Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Presents

We opened our presents after mass on Christmas eve. When we got home , there was the obligatory family picture with the tree before we sat down to present opening.

In between that we pulled some crackers. Bought after weeding through many boxes just so the little gifts inside would be fun. Then there was the looking at other people's presents. We got the niece some chinese fairy tale story books with the pronunciation below the characters. For fun, both my brother and I read different parts out. Zero marks for accent. The niece was not impressed.

I got jewellery ( Yay) I finally have reached the age where bling bling makes me excited. And I got a lovely soft pair of jammies from my mum. ( Washed already so I can wear straight away)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pet Budgies

It's christmas eve. Oh boy! Time flies. I can't believe it's been nearly two weeks off work. The weather has been wet and cool. We're in a valley which makes the temperature much cooler than KL.

Here's Choo-Choo ( pet budgie) doing a somersault on a make-shift rope. I do not think she enjoyed it very much. My SD card was full so I missed doing a video of it. This is the only proof of its antics.

It has been officially a non-stop rain day yesterday. Not a torrential pour but a steady pitter patter of rain. ( This kind, I like very much). It was tempting to lie back in bed but experience has taught me this. To stretch the holidays longer, it is best to get up and about and do something as early in the day as possible.

* Our pet hedghog is still missing. ( We think it has returned for food because the container was overturned in the  morning)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Losing Weight

Ham and Egg-oh sandwich
My thick waist is not suitable for the christmas dress I bought. Lesson number one, do not buy christmas outfit on your thin-day. ( You will hardly ever get back to that shape again, certainly not if you have a 2 week break at home leading to eating more and more and more JUST before christmas) Lesson number 2: Bias cut dresses hug the curves mercilessly. In my case, it emphasizes the lack of waist.  Lesson number 3: Always, always have a back-up dress so you may enjoy the weeks leading to christmas knowing you will at least have ONE dress that fits for the festive season. Lesson number 4: If you are going to look podgy anyway, at least have a decent haircut giving your friends a chance to complement something when they see you looking fat and prosperous. hehe

* the sandwich is from a local coffee shop in town. Don't you agree it looks just like a home-made one?

Do you enjoy comics?

Minnie the minx, Roger the dodger, Billy Whizz, Dennis the Menace, Lord Snooty....any of these rings any bells? I used to enjoy comics a whole lot. Every holiday these comics would come out of the cupboards and we would be flipping through them.

Here is the niece ...doing exactly that. Enjoying comics on Day one of her break.

Monday blues. Not!

Yahoo. It's Monday and I'm not working. ( Are you jealous reading this?) And more importantly it's a wet and gloomy morning. Cool and perfect for remaining in my jim jams and doing some painting by numbers. Yay!
Note the cushion cover
If you look properly, you may just make out the cushion cover in the background. Scoobs is partially occluding it.( Naughty dog) It's a picture of Neuschwanstein. Which is a castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany. ( I went there after the ERS this year). It was build by the fairytale king, King Ludwig the second. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the castle, so you will just have to believe me that many of the rooms were inspired by Richard Wagner. Even the name Neuschwasterin means "New Swan stone" the swan character is taken from one of Wagner's characters in his opera "The Swan Knight". The rooms are all decorated very ornately. King Ludwig certainly had flamboyant taste. Or maybe it was the trend during that century to have garish furniture and decorative wall and ceilings. I bet it wasn't so dusty back then so cleaning wouldn't have taken too long.  Or maybe it took a very long time, which may explain why the King only slept there for a mere 11 nights. Fancy that.

If you think the silhouette looks vaguely familliar, it is because you see it in Disney's sleeping beauty.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My family and other animals.

Here is one of the two hedgehogs we have living with us currently. Three nights back, we lost one and it's been missing since. No amount of cajoling with food has succeeded in luring it out into the open. I'm hoping there won't be a dead hedgehog anywhere in the house. Do cats eat hedgehogs i wonder. Cos we have a few stray cats ( grrr ) lurking in the garden sometimes.

Budgies in a row
And here are the three budgies. Also living with us currently. Their names are Valerie ( although I've renamed it Choo- Choo), Comet and Nibbler. The baby bird is Valerie. They are seen here perched on the play kitchen set. And sometimes the niece puts one of the budgies in the oven. To play hide and seek. ( Not to cook it of course, she loves them all to bits)

There's a lot of vacuuming and mopping after these creatures. And with all this, I haven't shed any weight yet. Grrrrr!

Apart from these creatures, we have the parents, brother and sister-in law , one little niece and me living in the same house for the christmas break.

Back for Christmas

A very hard jigsaw puzzle
My second week of holiday. ( So fast!) The first week was spent recuperating from the last few months of sleep deprivation. How else to explain waking up after 9am every single day? I brought my running shoes back along with my nike running attire. Haven't had a chance to run. Although we did string the badminton net up and had one game of badminton. But when you're playing with a 7 year old's more lobbing it back and hoping for the best. Our shuttlecock went up the tree ( again!) and the shoe also got caught up on the tree.( we used the shoe to get the shuttlecock down)

The niece
Here's a picture of the niece flower-picking in mum's garden. She wore her jim jams all day because she wanted to play with her budgies the whole morning. And afternoon as well. This was before the tree-eating-shoe-incident. ( We were still friends at this stage)

Happy Holidays everybody. I hope to update more soon

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Korean food.

The food court beside Borders at the Gardens has closed down. So sad because there used to be an authentic Korean lady selling authentic korean food at that food court. I wonder whether she has gone somewhere else to open shop or has gone back to Korea. Either way, I wish her the very next of luck. She was a lovely lady. I once saw her son and her eating a meal together with her workers. They were tucking into a myriad of korean stuff which the stall sold.

The next best deal appears to be now on the lower ground floor, just around from the more prominent Delectables stall. I usually have their bibimbap in a stone pot but last week I had this instead. Much nicer. I recommend this strongly. The negative side about eating at this stall is the limited space. You will have to share a table if you dine alone. The tables are small and the turn-over fast, No sitting down to chat after your meal. You will feel pressured to move on and off the chair so someone else can sit down. There service is good. Fast and efficient. And the food. ( here we come to the main reason why I like eating here) The food is delicious. The Kimchi soup with tofu and chicken is super duper nice.

So the next time you're at the Gardens or indeed Midvalley, try and sample this meal and let me know what you think.

Ko Hyang Korean Food.
LG-K05, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur. Located in front of Justlife organic supplies, and Cold Storage on the lower ground floor of the Gardens, by the escalator.


Tutu...Razz and Azz

Just three more working days before I start my christmas break. And its true the older your get, the faster time passes. We're into the end of end of 2014. ( Just gotten use to writing the year as 14...and its time to move onto 15. Yikes!)

The picture above is for a bit of fun. The regulars ( yes it sounds nice when I say this) to this blog may recognize pet stuff dog. The new addition is Razz and Azz...hand sewn and bought from Bangladesh. And a gift from a friend.

This is the trio as I positioned them before leaving for work this morning. For a big of laugh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chillie and GArlic

 The best Bak Kut Teh (to date that I've tasted ) is found at Taman Batu. And last weekend we managed to eat there after two weekends. Saturday morning BKT has become a ritual. It rained early Saturday morning and we woke up to a rather wet and dreary Saturday. Which is just how I like the weekend to start. There's something amazingly cosy about eating piping hot BKT with the pitter patter of rain around you.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Archbishop Julian Leow

After morning mass at Sj Joseph's Catholic Church, Sentul.
We were blessed to attend mass said by Archbishop Julian at the St Joseph's Catholic Church, Sentul. This is the 3rd time he has said mass in this church and the first time after being ordained a Archbishop.

Click here for more.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

2nd week of Advent

During mass  today, we were reminded that we're into the 2nd week of Advent. As we prepare for the coming of Christ, we're lured into the commercial side of things. Carols pipped into all shopping centers. Big trees with huge presents reminding you perhaps you too should be out there spending money for your loved ones. Also there are mini sales in Metro Jaya, Isetan etc.

We're reminded too that Advent mean the spiritual preparation for Christmas. We have penitential services around the Klang Valley and tomorrow I hope to attend mass followed by confession.

The Big Bad Wolf Sale 2014

Facebook is brilliant. At giving me information. I do not need to read the papers. Thanks to friends who love posting different things, if I scroll through a days'  entry, I'll get the feel of what's been happening. And yes I know the information would be skewed.

The Big Bad Wolf is here. It started On Friday 5th Dec. We went yesterday night after dinner. So did most other people because there was a slow crawl at the exit to Balakong. Waze showed us some dodgy way through back lanes some of them barely wide enough to fit one car but we persevered and were rewarded eventually. The dodgy lanes led us to the MIECC by-passing the traffic buildup. We also parked outside along the road and paid RM10 for the privilege. This saved us at least 30 minutes. Otherwise we would have had to make a u-turn and join the line of cars inching towards the MIECC car park. The weather was kind. Cool and not as humid as it normally is. And more importantly no rain.

I bought slightly over two hundred ringgit worth of books. (Yay!) and Would like to thank LWT for carrying them for me. Also for driving there and back. I've learnt my lesson but getting a smallish box. A big box is nice in theory. Try lugging it about once it's 50% filled with books and you would then realize the big box is difficult to carry. ( That happened to me during the first Big Bad Wolf sale)

We left around midnight. And oh boy, you wouldn't believe the buzz that was still happening inside and outside the building. You would have thought it was just 8pm rather than past midnight.We should be proud that we're a reading society. Here we were, avid-readers hunting down good sales and good books.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The art of henna

This post is about henna drawing. We had this at the Lung cancer conference at Shangrila Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, early this month. For the gala night, the organisers had a henna-drawing booth and as you can see, the ladies did not hesitate at all to get their hands drawn. The first hand is mine. I was bashful, and decided to have it done in this way so that on a normal working day nobody can see this at work. ( I almost always wear long sleeves)

 And this is the one fingered henna pattern. It looks 3D because we were waiting to have it properly dried. The longer you wait, the darker the stain. And the longer it will last. Mine got smeared even before the first speech when I carried the camera and the strap smeared the drawing making it look err..messy.
 This was a more daring pattern. Rather sexy.
Here we are....washing hands in the nearby toilet. Nice cold water....rub some of those henna bits away. And you're good to go.

Longchamp in Bali

In Kuta
 No trip would be complete without looking around for Longchamp bargains abroad. On our third night in Bali, we managed ( at last) to go to Kuta, and we got to walk the streets which appeares very much like Hongkong. Tiny shop fronts with interesting composition of things showcased.

I came across this Lonchamp bag at the window front. Two Longchamp bags displayed like so. As I walked towards our transport to take us back to the hotel, I kept wondering....was it the real thing.
At the airport
The only other place I saw Longchamps being sold was at the airport.  Ngurah Rai Denpasar airport is very new. And it reminded me a little of the Budapest airport. Just look at the delicious colours shown in the shelf above. *swoon* Price was only 40 ringgit cheaper than at KLIA airport.
The entrance to the shop at the airport

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Acca Kappa

My hair brush

This is my second Acca Kappa hair brush. Its in natural beechwood. The first was a gift from a very good friend. It has been died. Because I abused it slightly in the last 12 months. Then I got worried because finding a replacement brush wasn't smooth sailing. The original acca kappa shop at Midvalley closed down. That was depressing. Until I spoke to a friend, and she told me ( yay ) that Isetan at Pavillion sells Acca Kappa.  Incidentally. AK boasts over 140 years experience in hair brushes. Its meant to be functional and stand the test of time. ( I need to really look after my new hair brush then)

There's something about being denied a brush. It makes owning one extra special. My hair is neater now. At least on the days I remember to brush it. Most mornings are a mad rush to get to work on time. And eat breakfast at home first.


I found this post in my draft box. Oh dear oh dear! I've mean meaning to be organize. And blog chronologically. IT's too late. And so here it is, a post on a church in Munich. ( Taken in Sept 2014 during the ERS trip). This was early on in the trip where we got to enjoy summer temperature. Can you see the sun shining on the building? The temperature was roughly around 21 degrees with a nice cool breeze. There wasn't a signboard to say this was a church. Okay maybe there was a sign. In German. Which I must have missed completely.
Here is the side door. I initially thought this was a place show-casing dramas and live performances. Tut! Tut!. What a philistine i sound.
Someone entered and left the door open. So I did was any other curious person would have done. I entered.
And this was what a saw. Rather low ceilings. And people kneeling down praying. It wasn't very spectacular so I left directly after taking this picture. What I later found out was....that this was a chapel. Where there is little doubt what you should be doing when you enter this place.

And above this is the rather more spectacular view. ( Hrummph) I should research before doing the walkabout in a new city. Lessons learnt. These are the lovely pictures you would see when you start googling.

It's only on returning to Kuala Lumpur and browsing the net that I found out more about this church. Firstly it's a historical building. The direct translation is " Citizen's Hall Church". And it was designed by Giovanni Antonio Viscardi in 1709 . So this unique two story church in Munich's city centre It was founded in 1610 by the Jesuit order and the citizens of Munich. There is also a congregation museum which is open daily.And  the entry is free.

Neuhauser Straße 14, 80331 München, Germany

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This week's report

Auditorium at IPR
 Institut Perubatan Respiratori ( infamously shortened to IPR) celebrated COPD day on Wednesday. I was there to give a talk. And I am glad to report the traffic during school holidays is very good. Smooth and light. I made it there in 20 minutes and was on time. The journey back despite the rain was also smooth. KL is lovely minus the traffic
Medical Dept PPUKM
On the same day, the registrars and Mos who have passed their exams celebrated their success with food.Its a sad time to see them leave for greener pastures. A natural progression for them. And we also feel sorry for those who failed and those who have to leave back to KKM because they have been called back. Good luck to all!
A smaller group and I had a separate celebratory meal at the Gardens Midvalley. Itallianies has since sized their place smaller. Less seating but still the same dark romantic lighting. I would recommend the classic pizza and the Carbonara. Yum yum yUUUM!

Everything for a mere 5 ringgit

Book titles to wade through
 Popular has really done it. This is the BEST booksale I have ever been to. Evah! All books are priced at 5 ringgit. Yes even the hard cover books. And I managed to get 27 paperbacks the first haul. No regrets! I had a creaky neck after the visit. From having to turn my head too read the titles. You see, I was quite thorough and left little to chance. I've read 3 of my books so far.
The crowd of books.
And I just saw a post which someone shared on facebook. The big bad wolf sale will start December 6.  It'll be bigger selection for sure. Exciting. Yes I'll be heading there too!

Popular RM5 book sale.
Viva Home Mall
Near Cheras

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nasi Padang

So many bowls
On day 1 in Bali, we were left to our own devices. "Free and easy" that's what we were told. Very nice if you're in a place near town ie Kuta to browse and spend money. ( Yay) Not so nice when you're landed in a secluded area called Nusa Dua. After many whassap messages, we took two taxis and got here. A place near enough to have Nasi Padang.

There was steam rice ( not shown in this picture) and many bowls of precooked dishes to choose from. You get all these sent to your table regardless. You then choose which one you want. And you are only charged the ones you eat from. We were famished by that time, so many bowls were messed with and we paid accordingly.

If you squint hard, you can make out the green "sambal hijau"( Daun Ubi Tumbuk ....). THAT was yummy. The aubergine  sambal dish ( Terong Balado )was another favorite. Someone ate some brains in sambal. (Gulai Otak....ewe!)

I believe Nasi Padang originates from Padang, which lies in West Sumatra Indonesia. From my reading, a restaurant selling Nasi Padang has a typical facade. ( Missed that because it was dark when we arrived).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunday Mass in Bali

The crowd after morning mass
 I attended Sunday mass at the catholic church in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia last Sunday. The name of the church is Gereja Katolik Bunda Segala Bangsa. The morning mass on Sunday in Bahasa Indonesia starts at 0800. And not at 0830am. Most websites gave me a link to a forum which has this time. ( Incorrect!)
Inside the church
 The church is lovely. And guess what? It is air-conditioned. Imagine that. I still can't get use t the idea of a Catholic church being air conditioned. Makes me feel like it's too comfortable and posh.
Interesting how it sounds nicer in Bahasa Indonesia
Let me tell you, the singing by the choir was glorious. Absolutely amazing. And the mass stretched to 1.5 hours as a result of all the singing( which was lovely) and a rather prolonged homily by a visiting priest. ( Whose parish was chosen to animate mass that Sunday). The taxi I took from the hotel chose to stay and wait for me. It cost me rm45 in total. Would have been cheaper for him not to have waited but he did.

Bahasa Indonesia and our local language while at a glance may be similar, are also in many ways very different. the accent and the formation of simple sentences are different enough to make me not understand bits of the homily. The order of the mass is the same anywhere in the world. ( Thankful for that as I've heard mass in Latin, Thai, Vietnamese and German and Tamil and Mandarin and Cantonese)

Monday, November 24, 2014


Krishna is the equivalent of Mydin in Malaysia. A cheap store where you are assured you can afford most things in it. My only gripe, we had ( again) very little time to browse. We were given 45 minutes and i spend a lot of time just browsing and taking pictures leaving the actual shopping to the last 15 minutes. Only to realise, there was a long line to pay.
Empty shop
There was a deja vu feeling when I entered the shop and only at the end did I realise that I had been here before a few years ago. *duh* Felt a bit silly. Such a difference from the last time, which coincided with the Indonesian holiday and what we had was bus loads of locals doing their shopping here as well. It was packed like sardines. And this time I am no exaggerating.

And this time. Almost zero strangers apart from our little bus group of people. It felt weird. He he. I think the shopping spirit wasn't all there.
I did pick up some souvenirs for friends. And a pair of slippers for the little niece. Which cost a mere RM4. ( Woo!!) And I got three t shirts which are locally made with some cute indonesian words on them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Our table
We had dinner organized for us at Jimbaran beach. This is THE place to be when the sun sets. It is apparently beyond this world and worth waiting. But the evening we were there, the clouds were out. The sunset was muted. Not really disappointed. But the organizer was. Dinner was still good. With the obvious boisterous company, it was destined to be good with or without the glorious sunset.  Just a note, chairs tend to sink when you sit on them. And we were all a bit lopsided throughout dinner. Plus it got darker and darker and the atmosphere changed to a darker cosier one,
The many tables on the beach
The tables you see in the picture above, were packed with people by the time we finished dinner. So this really is the place to hang out in Bali. Sadly, we were only too eager to leave this for Kuta and Hard Rock Cafe. Yes I'm shallow that way. But hey hey, shopping is always a good thing. By this evening, my rupiahs were down to a measely RM50. And so any shopping had to be in a "posh" place which accepts credit cards. ( HRC was just such a place)

Balinese Offering

Such lovely colours....found by the road
These are daily devotional gifts seen in most shops in Bali. And here they are in abundant just as we were walking towards Pasar Seniwati.

APSR Bali 2014

At the congress
Last weekend I was in Bali for the 19th Congress of Asia Pacific Society of Respirology 2014. It was held at the Bali Convention Center Nusa Dua, which is a gated area housing in addition to the congress venue, 4 other hotels. We stayed at the Laguna. ( The taxi-man told us the President of Indonesia would also stay at this hotel when he comes to Bali. Fancy that!) The other hotels are The Westin, Melia, and the Hyatt. All within walking distance to the convention centre but let me just tell you Bali is hot hot hot. And even just standing at the hotel foyer ( open concept, no aircon) you will have sweat pouring down your forehead and back and you'll be stickily unhappy within 10 minutes. So no, I wouldn't recommend walking at all.

We did however walk one afternoon. The bus service was non-existent and we didnt want to miss the afternoon lectures. It was a downhill walk and we were in a group so I must confess it wasn't such an ordeal as expected. But I wouldn't do it again anytime soon.

Nusa Dua is a lovely place ...secluded and quite a distance from town ie Kuta and any remotely decent priced shopping areas. As a result of this, I did minimal shopping during this trip.

We did go to Pasar Seniwati. And I got 4 paintings there. ( Which was what I wanted anyway !!) Batik in Bali isn't so nice. Their prints are almost all the same, and the nicer ones are rather expensive rm300++. I think if you're interested in actually shopping for Batik, your best bet is Jakarta. (nod)

Somewhere near Pasar Seni Seniwati

Just look at the selection of paintings. What I wanted was a really really huge painting. But I changed my mind at the very last minute, and settled for a significantly smaller one. Still no regrets. I wouldn't have found a nice to hang it had I bought the huge painting.

Sanggar Kerja Jabatan Perubatan

Cutting the watermelon ( group effort)
We had a department team-building session yesterday ( ie Saturday) in Puri Pujangga Bangi. A whole day event starting at 0800 and ending at 6pm. I had a lovely time. Here is our group at task number two for the morning, fruit sculpting. I think we had a well balanced group. Everyone pitched in and we worked quietly without much fuss. Jobs were designated to each member and nobody was left out.
Ta dah! The finish product
And THIS is our team's production after one hour of work. A terrapin named Michaelangelo. ( That's right from the Ninja turtles) Minus the mask because he is on holiday in beautiful Malaysia. (Ahem)
More news on Bali ( which was last weekend's trip for a conference after this post. I am still recuperating from the trip. Aiyoh!

Sunday, November 09, 2014


Malaysian umbrella in Europe. 

Here we are just before we waited for the bus to bring us to the bottom of the hill...and before the rather steep climb to Neuschwanstein Castle. ( After spending money on umbrellas for each respective European trips...I did the sensible thing this year by packing my own trusty umbrella) As a result of this, we have this picture of the Lung Foundation of Malaysia Umbrella bobbing up and down as I walked towards the bus stop. You can just about make out other tourists...also with umbrellas. Again, a wet day for us and a rather cold one as well.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

St Wolfgang

Look look!
The bus took us to St Wolfgang where we spent some time walking about and taking pictures ( me) and spending money.(me again) It had stopped raining at this stage which was nice. But the roads were still wet and some of them were slippery. I had quite a time walking ( fast ) down some narrow lanes. Had to rush to avoid being left behind by the ferry.

Where is St Wolfgang you may well ask. It's in central Austria. ( Yes we did a fair bit of travelling thanks to the lovely tour which allowed us to see many interesting sights in our limited time). St Wolfgang was part of the tour package. The "Sound of Music" tour would have been nice. But there really wasn't enough time.

*interesting to note, the spelling "Doktor" is similar to the Malay spelling

Salzburg ( After ERS 2014)

Mozart's Birthplace
As you can see, it was a wet morning in Salzburg when we arrived. The guide told us en route that we had limited time here and promptly passed us a map. And so we left the group directly upon arrival and raced right here to Getredegasse 9 5020 Salzburg.  Here you see, the famous yellow building where Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart was born on January 27 ( 7 days after my birthday btw) 1756. The Mozart family lived on the 3rd floor and the tour includes a walk through the original rooms used by the family. ( So exciting!) And there was also an exhibition inside of Mozart's baby violin ( swoon), his harpsichord and other instruments which I am not sure what their names are. But they look like baby grand pianos.

Interestingly I got to know that the face of Mozart is not what we are familiar with on the merchandise sold ie chocolates, T-shirts , music books etc. In truth from the letters written by his sister Nannerl, he was in fact a plain looking boy and as a grown man not handsome and standing roughly 5 feet nothing.

I can't give much of a description of Salzburg cos we had a whirlwind visit. But I will say this, it was so exciting walking down the streets and imagining Mozart doing the same.

Mozart's residence ( ticket office)
By 1773, Mozart's family decided to move to bigger quarters. And after some negotiation, they moved to this place and here they held mini concerts for guests. Interesting to note, that Nannerl herself was an accomplished musician. She and her brother would often perform together. I wonder what it must have been like to be overshadowed by her brother. I'm guessing women in that era were used to staying in the background.
The restoration progress

Miniature replica
We weren't allowed to take picture inside, but you can see the house and its set-up from this replica. I had an absolutely lovely time here, browsing and listening to the audio guide. Truly an experience I won't forget.

My purchase from Salzburg
Here is the English translation of a book written by Mozart's father, Leopold who was the person responsible for teaching little Mozart the violin. A lucky find in the gift shop. here I am just about to read the book as the bus whirls its way back to Munich. Euro 29.70!