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Water pitcher that’s popular among villagers April 30, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Culture, Malaysia, Places.
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There are water containers aplenty at hypermarkets and grocery shops but the ones above have caught the imagination of visitors to the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

The Labu Sayong has been around for a long time. However, in recent years local and foreign tourists have developed a liking for this local handicraft that is made generally the old fashioned way.

That means, hand-made and burnt to become crisp black and hardened by fire. According to those who are familiar with labu sayong, the water pitcher can “breathe”, thus creating a refrigeration effect on the water within.

Within hours of being housed in a labu sayong, the water becomes cool. Therein lies its merit. If you come across these water pitchers, you may buy one or two and try them out for yourself.

Naan better! April 18, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Culture, Food, Malaysia, People.
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My preference for exotic food whenever the mood strikes me is to order a garlic naan with lots of margarine on top.

There are numerousl places in Klang valley where naan is made, sold and consumed. Lately, I have been curious as to how this stuff is made. I have noticed that big, ugly clay oven that sits in every eatery that sells naan.

  One naan guy told me that the ugly looking oven is actually imported from India. It may be low tech but its funcationality is indisputable. When you take a look at how the fresh naan gets cooked on the inside walls of the oven, you will be impressed.

 But be careful not to scorch your eyebrows! Some eateries have more than 10 varieties of naan. If there anything better than none, naan’s better, I assure you.

Living in a beehive environment in the city April 17, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Culture, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, People, Places.
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Those who are lucky enough to live in more plush surroundings probably don’t know what it’s like to stay in a flat like the above.

I lived in one of these several decades ago. In fact, I was a resident for about 4 years. On hindsight, it wasn’t such a terrible existence. For one thing, access to food and other amenities was eminently easy.

Getting about in the city was also relatively easy. From experience, I can tell you that the city “sleeps” for only about an hour every 24 hours, and that is from 3am to 4am. By the time, the hour slips past 4am, the city slowly stirs.

The sounds of cars and pre-dawn lorries could be heard outside. Many street vendors wake up around this time. They are up at 4am, making preparations to sell their wares or food stuff at the very latest 7pm.

It was a learning experience. So don’t begrudge what these people earn. It’s all hard work and it is a daily grind. Definitely not for the softies or weak-willed.

Ride the above-the-city train April 17, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Miscellaneous, People.
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Long before the Monorail and the Light Rail Transit made their appearances, the common forms of transportation were the bus, car, motorcycle or even bicycle.

However, the decades have come and gone. The exploding population in Klang Valley has compelled the city fathers to come up with practical solutions to a blooming problem.

To help city folks to move around the huge commercial centre, an efficient transport system must be put in place. Hence, the appearance of the LRT and the Monorail. Today, these two popular modes of transport are taken for granted.

The LRT has become a favourite vehicle for me. For a few dollars, I would be shuttled easily and quickly to all the destinations that I want. No fuss, no muss and just for a few dollars. That also means no traffic jams and avoiding roads that constantly suffer from flash floods.

Backalley eateries April 17, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Culture, Food, Malaysia, People, Places.
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Some of the finest, unheralded hawker food stalls are located in the generally forgotten corners of KL city. Take for example, the one above. This small stretch of backlane is located somewhere in the heart of Petaling Street area.

Come evening time, that means about 6pm, these stalls begin to stir. They offer a range of hawker fare that agree very well with folks staying around the area.

The prices are relatively low compared to the regular restaurants and you can sit and eat without the uniformed waiters and waitresses creating a fuss over you. So, you sit, eat and go. Simple as that.