May 27, 2016

22 A Little Gardening, I'm Mad With The Rain

It was a hot afternoon. Still, I put my gardening gloves on, motivated to breathe new life into the long neglected spot of green in my balcony area. If plants could talk, I'm pretty sure I'd be reported to teledera for abuse.

Two bags of different soil were mixed together, new pots were filled and moved, vegetable seeds were planted, fingers were crossed. Beads of sweat rolled down the sides of my cheek. I could feel the burn from the midday sun.

"Vitamin D, it's only Vitamin D ..good for you. " I muttered amusingly to myself.

I ignored the heat, rubbing the sweat away with the sleeves of my shirt. I knew if I stopped to rest, I'd probably get too comfortable to continue.

I used the gardening trowel to loosen the soil in the old potted plants and sprinkled a bit of fertiliser over. The plants were trimmed and weeds were pulled out. Finally, the tiled floor was swept and mopped. By then, I was sticky and sweaty all over but feeling really proud of myself. I wish you could see the huge satisfied grin on my face. If I did take a pic, it'd be a selfie I wouldn't put on social media.

I wasn't done yet though. I still had to wash and keep away the gardening tools. That I did, before finally sitting down with a mug of iced tea. satisfying.

I thought I heard the rumble of thunder but I was too exhausted to really notice, that is, until I realised that rain was beating down on the balcony glass door.

"Nooo....unbelievable! "  I was flabbergasted to see the garden bench which I had just wiped down, splashed mercilessly with rainwater. A huge puddle had formed near the drainpipe. The floor was wet and dirty again!

It was sunny just a moment ago. The unfairness of it all -- gah! I was really looking forward to having a bath...I lay on the cool tiled floor, powerless, waiting.

These are some pictures I took of my plants and the creatures that thrive there.

Can you spot the ant between the leaves?

Spider Plant With A Large Ant
Cyanide millipede ? Sure looks like it.

A Millipede, Baby Millipedes and The Snail

My potted turmeric plant wasn't doing well so I decided to pull it out, and discovered this. Lucky me! I could blend this into a curry paste.


My other turmeric plant is looking quite healthy. To tell you the truth, I threw a couple of old turmerics here sometime ago not really hoping for anything.

Turmeric Plant

My ginger plant, whom I've nicknamed Gina, grows really fast. I've trimmed the plant several times already!


Don't believe me? See this. I cut the stem just three days ago. Look how much it has grown.

Ginger Plant

Finally, this is my money plant which has crawled 7ft up.

Money Plant

The rain finally stopped. I waited for the floor to dry out a little before cleaning the place up again. What a day! It was good exercise. I would describe it as " Drama betullah! " (Full of drama!)

May 21, 2016

12 A Day Out With A Friend

Our conversations often strayed into office politics. It is not a strange thing in the corporate world. Sometimes it gets ridiculously ugly with management turning a blind eye to the situation. It's a common story angle told through books and television shows and surprisingly, not very different in real life except less comedic.

We walked around the mall trying to look for a comfortable spot to continue our chat and at the same time have brunch.

" No...she didn't. " I gasped.

" And she had the gall to deny it! " continued my friend, "This, with evidence of her wrongdoing! "

That's the gist of our conversation, not in exact words.

Reaching the end of the shopping mall, we noticed some activity going on down below in the open. The Body Shop, working jointly with Free Tree Society Kuala Lumpur, was giving out free plants in conjunction with Earth Day.

The Body Shop - Free Plants For All

We popped in to see if there was anything that interested us. I was surprised to see Sabah Snake Grass. A flood of unpleasant memories washed over me. It was the thing my aunt took to help fight the cancer that was spreading in her body.

I remember it clearly. She was feeling weakened. A fellow cancer fighter who was also on snake grass revealed a little late that he had stopped taking it after his body reacted poorly to it. It seemed that there was a side effect and it hindered his recovery process instead of improving it. My aunt was upset that he didn't feel the need to mention it earlier. She had a hunch that it wasn't doing much for her either. That's the thing with miracle claims of cancer fix-its  - no one really wants to tell the truth out of fear that it will extinguish what little hope that still lights the heart. It could have benefited some people, I wouldn't know, but there shouldn't be a feeling that you can't tell people honestly how it fared in your case.

Free Plants

We left empty-handed, deciding that it would be a nuisance to carry a plant around with us seeing I was without my car that day and she was taking public transport.

Passion Fruit Tree

We walked towards my regular lunch spot. I ordered the usual iced lemon tea and a rice curry set to go with it.

I guess office politics will never really go away especially not in large corporations. There's only so many managerial positions available for people to get promoted into and they get so caught up in the rat race that all they can think of is a job title to impress friends and family, and a salary to afford a fancy home in the city or the suburbs. An unbranded phone wouldn't cut it. Neither would a handbag from Petaling Street. It's all a charade to look successful, and the more desperate ones resort to unsavory methods to stay ahead.

We ended the day thanking each other for a lovely time, both walking away into different directions with a shopping bag in hand, mine with a new black collared tee. 

May 17, 2016

20 It's A Swatch For Me

Thanks to my parents, I've been a watch-wearer since my early teens. I've no idea why they started me on this watch-wearing path but I'm glad they did.

" Wear a watch? You're reliable: Watch-wearers are more conscientious and punctual than those with bare wrists, research shows


See? That's true where I'm concerned. I'm almost always punctual - a friend once told me how impressed she was. She's always on time, but I take the cake by being an hour early! Hah!

Fast forward now, I'm wearing a brand new Swatch Metallic Dune. I love the shade - it's fun, not gaudy. It's perfect for all occasions. It is also my third Swatch watch, but only the first I'm buying for myself. Boy, do I feel pleased!

Swatch Metallic Dune

I was first introduced to Swatch watches through my ex-bosses, receiving one as a farewell gift and another for making best employee - both under different employers.

This (pictured below) understated Swatch Chessboard of black and white which was my favourite stopped working some months ago. I continued wearing it out of habit - my hand felt unbearably bare. Aah, so there you have it, an addiction. A harmless one, I think.

I assumed that the battery was dead and forked out RM30 for a replacement. The hands on the watch started moving again and I believed the issue to be solved. A week later, it stopped moving again. I went to another store to get it checked. Sad news, of course. One of the mechanisms had given way. It couldn't be repaired and if it could, it wouldn't be worth it. On a brighter note, it lasted a good ten years! That's how I ended up buying a new watch.

Swatch So Chic (pictured below), on the other hand, is an elegant timepiece with a line of crystals adorning the top and bottom. I've had it longer than the Chessboard but only wore it for a couple of years, and mostly to formal events. One of the crystals fell out. So I headed to the Swatch store for a replacement, but was left disheartened. I gave up after asking the third store. They didn't sell or fix missing pieces. It bugged me. I vowed never to buy watches with crystal embellishments ....really!

Left: Swatch So Chic
Right: Swatch Chessboard

Swatch Metallic Dune has been with me for two weeks now. The more I wore it, the more it felt at home on my hand. I did try several other brands before finally heading back to the Swatch store to pick this out. The exercise only made me see how besotted I am with Swatch watches. I just didn't realise how deep I was in until I kept comparing the other brands to it.

Swatch Metallic Dune in a Swatch Box - RM260

Everyone's excited about something. This tick-tocks it for me. Do you wear a watch and have you got a favourite?

Swatch Looks Good On Me, Don't You Think?

May 10, 2016

17 Aquaria KLCC : Ok-lah!

The 'Spotted Garden Eel' is just one of the fascinating creatures you can see in Aquaria KLCC. It sways like grass against soft winds, except that this is underwater. It can live up to 20 years!

I paid RM46 for an admission ticket. It's my second visit. The first being with hubs and now, with a relative. We walked in. It was noisy with schoolchildren. I found the area too small to be accommodating large numbers of persons visiting at the same time. The place could have been better designed if it was intended for buses of people. Just saying.

My two cents out of the way, I was excited to be blessed with the opportunity see underwater creatures up close.


We walked through a passageway lined with aquariums housing various small fish.

Aquariums Along The Corridor

The oceanarium is a glass tube tunnel with a travelator. We saw sharks, sting rays and many large sea animals swimming by. This, to me, was the best part of Aquaria.

The Oceanarium

Below are some of the other underwater creatures I saw along the way.

This Looks Like An Eel

Pot bellied seahorse?  Noooo.. what an unflattering name.

Pot Bellied Seahorse

Is anyone thinking of having Lobster Thermidor for dinner after seeing this?


Moon Jellies

We were surprised to see a virtual piano close to the exit. My cousin, who's a musician/singer, couldn't resist trying it out. I didn't bother looking for information as to what it was for but now I wish I had! That's the thing with delayed curiosity.

Fish in a Vertical Aquarium (left), Virtual Piano (right)

There was also a little corner dedicated to plants.

Plants at the Eco Lab

I should mention that Aquaria KLCC has the bestest staff stationed around every corner. They were down-to-earth friendly and proactively helpful. Can't fault a nice smile and a good hello. 

That ends my day out with my lovely cousin. That said, where are you most likely to take visiting relatives?

May 5, 2016

14 Sekinchan : Paddy Fields Of Green

Sekinchan. A small fishing village that's a major rice producer and is famous for its scenic paddy fields.

Amazing photos of this village started appearing weeks ago through various social media sites I was subscribed to. A large expanse of green against the horizon made it seem like paradise on earth. It was magical, to me at least. As weeks flew by, the urge to visit the place soon became an itch that couldn't be ignored.

Sekinchan Paddy Fields

"Can we go? Huh, can we? Too late-lorrr will be fields of mud by then." That's the gist of me trying to convince my other half that we should go before the rice plants reached harvesting stage.

A decision was made and we were off the next morning.

The journey from Kuala Lumpur took one and a half hours by car, passing several small towns. We stomached a couple of char siew baos that we had purchased along the way for breakfast. It was a fun drive with music from the 80s blasting from the radio. Google Maps navigation led us directly to the the spot. Aah ..GPS has made domestic traveling such a breeze! Soon our little car was chugging along a small road lined with rice plants left and right. There was an old kampung charm about the place.

Although I knew through several blogs that Sekinchan had much to offer in terms of sightseeing, I chose to dedicate the day to just the fields. It was a view that deserved no rushing.

A Paddy Field

Pictured below is PLS Group's paddy processing factory. It is open to public daily. Rice and other food stuff can be purchased on the spot.

Paddy Processing Factory

After a bit of photo-taking with the paddy field as my backdrop, we paid RM5 in entrance fees to get into the gallery which was located a floor up. The receipt came with a small packet of rice. Win-win, in my opinion. I saw a couple of workers packing rice through the glass window. There was a guide on hand to explain the history and process of rice planting. We opted to explore the gallery on our own.

Me, at the Paddy Field and Factory

Scarecrows and paddy harvesting equipment were some of the things displayed. It included olden day household items. The gallery was a short walk from one end to the other.

I remember using a similar straw broom in my younger days!

We exited down the stairs into a shop crowded with tourists. The tour buses left soon after and the place was quiet again. This was when I did my bit of shopping.

Souvenir Shopping

 The factory also offers a buggy ride around the area in a vintage designed open car. It's RM5 for a ticket.

Buggy Ride

This is a real factory, mind you. A paddy tractor rolled in for weighing.

Paddy Tractor

I saw this building at the back of the factory across the field. It was neat against the green. I couldn't help but feel the serenity of working here.

Paddy Factory

Sekinchan Paddy Factory

Below is a close-up of the flowering rice plant. This is what it looks like before it ripens (turns yellow) for harvesting.

A Paddy Plant At The Flowering Stage

Finally, these are all of my purchases from this outing. See that packet of rice crunch on the left? I'm addicted to it! It was made fresh in front of me; so hot off the wok that they couldn't seal the pack for me. They told us to wait until it was cool before closing it with the twist tie they gave us. 

Rice and Snacks

That ends my day trip to Sekinchan. We'll be back for 'the other stuff'.


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