Saturday, 31 January 2009

48,000 Cars Went Up Genting In Two Days

Yesterday, we set off to Genting and found that quite a few people in KL had the same idea. We were caught in a massive stand-still traffic jam and had no choice but to park along the side of the road halfway up the hill and walked the rest of the 2 km or so.

The police told us that there were 23,000 cars that went up to Genting on Thursday and 25,000 yesterday, before they closed off the access.

We were relieved when we finally saw Pangsapuri Ria....less than one kilometer away!

The usual "boatman" is dressed in a Chinese costume

Blackie the CAT: Aiyoh! I could have told you humans that it's better to stay home like I did during Chinese New Year. Tsk-tsk

Related posts:

Friday, 23 January 2009

Gong Xi Fa Chai!!!

Blackie the Cat and his human slave wish everyone Gong Xi Fa Chai!!!

Please click "Play" below for Chinese New Year fireworks.

And since this is the year of the ox, let's mark our respect for them.......

Blackie the CAT: Are we done yet? I'd like to sleep now.


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Obama Retook the Oath of Office

It loooked like there was another word that was mis-spoken. Chief Justice John Roberts used the word "to" instead of "of, besides the wrong placement of the word "faithfuly".

According to the Consitution, Obama became the 44th President of the United States at noon on 20 January regardless of whether the oath was taken or not. 

However, to dispel any confusion or future court cases, and questions that Obama might not be a President legally, Barrack Obama retook the Oath of Office in the white house yesterday.

Just to recap the oath that took place on Tuesday:

Justice Roberts: .........that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully....

Obama: .......that I will execute......(pause, realizing the mistake and probably deciding whether to follow)

Justice Roberts (simulatenously with Obama): ....the off....faithfully the pres......the office of the President of the United States....
Obama (simultaneously with Justice Roberts): ....the office of President of the United States faithfully....

This must be the blooper of the year.  :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Blackie Welcomes America's First Black President

Despite the late hour and hubby having to go to work this morning, we stayed up to watch the inauguration of Barrack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States. 
Millions of people braved the cold and turned up to cheer him and to celebrate the occassion, and as the time drew near for the swearing-in, I could feel the excitement and anticipation building as chants of "O-ba-ma....O-ba-ma" rang out. 

And then, the moment to take the Oath of Office arrived. Looking suave and handsome in a black suit, white shirt and red tie, the President-elect stood up, raised one hand, and placed his other hand on the red bible that was used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. I was surprised to note that the bible was still in pristine condition. I guessed it was kept in a museum until yesterday? :)

During the Oath of Office, there were some "oops" as the President-elect and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts talked on top of each other, got their words fumbled and there were a couple of awkward pauses.

Justice Roberts said, "I, Barrack Hussein Obama, do solemly swear (pause) that I will execute the office of the President of the United States faithfully."

The Oath is supposed to be, "I, Barrack Hussein Obama, do solemly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States."

The President-elect followed Roberts for a few words before realizing that the word "faithfully" was in the wrong place. Cool as a cucumber, he stopped (but you could see he was restraining himself from laughing) and nodded in a regal way, like as if saying "try again". After that, he tried to say the words ahead of Justice Roberts to get him back on track. 

But what really got me cheering loudly, and forgetting that I'm not an American, nor am I living in America, was his rousing, bold and powerful speech after he was introduced as the President of the United States. He gave a call for action, calling upon Americans to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and remake America. It was unifying, and it was rallying. I found myself nodding in approval.

He had some words for Muslim countries: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

He also had words of warning for enemies of America: "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

I hope his mission to reverse all the damages done by the Bush administration will not be opposed by the Congress. A President, after all, has no real power if he's not backed and supported by the Senate.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Oops, what a blooper!!!

Last night, it was brought to my notice that those who visited my blog are not able to view the jelly fish video. Those who tried to view it got the message "this is a private video". 

Upon investigating, I found that, yes, I had accidentally marked it as "private" instead of publishing it in the public gallery. My apologies, everyone! 

Friday, 9 January 2009

Back From Pulau Lalat

Oops, I meant Pulau Langkawi. But really, I think the island should be called Pulau Lalat since the houseflies far outnumber the eagles there. From the moment we stepped off the ferry at Kuah jetty, we were met by houseflies everywhere. Restaurants, food court, toilets, retail shops,duty free shops, Pantai Cenang, everywhere you turn, you see LALAT!!!

Did anyone of you know that there are 2 hotels with the same name "Langkasuka"? Well, I didn't. So, at the taxi counter I told the lady there that we wanted to go to Langkasuka Hotel. When the taxi dropped us off at Langkasuka Hotel, I was surprised as the facade of the hotel was completely different from its picture in the website. The conversation between me and the taxi driver went like this:

Me:                I want Langkasuka Hotel.
Taxi driver:    This is Langkasuka Hotel.
Me:                Huh? Where is the beach?
Taxi driver:    The beach is that way (pointing in the direction), half an hour away from here.
Me:                No, this is not right. Langkasuka Hotel is a beach front hotel.
Taxi driver:    Oh, you mean Langkasuka Beach Resort (stressing the "beach resort").  Sorry, I don't go to there as I'm picking another passenger up in town.
Hubby:          So, what do we do now? How do we get there? (no bus or taxi in sight)
Taxi driver:   You walk over there (pointing in the direction) and get a taxi. 

So, off we trudged with our luggage to the taxi stand that he pointed out. Sorry, hubby, it was my fault that we paid an extra taxi fare for nothing. I should have read the name of the hotel properly when I made the reservations.

But I must say the the beach view at the resort is lovely, and I would recommend it for those who are seeking a local romantic escapade. We booked the Hot Wheels Package, that came with the use of a Proton Wira.

We ate at the hotel as the view was too compelling to resist. The food, however, was less then appetizing. We paid RM79 for spaghetti with bottled sauce, and canned soup. And to add insult to injury, not only was the food not made from scratch, but they were cold!!!

It was only after we insisted did they put the food into the microwave and heat it up slightly for us.

The next day we went to Oriental Village to take the cable car ride to the peak. In the Oriental Village was a small animal farm. The only animals there are rabbits and monkeys, though. The rabbits are not well taken care off. They are hungry and dirty, begging for scrapes of food from the tourists. Someone ought to take a cane to those responsible for taking care of those animals. They ought to be ashamed for not doing their job. 

This bunny looks like it has skin disease. Poor bunny. 

Jalan Dang Wangi in KL has been relocated to Langkawi!  :)

Asses of all sizes

It was a very windy day and the gondola swung left and right like a mad pendulum

After a terrifying ride on the cable car where I studied the attachment securing the gondola to the cable and wondered at the frequency of its maintenance, we proceeded to the Underwater World. Saw a lot of interesting creatures, but I think this wins the prize.

Blimey! What on earth is this???

Video of a jelly fish

That night, we went to Pantai Cenang, the Cherating of the North, for dinner. The place swarmed with European tourists, with hardly a local tourist in sight. However, unlike Cherating, there were lots of eateries and shops in Pantai Cenang.

Overall, it was an enjoyable holiday. And now, some useful info for me to remember (yeah, my blog serves as my extended memory, haha).

Ferry fare: RM23 one way from Kuala Kedah to Kuah Jetty
Cable car ride: RM25 for non-Malaysians and RM15 for Malaysians
Underwater World entrance fee: RM38 for non-Malaysians and RM28 for Malaysians
Parking fee at Kuala Kedah in front of jetty: RM15 per night

Friday, 2 January 2009

Marking 1st Day of 2009 With A Visit to KL's "Gurney Drive"

I know, I know, today is the 2nd day of 2009, and 3rd Jan is only 10 minutes away. But I'm such a procrastinator that to be just one day behind is a super achievement for me......Lol!!!

Anyway, since the sky was overcast, we decided to take advantage of the not-so-hot weather and went for a nature's walk to Ulu Yam, which is about 10km or slightly more, from Kepong. For the uninitiated, Ulu Yam has a water dam, waterfall and a jungle with some eco resorts.

Behold! KL's "Gurney Drive"!

This water dam in Ulu Yam is used to generate electricity

These two goats were part of a larger group of 4-legged beggars  :)

Bird nests hanging from the ceiling of one of the eco resorts we popped in to rest

Chalets on stilts in the eco resort

And this is just the appetizer.....tomorrow, we're heading off to Langkawi, with a one-night stop-over in Penang. I'm so looking forward to the trip, as this is only my 2nd visit to Langkawi in my entire life.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

For some reason, I am more excited about new year eve than I am about Chinese new year eve. Maybe it has to do with a change in calendar and diary that gives me the festive mood. 

Anyway, whatever it is, yesterday, I started counting down to year 2009 from as early as 7:09pm. Talk about kiasu-ness.....hahaha. Taking a tip from what I learned about night photography (related post here), I set up my 8-year-old tripod at my living room balcony at 7:09pm and started shooting away.

View of Sri Damansara (I love the ominious contrast of the sky)

View of KLCC, KL Tower, Bukit Bintang and Dataran Merdeka

At last.....9 minutes to year 2009 
*standing at the balcony, waiting for the fireworks display*

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...!!! Boom! Bang! Boom! There goes the fireworks. I did not video record the fireworks in KLCC, Bukit Bintang or Dataran Merdeka as there was another one right in my face, courtesy of Kepong Food Court. It was a scaled-down version of the one they had last year, so they're not really that grand. Nevertheless, I decided to record it regardless. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!