Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Significance & Merdeka

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Many years ago, about 20 in fact, I met a man by the name of Cecil T. (Name has been changed)

He was even at the time just somewhat younger than my grandfather. Well...actually he's at least 20 years younger than my Grandpa Ambrose but anyone older than Dad was...well, old!

If you met him today you'd never know that he was in his 80s. He doesn't look it.

In any case, through those 20 years I've known him and spoken to him as one would a friend. He's always been kind, solicitous, and has given me very gentle guidance as one would, if not a son, at least the son of a close friend.

He is now in his 80s and he still swims every day. He owns a fantastically successful PR firm and when I asked Dad what he used to do, he said "oh, he was with The Straits Times (as it was known then before it becames The NEW Straits Times.)"

What's the point of this entry, you might be asking at this time.

I just read today's newspaper, The NEW Straits Times. The Merdeka edition. Oh, did I mention it's Independence Day for Malaysia?

In it, in a supplemental section, I saw his name to an article. It was dated June 1966. And the characters mentioned in it were people who are legends and who have the capacity to be part of the mythology of my young country. People like our first Prime Minister, who, in that article, were discussing ways to end the communist threat and Indonesian confrontation - a war by any other name. Events which moulded and defined our country, much like the war of independence the Americans always go on about.

And my friend wrote that article.

He was there. He watched, listened, and recorded these events for posterity.

For the Americans, it would be like someone you knew watching George Washington or John Adams negotiating (or not,as you please) with the British.

I'm truly proud of my country. Not for all the rah-rah that they always put on at this time. But it's people like my friend who live lives of significance. And it's people like him who throw this into focus for me. I've always wondered what living a life of significance meant.

Now I know.

Penang for 2 nights & 3 days

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Lone Pine Hotel
Penang Bridge
My room and courtyard

Went to "The Pearl of the Orient" for a couple of days. Allan had toddled to Langkawi for a mini reunion with his classmates, so I decided to take the opportunity to go somewhere too. Loved being by myself for a bit. Read, lazed, gymed and lazed. Met up with a couple of friends, had dinner, nice chats, and a bottle of wine. ;-)

All in all, the holiday allowed me to think about how much I missed Allan and also how much I want to be with him. But it was a nice break from each other too. So might make this a tradition.

Garden Flowers

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Fatt Choy Tree (Prosperity Tree


Lotus Lily

No idea what this is called

No idea what this is called

Some garden flowers at our place in Bangsar.

Haze update

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Haze update. These are 2 photos taken from our house looking out at Gasing Hill. Those condos are just over the hill from where we are. The first photo was taken 2 days ago. The second one, just this morning at about 10am.

Lifting on ban of Haze

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

The photos above were taken during the day time on 2 different days obviously. But they were taken about 18 of my strides (approx 18m) from Just Heavenly. Basically I walked accross the street and took the pics.

The air smells smoky even within an air conditioned room. It's as if, ALL the neighbours up and down the street have taken to burning their rubbish in front of their houses at the same time. The smoke stings the eyes, burns the throat, and wearing some sort of a mask has become de rigeur fashion these last 2 days.

The amazing thing is, you drive around and you still see people smoking. Go figure! Just take deep breaths, that should calm your nerves shouldn't it? ;-)

As usual, we just have to sit tight and ride this out.

Our English dailies have both reported on the extent of the haze and in some places within the Klang Valley, the air is hazardous.

I'll say this though; the government has lifted an 8 year ban on the publishing of the figures of the Air Pollutant Index and that is definitely a plus. I feel that even if the info is bad, tell people, then the rumour mill doesn't go wild.

Singapore & Uncle's 70th birthday

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Took a trip down to Singapore at the end of July to celebrate my Uncle's 70th birthday. Had mucho fun with them.The cake A made was pretty much the hit of the party. It melded tradition and some tongue in cheek humour.

Managed to meet up with our "kids" a couple of times as well. Just in case anyone misunderstands, these boys have decided that A & I are their godpas and call us such. At some point in your life you will be faced with a situation where you realise "hey, I'm pretty much old enough to be someone's father" and come to be grateful that great boys like this want to acknowledge you as their friend and guide, so to speak. It's an honour, privilege and a responsibility I don't take lightly. I hope I can live up to the title.

Unfortunately the pic of JC and myself came up a cropper. Meaning I don't look good at all so I decided not to put it up. But the pic of JH and Da A look really nice. :-)

AC took us to this GREAT all you can eat sushi place as well. YUM! Not a bad price either. Had lots of fun with them that day!