Friday, October 1, 2010

Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam is a beautiful country reflecting a truly asian experience. Main economic activity here is agriculture blessed with good ground providing abundant delicious tropical fruits, rice, nuts and vegetables. Post war led Vietnam to a great economic boom. Although their lifestyle is about 20 year backwards compare to KL, it's a pretty simple and peaceful lifestyle. Food is deliciously great, people are friendly. We had a chance to explore Ho Chi Minh, the largest city in Vietnam and the Mekong delta. The city is ornamented by many post colonization  French architecture buildings, bearing names similar to the ones in Paris. This Church is called Notre Dame

The Opera
We had a chance to witness a live orchestra concert in The Opera. Conducted by their own well known international music conductor and soprano singers

Dong Khoi Street is similar to Paris' own Champs de Elysee. Streets filled with designers boutique, art galleries, restaurants, souvenir shops etc.

We took a weekend tour to the Mekong Delta. 2 hours drive from the city, boarded a speed boat to the River's Delta which is 2 Km width filled with floating markets and villagers living by the river bank.

 We also took a sampan ride to the inner village which led us to our lunch at Mr. Kiet's home. 

Beautiful home with great Chinese influence feel. Walls and ceiling were wooden crafted in chinese characters and design. It's been told that the house was partial destroy during the war and the Japanese came to preserve and restore it to it's best. It's now a restaurant serving great food to tourist especially. It's funny, how this place surrondings do dot feel tourism at all, it feels warm and homely, the food is so delicious!

shopping at Ben Thanh market was almost the same like any other market. Things offered were different though. You can get tailored made clothes there ready within one day. Many selections of fabrics and silk clothe, nice coffee beans, lacquer ware and decorative souvenirs stuffs. Southern Vietnam is known for it's handmade lacquer ware. Exquisite lacquer ware can fetch very high prices. Outside Ben Thanh, you can find many jewelery shops selling gold and precious stones at a good bargain. Gold quality is not as good, 18 carat gold, which is 75% pure gold, hence faint yellow in colour but with lower price. you can also find many high quality jade stones from Myanmar at a good price too. i got mine, i like!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My dad's well written story of a dog and a biawak

Latest info at home..several days ago.
When Mum and Vivian came back from routine errands..they witnessed Trevor involve a big fight with a big Biawak (monitor lizard) within the compound of our hse car park area.

The fight of was a fierce scenario..biawak was about 2.5 feet long..a big one..probably has wrongly wandered into our hse compound..
Trevor of course was angry - Why u enter my confrontation was erupted...instantly. Both party displayed their kungfu..Trevor demo his sharpteeth and barking like like a mad dog (sure he is behaving like a mad dog) , the biawak hissing his biawak sounds like a menacing snake (reptile normally behave like that one)..Trevor moved in with his attack like a fiercest wild dog..

According to Vivian, Trevor got a whacking by the long tail of the said biawak...but this bad fella never admit failure or defeat..gave the biawak a run for his money..his body and leg and neck were bitten by Trevor...until Trevor 's mouth was smeared with red blood..the biawak blood..the biawak ran out..Trevor chased onto the road..fight continued..finally the biawak ran like a train into the longkang acrossing the road..only then Trevor balik rumah...of course pigi minum air dan ambil rihatlah..body sudah penat dan usia sudah tua macam sudah habis..duduk diam diam lah..Mum and Vivian rewarded him a shampoo bath and some dog food..After a while he  was back as normal..jalan sana sini inside the hse..follow mummy here and there..thinking may be got some more food ..may be got so fed up following mummy without purpose for so long..dia pun pigi tidur like a nothing to do..better sleep for a while..thinking bila ada chance lagi perang with another big biawak. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Domestic Violence is Pure Lunacy

A home should be the safest place where every person can retreat and look forward to. In reality, not everyone has a chance to go back to a happy home. Reality kicks us hard, and this home or this world can be a very ugly place to live or even to past endure one day. I'm particular speaking about domestic violence today, which is a sad common thing now that can happen to anyone or occur in any household.

Did you know?

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. 
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.3 Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. 
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

Women often being the victim, suffering in silence physically, emotionally. Why does violence happens at home and why it matters? A person that abuses are practically something  wrong with their brains. Domestic violence is the intended and willful intimidation, physical assault,  sexual assault, or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotion abuse and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control which is sadly a distinct behavior of most men. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes suicide. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.

Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. They have the tendency of resort to silence to protect the children or to protect themselves. Victim are often suffering from a lack of clear conscience & logical judgement reason to the intimidation and fear induced by the abuser. Victims are always undecided, powerless, ripped out of their human rights and respect.

 In our society today, as the public becoming more aware of this problem, we can care and help or do something to stop domestic violence. I'm glad Malaysia has the WAO (Women's Aid Organization) which can provide refuge to victims, or engage in a telephone or face-to-face counselling. number to call is

+60 3 7956 3488
+60 3 7960 3030

I'm not known of the actions taken, or will it involve the Police authority, but I believe we can stop domestic violence. Its just another decision of choice to make for our own lives, our loved ones and our future generation. Now I clearly understood the reason of why Oprah Winfrey is a massive influence. Her show is the highest rated program talk show and how much women love the show.  She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14 . Oprah was a victim of abuse but it had all changed just because Oprah decided to speak up!

A family and their Spitz

This is our favourite family member at home. 

We named him Trevor (though it's a man's name) after a character of a book I was reading at that time. It was a pet frog of Neville Longbottom's in Harry Porter. Offically his name is Trevor Ooi, but has many nicknames like Ver, Pi chai, chicken dog, rabbit dog. Taking care of a dog pet comes with great responsibilities. Making sure he's well fed, healthy, happy and gets the attention he deserves. Ver is one of a kind dog. He's crazy, stubborn, glutton, sticky, hyper and loves our companion and being petted.
Being a Spitz breed type, he is very active, aggressive, wolf-like characteristics such as independence, suspiciousness, and aggression towards unfamiliar humans or other dogs. It only  shows his friendliness if we accept strangers as friends. He loves to hunt for pest or just go sniffing around.

Physical appearance of a spitz shows long, thick, and often white fur, with pointed ears and muzzles. The tail is usually curled over the dog's back. Ver is a mixed breed spitz with some distinct appearance of a Retriever. His ears are very agile and has a little hint of brown fur.  When he was a puppy he was pure snow white and slept the whole time like a baby. While growing up, he was so aggressive and hyper active. he had so much energy that we can barely manage. Now being almost 7 years old, he is still active and crazy, but he grew to bond with us emotionally and cares very much for our family. He has become more "kuai", homely and responsible.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Urban Tokyo

Recent trip to the fast paced, expensive, clean city Tokyo was a great experience of culture, food, and entertainment. It was one of the top destination I will want to visit. Influenced by their arts, technologies, creativity, manga and stuffs, I'm a Japanese culture fan! Being part of theirs was no like appreciating from afar. We took Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Nagoya City. It was almost a four hour flight.
We planned our own trip with the huge help from Google. Booked our hotels and studied our mode of transportation and places to visit in a week. Well, it's not my favorite thing to do, because I sux at planning and I'm always super blur. Eventually, we got ourselves almost fully geared up with essential information and practiced common words to speak in Japanese (through my experiences watching Japanese cartoon and drama). When we reached Nagoya Airport, we took a car ride of almost 4 hours to Lida City, Nagona. Here, it's a country village, peaceful and quiet. Main activity here is agriculture, they plant apple trees. Again, Spring is beautiful there, with blooms of my favourite flower, Hydrengas.

Their so called national flower is Irises. It's very favored by their Queen. They plant this near government offices, palace, and important sidewalks. Blooms beautifully during late June

After 2 days in Nagoya, we're off to Tokyo. Our journey sets off at 8.30 am by bus to the bullet train terminal which they called the "Shinkansen". It was a real fast train 300km/hr. We managed to captured Mt. Fuji when we're inside the shinkansen thanks to the clear skies. It was a real rare opportunity


We arrived to Tokyo station at about noon. It was so busy with people everywhere. We made used of our map printouts. Luckily we have it, not all maps are in English. They happened to have other companies operating trains reaching you to desired exact location. The JR Rail network and the Subway metro. It was quite expensive, even if its 1 station apart, for 160 yen, and Yes, the map looks complicated.

Our first 4 nights, we accommodated at Chi-Sun Hotel in Ueno Park. It was a three-star hotel with everything at it's best. Strategically located near to the train station, not far from the heart of Tokyo, it's considered a good choice with a good price. Our first shopping stop was to Akihabara. My first assumption on this stop was for electronic stuffs but I was wrong.

It's a 1 stop place with everything, electronic gadgets, home appliances, makeup cosmetics, toys, hobby kits, toiletries, home deco and stuffs for the kids. We had a great lunch in a sushi restaurant beside this building. Sushi Zanmai is one of the chained sushi restaurant here offering the freshest sashimi with price above average. May I point out that the Sea Urchin was deliciously tasty!

Then we're off to Ginza street, the most expensive area in the world. Ginza is reputablely the most expensive place to shop in Japan. Famous department stores like Mitsukoshi, Matsuya, Matsuzakaya, Wako, Seibu, Hankyu, and the familar Isetan.  The Chuo Odori is the main street in Ginza turns into a pedestrian only street on weekends.

We walked Ginza street a few times. We too enjoyed other places in Shinjuku, Harajuku Streets, where we see youngsters parading in gothic costumes and makeup. We crossed a few times in the busiest crossing in the world, the Shibuya crossing

We've seen the pretty people in kimonos. Street walkers in the most outrageous fashion outfits. Bizarre dining experience. Viewed Tokio tower from Roponggi Hills. Met new friends. Overall, it was a great trip to a city.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Live Concerts of SP A Decade ago

You can judge how great a band or singer is by their live music performance. A few of my many favorite live acts performance by The Smashing Pumpkins during Adore and Machina Era. Billy, pumpkin ended after James left, please let it rest in peace and stop performing pumpkin songs by yourself with whatever bandmates. It's sad to see the way it is now. You guys did your very best and should be hounoured as a sweet memory and great history as a band.
Can't believe they had already gone for 10 years... =(

Today is the Greatest

This is one of my favorite songs from the Pumpkins. I love their alternative rock genre and I'm a great fan since many years ago and still am. Throughout teenage years, they had lived out the rocker chick inside me which I still fantasize about. I'm not all fond for Billy Corgan's whinny and sometimes too depressed voice, but they had created master pieces. They are still the best to live rock! Alternative rock music was huge during the 90's. At that time, they had a great drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin and a hot bassist, D'Arcy. Despite just the great band, more specifically I'm obsessed with James Iha, the lead guitarist. He plays love rock and he had a great solo album which needs more appreciation. I happened to stumble on this MTV outtake version which I found quite hilarious and it brought back old memories of fun, crazy and younger days. Ignore some obscene acts of couples making out, instead just focus on the band members - And yah, James is in a ladies' dress. Watch the original version first and then the outtake version.

Today - Smashing Pumpkins