I am also a strange breed of human (Ehem.) that can get bored of human interaction but not time to myself and that makes "People" think by homeschooling (I mean un-schooling but that's even harder to explain what it is to people that ask "What school do you go to?", After that I would have to give that long speech/lecture about it and they all end up having that "Question mark" look on their face that never fails to make me laugh.. I have a feeling the "Question mark" face is from my bad explaining...) I am anti-social (Oops! Am I?!) and I... Lead a boring life?
Oh sugar, how did I end up talking about my "schooling" life? Okie! Back to the subject!
(Ehem!) The adventures of Carrot Guppy Egg, Swathy Sawadeeka (Sawadee-ka= Hello in Thai.), Machika Nakajima and Basil Tea-ah Blooregard (One flavor of tea I would never try.).. Mysterious moosick*
Right.. Where was I? The first visitor since our "Move in" was Machika the International youth exchange student from Tokyo, Japan that we can only host during the school holidays (We hosted her in March, here's some posts I posted (DUH.) about her visit in March: Sand Castles and Origami Cranes) and we first met her in December during my last cupcake booth in Shangri-La) because she has to attend a public Malay school in TEMERLOH! (Poor her..)
I invited Swathy, my ex-next-door-neighbor to PD as well, she arrived a few days after Machika.
Our adventures (Not in that order... I kinda forgot what happened when since we were busy almost everyday!):
Korean Pop (One of the most important things Machika has influenced me with.):
*Note: Listening to K-pop right now with Thea (She is the Blooregard in the title of this post.. I CAN'T believe I actually got HER, of all people! Addicted too! At the moment she LOVES SHINee's Ring Ding Dong, just like Swathy, vierd.). Have been SUPER addicted to them, I have a feeling that I have been listening to it every single hour, wait MINUTE of the day. Yeah, it's the lastest "music phase" I am going through I suppose. Don't worry it will probably go away soon like Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias and Lady Gaga did!
On the first night Swathy arrived Machika put her Ipod and introduced us to K-pop (Let's see... I only know 2 K-pop groups, Wonder girls and Super Junior (Super Junior's "Sorry Sorry" washing hand dance is kinda stupid doncha think so?)..., Wonder Girl's Nobody is quite good but other then that I find both of the groups quite dull, I guess cause I don't understand Korean, eh? or maybe just because I don't bother trying to listen.) Probably everyone else in Asia does too, my K-pop knowledge was pretty close to zero!) , it's funny how she never showed us any "Solo singers", they were all in groups and I was surprised how many members were in one! The minimum was 5 and it goes up to 13... Scary.
Machika likes quite a few groups, To name a few: Tohoshinki, Bigbang, Girl's Generation, 2Minute (I think there was a 4Minute too...), SHINee.
I remember Machika introducing me to Girl's Generation during the December cupcake booth, I didn't take much interest (I FOUND it hard to appreciate a song in a different language I guess...) in it but they seem to have gotten more "interesting" this time round.. Hm.
A list of my favorite K-pop songs (Not necessarily in that order. Where did I remember hearing that sentence from?):
My #1 favorite of all time! (This was probably the first Korean song Machika played on her Ipod during the cupcake booth! Can't believe I thought they were boring at first...)
Goosh they are so cute! (They seem so cute and bubbly, unlike those I usually listen to. By listening to them in the morning I think I have developed a positive attitude for the entire day..) Wide open eyes bulging out face*
We (Me and Thea.) found a dance tutorial for this last night (We were going K-pop intense research, shhh!) but I think we will never EVER succeed in dancing to this ever. Let alone in 3" high heels (Or were they taller?) and skinny jeans...
Note*: Never try lyrics version of this song or ANY other Korean one. You would probably not be able to read them (Even though though they are in English not that Korean thing.) since the words are super long and... weird.
Their next song should REALLY be called "Em", that way you get "Oh Em Gee"!
This song is fine, not as good as "Gee" though, what do you think?
RUN DEVIL RUN-Girl's Generation
A song even worst then "Oh" (I hate the black and white clothes, takes all the cheerfulness out of them and they aren't them without their colorful clothes... The day after hearing this video, actually the "Gee" one, I actually wore my pair of PINK shorts thing and... Tried other things to make myself look Koreanese. Smiley face*) but very useful if you need someone to run faster.
RING DING DONG-SHINee
When I first listened to this song I kinda DIED from laughter (Actually because I couldn't breath and my tummy hurt.)! 100% You will too! How can you not when the song is called "Ring Ding Dong" (It's actually "Ling Ding Dong" since they sing in that Korean accent..) and they look like a chicken with all that feathers and... THAT leg thing they do during the chorus and that "Fantastic Elastic" part, I still do not get they are trying to say...
Man they are amusing, one of those song that never fail to make me laugh!
This song is probably on the same rank as "Gee".. Maybe more now. Grin*
Found a dance tutorial for this one. Didn't succeed. I think I was close though...
They wear BRIGHT pink lip stick (it's scary...) in this one...Gosh, they are amusing...
Today.. I finally can different shade who's who in the "SHINee" (The name's girly too, blinks*) group:
Tae Min-The guy with strawberry short cake hair (He always looks so cute and baby compared to the rest!) in this video and is the youngest, 17.
Onew-Scary smile guy with long hair. Shivers*
Key-The one that looks like Adam Lambert. S'more obvious in the "Ring Ding Dong" video.
Okay, I guess I don't really know the names of the other two but I got them nicknames!
Orang Utan (I didn't come up with that name I SWEAR! It was Swathy!)-The one with the enormous eye bags and the one that has messy (Orang utan-ish) hair in the "Ring Ding Dong" video. Love his rapping, to me his is more interesting than M&M's. Never liked rap but love Korean, I mean his rappin' in "Ring Ding Dong".
Blonde dude (Didn't come up with THAT name too! Thea's fault! Also referring to the video above, I thought this was supposed to be the description of the "Hello" video but... Never mind!) AKA The-one-that-looks-the-best AKA "Chong Heong" (Pour oil, as in that praying oil lamp thing in Cantonese, learnt that word from my Gramma.) That how his "Actual" name sounds like, I find Korean names and words kinda hard to remember.
You must be wondering why I didn't do a group introduction for the GG, the problem is I STILL don't now who's who yet, there are 9 group members for heaven's sake (I am not talking about that Japanese alcoholic fermented rice drink that has to be drunk hot.) !
Korean Karen (Try saying that 50 times, fast!) Signing out!
Machika LOVES shopping AKA She is a shoppoholic, like me only I only shop like once every 5 months and before Chinese New Year (That's one of the reasons why I LOVE that time of the year.).
I have mastered keeping the shopping temptation away but Machika kinda broke the darn wall I put up, sheesh.
Oh well, she needs sooomeeoonnee to accompany her when she shops (We both enjoy shopping for the same thing, accessories not clothes. Tis' nice to have found someone who does! And is a bargain-holic as well, woo hoo! Too bad she lives a few countries away... We were discussing about opening up a henna and accessories, she says the accessories here are SUPER cheap boutique on some very famous-shopping-street-in-Tokyo-which-I-forgot-the-name in 2 years time then use the money to go backpacking around the world or just around Japan and Korea and... Attend some concerts!) right?
When our family hosts Machika I always feel super guilty, I think it is that feeling that those-people-who-are-never-happy-with-their-weight get when they eat too much sinful food. It's like I enjoy myself TOO much, we go out almost everyday (Not just to shop but I guess we shop half the time.), do fun/interesting stuff.. Sigh!
Wish we could have hosted Machika for a longer time!
KLCC.. It seems to be our favorite shopping place since we went there twice (We only went shopping trice I think.. Twice in KLCC and once or was it twice too? In Jonkers street, Melecca.), once during the first time we hosted her in March and another time in June.
I personally dislike that shopping mall because of the lack selection and the sky high prices, it's the only place (In Malaysia) that has those rather "Crazy" branded shops, once during the second visit there we walked into a rather normal looking shop (Since there was a 50% sale sign on the front door.)... That sold a t-shirt for RM 1500+, that was one scary walking-into-a-shop-experience.
It was originally planned that it was just me and Machika going shopping for half the day (Machika was supposed to go to KL because she had to attend my Dad's Rotary meeting in the evening and her chauffeur has to follow.) at Pyramid or Midvalley (I was looking forward to go to Midvalley since the day before we were talking about "Papa Bread", my favorite (And only place where I eat.) cream puff shop that Machika also liked but she likes some very weird flavor and I like the plain chocolate one. JEEZ! My mouth is wateringggg....) , my two favorite places that were SO close to our PJ house.
But Mommy followed and naturally the boys as well and the places we wanted to go to weren't "Kid friendly" so "POOOF" went that plan, sob.
Thank goodness there was a humongous sale going on in KLCC, we covered up the whole building.. Twice.
When we got back I had to get a couple of new boxes to keep my new bracelets (Very proud of the goth ones, yum.), necklaces (I actually found a chocker! Correction, TWO! A black fishnet-ish one with beads and a dragon fly hanging down and the prize find of the day was one that was made of pieces of cut up shells and black beads that was originally RM 150+but I got it for RM 20, I love how I shop, I guess it's because I look behind all the display items... Found a chain mail look a like one, I nearly wanted to buy it for Fai only I suddenly remembered he wasn't a girl, too bad.), rings and hairbands! Woohoo what an awesome day! A very well 6-7 hours spent!
I guess I have been addicted to buying accessories since the time I went to Mulu, Sarawak and bought a rattan ring and a couple of handicraft wood-ish bracelets.
Ever since that day my #1 fashion goal was to fill my whole hand up with bracelets, I think I kinda got passed that amount already...
It's almost like that time during one of those weddings or was it Chinese New Year? I had no "formal" (As in a dress, I hate skirts. Still do.) clothes to wear so did a 5 second "Please I want lots of dresses" wish, now I have got a "reasonable" amount and there are no "formal" functions to go to.. Nice.
I have a feeling I should be saving my wishing dust for more important things in the future, eh?
Jonker's walk (Or was it street, something like that..), Melacca-
I never thought I would like that place so much, who knew there were so many interesting things there besides "Ice kachang" and historic (I love history, to me it's one of the most interesting subject by FAAAAR! I don't understand how "school kids" can complain so much about their "Sejarah"...) buildings/sites?
You could say that place is and I am pretty sure will always be better than KLCC!
Sigh.. Shopper Holic Karen signing out!
Pasir Panjang forest reserve beach and Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse beach and Sand castles and Beach Clean-up:
One of the things Machika wanted to experience (Machika wanted to be a fisher women and environmentalist after her university which she says she will be studying business. Kinda confusing, I know.) in not all that green and forest-y anymore Malaysia was nature.
Pasir Panjang forest reserve beach:
Who on earth goes to a "Forest reserve" to go to the beach? We do.
Only this beach isn't your ideal sun bathing, powder-y white sanded (I have learnt to hate that typa sand because the powder-y whiteness in them are made by crushed corals, sob.) beach.
Take a look below..
A maroon rocky haven filled with life (No mossies, sea roaches or sand flies there, bliss.), crystals (No, I am not kidding.), shells, snails (I love them colorful round shelled sea snails, don't you?) and best of all.. You have it all to yourself.
Lovit when I come across a huge inhabited rocky beach that is all MINE to explore.
Machika shares my snail-y love interest.
Showed (More like placed 10 on her hand and allowed the snails to give her a slimy snail spa, one of my most popular tour attractions.) them to her during her last trip to Port Dickson in March, she has loved them as much as me ever since.
Cowries. Papa says they are not, I say they are too. Papa says they are NOT cowries at all, I say they are at least cousins. Wadda you fink?
I have ALWAYS loved (I am speaking common-Malaysian-shells-tively, of course rare shells are always nicer, eh?) cowries and/or their cousin, I don't know why. I just do. Oh have I mentioned that I LOVE sundials too?! (Not the ancient Roman watch, Silly! They are very interesting spiral shells. I Occasionally find a few at the beach-that-is-a-10-minute-walk-from-our-house.)
There were SO SUPER many cowrie cousins in that beach that I was actually getting lazy bending down and picking them up! I kinda did a duck walk after a while since my head was spinning after all that bending all that way down and coming all that way up.
My prize rocky find of the day!
So (Sob.) proud of that little rock!
Told you there were crystals! The "beach" was basically littered with them! There were pink ones, multi colored ones, black-ish ones and ones that look like gigantic salt crystals!
From left to Right: Machika, Me and Fluffy headed Ean bear with our finds.
Tanjung Tuan Light house beach:
It was the 4th or was it 5th? time hiking up to the Tanjung Tuan light house (The Leong family enjoys taking their guests there I assume.) but only the second time going down to the beach since we were usually quite exhausted by the time we got up the hill so there was not much energy left to go down a long steep concrete rather leafy stair case down to the beautiful un-touched beach (It's another forest reserve I think.. Every year they hold some raptor watching event there. We don't have to go all the way there since we get to see the swarm of a few hundred raptors fly across our house during that migrating season.) but this time the hike up felt shorter, VERY cool and relaxing and of course less tiring (It felt only like the first half of the hike compared to the first few times we hiked up. I have gotten fitter, I assume.) than the last few walks (Since the road is tarred, I don't think i should call it a hike anymore.) up.
From Left to right: Machika, Swathy, Me and Nigel on top of grassy light house hill, woo hoo!
Us (Spot me!) exploring the beach during low-tide. It felt like heaven getting out of the mosquito infested hike down! (It even had that tiny bright light opening to the rough sanded, coconut-y beach! Heavenly?)
Above and below:
One of the most surprising finds during this visit to the Tanjung Tuan beach were the CORALS (There were actual CORALS in Port Dickson! Unbelievable!) we found when the tide was low.
I guess I don't have to go far to look for corals! Hmm... I would like to snorkel there one fine day.
Above and below:
MORE corals! (Love the one below, it looks rather interesting.)
Machika and Fai under a mangrove tree.
Me, Swathy and Machika having a water break under the nice breezy and cool jungle err.. canopy? Smiley face*
Me and Swathy with one of the many lovely rock formations that were formed by waves.
Err how do I describe this beach..?
We visit it a couple of times every week.
When the tide is low it exposes a BEAUTIFUL muddy-ish sand bank that is usually filled with crabby holey homes after a while and is of course perfect to build sand castles. The only problem with it is that the tide comes up WAAAAY too quickly, sigh! That's one thing I hate about sand castles, they are too temporary!
Not all that many shells here compared to the Pasir Panjang beach but it's the only place with beautiful shiny, round pebbles! I am currently trying to fill my balcony's floor up with it to make it feel like the beach only with out the sand, FAB!
I love cycling to the beach (Of course it is more fun with a buddy.) and stopping half way at a mini wooden food shop (I don't think it is much of a restaurant.) to grab some "Curry puffs", some syrup and some "Nasi goreng ikan bilis" (Anchovy fried rice.) if I am hungry then speeding down that mini hill without breaking (With the sea wind whooshing in your hair it is AWESOME! But too bad cycling up takes some energy..) to the beach.
And if there are guests I would give them the special Karen Cuppy Cake VIP tour of the rock pools (A tiny net and bucket is all you need to have fun! There are tons of invisible, it sounds better than transparent right? tiny shrimp, tiny fish, some sea slugs if you are lucky, seaweed and LOADS of baby rock crabs!), rocks, snail spa! (I remember Machika telling us that OUR beach was better then Hawaii! So I guess I would tick that right of my dream vacation list!)
Cool! I didn't know there were so many things to write about! Grin*
Above and below:
Sand Castling with Machika, Amrita and Samanta. (Building another one of my famous arches!)
Mommy's panoramic photo of the beach. I think she needs more practice, eh?
Building a sand mermaid tail on Arian!
My last and final "Beach" category post! Whew*
Something me and Machika did almost every free day we had!
After seeing the beautiful pristine condition Tanjung Tuan beach our beach looked quite in a mess.. It had lots of trash scattered all around probably by picnickers since there wasn't a proper rubbish bin there and when there was a party it was even worst! We found balloons, beer bottles and of course a BIGGER mess to clean up! So that day Machika decided we needed to clean things up since she wants our beach to stay like that forever because she says the beaches she visited in Japan was completely destroyed, there was just the black volcanic sand and COLD black-ish water, scary!
So off we went with 6 big, black garbage bags and our bikes, M Kucheh, her kids and my Gramma (Kucheh= Dad's sister AKA Aunt in Cantonese.) followed in her car, which became quite useful in the ending of my "Beach clean-up" post.
Our beach is separated into three sections or "coves" you could say, we started of with the largest, most popular and most littered one. The one which we usually go to is the one on the left of "first" cove/beach where not many people know about because it is pretty hidden.
And it so happened to be low-tide at that time, perfect for uncovering trash that were stuck in the mud!
Very soon our 6 trash bags filled up and we soon started dumping the muddy bottles (One of the main things/culprits that were being thrown in the sea or beach.), containers, shoes and almost ANYTHING else you can think of! It was like a mini super market on the beach!
Soon that became a mini land mine of muddy smelly trash, YUCK!
Despite all that yuckyness I had never actually had THAT much fun in the hot, sticky, sweaty afternoon sun playing in mud and picking up "other people's" trash before!
We also found a few dozen mangrove seed pods in the many "tiny mountains" of washed up garbage!
It was fun teaching Machika how to plant (And spot them! She was having trouble spot those long green, brown spotted seed pods at first. Maybe it was because I collected them all already.. Oh well!) them in the muddy, rocky mangrove area!
Just the night before we had our finger nails paint and french tipped (A new technique I just mastered!)! They were gone in a few minutes (Most came off when we were digging holes in the rocky, muddy ground for the mangrove seed pods!) but it was worth it, don't you think so?
One of my/our most interesting find of the day was a sign board from some "public" (That's all I could read from that Malay very muddy sign board! I am pretty sure "Awam" means public right?) place!
While I was un-covering some buried-in-mud-trash I found a piece of rusty, thin-ish metal sticking out so as anyone (I think.) would do is to go investigate what is THAT?!
Called (More like screamed! She was WAAAAAAY at the other end of the cove/beach!) Machika over to help me dig after trying to "feel" out what it was under the muddy, murky water!
We dug, dug, pulled, dug, stepped away for awhile and cleaned more trash up somewhere else to help the water clear so we could at least see a wee bit, dug, tugged, dug some more (Repeat a few hundred times.) and finally dug out a WHOLE sign board with the metal frame and "legs" still attached!
I felt rather proud of myself after dragging it with all our might to the sand shore.
After 5-6 hours of beach cleaning we decided we should pack up and go because we were puffing and panting and almost fainting!
The next hurdle was the "How do we take all of THESE to the dump?!" challenge, the 6 bags of trash went in (M Kucheh's car was turned into a garbage truck, oops! .. And thanks!) first, easy peasy.
What about the rest?! And how on earth would we dispose of the sign board?!
After doing some "DEEEEP" thinking we first pried of the metal frame, it was quite easy since it was pretty rusty, the nails were scary! Then we broke it apart a bit then tossed it into the boot of Kucheh's Vios! Then we tried folding the sign board by bending it a little then jumping on top, it was pretty fun, lemme tell you that! And TA-DAH it could fit into the boot! Woo hooooo!
We trailed behind the car with our bikes and then helping to toss (I missed sometimes too.) the VERY heavy (Some were filled if glass bottles, metal, wire etc.) bags of garbage and sign board into the humongous smelly trash-littered-all-over-the-place-because-of-the-monkeys bin then cycling home to get a dozen more bags that we all filled up. Repeat trice (Minus the signboard part.).
I have never cycled that many times up hill before so by the time we got home I collapsed on the nice grassy lawn that made me rather itchy when I got up.
The next few (About 3-4) times we went it was just me and Machika and our bikes so we could only carry a bag each, too bad the tide was low all that 3-4 times we went so we could only clean up the shore but at least we did SOME clean up.
One of those days I started with a new eco-friendly project, a chandelier (Hey! Won't it be nice if you could help out too? Since I need I think a thousand of each before I start! Maybe you could collect 50 of each comment below or email me then I could pass you my address then you could post it to me! Tis' a good idea right?) made out of bread chips (You know that thing that seals the bread bag.) and aluminium tin tags (That thing you use to open the can with.) and surprisingly I found quite a number when we were cleaning up so that made it even more fun!
Nature-ist Karen signing out!
Watch out for Swathy-Machika-Blooregard 2!
Carrot Guppy Egg