Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Still in PJ...

Still in PJ. Arrived late on Xmas eve. On the way back to mom's, I did contemplate if I should have fattening fried hokkien mee for supper. Decided not to. Still got ten days to be a glutton. No need to be so kann-cheong. Thus, went straight home instead.

Though I have been conscious NOT to stuff myself, i.e. I did pace myself as to NOT have all the foods that I want to eat in a single day, I did notice that my pants are a bit tighter, my face bloatier....Why ah?? *sigh* Think getting old lah....

Anyway, back to foods... I've already had my Hokkien Mee (Aiya...dad ordered same-sized plates of beehoon and mee. Boys hantam all the mee, and I reluctantly had to eat the beehoon. I'm a mee-eater lah. Next time, must order small plate beehoon and giant-sized mee. This Hokkien Mee these days is quite exorbitant leh....), satay, yau-yue-oong-choy (cuttlefish/kangkong - errr..not my favorite. But just eat lor), lobak, wantan noodles, Penang rojak, soya bean curd, char kway teow, rice wine mee-suah, pork curry chee cheong fun, normal chee cheong fun, laksa, kaya and butter toast, local kopi and teh tariks, Paandi's roti canai, Champ's Chue Yoke Fun, yong tau foo, and last but not least, dad's yummy home-cooked foods.

Other foods that I still want to indulge in are
- Mee Yoke from State
- Hor Fun and Chicken from Soo Kee in Seapark
- Bann Chien Kueh (this one think from SS2)
- Bak Kut Teh (so that I can slurp up the soup straight from the bowl)
- Mamak stall RM 1 nasi lemak (Err..still got RM 1 one or not???)
- Porridge in Chee-Cheong-Kai
- Claypot loh-shee-fun

Wah....like still so much food to eat, sooo little time!!!
How like that????

Moving

No. Not I. Not so soon anyway.
Just that my sister, D and her family will be moving into their new home in the next couple of weeks.
To be more precise, just before the Chinese New Year.
Thus, she's rather anxious for the renovations to be completed in time.
D's apartment will have a complete facelift; but the main focal point would be her brand new kitchen with customized cabinets, worktops, built-in ovens and Grohe faucets.
Well, she does enjoy creating edible masterpieces.....and a good kitchen will inspire more!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Grrrrrrrrrr....

GRRrrrrrrr!!!

GERAM-nya!!!

First, I changed H's return date from 4th Jan to 27th December which incurred a penalty of USD 20/-.
Then this fella called me from work yesterday informing me that he has a negotiation at 4 PM today, and another on the morning of Boxing Day. So, he can't come home with us this time.

BUT the ticket cannot be cancelled. The next plan was to change the ticket AGAIN. For him to fly out on New Years day, and return with us on the 4th of Jan, as originally planned. 
BLEAH...
NO MORE ECONOMY SEATS on the 4th of January.
OF course we are not going to pay the extra $$$.
So....changed H's ticket to return to KL at a later date.....without us :-(
And of course, incurring another penalty of USD 20/-
BLEAH!!!!

*sigh* What to do??? 
He officially took on a new position just this Monday.....lots of responsibilities and challenges.
We were just saying "cushy job donwan......." (his last job was quite cushy. Okay. Not exactly lah. But more manageable)

On a different note. Apparently, my maid is still sick. Driver went to see her yesterday. No more dengue but got donno what with her belly, and can't even stand straight. I'll clarify further with the driver later (H was the one that relayed the news. He couldn't really understand what the driver was telling him). Will see what happens when I return in ten days time. I don't want to be cruel, but if she is going to have this long lingering unknown illness, whereby no one knows when she is going to be fully-well, I don't think I can wait for her when the boys start school. 

Okay lah. Got to go finish off some last minute packing and chores (need to have a fairly clean house for H lah...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane....

....don't know when I'll be back again...

HEY! Wait a minute. I do know when I'll be back again. 
Flying back on the 4th of January as boys' school starts on Monday, 5th January 2009. 
Wow! So fast 2009 liow.

As per my title says, we will be leaving on a jet plane for our pilgrimage home aka Balik Kampung ke Petaling Jaya. Our KLM flight leaves on Wednesday, 24th Dec. 
Yup! Xmas Eve. When we booked our flights, Xmas Eve was cheaper than the preceding day. Besides, H still had to work at least half-day on Xmas Eve.  
He'll only be in PJ for 3 days, returning back here on Saturday, 27th (hence my request for the maid to return to work on this day. So that she can at least mop the floors, wash the toilet and change the sheets); have Sunday as rest day, and then back to work on Monday, 29th. 
What to do? He just took on a new position at work. Thus, had a whole list of things that he wants to put in order before the new year starts....

I'll be around for about 10 days....so Laundryamah.. as usal, you organise get-together lah.

Mmmmmmmm....

Donno what title to put this post under....

As mentioned previously, my maid had dengue fever and was admitted to hospital on the morning of Wednesday, 17th Dec. (Most likely, she caught it from her home as she had the whole week off while we were in Melbourne) My driver  had informed me this morning that my maid had returned home after only two days of hospital stay. Though out of hospital, she is still feeling faint etc etc.  

I donno. Is she well enough for the hospital to discharge her? Or they just can't afford to pay the bills? She didn't ask me for a loan for the bills; nor inform me that she has gone home to recuperate. 

I am NOT expecting her to come back to work today, nor tomorrow nor the next day either.
I am giving her till Saturday, 27th. That's ten full days. (If she is soooo sick, surely the hospital will not discharge her? Or her husband would come and ask for a loan to keep her in the hospital???)
Even then, work load will be light compared to normal, as boys and I will NOT be around. 
Only H. 
How many pieces of clothing can H wear?
And he doesn't mess up the house like the boys. 
IF she can't handle such light work load, I donno lah. 

I just don't think it is right to PAY her a full month's salary, if she has only worked 8 days. Plus, if there is NO doctor's letter, nor medical certificate; how can I be sure that she is really sick and not wanting to have those days off??? 
Maids are maids. No matter how "good" or "loyal" or "trustworthy" you think they are; behind your back, they are the same. Bunch of liars. 
I also would say that my maid "sure really sick" but then....I wouldn't know. Would I? So...Never really believe what they tell you. NEVER!
Summore, the reason she is sick (that is if she is really???) is because I gave her the week off. 

So...we'll see if she comes back to work on Saturday. 

Otherwise? I donno...... CUT her pay? GET RID of her? WHAT??

In the meantime, I have been cleaning, mopping, scrubbing, washing etc etc. Back hurt like h@ll the other day, which I later pampered myself with a 90 minute massage at the spa. :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Loot from Melbourne

This trip to Melbourne is not a holiday trip nor a shopping one. It's to attend my youngest sister's wedding. Thus, the fact that we managed to procure a variety of goods is really quite good...Go here and here for other stuff that we bought.


MASTERS Barbeque Sauce and Cottees Chocolate Sauce
(H and boys like MASTERS... and cheaper here....)

Instant Sauce Mix
(Just buy to try....already used the Cheese Sauce - boys dislike it though.
Ooops...How come got Lee Kum Kee sauce one?? )

Long Life Hokkien Noodle
(Don't know how these taste like. We don't like the ones here....Good ones can only find in certain faraway wetmarkets)

Solar-Powered Garden Light
(Not really working...H said that Fireflies are brighter! Maybe that's why the set was half-priced???)

SunShirts from Target for the Boys
(Cheaper and More Choices)


H's History Books

(Think he watched too much Indiana Jones....Hahhahaha)

Evening Primrose Oil, Fish Oil, Spirulina etc
Big Bottle of Sunscreen from Coles

PJs for the Boys ( 2 Sets for S1 and 1 Set for S2)

H bought these Magazines at the Airport
(for me lah....Not himself)

Half-Priced ROC Products from 'My Chemist'

We also bought some canned oysters and mussels plus two books for S1...but forgot to take picture.....so nevermind lah.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Other Stuff from Melbourne

Always wanted an espresso machine. Actually, H did buy me one many many years ago - think about 15 years ago. It was a Krups. But I sold it to Cash Converters when we were leaving Bangkok. Thereafter, couldn't find any that was affordable. Wanted to buy one when we were in the US but the different voltage would be a problem. Finally, bought one from Melbourne. It's Breville.  There was an offer with the coffee grinder. (errr..... I didn't assemble the machine when I took the photo. So the drip plate and filter are missing.....)

Some very fattening nuts. Actually, am told that nuts are really nutritious. I love nuts...(those shown here and those elsewhere...Ahem! Ahem!...hahahahahaha). Anyway, these are caramel-coated ones that we bought from Queen Victoria Market

Bought this Brush Set and Disposable Palette Paper in one of the NewsAgent. Very malu when my art teacher tries to use my existing brushes and they are in such sad condition (I never clean them properly. I know. Terrible.)

If you've read about the Dinner Party we hosted, you'll know why we need to get these bottles of bubbly from the duty free shop at Melbourne Airport....


Mmmm...what else did we buy? Bottles and bottles of Evening Primrose Oil, pyjamas for boys, some history books, some magazines and some sweets. Haven't taken pictures of these items. Will do so when I've charged my camera.....

All About Scrapbooking

Organised my scrapbooking stuff this morning.....The following photos are the recent stuff that I bought.....from Berkerley in October, some stuff from here, and most recently from Melbourne.

Albums to-date

Acrylic Stamps from Berkerley

Embellishments from Berkerley

Ribbons and Embroidered Stuff sourced locally

Pressie from Mott
(more about our meeting in a separate post)
Donno why the photos from hereon all so blurry one leh

Embellishments from Melbourne


Themed Sets from Melbourne

Cardstock, Papers and Vellum from Melbourne

Carry-on Tote from Melbourne

Books from Melbourne



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News. Bad News. Bad Bad News.

The Good News is that H got upgraded to Business Class on the Melbourne to Singapore leg. You probably would say what has that got to do with me???..... Heheheheh. He let me take his seat lah whilst he remained with the two boys in Economy. :-D
I thought something was wrong when his name was called over the PA system when we were in the lounge, but H had already left with S2 to go jalan-jalan. At the gate, told H about the announcement and he went to the airline counter by the gate. Boys and I proceeded into the aircraft first. H took awhile to come into the plane, and when he did...he just passed me the upgraded boarding pass and told me to take the seat. 
How was it? 
Much much better, of course.
As it was a day flight, did not utilise the FULL sleeper function. Watched movies instead. 
S2 didn't know that I was in Business, until we were in the car on the way home. He actually cried and was really upset. 

The Bad News...actually, not that bad lah. The attendant at the lounge over at Changi did not allow ALL of us to utilise the lounge this time. H could only bring ONE guest. Previously, he used the excuse of "only kids" to get the boys into the lounge. However, this time, the attendant was very adamant that the boys could NOT enter. So...we had to wonder around the terminal. Luckily did not spend any money here....you know lah Changi has a lot of good stores around. :-P

Okay. Now the Bad Bad News. My maid has dengue fever. 
No. Don't think she caught it while in my house, as she had the week off while we were in Melbourne. When we got back on Tuesday night, she did look a bit sickly. The next morning, driver said that she had rashes on her arms etc. H instructed driver to take her to the hospital ASAP. She was already gone when I woke up.  
Was hoping that I could relax abit after Melbourne. But Noooooooo. I have to work even harder. GOSH!! So much clothes to IRON!!!! 
Yes. One week of HOLIDAY CLOTHES!!!!! 
Bleah...D@mn 'suay' summore. I had hung all the clothes nicely out in the sun yesterday, and they were almost dried. I was standing by the terrace doors looking out when I saw that there was a lovely breeze. A split second later, I saw two of my laundry stands tip into the blardy swimming pool. I had to jump into the pool to retrieve the stands. Some of the clothes had come off and sunk into the bottom of the pool.
Bleah.. Had to fish them out with the pool cleaning tool. Geezzzz.
No lah. I said jump in doesn't mean whole body lah. Just my legs into the steps of the pool.  So only wet up to my thighs lah. 
*sigh* And tomorrow got to mop the floors, clean the loos.... 
BLeah BLeah Bleah...
This dengue fever is gonna take some time in terms of recuperation, right? Anyone know how long is the hospitalisation?



Monday, December 08, 2008

Kelam-Kabut DAY!

If it's not for my ignorance (or perhaps stupidity), I would be on the plane at this very minute.

Happily hopped into the car with H, the boys, our two big luggage bags for the airport. 45 minutes in the car, and we arrived at the airport. Check-in seems to be straight-forward as I've already done the internet check-in on Saturday. Bags were tagged, Passports checked. THEN...as she was about to print the the lady asks for my Mastercard credit card. The one that I booked the flights with FIVE months ago.

Guess what?
I don't have it with me.
I don't carry all my credit cards with me...especially when I'm travelling. Just one or two cards to "phong sann".
No amount of negotiation, cajoling, arguing would change their mind to issue us with the boarding passes.
I mean I've already checked-in, and got the E-boarding passes (just that I didn't print them out, which on hindsight I SHOULD HAVE!!!), and my passport proves that I am the one that booked the tickets and also travelling on this particular flight.
I do understand it if the person who purchased the ticket is NOT travelling on the flight.
I think it's quite silly....Let's pretend of a hypothetical scenario. I booked the flights 5 months ago. Then two months back, my card was compromised and the bank stopped the card and instruct for its destruction. Does one keep the card and not destroy it just because an airline ticket was purchased months ago???
You tell me. Makes sense or not???
I donno whether is it a Singapore Airlines only thing or what???
Because I booked our flights from SFO to JFK and then JFK to SFO on Delta Airlines and American Airlines via the internet and using my credit card. BOTH airlines did NOT request to see my credit card.
So. Tell me.... WHY???

Luckily they did get us on the 7 pm flight to Singapore (our original flight was at 5 pm so cannot meet up with other family members at Changi already...), and the traffic today was VERY VERY GOOD....public holiday you see. So...we went home to retrieve THE necessary credit card and return to the airport. I tell you, if it was a normal day...I don't think we could actually catch our flight lah...

So...after checking-in for the SECOND time today, we paid for our exit taxes and proceeded through immigration sucessfully. Went to Starbucks to get our two free drinks and sandwiches. Whop it down our throats into our stomachs, and here I am now in the lounge...blogging!
Yes. Boys are here...but there are other PCs around. Thus they are also busy playing their online games. What else??

Okay lah. I'm gonna go kacau H and the boys.....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Confusion of What to Pack!

As you know, we will be off to Melbourne tomorrow. 
Naturally, we need to know the weather conditions in order to pack the right type of clothing. 
A quick check at the weather guide indicated that the temperature in Melbourne on Tuesday ranges from 11 deg C to 25 deg C. 
This range is rather wide...which brings the confusion of what should we pack? 
Pack T-shirts, shorts and baseball caps for the days?
And  Sweaters, long pants and beanies for the chilly 11 deg C nights? 
According to my Melbournian sis, she said that one can experience FOUR different seasons in a single day in Melbourne; and her advice was to pack clothes that we can LAYER. 
So...now I'm off to do my packing...

More Photos from Roman Day...



A few more photos from Roman Day...

Go here and here for my written post and more photos.

Check out this cool GLADIATOR headgear!!!

S2's Teacher


Another Teacher

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Yr 4 Roman Day

Some photos on Roman Day...

Close-up of S2's headgear
I think they call these thingys 'laurels'

Gladiators!!

A Roman Feast 
of Grapes, Honey, Roast Beef, Bread, Vegetables, Dried fruits, Olives

Learning Materials...

Pretty Hairdos of some fair Roman maidens..
.

A Silly Mistake!

When we were renovating our home, there was a choice of fitting a conventional tank water heater or tankless water heater in our master bathroom. I knew that the tankless-type were more efficient and economical, as the unit would provide instantaneous water whenever required. One would not need to turn on the switch and wait for minutes for the tank contents to heat up like in a conventional tank water heater. Neither would the heat be "wasted", like in a conventional tank water heater when the water is not used immediately. 
Despite my knowledge, I still made the silly mistake of installing a conventional tank water heater. I did regret my decision when I had a burnt fuse when I forgot to turn off the heater switch.
What a bummer....
Will be wiser next time.

Opportunities Exists

Met a new expat wife, L the other day through a friend. L has been in this country for one and a half years, and she absolutely HATES it here. She abhors the quality of life citing lack of nature activities, language differences etc. etc. Her distaste for the country has led to prolonged depression. According to my friend, L even contemplated of suicide. When talking to L, she mentioned that she felt "useless" as she missed "making money". I tried to counsel her, and told her that she could always start a home based business. here. It's not impossible, as proved by some expat wives. There are many niche markets in this city of over 10 million people, that one can tap into. All it takes is some creativity and a whole lot of hard work. It's just whether we want to be really committed to our home based business or not. Well, all our counselling did not help, as she has closed her mind to all but her decision to pack her bags and return to her home country....leaving her hubby alone here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Roman Emperor!

S2 had been studying about the Romans this term. And to reinforce what the kids had learnt, they have a ROMAN DAY tomorrow. On this day, both teachers and students will dress-up as Romans for the day, and have Roman food for lunch. 

S2 wanted to be Octavian for Roman Day, thus had to search for a costume from the internet (posted a few different designs here about a month back), and take it to a tailor. I didn't shop around. Just went to one near to our house that was highly recommended by other expat moms. Had a shock when she wanted to charge me about USD 30/- (includes material). *sigh* what to do?? Had to agree as I went to her only last Monday (24th Nov). Yes. Yes. My fault for procrastinating.... 

But the final result looks quite good. I was quite pleased with it. I supposed I had to pay a little premium for her experience in making all-sorts of funny costumes for children. If I were to go to a tailor who has no experience whatsoever, I would have to explain forever. 

"Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus"
Headgear and Costume


Told S2 that he might as well have a Roman-themed birthday party next February.....to make full use of his costume. Can't exactly just wear this expensive costume once right?? Besides, all his friends would also have their Roman garbs that have only been worn once. I'm sure their mommies would be happy to help them don the costumes one more time!

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Buddha

Just finished this painting today. Stupid H said that the shadow looks very artificial. Bleah!!
I will have to ask my teacher what his professional opinion is. 
I thought it looks okay what!

USA Shopping - Part 1


ALL about SHOES.

Bought these footwear from the various factory outlets during our trip to the US. Can't remember whether in Barstow, Las Vegas or New York

Two Pairs from Kenneth Cole



Three Pairs from Cole Haan



Two Pairs from Stuart Weitzman


Like I said...ALL these shoes cost less than my Scrapbooking supplies from Berkerley.
SIOW liow.....


In My Dreams...

I know this sounds silly...but I sometimes day-dream about winning the lottery. Not the hundreds of millions of dollars..but approximately 15 million dollars would be good enough. I'm not greedy. Heee heee :-)
I would think about how I would use the money...set up a trust fund for the boys, pay-off all my mortgages, give some to my parents and other family members. And the surplus, I would love to have a mansion whereby I could decorate each room to a different theme. A romantic casbah filled with beautiful Moroccan furniture where I could feel like an Arabian Princess. An English tea room with rose chintz design where I could serve scones and cream to my guests. A Chinese room with chinese furniture, art and blue-and-white ceramics....the list goes on. Well, I know where I could get the Chinese and English furniture, but to find authentic Moroccan furniture might be a bit of a challenge. There's the ottomans, Arabian Nights Lanterns, Casablanca doors and carvings, and the must-haves Moroccan Mosaic Tiles!
But then. I need not worry about this now for I have yet to win the lottery!
So...should I pop out now to buy the ticket now, and keep my fingers crossed?
Or should I continue to dream???

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What's happening??

The last week has made me wonder what is happening to this world??
First, I read from MamaPumpkin's blog that her Muslim cousin was told by her teacher that "satan will shit on her head if she does not wear her tudung"
Then, I read in the papers that Yoga is banned to Malaysian Muslims....
And that conservatism is on the rise....
Then the incidents in Mumbai. 

So...to understand a little more, I've bought two books today (TIMES bookshop had an opening discount of 20%) ..."Encyclopedia of Religions" (actually, this is geared towards kids. Figured it will be easier for me to read. :-D ) and "Inside Islam".

Let's see if I am enlightened...but as I am currently a slow reader...don't know when I will complete these two books. 

No Tree This Year

H asked me to put our  Xmas Tree  up two weeks ago, i.e. when we had the dinner party.  
Thought hard about it, and decided that the Xmas Tree will not go up this year. 
No point.
Since we won't really be around to 'enjoy' looking at our lovely tree. Don't wanna come back in early January 2009 ...and first thing I do is DISMANTLE the tree. 
Yes. Usually, I end up to be the one bringing the tree down....with the maid's help, of course. 



Laptoppers

Got four laptoppers from the ANZA Bazaar last Tuesday. Don't know why...but they had a lot of batik ones, and some stripes. Not so many of the patterned or floral ones. Figured that I should just stick to the stripey ones. 

As I've got to lug three laptoppers DownUnder, I need to know which one I should bring back to KL. The black stripey one would be for TK since it's the most macho one. Don't think he wants the other three. :-)

I was thinking of the whimsical lamp one for the HOT shot advertising exec from London, ...the blue one for the preggie one and the orange stripey one for the bride. 


What say you??? If everyone agreeable, I will bring the blue stripey one to KL...and the rest to Melbourne....unless the bride wants me to bring hers to KL. 

Oh yah...since we are NOT doing the Xmas pressie thingy; consider these your advance BIRTHDAY pressies. 
(And TK - consider this as your wedding pressent!! Hahhahahaha)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

TAG - 8 Random Things About Me

Got this tag from Slavemom; and thought that I should get to work ASAP. :-)

1. I like to do arts and crafts stuff....but would not really consider myself as an artsy person. I don't know how to appreciate Picasso nor Gaudi's masterpieces. 

2. Am currently doing this tag at the front desk of the Australian New Zealand Association... Why? Volunteered to man the Front Desk for two days. Was actually referred as "the receptionist" by one of the drivers. Mmmm.... 

3. I am a lazy, procrastinator. Need I elaborate?

4. I absolutely love to stay at home.  Have been yearning to stay PUT at home without having to leave the front door for the last two weeks...but to no avail. :-( 

5. I still feel like I am 18-22 years old (Sapp-patt-yia-yee)....though everyone has told me to add 20 to those years!.. Hahahah

6. I thought that I had pretty good fashion sense. But has been told by H that my taste, my clothes, my music, my dance moves are all from the eighties. BLEAH.

7. I sometimes have pretty bad emotional swings.... I could be happy one minute, and the next, feeling the blues. Could it be hormonal? I donno... But sure does feel like a YOYO...going up and down. Up and down. 

8. I am still seeking more fulfilling things to do...but being the lazy bum that I am...it is really quite difficult to REALLY start something. How like that?

Not tagging anyone in particular. However, please feel free to do this TAG okie?

Flight back home from the States

Thought I should finish all my posts of our USA trip before I fly off to Melbourne in less than 2 weeks time. 

From my previous post, I wrote about our AA flight from JFK to SFO was delayed. Only found that out when we were at the airport, after checking-in via the auto-machines. Had a shock to see that the boarding time was 3 hours later than our original departure time. This delayed departure would mean that our arrival in SFO would be very very close to our departure flight from SFO to SIN

So..from NO need to queue at the auto-machines, to a LOOOOOOONG queue of the check-in counters. We tried to get an earlier flight to SFO
Not possible. 
We tried to have our bags directly transferred from the AA flight to our SQ flight at SFO
Not possible.
H then called SQ to inform them of our impending LATE arrival at SFO.
We were told to notify the AA ground staff on arrival at SFO. And I did that but was rudely brushed aside by the big fat AA ground staff...telling me that I COULD catch my flight. (H had gone ahead to try to retrieve our bags from the carousel and to check-in at SQ counters).
Well, we MISSED our flight from SFO to SIN, and had to stay one night at San Fransisco. out of our own pocket. Supposed to get AA to pay for the one night...as it was their fault.  But we couldn't find any AA staff in the airport at that hour (it was almost 1 am), and we were out on the concourse rather than the terminal. *sigh*

Anyways, we manage to get seats on the next SQ flight out, i.e. the 12.40 pm flight (19 Oct) via Seoul. The SQ staff recommend that we stay over at the Hyatt. H and I proceeded out to the Free Hotel Shuttle rank.... I think there were about 3 or 4 different shuttles to other hotels, and the one to Hyatt was still no where to be seen. Was gonna just stay in the other hotels but they were either full or more expensive than the Hyatt. Then another shuttle came. Again. Not Hyatt's. At this ungodly hour, there were no more passengers. This particular Chinese driver said "if you give me tip, I take you to Hyatt".  
Of course, we took up his offer. 
We had to give the drivers tips regardless....
As he was driving a COMPETITOR hotel's shuttle, he had to drop us out on the main road rather than OUT in FRONT of The Hyatt. :-)
Check-in was seamless. Had a hot shower, and then zzzzzz.
When we woke up, we headed straight to the Airport. Had breakfast in the lounge...FREE ma. What for pay extra to eat the hotel's breakfast?? hahahahhaha

Then I remembered KC. The friend that I didn't manage to meet while I was in San Fransisco...as he was in Boston then. I recalled that he said that he would be on the afternoon flight to Singapore on the 19th. So...I went up to the attendant and check to see if they have this passenger on their list. And lo and behold...she said "he has just checked in five minutes ago". Within ten minutes, he walked into the lounge. 
It was GOOD catching up in that hour or so.... 
No. Not in the plane...He was in the FRONT of the plane, and we were waaaaaaaaay back in the plane. Hahahah.

Luckily, the flight from San Fransisco to Seoul was NOT full. Both H and I managed to have three seats each. ...Our own SLEEPER BEDs. Economy-style. :-)

On arrival at Seoul, we did meet up with my friend again. 
The flight from Seoul to Singapore was really really full. And I mean 100% full. So no choice but to get squashed up in our little seat. But at least this leg is not that long. By the time we arrived in Singapore and catch a taxi to sister's place, it was like 2 AM already!!!

The next morning, we had breakfast as one of the nearby foodcourts in a market, and then dad (Yup. Dad was in Singapore then...helping sis with babysitting and cooking) drove us to the airport for our flight home.

All and all. H and I had a good trip to the USA. 

:-)



 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

General Updates - 25 November 2008

"Sick" Boy
As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to keep S2 at home on Thursday. Took him to the clinic to have the nebulizer again. As we were leaving, I saw S2's classmate and his mom walked through the door. She had just picked him up from school. The reason? 
He fell and knocked his head on the concrete ground, and had started to vomit. 
Anyway, she texted me later to see if we could get together for lunch the next day, that is, if her son is okay after the CT scan and all.
All is well at the doctors, ...and guess what?
We met up at the local pizza joint for lunch on Friday, and the two "SICK" boys donned on aprons and chef's hat and went to the kitchen to make their own pizzas, whilst the mommies chit-chatted. They were certainly having a ball...then my friend told her son "you better not tell your teacher that you had lunch with S2 on Friday"....YUP. Two "SICK" boys who didn't go to school, but could have a play date????
Actually, the teacher is just overly-cautious.

Boys' Sleepover
S1 had two of his friends over on Saturday for a sleepover. S2 supposed to have a friend sleepover too, but because he was still coughing, I thought it wasn't such a good idea for him to be sharing an enclosed space with his friend. So his friend stayed till about 6 pm. 
Actually, am not so keen to have sleepovers at my house, but I reckoned that I should do it as this way, I get to know my boys' friends and their families too. 
One of S1's friends, S was sent by the driver. The mom did not come...I don't think that I have really met her. And I thought it odd to NOT come and meet the people that your son is going to spend the night with. I could be a child-trafficker or worse! The other moms did come and have a short chat and coffee. 
And when it was dinner time, this same boy S commented "It's about time!" ....I thought that was kinda rude to be making such remarks at people's house. I commented to H that this boy must be one of those spoilt RICH local kids that have like TEN maids or what-nots in the house!! 

Brunch Again!
Didn't want to go to the Four Seasons Sunday Brunch. I wanted to just stay at home and ROT on the couch, and GROW worms!!! But H had already made arrangements with his friend and family. So reluctantly had to go... 
Didn't eat that much. I drank more. 
NO. NO. Don't be mistaken...I had the non-alcoholic brunch. Just that I drank alot of fruit juices.  The others DID DRINK alot!!! And I mean ALOT!!!
Boys? Didn't really eat...except for the dips at the chocolate fountain. 
Luckily they didn't charge for the kids. 

Roast Pork
Tried out dad's Roast Pork recipe....had to say that it was pretty good. Will certainly make it again. Errr...forgot to take photo lah.

Painting
Finished my Balinese Dancers already...
NICE?

Working on another new painting...a Buddha Statue. Waaaaah. This one is very very hard! The light graduations all soooooo difficult. Will show you when I'm done.

Xmas Bazaar
Went to a Xmas Bazaar this morning...specifically to buy the four Laptoppers requested. Will post pictures next day as they are still in the car....

Okay lah. Later...abit lazy.



Good Deal or Not?

S2 gave me a little catalogue of book titles from his school's book club this morning. I had a quick scan over the titles and thought that there were some really good deals. For example, 20 books of the "Horrible Science" series for less than GBP 20/-.  However, I discovered a separate list of pricing in the local currency. A quick calculation revealed that the school had not used the current exchange rates. Using the same example as above, I would have thought it would work out to be less than USD 35/-. Instead, the list price was almost USD 50. I certainly would not be buying from the school's book club!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Next Assignment

H has repeatedly said that we would stay in this country for another year. Thereafter, we will all ship out to a new location. One possible place that he has mentioned is the US. From what I gather, the company's office is in Dallas. And I can't help but wonder if I should actually go back to work, as boys would be older and more independent by then. As for job prospects, I'm sure there are plenty of jobs in Dallas for a Chemical Engineer. The only problem is whether I could revert to a working-mother role after so many years.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not Again!!!!!

This morning......happily hopped into the car at about 10.05 AM.
My destination was to be the Driving Range. Made appointment to meet my friend at 10.20 am to hit some balls, and then lunch. Was even planning what to eat during lunch. Wanted to have Duck King's Malaysian Curry Mee. Yum Yum. Couldn't wait till lunch.

Just as I was about to put my socks on, my mobile phone rang."Mrs. NomadicMom? This is Mr. M, S2's teacher....blah blah blah blah"...with this single 2-minute call, I had to make a U-turn and head towards school AGAIN. I feel like I have gone to school like a 1001 times to pick S2 up in the last week already!!!  (read here and here)
ADUH!!!
Yes. S2 did have a 'funny' and coarse voice this morning when I put him on the bus. Abit of cough but not of such a concern that he's got to stay at home. His teacher said "keep him at home tomorrow unless he shows significant improvement". 
His teacher must think that I am some sh!tty mommy that sends her son off to school despite of his illness.
Seriously, I would send him to school at his current condition....BUT I am NOT going to. 
NOT because he is NOT up to it...but MORE of me being NOT up to another ride out to school to pick him up AGAIN.
Basically, it takes about 40 minutes each way. So this morning, I head out to school at 10.10 am, picked S2 up and only managed to reach the clinic (which is about 600 m from our house) at about 11.35 am. H said to just bring him to the clinic...
Anyway, he does need the nebulizer and have a blocked nose. His throat is alright. Doctor said "yes, he can go to school...". But I'm not sending S2 to school....fai-see lah

All this hopping off to school, then to clinic, and then off to quick lunch, and back to clinic again took like 4 1/2 hours!! By the time we got home at 2.30 pm, I was really tired. More tired than a game of tennis or an hour in the gym. I scared I be the one going to be 'sick'! 
So FORCED S2 to have a nap with me. 
Last week when he was home from school, I FORCED him to nap, and he couldn't and then I said "just rest then"...and he kept looking at the clock and counting down the one hour rest time that I set. 
Luckily he did nap today...and so did I.

Oh yeah...re my 'sick' fella... I asked him "do you want porridge for lunch at home, or eat out?"
Waaaa...faster than anything "JAPANESE. Let's go Sushi Tei."
I said too far..
"Sushi Groove"
Still too far..
"How about the one near the Burger King one?"
Well..he was right. There was a Japanese restaurant nearby to Burger King. So we went to Shabu Nobu. That fella had a Unagi HandRoll and a Salmon Set!
When I told H "where got sick? Eat so much",  H was rather glad...as he usually judge a 'sick' person as one who has NO appetite. 
Also a 'sick' S2 will NOT continue to TALK so much!

Yes...keeping him at home tomorrow. 
Haven't decided yet whether to send him to school on Friday or not.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 8 & 9 - New York City


Day 8, Friday 17th October

Early start of a long day....
H wanted to bring me to his regular breakfast haunt, but on the way to HSBC to withdraw some dosh, we passed-by so many hotdog stall that I just could not resist. Besides, hotdogs from the NYC streets are a MUST, right? After the hotdog already, where can go for breakfast summore?? So didn't go. 

Let me think what we did after breakfast on this day:

1) Went to Rockefella Center
..but did not go to the Top of the Rock as I've already purchased advance tickets for the Empire State Building

2) Walked  along 5th Avenue from 38th Street all the way to Central Park 
I have never walked sooooooo much in my life. Not even when living in London! In NYC, it's walk to everywhere! Walk here. Walk there. Aduh! 

3) Walkabout inside Central Park.
Of course took picture by the lake.... :-D I tourist maaaa

4) Had lunch at The Plaza hotel.
We cannot afford to stay there but must at least go in look-see, and have a meal lah. But I tell you...the lobby also nothing to shout about. But of course, I take photo nevertheless.

5) Went to the Observation Deck on the Empire State Building
...waliow!! The queue was majorly LONG! Even with our advance-purchase tickets, we had to queue to get through security-checks, then queue for the elevators. Only bypass the ticket booth. To bypass all queues, one would have to pay extra $$$ ...think it's extra USD 20 per ticket. Queue. Queue. Queue. 
Of course H was a little ngam-ngam-chamm-chamm lah....saying this should proof that he loves me. Bleahhhh..

6) Did some shopping on 5th Avenue
....Got some discount stuff!!! Three pieces at Ann Taylor for less than USD 27 only leh.

7) Look-See at both Tiffany&Co and Cartier
....Phtui! Some salesperson at Tiffany&Co rolled her eyes and then immediately ignored me! When H was seriously considering buying something, I don't go to her lah.  
Yes. The sor-lou wanted to buy this Elsa Peretti (?) bracelet which had a few small (and I mean small!! Combine all the diamonds, still smaller than my 'pei-see' lah) which costs like USD 6K over. GILA. I could get tennis bracelets for this price in Malaysia. Sure I don't want lah. No need Tiffany&Co one, okay!
The guy over at Cartier was much nicer....Again, I thought really NOT worth it.
I know. I know... Laundryamah is going to say that I am stupid..."lou koong oi mai pei lei, just take lah!"

8) Watched Mamma Mia on Broadway...
Of course must watch the musical production on Broadway!! We had pretty good seats, which we pre-booked waaaaaay in advance. Have to say that it was FABULOUS
I was singing along, and H had to nudge me a couple of times to STOP SINGING. Hahhahahahah. The best part was the end, when the audience could join in with the singing and dancing. Waaa...d@mn SHIOK!....Errr...I know you all sure say SIOW...but I did tear-up during the musical. Hehhehe
And then when I came back home, I watch the MOVIE version and I tear-up too. Then H asked "did you also cry at the Musical?" and of course he said SIOW!

9) Had Dinner at Roxy's at Times Square
Portions were huge!!!! So huge that we couldn't eat the famous desserts. What a bummer!

And on Day 9, Saturday 18th November: - 

10) Ferry-Ride to Staten Island
Why?? To view the Statue of Liberty, of course! Cheapskate people don't want to pay $$ to go with the tour to Liberty Island. So took the FREE ferry to Staten Island. H tried to take a photo of me, but the Statue of Liberty was like a toothpick next to my ear! Hahahhaa

11) Visit to Wall Street
Typical Tourist...(didn't want to walk to nearby Ground Zero. Too lazy liow)

12) A short visit to Union Square
They have the weekend Farmer's Market there...would have loved to buy some of the produce!

13) Visited  Macy's  flagship store.
No lah...didn't buy anything here.

Then it was time to go back to our hotel, pick up our bags and head for JFK for our flight back to San Fransisco. On reaching the airport, had a SHOCK that our AA flight had been delayed for 3 hours. Couldn't get an earlier flight...nor could they check -in our flights all the way to Singapore. Thus, on reaching  San Fransisco, we would have to retrieve our bags and rush to the SQ counter to check-in our bags. Needless to say, we couldn't make it....even after we've informed SQ of our delay. More about this in the next post.

Some photos...

Saks, Rockefella Center, Crysler Building, Grand Central Station, Times Square @ Night
Empire State Building, Some 5th Avenue Churches, Restaurant in The Plaza
Views from Empire State Building
Grand Central Station, Roxy's 
Wall Street, Ferry to Staten Island, Statue of Liberty, Subway
Macy's, Pretty Produce @ Union Square, Wall Street
Roxy's Desserts...