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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’


I love being home. The best thing is that it hasn’t been ALL.THAT.HOT. Perhaps it’s due to the monsoon season. The days are balmy, and it tends to rain in the evenings. I love it. The family and I spent Christmas back in Batu Pahat at my uncle’s home. Everytime I see an uncle from my dad’s side, I get a little “jolted” by the similarities between them and my late papa. This time around I saw my eldest uncle, and he looked frail, and my thoughts immediately veered to my father. It’s not like it is a bad thing, I get a little glimpse of papa here and there.

 

Of course, being in Malaysia means EATING. Funnily enough, either my tastebuds have changed, or I’ve just been to all the wrong places. Food doesn’t seem as good. With the exception of  THE Best Soto In The World in Batu Pahat, no other food came close. I swear I must have mumbled OMG Sedap, or OMG damn nice or something else along those lines while I was slurping the soto.

 

I’ll let the pictures do the talking 😉

 

 

Indian Rojak at Kedai Makanan Om, Taman Emas, Batu Pahat. YUMS.

 

 

 

 

Indian mee goreng at Kedai Makanan Om, Taman Emas, Batu Pahat. I used to eat at this then stall (now shop) when it was at Gunung Soga, and it tastes about the same as it used to, except, back then you could find pieces of sotong (squid) in it! Of course, with rising prices these days, I’d be lucky to find any seafood in there.

 

 

 

THE BEST soto in the whole wide world. If you tell me that there’s another place that sells better soto than this, then I say you’re wrong. Soto doesn’t get any better than this. The broth is thick and oh-so-flavourful, and the chunks of beef are tender and just about melts in your mouth. This place also sells lontong and laksa Johor, but since it was only me and my sister eating that day, we couldn’t order lots to share. You can also find other drool worthy Johorean delicacies at this stall called Warung Mat Marican that is just by the roundabout. This stall has earned the moniker BP Hilton due to it’s sometimes higher-than-average prices 😀 But I don’t mind paying a little more, because I’ve never found another place that sells soto, laksa, lontong or tauhu sumbat this drool worthy!

 

 

 

Chili pan mee from Super Kitchen, Kota Damansara. Quite good.

 

 

 

My brother-in-law’s favourite butter & kaya toast from a nondescript kopitiam in Ayer Hitam, Johor.

 

 

 

The shop was almost closed when we got there, but they still served us. Ah, I wonder if these old-style kopitiams will remain for years to come, or will they all turn into those fashionably modern airconditioned, franchised “kopitiams” that try to replicate kopitiams of yore and are a dime a dozen, springing up like mushrooms all over town?

 

 

 

Ayer (Air) Hitam in Johor, haven for house deco items and wedding related paraphernalia.

 

 

For some strange reason, one can also get soft toys in Ayer Hitam for really cheap!

 

 

That would be me pottering about in a nursery. Ahh, I wish I had a landed property with a nice big garden.

 

 

You see that spiky palm tree in the pot? That’s a cycas plant. Papa used to be crazy over this plant. We had loads of them back home in our family house in Batu Pahat. It fetches quite a high price and is supposedly a good-luck plant.

 

 

I was admiring a heliconia plant. I happen to know quite a number of plant names simply because my dad was in this line when he was still alive. In fact, he used to drill the names of plants into us when we were little, and sometimes, we would rattle them off “Hey pa look! Lots of dracaena/lantana/petunias growing here” *smug face*

 

 

 

The family picking out pots and mama getting all wide eyed and excited at the variety of plants. She has such green fingers, just like my dad. Our apartment balcony is filled with plants, and they are all thriving. I even have kaffir lime and cili padi growing healthily!

 

 

 

I absolutely LOVE this plant, water hyacinth or Bunga Kiambang. Aren’t they the prettiest things you have seen?

 

 

 

 

Ok, I don’t know what this flower is called, but it’s so pretty, and has that retro feel about it.

 

And of course, our national flower, the hibiscus.

 

 

So, as you can see, I’m having a pretty good time back home. There truly is no place like home 🙂

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After our hearty lunch in Vernazza, we continued our trek to village #3, Corniglia. It started to drizzle a little, but it wasn’t too bad. This time around, the trail was relatively easier. There were still some majorly steep steps to conquer, but they were not half as difficult as the trek from Monterosso.

 

There were some really nice pine trees that reminded me of the Salem Cool Planet ads that were on Malaysian TV when I was a kid. Speaking of pines, does anyone have any idea why pine nuts are SO expensive? I wanted to buy some at the hypermarket to make pesto, but I was taken aback to see that a small pack costs EUR 5! Perhaps its because pine trees are not common in this part of Italy? I dunno.

 

Pine tree

Pine tree

 

 

Vernazza

Vernazza

 

 

Bee on a flower

Bee on a flower

 

The sun was setting by then, and we had to quicken our pace. Along the way, I managed to capture a few shots of the beautiful sunset.

 

Sunset at Cinque Terre

Sunset at Cinque Terre

 

As we traipsed along, I came across this clearing that looked like it came out of a storybook.

 

I wonder what is beyond the light?

I wonder what is beyond the light?

 

There were also many olive trees that were being cultivated by the people there.

 

Olive Tree

Olive Trees

 

Which of course means, lots of olives!

 

Olives! Yum!

Olives! Yum!

 

Walk, walk, walk, and finally we reach Corniglia!

 

Corniglia view & Corniglia Train Station

Corniglia view & Corniglia Train Station

 

Of course I squealed when I saw these:

 

Orange trees!!!!!!!!

Orange trees!!!!!!!!

 

And also these:

 

Soooo pretty!

Soooo pretty!

 

Corniglia seemed like a smaller town to me. Orange and lemon trees were aplenty. I took like a gazillion pictures of them 😛

 

The clear blue waters of Corniglia

The clear blue waters of Corniglia

 

The sun was rapidly setting, and we made our way to village #4 Manarola. This trek was really easy. Literally a walk in the park. The ground was flat, and there was pavement occasionally. From Corniglia, we reached Manarola in about 15 minutes or so.

 

View from Manarola

View from Manarola

 

 

The village of Manarola

The village of Manarola

 

It would be so so so romantic to have a room in one of the houses above facing the Mediterranean Sea wouldn’t it? 😉

 

And we continued on to the final village, Riomaggiore. Along the way, we passed Via dell’Amore ( Lovers Lane ).

 

Entrance to Via dell'Amore

Entrance to Via dell'Amore

 

As you can see, it was almost dark. We reached the final town of Riomaggiore, and although the scenery was pretty too, my camera couldn’t capture much.

 

Sunset at Riomaggiore

Sunset at Riomaggiore

 

I was glad to have been able to complete all 12 km of Cinque Terre. It really is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

 

The HB has a tough task ahead now; to bring me to a place that is prettier than Cinque Terre! 😉

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It is what I would like to believe anyway. Things have been going really well for me lately. After all the unbelievable trauma I had to go through, things really are looking up for me. I found (and married!) the love of my life. I cannot begin to describe how utterly happy I am with him. I moved to a beautiful country, I am actually enjoying learning Italian, and latest, I was offered a job.

 

 

It is when things are going so unbelievably well, that sometimes, you tend to worry that only something bad can happen next. Coz come on, He isn’t all THAT generous is He? He has got to spread some “goodness” to others too doesn’t He?

 

 

Today, I got a call from my dad. I called him back coz it’s cheaper that way. And I spoke to mum. She said that dad isn’t eating well. Just two to three spoons, and thats it. His cough is not getting better either. Sigh. The Big C takes its toll on dad, mum, everyone. 😦 

 

 

It is also no secret that I miss Boo, my dog. Every corner I turn, I see (ugly!) dogs here. I can’t help but miss the little fella. I know that I have been ranting about Boo quite a bit, and you may wonder what the fuss is all about. Well, here’s the thing, he isn’t any ORDINARY dog. He’s molto, molto ADORABLE!

 

 So, all you folks out there, presenttttting (*drumroll*) BOO!!!!

 

WATCHA LOOKING AT!!!

WATCHA LOOKING AT!!!

 

 

Oh, bother! Go away!!

Oh, bother! Go away!!

 

 

Did I just hear someone say "walk"???

Did I just hear someone say "walk"???

 

Here I am, thousands of miles away from home, wondering whether things will be ok.

 

I hope they will.

 

 

 

 

(Note: Pics of flowers, scenery were taken in Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia, in June 2008. Pics of Boo courtesy of the lazy sis who should send me more pics)

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Sweltering? You have got to be kidding! It’s coldddddd here in Sweden! Haha, before I can even write about my little adventure in Modena, here I am in Sweden! I am currently in a town called Falsterbo coz the HB has to attend a training here, and he bought me a plane ticket here as birthday pressie. Am I lucky or am I lucky? 😀 Here’s a little info on Falsterbo:

“Falsterbo is located at the very south-western tip of Sweden. It is part of Skanör-Falsterbo and one of Sweden’s historical cities. Falsterbo is mostly known as a holiday destination where people come to spend their summer vacations.

Falsterbo is also known for one of the best links in Europe – Falsterbo Golf Club.

Birdwatchers usually find the Falsterbo peninsula to be very interesting as birds tend to rest there before or after the journey over the water from Germany, Poland or Denmark.

Another attraction in Falsterbo is the annual International Horse Jumping Grand Prix (Part of the Falsterbo Horse Show) every July.

The beaches of Falsterbo is widely known for its very white sand and family friendly bathing opportunities.”

Source: Wikipedia

So, HB and I arrived at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark on Monday evening. Copenhagen is connected to Sweden via the Oresund bridge. Thus, it’s actually easier to get to Falsterbo and the nearest town Malmo via Copenhagen.

The first thing that struck me when we walked through Copenhagen Airport was the architecture and design of the place as well as the furniture. Clean, neat lines seemed to be the preference of the Scandinavians.

The second thing that struck me was the scent of HOTDOGS wafting through the air. Oh man, as I had left Modena with only two croissants in my tummy since early in the morning, my tummy was really rumbling when I got a whiff of the delicious smell. And the worse part was that the hotdog stand/stall was right in front of the luggage collection conveyor belt! Smart eh these people! Tempting poor hungry souls like me! 😛 We didn’t get any in the end, coz we had to rush off as soon as the luggage arrived.

After collecting our luggage, HB and I hopped into the taxi that was waiting for us. I took in the sights and scenery like a sponge. So much so that HB got worried coz I was too quiet! 😛 Both Denmark and Sweden are really clean. The water in the ocean looked really cold, and they also had these windmill looking thingys which I found out later to be wind farms! Cool eh? Farming…err…wind. That said, I think its a smart idea to harvest power from a clean source.

Energy Windmills, picture from thenachtigals.blogspot.com

Energy Windmills, picture from thenachtigals.blogspot.com

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