Monday, August 27, 2012

My Bangkok Eid

Here's what I did during Eid..

My family and I went to Bangkok!

It's a bit funny though since I went there three months ago with my friends. This time, I got to cover most of the tourists spots. Here are some of the places I went...


We went on a tour package - itinerary was packed cos we went to a lot of places. The first place we went was River Kwai. If you've watched The Bridge On River Kwai (1957), I think you would know what's the history of River Kwai. To sum it up, in the 1940s, Japanese army captured  the Commonwealth, American and Dutch army and these prisoners of war were forced to build this railway. Thousands of civilians died too in the course of building this railway. It was really sad when we went to the JEATH war museum (JEATH stands for Japan, England, America, Thailand and Holland - the countries involved), knowing so many died in the worst possible way.

So anyway, after the JEATH war museum tour, we went on a boat ride to see the real railway (second picture, clockwise). Knowing that so many died building this railway makes me sad. All those innocent people, tortured.. (Rest in peace). Anyway, if you've watched the movie, I think the trip would be more special - I remembered fragments of the movie as I was too young (I think I watched it when I was 10 or younger, can't remember). My dad kept on feasting us with historical facts about the bridge so it was more interesting for me (like my dad, I'm a history buff too). I suggest to those who are planning (or going) there, read up on this bridge first. Then you'll get the 'feel' of it.


After the boat trip and lunch, we went to the Tiger Temple. This place has got to be my most favourite place EVER. Tigers were everywhere. Of course they were chained up at first but still, tigers are tigers and they were NOT in cages. The tigers were like big fat cats, rolling here and there - the staffs working were even poking them with sticks, as if teasing them! But, as scary as they were, I felt like giving them a big bear hug and tumble with them because they were so big.. and fat! See the pictures up there, that's me, being a daredevil. I have to admit, I was a bit scared and intimidated. And ooh, tiger footprints! How cute are they?

A note to people who wish to go to the Tiger Temple: Shorts, singlets, striking, colourful clothing (like red or orange) are a NO NO. They won't let you buy tickets and you would have to buy t-shirts or sarongs selling nearby. Which is a waste of money, in my opinion. Bring shawls instead. (This implies to ALL temples, if you're planning to go to temples - in a nutshell, dress appropriately. No sexy, bare clothing. Went to Wat Arun which is The Temple of Dawn and they won't let you in if you're well, bare).


The next day, we went to Thailand's popular Floating Market. It's like a normal market but instead of having to walk around, you have to take boats. I think it costs 150 TB for each person. I thought of buying something from the market at first but I think I'm more comfortable buying things the traditional way - you know where you can walk and walk off easily whenever you don't want something? It's definitely a different experience because not only they have shops, but they can actually cook in their boats! I think they have really good balance...

 
Ooh, I cannot end my post without including this really wonderful Muslim food restaurant. The food there is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sedap (yummy). Clockwise: What the restaurant looks from the front, the ever popular Tom Yum (nothing beats Thailand's Tom Yum - you can't get great Tom Yum in Malaysia! A lot of mediocre Tom Yum here, but no great ones!), beef cashew nuts (I think that's the name) and Somtam. For those who are not familiar with Tom Yum, it's one of Thailand's popular dish (or soup, you might call it). It has this splendid mixture of various flavours, mainly spicy and sour. Oh yes, indeed it was spicy. Nose were runny, drank a ton of water but it was worth it. Worth every single sip. To this day, I am still craving for that Tom Yum.. I can still taste the sourness.. They should rename it "Tom Yummy" (geddit, geddit? :D).

Back in Melaka (during my student days), my housemate and I were crazy over Somtam. We would drive an hour to the Melaka city just for that specific Somtam in Tesco (I can't remember which Tesco though.. *my bad*). It was like an escape, a sweet (or maybe sour?) escape where we would talk and and talk over a good plate of Somtam. Anyhoots, my Melaka Somtam had stripped raw mangoes, raw tomatoes, peanuts, shrimps, among others. Though Mak Yah Somtam had most of these but this one had chicken in the shape of balls! See those round things on the plate, they're chicken! This one too had this spicy and sour taste. I think Thailand is known for their spicy-ness and sourness. Totally right up my alley (I like sour stuffs!). (Crap, my tummy's making an orchestra now...)

Plus, the owners (husband and wife team) were really friendly. AND they speak Malay! Well, the husband, a Malay from Pattani speaks full Malay. The wife speaks Malay too but not as full as the husband but understandable. A plus point for us as there wasn't that much of a language barrier. I would totally go here if I ever visit Bangkok again (which I think I will!). 

Here's the address:
Mak Yah Muslim Restaurant
497/16 Petchaburi Rd., Rachatevee.
(Along the road side beside Soi 7)
By the way, Soi in Thai, means 'road'. So it's 'Road 7'.
Operating hours: 10am - 9pm

Oh by the way, I hope I'm not too late to wish everyone a Selamat Hari Raya! (Happy Eidulfitri!). Great food to start off my Eid celebration after a month of fasting.... Happy tummy means a happy Aleza. :)

Khop khun khaa! (I caught myself saying this all the time in Bangkok - it means 'thank you').

Love,
Aleza.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yumms.

You know what soothes the tired body? 

Warm Butterbeer... 

Yes, Butterbeer from Harry Potter!

I've always wondered what Butterbeer tastes like and I imagined the taste to be something like Weather's butterscotch sweets.

And so, one day, I tweeted about this and my friend (who is such a sweetheart) recommended this recipe she got from the internet. Apparently there are a lot of recipes you could get from the net but I tried this one. It's super easy and super fast. It only took me around 10 minutes. 

This is a perfect before-going-to-bed drink. Yumms. 


Recipe from http://donteatgravel.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/butterbeer.png?w=500&h=574

I think I've adopted my mom's habit of making new drinks. Mum's so creative, she'll make new juices for us. :)

Anyhoots, here's the finished product..


They should make 'Butterbeer' glass by the way. Goes with my Butterbeer drink! =D

ENJOY! =)

XOXO
Aleza

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Very interesting lah!

As I was browsing through the internet yesterday, I came across a very interesting article.

The article's about how Malaysians use the word 'lah'. And yes, we Malaysians are very generous with our 'lah' but not too generous to a point we use it in ALL sentences or words. It is a skill one can only master from a very young age.

Hear any Malaysian talk, you will surely hear the word 'lah'. "No lah, I don't want to go." "Ya la... you go ahead first.." The list goes on and on.

Here's the link.

Article title: The Adorable "lah"

Enjoy!

I'm going now lah...

Goodbye!

Love,
Aleza

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What pretty fabrics you have sister!

Pretty fabrics at your doorstep!

Where?
 
Just click on the link below...


It's my sister's blogshop!

:D

Love,
Aleza

Friday, August 10, 2012

A serious matter

I went to a media roundtable discussion yesterday regarding cyber bullying among kids.

The discussion kicked off with the moderator showing a few videos on bullying by school girls. I was horrified beyond belief.

The first case study was about this girl named Sydney Dalton. She posted a video of herself ripping Justin Bieber's posters - apparently Beliebers weren't happy and began bashing her on the internet. They made hate videos, wrote hate Tweets and other horrible stuffs. Imagine poor Sydney had to wake up everyday to that.

Another two videos were closer to home. The first one was a video showing a group of sekolah menengah (high school) girls screaming and shouting at this girl, in her classroom. The bullied girl cried and cried but nope, the bullies did not stop. They even resorted to cutting the poor girl's hair. Yes, cutting! The sickest part of it was, as they cut her hair, other girls cheered and laughed, like it was free entertainment.

The last video showed a girl screaming and slapping another girl. I don't know what she was screaming about though but it was horrible.

I sat there, horrified. I gasp and my face was in total shock - I think I gaped for a while. And I looked around and others were horrified as well. Some couldn't even bring to watch the videos. 

It had never occurred to me that bullying was THAT bad here. During my school years, sure, there were some occasional bullying but I don't remember it being so severe. In fact, when I was in primary school, kids made fun of my name Aleza (they called me Ali Baba). I, of course went home and told my mother about this. Mom told me to stand up for myself and taught me to answer them back with, "At least Ali Baba was rich!" So I did and the they stopped with the name calling. Ha ha.  

As I watched the videos, my mind wondered, "How can these bullied girls let themselves be bullied and degraded to that extent?" I don't think bullying can be stopped 100% - there will always be naughty and disturbed kids. I guess the most important thing is to equip your children with some kind of defense mechanism. You don't have to teach your kids to retaliate in a violent way (because violence should never be accepted) but it is important to teach kids to stand up for themselves.

I know I am not the best person to advise parents on how to teach their kids (seeing I am unmarried and have zero children), but I personally believe that to combat bullying, one must learn how to stand up for themselves. Sometimes keeping quiet isn't enough. 

Be strong, love yourself and never let anybody degrade or bully you. Ever.

Love,
Aleza

A victorious end!

 
Image from www.nst.com.my


Did my routine Twitter check after sahur and found a delightful news: Pandelela Rinong won Bronze for the Women's 10m Diving Platform.

I had tears in my eyes, and am feeling a bit emotional right now. Sebak rasanya.

The 19 year-old Pandelela made Malaysian history with this bronze medal win - the first Malaysian woman athlete to win the Olympics and the first sport to win a medal besides badminton. AND she was the first woman flag bearer during the Olympics opening ceremony.

How incredible is that??

These two Olympic medals make celebrating Hari Merdeka more special ;)

Thank you Pandelela Rinong and coach. We are ever so proud!

Malaysia Boleh!


A very, VERY proud and somewhat emotional Malaysian,
Aleza

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Golden Heart

Yesterday's final badminton game was such a nerve-wrecking one!

Our dear Lee Chong Wei fought really hard against China's Lin Dan. I dare say that was the best badminton game ever. Ever. Ever.

I clapped and cheered when Lin Dan made errors and stood still (cringed and winced more like it) when errors were made from our side. I even had a mini heart attack when Lin Dan smashed. Boy he is one scary person :s

Eventhough the game ended with heartbreaks, it was good to see the outpouring of love for our beloved Lee Chong Wei. When Lin Dan scored the last point, I went silent and still. Like time stopped. Truth be told, I was on the verge of tears. So close, yet so so far.. If Lee Chong Wei had won, it would be our very first Olympic gold medal. Very first.

But let's not dwell on the 'what if' and 'if only' and let's show our love and support for our nation's hero. Indeed a hero Lee Chong Wei was!

I waited until the medal ceremony - just because I wanted to see the Malaysian flag waving proudly in the Wembley Arena. And I was very, very proud. I never felt we lost but won a medal instead. Despite it being silver, a medal is still a medal and I am so ever happy for that. :)

I love how sports have an effect towards people. I love how sports have an effect towards me. :')

"Silver in hand but Gold at heart."

Now that's more special isn't it?

We love you no matter what Dato' Lee Chong Wei! Malaysia Boleh!

A very proud Malaysian,
Aleza