Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Last Day of Ramadan in KL for 1429H

Since this is the last day, I wanted to make it a little special! I wanted to dine somewhere out-of-ordinary or at least, not in the places I had dined gazillion of times before.

So, I called Chakri Palace KLCC... and they were fully booked.

I went to Novotel (where my pal Kem Salleh used to bring me once, thanks dear!) .... and they were also fully booked.

Same goes to Impiana KLCC.

No doubt with Secret Recipe KLCC - always fully booked (see how I've lowered my aim to dine in extra-ordinary place to Secret Recipe? How desperate is that? Yet still no vacancy!).

Thank God there was only one good place left not fully booked (yet) and I have not had the opportunity to taste their delicacies before. It was Aseana Cafe & Bar, located opposite +IT and beside Aseana boutiques in Melium Galleria, KLCC.

To my surprise, the food was worth praised for with mainly made of Malay cuisine. There were also pasta, spaghetti bolognaise with meat-balls, that enough to trigger my saliva streaming down the corner of my mouth.
Finally, a reservation had been made possible...

Among the plates (with food) retrieved in the constant trips back-and-forth to the buffet counter.

The dessert - bubur kacang with sagu, my personal favorite.

With price tag of RM59++ per person for buffet (a Ringgit more than Imperial Chakri Palace's), I had nothing to complain about. The food was good, and so was the hostess and waiters.

Oh, and I saw a couple of bottles of Moet Chandon too in the cold storage. What an exquisite taste of wine Dato' Farah Khan, the president of Melium Group and owner of the cafe, has. Go figure.

Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto

Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto for Adidas top (RM590)

Messenger bag (RM1540)

Note: This was written at 3am and I'm badly sleepy. Thus, forgive me for any spelling/grammatical error (if any). Do comment, I won't bite :)

I was never the one who followed the main stream. For me, I found joy and get thrilled with less-known things and the ones not many go for.

Music-wise, I was already rooting Amy Winehouse when nobody listened to her (yet) at that time. Currently, artistes like Regina Spektor, Damien Rice and The Pierces were among others on my playlist. I found mainstream stuff rather drab and less-exhilarating.

When it comes to dressing up, I do like big, established names as others too. Somehow, I'm much more interested in less-flamboyant and in-your-face labels which emphasized on minimality. I like Moschino, Comme des Garcons and J.Lindeberg, to name a few. Those do not have size-80 font emblazoning the label's name on the chest nor come in tacky colourful outfit. The clothes are simple, mostly monochrome and only for those who really like minimality.

Recently (or rather since early this year), I found another label that suited my preference. Located in the M Store, Gardens, Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto made its Malaysian debut along with other well-known brands under the same store such as Rock & Republic, Fred Perry Laurel and Comme des Garcons Play (to name a few).

Y-3 is the brainchild of brilliant collaboration between the fantastic artist Yohji Yamamoto with sport giant Adidas. Such furtile collaboration had already been seen between designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen with Adidas and Puma, respectively.

The design mostly revolves around the traditional Japanese men's wear (can be seen on the men's shorts and long pants) with a little bit of futuristic twist given, that adds live and eccentricity to the clothes, yet still relevant and wearable.

Just as a little introduction to the label, I treated myself to a nice top and a messenger bag from Y-3, and so far, the reviews have been kind especially towards the bag which many compliments it (rather on me using it). The price tag is quite high, and that places Y-3 among second tier labels.

Somehow, it doesn't deter me from coming back. I think I've fallen in love with Y-3.

Buka Puasa @ Madam Kwan, Pavilion

So, with couple of Ramadan days left for me here in KL, I decided to make full use of it with friends and more friends among other. This is the best time to make excuses to drag out long-lost friends and catch up with each other.

Madam Kwan has always been one of the favourite dining places of mine, be it Ramadan or non-Ramadan. As the restaurant proudly declared itself as the epitome of 'True Malaysian Cuisine', this one got the vote from my taste buds.

So for those who haven't had any chance to have a taste of Madam Kwan's recipe, I'd say, have a go. You can never really judge if you had never got a lick of it. I've included the rough prices of the items we had - just to give you the picture of the price range. Not so pricey for some really good food.

Some entertainment while waiting for the azan. Smash 'em, Hellboy!

Abg Ayi's Nasi Bojari - Madam Kwan's specialty (RM22 something).

Appetizer, ais kacang (RM12 something)

Otak-otak. Sedap! (RM16 something)

My main course - Char Koay Teow. It was okay (RM14 something).

The dessert for the day - my Banana Junk (fore ground) and his Fruity Nutty. S-u-m-p-t-u-o-u-s (RM11.90 each - I remembered this one!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buka Puasa @ Charm, The Curve

When: September 23, 2008
Who: Khairizan, Faris, Sakina, Hana, Zafirah, Didi, Ali Azri, Firdaus et al.

After much delays and postpones, at last, an ifthar between our closest cliques in the faculty finally made it with all the fabulousness and craziness.

Oh, minus Ali and Firdaus, whom were not members of same the faculty as the rest of us - they were just 'companions' of Didi and Hana respectively.

The food in Charm was nice. It was mainly Vietnamese cuisine with a touch of Thai's.

Charm - very charming

Clockwise from top left: Zafirah, Didi, Hana, Kye and Faris...oh, and my BlackBerry!

The Khairolfaris and the Khairizan

Happy bunch! Sakina, Faris and I.

My meal for the day - mushroom chicken rice. Nicely, but not exquisitely, done.

Sakina with her mee-hoon soup ala Vietnamese. She said it was good.

Hana checkin' on the menu while Zafirah checkin' on her 8-megapixel cam. Mine is 12-megapixel (hehe don't hate me Zaf)

Tyra would be so proud of ya, girl!

Hana's clan - From left: Fird and her two brothers (minus Sakina's nose)

Last but not least, many thanks to Zafirah for the ride to The Curve and Sakina for the ride back, all the way right to my doorstep (she insisted on sending me back after listening to the story about a boy almost got sodomised in Taman Tun Dr Ismail while walking back alone at night,many thanks to Firdaus for the story).

And thanks to the rest of the gang who made it possible! See you in next year's Ramadhan!

...actually, we do meet in the faculty every other day...hehe

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Godiva - Something SINFUL

Opposite both Energie boutique and the yet-to-be-opened Harrods in KLCC, there lies a store which bears the name that made me smiled from ear to ear when I first saw it some time in August 2008.

"Godiva - Chocolatier"

OMG. Blair Waldorf's (from Gossip Girl) favorite chocolate is finally here in KL! This is so far beyond exciting!

Last night, I treated myself with two of its collection, namely the dark chocolate raspberries and the dark chocolate with hazel nuts. Each costs RM27 for a packet of 57grams (gasp!).

There are so many confectioneries with each has absolute exquisiteness ranging from dark chocolates, white chocolates to home-made cookies.

Price range? From RM20 for a 40g chocolate bar to RM769 to an elaborate gift set. My favourite? A set of 24 pieces of dark chocolate which costs around RM249.

Let's hope I would be able to bring one back for Raya!

Once Upon A Time...

So, few years back, there was this one guy who dreamt of having everything. But he knew he couldn't. At least, not everything at the same time. That was what Oprah told and he certainly agreed with it full-heartedly.

He looked around. He saw how fantastic it was for people around them to have a nice digital camera, snapping around carelessly with brilliant photos for them to keep or share on the net. He had lost count of how many times it had been when he looked at people playing with their Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) green with envy.

He knew his parents wouldn't buy it for him. They would be better off paying mortgages and debts than feeding what he wants. That he knew for sure.

He was sad. Frustrated too. And he kept on pondering, why didn't his ship come already? Why was everyone seemed so lucky?

Alas, he was determined too.

One day, he started to save up. Whatever coin he had, will end up in the small, brown piggy bank at a corner of his study. It piled up day by day. Bit by bit.

No paper notes, just coins. Just all the change he had.

Some years later, a friend noticed it and, no surprise, touched by all the intentions his friend had harbored for years. He decided to contribute a little bit to the savings and off they went to buy a decent camera and the PSP which has been long due.

And that guy was me. Thank you, Abang Ayi for all the wonderful-ness.

I'm so far beyond satisfied with my 12-megapixel Ixus 960IS and PSP2000. What more can you possibly ask?

Bottom line is don't be afraid to dream. Instead, dream high. Don't be bothered with people who laughed, smirked and gave you nasty remarks because you know, in the end you'll have the last laugh.

You certainly cannot and will not have everything at a time, but you have to make it work in realizing it. Above all, God isn't cruel. He will reward those who had worked their ass off, no worries.

Alhamdulillah for all the blessings. Dear Lord, I'm giving you all the praise. Amen.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Buka Puasa @ Little Penang Cafe, Mid Valley Megamall

Q: What's better than breaking fast with delicious food in a nice, cosy place and decked in your favorite attire?
A: Doing it with great friends.

On September 19, 2008, eight of us head to Mid Valley Megamall for a small re-union cum breaking fast session. Except for Fa and her (super adorable) baby brother whom had taken the wrong train to get there and arrived late, everyone else was on time.

Zafirah made the reservation for the day (thank you dear!)

His Royal Highness Promiscuous Kye with His Royal Highness Fanta-bulos Farra

Abg Ayi and I with his Karl Lagerfeld tee which became the object of envy among HRHF Farra, Zafirah and Fa. Smell the jealousy!

The clan

Zafirah with the tow-keh of Charlie V custom-made shoes, Miss Fa

Stop snapping and just eat, Rashid! Oh, and that's Fa's baby bro

Clearly, Zafirah prefers Charlie V custom-made painted shoes than her own newly-bought Marc Jacobs tote

The after party at Saint Cinnamon

Ignore us. We were born to behave as such.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Raya Shopping (I Never Get Tired On This One)

I was this close to buy government's 'sincere advice' to watch what I spend and how my budget should be tighten up...until I come into realize that they didn't even practice what they preach.

Hey, if in tough times like this they can afford to roll their LV luggages to Taiwan for 'study trip about agriculture', why should I hold back when they're splurging on the unnecessaries?

Taiwan after all, for a study trip? About agriculture? *sigh*

Anyway, what the heck. For the coming Raya, I want to look FAB and I mean it! *snap snap*

Off my hommie, Abg Ayi and I went to KLCC and Pavilion to pay a due visit to some long-awaited stores.

Well, I just accompanied him and grab whatever I saw fit me. He was the one who wanted to do some may-jah shopping.

We only stopped for a couple of minutes to make way for our breaking fast and continued our cash-dropping (literally) session.

All the fabulousness at the end of the day (minus our cat, Aboy)

My raya belt (which won't be new anymore by Raya time)

Abg Ayi's belt and shoes (he totally upstaged me)

True Religion jeans from Bread & Butter, Tangs in Pavilion. Abg Ayi fell in love with it since seeing Aznil Nawawi wore it.

New scent :)

His new Guess? messanger bag for work (Raya was just an excuse to buy it)

Happy happy!! Next stop? The Gardens, Mid Valley for my new shades, shoes and perhaps new tops.

Stay tuned!

A Nice Poem

En route to my sis house last weekend boarding the Express Rail Link a.k.a ERL a.k.a KLIA Transit, I noticed somewhat touching poem on top of my head. Reading it, I couldn't help but to be amazed at how brilliant the poem was. It speaks about one finding solace surrounded by nature in a small park amidst the hustle and bustle of city.

Don't all of us feel that most of the time? We are SO thankful for any small nature left among the concrete jungle around us nowadays right?

Sebuah Taman Sore Hari - Sapardi Djoko Ramono

Dari sayap burung-burung kecil itu
Berguguran sepi, sepiku
Saat terhenti di sebuah taman kota ini
Daun jatuh di atas bangku, bagai mimpi
Di antara datang dan suatu kali pergi
Beribu lonceng berbunyi
Kekal sewaktu bercakap kepada hati
Lalu kepada bumi, di sini aku menanti

and, no worries, the translation:

A Park in the Afternoon - Sapardi Djoko Ramono

From the wings of this small bird,
Silence scatters, my silence
As I sit in a park of this town
Leaves fall on my bench, like dreams
Between coming and once going
A thousand bells ring
Eternity speaks to my heart
Then to the earth, here I wait

So soothing...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

To My Stranger

No one or nothing accompanies you better on a silent night like this than old memories. Memories that you have kept secured at the back of your head and tonight, it creeps back to present time and somehow, touch your heart.

Nevertheless, I have so many of them but one in particular visits me tonight.

You know what wins my heart? Someone who has the right key to it. Someone who knows what's hidden deep inside here and unleashes it right in front of me with a wide grin that says 'There, I've did it, didn't I?'

I've met thousands of people and only one has a very special mark, though we never had any serious 'actual' relationship. Like in my favorite movie 'Closer', he said the same thing each time I'm next to him - the one said by Natalie Portman to Jude Law.

"Hello, stranger."

Nik. That's the name. The stranger's name which is, ironically, never a stranger to me. Only he called me that whenever he looked at me in the eyes, with that deep-intense eyes, and a sly grin forming on his lips. The way his square chin tightened as he laughed and the way his stubble felt on my hands are still vividly clear, as if the time on his Bell & Ross watch had never ticked since we last met.

There's so much to say about him but, forget it.

He'll always be my favorite stranger and I definitely am to him. I know that, for sure. May God bless you wherever you are right now, perhaps in New York I'm quite certain and we'll go out again definitely.

I'll be at the airport, waiting for you to hear you whisper that again to my ear - "Hello, stranger."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Tan Sri, we're SO glad to have you today!"

I was ready to pack my bag and head home after my Microeconomics class when my noble intention was halted by my man-eating lecturer, suggesting that we attend a talk cum discussion by the Auditor General of Malaysia, Yg Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Amrin bin Buang.

What a mouthful. His real name is only one word and the rest are narcissistic endearment terms.

Anyway, in order to impress my lecturer and gain some useful current information, reluctantly I agreed to go. Besides, my BFF Ann Jie aka Paris and Husna and Faris are tagging along as well, so it won't be a snooze fest with my friends around. What's the worst thing that could possibly be right?

The auditor general (AG) was having some serious flaw with his presentation and public speaking skill. The talk was not engaging at all. He talked like someone who has had 5 martinis - so blurry and unorganised.

And that wasn't the best/worst part yet (depends on how you look at it).

During the Q&A session, Ann Jie and I managed to come out with some of the loop holes in his speech/stand/opinion/answers:

  1. Only the ministries are subjected under compulsory annual auditing while state goverment and local councils are not. The reason? Not enough people to do the job because there are 'too many' local council in our country and National Audit lacked out manpower to cope with all of them.

    Verdict: If that's so, why not recruit more? Besides, the unemployment rate among graduates in our country is 6% and building up and any additional recruitment will always be welcomed. And why not recruit them since the early establishment of the National Audit in 1970s?

  2. When asked by my friend how independent is the National Audit, he kept on chanting on how he's so dedicated to his work, not influenced by any political interest, Pak Lah or Najib have never told him to do this or that etc. However, he admit that his power is somewhat limited because subjected under the PM's Office.

    Verdict: What kind of independent in the world is that? For sure your findings will be biased toward...well, you know who.

  3. Which brings me to number 3. When a lecturer asked him, how come in the currently-published 2007 record there's '0% unsatisfactory' regarding the PBT or local council when almost everyday we were entertained with malpractices and wrongdoings of the PBT, he barely answered that only some PBTs are investigated and perhaps the one committing those were not included in the audit last year.

    Verdict: Come on. What kind of answer is that? If you did not cover all of the authorities, why should the public and the government rely on your report? You only used some of the PBTs as a sample and that made up the whole picture of how PBTs in Malaysia work? That did not sound like a good National Audit report.

    Initially, he must have thought "Aiseh why tak banyak org dtg?" But towards the end after being bombarded with questions, he must have gone like "Thank god tak ramai this celaka people."

    Ann Jie and I, well, at least half of me (I look fat, aren't I?). Two of the objects despised by the AG that day :)

  4. Earlier, he proudly told the floor that other Audits like the UK's and the Australian are much more precised because they are not bound to the government, but to the Parliament - unlike ours, subjected under the PM's Office. We are only fed with info given by the PM's Office. ONLY THAT. No other data excavating is allowed. So, again, my friend asked his opinion (not accusing or anything, just an opinion from him) which one would he rather - to be under the PM's office and be 'independent' or have complete fairness by being under the Parliament, like Australia and UK (to name a few)?

    Verdict: To our surprise, he was being so defensive and kept on accusing our bunch (who's supporting my friend who asked the question) as a manic-freedom fighter. He kept on whining and harping on how hard his job is and other boring facts and he DID NOT answer the simple, direct question. Probably because he was afraid of giving the wrong remarks since he's under the PM's Office. That's total independence and fairness, right? Yeah, right. Eat my ass.

  5. He kept on contradicting himself by stating that he's very contented being under the scrutiny of the PM's Office and with the allocation given each year for the Audit to carry out their job. However, earlier he echoed how there was not enough manpower to fully cope with all local councils and state governments. And yet he still wants to be under the PM's Office, with lack of freedom and less funding? WTH?

  6. A lecturer asked who audits the Auditor General? To which he jokingly replied 'my wife' (which we not found amusing at all). He later elaborated that the Auditor General is audited by their source of information by doing check-and-balance with the data given.

    Verdict: If your data provider itself is the PM's Office, what kind of evaluation will you get? Fishy.

What was a snooze-fest for us turned into somewhat a losing debate for him. All in all, he never really addressed any of the questions thrown. He just diverted from the questions by rambling about other stuff which were not in relevance at all.

We left when the session was officially closed with a wide grin on our faces. Yet, there's still this discontent and disappointment deep inside seeing such man running our country and manipulating tax-payers money. We just hoped for the best. Amen.

Tests, Assignments and Everything in Between

These couple of weeks had been very hectic for me. Assignments, tests and personal obligations to attend. Basically I was transitioning from one hour to the next with continuous errands and works to finish. That explains why I had dropped 6kg since early Ramadan and seems to continue so.

So, I had Sociology test on Monday and Macroeconomics II on Friday with assignments and revisions in between. I tackled Sociology with a wide grin from ear to ear as I answered the paper - gaily writing about multiculturalism, Karl Marx and everything else. Happy day!

Macroecons test was a different story. Well, just put it this way, I think I didn't suck at it but it was definitely not an A material. Moral of the story - study hard for final, lazy ass!

Goreng session and time to invent new law and formula

Had a presentation too for Statistic I subject. Again, I don't think I had any difficulty in doing so because, well you just have to talk. And it was easier because we were divided into groups and every member has to participate in the presentation. So, talk crap and be confident - those are the keys to a successful presentation. Hehe..

I know you guys are not listening, so stop pretending like you are!

Don't be fooled by the simple diagram, it was not as simple as it seemed - well, I lied. It was.

It's Been A While...

It has really been a while!

Was so tied up (I refused to use "busy" - sounds so corny) with work that I haven't had the opportunity to post a new one for my dad's (August 31st) and my mom's (Sept 9) birthday. This year, they are both 54 years old and they were born in 1954 as well. How cool is that?

Oh, and they both shared the same age as Oprah. Hehe I JUST had to mention that.

My uncle Kye can't even entertain me well in Taiping

Well, lets see what had happened between all these times.

I had a great time going back to my hometown in Taiping, last few weeks. Had my first day of Ramadan surrounded by family members and my wonderful, wonderful niece and nephews ( I love you guys). After some months away, there was no other word to describe how incredible the feeling of being able to made it and stay at home.

Pure bliss.

Oh, and en route back from groceries shopping cum family outing in Tesco, I noticed a new building next to it named Taiping Sentral with concept reminiscing that of Centrepoint in Bandar Utama, PJ. And with a quick glance, I noticed some big names residing there such as Kamdar, Pelita Nasi Kandar, Adidas, Nike, Sushi King and (get this) Starbucks.

I know. Who EVER thought Taiping would house a Starbucks? I never did.

Next time around, I definitely need to grab my Taiping pals, Shaun, Jinx and Alexis there. The place look so tempting for a shopaholic like me. Well, not necessarily to shop but just to make a point that 'I'VE BEEN THERE, PEOPLE'.

I'm vain. I know. What's new?

2008 has been a very face-lifting year for my sweet little town of Taiping. It houses two hyperstores namely Giant and Tesco, a new high-end private medical centre and now, Starbucks resides here.

I truly felt flattered on behalf of vain Taiping people like me because while 62 out of 84 Starbucks in the United States closed down last month due to economic turmoil, Taiping proudly presents itself a new one. Bravo!

For now, I just need to focus my mind on the things that need to be settled. Assignments and tests are catching up, and I better be prepared! And oh, have a blessed Ramadan al-Mebarak.