Copywriter. Loves designing and writing, although writing is my first love. Buddhist and loves to investigate just about anything, especially the spiritual and the unknown. Loves travelling, eating and looking for new places to visit!
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I recently had the opportunity to attend the Pacific West “Best Cook is At Home” cook show at the Evolve Mall, Ara Damansara in Petaling Jaya. I am not a chef, nor am I any where near a cook, but – I am a true food lover.
I must confess though, that I am not a fish eater. In fact – I refrain from eating fish. Must be the fishy smell that puts me off. However – strange enough, I love other seafood like prawns, squids and so forth – except fish and yes – I’m a strange kettle of fish altogether.
The best known seafood brand
Pacific West is perhaps by far, the best known seafood brand. The company was formed in 1995 in Australia and its products have reached to many parts of the world today.
What’s special about Pacific West seafood products is the way you can cook it – and that’s straight from the freezer into the fryer. No thawing needed. It’s a lazy person’s dream come true but that’s only part of it.
The best is the taste. And this is where I am mystified too. I did mention my dislike for fish products but I simply adore Pacific West’s fish fillets. After the cook show, I embarked on a shopping spree and walked away with a couple of Pacific West products, including the fish fillet, fish and chips, and mixed seafood.
I love the chunkiness of the fish fillet. Unlike many other brand out there that overdo it by adding too much batter and flour – Pacific West is the real deal with real value. One bite and you’ll discover the real taste of seafood.
I also love the batter and seasoning that envelopes Pacific West’s products. I always want to get things done fast with great results and this just suits me fine. No need to whip up flour, seasoning and breadcrumbs to get that perfect batter mixture. The experts at Pacific West have done that all for me and all I need to do is to get the product out from my fridge into the fryer. Fuss free freedom!
My mixed seafood platter
Created by the experts
Speaking of experts – Pacific West’s products have been specially crafted by renowned chefs and endorsed by international and local celebrity chefs. Chef Garry Edson is the corporate chef for Pacific West and has worked for worldwide hotel chains such as Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand, Sunset Beach Resort Marina & Spa in Saudi Arabia, and the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa in Maldives.
Chef Garry Edson doing a cooking demo
Some of Pacific West’s delectable products
Chef Leong main Choy is another well-known chef who is developing products for Pacific West and has worked for many 5-star hotels including the E&O in Penang and G-Hotel.
Endorsed by local celebrity chefs
Pacific West’s products are also endorsed by many of our local celebrity chefs, including Agnes Chang of Yum-Yum publications, and Datin Jenny Oon, Nyonya & South East Asian cuisine expert.
Well – I have to date, stocked up my freezer with quite a few Pacific West products and yes, I’m going to whip up a meal fit for a king myself at home.
What’s Feng Shui?
If you’re Asian, you’d certainly know what Feng Shui is. Nowadays, even many Westerners know and practice Feng Shui. Very briefly – Feng Shui is the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment.
Believer or non-believer?
Well, that depends entirely on how you view it. Personally, I’m not the kind of person who would want to tear down a door and build another one is an “auspicious” direction. Nor do I fancy placing various Feng Shui objects like lucky horse, prosperity frog and the like in “auspicious” locations in my house.
Initially, I treated Feng Shui with a pinch of salt. Couldn’t really be bothered with it. But after moving into my new abode in Setia Alam, and getting my cousin Alex Tan to harmonize the Feng Shui of my house – I’m beginning to be a believer.
Of course, I still don’t go around placing fancy objects everywhere. Alex practices a very down-to-earth Feng Shui system that does not require you to do massive renovation or buying very expensive stuff – except when there’s no other alternative. All these are dependent on your Ba Zi, your birth details, your age, gender, direction of your house and many many more. To be honest, it’s more rocket science to me!
But it does work and it really does
My Cousin Alex calculated my Ba Zi days before coming to my house. He’s very organized and fastidious about doing “homework” first prior to visiting my house. He just made certain adjustments to my working table, where I should be seated and facing which direction. He also mentioned certain important things that ought to be done, like sleeping facing a given direction and ensuring I keep the porch light on all day long.
And it did work.
Initially, I was skeptical but I saw the positive results happening. My workload is more now, equating to better… well, you know what. I sleep better now too, having had to suffer from insomnia for years in the other house I stayed for nearly 8 years.Suffice to say, I can see and enjoy positive results which I never thought was possible.
There are “masters” and there are Masters
Alex Tan had been studying Feng Shui for more than 20 years now, developing his personal and proven system in the process. I can safely say he is indeed a Feng Shui Master. He has no airs about him and he speaks his mind because telling the truth is all about him and Feng Shui.
He doesn’t need to advertise nor does he need to brandish a title like “Master”. And yes, he is very passionate about Feng Shui.
If you wish to engage his services, please contact him at:
ALEX TAN – 011 2030 3506
Speak with him, share your problem truthfully and you’ll get a genuine response and positive outcome.
Sorry for not being able to post anything for the past few months. Been very very busy in my work.
Dr David Mun is currently operating from Petaling Street (Chinatown) and you can make appointments by calling the Medical Hall at 0320783229. Thanks to Chee Mun who replied me with the contact number.
Another wonder reader, Clarice wrote this: Hi, Mark and Al Abdul. I tried calling the number but no one picking up. My hubby went and check out the place. The hawker stall uncle told him that Dr David Mun has shifted to Petaling Street. Somewhere along the same row of shops as the Mata Kucing Longan drink stall. It’s another Chinese herbal medicine shop called Tim Fatt or Chin Fatt (not sure of spelling as the hawker stall owner was very reluctant to entertain my hubby). I will check it out soon and update everyone here. Mark, thanks so much for your kindness and generosity of sharing such useful information here. I am also a strong believer in alternative medicine/treatment. Grateful for your blog!
NEW UPDATE FROM CHEE MUN
Another reader, Chee Mun updated regarding Dr David Mun’s location:
Kien Fatt Medical Store
No 59, Jalan Petaling
opposite 4Eyed salted duck😋
Thanks, Chee Mun!
I’ve also recently found a chiropractor/bone setter in Seremban. He’s really very good and when I was there, he treated a young man who was having bad headaches and waning eyesight. Now, you may be curious what has bones got to do with eyes and headaches. The answer is, according to the chiropractor – some of our bones protrude, covering the many thousands of nerves, veins and meridian points.
This young man, in particular – had a bone pressing onto the nerves, exerting pressure onto them. Immediately after treatment and hearing numerous bone cracking sounds, the young man reported that his vision had significantly improved.
All you ladies out there, if you’re suffering from Cervical spondylosis (neck arthritis) – don’t worry. The chiropractor can help. I’ve lost his number but I’ll definitely update along with his number in my next post.
These days, I get sick of nearly everything. Yes, sick of the weather. The traffic, the way some people drive and mostly – the food. I mean, I’m not stingy. When it comes to food, I demand value. I think that’s natural because we always demand the best for what our money can buy.
I get sick of the Chinese fast food easily. When I think of fried rice, noodles, and oodles of noodles or rice with chicken, pork – my stomach churns (face palm!). Indian food? Can’t have that everyday, especially in the crazy, hot weather we’re experiencing now (it’s now 35 degrees centigrade outside!).
So that got me hunting for food. In my personal and honest opinion, good food is categorised as (1) Delicious (2) Something new & haven’t tried before (3) Value for money and (4) Great ambiance.
All delicious burgers lead to THE GRIND
The what? The Grind? Well – when I first heard the name, images of maids and chefs merrily grinding away food and other condiments conjured up in my more than vivid imagination. Then I realised that the Grind is an appropriate name for a restaurant that serves home-made, made-as-you-order food. Be it their signature burgers, other equally tantalizing food or astounding beverages.
Where is THE GRIND
It’s not a new restaurant, but it’s a newly taken over and refurbished specialty fusion food restaurant. It’s located on the same row as the famous Kanna Curry House in Section 17; where the opposite is SS2. It’s perched on a slope and nearly every true blue PJ folk knows where it is.
THE GRIND serves non-halal food. If you want gourmet burgers with loads of mouth-watering meats, bacon, ham – this is the place to go to. I’ve tried the BIG BLACK DOG, BANGERS & MASH, and CHILLI CHEESE PORK NACHOS.
The BIG BLACK DOG is an entirely new gastronomic experience for me. It’s a culmination of ingredients that tantalizes your tastebuds. It’s got everything from sweet, sour, zingy, and spicy.
I loved the generous spread of BANGERS & MASH. I think this is reminiscent of the good old British way of cooking – “it’s these or nothing” – where the chef wants you to sample the best of everything – from the homemade bangers (sausages), potato salad and side dressings.
Words won’t do justice to just how good the food here is. So, here’s a picture that shows the delicious fare THE GRIND can whip up:
Being in an explorative mood, I had the CHILLI CHEESE PORK NACHOS next. The nachos were amazingly fresh and crunchy. The Chilli paste added a zestful, zingy taste to it and I recommend this to anyone who’s in the mood to try something different.
Even though burgers are their forte, there are many other choices of food on the menu that’s sure to catch your attention. Just take one look at the juicy sausages or fresh, garden salads and rest assured that these will win you over!
Note that some of the pictures depicted above are illustrative of the real deal and the real food is even better!
Needless to say, THE GRIND has a cosy and comfortable ambiance. It’s the place to go with your family and friends. No loud, annoying music. Just the sort of place to chill-out, share the latest happenings and enjoy heavenly epicurean fare. There’s alcoholic beverages too, to cool down on a hot day like what we’re experiencing now. The huge selection of beverages would delight any child and even the child in you!
Everybody knows how painful a sprained ankle can be. I know. I’ve sprained my ankle once after taking a fall in Fraser’s Hill in 2013. Walking can be very difficult and painful; and whenever pressure is exerted on the foot, it feels like walking on a thousand knives.
I recently visited the WAN SENG Acupuncture Centre in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya again as my niece sprained her ankle. After having a go at home remedies like applying traditional Chinese ointments, the pain, although subsided, did not go away. If pressure is exerted at certain angles, the pain resurfaces.
It is never a good idea to visit Wan Seng Acupuncture on a Saturday. At 10:00 am, the people queueing and waiting for their turn is like hordes of people waiting to enter into a cinema to watch their favourite movie. Yes, people from all walks of like, mainly Chinese; Malays and Indians, and some Caucasians too. These people are mostly in their senior years although you can see middle aged people and some younger ones seeking treatment for sprains.
The majority of those there are seeking acupuncture treatment. Each acupuncture treatment takes about 20 minutes and costs about RM15. First timers are charged slightly higher because of registration.
However, it is already very affordable by all counts and perhaps that is the reason for the big queue.
Disposable acupuncture needles are used in case you are worried about hygiene. All acupuncture treatments are personally administered by Sifu Ng himself, who is a certified Acupuncturist and Reiki Master. Anyway, the sheer number of people waiting patiently for their turn is already testimony enough for Sifu Ng’s expertise and prowess.
For sprains, dislocations and other body injuries, he charges RM35, inclusive of a quick massage on the affected area, ointment, a herbal patch and some traditional Chinese medicinal capsules (to eat after meals) to relieve swelling and pain.
Note: The herbal patch can be reused for maximum 3 times. You may remove it on the 2nd and 3rd day and bandage the affected area again but make sure you put a few drops of any traditional Chinese ointment to moisten the herbal patch to “activate” its efficacy before bandaging.
Wrap a plastic bag around the bandage using rubber bands when having a shower so the bandage doesn’t get wet.
Bandung had never been my choice holiday destination. When one says shopping, the one destination that comes to mind would naturally be Bangkok. Beaches would probably be Mauritius.
Bandung? What’s there to do in Bandung? I travelled to Bandung on 21 April 2015 and spent 5 Days & 4 Nights in this very beautiful capital city of the West Java province in Indonesia and here are my account, experiences and impressions of this beautiful and often-ignored (or misinformed) tourist destination.
My flight schedule was supposed to have been from 21 to 24 April 2015. But because of the Asia African International Conference, the Husien Sastranegara Airport had to be closed to ensure security of the highest levels for the heads of states attending the conference. So I had to extend another day of my stay there.
For Malaysian travellers, if you are from KL or PJ – you can travel by SkyBus to KLIA2 from One Utama. It only costs RM15.00 per person per way. You can also drive to One Utama Shopping Centre and park your vehicle there throughout the entire duration of your holiday. That’s what I did and it costs me only RM18 in parking rates. If I had used my One Card, it would have been cheaper.
Okay, back to what I’m supposed to write.
DAY 1 – Free and easy
My AirAsia flight from KLIA2 left at 9:30am and arrived at Husien Sastranegara Airport at 10:30am. Note that Indonesia time is an hour behind Malaysia’s, so flight time is actually two hours. After checking out, my tour guide; Encik Amir Seun was standing there and waiting for me. Amir is a very, very pleasant man and very helpful too. More about him later and I must say this: If you MUST hire a tour guide, hire Amir! Like I said – more about him later.
My partner and I checked into Orange Home’s Syariah Guest House, located about 1.5km away from the Airport. I booked this hotel as part of AirAsia Go’s travel deal and I thought this would be an ideal stay because of its proximity to the airport.
If you expect a comfortable stay, you should avoid this hotel. At about RM65.00 a night – the facilities are sparse, the breakfast (included) below par and the first night – some rowdy insomniacs without respect for other guests’ consideration made us lose sleep. We requested another room on a higher floor and my goodness – this would be the first guest house/hotel I’ve ever stayed in my life that does not have a wash basin. We packed and left for another better hotel after suffering for 2 nights!
Since it was free and easy on Day 1, we decided to check out the Zen Family Spa. Bandung is renowned for its health spas. For only IDR 165,000.00 (RM45) – we were in for one of the best 2-hour aroma massage ever experienced. Yes – 2 HOURS! You cannot even get an hour’s worth of professional massage in Malaysia! If you want to know more about Zen Family Spa, please click on http://www.zenfamilyspa.com/.
DAY 2 – Shopping, shopping, shopping!
Amir was all smiles when he arrived to pick us at 10:00am. He first brought us to Rumah Mode. In my honest opinion, Rumah Mode is highly overrated with the sort of apparels you can find in swanky Malaysian shopping malls. No good. We left and headed for Polo Ralph Lauren. There were many bargains here and I purchased 3 original Ralph Lauren tee-shirts for about RM150 (about IDR 550,000.00). No bargaining allowed. Come to think of it – I hadn’t even bargained for a single item here!
We visited many other factory outlets like Secret (worth visiting), Heritage House (Good bargains), and many other fashion outlets that with names we can’t recall. These factory outlets offer reasonably good bargains for renowned brands like SuperDry, Armani X-Change, Jack & Jones, Tommy Hilfiger, and many more. But – don’t expect variety. Even in footwear factory outlets, you get mostly Nike and Adidas. Very few sell Pumas, Hi-Tech, Reebok. Even if they do, the choice is limited.
Tip: Pack only the bare necessities for your shopping holiday so you won’t exceed the standard baggage weight upon your departure. That’s what I did. I did not purchase AirAsia’s checked baggage to Bandung but I did for my departure.
DAY 3 – The Great Outdoors
Today’s the Asia Africa International Conference and Amir, my trusty tour guide told me that it’s better to go out of town and we did.
TANGKUBAN PERAHU is a dormant volcano 30 km north of the city of Bandung. It is the only crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim. Its distinctive shape, like an “overturned boat” earned its name Tangkuban Perahu.
The drive took us slightly more than an hour and be forewarned that foreigners pay a much higher entrance fee than locals. It can be quite chilly here, especially when the wind blows as it is 768 metres (2,520 feet) above sea level. When you arrive there, you will not only be greeted by the crater that everybody’s here to see – but also the stench of sulphur, which smelled like rotten eggs if you ask me. Along the way, you will see the very many souvenir stalls and people peddling their wares. It is not advisable to buy from them as these items are sold at very inflated prices.
Personally, I am not a seismic or volcano expert so to me, a dormant volcano crater doesn’t thrill me to bits. For the first time visitor to Bandung, this place and Kawah Puteh (another huge crater about 50km away from Bandung city proper) are in the tour itinerary, so what the heck. Visit it!
CIATER HOT SPRINGS was our next destination. If you fancy a dip at the less crowded private hot spring pools, you should come here but come prepared with your bathing suits unless like me, I had to fork out money again to buy a pair of shorts.
LEMBANG FLOATING MARKET is a must-visit tourist destination because of its myriad of attractions, from Telly Tubby like bunny holes, boat rides, superbly landscaped surroundings, foods and goods sold from the many boats and more. If you’re an avid photographer, this is the place for you.
KAMPUNG DAUN – “where culture and taste meet” was our next stop for an incredible, traditional rustic kampong style outdoor dining experience. Diners will get their very own private thatched hut where delicious, “kampong” (village) food will be brought steaming hot to them. Surprisingly, a marvellous epicurean experience like this doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Reasonable is what I’d say!
DUSUN BAMBU FAMILY LEISURE PARK was our final stop. This is a magnificently landscaped park that harmonizes traditional Sundanese culture in one integrated area. If you stand here, you can see the majestic and panoramic vistas of the mountain slopes and certain parts of Bandung city. Here the air is fresh and you’ll also be in for a treat for the insect symphony – sounds of insects lulling you to nature’s embrace. There’s a restaurant here and similar to Kampong Daun, diners have their private dining huts in the shape of bird cages perched on top of age old majestic trees.
Private and exclusive accommodations are available to the public. Overseeing the placid lake, these villas range from 100sq. m and start at IDR 2,600,000.00 (RM711) to the bigger, 250 sq. m. family villas for IDR 3,750,000.00 (RM1,0261.00). Villas are equipped with bedrooms, living room, kitchenette, and private garden, and BBQ facilities.
DAY 4 – Free and Easy
CIHAMPELAS was our stop of the day after checking into the Fave hotel in town. Because of the international delegates’ presence, many roadblocks around the city prevented us to use the normal routes.
To me, Cihampelas is more like our Malaysian “Pasar Malam” or “Day/Night bargain market” in English. Clothes here are cheap, and so is their quality. Certain places sell their wares at cutthroat prices, so beware of which shop you step into.
Along Cihampelas Walk, you’ll be greeted by giant figurines; either standing like Ultraman or swinging through the air like Spiderman. Cool!
We found CiWalk by accident. Ciwalk is an upper end version of the Cihampelas Walk and here, you can find mostly branded stuff. It is an enclosed shopping mall with clean and breezy walkways. You may be tempted to indulge in the many classy boutique eateries and here. Prices of clothing are of course higher than Cihampelas Walk but you may bag a good buy here. I bought some quality shorts and T-shirts in a departmental store inside.
DAY 5 – Back to Malaysia and you know the rest of the story.
Undoubtedly, there may be several other questions you need answered before deciding to visit Bandung, such as:
DO YOU NEED TO ENGAGE A TOUR GUIDE
The answer is yes. Because without a tour guide, chances are you could end up going around in circles due to communication breakdown, the time (and money) spent looking for public transport, and especially if you’re a shopaholic. The factory outlets are not near to one another and you could be in one and walk out of it within 5 minutes if their wares don’t appeal to you. With a tour guide, everything is easy. Forget about the other websites that say travel by Angkotan (van ferrying locals) or use only Bluebird Taxi services. If you add up your expenses, they’ll amount to a something bigger than you can imagine. I highly recommend my tour guide, Amir because he’s honest, always on time, speaks excellent English and knows the inside out of the city.
He also caters to special request tours. Just contact him via phone, Whatsapp, Line or sms to ask for a quotation. That’s what I did! He knows the best food in town too. To know about him, the Company and the many vehicles he use, please visit http://www.javadelightour.com.
WHICH HOTEL SHOULD I STAY IN
Nearly every hotel is good. Apart from Orange Home’s Syariah, I’ve also stayed in FaveHotel Pascal Hyper Square and Ariandri (near the airport). There are hundreds of hotels in the city. Amir will advise you on which hotel will suit your needs and budget.
HOW IS BANDUNG FOOD?
Basically, Bandung people are Javanese or Sundanese and their food is delicious and spicy. Amir brought us to some really good restaurants around Bandung. Whether traditional Indonesian, Western or Chinese fare, tell him in advance and he’ll know what to do.
For coffee lovers (like me) – I discovered that the local coffee is not filtered. Yep, the locals do not filter the coffee and as a result, you may have coffee grounds swirling inside your mouth. But not to worry – there are many specialized coffee stops in town that serves coffee the way we like it. They have a wonderful variety of coffees like Sumatra Mandheling, Toraja, Sulawesi, the exquisite and pricey Kopi Luwak and many more!
HOW FRIENDLY ARE BANDUNG FOLKS?
Very friendly, very helpful and honest. They are well mannered and respectful!
DO YOU NEED TO TIP JUST ABOUT ANYONE?
Not necessarily, only tip your waiter, hotel staff, tour guide and anyone who has gone out of their way to help you.
A couple of days ago, EngKiat, my blog reader asked me how to prepare Dr David Mun’s herbal prescriptions. As I was too busy at that time, I did not reply. But before that, if you’re wondering whether traditional Chinese medicine does work, here’s the proof, from one of other blog readers, Citrine:
“I have Endometriosis, and had undergone 2 surgeries before to remove ovarian cysts and uterus polyps. Due to this, I have to always take progesterone hormone pills to balance up my hormone levels (my estrogen level too high).
Last 2 weeks, I went for my endometriosis checkup, my doctor told me my uterus’ thickness is now back to normal although I have stopped taking the pills for 9 months! (High levels of Estrogen will cause the uterus to be thicker than normal).
This is such a good news me! Thanks to Dr. Mun, now I can stop the taking hormone pills which I had taken for 5 years T.T. Besides, I have gastric since small, but after 3 visits to Dr. Mun, I can feel recently I didn’t suffer from gastric anymore.
Thank you Mark, because it is your posting that brought me to Dr. Mun =) And… Every time I visit him, he keep asking me how I know him, then I always repeat the same stories to him, then he will ask me, with a post, you so believe and come to visit me? Hahaha~ He is very funny =D
By the way, one of the three medicine which Dr Mun prescribed is super super super x 10 bitter… It’s really a challenge =.=
As I have shared in my previous post about Dr David, he cured me from acute gastritis some 20+ years ago. And Citrine, thank you for your kind compliments.
I desire nothing but good health to each and everyone of my blog followers and readers. I think all good things must be shared.
I am not really a fan of Western medicine because of the numerous side effects and synthetic chemical composition. This may come as a surprise, as I am Western educated and am not proficient in written Chinese. However, I have great faith in traditional herbal medication and alternative therapies.
Now, coming back to EngKiat and his question about boiling the herbal prescription:
“I met him yesterday , he asked me to boil 17 rice bowl of water into 2 rice bowl. I have a few questions… Do you really boil the whole packet and divide into 3 sessions? If you really do, wouldn’t the 2nd or 3rd sessions be cold already? Thanks
I just took the first packet but I still don’t feel anything yet …. =( Am I doing anything wrong with the boiling process? I need some advice from you because i don’t really know how to boil medicine.”
Well, if you do go consult Dr David Mun and if you’re having doubts about how to prepare the herbal prescription, read on.
First of all, the instructions are to boil 17 or 18 bowls of water. The “bowl” here refers to the bowl where the Chinese eat their rice from. Yes, 17 bowls of water, boil and simmer until approximately 2 bowls remains in the pot.
As for the pot, it’s best that you purchase the readily available clay pot, which looks something like this (photo credit to Can Stock Images):
Make sure you wash it thoroughly first before using. Empty the entire contents of the numbered packet of herbs into the pot. Then pour 17 bowls of water into it and put it to boil until only about 2 bowls of strange and horrid looking concoction remains. Yes, it tastes bloody bitter and even Citrine says it’s a great challenge to down it!
The entire contents of the two bowls are not to be consumed in one go. Instead, you are to divide it into three sessions – morning, afternoon and night. Assuming you have already drunk the morning portion, you store the rest for later. When it’s time to drink it, just pour what is required into a bowl and heat it up preferably in a pot. You can heat it using a microwave but as for me – I’m a traditionalist and I prefer the old fashion way!
And oh, don’t expect miracles to happen right after consuming the first session. Chinese herbal medicine doesn’t work that way. Every packet of herbs contain different ingredients that are designed to detox, rejuvenate and fortify you. It will probably take a couple of days, or even a week to feel the effects.
In a couple of days, it’ll be 2015 – the year of the Sheep, according to Chinese astrology. The sheep brings me to the Kalama Sutta, as taught by the Lord Buddha.
We are all born with a mind. Through education and personal experiences, we have been taught how to discern from right or wrong. From right or wrong views. And from truth or false.
As an advertising copywriter, I have been tasked to influence the masses through subtle branding. Although advertising is subtle persuasion, the ultimate decision to adopt, or switch brands is solely in the hands of the target audience.
And the Kalama Sutta, taught centuries ago by the Buddha; applies to religion too. Especially religion, I must stress. To me, the purpose of religion is to break free from the shackles that prevent us from realizing our individuality and potential. In short, a true religion gives absolute freedom.
Some religions preach the do’s and don’ts just to shackle the followers and ensure that they do not leave that particular “religion”. In other words, certain religions are plain control freaks. And in some ways, you cannot blame them for the followers themselves behave like sheep, herded towards the direction the leader or should I say, “controller” desires. You are not encouraged to think, reason or decide for yourself. You are just told to do so. That, dear readers – is the complete opposite of freedom. Your life become theirs. You are but a puppet controlled by invisible strings.
Of course, Buddhists have do’s and don’ts. For lay people, the don’ts are:
No sexual misconduct
No gossip, lying or spreading rumours or anything that could incite negativity
And, no consumption of alcoholic beverages.
These are common sense and are in no way, restrictive of one’s freedom. We all know what killing, stealing, adultery and gossips can do. They cause suffering. Drinking? Try getting so pissed drunk and chances are that you’ll break all the other four precepts.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier – we all are born with minds. Good or bad, your actions will speak for themselves. Come see for yourself and you’ll know. Don’t be a sheep.
It’s difficult to find really authentic and good Chinese tea no matter where you are. Even if you’re in China, you’re never going to get the real deal – UNLESS you are a Chinese tea connoisseur yourself.
A couple of days ago, I brought my very good friend Dr. Mark Werner to Chinatown in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. His mission is to obtain real Chinese tea that’s value for money. Dr. Werner had in fact, googled for a couple of locations in Chinatown and he asked me to accompany him there. And I did.
First we had lunch in the Old China Cafe. It is a small Chinese-styled cafe serving Peranakan food. (Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of the 15th through 17th-century Chinese immigrants). The ambiance and decor of this cafe is reminiscent of old world Malaya, circa the 1930s. You can see many old photos of famous Chinese traders decked on the wall. The food too, is superb and the price is reasonable.
We then waddled over to KEAN GUAN TEA MERCHANTS, located opposite and just a stone’s throw away from the Old China Cafe. We met the very knowledgeable proprietor, who only wants to be known as “KC”.
Unlike other tea merchants, KC did not immediately launch into his sales pitch of promoting this or that. Rather, he allowed us to browse through the man varieties of teas in his rustic shop. In fact, it was Dr. Mark who asked him to recommend good “Pu-Er” tea.
KC then most generously invited us to sit down and sample some of his recommended PU-ER tea. Being a noted sensory consultant, Dr. Mark complimented and commented on the teas we had downed, some 30 over cups of them until he decided to purchase one particular brand that he liked.
There are more than 4 tea merchants in Chinatown that we’ve been but none of them are as accommodating as Kean Guan Tea Merchants. He takes the trouble to explain to us the complexities of each particular batch of tea, allowing us to sample before giving us ample time to decide.
True, this shop is not decorated as colourfully as others but upon stepping into the rustic shop, you’ll know it’s the real deal and not some marketing hyped up shop front that encourages you to BUY WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO BUY.
If you’re looking for real good authentic Chinese teas at reasonable prices, look no further. Step into KEAN GUAN TEA MERCHANTS.
Contact details: KEAN GUAN TEA MERCHANTS No. 160, Jalan Petaling 50000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2078 5306
About 70% of planet Earth is covered with water. Similarly, about 70% of the human body is composed of water. Without water we will not survive.
Water is very much affected in the same way as humans to emotions, particularly negative or positive emotions. It reacts positively to positive words and vice versa. See the YouTube video on a research here conducted by a prominent Japanese scientist, Mr Emoto:
It’s really easy to feel happy and surround yourself with positive energy. Just send happy and positive vibrations to every cup or glass of water or beverage you drink. Tell the water ” you’re beautiful” or “you’re the best thing I ever had”. Your positive vibes will affect the structure of the water crystals which in turn, determine the state you are in. Happy thoughts create happy people.