Monday, October 12, 2015

Anemonefish

Have you seen Finding Nemo? And you wondered what type of fish Nemo is. Well, Nemo is actually an anemonefish or also known as a clownfish.


A clownfish colony swimming near to its host, the sea anemone.Can you spot which clownfish is the leader of the colony?

Why is it call an anemonefish?

Simple. Because it lives in a sea anemone.

The clownfish and the sea anemone has a symbiotic mutualistic relationship. Basically, it means that existence together benefits each other.

Another fun fact about the clownfish. The dominant and largest clownfish is a female. And the clownfish is actually a sequential hermaphrodite. Meaning they are born as male, but can change into female when mature. So, if the female dies, the most dominant male will change into female and will lead the colony.

The clownfish looks cute and bubbly but they are very protective of their home. They chase off any thing that gets near to their sea anemone home. Sometimes even divers. But, they are so cute, aren't they? Awwwwww



Friday, May 10, 2013

Scars


There are many scars on my body,
Some exists unintentionally,
Some of them were made to cherish.

And most of them fade,
As time pass by,
Due to the replacement of my skin.

New skin growing under the old skin,
Pushing the old skin away,
And eventually,
The scars fade.

Some scars, i hate them,
So i put some ointment,
So that they'll fade faster. 

Some scars, made me remember happy moments,
So i leave them alone.
Like this one scar, i got from the cut of barnacles,
While trying to escape,
A wandering jellyfish.
It was a funny one.
Every time, i look at that scar, i'll laugh.

But there is this one scar,
Not visible to the eye,
But it is there,
Near my heart.

Is the scar that you had made,
Deep and bloody,

For a long time,
It had not healed.

I wish it would fade faster then the others,
But it won't.

Stubbornness,
Just like the heart.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yuzu

Yuzu, is actually a Japanese restaurant. I believe there are many outlets, but the one I went was in KLCC. If you want to taste almost authentic Japanese food in KL with a suitable taste for the local tongue, I would recommend Yuzu. It is a bit on the expensive side but still affordable and worth it.

 I've been there twice and food is scrumptious, considering that I am a die hard fan of Japanese food. The last time I went there, I ordered a Yuzu gozen and my friend ordered a hotate or scallop with rice. Yuzu gozen is a set meal, a huge set meal, that consisted a little bit of everything. There is sashimi, sushi, wagyu beef, soup, a salad, pickles, tempura, chawanmushi and some fruits. The scallop with rice was basically scallop cooked with onions and eggs the Japanese way (soya sauce and teriyaki I think). Ok, let the pictures do the talking.



I would recommend this place if you don't mind to pay a little bit extra for the food. Normally a set meal would cost around RM 40 and it can go up to RM 80. A normal dish would cost around RM 25 and above and the green tea is free! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Myanmar

This was an all girls trip in 2011. And most of us had heard about this country, about Junta and everything, but i assure you that it was okay. But, I would suggest a few things before you go to Myanmar.

1. Make your visa
Do it at the local Myanmar Embassy. In Malaysia, the Myanmar embassy is located at No. 8(C(, Jalan Ampang Hilir, 55000 Kuala Lumpur. There are two types of visa, the express one and the normal one. The express one enables you to collect the visa within 1 day and costs you about RM 150 whereas the the normal one takes about 2 working days and costs RM 80. Just make sure you put in the full address of the place of residence when you are in Myanmar, sometimes failing to do so will cost you your visa.

2. Send an email to your country's embassy in Myanmar.
I just thought that this was essential especially when it was an all girls trip. Details such as passport number, date of arrival and date of departure should be included in the email. Usually the Embassy will reply back the email indicating that they are aware you are going to visit Myanmar.

3. Change some Malaysian Ringgit into crisp US dollar.
This information was quite mixed up. Some say the people at Myanmar prefer small US dollars, but when we got there, we were given good rates if we have bigger notes, USD 50 & USD 100. But one thing that is right is that the people at Myanmar definitely prefer crisp and new notes, and they even refuse to take in USD that are old and worn out. The USD is then changed to kyats, which is the Myanmar currency. Make sure you change your money into Myanmar kyat in shops or hotels and not at the road side. There will be people asking whether you want to change your money by the road sides, and they'll give you good rates, but be very careful. It is best to change your money in proper shops or hotels.

After all these preparation, the visit to Myanmar should be easy and fun.

So there were altogether 6 of us, but we went staggered. My friend and I arrive first, and fortunately, my friend's acquaintance, Mr Than, was there waiting for us at the airport. He straight away brought us to dinner. And after that we were brought to May Shan Hotel to settle down for the night.

The next day we just went sight seeing around Yangon while waiting for another 2 of our friends to arrive in the evening. We went to the post office building, Strand Hotel, the City hall building, mainly just sight seeing and taking pictures. Most of the buildings were colonial style, only a few were modern buildings. We also went to Sakura Tower which is the tallest building in Yangon. Sakura tower is located next to the Traders Hotel. One thing that I cannot make myself forget, is the sight of Myanmar men going to the office with their longyi, which is like a sarong or a 'kain pelikat'. And also the faces of the women had some powdery mark that is made from 'tanaka', considered as a makeup routine. A unique experience indeed.

Yangon

Things to do in Yangon, include visiting the Sakura Tower, entrance is free, and if you have excess money, you can buy a drink or two in the restaurant. Just enter the building and take the lift to the top floor. There will be 2 restaurants on the top floor, just enter any one to look at the view of Yangon. The restaurant staff were very helpful and you need not buy anything.

The building on the left is Sakura Tower and the building on the left is the Traders Hotel

Shwedagon Pagoda 
This is the second largest pagoda in Myanmar.(I think so) We walked from the city centre to the pagoda and it took us about 45 minutes to get there. The pagoda was covered with real gold and you can actually see the blocks of gold attached to the pagoda. There are 4 main entrance, North, South, East and West. The entrance fee was USD 5. When we went, the kyat was higher than USD, so the locals prefer kyat, but tourists can still pay in USD. Shoes and slippers are prohibited in the whole pagoda compound. The west gates have escalators in case climbing up the stairs is tiring for you. This was actually the first time I got on an escalator with bare feet. Shwedagon Pagoda is an active place of worship, in the morning, you can observe devotees casting a prayer or two. Sometimes, there will be monks approaching you, this is normal, the monks just wanted to practice their English with you.

The Shwedagon Pagoda

The pagodas surrounding Shwedagon


Bogyoke Aung San Market
This place is also known as the Scott Market. Like any Asian country, a market is a common place of trade. Here, you can get souvenirs such as t-shirt, fridge magnets, and even gemstones and gold. Just an advice, if you're buying gemstones or gold, make sure you get the receipts, so that you won't get into trouble at the airport when you leave.

Bogyoke Aung San or Scott Market


Bagan


We also went to Bagan, which is about 431 miles from Yangon. We took a bus from Yangon, and it took us 13 hours to reach Bagan. The journey was quite a pleasant one, with a few stops for rests and toilet break. Bagan is famous for its ancient temples and also their lacquer ware. Upon arrival, tourists were requested to pay USD 10 for the Bagan Archaeological Zone Entrance Fee. We stayed at New Park Hotel There are many ways to get around Bagan, we chose the Horse Cart, mainly because they don't have this in Malaysia.

View from our horse cart

There were so many temples in Bagan, so it would be wise to choose which temples that you want to visit, as at the end of the day, every temple looked the same. We went to about 15 temples and the temples that I recommend for a visit are Ananda Temple, Dhammayan Gyi Temple, That Bin Nyu Temple, Htilo Minlo temple, Manuha Temple and also the Shwezigon Pagoda. Bear in mind, slippers and shoes are not allowed in the temple, so be sure to wear something that is easy to slip in and out.

Temples in Bagan
Some shops outside of the temples
 Ananda Temple
Some of the murals inside of the temples
Sunset at one of the temples

We also went to a village, Myinkaba, to see the locals make lacquer ware and also the ethnic people, female with copper wire on the neck, the Karen people. The next day we went to the Nyaung U market, and bought lots of cotton blouse. It was really cheap and they would even alter the blouse for you on the spot. A decent cotton blouse cost about USD 3.

Villagers doing lacquerware
The ethnic Karen
Entrance to the market

Bago
On the way back to Yangon, we stopped by at Bago for 2 days, and visited more temples or payas, as they call it in their local language. We decided to stay at the San Francisco Guesthouse, a very basic guesthouse but very near to the main road. We were quite lucky as we met Ali, a local tuk tuk driver, and he brought us around. Some of the must visit places in Bago are Shwemawdaw Pagoda, (the tallest pagoda in Myanmar), Shwethalyaung Buddha also known as the reclining buddha (the buddha is really huge!!!), Kyaik Pun Pagoda, Mahazedi Paya (only men are allowed to climb the stairs). We also went to the Kyatkatwine Teaching Monastery and also to a tobacco cigarette factory and finally we stopped at a serene temple in the middle of no where to witness the sunset.
The Buddhist Monastery
The new sleeping Buddha
The Old Sleeping Buddha
Shwemawdaw Pagoda
Ladies working at a Tobacco Factory

The days that we spent at Myanmar were really good, there wasn't a junta on the roads, nothing like reported on the news. The culture, architecture and people were great. There were a few restrictions, like for instance, all of us had no phone roaming (the phone operator in Malaysia said that roaming will be available, however when we got in Myanmar, there was no line), and the prepaid pack were expensive (USD 50), so we really had to make clear communication on where to meet and what time to meet. Facebook can be accessed but the internet connection was not stable. Halal food is quite easy, especially in Yangon, just search for the Halal logo or the number 786, both indicating that the food sold is halal. Overall, I really enjoyed myself there. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

London : Part 2

So this is London Part 2. Part 1 is here.

I just thought it would be wise to divide London into 2, since there is so much to write about.

So, continue ah... (I'll start from 8 ya, because I stopped at 7 in part 1)

8. Covent Garden
This is the equivalent of 'Pasar Seni' in KL. There is a lot of local products sold in the Convent Garden, and most of all there are live performance everywhere. These live street performances ranges from magic show, daredevil show, and even opera singers singing. And these performances are good. I enjoyed most of them.

To get to Covent Garden, just board the tube to station Covent Garden which is on the Picadilly Line (Blue). However, on weekends, Covent Garden Tube Station maybe quite a traffic, so it is better to use Leicester Square station, on the Picadilly (Blue) and Nothern Line (Black) and walk towards Covent Garden.

Covent Garden Market

One of the Street Performers

9. Westminister Abbey
Westminister Abbey is a Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminister, as I know it as the place where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. The building have some Gothic influences. I did not entered the Westminister Abbey, as it was already about 4 pm, (the abbey closes quite early, I think 4.30pm). So we just took pictures from outside. Apparenty, a lot of royals got married here and a lot of famous people that were buried or commemorated here. I think I would want to enter it when I visited Westminister Abbey again, just to visit Sir Isaac Newton's tomb.

To get to Westminister Abbey, just board the tube to station Westminister via Jubilee (Grey), Circle (Yellow) or District (Green) lines.
One of the entrances of the Westminister Abbey
The Side view of the Abbey

10. Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner is situated at the south east corner of Hyde Park. The only reason I went to Hyde Park is to visit Hard Rock Cafe, London. Peter Morton together with Isaac Tigrett co-founded Hard Rock Cafe and the first HRC that was opened was in Hyde Park Corner, London. When I went to the Hard Rock Shop, they were having refurbishment, but the Shop was still open, and I managed to get one pin, and one T-shirt for myself.

To get to Hard Rock cafe, take the tube to Hyde Park Corner, which is on the Picadilly Line (Blue) and walk through the underpass walkway to reach HRC which was just after the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel. The pedestrian underpass walkway was indeed a beautiful one with murals and carvings on Duke Wellington's military carrier.


The Murals on Duke Wellington in an pedestrian underpass walkway

Hard Rock Cafe (under refurbishment)

11. Palace of Westminister (House of Parliament) & London Eye
The Palace of Westminister or also known as the House of Parliment is where two Houses of the Parliament of UK meet up, House of Lords and House of Commons. It is situated at the bank of the Thames river and there is a huge and famous clock tower known as The Big Ben.

The House of Parliament is situated next to Westminister Bridge. Across the bridge is the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel. The structure is 135 meters tall and the diameter of the wheel is 120 meters.

To get to both the House of Parliament and London Eye, take the Tube to Westminister via Jubilee (Grey), Circle (Yellow) or District (Green) lines. Getting to the London Eye is a bit further, but I went to these two monuments for pictures, so it doesn't matter if London Eye is further away, it's the picture that counts. ;)

The Big Ben as the background

London Eye

12. Harrods
Harrods is an a department store located in Brompton Road. I think Harrods is unique in a way that the interior design of the store is inspired by Ancient Egyptian theme. You can see statues of Pharoahs, and spinx thoughout Harrods. And if you wanna go in Harrods, make sure that you are dressed properly, since they have a dress code. I'm not sure 'properly' in what terms, but I guess smart casual is fine, not too kinky clothing. I survived the dress code. And the stuff sold inside Harrods is definitely not cheap, but the Harrods brand (such as the bags, stuff toys) are cheaper than in Kuala Lumpur.

Harrods at Night

13. Queensway
The place that will keep you near to home. Not just because Malaysia Hall is around the corner, but the whole street is filled with Asian shops, especially restaurants and the whole street closes a bit late compared to the rest of London. I was so glad that I found a Halal Malaysian restaurant in Queensway, at least there are a few dishes that suit my taste buds, and most of all I get to eat RICE!!! This is also the street you wanna shop for souvenirs. It's a bit cheaper compared to other places.

There is a shop near to the Queensway tube station, whereby if you a Malaysian, you'll get some extra goodies. To spot the shop, just watch out for a note written in Bahasa Malaysia at the entrance of the shop.

To get to Queensway, just board the tube to Queensway station via the Central Line (Red).

I'm so sorry I didn't have pictures of Queensway. I was too busy, either shopping or eating. haha

14. The stadium of your choice
Emirates!!! That's the stadium of my choice. Always a gunner at heart. There are about 11 professional football clubs in London. In the EPL, there at least 4 clubs that stadiums are in London. To name a few, Stamford Bridge (Chealse FC), Craven Cottage (Fulham FC), White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Loftus Road (Queens Park Rangers).

Emirates is huge! And there is a huge gift shop, The Armoury. And lucky me, when i went there, the jerseys were on sale for like GBP 15, and I bought 2, the home and away jersey, plus the EPL and UEFA patches. Quite a bargain.

It is easier to excess to Emirates via Tube if you stop at Halloway Road station which is on the Picadilly line (Blue)
The Armoury - Gift shop
In front of Emirates

15. The train rides
The intercity train rides are smooth and worth the time. As I had to go to Cambridge and Bristol, the train rides are very good options indeed. The lady at the National Railways counter was also very helpful, as she suggested for some tickets that were a bit later, but much much cheaper. The seats are comfortable and there is a cafeteria inside the train in case you get hungry. And the view outside is breathtaking.

Bristol Temple Meads Railway station

Some of the view from the train rides

Even there was so many places that I went, it is still not enough. I mean I can't get enough of London. There are still many places that I need to visit, like the British Museum, Madame Tussauds, Greenwich, take the HOHO bus and many more. I'm definitely coming again.

Just a few tips when you're visiting London, wear good walking shoes. See, I wore comfortable sneakers, but towards the end of the day, my feet would still ache, from overusing, as we walked a lot.

Bring lots of British pounds, haha, shopping is great here. After converting, it is still cheaper than in Malaysia, especially British brands such as Marks and Spencer, H&M etc. But do bear in mind, while shopping, make sure that you don't excess baggage, as the fee for excess baggage is super duper expensive.

Although it rains a lot in London, the climate is still dry compared to KL, so your skin will get really dry. Bring some Vaseline and apply to the dry areas of your skin. It really helps and you don't scratch as much. (dry skin will lead to itchy skin, haha, i just got to know that).

And because it rains a lot in London, it would really help if you got a winter coat that is water resistant with a hood.

Most of the time, I used the Tube (Underground) to get around London, as it is less confusing compared to the Bus rides (at least that's what I think). To get the most out the fares, it is better to use the Oyster Card, as it is cheaper that the normal single tickets. Or you can opt for the 7 day travel card, but you must know what zones you are going to travel in for the whole 7 days.

Hmmm what more, I guess just enjoy London. I did. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sharks


Sharks had always been in the fear list of many people especially me. Movies such as Jaws had been a big influence in the public and had installed fear within the people.

So what about sharks and are they really ferocious?

Sharks are a type of fish that belong to a class known as chondrichthyes. Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fishes are jawed fish and their skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bones. Sharks are also in the same class as rays and skates.

Do all sharks eat meat?
The answer is no. Most of the sharks eat meat, especially the ones that have sharp teeth. However there are some sharks that do not eat meat. Sharks such as the whale shark and the basking shark do not eat meat, they eat small, tiny, microogranisms named plankton.

Sharks have sharp vision.
Sharks are actually a fish with super senses. The sharks' eyes has a mirror like layer that allows it to see better. With many species of the sharks, two thirds of the sharks' brain is dedicated to smell.

Sharks have a few unusual senses. One of it is the lateral line. The lateral line are lines of canals that that go from the shark's head extending to its tail, and is used to detect vibrations of the water surrounding them. Another sense is the ampullae of Lorenzini, basically a sensory organ that the shark uses to detect the electric feel coming of of their prey. All of the senses alerts the sharks of their potential prey.

Do sharks prefer to prey on human?
There are some suggestions saying that sharks do not actually prefer humans. But humans seemed like easy prey as we don't swim as fast as the other fishes. Mostly the sharks will bite anything that come in their way.

Some expert suggests that sharks actually do not like human flesh because human blood are made up of iron, rather than fish blood that contains more copper ions. But more studies need to be done. But one thing that is important, if you encounter a shark that is about to attack you, j ust get out of the water as fast as possible. That is the most logical thing to do.

How do Sharks reproduce?
Most of the fish under the sea lay eggs, but sharks, they do lay eggs, but the eggs are fertilized inside the body of the female shark. The male sharks has an extension of the pelvic fins called claspers, that is used to transfer the sperm to the female to fertilize her eggs.

There are some sharks that lay their eggs. But, most of the sharks give birth to live young, the embryo of the sharks develops inside the female body during the gestation period. The gestation period for the sharks ranges from several months to two years.

Baby sharks are called pups. Pups are born complete with a set of full teeth and are ready to take care of themselves. After the pups are born, they usually swin away from their mother, as the mother would prey on them.

There are 3 ways that sharks are born :

1. Oviparity
These sharks lay eggs, which are protected by an egg case, sometimes called 'mermaid purses'. The sharks deposits the egg cases in the sea and the shark embryo is nourished by the yolk in the egg sac and chews itself out when it is fully developed.

2. Viviparity
Viviparous sharks carry their embryos throughout the whole gestation period. They give birth to live shark pups similar to how mammals give birth. The eggs hatch inside the female's body and the babies are fed by a placenta which transfers nourishment from the mother to the babies.

3. Ovoviviparous
The babies hatch inside the female body but there is no placenta to nourish the babies. The pups will eat any unfertilized eggs and also they eat each other. Very few babies survived due to this form of sibling cannibalism.

Threat To sharks
I guess this is an issue that is becoming well known. The shark fin's soup. For ages, humans had been capturing sharks and then cutting off their fin before tossing the poor shark back to the sea. And sharks without their fins, they can't swim and when they can't swim, they can't search for food, and in the end they die. When shark finning happens, the shark is basically left to die a long and miserable death. This should stop!!! And because of this, the sharks population are declining in the past few decades.

There are a few things, normal people like us can do. First and foremost, stop eating shark fin's soup. Just remember when the demands stop, the killing will too. After all, like Gordon Ramsay said, the soup tasted nice not because of the shark fin, and in fact can be substituted by other meat, such as duck or crab meat.

You guys can see Ramsay's video on shark fins and also shark finning here.
For more info in shark conservation, you can visit Shark Research Institute.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fell Down.

Fell Down.

One day,
My heart fell down,
and broke.

It broke and crashed,
into a million pieces,
so tiny,
not visible,
to the naked eye.

A heart,
broken to a million pieces,
is useless.

So with tears drenching my dress,
I tried,
to sew the fragments of my heart.

It was so hard,
imagine,
sewing back a million pieces,
together, to form back,
the shape of a heart.

Then,
God sent me an angel,
to help me mend the pieces,
to help me sew back,
my broken heart.

Thank you for sending me that angel,
And letting him stay.