Friday, April 26, 2013

I wish it wouldn't rain so much

Lake Gardens, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

During Easter, I moaned about the heat. And then we had rain. The day before yesterday, I saw (and heard)the rain. I left much later and arrived home at 10:30pm. The drive home from Cheras back to KL was smooth. Time taken a mere 15 minutes no water, no jam, no hassle. But if you were go back a few hours before, here is what I heard happen;
1. The basement carpark at the hospital was flooded. ( Thankfully my car was on a slightly higher level)
2.The front of the hospital was also flooded causing a jam just getting out.
3. I saw pictures on the net some of the roads I would have taken back home was covered with water, up to knee-waist level. And there is a picture of a mercedes bobbing in the water.( poor owner)

So I thank God I chose to stay back and have dinner nearby before heading home.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


this sucks, originally uploaded by Lori McDonough.
It is raining this morning. Or it was at 5:00am. SO I couldnt jog/run outdoors. I decided to hoover instead. And mope the floor after. I now have clean floors.I hate hoovering but am always pleased after its done. Now time for REAL work

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Found: Good coffee

Bought Bushells coffee on a whimp. It was between being boring and getting the usual nescafe goldblend or trying something different. Kenco ( my previous experiment at being brave) was not good. It tasted bitter with minimal body despite pouring quite a bit of full cream milk with it. So I'm happy to report Bushells to be VERY nice and recommend you get a can soonest!

Old Chang kee

Old Chang kee, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Old Chang Kee had its beginnings along Mackenzie Road in Singapore way back in 1956. ( A year before Malaysia gained independence...bit of history thrown in to put things in perspective) It has now been franchised to Australia, Indonesia AND Malaysia.

There used to be a stall at Bukit Bintang and then it closed down. Perhaps due to the high rental. Certainly not from lack of business. Last Sunday, we found Old Chang Kee at Mutiara Damasara I spotted the sign just as I entered Metro Jaya:) So this morning I'm eating Old Chang kee curry puff for breakfast. Others pale in comparison. Sometimes the pastry is a problem, too hard, too flaky and the chicken bits inside;too dry. I love the egg-oh in Old Chang kee curry puffs.

Old Chang Kee can be found at the following places in KL
1. Mutiara Damasara
2. 1-Utama shopping centre
3. Carre Four Subang

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I predict a long clinic session this morning

We have clinics twice a week. I admit it is a tedious process as you meet problems the books don't prepare you for. Which forces you to research indirectly making you a mini expert on the topic should you ever have the misfortune to meet just such a bizarre problem again. That is how experts are born.On the side, previous entries written by self have been difficult to decipher. I now must admit to sinking down to the level of doctors with bad handwriting. If doctors write badly because they need to be fast? Why then do teachers ( as a rule) have neat handwriting? Because they are meticulous and have more pride in their work?

* bad handwriting written in big font is preferable to small squiggles which look like commas and semicolons

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Class postponed

music notes, originally uploaded by iamfenia.

Woot! My class this evening has been postponed to tomorrow evening:) Which leaves me some extra practice time(yay) and some time to watch my korean drama (maybe!)

Korean dramas

hanbok, originally uploaded by hojusaram.
I bought two more box sets of korean drama.
1.The greatest love of all
2.Cool Guys hot ramen.

Let me try and explain the obsession. I think the different culture is an attraction. The language is pleasant to hear. And the scenes they film their movies in gives us a chance to see parts of Korea. And of course, we cannot deny they are meticulous and it shows in their finished product. Nice and trendy dressing, korean food, a glimpse into a different culture which is not as well known as the Japanese one. What's there not to like?


Shoes, originally uploaded by Martina Karlsson.

When should you retired a jogging shoe? I have;don't laugh , four shoes in total. Two of which I do not like. Nike free run gives me knee pain. Two New balance shoes ( at a fraction of the price) which do not. What an irony. The new balance blue ( I call it that on my nike ap) has jogged 258km in total.

Scary sentence read from the net: running in old or worn out shoes is one of the most common cause of running injuries.

Marking Papers

Marking Papers, originally uploaded by emilyEfreeman.
We marked many papers yesterday. Tis the exam week. Loads of scripts to be corrected, marks entered onto the mark sheet and transfered to the computer. 203 papers ( or was that more?) multiple that by each question to be marked separately. We had a cheery group of people grouped together sharing the same fate so it was nice;tiring but enjoyable. Happy Exam week everyone!!

* year 5 professional medical exam.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Longchamp wish list

Here is the description on the website: Inspire by the Japanese Art of Origami. Manufactured in ultra-light nylon and trimmed in Russian leather. I love the contrast in colours. The price quoted on the net is 170 pounds.

Traditional dessert

Traditional dessert, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

We had our final bible class session last Friday. And being Malaysians, the class ended with a meal at the Betel Nut restaurant. Here are their selection of Indian Desserts. I googled and there ARE a lot of names to pair with each of the trays. I give up. What I would like is to try at least each one ONCE

Chic lit:)

Chic lit:), originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
The e-book nearly took over my passion for reading "real" books. But I am glad to report a return to the trusty old paperback for me. ( I've chosen to ignore the obvious storage problem). I am currently reading page 39 on my third book:)

The shelf is located at MPH  LG-058 Lower Ground Floor Midvalley. I miss the old store which was bigger and had a seating area in the middle and had a better location in front of Coffee Bean and beside Secret Recipe.

Happy birthday daddy:)

Happy birthday daddy:), originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Dad's birthday was on the 4th so this was a belated celebration. He was pleased ( as were we ) with the cake. That chocolate teddy is pure chocolate and if you can spot a little hole on his right earlobe...that was a failed attempt to stick the " happy birthday" tag there.

If you like this cake, it can be yours. Bought from Delectables 2nd floor, The Gardens, Midvalley city.
Here is the owner's blog if you want to see more selection of cakes.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Third book in 5 days

I have started reading this book. Brookfield is no stranger to me. She isn't a personal friend no. But I can boast having most of her books. Slightly different style of writing from Green and I am savouring the switch to a different author. Have a good Sunday:) I'm off to practice my scales on the violin....arpeggios and other hateful ( woopsie) dominant 7ths to slaughter before bedtime.

Exams are here!( In AUGUST I mean)

My violin exam will be in August. Wish me luck NOW.

grocery shopping

grocery shopping, originally uploaded by h. wren.

I did the weekly grocery shopping this morning. I had THAT many bags and THIS many hands. It's grocery time , when I wish I lived in a house ( with a maid) rather than a condo with the carpark 4 flights of stairs down and a short walk and then some stairs before I meet the lift to the apartment.

Nerves!! Can we control them?

violin playing, originally uploaded by the ghost of me.
Fear is a reaction to something. If that is true, you can control fear. In the same way you can control the bubbling of anger when something unpleasant comes your way. I have learnt that if you want to perform in front of a group of people, you should memorize your piece before. You should also play the piece just before your perform and you should listen to yourself when you play. Have I conquered fear? Maybe just a little.

Pieces for my Grade 7 ABRSM exam
1. Adagio. First movement from sonata in G BWV 1021 by J.S.Bach
2. Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet
3. Reverie by Angela Morley

I wish I had an internal metronome and yes you cannot run away from counting. If your maths is good, you'ld be able to keep time with the darn metronome.

I am on a roll

A good book!!!, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
What are the chances of reading TWO good books back to back? Slim especially if you've followed my history of mistakes over the pass year or so. " The Accidental Husband" starts off in a nice way. When I read the first paragraph....I felt drawn to read on. The story unfolds in a nice way. The two families are introduced slowly allowing you see their characters and when their worlds meet you're at the stage where you won't be confused with a battery of names. They have become persons. I won't tell you more. That would spoil it for you. If anyone wants to borrow the book...just drop me a line:)

* this book was purchased at mph mid valley RM 37.50

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Would you rather a jog in the mornings?

My jogging shoes, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

It takes a considerable amount of willpower to jog in the mornings. Most mornings, my initial reaction is to retreat back to bed and sleep for another 5 minutes. On the days which I succeed , the morning jog is rather cold. And I've now learnt to start with a VERY slow jog to wake your muscles and brains up before you crank up the speed. Music shouldnt be too perky initially. That can be a annoying.

My earliest jog is 5:28am. I won't be doing that anytime soon:)

Porntip restaurant

Chicken basil, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

I've been dying to eat this for a few weeks now. This evening, I had this ( with two other dishes) for dinner. It's spicy and hot so my advice would be to avoid ordering the tomyam soup with this. Otherwise the fiery feeling makes your tummy upset and you'll have a persistent leaky nose; not intermittent. Difficult to eat and sniff at the same time.

This dish is called chicken basil leaf. The thai name for this is "pad ka-prao kai "( Did you know this?) Ingredients include:

chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
garlic, finely chopped, onion, sliced, vegetable oil, black soy sauce, fish sauce, fresh holy basil, chillies, chopped and pounded coarsely

* Dash of ground white pepper

Steamed wrapped rolls

Steamed wrapped rolls, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Yay I found Banh Cuon right here in Kuala Lumpur. It is the Vietnamese-style "Chee Cheong Fun" it was chicken, mushroom and bean sprouts.

It can be found at:
1. KLCC: Du Viet restaurant. ( Same level as Madame Kwans)
2. Pavillion: La Lot Vietnamese Cuisine
3. Sunway Pyramic: O'Viet Vietnamese Cuisine
4. Damansara Utama: Du Viet Restaurant

Amanda Brooke writes a brilliant book

Kinokuniya( in KLCC, Kuala Lumpur) wins hands down; their selection of books are wider than mph, times and popular. I stayed away for too long. Last Saturday's visit was good. I found this on the shelf:two copies left. Well, now there's only one left.  Let's just see what the internet has to say about Amanda Brooke as an author.

1.This is her first novel. It was inspired by her feelings when her 3 year old son was diagnosed with leukemia . Despite going through a bone marrow transplant;Nathan ( her son) died. He was three years old and ten months.

2. She is 45 years old
3. She is from Liverpool
4. She has a  Amanda Brooke's Blog  to be directed there.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Re-reading this book

Joyce Dennys was born on the 14th of August 1893 in India. She came back to England in 1896. She was a doctor's wife in real life. Her fictional character Henrietta is also a doctor's wife. Dennys writes in a simple style but with wit. It is in a form of short letters to her childhood friend Robert who is away fighting the war. She describes the country life and the funny politics with cute characters playing major roles.

It's difficult to buy this book in any local bookstore in Kuala Lumpur. I have two of her books and hope to get her third soon. ( Either by ordering it from Kinokuniya or TIMEs)

Here is the complete list of books by Dennys( Bold = books I have)
1. Henrietta's War: News from the home front 1939-1942
2. Henrietta sees it through: More news from the home front
3. And then there was one
4. Now we shall never know
5.Lear of Albion Crescent
6. For adults only ( Illustrator)
7. Bushland Stories  ( Illustrator)

Ice Cream anyone?

 originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Just to be clear, this trip to Saigon was a drug sponsored trip. So we got to meet doctors from other Asian countries. We found ourselves in the same bus with a group of Singaporean doctors en route to dinner and back. They were an energetic bunch boisterous and eager to try local food. And so after dinner we dropped a few of them here because they wanted to have some ice cream. I'm not sure how they could have handled more food because we had great vietnamese food for dinner.

This shop is very strategic. When I googled, some folks said it was nice ice cream because the ingredients used were fresh. I'm sorry I didn't join the Singaporean group for ice cream now.

Please click on this blog for good pictures of what they have to offer.

Kem Bach Dang Ice Cream
26-28 Le Loi St., District 1, HCMC

Other tourists in Saigon

Other tourists in Saigon, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
This was taken during my hurried walk back from the market to the Asiana Saigon Hotel. I took longer staring and haggling over an original painting and left without buying. This is at the square in front of Chanel:) Look at them? So excited and eager to soak up some history and take some pictures. I love that feeling. To walk about and imagine what life was like many years ago and to see how things have progressed.

To the right of the picture you can just make out the Opera house. During the evenings, the parks are full of families with their elder members sitting down and just resting.

T-shirts sold near the market

Still on the Vietnamese-theme, here is a picture of T-shirts. Can anyone explain why a T-shirt would say " same same" as their caption? During my trip to Ho Chin Minh City, the vendors sold many T-shirts with that on it. I nearly bought one too.

* my unifi is down: have yet to rectify it so blog posts this week kept to a minimum

Friday, April 05, 2013

Sold in a small shop in Ho Chin Minh

I bought two pop up cards of the Notre Dame cathedral. ( Lovely really!) and two cards of Vietnamese ladies cycling.

Saigon's General Post Officer

I think ( from googling) this is called Gothic architecture. But there is a strong french influence. ( Yes I made that up) It looks more like a posh railway station. Looks nice doesn't it?It was built by the same person who did the Eiffel Tower in Paris.( Gustave Eiffel) This building is just beside the Notre Dame cathedral. If you stand in front of the cathedral, this building would be to your right. It functions as a post officer. As I entered, I felt transported to back to a different time. It was quiet and cool. The high ceilings were lovely. To the left and right there was a map each of Vietnam. One is called Saigon et ses environs 1892 and lignes telegraphiques du Sud Vietetnam et Cambodge 1936. I took a picture of the map to the right and will post it later.

There is also a shop on each side. ( Which is reasonably priced) In the centre there is a circular counter selling little souvenirs. The floor tiles were nice too. I'm sorry I didnt take a picture of it. Certainly worth a visit. It is opened from 6am to 10pm.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hotel Continental Saigon

Hotel Continental Saigon, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I'll just get the posts on hotels out of my system :) Taken on Day 2, when we skipped the last lecture and walked all the way from Intercontinental Asiana to the market. This hotel is even older than the Majestic. It was built in 1880. Which incidentally is the same year the Notre Dame Cathedral , Saigon central post officer and Hotel de Ville was built. The building is on Dong Khoi which is one of the main roads in Ho Chin Minh. It has been featured in a Hollywood movie called " The Quiet American". Have you watched that? ( I havent)

The Majestic Hotel Saigon

The Majestic Hotel Saigon, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
The Majestic Hotel is a 5 star hotel with lovely french architecture and a strategic place facing the Saigon river. It has a 175 guest rooms. It was built for a chinese-vietnamese man called Huibon Hua. The original number of rooms was 44 guestrooms. I don't have a picture from the front with the lights. This picture was taken after dinner. ( Pho and rice paper wrap of course) Which explains why the picture isn't artistically better. It has a very elegant feel. I hope you can appreciate this from my photo. As we walked, we could see the swish of water and see the ferries. We were told the ferry ride wasn't worth the money because you are served mediocre food.

The hotel was built in 1925 and is located at number 1 Dong Khoi Street District 1. ( A lot of number I(s) in the address very good Feng Shui. I wonder whether the Vietnamese are big fans of this. Just a little note, we have our own Majestic Hotel right here in Kuala Lumpur. I'll be attending a lung cancer talk this Sunday. Can't wait to see the inside. I read somewhere they refurbished it.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Vietnam's Cyclos

Vietnam's Cyclos, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
A cyclo is a bicycle with three wheels. What's nice is the driver is behind you and doesn't obscure your view. You can take nice pictures. The driver sits higher than the ones in Hanoi. A trademark of Ho Chin Minh cyclos I read.
I didn't try this out. It was late in the night and I was too tired to feel adventurous.

Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
To the left of this building is Park Hyatt Hotel. ( A different post for that) From intercontinental Asiana Hotel, we asked the concierge how to get to Ben Thanth market. Here is the instruction we got...
1. Turn left ( from hotel lobby_ walk straight on until Park Hyatt hotel
2. Then turn right and walk on and you will eventually reach the market.
( Estimated time 20 minutes- minus multiple stops for photo-taking and popping into every other shop to browse and bargain)

Here's what I found on the net.
1. It is also known as Municipal Theatre of Ho Chin Minh. Like the City Hall it is an example of French colonial architecture. Designed by french architect Ferret Eugene
2. The facade is similar to a building in France known as Petiti Palais which was built in the same year
3. It has three stories and can seat 1 800 people.
4. Some of the decorations, engravings and statues have been removed in an attempt to make it look more modern.
5. You get a good view from Caravelle hotel

My picture doesn't do justice to the building. I do however like the woman with a face mask on the motorcycle buzzing pass. Traffic is busy around this building and you can easily walk pass without being too bothered with this.

Hotel de ville

You have to walk pass this to get to the market to shop. This building is built in the french colonial style. Sadly it is not open to the public. So you'll have to be satisfied with taking pictures of the building. There is a nice park in front of this with well kept plants and grass. It was originally built as a hotel.It's new name is Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Building.It's a very pretty building even if you didnt know what it was, you'ld be attracted to it. I was. There is a Hotel de ville in Paris which resembles this building a little.