Certified Knockers.

Life is like a work in progress book. Days are turned into chapters, people we know are the characters playing their roles and moments are written as plots for the stories in our lives.

Now MySelangorStory is being written in my book, a whole chapter with many new characters appearing in it. And I’ll look back to this event as one of the awesome-st story ever written at this point of time in my life. πŸ™‚

Right. Let’s get on with Day 2 where we departed from Carlton Holiday Hotel in Shah Alam to Setapak where Royal Selangor Pewter is situated. The journey took about an hour and in a way I find it funny because it’s so close to where I live.

Despite the fact that I live nearby to Royal Selangor Pewter, this trip was my first visit there. I guess we tend to take something for granted when it’s closer to you huh? Nonetheless, this visit might not be the last from me. There were so many other parts of RSP that we couldn’t cover which had caught my interest during the visit.

So what does that mean? Round 2 visit πŸ˜‰

We were divided into 2 groups hence why we needed two tour guides to bring us around πŸ™‚ They were pretty cool. I mean c’mon, look at the photo above and you can tell they are a fun bunch in RSP.

Like I said earlier, there were so many parts of RSP that screamed out storytelling worthy and we only covered (possibly?) 40% of the area. I really love the steel plate hand prints pasted all over the walls in the RSP building. These hand prints are RSP employees hand prints who have worked more than 5 years. I dare you to count the number of steel plates because I lost count!

Royal Selangor Pewter turns 125 years old this year. That’s a century older than me! It was founded by Yong Koon. This is truly one of Malaysia’s remarkable icon. You can’t find any other tea pot with a story like the Melon Teapot. Even I was on the edge of my seat when I was told by their very special, very own storyteller whom I’ll reveal towards the end of this post.

Fact of the day – Pewter = Tin + Copper + Antimony.

We were then brought to the second part of the building where the real work is being done. Watching everyone walking on single file reminded me of the old days when we would go for school trips. As we observed how flat material were transformed into amazing artwork, we became more aware how difficult it is to master this skill.

Yes like kids, we were at awe watching them knocking, polishing and carving.
*Insert oohs and aahs here*

And boy, it takes years to master this skill. Once you’ve got it – you’re able to turn nothing into something in a blink of an eye. Ok I lied. A few blinks really. Still, I admire their attention to detail. Something I should be applying in everything I do..

On a cool note, we were able to drink 100 plus from their pewter mugs. I think there was a difference drinking from pewter and glass but I can’t place my finger on it. Maybe it has something to do with retaining the temperature. That and it feels a lot “crispier” when drinking it. I told you, I can’t figure out what made it different. Heh.

By the way,  aunty in the photo above has worked for more than 30 years for RSP. That means her hand print is definitely on the wall. Bravo!

We then moved to the furthest part of the building. The entire workshop was embracing us and it really was one heck of an experience indeed! Definitely an eye opener. I won’t look at RSP’s packaging the same way again after this, that’s for sure. Oh, and I used the wide angle setting from Pentax P80 which stitches two parts of pictures together in case you were wondering what the middle section of the photo was. πŸ˜‰

Ah, the things cameras these days can do I tell ya.

To think that was the coolest thing to happen. Ho ho ho. Merry Christmas everyone because RSP planned to blow our mind even more as we explore deeper in this mysterious building.

Look what we got ourselves into..

That’s right folks, we’ll be doing some hard knocking ourselves too. Never again will we ever take anything for granted after this. This school requires a lot of energy and focus, I kid you not. Just to spell 4 letters of my name was already tricky enough. I can’t imagine what it takes to make the entire mug. -_-

In the end we all graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. Bravo MSS kids πŸ™‚ We are certified knockers!

While knocking the bowl like nobody’s business, I found out that Sharmaine from RSP was my senior in Convent Bukit Nenas. The whole time we were there, I kept thinking she was so familiar but I don’t know why. Then I nonchalantly blurted it out while she helped package our gift and she simply asked which school I was from. Bingo!

Like any other students, we have our own graduation ceremony too πŸ™‚

What I love most about this part of the building is it’s design that feels very homely. Maybe it’s the english setting but I love it. Also, like many other trips we made, we’re never short of food. Blessing indeed but really, wherever we go, it’s always food food food fooooooooood. If my tummy could talk, it would probably be screaming throughout the 6D5N journey. Really.
I mentioned that RSP has it’s own storyteller right? 
Yup, it’s none other Datin Paduka Chen Mun Kuen. She came all the way to meet us and tell us of this enchanting story about the Melon Teapot. Who would’ve thought that something like that could save a man’s life? And it so happened to be Datin’s own grandfather’s piece of work. 
Life, don’t you just love to surprise people? πŸ™‚
If you want to know what it’s about, click on the link or better yet make your way to RSP. In case you are curious, RSP opens 365 days a year from 9AM to 5PM. Here we are complaining when we can’t get a holiday, they pretty much work everyday. Salute!
And thank you to Hanin for pointing out from her comment – this tour is free for everyone πŸ™‚ So, no excuse not to visit and have a knocking time at RSP! 
Also thank you to a certain Anonymous for directing me to the right path – School of Hard Knocks is a group activity you need to book in advance; minimum 5 participants and maximum 50. The fee is RM50 per person (I learned something new!). Just dial (6)03 4145 6000 or head over to Royal Selangor.
It was certainly a treat to meet her and RSP really made sure this trip was a memorable one. So special, I’d get myself one of the Melon Teapots too the next time. Kudos Royal Selangor Pewter. You’re definitely a gem!
I’m sure many of us know this but in case you don’t .. we have the largest mug in the world at RSP πŸ™‚ Tadah!
Before I forget (besides voting for me at this page), let me introduce to you to my very faithful friend…Sheepy πŸ™‚
Oh yes, this lil’ fella has gone to India, KK and wherever I happened to throw myself to. 
So that’s Day 2 Part 1. Next up, I’ll be writing about our journey to the top of the world!

Like Qings & Kueens

Come to think of it, there were many things I checked in my to do list while going for this MySelangorStory tour. One of them was to visit i-City. I got to know of this place through numerous photo albums uploaded by my friends on facebook who had visited i-City. Didn’t think I’d come to this place this soon though πŸ™‚

What were we doing there you might ask?

Well, the plan was to dine at i-City. But little did we know, they had set up the dining area in the middle of the digital of lights park for us, and wouldn’t you know it, the only other person who had dined in that same spot was the Sultan.

Truly, we were welcomed like kings and queens indeed. Let’s not even talk about feasting like one yet!

As we got off the bus, we were greeted warmly by the staff of i-City, something I still couldn’t get used to. Such warmness should be spread around to every Malaysians everyday. πŸ™‚

After the presentation about the developments of i-City, it made me realise that Selangor really plans to move forward with technology as it hopes to be the IT hub for everyone. What with the exceptionally fast internet speed, I couldn’t think of any better reason not to drop by here. Oh wait, there is one other good reason actually. But we’ll get to that stage later.

So i-City wants to be the leading animation studio in the future eh? It’s high time since the economy has been moving towards advance technology and what better way to bring in more income than this right? I shall wait for the day when Lucasfilm hand picks a Malaysian animation studio to work with them πŸ™‚

Hey, one can dream right? Oh, we have so much to catch up with the rest of the world!

After the short presentation by the CEO of i-City, Mr Eu Hong Chew, we then were adjourned to our dining area which was at the park. I’ll tell you one thing about myself that the world already knows – I’m a sucker for steamboat.

When we went to the our tables, we found out that they were serving us seafood steamboat. Double joy! God, you should have seen the size of ’em crabs. Goodness. It was huge..and juicy too. Yummeh. I could still remember the taste of it πŸ™‚ After all, what is Malaysia without good food right?

Because 70% of the population at my table were girls, we couldn’t finished the food as much as we had hoped to. However, we didn’t put the food to waste by simply adding them inside the soup. We just added according to our consumption instead. That pretty much took roughly about 1.5 hours of eating before we went into food coma πŸ˜‰

But that didn’t stopped us from moving about around the park. It was too inviting to not explore!

You know, the whole time I was there, there was only one song that was played in my mind and I thought it fit so perfectly well as their anthem. U2 – City of Lights πŸ™‚ I think that will be my official i-City soundtrack. Being here in i-City got me thinking how amazing it can be in the years to come when they have completed this project. As of right now, it’s still in an infant stage but with the right dedication and ambitions, I think it’ll be a leading hub indeed. Hello, free wifi with fast internet speed is enough to lure you in (especially if you’re staying nearby).

Best part about this place would be the LED lights surrounding the park in all shapes and forms. Hence the Digital Lights park. It does have the whimsical feel to it. Although, I’m not sure what T-Rex was doing at the end of the park tho o_O. In a nutshell, this park caters to all ages – young and old; a place you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Just so you know, the park opens from 8pm to 4am everyday. FINALLY, Malaysia has a park to call it’s own without worrying about being caught or have curfews.

Since it is new, the entire place is still what I like to call a prototype. At least for now. There’s a small scale snow room for everyone to wander around. This room will eventually has it’s own section somewhere in the park in a bigger scale – think Mines Wonderland’s Snowland. Yeah something like that. Brrr..

As usual, wherever I go, it’s usually the people that I love observing. They make an interesting subject to ponder on ‘cuz you’ll never know when someone you don’t know can make your day by doing something you didn’t expect. So, it’s really no surprise that a lot of my photos I took consists of other people.

And it’s only in Malaysia that I’ll get refused when I asked for permission to take one’s picture. At least that’s what happened when I approached one of the visitors at the park. It was my first time being rejected for a photo but that didn’t deter me from taking other people’s photos.

Then I saw this group of girls happily posing in front of (assuming) their favourite band.

They were such a sport! I couldn’t help but intrude in their comfort zone. Of course this time, I had improvised my approach (actually I was misunderstood) as they thought I offered to take their photo with their camera (which I did) and then I clarified about my true intention. Luck was on my side since they didn’t mind me taking their photo πŸ™‚ Thank you girls!

If there’s any lesson I learned from this even it would be not to give up and always find alternatives to do something because there’s never just one way of doing it.

Then, I walked around and saw this particular shop at the corner lit up with so many vibrant colours. Suddenly, I felt like a kid again seeing these toys coming alive with the lights. After browsing through the many incredibly awesome things they had, I walked out satisfied with a magical orb/ led lit translucent bouncing ball for RM10 πŸ™‚

And apparently I wasn’t the only kid at heart around here .. as soon as the rest of the bloggers saw me with this orb, I managed to persuade one of them to get it too. The power of indirect marketing! Heh.

Behold, the magical orb!

Nice eh? πŸ˜‰ Well, you know where to get it.

After that, we were brought to Uptown Shah Alam to enjoy the night bazaar at Seksyen 24. If it weren’t for MySelangorStory, I don’t think I’ll ever know this place ever existed. There were many people outside waiting for us to drop by. For a moment, it did felt like we were some famous people.

Wait, En. Aizul Hisham explained further about uptown before this night bazaar thing came around, it started off as a funfair. Don’t we just love the ’80s? I used to anticipate funfairs when I was younger. I’ll get excited whenever I see Ferris Wheel standing tall. Then in the 90’s it became a pasar malam. Moving to the new era, it is now a night bazaar with sturdy structures for all stalls. Here you can find all kinds of things. Believe me when I said all kinds of things – there’s a shop selling fighting fish in plastic containers and snakes.

Oh yes. Those ..err..no neck monsters are in Uptown too. *runs away*

Jass Cafe was our last pit stop in the bazaar that night. We had some refreshments to keep us awake, at least enough energy to take a look at what Uptown Shah Alam is all about.

Always expect the food stalls to be up and running till late because if there’s a business that doesn’t die, it’s the food business. Case in point. It looked so good, I was tempted to get some but..I was too full to eat anything that night.

We were entertained by Irwan Shah as well as a local magician in some hidden corner of the area. Also featuring two people from our group (names shall not be mentioned :P). Ah, it was a nice way to end the night actually.

By the time we reached the hotel it was close to 1AM. And everyone was busy mentally jotting down what to write in our blogs.

Since the rule was to blog our journey on the day itself, P1 W1max was our official broadband provider and gave us each our own broadband to use. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run on Mac OS. I was a sort of let down by it since I can’t use it. Hopefully they’ll be mac friendly in the future :/

And that ladies and gentlemen was how we spent our Thursday.

On a side note, it’s be really really realllllyyyyyy awesome if you could vote for me (daniaryezel) at MySelangorstory/like-qings-and-kueens for the posts you like πŸ™‚


Introducing the Colourful Insanities

Because we are a colouful bunch of insanities during MySelangorStory tour. I couldn’t think of anything better to describe it.

The moment I stepped foot on Subang Sky Park Terminal’s ground, that familiar coming home feeling kicked in. It’s been my childhood playground due to the fact that I spent a lot of my time growing up here. So this event only amplified the sentimental value I have with the airport. Ah, memories.

At the entrance of Kapitan Kopitiam, the Tourism Selangor crew as well as Firefly’s crew greeted me with big smiles. That warm welcome instantly calmed my nerves. I couldn’t thank them enough for that.

I always think that the start to anything is always the hardest and awkward but the moment all 26 bloggers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore met each other, it was as if everyone had known each other for sometime already. It’s probably because MySelangorStory has helped made the transition for all of us much smoother and easy. Also it has a lot to do with the fact that everyone sort of β€œice break” through twitter and emails when the finalists were announced earlier.

I think Kapitan Kopitiam was a good location for us to sit and chill because we were definitely doing a lot talking, laughing and of course camwhoring. Not to mentioned, they made really good Teh Tarik and some local delicacies to keep our stomachs from growling. What is Malaysia without it’s good o’ Teh Tarik?

Sy told me that those who were flown in by Firefly (since they were our official airline) were given VIP treatment prior to their flight. Heck, they even got a tour around the airport! Now, how awesome is that? Made me wish I was from Penang instead πŸ˜‰

About 30 minutes later, Raja Sa’adi, Head of PR & Marketing for Firefly kick started the tour with a short speech before handing over Firefly’s jersey to us to wear which then proceeded with more camwhoring. I guess it comes with the territory of being a blogger.

The first time when I stood next to a stewardess for a photo shoot, I was taken aback by how spontaneous Firefly cabin crew were as they posed silly with all of us. Even I can’t help but be charmed by their warm personalities and joined in the fun. Yes, me likey.

However, the one person who caught my eyes was James, the official Firefly photographer. He is quite the character I must say, so animated. I can tell he is a good storyteller by the way he talked to us.

You’ll know a good photographer when one can get the best out of the people and situation; something I keep in mind to practice in my approach when the occasion arises in the future.

Thumbs up sir =) You definitely made me day with your witty remarks.

Besides, the only way to learn something is by observing how the pros do it.

Then, we headed to the bus outside and were greeted by Kak Ning, who I must say is one of the coolest tour guide I’ve come across and standing beside her was Somu, our driver for the day.

Since the itinerary was not released yet during the time, Kak Ning informed us that our first stop would be Shah Alam where we stayed in Carlton Holiday Hotel for the night.

Later, we were sent over to one of the hall for a PENTAX-DSC World briefing. There, Madam Rissa Chan, Executive Director of DSC World Sdn. Bhd. handed out PENTAX cameras for our use during the tour. There were a few different models and I was handed the Optio P80.

Right away, we fiddled with the camera and I sure hope Citra (guy with the green camera) will get to keep his Optio W90 because he was so happy when he showed the camera he received to me and Nicole. Yes, Citra – write that advertorial ok? This tour has only just begun and I’ve already learned so much from everyone and everything that had happened.

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. – Sarah Ben Breathnach

As the sun went down for a rest, we went out to play. Part II will reveal what we did throughout the night.

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