Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wedding series 1

The moment...Weddings are a source of entertainment. Attend enough and you’ll be an expert on the various characters. So here’s the first of a series on wedding characters. Let’s take a look at the families that run these weddings.










The whatever its not that I have a choice ones

These are rare but normally dad’s fall into these – their wives run the show while they just dish out the cash. Always found standing at the sides yakking with friends until the wife calls him or found looking really bored during the saree buying sessions.

The snobbish
These are the ones who look you up and down, check out what jewelery you’re wearing or what car you drive before they smile a 100 watt fake smile at you. Tends to turn upnose at the other party’s family. Will only welcome their own people.

I can’t wait till its over
There’s a look of tense written all across their faces throughout the wedding. Ask them how they are and they tell you ask me after the wedding. Found sitting at a corner totally exhausted after the wedding.

The perfectionist
These are the scary kind. Everything has to be according to plan and their ideas. Every other idea is kicked out the door or sent sailing across the seven seas. One missing bow on the elaborate bridesmaid/ flowergal/ lamp gals will send them on a panic frenzy. Found drilling holds into everyones head all day long!

The my way is the only way kind
No one else has an opinion – these are scarier than the perfectionist. Everything has to be according to plan and their ideas. Every other idea is kicked out the door or sent sailing across the seven seas Everyone has to do and wear whatever they want. Never hesitates to dicatate what they want, how much they want or what they think the other person should do.

The Sane
These are the weddings you want to attend, coz one side the brides having fun and not stressing out about the missing bow on the little bridesmaid, the parents are welcoming both sides of the family and force you to eat. There’s lots of laughter, you so wish they had another child to marry off just so you can attend another sane wedding!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

“Squawking My Way to Nuffnang Wild ‘Live’ Blogging”

RedOneRedone: psst did you hear (whispering)

ObiWhitekaneobi : Hear what???

Redone: shhhhhhh keep your voice down

ObiWhitekaneobi : Hear what??? (whispers)

Redone: There’s gonna be a wild party!!!














ObiWhitekaneobi : PARTYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yayyyyy Partyyyyyyyy!!!!!!

Redone: shhhhhhh how many times do I have to tell you to lower your voice??? You don’t want everyone to know!!!!

ObiWhitekaneobi : We don’t???? why?????

Redone: Because if everyone knows – we don’t get to go

ObiWhitekaneobi : uhhhhh go where?

Redone: why did they ever name such a dumb bird after the great Obi (rolls eyes)

ObiWhitekaneobi : whose Obi?

Redone: grrrr nevermind

ObiWhitekaneobi : awwww you never tell me anything

Redone: WILL YOU STOP CHANGING THE TOPIC???

ObiWhitekaneobi : aaaaa sorry reddy

Redone: and stop calling me reddy – its Sir Redone the great to you!

ObiWhitekaneobi : aaa ok Sir Redo

Redone: not Sir Redo you dummy!!! its Sir redone

ObiWhitekaneobi : uhhhhhhh

Redone: Can we get back to the party???

ObiWhitekaneobi : What party???

Redone: The WILD PARTY????

ObiWhiteKaneobi


ObiWhitekaneobi : Oh YAYYYY the WILD PARTY – we’re going we’re going?? We are going aren’t we?

Redone: now listen carefully we need to get invited to the Nuffnang Wild ‘Live’ Blogging party

ObiWhitekaneobi : we do?

Redone: why do I even bother?

ObiWhitekaneobi : Bother what

Redone: I am gonna strangle that parrot neck of yoursssss

ObiWhitekaneobi : Polly wants a cracker! Polly wants a cracker!

Redone: Shut up you idiot – you’re not even Polly. That @#%#$ Polly is a disgrace to our kind

ObiWhitekaneobi : Awww but she’s hottttt – do you think she’ll come?

Redone: Who cares if she comes!!!

ObiWhitekaneobi : But I like Polly – I wanna do the bogey with her? Do you think we can bogey????

Redone: Bogey???? We’re not going there to party you idiot??

ObiWhitekaneobi : ooooh we aren’t???

Redone: (slaps ObiWhitekaneobi)

ObiWhitekaneobi : ouchhhhhhhhhhh why’d you do that for???

Redone: That’s for being such a blur case??? Have you forgotten???

ObiWhitekaneobi : Forgotten what???

Redone: My plan???

ObiWhitekaneobi : uhhhh what plan???

Redone: to DOMINATE THE WORLD????

ObiWhitekaneobi : why’d you wanna do that???

Redone: So I can rule the world you moron!!!

ObiWhitekaneobi : oooh yeah but why at the party??? Can’t we party first???

Redone: Coz everyone will be there!!

ObiWhitekaneobi : They will???

Redone: Yes everyone will want to be there and once we have the world under our beaks – everyone will be my slave – and all the chicks will be in MY control - MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH

ObiWhitekaneobi : Can I have Polly???? Can I have Polly???? Pretty Please??

Redone: Oh Shut up you idiot – and just get us the damn invites to the Nuffnang Wild ‘Live’ Blogging

ObiWhitekaneobi : Polly wants a cracker! Polly wants a cracker!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chasing Surya

Noooo I wasn’t chasing the sun, we were chasing droolishes actor Surya.

One of my friends happens to know the assistant director of Surya’s next movie Ayan which is being shot in Malaysia. So he has been telling to come by and watch the shoot and meet him. We’ve also been telling him to take some time out so we can take him around KL. Unfortunately he’s been pretty busy, so on Sunday we decided to catch the shooting and so began our race around KL trying to locate him.

You try getting directions from a foreigner, its nearly impossible but thankfully I know KL. So after piecing everything together, I figured where the shoot was and behold we found it and we were amazed where they were shooting.





This one shot is gonna make me watch the movie. They were shooting a race scene on the banks of the klang river! That’s super crazy. You should see the condition of the car, and the brunt it had to take as it crossed the huge drains. Its another story that the picked such a polluted river!






(surya is in the car - they're shooting a scene in there.)






So we’re there ogling over Surya, when we find our friends friend and we tell him over the phone we can’t get on the other side as they’re not letting us to stop. So we ask him to say hi to Surya and he does, and Surya waves at US!!!! Hehe woohoo

Anyway we got bored watching them set up from so far away, the reflectors lights and all, so we decided to try our luck and go stop the car again.

I stopped right at the shooting spot and told the rela guy (voluntary cops) we knew someone and he didn’t believe us until he came by to say hi. You should have seen his shocked face – that was so classic.

Anyway we didn't see Surya coz we didn’t want him to get in trouble (people were looking for him) plus we really shouldn’t park there. So we may meet them again, who knows but lets see. I'd like to mee Jothika instead though. For now enjoy the photos.

Locked out

I was reading Bawangred’s post on locking yourself in or out coz you forgot your keys. That post brought memories back coz I would have to be the queen of forgetfulness.

See I’ve been carrying a set of keys to our house since I was 14. When my dad was diagnosed with kidney failure and began his dialysis treatment, my mom wouldn’t be at home most of the time when either one of us got home as she’d follow him for his treatments. Believe me those are treatments you don’t want to go through alone. So they’d leave in the morning and dad would drop her back later in the afternoon or vice versa. Knowing the familys penchant on losing keys, we always had an extra key in the house.

So if I left home when mom was at home, I’d occasionally forget to bring the key. So when I got home from school, I’d be stuck waiting outside our house gate. Now didn’t I tell you I was a tomboy?

Instead of waiting outside in the hot sun, I’d throw my bag over the gate and climb our huge gate in my school uniform and sit in the verandah drawing doodles and kolams in my doodling book. My parents would get back and give me the wheres your key look.

Now if you think I’m bad, my mom is worse. Sometimes we’d follow dad out in the mornings to KL and take a bus back only to realize we don’t have our keys with us. So the three of us would either wait outside or walk around the neighbourhood to the restaurant or a neighbours place and kill time. Dad of course couldn’t believe how impossible the three of us were! ;p

I think in runs in the blood thanks to mums side of the family – coz dad had never forgotten his keys!

Anyway you’d think I’d have grown some memory cells in the last few years.

There was one time I’d got back late around 1 am and realized I’d forgotten my keys. Unfortunately on that day, there was a funeral taking place next door. So I tried to knock on the door as quiet as possible and call home but no one responded. So I did the next best thing, I got into the backseat of my car and fell asleep. Around 5 am I hear my mom opening the door to pluck her flowers (yes mom wakes up that early). I hadn’t really slept well coz I was being eaten alive by mosquitos, so I got up grumbled something to my very shocked mom and dragged myself to bed.

My family had a good laugh – I wasn’t laughing then coz the car so wasn;t comfy!

Anyway just last week, I ended up getting locked out again! You see I took mom out for dinner and dropped her back home before I went out. Now mom proceeds to take my keys to open the door. Only after I got back later that night did I realize what mom had done. So I called home, my moms mobile and knocked the door. 10 minutes pass by and mom still doesn’t respond, so I call my brother who tells me his too far away to come home and lets me know I’m sure I could sleep in the car again!

I have such a loving brother!

So I try again and my knocks and shouts get louder. Finally 30 minutes later mom suddenly responds and by then I’m fuming mad. I so need to find a secret key location so mom won’t steal my key!

Its not as if I’m not gonna forget them! ;p

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

KL drowns you

Beautiful

Last week was super crazy. Monday night I got invited to the Outer Rim jazz concert. Will write more on that later.

Then the weekend was not only my nephews wedding weekend but I had to attend another 3 weddings not counting his 2 ceremonies.

The night before his wedding we headed of to his house after the nallangu (pre-wedding ceremony) to chit chat and help them pack laddus for the wedding.

Oh yes I didn’t make an error, my nephew who is my age actually older than me is the one whose getting married.

There are one of my favourite relatives probably because they married into our family and we had been family friends before. The laddu packing session was so funny, one moment the men ganged up on saree prices and how no one asks them on vetti prices or where they bought their vetti.

They were so sure they were winning until I told them what difference does it make about them getting a vetti, it’s not as if you guys will wear it again. Getting them to wear it for the wedding itself is nearly impossible. We women would buy sarees and wear them and in case we didn’t wear them to some function you’d sulk saying oh you wore sarees to your famile side functions and not mine! So live with it ;p

The men of course didn’t know what to say. This was sparked by confessions by an aunty that she still can’t tie the saree properly and my niece and cousin insisting me or mom come by to tie the saree for them. The winning point for this was – see even though they can’t tie the saree they still wear it! ;p

We had a laddu packing competition, my mother is impossibly competitive! My niece was so pressured to pinning as many packets that she refused to hand my mom the second box. Lol we had lots of laughter – laughed so much our tummies hurt.

The momentAnyway I rushed from work to his wedding on Friday. My 12 year old darling nephew was waiting for me there. He refuses to call me aunty eventhough my cousin (his mom) keeps reminding him. Funny though he calls my brother uncle ;p

Then my little nieces and nephews turned up – I have lost count on the number of nieces and nephews I have coz most of my cousins are married and I rarely meet them. Fortunately the children warm up to me immediately and again don’t call me aunty ;p

Anyway while I was enjoying a cup of payasam (sweet milk desert) Praveen calls me and while we were talking she bumps into another photographer friend of ours. Now they both of us were supposed to meet but till today we’ve only spoken on the phone twice coz she keeps bumping into Praveen.

What does this have to do with weddings? You’ll know later.

Anyway I had to attend the wedding dinner on Saturday. It was either that or get blasted for not going. The only problem was I had to attend the Blogmob party as well – so I finally decked myself in a saree and headed to Blogmob. More on that later.

So right after Blogmob, I tried to find the hall. Turns out it was pretty easy and I wasn’t really late coz they had just begun to cut the wedding cake when I entered the hall.

Seriously we should have all turned up in shorts, the hall was freaking hot, apparently the brides family couldn’t find any other hall. So there we were sweating buckets when I thought I recognized someone. I kept looking and then I thought I recognized her sisters so I walked up to her and tapped on her shoulder.

She : aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Me : aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (hugs all around)
She : oh my god
Me : I know – I thought it was you!

Surprise of all – the photographer I had been talking to on Praveens phone was there at the wedding. She is now another niece to me since the bride was related to her.

Yes the world is too small – KL drowns you. So while we were furiously fanning ourselves with our hands, we exchanged stories and met each others families.

By the time I reached home it was 1 am and we had to go for a 5 am wedding the next day. So three hours later I grudgingly woke up and dragged myself to another wedding. I actually wanted to attend the wedding as the bride is a close family friend.

Natural poser Joy Do you love me???? On her wedding day Light to shine through the marriage I garland thy ....


I had fun taking photos, but the official photographer was a bit cross with me though I stirred clear of his path. I love the shots that came out of it, even made friends with the priest ;p

There were 2 more functions to attend that day, I refused to go for the afternoon wedding and opted to sleep instead. Its atrocious to have only 3 hours sleep on a Sunday!

So I had a late lunch, did some errands and got ready for the next function – an engagement at the same temple as the mornings wedding. There I bump into my friend and his fiancĂ©, who happened to be ex colleagues of the bride – another family friend and it doesn’t end there – apparently the bride from the mornings wedding who was my family friend was her aunty.

Naturally when my outing plans with Kerv got cancelled, I opted to veg out at home since I had a busy day at work the next day. Work was good, can’t say the same about certain peoples attitude though.

So yet another hectic weekend – and I conclude KL drowns you. Now to get my hands on tickets to Indiana Jones! Anyone has extra bookings? ;p plsssssssss

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thaipusam

One of my favourite features on the Samsung SGH i450 is there photo video editor. As i had already pinpointed, you can use external photos to create windows.

I was hoping to do videos of my fav potraits, my travel to india and Thaipusam but alas the software can't support too many images in one video.



I was jolted on memories of Thaipusam as my friend had wanted me to edit an article he'd written so here's 5 images that illustrate Thaipusam. You've probably seen them before but let's refresh your memory.

Tomorrow marks the end of the Blogmob contest. We’ll be meeting up for dinner to make the end. Let’s see who wins. ;)

Here In My Home

I heard a bit of this song on the radio and was looking for it when, I saw the link on one of the groups I frequent. it's a very interesting collaboration by Malaysian artists from different musical and language genres under the MAFU flag. I'm glad that the song will not be used by any political party and I hope they stick to that.

This is after all the only place I call home.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sareeholic

SareeholicI confess to being a sareeholic. I don’t think there’s a cure for this addiction – not that I’m looking for one either.

I love the whole going to a shop, shifting through countless sarees, colours, patterns and types and just going crazy. Anyway over the weekend we had gone to get the sarees for my brother’s engagement. We only needed to get the bride one and me one since mom was wearing something I bought for her the last time we went to India (where we bought loads of sarees) and I had another saree which I have reserved for my brothers wedding.










So I needed to get one saree for the engagement and I set out with a budget!

Anyway we head to the only place I shop in Malaysia for silk sarees – Gayathry’s in Klang. If I needed something simple I’d go to my friends new shop or Saradha’s in Masjid India.. I get good prices, nice selection of sarees, nice people who don’t mind showing me the whole shop and definitely no rude owners like a certain corner shop in Masjid India.

We went early as I rather miss the afternoon crowd and headed straight to the guy behind one of the counters. Now the problem with shopping for sarees in Malaysia is somehow the idea of silk saree has been engraved as the absolutely crazily heavy Benares silks or the rangoli. So much so if you walked up to a saree shop and asked for Kanjipuram sarees someones gonna hand you a fake rangoli kanchi and claim its Kanchipuram.

Seeing my usual sales guy wasn’t there I walked to another guy and told him exactly what I wanted.

Me : I want double border, traditional design, handwoven kanchipuram sarees.

He starts giving me rangoli kanchis, machine kanchis and some heavily sequined sarees but the one I want.

Me : no no this isn’t what I want, and this isn’t pure kanchi (I proceded to prove to him how I know it wasn’t)

The guy starts protesting.

I finally manage to find single border Kanchi sarees and he tells me this the only stuff they have and they have nothing else.

Me : but I always buy here, how come they don’t have here! Are you sure???
Him : yes I’m very sure – I know all the sarees here.

You should have seen my face then, I was sulking away, sadly looking at the other sarees and watching the bride select her saree. The bridesmaid (me of course) is way pickier than the bride.

Then another sales guy calls me over and tells me he’ll find me what I want. He first showed me some of the sequined new patterned kanchis which I wasn’t fond of. So he told me to follow him to another counter and what do you know – by the third saree he was showing me what I wanted. I got so excited I called my mom and told the other sales guy.

me : see see you have the sarees and you said don’t have – cheh you so badla!

So my new fav sales guy who was excited someone was buying those sarees started taking out all the saress and showing them to me and we started chatting. Apparently he was from Trichy and he used to work at Sri Kumarans in Chennai. I told him I preferred Pothys in Chennai ;p He gave me the how-could-you-like-another-shop look ;p

He figured my younger brother was the one getting married and started drilling me on why I wasn’t. I was like I tell you the whole world wants the answer to this question – no one is letting me be just the grooms sister. Cheh waste people ;p

In between looking at the sarees, I’d suddenly have to go to the back and look at the saree the bride had choose before running back to look at my sarees. Everytime I got back there would be more sarees to choose from – like I said my sales guy was having fun watching me get excited over sarees.

Sareeholic 2I finally found 2 that I really liked when my mum turns up and gets totally attracted to one and insists I buy that. That’s when I realize I forgot to see the price. It was double my budget! And you’d think my mom would say no you shouldn’t spend so much! Yeah right! I’M the stinger one at home. And so I finally bought that saree and burnt a huge hole in my pocket! Oooh but it was worth it ;p

Anyway turns out the other sales guy was from my dads hometown in India and we had a conversation on the area.

While all this was happening my brother tried to sneak out and go get bored elsewhere – unfortunately for him he was the one getting married so the poor thing couldn’t do that.

We finally headed to get him a jhuppa for the wedding. Now my brother is even pickier than me. I’m the only person who can buy him shirts that he will wear. Anything else he wears it once and it lies in his cubbard forever.

Anyway the brides family suggested something heavily embroided, padded and double layered in a funky colour – exactly the opposite of what my brother would wear.

My brother gave me a panicked desperate look which screamed “save me.”

So I told him to go look elsewhere while I gave instructions to the salesguy.

Me : Find him a single layered jhuppa with only little embroiding in the centre and no paddings in creamy gold colours.

Him : but but that’s very hard to find

Me : I know but find it! ;p

The guy brought a few and one immediately caught my eye and I told my brother to try it. He was at first hesistant coz he wasn’t keen on the material but after trying it on he really liked it. Now before you guys say see how fast he found his choice let me point out that if darling sister here didn’t give specific directions we would have been there for ages. From lifelong shopping blunders, brother has come to absolutely trust his sister’ absolutely wonderful sense of dressing.

Brother reluctantly agreed to wear a shawl and that took sometime. He finally put on the jhuppa again to see which one he liked.

So ends the drama of getting engagement clothes. End of the day the sister is still a sareeholic wondering if she should go back and buy that other saree! ;p

OMG I’m hopeless! ;p

Jalli Kattu


Hold on my dear
Originally uploaded by Light and Life
Jalli Kattu @rodeo @ bull taming - looks like this was a common sports across the globe. While the spanish wore colourful robes and stood in stadiums - the south indians open up their streets.

This is an impressive set of photos by Murali. Do check them out.

Out and about

Last Saturday I had visited the abandoned old majestic hotel and former art gallery.

Lovely place – we had no idea it was an abandoned hotel till we talked with the guard – I hope and pray no one demolishes the place, the rooms would look so good as a hotel.

Will write more after I've edited the images. Anyway here's a badly taken video of the place. You know for the love of god I cannot take videos - so all laptop users may want to realign your laptop to watch this. to all desktop users please realign yourself ;p hehehe

Added in music using the Samsung SGH i450 on which the video was shot on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blogan meet

One of the perks of blogging is you meet very interesting people and some inspiring individuals. Last month I wrote about Zoe's mum Sue who runs the charity Legacy of Life to educate people on why you should donate your organs.

As promised Sue sent me the book and a CD that talks about the experience of patients, donors and families on organ donation as well as Dr's advice on organ donation.

I would like to share the CD and book with my readers and friends – I believe this is something that should be shared. So I'm calling for a bloggers meet to view this book and CD on organ donation.

While you may be brought to tears, nothing in the CD will be graphically unpleasing.

So the bloggers meet will be as below :

Date : 24 May 2008
Time : 2.00pm
Place : (will let you know later)


Please indicate if you would be interested in joining me there in a comment orby email which can be found on my sidebar. I look forward to seeing some of you then.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Super slow

Today moved super slow and it wasn’t because I had nothing much to do and was lazing in front of the pc. I left the office at 1 ish to go to the bank, met them, filled up forms, did this and that and then headed for lunch. And if you know me I’m a real slow eater.

Then I headed of to meet someone before heading of to a meeting.and waited half an hour for my boss and by the time the meeting was over it was only 4 pm!

Thinking I would only finish at 5 ish I had packed my laptop and all and there I was thinking what to do at 4 – so I headed back to the office and it was still just 4.30pm!

Today was a super slow day!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Kuala Sepetang

Smile all overWe reached Kuala Sepetang as the fish started arriving and despite saying I loved boat rides and I didn’t think this one was gonna freak me – it did. I have no idea how they manage to stand on that wobbly boat without holding on to anything and the balance is precautious – it topples towards any weight.
















We were the laughing stock of the town that evening, 2 city gals trying to take a boat ride. Thankfully the boat driver was so sweet and it costs about 10 sen to cross over – wow. So after managing our fears and nearly screaming out in fear we manage to squat on the boat holding to dear life to the sides of the small thing.




That’s when I notice this interesting little sea insects – that looked like alien cockroaches walking around the boat – I’m not afraid of them but there is no way I would sit straight if one ran over me – thankfully none did. My friend didn’t even notice the thing – it was her 3rd trip and she was still scared.

Kuala sepetang is made of a small Chinese fishing village. We didn’t talk much to the locals as the men were acting a bit weird. Funny.

I dont want to look at you People always wonder how some people can return to the same place so many times and never get bored. Its like my love for Penang, I’ve walked the streets so many times yet each time I discover new things and shoot new stuff. This time it was a children shoot. We had a bunch of 7 children shyly approaching us. They couldn’t speak a word of malay but the cam’s a good tool to create interaction.

Fisherman's village between rain Scratchy fish
Again it rained cats and dogs. There was a guy who was following us rather me as most of my friends know I always attract weirdos. I answer questions to be polite but he started irritating me to the max. I told him we were from butterworth penang and the next thing he wants to know exactly where. I ignored him.

I would so like to be ignored for once – really I do. The last time I checked I do not look like some bollywood actress, but I continue to be a weirdo magnet – even when I’m not polite. My friends find it hilarious and sometimes helpful I find it plain irritating. Sigh.

We passed a funeral house and were surprised to find it empty. Weirdo informs me the guy killed himself. I think the Chinese don’t attend such funerals – bad chi or something. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Shy Cutesys Peeking

We spotted the children carrying three newborn kittens and stopped them in their tracks to shoot the little kittens with the kids. Smiles are definetly universal language – you really don’t need words.

What are you looking at? Kitty protectors

Throught the day we had bouts of “now you see rain now you don’t”.

Bored everyday Hummm waiting Shipments ready Watch out Cuties Cycling through Lone ranger

After walking around the small village, we headed towards the mangrove swamp.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mr doggy

I met the scariest dog ever. He freaked me out so much he definetly deserves a post, we had gone to a family friends place to invite them for brothers engagement. As we walked to her house this huge dog leaped at us. On four legs the dog’s half my height, if it stood on two legs it would probably be as tall as me about the size of a young grizzly bear I think. Since Mr doggy was inside the house which has two doors, the aunty held him as we walked in, the moment she let him go out, he dived towards me - that scared the hell out of me!

Anyway Mr doggy kept on eyeing us while we were talking, throwing in an occasional growl or 2.

Me : err how are we going to get out?
Bro : you go out first and let the dog bite you, we will run out.
Me : ????? but the keys with me you can go home
Bro : once the dog bites you, you’ll need someone to take you to the hospital
Me : adapavi (what???)

Apparently they rather sacrifice me – so much for a brother! ;p

As we were preparing to leave, Mr doggy ran towards the door we had come in through and was silently waiting there for us, luckily the aunty knew him very well and warned us. Walking out of the house was seriously scary.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Gone but not forgotten

in memorialThis is a long overdue post – I had been to Penang last December for a holiday. While I was there we headed towards Taiping to check out a fishermans village and mangrove. Here’s the first part of my trip there.

We were heading towards Taiping to check out 2 things, the Kuala Sepetang fishermans village and the mangrove reserve.

But since we were already in taiping we decided to stop at the Taiping Lake Gardens – the jewel of Taiping. I have heard so much about the place thankfully it lived up to its name. really beautiful and peaceful. The waters even clean. By then the manthra of the trip rain – I got wet from day 1 to day 4. the good thing was whenever it rained the weather was beautiful to walk in but not so great to take photos in. oh well I prefer the coldness to the 4 hours of heat I had on Saturday that drained my energy for the next 2 days.

World war 2 memorialThe gardens is at the foot of Maxwell hill which has a malay name but I;ve forgotten it. Very beautiful and misty throughout my trip. Drive towards the mountains and you’ll reach the world war 2 memorial near the foot of the mountains. I have this thing for cemeteries – so much character and I kinda like reading the inscription.

Some of the tomb stones didn’t have names but the ones that did had details on their regime, the army they represented and sometimes their age. So many young lads died for t\he war, I never see the point of war. I don’t think they did too. As weird as this might sound I realized one of the battles were fought around Christmas and the new year and I actually started searching for my date of birth. I am so weird! Didn’t find any though but I always assumed Christmas was a no war day, humm I guess I was mistaken.

3a Gone but not forgotten World war 2 memorial

Hungry from a busy morning, we made our way to town and dropped in at this restaurant which I can’t name at the moment blame it on memory. But its easy to spot, it’s the most done up place around on of the corner of one of the blocks on the main road.

Food was excellent and so were the drinks. So check the place out if you ever drop by Taiping. We were told that there’s a haunted museum on the way to Kuala Sepetang. We had wanted to check it out on the way back but it had gotten dark and we were supposed to get back to Penang to meet someone so we decided not to stop. All right we chickened out, as curious as I am I so don’t do haunted places at night. That too in small groups.

Samsung SGH i450

I’ve had the Samsung SGH i450 for the last 3 weeks. I got to fully use the phones features after receiving the memory card from Samsung. I’ve already written about one of my favourite features the music player.

Design
Let’s look at the phone closer. The phones design is pretty sleek and the sliding mechanism has also been smooth. Slightly on the larger side, the keypads make texting and navigation easy. The phones display orientation changes according to which way you slide it. The one negative point would be the phone locks itself on the previous orientation when its closed. What I love about the design is how well fitted the back cover is. One of the problems I had with my previous phone was the cover started falling off after a while, which was a common problem with similar shaped covers.


The other thing I like is all the connecting ports for the charger, usb, earphones are protected by covers just like on digital cameras – handy in keeping dust away. You’ll also find the buttons for the camera and volume control on both sides of the phone.

Features

Screenshot – now this is really cool, you can capture every section on the phone with a simple click of a button.



Access points
The phones big on access points, while most phones provide 4 main access points, you can customize 9 access points to your preference and also see your saved calendar details for the day as well as instantly access google.

You can choose to either list your menu or line them up in grids.

Trip Distance timer
Though the GPS application was downloaded into the phone, the feature couldn’t be used but you can still use one cool feature in it – the Trip Distance timer. Activate it to see how long your trip takes.



Organiser
The coolest part of the clock section is the world time feature. With friends all across the world, bloggers like me won’t need to keep asking their net friends of their local time.


Ther phone also contains a converter that calculates various measurements such as currency, mass, pressure and more. You;ll have to set the foreign currency rate first for easy calculation. Handy for the frequent traveler.


Voice Signal Identifier

The phone has a voice signal identifier. Say a name based on your contact list, the software identifies the closest names and once you confirm the name it immediately calls the number. Not the fastest feature but definitely cool. Most of all it’s a convenient function to use when the phones set to handsfree and you need to make a call while driving,

Media
The video editing tool lets you edit videos effortlessly. You can even remove the audio and replace it with existing audio or do a live dub. I'll post up a video later.



You can also create photomovie with the software which allows you to choose your photos, select transition, insert narration, time lapse and intensify the colours based on your preference.

Here’s a photomovie of shots taken at the temple during new year using the Samsung SGH i450.


I also tried to create a movie using photos taken with my digital camera and it worked. I just watched the videos on youtube and I like what i see.



Camera
The camera is not the strongest feature of the phone but what I’ve noticed is it takes excellent black and white shots even during low light situations. Also if you press the asterisk key a help menu pops out for easy access to the camera effects.














Pros and Cons

So far the Symbian 60 3rd edition has performed quite well. While the camera is not a strong point of the phone, the music player is. The phone combines some of the best points of both Sony Ericson and Nokia phones. One point I don’t like about the phone is I keep having to switch between the phone and memory card’s memory space. So I have to recheck where I’ve saved the files before downloading them. As my smses end up being saved in the phones memory coz of this, I keep having to delete Bluetooth transferred files before downloading the next. I countered this by transferring files through PC data transfers – its pretty fast too.

I haven’t been able to download my internet settings for Maxis (telco provider) though we’ve tried quite a few times. Apparently maxis does not have the settings for this particular model. I’m not sure if its because the phone is new or its an error on either Maxis or Samsungs side. I’ll be taking the phone to a mobile shop to check this out.

The Samsung SGH i450 is an affordable phone compared to phones from other brands providing similar features. At RM 1500, the phone performs pretty well.