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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Bersih 3.0 in Kuching

Today, April the 28th, 2012, is an important day in the history of Malaysia where every single Malaysian who wants a fair electoral system; to go on the street for a rally to show his/her concern for the future of Malaysia. The whole world is watching.

At 1:46 p.m., I arrived at the venue for the sit-in rally in Kuching, which is the Old Court House, or some call it Tourism Complex. I saw some policemen around but they neither disturbed the protesters nor disrupted the whole proceedings. Kudos to the civilised police force in Kuching! Unlike their counterparts in Kuala Lumpur who used water cannons to shoot water with harmful chemical at the crowd. They even cast tear gas there! I think the rakyat do not deserve these as these are weapons to be used on criminals and terrorists only.

Before the rally officially started at 2 p.m., the crowd was very well-behaved. I saw people passing drinks on to one and another with a smile. It was just like a carnival.

At around 2 p.m., the group who started marching from Hilton Kuching arrived at the venue and that was when the crowd got excited all over.

The emcee did a very good job by keeping everybody calm and everything in order. He even reminded everybody to not leave any rubbish behind at the end of the rally as to keep the place "bersih".

Some of the people there prepared their own posters, all requesting for fair electoral system and anti-corruption.

Today's rally was truly a 1-Malaysia event. People of all ages and all races joined in to show their concern for a free and fair election.

There were people who are fully armed with photography equipment running up and down in the rally, and there were people who are happy shooting with only smart phones.

The rally ended at 3:35 p.m. and there was no rubbish left behind. It was really "bersih".

Friday, 27 April 2012

Affordable Meal in Downtown Tokyo

Everybody knows that Japan has very high living expenses. Travellers who are on a tight budget always find it hard to look for reasonably priced food items in downtown Tokyo. However, there are shops scattered around the streets which sell food at affordable price. When I first visited Shinjuku in 2008, this was what I found.

This shop was selling mainly soba but there were some set meals available too. The cheapest soba in soup was ¥250 and the most expensive set meal was ¥570. There was absolutely no pain in the neck for me who doesn't understand Japanese to make the food order. All the food plastic models were life size that looked exactly like the real food.

I settled for the mid-price set meal which was ¥490. After paying at the ticket machine, I was given a coupon of food item ordered. I went to the cooking station and gave them the coupon and they started preparing my meal right away. That's Japanese efficiency.

Minutes later, my set meal of stir-fried beef and salmon with rice was ready. I just needed to carry the tray and find an empty seat to savour my meal. Although the food quality wasn't top notch, it was still a fulfilling meal. It was a cheap meal by Japanese standard.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Trdelník in Český Krumlov

If I were to choose a pastry that represents Czech Republic, I would undoubtedly answer: "Trdelník!" This unique sweet pastry is everywhere in Prague. The only difference between Prague trdelník and Český Krumlov trdelník is the way that they are sold. In Prague, they are sold in open stalls. In Český Krumlov, they are sold through windows.

If you want to buy the pastry, you just peep at the window and the shopkeeper will show up to serve you.

This is another shop that was always short of trdelník to sale during my visit.

When I peeped through the window, I saw the baker busy manning the oven, preparing freshly baked trdelník, popping hot from the oven.

Every single trdelník detached from the drum was immediately grabbed by the queueing customers.

This trdelník didn't stay long on the pile of crushed nuts before it went to serve the gastronomic journey of a satisfying customer.

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