Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Finding Paradise Part 1


I have heard a few horror stories about my neighbors being robbed at night and in clear day light. The thieves, armed with sharp parangs and acid tongues, were unafraid to pry open pagars and doors, and harass families for cash and jewelry. Thank God that none of the neighbors were hurt, but you should look at their faces. You can feel from their eyes how such events have completely disrupted and changed their lives. As a result, more solid steal pagars are raised. Security alarms are placed. Their children now play indoors. Security is everything.

This is exactly what is happening to a tiny island known as Bali. And this is incredibly unfortunate.


Before my holiday in Bali, my perception of the place has always been Paradise. My friends, who visited the island many times, described how incredibly friendly the people are. Everything, from oil paintings of rice fields to ornate wooden sculptures, are dirt cheap. Gorgeous branded hotels deck the place, and the lulur body scrubs and spas are stuff of dreams. But when I told my colleagues that I will be going to Bali, the first thing they said was, "Aren't you afraid?"

Apart of me was. It is no secret that Bali was bombed twice by terrorists that have killed too many locals and tourists. Should my pals (Len and Shob) and I go then? Well, I had to. I bought the tickets already. I have renewed my passport. My boss have cleared my leaves. All I kept telling myself, as I sat on the MAS airplane, was to completely have no regrets.

When I first saw Bali from the plane, I held my breath. You had to. Because it is that amazing.

Almost Virgin

When the plane touched down and my friends and I scrambled out, we were greeted with the airport which was pretty much similar to the one in Subang. But what was different is this: a huge, decorative wall carving and a Balinese garden with a deep, dark pool. It was slightly mystifying, but I kept telling myself that this must be the commercialized version. For God's sake, it was in the airport!

Me like

My friends and I carried our heavy bags and lined up to let the immigration officers clear our passports and bags. When walking towards the exit, Len whispered to me that an immigration officer asked him whether we knew Nordin Mat Top. And that's when I paused for a second, maybe even for a two, and then walked out the airport with a quiet air of caution.

But I did not have to. When the taxi driver knew we were Malaysians, he cried out welcome, got our bags and us into his taxi, and cheerfully detailed the places to go and the history behind buildings and statues that passed us. As I laughed and ooh and aah at the taxi driver's version of Bali 101, I whispered to my heart, I am in Bali! I am in Bali!

And Bali whispered to back to me, well duh!

(To be continued...)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Muddy on What's Sexy


Note : Have been incredibly busy with work. Currently powered by andreline. Beginning to scare myself how efficient I can be as well. But, anyhow, been itching to write something on blog. Here's something inspired by a witty column in Details.


1. I love the look of well-kept skin, especially when you touch it. I think skin that glows and feels like silk is a major turn on. And if it smells like any of those fruity lotions from Body Shop, you will definitely hear me growl.

2. There's something incredibly sexy with women born with long legs. I love the fact that those blessed with these assets are unafraid to show them. Love how my stare will start from their well-pedicured feet and continue upwards. It's like a long journey towards better things.

3. It's downright sexy when a woman claims that she can't cook actually cooks you something. The food is not important. What sizzles right is how she's willing to try something new.

4. I think I naturally repel against women who thinks they are hot. Self-confidence is sexy, but over-indulgence, well, not my type of cupcake. I am more naturally drawn to those that have some little insecurity. It's more natural, more relatable, and that just oozes sexy.

5. And talking about food? Well, I find Thai food explosive. Spicy is key. And yes, anything Mediteranean. The mixture of olives, fresh vegetables, and seafood makes me go ga-ga any day.

6. Yellow or red sport cars are major turn offs. Go black. It's classic and mysterious, which is undeniably sexy.

7. Dark-chocolate music from Sade and Maxwell gets me into the zone everytime.

8. A smile. Especially sincere ones. And if it follows with a laughter, a definte big bonus.

9. When you follow a friend to Ikea and you tell yourself NOT to buy anything, but only hours later finding yourself at the counter holding scented candles or some thing-a-majig in your hands, that's so not sexy. Impulse shopping is a definite no.

10. Impulse holiday, on the other hand, well, that's sexy. Like the one I will be going to next week. ;) Bali, here I come.