The neighbour’s kid

Not my neighbour, she hasn’t moved in yet.

Rather, my sister’s neighbour. They are a Dutch family, have been here for a few years and decided to move back this year. They left a couple of days ago. They also left a huge hole in Ryan’s heart.

Actually I just made that up. I don’t know what Ryan thinks about it because I’ve not spoken to him. He has been busy spending a lot of time with the neighbour’s kids’ before they were due to go back.

I’m also trying to dramatize the life of a 6 year old because I can.

So. The neighbour’s boy is a couple of years younger than Ryan. He has big blue eyes and straw blonde hair. He is also very thin and weighs almost nothing. Once I lifted him up and almost hit his head on the ceiling because of the momentum. Nah I’m kidding. But it felt like it and I managed to stop myself.

Most of the time, I do not understand what he is talking about. Ryan understands him but I don’t. I just nod a lot, exclaim a lot of, “REALLY?” then divert his attention. To me, he sounds like a chipmunk. Cute but inaudible.

I saw him the day before he was to go home. Got down to his level and asked for a hug.

“NOOO!”
Ryan whispered to him, “You better hug!”
“Nooo I don’t want a hug”
Me: “Why not??”
“…[insert sounds here]…”
Me: “Really??”

I think I’ll miss him for a while.

Suanie’s experience at the BERSIH 2.0 rally on 09 July 2011 at Puduraya

Long post ahead. Really one, I no bluff you.

In this blog post, I’m documenting mostly of what I saw (not all, ‘cos you really don’t want to know the price of my LRT ticket, do you?), some of what I’ve heard from friends’ own accounts and very, very little of what I’ve read from strangers’ accounts.

Why did I go for the BERSIH 2.0 rally? ‘Cos I believe that its basic objective is to call for reforming the electoral process in Malaysia for cleaner and fairer elections. Did I not think that Malaysia’s elections aren’t fair and clean? No, I don’t believe so. What if you believed? That’s you, not me.

I’m not a member of any political parties, only a Malaysian who loves her country. Doesn’t mean I HAVE to love Malaysia’s current ruling coalition. Doesn’t mean I blindly believe and support the opposition parties. I disagree with the infiltration of certain people whom I highly distrust (read: Anwar Ibrahim) into the BERSIH 2.0 front. But I believe that if the situation was reversed, BN would have done the same.

I believe in peaceful rallies. I see it as a sign of stating your cause and gathering more support. Hey, sounds like the ceramah and walkabouts that politicians do during election time! I don’t believe it is illegal, especially coming from those who cannot handle keris and cow heads.

It’s like changing your Facebook status to show support for cancer patients who have only one wish, that is to kick cancer’s butt so if you agree post this as your status for at least one hour. Or running to help raise money for causes that you believe in. Same principles, really.

I don’t believe the mainstream media can report what they really feel. Have you heard of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984? It’s a draconian remnant from Mahathir’s early leadership. In a nutshell, all print publications have to renew their license every year with the Home Ministry. The Home Ministry can revoke or choose not to have the licenses renewed for their own reasons. The Star has a few thousand employees under its payroll. That’s a lot of livelihoods, you know.

But for elections to be fair, the press has to be free. Of course, not all press and journalists are for BERSIH 2.0. But right now, it seems that all of them are against it. I personally know that it’s not the case. People who were there know what really went down.
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Marina Mahathir 1, Obedient Wives Club 0

Have you heard about the Obedient Wives Club?

It is a society that does exactly as its name suggests. Wives who are ‘obedient’ to their husbands; followers to their leaders (husbands); aims to serve their husbands better than a 1st class prostitute (link); suggests that in a recent case, a husband hit his wife not because she refused to lunch with him but because she may not have given any to him the night before (link); being obedient and better at sex will eradicate prostitution, promiscuity, human trafficking, baby-dumping, and domestic violence (link) … because this is all according to Allah and the Quran.

I know, right…

They seem to really believe in their cause though. I suppose blind faith works for some, but the thing about blind faith is that they are so easily deconstructed. More often than not, the believers buckle under scrutiny and questioning because they do not understand nor care to find out about the origins of certain things in their faith. Shame, because “‘cos God said so” is a lousy, no balls cop out.

Anyway my favourite radio station, BFM had a dialogue on the Obedient Wives Club with one of its committee members Dr Azlina Dato’ Jamaludin, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir from Sisters In Islam and Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa from Islamic Renaissance Front.

It was a great session where Marina Mahathir took out her mighty sword, cut down the thorny shrubs and hedges, slew the dragon’s head and served it to the cheering crowd on a silver platter.

All metaphoric of course, no one’s really a dragon… ;) :)

If you missed the broadcast, fear not for BFM has uploaded the session on its website. You can stream or download it here (*click*). Or just listen here:

Watch the video here:

I highly recommend everyone who understands English to listen to this!

Urbanscapes 2011 (tickets giveaway)!

What is Urbanscapes?

An outdoor creative arts festival! Tents and stalls with live bands, arts, fashion, film, theater, food etc. All local too! Never knew what a local band sounds like? Always wondered if Malaysia has creative people left? Get exploring at Urbanscapes!

If you’ve never been to an outdoor festival or concert, well try to remember Canteen Days when you were in school. Multiply that by… I dunno, depending on how big your school was. My school’s Canteen Days were pretty awesome, we always had a horror house!

That besides the point, here’s a link to Urbanscape’s areas: *click*

Urbanscapes 2011

Details details details…

When: 16 July 2011, Saturday, 12pm till 12am.
Where: Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya.

That’s right, the organiser has infiltrated my Bootcamp home ground. This would most likely translate to an off-site training session for that day for PJA and PJB. Initially I was slightly bitter about this but then came to my senses that promotion of local arts, entertainment and culture is the higher purpose. Ohm.

How do you get to Padang Astaka? Easy, google map it. Best that you leave your vehicles at home that day, not too many parking spots at Padang Astaka. The available ones would have already been taken up, trust me. Take the LRT to Taman Jaya and walk towards the venue. Some also suggested the Asia Jaya stop, but I prefer Taman Jaya ‘cos it’s greener.

Walk?? Sounds like a lot of effort leh… who’s going to make it worthwhile?

Kyoto Protocol. Lapsap. Liyana Fizi. Actorlympics featuring Douglas Lim, Rashid Salleh, Nell Ng, Kuah Jenhan and Patrick Teoh. KakiSeni previews. Book bazaar. Fashion and accessory vendors (not unlike Chicpop). The Last Polka (special ice-cream!). Food food food, including my friends The Accidental Bakers who are passionate about baking absolutely delicious cakes. That’s just barely half the list!

Coincidentally, my friends at The Accidental Bakers love Darren Criss from GLEE so much (yeah I know, who??) that they named their super awesome dark chocolate with honey cake after him. It is now the Darren Criss cake, or the Darren Criss. I’m like -_-”

Enough chit-chat, I have serious business to get to. Do you have to pay to get into Urbanscapes 2011? Yes, RM40 per ticket. Or no, if you are lucky enough to win a pair of tickets from me!

1) Follow @urbanscapes on Twitter.
2) Retweet this blog post, mentioning me at @suanie.

So a sample tweet from you could look something like this:

“Check out Urbanscapes 2011 at @suanie’s with ticket giveaway! http://bit.ly/urbanscapes-suanie #urbanscapes”

Easy right? Contest ends 11 July 2011, 12pm. I’ll randomly select 3 winners (x2 passes each), all winners will be notified via Twitter. All winners have to collect the tickets themselves at Jaya One.

See you at Urbanscapes!

The Marie France Bodyline Challenge update #7

It’s been nearly a month since I started my sessions at Marie France Bodyline. Time flies, eh?

On Friday, I underwent a session that involved a machine not unlike a vacuum cleaner being used to roll about on my tummy and arms. It’s good for body shaping and reducing cellulite and it’s one of Marie France Bodyline’s signature treatments. It also costs RM980 per session.

One of the therapists had earlier remarked that it’s good that I’m able to experience different types of treatments. Later I asked Caron, my consultant on an idea of how much my treatment would have cost. She said she’d assigned me for a package that’s worth about RM5,000 to RM6,000. At first glance, it may seem steep but remember that I’m faithfully doing this 3 times a week, where some people with the same package may drag it out to 2 or 3 months.

Am I lucky or what?? :)

So far of all the sessions with machines, my favourite is the BLT. Not only does it share the same acronym as my favourite sandwich, it also uses ultrasound technology to go down my couple layers of skin to tackle the fats. I thought it was very stimulating and I felt really good after the treatment.

As for the non-machine treatments, I like the slimming massages the best. One thing I’ve to say about Marie France Bodyline’s therapists: they’re all really good with their hands! I’ve had the same type of massages by a few different therapists yet their methods are the same, and they know exactly which spots to take on.

This is Selvi, one of the therapists preparing a cold orange mask for me.

Marie France Bodyline - Selvi

She was slightly amused when she saw me shivering a bit when she helped to peel off the mask. I told her that I can’t stand cold very well. She said, “No wonder you’re not doing the cold wraps!”

There are two kinds of body wraps – hot and cold. I’ve been doing the hot wraps a lot and I quite like it. Because it’s not cold mah. Apparently the cold wraps give faster results but you’ve to bear with the cold lor. I’ve seen one client doing the cold wrap walking about the coffee bar area. She looked really.. cold, heh. I don’t think I’d be able to do it – I already can’t stand being in air-conditioned places for too long!

Anyway I asked Caron about on-going Marie France Bodyline promotions. There’s a 10 FEST sessions, 1.5 hours each session going for RM1,688. The FEST treatment consists of: 1) whole body wrapping, 25 mins; 2) massage at targeted area, 20 mins; 3) body mask at targeted area, 25 mins; and 4) whole body hot blanket, 20 mins.

Sounds pretty good to me! Also a very good introduction to slimming treatments if you’ve not done anything like this before.

Marie France Bodyline
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Seafood dinner at Gee Seng, Bukit Tambun

If you’re journeying up North, you must try to have lunch or dinner at Bukit Tambun. I’ve only ever dined at Gee Seng in Bukit Tambun so I’m not sure about the other restaurants in the same area. The price is cheaper than in Klang Valley and the seafood rather fresh. Live with the occasional flies (don’t worry, they buzz off to the other tables once *their* food arrives) and mediocre service, you may find yourself in for a seafood gastronomical treat.

Restoran Gee Seng, Bukit Tambun

It is rather easy to get here, even without the aid of a GPS. The exit is Bukit Tambun which is between the exits of Jawi and Juru. After exiting the toll booth, you’ll come to a T-Junction where it says Bukit Tambun to your right. Turn to the right and drive straight all the friggin’ way until you could not drive straight anymore (‘cos you’d end up in the river). Gee Siang will be on your right hand side and there will be parking attendants who will lead you the way to park your car. You’ll have to give him RM1 later but it’s worth it.

See, the parking attendants at Gee Siang are somewhat geniuses. Your interaction with them will be at the very most 1 minute. Later if your car was blocking other people who want to get out, they would come into the restaurant, identity the correct face and ask you to remove your car first. Their photographic memories are amazing, I tell you!

Gee Seng, Bukit Tambun - vege, crabs, mantis prawns, satay

It’d been a while since I was there and aside from the one thing I wanted to get, I wasn’t sure about the rest. We got a plate of stir-fried sweet potato leaves, crabs in sweet and sour sauce, large prawn mantis fried in chilli and salt, and some satay (RM7 for 10). I looked over at the next table, they seemed to know better what to order. I think Gee Seng is better known for their grilled crabs. Will get that the next time as I wasn’t too impressed with the sweet and sour sauce one.

The absolutely-must-order is this:

Gee Seng, Bukit Tambun - giant mantis prawns

Steamed giant mantis prawns aka aliens of the sea. They are so fresh (probably alive 15 mins before being served) that you absolutely have to have them steamed. It’s like a creamy version the lobster, a joy to eat!

They don’t come cheap though. RM73 for these 3 babies. But you’ve got to try it at least once, yah?

Gee Seng, Bukit Tambun -  mantis prawns flesh

The bill came up to RM150 for the 3 of us including drinks. Not cheap but considering what we ordered… :)

Boost Juice Bars Malaysia

Boost Juice Malaysia - Soraya Recently went to a small gathering at Boost Juice Bar @ Pavilion KL to get reacquainted with Nick and Soraya (who brought in the brand from Australia). Was rather hoping to see Yasmin, Soraya’s sister who is heavily involved with Boost Juice MY, but she had to be at the very busy LCCT outlet. Another time then! :)

Boost Juice Bars was formed in Adelaide at a time when juice bars (like a coffee bar serving juices instead of coffee, duh) were few and lacking in Australia. It became quite successful, really. Nick and Soraya fell in love with it when they were both working in Melbourne. They decided to bring it to Malaysia: Boost Juice’s first Malaysian outlet was opened in 2009 at KLCC. Two years later, they have 8 stores in Klang Valley and 1 in Penang with more to come. They’re also now in charge of the 4 outlets in Singapore (and expanding). Sounds like a busy couple or what??
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