Friday, February 27, 2009

Amazing Cityscape Artworks

Most of us played with building blocks to create our own make believe buildings and cities. Fortunately, not all of us outgrew this habit. Here are some cityscape artworks made from unusual objects.

Unreal Scene of Shanghai by Liu Jianhua

Chinese artist Liu Jianhua created this cityscape of Shanghai out of poker chips and dice. You can fill in the part about the metaphor of a city's growth and economic development all by yourself.

The City of San Francisco by Liz Hickok

San Francisco may be prone to earthquakes, but things never seem so jiggly as when artist Liz Hickok made a cityscape of Baghdad-by-the-Bay out of ... Jell-O!

On Gold Mountain: Sculptures from the Sierra by Zhang Wang

What is it about San Francisco that inspired so many artists? Here's one by Zhang Wang, who used stainless steel pots and pans, as well as silverware to create his cityscape.

Egg City

I don't know much about the background of this Egg City, but it's doubly eggscellent because it's also the image of a RMB 50 bill!

Eating the City by Sang Dong

In his installation titled "Eating the City", Chinese artist Sang Dong used about 72,000 biscuits, including "digestives, chocolate digestives, rich tea, hobnobs, caramels and fruit shortcake".

The Lost City of Atlantis by Gayle Chong Kuan

Artist Gayle Chong Kwan used hundreds of old plastic bottles and food packagings to create a cityscape of the lost city of Atlantis.

Colour Reading and Contexture by Jacob Dahlgren

At first I thought Jacob Dahlgren used books to create this virtual cityscape installation called "Colour Reading and Contexture", but those are actually colored tiles and wooden blocks. Still it's pretty cool!

Uncharted Terrain by Grace Grothous

For her exhibition titled "Uncharted Terrain", Grace Grothous made an imaginary topographic landscale out of discarded circuit boards. The little buildings are the circuitries that are part of the boards!

Jerusalem Sphere by Frank Meisler

Inspired by ancient maps showing Jerusalem as a circular city, Frank Meisler created this sculpture of the city in the form of a sphere. It is a replica of the Jerusalem Fountain, commissioned by the King Solomon Hotel.

"Junk City" by Enoki Chu

Japanese artist Enoki Chu created his futuristic cityscape out of polished old drill bits and machine parts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fight Against Leukaemia

Last year, two person whom I knew were diagnosed with Leukaemia. One of whom was the mother of my primary school ex-classmate, VC. Her mother was diagnosed with Leukaemia in March 2008 and subsequently died in June 2008. I only came to know about VC's mother death when another ex-classmate of mine informed me of the news.

Being in lost contact, you can imagine my awkwardness of breaking the silence after so many years with this kind of news as opening para. I gave VC a call after her mother's funeral. I want to let her calm down a bit before I can talk to her. I want to let her know that no matter how many miles or years separate us, I do think of her as one of my dearest friend.

She seemed to be calm. We chat a lot over the phone, from my life to her life. At first, I do worry that it will sound as if I am basking in a peaceful life while she goes through hell. However, it turns out that she seems to be glad to know about what is going well for me.

Yet, there are times that things are not going well for me. I didn't lie to her, but i did try to focus on the positive. I just thought that any glimpse of "normal" is good. At the end, I am glad that I did made the call and had keep in touch with her since then.

Another friend of mine, KV, was also diagnosed with Leukaemia. KV and I have never been classmate. We were in the same form but different class all the while. But he is a nice gentleman in which everyone can easily relate to. It was sad to know that Leukaemia has befallen on such a kind person.

I came to know about KV's news through my secondary school ex-classmate. She informed me of KV's blog and relates a brief account of his present situation then. KV undergone a series of chemotherapy treatment which lasted for one year and only finished the whole treatment last week.

Life was never easy, especially if you were ill. Throughout the whole chemotherapy treatment, KV displayed courage and dare devil-esque qualities. The boy who did this surely grew into a man who will do everything in his power to get well.

KV has showed us what he can bring to the fight for his life. The writings below are specially dedicated to KV, may it bring hope, comfort and inspiration to his road to recovery...

" Until you are well
Be patient and wait,
For patience is truly
A wonderful trait...
For most of the battles
Of life are won
By looking beyond
The clouds to the sun,
And having the patience
To wait for the day
When the sun comes out
And the clouds float away! "

Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Clan Restaurant @ Sri Petaling

I had Dim Sum for breakfast last Sunday. Went to Clan Restaurant in Sri Petaling.

The restaurant’s signature dish is a creation of its own… the Gai Wo Bao (鸡窝包 - literally translated as "Chicken Nest Bun") which is basically a combination of two popular Dim Sum dishes i.e. the Loh Mai Gai (chicken glutinous rice) and Gai Pao (chicken bun). It was priced at RM4.80 per plate.

The Chicken Nest Bun was already sliced into six pieces when served for easy consumption. The outer layer is soft and fluffy and goes very well with the filling. The filing contained chicken cooked in a starchy gravy of onions and mushrooms. And a salted egg yolk thrown in for good measure.

However, their Dim Sum was not that nice though... some of them even taste a bit weird. But i guess the fact that they have one very popular dish is enough to draw the crowd. Judging from their business, a lot of people seems to enjoy the Chicken Nest Bun more than anything else.

People still go to Clan Restaurant even though one can find the Chicken Nest Bun elsewhere. Well... originality still matters obviously.

Add: No. 140, Jalan Radin Anum, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening Hours: 8pm - 2pm.

[Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here are based on personal view and preference and may vary from others.]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Galesnjak - The Heart-Shaped Island

The 130,000 square yard islet of Galesnjak came to prominence for its unusual shape. Even the owner of the uninhabited island - now known as Lovers' Island - didn't realise how perfectly heart-shaped the island off the Croatian coast was until he was swamped with requests from couples to stay there.

It seems many lovers from around the world consider it the ideal spot for a romantic Valentine's Day break.

The island is located in Zadarski Kanal between Zadar and the Island of Pasman.

Friday, February 20, 2009












我們的一生似乎總是這麼的忙,有這麼多的事情要處裡。似乎是一天的 24 小時總是不夠用?如果你還是這麼想的話,想想『一個美乃滋罐子跟兩杯咖啡』的故事吧!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spectacular Rainbow

Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, hammering on a shoe, who will reveal the whereabouts of a crock of gold.

Just as well, then, that it's only a legend - otherwise the little imp at the end of this rainbow would have found himself squashed by a 4x4 on a busy motorway.

While many of us have seen a rainbow, few have been lucky enough to witness where it actually ends.

Even fewer have caught the moment on camera. Kudos to amateur photographer Jason Erdkamp for this rare picture!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MiZi Shabu-Shabu Restaurant @ Bandar Puteri, Puchong

I went to MiZi Shabu-Shabu Restaurant last Sunday. I was there around 7 pm and it was already packed with people. Shabu-Shabu is what one might call Japanese steamboat. Basically you are served with some thinly sliced meat. Then, you pick up the meat by using your chopsticks and dabble the meat in boiling broth.

The air-conditioned restaurant is very neat and clean. Each diner gets their own individual steamboat pot. This means that you have your own pot and you can mix and make your own steamboat soup. Therefore, it is more hygienic. Further, they use electricity to heat up the pot and the soup in it. The soup tends to boil very fast as it is only meant for one person.

I ordered Chicken Meat Set @ RM19.90 per set.

My friend ordered Pork Slice Set @ RM18.90 per set.

We also ordered Tempura Squid @ RM5.00 per plate.

All in all, this restaurant is recommendable especially if you are a steamboat lover.

Add: No. 17, Jln Puteri 2/5, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Tel: 03-8060 3221
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat (11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm) & Sun (11.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 11pm).

[Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here are based on personal view and preference and may vary from others.]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Gate Tower Building

The Gate Tower Building, commonly known as Bee Hive, is an office building in Osaka, Japan, famous for having a highway passing through the 5th-7th floor of the building.

The story could date back to 1983 when the old structure at the location had to be reconstructed due to its old age, but the city planner had decided to acquire the land to build a highway instead.

Not sure who initiated the idea, but after five years of negotiation, the land owner and involved parties reached an agreement that the highway would be constructed through the new 16-storey office building as it is now.

The construction started in 1989 and was completed in 1992.

Some poor souls working in the building might have to contend with the risk of being knocked down by speeding traffic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Kilimanjaro’s Ice Cap

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak (5,895m) has been called “The Shining Mountain”. Kilimanjaro has long famed for its shiny bright snow cap.

However, some scientists say Kilimanjaro’s peak may soon shine no more. Kilimanjaro’s ice fields could be gone by the year 2020.

Furthermore, United Nations’ Environment Program (UNEP) also has warned that the iconic white glacier covers the rooftop might vanish forever in two decades as a result of global warming.

There are other reports suggesting that the diminishing snow is not solely caused by global warming, but it’s probably undeniable that human activities are contributing to the shrink one way or the other.

The shrinking snow cap is contributing to the local tourism though… many tourists are flocking to the mountain fearing that they might not have the chance to see the snow of Kilimanjaro in future.

Ironically the influx of tourists might hasten the melt.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dreamland Coffee House & Nostalgia Cafe @ Tawau

Dreamland Coffee House

I had dinner with my parents at Dreamland Coffee House today. It was the first restaurant which offers western food in Tawau and had since established its name. This is the first time i visit them since they moved to Ba Zhong Commercial Centre a few years ago.

However, i felt that the ambience has changed as it seems to be less classy nowadays with green and white checker plastic cloth covering its table. Furthermore, the ventilation was bad, felt warm after 10 minutes.

I ordered Grilled Pork Chop. It costs me RM13.00. The taste? So-so only. I found the pork chop too dry and overly sour. It came across as a bit bland & quite overwhelmed by the liberal use of pepper.

Nostalgia Cafe

Later, i went to Nostalgia Cafe for a drink with my friend. Nostalgia Cafe is somewhat a re-brand of kopitiam which is a trend in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago.

I like their ambience. Cosy, trendy and (of course) nostalgic. The owner of Nostalgia Cafe sure had found a good theme or concept for their cafe.

I ordered a cup of mocha with whipped cream (can't remember it's name exactly!). It was nice! I had always like coffee, especially mocha, cappuccino and mochaccino.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hing Lee, Chap Goh Meh & Thaipusam

Kedai Kopi Hing Lee

I went to Kedai Kopi Hing Lee today. It has been a few years since the last time i visited that shop. I like the fact that their noodles prepared according to the "Tawau" style, with pork slices and pork entrails. The local Hakka called it "Chi Cap Mien".

Besides Seafood, i think Pork Noodles is the only other food that Tawau is famed for. Kedai Kopi Hing Lee offers the best Pork Noddles in town. It was cooked in the traditional way with charcoal. The soup tend to stay hot for a long long time.

By the way, you've got to love crowds to love Hing Lee's. You've got to love people watching you with hawk eyes, willing you to hurry up so they can have your table.

I ordered "kon low" Pork Noodles. The pork still as tender as ever, and the soup still taste as "porky" as ever! It costs me RM4.50 per bowl.

However, i noticed that the pork slices has shrink considerably in portion since the last time i visited them. The fact that i seldom go there makes it seems more obvious.

Chap Goh Meh

Today is the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. It is known as yuán xiāo jié (元宵节), otherwise known as Chap Goh Meh (literally "fifteen night") in Hokkien dialect.

Today we see the gathering of family members as they sit down for a dinner together. One of the specialties for today is Tang Yuan, a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in soup. Chap Goh Meh often marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Apart from being tagged as the last day, Chap Goh Meh is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. One of the activities that take place tonight includes the throwing of oranges into the sea by young maidens. It is believed that by throwing oranges into the sea, these young girls would find themselves a good husband.

Throwing of oranges, however, isn't an ancient Chinese tradition - this practice originated from Penang Island. This took place some time towards the end of the 19th century.

While many no longer believe in it, yet it is still a fun thing to do or observe.


Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival which draws large gathering in multi-racial Malaysia.

In Tawau, the Thirumurugan Temple is the place for this important occasion. The oldest in Sabah, yet very little known. This temple located near an army camp at Jalan Utara, 2 miles from Tawau town. It was said that the design of Thirumurugan Temple follows that of South Indian temples.

Thaipusam is a Hindu religious festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Muruga, and also the celebration of his parents presenting to him the vel (lance) in order for him to vanquish the evil. The festival is celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai.

During this event, devotees carry the kavadi or milk pot, run on fire, and pierce their body as it portrays their way of showing gratitude to Lord Muruga. Devotees also prepare themselves a month before the celebration by fasting and abstaining themselves from worldly pleasures.

It was sad to note that Morning Post, one of the established local newspaper in town, did not report on the Thaipusam celebration in Tawau. There were only reports on Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, which was larger in scale as compared to the one in Tawau.

Although Tawau's Hindus only formed a small fraction of the whole community in Tawau, i do think they deserve a recognition for such a grand annual celebration like Thaipusam.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tic Tac Toe Cafe @ Tawau

I went to Tic Tac Toe Cafe today. It is an ordinary cafe which sells food and beverage. Apart from normal table, there are also two sets of double swing chair for those customers that prefer swinging while dining.

I ordered a glass of "Kam Zi Yuk Yip" and curry puff. Nothing special with the "Kam Zi Yuk Yip". It was a mixture of tea and guava juice. It was the curry puff which makes me feel like i have been cheated. The curry puff doesn't resemble any of those ordinary curry puff. It looks more like a triangular-shaped popiah or samosa. It's 5 pieces per plate but their size was very, very small.

The "Kam Zi Yuk Yip" cost me RM3.80 whilst the so-called curry puff cost me RM5.00! I would not recommend any of my friend to visit Tic Tac Toe Cafe. For the price that they are charging, we find it disappointed.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tian Pin - Mian Mian Ice @ Tawau

I went to Tian Pin - Mian Mian Ice today. It sells Organic Frozen Dessert made of fresh fruits which looks like Air Batu Campur. However, the texture of the Mian Mian Ice is much more softer and smoother.

I ordered Mian Mian Ice with chocolate flavour which cost me RM6.00. It was delicious! I like the concept of Mian Mian Ice albeit the price is a bit expensive.

However, i think they should clean the edge of the plate before serving because it looks "untidy" with some ice scattered over the edge of the plate.

The owner of this shop is very friendly and treat each and every customer with a sincere heart. He really runs the business with passion and determination. Well done, Jo Wee!

Address: MPT 10849, Taman Thien Vun, Jalan Bunga Raya, 91000 Tawau, Sabah.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Road to Happiness

I have just found out that one of my ex-classmate will be getting married soon. This sushi wedding cake is specially dedicated to SY and her fiance whom are sushi lovers. I wish them a smooth ride towards the road to happiness.

I found this sushi wedding cake while surfing the net. The maker of this cake wanted to do something different and hence the sushi wedding cake. This sushi wedding cake is actually made of real sushi ingredients!

However, it doesn’t look too appetising to me as i am not a sushi lover.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BIG Egg Tart

I bought a big egg tart today. It was such a huge egg tart which easily caught my attention. It was sold in an old Kedai Kopi at the old town area (same row with Great Eastern Life Assurance Berhad). RM1.60 per piece though.

I bought another normal size egg tart from a bakery shop at Fajar Commercial Center (same row with Guardian Pharmacy) for comparison. RM0.90 per piece.

The small one taste better than the big one but it is still not the best. The small one taste more "egg-gy" and hence more fragrant whilst the big one has too much custard and sugary filling.

Still cannot find delicious egg tart in Tawau.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hat Tip To Lion That Glow-In-The-Dark

Today is the ninth day of Chinese New Year. I accompanied my parents to an open house dinner just now. The "Roasting Team" from Dreamland Restaurant, Tawau had done a great job by feeding us with a variety of great roasted seafood! A big thumbs-up to Dreamland Restaurant!

There is also Lion Dance presented by Tawau Teo Chew Association. I heard that this is the only association in Tawau which provides Lion that glow-in-the-dark. Very fascinating, indeed. A big thumbs-up to Tawau Teo Chew Association's Lion Dance Team!

斗湖潮州公会 - 马来西亚华人地缘社团。前身为1901年创立的义安郡。从故乡迎来列圣香炉灰和圣像,供奉于列圣庙,由当地几家潮属商店轮流任理事。1922年由丘金国、辜瑞勤等倡议,经全体乡亲同意,创办新华学校。1941年日军南侵,会务停顿。战后恢复会务。1962年4月15日注册为合法社团,改会名为斗湖潮州公会,选出首届理事会,理事长刘玉波。

Monday, February 2, 2009

Japan Highway Interchange

I found these nice photos of highway interchanges in Japan by photographer Ken Ohyama. It is interesting how these urban development pieces could be made into work-of-art through the camera lenses.

Absolutely stunning and truly amazing!

P/S: Gas has gotten so expensive these pictures have just become the next best thing to driving.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy 牛 Year & Happy 人日

GONG XI FA CAI & HAPPY 牛 YEAR 2009 to all ...

Year 2009 is a Chinese Brown Earth (Soil) Cow Year. It will begin on 26th January 2009 and end on 13th February 2010.

The basic foundation of Chinese horoscope is Yin Yang. Yin is female. Yang is male. Twelve animals are divided into Yin and Yang groups. The odd ordering animals, Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey and Dog are male in Yang group. The even ordering animals, Cow, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Chicken and Pig, are female in Yin group. That is why we use Cow instead of Ox and Chicken instead of Rooster.

Chinese New Year or nóng lì xin nián (农历新年) is also called Spring Festival. The term nóng lì xin nián literally means “New Year’s agricultural calendar” because it is celebrated according to the Chinese calendar which is both lunar and solar.

Today is the seventh day of Chinese New Year and was traditionally known as ren ri (人日). It was literally translated as the common man’s birthday, the day when everybody turns a year older. It was the day that we tossed raw fish salad or Yu sheng, a unique festive dish.

Yu sheng means raw fish, but it's pronounced the same as another word that means increasing abundance, which is why raw fish salad is eaten on Chinese New Year, when it is traditional to dine on foods whose names or shapes may augur good fortune in the year ahead.

Yu sheng, however, isn't an ancient Chinese tradition - it was invented in a Chinese restaurant in Singapore in 1964, and it isn't widely eaten in China proper, though its popularity has spread to Malaysia and Hong Kong.

If you order the dish, the ingredients are brought to your table on a platter, and the server does the final assembly and enthusiastically tossing it all together with chopsticks.

This year, we tossed Yu sheng at Kam Ling Seafood Restaurant, the most prominent seafood restaurant in Tawau. The Yu sheng taste very good, just nice. A big thumbs-up for Kam Ling Seafood Restaurant ~!