11 years….

It has been 11 years since you left us, as in physically, but there is not a day that you are not in my thoughts….I miss you so so so so much Loe Dau (daddy)…I can say this again & again & again…..

Recently there were two customers that called us & they kept telling me about how it was like dealing with you before.  They only had praises for you and that made me sad & proud at the same time…In fact most of the customers say good things about you and tend to compare my service to yours..I have not reached your standard of course but I will try my best…

The visit to your grave last Sunday was a pleasant one, Kylie tagged along. It was peaceful, except for one part when mom got upset again with younger bro’s statement. As usual…her temper is as bad if not worse…sometimes we do not know how to talk to her as we are afraid of her sudden outbursts..so I resort to NOT talking to her..that’s the best solution I guess…for me…

The latest news? Good news…third brother’s wife is expecting the 2nd child…Darren will be 2 years when 2nd baby comes along..perfect timing. Darren is getting really cheeky, is able to say many words..He’s the cutests ever! All of us love him to bits…especially Kylie. She loves being the “che che” (older sister), she loves to play with him & take care of him…

Signing off with love….

Hard Rock Penang 2009

Apah’s company had an event in Penang and the hotel they chosen this time was Hard Rock. Since Apah was in the committee, we had the priviledge to the lagoon room. This was our room where the kids could just jump straight into the pool!! And I lazed on the deck chair with my laptop & eyeing the kids at the same time…how “kewl” is that??

It was like one of the best hotels we stayed and we thoroughly enjoyed the stay there except for the food..(how to enjoy hotel food when we know there’s better food out there!!)  but we were not able to go out since it’s a company event, we had to have all the meals in the hotel together with everyone…(bummer).

The room was a quite small though but other than that, all other facilities were satisfactory.

On the final night, the company event included a safari costume themed party. I rented an off shoulder tiger suit (growwwlll..), Apah wore an African tribal costume (also rented), Kylie wore Kieran’s hippo suit which he used for a his kindy concert & Kieran wore a tiger suit which we bought from Beijing. Anyone who needs to use the suits can let me know..I may wanna sell em!

Before the dinner, they had the snake show, Kieran posed with the python with no fear at all. After seeing so many of them posing with the python, I gathered courage but I didnt have enough to have the snake over my neck! I just carried with my hands & the feeling was soooooooooo eeiikeeee!! It was cold & slimy & eeekieee…I’m so not going to post my photo up here as I really looked so ridiculous!! blek..

There was face painting as well but we were quite late & they almost didn’t want to do Kylie’s face. I was so mad, I insisted that they just do a simple one for her. How can I explain to the little girl that she can’t get her face painting while her brother had it??!!

Both adults & kids were judged for best costumes & both myself & Kieran were in the finalists but didnt win lorrr…But they had gifts for us, Kieran was tearing open his present there & then & I had a Parkson voucher.

The next day we had breakfast at the restaurant in front of the beach.  The kids spotted the horse & pleaded to get a ride. Apah as usual was reluctant but I overruled.  Look at how happy they were! Can you see Kylie’s face painting still there??

After Penang, we stopped over at Ipoh for one night. We had steam chicken & the famous Ipoh fat beansprouts. It was super yummy as usual.

The next day we went for breakfast with our hosts (my dad’s good friend). Rested for a while &  for lunch I met up with Organic Samm at this restaurant called Fai Kee. The fish head noodles were really good!

What’s wrong?

Something’s wrong with my blog settings. All my links are gone! The format looks weird…can someone tell me what’s wrong? Is it punishment for not posting updates???

Happy Belated Birthday my dearest Loe Dau

My dearest Loe Dau (daddy),

Oh gosh, I actually missed your birthday! I’m so sorry….I wonder what happened?? It’s only when younger bro told me about celebrating mom’s birthday then only I remembered!! Hope you had a great time in heaven! (which I’m sure you did)

I have so much to tell you and don’t know where to start. It is getting really tough running the business alone and I know some people are taking advantage of me & also trying to steal our business away. I will try to persevere but for how long I am not sure. But I know God is there watching & taking care of things.

The kids have grown up quite a bit, especially Kieran. He’s put on weight and eats like an adult! I must thank you for your many tips in cooking, if not I will not be able to cook for the kids! I must say I have mastered the salt fried prawns quite well and I reckon if not better, it’s as good as how you used to cook them. However, Kieran doesn’t like to study and he’s not doing so well in school. I am trying to adopt your style but I think it’s not working with kids nowadays.

Kylie on the other hand is not that good an eater except for certain favourite food items. But she’s still growing very well and is super hyper! Most of the time she behave s like a boy but is able to switch back to girly mode when the need arises!!! She’s quite good in manipulating her daddy (like how I used to get my way around with you!!) and also is quite good in making mom happy, unlike me…yes…I’m still not in good terms with mom..hey since when was I ever in good terms with her anyway??!! Don’t worry, I still take care of her affairs and make sure she has enough money to spend and living comfortably (although I really don’t agree with her expenditure at the beauty salon!! I am sure you will not agree as well but I really can’t say anything…) Yes I know you will not be agreeing with my designer bags & shoes as well…please forgive me….I will forever be the “clay-purse” you used to call me….

Love and miss you always…

DiGi? Not so happening of course!

A break from my once a month backlog posts but I really have to tell the world about this.

I signed up with a DIGI dealer called Data Radius Sdn Bhd (based in Damansara Utama) for a business package and a Blackberry Phone. I had to top up by RM1000+ for the phone and that was done last month 30 May 2010! Till today I have not seen the phone & my lines are not registered.

I have only started giving them pressure last week as I felt something was not right. DIGI recognises the fact that I have paid their dealer & admitted it was their INTERNAL problem. Why should a customer suffer from their internal problems? This is really not good as I am switching from Maxis to DIGI. I haven’t even started using DIGI and I am not happy with them at all. Why switch in the first place? Maxis was quietly billing me on an amount which we didnt even utilise. Okay, that was my fault as I didnt check and changed the plan. But I am a very busy person. As their loyal customer since digital mobile came about, I think I should deserve better service but of course they didnt recognise that as I was of course a very very small time user. So I guess that’s the reason why DiGi is treating us..small time user but making a lot of noise!

BUT, no matter how small time, I am the CUSTOMER, and customer have rights, especially one who has PAID IN ADVANCE!!!! I want to have some justice done. But I really dread going to the the Tribunal alone, must wait for Apah to come back then only they know…

Hari Raya Break 2009

Yeah yeah…so outdated…but still have to record down for memories sake. Booked into the Shangri-la Putrajaya (yes o-gain) together with Mom of 3 Angels. She brought along 2 angels only. ML arrived early & managed to get us an upgrade to the rooms with the city view. I love going there during festive holidays like this as the town is like a ghost town….so quiet, so peaceful.

It was just an overnight stay but the car was packed so full. We even brought along water in a few containers as we planned to go to Bagan Lalang the following day.

The kids had so much fun at the pool. Kieran tried the jacuzzi in the polside toilet. It was indeed relaxing as we had the whole place to ourselves!!

We were too lazy to go out for dinner & settled for the yuckiest food ever at the hotel’s cafe. It was the Hari Raya break, so we really couldn’t ask for anything more…just ate & went back to the room. The kids continued to play games together.

We went swimming again the next morning..I think..Memory is failing me big time…can’t remember if we had breakfast there or not..but most likely we did. We checked out & off we went to Bagan Lalang.

The kids played sand but I didnt encourage them to get into the sea water as I thot it was too dirty…We didnt stay that long as everyone was getting hungry.

We had lunch at Lovers Bridge Restaurant at Tanjung Sepat. That’s our favourite makan (eating) place. Apah had 2 of his colleagues join us for lunch. Food was good as usual. We had to leave early as ML had to rush back due to family matters. It was a short break but nevertheless, we had a good time, especially the kids!

Beijing Day 7-Finale

This is definitely the grand finale to my Beijing 2009 trip. This goes to show how much I enjoyed my trip there. It was absolutely worth my time documenting this down. I will definitely go again if given a chance.

We were really tired from the long night from the trip to the Olympic Park. It was  sooo cold that night.

The morning of day 7, Apah woke up first & then peeked out of the hotel window. He exclaimed that it was snowing like a little boy. I was still sleeping & sleepily told him to shut up & let me sleep but he went on, “Real one..snowing!! Come see!” I woke up instantly & opened up the curtains! The view was simply breathtaking eventhough it was a hospital right in front! The snow on top of the trees was soooo beautiful! Don’t believe look at the photos!

We quickly washed up so we can go out to experience the snow. I’ve not seen snow since my uni days in Australia. So I was pretty excited. But it was our last day and we couldn’t do much. I was wondering it would have been quite a sight at the Forbidden City but we simply did not have the time as I had to do some last minute shopping again!

We managed to buy what we wanted to buy (and also not supposed to) and managed to take some shots in the snow..it was simply breathtaking…We heard that the snow was induced as it was not raining for a while. So they had tried to induce rain but the sudden cold front changed that to snow instead! Lucky us!

We packed & then checked out. We took a cab to the airport and it was half the price of the cab we took from the airport!! That’s the thing about China, we really have to be careful with their cabs, especially from the airport. They are all out to con you big time!!

Our luggage was not overweight as expected as we did not  bring our big bag. We checked in only to find that our flight was delayed due to heavy snowfall. We waited like over 3 hours I think…it felt so long and it was really cold as well despite being indoors!

Overall, I really really enjoyed myself during this trip. I was disappointed with the Great Wall visit & I vowed to myself that I will come back again!

The end!

Beijing Day 6

I thought I could end the Beijing saga in this post but I was soo wrong! Looks like there will be another post after this..but when? I really donch know!!

Day 6

We made an appointment to meet Mom to 3 Angels at Temple of Heaven.Since she could only meet us after lunch, we decided to go to Jinshan again & then to Tiananmen Square.

Some dance classes/club at the Summer Palace Park

As expected, it was clear & sunny day! We thought it was good for our photos of the Forbidden City but it was wayyy tooooo bright! Shucks! Nevertheless we did manage to take more photos around Jinshan Park. Awesome place.

Next was Tiananmen Square. We took a bus there even though it was nearby. Bus rides cost RMB1 per pax woi..why walk huh? The crowd at Tiananmen was overwhelming…mostly local Chinese tourists. There were tourists squatting every where, even right in the middle of the square! Weird but true. It was a great place to just observe the people there…very interesting indeed.

We went to have Peking Duck at Quanjude, supposedly most famous place to have Peking Duck. Verdict? So-so only lerrrr..However, that restaurant is huge! They had a building of their own, I think there were 5 floors & the queue was so freaking long, they had a numbering system with this pretty lady calling your number using a mic! There were like 10 rows of chairs on the ground entrance hall for the patrons while they wait. We waited for about 20mins and managed to charged our camera battery while waiting! hahahha…

After lunch we took the underground train to meet up with Mom to 3 Angels at Temple of Heaven. Upon entering the park, it was really like entering heaven…it was like the most beautiful place ever…I somehow felt the serenity & peacefulness despite the crowd of tourists. Love the trees, and of course the building of the temples. Thoroughly enjoyed the park but we had to go off as it was getting dark.

Walked opposite to the shopping centre. It was something like the Silk Market but better. The toys store caught our attention first. Bought toys etc for the kids..SO CHEAP!!! It was a few stories and they had stationery on the top floor.

We then walked to the next building which sells exactly the same stuff in Silk Market but the shopkeepers were friendlier & more willling to heed to our bargaining! Bought the fames (famous) slippers despite Apah telling me they were copies. I kept insisting they were overruns or rejects..but Apah being the shoe specialist insisted they were copies (indeed they were as the sizes do not match the originals!)..blek..what the heck cos I bought matching ones with Kylie and they cost only a fraction of the originals…ok ok I know this is so not me…but they are after all slippers for crying out loud!

Bought more souvenirs & Apah bought his iPod gadgets (talking about originals…he mai bought copies..tsk tsk tsk..) Bought a Jap brand earphones as the iPod earphones were causing pain in my ears. Copy of course! How else can you get a Jap brand earphones for about RM10!!

Mom to 3 Angels left us early but we continued shopping till dark! Finally we decided to stop as we had to catch dinner as we planned to go to the Olympic Park. As we were walked out to catch the bus back to the hotel we saw this familiar looking coffee joint but when we looked carefully, it was not that one..it  was a copy!!

Mun lei sei mei! Ala Bintang$ Kopi

We took a cab there not knowing if there was a subway going there. The cab driver did not really know where to drop us. Thank goodness for the bright blue Aquatic Centre, we just walked towards it. The cold wind was of course made us walk faster!

One of my better shots..

The Aquatic Centre was indeed beautiful, really loved the blue bubble like structures. It was very windy & it was difficult to get a good picture, obviously hands were shaky (freezing ma..) & we didnt bring the tripod (too many things to carry leow). Then we saw some tables & I had the brilliant idea of using it as a tripod replacement! So we managed to get shots of ourselves using the timer! We had to quickly take the photos cos the cold was getting a bit unbearable.  (The outcome for the sudden cold front will be in my next & final post on Beijing!)

We asked the guards if there was a subway station nearby & there  was! So we took the subway back to the hotel of course. RMB2 versus cabfare (forgot how much but it was at least RMB50 I think..as it was quite a distance from the hotel) was the obvious reason!

Beijing Day 5

We woke up early as we were going to the Mutianyu Great Wall which is slightly further away from town.  There were ready taxis available in front of the hotel and after a short negotiation (RMB500 to & fro) we were on our way up. However, the weather was not kind to us. It was  gloomy & cloudy day. The taxi driver did tell us that Saturday was a better day (he was so right) but we already had plans to meet up with Mom to 3 Angels at Temple of Heaven.

On the way to the Great Wall we could vaguely see the wall as it was misty & cloudy. It was such a waste. From this I vowed that I will be back to Beijing again, maybe with the kids sometime in the future.

Upon reaching, the driver took us to the ticket counter & made sure we got the cable car tickets . He said he will just wait for us in the car till we come down.

Walking to the cable car station

The scenery from the cable car was not very good. It was just a short ride to the wall.  I was really expecting to have that feeling of having my breath taken away from all the photos & tv programs I have seen before regarding this wonder of the world but however, I was gravely disappointed due to the unkind weather. It was really misty & the view was of course not as breathtaking as I had expected.

I really like this photo & I took it of course! It’s located behind the wall..I wonder what it’s for..for the soldiers to relax???

Did you notice the rainbow?? It was raining!!

We had to run to those “rest areas” to escape the rain. Was super tired so I didn’t mind the rest time. The steps here were really steep & I struggled to walk along the wall. At one point of time I had to stop to catch up with my breath & I was like breathing so heavily that Apah thought I was going to collapse!! I am so unfit!!

The rain didnt seem to stop & we decided to leave after a while. It was a bummer alright. While walking down towards the carpark there were stalls along the way. Apah saw this communist hat & wanted to get it. I thought it was bulky & waste of money! But he liked it & the vendor of course detected how much he liked it & didnt really budge much on the price. A few stalls down the road offered a cheaper price but he already had the stupid hat in his hands! Blek..

The taxi ride back to the hotel was about an hour. We rested a bit and walked out to the nearby shopping centre to have dinner. Was too tired to go anywhere else. Was disapointed there were no good & reasonably priced foot reflexology service around the hotel we stayed so Apah had to give me a massage!!

Beijing Day 3 & 4

Yes still ongoing…I have to finish this!!

Day 3 was the exhibition day (the actual reason why I’m in Beijing) but I only spent about 4 hours there!!

Amah walking to the exhibition hall

Amah meeting up with supplier

It was not a big one compared to the European shows so I finished surveying the booths very fast. Besides, most of the Chinese local manufacturers are not able to converse in English and did not provide English brochures! Managed to talk to them in my broken Mandarin (see the reason why I’m so adamant about Kieran continuing his studies in the Chinese School??) and managed to get some information. However, I foresee difficulties in importing from them due to the language barrier. Nevertheless, I managed to accomplish the most important thing which was to talk to one of my European supplier & managed to iron certain things out.

When we came out of the exhibition grounds, we saw Carrefour! Quickly went over to check it out. It was just like the ones back home, and we actually bought some groceries! I really cannot escape buying groceries from all over the world! Bought the really huge red dates, which I’m not sure if I can use them to boil soup or it’s just for eating as a snack! Duhhh,,,it’s still in my kitchen cabinet…..hope I will think of something before it’s expired!!! I even bought special flour for making dumplings…probably use it during CNY…I HOPE! (ya rite,,,it’s still sitting in the cupboard yet to be opened)

After Carrefour we went back to the hotel to drop the stuff of course! Then went back to Qianmen to look around & then to Silk Market in the evening. Shopping in Beijing is a world of difference from Shanghai/Shenzhen. The shopkeepers were rude & doesn’t bend much with bargaining. They open skyrocket prices for stuff that is substandard! Puhleeezeee…But of course Amah is very good with bargaining till some of them give in. Managed to buy what I wanted but I couldn’t win over the shopkeeper who was selling Hello Kitty stuff and also the good quality cartoon two-piece pyjamas. The Hello Kitty prices were not too much lesser than the original goods’ pricing and the pyjamas I couldn’t bring down the price to RMB100 for 3 sets. The lowest was RMB45 per set which I thought was a very good price but Amah cannot lose face so I refused to buy the pyjamas! (regretting now…)

Had dinner at a lauya a(sub standard) restaurant nearby as we were already tired (from the bargaining of course!) and hungry. Food in Beijing is not as appealing as in Shanghai & Shenzhen and of course very expensive  (I’m comparing with Shanghai & Shenzhen as I’ve not been to any other part of China..)

Day 4

We went to Jinshan (a park with a hill) located opposite the back entrance to the Forbidden City. Entrance fee was RMB2 which was very cheap! The park is quite big with a few entrances/exits. There were many senior citizens relaxing & having their activities eg social dancing, line dancing, ribbon dancing etc etc It was a great place for photography. However, when we reached the peak, we were not able to capture any good photographs of the Forbidden City as it was really misty. We decided to come again another day since the entrance fee is so cheap & not too far away.

After Jinshan we flagged down a motor trishaw to bring us to Hutong (not too far away but to walk I reckon it was too far). Upon reaching, the trishaw tour guides were all ready to pounce on us! Offered price was RMB180 for two of us which we thought was reasonable and didnt bargain ( should have for the fun of it!) We stopped at a traditional Hutong house which we paid RMB20 per person to go in. I reckon it was a rip off as it was nothing special!

Otherwise, we found the ride on the trishaw relaxing and the scenery along the lake was beautiful. We saw some retired men swimming in the lake! It was not terribly cold that time but I reckon it was still too cold to be swimming there! After the swim they were standing around chatting in just their swimming trunks! So gaya! (macho).

The trishaw puller drove us part Deng Xiao Peng’s daughter’s house & also the former residence of Sung xx (wife of Dr Sun Yat Sen). We didnt pay to go in and just took photos in the entrance.

After Hutong, the trishaw puller recommended us to visit the Palace of Prince Gong which was the former residence to the guy who used to be Emperor’s favourite minister. Forgot his name tim..anyway he was very corrupted and abused his power & position for his own gain of course! The new emperor managed to find out about him & managed to confiscate the treasures & money from him & I think he was killed. Then the Prince Gong (Emperor’s cousin) took over this residence. It was a very huge palace fit for a King! It even has a private theatre which they kept it till today for us to watch a short live show of acrobats with tea & snacks served. That place was so rich with history and I truly enjoyed the visit. Can’t elaborate more as I have to finish this journal ASAP!

The lake was in the shape of a bat!!

That’s the special “Fook” (prosperity) which was written by Emperor Xian Long and was given as a gift to that bad guy! It is said to have various meanings of blessings which can be derived from the special way the Emperor wrote that particular word!

After this, we decided to take a stroll and find our way back to the subway station but I think we were walking in the wrong direction. However, it was interesting nevertheless walking through the suburban streets and witnessed the livelihood of the residents. My camera battery went flat not long after I exited the Prince Gong Mansion! Was so frustrated and vowed to myself to get the spare battery when I get home!

We were super tired that day and I decided to stay put in the hotel to rest. So Apah had to go out to buy dinner. I decided to make myself a cup noodle while waiting as I was toooo hungry! The cup or rather “bowl” noodle was huge unlike the cup noodles we have back home. Thank goodness I ate the noodle as the dinner Apah bought was not too appealing.