Of faces, geometry and integration

We took the homeschooling kids to the Islamic Art Museum just now. They enjoyed themselves tremendously especially during the guided tour and the craft session conducted by the museum officer. Fantastic management they had there and of course, it gave me a break from teaching the kids. I like their well-stocked kids library too and of course, their restaurant. We’ve been here a few times and I never get tired of it. The ongoing and ever changing exhibitions are always something to look forward to.

Two new exhibitions are ongoing: Muslims in Britain– The Art of Integration and the exhibition called Divine Inspiration, the 7 Principles of Islamic Architecture.

Pic taken from Islamic Art Museum website on Muslims In Britain

For Rm12 entrance free, it is definitely value for money and now I am considering being a volunteer there. And we were told by the staff today that the owner of this museum, not so recently named the richest Muslim Malaysian– whose mum made him donate half of his first salary when he first started working, is now an Italian (citizen). No longer a Malaysian–changed his nationality to that of an Italian. Cool.

It’s giving me ideas… ūüėõ

Those very tiny things

More often than not, they go unnoticed by us. Even worse, stepped upon or brushed off. A careful look revealed the tiny things bursting with colours, patterns, life and beauty within them. A visiting cousin once commented… ‘Gambar lalang pun you want to take ke ???’¬†

Oh well my city dweller cousin… you may see a lalang, but here… look carefully. You will see more than a clump of weeds. And while you are at it, try to picture a giant magical brush painting on it and blowing life into it. Glory be to HIM.

Mini Bar for the ants

Look very closely. Deep inside this flower is another perfectly crafted little yellow flower

This extremely tiny beauty was found in the midst of bushy weeds. It looks as though it is sticking its purple tongue out…

Colours in contrast

Usually in bougainvillae flowers, the inner flower is white. But I found this particular one with not one but 3 inner flowers all of different colours: baby pink, yellow and orange. Right at the bottom of the bush. 

This clump of mimosa couple looks like the king and queen being surrounded by their dayang-dayang

From the unwanted weed creeping on the ground, an object of beauty pushes its way above, regal and proud

Terjuntai dari pohon yang rendang.. a creeper plant whose flower has a mind of her own

Small and mighty. We may be tiny… but we have a huge purpose in this planet.¬†


3 Monkeys ( and more… )

For the first time I got really this close to them. There were too many of them up the hill at the Fort in Bukit Malawati where we went to learn about the history of Selangor in Kuala Selangor ( oh duh )…adorable beings these creatures. Some of these shots taken without the zoom lens so that was how close I was and we were to these new friends of ours.

Love is…

Mummy look! I can go on my own!

You gotta give me food and not take my pic for free mann!Now THAT’s better !


More Mates


Natural Lap Lip

Pre-hari raya season is the best time for anyone to see the lampu lap-lip adorning the windows/doors/balconies/driveway of Malay houses. They come in all sorts of colours, patterns and also the way they meander all over the house, put the natural creeper plans to shame. I never liked this lampu lap-lip. Lampu colok with the kerosene and real flame is a different thing altogether. But lampu lap lip, to me is downright tacky.

Over the weekend however, I couldn’t take my eyes off the ‘lampu lap lip’ along the banks of the Sungai Kg Kuantan in Kuala Selangor.¬†There were 3 of us. Myself, the husband and Anita. Anita is from Canada and she is currently teaching here. ¬†A hardcore traveller and fellow photographer. We met at the resort and had gone to the firefly place together. At 49, she is teaching the Special Ed kids and it was the husband who first noticed her with¬†‘ I think that lady over there looks like mummy..’¬†And true enough, in every sense of the word and even looks-wise, she was an image of my MIL. It turned out that she too was going to the firefly place and she was alone. All 3 of us shared a van there from De/Palma resort.

The sampan that we took at the jetty was a bit wobbly and the life-jacket given to us were not that safe so to speak as the pakcik told us to ‘takpe lah ikat sajer!’ ¬†To this, Anita and the husband exchanged looks. For a moment I managed to berfeeling ‘Latifah Omar’ in Malay classic film… naik sampan on a river… alahai! Between us and the water was barely 10cm of the sampan’s height.¬†

We were not supposed to make any noise. We would be fined Rm 500 if we do so. So the moment we got on the sampan, everyone had to speak in a whisper. The river was pitch black. And then slowly, as the sampan moved, we saw them…

They were so gorgeous! These fireflies, very much natural, real and authentic lighted up the trees along the whole stretch of the river making it seems like Christmas is on the way for these Malay kampung folks. They really looked like lighted Christmas trees and the most amazing thing that I noticed was that they flicker in unison with one another. There could easily be hundreds of them, but in perfect harmony–they¬†on¬†and¬†off¬†their lights together. That was the first time I saw fireflies and hundreds of them too!

We were quiet for a while during the journey, not because we were afraid of the fine, but rather, amazed. Anita, the nature lover/hardcore traveller ¬†that she is turned to us and said that hands down, this sampan ride while watching hundreds of these fireflies is far more romantic than riding the gondola in Venice. Well, I have never been to Venice but yes, it was extremely romantic…

About fireflies, green bottlefly and other things

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…there was a brave warrior who was so ‘terar‘ (or invincible). He was travelling through the forest with his men and decided to stop his gang of travellers for a rest. Before he could go to sleep, a green bottlefly or what the Malays then called the ‘langau‘– landed on his nose. Annoyed, he tried to slap the fly off, failing in which he barely touched the fly and landed himself with a very sore nose instead. The fly had gracefully flown off before the warrior’s hand even got to it. This made the warrior contemplate and reflect upon the incident that happened and thought to himself, ‘ No one has ever defeated me as a warrior… but here I am defeated by a small fly’ ( in my humble opinion, the fly must have said ‘hang kata hang terar.. hang pirraaaah!’ before flying off. But again, that is just my thought )

So he stopped the whole group from travelling any further and made the decision to recce the place and decided it was a good place to start a settlement. So he named the new settlement Se-langau or A Fly, which later linguistically evolved into the  state of Selangor.

The settlement had since grown and its history had been been so bloodied full of wars. Post greenbottlefly/langau era, the settlement grew into a thriving fishing village which was ruled by a Bugis dame. She was so kind hearted and such a good person that the orang laut people swore that Selangor should never be ruled other than by a Bugis ruler.

It then kept on thriving until it became a rich state, too rich that it often become the centre of many disputes with regards to ownership. The last being in 21st century election 2008, post election and now still… with the Mentri Besar K/ha/lid under the spotlight for some unglamorous play.¬†

But through it all, I do believe that from the day the warrior named it after a fly, the state and its people had lived happily ever after.

The End


We just came back from an awesome weekend trip to Kuala Selangor, the perpetual ‘kaki jalan’ that we are for a getaway. Kuala Selangor is famed for its stretch of fireflies/kunang-kunang/api-api/kelip-kelip or whatever else they are called. The night trip to the river deserves an entry on its own but suffice to say, it was a trip I would remember as after 2 years of being an adopted ‘Selangorian’, only now that I know that it was most probably named after a fly…¬†

The above story was taken from the museum of Kuala Selangor with the additional slang/present day addition and the extra fly dialogue being mine of course.

Empty nest syndrome

In the most literal sense of the word, we are experiencing the empty nest syndrome right now. Not that we have grown up children who have married and left our home-we don’t even have kids of our own yet. Not that Milo has decided to move in with his Tabby girlfriend/wife/mating partner or whatever in the cats world they call their women. He is still pretty much at home. And Tito is still too young to join the band of Toms out there. So that leaves us with the literally empty bird nest in the backyard.

The egg, as written in one of the previous posts, hatched– followed by a week of frenzy feeding by the overly protective parents–in particular the father who kept thinking that Milo is after his little child. The husband actually was in time to see the little one made its first flight. I missed it, of course. Of course–because I seem not to have good chances of catching moments which are glorious and important, but again–that’s a different story and I digress. Anyway according to the husband the little one flew for a short flight to the electrical wire, which is about a metre away and back. He was excited about it. The husband I mean, not the little bird. It was like watching a child taking his first step.

… and a week later

…I am still alive. Carnivorous me on a meatless diet for one solid week which I never though I was able to do.

There were moments of pangs of longings especially when the advertisement for McDonald’s double beef patty burger ‘purposely’ dropped out of The Star newspaper in the morning, or passing Popeye’s Chicken on the way home, or the thought of Tony Roma’s ribs.

But the longings were sporadic and I was able to brush it off. It has been a week of fish and vegetables and other tofu things. It pushes me to be creative in recipes to make the dishes palatable especially to me.

But I am doing good and damn proud of myself. Something which I hardly ever am.