May 31, 2011

Phuket day 2 pictures - selected pictures only

group picture at hotel lobby before our tour starts

hotel pool

seashells and pearls costume jewellery and souvenirs

Phuket's 'red light district' , Soi Bangla

lunch at Muslim floating Village, Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island.

Phuket day 1 pictures - selected pictures only

view of the outside of our hotel entrance - the Millenium Patong - Lakeside hotel

May 30, 2011

Basking in the sun

This was taken on my 3rd day in Phuket. We had a couple of hours to kill, so my room mate and I decided to hit the gym and pool for a bit. :-p
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May 29, 2011

My trip to phuket in words - Day 4

All good things must come to an end.. Did not do anything much except finalize packing of luggages and hauling it down to the lobby for the luggage transport to the airport.
Eshah and I hopped over to the beachside hotel to take a few pictures and return to the lakeside hotel for the last breakfast at the Bistro.
I had omelette with onions, mushroom and cheese and lots of mangosteen, some papaya and banana, just for kicks.

May 28, 2011

A big thanks...

... to everyone who visits my blog... amazing... I've gotten more then 25, 000 visitors already. Thanks all for making this possible.. I know I am nothing much, I just enjoy sharing whatever I can... but thank you to everyone reading this... hugs

Trip to Phuket in words (day 3)- 20th May 2011

Woke up at 4.30am local Thai time. Fiddled around with my luggage and things before taking my bath and with that, giving my dear room mate Eshah a wake up call. I have already notice each time I take a bath, she would wake up.
Waited until she finished her bath and we took the hotel's Tuk Tuk to the beachside hotel where we walked from there in the early morning to the Hard Rock Phuket, just to take a few pictures and a stroll to Patong Beach and back via Soi Bangla. In the early morning, it was quiet and less seedier then it was at night. But there were a few hookers and lady boys around still guzzling beer and hoping or looking for customers.
We made it back to our hotel and breakfast with our group at the bistro and hopped on the tour bus to head towards the Island Safari Camp.
There, we got to get on top of real live elephants- all of us!!! Two people on an elephant. It was exhilarating and also scary. I guess the scariest part was when the elephant stepped down into a little stream and we were kind of tilted. But it was fun and we took lots of photographs even though we were not really supposed to.
Then we got to watch an elephant show and a monkey show and got on top a bullock cart for a ride and yet another group photograph.
We left the camp to head to Chalong Bay to the Angkae seafood restaurant with a view to just die for or at least admire to the point of breathlessness.. It was just so picturesque and calming and the food was just fabulous!!! There was a simply gorgeous steamed snapper, lovely black pepper crabs, prawns, yummy tom yum, and deliciously rich seafood dish cooked in what seems like the "Penang Nyonya Laksa Lemak". And served inside a coconut!!!! Eshah and me could not get enough of it!!!
After meal, all of us gathered at the edge of the restaurant to take lots of pictures of the gorgeously blue Andaman sea.
Eshah bought us both an ice lolly, on seeing our tour guides sucking on one and it was delish!!!
The bus took us back to Wat Chalong for a bit as some of us still wanted to get some of the souvenirs there, after realizing that the souvenirs there were cheaper then anywhere else in Phuket.
We went back to the hotel and had our free and easy time. Eshah and me quickly went up to our hotel, changed our clothes and hit the gym for a good 15 mins and then the pool for another 10 mins, just to be able to enjoy the hotel facilities for a bit before showering and heading back out to Jungceylon and the surrounding area for some more shopping and so on.
Souvenirs were exhorbitantly costly there!!! I did not get to but as much souvenirs as I had thought to.
We then headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. Dinner was again at the Royal Paradise hotel.
After dinner, a few of us were left behind because we had booked tickets to the Phuket Simon Cabaret show.
Whilst waiting for the van to come pick us up, we went window shopping and I decided to just give in to my husband's urging of trying out the Thai massage. It was relaxing, before my masseur started forcing my body into twists and turns which made me grunt and squeak in surrender. But after the massage, my body really felt so much less stressed and lighter. I practically floated back to the hotel just in time for the van pick up. We went for the cabaret which was really interesting and funny. Those lady boys were fabulous!!!
After the cabaret, the lady boys filed outside in their glory and invited us to take pictures with them. However, if you were to take photo with them, you'll have to pay them a 'tip' of at least 100 bahts . One of my group took a picture with two of them and was 500 bahts poorer, because he had no small change!!!!
Knackered, we went back to our hotel- the Millenium and went to bed, at least that was what I did... :-(
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May 27, 2011

Phishing, scamming, cheating online

I have 3 email address, one of my main email address is over 12 or 13 years old. And everyday, I get emails from stranger wanting to "request my assistance" or so, wanting to give me a huge amount of money that I think by now if I accepted everyone's kind offer, I would be richer then Bill Gates by now... Or NOT...
Even Microsoft, Coca Cola, Hyundai, and lots of companies tell me I won some lotteries or lucky draw. Western Union tells me to go collect hundreds of thousands.
And lately, banks ask me to verify my account or have my account blocked. Hmm... Silly me, I just ignore and delete them all!!!! If I did not, perhaps I would have had enough money to go around the world with my family, pay off my debts, probably buy myself an island or a private jet, donate tens of thousands to deserving causes and all.
But you see, the funny thing was I did not have an acct in the bank that sent me that message and there was an incident when Yahoo send me a email asking to reverify my email and I sent it on directly to yahoo and Yahoo themselves said they never send it and it was a scam.
Fellow readers here, fellow friends, don't be so gullible and don't fall for all that tricks. They will only make your life more difficult and harder as per in the newspaper today (The Star 27/5/11 ) . Never do anything online. If you need to, go get it verified in your bank or call them first at your regular place.
In the newspaper, they mention a session court judge, an acct exec and all falling for that trick and losing all the money in their bank acct. Heck.. Those crooks made more then RM4 million on that only!!!!
Wise up and it's always better to be cautious, suspicious and safe then sorry.
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May 26, 2011

The story of Narcissus (taken from NSTP's Niexter 26/5/11)

In the Greek mythology (Ovid, Metamorphoses, iii 370), Narcissus (or Narkissos in Greek), was the name of a youth who was reowned through the land for his beauty.
So vain was he that he looked down on everyone else and turned down many who wanted to love and be loved by him.
Aminias, one of those spurned by him killed himself with a dagger Narcissus gave him. As he lay dying, he asked the gods to teach Narcissus a lesson for the pain he had caused.
Nemesis, the Greek goddess of divine retribution (punishment) responds, and leads him to a spring where he sees his own reflection and falls madly in love with it.
Not realising that what he sees is in fact a reflection in the water, he tries to get at it. When he cannot get what he desires, he falls into the lake and dies.
He is then turned into the flower Narcissus and lives on to this day as a reminder of the penalty of vanity.
And from Narcissus's obsession with himself, comes the word Narcissism.
So the next time you stop in front of anything reflective to preen, make sure Nemesis isn't watching you!
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Some naughty shirts spotted at a souvenir shirt kiosk at the Jungceylon mall...

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Boat at the Muslim fishing village in Phang nga

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My Phuket trip in words - Day 2

I woke up at 4.30am and went to take my shower. It woke Eshah, my roommate up. We got ready. I decided to use the cloth I bought at the Wat Chalong as a blouse. We left our hotel room and wandered around the hotel lobby taking some pictures and decided to visit the Beachside wing, since we were staying at the lakeside wing but could not find a short cut there, so I asked the concierge who told us that we could use the hotel's Tuk Tuk to the other wing. On learning it was complimentary, we jumped at the offer.

At the hospital...

Oh what a bore and oh so terrifying.. I squirm at the idea of spending a night at the hospital but am being forced to spend the night here tonight.. At the surgery ward in the Putrajaya Hospital.
I have an aversion to hospitals and I hope I do not have to stay in one for any long period of time. This fear or aversion probably comes from the time my grandmother was hospitalised for over a year back when I was just a little girl.
Something about hospitals scares me and I am being forced to come and spend a night here to take care of my mother because she just finished her operation.
The operation was at her left side of the neck and they removed a few lymph nodes, the biggest measuring up to 2.5cm.
Staring at her neck , I get so worried when she starts fidgeting and moving, afraid the wound will open as they only "glue it" to seal the surgical cut.
Miss Anita, one of the surgeons in charge has been in to see her and has since left pronouncing her ok, but that we will have to go for further radio iodine treatments. Sighhhhh.
Anyway , my mother is resting and well, I , I am bored like hell, just my blackberry for companion.. So I can blog, facebook or chat on my BBM... Thank God for my faithful best friend... And I hope my mom gets better soon so I can go home to my baby and my comfy bed tomorrow...
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My Phuket trip in words.. Day 1 (18th May 2011)

(Selected pictures will follow later on in another blog)
I woke up at 3.30am, despite feeling tired. I have been lethargic all week and so on, but excitement this time kept me from having a good night rest.
I finished my last minute packing, and locked my luggage before hauling in downstairs. Then I took a shower and my dear husband sent me to the KL Sentral station.
After debating with myself on either taking the bus (a much cheaper option at only RM10 for 50mins ride) or the ERL - Express Rail Link aka KLIA express (RM34 for 28mins ride) , I gave in and took the ERL, thinking I'd like to be there at the airport early, and not late.

May 24, 2011

Tom Yum Gung recipe...

3 cups of chicken stock; 3 kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, cut side way
300 g shrimps, shelled and deveined
2 inch galangal, peeled and sliced
5 small green or red chillies
10 g coriander leaves and stems, sliced
100 g straw mushroom, halved

Seasoning: 3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lemon juice

Bring the stock to boil.
Add lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and gallangal, then add the shrimps and mushrooms.
Simmer until the shrimps are cooked. Add the seasonings and chillies. Garnish with sliced coriander.

The soup should be spicy-sour and a little salty...

(Alternatives: can add fish meat, shell fish and squid inside as well)
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May 23, 2011

My favourite photo extravagance in Phuket

Am back from Phuket and I swear it is a really expensive place.
I spent RM125 on 3 souvenir photos, two taken by "paparazzis" following us around.. Hmmpphh..
I did not buy another 3 photos which would have set me back RM50!!!

May 22, 2011

Super awesome gifts from my sister in law..

My dear sister in law went to Brussels and London for work and she brought me these super awesome gifts to die for!!! I got a nice Buckingham Palace and Harrods shopping/tote bag, a tin of Harrods Teddy Bear Shaped butter short bread and postcards from Brussels.. Anne got a nice tin pencil box, a box of chocolates from the Buckingham Palace giftshop, some pretty colourful socks and a lovely tin of Harrods candies and chocolates in the Harrod's London postbox which is also a coin box..
Thanks ever so much to my dear sis in law.. Love the gifts truely, madly, deeply.. Hehehe
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May 16, 2011

My motivation...

The picture with this blog here of mine is of my favourite snow globes and also one of my treasured fridge magnets.
They are my reminders and my motivation for next year.
Tokyo, Japan or Los Angeles, California (USA) is target based at my company. Public Mutual is sending agents who qualify to either place, there is another place, Guang Zhou, China, but I am not that excited over that prospect, thus I need to try my utmost best to qualify for Tokyo, at very least.
At the same time, you might notice the Cambodia snowglobe in the picture.. Well, easy, I hope to be able to save enough money and scrap together a few friends and see if we can travel cheap to Siem Riep, Cambodia as I would dearly love to see the beauteous and famous Angkor Wat up close and personal, if I can..
Ok, I know I earn enough to be able to afford it, but the problem is I have a lot of things to pay up and a family to feed, too.. So it's a little tough..
So, wish me all the best.. Hugs
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Fat me...

Something makes me ponder.. Lately, this week especially, lots of people (including my mother in law and my dear hubby ) said I put on weight.
And yes, I admit it's true, I look awful in many of the pictures taken in the latest NSC and AAN (Public Mutual functions)
However, it puzzles me, for the whole of last week, I had barely eaten anything. I've only touched half a plate of rice and at other times eating nothing but noodles(even this was cut down) or just dishes.
At the NSC luncheon, I only ate 4 small thin slices of the cuttlefish curry, vegetables, broccoli and a piece of fish.
Even last night at the Annual Awards dinner night, I only ate the first few courses and sparingly, skipping even the buttered prawns and fried rice and dessert except for the honey sea coconut.
I have definitely laid off eating much chocolate as well.. So it really is mind boggling to me why I am looking so bloated. Is it an illness festering inside me or what? Hmm... Thyroid problems like my mom? Or is it just paranoia and stress getting me work up like this?
Well, whatever it is, I hope I can look better for my Phuket trip in a couple of days time... 0_o
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May 10, 2011

The generous vegetable seller..

The generous vegetable seller

by Esther Liang

After the morning hustle and bustle, the atmosphere at Taitung county's Central Market quietens as every stall shuts for the day and their owners return to the comfort of their homes.

A lone lamp shines on a vegetable stall. With head bowed, Ms Chen Shu-chu silently sorts out the vegetable leaves as she waits for the occasional afternoon customer.

Decades of hard work have caused the fingers on her right hand to curl and joints to swell; her feet have deformed slightly.

Ms Chen leads her life with a daily routine. Waking up at three in the morning, she makes her way to the vegetable wholesaler and sets up her stall, which she tends till seven or eight in the evening.

Being the first to arrive and last to leave, the other stall owners have fondly given her the title of "market manager".

In the dark and damp market, Ms Chen, nearing her 60s, holds the stall her father left her dearly.Yuan-Jin Vegetables is her everything.

With her vegetables selling at "a bundle for NT$30 (S$1.30), three bundles for NT$50", she earns only marginal profits.

Yet, her frugality has allowed her to donate about NT$10 million towards various charitable causes, including helping schools, orphanages and poor children.

The selfless generosity of a woman with such humble income has placed her under the international spotlight.

In March, Forbes magazine named her one of 48 outstanding philanthropists from the Asia-Pacific region. A month later, Time magazine selected the year's top 100 influential people and she emerged under the Heroes of Philanthropy category.

Fellow Taiwanese and Oscar- winning director Lee Ang wrote her entry personally. "Money is worthy only if given to those in need," he quoted Ms Chen. He also wrote: "Amazing, but of all she has given away, her greatest gift is leading by example."


Despite the honour of receiving the Time award in New York, gaining global recognition, and a personal meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou, all Ms Chen really cares about is her vegetable stall.

If not for President Ma and the Foreign Minister personally convincing her to go, she would not have agreed to visit New York, as she felt that "this is not a competition and I did not win anything".

Amid the frenzy of applying for a passport and preparing for the visit, her main concern was that her regular customers would not get their vegetables.

Ms Chen has become a celebrity in Taitung county. The local authorities decorated her stall with congratulatory posters and banners hailing her as the Pride of Taitung and the Model of Philanthropy.

There are fans who turn up at the stall with a vegetable basket and a camera, hoping for a picture with Ms Chen.

Despite all the attention, she remains humble. "I have done nothing extraordinary and anyone who wants to can do it.

There are many other charitable people; we just don't know about them," she said. Ms Chen, who is unmarried, added: "I do not place great importance on money. When I donate to help others, I feel at peace and happy, and I can sleep well at night."

She also feels for the poor, having experienced hardship in her younger days.

Born in 1950, Ms Chen lost her mother after completing her primary-school education. Her mother was admitted to hospital because of difficulties in labour and the family had to pay an insurance of NT$5,000 before medical attention could be granted.

Ms Chen saw her father asking their neighbours for money, but it was too late to save her mother. The eldest daughter in the family, Ms Chen had to grow up overnight.

She gave up her studies and dedicated her life to helping at the vegetable stall.

When she was 18, her younger brother fell sick and the illness dragged on for over a year, gradually depleting the family's savings.

Doctors suggested that the family send her brother to Taiwan National University Hospital, but they could not afford the fees.

Mr Huang Shun-zhong, a teacher at Ren-ai Primary School, started a donation drive.Unfortunately, her brother could not be saved.

After experiencing the kindness bestowed upon her family, Ms Chen made up her mind to help the poor once she was able.

When her father died 17 years ago, Ms Chen, a devoted Buddhist, generously donated NT$1 million to Fo Guang Shan Monastery.

In 2000, she donated NT$1 million to her alma mater, Ren-ai Primary School, to set up an Emergency Relief Fund to help poor children obtain financial help.


Assisting in the setting up and maintenance of the fund is Mr Li Guo-rong, who teaches Ms Chen's nephew.

In 2001, Mr Li had a plan to build a library for the school and estimated the cost to be between NT$4 million and NT$5 million.

When he approached Ms Chen, in the hope that she might contribute NT$50,000, Li was shocked when she said she would fund the entire project.

The school was sceptical, but Ms Chen was determined.

In May 2005, the two-storey library was completed and named Chen Shu-chu Library in honour of the "Vegetable Market heroine" alumnus. She had donated NT$4.5 million.

Ms Chen's ability to donate such large sums of money has led many to ask: How can a mere vegetable seller earn so much?

"Spend only what you need, and you'll be able to save up a lot of money!" said Ms Chen.

Since 1996, she has donated NT$36,000 to help three children in the Kids Alive International organisation.

To achieve this, she explained that she empties her loose change into three little cardboard boxes at home every night.

"This is a simple act that anyone can do, isn't it?" she said.

Ms Chen leads a very simple life without any luxuries. She does not have any desire for material gain nor any form of enjoyment.

Work, she said, is her enjoyment. "I love my work. If I didn't, would I be able to work 16 hours a day?"

All she needs is food and a place to sleep. Everything else is a luxury. She does not buy expensive clothes as "I do not socialise much, hence, there is no need for such beautiful clothes. The clothes from the roadside stalls are good enough for me, and, even then, I like to bargain".

Her daily meals cost less than NT$100: a bowl of vegetarian rice and a bowl of noodles for NT freeze whatever that cannot be finished, spend another NT$20 on a can of gluten and add that to the rice with some hot water.

"This becomes porridge and is very tasty," she said.


She also sleeps on the hard floor, a habit from her younger days when she started working at the vegetable stall.

The comfort of her warm bed made getting up early to go to the wholesaler very difficult, especially during the cold winter months. Hence Ms Chen made up her mind to sleep on the cold floor, where she would not run the risk of being late.

Has business improved after winning the award? "Business is as usual," she said. "I still need to sell my vegetables. Not much has changed."

Advertisers have approached her to film commercials; financial managers have offered to manage her finances and other well-wishers have offered to donate money. She rejects these advances politely.

"It is easy to return borrowed money, but difficult to return a favour," she said.

"I have to be very careful in handling money matters," she added. Even when customers tip her, she refuses to accept.

"Buying from my stall is already a form of support," she explained.

The only commercial Ms Chen was willing to take on was for the Bureau of National Health Insurance, in memory of her beloved mother. She requested all shoots be done beside her stall so as not to affect her business.

The only payment she was willing to accept was a black T-shirt given by the Bureau.

Since her return from New York, Ms Chen has been working even longer hours. She has a new goal: To collect NT$10 million to set up a Chen Shu-chu Bursary aimed at helping poor children pay for school fees and medical bills, things she could not afford as a child.

"All I need is to sell a few more vegetables, save a little more money, in addition to a number of insurance policies that are near the end of their term. A lot of people are also willing to donate. I am sure there won't be any problems," she said.

Mr Li, who treats Ms Chen like a sister, said that setting up the bursary is actually a good way to let her retire from selling vegetables and start influencing society with her reputation, in the hope that there will be more generous "Chen Shu-chus".

As for Ms Chen, she said: "My philosophy in life is simple: If doing something makes you worried, then it must be a wrong thing. If it makes you happy, then you must have done the right thing. What others say is not important."

She is content with what she has and feels that as long as she "lives a life she wishes for and does the things she wants, that is good enough".

(this is not my own work.. I got it via email so am just posting here to share with friends...)

May 8, 2011

Happy sweet 16th birthday to my dear eldest daughter

My eldest turned 16! Reluctantly, I threw her a party at a cafe. I only wanted a small party, so it suited me fine that I found a cosy little place in Evoke -I cafe in Prima Sri Gombak. They gave me a nice venue and setting for very reasonable price per head.
We had fried rice, fried bee hoon, spring rolls, sauteed black pepper sausages and cucur udang / prawn fritters, fruits (water melon and oranges) and teh tarik and rose syrup.
We had only very close relatives and very close friends invited (so sorry to those not invited...- not enough budget)
Anyway, as Malaysian time would have it.. We started slightly later then expected but all went well.. And my lovely 16 year old daughter got lovely gifts.. The best of all was from my cousin- something valuable, she can and hopefully will treasure for a very long time, if not forever...
Thanks to all guests for coming and helping make this small party a success and a memorable one for my grown girl...
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My new baby

I got a new baby today. Well, my beloved hubby got me a baby today for my mother's day present. She was fair, beautiful and I fell in love with her rosy face on first sight..

May 7, 2011

Home cures for laryngitis

Natural Home remedies to cure Laryngitis

Some of the most common home treatments to treat with laryngitis are :-

Sip warm tea with lemon. This traditional remedy is often used by professional singers whose voices are about to give out. Tea contains tannic acids, which can help soothe inflamed tissues in the throat. Adding lemon to the tea will help cut through mucus, which will also help bring your voice back to normal.

Pour down the water. Drinking eight to twelve glasses of water a day will help lubricate the larynx, which is essential for stopping laryngitis. It's best to drink water that's room temperature. Water that's too hot or too cold .can irritate the larynx even more.
When laryngitis is stealing your voice, fight back with these easy tips.


My daughter got it and well, I got it now, so to get a better understanding of it, I did a little research... :-p Whatever it is , I hope we both get better real soon...

Laryngitis refers to inflammation of the voice box or larynx. Very often, it is caused due to overuse or constant irritation of the larynx. In a few cases, laryngitis results from an infection of the larynx, caused by viruses and other disease causing microbes. In normal sound production, the voice cords open and close smoothly, whereas in the case of a patient suffering from laryngitis, the inflammation of voice cords disturbs the passage of sound, resulting in a hoarse or raspy voice. Other signs of laryngitis include a weak voice, dry throat, sore throat and dry cough. In severe inflammation cases, laryngitis leads to temporary loss of voice.

May 6, 2011

Life is a GIFT

(Got this in the email and not sure if I've posted this before but well, here goes.. To remind myself and everyone else... Be grateful for life's little blessings)

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat..

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

May 3, 2011

Tea time @ Esteler 77

Lately, I've gotten hooked on Indonesian food. So much so the way I cook my nasi lemak had my husband complaining as I add on tomatoes and ginger in my 'sambal'
Anyway, was along the Kasturi Walk at Central Market when I came across Esteler 77, one of my favorite places for my Indonesian food fix, and had some Otak-Otak Goreng or fried fish cake and also a box of Teh Botol, or rather boxed Jasmine Tea... Yummyy...
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Countries I have been to....

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