Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Europe Here I Come Part 9

LONDON, ENGLAND.
I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Wan A .Hulaimi and his wife Zaharah for their hospitality during our short but meaningful stay in London. To the both of you, your kindness will be forever remembered. Soon after taking care of us Wan Hulaimi entertained another blogger friend by the name of Mat Salo. Please read his take here. I promise you another great read, so please take a peek.
The photo below was taken at Hotel Holiday Villa, London.
L - R: Wan A Hulaimi, Zaharah, Fatthiyah and Pak Zawi (In case you don't know yet)

Coming to London from Brussels, Belgium created a certain excitement in me. Not only that this was going to be my first time setting foot there but because I would be meeting certain people whom we would be meeting for the first time or at least the first time after four decades. For the first time I will be meeting my new friend Nick Habgood of Azini Capital London whom I have known after he made comments on my blogsite. If you have time read about it here.
The reply from Nick was positive when I wrote him an email prior to my trip to London. He asked me for the day when I would be free while in London. We agreed to meet for breakfast at Holliday Villa where my group was staying. Punctuality was the trait of an Englishman and Nick stepped into the hotel lobby right on the dot at 8.00 AM. Nick, if you read this, thank you for taking the trouble to meet me.The slim and fit Nick Habgood compared to an out of shape and unfit Pak Zawi. For your info, Nick is an avid cyclist and will be touring Italy on a road bike to follow the track of The Tour of Italy. He will be doing the ride this year. Enjoy your ride Nick.
Another person that I would be meeting in London will be my old classmate whom I have not met since we left school at the end of 1968. We have been in contact again after he read my blog and we have agreed to meet in London to reminisce about the old days. Unfortunately my friend is publicity shy so I wont be mentioning his name or post his pictures on this site.
On the day of our arrival in London, there was a 'Tahlil' being organized by Malaysians in London at Malaysia Hall not far from our hotel. My friend had asked me to bring along all the members of my group as there was plenty of food for the 'morey' after the 'takzirah' by Ustaz Erfino. Initially many intended to attend the tahlil but by the time we left the hotel, there was just me and two other elderly ladies. We walked to Malaysia Hall. Ustaz Erfino delivered a very interesting 'takzirah' on mixed marriage and the problem of conversion. Ust. Erfino is also a blogger. Please visit his site here.
My friend came from work so he arrived later. After 4 decades, we finally met again. He looked splendid and seems to be in the best of health. How nice to be meeting again.
Enjoying 'nasi himpit' after the 'takzirah'. There were so many extras that they asked me to take a couple of them back to my friends. Ustaz Erfino is at the extreme left.

My old classmate came to the hotel again the next day as we had promised to have dinner together. It was while he was parking his car that I received a SMS. Wan Hulaimi and his wife Zaharah were at Malaysia Hall and wanted us to come and meet them there. Since my friend know Wan and Kak Teh too, I asked him to come along.

Meeting Wan Hulaimi and Zaharah at Malaysia Hall. My wife Fatthiyah played the role of photographer. Wan paid for the dinner though they were not eating them with us. Wan had asked the canteen operator not to accept our payment, which the operator enforced to the T.
Now it is time to see my take on London in pictures.
We didn't know who was going to be our tour guide in London until Puan Zainida the tour leader from POTO Travel mentioned that it would be a Wan Hulaimi, a Malaysian living in London for the past three decades. To that I let off a shriek blurting out "Hey that's my friend Awang Goneng!" to which Puan Zainida said 'But he is young". Why? Why can't an ancient looking man from the ulu of Kelantan have a young looking friend in London? This is the internet age. Anything is possible.
So on the morning of 4th June, we rode the bus for a city tour of London with Wan Hulaimi as our guide.

A young looking Wan Hulaimi with information at his fingertips was the perfect guide for us. Stories flowed out in perfect Malay bereft of any Trengganu slang. Typical of us people from the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula when we speak we can't or avoid our slang like the English with their Cockney..
The tour began with the Malaysian owned casino under renovation at the end of the street at the T junction where Hyde Park was located. Turning left we were shown this hanging point in the olden times. Convicted criminals were hung in public as a show or entertainment.

We passed by Marble Arch. Marble arch is now located at one of the entrances to Hyde Park. It was relocated there from it's former site near the Royal Palace because of the palace's enlargement. Close to it is the speakers corner. Sad to say it wasn't a Sunday morning otherwise I would forgo the city tour just to experience the speaker's corner.

I wonder if the above is the Mansion House the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London? Awang Goneng said it wasn't though it may look quite like The Mansion House. The statue is the famous Eros at Piccadily Circus.


The London Cabs. They are the black cabs and further in front is the white cab. Of late there is seems to be a war between the black cabs and the mini cabs due have been stealing passengers from the black cabs. The mini cabs can only pick up passengers via a phone request and not pick up passengers from the road side. The mini cabs charges a lower fare.
The Bush House is home to BBC World Service. The lease will expire in 2010 so BBC staff will be leaving soon. Kak Teh of Choc A Blog was once trained here for 12 years by the BBC. No wonder her English is more English than the normal Malaysian English.
It is rumored that London School of Economics may purchase Bush Building to expand it's campus.
There are many monuments in London. Since we were just passing by and I couldn't recall what this monument is for, we will have to wait till Awang Goneng responds to this post.
This is interesting. This war veteran is attending court today. There must be a hearing. Our guide from london enlightened us that he is Brian Haw, an ex serviceman and war protester. Read more about him here: http://www.parliament-square.org.uk.
Lawyers moving into the Royal Courts. Opposite to it is The Middle temple, one of the Inns of Court, where barristers train.
Wikipedia says Punch Tavern is the largest pub and bar operator in the United Kingdom, with around 8,400 leased, tenanted and managed pubs. It is headquartered in the traditional brewing centre of Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Sorry for the blurred image. The bus window wasn't clear enough.
Awang Goneng said there is always a demonstration somewhere in London for whatever causes, this one included. I think you can make it as a vocation in London, a professional demonstration.
At the end of this road is London Bridge. My grandchildren wouldn't be singing about this bridge if they knew that it wasn't much of a bridge.Anyway if your address is No 2 London Bridge, then it will be noticed. Of course there is also The London Bridge Hospital to be associated with.

The Tower Bridge is different. It's presence is definitely felt.

The Tower Bridge is a draw bridge. The middle span can be lifted up to allow ships to pass through it.

This is the London Dungeon. You are advised to enter at your own peril. Those with a weak heart better beware.
Youth made up the bulk of the patrons. This is what Wikipedia says:

The London Dungeon is a tourist attraction, based in Tooley Street, London, near London Bridge rail station about various tortures from the Medieval Age. It recreates various gory and macabre historical events in a grimly comedic, 'gallows humour' style, which attempts to make them appealing to the younger generation. It uses a mixture of live actors, special effects and rides.

It opened in 1976, initially designed as more of a museum of "horrible history", but the Dungeon has evolved to become an actor-led, interactive experience that draws visitors from far and wide. The Dungeon is operated by Merlin Entertainments, which also operates Madame Tussauds London and the London Eye.

The odd shaped building is a green building which is the City Hall, HQ of Greater London Authority & London Assembly. The design of the building is such that it uses minimum energy, water and material to build and maintain it.

What remains of the old London Wall. It is nothing in dimension compared to The Great Wall of China
The Hung Drawn and Quartered. This building was named after the most barbaric form of torture on convicted criminals. Seach the net to read more about it. I can't bear to read it myself even though it was done in The Middle Ages.
A souvenir shop near The Tower of London.
This old building is where jousting shows are held. This is also the entrance to The Tower of London, a Heritage Site.
One for the album. See, we were there.
She wanted one with our Tour Leader Puan Zainida too. A husband just do what the wife tells him to do.
Children hanging around to enter the Tower of London.
That's the London Eye. Their's is permanent. Malaysia spent millions for a temporary Kuala Lumpur Eye.
Who says The Sphinx is only in Egypt?

Parliament House.
This building is considered to be the most expensive building in London. So says our guide. The building has rooms for parliamentarians to rest.

The Westminster Abbey
The intricate design on the door.
More details above the door.

My eyes caught sight of the sun dial. The one on the right showed 11.00 AM. Quite an accurate time as an hour later Big Ben chimed for 12.00 Noon.


"Look at that..." said the guide. Pak Zawi wasn't looking as he was distracted by other sights such as this man of the cloth passing by.
The London pillar box was a distraction too.

All the more so if it is an antique car.

Of course if it was a 'long cool dame' Pak Zawi would be distracted too.

The guide was pointingto this building, pray tell me what building is this? The Library where Maria of Kafe Dakoh spent the whole of her time while she was in London? The building is the Dean's Yard located behind Westminster Abbey.


I know this statue is of Oliver Cromwell. Wikipedia says:
Oliver Cromwell (born April 25, 1599 Old Style, died September 3, 1658 Old Style) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.
I sure did miss riding this open top bus as shooting from its top means better sight then thru the near opaque bus window.

This group is on hunger strike. I doubt they will die of starvation as being alive is always better than being dead. I wonder if anybody heed their call.
The men plus a woman in deep discussion
They must be memorizing their lines before facing the camera for a shoot.
She was looking suspiciously at me. Could they be actresses memorizing their script too? No actually they are government servants reading their briefs while enjoying the sun during their lunch break. "We would enjoy the sight better if they were wearing their briefs instead of reading them" said Awang Goneng.
The entrance to No 10 Downing Street is now well guarded after the last spate of bombing.
Won't you be intimidated by such a show of armoury?
The women of WWII. What does this memorial depict?
"If this is Trengganu....." Wan Hulaimi seems to be saying.
We saw this sign.

Is this the Scotland Yard? No it is just part of the Royal Horseguards.
If it is a souvenir shop, it is a must stop for everyone.
Youngsters in colorful costumes doing ceremonial guard duty.
At least he is in the shade and has a seat to sit.

Selling tickets for an evening of stirring sound and pageantry BEATING RETREAT a floodlit military spectacular by Her Majesty's Guard on Horse Guards Parade. That is what the poster said.


The Clarence Bar
Trafalgar Studios. The on going show is The Last Cigarette. We just walked by and not even look at what was being staged.
The Admiralty Arch on the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace. Only the monarch and her hubby can ride in a coach in the central gateway, on their way to St Paul's Cathedral.

Behind those vehicles was the Trafalgar Square. Old photos may show people feeding the pigeons. They are no more there as they are banned from being fed there. The pigeons didn't dare come because a predatory bird is keeping watch. A Mayor of London just couldn't stand the litters from bird poo.
Such stretched limousine could be a waste of road space. How many passengers do they carry?

Here is another one.
Bicycles could be more convenient. Given by the way the bicycles are locked with wire lock, security of a bicycle seems to be a big problem here.

This archway is the entrance to the former Colonial Office. They are now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This is changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
Yay! We were there too.
With Wan Hulaimi
The vastness of the ground in front of the Royal Palace.
The Barclay's Bank
Back to Malaysia Hall. They were performing the Friday prayers. There was no more space for Pak Zawi. Being a 'Musafir' or traveler mean I can do it in the comfort of my room later.
The dining hall was quite small but the food was very good.
These were the prayer times in Central London. If you observe the prayer time for Maghrib, Isyak and Subuh, you will be surprised at how little time Londoners can go to sleep. Fasting during suct times will be a loooooong day for you.
We spent the afternoon shopping for souvenirs along Oxford Street.
Marks & Spencer is a must for most visitors to London.
Thistle Marble Arch while other shops have the sale signs to attract buyers.
It was a tiring day. We went back to the hotel. In the evening we spent sometime at Hyde Park again.
Some pictures are not shown here. You can view all of them here.

45 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Pak Zawi, Thank you so much for the dedication - we had such a brief time together and I wish we had more. Oh didnt awang goneng the guide mentioned that BBC World service was my work place for almost 12 years? That was where i trained as a broadcaster.

We hope we will meet up with you again. Insyaallah if our trip materialises, it will be from 20th July.Salam to your wife.

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
It was a short but memorable short occassion but Awang Goneng was with us the whole day.
I don't think Awang Goneng the guide did mention anything about you being trained there. Bear in mind Pak Zawi was the only blogger in the group and the blogger Kak Teh may not ring a bell to the rest. Further more Awang Goneng isn't the kind who would gloat on family affairs like the rest of us. Kak Teh better rewrite his script so that he will include the info the next time he does the tour again.
InsyaAllah we will meet again should you be passing by Kota bharu or we happen to be in KL during the time you are there.

Awang Goneng said...

Pak Zawi,

Ahem.
As you have now outed me as your tour guide, I shall have to make corrections as you were paying more attention to the passing birds and monks and strectch limousines than to me, even as I spake in Kelantanese. Please go sit in the corner and write 100 times: "I shall pay attention to my guide, even if he is boring." ;¬)

Ni bukang nok nnunjuk ni, but just for the record:

I wonder if the above is the Mansion House...
That wasn't Mansion House but the building behind the famous Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus. Eros wasn't Eros when he was made, but became Eros by popular acclaim.

Of late there is seems to be a war between the two as the white cabs have been stealing passengers from the black cabs...
Actually the battle is between Black cabs and Mini Cabs. But mini cabs are now all licensed, and drivers need to sit for a test. They do not pick up passengers from the street though. And of course, black cabs are no longer all black. Some say they are called Hackney Cabs because they originated from Hackney (a part of London). Not so.

"Look at that..." said the guide. Pak Zawi wasn't looking as he was distracted by other sights such as this Mormon passing by.
The man isn't a Mormon but a man of the cloth. A modern day monk I would say. (But someone plse enlighten us here).

The Victoria Arch is another prominent landmark near Trafalgar Square.
That isn't Victoria Arch, that's the Admiralty Arch on the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace. Only the monarch and her hubby can ride in a coach in the central gateway, on their way to St Paul's.

I forgot what this magnifient buiding is for.
That's the archway to the former Colonial Office. Now Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The people you saw reading their scripts in the sun were civil servants from the surrounding ministries, probably enjoying their lunchtime in the sun reading their briefs. Would have been more photogenic if they were wearing their briefs, some of them, don't you think?

Lawyers moving into the Royal Courts. This is also where Lincoln Inn is located.
Yes, that's the entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice. Opposite it is the Middle Temple, one of the Inns of Courts, where barristers train. Lincoln's Inn is elsewhere, in the Holborn area. The Middle Temple used to be the place for monks (Roman Church). Some of the knights started from the church in there before departing for Jerusalem (and plundering and pillaging in Byzantine).

Is this the Scotland Yard?
'Fraid not. That's part of the Royal Horseguards barracks in Whitehall. You're right that jousting took place there in the time of Henry VIII. And as you're a fan of Wimbledon, you'll also be interested to know that the place of jousting was also where the first game of tennis was played (Henry had many wives. He had to keep them entertained.)

The man seen in front of the Court is Brian Haw, ex serviceman and war protester. You can read about him here:
http://www.parliament-square.org.uk/

Sorry Pak Zawi, this is (again) unnecessarily long. And boring. Heh-heh.

Awang Goneng said...

And thank you Pak Zawi, for dedicating your blog to us. I am touched. It was a great pleasure to have met you both, and your group members too. Insha Allah we'll meet again soon.

PS And don't worry about those minor errors. I too get mixed up sometimes and just ad lib by saying, "Er, that's a building...".

Atok said...

salam pok wi,

the one u noted as 'Green Building' is actually the City Hall, HQ of GLA (Greater London Authority) & London Assembly, designed by the globally famous Lord Foster of Riverside, now Baron Foster of Thames Bank.

the open space between Tower Bridge & the building has been the venue for the annual London Malaysia Week; of which your Tganungmang tour guide told me a few weeks ago that it won't be happening this year due to some kind of unfriendly swines that have been creating much havoc these days. wallahualam.

kbguy (福生) said...

ill book mark this post. I think i will be there once the H1N1 issue is over. I will look out for airasia's offer. hehe..

Awang Goneng said...

Pak Zawi,

Er, just one correction. The 'jousting place' above is not the entrance to the Royal Horseguards parade as I thought but the entrance to the Tower of London.

Because of this mistake I shall be in there for the rest of the month, and do my penance.

The guide was pointing to this building, pray tell me what building is this? The Library where Maria of Kafe Dakoh spent the whole of her time while she was in London?
That is actually the Dean's Yard behind Westminster Abbey. The green there has reputedly been cultivated for the last 1000 years at least. Monks used to grow vegetables there, and now we supermarketeers grow only grass. Through the archway on the left is the oldest door in Britain, made of wood and covered in leather (which some tale-spinners say is human skin, but I take that with a pinch of NaCl). It dates back to the days of William of Normandy (the Conqueror). I saw no squirrels there. I think you're right Pak Zawi, someone from Kafe Dakoh must've been there.

Atok is right, that 'green building' is the new County Hall. It is tilted at a 30 degree angle to catch the light throughout the day and to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. It uses water drawn from the ground below to cool it in summer, and the water is then used in the toilets. The building is oval shaped to minimise surface area. The bullet shaped building on the right is the Gherkin, once owned by the reinsurers Swiss Re. An ugly little thing, I must say. Who owns it now Atok?

Kak Teh said...

Pak ZAwi, i didnt mean that he shd mention during the tour, but to you perhaps --sajalah! Thanks anyway.

Pak Zawi said...

Awang Goneng Sir,
1. I have done my 100 lines.
2. I have done most of the corrections. can't be too perfect, it will look boring.
3. I told my wife I can post without waiting for everything to be correct because once posted, others who knows will correct me. Thanks to you and Atok, now they are pretty accurate.

Pak Zawi said...

Kak teh,
I have included in the caption. Hope you like it. After 2010, BBC wont be there at Bush House anymore.

Pak Zawi said...

KBGuy,
Europe is great. You better go there. I am planning to do Eastern Europe next year.

Atok said...

wahhh.... Tuang Goneng is an expert in green/eco architecture rupanya! [maybe he's an advisor to Prince Charles and was the yoda behind the recent Chelsea Barracks debacle]. x leh caghi makang ambe lepah ni. grassgrower sounds like a good profession to change into :)

i'm wondering, since he was the tour guide, why didn't he bring u all to soho? [for friday prayer, of course]. mmm...

nway, Swiss Re sold their 'gherkin' in 2007 to IVG-Evans Randall JV but still occupies the beast and will do so until 2031; another of Foster's many wonders.

btw, i didn't know that msians are putting up a casino there. well, not a londoner as Tuang Goneng, i'm only aware of news and fables in daratland.

however, i do know a few fellow msians who come here a number of times in a year for some nocturnal funs with cards, turning table and mr jack who is black (this one will never turn into white) etc. in fact, i saw them a couple of weeks ago at one of the newly opened malay restaurants in londra. once i joined them at dinnertable and discovered, by the way they laughed and joked about their adventure, that losing 20-30K pounds a nite was like losing 'samah duo'! bravo NEP-malays!

Pak Zawi said...

Atok,
It is imperative that a guide must know a bit of everything. What he doesn't know will be disguised under intelligent muttering about something.
Soho in the day time is a non event. Since most of the entourage are females, they will convince the few husbands in the group to excercise the right to 'musafir' instead of doing the Jumaat in Soho.
The new PM should include the ability to gamble away money without batting an eyelid as a KPI for the success of a Malay entrepreneur under the NEP. The higher the losses at the gambling table, the higher the KPI they will get.
Hey did anybody see the lady from Kafe Dakoh? She seems to be taking away a week's leave.

kbguy (福生) said...

hi Pak,
You are the first to know...
kbguy dot com is born !
check it out !

http://www.kbguy.com

Kama said...

pok zawi... tok achi la you had too much of a good time in London.. jeles x 100 kama... :)

Pak Zawi said...

Kama,
Apa lak tak achi, Pak Zawi baru tengok London sikit jah. kama dah duduk pun sana. Bezanya Pak Zawi capture the moment on cameras and showed it to the world hehehehe.

Tommy Yew said...

Pak Zawi,

More corrections for u, a long cool dame (Dane?) – should be ‘a tall glass of Carlsberg Beer’, not your ‘angmoh char boh’ picking her nose in public…heheh. Glad to see I’m not the only “notti” one here, your supposedly ‘reputable’ guide & that atok fella seems to have some ‘notti’ streak in them too, yeah playing pinball machines from Soho down to Brighton. Wonder whether they smoke the same stuff as Russell Brand? Sabar ok guys, I meant that as a compliment mah.

Malaysian not only buying casino, they r buying Newcastle United FC too! How cool is that?

BTW, Did Pak Zawi & makcik manage to get some bargain at Marks & Sparks?

Cheers,
Tommy

Pak Zawi said...

Tommy yew,
Everyone of us have a notti streak, only difference is that whether we dare to expose it. Anyway as long as you have some zest for life it is OK to have some fun. Your correction for the 'long cool dame' is a dead give away so I won't dare to put it for public consumption.
We didn't even go intp mark & Spencer and bought what little we could afford at the shops opposite to Mark with the Sale sign in red hehehehehe.

Maria said...

A week's leave? If only! Just had a late night of socializing with the other Americans in town. (Homemade pizza and fresh-baked bread, mm-hmm.)

Alas, the building that you point out, though nicely overgrown, is not where I holed up for my stay in London. Also, as they confiscated all my weapons and ammo before I could even leave American airspace, I can't take credit for the critter-free environs. (They say it's very hard to buy a gun in England, so I didn't bother trying, and smashing 'em with a cricket bat would've raised too many eyebrows.)

Incidentally, I will be in KB tomorrow, and I don't have to do any consulate-fu. Pak Zawi, still up for a squirrel- and pigeon-free lunch?

Maria said...

Oh, and I just remembered -- the monk picture was super cool. It's just like in the history books! Was he for real or just some costumed character?

Pak Zawi said...

Maria,
Great to know you cook too. I thought you did a complete transformation and pretend not to know how to cook anything as well.
Don't fool around with guns unless you stay sober all the time. Once saw a drunken friend tried to draw his gun while drunk and it took him a full five minutes to get it out of his holster. At the same time his army of body guards were dead asleep in drunken stupor. If you heard the story of the hotelier in Golok who was gunned down in his own hotel many years ago, well that was him. He was my classmate.
I read the smoke signal from across the river loud and clear. WILL be there at anytime as will be indicated by another smoke signal.
The monk in the robe was alive alright. On whether he was a real monk, only the good Lord knows.

Pak Zawi said...

Maria,
Can you send the smoke to mohdzawi@gmail.com?

Anonymous said...

Dear Pak Zawi,
I have been following your European escapades via Kak Teh's blog and yours.
From your postings I guess that you had a wonderful time. Now the thing is I plan to surprise my wife and kid with a tour of Europe next year.
I tried to access the Poto Travel website but to no avail. I don't want to inconvenience you but could you possibly list out a simple itinerary of your trip and the cost.
Would really appreciate it. Thanks and salam to the wife.

Rosli Ahmad

Pak Zawi said...

Rosli,
Thank you for following my postings and I will be very happy to help you plan your tour for next year. This is quite a relaxing tour as we were not rushing around much compared to the other tours provided by others. You and your family will definitely enjoy this tour very much. Above all POTO Travel will listen to our suggestions and modify some parts of the tour to accommodate the wish of the majority.
I will display the full itinerary and pricing in my next post which should be the final post. Please come back again for that OK?
InsyaAllah I will convey your salam to my wife Fatthiyah when she comes back from her short Padang-Bukit Tinggi Tour tomorrow,

madam gold said...

Thanks for the tour around London.All colourful memories flashing back...
But I guess London looks more modern than two decades back...
Great couple there..AG and K teh..

Anonymous said...

Dear Pak Zawi,
Appreciate the prompt reply.
Will wait for your next and future postings with anticipation :D
Thank you very much.

Rosli Ahmad

Pak Zawi said...

Madam gold,
If it was 2 decades ago that you last seen London, then it is time to see her again. I am glad that my posting did bring you the old unforgettable memories of this great city.
They are indeed a great couple with hearts of gold.

Pak Zawi said...

Rosli Ahmad,
Do come back as you will definitely find it useful.

Mat Salo said...

Bang Zawi,

I understand that AG and KT are busy handling the bereavement of a friend in London right now.

Al Fatehah.. and salam Takziah to the parents.

Ah, you got all your valued blog guests all clamoring to my site. Which might not be a good thing, Bang. Some will definitely be outraged and slighted. Not many can appreciate my take on things, no matter how interesting they might seem to you. Ha ha.

Anyway, my God! What a post! Your output is truly phenomenal, enjoyed every bit of it!

Eh, I should have hooked up with your friend Nick. There;ll be plenty of bike stories to tell.

Bang, you know on the last Sunday we were there in mid-June, I was tempted to join the 'nudist' protest on bikes in Hyde Park. It was about cars and big oil. Eh, how can bite the hand that's fed me all along arr? Clothes optional but in all likelihood I would probably just strip to my bicycle shorts. Until my better half gave me 'that look' that is.. :)

mekyam said...

screeeeeech! {tarik brek tangan}

sori lambat sampai, pokwi! i got sidetracked reading the various responses to the DPM/ME's dictum on PPSMI. [my verdict: msia has totally lost the plot. for shame!]

as always, love all the pix and the commentaries! i have to admit that they quite quicken the quiet but persistent "london calling" bleat in me.

scrolling down your pictorial story, i too got the sense that the trip finally relinquish the sense of frenzy that was felt in the european leg, esp the last bit before you chunnelled across to the island. :D

bet it has something to do with the sense that you've arrived at a "familiar place". i swear london has that effect on most malaysians regardless whether you've ever set foot there before, esp those who grew up hearing or reading abt various landmarks.

bet it didn't hurt a bit either to have such a laid-back tour guide, one who's at home both in london and among a busload of malaysians. you know pokwi, if i have usd to burn, i've a mind to join a london-bound POTO group from malaysia myself just for the kick of listening to that guide doing his drollery. ;D

Pak Zawi said...

Mat Salo,
AlFatehah to the deceased and Takziah to the bereaving families.
If you don't want the public to read your interesting post, u better keep the blog private and only invited guests will be able to see it, otherwise just let everybody in and just enjoy the accolades or wrath.
I think you are doing the right thing by reflecting on your pasts as to what London is to you. The kind of information that I posted are easily available from the internet if only you take some trouble googling it. Your take is one of a kind and no Pak Zawi or even Awang Goneng can match it.
You should have joined the nude bikers. If you wear the penis sheath like they did in the remote areas of Papua Mew Guinea, it should still qualify you to be one of them. Being among them will give you to shoot the more pleasant looking ones up close. I am afraid you may become their target as well being younger looking and more macho.
You can join Nick in his Italian Tour or invite Nick for the Jelajah Malaysia Tour next year. Nick will be happy to join another bike. Pak Adib will sure join you with him.

Pak Zawi said...

Mekyam,
How I wish they didn't meddle with the education system left by the British. I am one of the beneficiary and how I hate them for depriving my children and their children of a good English education so that they can travel the world and could make themselves understood when they are in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels or New York. Now the whole nation is losing out just because of unfounded patriotism. The leaders themselves send their children overseas for the best English education after robbing the nation blind.
For God sake take the next available flight to London. AG and Kak Teh won't be there forever to wait for you hehehehehe. (Maroh sambil senyum mace orang sie bedil ore).
London or England is just like home turf after reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. In my mind's eyes I have been frolicking in the snow tobogganing or simply walking in snowshoes rolling up snowballs and pelting them at friends and foe alike. That was the beauty of having an English education. Now tell me what kind of dreams my children had?
It doesn't matter if you don't have loads of USD, loads of Euros will do hehehehe. If you don't have any of the above, just get a plastic and you will owe the credit card company for the rest of your life. Join me for the East European Tour with POTO Travel in the early summer of 2010. I will make sure the focus will be on Mekyam, the Kelantanese who has never lived in Kelantan.

Pak Zawi said...

Rosli Ahmad,
It may take sometimes before I can post the final post of my European Tours and via it answer your questions, please click on the POTO Travel link in My Favorite travel agents to get the answers to your question. You can call the company and ask for Puan Zainida the tour leader of my previous group.
Hope that will solve your immediate need. Why not join us for a trip to Eastern Europe sometimes in may next year?

suara said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Such a memorable and nice experience. :D

Pak Zawi said...

Suara,
I am glad you like it.

Gurindam Jiwa said...

Good to see you back in one piece. I can see that in all your excitement, you forgot to bounce the flash. He he...

Pak Zawi said...

Mazle,
Yeah back in one piece. Only used the built in flash in the camera so there is no way to bounce them at all. Either fill in with the flash or get a dark face. Not much choice.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Salam, Abang Zawi!

I wish Malaysians would learn to be punctual! It's embarrasing to have the reputation as people who make a grand entrance after the coach captain/local guide/whoever has been waiting for over half an hour!

I love the photos and the rib-tickling write-up! Thanks for sharing!

CO78

Pak Zawi said...

Ee Lyn,
We still have a long way to go as far as punctuality is concerned. I guess we were brought up in such a way that life should be lived at a leisurely pace. Hopefully things will change in due course.
I am glad you enjoyed this post.

rauhunt said...

Pak Zawi,
Lucky you to be in london during summer, not winter. Otherwise all the cool dames would be in boring apparels that menutup aurat, hardly (tho somehow could be) to distract old timers' eyes

ps: i'm currently in malaysia and would like to meet you at some point if possible 0199638363

Pak Zawi said...

Rauhan,
How true as to what you said, winter will not be just cold but also a dull time to be in London.
Now we have each other's phone number so it will be just a phone call away should you want to meet while you are home in Kelantan.

Atok said...

Abe Wi,

Ambo ccadae nok kelek jengok Koto Baghu sbeta bulae depae; taing posor. 3 tahong doh tok kelek, tok ingak doh lagu mano ghaso laksae, nasik khabu, ayae perchik, ccholeq, etc. Tapi hok ambo telior bena gak, lokchin (satay ikae) ...ado lagi ko oghe jua?

Pak Zawi said...

Atok,
Molek bena la kalu nak kelik gak, boleh jjupa. Lokching tu ada jual lagi cuma bule poso tu tak tau la kalu ada ko tidak.
Ado sorang penjual tu dia nama Rosik dan berasal dari Sie. Dia jjual lokching jadi nama dia bertukar jadi Rosik Lokching. Dia seorang peninju Muay Thai hebat di Rantau Panjang. Kalu sero nok make doah gak kita suruh dia buat la untuk Atok. Nanti makan lah sepuas-puasnya sebelum kelik ke England.

arsaili said...

salam..seronok nya pak zawi...yea mark n spencer..memang tak tinggal.

Pak Zawi said...

Arsaili,
memang melancong ni seronok. Mark n Spencer tu kira jenama Europe la. Saya pernah ke Mark n Spencer Istanbul Turkey belah Europe jadi ni di London pula.