Monday, October 10, 2011

Anniversary Run?

Been so busy... till I don't even know what is my name. Okay. Okay.. That is an exaggeration. But I think tomorrow may be our 'official' anniversary. Yup. We have two anniveries to mark our union. The 'official' one at the Registry of Marriages and the 'Chinese custom' one. Why I said tomorrow MAY be the day because I also don't know. Yikes! How bad can one's memory get? Perhaps it is too late to send out Anniversary Invitations to mark the special day. It is our 15th Anniversary after-all. Guess we'll have to wait for the 20th or 25th anniversary then.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Been Neglecting my Blog....

Boy! Have I been neglecting my blog. Been soooooooooooooo busy with the Centre.
In fact, I should NOT be here trying to blog.

Everything is KELAM-KABUT. Even kids also KELAM-KABUT.
Complaints from teacher and detention and all.
Have I been neglecting them as well?

Not trying to defend myself... though I have been busy working, I have been home when boys come back from school... and I'll go with my usual "how is school, what homework do you have, any problems etc ". Short of me taking their books out and holding their hand to write or type, what am I supposed to do ah? Been getting complaints that they have not been doing their homework. I sit here next to them every night in the Study area summore. Must PHYSICALLY CHECK that each piece of homework is done?

They are so big liow .... and still need that? I donno lah..
Anyway, they are both being punished by the father...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Maid...

Continued from here....

We did have pork quesadillas, pork omelet, fried bacon, pasta carbonara with pork bacon the last few days. Had to test her out - whether she would handle the pork or not. I guessed she passed.

When I came home yesterday, she had already made the boys' teatime snack as requested by the boys. Maggi mee for S1 and fried bacon for S2. And in the evening, told her to make the pasta and the carbonara sauce with bacon. She did understand my instruction of al dente. I didn't use al dente, of course. I had to use my finger and thumb to try to illustrate the 'bite' on the pasta. Yes. The pasta WAS al dente.

After dinner, I asked if she wanted to continue to work... and she was like blah blah blah..menyenangkan. Aiyo. I where understand. Told her to just say YES or NO. And she said YES. I clarified with my partner this morning - apparently it's supposed to mean "working here is nice". I thought she meant "easy".

Today, bought some foods from the supermarkets - chicken, salmon steak and broccoli. Gave her instructions to deep-fry the chicken, pan-fry the salmon steak (to medium done) and stir-fry the broccoli. And the dishes did turn out okay.... except fried chicken not salty enough. The salmon steak was done just right - NOT hard like rock. The sauce was okay. The broccoli was still nice and crisp. Not lam-pek-pek like how most maids would cook it. So overall, no complaints.

She said she can make Thai Pomelo salad one wor.... Will get her to make one of these days.

Okay lah. Got to go pack my bags for tomorrow....


Yup! Yup! Yup! I am flying back home to KUL tomorrow to celebrate my 40th with my sisters. Okay. Okay. Technically, my birthday is not till next week.... but my school is having a REUNION and 40th Birthday Dinner for the Class of '88 on Saturday. I was err-ing and ahh-ing for a while before deciding to go home. Afterall, how often does one turn 40?

My dinner (PARTY??) tomorrow with my sisters .... the colour theme is BLACK and RED. I saw a dress at GUCCI's window display last week.... and it IS a gorgeous dress. Decided to go in today to ask about the price... just to kepoh. Of course I knew I wouldn't buy it.
Guess how much the dress was....
USD 2,200/-!

And you know what? Because I was gonna do some banking .... I did have THAT amount of money in cash in my handbag. My friend kept joking "Eh! you got money in your handbag what. One for you and one for me!". (Yes. People do carry cash around here cause a lot of cash transactions as opposed to other methods ....)

In case you are wondering... am ditching the three boys here on their own. H kept asking the boys "where shall we go to have OUR party whilst your mom is away? Bali?"
The boys were like choi-huei-ter-sor, then he said "you all want to just stay at home and play games is it??". Well... that's exactly it. They just want to veg-out at home without mommy here to ngam-ngam-chamm-chamm.

In progress...

As you all know, my Centre is still undergoing renovations. Last week, not much seemed to have been completed. Visited the place yesterday... was quite impressed with the progress in one week. The partitions are all up, electrical wiring done, Aircon tubings done, toilets retiled, lighting fixed. I'm told that aircons will be installed today. We've finalised on the wall colours. YES. Orange is OUR colour! And it is indeed the colour in the reception area and the our 'Chill Zone'. But we decided to go for softer pastels for the classrooms. The only problem of visiting the Centre was that we sure made a mess of the car mats. The whole place had plaster of paris dust and debris and what-nots! So you can imagine the footprints we made INSIDE the car. Luckily it was my partner's car and not mine. Heheheheh... I bet her driver was cursing us!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Maid came in...

From the last post:

New Maid came on Thursday (8th Sept) evening.... supposed to come in the afternoon but she didn't know the way. So had to wait for her cousin to finish work to bring her in. This one is true... cause the cousin in my partner's driver.

When I saw her, I was a bit surprised cause she had her head covered. Donno why I was surprised. Maybe because I kept asking if 'she can handle pork' and her cousin said 'no problem'. Anyway, when she came it was already quite late in the evening. So obviously didn't ask her to do anything except to clean and tidy her bedroom. H removed the DVD player and LCD TV from the maid's room prior to her arrival. I was thinking this one very 'siew-cheh' don't know whether can work or not. Her last job was in a household of 16 maids! She only prepares food. No ironing. No cleaning.

I told H that she might have problems with the 'porky' and I should just use her to at least IRON all my 10 days of clothes. hahahah...then I will whip out my bacon for her to cook. If she cannot tahan, then she will just leave on her own accord, rather that I tell her to go.... H said I should be worried that she will burn holes in all our clothes if she cannot iron. And he joked "so this weekend, we are going to have siew yoke, bak kut teh, pork chop is it?"

The next morning, she was dressed in long sleeved shirt and long pair of jeans and head covered. I was like "aiyo... how is she gonna work like that?". Briefly gave her instructions to make the beds, clean the floors, wash the toilets. She started making the boys' beds. Again, I was like thinking "how to work like that?". But I did see that the beds were really quite nicely made lah. So I went back to my room. When I came out, she was already changed and cleaning the toilets. Yes. She had the sense to change to something comfortable for real cleaning. She was in a T-shirt and shorts and NO head-scarf. Hair was tied-up. I have to say she looks so much more pleasant this way.

She didn't manage to finish the ironing yesterday, so have to continue today. Once that is done... my 'porky' will come out. I think this 'porky' will be the test lah. No point that she can clean well, make beds nice, iron well, but cannot handle 'porky'. My S2 is a bacon lover. I've bought her gloves ... so will see how...

Wish me luck!Link

Desperate to Lose Weight!

No. Not I.
Okay. Okay. Yes. I am quite desperate to lose weight....but not to the extend of going under the knife or needles. The most that I will do is to pop some weight loss pills to get rid of the flab, and perhaps starve a little, go to the gym to 'pretend' to sweat it out. But my friend... is a different story. She goes to some beauty salon to get injections into her body - stomach and thighs to 'melt' the fat away. She swears that it works. I don't know. The sound of it seems quite scary... Needles piecing through skin and injecting god-knows-what by beauticians masking as a medical practitioner? Scarily dangerous.... is all I can think of.

Get Ready for the Cold!

Time really flies.... I know I've said it many times. But I can't help it. Time does fly!
It's already Autumn now, and soon it will be winter. Should I be happy that I am not sitting in a little corner waiting for time to go by? That I am busy? Or should I be sad that time whizzes by so quickly that I have no time to enjoy life?
Which is it?
Maybe I should NOT answer this question. Just go with the flow!
Yes. That's what I will do.... But I will look forward to our Winter holiday this December. We are going to Vail, Colorado for skiing! Exciting. My first skiing trip. Only thing is the cold... Bbbbrrrrrrrrrr. Hope the apartment is well-equipped with a super-duper infrared heater to warm up those frozen fingers and toes after a long day out in the snow!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fried the Maid Sotong...

Yup. Finally did it.

Remember my last post? I mentioned something about getting a new maid... Heheheh.

Well, fired the maid yesterday. Why? If you have been following my posts about my maid, you will know why. This time was really really the last straw.

This time? She was supposed to be back by Monday, 5th Sept morning - boys back to school. Driver was here at the apartment at 6.30 am as usual. I didn't expect her to arrive so early. Perhaps 7 am or 8 am. When she didn't turn up at 8 am. I texted her and ask her what time she is arriving. STOOOOOOOOPID woman said she couldn't get bus ticket for Sunday. And only managed to get bus ticket for Monday. She will only arrive in Jakarta either afternoon or night. What kind of stupid baloney is that? She don't know in advance she don't have bus ticket meh? Even if she didn't buy her ticket waaaaaaaaay in advance lah, she should have called me on Sunday night already, right????
Why must wait till I contact her to see where she is, then only inform me? Why do I have to see that shedid not turn up for work, then I be the one to find out what happened?

When I told H about it, H immediately said Tell her NO Need to come back. But then, my keycard and all was still with her. So I didn't tell her that she no longer has a job. I only texted her that Boys STARTED School today. She said she didn't do it deliberately. Yah. Right! I am so stupid is it?

Seriously, everytime she goes off, there will some stupid excuse as why she can't come back as intended!!!

I was ironing on Tuesday morning (10 days of clothes!!), when she opened the door and couldn't get in. Cause I've double-locked and latched the door. The moment I opened the door, I said please give me the keys. You don't have to work here anymore. Please pack your things. That's all I said. Very calmly.

When she was leaving, I just couldn't help it. Had to say it. I told her. Just tooooooo many times that she do all this nonsense. Fed-up of telling her the same thing over and over again!

And you know what? Today, she asked me for a letter of reference via text. She said she worked more than one year blah blah blah. And donno what else. I asked "what do you want me to write? That you always leave without permission or that you always have all sorts of excuses?"
. I mean what is the point of me writing a letter of reference if all I am going to say is SO-and-so worked for me for 1.5 years. FULL STOP.

Certainly she wouldn't want me to have potential employers call me. Because if I am still living here, people would ask Why did her employment stopped? If she is good, why did I let her go? What am I supposed to say? I certainly would not lie for her!

But I have to say that I did teach her to cook lots of stuff. She can make banana loaf, pancakes, proper omelets and scramble eggs, Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak, chicken casserole, curry chicken, lor mai kai, lor pak kou, chicken pies, pork chops, chicken chop, roast chicken-my style, roast chicken ala Jamie Oliver, Grilled fish with lemon sauce, lasagne (tomato sauce and the bechamel sauce from scratch!), quesadilla, tacos, pizzas, pasta carbonara, gyoza, fried hokkien mee, wantan mee, mee suah soup, fried beehoon malaysian style, chinese style fried rice, one pot rice, bak kut teh and the 'yau fann', thai-style pineapple rice, all sorts of chinese soups, angmoh mushroom soup, pumpkin soup, french onion soup..... etc etc. *sigh* now got to start from the very beginning. BLEAH...

I have a new maid coming in tomorrow. My partner's driver's cousin. We'll see how she works out. If this one don't jadi, my driver has two lined up for me this weekend. Yeah. Now is quite easy to find maids because they have all returned from their kampungs to the city. If it was before Lebaran, then it would be difficult...

Wish me luck with this new one...

Oh.. I know I am very bad. But I hope her next job is with a local family. NO off days. NO long paid holidays (with us, she gets at least 3 weeks paid holidays when we go away if not more! Actually more. We go away during Summer holidays and December holidays.), NO TV in room. NO Free time. MUST wake up at 4 AM. MUST mop floor twice a day with floor cloth and not with a mop. MUST make FULL breakfast for the ibu every morning. MUST bring the Ibu's handbag into the car. MUST bring Ibu's little bag and towel to the gym (see this post) etc etc...
So bad hor... but she really had it too good that she wants to take advantage of me. If I don't fire her this time, she will definitely think she is indispensable and climb ALL over my head!


I need a holiday!!!

I have been working like a dog lately. So many things to do for the new business. And so much red tape here there everywhere. Really tiring - both mentally and physically. I feel so drained. I really need a holiday. So much so that I will take ANY holiday. Even a fishing holiday! Yes. Me. Miss Spa&Pampering. Can't imagine it? Well, seriously I am NOT afraid of slimy fishes. What I am afraid of is waiting for ages for a fish to take the bait! So if this chick is going out fishing, she is going to hire those flats fishing guides to show me the way to hook those huge fishes. No way, Jose am I gonna wait till the cows come home!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cannot Imagine ....

Really. I can't. I can't imagine that such things would happen...
Riots in London.
Hurricane in New York.
You know... people always have their branches/ stores in London, New York, Paris....
I wonder if something is going to happen in Paris next.
I'm sure Parisiens will say "choi choi. Luei hau swei kong koh". Errr... I suppose Chinesey Parisiens. Hahahaha

Just been reading Yahoo News on New York. Go here to read the article.
Broadway shows cancelled. Starbucks closed. And so are the Golden Arches!
Can you imagine a deserted Times Square? Empty Grand Central Station on 42th Street?
And after the storm, I am sure the city will be in a mess.
I can't help it. I have thoughts of Will Smith's I am Legend playing in my head.
Scary..... Really quite unimaginable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great photos

Did I mention to you that my dive instructor is a travel journalist?
Why am I suddenly bringing her up when it has been ages since I got my advance diving certificate? Well, I just saw her Facebook update that she is now in India doing a piece. I'm sure she'll have wonderful photos to accompany her writings. I remember the wonderful underwater photos that she took with her waterproof cameras when we were out diving. Did I show you the photo she took of me? Here it is.....
Yup. That's me being the horsey.....

Sizzling Hot!

Ssssssssizzzzling HOT! Check out these sexy bodystockings!
As I am turning 40 soon, I have been using FABULOUS FORTY very very often. In fact, was just chatting with my sisters about what theme my 'birthday party' should be. All RED. All BLACK. WHITE AND BLACK. Or what? When I saw these sexy bodystockings, I thought maybe I could get these sexy bodystockings! Errrr.... only problem is that my H will not be going back to see this sexy hot mama. He has to stay put to babysit the boys while I jet back to KL for the party. Alright. Alright. Not exactly a big party... but nevertheless a party with my sisters, and then the following day, my alma mater is having a reunion and 40th birthday party for everyone... Well... everyone turns forty this year!
Can't wait!


How ignorant of me!
When I saw the word mange, the immediate thing that pops in my mind is Japanese comics.
Ooops! I could not be more wrong that this.
Mange is actually a painful skin condition in pets caused by mites!
What is scary is that mange can occur in people too!
We used to have four dogs in my parents' house, and though they did have some problems with mites some time or other, I'm not sure if they did suffer from mange.

Second Wives, Mistresses and Girlfriends

H had a meeting the other day.... and as he parted with his business associate, the associate asked "Settled? Where is your new place now?"
H answered "S.M. It's near...."
Associate ' "Oh. I know. I know."
H - "how do you know?"
Usually, we have to explain to people where it is..... in relation to one of the popular supermarkets.

And you know what he said? "That place ah? All the Second wives, Mistresses or girlfriends all stay there!"

Obviously, when H came back and told me... my immediate thought was "mmmm... is that woman with something wrong with her hands a mistress????"

Now, when I pass any woman in the lobby, I eye them and guess if she is a Second wife, a Mistress or Girlfriend! Hahahha
Ok. Ok. I only do that with the local ladies... Not the many Japanese ladies that also live here...with their little toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Mmmm..... wonder if anyone thinks I am a Yee Lai... Hehehehe

Good Employer

We are in the process of employing staff for the centre. My partner and I have had numerous meetings to discuss on the remuneration package for our employees. We strive to be a good employer that employees will feel happy working for us. However, as a start-up we are limited with what we can provide. So salary aside, what makes a good remuneration package?
Is it the number of paid vacation days? Medical benefits? Allowances? Or is it the annuities?
What say you?


What comes to mind?
Let me tell you what comes to MY mind...
Those hunky doctors in their medical scrubs in the TV series Grey's Anatomy. Mmmmmm... Dreamy yummy doctors.
Ever fantasized about a doctor in his uniform?
Oops. Better stop now before I reveal too much. My boys do read this blog of mine. Don't want them to think that their mommy has gone whacko!

Do you know how to use one?

Do you?
A micrometer I mean.
In the first place, do you know what micrometers are?
They are precision measuring devices for measuring lengths. I supposed in our everyday lives, we do not really need such precision. However, precision is important in industries. For example, how do we know that the electrical cables are 1.11 mm thick and not 1.05 mm? Can you measure such difference with a normal ruler? You can't!
But you can with a micrometer.
So if you need such precision, do go get a micrometer from the hardware store!

Monday, August 22, 2011

What is wrong with her hands???

I don't even know why I am blogging about this. Basically, really none of my blardy business.

I went down to the apartment gym this afternoon for my long overdue workout. And halfway through, a woman came in followed by her maid (I guessed it is the maid. Looks like a maid. Dress like a maid. And behaving like a maid). The maid brought her little bag and towel.... I was like "What is blardy wrong with her hands? Come down to the gym to workout, and cannot even carry her tiny bag". Besides the gym is only downstairs of the apartment.
How far does one need to walk to the gym???

I really beh-tahan. Why are these ladies so blardy pampered to this extent? Or should I say so pann-yia? Really wanted to go up to her and ask her if she has got problems with her hands.

I told H about it, and he joked that next time, HE will carry my towel and water bottle down for me. Aiyo.....

Some people will probably say that I am JEALOUS because I am not priviledged enough to have someone carry my knick-knacks.

But do you think that I am the kind of WOMAN that wants people to tag behind me with my handbag?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

S2 promoted?

I thought I should have a different post for S2... cause the other post on S1 was already MEGA long.

S2 is now in Year 7! My little fellow is now in Secondary School... I refused to buy new uniforms for him so he is now swimming in his kor-kor's old uniforms. hahaha...

When I found out that S1's old Maths teacher was going to be the head of Year 7, I was mega scared that he was going to be S2's class tutor or Maths teacher. Thank goodness. NO. That did not happen. This teacher will be teaching Set 5.

My S2 - whom has a more natural knack for numbers did do well in his assessments (when I was tutoring S1, he actually did some of the math problems and had correct answers!), and is in Set 1 for Mathematics... so no need to FIGHT hard for him. And I know this guy is quite competitive and he will want to work hard to remain in the top set, so no need to worry so much.

When he came back on the first day, he told me that he is in Set 1 for Mathematics, then showed me his sad face and said that he is in the last class for English. Me being the mean old nasty mom was like "See. I told you that your English sucks. " This S2 of mine always refuses to read or do any work. Then S1 piped in "I'm sure you are mistaken. You cannot be in the last class. Maybe Set 2 or 3 but surely not last". That. I have to agree. Can't be the last set. Go find out properly. Case closed....

Over dinner the next day, S2 was like "what is criticise?" I was like "hah??? You don't know what is criticise? That's why we all say that your English sucks! That's why last set!". Then the fella was like have this cunning smile.....
"Actually. I am not in the last set. I am in a special set. All the kids from last year's 'authors in the making' are all in my English class." then proceeded to name the others. Then continued with "What is patronise? " and some other words that I've forgotten.
I asked "is this what you have to do in school today?"
S2 - "Nope. I searched myself"
He was pretty pleased that he was 'promoted'. Just him being DODO lah. Never find out properly, and be sad on Monday for nothing.

Overall, I think he is pretty happy in Year 7. Errr... but then, it has only been a week. Was very motivated to finish his homework. His dad took him out to the DVD/games stalls in the morning, and he kept telling his dad that he had to go home and do his homework. And he was doing his "Health and Safety" poster for ages last night. Rewriting and rewriting to get it perfect. Hopefull this lasts, and I don't have to ngamm-ngamm-chamm-chamm the boys to do their homework.

Okay lah. Better go do MY homework.

S1 promoted ...

If you recall... I had written many previous posts whereby I vented about the Mathematics in the boys' school? Do you remember the part whereby S1's teacher said "let's look at his final exam results and we'll see if he is WORTHY for promotion". Yes. THOSE exact words.
You say lah. This mom .... always keep quiet. People think she pussycat tai-tai. Donno anything. Never see my TIGER mom face before.

So... that was the start of S1's intensive tutoring from Yours Truly. Everyday (except one or two days lah) we worked on his Mathematics - from the basics up for an hour minimum. Sometimes two. Obviously, our effort paid off. S1 did pretty well in his final exams. People even queried if he copied! What an insult! He had better marks than quite a number of people in the top set (the set that I want him promoted to... because only kids in this set get to do Additional Maths) so obviously, I would assume that he will be promoted. He did surprise a lot of people - my tidak apa attitude son. One friend actually commented "What happened? You used to be F-king stupid. What happened?". An insult or a compliment?

For the next week after the results were out, I kept asking S1 if they told him that they will be promoted to Set 1. His reply "My teacher said MIGHT". What kind of C!B@I answer is that? Toying with my son ah? F%$K man. So I wrote to the teacher and then only the stupid fellow replied to say that "We in the Mathematics department have decided to admit S1 to the Top Set on a TRIAL BASIS blah blah blah ". I told S1, the teachers are WAITING for you to slip to bring you back down to Set 2. And S1 was like "that is mean!" ... but it is true. Because I was fighting so hard to justify my son's place in the top set, and he did prove to them that he can indeed do it when they are so adamant that he does not have the 'special mathematical skills or love for subject'. Thank goodness that it is a NEW teacher that is teaching him this year. One that is not yet in cohorts with the OLD gang.

School has started for a week... and obviously I continued to encourage S1 to do work - at least bits of it every day so that he will not be overwhelmed with so many subjects. He is quite receptive... doing some topic revision when I told him to last Thursday - which paid off on Friday's end-of-topic assessment. He said he aced it with 100 percent. I think that brought some feeling of satisfaction... hopefully that will motivate to continue to work hard.

Seriously, there's really so many subjects. On top of the usual Maths, Sciences (Physics, Biology and Chemistry), English, there's Mandarin (which he says it's easy), Resistance Materials, ICT, Economics. Quite a handful .... He asked if he should drop Resistance Materials and take up Geography instead. And if resistance materials more useful than geography. I was like ahhh-errr...And he said "or you prefer that I take PE instead of Geography?".
Me - "I am not a geography person. Nor a history person. I don't know. If for Resistance Materials...if you are learning about properties of materials and their uses, then it is good. Why do aircrafts able to fly further? It's because of the materials of construction...."
Then he himself added about the new properties in Speedo swimsuits which can be streamlinedto an extent that the resistance in water is reduced dramatically such that it is banned in competitions.

I didn't really want to force him to do this or that. Because some people want to balance out with easy to score subjects with harder ones. So no need to study so much. I think he did decide to stick with this option, which may require him to do lots of project and design work. This, I think I can help. Cause when I looked at the textbook, it's alot about processes, project management using Gantt Charts, flowcharts etc.... which is sort of my forte. :-) Thing I can't help him is identifying type of wood joints. Yikes! But shouldn't be that hard lah. I did learn about type of weld joints when I was working. Other subjects I cannot help with...biology, ICT, English and Mandarin. Economics can abit lah.

The only thing is that we were working so much on the Maths that we neglected the sciences. He did well but not good enough to be in the top set. So instead of doing the triple award, he is only doing the double award, i.e. doing three sciences but only getting two credits.
Yes. WEIRD British system! Too late to fight for him for this. :-P

Friday, August 19, 2011

Turned down 5 students ....

Yup. Had to turn down 5 students in the last 3 days. I just couldn't take them on.... With my current schedule of trying to get the Centre on-line, I hardly have time to tutor my own kids.

Okay. I didn't turn down my girlfriend. I was ahhhing...errr-ing.. and then she was quick to reply "better not. I know if you say yes, it is out of obligation. If she really needs it, she'll have to travel to you".

I have to say that it felt good that I am actually wanted! It felt even better to hear that my tutoring did help them in their exams last term. :-) These kids are all from the boys' school. Although I did 'promote' my Centre, I don't think they will be so hadap for my tutoring that they will actually travel to my Centre. It is located in the other side of town. I haven't decided yet, but I probably WILL have my kids travel to the Centre for tutoring....

Why have it on the other side of town? My partner and I felt that that is the ideal location to start, with many International and National-Plus type schools offering the Cambridge, IB and HSC Curricula. We will be the only centre focusing on Maths, Physics and Chemistry in English Language. Read more here, if interested. Errr... why not Biology? Perhaps later. But at the moment, I can only teach these!

This blog will remain to be an 'anonymous' blog about my private life.... :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do you think my maid is priviledged?

Yes. This post is going to be about the maid AGAIN.

Seems like of late, I have many posts about my maid. Read here, here and here. She will be famous soon!!

I can hear you ask "now what?"

Ok. Ok. I know you guys are going to say "serves you right for spoiling the maid". Read here for the TV we bought her.... My Ibu friends here were rolling their eyes all over when I told them about my maid.

Let's start from the beginning.... ever since we moved into the apartment, i.e. July 2011, she has had less work to do - smaller sq footage, no garden to sweep, no plants to water, no terrace to sweep and mop, no garage floor, no service area etc etc.... So senang, right? And when we moved here, boys were on holidays and mom was over to help with the move. Mom was here for three weeks. And throughout mom's stay, the maid actually woke up later than mom every single day.

I have also been waking up early for the last few months, and I usually make my own coffee/tea or breakfast, and didn't reprimand the maid even when she only shows her face at 7.30 am and sometimes even at 8.00 am! I was like 'cin-chai' since boys on holidays, plus I don't really care as long as she does the work. So... whole of July and half of August, our sleeping beauty has been taking her own sweet time to start work.

Come Sunday night... I told her that tomorrow (15 Aug), boys will have school. Prepare breakfast to be served at 6.20 AM. As a maid, you should also know your place right? School starts mean no more sleeping till 7.30 or 8 AM right? I tell you..... I was FREAKING MAD on Monday morning. Really really mad.

My alarm rang at 6.00 AM. I went to wake the boys, then thought I should just go check on the maid. WALIOW! She also just woke up and in the toilet. I went ballistic! I really screamed at her. And she dared to answer back and said "you said breakfast at 6.20 am".

After the boys left for school, I really gave her a long screaming session. "For one whole month and more, I didn't say anything when you started work at 7.30 am or 8.00 am. But when boys started school, shouldn't you WAKE up earlier and make sure bottles are wash, filled, tables wiped and breakfast is prepared. You tell me. As a maid. You wake up same time as the boys. Got meaning or not? Some days, even Pak has gone to work then only you wake up. You say Got meaning or not? Where in any other households, where maid wake up later than boss one? ALL households require the maid to make coffee and breakfast for the boss. You? Wake up later than boss. Got meaning or not? You want to work or not???"

Then she said "if you still want me, I still want to work"
I shouted back at her "you work like this, I don't want you ah! Don't think that just because I am busy, you are indispensable. So many people downstairs want to have your job. Moment I ask, many people want your job. Easy job. Cook 2 omelets in the morning, clean for 2 hours, load clothes in washing machine, then 4 hours free, iron some clothes, free time, cook dinner, and then free... soooooo much free time. And all I have to do is make a call, and my mom or dad will fly here to train the new maid. Easy. So you think you are indispensable? Forget it. Even when my kids were little, and very attached to a nanny, the moment they act up or say want to leave, they expect me to say PLEASE stay, I increase your pay. NEVER! I would never. Want to go. Go. So you??? My kids are big. You think I will ever ask you to stay? Even if I am soooooo busy with work? NEVER! "

Waaaaaaa.... I tell you, so so mad. And then on Tuesday morning? 6 AM, our friend was up and cleaning the floors and what-nots. Let's see how long this last.

Actually, got some more story. ... Other day, I told her to collect the boys from downstairs when they return from their Chinese. Have to collect because this apartment funny one. Cannot buzz from upstairs. Must go down and collect people and boys don't have the key card. Boys buzz and our friend donno dreaming or what (or happily watching her Sinetron hearthrob). So didn't go down and get the boys, and obviously boys got maang-chang (especially my big one) and I am the one that faced the maang-chang-ness. Of course I scolded her again lah. "go down and get boys so simple to do, also cannot do. How can I use you??"

I donno lah... let's see how many more posts about my current maid UNTIL I get a NEW maid!

Are you a surprise gifter?

I mean do you give surprise gifts for no apparent reason?
I for one, am not.
And if someone were to give me a surprise gift for no apparent reason, I would be highly suspicious of his/her motives. Why do I have this kind of skeptical attitude?
Can't that he/she just appreciates me as a person and want to do something nice?
Maybe I should start the trend and be a surprise gifter... starting with a surprise food-ladengift basket for dad, and spa product basket for mom. What say you?
Bet they would be wondering what ulterior motives I have!

Vail vs. Lake Tahoe

We are in the midst of planning for our year-end holidays. Boys decided that we should go skiing together with another family.... and that would be in Vail, Colorado. But H was saying that we should go to Lake Tahoe, which is about 3 hours car ride from San Francisco. And there seems to be more to do at Lake Tahoe. But our friends are loyal travellers that will not budge from Vail. So how? Wherever we choose, I want to stay in a down-to-earth lodge that has log cabin beds and fireplaces.Ooooooh... I can imagine the warmth and romance!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

School STARTS Tomorrow!

This year, the school term is starting a week earlier.... Not only that, school day will be 30 minutes longer now. When they first announced it, lots of hoo-hah from the angmoh moms and moms of little kids. I, on the other hand, welcomed it in a way. Okay. Granted. The traffic is the killer. But I think the kids do need the extra time to cover everything in the curriculum.

Starting tomorrow.... I have TWO in the Secondary school. No more visiting the Primary school. S1 will now be in Year 10, i.e. he will be taking his iGCSE examinations in May/June 2013. And my S2 starts Year 7.

I had to run to the bank to pay their school fees last Friday (deadline is Monday. Otherwise they charge interest! Darned school!). I have to say that I have never carried so much cash in my life! At the counter, the guy was like "did you confirm?". I was like "Ah??". And he said that above a certain $$ have to confirm. Confirm what I don't know. Then he went off to ask his superior if he could proceed with the transaction. I had a whole list of errands to run and I certainly was not going to carry the $$$ USDs in my handbag! Thank goodness his superior said okay.

I tell you... only in this country that they are soooooooo particular with the notes. They will only accept the USDs in a certain H series and up. And the notes must be crisp. No folds. No tears. No blah blah blah. The guy actually CARESSED every single bill. No joke.

I had a note that is really 'charnn' and that one they totally did not want it. No need any CARESSING. After CARESSING 204 pieces of the notes, he said that I had TWO bad notes. I was like "so what does that mean?? Those came directly from Citibank". They were surprised that Citibank had BAD notes. Seriously, the notes look okay and crisp. But like I said, he was CARESSING it like nobody's business... and found that the little silver strip on the side is 'broken'. So what it means is that I have to pay USD 3 per BAD note. Damn cut-throat. So... I had to pay an extra USD 6 for them to accept the two pieces of BAD notes. .... ONLY in this country that the USDs must be like newly-minted.
In America, even if the note is damn 'charnn' and had SHIT, also good as gold.

I tell you ah... I damn 'simm thia' man.... especially when I am not exactly satisfied with the academic quality of the school. Pay so much, and still not as expected. *Sigh*
We told S1 that since we are paying school fees now, perhaps he should think of going to a better school in one of the countries that the Ah Ees reside (England? Australia?). But he doesn't want to, of course. His friends are all here... plus he is still a bit young, hor?

Anyway, there are two more terms of fees to pay. And each time I have to do this, I will moan and groan.

What happened to his e cigarette?

H used to smoke his e cigarette instead of real cigarettes. But I don't know why he has reverted back to real cigarettes. The real stuff is not only unhealthy but cost a lot more, plus it leaves a bad stench! The e cigarette on the other hand, is cheaper and smokeless. Not only that, it is cleaner - doesn't have the yucky ash that needs clean-up. I remember when we were in New Orleans last year, the lady at one of the cafes was pretty surprised when H took a puff from his e cigarette and then put it right into his shirt pocket. You should have seen her face!

Don't you hate it?

.... When you are involved in a collision and it is NOT your fault?

Don't you just hate it when the other driver thinks the road belongs to his grandfather and just swerves into your lane? Sometimes we are able to avoid the stupid driver. But other times we are not so lucky. So it's not our fault, right? But whether it is his fault or other, we still have a damaged vehicle. And it is such a bummer to have a collision estimating company to assess the damage, submit to the insurance companies, wait for approvals, send the car for repairs etc. etc. etc.
One word - HASSLE!

Lazy Days in Bali....

Yes. Lazy Lazy Lazy indeed!

We went for 4 nights. Read my earlier post here. Stayed at the Melia Bali at Nusa Dua. Hotel and rooms were decent enough. Kids had their DVD and PS2 players in the room. Service was pretty good. But the real bummer was the shower! Aiyo... I think this hotel needs a major refurbishment of their plumbing system. Seriously... the shower's trickle was a smaller flow than my pee. And quite a few times, no water actually flowed from the shower head. And the water temperature was like up-and-down and no where near the temperature that I like. So will I stay here again?
I don't think so.... Errr.. actually, I try NOT to stay at the same hotel anywhere. To me, staying at a different hotel is like part of a new vacation. Isn't it?

Other than the Quicksilver Cruise out to Nusa Penida, we did nothing touristy. I slept and slept and slept. I slept out on the balcony. I slept by the beach. I slept on the bed. H was like "why are you sleeping and sleeping and sleeping?". But isn't that what a holiday is all about??

We did try to go cycling as a family... But that didn't work out too well. S2 was like goyang-goyang. I was like goyang-goyang. Because we wanted to cycle out to the Nusa Dua kampungs on the road, H was not too happy about it. So Activity abandoned. We tried again a couple of days later, and same thing. S2 and I were still goyang-goyang on our bicycles. Hahhahaha... So we decided that just he and S1 should go ahead on the bicycles, S2 and I will follow suit on foot. Needless to say, we were the tortoise and the hare (except for the ending bit lah).

I think S2 was the most active of all. He could actually sit out on the beach by himself...enjoying the waves. He was moving from beach to pool and back. Participated in the beach soccer games, played tennis with his father etc. S1 was either reading his book or in the room watching TV. H played tennis twice and joined S2 for beach soccer (errr damn funny). Me.... err... laziest of all. SLEEP only lah. Not to mention EAT and DRINK as well....

All in all, it was a good break for us .....before chaos. School starts tomorrow!!!


Yikes! Day is getting closer to the BIG FOUR-ZERO.

Am I scared? Excited? Or what?

I really don't know. No feelings whatsoever. I don't feel old. In fact, I still feel like I did 20 years ago..... emotionally, I mean. Physically? That's a different story.

So what's in store to celebrate this BIG FOUR-ZERO?
Some school friends (YES. From 25 years ago.....) are planning to have a dinner to celebrate ALL our BIG FOUR-ZERO together... in mid-September. I am still contemplating whether to go. But I think I should. It's not everyday that one turns FOUR-ZERO! Right?

Perhaps I should get everyone an artcarved rings as birthday/souveniers. Mmmm.... wonder how much that would cost though.... as you know, I am a pretty stingy person!!!

They don't cook.

....nor wash the dishes. Nor throw the garbage.

Who am I talking about?

Well, I am referring to the 'IBUs' here. Take my apartment as an example. I have two kitchens, thus two cookers and two sets of stainless steel sinks. Unfortunately, the cookers are the small ones that you can't exactly fit a wok over. And gosh... the flames are too small to make a good Malaysian Char Kway Teow! Know what I am talking about? And the sinks? Mmmm... they are the single bowl/single drainer type. I like the double ones.
And the garbage? Well, when I first moved in, I asked my landlady where do I throw the garbage. She was like "errr... I don't know. The maid does it".... and she had lived here for 6 years before she decided to move to a house.

Basically, the 'IBUs' here do not lift a finger. My girlfriend said that she had seen IBUs walking straight into the car with the maid walking behind her holding her handbag. Really? What is wrong with the 'IBUs' hands, I don't know!!!

It is so common here. 'IBUs' walking hands-free and the poor maid with TEN things in both hands trying to keep up with the IBU. No wonder... the doormen at my apartment looked at me funny the first few weeks of moving in.... cause my hands were always as full as my maids, if not fuller! I think they have never seen an 'IBU' (errr... I am also sort of considered one) carrying a table and what-nots!

Friday, August 05, 2011

How Chinese am I?

In recent years, I've been saying that "the older I get, the more Chinese I get"

Errr... But is this true??? We went in the Quicksilver Cruise today (actually, cruising back to Bali from Nusa Penida as I am typing this), and the whole boat was filled with Chinese. Yes. China Chinese. Though our skin colour is the same, we may look similar, we are worlds apart. After today, I feel that I am not that Chinese after all. I guess I am a Malaysian?? But those sword wielding fellas call me a pendatang. So what or who am I??

How things have changed... In the olden days, (okay..not that olden la) people were all learning to speak Japanese to earn Japanese Yen. Now, everyone is learning Mandarin to earn the Chinese Yuan. All the cruise guys started speaking to us in Mandarin first... And naturally my H and my S2 was like blurr. Whole boat of hundreds, only 2 sets of Caucasians. My S2 was like "finally! Some western people" cause whole boat was chattering in Mandarin...

And now on the return trip, there's karaoke!! When the first couple went up to sing, H was like "I knew there's going to be trouble when I heard the music!" hahaha... And S2 commented "their singing is worse than yours!"... Meaning I should be happy that I am better than some people??? And the cruise director or what you call her is singing Mandarin songs....with an accent of course!

I was telling H that times have really changed. Even when I was shopping in Ubud market, the market vendors were all hawking their goods in Mandarin!

Okay lah.. Later

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Hello BALI!!!

Yup! In Bali....AGAIN.

Flew here this afternoon... Decided to take the boys for a short vacation before school starts in less than two weeks! The boys have basically been cooped up in the apartment for the whole Summer holidays. Poor guys! Or maybe not... Depending on who you ask. Cause they have been sleeping late, waking up late, watching tv, playing games and eating junk! I supposed it's my fault too. Been so busy. Even this morning, we were supposed to grab a bite before heading out to the airport. But I was working to try to send out an email before I leave and by the time I was done, it was too late. We HAD to then eat at the airport.

Even though I've been to Bali countless times, it is still a nice feeling. The moment we arrived, I could feel the breeze, see the bright blue skies. blue the skies were today! This time, we are staying in a hotel in Nusa Dua. Booked a split-level family room. Boys downstairs. Parents upstairs. Because it is a family room, the kids area is equipped with tv, DVD player and Playstation (on request). Don't know if I did the right thing of requesting for I am trying to pry boys off those electronic games and gadgets!!! But when I told S1, he immediately came to give me a hug. Talk about addicted to games!!!
Once school starts, all these games stuff will have to stop!

Anyway, we decided to eat in the hotel as I didn't fancy traveling out to Kuta or Seminyak for a meal. And what do you know...the barbecued pork ribs were sooooooooooo yummy and tender. Really melts in the mouth. H had so much that he said that he doesnt want any pork any more. ....and added "including your porky mommy" to the boys! He said he must have eaten my thigh's worth! Hahaha...

Okay... Better go back into the room. Have been blogging via my iPad out in the balcony, and it us getting kinda chilly.


Happy Birthday, S1!

My little baby turns 14 today!!!

Seriously no longer a baby...though he still sometimes behaves like one. That fella is already about an inch and a half taller than I am. Overtook me about a couple of months back. And you know that I am 165 cm, right?


AWOL Maid did come back....

She came back at about 7 am the next morning. I was working at my desk and she came to apologize and wanted to explain herself. I said "no need. You wait for Pak". Well, usually I am the one handling the domestic side of things, and when H opens his mouth, means serious liow. H started by asking if our room is miles away from hers that she will take hours to travel to tell us that she needs to take leave. One more time she does this, she won't have a job in our home.

Again, like I said... They uinderstand but don't understand. Know what I mean? I pay her a fairly decent salary. When we go away, she gets days off too. Yes. Paid off days. For example, When we went to the Statesfor 3 weeks, she actually had three weeks of paid leave. And then there's the other shorter now! She will be getting 3 nights off. So a pretty good job conpared to many maids here. And she has kids that go to school blah she should know that she should work hard and not piss this ibu. But does she know that? I doubt it.

Anyway... I'm sure there will be loads more of maid stories!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The moon and starts are aligned for.....

..... maid problems?

Do you believe in astrology?
That the alignment of the planets, moon and stars will have an effect on certain happenings on earth?
I won't exactly call myself a believer, but then don't you agree that sometimes the occurence of similar events at the same time just makes it more than a coincidence?

RE - maid problems. I actually received an email from a girlfriend back in Malaysia two days ago... asking if I have jalan to find her a maid here. The thing is I've not heard from her for quite a bit... and out of the blue, I hear from her. Her maid had just left and she is having problems finding one... even after going through the regular channels. I even joked that I would start a maid agency complete with training facilities after I'm done with my current start-up. Will train the maid to speak either English or Bahasa Malaysia, how to cook Western and Chinese meals, how to use washing machine, blender, vacuum cleaner etc etc.
Yeah. Right!

One maid in my house also driving me GILA liow. If I have an agency full of maids, I think I will go INSANE to the extent that I become the most feared!

And then I just read about mamapumpkin's maid problem .... I cannot believe that she actually paid RM 2100/month for her part-time Filipino maid that works half-a-day for a five-day work week! Certainly more than what I earned when I graduated from college, and mind you...I am a UK-trained engineer with a Master's degree from one of the top engineering faculties in the world! The best is yet to come.......
This maid of hers cabut to another employer!
Because a driver is provided to ferry her to and from work!!!!
How very spoilt!
Furthermore, mamapumpkin gave her a load of goodies...thinking that she will work harder blah blah blah...

Doesn't work in the world of maids. Regardless how well you treat them, they will not 'behave' how you think they would. They will not be the loyal employee that you think they would be...

I remember my friend/landlady back in Bangkok. She told me about her maid of more than ten years, whom she treated well (annual bonuses of USD 10 K ) etc... when she left, stole soooooo many things from her. And not only that, the maid had been telling everyone that her employer (my friend) ill-treated her etc etc. What the&^**&$*#, right???

And then my aunt - she had a nanny who looked after her son right from birth ....and worked for over ten years too. Also stole jewellery and money, and MORE - took my aunt's passport!
You say lah! Why like that?

That's why I never ever say that my maid is 'good'. Even if they appear to be 'good', inside you donno what they are plotting. And I certainly do not treat my maids like 'friends'. Don't get me wrong..... I don't ill-treat them. I just don't sit down and chat and ask her about her family blah blah blah. Don't be overly nice. I do not get attached to them nor totally rely on them like some of friends do. I will not 'die' even if my maids run away or whatever.
Yes. I admit I will moan and groan, because of the inconvenience.
But I won't be totally helpless.

Errr... do you think that is why I have frequent maid problems?
They hate working for the WWW - Wicked Witch of the West!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

AWOL Maid!

Some people have good luck when it comes to maids. Their maids are almost perfect - they clean well, smart, can cook well, takes care of the kids etc etc.
Always not very good luck with maids.
My current maid?
Not exactly the best cleaner, do not exactly cook well, nor follow instructions well....
And what's more?
She has gone AWOL.

I wanted to give her the 'sign' with Sis No.2's name to give to my driver tomorrow morning. When I knocked on her room door, there was no answer. I entered her room... Lights on, radio and fan all ON. She was no where in sight. I texted her ....and guessed what she said??
Said she panicked and went home immediately the moment she received a call informing her that her child is ill. She didn't think of coming to inform me! She swore that she was telling the truth..using the usual 'swear to god' baloney. What kind of mother says things like that about their child ah?

H immediately told me to tell her NO need to come back tomorrow!!

Aiya... But knowing forgiving one. My bark is worse than my bite. That's why people take advantage of my kids too! Anyway, back to the maid...H then said if I really don't want to get rid of her, then Give her ONE final warning. If she does it ONE more time, she'll have to go.

I supposed I should just fry her sotong, but then looking for a new maid, training time consuming and Damn sien, especially I am so busy with the business start-up.
What to do?
The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know!!!


Sis No.2 Visiting....

Finally. A guest!
I won't count mom nor dad cause when they come visit, it is because we ask them to.... to babysit the boys when H and I go away.
Sis No. 2 is arriving early tomorrow morning.... at 9.05 am. Unfortunately, I will not be picking her up from the airport. Just sending the driver... He will be holding a sign with her name on it. I have an interview to conduct tomorrow.....
So what have we in store?
Already made an appointment for manicure/pedicure at 1.00 PM and facial at 3.00 PM at my regular places. Initially, wanted to bring her to a Korean spa...but their facial is more for 'relaxation' rather than really for 'cleaning'. Can't save it for another day because she is only staying for two nights.
When mom was here, took her to the Korean spa for a facial... she was pretty impressed with the price. About RM 45 for 1.5 hour facial which included full body massage. So basically, two ladies attend to you. One to massage your face, and the other the body. Yes. Very shiok .... especially when it is soooooooo cheap. The other thing that my friends raved about is the Korean scrub. Apparently, you are really really scrubbed clean. ALL crevices included. My friend said that she had a cultural shock the first time she went.... because you are really really totally stripped naked. Ahem. Ahem. Err... I still have yet to try this one out....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Really Really ONE Boring Summer

I think this must be the most boring Summer the boys have ever experienced!
All they have been doing is watch TV and play games.
They sleep like at midnight and wake up at 11 am till almost noon!

H tries to get S2 to play some tennis or table tennis. But my S1 is perpertually glued to the screen. I try to get him to do some Math problems .... which of course is not welcomed. :-P
Both of them are too big for the zoo, or the small aquarium or Kidzania.... So how to entertain them? Plus I have been busy with the new business start-up items.

Hopefully, our trip to Bali next week will be an exciting one for the kids... and I was telling H that we shouldn't bring ANY work with us... We just REST REST REST.

Where's my engagement ring?

Actually, I do have an engagement ring.
But... as the years went on, pounds were added on.
And I can no longer wear my engagement ring.
A little sad because I am no longer the sweet and slim chick that I was.
No longer can slip my finger through that sparkling ring....
Who am I kidding?
I was never a sweet slim chick! Hahahaha
I tried ENLARGING the ring, but it is maximised to the max already.
I wonder if H will get me new custom engagement rings... Is there such a thing as buying the wife replacement engagement rings? Or is it a NO NO?

BIG Business

H has an ex-colleague that made it BIG on his own after leaving the corporate world. Shhhh... apparently, it's more of the wife's efforts than his. Anyway, they started a small restaurant business which eventually turned into a multi-million dollar frozen ready-cooked meal business. They were contemplating of exporting their sauces only, and have the meals locally cooked and frozen. I wonder how are they going to do that? Send it out in stainless steel drums? Let me go check the stainless steel drums at if that's the way to do it....

Two Weeks Already!

It's been two weeks... and my carpets are still not back yet.
What am I talking about?
I sent three of my carpets out to be cleaned more than two weeks ago, and until today it is still not delivered to my home. Do you think I used the right company to do the job? Perhaps I should have shopped around and contacted carpet cleaning raleigh as well.
But guessed that's too late.
Just hope that my carpets are properly cleaned....and returned.
Better late than never.

One Step Closer....

We are a few steps closer. We have just received our business licenses, which in turn allowed us to open a corporate banking account. And with this done, we have to transfer funds to fulfil the mandatory start-up capital requirements.

What next?
Sign official lease for our shop, get the keys and start the renovations. And then there's the permanent business licence to apply... so on and so forth.
So many things to do.......

Scary yet exciting... Will update again soon!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cool and Hip!

I think I am at this age in my life that I feel like I need to prove something....
To show that I am still young. Still capable of achieving things. Still hip. :-)
I am even thinking of getting some hip hop clothing! Crazy it may seem to you, but I think the thought of turning FOUR-ZERO has such an effect on one. Suddenly, this year I am doing so many things in my life. A real turning point. Evem something as simple as walking. In the last five years, we never ever walk on the streets. We get chauffered everywhere ... But in the last ten days, we walked here there, everywhere! Then there's me trying to complete my TESOL course. My move. My business. Hopefully, all these activities will keep me young! Or at least make me feel younger???

Low Fat Diet??? NOT!

I was doing so well in recent weeks... eating quite healthily and staying off from fattening foods. But then... the other day, my friend stayed for dinner and she wanted to 'contribute' to the meal. What did she contribute?
Two TUBS of rich creamy imported ice-creams! Couldn't resist and ate two scoops. And the next day, I finished off the remaining tub. Yikes!!!!
Looks like it is time to pop those fat burners!
Otherwise, how to be trim and fit?

Did something that I said I wouldn't do...



What did I do?

Steal? Rob? Kill? Have an affair????

Errr..... NONE of the above...

It's something simple..... like....
Buying a TV for my maid's room.

I know. I know. No big deal... but I was always against of the maid having the TV in HER room. I mean all along, my maids do have access to a TV, either in the kitchen or in the service area, but my stance was always NEVER in the room. So why the change?

Well, as you know... we now live in an apartment. Naturally, space is a constraint. There's not much space in the kitchen areas.... And surely we don't want her to be watching my cable TV in the hall, right? I supposed you would ask "why must have TV? Don't have cannot meh?". Well, it is quite isolated up here... not like when we lived in Singapore whereby the maids can just pop their heads out of the balcony and talk to the maid next door. Am sure she will be bored till gila - and we don't want her to be gila... that's for sure! Plus the contrast of us living in a house and here is so great in terms of the social aspect. When we lived in a house, she had my driver, gardener (some days), my security guards, not to mention the number of strangers that loiter outside my front gate for conversation. Now? Even my driver is not exactly nearby for her to have a chat. No outlet to b*tC# about the ma'am of hers. Hahahahah...
Thus the need to have a TV.... to de-STRESS. :-)

Want to know what TV we got her?
Well, obviously we wanted to get the cheapest and most basic one... H went to those hypermarkets to look around. And some unheard brands were selling for USD 80. Then we decided to get a USD 110 LG CTV. But when we want to the shop, they were having some mid-year clearance sale.... we ended getting her a USD 130 Panansonic LCD TV. So now, my maid has a canggih TV in her room... Not only that, when we came back... we took one of the boys' old DVD player to give it to her... Hope she will not be watching TV until apa pun donno how to do. Or cannot get up in the morning to work!!!

Whilst I was typing this post, I can almost hear Laundryamah screaming into my ear about me spoiling my maid.... YIKES

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Updates.... 20 July 2011

I know that I have not been updating as often as I should. But really been so busy. Or if not that, then so tired. So obviously blogging would be the last thing on my mind.

Almost 3 Weeks into the SUMMER break now, and boys have been literally stuck at home.... cause H and I have been so busy. Had some friends over (errr... actually only 2 sets of friends as EVERYONE is out there enjoying their Summer Holidays except us) last week. We didn't even go out for any movies... not that there's anything to watch because of the stoooooopid boycott. So other than playing games and watching TV until their eyes pop-out, I made the boys do some Math problems on some days. And just the last two days, S1 has been helping out with the layout drawings for my shoplot. He helped to sketch the 3D-drawings on Google Sketchup. Have to say that he is pretty good at it. :-)

We managed to find a shoplot for our business... hopefully it is the RIGHT choice and RIGHT location. Paid the downpayment on Monday.... and have to pay the rest of the rent when we officially sign the lease in about 2.5 week's time. And just had news from our lawyers that business registration is completed, and we can now open a business account...and to deposit the paid-up capital blah blah blah. And I have the contractor going to have a look at the shoplot to give me a quotation. The sketch that was done by S1 will prove to be invaluable, as it will give the contractor an idea on what we want. Hopefully, the costs can be kept down...

On a different note... I itchy-fart told my girlfriends that I will join them for the 10 KM run in Bangkok in November. So gung-ho. Say can have fun, shop, spa, wann-sann and run. How lah? Can I chicken-out? Or must I perservere on and train for it? I've got about 4 months to train for it. A bit scared lah. This morning, I went to play tennis out in the open, and not too long (errr think about 15 minutes or less :-P), I was damn tired and thirsty liow. How to run 10 KM in 2 hours ah? But I must. I must....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Boring Summer?

Boys have been complaining that this Summer is sooooooooo boring. No travels to ANYWHERE.
Are they spoilt or Are they spoilt?
School holidays must go somewhere one meh?

We've been so busy in the last couple of months. So many things to do.. the start-up, moving house, my TESOL course etc. How to plan to go away for a Summer Getaway like usual? Not possible lah. At first, I thought I will send the boys back to PJ with my mom... but then H said that the house (I should say apartment now) would be toooooooooooo quiet without the boys, and he says we would need the constant need of 'scolding them' to break the monotonous mood despite of our busy schedules. Hahhaha.. So boys had to stay put. They were not to happy I have to say.

Parents being parents... we tend to spoil them ... I know I said "School holidays must go somewhere one meh?", and yet I went to book a short 4 night getaway to Bali for early August. YES. Bali again... because we can't getaway for too long, and easy to book. Plus boys look forward to it all the same. H initially thought about Perth. But with Perth, we'll need more days.. plus the flying time... (or rather the connecting at Changi etc). Bali at this time is pretty expensive compared to other months... SUMMER holidays and all. But what to do.... we spoil our kids, right?

Move and unpacking all done. Did I tell you that they (the movers) had to chop off 3 cm off my dining table legs? They tried and tried to bring it through the door, but they just couldn't. The carpenter was then called upon and off the legs went! But it's okay lah. My dining table was slightly higher than the norm to start with. So it sits pretty well now. Re-upholstered my 6 OLD dining chairs....FINALLY. After donno how many years of saying that I was going to. Thought they were quite reasonable.. Less than 100 ringgit each. Then I asked them to make 2 new chairs (so I have 8 chairs...) ...then my throat almost got cut. But I guessed still okay lah. 350 ringgit per chair. Okay, right?

Everybody is setting in our new home. And with the internet fixed... all is good!
Am happy that things (my furniture, junk etc etc) can fit in quite nicely. Well, I did sell quite a lot of stuff (maid's bed, maid's stove, 2 teak loungers, teak chairs and table, Ikea dining table, a sofa...). I do still need a cupboard though. YIKES! More buying? As if we don't have enough stuff?
When I signed the 'Completed Job' sheet.. saw that we have over 225 boxes (big and small, including sofas and beds). Took the removal company four whole days to pack and move the stuff over. How did we end up with so much stuff, I don't know.
I tell you... really scared of moving!

As for my TESOL course, am working vvvvvverrrrrryyyy slowly. Completing only about a unit per week. To date, already completed 12 units. 8 more to go. Not bad lah hor? More than halfway through! My next unit is the tough one.. ALIEN symbols!
Okay. Not exactly Alien symbols .... but those funny (phonology? Or whatever they call it) symbols that you use for pronunciation. We never learn it, and neither does my children at the British school... So how come we only use it to teach Speakers of Other Languages? Why native speakers do not require them? Mmmmm....

We are still looking for a location for our start-up. We have found one that we all liked but the owner might be a problem... telling our assistant that the price is not negotiable, then giving a higher price than what we were told, then the lot is let out already etc etc. We then contacted the agent, and then received an official proposal. So donno lah.. Off to see more shoplots tomorrow...
And once we finalise on the lease, we need to send the renovators in... Lots more to do!
Website is coming on nicely. Still need to purchase photographs, add and edit content, and some bits and pieces here and there.... Met with the website designer yesterday and I could see that he was a bit unhappy when I complained about the drop-down menu. I mean I DO want the drop-down menu, but when I click once on say "Our Services", I expect to see the main page of "Our Services", and I don't want to need to click TWICE. He kept saying drop-down menus are like that. I said if it's really either/or, I will rather have my main "Our Services" page shown than the drop-down menu. He was like "you want this menu, now you don't want this. Drop down menus are complicated to make blah blah blah ". I got a bit cheesed-off and then said "that's why I am engaging your services right? If I don't need all these fancy things like drop-down menus, I could design my own website like what you saw before" and proceeded to show the simple yet workable website that I made with Joomla. Lucky the 'manager' was more sik-chou and he said "yeah yeah".
Still so much to do... instead of one step at a time, think need to accelerate a bit liow....

Yippeee! We are finally connected!

I have to say that we did feel a little 'DISCONNECTED' the last 12 days with no internet connection. Yup. You read correct TWELVE DAYS! Enough to sing the TWELVE days of Christmas countless times!!
Why took so long? Well,... I tried to save some money by going direct to the provider... so lots of phone calls to them and speaking to operators who repeats like a parrot. Turns out that this whole area is 'monopolised' by a "middleman" and I can't go direct. So...what to do, have to get them to come and install the cable TV and the internet. So, once I sign on the dotted line, they had to send me the invoice and we have to PAY before they arrange for installation. But once payment is made... service very fast lah. They came immediately the next day (ie yesterday) to fix the lines. So here we are... CONNECTED!!!
My 'LABEL" still reads 'House and Garden' and I no longer in a house and no longer have a garden. So how? Must change new label ah? No need lah hor?????

Mobile Batteries....

Nobody really talks about their mobile batteries.... yet it is the very heart of what makes a mobile work! I guess the only thing that gives the humble mobile battery a worthy mention (or not!!!) is when we blurt out "My battery is dead!". You would think... "Poor batteries. You give all you have ... and nobody notices you until you run out of juice!"
Oh well... that is the LIFE of a battery, I guess.
Speaking of batteries, I think H's Samsung Galaxy needs to have its batteries replaced soon. Know where I can get the cheapest and best samsung mobile batteries?

Why the weight gain?

I seriously do not understand how I could so quickly gain back the 2 kgs that I lost. I admit that I haven't been to the gym for about 3 weeks..... packing, moving and then unpacking takes the toll on one, you know! So with things (i.e. the move, the unpacking etc... not other stuff) more settled, I am determined to lose the weight gain. I have begun going to the gym to build up fitness and to tone those flabby arms. But to be able to see the results QUICK, I need to supplement with some Diet pills that work fast. Come On! Lose the weight, GIRL!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I'm Loving It!

Sounds like McDonald's advertisement.... but I'm pretty happy with our new pad. It is really totally different from living in a house. The convenience is really such a BIG plus. We can pop down to the gym anytime we want. Supermarket (very well-stocked with imported goods) is just next door... and there is a small food court, bakery, kuih stall, pau stall. Also a little cafe, hair salon, LaMien place, laundry etc. Not to mention another food court across the road. And Starbucks too! Thought that I would need a fair bit to Starbucks... then I saw the GREEN parasol-like thingy from my living room balcony. WEI?? Just opposite wor.... Green Tea Frappucino with Whipped Cream... YUM YUM.
And what's more... few big malls are 5-10 minutes walk.
Mom certainly is quite pleased that she doesn't have to worry about the traffice when she comes to babysit the boys.
I really like the idea of NOT having to rely on the driver to take me to the grocery store or the laundry or wherever.
The real test? When school reopens and the boys have to get to-and-from school! See if they will complain till the cows come home. Why? We are now slightly further from school than before...
Bus will come 15 minutes earlier...
We'll see....


We are now officially living in our new pad!
After 5 years in a landed property, we are now on the 11th floor of an apartment building right smack in the city. And we are all loving it. The convenience is great... supermarket next door, food courts and restaurants a stone's throw away and I can see Starbucks from my balcony. Errr... hope I will not be putting weight from the Green Tea Frappucinos with whipped cream!
Few complaints though... Okay. Not exactly complaints. Just need to get used to the idea of less space for hanging out my laundry in the sun... and the need to jump up to get my clothes!
Well, the wardrobe hangers are pretty high, and because we do not have any step stools, I literally had to jump up to get my clothes! And mind you, I'm not exactly a short gal.
I need to get a metal step stool that not only serves the purpose but look good as well....

New York Pad...

Did I tell you that my husband for a thing for New York City? He feels that he needs to go to NYC every single year. I'm sure that many people do too.... but we live on the other side of the globe and I certainly do not fancy flying 20 over hours all the way to NYC! Perhaps when we are old and grey, we might get a small place in upstate New York or Connecticut... close to NYC and perhaps more affordable. A plus point would be a small garden for my little grandchildren to run free... Better have the numbers of swing set installation new york companies handy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally. I am doing something to my chairs!

Remember my OLD and DIRTY dining chairs?
The ones that I have been harping on and on for years that I was going to replace or re-upholster?
After 5 years.... I finally am doing something to them.
Nope. Not replace them... but getting them spruced up.
They are going to be plumped up with more cushioning material, and re-upholstered with a suede-like looking fabric. They'll look as good as new in no time (I hope!).
I am still considering to get two additional chairs ... but these two gonna be the expensive one. Still waiting for the guy to email some photos of chair models that I want. So we'll see.....
By the way... these 6 dining chairs are about 9 years old. Not too bad that they are still standing. Just no more cushion and look really really disgusting with my son's food and snort stains! Hahhahaha

Shopping for a new Computer...

Yup. I am looking to buy a new computer.
The thing is .... do I get a laptop or a desktop?
I kinda like those new desktops with their HUGE screens, but then what if I need to bring work with me wherever I go? Can't exactly lug the desktop on a trolley with me, right?
Guess... I'll have to go with a laptop. But what brand?
What do you think of compaq laptops?
Are they any good?
How do they look?
Do they have good support in the city that I am living in now?
Well... gotta hit the shops this weekend!

Two Presents for Dad!

No. Not referring to my dad. I am referring to the boys' dad, i.e. my H.
He was away in Europe during Father's Day...(actually, he is still away) and we didn't get to celebrate Father's Day with him. BUT at least he will arrive home right on time to celebrate his birthday with the family. So what presents for father? Do we get him two presents? One for each occasion or just get ONE really nice one?
Any advice?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Updates. Updates. Updates. 14 June 2011

First thing first...

Today is my beloved Mommy's birthday. Wonder what she she did for her birthday today.
Yes. I did call her earlier this morning to send her birthday wishes. As for boys, think they called about 2 hours ago.

The packers will be coming in 2 week's time. Actually, less than two weeks ~ 10 days.
I'm told that they will take 4 days to pack my stuff. Need 4 days meh?
My main concern is my 2.2 m (or longer? donno) 8-seater dining table. It's not the size.... it's because DUMBO me agreed to have solid legs for the dining table when I had it fabricated .... forgetting that I am a nomadic mom! Helllllooooo. Mana brain oh?

So how to move the blardy huge table with jutting legs ah? I thought when the packers came to look-see, they would say the legs need to be chopped. They were unsure... and they went off to check. When I emailed them a couple of days later, they said the table can go into the apartment without chopping the legs. REALLY?
Now, I just pretend everything is okay. But deep down hor, I am scared that they are gonna tell me ON THE DAY OF THE MOVE that my table cannot masuk loh. ADOI!
My girlfriend tried to reassure me ..."They know their stuff lah. That's why you are NOT in that business!". Sure hope she is right!

With us moving into an apartment; naturally I had to sell some furniture... especially those that currently sits on my terrace. I printed out some coloured leaflets and pinned them on the school's notice board after school yesterday. I had also placed an advert on one of the expat mailing list service this morning. And what do you know? Everything is sold (though not picked up).
Go here to have a look at my stuff for sale.

I think I may have put tooooooooooooooo low a price for them! Otherwise why so laku?
But I really wanted to sell them quick. I didn't want to have to resort to giving them FOC to my staff. This morning, my maid already came and ask me for one of the unused mattresses!

Yup. H has gone to Europe again. Supposed to visit 4 cities, but I think he has decided to trim it to just 2 this time round. Too hectic.... with our impending move etc.
And dear mommy is coming to help her hopeless daughter to monitor/supervise the packers. She'll be staying for 3 weeks. Kinda worried if she will go GILA staying so long.

okay lah.. am quite tired and sleepy. Gonna go to bed now. Nite Nite.

How did I learn the English Language?

Seriously, I don't know. I cannot remember how we actually learn the language.
I tell you... I have to say that now that I am studying for the TESOL (Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages) course, I wonder if it was that difficult when I was younger?!?!?
The contractions, infinitives, verbs, adverbs blah blah blah were fine. The present and past tenses were okay too. But today, I did a unit on Future Tenses and I am shy to say that I was caught in a bind in a few of the questions in my Worksheet. Eh.. Mind you. I had an A for my 1119 Cambridge paper, and my recent IELTS score was a perfect 9. So why do I find today's unit so difficult leh??
Really soooooo old meh??

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I forgot I have a Blog!!

Yeah. Yeah. Been so busy the last week that I totally forgot I actually have a personal blog!

Busy doing what? Busy building the basic website for my business using Joomla! CMS. Took me about 3 days to understand how Joomla! Works. I guessed I could have totally outsource this to a professional web designer but everyone seems to want to cut your throat.... Cheapest was USD 600 for a basic 5 page website. Thus, I felt that if I understand the basics, they will at least be more reasonable in their quotes. So far, I've built a website with about 10 pages and links to our word press blog and e-learning portal. Both also set up as well.

Anyway, will engage an IT guy to help in polishing the website and advise on security/ archiving.

Later... Gotta go.

Monday, May 30, 2011

We are moving into an Apartment....

Yup. It's been confirmed.
Closed the deal (what deal??) with our friend/business partner/landlord yesterday over drinks....
We will move into the apartment at the start of July. Or rather commence moving on July 1st.
Our lease on this house ends on 4th of July (Independence Day!!! Errr... but who's Independence day?) and that gives us some time to play around.
I told H that maybe we should check-into the Ritz Carlton for two nights during the move - when our beds are still not fit to be slept on. Afterall, it is only about 5 minutes walk from the apartment and he can get corporate rates. Heehheheehhe...
Why the move? Read here....
I won't say the apartment is cheaper since the water and power rates are higher... amongst other things. BUT our rent is below market rate for that size, which is approximately 3000 sq ft. Boys will still get their own room with attached bathroom. I will have to sell all my terrace furniture though. Yikes! I need to put out the advertisements!!!
Pros of moving to an apartment?
For one, I don't need to have my own security guards. No need to do the monthly transfers to the security company. No need to buy coffee/tea/biscuits etc.
Two - Can cut out our gym membership. Been paying over USD 60 a month per person.
Three - Next to a big supermarket. I figured this will really really be handy when my business starts and I can't do grocery shopping often. At least the maid can pop down to buy the necessities. I've had remarks like "mommmyyyyyy. There is nothing to eat in the fridge or cupboards!!!".
Okay... I gotta go. More later.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I need a massage!

I really do need a massage. No joke!
Have been so busy the last few weeks that I am absolutely knackered.
My body really aches for a massage.
I had initially wanted to schedule a massage session for this afternoon, but one thing led to another and I just couldn't keep to the appointment. And by the time I had some time, the spa had already closed. Perhaps I should sign my helper to a massage therapy program online. Then I could just ask her to work those tired muscles out anytime! Errr... but do you think my helper is computer-literate?

"Not eating from next week..."

That's what the hubs said... he's not going to eat any dinner from next week onwards. Guessed he felt that his pants are getting too tight.
No muscle and all flab!
Maybe I should be the GOOD wife and get him a bottle of creatine supplements to help him build the much coveted 6-pack. I think some supplements even increase energy levels - this would be beneficial for his weekly tennis sessions. Any advice?

Stress = Acne

I have been so stressed about everything lately - the house, the business start-up, the TESOL course, the kids etc etc that my body has just gone totally whacko on me. My sleeping pattern is totally non-existent and my face is filled with acne.
It's true. Stress = Acne!
So how do I get rid of the acne? It's not that my face is overly oily. In fact, I think my constant application of acne cream has over-dried certain parts to the extent there is scarring now. Sigh...
I'm told that I need to have to balance between cleansing and moisturizing. So what is the best skin care products that will help me rid of my stress acne?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Really. Should I go for a House or an Apartment?

Actually.... Apartments are generally MORE expensive than houses here.
And if they are in sought-after buildings/areas, the rental price of a two-bedroom apartment can be Much Much MORE than my 4 Bedroom + Study + 2 Maid's Room House with Swimming Pool. You would then say that the logical thing to do is to get a house then. Right?

But the problem with living in houses is the security. Not that it is unsafe but having security gives one a peace of mind. My house is a single house and we engage our own security guards.... Not that these guards can FIGHT or anything, but they act as a deterrent. Well, this peace of mind cost a whopping USD 700 per month. So in order to cut our overall expenditure, we need to either move to a cheaper house and have these security guards, OR move to a house within a complex which has it's own 24-hour security.

Normally, we wouldn't consider moving to an apartment (higher rents than houses. Remember?) but my business partner has offered to rent their apartment to us at a very reasonable rate and payment terms. One CRAZY thing about this country is that landlords demand the lease to be at least one to two years duration, and with that, the RENTAL amount for the WHOLE duration. Which means, if your property's rent is USD 2000 per month and you are renting for a year, you need to fork out USD 24,000 UPFRONT!
Anyway, my business partner told us that we can pay on a monthly basis....which is a great help.

Why the sudden change?
Because we WANT to stay back in Jakarta, we have to localise, i.e. our benefits are cut back. We still get housing allowance and schooling. Previously, the company pays direct to the landlords, school, car leasing company etc. But with the change, these will be paid to us in a lump sum basis. So obviously, we want to minimise as much as we can.

Back to the apartment.... Usually, apartments are really small. But this unit is over 3000 sq ft. Boys will still be able to have their own rooms, there is a separate family room, wet and dry kitchens and a maid's room. We can save on security and gym memberships. It's convenient (big supermarket next door, a nice mall about 10 minutes walk away).

So what's the problem
If you know me... you know that I am a sucker for drying out my clothes in the sun. How to do this if we live in an apartment? Use tumble dryer all the time? I can't lah

Also, I am a little apprehensive to rent from friends.... cause if something is not right, I don't feel too right to complain or demand for things to be done. Plus, we are business partners, and our sons are currently the best of pals. What is something turns sour? Will we be shoo-ed off? Or am I being paranoid

The other reason is that the apartment is slightly further from the school. I am told the journey in the morning might be an extra 15 minutes. I supposed this is okay

I don't know lah. Summore the houses that I have seen around my area aren't that appealing.

The ones I like, H doesn't like. For example, a really nice huge single storey bangalow with 3 very large bedrooms and a nice big garden and swimming pool within a 4-house complex. It was within our budget, but H thinks it is too old. :-P

The ones he like, I don't like. And there was this small house - 3 bedrooms + 1 study. New minimalist style with a small swimming pool in the backyard. It looks nice BUT I didn't like the idea that there is no access to the pool other than RIGHT through the house. I don't like the pool maintenance guy to come through my house lah! H couldn't understand what was the big deal!!! Bleah

So how

Dilemma. Dilemma.

House or Apartment?

As you all know, I am in the midst of looking for a new home.
Naturally, there is the dilemma of choosing either a house or an apartment?
There are pros and cons for both options.
I personally prefer a house, but a house would generally have more costs associated with it, and perhaps more problems too. At the top of my head, I know security is going to be costly. And and if the house has a swimming pool and a big lawn, there would be maintenance costs associated to pool-cleaning and lawn upkeep. I don't know how to clean a pool, but I sure can upkeep a lawn if I have one of those toro zero turn lawn mowers. So what say you? Go for a house or an apartment?

Printing Costs

Although I have a printer at home, I loaded up my USB drive with document files and opted to have them printed at a professional printing shop. Why?
For cost-savings, of course!
Do you know how much my printer cartridge costs? Just the black-and-white one is about USD 17 and will only print about 200 pages. And want to know how much it cost me to print 1000 pages and to have them all bound as well? It is so cheap that if i tell you, you will probably fall off your chair! USD 40! See the cost-savings? Should I need to do any color printing, I definitely will have it outsourced! Easier and cheaper!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

They need an Upgrade

Don't you hate it? I am sure everyone has experienced this before.... going to the supermarket and there is a problem with the barcode scanner. The cashier would be attempting to scan the item umpteen times, or when the scanned item reports a wrong pricing. This greatly frustrates me. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love shopping. Yes. Even if it is just grocery shopping. But when a BIG name supermarket uses sub-standard POS systems, I just get so cheesed off and wonder why they can't just upgrade to a more efficient system. Do you agree with me?