Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seafood haven

As their land where the South China Sea and Sulu Sea converge at its northern tip, Sabah fishermen have always returned home with bountiful harvests.
It is no wonder that the state has developed a reputation as a seafood mecca.
And it's easy to see why. Freshly landed fish prawns, fish, crabs and all manner of shellfish are not only in the realm of seafood restaurants but can be found grilled and ready to serve in open air markets.
But be prepared to dig deep. The grilled tiger prawns on display at this stall in the Kota Kinabalu market were going for RM20 each.
As the saying goes, good things don't come cheap...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A tale of two bridges

Tamparuli is like one of the many smaller towns around Sabah. It started as a small settlement where traders and indigenous farmers meet regularly at the tamu to barter trade goods. A township evolved as shops and markets were built in the area.
It is also the last town travellers heading up to the Kundasang highlands or to Kiulu, now known as one of the white water rafting sites in Sabah.
Coming back to the bridges. Other Sabah bloggers have written about these structures, among the most informative is this piece by Ben Godomon.
This is my take on the low lying bridge. I was talking to an Englishman who had worked in Sabah many years ago. He was talking about the low lying bridge and said "only an Irishman could design something like that."
I asked him why he said that and his reply was that only a person of Irish descent would design a bridge that was impassable after a heavy downpour due to floods.
It was interesting to see the disdain some Englishmen have for their Irish counterparts reaching a small town in Borneo

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Interesting reading.

This is for those who always felt that Malaysians are finding themselves between the devil and deep blue sea.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A hazy period.

The dense primary rainforest at Gaya island off Kota Kinabaluis shrouded in a haze that enveloped the state capital.
Air quality and visibility dropped as a burning smell permeated throughout the city.
The haze is said to be due to open burning as part the opening of large tracts of land in Borneo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New found fame in death

DVDs of dubious origins featuring the music videos of Michael Jackson are once again the "hot sellers" following the singer's death on June 25.

It reaffirms the notion that an artist or artiste is usually worth more in death. But the intense media spotlight on Jackson, his sudden demise at the age of 50, his children and family and seemingly bizarre lifestyle, has created a new and young fan base.

Seldom is there an entertainer whose popularity transcends so many different generations.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A goodbye note

I'm sitting here watching your remains in an ornate box, seeking therapy by typing out at 2am some of the thoughts churning through my mind since that Sunday.
Thoughts of what drove you to end your life.
And thoughts of that message you sent out on June 29 to those listed as your so called ''friends'' including me. Looking back, I now realise it was a plea for help.
A plea I should not have ignored and should have known better as someone you called 'uncle.'
For that I seek your forgiveness and pray that you have found peace.
Like the rest of your family, I will continue on with my life with a hope that I will be more sensitive to cries of help in the future.
May you rest in peace.
Farewell for now Joedee.
May 25, 1966 - July 12, 2009.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Getting rare

A lone hut dots a paddy field in Penampang district that is fast becoming the suburb of Kota Kinabalu. The new road linking the city to Donggongon town bisects what used to be lush paddy fields.
As building space runs short in Kota Kinabalu, surrounding districts like Penampang and Tuaran are where the new houses and shopping centres are built.

The paddy fields are are filled up like this area in Penampang and in less than two years a new housing area comes into existence.

A recent report stated that Malaysia is losing about 3% of its agriculture land, primarily paddy fields to developments like housing estates and shop houses. If this continues, will our children end up living in concrete jungles?

Friday, July 3, 2009

A gift from the heart

The house went quiet and my 6-year-old daughter was no where to be seen.
After much calling, she appeared clutching a basket filled some yellow flowers that grow profusely outside the gate.
She said she plucked the flowers as a gift for her mother who was sported a big smile upon receiving them.
Such is the priceless value of a gift from the heart.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A fishy tale

I was at the Lido market earlier today and my jaw just about dropped to the very wet and dirty floor when I came across this scene. It must be the season of the giant grouper fish locally known as karatong.
This one according to a fish monger tipped the scales at about 120kgs and came with a hefty price tag as well - RM4,000.
Believe or not this fish was already taken.

Earlier on, another fish monger cleaned a smaller karatong that weighed about 92kgs and cut it up and selling its filleted flesh at about RM58 per kg.

And this is the head. I wonder how many servings of fish head curry can be had from this one.

As I returned home I recalled the first fish monger's remark that this type of fish is becoming more difficult to come by. I wonder if pictures like these will one day be the only evidence that creatures this size swam in our seas.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In my element

A laptop and a cup of coffee are tools of the trade.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A man and his toys

Sabah's Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk
Masidi Manjum has become among the first members of the state cabinet to
tap into the online social network Facebook.

Masidi who signed up for a Facebook account just over a week ago has so
far 200 “friends” in the network that he said was a way
for him to keep tabs on what ordinary folk were thinking or talking about.

“This is a way for me to keep my feet firmly planted on the
ground. There is a danger of losing touch because positions we hold could
isolate us from the man on the street,” Masidi told The Star here

He said Facebook was thus a forum for him to discuss various issues even
petty ones with his “friends” in the network.

“Sometimes it is these trivial matters that could have great
implications,” said Masidi who prefers to update his Facebook
account via his Blackberry mobile phone.

He said his youngest daughter Farhana, 17, encouraged to sign up for
Facebook which has also become a showcase of his amateur photography skills.

Masidi who has eight digital cameras, the latest being a Nikon D5000 said
his travels around Sabah as a minister had presented numerous
opportunities to photograph the state picturesque locations and its people.

“Nothing gives me greater pleasure than showing tourists the
pictures I’ve taken as way of promoting Sabah,” he said in
adding that his favourite subject was Mount Kinabalu in whose shadows he
grew up in his native Kampung Karanaan in Ranau district.

“There is something about the mountain that is almost magical.
Each time I take a picture of it, there seems to be a different facet of
it,” said Masidi in noting that his camera equipped Blackberry
phone contained more than 50 pictures of the mountain.