Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Species Found, Country Rejoices

Subang Jaya - A mild explosion at a tire manufacturing plant adjacent to a science lab today caused a stir in the local community as hundreds fear that they have been exposed to a potentially mutative airborne virus that will in time, cause them to change into a creature very much in the same vein as the beloved Flubber. In a startling development that has left the country's top biologists and paleontologists baffled, on-going tests are being recorded as the country, if not the world, is on the cusp of discovering an entirely new human species.

The 11:53 am explosion occurred when maintenance engineers were called to Lot C of the Retreading Complex to help ascertain the extent of damages caused by a minor shutdown which happened the night before. Night foreman, Azahar Ramli, 35 said, "The new guy on the team was sitting on a beam right above the gigantic Rothenmeyer retreading machine having his supper and as he was doing so, his spanner slipped out of his tool belt and fell 10ft downwards right into the middle of two large gears so that would probably be the cause". Ramli concluded that as a direct cause of the gears being stuck, the machine's giant pneumatic press cartoonishly let out a wisp of smoke and copious amounts of till-then unknown alarms installed began sounding in a nerve-wracking unison. Workers immediately forgot their bimonthly practiced emergency drills and ran around in a comically astray fashion on the factory floor as some took the opportunity to engage in a poorly timed and ill received water balloon fight.

Middle management have yet to conclude why the new recruit was partaking his meal on the beam itself as the company had just constructed a new cafeteria for all workers and staff members. Our intrepid reporter dug up some employment records when questioning the man and it was revealed that the newly employed worker had just spent the last 6 years working on a construction site and was much more accustomed, as he put it "having meals close to the clasp of the good lord".

All aspirations for the good lord-filled life aside, the explosion happened just as the uber-advanced molecular scientific laboratory next door was testing out their shape shifting device. A spokesman for the company who declined to be name stated "Last night our A-team of physicists gathered to test out a prototype machine which we have been working on. The team leader, for whatever reason, decided it would be best to try and disintegrate a car tire and turn it into rubber nipples, to be sent to Bangladesh because they have milk bottles but unfortunately the shipment of rubber nipples have been indefinitely shelved." As the mishap occurred, vials of biological-molecular matter exploded and evaporated into the air and the scientists in attendance immediately began showing symptoms of rubberdegeneratylitis-melium, a rare disorder long thought to only exist in the mind of comic book writers.

Many complained of taking the shape of things which they came into contact with, especially when sitting in chairs, using the toilet for defecating, driving, and that they only feel comfortable in a cool, air-conditioned environment.

Richard Hwa, assistant team leader issued a statement at a rushed press conference in which he said "Last night, our team leader, through sheer indecision and having the thorough judgment of a boiled carrot, decided to carry out an unstable molecular experiment, in which this most horrid outcome happened. I only hope that in time, our children will be able to forgive us for turning them into shapeless lime green amoebas very much like those in the 1996 Disney movie Flubber." The regretful scientist then hung his head in shame as perturbed protesters began passing around rotten cabbages and tomatoes.

As the media of the world ascend onto this story, conspiracy theorists have voiced outrage that this is in fact, a top secret, government funded project and have warned that this sort of unregulated testing is only the tip of the iceberg. When bombarded with questions regarding the matter as he was leaving the recording studio, avid covers-only artist and occasional Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was mildly surprised at all the harsh questioning the reporters directed at him. He then duly crossed his arms, looked dreamily into the sun-lit sky before one of his minders prodded him in the lower back with a cattle prod, sending the bemused leader into a salivating frenzy and ushered into a waiting sedan. Later in the day, his offices called select media outlets for a special news conference on "Flubbergate".

Before the news conference itself actually began, press and media were handed slimy lime green fliers that read "Are You Ready For Change?" and at the bottom, in large metallic fonts were printed the sinister laughter "Nyuk, Nyuk Nyuk". Within the flier itself, a personal traffic revamp plan drawn up in crayon by Najib outlined new ways in traffic control. He stated that the nation's traffic lights now run on 6 different colors and that their sequence is as follows. Red...then...teal...purple, yellow, back to red again, down to baby blue, back up to teal purple then finally green. He also added that it was subject to change as and when he saw fit. After this bizarre media junket, the peculiar leader decided to field questions from the comforts of his bedroom via video conferencing as his favorite cat Kittles Fluffington was having a "very bad boo-boo day and doesn't want to play". After smirking at his own private joke and busily pulling the covers up to his chest level, the leader, decked out in a conical sleep cap, stated that we needn't fear these green rubbery entities as they truly are an amazing gift from parts unknown. He stated "Ladies and puppies galore, we are truly here in this day and age on the verge of welcoming new brothers and sisters into our fold, I stand before you unafraid and I have even composed a poem which I hope will touch them in their translucent, heartless gelatinous bodies.

Oh such brightness your green yields
A new hope for country and nation,
I am so happy when running in fields
Come now, please give them a radio station,

Stretchy and bouncy they might be in appearance,
Stand tall and proud as your blob legs allow,
I may not come off as having coherence,
But with bursting pride I will say for now,

Let us roll and bounce with abundant joy,
From 57 and beyond, a name known through the lands
Restrain not with exuberant shouts of " boy, oh boy!"
1Malaysia and a 1000 species, as this poem hits newstands!

As he finished his poetry recital, the leader made his way on to the stage and unveiled that he had spent the last 3 hours receiving infusion treatments to change his lower body to become a kind of pioneering man-flubber hybrid. Parliamentary officials have come in unity to support the move and clarion call by the leader who whenever not lulled in an almost drugged reverie, had always encouraged his men to lead by He-Man's example. Najib's Twitter post for the day read "Ladies, allow me to introduce myself...Masculine Gelatine Love Machine"

The Ministry of Health has issued a statement proclaiming that the Flubber incident isn't an accident gone awry but an opportunity to show the world that even with mutants in our fold, the 1Malaysia concept holds true and strong in the face of adversity. Soft, green, jellylike adversity.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tad Lo: The Hidden Gem of Lao

Just a quick recap, i started off in vientiane, headed to luang prabang and back to vientiane before grabbing a sleeper all the way to pakse.

after our less than impressive experience in luang prabang, we decided  to give viang vien a miss, those “i was in the tubing viang vien” t-shirts were more than enough of an indication of what to expect from the place.

after reaching pakse, we headed out for a little village on the boloven plateau – tad lo.

we found a nice little place called mama paps, who offered us rooms by the river for 20,000 kip a night. money very well spent.

mama pap's huts by the mekong

if laos should be known for anything, it’s waterfalls.

The Mekong Fallhidden waterfall in the jungles of boloven plateau

if you ever wondered what it was like to live in a farm, then tad lo might be the place for you. the wilderness of tad lo may not be for everyone, but for a traveler longing for the peace and quiet that the locals enjoy on a daily basis, this was a welcome retreat from luang prabang. i did get into an unfortunate accident, which ended up costing me ALOT of money, but it was well worth it.


One of the define highlights of the area are the locals, super friendly and sometimes super quirky. Also, if you’re lucky, you might run into a bunch of wild kids running around naked with rubber tires, but like the infamous irrawady dolphins, you’ll have to keep your eye out for these:

Naked Lao Tire TribeCheeky Mekong Kids

We were treated to beautiful sunsets that turned the sky into a beautiful patches of purple and orange.

A Purple Sunset

i could wax lyrical about tad lo the whole day. but all in all, tad lo was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Luang Prabang: Overpriced and Overrated

Coming from Vientiane, we headed to luang prabang, how we got to luang prabang from vientiane deserves an article to itself. Traumatic, that’s probably the only word that my mind can conjure when the thought of that bus ride occurs.

An Overview of Luang PrabangThere were two buses heading to luang prabang, one express and the other VIP. the price differential wasn’t significant, but wanting to save some cash so that i could extend my travels, we took the express.

It should be noted that the price of fuel is extremely high in Laos and that you should be prepared to pay up to US $20 for a 4 – 5 hour bus ride. the cost, by no means, should be any indication of the comfort you should expect.

Bus on the way to Luang Prabang breaking downThe bus broke down a few kilometers out of luang prabang and we ended up having to take a tuk tuk into town. Ok enough about the bus ride, i should’ve been expecting something similar to the sort but i guess civilization has spoilt me for the road.

The town of luang prabang is nice. Great for walking around and soaking in the french architecture and temples that reside in the town.


Luang Prabang's very own Beatle BarHowever, the essence of luang prabang’s tourism is the waterfalls that reside on the outskirts of the town.  the most amazing of which is kuang xi waterfall.

We took a tuk tuk to check out all the waterfalls around the town, because my travel buddy couldn’t ride a bike. Talk about a downer.



Tad Sae Waterfall

Woman helping me to express how big Kuang Xi Waterfall actually is

Kuang Xi Waterfall

All in all i spent 4 days in luang prabang, it wasn’t the greatest experience i’ve ever had on the road, but i did enjoy it. It should be noted that luang prabang is a mainstay on almost every tourist in laos and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to give the place a miss. however, it should be noted that somethings a popular for a reason and kuang xi waterfall certainly merits a visit if you don’t mind japanese tour buses and noisy white guys roaming around town with beerlao in hand.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vientiane, the capital of laos and a contender for cleanest city in south east asia

contrary to popular (jeremy’s) opinion, laos is not full of cannibals running around with spears in the nude. Laos, well the capital anyway, seemed to be developing along nicely along with the rest of south east asia. take away the reckless drivers, the aggressive people and the insurance salesmen of kl and you’ll find yourself in something similar to vientiane. of course, laos was holding the SEA games this year, so it could be plausible that the whole thing was a facade for tourists like myself.

my first stop on my trip to laos was to vientiane, taking a 3 hour flight from kl, i got there early in the morning.

initially, the plan was to head straight to luang prabang which is to laos what ang kor wat is to cambodia. but i didnt manage to catch the earliest bus out and i had to wait for 6 hours before i could catch the next one.

which ended up to be a good thing, because it gave me a chance to check out the city

Anyways, here are some photos from my stop at vientiane.

A walk to the Pha That Luangthe vientiane bird ladythe entrance of wat pha luang

Temples and palaces are popular hang out places for students over in laos, this place was called wat pha luang. Inside the gates of this temple, lie the most important Buddhist monument in laos. also, it’s the place where my friend lost her umbrella.

the other photo is the bird lady, RM 5 and you can release the birds. the birds are trained to come back afterwards though.

 Patuxay Park  vientiane, from the top 

Lao’s answer to the disney castle, you can climb to the top and check out the view, it costs USD $2 to get to the top though.


anyways, i took tons of photos so i’ll upload them when i can.

it’s good to be back!

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