Sunday, February 22, 2015

We Went to Sekinchan and You Won't Believe What We Found!

Sorry for the clickbait. You may now proceed with the blog post.

One sunny day, my family and two of our friends went up north from KL to the small coastal town of Sekinchan. Sekinchan is synonymous with paddy fields and good seafood, being a major rice producer in Selangor and being close to the shoreline. Surprising how being close to the sea means abundance in agriculture!

We spent some time in a rice factory/gallery (there's only one in Sekinchan). Nothing much to shout about but you get to see a small part of the operations, churning out bags of rice 24 hours a day. The entrance fee of RM4 also comes with a cute and small packet of rice, remember to claim it on your way out!

After the brief visit, which was not punctuated by photo taking (because the rice had already been harvested, leaving brown fields everywhere instead of the picturesque green fields of waving paddy), we headed a little down the road to a small fruit farm. This is my favourite among our stops of the day in Sekinchan, because it was a small business (unlike the rice factory) and the owner of the farm showed us which trees produced which fruits. We spotted pomelo, rose apples, green lemon, kasturi lime and passionfruit growing in the small farm. Can you believe a thin branch can hold full-grown pomelo fruits without breaking?! If I go back there I must ask the farmer how it can be so strong.

There are a few tables and chairs up front. Buy some fruits (fresh off the farm, of course) and drinks and chill here a while.

Then we headed off to the Sekinchan Wishing Tree. I really have no idea what this place is called, but it's next to a temple and near the beach. The Wishing Tree is essentially a huge tree (20-30 feet tall?) dressed in red strips of cloth. Each strip of cloth is tied to a coin, and on the cloth are written people's wishes. You can get yours from the temple next door (for a token, I believe) and swing it up high to land on a branch. I don't believe there's any cultural or religious significance to this action. If that kind of novelty is not for you, then lay back in one of the swings and hammocks, put up your feet and take a nap. Awake feeling refreshed and buy a bubble game or a kite. The wind in this area (close to the beach) is amazing for these activities.

When the sun goes down, find a table and a seat at any of the makeshift stalls nearby for dinner. There are also halal vendors, not to worry! That evening, we feasted on juicy balitong, firm and tasty blood cockles, stingray cooked in a spicy paste, fried crayfish in rice noodles and washed it down with beer and juices, while feeling the salty sea breeze in your hair. This is the life, man.

At night, somebody wanted to go pee so we drove off the side of the road, near a row of shops. Mana tau there was a huge gap in the middle of the road leading to the drain (uncovered)! So our car's front tyre went straight in. This was literally in the middle of the road, like the hole is supposed to be covered with a block of cement. Anyway, some bystanders came and helped us push the car up and away. But then they demanded for money for their help. So we suspect it's a syndicate that they use to prey on unsuspecting drivers who are unfamiliar with the road - they move the cement block to let people fall into it. The off-road there is unlit, by the way. Lesson learnt: if you really want to pee, just go to a petrol station and don't bother with the shops.

Beautiful day out (bar the hole experience), simple yet satisfying! I highly recommend a day in Sekinchan for anyone who's not been there. Recommended times of visit (for full-blown ripe paddy field) is March/April, apparently (citation needed haha).

Monday, February 16, 2015

elastic hearts

Confession: I actually cannot tahan Sia. I hate Bulletproof and Chandelier sounds like a whiny song. But when someone showed me the music video to Elastic Heart, wow! Totally changed the way I look at her music. I think it's the only song of hers which I will listen through in entirety. The video above is a depiction of the battle between the two sides of Sia, one portrayed by Shia LeBouf and the other by child dancer (of Dance Moms fame) Maddie Ziegler.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

This Week in Virality (2)

First of all, there is no such thing as FIRSTABLE or FIRST ABOVE. Second of all, these are things that made the Interwebz on fleek this week. No cats needed and I'm not talking about Valentine's because later JAIS come close my blog how? (Urhhh anyway the only Vday news is that everyone is uploading couple photos)

1. The Grammys 
The 57th edition of the annual music awards took place this week. Lots of things were spoken of - Sam Smith taking all the Grammys (Adele flashback!), Rihanna's meme-worthy pink dress (her after party look is stunning),  and Kanye trolling Beck (my favourite of them all).

2. NYFW 2015 
Fashion week season is here and the only thing I'm hearing so far is Kylie Jenner walking in Kanye Wests' Adidas show which was attended by almost every celebrity popular today (the collection was not well received, and I too am no fan of the sheer hoisery being worn as pants *lansi face emoji*).

3. Chinese New Year Branded Content/YouTube Ads
There's a lot more going around, but these are the ones I really like.

Maxis' #ThisIsMyName *Wah made me tear*
Cilisos & Smirnoff Ice's banana problems *this one is nicely done*
Ribena's Turn Up The Huat *I really like this one*
Hitz FM's Goat thing...meh. Literally and figuratively.

4. Political news
Anwar sentenced to 5 year's jail and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz passes on.

5. Every conceivable article about 50 Shades of Grey 
Can we please make a pact to stop reading/sharing them? Errbody knows it and it's all the same thing, packaged and repackaged again.
I kinda like what Sgag did though - 50 Shades of Suey, hahaha. Cannot find link because they don't meta tag their posts sorreh.

POP QUIZ: Do you know which emoji I am referring to when I say *lansi face emoji*? :D

This Week in Virality 1

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rock On!

So beautifullllllll. (I'm about 15 years late to the Incubus bandwagon LOL)

Jack White, I (kinda) love you!

This song is performed by Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and surviving members of Nirvana, according to its Wiki page. I just realized how Paul McCartney is an emblem of "change is the only constant". He's 72 this year and just collaborated with Kanye West and Rihanna - crazy! But that's how you stay ahead of the game and wow people - by not conforming to the norms and doing things out of your comfort zone. The result can be really great...

Why I Quit Waze and You Should, Too

It is shocking how much time I spend in the car on the road to commute to work daily. With the increase of the number of cars on the road during peak hours and no improvement to the public transportation system in sight, you can be assured of more congestion and a one hour journey to what would normally take 30 minutes.

In light of that, which driving app should you spend your time on? Here I give you a biased opinion as to why you should dump the popular traffic-telling app Waze for Google Maps. (Yes, I am aware that they are both owned by the same entity - but hear me out! There is a different user experience for both!)

Try it out for yourself for a week and let me know if you see the difference. I for one feel less stressed while on the road, knowing Google Maps will not take advantage of me or let me waste fuel going through a kampung road to get to Paradigm Mall.

With that, I present...

1. Waze gives you a longer and more expensive route.
- Proven true. If there's more than one way to get to your destination, and even though there is a shorter way/no toll route, Waze will always set your default route to the one you use the most often. Regardless if that frequently used route will take 2 hours and 2 tolls, and the shorter one, 30 minutes and no toll. (Exaggeration but you know what I mean!)

Why you should use Google Maps: 
- It will always show the route, distance and ETA
- It won't set a default route for you
- It doesn't give you a 5-second countdown to choose your route.

2. Waze data is unreliable! 
- I have seen my ETA cut and increase drastically at different times because Waze cannot make up its mind as to how many cars are on the road. One moment there will be 300 cars, the next there'll be 30. As a result, your ETA changes one too many times. I find this very stressful to my driving experience and super stupid, because hello, real time data, geez.

Why you should use Google Maps: 
- Instead of grumpy driver icons cluttering the colored road, you get a road that's clear of obstacles in varying colors. Red for super jam, yellow for moderate and blue for smooth.
- The road statuses are more often than not ON THE DOT. Very accurate readings, more so than Waze. I don't know how Google does it but it's amazing.
- Less stress, better driving time!

3. Waze has ads popping up in the map

Why you should use Google Maps: 
- No ads.

4. The destination on Waze's map is not always there
Yeah. I tried looking for KLPac once (a pretty popular location) but it led me across Sentul to some car workshop. I am aware that you can search for locations under FourSquare or GoogleMaps in Waze itself, but what is the use of that? A traffic telling app should be able to know where I am going and set the destination for me, not simply find a default location presumably close to my destination. Nonsense.

Why you should use Google Maps: 
- Okay sorry I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Google Maps' location, but if I am already choosing Google's maps as default on my Waze, that should already tell how much faith I have in it Vis-à-vis Waze.

Okay, now you try it out and let me know what you think. Or are you already on #TeamGoogleMaps?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Shortcut to Wisdom

Isaiah 33:6
In that day he will be your sure foundation,
providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.
The fear of the LORD will be your treasure. 

Something Pastor Arun said at service today spoke into the recesses of my heart. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. If you don't have fear for the LORD, you don't have wisdom!" The gospel of grace is a powerful thing, giving freedom and life eternal to all who believe in it. But sometimes, too much emphasis on the grace portion, and not enough on obedience to God's commandments, will prove to be destructive.

I pray that my friends will have the fear of God in their hearts, and may this godly fear and reverence for God be their treasure. May God, who sees this in them, respond by pouring out his rich reserve of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. He is the sure foundation of our lives.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

This Week in Virality (1)

The news that made the Interwebz hot and shiny these past two weeks, as told by my Facebook friends:

1. Backstreet Boys live in Malaysia 2015

2. This list of English words in Malay/Malaysian context

3. Unfriended movie trailer (I've not watched this, it's late at night and I want to sleep ok)

4. Frozen Sequel!! A few images were released this week, see more here. (Surprised not many are talking about it yet)

5. This article about the super ganjil creature found in Sarawak, that turned out to be...

I think I missed out on a few virality stories, do share if you came across any this week. Hopefully this will be a weekly thing! :)


This time around, I didn't enjoy the sand.
There were too many broken seashells and dried fish bones greeting my every footstep.

This time around, I didn't enjoy the waves.
They were untamed and uncontrollable, unsuitable for play.

This time around, I didn't enjoy the sun.
It was too hot and bright, burning the life out of everything.

(Note: It was a happy time, but it was also a sad time.)