Saturday, April 25, 2009

The tomato queen

Scratching Post, Weekender, The Star
For the full story, please click here

How can I not be proud of this woman?

Her gung-ho, her resourcefulness, her never-say-die attitude: these are but the tip of the iceberg. Damn. Should I have suggested "My mum the wonderwoman" as the headline? Oklah, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to get away with it :P

As I write this, she's outside, pottering in the garden and humming to herself. I guess she's, umm, pleased? :)

You might be surprised to know that I've never been really close to my mum until recent years, after I quit my job and had more time to spend with her, and learn from her, and enjoy her. Every day, I'm peeling off new layers and finding out that she's got so much more in her bag of tricks and ideas.

Friends who read the article would probably be nodding in agreement all the way. I may be her daughter and proud as hell about her, but I'm not exaggerating one whit.

Because my mum, incredible as it may seem when you lay eyes on her perky, petite frame for the first time, really is larger than life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

KL City Tour

Only two words to describe my reaction when I got my April 2009 copy of Going Places: Shock and awe.

That was before I flipped to my article and went Holy crap.

12 Hours, Going Places, April 2009

I walked past this building, went inside, gabbed excitedly about it to the editor, waxed lyrical about it and yet never in my wildest would expect it to look this good in print.

I guess this is what separates the wannabe (photographers) from the already-theres.

Righto. Back to (amateur) photography 101 for me :(

On the bright side, I never knew buildings could be so exciting.

I perambulated through Dataran Merdeka. Soaked up the atmosphere at Sin Seng Nam over a plate of Hainanese chicken rice. Witnessed the abhisega ceremony at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, during which Lord Murugan, Lord Ganesh and Seri Mariaamma's figurines are showered with buckets of unguents (yoghurt, milk, saffron, coconut water, honey etc) in individual stalls. Absorbed fascinating historical trivia about Yap Ah Loy and gang at the Taoist Sze Ya temple, named after his “Tze Ya” (an honorific for Yap's subordinates who were killed during the civil war) - one of whom was said to ooze white blood, hence cementing his deity status.

In other words, I played tourist to the hilt and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to KL boy, practising architect and ardent conservationist Lim Take Bane, for his invaluable input in helping me plan the itinerary.

Most importantly, this walkabout changed my perception about buildings. I finally understood what my passionate historian and architecture buff friend, H, meant by "Buildings are repositories of history. All human stories have an indisputable connection with different buildings."

The happy side effect?

These days I drive my friends batty when they drive me around and I go, "Hey, that's art deco" or "Oh look Moorish architecture"

The Chinese will say, "Sik siew siew pan toi piew" (Know a little but pretend to be an authority on the subject) :P

Ok, H, what were you saying about a crash course in architecture?


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