Friday, April 30, 2010

The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is so scenic that one has to see it to believe it. I had the pleasure of taking a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait a few days ago and it certainly left a lasting impression.

From the historical palaces, monuments, mosques along its European and Asian shores to the towering bridges that span its width as well as the quaint villages that line it, each reminds one how lucky one is to have the opportunity to encounter such an experience.

The furthest stop of the cruise was Anadolu Kavagi. Trek up the hill in this little village and one is greeted by a view of the Bosphorus meeting the Black Sea. All I can say is that it is simply exhilarating.

Photo shot along the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I have been in Istanbul for 2 days. This is a solo trip, my first since the last one 2 decades ago, a birthday treat for myself, and somewhat of a rite of passage as well.

Istanbul is infinitely beautiful. The historical, architectural and cultural attractions. The scenic beauty of the Bosphorus. The exotic food. Their tea drinking tradition. Turkish delights. The like-minded awe that fellow tourists delight in.

Of course, tourism comes with its downsides as well. The crowds. Aggressive carpet shop owners and pushy restaurant touts, a minority, but still a nuisance. The upsides definitely outweigh the downs though. I head off to other parts of the country for a couple of days. But am looking forward to returning to Istanbul for a day and a bit before flying home. There is still much to see and do here.

Photo of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beautiful Views

I went to do a site recce at Clearwater Sanctuary Resort in Batu Gajah recently. I'd driven past before but it was the first time I set foot in the resort 2 days ago.

They have chalets, golf, water sports. But nothing compares to the views. On a clear day, they are spectacular. Much greenery, beautiful trees, mountain ranges, still water.

Nice for a retreat away from the maddening crowds.

Photo shot a Clearwater Sanctuary Resort in Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Renewing Ties

Sometimes, we take our relation-ships for granted, be it personal or work-related. We feel that having been part of a common bond, our ties remain strong. Things don't always turn out that way.

We sometimes neglect the relationship and let it fall by the wayside. At other times, we may take unfair advantage of it. Both ways, the relationship suffers.

It is therefore a good thing when an opportunity arises for us to move out of our comfort zone, perhaps break from our normal routine and embrace the renewal of ties. An opportunity to re-establish links, re-evaluate the relationship, appreciate the effort that has been taken to build the bonds that we share. Some of that I did in Kuching.

Photo of some of us involved in 'All About Weddings' at The Spring in Kuching, courtesy of Edwin Lay.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I have been in Kuching since Thursday. We are here to participate in the wedding fair at The Spring, present 2 fashion shows and auction an evening gown for charity. Both fashion shows went well and it is heartening to see our designs well-received by the crowd. More importantly, the auction raised RM1500 for the Sarawak Children's Cancer Society. When our work can do some good, it is an added bonus. It also has special meaning to me since my late father suffered from cancer.

It is always a pleasure to be able to catch up with industry friends during such events. It is also an opportunity to make new friends and get introduced to potential business associates.

Whilst the schedule for such trips is always tight, I make it a point to have non-work-related experiences as well. Something as simple as a stroll along the Kuching waterfront, stopping by a temple for a little prayer and indulging in sumptuous seafood at Top Spot. Being the fastfood fanatic that I am, I naturally had to grab a bite at Sugar Bun too. And although I didn't have time to make it to a coffee-shop styled Sarawak Laksa stall, I still managed to get a taste of it at Hilton Kuching where we are staying. When there is a will, there is a way.

View of The Astana along the waterfront.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Sometimes a piece of news comes along and one's perspective in life does a 180. That happened to me yesterday. A good friend called with news, unexpected but great news. At the risk of sounding cynical, an appropriate immediate response to the piece of good news would be 'Who would have thought?'

It seemingly came out of nowhere but therein lies the allure. That despite the odds, something so great can actually be realised. It teaches us to remain hopeful, to be optimistic. It reminds us that it is never too late. All we have to do is to seize the opportunity when it arises. To take a step, to make an effort. To not contemplate failure or fear rejection. To take that leap of faith.

So many of us are happy for this friend of ours. In a way, she gives us hope in return, that good things may just be round the corner if we look hard enough, try hard enough and believe hard enough.

Photo of flowers by Memories de Wedding.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


OK being patient is not my thing. Never has been. I try but more often than not, my temperamental side gets the better of me.

Those close to me keep reminding me of the virtue of patience. I understand it in a rational manner but emotionally, I mostly fail at exercising it. I don't beat round the bush, I speak my mind and tell it as it is most of the time. Whether in business or on the personal front, I expect all concerned to make the necessary effort. And I don't suffer fools gladly.

Whilst I seeing being impatient as a shortcoming of sorts, it can also be an advantage. I don't waste time. I know what I want and work towards attaining it, quickly rather than slowly. Having said that, knowing when to chill is also important.

Chilling at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa in Bali, Indonesia.

Simple And Inspired

I watch a few cooking shows, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Kylie Kwong, Anthony Bourdain and the like. The enthusiasm by which they go about preparing and sampling food is enjoyable to watch.

My mum's fav is Jamie Oliver. She follows his shows often either on Discovery Travel & Living or the Asian Food Channel. We have a few of his books too for good measure.

Last night when I returned from work, my sister Suk Harn announced that mum had made a 'Jamie Oliver style' dinner. Baked fish with herbs and spices accompanied by garlic bread and sliced cucumber. Simple, inspired cooking. Tasty to boot.

Photo of dinner last night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Venice And Florence

I was having dinner with a friend at an Italian restaurant and the subject about visiting Italy came up, Venice and Florence to be exact. Well, I would visit both if I ever travelled to Italy but the romantic in me would put Venice higher up the list of must-visit places.

Romantic notions of travel to Italy were initially stirred way back in the 1990s when I caught the movie Only You. Of the romantic-comedy genre, it starred Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. It's one of those feel-good films that naturally has an endearing ending.

I am a sucker for good endings. In the sometimes chaotic lives that we live, it is nice to have something good to look forward to, an unwavering belief that well, things can turn out the way one has imagined.

DVD cover of Only You.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Glimmer Of Hope

Sometimes when one is almost at the point of despair, something - an unlikely occurrence more often than not -happens, and one is once again offered a glimmer of hope that things could become better.

For those who view the cup as half full, a glimmer is a good thing. There is potential. I'd like to think that I fall into this category of thought. When things can't get any much worse, the only way left to go is up.

Perhaps some of my prayers at Kek Lok Si in Penang are being answered?

Photo of the Goddess Of Mercy at Kek Lok Si in Penang, Malaysia.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I was just responding to some of my friends' comments on Facebook earlier in the week that all the long hours at work, lack of sleep, work-related travel, stress would at some point catch up with me. I couldn't have said it sooner as I've been floored by flu, fever and cough the past couple of days.

Perhaps floored isn't the right word to use as I've still been to work. Couldn't afford the medical leave but did scale back a bit on the work load. And for as long as I can remember, I finally managed to get 8 hours of sleep for a few nights.

When I get sick, I get really sick. It's no fun. I'm also stubborn and don't often abstain from food and drink that's bad for me when ill. I could do with an ice kacang like the one from Penang Road in the photo haha! To hell with the cough!

Photo of me having ice kacang on Penang Road in Penang, Malaysia.