Thursday, February 10, 2011

At Tiga on Tiga (My Name is Mud).

On the 3rd of February, the first day of the Lunar New Year, my wish to go to Pulau Tiga finally materialised. Yeay for great weather that day!

I chose not to go by land (boring) and found a boat operator that offers a daytrip there - the trip was dependent on the sea conditions and was not confirmed until late the evening before.

We left KK at 7:40 am and reached the Kuala Penyu waters just before 9:00 am. Approaching Pulau Kalampunian Damit a.k.a. Snake Island, our first stop.

The jetty has solar panels to power the lights. Cool.

The very 'enthusiastic' group of tourists from China; a couple and a family of 8. Altogether there were 11 of us and I am the local sesat :P

Ugh. I debated whether I should go and walk around looking for snakes after reading this warning. I eventually did go walk a bit, very cautiously.

There were two snakes (maybe more) sleeping under the jetty and that was enough for me.

Does anyone know what that white 'tombstone' like thing is on the rocky shore? The boatman did not know.

Next stop was across to Pulau Kalampunian Besar, which is actually a long sand bar.

Burying my feet in the cool wet sand.

I managed to ask one of the tourists to take this for me. The sun was so bright I had to wear shades! (my fav white tee I *heart* Tabin)

Next we went snorkelling in the waters between Pulau Tiga and Kalampunian Besar. It took the group ages to get themselves ready that the boatman looked at me and shook his head in amusement. Thing is, they were talking (shouting?) so loud to each other we were not sure whether that's just normal or they were angry?

The boatman gave me this live shell thingy (sorry I don't know its name). Took some pictures - so did the group - and let it back into the waters of course because Pulau Tiga is a gazetted area under Sabah Parks. Don't want to get into trouble.

Anyway, snorkelling was AWESOME because I conquered my usual fear and jitters of jumping in the open water. Blocking out all negative thoughts I floated, rather elegantly I'd like to claim and believe, haha! And the boatman took me to see huge colourful Nemos a distance away from where the boat was anchored. I was as excited and grinning as much as I could underwater :DDDDDD

Then the granny in the family (yes, it was three generations) felt unwell and was throwing up so we had to send her to the Pulau Tiga jetty first. Thankfully only five of us decided to continue snorkelling and we went to another deeper area. After some time, it was time for lunch so we headed to Pulau Tiga for a simple packed lunch. I went for a walk along the beach and the resort area while the group took their time for the meal.

Welcome to Pulau Tiga! Survivor Island! Where the tribes had spoken!

Gazetted areas of Pulau Tiga.

If I had time to nap I'd nap here under the tree, on the beach.

Remember these from Survivor? They're weather-beaten already but still intact lah. What were the tribes - Pagong and ... Linguini? No, that's not right.

Any place that has a hammock is okay by me :) I love hammocks.

Relics - two bombs and an anchor.

The island is quite well-maintained I must say. Sabah Park rangers and staff are stationed there so it was all clean and green.

Found someone's recent declaration of love that got washed away. Must be that couple we had seen earlier.

After lunch, 7 of us headed towards the mud volcano which was about 1.1 km away on a short trail. The boatman was our guide (in black right in front) and he was happily bouncing away barefoot, for a reason I found out only later.

Yeay! We reached there in less than 15 minutes. The rest got bitten by mosquitoes. I was safe!

Four feet deep?

This 'caged' area is for a mud spout reserved for facial use only. ('Maskar sahaja. Mask Only')

So, this is the famous mud pit of Pulau Tiga. Looks very much like tempat kerbau berkubang.

Plop, plop, plop, it bubbled softly. Sorta.

The mud was really slick and slippery.

Jump in, folks! (Though you can't really do that because .. well it's not encouraged)

My name is mud. No pics while I was wading through like a kerbau. Inside the pit the mud was actually quite cool, no wonder kerbaus enjoy staying inside. It did have one kind of smell, but nothing awful. Since the pit is right in the middle of the jungle, there were a lot of debris from vegetation around it so that's why the mud is not as pure as the one in Tabin.

My declaration for JM :) xoxo.

So the reason you don't need to wear footwear to the mud pit is that there is absolutely no way you can walk back in them! I decided to walk back barefoot and hand-carry my flip flops. Oh, there is small water tank to wash your hands only, so in your full muddy glory, you walk back to the beach to wash up.

We walked back and as soon as we reached the beach the boatman told us to hurry as the wind was getting quite strong and the seas would be very choppy. True enough, the return leg was awfully bumpy and as much as I tried to hold back the contents of my stomach, I threw up FOUR times about 1.5 hours into the journey. I can't remember the last time I threw up like that. It took us longer this time, almost 2.5 hours due to the choppy waters.

All in all I enjoyed the day very much (except the part when I regurgitated my lunch) and won't mind going again on a whim!

I was determined to leave my mark :) '
I'll be back!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Reza Salleh : You Got Me At 'For Her'.

This holiday weekend's music supply comes courtesy of our very own Reza Salleh, "singer-songwriter, noise polluter, food addict" :D (his words, not mine)

How did I 'discover' Reza?

I have to admit I don't really follow much of local music industry. It must have been a lucky day for me as I was flipping channels and saw him on TV3's morning show. (Now please allow me to immortalise the date, it was Tuesday, January 18th, 2011. I remember because I journalled it. Epic moment lah :))

When he sang Kasih, I thought, wth, this guy is very good! Then later, after the interview with the comperes and his acoustic rendition of For Her, I was already impressed. A little research followed and I found his FB page, and after listening to Stracciatella, I fell - hook, line and sinker.

I made up my mind to go get his album at Rock Corner when I was in KL later that weekend. REALIZE contains 16 tracks (including two bonus tracks) all composed and arranged by the man himself. There's a booklet insert where the lyrics are, which is great because I can then sing to my heart's content! (in the shower :P)

The more I listen to the album, the more I love it. If before, for some strange reason, I seem to be stuck only with Stracciatella, I now play the whole album on repeat.

Apart from my top favs Stracciatella, Sunsets With You, Kasih, For Her, I also like this one song and its awesome title; What The Hell Just Happened I'm Not Really Sure, which is track no. 4 and captures "his inability to feel, sense and to see the vital things that make you blue". That's like, speaking for the entire male species, no? :P Yes, men, this is a song you never expect to be written about those 'burning' moments when you simply have no idea what happened; Reza has now put his finger on it.

And Stracciatella? Reza said, it's about 'loving someone who doesn't love you back the same way'. Oh. No wonder it resonates.

(By the way, Stracciatella is his favourite gelato flavour. Not mentioned at all in the song. Just a title. So, offer to buy him this gelato if you bump into him, maybe he'll say yes)

When I met him at KLPac the day after the album purchase, I asked him to autograph it for me (fan girl moment, okay). Expecting only his signature, I got more than that! He actually remembered what I wrote on his FB wall and wrote the above! Yes, REALIZE is my very first Malaysian CD purchase. That's so nice and sweet of him to remember, kan? Me = happy girl.

One more picture for good measure. (yeah, that's Twitter in the background)

Monday, June 27th, 2011 - I know where I want to be :) Reza will be performing at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas! Must make that happen. Which means I have to make sure I survive SC-KLM the day before, eeeks!

Okaylah, let me show-off this picture again. If my memory serves me right, my parting words were (to his sister), "I'll continue to stalk him" Hahahahahaha! Sounds so psycho-gila.

In the meantime, it's gonna be Ocean Spanning Sorrow in the Relic That I Live In.

No, this is not a sponsored post :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gong Xi Gong Xi !

Gong Xi Fa Cai dear friends!

Wishing you a hoppity-hop Golden Bunny new year! These are pics from Pavilion taken during my last trip to KL.

Fat, round, white bunny - very prosperous!

They had these drums that you can beat to your hearts content.

This I beat the longest and loudest as did almost everyone else! :D

I loved that the skies were lit up with grand firework displays courtesy of my neighbours on CNY eve; never mind the deafening booms and such.

Good Health and Good Wealth for all!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And The Oscar Goes To ...

I had plenty of time to kill the past few weeks hence I assigned myself a little personal 'project'.

It's the awards season in Hollywood, so after watching The Golden Globes recently I thought of watching all 10 movies nominated for Best Film and perhaps some other Oscar-worthy noms.

pic :

And yesterday I completed the 'assignment' ahead of schedule. Movies like Inception, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours I've watched earlier so these are the ones in the past two weeks. The Oscar nominees for Best Film are :

127 Hours : Director - Danny Boyle
Toy Story 3 : Director - Lee Unkrich
Inception : Director - Chris Nolan
The Social Network : Director - David Fincher
The King's Speech : Director - Tom Hooper
The Black Swan : Director Darren Aronofsky
True Grit : Directors - Ethan and Joel Coen
The Kids Are All Right : Director - Lisa Cholodenko
Winter's Bone : Director - Debra Granik
The Fighter : Director - David O. Russell

In the above category, the film I enjoyed the most for its entertainment value : INCEPTION. (But they snubbed Chris Nolan in the Best Director category, wth?); film that I was pleasantly surprised with : TRUE GRIT, from the Coen brothers. THE BLACK SWAN was very good, more intense than I expected. I am biased with 127 HOURS because of James Franco so no need to ask me :-)

I think the frontrunners are : The King's Speech, The Black Swan, True Grit. I'd love for Inception to rock the boat and win this category - and, who knows, maybe The Social Network will win again? The 'weaker' ones are The Fighter, Toy Story 3 and The Kids Are All Right. The Social Network won The Golden Globes for this category, and history shows that they never give the Oscar to the same film. We'll see.

Best Director : I'd give it to either Darren Aronofsky or the Coen brothers. (David Fincher won the Globe and Tom Hooper won the DGA earlier.)

Best Actor - I pick either Jeff Bridges (True Grit) or Colin Firth (The King's Speech). Pity I have not watched Javier Bardem's Biutiful, he's a fine actor too. Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco gave fine performances too, but realistically they are long shots. Sorry JF love, your time will come.

Best Actress - Natalie Portman (The Black Swan) Loved her since The Professional!

Best Supporting Actor - first choice, Christian Bale (he's just nuts in The Fighter), second Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech).

Best Supporting Actress - I really like 14 year old Hailee Steinfield's breakout performance in True Grit. Some may say she's too young for the award, but remember, Anna Paquin was only 11 when she won for that superb acting in The Piano. I don't know why Melissa Leo got it twice now, the Globe and the SAG.

We'll just have to wait till 27th February for the results!

p.s. I watched The Town too, which starred and is directed by Ben Affleck. A very good movie, I enjoyed it.