Thursday, April 30, 2009

Neighbourhood Dogs

HELLO to Wizz, Auntie Breeze and Dare in UK

Name of pet: Chow Chow

Breed: Chow Chow

Name: Jo Vi
Breed: Australian Silky Terrier

Name: Curry
Breed: Labrador

Looks like Curry helped washed a neighbour's tyre.

Name: Gigi
Breed: Toy Poodle

Name: Clover
Breed: Beagle
Owner: Yati

Malaysians do love their dogs. These are some of the pets in my neighbourbood. I caught them while they were being taken for their walk in the mornings or evernings when the weather is cooler. It gets pretty hot from 9am to 6pm, close to 28 C - 30 C. I am sure the dogs do not mind but we owners do. Take a closer look at Jo Vi's owner with a plastic bag. We always pick up after our pets so they do not mess up the neighbourhood. Most dogs are leashed except for a few like Curry who walks around unsupervised . He is really friendly and is smart enough to find his way home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bunga Raya - Malaysia's National Flower

Bunga Raya - Malaysia's National Flower

USA has her Rose, Australia has the Golden Wattle, England has the Tudor Rose and Malaysia has her Bunga Raya, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. The brillant red colour symbolises bravery to face challenges and rapid economic growth. The 5 petals represent the five National Principles:
  1. Belief in God.
  2. Loyalty to King and Country.
  3. Supremacy of the Constitution.
  4. The Rule of Law.
  5. Mutual Respect and Good Social Behaviour.

The Bunga Raya comes in different colours and this symbolises the multi-racial population of the country where race, religion and culture differs but the people live in harmony as 1 Malaysia.


Asians never stop eating. With our sunny weather we can hit the streets anytime for a bite. In our shorts and T-shirts, we check out food like insects to pollen. And eating cannot get anymore convenient than when food is delivered from mobile stalls just by the kerb. Our "Rojak Buah" (rojak - mixed; Buah - fruit) is not anything like the fruit salad of the West. This man delivers from his stall attached to his motor bike. He has a license to "food, " and everywhere his motor bike goes, his "rojak buah" goes. Into his orange mixing bowl he tosses chopped up papaya, unripe mango, pineapple, guava, "sengkuang," crackers and cucumber. He then "gels" it all together with a thick prawn paste with dark soy sauce and sprinkles in the toasted peanuts. Don't forget to add in the red chillies for that extra "kick."

The FAT ONE STEAMBOAT is locally called "lok lok" (boil boil) in Chinese or "dip dip" in English. Vegetables, seafood, meat, sausages and many types of meat balls are skewered on sticks. We just "lok lok" our food into the boiling troughs of water (steam boats) on both sides of the van. They cook really quick. Then, "dip-dip" into the sauces provided and watch your tummy get satisfied.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


You won't find cherry blossoms in Malaysia, but you will get Tecoma trees that mimic them. The trumpet flowers even bloom around the same season as the cherry blossoms, Spring time in March in Japan. The colours of pink and white petals magically carpet the roads. Tecoma trees with the yellow flowers (Tecoma sans) have been linked with treating diabetes and digestive ailments. So there you go, Beauty with Medicinal Powers.

Photographs by Chris Augustine

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Why didn't the CHICKEN cross the road. Because it was too busy BODY BUILDING!
"Ayam serama" as they known in Malaysia, or internationally as Batam chickens are a special breed of ornamental chickens. The name Bantam comes from a sea port in Indonesia where these chickens were described by European sailors. They have been around so long, even deserving a mention in Marco Polo's journal. You can say they are minature chickens as they are about 0ne-quarter to one-fifth the size of normal "chooks." But what makes them different is their vibrant colours and vertical tail feathers.
The Bantam roosters do not go into cooking pots. They are too precious to be allowed to do the activities normal chickens do. In Malaysia, "Ayam serama" can cost as much as RM 6000 ($1500) each. Training these chickens to show off their bodies is a hobby seriously taken by the men folk in the east coast of Malaysia. "Ayam serama" competitions are popular and the chickens are judged on their plumage colours and stance as they puff up their breasts (chests?). "Ayam serama" owners profess that their chickens have more personality than ordinary chickens. Thus, the chickens also have to strut on table top cat walks in the same way as models in a fashion show, to gain the attention and hence extra points from the judges.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daemon K9

MartianGirl and her best friend
"Let me in. I won't raid the fridge."
"I want those biscuits."

Daemon K9 and his sister, Snow Bell.

We LOVE dogs. We bought Daemon K9 and his sister, Snowbell for RM 400 each. In the movie "The Golden Compass," demons are paired with living creatures. The person's soul is not within the body but walks beside him in an animal form (demon). That's how Daemon K9 was named - my shadow as he follows me everywhere. Another more obvious reason for his name, he must have been born rabid as he attacks anything that moves, except the family.

Daemon K9 is a Japanese Spitz. He is a great watchdog and sleeps with MartianGirl every night. No one can stand outside her door without him sniffing and giving a low growl. But he has his odd habits and is quite demanding. At around 6 am every day (week ends, Christmas, New Year included), he must leave MartianGirl's room and come up stairs to the Master bedroom to continue his sleep next to my bed. Guess who has to wake up to let him in?

Daemon K9 and Snow Bell's arrival into the family

"I can't live on milk and puppy chow."

Monday, April 20, 2009


Now I lay me
Down to study,
I pray the Lord I
Won't go nutty.

If I should fail to
Learn this stuff,
I pray the Lord
I will not flunk.

But if I do,
Don't pity me at all,
Just lay my bones
In the study hall.

Last minute revision on the stairs.
"I need to do this by myself."
" We need to chill."
"AHH..was that in the syallabus?"
"Help, explain that again."
"I am prepared."
"9 am...Jom..."
"Got to stay focussed."
Hand phones are not allowed into the examination hall.
Tell my Prof
I did my best,
Then pile my
Books upon my chest.

Now I lay me
Down to rest,
And pray I'll pass
Tomorrow's test.

If I should die before I wake
That's one less test I'll have to take.