Mar 25, 2014

Bangkok 2014: The Grand Palace

As my friends had not been to (or fade memory of) the dazzling, magnificent Grand Palace, I put a half-day palace tour in my proposed itinerary. I wanted to learn about the exotic palace! Gasp, it must be a mum thing for unable to run away from planning an "educational tour".

But I'm lucky again, no one objected.
It is really a beautiful palace!

Mar 14, 2014

Bangkok 2014: Street Food

When we were in Bangkok, we stayed in Glow Pratunam Hotel, a very new hotel as I understand from Trip Advisor. Google map which has not caption the latest completed structure/building, would not be able to tell you the actual location unless you type in 919 Petchburi Road, or Shibuya 19. Yes, Glow Pratunam and Shibuya are co-located, vertically.

Ok, I am not talking about the hotel here. Yes, it is a very nice hotel, bed is comfortably clean and soft, staff are friendly, etc etc. But I am actually wanting to lead you to food. Right behind the hotel, there's this yummy alley called Soi Petchburi 19. This is the highlight here- the street food!

As my hotel booking did not include breakfast, Soi Petchburi 19 was the place we went to for first meal of the day. Every morning of our stay.

Mar 10, 2014

Feb 2014: Risky Affair

I forgotten how my secondary school classmates' chat group sparked a brilliant idea to travel together. It maybe because we ran out of topic to chat(?). There are nine of us, and by now I know the routine of each one of them and pretty much to sum up that our living as mother is boring and those singles are... boring too. Of course, we share more than just routine. Like old days, we argue sometime and piss off one or another, but we get to usual selves fast too. Certain days, we talk non-sense, we laugh crazily in front of our own phone; we give virtual hugs, we understand one's long silent without much asking. 

Sorry I digress. As majority of us supported the idea of  a weekend trip together, the destination has few criteria to meet: fun, safe and easy for us ladies to explore. I suggested Bangkok: cheap, exotic and not too far of distance, from both KL and Singapore. Truth to be told, I had not been to Bangkok! They all did, many years back. Lucky me, the travelling time and budget match most everyone, the food and shopping in Bangkok are already well known and attractive, they agreed unanimously to the Land of Smiles, again! Yay!!!

It's exciting, undoubtedly. No man, no kids, just us, ladies having lots of fun over a weekend. Just like old days. Since my friends were so accommodating, I volunteered to hunt for hotel and crafted the brief itinerary. I love doing it, I love learning about the city prior to the trip. It was overwhelming, too much resources, too big a city. 

Along the way, the news about the riot came in. We got worried. I doubled the reading about the city, about the situation. The news about the explosion near Central World shopping mall and at Lumphini Park protest rally site were just happened few days before our departure. 

To go or not to go?! We asked each other.

Travelling is one risky affair, as I was telling my friend. At that juncture, the risk was slowing approaching me to my face. I felt the threat, the fear of losing anyone of us while travelling. Apparently, buying one travel insurance was not secure enough to made one informed decision (to travel), getting all sort of information from various sources does. My friends had their own reliable sources telling them the real situation in Bangkok, whilst I had pertinent information via Richard Barraw. His map is amazingly helpful! If you are following the situation of Bangkok, you would have know that the Bangkok Shutdown is over and the protesters have moved away from the intersections. Hence the map now is "cleaner" look.  It was not the case prior to my visit to Bangkok, the earlier version of the map showed the protest sites were scattered at Ratchaprasong (Near Central World), Lumphini Park, Phathumwan (Near MBK & Siam Square), etc. I had an impression of a messy world there, but in orderly manner. While I was clicking on more information, I also learnt that I am allowed to e-register with MFA. It is a system of recording information about one's travel itinerary aboard. In addition, I received official updates about Bangkok from time to time prior to my departure.

I decided to take the risk. Without family, I reckon the decision made easier. On hindsight, I had a feeling that I would be alright.  

So we took the flights, landed safely, hugged each other and embarked our adventure in the capital city of Land of Smiles. 
Credits: FeiFei's stuff (aka My Little Happy Box), Anna Aspnes, etc

Coming posts, I will be sharing about the Grand Palace, Yaowarat and the street food of Bangkok.

Feb 28, 2014

Pig Maw Soup

Growing up, pig maw soup is one of my comfort food. Strangely, I can't remember how did I acquire the taste of pepper or texture of pig maw from young. Why do I enjoy it so much?

Perhaps it is the consequence of consuming a bowl of the soup: the peppery of the soup dispenses into my tummy and stays warm for a long while. Perhaps, it serves as a reminder of my mum to take good care of my weak stomach these days. To her, this peppery soup helps to strengthen weak digestive system.

And over these years, I managed to convince my daughters to eat pig maw too. If I have the time and strength to do the cleaning of the pig maw (usually you would need 20-30 minutes standing by the sink for getting a satisfy result of a pig maw) during weekend, it would appear on our dinning table in one of the weekday after. Conveniently, it has become a one-pot meal for my family. I could easily gather all the needed ingredients and prepare the soup in the morning and boil in the pot of the vacuum thermal cooker for at least 30 minutes long before I head out to work.

So this is my version of pig maw soup-

Jan 28, 2014

A Brand New Year

Hello there!

How is your 2014 thus far? I am not any less fun than before. Work is still hectic and I am still huffing and puffing everyday, after-work to race with time to pick up my daughters from the babysitter as shorter time as I could. I think, I am doing much better this year: For the past 18 days of working, I have not exceeded 6.30pm to first see Bomber's cheerful smile.  *Give my self a pat of the back.
Porridge as dinner, just because they love it.

Cooking is part of the routine now. Big part of the routine. Simple food though, at least three out of five. Being away from home, cooking probably is a way for me to recuperate from homesick, to recur my childhood memories. I guess, I am building and storing the girls' too.

As my first born is P3 now, we battle more. Yes, the battle hymn of another tiger mother and the daughter. I always at the exhausted state when dealing with her study after dinner, so is she. We often end up with crash and crash and bang! It is unbearable to see my angel turn into a scary monster. So much as I come to a realisation that I am my parents but she is not me. Old generation harsh parenting may worked on me, it doesn't mean works on her. Whatever happens to her now is partly my mistake of parenting. I have been pondering and trying to change. It is harder than I thought. Fortunately, at this stage the daddy could take over, I step back and manage the house chores, or one-to-one with Bomber.

Those are our weekday. Our hectic weekdays. Less impact on little Bomber though. She is attending PCF Nursery Class, has her meal and rest fixed at the babysitter's place, joyfully plays with her sister when they reunion in the afternoon. 

Dec 31, 2013

Jun 2013: Capturing

Like any other year, our 2013 has ups and downs. But I choose to remember the wonderful moments: A jolly celebration of my pa's birthday, accomplishment of an assignment to paint and draw with cardboards, and of course many other little moments. But I think the best of all, must be our visit to Sydney, which I believe it occupies a major part of my entries in 2013.

As  the year coming to a closure and another year approaching, I scrapbook the remarkable moment of ours. I take this time to reflect back on our journey this past year, and remind my self that to live mindfully and happily. Why? Time with children is only moving forward, and I have no ability to replay.
"Time with children runs through our fingers like water as we lift our hands, try to hold, to capture, to fix moments in a lens, a magic circle of images or words. We snap photos, videotape, memorialize while we experience a fast-forward in which there is no replay of even a single instant." - Louise Erdrich
We take family picture every year, during our annual family trip, to portray a family unit is growing older, too.

Dec 5, 2013

Nov 2013: Happy 70, Pa!

My pa is a typical conservative Chinese father: didn't show his love when we were young; left most parenting job to my mum and worked day and night to bring home the bacon. In retrospect, he was quite a distance from me, as a little child. We had little conversation. There would always a long void between us if he drove me to/from school. I could not bring a topic shared with him either.  There were times, I wrote him letters instead. I think I watched too much tv-drama. I needed to vent my frustration of him being bias to my brother, and few other emotions I had as a tween/teenager. From time to time, I placed the letter on his working desk and waited for his return from work to read. Not many letters though, a few. Less than five, I think. It was a way to communicate with him, it was an attempt to closer the distance. 

But he didn't reply anyway. He probably didn't know how to response.

Nov 30, 2013

Titans of the Past @ Science Centre Singapore

Have you been to Titans of the Past? If you are interested into dinosaurs and creatures through pre-historic times, you should.

Ever since the girls hook on Dinosaur Train, I learn along with them, bit by bit. As a young child, I learnt that dinosaurs are large, scaly, dangerous lizards that went extinct millions of years ago. But I didn't really catch their names. Not until Jiejie tells me about Pteranodon, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Maiasaurus, Brachiosaurus and some other names that I need more time to grip. 

Nov 21, 2013

Review: De Hygienique

November is ending and it is this time of the year that I need to spring clean my house. And for one very reason, mattresses and its related items, sofa and any other upholstery would not be included to the list of things to clean. Ops!

It is cumbersomely inconvenience, see!?

So when I was approached by De Hygienique to do a sponsored post of their services, I began to think of them, mattresses and sofa... how well have them been? It has been 5 years since we moved into this house with all the furniture. I reckoned, it is the time that mattresses and sofa to be cleaned for the first time. Now that it is coming to me, perhaps I should see how exactly it helps me? Especially it mentions that there is an in-built UV light works in disinfecting the mattresses. 

I remember long time ago, younger me used to be ordered by my mother to carry the mattresses, blankets, pillows and bolsters, even sofa cushions to sun outside our house, yearly, at least. Back then, mattresses were not as bulky as now, but, it would be dreadful if Mr Sun decided a sudden shift of duty with Ms Rain.

Sounds like De Hygienique is my old pal
"De Hygienique is Singapore's leading soft furnishing cleaning service provider, specialising in cleaning and sanitising of mattress, carpet/rug and upholstery. They are the first professional cleaning service provider in Singapore to introduce soft furnishing cleaning treatment using 100% dry, or low moisture, and chemical safe cleaning technologies from Europe."
So, yes, I was curious enough to take up the offer, find out and learn about latest technology able to bring Mr Sun home to serve... me. Professionally.

Nov 1, 2013

Sept 2013: Turning Eight

Together with her hair triggered temper, my first born is entering into her Eight, getting very close to Tween. I decided to make her work harder on the day we celebrate her birthday.

To activate PLAY and optimum the joy level of the birthday child, we went back to The Polliwogs @ Robinson Walk.

"让生命稳稳流动(也)是我的功课之一。" by Bubu Tsai