Category Archives: Apah

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 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 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.

Beijing Day 2 -cont’d…Old Summer Palace

I’m wondering how long more can I finish my account with Beijing at the rate I’m going…but there’s just so much to write and so many photos to resize & upload! I must finish writing  before I forget! This is important journal for me as I may want to visit again & make sure I don’t miss out on certain areas and make the same mistakes again..

After the New Summer Palace, we hopped on the bus to the Old Summer Palace. It’s also known as the “Ruins of Yuanmingyuan”. This place is huge and we managed to visit parts of the whole garden which was divided into 4 main gardens!

We entered through the gate where the bus we took from the New Summer Palace stopped. Can’t remember which gate!! Walked a bit and stopped to sitt on a bench and ate our bread. Really enjoyed the cool weather and the view. Since it was winter, the lotus plants have died, the scenery would have been better if the lotus plants were still alive…

After walking for a while we noticed there were rides available and quickly enquired about it. We were getting really tired so RMB10 per ride to the Ruins of Yuanmingyuan was a lifesaver!

Was trying to picture the actual buildings from looking at the ruins and I am sure the architecture was amazing and it was really a pity that the buildings were destroyed by the bloody quai loes!

Again, we ended up in another exit and we asked again how do we get back to the subway. Had to take a bus. On the way to the bus stop we saw a funeral service and it was practically on the side of the road! They actually had a makeshift kitchen to cook for the guests! Notice the drain they dug to allow the water flow! Amazing!

Long Weekend-cont’d Penang

Notice the operating hrs sign? From 10.30 am to Habis ok!

After finishing (slurpss) the Funny Mountain tau foo fah, we left for Penang. Traffic was smooth all the way, since it’s the 2nd day of the weekend. First stop was lunch at this seaside place Alice recommended, forgot the name! Alice and family waited along the way for us and off we went together. The meal was really good, the fist was fresh. However, the restaurant doesn’t look too good, especially the fact that they are old, they have dogs all over the place! Emm..not very hygienic la..However, we were free from diarhea this time. Hallelujah!!!

Next stop was delivering some chemicals to my customer (Amah always bring some work in her breakaways..try to make back some $$ la..). Good thing customer was around and wrote me the cheque! Phew!

Tried to get some apam along the way (Jalan Burma, right in front of some shops next to a school) but that guy (with misai, don’t go to the wrong one, cos we went to the wrong one and ended up with food poisoning!) was booked with 100+ pieces and I couldn’t wait that long..the other crispy apam guy (this one is in Pulau Tikus, opposite the police station, stall outside a coffee shop) was just opening his stall, no luck there either..

Off we went to the hotel and it was raining along the way. It was still drizzling when we arrived and guess what? There was no covered lobby to drop off the passengers and luggage and the parking in front of the doorway were all occupied! Then we saw an empty lot with the “NO PARKING” sign but we of course ignored the sign since we needed to load the luggage and kids. I noticed there was a hotel staff holding a broom (but he was not sweeping) and he kept staring at us the whole time, from the time we parked, and loading the luggage and the kids. Then as I walked towards the door, he stopped me and told me that we were not allowed to park there. That was when I blew it and scolded him.

Me-I am aware that we cannot park here but we have not finished unloading the luggage and things. Where is the bell service? Can’t you help us get some help here? If we have some help here, the process can be sped up and we will be out of this NO PARKING area!

Cleaner-I don’t know where the bell boy is…

I was too tired to continue scolding him so I just walked off..

Then as I was waiting in the lobby, that stupid guy suddenly came up to me..

Guy-Sorry miss, I was just trying to tell you nicely that you can’t park your car there..I respect you, you must respect me also la..

Me-(WTF!!) Hello! I already told you we know that we are not able to park there. We are educated people, but I was angry with the fact that you just stood there staring at us while we struggled to get the umbrella and shaded the kids one by one and we had to carry the luggage, piece by piece and you didn’t do anything! It may not be your job but the least that you could do was run in to get help for us. Didn’t you realise we are the guests of this freaking hotel?

How dare he confront me like this? Who the f*%& does he think he is? The hotel was not exactly cheap! Ok by now you may want to know what shitty hotel this is, it’s the Holiday Shack Inn. Some of you may know, that this stupid place is divided by the road, one section is on the beach and the other is on the other side of the road. As we booked so late, we only managed to get this shack hotel and it was definitely not my first choice! I really have not come across a hotel of this standard which didn’t have the shaded drop off area! Too much, the architect that designed this place should be shot! Or maybe it was the owner who wanted to save some bucks here.

The receptionist was very apologetic but it was not his fault! Then the stupid guy didn’t stop there, suddenly there was this guy from Security with the walkie talkie who came up to Apah.

Security-What’s the problem here?

Wahhhh this time, Apah blew his fuse. For those who knows Apah, he’s one of the most patient type of guys around but this time, this ticked him bad, so bad….

Apah-What security procedure did we violate by parking there for a few minutes for loading our luggage ourselves? Tell me! (Volume = loud & stern and eyes almost popped out)

This time the receptionist pun walked out of this booth and tried to calm Apah and me down. I mean, we were guests who paid good money (money paid upfront upon booking on the internet) for a relaxing holiday and was that the way the hotel supposed to treat us?

Apah-Who is your Manager on duty? I want to see him/her now? (he thundered…)

Apah walked over the reception where the Duty Manager’s name was placed.

Receptionist-I’m soooo sorry, he’s not around

Apah-What do you mean by not around? Isn’t he the Duty manager who is supposed to be ON DUTY NOW?? Who is the person next in line, I want to see him/her now! I mean NOW!
The receptionist quickly gave us the room keys and sent us up the room but Apah refused to go up till he met with the Duty Manager and spoke his mind on this matter. Good thing the room was good, we had a good view and it was spacious. They gave us the extra bed at no cost but I reckon they could have done better than that.

Ok back to happier moments….EATING time…

Dinner was at Bee Hooi Pulau Tikus but the standard of the “Or Chien” (fried Oyster with egg) has deteriorated…not too good. Char Kuey Teow was just as good. Then we had to wait for the Asam Laksa stall to open cos they open later than the other stalls…so action….weyo? Their laksa damn good lor…Then Alice & Sue came to join us but Sue couldn’t sit down with us as her prince found the coffee shop too hot & noisy for his liking. So they ended up waiting at the Baskin Robbins next door waiting for us to finish our food.

More in the next post…

Update on the kids

I would like to thank my friends who has lent me their ears and shoulders to cry on…really appreciate all of u..”muaks..” Because of you guys and of course my Apah and the kids..I feel much better and have the motivation to move on..

Kylie is becoming more and more are some of the stuff she said recently that really blown me away!

Scene 1

Apoh walked down the stairs…

K-(in a fierce tone) Why u come down(s)tairs? After baby cry how? Huh? (Apoh is taking care of my baby nephew now)

Scene 2

Kylie was feeding my the other nephenw (only 6 months younger than Kylie, I really couldn’t believe this happened as she needs to be fed herself!)

K-why u eat so slow? U are a boy u know?? Ha? Eat fa(s)ter, ok! (also in a fierce tone!)

Scene 3

She has been singing this song lately, the song her teacher sings with the kids while they queue and walk to the restroom daily (it’s quite a long way to the restroom from her classroom)..

(in the tune of “Are You Sleeping”)
Watermelon 2x papaya 2x, banananananana nananana fruit salad 2x.

However, she can’t pronounce fruit salad, so I couldn’t make out what she was singing and kept asking her to repeat the song till she got so frustrated! At the end I asked the teacher and really had a good laugh!

She still comes to the office in the morning and occasionally “sleeps on the job”..

As for Kieran,

Injury from fall while riding over a bump!

…day in day out will be the same routine..

Me/Apah-Kieran!! WAKE UP!!/Hurry up!/Do your homework!/Stop dreaming!/Go to sleep!

He is still very weak in his Chinese and Bahasa Msia, either borderline pass or fail..*sweats*

He has put on some flesh as his appetite has grown quite good and I think it must be due to his latest interest in badminton and also his cycling.

Langkawi Cont’d

The second day started off with a wonderful breakfast in the coffeehouse overlooking the pool and the beach. It was so wonderful, sipping tea & digging into my food, with birds singing in the background and then the kids began fighting! The girl was more whiny than usual, I want this, I want that and at the end didn’t eat anything! So annoying!!!!!!

We took off to the crocodile farm. It didn’t look very good, but we went in nevertheless. The place was not really interesting but the kids were nevertheless fascinated with the few miserable crocodiles. The highlight of the visit was when we were crossing a bridge over a pool of crocodiles. All of a sudden, two crocodiles began fighting.

Good thing the place was kinda shaded…not too hot

There were a few crocs laying motionless and the mouth opened liddis…I wonder why..

This fellow was born deformed and has to have a special diet as he does not have teeth…

Then we went to the black sand beach. It was not too far away.

There’s not much black sand left on the beach…there’s a story behind this black sand, something like a lady called Mahsuri being killed and she cursed the land and the sand became black after she died..something like this la..

We went for more shopping in town. I was on the hunt for something to wear as I underpacked! Too afraid to bring too much as I planned to buy another set of Corningware. I found Nike t-shirt and a pair of Nike sneakers for Kylie. This is to replace a pair of Adidas which I bought from HK which was chewed by the dog at mom’s place!!

I found my Corningware and it took me quite some time to decide what to get and Apah was grumbling beside me did not help as he kept reminding me that we were taking AirAsia and he already has to handle the kids bla bla bla..I bought the smaller set to replace one that was broken by my previous maid. Good thing they had the same design.

I was kiasu and bought a bottle of Chinese cooking wine too as it was cheaper of course!

Hello Kitty tissue box holder

White sneakers for Kylie to go to school with..

Massive amount of chocs…

After shopping and lunch in town, we went back to the hotel. We just chilled at the beach..I simply love the beach beautiful..

Kids were so fascinated with the tiny crabs crawling in and out..

Amzing art created by the lil crabbies..

Doesn’t the pic above remind you about a scene from the Gem of Life?

Peek of the villas from the beach..

Overall, it was a good trip despite Kylie being a nuisance, we enjoyed ourselves and had good fun.