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[caption id="attachment_5947" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="swallows (photo from www.permuted.org.uk)"][/caption] 我在上世纪40年代末期上学,由于日本占领时期没有华校,我上学时已略微超龄。第二次世界大战结束不久,抗日的情绪余波未了,音乐老师居然以悲壮洪亮的歌声,教我们唱抗日歌曲——《燕子》。 燕子啊,你来自北方,燕子啊,你来自北方,你知道哪一些村庄遭了苦难,哪一些城镇变成屠场?。。。 那是我的生命中,第一次在悲壮的歌声中,与燕子发生感情上的交融。 燕子有一身乌黑光亮的羽毛,一对俊俏轻快的翅膀,剪刀似的尾巴,活泼、机灵轻巧的动作。 燕子既然是北方的飞禽,因何在南方生活? 据说燕子不像其他飞禽,可以到处停歇啄食,而是必须在空中飞逐追食飞虫。冬天,冰天雪地的北方飞虫冻死消逝,燕子必须南飞觅食求存。因此,北方的燕子,秋去春回,过着流浪的生活。至于生长在南方的燕子,常年是夏,无须迁移流浪。 在热带的马来半岛,有许多燕子。森美兰的瓜拉比劳,是半岛上著名的燕子城。但我只是听说,不曾去过。我只知道在年轻时候,到吉打州南部的山城居林过夜,当过了黄昏,夜幕低垂,华灯初上的时刻,头顶上的电线,站满了成千上万的燕子群,高唱支支喳喳的燕子歌。它们在晨曦初放的黎明时刻,便纷纷飞向各方去觅食。 如今再到居林,白天也听到支支喳喳的燕子歌声,但却是空屋上播放录音片所发出以引诱燕子飞入的歌声。 燕子啊,人类的无情你可知道? 时代变迁,帮助人类消除害虫的燕子,如今已在不知不觉中被残酷的人类所利用。它们追随音响,飞入人类专为它们设备好的空屋,在里边住宿吐沫造窝,生蛋孵卵。当燕子婴儿未出世或刚出世的时候,燕窝已被人采夺去当人类的补品。而窝内的燕卵燕婴,即被丢弃糟蹋。人类的自私与残忍,岂是燕子妈妈所能想象得到? 燕子多情念旧,守信专一。北归又南来的北方燕子,也会回到去年的旧巢。即使过去富贵人家的豪宅,如今主人家消沉没落,人去楼空,或者由平常人家居住,燕子还是回归旧巢,决不趋炎附势,弃旧投新。唐朝诗人刘禹锡的《乌衣巷》:“朱雀桥边野草花,乌衣巷口夕阳斜。旧时王谢堂前燕,飞入寻常百姓家”。作者借“燕子依旧,屋主易人”的情景,来表现昔日豪门贵族不可避免的没落命运。北宋宴殊《浣溪沙》词句“无可奈何花落去,似曾相识燕归来,小园香径独徘徊”,燕影加深了诗人寂寞孤单的感慨。 燕子啊,你可知道,人类知你有情,却又对你无情?如今养燕者越来越多。你们是否担忧,你们的后代,将会因为人类的自私与贪婪而逐渐衰微? 文:林华(槟城),刊登于星洲日报副刊...

[caption id="attachment_5928" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="finned hammerhead shark (image from www.madmermaids.com)"]finned hammerhead shark (image from www.madmermaids.com)[/caption] Thanks to my friend, Perry Gan for writing this inspiring article about Sharks' Conservation and the reason behind it. I am posting this article on behalf of Perry and hope that it inspires you as much as it did for me: I have been meaning to write on the issue of Sharks' Conservation for the longest time.  Why i believe in it and how important it is to us.  So here's my take (it's a little long so please bear with me. Please read it in its entirety, I would appreciate it tremendously as this means a lot to me. And nothing would please me more if you would offer your thoughts and feedbacks after reading this, i will write a Chinese version next week!) (ps: I might have sounded a tad emotional while writing this and i think it reflects in some paragraphs, i am not here to judge but to lay down the facts and share my thoughts.  I apologize to anyone who might feel offended or patronized after reading this. My conscience is clear): Recently I was at a Wedding Banquet with a bunch of friends that I had not seen for sometimes.  The dinner had just started and we just had our 1st course.  Mid way through casual talks and wisecracks the waitress came with our 2nd dish – Shark Fin Soup.  Shark Fin Soup: a Status food for wedding banquets.  Because of its scarcity and high price, some restaurants have resorted to mixing real Shark Fins with Mung Bean Vermicellies or Fake Shark Fins (made from fish glue) to bring down the costs.  For the host it was important to show that they had not intended to opt for this cheap trick.  Hence the fins had been prepared separately from the broth.  You could still see the translucent shreds of fins on the plate that almost took the shape of an entire fin. Nothing could be more dignified than letting the distinguished guests know that the fins are genuine. I dutifully declined to take the soup, and explained that ever since I had become a diver I had stopped taking Shark Fin Soup and had been encouraging others to do the same.   For the ensuing hour or so I was bombarded with scores of questions by the uninformed/skeptics (sprinkled with some scorns, sneers and jeers I guess….):

“Come on, it’s such a waste, after all the soup has been prepared and there’s nothing you could do about it, not consuming it doesn’t mean you could save a shark right now, right?)

“If you pledge not to eat Shark Fin Soup out of considerations for animal cruelty, then why are you still eating meat? Isn’t it hypocritical?”

“Don’t be misguided by the Western cultures, the Whites are always teaching us what we should and should not do.  Shark Fins Soup is a delicacy passed down from generations, its part of our culinary culture. Why should we listen to a bunch of screwups who’d done so much in destroying our nature in the past 200 years?.  After all, they cut down the most trees, raised the level of Carbon Dioxides, wreaked the most havocs to the environments and we are forced to shoulder the mishaps.  Now they are pointing fingers at us? Enough is enough! How about a little respect (for our culture) please!”

“Why should we care? Sharks are such Monsters anyway!”

“What you are advocating may have huge implications and impacts to the fishermen and the restaurant owners, if nobody consumes Shark Fins, surely many people’s livelihoods will be affected.  Do you want to see that happen?”

[caption id="attachment_5937" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="A female mako shark being finned at a shark fishing camp, Santa Rosalia, Mexico. (Photograph: Brian Skerry/National Geographic/Getty Images)"]A female mako shark being finned at a shark fishing camp, Santa Rosalia, Mexico. (Photograph: Brian Skerry/National Geographic/Getty Images)[/caption] I knew it for the fact that convincing people to believe in me and my cause would take a whole lot of efforts; the biggest plight that sharks face today is sadly still a lack of awareness from us.  Surely some may hold the skewed opinions that my so-called quest is nothing but a way to look cool and hip.  After all, Going Green is in vogue now! Yes, it may look cool to save species rather than destroying them. And conveniently posting and forwarding some “save the sharks” videos or articles in the Facebook may earn me a lot of friends, perhaps even some respects and popularities. However, my pledge and my quest to conserve sharks really have nothing to do with getting my ego stroked. Here is what I believe:  As a diver, I have had a chance to see underwater nature as both breathtakingly beautiful and relentlessly unforgiving.  In fact I find some of my most memorable dive experiences to be quite humbling and spiritual at the same time.  As I marveled at the diversity and colours underwater, I started seeing God’s best works in a different light. These moments washed away egos and prides and prepared me to act and defend for the oceans.  As a diver, I have the vested interest in seeing the oceans thrive.  It’s not enough just to regale friends with how beautiful the underwater world is, or how interesting my last dive trip has been.  It’s also my responsibility to pass the words that the oceans are indeed at their limit (and in Deep trouble). I need to tell as many people as possible, that what we decide to eat today has a direct effect on how the ocean animals live tomorrow. Just as important, I can lead by example and make educated decisions about the food in my bowl.

[caption id="attachment_5907" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="cheering"][/caption] ThesEE two months are one of the busiest and most hectic months I had. Meeting new people from all sort of backgrounds, travelling to many places in Melaka which I had not explored before, and witnessing many incidents and events, good or not-so-good, are putting myself into a new challenge of life. Every new encounter is a lesson; to remain equanimous in every situation, in order to reach a balanced and happy life. Real peace comes when in the midst of all those things and still be calm in our heart. Towards the end of year, everyone is getting...

[caption id="attachment_5840" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Stephen and Henry in Melaka Crocodile Park"]Stephen and Henry in Melaka Crocodile Park[/caption] In the light of its rich historical past, Melaka has become one of the best places for travelling even for the locals. Two weeks ago after having lunch with Stephen and Henry, who always love to tour around Melaka, suggested to me to visit some of the tourism hot spots in Melaka. First of Henry’s choices was Taman Buaya Melaka (in Malay, Melaka Crocodile Park) which has a history of more than two decades. The Melaka Crocodile Park is located in Ayer Keroh of Melaka; about 20 minutes drive from the town of Melaka. As the name suggests, the park created an ideal captive environment for the crocodiles and displayed to the public. It has more than 100 species of crocodiles, including all local species with also crocodiles from America, Mexican, India, and Thailand. Some of the crocodiles hunted at other places within Malaysia are also brought into this farm, such as one huge 3.9-meter saltwater crocodile captured in Kampung Jawa, Melaka River. [caption id="attachment_5850" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Henry and the little croc in Melaka Crocodile Park"]Henry and the little croc in Melaka Crocodile Park[/caption] Since its opening, the park has expended and transformed to include a section of other reptilian species and birds. Furthermore, there are also special and exciting performances by the trained keepers and their crocodiles on every Saturday. Other attractions of the park include haunted ghost house, mirror mystery house and train ride, which make the park great for kids. Where we visited each of the cages, the crocodiles were so still that it looked dead or like a dummy. However when we looked at their eyes, they were like staring at us fiercely as if they were ready to strike. We were lucky that not needing to dive to the river nor travel to overseas to see live crocodiles from over the world where many of the species can be found here, yet getting so close to them. The park had changed a lot since our last visit during our childhood. For instance, more species have been brought in, the enclosures for crocodiles have been improved and we could still see some renovation on going to upgrade the facilities for the park. Overall the tour in the park was thrilling. [caption id="attachment_5860" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Stephen imitating the mouth open croc behind the cage"]Stephen imitating the mouth open croc behind the cage[/caption]

After the Crocodile Park, we went across the highway to the Zoo of Melaka. It is right opposite of the Crocodile Park. The last time I went to the Zoo Melaka was early this year in January but it was still fun to go again with friends.

The Melaka Zoo is the second largest zoological park in Malaysia. According to its official website, the Zoo currently features a handsome collection of more than 1,200 animals from the world over, representing more than 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

[caption id="attachment_5863" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Henry (left) and Stephen at the entrance of the Melaka Zoo"]Henry (left) and Stephen at the entrance of the Melaka Zoo[/caption] The best time to go to the Zoo of Melaka would be early morning as most animals are usually up and active; they are feed and exercised early. Most of the animals tend to be sleepy or turn lazy during noon as it is the hottest hours of the day. Then they get a second wind around in late afternoon. That was the time when we arrived at the zoo so we could see most of the animals getting active. As the sun going down and hiding behind the trees, we got to see nocturnal animals going lively, such as wild cat, owl and wolf which sleep all day and up all night. Since we were exhausted taking a half day walk in the parks under the hot sun, we didn’t stay at the zoo for long. Rather we took a quick tour in the zoo without taking many photos. To conclude, the tour to Melaka Crocodile Park and Melaka Zoo was amazing and the fact that taking the tour with Stephen and Henry, the two humorous guys had made the trip even more funny and joyful. The tour in Melaka didn’t end here, we then headed to largest bowling centre in Malaysia, Melaka International Bowling Centre with 52 lanes for two games, and continued to spark the night of melaka by taking a ride to the 80-meter height revolving tower, Menara Taming Sari, and enjoyed the beautiful Melaka River sceneries with the river cruise. I hope to have time to do a write up on the latter two attractions. Sharing some shots I took in the Melaka Crocodile Park and Melaka Zoo. May all beings be happy.

[caption id="attachment_5821" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="老舊水煲"][/caption] 照片在馬六甲雞厰街攝下的。一個人拿著相機到早市走走,我想一個人試試一個人走走逛逛的。看到這個畫面讓我回想小時候家婆婆家裏的這個水煲。小時候覺得這樣的東西都骯骯髒髒的所以都不加以理會,長大了突然喜歡上這樣老舊的東西了。人會長大,也會老去。所以我也盡量留下美好的回憶。 [caption id="attachment_5820" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="萬聖節"][/caption] 可以說是第一次看到萬聖節的佈置。從小都不不在意萬聖節是什麽。但是,那天在Mid Valley 看到很多店鋪都佈置所以拿起相機喀嚓這樣的回憶回來。萬聖節快樂! [caption id="attachment_5822" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="媽媽爸爸"][/caption] 我們逐漸長大,爸媽也逐漸老去。。。這幾次回來都呆在家裏陪著他們,粘著他們。媽媽問我這幾次是干嘛了。我說:媽,我想呆在你們身邊為你們做些什麽。。媽媽笑了。爸爸看我電腦坏了還主動買了台電腦給我。雖然爸爸平時都不太會表達自己的感情,但是我知道他有我們是幸福的 [caption id="attachment_5819" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="屠妖節快樂"][/caption] 攝影于The Garden...