Friday, September 8, 2017

A Year Older

Yesterday I was another year older.

Since my husband now works in KL and my birthday happened to fall on Thursday, we didn't plan to do anything special for my birthday. However, my husband did plan to have a nice dinner together, IF he could knock off from work early.

In the morning, the man said he'd try to go home as early as possible yesterday (he always works OT) but ended reaching home at almost 8pm. By then, the kids already had their dinner and I was physically and mentally drained from separating a 5yo stubborn kid and 15mo playful toddler who were fighting over (usually abandoned) Peppa Pig toys. The eldest critter refused to share her toys with her brother and the youngest one purposely snatched and wanted to play with his sister's toys repeatedly when she's playing with them. Both kids were effectively shrieking, crying and kicking for about half an hour long.

"MOMMY, see! 弟弟 take Naomi's toy!" "弟弟, GO AWAY!!!" "AAARGH!" "NOOOO.... MY TOY!" "NOOOO!" "Don't want 弟弟 touch!" "AWW.. AWW.. AWW.. GRRR.. HMPH! Naomi is angry now." "I angry ah!" "弟弟, DON'T TOUCH NAOMI'S TOYS!" "弟弟, DON'T TOUCH!" "弟弟, shooooo...!" "GRRRR!!" "NOOO, my Peppa Pig!"

It was as if I kept a roaring lion cub and a naughty little hyena in my living room. No less. Every time I pulled B away from his sister's toys, he got very upset and cried. Seconds later, he bounced back and nonchalantly approached his sisters toys again. Once whiny Tom and Jerry calmed down, both demanded attention and food to munch from me at the same time. I think my BP shot through the roof yesterday evening.

I heaved a sigh of relief when husband came home. Soon, we sent both kids to MIL's place because, after the whole nonsense and chaotic drama with the kids, all I wanted was a quiet dinner alone with my husband.

When we reached the restaurant, fortunately the restaurant was still opened. Our regular Korean restaurant closes at 9pm and we were their last customers of the day.

Late comer shamelessly took picture before eating.

My husband and I have been patronizing this Korean restaurant in Seremban, called Happy Together, for years and we always go to this restaurant to celebrate our anniversary or my birthday.

Me and le husband.

This restaurant is run by a middle aged Korean couple whose Ahjussi has very good command of English. To us, their Pork Bulgogi and Bimbimbap are simply the best in town. Even their side dishes are always very "proper" ones and normally, they also serve fresh watermelon cuts too for dessert.

My fave!

As usual, their Pork Bulgogi never fails to impress us. We've been ordering their Pork Bulgogi from the time it was only RM 25 per portion until it's presently priced at RM 33 per portion. Talk about customer loyalty.

Best Bulgogi in Seremban.

Then, we tried their Tteokbokki for the first time. It's yummy but the sauce was too spicy for my liking and it left a very hot sensation in my (weak) stomach afterwards. LOL.

Too spicy for me but still good nonetheless.

Happy Together Korean Restaurant
Address: 109-1, Lorong Haruan 5/4, Oakland Commercial Square, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Phone: + 606 632 9646

Some thirty minutes later, we left the restaurant with very happy tummy then headed to the nearby mall for a bit as husband wanted to get some cakes for me and hunt a present for Naomi's upcoming birthday.

At about 10.30pm, when we were about to leave the mall, husband got the call from his mother asking whether we're OTW her home already because one of the kids was not happy. As predicted, when we reached MIL's house to pick up the kids, FIL was carrying velcro baby whose eyes were wet because he's been crying looking for me. FIL shared that his back was sweating already from carrying velcro grandson who didn't want anyone else but him while my husband and I went out. Apparently dude kept on walking to the front door and peeked outside the house many times to see if Mommy was coming home before his grandparents brought him upstairs.

When we reached home, it was already about 11pm. I was kind of tired and sleepy but had to take compulsory birthday pictures with my small cakes and blow the candles first.

Failed tiny hearts!

We purposely bought two small cakes and light two candles because Naomi got upset when we told her that yesterday was not her birthday yet and only Mommy got birthday greetings and cakes.

My precious trouble makers x 2.

Finally, I slept almost like a log last night (tho' still had to wake up few times during the wee hours to breastfeed B) and I think I was too tired yesterday until I overslept. My heart almost jumped out of my chest this morning when I realized the clock on the wall showed 7.26 the moment I opened my eyes because Naomi's school starts at 8am, man! I morphed into a kancheong spider early this morning and luckily, the kids and I made it to Naomi's school just in time. Phew!

Don't know why I am writing about my birthday (which is not so important) yet still haven't written the report of B's first birthday party here and his birthday took place 4 months ago! Lololol.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Making Old School Cake (Bolu Jadul)

I planned to update my blog about my life and children (just like I used to!), but I still haven't gotten the time to select and edit their photos. Not to mention, B caused my laptop to fall to the hard floor (from a waist tall desk!) few weeks ago. Alas, my hard disk was impossible to salvage then to my horror, I found out that my husband had formatted my only back-up data in the external hard disk without my knowledge. My world crumbled once more when that happened and I was literally mourning the loss of my 10 years' worth of data for a week. I got thinner because I totally lost my appetite and was generally very upset that whole week. Undoubtedly, I was mostly devastated that I've lost all my and my children's precious pictures that I took since the invention of digital camera and smart phone. *grumble*grumble*

Moving to a happier topic, here is an old-school cake recipe that I tried a couple weeks ago. I am not sure if it's actually a sponge cake because the texture of the cake is a bit spongy. Anyway, this recipe only uses simple staple baking ingredients, easy to make, yummy, soft and very versatile.

 I love pretty cakes!

OLD SCHOOL CAKE (BOLU JADUL)
(Source: Lia Nuzul)

Ingredients:

4 Eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla extract, optional
100gr Sugar
80gr Melted butter
100gr Cake flour
20gr Milk powder

Methods:
  1. Sift flour and milk powder. Set aside.
  2. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla essence using high-speed mixer until pale and thick.
  3. Lower the mixer's speed and add in the sifted flour.
  4. Fold the melted butter into the cake batter and incorporate well using a plastic spatula.
  5. Slowly pour the cake batter into a lined tin. 
  6. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 170 C for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Let the cake cool down completely before start decorating it.

Everyone's favorite.

You can decorate the cake with any topping you want - buttercream, nutella, PB, chocolate ganache, anything you desire or available at home. I topped mine with simple buttercream (a mixture of butter and condensed milk) and generous amount of dark chocolate rice. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

How to Get Permanent Residency (PR) in Malaysia: Part 4

Sometime around end of May, I received an interview invitation letter regarding my PR application with the local Jabatan Imigresen as I had previously shared here.

Fast forward to three months later, my husband and I had the interview with the Immigration Office Negri Sembilan earlier this week. Other than the required documents that we ought to bring (as per stated in the invitation letter), both my husband and I actually didn't really prepare much nor we were nervous for the interview with the Immigration officer. However, the night before we were scheduled to have the interview, I started feeling a little worried and decided not to be over-confident with the imminent interview by asking some thoughts or feedback from my Indonesian fellows who had gotten their Permanent Residency in Malaysia.

I received various answers or feedback from my Indonesian fellows here on the potential questions that the Jabatan Imigresen would likely ask us during the interview. My friends' feedback widely varied, in my opinion, because each Immigration office in Malaysia or the officer/interviewer has different questions or rules or standard for the PR interview. I would say, the general guidelines or tips to make a good impression for the PR interview are as follows:
  1. Wear polite attire during the interview
  2. Bring all the required documents
  3. Be punctual
  4. Memorize all the important dates in your marriage life (as in the marriage date, birthdays and such)
  5. Try to speak Bahasa Melayu during the interview
  6. Study some general knowledge about Malaysia 

Some friends of mine mentioned that I did not have to fret or worry about the interview because the officer would likely throw questions at our Malaysian spouse instead of us during the interview. As long as the couple are able to answer the interview questions in Bahasa Melayu, we'd be overall safe. However, some other friends shared that during their PR interview they were also questioned about their general knowledge on Malaysia (such as the number of states in Malaysia) or the state that we currently live in. There was even a friend who was asked to sing Malaysia's anthem, Negaraku, at the end of her interview session.

Hearing the last two, I became somewhat panic. The night before my scheduled PR interview, I gave myself a crash course on general information about Malaysia and Negri Sembilan (the state where I reside) with the help of my Malaysian friend and Wikipedia. I tried my best to memorize below information just in case questions along these themes would be raised during the interview:
  • The number and name of states and federal territories that Malaysia has
  • The neighboring states of Negri Sembilan
  • The name of Negri Sembilan's current Sultan
  • The name of Negri's Sembilan's current Menteri Besar
  • The name of current Agong
  • The lyrics of Negaraku (I have heard this over and over again since Naomi went to school three years ago but have yet to memorize the lyrics)
  • Rukun Negara (which I could not memorize overnight)

Then came the morning for the PR Interview with Jabatan Imigresen. Before we headed to the Immigration Office, my husband and I dropped Brennan at MIL's place so she could help us baby sit Brennan for a couple of hours. We arrived at the Immigration Office just in time but were asked to wait for about 15-20 minutes before being called to have the interview.

A very pretty young lady interviewed us (as expected, the interview was conducted all the way in Bahasa Melayu) in a small room dedicated for interview sessions (BTW, Milo and some other drinks put on the table were for sale!). The first thing she did before she commenced the interview was briefly checking my documents that were submitted last year in her folder. She asked for the copy of my new passport because she didn't have that yet.

Moving on, the interviewer began asking my husband's and my personal information e.g. our names, our parents' information, occupation, education level, monthly income, current address, number of siblings, our children's details, marriage date, how we met and our dating duration before getting hitched. After checking my educational background, she questioned me why I chose not to work at the moment given the fact that I hold double degrees in Business and Economy. Then, she posed more difficult and specific questions that we really had to think carefully before answering such as "When was the first time you were granted your spouse visa in Malaysia?" "How many times did you go back to your home country since you got married to your husband?" "When was your first time entering Malaysia after you got married?" The interviewer did cross check all my answers (the dates) with the immigration stamps on my passport records inside her folder.

Next, she wanted to know my reasons for applying Permanent Residency in Malaysia. At first, I responded her by saying that if I had PR then I would not need to renew my spouse visa every year or every few years. Eeek.. wrong answer. The interviewer was way more pleased and felt that I gave a more bonafide answer when I explained that I wanted to have my PR because I already have two children and the elder one is studying here, which are true.

Following this, the interviewer quizzed me, "Do you know the name of the current PM?" I answered yes and told her the name of Malaysia's current PM. "What about his Timbalan (Deputy)?" I just smiled at her and honestly confessed that I don't know. I only know that the current PM's latest deputy was appointed not long ago. "You sure know about Negaraku, right?", she continued. "Yes.. But I don't really remember the lyrics". THANK GOD, she didn't ask me to sing the anthem. 

(Clearly, other than Negaraku, all the topics I hastily studied the night before the interview were not posed because the interviewer asked me something else. LOL).

Just before the interviewer ended the interview, she told us that she already had all the documents she needed. She didn't take the required documents as stated in the interview letter because she already had the copies from my previous document submission. Finally, she mentioned that we'd get the news on my PR application again by mail in 2-3 years' time because after the interview, she will have to submit my application documents to the Putrajaya office as there is one person there who is in charge of approving all the PR applications in the whole Malaysia. It will surely take a long time to get approval because there are so many PR applications to process or approve. She informed us as well that we can check my PR application status every 3 months or so by periodically visiting the local Immigration Office, not by phone or online.

This interview with Jabatan Imigresen only took about 15-20 minutes in total to complete... so I'd consider it was fast, at least faster yet definitely more stressful than the one with the Police.

Alas, the waiting game is still going strong (apparently) and will update again when there's more information to share.

** Please note that this information is based on my personal experience and subject to change in accordance with any amendments to the rules and regulations from the Malaysian Immigration Department.