30 November 2009

Island-hopping to the Prince of Wales Island

An Island, secluded beaches, a close encounter of the second kind, riding high the tidal wave and baked my feet in the sandy-golden sand were some of the attractions that really awaken my restless soul recently. I am a strong believer that this kind of activities and place are always a good place to unwind oneself from the hustle and bustle of a big city madness. It is also a splendid place to put away dark episodes of my life, if there is any, behind. I am always captivated by the island tranquility, sheer crystal-clear water, gentle but salty air that blow on my face and its total isolation from the civilization.

Recently I found this heavenly sanctuary unexpectedly just a peek away from my doorsteps. Yes, Penang was also known as The Prince of Wales Island once, by the British colonial . More than 200 years ago, Sir Francis light declared to the world that he was the founder of this island. I am a little bit confused and skeptical though. I am sure this island was roamed earlier by Pak Pandir and Mak Andeh way before the British know how to build their ship. As usual and more often than not history is written by the victors.

I've always thought Penang is full of nasi kandar, pasembok and few mamak trading spices from Kerala. This was however turned out to be another version of urban legend as I found out later. A recent social trip and a short break to this beautiful island in the North with a group of OIC delegates has revealed some of the hidden treasures this island kept for centuries. Well at least from my little knowledge.

One of the many interesting places we visited while on this island was Pantai Kerachut. It is situated at the North East of Penang island and not very far away from the tourist-infested beach of Bt. Feringhi. This beach is one of the few beaches in Penang where you can spot the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), where between June and July they they will come ashore to lay their eggs. The abundance of algae around this island has lured this beautiful creature to frequent this isolated beach. To go there from the main entrance of Penang National Park you have two options. You can either walk and do the 1-2 hours jungle-trekking along the trail (this trail will lead you to other interesting places as well - Monkey beach, old Muka head light house etc) or take a 30 minutes jolly-boat ride. As most of us (excluding me :) are quite veteran, the boat ride seem the best option.

It is advisable to bring our own food and drink as there is no shop or restoran nasi kandar operated on the beach. You can of course eat turtle eggs in the hatchery site if you has the appetite for it, but this of course is not allowable. You can camp on this beach too but you are not allowed to have a camp-fire ala the new year eve as this will scare away the turtle. With all the restriction, even the tourist are scared to spend longer time on this beach.

To me this island and its beaches are so surreal. Unlike a virtual one I normally embraced in the blogosphere this island metamorphosed into a montage of sense, gesture and a moment utterly unfamiliar to my conscious mind. At serene moment like this, word is pretty much unnecessary. Nothing more left for me to do cause I am totally lost of word so I surrender and just let the photos do the narration.

The entrance to Penang National park, a gateway to Kerachut beach. For safety reason, visitors has to register with the office (app. 100 m from this gate) before embarking on any journey, jungle trekking or other fun activities in this park. This park is huge and I like their concept of keeping the surrounding as natural as possible - which is what the national park is for in the first place. This place was formerly known as End of the World - the name of a popular restaurant that used to operate on the site.

This peaceful jetty where nature lovers and eco-tourists take their boat ride to their blissful journey to the paradise. On a normal sunshine day, the Kerachut beach will take 20 - 30 minutes boat ride from this jetty. We took slightly more than 30 minutes to reach our destination. You see, scientists are curious creatures by nature, they will investigate everything that fancy their eyes even the floating "selipar Jepun".

This is one activity you have to avoid at all cost if you are classified as a hydrophobic. Water won't repel you until you start to learn the secret of its surface tension and able to walk on it. My newly-found friend from Senegal, Dr. Malick (standing with great poise) just about to learn the nature of water and later almost wet his entire pants in the process.

If you look close enough, this rock resembles the head of a crocodile. There are many more similar sighting like this along the rocky part of the island, especially on the way to the Kerachut beach by boat. I was told, these natural rock formation were caused by the tectonic activities and larvae flow of the volcanic eruption in the vicinity (didn't know long long time ago Malaysia used to has her own Volcanoes - no wonder many are still living in the Jurassic period, backbiting each others)

An invasion of the first kind. We finally landed on this beautiful and isolated beach after a smooth boat ride. The guide told us that tourist seldom comes to this spot, making this Kerachut beach an ideal place to rest one's soul.

As it is out of their breeding season, I can only catch this stuffed green turtle on display in the hatchery center on the beach. Just like their close cousin the leatherback, the best time to spot this magnificent reptilian live in action is between June and July each year.

Unlike their nemesis, the mamalian of the first kind, these turtles seems know how to read and respect the signboards. They don't smoke in the non-smoking area and they will give way for you if there is zebra crossing around.

24 November 2009

Humanity is dying but we are here to save the world

For the past two weeks I have been struggling very hard coming to term with the fact that it was the Iranian shesh kebab that finally saved human civilization and world population from a nuclear doomsday. It seems that the cheese-eating Westerner got so fed-up with their dairy eating ritual and turned into a kebab fanatic so much so they just say bye-bye to MekDee cheese burger, take everything for granted and treat every Muslim as their good neighbor even when the Kurds in Iraq are pointing the fart-sensitive nuclear warhead through their letter box. Peace to the World!

If not because one of the group members laughed so loud, which I am sure hyenas in the savanna will be extremely jealous, my mind almost got twisted and folded into thin layers trying to absorb this shocking revelation. Of course it was just a joke anyway. Another dry joke when you've got nothing to do and the only poor being to be killed is a short time between tea breaks. Contrary to a popular belief, apart from being a dungeon keeper, scientists got some sense of humor too.

So there was me and a bunch of twenty seven odd senior scientists, science managers, Vice chancellor of universities and senior representatives from fourteen OIC countries attending a two week S&T management course in KL recently. That also explained why I was being MIAing and temporarily hibernating from this blogging community. In fact I am still having a sore shoulder from actively rubbing my upper limb with the members of the Arab leagues, former KGB retainers, our tempe-eating neighbors and descendants of Kublai Khan from the Central Asia .

This course was a good eye-opener for me. Not only that I got some good networking and some foreign currencies to satisfy my craze in collecting world's denomination, I also realized now that the Muslim scientific world has been sleeping too long under the hypnotic mind of Western capitalist. Our mind has been so corrupted to the extend they own our soul. Some even dare to challenge the course of nature in their endeavor in chasing after personal glory. Some inadvertently play God and breach our closely-guarded human and intellectual ethics.

There are still so many grey areas in the Muslim scientific communities and many loopholes need to be patched up. Politic and politics are a big no and wrongly mixed up with sciences will turn into a lethal concoction which only spell a disaster. Good scientist doesn't mean one can becomes a good manager or a visionary leader. Most of us were trained to think so straight they can't even differentiate between a virgin donkey and a virgin olive oil. Many who rise above the rest , by hook or by the book and sit on the pinnacle of the organization may end up ending their carrier as a merely seat warmer. This could be the effect of spending many hours deep-freezed in their dark labyrinth during their glorious days.

I hope my conscience is clear and God lead me to the right path in carrying out my duty. Scientist as many other God's creation should only serve in bringing good and happiness to the mankind. Never to open a pandora box. Once you open it, you'll become a Frankenstein or worst still Dr. Jackyl and Mr. Hyde.

Under the watchful eyes of those rubber trees from the 1981 Amazonian germplasm expedition which later planted in Sg. Buloh, the scientists has vowed that the world population especially int he Muslim circle has to be increased by limiting the usage of latex condom when practicing intimate exercise in their bedroom. It is quite an ironic as latex is considered a sacred toy by a playful kid so as a horny adult - talking from a different perspective.

Trees are just like human being. You nurture them, pamper them, they will be very happy and give you back in return generously. Human capital is very important. It is one of the organization biggest investment.Trying to ignore this fact, the dinosaur era will knock on your door sooner that you might think. You'll extinct!

Our government is working very hard in closing up the gap in the ratio of scientist per population. These scientists, unperturbed by the the raising figure find it very calming to rest in between digesting the effect of phenylglutaramilaminasylphophataselalaningalactoglucanamilosephenyllyphenyl and dozed off into oblivion. The government sent them for a two weeks off from their laboratories, but they rest and slept for the rest of their life Oh-I-Seeing around.

Looking through this 3D Stereoscopic glasses for a virtual reality presentation during a Proton visit in Shah Alam has made me wonder whether our scientific endeavors has really made us closer to the Maker. Now you can find and have a transgenic rubber tree that produce pharmaceutical properties (insulin, vitamin E and the list is endless) as their by product apart from latex.In the future you don't have to go far, whenever you lost one of your legs in a friendly football match that turned sour, just pick up one from a chimeric rambutan tree nearby and Voila you got back your body spare part.

I have been in a regular close encounter with the people who sit on the ivory tower. I have always thought that these academicians have a different mindset from the rest of our nerdy species in the laboratories. Ever since, they work very closely with the public and address issues pertaining to the need of the masses. The Malaysian scientists on the other hands, work closely with the politician addressing the need of a small constituent.

These scientists got fascinated by the wonder of rubber seismic bearing on absorbing the impact of earthquake when installed on skyscrapers or buildings in earthquake-prone areas. Some building can vibrate and resonate up to a couple of Gs. I thought our scientist should also consider installing such a wonderful gadget on our bed too as the aftershock may invariably happen in some of Malaysian bedroom. Some unquoted sources reported the Gs could reach up to the magnitude of earth-shattering10.

There are so many things to do in yet so little time. Scientists of OIC has bigger tasks ahead and one of their responsibility now is to take on the bigger challenge by confronting the Western scientific domination head to head, with strong faith and bring back the glory of our past which was started by our Muslim scholars.

09 November 2009

The second Haiku

Hujan lebat 3 hari
Satu Kelantan dilanda banjir

05 November 2009

Walking in a full circle

Little did I expect to come and travel this far. The mysterious and borderless cyberspace known as a blogosphere which seems very remote and strange to me at first, is now becoming a wonderful and lively playground occupying my past time activity (Even though past time is becoming very rare and scarce each day, this past time is considered as one of the precious commodities to the urbanites, the other one is probably their credit cards). This is a place that stores many wonderful stories, brilliant ideas and colorful experiences.

At times this place can oddly transform into a crowded virtual territory densely populated with colorful dwellers sometime lost in their own fantasies. I too sometime got dragged down deep into this endless and dark labyrinth and dozed off into my own oblivion. If it is not because of my true conscience that become my savior and brought me back into this earthly reality, I would have been melted in front of the LCD screen or lost somewhere in time.

One full year has past since I first started to scribble down and translate whatever thought that stuck in my mind into these readable columns. Frankly speaking this cyber journey was never planned or even dreamed of. Actually it was transpired by a departure of a close friend to the Kiwi-land who embarked on a journey to find his true divine spirit. He then started to share his foreign adventure in a blog and gampangnya waikato was borned. I was invited to read his blog and later became truly fascinated and got inspired by his exciting quests and his heart-shattering stories. Even though his blog didn't survive very long and succumbed to a premature and unsuspecting death, my fascination continued and mutated into an obsession. I have to thank him for this.

Along the way, I managed to give life to my own blog and prolonged its existence despite the fact that my own official diaries are still having many empty pages staring at my face - which in away is a bit contradictory but not very surprising at all. Unconsciously my blog keep evolving into an open diary shared by ghostly life forms of which at the latter point become a real life acquaintances.

It was a journey well beyond my imagination, worthy of all the trouble and many sleepless nights. I have achieved what I initially hoping to get from blogging. I feel some sense of accomplishment if not pure and sheer satisfaction. The least is I am feeling good and cool - that's what matter most.

The constant taping on the keyboard has at least wet my writing appetite and flourished into a good habit especially during this time of the year when annual report, scientific article and other unnecessary paperwork are breathing hard down my neck.

Perhaps the most satisfaction of all is the opportunity to come face to face, in real flesh with all the virtual friends and get to know each other in person. Thank you everybody. Thank you my ex-virtual buddies. Thank you all, those who are still lurking in the dark, wherever you are for making my life more interesting. Virtual gestures in the blogosphere are no more a freaking hallucination. Now let me continue with my predestined destiny and get myself deeply seduced into this blogging underworld.

I write...I found them... and I know they exist.

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