Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fruit Rojak, Medan Selera Tanjung Emas

Now that lunch has been settled and wanting to kill two birds with one stone, Teochew Mama drove straight to Tanjung for me to slip into my photography mode and to the shop where we once always have had our irregular fix.

All of us had forgotten that it was in the middle of the lunch hour when we arrived but thankfully, there was a vacant table right in front of the stall. The lady boss waited for us to be comfortably seated before swinging by for the order, and didn't take long to bring the prepared order to the table.


The famous Muar fruit rojak (Small portion, RM 2.50)

It still carried the same taste to it, with the sauce not overpowering the overall dish and the sugar used, a tablespoon too much. The only problem I had was with the drink; the orange juice I had ordered was dilated with water, and there was no taste of the frothy orange.

Teochew Mama and Tony both agreed that this particular plate carried a different, unique taste to the fruit rojak we can find in the city.

Like with all F&B outlets, the best time to be there is always before the lunch-hour crowd or after them. If you're too lazy to look at the signboard, just watch for the sole Chinese lady clad in an apron.

If you're not in a rush, you can always head off to the jetty (which is within walking distance) and take the time off to enjoy the sea view and maybe, catch a glimpse of an orange building that is the identity of the Muar town or take a picture of the durian monument. =D

Stall No. 4,
Medan Selera Tanjung Emas,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Merlin Restaurant, Tmn Orkid

The 2nd trilogy to The Sweetest Escape (Almost!)...

Seeing that it neared lunchtime and the restaurant Teochew Mama had in mind was within a stone's throw from the town center, she asked if Tony (our friend) was fine with having lunch at this timing of 11.30am and headed straight there.

Allow me to say that like other shops in Muar, this restaurant has been in its current location for the last decade or so as it had already been enjoying brisk business when I was last there. It had been introduced to us by one of Papa Carrie's former clients, a man who runs a fruit shop business with his wife nearby (next to Hong Leong Bank?) and who sold the box of fruits (usually, it would be NZ Rose apples) of our choice to us at a cheaper rate.

But enough about the past.

We were the first customers as they had just opened for the day, and our orders were promptly received and attended to, with Teochew Mama being the decider. Gee, what do you expect? She's the only one who's not the typical banana and, even in her degraded fluency, still can handle Teochew (now you know why she's addressed as such on the blog; she's a purebred Teochew!) and Mandarin.

P.S. There's a saying in Muar that Teochew girls are beautiful. 

The famous Asam Fish Head/Meat (RM 20.40)

That's not the actual price per kg; the cook will weigh the fish of your choice first before you decide if you want that piece or not. Teochew Mama doesn't remember the price per kg. *shakes head*

Although she had asked the cook to lessen the salt, it was still a tad bit too salty for my liking but what we liked was that there was still a faint twinge of sourness to the dish. Tony suspected that chili oil may have been used, because there's no way the gravy can be oily with specks of red.

Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Leaf (RM 6.00)

Teochew Mama loved this dish, as it was perfectly what she had wanted, with less oil and less salt being used in the cooking. To me, it tasted like something that she would whip up at home - if in the mood.

Fried Egg with Dried, Salted Radish (RM 3.00)

3 bucks for a plate of fried egg is impossible to find in the city but in small towns like Muar, it's possible. The restaurant does offer the oyster omelet but seeing that I can't handle oysters at this moment in time due to the ever-occurring rashes, she instead ordered the fried egg.

It wasn't salty like the asam fish, but it was shocking to see the amount of oil used to fry the egg. I had kind of wished that Teochew Mama had told the cook to go slow on the oil.

Rice (RM 0.60 per bowl)

It could have been more, but since Tony had mentioned that he wanted the small bowl, the both of us agreed to follow suit. If it's just me alone, I'll definitely have ordered one small bowl and one big bowl, since I'm a big rice lover. >=D 

Chinese Tea (RM 0.80 per glass)

This was Tony's drink; I didn't ask him how it tasted, but all Chinese tea would have a similar taste - I hope.

As always, my findings can always differ from the general foodie's point of view as I'm fussy on the amount of salt, sugar and oil.

Address: Merlin Restaurant,
90, Lorong Dua,
Tmn Orkid,
84000 Muar,

Tel: 06- 952 6971

Business Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11 am to 9 pm. Monday is their off day.

There are no visible landmarks, but what I can tell you that is if you're coming from the town centre on Jln Bakri, the entrance to the restaurant would be on your 1st right turn, with a huge signboard showing "Merlin Restaurant" telling you that you're on the right track.

If you're unfamiliar, don't hesitate to ask any one of the locals there. I'm sure they would be more than willing to help you out with directions.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mascot, what do you eat?

*pokes at the moving costume*

Me: Excuse me, Mr. Mascot, what do you have for your meals?
Mascot: Bamboo, and lots of it.
Me: Won't you gain weight from it?
Mascot: *gapes at me before fainting*

P.S. This Giveaway is hosted by Luxury Haven.

Since I have jumped at the opportunity to participate in the giveaway, I'll have to write about the panda's food to, I hope, the best of my creative abilities. I'm rather nervous as it's been a long while since I last wrote a post as an entry - the last being Nuffnang Blog Awards 2011.

So, here I go.

A panda is known as a carnivore and even though it has the digestive system of one, it has been blessed with unique adaptations to survive on bamboos only. Since there is little nutrition in bamboos, a panda has to ensure that its daily intake of the plant is enough to keep hunger at bay and reduce its energy expenditures.

Credits to Wikipedia for the bamboo picture.

Bamboo is a part of the grass family, which explains its speedy growth after being harvested without injuring the eco system. It will stop growing only when it reaches its maximum height. There are at least 1450 species of the plant and can be found in various climates, with the hardy ones surviving in a temperature of -29 Celsius while the fragile ones will die before or at a temperature of below -1 Celsius.

When in abundance, there have been reported cases of less rodent attacks.

Not only does the plant provide food for pandas and other animals, it is also harvested for culinary dishes such as the Malaysian lemang and the Thai Khao lam.

For more information, you might want to visit this website.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Raising Cornflakes Cake

First thing is first. I'm afraid that this might be the last time I'll be posting a recipe as I'm rushing to finish my baking ingredients before its expiry.

After that, I'll be off to relax my mind and breathe the fresh air.

Seeing that last Friday was a national holiday and there were only a couple of cake slices from the previous batch, I threw myself into a baking mode shortly before dinner and whipped up a cake for the family. Taste wise, I've not had the chance to sample it but I hope that it's as tasty as it looks.

So, what do we have today?

Hmm, let's see.

Today's dish will be.... Raisin Cornflakes Cake.

Dry Ingredients
3 cups cake/pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup raisins
3 cups cornflakes

Wet Ingredients
150g butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature

Oil a 20cm springform tin (feel free to use a glass substitute if you don't have the tin).
Preheat the oven at 190C.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs for a minute.
Sift the dry ingredients, and leave aside after adding the salt.
In another mixing bowl, beat the butter and vanilla with milk, until the butter has dissolved.
Fold in the dry mixture, half a time before finally folding in the cornflakes and the raisins.
Pour the wet batter into the prepared tin. (If there is some batter left, you can always convert it into a recipe for muffins.)
Bake at 25 minutes at 160C.
Allow it to completely cool before cutting it into slices.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Sweetest Escape (Almost!)

No wonder my system felt like it was being dragged to leave town.

No wonder.

Seeing that our imminent presence were highly required yesterday, we departed smack dead early in the morning and made sure that the car had enough fuel and liquid to sustain the drive down south under the melting sun, remembering to pick up the longtime friend in Sri Petaling on the way, finally shot away from the city.

For 2 1/2 hours, we were surrounded by the hilly palm plantations and trees that created beautiful sceneries, scenes that were worthy enough for any photography-loving traveler. Conversations killed the boredom; our friend, being the humorous kind of fellow, pumped the air with random banters before the topic was steered back to safer grounds.

I can't help but wonder, if it's so humorous, how come I don't have any collection of it?

Anyway, I was the quiet soul, allowing the mind to drift away to better territories. An urgent departure is something that I don't handle well, especially when it requires me to be still in the car for more than 1 1/2 hours.

Well, no one can predict such a move.

It took us another 15 minutes from the Tangkak exit, passing by two cemeteries and village areas (what, Sungai Chinchin?!) to arrive at the Muar town, and up the bridge.

Tony: "So, here we are, the famous Muar Bridge."
Teochew Mama: "What? No. It can't be..."
Tony: "It is..."

We went straight to business, and while he and I waited in the stationary double-parked car for Teochew Mama to return, a white-clad traffic police appeared out of nowhere, scared the hell out of me, especially. We both watched his actions and were rather relieved when he left without issuing us a ticket. She had just been slapped with a hefty fine, and didn't want to attract another traffic ticket so soon, and certainly not in another town.

And with that, a two-course lunch shall be posted as food reviews instead later. Duty calls, what.

We ended up at the other end of Tanjung, where I whipped out the camera and took random pictures of the area while the two older folks waited in the car.

More pictures can be found here: The Sweetest Escape (Almost!) album on Facebook.

With all of our stomachs satiated, she took the almost-forgotten route to the place where her favorite otak-otak manufacturer once was, and it turns out he's still in the same area! As surprising as it was to me, the uncle remembered her and even remembered that it had been 8 long years since we swung by for a bulk purchase!

Wow, that chap really has a good memory.

She made up for lost time, and bought packs of his otak-otak home to sink our faces into while I asked for a business card, in case we are in Muar again and in case I'm doing a review on it. Once that was done, we shot out of the town and returned to the expressway via the same way.

She called for a break, suggested that we have a drink at this longtime coffee shop in Sungai Mati (yes, you read that right), which we did. You may ask, why on earth did I make faces when I chose to order a cup of pure black coffee? First, that was Teochew Mama's order and second, it had a different texture and taste to the one we'd usually have KL.

Okay, I admit. Cappuccino is more of my forte in the coffee world.

The lady boss mentioned that she could've made it thinner if we wanted to, but how were we to know? I don't think I've heard anyone making such a request at a coffee shop in my area. But then again, I hate it whenever my drinks are tainted with saccharine.

The return drive home was eerily quiet that our friend fell into a sudden, comfortable sleep at the back and while the exhaustion had crept into me, I wasn't willing to allow myself to knock off into a deep sleep and sustain a sprained neck, especially not in the tight space that I had. With Teochew Mama back on the wheel, the mind drifted away yet again, but to create and finalize the scenes for Tuesdays in it, this time.

After paying the dues at the tollhouse, we could barely remember the road to Sri Petaling. When Tony suggested that we take the turn up to Miles (which would be the wrong one and lead straight to his residence instead), I jumped in and said that it's not the right one, which earned me a momentarily reprimanding from her.

The traffic signboard that reads Kompleks Sukan Negara (it's the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil) can't be wrong, right? If you hadn't known, our traffic signboards here are excellent in confusing the unfamiliar driver as it is always placed after the exits. Once you've taken the wrong road, it'll take you a long time to find a U-turn and return to your actual destination. Sigh!

Does anyone know if the company behind NSE has increased the toll prices? Kesas has since decreased theirs - by 50 cents. Not much, but still something.

It neared the peak-hour traffic congestion after we dropped him off back and we headed straight home to the self-sufficient suburb with little traffic, thankfully. Even though I was dead exhausted when we arrived home, I rushed home to expose the laundry outside while it still could catch the sun.

After the exhausted sleep and the night to dwell on it, I'm afraid I'm more emotionally exhausted than I was before we left. I am resigned to the fact that I am more upset than I am angry, as what I had been briefed on was a 180; the truth of the matter was totally different - something that was unexpected! I think anyone in my shoes would have about the same reaction as me.

I'm not going to elaborate on the matter that is now bugging my emotions because the mere thought of it would send the pressure and anger up into my head, and the whole vicious cycle would start again.

(On another side, you, don't call me on my cell or house line. I'm not in the mood for calls now as both the handset will be heated up and my ears will sweat.)

I want to purge my system of its emotions before I catch myself yelling at the neighbors again and usually, it will have been reduced by 50% after a night's worth of good sleep. It's not working in this case; in fact, it's leaving me antsy and fidgety over irrelevant things. Well, in that case, I might just have to injure the doors by slamming it with such force that the frame rattles followed by rantings in yellow-infused statements at ear-deafening volume.

Tell me, how can it be the sweetest escape when it was marred with negative surprises, and a waste of time and gas? For that amount of time spent in the towns and on the road, I could've been shopping my heart out in Sunway Pyramid and enjoying the air-conditioners.

Who knows I might have been able to slot in some time to watch a movie of my choice?

I'm off; when there's an onset of a terrible headache, it means that I better run off before I explode into pieces.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Story #1

"You'll learn that the truth will be more complicated that it already is," the caller had warned.
    "What do you mean?" Shelby asked. "I don't get it."
    "You might not get it now, but you will when it has arrived at your door."

Shelby sat in her Vios, face glum and arms folded, debated whether she should reveal the earlier tele-conversation to Matt as she waited for him to be off his working shift. Her mind was adamant on handling it herself to lessen the complicity and consequences but her heart reminded her that since they were bonded in love, he had every right to know and to share her burdens and worries.
    To receive the call had been an unexpected surprise. Long before Stephie's death, she had kept a cordial distance from the caller - Alicia - as something Alicia had done annoyed and angered her beyond the point of forgiveness and acceptance.
    Thinking about it now, she felt, would bring back the exact emotions she felt then.
    Forget it, there's no point in being cheesed off again, she reminded herself and since being in a stationary car was no fun (she had deliberately killed off the engine to save gas and prevent an engine crack), she snatched her tote bag and hopped out, walked towards the entrance of the building.

    The familiar voice stunned her as she froze, dropped whatever it was that she had been doing. It couldn't be; it had been eighteen long months since she had heard the cheery voice and wouldn't hear for the rest of her own life. Summoning her inner courage to face the ghostly being, she inhaled deeply and turned. She had to hold on to the glass table that she was now leaning against for support in a heart-stopping shock.
She felt her knees wobble at her sight and didn't know what to do. She saw that this person's limbs were permanently glued to its sockets, which meant that she was a humanly figure and not the ghostly being that she first presumed.
    But... but... it can't be!
    As if she knew what Shelby's suspicious hesitations were, she dug deep into her pocket and handed two items - a sealed envelope and a gold locket - over.
    "Here," she broke the silence. "This should help to reveal the truth about me."
    Without much ado, Shelby tore open the envelope and skimmed through the letter, her eyes widening at its contents.
    A slight nod would lead to her flicking open the gold locket, which revealed a mini-sized photograph of the twin sisters posing for the camera after a garden party hosted by their late parents.
    "No way!" She broke into tears, as she lost her composure. "You're supposed to be dead, Stephie." And ran to embrace her.

After Shelby had recovered from her shell-shocked state, Stephie sat her down and apologized for the inconvenience and sorrow that the poor sister had went through but explained that there had been no other route out as her life and Matt's had been threatened by shadowy hands.
    Something drastic needed to be done to save them all, even if it meant sacrificing the perfect love that would've brought Stephie and Matt to seal their matrimony on the special day.
    She broke in tears, remembering that she had unwillingly forced Matt away. She felt that for as long as she was out of the picture, the danger on him would significantly be reduced to the point where he could live in peace and safety without hovering over his shoulder.
    Even after seeking the help of a mutual friend - that'd be Alicia - to fake her death with the official cause as accidental drowning, she admitted that she still loved him and he would always hold a special place in her heart.
    She saw her chance when the shadowy hand died in a car accident, with the funeral and wake service as living proofs and decided that the first person she wanted to see was the sister she longed for so deeply.
    "Now." Stephie broke the silence, suddenly held Shelby's hand in hers. "I know what you're thinking as Alicia has told me about it. Sure, I regretted breaking off with him but you can't undo the mistakes that have been done. He'll consider it as the biggest betrayal from me."
    "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Shelby apologized. "I didn't know about the past."
    "Don't, it wasn't your fault or his. Neither one of you knew the real truth."
    No wonder Alicia rattled the nonsensical matters. She was trying to warn me, Shelby thought. "Does Matt know?" she asked instead. "Does he know that you're back?"
    "No." Stephie's color darkened. "Don't tell him either. I'm not ready to face him yet, and I'm rather afraid that my reentrance into his life would throw your relationship upside down and leave bad memories in its wake. So, no, allow time to take its course."
    She felt suspicious. "Are you going to stay?"
   "No. I'm returning to my recluse, where I've built myself a brand new life. "
   "But ... what about the shadowy hand?"
   "It was reported in the press that he died in a car accident. I even attended his funeral to confirm the truth, which is why I'm able to come out and see you."
   "Why can't you stay then?"
   "I can't afford the risk of being seen by friends and especially Matt until I'm ready to face them and explain my case."
   "Will I see you again?"
   "It depends." 
   And with that, Shelby lost her composure again and broke into uncontrollable tears. She feared it meant that she was losing her sister - only permanently, this time.

Monday, May 20, 2013


And in succession to yesterday's dream, I was woken up by a pleasurable dream.

I dreamed that the four of us had agreed to meet up at the event venue instead, and I was guiding my Caucasian acquaintance, who was on the wheel. We had our identification cards ready when we stopped at a booth that resembled the toll booth, but the lady mentioned that we needn't to register ourselves and we could head straight in, using the special road access.

Searching for an available parking space took quite some time and by the time we arrived at the venue, there were lots of people who had turned up earlier, which made looking for our fellow friends difficult. While he disappeared inside, I hovered over to the cafe to satiate the growling tummy and was joined by two strangers who shared the table with me.

It took me quite some time to search for him, too. He was in the middle of a happy conversation when I waved him off, told him that the event was starting soon. The other two friends arrived shortly after, complained that the outside resembled a tornado, with the amount of cars parked here and there, legally and illegally.

I could barely concentrate on what the emcee spoke, as my mind had drifted away due to terrible boredom at his words, and sneaked out to clear the brain.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Staying up late into the night is something that I don't regularly do unless there are matters that need urgent tending to. Seeing that it's an almost serene Saturday night and having a bucket load's worth of lists to fulfill, I think I can cut myself some slack and call it a night a little later.

The neighbors are at it again, doing what they know best.


Falling under the weather once in every fortnight is no joke when it ruins your whole day with the sneezing and the nose-blowing. I don't know about you, but it feels like the nose is like a leaky tap, constantly spewing water (or in this case, colorless mucus) around. When that happens, expect to see the packets of pocket tissue papers disappearing from the drawer in no time. If you thought you heard loud sneezing, please forgive the weakened soul. It was of no intention, but I'm now feeling much better after the whiplash and a sleepless night.

And on to the actual topic.

I don't know if I should call today's dream as weird because it was very real; it was like I'm going through it personally at this moment in time. Maybe after penning it down, I'll be able to relieve the soul of its weary.

And I'll cut to the chase.

I dreamed a majority of the business world had been invited to this closed-door event, and I was one of the lucky ones to have secured an entry in. Had to pull lots of strings on that. A couple of friends whom I've not seen in years turned up, too; watching them ignore me in their hot-shot wealth left me fuming. It wasn't like they had bequeathed their wealth from their father and the truth of the matter was that theirs was the typical rags to riches stories, with specks of luck to boot.

Back home, the three housemates - me, the sole female and two college mates of the opposite gender - were crowding around the idiot box, catching up on a mutual TV program. The two of us were on the floor, leaning against the couch; the older housemate and his girlfriend had cuddled up together on the couch above us.

We exchanged cynical looks, almost wanted to hug the toilet bowl and throw up.

A friend complained that she felt that her workplace was possessed, as the building elevators were not working as normally as it should. If the people who waited for their turns were unlucky, the elevators would not stop to ferry them above even if they pressed the "up" or "down" button ahead of time and causing them to be late for work.

She said that counting a day ago, it had happened to her thrice.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chinese: Me Or Her

The Chinese version to Me Or Her, published last Sunday.






Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saturday's Exhausting Time

If sacrificing everything that I had planned for Saturday to be whisked off to attend the bank-organized property talk on Australian & Malaysian properties wasn't mean enough, realizing that what I had been briefed on differed from the event's planned show was the deal breaker. I was there not as an invited guest (mind you, I'm not holding an account with their bank) but as an observer for one of the property projects that was being introduced there.

I'm zonked out.

I still like the name that the developer christened for its wealthiest project.


Skye by Crown.

It sounds so innocent; too bad North Sydney won't be the place for my permanent residence. Not to offend anyone, but I'm not a member of the rich and famous and don't see how I am going to live there without an expanding bank account. While we are on the subject of properties, I excused myself through the crowd that had gathered at Sunway Properties and picked up a couple of brochures.

That's me; I don't like to be approached by the sales people and will only approach them on my own free choice if and when I'm interested in their product(s).

My heart sank when I saw that the purchase price for my favorite project (LaCosta Condominium); if it neared RM 1 million, the property would've doubled - or tripled - in value by the time I have saved enough dough for a modest pad.


I was so uncomfortable with the freezing hotel ballroom that I kept skidding out of the ballroom to reintroduce the warm air into my system to ward off the cold air. Until now, I still don't understand why I couldn't withstand the cold. It's not like I was in a formal gown or in a sleeveless shirt with a mini skirt.

It was towards the introduction of the third speaker that I bolted for a long period of time in search for warmer territories and a couch. I wanted to listen to him introducing Western Australia as there are quite a few of known associates who're studying there or have migrated there, and wanted to know why, but I just couldn't stay back.

My paws were on fire, and I had to climb two flights of steps before I spied an empty couch and sprawled on the seat. Who in the world would be able to stand for half a day without relaxing their paws? Certainly, it won't be me.  

I don't see how the showgirls are able to stand for the whole day in their sexy uniform and sky-high stilettos and being able to handle the cold air-conditioner.

When I returned with the warmer air in my system and a fresher mind, one of the guys (whom I was with) wanted to offer me his jacket to keep warm. I wasn't sure if he was pulling my leg or serious about it, so I replied, heh, thanks, I'm rather comfortable skidding in and out. While the crowd was being tamed with the lunch (that was served late), we struck a conversation in exhausted boredom.

It was past 3.30pm when the event came to a final close, with the hotel employees in full force for the next event and the events manager shooing all the remaining people out. I don't blame him. Who asked the organizer of this talk to start 90 minutes (1 1/2 hours) later than the scheduled time of 9.30am and ending late?

Why must humans practice tardiness and not punctuality?!

Even though the exhaustion had crept into my core and weakened me, I still waited for my acquaintance to be done with what it was that he was doing before we were able to bolt away. The long traffic congestion at Renaissance was a pain in the neck, almost caused me to yell at the cars in front to "move and get lost!" And I'd have, if it weren't for him at the wheel.

We agreed that we should say hello to Sprint Highway and bypass the intense congestion.

It was an eerily silent drive back; he was glued to the confusing roads of KL City with the fear of losing his way out and I was deep in thought, liking to think that I have learned valuable lessons in Sales & Marketing and wondering if it's relevant to mine. It was late evening (past dinner time) when I returned home with an exhausted soul, called in a night earlier than usual but ended up knocking out for 11 straight hours before the tune of "Afterlife" woke me up for the Sunday Mass, still exhausted but no longer weakened.

Thinking back, I could barely understand what the speaker had talked about... the right way of maximizing one's loans and investments and something to do with remortgaging a current property at the current market value to fund the purchase of another property.... blah, like my current financial state will allow me to be a small-scale investor now.

And soon, I'll have to undergo the exhausting journey down south!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

English: Me or Her

In your eyes, I saw that you liked someone else
Although we are close friends, I had a crush on you
You did not know, I do not want you to know either
Because I don't want to be the mistress

I really hope you and her will have a wonderful relationship
I really hope you and her will be able to marry
I really hope you and her will have cute children

Even others say that we are one
When I say, no, we are just friends
They are surprised
Who asked us to be close?
People are already misunderstanding us

I know that if the friendship is still on,
It would not be fair to me, to her
Her heart will not be at peace
I do not want her to think that we loved before

I am willing to sacrifice our friendship
Because I know you two will eventually fight over me
You two are innocent
If you want to blame, blame me
I should not have had a crush on you that time
Should not be so close that time

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A First-Time Voter's Experience

After sacrificing my sleep to stare at the ever-changing amount of votes for each parliamentary seats and taking three days to mull over the results of the recently concluded Malaysian 13th General Election, I'm back in full force at blogging.

I'm surprised and not surprised that the results ended up this way, as there were changes and twists to the game. To save you from verbal boredom and me from racial spurs, I'm not going to talk much about post-politics, not even who I voted for.

You know how behind religion and race that politics can infuriate emotions.

But I can still relate about my experiences as a first-time voter, right? =D

Since the 5th of May was an important event in all our lives and fearing that I'd forget all the necessary documents, I slipped it in into my tote bag on the night before and headed straight for bed. I don't usually wake up before dawn unless I have to, which is what I did.

Sure, my eyes felt swollen.

After breakfast, I took some time in choosing my attire as I didn't want to be in a color that would reveal the candidate of my choice. Just to be on the safe side; I didn't want to be landed with verbal threats and physical blows.

There was already a group of restless and sleepy voters waiting in a queue when I arrived at the polling centre at 7.45am, and here I thought I was early enough. Once the gate was opened at 8am, the people started to move. We were lucky in the sense that those (including me) who had their printed sheet from SPR were able to shorten their waiting time and move on to another queue.

The reason why I said "lucky" because I've heard that not all polling centers were like that; some even demanded for the physical copy. You mean, like the one they mailed it all the way to my house? That one?

After waiting for what seemed like eternity, only 10 people of each channel were allowed to join the ever-growing queue at the separate polling rooms. And while waiting for our turns, I struck a conversation in boredom with two first-time voters who queued in front and behind of me.

The sun was shining at our faces, too.

Lady in front: "What's up with queue?"
Me: "Only one person is allowed in at a time."
Lady in front: "No wonder."

Lady at back: "It's so hot. I'm sweating."
Me: "Me too. *offers some tissue paper* If our weather isn't so humid, it'd be fine."

And at that time, my T-shirt was plastered to my skin, with the sweat trickling from my neck all the way down to my jeans.

The mother of the lady behind me suddenly approached, wondered what took her daughter so long to vote. Seeing that she had already fulfilled her moral duty and was a seasoned voter, I came clean with her that I was a first-time voter and asked her the procedure is and somehow, the topic branched off to other stuffs like how slow the volunteers were compared to the ones in the adults' room and the shorter waiting time for them.

And how the cubicles shouldn't be so near to the walkway. Someone would have spied on our choice of candidate and untoward things might happen. I don't know, like screwing with our votes and replacing it with a self-marked one or maybe informing their "boss" before landing us with blows for choosing a particular candidate, and not the other?

After some much-needed interference by the SPR lady, the queue became faster and we didn't wait that long for our turns. The volunteer suddenly waved me in, and proceeded to compare my full name, identity card number and voting serial number against her copy and read it aloud for the polling agents to cross it off their lists before she printed my left finger with the now-infamous indelible ink. I thought I heard the volunteer whispering my name, making sure that she had the pronunciations right. >.<

It totally reminded me of one nasty elementary school classmate who made fun of my name.

With a wrapped tissue around the marked finger (trust me, the way I did it made it looked it was injured rather than printed), casting my vote at the provided cubicle was simple and took less than 5 minutes as I knew who I wanted to vote - state and Parliamentary.

(It was 50% gone after I scrubbed it with Scotch Brite and soap. As long as there are no fingerprints on anything that I touch, I would leave it as it is. As of today, it's barely visible.)

Teochew Mama was dumber. Sorry, Mom, but you shouldn't have left the ballot paper exposed. A total stranger offered his help and folded it for her before he dropped it into the ballot boxes for her, with her eyes glued on his hands. Very much like a first-time voter, huh?

Sorry for being terribly wordy today, and for not taking more pictures. I was more interested in making sure that I don't declare my vote null and void by some accident than photography.

God Willing, I might remember to take more pictures in 14th GE.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


"Breathe, Ciana, breathe! Focus, and you will overcome the obstacles."

That's the mantra that I have been telling myself and unfortunately, it seems that it's easier said than done.

After receiving word that my application has been rejected, my now-irreparable and permanent mistakes have returned to haunt my sleeping hours and bite me in the form of a missing document. All the "what-ifs" and the "could-a, would-a, should-a" thoughts have arrived too, facing me with two options: either I settle it through the alternative pathway abroad and burn more money (it's possible; why must the MYR be weaker, though?!) or go through the same method here but saving my parents some hard-earned dough.

I've discussed about it with Teochew Mama (
潮州妈妈, formerly known as Mama Carrie) and Papa Carrie and they've given their penny's worth of comments and thoughts, but it seems that the ultimate choice is mine.  One way or other, I'm sure I'll have to waste another year, which, truth be told, I personally don't mind. It's just the financial side that needs the sorting out; because I never considered the possibility of the application being rejected, I didn't reserve a certain amount of dough aside for situations like this.


No, not blaming anyone, as I know I must've been one hell of an immature and carefree brat back then.

I'm however glad that I didn't ask my acquaintance to purchase the flight tickets in advance. It'd be disastrous if I had. You know how flight tickets are; if you don't read the T&C before booking, you might just lose the amount of money you paid for plus a no-show fee (- in USD!). 

I'll see how it spirals out.

Maybe I'll find some concrete answers then.

P.S. Oh, wow, I didn't know that some blog comments have been transferred to "Spam", and now I can't find it after clicking the "Not Spam" button.

Sigh. If you're one of them, please know that it was by accident that I didn't reply to your comments.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

First Attempt at Steamed Buns

The ingredients are pretty much the same as the oven-baked one.

Today's filling would be coconut.

Even though my first attempt has succeeded, I'm not going to take pride in it just yet. There is certainly some room for improvement, like how to stop the dough from sticking to the plate and whether I can tweak the flavor too.

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