Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Looking Back Once In A While 3...

'S been quite a while since we've been able to blog, what with my dog missing, writer's block and the lack of a topic. Not so much of a lack of a topic but more rather choosing a topic to blah about.

Work? What about it? The Health Enforcement dept for the Wilayah Persekutuan, as far as we're told by some, is a 'difficult' lot. We've been waiting three weeks for our License A to be approved so that we may start informing Guardian that we can officially start work with them as a locum...if they have a spot for us. See, just to get a part-time job with no certain fixed hours is so troublesome already. True, anytime can go back to Guardian for a job, just the general process of getting the license itself will take ages.

So, best thing to do was to seive through my 'My Pictures' folder and pick a pic for a story.

This is us at King's Theatre, Glasgow, waiting for a musical to start. All the way at the end of Sauchiehall St (very vague generalization there). The musical? My Fair Lady. Scots singing with a Cockney accent or teaching others to speak the Queen's English properly! One of the two plays we'd watched in Glasgow. We had our top three to catch in London: The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and The Mousetrap. We remember watching Phantom (my first musical in UK!) somewhere after our hectic summer course when we arrived in Glasgow. Everyone was making their first 'London Group Trip', each in their own small cliques or group, ourself included.

Only Krn was interested in watching Phantom (others were not interested or thought it too pricey). We'd remember it was raining cats and dogs when we left Marble Arch to make our way to Leicester Sq. We were slightly late and only got in after the auction scene ended - the first thing we ever saw on that stage was the elephant! So there we were, humming the songs (if not singing it under our breathe) until Karen started crying ("touched touched"). During the intermission we'd gone to look at the programmes and souvenirs for sale. We ourself eventually broke down and followed Karen in getting the programme and full CD. That night ended in us waiting backstage so Karen could get her programme autographed by the cast.

Come near the end of our so-called 'summer holidays' we'd made a second trip alone to London just to catch Les Mis, The Mousetrap and our friends (in that order). Les Mis was just wonderful and The Mousetrap was absolutely enthralling. So they had The Lion King, Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You...if you've never watched a musical and am looking to start, Phantom or Les Mis should be your first choice - those will make a lasting first impression. Phantom is colourful and comedic for a love story, and its music is written by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Les Mis does wonders with a rotating platform (there was a special name for this but it'd slipped our mind) and the music is excellent, however the story is more sombre. The Mousetrap is a murder mystery made for theatre by Dame Agatha Christie, and is the longest running play around! Very enjoyable. This was the only play where we ourself waited backstage for the casts' autographs, heh.

Have formed a new habit for watching theatricals - must have a gin tonic and lemon during intermission. Not good.

There were 3 plays we'd watched in Edinburgh, during the Fringe Festival. Lesse. Beautiful Thing, Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Continent and Terry Pratchett's Mort. Scottish accents were a bit heavy in Beautiful Thing and, er, must remember to do homework of plays before buying tickets. Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Continent was simply lovely to watch! The costumes were lovely, the characters brought to life...had a bit of fun trying to recognize who was who (those that weren't obvious). We'd even took a photo with the cast all nicely dressed up (must remember to scan it one day). Sadly Mort was a disappointment - we guess it must have been either an amatuer group or their first time at it. It was the only play that we ever left halfway! Actually we'd to leave because the Edinburgh Military Tattoo was about to begin - but we left the play without regrets.

We did get to watch Mort in the end - Glasgow had one showing in the Ramshorn Theatre! They did with less and it was sooo much more enjoyable (and cheaper)!

Sigh. If we could we'd watch all of Terry Pratchett's Discworld plays (we especially want to watch Wyrd Sisters, we're a fan of Granny Weatherwax), then we can say that, for that bit, we are complete. However, Pratchett's still coming out with more books and sure enough the plays will follow...sob. Another reason to retire and live out the ends of my days in UK.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Announcement! Dog Missing!

The day has died.

I should be feeling rather bummed about this, the weight of the matter hasn't hit me. The matter?


  • Name: Princess
  • Age: 2 yrs 2 mths (I guess)
  • Description: Female pomeranian, colour mainly brown, tan and white
  • Weight: 5 kg
  • Features: Red collor with 2 bells attached (visible in pic); the tip of her tail is felt to be hook-shaped; spayed

Last seen on 11th September (Sunday) around 9-ish or 10-ish.

What happened? Can't say for sure. Mum and I were at church, around 10-half or past dad calls to say the dog's missing. He went out for breakfast and left the dog uncaged. Our sidegate wasn't padlocked, and our Princess has this habit of sticking half her body under the gate to look out. Cannot say if she squeezed out somehow (she'd never done this when any member of the family was home) but it's also likely someone came in and took her.

Dognapping! Arrgh! Even worse than the idea of her wandering about on her own or being taken in by someone else in the neighbourhood! Even worse than the idea of her being runned over (no sign of that, thank God).

Anyways. LOST FOR FIVE FRICKIN' DAYS NOW. You know where to find me if there's news.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Looking Back Once In A While 2...

Just last Friday night 'Vin got tanglungs to play. So there we were: 'Vin and Joan, lad, otousan and us. Initially it wasn't much as the park lights were still on and thus the tanglungs didn't stand out, but come midnight and whoa! Beautiful. Of course, we still had light pollution (huh) from the street lights and the houses surrounding the small padang near the twins' house, but the tanglungs stood out - red, orange and green, all located around trees, the swings...and on a tree stump. Funnily enough the tanglungs we'd put on the tree stump burned! From there came the suggestion to start a fire...and that sparked off happy feelings of camping days for them old scouts as they went about looking for kindling and eventually feeding the tanglungs and candles to the fire.

Speaking of tanglungs, while we were in Glasgow we hadn't much in way of Chinese New Year decorations. Some apartments had more - the upside-down 'fortune' sign, even the (yeurgh) smiley Chinese boy/girl picture all dressed up and wishing all a happy CNY! We don't recall if anyone had fireworks tho'. As for our apartment, we'd to head to the art shop near George Square, get some red paper (not really paper...something like the covers you'd use for your binded projects), came back and cut them while watching Sailormoon Sailorstars (are we ever thankful that all that has been has lead us to Glasgow to find ALL the episodes of Sailormoon and Sailormoon Sailorstars!) and tra-laa! our own contribution to Chinese New Year.

When Uncle J, TJA, LF and KH saw it they thought it nicer if both sides had it (we'd shared the same dining room and kitchen areas) and so they'd use the remaining paper we had. Result? As you can see above, simple but tasteful. Only thing was everytime Uncle J walked past it he had to stoop or knock into the lanterns!

How else now...oh yes, our CNY steamboat:

Simple yet happy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Looking Back Once In A While 1...

This, ladies and gentlemen, is our apartmentmate (what a mouthful!) of old, Mr ymlau. This picture, taken at DiMaggio's, Glasgow 2003, somewhere around Mr ymlau's birthday. That's right folks, 24 spanking years old. Made him do the ordering and wine choosing for once.

Our phone cam (one of the first Nokia 7650s out then!) was pretty much our only digicam and we used it to take more shots than with our actual camera (vice versa when we're travelling!). Night shots are so-so but much better than expected. Most of the time we try to catch ymlau with a candid/smiling shot, rather than his usual stern pose. As you can see here, he's looking somewhat like a cheerful Buddha, innit? Rare, rare shot.

Sigh. How long ago it seems. Three of us in James Blyth Court - ymlau, Ju and us. ymlau and Ju would alternately cook dinner while we will wash up, and occasionally (at one time, nearly weekly) we would go out for a mooch around town instead. Of course we'd an affinity for Western everytime...must say that we was too lazy to head all the way to Sauchiehall St (lawks, it took us some 15 seconds to recall that!) and would normally whine for a taxi home rather than walk.

How cosy it was - everything within walking distance, the weather at night cool, and the Malaysians buggering for a mamak or coffee cafe that was open past 8pm. And you can see who's out and about from your study window if they decide to take the George St route home or from the kitchen window if they took the Cathedral St route home.

Would it that life could remain that simple.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Our Wog

Wis is our wog. Our wog had to gwo stway at Healing Rooms at Subang Parade when we wents two Ipwoh as no won cwud take cware of her. She'd to sit on our lap as we drove cos we didn't want her mugglin' abwout in her cwage.

Ipoh Trip Draft:

We're too buggered to actually re-edit this so we'd found the names of the asterixed bits and filled them up at the bottom. Correct us where we're wrong again!

Gawds! Good trip to Gua Tempurong and Ipoh! Lesse: otousan, lad, Puddy plus their colleagues Dmn, Kly and Aunty EK - a happy party of seven with us and Aunty EK as the drivers (by the way, entire trip was 617km!). Managed to wake up early as had to meet at otousan's at 7am so that we could reach Gua Tempurong in time for Grand Tour. That bit is described by otousan as 'sweaty, dirty and wet'. And it's true - sweaty during the early bit where it's all steps and railings, and thanks to a good guide, good fun. Once off the track there's loads climbing, sliding, tracking and crawling about! [Note to self: don't wear non-grip shoes as midway the trip there's literally places with no handholds/footholds, might as well try sandals. Sandals would also be easier to clean. Also, pack food in waterproof baggie as had sugar crash and starvation attack midjourney.]

Things to note is that since it's a cave with bats and half the time we're trekking on crumbly limestone, the earth can suddenly feel 'pasty'. Search immediately for river. Also, as there can be some 40 people in one group be sure to wash face upstream of those washing socks in same river. Torches are essential (headlights seems most convenient but lad's Maglite most effective!), or else do like us, keep up with the guide as he's literally skipping all over the place!

After a quick shower it was off to lunch, buying chicken biscuits followed by mooching on durians! Lovely. Then onwards to * - hot spring spa! otousan was crazy enough to want to race on a reflexology foot path, and we (lad and us) were crazy enough to race him. Heh, he lost both races but must credit him - he raced once with us (while we were eating an ice cream!) and once more with lad. Until now the heels of our feet are killing us so much so that we're limping badly. The VIP room that we booked had some technical problem and so we'd to settle for a Family Spa room but that was also enjoyable. First cold shower, then into the steaming jacuzzi pool, then shower, then pool...if only it was made such that one could just sleep in the pool! At one point we went back to the car, and when we came back the pool temperature must have somewhat increased. Could not, repeat, COULD NOT enter pool! Attempts to immerse self in pool led to us jumping straight out of pool with our scrapes from the spelunking session burning!

Then it was back to Ipoh to dump our stuff at ** before dinner. Fried noodles, kuey teow, crab, sotong, lala and some weird shelled thing *** that had the others sucking at.

Next morning was totally food! Breakfast was dim sum at **** (avoid/limit the lo mai kai and paus if on makan marathon) that as ab-so-lute deee-lish! This was followed by a white coffee break with some odd pork mix mince ball (wethinks the place was called OldTown somethingsomethingsomething). Meal break - trip to *****. Lunch? Aun Kheng Lim's salted chicken and ice cream soda (syrup, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and F&N's Ice Cream Soda). We skipped the rojak, not being a fan. Final Ipoh stop: soya bean curd! Then it was, "Say goodbye to Ipoh!" as we headed back home stopping at Tapah to get guavas.

* "Say what's the name of the hot springs place again ar?"
"Sungai Klah Hot Springs. Exit at Trolak/Sungkai."

** "How about the name of the budget hotel that we'd stayed in?"
"Regal Lodge Hotel."

*** "Eh you know the name of the place we had dinner ar? Near the MAN U restaurant one?"
"Don't remember woh."
"How about that shelled things?"
"Balitong? What are they ar?"
"Snails. Live in sand one."

**** "How about the name of the place we went for dim sum? With the advertisement one?"
"Fuh San. F-U-H S-A-N."

***** "Then the temple we went to was called Temple Caves ya?"
"Cave Temple."