Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blitz visit to Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur continued

Here are some things that sparked my curiosity or interest in Kuala Lumpur


I have driven past this building coming from the airport and was fascinated by its sign: Nirvana.
Later on I found out that this building is owned by the largest bereavement care company in south east asia. It's basically a funeral parlour.

This is funny - the Malay people didn't miss a beat and changed the portrait on the 100 $ bill according to our new president


Ready to drink bird's nest seem to be a speciality here. I feel I need more information before trying it. My questions are:
a. is it really a birds nest? b. From what kind of bird? c. how are they harvested and produced? are people rooming the forest and stumble across them or is there a bird's nest farm? why should one eat it?
Well, I got some answers on the internet:

"Why do I need BRAND'S® Bird's Nest Drink?

To prepare bird's nest drink at home, one is required to spend hours pre-soaking and cleaning the bird's nest, then double-boil the bird's nest with rock sugar. To preserve the precious active amino acids and anti-oxidant which can be easily destroyed by excessive heat, one must exercise great care in temperature control during the cooking process.

That is also why millions of people turned to BRAND'S® Bird's Nest Drink. BRAND'S® Bird's Nest Drink uses only top quality White Nest from Southeast Asia. And using modern technology, BRAND'S® Bird's Nest Drink is prepared in a tightly-controlled environment, preserving all the goodness of the bird's nest. And, you can drink it anywhere, any time.
Disclaimer :
Bird's Nest is known to cause allergy in some people, especially young children. For first time user, take a small sip and wait for 24 hours."


"Authentic bird's nest soup is made using the nests of the swiftlet, a tiny bird found throughout southeast Asia. The swiftlet lives in dark caves, using a method of echolocation similar to the bat to get around. Instead of twigs and straw, the swiftlet makes its nest from strands of its own gummy saliva, which hardens when exposed to air. Humans who harvest the swiftlet nests often come from families that have made their living this way for generations. Prying the nests from the cave walls is extremely dangerous, and many harvesters die each year.

Once the nests are harvested, they are cleaned and sold to restaurants, where they are served simmered in chicken broth. While I have never tried authentic bird's nest soup, apparently it is an acquired taste - many westerners think it tastes quite rubbery the first time they try it. However it is quite popular throughout Asia, perhaps because it has the reputation of being an aphrodisiac. It is also costly; many western restaurants serve a less expensive version consisting of soup with noodles shaped to resemble a bird's nest."

After reading these two accounts I am wondering now, if I should try it....

In our hotel room is a strange arrow on the ceiling. Here is why:
In all hotel rooms in Malaysia, it is a requirement to have a directional sign for the kiblat (or qibla)... Qibla is an Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays... The qibla is oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca and while praying, Muslims will face the direction of Mecca...

The qibla directional sign in hotel rooms is for the convenience of Muslim guests who will then have no problems in performing their daily prayers... The qibla directional sign is normally located on the ceiling or in one of the drawers of the hotel room...

1 comment:

Chaeles Bagli said...

my relatives on my mom's side of the family tried to make me eat it. i think i had the same problem at the time i heard it was bird spit. but for the sake of health, I am now taking it regularly.

btw, i don't buy the super-expensive kind like old people do. the ready-to-drink kind at the stores are pretty affordable. (e.g. www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm)