Monday, July 29, 2019

Getaway to Pulau Langkawi

My wife will be going to Pulau Langkawi to attend the sports training in preparation for the coming IRONMAN 2019 event which will take place at Pulau Langkawi itself in October. I saw the schedules of the week long's grueling exercises that appears like a China's tough military combat drill. The participants have to be in mighty tip top condition to run 24km, swim 1.8km and cycle 180km over there! This sounds so insane and crazy to a faint heart like me. Muahahahaha!


Pulau Langkawi, Kedah.

So what would I do while the wife undergoes her daily combat exercises and training? I guess I would be going to some Muay Thai schools besides cycling around the hills and coastal roads of the whole Langkawi Islands. This would be my 3rd visit to Langkawi which had seen so much transformation and beautiful changes since the first time I set foot as a student. There were less than 5 hotels and chalets operating at that primitive period.


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Monday, July 22, 2019

Around Kelantan In 8 Days

I am back after 8 days in Kelantan. That was my second trip and I visited no more tourist attractions as I had covered them all in my previous visit. So while my wife was away to conduct her daily training at various places, I decided to fulfill my whole days with healthy exercises instead. 




We stayed at the Holiday Villa Hotel along the busy main street next to the 24 hours McDonald's. When you see all the Jawi words, you are in Kelantan Darul Naim. The folks here are very warm and friendly.



I rented a mountain bike for just RM10 for a whole day's riding together with a safety helmet! The boss is very friendly and helpful too. Remember to head to SR Outdoor Gear Centre to rent your bikes! The address is: PT-137, Tingkat Bawah Rumah Kedai MAIK, Jalan Tok Hakim, 15000 Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Tel: 019 9424033 (Encik Alan)



I cycled across the whole town of Kelantan and visited this Goddess Mazhu's Tin Hin Kong Temple again to pay my respects. This deity is very famous in Taiwan for catching ghosts when you need her help.



 The sun was scorching and burnt me like satay. I was thirsty and had finished my bottle of water.




Luckily I found a road side stall along the kampung roads selling iced water drinks. The diluted fruit juices was just RM2.00 per cup!!! I drank watermelon juice and filled my empty bottle with mango juice. It was so refreshing and gave me the energy to continue cycling.



I even passed the backlanes to see the whole stretch of colourful murals on the walls. This seems like a global trend now to liven up the streets in any place. I think in some cities, they have gone over the limits until the streets looked messy instead. The famous wall murals in Penang has gotten crazy until you could see a long beeline of tourists waiting to take photos.



I could not believe that I cycled over 10 kilometers until I reached the famous Pantai Cahaya Bulan!! The storm and rain hit me with fallen coconut tree branches that missed my head. I had to call the bike shop's owner that I was stranded and could not return his bike before the shop's closing at 6pm. The owner was so kind to offer to rescue me in his car from the beach area!! I am very thankful to him.



I had this famous Roti Titab which was sold at the coffee shop right across the bike shop along Jalan Tok Hakim. You must try this. The thick bread was being pan roasted over the fire and smeared with soft eggs & kaya spread. It was heavenly nice and warm.



I also went to ride a horse! There is a big stable farm nearby the hotel I stayed where they kept 16 types of horses for public riding. I walked almost 2 km away with the guide of my GPS to locate the stable behind the cemetery. The horse stable's owner briefed me well before putting me on the big pony called Maya.



That's Maya and I. She had a good bath after taking me for a ride over one hour under the hot sun. I was nervous at first as I was afraid of getting thrown off.  I was supposed to return for 2 more rides but something changed my plans. Perhaps my next trip to Kelantan will see me riding this Maya again. They charged me RM60 per hour for the riding fees.



I braved myself to sign up for Muay Thai boxing sessions! I paid for a personal trainer who was once a Kelantan Champion Boxer to teach me. It was supposed to be a one session boxing but I went for more sessions until I had to put my horse riding aside. It was so tough to learn and endure the Muay Thai training. I was bruised with blue blacks all over from the punches he gave me. He was very good and I will consider to join classes in KL for healthy activities. Every friend was very shocked beyond words to hear about my new hobby!




The food is mostly delicious in Kelantan if we know where & what to eat. Here I ordered 2 mini bowls of Assam Laksa and Mee Rebus. I was speechless and stunned to see such big portions for the "mini bowls" until I could not decide which to eat. Wow! Both tasted very good and yummy!




Out hotel was next to 24 Hours McDonald's, Watson, Old Town White Coffee and right across the night market of Wakaf Che Yeh. This night market is quite huge with many stalls selling food, local snacks, clothes and macam macam lagi. I went there almost nightly.




Everything was cheap at the night market! You could get these fresh and crispy Thai grapes for just RM10 per plate full.



The tee shirts were cheap and comfortable too. All the fake brands for just RM10 each. Lai lai lai lai mai mai mai Kelantan!



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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

WORKation @ Kelantan

I will be visiting Kelantan again this Friday. My wife has to conduct training for lecturers at a famous university in Kota Bahru which she had previously taught them last year. I was so glad that I followed her there last year and managed to fulfill my bucket list to cover all the 13 States in Malaysia. Have you completed visiting all the 13 States in Malaysia? Kelantan and Terengganu are very interesting states with abundance of greenery and unspoilt forests.

This trip will be slightly longer and that's 8 days in Kelantan. I have covered all the tourist spots alone and temples on my previous trip. I hired a Grab driver and paid him few hundred ringgits to chauffeur me to all the many famous temples from Kelantan until the hot springs in Terengganu! That Malay Grab driver has become my good friend now and he is looking forward to meet me again. He has stopped driving Grab car but he still wants to maintain our friendship by fetching me around. How nice!

What should I do during the daytime? So I have to plan something while "Wife Goes To Work & Hubby Goes To Play".....




 I bought a brand new luggage online and it costs me only RM105 for a huge 28 inches size. I decided on getting the softer poly-fabric material after reading Libby's Blog which prompted me to discard the choice of hard shell luggage again. I have lost count throwing them away after my trips to Japan, UK and Korea. All cracked like eggs and broke my heart. Let me test this new luggage after my return trip to see its durability and wear & tear.


I will bring along my cycling helmet and boxing gloves to Kelantan!



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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

My Strange Food Allergies

This is my long awaited post which took me so long to share about my lifelong allergies. My case is very weird and strange as it could change and shift its attack along the way. My wife has more allergies than me which could even trigger her asthma attacks and swollen throat airways which made her breathing difficult. 

I first discovered that I had strong allergy towards beer when I was around 19 years old. I would get severe rashes a few hours after drinking beer which would make me scratch my whole body like a monkey. Later I found that I had no problems with alcoholic drinks like wine or brandy. One day around 23 years old, I started training for marathon runs and went jogging often. One night I attended a function and drank beer again knowing that I would get rashes attack later. I was ready with a bottle of 'minyak angin' lotion to apply my whole body after the beer sessions. I waited whole night until I fell asleep without any rashes attack. From that day onwards I no longer have alcohol allergies till today. Later on I developed partial rashes on both my legs below the knees. I had no idea which food triggered my rashes but I paid no attention as they were quite mild.

Fast forward to my life today, I have suddenly developed new allergy to more food. I was told that one could develop new allergies as they get older for no apparent reasons. The doctors could only give you tablets to bring reliefs or prevention of rash attacks which does not always work. The best solution is to avoid eating the food that appears toxic to my body's weakening system.  

The list of my food allergies are longer but I would just share some below:



 I just found out that I am allergic to just black mushrooms last year. I had itchy hands around my elbow after dinner at a relative's place and I managed to detect that only black mushroom is the culprit. I am safe with other types of mushroom. You can read about mushroom allergy HERE




 I also have severe rashes when I ate almonds recently. Even the almond oils or flakes could trigger the attacks. You can read about almond allergy HERE



This is the saddest allergy as I am fond of spinach and had no idea that it is also a culprit towards my body. I had mild rashes over the years but I did not detect it was spinach then. You can read about spinach allergy HERE




I have been taking honey all my life and never had problem until I went to Bangkok last year. I visited a floating market and saw very cheap honey bottles sold at the stalls. They claimed to be pure, organic and fresh from their own bees farm. I bought 2 bottles and brought home. I had one of the worst rashes attack that made me scratch my hands until it was bleeding because I felt like hundreds of bees stung my hands for eating their honey!!! So scary and I gave away all that cheap honey plus the costly manuka honey after the frightening ordeal. Recently I accidentally took drinks with honey inside and had no problems. Now I suspect that those cheap bottles from the farm was not properly harvested or I am just suitable to eat expensive manuka honey. Hahaha.... You read about the honey allergy HERE





I also had a terrible rashes attack when I drank the Lobster Bisque at Delifrance a few years ago. I found it strange that I have no problems eating very large shrimps or crabs but just lobsters which are from the same shellfish family. You can read about shellfish allergy from HERE





 This is the picture of my recent attack before I went to South Korea. It was considered mild as the rashes could be 10 times more horrible than this one. My wife has invested in buying a costly Deer Placenta for me to eat as it would hopefully repair the whole body's aging system especially the liver which causes weakened immunity. That supplement costs her RM10,800! Faints!


Food allergy symptoms are most common in babies and children, but they can appear at any age. You can even develop an allergy to foods you have eaten for years with no problems. Do you suspect you’re suffering from a food allergy?  


*****




Thursday, June 13, 2019

Our Wedding Anniversary

It was our wedding anniversary on 2nd June. It was the day I will never forget how my late mother had planned our whole wedding until I need not have to lift a finger. She booked the 5 star hotel in Penang and invited all the many VIPs, close family friends and relatives who flew in from near and far. She even reserved & booked all the ballroom halls for the guest tables to surround a specially constructed huge dance floor where Malaysia's Top Ballroom dancers were invited to give several floor shows with singers and band in attendance. It was a very enjoyable evening for all the invited guests who were mostly ballroom dancers themselves and their endless outpouring compliments to both my parents were overwhelming. They complimented that it was the Grandest Wedding Dinner & Dance they had ever attended in Penang. I know that I am blowing trumpets again. Toot! Toot!





My late father asked me to sit down and gave me a lengthy advice before I got married. My late mother and wife were also present to hear him talk. I remembered his good advice and had never quarreled with my wife until today. So I bought the smallest and cheapest Black Forest Cake to celebrate at home.




In return, my darling wife treated me to the biggest and costliest buffet dinner at the hotel nearest to our home. It was the end of the Ramadhan month and the whole restaurant was packed to the brim.




I am hopeless in blogging about the food that I ate! I think I ate over 10 pieces of prawns and crabs! I still have phobia after eating too much raw oysters in Korea.  Verdict: So tasty with lemon & tabasco!



The tray of lemang, ketupat with satays looked so miserable and empty because it was the most popular dish that night. This hotel's F&B was quick to replenish all the trays of food the whole night. Kudos! Verdict: The glutinous rice was soft & fragrant.



This is an Indian styled vegetables curry and cauliflower is my Number 1 favourite vegetable. I have sadly developed allergies to brinjal, spinach, black mushrooms and others. This must be due to my weak liver as I have aged.  Verdict: Indian Curries are very aromatic!



They have many plates of cakes and desserts but I must show this colourful rainbow cake. I know it is just toxic colours but I had to eat some with my hot teh tarek. Verdict: Yummy! The pandan smell oomph!



Honestly, this section had many types of local ulams and green salad leaves with all the freshly pounded sambals in the individual lesung batu. I had to try them all. Verdict: So spicy & smoked my brains.



I love this coffee machine and drank 2 cups of cappucino besides 3 teh tareks from another stall. Verdict: I wanna buy this Coffee Dispenser.



Their soupy dessert and fruits island is always huge with flowing Chocolate Fountains. Nah! I only ate many pieces of fresh fruits with assorted Malay kuehs. Verdict: I am getting fatter!



Thank you to my wife for the memorable dinner and for tolerating me all these years! I promise to be a good hubby always!


*****



Friday, May 31, 2019

My Visit To Taipei - 2019

It was a very impromptu trip that we made to visit Taipei. We had just returned from our United Kingdom trip during the Chinese New Year week when my wife suggested that we should attend again, the similar Tibetan Buddhism prayer session which was held in Jakarta. This time it was held in Taipei which was presided by the same Living Buddha who had blessed me to survive through the 2 tough years of no salary woes!


1. We have visited Taipei many times since the days we had to supply Chinese books to the MPH chain. I would advise all first time visitors to book hotels nearby the Taipei Main Station. There is a new direct train line from the Taoyuan Airport to this main station. The many budget or luxury hotels and night markets are all in that vicinity too. You save a lot of time!

Beside me are our 2 God Daughters from different parents. Someday I will show you my God Son who looks like China's top actor Huang Xiao Ming. I am serious!




 2. I was embarrassed that I had never visited all the famous landmarks in Taipei over the years. We were always rushing all over Taiwan from the north Keeliung Port to Taoyuan, Taipei, Tainan, Taichung until Kaoshiung in the south. This trip I told my wife I must step inside that famous Taipei 101 building. We extended our stay and enjoyed a few spots.

This photo was taken at the famous "Risotto" Dogs cafe chain in Taipei. It is so popular that you could see 4-5 Risotto cafes in one block of shops.




 3. Every Risotto Cafe has a friendly dog at the counter which would roam freely and even sleep under customer's tables.Woof!



4. I was trying to act funny with their Cloud Lamps! Bruce Lee is my wife's sworn God Brother who looked shocked.




5. Come rain or shine, lots of shoppers would crowd this Taipei's Ximending area which is very vibrant at night. It is more fun to walk here in large squares compared to HKG's Tshimshatsui or Nathan Road.




6. Bruce and I looked at the many sleazy advertisements. Both our wives took this photo! Oops!



 7. I love their advertisements and design concepts all over Taiwan. They were occupied by Japanese troops for a long time which left their cultural influence there.



8. This is Bruce's cute daughter, looking at the world go by. We were taking a train to North of Taipei.




9. We visited the interesting old town at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf which sits at the confluence of the Taiwan Strait and the Tamsui River. You just hop onto the train and head towards Tamsui at North of Taipei.




10. My wife and I.




11. There are many interesting shops around Mackay Street in the Tamsui area. I sent postcards from the post office there too.




12. Dr. George Leslie Mackay was the most famous doctor in the Taiwanese history who served many patients besides having pulled over 20,000 teeth! Muahahaha.... Please google and read his long contributions by yourself.



 13. My God Daughter is currently pursuing her studies in Movie Making at one Taipei's prestigious university. I told her that her happy-shy looks would land her big roles as an actress instead.



 14. Many things are very cheap in Taiwan like these branded shoes costing under RM100. Shopping in Korea was a real pain to my wallet and ass.



 15. This is the Tibetan Buddhist Prayer sessions which I have always attended around Asia. This powerful Living Buddha has actually saved my life once when I was being possessed by a fierce animal spirit through a Taoist medium in Penang for a few years. That was the reasons I decided to start this blog 10 years ago to create awareness that the whole spiritual world is real and alive in the 8 dimensions that overlaps each other. I do not preach any religions but would advise everyone to have a good religion and respect the spiritual world which outnumbers us humans by many folds. Please don't be a Free Thinker!




16. At night fall, we all headed to the posh Taipei's Financial District to see the big beautiful buildings and Taipei 101 tower.




 17. Finally! I managed to visit this Taipei 101.




 18. This is the showroom selling the famous TESLA cars! That's my latest dream cars.




19. We ate at the famous 24 hours Ichiran Japanese Ramen restaurant at downtown Taipei.




20. The whole Ichiran restaurant was unique inside as you need to sit at individual cubicles. The ramen was fantastic!




*****


Getaway to Pulau Langkawi

My wife will be going to Pulau Langkawi to attend the sports training in preparation for the coming IRONMAN 2019 event which will take plac...