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. 

Monday, January 28, 2013


To say the least, the news from home of the tragic end to the story of the missing little boy, William is unsettling. A day out and about with kids will no longer be the same. How do we enjoy the day with the little ones in the mall or the park or everywhere, when we are constantly watching over our shoulders and theirs? 

We owe our kids a place where they could roam free with not a care in the world, happy and safe, a place where our kids can be kids.

Our community is sick. How do we fix this?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vespa Love

Almost every corner you turn in the maze of the old city of Stonetown in Zanzibar, there's always a Vespa parking by the street or hugging a corner or zooming past. And it's mostly Vespa, hardly any other 2-wheeler. This island seems to have this love affair with Vespa. They are everywhere, them cool little Italian scooters. 

Dad used to drive a Vespa when he was young, when he was dating Mom. By the time I showed up dad's Vespa was long gone. I only learnt about his Vespa from the old photographs and stories from Mom. Seeing these on the island reminded me of Dad. 

I want to get a Vespa. I'm going to get a Vespa. Even though I do not have a license for a driving a motorbike.

Monday, January 14, 2013


It was Christmas, the season to be merry and jolly. So I was away on my own, totally feeling the blue. Immersed in it, engulfed by it, plunged into it, succumbed to it, overwhelmed by it, amazed by it. But this blue was different, magical almost. It was soothing and relaxing. It made me light, happy, very happy.

It was the blue of the Indian Ocean and the blue Zanzibari sky. Now that's my kinda' blue. Love it!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Overheard #25

"Our loss is our gain." King Bhumibol.

There's always a lesson to be learnt and opportunity to grow in failure, while success, it is only the icing on the cake. 

And the more I read about King Bhumibol, the more I admire and love the King. 

May the King be well.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Chaotic Charm of Zanzibar


The name that automatically evokes the scents and scenes of yester-years on the beautiful archipelago off coast of Tanzania in east Africa with the adventure of a seafaring voyage, the exotic Swahili cultures, the ancient Islamic heritage and her glorious, the spice trade and the not-so-glorious, the slave trade, past. The Zanzibar archipelago is actually consists of several small islands and two big islands, namely Unguja, the main island, which popularly called Zanzibar today and Pemba. 

Centuries ago, the traders from Persia, Arab and India came to Zanzibar to trade with the east African coastal towns and settled at what became Stonetown today. Later there were the Portuguese explorers arriving and ruling the island, followed by the Arabs and the British, all of which leaving behind their legacy to the island and her people, making Stonetown an eclectic and amazing place as she is toda, full of characters. The ancient maze of Stonetown can seem dark, creepy and dilapidated but there are always bursts of colors and textures that turn the chaos into charm.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


In the already lawless and dangerous traffic in Juba, where boda-bodas (the local motorcycle taxis) zipping along like Bollywood stunt riders, SUVs zooming around a corner almost hugging the asphalt and mindless pedestrians jaywalking as they please, here came a herd of cattle trudging along the main drag in town. 

Perhaps we should be taking a lead from these placidly content (for now, before them ending up on our dinner table) creatures, by slowing down our pace of our days, our lives. After all here in Juba, what's the rush?


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Lost and Found

2012 is a year of lost and found.

Now let's see...

I lost my drive for work. Well don't we all? Work was like a dead puddle under the hot African sun, it's going nowhere and worse, evaporating fast.

I lost, or I think I lost, actually I'm pretty sure I lost a friendship I treasure very dearly. Things will not be the same anymore. It hurts.

I lost my sense of adventures too. I hardly explore the unbeaten path. I did not travel to the countries I planned earlier this year. More so, I dread traveling, nervous and anxious (not in a good way) on heading to a new place.

I lost my passion to write. Look at my dwindling post entries here. Pathetic isn't it?

I lost my touch for photography. I haven't been taking a lot of pictures throughout the year. Going around with a DSLR is like hanging a block of brick around my neck. And don't you think taking pictures can be very intrusive and disrespectful sometimes? I shoot with my iPhone more and more, sadly.


I found some old friends, some that I had not kept in touch for almost 20 years. One reunion and Facebook, we are all back together yakking away like the good ol' days.

I found new friendships in Juba, as well as across the 4 corners of the globe. I found them in the least likely places too. But I'm confident we'll be friends forever, those that you don't see for years but you can pick up where you left off when you meet again.

I found my love for baking, and the business of baking. I feel all excited and edgy (in a good way) talking to my baker friend about her venture. I'm giving her a lot of ideas and found myself constantly looking for new ideas for her too.

I found some good books. One particular pleasant surprise was The Revolutionary King, very engrossing. Although I'm yet to finish the book, I begin to appreciate the undying love of the Thai to their King. Oh gosh, I think I'm falling in love for the King too! Head over heels!

I found some charity projects to work on, though the idea came to me pretty late in the game. There were plans for 2012 but they did not come through, mostly because I did not follow through. Projects for 2013 then.

Lost 5 and found 5, that's even steven 2012.

Now 2013, bring it on!