Monday, June 30, 2008

Crazy Week

The wedding planner in the Hallmark movie "I Do (I Don't)" commented that the only thing worse than a psychotic bride is an indecisive bride. I couldn't agree with her more, especially when it comes to clients.

Indecision over the budget, over the budget allocation, over the ad copy and over the ad size can drive a media planner (that's me in case you don't know) bonkers.

And to the make matters worse, clients seem to find the thrill in changing everything at the last minute. To top it off, they want all the changes done and reflected in the media schedule immediately without factoring in the fact that we have to liaise with a whole lot of people and negotiate around impossible deadlines and situations just to effect that change.

And I have people saying, "Like that your work is very easy lo, just book the ad and then bill the client." Oh yeah, if only it's that easy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Flowers For My Hair

Saw some flowers that reminded me of days gone by.

Getah Hua with the bud in the foreground

The bud, in the middle, is clearer in this picture

They reminded me of those days when Gramma would dress me up as a little nyonya. I was about five or six at that time and part of the dressing up routine would be to pick the buds of these getah hua (literally 'sap flowers') from the tree in our garden.

Gramma would then string them together at night in preparation for the next day when she would use them to encircle the base of my bun.
Even more buds would be threaded together to form another zig-zag band approximately 1 cm in height to surround the bun.

No nyonya can survive these days with the amount of time it takes just to prepare the decorations for the hair.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

3 Weeks Left

Cannot believe that there's only 3 weeks left to the Big Day! So many things to do. Gotta run.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guess Where?

Let me show you some pictures and you guess where they were taken.

Lovely flowers in the mist

Closeup of the flowers

They really look like they were taken in some cold, misty place, right? Well, it's misty all right but it's my camera lens that was misted up.

It was real hot. See the following picture and you'll know how sunny it was. We were by the sea so it was a real scorcher.

Sunny skies

Pictures lie! This being the case, I guess the recent Immigration Department encounter was not too bad. Awful pictures = photographer's fault. Not so depressed now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Am I My Mother Or My Daughter?

Today I went to the Immigration Department to renew my passport. I am amazed at how efficient they are nowadays. It took me less than an hour to get my photo taken, buy the form, fill in the form, wait for the officer to process my application and pay for the passport.

After I had paid, the lady asked to come back in two hours time to collect my passport. Then she gave me a strange instruction. She reminded me to be sure to bring along my mom! When I told her that it's my own passport she suddenly went all apologetic because she thought that the person in the passport photo was my mother.

That could mean a number of things.
1. I look terrible in my photo. Honestly, it's worse than a mug shot and I am horrified that my face looks so puffy.
2. I look much better in person. Definitely, younger than the person in the photo.

My colleagues agreed on the above two points.

The question remains whether I should take that as a compliment or not. Either way it's like a no-win situation. SIgh.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fish Broth

On Saturday night we wanted something light for dinner so we took a drive to the famous broth stall along the way to airport. There was a wide selection of ingredients but we restrained ourselves and just decided on pomfret slices and one prawn each.

Pomfret slices and prawn broth

We also had Ipoh Salted Chicken. It tasted as good but cost RM11 for half a chicken. You have to pay more but it saves you the trip to Ipoh.

Ipoh Salted Chicken

And dearest hubby could not resist the toast with butter and sugar. If it had been morning or if we hadn't over eaten, a couple of soft-boiled eggs to go with it would have been just perfect.

The famous roti bakar

With a little bit here and a little bit there, dinner wasn't so light after all.

East Xiamen Delicacies

Last week a friend brought us to this new place for lunch. Actually it's not new 'cos it has been around for some time but we've just not been adventurous enough to try it out. We were a bit wary given the fact that we don't even know where East Xiamen is.

We were pleasantly surprised that the food was delicious. According to this friend's friend who is a Teochew, this little place hidden away in a little corner in Love Lane, serves authentic Teochew fare. The portions are tiny so,
from that perspective, it is a bit pricey but worth it.

I ordered the yam rice. The fluffy yam pieces was lovely but we were delighted to see Ken's steamed rice served in the cutest little clay pot. We also had chai kueh which KL assured us was the best in town. Unfortunately, by the time they came, we were half-way through the meal and too busy eating, so no pics.

Have a look at our lunch spread.

That's Yam Rice on the left and the tiny, masak-masak pot of steamed rice.
In the background are Chai Por Omelette and Fish in Soya Sauce.

Fried fish in Soya Sauce

Crunchy and juicy Kailan.

Jiu Hu Char with fresh lettuce

There are so many interesting stuff in the shop. Even the menus are unusual. They come in the form of scrolls, at least I think they are supposed to be scrolls but they also look like rolling pins. So you turn the scrolls/rolling pins to pick the dishes of your choice from the pictures shown. I like it because I don't like surprises and would prefer to know what my order is going to look like.

Unusual menus.

The place itself has an olde worlde charm with antique lamps and they had creatively recycled old Singer sewing machine treadle stands for table legs! There are also framed antique stuff and paintings adorning the walls. These are for sale as are almost everything else in the shop, even the lamps. Maybe the tables as well, but not sure.

Antique lamps for sale

Creative use of recycled treadle machine stands. Note the old tiles on the floor.

Verdict: We shall return.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Pam came back to celebrate Father's Day with her daddy. Thank you 'bee!

And thanks for your lovely treat at Chili's yesterday. The food was good but the company was better.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Best Tau Tay Gulai Tumis in Town

In my opinion, the best Tau Tay Gulai Tumis is to be found at Penang's Sin Kheang Aun Restaurant located at ???. Hmmh . . . Can you believe it? I've been there so many times but I don't recall ever seeing the name of the road. Anyway, it's one of the side-roads off Chulia Street, the one after Love Lane if you are heading towards Weld Quay.

We went there last Tuesday and had a very satisfying dinner of rice swimming in mouth-watering, lip-smacking curry served with super fresh
pieces of white pomfret meat.

This is the Tau Tay Gulai Tumis. Tastes much better than it looks here.
Blame it my lousy camera phone.

We also had Bangkwang Char wrapped with fresh, crunchy Oh Wah Chai. That's lettuce for those uninitiated in Penang hokkien.

Bangkwang Char with Lettuce

Greedy me, I'm looking forward to Asam Koh Hae (Asam Flavoured Prawns) for our next visit.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petrol Price Hike

Petrol price took a leap from RM1.98 per litre to RM2.70 per litre as of 12 midnight this morning.

The news was already confirmed by late afternoon and the streets were jammed with cars quequing up to fill up their petrol tanks. Instead of filling up our petrol tanks we filled up our tummies instead at the Batu Bukit flats and watched the cars quequing up to get to Petronas. We timed a bus and estimated that it'd take approximately an hour for a vehicle to reach the pump.

Imagine how much petrol you're burning and how much time you're wasting. Unless you're driving a big car, or your petrol tank is at zero, it's not worth the time spent waiting to fill up your tank.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Church Camp 2008

The venue, Cameron Highlands, was fine. Nice, cool weather was a welcome change after the hot spell down in the lowlands.

It's the accommodation that's the bummer. Mold on the wall gave the room a musty air and made the bedding smell. Checked on the other side of the wall and saw a patch of green, slimy Predator blood on the floor. Disgusting!

No hot water so we had to take our first cold baths in years. Then we found out that the heater had tripped. The bathroom light was working and the heater indicator light was on so it did not occur to us to reset the fuses
even though they were conveniently placed just above the light and heater switches. Sometimes must not be too clever, when things don't work simply flick any switches in sight.

Conclusion: Never stay at Star Regency Hotel and Apartments.

And the trip was horrendous. Jam all the way from Sg. Perak to Jelapang toll and jam again at Cameron Highlands. Trip from Brinchang to the turn off into the expressway to Simpang Pulai took more than an hour.

Conclusion: Never go to Cameron Highlands or anywhere that entails traveling by car along the NS Expressway during the school holidays.