Thursday, December 28, 2017

STWW2017 II: The Million Dollars

Continued from here.

Jamming In

The next morning, mum and I skipped a trip to the morning market to attend day two of STWW2017 at MIECC. We tried to arrive early, but there was a horrible jam heading into the venue because MIECC parking management opened only one counter to collect parking fees. Can't fathom the logic behind that decision. The doors to the hall was not opened yet, but there was already a huge queue outside. Once the doors were opened, everyone rushed in. Greeters lined main pathways, giving participants high fives. To get the blood flowing, there was a morning aerobics of sorts via a dance sequence. The music was pumping and everyone was psyched up. Along the day, many ST members were recognized for their achievements in helping countless of those around them find health and opportunities in the Nu Skin platform,

Balloons and Dreams

Also had the opportunity to listen to Angela Liew speak, one of the visionaries behind ST. Nu Skin's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Joseph Y. Chang also made a rare appearance to talk about Nu Skin's scientific capabilities and some of it's new technology. Unfortunately, SK arrived a little too late, so she missed the session with Dr. Chang. Stopped for lunch after that. We walked over to Esquire Kitchen at The MINES. Been a while since I ate there. It was such a popular choice fifteen years ago. Along the day, new 1MDC members were recognized, and they shared their stories. Later in the evening, there was one new 5MDC and 10MDC each. They were brought to stage on a hand-pulled coach, and a 4WD respectively. An amazing sight. Each were like celebrities in their own right. A long journey to success. Imagine the day when KH and I can strut on the stage together. :).

ST Angela Liew

Dr. Joe Chang

Nu Skin 10MDC

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

STWW2017 I: Dazzling Night

STWW2017 Day 1: Delegates

My dear KH had tickets to Success Together Worldwide Global Convention (STWW2017), but he had forgotten that he had a wedding to attend in Hong Kong. The logical solution would be for his spouse to take his place. The event kicked off with a charity night on Friday evening for the Nu Skin Children's Heart Fund. Mum and I braved the Friday rush hour traffic which was made worse by the rain. In addition to that, we had to babysit the two Monsters. Made it to MINES International Exhibition & Convention Centre  (MIECC) at about 8:00 PM. By the time we got registered, and sat down, we had missed a bulk of the performances. Only managed to catch the Singapore delegates' "Baby Shark" number, and Malaysia's performance which was led by the talented Ichiro Chuah. The kids were entertained and diamond torch lights that were inside the goodie bags kept them occupied.

STWW2017 Day 1: Heart Fund

ST also invited a speaker from Taiwan, a girl who has Epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Due to her disorder, she lives in constant pain because of the fragility of her skin. But that did not stop her from striving to achieve her dreams as an illustrator. The whole thing ended before 10:00 PM (but helpful angels from KH's group actually started lining up at 3:00 PM to get the best seats). Sis was actually still at work, and mum didn't have a proper dinner, so we made a supper stop at Restoran Safreen, Kinrara Uptown. Little Monster kept demanding for mee sup, and Big Monster wanted capati. Before the noodles arrived, Little Monster had already started dozing off, so I quickly let him play some games on my phone. Works better than smelling salts. When the mee sup arrived, I was quite impressed. For MYR6.50, it was full of vegetables, seafood, and chicken meat. And the broth was quite good too. Not those instant stuff from Maggi. Before he fell asleep again, we quickly sent the kids back to the arms of their mother.

STWW2017 Day 1: MDC

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fish and More Fish

Japanese Lunch

Traffic warden duty at church is one of the least desirable, but the rainy weather made things easier in a way. At least I did not need to deal with the sweltering heat. Carrying around an umbrella is simple enough to keep dry. When my mother and brother came out, I asked them what's for lunch. Mum suggested Japanese food. Racked my brain for a good option. Thought about Uroko, but I'm kinda bored with that. Picked KH's brain instead. He suggested that we go to Uokatsu at Plaza Damas. FYI, it's opposite Hartamas Shopping Center. Just take the bridge, and the shop is just a few doors left. Uokatsu is a no-frills Japanese restaurant. No fancy decorations here, and the whole place is wafting with the smell of dashi. Everything is practical. Sit, order, and eat. Even the menu had no pictures, just a piece of A4 paper. Since there were no visual cues, we just made some random choices with some input from the helpful waitress. We had a mixture of items-- sashimi platter, grilled rainbow trout belly, house salad, stewed buri head with radish (very sweet), and their signature mentai rice.

The sashimi was really fresh, each slice had good texture and taste. The rainbow trout belly was just a small piece for MYR29.50, which I felt was a little steep. The buri head was sweet, but that's the style I guess. And finally the mentai rice which is a piece of chicken egg topped with fish roe. Goes perfectly with the white rice. Total bill was MYR160 which is kinda $$$. Walked back to Hartamas Shopping Center for some shopping, but that neighbourhood mall has seen better days. Many lots on the first floor was shuttered.

Mentai Rice

KH was at Publika for his Nu Skin meetings, so we swung over to have coffee with him. We met him at Pan and Tamper, a cafe near the Publika playground. He was in a coat and tie, so handsome. The flat white there was kinda good, and I ordered a pink latte (minuman ini tidak gay sama sekali) for my mum. They put organic beetroot into chai, staining it pink. I didn't like how the drink was full of bits and pieces of beetroot. Feel that they should strain it better. Went home after that as we had just visited Publika the week before.


Pink Latte

By the time we got home, there was just enough time for my brother to pack, and freshen up before needing to go out for dinner. My sister and Little Monster joined us for dinner at Restoran Ocean 101, Kuchai Lama. Mum ordered curry grouper head (very creamy and spicy!), stir-fried vegetables, and blanched chicken. On top of that, we had a free steamed patin compliments of my mother's friend who was also dining there. Really stuffed, and just in time to send my brother to the airport.

Curry Fish Head

Blanched Chicken

Steamed Patin

Monday, December 18, 2017

Market Celebrities: Tank Top Tom

Spotted Tank Top Tom in front of Caring Pharmacy, near the OUG Morning Market. He was sitting down to breakfast with his family. I hardly ever eat there because getting a table is a very painful process. But anyway, I was very content to be standing at my vantage point watching Tom flex his arms. A 'nutritious breakfast' for me!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Travel Teluk Intan II: Dear Dad

Mee Kicap

Continued from here.

With the spare tire, we drove to the first tyre shop that we saw-- Weng Yin Kee Tyre Service. Surprisingly, it was staffed by several Chinese women. Due to the condition of the tyre, they have to manually cut the shredded tyre out. The lady suggested that we come back later. Did a random search on Foursquare and headed to Kedai Kopi Ah Wah for brunch. We weren't too particular as all of us were starving! Curry noodles were supposedly good, so we got two bowls of that. Then we added-on mee rebus (Perak seems to have a love affair with this dish), mee kicap, soup noodles, and kaya-butter toast. On top of all that, mum bought a packet of nasi lemak from a stall outside. Everyone was satisfied with the curry noodles, and the soup noodles were also good. I didn't like the mee rebus because it was too sweet. Toast was also great.


Mee Rebus

Mee Kari

Right after our brunch, we headed to the wet market to buy flowers, and some prayer items. Thankfully, it was still downcast when we arrived at the Teluk Intan Christian Cemetery. As usual, we did some tidying up, lit candles and incense, and offered prayers at my late father's grave. We had a whole lot of incense, so we went around burning it for dad's neighbours, especially the unmarked and forgotten graves. After the concluding rites, we walked around the cemetery and discovered some historic graves from the 1880s. Interestingly, those old graves often stated the cause of death on the grave marker.

All Souls



Charles Chetwode Thompson

Next, we headed back to the tyre shop to settle our wheel woes. Got it changed and immediately went to visit my paternal aunt and cousin. Following that, we went to see mum's younger brother. Little Monster was uncharacteristically hungry. He had downed a huge piece of steamed egg cake, and later walked with me to a nearby shop for ice cream. That was our last stop in Teluk Intan. Drove home after that. During the drive back, everyone seemed pretty hungry. We practically wiped out all the food in the car. For dinner, we gave Restoran Xiang Chu a try. Mainland Chinese cuisine-- salty, mala, spicy stuff. But they did have some options that are kid-friendly. Their Kung Fu Handmade Pork Balls were pretty good (Little Monster ate five). Comes in a big pot of herbal soup with vegetables and mushrooms. We weren't too happy with the rest of the dishes. So that ended our fun-filled trip to Teluk Intan.

Kung Fu Handmade Pork Balls

Red Pork

Tomato Egg


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Travel Teluk Intan I: Tyre Troubles

Every November, my family makes a trip to Teluk Intan for All Souls' Day. This years trip was pretty eventful, as it kinda went wrong from the get-go. First of all, mum actually didn't wake up on time! That's the most shocking thing. Usually, when she had a trip, she would not sleep well. The whole night long, you could hear her getting out of her room to pack something obscure that she might need for the trip. In and out, up and down the stairs. When my sister reached our door step at 6:00 AM, I was wondering why my mother had not come down. I sent Little Monster to investigate. Turns out she had just woke up! And I thought that she was the one who knocked on my brother's door at 5:30 AM! Due to that, we started our trip 45 minutes late.

My brother-in-law was not feeling well and he had been working pretty late recently at work, so I was the designated driver. For the first time in years, it was a rainy trip to Teluk Intan for All Souls' Day. Stopped at Shell station some where before the Sungai Buloh rest stop to fuel up. Saw that they had a Costa, so I was a little excited. But when I discovered that it was MYR10 for a cup of coffee from an automatic dispenser, I decided to save my money.

The drive was pretty smooth, and we reached Bidor in below two hours. As we left Bidor and crossed Sungai Bidor towards Teluk Intan, I felt the MPV lose control for a brief moment. I didn't think much of it and continued driving. Some 30 minutes out of Teluk Intan, near Kampung Baharu Coldstream, things started getting weird. My sister's Nissan Serena started getting very bumpy although the road was smooth. I immediately stopped the vehicle and switched on the hazard lights. With no proper road shoulder, it was pretty dangerous because lots of trucks ply the trunk road between Teluk Intan and Bidor. With a big umbrella, I went down the road to warn oncoming vehicles of the hazard.

No surprise that the tyre gave out, but what was shocking was the fact that it looked like a serious blowout. We could see the rubber and fabric was shredded through, and the tyre was halfway out of the rim! BIL tried to change the tyre. He managed to loosen all the nuts except one. Even 90 KG of body weight on the tyre iron could not budge it. Since we could not settle the problem ourselves, Sis made a call to the motor insurance auto-assist service. They promised that a tow truck operator would call us within an our. During that time, several people stopped to take a look and offer friendly advice. We explained the situation and they went on their way. Police vehicles also drove past  without giving us a second glance. Couldn't be bothered.

Burst Tyre I

Some forty minutes later, two Indian men on a motorcycle stopped and were very confident that they could rescue us. One of them ran into one of the houses beside the road and came out with a long metal pipe. He used it to lengthen the lever so that he could easily apply more torque on the nut. That's physics at work. Haha. Watching him work, the fella was definitely very experienced. He put in the spare tyre in less than half an hour, and recommended us a tyre shop at Kampung Batu 12 to get the tyre fixed.

Burst Tyre II

To be continued...

Monday, December 11, 2017

New Places, Old Faces


For several weeks now, I have not been going to Paradigm Mall after church. Visited Publika instead. Mum ate at the food court, while I had my Nu Skin ageLOC Trim Shake. She didn't really like Kin Kin Pan Mee's chili pan mee. Guess she doesn't like the concept. And I did find it kinda disgusting that they put a whole bunch of icky factory-made fried shallots on the noodles. There's also a new addition to the food court-- ME.REKA, a space designing and making. Arty stuff la. Haha.

Millennium Falcon

The 10th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2017 (KLEFF 2017) was also happening at Publika, so there were some special stalls in addition to the usual flea market vendors. Bumped into Bibik Nyonya there, someone who I have not met since the Serendah trip in 2007! He's in the artisanal soap business now, so he sells his wares at flea markets around the Klang Valley. Glad to hear that his business is doing well. Also visited B.I.G. and was wow-ed by their huge selection of Halloween stuff.

bXie Blonde

Soap Salon

On the way back, we stopped at Cafe Ame Soeur, Jalil Link for some Royal Belgian Coffee. Unlike my last visit, there was no crazy waiting list. Easily found a good table for all our swafoto bersama needs. The coffee was still as good as I remember it, but without the promotion, it's MYR20 before tax. Before your eye bug out, you can actually get two and half cups of coffee from it. Cafe Ame Soueur's customer segment remained the same-- fashionable young girls with thick make up, flowers, and balloons, and couples. And the occasional gay boy and his mother. Wakakaka.

Royal Belgian Coffee

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Rice on Rice

Teochew Kuih

I have a love affair with Teochew Kuih / Png Kueh / 潮州饭桃. This steamed cake is actually rice flour dough over glutinous rice. Practically rice on rice. Sticky rice? Haha. And its shaped like a peach, a very traditional and stylized rendition. I love it savoury where the glutinous is stir-fried with shallots and dried shrimp. If you don't finish it within a day (unlikely!), the next day you can pan fry it for a different kind or enjoyment. Anyway, its hard to get good ones in KL. By luck, mum came across a stall in the OUG morning market that sold Teochew Kuih from Tanjung Sepat. In addition to the usual pink ones, they also had some blue ones which had a filling mixed with mung beans (tau sar). Those were great too. Now I know where to get my Teochew Kuih fix!

Blue Teochew Kuih

Inside Blue Teochew Kuih

Monday, December 04, 2017


Deepavali 2017

Brought mum to Pavilion to view the giant kolam at center court. Lim Kok Wing students made three huge patterns (elephant, peacock, and the traditional circular design) and the effect was more dramatic thanks to floor stickers. Mum and I were lucky enough to catch a short dance performance accompanied by popular Bollywood songs. Noticed several changes in Pavilion. Will have a Dean and Deluca soon, and also a Kakigori. Snowflake is still there, popular as ever, but they had a recent face lift. For some reason, I think that's the only outlet where I ever notice Malay customers. Our shopping luck was poor that day as we left empty-handed.

Deepavali Kolam 2017

Deepavali Photoshoot

Ventured to Bandar Puteri Puchong for dinner with SK. She recommended that we try V-Nam Cafe at a quiet row of shops near Columbia Asia Hospital. We had the classic gỏi cuốn, pork stewed in coconut water (recommended, we loved the gravy), crispy fried chicken (sedap sehingga menjilat jari). and pho bo. At night, the place is kinda dodgy, so be aware of your surroundings. Oh yeah, if you do go there, do let me know, I left my water bottle there. Hahaha.

gỏi cuốn

Pork stewed in coconut water

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Sunny Sasaran

Taoist Temple

More than a month ago, we made plans to visit Sasaran Sky Mirror, one of the latest commercialized day-trip attractions. The challenge about visiting Sasaran Sky Mirror is that you can only visit it 4 days before and after the 1st or 15th day of the lunar calendar. During the other times, it's submerged, in the middle of the sea. In oceanographic terms, I think its called a shoal. During those days when the tide is low, you can walk on the shoal, and if the weather is good, the flat terrain appears to act like a giant mirror. We made our booking through Sasaran Sky Mirror Services, one of the homegrown tour operators in Jeram. Best to communicate with them in Mandarin.

Making Rice Puff Cakes

On the eve of the trip, the tour operator told us to arrive earlier, 7:30 AM to be exact. Originally, we were slated for 8:00 AM. And so, KH picked us up at 6:30 AM. Just an hour away. Pretty close. The meeting point was actually a Taoist temple in Kampung Sungai Buloh, but it doesn't show in any map. When we arrived, quite a number of people were already there. One can tell from their colorful attire which is recommended for the most eye-catching photos. There was just a small banner at the side of the temple that gave us a clue that it was the right place. Nobody was there to greet us. We just proceeded to have breakfast at the one and only stall there. As we waited, more stalls were set up. Some selling snacks, some selling T-shirts, some selling accessories like scarves, colourful pinwheels, and rainbow umbrellas.

Ready to Go

The tour operators did not show their face until 8:30 AM. Turns out that their forecast was wrong. The tide was still high. But anyway, they ushered us on to the boat at around 8:45 AM. From the river, we traveled out to the Straits of Malacca. The boat zoomed straight for Pulau Angsa, 'blessing' many of us with sea spray. I had to use of the spare life jackets to cover my head. In the original itinerary, we weren't supposed to get to Pulau Angsa until after Sasaran Sky Mirror. We were there to kill time, to wait for the water to recede. Our boat encountered some difficulties berthing. The engines sputtered and died several times. Luckily they sorted out the problem.




There's a lighthouse on the island, a toilet, and some abandoned chalets. People do some fishing there, and lighthouse operators rear plenty of chickens there. Didn't get a chance to go up to the lighthouse. By the time we had finished cam-whoring at the pier, the tour operators had called for us to board. Sasaran Sky Mirror was pretty close to the island. The boats were beached on the shoal and we got down using a ladder. Conditions were not yet perfect as there was still another two inches of water. We just did our own thing while waiting for the tour operator to find a good spot, and set up their gear.



Abandoned Chalet I

Truth be told, the whole place was pretty crowded. Hard to wander around without encroaching into someone's photo shoot. Don't expect it to be a peaceful experience. LOL. We also tried to take some photos, but it was not easy to get the desired reflective effect. Really need the tour operator's guidance as they know all the tricks of smartphonography. Different groups had different props, and different styles. Some even did trick photography. And I finally realized why the tour guides were dressed in full body suits-- they would get pretty wet trying to get the perfect shot for their customers. The photos were taken very close to the sand, and rely on puddles of water close to the camera. Some even prepared partitions to ensure that the water is still.


Water's a bit High

Crowd II

Getting the Best Shot

Crowd I

By 11:00 AM, we had to leave because the water was fast receding (if we missed the window, we would have to wait till 3:00 PM). During our approach to the estuary, we ran into some trouble again. The boats had started churning up mud (be prepared for the heady aroma) because the water level was a bit low. A kid had to keep monitor the engine, and ensure that the air intake is not clogged with mud. He kept prodding the engine with a fishing line. Kinda like Luke Skywalker, trying to fire proton torpedoes down the Death Star's thermal exhaust port. Along the river, the egrets and monkeys had come out to play on mud. The driver pushed along and we avoided distress.

Dredging Up Mud


Back in Jeram, we ate our free pre-packed lunch at Restaurant Grandma. Just a small packet of chicken rice that came packed with something like sambal nasi lemak. Weird. Once I had settled down at the restaurant, I could finally feel the sun's rays leaking from my pores. Such an overdose of sun even with my UV hand sleeve and sunscreen lotion! If you're going, definitely bring a cap or hat with you.

Free Lunch