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Beyond the window of one’s vision July 29, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Food, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, Nature, Places.
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The above scenes were taken from a Chinese restaurant at the Holiday Villa Hotel in Petaling Jaya about one Chinese New Year ago.

Many of us have been guilty of being told “you have eyes that do not see!” Sadly, that’s true of nine out of 10 of us.

On a day when the food was great and time was not a factor, I gazed out of the restaurant window and caught scenes that soothed my mind and acted as balm for a tired body.

Very often in our busy lives, we do not take time to look without purpose out of the window. We think we have seen everything that needed to be seen, and yet we often see very little.

The world awaits our visual appreciation and we have been negligent in our duty. Is not the mirror-like water surface worthy of a second and third glance from us? Is it not human to appreciate the greenery displayed before our eyes?

This then is the malaise that plagues generation after generation. We are taught to keep our focus on your careers and on the money train. There are far more wonderful things of greater value to us if we just bother to look at thing that spell a silent Zen moment.

Look at the little birds chirping on a tree branch, listen to the crickets and to the whispers of the wind. Let your soul drifts to heights unattained by the finest modern jets. Let it be known that yours is the spirit put on earth for greater missions than just accumulating material wealth, for that is not the stuff you can take with you to the other side.

Communion with Mother Nature at Frim July 21, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Malaysia, Nature, People, Places.
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Many of us grew up in more natural surroundings than what is now termed as the concrete jungle. Back in those days, as some of us would like to say, there was a real jungle and you can actually bear witness to a flight of wild ducks.

Those days are gone now, in most cities and towns, anyway. There are still places outside the city centres where such natural sights are taken for granted.

If you feel like getting away from it all, just for a while, may I recommend Frim forest reserve which is near to Kepong. You will have to pay a nominal sum to go in with your family inside a car.

The trees are a welcome sight. There is less noise and almost no traffic in the serene grounds. Further up, there’s a small waterfall which will soothe those tired city eyes of yours.

Children and adults frolick in the murky waters that they would like to believe to be clean. If you want to have a feel of nature being close to you, you really need to get out of your car and walk.

The exercise will do you some good. On top of that, it will remind you of some of the nicest things that flourish outside the city limits. There’s a force in nature that rejuvenates your body and mind. Try it sometime in the near future.

Singapore Chinatown after dark July 20, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Culture, Food, Other Countries, People, Places, Singapore.
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Chinese all over the world have got this insatiable curiosity to visit other Chinatowns whenever they are on holiday on foreign soil.

Take for example, Melbourne, Australia. Right in the heart of this beautiful city is a neat Chinatown. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the kind of ambience that you will find in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But it is Chinatown nevertheless, even though many of the shops are manned by ex-Chinese mainlanders.

One Chinese can spot another “foreign” Chinese about four joss sticks’ fragrance away. Recently, I went south of the Malaysian border, down Singapore way.

Naturally, the island republic has her own Chinatown. It is one of the cleanest Chinatowns I have ever come across. The frontage of many of these old shoplots have got a new coat of paint and all significant repairs have been done. Quite impressive.

Some of the food stalls have items that I have not even tried before. Just goes to show you that it’s never too late to try something new.

The items were basically the same as those found in other Chinatowns, with a few variations, of course. Do I like it? Well, of course, Chinatown is Chinatown. It’s just like coming home.

So long as there are restaurants, roadside stalls and plenty of cheap souvenirs, we feel we have somehow arrive at the right spot.

The many faces of Singapore July 18, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Culture, Miscellaneous, Other Countries, People, Places, Singapore.
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South of border, down Johor way lies Singapore. For centuries Singapore has been part of Malaysia until the mid-1960s, then the boundaries were clearly marked.

Today, Singapore has a different geographical outlook. It is still like Malaysia in many ways but on other aspects, the Lion city and island state is totally different.

When a visitor goes down to Singapore from Malaysia, it is a study of contrasts. We are same, and yet different. That’s the flavour of the region. There are many interesting faces of Singapore. Beneath it all, we find we are very much the same.

One thing though, Singaporeans and Malaysians find each other quite interesting.

Little gems of delight that hang in your living room or hall July 17, 2008

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Craft, Culture, Malaysia, Places.
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I love going to festive carnivals because of all the tiny trinklets and other colourful and beautiful items, mostly done by hands.

Deepavali is about three months away and already I am planning to redecorate the interior of my house. The above pictures give you an idea of how many choices they are out there.

Nothing like something exotic or unusual to add that sparkle to your living room or hall. They are all quite affordable too. Remember, these are all done by hand.