Sunday, September 28, 2014

Potluck Gathering - After Russia Trip :)

~ "Remember that every good friend was once a stranger" ~
Our last night in Russia - Cheersss!!!

It's been almost two weeks since our trip to Russia ended. On the last night we were together inside the Moscow night cruise, I was suddenly invited to attend the Potluck gathering by S, a kind and capable business woman, who has two grown-up children. She said, "We are planning to hold a potluck at J and C's house (a retiree couple) after this trip. It will be held on 27th Sep. We invite all the tour participants, except one family." *Pause. When S mentioned 'except one family', I didn't ask her 'WHO', but my brain worked almost immediately thinking of 'that' family. Although I didn't know the reason why (they didn't want to invite them), but my heart was in ease that I didn't have to see 'them' again.

"So, are you able to go on that date?" S awoke me from my own thinking. "27? Saturday ya? I think it shouldn't be any problem. Perhaps I'll bring my son along," answered me. "Ya, ya, you can bring your son or even your husband along. We will contact through What's App to arrange the details."

For this trip we had to join the tour due to many reasons. First, the language. Second, for the sake of convenience since my parents and little niece were going. Third, I heard that it wasn't that safe for foreigner to roam around by themselves as you may be detained or followed by the KGB (Committee for State Security) as they thought you were the 'spy'. And the validity of the Visa granted was really the exact date on when you arrive and on when you depart. No more, no less. To make the Visa, you even needed a handwritten invitation letter from Russia side to prove that you were going there purely as a tourist.

Fun time!!! :)

It's all fate that 21 of us (including our tour guide) were in the same group of this tour. Through 10 days being together we slowly connected ourselves as we sat down together for meals, walked together, dragged our luggage to and from bus and train together, attended Ballet together, helped each other in taking photos, queuing toilet together, felt the same fear of pickpocket inside the Metro station together, painted our Russian dolls together, and so on. It's considered not bad that we tried to understand and accommodate to each other need throughout this journey - except one family. 

So, the long awaited day had finally come! :) We communicated on what food to bring. At first, as I'm not a good cook, I offered to bring Vodka. But then, their menu was more on the Peranakan theme. Some even mentioned not to bring 'cucumber' as we had so much of it - almost everyday - when we were in Russia hahahaha... :P

Well, I was afraid that Vodka too, would remind them of Russia. Hahaha.... Therefore, I offered to bring the famous dessert from the place where I work, which was Durian Pengat instead. It was really the right choice as it's too a Peranakan dessert, and favorited by the host couple, J and C. Only one person didn't eat it as she didn't like the durian.

Delicious home-cooked Mee Siam by C :)

Thirteen of us met up yesterday. J and C prepared home-cooked Mee Siam, which you could eat it dry or with gravy. Oh, it was delicious! Personally I love Mee Siam. The gravy plus the lime made it tasting sweet and sour. Hmmmm.... Nyummy! Plus the sambal to add the spiciness on it! They also made cute shape 'O' Ku Kueh - black color turtle shape cake filled with green bean paste.

Our delicious food ^^ (Photo by Landa)

The young couple J and A brought Soon Kueh, Rice  or Peng Kueh, and 'Ang' Ku Kueh - similar with 'O' Ku Kueh but red in color. L made Fried Rice with Salted Fish and topped with Fish Floss bought specially from Kuantan, Malaysia. C's maid made delicious Tao Pok filled with vegetables. Yalama! It was really really nice! I loved it!

Soda drink with Cointreau soaked strawberry

M cooked Red Bean Soup for dessert. V and S came with Barbecued Char-Siew Chicken Wings. Last but not least, S with her Steamed White Chicken. Hhmmmm..... All the dishes were delicious!!! I ate a bit here and there but ended up felt very full! Hehehe.... The Bandung drink and Soda with Cointreau soaked strawberry were provided by J and C filled our thirst.

Wonderful evening with great company! :)

We chit chatted while eating, not forgetting to take photo of the food and ourselves! :) Thank you everyone for arranging this and all the food that you brought to fill our stomach up. We talked lots about our trip and also about birds - hehe... It's J favorite pets.

We went home with packed leftover food, all happily. Hope to meet you again for the next gathering and at the mean time, keep in touch! Thank you everyone! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Many Happy Returns on a Blessed Rainy Day :)

Happy Thrue-Bab or Blessing Rainy Day to all my Bhutanese friends!!! ;) While you celebrated this day with lots of fun and happiness, I too celebrated this special day with different theme, which was my Birthday! :)

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well. After work, I went to see doctor and asked for medicine. I had fish porridge for dinner and had medicines before sleeping. The medicine made me drowsy and that’s why I hardly woke up today and almost late to work ^^

Although late, I still managed to take a bath. Because last night, Sithar advised me to take a bath in the morning on the Blessed Rainy Day so that I’d be blessed (he mentioned after 8am Bhutan time though, but due to work, I had to take a bath earlier). But when he said that, I told him that I take a bath everyday here. No wonder I am blessed everyday here. He-he…  ;)

Luckily I managed to reach office on time. Once I turned on my hand phone, many Birthday wishes came non-stop from my beloved families, relatives, besties, and friends. I replied all the messages one by one almost immediately (despite I knew that I wasn’t allow to use them during office hour). Make today as an exception please…..??? :D

Here I would like to thank everyone who’ve sent me your wishes from everywhere around the world! I’ve received all your sincere and kind-hearted wishes on this special day. I’m very grateful knowing all of you and becoming your friends in this life. It’s all fate that making all this possible.

Surprise flowers and horse from my bestie :)

Special thanks to my bestie, who has sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a horse this morning to my office as a surprise :) It’s my honor to be your closest buddy. You have pampered me extremely well with the dinner and birthday presents. Thank you so much PY! May you be blessed with good health and lots of happiness in your life! :)

Despite our busy schedules I managed to have lunch and dinner with my other besties. Thank you everyone for your time and your birthday presents!

Delicious Birthday cakes from dear colleagues :)

And today, I was pampered by my fellow colleagues at the office. They bought me delicious cakes in a jar and other requested our Pastry Chef to make a delicious Birthday cake. Hohoho... My GM even sang a Birthday song on the phone, which at first I couldn't recognize who. Lolx! Thank you all my dear colleagues for your time, effort, and sincere wishes on this special day! :)

Home cooked meals and Birthday fruit cake - Nyummy! :)

As for tonight, we decided to have dinner at home. My hubby and mother-in-law prepared warm and full of love home-cooked meals. We invited my brother and his families and my eldest sister to come. We almost missed the Birthday cake as everyone thought somebody else was buying it hahaha... So funny :P

Thank you everyone for coming, again despite you were all busy with work and upcoming exams, you all still made it. Thank you too for all the Birthday gifts that you gave to me! I love them all very much! :)

Special thanks for my Laogong for your time and effort in preparing the meals and also your surprise Birthday's gift. Not forgetting your abundance love for me! Muach! ;)

On this day, I am telling myself to be a better me ‘TODAY’ and ‘ALWAYS’. Live a life day by day with that thought in mind. Whatever mistakes I’ve done in my past towards anyone, please forgive me. I am just a normal human being who has no exception in making mistake. Therefore, with each mistake I ever made, I want to do more good deeds to overcome it and fill my mind with positive and good thoughts always.

At the same time, I want to wish you all a wonderful and happy life out there. We all know that life is short and uncertain. We never know when our time comes. Therefore, fill your heart fully and only with love as it will conquer everything that you face in life, in a more positive way, and be content and grateful for every single thing that you have now, as nothing lasts forever.

Below is one of the Buddhist teachings that my father always says to me – just a reminder for myself and maybe useful for you too :)

"The kind of seed sown will produce that kind of fruit.
Those who do good will reap good results.
Those who do evil will reap evil results.
If you carefully plant a good seed, you will joyfully gather good fruit."

Have a wonderful day everyone!!! Many happy returns to all of you :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beautiful natures from Russia :)

Have you ever wondered if the sun or the moon at the other part of the world is rounder, sweeter, much more beautiful, or all almost the same?

When I was studying in Beijing many years back, I thought the moon in China is much rounder and brighter during the full moon or mid-Autumn Festival. Because this legend was coming from this country, so obviously, I expected that the moon there would be much better than what we had in Indonesia.

On that night of celebration, many friends of mine and myself were having picnic, basking ourselves under the moon on the basketball field, waiting for the much expected bright moon illuminating the sky. But to my disappointment, it wasn't as great as what I expected. Hehehe...

Here, I share with you the beauty of the natures, from Russia with love.... :)

Sunrise from my hotel's window - Moscow 8th September 2014

I was amazed when I opened the curtain on the first morning of my visit in Moscow
The sun was rising beautifully right in front of this very window of my room
What a joy behold filled my heart with blessing and grateful feeling
I knew that I was home of this earth, wherever I was

Sunlight from above the high sky brighten up the whole city - Moscow, 8th September 2014
Once I finished my breakfast and went back into my room,
the above was what I saw
I could hardly say any word
I was numb, couldn't believe my own sight
What a lovely day we'd have!!!

Beautiful and bright!!! Moscow, 8th September 2014

I turned my head to the right...
And that's what I found!
It reminded me of the movies that I usually watched
It was alive, right in front of me
Again, I was stunned with the beautiful view
Couldn't believe that it was real!

Sunset in Suzdal, Russia - 8th September 2014

We left to Suzdal by bus
It was quite a long journey
But it was all worth it
Their houses were beautiful, so did the natures surrounded it
By the time we reached this lovely village
We were welcomed by the beautiful sunset above

Full moon on Mid-Autumn Festival in Suzdal, Russia - 8th September 2014

Right after finished our dinner, the moonlight came by
It was the awaiting mid-Autumn Festival!!

The weather outside was terribly cold!!!
And it was wise for us to stay warm inside this wooden cottage
My parents came over to our room
with moon cakes, beer, and other snacks
We had this little family celebration
in this lovely night

Good morning!! Dobroye Utro!!! - Greetings by flying birds from Suzdal, Russia :)

We woke up an hour earlier than the wake-up call
Just to see the beautiful sunrise from this lovely place
We had a leisurely walk around the area
and found many beautiful natures around us

Beautiful flowers in Suzdal, Russia :)

 The above flowers were one of them
The morning dews were stuck to each flowers
The colors were amazingly refreshing, dazzling, and bright!!!
Do you feel freshen up now??

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone!!! From Suzdal, Russia, with lots of love..... :)

 With my picture above, 
indeed, you feel freshen now, don't you???

Here I want to wish all of you
Blessed with good health, wealth, luck
Life full of joy and happiness :)
Have a great week ahead and be happy always!!! ^^

Monday, September 15, 2014

From Russia with Love

So, here we come to the last day of our trip in Russia. Yesterday we experienced the coolest temperature here. Thank Buddha! Because the rest of our stay it was all sunny and warm with temperature between 14°C to 22°C :)

Beautiful Moscow view at night :)

We had drizzling but luckily at night time it was on and off so that we could enjoy the night view of Moscow by taking the private cruise.

Night Cruise in Moscow

The view was superb, the cruise was pretty new and elegant, and we had a great and relaxing time there. It finalized our journey with bitter sweet memories. It was bitter because I lost one of my diamond earrings, one of my Mom's wedding gift :(

But nothing lasts forever and so does my holiday. It's going to over soon. Wish us luck for a safe and pleasant journey back home! Thank you SB, my parents, everyone for everything! We all enjoyed our journey and life to the fullest! :)

From Russia with Love

Magnificent Cathedral of Christ the Savior at night - Moscow, Russia

As the cruise flowed through the Moskva River, I sat on the upper deck enjoying the beautiful night scene of Moscow city in front of me, alone. No moon, and no stars. It was all covered up with the thick dark cloud. There was no light too. All was dark, except the lights from the buildings and bridges that we passed by.

Beautiful bridge along Moskva River :)

The wind blew sturdily. Bbbrrrr...... It was cold. And I was frozen severely!

I tightened up the black and white scarf that secured my neck, and tidied up my two-layer sweater cum wind-breaker, making sure that no wind would blow inside me, and keeping me all comfortable and warm.

Mulled wine to warm up the coldest night in Russia :)

I sipped in the local Russian concoction, which they called Mulled wine, a mixture of red wine, honey, fruits and spices. It was hot and immediately warmed my body up.

Kremlin's night view - Simply awesome!!!

I closed my eyes and my ears were listening to the Matt Monroe's song that I downloaded before my departure. Its lyrics were so smooth and delicate. but bright. It said like this:

From Russia with love I fly to you
Much wiser since my good-bye to you
I've traveled the world to learn I must return 
from Russia with love

I've seen places, faces and smiled for a moment
But oh, you haunted me so
Still my tongue tied young pride
Would not let my love 
for you show 
in case you'd say no

What a night!!! Such a relaxing 'me alone' time...  

As usual, my mind started wandering around while listening to this song. Suddenly, I heard a loud song and a bright light illuminated the sky far in front of me. Oh dear... There were fireworks!!!

Beautiful fireworks illuminated the sky along Moskva River :)

Wooohhooooo!!!! Wasn't it my lucky day??

Awesome!!! - Fireworks along Moskva River :)

It played continuously for some time. I was asking myself, "Am I dreaming???" and started pinching myself over my arm, Ouch!!! That's pain!!! Then I realized that I wasn't dreaming... This beautiful night, this trip in Russia with my parents and niece, this splendid city of Moscow, St. Petersburg, the beautiful village of Suzdal, it was all real!!! Right in front of me!!! 

Silently, I cited a prayer inside my heart. I was feeling blessed, and grateful for all things that happened to me. Although it was all seemed like a dream now, it was all the wonderful memories that remain deep in my heart now. Thank you SB! Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything!!! Russia, thank you for giving me a chance to see... Hope to visit you again, perhaps in my next life ;)

The last fireworks waved and farewell Good-Bye...

To Russia I flew but there and then
I suddenly knew you'd care again
My running around 
is through
I fly to you from Russia with love

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Russian Circus at Dubrovka Theater, Moscow

It's been the seventh day my stay here in Russia. It's been tiring but full of enjoyment. I'd been wanting to write blog and share more experience with you. There were many things I wanted to share. Just like this evening. We went to see Circus performance at the Dubrovka Theater.

Dubrovka Theater, Moscow

We reached late. It supposed to start at 6pm. But we only reached 20 minutes later due to late serving during our dinner. So it'd been started halfway when we got our seat. We sat at top floor, at the sixth rows from the front side.

You know, when I knew that Circus was inside the itinerary, I was all exciting and looking forward to watch it. Because it's been so long that I'd watched my last Circus. In fact, I still remembered the first Circus that I watched during my childhood time.

I was six years old. My mother brought me to the Circus that was held not too far from where we lived. I went with some other people too, most probably my sisters.  It was held inside the big round red color tent. Surrounded it, there were many other colorful tents, just like what it's always drawn in many children's story book.

We sat quite in front row but a bit in the left side on a wooden bench, which was getting higher at the back of it. I was so happy watching the animals, like elephants, lions, parrots, and was awed with performances like tightrope walkers, acrobats, trapeze acts, uni-cyclist, and most importantly, the clown. They put the net under the tightrope and trapeze's performances and we were wondering if anyone would fall on it and yes, they did (perhaps some of them were still quite amateur ba!)

And tonight, when the clown appeared and entertained the audience, it really brought me back to the nostalgic moments. I heard laughter from children who were sitting all around me. They were enjoying it, laughing innocently, and incessantly, just like me. All this feeling suddenly brought me into tears, tears of happiness.

During half-an-hour break time, I asked my niece out from the theater. We saw from above the activities provided for the children. Singing, dancing, standing in line just like a choo-choo train, and so on. Many people were queuing for the Popcorn, candy stalls, toys stalls, and so on.

Russian Circus in Dubrovka Theater, Moscow

I saw parents (with more Mums) brought their lovely daughters and sons out to watch this Circus. They were sitting down. They all bought some snacks, pastries, and beverages from the nearby food stall and sat together enjoying their meals.

Children enjoyed their time - Russian Circus

I could feel so much love in this building. Kids were wearing their best dress. Girl's hair was braided beautifully by their mothers. The boys were dressed handsomely by their mothers again. I saw their laughter, their joy. Their smiles, their happiness. And I was telling myself how lucky they were by having such lovely parents who brought them to this Circus, just like me, many many many years back and I felt very grateful to my parents, who had given me chances to watch it not only once, but even up to this age, when I've become a mother, and parents myself. I was even thinking if my son would still enjoying this kind of performance at this age, and whether it would leave him with beautiful memory as I had.

Kids looked at their reflections on distorted mirror :) (Photo courtesy of Landa)

There were many distorted mirrors outside the theater too and many people from any ages would love to stand up in front of it and take a look how funny they had become. Children were again laughing and playing with their friend around in front of those mirrors.

The show was last for 2 hours and 45 minutes (with break in between). It wasn't same as what I watched before as they didn't show us elephants, or lions as this was held inside the building and not inside the tents. They also showed lots of performance using skating. Not using ice though, but something like wax floor. Perhaps it's because they often do ice skating during winter times and it has been part of their culture.

The trapeze show has been modernized though using the glow-in-the-dark costume also the ropes. There were many singers too, singing live on the stage. Except for the hot room (no air-con inside), the Circus was quite enjoyable for me. I love the clown the most.

Some of the shows - Russian Circus

When it's over, we exited happily from the building. However, on our way to the bus, we saw the name list carved on the wall with many toys put below it. Only then I knew that twelve years ago, on 23rd October, something happened in that very place. They called it 2002 Nord Ost siege.

It was a tragedy that had made hundred over people, as hostages, including many children (the main audience of the Circus), pregnant women, etc., died after few days' siege. You can read more about it here. My heart wrenched after heard about it and I was a bit guilty for being too happy inside that theater just hours ago. I deeply pray here for those victims, wishing them to rest their soul in peace and to be born in a much better world. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ha здоровье! Read: Nah zda rovh yeh or Cheers in Russian :)

My happy face - Russian Vodka Museum, St Petersburg :)

When I knew that there would be a visit to Russian Vodka Museum, I was like.... ehem... very very very happy la! :D Because Russian is very very famous for its Vodka!

And I was very happy when knowing that we would visit it today, the first day of our stay in St Petersburg.

Right after lunch, we were walking there. It's such a right time because we couldn't drink with an empty stomach no?

Some exhibition stuffs inside the Russian Vodka Museum

There was small exhibition inside, such as the collection of the cork for the bottle, various bottle type, various brands, and so on.

We were welcomed by the beautiful Russian lady. She explained to us the history of the Vodka and what it was made from, etc.

Well, for me, that wasn't very important though, but there were few interesting facts that I learned about the Vodka and its development in Russia.

Guess what is this! Russian Vodka Museum collection :)

For example, look the above picture carefully and guess what is the Vodka above usually used by? Or what kind of profession make use such form of Vodka?

Russian Vodka Museum collection

Second question: To whom do you think that these bottles of Vodka made or given to?

Dadadada.... I'll give you some time to think about it and I'll give you the answer at the end of this post ;)

At the end of tour, we entered the Bar, which was displaying over 200 types of Vodka.

Inside the room, there were six standing tables. They had prepared three different types of Vodka for us to try and there were three different types of snacks to accompany the Vodka with.

Three different brands of  Vodka for us to try - Russian Vodka Museum

Honestly, I had no idea how to spell their names since they were all written in Russian language. I only knew that the middle one was the one gave the warmth effect on the throat (stronger feeling).

I took a piece of black rye bread topped with smoked salmon. I took my first shot of the strongest one. I held the shot glass on my hand, took a deep breath, and said, "Nah zda rovh yeh!" which means "Cheers!" :)

In Russia you could only drink it plain, with no orange juice or Redbull, and had it at one shot. You had to taste it from the strongest one to the less strong ones. Interesting, wasn't it? ^^

Russian Vodka Museum

Many people took one type each. Some took one or two shots only, and some didn't take any single shot. End up, there were still many shot available. I took 5 shot of it before leaving the place (while my father wasn't around) hehehe... and I was happily continuing the rest of my day here :D

Oh man, I wish I could stay longer or otherwise visit the place everyday! :D Anyway, it really made my day! I love Russia! ^^

Answers :
1. The Vodka in paste form was made for Russian Astronout who went to space as water form wasn’t allowed there. 
2. These bottles were given to those who quit drinking Vodka as a celebration :D

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

First time painting the Matryoshka Russian dolls :)

On our way to Suzdal, we were brought to the Matryoshka Doll Factory. It's located hidden from the main road and the buildings looked quite old. It's said that the factory has been there for 66 years. Wow!

Shaping the wooden base for the Matryoshka Russian dolls

This gentleman above showed us how he shaped the wooden doll using the special machine. It required skill and experience to be able to shape it nicely and comfortably. When asked, he said he started working when he was only 15 years old and has worked continuously for the past 45 years using that machine. No wonder it looked easy on him to shape those dolls. He even made the smallest doll shape as per shown on top of the palm above :)

After that we went inside the room where there were tables and chairs provided, plus some brushes, many basic water coloring, and a cup with water to wash the used brush on top of each table.

My niece and I with our creations: Before and After

Each of us was given a chance to paint our own Matryoshka dolls. And look at the above picture, before and after paint! Weren't the dolls beautiful??? But there were actually not our painting. Hahaha... They were actually the sample of the dolls that were put on the table, to give us inspiration and idea on how to draw and color it beautifully ;)

Seriously painting the colorful dolls

Well, it looked easy and simple, isn't it? But tell you, it wasn't easy at all to draw and paint a nice one.

They had few rules on which part to be colored first. The sequences were as per follow:
1. Sleeves part
2. The cloth part - front and back
3. The apron
4. The face area (eyes, eye brow, eye lashes, nose, lips, and hair)
5. The top part outside face and back side too
6. The base of the doll
7. Signature at the base of the doll

Everyone at different ages were having fun with it. We could paint it at any color that we like, any design that we want. Every doll became a very unique creation. While painting it we could hear funny funny comments from the other participants and made us laughing. It took us more than an hour to paint but yet, still not enough time to decorate now beautifully.
My own painted Matryoshka Doll :)

Lalalala.... That's my creation! :) It was just a simple and basic. I didn't have enough time to decorate more. I made agreement with my niece that this doll would be a gift for her upcoming birthday present, while her doll would be a gift for my upcoming Birthday present :) Our Birthday are just separated by 1 day.

She also hasn't finished hers and she wanted to continue it back home plus doing many repair jobs to make it much more beautiful. Well, let's see the final result when the time comes! ;)

The Manager cum owner explained the dolls to us translated by our guide, next to her :)

So, we were all having great time at the factory. And before we left, we shopped some of the doll products. Although the price set was slightly expensive, we were still buying one or two as a souvenir and after went through the painting workshop, we became appreciating the artist's effort in making beautiful dolls :)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Pri-vet привет - Hello in Russian :)

After a 10-hour flight from Singapore, we finally arrived at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia. It wasn't an easy flight. We departed at 2.30am Singapore time and we were served supper inside the airplane when we had already fallen asleep at 3.30am. Lol! Moreover my niece and I were given the seat at the last row of the aircraft where we couldn't have any space at the back of the seat and therefore, we had to sleep on sitting position at all time. Luckily I managed to catch some deep sleep :)

The sight of Domodedovo Airport in Moscow

The weather was very good. It was sunny and it wasn't as cold as I expected. Luckily I brought some normal shirt and short pants, otherwise it would be too hot for me.

It was Sunday. We immediately were brought to Red Square and visited many places on foot. Started at 11am, had lunch for an hour at 12pm, then walked again until 4.15pm. Thereafter we had an early dinner and checked in to the hotel to get the early rest.

Finally seeing the St Basil's Cathedral in real! :)

We were all very tired with so much walking but we were all feeling grateful for being able to visit many wonderful places there.

I only write a little for now and need to sleep now. So 'til we meet again ;)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Visit Russia Sep 2014

I’ve never dreamed in my life that one day I will visit Russia, the largest country in the world located in the northern Eurasia with around 143 million populations in it. The country was once under the Soviet Union in 1990s and then it reconstituted as Russian Federation in 1991. 

Mr. Vladimir Putin is the current president helming and governing the country, and in less than a month ago, he ordered the ban on the food imports (fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, milk and dairy items) from the West as a retaliation against Western countries that imposed economic sanctions against Russia after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.

When I read the news about it, I was a little worrying about what kind of Russian food I should expect to have over there. I wouldn’t starve of course, only that I wouldn’t find bits of Italian mozzarella, chunks of Australian rib-eye, dollop of Finnish yoghurt and other American food that used to be available before. Well, they produced a very nice chocolate confectionary and Massandra dry sherry and I wouldn’t mind having it every day though plus their vodka too hehe…

By right, I should be grateful as we will only be served a local taste of Russian food, pure taste and fully grown indeed :) and there will be Chinese food as well. I did some research on their food and I expect to taste their black rye bread, Solyanka (sweet and sour beef soup), Pirozhki (fried bun with fillings), Blini (Russian pancake), Chicken Kiev (breaded chicken cutlet rolled around the garlic butter and herbs – hm.. sounds delicious!), Pelmeni (Russian dumplings), Shashlyk (kebab), Golubtsy (stuffed cabbage or pigs in a blanket), and so on. Just browsed around it has already made my mouth watering ^^

"Real" Russia, I'm coming!!! :)

All thanks to my parents who wanted to visit Russia and asked me to accompany them in their tour. We’ll spend nine days there with itinerary packed each and every day to a few different cities. This will be new experience for me to visit another place I’ve never been to before, and at the same time, a bonding time with my parents and niece :)

We were briefed a month before the departure date. We were warned not to wear lavishly as it could attract pickpockets. Other than that, we were told not to expect too much, such as: efficient service, smiley faces, etc. from Russian people as they are just like that. We were also asked to always be on time as traffic jam would delay the whole journey and disturb the whole itinerary.

What feared me most is actually their language, an East Slavic language. Their writings are different from English words. I have no idea about their pronunciation too. If we get lost or being separated from our tour participants, that’s it! Haha… That’s why they advised us to follow the tour leader closely and we have to inform them wherever we want to go, even to the toilet. Ahhh… I have already imagined a unique and challenging encounter ahead! ;D

Pic source:

Despite the Ebola spread and unstable situation in many places of the world, we can only afford to think positively and hope that we all will have a smooth and safe journey. Please wish us lots of good luck for our safety and health throughout our journey, go and return in good shape and bring back many memorable events as part of our lives’ journey. I’ve even already had Matryoshkas doll – the famous Russian nesting doll or Babushka doll – in my mind, planned to bring some back home ^^

I’ll share more stories with you when I’m free, share more photos, feelings and emotions too. Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta – may all sentient beings be happy. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

What is happiness to you?

To me, happiness is something that I feel inside my heart, that makes me feel happy and content, especially from simple thing that happens in life, such as: love, family, friendship, togetherness, and so on.

Well, to you or to other people, happiness can be something like own a big house, luxury car, earn high salary every month, hold a very high post in the office, travel regularly abroad sponsored by your office or other organization, have a beautiful and pretty wife or handsome and rich husband, and so on.

It's something that we feel very subjective, isn't it?

Today I've spent my time happily with my family members. My parents came yesterday and we spent the precious time with my brother and families too, by having dinner, breakfast, and lunch together. It was a very simple meal, just a normal food sold in hawker center. But the togetherness that we had was not something that we could have every day. It is priceless.

Once reaching home, my hubby and I took rest for a while. After that, we boiled water in the kettle and made a tea. We both sat on the dining room face to face. It was only two of us at home. It was so quiet and peaceful. We had a plate of curry puff and ate it with chilli padi - a small but very spicy chilli. We ate, drank our tea and chit chatted. I felt blessed!!!

To be happy, it doesn't mean we have to sit in Starbucks, TWG Salon and Boutique, or other expensive Cafe or restaurant in town. The coffee or tea doesn't have to be branded, brewed using an expensive machine, or poured from luxury tea pot. The food accompaniment doesn't have to be a variety of delicious and expensive pastry or desserts.

The one that we had was just perfect. Most importantly we had a nice two-way communication, great taste of food and the tea that was hot.

So, how about you? What happiness is to you?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Book Bucket Challenge

Pic source:

After the spread of the Ice Bucket Challenge all over the world, there were other bucket challenges coming up too, such as: India’s Rice Bucket Challenge, where the participants need to donate one bucket of cooked or raw rice to a poor household, and quite recently I was nominated by Sonam Tenzin for the Book Bucket Challenge in Facebook.

Before tagging or nominating others for the challenge, I have to understand first what it was all about. Because otherwise, the person whom I nominated will ask me what is it, and I will have no idea how to explain on what it was.

Therefore, I searched in google and it led me to the Facebook page of the #BookBucketChallenge. So what is it?


Make a list of books you wish to donate
Donate books to Libraries or to needy and take photos
Write the list of top 10 Favorite Books you read

Post it in internet with hashtag #BookBucketChallenge and ask/ tag/ challenge your friends

And this challenge is made for the purpose to eradicate illiteracy.

Well, the easiest thing to do among the three choices above was definitely to do the third one.

However, based on the source of it explains as per follow:

“The Book Bucket Challenge is a drive started by One Library per Village, an NGO based in Kerala. The mission of this NGO is to create awareness and share the latest tools, services and resources that add value to digital libraries, enrich user experiences and enhance associated people's career development and learning activities.

So, unlike what is coming across on Facebook, this challenge is also requires you to do something in the name of charity, and not only about nominating your friends for listing ‘10 books that have stayed with them for a while’. Instead, you have to make a list of the books you are willing to donate to libraries or needy people.”

Ahhh…. Araso!!!

Therefore, I will write the list of top 10 Favorite Books that I’ve read here:

1. Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often - Apelles Poh
2. The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO - Robin Sharma
3. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
4. Life Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma
5. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
6. Living Fully – Finding Joy in Every Breath – Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche
7. Daily Teachings – Rhonda Byrne
8. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
9. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
10. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Next, I will nominate many Bhutanese bloggers to continue this challenge: Ugyen Tenzin, Ugyen Jamyang Norbu, Passang Wangmo, Rupa Kaykay Gurung, Jigmmey Sangpot, Sangay Phuntsho, Luzee Lekzeema, and last but not least, Lekey Choden Dorji.

You can choose to do one of the three things as mentioned at the Facebook or you can also choose to donate your book for charity as per original intention by One Library per Village. In my case I'll do both and I'll do it randomly.

So, have fun everyone! Most importantly, get or start your reading habit back into your life again! Cheers :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Welcome September! :)

Ask me what my favorite month is! And I’d tell you, it’s September!!! :)

Being born in September making it all special to me. Not only me. My sister, my brother, my niece, my mother-in-law, and many of my friends were also born in this lovely month. Whenever we were staying in the same countries, we would have birthday celebration once in one or two weeks’ time, a great gathering time with siblings, friends, and family members.

The Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival will usually fall on this month too! We’ll have a chance to gaze at the brightest and roundest moon in the dark sky, no matter where we are, on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Basking the moonlight on the balcony or in the park with your loved ones, eating the delicious mooncakes, accompanied with a cup of hot tea or coffee will make the day brilliant and unforgettable! :)

September is also the starting of autumn season in many parts of the world (except for Australia and its encounter that experience spring season instead). It is one of the best months to travel. I didn’t even realize that I too, have chosen this month to travel, almost in every year.

When you travel in September, you will feel that the place that you visited looks more beautiful. The cooling weather makes your mood glow and feel much happier too (compare it with the sweaty hot summer or freezing cold winter time).

So, wish all of you having a wonderful September and hope everything will go smoothly in your life!!! Happy September everyone!!! :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...