Saturday, September 24, 2011

Go to Seoul!! (Part 1)

There's so much of Seoul to talk about. We went there in Spring 2011, with very cheap AirAsia tickets, great expectation and zero knowledge of the Korean language. If there's a Family version of Amazing Race, I think we can be the champion team. Here goes the adventure:

Day 1:
Landed Incheon Int' airport at 8+p.m.  To our horrors, there was a long queue in the immigration check-in and took us almost an hour to get a chop in our passport. We booked a night in the hotel nearby. Makes perfect sense as we were late, hungry and cold. And we planned to take the free shuttle bus to get us there. With instructions in broken English from the helpful info counter staff, we thought we'll get to the hotel soon. But we waited and waited and no sign of our bus coming! I called the hotel to ask, where the h*ll is the bus.The reception told us basically, sorry, you are too late, you missed the bus. Conversation ended. We dragged the kids to  the waiting cabs nearby. They told us, Sorry, your hotel is too near. What??!! Few more calls to the hotel and another 15 mins to wait for the taxi. By the time we arrived in the hotel, it was 10.30pm, and ended up forking out 10,000 KRW, for 5 mins ride!!

Day 2:
Best Western Incheon is nice and clean. Until we step out of the hotel. The stench is unbearable. It's something like 'ikan kering' (dried fish) meets garbage truck smell. Oh yeah, we also found out there was a public parking lot opposite the hotel which had a free shuttle bus from the airport. And we could have taken the bus last nite cos that was the only bus which was still running!!!!

Anyway, the stench drove us to the restaurant next to the hotel for lunch. We couldn't bear walking out any longer. The restaurant was run by a mother and son co. The duo started to admire with ooh-ahhs of  my girls. (There were lots of them like this as we travelled more later). She whipped up really good homecooked-like food for us. The meal made us all happy & dandy and ready to set out for Seoul.

Day 3:
In Seoul, we stayed in Artnouveau city Yeoksam and is situated right smack in a business district. We did our booking in where else but booking.com. Our review for the hotel is in here with a score of all-time high of 9.6.
Open the door and you get this and this and this!

The subway is 15 mins walk down the road, with kids. 10 mins walk without kids. Everywhere we went, we had stares, smiles and candies from passing-by strangers. They were really amused by the girls. Darn, we should have done a street show to recover my 10,000 KRW. Why didn't I think of that?


Day 3 was actually when we started our tour in Seoul. The first 2 days were more of finding our way to the airport, hotel and good food. We were almost always rewarded with good food in the end. However, it was not all cheap, but the walk and search in the windy spring weather was always worth it. One thing I still can't figure out though is why Koreans are really into their kimchi. They are proud of it as Malaysians are proud of our durians and sambal belacan. 

Why Mom, we can't have this back home?
Say Kimchi



We chose to visit one of the palaces. There were a few in Seoul. It is a wonder that South Koreans manage to preserve these pre-war palaces, in the middle of a booming city. The walk in the palace was really tiring for all of us. And not many eateries to be found there. Luckily, I brought some snacks to quieten our growling tummies for a while.

 


 







Monday, September 12, 2011

Resurrection

A close friend asked for my blog's URL so that she knows what's been happening to me from her part of the world. I told her, forget it, save it. Basically, my blog is dead and gone.

Lately I'm doing some soul searching. At the same time, struggling and laughing at some good and bad memories of the past 6 years since I became a mom. Most of the time, I was feeling rather dopey. The root of it all I realise, is not achieving what I thought I can or want to achieve. Like seeing Kat dancing ballet gracefully in her tutu. Seeing her with trophies and prizes for winning national spelling competition. Seeing her making her 100m lap in the pool within 10s. Sounds ridiculous, but yes...in this part of the world, parents do drive their kids to classes after classes,lessons after lessons to achieve their own lost childhood ambition.

And plus, I have just reached the mid 30s. My mom got pregnant with me at the same age. But I don't see myself having another baby, late nights and and err...cracked nipples.

And I am going through a lot of mess at work. I'm looking if I have other options outside the company. But yeah, no lovely and greener pastures are at sight yet.

There was a meeting with my MD and my German boss. Both are head-strong and would have wrestled if not for the rest of us in the room. My boss was being accused for not taking care of the welfare of his team. My MD was being questioned for being ugly and obnoxious. So we were talking about starting up the special Confidential-R-Us team which any staff can vent their complaints to. My German boss mentioned the word 'resurrection' to mean that, the team still exists although seems dead. I laughed when I heard the word 'resurrection' in a meeting of a 10,000+ employees company, with our local MD present. This word would have received solemn response and some tears to those attending church and hear it often during Easter. So I laughed at told my boss that the word 'resurrection' sounds stupid  is not appropriate for this purpose. He meant well, but I made him look like a fool. Darn! And he's right after all according to dictionary.com. Sorry boss!

And today, I want to 'resurrect' this blog. Mainly because I think I will better off if I start blogging again. Maybe I will have better sense of achievement. And probably will help me to look at things and not just see things. Ooh..sounds so mid-life crisis. But what the heck, I am back. This blog is resurrected.


Monday, February 23, 2009

White lies

It’s raining, it’s pouring, at the time of writing.

Which brought me to the scene 2 days ago. Kat was asking me, Mum can I watch TV? She asked not once. Not twice. But like 1001 times. At the time of the drama at home, there’s more drama with the weather outside the house. It was raining. It was pouring. And there were thunder and lightning. Whip crack sounding thunder.

So, I said NO. NO TV. And by default, Kat responded by crying and shouting, I want to watch TV, mum. As long as I said NO, she would put on the same response and I would continue to say NO. It’s like replaying the same scene in a drama. But I hate this scene so much so that I was really running out of my patience quota of the year.

So finally I said, ‘FINE. If you want to watch TV, the TV will be spoilt and mummy and papa will have to work more to buy a new TV for you. Is that what you want?’ And miraculously, she kept quiet. And didn’t ask for TV again…maybe once or twice, but then the crying and ranting stopped. Phewiee…

And speaking of which, I was brought back to the scene few weeks back. Hubs and I were going to fly off to Hanoi for a vacation. And we had childcare of the kids all planned out. Explaining to the kids especially Kat, on why we need to be away was a challenge though. So here goes the drama

ME: Mummy & papa have to go away for work. So you stay with aunty, kong2 & po2, ok?
KAT: No, mum. I don’t want to you & papa to go. *Cry, sob, boo-hoo-hoo*
ME: But kong2 & po2 will come and stay with you.
KAT: No, mum….. *Cry, sob, boo-hoo-hoo*
ME: Losing patience .. OK, if mummy and papa don’t go to work, we won’t have money. If no money, no TV.
Kat was quiet. Sobs stopped and peace at last.

Well, the trip to Hanoi is over. We are still having our plasma TV. And my brain cells have been so challenged these days because of a stubborn headed TV-obsessed totally parents-dependent 4 years-old.

White lies, yes..I did have to tell to preserve my sanity. Also partly due to the fact that to answer my own kid is harder than answering my boss.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What we do during Chinese New Year 2009

Last nite I had a shock of my life. At 12 am, my neighbours decided to burn fire crackers and woke the whole neighbourhood with the ruckus. Not only that, they wait for each other to finish their rounds and took turns to burn the crackers, fireworks and anything they have; to make the air smokey and smelly.

Well, that explains my lack of focus for work today. Yeah, yeah…I’m normally not focused, but today is one of my worst days. Any minute now I can doze off in my seat and ….zzzz.

So …where am I? Oh yeah, what I wanted to write here is that, Chinese New Year (CNY) for 2009 is quite special because
1) My mom had a biopsy and the reports came out few days before CNY and turns out negative - no malignant cells
2) Kat and Kayleen are big enough to hold the teacups and serve tea to their Kong2 and Poh2
3) I have lost weight since last year’s CNY and manage to get myself in an M-sized dress!!!

However mundane reasons I have here, CNY is indeed a special time to celebrate, with loved ones. Though we do almost the same things year in, year out.

We serve tea to the partriarch and martriarch of the family and respect them while they are alive

We play mahjong. And oh yeah, there is a junior league going on

When bored, we go and disturb the dog

When even more bored, we’ll watch the idiot box and go bonkus with cheesy Canton movies. But this year, FINALLY I managed to watch CJ7 which was in the cinemas early last year. It’s indeed one of the best Stephen Chow’s movies I’ve watched in decades. Oh, oh we also watched Money No Enough II. Also another heart-warming family story. Also a delayed screening by my family.

Sadly, the idiot box doesn’t have good movies all the time. So we had to fulfill the ritual of visiting a shopping mall. This time though, the girls had their first game of bowling; without the ‘longkang’ feature. The kids had fun I think. Thank God they are still too young to know that their mummy & pa-pa scores suck.

And finally we manage to get in touch with my aunts, cousins, friends and cell members. I don’t have pics as I was busy catching up. I’m truly happy to be able to see them again, and let them see me in my M-sized dress..mua haha.

I really have a great time in CNY, and hence…find it so tough to start my engine for work. Sigh..have to get back to work now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CUTE QUOTE: Don’t say ‘STUPID’

I was talking with hubby in the car, and I mentioned the word ‘STUPID’.

Kat heard from the back of the car and immediately corrected me, 'Don’t say stupid, mom.'

Slapped my head and mouth and said, ‘Yes, Kat’.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CONTENTMENT

Ah, I forgot to put this in my ‘DO OR DIE’ resolutions for 2009. Until I read about Steve Job’s hormon imbalance problem, or John Travolta’s son passing on. I’m reminded again that how short our lives are. That money is not enough. That what Jesus said 2000 yrs ago about ‘storing riches in heaven, not on earth; for moth or thieves will steal our riches away’ is not too outdated an advise.


So I will start to be contented and not wanting or expecting more out of myself and my loved ones. I’ve already heaped a lot of expectations on my poor hubby and kids. In the end, we may end up killing each other or ourselves. READ: German billionaire kills self, family says



As I write this, am reminded of my stolen favorite car back in 2004. I thought I locked the car door and all, but alas there was nothing I can do or undo which will bring my fav car back to me. Some acquaintances of mine reported how sad they felt when they lost a mobile phone each year. I was thinking, 'Hah, you can't beat mine. I lost a whole blardy car'. Cruel..but true. A mobile phone. You are moping around on lost mobile phone when many would have lost their loved ones in Gaza now. And then, the same acquaintance complaint later...aiyah, I always put on weight. If my specs don't lie to me, that person has 3 kids and still wearing Medium sized Asian clothes, I don't know what is being fat or putting on weight really means.



Enough said, here's a blessing (or two!!) which I'm really grateful for, despite of their tantrums and keenness on testing my patience..


Friday, January 02, 2009

Bye-bye 2008 and Welcome 2009


I just wrote a note to SY & Bree to wish them Happy New Year. I wish them well and really pray that God will lead us to better prospects – at work, in relationship/friendship, health, spiritual and personal growth.

I don’t think I’d like to dwell on 2008, what has been and what has happened. As many times when I tried to recall the good things, my mind will cross over the bad things. And these things are the ones which give me heart aches.

So, looking forward, I’ve pick up a few to-do things or ‘resolutions’ for year 2009. Hope this will keep me going with much better anticipation:

RATING: DO OR DIE
1) Spend time with the rascals (my kids) especially to..
2) Improve ABCs and reading skill with Kat
3) Potty train Kayleen
4) Read, read, read!! I’ve done 2 books for year 2008 (hey…it’s an achievement for me ok)
5) Work hard, love all and..
6) Count to 10 when on the verge of losing the battle to anger, foolish words and flares of temper
7) Facebook only on weekends


RATING: NICE TO HAVE
8) Wake up earlier, go to work earlier and leave work earlier
9) Buy a bike and pick up cycling (yeah man..I’m a real city bum with no cycling skill whatsoever)
10) Get those jogging shoes running again. This time with my dog Santa
11) Go for a trip with Bree
12) Go for a trip to Rome/Paris

So Happy New 2009 and may God bless us with more wisdom, courage and strength to face the year ahead.