Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fishing Villages

I visited a few fishing villages in Southern Perak state recently. Here are some photos taken there.

Big boats...

Small boats...

The nets…

A house in the fishing village…

A kid and his father…

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Battle of the Disneylands

In one of my old post dated January 18, 2009, I mentioned that Shanghai Disneyland, scheduled to open in 2013, could spell the doom of its counterpart in Hong Kong. The battle of the two theme parks highlights the infighting character so common among Chinese.

Then, on March 17, BusinessWeek Online also publish an article with the title Hong Kong Disneyland’s Future Is in Danger. According to this article, the Shanghai park could be as large as 800 hectares. By comparison, Hong Kong Disneyland is just 126 hectares, though it can still expand.

Shanghai Disneyland could kill Hong Kong Disneyland, but is the success of the former guaranteed? Some readers of the BusinessWeek article have already expressed their doubt. A reader who went by the nickname PaPaPeng, for example, wrote:

I have visited both Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney World in Orlando. Both are showing their age in attractions and in rides. As Chinese I don't see this Americana transplant taking root and thriving in China. Chinese are suckers for modern technology and thrills but not for the overhyped stuff dressed in Mickey Mouse suits.

Another reader, Chenleilili, wrote:

I am Shanghai citizen. I do not agree that Shanghai government would make concession for the building of Diseney park in Shanghai as done by HK government. In the past, almost all of the theme park imported from abroad failed to survive in Shanghai.

There is a possibility that Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Walt Disney all turn out to be losers in the Battle of the Disneylands / Battle of the Chinese.

Related posts:
Shanghai Disneyland - Bad News for Hong Kong?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Memory Lane and Paddy Fields of Bali

Recently, I “re-publish” an old post of mine which shows the photos of Balinese volcanoes. Quite a few readers left comments on the post, saying that they too had been there. Well, I gather that Bali is a popular destination among Malaysian holidaymakers.

Somehow, I doubt many of you have been to this place, which I call the “Memory Lane”…

The Memory Lane is actually part of the Paddy Field Walk of Ubud, in Central Bali. If you follow package tour, you are unlikely to come here.

I have never bothered to visit the paddy fields in my own country. Ironically, it was in Bali that, for the first time in my life, I appreciated the beauty of a paddy field.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Calling Twitter Users

I still don’t get it. I can’t see the relevance of Twitter. If you are a Twitter user, please tell me what you think about it.

Twitter is often referred to as a ‘micro-blogging’ social networking site. Most people use it to tell their friends, or followers, what they are doing. For example, on one day blogger Lisa twittered, “I just got myself a 72-eyeshadow palette!! Yippie!!” On another occasion she complained that she was “very, very tired.”

You are probably aware that you can actually do the same thing with MSN, Yahoo! Messenger or Facebook. There are some differences, of course. With Twitter, you can read the past updates of a person. On Facebook, if you update your status, your past status is gone.

Another salient feature of Twitter is that communication is one way. You can, for example, “follow” Paris Hilton, but she is unlikely to follow you. (Unless, of course, you too are a celebrity.)

When Oscar Academy Awards were being delivered in Hollywood, BBC had life updates on both its own page and on Twitter. However, the story on its own page was more complete, coupled with photos. In the end, I just ignored the Twitter update.

I do see some uses of this micro-blogging service, but they are of little importance to me. So why Twitter? Please enlighten me. In particular, as an MBA student, I would like to know if Twitter can be a business tool.

Thursday, March 19, 2009










回到馬來西亞數理科問題,到底應該以英語還是母語教學,最好就是和陶傑所主張的那樣,由市場決定。如果家長支持英文教數理,那就延續現有的課程,反之就改回用馬來文、華文或淡米爾文。每一所學校各自做決定,不需要有統一政策,政府則扮演 facilitator 的角色。另外,政府也應當考慮讓以前的英校『復活』,如此一來,父母可有多一個選擇。實際上,大馬不少華人和印度人,在家中講英語為主。嚴格來說,英語才是他們的母語。



Monday, March 16, 2009

Old Photos

[This post was first published on Aug 22, 2007. I re-publish it at the request of our brilliant young blogger, Kyh.]

Photos of volcanoes in Bali, taken way back in 2005...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You’ve Got Mail

Do you have e-mail fatigue? I do.

Everyday, in the office, I am bombarded with loads of e-mail, so much so that I don’t bother to read each and every of them in details. Quite often I only read the first paragraph.

Feeding the e-mail overload is a practice to “acknowledge e-mail”. Consider this case:

The boss sends an e-mail to April, May, June, Julius and Augustus, telling them that he would be off the following day. All the recipients click “Reply All”, enter “Noted”, and click the Send button.

So, there are six e-mails flying around.

My personal e-mail account is also flooded with messages, many of them come from Buddhist groups. Another case:

Buddhist Group A sends an e-mail to the secretary of Buddhist Group B. The mail is about the upcoming talks by a renowned monk. The secretary is so “compassionate” that she helps to forward it. I am in the mailing list of both groups, so I get two copies of the same e-mail.

I have asked these Buddhist groups to set up their web pages and update their activities from there. Somehow, the people responsible are still more comfortable with e-mail…

Thursday, March 12, 2009




中国古典小说都有一个通病,就是人物太多,看得我不清楚谁是谁。水浒传里的一百零八条好汉,我现在记得的,用手指都算得出来。不过,西游记却是例外。西游记的主要人物,只有唐僧师徒四人,再加上如来佛和观世音菩萨,其他妖魔鬼怪,只在其中一两回登场,所以故事比较容易 follow

中学时我是 science-minded 的,更喜欢看科幻小说和福尔摩斯。(不过我当时英文太差,只能看中文译本。)




Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Photoshoot - Feb 2009

She is lovely. She is friendly. She is also punctual, and never makes me wait

Sadly, she wears rings

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Westerners and Chinese Food

When I worked in California several years ago, I frequented a few Chinese American restaurants. I noticed that Westerners who ate in the restaurants, more likely than not, ordered soda (soft drinks). I usually asked for tea.

Chinese food is oily, and tea is the antidote for oil. That’s why I preferred tea over soda. Tea made me feel better after I ate that dish of beef and broccoli or sweet-and-sour chicken. Westerners, while they liked Chinese food, somehow failed to see the “big picture”.

Further, Westerners usually insist on eating Chinese food with chopsticks. In Malaysia, I have seen Westerners struggling with chopsticks in Chinese restaurants, while Chinese Malaysians who sit next to them use spoons and forks.

But here is another problem. In this country, rice is often served in plates, not bowls. It is awkward to pick up rice from a plate using chopsticks. (The one exception is sticky rice.) A better way to eat is: rice comes in bowls. We hold the bowls near our mouths, and gently push the rice into our throats using the chopsticks.

Westerners try to show respect to Eastern culture, and I compliment them for doing so. Nonetheless, they don’t get it quite right.

P/S This blogger encourages Chinese Malaysians to use chopsticks.

Related post:
Chinese American Food

Friday, March 06, 2009

Test Call

The other day, I was chatting online with Kikey, the Malaysian blogger in London. It was 2.45 pm, or 6.45 am UK time. She told me that she was woken up by a call from Malaysia, but the caller apparently dialed a wrong number. “How could that be? UK numbers are so different?” she asked.

I was hardly surprised. I have been working in telecommunication industry for many years. We regularly make test calls to all over the world to check line quality.

Imagine this hypothetical case:

A relative of Kikey called her a day earlier. She was not happy as the line was too noisy, so she filed a complaint to Maxis, the mobile phone operator. The customer service officer of Maxis raised a “trouble ticket” (TT), and passed it to the engineer on duty. Further, there was a rule in Maxis which stated that all TT pertaining to customer complaints must be answered within 4 hours.

Kikey’s relative filed the complaint at 11 am. The engineer on duty did some troubleshooting. At 2 pm, or 6 am UK time, he reluctantly made a call to Kikey, and said, “Hello, may I speak to Katherine please? … Oops! Sorry, wrong number!” He hung up the phone, and breathed a sigh of relief, “After the troubleshooting, the line appears clear…”

So, if you receive a call from an unknown Philippines number, chances are it is another test call. Don’t yell at the caller for disturbing you, as he is merely doing his job, very reluctantly.

P/S Can any lenglui (pretty gals) please give me you mobile phone number? I want to make test calls to you

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gary Locke

华裔美国人朱棣文 Steven Chu 被委任為美国能源部长,全球华人都觉得沾上一份光荣。現在,另一位华人骆家辉 Gary Locke 也被点名为新任贸易部长,双喜临门。这是自北京奥运会之后,最令炎黄子孙振奋的新闻。但这位前华盛顿州州长有一段『黑暗史』,却是许多人所不知。





Monday, March 02, 2009

A Meme: How Do You Sleep At Night?

I rarely do meme. I am usually impatient of them. However, I have been tagged by Peter, my Dharma friend, lately. It’s a sleep meme. Since I have always wanted to write about this topic, I thought, “Why not?”

And here you go…

==== start of meme ====

(1) How do you sleep at night?

Is your sleep affected by the national angst? Do you drop off easily, as you always did? Or does it take a while to get to sleep?

Note: I suppose “the national angst” refers to the current economic situation.

Sleeping has always been a problem to me. I don’t fall asleep easily, and slightest sound could wake me up. Furthermore, I sleep with all the lights off. It is said that people with migraine are scared of light. Perhaps that explains why I like to “live in the dark”,

These days, I work full time and study MBA part time. Due to my busy lifestyle, I need to have good sleep, quality sleep…

(2) What strategies, if needed, do you use to get to sleep?

Pills? Sheep? Late night television show? And/or…?

Physical exercise, reiki, meditation… I avoid using computer at least 30 minutes before I go to bed. I also have a habit of drinking milk at night, but am not exactly sure if it helps.

Contrary to what Peter experiences, I find meditation effective in getting me a good sleep. Mentioning meditation, most people think of holy man sitting in cross-legged. I am no holy man, and I usually meditate in standing posture before going to bed. Standing meditation is more tiring. If I am tired, I will drop off more easily.

Despite all that are done, occasionally I still can’t fall asleep.

(3) Do you wake up in the middle of the night, plagued by obsessive thoughts?

I wake up for other reasons, but obsessive thoughts do prevent me from getting back to sleep.

(4) What strategies do you have to get back to sleep?

I am not going to gym in the middle of the night. Reiki is what I usually do. If I sense that I have ‘restless legs’, I know the problem is going to be serious. I would wake up and do some light reading. Not reading MBA lecture notes, though!

(5) Are your dreams affected?

Are they more anxious than before? Do they wake you up in a sweat? Or are they peaceful, innocent, undisturbed by the general malaise?

I guess my dreams are not yet affected by the general malaise, but then the worse of the economy is yet to come. The ‘L’ word is certainly something I dread very, very much.

==== end of meme ====

The rules of the meme are:

  • Answer the questions
  • Link back to the original meme
  • Tag others to participate

Now, I would like to tag the following bloggers:



Katherine 宝茹

Shingo T

Anyone interested

Okay, okay, this is absolutely voluntary.


Peter’s original meme