Friday, July 30, 2010

A Mouse In The House Redux

Back when we stayed in our old house, there was a time when we also had some problems with pests (can't remember if it was a mouse or a rat) and we had a mouse cage set up to catch it. Can't remember if we did caught it, but we guess we did in the end, because of this: somehow or other we heard that you'd to kill said pest by means of boiling water, this will discourage further pests from infesting the house.

We're not sure just how true this is. The idea that its death squeaks will frighten its ilk far away had some appeal, though. But we must have caught it, because if we didn't this form of ridding said pest wouldn't have been a topic, and we wouldn't have heard of such a thing.

In fact, we'd actually forgotten about the whole thing, until we mentioned about our mouse problem to a friend. We told her that we were not sure of the mouse's fate once it was caught but we did consider releasing it somewhere far from home rather than killing it. She then told us to make sure to wash the cage with hot water so that the mouse can't smell its way back to our home. When she mentioned hot water, that reminded us of the hot water killing method and we suppose that that was the fate meant for the little tyke once it was caught.

Yes well the prospect of actually killing it didn't really appeal to us, not when it's in a helpless state, but we'd rather that than it infesting our house, piddling and pooping all over the place. Ted already showed us the methods he took to combat his rodents, and we were considering what to do with the mouse depending on what was used...

With the mouse cage, there was the option of releasing it somewhere far away once we've caught it, keeping it as a pet, giving it to someone else as a pet, killing it via boiling water, letting it die of exposure and starvation by leaving the cage out in the back lane, typing up the mouse in a bag once caught and dumping it into the garbage truck, taking it to a vet to be put to sleep, or by attempting to stab it with a sharp and pointy metal stick.

Then there's rat glue. Once stuck we thought of leaving the trapped mouse out in the back lane for the cats to play with it, releasing it in the nearby park for the snake to go for it (and probably get stuck in glue too!), or to swiftly hammer its skull in for an instant death, or set fire to the thing, or stab it with a sharp and pointy metal stick.

Then again, we don't have a sharp and pointy metal stick...discussing the merits of life or death and a few methods of death with the Chief, the Chief too was against releasing it and rather the boiling water. In the Chief's opinion, it's an instant death. We don't think so - we sort of likened scalding to boiling tar poured on soldiers sieging a castle. It scalds, the eyes pop, the skin peels, the heart rate shoots up and the body goes into shock, and somewhere along the way it dies. The Chief reacted far worse to our suggestion of rat glue and leaving trapped mouse in the back lane, though. And thought that our releasing it elsewhere would just make it someone else's problem, and delay its inevitable death, heh.

So when the mouse was caught the other day, we left its fate to be decided by our parents. We could have taken the initiative to take the cage, drive all the way to Klang or somewhere far enough to necessitate paying toll, then setting it free to scavange and survive, but thought against doing so because our parents may assume that the mouse remained uncaught or there was the possibility it will return (you never know). Plus our car might smell in the end. So all we did that night when we saw the mouse in the cage?

Asked (in English) if it understood us. And if it knew how to cook. Nod its head or shake its head if it understood.

It did neither.

So, instead of leaving it in the kitchen where it would continue piddling all over the newspaper laid underneath the cage, we took it out to the back yard and left it to the parents. And jiggled the siew yoke bait off the hook for it to enjoy its last meal.

Surprisingly mum actually thought to release it somewhere far away! Seeing how the pest has been causing mum to go into a furor cleaning the entire kitchen and areas affected by mouse droppings we thought mum would rather end her troubles there and then. But dad commanded for the water treatment, and so the pest was scalded to death.

Mum later on found the mouse's nest somewhere in the store room, by the look of it the mouse was running a solo gig and there was no family of mice to worry about.

So we came home after a rather heavy dinner today, and as we walked into the kitchen we see the mouse cage set out once again, this time with a piece of char siew as bait! Mon Dieu! Pourquoi? Pourquoi??? Merde!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Campfire Story: Iron Cave

The troop sat in a circle, ears pricked as they paid attention to the scoutmaster.

"There is a story long ago that involved another scout troop when they were out in the wilderness, foraging supplies for their camp. It was getting dark, and they were in foreign territory that looked unfriendly and rather scarce on readily available food. But the troop perservered and managed to find water, and survived on their remaining rations, and managed to gather a few fruits. For three days they camped out in the wilderness, waiting to earn their badge after a week's camping out."

The scouts ooohed their admiration.

"Then on the fourth day, a scout brought back meat. Part of a cooked chicken. This worried the scoutmaster, although the rest of the troop cheered because four days of dry rations and fruits left a lot to be desired in their diet. A few things worried the scoutmaster, where did the cooked chicken come from, who else was staying in the wilderness for the scoutmaster saw no sign of any other life around, and if there were others out here did the trooper steal from them."

"So the scoutmaster questioned the little one, and the scout reported that he found it in a metal cave."

"A metal cave?"
asked Frank.

"Yes. Specifically, an iron cave."

"Did he mean a mining cave where there's iron, scoutmaster?"
asked Nancy.

"Very sharp of you, Nancy, but no. What the scout meant was a cave made of iron. As it was late already, the scoutmaster told the little one to bring him to the cave the following day."

"On the fifth day, while the rest of the scouting party went on with their duties at camp, the scoutmaster and the scout headed to the place where the cave was to be found. Instead of having to go through the woods, the scout led the scoutmaster through the grasslands further away from the camping site, until they reached the stone grounds that lie past the edge of the grasslands."

"And lo and behold, there stood the iron cave."

The scouts aaahed their amazement.

"Now, here's what happened...the reason why this story is told around campfires."

All the little scouts leaned forward, as the scoutmaster's voice dropped to a whisper.

"The scout had already told the scoutmaster that he found the chicken hooked up on a wall near the back of the cave. There was nobody else in the cave, and the cave did not have an inhabited feel, so the scout assumed that someone else must have brought the chicken to the cave to eat, and not being able to finish it, left the rest in the cave."

"Left it hooked up on a wall?"
blurted Joe incredulously, eyes wide.

"The very same question the scoutmaster asked! However, standing outside of the cave, the two of them could smell roast pork coming from inside the cave. Very mysterious. The scoutmaster looked in and, would you know it, he saw a slab of pork hanging on a hook at the far wall of the cave! He told the little one to wait outside while he went in to investigate."

"He inspected each wall near the mouth of the cave, then moved deeper into the cave tunnel. There was no sign of anyone staying in the cave, no tracks at all, no scent...the scoutmaster arrived at the slab of pork. He touched the pork..."

The scoutmaster's voice here was barely a whisper.

"When BANG!"

Some scouts squeaked in surprise.

"The cave mouth started falling in! The little one got a shock of his life as the scoutmaster was trapped! "Go get the others! Don't try to do this yourself, in case you get hurt!" ordered the trapped scoutmaster. The frightened scout rushed off to gather the rest of the troop, and assembled outside the iron cave. Tried as they might, they did not have equipment that could pry an opening big enough for the scoutmaster to escape."

"The troop stayed by the iron cave all night, sharing the pork and thinking of ways to rescue their trapped leader. But the scouts were not strong enough and soon they were all tired out, and slept."

"They did not sleep for long, however, because all of them were woken up by the sound of something approaching. Something large. The earth shook and there was a loud whistling heard in the air. The scoutmaster, concerned for his troop's safety, ordered them to hide. The troop did so quickly, but it was too dark to see what it was. All they could see was the iron cave suddenly rising up and floating in midair, the blocked entrance angled upwards."

"And then, as the whistling sound stopped, a waterfall of boiling hot water rained down into the cave, billowing steam rising from the entrance."

The eyes of the scouts listening grew wide and some gasped in shock.

"The little scouts ran in fear, the sound of their scoutmaster's dying shrieks following them as they fled the grasslands, back to their camp to gather their belongings, then running for their lives."

"Scoutmaster, is it true?"

"This was a long time ago. The story has been told from generation to generation, as a lesson to be learned: when foraging for food, use the knowledge you've learn and do not simply pick food where it does not naturally belong. As for the troop members, all of them emerged from that incident with hair as white as snow. Their families believed their story, for apparently even from their homes they could hear the final screams of the poor scoutmaster. None dare return to that place, and all were warned against going there."


Too late, a forager remembered this story told in his younger scouting days...

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Mouse In The House

A mouse! A mouse!
There's a mouse in the house!

It scarpers up and down the stair,
We have no idea where's its lair,
It's got us all pulling at our hair,
We've got to learn to fight unfair!

'Cos now we have to watch out for our food,
Leaving things as they were's no good!
For this mouse can be hygienically rude,
It doesn't care for where it's poo'ed!

A mouse! A mouse!
There's a mouse in the house!

We saw it last night in the hall,
It came and stood, a mouse-height tall!
On two feet it looked at us with gall,
This mouse, it really has some balls!

A mouse! A mouse!
There's a mouse in the house!

We're wondering how to rid this pest,
Which way, we wonder, is the best?
Cage, trap, glue, or poison; lest,
It brings it's family and all the rest!

A mouse! A mouse!
A frickin' mouse is in the house!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Video Killed The Radio (In Our) Car

Well, actually CDRs did. Our original CDs, once converted to MP3s to fill our iPod, sits safely on our shelf while we burn our own selection of songs onto CDRs to keep in our car. To be honest why we opt for CDRs is because we don't have a radio with an auxilary cable port, otherwise we would be lugging our iPod Video along with all our music.

And the FM transmitter that we got? Best used during our road trips. Otherwise, we get interference sometimes from other stations sharing the same frequency occasionally and that irks us, although by the time we'd gotten a mobile windscreen mount and fixed up our iPod Touch to play BBC's Pride And Prejudice on it via the transmitter, we haven't been experiencing intereference any more.

Ayup. Happiness was finally being able to watch videos on the iPod Touch, instead of being limited to Happy Tree Friends and Dilbert video podcasts and whatever free videos the iTunes Store had for us. The availability of good DVD to video converters were rare (or we just didn't know where to find them, or we had to buy them) and we didn't have much video files to convert, too, the only videos we had were some funny ads our friends sent us a long time ago and videos we'd recorded using our iXus.

Then YouTube Downloader came along and gave us more videos to store on our iPhone! And otousan suggested Format Factory, which did the same thing but with two additional features: the ability to convert certain files that YouTube Downloader couldn't, and mass conversion!

And so, our iPhone's finding less and less space for music, to make way for more videos to keep us company during red traffic lights at peak hours, during our meals when we don't have a book to read, or even in bed before we call it a night.

From book juggling, we now add on video juggling, on the go! From episodes of the Sailormoon anime to YouTubes of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, to episodes of series we're helping the Chief to obtain, and in the future we'll be thinking of using Handbrake to convert Sailormoon S and Super S into video format, not to mention what other shows we've yet to watch, and the free episodes of old sci-fi tv series currently available on the iTunes Store, we've considered removing more music from our iPhone to make way for the videos...

...then again, that's what our 30GB iPod's for! And it's far better than what we hear on the radio some times!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

You know, it's rather a fortunate thing that we have YouTube now, because we can see what we're missing. And it's a good thing too, because what we see on YouTube so far really, really, helps us hesitate when it comes to buying the DVDs of the live action version of Sailormoon, otherwise known as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.

Perhaps we were looking for a lot more realism, where their sailor suits don't look so bright and their bows aren't so big, or for Sailor Mercury to have a much darker wig in blue...or the four Shitennou to actually keep the costume design they had in the manga or anime, rather than have totally new radical costumes...or their poses. And we haven't seen enough to decide if Luna is supposed to be an animated doll, or that, not being able to use a real life cat as Luna, substituted a doll instead but everyone has to act as if it's a real life cat...And Tuxedo Mask's tuxedo, instead of looking refined, was spoilt by a cheap mask and shiny costume cloak.

Perhaps it's because we want the live action series to be a serious, realistic and rather yau yeng kind of live action series, rather than a more playful show...

We remember the first time we saw the transformation scene on YouTube. We almost died of embarrassment and almost went blind, figuring that Usagi was going to perform some ecchi scene but thankfully she was clothed, and instead horrified us with a less-than-elegant transformation scene with a far too bright background. Tuxedo Kamen's transformation, however, was so bad it should have just been done away with!

Took some gnashing of teeth and a change of perspective of what we expected from this live action series, but we sorta braved our way through the transformation scenes and snippets from the show and we must say, it probably isn't too bad.

Some plus points (based on what we've seen on YouTube, that is):

The characters don't have the hairstyles as in the original design (Usagi with blonde hair or Ami's blue hair etc) but only after they transform (it's funny watching Ami transform, she looks so serious until she waves her arm past her head, and then there is this suddenly bubbly cheerful face with blue hair), hence it's not like the manga/anime where it's odd wondering why people don't recognize that Usagi is Sailormoon in costume;

Luna does have some funny expressions (we think there's a few dolls with different eye expressions!);

There're more different attacks, like in the manga! Jupiter's Flower Hurricane, Venus's Rolling Heart Vibration, which never made it in the anime, get screen time here! Plus, we're not treated to stock footage of their attacks every time;

The script is rather different from the manga/anime, so there's something new to watch here! There's a Dark Mercury for one thing, although dressed far too weirdly!

Well, from reacting rather badly the first time we watched it, we're getting even more curious as to how the series really is.

It may be that the show could be bad enough to tear our soul apart and absorb it, turning the series into a Horcrux for us. It may turn out to be quite ok (but honestly, we kinda liked how the anime portrayed Zoisite and this new white, slit-eyed piano playing Zoisite isn't doing it for us just yet...). First, we gotta do some more teeth-gnashing and part with a pretty hundred or more to buy the DVD set.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Artful Attack

There's something about the Sailormoon anime that bugged us: the different art styles found in different episodes. Initially we didn't bother much, as we continued watching, there would be episodes we would happily rewatch and enjoy and some that we wouldn't bother with unless we were going to rewatch all the episodes in a season, like what we're doing with season 1 on our iPhone now.

All because of the artwork: how the characters look, how they move, expressions, and sometimes even the jokes.

So for four seasons, from Sailormoon till Sailormoon Super S, there are four art styles that we commonly see.

The 'Smooth'. Because of the way there are no sharp edges and everything is slightly rounded. More obvious is when a character is facing off-center to one side but not totally sideways, the face looks absolutely flat. Rei's hair seemed extraordinarily large for her head! When we first saw this artwork we weren't too affected by it, we had not built up high standards for anime artwork for Sailormoon then (not like how we expect the Dragon Ball anime to really mimic the manga!). But when the other, far more aesthetically pleasing art styles became more frequent, we began to dislike this style.

The 'Stocky'. This was another style frequently seen from season 1, although there's been quite a fair bit of refinement in Sailorstars (by then they'd actually come up with an artist's guidebook we think). Thick lines, and everyone seemed shorter. While rather different compared to the other art styles, the movements in these episodes were rather fluid, and some of their expressions were enjoyable (meaning funny) too.

The 'Svelte'. The faces had a certain shape to them, legs were longer somehow, the details stood out, everyone had perfect pose and posture! These episodes were a pleasure to view! We don't recall which episode this artwork appeared, we were only aware of it from the second half of season one (also because the two comic books we had featuring anime stills featured a number of episodes with this art style!).

The 'Sharp'. We think this art style only appeared from Sailormoon S? We'd bought the anime stills comic books for this season when Popular sold them at one point, it didn't matter that the books were translated into Chinese (whether Chinese or Japanese we wouldn't have understood it anyway), and happily enjoyed looking at the pictures to see what we were missing because due to the lack of merchandise the only two seasons we never got to watch were Sailormoon S and Sailorstars.

Anyways, reading (figuratively) the comics we noticed quite a lot of good artwork, which made us even more keen to watch it. Now that we've watched them all, we think this art style appeared most only in S, and less so in Super S and Sailorstars...we think. Will need to rewatch them all!

Still, the question is why?! Why are there so many styles when other anime had one standard art style? Wait, we think the Naruto anime also had a couple of art styles. It was because of the differing styles that, when it comes to recording episodes onto VHS tapes, we were rather selective, often overwriting 'Smooth' art style episodes for other episodes (because we couldn't afford to buy VHS tapes by the dozen).

Then in Sailorstars we noticed that there's some sort of standardization: character faces followed the 'Svelte' style, and legs sometimes were ridiculously long...

...but overall Sailorstars were much more aesthetically pleasing to watch!

As with all the transformations and attacks! We think Moon Princess Halation was done in a refined Stocky style, and Moon Healing Escalation is in Svelte, but the rest could be Sharp or Someother for all we know. What we're thankful is that they're not Smooth.

Yes, well, there were some other art styles seen in the series (like that one-off style in episode 29 where Zoisite attacks Motoki's girlfriend for her Rainbow Crystal) but those four are the common ones seen. And we appreciate it's no easy task to draw and produce the cartoons. But why couldn't there be some standardization much earlier, to have, say, every episode look more Sharp or Svelte?

And we're not sure which one Hyperion means when he refers to 'bloated, bun face'.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Moon Star Is Born!

Welcome to Sailormoon Week!

We were wondering, if Sailormoon was a recent manga/anime instead of appearing in 1992, whether we would have been interested. We suppose, if the artwork never changed, we would have given it a miss. 'Cos, currently we're rewatching the episodes of the first season and we're thinking Usagi is rather difficult to like sometimes in the early episodes because of her immaturity, and with the storyline progressing slowly every episode we might have just stopped altogether.

But we started when Sailormoon was aired on...goodness, what was that tv channel called?! It wasn't Metrovision, that was the Justice Bao period. TV8? TV4? Maybe it is Metrovision!

We could check it up, since we've recorded episodes of Sailormoon, but they're on VHS tapes and we don't have a VHS tape player any more, and we honestly don't want to look at the tapes just in case they are now overgrown with fungus. Sigh. All that hard work we did recording, copying from tape to tape, the money we've spent buying more VHS tapes to record most of the episodes, the one or two VHS tapes we bought from the comics store...

Oh well. At least they were well watched during its time.

So we got hooked onto Sailormoon, mainly because of the anime. If we just read the mangaka, we might have stopped halfway. Ever seen the artwork? Honestly, not the kind of artwork we appreciate, especially when at the same time we were hooked on Dragon Ball. Reasons why we got hooked?

Introductory exposure to animes. Asides from Doraemon, we haven't watched any Japanese anime before this. Ultraman and Mask Black Rider doesn't count as they weren't cartoons (we don't think when some ridiculous situation comes up characters will fall down or lose their footing!) and the high-pitched Malay dubbed Doraemon was a bit trying even for our young patient selves. We survived on a healthy serving of American cartoons during our youth, and when Sailormoon and Dragon Ball started airing on tv we lapped it up readily. And the Japanese humour was a novelty to us then! Expressive actions! Falling down at odd situations! Tears streaming down eyes like rivers!

Faithful Cantonese dub. Unlike Doraemon which had high-pitched Malay dubbing (shudder) Sailormoon (and Dragon Ball) were done in Cantonese! Now it turns out that there were two Cantonese versions, one by TVB and another that isn't (what we find on YouTube tends to call it the 'VCD' dub) - we were lucky to watch the 'VCD' dub as the characters there were very much similar to the original characters.

Usagi is loud and expressive, Zoisite was very effeminate (you'd expect limp wrists as well), senshi attacks were shouted rather appropriately. You should hear the English dubs, we get goosebumps and often enough cannot watch an entire episode in English because the dubbing and script was terrible. Outer senshi attacks always sounded like an echo from far away...

Translated manga. BM-translated mangas were on the raise, and we were buying the Sailormoon and Dragon Ball mangas when they came out (at RM3.50 per book then!). Of course, the Chinese translated mangas were probably out much earlier but then again we don't understand a single thing so why bother, eh? The fact that the manga was so different from the anime kept us interested in both ie Jadeite would send his youmas aka Monster-Of-The-Day again and again rather than fight Sailormoon head on, while in the manga he dies straight away. That, and that the other sailors had more attacks in the manga compared to the anime...

Censorship caused curiosity. Fairly obvious when Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars made their appearance. They'd raise their transformation pens, shout out their transformation phrases, and -pop- we'd suddenly see the final tranformation bits along with a skip in the background music. And then in one episode, they'd forgotten to snip off those bits and we went, "Oooh so that's how it looks like!" And of course, we wondered how Jupiter's and Venus' transformation scenes look like. Oh not to mention what we missed in the episode where Zoisite dies.

Lack of merchandise. No such thing as the internet then, and there weren't many Japanese comics stores selling posters, DVDs and soundtrack CDs then as you can find nowadays (not counting the Chinese comic stores). Then, whenever we came across any Sailormoon merchandise we would have pounced on it, whether it be Japanese comic books using stills from the anime (which we bought during our stopover flight to LA!), or a soundtrack CD with all the songs used in the opening and closing scenes, or even the Cantonese-dubbed VHS tapes of Sailormoon episodes. We never did get to buy any VHS tapes (until Form 5, when the Chinese comic store near one tuition centre suddenly brought in Cantonese Sailormoon Sailorstars episodes and we bought a couple), but we did get to borrow tapes from a friend who had a fair number of Sailormoon Super S episodes!

Knowledge about future seasons. When Sailormoon was on telly, we were wondering if they would continue airing Sailormoon R, or they'd just stop there. Then Speedy Video had VHS tapes and VCDs of Sailormoon R in Cantonese, but the dubbing was by TVB which unfortunately made Usagi less livelier and the entire thing sounded muffled. And then there was Sailormoon S, Super S and Stars to think about too! What if they didn't air those seasons? We'd read the manga and wanted to see how different those seasons were from the manga! How does Uranus's and Neptune's attack look like?

The transformation scenes and attacks. The one thing that made Sailormoon (the anime), well, Sailormoon was the transformation scenes and the attack scenes. Almost every episode, they'd transform, Sailormoon will give her speech (in some episodes this was made fun of!) and they'd do their signature attacks and the Monster-Of-The-Day will die. On YouTube we've come across some kids trying to do transformations scenes and Sailormoon's Moon Spiral Heart Attack using ribbons and honestly we felt embarrassed for these kids even if they do not feel it themselves - they were asking to be ridiculed in our opinion.

At times we do wonder about how long she actually takes to perform her attacks - her Moon Princess Halation takes ages!

Anyways, we think what really helped keep us watching Sailormoon was that we were young and had all the time in the world!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wedding, Subak Style

Dengarlah kisah persekutuan si nona Pengembara Dunia dan jejakanya Penginap Laut. Dalam perjalananya untuk menyelamatkan dunia sebelum masa tidur, dia pun menemui temannya, dan selepas beribu-ribu lemon kini bila bulan menjelang di akhir pengembaraannya

Frak that shyte. This is why we stick to writing factual BM essays for school exams, our vocabulary and flair was limited. We still remember our Form 5 BM tuition teacher giving an example of how fictional BM essays need to be written to really score well: "the leaves danced in the currents of air under the ceiling fan" or something along those lines, it sounded much fancier in BM.

So anyways, HL and JT tied the knot last month (yes, late posting...), and while invites were handed out a couple of months before, due to forgetfulness on our part we've only received the invite (via Lad Express, the impressions were still fresh on the card when we got it cos he sat on it, haha) after the wedding dinner. Thankfully HL texted us a reminder and we could check with the others regarding dress code and dinner venue, so we weren't to worried.

A quick check online as to where Subak was and we were initially quite confident we could get there easily - it was a straight road from TTDI into Kampung Sungai Penchala. We knew we were checking up the correct place too because the website informed that they were closed for a private function in the evening!

It was only when we were on said straight road that we had a slight niggling doubt that we might be missing some bit of direction. Puddy even made a U-turn back at first!

Finally we arrived at Subak! Could tell we were at the right place when there were rows of cars parked on both sides of the road.

The setting was certainly a different one! One thing we knew beforehand was that we were to expect a outdoor garden dinner setting, so there was no need (for us guests) to come in black tie. Which was fine, Subak made sure that there were plenty of fans fixed up and the drinks were all chilled. What we didn't expect was them handing out insect repellant patches. Not that we got bitten any time at all during the night!

We were unfortunately late and missed out the speech that had HL with damp eyes...

But in time to appreciate the effort put into the venue and celebration.

We're not too sure how Subak is on normal occasions, and am a bit afraid it doesn't live up to this anymore.

The food, however, was enjoyable. And colourful! Of note is their Balinese Chicken Soto soup, because...because it's the only photo we took with a label and we remember it as being good.

There was the band, who slowly made their way from table to table to serenade us all with songs (and have the more tipsy guests sing along with them).

And after dinner and speeches and the toastings, it was time to dance.

Certainly it was something different. If we concentrated we could probably convince ourself that the dinner was held in Bali and we were all invited guests each with their own private villa, where at the end of the party we could head back and ease ourself into the outdoor jacuzzi pool that comes with each villa, surrounded with scented candles and nothing but a scenic view and undisturbed by other guests...

Ok, maybe not. And the Chief and us didn't dance.

But as wedding dinner goes, HL and JT's goes to show that you don't really have to go to the end of the world to have a beautiful wedding.

Congratulations on finishing one journey, and on beginning another longer one!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Phuket Revisited 2010: An Incubus Of Viral Plague

Now before we left for our trip, everyone seemed to be sick or getting sick. People in the office were hacking away. Updates on Facebook detailed how friends were getting sick. In fact, a day or two just before the trip we started feeling a little trickly at the back of our throat - not a good sign.

However, once in Phuket and with lots of sleep, we'd not felt sick in the slightest!

Not until our last day in Phuket. We woke up then with a bad case of backdrip that kept us coughing nonstop.

We figure that we never got better before the trip, and that it was the R&R throughout the trip that kept it at bay. After all, we slept at the beach twice in our trip...

...had facials at the different competitive stores. We're talking some pampering facials (of course, not with Leonard Drake cosmetics and the likes, but still we were in good hands literally and dozed off now and then...) at a price of around 300 baht! 'Course, here in Bolehland we've never been for a facial before, we consider it a luxury where we'd rather spend our money on something else.

Asides from two facials, we also had two massages at the C&N Hotel within the five days. During our Bangkok trip we had a traditional Thai massage and an oil massage, both cases we told the masseurs we wanted a strong massage, resulting in us sometimes being unable to breathe due to extreme pressure and pain. This time, we opted for relaxing massages instead.

Maybe make that three massages. First was the oil massage. Then on our fourth day, just as we arrived at the beach we were approached by this rather aggressive Thai woman who'd offered to do an aloe vera massage for the two of us, saying that it protect from sunburn, very cold, good for us. We weren't keen on it, especially since we've got our own sunblock and aloe vera lotion, but the woman offered to slather on a bit of aloe vera on the Chief as a sampler.

After a bit of haggling, we had the woman slather aloe vera on the both of us. She takes a piece out from her bucket, where it's all soaked in iced water, scrapes the aloe with a comb, and proceeds to butter us with it.

It's cooling because it's been in iced water. Best described is that it's slimy. Whether or not it did help with sunburn, we cannot say, although true enough we didn't get sunburnt at all this trip. We did regret getting that aloe vera massage just as we arrived on the beach, though - it's all washed off after we went to swim a bit in the sea.

Oh and we did help with her business, as soon after we saw her applying aloe vera for a couple of girls nearby.

And that night, after the 'authentic' aloe vera massage, we went for another aloe vera massage. This time it was aloe vera lotion (we suppose) replacing massage oil, and it was roughly the same as an oil massage.

After all that, on our final day, we started getting sick again. Sigh. And once we touched down on Bolehland soil, it was two weeks of nonstop sniffling, guzzling lozenges of all sorts, and progressing from irritating backdrip with unproductive coughs to chesty phlegm and sore throats.

But at least we're grateful for the fact that we weren't sick for our holidays!