03 July, 2008
Here we go - who wants to buy a car? Petty and I are selling our cars. Details are below.
BMW 335 i Coupé.
It's sold for CHF 62,800. Original price when he first bought it brand new was CHF 90'100. What a bargain, ain't it?
Front view of Petty's cool baby
All the technical information of the car is as follows. Sorry it's in German. It's beyond me to translate all these technical terms into English.
Inverkehrssetzung: 4 / 2007
Aussenfarbe: grau mét.
Kilometer: 19'800 km
Hubraum in ccm: 2979 cm³
Leistung in PS: 306
Leergewicht: 1600 kg
Verbrauch: 13.2/6.7/9.1 (St/Land/Tot)
CO2-Emission: 218 g/km
Neupreis: CHF 90'100.-
Preis: CHF 62'800.-
Spacegrau Metallic, Leder Dakota Sattelbraun. iPod Anschluss, Lordosenstütze für Fahrer und Beifahrer. Mit 4 kompletten BMW Winterräder. Unfallfrei. Aus 1. Hand. Nichtraucher Auto.
Garantie: 3 Jahre oder 100'000 km Gratis-Service: 10 Jahre oder 100'000 km (Ab 1.Inv.), Leichtmetallfelgen im Sternspeiche 230 19J, Metallic-Lackierung, Elektrisches Glasschiebe-/Hebedach, Fernlichtassistent, Scheibenwischer vorne mit Regensensor und automatischem Einschalten der Abblendlichter, Vordersitze heizbar, Leder-Ausstattung, BMW Individual Dachhimmel Anthrazit, Skisack, Innen- und Aussenspiegel automatisch abblendbar, Interieurleisten in schwarz, Tempomat, Diebstahlwarnanlage mit Fernbedienung, inkl. Innenraumschutz und Neigungsalarm, Park Distance Control vorne und hinten, HiFi Lautsprechersystem Professional, Navigationssystem Professional, Paket Comfort, Paket Dynamic, Paket Lederausstattung Dakota
6-Gang-Getriebe, Antiblockiersystem (ABS), Bremsassistent, M Sportfahrwerk, Automatische Stabilitäts- und Traktions- kontrolle, Dynamische Stabilitätskontrolle (DSC), Servolenkung, Wegfahrsperre, Leichtmetallfelgen V-Speiche 188 17J mit Pneu, Bereifung mit Notlaufeigenschaft, Uni-Lackierung, Grün getönte Scheiben, Farbkeil in Frontscheibe, Aussenspiegel rechts und links beheiz- und elektrisch verstellbar, Fahrerseite asphärisch, Einstiegsschienen, Stosstangen in Wagenfarbe, Aussenspiegel und Türgriffe in Wagenfarbe, Nebelscheinwerfer, Drittes Bremslicht, Bi-Xenon Lichtanlage, Tagesfahrlichtschaltung, Leuchtweitenregulierung automatisch, Abblendlichtausschaltverzögerung 'Follow me home', Scheinwerfer-Waschanlage, Scheibenwaschdüsen beheizbar, Zentralverriegelung mit Fernbedienung, Kopfstützen hinten, Vordersitze elektrisch verstellbar, Fahrersitz mit Memoryschaltung, Vordersitze höhenverstellbar, Rücksitzlehne geteilt abklappbar, Kindersitzvorrichtung ISOFIX, Sportsitze vorne, Sport-Lederlenkrad, Multifunktionslenkrad, Lenkrad längs- und höhenverstellbar, Airbag Fahrer und Beifahrer, Seitenairbags, Window-Kopfairbags, Mittelarmlehne hinten, mit 2 Getränkehaltern, Armlehne vorne mit Ablagefach, Cupholder vorne, Gepäcknetze an beiden Vordersitzen, Beide Make up-Spiegel beleuchtet, Gurtstraffer vorne, Klimatisierungsautomatik, Pollenfilter (Staubfilter), Interieurleisten in Titan, Bordcomputer, Info-Display, Aussentemperaturanzeige, Drehzahlmesser, Wartungsintervall-Anzeige, Reifendruckverlust-Warnung, Elektrische Fensterheber vorne, (AUX) Auxiliary InlineSystem, Bavaria Business CD mit Antenne, Ent- störung und LS
Side view. As sleek as a panther.
Leather seats in light brown
Audi A3 SPORTBACK 2.0 FSI AMBITION.
It's sold for CHF 30'700. Original price was CHF 46'800.
Front view of my agressive looking baby
Additional technical information. Sorry it's in French.
Modèle: A3 SPORTBACK AMBITION
Type: A3 2.0 FSI Ambition
Typ: Lim / 5
1ère immatriculation: 1.2006
Equipements de série:
Boîte manuelle à 6 vitesses, Différentiel à blocage électronique (EDS), Régulation du dérapage des roues (ASR), Système antiblocage des roues (ABS), Assistance de freinage, Châssis sportif abaissé, Programme électronique de la stabilité (ESP), Direction assistée dépendante de la vitesse, Système antidémarrage, Vitres teintées, Verre isolant, Rétroviseurs extérieurs droite et gauche à dégivrage et à réglage électrique, côté du conducteur asphérique, Couvertures pour les seuils de porte, Poignées extérieures en couleur de la carrosserie, Phares antibrouillard, 3ème feu de stop, Réglage de la portée de l'éclairage électrique, Essuie-glace AR intermittent avec lave-glace, Gicleurs du lave-glace chauffables, Verrouillage central avec télécommande, Appuis-têtes actifs, 3 appuis-têtes AR, Siège conducteur réglable en hauteur, Siège passager réglable en hauteur, Dossier AR rabattable en parties, Sièges AV de sport, Volant sportif à 3 rayons, Volant réglable en hauteur et profondeur, Airbag conducteur et passager, Airbags latéraux, Airbags rideaux pour la tête, Système de protection contre les chocs latéraux, Rouleau pare-soleil pour lunette AR, Porte-boissons AV, Cendriers et allume-cigares, Vide-poches sous le siège passager, Couverture de compartiment de charge, Prétensionneurs de ceintures AV, Ceintures de sécurité à 3 points à toutes les places, Applications brillantes, Système d'information pour conducteur, Indicateur da la température extérieure, Compte-tours, Indicateur des intervalles d'entretien, Lève-vitres électriques AV et AR
Pack Cuir Nappa + Sièges de sport, Boîte automatique à 6 rapports Tiptronic, Peinture métallisée, Barres de toit brillantes, Open Sky System, Sièges AV chauffants, Accoudoir central AV, Tous les deux miroirs de courtoisie éclairés, Climatisation à régulation automatique, Régulateur de vitesse, Système d'alarme antivol avec protection intérieure, Contrôle de distances pour stationnement arrière, Radio Concert
kW/ch: 110 / 150
CH fiscaux: 10
Boîte de vitesses: m6
Please buy me. I'm far too sexy for my current owner.
Audi's special Open Sky System
Red leather seats. Sexy, ain't it?
If you're interested, do drop me a line at my gmail address. Please act quickly as we've purposely priced the cars lower than market value so that we can get rid of them asap. Let's hear from you!
28 June, 2008
But today, a Friday, I was absolutely free! I had no appointment at all!!
What a luxury. You will treasure this kind of freedom when you have kids. Somehow you need a break from your kids, although you do miss them terribly when they're not around.
With all the time in my hands, I could manage to take my sweet time to cook myself a very good lunch instead of having the usual spaghetti with Bolognese sauce from the jar.
Voilà, here's the end result - Pan fried beef entrecote with tomato salad. Simply delicious.
↑ Pan fried beef entrecote with tomato salad
It was a hot day today. 26℃. So I decided to have my lunch on the terrace. While eating, mom called from Subang Jaya.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Malaysia, Subang Jaya is a township next to Kuala Lumpur. If you don't know where Kuala Lumpur is, then I don't think you want to know about Subang Jaya. Anyway, it was a wonderful surprise to hear from mom and I was so glad to know that she was safe and sound.
Mom was here during the summer of 2005 but she found Switzerland a bit too cold, too quiet and too boring. I remember a conversation we had during her stay here.
Mom: "It's as quiet as in the grave yard here. How can you live here for so long?"
↑ Close-up of the beef entrecote with tomato salad
In order to avoid having the boring bread/pasta/rice, I chose to have sweet corn as my side dish instead.
↑ Boiled Spanish sweet corn. Very sweet indeed.
Cherry is in season now. Why not have it as dessert?
↑ Fresh cherries, handpicked from the local supermarket Migros
After such a heavy meal, I couldn't be bothered to move anymore. Where's my deckchair? It's time to lie down, put my feet up, have a light lemon chilled drink with ice cube and enjoy my weekly dose of The Economist.
↑ My favourite deckchair on the terrace
The Economist arrives in our letterbox on every Friday, as punctually as a devoted lover.
↑ How to get him out? Good question.
When I felt too sleepy from the heavy meal, I let myself doze off on the terrace. Gentle breeze from the lake was caressing my skin. Today was such a bright sunny day. Zurich Lake was extremely blue. The hill on the other side of the lake was greener than green could be. A few sail boats, aimlessly, floating on the lake. I was suddenly exceedingly moved by the beauty of it all.
And I knew, mom would disagree with me.
↑ Zurich Lake in summer
As I glanced towards Zurich city at the far end of Zurich Lake, an ordinary day didn't seem so ordinary anymore. One could easily be mesmerised by the blueness of the lake.
Summer time in Switzerland is like poetry in motion. And life is sweet.
↑ Zurich City lies at the northern tip of Zurich Lake
20 June, 2008
Woke up this morning at 5 a.m. Couldn't get back to sleep. Twisting and turning, twisting and turning but still, I just couldn't get back to sleep. Then I looked out of my bedroom window and THIS WAS WHAT I SAW - gorgeous red cloud covering the whole sky at dawn!
The beauty of it touched me to the core of my heart. Thank goodness I woke up like this, and here I was, confronted by the divine beauty the world was offering.
Out of my window, the street light was still on. The water in Zurich Lake was as calm as someone who had just swallowed tranquillizer. Like a mirror, the water was absorbing and reflecting the redness from the sky.
I couldn't help wondering - who was THE PERSON behind all this? Who was THE PERSON who had gone to great length to create such beauty for us to enjoy? I am not a religious person but at this moment, I thought THE PERSON must have loved us to such an extent that HE/SHE was generous and kind enough to create scene after scene of great beauty, just for our viewing pleasure.
We see beauty everywhere, everyday, and yet we choose to overlook most of it.
Perhaps this place where I live in, is not far from heaven on earth.
16 May, 2008
While in Bali, Petty stayed at Hotel Padma.
According to the brochure from Hotel Padma, the hotel property is situated on Legian's legendary sunset beach just outside Kuta. It is spaciously set within a romantic garden landscape providing guests with a village-style hideaway.
Petty found his stay totally satisfying as the hotel has a number of good restaurants and the hotel staff are all very friendly and efficient. Below are some pictures taken by him during his one week stay there. To me, it's a holiday that slipped away. It could have been MY holiday too!
↑ Hotel garden sprinkled with Balinese lanterns at Hotel Padma
↑ Poolside area - it's truly a tropical paradise
↑ Walkway leading to the hotel lobby
↑ The fierce and scary looking Balinese mask
↑ Hotel lobby - what's that thingy hanging there?
↑ Hotel garden oozing with Balinese charm
↑ Fish fountain
↑Triple frogs fountain
↑ Legian beach with its big wave
It's a shame for the beach at Legian. According to Petty the water here is quite rough which makes it better to surf than to swim. Oh dear, perhaps it's a good thing I didn't make it to Bali after all (sour grapes...).
27 April, 2008
↑ My mom is a superwoman
Bearbear has just turned 5. Sometimes he totally amazes me with his words.
Overheard while Bearbear was playing Lego with his good friend Manuel.
Bearbear: Meine Mamma ist eine Superfrau. (My mom is a superwoman.)
Manuel: Wirklich? (Really?)
Bearbear: Sie kann meine ganzen Spielzeuge reparieren. (She can repair all my toys.)
Manuel: Du bist sehr gluecklich! (You're very lucky!)
↑ Bearbear's dream car - just like Sally in the movie "Cars"
One fine morning, while driving Bearbear to the day care centre, he spotted a white Porsche on the road.
Bearbear: Mama, when I'm big enough, when I've enough money, I want to buy a white Porsche.
Me: Good idea. If you can afford a Porsche, that means you're doing quite well. Mama'll be very happy. Not everyone can afford a Porsche you know.
Bearbear: Yeah, after buying the Porsche, if I still have some money left, I'll buy you a red Ferrari.
Me: Oh Bearbear you're so generous.
↑ What do you like to watch tonight - Tom & Jerry or CNN?
While watching TV together, Bearbear started the following conversation with me.
Bearbear: Mama, do you like cartoon?
Me: Yeah. When I was a kid, I liked Micky Mouse, Donald Duck, Tom & Jerry and Woody Wodpecker. I still do actually.
Bearbear: I like all kinds of cartoon and CNN.
Me: I can understand why you like cartoon. But why CNN? It's all about news.
Bearbear: Then I know what's going on in the world.
While clearing Bearbear's school bag, I found a piece of paper written in broken German "Ich ha dich ser gern", accompanied by drawing of hearts and stars, signed by Melanie. Obviously it's a love letter from his little girlfriend who is 6 years old.
Me: What're you going to do with this letter?
Bearbear: I think I've to take Melanie as my wife because she likes me very much.
Me: What about Laura? I thought she liked you too....
Bearbear: Yeah, but I think Melanie likes me more than Laura does.
Me: Bearbear, you know, you don't have to take someone as a wife just because she likes you. You have to like her too.
Bearbear: I do like Melanie!
Me: OK. but you're only 5. You'll have to wait until 18 before you can think about taking someone as a wife.
Bearbear: What? 18? How many nights do I have to sleep before I become 18?
Me: Many many many.....nights my dear.
27 March, 2008
We spent every Easter in Nyon with my mom-in-law. We call her Mémé. In the morning when we got up, having had a good look at Mémé's back garden, only then we realised that it snowed last night. Her garden was painted with layer of white powder. It was such a pretty sight. However, Mémé was a bit worried that the snow might in some ways hinder our Easter celebration.
In accordance to Swiss traditional way of celebrating Easter, chocolates were supposed to be hidden in the garden. And children would then go in search for them. It was a thrilling experience for kids. Even Petty admitted that as a young boy, he did enjoy this particular game.
Fortunately when afternoon came, sunshine set in. The never ending snowing had finally come to a halt. The sky now looked as clear as mirror. No more snow, which meant we could go and hide all the chocolates wherever we wanted in the garden!
It took a bit of skill to hide the chocolates. We couldn't just leave them too exposed. On the other hand, we couldn't hide them too well as the kids might find it too hard looking for them.
I found two huge Smarties on top of a plant. I wondered who actually put them there. When Petty saw the chocolates, he couldn't help burst out laughing - "ISN'T THAT A BIT TOO EASY FOR THE KIDS TO LOCATE?!!"
A golden bunny from Lindt & Sprüngli was hidden in the bush. This type of chocolate is Swiss kids' favourite Easter gift.
Mémé was worried that the kids might end up finding nothing. So she left a small basket of colourful Easter candies next to a pile of stones. It was so EXPOSED. Even the blind could manage to find them.
"Isn't it lovely to just leave the eggs like this on the stones?" Mémé said, pointing at the Easter eggs scattered randomly on the stones.
I sprinkled quite a lot of eggs amongst the plants. When the kids were searching high and low for the chocolates, I could hear Mémé speaking at the top of her voice, "Children! Children! beware of my plants! Do not step upon them!......" Oh dear, the warning came a bit too late.
That day, we left Nyon in the late afternoon. As we set off, snow started to fall again.
Out of our car, I could see snow everywhere - it looked just like a black and white postcard. Inside our car, our two kids were soundly asleep. They were not aware of the heavy snow outside. At this very moment, they were probably having a very sweet dream in which they savoured every mouthful of the endless supply of huge Easter eggs .........
I wish you all a very happy Easter too.
17 March, 2008
↑ Zurich lakeside park along General-Guisan-Quai
Another lazy Sunday afternoon, we ended up walking along Zurich lakeside. The plan was to walk all the way from Zurich lakeside to Zurich old town where we would have Spanish tapas for lunch.
I particularly like the park running along General-Guisan-Quai. In spring time, flowers are blooming. Birds are singing. People are playing ball games at the park. I, without fail, always ask myself: Isn't this almost heaven?
In summer, the grassy parks on the lake shore are jammed with hive of activity. It's a popular meeting place for roller-skaters, bathers, street artists and people who do nothing but just stare at Zurich Lake (or Zuerichsee in German).
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with a population of 376,815 at the end of 2007. It is the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is also Switzerland's main commercial and cultural centre. According to several surveys in 2006 and 2007, Zurich was named the city with the "best quality of life" in the world.
↑ View over the Alps. A visit to Zurich should end with a boat ride around Zurich Lake.
When we arrived at the old town, we were confronted by this majestic looking church. It's Grossmünster Church. The twin spires of the Grossmünster Church are a distinctive feature of Zurich’s cityscape.
↑ Grossmünster Church
According to legend, Charlemagne discovered the graves of the city's martyrs Felix and Regula and had a church built as a choristers' cloister on the spot. Construction work on the present building began around 1100. In the first half of the 16th century, the Grossmünster was the starting point of the Swiss-German Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger.
↑ Limmat River rises in Zurich city at the north end of Zurich Lake
↑ View of Limmat River with Grossmünster Church in the background
↑ Teuscher - one of the most exclusive chocolatiers in Switzerland
While there are many first-rate chocolatiers in Zurich, the crown must go to Teuscher. Founded by Dolf Teuscher more than 60 years ago, it specializes in truffles, either its signature champagne truffles or its equally superb cocoa, orange, kirsch or nougat varieties.
↑ Fraumünster Church
Founded in 853 by King Louis the German, Fraumünster Church with its convent was inhabited by the female members of the aristocracy of southern Germany. It enjoyed the patronage of kings and the right to mint coins in Zurich until well into the 13th century.
↑ Zurich city with its historical buildings
↑ Aston Martin
Car watching is a must in Zurich. You don't have to be a car enthusiast to notice all the expensive cars on the road. Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati etc you name it, you'll find it on the road. In fact, driving BMW and Mercedes is so common in Zurich that nobody will bother to turn his head. Only the occasional Lamborghini gets such a privileged treatment.
On the way back to our carpark, we passed by Zurich lakeside again. I took the following picture and I couldn't help remembering what a Swiss friend once told me: It's easy to own a boat in Zurich but to get a parking for the boat is a fucking pain in the arse!
Well, second thought, perhaps it's easier to own an Aston Martin afterall. At least, it's easier to get a carpark.......
↑ Zurich Lakeside with all the modest looking boats. Privately-owned big boats are not allowed on Zurich Lake.