Monday, January 09, 2006

Trip to Zoo Negara, The Uncensored Version (17-12-2005)

"You are going to the ZOO?!" was one of the reactions I got when I told them about going to Zoo Negara. After all, who would want to go to Zoo Negara after visiting a world class zoo before this? So I replied, "Why not? I haven't been there for a long, long time already. I would like to see how it is like now." So off, I go, together with Jyrenze and YSlim. The day started off pretty gloomy. It started drizzling right before the elephant show started. Nevertheless, a little bit of rain will not stop our wise old jumbos (they looked old to me). Our jumbos were amazing. All they need is just a signal from their trainer and they will execute their performance perfectly. I wondered how long have they been doing the same thing over and over again. The elephants here still perform circus tricks as opposed to the ones in Singapore Zoo, who showed us what they do in the wild and in the logging industry. One of the tricks that the elephants were instructed to do, was to do a full turn on a small tree stump, showing everyone their sense of balance. However, Mr Jumbo decided that just doing a full turn was not enough, and that he should add in some other elements. He decided that the audience will prefer to see him poop while doing a full turn! (Video is available for request). Some of the poses the elephants did were rather interesting, especially this one, and we thought of Ashes, who wasn't present on that day immediately.

Interesting pose...

Side note: Since Jyrenze has written a bit about the zoo, I won't be writing about everything. Some photos can be found on her blog.

I must say that zoo trips are really educational for ignorant people like me. I have always thought that orang utan and chimpanzees are in the primate category. However, I was so very wrong. Orang utan and chimpanzees are apes and apes do not really get along well with primates. Apparently, some apes kill monkeys. Since it was feeding time, there was a zoo staff selling fruits to the public for them to feed the apes. The orang utans that we have in our Zoo Negara were really old. I mean, I haven't seen such big and old looking orang utans elsewhere. It is strange, that the ape world, especially orang utans, is comparable to human society of the past (perhaps the present as well), probably around renaissance period. When I was small, I read a book about the UK people in the past. About how the poor will wait for the rich to finish their feast and then scramble for the left-overs. I actually saw something like that. High up on a platform was a fat old orang utan (the King), waiting for us visitors (the servants) to throw the fruits to him. And when the fruits failed to land in front of him and dropped onto the ground, all he did was look down, looked back at us, and gesture for us to throw more fruits to him. Kingly actions indeed. One of the zoo visitor shouted at him for being so lazy. Wrong move dude, you would have been beheaded in the past for shouting at His Royal Highness. On the ground, there was another old orang utan (the beggar) who was scrambling around hurriedly, collecting all the fruits that didn't reach the King, stuffing everything into his mouth to be carried off somewhere. I was so afraid that he'll choke.

The King, high up on his "throne".

The Beggar. Just how much fruits can he stuff into his mouth?!

As mentioned in Jyrenze’s blog, we met a lovely, lovely kid, a handsome young goat who SEEMED to be affectionate. “Seemed” is the keyword here. Mr. Young Goat was tied to a post where we could touch and play with it. So we played with it. We (Jyrenze and I) thought that it’d be cute to stand beside the goat and take picture. Before YSlim could snap our picture, I dropped my camera. Cursing, I bent down to pick it up. Suddenly, I felt someone pushing me from behind. I turned around to see who the offender was, but all I saw was a young innocent looking goat. Hmmmm...Must be my imagination. Then, photos taken, we still stood around the goat to play with it. First, it walked up to Jyrenze and started rubbing it’s head on her legs. cute. Then, he turned his head in a way that the horns were hooking up behind her knee. NOT CUTE! Jyrenze was smart enough to catch hold of it by the horns and moved away. At this point in time, we still did not realize what the young goat’s true intentions were. Then, it decided to be affectionate with me. Then is did the same thing again. Unfortunately, both my hands weren’t free and he successfully hooked his horns behind my knee and pulled back. That almost caused me to fall flat on my butt. ALMOST. Only then did we start questioning each other about the young goat’s true, perhaps evil, intentions. Until now, I still can’t figure out whether it was trying to sharpen its horns on my leg, be affectionate with us, or whether it was trying to attack us. If it was attacking us, well, that was the first time I got gored by a goat then. (Video is available for request)

The Evil Young Goat.

Oh, right, about the Nipple Pinching Monkey, well, that's not it's real name of course. I can't remember the breed, but the action of this female monkey really caught our attention. I was taking video of a cute baby monkey and his antics when I noticed this female monkey, pinching and pulling at her chest. On closer inspection, we realized that she was pinching and pulling her tits (whatever for?!) and then licking it. I could only think of three reasons. One, it was itchy. Two, she was cleaning it. Three, she was sexually frustrated. But I realized that it can't be reason number three, as she ran away when a male monkey approached her. And the board did not state anything about this monkey's behaviour, unlike the previous zoo I went to which had explanation about the baboons' big red butts. (Video is available for request)

I noticed however, that our zoo has MANY more giraffe's than the one in Singapore. Recently, a baby giraffe was borned. Can't remember her/his name. I was also surprised to find hyenas in our zoo, as well as this interesting Bearded Pig. It was the first time I have seen such a pig.

A pig with bushy German moustache.

It is always important that animals should eat only what they SHOULD eat, and not junk food handed out by visitors. However, I noticed that some visitors still feed them. Either they can't read or they choose not to read the signboard. One visitor proved that he CAN read the signboard. Instead of feeding the deer, he decided to POUR his soft drink onto the deer. I'm not too sure if it's water or soft drink, but the deer won't be licking its body like this if it was water, right?


I have also not seen a hippo for a long time (most of the time it's pygmy hippo). So when I saw it, I was awe. The skin looked so slippery and rubbery! Felt like touching it. I wonder what's the texture like?

Blubber blubber bounce bounce...

And let's not forget the once famous KFC building in the zoo...

I was telling Jyrenze to imagine if we were locked in the zoo, and we decided to shelter in that abandoned building. I wonder what would we have found inside? Rats? Lizards? Or something more...? Storks seemed to love that place very much. Come to think of it, I don't even remember where the entrance is. The next time anyone else is going to the zoo, please do remember to investigate. :D

Finally, we left that place late in the evening. I must say that the zoo wasn't too bad, in fact, it was quite enjoyable (go without expectations and you will not be disappointed). I was glad to see the "upgrading work in progress" signs in some cages. I hope it simply means that the animals will have nice new places to live in.
For RM10.00 per entry, it was really worth the money.



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Trip to Singapore, Sentosa Island (03-11-2005)

This is so sad, it's already 2006 and I'm writing about events in 2005. It's ok, I know Singapore wouldn't mind, I'm advertising for Singapore for free after all. :D

Basically, you can't finish visiting all the places in Sentosa Island in one day's time. That's impossible, if you want to enjoy everything there properly. So I only visited selected places this time. The first place we went to was the Siloso Beach. The beach was, like any other parts of Singapore, picture perfect. The first thing that came to my mind was,"Wow, this is where directors will wanna film their movies at." It was clean, and beautiful, with nice little huts along the beach. We spent some time walking around, munching snacks and taking pictures, enjoying the breeze at the seaside. After that, we headed over to Delifrance, which was nearby. Breakfast time! Munch munch! Just like any other resorts, the price of the food differs from the normal price. Had to dish out a few extra dollars for a breakfast set. I like to drink soup, so I was looking forward to it, but when she gave me the soup, I went,"What the heck?!" Instead of your usual nice bowl of hot soup, the soup was served in a small polystyrene cup! ARGH! We spent another good one hour just munching there (who on earth will go to an entertainment place, just to eat and eat and eat?).

Welcome to Siloso Beach!

Searching for shells...or picking up sticks?

Finally, my mom, sis, two other cousins and I went to the Underwater World, leaving the rest of the adults to continue munching and drinking coffee at Delifrance. Before entering, we participated in the "feed the turtles" session. I think it was $2.00 for a cup of turtle food, which consisted of squid, cabbage and fish. They also provided us with plastic gloves so that we don't smell like seafood ourselves. Boy, those turtles were really gluttons! I don think it'll be a good time to fall into the huge pond at that time…

After that, we entered the Underwater World. The first thing we saw was this uh, I've forgotten the name, I think it's something like "Touch Pond" or "Touch Tank". Ah, whatever. Basically, we can touch those fishes and sea creatures n that tank. I was trying to touch this dog faced fish, but failed (coward lah). Those who wants to view the video can get it from me.

I didn't know that it was the “CRABS – The Unusual Suspects!” exhibition when I was there. No wonder there were so many crabs! I never knew that there were so many different kinds of crabs out there. There was one crab that I can never forget. When I first saw its legs, I thought that it was part of a rock. Then my mom exclaimed loudly and pointed at the "rock" . Only then did I realize what it was and all I could say at that time was "WHAT THE…?!" It was the Giant Japanese Spider Crab and until now, I'm still wondering if it could be eaten. Then, I saw later on a REALLY tiny spider crab which is not worth eating at all. Apparently, there were Coconut crabs there as well, but I don't remember seeing it otherwise I will surely remember. I did see them at another place called D-Paradise in Malacca though. They called it Robber Crabs, but I think they are the same, they look the same and they eat coconuts. I learnt about this crab from a manga called GTO (excellent manga), the mangaka drew a silly comic out of this crab at the back of one of the manga for fun. I think it's supposed to be delicious.

The Giant Japanese Spider Crab. It's the largest, I think.

Compared to this really tiny spider crab circled in green.

Eeee...dunno what crab this is. So hairy.

Another thing that caught my attention was the small sea creatures that glows in the dark. Really pretty! They were like fairies floating about. Video of them can be requested from me. Then, we went onto the travelator (is that how u spell it?) that takes us one big round in the tunnel built underwater where we can view the sea inhibitants in their "natural" habitat. Good for those who can't swim. There were small sharks, fishes that we eat, fishes that we don't eat, fishes of all sizes, ray fishes (not sure if there were sting-rays though), turtles, 3-D image of the great white shark (pity it's not the real one, the fake one was frightening enough as they put it around the corner) and Gracie, the resident dugong. It was hard to take pictures in here. It was too dark without the flash, and when the flash was on, the glass reflected the light. So there were only videos of it, and video taken by my camera ain't that great. We saw a guy (or girl?) in scuba diving suit cleaning the display items on the seabed. After two rounds of that, we continued looking at other weird sea creatures. The Sea Horse and Sea Dragons were magnificent, the colours were odd. Sometimes, the real stuff looks even more fake than the fake ones (does this sentence make any sense at all?).

Glow in the dark tiny jelly fishes.

It's really dark in here.

Right after that, we rushed off to Fort Siloso located on what was called back then "Mount Siloso". At the foot of the hill, there was a station for us visitors to wait for a small bus to take us up the hill. On the ride up, they will lecture tell us about the history of Fort Siloso (more information here But of course, My aunt, uncle, sister and I refused. We had enough of history lessons. We wants this holiday to be free of history lessons. My youngest cousin was with us too, but she does not know the horrors of learning history yet. So, up we went, on foot. After all, nearby only waaaaat, right? RIGHT! It was near. The hill was steep. Maybe history lessons on a bus ride up wasn't such a bad idea. We reached the nearest building. In there, there's a wax figure of a soldier from the past standing at attention in front of a desk facing his superior and the chair at the desk was empty. So, I filled in that space :D

Then, the next building exhibits things from the Japanese Occupation period. Apparently, locals who can speak Japanese were given better treatment, so some locals make the effort to attend classes. Not fair! Free Japanese classes! Well, I think free lah. But I don't envy the hardship they have to go through during wartimes. Not at all. Then, there was also the Surrender Chambers where, according to the brochure, "Life-sized waxwork models re-enact the epic British surrender in 1942 and the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945. Wartime documentary films of both events let you re-live the drama as it unfolded". Well, they sure did try to make it life like. Even the dolls have different heights. The Scottish (or was it Irish?) marine soldiers were taller and bigger than the British marine soldiers. Most of the Japanese soldiers were, needless to say, shorter than the westerners. I know, I know, the situation is different now, there are many tall asians now, such as Yao Ming. We also saw a life-size gun crew in action and heard the 6-inch canon going off. We didn't have time to visit the tunnels thoroughly. It was a pity, there were many interesting things to see in there. All I managed to see however, was a big black room. As I entered, my heart was thumping hard, wondering what to expect, when AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! My cheeky, mischevious cousin decided to give me a push forward to scare me. >.<

Surrender Chambers

Alas, it was almost time for the dolphin show! We ran down the hill and rushed to Dolphin Lagoon to watch the show. All along I was thinking, what's with them, using pink dolphins as mascots? Can't they give it a more realistic colour? But…as I said, sometimes, the real stuff looks more fake than the fake stuff (confused?). The dolphins were really pink! Unbelievable! They weren't entirely pink, they had grey pigmentations on their body. The proper name for them is Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins. Here's a picture of us with a Pink Dolphin called Jumbo.

Tight security around Jumbo.

Jumbo, the male pink dolphin.

Then, we were off to the next attraction, Images of Singapore, where visitors can experience how life was like in past. Wax figures and images showed how Singapore progressed as time passes by. The highlight of that walkthrough was when a guy used a FAKE W.C to do his small business! We meant to tell the staff about it (so that they can clean it before the whole place stinks) but totally forgotten about it by the time we came out. The most breathtaking event in Images of Singapore was the show on Singapore's four big businessmen of the past, I can't remember their names of the trading company's name. Something to do with Four Winds. It was a VERY high tech show (it seems like magic!), and for a moment I felt what Harry Potter felt in the first book. Anyway, I shall not spoil the fun for those who have not visited that place.

Images of Singapore

Exhausted, we left that place late in the evening. My only regret was that there were many other attractions that I did not get to visit and enjoy, such as The Flying Trapeze, Sentosa Luge, VolcanoLand and The Merlion. Perhaps one day, I will get to stay overnight there and enjoy all the attractions that Sentosa Island offers.

The Merlion Walk.



Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Monopoly Pictures

As I promise, here are the pictures of the Monopoly game at One Utama, sponsored by Nokia and Hasbro (uh, I think there's two more, one being One Utama itself). Enjoy!

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The game board. The dice throwers throw the dice at the stage with the word "MONOPOLY" written across.

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The Jail, circled in green. The tokens who fall in the box "Go to Jail" were locked up in here, wearing prisoner's uniform.

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The team. Tokens wore blue, dice throwers green, and managers only have to wear tags.

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The tokens. Almost all stuck at Jalan Hang Jebat. Fella who owns this place sure gained a lot of cash that time.

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AH!!! JAILBIRDS! At least they've got each other. This were the folks from Round 1 of 01-01-2006

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The lonely Jailbird of Round 2, 01-01-2006. Poor girl!

That's all folks! The End!


Sunday, January 01, 2006

I got jailed on the first day of 2006!

Hello, hello 2006! Bye bye 2005! After almost one month of not blogging (lazy bug bit me) I have decided that I MUST blog on the first day of glorious 2006. Especially after being jailed on the first day of 2006! No, no! I didn't commit any crime. I swear! It all started...

On the 31st day of December, 2005, I kept on forgetting that countdown to 2006 was on that day. How did I spend New Year's Eve? Hmmmmmm... I seem to have slight amnesia. Oh, I think I was at Subang Parade. And then, I slept after coming back. And then, I woke up, had dinner, and decided to check my hp for msges. One asked if I had any plans for the countdown. Then only I realized that the countdown was going to start in three hours time! ARGH! It's ok, I was too lazy to go out anyway.

Then, a good ol' friend of mine msged me. Asking if I wanna play Monopoly...and I thought she was bored enough to want to play monopoly with me at her house. I was thinking, why not? Let's have fun the good old way...After a phonecall however, I was uncertain. I did not expect it to be LIFE-SIZED Monopoly!

Anyway, I went there this morning, at 9.45 am to queue for the game. Only to be told that I will have to queue until one hour before the registration for the 3rd round, which was at 2.30 pm. Meaning, I have to stand in line until 1.30 pm! Shocking! But mom came up with a brilliant plan. We (my friends and I) shall take turns queueing, switching every one hour. Before the first game, I was excitedly telling my friend, "Please let me go to jail!" I got scolded for that. Haih.

At 1.00pm, one team did not turn up for the 2nd round, therefore, we got to play earlier! YAHOO! Can go back earlier! So, with the three of us, I became the token, my friend, LT, the manager and her friend, LC the dice thrower. After a few rounds of dice throwing, I fell into the....GO TO JAIL BOX! YOOHOO! I grinned like a mad person while being led by the "policeman" to the jail. However, when I saw my friends face, the only thing I could say was "uh, oh". LT came near me and said with narrowed eyes, "YOU!!!!" Whoops! Me and my mulut celupar. I must say that it was a really unique experience. Nokia staff took a photo of me in jail, so it was worth it!Steffi, a jailbird! Overall, we didn't do too badly, LT's a good manager with the dollar sign written all over her face. Clearly, she is one financial manager that her future competitors should be afraid of. However, our luck was pretty bad though. At the box "Chance" others kept on getting money, we kept on giving out money. Haih. Since one team went bankrupt, there were only five teams left. We got third place :D

Right after that, it's back to home and I slept till dinner time. Actually, way past dinner time. Can't blame me, I've been standing the entire day! Overall, it was an exciting way of starting year 2006 and I hope that it will be a good year. To all of you out there, Happy New Year and all the best for Year 2006!

P.S. Pictures shall be posted up usual. Hehe!