18 March 2021

Thabal chongba, Nati, Dabke and other similar dances

I was going through YouTube videos and came across Dabke folk dances from the Levantine. I realised that there are some similarities with the traditional Nati folk dances native to the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in India. There are also similarities with the Thabal Chongba dance from Manipur and traditional dances from Greece. Nati from Himachal Palestinian Dabke Lebanese Dabke Kurdish Greek traditional dances Manipuri Thabal Chongba

08 January 2021

Reviewing Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brands

Have been trying out different extra virgin' olive oil brands.

Extra-virgin olive oil refers to oil from cold-pressed olives, not processed and often more expensive than regular olive oil.

So far I have tried 5 brands, namely, Filippo Berio (Italian), Colavita (Italian), Red Island (Australian), O' Forest (Malaysian brand but using Olive oil from Spain) and California Olive Ranch (American).

In the end, after the taste test (yes, we consume it raw) the clear winner is the Australian brand, Red Island. Really mild, smooth and delicious. 

It is also the most recently pressed 2020 as compared to the others which were cold-pressed in 2019. I am not sure whether it tasted better because it was the freshest. The others have a slightly more peppery after-taste. Supposedly the more peppery, the higher the antioxidants.

Let me know your favourite brand and why.

07 October 2020

Blogiversary 17 Years

My Blogiversary passed and I didn't even realise it. I started blogging on my ah ok lah blog on September 2003. 


That was actually 17 years ago.

I was still single then, much slimmer and had just joined academia as a lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Brings back a lot of great memories. 

I have not been blogging much recently but I plan to start blogging on a regular basis.

Happy Belated Birthday to my blog.

05 October 2020

Thinking about zombies

Yesterday, I was finally able to catch the final episode of this season's The walking dead, one of my favourite TV shows. 
I am not sure whether other people have thought about this as O know most watch it got entertainment, however I was thinking of the science. The only way to kill the zombies or walkers is to destroy the brain. Even though the show is now supposedly several years after the zombie apocalypse, there are thousands of zombies walking around. They are supposed to be dead and as we all know dead people will start decomposing, including their brains. The fact that they can walk and even tear apart stuff means that their brains are still alive, blood is still flowing and muscles are still functional, and can still bite. This is not really believable as the brain is among the first organs to decompose. If a few years, that is fine. However, to see so many zombies decades later is simply not possible.
In some episodes we can see zombies without the body and only the head hissing and moving the mouth. 
The explanation may be that the zombie apocalypse was caused by super microbes which take over the dead body and specifically the brain and keep it alive. Or alternatively a more credible explanation from a scientific point of view, may be nanobots released into the atmosphere which are now in the bodies of all human beings and which are activated once the body dies and they take over. 
I know this has been a slightly morbid post. However, I would love to hear your theories of you are a fan of zombie movies and still reading my blog. 

28 May 2020

Review of Kedai Kaki Lelong second hand store at Section 19 PJ

I strongly believe in the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and in the UK, I loved going to the car boot sales and all the charity shops in our locality in Coventry. There were lot of great deals on books and other stuff. 

I am currently working on a DIY project and need some speakers and decided to go to the Kedai Kaki Lelong second-hand store at Section 19 PJ. It is easy to miss as it doesn't even have a signboard. It is opposite the BHP station and near the Caltex. The address is:

4, Jalan 19/1b
Seksyen 19
46300 Petaling Jaya

I have been here a couple of times and have bought a few things. When I went there yesterday, there were not that many customers, probably because of the MCO and I thought I might get some good deals. I thought wrong.

Most of the stuff here is quite overpriced - for used items. There was some nice furniture but I was thinking that you can add a couple of hundred dollars and could get brand new ones. 

Anyway, I couldn't find a pair of good speakers I was looking for. There was a nice Panasonic mini HiFi system but I was only looking for speakers and the price of RM250 was too high for an old set. In the end, I decided to go for two computer speakers which were from different sets. I was about to pay and I think the lady there was unsure of the price and called somebody - probably the Boss. I was shocked when she told me that the price was RM100 for the pair of speakers - the old, small, dirty computer speakers. I offered to pay RM50 but she told me that the last price was RM80. With that price, I can get a brand new pair of computer speakers on Shopee or Lazada. 

In the end, I came back without buying anything. I don't think I will be going back again. If you are looking for used stuff and don't want to waste your time, I suggest that you look at Mudah.com. Lot more variety and numerous great deals. 

Can you recommend a good second hand store in Malaysia?

26 May 2020

Why do people buy expensive watches?

This is an updated version to an answer I wrote on Quora some year back.

Some asked why people buy overpriced watches and what's wrong with a simple Casio? Here is my answer:

There is nothing wrong with a simple Casio and in fact, the popularity of the simple Casio F-91W is an indication that many people still use the watch for utilitarian purposes - to tell time.

However, for many people a watch is more than just a tool for telling time, it is something that represents their personality. For them, it is a fashion accessory. They wear a watch as a fashion accessory. Something that goes with their outfit, something that enhances their overall look. They often have watches in different colours and materials to match the OTDs.Many have multiple watches - some which they wear to work, others for more formal occasions, others for sports and so on.

I know of people who save up and spend thousands of dollars on a watch which is several times their monthly salary. It may be a reward to themselves for something they accomplished - to remember an important occasion. For example, I bought myself an expensive watch when I got promoted.

Others use the watch as a status symbol, to show off: “Look at me! I am wearing a really expensive watch!" The thought that you have something that not everybody has, is quite appealing to a number of people. It can be a signal of who you are and what you have achieved in life.

On the other hand, I know several people - the so-called "watch nerds", who choose certain brands, which are quite expensive, because of the quality that goes into the making of the watch. This includes the materials used, the complications. They love the engineering and art that goes into the wristwatches, the overall quality - not just the movements but the polishing, the decorations on the movements which others can't see and even the straps. They also celebrate the heritage of the brands as well - waiting and searching for that rare grail watch, for which they are willing to spend thousands of dollars

In conclusion, there are numerous reasons why many people buy expensive watches.

Why did you buy your expensive watch?

15 January 2020

Review of the new Doughnut Macaroon bag

This is my first post for 2020 and one in a long time. I have decided to go back to something I have always loved - blogging.

Anyway, I bought this Doughnut Macaroon bag for my daughter. If you have never heard of this bag brand before, I don't blame you as I had never heard of the brand as well. However, this Korean brand is all the rage now apparently and it was my daughter who told me about the bag.

The bag cost me MYR347.77 on their Malaysian website, including MYR30.77 shipping - definitely not cheap. I had actually bought another one before from the Lazada site but my daughter was convinced that it was fake. I am still not sure and maybe I will do a review of that bag later.

The quality of the material is definitely good. One of the things I look for in a bag are the zippers and the zip on this bag does feel solid. It was available in a number of colours but my daughter liked this one called Wine (bo-he), which is a shade of dark red.

We have to wait and see if it lasts as well as some other famous brands such as Jansport. It is water-resistant as well.


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