Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malaysian Pride - Upin & Ipin

Upin & Ipin is the pride of all Malaysians. Thanks to Les' Copaque Production!

We got to know about Upin & Ipin just recently. I think probably early this year when we moved back to Ho Chi Minh City. I still vividly remembered the very first episode we watched was on Disney Channel Asia.

The story was about how the twins (two 5 year-old boys named Upin & Ipin) celebrated their 1st Mother's day. Kak Ros, their eldest sister had brought them to meet their mom at the graveyard. Their mom passed away in their infancy. They were happily cleaning up and beautifying the place for their mom. It was a joyful moment for both of them.

In the end, they did not forget to also celebrate "Opah's day" (grandma's day) with their beloved grandma. It was a very lovely and touching story. 

As I was watching it with my daughter, I was telling her that "hey, this story is so Malaysian!" It can't be produced by Malaysia, right? It is on Disney channel! That was what we thought. As the show ended, we were so surprised to see that ... Wow, it is made in Malaysia!!

From then on, my daughter has been "chasing after" almost every episode, from one season to the other. She doesn't stay in Malaysia nor study in Malaysian school. Upin & Ipin is a great exposure for her to understand Malaysia. Some of the things I had done before when I was young. The feeling was so nostalgia. 

This round when we got back....

One day, when I was driving on Federal Highway, my girl was shouting from the back seat: "Mom, Upin & Ipin!! On magazine now!!!" A delivery van just drove passed us with Upin & Ipin's ads on it. That was how we got to know that Upin & Ipin's on magazines!!!

The next day, we dropped by Popular bookstore. We managed to pick up issue 6 (June release). It's RM4.90 each.

Most stories in there were continuation from previous issue. In addition to Upin & Ipin's stories, they also have the new one "Geng". Both comics were in locale Malay. It is a great opportunity for our children to learn the locale. This will be helpful in their communication skills.

Apart from comics, children also get to learn what's happening behind screen, who is the voice behind Upin & Ipin, how the animation was produced, facts about Malaysia, the states and capital cities.

The comics can be easily understood by children of 7 - 9 years old depends on their Malay language capability. for the others, parent's guidance may be required.  

Missed the previous release? Not to worry, you can still get the previous releases. You can purchase the latest issue from Popular bookstore. There is a form you can fill up, mail it across attaching the money order / postal order of RM52.90 (for 12 issues). Write a little note to ask them to mail to you the previous issues. Thereafter, just continue the subscription of the remaining issues.

Alternatively, you can visit their office in Petaling Jaya for purchase of the previous issues as well as to subscribe for future releases. That was what I did because it's equally troublesome to go to the bank or post office to get a money order / postal order. Just bring enough cash will do.

Their office is located at:

Nyla Sdn Bhd
No. 47, SS14/28
(it is a bungalow unit behind Digital Mall, SS14)  

Tel: 1700806952

Upin & Ipin's official website : www.upindanipin.com.my/

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

National Library Malaysia at Jalan Tun Razak

Every summer holiday we came back to Kuala Lumpur, the few places my daughter won't miss were Popular bookstore, MPH, Kinokuniya and the National Library at Jalan Tun Razak. 

Newly refurbished National Library Malaysia (Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, PNM)

I started to enroll her as member since last year. It's convenient and free of charge. What you need to do is just to bring along your child's birth certificate during registration. For adults, the membership will be built into our identity card. 

When we were there last year, to my surprise, they still had my record ie. like 23 years ago or something. I was once a member even before the library moved from Jalan Raja Laut to Jalan Tun Razak. Based on the records, I was still a member but not able to produce my member card, hence considered "lost card" case (how on earth a normal person would have kept a card made out of paper for 23 years for that matter?). Anyway, in order to renew my membership, I was fined for RM10 for losing it somehow. 

My daughter was very happy visiting the library. Though I must say the books were really old and practically none of them ever been sold in any bookstores anymore. Pile and pile of books lying everywhere in the library. There is no way one can search for one particular book unless you literally flip through each and every book on the shelves, trolleys, racks etc.

But somehow, we still spent half a day every two weeks in the library. Bookworms were not choosy I supposed! 

This year when we came back, as usual, we visited the national library. We are delighted to see they have improved tremendously. We saw a lot of new children books on the shelves. Some even have Popular's; Kinokuniya's price tags still on!  There are still piles and piles of books on the trolley but at least we saw a few librarians were sorting them back to the shelves, at a slow pace unfortunately... well, still better than before.  

I really appreciate what is being done to our National Library. This should be the way to be. The building was constructed in such unique and beautiful architecture. With the improvement of its content, more people will visit. I really hope they will continue to improve and bring it up-to-date. It will be beneficial to general public and our future generations. 

National Library Malaysia / Perpustakaan Negara Malayisa (PNM) is located at No. 232, Jalan Tun Razak.

If you are coming from the south, southwest and southeast (Klang, Shah Alam, Subang, Petaling Jaya etc) of Kuala Lumpur, use Jalan Sungei Besi. Head towards downtown direction. You will pass by KLCC, Jln Bukit Bintang, Ampang. As soon as you are approaching Bulatan Pahang, you will see the library building on your right. Just make a U-turn at Bulatan Pahang to get to the library.    

If you are coming from the north, then Jalan Kuching is the most convenient way to get to the National Library. Take the flyover to Putra World Trade Centre, you are on Jalan Tun Razak already. Pass Bulatan Pahang, look out for the library bulding on your left.

Carparking is still an issue. The perimeter parking is always full. You need to park along the "side road".

A multi-storey carpark is under construction. Hopefully with its completion, it will ease the parking problem.

The library is opened from Tuesday - Sunday from 10am to 7pm. It is closed on Mondays and public holidays. 

Give it a try! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

It has been quite a while I didn't visit my blog. Quite substantially busy for me throughout the last three weeks because I was working on some jobs I got via online. To add on to the chaos, summer holiday has arrived and it is time to plan for return to home country for holiday. 

In between working, I had to organize my luggage, make sure it won't be under or over-weight. Nowadays, the one thing I must always do before heading home is to scan around my house (in Vietnam) to see what needs to bring home (to Malaysia) first, and what needs to leave behind. As we are planning to relocate back home soon, this is the one thing I must do before every trip so that I won't end up with loads of stuff to bring back. 

The next on my priority list is of course my shopping list. I make sure I stock up the necessary stuff for at least 6 months supply because it is either too expensive in Vietnam or they are not available. 

It is a never ending process. I brought home something. I bring something back. I  pile them all over my house in Vietnam. Come the next vacation, I pack something else and bring home again. And I go shopping, then I start piling them.... 

Sigh... I wonder if this is the way all expatriate wives run their household? 

Well, back to where we were. I have been a home maker for almost three years now. I enjoyed every bit of it. Now, I managed to get some online jobs that made my life even more interesting. Busy yes, rush for sure, not enough time to do other things definitely, but it is very refreshing! 

The thought of being able to make some money whilst still able to manage my household hand-on, I think this is a real dream come true. Like the song in The Sound of Music goes... "...somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good." 

I have worked on this for two years. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel finally....

So for home makers out there, never give-up. Life will turnaround. There are lights at the end of the tunnel definitely.