Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My new toys :)

Finally I decided to buy something for myself :)

I bought it online last Saturday since there was no stock available in the store. Didn't expect that the goods would arrive so fast!!! I received it today!!! Wow! So efficient. Only 4 days and it came all the way from China.

I was hesitating whether to buy or not since few months ago because I already had one, the first edition and until now I still can use it, only that it was too heavy and no camera. It became slower too.. Since I often travel, so I thought of buying this. It is small and easy to carry. I bought the WI-fi only and the smallest capacity (the first one I bought was 64gb and I didn't use it much, that's why I decided to buy the smallest one this time). At the same time, I bought the cable to connect the SD card to this thing. It will be convenient to transfer the photos while traveling and post it online immediately.

My fave quote :)

When purchasing online, they offer engraving service for free. So I chose the two lines as per shown in photo, to remind myself to live life to the fullest - over and over again... :)

After coming back from work, my son was much more exciting than me and he couldn't wait for me to finish bathing. He helped me to unpack the box eagerly. See how exciting he was!

He told me, "Wah, it's first time leh for me to unpack the box like this. In the future, I'll unpack many many more boxes, which is Gundam." Then I told him, "I thought you have unpacked so many Gundam already??? Forgot ya?" He then kept quiet and smile smile..... :P

Exciting unpacked Mom's new toys :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thaipusam 2013, Singapore

Warning!!! Some photos are not suitable for pregnant woman. Better skip this post and read it after you give birth :P

Although I've stayed in Singapore for more than 11 years, it is my first time to see the Thaipusam festival there. And since I'm not a Hindu, I have no idea what it is all about, therefore, I've taken the explanation below copied from for your info.

Thaipusam is a highly symbolic Hindu festival celebrated by Singapore’s Tamil community. It is an annual procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. Celebrated in honor of Lord Subrahmanya (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil, it is held during the full moon in the 10th Tamil month, called Thai, which falls in mid-January each year.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

In Singapore, the Thaipusam ceremony starts in the early hours of the morning where devotees fulfill their vows with a 4.5 km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.

Devotee carrying Kavadis
The first batches of devotees usually carry milk pots and wooden Kavadis. A Kavadi consists of two semicircular pieces of wood or steel which are attached to a cross structure that can be balanced on the shoulders of a devotee. It is often decorated with flowers, palm leaves and peacock feathers. The milk they have been carrying is then offered to Lord Subrahmanya at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.

Piercing tongue w/ skewers and carrying spiked Kavadis

From behind
Some devotees also pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a garlanded wooden arch across their shoulders. Devotees carrying spiked Kavadis, which require elaborate preparations, leave the temple in the later part of the morning and continue till night.

The festival is not just an exclusively Indian affair; several Chinese devotees and people of other races also come to fulfill their vows on this day.

Click here for the link of the video.

The festival is a visual spectacle and it often brings traffic in the city centre to a standstill, with a colorful procession full of chanting and dizzying rhythms of Indian drums. Watch the video above!!!

In preparation for carrying a Kavadi, a devotee has to prepare himself spiritually. For a period of about a month, the devotee must live a life of abstinence whilst maintaining a strict vegetarian diet. It is believed that only when the mind is free of material wants and the body free from physical pleasures that a devotee can undertake the sacred task without feeling any pain. The devotees are normally accompanied by friends and family members who cheer and offer support, usually in the form of prayers and chants. Witness the sacred ritual of Thaipusam when in Singapore, a true act of faith

Small children were spotted to participate happily - even a baby :)
 I took the photos and the video above today. Although the wordings were not written by me, hope you enjoy it :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Theme Day

It's the first theme day of the year :) and we were the lucky one who chose it on the first month of the year... hahahaha.... (My boss who chose the lucky draw month :P)
Can you guess it right???

We had two weeks to prepare the event. We came out with 2 games for the rest to enjoy. One is guessing the no. of M&Ms chocolates inside the 3 jars, and another one is guessing the brand of the chocolate that they taste - 5 different types of chocolates with 10 choices available. It wasn't easy as we bought a seldom buy imported chocolate from US. Kekeke...

We also collaborated with Chefs to prepare dishes related to our theme. We had Cocoa Fish (baked fish with lemon topped w/ cocoa powder) - it turned out very nice though. Lots of people loves it.

Roasted Chicken w/ BBQ Choco Sauce - the name sounds weird, but the taste was good, only that a bit sweet hahaha.... And as a side dish, we had mashed potato w/ Coco Crunch cereal at the side. :) Chef also prepared a very delicious mushroom soup. Love it so much!!!

Most importantly was different varieties of chocolate pastries ^^ We had Blackforest Cake, Tiramisu, Chocolate Eclairs, Chocolate Fondue, fresh waffles w/ chocolate ice cream, fried banana with chocolate sauce and a fresh mixed Milo Dinosaur!!! It's a blended Milo with ice and ice cream, topped with Milo powder on top! It was sweet, but refreshing!!!

Everything went well!! Most of my colleagues participated in this event. They all tried to find things to do. It's a great team work for all of us. Without everyone's help, this thing won't go smoothly. Hehehe... Keep it up all!!! Boss has also expressed her 'Thank You' message to all of us in her email. Your welcome Boss!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bouncing ball

Yesterday night after work, I was meeting my hubby and his 2 friends for dinner.

I wrote about one of his friends before that his life had changed from salted fish to abalone (sian yu bian bao yu), but not long after that, I heard from hubby that his life has turned back to sian yu. Let's call him A.

I'm not really sure what was going on, but he had to surrender his right of the Chinese cooling tea to the previous Boss and he needed some time to find another job and started as a worker all over again. At that time, hubby would sometimes meet him, talk talk, and encourage him. Good that he could accept the reality and did not give up as he has 2 young daughters, a maid and himself to feed. Luckily 1-2 mths later another Boss from his previous working place asked him to go back, and now he works at that place.

As for another friend, I had not met him for few years. He also had a big problem in his life that made him hiding and isolating himself for at least 1.5 years. He had financially difficulties due to previous gambling habits and went into depression. Only about 3 months back, hubby said he ran into him nearby our house. They sat down and drank coffee. He had finally turned over a new leaf, again. He was a bit different in speech, talked slowly (perhaps he had been too quiet for some times). One more thing different was, he told my hubby that he has been baptized as Christian. He used to be Buddhist before. He did meditation, went to temple to pray and so on. But with new religion, he has bravely come out from his difficulties and it's a good news for all of us no matter what religion he has now.

And yesterday it was my first time meeting him again. Let's call him B.

We had dinner in one old restaurant. Me, hubby and A arrived first. Fifteen minutes later, this guy arrived. He looked fresh and bright. You couldn't believe what he had gone through if you looked at his face now.

A ordered chicken rice and steamboat with beef, mixed meats and vegetables. We ate and chatted. Three of them often talked in Hokkian (Chinese dialect), and although I've been married more than 10 years and live in Singapore so long, I still can't really understand the language. And previously, during our gathering dinner, B was the one who always translate the Hokkian to English to me. This time, he did that again. Hehehe....

When started eating, B asked me a question, 'R, do you have interest to go to church? My church is very fun!' I was stunned for a while for his straight forwardness. After hearing that A immediately told him off, 'You ah, can believe in ur religion, but please la, don't drag her into it...' Hahaha... I could only laugh... They are very close, that's why they can speak freely. Then B continued, 'R not like u la.. She maybe like to go to church bla bla bla...' I could still only laugh :D

B used to be a joker and he is still now. So i know his character and didn't take his words seriously.

He was a supporter of opposition party. There was once before he got into depression, he asked my hubby out to attend the opposition party rally that was held at stadium next to our old house. He also went to see the result of the election together with hubby in the middle of the night. Hahaha.... I can't believe, even until now he is still supporting the opposition party eagerly. Fyi, there will be By-election nearby our area since one of the MP resigned due to his marriage affair. That's why we had this topic on our conversation.

It was a great dinner. The food was good too. A suggested us to have a drink before going back home. So we stopped by at one pub and sat outdoor, ordering one pint of Hoegaarden for each of us.

B continued his jokes. He just started working and he told us what he has experiences in these short 3 months time. He has to handle queries from different people and there were so much funny stories that he shared. I couldn't stop laughing. It was really a releasing stress session for me.

He really has turned back to himself again. Seriously, we all glad to see him to stand up again. His lives were just like a ball. It bounces up and down all the time.

A is also like that. He looked very tired and stressed last night. Heard that his maid is going back to Indonesia. He was worrying about his two daughters, who were taken care by his maid most of the time. Just hope he can overcome his problem soon and be happy again.

We finished at 10 plus and went back home. I was tired but happy. Hope everything goes smoothly to all of them. Start to work soon... Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A gift from Bhutan

Last Friday, TG, my Bhutanese friend, who was a driver when I traveled there, called me up and said his friend would be coming to Singapore on Saturday and he was asking me what I want from Bhutan. I forgot to tell him that I wanted Druk 11000 hahahahaha..... I said, errr... nothing leh... So he decided to give me two packets of Bhutanese tea.

Yesterday, he called me again and asked if his friend has contacted me and passed his gift or not. I said, "No, not yet. If he has passed it to me, I will surely message you." It's been 3 days and his friend had not contacted me yet. He started to worry. Hahaha...

A while later, I received sms from Karma, his friend. He introduced himself and told me that he had left a voice message for me this afternoon. I was wondering, which voice message he referred to? I don't think I have a service of leaving voice message in my hand phone. Then, he said, when I'm free, give him a call.

I was quite busy yesterday evening as my colleague was on leave. But after receiving his sms, I called him right away. Found out that he and his Bhutanese friend were just finished from their training at one of the hotel not very far from where I worked. And I was asking them if they had any plan after this? If no, I would like to meet them up in Chinatown MRT, bring them to have a walk and feel the atmosphere of the upcoming Chinese New Year. At the same time, we could have our dinner there. They agreed. Suddenly I felt so happy. Seemed like the two Bhutanese that I was going to meet up, brought the air of happiness directly from Bhutan hahaha....

So, I was rushing with my work and not finished yet. Will continue the job this morning hehehe... I left the office and headed to Chinatown, which was only 1 station away. We met up in front of OG Dept Store. He came with someone called Tashi. Karma and TG has known each other for a very long time and used to work at the same place before.After we met, Karma immediately passed the tea from TG. I thanked him for his kind help.

Both of them wear the office work attires, both brought the laptop bag with them. So I brought them to the other side of Chinatown where the place was more crowded. As we walked, we had a chat. I found out that it's actually their first visit to Singapore. They came here for training for 5 days and only started it yesterday.

They flew on Saturday. Due to the snowing in Thimphu, their flight was delayed for 5 hours. They reached Singapore at night and reached hotel at about 10 pm. They were so tired and took a rest at hotel. On Sunday, they went to Little India. Right away went to Mustafa Centre, a 24-hr department store, founded by Indian businessman. They sell everything. The price are good too. They mentioned that it was the place where Bhutanese will shop in Singapore. Hahaha... I didn't know that...

They also went to VIVO city, a shopping mall in Harbour Front, nearby Sentosa Island, for shopping again. I asked them what they ate. Did they try any Singapore food? Tashi said, what is Singapore food? I told him about Nasi Lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk, with condiments like fried egg, fried ikan bilis (small salted fish), fried fish, cucumber and sambal chilli). He didn't seem to know that.

Interestingly, he was asking me if there is any McDonald and KFC here. Hahaha... Ya hor, I forgot!! There is no fast food or junk food sold in Bhutan. I don't know if they should be happy or sad. Then I told them, it's everywhere!!! But they visited Little India and Vivo, they couldn't find any. I explained to them that usually, when you go to shopping mall, the junk food or fast food restaurant are usually located in Basement, while food court in upper floor. Maybe they were busy shopping, looking at the shops, that's why they missed out that! Hahaha...

They told me, the first thing in their mind to eat once they reached any country in the world, was to eat McDonald or KFC. It's the other way around with me. I'm sick of McDonald and KFC. Hahaha.. Usually I will prefer to eat local food. Unless if it's too expensive or the food not nice/clean, then I have no choice.

We walked around and brought them to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Too bad, it was closed when we reached. I didn't know the temple closed so early, at 7pm. So they could only take photo from the outside. When Tashi looked at the name of the temple, he was asking me, "Was there a Buddha tooth relic inside?" I said, "Yes, but you can't really see it as it's protected behind the glass and covered with many gold." The second question he asked after that, "Is the tooth relic fake???" I said, "No la... It is real. If you don't believe, tomorrow you can come here again, before 7pm, and have a look for yourself." Then he said he knew that is the temple in Srilanka which has the Buddha tooth relic, but never heard that Singapore has one too. Hehe...

Across the temple, there was a famous hawker center selling chicken rice, called Maxwell Food Center. It was renovated few months ago and now have been back for business. It was 7.15pm and I was asking Karma if he was ready for dinner and he said, yes. So we crossed the road illegally and found a seat.

Singapore is famous for its Hainanese Chicken Rice. There were few stalls selling the chicken rice, but there was only one shop that had people queening up. So Karma and I queued together while Tashi chopped the seat. We order the portion for three persons and bought drinks. While we ate, we chit chatted.

It's been quite some time I didn't bring any friends from overseas out. Last time there were many friends who came Singapore looking for me to meet up and have dinner. But perhaps most of my friends are having family and when they traveled with family, it would be inconvenient to meet up with friend. They might be too busy with where to go next, what to shop, etc. I usually meet up with friends who often come to Singapore, so there is no need to introduce them about Singapore. Hahaha...

So when I met Karma and Tashi, I was so happy. They had many questions to ask. I loved that. And I tried my best to answer them hehehe...

After dinner, we waited in front of the temple, until another Bhutanese, who is studying his Master degree here, came. Karma had another parcel to deliver, which was for him, a guy called Drakpa. He came directly from his school and took quite some time to reach Chinatown. He also waited at the wrong door of temple (He waited at the back door while we were standing in the front door). However, he managed to come.

Then we walked back to MRT. Karma looked very tired after a day of intensive training and couldn't wait to go back to his hotel to take a rest. Tashi looked forward to meet me again, in case I managed to visit Bhutan again in the future. We exchanged our contacts and yeah.. hope to see you again guys!! Thanks for delivering the gift from TG to me and hope you enjoyed our little time in Chinatown.

I reached home at 9.30 pm. I opened up the small package given by TG. It was wrapped with handmade paper, a special characteristic of buying goods in Bhutan. I love how Bhutanese are so environmentally friendly. They used the recycled hand made paper to wrap the thing you buy in store, and they didn't use plastic bag, but they gave a kind of cloth made bag. Unlike in most Asia countries, you'd receive plastic bag everywhere you shop, which is not environmentally friendly at all.

Bio Tea from Bhutan
Oh,one of them is ginger tea!!! It will be suitable for the cold weather! After taking photo, I opened the ginger tea pack immediately and boiled the water, poured it into a cup, added a teaspoon of honey and had it right away. After eating the chicken rice chilli, I felt itchy in my throat. So this tea was really suitable to warm up my body and eased the itchiness in my throat. Kadinche-la TG!!! You're so thoughtful!!

I have passed a jar of Indonesian tidbit and two pouches filled with candies for him and his two daughters. Just a small present from me. Hope all of you like it too.. :) Btw, I couldn't sleep last night due to drink the tea late at night hahaha... But at least I managed to wake up on time this morning.

This morning weather was very cooling. In office, since the coffee machine was spoilt just now in Cafetaria, I ended up soaking another bag of ginger tea to my cup, added some sugar, and drank right away. Hm.... It soothes my throat and it feels good. I feel energize now!! Another busy day to go! Have a great day everyone!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Big sister on secret mission - Flooding Day 5 in Jakarta

This afternoon, like usual, while at work, we exchanged messages using what's app amongst me, my mom and my sisters, brought some updates about the flood at home. Mom sent me the two photos below using BBM (Blackberry Messenger).

Came with a BIG SMILE :)
The woman in pink shirt is my eldest sister. She finally managed to visit my parents, accompanied by her best friend, and being guarded by 5 nice and friendly police. They started their journey from the Electricity power plant (PLTU), near Muara Karang bridge.

My sister stayed quite far from my parents' house and her house isn't affected by the flood. How lucky she is! But these past few days, she couldn't manage to go to my parents' place since her hubby worried on how she could reach there. There were flooding in many areas from her house to my parents house. So, she could only feel worry and sad from afar and helped them with pray, same like the rest of us.

Until today, she secretly came out from her house. With the accompany of her best friend, these two ladies bravely overcame the flood, bought and brought the food supplies for my family members and maid at home.

When reached the bridge where the flood started, she saw lots of polices, army and SAR (Search and Rescue) team. She was telling one of the police that she wanted to deliver food items to our parents's home and asking where to get the boat. The friendly police directed them to one of the boat and asked them to sit on the boat. In a while, they started the journey under the hot sun!

Finally reached!!
She directed the way on how to get there and finally they reached our parents' house gate. She kept mentioning the police is very kind and nice, and too bad she never took photo with them (For what???). When reached, the police went down, opened the gate and pulled the boat inside the house and she passed the food supplies to my Mom. After that they returned back to the bridge.

If you see the photo above, the water has gone down slightly (do you notice the lines??) Two days ago, after the news was broadcasted, it brought up attention to public and the Jakarta new elected governor and vice governor, Jokowi and Basuki (also known as Ahok). Yesterday, they brought in the pump to suck the water and threw it to Muara Karang river. After that, the water has gone down slightly. The water is no more going inside our house, but it still remains outside our house and on the street.

Pumping the water out to the river
This is how the machine looks like
On Sunday, my uncle has also visited my parents with the boat, bringing some medicine. Just in case if anyone gets sick. In the afternoon, my father, uncle, and two aunties were sitting down and chit chatting, enjoying the gathering time together. My mom said they were enjoying it. Hahaha.. Usually they were busy with work and had little thing to say.

Back to my eldest sister.

We were still messaging in what's app. Mom said dajie (eldest sis) forgot to buy sugar and the vegetables ordered by our maid. Dajie said, she had actually bought the veggies ordered, but when she entered the supermarket, she had to leave the item in deposit counter (we're not allowed to bring other items inside - to avoid confusion if the items were from that supermarket or from outside), and she forgot to collect the veggies back. So end up, the veggies were still in the deposit counter and she was too lazy to take it back. Kekeke... So careless!!! I think she also forgot to buy eggs too until my Mom commented, "You brought the egg back home and cook ya?"

When she was on the boat, there was TV channel shooting at their direction. She mentioned that to us happily, as if she confirmed that she would be on TV this evening hahaha...

Dajie w/ LP - best friend since high school's time
 At night, she said she has reached her home safely although there was heavy traffic jam on her way back. And her hubby found out about her secret mission. (She actually didn't inform her hubby in advance that she was going there. Because if she did, her hubby wouldn't let her go. That's why I called it 'secret mission') Hahaha...

I was asking her, 'So, how did he find out?'

She said, her face was sun tanned. Automatically, her hubby asked her where did she go. Unable to lie, she confessed to her hubby. After that, she was very happy. She posted her photo immediately on her fb and blackberry hahaha... and even asked me to post a blog about her... Narcist abis deh loe........ :D So, here is a special post for you, Dajie :)

Jakarta or Venice???

First snowfall of the year in Bhutan

It was last Saturday morning, 19th January 2013. I saw Tashi (my Bhutanese friend) posted in his fb that it was snowing there in Thimphu. I immediately sent a message to another Bhutanese friend, who had kept waiting for the snow to come. He did not reply. Perhaps he was busy taking photos outdoor as not to miss the important moments.

True enough. In the evening, he told me how exciting he was to see the snow once he woke up in the morning. Wearing his slippers, he rushed out and took many beautiful pictures, and fell down many times as the road was slippery. Haha... He also told me that his photo will be used by BBS. You can click the link here

The Home Ministry has declared today as public holiday in those areas in Bhutan that experienced snowfall. It is the first time where a holiday has been declared for a snowfall that happened during weekend. Usually it was valid when snowing happened on weekdays, as it appears that snowing has become scarce in each passing years.

Although the snowfall did not last long that morning, I believe many people have been so happy and enjoying it :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nice Sunday - Good time to read

It's a lovely Sunday with a cooling weather after raining in the morning. I went to library and managed to find other two books of Haruki Murakami.

I just browsed through the Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. It's a collection of short stories. I read the introduction and it seems great! I will start with that book first. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is a novel. Very thick with small wordings. Hahahaha... This one is gonna be challenging. It consists of 607 pages, not sure how long it will take me to read :D

The below book, Magic Journey by Katrina Kenison, was recommended by my friend. I will read it after the first two books as there is no deadline on when to return. And lastly, Private Lives. It's my sister-in-law's novel. She recommended me to read that one. She is also a book lover. She has a shelf full of book collections. Her favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julia Garwood, and Judith McNaught. Mostly romance and killer stories. She also wishes one day when she has retired, she would write her own novel. Hehehe....

With hot chocolate and cookies :)
Oklah.. Going to read my book soon. Enjoy your weekend everyone!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The worst flooding in history :'(

Yesterday I hardly concentrated at work. I kept reading message on my hand phone as my friends updating the condition of the flood back home. In the morning, I had changed conversation with my mom, who is still outside Jakarta, and my siblings. At first, I still tried to calm my mom down. I told her, no need for her to worry since our house was quite high from street level and she couldn't do anything about it anyway. Then we received news that water level has entered in our garage with 20cm height. I was still thinking positive that it wouldn't get higher. So my Mom heard me and tried to relax her mind to overcome her worry. She still sent us the photos of their lunch there.

Nearby our area in the morning - about 20 meters from our house
Mom then got updated from my aunt. Fyi, my aunt lives nearby our house. It is located next to each other and very close. She is my father's closest sister and also my father's right hand man. We received news in the late afternoon that water level has gone up to chest level on the street. I still tried to deceive myself, perhaps since my aunt is a little bit shorter, so her chest level maybe just about my waist level. But then, not long after that, some of my friends who are in Jakarta and know where we stay, started asking me how was the condition of the flood in our area. They sent few photos about area nearby.

Restaurant selling duck outside our complex (Opposite Pluit Village)
 And below is the 7-11 shop, also opposite Pluit Village.

Then received another photo, where the cars were buried by the water. It was at the area nearby our house, but where the location is slightly lower than our house. So I still thought positively that our house would still be fine.

Until yesterday at 6pm here (5pm in Jakarta), I received the photo below from my brother. The photo was taken from my aunt's house. The opposite house built halfway is another aunt's house. Next to it is our neighbor house. That was the original house level that we used to have. They never renovated or made it higher since almost 30 years. You can see the different with the house next to it.

And my parents house is the one with grey wall on the right. They didn't capture the photo, but the height will be the same as the halfway built house that you see in the photo. And the water has slowly gone up and gone into our house.

Pluit Permai Dalam 2
I was very disheartened to see the situation there. Not only because of our house. Many of other houses are also in similar or even worst condition. There is food shortage, no electricity, no clean water, etc. Many people have to evacuate from their own house, stay in the hotel.

Lost can't be avoided. Flood is no more fun for me at this age! Used to be, but not anymore. It has turned to grievance, lot of worry and sad. We know that when there is flood, usually my house area will be affected, but never to this extent. I've never imagined that happening there!!! And the worst may not yet to come! They still have to prepare for the worst. They need to top up their food, bear with darkness and mosquitoes, and imagine life without electricity!!! Can't charge your hand phone, can't watch TV, really lost in touch with outside world. I was there before, I know that feeling. Seems like no one cares about what happened to you.

I can only pray... that this will get over soon. Please.... My parents are on their way to Bogor, to my father's friend place. They will borrow his friend's car and driver to drive them back to home and put their car in his friend's house. I hope all of them can reach home safely. They might need to take the boat back home. Already reminded Mom to bring some food with them, at least they might need a week for the water to go down. SB, please help all of them who are suffering and in loss. Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta - May all sentient beings live well. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flooding in Jakarta!!!

Since 2 days ago, my Mom already told us that it was raining continuously in Jakarta and some places were even starting to get flooded. Yesterday my parents and relatives have avoided the flood by going to outside Jakarta for my father's usual reflexiology foot massage. They are having a good and peaceful time there.

The situation in Jakarta seems to get worst today. It is raining hard today and many areas got flooded. My friend posted the photo in his house area, which has already 60cm height.

Flooding at THI Complex near basket court
Flooding is not something new there. It's more like a part of their daily lives. It is a ritual that always happens, usually in the beginning of the year when raining season usually happens.

In fact, it has started many years back, more than 2 decades ago. I still remembered there was one night at home, I was in my teens. Our house was quite low last time. My mattress was lying on the floor with nothing below. It was raining a whole day. At home, it was me and my father. My father alerted me that it was going to flood that night and I had to get prepared. He asked me to take the empty oil gallon from the store and put it under my mattress. He also helped me out lifting the mattress. I put few numbers of oil gallons to ensure it was stable enough to hold my mattress.

I removed the lower part of table drawers and put it on top of my table, also removed the content of the wardrobe in lower part to somewhere else. Just nice after I did that, water slowly rose up and entered in my bedroom. Within an hour, water had risen up at about 25 cm. Hoaaaa.... Between worry and exciting, that was my first experience flooding inside home. Next day we declared ourselves for holiday (didn't go to school). We walked out to neighborhood area to see what impact the rest of the area had.

Few of us took a pail (usually to wash clothes) and we walked out from our complex and went out to buy food and put the things inside that giant pail. The flood outside the house was higher, about 50 cm height. It was fun! We were so exciting and didn't feel it was unhygienic and how dirty the water was. We walked carefully trying to recall which part of the road having holes and tried to avoid it. We all wore short pants and shirt, removed our sandals as it floated in the water. We also found a snake in the water, luckily got caught and died. When you need to do big business, you go to upstairs and take a plastic bag with you. When done, tie the bag and throw it faraway from your home. Hahahaha....

Over time, my father was finally rebuilding the house. It is one meter height above the street level to avoid water to come in. He has to do that as he stored lots of things in our house and without doing so, it means he has to lose lots of money.

So now and then, when there was flooding on the street, at least we stayed dry at home. There was one year when the flood was at its worst. My school friend's father passed away due to electric shock. Such a tragedy. And the flood was really terrible. Many people suffered loss. Their belongings were all spoilt. Their cars too. Some had no choice but to stay at nearest hotel while they had given up in their belonging at home.

Jakarta, a capital city, my hometown. It will never change to the better. With buildings everywhere, less plantations, more rubbish, and increase population, this will be a never ending disaster.

Updating more photos from central of Jakarta city. Just heard that most of the places are no electricity right now... Haiz... Darkness... Hot... Mosquitoes... oh mosquitoes..... ngungg ngungg ngunggg....... Plak!!!!

Bundaran Thamrin
Oh Jakartaku....!!!
Found whale on the flood!!! :D

Another update this morning:
Flood has entered our house garage with 20cm height. My parents had extended a night stay last night and since the flood has become worse, they really couldn't go back home, therefore they have to extend for another night. With such a heavy flood, they might have to stay there for a week ba!

Just hope everyone will be safe from this disaster although they may encounter any loss due to this flood.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

贪吃的家伙 - Greedy man

Yesterday after work, I was hungry. After putting my bag into my room, I immediately headed to the kitchen, scooped a bowl of rice and poured a soup on it. Just nice my mother-in-law cooked a light soup.

My son came out from the bathroom and he told me, 'You guess, what happened to me just now?'. 'What? You lao sai (diarrhoea) ah?' He replied, 'I was vomiting just now. But in the afternoon I got lao sai.' I asked him back, 'What did you have for lunch?' My mother-in-law faster replied, 'He ate instant noodle this afternoon.' He faster hid into the kitchen to avoid my scolding. 'I told you many times not to eat too much Maggie mie ha! Why you never listened? Last Sunday you just had 2 packets for breakfast hor!!'

He came out and sat beside me. You know what he did? He quicky scooped a spicy minced pork from the bowl in front of him and poured it into his bowl. I tried to stop him but with no avail. 'You said you have stomachache and laosai, don't eat this la!' He turned my words into a deaf ear. I told him to pour the soup instead of the minced pork but he never listened. I angrily told him, 'Never mind, eat as much as you want, OK? If later you have a stomachache and laosai again, don't look for me OK? I won't bother you!! Stubborn!!'

After finished my dinner, I took a bath and took a rest at my room. About 9pm plus, my mother-in-law knocked my room. She told me my son was having diarrhoea again and stomach pain after dinner. Huh! My words had really turned true. I went out to the living room and saw him lying weakly in the sofa. I asked him what happened? Which part was in pain?

I searched for the medicine but couldn't find one. Just nice my hubby came back home. I told him what was going on. He told my son the similar words above, 贪吃的结果, which means, a result of being greedy. You know you can't eat it, but you still can't resist your temptation to eat it. So this is the consequences that you have to receive. My son just kept quiet and nod his head. Luckily my hubby found a Chinese medicine for stomach pain and diarrhoea. He immediately fed my son into it. He then headed to his room. Before sleep, I told him, if he still doesn't feel well tonight, please go to our room and wake me up. He nodded his head and went to sleep.

Lucky nothing has happened after that. I could sleep peacefully and this morning he went to school as per normal.

Actually, I was almost become the 贪吃的家伙 myself. I know I haven't recovered fully and still had a bit cough, but yesterday I was actually planning to eat Indonesian noodle with lots of chilli. Hahahahahhaaha...... Luckily last night someone stopped me and asked me to go home to have my dinner with soup. Otherwise, this person and my son will be the first one to scold me too... Hahahahahahah... :P

It was my second Boss who said that in order to recover faster, you have to eat the thing that make you cough to kill the cough back. Like just now, my colleague who still has a cough, purposely went to McDonald. She and my second Boss bought the ice cream cones and walked back to office. Hahahaha... They asked me if I wanted to have one, but I said no because I know it won't do any good to me right now and to avoid someone to ask me how is my cough for three times a day!!! I wanna recover faster please!!!! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Mama!!!

Ci Ing, Mama, Ie Hoa, and Dajie
Today is my Mom's Birthday :) She is 62 years old now. Just received the photos from my Aunt. She, her son, and ci Ing (one of our relatives) paid a visit to my mom's house with a Birthday cake. She is my mom's younger sister, the closest one to my Mom. My eldest sis also went there and they ate the cake together.

Happy Birthday Ma!!! Sorry we can't be by your side but we wish you blessed with good health, luck, love and happiness from the core of our hearts :) Love you Ma!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Just woke up from a very bad dream :( We were in the situation where we were trying to go out from dangerous situation. Road was blocked and we were trying very hard to find a way out, trying to get out and saved ourselves from being one of the victims. I remembered there was me, my son, my father. I had a feeling I would die in the dream. Like something would drop from afar and hit me and what I did was trying to cover my son using my body, protecting him from getting hurt. And try to leave him some message as if I was going to leave him forever. My father led in front of me trying to get out and he led us the way. But before we safely found a way out, I told myself to wake up and it was just a dream. So I was awake. I was sweating. Tonight we didn't turn on the air-con as hubby wanted me to recover fully. He sacrificed himself to sleep with fans. I could hear noise from outside as we didn't close our windows to let the air coming in. I was thinking if my nightmare would turn into reality? Scared me. I was even thinking that will it be a bad sign or bad omen? Perhaps earthquake is coming soon to Singapore and since we're staying in higher floor, perhaps we would feel the effect. Hehe.. I was just scaring myself even more. Lucky it was all just a dream. In dream, we still could choose to wake up and get ourselves out from it. In life, we supposed to be able to choose to wake up from our lives which just like a dream too.. But since it was reality, perhaps it would be harder to escape and we still have to accept the reality.

I turned on the air-con. I couldn't bear the heat anymore and I couldn't sleep with fan directly blow to me. Heck care with recover fully. I feel much better now after two-day rest.

It's almost 2am now. Try to sleep again.. Hopefully with no more nightmare and can sleep peacefully. I kiss my son's and hubby's cheek and be grateful that we are safe and alive. It is grateful feeling looking him and hubby sleep soundly and peacefully. Hope I can sleep soon... Good night...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Does flu make people easily get hungry??? Hahaha.... Weird. When I was at home on weekend - try to recover from flu, I ate very little and didn't feel hungry. But here in office, after breakfast (2 slices bread and a cup of coffee), I'd start hungry again at 11am. Then after lunch, I'd feel hungry again at about 4pm. Kekeke....

This afternoon, I went to Bugis to mail thing out. Then went to Kwan Im Temple to do praying. It's first time visit in year 2013. I started New Year with woman's period and flu, so only today I managed to go there :D I pray for my loved family and friends for their good health, success, and happiness. May Buddha bless you all :)

After that, I went to the hawker center, my old makan place. It's been a while since I had my lunch there. I had the roasted pork and char siew rice with its delicious sauce and sambal chili, and a bowl of salted vegetables duck soup. All that was less than $5 Hmmmm..... I ate so happily but too bad I was all alone. Last time I used to have PY as my khaki, but since she changed job, we seldom had lunch together, but dinner instead.

Just now I felt hungry again. Hahaha... Lucky I went to canteen and grabbed two small green pears :) Just had it to fill my stomach up hahaha... Still have one yellow pear, for stand-by, in case I'll get hungry again. Alamak!!!

Today my friend, Ely Kho, came from Jakarta. She came alone for body check-up. Her parents also came after that from KL. Still dunno when she 'd be free to meet up. We talked on the phone just now, quite long. She said her younger brother has just had operation last two weeks, a by-pass heart surgery. Wow.. And luckily he was operated soon, because doctor said his heart only 10-20% functioned. Aiyoyo... He is such young chap leh... Lucky the surgery went well and now he has returned back to Jakarta for recovery.

Going for meeting now. Hope all of you have a great day!

True friend

To love without condition,
To talk without intention,
To give without reason,
And to care without expectation.
this is the heart of a true friend.
~Unknown ~

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Jia you Sis!!!

It was somewhere in August when my 3rd sis telling me that she's pregnant her 2nd child. It was quite unexpected though, but they'd been waiting for it to come and very happy with it. Congratulations Sis!! Her hubby started to become very attentive to her after that hahaha... I always heard my sis praising her hubby who clean up the house, do the laundry, do the cooking, prepare for lunch box, etc. He even did the massage for her. So lovely.... :)

My brother-in-law's application for Australian PR was approved in 2007 and he decided to move out from Singapore. In the beginning, my sis was a bit hesitant to move as it'd be quite far from our hometown. But since her husband had convinced her how life in Aussie would be much better than in Singapore, she then followed her husband, started their lives all over again, and moved to Melbourne. In the beginning, they stayed together with one of our cousins in a rented apartment. After quite some time, they decided to buy the land and build a house on it in a suburb of Melbourne. Their first son was born in May 2009 and not long after that, their house was done and three of them moved to the new house happily.

With their first baby boy :)

Throughout their lives there, which have been almost five years, they have faced many challenges. My sis often confided in me what was happened. She trusted me enough to keep it from the others. In fact, both of us are very close to each other. We grew up together, played together. I learn many things from her. In my eyes, she was the bravest woman I've ever known. Haha... She was good in Tae Kwon Do, defeating many opponents with her balcha-gie kick on their faces. Hahaha... I will never forget that memory. She was also the one who encouraged me to take public bus in Jakarta. Fyi, the bus condition in Jakarta many years back was very terrible. We didn't have proper bus stop and we could just stop anywhere we wanted. The bus didn't even stop properly when we went in or went down. There were even lots of pickpockets, perverts, and if you're lucky, you'd get the bus thrown by the stones (those big stones from the footpath, mind you) - It happened to me twice in my whole life. Anyhow, we went through lots of things, thick and thin together since we were young until we've grown up. Even sometimes, we hadn't opened our mouths, but we knew what we were thinking. And lots of times, we'd say the same words at the same time and we ended laughing at each other.

She is also the one who has been reading my blog and commented on my posts all this while. Although we were separated geographically, she still wanted to know how I am doing here and how well my situation is.  Why suddenly I posted this is because I am worrying her situation now. With her 2nd pregnancy, the due date is still 3 months away, but she has been complaining of many things that weren't happened previously. It's not life threatening though, but it made her suffering.

About two months ago, she was complaining about hay fever. In Australia, during spring time, the grass pollens would fly anywhere blown by the wind, and when inhaled, it would cause sneezing, itchy, and watery eyes, swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages, and increase in mucus production. She suffered a lot, made her difficult in breathing. She was worrying the baby not having enough oxygen. At that time, she almost gave up and wanted to fly back to Jakarta for a refuge. She endured the pain for a while and managed to pass the hard time and still remains staying there until now.

Then this morning she was complaining the pain and numbness on her both hands. Both her feet and hands were swelling too due to the blood didn't circulate properly. Later on she found out that she was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnancy is one of the cause of this thing to happen.

Things to straighten her wrists
My sis and her husband went around to look for the Chinese physicians. Since it's Sunday, many were closed and they had to find it elsewhere. Luckily the find one in Footscray. The physician gave her Taiwanese medicine, which he said it would be safe for pregnant woman and the baby, just hope that he was telling the truth, because usually the doctor will forbid pregnant woman to take any Chinese medicine.

Sis, I just want to say, no matter how hard things happen to you, hang on there and never give up, Ok? You've come this far and all of us will support you with our prayers. We really hope that you and your baby will be fine. It's just 3 more months to go! I'm sure you can get over it! Ok? Jia you Sis!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Recover soon please...

It's been 4th day. Every night I slept with no air-con. In a big bed, all alone. Just heard the sound of the fan in a quiet room. The medicines, don't know if it helped me or it makes me getting worse. I always felt asleep tiredly, and in the middle of the night, I would be awoken by the urgency to clear my bladder. It felt cold, shivering, although blanket has covered my body. A lot of times, I was dreaming too, meeting people that I have never met for so long, she suddenly said 'hello' to me, which in real life, I don't think she would bother to do so (my ex bf's mother), haha.. Dreaming about picnic with so many friends I long never met (perhaps we met recently only in fb). Dreaming about climbing a very high stairs in each step, and I had no energy to do it (and yet, I was thinking of climbing it more often once I get well), and lots of other funny dreams.

It felt so hot. I was sweating. My neck was struggling, longing for being free. Seemed that something was holding into it. I was just thinking, perhaps those inside me were battling. The immune system supposed to work out when I was sleeping rite? But I doubt who it attacks to.. The virus? Or the good ones? I still haven't recovered. Still hiding inside my thick blanket. I still feel hot and sweating, and praying that it will get better soon. I don't want to be sick for such a long period. Please let me be healthy again, and do things independently. Something inside me, please battle the correct way and let me recover soon. My life and happiness will depend on you...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Flu again :(

I started sneezing yesterday in my office. I thought I was just feeling cold. Didn't expect that it got worst. Even after I wore my sweater with long pants, I still felt very cold for the whole day. I started to have running nose. It was terrible!!!

Weather kept changing from cold to hot in a day, then from hot to cold again. Not only that. Many people caught flu and cough and they boarded inside the same MRT. While standing or sitting down, there was not much space left available and you could hear them sneeze and cough just next to you while the wind was blowing towards your direction. So, it was almost unavoidable.

After work, I straight came back home. Had a bowl of spicy pepper bakuteh soup to warm up myself. Then I boiled Chinese herbal tea in a big pot and had a cup. After that I took a bath and took out my leftover flu medicines from the previous doctor's visit. I could feel sleepy right after that. Before 9pm, I went into my room, lying down on my bed and fell asleep in less than 5 minutes. But I woke up at about 11pm, to go to toilet, and tried to sleep again.

This morning, I woke up late. I didn't hear any alarm ringing. It was 7.35am. Usually I set the alarm at 6.50am. Hurriedly I took a fast bath, dressed up, and walking, almost running to MRT. I messaged my collegue, telling her that I might reached office late, but lucky I wasn't late. I reached my office before 8.30am.

It's second day of closing. That's why I had to go to work. I finished my work at first half day and I felt sleepy, tired, and hungry!!! Despite having two slices of bread and a cup of coffee in the morning, my stomach started grumbling at 11am. Lunch time was still in another hour to go but I couldn't wait. So I went to the cafetaria and luckily they served red apple as fruit for lunch and I grabbed one, peeled and ate it right away. I felt better after that. Hehe...

I read somewhere, to fight flu, people have to eat more fruit and vegetables, also drink fruit juices and try not to eat solid food. I couldn't survive without eating solid food. During lunch time, I took a half bowl of rice filled with soup, while at another plate, I took a piece of fried fish, stir fried long bean with tofu, and bunches of Mesclun mix salad together with tomatoes and cucumbers. My boss who sat in front of me commented me of being healthy, while another colleague teased me, saying that Chinese New Year is still in one month's ahead, why I started to diet already... hehe... No dear, I wasn't on diet, I was having flu. Before leaving the cafetaria, I took another red apple, for afternoon break :D

It was quite busy at another half day preparing costing for new food promotion, also to prepare things required for tomorrow's meeting. I was thinking of taking sick leave actually, but when I opened the common calender file, I saw no one took sick leave yet. Even my boss's secretary who was having bad cough didn't take sick leave. So, let me endure one more day before taking a full rest during weekend. So sad, plan to spend the weekend for flu recovery.... :P

After work, I visited the doctor. While waiting for my turn, I had my dinner at the food court nearby. Since there was still time, I went to a library and I was so happy to be able to find another  Hiraku eh.. Haruki Murakami's book. Ahh, it's still quite hard for me to memorize his name... I still can't remember his name properly. So when looking for his book, I was searching in another side of shelf kekeke.... Two weeks before I managed to find one, After the Earthquake, then last weekend, I found other two: South of the Border, West of the Sun and After the Dark. I've returned the After the Earthquake back and done with South of the Border, West of the Sun. Now is reading After the Dark.

I found myself quite lucky that I didn't have to buy the book in order to read it, but could just go to the library and borrow it for 3 weeks time. We could borrow 8-12 books at one time and it's totally free. If you return the book late, then you will have to pay the penalty. So today, I found the book that I wanna read, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

I have a friend who loves to read his book. But before recommending him the book, I must read it first so able to tell if the story is nice or not. Hehehe..... So if not nice, don't buy la... But of course, it's relative. What is nice for me, may not be nice for him, and the other way around, right?

I also borrowed another book, Will you be there by Guillaumo Musso. Dunno nice or not. When I translated what my friend wrote for me during high school time, I just realized that I actually used to love to read a novel. In Jakarta, it takes time to travel from one place to another due to the distance, inconvenience (change 2-3 buses to reach one place) and traffic jam. I used to take public transport wherever I go. So usually, I would bring the book to read while taking the bus and I borrowed the books mostly from school's library. The reading habit disappeared after I went to study abroad.

Since I gave birth and now get older, I think I've lost quite lots of memories from the past. Haha... I even forgot the habit that I used to have. I only know I don't like wasting time while traveling. Even until now, I still bring book (any book including exam material) and /or newspaper while taking MRT to work.

Ok, it's 10.20pm now. I don't want to oversleep again tomorrow morning. I'd better rest early. Hopefully after eating more fruits and vegetables, I will get better soon...... :) One more day to work, after that, I can lie down on my bed reading the rest of the book while listening to the radio... Hm.............................

Quote of the day :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

New Year's Eve Dinner - Teppanyaki plus Steamboat
My friends (David and Sheryn) who stay in the same area, just the opposite of our block, invited us for New Year's Eve dinner at his home. He and his wife prepared the food for teppanyaki (Japanese style cooking using iron plate) and steamboat or also called hot pot (Chinese style simmering the ingredients inside the pot). They also invited his close friends and sister. There were 11 of us.

It was raining since afternoon and keep continuing until night time. The air was very cooling, suitable for this type of dinner. David also opened a bottle of red wine to warm up ourselves.

We ate, chit chatted. It's third time we gathered like this. Our ages are similar and most of us have just moved into new flat of our own, while Bernard (David's buddy) and his family will move to new flat soon (they have already purchased the built-to-order flat, and now is being built, but not done yet). So we share the common topic for conversation. Sheryn's sister, Hui Xin, also stays nearby, just one block away from our place. She is now pregnant and will give birth estimated next Feb.

After dinner, we took rest for a while, watching King Kong on Channel V. Hui Xin has made cupcakes - carrot cake - and each of us took one. Hubby bought a can of coffee capsules and some of us had a coffee so that we could stay awake. Hehe... We stayed until 11pm then went back home. Hubby didn't feel well. He was having fever, perhaps eating too much pizza the night before, and working too hard cleaning Baobei's room.

So we did count down at home. We could hear neighbors around counting down loudly. Some even counted down minutes before the right time. Haha... There were fireworks in two separate areas nearby our neighborhood, but we couldn't really see it as it was blocked by HDB buildings. We could only see when it was bigger one, flying much higher.

I slept at 2am and woke up at 10.30am.. hehe... As hubby was still sick, I decided to cook porridge for our lunch, also took out vegetables and egg from fridge, cooked three simple dishes to start the new year :)

The weather today was so hot and sunny!! Perfect for drying up clothes. Haha... I did the laundry and hung it in our balcony, let the sun and wind drying it up. Then I took a nap for about an hour. Was woken up by the call, and also my sister-in-law was sending me message, asking me which vodka I wanted to buy (they just reached Singapore airport, coming back from Jakarta). Hehe... I managed to add one more flavor Absolute collection, but too bad they couldn't find the other two that I wanted. But that was good enough!!! :)

Since the weather was so good, I decided to have a brisk walk in Punggol Waterway. I asked my son to take his bicycle and let him cycling while I took my time slowly walking there. Baobei went to the other direction, making one round, then going to the same direction as I was taking. I told him to meet up in Popeye. He would surely cycle faster, that's why I asked him to take the longer way so he didn't have to wait for me too long.

Long queue at Popeye
Finally I could do the brisk walking there. Usually I cycle and keep wondering how it feels to walk. So I did. Hahaha.... I used the headphone listening to the music from my hand phone. It took me an hour to reach Popeye and when I reached, Baobei had also just arrived and he was going around Popeye to check if I were there. Haha... I asked him to park his bicycle. Wow, it was dinner time by the time we reached (8pm), and there was a very long queue... Since Baobei wanted to eat, I asked him to queue, while I was outside looking for a seat and also to take a look at the bicycle.

Finally!!! (His bike behind him hehe...)
It took him half an hour to queue and got the food. Kekeke.... So slow... If I was alone, I would just give up and cook something at home. We shared the food and finished it up with ice cream (there was free ice cream with the package we bought). Not bad, but sinful.

We took the other way to go back and stopped by a supermarket to buy ice cream, carrot and tomatoes. It took me an hour to go back and my new shoe stepped on the dog's poo... Haiz... When I was walking, I kept looking up, at the people's new flats. To see what it looks like, how they decorate, and so on. Hahaha... Then I felt my shoe stepped on something soft yet watery... Hahaha... Although I didn't see what I stepped into, but I got the feeling that it was the poo.... Hiks.. my new shoe.... Reaching home, I removed my shoe and washed it right away.. and now dry it up in the balcony.

Well... it feels good after the walk. Hope I can have a good sleep tonight (despite drinking green tea and eating ice cream). Tomorrow it's gonna be a busy day again!! Closing time!!! Just hope everything will go smoothly. Wish us luck!!!

Btw, it's the 800th post in this blog. Although in the beginning, some posts were not written by me, and there were 9 post in draft that I decided not to post as it's too personal and I wanted to keep it to myself, this blog has been around since November 2004. So it's been over 8 years. Wow! I didn't realize that it's been so long. If Passu didn't tell me, I also didn't notice actually. However, not many people know about its existence as my goal to create this blog is just to record what I feel, what I do, more on personal thing, to recall things back one day when I get old or maybe lost memory, and to leave some stories to my son and families if they miss me one day when I am no longer around in this world. No matter what, I will keep writing while I can. It's been part of my life unknowingly. Just to express what I feel.....

Well, write till here. It's late now. Time to sleep. Have a good rest everyone!! And have a great day!!!
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