Steamed Chicken

This is a dish I remember my grandmother preparing for every CNY reunion dinner when I was little. I never knew what the recipe was, but I loved the tender, juicy outcome.  It was great news for me when mum decided to make this dish, presumably based on some super cool culinary wisdom grandma passed on to her when she was still around.

And it was completely yummy. I have decided I will request for this amazing recipe from mum and pass it to the girlfriend. How nice kalau next time isteri can cook this for me.

"The secret lies in the rock sugar..."
extracted from: Super Cool Culinary Wisdom of Juan's Grandma

I don't know if the gf reads this blog, but if she does, the above is a picture of the completed masterpiece for her reference. She can cook and I'm sure she'll be more than happy to make me my favourite dish. That is, when she's not busy convincing me to cook for me because she wants to sleep in :P

Seasonal Fruits!

Decided to procrastinate on some of my commitments, so here I am. Decided to post some photos of my favourite seasonal fruits as though you have never ever seen them before. It's not uncommon for me to skip dinner just to have these.

Yes, my family and I absolutely love durians. Don't be surprised when you see the four of us buying that many. We open them ourselves and finish most of them in one shot. The leftovers (maybe 5% of what you see above) will be kept in the fridge and later eaten just like durian ice-cream.

Unfortunately the season is almost over and I'll have to wait another year before I get to meet my thorny edible friends again.

I'm Back!

After 3 months away from the blogosphere, I have returned. I have, miraculously, pretty much survived my first proper audit peak. It was a worthwhile struggle indeed. Will need to survive several more, depending on how many I can stand.

And boy, do I have stories to tell. Unfortunately my photos are all stuck in my phone (which I use as my cutting-edge, top class image-capturing device). So I have some spring cleaning to do before I can start writing here. Time to get the ball rolling again.

To whoever is still loyally following this space, here's a shoutout to you all. Thanks guys and hope you're all doing well. The Cyberspace Asylum is back in operation!

Doraemon Exhibition

Some time ago when I was in KL on an engagement we went to this Doraemon exhibition thing. Apparently the blue kitty has been around for 100 years, so an exhibition is organised to celebrate the cat's century-long existence. I was actually pleasantly surprised that we found time to visit this event. Although I'm not a Doraemon fan, it was a much needed break away from my Lenovo Thinkpad.

Celebrating 100 years of Doraemon!

Taking visitors back in time.

I didn't know the blue kitty was once a yellow kitty.

And here are the 100 Doraemons with their 100 gadgets...

This is the one I can relate to best.

Epic mode of transport.

I can relate to this one too.

The legendary door that takes you anywhere.

My colleagues and I. Work hard play hard.

So my 2+2 weeks spent working in KL wasn't as stressful and dry as expected.

CNY Horse Year Heritage Street Festival

Finally found some time to update my bloggy! So here are some photos I took at the Beach Street area during the 3rd (or 4th) day of CNY. Yeah CNY is over but it wasn't that far back, so I guess the photos are still relevant.

Come to think about it, photos were made to be timeless. Of course they are still relevant.

I like how they hang paper umbrellas above the street.

Saw some folks helping to set up.
I'm attaching an extra large photo of the stage because I love it. 

Say hi to the snake lady :P

I'm not posting the photo of me acting cute here. So here's (just) my zodiac.

More good deco.

Those hanging lanterns actually have revolving horse patterns inside. Don't ask me how that works.

Nicely decorated trishaw.

In case you're wondering why the streets look so empty, the photos were taken a day before the actual festival. During the event proper there are usually so many people it gets difficult to take pictures properly. So I figured I'd go one night ahead to enjoy the decorations in peace.

Happy Belated CNY

You know that when I'm forced to wish you Happy Chinese New Year 5 (or 6?) days late, I have been pretty darned busy. Sorry about that. I actually have some photos to share but the stuff is all sitting in my phone. My phone's socialising with its charger and I'm not going anywhere near that little radioactive bomb for the next 2 hours. Looks like I'll have to post those photos next time.

Anyway I hope you got yourself enough Ang Pows to make visiting the ATM unnecessary for the next few months. For me, this year is the first year I actually distributed Ang Pows during CNY.

... No I'm not married yet. I just gave my parents Ang Pows because I'm working and that's my statutory duty. And no, I'm not going to give you an Ang Pow. I can show you the Standard Chartered Bank Ang Pows I used (they're pretty classy), but no, no Ang Pow with Kaching$$$ inside for you.

If I started distributing Ang Pows like that, the God of Prosperity would be out of a job.

Anyway CNY is about more than Ang Pows. It's about family reunions and ketchup-ing with your close/distant relatives and friends. It's also about having lots of good meals and growing sideways.

I definitely did grow sideways. Need work out. LOL

Pulau Payar

I'm not going to bore you guys about details of the audit peak. Not when some of you probably can't relate to audit and all of you are in CNY mood. I'm going to write about something more fun, like snorkeling!

I recently visited Pulau Payar to see the sea life there. I've never been snorkeling before and swallowed half the sea before I got the hang of it, but it was worth the trouble. Unfortunately I don't own a camera that can survive underwater, so I can't share what I saw on the seabed. It was really cool. There were fishes of all colours of the rainbow, sea urchins, coral reefs, sea anemones and even reef sharks. No reef sharks don't bite, and they're actually quite shy.

I swam for 5 hours and got myself 5 hours' worth of sunburn. I can't remember when was the last time I swam this much. Probably have never done so. It was 2 weeks' worth of exercise packed into a day.

This is Pulau Payar.

And this is where you hop off into the water.

You can see fishes even without jumping into the ocean.

The sea was actually greenish. phytoplankton I suppose.

We were not allowed to swim beyond the buoys. It was pretty safe. Sea wasn't very deep.

Nahhh. Fish.

I took this photo (and the one above) when somebody threw breadcrumbs into the sea.

If you know nuts about snorkeling and intend to try, I recommend this place. It feels relatively safe since the water is only a few meters deep. In addition there are always so many people around I guess it's unlikely you'll ever drown. Just don't swim away to some obscure corner alone. Also, you'll be given a life vest that will keep you afloat always, which is great for inexperienced swimmers like me.

Ohhh, and remember your sunblock. I'm making a mental note on that so I don't get barbecued in the future.

Happy New Year!

I said I would save this greeting for the new year post, so here it is. HAPPY NEW YEAR my dear readers! Hope you enjoyed yourself last night at some countdown or new year party with family and friends. I know this is the time to talk about new years' resolutions, but I'm not a resolutions type of person. They're a bit too rigid for me and I prefer to make my stuff up as I go. In short, I wing it.

But there are two things I promise myself I will do this year.

1) It will be a tough year ahead but I promise myself I will freaking learn my way to success. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. What makes me stronger makes me invincible. To be invincible, I must first learn to be stronger by not letting things kill me. Makes sense, right? Wait... ah yes it does make sense. Sorry, blanked out a moment there.

2) I am now officially earning, but I will make sure money does not change me. I can change money, but I will not allow money to change me. No ifs, no buts, non-negotiable. I have seen enough cases where people have changed for the worse since working. I refuse to be one of those people.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I also wish that 2014 will be a year I can have fun in. Let it not all be about hardcore work. Life's too short.

May 2014 also be a fruitful and fun year for you!