30 March 2008

These are welcoming figures before entering the Damai Hotel and Spa. Very peculiar and very indigenous. They give the Hotel cum Spa a certain ambience, maybe Balinese or Iban, I am not sure, though.

29 March 2008

a study in contrast

Well, we did not come across crocodiles, but we did see the contrast between a quaint little village and a symbol of affluence along the riverside of Kuching which is a lot to learn in one cruise.

28 March 2008

cat city

Our holiday in Kuching, Sarawak is slowly winding down. We've yet to do the River Cruise tonight and I hope it's worth our time. I've been to river cruises before (Subic, Basilan Straits, Kg Ayer, Jolo, Bangkok, Pattaya, Penang, Hong Kong, Laguna Bay, Corregidor, Batangas, etc.) and I love them. I could easily spot the kinds of flora and fauna that inhabit the riversides - I remember glimpses of a croc head and a slithering snake among the mangroves. Hope to point them to Meeza if I get to see them again.

19 March 2008

Barack's "a part of me"

Barack Obama's "a part of me" speech was something that we, who watch American politics, may never forget for a long time. It hits the nerve of racial divide and points to the anger and marginalizations in American society. I feel for him and I do not think that the speech will destroy him. It is something that must come out in the open, and for people to resolve all forms of racial conflicts in societies.

09 March 2008

khaled hosseini's the kite runner

I have finished reading this book and though, the ending is quite happy, I am still left with a haunting feeling. The characters are unforgettable, the scenery (pre-Russian occupation and pre-Taliban) evokes childhood nostalgia (kite running was our passion too), and the story - sad and sentimental. The political transformations of Afghanistan are shown to be affecting the lives of its people and amidst the turmoil, little stories of families, of parents and children, of friendships, loyalty, betrayals and cruelty are told in this book.

The main story is about two boys, Amir and Hassan who are very good friends at the start. The story grows into a complicated web when Hassan (the Hazara child and the one who runs for the fallen kites) is harmed and Amir is unable to save him. We know that Hassan would unhesitatingly defend his friend anytime but it can not be said of Amir - who was the pampered one. I disliked the child rape event but was quite comforted by the characters being fictional. You would not want a dear child like Hassan (or Sohrab or any child) be forever victims of people's travesty and inhumanity. Soon, Amir would find a way to totally forget Hassan and his own helplessness by planting evidence that would incriminate Hassan. But, as in some wounds, there is no healing and no escape. The ghost of Hassan (pure, heroic and forgiving) comes at varied times and beckons - because after all, Hassan is Amir's own blood.

The Kite Runner is a story of a proud father (Baba) and his sons, of lords and servants, of an indiscretion (Baba's adultery with his best friend's wife) and a secret (Hassan is his illegitimate son). It tells of cowardice and also of bravery and redemption. At the end - and albeit, a little too late, Amir is able to redeem himself - by saving Hassan's son, Sohrab, from the clutches of torturers and rapists. In fiction as in real life, "there is a way to be good again".

07 March 2008

many things

Stork news: My niece just had a beautiful baby girl and that means I am a Grandma four times over now (will be five times a Grandma later this year). LOL, I really enjoy this added investiture. Remember, a woman is not only one thing.

06 March 2008

hard to understand

What happens next when the likes of Amy Winehouse is awarded and rewarded by society despite their drug use and addiction. Just what message does it give our children? Illegal drug use is never glamorous and will never be - considering the problems attached to it. A family is not the same again when drugs take over the life of even a single member. The United Nations should speak out with substance, now that it has realized the extent to which society condones double standards when dealing with who uses drugs.

04 March 2008

living with pink

Martha Stewart loves pink, I presume. Her guest house in Maine is all dolled up in pink. The dining room is splashed with a big painting in pink and her bathroom towels are all in pink. I couldn't imagine myself waking up in a pink bedroom 'coz it's too maddening and cloying and diabetic.

01 March 2008

can i afford it?

On most weekends, I'd grab a chance to watch the "Can I Afford It?" segment of the Suze Orman show on CNBC. I enjoy the show because of the tongue-lashing that she gives to callers - she is so "mataray" and raises her eyebrows so high, your guilt over overspending just oozes from your pores. I would mentally guess what her verdict would be by the look of her and would race with her pronouncements of DENIED!!! Denied - is what is always the case (nine out of ten). You can't be buying things when you have enormous mortgages, when you have credit card debts as high as a mountain or when your savings are zilch!