New Highway Experience

Posted on Monday, 30 June 2008 by haan | 17 comments

Car Broke Down | Sg Lembing Trip People | Rainbow Waterfall | Millennium Coffee Shop | Muck Around 1 | Dinner | Panorama Hill | Muck Around 2 | Muck Around 3

Note: July is coming!! This is gonna be a very busy month for me. I've even informed my boss about my schedule, coz "last minute tasks" are too common and often. I wish to do a lot of things (fulfill my dreams) whilst not neglecting my job. I felt funny when he told me, "Will not call you tonight, no worry!"

Mentioned before that I spent the just-over weekend at Sg Lembing. We also gained another new experience this time, which was to have our car broken down on the highway when we were heading back to KL.

Prior to that, someone asked about the Emergency Phone available along the highway. None of us used it before, hence the question could not be answered appropriately.

Neng noticed that the temperature of the car was approaching maximum. She stopped the car. I experienced the same before, but I didn't notice the increased temperature, till my car could not go any further and I smelled something burning. I'm indeed a lousy driver.

Without having the chance to use the emergency phone, the patrol team had noticed us.

They came from the other side of the highway.

We were quite amazed with their efficiency. However, it's just the matter of our luck! They said they just passed by coincidently...

As we know, under such condition, we need to let the car rest for a little while before we could do anything.

Facing such a problem, I knew Neng must be feeling bad, coz we were talking about getting home early then take long hours sleep. We had been too hectic and tired for the past 2 days.

Therefore, I told her, need not to worry. There were 9 of us in total and for sure would face everything together. By the way, I snapped some photos, talked some nonsense to make others feel relaxed a bit. (though I didn't know if I was successful in doing this)

We stopped here (106.3) on the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur. The next exit is to Lanchang.

Not long after the arrival of the highway patrol team, another Chinese uncle arrived. The patrol team could not help in any way, till the car is "certified" to be problematic (this is their policy). The Chinese uncle claimed that the "casket" (hope the spelling is right) was broken.

However, the patrol team said they had only 1 "towing truck" (again, hope the term is right). If we were to wait for their free service, it's not known how long we had gotta wait. The Chinese uncle then offered the service for RM30, and we agreed.

The mechanic (more commonly known as foreman) arrived. He dragged the car to his shop. This is not the Chinese uncle previously mentioned.

There was only an iron stick used to drag the car. Someone had to manage the steering. Leong was the honored candidate for the holy task.

Arrived at the shop. I praised Leong for his great job (purposely did that in front of his girlfriend), but he said I was teasing him. Haiz...

Needless to say, the car examination was carried out immediately.

Tested this and that... the "casket" was actually not broken, but the engine fan did not function accordingly.

I was wondering if he felt pressured being monitored by 9 people.

While waiting, I said, no matter how much we study, how great are us (one is lawyer, one is working in the satellite industry, many deals with financial-related stuff etc), when the car broke down, we could do nothing, except asking help from the expert in that area.

The mechanic/foreman was okay. He did not charge us unreasonably due to emergency or coz we are not locals. He didn't change anything but provided us with temporary solutions (that could allow us to reach home, but would need further service afterwards).

Apart from telling Neng not to feel guilty, this incident allowed me to discover and feel how caring and considerate are my hometown friends. Compared to them, I'm really nothing although people used to say I'm meticulous.

Things happen for a reason, and I believe, it's the same this time.


P/S: Read Neng's write-up here in Chinese.

Phayao Food

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Note: Went to Sg Lembing over the weekend. No new post was written but I've got new photographs and experiences. We've had almost 3 hectic days and now my body is like in bits and pieces. However it was a nice trip with great people. Will share the fun soon.

Going to Phayao | Phayao Food | Wat Analayo | Other Wats in Phayao | The Beautiful Phayao Lake

I didn't actually eat much at Phayao. I was there only for a day.
  • First night's dinner - skipped (ate chocolate biscuites on the bus to Phayao)
  • Next day's breakfast - skipped (due to strong urge to visit Wat Analayo first)
  • Next day's lunch - Khow Soi (after long walk and search)
  • Next day's dinner - potato chips
  • Another day's breakfast - skipped (continued eating my chocolate biscuites when waiting for the bus going back to Chiang Mai)

The Phayao girl, Aof, told me that there is very nice Khow Soi in Phayao. Also, the Phayao map I got online states that there are a few "tasty curry stalls". Therefore, after few days of the same noddle soup, I wished to eat curry noodle again!

It took me quite some time to refer to map, get lost, get confused, ask people, and try again. I was very determined to find one. Finally, someone told me the shop's name with nice Khow Soi - it's call "Sang Pian". It's much easier to find by mentioning the name to the locals.

I eventually reached the place by having a girl sending me there by motorcycle. I feel very amazed with myself coz I always do a lot of silly things during my trips. However I enjoyed and appreciated these special experiences.

I walked so much that day, and finally could sit down to have a long-searched lunch - Khow Soi (25 Baht).

The Thai-style curry noddle soup (Khow Soi) comes with these ingredients: lime, salty veges, onions.

I ordered this as the drink (10 Baht). Actually I was like a dumb there, conveying my messages by pointing this and that. Luckily they could understand me.

Learned a few Thai words is helpful, e.g. Gai (chicken), Moo (pig), as well as some numbers, so that you know how much to pay.

A view from the outside. It's frequented by quite a lot of locals.

After the lunch, again I walked along the Phayao Lake. It was a peaceful site, so I strolled very slowly.

I saw people eating our so-called ABC (Ais Batu Campur). I was very tempted to try the Thai version. So I went over to order.

Do you see that there is bread in the bowl?

Is such machine still used in Malaysia? Hmm... am not sure.

Looks attractive ~~

I'll never forget to shoot a photo of the stall :)

Before eating the 10 Baht thingy...

See the bread again.. I think this is the main difference with the ABC in Malaysia.

Pasta Zanmai @ 1U

Posted on Monday, 23 June 2008 by haan | 5 comments
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I've three friends having their birthdays on 18 June.

Among three, one person can be ignored. For Danny, I sent him early regards a day earlier via messenger. The night of the day should surely be reserved for Bob (call her so coz she likes Bob Dog).

Last year, Feng and I celebrated with Bob at Bumbu Bali Puchong. Banana was on her backpacking trip in China.

This year, Banana and I celebrated with Bob. Feng is working holiday in New Zealand.

Where to go for dinner? This has always been a challenging question...

I left the decision to both of them, and finally, Pasta Zanmai at One Utama was selected.

Western or Japanese food? No worries, Pasta Zanmai can get you away from the hard decision!

Nice menu.


Address: G210B, Ground Floor Promenade, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama Damansara, 47800 PJ, Selangor.

Tel: +603 7728 1210
Mobile: +6012 507 1210

Business Hours
Sun - Thu: 10.00am - 10.00pm
Fri - Sat: 10.00am - 10.30pm

The cosy environment.


Okay, I'm not a food blogger, and I'm not born with this potential. Same as usual, they would consider what I should not eat, but the birthday girl's preference was still prioritized :)

Her taste bud is very different from me. She's a non-vege believer! Never ever change after so many years...

We ordered 3 meals and 2 desserts.

First of all, some hot green tea was necessary... coz we talked a lot..


Then, the first meal was served.

Hehe, this is an image taken from the menu.

This is the real eatable meal, Grilled Chicken and Hot Spring Egg Pizza, which costs RM20.


To clarify, we had done something to the egg... it actually came in a very nice shape. Next, my specially-ordered Salmon Pizza arrived...

Looks attractive, right? Again, this is just the menu ^^

Both the pizzas taste nice. This Salmon Pizza is RM25.


There was one thing that once we saw, we immediately felt want to order... it's the Squid and Squid-Ink Pasta.

Was curious how would the black noodles taste?

The real meal is very different from the menu, in terms of the plate used, the vege, the color of the squid etc. The fried garlic smelled nice!


The pasta itself costs RM18. If you order the set (comes with miso soup and salad), it costs RM22. We ordered the latter.

We added the brought-along Mills Mayonnaise to make the salad taste better! Actually that was not planned but Bob brought it for me when we met at her place (coz she doesn't eat and I'm a bread person).


It's then time for desserts!!!!!!

Tiramisu was the candidate Number One...

All of us agreed with each other that this Tiramisu is not up to standard. Tiramisu is not like this!!!! Still, it costs RM10.


Candidate Number Two was the "Green Tea Ice Cream with Green Tea Jelly and Red Bean". This name is bloooooooooody looooooooooong...

Better than Tiramisu, but I still found it a bit too sweet. This is RM15.


This was another good eating experience. Suddenly I felt tempted to go to the Coconut House near Pudu again, for the Tiramisu and Italian pizza there.

Next time... next time... not sure when, and not sure would be with who.

P/S: By the way, Banana will be leaving for NZ for Working Holiday too, on 25 June 2008. She'll be meeting Feng then. I don't know when the group of the Truly Treasured will be altogether again.


Related Reading: Fusing pasta with Japanese cuisine from NST

Small Reward from Air Asia

Posted on Thursday, 19 June 2008 by haan | 8 comments

When sharing the publication news last time, people asked me what's the reward?


I've got a few friends who flew Air Asia in April accidentally saw my face from the magazine. Then they either sent me email, called me, told me via messenger or left me comment on my blog.

These people include Esther, Tow Kee, Kei Seng, Siew Peng... as well as some hometown folks whom I don't know (they checked the name, found it similar to my brother's, then told my dad about it).


The person-in-charge, Ms Ng used to tell me, they were considering to reward me with a small gift. Months have passed. I've even forgotten about it, or when I recalled, I asked myself not to have high hope.

Today, my colleague passed me a registered mail from Air Asia. Immediately I could reckon what's in the envelope. However, I just didn't expect they would give me another copy of the magazine. I've got one!


So... here you go... two RM50 vouchers of Air Asia!!

What can I use it for? Maybe to buy a ticket to somewhere? It cannot be used to buy nasi lemak on the flight!!


Feel like I'm having a lot of chances to get vouchers this year (haiz, all are not spendable cash). And so far, I gave away all to others. This time, these two vouchers are valid till the end of year. One bad thing about it is the transaction needs to take place at their counter, which means KL Central or LCCT.

I also don't know whether I'll use them. If I were to giveaway, would spread the news here.

Any other idea how to utilize it well?

Phayao Wats

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Going to Phayao | Phayao Food | Wat Analayo | Other Wats in Phayao | The Beautiful Phayao Lake

After Wat Analayo, I decided to visit 2 more Wat (temples). Although there were more, but 3 temple visits in a day were more than enough for me.

Though not included in the previously bargained price, the driver was okay to send me to these places, wait for me, till the last destination (back to the bus station). More importantly, he did not charge me any cent more than the agreed 350B.

(1) Wat Sri Khom Kham

It's described as the "Heaven Hell Park", coz the sculpture garden at the north of the temple entrance contains a collection of statues that represent heaven and hell.

Heaven and hell... together?

It houses the largest Buddha statue of Lanna Thai, Phra Chao Ton Luang...

... a sitting Buddha with a lap width of 14 metres and height of 17 metres. It is said that it took no less than 33 years to complete.

An annual celebration takes place here in May.

Hmm.. what's this all about? A transport? No one to be asked, and no one to explain to me.

(2) Wat Phra That Chom Thong

Located not far from the above Wat Sri Khom Kham (as seen on the map) but is actually not that near to go on foot, this is another pleasant hilltop temple.

Being at the centre of a grove, it can be reached by a long staircase.

The temple is well-kept. Visitors (not many - only me) are welcomed to wander throughout. I didn't see the mentioned "handful of nasty pooches that prowl the area", as mentioned on the Web.

It's unclear when this chedi was first built, but it has been renovated on a number of occasions. It's said that the chedi was built to house a relic of the Buddha sent from Chiang Saen. Please do not question me how true is such saying. I also don't know.

Surrounded by an arboretum, it gave me a very special feeling.

Unusual Email, Usual Guy's Attitude

Posted on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 by haan | 10 comments
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This morning, when I checked mails, I was kinda surprised to see a mail from a friend.

I used to sit with this friend for at least 1 year in the past, and when we sat together, we didn't chat much. However, nowadays we do chat via messenger quite often. He's the kind whom I don't even have his mobile phone number in my directory.

Yesterday, he prompted me via messenger but I said I was not free to talk.

In his email today, he wrote:
Hey, do u know how to prepare the 'syrup' for 'dou fu fa'? Is it just boil the sugar with water..

Hahaha.. I was laughing in heart when seeing this. If not mistaken, this is the first ever email he wrote to me personally, and this is the question he asked!

He's overseas now for work. Has been there for months. I was aware when he was in the airport, as well as when he just arrived at his temporary accommodation. Thanks to the technology.

Few weeks ago, he told me about him and his female colleague, who is also overseas and aroused his interests. According to him, he has not got such feeling for long after he broke off with his ex. Again, I was told a lot of stories (don't know why, I have many of such opportunities and experiences), this and that... and I kept teasing him for being "so drunk"...

One of their means of communications is via cooking (the girl taught the guy). So, when I read that mail, I know it must be related to the girl again :)

While writing this post, 2 more mails came from him:
Nolar...Cook tong sui for myself lar...
Is the ‘bing tang’ good? How much hav to put?

Haha, she don’t like to eat too sweet o salty food...
Sometimes she cooked food n tong sui for me then I cook for her tong sui... ok lar...

Haiz, guys... I remember in the past, one who couldn't type Chinese tried so hard, spent so much time, just to reply my SMS in Chinese (yes, I'm very bad and do give a lot of challenges)... till he finally could master the skill fairly well and amazed his friends with his ability to reply fast in Chinese...

When they go after you, they could do a lot of unbelievable things... but once you have become theirs... deng deng deng deng... everything is very different then!

P/S: Therefore, I appreciate those who treat me very well without having any "special motive".

We are Writing

Posted on Monday, 9 June 2008 by haan | 17 comments
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最近,生活好像变得“很文字”起来,虽然我一直都没中断地在写。

除了大象佳霖的两个诗之部落带来很大的回响,那天敬懿也写了一篇“岁月带走了喜悦”,提及多年前写信的习惯。

昨天晚上看星洲副刊,也有个专题说到写信。

作者兼采访者张佩莉写得很美:

“生于1970年代的人是幸福的,因为我们侥幸赶上了手写书信的美好年代。

曾经我们拿起笔,就能洋洋洒洒写满两张信纸,嘴巴想要说的话,统统化成唠唠叨叨的文字,装进信封里,贴上邮票,等待信封被开启的那一刻,另一颗心灵的回应。”

读着读着,好多年前那些疯狂迷恋写信的日子、心情,都被召唤了回来。

也说不上是召唤... 就好像多年不见的老友,那么恰巧同时出现在一个地方,看到大家,嘴角都扬起笑容、会心一笑的这种感觉。


我一直都不明白,为什么适耕庄这个村庄可以培育出那么写得的人,尤其是我们这“鸡犬不宁”的一班。不必很刻意地屈指算,就能列出好一堆:
  • 得奖无数的佳霖
  • 好多次都很接近得奖的大象
  • 超级浪漫主义的名僖、
  • 随随便便就弄出文学气息很强烈的几句的翠霞(我每次都很想帮她记录下来)、
  • 工作上需要很多理性但却可以写得很感性的敬懿
  • 真正每天与文字打交道,写许多财经新闻还不够还要写部落格的雁君
  • 可以写得很搞笑的芗艽和abe
  • 我已经很少看到她们写的艾绸和小立等等。

以上所提及的,大多数都跟我写过信(简称“通信”),而那么多人当中,不用问,第一名肯定是佳霖。

我们从传统的纸笔,“进化”到用Ms Word。那时我在澳洲,信件要一星期才抵达。在这个通讯发达的时代,失去时效性的东西就少了价值,我们不得不改变。另外,softcopy真的可以省钱和环保。有段时期,他在商务书店工作,只能偷偷趁在那里上网时给我寄信(把早写好的文件attach to email)。

不懂有什么那么好谈了(我是记得的,不过想装忘了),我寄了信就用DiGi的网上户口SMS给他,跟他说寄了。似乎怕死迟看一分钟会失去什么似的,现在回想都觉得好笑。然后,他就会上网下载我的信(或者也寄他的过来),晚上回家仔细看、慢慢回。


名僖的信是比较稀而珍贵的。他数量不多,但每一次都很精细。有时邮票另类地贴、自己弄信封、设计漂亮的卡片等等。小立的呢,就比较诡异,爽爽加一张书签、一片叶子或一小包即溶咖啡,弄到简简单单一封信也要被澳洲海关开来检查。哈哈!

那时我住宿舍,吃晚饭时师兄姐派信,我就有信收(当然也不是每天)。我们不超过7个亚洲人,唯有我常有信收,而且我的表情都是喜滋滋的,令其他人很羡慕。

其实,生于80年代的人,也享受过书信的美好。就好像我们。

除了这些好朋友,我后来也写过好些信给其他人。老实说,都没有一个可以像他们,和我互动得很好。或许友谊之外,真的不能纯粹文字那么简单?(这虽是问句,但答案是"是"!)

有的会说,你继续写,我很喜欢看,不过你不要期待我会写,因为我不会写,我比较喜欢用讲的。

有的觉得我是科学怪人,什么年代了还在写信。

有的会给我气到,说我不想再收到这样的东西了,有什么不能直接说的呢?

当然,我也必须承认,我写的不只是美好、甜蜜的字句。有时,我也会写一些充满警告、火药味的。不过,那些是我在冷静的情况下写出来的。用写,就是因为想好好组织、呈现。很多东西我说不出,眼泪就已经流下来的,最后什么讯息都传达不到。


昨晚读到黄荧英所想的,我稍感释怀。突然之间,好像有个人把我心里的话都说了出来。

“面对面说话和写信是不一样的,少了书写这一块,你没有办法去梳理自己的情绪,没有办法或没有机会面对自己的感觉,没有办法沉淀,没有办法冷静。

他不在的时候,你给他写信,其实是在沉淀自己,告诉自己,我有多在乎这个人。

书写很含蓄,很有美感,现代人太直接了,少了一点美感。”


写到这里,我也不懂我这篇东西想要表达的是什么。只是有一点点感觉,想写出来,虽然是乱了一点。

最近,爱写的人都在网上写了。那些尘封多年的诗又重现天日。大家一起看、一起评,是比一个人看感觉好很多。就好像大象的"华文练习",如果不是雁君先问,我也不好意思问。怎知简单的一问,就有了答案,大家就有了头绪!

虽然现今会写诗的文艺男生少之又少,不过,追女孩子写这样的诗,又不解释该如何解读,确实也很令人头痛。可能她第一个念头就是"我们沟通上有障碍",要继续下去也很难了。

应该是了解到这点,佳霖也有蛮多浅白的情诗(不好意思,他不是写给我的但我都看了)。

想当年,生日的时候收到的,不是什么具体、昂贵的礼物,只是一张卡片,里头有为我生日而特别写的文章,我就很高兴了。奈何,这还是来自关系很好的普通朋友而已(我当然不是在嫌弃)。

我常以为自己是个很容易取悦的人,但事实上,我又是不是呢?


P/S:这些令人惊艳的照片,皆来自fuiyung

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