Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friends...

Do you remember my "Feeling Lonely" and subsequent "Not Patriotic" posts a few days back?
Do you think it's the mis-alignment of the moons or the stars that is causing all these friendship problems and lonesome emotions?
Or do you think it has something to do with my monthly hormonal swings?
Well, whatever the reason may be, I think I need to find some new friends, and reconnect with the old.
How can I do this?
Via 3gb Community. That's how!
It is a place to meet new friends and reconnect with the old....all through the world wide web. It sure is convenient for our nomadic lifestyle......as we usually do not stay longer than two years in a country for each of H's international assignment. So who knows when we will have to pack our bags and move to another new country? So making friends this way definitely makes sense. And it is easy too. I can join any groups that I take a fancy, and if I am feeling especially lonely or chatty, I can even chat with fellow members. Isn't this great? I'll never be lonely again!
What else does the 3gb Community offers?
Loads....
Photo sharing and latest mp3 hits amongst others. So what am I waiting for?
I better hurry off to sign-up at http://www.3gb.biz/ now....don't wanna lose any time!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beh Ee's Present!!!

Beh Ee... Beh Ee...

Do you know what your two nephews are going to give you for your wedding??

They want to PERFORM!!

Are you screaming "OMIGOD" now??? Hahahhaha

S1 has just started on his saxophone lessons...and as you know S2 is doing the flute. Both of the boys are MEGA ambitious (if you ask me...) and ask if they could perform at the wedding. I was sniggering when I answered "OF COURSE!!!" heee heee...

Beh Ee... Don't worry lah. I definitely would not be paying excess baggage to lug the saxophone and flute all the way to Melbourne...especially we got to change flights summore. So...you are safe!!!
Do I hear a loud PHEW?? Heeeeee

Sunday, April 27, 2008

TAG - *Smiles*

This TAG is from bp... It's abit overdue... Sollee.

This TAG is supposed to bring smiles. I'm gonna be a cheat this time. :-)

Took this from Reader's Digest. I think it's pretty good and valid too.

10 Ways to Turn that FROWN UPSIDE DOWN

  1. Be Less Virtual, and More 3 D - Basically, don't face the computer the whole day. Get out and have some human contact.
  2. 4, 6, 8.....Who do we Appreciate? - Make a list of things you are grateful for. Experts say it works.
  3. Rack 'em Up - Count even the smallest positive experience during the day, and see how they add up.
  4. Think memorable NOT material - Eg. If you were to choose between a new car or family vacation, pack your bags!
  5. Go to the Funny Side - Smile at absurdities of life. Laugh out loud.
  6. Escape to your Stree-Free Zone - Think of a place where you always feel calm and happy. Then, when you are tense and miserable, call it up mentally.
  7. See the Glass as Half Full - Whenever possible, always look at the bright side
  8. Find your inner Artist - Think back to when you had time for creative expression. Joyful expression can bring happiness.
  9. Do Something Good - Acts of kindness, however small, delivers as much pleasure to the giver as to the getter.
  10. Seize the moment - Rather than waiting to celebrate a big event, why not do it today?

I hope by now you are SMILING....

Actually, I truncated the list. Lazy to type every single word. :-)

Okay..this is from somewhere else...but I swear it works...cause it's so silly, that it will instantly lift your spirits. Whenever I am down and feeling really really miserable, I LAUGH OUT LOUD to myself. Yes. It sounds stupid. And because of that, you will actually LAUGH at your OWN SILLINESS...Yes. Your FAKE Laugh will actually turn into a REAL LAUGH. And this, my friend, is rather UPLIFTING.

Try It. Let me know if it works for you!

HA HA HA HA ....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Double Bummer....

WARNING!!!

Yucky post coming up!

Bummer No. 1...... I have a yeast and bacterial infection. Where? There lor!!! Bleah... I think I kept my Tampax-in a little toooo long. Why do I suspect this was the culprit? On the last day, when I removed the tampon, I thought it didn't feel too right. And the next day, it was a weird feeling. I wouldn't say it was painful nor itchy. Just weird. The next day, it got worse...started to sting when I pee. Then I knew I was in trouble.... Bleah. Called the clinic to make an appointment. No female doctor available. Not that I am afraid of male doctors. My previous two gynaes (in KL and Singapore) were both men....but somehow I don't feel comfortable having a LOCAL ethnic male doctor looking into my missy down there. So only went to see the female GP this morning. She's quite a nice lady....very patient and would explain in detail. She confirmed that there is an infection...but took a swab anyway. And whilst I was there, I asked her to give me a Hepatitis A jab as well, and to take a blood sample for my cholestrol and Hep B antibody levels.... Might as well, right? Kill 3 birds with one stone!! I didn't wait for the results. Took the meds and left.

In the evening, the doc called me.... my blood work showed that my white blood count was high...confirming my bacterial infection. The good news is that my Hep B antibody count was also high. So...NO need to take a jab for Hepatitis B for another 5 years at least. Doc will call me again in a week's time to check if the meds that she gave me is working, and to give me the results of the culture from the swab.

Here comes Bummer No. 2 ....my total cholestrol is a tad high. And so is my bad cholestrol. Bleah bleah bleah. Looks like I need to REDUCE intake of high cholestrol foods.

Actually, must get H to check his cholestrol levels too. I'm sure his are also high. He eats more junk than I do.

No more Siew-Yoke. No more Lamb Shank. No more Tau-Yue-Bak.

Instead, Salads? Steam Fish? Broiled Chicken Breast??

Wealth vs Youth

For centuries, gold has been used as money, a store of value and in jewelry by man. In recent years, gold is also used in a wide variety of industries, such as in dentistry, in photography, and electronics. But did you know that the latest usage of gold is in facials? Yup! You heard me right. 24 karat gold is actually applied to the face. Apparently, gold can lift and firm skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lighten and brighten skin. Although I am quite a vain pot, I don't think I could ever make myself invest in such a facial. I would much prefer to invest the equivalent amount or more in solid gold bars, which would reap better returns for my golden years. Preservation of wealth is definitely more important than youth. What do you think? Do you agree with me?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

When wife leaves the child to husband

Have you guys ever received the email "When Wife Leaves Child to Husband? There are really hilarious pictures of kids in odd positions or situations. I tried to upload the pix but somehow blogger kept giving me an ERROR message. Anyway, I received this email yesterday, and thought how appropriate it was.....as I had my very own dose yesterday!

As per my previous post, I was caught up in some school meeting, and when I came home, my little one (who is already 8, by the way...) was soaking himself in the bathtub.....still fully-clothed in his school uniform!! And what was husband doing? Slumped in front of the TV!!! ( I should have taken a pic!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not Patriotic

That's me. Not a patriot and definitely a spoilt brat. Hahahahah

Remember my last post ? Well, now I don't have to join these makan-makan anymore...cause I probably won't be invited again. hahahahaha... Wanna know the full story?
The Malaysian moms from school were meeting today at 3 PM to discuss for the Malaysian stall for International day. Meeting was held at one of the mom's house. I volunteered to just record minutes and send emails etc. Nothing more. As S1 was ill today (fever of 39.9 deg C last night! And didn't go to school, he tagged along with me.
As expected, a roomful of moms with different opinions etc...resulted in a bit of a chaos. So you can imagine me trying to grasp different ideas and ever-changing opinions. But all revolving around having a Malay wedding etc. etc. This went on for almost 1 and 1/2 hours...then only they decided to have food plus the Malay wedding yadda yadda yadda. Then there's the discussion on who is making what. Another big commotion. During this time, S1 had already came to ask to go home many times. He must have felt restless and tired. So, I turned off my computer and got ready to leave. Then someone said that I couldn't leave like that. I said "why not? My son wants to go already, plus I think I can go anytime right? Since I'm not being paid?" ...at this point, I was still joking kind lah. Then the host said "you ate and drank". Me... still quite jovial, and sat back down to wait for them to finish discussing the food stuff. Someone has already list down the foods on the boards, and one of the items was spring roll...and I said I'll do it..Then they said it's no good. Will be soggy. Someone else suggest Hokkien mee, and I said I don't mind making it if they can provide the thick mee. Then another lady said It's no good. Blah blah blah. All the commotion. Anyway, one of the moms started to 'attack' me ...accusing me that I have not typed anything in my computer and thus have not done my job...blah blah blah. This was probably what ticked me off...as I stood up and this time I was very mad.
I was not paid to do this and neither am I THAT proud to be a Malaysian that I MUST do this for the Malaysian stall. And yes. I am that spoilt that I CANNOT take this kind of shit from people. I thanked the host for her food and whatever, said a LOUD BYE to all the ladies, shouted for S1 and left.
When I went back home, of course I was b!t#hing to H like there's no tomorrow. The first thing I asked H was if he had to grease any of those ladies' hubbies in his work....hehehehe.. Luckily no need! Phew! What a relief! :-)
Think I am getting old...I am really NOT in the mood to be nice or to go the extra mile to be "part of a group". Do I want to pretend that I am fluent in BM and "act" like I am really enjoying myself in such gatherings? Seriously, I don't really care for the Malaysian stall. Now I lagi not happy...the long session has resulted in a weaker S1. He went to bed at 7.30 pm...
So... looks like I won't be called to do anything for the Malaysian stall nor invited to any more of makan-makan with this clique! Heeeheheheh..
Please don't get me wrong. I am not depressed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Feeling Lonely...

Yup! Feeling rather lonely...especially this afternoon....in a house filled with fellow countrywomen. It was a get-together amongst the ladies from home. Lots of chatting...but somehow I can't catch 85% of what was being said. Unless it was a conversation directed to me, all of them were conversing in BM...and you know how bad my BM is.
Why did I go?

Have to lah...donwan people to say that I so stuck-up. I already don't join them for badminton.... So, for makan-makan, sometimes have to show up lah.

I recall mama pumpkin mentioning that she hates mama cliques... but I have to say that cliques are unavoidable.... because you do want to hang out with people with similar lifestyles, values, and language too....in order to feel at ease. Know what I mean? I am not saying that we ought to confine ourselves with our own kind...but more rather than people of similar wavelengths, so to speak.

I mention language because it is a key to "feeling at ease" with the group...as you can then contribute as well as receive what's being discussed. This group of ladies speak BM...there is another group of ladies (also countrywomen) who speaks a mixture of Chinese and English. I do NOT see any possibilities of these two groups of ladies getting together and having a laugh. Though I attend functions/dos in these two groups....somehow I still do not feel totally at ease.

Then there's the Thai-speaking clique....though they are friendly, you can't really join them as in join them. You know what I mean? Yes. I speak Thai but NOT THAT good to participate in real conversations between native-speakers.

Other cliques?
- Another Malaysian group that's not with the two groups above...
- My scrapbooking group...
- Golfing Kakis...

My "feeling at ease" group already all cabut home already....except for one. Sounds a bit pathetic... Yeah?

Don't think that I am stuck-up. I do try to join those ladies whenever I can....... Have lunches, coffees, games, tours, etc etc..... (another afternoon tea coming up tomorrow....was thinking of not going, and they all said I am giving excuses wor...)

Think I am a PROBLEM CHILD ? Or should I say PROBLEM EXPAT WIFE?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Want To Catch Him...

That's what H said "I want to catch him on this".
Catch who?
You must be wondering....
The Driver lah...
Remember my post about my driver adding a whole lot of overtime hours onto his timesheet?
Well, now H suspects that he may be siphoning some of the money given to him for gasoline and tolls. You see...yesterday, we let the driver off for a day of rest. And H drove himself. The car was out of gas, and we went to the Gas Station to fill up. About USD 15 almost filled up the tank to 3/4. But each time, the driver fills up about USD 25 and the tank is not really full. H suspects that he may say he fills up to USD 25 but in fact, maybe fill up to only USD 20.
Yes. Receipts from the Gas Stations are given to us every week. But over here in, some monkey business can happen, i.e. get the Attendant to put a bigger value than what is being pumped into the tank. The receipts are all hand-written, and not printed.
If H catches the driver doing this monkey business, he's gonna fire him. Yup.. then definitely have to get new driver lor. At this moment, we still do not know if he really siphon-off the gasoline money or not... we'll have to do some calculations with the mileage and check the cost/litre. We'll see...
I tell you ah... he's just stupid lah...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Networking Equipment...

Everyone in this family is computer-literate. In fact, we are so reliant to our computers that we would be at a lost without them. At the last count, we have 3 notebooks (including H's from work) and a Nokia E90 which functions as a little computer too. H was thinking of setting up a local network for our home. But we do not want to fork out large sums of money for new equipment. Thus, we are contemplating buying used cisco equipment. We would prefer equipment that has been refurbished, and comes with a warranty.

Friday, April 18, 2008

ITALIAN dinner @ Home

Yes. As per my previous post, tonight's dinner was ITALIAN.
Menu is as follows...
  • Salad
  • Clams with Cream and Wine
  • Slow-cooked Lamb Shank
  • Foccacia with Rosemary
  • Tiramisu
Okay... I cheated. I didn't make the salad from scratch. Errr...actually, I didn't make it at all. I bought those ready-packed ones from the supermarket.

I did make the foccacia from scratch though...Yup. From flour, water, salt and yeast...and I kneaded and pounded the dough. It did rise very well.....topped it with olive oil and fresh rosemary from my garden. Unfortunately, I left it in the oven too long...so the top and bottom crust got too hard. Inside was okay lah..

Clams were quite good. Cooked with garlic, onions, cream, wine, some paprika and dried herbs. The boys (big and small) liked the sauce...which they used the foccacia to mop it up.

As for the lamb shank, it was slowly cooked in the oven at 170 deg C for about 4 1/2 hours....until the meat falls off the bone. I didn't bother to transfer the lamb shank onto a nice plate nor separate out the sauce. I just served it from the oven-dish. This stupid H said "your mother ar.....food always good but the presentation? No good. No good." And S1 added "yeah...your presentation needs some work".
I wanna WHACK their heads!!!

As for the Tiramisu... think not really a success. Haven't eaten it yet. Think not enough mascarpone. I only bought a tub...but the recipe calls for 2....so a bit thau koong kamm liu on the mascarpone. You know how I always complain about imported stuff here being soooo expensive? Well...I was surprised to see that a pack of Italian sponge fingers cost only USD 1.65.
This is much cheaper than Malaysia, right??? >>>UPDATE: H says it's good. Again...presentation is not there! I have to admit...I didn't use the sieve to sprinkle the cocoa powder. I used my fingers...so it was a bit patchy. :-)

Sorry...lah. No photos... As the boys say...BAD PRESENTATION...so better not show photos lah...

Birthday Parties....

What can I say about my boys' birthday parties?
I HATE them....and I LOVE them.... Yes. It's a love-hate relationship.
While I do enjoy planning such parties; somehow I always get stressed in the midst of everything...the birthday theme, birthday invitations, sourcing for party pack inserts, the cake, the finger foods, the games etc. etc. and I end up screaming at the boys. This totally defeats the HAPPINESS and FUN of a party, don't you think?
Therefore, for everybody's sake...I will try to minimize the stress in the next birthday party...which would be for S1's 11th. For starters, I'll buy ready-made birthday invitations instead of printing my own like I always do. Will also get S1 to only invite 5 good friends...instead of the whole class!

Cooking with Wine

Every single one of us is starting to be really bored with the same old food at dinner. It's always chinese stir-frys served with rice, or chicken and chips. To spruce things up a little, I've decided to alternate between Chinese and 'something new' for our dinners. I decided that today would be an ITALIAN night. We'll have a salad, clams in cream and wine, slow-cooked lamb shank and foccacia to mop up all the sauces. I had bought all the ingredients this morning, except for the wine. By the time I wanted to pop out to purchase the wine, it started to rain really heavily...cats and dogs!! But I still had to go out to get the wine; as the clams and the lamb shank requires it. It would be good if we are members of a wine of the month club. I hear selected wines are delivered right to your doorstep each month. That would certainly save me all the trouble of running out of the house to get my wines!

Swing Sets

Didn't know that there is such a big variety of swing sets in the market these days. Came across a site that specializes in toys, swing sets and more. I personally like the Mack Wooden Swing Set as shown below. It's features would be a huge draw to boys.... Why? Boys would love to climb up the two rock walls, swing like Tarzan on the rope ladder and pretend to be Jack Sparrow on the huge fort deck that is 5 feet off the ground! If your backyard can accommodate it, and you have energetic boys....GET IT!
Image of the Fort Mack Wooden Swing Set features a HUGH fort deck 5 feet off the ground! The Fort Mack offers our largest upper deck with two rock walls, rope ladder and more. The Fort Mack swing set is impressive and roomy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rojak Post....

Abit Bleah
Feeling bleah these few days. Donno why. Perhaps because so many bills to pay. My insurance is due. My tenant (for our BU house) just moved out.....not only we have to pay our mortgage without the rent, we'll have to return the 2 months deposit to the tenant....Plus I'm told that there are termites in my house. So more $$ for termite treatment amongst other repairs. Plus think my PMS also contributed to the blues...

Women Today
This week...I tried out Latin Salsa and Belly Dancing at the gym. Boy! Am I glad that I was born in an era that does not confine women to being dancers or harem girls. I saw myself in the mirror...I was blardy horrendous. Like a see-char-thau like that. Cannot believe how stiff I was. No fluidity at all. If I remember my foot steps, I cannot remember my hand movements. And vice-versa. Aduh!!!!

Driver Fiasco
Okay...not exactly a fiasco.
H's secretary did confront the driver. But he feigned innocence. If he is smart, he'll know that the company does re-check when claims look out-of-line. And hopefully will do his next timesheet more honestly.
Actually,...he is abit thamm-summ lah. Even if he add one or two hours a day will net him 25-50 hours, and won't draw too much attention. He added sooooo many hours till the claims was 4.5 times more than his pay. Of course, alarm bells will ring out LOUD.
I asked H if he talked to the driver...he said "No. He's been warned. And if he does it again, he'll have to go". I hope that idiot does smarten up. Really dread getting a new driver. But then...knowing what he did, I was abit cold towards him today.

H's New Toy
Not exactly new......as it was delivered last month, before our HK trip.
Was hoping that I could put it in the upstairs living area...but it was too big. When the guys were assembling the legs, I thought..."hey...not that big". Then the fella said, another meter was gonna jutt out from either ends. ALAMAK! Then it'll have to stay down. I had to move my sitting area to one end of the living room...making my wooden carvings on the wall all skewed. I was so upset that I was grumpy and argumentative. So...temporary solution was to bring them down and reposition in another part of the living room (which I have yet to do).

One of the wooden carvings that is still sitting on the floor

Gonna hang this 1.5 m carved mirror on the wall behind the Pool Table. Bought this for less than RM 200 from a Malaysian friend that went back to KL last December. Yup....this mirror has been on the floor for 4 months. (Wei? Why the pix so small ar??)

So...next thing to do is to call up a handyman with GREAT big power tools to hang up all my woodies...

Tidy Up

Bought this little shelf two weeks ago (was lazy to take a photo until now) to tidy up a little corner of my room. For the longest of time, all the contents in this shelf sat on the floor. Yup. Magazines, CDs, paperbags, shopping bag, medicine box etc. You can imagine the mess...and the dust collecting under this mess. So much tidier now....

H's Cufflinks

H has this habit of removing his cufflinks and necktie the moment he gets into the car. And most times, they remain in there till I collect them. However, there was once where he ate some pistachios in the car, and disposed the shells in an adjacent cup holder to the one that was holding his silver and gold cufflinks (similar to the one shown here). The next day, the driver accidentally threw the cufflinks whilst cleaning the car. He realized his mistake the moment he tipped the contents into the garbage chute. What did he do? Scour through the smelly mess to fish out the cufflinks, of course!

Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas...

Mention Las Vegas, and Elvis Presley's 'Viva Las Vegas' song would immediately spring into my mind....including visions of bright lights, wonderful shows, casinos, themed hotels and even the Grand Canyon. . The last time H and I were in Las Vegas, we stayed at the MGM Grand. This was over 10 years ago. Though we did fly to the Grand Canyon, we didn't hike down those famed stratified rock groups. Would love to do it with my two little monkeys.... and H. Of course.
Selecting a hotel in Vegas would be quite a task, as many new luxury hotels of various themes have sprung up. Which would be the best hotel for a family? It'll have to be of an interesting theme that would awe the boys, and at the same time be value-for-money.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quite Upset!

You know...it's true that you cannot treat the hired help too nice. Treat them too nice, and they take you to be a dumb @$$. And certainly, we don't like to be dumb @$$e$. Do we???

H got an email today from the HR department to confirm the overtime hours in our driver's March '08 timesheet. And who does he call to do the checking? Me lah!

As we were away in Hong Kong in the later part of March '08, that was the period that I zoomed-in first. And what do I discover???

LOADS of discrepancies. I mean if you want to curi makan /thau-sik (literally translated to "steal eats"), at least be smarter and be a little more diligent in the dates and hours lah.

Friday, 21 March - Our flight was 9 AM in the morning, and we were already at the airport at about 7 AM, and he would have reached my house at about 9 AM since it was a holiday. That stupid idiot listed his working time as 6 AM till 9 PM!! Can you imagine that? 12 hours EXTRA!!

Saturday, 22 March - Here we are... all drenched to the bone at Hong Kong Disneyland. But our driver claims that he came to work at 5 AM! For H's golf game! (Maybe H has a clone that I don't know about??? Mmmm... imagine two H's servicing me in bed!!! ) Worked soooo hard...till 9 PM wor.

Tuesday, 25 March - We arrived at 8 PM, and he knew that our flight was in the evening. So he probably started off at about 6.30 PM earliest. This fella put the time as 7 AM!

And the upsetting thing is that when H travels, I usually allow him to come to work at 9 AM rather than the usual 7 AM, and I even let him off much earlier....most times at 4 PM. And what did this idiot list as his working hours? 7 AM to 10 PM!

He is taking advantage of H's busy schedule, hoping that H doesn't check his time sheet. Geez... and the worst thing? He is quite a good driver! BLEAH!!!! Get rid of him? And have one that may be worse???

How are we going to reprimand him??? Without firing him? If we get HR to tell him, he'll definitely have to go.

Well, H has found a solution... he's getting his secretary WARN him. She has his detailed schedules (yes...she knows of his whereabouts in more detail than I!!) and she is going to caution him that HR has requested that she checks his TimeSheet, and she has found discrepancies (particularly on those dates that H was away in HK). And if it happens one more time, he will have to go.

If you were in our shoes, what would you have done?

Best Buy Online....

You know what is the biggest frustration living in a third world country whose first lanquage is not English? It's the miniscule number of bookshops carrying English books. The titles are not only limited, but do cost considerably more. As you know, S1 has turned into a bookworm, and is devouring books like no tomorrow. We were at a bookshop last Saturday...looking for certain titles. Verdict? Not available at the store. He was pretty disappointed. As reading is a good habit, I supposed I will have to order those titles online. And while I'm doing the online ordering, I could probably find myself a couple of best buy items too! Books. DVDs. Or maybe some jewelry?

Changing Styles...

Was on my way to scrapbooking this morning when the driver took a different route. One which has many furniture stores along the way. The stores are pretty varied, ranging from those that sells antique Chinese furniture, to modern contemporary to the local teak-types. I would really love to browse in these wonderful stores, but somehow time constraints (or rather laziness) has prevented this from happening. Or is it that I am a little scared to visit these stores? For fear that my changing taste will tempt me in changing my entire set of furniture?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dentist...Dentist...

I've finally taken S1 to the orthodontist on Saturday. His front tooth has protruded so badly over the last two months that he cannot really close his lips. Yes. That bad. It was a first consultation with the orthodontist, and thus had to have photographs taken of his teeth, panoramic XRay, normal XRay, 2 x impressions of his teeth, and his last baby tooth extracted. Was in the clinic for over an hour. The bill for this first consulation came up to be about USD 190/-. Luckily the insurance pays for orthodontic procedures for children up to 18 years old. Otherwise, PENGSAN!!

Donno why this country's dental procedures are so mega-expensive. Donno what I ate the other day, but got my front tooth stained with BLUE dye. Of course had to go to the dentist to have it cleaned, right? I thought just brush brush can already. But my enamel was scraped off, and I needed a composite filling. I was only told that it costs USD 120/- after all the scrapping. Waliow...brother! My enamel already scraped off and my tooth exposed liow, of course have to do the filling, right? Cannot exactly say donwan to do, right?? Geez... I tell you ah. In Malaysia, my composite filling only costs RM 120 lah... or was it less? Again, lucky company insurance pay. Otherwise, I sure "kau-peh-kau-boo"!!!

Need to Grow My Brain!

H recently bought S2 a Nintendo DS. I have not played any games on these handheld consoles for ages.... But there is this particular game that tests your brain power. It's called "BIG BRAIN ACADEMY", and it has different categories (analytical, computing, memory etc) and at the end of the test, it will compute the size of your brain in grams. Heeeheee.. I tried this game for the first time today, and was determined to grow my brain to a size that is bigger than S2's. He's pretty good in this game, and there were a couple of times when my score was lower than S2, and he laughed at me! I asked H to try the test... his remark was "I'm too scared! I'm pretty slow, and I'm sure my brain size will be rather low". Hahahaha... Do you dare to challenge S2 and I?

Better Golf Clubs?

Went to the driving range with a girlfriend this morning.... Saw that she could hit quite well. Looked at her set of clubs. It was of the same brand as mine, but of a different model. Thought to myself...."is she really good or could it be that her clubs are better?". Well, you see...when I bought my clubs, I chose the CHEAPEST set that was available, which means that it is also the most basic set. Now, I'm thinking if I should have bought something better. Maybe I'll change to a set of Callaway irons in a couple of months. As for the driver, wonder if I could use H's Big Bertha.

Trophy Mad!!

Remember my post about S2 requesting a trophy room in our house? Well, he is indeed trophy mad. When we started on our tennis lessons, his first comment was "I'm going to practise hard to win more trophies for my trophy room!". And then there was the Race Series, which he wanted me to join, together with him. Me? Run 5 kilometers? I don't think so! He has also been bugging me to put him in the soccer league......naturally, to win some soccer trophies!! But to his credit, this guy does enjoy soccer and other competition sports. He really does like to compete and win!!! : -)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hong Kong - Part 6

Finally....last post about Hong Kong. Overall, I think all of us had a swell time (except for my "health problems"). H get to be chummy with his pal, K. I get to be chummy with C and S1 & S2 get to be chummy with T & B.

Anyway, this post is just about our purchases....

Soya Bean Milk and Woo-Maker
Swanson Soups

Some Chinese Biscuits ....(H bought them from the Tid-Bit Shop in Causeway Bay)



Ritz Lemon Biscuits....Kids like them, and H says that they tasted like those biscuits from the old Kedai Runcit.

Mango Pudding and Peanut Paste Powder...

Some Chinese Tid-Bits

S1's Jeans from H&M and M&S

S1's Shirts from H&M

Parfume from the Airport

Bottega Veneta 'The Fly' Sunglasses

Estee Lauder Facial Set from Cathay's Duty Free

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hong Kong - Part 5

Hong Kong - Part 1
Hong Kong - Part 2
Hong Kong - Part 3
Hong Kong - Part 4

Day 5 (Tuesday, 25 Mar)

This would be our last day in Hong Kong.

As we have been staying at K&C's apartment for the last few nights, I thought I would post a few pictures taken from their balcony. Unfortunately, it was abit cloudy...so you can't really see the sea and the outlying islands. On a clear day, the view is actually quite good.

K&C specifically chose this area to live (this residential complex is next to where Ah Kor used to live when she was living there.) so that it's not so claustrophic, i.e. you don't see the neighbour's bedroom the moment you look out of the window...like in many areas in downtown HK.

Views from Balcony





Naturally, to buy an apartment in this complex (as with any other places in SKY-HIGH PROPERTY PRICES of HK) will cost more than an arm and a leg. Sell our souls also not enough. There's actually a property agent in their complex, next to the supermarket.... H and I went to kepoh. And nearly got choked! You see prices like HKD 24 Mil for an apartment etc etc. Kepoh-ed and saw that nearby, there was a 4 bedroom house for rent, and it was going for HKD 240,000 per month! Yes. You read CORRECT. HKD 240,000/- per month for the house!! Their 1600 sq. ft apartment's rent is already 80% more than my house here.

H said that if we ever get relocated to Hong Kong, our housing allowance probably would not allow us to stay in a 1600 sq.ft. apartment. Probably have to mau in some shoebox!

Anyway, we did buy some stuff from the supermarket...Swanson soups, some biscuits and such.

C took us to Central station to check in our bags, and to pick K up for lunch (working day) then we were off to Metropole for dim-sum (located in the building opposite Pacific Place). Thought the dim sum was ma-ma-tei only. Expected yummier dim sum since we are in Hong Kong. K then went back to work via tram, and we remained at Pacific Place to jalan-jalan abit. Didn't buy anything though...

Then it was time to leave... said our goodbyes to C and the boys, and off we went....

We did do some shopping in the airport...I was buying parfumes for myself and H's secretary when H disappeared with the boys. When I came out from the shop, he surprised me with something from Bottega Venetta. Before I could see what it was, S1 already said "it's a pair of sunglasses", "and it's got a butterfly!" added S2. Kepoh boys proceeded to tell me how much their dad paid for it. :-)

By then, it was boarding time and we had to rush to the gate...which was reeaaaaalllly far! We had to walk so fast. S1 and H was waaaaaay ahead of both S2 and I. S2 was a bit irritated and started to complain, which I thought was really funny...He said "these people are sooooo stupid. Why do they make all these shops here to make us go in and look? We look, and be late. Now, we have to rush for our lives! "

Flight back was alright. Watched "ENCHANTED". Thought it was really funny. Hee hee...

Will post our purchases in Part 6, okay?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hong Kong - Part 4 (Updated with Pix)

Hong Kong - Part 1

Hong Kong - Part 2

Hong Kong - Part 3

Noticed that I've been reeaaaaalllly cheong-hei in my Hong Kong post. Why-ah? Really getting old or what?

Day 4 (Monday, 24th Mar)

Original Plan for this day is for ALL of us to visit OCEAN PARK...... and this plan went according to plan! :-D

Though my legs were normal, my belly was still not right. Luckily, no rushing to the loo. And I had major gastric problems. Bought a packet of Actal and was chewing that like there's no tomorrow.

All of us...4 adults plus 5 boys packed into their car headed for OCEAN PARK at about 10 am. The sky was bright and clear. Was a good day. WARIOW!!! When we reached there, it was majorly packed....had to join the snaking Q for our tickets. Entrance fee was easier to swallow....can't remember exact figure but HKD 200 + for adults, and HKD 100 + for kids.

They wanted to take the cable car to the other side of the park first...so that was what we did. As we were walking to the cable car station, we passed by a Strong Man stall....basically to test your strength. A certain level of strength will win a prize. K was like "get your H to win you a prize! The last time, I won C a prize." And he proceeded to do it. He did win a little prize this time. A little stuffed toy in the shape of a cow. And then it was my H's turn.

H Hitting with all his might!



Did he win me a prize?

Of course NOT lah. Mine is a weaking lah. T was like laughing...and immediately sang "Uncle H is a weakling...." My boys were like prompting their father to have another go again. H's remark? "mou-hei-chor". Hahahah

Views from Cable Car

Boys were in the Cable Car in front of us...



The boys did quite a lot of rides. The first one was something like a log flume. K went with the 3 boys, B, S1 and S2. His oldest, T was afraid and didn't want to go on it. In fact, he only went on one ride ....much later in the evening. His littlest, J was asleep in his stroller. The boys were soaked from the splashes in the final drop, of course. Luckily, I had a change of clothes for them.


Next was this space-ship ride that goes 360 degrees vertically, and at the top, the space-ships are upside down. S1 went into a ship of his own, S2 went with H and K went with B. C, T, J and I watched from the sidelines. Personally, I hate those that go round-and-round. Gives me a headache! Thus, I don't like those safe Tea Cup rides either. I prefer roller coasters that loop the loops. Boys went on a few more 360 deg rides. Some of the scarier ones, the daddies went with the No.2s. My S1 was happy riding on his own...


What other rides....mmm..there's this runaway train that I went with S1. The dragon which is a roller coaster with 3 loops. Went once with S1 and he went on his own twice. There's the Abyss, whereby you are strapped to a seat with your legs dangling off the ground. The seats are hoisted up, and then it drops....almost like a free fall. S1 and I went on this twice too. There's the Viking...which S1 went on 3 times. These had a height requirement, so only S1 was tall enough.


We did catch the dolphin show.....which I argued with a mainland Chinese. Well, you see...when we arrived at the venue, there were no more seats. But being at the upper-most tier, the view was just as good. I positioned all the boys in the front, against the railing. Then a group of mainland Chinese appeared. And I mean a BIG group. They were all just jostling their way in. I already tolerated for a bit, and then I found that S2 was no longer in front. Panicked abit lah...shouted for him, and then he reappeared...and this group was this jostling jostling pushing pushing. It's like trying to hump me from the back like that. I got really really irritated. Turned my head and shouted at her "Push. Push. Push. Push what?" in Cantonese...then she shouted back at me in Mandarin...telling me that I don't own this place. I automatically switched to Mandarin lah....reiterating the same message ..."Push. Push. Push. Push what? This place is also NOT yours". ...I was pretty loud...and finally she gave up and went elsewhere. K was on my right...and grinned...said that the person on his right was also fighting a mainlander off. H then came over, grinned...and gave me a peck..."Wah..you soooo fierce!". Of course must be fierce lah....

Another Nice View from OCEAN PARK


We left the park about 6.30 pm...got back to the apartment at 7 pm. The maid had already prepared dinner for the boys. We saw that the boys were showered and settled...and then us 4 adults went to Miu Kai (Temple Street) for seafood dinner. I didn't eat much since belly still not that good.... Walked abit through the market and then headed off back.


Tonight....Dr. House did not manage to entertain us as I decided that Stephen King was.... :-)

Hong Kong - Part 3

Hong Kong - Part 1

Hong Kong - Part 2

Day 3 (Easter Sunday, 23rd March)

The original plan for this day was to tag along C & family to church. Their oldest boy, T is the Altar boy. After the 1 hour service, we'll all go for yum char. Thereafter, the plan was to catch a ferry to one of the surrounding islands for cycling, sightseeing, eating etc....

Notice I mentioned "original" in the last paragraph???? As with all plans, this plan did not go according to plan. Last minute, K's cousin decided to have his chamm-char ceremony on this particular day. C was upset with this last minute arrangement.....blah blah blah...and the re-arrangement of the plans etc. We told them that it was okay. Forget about yum char. We could get around by ourselves, while they attend the tea ceremony after church. But C was upset with the last minute notification, and was adamant to boycott the chamm-char ceremony.

Anyway, by the time I woke up, C has already gone to church and back, with her youngest. And K was just about to take the two older boys, T and B to church. The new plan was that she would take us yum char, and then meet up with K& boys after they were done with church and chamm-char ceremony for our trip out to the islands.

BUT...BUT...BUT... Even this new plan did not go according to plan.

Donno what was wrong with me... but I woke up with jello for legs. Plus belly upset.....accompanied by runs to the loo. I tell you....I felt ULTRA 'orrible!!! From the bed, I migrated to the sofa in the living room....still in my PJs. Was feeling cold too! Dragged the duvet out too. Practically hibernated on the sofa for eternity.

C said that I must have lanng-chan (gotten cold?) when we were caught in the rain the day before. I supposed that is true......at Disneyland, with the off-on rain, I kept on shouting at the boys to put on their raincoats etc... and not really doing so for myself. Also, donno if it was the change of water (you know how we always travel with a bottle of water from home when travelling with babies???) that made my belly act-up, or was it due to eating at a not-so-clean establishment the day before? Remember my porridge breakfast? Whatever the reason it may be....I really felt like SH!T. But then, luckily it was me....and not the boys that is feeling like SH!T.
I was really feeling like jello.... took panadol and Po Chai pills, and continued to hibernate on the sofa. Told H to go ahead and bring the boys out. But he wanted to wait for my medication to kick in and to see if I would be well enough to leave the apartment for lunch. NO way I could make it out to the islands. Weather was okay today. Cloudy...which makes a great day out for cycling and sightseeing.

Waited...and waited...... I was still on the sofa when K came back with his 2 boys. He had gone to church and done with the chamm char ceremony. By this time, I was feeling a wee bit better. My legs has at least stabilised to agar-agar and not jello anymore. Whole world waited for me while I got up, washed and changed.
Again, we head out to Central in the minibus.... 4 adults and 5 boys.
With my "sensitive" condition, yum char was ruled-out. Instead, we went to a char-chann-teng that was located opposite of the famous Yung Kee, near to Lan Kwai Fong. T said that it was his favorite restaurant. Anyway, I had a clear fish ball meehoon soup. Even then, I couldn't finish everything. Just didn't feel like eating.
Aduh! Forgot to rotate again! .... Yung Kee


After lunch, we went to Marks & Spencer and H&M for some shopping........specifically to get some jeans and shirts for S1. Well, you see... I didn't pack our bags until the day before we left. What I found was that 90% of S1's jeans/pants has gotten too short...like up above the ankles. Really really ugly and swaa-koo. Thus, all these were passed to S2. Now, S2 has loads of jeans, pants, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts etc etc. Bought 2 pairs of jeans and 2 shirts for S1 (will post pictures of our shopping in another post). The men abandoned us while we were at H&M....but they took the No.2s with them. Where did they go? To one of the bars that's located next to the very very long escalator that connects Central to the Mid-Levels. Met up with them, had a drink (hot water for me, thank you very much!). Whilst the men continued with their drinks, C & I took all the boys home with us. The boys wanted to GO HOME. Asked the boys if they wanted to go on the Star ferry across to Kowloon, and they just didn't want to. They just wanted to GO HOME to challenge each other in their PS2 games. So much of doing touristy things in HK!


We had to continue up the escalator and walk abit to catch the bus. You know my spoilted boys lah.."Why must walk everywhere one?? " was the constant question.
When we got back to the apartment, boys were glued to the TV with their games, and I was back on the sofa. Men came back some time later, and then went out again to buy dinner. KFC for the boys; roast goose and pigeon for the adults. For me? C cooked some porridge, and K steamed a pomfret....which was very fresh and nicely-done.

Again...after dinner, we had Dr. House entertaining us.... :-)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hong Kong - Part 2

Hong Kong - Part 1


Day 2 (Saturday, 22 Mar)

The good thing about staying at K & C's place is that we don't have to worry about the kids waking up early and wanting breakfast.
Why??
By the time I was awake, the kids already had their breakfast. C had instructed her maid to make breakfast for all the boys. :-)

The day's plan was to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. C has decided not to come along as her oldest had to attend rehearsal at church (for Easter Sunday service); and she felt that the Disneyland was not as fun as Ocean Park. H coaxed C's second son, B to come along with us....

So.... we all left the apartment for Central in a minibus (very frequent service and convenient...stops right in front of their apartment building!), leaving C's youngest boy at home with the maid. K & C took us to the very famous street market (cannot remember the name) somewhere near the Mid-Levels...as it will be moved soon. Where to? Donno.

Fresh Fish @ The Market

Went past the market and to a Porridge shop/stall to have our breakfas (only kids had breakfast at home) We sat in the alley, which we have not done in ages. Had pork and century egg porridge, turnip cake, chee cheong fun etc.
After breakfast, K & C walked us to Central MTR station. K then went off to work in the office, and C helped us purchase our Disneyland tickets. It was considered PEAK PERIOD...and our tickets for our family of 4 came to a whopping HKD 1,200/-!! Adults were HKD 350 and kids HKD 250. Actually, I offered to pay for B's ticket, but C insisted that she pay for it.

So...off we went.... H, me and the 3 boys.

The 3 boys walking towards Disneyland...


I have to say that Disneyland is abit toooo young for my boys. When we entered the park, I asked... "wanna take picture with Mickey? Donald? Goofy??" ...The answer from all of them were a big LOUD NO! They are not into the Disney characters anymore.

I have to say that this Disneyland is kinda small, isn't it? Was surprised that there were only 3 Lands. Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Adventureland....Don't really count Main Street USA as it is mainly shops. Was also surprised that Sleeping Beauty's Castle seem rather squashed-up.

The weather on this Saturday was also really bad. It started to rain. And I mean it was POURING!!!! No choice, I had to pop into the shops and purchase the over-priced, ugly, flimsy, no-good quality plastic raincoats...which cost HKD 25 per piece for kiddie-sized ones, and HKD 35 for adults. HKD 110 down the drain. The raincoats tear quite easily and were in really bad shape that they just can't be re-used.

Anyway, the boys went on Space Mountain which they enjoyed tremendously. They had a go on some of the other rides in Tomorrowland...then as we went into Fantasyland, it really really started to POUR!!

Is this Monsoon Rain or what??

There were no real areas that we could take cover. We had lunch inone of the restaurants (the food is expensive and NOT nice), and left our seats when the weather seems to have cleared up. Then it started pouring again. Needless to say, no more seats in the restaurant. We had to hover in the shop, or by the toilets.

One Brave Soul walking in the Rain...

Needless to say, many shows and rides were cancelled due to the heavy rain. If I recall correctly, The Lion King show was cancelled. High School Musical show was cancelled. The boat ride in Adventureland was closed. And as far as I know, they do not offer refunds or compensation for bad weather.

Anyway, the repeated action of walking out in the open, and then running for cover finally took a toll on our patience. H said that we should leave the park the moment the rain reduced to a drizzle. Surprisingly, boys were very happy to go too. I guessed that other than Space Mountain, they find the other rides too kiddy for their liking. (So...suggest you all bring your kids to Disneyland before they outgrow it!).... They weren't even asking that we stay till after the parade. But then, with the rain, weren't sure if the parade went ahead. We left the park at about 2.40 pm.

Waiting for Train to take us home...


Yes. It was a total WASHOUT. We were soaked...and I had a splitting headache. When we got back to the apartment, shoo-ed the boys to have a hot shower, and I had a Panadol and plonked myself onto C's day bed, and napped.....and napped....till H woke me up for dinner which was prepared by C and the maid.

What did we do after dinner?

Plonked ourselves on the sofa and watched 'House'.......

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hong Kong - Part 1

Day 1 (Friday)

We left for Hong Kong on Good Friday, i.e. 21 March 2008. The flight took about 4 1/2 hours, and was quite comfortable....maybe it's because that I sat on my own across from H and the boys. Nobody to kacau me. Hahaha.... Remember the book 'My Favorite Wife'? Finished it just as we landed in Hong Kong.
Took the Airport Express from the airport right into Central in Hong Kong. Our dear 'ole friends, K & C came to pick us up with their 3 boys. This trip is mainly to catch-up with them. We squeezed all 5 boys into the car plus our luggage and off we went back to their apartment. The boys all slept together; leaving H and I to a room of our own. C warned us NOT to have any acrobatics on the bed. Heheehehe...

K cooked dinner for us. Crabs, Clams, Scallops... All very yummy!

After dinner, we left the boys with their maid and off we went to Causeway Bay for Tong-Sui. Where did we park? Times Square. Took some customary pictures in front of the Clock. H was very reluctant....and was whining away!

At Times Square...

Walking to Sogo (Oops...Forgot to rotate the Pic)

H and C in the Tid-Bit Shop....buying Kuaci and stuff

Jars and Jars of Tid-Bits (sorry...abit out of focus)

Chinese Cured Meats Shop....bought some chinese ham here...

This is not a shopping trip. Didn't intend to buy anything in Hong Kong... but what we wanted was to get the machine that automatically makes Fa-sang-woo and other Tong-Sui. H saw it on one of the HK shows and was adamant that we should get one. So...off we went to Sogo. Found out that the machine is actually an automatic Soya Bean milk maker, which can make Fa-sang-woo and other Woos. Needless to say, we bought it. (When dad saw it, his comment was "this one...make one time, two times....then I am sure you won't use it already!" . Well, so far, I've made 3 rounds of Soya Bean Milk and 1 round of CashewNut-Woo). Just realised I didn't take photo of the machine... another day lah.

After our purchase, we went to have our Tong-Sui. Was quite a long Q. H had the CashewNut-Woo and I had the Black Sesame-Woo. Donno if it's a matter of taste or what...but I somehow prefer the one at KTZ in SS2. After this, we hopped into another dessert shop to have Tann-lai (Steamed Milk pudding??).... By the end of this, we were really stuffed and ready for bed!

Getting Old or What?

Yesterday, H woke up in the morning and complained about his back. Apparently, he pulled a muscle in his sleep. It seemed pretty bad. He can hardly nod his head. I wonder....is the mattress the cause of the problem, or is it plain OLD AGE? Or both? Our mattress is as old as our marriage. I wonder if I should change it to a new memory foam mattress. I heard that it has pressure-relieving capabilities. Think that would help H?

Time Warp??

Sometimes I wonder if I am in some sort of a time warp. I still expect prices and cost of things to be at a level that I am used to. H says that I am. As I mentioned before, my youngest sis will be getting married in Melbourne at the end of this year. Thus, the whole clan has to make arrangements to go Down Under. When the topic of the number of rooms required came up in one of the family discussions, I confidently said "Oh. We definitely need a 2-bedroom serviced apartment". Little did I know that rates have escalated quite a bit from the last time we were in Melbourne. I recalled that I paid approximately AUD 130 per night for a very nice 2-bedroom serviced apartment on St. Kilda Road in 2005. Needless to say.... I almost fell off my chair when I found out that the rates for similar accommodation is approximately AUD 250 per night! My immediate thoughts were "Can I squeeze all four of us in a 1-bedroom?". *Sigh* ...So goes the frequent search for hotel deals on the internet. Want to help in my search?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Go Macau...

Yes. Yes. I know that I just came back from Hong Kong last week. But when your girlfriends are all going to Macau for a girly holiday, and the hotel and food expenses will be taken care of, you sure jump on the bandwagon, right???? Heeeheee

So, I will be going to Macau in mid-June. The gals are flying from KUL on AirAsia. I could fly direct to Macau, but thought it would be much more fun flying with them. Plus if flying direct,the timing NOT so right. So I've just booked my tickets to fly via KUL. First leg is to get to KUL, of course. And the second leg to join them on the AirAsia flight to Macau.

Mom asked if she should come over to babysit the boys. Just conferred with H and he very confidently said "No Need. I will bond with my boys!". (BTW, mom and dad left for home yesterday).

Very excited liow....

(will post about our trip to HK soon....)

Everything New!

Fancy everything new?? New home with all new furniture?
That's what H's coworker is doing. The lease of his rental home is expiring soon, and he is avidly looking for a new home. He wants to have brand new cabinets and furniture. Thus, he is selling off his current furniture. In fact, we just bought a pool table from him. Buying everything new would certainly cost quite a lot. Don't you think? He should really think about directbuy, which would have almost everything he needs at wholesale prices.