Finally... my last three state capitals

The year 2009 is pretty special to me. This year I finally achieved my life long goal to set foot in all of Malaysia’s state capitals. Yeah, after 45 years of being.

I’ve travelled quite extensively over the years (due to my work) but for some reasons, three state capitals – namely Johor Baru, Kuantan adn Kota Kinabalu – escape me.

Funny thing is I’ve been to all the states in Malaysia even Sabah (went to Labuan two years ago and took a ferry trip into the State and went river cruising somewhere) but never managed to visit the state capital - KK.

But somehow 2009, I was presented the opportunities to finally menjejakkan kaki at these three state capitals (and in my book it means the city centre itself and its famous landmarks).

Johor Baru – I’ve flown over JB countless of times especially in the 90s when we at Computimes have to take to turn to attend events in Singapore almost every other week. I even flew into Senai Airport once but instead of going into JB city centre, I went the opposite direction into Desaru. And that’s about it. And that's the nearest I've ever came to JB until May this year. So it was real pleasure when P1 Wimax held an event there and I was fortunate enough to join them. And I finally saw the Tambak Johor with my own two eyes and enjoyed the sea breeze in Danga Bay.

Kuantan – Okay, I’ve skirted around Kuantan a couple of times on my way to Terengganu and Kelantan (somehow you don’t have to go through Kuantan town to get further into the east coast). And this year, I’ve been to Kuantan twice. And the seafood by the beach.... aaaahhhhhh!

Kota Kinabalu – Finally KK. Was there in November. More seafood thanks to Veena. And its pretty there (well I was at ShangriLa Tanjung Aru and of course the view from my hotel room is simply breathtaking). I didn't get to do much while here (wished I've joined the rest for Island hopping sojourn on the last day though) but I'll would love to come back. But more importantly, this trip completes my dream.


And I'm stilll excited about Percy Jackson

Now who would have thought that a book series based on a Greek mythology managed to bring the five of us at home together. It’s such a rage in our household these past few weeks that we practically rushing to read the series and rereading it over and over again.

Not that we were not “together” before but as far as I can remember this is the first time that all of us went ‘gaga’ over a book or rather a book series. It doesn’t happen with Harry Potter (Yan does not like it) and certainly never with that over rated Twilight saga (sorry girls but I could not even bring myself to complete the first book let alone… urgh… never mind).

I’m talking about Percy Jackson & The Olympians, a series of adventure books written by Rick Riordan, and like I said itsbased on Greek mythology. The series begins with a young boy named Percy Jackson who is diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia discovering that he is the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. In the process, he learns that the Olympians still exist, along with many other figures and monsters from Greek mythology like Titans, cyclopes, and other creatures.

In the stories, author Rick Riordan has moved the Greek Gods from the Mediterranean to America (the new civilisation kononya) – where now the Underworld is beneath Los Angeles, Mount Olympus is 600 floors up in the Empire State Building in New York, the Island of the Lotus-Eaters is in Las Vegas – and all of the monsters, gods, and adventures have been brought up to date, in a way that is funny for the reader but respectful of the original myths.

But what excite us most is that the series are really funny, fast-paced, and really well written. Riordan did a wonderful job of making all the characters endearing, even the kids who are bullies and the not-so-nice kids. And although you can get lost reading the series because there are so many characters and monsters and creatures to remember, I truly enjoy reading it. And whadaya know, a movie based on the first series -The Lightning Thief - will be coming to theaters early 2010. Can‘t wait.

Cuma seriously, I was rather puzzled because the series escaped us for four years (until Asma bought the first series) as the first one was published way back in 2005, to be followed by The Sea of Monsters (2006), The Titan’s Curse (2007), The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008), and recently the final book in a series The Last Olympian came out not too long ago. (And of course we now are proud owners of all five plus one guide book called The Demigod Files).

But better late than never. Trust us.. Percy Jackson and the Olympian series are amazing read. We are suitably entertained!!