Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Jailbird From San Fran

San Francisco - the hilly city. I remember watching some movies about San Francisco, and saw Anne Hathaway struggling to drive uphill on her stick-shift car, and also Cameron Diaz shaking her booty to get to her apartment, all the while dancing and a shakin. San Fran is indeed the perfect city to stay fit - IF you have the dicipline to walk and not drive.

But one of the movies that stuck to my head was X3 - The Last Stand. The X-Men fought Magneto on Alcatraz Island, which housed a maximum security prison - also featured in The Rock with Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage. So i was super excited to receive this cute, flexible guy from my Baby Sister...

And this classic license plate magnet,

And of course, this one from Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco.

Sigh.... what satisfaction....

Surprise, Surprise!!!

My good friend Anne who lives in Kuwait gave me an email via Facebook one day, and said that there's a package coming my way. So i waited, and waited, and waited.
I was sitting in the mini-meeting room at my office with my colleagues, vetting an exam paper, when the lovely Azie called my name, saying that a package was delivered for me. I jumped up, practically threw the paper i was vetting on the table, and ripped the package open (almost used my teeth at one point!!). When i saw what was inside, i jumped up and down like a little girl, and put a complete halt to the vetting session, showing the items off.

There was these 2 gorgeous magnets from Dubai

This wonderful polyresin magnet from Iran

And this classic Hard Rock Cafe magnet from Kuwait!!!

Thank You Anne!

The vetting went on, but i was too busy testing out this cool pen that Anne sent me, which has a built in lightbulb to help one write in the dark. And i spent the rest of the day daydreaming about arranging my newly acquired magnets on my fridge!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Houston, We Have A Problem!

Such a cool line isn't it? I love it! And i love this NASA magnet my baby sis bought for me from Houston!
Houston, as far as i am concerned, we don't have a problem!

Howdy Cowboy!!

Remember Dallas? I was always a sucker for J.R. That cowboy hat of his... oh so macho!
My baby sister Wokanna went to Texas two years ago. She got me these magnets. I have to say, these could be the most adventurous magnets i've ever gotten. Wokanna was literally caught in the middle of Hurricane Ike during her trip. In the middle of Ramadhan. She was at the airport, only to find that all flights have been delayed. They were closing the airport down. The electricity was gone. She and her colleagues were rushed off back to the hotel - stopping only to get bottled water and some very basic sustenance.
She sat in her dark hotel room for 4 days - without electricity. Thank God the water supply was still available. Thank God for iPods, and a fully charged laptop to charge it with.

So she came home from her adventure, and brought me these.

An Austin Peanut

A cowboy hat from San Antonio

A very convincing Cow Skull thingy

An awesome CowHide Cowboy boot from Houston

An awesome Hard Rock Cafe magnet from Houston

And a very beautiful and artistic Hard Rock Cafe magnet from San Antonio
I appreciate these, more than i can ever say. With all the things she went through during her trip, these little beauties are worth so much!

Forgotten And Found

My baby sister Wokanna travels a lot for work. She is an expert in packing. She can pack without planning, and still would not run out of clothes or packed too much. So a few years ago she went to LA (where she got me my gorgeous Hollywood magnets), came back, unpacked, presented us with souvenirs, and that was it.

About a month ago, she found this magnet in her bag. After God knows how long. Thank God magnets don't go bad or expire.
Isn't it the cutest? My very generous baby sister (who i love to death, by the way), is an expert at packing. I didn't say anything about UNpacking.

A Very Dramatic Episode

My Ma went for a holiday/Umrah package last year. She brough back some very nice magnets for me from Turkey.
There's a beautiful flip-flop,

A very fragile and beautifully carved Blue Mosque (one of the minarrets broke in the bag)
And a very delicate porcelain mini saucer with a stunning view of the Hagiasophia.

The tiny plate was on my fridge door and fell when i'd accidentally slammed the door closed. It hit the floor and broke into 7 pieces. The Drama Queen in me showed her ugly head and i literally sobbed as i picked up the pieces and superglued them back together.

Just another day in the life of a magnet lover.

One Day. Hopefully.

We see more and more impressive buildings built every single day. One always more beautiful than the other. The minute someone builds the tallest building, another pops up to take its place. And of course, people from all over the world would flock over to see it.
Of course, i am always impressed by these buildings, and of course, i wish to see them one day. But there is one particular architecture that i really, really hope to see someday - albeit my self doubt as to whether or not i deserve to see it in my lifetime. It's not the tallest, or the most grandeur, but its the one i wish to see the most.

The Ka'aba.

I got this as an exchange from my friend Anne.
I bought this beautiful lazercut version in MPH.
I face it 5 times a day, and yet i can only see it on TV and visualize it in my head. I really hope i get to see it one day, God Willing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seeing Doubles

I've been to London several times, but i have to say, i wouldn't mind going again. And again. Some ask me why i would want to go again. I've been there. Why would i need to go again? The Red Double Decker Bus will always be the Red Double Decker Bus,

The British Underground will always be the British Underground,

so why would i want to go again?

Well, there's always something new to see. It's the same, but it's different.

So when some people ask me why i would need to have several magnets of the same sceneries or items, i tell them the same thing - well, the items may be the same, but it different!

Take this magnet for example. It's one of the Queen's guards. A bear in a bearskin hat.

This one is also of a Queen's guard - but this Queen's guard is not a bear. AND there's the Tower Bridge in the picture.

This one has the Tower Bridge too. But it also has the Eye of London, St Paul's Cathedral AND the Big Ben.

This one is of the Big Ben only. It's 3D, it's intricate, it's beautiful.

And this one is the Big Ben AND a policeman! Helloelloello!
See? Nothing wrong with having more than one magnet of the same item. The more, the merrier!

From Ireland With Love

I have a school friend who lives in Dublin. I didn't know her that well when we were in school, but somehow reconnected on Facebook. When i found out she was coming home for Eid, i swallowed my pride (i've learned that sometimes you just have to pull on a thicker set of skin to get your collection going) and asked her if she could get me some Irish magnets, as i don't know anyone else from Ireland.

When she arrived in Malaysia, she gave me a call. When we met, she showed me three pieces of magnets.

An Irish Poem

An Irish Shamrock Leaf

An Irish Flag

I sat down and struggled to choose one of the three. They were all stunning, but i didn't want to hog them all. She saw this, and pushed them all my way.

"I only bought these three. These are all yours".

I was stunned, and touched. Even more so when she pushed my purse back into my handbag when i offered to pay her for them.

Thank You Nana. I don't know what to say. I'll remember this. I owe you one.

No Cameras Please!!!

Ever since i watched the Oscars for the first time, i was hooked. I would watch all the stars get all dressed up, all glamourous and ridiculously perfect in every way - walking the red carpet. Ahhh.... the red carpet. So glamourous! I would imagine myself walking such a carpet, with reporters clawing each other to get my attention, and cameras running out of batteries (cause they couldn't stop snapping my pics) and the most handsome star in a very expensive tux (Brad Pitt? George Clooney?? Ah... so hard to choose!) by my side. Swoon......

Then i woke up and i was in my pajamas on my grotty carpet, my phone alarm blarring away, the lights flickering, and my fat cat Tabby snoring away beside me. Dang!!!

So when my beloved Wokanna went to LA for a work thing, she brought home some pieces of Hollywood for me.

See, i may not be a Hollywood star who earns thousands per second, but......

I have my very own star on the walk of fame...

I even have the much covetted star in the shape of a guitar... (from Hard Rock Cafe, no less!)

AND i have an OSCAR!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess i am a star in my own way....

Thank you baby sis, for these magnets! I love them!

Hello?? Anyone There??

If you think of London, you'll think of a few red things - the double decker bus, the soldier in the red uniform with the bearskin hat, and of course, the red telephone box. I like those red phone boxes so much i once spent all my coins calling Malaysia for 25 seconds just so that i can say i've used one of those things before.

This colourful rubber magnet was a birthday gift from my officemate Azie. See? It's easy to buy gifts for a magnet lover!

And this 3D phone booth was a gift from my beloved cousin who lives in the UK.

Such a trademark - these cute booths!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Dutch Experience

While visiting the Netherlands a few years ago, i noticed something very interesting about the houses. They were narrow, built high up, and are super close to one another - despite having separated from each other over time. I mean, you actually see houses that are together, but have cracks between them, and yet they still stand strong. I thought that was both unique and beautiful.
I guess it's these little details that makes us the one and only!

A "Tourist" in Malacca

A few months ago, my office had a family day at the very famous A'Famosa Resort in Malacca. It's about an hour's drive from my house. You'd think i go to Malacca all the time right???? NOT!

The last time i went to Malacca i was in primary school. So this time, i was determined to take it all in. I dragged my hubby all over Malacca town, to see the A'Famosa,
and of course, to Jonker Street. It's HEAVEN!!! From the way i shopped you'd think i'm some foreigner who lives at the other end of the world!
Malacca is indeed historic. It's the home of our very own personal hero, Hang Tuah.
It is also where two cultures became one, and the Babas and Nyonyas were born. Chinese in origins, with the Malay culture incorporated in their lifestyle.

What a diverse society we are! Am i lucky or what?

From a Fairy Land Far, Far Away

My cousin went on a holiday in EuroDisney. She came home and brought me this magnet. Put a smile on my face for days! I guess the Fairyland do have magical powers after all!

Thank You Kak Na!

Home Alone.. NOT!

A few years ago, my parents and sister went for a holiday in Vietnam and left me all alone in Malaysia. Well... i'm married, and live with my hubby in my own house but somehow i became quite childish and sulked at the fact that my family were all in Vietnam and i was here.

But then they came home and bought me magnets!
See? It doesn't take much to console me, or any other magnet lover for that matter!

A Souvenir From Ana

My friend Ana came to my house one day, and was overwhelmed by the amount of magnets i have (she must not have met that many magnet collectors - my collection was much smaller then). A few weeks later i received a text from her asking for my address. Her brother came home from Germany with some magnets. I'm touched that she would remember my enthusiasm for fridge magnets.
Awwww... so sweet... thank you Ana!!!

A Very Historic Island

I got these magnets as a souvenir and a trade from 2 good friends of mine who live in Kuwait. It seems the farther you live from a certain place the higher the possibility that you would have souvenirs from it.

The last time i went to Langkawi Island was a good 20 years ago. The island is indeed legendary.

There's a very famous lake called Tasik Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maid's Lake) on one of the surrounding island of the same name. It is said that women who have problems conceiving would bathe in its water, and would be with child soonafter.

Langkawi has some of the purest, most beautiful white sandy beaches - once named one of the World's Best Kept Secrets.

But the real reason behind its fame is a fair maiden. Langkawi was said to be the home of one very beautiful Mahsuri. Her beauty caused her to be the heartbreaker to many. When she'd eventually married, some jealous man waited until her husband went away to war before accusing her of adultery, and somehow managed to influence her sentencing to death. When the sentence was carried out, white blood flowed from her chest - signifying her innocence.

A Heroic Little Boy

I remember following Ah Weng, our tour guide through the cobbled streets of Brussels, through sweet little shops and restaurants, with mussels from Brussels being offered to us along the way. Ah Weng did not have an easy task. Leading a group of pensioners and their children through crowded streets full of souvenir shops and intricate lace stores (and having the lady pensioners stopping every five feet to gawk at laces and souvenir plates) was daunting.

Turn after turn, after turn, and i was about ready to give up (i'd seriously thought he'd lost his way), we turned a final corner, walked to the end of the street, and there it was. The Manneken Pis.

A heroic little boy whose story has been told again and again there are several version. My personal favourite is the one where the boy spied on some enemies lighting a fuse to some explosives in the city. Seeing this, the little boy ran to the fuse as soon as the enemy left and peed all over the fuse, extinguishing it.

Manneken Pis is Dutch for "Little Man Urinating" (Wikiledia, 2010). Now this little hero pees eternally.

The Dying Lion

A few years ago, i had the opportunity to visit Switzerland as a language chaperone (aka translator) for my Ma. We spent a night in Lucerne, and saw the magnificent Lion Monument - a carving of a dying lion carved right into a wall, its body pierced with a spear, its paw protecting the French armour, with the Swiss armour beside its head. As i understand, the carving was made in honour of more than 700 Swiss soldiers who died while in service of the French King, King Louis the 16th. It was a moving experience, to see the magnificent animal dying, but all the while protecting the King it served. Just goes to show what loyal warriors the Swiss Guards were.

"The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is."

– Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880 (Adapted from Wikipedia, 2010)

Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti (To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss)

Our Pride and Joy

Being a part of a small, developing country, we are always very proud of what we have. Among them, our Petronas Twin Towers. Once the tallest buildings in the world, it is now the third (i think...), but remains as the tallest TWIN buildings in the world.

Malaysia Boleh!!