bored looking at the same fishes throughout the trip to these three locations. I remember there was a lot to look at, at Redang Marine Park. Then, finally, we arrived at this small Renggis island. I wasnt expecting much but to my surprise, there was a lot of corals still alive in this island. I can see that the fishes here are happier fishes too. Hahaha. I dont know about other coral islands in Tioman, so I would just recommend this Renggis island for coral sightings. Hehe. Then we went back to Tekek. It was still quite early in the afternoon, surprisingly, so we rented bicycles and had land adventures instead. At night, we had BBQ dinner. The ingredients and marinating were prepared by the Resort and we had to barbeque our own dinner. =)

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Like budak kampung.. =)

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In a duty-free shop at Tekek.

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Mr Choe’s BBQ seafood platter. Yum!

21/6: Again, it was low tide in Tioman and we can only board the ferry late evening. The resort person then arranged for us to visit another side of Tioman called Juara. We visited a turtle hatchery at Juara Turtle Project and met some Mat Salleh volunteers. This project is a private and voluntary project, where they use collected funds to buy turtle eggs from poachers. An egg will cost them about RM2.50. The poachers just wouldnt stop poaching, although being aware of the turtle hatchery and the efforts to save the turtles. It was their means of earning more money. The authorities wouldnt do anything about this and the volunteers couldnt do anything about it except for buying back the eggs from these poachers. All donations by tourists will go to buying these turtle eggs, hatching them and releasing them as well as running the center. Most of the volunteers in this center were Mat Salleh and I was really humbled by their noble and kind act in saving turtles in our land, Malaysia. I didnt see any Malaysian volunteer except for the Tioman locals. Volunteers come from Holland, Australia, France and we have never even heard of Juara Turtle Project. We feel so ashamed realising that fact. So what we did was to donate a lot of money. =S Next we visited a waterfall with murky waters. Haha. After lunch, we took an afternoon nap and proceeded to the jetty to wait for our ferry. The ferry didnt arrive till 8pm and we reached Mersing at 10pm. Mr Choe had to drive all the way back to KL and we reached KL at 2.30am. What a tiring journey and that’s the end of our Tioman Island trip.

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Mr Choe is sulking for waiting too long at the jetty. Haha.

Tioman Island could have been better if not for irregular ferry services. Hehe. Maybe we were just unfortunate to meet with low tide situation. Anyway, we had fun, and lots of them, thanks to Mr Choe’s crazy friends. =)

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Candid Shots at Jurong Bird Park

March 23, 2009

I was browsing through my photo collections to see how my hair looked like a few months and I stumbled upon some pictures of these beautiful feathered creatures at Singapore’s very own Jurong Bird Park.

Enjoy the pictures!

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A peacock, obviously.

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A peacock, poised and elegant.

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Hey mandarin duck, where is your other half?

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An ostrich, smiling for the camera.

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A lory, looking lonely.

That same day, we visited the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. The entire day was really awesome. The parks were well managed, the animal shows were very entertaining, the park rangers were all very professional, both in handling the crowd as well as conducting the shows. Malaysia should really learn from our neighbour in this aspect.

The Incredible Journey to the South

November 30, 2008

My Incredible Journey to KL will start anytime soon. Why incredible? It’s because I’ll be the one driving! With my grandparents as passengers. Haha. I can hear my Grandma saying, “slow slow..” or “oi, dont talk while you’re driving, concentrate!” Oh, the stress of having someone judge your driving. Haha. I am still lucky to have them accompany me on a long ride to KL though. Hehe.

I am going to meet up with an ENT specialist in Sungai Buloh Hospital for consultation on my research project. Hopefully, everything works fine and Image Processing Cluster of UTP is able to start a research collaboration with the Hospital. =) I am the first from UTP to meet up with this ENT specialist. Oh, the stress of having such responsibility rested on your shoulders. I really hope I’m able to explain myself and the rest of the team so that a long-term collaboration between UTP and the Hospital can be put in place.

Next, I am attending the International Petroleum Technology Conference. Students can attend the conference for free. There will be many industry experts attending this conference and I hope I can gain a good insight into the petroleum industry which I am quite clueless about. The conference will be held for 3 days. And it’s during working hours, obviously. Oh, the stress of having to squeeze myself into the trains to take me to KLCC from Kelana Jaya.

Despite all the “stress”, I am excited for this Incredible Journey of mine! =) Gotta go!

Crowded KL

August 1, 2008

I am very tired now but I still want to blog about today before I forget. And yes, KL is crowded.

Let’s see, today is the first time I went down to KL without him to fetch me from the toll plaza, after a very very long time. I never had to worry about taking public transport or knowing all the different trains and their routes around KL. I felt like a tourist, haha. I was grateful I had Chris to take me to KLCC and You Zhuan, to all other places. Thanks girl for coming all the way down to save me, a Damsel in Distress! (Ya, that’s what I am, a DID!)

Oh, let me talk about the trains. On one train, I saw this advertisement by KFC.

“Why do you want to stand in a crowded train when you can sit in to a hearty KFC breakfast?”

My, I felt sooo insulted! Haha. Do you really think I want to take the train if I had any other choice??! Of course I would like to sit in to a hearty KFC breakfast instead of standing in a crowded train but since KFC insulted me, I don’t think I want to sit in to a hearty KFC breakfast anymore. Please do consider how your potential KFC breakfast customers would feel la before you put that up.

The crowd on my way back to You Zhuan’s place, my goodness! Why are there so many people in the world? Why are there so many people in the world who need trains? Okay okay, I sound super jakun here so let’s move on to happier things, like shopping and food. Haha.

I got myself one blouse, one T-shirt and a new purse. Yeah! I’m happy with my purchases, or so-called, investments! Gosh, I sound like Becky Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic.

As for dinner, me and You Zhuan decided to try something totally new and we ended up in The Apartment in KLCC. It was a very cosy place and the food was heavenly! You Zhuan ordered Chicken and Mushroom Pasta while I ordered Green Chicken Curry and together, we shared a slice of Bailey’s Cheesecake. They were all oh-so-delicious! Maybe we were very hungry la, that’s why they tasted so very nice but I would definitely recommend their Bailey’s Cheesecake! Mmmmmm~~~ The one thing I really liked about the interior decor of the place were the book shelves!

Luckily I brought my camera along. Took some pictures at the entrance of Petronas Philharmonic Hall and The Apartment. Hehe.

 Petronas Philharmonic Hall

 Petronas Philharmonic Hall

The Apartment

Interior

More interior..

Books..

Books..

 More Books..

And even encyclopedias!

 

 Bailey’s Cheesecake!

 YZ’s Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

 SN’s Green Chicken Curry

The Apartment does look like one cosy, comfortable apartment, doesn’t it? They even had a bed for tired customers to sleep on. No, I’m just making up the allowed-to-sleep-on-the-bed thing.

Gotta sleep now! Goodnight! Coffee Bean Breakfast is on the menu tomorrow! Yay! =)

 

 

PDC Cup 2008

July 17, 2008

Okay, my first story after such a longggg time. Haha. It’s gonna be a long post. So PDC Cup is where I had my first badminton competition. My, it was such an experience! My conclusion: playing in a competition is soooo different from playing in casual games. Haha. It was quite difficult for me the first few days of the competition when my teammates were discussing strategies and plans. I found all the discussions to be very confusing. It was like, my teammates knew the strengths and weaknesses of each player in the opponent’s team, and me, being a newbie in PDC, knew no one. It was pretty hard to keep up with them when they were discussing. Haha. And afterwards, in the real game, I had to learn how to play with a plan and not just return the shuttle to the other side of the court. Sometimes, too many plannings in mind hampered my ability to think on the spot. Haha. Well, all these sure trained my mind to think faster and be more analytical. Hehe.

Here’s a chronology of the competition:

Day 1: I did not play and was put as a reserve player. There were 5 girls in my team and we only needed two pairs of ladies doubles. So I happily watched the games from the side. =) Okay, let me introduce the girls.

Lan Sin, whose backhand tap is her trademark move.

Woon Sin, the most keng girl player in our team.

 

Lee Yee, who decided to deploy this stop-sign strategy whenever she needs time to think. She’s so cute, who wouldn’t pause a while for her?? =p

Suk Han, who serves with style.

And ME! (who tried to serve with style)

Day 2: Lan Sin got injured while warming up and so, I was to play. She was injured for the rest of the competition and I played throughout the competition. SanNien-WoonSin played against YuenNah-partner and SanNien-WoonSin lost. Yuen Nah is a former state player I heard. Not too bad la, lost to a former state player. Haha.

Day 3: Captain decided to put me with Suk Han. SanNien-SukHan played like they never trained together before. There were lots of confusion and a lot of misses and mistakes. SanNien-SukHan lost. They went back home sad and disappointed. =( (Haha, so dramatic)

Day 4: Team decided that San Nien should be paired up with Woon Sin. San Nien was afraid to repeat her mistakes again and went earlier to warm up properly. SanNien-WoonSin won. They (or maybe just San Nien) were (was) elated. LD Team made it to the finals! Yeah! First time in the history of PDC Cup.

I look so tanned beside her.

Day 5: SanNien-WoonSin trashed opponent 21-2. Wahahaha. We all played very well but PP was a stronger team. We were already happy with the fact that we made it to the finals. Try again next year!

Haha, why is the event chronology all about San Nien? It’s because I kinda forgot who won and who lost specifically, for each day. But, I do remember this – Chee Yang lost in all the games that he played.

And he gained most popularity out of all the guys in my team because of his face. Is he really the most handsome one in my team? Haha. (Please win at least one game next year okay? =p)

 There are some other guys that deserve mentions here.

Firstly, my captain, J-Wing.

Captain J in action.

Chun Jern, who does not need to look where he’ll be placing his shuttle.

 There’s a reason why Thiam Ern (left) needs to share the limelight with Yuen Nah (right). Thank you Thiam Ern for willing to emulate Yuen Nah in our trainings! (Do you see any resemblance between Thiam Ern and Yuen Nah? He’s the closest we can get to Yuen Nah. Haha.)

Yuet Sheng, who is always there (thanks!) and whose height is very funny to Debbie.

To other guys, you were all great as well! I’m sorry I don’t have everyone’s picture with me. =)

Some action shots of me below. I know you would love to see how I look when I’m playing. Haha. =p

So happy to see the shuttle in my parther’s hand.

Sempat lagi pose while playing. Haha.

Then we all had a farewell lunch for me, Yuet Sheng and Chin Chong, as we are going back to our own universities. We, interns, were treated to seafood platters in Manhattan Fish Market. Haha. Thank you my dear teammates, for paying my lunch! Haha. I ate a lot, Woon Sin too. Both of us kept eating and eating and had everyone staring at us in disbelief. Great job Woon Sin! =p

Apart from eating, I had stomach cramps from laughing too much as well, thanks to most memorably, Su and Thiam Ern! It was really nice, everybody just chilling out and having lunch together. Hehe.

The GIRLS: (from left) me, Lee Yee, Woon Sin, Lan Sin and Suk Han.

The GUYS: (standing, from left) Chee Yang, Yuet Sheng, Thiam Erm, (seated, from left) Chin Chong, Captain J, Chun Jern, Su.

Wow, this is a pretty long post! As I bade farewell to all of them, I wonder if I’ll go back to Intel and play for LD team again. Chee Yang just sent me a msg on MSN, asking me to go back to PDC next year. He said they are short of players. Captain J said, look for him if I want a job in Intel. Haha. Thanks thanks! We shall see what happens in the coming year! All the best to all of you! And, don’t miss me too much, okay? =)

Kevin and Alan were here!

June 1, 2008

It was definitely a weekend filled with fun, laughter, catching-ups and surprises! Surprises include how an Ah Beng managed to save the day, against all odds, and how Alan was discovered in the jungles of Penang, having been trapped there for what seem to look like an eternity, judging from his inability to keep a proper straight face and smile for the camera, let alone pose! Kevin has got a detailed story of this heroic Ah Beng and a great account of the rescue of A.L.A.N. by the Great Four – Kevin, Chun Yan, Chris and Wai Lun -, so, please go and read about his Escape to Penang Island.. Trust me, you will be very entertained!

Kevin and Alan came on Friday evening and visited us, Cubics, in Intel and Altera. We (Kevin and Alan and Cubics from Intel) unexpectedly barged into a jamming session in Altera and Kevin was the ever-honoured guest guitarist, playing a few songs as requested by the Cubics in Altera. Then we headed for a quick dinner at McDonalds, where Kevin couldn’t seem to eat his Mc Chicken like how he used to, and then for Indiana Jones, and then to N-Park and then to bed.

Starting our Saturday with Hokkien Mee in Jelutong, we had a great deal of fun in Penang Hill and Fort Cornwallis.

Arrival at Penang Hill

 Arrival at Penang Hill, this time trying to pose

Debbie had a thing for walls that Saturday, I got roped in. Luckily we did not do the kiss-the-wall pose.

Took pictures in the gallery while waiting for the train.

“In This Club” would be the perfect background music

Kevin is able to hold the camera even while sleeping

I had two guys to sleep with.

The view was nice and the air was cool at the top.

View from top, it is on these train tracks that an Ah Beng finally saved the faces (or asses) of all Malaysians!

Kek Lok Si is visible on top of Penang Hill

Along the way, me and Kev wanted to create some romantic scenes and here are some of our attempts.

Our first attempt that failed miserably

Our second attempt, which could have been much better. A.L.A.N. just had to spoil the romance that was going on.

Happily being spotted by Kev

Happily spotting Kev, Kev is controlling his “cool”, cheh…

Debbie also had a thing for leaves and trees that day.

Debbie’s masterpiece of the day

My masterpiece of the day

Grasshoppers selling for RM1 each, haven’t seen these for a long time.

There’s an Indian temple and a mosque up the hill, along with some cannons to make it historical.

To war with the cannons! The air smells really good, Kev.

We went up on the canopy walkway against Debbie’s pleadings, “scary ah~ scary ah~” and “Si Fiu, don’t come near me!!!!“. Ask Si Fiu why.

Canopy walkway

Beautiful houses lined the road to the canopy walkway. We stopped to take pictures with the most beautiful one of all. And this picture looks like we’re already up in heaven.

Knocking on heaven’s door

After some Air Itam Laksa and Penang Road Cendol, we headed to Fort Cornwallis. Yes, we made it back to Fort Cornwallis!

Zig-zag pose, according to Deb

Surrender to me!

Kevin, Chris, A.L.A.N. and Si Fiu went up this lighthouse, I’m gonna try it some other time.

Wild horses in Fort Cornwallis

A visit to Fort Cornwallis wouldn’t be complete without a picture of its huge cannons so here it is.

Iconic

I could not spend the rest of the night and Sunday with the rest because I had to attend my cousin’s wedding. That night, we had a pillow talk after I came back from my cousin’s place. Sorry Kev, for not letting you to go to sleep. Hehe. I haven’t seen you for a long time ma~. After the weekend, Kevin and I talked through e-mails and we agreed that we haven’t had hearty laughs and talks like we had during the weekend for a long long time. It was indeed a great, great weekend! =)

p/s: I think Kev’s post is much more accurate, along with all the hilarious stories that I think would not be as nice if I repeat them here. Hehe. Go read Kev’s post even if you only know me and not know him!

Heritage Walk around Penang – Part 1

May 18, 2008

Internship in Penang has certainly brought me to a lot of new places, new sights, new experiences, new memories. 6 months into our internship, we are just not going to stop just yet. We are still discovering Penang, wanting to know more about the place we have come to love. Or at least, I have to come to love. So naturally, me and Chun Yan came up with the idea to walk around Penang town and I named this trip, Heritage Walk around Penang. We wanted to see all the old, historical sites and interesting places around Georgetown and while at it, we realised, we could not visit all these places in one day. We have to do it again, to cover more places. Therefore, it’s Heritage Walk around Penang – Part 1. I seriously hope we will have a Part 2. =)

1st stop: a hidden sauna and durian place in Balik Pulau.

I don’t know the name of this place (maybe I didn’t notice). It’s on a hill and the scenery was quite nice up there. Just a day ago, I was telling Euwing, I want to escape to a place where my eyes won’t see the end and there I was, on a hill, looking out, searching for an end that I will not find. That’s the whole point! Yeah! We had char koay teow and laksa as our lunch. I refused to have durian go into my stomach, of course. Peck Koon and Diane went for sauna. It was a very relaxing afternoon. We just sat there, chit-chatting and took some pictures.

 Lost and sesat

Sky Hill Seafood Restaurant

Just chilling

Oh darling, would you please look at me?

They remind me that I don’t have that someone, =p

On the way to our 2nd stop, I spotted this by the roadside:

A fortune teller finding fortune out of predicting people’s fortune

2nd stop: Burmese and Thai Buddhist temples, Pulau Tikus

We went to see the statue of Reclining Buddha. The temples were huge with elaborate interiors and colourful statues and paintings. There were a lot of tourists, Malaysians and foreigners alike. Wesak Day and Kathina Day preparations were already under way. For a moment, everything calmed down inside me and I felt at peace. =)

 

 

 Colourful structures

3rd stop: Maxim’s Cakes

This 3rd stop was not meant to be but since it’s so near to the temples, we might as well go and get some Portuguese egg tarts. This was Diane’s idea because she loves Portuguese egg tarts. Hehe. However, stepping into the bakery, what caught my attention were not the egg tarts but this:

Delicious-looking ice-creams!

They look too delicious~~! Quoted from Debbie, “Sinfully delicious!” Hahaha.

4th stop: The Chocolate Boutique

The Chocolate Boutique sells chocolate (obviously) and they are the sales representative of Beryl’s Chocolate. I just got to know that Beryl’s Chocolate is a local brand. The staff were very friendly, they let us try all the different types of chocolate they sell. I bought a pack of dark chocolates. Mmm~~! Chocolate flavours available include Tiramisu, Expresso, Coffee Beans, Passion Fruit, Rock Melon, Durian, Green Tea, Mango, Strawberry, Blueberry, Sesame and a lot more. These are the few that I remember. They have imported chocolated too. You should go give this Chocolate Boutique a try!

Me at The Chocolate Boutique

5th stop: The Clan Jetties of Penang

This is interesting, they actually have the Clan Jetties in Penang. Meaning, each clan have their own jetties. Meaning, these clans, their kampung is built on water. There are Lim Jetty, Ong Jetty, Tan Jetty, Lee Jetty. These clans have been living on water for generations, they built their houses on stilts. We went to Lim Jetty. From Lim Jetty, we can see Tan Jetty, Lee Jetty, across the water. On one jetty, everyone living there will bear one surname. So if you’re on Lim Jetty and you call out “Ah Lim!”, everyone will rush out. Haha.

Look at the banner, The Clan Jetties of Penang

Houses built on stilts

6th stop: Along the jetties

We walked around the jetties and the piers on our way to Fort Cornwallis.

 Tanjong City Marina and Church Street Pier, duh, =p

7th stop: Fort Cornwallis

Wow, 7 stops altogether? That’s a lot. Haha. Unfortunately, Fort Cornwallis was already closed by the time we reached. We walked all the way from the Clan Jetties to Fort Cornwallis just to find that it was already closed. Sad.. Next time then.

Pushing the door will all my might

We did try to push the door open, but to no avail, so, it’s okay.. We will get in next time!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Eating Spree around Sungai Petani

May 18, 2008

Debbie, Soon Yen and Chun Yan came to Sungai Petani to visit Ming Kiat and me. Ming Kiat is the best person to bring you for an eating spree around Sungai Petani. He knows places, much better than me. Haha. *salute* *salute*

1st stop: Lunch at Yik Wah Restaurant, famous for its lap cheong.

Verdict: Lap cheong is very juicy, tasty and sweet, mm mm ~!

They still serve rice in a small metal bowl.

2nd stop: SP bus station for blended drinks.

Verdict: Very special. They have blended corn, blended red bean, blended peanut, blended coconut, blended juices and the ultimate see sua kah (everything blended together)! See sua kah is quite nice with a pineapple after taste. My favourite is blended peanut but then it will make you very jelak after a few sips, so, overall, blended red bean is the nicest. Hehe.

From left: blended red bean, blended peanut, blended corn, blended coconut, blended red bean.

Then, we went up to Gunung Jerai for a full 3 hours. That’s a story for another time. I haven’t got the pictures from Li Ping. Hehe.

3rd stop: Man tau with cucur udang, at Jet Sen Restaurant, Bedong.

Verdict: Very nice, I can eat maybe like four? Haha. I had two, which just wasn’t enough for me. I think it’s cucur udang inside the man tau. We aren’t really sure what it is exactly but it’s definitely nice! Too bad I don’t have the pictures.

4th stop: Steamed tua pan, sambal sotong and ikan bakar at G.Tiang Restaurant, Bedong.

Verdict: Very special. I have never eaten steamed tua pan, people normally serve fried tua pan. Sambal sotong and ikan bakar is very tasty, with a superb sauce to go along with. Yum Yum!

FYI: Tua pan is called wat tan hor in Perak. Haha. For the sake of people who don’t know that wat tan hor is called tua pan here in the northern region. =p

Soon Yen thinks the food was very worth the trip to SP. I can see that he’s very satisfied. Haha. Give some credit to Bedong too (outskirts of SP). I enjoyed myself with the food too! =)

Rainforest Appreciation Walk, Botanical Gardens

May 18, 2008

This is my second volunteer event in Intel and this time it was to bring school children around the Botanical Gardens in Penang and teach them about the nature and impart values such as appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature, keeping our surroundings clean and free of trash and protecting the environment from harm in them. We were to tell them how important it is to take care of the environment so that the Earth will be a pleasant place to live in. This was how Intel Malaysia celebrated Earth Day.

I had an active role to play as I was assigned to collect names of volunteers from Penang Design Center (PDC). Euwing was in India so I was the one who answered all the questions, all the emails, all the IMs from PDCers, liaised with the organisers and arranged all the logistics for PDC volunteers including telling them where and what time to meet for the free shuttle and distributing T-shirts. My, PDCers are a bunch of enthusiastic crowd. What a week that was, I was juggling between this, my work and something personal. I am glad I made it through, I even comtemplated whether to go for the Walk as I was really tired, physically, mentally and emotionally. I was actually assigned to be a leader of one of the groups during the Walk but I just could not do it; I rejected the “offer”. I just wanted to be a participant and not worry about anything during the Walk and just enjoy the whole event. Luckily, the organisers got another person to replace me so then I was happy to be just participating.

Each group was given a set of questions, a trash bag and a map. We were to take the route shown on our maps, stop by certain stations, answer the questions and pick up rubbish along the way. I made new friends, fellow PDCers – Heng Yin, Jonie, Wai Min and Kean Foong – and school children – Geetha, Gayathri, Maha, Kuhan, among others (I forgot their names) –  ya, you would have guessed it, I was with a group of children from a Tamil school. =)

Picking up trash and answering questions

Most of them were Standard 6 kids and I think they are pretty smart. To a question, “Why is water important to us?”, one of them answered, “To regulate our body temperature.” Wow! Do I know this body-temperature-regulation thingy when I was in Standard 6? Maybe not yet. Haha. One girl by the name of Maha (if I remember correctly) walked beside me for practically the whole Walk. And she told me stories, about how often she comes for picnics in Botanical Gardens, how bad her school teachers for making them stay till 4pm everyday, how happy she was to be able to join this event, how she loves trees (nature), etc. One story stood out. She told me that some Indians, including her family, would worship the “cannon ball” from the cannon ball tree. If you have been to the Botanical Gardens, you would have seen the cannon ball trees lining the pathway just as you enter. The fruit does look like a cannon ball. Let me show you.

Cannon ball tree

According to her, they worship the cannon ball as they believe that one of the transformations of Lord Siva Lingam is inside this cannon ball. So they would pray and let the ball grow and erupt by itself. When the cannon ball erupts, its insides resembles Lord Siva Lingam. They would then be able pray to Lord Siva Lingam through that. See how important nature is to human beings? Protecting the nature does not only mean protecting our ecosystem, it also means protecting religious beliefs and cultures. Thanks to my new-found friend, I realised this.

The walk continued and I found myself pointing left and right, showing the kids different plants and trees and even a water treatment plant, going, “Look, that’s a staghorn!”, “Look, those are cactuses, you know?” or “Hey, there’s a water treatment plant here. You know what it’s for? It’s to give us clean water to drink and wash our stuffs”. One girl was looking for bamboo trees and we found it. “Look, your bamboo trees are here!”

Here are some plant pictures I took during the Walk.

Cactuses

Morning glories

I don’t know the name of this plant.

By the lily pond

Birds of paradise

 Candle tree

 I don’t know the name of this plant.

I don’t know the name of this plant too. I just know they come in two colours. =p 

Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place, I especially love the lily pond; very serene, very peaceful – good for your soul. =)

To wrap up the whole event, Euwing had another task for me; to take a group picture with the Friend Zy Nity banner.

Intel Boleh! PDC Boleh!

I went back home feeling happier after a week of distress. I think it was mainly because of the greeneries and the school children. They made my day. =)

To everyone, PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT, protect ourselves. =)

Mukah Head, a.k.a. Monkey Beach

May 3, 2008

There’s nothing monkey about this Monkey Beach. There was no sign of monkey anywhere on this Monkey Beach. How did they come up with this name, I don’t know.

Well, 12 of us wanted to watch sunset in Mukah Head but the boatman did not allow. We had to leave the beach at 7pm, he said.

We started our journey to the West at around 4pm. The hike to Mukah Head took us almost 2 hours while the hike up to the lighthouse took us around half an hour. Mind you, it is 1km of stairs before you reach the lighthouse.

This tree has tones.

Handsome biawak

Cute

Fooling around with Diane

The lighthouse was already closed by the time we reached. We could just see the lighthouse from outside, through the fence. =(

So near, yet so far

Still happy we made it to the top!

At the end, we did get to watch the sunset, not at Mukah Head as initially planned but on the boat on our way back. The following widescreen pictures were taken using manual mode; I had to adjust the shutter speed and aperture in my amateurish attempt to get the colours as how you will see.

 Our boatman against the sunset

Nightfall

If you would really like to experience sunset in Mukah Head, you should camp there for one night. There are camping facilities ready for campers.