Friday, September 30, 2011

Batu Caves

When I visited Batu caves, a tourist attraction near Kuala Lumpur, and saw the stairs, the particular sentence from Kung Fu Panda II immediately popped up in my mind: “my old enemy, stairs”. And they are 272 of them. The place is situated 13 kilometers north of KL and it is considered the most popular Hindu shrine outside India, dedicated to Murugan. The 42.4 meters Murugan statue at the entrance costs approximately 24 million rupees and is the tallest in the world. Of course no one can avoid meeting those macaque monkeys if we go up the stairs and please don’t let those creatures distract you as you might fall. After climbing and descending the stairs, I had no energy to visit more caves temples at the base and that's how I spent one morning during my trip in KL. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mamak stalls - Kuala Lumpur

The trip to Kuala Lumpur is all about mamak food from mamak stalls, popular hot spots for people of all races to have a cup of teh tarik or a simple roti or nasi lemak. I fell in love with the open-air shops and all the comfort food from the stalls especially roti with chicken curry. All right, I haven’t been to modern café type mamak stalls but the relaxed ambiance, quite delicious and inexpensive food made me forget about imperfect hygiene in some roadside mamak stalls. Speaking of cost, I don’t remember paying more than 10 ringgit for the drinks and food in those shops and for the record, the employees are friendly, and sometime ask me to take their pictures too. They didn’t know that I am inexpert in photography and a mere food paparazzo, lucky me, or unlucky them, but I am grateful for their  Even though I should try the full range of roti or nan or dosai or nasi or mee goreng, I ended up eating plain roti or dosai with curry and yes, I totally forget about fat and sugar, lol.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Say "NO" to ...

Photo credit goes to fellow bloggers!
As an ordinary citizen of Myanmar, I simply don’t understand the dam construction at confluence, which will apparently alter the hydrology and ecology of Irrawaddy basin in many ways. Despite most concerned citizens disapproval, the construction is accelerating  without considering potential healh impacts like water-borne diseases,poisoning by minerals, seismics activity, lack of protein, social disruption, quality of life, etc. One can argues that this very hydro dam evolves from the demands for energy and we know it is just another sugar-coated rationale. What about other small scale dams, which has been built and (utilized?) in past 2 decades? How many of those dams alleviate poverty, and improve qulaity of life of the communities? One might also argue that this very construction prevent flooding and this is not even close to trade-off between the citizens’ benefits and the desire for personal wealth. Having no transparency and chance to access the energy needs for my homeland, the attempt to harness the natural resouces is no less than fulfilling international demand and about financial benefits accrue from development projects, while ignoring the adverse environmental, social and health impacts. Overall, it is a shame that health is barely accepted as integral part of planning. In this regard, as a stakeholder-being-left-out throughout the process relating to dam construction, I would like to express my opposition to this project, which will jeopardise economy, ecology, and safety of local communities.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yay Kyaw wet market

It’s evocative of times gone by. Going to the market is a step into my childhood.  And when I went to Yay Kyaw wet market last July, my mind immediately transport back to the time with my grannies in the market: in fact it was one precious moment of my life and a total fun experience as I can ask them to buy what I like to eat for the day and buy my favorite dessert from the market. That being said, any market is one of those special places that my mind keeps taking me back to my childhood and I personally want to document that fact in my blog.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken aloo cutlets

A few days ago, my other half told me about one particular chicken aloo cutlets that he had with his friend back then. The usual craving for food, like the very feeling after reading food blog, comes out of nowhere and I decided to make them at home.  I checked my pantry and sadly enough, there was nothing but onion and garlic. There are times that I wish I’d go grocery shopping more often and that was one of them. I did buy potatoes, mint, and coriander later for spicy chicken aloo cutlets. Well, I won’t annoy my friends with how to cook the cutlets in detail, as I know all of them can cook better than me. However, I’d like to mention one little thing: instead of putting the chicken fillings into the mashed potatoes, I just mix them. After making the balls out of the mixture, coat them with breadcrumbs and shallow fry them until the cutlets turn into golden brown in both sides. Even though it is time to watch my waistline, I can’t deny having sweet tooth, and thus the cream puff comes out to play its role as a dessert.  Speaking of cream puff, it is from Bake a Wish, Japanese homemade cake, and costs only 35 Bahts each. It is available at various branches like Suksawat 19, 7th floor Central World, ground floor Central Pinklao, The Circle Ratchapruk, and ground floor Siam Paragon. 

Green Tea Cream Puff
Vanilla Custard Cream Puff

Friday, September 9, 2011

UNIQLO @ Central World

I have made a mistake by underestimating the purchasing power in Bangkok and misjudged the Bangkokian’s obsession to one particular consumer brand, namely
Uniqlo,  the Japanese version of H&M, which opens today on 3rd floor, Central world. There will be another branch in Central Plaza Ladprao too. I was not expecting a long queue for the jeans or t-shirts actually but, believe it or not, the queue was so long and it took me 45 minutes to enter to the store. The store is spacious enough to walk around and enjoy the colorful tees and jeans but as for today, it is just a dream. It is very crowded due to their promotional plan starting from today to 18 September: it discounts some items like T-shirt for 290 Bahts, 390 Bahts to a pair of jeans for 490 Bahts, including the hoodies (590 Bahts), which I tried and suddenly fell in love with. What I learn mostly from today’s queuing is “patience, tolerance, endurance”, lol! Awaiting my turn for entering to the store, the fitting room or the cashier was hard, and exhausting.  Thank god, they don’t allow the shoppers to try more than 4 pieces in fitting room to avoid overcrowding.  Well,  I had a reality check: I saw a pile of jeans in size 22, probably size 0 in US catalog size system and really envied the person in those sizes. One more thing, the alteration price is  not cheap, it costs 100 Bahts (normal stich) and 200 Bahts (Blind stitch) for the products priced below 790 Bahts and can pick it up the next day. By the way, the staffs are extremely friendly and handy.

Fitting room
Busy cashiers
 Queuing, queuing, queuing and still queuing 

My guide to “not to lose weight in time to come”!