Note: A late post... Not related to SK's current hospitalization :S
SK had been coughing and coughing and coughing and wheezing for a week plus without respite. Since the GP couldn't do anything for her, the next logical step would be to visit the specialist. The diagnosis-- bronchitis. According to the doctor, with her breathlessness and if she was any older, she would most probably had collapsed way earlier. They hooked her up on oxygen and steroids. And yeah, she was immediately warded. After I came back from the office, I took a cab to Taman Desa Medical Center. Waltzed in with a packet of vegetarian tomyum noodles as she was not thrilled with the hospital food. The staff were extra nice. Fake smiles all over the place. Felt a bit weird. Must be some new management directive. And I guess they can afford to be nice when there was only eighteen patients at that time. Hardly over-worked. Took her car and went back to her apartment to pack up some clothes for her short stay. I picked up mum and we went to dinner at Restoran Hong Cha. In addition to the pork noodles, we had soft-shelled crab maki as it was on promotion. Was quite good coming from a pork noodle place! Ta-pau-ed one and went to visit SK. Her blood oxygen levels were up and there were good chances that she would be discharged the next day. Yay!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Note: A late post... Not related to SK's current hospitalization :S
Monday, February 27, 2012
Note: A little story perfect for this Lenten season
At the AHP Building Maybank branch:
A Malay woman was using the only cheque deposit machine in service. She had a stack in her hand and was busy sorting out the next cheque to feed into the machine. A Chinese woman suddenly burst into the branch and said in the bitchiest tone she could muster:
"PLEASE don't hog the machine!"
The Malay woman rolled her eyes. Turned to face her with a fake smile and let her use the machine.
"OFFLINE?! How come offline?!"
Patiently, the Malay woman guided her which button to press. Apparently the Chinese woman did not know how to operate it. The Malay woman continued to patiently help her key in the required fields. Not feeling so high and mighty anymore, she meekly replied:
"Thanks a lot... You can use the machine now."
She swallowed her pride and rushed out. It is amazing what a little kindness can do. Bravo to the Malay woman.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
In case you don't know, our beloved central bank recently introduced rules to further tighten credit card spending. According to the new guidelines, people with an income of 36k per annum or lower can only own two credit cards and the credit limit should not be higher than twice the monthly income. Late last year, Citibank had already sent me an official letter highlighting the issue and asked me to submit my latest EA form. HSBC on the other hand decided to ask their Tele-sales team to give me a frantic phone call the other day. In broken English, the fellow asked me point blank what my salary was (like I was going to entertain an unverified phone call). I was like, "Don't I need to supply supporting documents?!", to which he said I needed to submit three months of my payslip and my EPF statement for 2011. Wow. One would think that I was applying for a 500k housing loan. I asked how why I needed to submit so many documents and he just answered that it was a ruling. Yeah, like Citibank doesn't comply to the same ruling. Anyway, I did not want to argue with the grunt and continued to ask about the procedure for the update. He gave me two things, a fax number and an individual HSBC e-mail account. Goodness. So dodgy. Never mind. I called the HSBC customer service and they put me through to the department responsible for this income update exercise. Turns out that Tele-sales is the correct department and the e-mail that I was given was also genuine. Goodness. But just the EPF statement would suffice. One would think that HSBC would do things in a more professional manner. They should have done it earlier and not rush their customers. Other banks had been doing it in 2011, so why is HSBC lagging behind? If I did not want to retain my HSBC card, I wouldn't have bothered. But oh well...
Thursday, February 23, 2012
KH: Mum, I'm going downstairs to swim.
MIL: With William ah? SK did not come?
KH: Yeah mum, with William only.
MIL: Behave yourself.
Goodness! My MIL thinks I'm a skank! We are always prim and proper in public! Some horsing around in the pool never hurt anyone! :P. Hehe. Just some playful gropes. And the new N2N Bodhi Blue Zen swim trunks that KH bought me were absolutely divine. I'm sold on the idea of elastic-less swim trunks. Felt like I was skinny dipping and the trunks were loose and there was more space to 'grow'. Hehe. Felt kind of insecure though since only the drawstring was holding everything up. But makes for one hell of a sexy experience. Needless to say, that swim session left me with another serious case of blue balls. :'(.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Do you have a PTPTN loan? Have you tried to call their hotline (hot translates to temper here)? Have you been to their customer service center at Wisma Chase Perdana? If you have you would probably be familiar with their level of service. Recently, they opened a PTPTN One-Stop Center at KL Sentral. SK wanted to settle her loan so I went there on her behalf to try to get a release letter. I took a number and waited. There were only six customers in front of me and there was four counters open. You know what? Half an hour passed before I was serviced. Not surprising at all looking at how they work.
- Retrieve the next queue number
- Service the customer
- Spend ten minutes after the customer left doing back office tasks like stamping, photocopying and God knows what
- Sit back down at the counter and idle for five minutes
- Retrieve the next queue number
I was like... why the heck are the front office people slowing down the whole process by performing back office tasks?! Isn't the point to just collect all the relevant documents and set them aside for further processing later? It's baffling. No efficiency at all. And I saw another guy who came out from the back and yelled a name. After realizing that she had left (no doubt after being left hanging for some time), he just sat down at one of the counters and put his hand behind his head. Lepak duluuuuuuuuuuuuu... But not all the service staff were like that. The young woman who attended to me was the most productive of all. Her productivity was three times that of her colleagues. But by all means go there. Not too crowded. Give it a try. :).
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Before sending KH home, we stopped by at the nearby Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia to see what the hype was about. The branch at Kuchai Lama was just two shop lots with limited products. They sold both the KR1M brand and the other more reputable brands. Believe it or not, I actually bought at bottle of KR1M bath gel to refill my hand wash bottles. At just MYR4.90 a litre, I wasn't too worried about the quality. Looked through the whole shop and did not find any KR1M condoms or sanitary pads. Diapers got la. :P. Thank goodness didn't see their canned curry chicken and milk powder on the shelves. Hehe. After that short Barisan Nasional shopping excursion, I kissed KH goodnight and sent him home...
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Mum: Nanas ni berapa harga?
Makcik: Nanas madu tu. Tiga biji sepuluh ringgit.
Mum: Kalau sebiji?
Makcik: Tiga ringgit.
Goodness. I nearly laughed out loud. Oh well. According to Gratitude, he normally buys them for $2.00+. Along the way we also stopped by to buy some vegetables. Super fresh. Just pushed out from the farm using wheelbarrows. In the evening, we yum cha-ed at K3K Benta Kaya with KH. Tried to spend as much time as possible with KH...
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
True to tradition (my family's recent tradition at least :P), on the first day of Chinese New Year we would dress up for church and before going out, red packets would be exchanged. Same like last year, mum gave a red packet and wished me smooth-sailing in my career. There was no mention of finding a girlfriend like what my brother got. Actually, this was the same as last year, just that I thought it slipped her mind. This kind of confirms that she has 'given up' on me in this respect. At about 9:00am, we headed to church for the bilingual mass. Although mass was at 10:30am, many people were already there to get a good seat inside. Red was found at every corner of the church. A red arch was erected at the entrance, flanked by many red lanterns. A giant couplet was hung beside the crucifix, and the manger was replaced by teak furniture, plum blossom trees and a big backdrop of the holy family. The altar was also decked in red with a marble urn for joss sticks. Like past years, there was an ancestral commemoration ceremony and red packets and mandarin oranges were given out to parishioners. At the end, many people rushed to the front to watch the lion dance. I stayed clear of the crowds and just stayed inside to camwhore and clean up. Out of the blue, someone shouted over the PA system:
"Can the owner of XXX1234 please remove your scrap metal car from being an obstruction to traffic!!!!"
Just after mass and whatever God's love he experienced during the eucharist was just thrown down the crapper. Why be such a bastard on the first day of the Chinese New Year? So cute. After that, we went off to Tropicana City Mall for lunch and movie. Not many outlets were open, so we chose to eat at Nando's. And would you believe my luck that KH was also there for a movie! I watched "I Love Hong Kong 2012", while KH watched "The Great Magician" with his mum. Before the movie started, we met briefly and while walking upstairs to the cinema, I bumped into his mum. She was quite startled to see me. My mum on the other hand was sitting at the massage chairs not far from GSC. Not long after rejoining the group, my eyes nearly popped out when I saw KH walking towards my mother!!! My mum spotted him and he actually came over to greet her. From the exchange I saw, it did not seem like she recognized him. Phew! I practically stared daggers into KH's back! Though he denies it (he claims that he did not do see us there), I still think he did it on purpose. Blek.
I give the movie three out of five stars. So-so la. Lots of gay themes inside, but I really hated the Kazaky bodyguards. Great to see Theresa Mo again after all these years, but I was freaked out to see her doing a Beyonce skit. Went home to rest for a while before venturing out to The Pavillion to meet my Singaporean cousins for dinner. Ichiban Boshi was open, so we ate there. All their migrant staff were out in full force to handle the holiday crowd. It wasn't pretty and the food was really mediocre. Met my five year old nephew Sean for the first time. At first he was a bit cranky (he rejected the restaurant's sub-standard soba!), but he warmed up after a while. Rumoured to have four hundred toy cars in his collection. Amazing. My underwear collection doesn't even come close! Continued to chat at Illy Espressamente over a muggaccino and at the same time, I had to entertain the kid. Was quite surprised to learn that my cousins came all the way to sleep in their hotel room and roam the streets looking for jagung bakar and Ramly burger. :S. It was nice meeting them after all these years.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Even before we went for the Hong Kong trip, my mum was already fussing about the fact that she would have soooo little time to prepare for Chinese New Year. Knowing my mother's penchant for 'anxiety attacks' and 'indecisiveness' when trying to get things done, SK helped a lot by buying her the necessary groceries like fish and prawns. When SK needs to buy anything she walks into a market and exits ten minutes later with tonnes of stuff. My mother on the other hand, takes ages and comes out with nothing of significance. And later complains later that she needs to go out grocery shopping again. She seems to delight in the hassle of making multiple trips. And regarding spring cleaning, I knew my mum would go ballistic, so I secretly arranged an Indonesian maid to come over and do the major stuff like scrubbing the toilets, cleaning the windows, washing the fans and cleaning the porch. Gave SK the keys and she supervisored the whole effort and even helped out. I sure as hell did not want to come home from my trip and have to do a whole lot of cleaning. MYR50 is a small sum to pay for some peace of mind. Not surprisingly, my mother still insisted on doing some duplicate cleaning because she just can't register the fact that she need not do any cleaning. :S. Stress. Stress.
And so, on CNY eve, still did some last minute shopping after our breakfast. This year, SK joined us for dinner, so she also cooked a couple of dishes. As expected,mum prepared her favourite dishes-- lotus root soup (with lotus root that was lugged back from HK! Not much difference la... :P), blanched free-range chicken, salad (bell peppers, pomegranates, rocket, cherry tomatoes with lemon-EVOO dressing), braised duck, steamed pomfret, fried beancurd skin and fishcakes and drunken prawns (with Johnie Walker!). On SK's side, she whipped up a bowl of tasty sambal prawns (would go perfectly with nasi lemak) and stewed sea cucumber with pork belly (scallops and dried oysters too!). We were so full... Luckily I had mopped the floor and washed the car before dinner, else I would have been too lazy to move. CNY begins!
Thursday, February 09, 2012
- JOBY GorillaPod Hybrid - an extremely useful tool for camwhoring. I immediately channeled Froggy (poorly) and took some arty photos of myself for him
- Uniqlo T-shirt * 2
- Aussiebum Flaunt Brief
- Aussiebum Patriot Brief
- Andrew Christian Swim Shorts
- Andrew Christian Almost Naked Brief * 3
- Andrew Christian Button Brief
- Andrew Christian Brief
- N2N Zen Swim Trunk
- "Paul of Dune" and "Hellhole" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
- Macadamia nuts (for me to munch on when I'm doing OT, he's so sweet!)
- Jumbo bottle of Co-Q10 (for me when I'm feeling lethargic)
Was supposed to swim with KH on Saturday afternoon, but the weather was a bit of a bitch so I literally had to take a rain check. At night, I spirited KH away to Kuchai Lama for some drinks. Wanted to bring him to Snowflake, but the place was brimming with customers. Made a u-turn and ended up in My Honeymoon instead. Unlike Snowflake, it was quite devoid of customers. Less headache. The interior of the dessert place was quite a cheerful yellow. We sat down at one of the tables and immediately another gang of gay lous started trickling in. Looked like a nice gathering of friends. KH ordered their yam shaved ice (thumbs up!), while I took the purple rice with mango (so-so, but an interesting combination). Being as cheeky as ever, he would stroke my thigh underneath table. And it didn't help that the table top was clear glass. :S. Still as frisky as ever. Even more fired up in the car :P. Will only be able to meet him again after the 1st day of CNY... Settle our family obligations first... Until then we would have to keep our pants on...
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Believe it or not, I have some leftover cuties from my HK trip, so before I forget, here they are.
And here's an example of their personalized car registration plates. People can be so creative!
MOMO, BEN BEN
And oh yeah... Yoshinoya seems popular over there. I see it more than McD. And KFC is so rare!
One more thing--SASA. Everywhere also SASA! Here one, there one. It's like a bad case of syphilis!
Will be back to my regular programming tomorrow or the day after. Stay tuned!
Monday, February 06, 2012
At mid-afternoon, Mr. Singh picked us up and sent us to the airport. Beautiful waves danced on the ceiling. Was an interesting effect given the scale of the departure hall. With more hours to kill, we went shopping again. Was surprised to find that the shops sold things at very reasonable prices. The G2000 there was priced the same as outside! Check-in was painless and by dinner time we had cleared immigration and security. Finished off the rest of HKD small denominations at the food court. Had baked rice, pork bun, polo bun and wantan noodles. Impressed that in addition to public phones, there were PS3 kiosks for bored travellers. Unpleasant is an apt word to describe my journey home. My blocked nose made the descent very uncomfortable. On the tarmac, my ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton. Not to mention so hot and humid... And that prolonged my sickness back in KL. It was 3:00am before I fell asleep on my bed. Thus ends my Hong Kong trip!
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Flowers didn't quite appeal to little Cyan, so we went to the nearby Goldfish Market. Whole stretches of shops selling goldfish and other tropical fish. Another popular destination during CNY as fish and aquariums can bring luck. Cyan roamed from shop to shop, but mum wasn't too impressed. For a more typical market experience, we walked to Sai Yong Choi Street. Clothes, food, decorative items, the usual things. For lunch, we walked into Macau de Fung New Tsui Yuen. Based on the waitress' recommendation we got a giant bun with hidden treasure-- half a steamed chicken and pork buns. That was already large enough to feed all of us. To go with it, we were given tomato soup and curry. Delicious! Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
On the way back to Causeway Bay that night, we stopped to see a dance performance underneath a flyover. Yes, underneath a flyover. Two teams of dancers showcased their moves and even the local elected representative showed up to give support. I think our politicians would not be caught dead attending such a minor event. Wandered at the Bowrington Market again for some last minute shopping and headed back to the apartment. For dinner, we just ate at the downstairs char chan teng. Bro was still sick, so we packed him a pork chop rice. At night, we watched the Miss Chinese Internatiol Pageant which saw Miss Malaysia, Lenna Lim (no typo here!) crowned as the 2nd runner-up. The winner was from Chicago and I was really surprised that she won. Tall and fair, but she looked haggard. By the time I snuggled in my blanket, my throat was already feeling better (thanks to the Listerine from Mannings) but my sinus was acting up. Blocked!