Monday, December 31, 2007

Eating Out : Pizza vs Satay

Eating out has always been our favourite pastime. Whenever we learn of of any new and interesting places, we would definitely set our foot there too. Now, having our own family blog, I think it would be a great idea to start our own version of Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan by documenting all the places that we had visited. Not only visitors will get some tips on where to dine out whenever they're in town, we would also give our own family rating on the food served, so that you'll know what and what not to order.

To kick start our new column for the New Year, we give the honour to Pizza vs Satay. Located at Taipan USJ, the current premise is rather new as it was operating from a different location at the other side of Taipan USJ before. The new place is relatively remote in comparison to its previous site where even finding a parking space could always be considered a miracle by itself.

At the new location, parking is ample and the place is emm.... more serene. Pizza vs Satay is famous for delicacies of both the west and the east. With English setting as the theme of the outlet, you will find the place as very cosy, relaxing and simply nice. Price wise, their prices are really reasonable as suggested by the advertisement posted here. For those not familiar with the Malaysian Currency, RM 6.90 (Pronounced as Six Ringgit and Ninety Sen) is approximately 1 British Pound or 2 US Dollars or 3 Sing/Aust Dollars. That's how cheap their set lunch is! I'm sure for those based out of Malaysia, it is already mouth watering even by the temptation of the very good pricing, isn't it?

Soothing background music is played at all times and while waiting for your orders to be delivered you can always admire the extensive collection of classic posters all over the wall. So what did we had the other night there ? Well, we ordered three main dishes. The following are the food we had and our collective family rating for each type of food.

Two sets of Chicken Satay. Rating : 4 out of 5, While the meat is marinated quite differently from what we used to taste, the nut gravy was exceptionally nice and tasty.
A plate of Spaghetti Bolognese. Used to taste better Spaghetti elsewhere. Rating : 3.5 out of 5 bowl of Laksa Johor. Have tasted better Laksa Johor elsewhere. Rating 3 out of 5.

Till the next posting, keep on visiting to get to know of more places to dine out.

There are various other postings on Pizza vs Satay. Visit here and here to get to know this outlet better.

Let's Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan.
Jasni AJ

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Remembering those who had left us behind

If at the other weblog, I posted pictures of the newly completed mausoleum of Nurin Jazlin's, on this weblog I'm posting the picture of my mum's mausoleum.

Both of them are not far apart, my mum is sharing the same burial grounds as Nurin does. So now, whenever we visit the burial ground, we would have two spots to visit and recite the Al Fatihah at.

My mum passed away some 9 nine ago on 9th August 1998. Wow, 9 years... how fast time flies.

Her passing away was a day that I could not never forget. She is the one person that I have always looked up to, admired and love.

She left us too early, even before the grandchildren could had the opportunity to really know her.

My eldest son was only four while my daughter was only two when she left us. They are so unlucky for not being able to get to know their "great" grandmother better.

Oh Mak, "Semoga Allah Mencucuri Rahmatnya Kepada Mu Sentiasa".

Jasni AJ

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A True Malaysian Christmas

Christmas at Jennifer's Place Though Santa did not visit our home delivering christmas presents for the kids on Christmas' Eve, the J&Fs Bunch was happily sharing the Christmas spirit with those who had the Christmas trees installed in their homes. Right after Zohor, we zoomed to Jennifer's place, our former next door neighbour. We were neighbours for 6 years but I had known Jennifer and her late husband Paul since the day I started working at Mesiniaga in 1990.

Paul passed away about 7 months ago due to a heart attack at the age of 47. And this year's Christmas is the first year the family is observing Christmas without Paul. Unlike the traditionalists, who would adopt a "No Christmas" for the first year of one's demise, Jennifer opted to observe Christmas just like all these years.

To her, Paul enjoys Christmas. Paul likes Christmas trees. And to keep Paul happy, she dishes out all the Paul's favourite dishes. There were Putu Mayam, Fried Chicken, Lala Sambal, Mutton Curry and Mixed Vege.

Jennifer is Chinese and Paul an Indian. Therefore, all their kids are more like Malays. The eldest is getting engaged to a Malay girl, the second married to an Iban of Sarawak. The third and the fourth are still young, so I can't speculate on whom would their life partners be.

So, the family being a product of an interracial union, is very comfortable with more and more interracial unions. And the best thing about this type of family is the absence of any racial prejudices. In short, the family is racial blind, and I could testify that the children in this family is perhaps the most well mannered people in town.

When FJas (my daughter) was born 11 years ago, it was Jennifer who volunteered to take care of her before we could get a real baby sitter to leave her with. And she took care of FJas for more than two months.

When we were there at her home yesterday, she was excitedly telling us of her son's forthcoming engagement and sought for our guidance in preparing all the necessaries for the engagement and eventually the marriage in accordance with the Malay customs.

Though the absence of Paul is clearly felt, the family has managed to sort things out one by one. And for this, Jennifer has my fullest respect.

Christmas with the Chengs We were at Cheng's place for dinner. The Chengs is our current next door neighbour for the past 7 years. They are not of interracial union, but inter religion union. Cheng is a Buddhist but Lilian a Christian. So both Christmas and Chinese New Year are of equal significance to this family. Just like Jennifer's, the Cheng's juniors are also among the best well mannered kids in town. They don't talk much but they know how to respect people, especially all those elder than them.

The eldest is awaiting his SPM results and would be reporting for National Service next week at a camp in Kelantan. The youngest, Li Zen is fast turning into a cute young lady, sporting short hair and contact lenses.

Though we visited only two homes for Christmas this year, it was still a Christmas to remember by. We now are looking forward to Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Oh, what a wonderful Malaysia. Festivities all year round, one after the other.

Till the next posting, Good Night and thank you for visiting.

Jasni AJ

Monday, December 24, 2007

Of Christmas and the suspicious minds

Jaya Jusco Bukit Tinggi
Tomorrow, the 25th of December, is Christmas. Just like in any other parts of the world, Christmas is being observed on a grand scale in Malaysia, more so by those in the commerce world. All shopping malls compete with each other to come up with better christmas decorations. Some have "White Christmas" as their theme, while some with a more down to earth local Christmas scenarios. Posted here are 4 photos taken at 4 different locations.

While the general public seem to be enjoying themselves celebrating each other traditions, there are those in the government machinery who deem it fit to dampened the joyous spirit by barring the local Catholics from referring their God as "Allah". It seems that only in Malaysia "Allah" is an exclusive name of the Muslims' God and therefore can't be shared by others of different faiths. Though it is a fact that "Allah" is the term used by Arabic-speaking Christians when referring to God i.e. God The Father, it is not common though for non-Arabic speaking Christians to refer their God The father as "Allah". Though to a certain extent I do wonder why the insistence of calling God The Father as Allah, when every other Christians from outside the Arabic world associate "Allah" to the Muslim God exclusively, I still think that this policy of not allowing Catholics to call God The Father "Allah" is simply due to the suspicious and local centric minds on the part of the officials.

The Curve
While the suspicious minds are busily at work in Malaysia, their counterparts in Australia are equally busy and more aggressive too. If Catholics in Malaysia could no longer call their God "Allah", Muslims in Camden, Australia can't even have their own Islamic School. To the Camden's community, an Islamic School is no more than an institution of producing terrorists instead of giving an avenue for the Muslim young to learn their religion and therefore be spiritually guided in leading their lives. I guess to some, to have soulless persons is better than having religiously guided people.

I guess suspicious minds will always be around us, but as a plain commoner, my only wish is for everyone to have a nice time during this joyous season.

Holiday Inn Glenmarie
Just like previous Christmas, we will be visiting both my left and right neighbours as well as paying a visit to my former neighbour's place to wish them "Merry Christmas".

Paul, my former neighbour passed away a few months back. So this year's Christmas, if ever they're celebrating would be the first year they're observing Christmas without the man who used to be the pillar of the house. Life have been difficult for them for quite a while even before Paul passed away. Losing his job and going in and out of hospital had taken a toll on their lives. I sincerely hope that they have managed to straightened things up.

Subang Parade
To all Christians, on behalf of the J&Fs Bunch, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Jasni AJ

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holidaying at Holiday Inn

This time around, our year end "vacation" was perhaps the nearest to home. With a travelling time of less than 20 minutes, we checked into Holiday Inn Glenmarie right after Hari Raya Aidil Adha's prayers.

Though near, this vacation is perhaps the most relaxing vacation ever where we just lazied ourselves by just swimming or just idling by the pool side.

We did get out though, we sneaked to Subang Parade, to have dinner and to do some little shopping. And the only thing I bought was a digital camera, an Olympus FE-280 with 8.0 Megapixel.

I sure hope that the quality of pictures taken by this camera would be better than those pictures posted before which were taken from my Dopod Phone Camera.

So today's posting is just to show off the pictures taken from my new camera.

Let's take a tour :-

The J&Fs Bunch at Holiday Inn's Entrance

The Kids at the Pool

The Hotel from the Pool
Having Lunch at "Kites"

Jasni AJ

Thursday, December 20, 2007

About Birthdays and Domestic Tourism

A couple of days ago, we were at my brother's place (not Jazimin's but Jazlan's). We were there to join in the fun in the celebration of his 38th birthday. Nothing fancy, just a get-together among friends.

With "Pulut Kuning" replacing the traditional Birthday Cake, we sang "Allah Selamatkan kamu" song, a song popilarised by the late P. Ramlee along with the more traditional Happy Birthday song when cutting the "Pulut Kuning".

Not having sufficient time to buy him a birthday gift, I ended up setting-up a new weblog for the Jazlan family as my birthday present. Isn't it just cute to have your weblog born on your birthday!

I'm sure he has lots of plans for the weblog (judging from the extra length entry of the write-up on "About me"), so I would like to invite you over to his new weblog from time to time.

The first entry is basically an introduction to the family. The pictures posted are really nice compared to mine which were all taken using only a phone camera!

Talking about birthdays, we also had our own birthday celebration earlier last week. It was my daughter's 11th birthday.

To celebrate her birthday in not the usual way, we packed our luggage bags and headed to Kuala Selangor. It was not that far but as we took the longer route there, it really felt quite far far away.

The main attraction of Kuala Selangor is the Fireflies Haven. Heard about the place about three years ago (thanks to TNB's Raya TV Commercial), that was our first time witnessing another natural wonder. It was really awesome sight seeing the naturally lit "christmas" trees all along the river bank of Sungai Selangor.

There were more foreign tourists than locals at that special place. Can't blame the locals though as most of them are still not aware of this spectacular place. Visit here to get more information on the Fireflies haven and make it a point to pay it a visit soon.

Bukit Malawati is another attraction of Kuala Selangor. Be there to visit the interesting museums, the historical canons, the grand Lighthouse and our "cousins" the primates.

Spending a night there was indeed a well spent excursion to remember the daughter's 11th birthday by.

As today is Hari Raya Aidil Adha, again we're packing up our luggage bags - we're not going far but just to a place where we can just relax and recuperate for the next two nights.

See you then.

Jasni AJ

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Still On KTM

It's not that I have any grudge against KTM but if yesterday I was highlighting on the not so dignified treatment accorded to the once but still grand Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, today I'm highlighting another station of theirs.

About three weeks ago while waiting for my wife to pick me up from the Komuter Station nearest to home, I noticed that the flags flying from the flag poles were of torn flags. As it was rather late, I did not make any fuss about it to any of the KTM officials stationed there then.

This morning however (after three weeks), and thanks to missing the train to office, seeing that the flag poles were still flying "worst off" flags of both the Jalur Gemilang and the Selangor State Flag, I went straight to one of the KTM officer in uniform and asked him "Kat Stesyen ni tak ada Stesyen Master ke?" (Don't you have a Station Master here?). Answered in the affirmative, I then asked, "Habis tu kenapa pasang bendera-bendera koyak kat tiang bendera? Tak Malu ke?" (Then why is the station flying torn flags, Isn't it shameful?)

The guy just kept quiet without a word. I then said, "Tolong bagi tahu kat Stesyen Master, tolong turunkan bendera-bendera koyak tu. Kalau tak, saya nak repot kat surat khabar!" (Please ask your Station Master to take down the torn flags, if not, I'm going to report it to the newspapers!)

Well, when I return from office late this evening, I'm so glad to see that he torn flags were no longer there. I am glad that they do listen but I just can't help feeling sad that they had to wait for someone to tell them off before doing anything. And to change the flags which are hoisted right in front of the station for everyone to see isn't a difficult thing to do.

I guess the care less attitude is just too great, right from the officers of the station right down to the rakyat who are seeing the torn flags everyday for at least three weeks.

Oh Negaraku, I pity you.

Jasni AJ

p.s. To keep my part of the bargain, I'm not naming the Station with the torn flags. But Dear Station Master, perhaps you should get the manual on how to fly flags from the Information Department. If I remember correctly, flags are to be raised in the morning and lowered at the end of the day, everyday. Flags are not supposed to be hoisted all year round, except for special occasions like during Merdeka celebration.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let's talk about something else

For those who have been visiting my other blog "In Memory of Nurin Jazlin" must have known by now how restless I'm getting with the slow pace of the so-called police investigations on first, the Nurin's Abduction and Murder Case, and second; the unlawful distribution of Nurin's autopsy pictures.

While I can understand the Police's difficulty in wrapping up their investigation on the Abduction and Murder Part, I just can't simply understand what is taking the DPP's office more than a month to charge the so-called identified culprit who leaked and unlawfully distributed Nurin's autopsy pictures. (Why DPP? Well the Police have actually told the public that they have wrapped up the investigation on 3rd November 2007 and had submitted their investigation papers to the DPP's office accordingly since then, see here)

I was at Jazimin's place earlier this afternoon and he put on a CD being a compilation of news footage and pictures of Nurin for us to watch. I can sense that Jazimin too was getting pretty restless especially when he kept on asking what's next for him to do.

My, my, come on, why the silence on the autopsy case? Anyone care to explain?

So, in order not to let my mind too engrossed, too frustrated and just would not know what else to write, I've created this new blog.

This new blog would provide me the channel to talk on anything else that matters to me and my family members. I have actually invited all of them to be members to this blog and I really hope that we can turn this new blog as the family's blog, each one with their own stories to tell.

And talking about stories, stories other than Nurin's that is, perhaps I would just like to share my admiration today.

Well, today we sent off Mak Tok and Tok Chik at the Nice Plusliner Bus Terminal at the "original" Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

After sending them off, we noticed that there was this Arts Exhibition being held at the Station. Since it has been a while since we last visited the railway Station, we just walked into the Station and just wandered around seeing what they have to offer.

It was not really an Arts Exhibition but more of a gallery of sketch drawings by some renowned artists. After spending a few minutes appreciating the drawings, we proceeded to the other end of the Railway Station where permanent displays of some antique items belonging to Malayan Railway were there on display.

There was someone there who came to us and acted as the guide explaining the display items. I'm pretty sure he's was not the official guide but a former KTM staff who has not been refusing to detach himself with KTM but at the same time just could not believe that KTM's management can just "abandon" the once grand Railway Station and not only that, the selling of the Sentul site, the selling and renting back of the land where KL Sentral now stands.

I could see how sentimental he was with the old KTM and I guess he's still having a hard time accepting the changes that had taken place since his days in the KTM.

Looking around the Railway Station, I would not say that the Railway Station was an abandoned building, infact I could see that while some major refurbishment were taking place, KTM Management had also tried to instill life back into the Railway Station by having the "Arts Exhibition" besides a permanent Mini Museum and an "entended" Mamak Restaurant.

While I appreciate the refurbishment and the Mini Museum efforts,I just could not agree with the "extended" Mamak Restaurant encroaching onto the platform with all those plastic tables and stools. It is simply just an undignified thing to do to the grand Railway Station.

I was telling my kids that the Railway Station in its heyday was perhaps the busiest place in the City. But now, perhaps it is crying in silence seeing all the trains, including the Komuter trains just passing through without stopping. (The Komuter train's terminal is further up at the new wing of the station)

I do surely hope that the KTM Management would return the dignity of the Railway Station by giving it a certain "class". Heritage building should have that extra "class". And talking about "class", I just can't help appreciate the beautiful building adjacent to the Railway Station. Just look at the picture here. Don't you agree that it is this type of building that gives us the pride of a cultured community.

Some nations I know really take pride of their heritage buildings, I hope we can copy that and retain our heritage buildings for our next generations to remember what the country was once like.

Jasni AJ

Presenting the J&Fs Bunch

JAS THE DAD, Mid 40s, Pieces, Blogs and Plays Guitar, Loves to sing too

F The Mom, Late 30s, Aries, Loves listening to Mix FM and reading novels

JASF1 THE ELDER SON, Young Teen, Leo, Plays Criket but a Chelsea Football Fan

FJAS THE DAUGHTER, Young Teen, Sagitarius, Very Artistic and plays Violin

JASF2 THE YOUNGER SON, Leo Kid, A Computer Wizkid