Monday, October 30, 2006

Autumn Farewell - My favorite pic of the day

Was surfing around for some sample pictures on the camera I am planning to buy -- Panasonic Lumix FZ7, and I found a wonderful site filled with beautifully crafted pics by this guy named Jose Mata.

It shows this pic of a fallen leaf, which signifies the end of autumn. Such harmony colors, with good control of shadows and lightings.

Jose Mata took this picture with a simple semi pro FZ7 with no extra techniques or special lense. To me, it once again shows it doesn't take much to be a great photographer, but a creative sharp eyes.

More pictures from him here:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Movie Thumbs Up - The Prestige

Have you ever came across a situation, the whole thing feel so pleasant, that you wish it would never end? Just like a book with a story that got you so engrossed, a high sophisticated taste you come savouring in your mind from time to time.

That is how I felt about The Prestige now. With wonderful actings from Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and of course my favorite actor Michael Caine, Christopher Nolan made a mesmerizing story on how two close magicians became rivalry of each other.

It has been a while since I seen movie with interesting plot like The Prestige. Even the dialogue in between contained so many clues and hints to the whole story. So much so long after the movie ended, I can't help but try to linger on why Christian Bale's wife would have a secret she wants to let Scarlett Johansson know, and why Hugh Jackman had a gun with his transporter, and this and that. At the end I just though I would want to watch it again!

Do watch it, as it brings a lot of thinking, pondering to it's audience, instead of the no brainer 'Open Reason' that is showing now as well.

By the way, David Bowie is in the movie as well. "Are you watching closely?", if yes, I am sure you will be able to spot him here and there. :-)

Links to the movie

  • The Prestige, official site:

  • Yahoo movies :

  • Cinema Online Malaysia:

    • *All pics featured in this blog are off Yahoo! Movies

      Saturday, October 14, 2006

      This song lingers in my mind

      Everyone is playing this song, erm old song in the office, until I am too being taken away by the melody is this song. Apparently Stairway to Heaven, a korean drama feature this song as their theme song.

      What a sad sad song...

      Bo Go Ship Da
      Kim Bum Soo
      credits to: gyoolyrics

      ah moo li gi da lyuh doh nan mot ga
      babo chuh lum ool go eet neun nuh ae gyuh tae
      sang chuh man joo neun na leul wae mo leu go
      gi da li ni dduh na ga lan mal ya

      *bo go ship da bo go ship da
      ee lun nae ga mi woh jil man keum
      ool go ship da nae gae moo loop kkool ko
      moh doo ubt dun eel ee dwel soo eet da myun
      mi chil deut sarang haet dun gi euk ee
      choo euk deul ee nuh leul chat go eet ji man
      duh ee sang sarang ee lan byun myung ae
      nuh leul ga dool soo ubt ssuh
      ee luh myun ahn dwae ji man
      jook eul man keum bo go ship da x2

      I Miss You
      credits to: gyoolyrics

      No matter how I wait I cant go
      next to you, crying
      You only gave me pain and you didnt know me
      Are you telling me to leave?

      I miss you, I miss you
      To the point where I hate myselfI want to cry..
      I want to kneel down
      And if only everything didnt happen..
      The memories where I loved you crazily..
      Those memories haunt me
      But i cant hide from this love any longer
      I shouldnt do thisBut i miss you to death x2

      Friday, October 13, 2006

      Life Sucks? SNORT IT OUT THEN!

      I think I have quite enough of this whole shit. Tomorrow onwards I am going to do things my own way, and all happy about it.

      Ah... tomorrow is another day it is...


      As you hold a cup on your hand, it is filled with water. Then your emptied the cup. How will you describe it now? Issit an empty cup, or is it a full one?

      You walked into a room, it is filled with furnitures and all cluttered. The someone came along, moving all the things within the room away. When you walked into the room again, how do you describe it? Will you think it is an empty room, or would it be a filled one?

      Empty it is, isn't it? Because when you pour the water, when things are moved away, there is nothing within anymore, there you tend to think it is empty.

      But then again, what is emptiness? Cup without water, but filled with air, is that empty then? When furnitures are taken away, room filled with air, would that still be considered as empty then?

      Thus emptiness occus when that "something" is no longer there.

      You feel emptiness, that is because you only see existing objects, yet overlooking the space enclosing it.

      You can't stop chasing, can't stop wanting, can't stop having more, pocessing. You want to have them to filled this emptiness in your heart, yet you did not realise then more you have, the less space you have; The more you own, the more crowded the space is.

      It is already getting tight and cozy within our world. The flower of love dried out even more than ever, that is due to the lack of freedom being given to them.

      He needs more of his own space, just like how you will need the same. Therefore let us empty out those things occupying our space.

      Take jealousy away! Take suspecious away! Take pocessiveness away! Everything and everything that occupies the space that is meant for love, let the cup of love be empty -- As when it is empty, then one can have more in return.

      Sunday, October 08, 2006

      Vietnamese Food at its best

      Perhaps the most famous food around Vietnam, especially Hanoi is the Vietnamese beef noodle (also known as Pho Bo - pronounced as Fur Ball literally).

      After tasting this the first time in Melbourne, I don't think Pho Bo in Hanoi taste as nice as those from Melbourne.

      With simple observation, it is not impossible to understand why the food here at most doesn't really taste as nice as we might think. Mostly because it go right down to the origin of the ingredients.

      Fruit stalls selling home grown fruits are abundant everywhere.
      As their agriculture technology and research is still growing from bottom, cows were mostly fed with grass instead of corn, rice and vegetables still grown in organic ways. It is no wonder ingredients quality is fresh but not as tasty as compare to those from more advance country. Even fruits here are not as sweet as we might assume.
      But still we managed to eat stuffs that cannot find in Malaysia nor else where. :-)

      Do try the local Vietnamese coffee, half squatting with the locals on stools at the road side
      Many have been saying how sweet the freshly sqeezed sugar cane juice in Vietnam taste. It taste interesting with that bit of lime they put in.

      Lunch provided to us on route to Halong Bay
      Fancy for some French dining?
      Anyone going to Hanoi must brave themselve to try this delightful home brew beer. Everyone calls it a Bia Hoi. Very mild tasting, light on taste. Cost about USD0.25 per glass or so. Must remember to order the side snack, surprisingly most of them taste very western. I won't tell you exactly what they taste like. :-)

      City Tour around Hanoi

      City tour is not exciting as to places like Tam Coc nor Halong Bay, but it make up the other part of the trip giving tourist a glimpse of city life, Vietnamese struggle throughout the Communist stronghold period.

      We went to the Ho Chi Minh mossoleum but it was closed due to APEC meeting, security stepped up that sort of thing. Then we took a short walk to the Ho Chi Minh presidential residence.

      It is not hard to feel the love of the people towards Ho Chi Minh as he was potrayed to be a very thrifty person even during the period he became president.

      We went to the Ho Chi Minh museum, one pillar pagoda which is around the vicinity as well. No pics here at weather very hot, not in the mood for picture really.

      We then went to so called oldest university in Hanoi, but really is a ground for olden days (1700 years ago) scholar to come take their exams where they become officials by passing stage of exams. It is really similar to the education system originate from China, and both systems honors Confucius as the great teacher. There is even a temple for him. Should come visit, as the Confucius temple in Beijing was not half as well preseved as this one.


      Then after lunch went visiting Museum of Ethnology. By this time, all the auntie auntie already complaining leg pain dy. And at first glance, everyone don't think highly of the minority ethnic exhibition is interesting. But going to the backyard of the exhibition building, models house of ethnic minority people at north region of vietnam is actually very nicely presented. The interiors of the buildings (furniture, settings) actually finely resembles the real life of these people in reality.

      At one corner of the main building, they currently have this very interesting nice little exhibition. It features the life of Vietnamese during the "Bao Cap" period, where from Communist first rise to power, until 1980s when Vietnam open up its economy to outside world. It feels quite a relieve that the Vietnamese government subtly admit their short comings by letting this exhibition depicted the hardship during the "Bao Cap" period. Most of the interviewee in the exhibition talks about how their used to que up for rice, food, cloths, parts for bicycles, and their dreams (mostly involved materialistic thoughts, such as having a television, or simple electric fan).
      We also gone to a whole seller market nearby the old city for a short shopping.
      Bargaining is a must here. Even that bowl of noodle you plan to have, must go through vigorous price negotiation unless you plan to be ripped off.

      Bargain politely though, as they are just trying to earn a living.

      We bought things like the vietnamese coffee maker, that sieve thingy u placed on top of the coffee cup. Apart from that we bought local grown coffee, almond as well.

      Saturday, October 07, 2006

      Fine French Dining at The Green Tangerine

      The French might have left ages ago, but the legacy they left behind can be felt in many ways.

      From simple roadside cafe culture (with a Vietnamese twist by sitting on stools), to baguattes being sold next to the highway offering Ham (which local people call pate) for inserts, it is not surprising to find good French diner around here.
      We got back to Hanoi around 9pm. Blur blur from the long traveling dad urshered us to the Green Tangerine for a nice dinner.
      Nice dinner is really relative, because if you don't enjoy your food even though it is of expensive ingredients, it doesn't really matter anymore.
      My mom and I agreed on that fact, the moment when we were served with our freeze soup. Freeze soup, the only soup of the day, comprising of fresh fruit cocktail at the bottom, layered with crush ice and ham on top. No other soup available as the waitress claim summer is too hot for things like potage and French onion soup. Duh!
      Appetizers are really not my type as well, as very aged cheese were generously used in the cooking.
      Main course ah, hahahaha... strange cooking as well. Pasta mixed with raw cubed tuna, lobster cut that is only to 5 pieces, quails leg that is almost meatless.
      In my opinion, I think I will be more happy if I am being served with big fat piece of steak instead. But for the experience wise, it might be a good place to get infuse with the french dining since in KL it would be far too expensive.
      So, for our dinner tonight, we spent USD$106 as a whole. Was craving for a good bowl of Vietnamese beef noodle later but it was too late then. :P

      Halong Bay - 2 times UN World Heritage

      The next day, rather early morning we depart from the hotel going to the Halong Bay.

      Unfortunately we only managed to get on the highway at 9am. Thus we sort of arriving there rather late. The bus (erm mini van) driver was not able to find 3 of the passanger from the other hotel.

      The small bus was rather full with the two guides squatting away on the bus floor. Not particularly a comfortable ride since the whole journey there was 3 hour or more with stopping half way for weewee, and more coffee, more souvinir shopping of course.

      As we came near to Halong City, Mountains like these can be seen along the way. Cement factories dotted these region too.

      So I guess if you want to see the beautiful outskirt of Hanoi better do it soon before these nice scenery do away for development

      Alas we finally arrived at the pier, at Halong city around noon time. Swiftly got shuffered into the boat. Some people that came together with us was meant to stay for a 3 days 2 nights / 2 days 1 night at Halong Bay, and they went on to a different boat.

      It is kinda foggy today, therefore the whole trip Halong Bay kinda look mysterious. Perhaps the haze from the Sumatera has been blown to here?

      Prior lunch was served on the boat, we stopped at this platform and be "encouraged" to buy seafood at a hiked price, so we can eat it with the dishes served to us for lunch later. No one really bothered.

      Lunch was not too bad, as we paid like USD$15 per person including bus trip, food, and boat tour.

      Then some of those travelling with us were lured to take up the small boat ride to the nearby cave, with promised that the USD$13 they pay per person will be used to help build a school for children at the other side of the cave.

      Of course, more selling to them when they come back trying to get on the boat.

      Only after all these $$ milking, our real boat trip started. Hahaha...

      Vietnamese people really determine to squeeze all the $$ out from the tourist wherever possible. In a nice way though, not with tricks.

      My mom and aunt was already busy shopping in the boat.

      So, some pics for you guys!

      Me and the guide of the day - Ha
      We stopped at one of the islets and got out to do a stair climbing, to see the largest cave around the area.
      I happened to met this Vietnamese guy on this trip who is a tourist himself. He came from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi for work and extended his trip by visiting Halong bay together with us. It was great talking to him as I learn a lot about life in Vietnam, which in reality is not as bad as we might think at first glance.
      Anyway, evening scenery is just as beautiful around Halong Bay!
      Perhaps I will come back here again sometime future!