Monthly Archives: September 2008

Gerai Ramadhan Outing – Gadong pt. 2

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A family enjoys the sunset atmosphere at Gadong Market by the river.

Again taken with the 20 year old lens, 105mm f/2.5. Part and parcel why I chose to shoot Nikon was the extensive number of old lenses that can be mounted on new digital bodies. A heritage stretching back to the first of Nikon’s SLRs, the F mount has not seen any radical changes over the years. At a minimum, any old lens, save a few exotic ones, can be mounted onto any later model cameras. While there’s the Pentax K mount, which can still be mounted on later day model Pentax cameras, or Minolta lenses that can be mounted on the later day Minolta, and by extension, Sony DSLRs, there’s no denying that Nikon lenses are still prized today as they were decades ago, so there’s still a large market of used lenses still available, and the ease to find these gems are getting ridiculous, with the Internet connecting everyone, everywhere. I got this baby in fact from Malaysia, but any number of eBay shops still carry this.

So go out, go to your pawn shops, go check the display cases of your local camera store. They might have a gem in the rough.

Villa Mauri… Bellissimo…

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Me and the officemates went for Sungkai at the newest toast in town, Villa Mauri located along Jalan Sungai Tilong (click through for the map location, click on map link on the right hand side). Great Italian food all around. The main dish, the Sirloin Steak, was quite a favourite, as well as the Meatballs starter.

Pity the Bandung drinks was only given once. Otherwise flawless dining experience.

Gerai Ramadhan Outing – Gadong

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I find that, in a pinch, my manual focus, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 ais, does a wonderful job as a stand in for my 70-200mm. I think I’m beginning to get a hang of this lens, and seeing it’s almost as tiny as my 50mm, I think it’ll go along with me the next time I go to KL again. I’m planning on sitting in a corner of Bukit Bintang, snapping away, as I rarely got the chance to do so the last time I was in KL.

I’ve been pretty much out of sync with my shooting lately, and someone suggested going full on manual for the time being to root out the cobwebs outta my head. While I might not go full blown Hasselblad-ing Bukit Bintang, the wonderful clarity and sharpness of this 20 year old lens might just give my other lenses a bit of jealousy fit. I mean, with an optical formula dating back to 50 years, why mess with a good thing, right?

More photos here.

Moments at AYF: AYF Amazing Race

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Pre-race briefing session.
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Our race pack.

One of the great things I noticed during the whole Asean Youth Festival was the great organizational skills and the thought they have put into the whole festival. For instance, the Tourist Passes for use during the race that entitles us to use the excellent public transport systems, not one, but two discount cards that entitles the delegates to discounts at a variety of stores, booklets and maps highlighting the activities outside of the festival that happens nearby, even comes down to tie-ins with clubs, bars and restaurants that would waive entry fees for all the delegates. There’s a whole lot more I’ll cover in future posts, but even with just all these, it shows a well thought out, meticulously planned event, that I won’t put it past Singapore to pull off without a hitch.

Needless to say, the organizational aptitude of all the committee members and Liaison Officers, the forum organizers and everyone involved, there’s a sense that there’s no holes left unplugged, meaning they have planned for every contingency, imaginable or not. Even if there’s a problem that might prove too much of a bother, I felt that most of the decision making hadn’t the need to go all the way up the chain, as most of the decision making can be handled by even the L.O.’s, negating any complicated and long drawn out decision making process. Mind you, these L.O.’s are actually youths themselves, some even way younger than me. Coming from a culture where decisions are made from a cascade of approvals from the higher ups, to me this was quite a surprise.

And even if there’s a need to go higher up the chain for approval, the highest level organizers I believe are not even in their 30’s yet! Just shows how much trust and faith they have in their Youths.

There will be an upcoming post that shows how this culture of youth is a big integral part of Singapore culture, and the lengths at which the government supports them but still giving them autonomous rein, by far surprised me the most.

Sheraton’s Selera Kampong Kitani

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The ever popular lamb roast.

This was the first buffet style breaking of fast I’ve had this year, if you could believe that. Haven’t really gotten into the Ramadhan swing yet, and besides, I was trying to cut down on the food intake. But reminded about last year’s fabulous spread and the oh so scrumtulicious roast lamb on a spit, I won’t pass it up this year.

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This was at the Lok Lok station, basically like meat on sticks, chilled on ice.

This year, the local food theme is back, with a veritable feast of local favourites, like ‘Roti John’, an actual Kebab station, my always favourite noodle station with the different kinds of Laksa, a great acar, cakes and desserts spread, and the crowd favourite lamb roast/grilled. Again and again I extol the virtues of the lamb there, which is the best in Brunei, and several colleagues agree with me on this. It just melts in your mouth.

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The cordial station, next to the Teh Tarik fountain. ‘Manisan’ or Rose cordial is always a favourite back when I was a wee tyke.

Within this first few weeks I’ve usually broken the fast with finger foods, so it was a force of habit for me to go for the kebabs and Roti Johns. One or two servings of rice, satay and lamb, I was done. But not before going for a round of my new favourite there, the Noodle Station. I had the Laksa last year, and it was quite a surprise, and oh boy, it didn’t disappoint.

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Perennial favourite, satay, with gravy next to it. I could break my fast with just a handful of these…
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A thing of beauty.
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Roti John, Kebabs, and Pratas. ‘Fast food’ by our standards.
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Lovely ambience as usual.
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Finished our dinner with oh so sinfully lovely Chocolate Cake.
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Wide shot setting the scene…
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…and done.

Thank you Sheraton, Paula and Alex, for your wonderful hospitality.

“Available every day of the fasting month from 6pm to 7pm, take yourself to Tasek Brasserie for a boutique-style Sungkai, call 224 4272 extension 8871 to make your reservations early. Dine with us during the Selera Kampong Kitani sungkai buffet at Tasek Brasserie and stand a chance to win fabulous prizes such as dining vouchers and complimentary stays at various sister properties in Malaysia and Bali!”