Saturday, May 31, 2014

away from the office at the beginning of the school break.

the school break has started and i was sent away to ipoh for a 3-day course. yipppeee!!! it was better than spending three days at the office not knowing what to do.

first day in ipoh, was spent loitering around in old town and kinta city. the first session of the course only started at night.

when it is ipoh old town, i am back to my old haunt, there is no other place i would rather be than here.
the original plan was to go to pattiserie boutique again for their cake and latte but it was not open. a reminder- it is not open on wednesday.
i landed myself in buku tiga lima instead. yup, you know the small book with three 555 on the cover? that is buku tiga lima and the name of the shop. if you look carefully at the photo  above, you will see lots of buku tiga lima hanging in the window display.

anyway, this cafe adjoins burps and giggles. my food and latte were from burps while i sat here in buku tiga lima. the menu of buku tiga lima consists of a variety of crepes.

the interior deco of the place again is all about retro and reusing old things. the highlights here are on the different lamp covers.
this one here right above my table was made up of zippers.

see the different chairs and stools they have? they are all refurbished.

another lamp cover made up of yarns.

my latte....not as smooth as the one i had at pattiserie boutique. haiz....that was the not so good thing here.

my beef burger. really good albeit the scary presentation. the burger was brought to the table with the knife stabbed right in the middle.

after the hearty lunch, it was time to burn those calories in kinta city. managed to get another blouse for work. half of my wardrobe is not suitable for work now hence i go blouse hunting whenever i have the opportunity. if i find those blouses which i don't have to iron, that is the best deal.

the three-day course was held at tower regency hotel and apartments. the accomodation here was clean and in tip-top condition. the buffet spread in its kafe on the 6th floor was sumptious and scrumptious. oh gosh, it took a lot of discipline not to go for the third helping. yes, guilty of the second helping here. the pudding and cakes were my favourite.

i was put in an apartment with 3 other persons. those with higher grades got their own single room. gosh, how i envied them.
the living room of the apartment.

the first bedroom.....which was where i slept as well. the airconditioner right on top of the bed gave me a bad cold and i was blowing my nose two days in the conference room. bad. everyone who saw me would ask about my nose.

the second room with adjoining bathroom.

coffee corner and fridge.

i got the room to myself on the last night when my roommate decided to spend hers at home instead. yippee!! she lives in ipoh, so why not go home.  so that night, i switched off the air-conditioner and only turned on the fan. it was still cooling to me and i managed to get my sleep. well, someone also gave me a flu pill that night. hahaa....maybe it was what helped me sleep.

anyway, the course was slightly interrupted with the news of the passing of perak sultan on wednesday. we the perakians were given special permission to skip the second day of the course. i think almost all perakians skipped the day sessions. who wouldn't when special permission was granted?

i skipped it too. hehehehe.....and went out for dim sum in the morning. kekeke. not fohsan. it was at yoke fook moon. not bad not bad.

i managed to replenish all the sleeping hours i missed once i got home. the bed at home is still the best.

i hope my body will get used to all these changes in bed fast. i am going to penang for 2 nights tomorrow and with the amount of money i am going to pay for my suite there, i better make good use of it and get my money worth.
it will be the food that i am looking forward to and the hotel this time around. street murals and stuff, i have done it. let those youngsters go and explore while i have my cake and latte in one of the cafes while waiting for them. hahaha.....

Saturday, May 24, 2014

fun in kl, in the name of work

it felt as if the holiday had already begun this week.
how could i not think so when i spent three nights attending a course in kl and went to klcc all three nights in a row??

the place where i was put was off jalan duta and it was also where the course was. so everything was in one building.
it was not a hotel but an institute.
this was my room.....3 star??

bathroom  was small and looked worn eh? look at the cracked toilet seat. eeeee......well, we requested for a new room because all the power points in this one could not be used. phew!
the new room was better......but i still could not sleep that well.

i brought the cold i caught on sunday night all the way to kl and it stayed with me for two days too. haiz. finished using all the packs of tissue paper i brought and ended up begging from others, ;)

the course was just ok, i mean i did not get anything that wowed me. it was one visit to kajang prison which i enjoyed most.

i have never imagined that i would be visiting a prison one day......we are not talking about any abandoned prison here. this is a functional prison and where convicts are kept and there are some awaiting their death sentences to be carried out. it will be death by hanging here in malaysia.

we were brought to visit the 'tame' area of the prison area where we saw prisoners doing their morning march and drills in the courtyard, bread baking area where they learn baking skills, cooking area where food for prisoners is prepared and cooked by prisoners themselves and finally their bedrooms which only had thin mattresses, blankets and transparent boxes to keep their belongings.

oh, we also saw prisoners in one of their sessions where they sat in a room and decide whether to punish or forgive those who made mistakes in their daily activities at the prison. we were given reminders not to interact or make eye-contact with any prisoner. so i tried my best to keep myself composed and calm. and i also had some 'protectors' who really came and stood in front of me, blocking me from the views of the prisoners when in the same room with them. i was the only one showing legs and my knee-length dress and hair tied up in a bun due to the heat. the rest? err...all wearing headscarfs and in their baju kurungs.

the prisoners do have a balanced diet in there. we saw their menu for the week and gosh, it was better than what i get from the workplace cafe. so is it any wonder that some ex-convicts return due to the harsh condition outside prison?

one thing we learnt from the officers on duty is that no prisoner will admit they are in the wrong. 'never' was the word used. we also saw photos of caned buttocks and the noose used to hang convicts and heard stories of caning and hanging. this was a really memorable and eye-opening experience for me. will definitely share what i have gained here with the juniors.

ok, now to less depressing stuff. klcc- three nights in a row! crazy right? well, it is the closest to where we were staying, so why not? and i watched 3 movies!!! hahaha.....watched 'chef' on day 1 and watched 'spiderman' and 'x-men' both on day 2.

i was like a tour guide bringing my colleagues and showing them places around klcc. heck, they even called me the gps as i was also the one who pointed them the route to go there.

did some shopping there as well. body shop was having their sales!!!
my first fountain sign my name on official documents hahaha....
everyone in the office has one fountain pen with i got one too.
and this might not be my first one.....the nib is a bit soft, hence the line that comes out is a bit thick. i need to get one with a harder nib so i can write finely with it. and also, my handwriting is not exactly the neat type. haha.....thick lines will make whatever i am writing turn out to be in a mess and all joined into one pile of mess. eeewww....

check out the cinema and seats i got. i watched both spiderman and x-men in the same cinema, on the same seats. in fact, we would not have got up from our seats if not to get some pop-corn to chew on while watching x-men which started at 11.30p.m. yawn.....i was yawning a few times because i was really sleepy due to lack of sleep.  the movie ended at 2.00a.m.  what a night.....the night that did not end on the same night. hahaha.

and on the  last night, there was no more movie to watch, so we hung around in chilli's. waited for 20 minutes to be seated.

got a great seat by the side where we got a view of the fountain in the park.

ordered a classic mojito and appetiser. yummy mojito. not diluted at all as i could taste the bacardi. yeah!

grilled lamb shoulders for the three of us. everyone agreed that the mashed potato was superb and meat was succulent. what a satisfying meal.

so do you think i was working at all this week?
i had the time to replenish the sleep lost in kl yesterday night. i only woke up at 10.30a.m. this morning. haha....i am so proud of myself.

couldn't go to sleep early too last night. it was malaysia versus indonesia in thomas cup semifinals. gosh, the first double game was literally nail biting. yeah, i had my finger in my mouth and the heart beating so fast. luckily the match was saved and malaysia got its second point. phew! even the prawn crackers were left for a while during that match.

all malaysians will be stayed glued to the tv tomorrow at 5.30p.m. for the finals against japan i am sure. thank you japan for beating china in the other semifinals. i have a feeling that malaysia is going to win!!!!! strong feeling about this!!! another bowl of crackers will be accompanying me too. haha...
can't wait.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

eat on wesak day, feast on teacher's day

lazy bugs are starting to creep into the bones when it comes to work. it has been a relaxing week last week because there was a public holiday on tuesday- wesak day and on friday, it was teacher's day. so all in all, it was just like 3 working days. how could i not be lazy? gosh, i am feeling guilty because i don't feel a sense of accomplishment. in the previous job, it was different because everyday was just as hectic, even on my day of rest.  maybe i just have to learn to relax and take it easy? but i don't think that is written in my star though. conflict. conflict. lol

anyway, a day of rest means another day to go food hunting in ipoh. i have yet to try all the yummy and famous food in ipoh. slowly ya. the stomach can only take in so much.

so on wesak morning, 2 gals and i headed towards the old town for some nanyang coffee at sun yoon loong. the kopitiam next door, sun yuan foong belongs to the brother of sun yoon loong and it was not opened that day. join the last word of the two shops and you will get loong and foong- dragon and phoenix.
we arrived at around 930a.m.

just opposite the shops is this block of flats....the highest building in ipoh old town area. 20 storeys if i am not wrong.

we had to wait a while to get an available table but it was just a short wait. many were also standing next to tables watching people eating and wondering when the seated customers would finish their last sip of coffee and get up from their seats.
my cup of coffee.

the coffee powder metal containers in the store.

half-boiled eggs on two pieces of toast. i hate the cheap margerine spread on the toasts though. it was horrible. tell them not to spread it for you if you happen to order this. the margerine tasted like plastic. urrgghhh....

caramel custard. yummy!! must have this. it is cold and not sweet. just the right blend.

the stuffed tofu was very good because the tofu was soft and smooth. i just slurped the tofu into my mouth.

the crispy apam balik was not good. too floury and a bit bland. it was bought from the mobile vendor outside.

after breakfast, it was time to walk off the calories and we headed to ipoh parade. the place has been newly renovated and i have not been there since this makeover.
there are more things to see now but station 18 still offer better varieties.

got into a watch shop and saw something i like....hehe......who does not like watch??
so which one do you think i choose??? the left one which has super mini diamonds on the face with steel strap or the automatic one which does not require battery and comes with leather straps??
which one???

i wish i could go back with either one.....but the tight financial status now restrains me from getting any. gosh....even if i have the money or have saved up for either one.....i still really cannot make up my mind which one i will get. i really like a round classic watch with leather strap but the other one looks so much better on my wrist right? the left one is also cheaper by one thousand. wait till i strike lottery lah.....pray hard.

lunch was not less sumptious than breakfast. we had japanese at akamomiji but i feel that it was not as good as the first time i went to this shop two years ago. there seems to be a drop in the taste and texture of the food.
here are what we had:

the takoyaki was a bit hard on the outside and i could not taste any squid in it at all. this was a big disappointment.

soft shell crab salad, just so-so.

luckily the pomelo sorbet was still as good as the first time i tried it. i would not leave the shop without having this. this is the only reason why i go back. love the freshness and tanginess of the sorbet. perfect on a hot day.

we left ipoh after lunch and i had time to go for my facial and rest.

on friday, it was teacher's day and i am actually 'school-less' this year. but we were assigned schools to go to and i got one in tg malim. gosh, what was i going to do there right?
luckily my old school sent me an invitation and i got to go back and felt slightly at home although it was not 'home' anymore. sob sob.....felt kinda weird.

couldn't get used to hearing my name being mentioned first before the other VIPS, sitting in the front row next to all the big shots, standing in front and being invited to cut the cake with the administrators. gulp! was so nervous deep inside, fearful that i would make a silly mistake and a blunder that would embarass myself and the office that i was representing.  phew! i survived and left with a heavy heart after the special assembly. seeing all ex-colleagues preparing themselves and  getting themselves into places to take the staff photo was the final reminder to me that i don't work there anymore. sob sob! i wonder where i will be in the next teacher's day?

these are what i got and all the other staff too of course- a stainless steel one-tier tiffin and a set of kfc lunch with an apple. i think this is the best and most useful gift in all these years, well to me.

after saying goodbye, it shot home to tm for my dental appointment here:
well, this is one place i am certain to be on teacher's day next year. the root canal procedure is already completed and i am to go back after one year for check-up to see if there is any complications. they are really thorough i will say.
i overheard a patient in the next room saying that he flew in just for his treatment. have no idea where the patient flew in from though. could be local or maybe singapore.
so more than half of my pay packet is already gone for the tooth and i have yet to do crowning. i will make an appointment for it next week. i guess i did get good service for the price i paid. the endodontist was gentle and thorough. i did not feel any discomfort at all and i am satisfied for now. better save aside some money for teeth man. the treatment fees are never cheap and it will get more expensive....unless i go to a government clinic. but i want to? will i get a painless treatment and state-of-the-art equipment? i guess it all depends on the depth of one's pocket.

i am still chewing on one side only now. i don't think i will chew as usual until i get a crown. haha....there is tat fear that the tooth might break...i might be thinking too much.

that night, i had a feast thanks to a group of 15-year-old who was so so so kind to celebrate the day with me. oh touching. they prepared the food themselves and some even roped in their moms to help. i am really thankful and grateful for their efforts.

see, two tables were spread full. we had fried wanton, tom yam fried vermicelli (the best!! i had a few helpings despite my just fixed tooth), fries, fried chicken, buttered fish fillets, salad, seaweed, herbal jelly, kickapoo and coke.  the kids did not forget mom and dad's portions too. sweet right??

and last but not least, there was even a piece of red velvet from secret recipe and they even sang a song for me before i cut the cake. double ooowwww!! and they said my red velvet is still the best and kept asking me when i was going to make the second one. haha.....not in the near future i think. the oven is kaput. wait lah...i really have no idea when we will get a new oven. ;P

below should be the last batch of rubber bands i am ordering for this year.
the above is brought back from australia- the original products.

these here are ordered online.

this bracelet here is made with the colours from the packed of mix bands ordered online. cool eh? i must say, the kid who ordered this really has taste and her choice of arrangements of the colours too.

will be making some more tomorrow. yeah....haha.