Thursday, November 30, 2006

Petaling Street

We were down in Petaling Street recently to do some shopping. Petaling Street is actually a tourist attraction where you can shop and bargain hard for a favourite "Prada", "Gucci", "LV", "Mont Blanc", etc, etc. You get the point. The quality is surprisingly good, imitation has come a long way in the last decade. I remember when I was back in '94, Calvin Klein would be spelled, Kelvin Kline, or something to that effect. Today, you wouldn't be able to tell unless you seriously inspect it.

So, I got myself a new set of sunglasses ... "Prada" baby! Yeah, I know, they're like Paris glasses, but I love 'em.

You can also get your share of movies, anything you want, here. It's funny because there will be cops coming through once in a while and all you see is these stalls dispersing quickly, and once the cops past, they all come back out again. This country, I tell ya! Here is a video of cars trying to get by some movie stalls.

There is also your share of yummy snacks everywhere!


Most of the time, we usually go to the nearby coffee shop to pick up lunch. Malaysian coffee shops consist of a seating area with many stall vendors around for you to pick from. The coffee shops are open to the outside and are usually very hot. They do have fans everywhere (some with mist!) but this only helps so much in M'sian humidity. So, we pick it up and go home to eat in A/C comfort! :)

The choices are usually quite standard. There is the Chee Cheong Fun stall (check out the video of putting CCF together), Laksa, Noodle Soup, Fried Kuay Teow, Chicken Rice, Wan Tan Mee, Nasi Lemak, and at times, the buffet style stall. Sounds like a great deal of choices but after eating there almost everyday, you can get tired of it all. But, we will be missing this food soon after we leave I'm sure. It's extremely tasty, and best of all, authentically Malaysian.

Monsoon Season

While we've been in Malaysia, we've been lucky enough to be caught in the monsoon season. What does that mean? Rain, big drops of rain, lightning and at times, earth shattering thunders every single afternoon. Luckily, we're usually in the apartment when this happens so we're safe and sound. Even then, watching it from the windows still freaks me out sometimes!

Here is a video of one of the many storms we've been through.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The new toy!

After much humming around, I finally gave in and we went shopping for another new gizmo for our trip. Ian had hinted at it in his recent blog. We went shopping for a new point and shoot digital camera a couple days ago!

Don't get me wrong, my DLSR has served well to this point but there are times, many, when you just want to whip out something small and discreet, take the shot and move on. Taking a DLSR out just attracts too much attention sometimes. So, after much research and narrowing down the multitude of options out there to about 10, we headed out to the electronic paradise downtown with spreadsheet in hand and did the hands on, practical test of all these cameras.

My biggest requirements were small and fast, and of course, decent quality shots. Everything else would be an added bonus.

So the 10 cameras on my radar list were:
1. Sony T50
2. Sony T10
3. Sony W100
4. Sony W70
5. Samsung L70
6. Ricoh R5
7. Pentax A10
8. Pentax S7
9. Nikon S7
10. Nikon S8

Soon enough, I was down to the Sony T10 and the Sony W70. The T50 had touch screen which was cool but not practical. The W100 had lots of features, but useless since I'm buying this camera to be fast and easy. The features come with my SLR. The Samsung was no where to be found, apparently there is no demand for it. The Ricoh has a 7 times optical zoom! Amazing but again, not what I was looking for. Never tried the Pentax A10 (had received bad reviews) and the S7 had terrible slow response speed when taking photos. Both Nikons were so so but nothing really sold me on them.

So, the Sonys. I was surprised it was narrowed down to those two since I was never a real fan of Sony cameras before this. But, both the T10 and W70 had for the most part what I was looking for. Compact and fast. I had read that the T10 was pretty good but had not so great quality in low light situations. The W70 had great reviews all around. So which one did I end up picking? The T10!!! Why you ask? Because it looks sooo coool. :D I know, it's sort of a shallow reason to pick it but it wasn't solely based on that so it's ok. :)

I've been playing with it a bit and I must say I really enjoy using it. I love the fact that you can turn it on just by pushing the front slide down. Fast. Movie quality is decent and you can zoom in and out while filming! I also really like its size. Fits in my pockets and is quite discreet. Really, really happy with the purchase!

Here is a photo of our latest addition all in white!

A non edited shot of Chilli in low light conditions. Colouring is a bit off but otherwise okay. Yes, he sleeps ALOT!

A macro shot of Chilli in daylight conditions. Great details!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quoted on the Maglev

While we were in Shanghai testing out the Maglev train, a student approached us asking if she could interview us about our experience with the train. Sure ... why not. :) She told us she was interviewing many tourists and wanted to get some good quotes.

My brother told me recently that this article has been published on the internet. You can check it out here. Looks like we were the only tourists interviewed, or maybe I just had the best quote. :) Unlikely. But I do remember her getting very excited when I said "I think the whole point of riding the Maglev is to go fast, even if it costs a lot." Anyways, enjoy.