Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Europe Here I Come - Part 8


I have heard of Hyde Park in London since my school days. The knowledge about the speakers corner in Hyde Park kept me dreaming that one day I will get to witness it if not participate in the banter with the speaker. Unfortunately when we were in London recently, it was not a Sunday when the speakers corner was on.
On arrival in London our bus took us to our hotel in Bayswater area passing by Hyde Park. It was not far from the park.
The next morning I woke up early for the Subuh prayers. This is the view from my window with the sun rising.

Later I chance upon the sight of two hot air ballons and I photographed it against the sphire of a nearby church.

I can't be wasting time in the room and I need to use as much of my available time in London to see things. Getting out of the hotel, I felt the cool and fresh morning air outside. Moving towards Hyde park I saw this neighbouring hotel beside Holiday Villa being extensively renovated. It's The Blakemore.

The area where we stayed was known as Leinster Gardens. Walking on there was this restaurant being offered for sale. Business must have been bad for this restaurant that it had to close down. If you have the money you can buy over this restaurant to sell nasi lemak which will surely sell. A niche market can be secured when the wealthy will come to gamble their wealth away at a new casino being constructed less than 50 meters away will follow their nose at the smell of freshly cooked nasi lemak. All the more so if they are from Malaysia or Singapore. The casino is owned by a Malaysian company.

The building under renovation is a new Casino in London being built by a Malaysian Company. no prizes will be given for the correct guess as to which company is involved. They were allowed to renovate the building but on the condition that the facade of the old building is maintained. Only the inside of the building was torn down. It was definitely a great architectural and engineering feat.

A grand looking building
The local authorities had to take care of all people especially the mentally impaired person and so the roads had to be painted with the instruction to Look Right when crossing a road even at the traffic light. Note the color pencils being used to decorate the walls surrounding the building under renovation.
This man was out early on his bike to excercise.

The sight of this London bus showed how useful they are for advertisement. It moves around the city for all to see.

Entering Hyde Park via Lancaster Gate, I saw this map of the park.

It was around 6 AM and the park was quite deserted except for a few people jogging or walking their dogs.

The statue of a man riding a horse looks interesting. Made the mistake of not reading what was written on the plaque. Later I found out that it was the statue of George Watts Physical Energy. Behind this statue there is a story that no reputable tourist guide would want to repeat. Bribe your way if you insist to know the story, who knows the guide maybe tempted to reveal the story.
Another angle with the rising sun behind it.
The dog's poo can be deposited here. Did see a man collecting his dog's poo and deposited them in this receptacle. No wonder their park is clean.
A dog on a long leash.
Now again the instruction to look left and right before crossing a road. Bicycles can only be rode in their designated lane in the park.
Walking across the park I reached the other side where the Royal Albert Hall was located. I was amazed by the sight of another structure at the fringe of the park. This structure as told by blogger Atok from Reading was the Prince Albert memorial.

For other cluster of statues were constructed at the four corners of the fence depicting a certain story. From the keyboard of my reliable source himself this is what he wrote:

The clusters of statutes around the Albert Memorial depict 'colonial people' in various parts of the globe. There's probably someone to represent you in Kelantan there, Pak Zawi, and Mekyam in Noo York. Victoria was the Great White Queen and Empress of India, remember? In days of waning empire and setting sun, the satirical magazine Private Eye once said that the Albert Memorial was the rocket, pointing skywards, in Britain's space programme.

The intricate embossed murals and design on the Prince Albert Memorial.
The details.
Here is the famous Royal Albert Hall where our late Sudirman Haji Arshad once performed and was crowned as Asia's best performer beating Anita Sarawak of Singapore and many other well known Asian performers. Dato' Siti Nurhaliza had performed here to a packed paying audience. Recently a play The King And I was staged here and in the play 2 children of blogger Atok from Reading, England acted. Read Kak Teh's take on it here. Backtracking into the park I saw this juniper flower/fruit which from my blurred vision I initially thought to be birds.
The insignia on the ground indicating The South Flower Walk. All dogs must be kept on lead when going inside the walk.

Lavenders were flowering when I walked along it. Luckily Mek Yam of New York wasn't anywhere near otherwise she would be tempted to grab a bundle for her home decoration.
A solitary pigeon perched on a branch. According to a reliable source by the nickname of Awang Goneng who had been living in London for more than 3 decades, it is a wood pigeon which had migrated from the countryside. Their numbers are increasing at the expense of the London feral pigeons and the Federal Pigeons included.
A squirrel moved towards me expecting to be fed. I am sorry I brought only my camera with me.
He looked at me with one eye.
Spotted another one later at another side of the park. Maria an expatriate teacher in Narathiwat, Thailand said this squirrel must never be fed but 'they should be hauled into the air and waved around like cat toys and they would make a beautiful sight' . 'Those cute eyes are pure evil' she added further. Couple that with the comments from Awang Goneng, I do believe her. Only the devil of a squirrel can survive in a city park of London. Read the reasons for that at Maria's blogsite Kafe Dakoh here.
Singnages aplenty to show you the way.
Suddenly I heard the sound of big birds flying. When I looked up I was just in time to record these four birds flying. U Lee and Ee Lynn said they were the trans migratory Canadian Geese visiting London. U Lee should know as he lives in Canada. How did Ee Lyn knows? She lives in KL. I know she knows because Ee Lynn loves nature and she is a member of Malaysian Nature Society.

Despite of their beauty, Awang Goneng said they are great bullies. Well when you are big and powerful, being a bully seems to be the order of the day all the more so when you are the migratory kind who will just fly away after commiting a crime on the local populace.
When I zoomed in only 3 came into the frame.

Later in the evening after our guided tour of London, we had time to revisit Hyde park. I wanted to share Hyde Park with my other half. Now I have an assistant to put on record of us as to have been to Leinster Garden, London.

The other half wanted a picture of her too but right inside the park. Now the children and their children will know for sure that she had been to Hyde Park, London.
We reached Kensington Palace. I guess for a fee it is possible to tour the palace.

Can you read what it says?
We couldn't cover much of the park that afternoon as my wife was still feeling the pain from the broken toe nail as a result of running the 15 coaches length of ground in Brussels. So we headed home to the hotel.
On the way back we saw this solitary old gentleman wearing an Italian cap sitting on a park bench. He must be dreaming of how his life would be if he were to live in London and spend the rest of his life there. The weather maybe nice for now that it was the beginning of summer. How will it be if the weather turns hot? Worse still is whether he can withstand the harsh cold winter? Will he have enough money to live in expensive London? Let us just leave him to himself to continue with his dreams. After all dreams are free. Remember Tennyson's 'The Lotus Eaters'?


Oldstock said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Bayswater tu kira macam kawasan tempat lepak kami satu masa dulu. The Mara Hostel was located in Leinster Square and that's where I'd go to squat at a friend's room whenever I go to London. Wonder if Mara Hostel is still there?

I loved Hyde Park. I would buy a packed turkish kebab, go to park, sit on the grass to eat it. After that I'd lie down to read a book or simply doze off.

Memang berangan nak duk London (macam Kak Teh) tapi bila terpikir time sejuk winter, tak jadi pulok :-)

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Zawi really envy people like you who have the chance to study in England. If only I did fulfill my dream to be a lawyer I would have read law at Lincoln's Inn. Fate has decided otherwise so I can only rejoice in the happiness of people who manage to do so.
Hyed Park was nice. I manage to cover only half thepark as my wife's broken toe nails was still giving her lots of pain.

madam gold said...

I am new here,but looking at your beautiful pics bring back lots of memories if I could feel the freshness of the morning in Hyde Park here, in hot sticky Malayian weather.

Pak Zawi said...

madam gold,
There is differentiation between the regulars and the newcomers accept that for first timers like you, I will roll the red carpet to welcome you to my humble site.
I am sure glad that you find the posted pictures brings you loads of fond memories. I guess you were not alone when you visited Hyde Park before. Someone dear was with you right?

Azmy Omar said...


Kenapa tak masukkan gambar demo dan Suhaimi semasa berada di London.

I was expecting at least an image of you and him at the tahlil ..may be.

Never mind. All the same very informative posting. Carry on blogging!!

Thanks for the 'misai kucing'

Pak Zawi said...

Tuan Haji Azmi,
Cerita tu belum sampai lagi. Sabar ya. Rasanya dia tak mahu saya letak gambar dia dalam blog ni.

Zendra said...

Lovely pictures Pak Zawi. I wish we have something like Hyde Park where I live, you know, clean well-maintained open area with tall shady trees, huge clean unsmelly lake with no red plastic bags floating about, just ducks swimming by. Well it's a dream perhaps my yet-to-be-conceived grandchildren may get to experience in reality hehe.
Anyway hope the better-half's toe-nails are healing well (I normally wear running shoes on tour, they look hideous and unelegant but are comfortable and lend some protection).

kbguy (福生) said...

Wow ! super ! with lots of photos this time.
Btw, during spring to summer in Beijing, Sun rise at 4.15 am. So at 4.30 am, its totally bright. I took the advantage not to waste my time inside the room too, and i went for walk and photography.

Kama said...

Pak Zawi, you transported me back to London, where I used to live in the 70s, with these lovely photographs. I can feel the spring chill just by looking at them.. am glad you both are having a good time.. dok gi 'jale tengok striptease kat Soho ko? LOL

Pak Zawi said...

I highlighted many occasions of wild faunas found proliferating on water bodies close to human dwellings in Europe. That shows how clean their waters are. Will we be able to come to that stage in Malaysia? As I see it we have yet to start cleaning up our acts. Drains and rivers are still our people's convenient rubbish dump.
She was using running shoes alright but maybe a bit too tight. It is OK now.

Pak Zawi said...

You did the right thing by going out early to see the city. I did that too when I was there. You will be surprised to find many things that you will never see at normal hours.

Pak Zawi said...

I am glad if you find my pictures to be of any good to bring back those nostalgic feelings in you.
Unfortunately our Local Tour guide who happened to be a Malaysian living in London didn't want us to see SOHO because he doesn't want to be in cohort with the possibility of us 'sinning' ourselves by even just ogling at those sex workers there.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zawi, wow, like looking at National Geographic mag. And your well taken photographs sure brings back memories to me.
Have always love ye ole country. Not to mention eating fish & chips from newspapers, read same time.
Youhave fun and keep well, best regards, Lee.
ps, those ducks are Canadian geese, imports.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Great post and pics as usual, Abang Zawi! I agree with Uncle Lee, those 'ducks' look suspiciously like migratory Canadian geese to me. I love the photos of the hot air balloons, dove, squirrels and geese.

If they had those Dog Waste Only bins in Malaysian parks, you will find it full of food wrappers, beverage cups and cans, and general rubbish, and the grass and pavements will still be full of dog poo. Malaysians are so lazy and selfish that they would not empty and return their own trays at fast food outlets or return shopping carts to the designated places at the car parks. I think expecting Malaysians to pick up their own dogs' poo is a really tall order. I can imagine them saying: "Oh, that one? Not my dog. My dog didn't do it." So nobody's dog did it and the parks are full of phantom dogs.


Pak Zawi said...

Memories of London eh? Beside Kota Bharu and Johor Baru, London was your other playground. Will we get to read any of the escapades in London from you?
Thanks for the info about the Canadian geese, I will put in the right caption.

Pak Zawi said...

Ee Lynn,
So it is confirmed, the birds are Canadian geese. I was really surprised right smack in the middle of London you can sight so many faunas compared to a walk in the jungle of Malaysia where you can never find any such things to see. I should know cos I used to roam the jungles of Lojing, Gua Musang.
Don't expect Malaysians to pick up their dog's poo when they can't even dispose their rubbish in the right place. When will we ever learn? How many generations from now will we be able to see such changes taking place? I purposefully post those things to bring awareness to our people that people in developed countries don't mind picking up dog's poo just to keep their parks clean.

edelweiss said...

Pok Wi,

terus teringat dulu-dulu kat hyde park... rindunya.

Pak Zawi said...

Pergi la sekali lagi tambang Air Asia X dah murah sekarang. Cuma penginapan dan makan tetap mahal. pak zawi pun tak sempat cover seluruh kawasan terutama sebelah Serpent Water.

xplorer said...

salam pak zawi , been to london last christmas during boxing day.suka tgk tupai2 jinak kat taman2 kat london.hairan kenapa tupai2 malaysia tak jinak mcm kat london.mungkin mcm org malaysia gak kot jenis malu2 kucing compare to mat salleh yg lebih open,ha ha

Pak Zawi said...

The squirrels are instinctively fearsome of human in Malaysia. They are hunted as pests. Their parents teach their youngs to avoid humans.
In Europe they love to meet humans because meeting humans means there is a chance to get food. The adults will teach their young to get close to humans and that behavior is passed on from generations to generations.
Pak Idrus of Malaysian in Passing feeds the squirrels around his home in Ampang and so they are quite tame.

Atok said...

abe wi,

the intricate structure in front of the Royal Albert Hall is Prince Albert Memorial, commissioned by Queen Victoria after his death; with a golden statue of Albert ceremonially seated facing the hall.

Pak Zawi said...

Thanks a heap. I will add that info in my blog. I was careless in not taking the details of things. Problem was I didn't carry anything to write down.
Have a good day.

xplorer said...

forgot to tell you one thing , one thing that i love about london is the london naked bike ride which was held on the 13th june 2009.check out this link

Pak Zawi said...

Would be fun to watch the younger ones riding naked but cant bear to watch the older ones like me running around naked. 13th June? Just missed it when we were in London.
Our guide didn't mention anything about the event. Future visit to London must ensure to coincide with that date hehehehe

Tommy Yew said...

Ahh Pak Zawi, thanks for bringing back the memories of good old London, Streets of London, ELO’s Last train to London, Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane, Highbury. Literally lost my pants there in my first time there as a naïve kampong boy, yeah bitten(yes as in BITE) by one of the many casinos there. Like u I tot I knew everything from listening to the BBC in my growing up days, but what an eye opener when u actually got there.

I heard the sad news last night that Mrs Slocombe of ‘Are You Being Served’ passed away. She was a character that make famous the nod2, wink2 expression and her continued reference to her ‘pussy’…heheh..kucing lah, Pak bukan what u think. She was hilarious, God bless her soul. RIP Mollie Sugden.


P/S - My one regret, I missed the 2004 Rod Stewart Live at the Royal Albert Hall.I so wanted to fly over to see him & Chrissie Hynde duet on 'As time goes by'.Oh well, at least I got the dvd.

Pak Zawi said...

Tommy Yew,
That was just the Hyde Park of London that I showed you, more is yet to come. Dunno if I can make Part 9 as the final part. There is so much of London to write and show pictures about. Maybe Part 10 will be the final part to do justice to London.
Oh you did manage to lose your pant there hehehehe. Then you are a character that I would like to meet as I am of the same type, worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. Yeah just live for the day, cos tomorrow may never come.
Mrs. Slocombe? Never knew about her. May she rest in peace and may God bless her soul. I know of Allan M Sugar though. His company sold me my first computer, an Amstrad. Heard he is going to British Parliament. Dunno if that happened under the current PM. Lost touch about the British politics ever since I cam back home in Malaysia.
Take care of your present pant. You may lose them again if you are not careful.

mekyam said...

the solitary gentleman looked really at home on that park bench. orang tak tahu would never guess he wasn't to londres born. ;D

btw, i know it's not the thing to do, tapi did you not feel tempted to pluck a few stalks of those lavenders?

i always cari can to getuh a few when i find them growing in parks. cannot resist. covertly, of course.

once home, they'd go between pages of books, or hang to dry to be turned into homemade potpourri with other scented dried flowers. :D

Pak Zawi said...

A word from his mouth and people will know he is Kelantan born because his 'loghat' when pronouncing the word 'seven eleven' will be so obviously Kelantanese. The 'kain batik lepas' wrapped around his shoulder will be another dead giveaway that he is not a local.
I was only tempted to smell the lavenders as the canned smell in air fresheners has made me so familiar with lavenders such that even by the smell alone Pak Zawi can detect flowering lavenders even when blindfolded.
Never 'getus' any flower in a park. It is a No No. Only the park caretakers are endowed with that privilege to 'getus' a flower and give it to a Mekyam from New York should he finds her visiting his park one fine day.

Atok said...

i thot that 'jentelmae' on the bench was wondering where could he find a laksae sor klosong for his breakfast :)

louis said...


Your post on London brought me a startling piece of information, and it had nothing to do with London itself. It was the revelation in Tommy Yew's comment that Mollie Sugden, "Mrs. Slocombe" of the British tv comedy series "Are You Being Served," had very recently passed away.

I am indebted to you and Tommy for that important but very sad news, which I had missed.


Tommy Yew said...

Hi Pak Zawi, (sorry off topic, some minor trivial general knowledge)

Funny u should mention Sir Alan Sugar, he’s not as sweet as his name implied. He was the chairman of Tottenham Hotspurs FC and did not endear himself to the club fan & personnel. Anyway he’s a classic rag to riches fella. Check him out at Wikipedia for some interesting weekend reading on him.


edelweiss said...

Pok Wi,

Insyallah ada rezeki tahun depan sampai ler...:)

tahun nih x leh...abih doh pitih

Pak Zawi said...

The possibilities are numerous. When you are at the tail end of your life's journey, you can always conttemplate on what you should and should not have done in life. One thing that he could have done was to read law at Lincoln Inn as his other classmate did. The Right Honourable Tan Sri Ariffin Zakaria is now The Chief Judge of The High Court of Malaya. During their school days that old man spoke as the main speaker in the class debates while Tan Sri spoke from the floor.

Pak Zawi said...

Fate has a hand in bringing this news to you. It was fated that Tommy mentioned that and you happened to read it today. Just thank God for it.

Pak Zawi said...

Tommy Yew,
Thanks again for the info. i will read more on him.
Look what your information has done to Louis, he is most indebted to you.

Pak Zawi said...

There is no time frame for anything. Just plan ahead for it and it will happen.
We planned for that European holidays since we were young hehehehe.

Tommy Yew said...

No worries Pak Zawi & Louis, it’s just that this post made me reminisced about my old English day, when I have to stay in watching British comedies like Yes Minister, George & Mildred, Dad’s Army, Benny Hill, Some Mother’s do have them, etc…when I lost my pants which was very often!!! money to go out mah. How pathetic was that, sigh.


Atok said...

aaaah...those 'what if', they can be endless. one might turn into jiman if one keeps dwelling on them. nevertheless, i sometimes go there too :)

by the way, it's a nice cool friday morning here; it rained lightly earlier. a relieve after a few hot days (up to 33deg C).

Pak Zawi said...

Tommy Yew,
That kind of experience made your life very much richer though the pockets maybe empty hehehehe.

Pak Zawi said...

What is a 'jiman'?
Hyde Park is definitely a nice place to exercise the old limbs and while away your time on a secluded bench dreaming of things that you have once savored or wish to have but never had.
Hopefully the weather there won't turn any hotter.

kbguy (福生) said...

just posted the Great Wall. hehe..

Pak Zawi said...

Ya I was the first to comment.

Atok said...

Jiman was a 'gok bbawoh ghumoh' dweller - Esok Untuk Siapa (1982).

Pak Zawi said...

Didn't see the 'Esok' series but I think P. Ramlee showed the 'Jiman' dweller clearly in 'Ibu Mertuaku'. Thanks.

Atok said...

Hehhe...Jiman was the protagonist, played by Jins Shamsuddin in Esok Untuk Siapa which was in fact shot in Kota Bharu. In that film, one could get a glimpse of the old 'Pasar Lambak' near then panggong Odeon (later Bangunan Umno). Other scenes were near Kg Tikat and Kg Paya Bemban.

At the end of the film, he became insane and was locked in a cage under his mum's house. After that film was release, 'Jiman' became a byword for 'oghe gilo' :)

Pak Zawi said...

Never knew about the film being shot in Kota Bharu.
Can you get Akak and Adik to autograph any pamphlet of The King And I for Pak Zawi? Kalu boleh just mail it to:
Mohamad Zawawi Ahmad
PT 26 Jalan Pam Air KADA
17000 Pasir Mas.
Kelantan, Malaysia.
One day they will become well known actresses. I may not live to see that day but my children will.

Awang Goneng said...

Dear Pak Zawi,

It's good to know that you enjoyed London, but I think it was mean of your London guide not to have taken you to Soho during your tour. I personally do not find Soho fascinating. Soho in the daytime is just an ordinary working area with videomakers and restaurateurs and everyday shopkeepers and working women exchanging glances and woes and tales. In the nighttime it takes a different mien, but its tone is still quite depressing. I find it quite sleazy without any of the interesting aspects of the Rossebuurt in Amsterdam. But that's a very personal view. Maybe it's because my first job was in Soho, working in a cut price chemist below, how shall I say it... a working women's flat. Every so often said women would come down to buy 'protective coats' for their male friends, and I found them quite intimidating.

Other interesting bits about Soho: the historian AJP Taylor was once knocked down by a car while crossing the road after buying his favourite coffee in Old Compton Street; Karl Marx lived in Soho in poverty while researching and writing Das Kapital in the Round Reading Room of the old British Library; and the first successful TV experiment by J.L.Baird (involving human models) took place in a house there.

In the mosque in Soho is a notice that reads: "The Mosque closes at 10.00pm. Please don't argue with the Imam." It never fails to amuse me.

Two of the beautiful animals you have up there are also regarded as pests. The grey squirrel is a pest to the British native red (a shy rodent), and Canada geese are regarded as bullies and agricultural pests. They (like the grey rodents) are migrants. I love to see the geese in flying formation, and until very recently they were commonly seen flying in formation above the mantlepieces of English homes (made of, but perhaps not in, China). But tastes have changed.

Pak Zawi said...

Dear Awang Goneng,
I have yet to post my take on London. After selecting the pictures for illustration, I still have more than a hundred of them. How do I fit in in my next post? It will be a torture for those readers with jurassic computers to download. I am still vague on how I am going to treat the post on London. There is so much to say and to show.
Frankly we didn't miss Soho much or even the other red light districts of Paris or Amsterdam. We didn't see them either. With just a couple of days in a city, we have to have our priorities especially with the wife in tow. The wife's priority is of course paramount.
Glad to see your lengthy respond as it itself adds so much valuable information to my post. Will definitely need your assistance to correct the next post on London proper.
Ah the migrants (rodents and birds) are always causing problems to the locals everywhere hehehehe. maybe the animals must apply for visas too the next time they come visiting.

Mat Salo said...

Pak Zawi..

I don't even know where to begin.. I assure you I read every word and pored over every picture in your last couple of posts with much interest and fascination - I loved it all Bang!

I'm back on my kapal in mosquito infested Mahakam Delta near Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, cut off from the cacophony of Oxford Street and shoppers scrambling to get in the Primark Store. Ha ha.

Left a note at Atuk's as I saw the Saturday afternoon matinee with my 16-year-old boy. We flew home a couple of days later.

Leinster Place was about a 15 minute walk from our rented digs in Lancaster Gate. Sayang we were not there at the same time... but heck, at least I got to see Awang Goneng.

Paris pun sama Bang. We took the Eurotrain and spent about a week there, took the kids to Disneyland, waved at Michelle O and Carla Bruni as their motorcade passed us near Champ Elysee and Place De la Concorde.

In England a week later lah when I met up with AG. Then took the family to Windsor with a detour to Legoland. Over at Legoland, it rained so we were forced to go in and buy ponchos for our kids. We bumped into this lady in tracksuit with a baseball cap and large sunglasses doing the same, buying a poncho for her son's trolley. She was with a female companion, no hubby or any one else. An au pair perhaps? My wife nudged me, "Bang, that's Britney". Saw the back of her. By the time I whipped my Nikon out she was gone. The free evening papers we got outside the Paddington station later confirmed that she was spotted there. And also at Hyde Park a few days earlier... he hee.

Maria said...

Seeing all these pictures makes me realize that I really didn't do anything but hang out in the British Museum for the week I was in London. :)

Oh, and squirrels are devil's handiwork. They must not be fed. No matter how cute they look. Behind those curious eyes is pure evil. Trust me.

The only acceptable way to feed is squirrel is by squirrel fishing. Harvard claims to have invented the sport, but it was so Berkeley. Our squirrels are so cheeky they deserve to hauled into the air and waved around like cat toys. (It's a beautiful sight.)

Awang Goneng said...

Salaam Pak Zawi,

I didn't mean to come back and blot your landscape, but Maria's comments [above] made me laugh buckets. I shall never look a squirrel in the eye again (but shall continue to feed them though, and look up to the sky occasionally for Canada geese).

Oh dear, we are in our lives surrounded by 'pests'. That dove you have sitting on the branch could well be (from the white patch on its neck), a wood pigeon. This is another migrant from the countryside, and from what I see in our garden, they are now more common than London's own feral pigeons. And er, oops, feral pigeons...the Mayor of London before the present one, Ken Livingstone, (a lover of newts) so hated them that he passed a law banning them from Trafalgar Square. And it did work (but I think a huge predatory bird that he sent to guard the square also helped). But feral pigeons are lawyers themselves. They know that that space between the National Gallery and the Steps to Trafalgar Square isn't covered by the law. So they gather there now most days should you wish to feed them.

And that statue in Kensington garden (of the man shileding his eyes from the sun, on a horse) is George Watts' 'Physical Energy'. Watts was an imperialist who admired the arch Imperialist Cecil Rhodes. And there's a story about that statue that I'd not want to repeat.

The clusters of statutes around the Albert Memorial depict 'colonial people' in various parts of the globe. There's probably someone to represent you in Kelantan there, Pak Zawi, and Mekyam in Noo York. Victoria was the Great White Queen and Empress of India, remember? In days of waning empire and setting sun, the satirical magazine Private Eye once said that the Albert Memorial was the rocket, pointing skywards, in Britain's space programme.

Yes you do have so many interesting things to write about Pak Zawi. Why don't you compile them all, put in a bit more padding, and publish them in a book (in Bahasa or English?).

PS Forgive my Freudian slip when, in my last Comment, I said that JL Baird used human models for his first TV transmission in Soho. I meant human beings, not those French models (Yvonne)that you see advertised in those little cards in Soho. In his first experiment Baird used a dummy.

Pak Zawi said...

Bro Mat Salo,
What took you so long to arrive?
I almost died of despair waiting to hear words from you. My worst fear was you may not have survived the red light districts of Paris or Amsterdam. Now I am happy to hear that you are safe and sound in the marshes of Kalimantan. The mosquitoes of the marshes can't be doing much harm to you compared to those beauties in Paris and Amsterdam.
It was rather unfortunate that our timing wasn't perfect, otherwise I would love to hear the stories from the horse's mouth itself.
When can we read your take on those cities you have visited?
Lucky you to have seen the matinee of The King And I. Did you get Kakak and Adik's autograph? Their autograph will be priceless when they become stars in their own right.
Though the cities we visited maybe the same, the perspective will definitely be very different. Would be great to see it from your perspective as only a Mat Salo can do it.

Pak Zawi said...

I can't blame Awang Goneng from raining buckets of tears laughing at your candid comments on such rudimentary animals such as the squirrels. I guess in real life you must be an easy going and fun loving person.
If it took you a week to the the museums in London alone I guess it will take you a decade at least to do the whole of London. You must be a really meticulous person or an avid historian to say the least.
Pak Zawi is most honoured to have you visit and make comments on my site. All the more so your comments could elicit so much laughter in the life of a serious writer like Awang Goneng. You really did bring him a new meaning to what life is all about while he is doing research for his next book.

Pak Zawi said...

Awang Goneng,
There is no rule whatsoever in this house to say you can make only a single comment or only a short comment. As long as Blogger do not mind, nobody will mind. Look how much information I have gleaned from your comments as well as from the others. From them I have made corrections and added value to an otherwise very shallow piece of primary school level write up. Now it has more depth.
The notes about the feral pigeons at Trafalgar Square will come in handy in the next post on London. Thanks for the info.
You forgot that you didn't take us to Soho so how on earth would I know anything about that French model Yvonne? Can you send a couple of those Soho cards so that I will know where to go, who to call should I have another opportunity to be in London?
Write a book? It is a dream. Just like the Lotus Eaters, I prefer to just dream about it. It is much cozier to be in that state hehehehehe.

Atok said...

pok wi,

you actually didn't miss much by not visiting soho. frankly, there's nothing much there compare to amsterdam (and even patpong). there are only a handful of mediocre adult shops, cheap xxx cinemas and rip-off 5-quid-to-go-in,500-quid-to-get-out strip clubs.

as for phonebox advert cards, there are actually more around paddington & bayswater areas than in soho. but one has to be quick bcoz they don't stick around long; efficiently taken down/ripped by either council's staff or concerned individuals.

as far as yvonne is concerned, i thot she moved to west london a while ago. not sure why, but i heard she has good friend there ;)

Maria said...

OMG, I'm famous! :D

Awang Goneng, you must not feed the squirrels! With every peanut or bread crust, it eats a bit of your soul! I like to pelt them with bits of orange peel, myself. Shows 'em who's boss.

And geese... Well, they're not so great either. The flock that once stopped in my parents' town decided to give up the whole migration-to-Canada thing and have been living in Silicon Valley ever since. You can't go to any park with a lake without finding that a sector has been claimed by a cackling gray and white army. An army that will defend its turf by any means necessary.

Now, when it comes to pigeons, I'm on the fence. They have lovely voices (and I can do a pretty good version myself) and are fun to chase. (I still love running after them, despite being a responsible adult.) Unfortunately, I am also a survivor of pigeon attacks -- first by a lone agent when I was in high school, then by teeming masses a few years ago in Bangkok. This makes me biased against them, but not enough to warrant a Seal of Disapproval. Pigeons are between you and your conscience.

Pak Zawi, I can assure you that I'm not all that meticulous. I am, however, very cheap. :) London, in my book, is second only to Tokyo when it comes to burning money. I would see something like a hamburger in a restaurant and go, Hey, only seven pounds. Then I'd realize that it's not $7 we're talking about but, like, $14. Not okay.

The British Museum, however, is free and full of interesting things. A nerd like me could spend a lifetime photographing, sketching, musing and chatting with the docents within those walls, only removing her wallet to pay for the occasional snack or cream tea. It's a beautiful thing.

Unlike geese or squirrels.

Pak Zawi said...

Well I didn't really miss anything then but now I know I missed Amsterdam and Paris. Hahahaha.
There are ladies around let us not talk about these things here OK?

Pak Zawi said...

I am reading between the lines to see if there is a hidden meaning to anything that you people are talking about here. Pak Zawi takes things at face value and for the moment that is how I see things before me. See how innocent I am.
You will be much more famous after I have run an article about you. Just let me study more about you. I wonder what bring forth in you the hatred towards the squirrels and the canadian geese in you. The geese can be slaughtered and should be able to feed another human being in another country facing famine for a week. Some tribes in Kelantan find squirrel's meat to be delicious.

Maria said...

Oh no, Pak Zawi, I mean things just the way I say them. At least in this case, I do.

You know, that was my thought about the geese. The government issues permits for people who want to hunt the feral pigs that have taken over the hills, so why not do the same for the geese? If they're worried about folks with guns in the public park, they should close it temporarily, send in government workers to cull the flock and give 'em to the homeless shelters. Goose is a traditional food at Christmas, y'know.

And squirrel is traditional American food too. Pre 1960s cookbooks usually have a section on them. I'm serious. Can't imagine there'd be much to eat, though.

kuldeep said...

Hi Pak Zawi,

A very good trip..and ur reporting is excellent>>makes us feel a part of the journey too.

Btw,was Hj Ismail Omar from Kuala Terengganu in ur group?He's my uncle and was gallivanting in Europe abt same time..but extended his stay in London

Pak Zawi said...

My apology for the misconception.
Yeah I agree when there are an explosion of a certain species, they should be culled to maintain the balance. Licence shooters should be allowed to do it. They will be too happy to shoot the Canadian ducks while flying in formation. The park can charge for such privileges to shoot and earn some money for upkeep. The bullies (canadian geese) should go first. Shouldn't this apply to humans too?
Some of the squirrels in Hyde Parks are much larger than the quails. Who says they have no meat?

Pak Zawi said...

Thanks for the encouraging words.
There is a Haji Ismail but Haji Ismail Shamsuddin who came with his family of wife, sons, daughter in law and a 10 months old grand son. I wonder if he could be him. They came on a Mas flight so they could easily extend their stay in London. Above all their pockets seems to be quite deep. Some people are lucky.

Awang Goneng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Awang Goneng said...

Salaam Pak Zawi!
Here I am back again, in Zawiland, totally amused (and bemused) by the flow of conversation. You must appoint Maria your Pest Control Officer immediately before the Thais snatch her up as theirs (and another post for Mekyam in NY before the Big Applers snatch her up too.) She (Maria) reminds me of Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. For a brilliant one minute version of the film, go here:

But I shall be brief (!): be careful about eating animals from the Queen's Parks (and some parts of the Thames). I think Liz owns most of the mute swans in the land, and the deer in the parks, and God knows how many types of fish in the rivers.

Some years ago, a man by the name of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies found a dead swan outside his home. As he was a man who wasted not, he cooked it. Soon as this became public the police came swooping on his home, taking feathers and bones and pot as evidence. And they even told him this was a serious offence. The reasoning being that the Monarch will have first bite from dead (and presumably cooked) swans in the land. (I may be exaggerating a bit, but that's the gist of it. And as for Sir Peter, I think he is still languishing in the Tower of London, looking longingly at the ravens).

Sir Maxwell, by the way, was then Master of the Queen's Musick. I still do not know what this post entails, but I guess when the Queen's ears long for, say, the dulcet tones of Cliff Richards, he (The Musick Master) will be the one to put on the old vinyl to the turntable and crank it up now and then (while the Monarch eats, not Lotos, but a swan drumstick or two).

Another bird note: Legend says that if the ravens leave the Tower, that will be the end of the Monarchy in England. So there's a man there, presumably called Master of the Ravens, to regulate their mating habits and give their wings the regular clip.

It's hard being a monarch, Pak Zawi, you have to mind all these things.

Guy D said...

Thanks for the tour, these photos are fantastic.

Have a great week.
Regina In Pictures

Pak Zawi said...

Awang Goneng,
Welcome back to Zawiland. Ahhh this is home for us. I wonder if Atok will be coming back soon to join in this banter.
As long as Maria is still ensconced in The Kingdom of Pattani, she is unemployable. Mekyam? She has her own Kingdom to look after.
By the way I am glad to inform you that I met Alfred Hitchcock at Madamme Tussaud. He was quite friendly to me and didn't mind me taking his photograph.
Oh Liz owns all the wild animals eh? As to the continuity of the Monarchy, all they need to do is to bring the species from Klang, and Liz will be able to rule perpetually. Why? The ravens from Klang are sure to breed profusely, all they need to do is to provide sufficient food in the Tower of London to get them to stay put. Yeah i guess being a royal is tough. I think none of the royalties will be allowed to enter Soho as and when they please. Anyway at the amount they are being paid, they deserve some hardship to justify the massive amount of allowance the taxpayers like you had to fork out every year.
The still have the old vinyls of the songs by Sir Cliff Richard? They must be worth a fortune now. Get a few of them if you can lay your hands on them. use the 'kain semutar' that I gave you to clean them. That is another one of 1001 uses of 'kain semutar'. By the way when are you going to write about the kain semutar?

Maria said...

No longer comfortably ensconced in the Kingdom of Pattani, our heroine has been captured by the dastardly mastermind of the breakaway Zawiland! His evil minions have brainwashed her and set her zombie mind to a single task: destroy all critters. With matted hair and a handful of buckshot, she prowls the alleys of KB Mall, flying into a berserker frenzy at anything squirrel-, pigeon- or goose-shaped. Strategists suggest that the only time this killing machine becomes vulnerable is when she is eating her special coney dog made of the flesh of the queen's swans.

The teenagers of neighboring Narathiwat, denied their favorite object of ridicule, are planning an invasion. What will happen next? Tune in next week...

Pak Zawi said...

Let us see how Sir Awang Goneng, the Queen's Master Storyteller will respond to that.

Louise said...

There are some absolutely incredible photos in this post. Very nice post.

I'm sorry if I missed it, but I didn't notice a link to the My World Tuesday site which is how I got to your blog. Please be so kind to link back to the site and clearly identify your My World post when you participate so it is easy for others to find and also explore other worlds through the meme. There are badges available on the site for identification, and you can link on those, through text or both.

Thanks so much for your participation.

Pak Zawi said...

Thank you for your visit and the kind accolades.
I have yet to learn much about My World post which I found by links from your site. I will do the needful when I have manager to garner sufficient knowledge about the system of My World. I am beginning to enjoy the post by other members with their wonderful photographs.

Pak Zawi said...

Guy D,
Thanks for the visit. I have seen the great pictures at your site.

Atok said...

pok wi,

how i wish i could match Tuang Goneng's exuberance verbosity. As Her Majesty's Grand Master Storyteller , he is indeed 1000 x up the rank compared to my position as a low level, peon ofis tukang karut. so much admiration i have of the man that i once composed a sonnet when he was at the height of popularity, about 2 years ago (

i wud have continued my banter but was told not to elaborate my tale of yvonne and her extra friendly buddies, though i'm very tempted to share the story of a mek who advertised as 'japanese cutie' but overwhelmingly smelled of tomyam when she said "sikti paung onli". opps...i did it again :)

talking about tomyam, i'm wondering if ms maria has ever visited kg bukit durian in narathiwat, where my many relatives reside... also my nanny who managed to take the opportunity learning to read and write whilst we were singing 'london bridge is falling down', 'are you sleeping brother john', etc...coming back from our st. martin kindergarten (then occupied the land where present hotel perdana is).

mmm... i think i shud move to the latest posting :)

Abakjr said...

Pak Zawi,
It's interesting to read your "Europe Here I come" . I felt as if I was with you during your trip . Your photos too were very nicely taken . I think you deserve a column in the NST or The Star for the benefits of fellow Malaysians.

Pak Zawi said...

Sorry for the late response. Missed this comment of yours earlier.
Agree with you that Sir Awang Goneng is indeed a master storyteller extraordinaire worth of being awarded Her Majesty's master storyteller.
"Sikti paung onli"? That's a familiar phrase!
Ooops! Cant finish this comment, my 8th grandson calling.

Pak Zawi said...

(This is a continuance from the previous response)
Would of course love to dwell on this subject and Yvonne's friendly buddies more.
Since I didn't read about this earlier, I didn't manage to discuss with Maria about the great tomyam when I met her last Friday in KB. I will of course broach this subject with her the next time I get the opportunity to meet her again.

Pak Zawi said...

I am glad that you enjoyed the post.
Do I really deserve a column in either the NST or The Star? Please don't pull my legs. At this age, it may just break off from my body hehehehe. With the number of illustrations I use for my post, they will definitely run out of pages for my story. My post is only good enough for the internet. I will be very happy if people like you read my blog.