Monday, October 30, 2017

WORKation in Penang

I just came back from Kelantan and Terengganu on Tuesday. Went back to office to show face for 3 days and I have arrived in Penang today. 

It's the same Wife works, Hubby plays routine. She will conduct training for lecturers at USM.




I took this collage of photos from my hotel's window showing KOMTAR towers radiating beautiful colours. I am cracking my head now as my blog will have so many posts jamming up with my visits to East Coast and now Penang. I went up to Penang Hill this evening and it was fun to rekindle my childhood days up there with my late parents. 


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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Attractions In Kelantan

Hip Hip Hooray! I am back from the East Coasts of Malaysia. I truly enjoyed my trip going sightseeing to so many exotic places in just 2 days covering 2 beautiful states - Kelantan & Terengganu. So I managed to reduce my bucket list for having visited all the 13 states of Malaysia, at last. Have you visited all the states in Malaysia???

There are over 25 temples in Kelantan itself but I managed to visit the 3 famous ones. I love the environment and the very friendly folks who are warm with big smiles everywhere. Their local food like Laksam, Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Soup Ayam Bakar and famous Roti Titab with thick black Kopi-O was heavenly. I will be sharing all the exciting photos of my temple visits, beaches and yummy food around Kelantan & Terengganu.
 


I waited for 3 long hours after my wife had flown off to catch the 5.00pm flight. It was my maiden try on this airline which gave me a terrible fright. The aircraft was so noisy and shaky until all the nuts & screws started to squeak all the way. I had never prayed so hard on board any planes - Namo, Namo, Namo, Namo until I fell asleep on my seat. The plane was full and the air con was blowing air from hair dryers until my forehead was wet. Many people had to use the manual cards to fan themselves. The return flight was a bliss as the aircraft was silent with its air con blowing cold air. Just perfect.




It was my first time using the services of a GRAB car from the airport. My wife texted me from KB to download this Grab's apps to my phone to get better deals. I was eating my lunch at Subang airport and promptly installed the apps. I tested it & suddenly I heard a lady's voice telling me that her car was outside the airport in Kota Bharu's Sultan Ismail Petra Airport!! Goodness! Stupid me quickly apologised to her and hung up. Wakakakaka I arrived the Renaissance Hotel which looked the grandest in town.




This hotel has a nice lobby to welcome guests with all its grandeur and luxury decors. The staff in attendance are all very polite, helpful and friendly too. This hotel is under the management of the Marriot Hotels chain and has all the facilities that live up to its name with quality services. However all the majority of the guests' reviews pointed out at their very dated finishing and blah blah blah.. Who cares, I stayed there for 3 glorious nights FREE! Our room was very huge with a King Sized bed suitable for my elephant size and comes with daily breakfasts too!





I woke up early to see the quiet streets below on a Sunday morning. It was their working day for the Muslim states which enjoy Fridays & Saturdays off instead. My wife had left the hotel to conduct her training elsewhere. This was our WORKation trip where "Wife works, Husband plays". My head was still debating where I should visit as they have several interesting old Royal Palaces and Museums that might interest me. Suddenly my twisted mind decided to visit the famous temples around Tumpat's district instead. They have over 25 temples there! The local government is very lenient and respects all the different faiths! Some rival political goons have been painting scary images about their government which is so untrue.

I simply hailed one GRAB car and I think God sent this particular driver to fetch me. I am so thankful that he agreed to come as Tumpat is quite far away and I would definitely have problems to get any GRAB cars around that remote kampungs around Tumpat. This young driver Mr. Rosaifuddin agreed to fetch me from temple to temple by just following the normal GRAB fares. He waited for me so patiently as I took my sweet time to explore the whole temple grounds to snap many photos. He was so kind, so I had to be nice too!


WAT PHOTHIVIHAN




It was my dream come true to visit this Wat Phothivihan which I have been seeing over media photos since I was small. It is located at Kampung Jambu in Tumpat which is approx 21 km from Kota Bharu which costs RM22.00 by GRAB a single journey.




This famous statue of the reclining Buddha is the longest in Southeast Asia and measures at 40 metres long. I need to enlighten the readers about the common reference as The Sleeping Buddha which has created a misconception as the Lord Buddha was actually lying down on his final day when his soul entered into Nirvana. I remembered someone asked me "Why does the Buddha need to sleep?" I actually found the correct answer last November after seeing the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China. 




 This is the Dharma Wheel of Buddhism.




A close up photo of the Lord Buddha. You will be able to see many urns of ashes of the deceased persons behind the statue. I didn't walk behind there.



 The hall beside has the main statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara with 18 arms and flanked by the statue of Guan Yin Bohisattva on the left and the DiZang Wang Bodhisattva on the right.





They have an altar for devotees to conduct merit making with Candle Light Offerings. I lighted up 2 candle lamps for both my late parents. My heart missed them so much and I felt grateful to them for bringing me up very well.


There are many instances in our life when we get carried away by our emotions. I often reminded myself to take the Middle Paths and discard all the greed and anger feelings that would harm my well being. All the Buddhist monks live by the Ten Precepts.




 When I share my happiness with everyone, my heart feels lighter.


LOOKING FOR A TOUR GUIDE IN KELANTAN?



This is Mr. Rosaifuddin who so kindly showed me around Kelantan and Terengganu for 2 days. He went extra miles to proudly show me all the interesting sights and history of the 2 states. Just give him a call for the most reliable tour around the 2 states as he is very patient and knowledgeable. He is a GRAB driver, My Guide and My Friend now....



Call Him Today: +6-019-4756308
(Mr. Rosaifuddin)


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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Veni Vidi Vici

I am so happy today. I am sitting alone at the airport now to catch my flight at 5.00pm. My wife had earlier flown off with her colleagues at 2.00pm. She will check into the hotel and wait for my arrival before going for a private dinner together. I am supposed to be invisible as it is her working trip.



I was so thrilled and jumped over the moon when my wife told me that she has to fly to Kelantan! I quickly told her that it would be another "WORK-ATION" where the wife works while the hubby goes to play! Yay!

So I will be able to fulfill my bucket list which will complete my wish to visit all the 13 states in Malaysia. I will fly to Kelantan and do some sight seeing before crossing to Terengganu for a day trip! Yoohoo!


Happy Weekend!


***


Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Health Supplements Freak

This is Not A Paid Post & all opinions are based on 
my own discretion and experience only.


Today I will share with you what goes into my mouth besides all the gossips that come out of my mouth. There must be a give & take in everything we do in life. I merely shared some juicy stories to create awareness that such unspeakable incidents really happened in life and hope the readers could analyze them or perhaps advise others. Maybe I was those busybody historians who had to write the daily incidents that revolved around the Chinese Emperor's palace in the past lives. Perhaps I should become a newscaster today for Gossip Channels like the KBS Entertainment Weekly. Right now, I am contented to just keep my full time office job and personal blog space to entertain my readers from time to time. You might notice that I would often remove many paragraphs of my past blog's juicy & torrid stories after the majority of regulars have read & commented. So you were not dreaming when you thought that you had really read such lines in my blog. Your memory didn't fail you but I just removed them as deem fit.

You might recall about how both my late parents were visiting many doctors and 3 hospitals throughout their final years. It was really a sad thing for me to see them being sickly and fading off. Nobody likes to be old, sickly and die eventually but this is life's process and no one is immortal. I often watched other patients inside the waiting rooms or hospital beds and placed much thoughts over their illnesses. My thoughts would run wild on the possibilities of their karma, lifestyles and how they had lived. Did they eat well and exercise enough? Naturally I spent years reflecting back on my mum's life as she had close to 20 health issues and concluded that both my parents lacked proper exercises and health supplements intake. They thought their food on the dining table had enough nutrients which was definitely a mistake. We often eat imbalanced meals daily and couldn't provide the right or sufficient nutrients to help our ailing cells to repair or further strengthen our immunity to fight any unforeseen virus or bacterial attacks. Over a long period, this could sometimes lead to various sickness that could become our premature deaths or crippled with strokes and life threats. 

I also paid much attention to my late father's BIG family tree where my grandfather had 3 wives, 21 children, 58 grandchildren and infinite great-great grand kids. The first death occurred when my uncle died rather young from heart attack after a game of his favourite badminton. He went to church that morning and proceeded to play his game & sat down to wipe his face with a towel. He died of heart attack within seconds on his chair. His distraught wife pointed out that he was not a religious person and his visit to church was rather unusual as if he sensed it was his last day on earth. His job was very stressed as he was a pilot for Singapore Airlines where he was often away for at least 21 days each month and the jet lag hours stressed & killed him. Remember that "Stress Is A Number One Killer". His son banned his own kids from ever pursuing their career in aviation industry. Next observation - my father's oldest 2 sisters who have reached their 90s now. They both have outlived a number of younger siblings and could still walk unaided with sharp memories. They both can still play mahjong today and win all your monies! They both eat the most daily health supplements pills and fruit juices all their lives until today. They didn't preach all this to me but I personally believed their longevity come from their good well being of happiness, healthy eating with adequate daily supplements and simple exercises and body massages by their own maids!! How nice!




I have these bottles of supplements at home to feed me and my wife. I hope to stay healthy till old age with my wife as we have no kids to bring us to hospitals. We do enjoy our very simple lifestyles and lesser family commitments, to able to travel to cheap neighbouring countries. I would order all these supplements cheaply online from USA after learning this from my colleague. Local pharmacies easily sell everything above RM100 per bottle as they have so much overhead costs to provide convenience for consumers like you. 



I could share my stories for all the individual supplements in the top photo if you wish to hear them. Let me share some personal experience about these 4 bottles first.

CoQ10 - This is a Coenzyme Q10 which is important for our heart, liver and kidney besides helping chronic migraine sufferers like me. One classmate of mine who had been aggressive to promote his MLM's health products but failed to convince any of our schoolmates to sign up as the starter packs are ridiculously priced at RM3,000 range. Suddenly, he suffered from serious heart attacks and underwent a Triple By-pass operation. He survived miraculously and his MLM's upline tried to convince me to join. I questioned the upline how my friend could suffer the heart attacks with all their supplements. The answer was simple that my friend did not consume CoQ10 which could have prevented his heart disease. I guessed that bottle was not inside their MLM's catalogue, so I ordered from USA for only RM54.85. I have eaten them and felt much better.

Cranberry (Highly Concentrated) - I had suffered from serious bladder infections 3-4 times in my life and they were so painful when urinating. Once I saw pieces of black seaweed in my urine and I nearly passed out from shock with my weak knees turned rubber! That horrible black stuffs could be dried blood pieces from the inside bladder walls. Argh! Tolong! That was due to my earlier bad lifestyles, of not drinking enough water for days except beer & coffee. Those days, me still yuppie, young and muscular handsome with cigarette & beer in both hands. Very lansi & stylo! When the urine got seriously infected, my mum had to drive me to see doctor at 3:00am!!! While in US, my neighbor preached to me about the pure Cranberry Juices that could easily heal even the most chronic bladder infections without having to visit doctors. I trusted her words as it really could help me when I sensed the attacks coming! Now I saw this highly concentrated bottle online for RM25.60 is cheaper than drinking the imported Cranberry juices that sells like liquid gold in our country! Buy it!!!

Biotin - My whole supplements mania started from this bottle when my colleague ordered this to treat his Kojak bald head & hair loss. He realised he made a mistake as he was supposed to buy the higher dosage contents per tablet. So he gave it to me for free. I googled and found out that no harm eating this for strengthening hair and nails. My head is always full of thick hair and didn't see any difference. My shock came when I looked down. I realised that both my legs have turned more hairy with long hairs like a big gorilla. Shy! Shy! Anyone can sponsor their armpit shavers?

Bilberry - This is the best supplement discovered by 2 pilots whose plane crashed in the remote mountains. They were hungry and saw small birds feeding on tiny bilberry fruits. They followed and ate them to survive. Their eyes lighted up instantly with sparkling clear vision. This bilberry fruit became the best sought after supplement after the better known Beta Carotene. It has helped my tired eyes within seconds and I have fed this to some friends. They are all requesting me to order this at RM30.85



Health Is Wealth!


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Happy Deepavali To All My Hindu Friends

I had a very hectic day today which drained all my energy. My car's air-con had a leakage and it had to stay overnight at the workshop. I decided to hop onto the MRT train from my area which took me straight to the Bukit Bintang Station, on time for my meeting at the property developer's office! It was a breeze and so easy as the journey took me less than 30 minutes @ RM3.10 single journey's fare! If I drove my car to Berjaya Times Square, it would take me at least 45 minutes with 2 tolls, parking ticket and petrol costs added. 



My meeting lasted 3 hours and the client treated me for lunch too! In return, I entertained him with the juiciest & most shocking gossips in town that sent his eyebrows dancing up & down. He has already booked me for more lunches & more juicy gossips. Ahem! I took the MRT train back to the station nearby my home and the empty MRT bus waited for me at the station. The driver was bored and played candy crush until I knocked his windows to open the door.  I paid RM1.00 to get home and my car was ready to use. I calculated that it is always worthwhile for 1-2 persons per household to take advantage of the MRT trains. If there are 4 or 5 and above, it would not be any $$ savings except time in case the traffic is jammed.



I felt so happy when my client reminded me that tomorrow is a public holiday. The huge and colourful Kolam decorations certainly added colours and happiness to the shopping mall. It has been years since the last time I walked around. There are so many tourists today, both locals and foreign ones who thronged the mall on every level to shop, shop and shop! So fun to have money and shop till you drop!




Happy Deepavali 
& Happy Holidays 
to all my readers!



***


Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Wedding Etiquette

I just attended a wedding dinner of another colleague on Saturday night. It was held at a restaurant inside Goldhill Club. I didn't enjoy myself much even though I was seated with all the chatty staff from Accounts Department. I brought my wife along and that saved my day from boredom disaster. I really concluded that most local Chinese weddings would not change their typical scenarios.





I was so hungry and ate all the mixed nuts snack on the 2 plates on the table. I told the waiter to refill my plate to the maximum and he did pile up a mountain for me! I was still hungry and ate the 2 pieces of chocolates which were packed inside the table gifts for individual guests. That hunger pang ended when the bride & groom had entered the banquet hall and walked a big circle to reach their main table. The actual distance from the main entrance to their door was like 25 feet only , so they had to parade around an extra 500 feet journey like a circus arena to look like the King & Queen. Finally the first dish arrived our table at 8.45pm! I think that lateness was quite expected and I didn't eat any lunch except a brunch earlier in the morning. I had to watch my diet each time there were invitations to wedding or birthday feasts. So far I had only attended one wedding that dinner was punctually served at 7.00pm sharp and that was my own wedding! My late parents were scarily no nonsense socialites in town and had already planned our dinner with night long of events with singers, famous band playing with ballroom dance demonstrations and floor shows by the winners from the international ballroom dance circles. Anyways, I also do not remember eating the dinners that started at 7.30pm. Probably the earliest was 7.45pm and the worst ever was 9.15pm!!! All the guests cursed that 9.15pm dinner that turned them into hungry wolves at 9.30pm. I have actually blogged this weird incident HERE and the cause was because the bride's ji-muis (gang of brides maids) were busy counting the red packets many times to check whether they had raised enough funds to pay the restaurant!! The bridal couple had promised they would pay the full partial deposits before the start of dinner and the restaurant's strict manager held up all the trays of food until the promised deposit sum was being paid. In the end the groom's father had to sneak inside the backroom to negotiate and the food was promptly served.... eventually. I was speechless.






That night at Goldhill Club, I saw every guest at my table and all other tables were being glued to their smartphones and iPads! They were all from young toddlers whose smart parents used the iPads to babysit their kids so that they won't be up to mischievous antics or pull their hair down. All adults were playing games, Facebooking and even watching some hamsap videos together. This is the changing trend nowadays that food would be served late and smartphones would be in full swings. 

I have also heard of real angry stories from a cursing bride who married a university's professor. She was furious to find several red packets without names and one was sealed but empty inside. Another packet irked her to discover a RM50 note from a family of 5 persons (A couple & 3 children) I was taken aback to hear such angry & malicious words from the bride after the wedding and she swore that she shouldn't have invited that despicable guest and family for being cheapskates. So she checked her guest list so hard to see which guest gave the empty Red Packet! To her horrors, she realised the number of red packets could not tally with her long guest lists on the bride's side. That means several guests on her side attended & feasted happily without any pressies or monetary gifts. I actually took pity on this professor for marrying such a low calibre wife. Now that was over 25 years ago and their marriage are still on the rocks but the lifeless marriage is still intact for their 4 children's sake. The sister of the professor was my once "God Mother" whom I have disowned for some loan sharking disputes of hers. I have once blogged about my Loan Shark God Mother. She told me that her professor brother was the saddest man on earth as the 4th child was extremely handsome with brownish eyes and very fair skin for an Asian. Both the professor and wife have darker skins. He was sure that the child was not his when his wife was pregnant with the 4th baby. They had not slept together for a long time. They had met through some Cupid Services agency and got married!!




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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Simple Home Parties

We host a home party for this same group of friends from time to time. I call this group of friends from my wife's ex school mates as H.S.B.C. which I mooted the idea to provide companionship and care because they are all singles working professionals in Kuala Lumpur. H.S.B.C. means "Happy Single Bachelor Club" as they consist of Spinsters, Bachelors, Divorcees and Single Parents. This idea would add colours to their lives and they no longer feel alone and miserable having to eat dinners or watch movies alone. We would always extend our invitations to them and they welcomed it! Even our humble home's door is open to them anytime when they wanted to find a place to laze, loiter or finish their office work at my place over the weekends. 

Earlier on, we held thematic home parties with exotic food ranging from Thais, Chinese and even making their own Pan Mee from scratch at the dining table. It was all for the fun of it! Last Saturday, I hosted the Western Meals Dinner using my Mario's Spaghetti recipe taught by my Italian house mate in US. Our H.S.B.C. guests loved it and all ate 2-3 plates full of spaghetti like a mountain. I was so happy to see these contented gluttons!


 Preview of the Menu. #1 Mario's Spaghetti 
#2 Passion Fruit Salad  | #3 Fresh Pumpkin Soup
#4 Princess Hong's Loaded Potato Skins.

My wife made her appetizing salad and yummy pumpkin soup while I cooked the spaghetti & baked the potato skins. I will share the easy steps of making the Loaded Potato Skins which I copied from this Princess Hong Blogger who once famously wore her Cinderella Slippers to attend a wedding reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. I followed the steps and ideas from her recipes but the ingredients & weight was churned straight from my coconut head. My wife was stunned and asked how on earth I could cook without any measurements? I replied, this is my mum's Thai styles using agak-agak method and dip to taste from minute to minute till perfection. Bingo!!!


  
I bought 7 large Rossett Potatoes and washed them very
thoroughly using steel wool! All dirts, grime and whatever
manure feces were removed. I am pretty sure that most of
our cheap potatoes come from India & China where the farmers
used all types of animals' manure as fertilizers! Clean them!




Rubbed them with Extra Virgin Olive oil and baked
them at 200 degrees C for about 30 minutes. Use
a stick to poke to make sure it is cooked. Mine took
extra long and I guess I need a new oven!!

  
Let the potatoes to cool a bit before cutting them into halves.
 Let them cool longer while I went to cook the fillings.
Later, I used a curved fruit knife and spoon to dig out
all the flesh of the cooled potatoes. I saved the flesh into a container
to make Shepard's Pie later next week. After digging,
brush the potatoes again both sides with olive oil and
pop back to the oven again for 7 minutes till crispy.



The empty shells of potato skins were baked facing up
and down which took about 7 minutes each time till crisp.



Oh dear, I forgot to take photos of the fillings!
It was just tiny bits of marinated minced pork meat fried with 
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper, chopped garlic,
green pepper, diced tomato bits and topped with
Mozzarella Cheese. When the guests arrived, I popped this
into the oven till the mozzarella cheese melted.
Trust me it smelled so heavenly!



I put sour cream on top of the baked potato skins
and sprinkled more tomato bits & chopped spring 
onions! Bingo!



The dinner ended after midnight but last guests finally left after 2.00am!
I had made door gifts using fresh lemons with their names
and faces drawn on them. I preached to them about the important
reminders to take care of their health and to drink lemon
juice everyday. I explained that I have 5 friends right now
who are suffering from various stages of cancers
ranging from Pancreatic, Thyroid, Breast, Lymph Node,
Prostate and etc. Both fellas with Stage 4 cancers reverted 
to me that their cancer markers have showed improvement.
I am confident that the alkaline inside the lemon juice
has helped to boost their immunity while they received
medical treatments from hospitals. We should all drink
lemon juice & water often to stay healthy!! Do it.
Prevention Is better Than Cure.

A Lemon A Day, Keeps The Cancer Away!


***

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How Do Spirits Travel?

Last night, I was having dinner with several old school mates who met up with a visiting classmate from Singapore. We ate and chatted so much until it was time for the restaurant to close it shutter doors. I had so much spooky grandmother stories to tell and gave them all terrible goosebumps with their hair standing upright in cold sweats! I shared the incident where the other friend, Frank who was seated beside me, had attended an earlier funeral of another classmate Ivan. He died too young and Ivan's death really shocked everyone who knew him.

Ivan was enjoying a very successful & colourful career at the prime of his life working for the Nippon Paint and lived in a lavish home at Country Heights. That Friday afternoon, he went home to have his usual lunch as his office was just a few minutes drive away. After a quick lunch alone at his dining table, he walked over to his favourite deck chair to lie down in front of the TV. He dozed off into his sweet lumber dreams. It was supposed to be just a quickie lunch nap but his young son realised that Ivan was still taking his nap, way passed 4.00pm! He tapped his father's legs to wake him up but no response. He panicked and started shaking his father's lifeless body. Ivan had passed away during his afternoon nap. He was rather healthy and had no terminally ill sickness whatsoever. He was pronounced dead and his death certificate was issued with "Heart Failure" as the cause. News of his death went viral in our different group chats and many friends were too shock & squirmed with fear. It dawned upon them that death comes knocking at the door anytime without any warnings. We all encouraged each other to be happy and enjoy while we still can. Meanwhile, I was encouraging them instead to do prayers and clear our bad karma while we still could. My thinking is always at opposite ends.

The next day, Ivan's coffin was brought to the funeral parlour instead. I had no idea why his family did not hold the funeral at his own house which was very big and spacious enough. Moreover he did not die outside the house, which would often be the reasons the Chinese would often prefer the funerals to be conducted outside instead.

My friend Frank and I planned to pay our respects at the funeral parlour near the old airport. I am very familiar with that place and suggested to Frank that we should go during the daytime instead of night. I had made many visits there in the dead of night where the road was pitched in black darkness passing the many eerie tombstones before arriving at the big square of the funeral parlours. Many times I drove there with my eye balls locked & focused straight at the road and not wanting to see anything headless floating or waving at the side roads. My hands just froze at the steering wheel.

So I met up with Frank at the scheduled car park outside the square that holds many different funeral parlours. We both arrived punctually under the bright daylight & sunshine. The neatly lined funeral parlours were quite empty and vacant as I believed that many deceased must have been sent off at the morning's funeral processions. We both stood by our cars and looked at the directions of the few scattered funeral parlours which were still being occupied with the families of their deceased ones. Frank and I were unsure which parlour unit belonged to Ivan.

Suddenly, a huge green grasshopper flew from the skies above us and landed on the car with a loud thud. We both jolted up in disbelief with shocked faces as the cold gust of wind blew at my face. We knew instantly and felt that it could be someone's spirit taking a taxi ride on the green grasshopper. We were both in complete silence while looking scarily at the huge green grasshopper which had big alien eyes gazing back at both of us. It appeared as if he knew us well and wanted to utter something. I made eye contacts with Frank and signaled to him that we should start walking to find Ivan's parlour. We slowly moved away, inch by inch and still stole few glances at the big grasshopper that was still staring at me with its Darth Vader look. My slow steps became faster and I was sweating like waterfalls from my forehead. We both walked and hurried our way towards the nearest parlour to check whether Ivan's wake was being held there. The grasshopper made another big jump suddenly and flew over us which sent bloody chills into my spine to see it landing at a parlour located in the middle. We just ignored the grasshopper and made our way to see the photo on the altar of the first parlour. It wasn't Ivan's and we proceeded to walk to the next one. Again it wasn't Ivan's photo and then..... We were surprised that the green grasshopper was patiently waiting by the 3rd parlour's entrance. It perched on the square plastic table and looked at us sternly as if it was trying to attract our attention. We slowly walked up to the 3rd unit and there it was indeed Ivan's funeral parlour with his photo by the altar of his coffin. Both our hearts sank to the cement floor and we chose to believe that Ivan's soul was taking a ride of the grasshopper to welcome us right from the car park and tried to usher us till his funeral parlour.



Frank and I looked around the parlour which was still empty without visitors as we both were the first to arrive. We introduced ourselves to the family of 3 persons and offered our heartfelt condolence greetings. The minute we wanted to walk towards the altar to pay our respects, the green grasshopper jumped from the plastic table and flew across the room. It landed on the altar with a loud thud and perched there with its 2 eyes and antennae looking at us again. My whole body's hair from my head to my toes until my pubic areas and armpit hairs all stood right up and shook in terrible fear. Suddenly I felt so cold & pale like a dead fish walking towards the altar and lighted up the joss sticks. We bowed and bowed but heart was beating fast and mumbling "Ivan please go in peace. Please don't frighten me okay"..... We placed our joss sticks on the urn and decided to take a last look at Ivan's face since the coffin's lid was half opened for well wishers to see. As we slowly inched our way to the back of the altar where the coffin was placed, the green grasshopper made its final jump once again. It flew over us and landed on the yellow mantra's cloth that covered the semi closed coffin. That insect perched very closely to the opened lid and faced its scary head with 2 antennae towards us like a North Korean tank. OMG! OMG! Now we were both very absolutely sure that it was Ivan's soul without doubts. What was he trying to tell us? Was he sad that he had gone or was he thankful that we were the first old friends from Standard One who showed up?? So much thoughts ran across my mind until my brain wires wanted to exploded like a twitter being viewed by one million users. I was so weak and numbed with all the sudden thousand volts of electrifying chills and fear that enveloped me with the strong presence of the unseen spirits. We took a last look at Ivan's peaceful face and body lying inside his cushioned casket.

I mumbled in my heart - "I know it's you, Ivan riding on that grasshopper. Please rest in peace now and go to the Western Paradise. Good bye Ivan. Go!".......

When my story finished, my other comatose friends were all squirming in fear and pretended to show a brave face as we all knew Ivan very well since primary school days. They strongly felt as if Ivan's soul came to sit beside and listen. Our superstitious grandmothers often warned us not to talk about ghosts at night, didn't she? Niak Niak Niak.....!





We have often heard tales of departed souls coming back in the form of white or black butterflies to our houses. These myths are often true and not grandmother's hearsay superstitions which should be received with respect, in case the insects ferried our loved ones to our front porch. You might ask why they need to use insects with wings?? Most souls or unseen spirits come in formless shapes and sizes. Many spirits are as tiny as a grain of sand or small like 10 cent coins or maybe up to 4-5 feet height depending on their karmic situations. If they ride on the insects, they could pilot them and navigate their way up to your apartment's 10th floor or fly to your house faraway from his last burial place. I had seen butterflies that carried my beloved relatives or father-in-law to my front porch usually with messages relayed. So please don't stop to kill or even chase away the butterflies or grasshoppers that might be staying put on the high walls or ceilings for several hours or even days! Greet them, say a prayer or even chat with them in a calm and soothing manner. All's well will end well.




***



Friday, October 6, 2017

A Beautiful Hindu Wedding

It was my first time getting invited to attend a real & proper Indian Wedding! I was so excited and went prepared with my wife's mini DSLR camera, hoping to snap some pretty photos. It was a very memorable night for me to witness a South Indian Wedding that was conducted with full scale ceremonies steeped in the ancient traditions of Hindusim complete with all the prayers & rituals, one blessings after another. It was so colourful and merry with all the beats of drums & trumpets blowing throughout the night.

I took over hundreds of photos and selected the better ones to bind them into a thick photo album. I presented it to the bridal couple a few days later, which moved the newly wed to tears! They didn't expect to get this surprise of a complete album of photos. They were not even aware that I was practicing my photography skills. Obviously, they both were thrilled to see how they looked and how the whole wedding ceremony was conducted with the excited faces of the 500 guests. They had hired professional photographers and videographer who would only revert their photos in 2-3 months time!!! That's the typical long wait.
Enjoy the photos wokay and special credits go to my wife who helped me to take some shots with her latest mobile phone. Surprisingly, her mobile phones took better photos instead! You can invite me to your wedding and I would happily snap photos for free. 
I am actually waiting for the "Bunga Kantan Wedding" of our Princess Blogger which would probably take place at Ritz Cartlton Hotel and all bloggers would be invited. You could attend by wearing formal wears & Japanese slippers too!



Here comes the bride at 7.00pm sharp.






 The bride's car decorations.




The groom's car decorations.



The radiant and dashing bride Nithi.
She is my office colleague from the Account's department. 



The bride alighted from the car looking very
calm and graceful in her resplendent bridal
costume with all the shiny pure gold jewelries 
sparkling from head to toe!


All the ladies from the groom's entourage
were all dressed in their finest vibrant colours
and carried over 20 trays of gifts that each carried
the auspicious meanings, wishes & blessings.


This is the dashing groom Rajah smiling cheekily.
It was the first time I saw his face as he always
hid inside his heavily tinted car outside my office.


The wait was like forever for the anxious
groom who was so restless.


The hall was so beautifully and tastefully decorated
that I had to do a quick Bollywood Dance before the
bridal couple arrived inside.



The deity's statue with the artistic and colourful kolam. 



The deity statues stood on the podiums
with different musical instruments.


  
The dais for the bridal couple.


Here comes the macho looking groom Rajah. 


  
Blessings bestowed.


  
Here comes the blushing bride.



The bride's entourage was very long as they
all marched inside the banquet hall.
The exciting beats of drums & trumpets blaring
filled the air.


Beautiful decorations using fresh flowers and silky scallops.



The statue of a Goddess standing majestically.




The entire ceremony took over 2 hours and concluded
with the couple giving each other the symbolic garlands
to seal their marriage union till eternity.



 The bride looked on lovingly at her
new husband Rajah.



  
He placed a ring into her toes over the
granite mortar that my late mother used
to giling her sambal rempah pastes! LOLOL
This marriage will be hot & spicy??




The final ritual - Mr & Mrs Rajah.
May they be blessed with lots of good blessings,
good health and happiness till eternity.


The invited guests in the hall.


The Indian Buffet spread was so delicious with the best briyani
rice. I took 3 helpings that night with so much curries 
& mango chutneys.



They had games and singing too.
The participants had to compete the best
dressed spouse in sarees! I was very surprised
that it takes a long time to be beautifully wrapped
in the elaborate saree cloths! The wives had to
wrap their hubbies and sent us roaring in laughters.



The guests finished eating after 9.00pm but the
bridal couple could only eat after 10pm!
HAPPY WEEKEND!


***

Good Greetings From Jakarta

I arrived Jakarta yesterday afternoon together with my wife and 2 close friends.  While I was waiting to board my plane from KLIA2,...