28 July 2008


with my Old Man... Partly. Hee Hee.
.@ ICC for the Majlis Ilmu.

He, who has the most amazing creativity for modifications and fascination for the nuts and bolts finally put it to substantial use, when no one else could put the nuts and bolts back together.

.Reel-to-reel galore.

.1970's Nakamichi 1000, the world's first three-head cassette deck. At $3000 a piece back in the 1970's, this is one hellavu bomb.

.(L): Akai VTR. Vintage early to mid 1970s - Dubbed by some as the Extinct Akai Video Equipment. (R): The late Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Damit's tape recorder, 1950s/1960's. When the reel spins, you're like 'Damn, i want one of these!' (R)

.The late Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien's player. Late 1970s - two head deck which takes 7' reels and has mechanical controls.
It was pretty cool chilling in the canteen with the old man gossiping about family matters and how much longer we have to wait....
Behold, my favourite pose... tadaaaaaa.
.Respect. Peace out.

23 July 2008

Brain freeze

This is what i do sometimes when I'm burnt out at work. I think there are habits much more pathetic than this. =P

Here i am, sitting at my work desk close to 7pm, dreaming about what's cooking at home. And it suddenly occurred to me that for the month of July, i've had several kind souls that loves me enough to want to prepare/cook dinner for me after work.

I.e. My parrot trace, who made me lunch and dinner several times and even let me nap at her smelly bed and abuse her dvd player. Meowmeow auntie, who makes the yummiest soup and herbal drinks. Karibum babeh, who makes my favourite KimChee soup and fried rice. And the most unbelievable of them all, MKL Andrew who knows i dont eat crabs and instructed his maid to make me spare ribs. =O. Andrew, you are such a wonderful man... Now, what about that erasable pen?? In blue, black and red. Thank you =)

The Aftermath bit...

wasnt my kind of a Sunday morning. Construction works were going full-steam in my head. My body jelled like a bag of goo... and it did not make things better knowing my babes went for Kuching Laksa at the famous Chong Choon cafe without me! All the anticipation for local yums went down the drain.

So i went for a body massage, whilst the others braved a day at the Crocodile Farm.
.Pictures by Piggy and Caryn.

.A well-hidden secret.
It was a good trip to rejuvenate the work-worn soul. Many thanks to Piggy for organising this trip, Jimmy for his excellent hospitality (if you ever come across this blog), Boon's wonderful friends - Jeremy and Karen for their thumbs-up recommendation on food and drinks AND robbing me a couple hours worth of memory :P

.Till Vietnam.

22 July 2008

The Wine and Dine bit...

2nd night; our last night in Kuching. Contemplating between the rainforest or potentially a night out trying good food and good bars, we chose the latter. A phone call to Boon's friend and he recommended Blablabla restaurant to us. A couple of entries on google later, we made reservations at Blablabla and it was the best decision we made that night.

Hidden amongst old town shops, you wouldnt believe what lies beyond the entrance of this restaurant. Stone paths afloat a little pond led the way to the garden where we had to cross another tiny pond passing a big buddha-head and found our seat right under the skies. A.m.a.z.i.n.g!

When it comes to ordering food, you know there's no stopping growling stomachs and growing men and me, i.e. order first, figure how-to-finish later. We ordered almost all of their signature dish, up to 8 dishes when the waiter cut in "I think it's too much..." Feast your eyes and take a big gulp: the dishes are uncanny and imaginative, soft shell crab drizzled with chicken floss *_*, fresh prawns with damn crispy mantaus, cold midin salad which totally works, ostrich rolls, the so-damn-good mussels, crispy fried noodles with salted egg and century egg, nestum chicken and drunken duck, peanut butter cheesecake and vanilla cheesecake. Ohhh my gauuud.

.The gorgeous food that ended up swimming in our happy stomachs.

All that + a bottle of wine + 6 beers added up to RM300+. Unbelievable, isnt it. I love Kuching. Meowwwww.

Then came the decisions. Travillion for rows of pubs or few doors down to Junk Bar. Again, another wise move. Opened by the same owner of Blablabla Restaurant, Junk Bar is another surprise. This bar is filled with unimaginable, unique and timeless pieces of junk, or better termed as priceless treasures of the past. I am again impressed by the creativity of Kuching entrepreneurs. The pictures can spell it out.

.I want that, that and that too.

.(L):Super impressive door that looks like it cant take a woman's kick. And those boxes of plastic buses and firetrucks are sooo classic! (R): Totally lovin' the interior, peeled walls that looks ghostly yet gives the warm, underground feel.

.The next room where you can laze on monstrous beanbags.

.(L):Boon and his mate, Jeremy, whom he declares the only one that can bring him down back in those London days. (R): My nannies.

.(L):Gold superbling cash register that is still in use, what about that crazy-sized film recorder/player. (R): They absolutely mean it when they say it's served Ice Cold.
.Even Anthony Bourdain gave his seal of approval.

A couple of drinks and chats later, we moved on to Piccadilly's Music Cafe. Another good joint with karaoke.

.The singing sensation - Song of the night: "I love you babyyyyyy, and if it's quite alright, i need you babyyy~~".

It was a night well spent, memories well drawn.
The alcohol tolerance verdict:
Londoners: 1 down, Aussies: 1 down
Kuching: all standing, Brunei: 2 down. >_<

Oh, btw, have you heard about the Kuching mafias?
Here's one from Santubong.

The Sightseeing bit...

Thankfully it was a mild night, and we were able to wake up early and catch some Kuching sights. The weather was perfect for walking and photo shoots.

First stop, without doubt, was to pose infront of 'em proud tall-standing meows. Then straight off to the waterfront promenade which is one of my to-go list. The river was an unimpressive flat of brown but it was clean! It being a Saturday saw alot of youngsters lingering around, little trinket vendor stalls right beside the river selling arts & crafts, accessories, juices, ... you name it. Too bad we didnt get to come here during sunset, which i heard is the time when the promenade comes alive. There's also a 24-hour restaurant, Khatulistiwa, beside the river that looks very inviting but i cant say the same for their food.
.Traditional Bidayuh skull house.
We had lunch a couple of steps away at James Brooke Bistro & Cafe. The atmosphere is beautiful, good enough even for a cuppa coffee alone. The beef stroganoff i had was blah but the sambal chili fried chicken he had was ichiban! But ofcourse, he shared it with me. Keke. We walked off all that food starting with the Chinese Museum. It's rather small, i say you can cover this in 15mins. Overall, it displayed the history of discovering Kuching, some old chinese artifacts, statistics of races, and before i got the last shot that i want, i got waved off by the grumpy guardian. No camera allowed meh?? Bahhhh!

Then we took off to the realms of Kuching Old Court House. The buildings in town still bear that colonial splendour, beaming in newly-restored colours. I think we wandered down to Carpenter or India Street where the olde charm is maintained.

Typical of a tourist, you'd shoot at anything that you deemed interesting. Somehow a table spread with fresh fruits seemed interesting to me. Go figure... But NO! he told me green vegetables will turn out better in the pictures, so i shifted my focus to an auntie happily arranging her greens until she saw me. She immediately leapt off my vision, as if i was pointing a gun at her. Helloooo auntie.. scary mehh..

I totally ignored her cos i just wanted my shot and off i go. But i overheard this conversation behind me:

(In Hakka)
Lady A: Chomakai ooh (What's going on?)
Auntie Vege: Ngee yang siong loo.. (She's taking pictures loo)
Auntie Vege: Choi tu ai yang (Vege also wanna shoot)
Bla..bla..bla.. I understand you yooo auntie!

Wahaha.. she must think we're some sort of friggin' sakais that's never seen fresh green vegetables.

.Drowning in highly potent combination of salted fish, salted vege and sotong. Absolute high.

There were tons of furniture shops where you can most probably find things you've bought in Woodstock for half the price here. Sarongs, souvenirs, cowboy hats, and i am most intrigued by the little vendors that sold something peculiar. At first, he told me it was something meant for the manhood. I sneered and as always believe he's making a fool out of me. "It's trueeeeeee" so he picked up the brochure and i began reading down the bullet points. "For cold sores, sore throats, flus, fever, muscle aches" and the list goes on until the very last line which i do not quote goes along the line of "elongating or enlarging the manhood and promising a lasting effect" WHATTA!! Some kind of elixir it is, for the fools! Update: So he tells me, it's called "GAMBIR".

By mid noon, the mall starts calling. I cannot resist. Why is shopping even in Kuching that much better than Brunei. Huuhuu.

The Rainforest bit...

So the curse of Sebastian fell on us. Whilst on our way to Kuching, he who couldnt make it to the festival rang with an inquisitive tone. He ended the call with a "I hope it rains heavily tonight!" And the bugger couldnt have laid a better one on us. It was pouring as we stepped out of the airport, dumped our luggage at the apartment and headed straight to Santubong.
.View of the Meowland from Somerset Gateway Apartments.

The first thing that hit my mind when i was struggling my way up the little hills and turns at the Sarawak Cultural Village, was a treasure hunt held here would be super challenging. I'd the first rolling back down the hill.

The Jackpot.
We were approached by a couple waving entry tickets at a price similar to that sold at the counter. I am a paranoid freak, are they scalpers? are these tickets valid? before i am done with the are-these and what-ifs, our organiser, Piggy, had picked up the offer and scuffled us in. To the confusion of the wristband-slappers, they let 5 of us in for the price of 4. Muhuuhuu. And we were soon greeted by:
His Royal Awesomeness. Absolute sexyness and i mean it.
The minute i lifted my my right foot off the paved trail and onto the luscious greens, i regretted wearing sandals. Oooooh, the creamy and tantalising soak of mud. This was compensated by towering rainforest, incredible floaty music, woot-woots from fanatics and the lingering aroma of yummy hawker food.
This festival is, to my liking, far better than the Miri Jazz Festival. It feels realistically refreshing to be walking on bridges made of bamboos, watching people chillout on floor mats in replica longhouses, and then stumbling your way to thousands of people dancing to a stage of performers under the shadow of Mount Santubong.

It sent chills up my spine, which Carol Rodriguez Bello from Pinikpikan (Philippines) managed effortlessly. Her primal singing style and sharp ghostly voice left me speechless. I also enjoyed the bizarre quartet performance by New Rope String Bank (UK). The guy in a kilt totally nabbed it with his underwater performance, i.e. he played an entire piece whilst being supported upside down with his nose clipped. Ooohlala.
The music also brought out the mud warrior in some. Mudballs are seen flying distances, bikini bodies accentuated by glowy mud that has some kind of supernatural power in making boys/men alike zero-in on them amidst thousands.

.Blessed by the rain, you never know what nutrients lies within. Soak It Up!.

The so-called adventurous me did not have the stomach for mud baths. I just cant bear the thought of a 40-min ride back to town in that mess. Perhaps next year when we're geared up for it. heeeeee.
.Some queer sights during and after the festival.

.(L): Will the real knockout please stand up. (R): Monkey god salutes me.

.(L): Lok-Lok which i never fancied turned out yummers. (R): Mao-TzeDong serving drinks.
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