Friday, December 30, 2005

Dec 30th

Dec 30th, today my hubby turn 29, one year older and wiser. we havent plan for anything special this time around, maybe just have a dinner at TGI Friday, or maybe Victoria surprises like what he did for me..
Dec 30th, friday- last working day for 2005...welcome 2006, maybe everything will be better and wonderful

Friday, December 16, 2005

Penang to Pulau Besar

In few hours time, one bus full of our family from Penang will be in Malacca for family trip. they are somewhere in Perak at this moment. i am not sure how will i handle the situation, what to cook on sunday for thirty people? i dont think i have enough cutlery...and enough confident to cook something extravaganza..maybe i go for something safe and simple...hopefully they will arrived safely..

Cross culture

We just came back from Taipan for a 'kenduri bersunat', the big day will be tomorrow at a private clinic. i am supposed to cook fried rice tonite but at last i got something that i craved for: beriani, chicken, mutton dhalca, achar and salad thairu (yogurt mixed with sliced cucumber, carrot and onion). most of the dishes if i am not mistaken are actually a southern india recipes. not many people can cook a nice beriani, the most important ingredients is the rice, and the measurement of each spices, there are some beriani that taste funny or too sweet smell..until now i haven't tried cooking beriani because there are too many steps in order to get a perfect meal. anyway the food was good but that i don't know how to thank the host due to communication breakdown, i can't speak tamil and they can't speak malay or english. so we ended up smiling to each other. the only person who can speak well each language is the husband but he was not around, therefore we just sit there talking silently to each other, even my hubby can't really speak tamil. language is very important in a mixed culture family, sometimes certain simple words or sentence would easily misunderstood because of the barrier. when we were leaving, one of the lady asked me not rush going home, she asked us to stay for a while, but i thought that since we have shake hands, and i have compliment the host about their food; i was thinking that she was asking we are staying...lucky the other lady could understand a little bit, so she have to explain..when i was at the door step i overheard they are talking and giggle, maybe they are talking about how i confidently giving a wrong answer or maybe they were not talking about me at all... ohh ya...i forgot to mention that they are actually indian national, the husband is malaysian. his mother just arrived from Chnennai yesterday for tomorrows ceremony. I think i should start learning tamil or hindi, i've learned few benggali words coz my father in law is a benggali, but unfortunately my husband are not that fluent either in tamil or how can i learn , practice make word could give a meaning and one word could give a big impression...

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Today, after 1 year and 11 month working on this resort project, i finally have a chance to breath. just handed over this project to a new guy, from now on he will start a new design from scratch, what a relieved...

architecture to public eyes are something glamorous, high standard and easy to get rich, but in reality its totally different. people might think that architect just spend their time at drawing board, designing building. in fact we do a lot more that just design, we have to deal with authority, running a project from design to production, going to site and travel here and there. just imagine we studied for 6 six and ended up taking instruction from client, asking us to do what they want and desire. if we are lucky the project will go smoothly, even though there will be many changes. for those who are not so lucky like me, will definitely suffer entertaining insolvent client, the one that have big ambition with small amount of budget, they dream of building big complex, high standard design or anything that cross their mind without realising that their pocket are thin. sometimes the project that were given to us are interesting on plan, conceptually pleasing but then in the end hard to make it happen. therefore architecture is a tough job, there are many aspect to consider, we don't only think about aesthetic value or facade treatment but also the cost, cultural value, impact on local context because a building is a cultural and civilisation evidence of one society and nation.

one of the problem in malaysia nowadays are due to current scenario where we are over shadowed by developer especially for small practise where the relationship need to be build up. sometimes we need to design according to clients constraint (money)which surely effected the quality of the building. the best example is housing project where the main objective is profit, therefore our society has been mould to believed and accept that our standard requirement of space for malaysian family is only 20' x 70' or 24' x 75'..which sometimes are not applicable. standard single storey house comprises of three bedroom with two bath, kitchen and dining which are very tight and no proper ventilation. money are everything in this world, more money means better quality building, if the developer or the contractor are insolvent, the purchaser are the one who bear the consequences of having poor workmanship house.

anyway architecture is an interesting field, some people say that its a small world, but then you can't get the same experience as we did.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Wedding reception.... and then

just came back from Chai's wedding, it good to see everybody were there. as planned we congreggate at Seremban R&R, then drive straight to Senawang, but then plan changed again due to another friend who wants to join us, so another checkpoint at Projet. it took us about 20 minutes to reached Chai's house. from far we could see white tent with purple scallop..its so sweet.

it was a buffet lunch, so without wasting our time, we just head for the delicious meal..nasi minyak and kurma. in some state they do serve plain rice for those who prefer or worry about their cholestrol level...
bride and bridegroom arrived at 2pm for 'bersanding'ceremony as stated in their invitation card. they are well clad in soft pink songket with purple flower decorating their dias.Chai look so sool...selamba je..but the bestman look nervous, or maybe he's too anxious...well this should be a rehersal for the bestman since he's getting married next year...
in Malay wedding there many custom that we practice today were actually copied from Indian culture; such as wearing henna/ 'inai = 'mehendi'and bersanding ceremony. even though it not our genuine cultur value, it has been practice for century and has become so commercialized.
in the 60's or 70's, the trend were different, where the bride normally wear white gown and the bridegroom look smart in suit complete with a sunglass. i have came across few old photo of those period, its quite interesting, and i shows that trend and culture evolve simultaneous with music and fashion, especially from Western.
most people at that time would only decorate a 'pelamin'/ dias with potted plant especially palm and as for the backdrop they had this colourful light, or some people call it 'lampu kelip-kelip', or in Kedah they call it 'lampu lip-lap'....

food is one of the most crucial item that need extra attention before, during and after the wedding. mostly Malay wedding especially one that held in kampung doesn't cost much compared to Chinese wedding. nowadays people opt for catering where you can choose to have it buffet style or normal ways where guest are being served. this method surely save more time even though its a bit costly, but then the house owner, especially the parents doesnt have to worry wether the food are enough, or the glass, fork and spoon are well prepared. all they have to do is wait for the guest, greet them and collect their 'gift of money'..collection of the day...normally this reception only takes 2/3 days for preparation depends on the scale, and the receprion itself only a day...back then in typical kampung/village they took nearly 7 days to prepare for one wedding..just imagine all villagers will held a meeting, and a committe will be formed, each person has their own task, from preparing meal, washing the dishes, serving, cutting and slicing, grinding,..and for the bersanding ceremony including the akad nikah or in Kedah we call it 'akad khutbah'.. that particular house will be centre of attention during that period, people keep on coming giving sugar, rice, onion, kuih and some might give bunga telur (decorated boiled egg wrap in colored paper : as a give for guest). few days before the big day, tent has been erected, normally using bambo and decorated with colourful flags or state flag. women are busy in the kitchen, young girl preparing 'bunga telur' while men busy slicing meat normally chicken or cow. food were cook a night before or early in the morning on the day itself. even though i was still small at that time but i have observed a lot of interesting things that i could share here. it feels good to think about it even though there are things that i don't like especially the food. in some place beef are cook with banana shoot which make the curry turn grey, and it look terrible and scary..and sort of can they invent all these kind of delicacies..
as for 'hantaran' or gift from bride to groom and vice versa, back then people used what ever available material as decoration, unlike current trend where lots of lace, beads, ribbon and fresh flowers are being used. not only the bride will prepare a few give, her relatives, friends and neighbours will also take this chance to display their skill in preparing hantaran. at that time most of item are food which then be arranged into other form, such as sugar wrapped in red plastic and they make it and arrange with leaves and it became a bunch of grapes, or maybe chillis depends on their creativity, some might turn a humble bath towel into a nice basket. one of the most important item is 'sirih junjung'/ betel leaves..normally older women will prepare this, at my place there were this granny who i call 'u'= shortform for 'tok su'. she was the one who people turn to when it comes to sirih junjung, it will be prepared in two tier, normally a brass plate, placed the betel leaves around it and insert red and yellow flower and jasmine for sweet scent...and also 'kapur and pinang'. the hantaran normally comes in many colours, some people prefer red, or some might choose yellow, therefore there were not well co-ordinated compared to now where people co-ordinate everything in same solour , tone and even a concept for their wedding from bedroom setting, dias, main table, to their cloth and almost everything..
either ways are good and suitable at their own time, even though now we have a lot of choice, we could afford expensive and grand wedding, the most important thing is we are happy and no debt..this the most crucial..

Trip to Senawang

it's a big day today for our officemate (Chai), a wedding ceremony will be held. i have never been to Senawang before but since we have a map, i think it should not be a problem...we are going to congreggate at Seremban tol at 12noon, but before that i have to pick up another friend at Serdang commuter station at 11am...its 10 o'clock now..i have done house chore, while my hubby is still in bed....
there will be about 5 or 6 cars heading to Chai's's gonna be exciting but hopefully its a safe journey..
two years ago during our wedding, one full of bus and 4 cars came from Penang to Alor Setar, 90% are my hubby's relatives..that was a big crowd...well the more the merrier...:)

Thursday, December 08, 2005


i should be thankful that since last month i have escape several incident..i almost hit somebody's car on the way to MPPJ somewhere near Sunway Pyramid..and there were a car who almost hit my back...
this week another thing happen at LDP, the road was slippery, and there was this hilux speeding and suddenly skidded and spinning and hit an Iswara infront of me..that was terrible...nobody hurts but it disturbing, imagine if we are in that kind of situation..that day alone 2 cars had the same situation, another one is in Putrajaya heading to Precinct 11....even though we are a well mannered driver, we still are not lucky driving in Malaysia...its dangerous at almost any route..people always say that we Asian are polite, soft..whatever..but when in comes to driving we forgot all those value...

Sunday, December 04, 2005


its been a busy weekend..too many things to do, my hubby just started working on his weekend project: making a storage we have to clear and sort out all items in that small room. while i got house chore and at the same time i wish that i could go somewhere to unwind...maybe back to penang..had a cucur udang (gurney), or rojak buah at padang kota lama..

Monday, October 31, 2005

In Penang...

its good to be back in the island, nothing has change except for the ambience especially around market street..colourful saree and kurta are everywhere..everybody were rushing for tomorrow celebration..and this thursday will be another grand celebration..Eid Mubarak..
i went to masjid kapitan keling last nite (malam 27)..its was too crowded but i managed to squeezed in, one thing that strike me is the way they was too fast...compared to Masjid Putra in Putrajaya, it more calm...we had beriani with chicken after praying...that was a nice meal, eating with 5 people in one big plate..
Masjid Kapitan Keling is one of the landmark in Georgetown, Penang. it is significant among Indian Muslim community. Restoration and conservation has been done i think last 2 years...anyway last nite experience was something new and interesting...hopefully next year i have another chance....

Thursday, October 27, 2005

raya fever

its only 2 days to go before we left for alor setar, i can't wait to go back to my hometown where things are familiar, cheaper and traffic jam and not too crowded. we'll be leaving in the morning, so that i could break fast in alor setar.
few years ago when i was in UTM,Skudai, i used to go back by bus from JB- Alor Setar= 10 hours journey with two times stop for meal and was so tiring, the worst part is when i bought the ticket late...i always stuck with 'bas tambahan', its horrible experience with uncomfortable seat which we can't adjust and a curtain which have been wash for quite some time...
hope that we have a nice journey...Eid Mubarak to everybody....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Last week was gloomy period, not only the weather but the mood of the whole nation, Al-Fatihah to our Late First Lady, Datin Seri Endon who passed away on the 20th October 2005. Her journey to a next destination has started...

our life is all about traveling, from millions of sperm who have to travel and struggle to reach one destination into a wonderful life after nine long months in the darkness of womb. everybody are a traveler in their own way even though some might not have a chance to go outside their hometown, but still we have to travel...we change destination or purpose along the way..passing through different path, crossing too many confusing junction with signboard that sometimes lead us to nowhere...there are times that we are alone, some other time we have a great traveling companion, i remember sometimes last month watching Hans Christian Anderson, the Storyteller: one young man traveling with a companion who is actually a ghost who wants to pay back his kind heart,they travel together passing many villages, meeting interesting people who need their help..the journey end at a castle where they are looking for a princess who keep on emerging in his dream..
good companion will do us good, where else a bad one will lead us to destruction.... therefore we need to equipped ourselves no matter our travel is a short or long journey, "a traveler without knowledge is like birds without wing.." (somebody's quote)...
we travel everyday to work, to the mall, park..the road that we are using are the same, back and forth we pass by until someday we ignore certain things..we are no longer observance to our environment..coz we used to it...we didnt realise it until one day we feel like something is missing and the road most travel is getting boring.....
so the next time you travel, try to look at the same thing in a different way,.. that old tree at the junction is not just a big tree, and old coffee stall by the roadside isn't just a stall and people you see at the bus stand are not just waiting and leaving...slowly when you observed you will experience a new thing..try to make each journey as a memorable moment...but never drink and drive....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

rainy day

5.15pm now and its heavy rain outside, its raining almost everyday this month,'musim tengkujuh' has started, when was a little girl my father always tell us that if its raining heavily in our hometown (Alor Setar) that means in East Cost it's worst especially Kelantan and Terengganu... everytime its raining i remember my childhood memory where we were very excited when the cloud turn grey and heard the sound of thunder, we normally sat at my grandma's verandah and just watch the water flow and if we are adventurous that day we will have a paper boat, made of A4 paper (normally from my exercise book) and fold it to make a boat, that place it on that flowing water...we always imagine that it is actually a small river with our paper boat struggling to maintain under the rain and heavy flow...but the best thing is when the rain started where we could smell earthy scent..and after the rain stop its very fresh grass smell..i like to touch flower and leaves where they look very fresh and especially a tiny dot of water on green leaves..i couldnt feel all these thing anymore unless if i stay in a village...

facade treatment

conservation and restoration in progress

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


i was flipping my old travel photo last nite when i realised how much i missed my student life, where u just study, read a lot, do research, finish up course work and travel wether on educational purpose or leisure....travelling as a student giving us a lot more space to explore and be of the best trip was in May 2001, where we went to Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Teheran and London in just 15days with only RM4000 per person..equalvalent to USD1052 at that time. the most romantic place for me is Paris with nice building, beautiful and friendly people and nice food. we stayed at a small backpackers inn near Montmart, even though the room is too small to accomodate 6 people but we really had a good time and who cares when u have something interesting waiting for u outside...we wait for sunset like everybody does at Montmart,we don't want to miss the spectacular view of Eiffel Tower at dawn. we waited for almost half an hour but still couldnt see the Tower until we realised that we at the wrong angle and spot...but at last we managed to get the rite spot, magnificient view....i like the street activities with people everywhere smilling and having a good time. they are painters who charge a reasonable rate and i like the smell of fresh brewed coffee..hmmm..i will definitely go there again.
Eiffel tower until now is still the most visited place in Paris, credit to Gustaf for his masterpiece...the best way to experience Paris is by climbing and spend time at the tower,with the wind blew and slap our romantic...

Monday, October 17, 2005

sweet things in life

we had a family reunion at my father in law house yesterday, preparation for dinner started from 9.30am until 6.30pm where i had to drive his mom all around Penang just to get a fresh meat. after she got the best portion we went to another market just to buy some fruits and vege, and the last destination was a small grocery shop nearby their house...i had a trouble finding the place due to lack of signage and information or direction from my co-pilot (his mom) my poor eye sight, i forgot to bring my additional viewing tools...
that was quite an important gathering coz we havent see each other for almost three months (which is quite a long period for people who use to go back and spend time with family..)

preparation for 20 people were really tiring especially during fasting, but that is the challenge...i had what i craved for yesterday which is just a simple delicacies of Penang - 'pasembor', we had been searching for places that sell something similar with Penang pasembor in KL, but most of the time the food end up half eaten...i remember when we were in India, their hospitality are a bit different. normally during lunch time they will serve bread first as starter, maybe 'capati', or 'roti canai', for first timer they might eat more than 2 pieces or until they are full without knowing that the main course will be serve. their main course consist of rice- which taste very light (its the way the cook), chicken curry, beef curry, vege, cucumber and tomato salad top with masala and salt and fish curry..its just curry and more curry...then come the appertizer: mixed fruit, yogurt in small clay cup, tea with fresh milk which also serve in a very small cup. one thing that i cant forgot are their confectionary which mainly made of milk and lots of sugar such as 'gulab jan', i dont know the rest but what i know is they are too sweet for their environment and local culture it is a big deal to serve a big amount and variety of sweet things to their guest.

Friday, October 14, 2005

monument of love

a masterpiece..

journey to the north

we are leaving for Penang today, hopefully its gonna be another exciting trip coz we are driving for more than 300km, for the last 1 year we rely to much on Air Asia (the cheapest anyway)..and time saving but now since the oil price has rised again, the airport tax just been added another almost RM 30/=...
driving towards northern side of the country are much more interesting due to the landscape, where we have mountains / hilly area especially in Perak after the tunnel..try passing the highway at 7 or 8 in the morning, you'll find that it's like walking with Frodo and Sam to return the 'precious' ring ..misty..

one of the other interesting natural element is the paddy field in Kedah, one should pass thru this state 4/5 time a year to see the changing colour from a kampung house which surrounded by water in the middle of paddy field - it looks like a small island, the next season is when it turn green, everywhere are green and then after few months all these green grass turn to golden precious asset...and the final season is the most remarkable because u can feel like in a different way..the smell of burning 'sekam padi', the best view is at sun set where we can see smoke everywhere with a perfect backdrop of Gunung Jerai...hmm..i wish i could captured all these moment. this traditional way of burning this wastage of paddy has causeda stir few years back where few accident has occured due to thick smoke..but for Kedahan they are used to no prob..


another view from the centre of the mosque..surreal


my hubby had to lay on the floor of this mosque the get
the most perfect composition of this dome. built as part of Taj Mahal complex using red sandstone.

our big family

family trip around Kolkata, this photo was taken infront of Victoria Hall, built during British colonization.

Qutub Minar

historical monument in New Delhi

grey eye

a boy in Kolkatta.. and more food

malaysia are synonym with food, everywhere u go there are many restaurant, food stall, vendor by the road with great food at high price..everything u crave for u just name it..western food are available at many price range so does the fast food chain, ..pasta, rissoto,apple pie, creme brule, steak, The Ronald guy(McD), the chicken from Kentucky, bean and tea leaves outlet are everywhere...and now the aftermath of Sept11, many MidEastern has been attracted to our country and this has spark another interested and add another element of eating. we have Lebanon food, Moroccon etc etc and list goes on..spoiled by choice..

when we mention about local food, there more than thousand delicacies to try out from Malay food which is spicy in Northern, sweet in Kelantan to Chinese food with lots of steam menu, Indian food which we all attached to no matter who we Nyonya food, the list are reflects the culture of the society, base on social study: - the best element to attract people are food, " food attract people which will attract more people" ..(The Social Life of small cities) . they way we cook, presentation, colour and smell are different and interesting, some might like it or some might hate it..

Thursday, October 13, 2005

reality - fantasy

imagne a big house with spiral staircase, beautiful and curvy girls with colourful saree or karisma dress dancing and all male figures are Salman Khan look alike with fancy kurta and shawl..dancing and smiling at a weeding..girl meet boys and they fall in love,but the family have their own choice..the lovebird fly their own way..typical rite..this is the fantasy...but India in my perspective is beyond reality!
Kolkata airport is nothing like our KLIA, it very humble similar to Kota Bahru airport.. it's so retro, from the building to the counter..everything but interesting sight.. i noticed one vendor machine for Coca-Cola in Bengali.. 'aisi'= ice, but were not allowed to take any photo..hmm
my brother in law and relative from Kolkata were already at the airport, waiting excitedly to meet up. one van with 10 people + 5 big luggage + cramp @ another attribute to local culture. there were too many roadblock along bumpy road which took us one hour to Chota Masjid village (in my own term)-- 'chota' means small..
that was a journey to remember, the first trip, the first sight, the first meeting...
this part of Kolkata are not fully develop where the are no proper town planning, poor road condition and no maintenance..but dont generalise or accept everything from me..
there are road which are wide but there rest are too narrow, with no road shoulder or pedestrian path..and the smell..hmm..imagine i have to cover my nose all the time.
according to my hubby, all the building has been extended until it became too pack and crowded..most of the building still have this grafitti- a symbol of communist (i dont what is term for that icon) and a symbol of human palm..can anybody explain?
we arrived at Bod Babu house at almost 12 o'clock and there were about 30 peolple waiting for us..everybody wants to have a glimpse of us..Hussin's son and daughter in law from Malaysia


our trip to Kolkata, India was a great experience..first time for me so there were too many things to explore, but before we left my hubby has gave me a pre-tour that i wont be dissapointed with what i see compared to what i perceived..we took MAS on the 21st August 2005, just the three of us including my brother in hubby's family were already there (the left a week early)..
we were the only Malaysian on board that nite, so the steward keep on coming to have a chat with was three hours journey, left at 11pm so ETA : 2am- Kol.time: 11pm..i really didnt expect much, i just wanna try new things and dont expect anything and dont ever dream of those Bollywood movie..

intricate design

sense of unity..taken in New Delhi at one of the historical monument- Qutub Minar. most of the building are well design with floral motive or holy scripts..just imagine the process from design stage to this beautiful piece..amazing
this photo take during our visit to India..meeting the other side of hubby's ancestor living in Calcutta