Monday, September 29, 2008

One of the TAPs’

Nope I’m not a faucet but mua got picked to be part of the AMBP Travel Ambassador Programme (TAP). TAP comes as part of the launch of the new All Malaysian Travel Tool by The Star in collaboration with Mayflower Travel group.

The Star aims to kill a few birds through this programme:

  • Create new ways to reach out to readers
  • Increase domestic tourism (yay my country is beautiful – I think I’ve told you that a million times)
  • Bloggers are media PARTNERS and not rivals (ah they’re waking up)

Travel ambassadors have been promised opportunities to travel on ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIPS to the regions they previously selected during submission. While yesterdays newspaper report, the All Malaysian website and their emails to us have repeatedly mentioned this, the event itself was brief and vague about the details of the programme.

From a PR perspective, the event was ambitious, hazy yet so much potential could have been derived from the launch. None of the participating blogs or bloggers were mentioned during the event. Still let’s give them the benefit of doubt and here’s what will make the project successful:

While I understand the economics of peak time travel the programme won’t work if TAPs:

  • Isn't provided with all expense paid trips (to include travel/ food)
  • Travel is limited to weekdays only - The Star keeps forgetting that most bloggers have day jobs and while we write and report on various topics we’re still not paid media to attend events or travel on weekdays. For example the recent Sunway trip that was offered to us, most of us (including me) had to decline as we were rushing deadlines.
  • It's a 1 night trip – unless they think a place is super boring you will need at least 2 nights and 3 days to discover a town or city as people like me like to discover none tourist attractions which I believe is the true charm of a place. My suggestion, give us a weekend and add on one working day to discover a place.
  • Where they expect you to turn up instantaneously – give us at least 3 weeks time to make arrangements for these trips. Calling us 2 days before is pretty ridiculous unless it's a day trip.

There is so much to learn and discover in Malaysia which is why I try to travel locally at least once a year. So if The Star is seriously looking to boast domestic travel I hope they will take heed my suggestions before they embark on this project.

Random crazy behavior alert!

And now for the juicy information, apparently I’m a popular blogger! Gasp seriously I didn’t know this, well at least I really didn’t know I was popular in Malaysia coz lets face it most popular local bloggers are either camwhore bloggers or political bloggers and I’m neither. So when I got interviewed by The Star reporter and was told this I was quite flabbergasted. Woohooo *does the victory blogger dance (though there’s no such thing)

Anyways I hope I didn't blabber some gibberish nonsense and oooh nope you won’t be seeing my photo as I’m keeping with my resolution to not associate the blog with my photo. Seriously super embarrassing momentla, and my friend Kervin who also got picked as a TAP wouldn't stop teasing me! BAH!

Random crazy behavior ends!

Perks from attending the event, we were given a host of freebies which included 2 stays in Sandakan and Bukit Merah Resort, a few discount vouchers for Mayflower travels, a cute bag, a polo T and tons of local travel maps (essential for local travelers who love to get lost!). Congrats on the launch and let's hope everyone benefits from this venture.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Half shirt ??? ewww

I was watching this video on a presentation and was totally distracted by this guy who was wearing one of those half shirts – where both halfs of a shirt comes from different materials. Plus he was bald and reminded me of my friend, as she has a fixation for bald men. I was further distracted by his constant rubbing of his bald head throughout the 45 minutes presentation, I mean I’d understand fixation with hair but your bald scalp?

Anyways what possessed first the designer and then people to actually wear these half shirts? And didn’t the fashion vanish sometime back? And why are people still wearing it? So any closet half shirt wearers here?

Come on fess up! ;p

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hot Pink

Ah finally my blog looks like my blog though if you look carefully I've made a few changes. The side bar has been moved to the left and the links have taken a hot pink shade. Well since I couldn't find my original file, I decided to redo the template and spice up the look a tad. I kinda like how it looks and now the header image does't look brilliant anymore. Perhaps it's time to get another.

Only problem is I'm swamped.

Well I've taken a new job, which comes with new responsibilities, crazier times and longer hours. So posting will continue to be irregular. I actually forced myself to do the changes today coz I couldn't bare to look at my poor old blog looking like a mess though I'm super tired thanks to my occasional insomnia.

In between this I had a short break, half of which was paid for. I must say though I was itching to go back to work (workaholic alert!!!) I kinda miss my late nights and late afternoon, without a care in the world rest. Dammit!

So anyone has an idea for a header - all suggestions are welcome ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lets go to the zoo...

Lolipop


I was beyond exhaustion yesterday. Well you try climbing Batu Caves and then heading to the zoo with a stuffed nose, all done in 5 hours while baby sitting 24 kids. I got home took a quick shower slumped into the couch and only woke up late at night! In between I remember mumbling on the phone and brushing of my moms teasing.

But despite the tiredness, it was definetly a fun day though I had to smack two of the kids for scaring the daylight out of me. It's always funny to watch peoples reaction to me and the kids. First they assume I have about 4 kids, given the boys are hanging around me, then it finally gets to them that no way could I be the mother of 10 kids. And then they come by and ask about the home ;p

That was the fastest I've ever climbed BC. I never do it so fast coz I like to take my time and enjoy the view. Shouldn't have even brought the camera I probably took less than 10 shots!

Attack of the coconut ... Behind the bushes

The little monkeys loved the real monkeys and spent some 15 minutes bugging me to hand over bananas to feed the monkeys that was after the hosts of the day ran out of treats. On our way down, one of the kids decided he was superman and jumped 10 steps down, lets just say he sulked for the rest of the trip after getting a earful from me at the bottom.

The charmers that they were they had their little fingers around the hearts of the helpers at the restaurant.

Yesterday out of the blue some of the younger boys decided it was ok to hug me and so they were hanging to my arms and giving me kisses. though my heart was fluttering like a butterfly I decided to act as if it was nothing out of the ordinary.

We ate lunch after the boys had finished theirs so some of the boys decided to sit next to me and bully me. At one point I decided to use my usual line - I won't come anymore - and one of the boys who by the way lost his tooth in the caves decided to call my bluff. That's when 2 of the other boys decided to hug me and say no no you must come - stop bullying akka. awwwwwwwwww

2 uncles who were sitting in the opposite table couldn't stop laughing at the scene. ;p

Next up we headed to the zoo. No matter how many times you take a kid to the zoo, they still love it. out of whim I said sing Negaraku while waiting for our tickets and the whole bunch started loudly singing our national anthem. lets just say I wasn't expecting such a loud display of patriotism!

By the time we got to the zoo the group of friends who had brought the kids out figured they were getting super tired and decided to take the train instead. We filled up most of one train, and lets just say the unfortunate souls sharing the train with us either enjoyed the entertainment or were desperate to get out! one of the guys who were leading the team nearly lost his voice screaming out the name of the animals which the children then echoed. The train driver recognising the pattern slowed down at every caged area. There was a baby with us who was more entranced by the little monkeys on the train then the animals outside ;p I really don't blame him!

We got down and proceded to the cages. We had so much fun with the elephants. The guys decided to feed the elephants sugar cane and one of the elephants decided he wanted all of the sugar cane, greedy fellow followed the kids as they ran up and down trying to out run the huge beast!

The rest of the time was spent running up and down the zoo, growling at the lion, losing a kid, finding and giving him a earful before we got to the daily afternoon show. The children have seen it before but they still love it. 2 of the kids snuggled up to me with lollipops in hand and we watched the seal and parrots do their thing. I'm pretty certain there was supposed to be a orang utan in the act but he was missing.

By the time we got back to the bus the kids were ready to call it a day and knocked out in their seats immediately as soon as the bus left the gates of the zoo. It was a well organised trip but I'm sure they figured bc and the zoo in a day is pretty nuts ;p

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why can't we be like them?

So why can't we be like them? My country has an amazing variety of food and the good thing is none of the food is Malaysianised till it loses the distinct taste of its origin.

Every year during Ramadan, stalls mushroom in each town selling some of the best Malay (muslim) food you can get. Last weekend my friends and I decided to visit one of the famed bazaars to shoot and try out the food. Half way through shooting I was dying of thirst due to my current non stop coughing syndrome but because I was in a predominatly malay area we refrained from drinking anything. By the time we purchased drinks and food and reached our cars it was about 20 minutes to the break of fast for muslims and since we were standing in front of a restaurant, we decided to join them as well.

As we were the only none muslims in the restaurant we decided to wait for the fast time as well. As the azan blared on a tv set behind us, we quietly watched everyone around us say a prayer and once they began to eat, we too finally had our drinks and food.

We could have just eaten and no one could have said anything to us but that would have been rude.

What I don't get is why there's still a bunch of people who will insist that you should fast as well if you want to join a ramadan fast breaking dinner or to even buy food at the bazaar. We've never insisted that you do the same when we're fasting or observing a vegetarian fast, do we? It isn't the smartest move to insist on inflicting your views on others.

Children have an innocence that is so beautiful, they will smile and laugh with you regardless of your colour, race and religion, neither do they insist you do things their way or place rules as conditions to your friendship.

So why can't we be like them?

ps : template went on a break with me as well, will get it repaired soon I hope ;p

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hey there

So how have you been?

Well I've been pretty busy having fun ;p More on that later but I thought I'd say hi since I don't really have the time to write a long post.

Anyway let me leave you with a little story. We were out shooting when we saw this little gal standing outside her house and as we approached her, she picks up this women shoes and turns her back at us and walks back into her house.

No one's stealing my mothers shoes ....

Now its either she was safe guarding her mummys shoes or she wasn't supposed to be playing with mummy's shoes ;p My bets on the second story;p

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Spirit of Merdeka

The spirit of merdeka The spirit of merdeka

Give me a parade anyday... I'd rather see the soldiers of my country marching in a parade then into a war.

Selamat Merdeka to all Malaysians and Happy ramadan to all muslim friends.

(Msia's independance was on the 31st of August - its our 51st)