Monday, March 30, 2009

Lazy Long Weekend.....

Boys had both Thursday (26th March) and Friday (27th March) off.

Thursday was a public holiday in celebration of the Hindu Saka New Year. It's also known as Hari Nyepi, or Day of Silence. Actually, you should try to experience the festivities held the day before Hari Nyepi in Bali. H and I were in Bali in the year 2002 during this time. It is a sight to behold. 

On the eve of Nyepi,  both H and I had to don the black-and-white chequered sarongs before we were allowed to participate in the festivities. The hotel that we were staying (At that time, Sheraton Nusa Dua...but has since changed to The Westin Nusa Dua) had organised the festivities...which was NOT solely for tourists/guests. 

The hotel had their own Ogoh-Ogoh, paper-mache demons.... which were carried in a procession to the beach, and burnt at dusk. From what I can remember, it is supposed to drive away evil from the island.....

Some examples of Ogoh-Ogoh
(courtesy of Google Images... donno what happened to the photos I took)

The next day, Hari Nyepi, we weren't allowed on the beach at all. Poolside - Yes. 
They had security guards to stop guests from venturing out on the beach. 
WHY?
It's a Day of Silence, whereby NO noise, NO travelling, NO lighting of fires etc is allowed. 
The reason behind it is that demons and evil will see that the island has no life/ nothing of interest and will not "disturb" the island for a year.... 
On this day, the airport is actually closed. So you can't fly in nor out.

If you ask me which is better...Phuket or Bali, I would say Bali
Why?
Because Bali has so much more to offer. In addition to the sun, sea and sand, it is so rich in culture. Real culture. Not just to please the tourists. For example, the Thai dances in Phuket...it is performed just for tourists. And you would say the same for Bali. But in Bali, if you go behind the scenes, the dancers actually pray and perform some ritual before they go out and perform (I kepoh-ed lah....). Some expats working in this traffic-choked city MUST go to Bali every month to rejuvenate... wish we could do that too :-(    ....but once a year is good enough lah hor??

Anyway, Friday was Staff-Training Day @ school, so boys chapp-tou! H also went to work for half a day only. He was back by noon! As he had bought quite a number of DVDs (TVB series and all...) from KL (H was back in KL for work from Mon to Wed), we spent the days and nights pou-tai only. During Earth Hour..... we did a half-past-six participation.... while we turned off ALL lights and ALL the air-conds, we did keep the fans whirring away while pou-ing a TVB series.  Pou until 3 am Sunday morning.... couldn't get up for our regular Sunday tennis. And when I eventually woke up on Sunday. I tell you... I was like on the couch watching the telly, then move to the bed to watch and sleep, then back to the couch, and then back to the bed. Watch until my eyes almost popped out of my head. 

At least today...things are back to normal, ie... NOT being a couch potato!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Day @ The Boys' School...

Spent half a day at the boys' school on Wednesday, 25th.  8 - 10 am at the Primary School and 10 am -  1 pm at the Secondary School.
It was Curiculum Day at the Primary School...meaning parents are invited to observe the children working/studying in the classroom. S2 (btw, he's in Year 4) was working with his team to produce a poster advertising for a brand of toothpaste. The kids were pretty imaginative, I have to say...
At the Secondary School, it was the Student-Led Conferences. The students take the lead to tell the teachers what they think of each subject, asking questions etc. Managed to meet with almost all of S1's subject-teachers except for History and Drama. Almost all the teachers had positive feedback about S1 (He's in Year 7). Some of his positive traits at school were revealed by his teachers... which was a pleasant surprise to me INDEED! Overall, he is doing well in his first year at Secondary School. Just need to be a little more organised!

4Ms

What do the 4Ms mean???
Maid
Making
M
Mad!

I just wrote a couple of days ago that she really kik-sei-ngor....
She did it again!
I think she is TOO FREE. Have too much FREE time in her hands...that she must just have this laid-back attitude towards her job. 

Yesterday, somehow boys made their own breakfast...Maggi Mee. Stove turned-on without any supervision. I didn't know about this until much later. Luckily no accidents. When I found out, I told the maid very calmly... "Yes. My older one is big enough to cook his own noodles or omelette. And I know he wants to do it. But you have to be there to supervise. If there's any accident, you will be the one scolded". 
Okay never mind...

Then in the afternoon, I prepared the chinese herbs for S2's chinese medicine drink. Put in 5 bowls of water into the pot. Told the maid.... "Boil using small fire until water has reduced to just 1 bowl". Not difficult right? 
In fact, blardy easy work.
Guess what happened?
The medicine was all BURNT! And it was H that turned off the fire!!! 
NOT a single drop of liquid left in the pot and all the herbs STUCK onto the pot. Blackened!
You say I go MAD or not???
Screamed at her like NO tomorrow! And guessed what she was doing?
On the phone in her room!!!!

Really TOO FREE. Already no need to make breakfast for boys...and we ate out for lunch. So with the house already cleaned plus the clothes ironed, she thinks she can be so laid-back and go chit-chat on her phone in her room! 

I was so MAD. Told her that if she likes to talk so much, then just go pack her bags, leave and she can talk 24/7. Told her the herbs cost USD 50/- (Must exaggerate abit lah...) and I want to cut her pay by this amount. Aiya. Of course I didn't lah. Just want to frighten her. 
H sternly asked her if she still wants to work for us... Of course she said YES lah. Easy job and relatively good pay maaa. Gave her a final ultimatum. If she SCREWS up one more time, she's out of the door. And NO more having her phone turned-on in the day....only when she has finished all her tasks at night, ie. after our dinner....If I see her on the phone in the day one more time, she's out of the door.
You sure say... AIYA. Get rid of her now lah. 
But have to say that she is quite alright generally lah. If she listens to instructions, she can actually do quite well one. 


Allergies

As previously mentioned, S2 has a whole list of allergies. The allergens ranged from a multitude of foods to dust, smoke and other air pollutants. Whilst I'm taking him to the allergy treatment center using the bio-resonance technology regularly, I've also tried to minimize his exposure to inhaled allergens. Thus, I've gotten rid of the carpet in his room, bought a dust-mite protective cover for his bed plus getting his sheets laundered regularly. Now, I'm actually thinking of purchasing an air purifier for his room. The thing is that there are quite a number of brands and models available in the market, and I'm at a lost as to which to buy. What would you suggest?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

London Trip - Part 4 - Purchases

Okay. This is the last of the posts on London... 
To read the previous posts: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

What did we buy in London?

Luxury Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat
(They had a shop on High Street Ken. but I bought these at Heathrow. Apparently, they own their own cacoa bean estates.... Errr. At the time of writing, I walloped all the chocolates already!!!!)

Two of H's Shirt
(He bought 3. Think he wore the other one already)

 Some DVDs from HMV 
(Cannot get these old shows here....)

Leather Gloves from M&S
(I think I gave my old pair to sis when I left London yonks ago)

Oasis Top - on Sale

My Suede Boots from Russell & Bromley
(Nice, huh???)

All sorts of Junk Food
(Pork Scratchings, Sweets, Fruit Bar etc etc)

Marshmallow Twists

H's History Books from The British Museum Shop

Wedgewood India Sauce Boat and Plate
(Didn't realise that the Plate is sold separately from the Boat. So when I went to pay...was a bit surprised...but bought anyway. Have to a set what! Also bought another 2x Soup Bowls,  1x Oval Serving Plate and 1 x Pasta Plate.... So now. My set is quite complete liow....)
H also bought a suit from M&S.....too lazy to dig out from the cupboard to take photo.... 
Don't think we bought anything else... H left two days before I did, and when I was on my own, I didn't want to buy too much as I would have to carry it on my own. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

London Trip - Part 3

Part 1

Sunday, 22nd February 2009

This is S2's Actual Birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, S2!!! 

This day is a day spent soaking up some history at the British Museum and drinking ourselves silly!!! (celebrating S2's birthday maaa...) hahahaha...

Supposed to meet G at the British Museum at 10 am...but she said she couldn't wake up that early. We were sort of dilly-dallying in the morning and only reached the British Museum at 11 am. H saw a Hot-Dog cart outside and decided to wolf down a hot-dog first.

There was an exhibition on Babylon and H was really keen to see it. Didn't realise that we had to purchase tickets at specific time slots. As the time was neither here nor there, we purchased slots for the late afternoon. We only spent an hour in the museum in the Assyrian section. H is a historical buff...His interests are in the Myceneans, Greeks, Assyrians etc etc.  
So as we were going through this section, I had a narration from this fellow lah...

Assyrian Wall Panels 

Also visited the Ancient Egypt Sections...

Then we decided to meet G in ChinaTown for lunch. After lunch, we spent like almost 3 hours at Bar One at Leicester Square DRINKING! DRINK and TALK....until it was almost time for our entry into the Babylon Exhibit.

G didn't want to pay the GBP 8 for this Exhibit, so went off to explore other parts of the museum on her own. Anyway, the Exhibit was not as extensive as I thought...considering we had to pay GBP 8 per person. 

We went back to the hotel as we had some time to kill before dinnertime... R (G's boyfriend) was en-route from Norwich and was gonna meet us later for dinner. As I was feeling quite crappy, I took a nap while G and H went down to the hotel bar to drink summore!

Dinner was at Four Seasons at Baywater. Thank goodness we didn't have to queue for ages. Over dinner, mentioned that H was going back the next day...as he had to work. And R looked at me and said "you should STOP shopping so much". Then at that point, G said "Shhhhh... I need to kick your leg to shut you up. I'll tell you later....". When G explained to R later that night about our Harrods fiasco, he was like "Oh Crap!".
Heheheheheh

Monday, 23 February 2009

H was still  jet-lagged and couldn't go back to sleep. So he left for the airport pretty early. Spent the morning sorting out the VAT refunds at Russel & Bromley and Marks & Spencer. And then window-shopped along High Street Ken. Bought an Oasis top on sale...

G was gonna come stay with me for two nights after H's departure. She finished work at about 1.30 pm and we met up for lunch. Wanted to have a British Pie but couldn't find...so ended up at Old Dutch on Kensington Church Street. The pancakes were goooooood, and we did have quite a long lunch. Can't really remember what we did between lunch and our musical....

G had wanted to give me a treat at the theatre... and she asked what would I be interested. I chose GREASE! ....so that I could sing "Go Grease Lightnin!! Go Grease Ligntnin!!!"
Heheheheh... The theatre was just off Piccadilly Circus

It was pretty entertaining. Much more so than The Lion King. At the end, when the cast starting singing the Grand Finale, I said "Hey! This is the part where we should stand up and join in with the singing!" and G was like "Errrrr. Over here people are very conservative one lah. Nobody would do it one. You do. People think you SEOW!". 
Errr...true enough. Everybody just sat still on their chairs leh. 
I was sooooooo looking forward to stand and dance and sing wor.....

Anyways, we had a late dinner in some Beijing noodle place in ChinaTown...


Tuesday, 24th February 2009

Decided to walk down memory lane..... so walked all the way to Royal Albert Hall, down 
Exhibition Road passing ye olde college of mine and then to V&A and finally to Harrods!

Prince Albert Memorial, opposite the Royal Albert Hall
(This monument was in scaffolding throughout the years I was in London. And according to G, it was only unveiled recently. 15 years of Restoration!!?!?!?)


Royal Albert Hall



We entered into the V&A Museum just for fun....

The Victoria and Albert Museum


Walked to Harrods....initially just for fun. Then remembered that I needed a few more pieces to complete my Wedgewood set. The items that I was looking for had a 25% discount, so bought them. We didn't pick up the goods until later...

Went to Harvey Nichols and down Sloan St. for fun. Nothing to do...and still lots of time. We wanted to have lunch at Valerie's Patisserie but was crowded like crazy. So decided to go elsewhere. Ended up in a little pub in Knightsbridge...

Finally! I get to have my PIE! 

Top - G's Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding
Bottom - My Steak and Ale Pie

After lunch, picked up my wares from Harrods and went back to the hotel. 
What did we both do???
ZZZZZZZZ 
We then went to Bayswater for dinner... I have to tell you that by this time, I was pretty glad that I was going home the next day. When G related this to R, he said "Awwww. Is she missing her boys???". 
Of course not lah! Just that I was pretty sien in London by then....


Wednesday, 25th February 2009

Yes. Yes. Very excited to go home... G walked with me to the tube station...and we said our GOODBYES.....she was off to work, and I was going to Paddington to catch my train to Heathrow.

Flight to Singapore this time was pretty full. Had to FAST-FAST chup the three empty seats in front of me. Almost didn't manage to. But you know me lah. Soooo kiasu one. Of course the moment the doors were closed, I jumped to the front lah. So managed to sleep a quite fair bit...plus watched a couple of movies and played Luxor again....

Ahh....HOME SWEET HOME!!!

Free Nights!

Boys' Easter School Break is just round-the-corner. Their last day of school is less than 2 weeks away, and they would be off school for two whole weeks! I cannot imagine being stuck in the house with my two monsters listening to them fighting 24/7.  Neither do I want to leave them glued in front of the computer or TV screen. So, I've decided to take them somewhere for a week's vacation. And in view of the economic downturn, I'm trying to save every penny that I can. I think there are some deals where I could get one free hotel night for every two nights stay. This would help quite a great deal... especially these days, I need two rooms instead of one!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weirdo Sons!

Yes. I have two weirdo sons.

First, it was S1.... after his milk teeth fell, he had a weird permanent canine growing out in the position of his front teeth. We thought. Aiyo...so ugly but didn't give it another thought. A routine dental check-up and X-ray revealed that he had another permanent tooth lodged up in his gums. So, the ugly canine was extracted to make way for the more "normal" looking front tooth to grow. Then not long later, we discovered that he had another extra tooth growing out of his palate. Really gross looking and started to cause pain. Off to the dentist again. I thought it'll have to be CUT out. But luckily, the dentist could have a good grip on it, and pulled it out the usual way. 
YUCKS!!

And now...it's my S2's turn. Took him to the orthodontist a week plus  (14 March) ago. Took the usual mouldings, photographs, panoramic X-Rays... then she said "Eh? Looks like two extra teeth above the two front teeth. Let's take a more detail X-Ray of that area". Lo and behold... our friend has two upside-down teeth (teeth pointing up, with roots down!!!) lodge inside his gums. She told me that they would most likely have to be removed before any orthodontic work can be done, as movements would be difficult......and referred him to an Oral Surgeon. We saw the Oral Surgeon last Sat (21st March) and yes. Oral Surgeon recommended that the two upside-down teeth be removed... as not only orthodontic work would be difficult, the teeth might affect surrounding bones and may also be a cause of rhinitis. 
Aiya... so troublesome!!!
And because he'll have to go under General Anaesthetic, we don't want to do the surgery here... but either in Singapore or back in KL. Will have to discuss with our insurance provider first. REally really so troublesome!!!!!

Will update when there are more developments in this matter...

Still NOT 100%

After so many weeks, I am still not 100% well.
(Read here and here)

My results for the mycoplasma test came back positive after two days. The doctor sms-ed me to inform me of the results, and advised that I should complete the course of the prescribed antibiotics. She sms-ed me a week later to check on me. As I was still not too well, I went to see her again. She said that the previous course of antibiotics should be sufficient,  but did prescribed me some cough medicine. She said to expect residual cough for about a month or two.... Geezzzz...

I'm still feeling quite yucky. Coughed so much yesterday that I puked foamy phlegm... and then 2 minutes later, out of the blue, my dinner came up as well. And just now... almost had a little accident on my bed. Aduh!!!!

As for S2, his results too like 3 weeks!!! GILA!
I don't really understand what the doctor said... something about he used to have mycoplasma before...like many months ago, but not anymore. It's like a left-behind marker.
The school did issue a medical alert indicating that even if the infection is no longer in the body, the bacteria remains for as long as 13 weeks. Or something like that.

I tell you... I am sure a lot of people have this bacterial infection. Just that they don't specifically check for this particular bacteria. I mean usually, people would check the White Blood Cell count (WBC) to see if viral or bacterial infection. This test costs about USD 8/- only. Where would anyone spend USD 100/- to test for ONE type of bacteria one? 
Just so happens that T&L's mom mentioned this at S2's birthday party. 
Otherwise, I also won't get S2 and myself tested. 



Mother's Day is coming soon...

Okay. Maybe not that soon. But this year, Mother's Day falls on the 10th of May... and that is not too far away. Time to think of a Mother's Day gift for my Mother-in-Law whose birthday also falls in the month of May. Perhaps I could kill two birds with one stone, i.e. get her just ONE present for both her birthday and Mother's Day. Rather than the usual flowers and cake, perhaps we could get her something fancier, say a Chanel j12 watch? Knowing H, he would say "Stick to the flowers and cake. Cheaper!"...... Mmmmm. Wonder if he would buy the Chanel j12 watch for me then???  

Need to Build a Factory??

I remember the time when I was asked to plan for a factory that was to be located in the outskirts of Jakarta. Naturally, before I could do that, I had to know the business plans, the land size, availability of utilities, raw material and product delivery schedules, material handling requirements, municipal by-laws and permits required, etc. etc. When I requested for the above-listed information from the person-in-charge, he told me blatantly "you do not need to know this information!". I was flabbergasted as to how on earth was I supposed to plan and design a multi-million factory without all the required information? I soon found out that this guy had been sitting on his buttocks doing NOTHING. No ground-work. No due-diligence. No feasibility studies. Absolutely ZILCH. And what do you know?? The company folded!
What do you expect when it is helmed by a WRONG GUY???

Friday, March 20, 2009

London Trip - Part 2

For Part 1, go here.

Friday, 20th February
Jet-lagged. Jet-lagged.
Woke up very early. Decided to take a walk through the park....

Scenes in the Park
No lah. Didn't attempt to feed the ducks nor the swans. Scared! Scared!
We actually walked from High Street Ken all the way to Marble Arch.
Around Lancaster Gate, my thighs were itching like NO tomorrow. Think too long haven't walked so much plus also the cold air that were the culprit. 

We took the tube  from Marble Arch to Leicester Square to have breakfast. Wanted to have porridge and knew of a shop that's open 24-hours. Food is crap but what to do? Want to have porridge! Old liow lah.... 

Jalan-jalan on Oxford Street, then went to Harrods for lunch. H had Grilled Lamb and I had Roast Duck. After lunch, proceeded to look at all the yummy foods in the Food Hall. You know me lah. I like to look at all these things. But H was like pestering me to go look at other stuff (like handbags, shoes, clothes, bracelet) in Harrods. I said I don't have anything to buy, and if I do, I won't buy them in Harrods....... and then we started arguing. 
Sooooo silly!!!
Arguing because I don't want to do any shopping!!!!!! 
We actually stormed out of Harrods angry at each other!!!

What did we do? Take tube back to High Street Ken lor. 
Then he said "Hrmf. You can go back to the hotel. I'm off to Marks and Spencer".
I don't want to go back what. So I went to Marks also lah.
But I went to sit in the cafe and had a very yummy, gooey Treacle Tart
Absolutely Heaven!!!
Somehow, started a conversation with some guy and his son. Apparently he's some author. Can't remember his name though. 

Anyway, met my sister, G for dinner at Halepi Greek Restaurant. I thought it was two roads away from Queenway. Aduh! Actually, it's FOUR roads away on Leinster Terrace. Called G to ask lah. So blurr lah me. 

Think we ordered a Greek Salad, Taramasalata, Moussaka and a Baby Lamb dish. But I was so stuffed from my Treacle Tart that I didn't eat much. H and G ate most of the food. 

Saturday, 21 Feb
Mmm...what did we do in the morning??
Jalan-jalan on High Street Ken. Bought a pair of boots at Russell & Bromley (photo later, yah?), shirts for H and some gifts for my friend, SH and family. Met them for lunch at Royal China in Bayswater.  Perhaps I should have gone earlier to queue..... as we had to queue almost an hour for a table. Kinda long wait for SH's two little sons. Her hubby, WK was saying that if it's not because of us, they wouldn't have travelled down to London. The last time they were here was ten months ago! He's really quite keen to go back and settle in Malaysia...but SH is not too keen. Really hard life!!! Having two young kids here in UK without help!! I think I would have gone mad!!

Did go back to the hotel for a rest (aiya...old liow lah) before going to Covent Garden in the evening. 

Pre-Theatre Drinks with Music at Covent Garden
G said that in order to be a busker at Covent Garden, one actually has to audition for it. 
Not just simply go there a chuup a spot can liow!SHUCKS! That means, I cannot go there and sing my woh-chai-teng-ni-hwei-lai   woh-chai-teng-ni-hwei-lai....
Heheheheh...

We then went to the Lyceum Theatre for Disney's Lion King. 

Before we went in, H told me to not WAKE him up if he falls asleep. 
Aduh! We had tickets for the STALLS okay!!! Good seats leh. Go in and sleep???
But then, I have to say that only the beginning and end when all the animals are out is NICE. There's this particular girl in the role of cheetah. She was good. 
The middle bit was quite boring. I also had a hard time keeping awake...but did stay awake throughout the show.
I did see H nodding off...and left him as is. BUT I had to nudge him when he started to SNORE!!!! TWICE I had to nudge him to STOP snoring.
In summary... too much hype leading to disappointment!

Looking for A Finance Job?

Contrary to what many may think, there are companies out there who are still hiring workers in this financial crisis. You probably think that in no way these would be finance jobs. But indeed finance jobs are still out there. Accountants, Credit Officer, Finance Director...and the list of finance jobs go on. You just need to know where to look. So, what are you waiting for? Polish up that resume of yours, and hop over to FinancialJobBank now. I hear they have over 14,000 finance jobs up for grabs!

Are You a Book Worm?

I am ashamed to say that I am not.
Occasionally, I do read some 'chic lit'.
Thankfully, my boys do read quite a bit. And so does H.
But the genre of books that they are interested-in are quite different.
H is into historical books such as The Myceneans, The Assyrians, Historical Facts of the Bible etc.
S1 is more into fiction such as the Alex Rider Series, The Twilight Series, so on and so forth.
As for S2, he's into factual books. He really loves those graphical Eyewitness Encyclopedias for kids. With the limited range of English books available in this city, we had to resort to ordering online via Amazon books. It does take awhile to reach us here, but certainly beats the pathetic choices available in the bookstores here!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Really 'Kik Sei Ngor' - Corrected


WEI-oooooo???!??!?!
Donno what happened. 
Donno how come the looooooooong post that I furiously typed-out didn't get published. 
Why-ah??
So, have to re-type again....the next day (20th March lah!)

Aiya. Who 'kik sei ngor'?
MAID lah!!!

At least now I'm much calmer. 
But I really went ballistic yesterday with the MAID
You see. I have INSIDE, KITCHEN and OUTSIDE mops.
Not only I colour-code my mops, I actually label them. 
And when she came to work for me, I did explain very clearly that I want the proper mops used and not mixed-up.
So can you imagine my fury when she used the OUTSIDE mops for the boys' rooms and my KITCHEN mop for outside areas????

Her response was that she prefer these mops than my INSIDE mop (which is a magic mop) and that she has washed them before using in different areas.
I was so angry. 
I said "If I wash the toilet bowl very very well. Use disinfectant and all, then pour a whole big bottle of drinking water (4 gallons!!) into the toilet bowl, scoop out in a cup for you to drink. Would you drink??"
She said NO.
I said "Clean what. Why don't drink??"
I mean what's the point of me having soooooo many mops if I think if washing is enough? I would just have one blardy mop and just ask her to wash, right??
I tell you...I screamed so loud that I'm sure my driver/gardener/guard thought that I've gone GILA.
I told her  "One more time I see you do this, you are fired. I don't want to have this conversation again. "

And then in the evening, I asked her to cut the carrots - big size but thin; and the onions in circles. She went and shred the carrots soooo finely and the onions too. She was almost finished, then asked me if that was correct. And had the cheek to say "sample of how it should be cut". This was when she already FINISHED cutting all the onions and 80% of the carrots. 
Again, I went ballistic lah. If sample, it would be a small portion cut. Not the whole blardy onion and 80% of the carrots!
I asked "Is it you don't want to work here anymore? You can leave you know?? Otherwise, why are you deliberately not following instructions??? ".
Of course she answered that she wants the job lah... 
But donno whether she phui (spit) some saliva into our food or not lah. 
haahhahahaha

And just now? I asked her to cut 2 oranges and 1 apple. 
What did she do?
Cut 1 orange and 2 apples.
I didn't scold her...but H did call her out and told her that she made a mistake again.
Always not listening etc etc.... and she should LISTEN!

On the same note of maids... my old maid, Y called me up the other day to request for a Letter of Recommendation. As I had a friend looking for maid, I asked if she's interested and she said yes. But when my friend called her up, Y was like tiu-kou-lei-mai... saying that she's not really looking for work, but even if she is, she won't live-in. The moment my friend heard that she won't live-in, also lost interest liow. I tell you ah... these maids. Donno what they think. I supposed she thought that just because she had worked 2+ years for an expat (me lah), she can demand her terms. She mm-chai-see or mm-chee-sei (don't know die) that it would be more difficult to find a job on her own with her non-existent English. Plus with my friend, she could at least get back the same salary as when she was working for me. 
Me take her back? No lah. If she don't want to  live-in, I also donwan.
Plus if I fire my current maid and take her back, surely she think she sooooo great, and give me problem. 
NO WAY, JOSE!!!!



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

London Trip - Part 1

Yes. Yes. Very back-dated. I know.
But you cannot fault me as I've been under the weather....
Also the grey cells up there is a bit whacko. Thus you might find my posts kelam-kabut.

Thursday, 19th February 2009
H specifically chose this particular flight because he wanted his swa-koo (hill-billy ??!?!) wife to experience this engineering marvel....

Airbus A380

Obviously, the wife was expecting this.....

SIA First Class Suites

But what greeted the wife was this...

Sardine-Class

BOY! Was she disappointed!! Hahahah...

The flight to LHR was really quite empty. I don't think the plane was even 30% full. I had four seats all to myself. And so did H. But instead of sleeping, I was like a being-possessed.... playing LUXOR and ZUMA until my fingers got cramps! If only my boys could see me!!!! 

Arriving in LHR really felt like arriving in Mumbai or Lahore. Know what I mean?
Anyway, we passed through immigration and customs with no hiccups. 
Took the Heathrow Connect instead of the Express to Central London. Eh... Express is DOUBLE the price wor... Besides, Connect only has like 5 stops in-between. No big deal.

Our hotel, the Copthorne Tara Hotel is a short 5 minute walk from High Street Kensington Station. Not great but clean, adequate and certainly very very convenient. Check-in was seamless. (Did I mention that we had a good deal for the room? Less than GBP 74 per nite!)

Exterior of the Hotel

Was starving like seow already.... After throwing our bags into the room we headed out to High Street Ken in search of dinner. We ended up in a little Lebanese restaurant.... 

Then... it was bedtime.
Nite. Nite. Sleep Tight.

p/s Yes. Yes. I cheated. All Photos courtesy of Google Images.

Where to go this Easter?

Where shall we bring the boys this Easter vacation?
Should we do the same 'ole, same 'ole?
Or should we do something different this year?
Perhaps a vacation by the beach.... 
This is not different, I hear you say.
But spending our vacation in a beautiful beach house in the middle of Spring is indeed something different. I hear the Outer Banks area in North Carolina is magnificent at this time of the year. 
Do you agree that it's a good choice?



What we do for beauty...

I decided to pamper myself with a body massage and creambath treatment at the spa this afternoon. Whilst waiting for the timer on the hair-steamer to buzz, I decided to text one of my girlfriends whom I've not seen for ages. She mentioned that she is in dire need to lose weight, and is currently undergoing some kind of "injection" treatment. At first, I thought it was acupuncture. But apparently NOT. In addition to being injected on six different spots on her belly, she has to take some kind of medication. I thought that sounded kinda dodgy - bogus doctors preying on the weak, I'll say. I think she's better-off controlling her diet, and taking the best fat burner that's available in the market. I queried the safety aspects of her "injection" treatment.... but she didn't reply. Wonder if she is offended?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sick??

Yes.
Still sick.
Still coughing my lungs out. But...
Still can go out to makan-makan.
Where did we go for brunch today?

Social House
(located in Harvey Nichol's Food Hall)

Nice Decor....



See how the menus are hung....

What we ordered.....

S1's Bambolini (Italian Doughnuts) with Strawberry Jam, Peanut Butter and Nutella

My half-eaten Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon
(Half given to H already...)

S2's Ricotta HotCakes with Mixed Berries, Bananas and Almond Butter
(Forgot to take picture before....this is after S2 had a go...)

Photos taken with my mobile phone...so not so clear. 

Err...actually, we went out for dinner tonight too. Went to Kinara, an Indian restaurant. Didn't take any photos though... 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am Still Sick...

Even after six days of antibiotics, my cough seems to have gotten worse than last Friday....Been coughing for 2 weeks now. H came home early to go to the doctors with me today. He said my cough is definitely not a normal one. I sounded like I was choking...especially in the middle of the night. Decided to have my blood tested for mycoplasma too. As our usual clinic takes too long (S2's results still not back yet...and he had his test on 2nd of March), went to a different clinic. Took my medication that was previously prescribed to show the docs what I am currently on. Though the medication is correctly prescribed, it's clearly not working against the bugs that are in me. According to the doc, I should feel better after 2-3 days and NOT get worse. So a stronger antibiotics is prescribed plus some other meds to ease my coughing. A sample of blood was taken (seems like a lot!!!) for the lab test. Results will be out next Wednesday (would be faster if not for the weekend). 
Just like that, the bill came to USD 200/-. Crazy!
(My usual clinic would also cost the same too... S2's last visit was also USD 200/-. GILA. GILA. GILA)

H actually said to bring S2 for another test. I said NO. Aiyo...he's getting better already, and still awaiting the results. What for go for another poke to withdraw more blood samples? 
Also this clinic has no arrangement with our insurance provider, thus it's out-of-pocket if he does this test again at this other clinic.
Checked with this doctor on S2's current meds. And she said that it's what that is usually prescribed for children, and it IS used for mycoplasma
It's now wait and see....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Better Safe than Sorry....

The boys' easter break will be in 3 weeks time. We will probably go to Hong Kong again this year. I was sick almost the whole time we were there last year. I don't know whether it was the flu or some other bug as I had fever, dizziness, belly aches and diarrhoea too! I'm glad that my condition did not worsen to the point that I had to be hospitalized. I hear the cost of medical care in Hong Kong is rather exorbitant. I supposed that is why one must always have travel health insurance whenever one travels. Certainly don't want to pay through our noses!! Better safe than sorry!

Safety First!

I'm sure almost everyone has heard of the the term "Safety First".
But how many actually practise this?
I'm quite cautious myself. I actually wear a safety goggle when I hammer a nail into the wall (Yup! I'm the one that hangs up the pictures in the house. Not H!!!). The thought of the nail breaking and flying right into my eye is scary!!! 
But there are many construction workers in this country that would be working at a construction site without the necessary safety equipment. I've seen workers installing roof trusses without safety harnesses nor helmets. And I don't mean single story buildings but one that's waaaaaaay higher. Don't they realize that these safety equipment can save their lives???

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Coughing My Lungs Out!!

Haven't been well.... 
In fact, things seemed to have gone downhill since my headache after S2's birthday party. I developed a cough the next day....which got worse and worse. Decided to go and see a doctor on Friday to have my cough checked out. And since I'm already at the clinic, decided to have a Pap Smear as well (kill two birds with one stone!!!). Doctor prescribed some antibiotics and another med for my cough. So far, no improvement yet. 

I guessed I must have got it from S2. He has had this persistent cough for awhile.... sort of since November 2008 actually. Didn't really understand why the cough was so persistent...thought it was allergy-related. But at his birthday party, had a chat with the parents of T & L. Turns out that both boys (brothers) and their dad were diagnosed with mycoplasma pneumonia. Apparently, boys' symptoms were mild compared to their dad. He was in Singapore for work then, and when he went to see the doc, doc actually told him that he needed to be admitted to the hospital. In Singapore, the test for mycoplasma pneumonia takes only a day. 
Here?
It takes 3 weeks!!!  
You say lah.... Third World Country or not???
Anyway, the symptoms described by T&L's mom sounded pretty similar to what S2 is experiencing. Took him into the clinic on Monday (2nd March) again to have another check by the doctor and also a blood test for mycoplasma pneumonia. Yeah. Results will NOT be out till another 2 weeks but since his chest was still not clear, the doctor prescribed antibiotics for his infection... one that is good for "normal" bacterial and the mycoplasma pneumoniae. Not all antibiotics is effective against mycoplasma pneumoniae, as it doesn't have a cell wall like "normal" bacteria. (The antibiotics prescribed to me will also be effective against this bug. Yeah. I do usually read the insert that comes with medication.)
His cough is improving but not totally gone...will see how in a couple more days.

In a different note, I am still taking S2 for his allergy treatment at the Bio-Resonance clinic, despite H's objections. He said it is a bunch of baloney....giving me an earful last week. As in we were shouting at each other!!! 
I still think it is worth a try as conventional medicine doesn't really have a treatment for allergies. They will just say ABSTAIN from those foods. 
For yesterday's treatment session, H didn't complain nor give me a earful. He seemed quite happy to drop both S2 and I off at the clinic while he and S1 went jalan-jalan.
The therapist did another test....and apparently, S2 is NO longer allergic to eggs and chicken, which is good news. But he still has a long list of allergens that needs to be treated.
Hopefully, in due time...we can put this long list behind us. 

Uncontrolled....

You know how people always let their hair down during a holiday?
They tend to do stuff that they don't normally do.
They tend to shop more.
They tend to EAT more.
I definitely eat more when I'm on a holiday.
In fact, my diet seems to be rather uncontrolled for six months now.... with trips to San Fransisco, Las Vegas, New York, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur and most recently London. H has been nagging me to watch my diet, and I've been ignoring him... until one morning when I felt my pants being rather tight.
Bleah.... Guessed I would have to start on my diet soon. And to have the best results, perhaps I'm going to use weight loss pills as well. I'm trying to lose at least 3 kg. 
3 kg doesn't sound too much, right?
So I think I should be able to achieve it. (Fingers crossed!!!!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Visit to the National Museum

This post is backdated to the 18th of February, 2009.
Went for a short tour of the National Museum with the Explorer's Group. I've recently joined this group in order to visit/tour the city that has been my home for the last 2 1/2 years. As this might be our last year here, thought that I ought to know a little bit more!

I'm NO museum girl...but with a tour, it can be quite interesting. 
The museum guides on this day are all expat volunteers who had devoted a couple of months of their time to be trained as museum guides. 

I'm told that this National Museum has the largest collection of antiquities in SEA (a surprising fact!).  Didn't take too many photos....but here are some.


Open Courtyard in the Old Wing

Statue of Ganesha 
(According to the guide, Ganesha was the child of the Hindu God Shiva and his wife Parvati. He was born with a human head and body. Shiva had gone away and did not know that he had a son. One day, Parvati wanted a bath and asked Ganesha to guard the doorway so that no intruders could enter. Shiva returned unexpected, and not knowing that Ganesha was his son, cut off his head. When he found out the truth, he vowed to use the head of the next living thing that passed-by to replace Ganesha's. Turns out that an elephant was the first living thing that passed-by. That's why Ganesha has an elephant head)

Statue of Kala (not sure of spelling)
(Kala was the humble servant of Shiva. One day, Shiva was meditating and told Kala to be on guard, and not to disturb him. But halfway through, a demon appeared. Kala had to awaken his master. Shiva was furious that Kala had disturbed his meditation and punished Kala by asking him to eat himself up. Kala, being the humble and loyal servant proceeded to eat himself ...starting from his feet up. When he reached his face, Shiva realised that Kala was trying to protect him from the demon. Thus, he decided to bestow Kala the honour of the guardian of temples. That is why, the image of Kala is always at the entryway of a Hindu Temple)

Sorry lah....if you ask me, I think Shiva is rather quick-tempered. And like ALL men, refused to ask question and clarify matters first before losing his temper and doing something silly....

Statue of Parvati - Front

Statue of Parvati - Back

Think all these statues are from around 500-800 AD. Can't really remember...Sorry..