Sep 25, 2013

sea of monsters.

don't we all. 

the best craft & textile store in KL. Ever.

Commentary on my lrt route from kl sentral to klcc every day goes something like this:

Pasar Seni: last station before everything goes dark. Must appreciate view of graffitied longkang and nostalgic pre-war shop houses as much as possible.

Dang Wangi: traffic level moderate. getting kinda cold.

Masjid India: traffic reaches all levels of amazingness. shovellers try their best to squeeze in. some of them step back and quietly wait for the next train.

Kampung Baru: tumbleweed town! I’m rooting for prasarana to shut this station down or at least skip it during rush hour. Since no one gets out, no one gets in, the cleaning lady shuffles by, and everyone in the train just freezes in silent misery.

KLCC: everyone get out! 

I’ve always wanted to explore KL a little bit more, so one fine day I brought a camera along and stepped off at the station with the highest amount of traffic. 

Masjid Jamek. 

 It was a seriously hot day, and surprisingly, a lot of tourists were wandering around.

Masjid Jamek (or India?) feels like a textile city, with lots of indians around. motorists zoom in and out, and be prepared to sweat. Went in a lot of gorgeous saree shops. The cloth and punjabi suits were really pretty! so glittery and soft... .... the prices are rather crazy though.

"all imported from India! we have all kinds of silk! what kind you want? kancheepuram, pochampally, baluchari, pomkai"

"how do you spell that?"

"i also don't know."

but I couldn't buy them, and window shopping is incredibly energy-sapping.

until I came to this.

Plaza City One is about 15 minutes walk from Masjid Jamek station. Kind of rundown but some have told me there are nice sarees inside. 
At the entrance, I saw this store called Song Chong with a huge variety of gems and buttons and studs… … basically the stuff that eunice brought from

We spent like a hundred bucks on those studs, plus shipping. Should use them soon :(
So excited! I forgot all about more sarees and walked around Song Chong Haberdasher muttering, “We should’ve come here to buy instead of ordering online lah!” 

Instant gratification and all that. 

These gems in the picture weren’t the prettiest. There are some nicer ones. I just didnt have the energy and thick-skinnedness to take pictures conspicuously in front of the salesgirl. There was also a lot of chains, nuts and bolts, etc. Basically everything you need to DIY necklaces. 
Buttons screwed to the drawers. Seems like a good refurbishing idea.
As I walked on, there’s this even more amazing store.

It’s called Bunga Reben and I went, “Wait. Don’t tell me this is a ribbon store”
Rows and rows and rows of gorgeous colorful ribbons, in every texture and thickness!
Can cry lah. I’ve always wondered where those gift shops get their ribbons from, and how come stationery shops always stock crappy thin ribbons.
THESE GUYS ARE RIBBON ROYALTY. Satin, grosgrain, organza, printed, in all thickness and colors. Consumers have a weakness for things in all colors. 
I spent quite some time examining the ribbons, overwhelmed by the variety. Give me color, and I will buy everything. I felt like an overexcited golden retriever wagging its tail, tongue hanging out. Hahahah. 
Finally I got a few rolls for Grace to get a sense of the place.

Then proceeded to explore the other elements of the shop.
They sell big bags of googly eyes. They sell cheap lace umbrellas. They sell artsy crafty stuff. They sell tiny wooden pegs. They sell wooden Popsicle sticks for you to build dollhouses. They sell lots of button embellishments. They sell rolls and rolls of fat colorful felt. They sell those telor bunga for malay weddings. They sell small glue guns. (!). They sell wigs.
These things are wigs. In every color.


So useful for children church craft and skits lah! 

Had to meet up with bro at Times Square so i sadly left. 

On my way back, passed through LOADS of textiles stores. and then saw this: 
new desktop background wahahhaa.

What a wonderful place! I will be back to get more stuff. KL needs more cheap craft spots lah. Technically it's more of a sewing store, rather than craft. I would really love a nice paper store. All sorts of thin rice paper, wax paper, crepe paper, manila cards, creamy thick stock paper... .....

Bunga Reben Bunga & Song Chong Haberdasher
G7, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Menara City One, KL (03 2697 3760).

Sep 11, 2013

turn around.

“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.”
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

One of the loveliest books I’ve read in awhile, John Green is one heck of a writer. I’ve resisted buying the book for a long time, because the general description of kids with cancer is so depressing that I’ve always put it down during my bookstore browsing. Until I impulsively grabbed one from the stack of TFIOS by the cash register. Those candy and gum cash register display people definitely know something.

Back to the quote. Life is going up, slowly, but surely. Perhaps detoxing fb has something to do with that.

Meeting up with dear friends for road trips and yamcha sessions are all fun and games, but the conversation ALWAYS veers back to the country, the economy, the are-you-for-real headlines, the happy demolition of heritage buildings, the impressive crime rate, the rising petrol prices, and those who have a choice to remain overseas will inevitably wonder when is the time to return.

Highly impressed by those who came back, and sadly wave my understanding goodbyes to those who gave up citizenship.

For those who want to come back but cannot, hang in there yoh. 

All those topics are so scarily depressing that I’ve decided to give thanks for some wonderful things about our country.

For one thing: Dental care. (go on, click on that link and laugh your face off) Being able to go to the shiny new government dental office some 10 minutes from my house, getting cavities filled for RM2. Thanks!

(Also clinic and hospital care, I think. Haven’t been there in years so I couldn’t say much on that.)

Second thing: PTPTN. There’s no way my shitty SPM and mediocre UEC results could’ve gotten me a scholarship to any university in the world, and my parents weren’t awash in money to afford private university tuition fees. PTPTN helped me get a university education. For that, I’m thankful.

Third: Location. There’s no way I can survive winter, and there’s no way Malaysia can survive earthquakes. We’re so LUCKY that there are no hurricanes and snowstorms. And sunlight is in abundance. Whee!

Of course there’s all the good food, incredibly old rainforests with the richest bio-diversities, amazing beaches, scuba-diving, but I don’t want to mention that right now. All those news about illegal logging is breaking my heart.  

Give thanks for Malaysia today!