Others (under construction)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Chinese Lesson

Thursday is Sze-En's off day. That's the only day is is free of tuition, piano lessons and church activities. Every Thursday, after school, she will decide what to do for the rest of the day. she usually has tons of homework and Kumon, so sometimes she does her homework first, and other times she chooses to sleep. yep, sleeping is one of her hobbies.

Last Thursday, i saw her doing her Chinese homework. She really hated writing Chinese characters so much that she refuses to read Chinese storybooks and even when someone (whom she knows speak English very well) ask her something in Mandarin, she will reply in English.

From my perspective, her handwriting is very neat. I kept pestering her to teach me some Chinese. One of the ways to encourage her to to do what she does, which at that moment was writing a Chinese character over and over again.

Finally she gave in to my pestering and said " okay lah... bring a paper". I honestly didn't know where my mom kept all her stationery and so i told her I don't know where to get one. She refused to budge and told me to look for it. Finally I checked in my laptop bag and found an A4-sized paper.

She wrote the character "da", which means "big" in English. It was a simple character. When I was in my primary school days, one of the subjects they forced us to take was "People's own Language". For me, it was Chinese. I hated it so much till I asked my mom to write a letter to the school asking them to allow me not to attend the class. My mom did write that letter, but I still had to attend the classes. I remembered I either got very high marks (more than 90%) or very low marks (less than 10%), sometimes 0% too. Weird right? Actually, when I did had high marks, it meant that I copied someone's paper, and when i got low marks, it meant I tried the test without the help of anybody. See how bad my Chinese was.

After writing "da' she checked and marked my paper. i have "A-" for the 1st character... yay!!!!!

Then she asked me to write my Chinese name. My middle name was so difficult to write. She gave me a "B" for that. :(

Later she asked me to write "jie-jie" (big sister), ke-ke(big brother) and "ti-ti"(younger brother).

For homework she gave me this :-

I think it's the Chinese Character for "heart". Today's Tuesday. I'm going to meet up with Sze-en again on Thursday, her off day. That's when she is going to ask me for my homework. Sigh! I still haven't started on it yet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Steamboat & BBQ in Lobak

It has been a long time since I ate in this place.

It's located in Lobak, Seremban. Good variety of seafood, meat, vege and noodles. Cost is only M18 per adult, RM13 for senior citizen and RM7 for children.

There were 6 of us - Eddie, Steve, Philip, Steven, Mctc and I. We started at 7.15pm and left at about 9.30pm. We ate all we wanted too, but was careful not to overeat. The eat-all-you-want restaurant also had 5 different flavoured ice-cream and drinks such as herbal tea, orange and what-looked-like strawberry drink and plain water.

So many choices.

We had tom yam and plain soup. The other choice was the herbal soup but we were only allowed to choose 2. I thought the cooking pot was a little too small for the6 of us. We had to take turns to cook our food. It was a satisfying meal. After that we adjourned to (a place in Temiang called) "4.80" for coffee.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Something Interesting

Guess what is this?

Looks like a vase right?

It's actually a hat. Amazing right?

My parents went to Guilin, China, 3 weeks ago and someone from her group bought this hat nad later decided he didn't want it. So he gave it to my mother who gave it to Sze-En. She loves it. She liken wearing the hat to that of a farmer. Everytime she wears it, she will pretend to be a farmer, using her plastic golf stick as a hoe.

I made her wear the hat upside down, but it was uncomfortable.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

3rd Gunung Datuk Climb for the Year

Climb Date : 25th April 2009 Mountain Conquered - Gunung Datuk

I don't believe this. My 3rd time to Gunung Datuk this year and yes, I'm going to blog on this climb too. It was a satisfying climb. Read on and you'll find out why.

As usual, we met at Agape at 7.15am. I was late. Minch, Matt, Mctc and I were having our breakfast at a nearby coffee shop. The shop only opens at 7.00am and we were there at 7.05am.

When we reached Agape church, we saw so many people there. I met a friend via Facebook and when I told him of this climb a few weeks ago, he was keen to join this hike. He brought 2 other friends with him.

As usual, we sorted out the transport for those who needed a ride to Gunung Datuk. We tried to car-pool as much as possible because there wasn't much space to park at the foothill of the mountain.

We registered and paid RM3 each. Then we got ourselves organized.

There were 37 adults and 7 children, 44 in total. This is the largest group we have ever organized. Messner couldn't make it to this climb because his son developed a fever the night before. Sirdar, the co-organizer briefed us and Ban Meng prayed before we started the climb. Steve was volunteered to be the point man and PeterK, the sweeper. Sirdar made known to everyone that Dr KK Tan would be the medical doctor for this climb.

We started at 9.02am. Everyone was excited.

It was uphill all the way. There were many new climbers including Mctc (surprise, surprise), Aunt Chris and Aunt Shirley. Oh, and Eddy and 8 year-old Natheniel from Australia joined us on this climb too. Eddy, who climbed this mountain once before he emigrated to Australia, found this climb challenging. He couldn't remember this mountain being so steep.

I spotted the 1st leech moving very slowly. I pointed it to Mctc and he was disappointed that it was scrawny and small. He expected it to be like the one in Rambo. I told him that it would be big only after it has sucked enough blood.

Yep, that's Eddy, looking ahead to see how far more he had to go. His son, Natheniel was ahead of him together with all the other kids.

9.45am. We reached the blue hut. Steve was there. He wasn't feeling well and took a longer break than usual. He passed his duties as leader to Dr KK Tan.
We waited with him till the next batch of people came up, then we continued on. Not 5 minutes later, Steve was behind us and overtook us after a while.

If you noticed all my other posts on Gunung Datuk, I have always taken picture of this spot - the tree roots (Above -1st pic on the left).

A fallen tree.My legs weren't long enough but I had help from Mctc. Well, he SHOULD help me. After all, I'm carrying his water supply. :)

The kids, posing for the camera. 6 boys and 1 girl. The girl must have gone ahead.

The funny branches.

The huge boulder. This is the "landmark". When you reach this boulder, you know you'll be reaching the top in about 5 minutes.

Yes, we have reached the top. Time was 11.11am. Slightly more than 2 hours to reach the top. We were slow because we waited a little longer at the blue hut and there was a child who was having a difficult time climbing and needed to rest a lot of times. When I saw Jason, I asked the boy to hand his bag pack over to Jason. He did, and was able to walk slightly faster.

This is the top, but not the highest point. Someone made a table and the kids had their lunch there. There were LOTS of bees here. They kept coming to us because of our sweat. Sometimes there could be 6 or 7 bees stuck onto your shirt and some on your exposed forearms and legs. I was terrified by them but couldn't do much about it. If I were to "attack" them, they would sting me. This is my 6th climb to this mountain and never have I seen that many bees before here.

Climbing the 1st sets of ladders to the peak. Mctc kept wanting to go up, but I told him I wanted to wait for Sirdar. Steve was observing our climbing from the top.

Here's what it looks like, just above the 1st set of ladders.
We had to climb the 2nd set of the almost vertical ladders in order to say that we have summitted. Sirdar's 8-year-old daughter was piggy-backed up to the 1st set of ladders; from there, she climbed by herself to the top. She was so brave and cool. She wasn't afraid at all.

Yes, we are at the peak of Gunung Datuk. Not all 44 of us wanted to climb up to the peak. Some came up earlier and left, some were just down below resting or having their snacks. Steve climbed higher to take these shots for us.
Although I have climbed Gunung Datuk 6 times, this is my 2nd time climbing to this peak. I didn't want to risk my life going up and down the ladders.

Steve, while he was at the top of a boulder took this picture of Minch, Brian and S.Jian. They were waiting for us just below the 2nd sets of ladders.

Aunt Chris and Aunt Shirley made it to the peak. YAY! They were so brave.

View at the top of Gunung Datuk. Those who love nature should take a hike up to Gunung Datuk to witness the view with their own eyes. It was really beautiful up there.

Going down... some of us were afraid, including me. Sirdar was at his usual place helping and encouraging those who were afraid. Eddy and Steve were just below the ladders to encourage us too.

Going down the 1st set of ladders to get back to the others.

Sirdar at his usual place. This time I think I'm more daring. I remembered the first time, I was so scared till Sirdar had to tell me where to put my foot and which step to take next.

12.25pm. We started descending and reached the blue hut at 1.22pm. I spotted a leech and yelled. Someone below me was so excited and he quickly rushed to where I was. I just wanted to get away from the leech and asked him to move aside. But he was so eager to see the leech that I had to move to one side and when I did that I slipped and slid a little. Thank God nothing happened.

We reached the base at 1.59pm. Took us about 1 hour 34 mins to descend. The kids looked longingly at the pool. I'm not sure whether they took a dip because I just wanted to get to the bathroom to have a good shower. Mctc was surprised that I could still walk so fast. He was very tired, his legs were aching. I asked him for the car keys so that I could take my clean clothes out and left him walking slowly back to the car.

Mctc and Steve didn't bother to shower. They just changed their clothes. Mctc said that the bathroom was too far, and his legs were just too tired to take him there.

Oh, it seemed that the car park area was so packed that we had to double park. Later, we found out that some strong men moved Mctc's car aside so that the bus could leave the car park.

We had lunch in Pedas again. We wanted to eat at a restaurant in Chembong, but it was about to close for the day. We reached this place at about 3.15pm.

I had Kikapoo joy juice. I haven't tasted it for a long, long time. I was so thirsty that I ordered a second drink. A chinese herbal drink... So refreshing.

We reached home slightly after 4pm. It was a good climb. I enjoyed myself very much.

Here's a short movie clip of Gunung Datuk at the peak. Enjoy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dragon Beard Candy

Ever seen one before?

Last week, I went to Pasar Malam, did the usual thing, bought what I wanted and checked if there were any new stalls. I spotted one called "Dragon Beard Candy". It looked interesting, the way the man created each piece out of just strands of pastry. The filling consists of peanuts.

My sister suggested buying a packet just to try it out. It was pretty expensive. RM4.00 for 8 pieces.
It tasted good, but it's not something I would buy again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Forgotten Barbie Doll

Last week I had a shock of my life when I saw termites attacking the boxes in my storeroom. It wasn't a pleasant day because I had to go through my junk to check how much damage the termites had done.

One of the items I managed to save was this barbie doll. I bought it in Singapore some time back and it was meant as a gift to someone special. Not anymore, because the hard plastic cover had some termite markings on them, so I cut open the cover and took out this beautiful barbie doll.

Now it is left sitting prettily on a box on my dining table. I am hesitant to introduce this doll to my 2 other barbie dolls.

They looked too tom-boyish for the new barbie doll.

When I was young I did not own a barbie doll. In fact barbie dolls were not create till I was .. um.. in my early 20s?? Or maybe i didn't know that barbie existed till I was in my 20s. It was too expensive to own one then. Okay, maybe I could have afforded it, but I didn't want to spend a fortune on a barbie doll.
My ex-colleague left to work in America and when she was going to come back to Malaysia for a short vacation, she asked if I wanted anything. Immediately I told her that I wouldn't mind a barbie doll, and so she got me one (the one sitting on the right). That was my 1st barbie doll.

A few years ago, when Ruth was still here, I went with her to Toy-R-Us. The dolls were on offer, and I think I got the one sitting on the left one for RM14.90.

I now have 3 barbie dolls. :) Should I name them?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Recce to FRIM

Last week, Rach called up and said that she wants to take a day off either on the 21st or 28th April. We could go to FRIM she said. I was like.. whatever.. let me know when you have decided.

So yesterday we went to FRIM (Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia). We called Mctc to take us. he was all out to go to FRIM because he heard we wanted to check out the place and if possible trek or hike there too. He wanted to be fit enough for the hike to the Chiling waterfalls which we planned to go on the 1st of May.

We left Seremban atabout 8.15am, and breakfast along the highway and got lost a little after the Sg Buloh overhead restaurant. Mctc knew it was near the Selayang hospital, but he kept saying we had to head towards Sg Buloh. I was pretty sure he had to be in Kepong area and there should be signs to FRIM when we reached Kepong.

We called Steve, but he couldn't direct us because we didn't know where we were. Later Mctc saw a Sg Buloh hospital signboard and went to that direction. I informed him that this was the Sg Buloh hospital and not the Selayang hospital. when I said that it was as though he suddenly woke up.

He said that when he saw the signs to Sg Buloh, he thought it was Selayang. Quickly we u-turned and head towards Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.

After like 10 or 15 minutes we reached FRIM. The entrance fee was RM7 per vehicle.

We didn't know what to expect. We stopped at the information counter and asked for a map. she gave us this :-

We were pleased with it. At least there was a map..

But the map doesn't really tell much. We saw buildings with alpha-numerics labeled on them but there was none stated in the map. and where is zone D or F in the map? the map was not very useful after all.

We stopped by near the public toilet and check out the coloured maps placed on the sidewalk for people to check out the whole area. It wasn't really useful too. So we decided to rely on the photocopied map we had and choose the route we wanted to trek.

Rach and Mctc walked ahead.. which I took some pics. here in this picture it looked as if they were holding hands.. haha. Must not let someone see this picture. :)

This is the route (above pic) which we wanted to take and ...

.. this was where we trek. The canopy walkway was closed so we didn't even attempt to go there. After Rach's leave had been approved she called me to let me know that she checked with FRIM and they closed the canopy walk from April 20 - May 25th for maintenance works.

We took the Rover track. Before entering into the forest, we had to pass these buildings labeled as D22 and D23. :)

The entrance to the Rover Track. It was 11.11am when I took this picture.

The path is flat and easy.

These steps leads to the Canopy walkway. We didn't go up here, but continue on the Rover Track.

A signboard asking us to throw our rubbish into the rubbish bin. Couldn't resist taking this picture. I mean, must we be told to throw rubbish into the bin?? :)

The pump house, according to the map and an advertisement poster (in the forest??!!!) of the Malay Tea House.

We saw a couple of small waterfalls. Would be lovely to touch the water, but the lady at the information centre told us that there would be plenty of leeches because it rained heavily that morning. So if you were there with me, you could see me trying not to go to any leafy area. I love the wide path, free of muddy soil and goodness knows what.

More small waterfalls.

Nice pathways. The ground was filled with dried leaves... like autumn only.

Nice interesting trees.

We reached the end of Rover Track. the time was 12.08pm.

Soon we reached to the Malay Tea House. It was located not far from the end of the Rover Track.

The interior was beautiful.

They certainly did a good job beautifying the place.

We had some Malay kuih and drinks. Let's see, 7 kuih-muih, 1 bowl of melaka ago ( I think that's what it was called), a cup of coffee and a cup of guava leaf drink cost nearly RM20.00. Pretty expensive.

These bamboo trees made Rachel think of Pandas.

We passed by some old houses. I love the windows.

Mctc was shocked to find that they have "malay-nised" the word "parking" to parkir. When were at the entrance of FRIM we saw a small signboard saying " Perlahan sikit brader"... meaning Slow a bit brother. Again they have malay-nised the word brother. the Malay word for brother is abang.

We left FRIM at about 1.25pm and head down to Low Yat to buy some computer stuff. We were there only for less than 2 hours because we wanted to beat the 5pm KL city jam.