23 January, 2009

We need a man.............

who is young at heart. From his smile you can tell he's retained a childlike quality about him.

who still genuinely enjoys a good laugh with his loving wife after being together for more than 15 years.

who keeps his family intact no matter what happens outside his world.

whose good look is well matched by the size of his brain.

who is capable of laughing at himself just to keep us entertained.

who ultimately rules our world with his wit, intelligence, common sense and sensibility.

who can dance to whatever tunes at the click of a finger.

What? You're not convinced that he can dance? Let me search on Youtube.
Here you go. Even Ellen is impressed.

Don't we all love Mr. Obama, for now.

21 January, 2009

Postcards from Thailand

I like Thailand. It's a place I like to go to for relaxation. I don't do much when I'm there. Just getting pampered. Spa, massage, pedicure, manicure....or just lie on the beach and listen to the sound of waves.

Patong Beach, Phuket. Taken minutes before the rain.

Still at Patong Beach.

A small Thai village.

Duck liver pâté at La Gritta Italian restaurant, Amari Coral Beach Resort.

Still at La Gritta - mussels cooked in white wine sauce.

Die hard calamari fan. Bearbear can have deep-fried calamari for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

How can banana flowers be so beautiful?

Here's another one. No kidding right? It's really beautiful.

I love Thai food although it makes me suffer the following day in the restroom. It's one of the hottest food in the world.

Barbecued lobster - a must-try for seafood lover.

Rim Talay Restaurant, Amari, by night.


16 January, 2009

Have you ever?

I've been tagged by Monica, the attractive owner of Turn-U-off.

Anyway, here is my first ever meme!

1. Have you ever been on TV?-- Yes many times. I was featured in Tampax ad, Nivea skin care ad and coca cola ad in which the woman was swept off her feet by a hunk....honestly, NEVER. *sigh sigh*

2. Have you ever sung in public?-- Yes, I was crazy about singing and secretly hoping that I would be discovered at an early age. I sang in my high school singing contest. To my disappointment, I got consolation prize only. From then on, I've never sung again, in public.

3. Have you ever dyed your hair blond?-- Yes, not completely blond but with blond highlight. Having dark hair is boring. No offence to dark haired readers.

4. Have you ever eaten frogs' legs?-- Yes, but not so keen on it. There's not much to eat anyway. I prefer chicken legs.

5. Have you ever received a present that you really hated?-- Oh yes! When I was working for a US investment bank, every X'mas we were given a small gift. It could be a classical music CD or a gift voucher of a local book store. During one particular X'mas, the firm wanted to please a client so badly that it bought lots of books published by the client. Didn't know what to do with the purchase, the firm gave us the books as X'mas presents. I then passed my copy to my mom in law - it's a hard back thick as hell business book written in German! I wonder if she's finished reading it.

6. Have you ever walked into a lamp post?-- Oh no. This is because I've been trained to be very careful with lamp post. Once I was in Bangkok on a busy main road, I saw a middle aged man blowing his nose while waiting for the traffic to stop. He then caught the snot with his right hand and conveniently smeared all of it on the lamp post nearby. From then on, I've been very careful with lamp post. I never go near it. Never touch it.

7. Have you ever cooked a meal by yourself for more than 15 people?-- Never. The most is for 6 people. If I have to do so I'll call my sister. I heard she could easily cook for the whole village!

8. Have you ever fallen or stumbled in front of others?-- Yes, in Davos during my first skiing lesson. I was going downhill (a gentle slope) and I was screaming, "Get out of my way! I'm coming! I'm coming!" Another incident happened after I finished high school. I was a language teacher teaching Primary 6 kids Bahasa Malaysia and English. This school was quite peculiar. In each classroom it had raised platform for teacher to give lecture. With my formal office attire and high heels on, I was oblivious with my surrounding while teaching passionately about English grammar. Suddenly BOING I was out of the platform and landed on the floor. But funny enough, nobody dared to laugh. So I told the class, " That's strange. If it'd happened to my teacher, I'd have been the first one to laugh!". Only then the kids laughed out loud as if it was really funny to find me on the floor.

9. Have you ever done volunteer work?-- Let me see. Not that I know of. When I worked for a bank in Switzerland, every year before X'mas the bank would arrange for some old folks to come into the office on a weekend to make use of free phone calls. They were encouraged to dial to whatever countries that their hearts desired. I'd always agree to turn up to assist them but without fail, I'd fail to turn up! So the answer is NO. I've never done volunteer work.

Now I'm going to tag
Uncle Lee, ShuLing, Jade, Lynne and Lin. I hope you guys would join in the fun....:-)

15 January, 2009

Phuket seen through the eyes of a 5 years old

Bearbear on the plane from Singapore to Phuket - he likes to read the in flight safety information such as where to find the emergency exit and etc.

Bearbear loves taking photos. Since I gave him my old Minolta digital camera, he has taken lots of photos. I have compiled below some photos he took during our recent trip to Phuket, Thailand. Sometimes his chosen objects are rather weird. Let's find out.

1) Fierce looking fish displayed at the seafood restaurant. Bearbear cannot understand why people dare to eat something so fierce looking.

2) Beautiful light in a Middle Eastern restaurant. Bearbear was fascinated by the dim red light here.

3) Another lovely light caught Bearbear's eyes at the Italian restaurant in the hotel we stayed in.

4) Bearbear took this photo for me while I was stirring my watermelon juice with a straw. I like the mood in this photo so much that I use this as my profile photo ever since.

5) This tiny crab appeared on the path from our hotel to the jetty. Bearbear was so excited to have spotted this creature. "He's like Mr. Crab in Spongebob - he has very big claws!" He said.

6) While we were on the jetty, Bearbear took a photo of our hotel.

7) The Jetty - quite abandoned in the low season.

8) View from the jetty - a private beach is begging to be explored.

9) Sea view from the jetty.

13 January, 2009

Hotel Review: Amari Coral Beach Resort in Phuket

Phuket's Patong Beach where one can easily find cheap massages, barbequed sweet corns, cheap necklaces and probably future wives.

Back in October when Bearbear was having his autumn holiday, we took the opportunity to go island hopping. From Singapore, it only takes about 2 hours to fly to Phuket.

Phuket is the largest island of Thailand, approximately the size of Singapore. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.

This time we chose to stay at Amari Coral Beach Resort which is located at the quiet end of Phuket’s most popular beach, Patong.

Amari simply blowed my mind away from the moment I set foot on the resort until I left. I was there for a short break (approx. 1 week) with Petty and Bearbear. We stayed in one of the suites overlooking the smaller pool. The room was clean. The staff were ever smiling and willing to assist you.

View from our suite overlooking the smaller pool.

On the day we checked in, to my disappointment I noticed that the hand shower at the bathtub didn't work. A couple of light bulbs also needed changing. But all this was fixed as soon as I called housekeeping.

A room with a view. Shame for the f*cking weather.

Ocean view is abundant in Amari. Every room here has ocean view!

The hotel is tucked away, sitting on a hillside away from the busy Patong main beach. I personally think that staying in Amari is just perfect - you are away from the noise at Patong main beach but you are also near enough to get there.

Getting a taxi from the hotel will cost you Baht 200 one way (USD 5.70) which I think is a bit pricey for such a short journey. But then you can always walk to Patong Beach. It's only 5 mins away!

However, this hotel is not good for disabled people and guests with babies. As it sits on a hillside, there are lots and lots of steps to walk! It will be a problem to push baby stroller all the way to the breakfast table.

Very calm and clean water. Good for a dip. But some people choose to fish instead.

On the plus side, the hotel is beautifully landscaped, planted with lots of tropical flowers. At night, when the lights are on, the beauty of the hotel property comes out. This is, I must say, one of the most romantic hotels I've stayed in.

Amari also plays with your senses. Scented oil made from lemongrass, lavender, jasmine and eucalyptus are placed in all the public toilets and changing areas. I was so impressed by it all I even bought a few bottles of scented oil and a burner to bring home. You need a burner to burn the scented oil.

Hotel's poolside food is excellent but choices are quite limited. After staying here for a few days we were forced to repeat our orders.

The hotel food is excellent. You must try La Gritta Italian restaurant. It's pricey, even by European standard, but the setting by the sea is worth every penny of it. It's so romantic it makes you want to weep for the sheer beauty of it all.

Looking at the jetty from a distance.

To top it off, the hotel has a jetty which is within walking distance. Don't be put off by the walking distance - it's just a gentle walk. It's a must for hotel guest. There are deckchairs on the jetty and there is a bar too. From here you can jump into the sea or do a bit of snorkeling.

I'm quite impressed by this jetty. Not crowded here as most hotel guests are too lazy to walk the distance from the hotel.

One word of advice - do not rely on the hotel for entertainment. The lounge singers at the Lobby Bar were not so good during our stay there - giggling nervously while singing. One gets the impression that they're so amateurish. Oh, but then, if you need 'real' entertainment you can always go to Patong where there are lots and lots of go go bars with endless supply of hot girls.

Patong's night life (credit to Boon and Thing)

In my next post I'll show you more pics of Phuket seen through the eyes of a 5 years old. Stay tuned.

09 January, 2009

How can you tell you're living with little monkeys?

For those of you who have kids, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Just right after you've tidied up the whole place, tucking away all the toys at places where you think they can't be possibly found again, oops, just as you turn you back, all these toys mysteriously reappear at places where they don't belong even though you've probably told your kids HUNDRED TIMES not to leave their toys everywhere.

Today I suddenly come to my senses - Hey, instead of getting flipping mad over a storm in a teacup, I've decided to take it like a good gentlewoman would - I just have to learn to live with the fact that I'm living with MY KIDS under the same roof! So it doesn't really matter if they leave their stuff everywhere, right?

Below are all the signs telling you that - hey, there's a monkey, or two, living here.....

Sign No 1: Bearbear's elephant watering can is forever sitting next to my herbs and stuff in the kitchen.

"Mama, I'm going to help you water your plants." He says.
"You mean, you want to splash water all over MY kitchen floor?" I say.


Sign No 2: Fridge door - this is my area for putting up shopping list, bus schedule of our condo, fogging schedule etc but Bearbear finds space here to hang up two soft toys for himself and his little brother. This is also a place where Bearbear shows off his colouring talent.

My goodness, he even puts up HIS OWN photo on the fridge door - an old photo taken when he was about one year old. I did try to remove the photo and hide it somewhere but Bearbear managed to locate it and put it back up.

"Mama, I like to see my photo on the fridge. I think it looks nice here."



Sign No 3: Bearbear's pencil (the one with a red butterfly on top) is a fixture in my study. I wonder why he's still keeping this pencil - both wings of the butterfly have long been ripped off!


Sign No 4: What's this robot doing on my bookshelf? I don't want it HERE!


Sign No 5: You'll find some creatures with tiny feet sharing your shoe rack. The pair of green crocs in the pic below belongs to baby Piggy. His shoes are slowly taking over the limited space on our shoe rack.


Sign No 6: Bearbear likes to keep his toys in the bathroom. Look, here's Ben 10 Wildmutt who constantly stares at me while I'm having a bath. Not a comfortable thought.

Bearbear likes his toys but he doesn't realise that for people who don't appreciate Ben 10 Wildmutt, it's a damned fugly looking monster!

OK. Enough of this ranting. Time to go and tidy up again.


07 January, 2009

Mr. Peacock Made My Day

On the weekend we wanted to take the boys to Underwater World, an oceanarium showcasing marine life from the region. It is situated on Sentosa Island of Singapore.

However when we arrived, we were so put off by the long queue. We ended up having ice-cream just outside the entrance to Underwater World.

Bearbear made us promise him that we'd take him there again on a WEEKDAY. We presume it'd be less crowded on a weekday.

Anyway, as we were having our ice-cream, we felt incredibly bored. Petty, at this point, was boiling hot, both from the heat and the fact that he let the boys down.

"Singapore is just too crowded. A small island with too many people living here." Petty was complaining and I quite agreed with him.

Just at this moment, we saw this gorgeous looking peacock roaming about on a field in front of us.

Bearbear called out PEACOCK! MAMA LOOK PEACOCK!

And all of a sudden, this hauntingly beautiful creature, behaving much like a magician, shook and spread his feathers and turned himself into something like this!

A small crowd by now was formed in front of the peacock. He wasn't shy at all. He kept parading his feathers, turning from one side to the other and back. Very good showmanship. I found it quite amusing.

Then he turned towards me and stopped. Gotcha! You're now in my Picasa web album.

Thanks for making my day Mr. Peacock!