Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Everyone of us have dreams to pursue. That include me too. Now my dream is to write a book about dream chasers, people who aspire to do something in their life, a dream that is possible, achievable and beneficial to them as well as their loved ones. It may not be possible within their life span but once the real thing is started, the next generation will be able to continue the pursuit and realize the dream.
Since Chasing Dreams is already the title of a movie, it will only be the tentative title and a suitable one will be thought of. If you have any suggestions, you are most welcome to put forth.
This dream book of mine may not reach publication in the form of a hard print. It does not matter. Thanks to the Internet, the blog is just like a published book itself. You can start reading the book on the blog as they are being created, chapter by chapter. A time span of five years is envisioned but a ten year period is better for the dream to take shape and matures into a significant entity.
Thanks to
Rita Ho who had advised me to retain my already registered blog Stories From The Blogs which has been inactive for sometimes and keep it for future use. Her wise counsel has allowed me to use the site to start posting my first chapter for the book soon.
Just to give you some inkling of what the story will be about, I will briefly describe the characters involved as they are based on the stories of real people I know and are still around and are quite close to me.
The first one is a family with a father trying to carve a place for his family by setting up a Muay Thai School where his children will be operating with him till it is time for them to take over. He set about to do it by training two of his sons to undergo Muay Thai training. One of them is to become a well known fighter to carry the flag of the school and the other will be training to become the instructor while the eldest who had just graduated from a Thai University will manage the school.
Another dreamer is an event organizer who has a Muay Thai Gym with a number of professional fighters under his charge. He will organize events to cater to his many fighters to fight and enable him to make some income to sustain his business via such events. The business is full of intrigue and manoeuvres that the on goings behind it is material enough for a book.
Another dreamer is a guy who wants to go into publication of magazines and other items related to Muay Thai as an occupation.

When one feels insecure with ones's job one has to do something about it. This guy is also setting up a gym for Muay Thai in Negeri Sembilan.
A man who has a comfortable life will be establishing a Muay Thai gym because of his love for the game and also because his youngest doctor daughter is crazy with muay thai. He will be the common denominator binding all the other characters.
All of them have just begun their involvement and somehow or other have made commitments which they can't back out. What will happen to them in one year's time? How will they all fare in about five years time from now?
For my own dream to be realised, I must improve my fitness so that I can live to witness the above mentioned people realise their dreams. Will I live beyond that five years? If I live to write about them for the next ten years, it will be a bonus.
Since this effort of mine is not in the pursuit of money, it will be free reading for all who has the time to visit the site. After all it is just another blog site.
Let us pray to God that this project will be a success.


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Biggest Muay Thai Event Is In Kelantan!

A muay thai fight in Tumpat

You will be surprised to know that the Biggest Muay Thai or Tomoi Event is brought to our door step in Kota Bharu at Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV. The event will begin tonight at 8.30 PM 27th March and will go on for three nights till the 29th March 2009. Tickets are priced at an affordable RM13.00 which is considered cheap for an event of such magnitude and stature.

This event will be something like you have never seen before. With Boxxevent behind the show, it will definitely be a memorable 3 nights extravaganza that you can only afford to see on TV.

Local Kelantanese fighers like Awie, Mat Ropi, Santaya, Che Pol, Wadi, Kamaruddin, Akhbar Hanafi, Faizal Anak Tiong, Aburn will fight with other Malaysian fighters such as Fauzan Zabidi, Firdaus Janai against International fighters from Sweden, Turkey, Afghanistan, France, Thailand, Spain, Iran, Tunisia, South Africa, England and Uzbekistan to make this event a truly international one.
For the full fight fixtures, please visit here.

Yesterday Pak Zawi visited the venue of the event and saw workers hard at work putting up the fight ring in the stadium. En. Zahari Ahmad of Boxxevent was there himself to supervise the work. From his own admission, this is the biggest event he has ever done. One day Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV will stand along on the same level and be mentioned on the same breath as Stadium Lumpinee in Bangkok for Muay Thai event just like Wimbledon in London for Tennis.
En. Zahari of Boxxevent (second from right) with Pak Yusof (Emi Sampuri's dad) on his right and Pak Zawi on his left.

So why not take advantage of it and come and enjoy the biggest Muay Thai event at your own doorstep? Please spread the word around as this is an event not to be missed. If you don't like Muay Thai yet, just come over out of curiousity and Pak Zawi promise you a great time will be had and you will become a fan right after watching the event. This is not a man only event as you will see many ladies among the crowd.

Let us pray that there will not be any rain for the next three nights to spoil the event. Rain or shine, the show will go on.

Several 70 kg fighters being groomed for international matches under the tutelage of Abang Deen Pulut Ayam. To become great Nak Muays you must be prepared to do the following trainings beside many others. Rope work for at least an hour a day.

Toughening up of the abdomen by being hit with a pau while you are doing sit up.

Push ups.

Hey those are just some of them. There are many others of course. Now do you want to be a Nak Muay?
For more pictures and updates please visit http://boxxtomoi.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kangkong Goreng Belacan

The first harvest of kangkong.

When I wanted to cook my first harvest of kangkong from my vegetable plot I searched the internet for the recipe. I found one that I like at Koleksi Resipi Pilihan Diana. So if you come here expecting t find the recipe here, you will be disapppointed. There won't be any. Just go over to Diana's site and you can try one of her many recipes.
What I am trying to tell you here is that after about three weeks of cultivating the soil and planting them with bayam (edible amaranth), cekor manis (katuk or gooseberry), kesum (vietnamese mint) and kangkong (water spinach), I have managed to make my first harvest of kangkong. It was not a harvest really as the plants were barely a foot tall. It was more of a thinning process due to the closeness of the plants to each other. Anyway those that I have removed was enough to serve the four of us as vegetables for dinner. (Our daughter Azini and her husband Lokman just came back from Labuan together with Balkis).

The plants need thinning as the distance between plants within the rows was too close and its growth will be impeded. The closeness was due to too many seeds being placed for germination at planting. I wasn't very good at seed placement.
I have constructed a few more planting beds and some of the surplus bayam seedlings were also transplanted to give them more space to grow. The transplanted plants were planted at about 4 inches within the row and 6 inches between rows. So now they all will grow faster.
Should you have started the the gardening at the same time as I did, you too would be enjoying your first dish of kangkung from your plot too. It is that fast! Young fresh kangkungs are really delicious.

The kangkong at 3 weeks old. Thinning them will give the plants more space to grow.

A new planting bed under construction.

A new bed transplanted with kankong and bayam.

The kesoms will be propagated further after it has taken roots.

Te rows of cekor manis started to produce new shoots.

A small well to facilitate watering. The water table is so high all I need to do is dig a 4 ft well and I have more than enough water to water my plants.

Uncleared area for future expansion.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


We have been waiting for the biggest taravel fair of the year which happens twice annually, first in March and another in September where great bargains are offered. Yesterday was the first day of the Malaysian Travel and Tours Association (MATTA) fair and I was there to hunt for a bargain. Coming on the first day which is a working day is good as it was a working day and the crowd are not there yet.
My wife and me came to KL solely for the event after having boooked our flight on AirAsia way in advance. For that we managed to secure our two return seats at a total cost of slighly over RM300 which averaged out to about RM75 per seat per pax. That is only slightly higher than the bus fare! We would also be holding a get together with the children as my daughter Azini and her husband Lokman would be coming back from Labuan.
We came over a day earlier and stayed the night at our son's place at Enstek Labu which is about 15 minutes drive from the LCCT.
The next day I had two options. The first was to drive all the way to PWTC and suffer the problem of losing my way there and also the parking problem at PWTC. My daughter suggested that I drive to Bukit Jalil LRT station and take the LRT direct to PWTC.
I took the second option and with daughter in law's Yani's sketch of the way, I drove to Bukit Jalil with constant reference to her via the phone.
Upon reaching the Bukit Jalil LRT station, my other half's attempt at using the toilet at Bukit Jalil LRT's station was a put off as the toilet was clogged and a real shame to Malaysia. She had to suffer all the way until we reached PWTC.
Reliance Travel set up booth at the entrance to the expo and we were hopefull of buying a package from them. Unfortunately they don't have the right package for Europe during the school holiday. They offered us a package to Gold Coast Australia which seemed to be well liked by my other half but not to my liking as I prefer to do Gold Coast on our own. We moved on to the main venue and paid the RM3.00 entrance fee. We found Apple Holidays where a package to Korea seemed to be attractive. We promised Zul, the sale person that we would come back cos we would like to look around first.
At Poto Travel's booth we found what we have been looking for, a 13 days package to Europe during the May/June school holiday costing RM9046 per pax for those above 55 (younger people are charged slightly more) . They said they already have 24 pax and should we join them they will need only find another 6 pax to make the maximum 32 pax for a full group. The best thing is almost all if not all in the group are elderly people who are not in a hurry to rush around as is customary of a group package.
In their itinerary, most cities will be done over a day and with 2 nights stay in most of the cities except for Frankfurt where we will arrive in Europe after a stopver in Bahrain. We will be flying on Gulf Air. How I wish we would fly on MAS as we could chance upon our own son Azrin flying the Boeing Triple 7 as it was one of his sectors. Accomodation will be 3 star hotels. Good enough for us.
From Frankfurt we will put up the night in Stuttgard before moving on to Lucerne Switzerland to visit the Titlis mountain. Riding the cable car will cost an additional 50 Euros each as it will be an optional tour. I will take the optional tour as this will be my first experience with snow and I want to try skyiing. Could an old man like me still manage to balance myself on a pair of skis? You will see.
Next will be a 2 night stay in Paris. I studied the Hunchback of Notre Dame in my school days and visiting the Chapel of Notre Dame will be a childhood dream realized.
Amsterdam will be next. The Netherland is the land of windmills and the wooden clogs. We will have ample free time to explore Amsterdam on our own.
We will pass through Brussels, Belgium next before enjoying a three nights stay in London. Abang Awang and Kak Teh, see you in London before I fly back to KL. I will try to get in touch with a friend whom I have blogged about by the name of Nick Habgood of Azini Capital in London.
After exiting from the MATTA Fair, I had to take the LRT back to Bukit Jalil from PWTC station. I saw the written annoucement that "Tren ini ke Ampang" dan "Tren berikutnya ke Sri Petaling". When a train stopped in front of me and the doors opened up, we boarded it. After passing the Chan Sow Lin Station only that I realised I was on the wrong train to Ampang instead of Sri Petaling. We had to backtrack to Chan Sow Lin before boarding the right train to Bukit Jalil which happened to arrive at the same time.
Surfed the site of no frill airlines AirAsia for my flight to KL on the 25th of May 2009 and surprise of surprise we got the RM1 fare for the KBR - KUL sector and a RM55 fare for the KUL-KBR sector on 8th June 2009. The total for us is RM265! Dirt cheap. I wonder who is susidizing this fare.
Making the first enquiries at Reliance Travel.

Mohd Azmi joined me at the Reliance booth. He is also looking for a package to Europe in August. He has a son studying in Switzerland.

A gimmick to attract patrons to a jewellery expo at the same venue. She is quite a jewel herself.

Buy One Tour Free One Tour. It is that cheap.

Establishing contact with Anny Yulianty of Grand Java Tour and Travel for our November trip to Jogjakarta. Anny is a Director of the company. Visit their website http://www.grandjavaonline.com/ for all your travel need to Java Indonesia.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nothing Beats Gardening

I should have done this a long time ago. Three years ago since January 2006 after I retire from Government service. God knows why I didn't do it. I guess surfing the net and blogging got the bette of me that I didn't do it. Anyway it is always better late than never.
Actually it was Pak Mat, my similarly jobless neighbour that started it. Though looking frail and malnourished with just skin and bones, he started clearing that piece of land infront of my house belonging to a few Chinese owners who inherited the land from his father. Since they are residing elsewhere, the plot of land is idle and turning into unkempt land harbouring a myriad of pests. Some said they have seen a phyton gorging down a chicken among the thick grasses and brushes. Anyway after seeing Pak Mat clearing section of the area, I felt brave enough to clear the one area directly in front of my house.
Now look at the transformed area.
Pak Mat started clearing and planting with sawi another adjacent patch next to mine.
The first clearing job was tough.

Ooops! I was guilty of open burning too. The smoke in the above too pictures came from Pak Mat's plot. I wont incriminate myself with a picture of my open burning. I can become anothe Eli Wong if I am not careful.
It gets bigger. I started tilling the soil. Breaking the soil into smaller size particle was made easier by a pretty heavy rain after a long dry spell.

Building the planting bed. It should have been a standard 4 ft x 25 ft but I only maintained the width and just make do with any length.

The kangkong has germinated. So does the amaranthes at the end of the bed.
Taking loving care of my plants.
This is not a commercial venture but just doing it for excercise. I will just share the produce with my neighbours.
So what do I get from all these activities? I sweat it out everyday. Sweating is the best method to detox your body. All the sweat pores will be functioning. At the end of the task, a wet shirt is a normal happening.
My next project is to clean up my wife's dusun somewhere near her mothers home. Hopefully I will get to taste all the dukus, rambai, manggis and bachang from the next seasons crop which has been wasted all these while. Remember I should have done this some three years ago.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Old And The New Toy

The one on the left is a Sony Handycam using the mini DVD format. It has excellent features with 120 x digital zoom, Carl Zeiss lens, Supersteady shot, Nightshot and it was made in Japan. It has been with me since 2004 and has served me fine till December 2009 when on the trip to Labuan the camera just went bonkers and will not focus.
A check with the camera dealer in KL conclusively indicated that it was beyond them to repair and it had to be sent to Sony. Sony Malaysia confirmed the repair bill to be RM505 which seemed to be quite high especially when we had been using the camera for almost 5 years and now there is in the market new cameras with Hard Disk format. The DVD format is quite cumbersome to use as the maximum capacity of the mini DVD is at the most 1 hour of recording and each DVD costs about RM50.
Time to buy a new camera.
With the support of the wife, we went hunting for a new camera. At the Megacity KB Mall we found a camera very much to our liking. It has a Hard Disk format quite small in size costing RM1999. They came in 3 beautiful colours, blue, maroon and black. To entice us to buy one Megacity threw in a tripod for free and nothing else. We deferred our purchase to later.
The next day we saw an advertisement in The Star by Court Mammoth that the same camera was being offered at less than half price for two days from 27th to 28th February with 4 units being offered a day. So off we went to Court Mammoth Kota Bharu on the 28th of February being the last day of the offer. We armed ourselves with the newspapers.
Upon reaching Court Mammoth Kota Bharu, we were surprised to find out that they don't have such offers. We scrutinised the advertisement and we found out that the offer was only for Court Mammoth Penang which has just been opened. I wanted to kick my backside for not reading the advertisement carefully. Fortunately I can't reach my backside so I couldn't kick it. At the KB outlet we saw many other models on display and we settled on one of them costing slightly above RM2000. They said they will take our orders and the stock will come soon. We are not buying something which we cant take home immediately.
Off we go into the midst of KB town where at Ban Huat Electric we saw the same model. It was a JVC Everio GZ-MG645RAG with a 60 GB Hard Disk memory. That will give us a recording time of between 7 - 75 hours depending on the picture quality we choose to record in. It comes with a nice bag too. Though it has only 35 x optical zoom, the 1920 x 1080 Pixels resolution when upconverted via HDMI cables to my 37"LCD TV should give us great viewing pleasure. Above all it was made in Malaysia. Hey I am patriotic enough to support a Malaysian product. This toy cost us RM2080.
With this new toy, now I am going off to KL Matta Fair comes this 14th March 2009 at PWTC to buy a holiday package to either Europe, Egypt or the Goldcoast of Australia, which ever we fancied. Anybody wants to join me for a holiday somewhere? I promise to shoot lots of video which we could share.