Jul 31, 2014

12 'Tis the season for Lemang

It's Lemang  season. What's that, you ask? Lemang is coconut glutinous rice, cooked in a bamboo stick lined with banana leaf, over a fire. Cooking this requires a bit of patience because it involves many hours, but the wait is worth it. This fragrant rice is usually enjoyed with a dollop of dry or thick curry.

Lemang and Rendang Curry

The lemang sellers were out in full force on the second day of Raya. For me, the roadside makeshift stalls were a welcome sight versus the quietness that had consumed the city two days before the Raya celebrations.

Many Malaysians celebrating the festival had gone back to their hometowns. Some chose to make use of the long weekend with a short vacation elsewhere. Us? Machoguy and I spent our time catching up with movies and roaming the far corners of the city for something 'special' to eat. Lemang being one of it, as you can see....and McDonald's. Yep, that happened because it was the only restaurant we could find that was open for business. Don't give me that look, now.  

~~~
On one of the days, we headed into Kajang to see if there were any satay stalls open. The shops were all closed and it was eerily quiet...until we drove into a little transportation hub. The streets were full of people. It was eye-opening to see that most of them were Bangladeshis. Why here, I wondered. I could not see signs of ample job or business opportunities. Aah..perhaps I visit the wrong day.

In one corner, I saw a neat long queue for the bus. I looked on in envy.


I wish we all behaved in the same manner at ticket booths...

~~~

The holidays have come to an end. The city will be bustling again. What's in August? Our National Day celebrations! Flying the flag, yes or no?

Jul 22, 2014

14 Surprise!.....A Prize!

Remember this post - We Roll ... Into Intel's Movie Night, where I had scored a movie ticket to watch Transformers 4 for free? During the event, we were asked to complete a contest form. I don't remember exactly what it was all about, but I recall writing some sort of slogan.

Last Monday, I received a call from Intel around noon. I was still groggy from being woken up. I'd slept at 5am that day.

Oh, don't blast me for staying up so late..or is that early. It was the World Cup Finals! The man of the house sniggered at my commitment. He didn't think I'd be able to stay awake but guess what? The adrenaline rush gave me the boost I needed to keep my eyes open.

Yes, back to the story. The call was to inform me that I'd won a prize! I was really excited about it. Had no idea what I was babbling about and didn't take the address down although it was repeated to me. Then, I went back to sleep. At 4pm, haha, I dialed the number and sheepishly asked for the details again. Sorry, Justin!            

Two days later, I went to collect the prize. I took a friend along and we decided to park by the roadside along with the other cars. It was a traffic free road. Just as we alighted from the car, we got back in again. Drats those pesky DBKL officers. They zoomed in to our corner and started issuing summons. I reparked the car inside the building, before they could get to me. Phew!

Well, this is what I got, a transformers collectible valued around RM200. Probably more, if I had been given a summons *wink*

This isn't just any toy. There's a guide book included to show you how to transform Optimus into a truck. Neat, huh.

Optimus - Transformers

I did watch the movie three times. So, I guess this is reward for being such a good fan? 

 

Jul 14, 2014

8 Floria Putrajaya : The Part 2

The good news this month : DBKL has shaved off approximately a hundred ringgit from our property assessment rate. A penny saved is a penny earned! Who's happy for me?

I'm celebrating it with a post on flowers, the same ones I saw at Floria Putrajaya a month back, plus a couple of neat ideas on home decorating. Both cheerful life events.

Identifying flowers is a bit of a challenge for me. I think these little babies are Asters.
 
Aster Flowers

Below is a beautiful floral sculpture by Brightmark, depicting the green peafowl, which is an endangered bird species. It's one of the best displays at the event.

Brightmark's Green PeaFowl

Brightmark's Green PeaFowl

A row of Marigold Yellow along the way.

Marigold Yellow

The dark red flowers along the road are called Begonias, which is the theme for this year's Floria.

Begonia Red (right, on the floor)
Every corner is a flower feast!

The purple Mona Lavender

This garden showcase (a horse amongst the orchids) was designed by Lawrence Sun from China, who breeds tropical orchids for a living. He is the Standing Vice Chairman of the Hainan Orchid Association and Standing Trustee of Orchid Branch, China Flower Association. What do you think? Neat?

Garden Showcase by Lawrence Sun

See the shutterbugs below? It's very challenging to snap photos during the weekends because of the crowd. That's why it's advisable to visit Floria during the week days.

The sun was really hot that afternoon. So, I moved along faster than I should instead of patiently photographing close-up pictures of flowers.

The Floria Shutterbugs

This white curtained passageway is great for a romantic stroll.

Theme : Romance

I picked up some ideas to decorate my home - Light hanging glassware that can be used to hold small plants. I have the plants, 4 succulents in hand. Now, to find these glasses.

Light Hanging Glassware

Hah! These wooden crates have been recycled to hold flower pots. I don't have wooden crates but I do know what colours I intend to have in my garden.

Recycled Wooden Crates

That's the end of my Floria post, until next year, that is.

Jul 7, 2014

12 We Roll ... Into Intel's Movie Night

We were treated to a movie by Intel Malaysia. It was a token of appreciation for their Facebook fans. How neat is that, but it was limited to the first 200 people who registered for the event. I was one of the blessed few, along with two loved ones.

Each ticket comes with one popcorn and two drinks!

The movie? Transformers : Age of Extinction. It was my third time watching it. Thursday night, Friday morning, Sunday morning! You must think I'm crazy but there is no feeling of boredom when one is in good company.

It all started the week before when my girl friend and I decided to go on a movie date. I informed the man that I was going to watch Transformers with said friend on Friday. Friday, because it was the day Citibank offers a Buy1-Free-1 ticket to all their Clear Card members.

"Sure...." an incredulous look followed, typical of my drama king. I thought nothing further of it.

Within the next instant, however, he was scouring the internet for tickets a day earlier than my date with friend.

"There's no way you girls are watching this movie first! "

Okayyyy...he got one for me too. I was too amused to decline.

The early bird gets the best seat!

That's a little about how I landed myself with three screenings, which I enjoyed thoroughly I must add. It was a lighthearted movie that had me tickled in many instances. The only seat cringing moments would be the scenes that include the teen stars - mostly cheesy. But hey, that's just my personal thoughts on it.

As funny as it sounds, I look out for gems of wisdom in every movie I watch. It's become a habit. I share two lines from the movie here.  

You gotta have faith. Maybe not in who we are, but who we can be.

A quiet man today can be an eloquent leader tomorrow, yes?

There are mysteries to the universe we were never meant to solve, but who we are and why we are here, are not among them. Those answers, we carry inside.


It carries some weight.
 
For the Intel movie event, our tickets came with popcorn, two drinks and a small souvenir (photo below). I was really touched by their generosity and look forward to attending more of their events. It was well organised, from seat allocation to distribution of tickets and goodies.

A fridge magnet that can be lighted up

The free popcorn, sealed in an airtight plastic bag

Well, that ends my Transformers movie run. It was an interesting week!

Jul 1, 2014

18 Flower Power at Floria Putrajaya 2014

I was adamant about making it to the event this year after having missed the last two. This well-known line rings true:

"When you want something badly enough, nothing can stop you...!"

There were many occasions that gave me reason to miss it - visiting-friends, work, the heat wave, an outstation trip for a wedding. But I kept a steady eye on the goal, as with many things in life.

The 'don't-stop-believing' side of gleeful me has fueled a number of achievements that I have, at first, perceived to be unobtainable. As I write this, I laugh at my silly optimism. All this, over a flower fair!

Floria Putrajaya, a flower and garden festival, is a week-long event which is held annually in Malaysia. It showcases international and local talents in floral arrangements, landscaping and art pieces. The activities are organised to ignite a love for plants. This is also a great place to stalk for special plants to buy I'm told, but I really can't tell as I sit under level 'newbie'.

You can read more about Floria at the official website : http://floriaputrajaya.com.my

Check out some of the photos I took on the last day of the event. The place was a flurry of photographing activities - selfies, wefies, groufies. You get the picture.

I love these colourful umbrellas. It provides partial shade from the scorching afternoon sun and adds liveliness to the atmosphere, don't you think?

Pretty shade of umbrellas

The walking path is lined with beautiful fresh flowers.

The purple flower that is Mona Lavender

This garden of pinwheel flowers, its petals swirling at the gust of a wind, is another popular photo-taking spot.

Picture pretty

Smile!

Behold! A ship in a man-made pond with live ducks, and bubbling water for that bit of realistic-ness.

Real ducks in a man-made pond

A majestic entrance for the royal themed park.

Taman DiRaja

As you can tell by now, this is one outing where you should really bring a camera along, but if you do forget to, there's always a photographer nearby for that souvenir shot.

Photographer on duty

I like this piece, but can't tell if it's part of Floria or if it has been there all along. It lists the names of all the parks that are located in Putrajaya. I intend to visit each one!

A Globe listing all of the parks in Putrajaya

I had an exciting day at the Floria festival and hope to return next year. Hopefully, on the first day to witness the grand opening, and preferably stay until late night to see the firework display and catch the lighted floral floats.

This visit spurs me to improve my gardening skills. If they can grow nice flowers and plants in this impossibly hot and smoke-hazy weather, so can I! I paid RM10, went home with four succulents. 


 

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