wacky google toolbar translations

•May 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment


From Utusan:

Bisik-bisik mingguan Awang Selamat = Weekly secret secret Awang Selamat

Cuit = Squeaking

Zaid kaki… = Zaid feet…

Melayu tak sedar diri = Malay unconscious

 Perpaduan senipis kulit bawang = Solidarity as much as the onion skin

UMNO yang panas dan mendebarkan…masih ada belum selamat = UMNO heat and stir…still not safe

Kaum Iban dapat ‘ole-ole’ kerajaan = Iban can ‘ole, ole’ government

Putar alam = Turn the world

Kopitiam vs mamak = Revenge vs mamak (what the hey?)

Putaran ganas = Rotation violent

Akhirnya siapa betul? = Finally one is correct?

Kisah Khairy dan Rafidah = Philippine story and she (???)

Gerai Utusan jadi tumpuan = Utusan booth so concentration

Tembaklah seramai mungkin = Tembaklah widest

Wajarkah Projek LCCT Labu? = Should the Project LCCT Pumpkin?

Perak lingkup yop = Silver scope of yop

From Harakah:

Semua terbongkar – Anwar = All exposed – Anwar

Ingin menjadi lelaki perkasa!!! Klik di sini = Want to be a Mighty man!!! click here

Zaid pernah saman saya = Zaid had my suit

Apa salahnya berdoa senja hujung tahun? = Why not call the end of twilight?

Miliki kilang arak dan judi, Malaysia negara ‘Islam termaju’ = Factories have alcohol and gambling, Malaysia country ‘Islamic art’

and the best bits for last:

Tok Guru oh Tok Guru, siapa yang kena sepak? =

Oh Tok Tok Guru Guru, who is liable to soccer?

Sudah dipotong, tapi masih panjang = I still have a long cut


food review: al-andalus

•March 7, 2010 • 3 Comments

allow me to be frank here: no matter how much i try, i have never quite managed to get used to arab food (and middle-eastern food at large).   

this probably has something to do with the fact that mid-eastern food and i have had an ugly history together. granted, there have been some pretty good moments in my relationship with arab fare. i credit ezanee with introducing me to the unlikely wonders of hummus. (really, who would’ve thought chickpea gunk could taste so good?) the somali chaps at ali café used to make some luscious and very fattening arab rice, and the various gravies and stews that came with the rice was absolutely ravishing. (all that rich food was a major factor in how i gained my potbelly.) when you were breaking fast during ramazan you could appease your hunger just by downing a bowl of their deliciously simple barley porridge with a wedge of lime. and their basboussa ranks very high on my list of the best desserts ever created.   

yes, there have been highlights. but my history with arab food has overwhelmingly been one of guilt, shame, and unpleasant after-dinner incidents. like the time when i ordered arab-style spaghetti at this place in bukit bintang. in my naïveté i expected some tomato or cream sauce, but what i got was a clump of snake pasta drizzled with olive oil and bits of coriander. that was it. nothing else. (i don’t remember if i finished the whole plate.)   

and so it was with a feeling of slight apprehension that i tailed farah to this restaurant in the jalan ampang area called al-andalus. she had been waxing lyrical about the wonders of their shisha all week, so in the end i just went along.   

so what did we order then? well, we had this for our starter:    

not bad, but they could use a little more spice.


they tasted pretty ok, and by ok i mean “inoffensive”. not drab or bland or flavourless, just..not bad, with lotsa room for improvement. i don’t remember what these are called, but if you want to give them a try, there’s a picture of them on the menu, so just point that out to your friendly immigrant waiter.   

for the main course farah had the lamb kebap, served with flat bread and a side-order of veggies. she liked it (since she didn’t need much help from me, hehe), but i must say i’ve had some better kebaps in my time, not least the one at sinbad in ss15 – another cool arab restaurant she introduced to me.   

as for my main course..lamb tajine with prunes and almonds. tajine is north africa’s answer to the western casserole dish. at first things looked promising..my food arrived sizzling on a clay plate covered with a pretty lid that looked like a tudung saji. but again, i will spare you all pretense and declare straight up that i did not enjoy it. not one bit.     

here is the monstrosity for you to ogle over. it’s the half-finished earthenware plate on the left:    

somebody get a doggie bag. and i don't mean for takeaway.


and so i bit into it. i wish i hadn’t.    

it was sal-tey! in fact it was so full of sodium i almost gagged at the first bite. i wish i could say the lamb was a redeeming factor (you could break it up with your fork alone, that’s how tender it was), but alas, this dish was beyond redemption. the softest cuts of baby lamb in the world wouldn’t be able to salvage your dining experience if you drowned them in a vile, bubbling brown sludge which probably contains more salt in it than the entire Dead Sea. not even the tart sweetness of the prunes could balance out the saltiness. i normally make it a point to at least try to clean up everything on my plate, but i gave up on this one the moment i felt my cells shrivelling up from hypertonic dehydration.so much for the food.   

to be fair, the place does have its perks: it occupies a quaint old house in the middle of ampang, with terrace dining available in the garden. the shisha (we ordered bubble-gum and mint) gets your buzz going, and the drinks which accompanied our meal (the traditional arab mint tea + an orange-peach mix for me) were pretty ok.  

well, that’s that. now comes the inevitable grading.  

food: 3/10. you already have the idea.   

ambience: 6/10. it’s humid and unbearably sticky both inside and outside the restaurant, despite the presence of air-conditioning. but you’ll probably forget about the heat once you’re high on their shisha smoke. that’s some potent sht right there.  

service: 4/10. there ought to be a law that makes it compulsory for foreign waiters to learn basic malay/english. “eat finish first, come back.” huh?    

final verdict: 4/10.  

all said, it’s a good place to shisha and chat with friends over a cup of good mint tea after work. just skip the lamb tajine.  

but if you really want to give it a go anyway, for gosh sakes tell the waiter: “easy on the salt, ya akhī!” 


jalan damai, off jalan ampang,

kuala lumpur. 


reading between the lines

•February 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

the following is an actual excerpt (selective, of course) from a contractual instrument i came across while browsing through some documents:

“(XYZ)* Joints shall mean…a joint between two pipe-like male and female members…connected together…of which the tightness is assured or increased…by deformation of the…male member forced outwardly by the internal…female member.”

uh, yeah.

i wonder how the directors ever kept a straight face when they signed the contract.

*actual brand name has been changed to protect privilege. and many red faces.

why i don’t celebrate valentine’s day

•February 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

according to tradition, valentine’s day is a feast day in honour of some christian saint who went by that name.

fine and dandy. i have nothing against valentine’s day on the basis of any religious significance it may carry. come on, our family has christmas turkey almost every year. we don’t see it as a celebration of christ’s birthday, but rather as a once-a-year opportunity to put that delicious bird on the dinner table. =)

i digress.

no. the main reason why i never go out anywhere on valentine’s day is because i believe it is unethical for chocolatiers, restaurateurs and florists to ride on the back of people’s emotions and make a killing.

love is not a commodity. crass commercialism dilutes what it really means to love a person.

think about it: why do you buy someone candy or flowers? because you want to show your affection towards them? or because cultural mores oblige you to show your affection towards them on a certain day? were you being sincere when you bought that 200-ringgit bunch of roses? or were you allowing yourself to be suckered into it?

yes sirree. no valentine’s day for me. if i want to love my woman, i will love my woman on my own terms, not because it only happens to be the 14th day of february.

oh, nuts. who am i kidding?

okay, okay..maybe a more practical reason is because farah flew to penang for cny holidays. without me.

happy now, afifah? =P

to she who inspires. =)

•May 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

“yes, mam’selle – to you it may seem strange that a man can stare into the pit of hell without blinking an eye, yet will quiver like the last leaf in an autumn wind when it comes to affairs of the heart.”

“it is strange, monsieur. it perplexes me so.”

“but you must never blame him, mam’selle, if he stammers in your presence, nor if he blushes like a ripe provençal strawberry, nor even if he says naught at all. in truth he has a million words he wishes he could say to you; yet those words somehow only rest shy upon his lips.

“it is not because you vex or dicomfit him. rather it is because he is overwhelmed by your magic. it is a magic whose power far surpasses any force he shall ever encounter in his odyssey through life.”

– jérôme d’artois, afternoons with adrienne

been a while, eh?

•March 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

hey people.

first up, let me apologize for not being more diligent in updating this blog. (i just started work, you see, and have been busy. you’ll read about it in the next post.)

actually, i did sketch out a draft post commenting on the recent comedy in perak, but i later abandoned it when things got too ridiculous.

in passing though, i think the sultan (or whoever was in charge) should have called for fresh state elections rather than allowing barisan nasional to seize power through underhanded – and downright sleazy – methods. if bn is as strong as they say they are, then why are they so afraid to take it to the polls? mps and aduns are public servants; let the people decide for real who they want for their reps. governments are not formed through defections. (by the way, the same goes to you, anwar ibrahim.)

so that’s that for current politics.

next entry.

when all else fails, you cook. =)

•January 17, 2009 • 4 Comments
hello, dear reader.

this post came about due to a combination of several factors:

1. i found the camera back, after a year-and-a-half! yay!

2. i had too much time on my hands.

3. my brother zul/baby and i were hungry, and he’d been begging me for some time to cook him his favourite dish.

4. i’d been so dry out of ideas to post in this blog, that in the end i just said to baby, “ah, what the heck. let’s do a mini-cooking show while we’re at it.”

so yeah, today i’m going to be your virtual chef and show you how to prepare:

lamb shoulders with orange-and-mint sauce

stuff you’ll need:

 4 prime-cut lamb chops (shoulders, in our case)

4 prime-cut lamb chops (shoulders, in our case)

 3 oranges

3 oranges


mint leaves, chopped to make 1/4 cup (these are freshly picked from the garden)

mint leaves, chopped to make 1/4 cup (these are freshly picked from the garden)


1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup vinegar


2 tbsp of plain ol' sugar

2 tbsp of plain ol' sugar


3 tbsp butter/margarine/veggie spread (here i use canola)

3 tbsp butter/margarine/veggie spread (here i use canola)


1 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp cornstarch


mr. salt and miss pepper

mr. salt and miss pepper


modus operandi:

1. grate the rind from one orange…

grating our orangeorange rind

and squeeze the oranges to get 3/4 cup juice.

tangan hantu

2. melt the butter in a griddle, then toss in the lamb chops and cook over a medium flame till they’re brown. season liberally with salt and pepper.

five minutes on each side for medium-rare

3. meantime, combine the 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup orange juice, sugar, and orange rind in a saucepan and heat over a low flame for about 5 minutes.

sauce in the making

stir constantly, but don’t let it boil or else the orange juice will taste a little ‘off’. mix cornstarch with 2 tbsps water, then pour into the sauce to thicken it. turn off the heat, then stir in the mint leaves.

here’s a closer view of the orange-mint sauce. pretty, innit?

closer up

4. drizzle the sauce over your lamb chops and serve with butter-boiled broccoli and baby carrots.gobble away!

bon appetit, dear reader!

all pictures are credited to baby. =)