Thursday, August 30, 2007

NUS dreamin'

Lots of things to blog about, but not enough time to write.

Anyway, I had a weird dream early this morning. Dunno why, dreams are usually weird. This is one of the few that I can remember... and even now, the memory of it is quickly slipping away. Better jot it down before I forget.

I somehow found myself at the National University of Singapore which happened to be in Jurong (weird?). I think I sneaked in, and I was wearing a fluorescent reflective safety vest, like those that construction crew wear. Next I remember, I was sitting in a lecture hall, listening to an Indian guy delivering a lecture on some ground-breaking innovation (can't remember what). He was very lively. After the lecture, the whole hall erupted in applause. I looked around and saw that the hall was only half full, with mostly Chinese Singaporean university students chatting in Mandarin. Then I walked out the front gate. Later I returned because I had accidentally taken something (I think it was a football) which I had to return. There was a group of students playing football at the entrance, so I just passed the ball to one of them. Then I walked away. And I woke up.

So, there you go.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Georgia Aquarium

Get the photos of the Georgia Aquarium here!

For more pictures and fish ID, visit the VibrantSea and ReefImages links on the right -->

Or just do an online search with your favourite search engine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Assam Laksa Atlanta

There was a Chinese-looking guy sitting right at the back at the workshop in Atlanta. The workshop sessions were rather business-like, and there was not much interaction between the 50+ participants, except those who sat near each other. So, for the first three days of the workshop I was wondering where that guy was from. I figured he wasn't from China or Taiwan, based on his accent. He spoke differently from the other Taiwanese-Americans. And the spelling of his Chinese name just sounded so familiar... So I finally went to introduce myself to him on the fourth day, and guess what, I found out that he is a Malaysian living and working in the US. His name is Francis. He was born in Kuala Terengganu, grew up in Kajang, but is now firmly rooted in the US because he likes it there. The only thing he misses is Malaysian food... and durians. I later found out why he settled in the US. He is married to a Kazakh woman. They met while studying in college in Oklahoma, and are now living in Arkansas with their two young boys. On a related note, he can't stand the corruption and inefficiencies of the Malaysian government, so he left, but still maintains his Malaysian citizenship. (On the flight back from LA to KL, I also met another two Malaysians with US green cards.)

In true Malaysian fashion, Francis belanja'd me dinner at none other than the Penang restaurant, about 6 miles north of downtown Atlanta. He had been eating dinner there everyday since arriving in Atlanta. Apparently there are much fewer Asian restaurants back home in Arkansas, so he had to satisfy his gastronomic cravings as much as possible while he could. Earlier, I had planned to eat some really local American Southeast cuisine for dinner that day, but since Francis had a rented car, and offered to also take me out for a jalan-jalan tour, I ditched the local food and joined him for Malaysian food. How ironic. I had assam laksa, which tasted very authentic. For dessert, we had ice kacang, with real gula melaka, but no santan. Still, it was more than passable.

Heading north on I-85 out of Atlanta

On the road, 6 lanes in one direction.

The noodles were a bit too chewy, but the overall taste passes the test.

Dun play-play, Atlanta also got ice kacang. Better than some KL ones.

Inside Penang

4897 Buford Hwy Ste 113
Chamblee, GA 30341-3667
Phone: (770) 220-0308

American Civic next to the rented Rio. Georgia requires licence plates only on the rear of vehicles.

Then we checked out Lenox Square, which is the premier shopping mall in Atlanta. But it still can't beat the monstrous Mid-Valley Megamall or 1-Utama in size.

A walk along one of the swankier parts of suburban Atlanta

After Lenox Square, we walked over to Phipps Plaza, which is even posher, hosting only branded high-end boutiques. But I went there to use the washroom.

The outside of Phipps Plaza

Atlanta skyline at night