Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oh oh

Happiness :)

Oh oh… how lazy it is to go back to work after a 3-day long weekend!!! This morning when my alarm was ringing, I had to set a program into my brain telling myself that today, is Tuesday, 29th July 2014. It’s a stock-taking day, day 1. And this week, it’s gonna be a very busy week as month-end closing will all need to be settled. After that, I went back to relax myself on my bed for a while, still reluctant to get up and only 10 minutes later I got myself ready.

Am I growing old? Or is it just the way things are when habits and liking changed? I spent most of my weekend’s time at home. I did my bi-weekly housework for a whole Saturday, slept whenever tired, and ate whenever I was hungry.

July fruit season

On Sunday we went out to our old neighborhood’s market to have our breakfast and buy some fruits that were on seasons. OH, there were mountains of mangosteen in the market accompanied with durian. I can’t believe it that I haven’t eaten any single durian this year!!! But you know, it’s all blaming it to where I stay now hahaha… because we can’t anyhow transport the durian using bus, MRT, or even TAXI. As citizens without owning a car, we have no choice but to limit our wants or otherwise, cycling to the nearby durian stall, which is not so near from our house. Forget about the durian then!!!

I bought mangosteen, apple, and cherry instead :) It’s gonna be end of cherry season soon and finally I managed to buy the hand-picked good quality and size at a very attractive price – seems like I become more like Aunties these days hahaha… :D

On Sunday itself, it was marked as the first day of seventh lunar Ghost month. Chinese believes that on the first day of the month, the Gates of Hell are opened to allow ghosts and spirits access to the world of the living. The spirits usually spend the month visiting their families. So, if you come to Singapore, you will see common sight here whereby people burn the joystick and candles, poke it into the soil outside the HDB blocks and burn the money notes which they believe the death can use it in their own world.

It is believed as an inauspicious month too where people usually won’t choose any date of this month to get married, buy house and cars, move house, start new business, etc. Pregnant women are advised not to go out at night too but stay inside the house to prevent unwanted thing. Feel a bit eerie, isn’t it? Even as I type this, I can feel the goose bumps on my skin. Luckily I dropped the idea of watching the Hong Kong ghost movie out when my bestie asked me to go along. I scared I couldn’t sleep peacefully at night hehehe…

Anyway, just be positive ba! Pray that all sentient beings to be happy. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu…

Food from Bangka Island :)

My relatives came on Sunday from my father’s hometown in Indonesia. They helped me buying some their local food delicacies that tastes so delicious! There were suckling pig, fishcakes, otak otak (kind of fish cake but wrapped with banana leaves), and kue lapis (many layer cakes). We really had ‘kou fu’ – (luck in tasting good food) and this food supply was able to maintain us for two days’ dinner :)

In the evening they came to my house together with my brother and his families. We had a chit chat for an hour and so. After that, I continued my day by reading the book outside my balcony accompanied with tea and snacks. The weather these past two days were cloudy and cooling. I could sit comfortably outside my balcony. Oh, I really loved that feeling!!!

In the evening my son and I went for cycling. A little exercise to activate my muscle ^^ At night I watched Running Man before going to sleep. I believe that these series are able to make me laughing uncontrollably and keeping me happy and stay young :)

Hari Raya food from dear neighbor :)

Monday was the Eid al-Fitr, Idul Fitri, Hari Raya or Lebaran in Indonesian, a big day celebration for all Muslims around the world. It was like their New Year celebration after finished fasting for one full month. They usually spend the day by going to their parents and relative’s house, feasting and chit-chatting. So, the night before the day, my neighbor, a young Muslim couple, came at night bringing their home cooked food for us. Ketupat – a rice cake wrapped with coconut palm leaves in a square shape was made to replace the usual rice. He and his wife cooked the sambal sotong (cuttlefish with chilli), satay sauce (to be eaten with ketupat), and marinated chicken with spices.

Wow, we were very lucky lah!! Therefore, on Monday, again, we stayed at home. I cooked breakfast for my hubby and son, a mee suah soup (white long life noodles) with veggies, mushroom accompanied with fried egg and sausages. I spent most of my day reading book (finally finished the One hundred years of solitude and started with Moth Smoke by Mohsid Hamid).

My favorite past time :)

The weather was cloudy again, very good and suitable to spend the day outside, sitting down at my balcony, sipping Rose tea and eating the kueh lapis. It was really my favorite past time! How I wish I can spend the rest of my days doing things like that, or everyday perhaps hahaha…  plus cycling in evening time and watching the sunset went by. At night, I watched another series of Running Man and enjoyed the sumptuous dinner at home.

That’s why it’s kinda hard for me to wake up and go back to work this morning. This too makes me wanting to take a loooongggg break once I quit my job (one day), just to relax and travel, before continuing with a new job, if there is any hehehe… What a thought! Daydreaming again? Now? Better not!!! Only the pay slip that I received just now making me motivated again and let’s finish this, another month-end!!! ;)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

100 Years of Solitude - One of the best classic literature! 

I've been eyeing this book for quite some time. At first I thought of buying it as it's been under the recommended book list to read from many book store. However, I ended up buying 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. But I was lucky enough finding this book in the library and before reading this thick book of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I started off with his four short story books, which from there, I managed to learn his style of writing and typical things that I had to adopt, such as: to recognize the Spanish names that can be used repeatedly over and over again under the different generations, the three words names that you have to think refers to which character in the story, the relationship between one person and another, and so on.

Characters in the One Hundred Years of Solitude

Look at the above family tree chart! 'Jose Arcadio' is used by four persons from different generations and 'Aureliano' is used five times. 'Amaranta', 'Ursula', and 'Remedios' are used twice each.

Basically, this book describes the story of the everyone inside the family tree above. From one couple (Jose Arcadio Buendia with Ursula Iguaran), it develops into many generations. It consists of 420 pages and it took me two weeks to finally finish reading it :)

I had quite a hard time when it came into the middle part of the book when it described the war time but it ended smoothly and made the whole thing interesting to read. I had to refer the family tree chart for many many times to see their relations again and again. But I'm proud of myself that I am finally able to read such a 'classic' story that I used to give up before even started.

It describes such a long history of the family, over 100 years, and many family members due to one or many reasons chose to lead a life of solitude and sometimes it made me wonder what life means to each of us as a human being and no matter what we do, at the end of the day, we will all die and leave this world.

There are lots of twists and turns in the story and the forbidden love that they shouldn't have. Overall, it's really a nice story to go through and at the mean time I'll take a break from his book and read another one as I found it quite heavy and had to stop reading every half an hour :D

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Sunset Catcher"

Call me
'a sunset catcher'
My role is to catch sunset
before it is gone, 
eaten by the sea

Call me
as I am damn lucky!
able to see the view
not far from where I stay

Call me
As I'm grateful for everything
that make me smile
and become
who I am today

Thank you,
thank you, 
and thank you

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Point Nepean National Park, Australia

Point Nepean, Australia

Quarantine Station - Point Nepean

Point Nepean, Australia

Trees along our way - Point Nepean

Point Nepean, Australia

Way to Point Nepean

Point Nepean, Australia

Point Nepean, Australia

Fort Pearce - Point Nepean

My beautiful sis and her son :)

Fort Pearce, Point Nepean

Fort Pearce, Point Nepean

Point Nepean, Australia

Beautiful waves - Point Nepean, Australia

Walking back - Cheeky boy under Mom's wrap :)

"Unfollow" button in Facebook

I've been using Facebook for almost 7 years but it doesn't mean I know everything about its functions and capabilities. Only lately I was dumbfounded with one of the many functions it offered.

Everyday we face many different events in our lives. Undoubtedly those who care would love to share the news to the others and it's so easily nowadays to share it through Facebook. It was not only related to news but also on everything including our own life experience, our new blog post, and so on.

Sometimes I was wondering how the Facebook chose whose news feed would appear on our Facebook. Because it didn't post all of our friends' posts as imagine how busy we would be when we have more than thousand of friends on it. And sometimes I got annoyed and irritated with posts that were not relevant or not into my liking.

For example: Mr A always posted photos of his newborn birds as he was fond of it. So you would always find the baby shape bird, which was still bald and fatherless, bearing its flesh of nakedness, and it appeared too often and sometimes I would wonder why I had always been offered with this kind of posts while I myself seldom visited his page. Or Ms B who sells the things online and always offers her products through her Facebook posts.

Many posted the political situation of their countries on the Facebook incessantly, especially when election time was around the corner, and this really had nothing to do with where I stay and live.

Well, sometimes it's good to read about what happens in other parts of the world but it can make you crazy when you read it everyday as if as you are living in those countries. Sometimes you don't even know whom they were talking about, or which party were they.

Many posted about their ridiculous opinion about others, which you might not agree with, but it kept appearing on your Facebook. Some were so melancholy, depressing, and often posting negative thinking. Some posted their feeling in religious ways that you felt uncomfortable with.

Not only that. The same group of people's posts would always appear on my news feed, which I was wondering where were the rest of other friend's posts going to? It's almost the same people over and over again.

If they were not someone that you knew well, perhaps you just knew them from friend's friend, or you met them just once, or even worse, lots of time you didn't even know who they were (just blindly added them to your Facebook just because they were pretty or handsome), then of course the easiest choice was to 'unfriend' them. But sometimes that person maybe your relatives, your good friends, your long lost friend that you just found on Facebook and didn't want to lose their trace again. You won't feel good to suddenly 'unfriend' your relative, will you?

Find "Unfollow" button on Facebook

So, to avoid this kind of awkwardness but at the same time you can live your life in peace, you have a choice to press the "Following" button and make it in "Follow" mode, which means whatever things that they posted, won't appear at your news feed like before (see the above picture where to find the button).

Hope this info will be useful for you as it is for me. Now I can "Unfollow" those posts that are not into my liking or those whom I don't want to hear about their news and updates anymore. Choice is in your hands. It's never too late to make the changes now so that you can live your life in peace :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life learning from hair cut :)

This afternoon I was having my lunch in my office Cafetaria. In less than 10 minutes I moved my tray filed with empty plate and bowls to the stewarding area. My colleagues were wondering why I was such in a rush while my Boss guessed that I was busy rushing for something.

You guess what? I was rushing because I wanted to have my hair cut at next door's Mall. Hehe... :P

There is a S$10 barber at Basement 1. It's quite common in Singapore to have this kind of barber. By right, they give themselves a ten-minutes time to cut each person's hair. However, the time may vary from one person to another and can be extended depending on the situation.

It's been almost a year since the last time I had my hair cut and there is a guy that I always trust to have my hair cut with. Last year when my hair was short, I always visited the place once every two or the months and this person was able to give me a nice hair cut according to my request. So, even after a year I was lucky finding him  there this afternoon :)

After putting a ten-dollar note into the machine, I sat down on the seat provided. There were few people before me. While waiting, my colleagues who just had lunch with me, came and approached me. They then understood on why I was rushing during lunch time hahaha...

After waiting about 15 minutes, it was my turn and just nice I was handled by that person. He asked me how my hair wanted to be cut. I said, put some layer on the side and behind, but not too short as I still wanted to grow it longer. He took a look and touched my hair, then suggested to make V-shape at the back of my hair. He was asking why I wanted to make my hair cut in layer and I simply told him, "I get bored and need change." He smiled and said, "Woman....", and shook his head left and right. Lolx!

"My hair is too straight," I added. "Isn't straight hair good?" he asked. "Ya, but I feel it's too plain for me," replied me. "So you prefer a more messy hair, don't you?" he asked again. "Hmm... not messy, but fuller," I said.

"OK, so give some layer and V shape at the back?" he concluded my request. I replied him and smiled, "Yup!"

He started to put the white cloth in front of me and started to work on my hair. While doing it he asked me again, "You seldom brush your hair, is it?" "How seldom?" asked me. "Like once in the morning and one at night?" I laughed, "Hahaha... not really..." He still didn't believe with my answer, perhaps because my hair was too straight and tidy, hardly mess around. "OK, like up to now, how many time have you brushed your hair?" he asked me curiously. I thought hard and told him, "Hmmm... twice maybe?" "Or did you tie your hair after washing it?" continued him. "No. Never. In fact I seldom tie my hair except when weather was too hot." I replied.

I didn't ask him why he asked me those questions. He even asked me what shampoo did I use. But one thing, he said I have a very healthy hair and it made me happy :) At least I have something healthy on me Lolx! But I told him I had problem too with my hair sometimes, which was dropped hair. But he said it was normal.

Looked like he enjoyed touching my hair. Perhaps he knew I seldom brushed my hair like other women as I was afraid more hair would drop because of it :P During his work, he kept brushing my hair using his comb. It felt comfortable. Seldom people would care about my hair and did things like that. Well, perhaps I was over thinking though hahahahaha... Maybe he found my hair really too flat and he tried to make it fuller.

Anyway, the cutting was done just before 2pm and it was time for me to go back to work. My hair became much shorter now, not like what I imagined beforehand. But I kept telling myself that this too, a kind of practice to accept impermanence in life. Nothing lasts forever. And this hair will grow and change shape too. So, just enjoy this present moment and live life to the fullest. Leave the worry behind and move on! ^^

These few days I've spent my time contemplating on what happened to me lately, especially the past one year. I'm glad I'm learning from life every second of it and looking back at what I've done this past one year, I was actually thinking if I'd lived my life fully. Many things have happened. I've made many new friends along the way and not all last long. I've betrayed and I've been betrayed too. People do change due to circumstances and it's just part and parcel of life. I'm glad I've grown wiser and chose not to give up. I realize I've changed in some way too. I've found where I belong and no longer wandering around looking for my identity. In conclusion, I'm glad I found myself again. Cutting hair means a new beginning for me too. I feel light now throwing away all the unhappiness behind, as light as my hair :) Overcome, jia you! Do what you have to do and be happy! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My thought on sick day :)

It's not fun by getting sick. Those who experience it sure understand why I was saying that. Yes, I applied for one day sick leave. People might think how good my life was by being able to get one day extra to spend my day relaxing at home. (Actually, I experienced it myself by telling my besties who was taking 6 week sick leave due to break his right elbow while fixing his roof, how good it was for him to get such a long rest, which he quickly answered me that he wasn't feeling fortunate at all from the incident. Oopss... Sorry Lix for being inconsiderate. You even continued saying that you actually needed 6 months time for recovery).

Uuhhh.... He was still able to type message on his mobile though but with many typo errors. He had to undergo 4 hour surgery too to exchange his bone with metal piece. I wish you get well soon dear! You need both your hands to handle something more important very very soon! ;)

So, what is flu comparing with what happen to him right? But still, it wasn't fun experience at all. My nose was blocked while trying to sleep last night. It took me some time until I was able to sleep comfortably. My body and eyes were very tired but my nose didn't cooperate well enough.

I had a slight fever too and caused me getting chilled and sweating at the same time. And I think, usually people don't like others to know when they fall sick as they don't want others to worry about them. In this case, I was hesitating too between posting the previous blog post or not. I even thought of pulling the post back after I posted it out. However, whatever had been done, let it be. Just take it as part of my daily life, that I'm a human being too, who fall sick occasionally.

Today I'm very happy receiving many caring words from few bloggers whom I never met before in my life. But it seems we have known each other very well. We have this kind of connection of caring and supporting each other in any kind of situation. Thank you la my dear friends. Even my siblings were not aware about what I'm getting and I don't feel like mentioning it to them. First, don't want to spoil their cheery moods, and second, I don't want them to worry about me.

Hey, let me ask you! If you are diagnosed with something quite dangerous but not visible, will you inform your family members? Because many elderly were found hiding their sickness from their love ones and they didn't seek a proper treatment as they didn't want to worry and trouble their family members, at the same time, they preferred to give their saving for the next generation rather than spending it to cure the disease that they own. Hm... I may hide the seriousness of the sickness but still look for treatment but I may not announce it to everyone. So if one day I'm gone, don't feel sad for me. Because I prefer this way to happen. And I'm sure you will never miss my presence too. Because I'll still be around, inside your memories, only :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flu again :(

These past two days I tried to sleep early and made sure that I'd enough sleeping time, let my body cells had enough rest and found its ways to recover. I took my last few flu tablets too in each occasion before sleeping, hoping that I could get better the next moment I woke up in the morning.

Source: Google.com

However, I finally gave up. This evening I felt my body sweating despite I was inside the air-con room. And I felt chilled despite I hid myself under my blanket at home. My head was heavy, tired and drowsy. I started to have running nose and felt some pain too on my body, the unexplained kind of pain.

I felt blessed when my colleague postponed the meeting. And when I informed my Boss about the new timing, she said she planned to take leave and I told her I might not be able to attend it as well since I didn't feel well. She immediately asked me to go back and take a good rest.

Lately many people fell sick in my office. Few colleagues were not turning up to work, all mainly was due to flu, cough, and fever.

Actually I had just recovered for a long term flu and cough last week. When I thought I felt better, I started to sneeze again. Didn't expect that it turned to worse.

So, I visited the doctor and got myself examined. He gave the usual medicines. I was asking him if I should get some additional thing, such as: Vitamin C tablet, so that I wouldn't be easily falling sick, and he said, "No, you don't have to. Just make sure you feed yourself with lots of vegetables and fruits on your diet."

I admit. I haven't eaten enough fruits lately :( So, after having my dinner, I peeled two apples and shared it with my son.

I hope all of you are in good shape! Remember to eat more veggies and fruits too! Those who are sick, hope you get well soon! Take care! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review of short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I was very lucky being able to find many collections of Gabriel Garcia Marquez books from Cheng San Library in Hougang about two weeks ago, and all were brand new copies. I grabbed it without much thinking and brought it back home. Up to now, I’ve finished reading three of them; all were in form of short stories.

There was a hiccup when I first reading his book, Chronicle of Death Foretold.

First, I wasn’t accustomed with the Latin American names and I had to adjust myself and put more effort on it. It took me some times to imagine based on the description mentioned and to conclude if it’s man or woman’s name.

Second, I need to read twice of the story to get a better understanding of the confusing chronicle of death story. There were many characters mentioned, and again, without understanding their names and their roles, you would easily get lost. The story told was somehow spiraling, slightly confusing and ambiguous. However, that was the beauty of it, the skills in Garcia Marquez’s writing. If you love to get confused, read it for a first time, just like I did.

The second book, No One Writes to the Colonel, described the situation of the impoverished, retired colonel, who was hoping to receive the pension as promised more than a decade ago. He put so much hope on his rooster, which was believed capable in fighting and to win the cockfight in two months’ time. However, before the time came, he had already run out of money to feed the rooster and he decided to spend his last drop of the money to buy food for the roster rather than for himself and his wife.

Source : Google.com

When reading it, you could feel his and his wife’s agony, pain, and misery as if it’s the old man who wrote the book itself. Wrapped in such a short story, I feel that it was a good writing and I enjoy reading it.

The third book, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, was again bringing me to feel the emotion of the 90-year old man who wanted to celebrate his Birthday in special way by gifting himself a night of wild love with a virgin.

Instead of having sex, he ended up falling in love deeply with the girl whom he called ‘Delgadina’, for the first time in his whole life.

There was so much passion and emotion when he expressed his love in such age. The feeling of falling in love again made him live and relive. He wrote his feelings into Sunday column, which brought an enthusiastic response from the readers. It was even read on radio newscasts and made him famous.

“I did not bathe or shave or brush my teeth, because love taught me too late that you groom yourself for one, and I’d never had anyone to do that for.” 

Love is such melodious notes that create purposes in life. No matter how old you are in, love can be experienced by anyone at any age, despite difference in ages that your loved one has (In this case, between 90 year old man with 14 year old growing up girl), and that feeling is always wonderful! However, the opposite is true too. It is such a painful when you lose your loved one’s shadow. The world seems dark. You feel lost and don’t feel like to live anymore.

The three books that I read so far were all such great literatures! I hope to find more various feeling and emotions that Gabriel wants to bring me, the reader, to feel from the story inside the rest of his books.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Gourmet Trip to Melaka part 3

We had our breakfast around 7.30am in the middle part of the Baba House. Simple dishes like fried noodles, chicken curry, vegetable, bread with jam and butter, plus coffee and tea were served in buffet style. We’d planned to have a “must-eat” renowned Chicken Rice Ball that morning, and therefore, I only took a cup of hot tea for myself while my son enjoyed the full meal for himself.

Flea market on Sunday morning at Jalan Hang Lekir

The weather was cooling. We passed by the Sunday morning flea market along our way, at Jalan Hang Lekir. Local residents were selling second hand barang barang (stuffs) and some antiques, which were displayed on the roadside. Many stuff brought back our old memories. The series of laser disc reminded me of my Mom’s laser disc player that my father bought many years back. The laser disc itself was very expensive and my Mom preferred to rent it rather than to buy. That was one of the luxuries that my Mom had in 1990s. Some karaoke disc was rent and my parents would sing during night time and Chinese oldies singer like Teresa Teng were my Mom’s favorite. We didn’t buy anything though as we didn’t need those stuffs but it’s great to look around at the stuffs offered.

Kedai Kopi Chop Chung Wah - Malacca

Nearer to the destination, we had already seen long queue outside the old coffee shop, called Kedai Kopi Chung Wah. It was only 8.50am while the shop was opened at 8.30am. Alamak!!! As mentioned earlier, this place sold the well-known signature dish - Chicken Rice Ball and you couldn’t leave Malacca without trying it!!! With much patience, my sister-in-law was queuing while the rest were at nearby area taking photos and walking around.

Assorted Nyonya kueh and local delicacies - Malacca

While waiting, I saw another crowd at the opposite road. I decided to walk over and found out that the small stall was selling assorted Nyonya kueh (sweet desserts). Uhuy!!! I love eating kueh kueh. It also reminded me of those kueh made by my Mom and maid when I was still residing in Indonesia. We were actually having the similar culture and each bite brought me back to the old time memories. I bought 6 different kind of kueh kueh and it cost only RM 6!!! In Singapore, you couldn’t get it with such price! Moreover, the taste was more original and delicious. The size was slightly bigger and thicker too!!!

So, while queuing, I was biting at those kueh kueh and asking the rest to take a bite as well so my stomach wouldn’t be too full and have some space for the chicken rice ball hehe… After about half an hour, we finally could get our table. The seller brought two plates of steamed white chicken into our tables (one piece of chicken in each plate – kampong chicken, which size was much smaller), and one plate of chicken rice ball (five balls in each plate) for each of us.

Chicken Rice Balls - Malacca

The chicken rice chili matched the chicken very well, but tasted better by adding some soya sauce into it. The chicken was soft and succulent, really great taste!!! All of us enjoyed it and half an hour queue was all worth it! Hot white coffee (the famous coffee type in Malacca) gave us some caffeine boost to start our day. Each piece of chicken cost RM42 while the chicken rice ball cost RM0.30 each (or RM1.50 per plate).

We went out full of satisfaction and continued with another last round of shopping at the Jonker Street. When it was 11.30am, we passed by the Jonker 88 again. At first we thought of buying the cold dessert only, suitable for that kind of hot weather. But once we were inside, we decided to buy the Nyonya Asam Laksa and Baba Laksa one bowl each, as my Mom hadn’t fulfilled her wish to try the Asam Laksa the day before. As for cold desserts, we bought Baba Cendol, Baba Durian Cendol and Baba Durian Ice Kacang each. We bought it take away and we had it back into our hotel, sitting down at their dining area, which was cooling and comfortable. We shared all of that among 6 of us before we finally parted.

Six of them drove back to Singapore at 12.30pm while hubby and I had another 1.5 hour time before we went to find our bus at 2pm. We decided to walk around at another street that we hadn’t been through, going in to each available shop and had a look at the structure of the building, the things they were selling, and some antique shop was there opened for public. I enjoyed the walk so much and at the same time we were looking for a place to sit and drink coffee plus free Wi-Fi.

The Daily Fix Café - Malacca

We decided to sit inside The Daily Fix Café, a cozy coffee shop located hidden inside the Gift Shop. It’s decorated with olden Chinese stuffs with many different types of chair serving hot and cold beverages, pastries, pancakes, French toast, and so on. Both of us ordered the Iced White Coffee. We didn’t order any cakes at we both were still very full. We sat comfortable on its sofa. I took out my book, reading and drinking my coffee, sometimes took photos of its interior. It’s a beautiful place.


You know, the old house structure there, it reminded me of my grandparent’s old house (their first house in Jakarta). It was long type. The living room was very much deep inside and there was an open space in between where you could see the sunlight and have some trees on it. The old furniture, cabinets, chairs, displays, it was all familiar for me. Well, there is no chance now to have this kind of feeling back into our house as it’s all now modernized and tend to be simple. But that was one of the reasons on why I loved visiting Malacca. Even the kebaya, batik and clogs were similar with what we had back in Indonesia. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the whole events we were there. The food, the hotel, the souvenir, the environment, but most importantly, the time spent with my family that was priceless! Thank you everyone to make this happened! I hope all of you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Gourmet Trip to Malacca - part 2

The weather was extremely hot down there! The sun shone brightly and everyone took out their umbrellas and sunglasses to protect themselves from heat and the sunlight. Sweat flew continuously from the head skin and droplets of it could be seen all over the face and neck. We had to drink more water to prevent ourselves from dehydration.

We started walking from 3pm mainly along the Jonker Street (Chinatown of Melaka). But before that, on the way there, we passed by the Baba and Nyonya House Museum. We never went in as we expected that it would be displaying quite similar cultures with what we had back home from our previous ancestor.

Modern and heritage buildings around Jonker Street

There were shops selling crafts, accessories, clothes, antiques, etc. We passed by many Café, bar, snack shop, food stalls and so on. At times, we went inside the shop to get some cool air blown from the shop’s air-conditioner.

Peranakan cultures stuffs :)

We took a look at the local craft like batik (traditional textile), kebaya (traditional blouse for woman - see photo above), wooden handcraft, paintings, antiques, bakiak (Chinese wooden clogs - see photo above in red and pink), beaded shoes (see photo above - the one in green), array of local attraction keychain, magnets, etc.

When passing by the shop selling traditional local dessert, such as: ondeh ondeh, I stopped by and bought few to share. It was made fresh on the spot, shaped and boiled, and it tasted really delicious! In fact, it was one of my favorite kueh (sweet desserts).

Mamee Jonker House - Malacca

There was Mamee Jonker House displaying some cute displays and at the same time selling their snacks products. Undoubtedly, Mamee (crispy noodles) has been one of our local favorite snacks since childhood times, whether it’s in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Even until now, I still keep one packet inside my cabinet, the best accompany while reading my books on my bed :)

We bought numbers of shirts too as they sell sleeveless and short sleeve shirts for man and woman. It was best worn during such a hot weather like that! The price was quite reasonable, set at 2 or 3 for RM50. We saw many couple shirts too, which were quite cute.

After a while we reached at the junction of San Shu Gong (三叔公), a shop selling local delicacies such as: Dodol (sweet confection made of coconut milk, dark brown sugar and rice flour – some added with Durian, called Dodol Durian), Lao Bo Bing or wife cake, variety of local biscuits, pineapple tarts, white coffee mix, and so on.

Durian Cendol from Lao Qian Ice Café

Inside, there was Lao Qian Ice Café, a small counter selling the Durian Cendol (traditional dessert made of shaved ice, coconut milk, sweet red bean, green starched noodles with pandan flavor, plus the famous Gula Melaka or brown sugar syrup) and other hot and cold beverages. We ordered two portions of Durian Cendol and a cup of white coffee. We shared all that together, increased our feeling of togetherness as one family ^^

From there, we walked to the Melaka Hard Rock Café to purchase some t-shirts as souvenir. Once done, we crossed the road heading to Stadthuys, an old Dutch spelling, meaning city hall. The building was in red, built in 1650 by the Dutch occupants. Beside it, there was a Christ Church.

Hello Kitty decorated trishaw in Malacca :)

My Mom and two children were waiting near the small water fountain, built in memory of the Great Queen in 1904, Victoria Regina. The place was very crowded. Many foreigner and local tourists visited the area. There were many colorful trishaws and nowadays many were decorated mostly with Hello Kitty, Minions, and other cute cartoons to attract the visitor.

Stadthuys and St. Paul Church - Malacca

Five of us climbed up to St. Paul’s Hill where we could find the ruin of St. Paul Church, built in 1521 by Portuguese. From there, we could see the beautiful view of Melaka with sea at afar. I felt peace and serene up there. There were artist drawing and displaying their creations in color and also black and white.

By the time we came down, it had already 6pm. The sky was still bright though. The street singer was singing and making the place more alive and comfortable. Few shop owners whose shops located at the side of the church were starting to store their things back and to close it for the day.  However, the trishaw drivers were still there trying to get some customers and to transport them around the city.

We walked back to our hotel direction passing by the Jonker Street. But this time, the road had been closed for vehicles. Shopkeepers took out their goods and displayed in on the street. Many food and beverage items were sold too at both side of the road. It resembled our “Pasar Malam” or neighborhood night market.

Eat, eat, eat, and eat again!!! @Jonker Street - Malacca

Everyone started to buy snacks. My hubby and nephew tried the Taiwan snacks made of layer of dough at the bottom, filled with choice of ham, octopus, Taiwan sausage in the middle, and covered with fried egg on top. I didn’t know how it was called though as I never saw it before and forgot to take a note hehe… In a short while, I saw my son and my niece holding the chocolate ice cream in an egg shape with short handle below. They called it ‘yummy egg’ ice cream, so cute!

Night market at Jonker Street - Malacca

Once he finished his ice cream, he passed by the Taiwan sausage seller and asked me to buy one for him. Lolx! I think it’s a paradise for him as he was able to keep eating this and that along the way.

It was 6pm when we stood up in front of Jonker 88, a food stall selling local traditional food such as: Laksa, Rendang noodle, nasi lemak, and various traditional dessert such as: Cendol, Ice Kacang, Sagu Gula Melaka, etc. My bestie also said that the food here was delicious. So, despite being still quite full, we still headed into the shop and looked for seats.

Delicious Laksa from Jonker 88 :)

We ordered two bowls of Baba Laksa, one plate of nasi lemak with Baba rendang chicken, and one plate of nasi lemak with tao pok (to fu), plus a bowl of fish ball soup for my niece. We shared all that among 8 of us. The Baba Laksa was very delicious, so did the rendang curry. All of us loved their food very much. The price was very reasonable too. All was at RM6 each. Wow!

After makan, we continued our walk to the end of the street, again, passing by many different shops, food and drink stalls, etc. The different was, there was a stage with many viewers were waiting and sitting in front on the plastic chairs. There were lady singing Chinese songs, which my Mom adored it so much. Too bad my mom had a massage appointment soon. Otherwise, I would ask her to find a seat there and listen to the live music together with others.

Finally we went back to our hotel. All of us couldn’t wait to take a bath and refresh ourselves from the whole day journey. While four of them went for their massage appointment, the rest of us were waiting inside one room. One was watching TV, children were using iPad (watching YouTube and playing games), while I was busy arranging the photos and preparing my blog post.

Once coming back from massage, my Mom complained of hungry hahaha… She didn’t eat much like us previously :P So, once all came back, five of us went out to Jonker Street again and hunted for the food. My mom was actually looking for the laksa at Jonker 88 again. However, the shop had closed by the time we reached. After walking from one point to another and found no food that she wanted, we walked another round to find the Wanton Mee. But to her disappointment, the shop again, had been closed. It was 11 pm when we reached there.

Supper at roadside of Jonker Street

We ended up having the Oyster Omelette, Char Kway Teow and a set of pork and chicken Satay for supper, the initial food that my hubby was looking for, plus fresh soursop and other fruit juices accompanying our meals. It’s fate ba! Hahaha… We all ate happily.

If you notice, the person who cooked our Char Kway Teow (see photo above), was actually a 11-year old boy who was there helping up his parents. Wow!!! At only 11 he could think of helping his parents by cooking the food! I wish my son would think alike, not to sell food, but to think maturely and independently. One day, I wish, he will get on that!!!

After makan, we all went back to our hotel room. We were sweating again from the hot night. Before sleeping, we watched the World Cup – Argentina VS Belgium, the first match that I watched this year. Lolx! And only first half, because after that my eyes were so heavy and forced me to sleep. Hahaha…. Well, so that was how we ended our day in Melaka and will write again on the next day in another post. Hope you enjoy reading it and had a great weekend too with your loved ones!!! Cheers!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Baba House in Malacca

My bestie recommended me to stay at "The Puri Hotel" when I asked her on the accommodation in Malacca. But unfortunately, their rooms were all fully booked. Therefore, I had to look for other alternative.

Since I wanted to stay around the area, I finally chose "The Baba House" as our place to stay for a night.

The Baba House - Malacca

The Baba House had just been renovated (mainly inside their bedrooms) not long time ago. It was built in the historic building, located along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, one block behind the famous tourist spot called Jonker Street.

The elegant entrance of the hotel

There was a strong taste and flavor of the oldies Peranakan culture inside as it was decorated in mixture of ancient Chinese and Dutch style. There were old photos displayed and old furniture as well that brought you back the feeling of staying during that period of time (19th century).

In the middle of the Baba House - typical Peranakan house in Malacca

It cost about S$70 per room for Heritage Deluxe Queen room and S$80 for Heritage Heeren King room, both were with no window. We found all the rooms comfortable, equipped with air-conditioner, newly renovated bathroom, Chinese oriental sink, flat-screen TV, kettle with coffee powder, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi and including breakfast for 2.

Relaxing environment

The hotel provided full body massage service too, which cost RM100 for one and half hour. My hubby, Mom, brother, and sis-in-law went for it and came back with face full of satisfaction.

At night, it was quiet and looked a bit eerie but nothing to be scared of. If you want to experience a local Peranakan feeling, this place would be a great choice to be!

Gourmet Trip to Malacca - Nancy's Kitchen

My mom made a trip to Singapore on Tuesday. She had no purpose this time round and thought of filling her time with leisure on short term basis together with us (me, my brother and families)

Due to the limitation of time (work and school), we could only arrange a short trip on weekend. And I thought of this place, Malacca or Melaka in Malay language.

Malacca is only about 3 to 4 hours drive from Singapore. But the time spent on the immigration checkpoint from both countries (Singapore and Malaysia) was unpredictable. Sometimes, due to holiday season or weekend, it will be more crowded and there will be traffic jam. Just like today. Actually I expected to reached the place before noon (hubby and I took a coach while the rest took car). However, we spent about 1.5 hours in both customs and we ended up reaching the Malacca bus station at 1.20pm) - 5 hours and 20 minutes to reach!

It's my second time coming to this place. The first one was ten years ago (oh my!) together with my friends. Actually I'd wanted to come here again about two weeks ago. But due to circumstances, I couldn't make it. So I'm very happy when I finally had my dream being realized now :)

I booked the coach ticket and hotel just few days ago. The bus ticket from Singapore to Malacca cost S$25 while the return ticket cost slightly more expensive at S$37.

Nancy's Kitchen - Malacca

Once arrived, my hubby and I immediately took a cab and headed to Nancy's Kitchen,  a peranakan nyonya restaurant located just minutes away from our hotel. My bestie recommended me this place. Oh, before coming here, I did some homework finding out which places to visit, where and what to eat, and so on. Since the area that we wanted to visit was quite small, I focused more on what and where to eat. That's why I called it 'Gourmet Trip' hehehe.... ^^

My brother and my nephew had already inside the restaurant when we reached while the rest were enjoying foot massage at next door. We selected the menu on what to eat and in a while my Mom and the rest slowly came.

Lunch at Nancy's Kitchen - Malacca

Malacca is very famous for its Peranakan culture and food. "Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of the 15th through 17th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago and British Malaya. Members of this community in Melaka address themselves as Nyonya-Baba. Nyonya is the term for the women and Baba is for the men." - source : Wikipedia.org

Nyonya food from Nancy's Kitchen

The above were what we ordered. The above three were the appetizers: Kueh Pie Tie, Popiah, and Ngoh Hiang. The middle ones were Sambal Udang Petai, Bakwan Kepiting (soup), Ayam Buah Keluak. Below ones: Sek Bak (Brisket Pork), Spicy Brinjal, Fish Fillet with Spring Onion.

Overall the food is very nice. I loved the Kueh Pie Tie the most together with Sambal Udang Petai and Ayam Buah Keluak :) Sek Bak and Ngoh Hiang the second ^^

After the meal, we bought few Nyonya kueh (sweet dessert) located near the cashier, such as: Rempah Udang, Durian Pukis, Pulut Inti, etc. Nyummy!

That was only our first stop, our first meal in Malacca. There would be more to come. For now, I'll stop here. To be continued.... :)
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