12.2.07

To capture moments that put me on a high...

Funny, how one week I was sitting at home watching the ad campaign of 'Malaysia, Truly Asia' on the telly and the other I was staring at the rather imposing twin towers which are apparently 279 times my height. Though we didn't get to go to the skybridge, because our tour guide didn't happen to book the tickets ahead of time.

The twin towers, by day:
The Prada window inside the Suria KLCC:
And a peek at the towers by night, from in between the Hotel Nikko buildings:

The same day, we rushed from the twin towers to a shopping mall called The Weld. My friend P wanted to buy handbags from there cause there was quite a deal at hand. She bagged three of them for just 100 RM (ringgits). I had to literally keep my hands tied down, as I had quite finished with shopping by then. Which is why, I have resolved to keep a tight rein on my impulsive and compulsive shopping. At least I would not have to suffer from shopping pangs on future outings.

While returning to the towers (where we were supposed to meet the rest of the group and guide D) we had a nasty experience. We hopped into a cab. I mentioned that the Twin Towers were our destination and P happened to say Suria KLCC (which is basically the same because the mall is within the towers), when the man behind the wheel turned back and bit out: "I am confused about where you want to go." He was a bad 'un, that one. Whirling back he asked us where we were from and in a trice asked us to just get down. It was the offensive manner in which he spoke that raised my hackles. But I guess for every good experience you have, you do come across a bad one.

One evening we had the chance to walk down to Central Market or Pasar Seni. It was just perfect. I love to explore a place by walking through it. After I had shopped like crazy at this departmental store called Watson's, I came across these street musicians strumming the guitar and singing romantic numbers. With them was this little kid with a small guitar. He was adorable. So I went up to him. He was accompanied by this cute young hippy guy (not in the pic) who was quite a flirt. He told me that if I wanted to take the little fellow, I would have to take the big fella with me as well!

While these musicians were on with their strummings, young guys and girls were seated around enjoying a breezy cool evening. An ideal setting for sitting down with friends and doing nothing. Not even chatting probably.

Here are some ganeshas I saw at the Central Market that I was totally enchanted by:

(Clockwise) Canopy Ganesha, Teaching Ganesha, Bathing Ganesha, Mirror Ganesha and Sleeping Ganesha.


A woman selling yummy eatables on the pavement outside Sogo Mall:


This is a cafe outside the Sogo mall area where I tried Mee Goreng (spicy fried chicken noodles with the leafy local vegetable sawi and doused in soya sauce). The cafe owner was a Malay who was just very amused by us. I don't know why though.


The cutest chef I have laid my eyes on:


One night I went to Zouk (check out its facade with the lovely lighting that changed from blue to magenta and thereon), the hippest nightclub in KL, with the despicable Mr D.

That was the night he decided that he could hit on me. Even after I had warned him that the fact that I was talking and dancing with him doesn't mean that I am easy. The git had the guts to say later that he wanted me to put my arms around him because there were four girls trying to seduce him. I wish I could have flicked out a mirror and made him take a look at himself.

Inside Zouk:


A shot from the car, of Selangor, the city of lights:


We set out early in the morning on day four for Putrajaya, the venue for the Flora Fest. There were hardly any security hassles once we were in through the initial barrier. No checking. Nothing. After all, the place has been lucky so far as to have not been hit by terrorists.*Touchwood* It was a refreshing change.
These lovely girls wearing orchid garlands were waiting with pretty bouquets for the king and the queen:
It was kind of equivalent to the displays on our republic day. The individual states like Sabah, Johor, Selangor, KL, Terrenganu all had their flower displays. Even KFC had a display. Check out the KFC float:


With lovely music playing in the background and colourfully dressed men and women dancing, it was absolutely stunning:



The national mosque of Putrajaya. It was so pretty. I wore a bright pink huge jubba to get inside. That's when they decided that I could not get in because I was a non-Muslim. It hurt. The driver S who accompanied me there apologised profusely. It was touching considering the fact that it was something he could not help. Neither could I.


Just married!

Yes, this couple had just got married at the mosque. They made a charming picture in their shining white clothes. The guy is wearing a sampin (skirt), the baju malayu (kurta) and a songkok (cap), while the lady is in a kabaya (dress) along with the dudong (headscarf).

Aha, this one is a shot of the sting ray.

Inside the KL Towers itself there is an aquaria called Aquaria KLCC. Where I got to touch a star fish (rather gingerly) and a shark that looked more like an eel (the reaction here was a shudder). And of course I got to see all kinds of creatures -- green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, bamboo sharks, electric cat fishes, tree frogs, treetop serpents, tarantulas -- very eeky creatures most of them. The cutest of them was the common marmosets which were very human I must say. They kept on playing with each other. By that time, I was out of battery, so the digi cam wouldn't work, much to my dismay. Hence I missed out shots of the beautiful leopard shark and a massive black thing called the Tapa fish. The latter was omnious. It was resting quietly in a corner of the aquarium. "Mind you, that quiet demeanour is deceptive. It was bought by these locals from the rainforests. They had to carry it and bring it here. It was possible because it can live for an hour or two without water," said Fiona, the pretty PR for the Aquaria.
Now let's come to the most adventurous part of it all. It was the day we drove from KL to Penang. A tiring road trip, but when we stopped at a snake temple on the way to the hotel, here's what I saw:

This huge lady was open as was the one in the background and another python (not in the pic). This python seemed awake, while the other two appeared dead to the world. The reason being the fact that they were shedding their skins. What I did next never ceases to amaze me.
I touched the lady python.
It took me a good five minutes to actually touch her (you cannot imagine what a phobia I have of reptiles. I get nightmares of crocodiles and snakes with their slimy selves trying to get at me). The owner, a Chinese man called Chew, really coaxed me in to patting her. But when I touched her, she hardly felt slimy or the like. It was exactly like the way those smooth crocodile skin bags feel. After that Chew urged me to wrap her around my neck and get a pic taken. Now that I couldn't do. Lady python had her last meal some three weeks back.

Then there was Naja Naja:

This cobra was initially lying quietly in a corner with its mate. Till my idiotic group guys wanted it poked because they wanted nice pictures. "Aisa kijiye ki ye phan phailaye na!" said Mr J, which was translated duely to Chew by Mr J's friend, Mr S. But the funny part was that all of them went and stood behind the open cage, while I who is a complete coward, stood in front of it and went click, click, click, as it rose up with a hiss thanks to a good few pokes from Chew.
What really made me feel nice was holding a baby bunny and feeling it burrow in my hands. This talkative little 6-year-old Chinese girl, Zhiling Teow, who stays on the farm with her parents and uncle Chew, is holding the baby for me.
Just a feel-good picture by the pool at the Bayview resort in Penang:

A delicious lunch at The Happy Garden restaurant in Penang. The owner, Sherin, is a former Miss Hainan, who prepared this authentic Hainanese meal for us. So there were stir fried veggies spiced up with garlic, chicken dry fried in chilli and cashewnuts, claypot tofu and sizzling prawns served along with special Chinese tea.

More food! This time it was at the open eating area in Padang Kota in Penang. In the yellow bowl is the Laksa (rice noodles in tangy fish gravy), the blue plate has the Kampung (vegetarian fried rice and noodles cooked in soya sauce, garnished with an omelette) and in the orange dish is some Javanese noodles (cooked in a thick brown peanut sauce along with fish balls and prawns).

I especially enjoyed this meal because I was eating out with only guide D and driver S. The others were dining at Pizza Hut after we had just had a huge row between spoilt Ms S and D. Her mother even called up D threatening him with his job. It left him quite speechless as it left me ashamed of this group that I was stuck in.

A guy on with cooking satays:

This is the evening before the morning we set out for home. I took a real long walk on the beach by myself. And it was refreshing though I did feel a bit lonely at moments.


Whoa! It sure was a marathon post. As you can see, it got me going.

8 comments:

First Rain said...

Cool pics! Looks like you had a load of fun, despite questionable company.

:D

Hope you are doing well.

AB said...

Hiya... yes, it's like that bright speck in my life right now.

Toe Knee said...

I repeat - am jealous with a capital J

Penny Lane said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. The snake pictures I didn't need to see...

M said...

ha! i love the ganesha in a tub!?

AB said...

Toe knee: :0)

Penny: You should have touch a snake actually, at least once...;) And how are you otherwise?

M: Hi there! And how are you?

Grey Shades said...

Hey so glad to hear that you really enjoyed the place! Had you told me earlier, I could've put you in touch with this ex-journo friend there to take you to some out-of-the-ordinary places of KL. She is a second generation Indian-M'asian and mesa thinks you'd have gotten along really well! Ah theres always another time! :)

AB said...

Grey Shades: That's I guess what comes out of not blogging:0) But yes, next time I will keep that in mind...