Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ah! Ha! ...

I took the above image at the new sprawling garden at the waterfront, off Quincy Market in Boston. I like that signage with its cool message that for a few moments in time would want to make you Smile! Indeed the message is loud and clear, the ingenuity of those wonderful folks of City Hall, getting the message across with a great sense of humor. I enjoyed it and I believe everyone does.

The area has been transformed into a well manicured garden. It was not there when I was living here some ten years ago. Indeed a great place to be with family members, to wonder in the open space and enjoy the gorgeous environment as well as breathe that fresh air.

After wondering in the market place cramped with tourists, we stop to enjoy a snack of that great pizza. The best pizza that I had every tasted. I had tasted it when I was living in Boston and now I am coming for more and found that it still taste as good. With a cup of coffee in hand like most American do we took a slow and lazy walk to the waterfront and enjoy the cool sea breeze. Indeed a picturesque sight; with the sea as the background, the like of a living postcard. Tourists like us are everywhere and like us enjoying the day. Care less of what's happening in the world at that moment in time. A beautiful summer day; what else should anyone do but to enjoy life. And enjoy we did. Oh! What a wonderful day. Have a nice day as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sairah and James Glick of Natick...

No they are not blogger, not as yet and I believe they would be soon. Sairah who hail from Kota Bahru Kelantan has been living at Natick with her spouse and their two grown up kids for more then twenty years already. The first time we met them was when we were living in Boston in 1998/99. Knowing that we are back in Boston, she invited us to her home at Natick, a picturesque enclave on the outskirt of Boston proper. A small town with beautiful homes nestles among greens, creek and enchanting lakes that would want you to stay away for the weekend and whilst away fishing or just ponder the wonder of nature. A place where folks make their dream homes to enjoy living. In a way Natick is a small town that has everything for everyone to enjoy life. It even could boast to have a large mall nearby, a shopping paradise that is just about 15 miles [about 25 kilometers] away from Boston city. Natick by the way is Native American language for Place of Hills.

It is a cool summer day; our arrival at the entrance of the town was greeted with the color of bloom everywhere. James, the other half of Sairah came to pick us up and soon we were on our way to their home on the outback. On arrival we were greeted by Sairah, beaming with smile and with that hug of friendships we soon got into the world of Sairah of Natick. A woman warmth of friendship and always there to give a helping hand to those in need when they first arrive in Boston and I believe many who had been to Boston to study or on a short visit would in one way or the other had come in contact with this wonderful woman, full of energy and always with that spark in her eyes. James is always there adding a color of beautiful living in this part of the world.

As usual with Sairah, there would be plenty of foods to enjoy whenever she invite folks to her home; for she love to throw party and this time is no exception. Others arrive and soon the house became a riot of a sort. Everyone seems to be talking and enjoying theirs food and drink which includes the famous Malaysian Teh Tarik. Image above shows Sairah preparing the Teh Tarik the traditional way. James as usual was busy with the Bar B Q at the patio. I went to have a look and sure enough he was busy grilling Chicken and Corn. At this party I met many other Malaysian women who have made America their home and are happy in their career as well. The images above/below show some of them in action at Sairah's kitchen.

Whenever we meet James, he is always into something new in the business mind of his. This time he has come out with an E English program that would help ordinary folks improve the quality of their communicative English. He has developed a program call the Talk Train. I had a glimpse of this program and found that it is an extremely useful program for those that want to develop an effective way of speaking English especially so in America. As we all know too well, it is the way we communicate that made the success or the failure of a deal. This program I believe would help, especially those who are involved in conducting Seminar or into Marketing or just to get along well with people. Of course if you are into teaching English, then this could be an extra input to get your teaching into another dimension. English is a world language and people who are fluent in this language are in great demand, so the program is indeed a great tool which would help in more ways to improve one’s English. Have a nice day..

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of Ana, Ginny and Wan Zaid...

A phone calls from a stranger, sort of a stranger for I had known her only from a phone conversation just last week; when a blogger that I had known only in cybersphere pass the phone to her and we spoke. She then hand that phone to her spouse, a Wan Zaid. I spoke to Wan Zaid. It was indeed a friendly conversation in a foreign land.

And today another call took us to Quincy Adam, a suburb of Boston, sort of a Kampong enclave with beautiful homes. This time we were invited for lunch at their home. We took the Red Line T and at the Quincy Adam stop, Wan Zaid picks us up. This is the first time I had ever met this Malaysian who hail from Besut in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. And soon on arrival at his home we were greeted with a friendly smile from his spouse, Ginny who spoke in perfect Malay. At that moment in time we were greeted by a blogger that I had known in cyberspere for more then a year. She is none other then Anasalwa, an articulate blogger who write from Boston. I believe most of you have visited her site from time to time. So it is now another story 'from cybersphere to the real world'. That short chat completes the journey of a blogger from cybersphere to the real world. We now met in the real world, thus complete the picture. What a way to go! I am delighted that happen for we are stranger no more. Had it not for blogging, I would have not got the opportunity to meet Anasalwa and that wonderful couple Ginny and Wan Zaid of Quincy Adam.

We were then invited to lunch at their garden at the other side of the house, a sprawling green, the luxury of living in the suburban area. That would surely be the envy of urbanite. Soon the others came and we sat to chat like old friends. The aura of friendship was so overwhelm that the lunch do became just like a coming home event of a sort. As usual we enjoyed the wonderful Bar B Q spread that Ginny had prepared. Made of grilled chicken, lamb and corn, the smell alone would have made anyone hungry. With the feeling of Love that seem to vibrate from everyone, that lunch do soon became an extension of the friendship of the Ginny and Zaid. What a day in the lives of a blogger.

Thanks Ginny and Zaid for been such a wonderful host. My spouse and our daughter and I do have a great time. Have a nice day

Saturday, June 21, 2008

River Walk, San Antonio, Texas..

If ever there is a perfect host, then BJ is the one, that gorgeous lady, the spouse of our nephew. They were the host and we play guest as well as tourist during the duration of our stay in Houston. Like all tourists do, we just relax and take it easy and let things develop as its goes. It was our turn to enjoy living among loves one in this part of the world, a world where once we would just see on the TV. Razak our nephew was in his teen when we send him to study in the US. It is that education that saw this kid transformed from a Kampong boy to a successful executive in the global institution and now based at Houston. Doing his best to raised a family and I believed enjoying doing that. With those godsend kids of theirs, what else would anyone ask for but to enjoy life!.

With such a wonderful host we enjoy our stay there to the fullest. They decided that we should spend a night in San Antonia, a historical city to the west of Houston. To accommodate the whole family our nephew rented a more spacious MPV for the overnight trip to San Antonio. We left Houston after lunch on that sunny afternoon travelling on Highway 46. The Texas plain was flat and the sky was blue all the way. We took it easy and enjoy the 176 miles about 283 kilometers trip with a stop at an R & R on the way. After about three hours of pleasant journey we arrived at San Antonio. With the GPS getting to our final destination, the Hyatt was so simple. The GPS did all the guiding toward our final destination. Now I know how the GPS works and impressed with this technology which is starting to be use in Malaysia. I am going to get one before I return to Malaysia and would surely made travelling in KL and Singapore easy as ABC. Had it not been for the GPS we would have to use our ingenuity to find our way along the Highway and the inner city on our own and often the route we take would not be that easy. With the GPS, the thinking part is done and taken over by the gadget. What we had to do is to put the input of our destination and just follow the direction, Voila! we got to our direction without wasting time.

After checking in, the kids went for a swim at the pool like all kids do, while me and my spouse went out to walk along the River Walk, where part of the walk start right from the lower lobby of the hotel. The San Antonio River Walk is a must visit for tourists. We soon found what a picturesque sight this River Walk is, now throng with tourists. All along the river there are restaurants and souvenir shops. We join in the crowd and enjoy ourselves. After awhile we went back to the hotel to freshen ourselves before going out for dinner with the kids and their mom and dad. We then walk along the river path which by now has been lighted up, turning the whole area into a sort of a fairyland. With the kids around, this time the trip at time became hilarious. We wonder around and end up at a mall where we had dinner at the food court. Since it was late and we all were rather tired after that three hours trip from Houston, we decided to call the day of. Have a nice day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Houston we have...

[The happening June 13]. It was a beautiful morning, with clear blue sky and patches of white cloud everywhere. Indeed a great day to sightseeing. So been in Houston we decided to visit the Space Center. Yes the space center that we often heard when there is a space flight in progress. And that famous phrase... Houston we have problem.... Surely our visit to Houston would not be complete without visiting this Space Center. The whole families, including one of the two gorgeous kids of our nephew were around to generate more fun for that family outing.

We got to the center in no time and without much ado took the organized tour to the center. This is the real thing and not an amusement park. It is where all the control of the space mission is coordinated. We were taken around on a sort of a trailer and stop at those various places that made the space center. As usual with this sort of trip, it was fun and in this case educational for we all get to see the real things. I am simply awed with the size of the spaceship and all the components that made it. At the very moment in time a Space Shuttle is up there somewhere and we could see the progress in real time at the big TV display. It was just like in a made belief environment, yet it is the real thing. The Space Center Houston. As seen in the images above we got to see and touched those magnificent machine that made the space shuttle. It was a sight that we often see on the TV and today we get close to one and touch it. Personally I am indeed happy to get to be here and be part of this amazing achievement to mankind. Have a nice day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A beautiful home in Houston...

Wake up to a beautiful morning here in Houston, Texas. The sun was shinning bright on this beautiful enclave where we are now staying on this short holiday in Texas. Our nephew and his charming spouse and their kids are living here. He has been working and living here off and on for almost ten years already, thus they have adapted well to the living culture in this part of the world. These are the new breed of Malay that now roam the world working and living, as well as raising their kids in a totally new environment that their forefather never thought of. Pursuing their dreams for a better quality of lives.

In those days we thought that only those folks from the west would go and work in faraway land but now it is our people that are doing that. To me it is indeed a great development of the mindset of Malaysian especially so of the Malay. Like all expatriate do, they live in a sprawling gated community. In a well furnished home in this housing complex which I believe was developed for fine living. With his spouse ingenuity and love for fine living they have transformed their home in Houston into a luxurious living space. His spouse whom we refer to as just BJ love things of beauty and fine living, thus you see a home taken care of with love and passion.

These are some images of their home and I believe you would agree with me that they do have great taste. The interior deco indeed would want you to be at home all the times. Since me and my spouse too love fine living, we are indeed at home here in this home in Houston, Texas. Would write more about our holiday here and in the mean time folks, have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In and around Boston...

Folks, it has been a hot day here in Boston. They say that there is heat wave on the east coast of the US. Yesterday it went up to 36 degree Celsius. Although we came from the tropic and are use to the hot and humid condition, we still felt the heat here in Boston. Anyway with the flowers blooming all around us, it in some ways does cool things down.

We are taking it easy doing some shopping and enjoy living here for a change of environment. The images above are those of Boston that I took during the weekend. Have a nice day.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The wonder of Internet....

It was hot here on Sunday in Boston. I found this patio with a table at the back of our daughter's home at Somerville and decide to blog the day away from this vantage point of the house. I love this patio, it remind me of my patio back home in Ampang Jaya. It is nice to be outdoor, a bit cooler then in the house. Well, as usual with the writer in me, I would just write whatever in my mind at this moment in time. Well, let see what has happened on that morning.

As usual when I switched on my computer, the grand kids email address would appear on my radar- the MSN Messenger or the Yahoo Messenger. I switch on the web cam and soon we are connected with those kids and their Mom and Dad at Ampang Jaya. With the technology we are on a video talk, just like seeing them next door. It is a wonderful technology that put people in touch with love one anywhere in the world, with us in Boston; in the early morning and them; in Ampang jaya in the evening. As usual we chat and view those cheerful faces back home and I believe they are doing the same seeing their auntie Lin; the new doctor in the house and of course the grandma. Beautiful what technology has done to our world. Imagine what it would cost to make such a call before the internet and web cam. Now it is just easy to get connected both the voice and images. Indeed a wonder of technology. making our world as colorful as ever.

And in the midst of this a Boston blogger Anasalwa call on the cell phone. I had given her my cell number and she just call. She announces her real name and we talk as thought we had known each other for a long time. We have not met before but in cybersphere we are already friend. Like just the other day I got to speak with Louis and Rita in Seattle, now I had the opportunity to hear the voice of Anasalwa. It was real nice of her to call and she invited us to meet downtown but because we had other plan, I told her that we would meet on another Sunday. She passes the phone to another stranger, a Wan Zaid and we talk and he gave me his number as well. It was nice of them to call and I believe it is going to be the beginning of a new friendships. Well, blogging do bring people together and with that it spread the culture of love and the wonder of living both in cybersphere and the real world. Have a nice day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Harvard - Commencement Day...

Back home it is call Convocation Day and it is a day every students and their parents waited for. It is a day of joy for both and a day where lives really begin for those students. It is a day that would be etched in their memories. It is a day where the youth realized that there is the real world out there. For those who are getting the Master Degree or the PhD it is a day of extra special for it is from here that they would have more wisdom then ever before. For the PhD they get to be address as a Doctor. With that now we have three doctors in the family. To me as parent who look at education as a never ending endeavor, I am indeed happy for the world that we have so many great institutions that provide for good education. And one of which is the world prestigious and famous Harvard University in Boston. And today it is the commencement day at this university. As for us we are one of those proud parents watching this historical event unfold. A great moment in time for us. Indeed a joyous day for the families.

At Harvard the event was carried out in all its pomp and splendor befitting its greatness. It was organized at the University green in the open, under the trees and surrounded by those historical building that is Harvard. As can be seen in the images those are the students and parents congregating to attend this auspicious ceremony, where the young man and woman were conferred their respective degree. To make it easy to watch giant screen were erected here and there. The ceremony went well; preside by the first lady president of the University. Among the many events that went on are the two speeches by the representatives of the students. One speech was done in Latin. Although I know nothing and could not understand Latin, the way the student articulate, made it a very enjoyable speech to listen to. She was a great orator and presented her ideas and information in a very affective way. How I wished that I had learned Latin. The other speech is by a young former soldier who had served in Iraq. His speech was as good and because one could understand of what he was saying, it made his speech more meaningful. He narrated his time in the war torn Iraq and I could see the sadness in him when he told of the lost comrades in the battle field, in a war that no one wanted and without cause. He came back as a great soldier and now a graduate of this prestigious university, Harvard. Perhaps he would be another senator in the year to come. Like the first speaker he is indeed great in his oratory. For both speakers you indeed did a great job in delivering your messages to the world. I am sure their parents are doubly proud and happy with their performances in this university. To me I saw the making of future PhD and leaders in these two, in the not too distance future.

After this main event, small events were held for the Master Degree and the PhD at the various colleges and we attended the one held at the Sanders Theatre Memorial Hall where diplomas were handed to the respective student and one of the many were our daughter. At this theatre we were seated at the balcony in a cozy theater, the architectural of which are all of woods. The interior shows the splendor of woods in it greatness, a well crafted work of art indeed. I love this interior of all woods. We sat there and watch as the event unfolds. Like all those parents proud that one of theirs receiving their diploma.

The whole events of the Commencement day started at 6.30Am on Thursday June 5, 2008. It was a cool day with the temperature of 14 degree Celsius and at time drizzling. We left our home just fifteen minutes before that and took the T to Harvard Square. Attend the breakfast that was prepared for all and this gives the opportunity to meet the other parents as well. We found a nice table and get acquaintance and enjoy that early breakfast and chats along. The whole day events ended with a dinner where we again get to meet the other parents including another proud parent of a PhD from Malaysia. As usual with Malaysian we talk about home and end of with a photo taking, another stranger that became our friends.

We whilst the end of the event away and was later introduce by our daughter the many friends that she had made during her time at Harvard and this includes a family from Seattle who on that instance invited us to come over to visit them in Seattle. I like this family and believe would be another of the family that we would visit when we get to Seattle. We also get to meet a young Malaysian professor who hailed from Penang. He is Engseng Ho [image on the left], the professor at our daughter's faculty. A young learned man of my children generation. As usual with me we sat to chat on many subjects endlessly but with that time constrain, we had to part and hope to meet again like all friends do, somewhere, sometime in the future. We that we parted for home happy that we were part of this historical moment in time. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Back in Boston...

Well, Boston has change over time. The Big Dig has been completed. It started when we was here ten years ago. Now getting from the Logan Airport to the city is in a whiz. No more those nightmare traffics on the highways of steel above ground. The roads has gone underground and up where there was once those unsightly steel jungles of roads, all those structure has gone, making the surface so different and beautiful with the greens of trees. I had a glimpse of the development on my way to the city from the airport. Soon it was a familiar sight. It was our city for a year in 1998/1999. Now we are back and now living at Somerville at a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. To get to the nearest shopping mall, we have just to go to the nearest T [in Malaysia it is the LRT] at Davis Square and get off at Kendal, where there is a regular shuttle bus to one of the mall.

They say that Boston has one of the best Public Transport System. I agree it is so easy to commute from one place to another. In those days we had to buy token to get to ride the train but now you just buy those card and you are on a way to a smooth ride. Boston has six T and a commuter train servicing the city and outlay. Malaysia should look at Boston for an example of a good and effective Public Transportation System in the city. For folks like us who are on a short stay and do not have a car, it was easy to get to the Mall and back. We love shopping so it is another place to whilst away not that far from our home here. The weather has been on our side ranging from 17 to 26 degree Celsius. Here they have not change to the Metric system so it is still in Fahrenheit. Anyhow it is nice to be able to walk and enjoy the weather.

Yesterday we went to the Harvard Square, which is just two T stop from our place. As usual the Square was throng with people. I wonder around while my spouse and our daughter went to do a little shopping to get things for the Commencement Day this June 5, 2008. In Malaysia we call it Convocation Day, here it is Commencement Day. It is the American way and different from the British way that Malaysian inherits. Well that is the way with the culture on this side of the Atlantic.

There are other parents from Malaysia here as well and yesterday we got the opportunity to meet them at a brunch organized by one of the student. As usual we get to meet the other students too. And to our surprise we met a couple who came from Amapng Jaya, where we live. It was real nice to meet them and as usual we sat at the garden chairs and chat on various subjects while enjoying the Malaysian spreads that was laid at the brunch, so what else Malaysian do.. Makanlah. Have a nice day.