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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Other Day In KL ...

I took so long to finish recapping my trip to Bangkok ... because right after I came back, I got distracted by a Korean drama called Doctors. I only watched it after my friend told me about it ... and then ... heh .... I got hooked. While the story had flaws, I enjoyed the acting and the interaction between the great-looking lead actors. So much so that I was so tempted to attend their fan meetings in KL in mid-October. If only those meetings were held on weekends, I have would attended.

Ever since then, I've watched a few of the older K-dramas, marathoning most of the time; and I am currently kind of impressed with actor Lee Min Ho. I thought he was all looks and no substance .... but heh, I judged too quickly. He was not bad an actor at all .... and I am currently enjoying his latest offering, Legend of the Blue Sea.

Last Deepavali break, I went to visit my nephew Berry in KL ... and of course took the opportunity to go shopping too. I did not buy as much as I normally would. Having bought lots of clothing from Bangkok the other day, I refrained from buying any in KL. Instead, I was shopping around for bags, shoes and other accessories.

Well, I bought a Thomas Sabo charm bracelet in Dec 2010 with only 2 charms. It cost me near RM700 at that time, and I thought it was really pricey. In Dec 2012, I added another charm to my bracelet. Though it's been so many years, my bracelet still look like brand new. I hardly wear it often at all, keeping it in my drawer most of the time.

Recently, while going through my collection of blings, I found myself falling in love with the bracelet all over again. While everyone seems to be buying and wearing a Pandora, my Thomas Sabo charm bracelet seemed to be more unique.

Hence, this trip, I added another charm to my bracelet - I opted for a kiwi bird, to represent my alma mater. This charm cost RM219. Expensive, huh?

I bought a pair of shoes which I wanted to wear to Japan in December (my next trip!!).

And I bought Mamonde. And so, South Korean celebrity Park Shin Hye - the leading actress of Doctors - was really beautiful and likeable by many, and she endorsed many brands. One of it is Mamonde.

While I was shopping at Midvalley City on Monday, there was this Mamonde Roadshow. Mamonde was recently launched in Malaysia (and Park Shin Hye indeed made a special appearance at One Utama for this big event in mid-October!!), and so I lingered to get a free sample of its popular product, the Ceramide Cream. Then I thought I'd buy the Lotus Micro Cleansing Foam (RM49) since mine finished and I was currently just using  a random brand bought from the pharmaceuticals.

Then there is this boy going by the name "Rain", who was promoting the Ceramide range of products and also the honeysuckle essence .... and he was so passionate about the products that I bought into it and splurged on the whole set. It cost me RM435.

Such was the selling power of Park Shin Hye. Sigh. 

Can't wait to use the products though .... I'd dream to have Park Shin Hye's beautiful skin. Lol.

Food wise, hmn .... I didn't eat much. Bro and I were both on diet at times. Lol ...... but anyway, I did eat 2 yummy ice-creams ... 

My favourite matcha soft serve from Nana's Green Tea, now available at the top floor of Midvalley Mega Mall ... 

Godiva chocolate ice-cream
This tasted really fantastic! Creamy, chocolate-y, not too sweet, and so satisfying .... Best of all, there was a Buy 1 Free 1 promo the other day, so we got 2 ice-creams for RM22.85. I'm still thinking of it even today .... 

Bro did bring me to eat at this yummy Yong Tau Foo place at Salak Selatan .... I think it's called Fatty Mok Yong Tau Foo Restaurant. We just ordered a small bowl to share, since we were ordering rice and dishes .... 

Yong Tau Foo in clear soup ...
There were many types of stuffed tofu and vegetables to opt for ... and I liked the soup (tasted of anchovies!) and the accompanying chilli and sweet sauces. 

The other dishes were good too! 

 Lemon chickecn

 Stir-fried Kailan

Fish Head Curry
Not much of fish, but the accompanying ingredients were really good! Loved the crunchy vegetables and the rich taste of the curry broth. Real good to eat with rice.

Well, I'll be leaving for Japan soon ... will update when I get back! :))

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 6 : DMK - KUL - KCH

It was our last day. Most of my packing was done already. I got ready to go out at 6.00 a.m. for the final round of shopping! And yes, I did score 2 skirts, 1 shorts and 1 blouse - all THB150 per piece. I was also ecstatic because I managed to buy another 6 pieces of Siam Banana from one of the 7-11 outlets! They were THB12.00 per piece, and quite difficult to buy because tourists snap them up like hot cake literally.

Then, it was back to the hotel for breakfast, and after which, I stuffed everything into my bag and checked out. Our ride to Don Muang International Airport took about 40 minutes, with mild traffic jam at certain stretches of the journey.

I wanted to get my VAT refund, and to do that, I had to get my form verified and stamped at a small office at the airport. Next, we went to queue at the check-in counter. Checking-in took a long time - I think we stood in queue for at least 40 minutes. The official made sure to check us in one by one, and she made sure each of us had only 2 pieces of checked-in luggage not exceeding 30kg, as per Malindo's requirement.

After that, we went into the departure hall, and right after the immigration, there is a counter where I collected my refund of THB250. Yayy!

Our flights were on time and we reached KLIA at 3.05 p.m. local time.

Waiting for our plane to arrive at Don Muang Airport

On the flight back .... seriously, Malindo isn't very creative in the snacks department

Some goodies I bought ...

The yellow one on the right was bought here in Kuching .... the other 2 I'd not seen before locally. They had sourish blueberry and strawberry flakes in them. 

I loved these super spicy Bento Squid Snack. Yum! 

Bought these flavoured seaweed .... not much cheaper than here in Kuching  though ...

Dried mango and crispy pork 

We came back happy, happy that we have bought so much stuff at reasonable prices ... lots of fun with the group, lots of enjoyment, lots of yummy food. Looking forward to the next trip with the gang.

Bangkok, I WILL BE BACK! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day 5 : Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, Madame Tussauds Bangkok, Platinum Fashion Mall

That day, we were to visit the aquarium at Siam Paragon and then Madame Tussauds at Siam Discovery. Those places only opened from 10.00 a.m. onwards.

Hence, that morning, we went to the streets to shop first! That morning, I scored 1 blouse and 1 skirt. My friends bought dresses and shorts, among other things.

We then went back to the hotel for breakfast. At 9.45 a.m., the driver picked us up to bring us to Siam Paragon because we wanted to visit the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. The driver helped us with our admission into the aquarium, and we spent some time here checking out the marine exhibits.


At the craft corner (for kids!!), I amused myself by colouring a fish and then animating it.



I was not so impressed with the aquarium - even though it's supposed to be the largest (really?) in South East Asia.

One of the tanks ....

We must have spent about an hour here at the aquarium ... before we exited .... 

A wax statue of Muhammad Ali just outside the aquarium

Tom Cruise at Siam Paragon

After the aquarium, we walked to Siam Discovery to go to Madame Tussauds ... on the way, we ate at Food Republic. We had to purchase a prepaid card .....

I had this bowl of Tom Yum noodles with a single river prawn, which cost THB149.

It's bought from this stall named "Tom Yum River Prawn Noodle By Sattaya". Lol. How apt. The middle-aged guy behind the counter was heavily made up, and he reminded me of a eunuch from Imperial China. 

Other food items we ordered included ... 




Madame Tussauds ... well, I wasn't much excited about it having been to the one in London years ago; I just kind of knew what to expect and so, there wasn't much to anticipate about.

Who's this?

Some of the wax statues inside include ....

Gandhi

Chairman Mao; Diana at the background ..

The Obamas ... 

PM Lee

HM The Queen

Nickhun!! 

Wolverine 

Capt America

Leo

Jackie Chan

We spent some time taking photographs of the wax figures we liked ... and then even watched at 7D show here.

After that we took at tuk tuk to Platinum Fashion mall. I think it cost THB150 per trip; we made sure we agreed on the price before we took the tuk tuk to avoid being overcharged.

Here at the Mall, we spent the rest of the day shopping. We split up because we each had different interests and were looking for different things to buy ... but we agreed to meet up at the food court at 6.00 p.m.

While my friends shopped for clothing, I spent much time shopping for accessories - hair pins and bracelets and necklaces. They weren't cheap; but I bought them because I thought they were exactly what I was looking for - something of simple design and yet with a bit of bling.

What I liked were these leather accessories; there was this small shop which sold bracelets and necklaces made from leather! There were so many different colours and designs to choose from. After some time, I decided to buy 2 leather bracelets and a necklace. I paid THB500 for the 3 items.

I bought a monk-style hobo bag for only THB100. Then we bought lots of food items - crispy pork and some local Thai sweets and dried mangoes and curry pastes ...

At 6.00 p.m., my friends had dinner at the food court at Platinum Fashion Mall ... I did not find the food here interesting, so I merely ordered a plate of Mango Sticky Rice to share ...


That evening, we walked back to our hotel ... on the way, we were distracted by the many stalls along the roadside selling all sorts of things. So we were still buying along the way .... shorts and belts and wallets .... I bought a Thai-style hippie pants for THB100, and at the 7-11 nearby, I managed to buy some Siam Banana to bring home. I bought 6 pieces.

We dumped our purchases at the hotel and went out in search for some food; We bought durians, fried chicken, braised pork, bbq pork skewers, fruits and beer .... and then we had a great party in  our hotel room, and downed the food with iced cold Chang.

Braised pork - ears and tongue, etc 

Pa Ka Prao 

Pork skewers
These pork skewers were only THB100 each, and tasted so fantastic! My friend W even thought of taking these home to Kuching, lol!!

It was a fruitful day shopping today. Our feet were tired but we were so sated ... :))

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Programme Booklet : A Job That Sucks

Everyone feared him. They talked about how horrifying he was when lashing out at them over the errors committed. So meticulous he was that he demanded 100% accuracy in everything done.

Listening to them talking about it, I was of course fearful of him. By hook or by crook, I had to deliver. I was given charge of the programme booklet. I had to make sure that it was 100% correct.

I knew I had taken for granted when I checked it the first time, assuming that most information was correct. After verifying the information, I had the first set of booklet printed.

I photocopied the first set and distributed the booklets to the colleagues. They used it for rehearsal. Meanwhile, I printed 6 coloured booklets for the VIPs. I had to beg the clerk to let me use her printer. Though reluctant, she let me use it. It took me 40 minutes to print the 6 booklets.

After that, came the feedback of the errors - I noted 3 and after that, I begged the clerk for help again. She was kind enough to let me use her printer. I was utmost grateful. I reprinted 6 copies of the 2 sheets which had errors in them.

I thought I was done until I was again given the feedback of a few more mistakes. Darn. How could I have missed them! The co-ordinator claimed that I did not proofread it properly.

So I came home and attempted to print black and white, but correct copies. However, my printer setting was different and the pages printed on my printer were not aligned. By this time, I was already trembling with nervousness.

What were my options for the next day?
1) Use the printed coloured booklets with wrong information and wait to get bombed
2) Retype the whole booklet and risk making more errors
3) Go back to school and beg the clerk for the third time to let me print again

It was then that I received a text message to inform me of another error. Darn. Was there no end to this?

After amending the errors, I drove to the printers. I'd pay. Let the professionals do it. At i-print at Wayang Street, Eric helped me to set and print, cut and arrange and staple. It took an hour. I sat down and waited.

The cost? RM81.60; 6 sets of coloured ones were RM72. 4 sets of black and white ones were RM9.60.

In the end, it's not about the money. It's about allaying my fears.It's about not getting screwed at.

NEXT YEAR :
1) Be meticulous when checking the drafts. Cross check with the coloured forms filled by colleagues.
2) Attend rehearsal and get the errors ironed out.
3) Print only after the rehearsal - probably that afternoon before the event at 3 pm.
4) Print only black and white copies.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day 4 : Safari World, Chocolate Ville & Big C

Early morning, I woke up, got ready and changed into the new ethnic print cotton blouse which I bought at Asiatique The River Mall the night before. It was loose, but it was really comfortable and cooling. I looked alright in it, and when I met up with  my friends downstairs at the lobby, he thought so too. He actually discouraged me to buy it the night before because he thought I would be looking like an old auntie, wearing a bright orange coloured top with crazy prints. Lol. I'm glad I proved him wrong.

It's more shopping this early morning .... and my friends and I bought folded umbrellas for THB60 (only!) each. These were made in Thailand, and the vendor himself assured us that the umbrellas would be more durable compared to those made in China.

I bought 2 floral print blouses, and 3 eyelet blouses. The thing was over here, we needed to buy more than 1 piece to get a cheaper price. For example, if we bought 1 piece, we would have to pay THB200. If we bought 2 or 3 pieces, we would only pay THB150 and sometimes, if we bargained, we only had to pay THB130 or THB120. Hence we ended up sharing out the things we bought. Most of the blouses were one size and could surprisingly fit us whether we were big or small.

Then we hurried back to the hotel and gobbled up some breakfast. Eating was the last thing on our minds right now as shopping was top priority. Lol. At 7.45 a.m., the driver picked us up. We went to Safari World and would spend the day here.

The first part of the safari experience was so wonderful. After we settled the admission tickets, our van was driven into the park, where we could see animals in open space. Just the sight of the animals cheered us up immensely.




Then our vehicle entered a fenced enclosure .... and there outside of our vehicles were ....

Tigers!! 

More of them! 

We saw a couple resting on the platform, and a couple of others were playing nearby .... I think we were all so ecstatic looking at this .... but the 8 km drive-through quickly ended.

The second part of the safari experience had us visiting the park on foot - it's much like a zoo. This was not as fun as it was just like any other zoo. That day, there seemed to be an influx of tourists for India .... so much so that it felt like I was in India instead of Thailand. Lol!
  
At the entrance ... 

Our guide dropped by a stall and bought a mini coconut pancake snack ..... 


Mini coconut pancake

It was hot from the pan, the edges crispy, the cake itself was chewy, sweet and salty and full of coconut flavour. So good!!

There were scheduled shows at the park, and we ended up moving from one show to another.

Orang Utan Show

Sea Lion Show

Cowboy Show

The shows were an hour apart of each other. Well, it's not really something all of us wanted to watch because we were aware of the mistreatment the animals may be subjected to while training to perform all the antics. However, of course, none those showed as we watched the animals cleverly interact with their handlers ...  

I must admit that the first 2 shows - the orang utan and sea lion shows - were rather entertaining. The cowboy show, to me, was a waste of time - the sound system was bad, the acting was bad, the story was bad.  

Lunch was included in our admission tickets .... and at the hall, food was served buffet style. Aside from the 2 lines of mains, there were counters serving chicken noodles,vegetarian dishes and even halal dishes. I enjoyed the chicken noodle soup and the ice-cream.

My lunch 

After lunch, there were a few more shows ... but by then we were quite bored with the performance format. The dolphin and bird shows were passable ... but there was one show called "Spy War", which liked the cowboy show was a confusing mess - due to again, the bad sound effects.

Dolphin Show

Bird show

Getting in and out of the performance venues too were tideous and dangerous too; I think there were only 2 entrances and exits at each venue ... and with hundreds of people cramming through them; I imagined if a stampede occurred, many would end up dead. 

Dinner was at Chocolate Ville - a restaurant seemingly very popular with locals and tourists. Well, again, this place is a replica (another one!) of a European Village, with quaint and colourful buildings, beautiful landscapes. It's a happy place, though I wasn't exactly excited to be in a mock European village. Gosh I was in Thailand after all. Why would I want to pretend to be in Europe ....



Anyway, we were seated down and thankfully, the food was good. We enjoyed everything served. We paid about THB3400 for our meal, which we thought was quite reasonable. We ordered an ecclectic mix of food from the menu ...




German Ham Hock










Both the food and ambience were good, so we did enjoy our meal.

Next was shopping at Big C. This was a place filled with many tourists too - many from Malaysia. We bought our Wacoal bras here. The saleslady was really warm and friendly. She spoke a bit of English and Mandarin and told me, "Made in Thailand and cheaper..."

We let her measure us and recommended us to the variety of bras on display ... we spent much time here trying them on. In the end, I decided to buy 1 piece. Mine cost THB1100, but the saleslady assured us that we could get back the sales tax later on at the airport if we spent more than THB5000 here.

We also bought many food items  here; they were sold in bulk and thus cheaper. Popular snacks- like Taokaenoi seaweed and Bento surimi and squid snacks and Pocky. These were sold by the bulk and were cheaper. Our shopping done, we went back to our hotel for the night.

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