Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Road Scary Road

I have always wondered how phobia or trauma feels like. I think I  have encountered a mild version of it :p

There is one T-shaped junction on the way to my house which is badly lit at night with only 1 lamp post standing. The road is on a hill which ends at the 2-way junction at the bottom. Few accidents have happened there including a bus which probably had a brake problem and it ended up crashing into the ditch after the 2-way junction yikes.

Before The Accident, I had a near-accident with a 4-wheel with only its 1 side light functioning. I was driving downwards from the hill and assumed that there was no car at the left before continuing to drive to my right. And suddenly there was this loud screeching sound behind me which nearly made my heart stopped beating. I looked back and saw this black 4-wheel (no wonder I couldn't spot it) with only 1 side light emitting weakly at its left side ( Again, it's a blind spot from my side). I think the driver of the 4-wheel was also shocked and it just stayed put for about a minute. Me? I quickly drove away. He was in the wrong anyway.

Even after that, I still used that road after work after having promised to myself that I'd look both sides of the road real hard 'till I'm squinting to watch out for light-less cars and especially in black colors. Then came the day of the Accident.

As usual that night, I stopped at the junction and looked both ways. There was a car coming from the right but it had a signal and it was driving at a slow pace. So I thought, Okay this car is going to turn into my side and I just accelerated forward. The car didn't slow down. What the...?! It was just like in a slow motion movie. The car came into contact with the driver's seat with a not-so-loud crasshh sound and we were staring at each other for about 10 seconds. The driver and his friend went out of the car, I pulled down the car window and said, 'Hey, you had a signal.' And he said, 'No, we had the emergency light on.' What the...?!

Turned out that the guy's car headlights weren't functioning properly so he switched on the emergency light to warn other drivers. And I argued back that from my side I couldn't see the emergency lights from both sides of the car unless I was driving on the same road as him. In the end, I had my guy came over and negotiated to pay a reasonable sum for his car damage (headlight completely smashed). Fortunately the guy was a softie, so he agreed to the amount without any shouting any swearing!

So after that, I still use that road after work but instead of directly driving out to the right at the junction, I turned left instead and took the 1-minute drive to the roundabout and make a turn to the right lane. It ate about 2 minutes of my time but that's ok, I didn't want to face the risk of bumping into light-less cars!

But....there was a time when I said to myself, let's try one time just to see if I can overcome my fear of driving out straight from that junction. That time was perfect...there were no cars around except mine. After looking both ways three times, I went forward...and there was this horrible, panicky feeling inside me with my heart beating loudly for extra bonus :p I had that uncomfortable feeling right until I reached home. Phew!

So yeah, that was a first mild version of phobia experience for me. Could take me a while before I can brave myself to drive that path again :p 
 The dent on the driver's seat :P

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm not wearing underwear!

Here's a funny tale (based on actual event) to reduce your Monday Blues :p

Me: Here's the shorts I've bought for you, try it on! I wanna see if it fits. (handed to him this dark-colored,not-too-flashy checkered shorts)
Him: (Took the shorts self-consciously) Okay, I'll try it later.
Me: What later?? I wanna see now lah.
Him: Okay. (Put on shorts with his baggy pants that he was currently wearing inside)
Me: Aren't you going to take off your pants first? You won't know if it fits if you wear double shorts.
Him: I can't. (sheepish face)
Me: Why not?? (Getting impatient)
Him: 'Cos I'm not wearing underwear. 
Me: (can't decide whether I should laugh out real LOUD or chide him for being so ridicuolusly malu. Like helloooo...this is me I'm talking about hahaha)

Well that's the whole story. Hope it did cheer somebody up! :D

 Don't be shy-shy lah ;)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh Copycatism!

I've recently bought a belated birthday present for my friend (a baseball bat-like soft toy with a cute cartoon face from the Tokyo Street section in Pavillion KL shopping mall) and can't wait to see the happily surprised look on my friend's face as I was certain that it won't be available in KK.

Me: Here's your birthday pressie! Open it!
Friend: Okay! (opens wrapper) Wow it's really cute!!
Me: Yeah, it's cute isn't it? (grins broadly)
Friend: Yup, I saw them loads like this in City Mall*. I think they're really popular now! (Smiles)
Me: Argh! (groans inwardly)

Darn it to the power of copycatism...nothing is exclusive anymore. No more 'You can only get it in Paris' conversations whereby you say it with a smug look on your face and your listener looks at you with admiration and envy.

Ah well, at least my friend still likes it :p

*local mall which is only 40 minutes from my house

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's time to turn off the lights

7 days has passed since my stepmother's passing, and according to our local custom, we hold praying ceremonies during the 7th, 40th, and 100th day. I took the day off and my mum and I took the 2-hour taxi drive from kk city to keningau. When we reached there early afternoon, my aunties and cousins are already in the kitchen cooking up dishes for the night includin chicken curry, chicken cooked with soya sauce, mixed veggies, stir-fried long beans with sliced fishcake, salted fish cooked with chilli+tamarind sauce, and not forgetting local desserts such as kuih lenggang, pisang goreng, and doughnuts. All home-cooked yum! Living in the city, we rarely get to see this type of gotong-royong whereby all people gather together and cook up a huge fest using huge kualis and enormous pots and pans. The wonderful smell of spices around you and the hands-on experience of making kuehs are totally a privilege for a city girl like me :D

Yummy foods aside, the 'highlight' for the 7th day is also the 'lights out' process and preparing food on the dining table for the deceased. The 'lights out' process usually occurs at night whereby all people in the house group together in the living room and keep silent for 10-15 minutes in the dark. The purpose of this is to enable the deceased to go back to its house to pay its last visit before going to the Other Side. For as long as I know, this event is scary and exciting at the same time for most people as they are expecting to hear 'noises' supposedly being caused by the deceased. There was even stories for this occasion whereby certain people who can 'see' the spirits or have utterly low willpower have been possessed by the spirits of the deceased and they talk in a totally different voice. Some people said that it's all fake, but there are times when they doubt themselves as the possessed who does not know the deceased well is able to talk about things that only the closest family members is aware about.

For Kadazan customs, the lights out process normally occurs around 7 or 8pm. But here in Keningau, the lights out only begins at 12 midnight! So at the strike of twelve, when I was still surfing online, my stepbrother started to walk around the house and switched off all active lightbulbs. I wasn't feeling particularly scared, but my stepsister and her sis-in-law quickly got out of their room to join me outside. Another relative even asked to be accompanied in the bathroom while she took her bath in the dark haha! During the lights out period, we didn't see anything but the dogs were barking outside. And my aunt claimed that she saw my stepmother walking outside nearby the house. Plus, my another aunt could smell something rotten. Eek!

The next morning was another exciting check out whether the food prepared for the deceased has been 'touched'. One of my relative's annoyingly loud handphone message alerts of hip-hop songs woke us up at 6.15am. As we were all sleeping in the living room, when everyone got up I had also no choice but to wake up as well...ah, I miss the luxury of long weekend slumbers :p Few minutes later, my mum excitedly came to my side and practically dragged me to the kitchen. And there we saw, the food being 'touched' by the deceased. My aunt had prepared a plate of rice with side dishes of chicken curry, a kampung-style fish dish, kuehs, chilli paste, vegetable soup, a glass of water, and a glass of coffee. Right in front of our eyes, the plate of kueh was totally empty (there was 3 types of kueh initially), a small portion of the chilli paste and fish was gone, and the kitchen window facing the food was opened! Some said that it could be eaten by one of the cats, but the others argued that if it were a cat, the whole food would have been gobbled up and the table would be messy and littered with scraps of the food. We were full of awe...but not Dad. He dismissed the whole thing as a fake hehe :p

So that was the happenings of the 7th day. Whatever happened depends on whether or not we want to believe, but it's a part of our local customs and these type of events will still continue in the future generations to come.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

a day of joy and sadness

18th May 2012 is a joyful and sad day at the same time. The happy news is the birth of my cousin, Javier Messiah @ Messie (his older bro's nickname is Kaka hehe). Unfortunately, it is also the day my stepmom took her final breath in this world. It was expected but shocking that the day for her to go was so soon as she was only sick for barely 2 months. Everyday I was hoping that her health will improve bit by bit, but lung cancer is clearly hard to treat and it spreads to the whole body so fast it's like a snap of the finger, just like that,

My stepmom wasn't the stereotyped Evil Stepmother. She was kind,selfless, and treated my mom like her sister and me like her daughter since the day I first visited her when I was 12 years old. So I felt sad that she had to go but I'm sure that she had done her part as a loving wife, caring mother, and a good friend.

There is a saying, "When somebody dies, in a place nearby a baby is born." Looks like you can't get more accurate than that.

Dear stepmom, you will be dearly missed and that I will always pray for you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

All you can Eat at KK!

New restaurants and cafes are mushrooming like mad in KK this year. Love eating out? So do I! Based on review in magazines and recommendations from friends, I have checked out Station 1, Kudos, Seven Seas, and Fullhouse. And I planned to try Le Safran in Suria Shopping Mall next! So what do I think of each eatery?

What attracted me to Station 1 is that this franchise has been long operating in West Malaysia and that it served a variety of food ranging from Western food to our lovable Malaysian treats. It has even advertised on! (and we know how expensive radio advertising is) I've tried eating at Station 1 once with my friends back in my college days. I remembered that there was a space for live music entertainment featuring local artists but did not remember how good the food was hehe! There are 2 Station 1 outlets in KK, one in Suria Shopping Mall (vintage concept) and one in Lintas (normal outdoors cafe concept). I went to the Lintas branch with my guy and we ordered lamb chop, fish and chips, and the Mexican pizza. And at the Suria branch, my friends and I ordered pizzas and soups and rice. The verdict? The taste of the food is not bad but the portion of one dish is lesser than average and it will definitely be not enough for guys (that's why my guy ordered lamb chop and pizza!) And the price will probably be not that worth due to the portion :p In terms of service, it was pretty slow in the Suria outlet and why is it that one tom yam soup takes so much longer to arrive than the pizzas and chicken rice? They forgot the soup order, no-brainer! :p And it happened that the soup was ordered by my lawyer friend, who threatened the staff that if her soup did not arrive in 5 mins' time, our total bill will get 10 percent discount. And the soup arrived in less than 5 :p So yeah, Station 1 is just another normal cafe with glossy menus haha!

Kudos, on the other hand, prides itself as a sophisticated and modern European dining spot in City Mall. I have passed by Kudos before and saw that the closed-door restaurant was pretty small (not that small though. And it has provided tall-legged wooden tables and chairs outdoors. Sometimes I wondered what's with the tall tables and chairs? I mean, the uncles and aunties won't feel comfy sitting on them. Even I feel awkard sometimes with my short legs hanging in the air haha! I was meeting up with someone to talk business over dinner, so I called up to make a reservation, just in case we did not get a table! The person who answered the phone was a lady who talked very professionally. She asked whether it was my first time going to the restaurant etc. And I guessed that she's the owner ;) And I was right! When we reached there, the restaurant was packed and it held a comfy and positive atmosphere where families and friends gathered to catch up with things and enjoy good food. The lady owner approached our table and went through all the dishes in the menu one by one and explained in detail on the ingredients of each dish. She even cracked a few jokes that made us feel instantly at home, so yeah, like I said, she's a pro! We had beef lasagne with garlic bread, fish and chips, and lamb shank. And I tell you, the food was absolutely delicious!Like the garlic bread, it's real garlic on real bread, not just some flimsy piece of white carb :p As a conclusion, thumbs up for Kudos :)

I discovered Seven Seas (not the cod liver oil!) in Breeze magazine. I think it has just opened doors this year and conveniently situated next to the highway in Kepayan (convenient for me la,'cos it's just on the road back home sweet home) What caught my eyes (and gut!) were the gorgeous pics of the food. And of course, the rave review of the food writer. It wasn't hard to spot the place as you can even see it from the highway.I think not many people know about this place yet, but if you haven't then you should! I went for the most talked about steak sandwich served with fries and the portion is enough for 2 people! Oh ya,I must also compliment on the waitress for being very friendly and patiently described in detail ALL the dishes listed in the menu haha! Ini baru la world-class service!Ms. Waitress mentioned that the beef in the sandwich is homemade and flattened so that it is easier for us to chomp on ;) As for the fries, they also added some kind of BBQ sauce instead of plain old tomato/chilli sauce which makes it different from other fries dishes. Towards the end of our dinner, it happened that some local award show was being aired 'live' on TV and Mum wanted to catch a glimpse of any of her fave singers on the show. So we ended up watching the show together with the waiter/waitresses haha!It was a good food experience, will go back for other dishes!

I'm sure most of you would know about Fullhouse by now...yeah, it's that cool restaurant with larger-than-life toy cars being displayed! The first impression that I had when I saw Fullhouse is that it could be a English restaurant with its white walls and elegant white sofas, outdoors white garden table and chair set, and it even has a mini fountain! There was also a section where they sold clothes and stuff, but I'm sure they are pretty expensive ;) My Mum and I settled for the garden table set (with an umbrella on top and fake grass at the bottom!) and felt that we were in an actual garden (But it's not comfy for those who wear shorts and miniskirts though, 'cos you may end up with chair prints on the back of your thighs hehe). We had the Aglia Oglio spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes (quite yummy but it get sweeter and sweeter by midway.So I think you should get an ice lemonade to balance out the taste), fried calamari rings with wasabi mayo sauce (umm...not really recommended. the rings are tasteless and whaa....? Dip with Wasabi sauce??!!Maybe it suits you, but not me!), and sandwich with fries (just normal). Oh, the honey green tea drink is good. You should try it if you're a fan of green tea like me! Plus points for Fullhouse is the very fast service (The food arrived in less than 5-8 minutes after we made our order) and I like their French uniforms hehehe :)

So that's about it for now! I hope you guys have some good foodie experiences like me and I'll catch up with you all soon :)

 Kudos :)

Beef lasagne with the real garlic bread :D

My crazy friends and I in front of Fullhouse, Suria Shopping Mall!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Havana La La La

Met up with a good friend recently and I decided that we try out this Spanish fusion food restaurant called Havana Bistro at Warisan Square. I've always passed by this place on my way back home from work but never had the chance to try it. I snooped around online looking at people's reviews and noticed that the feedback and pictures looked quite promising. So, off we went there on a normal weekday night.

The place exuded a cosy atmosphere with warm yellow lighting, salsa music being played in the background, colourfully decorated tables and chairs, and beautiful paintings adorned the wall. There weren't many customers (maybe due to weekday working blues), but one thing's for sure: the waitresses are one of the friendliest in town! The girls' bubbly and warm personality instantly made us feel like home. My friend, who's very particular when it comes to politeness, remarked that (and I quote), "Wow, you make me feel happy now." :)

There are a variety of dishes to choose from, but not all are available. Like the crepes with ice-cream dessert (my request) and tapas (friend's request). We weren't in the mood for cocktails since it's a weekday, so in the end we ended up ordering chicken ham + cheese pita and spicy garlic mushrooms (me) and Havana Stuffed Chicken (friend). The pita was so-so, but the mushrooms and stuffed chicken were superb, and it goes well with the price too ;)

The conclusion? We had a fun night catching up dinner in a relaxing, stress-free diner served by friendly girls with lovely smiles. The only thing missing is a salsa dance session hehe. But we would definitely return in the future...and maybe start our own salsa flash mob :D

We're at Havana!

Cosy ambience :)

Nice pic!

Yummy spicy garlic mushrooms!

My chicken ham+cheese pita bread

The Havana Stuffed Chicken! Recommended :)

Me and my Pita bread :)

Have a great weekend you guys! Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Hair-Dyeing Weekend

Had a good weekend? My latest weekend project was..yes you guessed dye project! I've never done a DIY, so I was so excited to give it a try on my guy's hair..the poor guinea pig, but hey he trusts me :) So I got myself a DIY hair dye kit complete with hair color (dark chocolate), conditioner and a pair of disposable gloves from Revlon; a few hair clips, hair color comb, some newspapers and we're ready to roll!

It was pretty easy. After producing the hair color mixture, I just squeezed 'em out from the bottle onto the hair and used my fingers and comb to make the color spread more evenly. Short hair is very convenient and I was done in less than half an hour :) Then I gave it 30 minutes for the color to be absorbed into the hair before washing 'em off followed by conditioner. Another waiting time of 2 minutes, rinse off the conditioner, blow-dry hair and we're done! So here are the results :D

Before the Magic Makeover - He has grey hairs here and there :p

During the makeover - I dye his hair while he keeps himself busy with his phone :)

During the 30-minutes wait...looking like Antonio Banderas here hahaha!

Ta-da! No more grey sideburns :D

Nice chocolate-y hue :)

By the looks of it, he looked pretty pleased with the results :D

Oh, Mum and I re-visited this cute cafe that sells the yummiest scones at a reasonable price (only RM3.50 per scone and its very filling!) The last time we went there was a year ago and we're hoping that the scones will still be on their menu..and they still are yay! So I had a hot-from-the-oven, totally scrumptious scone served with fresh vanilla cream and jam (I finished every bit of the vanilla cream hehe) with 3 in 1 teh tarik and Mum had turkey sandwich served with chips and a hot mug of Milo :) Such a great way to de-stress with yummy nibbles and a relaxing environment. If you're in KK, check out this place at The Crown Borneo Hotel Go when it's just the 'right' time for tea around 3 or 4-ish PM so you won't miss 'em!

The yummy scones and turkey sandwich :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Busy Week Everyone?

February being the month of love and bliss?


Apart from V-Day and lovey-dovey flicks shown on the TV all week, there are no public holidays (and you'd feel guilty to even take an offday after long CNY holidays in January) and if you are in the sales department, you will be cracking your head everyday trying to figure out how to hit your target in a short period of 24 weekdays (another bit of downside whereby Feb tends to be a 'silent' month as majority of us would be broke after forking out our savings for Christmas, New Year and CNY. For parents, they'd be saving to spend on their kids' school fees and supplies).

So yeah, as I am conicidentally in sales, Feb totally bums me out. Sales ain't doing too well and big lady boss is pressuring our team every opportunity that she has. And recently, she made a very-last-minute decision to organize a workshop and we had to prepare all wordings, marketing materials, venue booking, and to send out invites to all potential participants that we have in our database in 3 days. We are used to last-minute situations like these, but this time unfortunately our team is is in Philippines and one is in Singapore for overseas assignments. Since I'm in HQ whereby all resources are available...indirectly means that I have to do majority of the work! Just today my back is totally aching from emailing out invites to potential participants. And tomorrow will be another day to re-check whether any of the emails have bounced back and I need to make calls to get their new email adds or fax number etc. Of course, the most pressuring part is to actually get people to attend the workshop. And it's not easy when it's last minute whereby people would already have plans :p Big boss won't take any excuse for not being able to get the amount of people that she let's hope that response will be good this time :)

But hey, despite all this...we've got MSN and Skype to thank as me and my colleagues are able to communicate fast in completing this task successfully!

I just hope that big boss won't make a last-minute decision to fly me off in order to help with the workshop as I have a weekend project to do this week! *Fingers crossed*

Ah well...big boss should consider giving me a pay rise as I'm such a patient, non-whining employee haha. Hope you guys are doing better than me ;)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Fantastic Year for Us,I Wish You All!

Happy New Year all! XOXO

The beginning of every new year is always exciting...there's the 1-week Chinese New Year holiday coming soon yeah!!, upcoming bonus pay and hopefully increase in pay?? ;) And hey, not to forget our New Year resolutions which may be the same year after year e.g. must lose weight!, or less smoking please, or put that glass of wine on hold! :p I'm not sure about yours, but my resolutions are pretty simple:

(1) MUST be punctual to work (or anywhere else)...still working on it...sigh!
(2) LESS spending, MORE car loan will be finishing in a years' time, so gotta save for a new car! Initially I wanted to keep it for few more years, but Mum's been nagging since she can't drive manual. This really sucks 'cos I really like driving manual :p and I have to remind myself to NOT buy any more bags (esp designer bags) since I've still got lots to last 5 years :p
(3) GET a part-time job...thinking to be a freelance writer which can make me busy during the weekends hehe

New Year is about everything new and people are looking forward to make more money as cost of living, cost of socializing are getting higher and higher..but we must not forget that our elderly will get older year by year. Before this,I will get annoyed if my parents asked me to do stuff for them especially when I'm flat-out tired back from work. But now I am more aware of this situation and I will do things for them without them asking and try to be patient when they can't catch on what I'm trying to say or point out. Do simple things which will make them feel grateful towards you e.g. carrying heavy stuff,do heavy-duty chores or just spend some time with them simply chatting etc etc. You will feel great, I guarantee :)

All of you must have your own resolutions and goals for this year of the dragon and I sincerely hope that you can achieve them all :) Actually, I have one goal to achieve by this year..pretty big one but it's too early to tell heehee.

Adios and Happy Monday Blues :p