Holiday Milestone in November

Holiday milestone achieve all in one month! November.

But NOT forgetting my holiday trips to Bangkok in May and Chiang Mai in August.

Entering November, it started with a Beijing business trip which I missed-out because my Chinese visa has expired and I was not-in-time to renew it due to the absurd short-notice for the trip. What I missed was the thousands of Enrich points that could be collected from this trip. Not entirely a loss, as I felt restless knowing that I will be going onto the equivalent of the doomed flight MH370 (albeit now a different flight code). And with MH17, who dare say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place?

1. Melaka over-night

Being denied Beijing, Melaka trip was next. I was excited because husband good friend from UM, Janice, was getting married. We were there over the weekend and were so lucky to have Siow Nee and the bride & groom themselves(!) to bring us around jalan-jalan cari makan. I love the chendol in Melaka more than that of Penang all because the santan at the former is more lemak. I had satay babi (just next to Melaka river), Donald and Lily’s mee rebus (many fresh cockles) & rojak. The last makan-stop was the longest queue ever coconut shake at Klebang,15 minutes car ride off Melaka city. Of course, hubby and I took our own time out roaming Jonker street to have lunch and coffee. Certainly a memorable trip.

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Janice and Ivan’s wedding
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Nasi Ketuk at Donald and Lily
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Fresh juicy cockcles at Donald and Lily
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The infamous satay babi near Melaka River
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Klebang’s infamous long-queue, sweaty but worthwhile coconut milk shake and other Malay delicacies.

2. Grand Lexis, Port Dickson

Just the next morning(!) after returning from Melaka, I had to board the company’s bus to Grand Lexis, Port Dickson for a short team-building event there. The water villa was huge and unsuspectedly beautiful beyond words. The catch is that each villa has their own swimming pool! Yes, private swimming pool in your room. How about that for a Monday! My roommate ended up making a day trip (her baby’s ill), so the entire king-size bed was mine. Mine!! I highly recommend this hotel to whoever wants to have a relaxing vacation with a family of maximum five.

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One of the Water villas with a view of the ocean and from the floor
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Each room has its personalized pool and open shower.

Since this is a team-building, there were games and surprisingly, I had a marvelous time. They were all indoor team building games, and one of it was a Trading Game where we trade with other countries’ based on commodities selling prices, information of the countries and collaboration, etc.

Another game was a Masterchef Black Box challenge, where my team (out of 40 teams) got 2nd placing!  We had access to a small kitchen, and just cook whatever was given to us, and we cooked a perfect Curry Chicken and Pengat Pisang (which I contributed the most) and Pineapple juice in 1 hour to win second placing. We were commended and honoured with a 4 star certificate by the real Head Chef of Grand Lexis. I was proud because it felt like you could even please the hellish Gordon Ramsay with your normal Pengat Pisang (I watch too much TV). Should I lose my chemist job in Petronas, I am pretty sure I could make it as a chef of Pengat Pisang and Curry Chicken :-P. Naturally, hubby don’t quite believe my achievement.

Oil platform with Lego building blocks - one of the exciting Team Building game.
Oil platform with Lego building blocks – one of the exciting Team Building game.
This Cert means more to me than any sports achievement. Because it's rare that I get to show off cooking skills openly.
This certificate means more to me than any sports achievement certs. Because it’s rare that I get to show off cooking skills openly.

3. Penang

Upon retuning from Port Dickson, the same weekend itself, Hubby and I drove to Penang for his inaugural Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) at the Second Bridge. This is the first time PBIM is held at the new bridge. We stayed at Equatorial Hotel which room is so comfortable, I didn’t want to move out of the bed. Hubby and I loved the swimming pool, and we had a short dip to relax both our minds and body. I did not run, but since I played supporter this time, I need to wake up as early as 4am to wait at the finish line for my hubby, which I estimated would finish at 6.30 am sharp. So, there I was taking the shuttle to the finish line about 10km away, and spotted Ling Ling in the same bus! What got me surprised was that she is running 10km, like for real….

We did savour some Penang cuisines at Bayan Lepas, courtesy of hubby’s bosses and managers which were also runners and doing various distances at PBIM. We joined them for some great chit-chat and at the end, went to bed early with stomachs full (even I carboloaded). Hubby woke up 11 pm to catch the 12.00am bus to the starting line for Full marathon. Crazy! I am so proud he did sub-5 hours this time. Guess what, I missed my husband at the finish line. Just tooo many people finishing the same time as him.

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Ohh-chien
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Frantically looking for my hubby, I was already glad this nightMARE wasn’t him
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On Penang’s Second Bridge

4. Turkey Honeymoon

And then, not even 2 days later, we board an Etihad plane, on business class(!), to Abu Dhabi (transit), and then to Turkey for our honeymoon. That shall be a 8 days trip, which I shall describe in my next blogpost. Wait up!

Four holidays in a row. Who needs a breather when it comes to holidays. Nope, not tiring at all.

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Bangkok – a gift to my parents

I knew I would return to Bangkok one day for a shopping spree. The last time I was in Bangkok was with my bestie Jonie during Hari Raya Year 2005. This time, I bought the trip for myself and my parents as a gift, or let’s just say…for the heck of it  Tix are cheap to Bangkok with Malindo. Unlike rival AirAsia, Malindo has free 20 kg luggage per person and also tidbits/water are served on board. Prices are lower than AirAsia. In short, Malindo is a budget airline with better on-board perks.

 

Selfie with parents= groupfie

One day before we depart, the military junta in Thailand took over the country’s (coup d’etat) “temporary government” after the fall out of the previous prime minister. There has always been demonstrations or protest here and there in Bangkok, and this seemed like a usual scene here, and to me, this is democracy. In fact, the military take over is actually a ‘good’ thing (not for democracy per se), but to remove demonstrations from the roads as some demo can turn violent (e.g. scores of deaths recorded in Jan 2013). Also it this military wants to set the record straight between the opposition and the temporary government so that democracy can be installed again (i.e. election) in the kingdom. But all sides won’t give in.

Headlines on the day of our arrival

Sounds serious, but this demonstrations and coup d’état over the several decades in Bangkok has never hampered tourists coming into Thailand. In fact, the only impact of the coup is that a curfew between 10pm – 5am was implemented to prevent illegal demonstrations on the roads. Tourists will definitely suffer a shorter nightlife (which is what Bangkok is famed for), but otherwise, nothing much has changed. I see ZERO army on the roads at the area Sukhumvit where our hotel is, and 1-2 army guys at Chatuchak market area. Otherwise, life goes on in the city. To the people of Bangkok (Thailand), tourism is no.1 contributor to its GDP and no local would want to hurt their tourism. Oh well, probably Hatyai is the exception.

Bangkok is tourist-friendly and English, albeit it’s Thai sing-song slang, is widely used. We made into various shopping malls, and of course the Chatuchak market where shopping are easy-breezy. The exchange rate Ringgit-Baht is quite alright, but mind you, the luxury goods in Thailand is not worth buying. All luxury good in Bangkok is as expensive as in Kuala Lumpur. So are the cuisines and food. Conversion shows that a bowl of beef noodles is RM5.00, which is similar to KL rate. Using the Big Mac as the benchmark, their BigMac set is slightly more expensive than in KL.

Chatuchak market needs no explanation!

 

Beef ball noodles with raw vege
Can’t get this delicious milk in KL. I drank so many bottles in Bangkok. Crazy fats.

Using Viator.com, we booked a tour to the infamous but super commercialized and touristy Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak, 100km off Bangkok. Recently only I realized that Viator has many great deals and very reliable site for tours at any nation around the world. We love the tour guide which was very good in English, which the whole journey enlightened us about the country, tourist traps and the political situation in Thailand.

Our half-day tourguide designated by Viator.com

Selfie

 

Authentic but quite pricey pad thai at floating market

Back to the floating market – it was indeed a very touristy area, but since we started the trip early we arrived early at the location with a lesser crowd. It was a very interesting experience for me, and my mum (who initially wanted to have this tour) had a good time buying and eating at the floating market. Yes, pushy sellers are everywhere but they are actually making an honest living, so what’s there to complain? Our tour (consisted of 5 ppl including myself), also made a detour to the coconut processing factory, and also the wood-carving factory. All interesting stuffs!

If there’s a thing to complain, it’s the sunny and hot weather in Bangkok. My Accuweather warned me of sunburn at the average daily temperatures of 36-37 degCelcius in Bangkok. We sweat like a pig at any hawker/outdoor eateries. I really like Bangkok’s shopping malls esp. Siam Paragon. 4 days in Bangkok: I went there 3 days to eat, shop and walk at Siam Paragon. The curfew only affected us in terms of BTS and shopping malls’ early closure. Actually we were not affected at all by the curfew to say the least, as my old man always wants to rest early at the hotel as he is….oh well, OLD. Nightlife is totally not his thing.

Kyo Roll En is this Japanese dessert cafe in SiamParagon that has a long queue, we thought we need to try what’s the hype all about!
Kyo Roll En is famous for their cream Swiss roll with a Japanese twist- green tea

 

The food is a fusion of: Swiss roll, green tea gelato and honey, snowball dessert,s and frozen green tea candy. Sooo delicious. No regrets!
They hold hands and hug whenever they go with no embarassement. My parents as a great example of lovebirds at golden age.

 

Another round of my fav dish in Thailand – PadThai.

Our hotel also upgraded us to a super large room and beds due to the low tourists turn-out that week and/or cancelation upon hearing of military coup in Bangkok. Oh, what silliness… no way any demonstration can affect us. If you can imagine, you are protesting in say…Dataran Merdeka, and I am sitting in my house in Puchong, what fear do I get? Exactly…NONE. Plus, the protest/demonstrations in Bangkok area mostly centred at government buildings area, which is pretty far off our hotel.

Bangkok, albeit the unbearable heat, is a great place to eat. I dare not recommend luxury shopping for us Malaysians (due to prices almost similar for luxury goods), unless you are looking for some specialty Thai brands like Naraya. The bags at Naraya is so sweet and cheap there, I bought so many ’til I drop.

Farewell Bangkok. Next vacation is with my beloved Hubby. Can’t wait to go, post and boast!

 

Beijing – Sept 2013

Who would’ve thought that I would be going to China. I mean, think about it: China was never part of my bucket list and would never thought to have a change of going there in 100 years, due to the following reasons:

1. I am super-bad in Mandarin and super-bad is an understatement (at least, I take praise that my Cantonese has improved tremendously).

2. I studied all my life in a Sekolah Kebangsaan and speak English at home, therefore has no inkling of China history and nothing from China or that part of Asia has ever interests me (only a peek of its history through ‘over-dramatized’ TVB drama/movies, and that’s Hong Kong, btw). I am highly influenced by Western culture, and

3. The horror stories of the unfriendliness of the people, toilet hygiene, and also elements of ‘fakeness’ everywhere.

Let me reiterate that if you don’t experience the country/city yourself by stepping foot there, don’t go having a bad impressions of the country from here-say. Any country/city has its pros and cons but somehow, Beijing..really impresses me a lot for a first timer in China. That’s why, perhaps, being well-traveled is important.

I told my boss I’ll opt out of the project in the US because of my looming wedding and they already dedicate another staff to be there. I was one of the staff going together with my 4 big bosses to Beijing….just because I looked Chinese! Errr….and my boss actually thought I could speak Mandarin. Hehehe…Boss kena tipu: don’t know that I am a banana! Never judge me by its cover. LOL!

The city:

City of Beijing on a weekday

City of Beijing is very modern, but here and there you’ll see a mix of old chinese gothic roofed-buildings. I was first impressed with the type of cars driven here – predominantly Volkswagen, Merz and Nissan Teana. No Kancil-small cars. I may have a early impression being in Singapore, minus the traffic jam. The traffic is bad relatively but at a similar capacity with KL. I heard it could be worse. To me, town planning in Klang Valley is lousy compared to Beijing though the latter has existed for thousands of years. There were bicycles, but it’s getting rarer according to the hoteliers there. I am amazed by Beijing’s cleanliness in general, and I was lucky there wasn’t smog problems when I was there. The subways are hyper-packed with human on rush hour (well, which country isn’t on rush hour?), but the subway is really well-connected throughout the city. I’d rather walk (if you know me, I would have ran) the whole Beijing than take public transport, but I am here for business, not leisure.

From my window

Kerry Hotel, Beijing:

I cannot be happier to describe the 5-star hotel we are staying in Beijing. Amazingly, amazingly amazingly unexpectedly AMAZING! Of course you’ll get amazing because I paid RM1200.00 per night for non-resort hotel. Boss say nvm, claim back mar :-P. Imagine, my CEO told me that there are much nicer hotels than Kerry but they particularly like the facilities here. Whadaya mean “BETTER HOTELS OUT THERE?!?!?!!” I mean, what could be better than Kerry Hotel, ah? I feel so suaku!

Kerry Hotel, Shangri La, Beijing

 From the outside, it’s like a normal building, but voila…inside the hotel is a different story. I don’t know where to start to describe it’s amazing interior and services:

Kerry Hotel is owned by Kerry Holdings, Shangri La brand….by our own Robert Kuok! Ahem, he sponsored my whole Ph.D degreeThank you, thank you. There are many Shangri-Las around, and Kerry Hotel is one of them. Service at Premier Lounge is top notch with free food and (alcoholic) drinks anytime of the day. We spend a lot of time there for breakfast, lunch and hi-tea. Swimming pool is set indoor, next to the gym and is Olympic size…with heater weiii! The gym is very huge with full equipment range and is opened 24 hours. Dressing room is also 24 hours with amazing dressing tables, sauna and jacuzzi – all 24 hours.

Best indoor swimming pool ever. 2 pools some more.
Dressing table
24 hours extensive gym.

Bed is King size and super soft with a choice of any type of pillow. Then, there’s the bathroom and toilet, ahhh….where do I begin? Fully automated toilet bowl and drys your ass some more at various drying capacities, pressure and position. Too much details, opps. I main tekan-tekan a remote control, a TV-screen pops up on my freakin’ mirror. EVERYTHING in the room is Loccitane. Kiasu as I admit I am, I grabbed back a whole lot of stuff from the bathroom into my luggage. Hello, I paid RM1200 for this place? (Protruding kiasu-ness).

Ini baru standard room….Wonder what the suite looks like?
Pressure. I went the max and something you don’t wanna try.

There’s a coffee maker for 3 different type of espresso beans. Everything in the refrigerator is free, including the alcoholic drinks. Then there’s fruits servings everyday: one of the fruits include the HUGE FRESH winter dates (mind you, not dried) that tasted like pears. Mooncake in Beijing is different skin from mooncakes from Malaysia too.

Coffee maker and a variety of espresso
Fresh winter dates and mooncake. Mooncake festival was just around the corner

The Business Lounge in hotel is like butler service, and once again jakun like me tried to absorbed all in. Free flow of alcoholic beverages. We’ve got like food prepare by a Malaysian chef just for us, as they know we needed to double check on the handling of meals (no pork). Coffee is like ‘EVERYDAY’. The hotel lent me an iPad for my use in Beijing. Woh…I cannot believe that either.

Trips elsewhere in Beijing

First time in Beijing, my colleague and I together wants to see the famous Forbidden City. But for some reason, it was ‘forbidden’ for visitors to enter that day. I mean, it hasn’t been closed for thousands of years, and when Ivy Chai arrives in Beijing, they were closed for business. WHAT ARE THE FREAKIN’ CHANCES?!!!!? I was so angry, I hated Beijing for a while. But let me tell you, the vicinity of the exterior walls (including Tiananmen) was itself an amazing sight. You don’t need to go inside the walls to know how amazing the Chinese Civilization was and is. It was immense: Willow trees, rivers of green, cool breeze, amazing architecture, the beautiful parks made me imagined the extend of its interior even more. What an eye-opener. But I must blame my freakin’ luck that the Forbidden city was forbidden to me. I will be back.

Shit! When I am here, you close door!

Tiananmen
River surrounding the exterior of the palace
I heart willow trees. The parks here are so serene, though in the city

Having not much time, we went around Beijing area by foot, but Beijing is quite a maze. We got lost. I was pretty confident about my new-found language skills until I ask about the subway in Mandarin to a young Chinese couple, but who stared at me in absurdity and to the disgrace of my chinesey slang. They replied in English. Phew!

 The Banquet:

There was this vintage old antique restaurant (blazing amazing from the external) where lunch started with an assortment of nuts, tea-time. Main course lobster, stewed lamb, la-mien, etc. It was not some regular luncheon. It was a banquet!! What can I say…I had the time of my life in Beijing. We took time off to do some shopping, but which I bought nothing. The weather in September was just right – not too cold, not too warm.

Accomplished:

1. Spoke complete sentences in Mandarin, and even gave a short speech in Mandarin (a yum seng toast) in one of the best dining experience in my life. No, I wasn’t drunk.

2. Drank good coffee everyday when I thought China is good only for its tea.

3. Ate yummy and super-cheap siew-long-pao. RM4 for 3 pieces. Comet to think of it, Din Tai Fung ones suck!

Did not accomplish (and will be back with a vengeance):

1. Peking duck. Duck was a big no-no to my colleagues, and I doubt I can finish a whole roast duck myself. And they don’t sell by plate.

2. Imperial palace/Gu Gong – the Forbidden City was closed for an event when I was there. I blame it on my luck. I am going again soon, and they may closed it again due to a terrorist attack at Tiananmen recently.

HAVE TO SAY: I ENJOYED & HEART BEIJING!

At the Gold Club Lounge at Beijing Airport…heading back to KL.

Next post: TIANJIN – luxurious food (I am getting bored of luxury :-P), yum seng, badminton Malaysia vs. China, and lots of oil. All next!

Sports vacay

Hey, dive trip (e.g. Tioman) don’t count as vacay in my dictionary. Dive trips are dive trips, while vacations are defined as trips where your luggage is void of fins and masks. Let’s not talk about BCDs, yah.

Welcoming mascot from the resort

Fong’s company had their company trip in Vietnam last year, and this year the bosses want to do it locally. I have been to Pangkor Island many times and to Pangkor Island Beach Resort, is my second. It was previously known as Pan Pacific Hotel. This hotel is situated at Teluk Dalam and is the only hotel in that area. We’ve got ourseves the sea-view room, which is absolutely gorgeous. I could just wake up everyday to the twinkling sparkles of sunrays over the horizon.

I was warned before by my parents of its apparent infestation of little jelly fishes of Pangkor beaches. Which was true because I saw them with my own eyes (15 years ago?), a school of jelly fishes, transparent and as small as your thumb clouding the seaside area, basking under the rays of the sun. It’s seasonal, I believed.  I was unpertubed by warnings, and jump straight into the waters with my amazing new red bikini. I somehow felt liberated because it has been some time since I swam in the sea without the ‘straight-jackets’ (read: BCD) and I should say, inconvenience of dive masks and fins and stuffs dangling all over. The last time I sensed a similar ‘freedom’ was in Phuket beach.

From our balcony

Of course, people like us would never be satisfied, given the ample time for pure relaxation and given the luxuries of an amazing hotel room, if without some outdoor activities. To us both, and that’s how our relationship remain sustainable, are the similar demands we see in our lives: SPORTS.

First up, canoeing. Hardest sh*t you’ve ever done. Case close.

Second, bicycling. Second hardest sports I’ve done. We’ve gotten ourselves a BMX each (FOC by the company) and ignoring the advice to only cycle within the vincinity of the resort, went beyond the boundaries. Not too long after cycling, I had crotch problems. I supposed that’s normal if you don’t wear specific cycling pants with crotch-padings? Yes, hard sports.

   

Third, archery: I was really keen to shoot an arrow or two, but once I saw the blue-blacks suffered by our local Legolas-es, I pulled out from the sport immediately. I guess sitting aside, being Arwen and maintaining my classic beauty ain’t too bad. Sometimes, we can’t have it all. Supporting my hubby, he sure did well. Amongst his colleagues, I think he had quite a good chance of killing more trolls than the rest of the heroic men of middle earth (though I wish he were taller, he would look more like Orlando Bloom, rather than the haflings. Opps! :-P)

Fourth, running: Of course, running! Why would we ever miss OUR sport out even if it’s vacation, eh!? I doubt we can never give this sport a miss even in our romantic honeymoon. Since we’ve already had a good overview of the whole island from the resort’s van who took us out for ikan masin shopping and luncheon, we anticipated the hilly routes of the entire island.

We started of from the hotel lobby of course (warming up at the lobby area), straight to Teluk Dalam, and then ran non-all the way to Teluk Nipah and lastly made a pit-stop (fora  much needed teh-ais) at the infamous Pasir Bogak beach. Total 7 km. Felt like 10 km because the slopes and hills are really unforgiving. Double hill is airplane runway compared to the island roads. Then, all the way back to the hotel again for a full 7km. Grand total: 14 km (felt like 20km).

Of course, sporty people like us have some downtime and coffee too: We enjoyed our romantic dinner on the first night; second night was barbeque buffet by the pool while the last night we gathered for 2 beer towers over an entertaining Filipino live band.

Coffee is a must have, anytime, anywhere

By the pool

Monkeys are a nuisance here. Well, having no fear whatsoever of humans, these monkeys enters rooms and stick to the hotel corridors in anticipation of generous guests offering food (please don’t!). One of our friends was attacked as she was entering the hotel room cause…maybe the monkeys smelt ikan masin she brought back from the market…kott? And some birds here are also friendly (read: peacock and peahen). These birds may just perch on your baclcony and leave a poo poo or two as a daily welcome gift.

The queen’s perch

Okay, food wise – fresh and taste good. I am not such a foodie, so my vocabulary for food is very limited,  but I am glad we were given a sumptious seafood luncheon at one of the Chinese restaurants at Pangkor town. As usual, I sat back and relax while my hubby peels all the prawns for me to eat. Can I hear an Amen to that?

Other pictures:

Some temple

Some taxidermied, bloated porcupine fish

Some ikan masin factory visit: original satay ikan, ikan masin basking, etc

Some kota.

First Vacay of 2013 – Tioman Island

Finally, my first vacay of the year 2013. And what’s better – it’s a dive vacay! Weee! My logged my last dive in August 2012, at Phuket – Kho Phi Phi which was to say the least – epic because of the ‘shit’ weather (as termed by my Japanese Divemaster) and we ended up puking more than diving. Read about shit weather diving here.

My colleague, whose dive nickname is Fox, organized this Tioman dive trip for us and we stayed at the most happening area in Tioman, called Salang. It has duty-free shops, several reknown dive centres, and of course, restaurants and pubs. People who enjoy night life prefers Salang to Air Batang or Tekek which are relatively quieter.

For the first time in my life, I flew to a dive destination. First, it was safer and economical. Second, it was less exhausting. Tioman was way too far to drive; I had experienced going on a road trip from KL to Lang Tengah and also Langkawi which I found too taxing and tiring even if I was just a passenger at the backseat. During our trip to Lang Tengah via Kuantan, one of our drivers in the convoy of cars dozed off and skidded, but nothing happened as he self-consciously slammed on the breaks. At one point, the car in front of us slammed on the emergency break because in the middle of the morning, approx. 3 am, there were a herd of cows and buffaloes crossing the village roads.

When I landed on Tekek air strip (which belongs to Berjaya), I was pretty surprised to see how coffee-shopey the airport was. Technology was so minimal, I smiled gingerly when I saw how simplistic the baggage collection procedure was. Just take from the buggy….and go! I am not complaining, of course. I am just tamed by the fact that many times, things just work out perfectly and smoothly if we don’t involve technology. And I thought Kerteh Airport was minimal.

This plane is smaller than the one to Kerteh

Gostan! gostan! Gostan
 

No frills baggage handling

Jetty to Salang

Made 5 dives in this trip. The dives were so-so as nothing fascinating about the fishes, except for a school of barracudas was spotted very near us as in one of the dive spots. One non-scary shark spotted. The most memorable dive was at Pulau Labas where there were several caverns in between rock-fall formation (my colleague is Ph.D. in Geology, he told us about the terms. ZzzZzZZZz). We had to swim in between those small caves which was quite interesting as this is where your buoyancy skills is put in used. Excellente!

Day 2 – Impending storm

Day 2 : Choppy waters + lightning. From our dive boat.

Rain also dive. Just do it.

Although it’s the hot/dry season in Malaysia, Tioman saw thunderstorms on the second day of our dive. Lightning and thunder can be seen from our dive boats, and it was raining incessantly til nightfall. Visibility was bad in several of our dives which was basically contributed by the full-moon this week. Ohh well….another ‘shit weather‘?

Batu Malang. Supposed to be a great dive, turned our to be okay-okay only due to poor visibility

Yes, it’s full moon = tidal

I think accommodation was great for the price we paid. It’s peak season, but I’ve got this cozy room with great air-con working and fan in place (just in case it gets too cold). But my hotel room was the hub for mahjong every night we were in Tioman. We have 4 Mahjong kakis…and they are basically professionals/Gods/Kings…whatever you wanna call it. I just charge them rent/tax for the use of my hotel room as gambling den.

At night activity: Dry swimming.

Third day: back to hot weather. The sun was high up and the clouds were gone. Yah, I don’t get it either. Extreme weather back-to-back. Made 2 dives in some bay, but again, visibility sucked. Didn’t see anything significant but some regular skunk clown fishes. Did see a shark, but it swam away swiftly after seeing us approaching. Sissy shark.

Basically, a pretty laid back vacay in Tioman. I slept like 10 hours a day including naps. You must forgive me, but I haven’t had evening naps for a very looong time. So, this Tioman trip gave me soo much hours of sleep and meals, I felt…..hmpphh….guilty. Busy corporate women is like dat wan…dunno how to relax/sleep/be wasteful.

This cat sleeps every time we sees it. I need this kinda good life! – Sleep Sleep Sleep

Red Snapper

Sotong bakar

Oh yah, meals!!! Seafood was so fresh I had a spike in my cholesterol (I think!). The fish (red snapper) was soo large and fresh, I fainted in awe even before it was bbq-ed. It was grilled ngam ngam hou. And so were the prawns. The grilled sotong was done beautifully, but self-control got the better of me. I also had way too many ice-creams in this single trip alone. Two-three sticks per day, everyday in Tioman.

I finished a beautiful book which talks a bit of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, and why dogs listens to him and not you….bla bla bla. OH, BTW….I’ve got a new family member! Yes, for real. My family has gotten ourselves a cute doggyyyyyy called Pei Pei and we love her like mad.

Back to reality. Back to the city. Back to my money-making routines. Back to whitening cream on my tanned skin.

So, Sunset, when will I be seeing you again?

 

Yee ha!

Maybe some close friends has already know this – that I will be attached to Houston, TX for a few months, which may be both a good and a bad thing. The good thing is: I am going to the USA! It’s USA, y’all!! Yee haa!! *cowgirl style*. I have always wanted to go US ever since my whole family  were there for my brother’s graduation, except the pity me. So, this is it (FOC some more, except the shopping bags). But on the other hand, I don’t know what will become of my ROM/wedding, etc. I might have to delay my wedding if I can’t plan on time. Wedding is all about planning, and communication which at this point of time, is pretty much = zero.

Another splendid thing about me going to the US, is that…ahem….I am giving my fiance the time he needs to renovate our new beautiful house. By me going away, probably I don’t have to mess with him on what’s best for the house. I’ve been with him long enough to know that I am such a butthead on the new pad, his annoyance shows in his demeanour. 😛 Hehehehe…macam clash of the titans gitu. But I trust he knows best, well, except probably the wardrobe. Decorating the bedroom and wardrobe always requires some woman’s touch/feel (which some times guys, as guys, just can’t seem to get it).

BTW, my family in Ipoh are all moving out to a bigger place near Tambun. I am expecting two new houses in a year! *Blessed*

Yee ha! New Ipoh house.

I have been advice by friends/relatives close and far regarding how we need to ‘be ready’ for a wedding, like… book this, book that, do this, do that, don’t do this, wear this, don’t wear that, get this make-up, guest list, etc. Hmmphh. At this point of time, there’s no date, I’ve not surveyed a single bridal gallery, haven’t talked to the Pastor. I have no dream wedding in mind since I was a kid (cause that’s just me). But I do have Pinterest and wedding ideas from there are infinite, kan?! I think nothing beats Pinterest as a good start to bridal wants and nots, whilst putting my smartphone to some other good use besides Candy Crush and Facebook. I still can’t see myself in the dress I am to wear on my wedding day, but one thing I do know is the theme will be pink, which is undeniably, my favourite colour.

All I can think of now what kinda stuffs I wanna buy and bring back from the US *rub hands**evil smirk*. Actually, I’ve no inkling how it’s gonna be at Houston but as usual, Wikipedia (and Pinterest) would be a good start. However, even before Wiki, I knew Houston has NASA, ample museums, Houston Rockets (Jeremy Lin’s back! But when I go there the NBA season may be over), summer heat and humidity like Malaysia (not too good a feature), but lots of sweet succulent ribs and steak! I have to remind myself many times that I am there to korek minyak, not to shop. 😛 So say Houston is a mecca for shopping, but then again, which US city is not?

So, let’s get started: A shopping list, a US visa (urrggh!) and a lots of credit and cash.

Rice University is located at in the middle of Houston. I feel so spoilt already.
Houston is the oil and gas hub of the world. Wait, issit..?