Kuching Festival 2004

kuching festival

Kuching Fest 2004 is the annual Kuching city festival which starts
on 1st August 2004. I was there last night with a couple of my friends
and this is the coverage of the event on the first day. The main focus
is on the food fest – that seems to be the most popular one every time.
There are also two videos for download – one with the fireworks display
and the other with two girls singing on the stage.

This is the video of the fireworks display to start of Kuching Festival 2004:

kf04 fireworks

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 fireworks [sixthseal.com]

This is a video of the fireworks display of Kuching Fest 2004 on the
first day. It was good – lasted for about 15 minutes or so and some of
the fireworks were impressive.

open air food court

The ground of Kuching Fest 2004 is largely taken up by a massive
open air food court. There were numerous stalls offering everything
from Iban Bamboo Cooked Chicken to Taiwan Sausages (with spicy, regular
and sweet options) lining the sides and tables and chairs in the
middle. There is also an indoor and outdoor area for exhibitors but I
did not find that noteworthy, so this will mainly cover the food fest –
the one which everyone goes to Kuching Fest for! :)

food court people

The stalls offer a staggering amount of food options and we were
spoilt for choice…so we had a bit of everything. I remember eating
crab claws, yam prawn, blueberry yoghurt, ice cream, nasi kandar,
Taiwan sausages, sour duck, lok lok, roti susu, and something called
“love noodles”. It was a feast!

sausage iban food

L-R: Double Dragon Taiwan Sausage stall, Tenggiri + Pork Sio Bee/Mua
Chee stall (delicious), Iban Food stall with tuak (native rice wine at
RM 6), and chicken cooked in bamboo, amongst other things.

taiwan sausages

Here’s another stall selling Taiwan sausages at RM 2 each. Very,
very nice. It’s much better than the first one. I think there’s at
least 4 different stalls selling Taiwan sausages there.

briyani cafe

Briyani Cafe offering different rotis, murtabaks and briyani dishes.

lok lok

Lok lok!

ching chen noodles

Ching Chen and their Cinta Noodles.

mukah seafood

Mukah Seafood Center was there too. They have umai, a local raw fish dish.

regular sausages

Sausages galore! This is the regular ones though.

seafood cha kueh

Asian BBQ Seafood stall beside a hawker stall selling cha kueh, fried kueh tiaw and other staples.

richmond place

Richmond Place offering New Zealand Fish and Chips. There are also other franchises like Sugarbun and KFC there.

yoghurt stall

There is a stall offering Natural Home Made Yoghurt. I was a bit
dubious about this, due to the odd color of the yoghurt. It looked more
like agar agar than yoghurt to me. However, I got one and was
pleasantly surprised.

yoghurt blueberry

The blueberry yoghurt is surprisingly good. It tastes like what
proper yoghurt should be and the blueberry adds to the texture of the
yoghurt.

emperor dragon whisker sweet

Emperor Dragon Whisker Sweet. It’s those little balls of rolled confectionary.

sour duck

Batu Kawa’s 1st Sour Duck.

banana leaf

Banana Leaf – offering dishes served on…well, a banana leaf.

tables of food

Proletarians like us can only dream about seating in this cordoned
off area. ;) The tables are filled with the various stalls offerings
and are for invited “guests of honor” also known as the “I paid RM
100,000 for this Datuk title” club.

food eating competition

The proles had their own eating competition though.

crab claw

Crab claw with minced chicken and yam prawns. The former didn’t have
much crab in it and but the latter was good – prawns fried with a yam
batter.

sweet corn

This stall offers a novel twist to the standard sweet corn snack – it’s barbecued. The stall beside is Emperor Grill Chicken.

ice cream

This is an ice cream cone with two scoops of chocolate and corn
flavored ice cream. It’s topped with a wafer, a single cherry and nuts.
Divine.

indon asam kari mee

There are all sorts of culinary delights at the fest – this one is Indon Asam Kari Mee. There’s a stall selling paus beside it.

Here’s another kind of feast – one for your eyes:

kf04 stage

Download: Kuching Fest 2004 Stage [sixthseal.com]

This video shows two girls singing the Sha La La song with choreographed movements on the stage in Kuching Fest 2004.

kuching fest crowd

The festival ground was packed – people, people, everywhere. Each
one of them jostling to walk past the mass of humanity that was
present. It seems that Kuching denizens came out in full force for the
first day, don’t expect to park anywhere near the location since the
roads were lined with double parked cars.

kuching fest 04

It was worth it though – Kuching Fest 2004 lasts for a month, and you won’t be disappointed if you drop by.

Affin Bank protest photos

affin protest 1

I managed to witness this…demonstration, I guess you could call it
that, just now. It was in front of the Affin-ACFFinance financial
establishment and the protestors were employees of the said company,
apparently disgruntled about their usual trivial concerns – salaries
and what not. This happened at the branch beside Sarawak Plaza in
Kuching and comprised of around 20 odd people.

affin protest 2

There was a guy with a bullhorn leading the cattle to alternate
between singing “Soliditary forever” to the tune of that hymn which
goes “Glory, glory Hallelujah” and the cliched “We want justice” chant.
There was even a guy who parked by the sidewalk and applied his car
horn to the tune of the chanting. The cheesiness factor was so great,
it made me lactose intolerant. That’s not a protest…this is a minor
congregation of like minded people in a futile attempt to resolve
whatever petty disagreement they have with their employers.

affin protest 3

I’ll show them how to do a proper demonstration if I was their
operations management leader. It would be anarchy. ;) Perhaps that’s
why no one has ever enlisted my dubious services in organizing a proper
clash with riot police, wanton destruction of private property, tear
gas filled, fires lit all around, smoke billowing, looting ahoy,
protestors and law enforcement officers dead kind of protest. Now that’s how you protest. This…pffftt…this isn’t one, I’ll tell you that.

I don’t believe in moderation. There’s no “peaceful” in
“demonstration” is there? I wouldn’t even have posted it, if not for
the reporters there. Just felt like scooping print media. That is, if
the newspaper editors even approve this…this…non protest thingy for
publication.

Borneo Cultural Festival Sibu (2003)

borneocf.jpg
Borneo Cultural Festival 2003, Sibu.

This has been going on at the Sibu town square for a while now, and
will continue for a few more days. I took the photos yesterday noon,
but I’ve been busy so I couldn’t post it yesterday. My apologies.
Anyway, the story behind the photos is worthy of a mention, but I will
put the photos up first – it cost me RM 16 so enjoy. ;)

balloon.jpg
A balloon flying high.

blowpipe.jpg
A blowpipe accuracy competition – a blowpipe is a long contraption used
by the Ibans (and other groups) that propels a dart (originally
poisoned and used for hunting) to a target by the user blowing through
the pipe.

ccomp1.jpg
Something going on here, I just didn’t say long enough to find out what it was…

ccomp2.jpg
Another shot of the unknown event above, gotta run, battery low.

chineses.jpg
A row of traditional Chinese stalls.

drinks.jpg
Thirsty?

stage.jpg
Setting the stage for the final judging of the Borneo Cultural Festival
Sibu’s Miss Malaysian Chinese 2003 tonight. I took photos of the
candidates about a week ago.
Link: Miss Malaysian Chinese (Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu) – Miss Photogenic photo shoot [sixthseal.com]

tugofwar.jpg
Tug of war.

swing.jpg
This is a swing of sorts used by the Melanau at their harvest festival.
It’s a test of manhood, they swing and bungee from this contraption.

main.jpg
This is the main motif of Borneo Cultural Festival – a montage of a
Chinese lantern, a Malay ketupat, and several native symbols which I’m
not familiar enough with to comment about, but I like the tuak (rice
wine) that’s perpetually pouring from the top. :)

About the RM 16 photos, I went to the camera repair shop yesterday
morning but unfortunately, my digicam could not be repaired due to
mould (?) in the internal components. The repair guy asked if the
digicam has had water damage before and I told him it had, but that was
a long time ago – about a year back. I forgot to zip my pants pocket
while skiing and snowboarding at Mount Buller (Melbourne) and found my
digicam covered with snow at the end of the session. Anyway, he said
that was probably the cause – the mould slowly manifested itself and
damaged some of the stuff so it needs to be sent to Nikon Service in KL
to be repaired. :( That means I will be without a digicam for about a
week, but I will check other repair shops tomorrow and see if they have
the necessary components.

Anyway, I passed by the town square yesterday noon and just HAD to
take photos, so I went to one of the camera shops and offered the owner
a deal – let me rent a digicam for 15 minutes and I’ll pay him RM 10.
Heh. Well, I had my (broken) digicam with me, and my CF card, so I’ll
just need one for a couple of minutes to take photos. I convinced him
to rent me a new Nikon Coolpix 3500 (it was the only one that could
hold my CF card, the shop is a Sony dealer, so all the other digicams
they stock use memory sticks) and I’ll give RM 100 + my digicam as a
deposit. Well, he was more than happy to do that, so I waited while he
opened the new digicam box and got out everything and charged the
battery.

My gf called me at this point and I told her what I was up to, and
she said it’s already raining at her place (the photos won’t turn out
well if it rains). I went out and sure enough, dark skies abound. I
went back and told the camera guy that I needed it now, so forget about
charging the battery. He said that it wouldn’t last all that long,
since it has only had been charging for about 3 minutes, but I said
it’s okay, since I’m in a hurry. Well, off I ran and upon startup, it
was already showing the low battery indicator so I ran around, hoping
to get a shot of everything before the battery ran out – and I did. :)

Anyway, I’m sorry about the quality of the photos, I noticed that
the quality setting was at the default (Low) but the battery was so
drained I didn’t want to risk changing the settings instead of taking
more shots and having it die on me halfway. Anyway, the Nikon Coolpix
3500 seems okay, I like the way the lens fold out. I ran all over the
town square, taking photos until the “Battery Exhausted!” warning came
out. After that, I went back to the dealer, paid him RM 10, got my RM
100 and digicam back and he packaged the digicam back into the box,
probably to sell to another person. *shrug*

Well, I got home later and then thought of something – how was I
going to get the photos out of the CF Card? Windows won’t detect the CF
Card unless the digicam is on, and my digicam is broken (couldn’t even
turn it on). So off I went to the Fujifilm Imagng Center near my place
to get the photos burnt to a CD-R, which cost RM 6. I should have
bought a CF Card reader instead, since it was only RM 45, but I reckon
I don’t need one since it’s just a one time thing. So there you go,
photos from yesterday. :)

cdr.jpg

Miss Malaysian Chinese (Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu) – Miss Photogenic photo shoot

group.jpg

I headed down to Rejang Esplanade for this early this morning. It
was supposed to be at 8 am but I forgot that Sibu is running at GMT + 9
(+1 is Tardy Savings Time) instead of GMT + 8 like the rest of
Malaysia. :) The photographers and subjects (12 girls – finalists of a
local pageant) only started trickling in when it was nearly 9 am. This
is supposed to serve the dual function of providing photos for the Miss
Photogenic judges and a photography contest. There is no charge unless
you want to enter the contest (RM 10) but that requires negatives +
prints so digicams would not qualify. I think I managed to get shots of
all the girls before my battery ran out. I had to use fast flash in a
lot of the photos due to a strong backlight (the sun). To tell you the
truth, it became hard to differentiate which ones I’ve taken and which
ones I haven’t – it didn’t help that most of them were wearing similar
colored outfits so I had to go “red w/ black spots – done”, “red w/ boa
– done” etc etc. It was fun nevertheless – there was a low photographer
to subject ratio so you could get a lot of one on one time with the
candidates, it’s pretty versatile. Anyway, here are the shots from
today:

Girl #1

girl1a.jpg

girl1b.jpg

Girl #2

girl2a.jpg

girl2b.jpg

Girl #3

girl3a.jpg

girl3b.jpg

Girl #4

girl4a.jpg

girl4b.jpg

Girl #5

girl5a.jpg

girl5b.jpg

girl5c.jpg

Girl #6

girl6a.jpg

girl6b.jpg

Girl #7

girl7a.jpg

girl7b.jpg

Girl #8

girl8a.jpg

girl8b.jpg

Girl #9

girl9a.jpg

girl9b.jpg

Girl #10

girl10a.jpg

girl10b.jpg

Girl #11

girl11a.jpg

girl11b.jpg

Girl #12

girl12.jpg

Couples #1

couples1.jpg

Couples #2

couples2.jpg

Couples #3

couples3.jpg

Candid #1

candid1.jpg

Candid #2

candid2.jpg

This is going to be a bandwidth killer.

Chinese New Year Eve dinner

This is what I got for the New Year reunion dinner without the reunion today.

cnydish1.jpg

Honey chicken, kai lan in oyster sauce, sliced fish with scallops and ginger.

cnydish2.JPG

Steamed rice, garlic prawn and char kueh tiaw.

cnydish3.JPG

Magnum almond ice cream, Sara Lee Bites – frozen cheese cake and fudge brownies.

Mmm…I’m going to attempt to eat everything in a gross, disgusting and totally unacceptable manner. :)

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