Monday, 29 September 2008

Canon PhotoMarathon 2008

When: 18th October 2008
Where: Suntec City Convention Hall 401
GRAND PRIZE (Individual): Photo Clinic Trip to South Island, New Zealand along with Professional Photographer Triston Yeo

Register here

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Let's Get Married

As one of the more senior people in my dept (Chris as well), my gin nah colleagues are getting married one after another... next year i expect at least THREE red bombs ('red bombs' are used to describe chinese wedding invites as they mean you need to give red packets containing money which burns a hole in your pocket). chris has at least 4 weddings this year. to minimise damages, we go alone (our spouse don't know our colleagues anyway wat) otherwise it's DOUBLE man =P

Chinese parents ALWAYS INSIST on having lavish wedding dinners, especially the bride's family cos they get to keep the ang bao money without forking out a cent. another reason i believe, is cos these parents were invited to their friends' kids wedding dinners, gave ang baos and now it's PAYBACK time... LOL

A Chinese Wedding is very bing bing biang biang and usually starts way back from...

1. one of the couple saying: "Er... shall we go apply for HDB flat?" before their combined incomes hit $8000 and they have to buy private property or resale
2. guy asks girl's parents for her hand secretly. some guys skip this step if the girls parents know him v well already and like him. or he just doesn't know he needs to ask for permission to propose. chris never asked my mum... but i think it's courtesy... my daughter's boyfriend better ask me properly.
3. the formal proposal with ring la, flowers la,... all the pattern he can ever chute he will chute now and she'd better enjoy and appreciate it cos after the wedding no more liao hor
4. decide on date and quickly book hotel for dinner (like one year in advance). non-Christian couples would mostly consult the almanac.
5. if Christian, quickly book church and sign up for PMC (pre-marital counselling) and chope favourite pastor. if it's wesley methodist church, it's as hot as the hottest hotel in town. so book at least one year in advance too...
6. book ROM (registry of marriage) date
7. the triad boss' negotiation dinner: parents meet parents... lay down the cards... girl's side makes requests (actually more like demands), guy's side say whether they can give (try to bargain a bit)... discuss discuss, confirm, done. some traditional stuff people ask for are roast pig la and whatnots, depending on their dialect group. girl's side will ALWAYS ask for tables (8-10 is the norm). what this means is, the guy's parents have to PAY for the tables but the girl's parents get to keep the money... so for Chinese, if you have a whole family of daughters, for each daughter you marry off, you earn close to $10k. LOL
8. check out photo studios for studio shoot, gown, suit and all that. plus if they're going to move to new house, gotta find contractor to reno the place, shop for furniture and misc items... v stressful this one.
9. then they have to find helpers, usually their good friends to do free labour like fold programme booklets, tie ribbons, do slideshow of pics of them from babies to adulthood to how they met te blah te blah, reception etc etc. or worse, be their wedding coordinator which can be super stressful.
10. decide on nitty gritty details like colour theme, flowers, design of invites, music, guest list.... invite who don't invite who. who sit w who, who CANNOT sit w who etc.
11. the "xia pin" day: guy brings all the gifts to girl's house.
12. nearer the date, got to book spa, facial and mani pedi for bride. groom... heck la, no one looks at him anyway. he also doesn't have anymore money left. just go for a haircut at Sri Dewa or Sri Nada can liao la. mum prepares stuff like spittoon (i seriously don't know what this is for...), double happiness stickers to stick EVERYWHERE, chopsticks (Kuai Zi sounds like "quickly birth precious son"), red lamps (must be some lucky, longevity or longlasting love thingy) and other la la chap chap stuff... for the couple's room.
13. one week before: church wedding rehearsal, go for facial. i strongly recommend wearing the heels you'll be wearing on the actual day.
14. the night before, bride: mani, pedi, pluck eyebrows, face threading if necessary, face mask, chat w mum, sis, best friend, admire her gown 500 times, look at herself in the mirror 1000 times, can't sleep.
15. the night before, groom: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
16. actual day, 7 early 8 early, brides parent's comb her hair three times and say blessings like "white hair together" etc etc... put on the veil for her. her good friends go to her house to guard the door, groom's entourage get ready to barge into bride's house. usually, there are two "gantries": the main door and the bedroom door and getting through is not as simple as slotting your cashcard in the IU... some stunts you may need to do (w the help of your buddies) include push-ups, dancing, singing, eating weird stuff, absolutely malu-ing yourself and surrendering a big ang bao. my friend adriel is so smart. he just nonchalantly told his bride-to-be pamela, "I meet you in church." LOL... and she said ok... then bride and groom eat Tang Yuan sweet dumplings soup (Yuan means completeness and the sweetness signifies sweet sweet bliss).
17. then it's the tea ceremony at guy's family then go back to girl's family for tea ceremony... ah this one i like. you serve tea to the elders, they say blessings and give BIG ANG BAO!!! wa! the more elders the better. but some old fogeys like to give yellow gold -.- so passe. if the couple is going to live with the guy's family, the bride must go and sit on the bed (so that she will always be horny when her husband needs it? no la, must be those quickly give birth thing la), the parents will get a boy to roll and jump on the marriage bed (so the couple will birth a son soon). some people even put chicken and rooster under bed, see which one comes out first means the first child is girl or boy la... pattern more than badminton.
18. the more traditional and non-Christian families may practise things like shielding the daughter with a red umbrella and scattering rice, to ward off evil spirits and ensure she has enough to eat. she may need to walk over a fire pot that kind of stuff...
19. then church wedding + ROM
20. then dinner...
- firstly, the bride walks in... then cut cake
- then after the don't know how many dish, bride needs to change into something else (it's her fashion show ma) and they walk back in, pop champagne trying not to hit anyone / champagne glass pyramid / chandelier with the cork, then yam seng, then the speeches to thank father mother sister brother friend te blah te blah... occasionally couple may perform.
- everybody go back to eating
- then watch same old slideshow (the one the friends made... from the time the bride n groom were babies to how they met ending with lovey dovey pics)
- then bride and groom go around to take photos w guests, half of whom they don't know
- finally, after dessert is served, everyone heads home
- bride and groom's family shake hands w everyone and thanks them for coming
- all the cars get jammed at the carpark exit
- everyone go back, shower and sleep with a full stomach
- bride and groom count ang bao money then are too tired to consummate they just ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

yeah... that's it.

My "Dream" Chinese Wedding Dinner Menu

Assorted Sashimi (tuna belly, salmon, swordfish, yellowtail, sea urchin, scallops, king crab, abalone) w Freshly-Grated Wasabi
Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup / Sea Whelk with Chicken and Abalone Soup / Hokkaido King Crab soup
Lobster Salad
Peking Duck / Yakitori Chicken Wings / Yakitori Chicken Thigh with Fresh Wasabi
Asparagus with Scallops
Grilled Silver Cod / Steamed Pomfret (Teochew style)
Tempura King Crab Leg / Tempura Fresh Saltwater Prawns w Assorted Veggies (Eggplant, Pumpkin, Shitake)
Sauteed Kobe Beef Cubes
Handmade Soba / Teochew Fried Noodles with Black Vinegar
Birds Nest / Oshiruko (Japanese red bean soup w home-made soba balls) / Japanese Musk Melon / Japanese Momo Peach
Japanese Green Tea with Gold Dust
Free Flow Freshly-Squeezed Fruit Juice, Japanese Sake, Wine, Champagne
Take-Home Royce Chocolate / Godiva Chocolate

Wa!!!! nice nice ^^ but i think i got to give $300 ang bao! LOL

Eat Drink Man Woman

10 out of 10 Singaporean Chinese adults DON'T LIKE to attend Chinese wedding dinners... why? here are MY top 10 reasons:

1. ang bao -_____-||| gotta give an average of $80-$120 per head depending on venue. but if it's good friend, can give more la. good friend i don't mind.
2. it ALWAYS starts late (for e.g. invite says 7pm, starts at 8pm)
3. cheesy first dish entrance, music and worse, dance. don't know why people like kitaro so much.... Hans Zimmer or John Williams will be much nicer. if they come in as stormtroopers w star wars theme, i'd be impressed! LOL
4. the same dishes at EVERY dinner (i will blog about my "dream" menu later)
5. yam seng (so wuliao. for tom and veronica's wedding, i was the MC and he wanted to keep things simple so we just raised our glasses, i said some well-wishes, something to the line of God bless their marriage etc and said "Cheers!")
6. SHARK FINS (i wish this food will be banned or HEAVILY taxed or that someone finds melamine in shark fins... -.- they chop off the shark's fins and throw the poor ENDANGERED creature back for a SLOW AND PAINFUL death)
7. overeating then going to sleep after that because it ALWAYS ends super late... it's dinner that goes into supper
8. sometimes you're seated at a table w people you don't know so time passes painfully
9. occasionally you get an MC or JP who talks too much, can't talk properly or talks nonsense
10. I believe the bride and groom don't know 50% of the people they invited so i pity them

but there are things i find pleasant:
1. the bride ALWAYS looks resplendent ^^ and if she is my friend, i feel happy for her
2. catching up w old friends
3. the touching "thank parents" speeches *sobs*
4. when finally can go home and remove my sticky silicone bra liao (^^)V

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Kaminabe

OK OK, i didn't just say bad word k?

kami = paper
nabe = hotpot

I haven't used my paper hotpot for quite some time and since chris had to go back to work today, i thought it'd be a good chance to use it for a convenient and nutritious one-person meal ^^

i used cod, tomato, mushrooms, veggies, carrots and udon in a miso stock. yum yum ^^ after the meal, just throw the paper pot away! so fang bian ^^

Friday, 26 September 2008

Ling's Birthday

We celebrated Ling and my birthday at my place after bible study ^^ CY (who owns a D300) used my lao pok 400D and shot these pics. i didn't want to be in the pic cos i looked v unglam so i cropped myself off hahahaha!!!! Here's for CY and ling =)


Thursday, 25 September 2008

Living with Filth

Last night chris n i were stoning on the couch after dinner and channel surfed a little. TV programmes generally sucked but there was one that caught our attention, not because it was interesting but because it was absolutely DIS-GUS-TING!!! =P can't remember what it's called but the host is kim ng (zhong qin) and she goes around to the filthiest home to surface the filth, chaos, dirt, stench etc etc... i have watched a similar english programme called "How Clean Is Your Home" with two matronly ladies who go around wearing their white uniforms and pink gloves scrubbing, disinfecting, vacuuming, wiping people's houses. that one's really gross too...

yesterday's episode got us 0.0

we simply could not believe what we saw... *roll eyeballs*

it's a family of ah ma, mum and a few daughters...
first when kim entered, she almost got killed by some stuff they placed hanging somewhere... totally disorganised... she noticed the floor is filthy...

kim: wa! your floor is sooooo dirty! who is supposed to sweep???
mother: no one...
kim: *stunned* ha???? no one? how can?
mother: every morning we just use our feet to sweep sweep a bit...
kim: *stunned* USE FEET???? how??????

next she opened their shoe cabinet and the shoes... *roll eyeballs* were just anyhow-ly shoved in and there were two pairs of socks in there, with the shoes...

kim: wa! the socks... how long have they been in here?
daughter: erm... 1-2 YEARS
chris n i: 0.0
kim: how come you put your TV on the shoe cabinet???
mother: erm... too many cabinet will have lizards...
kim: ha??? why will have lizards???
mother: don't know... when we open the door, the lizard will run out
kim: -_______-|||

then the clothes hanging on some bamboo sticks which they balanced on something in the living room fell and all the clothes dropped to the floor

kim was so stunned... she tried to sit on the couch... but found some debris on the crevices (between two cushions) with a black hairpin sticking out

kim: wa! secret weapon! can hurt people nei!

yeah lor, imagine you don't know sit on it WA! your butt will kerpiak! LOL

then she found a floor mat to the entrance of the kitchen coated with dust, hair and dirt...

kim: *picked up mat with fingers* AIYAH!!!! TSK TSK TSK!!!! how long never wash already this one???
mother: ya, never washed before...
chris n i: 0.0

the grossest is the kitchen. kim felt a stench when she walked in... the condiments for cooking were placed all over, some on the floor some on a rack. one wall was decorated with ants. there were flies and mosquitoes everywhere. kim described it as a PEST HAVEN. the part below the sink was damp and infested w mildewand their tools (hammer, spanner etc) were virtually ROTTING in rust... hua kao...

kim: why no kitchen cabinets???
mother: we removed them cos got lizards
kim: u know the lizard... the problem is not the cabinet!!!!! it's your house is so filthy it's got so many insects that's why lizards like to come!!! u know??!
mother: *speechless*

the sink was dirty... plates and cups unwashed... with ants even. the daughter would rather use disposable cups -.-

then kim saw the daughter eating a bowl of PLAIN rice in one corner of the kitchen...

kim: why u eat plain rice??? mother mother, why your daughter eat plain rice?? no other food for her?
mother: got. got chicken *showed kim a WHOLE steamed chicken*
kim: ah yo! u never chop it up how to eat????
mother: cos my mother didn't chop it up...
kim: then u chop la!
mother: i don't know how...
kim: *pek cek look*

of course their task is to clean it up by a certain deadline which they tried to but failed cos the hairpin in the couch was still there -.- and there were still ants on the floor, dirt on the floor etc....

i think the mum totally doesn't know how to do housework and no one in the house cares... day in day out they just live in the filthy house... *stunned* i mean... my house is not TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY clean but at least we try to keep it moderately clean by cleaning up every week... vacuum, change bedsheets, do laundry, wash toilet and toilet bowls etc etc... keep things away. we cannot imagine how people can CHOOSE to live with filth.... so gross

west n claire will REFUSE to use their toilets if they're dirty. we have to clean them at least every other day. otherwise (especially west) they'd move the toilet away, pee on the floor and move the toilet back so the pee is between the litter box and floor but they'd make sure we can see part of the pee... so smart... and if they feel the floor is dirty, they'd PURPOSELY mess up by throwing the hay around, kicking the pellets out and spreading it all over, shitting all around or WORST peeing ON THE FLOOR. that's their way of saying "please clean up room". every time after we vacuum steam their enclosure, clean the toilets, give them clean water, fresh hay and pellets, they'd go back in and totally nuah on the floor. haha... so cute.

Desperate To Be Heroes

WOOT! Heroes season 3 is out!!

Desperate Housewives is coming next week!

But wah biang... the debut of heroes season 3 "The Second Coming" caused i-tunes to be jammed on 23rd Sep Tue that we couldn't even launch i-tunes store! -.- but not to fret! i woke up at 6am yesterday (24th) and easily downloaded the season pass and first episode ^^ hahahahahahahaha!

I'm so desperate hor?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Aw......

Awww..... so cute so cute!!!!

Other People's Pets

Other bunnies have to work for their food... work as letter-opener...



Other animals have to dance...



Our West and Claire... behave like king and queen -.-

Great Balls of Fur

Couple of weeks ago when CY and Ling came over, CY looked at a furball on the floor and queried,

CY: that's not a dustball right??

haha... no la, it's a furball... LOL

Bunnies molt typically twice a year (around Mar and Aug) for about 1-2 months each time. West just finished his and now it's claire's turn...

Took some pics with my phone...

This is what we scraped off the 3 walls where their enclosure is enclaved...


Brushing Claire yields this...


We're breathing in and eating fur everyday -.-

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Tatsuya (Finally)

I have always read and heard about how good Tatsuya is and finally had the chance to try it =D Today my goodest bestest girlfriend jiahui brought me to the famous restaurant at Park Hotel in Orchard er... used to be called crown prince hotel. it's supposedly one of the best japanese restaurants in singapore... wow, the price is also THE BEST no doubt...

the ambience is v casual and simple. non of those uncomfortable ATAS feel in some wannabe japanese restaurants. if u don't see the price, u'd forget u're eating at a top-notch japanese restaurant. haha... oh oh, they had this room with jars and jars of pickled this n that w people's names on it...

staff are friendly and helpful too, not snobbish like in some other high-brow establishments. at the next table was an elderly couple who i think don't eat japanese food v often and the waitress, clad in a pretty kimono, was explaining patiently to them how to mix the ingredients into the sauce. i thought it was v sweet of her. they're attentive yet not intrusive and made us feel at ease.

when the head chef Ronnie Chia (below right. i'm sure you've seen him on TV) appeared, all the staff greeted him. very wu seh... He also smiled at the restaurant guests and chatted with those at the counter. nice friendly guy.


we ordered a kaiseki set consisting of about 9 dishes to share and some other ala carte dishes like grilled cod, tempura prawn and salmon chazuke (salmon rice in tea). what really impressed us were the sushi and sashimi. the otoro (tuna belly) is SOOOOOOOOOO fresh, plump, juicy and sweet. Wa!!!! and the amaebi (sweet prawn) is also v v sweet and succulent. i didn't order the uni (sea urchin)... hm... maybe next time ba. we'd DEFINITELY go back there for sashimi. the sashimi platter for 2 costs $100. but it's really worth it as the seafood is airflown fresh from tsukiji in tokyo and fukuoka in kyushu. some of the highlights are: the tempura was really good. the prawn is v fresh and the batter light, fluffy and crisp... the grilled cod and saba were v v delicious. grilled to perfection, with the juices locked in. delightful. the meal ended beautifully with yuzu (a japanese citrus fruit) sorbet. refreshing and satisfying, yet not at all sinful ^^

while we were there, 3 tai tais arrived and plonked themselves beside us. how do we know they're tai tais? well, from the corner of our eyes, we could see they were dressed in chanel and carried prada bags. perfectly coiffed hair, manicured nails and flawless make-up confirmed our suspicions. and they looked like they were regulars... cos erm... they didn't have to look at the menu! LOL they ordered the abalone sashimi. ONE abalone = $280. *GASP!!!* 6 slices. one of them quipped:

TT1: cai liu pian bu guo chi... zai lai yi fen ba! (only 6 slices not enough to eat, one more please)
jiahui and me: STUNNED + -_______-|||

that's $560 just like that. the appetiser! and they ordered sake... sheesh... and there we were, SHARING ONE kaiseki set LOL... but it's ok, the servings were just enough for the two of us. if i had eaten one set on my own, it'd have been too much. we estimate they'd spend at least $1k... siaoz.

we'd definitely go back for the sushi or sashimi or lunch bento sets (jiahui says they're cheaper) but like once in a blue blue moon cos we cannot afford it! (the bill was $245) LOL apparently Fann Wong frequents that place. she can afford to eat there every week la.

oh, on our way out, we saw a jar of pickled plums with the label "TAY PING HUI"

o... k... LOL

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

60 - 10

that day i was chatting w geraldine on MSN and she lamented that she wonders how some girls go to work all dressed up, w make up te blah te blah... hahaha... yeah, it's a lot of effort and it normally starts the night before... LOL

1. every weeknight n sunday night, i'd walk around in my wardrobe n decide what to wear right down to underwear... VPL (visible panty line) should be avoided. black bra under white top will also be too distracting... especially for my job. lacy bra under tight top will be too bumpy... u get the drift. then i'd slowly iron my clothes... i suck at ironing so i leave chris to iron his own shirts or just send them to chrisclean, our laundry guy when we're both v v busy. $3, comes back washed n ironed nice nice.

2. then mentally decide which pair of shoes to wear

3. then decide whether need to change handbag

if yes, which one. pack pack transfer everything...

morning wake up, after the washing up etc.

4. decide which eyeshadow to use

5. which pair of earrings to wear

6. whether want to wear necklace (although nowadays i tend not to wear necklace to work cos i have a nice lanyard ^^)

if yes, which one

7. whether want to tie hair

if yes, how and with what (clip, rubberband, pins?)

thank goodness i only use ONE lipgloss and ONE perfume er LOL i think my routine is v simple already. cos my make-up is v simple one. just toner, evian spray, blot w tissue, ecological compound (this works like teleconverter, multiply effect of whatever u slap on thereafter), balancing serum, whitening serum, moisturiser, sunblock, foundation, concealer, powder, eyeshadow (highlights, mid tone, dark tone), eyeliner, eyebrow, mascara, blush. i put body lotion n lipgloss in the car. save time ma

so i get up 60 mins before i leave for work.

if i need to prepare lunch (sometimes i bring lunch to work cos i cannot tahan my office food), i'd wake up 10 mins earlier to cook the ingredients that i have cut, washed etc. the night before. chris would rather drive out to eat laksa, chicken rice etc... for lunch =P so he asks me not to prepare for him.

and chris, needs only 10 mins to get ready. he also has 7 steps.

1. play w west n claire while brushing teeth
2. gargle plus splash face w water. speed-shave 2-3 times a week, if stubbles irritate me.
3. speed-iron first shirt he sees
4. wear shirt with whichever pants is hanging there
5. replenish bunnies' food n water, play w them some more
6. wear socks and shoes (he only has ONE pair of work shoes ma). socks just take top most.
7. holler "hurry up dear!"

Sour Grapes



Today Mr Tee turned around, smiled at me with delight and squealed...

T: Ann, lai kan! ming nian de sheng ri li wu! Leica chu xin lens! (Ann, come n see, next year's birthday present!! leica got new lens!) *drool over the monitor* liang wan duo (more than $20k... actually it's about USD$18k)
me: ya lor, siao one. f/0.95!!!!
T: *chuckle + continue drooling*

if u know Mr Tee, the way he looks at camera stuff is like the way some men look at women on the internet... LOL

me: but hor this kind of depth of field... shoot what? will it be face sharp nose will be blur, nose sharp face will be blur? especially if u shoot ang mo the nose so sharp!
T: -.- you got no money to buy say la!
me: ya lor, this kind of lens is for people who have too much money and don't know where else to spend! *basket*
T: *continue drooling*

Monday, 15 September 2008

=DD

*do silly dance*
I finished wat I'm doin'
I finished wat I'm doin'

haha!

tomorrow start Part 2 target to finish on Fri then go dinner at Tatsuya with my goodest bestest friend jiahui =D
*do silly dance*

Ko Pi Soh

my favourite cutest colleague CC has turned part-time kopi soh... you see, she has a tin of Fauchon apple tea which expires in Jan so she brought a BIG bodum french press and made a BIG pot of tea to offer everyone.

CC: come come! everybody drink tea! ^^
me: wa, v thick nei, aunty, can help me add some water? *pass her back my cup while engrossed in my work*
CC: -.- *grumble grumble* tsk! v difficult to serve nei you!

=P i purposely disturb her one la...

like a busy bee, she shuttles between lanes and repeats the same line carrying her big tea pot and cups...
CC: her her ^^... my tea is going to expire in jan so come come everybody drink tea! ^^

we think she should just set up a stall downstairs... LOL

For the next two months, we're gonna to be drinking Fauchon apple tea instead of Milo... good good... save money on milo LOL

High on Milo

My office people are Milo addicts. POSITIVE.

We spend almost one THOUSAND dollars a year on milo. yes. one packet has 21 satchets, one box has 12 packets. each time we order 3-5 boxes... n we order at least 4 times a year...

gosh... that's about 100 satchets a week nei... sia la, i gotta switch to tin milo already. at this rate, our water dispenser should be dispensing milo...

Baby Blues

We invited my in-laws over for tea and mooncake appreciation last night. Ah ma also wanted to meet West and Claire...

ah ma: (ah ma speaks teochew) ah boy, ah ma air bai lai ai toi ler gai bear bee! mai toi ler gai tou ha! (ah boy, next time ah ma come want to see your baby don't want to see your rabbits!)
us: -_____-|||

then they saw pics of my nieces...

ah ma: jeng cute hor! meh meh ker sehng bear bee! (v cute hor! quickly go and have baby!)
chris: bor lui! (no money!)
mum-in-law: (speaks mandarin) ke shi zheng fu you gei jin tei! (but govt got give incentives!)
chris: bu gou la! (not enough la)

so they went on and on te blah te blah about having babies... and my father-in-law told ah ma...

father-in-law: u faster become Christian then you pray for them then they will have baby!

wa biang, like that also can...

actually we've been married almost 6 years already still got no kids they should know that we're not interested ma... if we wanted kids, we'd have had kids long ago... wait until now? just because of the extra 4 weeks maternity leave and a few hundred dollars here and there from govt??? not enough to entice us AT ALL. unless, they include slimming package, 5 years fully-paid maternity leave, bird's nest allowance, guarantee a place in ACJS or MGPS, overseas university scholarship (UK or US), we might consider.

but that's impossible lor LOL

-______________-|||

OK, i may sound atas but i was really stunned...

Today I walked into the office and a colleague saw my TOD's bag...

colleague: Eh! this one Bonia right??
me: *too stunned to react* -________- er... no, it's erm... TOD's

*bang chest* it's like someone say your Gitzo is Benro...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Reach Floor Open Flower

Luo Di Kai Hua...

*sobs*

chris broke my big red rectangular Japanese plate!!! i lent it to grace and when we brought it home, chris underestimated the distance from the plate to the floor and just plonked the bag on the floor so it peechiah into two =(((((((

*her.... her... her... sobs =(*

Chute Pattern

ok, i'm super wide awake now cos i just had loads of tea... Yeah it's mooncake festival again and time for grace my bestest friend to chute pattern... when it comes to chinese tea, i just stand one side cos roger's collection is super impressive... but i managed to persuade her to keep it simple... phew! we don't have to wear cheena cheena this year =P heng ah!

we were supposed to meet at her place at 8:30pm. chris n i arrived at 8:40pm... pris n ling were already there (poor chek is v sick so he could not join us). waited for Tom n Veron...

wait... wait... wait...

me: wa, the snowskin mooncake is getting hot...

then grace said she needed to go n change...

we waited...

waited...

and waited...

me: wa, roger, did your wife walk into her wardrobe n enter a jungle?? -.-

then at like 9:30pm, she emerged from her room in a bustier top floral dress n scarf around her neck...

everyone: O.O wa!!!

LOL... she is so dressed up we all felt so underdressed... heng ah i came from a nice dinner so i was in a dress as well... had wanted to go home n change into T n shorts =P but no time...

so she wanted to take photo w me... take take take... cam-whore...

me: i'm thirsty... need to drink tea!

but we decided to take a group shot and i made roger get his tripod...

me: WA! gitzo!!! bigger than mine... if only CY was here =P

yeah, roger's tripod is like Mr Tee's... big gitzo... drool...

so we FINALLY drank tea at close to 10pm -.- diao...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

=DDDDDDDDDDD

Yay!!! i turn 25 le!!!

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me... ee!
Happy Birthday to me!

Zhu wo sheng ri kuai le!
Zhu wo sheng ri kuai le!
Zhu wo sheng ri kuai le... er!
Zhu wo sheng ri kuai le!

Tanjyoobi Omedetou!
Tanjyoobi Omedetou!
Omedetou Tanjyoobi!
Tanjyoobi Omedetou!

Zum Gerbustag Viel Gluck!
Zum Gerbustag Viel Gluck!
Viel Gluck Zum Gerbustag!
Zum Gerbustag Viel Gluck!

Friday, 12 September 2008

=) =) =) =)

*Amy Grant's This is My Father's World playing in the background*

I keep humming this song today... because I GOT A ROOM IN MY DREAM RYOKAN IN....MIYAJIMAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IN AUTUMN!!!! just RIGHT IN FRONT OF MOMIJIDANI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to capture the deep crimson, fiery orange and bright yellow maple with my camera... I had to make TWO long distance calls to japan (cos their website ASSUMES i am japanese, couldn't key in address etc... -.-) but i'm excited... v v excited...

and i just realised... chris actually isn't v crazy about ryokans (cos they're usually inaccessible, v expensive, the dinner includes lots of "weird" stuff and most importantly, NO INTERNET!!!). if he goes to japan on his own, he'd be happy staying in a city hotel with high speed internet access. but he will gladly fork out money to stay in one because i love ryokans. i LOVE the food, i LOVE the hot springs. I LOVE the "nothing to do-ness" except stroll in the gardens, walk around in yukata (kimono-like outfit) or just chill. so i feel v v touched =) thanks dear ^^

To listen to this song (one of my favourites), click on the Koh Tao video on top right.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

ARGHH...!!! >.<

I am so pissed. During the time I want to go to Miyajima (World Heritage Site), the whole world also wants to go there (cos it's nicest in autumn)... my choice ryokan IWASO is FULL.... basket... i can't believe it... and this year is the last time i get to see japan in autumn... because of some bleddy changes in my bleddy job... i have accepted the fact that i will never see japan in spring (because of my bleddy job), now i can't see japan in autumn!!! i am in a v bad mood...

unless, i become a tai tai... then i don't have to squeeze w everybody n go during peak period...

i feel so sore...

*ROAR*

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Disinfect That Fridge Handle!!!

Hope you're not reading this while having lunch or dinner or whatever...

That day i was watching Tyra Banks show and they were talking about germs... germs at home germs in the office... so there was this germ expert who went around Tyra's office checking her personal stuff like lap top keyboard, phone receiver etc. and communal stuff in the pantry like fridge handles, microwave oven handles etc...

guess which were the most contaminated and what they found???

WHERE: pantry fridge and microwave handles...

WHAT: HUMAN FAECAL deposits!!! -_____________-|||

how did it end up there??????

the expert tried to explain that most people don't wash their hands thoroughly after going to the loo!!!! AAAHHHHH!!!!! that is gross!

i mean, after u take a dump! u clean with toilet paper right??? n you try to hold it properly so your fingers don't kena right??? where got people clean backside until fingers also kena sai one????? use more paper la! chris always complains that we run out of toilet paper REALLY fast... cos his wife uses one roll almost every two days... i am no "single sheet sheryl" la. apparently, actress sheryl crow uses only ONE sheet each time cos she wants to save the earth -________-||| how can???? got to line paper on the water surface first... breaks the impact ma, then water won't KPISSHH! on your behind... then got to periodically add layer, cos every time your ammo hits the water, the paper tears, sometimes the impact could be so great the piece gets totally submerged... so got to add layers. depending on how many times you fire, you gotta put that many layers. then got to use many many squares to clean, then squirt water, then wipe dry... so use a lot each time ma. which is also why we don't use expensive toilet paper... unlike my bestest gf grace, her roger INSISTS on using 4-ply ATAS hotel-standard toilet paper otherwise TOO ROUGH -____- it's your ass, not your face. no need expensive toilet paper.

oh ya, after that need to wash hands with soap, preferably dettol.

so like that how to gorh sai on the fridge and microwave handle i don't understand... gross, damn gross.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Movie Review: WALL-E (5*)

We thoroughly enjoyed the movie about a waste-compacting robot WALL-E in pursuit of his loved one, a robot probe from outer space called Eve, despite the complete lack of conversation. Most of the time they only converse by beeps or "WALL-E!" or "EVE!". i find WALL-E v v cute especially when he charges himself by standing in the sun. When he is fully charged, he will let out a ZHNG! sound like the macbook start-up LOL so cute. and the way he "kao" eve is v v funny.... he'd do all those things guys in love do with boo boos here and there... haha

but what struck (and frightened) me is the deeper message of the movie... that if we humans continue using up our resources and producing trash, earth may really just end up like the one portrayed in the movie... n the humans, who migrated to outer space have become so lazy, so reliant on technology that they have all become grotesquely obsese and forgot how to walk (cos they scoot around on hovering chairs)... scary... imagine the earth becoming so toxic that not a single sign of life is left... no flowers, no grass, no animals... v v sad... the earth God created will be destroyed by us if we don't take good care of it... no flowers i'd be so sad... no grass.... no plants = no tea!!! AAHHHH!!!!!! no tea.... *emo, squat on floor doddle w finger, going to kee siao* ... no animals means no west n claire... *sobs sobs her.... her.... boo hoo*

the last part was quite touching so i teared... but tried to act cool cos if u cry watching show about ROBOTS it's v malu ma... LOL

Miyajima IWASO

IWASO is in between Momijidani and Ootorii in Miyajima. Momiji means maple, dani means lane... a whole row of maple trees... v v nice in autumn. the restaurant faces momijidani. Ootori is the famous big big structure in Miyajima, the World Heritage thingy (see below)... nice nice...

Nice Ryokan

This one also v v nice. in otsu, 10 mins from kyoto... WA! can see sunset on Lake Biwa from the outdoor bath!!!! WA!!! WA!!! WA!!!

Ryotei Koyo

Green Tea Outdoor Bath!!!

WA!!!! I found this ryokan in Ureshino, Saga, Kyushu Japan with green tea outdoor bath!!!!! ^^ nice nice... it's called WARAKUEN. wa, nice nice... ureshino hot spring is reputedly one of the three best hot springs for "beautifying skin"... WA!!! WA!!! WA!!!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Koh Samui: Day 4 (Last Day)

At 5am Thailand time, my i-phone beeped n i nudged jiahui...

me: miss, wake up shoot sunrise liao..
jiahui: -______-ZZZ

we got a driver for THB700 for a two-way trip to Lad Koh viewing point to catch the sunrise. supposed to be able to see sunrise from the horizon but it rained so there were so many dark clouds n all... -.- despite that, since we were there, i just fired away ^^


came back to ZZZ again then we walked along the beach to big buddha temple n i discovered that that is an excellent sunset viewing spot -.- haha...

Big Buddha Temple The buddha statue here is SUPER big but i didn't shoot it la... cos i'm Christian ma haha so not v fascinated =P but yeah, if you're buddhist, u'd be so fascinated... from far far, from our resort, u can see the statue...
go back resort, pack pack, chill, go airport. flight at 4:35pm, we were there at 2:30pm -.- stone n felt damn bored for more than an hour before heading to boarding gate... jiahui grumbled...

jiahui: wa lao this airport got NOTHING. if stranded here will be bored to death. stranded in changi at least got shopping...
me: ya lor... n no food also... will starve...

then we realised (after stoning for more than an hour) when proceeding to boarding gate that the airport has been renovated AND EXTENDED!!!! there was a whole row of nice boutique stores... jim thompson, harnn and tharn.... AAAHHHHH!!!!! we only had 10 mins to shop -.- i didn't even have time to whip out my cam to shoot the extension la! but it's nice... make sure u go shop shop a bit.

so bo pian... felt damn bang... felt even more bang when we came back and realised the harnn and tharn there is like HALF-PRICED... -.-

anyway, we were v impressed with the efficiency of the airport services and the cleanliness. the boarding gate also had a FREE snack corner where we could get sandwiches, juices etc... when there's FREE FOOD, singaporeans are happy people. then the way they packed us into colourful buggies that brought us to the plane was v organised and professional. impressed impressed... bangkok airways is quite good. n i actually didn't dare to check in my luggage cos i was afraid they'd lose it LOL... they call themselves the BOUTIQUE airline of asia sia... impressed. the food from singapore sucked but from thailand was delicious!

all in all, i like Koh Samui because it's not as commercialised or crowded (that's prob because we went during off-peak period and stayed at a quieter area). it's also cheaper than phuket and chiang mai. we went to 7-11 and for THB247 (SGD$10?) we got:

1 can heineken
2 cans diet coke
3 packets juice (juice for me, the above for jiahui)
6L water
1 bottle of low-fat meiji milk
2 cupcakes


cheap hor?

Koh Samui: Day 3

It was adventure day for us.... We were v tempted to ride a scooter because u don't need a license or helmet and it was only THB300 (less than SGD$15) for a day!!! but heng we decided on the car instead because the roads are not very even. but the ang mos were all doing it. we saw (twice) this red ang mo guy wearing only his shorts riding around... i hope he put sunblock. then there was this family who tried to do the thai thing... afro father in front, blonde mother behind, boy n girl in between on scooter! LOL... it's totally free n easy.... everyone riding a scooter... even like 10 year olds... haha.

we rented a toyota for THB1000 (SGD$40). they didn't even ask for driver's license! LOL drove to Lad Koh, a viewing spot on a hill between Chaweng and Lamai. (Chaweng is the more populated part of Koh Samui with the nicest beach so it's teeming w tourists n v crowded... TESCO (like our giant) hypermart is there)

Lad Koh Viewing Point

driving further down to hua thanon, we reached the Namuang waterfalls. it was quite dangerous trekking to the waterfall with your camera... but we did it. the ang mo tourists would strip and jump in for a swim but we didn't dare to because we didn't know how deep it was (me being a poor swimmer... tis a bad idea) so it was just shoot shoot shoot, sit n relax... much nicer than stupid serpentine falls in Perth which we travelled like 2 hours to see =P this one is only about 45 mins drive from our hotel.


Namuang Waterfall 1
we decided to try elephant trekking and glad we did! it was really fun albeit a little scary when the guy invited me to sit on the elephant's head (instead of on the comfy chair) because i could feel the elephant's thick prickly hair (like nylon string) poking my ass, his muscles moving when he walked and his ears brushing against my calves when he flapped them bambi-style. then he walk walk half way will feel hungry n decide to stop for a snack one... haha... every time he veered off-track, i'd scream... then i told the guy i wanted to go back to sit on the chair he said,

he: ok go
me: how???
he: go back... on chair...
me: how???

it was easy to scoot down from the chair on the elephant head but quite another to hoist yourself back up! i had to put one foot on the head, turn body, grab arm-rest, while trying to balance n not fall off HAIYA! hoist myself back on chair. he offered jiahui the same invitation which she gladly declined.... LOL it was quite an experience which i recommend. the Thai guy is totally adept at using my canon 400D which impressed us... he was even able to play back to QC the shots... but we were a little peeved when he asked for a tip at the end of the trip -.-


the elephant is v v smart ^^ he will pose for pics when told to do so by the guy! so cute ^^

Not Camera-Shy I shot this w my fish-eye while seated on the seat! LOL. jiahui was so worried i'd either fall or drop my camera she grabbed my waist tight tight... hahaha
AH CHOO!
in retrospect, i think we kena chopped at the elephant trekking place. it would have been much cheaper if we just bought the package from the hotel but oh well, the car gave us more flexibility...

we tried the AE-lock function on my camera (for back-lid subjects) and the effect is quite good! ^^ here u see us on a truck to the other waterfall which is not so accessible...


we gong-gong-ly refuelled the car to full tank for them and felt v bang so we drove around half of the island just for kicks... oh, jiahui the coffee addict NEEDED to drink good coffee so we seacched for the starbucks which we saw on the way out in the morning but we kinda overshot n almost ended up at the other part of the island cos we missed a turn... haha.... i realised that the surroundings DIDN'T look familiar...

me: miss, something's wrong.... this part like never see before on way here...
jiahui: is it?
me: ya...
jiahui: we are at bann something...
me: hm...?? oh got police! go ask...

so yeah, we overshot by quite a lot so back track back track... but jiahui even when lost didn't forget her search for face mask (she forgot to bring)...

jiahui: ey, here got one pharmacy, think will have face mask??
me: yeah maybe...

LOL! went to TESCO for some shopping, had a cuppa at starbucks...

when we returned the car, we negotiated with the rental centre to let us have the car for 3 more hours and drove to fisherman village (about 10 mins from our resort) for a BBQ dinner by the beach. this place is worth checking out as there're many nice restaurants there just right beside the beach, BBQ seafood being the fav. loads of germans, french... assorted ang mos. we were the only asians there LOL.

Fisherman's Village The irritating white square in the centre is a signboard... i thought it was my zoom box LOL then after i loaded it on my comp i remembered that the zoom box doesn't appear on the preview one =P

wat an adventure-filled day! ^^

Koh Samui: Day 2

We got a snorkelling package with Seatrans for THB1700 per pax to Koh Tao. They're v professional and we were v pleased with the service. the ferry is big and stable so it was great for me because i get seasick v easily. the package included transfer from n to hotel, breakfast at the pier, trip to Koh Tao, snorkel equipment (goggles, tube, life jacket), buffet lunch which consisted of rice, pasta, chicken curry, veg, tom yam soup, salad n fruit and afternoon snack. the toilets on board are clean and the staff speak simple english.

on the ferry, we chatted with an aussie guy... young guy from gold coast who works as a construction worker back home but went to koh tao to get his master diver certification... cool... he recommended Japanese Garden off Koh Tao which is quite nice. the weather was great so it was an easy swim ^^ corals are quite nice but we didn't see any turtles, shark or clown fish which we were hoping to see. i took some shots n videos with the waterproof olympus miu ^^

Feeding Time!!



We could see from our ferry that it was raining v heavily elsewhere...

Koh Samui: Day 1

We reached on Saturday night at about 9pm so went straight to bed. the next day we didn't do much except to walk along the beach to the pier and have lunch at U2 restaurant across the road. we ate there twice during our stay there cos the food is good n cheap. for about SGD$10-15, you get a 3-4 dish zichar style meal for two with 2 fresh coconut juice ^^

Bang Rak Pier
View From Pier
we also swam in the pool, tried some macro shots and did massage on the beach... it was chill-out day for us cos i was still nursing the trail of a bad flu so didn't want to over-exert.

Frangapani Bud
we also strolled along the beach near sunset and found some local women digging for crabs to cook for dinner... they're v friendly and i took some nice shots (i think they're nice la... cos i like...)






Beach Babe
Mother and Child
Beach Boy
Woman and Her Best Friend

Hotel Review: Saboey Resort (Koh Samui, Bophut) ***

Gah... we didn't realise it's an ECO-friendly resort until we checked in... i remember when i was packing luggage i smsed jiahui

me: miss, rmb to bring bath salt!!! ^^

then when we stepped into the villa (we got a garden villa), jiahui checked out the toilet...

jiahui: miss, no bath tub... -.-
me: HAAAA??????? how can???

rummage wardrobe...

me: no slippers... no bath robe???
jiahui: -.-

hahaha.... yeah... it's ECO one.... bathe using rainwater.... the resort is sea-facing, equipped with infinity pool n beach and the villa is spacious and about 20 steps to sandy beach.



but everything is minimalist cos they're ECO =P that applies to breakfast too... we were told continental breakfast is included and we discovered that it consists of TWO slices of toast, butter n preserves, fruit platter, juice, coffee n tea... right... eat that for 4 days =P the other alternative was chicken porridge so i kinda alternated between the two... LOL they're so ECO their staff all multi-task... one minute the guy was serving our breakfast, next min he helped us carry our luggage... receptionist will bring matches etc. when we request... on tue there was power failure and no hot water in the evening... haha... ey, but not cheap k? the rack rate is about THB4990 per night which is about SGD$200.

but what we like about the resort is it's v v quiet... unlike those in Chaweng, the more crowded area in Koh Samui because the beach there is the nicest... at times we had the entire restaurant, pool, beach to ourselves. u can totally go topless on the beach n no one will see... which we did when doing the massage on the beach... they allow these aunties to set up beds on the beach and for THB200 (less than SGD$10), they'd give u a one-hour massage. it was so good that we went back again. imagine lying there, facing the gulf of Thailand on the sandy beach having a SGD$10 massage and when u're done, the sun is just about to set so the lady removes the umbrella, gets u to face the sunset and taps on your shoulder... WA! bliss =)



overall, we enjoyed our stay there because the staff are v friendly and nice but we probably won't go back again... we prefer a resort that's NOT ECO! hahaha...

i minus 1 star for no bathtub, no slippers, no bathrobe n power failure =P

Koh Samui

Temperature: sizzling
Humidity: dripping

=P we practically marinated ourselves in a mixture of SPF 50 sunblock and mozzie repellant with frequent basting as we roasted in the scorching sun... and still when i came back, chris said...

chris: wa dear! u look like minah!!
me: -.-

i imagine the Japanese tourists must go -.-??? since samui in Japanese means cold... LOL

but we thank God we came back safely last night amidst the political turmoil in Thailand. apparently (we heard from the hotel manager) the PAD party arrived in Koh Samui the day we did but the owner of the airport offered them one plane and packed them away. They ended up in bangkok... phew! heng ah! we read and saw on CNN that phuket international airport was closed and there were tourists stranded there... then on Tue, Bangkok was declared to be in a state of emergency so i got concerned smses from chris n my mum-in-law =P

but koh samui is all peace n quiet... absolutely no sign of any impending protest. the people there lead v simple lives and the hotel assured us everyday when we inquired that it's v safe... even then, chris told me specifically NOT TO BE TOO ADVENTUROUS, JUST STAY IN HOTEL... so... well, instead of riding scooter, we drove =P we also went snorkelling, trekking in search of waterfalls, elephant trekking =P got an earful when i returned...

chris: I THOUGHT I TOLD U NOT TO BE TOO ADVENTUROUS????? *EYEBALL ME*
me: ya, we didn't ride scooter... *grumble grumble*

kk, lemme sort out my photos and look out for posts on my travel to Koh Samui!! ^^