Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Have I finally caught the fever? *wink*

As I write this, in the background, I am listening to Aril of AF7 singing "Andainya Aku Pergi Dahulu" on YouTube which he sang in last week's concert. I am listening to it over and over again. *grin*

To me, I think he sang this song really well, and it went right through my heart the first time I heard it. His expression was full of emotions and I could feel his emotions.

So, this boy has proven to me that he does not only have a cute face, but a voice to match, though it still needs lots of polishing. I hope he will stay on till the final concert so that he can get to learn all the right technique of singing correctly.

Did I just say that AF has lost it's feel and appeal? Well, I still think AF have lost much of it's appeal, but, I did say in my first posting of AF this season that this group of kids are quite good, only that they needed lots of work on their singing technique and performance.

So far, for now, this season, I am keeping a 'watching brief' on Aril and Aishah. Though Hafiz is a favourite among the Critics and the many followers of AF, he has yet to appeal to me and get me interested to watch him every week.

I think Isma is someone to look out for too. Though I must say that she does look and sound almost like Siti Nurhaliza.

Any chance they could somehow be related?

A room with a view

I was in Langkawi recently to attend a meeting and had stayed at Bayview Hotel Langkawi which was centrally located within walking distance to the best shopping places in town.

The hotel room was spacious, and I like the huge window that overlooks the swimming pool as it brought in a lot of light into the room - just perfect for stitching! *grin*

However, I did not get much stitching done while I was there. I was busy checking out the shops! LOL!

My flight back to Kuala Lumpur was only at 6.40pm, as I could not get an earlier flight back, so, after my meeting, which ended just slightly after 1.00pm, I made a beeline to the shops.

I am not much into aimless shopping, and my hubby will attest to that. He said that I make a lousy shopper (certainly I will not qualify as a Shopaholic, for sure! LOL!) except when I go stash shopping for craft things, then you see me really shop! LOL!

I am one of those rare ladies who does like to window shop, and neither do I like to go shopping without a reason. I only go shopping when I have something that I need to get or I am scouting for something that I am in the market for. I think it also has to do with the fact that if I go to a shop, I can never come back empty handed. LOL! I think it’s a disease, one which I am not that eager to get it cured - just yet! LOL!

So, in order for me to refrain myself from shopping, I just don’t go shopping for no reason. I think I have a weak self-control when it comes to stashing for craft things, so, the best is to stay away from shops and shopping complexes, especially those that have craft shops in it! LOL!

Oopps! Sorry! As always, I am digressing again! *grin*

Anyway, back to my shopping around the small town of Langkawi, I only bought some chocolates to bring back home to my hubby, son, and the staffs in my office. I also bought the square saucepan which I had already blogged about it a few days ago. Other than that, it was back to the hotel room for some rest before I have to get ready to go to the airport and some stitching.

My room had a clear view of the huge swimming pool and a view of the sea and the small town of Langkawi.

I couldn’t resist taking shots of the wonderful view for keepsakes, as the weather that day was also bright and sunny, despite the rain sometime in the morning.
It’s not usual that I find a hotel room that is conducive for stitching, but for sure, this hotel will always be in my priority list of hotels to stay should I come here again.

How does your garden grow……

It’s been some time since I last attended to my vegetable garden. All that I did the last few months (or, was that coming to a year already? LOL!) was to just water the plants.

So, last weekend, while I was watering the plants, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my bitter gourd had started to bear fruits again, and not one fruit, but FOUR fruits, and they were all about to mature already! See what I mean when I said that all that I did the last few months was to just water the plants? I literally did just that! LOL!

Even though I did see that the bitter gourd had started to flower some weeks back (I did not even plants the seeds, it grew on its own from seeds that fell off from the previous planting), little did I expect it to bear fruits so soon.

So, even though I had paid little attention to it in recent months, it still decided to reward me with fruits, maybe as a way of appreciating me for watering it each weekend, despite my busy schedule.

Or, could it be maybe that it was trying to tell me to take care of it, and by bearing me fruits, it is reminding me that it still is in existence, and wish to exist for some time yet to come? LOL!

I have already plucked the biggest one, and had fried it with eggs and served for dinner last night.

I am hoping to pluck the rest this coming weekend, as they seem to have matured already, though they have not reached its matured size. I think they are teasing me! LOL!

See, told you I talk to my plants! I even joke with them, and now they are teasing back at me! LOL!

Am I going insane? LOL! *wink*

Sunday, March 29, 2009

AF has lost it's feel.......

It's another irony isn't it that the very two people that Astro has been trying to pair off, despite the fact that one is already engaged to be married, were both eliminated at last night's 3rd concert? Hmm........

I think it was also ironic that Rini came on stage just at the end of Aril's song which was titled "Andainya Aku Pergi Dahulu..."?

I was almost worried that it would be Aril who would be booted out due to the title of his songs, as I think that he did pretty well last night.

It has coincidentally happened before during Aznil's time - the title of the songs giving you an omen of sorts of what will happen to you! LOL!

I think Obri deserves to be booted out because I see no improvemnet in the delivery of his songs, despite it being already the 3rd concert. I cringed each time he performed during the concerts.

He looks like a sweet boy though and I wouldn't mind watching the diaries just to look at his cute face, LOL! *wink* but, sorry, Obri, AF isn't just a place for cute looks.

Rini, to me, is like what Salimah was in AF4 - `gedik', and too full of herself. Has she forgotten that she is already engaged?

The delivery of her song last night had no feel to it. I agree with Adlin that she was just merely singing, and not putting her feelings into it.

Somehow, this season, even after 3 concerts, I still could not feel anything exciting about the performance of the kids nor the concert itself. Something seems to be missing, but I just can't put a finger to it. Hmmm..is it the kids or the host? Hmm..... *grin*

Though there were some good performances by some of the kids, but I can't seem to feel the kind of excitement I felt during the last 5 seasons (the 6th season was also missing the feeling which I can't figure out what it is). I am just hoping that Astro will try to bring back Aznil in the 8th season if there is to be an 8th season. Please, no more AC Mizal. He simply can't fill in the big shoes left by Aznil. *sigh* Please bring back Aznil.......

What was wrong with Claudia's clothes last night? Was she wearing a long gown, but had the skirt turned up and folded to knee length to make up for her lack in height and brought above her waist and tied up? It looked funny and awkward.

Wardrobe needs improvement, if you ask me. I feel that the kids were not dressed to suit the songs that they were singing. I feel that Akim who sang 'Anak Gembala' was dressed all wrong when he wore something that looked like a leather jacket. It would have given the song more mood and feel had he worn something similar to what an `anak gembala' would have worn.

I also noticed that some of the boys' makeup or foundation looked thick and cake-like, making them appear too white. Or, could it be the lighting?

I agree with Mr Manager that despite his antics on stage, Qhoud's performance still came across as empty, lacking colour, depth and character. There were no dynamics and expressions. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this boy can dance in tune while singing!

That is something that always hold me in awe when someone can sing and dance well at the same time. Maybe because I don't have that talent, and thus admire those who can? *grin* Well, I have no intention to sing, nor dance, not even in the bathroom, so, people, don't worry, I won't make you all cringe listening to me sing. LOL!

I must say that both Akim and Sidi can't dance. They make the same moves each week, by just turning around like a ballerina whenever they reach a bridge in the song (err..is that what you call it?).

Adlin is truthful and open in his comments, though long winded sometimes, unlike Dato' Khaty and Khairil Johari Johar, whom I find are being very diplomatic in their comments of the kids.

Adlin's expectations are also very high, which is good for the kids, but I think Aril's performance last night was good, as I could feel his song last night. With his face full of expression, and eyes glistening, but yet Adlin finds it flat. I guess he is right in a way that the first and second chorus needs to be different to have colour. See, I am learning too! LOL!

Aishah was also good, in my opinion, but again, Adlin feels that it lacks colour. I guess he is right. I just hope that both Aishah and Aril next week will give some interesting performance next week.

Funny that even though many said that Hafiz is good, and I must agree that he is, but, I find nothing exciting about his performnace. I felt like I was just watching another singing contest, and not Akademi Fantasia, and I still think that it has a lot to do with the fact that AC Mizal just does not know how to host a show of AF's caliber.

He kept asking the same questions to the audience over and over again like, "Siapa peminat Hafiz disini?", or "Ada peminat Aril di sini?". I find most of his jokes silly. Sorry, AC, you just haven't got it, though you handled your "AC Di Sini" very well. I just can't figure it.

You know that advertisement about that shop owner who said that customers no longer come to his shop, but come the AF season, people will start scrambling back to his shop to buy boxes of tissues? Well, I think you no longer need to buy boxes of tissues to watch AF the past 2 seasons because you hardly have time to feel the emotions. You don't have time to cry. The tears just isn't there because no emotions were evoked during the elimination rounds.

AF has lost that feel that made what AF what it used to be.

Even during the elimination rounds, the kids' sadness didn't quite hit you like it did the first 5 seasons. I felt like the sadness displayed by the kids were not coming from the heart though I am sure they were probably really sad, but not the sadness felt by the kids during the first 5 seasons. Hmm...what's missing?

**note: photos taken from Mr Manager's website

The LOVE Quilt is finally completed!

Yup! I worked on the binding as I sat watching the AF concert last Saturday night, 21 March 2009, and completed it just as AC Mizal announced that Adila was booted out. What a timing! LOL! Luckily there were no teary moments in AF now, thanks to AC Mizal’s lack of playing up to emotions. If not, I am sure the quilt would have had some tear stains on it before I could even lay it on the bed! LOL!

So, what do you think?

I love the colours because it has pink in it, of course! LOL! The English flowers evokes the romantic feeling and feeling of love that I wanted the quilt to have. I think the quilt is sweet, don’t you? *wink*

I had enjoyed working on this piece, but I almost thought that I would never have been able to complete it had Gill not agreed to allow me to come in and work on it in class last Saturday. I think I just needed some pushing! LOL!

Time for me to cuddle up in bed! *wink*

Getting creative with limited building pieces

Aiman has always been very much into Bionicles and dinosaurs, eversince I could remember when he could pick up a book. Lately he has also been a fan Ben-10.

It never fails to excite him seeing all the many types of bionicles and dinosaurs on the racks at Toys R Us. And, it also never fails to amaze me seeing the excitemnet on his face each time we drop by Toys R Us before his Saturday classes, though my hubby and I agree that we shall not spoil him by buying everything that he wants.

Instead, we tell him that should he want any toys, he will have to 'work' for it by making money doing extra chores other than his daily chores. We want him to learn to appreciate the value of money.

So far, he has been lucky, because, for the last two birthdays, he got quite a number of bionicles as presents. As to be expected of boys, after playing for a few months, he got bored and wanted us to buy new ones, but we told him 'NO'.

Though he was upset initially, but, he overcomed it by getting creative. He started creating his own dinosaurs and bionicles from the existing pieces, and he has been quite creative, coming up with many different types of dinosaurs and bionicles.

Last night, he wanted me to snap photos of his creation, and here they are, which he explained to me are not bionicles, but dinosaurs. He said that they are T-Rex and Terradactile.

Hmm.....would I have known any better? LOL!

Limitations do have its advantages. It forces you to get creative with whatever that you have. *grin*

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh! For the square saucepan!

I have been looking high and low for a square saucepan here in Kuala Lumpur, but I must have been looking at the wrong places, since I just couldn't find it.

What I have found so far here in KL are square ones used for oven top grilling where it has that grids on the surface of the pan. What I want is the flat one where I can make great looking bull's eye fried eggs and pancakes.

So, when I chanced upon it on my trip to Langkawi recently for work, I immediately grabbed it. Then I realised that I came with an overnight bag which is oblong in shape and would not even fit in one saucepan, what more two! Yup! I bought one flat surface suacepan, and nee oven top saucepan as I thought, what the heck, now I can grille my meat and fish which will give me that effect like it was charcoal grille but missing the charcoal flavour.

I would have liked to BBQ my meat to have the charcoal flavour, but one cannot be asking for too much, right? One must also count one's blessings, right? LOL! *wink*

So, in order for me to be able to hand carry my two saucepans back to KL, I actually had to buy another bag big enough to fit in the saucepans and so had to check in my overnight bag as I could not carry too many hand carry luggage onto the plane. *grin*

I am so pleased with myself, like a child with a new toy! LOL! *grin*.

So today, I used it to fry the 'Roti Canai' which we had for breakfast.

Tomorrow, we will be having pancakes as I want an excuse to use my new saucepan again. LOL! *grin*

Monday, March 23, 2009

I started on a new project when I shouldn’t…..

Yeah! I know I shouldn’t, but I could not resist it. I have been working on the LHN piece for more than 3 months already, and although I am not actually bored of it yet, but I just could not resist starting on a new project when I came across this Lizzie Kate piece when I was organizing my craft room.

It looked like a very simple design which I think I might be able to finish it in no time at all, that is, provided that I work on it non-stop! LOL!

I’ll probably be working this piece in between my LHN pieces which I currently have two already. I am anxious to complete the LHN “The Counting House” so that I can start on another new project! LOL!

By the way, here’s the progress on the LHN piece, “The Counting House”.

Oh, another thing before I forget. When I visited Art Friend some months ago, I could not resist another temptation to buy these two packs of 14ct aidas in PINK and beige! Sweet, huh?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Look what I made!

I have been busy…..well, not only busy with work, which gets me constantly stressed out! LOL! I have been busy working on my crafts. It keeps me sane in this insane and stressful world with a job that is getting more demanding by the day. I love my job, but, with all the stress that I have to go through each day, I need to come home for a hug with my hubby and son, and also to work on my crafts to take my mind of matters at work.

It relaxes me, and as many of my crafting friends will agree with me, getting creative doing crafty things is very therapeutic.

So, last Saturday, as I was cleaning up my craft room in the morning before taking Aiman out for his Saturday activities, I came across a couple of small projects that I have been doing, but never got around to complete it. They were in several pouches stashed away in several areas of the room that I forgot all about it. Not seeing them means out of sight, which means out of mind.

My mind started thinking how should I keep all my small projects together so that I know what I am doing them and constantly remind myself that I should complete them. So, as I sat stitching my Little House Needlework piece at Starbucks yesterday, I suddenly had a brainwave (eerr……wondering if that is right word to use…?). Before I forget, and as I did not carry a notebook with me, I quickly drew a sketch on the Starbucks napkin of how I would like my pouch to look like with some basic dimensions.

I dropped by Quilt Gallery to buy some zippers, and I also went a little bit overboard as I bought a few remnant pieces of cottons too to make the pouch despite having a lot of stash already at home! LOL! *grin* I simply could not resist it especially when I saw the cheerful colours of a piece of cotton that I knew would be just perfect for my pouch! LOL!

When I came home, I did not start on the pouch immediately as I had other chores to do, but, before dinner, I sat down to redraw the pouch in my craft notebook, and managed to cut the fabrics to size before I had to get dinner ready.

I only went back to doing the pouch after the AF Concert, which ended at 11.30pm, and stayed up till 1.30am to work on it. I continued to work on it after breakfast today, and managed to complete it just before I had to get lunch ready.

I am happy to show off *wink* to my crafting friends and readers of my blog, my own pouch creation! Not the greatest piece of work, but......*grin*

It can fit in 3 small on going projects, the size of Lizzie Kate’s or Little House Needlework charts, at the same time.

It looks a little bulky because I just stuffed everything inside the pouch without organizing it as I was too excited to take photos of the pouch to show off! LOL!

I am not an expert in working with zippers, so I surprised myself when I actually managed to do up this pouch not with one zipper, but 3 zippers! LOL!

Also, I have always been intimidated whenever I see a project that requires me to do a piping using cords. I always think it is difficult and I might not make a good job of it. But, I guess, since learning how to make one the proper way at Epal when I did the multi-purpose basket, it sure pays off, when I managed to do the piping for this pouch quite well.

I am quite pleased with myself on how the pouch turned out. I almost did not want to do the piping, but now I am glad I did. It made a lot of difference to the way the pouch would have looked without the piping. It wouldn’t have looked as nice, I think, as it is with the piping. Wouldn’t you agree? *wink*

Don’t you also agree with me that the fabric for the front of the pouch is so cheerful and colourful? This will be one pouch I would be proud to show off! LOL! *wink*

Opps! I’d better get some stitching done! *grin*

My treasure trove!

I was doing some organizing in my craft room yesterday and opened up my box of completed projects and realized that I had completed quite a number of projects that I myself had even forgotten that I had completed them! LOL!

Here’s the treasure trove………..

..and here are what’s in it...

Now I just need to find time to go to the framers to have them framed up. It’s going to cost me quite a sum to frame them all up, so I think I’ll probably do one piece a month.

I am also contemplating of sending a few pieces over to Tammy in Penang since I love the creative way that Mr. Lim, Tammy’s hubby, frames up my pieces. He does justice to all the hard work I put into my stitching.

The first casualty

Ironic isn’t it that the first person to be booted out from Akademi Fantasi happens to be someone who already has a name in the music industry?

It just goes to prove that even if you are already an artiste, it is for sure that you will win a singing competition, and vice versa. In fact, it has ben proven many times already in many other competitions. Take Dayang Nurfaizah, for instance, who is already a recording artiste. She never made it to the top two in One In A Million, but she has many albums already to her name. I like her voice.

Even if you did win a singing competition, it is not a guarantee that you will succeed in the entertainment world. Faizal Tahir only came second, but he is more successful than Suki who won One In A Million some years back. Suki is only now making her moves into the entertainment industry, when Faizal Tahir is already winning awards.

Faisal of AF4 might have won in the 4th season of AF4, but, he is nowhere near successful in the music game. Adam came 3rd in AF3, but he is one of the more successful AF graduates compared to Linda Nanuwil who came in 2nd in the same season, but is nowhere to be found these days.

So, to Adila, I wish her good luck.

Now, for the comments for this week’s concert.

First, I must say kudos to the producer or music director, or whoever it is that is responsible for forwarding the idea for the kids to sing a medley. I must agree with Adlin that before you have time to get bored of the song, the song changes, and so does the mood. It saves those kids who did badly for the first song when they sang the second song better. But, there were cases where the kids did terribly for both songs, like Yazid, for instance. He might not have liked both the songs given to him, but that does not give him the right to deliver the songs badly. It is a responsibility given to him, and he should have carried it with pride.

Anuar Zain’s Lelaki Ini is a beautiful song, but when Yazid delivered the song, I could not help but cringed. He was not only bad, he was horrible! How could he have spoilt such a lovely song! He certainly must change his attitude if he wants to survive in this cruel entertainment world. Like Adlin said, when you are a singer, you will get songs requested for you to sing. Do you turn down a request made by someone paying you to sing? If you do, then you can forget about being invited back again by the organizer. I hope Yazid changes his attitude for the better. If not, I hope he gets kicked out next week.

I didn’t think much of Aishah when I first saw her 2 weeks ago in Diary, but, I must agree with my hubby that she is one to keep an eye on for. Could she be another small size winner?

She sang Faizal Tahir’s ‘Cuba’ very well, despite it being a ‘male song’. She took up the challenge and succeeded.

I wish Aril had made some dance moves when he sang Adam’s ‘Robot’ because it might have warmed him up to fans of Adam. Unfortunately he didn’t and I think it was a waste. A pity too, because it would have made a very strong impact.

I just hope that Aril is not going to be another Dafi or Nubhan where they are cute, but their singing talent has much to be desired. AF is, at the end of the day, a singing competition, right?

The clothes this week are far better than last week. The girls were much better dressed. I like Rubisa and Aisha’s attire, though I think Isma’s clothes makes her look very rounded.

However, overall, I think the kids’ performances have somewhat deteriorated a bit. Could it be that they performed better last week because they performed songs they chose, but this week, they were given the songs? But, since yesterday was only their second concert, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and will wait till the 4th or 5th concert to see who would actually have it to make it into the entertainment world.

Err…..could I boot out the Critics? *grin* I don’t like Endrie Hashim’s comments and I noticed that he and Yusni Hamid, and also last week, Khaty Ibrahim, does not seem to agree on the same thing. Either he is right, and Khaty or Yusni is wrong, or vice versa. But, I think the ladies are both right. *grin* I think Adlin always seems to save the day, though I sometimes think that his comments can sometimes be long-winded too.

By the way, I think the AF attire won by the kids when singing Menuju Puncak is cute – both the male and female attire.

The red and white colour and the short skirts make the girls look more feminine, though some might find it a little too sexy, despite them wearing leotards.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The transformation begins……

As to be expected, there was no elimination during the first concert of AF last Saturday. If there was, I think I would have liked to boot out AC Mizal first! LOL!

Why of why did Astro keep him for another season. Why can’t he be replaced with Sarimah, or get Aznil to come back? Could it be because he had already signed up with Astro for more than one season, and so Astro has no choice but to keep him for another season? Oh dear…..

I enjoy watching AC Di Sini, and find him funny most of the time. He is talented and he handled his guests well on AC Di Sini, but, for some reason, he just has not got it to host a show of AF’s caliber, where spontaneity is a prerequisite. To host a show of AF’s caliber, one must be able to catch the moment and react, where Aznil is very good at. The host must also be able to dramatize a situation and set the mood for the evening. He or she must be able to make the audience laugh or cry with you, because that is what Akademi Fantasia is all about – DRAMA. And that was missing from last week’s concert.

First there was no interview done prior to the singing. Then there was no video clippings shown. The Critics gave their critics without having to be called.

Even though I don’t like some of the taglines used by the some of the AF kids in the last 6 seasons of AF, but to not have it at all was like a part of AF was missing. The taglines have become almost a part of what AF is all about. It was like not watching the AF concert anymore. Instead, it became like just watching any other concerts. It became just like Malaysian Idol, One in A Million, Mentor and many others which was just another singing contest.

AF is known for its drama. It’s what AF is all about. But, to not have the `interview’ prior’ to the singing, to take away the video clippings showing the ‘moments’ of the kids as they go about their daily activities, where it created drama and sets a tone for the evening, was like taking away what has made AF what it has become.

The ‘elimination’ round was done so promptly, you could have easily missed it and wondered what had just happened. There was no suspense at the end of the concert. And what was most unusual was that there was no Menuju Puncak sang at the end of the concert. What happened? Did the producer forget to include it in? Menuju Puncak is part of the AF concert. It sets the tone for the drama that was to begin during the elimination round. Taking that out was like the concert never ended. Again. I believe, the producers did that to accommodate AC Mizal’s lack of talent to play up the drama. Oh why oh why is he still around?

If AC Mizal lacks the talent to make drama, so did the fashion stylist. Why were all the kids dressed mostly in jeans, despite some of them singing some love ballads? Singing a love song in jeans took away the mood of the song. It just didn’t look right. Watching the concert last Saturday was like watching a day time talent show, where the participants are just walk-ins.

I think the stylist or fashion consultant should have dressed the kids according to the songs that they are to sing, as it makes a difference in the mood of the kid, and sets the mood of the audience too. Just to pick an example, I think Isma sang beautifully with her love ballad, but her dress just did not look right. I hope for the next concert this Saturday; the fashion consultant would do a better job.

If there was any consolation or good points to last week’s concert, it was the fact that all the students had a good voice. They just needed polishing. Even though some of them quivered during the first few seconds of their songs, their true voices showed through once they gained confidence. It would be hard to eliminate anyone this coming concert; so, it’s only their personalities which will keep them in the Akademi for the next 9 weeks.

If not for the poor dressing, the missing video clippings and the `interview’ - no thanks to AC Mizal; the missing Menuju Puncak, and the missing drama at the end of the concert, it would have been one good concert to remember, but alas, it was just another concert, like any other….

*notes: photos were taken from Akademi Fantasia's Official website.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A trip "Back to Nature"

My hubby had wanted to take our son for a “Back to Nature” holiday for quite some time already, but, as usual, time was never on our side, until this school holiday.

We started our journey from home at about 8.00am, with a stopover for breakfast before proceeding onto the highway. It was the usual boring sights at first on the highway, but, as soon as we got off at the Temerloh exit off Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT), the scenery changed to something that was very soothing to the eyes.

The sights got greener as we got nearer to Kuala Tahan.

The roads were less busy, and the people were more relaxed. So relaxed that they don’t even wear safety helmets!

We got to Woodlands Hotel at about noon.

I think it was one of the better hotels in the area, and I am glad that my hubby chose this one instead of the many others that we came across as we walk from our hotel to the jetty daily.

The room was nice and I think the bathroom was just recently renovated. It looked new. But, the service was uh……will tell you more about that later.

After checking in and dropping off our things, we headed on to look for lunch as we were all starting to get hungry already. At least I was famished! *grin* I forgot to take a photo of the simple restaurant where we had our first meal in Kuala Tahan as I was just too hungry! LOL! After our tummy was filled up, we decided to take a walk to the jetty to see what to expect for our Night Jungle Walk.

There were many floating restaurants along the river banks, but too bad we had already had our lunch then.

As it was getting too hot and uncomfortable, we headed back to our hotel for a nap. We woke up to realize that it had started raining. As the rain came to a drizzle, we decided to walk around the hotel to see what it has to offer.

As the sky looked like it was going to hold up, we decided to walk down to the jetty again to explore some more.

On the way back, we stopped by the souvenire shop to buy poncho raincoats before heading back to the hotel as the sky looked like it was about to pour out its contents again in the evening, and we were afraid that it might rain during our Night Jungle Walk.

After a delicious set dinner which was part of our holiday package, we got ready for the Walk.

I took photos in front of the van thinking that this was the van that will take us to the jetty for the Night Walk, but, instead, our Tourist Guide came in a Perodua Kancil, wearing slippers, and hair tied up in a ponytail, carrying a beat up backpack. *grin*

He claimed that he has been featured many times in the National Geography. We were impressed. So, we figured we were lucky to have gotten ourselves a Guide that has many times been featured on TV! *wink*

It started drizzling as we got to the jetty, but, we proceeded anyway since we came prepared with ponchos and torch lights. We took a boat across to Taman Negara, and after taking our permits and camera licenses, we started on our Night Walk.

Man, our tourist guide, was quite a detail person with very sharp eyes. He is 53 years old. Despite the darkness, he managed to spot even the littlest of creatures. As other guides just passed us by with their group of tourist, Man stopped at every little thing that his eyes caught, which was good for us, and definitely for Aiman.

We were enjoying the walk and I was taking as many photos as I could of the many interesting jungle creatures, when, halfway through our walk, it started raining, and it rained hard! We hurriedly put on our ponchos and proceeded with the walk, but it got slippery at some areas that my hubby had to hang on to me.

I was worried about Aiman, but he proceeded with the walk without fear. In fact, he was acting so grown up when he kept looking back to see if I was okay. When I told him to hang on to me, he corrected me and said, “No, mummy, you hang on to me.” *grin*

I couldn’t take anymore photos as the rain got so heavier, but we completed our walk right up to the end. We headed back on foot to the hotel when our guide sort of `abandoned’ us on the jetty after getting us back across. LOL!

Our Tourist Guide might have been featured on the National Geography, but he sure lacks the people skill! LOL! As if to reinforce my opinion of our tourist guide that he lacks people skill, instead of picking us up at the hotel the next day for our next leg of the tour, he told us to meet him at the jetty at 9.00am. LOL! *grin*

I did not mind the walk to the jetty at all, but I think, as a tourist guide, he should have some people skill. But, could it be because we are locals that he treated us that way? If we had been a foreigner, would he have asked us to meet him at the jetty too, or would he have picked us up? If that is true, why the double standard in treatment? We are, after all, still a tourist in that area. *shrug*

Anyway, the next day, after breakfast, we walked back to the jetty to go for the Jungle Trekking and Canopy Walk. As we got to the jetty, it started drizzling again. Man, our guide, said that the Canopy Walk might not open if it proceeds to rain, but we decided to go across anyway, and wait for the drizzle to subside.

I am glad we did, as when we got to the Canopy Walk, the drizzle subsided, and we were allowed to take the Walk.

Man told us that the Canopy Walk is about 540m long with some climbing along the way. My hubby was concerned that I might not be able to make the climb as I was already feeling tired from climbing the hill to get to the start of the canopy walk. But, I did not want to miss out on something interesting. Besides, I wouldn’t want to miss the excitement I am expecting to see from my son as he scales the walk. It will be something I can write about for him to read in his later years.

Since I expected the worst, the Canopy Walk wasn’t so bad after all, though I did have some anxious moments as the canopy swayed left and right. LOL!

Aiman took to the Walk like it was second nature to him. I am so proud of him.

Next was the climb up to Bukit Teresek. Man said that it will be about a 35 minutes walk up.

Err……I should have known that the 35 minutes was by his standards. The jungle was his second home. 35 minutes to him was more like an hour to me! LOL! His “sikit saja aje lagi” (just a little bit more) was actually like 800 meters more! LOL!

When he said “sikit aje lagi”, I thought that we were almost there. But, actually it was still a very long way to go. When, even after walking for more than 15 minutes, and still we have not reached the top, when I asked him again, how much further, again he said, “sikit aje lagi”, I realized that I cannot compare my standards to his who have been a guide in the jungle almost all his life.

We started the climb up the hill without much of a problem as Man stopped once in a while to show us some of the plants along the way. Despite the tough climb here and there, Aiman climbed the hill with ease, and here I was worrying about him. My hubby said that he’s a natural in the woods. "Just look as the way he climbed the hills!"

As for me, I felt like I had just entered the latest season of The Amazing Race! LOL! With all the climbing exercise and sweat, I think I need not have to exercise for the next ONE YEAR! LOL!

After climbing for about 20 minutes with still no sight of the top of the hill, I was beginning to give up when my legs could no longer carry me forward. The thighs were getting painful, and I was afraid that it might cramp up.

I told my hubby to proceed with Man and Aiman, and I will just sit and wait as Man said that they will be coming back the same way. But, my hubby was not willing to leave me behind since he has heard many scary stories about being lost in the jungle, and when Aiman saw how tired I was, he took it as an excuse to give up to, saying that he is tired too. But, my hubby theorizes that he wasn’t actually tired, but was just being protective of me. He didn’t want to leave me behind too, but was too macho to admit that he was concerned about me, and so admitted that he was tired too. If that were true, I think that was very sweet of him. *smile*

I felt bad that we did not get to see the view from the top of Bukit Teresek, but, I had to be realistic and realize that I am not fit to make that climb, even though my spirits were high, and I am not one to give up that easily on something that I have started on.. But, I also didn’t want to end up hurting myself, and so had to force myself to give up. We proceeded to climb down, and went straight to the jetty for our boat ride to the Orang Asli Village and Rapid Shooting.

When we got to the Orang Asli Village, there were a group of tourist being briefed by their guide about the aborigines and their way of life. I felt uncomfortable as I felt that we were intruding into their (the Orang Asli) privacy, as the group of people (tourist) went around snapping photos of the village people at close range. My hubby agreed with me.

Even though our Guide told us that these village people were paid to have the tourist come over to see their way of life, we felt that it was anthropologically not correct. I quickly snap some far range photos of the kids playing, just to show to our son about their simple life, before we decided to leave the village.

Next, we went on a rapid shooting ride. Err…..when my hubby said that we were going rapid shooting, I thought that we were going to a village where we will be doing some shooting rapidly with the ‘sumpit’! LOL! *blush* Duh! My son corrected me when he explained that rapid shooting is when you go on a boat that shoots rapidly into the waters! LOL! *grin* How old is my son again? LOL!

I really enjoyed the rapid shooting ride not just because of the thrill of the ride, but because it allowed me to rest while we enjoyed the sights around us. It was awesome!

On the way back, the boat stopped to pick up a pair of German tourist who went hiking and jungle trekking in Taman Negara.

He was telling us about the leeches, when my hubby realized that he too was bitten by leeches. I am glad that my son and I were free from leech bites.

We got back to the jetty at about noon and headed back to the hotel for another scrumptious lunch at the hotel.

We were supposed to go on another boat ride to Lata Berkoh & Kelah Fish Santuary, but our Guide said that since it rained in the morning, it was not advisable to go there as it might be slippery. Er….that could be true, and we headed his advice, but, could it also be that he was just 'plain lazy' since the sun was already high up by the time we got back to the hotel? I wouldn’t be surprised if that were so, knowing his lack of people skill. *grin*

So, after lunch, we had the whole afternoon to ourselves. We took a nap, but, after waking up, we didn’t go anywhere except that my hubby took Aiman for a swim at the swimming pool, as my hubby was starting to feel a fever coming as he started coughing and sneezing.

We took it easy in the late evening, and after dinner, my hubby went straight to bed while I worked on my cross stitch piece which I had brought along while watching a movie on TV.

The lighting in the room was not that bright, but bright enough for stitching, which was just nice for me. I managed to work quite a lot on it, and I am pleased with how much I had progressed on the piece.

The next day, after breakfast, and a short rest, we decided to start off early for home as my hubby was not feeling that well. I was afraid that his health might get worse if we stayed longer, and I was also beginning to miss home. I also have loads of housework waiting for me when I get home! LOL!

Overall, I think it was a great holiday. I enjoyed myself, and I think so did my son. It was different from the many other holidays that we have had. It was more for my son to learn about nature and how people in other parts of Malaysia lives.

The hotel where we stayed was lovely, though the service was quite bad. They never cleaned the room, but only came in to change the towels and make the beds. There were cobwebs at some places, and they did not wash the cups that we had used the night before.

They also never replenished the tea and coffee until we complained. But, other than that, it was a nice place to stay as the room was quite comfortable, the food for dinner and lunch was nice, and the breakfast was okay.

It was just unfortunate that my hubby got sick towards the end of the holiday, but he said that he felt the fever coming even before we left for the trip. Here I was thinking that I was going to be the one that was going to get sick and tired out and coming back with aches all over my body, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to cope quite well, despite the sudden strenuous exercise that my body suddenly had to go through! LOL!

So, I am fitter than I thought I am, though I am not as fit as I would like to be, but, exercise I will not have to do for the next ONE YEAR after all the exercise that I have had to go through in the woods! LOL!

Thanks, hubby, for a wonderful holiday!