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.


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!


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!


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?