May 30, 2005


my mum's flowers don't bloom....they explode like fireworks =)



these flowers start off white in colour, then blush a light pink before turning dark pink as they age, & finally wither off

[ filed under: nature1 ]

May 25, 2005


[220505] Sunday afternoon hour + coffee table book on Thai style architecture/furniture/ceramics/nielloware/textile/etc design + seated before this private patch of garden with dainty white flowers treading quietly e path between two sleeping giants, careful not to wake e earthen pots....


heads taking a rest from being tossed asunder by e wind....


steps away, irate shoppers + frayed tempers + snaking queues + whining kids + jostling crowds = e chaos of e Kinokuniya summer sale on a long weekend.

I love Page One, ever since e Marina Square days of slanted inclined bookshelves =)


[190505] while old stuff was being cleared from sister's room, a find:


a gift from Mee & Noi's dad when we were in primary school. never did wear it apart from e night in e Bangkok restaurant when he gave it to us, but have kept it for >15 years, plus 2 shirts that were also gifts from them around e same time (they still fit!). they gave us food, & clothing - they knew, & they cared =) *touched*

[ filed under: nature1 + 9_lives_2005 ]

May 23, 2005

taa1 bee2 hoon4

on saturday, used my chang2sui4jian4 + scabbard as a substitute for shuang1 jian4, & e white chang2sui4 ended up tangled in a big fat mess not unlike e contents of a packet of dry uncooked bee hoon....

someone actually suggested washing it with shampoo & conditioner....*duh* (but then again, have washed it with soap powder a few times before, & once with shokobutsu =P)


[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 ]

May 22, 2005

selected entries from 2004

[281204] chiang rai 071204-261204

stayed at:
Ban Apa (U-Lo & Lomi Akha)
Ban Yafu (Lahu Nyi/Red Lahu)

Ban Huay Khom/Leepa (Akha)
Ban Adu (Akha)
Ban Jalae (Laba Lahu & Akha)
Ban Ruammitr (Karen)
Ban Huay Mae Sai (Mien/Yao)
Ban Du (Thai)


[top row L-R] making hierarchy charts for Ban Apa village committees - boys during phototaking for Apa Youth Group; internal mapping of Ban Apa - upper half of e village that still lacks electricity, taken from outside Acha's house; with room mate & one of our guides, Apa

[2nd row L-R] women's half of Agong's house; with room mate & our host Agong & family on first day of e Akha Men's New Year, with his wife in Lomi Akha attire; regional mapping of Huay Mae Sai area trekking trails - morning fog from Ban Yafu-Ban Jator trail

[3rd row L-R] Mae Nam Kok from Huay Mak Liam hotsprings, Lam Nam Kok national park; interior & kitchen of Agong's house with partition on e left separating e men & women's halves of e traditional Akha house; building Ban Apa information centre

[last row L-R] room mate washing dishes; research & documentation - Ata in her U-Lo Akha attire spinning thread at her handicraft stall; Akha swing that can be touched & used only during e Women's New Year - during construction e men must not let their shadows fall across e holes that have been dug for e poles; mud bricks & building work

[261104] been wondering about this for do fingerprints form? are there any genes that determine/influence e pattern? if so, is there any mutation(s) which result in a person having 'no' fingerprint i.e. smooth skin on e palmar side of fingers (& soles of e feet too)? why do twins/triplets/n-plets not have identical fingerprints?

finally got down to searching for answers & here goes:

Using Dermatoglyphics from Down Syndrome & Class Population to Study the Genetics of a Complex Trait
Dermatoglyphics and Development
Dermal ridges originate from fetal volar pads composed of mesenchymal tissue starting at the sixth to seventh week of development. The size and position of the volar pads are largely responsible for ridge patterns observed. In general, small pads produce arches and larger pads produce loops or whorls. Lateral displacement of the volar pad creates asymmetry of the pattern. Ridges become visible at about 3 months and are completed by the sixth month of prenatal development.

It has been postulated (see Schaumann and Alter, 1976) that ridges are influenced by blood vessel-nerve pairs at the border between the dermis and epidermis during prenatal development. Features such as inadequate oxygen supply, abnormal nerve growth, unusual patterning or distribution of sweat glands, alterations of epithelial growth, or other features could influence ridge patterns. Because growth is a dynamic process, one in which many components contribute and can mutually interact, there must be many genes involved.

[rest of it goes on about how e environmental component explains why different fingers on e same hand/person, or twins, have different fingerprint patterns, & how genetic disorders that affect nerve-vessel pairing can affect fingerprint patterns, & ridge aplasia, where there no dermal ridges form on e hands or feet]

other sources:
Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2001 46(5):467

Fingerprint Model Makes Impression

[221104] R girls' school made all upper secondary students take e full MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) test. almost 10 years later, still an INTJ according to

Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging

Of the four aspects of strategic analysis and definition, it is the contingency planning or entailment organizing role that reaches the highest development in Masterminds. Entailing or contingency planning is not an informative activity, rather it is a directive one in which the planner tells others what to do and in what order to do it. As the organizing capabilities the Masterminds increase so does their inclination to take charge of whatever is going on.

It is in their abilities that Masterminds differ from the other Rationals, while in most of their attitudes they are just like the others. However there is one attitude that sets them apart from other Rationals: they tend to be much more self-confident than the rest, having, for obscure reasons, developed a very strong will. They are rather rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population. Being very judicious, decisions come naturally to them; indeed, they can hardly rest until they have things settled, decided, and set. They are the people who are able to formulate coherent and comprehensive contingency plans, hence contingency organizers or "entailers."

Masterminds will adopt ideas only if they are useful, which is to say if they work efficiently toward accomplishing the Mastermind's well-defined goals. Natural leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command of projects or groups, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once in charge, however, Masterminds are the supreme pragmatists, seeing reality as a crucible for refining their strategies for goal-directed action. In a sense, Masterminds approach reality as they would a giant chess board, always seeking strategies that have a high payoff, and always devising contingency plans in case of error or adversity. To the Mastermind, organizational structure and operational procedures are never arbitrary, never set in concrete, but are quite malleable and can be changed, improved, streamlined. In their drive for efficient action, Masterminds are the most open-minded of all the types. No idea is too far-fetched to be entertained-if it is useful. Masterminds are natural brainstormers, always open to new concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them. They are also alert to the consequences of applying new ideas or positions. Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the Masterminds. On the other hand, Masterminds can be quite ruthless in implementing effective ideas, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy.

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know. INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs "do" tends to be what they "know". Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete', paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

Introverted iNtuition
INTJs are idea people. Anything is possible; everything is negotiable. Whatever the outer circumstances, INTJs are ever perceiving inner pattern-forms and using real-world materials to operationalize them. Others may see what is and wonder why; INTJs see what might be and say "Why not?!" Paradoxes, antinomies, and other contradictory phenomena aptly express these intuitors' amusement at those whom they feel may be taking a particular view of reality too seriously. INTJs enjoy developing unique solutions to complex problems.

Extraverted Thinking
Thinking in this auxiliary role is a workhorse. Closure is the payoff for efforts expended. Evaluation begs diagnosis; product drives process. As they come to light, Thinking tends, protects, affirms and directs iNtuition's offspring, fully equipping them for fulfilling and useful lives. A faithful pedagogue, Thinking argues not so much on its own behalf, but in defense of its charges. And through this process these impressionable ideas take on the likeness of their master.

Introverted Feeling
Feeling has a modest inner room, two doors down from the Most Imminent iNtuition. It doesn't get out much, but lends its influence on behalf of causes which are Good and Worthy and Humane. We may catch a glimpse of it in the unspoken attitude of good will, or the gracious smile or nod. Some question the existence of Feeling in this type, yet its unseen balance to Thinking is a cardinal dimension in the full measure of the INTJ's soul.

Extraverted Sensing
Sensing serves with a good will, or not at all. As other inferior functions, it has only a rudimentary awareness of context, amount or degree. Thus INTJs sweat the details or, at times, omit them. "I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts" could well have been said by an INTJ on a mission. Sensing's extraverted attitude is evident in this type's bent to savor sensations rather than to merely categorize them. Indiscretions of indulgence are likely an expression of the unconscious vengeance of the inferior.

wah read until eyes crossed. but MBTI seems to know me better than my own mother =P

[161104] Bangkok part 1

111104: SIN - BKK - Siam Square Soi 6 - MBK - Telewiz - Siam Discovery Center - Asia Books - Loft - MBK - Siam Square Soi 6 - Sukhumvit Soi 101/1 - Jim's house/Panich 21 factory - River City rooftop - Siam Square Soi 6

121104: BTS Siam interchange - Silom line - BTS Saphan Taksin station - Tha Sathorn - Mae Nam Chao Phraya - Tha Chang - Wat Phra Kaew - Thanon Na Phra Lan PO - Lak Muang shrine - Thanon Sanam Chai - Ministry of Defense - Saranrom Park - Territorial Defense Department - back of Wat Chetuphon - Thanon Phra Phiphit - Territorial Defense Department shooting range - Ban Mor - Talaat Phahurat - Thanon Chakrawat - Soi Wanit 1 - Jim's shop (Sirimedh) - Siam Square Soi 6 - Saphaan Hua Chang - Thanon Phaya Thai - Thanon Paholyonthin - Mee's shop & old house (Sanuwong) - Thanon Pradiphat - Mee's new house & Mickey - Thanon Si Phraya - Hanaya Restaurant Honten - Thanon Ti Thong - kaya bread @ Mon Nom Sod - Siam Square Soi 6

131104: Thanon Rama I - Soi Kasemsan 2 - Baan Jim Thompson - MBK - Siam Discovery Center - Propaganda - Siam Center - Siam Square Soi 6 - Thanon Surawongse - Somboon Seafood - Siam Square Soi 6 - Siam Square Soi 11 - Hard Rock Cafe Bangkok

141104: BTS Siam interchange - Sukhumvit line - Mo Chit station - Talaat Chatuchak - Lad Phrao Soi 35/1 - BTS Mo Chit station - Talaat Chatuchak - BTS Mo Chit station - BTS Siam interchange - Siam Square Soi 6 - Thanon Phaya Thai - Thanon Ratchawithi - Saphaan Krung Thon - Riverside Bangkok - Mae Nam Chao Phraya - Siam Square Soi 6

151104: Chula Soi 48 - Don Muang - SIN

next trip to Bangkok:

  • no parents
  • Wat Suthat
  • view from 84th floor of Baiyoke Sky Hotel
  • Talaat Phahurat
  • Kim's house @ Si Phraya
  • Mee's new house @ Pradiphat
  • Mee's new shop @ Sampeng
  • Tha Tien at sunset
  • khaaw phat neua with ketchup =)
  • Wat Benchamabophit
  • Soi Wanit 1 & Wat Chakkrawat
  • Suan Pakkad
  • coconut i-tiim
  • Khlong San Seb & Ban Krua-Nua

[041104] from a review paper on systems biology that was reading for tomorrow's exam (hopefully e last exam for e last module I'll ever take), about applying circuit theory to biological systems:

'....similarities between evolved circuits & engineered circuits raise e hope that there are deep laws of nature' that unite living & designed systems....But....there are differences. Physical systems 'just sit there', whereas 'biological systems produce beautiful machines that dance, work perfectly despite cellular noise, & dissolve when they are done.'


looking down at e road as I walked in e morning sunshine, I saw a bird's shadow fly across mine =)

[131004] from gosaldar's email signature (minus 't h e c h o i c e o f t h e G N U g e n e r a t i o n' part =P):

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
- Henri Poincare

[121004] 755th day of postgrad life (in e eyes of [unmentionable]), 282nd day of graduate student life (in e eyes of Faculty of Medicine/NUS Registrar)....

e only powerpoint slide (out of 52) that caught my attention for e IMCB Genomics course lecture on 051004:

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?' - T.S. Elliot

well I lost track of e lecturer somewhere in those 52 slides =P

ST Life 21 Sept 2004, pL7, Learning Write From Wrong by Clarissa Oon:
....South Africa's Fugard spent decades battling apartheid & dramatising his country's race wars, or that the ever-provocative British-based Indian writer Rushdie is still facing death threats for his sly opus The Satanic Verses, maybe writers in our air-conditioned nation simply lack such fire in their bellies.

Kuo [Pao Kun], who spent four years in detention in the late 1970s for leftist student activities, & went on to receive Singapore's Cultural Medallion award in 1990, once noted that most artists here take for granted the sense of 'living in a world that will look after us'.

Adding that this system 'is so deeply entrenched that you can fight it today, then tomorrow the system will look after you', he observed that this lulling sense of comfort 'prevents us from thinking subversively'.

He used the word 'subversive', he said, 'with all good intentions. The best artists throughout history are the most subversive thinkers because they tend to make us aware of realities that are not right'....

Why write?

Rushdie submits, in his collection of essays Imaginary Homelands, that 'literature is the one place in any society where, within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way'.

We all need that space. It is not a sacred space, unlike religion, but it is a space that needs to be cherished & protected. can only falsify your own voice writing things that other people want to hear.

Write about what is close to you, what keeps you awake in the middle of the night.

Write about the people, stories, places and histories that invade your imagination.

Write about the great and small injustices you see in the world around you, instead of looking away.

[210904] think e government is convinced that e Japanese buried a secret stash of gold somewhere on e island during e Japanese Occupation, & that it was left behind when they surrendered at e end of WW2. why else would so much public money be devoted to e digging up of just about every single square inch of land in Singapore by e PWD? guess PWD has Singtel, Starhub & Singapore Power hot on its heels in its treasure hunt since every time they complete digging works & cover up their traces with concrete pavements & tar road surfacing (if they are in cahoots with LTA) or just plain concrete & planted cow grass, e latter will come along & dig everything up again....or maybe PWD is simply staffed by forgetful squirrels that never remember where they've buried their nuts, or absent-minded dogs that simply can't find where they've hidden their bones, or both =P

[280804] Tao Te Ching chapter 11/道经十一:

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub; it is the center hole that makes it useful
Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful
Cut doors and windows for a room; it is the holes which make it useful
Therefore benefit comes from what is there; usefulness from what is not there.


strangely e 'Tao Te Ching' spelling of e romanised form of 道德经 is more widely recognised - if I typed e hanyu pinyin version 'Dao De Jing' instead who would catch ball?

If not you - who?
If not here - where?
If not now - when?

hope those who live on a little red dot will learn to believe more in their own ability to make a difference, be more zi3 dong2 & 'see less fairy'....& get off their butts & do something about what they keep whining about!!

e above quote can also be applied to e day-to-day maintenance of e lab - we've all had enough of postdocs & JRFs clearing trash & cleaning up after boh chup princess lab techs =|

[270404] something one might not come across in labs that have no Chinese researchers: using wooden chopsticks to fish out eppendorf tubes from liquid nitrogen =)

[190404] I wish people were more like animals. Animals don't try to change you or make you fit in. They just enjoy the pleasure of your company. Animals aren't conditional about friendships. Animals like you just the way you are. They listen to your problems, they comfort you when you're sad, & all they ask in return is a little kindness.
- Calvin and Hobbes

....preferably in e form of food? =P
- the little straycat

[080304] human heads have 2 ears, 2 eyeball sockets, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth & 1 trachea, but no USB port/FireWire for external hard disk nor card slot for wireless LAN card....wish I could just upload e entire IM5001 module stuff into my brain while snoozing =( e memory capacity of e human brain is supposed to fall somewhere in e terabyte-pentabyte come I just can't seem to locate even a fraction of that storage space? think this brain of mine is probably a manufacturing defect or an outdated & bug-infested cat version....& not much options for upgrade =|

The history of the mankind is made of billions of individual lives that keep on sparking and fading. Born of self-preservation instincts imprinted by evolution, history books paint a picture of a constant string of wars, conflict of interest, loss and gain of influences, lust for power and submission to weaknesses of human nature. On the other hand, the greatest achievement of the evolution, the rational mind, kept on contributing to new findings, discoveries, technologies and philosophies. Progress has always hinged on discovering new truths and preserving them for posterity in form of stories, solutions, tools, books, and other carriers of information. Knowledge is the basis of human power, yet it constantly struggles with two forces that regularly diminish it: death and forgetting. We can preserve knowledge in books and other forms of information storage. However, this knowledge translates to value only then when it is used by the creative power of the human brain....Death poses an ageless challenge of educating new generations. Years of hard work needed to gain knowledge on professorial level are obliterated in a single act of death.
- Dr Piotr Wozniak

could MOE & NUS take note of this:
It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated - Alec Bourne

undated entry from 2000

got hooked on Russian literature while reading on World War II & the Stalinist era in sec 2. First encountered Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn & Blok in 'Within the Whirlwind' by Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg (1896 - 1977), on her life in the Kolyma gulags.

The Flower
A flower shrivelled, lacking fragance,
Forgotten in a book I see,
And instantly my soul awakens,
Filled with a curious reverie:

When did it bloom? Last spring? Or earlier?
And for how long? Where plucked? By whom?
By fingers alien? Familiar?
And why put here, as in a tomb?

To mark a tender meeting by it?
A parting with a precious one?
Or just a walk, alone & quiet,
In forests' shade? In meadows' sun?

Is she alive? Is he still with her?
Where is their haven at this hour?
Or did they both already wither,
Like this unfathomable flower?

- Pushkin

(transl. Genia Gurarie)

I want, I want madly to live
To immortalize all else that lives,
Make human all that is faceless,
Make real again dreams that have faded...

- Aleksandr Blok

Whether I Wander Along Noisy Streets
Whether I wander along noisy streets
Or step into a temple dense with people,
Or sit among fervescent youth,
I give myself over to my fancies.
I say: the years will flash by,
And, as many of us as are to be seen here,
We will descend beneath the eternal vaults -
And someone's hour is already near.

As I gaze upon a solitary oak,
I muse: the patriarch of the woods
Will outlive my forgotten age,
As it outlived my fathers' age.

When I caress a dear young child,
I am already thinking: farewell!
I yield my place to you:
It is time for me to wither, for you to flower.

Each day, each year
I have come to usher out in fancy,
Of my approaching death the anniversary
Intent to guess among them.

And where will fate send me death
In battle, while roving, in the waves?
Or will the neighbouring vale
Receive my dust frown-cold?

And though to the unfeeling body
It is all one where it decays,
Yet near as may be to the dear environs
I would still like to lie at rest.

And at the grave's portals,
May young life play,
And indifferent nature
Shine with everlasting beauty

- Pushkin

e last 4 lines of e last verse, which Ginzburg quoted in her book, was what made me hunt down e full poem - life goes on.

[ filed under: art1 + 9_lives_2000 ]

tomei na ongaku

透明な音楽~ベストアルバム aka transparent time by S.E.N.S.


shocked to find it at SGD12.90....finally bought it ~4-5 years after first hearing it in SPS. think uh-oh's shifu was e one who brought e CD there?

favourite tracks:
01 人と時と風の中へ(オンワード「組曲」’93CMソング)
03 組曲~やさしさの選択~(オンワード「組曲」’98CMソング)
07 大空(そら)の記憶(ドラマ「出逢った頃の君でいて」挿入曲)
09 L'oiseau Bleu(ドラマ「青い鳥」メインテーマ)
11 Flying(ドラマ「ミセスシンデレラ」メインテーマ)
14 風のように(ドラマ「あすなろ白書」メインテーマ)

happy =)

[ filed under: music1 + japanese1 ]

May 21, 2005

WHISKAS - cats know e difference

[START: cat point of view]

so what? any big fat self-respecting cat will finish off BOTH bowls of cat food!

with reference to e WHISKAS cat food advertisements plastered all over certain SBS superbuses, which show a bowl of WHISKAS cat food + a bowl of some presumably non-WHISKAS brand cat food, placed in front of a blindfolded cat, that has chosen to munch happily from e WHISKAS bowl, with e slogan 'cats know e difference'....

for all we know, that cat might be eating from e WHISKAS bowl first, intending to save e best for e last *grin*

[END: cat point of view]

[ filed under: cats1 ]

May 20, 2005

hitachi DZMV730A DVD camcorder doggie

my sis wants to buy

hitachi dog

the dog, not the camcorder


can't find an online version of e newspaper advert that shows this doggie with a DVD between its jaws.

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 ]

May 19, 2005

esplanade rooftop

[180505] dinner at e esplanade ichiban boshi, a really cosy & deserted place on a weekday night. kaiten sushi prices similar to those at other ichiban boshi/ichiban sushi outlets, which made us suspect that they get around e high rentals by saving on electricity. e lighting was as bright as e KE7 dining hall in 1998/1999....think a couple of hardworking fireflies could do better =P

& then to e esplanade rooftop....first time there since e garden was added =)

N.B. I don't have Parkinson's, I just do not have a tripod

P5180153 P5180155

P5180158 P5180159


P5180160 P5180176

love this section of e art piece along e esplanade underpass:


what came to mind: foreign workers in e construction industry. this sign, an ubiquitous sight at construction sites where they work, a daily (or even many times per day) encounter, driving home e 'KEEP OUT' message. keep out e illegal workers/immigrants, e unskilled, e uneducated, e un-whatever, for we are an upgrading nation, a little red dot that has no space for e undesired....

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 + art1 ]

不好的话, 跟其他人我们说

好的话, 跟其他人说
不好的话, 跟我们说

something heard on FM95.8, e station that my dad was tuned in to....about what some company told their customers.

in a way, describes e attitude of certain organisations?

singing their praises to others is good. in fact, they take it upon themselves to take e lead & sing their own praises to e rest of e world *cringe*

whereas any comment or remark or even statement of fact that can be taken in a negative light by them, should be whispered discreetly through 'proper channels', if mentioned at all. open criticism is suicidal?

[ filed under: thewonderingstraycat ]

taman negara - 06



back on e Ekspres Timuran


you know you are in Malaysia when your train window is filled with this.

P5030136 P5030137


Malaysia's end of e causeway, with e familiar yellow Smiling Bus.


Singapore's end of e causeway. at Woodlands, e Irish & e cat continued on e train to Tanjong Pagar while e rest decided that it was faster to get home or back to work by taxi.


man-maid's block on e left.


road on left leads to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve visitor centre

P5030143 P5030144

stesen keretapi Bukit Timah


while e rest of e lab & e boss who had generously sponsored e train tickets were at work in there....=P

P5030146 P5030147


the end.

[ filed under: thewanderingstraycat + taman_negara_2005 ]

taman negara - 05

[020205] back into e world of ringing handphones, blaring radios & noisy TV sets =| unloaded all our barang onto e floor of Lia Restaurant, & exhausted their supply of ice once again by ordering mango shakes....

back at Ekoton chalet, e staff were kind enough to let us bathe there even though we had already checked out e day before. to speed things up, some headed downhill to e green-roofed public toilet that has shower facilities too. while showering, e cat washed a bee out of its hair....have this feeling that e fella had been stuck in there alive all this while, until it drowned on contact with e lethal combination of shampoo+water.

left Ekoton chalet for e last time with a bunch of guys yelling behind, 'Why you leave without me??'


Park HQ + Mutiara Taman Negara Resort jetty. there are signs all over stating e charge of 50 sen per person for e crossing between e Park HQ & Kuala Tahan sides of e river by boat, but none of e boatmen collected anything from us, nor were they seen collecting any payment from anyone else?


to remind drunk tourists where they are?


boats grounded at Kuala Tahan at e end of e day, which explains e next two photos....



playing poker, writing logs & watching TV to pass e time while waiting for taxis to Jerantut, as all boats had stopped running for e day. by now we knew practically everyone in Lia Restaurant who appears in this photo, as well as e fish in their fishtank....

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sun getting low in e sky behind Simpang Tualang


looking down Sungai Tahan, Simpang Tualang on left. perhaps should head down this river to Lata Berkoh falls on e cat's next trip here?


Kuala Tahan beach clean-up crew, which also keeps e grounds of Ekoton chalet relatively litter-free.

two taxis finally showed up on e Kuala Tahan beach after unloading tourists who had just arrived from Jerantut.


got into e taxis, & then got out of them again, as they had trouble making it up this slope leading uphill into Kuala Tahan proper. plenty of oil palm estates & one police roadblock later, we were back at Jerantut station. had 7+ hours to kill before catching e 2.30am train back to Singapore, which were eventually spent at a seafood restaurant with many many cats for company & a lot of cat poison on e table, & then at a kedai kopi with bottles & bottles of Tiger beer. once again, one of e Europeans tried to order beer in a Muslim-run establishment....!?!


how to koon on e edge of a longkang without falling in, as demonstrated by one of e Jerantut train station cats. e cat likes Malaysia because there are cat friends everywhere, & people's idea of making a cat go away is to feed it until it is full & satisfied & moves off to find a place to nap, rather than hitting or kicking it out of e way =)

found some space to sit/sleep on e floor of e station platform - seemed as if e streets of Jerantut were so quiet at 2am because everyone was waiting at e train station. a KL-bound train came & left, & then another KL-bound train came & left....& came back again....for some unknown reason, much to e bewilderment of both e passengers on board & e station staff. before we could find out why, e Singapore-bound Ekspres Timuran pulled in about half an hour ahead of (Thailand) time, & we were finally on our way back, leaving e KL-bound train & its puzzled passengers behind.

[ filed under: thewanderingstraycat + taman_negara_2005 + cats1 ]

taman negara - 04


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morning sun streaming into Gua Kepayang Besar: for an idea of scale, look for e Irish & Finn guys posing in e first two photos.

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packing up everything including all trash & clearing out, after a breakfast of coffee/milo in stream/bath water & toast.


leaving by e other entrance that leads to e stream. Gua Kepayang Besar is large enough for e elephants that sometimes wander in there. during one rainy season e cave was flooded & e guide had to swim out of this place together with two Dutch tourists....if you believe what e guide says =P he's quite a character....a Cantonese Muslim who has learnt about stem cells & e scientific names of various plants from Google, who learnt to speak Thai during e years he spent hiding in Thailand while on e run from e authorities - he has supposedly been involved in e heroin trade & mafia, spent two years in Amsterdam, been sent to jail, deported from the Netherlands, been in & out of drug rehab four times, & been a guide in Taman Negara for 9 years.

walked out into e morning chorus of gibbon calls & birdsong. thunder had been heard e previous evening, e blanket of leaf litter was damp, & e ground seemed muddier. came across a hornet's nest along e trail, a wood scorpion in a log that we sat on when we stopped for a break, & a few leeches. further on, e Finn offended a bee & got stung on his head & another guy discovered his first kiss from a leech, & so we stopped for another break, only for one of e French to get stung on e armpit by another irritated bee. April-May is bee season & they were out humming in full force today, settling on our arms, fingers, neck, faces, ears, legs (for those who didn't wear long pants) & armpits (for those in sleeveless shirts) to join e butterflies in licking up e salt in our sweat. this is one of e best ways to get e beautiful butterflies & cute fat bees to stay still & capture macro shots of them =)


~2m muddy drop on e right & e little stream crossing leading to bee central - a tiny bee-infested islet where we stopped to cook lunch. for some reason one bee-weary Frenchman was very nervous about catwalking across e logs, even though e water was at most knee-deep. sat down to soak our feet & wash off whatever e rats hadn't licked up off e plates in e stream. a while later e Irish shouted for e cat to get him his camera from his backpack pocket so that he could photograph his new pet leech having lunch on him.


cooked tom yam (cat poison!) flavour maggi mee with e third dose of assorted vege in streamwater soup, which we ate while trying not to swallow any bees by accident. at any one time e cat had a bee parked on each finger plus a ring of tom yam-loving bees on e edge of its plate, & e cat attracts e least bees in e group....unlike e Irish & French guys who became bee airports - e Irishman appeared to walk around in a noisy buzzing cloud =P his cap was hidden beneath a layer of bees & he had to figure out how to pick it up as e bees hadn't left any space for his fingers to hold it. likewise for his backpack....dragging it over to e fire didn't help much - these bees seem immune to smoke & e backpack remained blanketed with bees.

after feeding lunch leftovers to e fish in e stream, e guide said that we were ahead of time & could hang around till 1pm, which elicited a violent protest from e Frenchman who was obviously more than tormented by e bees =P & so we continued on, climbing over many more fallen logs & crossing many more streams, at one point walking along in one. along e way we found a dead tarantula, & e Frenchman somehow tore his pants during one of e stream crossings.


catwalking across e longest log 'bridge' along this trail. a few muddy sections after Bumbun Kumbang, & then we were crossing e last stream of this trek - another ex-bridge where e planks that weren't rotting were missing - & suddenly we emerged from e forest trail onto concrete pavement....e transition was kinda sudden & took e cat by be walking on hard ground again (e floors of e caves had wall-to-wall soft guano carpeting). found toilets that had taps with running water in e ruins of Kuala Terenggan Lodge. e place has been abandoned for 4 years according to e guide.


end of e trail at e abandoned Kuala Terenggan Lodge. once upon a time guests at e lodge lounged on rattan armchairs on e verandah, enjoying e view of Sungai Tembeling & boats getting stuck at e rapids below.


sign that greets those who chose to start trekking from Kuala Terenggan. covered all 5 of these places on this trip.



where e boat propeller was damaged yesterday: e deceptively calm rapids that were strong enough to suck e boat back towards e rocks on e right. on e left is e little channel that we pulled e boat through to get upriver.


loading onto e boat at Kuala Terenggan for e return journey to Kuala Tahan.


pulling away from Kuala Terenggan.

[ filed under: thewanderingstraycat + taman_negara_2005 + nature1 ]