Saturday, 29 January 2011

Loh Sang

We had a surprise last week from one of our partners, who brought in  the yee sang dish for our team to do loh sang, which is the act of mixing together the yee sang. Yee sang is basically like a salad dish with different ingredients such as raw fish, shredded veggies, jellyfish and in Malaysia they added crunchy keropok and mix it all together with plum sauce. The dish is suppose to bring greater abundance, so when we mix it together we are suppose to make a wish or wishes on the year to come. Most of us wished for bonus!

The Yee Sangdish set up

Consists of ginger, jellyfish, salmon, keropok, pomelo, coriander, sesame seed

Chef adding plum sauce to the yee sang before we do loh sang

Everyone in position with chopsticks in hand ready to loh sang the yee sang

The dish is mixed up

The aftermath

Monday, 17 January 2011


As I was getting ready to meet a couple of friends at KLCC after Maghrib to relax, I got a distressed call from Hubby who said that our house was broken in. Immediate thing that he noticed missing was his beloved PSP. A colleague of mine was kind enough to send me back that evening, which was raining cats and dogs by the way. Upon reaching home around 8++pm, my frontdoor neighbour was keeping an eye on my house and hubby and friend went to report the incident to the police. 

My neighbour said that when he came back around 6pm, my front grill was fine and he went in his house as ususal. Not until hubby knocked his door around 7.30pm and told him our house was broken into did he found out about it. It turns out the robber used a wrench to break my padlock and used a masterkey to open my door. He proceeded to my masterbedroom and took the PSP which was by the bedside and continued to ransacked my dressing table and found the jewellery box and additional 3 Coke bottles  full of  syillings (but left behind the ones filled with 1 cents!). Next he went to my spare bedroom and overturned the clothes rack but fortunately didn't touch my cabinet (I hate folding clothes). After founding nothing, he went to the gameroom and took hubby's Levi's jeans (which we only realized missing on Monday), a document bag containing hubby's birth cert, car grant/title, house pruchase agreement. Then he went into the living room and to my book cabinet and took three ornament boxes containg my brooches and nail clippesr!  Lucky he mislooked into one of the smaller ornament boxes as another of my gold bracelet and diamond earrings was in there. Also, on the coffeetable was my external hardisk, MP3 player and spare keys for both cars (which we found missing on Sunday).

The police arrived around 11pm, and there was one Investigating Officer and one CSI officer. They took photos of the ransacked rooms and dusted the jewellery box for fingerprints but couldn't find anything as there were overlapping fingerprints. But the robber did left behind a wrench and the CSI officer took that as well. I am sceptical that the police would find anything. We suspected that it was the work of youngsters, probably worked in pair and might be an inside job!

The robber ranscaked the masterbedroom and found my jewellery boxed stashed in the dressing table. There were 2 gold bracelets and one pair of gold earrings. One of the bracelet was for my engagement, and the earrings was given by a friend. He didn't took the other golden brcelet which was set with emerald stones, probbaly because it wasn't shiny and maybe he thought that it was costume jewellery. Actually, it was my late grandmother's and it has sentimental value. At least that family heirloom was saved based on sheer luck!     

The jewellery box that was dusted for fingerprints ala CSI by Setapak Police Investigating Officer 

My spare bedroom was ransacked too and the clothes rack was overturned but he didn't find anything valuable

Hubby was paranoid and next day called for somebody to fix the existing lock and put another two locks inside the grill. One can never be too careful I suppose. What if the robber comes back to my house or someone else's unit, especially when they find its easy to break into the house?

Hubby's on vigilante mode and is rounding the apartment area around 5pm just to see if there is anybody's suspicious lurking around. And he's been sleeping on the couch with the TV on, just to be on the safe side. When someting like this happened, it makes us feel that the place I lived in is not so safe anymore and the threat of that thing happening again is looming around my head. The apartment committee is also on alert and somehow blamed it on the lax control of the guards. There is no recording system for people going in/out the apartment, the gate is not closed and cars and people can freely get in/out with ease.

Somehow I coped with the stress with TV and cooking...hubby's doing all the worrying and thinking how to safeguard our house. Hope nothing like this happens again...

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Traipsing around Thailand

In front of Ayuthayya, the ancient city

The Background
I was in Bangkok a few moths ago for a 4 days working trip. Then I'd extended another 3 days to traipse around Bangkok. I'd been to Bangkok in 2007, but only briefly as I had to go to Pattaya for work. Last time I was in Bangkok, I'd only spent a few hours where I saw the traffic jams and went shopping at MBK.

The Situation

Only on our last day in Bangkok, and on the way to the airport ,that we heard about the red shirt's demonstration in Victoria Monument. Other than that, it was business as usual in Bangkok.

The Plan
So when I was given the chance to go to Bangkok, I'd included some must see sights. The trip was quite interesting because I was joined by my mum and aunty, which I'd not had the chance to travel with both of them before. I like the company because I'm not the type of traveler who can wander on their own to unknown places, especially being a woman and concerned of my safety when travelling. So I'd happily settled into the role of travel planner, researching on places to visit.  Since we're not really interested to see the Buddhist temple or Wat, I'd narrowed down the choices to more historical places such as the Death Railway in Kancahanaburi, Ayutthaya, and for culture experience - the Siam Niramit show and floating market.

Budhha head in a tree at Ayuthayya
We'd decided to travel one whole day to cover the sites. I'd rented a driver & car (standard issue: Toyota Vios) for the day (8am-8pm) for Baht1700, and had to fill in full tank of petrol which was about Baht1130.

The Destination 
We headed down West of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, which took about two and a half hours to reach. We visited the War Cemetery which was just by the side of the road. There were more than 6000 POW that perished during the Thailand-Burma Death Railway project.
Entrance to Kachanaburi War Memorial

"Happy memories, Ray Dear. Au revoir. Till we meet again. Mamma, Dad, Ken & Elsie"

In front of the Death Railway Museum & Research Centre, a good source of info for this history. Though I think they could've included more information on Malaya, as the train that carried the POW from Singapore to Thailand went thru Malaya. Even the number of civillians from Malaya who were taken as slaves (75,000 pax) and those who perished (42,000 pax) during the railway project was not mentioned extensively, which I think should be given more credit to it. Everybody suffered during the was and I'm sure that the Malaya people suffered as much as other nationalities. After we saw the memorial we went over to see the Bridge over River Kwae, more stories and pics by kerabu jantung .

The commercial floating market in Ayuthayya

Awesome temple of dragon, shown by our driver. Can't remember the exact location of the temple but this was from Kachanaburi going towards Ayuthayya 

The Conclusion
The day ended with us watching the Siam Niramit show. The show is a must see for first timers in Bangkok. The staging and storytelling is engaging.

Highlight of the trip 
1. eating noodle soup at a Muslim stall in Kachanaburi. Made me feel like I was part of the community , enjoying a typical Thailand street cuisine. 
2. Went for massage which cost 400 baht for two hours in a dingy back alley of Bangkok. Heavenly! In  KL a one hour Thai massage would cost about RM40 (Arokaya House at The Mall).
3. Experiencing the BTS system. More extensive than our LRT system and conveniently located throughout the city. I stayed at Asia Hotel Bangkok and the BTS was connected to the hotel. Talk about convenient!

4. Going to Chatuchak market, though it was very hot. Advisable to go at night as they open to wee hours of the morning.

5. Discovering the Arab street in Bangkok and arguably the best briyani and lamb chop in Bangkok.  
6. Watching the Siam Niramit show.

I wish I had...
1. Visit the original floating market Damnoen Saduak, situated in Ratchaburi, on the way to Kachanaburi. We  only managed to see a commercialised floating market for tourists in Ayuthayya. Oh well...I was influenced by second hand info about the actual floating market was not really that much to look at, plus it is smelly. Next time I must see it for myself and not just depend on second hand info. Seeing is believing as people say.
2. Purchasing the cute charm bracelet with dangling, multi-coloured semi precious stones in silver setting that was sold at the gold market in Kachanaburi. It turns out that the price was much cheaper than Bangkok, and they have a wide variety of precious and semi precious stones set in silver or gold. 

The End

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year, New Direction

A colleague said something to me during dinner tonight. Said I can easily crossover from government sector to the corporate world/private sector. That was a boost of morale for me. Maybe I am overtly cautious of making the jump since I am comfortable and secured when I landed the government job 8 years ago. Its quite scary to think how I would fare in the "outside" world. Could I make it working for a corporate company? Would I be able to compete with others? Those are the burning questions at the back of my mind that I needed concrete answers before I make a life-changing decision that could break or make my life.

Turns out there is more than just worrying how I would survive in the private sector. There are the matter of personal motivations such as making more money, loving the job and doing a good job, overall satisfaction of handling projects and acquiring new sets of skills. Plus, it'd be good to try other type of working environment that the government one. Working in the current organization gave me a good feel of corporate environment, enfused with government regulations. The work is more systematic and clear cut. I think maybe I used up more brain cells in the new job as I am out of the comfort zone as I have to be more creative, assertive and innovative. Good learning experience too.

So what shall it be?? Dare I move my coffee mug, as a motivator once told me to be bold to make the push. We'll see with the new year, there might be a new direction. Stay tuned!

By the way, Happy New Year 2011.