Friday, December 31, 2004

I'm getting married in the morning.....

Gotcha! It ain't me but one of my best friends from good ole Penang. She's not much of a traditionalist but it is the event of January 2005! (I would like to say the year but I am kinda wishing for other things to happen as well)

So, Congratulations Zoop and Dave! I can't believe it's happening....I know it's already happened back in October but you know, this is the one we girls get to attend - that's gotta count for something!

On to other news - earthquake and tsunami. Seems Nostradamus 'predicted' it - a natural disaster that at first mere humankind equated with SARS, AIDS.....but now it's actually this biggest-in-40-years earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

I hear Pak Lah has postponed the New Year celebrations at KLCC. I think Malaysia should celebrate - celebrate that life still abounds, the new year brings new hope and opportunities, babies are being born, loves are being discovered. It's a happy time. A freak tragedy that we should mourn, but also realise that life and its uncertainty should be celebrated and appreciated even more so.

I was in Selangor when it happened. Didn't feel the tremors, didn't even know about it until 6pm Saturday evening. Maybe its harder for me to mourn deeply when it was so far removed from me, my family is safe and I don't really know anybody who was affected - even friends from India were safe.

I am not inhuman though. I still feel the tragic loss - reading the newspapers and seeing the images be it in print or on video - brings tears to my eyes.

But let us also remember the silver lining - Malaysia did not suffer such terrible losses as some other countries, we are still able and willing to offer aid, we have a calm, happy, peaceful nation where people (I don't want to use this phrase) of all races live in harmony. We say it quite often and hear the propaganda but have we ever really digested the phrase and understood it??? Where else in the world do you find this happening so smoothly?

We travel the world and it opens our eyes. Mamak food all around the clock, chinese/malay/indian/portugese/italian/ abound, beaches, fields, trees, hills, mountains, we're not in the path of any natural catastrophes, shopping all year round, rural and urban lifestyles, technologically much to live and be thankful for!

So let's celebrate because otherwise we may continue to take our good fortune for granted!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! May 2005 bring us all our hearts' dearest dreams!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


It's that time of the year again and I haven't even uploaded blogs about my New Zealand holiday with the girls in November 2004! What can I say? It's not easy to get everything done when there is so much to do!

Anyway, New Zealand was a bit of a let-dwon for me. Didn't think it was worth all the effort in planning, all the money spent and all the hoo-ha that people usually attribute to the gorgeous natural pastoral beauty of NZ.

There were definitely parts of the country to die for but I can't say the same for Auckland, Hokitari or whatever.....and so many other provincial little towns. I mean I can see (kinda) the lure of an untouched, quiet little town but to live where there is one main street and everybody knows your business and everybody knows your name......not quite the thing I want to get into. The shops close at 5.30pm, there's nothing to do at night (the night spots close at 10pm) and the food hardly varies.

There ARE a lot more sheep than people, or at least that's what I hardly see people out on the streets or even on their t-shirt I saw says it all
That about sums up New Zealand.

But let's concentrate on the inspiring parts of the country eh! South Island was our Promising Land - all our expectations were on that particular island after we traversed the North Island. It was almost fulfilled.

If you are driving, remember to stop for fresh crayfish on the drive between Picton (where the ferry berthes) and Christchurch. You will see the boats and you will see the signs. Milford Sound was gorgeous and beyond description especially if you're one for scenery. The snow-capped mountains always did it for me.

By the way, the North did have the Maori Village which was really cool and had a traditional performance of the Haka and other songs.

I had a whitebait omelette. Whitebait being the biggest catch of NZ - actually looks like ikan bilis with more meat and white. Also had a try of wombat burger which tasted pretty good and NOT like chicken.

Went also for a Glacier Walk at Franz Josef - climbed the FJ Glacier which left me numb from cold, kinda tired, sweaty, dirty and smelly from the poncho they provided. Not at all as cool as I thought it would be! Definitely does not compare with the Kinabalu experience!

The one place I truly enjoyed was Punakaiki with the Dolomite Walk and Pancake Rocks. I loved the sea spewing itself up through the blowholes and waited ages to catch the perfect photograph.

And now it's Christmas already! This year has flown by in the snap of fingers. Let's start the new year with new responsibilities, priorities and good luck; not forgetting love. Never forgetting love!

Ciao and may Buddha bless your lives always!