Saturday, July 31, 2010

A view from my balcony....

I am writing this over a steamy black coffee. It is a beautiful cloudy morning as I sat writing this in our Malacca home. Just fifty meters out-front is the Straits of Malacca. It is early morning and the sea is calm over a cloudy sky. Looking out of the balcony I saw a huge tanker making its way to the PETRONAS dock delivering raw fuel for the Refinery. About is the image of the tanker as it near the docking jetty. As I was watching the tanker a flock of birds passes by enjoying the breeze near the Apartment tower. These images was taken using a telephoto lens.

Anyone sitting here some five hundreds years ago would be watching Portuguese and Dutch ships ply this route. They were the master of the sea then. Perhaps some folks sitting on the porch of his simple thatch hut were watching a fight between the Portuguese and Dutch ships, which saw the Portuguese capturing Malacca in 1511. It continues to be here exchanging power to the Dutch and then the British, the Japanese, the British again until August 31 1957, when the country Malaya achieved its independence from the last colonialist the British. From that time onward the country has move forward and became one of the most developed country in this of the world. Now with a population of twenty six millions, it boasts of full employment and the society living in peace and prosperity.

We arrived here from Kuala Lumpur yesterday just after lunch; after a stop over at the Ayer Keroh R & R for lunch. I love driving long-distance and yesterday we left for Malacca taking the North South Highway. I am happy to drive on the highway since it is just driving on a good roads unlike driving in the city where I get stress up when get caught in the traffic jam. So I often avoid driving in the city even in Malacca. On the highway quite so often there was no traffic jam. Most of the time driving became a pleasure while enjoying watching the panoramic scenes pass by on both side of the roads. [If you enlarge the image on the left you would see a large Container Ship on the horizon]

The resort is now been managed by a new team. We would be living here a few days, meeting the new management teams, as well enjoying the peace and tranquility of this place near the sea.

Below is a scene of the sea out-front taken as the sun rises.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of the flow of water...

About is my creation. It is sort of a fountain where water flows continuously from the top Ceramic Pot to the bigger Pot at the bottom. I have been toying of how best I could create a fountain that is different from the one I had in my little garden. With the Water pump, I got it done after a few experiments to the right size of the pot and it height relative to the pot at the bottom. I believe I got it right this time, thus you see the water flowing down along the sides of the top pot. The water flows continuously without making any sound like that often happens when water drops in a traditional fountain. It is so silence and it create a soft touch to my garden. Indeed the mystic of water to our lives. Have a nice day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

River and Beach @ Kuantan...

There are so many memories here in Kuantan, my hometown where I grew up and schooling. The bonding with this town is as great as ever and the urge to go back is always there. So from time to time I would just drive there and refreshes my memories of my growing up period in the forties and the fifties.

On July 4 this year we decide to stay a few days in Kuantan meeting relatives and friends and sight seeing of places that I had once roam freely. Some scenes made me sad for they thoughtlessly had torn down buildings which I thought are historic to the place. Like the first Malay school that was built of concrete when then most Malay schools were just of Attap shed and commonly known as Sekolah Atap. I thought that school at Jalan Gambut should had been turn into a Museum of sort but they had torn it down to make way to a new Building. Anyway there are nothing could be done now but just to live it in my memories.

To take my mind away from those sad memories I decided to drive around to familiar places that remain the same like Tanjung Lumpur, Tanjung Api, Batu Hitam and the Kuantan River. In those days my grandfather lives at Peramu on the other side of the river. At time I would follow him crossing the river on a small boat. The boat would leave a jetty where the old Bus Station was. To me it was always exciting to take that boat trips. That memories of me with my grandfather on the small boat is a vivid as ever. It is still as crystal clear as thought it just happened yesterday. The beaches were my playground where on weekend we would go hiking and camping. As a Boy Scout we learn many things about nature and in the process I began to appreciate nature more and more. Today my love of nature continues to grow through my gardening and photography.

The beach at Batu Hitam is special to me in that it is one place where Asmah and I spend our early years of our marriage picnicking on weekends. Batu Hitam in English is Black Rock. The placed is call Batu Hitam because the black rock are everywhere on the beach, perhaps the result of some volcanic activities million of years ago. It is only at this place on the east coast that one find black rock, thus it is a unique place along the stretch of the beach. It remain until these days as one of the favorite places for folks to go picnicking on weekends or in the evening when the weather is cool.

I took a walk on the Black Rock beach and watch tiny hermit crabs making millions of small sand balls while digging its holes. It is an amazing creature that one only see when the tide is low. On the left is an image of the hole made by a hermit crab. Around it are the millions of tiny sand balls made by it as it bore down the hole. In the process it does create an interesting pattern on the sandy beach. Such a beautiful sight to watch and wonder before the tide clear it away.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Of Cherating and Tourism...

Cherating has much potential to attract tourists from near and afar for it has much likeness to places like Bali, Hawaii; where million visit every year. I have travel the world and know for sure that tourists go to a place because of its uniqueness and with Cherating the beach is the asset. The beaches all along the coast from Teluk Sisek right up to Gebeng where the port is now is by itself an attraction for tourist who want to enjoy the sea. I know these stretches of beaches very well for during my childhood growing up in Kuantan we would hike along the beaches from Tanjung Api up to Gabeng, walking along the beaches, climbing over the rock at the cape and when dark we would camp along the riverbank near the beach. The beaches all along the stretches are covered with clean golden sand. This beach would be a heaven to tourists who wants to spend their time enjoying the sea like wading, boating, sailing or just for swimming and basking in the sun. What should be done is not to allow any formal building be built there since as it is there are already many buildings like shops, chalets that are enough to cater for the tourists. What is needed is to upgrade these places and kept it clean all the time. Folks should be allow to operate entertainments centers for after sunset entertainment and relaxation and if possible the whole area be covered with Wifi.

Last year when I visited Cherating I saw a large building there which someone say is a sort of a Cultural Center. Why would they build such a building in Cherating? I wonder! It is a concrete building and it look out of place in that enchanting beach environment. Had they build a traditional house it would made lots of difference. The architectural of a traditional building built of Malaysian timber with intricate carving would by itself be an attraction to the tourist. The space in the house could be an office space for the tourist officer in charge of the resort area. It could also house exhibitions of local interest that are of significant to the state of Pahang. But a large concrete building to me is not a good idea and besides the building by itself hardly attracts attention. Well that is my thought and I still wonder what's in the mind of the planner when they embark on such a project.

And on my latest visit to Cherating two weeks ago I saw the building again and someone quip that it's hardly been used. Well, what could I say. The money could better be used to improve the resort area, like landscaping the area with more trees, flowers etc. as well paying for the maintenance crew to clean the beach everyday, so that it remain pleasing to the eyes of the visitors both local and foreign. Remember tourist visit a place not to come to see a modern concrete building but to find a place which is unique and interesting. A wooden structure made of timber from the Pahang forest would surely make the difference. It would put the timber of the forest of Pahang into an exclusive display where visitors could see the timber as well learn about the type of trees it came from. Remember that the forest of the mountain range of Pahang including the National Park is millions of years old and an exhibition of a living species of those trees would be a tourist draw by itself.

A proper Bus Stand should be build near the roadside at the entrance of the resort area. It should be made of timber and the architecture should be just a simple one. At this Bus Stand there should be amenities like washroom and a cafeteria to cater for the tourist who wait for the bus or for those who had just arrived and waiting for their accommodations arrangment. It could also house the local authority officer supervising the resort area. A section should be set aside to sell real souvenir to the tourists. Anyway there is a stand alone Bus Stand there now but an integrated concept as suggested above would be ideal for the convenient of the visitors.

Another important concern to tourist is the atmosphere of the peace of mind and from what I saw this place do provides that atmosphere. Folks come to such place because they want peace and tranquility. Some comes just to enjoy the sea and may stay a few days but some may come to stay for a longer period, perhaps to write books and at the same time enjoy the environment. Tourist would spend money to enjoy good foods as well enjoying themselves at entertaining places after sunset. All these activities would surely bring money to the local and a boost to the local economy.

What tourists both the local and foreign ask for is simple; a clean environment and an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity for them to enjoy themselves. And of course the accommodations with clean wash-room as well hygienic eating places are a must. Otherwise they would come once and would not come again or it would be a bad publicity to the place. Proper management of tourist spot would bring prosperity to the local. So with such potential, Cherating could be another Bali for its uniqueness especially its golden beaches, turquoise blue sea, blue sky with plenty of sunshine. Its paradise already!

For those adventurous folks out there do come for a visit to this enchanting place under the sun call Cherating. It is just three hours drive from KL or about four hours by bus. You would surely be surprised by what it had to offer.

The images here were taken on my visits to the place. Enjoy it.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My personal space...

Above is my personal space in my home. I have just redone the setting. It is a place where I lepak [relax]; reading, switching channels of the TV or listen to good music on the radio and CD. My spouse Asmah has her own space where she watches her favorite TV programs the way she like best. As for me my watching TV times has been reduced to just switching channels, like the News and Documentary. I no longer watch or listen to the local MSM and that kept my mind healthy, thus my health as well. Well folks I am in charge of my times and now take things a day a time and enjoying it along the way. That is the beauty of the golden age, we are now in total control of our times and I do what I like with it. Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Of Golden age... Just be careful eh!

Folks, I received this email from a friend and thought that it is a good one to share around especially to those in the golden age like me. Instead of just forwarding it I am sharing it here for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps learn a thing or two about life. I have edited the original for clarity, so here it its goes:-

"And elderly couple was sitting in their living room, talking about life... In-between, they talked about the idea of living or dying.

He said to her:

'Dear honey, never let me live in a vegetative state, totally dependent on machines and liquids from a bottle.
If you see me in that state I want you to disconnect all the contraptions that are keeping me alive,
I'd much rather die'.

Then the good wife got up from the sofa with this real look of admiration towards him...and proceeded to disconnect the TV, the Cable TV, the Astro, the Broadband, the DVD, the Computer, the Cell Phone, the iPod, the iPad and the MP3 player, and then went to the fridge and threw away all his favorite drinks!..


Folks, now that you have stopped laughing, do just be careful of what you ask for the next time. You may get what you wished for.... Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Custard Pudding...

In my last posting I talk about Custard Apple or Buah Nona and here is another kind of Custard. It is a pudding that especially made for a sweet enjoyment after meals. It does goes well as a dessert after Dinner or Lunch. At time it is also served at Tea Time on an afternoon when we invited guests to the house for a get together. The above are Custard Pudding that my spouse just made. It is one of my favorite desserts. Have a nice day.