Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wild Geeks Hashing

Since the day I bought my mountain bike on June 12 2007, I have been very busy cycling. (Everyday I made it a point to cycle at least 11km or more to build up my stamina.) After watching Wild Hogs, it inspired me and George to start a "Wild Something".

By June 26 2007, the Wild Geeks Adventure club was formed.

With the formation of the Wild Geeks Adventure Club I have been very busy hashing with the guys. The first trip was to the Rubber Research Institute and there were only three of us - George, Daniel and me.

By the second trip, which was to Batu Dam, there were 7 of us - George, Daniel, John, Azril, Izaini, Ken Wei and me. We hope to get more people to start cycling and hashing with us.

I have gone on three MTB hashing trips and they were all fun and exciting. The joy was to be in an unknown place not knowing what is down the road or the trail, or around the next corner.

Thanks to Daniel and Azril, I have some photos of myself on our last hashing trip to Batu Dam (view GPS photos on Google Earth here).

Photos by Daniel:

Photos by Azril:

I had just completed a trip to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) with Joe and Azril yesterday - July 21 2007 (view GPS photos on Google Earth here). And now, we are already planning another hashing trip for next Saturday (28th July).

George proposed and planned this next hashing to the Lata Kijang Waterfall, Negri Sembilan. The Lata Kijang Waterfall destination is not exactly a MTB route. It's famous more for 4WD and there are a lot of 4WD 3D2N tour packages to the falls, with tour activities such as spending an evening in the orang asli village.

Hopefully Micol and Ken Wei will have bought their bikes by then to be able to make it for the trip; and also Henry and Jason, fellow MTB adventurers whom I met in FRIM, will be able to make it as well.

Here are some information about Lata Kijang Waterfall:
For more full reports of the Wild Geeks hashing trips go here:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Batu Gajah - Hakka Chee Cheong Fun

I want to write again about my trip to Batu Gajah on June 16th. I want to share with you a story about the Batu Gajah Hakka Chee Cheong Fun, which I discovered during that same trip.

The story began in 1970s, when I was still in primary school in a small little town in East Malaysia in Sarawak called Miri. I spent about 15 years there doing my kindergarten, primary and secondary schooling until Form 3.

My mom would buy us Chee Cheong Fun from the Miri wet market for breakfast. That was my first ever encounter with this delicacy. My sisters love it and we would fight to get more than our fair share each time.

My second encounter with Chee Cheong Fun was in a Dim Sum Restaurant in Vancouver, Canada. The texture of the Chee Cheong Fun was smooth and silky, unlike the ones I had when I was in Miri. There were fillings of prawns or minced meat enfolded inside, giving them their respective flavors. However, I could not help thinking about those Chee Cheong Fun I had back in Miri and found myself longing to go back during that time.

During this last trip to my wife's hometown, Batu Gajah, we were sitting in the living room when my wife's aunt shouted, startling all of us. In the Hakka dialect, she said, "The Chee Cheong Fun guy is here. Get your husband to go out and call the guy to stop so that he can try our Hakka Chee Cheong Fun."

She has just heard the Chee Cheong Fun seller riding pass on his motor bike blaring the horn at regular interval. So, my wife quickly got me up from watching TV and hurried me to go chase the Chee Cheong Fun guy on a motor bike, I dare say. What's wrong with her... how was I to chase a guy on motor bike, I thought to myself. Besides, I was watching a real good show on TV (which for the life of me, I could not recall the show's name now, senility???) and was not amused.

When I got out to the streets, the guy was no where to be seen. Of course, they would not let it go at that, "Go and find, go and find. Use my father's motor bike and go chase," my wife said.

Not wanting to cause a scene, I relented and rode the motor bike out in hope of finding that Chee Cheong Fun seller. And of course, like all normal married couple, my sweet wife directed the search.

Finally, we caught up with the seller in front of a house a few blocks away. Some lady (obviously) had flagged him down and she was buying some for her family.

The Chee Cheong Fun - There were the plain ones (almost sold out in the other compartment) and the ones with "dried" prawns embedded in the Chee Cheong Fun.

The seller packing 5 packets of the Hakka Chee Cheong Fun for us.

The man and the tools of his trade.

I ate a serving there.

I asked him how often he drives pass this neighbourhood and what time of the day. He pointed to the back of his motor bike and said, "The only way to be sure I come by is to call me by this number."

"Cool!" I thought. I will definitely do that whenever I get back to Batu Gajah.

Now, the reason in the beginning of this posting, I wrote about my Miri Chee Cheong Fun and Vancouver Dim Sum experience, was that this damn Hakka Chee Cheong Fun in Batu Gajah tasted exactly like those I had when I was a kid a lifetime ago!!!

Of course you know there is nothing like that first time experience.

Of course you know I had to benchmark all Chee Cheong Fun with the Miri ones!

Of course, the Batu Gajah Chee Cheong Fun brought back so many memories.

Of course, I will go to Batu Gajah for that Chee Cheong Fun! I am home!

(Btw, I was back in Miri in 1984. I searched for that Chee Cheong Fun in the wet market and was told that the seller had moved.)

Bangkok Luang Road

Went to Bangkok on July 1st and stayed till 4th. As usual, the food was great. But the highlight of the trip was bicycle accessory shopping.

We had an appointment with our partner's client around Luang Road in the Thai Chamber of Commerce. For those uninitiated, Luang Road is the Mecca of all the car and pickup accessories in Bangkok. So needless to say we were looking forward to the end of the meeting.

Being polite, we had to go lunch with our partners. But as soon as it was over, we practically flew to Luang Road and went into accessory hunting mode. One of my colleague was looking for Mitsubishi FTO accessories. Another and I were looking for mountain bike accessories.

We were pretty successful in finding the bike accessories but with no success for the FTO. I managed to get my headlights and a "cyclocomputer" as the manufacturer puts it. The "cyclocomputer" is actually a speedometer that has other functions that keep track of total distance traveled and trip distance, etc. It is called the Cat Eye - Velo 5 model... the lowest end model... LOL. But I am very happy with it... :-)

Luang Road and it's vicinity are just great. It is a bazaar made for men!!! All the accessories, machineries and tools being pedaled in the streets and shops were unbelievable.

My big regret is that I did not take any photographs!!! Can't blame me as I was too excited... LOL. Well, now I have an excuse to go back there again... :-P

But I did take some photos of the other places of Bangkok in the spirit of "Where 2.0"... LOL. Have a look if you like:

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