Friday, March 30, 2007
After a long hiatus, which is occuring more frequently now :), went for zikir last night and now being Rabiul-Awal, the praising of our Prophet is a bit longer than usual. The video grab from my Lumix camera is not that good (plus I'm not sure if it's a good idea to post video here) but like most things now, you can google for mawlid videos at youtube or google video.
That's Fateh in the foreground and a familiar face at the background in blue shirt with back at the wall.
And the 'kambing' afterward is, as always, simply divine.
Monday, March 26, 2007
These are the photos that made me wanted to buy a digital camera. Sometime ago we decided to bring Fateh to the zoo since we ourselves never been there. Judging from above, we made good timing too! By the way, that is not his 'fifth' leg.
We had a good day there. Though not knowing the schedule, we left our house early enough and made it to the few animal shows and enjoyed ourselves. The giraffes safari was nice. Seladangs too.
A good way to spend a day and it beats the mall anytime.
Friday, March 16, 2007
It was the book 'Muhammad' by Martin Lings that made me wanted to do this. There's a reference there that during Isra & Mikraj that the angels were telling our prophet for his nation to do the bekam. So a few years later and some weeks ago I did it.
It was one of those days that I felt lazy to go to work and found an excuse for mc or whatever. By chance I went to Puchong Perdana mosque and saw this guy phone number on a poster for 'bekam'. Because he was trained by some MLM company, that apart from doing bekam they also sell herbal medicine, the equipment used seemed quite alrite; with proper sterilization on the syringe and all.
Contrary to my perception, it wasn't hurtful at all. However, to show you the 'front' photo would constitute pornography on my part.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Take a deep breath and think about your life nowadays. Now, wouldn't it be nice for a little get away on the cheap, a sort of life-recharging holiday but doesn't cost you more than a few steaks at Victoria Station. Well, you have got a friend here to tell you how. So thank the good Lord for that. He he he. And pray that he becomes a good boy.
Assuming that you live in KL like me, and no matter how much you spend time in the office, things are not gonna be that superb. So, what a bloke to do? My suggestion - go Krabi my friend, go Krabi. Now, where the heck is that? Well, I know your geography is not good. So, look at the map below.
It’s not that far from Phuket, about two hours by boat. While there are still tons of tourists in Krabi (in case you wanna people watching *wink*), it’s not over-commercialized as Phuket, hence, won’t cost you a bundle. And it’s not that far from Bukit Kayu Hitam either.
So how to go there? And how to go there on the cheap and easy.
First, to Bukit Kayu Hitam. Here I think the easiest would be to drive yourself up all the way to the Duty Free building and park your car there. I’ve parked my car here for a few days and done this for a couple of times over the years and so far, no trouble for me. And right at that parking lot, you will see a few vans and taxis to Hat Yai. Price changes but roughly a van cost you about RM15 per person and RM50 per taxi. I’m not a regular to Hat Yai (see, I’m still a good boy and with your prayers, I’ll be better) so I don’t know the details.
Twice, without a map and just by reading the sparse signboards with English characters and squiggly fonts, we managed to drive up to Hat Yai. You need your car registration to do this and you have to buy Thai insurance before leaving the Malaysian border. At the border, please make sure that you do your passports and also permit for the car coz during our first time, nobody told us and we went up to Sadao for another check and have to return back.
In Hat Yai, you could go to any travel agent and ask for a minivan to Krabi. And if you walk around the central shopping area, you wouldn’t walk more than 100m without seeing one tour agent with photos of nice girls on the wall. If I remember correctly, van to Krabi leaves at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, & 3 pm. Don’t take my words for these but it should be your guide for your traveling plan. If I’ve time, I would not mind staying a night in Hat Yai and leaves for Krabi the next day. I went to Krabi in early 2007 and the van cost me only RM25.
It was not a planned trip and I’ve not even read up on the place. The opportunity arose when I had to go to Penang for work trip and I thought what the heck, might as well take a few days off. So, armed with only one phone number for tour agent in Krabi (got it from ilovekrabi.com), I got on that minivan and spend four hours on the road. With fear and excitement, I thought what the hell am I doing in this van. As customary in Thailand, guys would sit at the back of the van leaving the front for ladies. This van is like a Toyota Hiace with 3 rows of seat at the back. I’m alone at the back row and another guy in front of me. Conversation was out of the picture since he was not the talking type. One German couple at the front and they don’t seem friendly too. So I was like, o mannn, don’t let my asthma got to me or else I could die here alone!
And I already intent to jama’ zuhr during asr and the van is moving patiently in the winding road with no towns in sight. What if the good Lord said, well young man, your time on earth is up and your hour of Truth has come. The feeling of excitement and anxiety when you are traveling somewhere without having a clue of the journey itself is really something. The adrenaline is different from Bungee Jumping or those ride at the theme parks. You know theme park operators will do their best to ensure safety but traveling without a Lonely Planet guide will make your heart thumps wildly. Writing this, makes me realize how I can be complacent with the journey to hereafter but will not travel anywhere on earth without a guide book.
Enough of that. After two hours leaving Hat Yai, we had a R&R stop and not having small change with me, I did not leave the van. On the return trip, I realized how foolish it was. For the place had a halal food stall and also a Surau!
I arrived in Krabi about 6 pm and have the driver talked to the agent for my drop off. Patty, the tour agent, was nice and helpful and got me a fairly new place with a/c and bathroom for the night at RM35. For halal dinner, she suggested the night market which is near the Krabi pier, about 100m from her office. I went there and start looking for the ‘Bismillah’ or any Arabic signs. But unlike Hat Yai, I could not find any. I haven’t had lunch and now another surprise! I guess unlike Hat Yai, Malaysians don’t go to Krabi much so there’s no need for the signs. After walking a while, I saw a couple (must be local) and the girl wears a tudung. So that’s the spot for me. Asked the stall what they have for dinner but it wasn’t going anywhere since I don’t speak Thai; so the easiest would be ‘chicken fried rice’ and ‘iced tea’. Cost me RM4 for those.
Apparently, Krabi is about 40% Muslims and a few traders at the night market are Muslims. There are also a few Muslim restaurants but being a small town, much smaller than Hat Yai, the restaurants open at 8 am and close 5 pm.
Things to do here are the same as those in Phuket. After all, you would take the island trips to Phi Phi and a few others like Maya Beach where they filmed Leo’s the Beach movie. The diffence is that it’s cheaper if your base is in Krabi. Krabi also has a few beaches like Ao Nang (20 minutes by car) or Rai Lay (by boat only), but accommodation could double up in those areas.
So, for less than RM50 for transportation from border and RM30 for room, you could be in another environment sipping ice cold pineapple juice and reading a book while being caressed by soft winds. And not to mention those farangs with well endowed assets.