License to chill

* frosty *

slurpee brain freeze

I had an epiphany while I pressed my tongue against the roof of my mouth. This would make a great Slurpeelicious contest entry!

(but first, a flashback)

slurpee kuching trip 1

The last time I did an entry about Slurpee, I had to walk 1,000 miles to do it. Okay, maybe that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration…I took a boat, and it was only 463 km. The only reason I went there was to drink Slurpee. Seriously. There are no 7-Eleven outlets in Sibu, so the nearest place I could go was Kuching.

slurpee kuching trip 2

I snuck off work early on Saturday (please don’t tell my ex-boss) and took an express (boats in Sarawak are called “express”, not buses) down to Kuching, where Irene picked me up. I was hunting for Mystery Flavor 1 and Mystery Flavor 2 and went to damn near all the 7-Eleven outlets in Kuching before I finally found one that has it.

I went there solely for the Slurpee post and had to catch the boat back the next morning. I nearly missed the cursed express to boot! I calculate that I spent more for that trip than I earned in the advertorial but that’s not the important thing – the important thing is that I enjoyed doing it!

(flash-forward to today)

I only had to walk 5 meters to 7-Eleven this time coz I’m living in Petaling Jaya now, but I still had to…er, brave the rain. Okay, the drizzle! There was a very slight one. Honest!

slurpee 7 11

The Slurpeelicious contest is all about you waltzing into your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven and taking a photo of yourself in a Slurpeelicious moment and submitting it to Slurpeelicious@nuffnang.com

The Slurpee can be of any size and flavor e.g.

slurpee machine

This here is the rare and mysterious Yellow Raspberry scented with Vanilla Melon Slurpee – a concoction produced by mixing Yellow Melon and Vanilla Raspberry. Trust me; it tastes better than it looks. Layered properly, it’s quite a refreshing drink indeed.

The Slurpee must take up 40% of the entire photo size. I’m not sure how to calculate that but I gather:

slurpeelicious contest wrong

Wrong

slurpeelicious contest right

Right

There’s 6,000 smackeroos in cold (geddit?) hard cash up for grabs if you snag the first prize. To the best of my understanding the prizes are:

First Prize
Cash prize of RM 6,000 and 7-Eleven Gift Certificate of RM 100

Second Prize
Cash prize of RM 3,000 and 7-Eleven Gift Certificate of RM 100

Third Prize
Cash prize of RM 1,000 and 7-Eleven Gift Certificate of RM 100

3 x Consolation Prize
7-Eleven Gift Certificate of RM 100

You can opt to furnish an anecdote of your Slurpeelicious moment with your entry like the haiku here:

The Mariner says
Water water everywhere
Not a drop to drink

Had he lived today
Away from the seven seas
He might have wrote this

Land Ahoy, let’s chill!
My Slurpeelicious moment
Be it land or sea!

slurpeelicious contest entry

I’m sure you can do better. Check out the Slurpeelicious contest details to join!

25 minutes too late

late for wedding

This ballad by MLTR illustrates the unfortunate series of events of a chronic procrastinator and indecisive specimen of the male species which rendered him unable to pull a Kanye West during the crucial point where the priest goes “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

Hence the title – 25 minutes too late. I don’t know if anyone out there has experienced something as profoundly life changing and dramatic as the protagonist of the song, but we all know the difference a few minutes makes, albeit in less spectacular situations.

I was in that very same situation last week. No, I didn’t find out that the love of my life was getting hitched to another guy, it was something else. A friend of mine emailed me and attached this photo with the text:

oxycodone

Hey, you’re still having those migraines right? These are slated to be destroyed, wondered if you wanted it.

Alas, I was out at that time and I only checked Gmail three hours later, saw the photo, and immediately replied with such a resounding YES that the Y key of my keyboard promptly cracked.

The reply:
Oops…sorry, I destroyed it already. I thought you didn’t want it.

The primal scream of loss I uttered was heard halfway across the earth. People in the deepest, most remote depths of the Sahara looked up at the skies in terror, mumbling superstitiously and gesturing wildly to ward off evil (or whatever it is the tribes do, I’m just giving an analogy here).

sahara tribes running

You know the punch line right?

This would never have happened if I had preregistered for an Xpax Prepaid BB. ;)

The push email functionality would have allowed me to respond to that message in a timely manner. Sigh…

This is a true story btw, as can be seen by the Ludicrous Watermark (TM) in the second photo. =D

Tambun seafood, Penang

tambun seafood

Penang has an abundance of seafood due to its status as an island, and for the very same reason, the seafood also happens to be disgustingly cheap. Thus, a trip to Penang without having seafood is kinda like going to Egypt without visiting the pyramids.

tambun pier

We travelled from Tambun, Ipoh to Tambun, Penang after the hot springs trip. Tambun (the one in Penang) is famous for seafood and lies just before the Penang bridge connecting the mainland to the island.

gee seng tambun

We had dinner at Restauran Gee Seng, which looks small on the outside but actually has a huge amount of space which can easily accommodate 30 tables or so, with its own pier for fresh hauls of seafood to boot! Parking is a bit of a nightmare here though, since the road into this area is narrow and the parking attendants frequently shuffle the cars (along with their drivers) around when some poor sod stuck at the back of a matrix of cars has to exit after his/her dinner.

However, I’m sure you don’t want to read about the tribulations of the complicated parking system, so I’ll let the photos do the talking:

thorny clams

This is some sort of spiked clam that requires a toothpick to dig out.

extract clam

The flesh tastes good dipped in chilli sauce, once you’re able to get the damn thing out. It takes a bit of practise.

jolyn

Jolyn here shows us that chopsticks are not merely eating implements.

octopus

We also ordered boiled octopus

vegetables

…and a serving of greens to balance out the marine meat. It had shrimps in it anyway, keeping true to the seafood restaurant roots. ;)

baked crabs

The baked crab at this place comes with a mallet made of wood. You use it to crack open the shell.

crab claw

This style of cooking preserves the natural sweetness of the crab meat.

signature tofu

The signature tofu dish at this establishment is different – it’s deep fried into triangular shapes and is a mixture of tofu and some vegetables. It’s quite tasty.

oyster omelet

The oyster pancake (o chien) isn’t what Sarawakians are used to. Ours is a crisp pancake with juicy oysters in the middle – click here to see a sample. The oyster pancake over here is more like a classic omelet, except with oysters.

chilli crab rolls

Next up is one of my favorite dishes – chilli crab served with a side of bread rolls to soak up the gravy with. Let me attempt to describe the pure awesomeness of the chilli crab. The gravy is cooked with starch and tastes sweet and tangy, with a slightly salty note in there somewhere.

chilli crab

It’s also infused with egg and at one point; I just discarded all social graces and started scooping up the sauce with my spoon and drinking it. Pure heaven!

mantis prawn cooked

This is the mantis prawn. I’ve written about the mantis prawn experience here in a post filled with (very justifiable) hyperbole.

mantis prawn flesh

It’s my first time eating mantis prawn and the tender and sweet flesh is simply orgasmic! This is what it looks like in the aquarium:

mantis prawn live

I can’t believe I haven’t had mantis prawn before! To this very day, it keeps me awake at night, doubting my own judgment and fitness to live.

coconut water

The bill came out to a grand total of RM 253.20 for the six (6) of us. We thought there was an accounting error on the restaurant’s part and made plans for a quick exit strategy since a dinner like that has gotta cost around RM 400.

seafood in tambun

However, upon further inspection, it seems that we were billed for everything we ordered after all. Tambun seafood is dirt cheap and it’s fresh and delicious to boot! I highly recommend stopping by Tambun for dinner when you drive up to Penang! You’ll be missing out if you don’t. :)

To Arthur!

black eyed peas

The Black Eyed Peas concert at Arthur Guinness’ 250th birthday bash was a blast! It seems that everyone (defined here as most of the people I know) converged on the surf beach in Sunway to see BEP rock the house.

Headlining acts usually have a tendency to be fashionably late, but BEP came out earlier than scheduled last night. The Greatest Hits of BEP (TM) came on but there were some gems in there too, including a cover (kinda, sorta) of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Alas, BEP segued into another song before the famous “Load up on guns/bring your friends” intro etched into every 80′s babies’ angst ridden mind came on. Nirvana was (I use was coz Kurt thought it would be a good idea to put a loaded gun to his head and pull the trigger) huge back then and made Seattle grunge the staple of people born in the late 70′s and early 80′s.

This particular demographic just happened to hit the precarious puberty stage back then, and found solace in Cobain’s angst ridden lyrics.

I digress…

Back to the BEP concert, we were at the Silver Zone, which gave us ample room to move around.
Pros: Free flow of Guinness
Cons: No dSLRs allowed

You can easily sneak one in by getting a friend to enter through the general entrance (where dSLRs are halal) and reclaiming it once inside the venue (where you can comingle). Compact digicams are kosher so the policy was particularly puzzling (yes, today is Alliteration Day).

I only managed to take photos and videos from my crappy cell phone. You may have noticed that from the quality of the images in this post. I tend to forget things easily too, so it would have been good to have a device capable of allowing me to blog on the spot.

You know the punch line. Wait for it. ;)

arthurs day

This is one of the times I wish I have a BB. I’m getting the Xpax Prepaid BB in less than a week, so no more of this delayed blogging nonsense.

“We live and die by time…and we must not commit the SIN of losing our track on time”

Lost World of Tambun

sunway lost world of tambun ipoh

The Lost World of Tambun is a hot springs cum water theme park (just don’t read that sentence wrong ;)) operated by none other than Sunway. I headed down with Suanie and Carol over the long weekend for some R&R (and to soak my poor creaky joints in the hot springs). 

sunway city ipoh

There were a couple of false starts – I woke up at 8:30 am when we were due to depart 8 am, said “Shit!” and called Suanie. It turns out that she just woke up as well – Carol was the only one who was on time. Heh! After a quick breakfast of dim sum (where I ordered beer, much to the chagrin of my fellow road trip buddies – apparently dim sum places here don’t serve the amber fluid) we were off to Ipoh! 

sunway lost world of tambun

The Lost World of Tambun is in Tambun, Ipoh and it’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from KL. It is based on a Mayan (though official brochures calls it Malayana, whatever that means) lost city water theme park concept and built around natural hot springs. There is another public hot spring facility in Tambun about 2 km down from Sunway’s empire, but after a quick discussion of whether to go to the public one or the commercial one, we headed down to the latter.

Actually, it was Suanie who made the decree – since she was the one driving; we decided it would be a good idea to listen. ;) 

lost world of tambun entrance fee

The theme park costs RM 30 per person to enter, which I paid using my credit card since I was short on cash thanks to my spectacular vehicular mishap that set me back 11k (out of pocket, no insurance claims). The girls paid me back with cold, hard paper bills which I desperately needed since this is the precarious Credit Card Month (TM) where I charge everything to plastic. 

lost world of tambun wave pool

The RM 30 covers the entrance to the wet park and the dry park. It should be noted right now that the terms are used very liberally here – don’t expect a Sunway Lagoon setup coz the Lost World of Tambun is much smaller, with very few rides. Think David and Goliath. Or Lilliputian and Gulliver. 

lost world of tambun pool

The wet park consists of the standard wading pool with waves, which is pretty relaxing and much larger than your average swimming pool. There are various water slides around the park, which won’t exactly give you an adrenaline rush, but is fun for a couple of rides.

beach volleyball

It also has a sandy beach where you can play beach volleyball or lounge around.

lost world of tambun hot springs

However, the main attraction at Lost World of Tambun is their natural hot springs. It comes bubbling up from the bottom and the pool is quite hot – my guesstimate is 40+ degrees Celsius.

Not hot enough? I’ve got great news (and a challenge). The hot springs pool has this rock cover where boiling water dribbles down into blocks of stone where you can sit. 

tambun hot springs

I’m telling you, this water is fucking scalding hot! You can see the steam literally rise off the top and people flinch when they touch the water. Hell, I flinched when I touched the boiling hot water.

However, being a sucker for pain (and also to show the damn inanimate object that I won’t let it get the better of me) I sat on the hot stone blocks and let the searing water flow over me while I gasped for breath and my skin turned the proverbial color of red usually reserved for lobsters.

I’ll cut off my left testicle if the water isn’t at least 80 or 90 degrees Celsius. Int3nse.

uncle

Anyway, after showing the hot springs who the boss is and getting it to say “Uncle” (actually it was more like I was red and peeling after Carol dared me to stand under a particularly heavy torrent of skin cooking water), we proceeded to the dry park. 

pirate ship

It was quite a disappointment. I counted a grand total of two rides. There is a pirate ship (which doesn’t go 360)… 

carousel

…and a carousel ride where you get spun around. 

suanie

Suanie discovered her inner child on that ride though. 

lost world of tambun ipoh

The Lost World of Tambun is reasonably entertaining if you’re from Ipoh but I won’t drive all the way down from KL for it.

lost world of tambun limestone hills

The primary attraction is their hot springs and the great view of the limestone hills surrounding it, but this is marred by one very significant theme park policy that prevents proper enjoyment of the facilities…

lost world of tambun group 

It should be noted that there are no alcoholic beverages sold inside the theme park, unlike its Sunway counterpart. You’re not allowed to bring food and water in too. :(

Google before you leap

audrey starbucks penang

I was in Penang over the long weekend and we met up with Audrey and Jack at Starbucks. She happened to have an asthma inhaler with her and I was intrigued by it. She was kind enough to let me use it so I took three (3) hits, inhaling deeply and holding it in.

“I don’t feel anything”, I said.

Audrey looked at me while I sat down and told me it’ll be nice to light one up right about now. I flicked my lighter and proceeded to introduce 4,000 different chemicals to my pulmonary system over the course of two minutes.

asthma inhaler

I picked up my Venti Tazo ice blended and noticed that my hands were shaking visibly. It was like I was having a mini grand mal seizure localized to my paws.

She noticed my hand tremors and nonchalantly mentioned “Oh, and by the way, it takes about 15 minutes for the inhaler to work”.

-_-”

Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Say, before I took 3 hits from the inhaler in quick succession?

audrey asthma inhaler

She was surprised I didn’t get hyper though. I’m already looking forward to the Xpax Prepaid BB so I can Google for information before I start introducing all sorts of weird and wonderful medication into my system. Heh!

Thanks for the inhaler Audrey, it was an…interesting experience. ;)

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more…

melbourne shuffle

It’s Hammer Time! (TM). I’ve always maintained that my primary form of exercise is doing the Melbourne shuffle in raves and clubs. I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle – the perils of working long hours in the industry. I’m sure a lot of you out there lack the time to get some proper exercise done due to work and social obligations.

melbourne rave

I swim occasionally and have recently taken up yoga counter my less-than-healthy routine of sitting 12 hours or more per day behind a desk at work. Swimming is convenient for me since I live in a condo so the nearest pool is just a press of the lift button away. However, working 12 hours or more per day can put a toll on your energy levels and often you just want to crash when you reach home. 

swimming

Thus, I’ve started going for yoga lessons in the weekends. It forces me to wake up early, which is a really good thing in retrospect – knowing that you have to drag your sorry ass up early the next day tend to temper your Saturday night shenanigans somewhat. ;) 

yoga pose

Yoga is great for stretching them muscles and it does wonders for your mental health too (an important thing in this stress filled world). I always walk away feeling relaxed and at peace with the world.

adidas trainers

However, I have decided to talk a more proactive approach and monitor just how many steps I walk in a day and subsequently how many calories I burn. I used to have this nifty cell phone which has a step counter but I lost it during one of my ethanol impaired escapades. In a weird twist of fate, I received the very same cell phone as a birthday present this year. 

walk counter

In another interesting turn of events, I got a dedicated step counter from the PRUhealth event I attended. It was specially calibrated to the length of my stride so it’ll be fairly accurate. Mustering up all my determination, I decided to clip it onto my belt and make it a point to walk at least 3,500 steps every day. 

fail

The plan didn’t work very well.

chinese chap fun

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I sit in the office for most of the day, unless I’m out for meetings. I even take away lunch to eat at the desk. However, in light of my ailing (?) health and skyrocketing cholesterol levels, I am dead-set (er…perhaps this isn’t the best adjective to use – determined then) to walk more every day. 

car

I’ll park my car at my condo and walk to work instead. I’ll make it a point to take the stairs instead of the lift. I’ll pledge to do my lunch takeaways myself so I can get them plates of meat moving (its Cockney slang) while I get my PM calorie influx. 

scaling mount kinabalu

Just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles to fall down at your door!

Got PRUhealth coverage what. No worries. ;)

Mantis prawn

mantis prawn

I’ve never had such a succulent piece of crustacean in my life! The odd looking mantis shrimp (also called mantis prawn) tastes more like lobster than prawns.

mantis prawn size

I had this at Tambun, Penang last night. Mantis prawns are huge creatures that can grow much longer than a chopstick (shown here next to my hand for perspective). I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve ever had mantis prawn…its awesome stuff!

mantis prawn flesh

The carapace peels back to reveal a bed of soft, tender flesh that almost melts in your mouth. The sweetness of the mantis prawn flesh is unbelievable!

It’s so good that I just had to write this hyperbole laden post.

Tambun Trust

tambun trust

I am blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with an innate trust in a lot of things. I guess that’s why a lot of shit doesn’t faze me. Shit being of course defined by situations where you need to have faith in something e.g. a bungee cord or your chute.

I was at The Lost World of Tambun just now, egging the staff to give us a good hard kick down the water slide, so it’ll be more exciting. I was riding tandem with a stranger coz the ride requires two. It appears that we went too fast coz halfway down, the rubber inflatable flipped inside the dark crevices of the water slide.

I felt my nipple piercings snag inside the dark slide so I moved my elbows up. I didn’t feel scared, not even slightly concerned…coz to be honest, what’s the worst that can happen? Give me a scrape or two?

Thus, I let go and even smiled at the guy above me, who happens to be this really enthusiastic 38 year old cell group leader in church and cracked that now is probably a good time to believe in your Jesus.

He probably can’t see me coz of the dark tunnel but the difference between us is that he panicked and fought to stop the inevitable momentum while I just let go and trusted.

I banged my head three (3) times against the metal slide and probably lost 10 IQ points in the process while he had abrasions from fighting the ride.

I got some Indian burns too but despite my mini concussions and coming out ass backwards, I got up grinning coz I HAD FUN. He was quite shaken about the entire thing.

That’s the thing about trust. I trust in the ride and he didn’t.

Despite knocking myself senseless, I had fun! =D

I doubt he did. It’s just a ride, it’s not like doing a HALO jump and passing out from decompression sickness before you can pull the cord. :)

Lost

ppc car keys

I just came back from an ordeal worthy of the series Lost. It happened in a car park instead of a sentient island that moves around, but lost is still sesat. It’s a tribulation worthy of publication in the Reader’s Digest Crisis and Catastrophe anthology.

PPC picked me up since my car was in the workshop and thus I didn’t take a photo of the parking spot when I alighted (which I usually do if I’m the one behind the wheels). Thus, we were thrown way off course when the time came to leave the mall. 

blame

I was assigned to pressing the car key alarm while PPC kept a lookout for her car and Kalai guided us to the path of enlightenment.

We were seriously considering going to the security post and asking for the guard buggy service to ferry us across the massive acreage of the car park when we took a last gamble at Parkson. 

parkson

We spent a WHOLE HOUR searching for the car! WTF! This would have never happened if we had the foresight of taking a photo of the car park space when we parked.

ppc car park lot

Me thinks this is high time for PPC to preregister for the Xpax BB so we won’t have to hike for 60 minutes in the claustrophobic and humid car park.

To add insult to injury, we couldn’t find the car at Solaris, Mont Kiara at our next stop for dinner! OMFG! How can you lose a car in a small place like that?

dinner at boston solaris mont kiara

Answer:

car park lift

We didn’t see the Car Park Elevator. >.<

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