Scenes from the Lunar New Year Celebrations

In a snap, Chinese New Year celebrations have come and gone. This year, my family kept it so low-key at the house, I could have blinked and missed it all.

The craving for some noisy festivities sent me in search of places around town with a more festive vibe, which is how I found Thean Hou Temple on Robson Hill. It’s a Taoist temple that’s only about 30 years old and built by my Hainanese clan folk, and has become one of the most photographed Chinese temples in the country.

Plus, working in the media means getting invitations to Lunar New Year parties hosted by companies looking to keep good ties with the press so I got to “lo hei” yee sang (a Malaysian/Singaporean salad served in restaurants during the New Year) in a large and merry group. Continue reading

Here’s to Many More Posts

Confetti Hands

I’m ten days late in commemorating the first anniversary of this blog, or dare I say it — blogiversary. Happy one-year to you,!

It was started to document my move from the USA back to Asia, and while I haven’t updated it as regularly as I’d like, I can’t say my efforts in creating and building it haven’t paid off in small ways.

On a personal level, it’s helped get those writing skills exercised and my thoughts organized. There’s a greater level of awareness of your surroundings when you have to give an accurate written description of a thing or place in ways that keeps a reader’s attention long enough. I’ve always enjoyed observing, listening and taking photographs, but being able to write a description well enough that helps a reader conjure up an image in the mind’s eye is a challenge worth taking on.

And since I moved back to my homeland after 11 years of being away, it’s almost like moving to a new place entirely, and having this blog is a form of motivation to get me out of the house and exploring the new landscape. Of course, living in the Klang Valley, under your parents’  roof — and hence, under their watchful eyes and still-think-you’re-15 mindset — has its own kind of challenges when it comes to getting around, but I’ve enjoyed the urban exploration that I’ve been able to do. Continue reading

How Not to Handle a Train Malfunction

On Tuesday, all I was hoping to do was get home and spend a nice evening not thinking or talking or listening to anyone; just a nice, quiet evening to myself away from anything and everything. Alas, it was not meant to be, thanks to the LRT breaking down, and the incompetence of RapidKL in handling the crisis. Thanks so much for this. And on my birthday too. Happy effing birthday to me.

If ranting on social media is anything to go by, Malaysians are truly a tolerant bunch. This wasn’t a short delay — it was three hoursThere we (commuters) were, sardine-packed into these tiny four-carriage trains and — in this tropical heat — forced to smell each other’s stink from the day, when announcements started going off about “technical difficulties” at Pasar Seni. Stops at every station were at least five minutes or longer, and when my train finally arrived at Pasar Seni, we were ordered off the for no reason other than it was “out of service,” and each train that passed after that was more jam-packed than usual. I couldn’t get back on for an exasperating 45 minutes, during which I grew progressively angrier in my Tweets to RapidKL. Okay, so I only tweeted them four times, but as you can guess, I made no bones about their incompetence.

Clearly I wasn’t the only one affected-many had an axe to grind, for the ordeal they were put through: Continue reading