Friday, October 31, 2014
Warning: Photo-intensive post ahead!
On the first morning in the Westin Bayshore, I finally took a good look at the room (was too tired the night before). Not only did they have a Starbucks (they have a crazy Starbie culture) coffee machine in the room, the TV channels also had py per view gay and straight porn. And the view of the harbour was fantastic. On one side was the luxury glass and steel condominiums, on the other the yachts and the sea. Lovely to hear the seagulls in the morning.
We had one free day before KH commenced his induction course, so we went to the nearest attraction which was Stanley Park. There was no free breakfast with the room, so we ate at Blue Tree Cafe which was also the closest option. Nothing to shout about, but it was cheap and fast. On our first morning we had a good trial run with the selfie stick that Moonlight Piggy suggested we bring. Coal Harbour provided much photo opportunities with its boats, yachts and seagulls. The Seawall was also beautiful, providing kilometre after kilometre of scenic coasts. It's divided into two paths, where the pedestrians are separated from the 'wheeled', i.e. cyclists and roller-bladers. Walkers have no direction constraints, but those on wheels have to adhere to the counter-clockwise direction to avoid collisions. Caught some major rays on that day walking to Beaver Lake (no beavers or pussies spotted) and back. Benches are located along most of the seawall and many people 'adopt' the benches. Adopted benches are easily recognized by personalized plaques on it normally containing witty anecdotes and dedications.
Rested in the hotel for a couple of hours waiting for KH's ex, Kenji. Yes, I spent quality time with my predecessor. It was his off day, so he could bring us out to lunch. He gave us many food choices, but we ended up with Japanese, something that Vancouver has no shortage of. Kenji and his significant other, Ashton brought us to Miku, a famous fusion Japanese joint in town. It was situated near Canada Place and our table had an amazing view of the sea. Those two could really eat. They ordered a lot, a lot of food. A great way to experience Miku's Aburi style sushi that's basically flame-seared. In my opinion, the stranges item was the Aburi Chirashi Tart that was like a huge tower of pressed rice layered with spicy tuna, avocado and other assorted seafood. So stuffed and Kenji's sweet tooth motivated him to order three large desserts. My favourite was the Cherry Cassis Slice for its sourness! LOL. Perfect after so much carbs. They were amazing hosts and insisted on footing the bill. And from my observation, Kenji and Ashton were great together. Sugar and spice and everything nice. Too cute-sy to imagine as they would chatter with each other in anime voices!
Ashton had a dentist's appointment, so he left after lunch. Kenji stayed back to bring us jalan-jalan around Canada Place (with its Five Sails and touristy Canadian Trail) and Vancouver Convention Centre with its huge raindrop sculpture (The Drop by Inges Idee). Around the area was Vancouver Harbour, a perfect place to watch the seaplanes! Kenji had to leave for a wedding dinner, so we had dinner by ourselves at Kintaro, a ramen joint on Robson. The cold led us to look for ssomething hot and soupy, so ramen was the perfect choice. Unfortunately, we had to queue. I went with the miso Ramen while KH tried the cheese ramen. Imagine grated cheese and a big slice of cheese in your noodles. KH couldn't accept it, but surprisingly I had a better liking to it. Overall, not bad but the interior was like Hell's Kitchen. Steamy! That steamy feeling continued right up till bedtime! Guess that ramen was digested faster than usual. :D.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Since I was in Singapore for a week before I flew, I only had the weekend to pack for my great Canada vacation with KH. Wasn't really sure what I needed, so I just randomly dumped clothes and supplies into my luggage bag. Hopefully it would suffice. For the flight, KH chose Cathay Pacific. My first time flying with them actually. Based on company entitlement (well, he gets a two year bond as a result), KH could have flown business class, but in order to accompany me, he chose premium economy instead. Such a sweetie. Our flight was at 1730 to Hong Kong where we transited for a couple of hours before proceeding to Vancouver. The flight number was very auspicious, CX888.
With the extra leg room and cushier seats, the twelve hour flight wasn't so bad. Just ate and slept and ate and slept. By the time we had arrived at Vancouver International Airport (Yay!), it was 9:40 PM the same day, kinda 'gained a day' flying East. Took a cab to the Westin Bayshore Hotel. Didn't see much in the dark. All we knew was that the air was very fresh and cool as the cabbie had wound down all the windows on his hybrid car. Roads were very straight and houses by the main roads were mostly surrounded by high hedges. As we got into Westin, I wasn't impressed by its outlook. Kinda had a four star vibe going for it. But our room was nice with two double beds (one for sleeping, one for fucking) and a great view of Coal Harbour. The first thing we did was kiss and jump into a hot shower. And what's more relaxing after a long flight than making love? I adapted quickly to the new environment but KH not so much. I slept like a pig, but KH had a sleepless night...
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
After years of gruelling examinations and coursework, KH finally passed all of his acturial exams in 2012. To finally qualify as an actuary, he has to attend an induction course to the Society of Actuaries, and that must take place within a stipulated amount of time from the date of his passing the final paper. The course is basically just a formality and a short recap of all his effort. Basically the course is available in many locations and many time slots around the year. However, many take the opportunity to go as far away as possible to 'graduate' since employers usually foot the bill. And of course, there was no exception for KH. Initially, he had planned to attend the course in the US, but somehow that changed to Canada somewhere along the way. In Vancouver, the city where his ex lives no less! Truth be told, it was all very spontaneous. Happened some two months before our date of departure. Quite crazy. Had to settle leave plans (I had more than 40 days to clear, so my boss just nodded his head), flight tickets, accommodations, trip itinerary (KH dutifully did all the research... I'm such a bad BF!) and temporary resident visa within that time. The visa caused the most stress cause it was the biggest unknown. We chose to do it online because of the Osaka trip (submission via agent would have required we surrender our passports earlier). In order to successfully submit the application, one had to scan many, many, many supporting documents and pay CAD100. The documents are then reviewed by the embassy in Singapore (no embassy in KL) and when everything's in order, they would request for the passport to be couriered over. Best timing for us because the request came just right before our Osaka trip. Immediately after the Raya holidays, we submitted our passports via their agent in KL. Thank goodness the office was right beside my building. Much less running around. Metal detector, phone confiscation and MYR86. That pretty much settled it. Got our passports back about a week later. Green light!
P.S.: That visa lasts for 3 years... Wonder if there will be a repeat visit in the near future?
Monday, October 20, 2014
Anatomy of a spy cam shot.
You get off work. Take the 25 minute train ride to your station. Walk to the parking lot to get your car. Pass by a public pool and a lean, tanned CYT appears in front of you. Your eyes follow his cute, little ass and then it suddenly hits you that you need to take some shots! You fumble for your phone and your target continues to walk. You try to match his pace, furiously clicking the shutter button. You get a few shots, but the moment has passed. Back in the car, you review your handiwork. Crap, out of many shots, only one wasn't blurry!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
For my work trip to Singapore, my company had purchased an Air Asia ticket. Hence, I had the opportunity to experience KLIA2. A really huge airport that has more substance as a shopping mall than an airport really. The walk to the gate was really, really long. And the funny thing was that one had to go up and down. The escalators were few (like too small a small a swimsuit to cover Nicky Minaj's booty) and there was only one travelator. Hardly saw any buggies travelling the length of it. The old and decrepit will most probably take three days and nights to complete the journey. In Singapore, I tried to do as much work as possible as I was only there for a week before I go off for my Great Canada Adventure! The first thing I did was to tell my supervisor that I had already applied for my block leave prior the assignment. Tried to understand as much of possible about the initial requirements and came up with the database design and relevant documentation so that my colleagues could proceed in my absence. In that short work week, I also managed to meet up with an ex-colleague of mine. Treated me to dinner at Mont Calzone, Far East Square. There was a buy one, free deal on pizzas and beer and amazingly we finished all of it while filling each other in about ex-colleagues. Moonlightpiggy also met up with me. She was at a loss as to where to go for dinner, so we listened to KH' recommendation of Sushi Tei. Not exactly my favourite Japanese restaurant, but KH assured me that it was much better in Singapore. Unfortunately I suffered from the same Sushi Tei syndrome. The symptoms were the flipping of the menu from front to back but still end up with no idea what to eat. The only thing that caught my eye was the tempura crab legs. That's not something common. The five days passed by quickly. By Friday evening, I was back in KL with just three days to pack for my trip!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
KH was hankering for movie time with me so we went to Pavilion on Saturday afternoon to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy". Noticed several new outlets there. Happened in just a span of few months. Now there's a new Taste Enclave there proving that non-Halal food courts are all the rage in higher end establishments. Another new place is Azzurro, an Italian Cafe-Restaurant. Also some upgrading in Food Republic and the newly-renovated ToastBox-Bread Talk pair. Basically went walking around since show time was in a few hours.
When we got tired, we stopped at The Morning After coffee and a bagel. Judging by their lack of business, their location near Harvey Norman must be really bad. While surfing FB, I noticed that tuls was also in Pavilion, so I left a comment on his status. In just a few minutes, he came waltzing to the cafe with an entourage of two twinks-- Pidut and Boy X All three were new faces for me. They were celebrating tuls' birthday. So nice kan? And we were also gonna watch the same movie. Tuls immediately suggested that we do a selfie. LOL. Priorities. Priorities. We didn't stay to watch the post-credits scene. Found out later that it was about Howard the Duck. Emmmm. That short paktor session was actually partially-triggered by the fact that I received a call from my GM on Friday night. The bosses in Singapore had requested that I be based in Singapore for a few months. Blegh. So ironic that when KH was working in Singapore, I was in Malaysia. And now that KH is working in Kuala Lumpur, I'll be going to Singapore. I feel an Alanis Morisette song coming up...
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Slept till 9:30 am after the night before's fiasco at Hospital Serdang. Went to breakfast with SK, mum and Apollo's mum at our usual WTM haunt. Really needed that comfort breakfast. Mum did her replacement marketing at the small grocery stores nearby. Back home, I backwashed the water filter, swept the floor and proceeded to mop it, cleaning all the cockroach stains from the floor (they tend to ooze juices during their death throes). A great workout. Retreated to my room after that and watched some movies on my lappie (bukan porno la). Mum cooked lunch with what she bought in the morning and it was yummy. Mee suah in chicken broth with prawns. Very satisfying. Later in the afternoon, KH came to see me briefly. Only had enough time to go buy 4D at Taman Kinrara. No time even for drinks as he was attending the Energizer Run in the evening. 15 km on the exact day of the Hungry Ghost Festival. Huhuhu. Interesting.
A new Thai restaurant called Restoran Andy had opened in Puncak Jalil, so mum and I decided to give it a try. And best of all, they were having a 50% off promotion for customers who walk in with their flyer. Based on the comments on my community Facebook page, I was prepared for bad service, but I never expected that it would be chaotic. Firstly, there was only one woman taking orders and they had limited menus. She seemed to dart from table to table but coudn't get a single thing done. One table had three dishes brought to them and all three were rejected cause they were not what they ordered. Alarm bells right? Anyway, we sat there for ten minutes before the table beside us offered their menu. Tried their lemon steamed Tilapia, stir-fried sweet potato leaves and a seafood tomyum. Surprisingly, the tomyum arrived very quickly. But the steamed rice didn't come for fifteen minutes. From where I sat, I could see that they had no rice! A whole bunch of people were fretting over the rice cooker. When the rice finally came, it was just half-cooked. LOL. But at least the waiter offered to reheat the tomyum. Plenty of prawns and cuttlefish inside, but a tad too salty. The vegetables came next and the fish was last to arrive. Surprise, surprise, the fish wasn't very hot and some parts were not very cooked. The last nail in the coffin. If they don't buck up, I'm sure they'll close down soon enough. Think the boss was around when I was there. All he did was walk around and chat with his fiends. Didn't lift a finger. My first and last time there!
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Got a frantic call from SK on Friday night telling me that Apollo's mum cut her finger on her car door. Huh? Car door? What's sharp about that? According to her, the cut was quite bad and the bleeding didn't stop. She wanted to know whether the Klinik Alam Medic near my place is a 24 hour clinic. Half an hour later, she called me again. The doctor referred her to Hospital Serdang! Funny thing was, the locum doctor was writing her a referral letter.
Kalau dah nak pergi Jabatan Kecemasan pun nak referral letter ke?
SK had just touched down from Vietnam that evening and was quite exhausted. So she requested me to drive them to the hospital. During the drive there, I questioned her regarding the injury and the visit to the clinic. Turns out that Apollo's mum slammed her the car door on her finger. And the impact made her skin split and finger turn swollen. Now that made more sense. And the locum doctor gave many excuses not to give her stitches, saying that he was unsure about the extent of the injury, it was too close to the nail bed, she seemed diabetic (wouldn't anyone's finger get bruised in such a situation?!) and that he had no sterile environment (this takes the cake). In the end, he just gave her a tetanus sent jab and sent them away.
Thankfully, Hospital Serdang was just a short drive away and there was no traffic jam. Dropped them at the Accident & Emergency while I went off to find parking. Found them at the Non-Critical department. Apollo's mum was being looked at by the nurses where they cleaned the injury and bandaged her thumb. They said it was minor and just needed a few stitches. There was a second screening by a more senior nurse. She read the letter and wondered aloud, "Apa injection dia bagi la?". The lousy doctor didn't specify. Such a joke. Then SK told the nurse the locum doctor said that the nail might need to be removed and she laughed. I really wonder if the locum doctor was a Dr. Ika (a fake cross-dressing doctor who was arrested in Batu Berendam after a patient's wife complained of his 'extreme concern' for her husband).
We were then sent to the waiting area where your 'queue number' is just a 'calling number'. What this means is that, it does not follow a sequence. In front of us were six doors. Three red and three yellow. The number that we looked out for was 1114. We had seventeen patients in front of us. The number had three prefixes. 1 - elderly and children below two; 2 - God knows what; 3 - minor issue where I don't even know why you want to go to the A&E for. Basically many of the people there seemed fine to me. Only a few seemed to need immediate attention. One Malay dude was obviously feverish, with his bloodless face, dry lips and shivering. Another kid was in a wheelchair with a swollen foot. One more kid had a big wound on his face, but at least it had stopped bleeding. Wanted to get some drinks, but the vending machines were all out of mineral water and would not accept notes. Had to settle for canned drinks. The numbers moved very slowly. And whenever a number was missed, it would just stop there for fifteen to twenty minutes. SK would get agitated and have a peek. The room was empty. By 4:00 am, there were still seven numbers to go.
Judging by the speed, it would be at least 7:00 am or 8:00 am before it was our turn. We made a final check on Apollo's mum before deciding to leave. The MYR50 that we paid was just for the dressing. At 8:30 am, SK and my mum drove Apollo's mum to a clinic in Bukit Serdang. That doctor helped stitch up SK's foot and my mum's finger last time. Surprise, surprise, he wasn't there as he went for a course. By some divine providence, the replacement turned out to be a plastic surgeon from Ipoh. So, think twice before using the A&E at government hospitals. But how much choice do we have?
Friday, October 03, 2014
As usual, Saturday morning was spent at the OUG wet market. Mum bought some ciku that day, my least favourite fruit (such a vile fruit! Icky taste and texture!). Ate my favourite soup noodles, but topped up with some curry chicken feet this time. Later in the afternoon, mum suddenly arranged to get her hair permed at Taman Salak Selatan. The address was just "Flat 6 Tingkat" with no road name. Yikes. At noon, I drove her out to find the place, cause I had to attend Bunny's birthday celebration later in the evening. Was very surprised by how many low cost flats there are in the area. All decaying and dingy. Couldn't find it at first until a call to the stylist revealed that it was behind a building called "Flat 12 Tingkat". Cute right? Anyway, the mystery was solved cause that's the tallest building in the area and could be easily spotted. We went to lunch after that at New Restaurant Ipoh Chicken Rice. Saw a cutie in a tank top that was cut to his waist at the side, revealing a smooth, meaty torso. Wanted to take pictures, but I had no excuse to be standing around his table! Sigh. Ordered up some Hainanese chicken rice and was surprised that mum went for a side of meatballs and fishballs. So unlike her.
Every year, Bunny or JJ's birthday would be celebrated at Sushi Tei due to the fact that Bunny likes their soba. No exception this year when we received the invitation via e-mail. However, it was later revealed that Sushi Tei had discontinued that item, so were perplexed as to why we were still going to Sushi Tei (KH, SK & I don't really like the restaurant). Appealed to JJ and Bunny to have it at Senyu Sushi, Bangsar Village II and thank goodness we succeeded! And the birthday dinner turned out to be a huge party of surprise guests. At the very last minute, Lifebook appeared with a 'friend'. And Apollo came with three others. With the restaurant's rigid seating rules and full booking that night, we nearly couldn't secure the extra tables. In the end, we sat at two different tables. Normally JJ doesn't take well to strangers at his gatherings, but this time, he seemed OK. Ordered a little too much that night, took us a while to finish. Not wanting to leave so early, we adjourned to Starbucks. Truthfully, we just wanted to set up an interrogation for Lifebook's friend. Used the pincer strategy where we seated him in the middle of group and positioned two of our best interrogators on both sides. Hahaha. Ended the night with a big group photography session. Been a while...