Whimsical city

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The heart of KL City

The lights of Kuala Lumpur (KL) city would never seem to die down. 

I used to relate KL to only one thing. Traffic Jam. And more traffic jam. I'm a Petaling Jaya (PJ) girl at heart (having said that, my heart still lies with my li'l hometown, Sandakan which I shall always love to bits irregardless of whether I'll ever be going back to settle down) so the thought of driving to KL seems a pain in the arse to me. I mean it. A real pain. 

Henceforth, ever since I started my college in 2001 till landing a job up until this year, I have never stayed in KL city nor have I ever loved the idea of travelling down to KL city. I would never choose to work in KL city unless I have a fantabulous offer which is too ridiculous to refuse OR unless I own a nice, cosy studio apartment in the heart of KL city without having the need to travel for at least an hour to reach my workplace, both ideas of which of course still remain a dream as at today.

I think I started to pivot from my old perception of KL city starting this year. I told myself, "There must be something to love about KL city. Ok, ignore the traffic jam. Surely, there must be something."
One thing for sure. The busy night life in KL is something I definitely can't get in PJ. A drive around KL city does amazes me (again, ignore the traffic jam), the endless lights, the pubs and clubs bustling with a mixture of people having a good time. Although I have no complaints staying in the serenity hub of PJ, I do enjoy the occasional party-ing like madwomen and dancing throughout the night with my girlfriends.

One night, out of spontaneousness, I asked my dear Martian (I named him so as I think our acquaintance was out of the ordinary I-meet-a-new-friend-from-someone-I-know kind of situation. It was like he dropped to Earth one night from Mars and stumbled upon me, the human inkling) if he could bring me for dinner + drinks at Sky Bar. I told him I've never been to Sky Bar, Luna Bar or whatever bar that has a view of the KL city or with a swimming pool in the middle of it. That's how people who've been there described them. I think I've gotten responses like "Wut? You mean you've never been to Sky Bar or Luna Bar? (mouth slightly ajar as if in disbelief)" SO of course, he said yes.

the swimming pool in the middle of Sky Bar, Traders Hotel

I don't think a dip in the pool is allowed at this hour

It was a Monday night so we didn't book a table in advance. Hello, it's Monday? Of course there would be loads of seats. THAT'S what we thought. Turned out, it was full house! Mostly expatriates. So, we waited at the bar table with a bottle of red. Indeed, there's a swimming pool in the middle of the Bar with a row of cushioned seats by the one side and a row of high table seats on the other side. We were seated at the high table seats initially but we were eye-ing for the cushioned seats 'coz we would be able to get a good view of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from there. Finally, we got 'em.

Our view at the standing bar table while waiting for a seat

That's our view after we got our nice, cosy cushioned seat!
Well, I can't deny that I did Ooh and Aah looking at KLCC. It was quite a view from where we were seated. The lights were breathtaking.

The night was fabulous - great view, good company and with a bottle of red. Now that my Martian has flown back to Mars, I would have to venture KL city on my own or at least with my lovely fellow human inklings.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh, detox? Bring it on!

Okay, so I thought to myself: I am approaching 28 years old this year and the philosophy behind the concept of detox is still pretty alien to me. Never had I tried one or attempted to try one. Ever. 

That's how I led myself to sign up for the 3 days 2 nights (3D2N) Detox/Yoga Retreat organised by Surya Yoga at the cost of RM550.00 (despite the fact that I would be going there without a close friend and even so after my baby sister bitterly rejected my invitation plus sponsorship of her joining me in my endeavour of detoxing my rotting 28 year old body).

At 9.30 am on 30 April 2011, I (who gave myself the license to binge on steamboat buffet plus 2 servings of ice-cream the night before) was already at the centre, all set to face the 3D2N challenge. An hour's drive by Jo (I car pooled with my instructor because like I said, I didn't have a close friend who went with me) led us to Janda Baik. We reached House No. 183, owned by a very lovely lady whom we known as Pat.

The look-out point at House 183

The dining area

The stuff that filled up Jo's car

The porch, where we hung around most of the time

The colourful ingredients awaiting to be crushed and blended as our beverage

Day 2 began with an early morning outdoor Yoga session. Aaahh... early morning air is indeed the best! I was having problems with my contact lenses which I was frustratingly trying to keep them in my eyes without having them constantly poking my poor eyes at intervals. 

Okay, I was definitely NOT being vain about how I look. I mean, who even cared how I look there?? That's another bonus point to add during this 3D2N event - I didn't need to bother how I look or how I dress. At all. The house was only manned by 20 people, all of whom were ladies except a gentleman (who is the husband of one our instructors and also our tai chi master). That's one. And there were no mirrors for us to check on ourselves save for the small ones in the baths. That's two. 

Anyway, my NEED to wear contact lenses instead of my glasses was mainly due to the sake of convenience during my workout sessions. It can be pretty annoying when my face started to sweat and I had to stop my glasses from sliding down my face for the zillion-th time. 

I decided not to get hyped up over the failure of my contact lenses (given that I was at a retreat; I should fully relax, enjoy the greens and focus on my detox). So, I gave them up and surprisingly I felt comfortable enough to practise my Yoga session without contacts or glasses. Hmmm.. must be the greens all around coupled with the undying cool breeze that made me all zen. I sincerely believed so.

Early morning outdoor Yoga session

Our hearty lunch, that's the only solid food we had. The rest of the time, solid food was forbidden!

The zen moment. I could lie there and dream forever.

Our discovery a few kilometres down from House 183. The water felt amazingly cool. The one thing we wished were to take a dip there. Well, naked of course!

The view from our dining area. I wish I could capture how the trees danced and swayed in the wonderful breeze!

Hanie serving our "lunch" LOL!

Our fruit juice; we savoured every bit of it.

in the making of the 'mechanism' to cleanse our colon

ta-dahhhh, olive oil (+) lemon juice
The toughest part for me was the moment after I gulped down the olive oil lemon juice. This beverage was meant to cleanse our colon. Apparently, the "bad" food that we had 10 years ago may very well still be stuck in our colons. We were instructed to lie on our bed after the consumption for at least 20 minutes for the oil to set in. We, of course obligingly did so. 

My reaction could be summarised as follows:-

Pre - Excited plus a tinge of fear of what the taste would be like;
During - Not too bad, oily (of course LAH, I'm drinking OIL!) but thank God, the lemon juice took the dominant role;
Post - Felt like a minor storm raging inside my stomach and the juice gradually making its way upwards towards my throat. Tried to sleep it off.
5 hours later - Threw up. Not all of it, so I thought. I was pretty sure a good quarter of it stayed in my stomach to cleanse my colon. I tried my best.

my view while lying on my Yoga mat. I could lie on it and stare at the sky forever. I'm serious. The wind and the air were amazing.
My before and after achievement
At the end of my detox retreat, I lost 2.2 kgs and 2.1% of fats. Oh well, not too shabby huh?

But for me, it's not the weight lost that counts. It was the whole experience of a real retreat that made it worthwhile.

I was really glad that Surya Yoga managed to find such a lovely, secluded and zen place for us to get away from the city life that we are living each and every day. Even if it's just for 3 days.