Tuesday, February 25, 2014


LUSH Soaps - P7010034, originally uploaded by yuankuei.

I've bought for others but never tried it myself. I have three lodged in between my clothes in my cupboard. And my clothes smell divine as a result.

( Did you know fabric softener can leave flakes in your wash after many washes? A good reason to stay way from it)

Coffee Stain

Coffee Stain, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
I found this place by googling " coffee place , publika". Its a level above British India you need to take the escalator just beside it and cross the road. You can see the shop when you reach the top of the escalator.

Its a nice place. Quiet. But I suspect I was there at an odd time. The service was good. Of course, the important thing is: the coffee. It was good. I had the latte. Which was ( to me at least) full bodied and tasted rich and nice. It was served in a cute yellow glass. The shop is a corner lot so you also ( should you choose) get to see a crowd opposite eating mamak food and gossiping. The price was Rm9+ for one coffee which I thought was decent. I'll be back!

Here's the address:
Coffee Stain by Joseph is located at:
D4-G3-01, Publika, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 40580 Kuala Lumpur
+603 6211 2022

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lesley Lokko: Little white lies

Taken from the official website.
What a lucky find at TIME bookstore Plaza Damas. It was a regular haunt until I got hooked on cantonese fried kuey teow at Publika. There is only MPH at Publika and I've been buying my Hello Mags as well as chic lit books there. So here is my new book, am currently reading 4 books at the one time. One of which I've shelved on top of my bed and it's likely to remain there until I get really bored. The other two are strictly chic lit by the same author. Here's a lesson: never read two books by the same author  in the one go. It's like eating moo cow for two weeks straight, you tend to get bored and yearn for something different. ( This is how I came about buying the book above...oh what a find indeed)

Has anyone read of her books so far?

Delectables at the Gardens

Delectables at the Gardens, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Did you know they have more seating now? and the shop has changed its layout. You can't enter and browse any more. It's taken up by a counter and shelf. Let's hope the prices do not escalate like everything else. I feel the pinch!

Interesting decor

Interesting decor, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

We went furniture hunting on Sunday evening. Being indoors out of the heat was nice. But the change in temperature gave me a headache and my aching foot ( with a suggestion of a corn) made be grumpy towards the end of the day)

We went into this shop called Kare ( I think its spelt like so) and this place is HUGE spanning one end of the gardens to the opposite end. I saw this hanging ornament with a cute little stuff puppy inside. Isn't it lovely?

Monday Cake

Cake, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

We ploughed through clinic after having had less than 5 hours sleep. I ambitiously hoped that coffee double strength in the morning would perk me up. It failed. Lesson learnt. Do not exert self on a Sunday evening. Yes we've gone through this lesson before but the body stubbornly refuses to acknowledge this fact.

We had some food ( pizza yay) and cake after clinic so that would a welcome break from the usual hypoglycemia which starts kicking in around 4pm. A good Monday I believe. And this evening...I will attempt to sleep by ten pm.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


186/365 - Panadol, originally uploaded by T Gibbison.

I think I'm sick ( again) Which would make the record ONCE per month for 2014. I've popped two panadols into the body. Again! Showing the desperation to get well as quickly as possible. i.e. by tomorrow morning the latest.

I wonder what's the bug. And where did I get it from? I was okay right until I left from lunch en route back home. Perhaps a heat stroke. It certainly felt like I was being sizzled in a pan when I got out of the car to tell the rest I was lost. ( How embarrassing as I volunteered to lead the rest out of the housing area to the main road to head back to town)

Please wish me a speedy recovery!!

A HUGE plate of yee sang

A HUGE plate of yee sang, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Finally after two years of traveling together through bible class, our group met up for lunch. And it was lovely. Home made Yee Sang was the starter. And you can see from the size of the plate, we had a LOT of Yee Sang. Even the sauce was home made.

We then had Pad Thai noodles ( home made again) with prawn curry ( yes yes home made) and some chicken and roast pork and some deadly chillie sauce.

I was stuffed. So I skipped the pastry bit. I also skipped dinner. My tummy is still digesting.

Again, I must comment of the horribly warm weather we seem to be experiencing currently.

We left around 5pm-ish. And the drive back took hardly 30 minutes but it was enough to sap my energy. The evening sun was out with a vengeance and despite the V-kool it felt like it was shinning directly on me.

And so here I am in bed with my laptop trying very hard to cool down. I still refuse to switch the air condition on. Cooler air yes but my nose tends to leak after a bit .

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ikea stool in new condo

Ikea stool in new condo, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
We have a new condo and it is so new the only place to sit on Sunday when we visited was this Ikea still which I had the foresight to lug along. So we had to take turns sitting down. See...how we take furniture for granted:)

The stool came all the way from Melbourne. ( It was a cousin's and I lugged it back way before ikea came to Malaysia)

Petite Anglaise

Petite Anglaise, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
For those of you who have been reading my blog, you would remember that the author of this book sent ME a signed copy. Yes yes!! All this from me dropping her a line on her blog saying how I found out about her book and what a wonderful story it is.

Catherine Sanderson thank you for such a sweet gesture. I hope you are well and enjoying Tadpole:)

G16 and I

G16 and I, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
It's Friday evening. And I've finally downloaded my pictures from the G16 taken from last weekend.

This is the vietnamese noodles at the curve. It was a lovely hot day and I enjoyed the heat and the sun as I ate this sitting outdoors. I'm still enjoying the G16 with its clear zoom and its ability to blur the background. ( I'm sure there's a technical term for this)

I had a good week. And I'm looking forward to the weekend for a spot of rest and socializing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

TB morning

Taken from encore editions

If you didnt already know this, let me tell you now that TB isn't likely to go away from our country. Far from it, the number of cases are rising and I strongly suspect many more are missed as a result of a high turnover of people being shuttled from one place to the other in terms of deportation.

We had a TB mortality meeting this morning. 13 cases discussed. What is worrying is the cases missed during contact tracing and the "hotspot" areas identified where many cases come from. All within a short distance from our hospital. Human nature and lack of understanding of the gravity of the disease  are two main reasons why people default either the medication or the clinic visits. It is also not fashionable to have Tb unlike "cholesterol" or "heart problem" which are great dinner conversation topics. Nobody talks about Tb because the public 's perception is very negative.Or they remain indifferent to the many serious repercussions of defaulting treatment.

This laissez-faire attitude requires a lot of work and time to change. We haven't the resources to do this. So it feels like an uphill battle against TB.

So if you're someone who knows someone who has TB or who may have Tb, please take a little time to explain the seriousness of the disease. And explain the importance of drug compliance.

Thank you

Friday, February 14, 2014


Gnight, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Good night. I have some work to do, but I'm celebrating my new haircut with an early night with NO work done this evening. My way of ushering the end of the CNY celebration. I am allowed this surely.

Currently reading three different books concurrently and doing quite well with the pace and I can remember who is who most of the time.

Bananas at Starbucks

Bananas at Starbucks, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Let me ask you this, when you're having coffee, have you ever had an urge to eat a banana?

It is odd to sell them at Starbucks. V odd. I was going to check the price...but got distracted with getting my change back from the cashier. Dang! Another time then

CNY decoration on Chap Goh Mei

Bye bye for another year. Today is the last day of Chinese New Year. After this, no more red lanterns, dragon dance, yee sang, any paus and Lokams. Boohoohoo. So I took this picture before all decorations are removed and kept

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What a day

Today is worth mentioning only because my patience was tried in clinic. It is not unusual to get some patients who are difficult, but when you get four in a row, it makes you want to sit down somewhere and weep. A better day tomorrow hopefully.

Interesting dish

IMG_3424, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

We had this for my grand auntie's 96th birthday. Egg and crab roll with pastry and some cold salad.

Anybody know what this dish is called?

Yee Sang 鱼生;

Yee Sang, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
This year's supply of Yee Sang was very good. Just the right taste for the sauce. We only had it three times in total. Moderation is the key. And no we didn't toss it very high. "Dun mess the table" was the order from mum. So perhaps our luck won't be as great as others. But I'm okay with that thought.

Yee Sang is a salad with crunchy bits...and raw fish. ( We opted out of the raw fish deciding to have a safe meal instead) It is a Teochew ( one of the many dialect groups...them of the teochew porridge fame) salad.

Apparently the correct way to do it, is to say a few words when put out the various condiments in the dish. I've had such a experience some years back.

(Taken lock stock and barrel from Wikipedia)

When putting the yu sheng on the table offers New Year greetings.
恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Cai) meaning “Congratulations for your wealth” 万事如意 (Wan Shi Ru Yi) meaning “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
The fish is added, symbolising abundance and excess through the year. 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) meaning “Abundance through the year”, as the word "fish" in Mandarin also sounds like "Abundance".
The pomelo or lime is added to the fish, adding luck and auspicious value. 大吉大利 Da Ji Da Li meaning “Good luck and smooth sailing”
Pepper is then dashed over in the hope of attracting more money and valuables. 招财进宝 Zhao Cai Jin Bao meaning “Attract wealth and treasures”
Then oil is poured out, circling the ingredients and encouraging money to flow in from all directions. 一本万利 Yi Ben Wan Li meaning “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital” 财源广进 Cai Yuan Guang Jin meaning “Numerous sources of wealth”
Carrots are added indicating blessings of good luck. 鸿运当头 Hong Yun Dang Tou meaning “Good luck is approaching”. Carrot (红萝卜) is used as the first character 鸿 also sound like the Chinese character for red.
Then the shredded green radish is placed symbolising eternal youth. 青春常驻 Qing Chun Chang Zhu meaning “Forever young”. Green radish is used as the first character 青 also sound like the Chinese character for green.
After which the shredded white radish is added - prosperity in business and promotion at work. 风生水起 Feng Sheng Shui Qi meaning “Progress at a fast pace” 步步高升 Bu Bu Gao Sheng meaning “Reaching higher level with each step”
The condiments are finally added.
First, peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolizing a household filled with gold and silver. 金银满屋 Jin Yin Man Wu meaning “Household filled with gold and silver”
Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business. 生意兴隆 Sheng Yi Xing Long meaning “Prosperity for the business”
Yu Sheng sauce, usually plum sauce, is generously drizzled over everything. 甜甜蜜蜜 Tian Tian Mi Mi Meaning “May life always be sweet”[16]
Deep-fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows is then added with wishes that literally the whole floor would be filled with gold. 满地黄金 Man Di Huang Jin meaning “Floor full of gold”

Musical notes

Musical notes, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Imagine doing this jigsaw puzzle...with no picture as a guide....and you have a box of pieces with teeny weeny half notes for you to piece together. What this leads to is a bit of headache. You really need good lighting for this. The reflection bounces off the pieces and this made it hard for us to see the actual picture. Best to do it during the morning with natural sunlight.

ang pau

ang pau, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Tomorrow is Chap Goh Mei. ( which is hokkien for 15th night...see and you thought my hokkien was nonexistent ) And so ends the chinese new year. Everything seems rather fast in 2014. Doesn't help that Chinese New Year is celebrated in January rather than the usual date in Feb like most other years.

Added to that, the workload has been steadily increasing, together with the number of meetings to attend at various different venues. And they say government servants don't earn their keep. I beg to differ. We do occasionally work hard ....in spurts...and we also do have periods of relative quiet-ness.

Happy pre Chap Goh mei ( Just in case I'm too busy to post tomorrow)

Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Carole Matthews writes romantic comedy. I'm now keen on her books. When do you know you like an author or rather her style? You read....and you just want to continue reading. And when you pace yourself ( with some self control) and make the book last more than a week, it can still hold your interest. Matthews does that for me.

Her start to the writing world reads like a fairy tale. She wins an essay contest, spends her prize money on a writing course, gets recognized by a course teacher and gets offered a deal.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Interesting jeans

Interesting jeans, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? Where after years or wearing is soft around the waist. And has fade to an interesting shade which goes with most of your tops.

Jeans where...when worn someone would surely comment you look nice in them.

not sure whether i would wear these jeans above...

Leisure Mall, Cheras

Leisure Mall, Cheras, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
My second visit here. the first was nearly 10 years ago. Gosh I sound like a right old lady just now. But time passes and we apparently some places get better. leisure mall is just such a place. I was there two days ago and had a nice time walking pass the shops and also admiring the chinese new year decorations.

Plot of grass

Royal Regent, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

Imagine living in a condominium and having a (very) small piece of garden all to yourself. I walked about here and imagined having a mini barbecue with friends while enjoying the breeze from the evening wind and admire the KL skyline.

This comes at an additional price.
I will have to look for a gardener to "mow" the lawn.
Barbecues aren't really my thing. Too much smoke and too much work.

hehe so thanfully I don't actually own this. Just had a browse last Sunday,


powerbank, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

When I first got it ( as gift) I left it at home. Pompously didn't think this would be helpful. After all, with the many charger wires and plus around work, surely I would be able to plug it into either a computer or a socket.

Haha, I was wrong. I can't leave home with the power bank these days. The iPhone ( bless it ) is slghty older than the samsung and has started to show its age by becoming a tad slower to switch screens and when it dies...there is rarely any time after the " 20% battery left" pop-up

Power banks are like an external battery. It's efficiency is around 80%.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

A room with a view

A room with a view, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Colmar Tropicale isn't in the news much these days. It's by the company Berjaya and you get there by taking the Karak Highway and I believe the turn off is to your right sometime after the Genting Tunnel. I've been there twice. the first was with a group of friends. A well deserved break from a busy nephrology posting in GHKL. We had a lovely time doing stupid things and swimming. The second was work related, we had a writing workshop on a clinical pathway. Thank goodness that has been published and gotten out of the way.

Colmar isn't as cold as Genting. But then Genting isn't as cold as some years back. Global warming I am sure.The buildings at Colmar are nice and french looking and the cobblestone walk is nice. Good for pictures.

Keropok Lekor

Keropok Lekor, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
Last night, while browsing through my iPhoto albums on the iMac, I found some lovely old pictures. Some of which I've uploaded on Facebook already. ( Slow connection it took a while...unifi what is wrong with you this week?)

This was taken at Wau Penyu. One of the first eateries to be opened at Publika. And back then, we would refer to Publika as that place where Wau Penyu is.

How times have changed. Publika is now firmly known. Wau Penyu has since closed down. This is their version of keropok lekor which I something I like eating a whole lot of. ( Bad for the arteries, and most other organs in the body I'm sure)

Wau Penyu was a very happening place then. I remember seeing their buffet fare during buka puasa and the there were many people.

More recently when we wanted to have Dim sum at Publika....we also found another eatery which has closed down; Imperial Pot. Bad Feng shui maybe because the reviews weren't half bad. But when we were looking for it, it was tucked in a corner quite a distance from all other busy shops

jigsaw mania

jigsaw mania, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.
PN gave me this for my birthday together with another box of jigsaw. The first was interesting. NO picture shown but there's a leaflet to read through and then you attempt to fix the puzzle based on the story Once the jigsaw is all joined, you're meant to solve the whodunnit.

I didn't bother solving the mystery.( Puzzle was 100% and was busy admiring it) After finishing this puzzle, I realize it has made me better at doing puzzles. I now take some time to appreciate the etchings on the jigsaw piece and can complete little parts without looking at the picture. This was proven in our subsequent puzzle the day when this was completed.

John Spilsbury is credited for making this popular way back in 1870. Of course these days the puzzles have evolved....but my little complaint in the sorry selection we have in kl:(

Friday, February 07, 2014

Sunny days ahead

Sunny morning, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

The rainy days are finally over. With the sun, we also have the haze courtesy of some fire across the border. So perhaps I'll stick to the plan of swimming to lose weight in 2014. Of course, this means buying some new goggles ( powered of course), some flippers ( just to test out how fast I can go should I ever evolve into a mermaid) and a new swimming costume. The jogging shoes will be pushed back in the cupboard until my knees repair itself. I'm targeting mid 2014, because I do like running actually when I think properly. 

It's February already!!! And work is slowly starting to come in, in pairs and trios with similar deadlines and also the unexpected meetings which I dread because I contribute little and fear being asked to resolve issues beyond my miniscule power. Some days are terrible, where everything goes wrong, starting with  you feeling in a black mood for no particular reason. But TODAY, was a brilliant Friday. We should all take mini breaks. My CNY break has made me more patient, more tolerant of silly people and silly slow cars on the road. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Gong Xi Fa Cai

chinese new year cupcakes, originally uploaded by andreaban2009.

It was cool weather-wise and in the evenings the temperature was lovely. This made the CNY break even more enjoyable. I'm not a fan of warm weather. Makes you sticky and bad tempered and dare I add sleepy. Except for one afternoon when I napped shamelessly directly after lunch ( and acquired a tummy which is still very much THERE) I 'm pleased to inform...I was productive and awake the other afternoons.

I wore a bright red ( the chinese red) dress for Sunday Mass. Bought at topshop...in the dressing room the length looked deceivingly ok. In actual fact I looked a bit like the Duchess of Cambridge ( AKA Kate Middleton) in her peter-pan collared black dress which she teamed with dark stockings only because it was very short.