Saturday, February 7, 2009

My feet are KILLING me

woahhhh.. It has been a hectic day...

We left the house at 10+am to view a house (let's just call it House #12) in Bangsar. It left loads to be desired and I shall leave it at that.

We went to MVMM after that, at ard 11ish and had yong tau fu for breakfast before shopping in Ace Hardware for bbq stuff for tomorrow's bbq gathering.

Then, we headed to New York Skin Solution for our facial. We were kept awaiting for mroe than 1/2 half and my facial was a rushed job because we mentioned we had an appointment to keep at 230pm.

At 245pm, we hurriedly left the parlour and rushed down to Bangsar to meet Marie-Ann at House #94-1. We had labelled the house "Nice Nice House" for easy reference because the owner had done it up pretty nicely and it was for sale - lock,stock and barrel. The pictures had amplified the beauty of the house and we found it abit wanting when we saw it with our own eyes.

Marie-Ann took us to see another house nearby but that scared the shit outta me. Very eerie and creepy overgrown garden and weird interior. Needless to say, I was shaking my head even before we visited the topmost level.

Next, we met up with the owner and agent of House #71. It is a beautifully renovated house boosting 4200sq feet. hahaha Yes yes, you are going to ask me what on earth I'm going to do with all that space...But that's a Happy Problem. Anyway, this was the second time viewing this house and the owner, the contractor himself had wanted to explain to us all the furnishing etc details.

We like the place very much and there's one special feature (excluding the huge living room and masterbedroom with a huge walkin wardrobe space) - there's one level that can be convert to a classroom space. The build up layout is sooooooooooooo perfect for a whiteboard / projector screen/ tables and chairs. Once I had walked in, I immediately saw myself conducting medium-sized classes there during the day / night! hahahaha. Another money-making scheme!

Anyway, the whole housei s about 4 (or issit 5) storeys and has very beautifully done up renovation works. Almost in move-in condition. We just wanna do minor renov works and we can MOOOOVE. hahaha.

Although we are still looking, we are quite set on this house. Just need to calculate the finances now... One drawback though is that it faces directly a very busy highway and we therefore would not be able to open the windows at all to get some 'fresh' air because of the air / noise pollution.

At ard 5pm, we headed to another house in the same row whose owner was selling becos she was moving to a semi-D in Sajuana. Her house again disappointed us because of the old interior and run-down look.

Deciding to explore Bangsar area - which would be our new neighbourhood and playground in the near future, we had dinner there at Nando's. I can't remember whether Singapore has Nando's but it's somewhat like KennyRogers. We had skipped lunch so Alan and I each took 1/2 a chicken and 2 sides.

Then, we found a gem of a supermart. Very much like Singapore's Seng Siong. It's called TMC and it's right in the middle of the high-class expat area!!! Interestingy, you can see Beemers parked outside and AngMohs shopping happily inside, picking up their groceries etc for a steal..ahahhaha.

We bought all the dry stuff / drinks needed for our bbq tomorrow and then headed home to feed the famished dogs.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Househunting Woes

The past few days have been devoted to house-hunting. The week started with me having constant migraines and I kinda worried that I would be down with viral fever. I felt like how I was feeling when I had it in 2001. Anyway, the ickiness disspated and I am my normal self again. YaY

We have been combing the area in Bangsar -a residential upmarket expat area- for a nice little cosy house we can call Home. Have come across afew potential ones but still looking around. This is the first time I am house-hunting and the prospect of decorating my little haven with my loved one is indeed exciting. hahaha. Heck, we've even bought the paintings (in Bali) before the freaking house!!??!! Priorities, Sharon!

Anyway, tomorrow we have lined up a massive number of houses to inspect and we've slotted a facial at New York Skin Solutions in between. Afterwhich, we would have to zoom down to Mid Valley to pick up necessities for a bbq this Sunday.

We have invited the kids from the orphanage over for a massive meal. This treat has been promised to them since last year but we hadn't any opportunity to carry it out till Sunday. I am gonna whip up my pilaf rice (easiest to make) and some salads and then the meats will speak for themselves. hahaha. It will be another sinful affair. *sigh*

Then from Monday midnight onwards, my father and motherinlaw will be joining us in KL. All the way till Sunday! Oh man. I don't know on earth I'd be able to entertain them for such a long period of time! hahahha Massage? Facial? Feast? Movie? Suggestions pls! It's daddy's birthday on Tuesday so we will head down to unique seafood for a feast! I will probably bake him a cake on Monday (it's a public holiday again hor... groan on Singaporeans!!!) and surprise him. :D

Ok.. My tuition kid is late. Have to go now. Will update shortly. :D


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5D4Ns in Amazing Bali

28 January 2009 (Wednesday)

We took the first flight (940am) out to Bali Denpasar airport via Air Asia (cheap cheap). For once, the flight was not delayed... Hey, it was even early!! *faint*

Our arrival at the airport was 1240pm (a whopping 3hour flight) and we were greeted by the Alila Hotel attendant and driver enthusiastically. The drive to Alila Hotel in Ubud was another 1+hour but it was eventful.

Our driver, Tara, was very accomodating and we stopped a couple of times at art galleries (we bought a picture of a Balinese gal today), to change money, to have lunch (overlooking the lovely scenary) etc.

When we finally arrived at Alila Ubud, it was already 5pm. The hotel was beautiful and the staff did whatever they could to make us feel very welcome. We checked into room 101, just next to the restaurant and swimming pool.

As it was low peak season, the hotel was almost empty and the solitude and quiet it offered was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of our recent trip to Singapore. The room was huge and spacious and very new and there was even an open air bath where one can shower and be accompanied by staring lizards. ahahaha.

I liked the little details which the hotel provided which made its guests feel very special - there was an ipod dock and an ipod, complete with 700+ stored songs to create a relaxing and peaceful ambiance. They even provided a little bag for guests to bring on their mini travels outside the hotel if needed. Very thoughtful!

Alan and I took a quick dip in the nearby infinity pool which overlooked the gorgeous mountains. Ahhhh this is the life! Then we showered and napped before hopping over to the hotel massage parlour for a traditional Balinese massage of a lifetime! After the decadent treatment, we were treated to a peach sorbet. :)

Dinner was at the hotel restaurant and Alan and I savoured delicious gourmet in our stupor (from the massage). hahaha.

29th January 2009 (Thursday)

We got up pretty early to enjoy our breakfast. I chose the bubur ayam and Alan chose nasi goreng. We then headed to the lobby to be picked up by Tara.

The journey to Ubud city area was uneventful and my eyelids dropped. Once I opened my eyes again, we had already arrived at an art gallery. This time, we spent approximately 2hours there and emerged victorious with 3 pieces of art which we had successfully bargained to become a steal. We visited other galleries as well...This is all in anticipation of the new house we are buying.. hahaha.. Yeah yeah.. I know we are weird... We buy artifacts / ornaments first before buying the house. :P

Anyway, we ended up at Dirty Duck -a popular restaurant with tourists and rich locals and tried their crispy duck. The duck was anorexic and not very fulfilling and I wondered why it was widely recommended.

Next came an exciting 5hours shopping spree in Ubud shopping area (Seminyak). There was lots to see - clothes, art , etc. We walked and walked and walked and bought 2 wooden artifacts, 1 beautiful ID light, clothes (for us and our doggies) etc etc. And by the time we headed back to the car, Tara had thought we had gotten lost. hahaha.

Even though it was drizzling, we headed to Jimbaran for a nice seafood dinner. What a pity that the weather was wet, if not we could have enjoyed our dinner on the sandy beaches. But the good food made up for it. We had sweet and spicy crabs, grilled sotong, grilled fish and also garlic n butter prawns. oooolala. We invited Tara to share our meal as well and as he put it, "surprised his stomach". haha

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was around 11pm and we were absolutely exhausted.

30th January 2009 (Friday)
We had a late breakfast and lazed around in the hotel till around 1130 when we checked out and transferred hotel from Alila Ubud to Alila Mangis. We had taken the "Two Faces of Bali" package and was to spend 2nights in the mountains (Ubud) and 2 in the beach (Mangis).

Along the way, we tried to buy more art pieces (we needed one for the master bedroom in our new place) but whatever we saw didn't catch our eyes. In the end, we decided to give up the chase and have lunch.

We arrived exhausted in the new hotel at around 4pm, enjoyed our welcome drink and some Balinese sweets and herbal tea and then retreated to the bedroom to rest. Our massage had been booked for 7pm and we this time enjoyed an hour of Indian head massage. Glorious! The more exciting part was that after our massage, we were given 2 USD20 vouchers that can be claimed for another massage or two in the hotel on a subsequent visit. *drools*

We enjoyed our dinner (inclusive in the package) at the renowned restaurant in the middle of a lotus pond. The chef was very obliging and change our set dinner's main course to beef steaks instead of chicken. Apparently, this restaurant was voted one of the top 50 in the world. *smack lips*

31st January 2009 ( Saturday)

We had a huge breakfast spread under a pavilion just next to the beach. I think the food tasted better with the sea breeze ruffling our hair and the smell of salt in the air. We were approached by another Kertut (Mr fisherman) who offered us his services for a fishing expedition the next day for a mere Rp300,000 (approx SGD30+). We agreed heartily as I had been itching to go deep sea fishing again since my experience in Pangkor Laut.

The better part of our Saturday was spent in Ubud area again. We rented a car and driver and visited one art gallery where we rubbed shoulders with a talented artist, Huda, whose works have been displayed at various places around the world. We bought two paintings from him - one for our bedroom (which depicts a man and woman just after their lovemaking and still covered in red sheets) and another of a lady in a white gown not unsimilar to a ballerina's costume who is sitting by the window with a wistful look on her face. Huda's drawings mainly are of people and he can really capture expressions of them which he conjures up from his imagination. What we like is that no two of his drawings are the same - unlike some "mass produced" art by local artists which you can in one too many art galleries.

After the purchase (in which we ask Huda to pen a message on his painting to us), we had lunch at the nearby restaurant which overlooked the Ayung River. What a lovely view! You can see people , mostly bulehs (white) enjoying exhilarating ventures on the rafts and screaming at the top of their lungs. hahahaa. Because it was still off-peak season, the restaurant was empty except for Alan, Kertut (our driver) and myself.

Kertut is the Bahasa Indonesian name for "fourth child in family" and interesting, our two drivers, and fisherman (whom I will mention later) and even a Master massage therapist (whose skills were bragged about online) were all called kertut! What a coincidence!!

After the lunch, we decided to do some shopping in the Ubud shopping village. However, there was unfortunately nothing really much to buy. I did manage to get two sarongs (to wear over my swim suits) and two pairs of interesting 3/4s.

A delicious "comfort tea" (it was so-named) beckoned next at Casa Luna- a restaurant and cafe nearby. Alan had a cookie to last him till dinner as well. We also shopped for display pieces for our new house in the artsy shop nextdoor.

A third massage beckoned and we decided to try Ubud Bodyworks Healing Centre (listed as top 5 attractions in the tripadvisor website). We were roughly (I am not kidding) massaged and then scrubbed with a herbal scrube before being coated with a thick (and cold) layer of yoghurt until we smelt good enough to be eaten for dessert. Then, we soaked in a bathtub full of spices and flowers. The weird thing about this treatment was that we had to strip buck naked and Alan had a male massage assistant come in to coat him in herbs and yoghurt. So not only did my female therapist see Alan's bits, Alan's male therapist saw mine!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. *faint*

We were hurried out of the healing centre at 8pm (as it was closing) and then proceeded back to Casa Luna for dinner. That place was a buleh place and there were many people there and we had to wait a long long time to be served our dinner. After we treated the driver to dinner, we also bought Apple Cheesecake slices for him to bring back to his Mrs and his 10month old son.

Apparently, the people in Indonesia practise shortgun weddings quite a fair bit. The fertility of the women must be tested in order for the man to want to marry his mate. She MUST be able to bear him children (especially SONS!). If not, the man would not want to venture into such a losing deal (of marriage). YucKs. I would HATE to be part of such a sexist society. :P

We arrived exhausted once again in our hotel at 11+pm and crashed almost immediately.

1st February 2009 (Sunday)
Ahhhh how time flies and it was soon the last day of our trip in Bali. Thank heavens we had booked the last flight out !!

We met up with our fisherman who introduced us to our fishing guide (guess his name?) and we set sail at 7am on the calm sea. At the end of 3.5hours, Alan had caught many colourful fish and I added to his lot with four very very small, insignificant fishes (only suitable to be used as bait) haahha.

We donated the smaller fishes to the fishermen and then took 3 bigger ones back for the chef to transform them into ingredients for bubur (porridge). They turned out delicious!!! And it was free!!! We ate that and our breakfast spread at one seating. ahhahaha.

We then booked ourselves on our fourth and last massage of our trip and had it at the Pavilions by the beach. Wahhhhhh. The experience was surreal. I fought to keep my eyes open to enjoy each and every moment whilst it lasted but I surrended to dreamland almost immediately. This was by FAR the BEST spa experience I have had in my life. hhaahhaha. and THAT says ALOT!

After our treatment, we lazed around in our balconey overlooking the swimming pool and beach and watched fat angmohs frolicking in the cholorine soaked pool. After our shower, we enjoyed the complimentary Balinese herbal tea (ingredients: lemon grass, grated ginger, lime, honey, cinnamon and of cos hot water) and some sweet cakes before almost tearfully bidding goodbye to Alila Mangis, promising almost all the staff who bade us goodbye that we would come again soon.

Our reckless driver took us to the airport speeding like a madman and we were thankful when our feet finally touched solid ground when we got outta the car. Unfortunately and to our dismay (again) , we found out that our flight had been delayed an hour till 940pm. *sigh*

We decided to enjoy Jap food in a quaint lil restaurant and sat in their private room. ahhahaha. We ate and ate and played cards and just as we left the restaurant , they announced for air asia's passengers to enter the waiting room.... How timely..

That marked the end of my first trip in 2009, 3rd trip to Bali and a fantastic birthday celebration. :D

Monday, February 2, 2009


On 24th January 2009 (Saturday)

Alan and I deposited Coco and Jay Jay at Gasing Vet at 11+am. The drama unfolded in the vet's as we waited (im)patiently for our dogs to be examined by the vet and boarded. MY GOODNESS. An old Indian man collasped in the clinic as he waited for his dog to be treated. His maid panicked and the rest of the customers rushed to his aid. I tried my bestest to release his grip for his dog leash but he clung on tight. There was thankfully a doctor in the house and quickly an ambulance was called for. All that while, Alan clung on to the oblivious Coco and Jay Jay...

After saying our goodbyes to the doggies, we hurriedly drove to the causeway and home. The jam was massive outta KL - most of the Malaysians were going home to celebrate CNY with their families in their hometowns... Thankfully, there was no jam at the causeway and we zoomed back.

On the way home, we stopped by Paya Lebar for Alan to pick up more stuff for his remote control car (thanks gary :P) and then we hopped over to Joseph's to pass him a hamper. Then, to Bedok to pick up my two dresses from the tailor's and then home sweet home.

Ahhhh how Ash whooped to see us... very heart-warming. Everytime we go home, we worry whether our mini schnauzer will be able to recognize us... Never once did he fail.. :)

A delicious spread was already on the table when Alan and I arrived. We were to have a yummy steamboat dinner with my mum, two sisters and my brotherinlaw. A mini reunion dinner before the bigger one the next day. :) We stuffed ourselves silly with healthy food and chatted happily ,catching up with one another even though Alan and I had just gone back to Spore at the end of 2008. hahaha.

Then, barely into our first few games of mahjong, the doorbell rang!!!!

Zesa (who dutifully brought her bf for parental scrutiny and approval), Yusheng, Peiting, Edwyna and Pearlyn came !!!! Ash almost gave the game away as he was a-sniffing at the door but I hardly noticed as I was concentrating on the game.. ahahha. They lit the lone candle on the bday cake and sang loudly to celebrate my 21st (!!!!) birthday with me! ahahhah What a lovely surprise!!!! yaYyyYyy

After munching on all sorts of the goodies and the yummy Bakerzinn cake, the presents were presented. My two daughters presented a cute card , complete with sewing from yusheng and pictures of them in lanson place (washing the toilet n lying on the beds) hahaha and then came the BIGGGG SURPRISE... Zesa presented me with a huge and heavy box!

I had three guesses and all were WRONG! hahahaha. As I tore the wrapper and ripped it apart, I saw, in my arms the much coveted Wii!!!!! hahahaha. Amazing but true. Immediately, I looked at the husband and knew it was him! hahaha. Ok ok, i never "see" my daughters "no up" ok? hahaha Thankkkkkkk Cubbbeee everyone!

The three fairy children gave me a cute little art piece which they had painstakingly done up. :) So sweeeeeeeeeeet. *touched* :) We all chatted and chatted until 1ish and then they took their leave and Alan and I collasped into bed after a long but extremely meaningful day. :) Thanks gals! I loveeeeeeee you all!

25th January 2009 (Sunday)

We woke up late to recuperate fromthe day before and then headed to town to meet Dot and Clarence for lunch. *sigh* I wonder when will be the next time I meet up with her again! She's attained taitaidom but in BRAZIL! hahahaa. We do hope to visit you soon G2... Need to save some moolah first! :(

After lunch at Island Cafe, Tangs, Alan and I hopped over next door to Lucky Plaza to pick up more games for the Wii. After buying loadsa games (e.g. Wii Fit, Raving Rabbits etc etc) we quickly headed to Miss Tay's to pass her a hamper before rushing home to shower and change for our feast of a reunion dinner.

The dinner was at Grand Shanghai. All of us dressed in 'chingchong costumes' to suit the occasion. :D I will paste some photos up soon. We had sharks fins, cod fish, peking duck, abalone, etc etc etc... Enough to add more pounds necessary for a lifetime. :P
I also blew the candles out atop my 2nd birthday cake. Luckily the stage was off stage then ...if not it would have been a sabotage!

As we left, we had a huge scare though. Alan thought he had lost his Iphone!!!! I shed my 4inch heels (faster than you can say "THAT WAS A DELICIOUS SHARKSFINS SOUP") for the pumps my mum was wearing and sprinted (across the road) back into the restaurant. After searching high and low (mainly) and looking at the feet of many customers, the iPhone finally turned up in his camera bag at last... :P

We returned home and brought out the MJ table once again and Alan proceeded to teach Jean and my mum (painstakingly) how to play proper MJ. Until 4+am! *faint*

26th January 2009 (my birthday and CNY Day 1)

Mum had the maid make her VERY DELICIOUS MEESIAM and Alan and I had that for a late breakfast before venturing to his parents' house to bai nian. A yearly ritual - visiting the Por Kar See temple to ask for blessing (and to eat the free and yummy meesuar)- followed next.

Then, it was to Ah ma's house in AMK for more delicious food. Steamboat, Sharks fins soup and pigs organs soup!!! OOoola laaaaaa..

We played MJ and I proceeded to win all the guys' (Alan, my fatherinlaw and Alan's Uncle) money (second year in running) and then we went to my grandma's house in Lorong Chuan to bainian. Filled to the brim, we didnt even attempt to taste the buffet dinner which was prepared there.

At 8+pm, we headed for my home because I had invited some friends over for post bainian drinks. Initially we were supposed to meet at ECP but the restaurant we were supposed to meet in was closed, so all trooped over and two reds were opened.

Elaine came first with the yummy birthday cake (thanks babe!) and was duly entertained by Ash as I was still in the shower. Then, Wees came with Leo and Kenneth. Kala and Alexis came too and updates of our WITs project were shared.heehee. :D Jia You! :D

Mahjong was played till in the wee hours of the morning and Alexis won all our money in order to pay for the iPhone cover I had bought her in KL. hahaha. damn lucky (or issit skillful???) Ox in the Year of the Ox!! Just before the clock struck midnight for the 27th of Jan, they all sang me a birthday song and we all celebrated me gaining more white hairs and losing my youth further.

27th January 2009 (Tuesday)

Yet another busy day. We woke up abit later because of our sleep deficit and then had the leftover meesiam for breakfast. Then, we went to Kee Kiat's house to bai nian and pass his two lil' ones an angpao each.

Next stop was somewhere, to meet someone but if I type it out here, then it would defeat the purpose of missing that someone in secret right? :P

After that, we headed to my parentsinlaw's place. We spent sometime there chit-chatting and then we set off on our tiresome journey back to KL...