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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Calling this my home soon II

It’s exactly four weeks since I passed my main door key to the contractor & today he answered my mum that we could get the home in 2 weeks time. I’m having some mixed feeling here & I do not know how to describe it. As written in previous entry, I expect to be moving in by June and there is high chances I could make it next month.

Lots of efforts and energy has been focused into this little paradise recently but most of them were towards sourcing for the right furniture, electrical appliances, equipments etc. This also translates into high expenditure & draining out of saving like opening a water tab to run. Damn!

This morning, we (my mum, YY & I) decided to go on a spot check at the site. Everything looks fine except the dry kitchen table top is too small. YY was excited to see his room painted green on a part of the wall. So many wooden cabinets stuffed in the living room & I’m also surprised to see the TV cabinet is now fixed.  A few men were also working on my room to fix the fibre board on the floor. YY refused to go to the show unit with us nor to go home. He was mesmerized watching how the people work on his mummy’s room. The sad part however is my wardrobe. It’s too small compared to my current one at home. Guess I’d have to throw out lots of my belonging before moving in.

Living room - I like the simple design here

Dry kitchen with very small table top.
Living room in a mess
A curious YY observing how the fibre board is arranged

It’s going to be a busy weekend again I supposed. Will need to go to choose the curtain material again, to pay for the sofa set, buying of various lighting (Headache! Headache!) and some other small little things.

I just can’t wait to move in to my little paradise though it means I have to let go of the convenience I’m enjoying right now staying in such a strategic location if you really know where I live now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cruising to Nowhere

Cruising to nowhere is not something new to anyone anymore. People usually associate this to gambling ship.  However, last Friday, we had an unforgettable experience of cruising to nowhere which I was hesitant & skeptical in the first place when I was told on the phone of this short trip. Out of my wildest dream, we were actually boarding on the Star Cruise Pisces – one of my wish was to be in any of the Star Cruise liners no matter of its size. I did not even know of this till I was stepping into the cruise but merely knew that  the whole family would be on board a cruise to nowhere for a night.

 Star Cruise Pisces docked at Swettenham Pier (source from the Star)

It was seriously a mad rush for us to check-in considering the fact I was working and little piggy was in school for that day too. The Friday evening traffic & the rush hour were adding up to the stress level of the possibility of missing the boat with regret. I could not believe myself to be on board the well known liner though I have been to similar one once  many years back (a smaller one indeed). A fully sponsored trip by my father in-law for the whole family of the Choos was in fact cherished in silent as the shown of affection in Choos are usually hidden in their own ‘closets’. I’ve got lots of high anticipation as well as my son. For the 1st time, he went to buffet line to get something back for his mamy & I was totally moved by his offer.

 the 3 little piggies

Cruising in the 12 storey,  177m long liner felt as if you were actually holidaying in China. This is because out of the 600 staffs from around 40 different countries, most of them were Chinese citizens.  Plus, there was  this strong feeling of similarity to Genting Highlands as you were offered a string of entertainment outlets plus a not to be missed casinos. Honestly, I wanted to capture beautiful pictures for this intended post but my skill of photography was not at passing level yet & it was also very dark outside preventing me to capture some panoramic  view.

Meanwhile, little piggy was really excited to have all his close family members with him, having companion from the cousin brothers, having so much freedom of choice on his own food selection, having fun filled splish splash time at the mini pool on level 10 & eventually to be able to overnight with his favourite cousin brothers too. One of the brother who is now 12 was smart enough to bring the younger one out exploring the facilities and also to the extend of knowing how to use the access card to purchase goods on board. No cash transaction on board except the use of the access cards that also act as the cabin key card. 

 My key card or access card

Excited kids in the small cabin

A sign of I love U or I love this ship?
A truly happy grandma to have all the grandsons there

While there are various services & outlets on board, most of the later part in the evening especially  after YY went to bed was actually spent in the ktv lounge where even my mother in-law also chilled to hear his son rendering some old tunes. The best part was I could even walk back to the small cabin for a quick shower before returning to join them. It felt so much like a home with convenience and with no worries of getting drunk. Oooops! I was not really drinking though.

The cruise experience was indeed not enough. It should be perfect if the trip was at least 2 nights. As we rushed to disembark, little piggy missed out to bring home his old water tumbler. As such, he formed his imagination that he should be going back to the cruise this Fri & to search for his missing tumbler. 

In short, while each cruise line may have its claim of differences, you can be assured that your experience onboard Star Cruise Pisces coupled with the people whom you bring along will definitely be as pleasant and wonderful as what we had – short vacation without compromising on the value of fostering the family bonding.

P/S: I won some from the casino, betting on baccarat. Don’t ask me how much but it’s significant to make me happy ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Will he sustain long term interest in the game?

Chess, a board game I never could have imagined originated since 6th century from north-west of India that developed and evolved through centuries to be then represented by pieces we now known as pawn, knight, bishop & rook. I’ve not acquired the skill in chess nor strategy but do know how each of them works and until much recently only did I know the names of those pieces in proper terms. Thanks to my son for his new profound interest and for him to enlighten me the right terms.

A game with him last night proven of how I’ve underestimated his ability with informal lessons he is enduring almost daily subject to availability of his ‘chess master’ or my cousin brother. I’ve seen him arranging the pieces, following blindly instructions on some moves written in chess books and also guidance from my cousin brother. But, throughout the game with me, he has not even opened the book and still able to strategize, maneuvering his pieces to attack & subsequently a checkmate.  I LOST! Perhaps, I am just too bad in the game.  I was again surprised when he could count the point of each piece he won against me.
 Referring to book to arrange the pieces.
Real informal lesson from his chess master
Another informal lesson on weekday.

To children, instilling interest in the game of chess is rather crucial I guess as it involves evaluation of chess positions and setting up goals in their strategizing against their opponents. This is also useful in developing their foresight to look into future, considers consequences of their moves and to be cautious in making quick actions. The above reasons is more than enough for me to want him to go deeper into this board game especially for his brain development and that’s the only time I see him sit still instead of his usual active self of physical activities. It’s such a bliss to me when he is on the game.

All in all, I’ve not discovered how deep his interest in this but would definitely give him whatever support and encouragement needed.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Memorable Roaring Year of Tiger.

I’ve been COMPLETELY out of internet access at home for almost 2 weeks & have since been abandoning the blog for a long time. All files are entirely gone & pc is now as clean as new. Coupled with recent Chinese New Year celebration, time has not been allocated for this site at all or I should say I was just plain lazy,  in short.

Some said the year of Tiger might bring about turbulence  than harmony. What is then ahead for me as tiger myself. Some facts I found described  that  I would need to find lots of encouragement within me or might be faced with disappointments instead. Anyway, I’ve never read anything good in written for people who are born in the year of Tiger.

Dreaded to think what would the CNY be after a crisis filled 2009 and did not even know what’s the right etiquette for a new divorcee, I feared the celebration might bring more sadness than happiness. I feared so much that I’ve to release my son for him to go back to his paternal side, leaving me without him during such an enormous celebration shall be devastating. Eventually, I braved myself to go ahead, celebrating like I’ve been a part of the family still. I told myself I’ve to treasure every moment I have with my former in-law family as it might not mean the same every year & there is also possibility of not joining them again in the upcoming years. Thus, I’m treating it like my last celebration with my former in-law family.

Nonetheless, the year started positively & roaring with great excitement, filling up with exquisitely fun-filled private ‘family’ events. Domestic type of gathering with serving of great food, loads of alcohol, lots of money changing hands (as in gambling) and  meeting up nice people were the fun of this year.

One of the highlight during the CNY holiday would be their so-called  2nd generation cousins gathering. I was more than proud to be invited either as guest or as family which I don’t even know but I seriously felt honored to be in there among the youngsters. It was just merely simple dinner & coffee but good sweet moment usually passed faster than ever. If it were not because of Pin Yin, the event would not be this successful. I wanted so much to capture some of the moments in lenses but it might be weird for my position to do so & I believe they might be uncomfortable too. Thus, pics below are ‘stolen’ one. Photo courtesy  from Myhong

Cheers for a better year ahead!
 Got to have cuppa before calling it the nite.

I don’t know what will be ahead of me but moving forward, I still wish to see these beautiful people & perhaps wish I can be a host too for them to gather at my place. Happy Chinese New Year to ALL.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dong Zuo Kuai Yi Dian 动作快一点

I was brought up in a hokkien speaking family & was never exposed to Mandarin nor Chinese writing. However, having a little boy was a big change to make me speak Mandarin merely because I thought it was sweet & loving to speak to baby that way. I still think so though.

However, with a blink of an eye, my lovely boy has grown & was entering primary one early this month. Sending him to Chinese school was a challenge since I'm unable to guide him in his studies as almost all books are in Chinese except of course language subjects. After all these years of trying to communicate in Mandarin with him (lil piggy as he is normally known in Facebook) with an interval of English, suddenly my commonly used sentence is per subject Dong Zuo Kuai Yi Dian (动作快一点) or literally translated to be 'act faster'.

To me, the sentence sounds harsh, full of authoritative manner & high discipline standard. Calling him in a stern tone reflects an immediate action needed from his end to work things out rather fast in its speed than his normal self of confining to relaxing mode.  I've been trying to be very soft to him , attentive  and to listen but lately, that sentence has been an inseparable part of my motherly role. I don't like it honestly but with just a month of going to school, time was barely enough for me & lil piggy to be together. A normal day together is now shortened than usual & it could be only approximately 1.5 hours or 2 hours of seeing him at home. I've always wanted so much to be different than any normal mom, to be able to listen to him, to be his friend and to tell him how much I love him but again, most of the time, I'd be saying dong zuo kuai yi dian.

I truly wonder is there any better way to move lil piggy to act faster or is there any other similarly powerful sentence specially for boys. I'm also hoping I can find other method in parenting or to make him know the value of time. Difficult to be a mom.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My obsession with bags.

Hot sunny Sunday and I could feel the burning flame under my skin & it’s making me headache but I don’t wish to procrastinate any further for this post and decided to write under such humid environment.  If I choose to delay further, it shall only be done next two weeks from now.

Basically, I’m obsessed with bags & this obsession was partly a legacy brought by someone used to be closed to me & not now. Having this obsession is rather expensive thus I’m dedicating this post to myself with the small collections I have now before these bags are gone with its era or they are no longer my possession.

I have tried diligently not to simply spend & only to give myself some rewards to acquire only one good bag for a year. It’s not too much of this, I supposed. So far, it’s still under control & manageable though might not be so true.

Here are some of what I have right now.

The LV monogram canvas are some of the very first I have in my collection of branded bags. The shoulder bag was acquired few years back when I was in KL for a friend's wedding but I took it as attending wedding cum shopping trip.

Gucci sling bag acquired after going up to Genting for William So & Andy Hui's concert. It's like a MUST to stop by KLCC at that time.

Also acquired from KL. This limited edition from Gucci was a 'project' entrusted to someone with high taste to get it for me.

The Coach tote was also from KLCC. Funny incident occured while this bag was still brand new. A salesperson at Penang Airport thought I was carrying their bag out from its outlet as the same model was displayed in the shop back then. She stopped me to return the bag.

The long Gucci wallet is one of my favourite.

Enough of all things from KL! This Fendi's shoulder bag was from Bangkok when I was joining my colleagues for short trip. I don't usually carry this as the colour is hard to maintain. It gets dirty easily.

Both Celine's & Polo's were from a special trip to Hong Kong & China before myhorng returned for good. I remembered, I was so eager to grab something back but it was a challenge. I couldn't find anything I like anymore from LV, Gucci, Coach, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo & many more. When the choices were so much, it's hard to choose.

Got this Coach from a trip to Taiwan last year. Didn't expect to get anything from that trip but finally signed for this at its airport while waiting for flight home. Thanks to the flight delay.

Some casual colourful LeSportsac I adore.

Recently, I have added one more to my collections but not shown here. A satin fabric white handbag for dinner & just used that last night for a wedding dinner attended.

Moving forward, I wish to acquire one of Jimmy Choo’s 24:7. Perhaps, I should stop at KLCC next week to peep. I might not afford it right now as the budget shall be fully utilized on upcoming home renovation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Social media & the School

Early of this year marked the beginning of YY in stepping to another stage of development, going to primary one for his formal education now. Being parents, we were there for the orientation and the 1st day of school. To me, after leaving school for a long long time,  going back was nonetheless a shock in both behavioral and practice. One of the most obvious and disappointing one was the lack of technology usage as medium of communication and high usage of paper in doing so. I felt like I was standing in a backward place then in the recent world.

I realized I’ve evolved much in support of technological communication though I was labeled as an IT idiot. I understand well the effectiveness, speed of communication via technology & how we could help the green environment and preservation of the forest.

In the announcement by the principal, it was said all kind of school-parents communication shall be in printed pieces of papers passed to the students to be brought home. Imagine, if a normal size primary might consist over 1200 students, how much resources is needed to send out the most simple message across effectively.

Orientation Day at the school hall.

I’ve briefly checked on the web of that school but it looks like it was not present after all. My suggestion is to leverage on the latest social media or social networking tools to reach out to the vast numbers of parents on any announcement or information deemed important. Social media as a tool is relatively inexpensive and accessible anywhere and this enables anyone to receive and send information directly with just a click away.

It also allowed the school to publish shared statements and to be viewed by all with the hope to generate virtually instantaneous responses. Many companies realized now how important social media is to their businesses in communicating with mass customers. Similarly, schools should also start to understand the needs of evolving from traditional method to contemporary one.

Hopefully, using of social media shall facilitate higher parental participation as well as to encourage parents’ involvement and higher support level from teachers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Valley of Nine Villages – best ever China trip.

Some saying goes that if you have not been to JiuZhaigou, you’ve not visited China. How true is that was never my concern at all until last autumn. Having done that made me nod with agreement it is the best place for holiday I’ve ever seen in China. A package tour was initiated while on another holiday in Hainan during Chinese New Year. It all started from a convenient chat while the bus stopped at a petrol kiosk.

Finding the right agent for JiuZhaigou’s trip wasn’t easy and posed a major challenge back then. Malaysian travel agents were noticeably reluctant to take the business due to the recent May 12 Sichuan earthquake and the risk of bringing their customers there. However, nothing could stop us from making this happened.

The 8 days trip covered various sightseeing areas in Chengdu, Mt Emei & Huanglong but my favorite is the JiuZhaigou National Park. The cool temperature & high altitude (less than 10 degree, more than 2000m above sea level) of the valley prompted my travelmates to gear up with lots of handy stuffs including oxygen & all kind of medication from east to west. The best thing about them is that they NEVER compromise on comfort. Thus, walking & rushing for public buses in the park is totally a NO. We got ourselves private bus with own tour guide for a day tour of the park – also declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Entrance to the park.

Jiuzhaigou's best-known feature is its dozens of blue, green and turquoise-colored lakes as per the pics below.

On top of that, colorful various types of trees were captivating to the eyes as they turned to brown, yellow or even reddish though some still maintained green.

Very strong down stream flow of waterfalls are also an attraction here.

Behind is the Tibetan village

Under such a cold temperature of less than 10 degree on daylight, we spotted a couple shooting wedding photo. See what the bride was wearing - sleeveless. Salute!

Lodging was not even a compromise! After an eye-opening, panoramic tour of the day, we returned to a very classy luxury resort to spend the evening & to relax the soul at Jiuzhai Paradise Resort.

I shall be waiting with anticipation to return in future if there is any invite again. It’s truly a place not to be missed and a place to be preserved for the next generation.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Calling this my home soon.

Life starts from home! It is also said home is our natural habitat affecting us physiologically either in behavior, emotions or our overall mental health. However, to me, home is not about the matter of size, not even the matter of price or not even a matter of its type. A home is a place I’d want to live in harmony & joy.

It has always been my dream to have my own apartment & to even stay alone enjoying life after returning from work if I did not get married or have any kid. Reading & sipping a glass of wine at the balcony perhaps to complete the day would be marvelous.

My dream came true a little bit late than what I wanted to. By Sept 2009, a letter from the developer was sent to me, to pass the vacant possession. I was ecstatic after waiting for 4 long years and could not believe I’d be MOVING. Yay…

View from balcony, my favourite.

Moving in was put off temporarily due to some tragic news nearby. Maybe I should say I’m a little bit worried too of what’s happened & I do not want to rush like any of my future neighbors do.

Nevertheless, I should be able to move in with my dearest family by upcoming June. By then, I’m still putting in high hope that this is what I shall call – my heaven!