Monday, March 27, 2006

(no title)

In observation of the passing my grandmother, I will not be publishing any photos for the next one week.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Anticipation



The expression on her face reads "anticipation".

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kopitiam



A kopitiam in Malaysia usually refers to an old-fashioned Chinese coffee shop. Kopitiams are easily identified by old-style furniture made from (usually) dark brown hardwood and marble tops. The REAL kopitiams have furniture that is REALLY old; as old as, or even older than the proprietors themselves perhaps. It is this quality of furniture and setting that gives kopitiams a homely feel, compared to the modern factory-produced coffee shops with their rough-edged plastic contraptions. Some kopitiams even have seating booths made of wood, giving coffee lovers a bit of privacy while having their daily dose of caffeine. Sorry, no cheesy PVC covered cushions here. It's all wood and marble, and built to last.

One of the main attractions of an authentic kopitiam is the bread. Some kopitiams still buy bread in loaves (and uncut). The kopitiams slice the bread themselves and they are usually quite generous, unlike the wafer-thin slices of bread that come from high-tech modern bakeries served by modern coffee shops and caf├ęs. Nothing beats having thick toast with a generous helping of butter and kaya, washed down with a cup of steamy locally ground coffee. Heavenly.

In these modern times, it is not surprising to see a bunch of old men seated around their favourite table in a corner kopitiam, talking at the top of their voices about politics, social life, kids, grand-kids, great-grand-kids, and of course, the good old days.

Sadly, authentic kopitiams are a dying breed. They just don't make 'em like they used to. While they are common in small towns, kopitiams are getting rare in bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. The kopitiams are old, and so are the proprietors. Most of their kids probably have better, high-paying jobs elsewhere or simply have no interest in running an old fashioned coffee shop. So it usually gets sold to another fellow who turns the place into a modern coffee shop or something else.

The photo above is taken from a new-style kopitiam. It's an air-conditioned environment with shiny new marble tops and glistening wooden frames. While the concept is clearly derived from a traditional kopitiam, it will never be able to mimic the unique personality of an authentic kopitiam. That homely feel just isn't there.

But what the heck, at least it made for a reasonably nice photograph.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Bowling Alley



Before I arrived at the 1Utama bowling alley, I stopped by the centre of 1Utama's new wing to take a single photo of the oval shaped concourse.

As I was making some minor adjustments to my camera's settings, I noticed a security officer gesturing towards me. The security officer was very polite and explained that the management of 1Utama did not allow visitors to take photos within the shopping complex. He said that rival business-owners might want to steal ideas from the shops in 1Utama. But he did allow me a couple of shots of the oval concourse.

But think about it ... If I were trying to spy on 1Utama shops, I wouldn't be stupid enough to lug around an EOS350D complete with a huge battery-grip and strap with the word Canon showing in large white lettering. Let's not forget my camera bag slung over my shoulder. That's pretty conspicuous too.

Besides, I think the interior designs of 1U's shops are boring and lack creativity. I've seen 1st year students from interior design colleges draw up way better interiors than what 1U tenants have.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Outdoor Restaurant



Table settings of a restaurant in Alamanda Shopping Centre, Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Energy



Reflection of an high-tension electrical pylon on the lake in Taman Aman in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tower to Tower



A view of the Petronas Twin Towers from nearby KL Tower.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Trio



From left to right: Spike II, Pongo and Hazel II. If you're wondering why two of them have (II) after their names, it's because those were names that were given to kittens from a previous batch and have since left our humble home and gone on to greener pastures (hopefully). The sad story in this picture is Pongo. He died exactly one week ago. So I guess it's actually a "Duo" now.

But life must go on ... and we still have Spike, Hazel, Rusty, Grandma-cat, Kiki and Pikachu to amuse us. :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hazy Evening in Kuala Lumpur



A hazy evening in Kuala Lumpur. The haze is something of an annual phenomenon in Malaysia. It comes and goes every year between January and June. The haze is commonly blamed on illegal open burning that takes place in several parts of neighbouring Indonesia.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Windows



Nothing to do with Microsoft. Just another black and white photograph.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tic Tac Toe



A game of tic-tac-toe can be found on a playground set in Taman Aman, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Komuter



It's a KTM Komuter train heading from Subang to Shah Alam. KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) is Malaysia first and oldest train service that began with a 12.8km track in the year 1885. The Komuter (a Malaysianised version of "Commuter") is powered by electricity and serves as a suburban transport system that complements the bus services as well as other suburban railway services in the Klang Valley (that's what we call the metropolitan area in which Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital is a part of).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bonang



What you see is a traditional Malay musical instrument called a "Bonang". In English, it could be described as "sets of small kettle gongs". This musical instrument originated from Riau (a province of Indonesia), and in the early 19th century, its use spread to the east coast states of Pahang and Terengganu. The bonang is commonly played in Gamelan music together with other instruments such as the saron, kenong, gong and gendang. Malay Gamelan music is usually played during royal and formal occassions, and performers are specially trained in royal palaces.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Computer Bug



Maybe this might explain why my net connection has been so slow lately.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Merry Little Stalls



This photo was taken in Suria Shopping Centre situated next to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre).

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sidewalk Smiley



A smiley designed out of floor tiles. Seen at the corner of Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

LRT



Looking down the tracks of Putra LRT (Light Rail Transit) heading through the town of Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Symmetry



It's not something many of us get to see every day. This is a view of a high-tension electrical pylon directly from the underside.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Rusted Pair



A pair of rusted nails still stuck in a piece of rotting wood. This photo was taken near an abandoned home in Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia.

Flying Skater Boy



A young boy practising his skateboarding skills on a ramp in Taman Aman, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. (Shutter: 1/400, f5.6, ISO200, Lens: 18.0-55.0mm, Focal Length: 55.0mm)

Kiddie Chair



Seen at a chinese restaurant in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

No.47



I was actually looking for another abandoned house that I had seen from the main highway. However, as I explored the old kampung (village) area, I stumbled across this old wooden house. It looked unoccupied since parts of the wall had graffiti on it and the surrounding land was fairly untamed. Although the photo was taken in full colour, I intentionally converted it to black & white with some vignetting to give an older appearance. (Photographed at Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sampan



A sampan is a malay word for a "small row-boat" or "canoe". Well, the fact is, a sampan does not look exactly like a canoe, but the dimensions are similar.

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