Friday, June 27, 2008

introducing cactus & quills...

I have promised to upload photos of my hedgehogs and after a little effort, ehem... I proudly present to you, Cactus & Quills!


Cactus is the male hedgehog I brought back home in March from a home breeder. He has good temperaments and can fall asleep on anyone's lap. Picky eater, but will snap up mealworms when in sight! Cactus is the more 'athletic' one between the two hedgehogs I have, he'll make sure he gets enough exercise by running in the wheels every night (and leaves his poop all over the wheel). Cactus also likes to get his head stuck inside a toilet paper roll and bang around. ;) Quite a clumsy hedgehog, always tumbling around in his cage.


Quills was brought back roughly 2 weeks ago. She is considered quite grumpy and would rather be left alone in her cage, but once she gets outside she'll wander off very fast. Quills' rather friendly and tame when you have food in your hands, she'll come to you uninvited. ;) A bit on the plump side as she doesn't really know what to do with the wheels, the only thing she plays with is the bell ball which she keeps knocking around late at night.

Will need to take some time to study their behaviours, these two young hedgehogs are wonderful pets to have, and I learn new things about them as days go by. Honestly, hedgehogs are not suitable pets for many people because they're solitary animals, you don't get to play with them daily like dogs or cats, and they are unlikely to show any sort of emotions. But once you get to know each of their personalities, you'll fall in love with them. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

bangkok day 2...

Continued from here.

Woke up pretty early on the second day and headed for breakfast in the guesthouse's lounge. After that we took a short walk to the Sala Daeng BTS Skytrain which is like 5 minutes away from where we stayed.

Patpong during daytime.

Funny to see how many shops with Japanese names along the streets of Patpong, I didn't even notice that when we arrived. It's like a mini Japanese Street here.

BTS Skytrain. Way more efficient than Malaysia's LRT.

We decided to go to Pratunam Market which is, according to the map, located quite near the Phaya Thai Station.

Apparently we got it wrong.

Took us more than half an hour's walk from the station to the market (under the hot sun), we swore that we won't take anything other than taxi to return later.

Streets in Pratunam Market.

Pratunam Market is a place where you'll find plenty of tailors selling custom-made working blouses, pants, or old folks' attires. We initially thought we could get some decent buys here but sadly we got that wrong. The stuff sold here are just not our styles. But that didn't stop me from getting a pair of jeans at 300Baht (RM30) though!

The famous Jay Puy.

After spending the entire morning & noon in Pratunam, we headed back to the guesthouse for a short rest before proceeding to China Town.

We got to China Town close to evening hours, and once we stepped out of the taxi we went straight to the much talked-about Jay Puy, rice served with thick kaeng karii, a chinese-style curry. You can almost certainly miss the stall if you're not paying attention, simply because the curry stall doesn't look like they're doing business.

In fact, you don't even see tables anywhere. Everyone either sit on plastic stools holding up your plate of curry rice or you just tapao and leave. There's a variety of curries available, but we again chose the one most people ordered, the thick pork curry with potato.


Suffice to say, it's by far the best meal we've had in Bangkok throughout our 4-day stay.

Mr Cowboy preparing pork satays.

That, and the pork satays where you can find almost everywhere in Bangkok. They all taste the same, which is simply delicious!!

And they're only at 10Baht (RM1) per stick!

I bought one everytime I passed by a stall selling pork satays. I just can't resist it.;)

I can eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Around 7pm, we went back to get dressed up for the night.

Sirocco & Sky Bar.

You can see pictures of the bar circulating in emails, people speak in awe of this place, which means you can't miss out Sirocco when visiting Bangkok.

Located at the 63rd floor of Lebua Hotel, you get to see the most magnificent view of Chao Phraya River behind you under the romantic moonlight.

Back to reality though, nothing here is cheap.

We spent a close 2,000Baht (RM200) for drinks alone (OMG!).

Lightning strikes.

But really, you cannot not come here. Just sitting up here looking at the majestic view of Bangkok's nightlights is priceless.

Our expensive drinks.

Too bad though, that it rained after a while. We thought we could enjoy the entire night outside admiring the lights of Bangkok city, but fate had it that it rained cats and dogs for the rest of the night.

Bangkok's night lights.

But not before we took enough pictures of the amazing view from the top of the world.

Simply beautiful.

To be continued...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

bangkok day 1...

Have I mentioned that I was in Bangkok last month for a holiday?
These photos are a bit late, but didn't really have the time to write a lengthy post until now, so this is the update.
The gueshouse we stayed during the first two days.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is locally known as 'Krung Thep' or 'City of Angels', It's a short form of the Thai name, which I don't think anyone uses at all. The full-length version of its name, when translated, is something like 'Great city of angels, the repository of divine gems, the great land unconquerable, the grand and prominent realm, the royal and delightful capital full of nine noble gems, the highest royal dwelling and grand palace, the divine shelter and living place of reincarnated spirits'.
Now you know why us 'foreigners' simply call this capital 'Bangkok', derived from 'Bang Makok' or Village of Olive Plums.
Cafe Kaldi is a local version of Starbucks. This is one of many you'll find along the streets in Bangkok.
During our four-day trip, we stayed in Silom for the first two nights. We stayed a bit further from the Riverside, closer to the nightlife in the city. While it used to be known for the shipping and ports during the olden days, Silom has transformed into a business area packed with office workers during the day.
At night though, the entire place magically turns into the infamous night bazaar and red light district of Patpong.

One of the stalls in Soi Pradit, Silom.

We stayed in a decent guesthouse called 'Take a Nap Hotel', which really isn't a hotel. It's a budget guesthouse for free-n-easy travelers like us, but with more privacy. Every room has different 'themes', if that's what it's called, and at 1300Baht/night (~RM130) for a double room + breakfast, it's considered relatively cheap in the area.

Our first meal in Bangkok, and it's heavenly. ;)

We arrived at the guesthouse at 11.30am, and the receptionists are more than welcome to allow us early check-in. Once settled down, we proceed to walk over to Soi Pradit Market, about 20-30 minutes walk from our guesthouse. Not known for anything extravaganza, but always packed with office workers during lunch hours. We went for the stall with the most customers and ordered what everyone else were eating, rice with braised (?) pork. Or something like that, I don't know. I just pointed and showed 2 fingers (for two), and there comes the plates with delicious pork rice. It's a pretty common sight to see Thais plucking the chilli and chew them when they're eating any meals, but since spicy's the trend here I'm not surprised.

Neilson Hays Library

On the way back we stopped by Neilson Hays Library. This wasn't our intended stop, but the architecture and designs are so captivating that we went in for a short visit.
Entrance of Neilson Hays Library

It was a pretty well-kept old library with the classic feel. Very brightly-lit, and although a bit small, it's extremely cosy to be sitting in here and reading a book.

Enjoying the air-conditioner in the library after a long walk.

You'll find plenty of foreigners taking some time and hang around in this library and enjoying a book or two.

Jim Thompson Store.

Opposite the road of our guesthouse is the Jim Thompson Store. Jim Thompson is the company that revived the silk industry in Bangkok and you'll find plenty of Jim Thompson outlets in Bangkok. There are plenty of stuff (not just silks) sold here, tableclothes, wallets, handbags, pillowcases, cookies and even Jim Thompson postcards. While I think everything in the store are quite overpriced, the place is worth a visit for any tourists. I don't encourage to buy anything there though...;)

Soi Polo Fried Chicken.

Towards the evening we took a cab to Lumphini and went to try out the much recommended Soi Polo Fried Chicken. Most cabbies have no idea where is the location unless you show the map, and seriously at that time I felt I may have been misled to think the fried chicken is really that good.

Personally, it tasted so-so, pretty much like our local mamak's fried chicken. Perhaps 'farangs' don't really enjoy their KFCs and prefer these, I don't know.

Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

From there we took a short walk to the Suan Lum night bazaar. When we arrived it was still pretty early (6pm), but most stalls were already up and ready to do business.

Illegal vendors in Suan Lum operating as usual despite court battles to close it down.

Suan Lum night bazaar is only a few years old, and is just getting its crowd when it was announced to be closed soon for other developments. But that doesn't stop the vendors from opening the stalls. If you don't read the local papers you won't even realize that these vendors are actually operating illegally!

This night bazaar isn't the cheapest naturally, but bargain hard and you'll be able to get a thing or two for dirt cheap prices. Of course, there are some other bazaars and markets in town where you can get great deals as well, but for the first night we're content to get our hands full shopping for souvenirs here.

Patpong Street at night.

Around 9pm we left the bazaar with both hands busy carrying plastic bags filled with clothes, souvenirs and shoes. Took a taxi back to our guesthouse and had a short rest before we went back down to enjoy the nightlife in Patpong.

Patpong is famous for its gay bars and tiger shows, while the night market is filled with over-inflated items. For a T-shirt you can get in Suan Lum for 150Baht, you're likely to find the same shirt here selling at 300Baht.

The notorious street filled with gaybars in Patpong.

We took a short stroll along the few streets there, but really, if you're smart and have done your research you wouldn't want to buy anything here. Plus, it's not really fun to have 20-30 Thais
asking if you're interested to watch pingpong shows, which I don't really want to explain here.;)

To be continued...

Friday, June 20, 2008

4 years down the road and nothing much has changed...

In a little more than a month, this blog would be celebrating its 4th birthday. I don't think I'll be free on that day to wish my blog a happy birthday (I'm slotted in 'busy' mode that week), so I might as well blog about it since I remember about this now.

My first post was crap. It was written due to pressure from a couple of friends who blog as well. I didn't expect 4 years on, I still have this blog. And actively blogging still.

4 years back, there weren't many blogs in Malaysia. I know I'm not the first who caught the blog flu, but really, even project petaling street has just begun operation for some time. There are plenty of great stuff to read in that blogtal.

I struggled to write in html back then. I still do, but thanks to blogsphere's popularity nowadays the host does everything for you.

I can blog about anyone I want then because nobody knows, since nobody really reads blogs.

I lost my passion in blogging some years back during the time where plenty of useless blogs mushrooming out from nowhere, and everyone tries to make money out of blogging. Reading others' blogs became fun no more because people are copying and pasting news just to get easy money. Quality bloggers shunted the blogsphere, and I lost interest as well.

I don't know what spurred me to continue blogging, but I just thought of something just recently.

Maybe 10 years, 20 years, perhaps even 50 years down the road, I would have compiled a thorough journey of my life, and I can imagine myself laughing my socks off reading the first few posts I made. This will be my diary and will be recording many more important events in my life, my loved ones, my friends, my country, my everything.

50 years later, if I'm blessed with grandchildren, they would be sitting on my lap, reading back the old posts, and ask me why the heck my generation is so out of fashion.

Happy be-'earlied' 4th birthday to my blog.

There will be many more anniversaries to come.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ray of light...

It's been almost a week since I last updated.

And yes, I have got the new hedgehog, yet to name it, don't really know what to call it but I don't think that matters much since she won't know I'm calling her anyway. Haven't had the time to take any photos of this snowflake hedgehog, but you guys can bet I sure will post them up here when I do. Unfortunately the hedgehog is a bit bad-tempered, so far she has not quilled down any time I tried to touch it. The hissing and puffing sound sure makes it like she's a bit grumpy. Too grumpy to my liking. But well, I think I'll have ways to tame her.

On another issue, I'm thinking of something new to start. While it's too early to say anything, but I think I've found something which I think I will have a passion in doing.

No, it's not breeding hedgehogs, although yeah, I'm planning to do that as well, but um... I think I'll make a public announcement when I achieve some success in it.

In any case, I think I'll be pretty busy for the coming months due to this new thing that I wanna do, plus my job and hedgehog breeding, and heck, my brother's getting married end of the year (have I mentioned it?). This will not be good for my health, hahaha...

But like the frequently used proverb, "no pain no gain". This is the time to go through some pain I guess. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

my second hedgehog...

3 months after getting Cactus, I've finally decided to get a female hedgehog, first step towards my plan of becoming a hobbyist breeder.

I have reserved a 4 month-old female hedgehog, a solid snowflake with dominant white quills from another fellow hedgehog enthusiast. Consider my lady luck because I was scouting for a platinum-coloured, but an all white snowflake will be a beauty as well.

Will be getting the hedgehog this Saturday if nothing goes wrong, after some time I'll be posting pictures of the new addition here in my blog...:)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ads back in...

After blogging several years without any ads in my personal blog, I'm beginning to let loose a little and add one into mine. What's better than earning a little cash while spending time on your hobby right?

To be honest, I've been registered with Nuffnang for a couple of years already, I think, but I did not really concentrate in a blog for the purpose of drawing click through ratio from my friends, who are the majority of my blog readers anyway. Therefore I started another blog, which is now defunct (unfortunately). I found that blogging what people loves to read is not what I really want to do.

I blog about what I love to read, and what I would want to read back 10 years down the road. And I think this blog serves my purpose, and reverted back to active posting with this blog for the past year. I mean, I write what I want to write, and to hell who cares what you guys want to read, right?

My blog has been ads-free for as long as it existed, and finally I've decided to include one that does not get into everyone's face, but at the same time is given enough attention while viewers get to read what they wanted to read. I'm not expecting much of a passive income by including Nuffnang's ad, but hey, it's a Malaysian's effort and heck I feel better putting Nuffnang's ad rather than any other advertisements from foreign companies. Support local product they said, no?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

that rock that bothers us all...

"I still maintain my stand that we have half the victory, and half the failure. All are rocks anyway, there is no mempelam (mango) there, nothing, not even a blade of grass. But people like to rub it in. But let's face it. Malaysia did not lose all. Whoever says that, either he or she does not understand the international law result, or they are playing belukar politics."

"It is a subjective assessment, of course. The fact that Batu Puteh is not with Malaysia now, I think that is the nagging problem. The fact that we have Middle Rocks, not many people appreciate."

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim's opinion on ICJ's verdict to rule that Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore, while claiming that it should have been Malaysia's.

While I understand that our current Foreign Minister shouldn't be blamed for the lost of the island to Singapore, I seriously think he's in self-denial to claim that we have half the victory, when the only win situation is to claim back all our islands. Losing any of these rocks are just pure failure. Nothing else.

The maps of Malaysia put forward does not even recognise Batu Puteh as part of Malaysia, and it is purely our fault that the island was eventually awarded the the tiny country south of us. How can the important letters and documents go missing, and why do we let Singapore maintain the island independently in the first place?

Just concentrate to get back Batu Puteh and stop critisizing citizens for feeling disappointed that part of our country is lost.