Pictures of my garden

I've done abit of gardening around my house, so here are some pictures I took of my beautiful flowers last weekend. The roses have wilted though. I've yet to take a photo of my compost bin, I shall do so this weekend (if I don't forget :P). I can't name some of the plants here, so I'm going to describe it as best as I could here (according to pictures' sequence)
1. Purple flowers (aster??) - normally seen in flower bouquets, mushrooming fast in the planter's box
2. My potted plants in my patio
3. Pink hibiscus at the side fence which are growing quite well, trying to grow a bush hedge there to give us some privacy
4. Looks like roses, but are not. Only blossom when the sun is up. Available in many colours, but I chose red & pinks. Very easy to grow.
5. Red roses bought from Ikea sale. All wilted already by today, but a new bud is blossoming.
6. Wild heliconias - very "fat" and growing quite well in the big pots. I put them in a pot to control their growth. If they were planted on the ground, they will spread like wildfire.

ATV Ride @ Ulu Kemensah


N and his colleagues organised a trip to Ulu Kemensah (near Zoo Negara) on last Sunday, deep inside a malay kampung, on Sunday morning. The place was so remote, that we had thought we lost our way. But with the reassurance of a Malay pakcik, our car was the first to arrive. We had to parked at the road side, so the earlier you arrived, the better you are to get a nice parking spot.

Before we started to ride the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), the instructor demonstrated to us how to operate the vehicle ie. to start the machine, shifting the 3 gears (Reverse, Neutral, Forward), the handbreaks etc. Then he gave us some safety tips and we had few rounds of practice around the base station. We learnt how to navigate left/right, and going uphill, and downhill.

I had a minor accident during the practice session, I was trying to avoid a boulder going downhill, but I didn't manage to steer away in time, and the ATV toppled to the right. It was lucky that it toppled slowly, so I had time to put a leg down to stabilise myself. Before you panic, I was quite ok from the mishap. No bruises, no cuts, just minor muscle sprain and scared me a little. But I quickly recovered from the experience.
Believe me, steering it was hard! Turning left/right is not as easy as you think, the steering is just too hard to turn. I had to use my upper body to push left/right.

We broke up into two groups, with a guide each leading us into the jungle area. I forgot to time how long we took to drive in, anyway, it was an adventure driving in. Much better than hiking and sweating all the way. Our destination was the Sofea Jane waterfall. After a hard ride, we relaxed ourselves in the cool waters of the waterfall, and had a small picnic of nasi lemak bungkus, mangosteens, duku langsat and cool plain mineral water. The ride back to base station was a different experience, with more downhills compared to uphills on the way in. However, we're much faster on the return ride as we're already more experienced navigating the terrain.

I very much enjoyed the adventure, however driving the ATV was not a really good experience for me. Not because I fell off the ATV, but I found it very hard to steer the left/right direction and trying to stabilise my ATV when going up/downhill. Even grabbing the handbreaks kills me! I was unlucky to get a ATV with very tight brakes, so my hand sort of got numb and cramped after the whole ride. (The brakes are similar to your bicycle brakes). Having a guide riding behind me helped alot. He was much stronger and more experienced in handling the ATV, so he navigated some of the slopes, and helped me applied the brakes while I enjoyed the breeze :P

For those of you are who interested, you can make bookings via this ATV Malaysia website. Our package was RM150/person. I must say the map on the website is poor, the distance from Zoo Negara to the ATV base station is very far, and there was no roadsigns until you are very deep inside the malay kampungs.

Finally, I'll let the pictures speaks for themselves. More photos at my flickr page.

Painting a fish on batik

I've volunteered for the Batik painting event in the Company's Diversity event today. I was so eager to volunteer because I was so jakun have never done it before.

Eventhough my team mate ditched me last minute and fortunately managed to find a replacement team mate, it did not dampen my spirits. Yup, memanglah semangat and spirited :P

I must say my new team mate done quite well in the colouring *smug grin*. We were given a picture of a fish. The outline of the picture has been done. What we needed to do was to put in the colours only.

We were given Chinese calligraphy "paintbrush", a plastic container for water, palettes, a few bottles of different ink colours, and a small piece of cloth to soak up the water. I gave some ideas how we should paint the picture, and then we started the painting process. We're supposed to finish it within 30 minutes.

So my team mate "tackled" the main subject - the fish, and I did the rest i.e. the coral reefs, rocks, the blue water and the spots on the fish. We tried our best to bring some colour gradients, mixing colours and hopefully the end result look good enough. The painting was quite easy, as the batik cloth absorbs water real fast. The trick is to play around with water to get a lighter/darker tone of colour. As a finishing touch, we put our department's name and our initials to the batik painting

Tadaaa.... nah..tengoklah sendiri the hasil kerja. Not bad lah kan.. for two first-timers ? :P


Black Canyon Coffee @ Alamanda Putrajaya

There was a flash flood at the main entrance road to my housing garden after work yesterday, so we decided to have dinner elsewhere while waiting for the waters to subside before we could go home. We ended up at Alamanda because it was the nearest shopping mall and the journey there was traffic –free.

With nothing specific in mind, except for hot food, we decided to eat at Black Canyon Coffee which is located at the food court area. Black Canyon Coffee has many branches, usually located in Jusco shopping centers. Its menu are mainly Thai flavours, with some fusion theme, but it also has some western meals. The drinks menu is not too varied, though it has quite a selection of coffee beverages.

We ordered the following for two:

  • Fusili Chicken Tom Yam (RM8.90)
  • Pad Thai (RM10.90)
  • Iced Chocolate (RM6.90)
  • Iced Blended Green Tea (RM6.90)

iced blended green tea and iced chocthe napkin with the logo
Fusili chicken tomyamPad Thai

There’s a 15% govt & service charge on top of the price. If you happen to have a Jusco card, remember to present it when paying, and you’ll get to enjoy 10% discount of the bill.

The Pad Thai was quite tasty, though I thought it was abit “wet”. The iced chocolate was nothing to shout about, except it tasted like cooking chocolate with cream. N ordered the other two, and I tried a few mouthfuls. The Fusili is quite yummy with a hint of spiciness, the chicken was smooth and tender, the tom yam soup was just nice (not too spicy). The iced blended green tea was so-so only, it tasted just like normal green tea with abit of creamy taste.

Though the food experience was nothing to shout about, but there are quite a few of other food that I would like to try if I happen to revisit it. Not a bad choice for a quick lunch / dinner as they also have lunch/dinner sets.
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