Ipoh Bloggers Unveiled

March 14, 2006 at 3:06 pm

So a lot of people are interested in knowing how Helen, Helen’s husband, Samm, Sengkor, King’s Wife look like.

I’ll do every one a favour and put up their photo here… Helen, Samm, plesae don’t kill me ok?

There was this warning I read some where, when you see or face a person for a long period of time, you will slowly look alike.. I guess it happened in our Ipoh meet, 3~4hours later, this is how every body looks like.

From left to right : Helen’s husband, Helen, King’s Wife, Samm, Me, Sengkor.

King’s Wife and Seng kor will also be posting the photos taken by them in their sites… go check out if you are interested.

Thanks to Sengkor for his photoshop skill (see, he’s not just soft spoken, has a nice bod, he’s good in photoshop too)

Wedding, Beansprouts and Friends

March 13, 2006 at 12:00 am

Over the weekend, we drove up to Ipoh for a friend’s wedding. It was a simple affair in a local restaurant. The bride, Liew, did not even wear a gown for her wedding, but just a simple dress. Daddy said, “Which is perfectly fine”. I said, “But you only get to be a bride once in a life time, I would at least want a gown.” But then, Liew is a simple, down to earth person; which is why Daddy is very fond of her, and which is also why he didn’t mind driving all the way up for her wedding.Zara was cranky the whole night. Probably because she only napped for 1hr the whole day. Daddy and I had to take turns to bring her out for walks. Not that there’s much to walk about or see, but she was happier than being seated for a long 4hrs.

Clockwise : The bride and groom; Zara finally fulfilled her wish, sitting on a motorbike; Zara didn’t want to sit on Daddy’s lap (see Daddy’s frown?); Jesse, my friend’s 8mth old, sat through the dinner without a single whine

We spent the night in Ipoh, and the following morning after breakfast in the hotel, we went to town for a walkabout. Both Daddy and I always like visiting local markets, so when we saw a building with a sign reading Pasar Besar Ipoh (Malay: Ipoh Big Market), we quickly parked our car and headed there.

I just love markets, not the filth, but it’s always interesting to look at the local produce. We saw a fish monger selling about 10 different types of prawns (very reasonably priced), we would have bought some if we had a big ice box. We bought a bell shaped pumpkin which we do not get in KL (not the imported butter squash, but locally grown). And then the sight of a lady selling beansprout really caught my interest (I actually walked back to the car to get the camera to take the below shots).
Ipoh is famous for beansprouts, and it’s no wonder you get ‘specialists’ only selling beansprouts in the market. Big plastic barrels used to sprout the beans (they looked like huge alfafa sprouts) were next to the stall. I didn’t see how they were harvested but I saw the stall owner washed the sprout in a cement cylinder (I don’t know what that thing is called) and scooped up the amount customers wanted into bags. She was a good sport, and told me I was welcome to take her photos.

What is a visit to Ipoh without meeting up with the local bloggers? King’s Wife even drove up with Seng Kor for a day trip to join the fun. It was a small and intimate meeting. We had lunch with Helen and Hubby, Samm and Gordon, followed by coffee.

With a smaller crowd, and so much time, you get to have a more decent conversation, and able get to know each other better. I’m not supposed to review too much here, but I must say they do live up to the personalities they portray in their blogs. *grin* (Note : Seng Kor did go to the toilet, but I’m not sure if it was to do what Helen mentioned here)

Again, Zara fussed a lot, while sweet little Gordon, spent the whole time seated and amusing himself with tissues and toothpicks. *Sigh*

Clockwise : Daddy keeping an eye on Zara in a local coffee place while I ran back to the market to photograph the beansprout lady; Walking in the town centre; Zara couldn’t sit still, while Gordon didn’t even fuss throughout.

Daddy’s Home

March 3, 2006 at 8:30 am

After more than 2 weeks, Daddy finally came home yesterday. I’d been preparing Zara for his arrival, telling her Daddy was coming home, asking her to shout “Daddy” loud loud, and give Daddy a big “BOO” with her monster face when Daddy arrives. I even made her practice a few times to see if she knew what she was supposed to do.

It was dinner time and I was having a tough time feeding her the fish we cooked (freshwater fish with very strong ‘earthy’ taste). She spit out every mouth full I gave her, and said “Don’t Want” (her favourite word now). I had to resort to opening a bottle of baby food, and still progress of feeding her was slow, as she was refusing to open her mouth.

When a car stopped at the front gate, she got all excited, and kept pointing outside and claimed, “Daddy. Daddy.” I brought her out to greet Daddy. All the earlier practices gone wasted; the minute Daddy held her at the gate, she just laid her head on his shoulder, not calling him, not looking at him, but just stayed there, holding on to Daddy.

It took us a while to persuade her to let Daddy put her down (all the time she just refused to lift her head up from his shoulder). After which, I told her to show how clever she was to Daddy by finishing her food, and she cooperated, opening her mouth wide while I spooned her the food from the bottle, eager to impress Daddy. The little one sure miss Daddy, in her own ways.

Daddy bought me a Bree bag (a wee bit too big for me I would say, but then, I shouldn’t complain), and 2 pairs of slip ons from the Birkenstock company. Zara didn’t have any apparels but Daddy bought her some biscuits.

Here’s Zara checking out the bag.

And then, trying on the slip ons.

Missing Daddy?

March 1, 2006 at 9:30 am

Me : “Zara, where is Daddy?”
Zara : “There” (pointed outside)
Me : “Daddy go where?”
Zara : “Work Work”
Me : “Daddy sit what to go work work?”
Zara : “Uh-pen” (Airoplane)

Daddy has been away for more than 2 weeks now. Does Zara miss him? Or Does Zara know how to miss him? She doesn’t cry for him, but there are signs which shows there’s a hint of longing for the man who reads her bed time stories, who gives her horsey rides.

She woke up at home, and pointed outside (where Daddy had been quarantined for a week because he had a very bad flu just before he left) and said, “Daddy” then looked at me and waited for an answer.

She picked up the phone and started talking to the mouth piece, “Daddy, mm-hhh, mm-hhh” (the mm-hhh, mm-hhh sounded sad, a sound she pretended to make when we asked her to show us how she cried).

She reached her hand out to an imaginary image, and said, “Daddy, Keh-Yee”; “Daddy, Keh-Yee” (Daddy, Carry).

Daddy will be home tomorrow, I would like to see if Zara will squeal in delight to see him. As for me, I will, thinking of those goodies he’s bringing back for me.

And btw, if you are reading this, Happy Birthday, Dear. The lotus plant bloomed while you were away.

Tanjung Jara Moments

February 4, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Zara had a great time in Tanjung Jara. This is the 2nd time she went on a beach holiday, when we went to Penang in August 2005, she was much younger and wasn’t talking and walking yet. This time round, I think she enjoyed it more since she’s more aware of her surrounding. Daddy and myself could also enjoy ourselves as we have so many people taking turns to keep an eye on Zara who’s constantly on the move especially during meal times.

Some moments with photos.

Fish Feeding
There were lots of ponds with fishes surrounding the main restaurant. Fish food was given by the resort, and kids can help to feed the fishes. After letting her feed the fish once, at every meal time, Zara would walk to the reception area shouting, “Wis! Mum mum! Wis!” Her way of asking fish food from the hotel staff. She would then sit at the side of the pond, happily throwing fish pellets to the fishes, sometimes submerging her hand into the pond to feel the fish nibbling her.

Sea and Sand
Initially she was very uncomfortable walking at the beach. She didn’t like the feel of the sand and was very afraid of the fierce east coast waves. However, on the last day of our stay, while we were walking at the beach, she actually dragged us out to the shore, and enjoyed the waves lapping at her feet.

Dinner time entertainment
We were entertained by a trio of musicians every night while dining. Zara really enjoyed their presence. She would go near the cello and try to strum the string, or she would join in by dancing. It was like she was part of the team.

Daddy took the girls for a trishaw ride, and then we rented some bicycles. We cycled around the resort, with Zara taking a ride in Daddy’s (it came with a child seat). It was really nice, especially when we rode on the path next to the beach, where we got lots of cool breeze. Zara very soon fell asleep, still clinging on to the child seat, on the moving bicycle.

She really liked the pool. She was either in her neck float or was just playing in the jacuzzi or the baby pool assisted. Even on a gloomy day, she still wanted to stay in the pool despite the chill.

Nothing beats checking out a new environment. The unfamiliar feel of the bed sheet, the height of the bed, the steps and walls around, a fallen leave or coconut, the canopy of trees, the bridges and the ponds. There was so much to explore for Zara. Of course, there’s so much chasing to do as well for the adults.

The Finale
We had this special steam boat dinner arranged at the pool side on our last day, very romantic setting, although the food sucked! You could hear waves lapping, and get lots of sea breeze. Too bad it was a cloudy day and no stars can be spotted. (Can you spot King’s Wife in this photo)

Our next holiday?? Bali probably. Oh, I just can’t wait!

Back To Reality – Home from holidays

February 3, 2006 at 1:45 am

Our 4D/3N holidays up on the east cost finally ended, and we had to return home *sigh*.

We were in Tanjung Jara for a family (my side) holiday, 18 of us (inc 1 infant, 1 toddler and 2 maids) in 4 cars went and we took up 6 rooms. It was actually the very first ever family holiday where every one were present (except my mum) since we were kids.

We stayed in the resort the whole time, enjoying the pool and the sea, and some of us got to enjoy the spa as well (part of the package). I had 2 spa treatments consisting of 100min massage each as I took Daddy’s session since he didn’t like people to ‘work’ on him (his exact words). It was blissful….

The only complain about this trip was the mediocre food in the resort (where we took all meals) and the journey to and fro (almost 6hrs/trip) . Thank goodness for the new Karak Highway, or the journey would have been 8hrs from KL!

We were lucky because King’s Wife‘s daughter, Samantha, decided to come in our car on both the journeys, and Zara was really happy having her as company.

Just before we left the resort for home. We were the last to leave.

Samantha Che-che tickled one of Zara’s funny bones on the journey home.

More photos and moments captured will be in later posts.

Weekend – Fullmoon Party, Zoo Visit, CNY Shopping

January 25, 2006 at 12:45 am

Tasha’s Fullmoon Dinner
It was already a month since Tasha (my eldest sis’ daughter) was born. We had a little family dinner party in a restaurant.

It was a typical Chinese dinner with shark fin soup and suckling pig (both of which we don’t take), and because it was close to CNY, we got to lou-sang (raw fish salad) as well.

A full blown karaoke session was going on in another section of the restaurant (probably a company dinner). This group of people, blasting singing extremely outdated songs in horrendous voices. Tasha slept through, oblivious to the noise. Zara on the other hand was showing lots of interest in what was going on on stage, she kept wanting to get out of the room and when she saw people singing, she started dancing too, never mind if their singing sucked!

Tasha sleeping
Zara dancing

The singing and torturing didn’t end, until our last course was served and when the group has left. What a noisy dinner.

Zoo Visit
Daddy dragged brought us to the zoo again on Sunday. He thought Zara has picked up quite a lot of names for animals, and it should be more fun for her compared to the last time.

The weather was so hot, and Zara so much heavier, it was quite a torture, physically, when I had to carry her in the sling.

Zara was quite excited when we could see the elephants, giraffes and flamingoes up close. We got a chance to feed the camel, but Zara wouldn’t do it as she was afraid. I fed it instead, and Zara just looked on gingerly.

At one resting area, the zoo keeper was handling a tiny green snake. He passed it to me when I showed interest in it. And yes, I had the little fella twirled around my arm (Daddy was so disgusted he just walked away, so no photos of the snake lady). I asked Zara to stroke the snake, but instead, she was squashing the snake with her pincher grip! I had to unclutch her 2 fingers, fearing for the snake’s life. I quickly passed the snake back to the zoo keeper.

We spent almost 2 hours in the zoo and at the end of it, we were all sweaty and smelly, and then, it was to KLCC to enjoy the aircon and to get some retail therapy!

This was the only weekend left before CNY (Chinese New Year), so we went to KLCC and did lots of shopping both on Saturday and Sunday. The sales are still on, more reason to grab something.

As usual, we bought the most for Zara. She had to have new top, new bottom, new pajamas, new everything for CNY.

Daddy wanted to get me a good and expensive handbag. One which is big enough to hold some of Zara’s stuff like a water bottle, a few pieces of diaper, a tupperware to hold some biscuits.

We were looking around in Coach, Furla, Burberry (oh, Zara just loves the signature sheep on display) and Ferragamo. I loved this and this (with pix shown), but when I looked at the price tag, I just cringed (although I pretended to look cool and behaved I could afford 10 of those).

In the end, I settled for a LeSportSac which was just 10% of the price of the above items. I am too kiam siap (Chinese: stingy) still can’t bring myself to buy a bag with a 4digit price tag.

Malacca Trip

January 11, 2006 at 1:04 pm

We arrived in Malacca on Monday afternoon, and went over to Ping’s house after we’d checked into the hotel and freshened up.Zara made herself right at home at Ping’s, playing with Shirleen’s (Ping’s niece, who’s about the same age as Zara) toys, or anything she could get her hands on. Shirleen was clinging to Daddy most of the time, I never knew he was such a child magnet as normally kids are afraid of him because of his height (King’s Wife’s kids called him Big Uncle up till today).

Ping’s parents cook very well. They made us nasi lemak for dinner and home made cendol for dessert (yummy!); and for Zara, her mum made her fish porridge which Zara ate the whole big bowl, and saying ‘GHG’ (her ‘good’) all the time.

Clockwise: Delicious home-made nasi lemak; Zara having her fish porridge; Daddy the child magnet (Shirleen refused to get down from his lap); two toddlers trying to read.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel with Ping. The hotel was like an ice box, freezing cold! Daddy gave Zara a quick shower and changed her to pajamas, then we went down to the coffee house to have hot tea to keep ourselves warm (should have brought along my winter jacket and ski mask!).

Zara had a great time playing with the things on the table. She was so excited and busy. Daddy helped to look after her, brought her for walks so that Ping and I were left alone and we could talk.

When it was Zara’s bed time, we sent Ping back home, and then took a car ride just so Zara can fall asleep in the car as I thought she would be too excited to sleep in the hotel room.

On Tuesday, we picked Ping up and went to Malacca town to have brunch, followed by some shopping. It was a good time to be in Malacca, because the town was quiet (traffic was good), and there were lots of Chinese New Year goodies for sale. We bought some biscuits and jam tarts although Ping’s mum have already given me quite a lot of home made cookies to bring home.

We then sent Ping home as she needed to help her mum with cookie making, picked up more goodies from her mum like star fruits and bananas grown in their relative’s back garden. We went back to town for late lunch and then headed back to KL.

Malacca is still a very pleasant place to go to, food is good, and relatively cheap, and there’s still lots of home made goodies to enjoy. We really don’t mind visiting Ping back in her home town yearly when she comes back.

Ping brought back quite a lot of prezzies for me and Zara, but one of the nicest is this handmade (I’m a sucker for any thing handmade or home cooked) Brazilian necklace by one of her Brazilian friend. Very nice. Have to find an occasion to wear it.

Weekend with Daddy’s boss – II

December 19, 2005 at 6:55 pm

After having a good time with us the night before; G called us on Sunday during lunch time from Lake Gardens and asked if we would like to meet up. He was especially interested in going to the Malay village Daddy was raving about.

We very quickly changed Zara, and drove to town, thinking of grabbing lunch on our way. It was actually Zara’s nap time, so she fell asleep soon after we left. As I would like her to be fully charged up for the rest of the day, I told Daddy we should get something which we can eat in the car, either a sandwich or McD, so that we didn’t have to interrupt Zara’s sleep (having to carry her down to the restaurant and all).

My plan was spoilt though by Daddy. When I went down to grab our take away from McD, Daddy started making calls in the car, and woke Zara up. He of course got a lecture from me, before I passed him his lunch. *roll eyes*

After our quick lunch, we went to the Bird Park in Lake Garden since G said he was just in the Orchid Garden closed by. Zara had a glimpse of some of the birds (within the park) which were perched high up on branches from the car park. She got very excited and made the ‘AK AK AK’ sound (just like the crow) very loudly, even after we met G, and got into our car.

The ‘famous’ Malay village we were bringing G was Ulu Langat. We like to bring our foreign friends there because it is only 30mins drive from the city, and you get to see streams, waterfall (if you are willing to hike a bit), fruit orchards and best of all village houses on stilt, and also live stock roaming the streets.

We drove along the stream, and stopped when G spotted a unique looking house. It was a private property across the stream, linked to the main road by a bridge. It is a simple brick house, standing on a very huge piece of land. There is a big grass field, with fruit trees at the far end, and a very tidy and pretty garden. We asked for permission to see the place.

Zara was like a free soul, happy to be on her feet, and running in the field. Even when the local kids wanted to play with her, she didn’t show much interest, and preferred to be on her own running. We just stood afar and watched her, and only picked her up when it was time to go. She was actually kicking a fuss, not wanting to follow us.

Our next stop was at a durian stall. G being first time in South East Asia, mentioned about durian, and Daddy was eager to have him taste one. G was brave, he actually took 2 seeds. He said the taste was very unique, but he didn’t really like it. I gave Zara a little of the flash too (her first time as well), just for her to taste; when she was offered a 2nd helping, she shook her head. I ended up having the rest of the durian, luckily it wasn’t a big fruit, since I’m really quite indifferent to durians.

Near by, there was a herd of goats grazing in the field, I took Zara near them, and told her they were Billy Goats just like the ones in her book. She got very excited, looked at them intently and started making the Maaa Maaa Maaa sound like the goats’.

(Zara was making so much animal sounds that day, that at one point, G’s wife called him on the mobile and I could hear him say, “No that’s not a cat, that was a child”)

As for dinner, since G said he didn’t mind having local dinner even if it’s operated from a shed, we brought him to this famous steam fish shedrestaurant in Taman Segar. We ordered 2 steam fishes, steam egg, steam beancurd and a vege. Dinner was quick, since this was Zara’s first taste of fully flavoured adult food (all her home cooked porridge has no added salt or seasoning), she ate very fast, and was very happy.

Price of dinner, RM40. Cheap and good! (But later that night, we did feel that there was a wee bit too much MSG the restaurant has used.)

After dinner, we sent G back to Mandarin Oriental, and then we visited the Kinokuniya book shop in KLCC since it was only 7:30pm.

When we got home, it was about 9pm +, and Zara was getting very tired and fretful (only a short 30mins nap for the whole day). I wanted to just wipe and change her, but I found that she was pretty dirty from being out whole day. She got very angry when I showered her, and started screaming and shouting for a full 30mins, until she got so tired she drifted to sleep.

Visit to the Zoo

October 1, 2005 at 10:30 pm

Both Daddy & I last went to the zoo probably 20-30yrs ago. Having Zara means we have to revisit some of these places we would never go on our own as adults.

Before we went, I made a few SMSs to check if my nieces and nephews would like to go with us, however no takers, nieces have full day activities, nephews shopping in KLCC.

We arrived at the Zoo about 4:30pm. It just rained, so it was quite cooling and the sun was tucked behind some clouds, a very pleasant day to walk about outdoor.

Just after the entrance, there was a miniature horse and an orangutan out with the zoo staffs which we were allowed to pose next to them for photographs. With the horse, Zara was ok, although not daring to stroke it, she didn’t mind taking a photo with it; when I brought her to the Orangutan, and asked her to give the Orangutan ‘five-five’, she just stared and the Orangutan’s palm (which was extended out to receive the ‘five’ by its handler) and its longish fingers for 5seconds, and then turned away crying.

We didn’t bring our pram, so Daddy carried her in the carrier throughout.

We can see that she likes the birds, Pelicans, and Flamingos at the lake; the primates; the giraffes; she would look at them, and then back at us to smile. I also brought her small animal photo book along, every time we came across an animal which could be found in her book, I flipped and show the page to her. Hopefully, she can relate the 2 later.

When we arrived at the section with all the big cats, she started meowing like a cat. Pointed to the panther (which looks very much like our Rusty at home), she said “Aao”. Pointed to the jungle cat, she said, “Aao”. And then it was “Aao, Aao, Aao” non-stop.

She got her first fright when we were looking at a huge bull. While we were near the bar, trying to get a closer look, it threatened to charge at us. All of us had a fright; you know you are safe behind the bar, but the menacing bull looked as though it was going to charge out of the bar, to rip us apart with its horn. Daddy took flight with Zara, Zara cried in fear, I too almost dropped the camera. (seen here is daddy fleeing with Zara from the charging bull)

The 2nd fright she had was with the Hippopotamus. We were lucky, the hippo decided to emerge from the water when we were at its cell. The animal was extremely huge, dark skin glistening, walking clumsily around. Zara cried seeing such a giant. I tried to pacify her by telling her that the Hippo is not ‘naughty’, so she didn’t have to be afraid off. But nothing could console her; she looked at the harmless beast, and cried in fear. Daddy had to quickly take her away. While I was taking a photo of the Hippo, I could hear Zara’s cry echoing, poor girl.

After this fright, we had to bring her to see something she’s familiar with. We brought her to see some local bulls (not as intimidating as the earlier bull) and some wild boars. While pointing out the animals to her, we sang her the Old Mc Donald song, Oink Oink here, moo moo there, and she started being cheerful again, and squealed with delight occasionally.

We left the place all in good spirit.

It was a nice visit, I think we’ll probably do this again when Zara can walk on her own, and can appreciate the animals better. I believe it will be soon.

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