I traveled¬†up north early this year a day after coming back to Kuala Lumpur… it is still on the long holidays. I tried to get out early in the morning to avoid¬†an unpredictable traffic¬†on the way back home later in the afternoon. The destination is Bandar Seri Iskandar in ‘Silver’.
To get there, I have been advised to use Gopeng exit, take a right turn, drives straight through Gopeng town, then¬†follow the signboard all the way to Seri Iskandar. But,¬†I found out later in the afternoon that driving through Ipoh City is a better choice.
I manage to capture¬†this Mount Kinabalu resemblance… if you happened to be in Kundasang or driving from Kota Kinabalu¬†to Ranau… and still remember¬†one of the breathtaking background of a scene in Azura (Ogy and Jamal acted in this movie -¬†incomplete film¬†but still manage¬†to achieve a box office status)… you might said so.
Driving through Gopeng, Batu Gajah and finally arrived¬†at the new town remind me of the Treasure Hunt once I joined and won. The scenic views, clues¬†and tricky questions is just part of the game. You have to try it at least once to experience its great moments.
This castle taught me the meaning¬†of ‘obnoxious’… Dictionary is Hunters best friend during the game.¬†Treasure Hunt is not a race, it is more like¬†sightseeing,¬†but the car sometimes reach 130 to 140 km per hour.
Here it is… the town that is still under development… with its two universities, UiTM and UTP.
¬†Bandar Seri Iskandar
At least there is something to be proud of by local folks.
My experience when traveling abroad other than by air includes a journey by train. The most anticipated one is the chance for the first time boarding the Shinkansen - Japanese word for bullet train. One thing for sure is that Japanese is good at promoting their culture and value, traditional or modern, while we were there. In one of the journey, I got the opportunity to travel by JAL, ANA, monorail, subway, tour bus, walking through an underground tunnel and finally shinkansen - visiting ‘window’ shopping area, ‘climbing’ the Tokyo Tower (replica of Eiffel Tower, same height), tea ceremony etc.
The Shinkansen routed us from Tokyo to Osaka for approximately 4 hours. We also visited the old city of Kyoto and were introduced to Bonzai, old emperor’s castle, shrines, Shinto and even a colourful Japanese carp. Due to the weather conditions, we haven’t had a¬†chance to have a closer look at Fuji Yama - Yama, another Japanese word for Mount.
I did taking a Nihon-go (japanese language) lesson twice… On both occasion, learning the very basic of the language - just enough for the survival in Japan (The use of a local language is one of the basic requirement to become a develop country. Otherwise, we will be just another USA, Australia, New Zealand or even Singapore and maybe, bilingual Canada)…
Looking back at my (not so) vast experiences in traveling oversea by train, I did have a taste of Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) similar to Star LRT, an Express train from Frankfurt to Stuttgart in Germany (learned that Munchen is actually Munich, achtung is dangerous, kaput is broken), a double-decker train in Eislinger, mountainous view from Stutgart to Zurich, The Zurich Tram before finally got to see the reality of Dato’ Lat joke in the 80s on KL going to have some kind of monorail in the future. So, Dato, the future is now - KL do have a Monorail, Star LRT, Putra LRT, KTM Komuter, KLIA Express and an underground tunnel and stations.
Below are some facts on Japanese Bullet Train that was freely extracted from Internet:
“…The Japanese bullet train system is credited with being the world’s first purpose-built high-speed railway, and the model and inspiration for all other similar type systems running today. The reputation it has earned for safety, speed and punctuality is unsurpassed.
Safety - There has never been a death on the bullet train system since it’s inception in 1964, other than that caused by deliberate passenger misadventure.
Speed - Holds the current world records for the fastest average speed between two station stops - 261.8 km/h between Hiroshima and Kokura (192.0 km in 44 min), and the fastest average speed between starting and terminating stations - 242.5 km/h between Shin-Osaka and Hakata (553.7 km in 2 hrs 17 min). These records are from the 500 series “Nozomi” trains running at a maximum speed of 300km/h between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, which commenced in March 1997. A magnetic levitation test vehicle has also clocked the fastest manned run at 531 km/h.
Punctuality - Most trains arrive at their destination (after several hours) to within the second! In one year, the total time that ALL bullets trains were late by was 12 seconds!”
Notes: Except for Australia, I have been in all of the countries mentioned. Next trip will hopefully be China, Turkey, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Australia or South Africa. Got any sponsor out there?
Next article is an excerpt from The Star on Friday¬†December 29th,¬†2006. I am a loyal Star¬†reader, so I think I am doing my part to promote it… Not only¬†help me increased my vocab over the last few years, it also helps me developed my confident in using oral English as a second language… My grammar is still at a level of WYH(ear)IWYG… yes, I am trying my best here… Hopefully, one fine day, one cute teacher will help me on that…
One thing I’ve learned form my study is the need to duly acknowledge the original writer/publisher of an article we want to reproduce either in full or in part… I think I’ve done that for this one…
Just for your info, someone¬†told me that the name of the newspaper was derived from the name of the late first Prime Minister… Suratkhabar Tunku Abdul Rahman (S.T.A.R.)… who happened to be the columnist of ‘As I See It’…
Here it is…
‚Äú‚Ä¶It was shake-up time for Universiti Malaya as it lost ranks to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in Times Higher Education Supplement‚Äôs World University Top 200 Rankings (2006) in October.
UM continued its downward spiral, dropping 23 places to 192 from 169. Its ranking fell from 89 in 2004 to 169 in 2005, causing a national debate on the status of the premier university and the validity of the criteria used for the rankings.
UKM, meanwhile, broke into top 200-ranked universities for the first time, climbing 105 places to 185 from 289 last year.
Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia also improved in this year‚Äôs standings - UPM rose by 102 places from 394 to 292, while USM climbed from 326 to 277.
The Ministry (higher education ministry) has set a target for two public universities to break into top 50 by 2010, but at this rate, many feel that the odds are stacked against them‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
Nowadays, everybody¬†is looking at world standard… in a way, Mawi is right in promoting the word itself… Not to forget the achievement of Nicol David in sport… Don’t waste time on comparing the price of fuel between countries¬†(we should talk about comparing the cost of living) or making assumption that the current disaster (flood) in Johore is expected¬†and predicted¬†to happen¬†in every 100 years. To be in Vision 2020, we need to be professional and objectively provide information based on real data…¬†¬†(Ops… I am not supposed to get carried away with policies and political issues).
I think UKM is making a right decision by introducing a¬†multi-language curriculum - to put it on world map and achieving Mawi’s World status…¬† Anyway, it is to our advantage to be¬†excellent in both Malay and English languages…
So, you see, I think I’ve made a right decision on my study, after all…
Back to down memory lane, during the long Hari Raya Qurban and New Year holidays, I managed to revisit my old primary school… new block has been built… but the shade of the big bougainvillea I used to play around it has long gone… there is a red carp pond where my Ixus failed to capture… but I managed only this one…
¬†Looking for human face…
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