Monday, December 30, 2013

Hope for South Sudan

I never get tired of the view of Juba every time when the plane takes off or approaches for landing. Whatever time of the day, whatever weather of the moment, the view always takes my breath away, makes my heart skip a beat and leaves me in utter awe. I'm in awe of the beauty of the land and the kindness of the people. Coming out from a 2-decade civil war, they remain cheerful and resilient. There's always a infectious smiles on their faces, jovial greetings and a hearty handshake. While there's still a lot to work on here in the country, they had achieved such tremendous progress over the last 2 years. The potential of the land and the people is almost infinite. Even the sky is not the limit.

May the horrifically senseless ethnic clash end soon. May the people of South Sudan persevere through this painful period. May peace and hope be upon the land.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Year Later

A year later, I'm still reminiscing the past. A year later, I'm still hoping for the future. A year later, I'm still examining what went wrong. A year later, I'm still imagining what could have been. A year later, I'm still asking questions. A year later, I'm still looking for answers. A year later, I'm still recovering.

A year later, it still hurts. 

A year later, I still learning to let go.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Accidental Sandwich

Another lazy man meal. It was all done due to a somewhat accidental nature, rather than planned. 

I was preparing the shredded mushroom, onion, carrot and garlic for my vegetable quiche. They were nicely sautéed with a dash of balsamic vinegar and orange juice. Unfortunately, the crust for my quiche was falling apart while it was blind baked. 

So I fried some bacon bits and returned the sautéed vegetables in for a quick toss. Then it was piled on top of slices of whole wheat bread with dijon mustard. Then grated Gruyere cheese was sprinkled generously over the bread and put in the oven for a quick bake. 

There you have it, the open sandwich of sautéed vegetables and bacon with Gruyere cheese melt.

That was my accidental creativity.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

15-Minute Pasta

Another quick pasta meal. This one all done under 15 minutes, from prep to chow.

Pasta was put into boiling water to cook. While that was on, bacon, onion, garlic and one dried chili were roughly cut (to save time and for that home cook rustic feel) ready to be use. Bacon was first put into a hot pan to render the fat, followed by chili flakes, onion and garlic to sweat. When all in the pan were nicely caramelized, a good glug of white wine or orange juice was added to deglaze along with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. I think I also added some smoke paprika powder. By this time the pasta was ready and was off the heat and drained and returned to the pan for a quick toss to get chummy with the sauce.

Let's eat!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Secret Garden of Bangkok

Knowing a local in a foreign city is always a good thing. He speaks the language hence nothing is lost in translation when you are ordering food or bargaining for a cheap deal. Most of all, he knows the city like the back of his hand and would be able to bring you to experience the city's hidden gems. 

I've been to Bangkok numerous times. Talking about the city of Bangkok, some of the things that pop into my mind instantly would be the hustling and bustling of the traffic, throngs of people rushing along the streets and dancing the nights away partying hard. The city is always abuzz with such intoxicating energy and excitement. I love Bangkok for that.

How about a green lung just a 15-minute drive from the city center and a 5-minute boat ride across the Chao Phraya river? 

Yes, this green lung is real. It exists!

the place is called Bangkachao and it's is a peninsular on the Chao Phraya delta, an area gazetted in the 70s by the royal family to preserve the traditional self-sustain of Thai living. There are rustic country homes on stilt and quiet little temples amidst bananas grooves, mangoes farms and coconuts plantations. The mangroves forrest along the edge of the river and lush green forrest and parks are home to various bird species and reptiles. It's truly a secret garden of Bangkok.

Within this green space is a labyrinth of narrow pathways on stilts, making exploring Bangkachao on bicycle a no-brainer. We rented bicycles and roamed around leisurely, enjoying the quiet surrounding. The green foliage dampened the noise and madness of the city completely. The sounds audible were the chirping of the birds, dancing of the trees in the breeze and the squeaking of our bikes. Surrounded by such lush green, Bangkok seemed like thousands of miles away. 

Now I think of Bangkok, I can actually associate lush green serenity with it too. I'd never ever know about Bangka Chao if not for my friend, A who lives in Bangkok. Thank you A for showing me Bangka Chao

Another good thing knowing a local, you get driven around. My friend A has a car!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Protection seen on the road, whether it is against a deadly disease in Gisenyi, Rwanda or some evil spirits in Bangkok, Thailand. It might be foolish to trick ourselves into believing that we are somehow invincible, but don't you think we must do all the possible best to protect ourselves? And then some.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Photo of the Week

While sorting and archiving my photos over the weekend, I came across this one that I snapped in a cafe during a day trip to Melaka back in last June. The picture totally summed up how I felt for the whole last week, especially during daylight hours! A whole week, days and nights devoted to sieving through volumes reports and capturing tonnes of figures and converting those into a presentation, all due to the incompetency of a colleague in delivering presentation. 

Well, shit happens at work all the time everywhere, isn't it? Be it in Juba or KL or NYC.

Good thing that we get a long weekend here in Juba till Tuesday, for the Eid ul Adha festivity. It's time to play catch-up on shut-eye. 

Sometimes, the universe works in a mysterious way.

Zzz... Zzz...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Overheard #28

"Long days, short weeks."

That's life in Juba.

The weekend is here again! Time to knock back a couple!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slow Down

Most of the time, we are in such a struggle just to stay afloat, if not drown, in the choppy waves of madness of meetings, powerpoints and spreadsheets, traffics, bills and deadlines. So violently we are sloshed around breathless, a minute reaching out of the water gasping for air, the next minute pulling in by the undertow gulping water. Everything seems to be in such frantic chaos. 

We forget our passions, our purpose and our family. We forget that life is a heck lot larger than this craziness. We forget how to stay still, how to lay quietly, how to take in the view. We forget hope. We forget everything.

Then that would be the beginning of our painful end.

So once in awhile, slow down. Take a minute to feel the sun and smell the grass and hear the wind and taste the air and look into the horizon afar.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Whose hands are you holding while strolling into the sunset?

Lately, that's the question going like a broken record in my head.

My biological clock ticking aloud?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Labania Kopa

It had been an eventful month of Ramadan, to say the least. In fact it had been controversial. First there was the BKT Iftar greetings and court case shenanigan that followed. Then there was the makeshift canteen in the changing room for the non-muslim kids in the school and it's drama still playing out on the media, well towards the end of Eid even.

I remembered that Ramadan in Lamu a few years back. Lamu is a ancient town on the Kenyan coast with a muslim majority and everyday life is steep in Islam faith, practices and customs. It was a hot day. I was roaming within the maze of the old  Lamu stone town, wondering the life behind the doors and walls. I knocked on a wooden door heavily adorned with intricate carvings. There was  no answer so I pushed open the door and marched straight in for a bit of snooping around. 

To my surprise, what seemed empty and abandoned from the outside is actually a cozy family home inside. A mother was sitting on the living room floor with her daughter weaving flower garlands welcomed me in in Swahili with a big smile. She told me that the garlands would be used as hair accessories as well as fragrance for the lady. When I asked to look around her home, she gladly called in her nephew to show me around. When I came back to bid her farewell, seeing me drenched in sweat, she offered me a glass of water, even when her whole family was fasting. She even asked if I'd like cold water! She was so warm and welcoming, happily taking me, a total stranger, who could be an axe murderer into her home and offering me cold water while she observed her fast!

As I left, I noticed there were trays of some sort of palm-sized heart shape cookie basking under the sun in the court yard. Naturally I asked what were those. They were called labania kopa. If i remember correctly labania means the milk sweets and kopa means heart. She was making that for the coming Eid. I bought one from her. It was a kind of milk fudge, sweet and milky!

Remembering the encounter on that hot day, how I wish that my fellow countrymen can take heed from the Lamu mother,  having a big heart like her labania kopa, always sweet and warm, open and accepting as well as true to her own faith and respecting others.

Something to think about.

Hope it's not too late to wish everyone Eid Mubarak!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Healthy Twist

Another quick and healthy salad that I whipped up. It was a bit of a play off the timeless Waldolf salad, except I replaced the mayonnaise dressing with a simple lemon juice olive oil dressing. I guess it was a healthier version.

Toss the lettuce, celery, apple, walnut and French ham in the dressing. Then give me a fork!

Boy, that was surprisingly filling and of course delicious!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Ready to Crumble

During one of my stay-over weekends in Bangkok with A and LS, I was tasked to make dessert for dinner. I wanted to try something new and sweet and delish that I haven't made before. It also had to be quick to make, easy to impress and difficult to screw up, after all they are French and we know how particular and picky they can be about their food. So I made apple crumble, with whip cream. It was a crowd pleaser. Either they truly enjoyed it or they were extremely sensitive and polite.

Ever since, I had made quick a bit of crumbles when I entertained. The best so far (according to me!) was my strawberries crumble. The crumble is simply mixing and rubbing together brown sugar, flour, cubed cold butter with hands until it resembles pea-sized bread crumbs. I added rolled oat and crushed walnut for some extra crunch, texture and flavor. Then sprinkle the crumble over the strawberries tossed with flour and brown sugar. Bake them in an oven until the crumble brown and the berries bubble. Serve with whipped cream with vanilla. 

Mouthwatering tasty, yes! Sinfully fat, yes!

But then you
only live once. So, live a little!

Yum yum yum!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Good Luck South Sudan

The road to nationhood for South Sudan had been a long and arduous one. Two years into the independence, the people are still haunted by the 21 years of civil war. Slowly and gingerly, the South Sudanese are on the path to recovery and reconciliation, but the situation in country remains fragile and volatile. 

There is the looming threat of the collapse of the economy from the shutdown of the oil industry due to the on-going spat with Sudan, contentious claims over the Abyei region, tribal conflicts among her diverse people, rampant corruptions, human violation, worsening humanitarian crisis, widespread poverty and then the latest power struggle within the government that potential could send the country into another downward spiral of violence and conflict. 

And sadly, the list seems endless. The people are still suffering gravely, needlessly.

Haven't they gone through enough? Don't they deserve a better future?

Oh South Sudan, I hope you'll find the strength and wisdom and perseverance and resilience to forge on. Turning back is simply not an option. Not at all!

Monday, July 22, 2013


"Run for you dear life!"

It's a scary place out there in the wide open African savannah. Predators like lions or cheetahs are lurking behind the cover of the grass, ever so ready to pounce on their lone unsuspecting prey for a great chow. So, the wildebeests and the zebras are always hanging out together, safety in numbers. They are the best of mates in the vast grassland. 

Apparently they stick together because one has phenomenal sight while the other has incredible hearing. I can't remember who has got which super power. But together they make quite a formidable defensive team, alarming the gang for a life-saving mad dash, should they be the slightest the faintest hint of a threat from the bush.

This is not you scratch my back, I scratch your back. This is you save my life, I save your life.

"Would love to talk more but can't. Gotta run!"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Street Art

Bangkok graffiti, or what I'd like to call street art. Just like the city of angel herself, the great works of the anonymous artists are accessible, vibrant, colorful, energetic, fun and whimsical. 

Oh I miss Bangkok. I wanna go back!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dumb and Dumber

The infamous sex-bloggers couple back home were charged under the Film Censorship Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code, all stemmed from a picture of them greeting the muslim breaking fast while enjoying bak kut teh that they posted online. Long story short, they are being charged for being stupid.

And the kicker, they were denied bailed.

On what ground?

They are a jobless and penniless (and stupid) couple posing no threat whatsoever to anyone, and anything. This is their first offense. They are certainly not a flight risk. Oh, and have I mentioned that they are stupid?

They are denied bailed.

The stupids being dealt with by the stupids!

I do not condone them publishing that supposedly seditious picture online. But some people are just stupid (I can't stress this enough). 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Good Morning!"

At times, by that I mean most of the times, working and living in Juba can be quite a drag for Juba is a small sleepy town. While Juba is indeed growing rapidly, she has not much to offer, yet. 

As we all know, all work and no play makes Boonsky a dull boy. So I run. I run with the Juba Hash House Harriers every Saturday evening. It's a fun group, made up of mostly the expats in town working for the various NGOs and foreign businesses. We run all over the places, various neighborhoods in town, along the river and villages at the edge of the town.

A group of mostly blonde hair blue eyes fair skin men and women running around town sure attract a lot of attention. The friendly locals always cheer us on, albeit with a perplexed look on there face, probably wondering why are these crazy folks running around town in the late afternoon heat, yelling "On! On!" along the way. 

And then there are the kids, the cutest and craziest bunch. They are such a fun hoot! The shy ones would simply flash a big smile and wave at us from a distance. The brave ones would burst out from their hut or yard to high-five us, wide eye and grinning. They are those making funny faces at us and posing for pictures. Some would even join us for a bit, chasing after us down the street, often running bare footed and half naked, hollering "Kowaja!" (Foreigners!) and greeting us "Hello!" or "Good morning!"

Yes, they yell: "Good morning!" at 5:30 in the evening. Loud and chirpy, with the sunniest and most infectious smiles. 

Oh bless 'em kids!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Better Tomorrow

Today is one of the darkest day for my people and my country, if not the darkest. The day was started with high hope for change. Sadly it ended spiraling down into an abyss of despair, frustration, disgust and shame. Electoral fraud was rampant, money politics, intimidations, voters' list irregularity, ballot box rigging.  You name it, we got it, and then some!

Democracy is dead.

I'm crying for my people and my country.

I'm praying for better tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


As you grow older, birthdays just sneak up on you. Before you know it, another year slips by, like any other day. Another year healthier, if not wiser hopefully. Healthier, that's all I hope for. It's a universal fact that as you get older, the body get slower. Let just pray that it's only the body that's getting slower with age, not the mind too. 

Let's face it, I'm no longer a spring chicken, though I'm been discipline with my diet and exercise almost all my adult life, fighting deterioration of the body along with age is indeed a losing battle. I'm getting a bit flabby around the waist, it's easier to pile them load there and it's taking me longer to lose. I'm more susceptible to cold and fatigue. My back ache is recurring. The worst of all, I notice decay in my pearly-whites! Now that's serious business. I'm flossing every night from now on.

Good thing that I'm not losing my mind and my faculty yet, not noticeably so anyway. But my fuse is running shorter and I'm quite emotional nowadays. Is there a correlation of hormonal change with aging, in men? Maybe I'm just having too much on my mind, from work especially. Being busy is one thing but work has been feeling kinda' dead-endish off late and the people that I'm working with now ain't helping much either. Am I'm cocooned myself in this comfort zone for too long? Time to make a career move?

But the money is good! And the holiday is even better! I ain't exactly livin' la vida loca in Juba, not that I ever been or Juba could offer such la vida loca. But with the mullahs I;m making here and the holiday from my work rotation, I can go loco-loco elsewhere should I wish to. It's always good to have options!

That said, I should be grateful to be able to have options, and I am. I'm doing quite a lot better than a lot of my peers. I can chose to enjoy the finer things in life if I want to. Good thing that my sound as a pound Chinese mind is still good to keep me checked and grounded for enjoying the finer things in life cost quite a bit. In fact I'm blessed with the Micheline-star quality food on my plate, the designer clothes on my back and the 9-tier palatial roof over my head. (Allow me to dream a little, it's my birthday after all) More importantly I'm blessed with the love of family and friends.

What more could I ask for?

Actually there can be quite a lot. I can start a list on that, topping with running a marathon, now being move to before I turn 40.

Happy birthday to me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Iron Lace

King's Cross is one of Sydney's inner city locality, vibrant with restaurants, hotels, bars, nightclubs and shopping. The place has had a seedier past. Illegal trading of alcohol was rampant in the 1950s and King's Cross was the red light district of the city in the 1960s. Organized crime, drugs and corruption were notorious. Those days were long gone. Today, due to the very close proximity to Sydney CBD and the breath-taking view of the harbor, King's Cross definitely one of the most priced real-estate in city, if not the most.

I took a walk into the neighborhood on the morning of the Sydney Mardi Gras. The parade would bring tens of thousands of party revelers and tourists to the street in the evening. But it was still peacefully quiet in the morning, calm before the storm. It was a lovely leisurely stroll. I loved the intricate cast iron grille of the houses. Doors, windows, balconies and fences are decorated with such amazingly beautiful iron work of art. It was almost like lace, delicate and full of details. Well it's iron lace. Though they are old, they are preserved very well. It must be such pain-staking task but it's part of the charm and characters and history of the place. Wouldn't anyone give it all to preserve any part of our identity and our past?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Overheard #27

"Tough times don't last, tough people do." Dr. Joan Watson from Elementary.

Hanging there!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Beyond Impossible

Do you believe that God created a someone out there for you, that God put a someone in the over 7 billion people living in the world today for you? 

And all you need to do is find that special someone. 

Good on you if you are one of those lucky ones who found that someone. Please hold on to your someone for your dear life. Finding that special someone who adores and loves you to bits out of 7 billion people is already impossible, and finding that someone who adores and loves you AND willing to put up with all your shit, now that's just beyond impossible. Treasure them, cherish them, love them with all your heart. 

You have no freaking idea how blessed and lucky you are. So count your blessing.

For those unlucky bastards who are still searching, good luck. You'll absolutely certainly need it.

I'd like to think that there's more than one someone. It's simply because the odd of finding that one someone in 7 billion, that's just whacked! God can't be that cruel or that funny.

Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fool

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" 

Someone put on a article online today about the news of the dissolution of the parliament at home. I bought that, and went around telling and confirming with my Malaysian colleagues here. We all were pretty anxious about going home to vote in the coming general election. 

It turned out to be a hoax!

Oh got me!

But a bit of foolishness in life is good, necessary even. Do you remember our foolish innocence and trusting the best in people? Or the days when we were foolishly brave rushing in for love? What about the enthusiastically foolish passion to chase our dreams?  Where is our foolish optimism on life?

Sometimes I wish I'm still a fool.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Almost Healthy

My quest for eating healthy meals continues with this colorful red-green-white veggie-fruit combo salad in a simple 3:1 olive oil lemon juice dressing. Lettuce, celery and red pepper pack a good crunch. Watermelon and pamelo add a delightful freshness. And I couldn't help myself and sprinkled some crispy bacon all over.

Almost healthy, I guess.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


This just in and would probably help some alcoholic college kids with their East African countries in Geography. TUSKER, the popular beer in East Africa is actually the acronym for Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda.

Now that's easy to chug remember. 


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Comfort Zone

Yes, it's scary. But it's also exciting. 

Grow a pair and move!

Fortune favors the bold.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fleeting Views

Friends and family coming over to my place would definitely be amazed by the view from my balcony.  The green lung of the Gasing Hill Reserve at the front then the Petaling Jaya skyline and the city extends afar. One can look into the horizon, sweeping and unobstructed. The view is simply breathtaking, especially in the evening. Personally, I like sipping my first cup of coffee at my balcony in the morning looking out at the mist lifting off the Gasing Hill Reserve and listening to the birds singing away, buck naked.

Recently my sister, Y was asking how long will the view last. In the age when land is such a scarce commodity, who knows when the next high rise, be it condominium or office or mega-mall or parking lots would be erected? More importantly, how close to my balcony?

I noticed some land clearing work and construction at the far left, at the edge of the reserve. I think my days of enjoying my naked morning coffee at my balcony is numbered.

God damn!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cooking Love

This is my first ever M&M (mom and me) cooking project. Obviously it was a joint effort. We made her delicious and almost unheard of sweet potatoes dumpling. Or was it a sweet potatoes puff? Or somewhat a hybrid? Anyway the last time she made them was definitely no less than 20 years ago. I wanted to learn to make this from mom. I want to catalogue all mom's recipes. 

Essentially it's simply a curry puff with the puff pastry replaced with a dough kneaded with boiled sweet potatoes and glutinous rice flour and the curry filling swapped with a savory minced vegetable and dried shrimp. Well I think curry filling just would not go well with the soft and sweet doughy skin.

There was no glutinous rice flour in the house the morning we made them so mom used the plain flour and corn flour combo. Using glutinous rice flour would make the doughy skin softer but we weren't too keen to make a dash to the shop for it. We just improvised as we cook along. Sweet potatoes boiled till soft and then mashed with a fork. The flour was added and kneaded until it turn into a dough, this one a golden orangey dough. Measurement of the flour? We were just simply eye balling it and feeling it as we go along, a sprinkling of water if it was too dry, pinch of flour if it was too wet.

For the filling, we finely diced the fermented mustard green and sengkuang and they were first fried with a few cloves of minced garlic. Dried shrimps were added to the mix and more frying until they sizzle with excitement and fragrant. We also threw in about a handful of fried shallot to up the fragrant level a couple notches. In a moment of genius I asked mom to add a table spoon of her spicy sambal dried shrimp from the freezer. So we have two types of filling, savory and spicy.

The next step was wrapping the filling in the rolled out sweet potatoes doughy skin. The task requires incredible hand-eye coordination and extremely high motor dexterity. Mom was wrapping and piling them up so quickly I was completely floored and shamed at the same time. Mom waited for me to get done before we move on to the second last step, frying them into golden brown.

And the last step, eat! 

The taste, just as good as 20 years ago. The sweet potato skin was crispy sweet on the outside but chewy soft inside. Mom and I both agreed that the spicy filing was better. The spicy sambal just added a good hot kick as we take a hearty bite. We made so many of them that we shared some the neighbors and my aunts nearby. Still we had enough for lunch and dinner that day, as well as my breakfast for the next morning!

Obviously it was a successful joint effort M&M cooking project. But mostly I was just along for the ride. So, all the we in the above should be replaced with mom.

More M&M cooking project to come.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Overheard #26

"I love him but I don't like him." My friend B talking about his brother.

By replacing him with her, I finally found an expression that succinctly and eloquently sums up my feeling towards my sister, R. Oh, that woman sure drives me mad sometimes!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

6-Pack Dinner

Noticing myself that my almost 6-pack abs is turning into a keg, and my sister's snarky remark with an evil smirk over the Lunar New Year at home ("Is there no gym in Juba?"), an intervention is definitely required in the utmost urgency. Upon returning to KL, I signed up at the gym at my condo so I can work out almost 24/7, except the gym is closed from midnight till 6.00 am. 

Working out is only part of the solution. I also vowed to eat healthily. So I quickly whipped up this yogurt fruit-pourri with nuts and honey. To plain Greek yogurt, just add diced fruits and toasted nuts of choice, I have papaya, watermelon, pamelo, walnuts and macadamia nuts. Then drizzle with honey. 

Now give me a spoon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be My Valentine... This Weekend!

While the origin of the Valentine's Day celebration remains unclear or unsubstantiated, or some would prefer to say, mystically and magically romantic, it is nonetheless celebrated around the world, thanks to the great people in the marketing departments. This is one of the days in a year where capitalism and commercialism work at their best. The law of supply and demand never looked so real and tangible as the prices of roses shoot up so ridiculously high as a result of the surge in its demand, all in the name of love. 

As the celebration frenzy is reaching it's fever pitch, the Anti-Valentine's Day campaigners are gaining grounds too. Some, mostly Chinese, say,  it's just another money generating scheme for some business that it's meaningless. Religious quarters say it would promote social ills such as pre-marital sex among the youngsters. There are groups, most likely single and desperate and bitter, who think it's just obscenely stupid to celebrate love for just one day of the year as love should be cherished every single moment the year throughout. They are probably right, but, oh what a bunch of party pooppers!

The Chinese in me is agreeing with the money making scheme point of view, whole-heartedly. The sinner in me is screaming "Are you fucking kidding me?" to the religious folks. The new-age-sensitive-man in me is simply taking the day as a reminder to show my love and appreciation and admiration to those dear to me. 

So, the new-age-sensitive-Chinese-sinner in me would probably doing something special but simple and most importantly cheap, with someone or some people I treasure and adore a great deal during this post Valentine's Day weekend, say like baking a key lime pie, or talking on the phone with them (via Skype free internet call), or wishing for a rainy day. 

Happy V Day.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Green Zanzibar

There was something amiss as I wandering around Stonetown, Zanzibar. The streets weren't exactly clean but there wasn't a plastic bag litter in sight. In the bustling Darajani market where anything and everything from fresh fish to dried spices to cooking pots to prayer cap to jellabiya robe to toothpaste to batteries, not a single purchase was packed away using plastic bags. 

Apparently back in the end of 2006, the semi-autonomous government in this tiny Tanzanian island banned the use, import and production of plastic bags on the island, as the discarded plastic bags pose a serious threat to the marine environment and hurt the tourism industry. The people were encourage to use the environmental friendly raffia bags as an alternative. The campaign on banning plastic bags was relaunched in 2012, showing the determination and commitment of the government.

The semi-autonomous government in a tiny African island had the staunch political will and determination to implement a law with massively positive and far reaching impact on the environment and the future generation, back in 2006. Perhaps in we can pick up our pace in implementing more green regulations at home. I think we can do so much more than just the no-plastic-bags-Saturday in the grocery stores.
Rustically weaved basket for the heavy duty shopping in the wet market, fresh fish or sacks of beans. 
Made-in-China recycle bags are on sale everywhere.
Colorful raffia bags for all kind of household shopping or for souvenirs.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Hey You!

You lookin' at me?
Photo of a sand crab. Photo taken on a shadeless sand bar just 15 minutes off coast Stonetown, Zanzibar.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Writing on the Wall

A gentle reminder to us who are so wrapped in our blind race trying to amass the wealth of the world to fulfill for the insatiable desire for instant gratification and mindless rush and superficial aesthetics.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


News from home about the burning of Malay language Holy Bibles in Penang turned out to be a non-event. No one showed up. While it's such a relief that a potentially volatile situation was averted, but there exist such potential in our homeland, where everyone, maybe not every one, almost everyone takes pride on our religion tolerance, cultural sensitivity and mutual respect, that's really disturbing.

Is such insecurity a manifestation of fear or ignorance or both? Maybe such irrational acts is merely a symptom of self inferiority complex?

Have faith in your fellow countrymen, have faith in your religion, have faith in yourself.

The azan (Islamic call to prayer) and the chimes of the church bells can be such beautiful and uplifting melody to the ears, if you simply have faith.