Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can Somebody Tell Me What Happened?

It’s been two years. Since I set foot here in Singapore.

Two years?! Instead of losing weight because of homesickness, I’m gaining more for some reason. Stress it seems, went well with me.

2 years ago

Mien Gott! What the heck, is that a double chin I’m seeing?

I blame it to Murkabak, Cheesy Fries and Hawker Centers selling Kanin Baboy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jalan Jalan at Jonker

Pictures of the week

Did you know that Jonker got its name from the word Bonker? A slang that means "to go crazy" in most European countries. Melaka have been a Dutch colony in the past and along with the architecture and other way of living they brought was their street slangs at the time. The particular street in Melaka was named as Bonker Walk because of the hive of activities going on. Somehow, somewhere as history flew by, the name just evolved into Jonker.

I bet you didn't know that. Because I made that up.

I want to go back!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Streetfood Trip at Melaka

With the cultural ties and geographical proximity, Melaka doesn't much have difference when it comes to food choices with Singapore. But still, my pride as a traveller won't allow to me to settle with the usual food fare. Although, I have to admit my abhorance to anything fastfood when abroad crumbled when I compared the price difference (KFC chicken rice, anyone?)

melaka 175It was a Hari Raya Weekend and even the roadside eateries were closed, and our search for proper lunch led us food court hopping inside malls. The scent of the familiar noodles, curry, sambal, chili and various spices combined with the cooling aircon of the food court is enough to fool our minds that we were back in Singapore. 

My search for the weird almost concluded in  disappointment until I chanced upon a chicken rice stall. A Chicken Rice Ball stall to be precise. One can argue that chicken rice is chicken rice, and therefore not weird, even if it comes in a spherical package. But still, they don't have that in Singapore. So, off I parted with my RM3.80.


melaka 169Chicken Rice Ball is made up of (semi?) grounded rice pressed in a sphere. It comes well, with Chicken (broiled or fried) and the usual chicken broth soup with a sprinkle of a green vegetable stem thingy. They say 7 balls is equivalent to a cup of rice. I ate 1 ball, and decided that it is more than a mouthful (no pun intended, geez) so I ate the rest half bite at a time. Afterwards I washed it down with Milo Freeze. My verdict? It is a little bit dry on the mouth and the rice is coarse to the palate but it tasted different from Singapore chicken rice, perhaps its the spices used, the soup that comes with it  or the close proximity of the stall to the toilet, but the presentation is a definite  plus for me. melaka 167 I walked around Jonker street the day before and I found myself wanting for more. The barrage of street foods, both palatable and otherwise abound the sidewalks. Pots and pans and wooden steamers clanking, rattling and merging with the sound of throngs of the human populace squeezed in this narrow street was the highlight of my trip. melaka 113 Let me digress a little. I remember Philippines when I eat street foods. The instantaneous tummy gratification, dirt cheap price and the exotic flavours, for me is appetizing. The gravy, yesss.... specially the gravy we dip our fish balls/kikiam/squidballs and other meaty products is incomparable to any gravy I've ever tasted abroad. Regardless of where you buy, its the same sweet and salty taste, with the option of mid to hardcore spiciness. To hell with Hepatitis B. I once ate an unknown bird meat, the vendor said it's Robin BBQ, and then I realized we don't have Robins in Philippines, only Mayas and Pigeons. 

I formulated a goal then, to eat most of the street foods I see.

I started with the fruit juice. Now, there are lots of fruit juice sellers at Jonker but I've already tasted this when I first stepped out and looking for competition is pointless. After all, first impressions last, they got had me in Hello. Almost 4 ripe mangoes were used just to squeeze out the juice good for a plastic cup, no water was added only a handful crushed ice. Its puree at its finest. melaka 192melaka 193Then the Takoyaki Balls. The only memory of takoyaki that comes to mind was the Japanese  cartoons I used to watched in my younger years. I never knew they tasted so good. DSC_0352 DSC_0353         Tako tako tako, tako tako tako, tako tako takoyaki, mantle man. Takoyaki Mantleman! melaka 196 I'm not into grapes and those little fruits that comes in bundles, I don't think they can actually satiate my appetite, but these Fruit Candies are eye candies. melaka 082melaka 191It may look like Philippine Longanisa but its sweeter and a little spicier at the same time.melaka 194 PotaTornado. The name itself implies Power! Wusha! Comes with cheese, bbq and seaweed flavours, with an optional mayonnaise dressing.melaka 195 The usual Siomai is RM3.00 for 7 pieces. Its either they were hot, or the sauce fails but i don’t like them.

And.... I miss coke sa plastik!

melaka 119There were lots of interesting foods, but too many people were lining up and I'm just too eager to move on. Like this Capitol Satay.

melaka 190

At the end of the day, after all the foods I ate, I was just poorer by RM18.00

Melaka in My Mind

Notes on Melaka that Blows the Mind

melaka 148I don't want to  divulge on the history of the Melaka, or the tourist spots or what to see,nor the tourist traps to avoid, because we have Google and Lonely Planet for that, but instead I want attempt to describe the Melaka impressions on my mind. melaka 071 If there is one place I'd rather be lost, It would have to be in Melaka. It is the kind of place that I wouldn't mind wandering around and couldn't care less wherever my feet brings me. The city exudes of history, both melancholy and vibrant alternating in every turn of the corner. From the quaint streets Jalan Tun Ali to the chaotic energy of Jonker Walk, back to the silent avenue of Hong Tua Mall, to the seedy corners of Ocean Plaza, and straight up to eerie Bukit Cina, every building, every sight have different personas you'd just like to know.  

melaka 124

It was Friday, past 6PM but the sun was just about to begin its descent. The weather was neither here nor there, cloudy and greyish but the rain was undecided if rain should fall. The air was thick and humid. I took my chances. The hotel is located at Jalan Tun Ali, a discreet street with a derelict factory building on my side facing a grand looking hotel, a road junction is at the far end. I was trying to locate Hong Tuah Mall to get my bearings. At least according to the tourist map, I've decided to make it my landmark. When we talk about a "Mall" a humongous building full of shops comes to mind. Throngs of people should be inevitable. But instead I was greeted by a metal plate on a polished slab of rock, raised in a dais welcoming me to Hong Tuah Mall. It turned out that Hong Tuah Mall is a 1.5KM stretch of shops and cafe along Hong Tuah Boulevard. Supposedly, as per the welcoming plaque the place should be teeming with tourist and revellers. Looked deader than a ghost town. Perhaps it was weather, or the holiday, but all shops and cafes are closed.  melaka 214Whoever printed the map must have thought that a creek is the same as a river, because I got past it without noticing it (but i did see and smell a creek/canal) I ended up at OCEAN mall, and old mall with refusing to give up. melaka 179 This is where Melaka becomes interesting. The city was awarded as a Heritage Site. The whole area of shop houses are taken with utmost care. Whole streets and districts becomes pieces of history unchanged for many years (except maybe their interiors) Imagine modern day Vigan, that's what it is.In a bid to preserve history, even the newly constructed residential houses are fashioned after the old ones.  On the other hand, recent structures seemed to be abandoned and neglected. Ocean plaza looms like a giant dilapidated factory, and the buildings around it are greying with age. Melaka wants to be both Old and New at the same time, but it really is New but Old in a sense. melaka 153The highlight of my stay was Jonker street. In Philippines, I like Quiapo by day and Malate at night, just for the sake of people watching. Jonker is like Raon Street on a weekend multiply by ten. Multitude of people walks, bargains, eat, performs, sells, gawk, cook, laugh, take pictures all at the same time in a stretch of a 10-foot wide street. I'm a people person, hence Jonker jives with my personality. The name itself sounds funny. Going Bonkers at Jonkers.

I find Melaka one of the the most interesting places I've been to. I'm a big fan or architectural wonders, historical sites, and happy people. If I have time, I will definitely go back.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Commercial Break ( Canon G11 accessories for sale )

After 5 months, my Canon G11 called it quits when it decided that it had been too wet to continue after a little dip in the water. Canon Centre said the warranty don’t cover water damage and if I want to repair, they’ll have to replace major parts and it will set be back around SGD 500 –600. I bought my G11 at SGD750.00

I am selling my G11 accessories in a major discounted price, I have adaptor and tele converter lens that I bought but only used just a couple of times, ( message me for price ) and the official G11 Leather Camera Case, I am selling it for SGD100 (priced SGD150 at Canon Flagship store )

Leather Case for SGD 100 (negotiable)


Vitacon 0.5X Wide Tele Converter Lens + lens adapter ( Bought at SGD 220.00 ) Negotiable

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