Sunday, November 28, 2010

Movie Review: Tangled

I've been incredibly determined and persistent to watch Disney's latest animation, Tangled, since the first time I saw the advertisement. I noticed that it was already available in cinema few days ago so yesterday, I really forced a cartoon movie date with my husband in a nearby cinema.

Disney's brand new princess.

In the beginning he offered me to just watch the cartoon in Malaysia when we go back to Seremban since movie dates there will cost us much cheaper than doing it in Singapore, especially for 3D movie. I showed him a true spirit of stone head since morning and told him that there's no way that I am not watching this on this weekend, though 3D ticket in Singapore costs me a fortune (S$ 14/person)!

I had a very good time of 100 minutes entertainment inside the cinema and no regret at all of spending almost $30 for both of us!

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair...!"

The princess is cute and sweet. I love her drawing skill. I literally love her long blond hair. I envy her thick luscious long hair, so unlike mine which is getting thinner and thinner as I grow my hair longer.

The guy is handsome and funny.

The chameleon is cute (and green).

The overall story plot is excellent.

The background setting is just fantastic.

The perfect new scores by Alan Menken remind me of my all time favorite Disney's The Little Mermaid.

The beautiful floating lights pictured in the movie.
I personally think the idea of having the lantern scenes is just brilliant and breath taking.

Both my husband and I shed tears towards the end of the movie. The movie is  really that good! I am so getting the DVD once it's out!

Aah.. It's been way to  long since Disney last came with a pretty princess and a handsome prince. How I love fairy tales.

*Photos are taken randomly from internet sources.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My New Working Life Now

Almost two weeks have past since I first started my new job. I'm still in the process of adapting to the new environment, job scope, people and everything new in this new job. And I'm surely still struggling in waking up at 7am every week day.

It's definitely a more international office than the one I had before. The office comprises of people coming from so many countries around the world namely from South East Asia, Europe, American, South Africa, India. All of them are older than me and the working environment is so mature. Everybody really works efficiently (come to office strictly at 9am and no extended lunch hour) and they all seem bloody serious during working hours. Everything runs in faster pace in this company. Colleagues and line manager expect me to come up with immediate results everyday as if there is not even enough time for me to process the whole new thing properly first. A bit pressuring, huh?

Yesterday, there was this girl whose name I cannot remember having her birthday. The Office Manager bought her a chocolate birthday cake and asked the other staff to gather around to celebrate. Here is my first group photo with some of the new colleagues in the new office.

First Birthday Celebration.

And today, I assisted running their last event  for this year in Singapore. My role today was the conference administrator in-charge for the registration for attending delegates whose company names start with A-M. Such an easy job compared to running the event as the producer. But, duh! My humility was tested today. Instead of mentoring newcomer when running conference, I am now the newcomer who take the lessons from others. Instead of ordering people on site, I was ordered to do stuff for peer colleagues.

Apart from this, seems that the basic conferencing process is similar to what I have known from the previous job before. Some major differences here are the audience scale, sponsorship involvements and no one-man-show for the producer in running the event. Almost all the event team members went down to the hosting hotel to help out since 7am!

First conference to witness.

More to come. More to learn. More to bear. Hang in there.

The Sea Angel at Sentosa's Underwater World

My husband and I often experience this severe feeling of being so stuck in Singapore. Quite often, both of us just felt that Singapore is such a quite boring country, leaving us with not so many options to visit on weekends. Our getaways are limited to frequent and regular visits at malls in Orchard Road, AMK and Bishan, cinemas, food courts, dining restaurants, mobile phone shops. That's all.

Last week, my husband suggested us to go to Sentosa Island and visit the Underwater World there for the weekend. I've been there once five years ago and so did he. Sunday morning was such a rainy day and we thought of canceling our Sentosa plan. However, since we got not much agenda to spend our precious Sunday afternoon so we just went ahead to Sentosa for sightseeing once the sky was clearer. We both just could not afford losing our weekends in our rented room all day long browsing updates at the same old sites in the internet.

Apparently there's not much developments in the Underwater World as from five years ago. Even the Indian guy who showcases giant pythons for chargeable photographs with the snakes is still there, stationed in the same spot. 

Two things that I notice had been changed were the venue of the Pink Dolphin show had been moved to different area and there are cute polar sea creatures displayed in a separate chamber.

Greeted by Touch Pool: Touch the fish but do not lift them from the water.
Cute souvenirs that I wanted to take home but hindered by the husband.
My husband and I were totally amazed with this tiny polar creatures. We just found them so interesting and cute that we even visited its separate aquarium twice, took lots of photos and videos of these animals.

These creatures are called Sea Angel and were just added to the Underwater World's collections two years ago. 

 
 Information about the Sea Angel.

The dancing Sea Angel.
They generally live in the seas in South and North Poles. They are mini sea swimming slugs and part of mollusks family. Their appearance is so tiny and transparent and they graciously swim in the cold water like flying angels. They have so much reasons to be titled as Sea Angel, but one thing that not so many people know is that when they are near to their prey, they transform into such vicious devils. They swim incredibly fast then release their tentacles to grasp their preys before swallowing them.

Curious to meet the angels? You might want to get yourself a chance to witness these angelic sea creatures personally.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grandma

It's a rainy Saturday afternoon and I am feeling a bit blue at home. I miss my family back home.

An hour ago, I just asked my Dad to phone me and let me speak to my Grandma at home. In these past few days, I suddenly missed my Grandma so much.

It's been a long time since I had long proper conversation with her. My Grandma and my other three aunties stayed with my family, so basically other than my parents and siblings, I consider all of them as my immediate family too. My Grandma and aunties helped raised three of us since we moved to the current house more than 15 years ago. My siblings and I often went to my Grandma's place when my parents were outside. We found them for food when my Mom didn't cook. We reached to them when we needed friends to talk to. My Grandma often gave me candies or cookies in a small plastic bag whenever one of her children delivered sweets or cookies for her.

My Grandma is almost 95 years old now. She came to Indonesia to follow my late Grandpa. She was not even 20 years old when she left her family in China. She told me that she had to be in a big ship for 3 weeks to get to Indonesia from China back then. She was from a wealthy family in China and left everything there to follow my not-so-wealthy Grandpa to Indonesia. She told me how she often cried during her early stay in Indonesia and life in Indonesia treated her harsh too in the early days. She gave birth to 10 children and lost her husband 26 years ago, about six months before my birth.

Grandma in 2004: The photo was taken before I left for Holland for one year.



Both Grandmas in December 2009.

Saying goodbye in December 2009. 

Grandma and Us during Engagement Day in July 2010.
The last time I saw my Grandma was during my 3-day stay for my engagement party in Malang back in July. I was pretty busy then and didn't have much chance to talk to her like I used to do. However, one obvious thing that I noticed was her deteriorating mind. She has changed so much compared to the last time I saw her in December 2009. She is now often confused and cannot deliver her speech properly nor understand other people well anymore.

I am terribly sad with the fact that time and age physically and mentally consume your dearest people real fast. I believed that there is no antidote to treat this other than to spend more quality time with our loved ones while we can.

The last time I said good bye to my Grandma before I went back to Singapore in July, she told me to go home more often and stay longer in Malang. When I called her just now, she asked me again when I am going home and mentioned that she's been looking forward to see me.

I am so going home to you this Christmas, Mak!!

Drinking Expression

My niece, Jennifer, is now so big! She's not even 2 years old but she seems much older than that. She's getting smarter and funnier. 

My Mom and sister constantly update me with Jen's photos on Facebook and stories over the phone. The last photo series that my sister took earlier this week was photos of Jen purposely acting like an advertisement star when she was drinking. I really love her funny face and expression. My sister told me that Jen purposely acted serious like this without being directed.

When I saw Jen's expression when she was drinking the juice in the photo, I had a déjà vu! Somehow, I really feel like I have seen my husband doing similar funny expression when he was drinking something in the past. After long search in my photo documents, I finally found what I wanted and purposely pasted both photos together for better comparison.

YK and Jenny: Funny face experts.
Similar but not the same. Duh! I so heart the funny look on their faces.

The Story of A Turtle

I don't usually shop for dolls anymore. I mean I used to buy quite a lot of animal dolls when I was much younger but later on I ceased buying them due to monetary reason and the fact that they just collect dust. 

One of my animal dolls that I once loved so much was this dark brown short dog doll which I named as Pedro. I bought Pedro I was in the 6th grade of primary school in Malang Plaza and he cost me Rp 8,600. Pedro could produce "BEEP" sound when his stomach is pressed. Too bad I never took photo of it although the doll kept me accompanied until my university years in Surabaya. Now Pedro enjoys a quiet life in a glass display in my book shelf in my Malang's bedroom.

Sometime in early 2005, I remember I was walking around Plaza Araya, a two-story mall near my parents' house in Malang. My sister, cousins and I were taking a break from a nearby funeral home where my late Grandpa's body was temporarily laid. Then, all of us were simply crying too much over his departure and the whole ordeals since he passed away drained our bodies. Hence, we thought of taking a walk outside to take some fresh air in the mall before going back to my house and taking a shower.

When I was walking around the second level of the mall, I bumped into a small turtle doll displayed outside a toy shop. There were lots of mini green turtle dolls inside the basket outside the shop. 

Kur's Portrait taken by YK in 2009 in Singapore.
Somehow when I saw this tiny green fur ball in the shop, I was so eager to have one for myself. Next thing I knew, I was choosing the right smile on the turtle faces in the basket. I could not remember how much I paid for this but in the end I took one home.

Kur and Pedro in Surabaya.
I could not think of a proper name for my new idle green pet so I just call it Kur, in honor of my own famous nickname, Kurisutin, given by my friends in University. Ever since, Kur has followed me to Surabaya, Amsterdam, Malang and now Singapore.

Back in Amsterdam, since nobody sold bolster, I used to strangle i.e. hold on Kur's neck when I was sleeping. Now I always put Kur as my one and only cute decoration in my bed in Singapore. Since I met Kur, I always feel that all the similar turtle-like dolls are cute (although in real life, I really dislike keeping turtles and the like as pets).

I decided to throw Kur into a washing machine yesterday since after all the international travels that she went through all these years, she has never taken any bath. In fact, I don't think she has had her bath since the day she was brought home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making the Sauteed Shrimps Again

My Mom intentionally packed Worcestershire Sauce (Saos Inggris) for me when she visited me back in August. Who knew that few weeks later, I'd move to a house whereby I can't touch the landlord's kitchen but her drinking water tap?

Now, my only chance to cook and bake is my husband's house in Seremban. During my break in Malaysia two weeks ago, I tried to cook and bake again. I really miss cooking and baking cakes!

Last week, I tried to cook my Mom's infamous sauteed shrimp a.k.a "Buttered Shrimp (Udang Mentega)" since we cook the shrimps with lots of margarine. I cooked this dish once for my husband and posted this too. The ingredients of this dish can be found HERE.

I am documenting the step-by-step photos in making this dish since my husband happened to loiter and snap some photos around the kitchen when I cooked dinner. I know it's a simple dish to prepare but I tend to forget how to make something even though I've made it before.

1. Clean the shrimps and put them in a mixed of crushed garlic and salt. Fry the seasoned shrimp for few seconds only.


2. Put some margarine in a hot wok. Be a bit generous on the margarine.

 

3. Put sliced garlic and sweet onions in the melted margarine.

 

4. Put the shrimps in the sauteed garlic and onions. Add dark soy sauce, sugar, pepper, salt and Worcestershire Sauce.

My trusted dark soy sauce brand. Only those made in Indonesia.

 Worchester Sauce that my Mom packed.

5. Mix well and serve hot with steamed rice.

I didn't put enough soy sauce and Worchester Sauce. 
The result was not tasty this time around but it smelled so good.

I always love this childhood home-cooked dish. Too bad I can't cook this as well as my Mom does just yet and have limited chance to cook or enjoy this.

Best Italian Pizza in Seremban

For the love of pizza, I just found a strange and controversial quote on pizza from the internet. It says:

"Pizza is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good" Hmmm.............

Talking about pizza, when my husband and I crave for thin-crust Italian pizza, we always wait until we go back to Seremban. There is one pizza restaurant around Taman Industri Oakland area in Seremban run by this Caucasian guy with thick Malaysian accent when he speaks English.

My husband's friend introduced this Italian Pizza restaurant to us few months back and we were addicted to this restaurant's pizza ever since. Unfortunately, both of us cannot recall the exact name of the restaurant but this is the only pizza restaurant around the area.

Milan Pizza: What we ate back in July.

 Caesar Salad and Ice Tea: Normal taste.

 Romano Pizza: Cheese, Olive, Ham, Mushroom, Basil and Cherry Tomatoes.

Whitest Calamari I've ever seen.

 Our Pizza Lunch Date during our November break in Malaysia.

His thin-crust pizza is super nice and other pasta selections are great too. The best part is that the pizza there is relatively cheap even for the large ones (compared to pizza costs in Singapore). Pizza pricing is about RM 16 - RM 24. The restaurant ambiance is quiet and there is no long queue in the restaurant.

I am so going to force my husband to take me to this place again when we go back to Seremban.

Those Days


Those days there was this Malaysia-Singapore distance separating my then boyfriend and me. We mainly communicated online though chatting portals on day and nights. Back then, we were quite cautious in managing our international phone call and SMS bills although we spent quite a bit on the traveling part to see each other as often as possible.

My then boyfriend liked to draw so many cute things on MSN and send them over to me while we were chatting online. I kept all of the drawings that he sent to me and last night I managed to compile everything in one page for memorabilia. He said all his drawings altogether look like a kindergarten kid's art product. But anyway, once upon a time, one and each of them meant upon to me.


I just came across the one and only drawing that I successfully drew on MSN during my online chatting with my husband long time ago.
Yau Kee & Qiu Xia

I sucked big time in controlling "Hand Tool" on MSN to create drawings. My hand shook horribly when I was moving the mouse to create drawings. Almost all the time I ended up creating weird and scary drawings instead of those good and cute stuff. I only managed to have this turtle couple as my masterpiece using MSN drawing after so many times of drawing. I sent this picture across to him almost immediately when I was done with it and he once posted this as his profile picture on his Facebook. I was very touched. *blushing now*

Sometimes, I like reminiscing those courting days but do not wish to come back to those 'long-distance relationship' ever again.... Not a single bit!

A New Beginning

My new working life started exactly two days ago. I am starting again from zero. I am back to all the adaptation stages. Trying to grow myself up once again.

Starting all over again.

I am adjusting my new life, from turning in to bed earlier each day so I can get to office exactly at 9am, waking up way much earlier to get to the office on time given the double further distance between two places, finding my way from home to office and vice versa, connecting with all the people there, getting familiar with the new working system, romancing the sector that I am placed on, forcing myself to do some routines that I once despised in the previous roles, etc.

I am now back to the stage where I am less confident, shy and confused in the new environment. I was the one who used to mentor my juniors or new comers in my previous company now I am in that junior's position in the new place. What ruled then now does not mean anything much anymore. Now I listen to other people a lot. I seriously take their advices and teachings in the new job. I am mentored by other conference practitioners. I can't do things on my own way anymore to get things done in conferencing.

Don't forget to look down.

Now is the perfect period to practice my teacher's advice exactly before we left high school - There is always a higher sky above the sky. Although, once you excelled in a place at a time but there are always people better than you somewhere else. Be humble and keep striving.

God, I am so thankful on today's public holiday. I need a break although it is too soon. Why now I forget how to take life easy?!

*Images are taken randomly from internet source.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stuck in Hong Kong: The Last Conference

My last conference for ABF was in Hong Kong, happened in end of last month. In the beginning, I was really lazy and totally reluctant to go and run this event which I took over from a colleague who has left the company earlier than me.

As the actual conference day drew near, I told myself to take it easy. Just run it and go home immediately. My husband comforted me many times and advised me to just enjoy Hong Kong despite the problematic event that I had to run.

True enough, the conference itself was another drama-packed one and quite tough to run. Enough said about the problematic conference, now I just would like to recall all the good things that happened during the short trip.

I was fortunate to be accompanied by my administrator colleague, Ann, who has gone to Hong Kong for many times. After the conference ended, she accompanied me touring some areas near our hosting hotel in Hong Kong. Out of work context, it turned out to be a pretty good trip there. The only thing that I regretted about my Hong Kong trip was the fact that I did not tag my husband along to enjoy Hong Kong too.

Back in Hong Kong, I had the chance to reunited with my uncles in Hong Kong.

Reunited with my Uncle Kian Sun of HK, Uncle Ajong of Indonesia.

I met my speaker/new friend again, Celestine Chua, a famous personal excellence blogger and internationally-acclaimed life coach. She was a marketing manager for an MNC in Singapore and then decided to be a full time blogger. You can read Celest's infamous blog HERE.

New friendship: Me and Celestine Chua. Reunited again. 

I dined on dishes that I thought I would ever dare to put onto my mouth.

Ordered this dish by mistake. Fried Squillas.

I shopped around the market and other street shops.

Shopping around at the night market. What a chilly night!

And I got a free book from our speaker, Madan.

Free signed book for me and Ann from the author himself!

Finally, I was happy to fly home to my baby again!

Wide smile at the airport.

Bye-bye Hong Kong, for now! I have a feeling I will come back to you again.

Great People

One obvious thing that I will regret from moving on from my company is indeed working with great people in the energy sector which I took care, especially those from the Power Sector.

Since earlier this year, I had the chance to collaborate with two great people. One is Francois Nguyen from IEA, France who was always very helpful in my project researches and speaking opportunities despite his unbelievable travelling schedules. The other is Joel Laykin from IPPF, Hong Kong, an extraordinary man.

Joel is a 75-years old man who spends most of his time jetting the planes internationally to run the association, speaks at many conferences, attends high-level power-related events around the world, meets the association members and other clients. He doesn't really use computer nor internet and prefers fax, hand-written notes and phone calls. What a conventional way to reach a person overseas in today's cyber age. He always starts phone conversation with "Can we talk?" instead of hello or any other greetings.

First time I was in touch with Joel over the phone, I really had the impression of working with a fussy old man whose speech I really barely understood. The first time he called my office, he requested the event manager's personal mobile number which I was reluctant to share with speakers since I would rather spend weekends or after-working-hours away from work. With Joel, we have to take his working style no matter what - I had to be ready to pick up his phone calls and answer his questions on event's progress late at night or on weekends.

After he paid us a visit in our office in Singapore and I finally had the chance to directly work with him as my conference's chairman in Jakarta, my impression towards him changed 180 degree. His being fussy and demanding is simply because he wants to ensure the event run smoothly on the D-Day.

I remember running my Indonesia Power Conference in Jakarta with Joel. It was my first time having Joel as the conference chairman. We had problem with the function room since day one. The available room for our event that day was incredibly too small to fit 70-80 expected delegates. Joel and I stayed until 9pm together with the other hotel staff to make the room work. He brought a measurement and measured the space between one table to another himself to ensure the space was wide enough for people to pass by. In the end, we somehow did manage to fit all the crowd in the small room.

Francois Nguyen, Christine and Joel Laykin in Jakarta.

ABF Team with Great People.

On the D-Day itself, we still had to overcome so many unexpected dramas, which Joel always jokes about this to his colleagues or associates. It was really a stormy conference to run. We had several angry delegates due to the room size and speakers who had serious food poisoning to deal with. There were two speakers who suffered from food poisoning due to the spicy food they ate the night before. One of them still managed to deliver his presentation as scheduled but he had to run to gent's room five times during his less than one hour presentation slot and passed the mike to Joel whenever his stomach pain attacked. Joel had to take over the mike and continue the presentation whenever the speaker ran to the toilet for several times.

Another speaker for the afternoon slot also suffered from food poisoning as well. He was really unfit to do his presentation but managed to drop by and passed us his presentation file in thumb drive for one of us to present. With Joel's motto of "The Show Must Go On", Joel did this speaker's presentation without so much preparation  in advance and delivered it incredibly well by adding lots of humors on it. Lucky, I had a real senior person whose knowledge on the industry is two miles in width and three-inch in depth. He really can talk almost about anything pertaining to the industry and was a good cover.

I really learned so much from Joel. His dedication to work, level of energy, humorous personality, friendly and helpful characters. I am just amazed to see how he carries his personalities and wears many hats so well at golden age.

When he found out that I was leaving my role in ABF, he called me immediately. He rang both my office and mobile numbers and asked me why I was leaving and where I was going. One of his questions related to my successors was whether the next person who replaces me can work with him.

I had my last meeting with him in my ex-office in my last working day and before he left the building with his colleague, Priscilla, he shook my hand and told me "I will miss working with you." Likewise, Joel.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Road Trip in Malaysia - Kluang - Mersing - Seremban

This is what I am going to miss so much when I am back to my life in Singapore: Long distance road trip with my husband in Malaysia.

I usually follow him to go to his site in Mersing or running errands in some other industrial areas around Malaysia.

Today, we had about 650km back and forth driving from Seremban to Mersing since my husband was tasked to drop some machineries at site. We left home at 10am and just came back home at around 9.30pm.

I love long driving with him.
  • Sightseeing. 
Today's assigned car.
  • Eating at the local restaurants. Like this one in Kahang, for example. 
At a Chinese Restaurant in Kahang.

Charming smile?

 During our latest roadtrip in Malaysia, my husband surprised me 
by dropping by at a Chinese Restaurant serving Wild Boar Noodles.
But I couldn't take it.


Wild Boar Noodles. Scary? 
The noodles taste like ginger so much.
  • Shopping snacks in the petrol stations' kioks and enjoying all the junk food I buy in the car.
  • Long chatting in the car. 
  • Listening to music in the car. 
  • Relaxing in the car until I fall asleep when he drives.
  • Etc.
I am so going to miss this for the world!

Bintan Escapade: Eat, Play, Love

My holiday is almost over now. At this moment, all I can do is to recall my trip to Bintan Island with my husband to kick off the long holiday.

Actually, I planned a short trip overseas to celebrate my husband's 28th birthday and our first honeymoon. Initially, I was planning to bring my husband go somewhere around South East Asia but due to time constraints that point of time, in the end I just chose Bintan Island. Logistically, Bintan is easier to reach from Singapore. Iris Tan introduced a travel agent in Singapore which provide a cheap package from Singapore to Bintan. It included the ferry transportations, land transports and hotel accommodation for 3D2N. 

I had a terrible seasick in the ferry from Singapore to Bintan. I never had a serious seasick when taking boats or ferries before, but that morning... Gosh! I felt like vomiting so many times.

Sick face.

I owed so much to Minyak Angin Cap Kapak (Axe Brand Medicated Oil) to help me get through the waves!

Although in our opinion, Bintan is considered an expensive place for short holidays since they charge everything in SGD, we must say that had a quite relaxing stays in Bintan. Too relax, in fact, but we both appreciated the slow days we spent there. 

We tried our best to fill our slow days there with new activities that we have never done before. 

Day 1: Our first bowling friendly competition.
A complimentary from the resort.

Day 2: Joining traditional dance before the Elephant Show.

 First experience riding an elephant: Nervous.

Riding the elephant to the forest: Excited.

I was touched by her melting eyes.

During the elephant ride, I had a chat with the man who tamed the elephants. He said that elephants can actually live up to 60-70 years in a wildlife. They live slightly shorter when domesticated. It took them years to tame and train them for elephant ride or shows. Domesticated, I think they are gentle giant pets.

Husband had his first archery lesson.

My husband celebrated his 28th birthday at the resort.
We had a complimentary pre-arranged birthday cake from the hotel.

Day 3: We love the quiet beach and the pool!

I feel that this vacation happened only yesterday. I still cannot believe that it was two weeks ago and soon enough, new busy life in Singapore is starting again.