Saturday, July 30, 2011

Travel Companions


There is something poetic about traveling by train - from waiting at the railway station to the slow acceleration as the train gains momentum, speeding towards its destination. Landscapes swoops by as you gaze ahead in a trance-like state induced by the rhythmic chugging of wheels punctuated by screeches as the train makes a turn.

I had two things keeping me company during my trip up to Ipoh, a piece of lemon meringue pie and a book. Those two hours were pure bliss.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whisk @ Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang

whisk-empire-shopping-gallery-subang-red-velvet

I was at the Empire Shopping Gallery with mom on Monday. Been hearing about this new mall from the family. Well we used to live in Subang, which was our home for about 10 years. The Empire is fairly small but dense with high quality shops and restaurants. Walking around I saw at least six shops selling macarons. Mom raves about the supermarket because you can get imported groceries not found in your general supermarket.

Whisk is located right next to the supermarket. I found its homey and quirky interior rather appealing. The long mirrors lined across the brick walls makes the tight space look more spacious that it actually is. Their spread is well, spread across their whole counter top and I noticed quickly that they sell red velvet.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Redang Island Trip: Beach Volleyball


Volleyball has been all the rage in my school lately amongst us seniors, well at least before we left. There will always be a bunch of people playing in the evening. You don't really get much exercise playing volleyball but it's fun playing with a bunch of crazy people. Everyone is new to the game so you actually spend a lot of time laughing at people, including yourself.

So yeah, there really is nothing much to add here. We're at Redang Island. There's the beach. There's the volleyball court. There's a bunch of people who enjoys playing volleyball. And there's me. Somehow, the ball has its way of avoiding me so I ended up snapping photographs instead.

Good times!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Father


I've been obsessed with monochromes and old polaroid cameras lately. This picture was taken at Tokyo Disneyland, an intimate moment between a father and his kids within the vast spaces of the amusement park. Somehow a huge portion of my holidays consist of me watching people going on with their everyday lives, a fly on the wall of sorts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Japan Trip: Dotonbori


Oh, the rain! Umbrellas popped up all over place like mushrooms without birth control. Dotonbori is one of the more well known touristy areas in Osaka, famous for its neon lights and food. The thing about dining in Japan is that you'd hardly find yourself in a situation where you can't communicate your order. Most shops have very realistic plastic models of their menu and all you have to do is point!

Photography is much more of a challenge in this sort of situation because everything tends to be dull and gloomy. But times like this bring about a different character to the area. You see people scurrying around with umbrellas over their head. Somehow most of them seem to be using the same type. Transparent. In the mist of dinner you'll hear the electrical door hiss as it slides open, making way for individuals rushing into the shop. Here they find comfort in the dry interior while digging into a hot meal.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Japan Trip: Universal Studios


Fresh out of the airport, we headed right away to Universal Studios Japan. A little to soon for me because I usually like using the first day to take in the surroundings and get a good feel of its vibe. But we have a tour itinerary to follow. Bummer. The sky was pouring. And at that moment when it slows down and you think the rain has stopped, the clouds decides to give you a round two shower. Its funny because the last time I visited Universal Studios in Singapore it rained too. I see a trend here.

However you can't really help but feel excited walking through the main entrance with epic Star Wars music blazing like a soundtrack to your life. This will never get old. The rides made up for the sucky weather. It's nice having the sister around because she tends to be more adventurous with these things. I would be happy just snapping photos the whole day. Good thing that the lines were not too long and moved quickly. Personal favourite is definitely the Spiderman themed ride which incorporate 3D effects. I found it surreal being in the thick of action and actually ducked when Dr Octopus threw one of his tentacles in my direction. Such are the fruits of modern technology.

Thank goodness day one was my first and last encounter with the Japanese rain. Subsequent days were blazing hot which I really don't mind except for the fact that it increased my ice-cream consumption. Wait I take that back.  I don't mind it at all. =)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Redang Island Trip: Open Sea Snorkeling


What do you do in Redang? Snorkel! We stayed at Laguna Redang Island Resort and snorkeling trips are part of our itinerary. The whole gang left for the island in the morning and went snorkeling right after lunch. Weather was perfect. Sun was not to hot, but hot enough to make it feel like the water is inviting you for a dip.

I love beach getaways. The breeze surrounds you with ocean air; a constant reminder that the beach is close by. And being there with about forty of your friends makes it even more amazing. Its a reminiscence of the OBS period of our lives without the jungle trekking and sardines for dinner.

Well I enjoyed our snorkeling sessions. The corals were abundant but have really dull colour. Perhaps you'll only see those colourful ones when diving to deeper levels. But fishes were aplenty. Hold a piece of bread in the water and the fished will swarm towards you in huge numbers.

It's nice seeing how much everyone was enjoying themselves. On Redang you have no worries, no thoughts on school or the impending examination results that will be out in a months time. There was the ocean and there was us. Nothing else seems to matter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nasi Dagang Mak Ngah @ Cendering, Kuala Terengganu

nasi-dagang-mak-ngah-cendering-kuala-terangganu

I was never fond of nasi dagang. This dish is found mostly in the East Coast of Malaysia, like Kelantan and Terengganu. The curry is too sweet  for my liking and I've had bad experiences where the rice have gone bad, leaving that bitter and slimy aftertaste in my mouth.

This experience restored my faith in that delicacy. Do not be deceived by its unassuming facade. I personally think it looks really rock star authentic. A clever way to save on washing plates by using banana leaves! Mak Ngah's nasi dagang is served on a banana leaf; which consists of rice topped with a few pieces of curry fish.

It is nothing like the previous nasi dagangs that I had. The curry is not sweet. The rice is fragrant and richly infused with coconut milk. I have never tasted nasi dagang like that. So nice! My only complain is regarding the portion because I was begging for more. But there were extra plates of mee goreng and keropok lekor going around so it was alright.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Japan Trip: The Beginning


Konnichiwa from Japan! The trip started off a little wet yesterday but I'm having a great time here with my family. We joined a tour so our itinerary is very packed. Right after landing at the airport yesterday, we went to Universal Studios right away! But more on that another day. That was Osaka and we were in Kyoto today. In Nagoya for the night and we'll be heading to Mount Fuji in the morning and on to Tokyo after that. 

Japan is amazing. Everything here is so different and that gives you so much to discover. They seem to be obsessed with vending machines and you can spot them all over the place, covering a whole row at a time. Interesting note. You can adjust the sweetness, strength of coffee and amount of creamer on the coffee vending machine. You should see how excited I was.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Good Read


I'm making a point to get back into reading. This was my hobby before photography came along. And yes, that was what I wrote in all my primary school essays. How sad right? Just the other day during a flight I was flipping through the in-flight magazine and there was this article about motorbike racers. Those guys are 18 years old and are already in the league of world champions. Back then, I never knew that motorbike racing was hobby option.

During that period of my life books were my main source of entertainment, mostly due to the limited television time imposed by my parents. There was a library down the road so I would borrow books every week. I loved reading so much to the extent that I would occasionally get caught reading during lessons in school. But then came broadband internet, Astro, photography and important public exams. So lately the only books that I've been reading are my textbooks.

I have a few books on my shelves that I intend to read this holiday and catch up with Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and Supernatural. I will be travelling quite a bit too this holiday and am probably in Japan right now. Next will be Sarawak where I'll be visiting my mom's kampung in Miri. I'm also trying to get some paid photography work, so let me know if you have anything in mind.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cupcakes and Fridays


Here are some of our final moments in KTJ. I'm going to miss having cupcakes on Fridays; the mad dash towards the 6th Form Centre when you have a class far away and you have to get there on time before it all disappears into all the hungry mouths of people who probably missed breakfast. Our teacher churns out these babies every week with the help of her kitchen fairies.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Redang Island Trip: The New Camera

pulau-redang-island-beach-malaysia

The rest of the Redang trip was shot with the Nikon D3s. Daryl's dad was so nice to let me use the camera for the entire duration of the trip. It was my first time handling a full frame camera but generally the layout and ergonomics feels sort of familiar. The body is quite heavy and bulky but that actually made it very nice to hold, something which is best explained by holding it yourself. These are some of the very first shots I took with the camera.

I thought that the camera was such a dream to use. My 50mm 1.4 lens was on it for the entire trip and basically that was the only lens I used because I found no need to change it. The focusing is much more accurate at 1.4 than my current camera and the bokeh is so creamy can die! I want that camera so badly right now. All I need is Rm 17 000. Anyone?