Friday, November 19, 2010

Sawadee Ka - Phuket 2010

I have abandoned my blog ... again (and many times before). Too many things happened back to back, to many info for me to digest within this 6 months period. I would say my life is quite eventful the last few months, travelling, planning and executing projects... not what I expected when I accepted the offer to head the Penang State Office.

Luckily, which also to my suprise, the political climate here is quite OK. I have some blissful time plannning and executing my works without nasty interruption or intervention from certain parties/groups or individuals. As long as I know how or where to draw the line and think for the best interest of the people.

Anyway, I named this entry Sawadee Ka - Phuket 2010 as I planned to visit Phuket again (some times not too soon). I was a bittttttttt disappointed with the trip despite the hundreds of photo taken. First, Phuket has so much to offer but our time there was so limited. Need at least 5 days if you really want to enjoy Phuket. That includes visits to Phi-Phi Island and Krabi. I couldn't even enjoy my exclusive hotel though I got huge discount for it from Agoda.com! Phuket has so many beaches, each with its own specialness ...

I chosed Kata Beach, instead of the fame Patong Beach, as I would prefer some private time to enjoy the beach without all the hustle bustle or sea of half nude people. I planned to travel down from Kata to Patong for some night life ... but unfortunately, our night time are filled with shows like Fantasea and Simon Cabaret ...

Secondly, I was damned tired from meetings, travelling from KL-Penang the week before and not forgetting the pre-launching of the Penang Hill furnicular trains. Plus the night before our departure to Phuket, I pandai2 ajak member clubbing at Hard Rock Cafe hahaha ... By the time we arrived in Phuket, all I really wanted was a deep sleep!

Third, I underestimated Phuket. Didn't do my homework and leave everything to the travel agency and one of my staff. I didn't want to use an agent initially but considering the hassle to find transport and our time was very limited so I agree to the ground arrangement. Was quite ticked off when the tour to Phang Nga Bay was conducted in Mandarin.

And like I said earlier, I underestimated Phuket ... to be honest, my main reason of choosing Phuket was it seems to be rivalling Penang in everything ... including heritage tour. Penang is so lucky there are not many direct flights to Phuket and I don't consider people "transitting" in Penang Airport (and contributing to the numbers of tourists arrival) as tourists.

I overlooked the beautiful beaches, cheaper goods/services and extra special "entertainments". But anyway, I still enjoyed myself there ... However, it still can't rival my Chieng Mai tour with the best tourist guide ever, Aey. Until Emel was angry with me complaining and comparing....

Okay people, I would blog about each places individually ... not to cramp in one entry. So many tales to tell.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.10.10 @ 10.10 a.m

Wish something great and memorable happen at this date and time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 200th Entry - Sayang Kinabalu

Is written in Imperial International Hotel, Kota Kinabalu. Taking a short break from "merenung" the computer screen, finding ideas to write the paper.

As I was writing this entry, I feast my listening pleasure to the song of Kimin Mudin - Sayang Kinabalu. Best bah lagu tu ... very nostalgic. Very sad when Nel, PKPL Sabah told me that the singer passed away this year due to heart attack. May God bless his soul. Many do not know that the late singer is the brother to Asmin Mudin who composed the song Gemilang by Jacklyn Victor and Kau Ilhamku (Man Bai). After Proton Saga Kelabu or Jambatan Tamparuli, I think almost everyone in Sabah know how to sing this song.


This year I balik to my forth kampung on Government budget in conjunction with World Tourism Conference. Unfortunately I could not totally enjoy and join the whole conference as I need to complete my kertas renungan and at the same time judge some blogs for 2ndBlogFest.Asia in Penang. In between, I suffered period pain and stomach cramp ... aiyooo!


Nonetheless, I tried to enjoy my hotel in terms of location and facilities as much as possible as shown in the photos below. So travellers to KK, I highly recommended this hotel and of course Le Meridien as it is really in town centre and surroundings are shopping areas like the Centre Point, Warisan Square, Philippine Market or Sinsuran area. For 3-4 star hotel, I think the price is reasonable. I paid RM 200 for deluxe size room, of course after government discount maa...

Jangan macam seseorang itu, recommend satu hotel atas alasan very cheap and good ... sekali orang sebelah batuk or kentut pun boleh dengar.

Of course while here in KK, I must meet up with Suna. Anyway, the development in KK never fail to amaze me. KK is so happening now compared to 16 years ago when I first step my foot on the Land Beneath the Wind. I don't mind posting here next time ... best bah!

Anyway, got to go. Nanti-nantilah saya sambung balik ya!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Britney Spears On Glee

After a very disappointing opening last week, the second episode came back with few clips and songs to drool on based on the Queen of Rebirth ... Britney Spears. Sampai i sanggup tak study nak tgk episode minggu nie hehehe .... Here are my some great Britney MV by Glee Cast.


Toxic


I am A Slave For U


Me Against the Music

This time Brittany .... u rocks!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Mai" Beraya Homestay 2010

I am sure you all noticed that despite now that I am working with MOTOUR, none of my entry touch about my new job. Well, other than being too busy to update this blog, another reason is I was too busy to enjoy the event. This time it was different because I asked my good friends Seelan, Hana, Casly and Nora to handle it for me. Thanks dearest.

FYI, this month MOTOUR Penang is very busy until 12 October. Events and programs are back to back. Beginning with Mai Beraya Homestay (18-19 Sept) followed by Kuiz Pelancongan Pelajar (21 Sept), Pesta Tanglung (25 Sept), Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism -Sparkles in Penang (30 Sept), Blogfest.Asia (1 Oct), Seminar Premis Penginapan (11 Oct) and Seminar Penang Tourist Guide (12 Oct). In between, I had to attend my PTK 4 from 21st Sept -30 Sept and World Tourism Conference 2010 in KK on 4-6 Oct.

For those happened to be in Penang on 30 September, do join MCAT Penang in Dewan Budaya USM. We are turning the whole USM campus into a gallery. Plus we are doing Penang Hawker Food style lunch. Will start from 9 am till 2 pm.

Mai Beraya Homestay was actually a brainchild of mine and N9 Director Adawiyah when we discussing about how to turnaround our Homestay Program into something profitable and interesting. However, as her State is more Southern, she planned to tap the Singaporean market for Majlis Aqiqah. In my case, I need to deal with a lot of issues of resetting, reforming, rebranding and repositioning my Penang Homestays first, which I will not discuss here. For political reasons.

Anyway, before I could proceed more with our Homestay program I decided to test the local community participation and support on the homestay products, observed how the co-ordinators conduct the homestay activities as well as to test the awareness of the younger Penangites on local tourism products such as homestay. In addition to that, I also want to observe the support from other industry players particularly, travel agencies. Many programs look impressive on paper but to make them really successful, to me, there must be PASSION from all the parties involved.

So for my Mai Beraya Homestay 2010, my office chose Homestay Mengkuang Titi, Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Perai Tengah as the first host. From Georgetown or Penang International Airport it will took about 30 minutes drive to reach there. I am setting up a special blog on Penang Homestay "dalam masa terdekat". This is the assignment that I am going to give to one practical students in my office.

We also get support from the State Education Department, who advice us on the dos and don'ts with regards to the students and teachers. To be honest, the more I get to know the State Education officers, the more I think that they really care for their teachers and students. Small things like gifts and certificate of participation (actually very important untuk apply kerja or uni) were usually overlooked. 7 schools joined our 1Malaysia Green and Clean Homestay on the 18th with students from all races and religion.

Actually the idea to do the campaign first before the Mai Beraya Homestay was to ensure that the area for the program is beautify and clean up before the event. Kesian budak-budak sekolah jadi mangsa. But to be honest, it was not easy to handle them too during the event. They prefer to sit and watch instead of volunteering. We had to give them instructions to get them occupied and not wandering off. Thanks to all the teachers who were helping us out with the students.


Having said that, it was quite funny too to see the boys teasing the girls from other schools. Hahaha and also seeing some of the students "berebut nak tanam pokok mengkuang'- the namesake of the homestay.


Well, to me, I hope that the students could mingle around and meet new friends. However, maybe the event was too short. Most of them still prefer to stick in a group among their schoolmates. Anyway, we chose Tok Wan's house for the venue of gotong-royong. One of the reason is Tok Wan's house is among the remaining Penang Malay traditional houses in the village.


I saw everyone took pictures in and outside the house. Maybe because they have never seen a traditional Malay house before. I wonder how would they react if they saw our Iban or Bidayuh longhouses. They also learned how to play congkak and weave the coconut leave grasshopper (no pic sorry).

We were also taught how to "kopek the buah kelapa" the traditional way. As demonstrated by Nora here. Caya lah!



After lunch and a short break, we decided to do Sukan Rakyat. The students were mixed up and divided into 4 groups. However, as it was raining so we only manage to do the tug of war (tarik tali). It would be interesting to see the tarik upih and lari tempurung kelapa. While waiting for the rain to stop, our office taught them how to do the Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia. Funny, this appeals them more compared to the fast beat songs of the senamrobik earlier in the morning. Really happening!



Later the homestay coodinator showed us how the villagers welcome tourists to the homestay. I was watching the students reactions, most of them were excited especially the Chinese students. The tourists were 12 journalists from Switzerland, instead of them interviewing us, they were being interviewed by us hehehe.




I guess they were quite shock with the too warm welcome and the crowd until they had to take our pictures. Hahaha ... well good for Homestay Mengkuang Titi. Actually later that night we had demonstration of Hari Raya preparation to the tourists such as "kacau dodol", "bakar lemang" and anyam ketupat. In fact that night, the tourists took photos in traditional Malay costume. It was quite happening but I don't have the photos. Maybe upload in facebook later.


The next day we had our Mai Beraya Homestay 2010. Most of the media as well as invited guests were present. It was officiated by my Deputy Secretary General for Tourism, Datuk Abdul Ghaffar. My new good friend Ibu Irzani from the Indonesia Consulate General Office was also present to give support. We met during the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle meeting and one of our roadmap is to produce a homestay network between the 3 countries. I am not sure about other states like Kelantan, Perlis and Kedah but Malacca is definitely all out for it. It was Malacca Director who gave me the insight on the IMTGT program (after many attempts to get information from IR Division officers).


Personally, I am only 75% satisfied with the program as I don't think it really meet my expectation. But I learned a lot from it. Firstly, I still need to lead and guide the homestays to think like a businessman and to be competitive without depending on the government. It took them a while to see that they can actually do special Raya packages for tourists.

Secondly, tourism players like hotels and travel agents must see homestays as partners not competitors. They were actually unaware that homestays must have activities like "sukan rakyat" and craft-making. which appeal to their guests. Thirdly, more efforts must be done to promote our homestays to our local people and youngsters first. They should be our local tourism product supporters, ambassadors and promoters. Finally, I still must monitor some of my staff. Some mistakes were result of ignorance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Malaysia!!!

First and foremost, Happy Birthday Malaysia and of course to one particular anak Malaysia, my dearest blogger friend, Norzah.

"Wishing you all the great things in life, hope this day will bring you an extra share of all that makes you happiest."

Ok, if people ask me, what do I like most being a Malaysian woman ... I would definitely say "to go shopping without worrying about the bomb or must be escorted by a male family member or spending people's money or whenever and wherever I want". I am after all INDEPENDENT and LIBERATED from any form of colonization or restriction. Best kan?

So in conjunction with Malaysia Day and in celebration of my own INDEPENDENCE I decided to liberate myself from my laziness and "anti-socialness". Yaaaa .... dunno why ever since I returned to Penang I feel so lazy to mingle around with my friends and colleagues here. Most of the time, I prefer to spend my weekends at home. So today, I decided to accept an invitation to my very good friends Open "New" House (just moved in a week before Ramadan) in Bayan Baru. Both husband and wife are my good friends whom I know when I was in KPKT.

To be honest, in Penang, I am chauffeured-driven everywhere. Ya lah ... bila lagi nak merasa jadi Pengarah kan. So even after 6 months... I am still "blur-blur" about roads to certain places. Maybe it's also because I takdak kaki here. But like Thomas often said ...

"Why worry ... pusing-pusing you will still be in Penang Island maa. Just make sure you don't drive over the Penang Bridge, that one sure lost one."

After a few KL-style U-turn and "kena hon" by impatient Penang drivers (oh they will always find reasons to use the horn), I finally managed to find the place, which turned to be in a very good location in Bayan Baru. It's about 10 minutes drive to airport and Queensbay, and just few km from shopping areas in Bukit Jambul and PISA. No wonder Kelvin, another good friend of mine, worked very hard to get a unit. His mother-in-law to be must be very please. If all the shops are occupied it's going to be very happening like Sri Hartamas. But sorry, no pics.

So after the open house, I decided to go to Queensbay, which is about 10 minutes drive (5km) from my friend's apartment. However I saw that the place was jam packed with shoppers so I detoured to Prangin Mall. After all, I just want to watch a movie and get myself some Korean drama DVDs. I will blog about the movie and dramas later. Imagine, 6 months here in Penang ... baru 2 kali I went to Queensbay Mall. My shopping mall now is the Ayer Itam market huhuhu. You can get everything in Ayer Itam ... great breakfast and stuff at great bargain.

Ayer Itam is packed with people during weekends

Anyway, the most important achievement about being an independent Malaysian woman today is transforming my room from a "pig-sty" (literally) into a "boutique homestay". Hahaha

You see, many years ago, my family extended my grandparents house to build a very big room. However, since we only occupied the place once a year, my aunties and daddy turned it into a storage and partly ration room. My aunties love to buy everything in bulks during sales. So katakan ada perang or natural disaster, we have ration to feed us for a year... hehehe. But over the years, some of the things that they bought became junks.

So when I moved back to my grandparents house in May, I was literally sleeping among piles of junks. Bit by bit I cleared some of the unwanted stuff. And today since I haven't got myself a birthday present I decided to reward myself with a great sleep every night. And TARAAA ...

Jangan main-main tau, the pillows are not calang-calang pillows you know. One is a Lavender Therapeutic Pillow (to encourage deep sleep) and the other one is a Gingko Therapeutic Pillow (for memory and mental clarity improvement). I bought the comforter set and pillows at 70% discount in Pacific KOMTAR. All in all I spent about RM 300.00. Nak buat macam mana kan, memandangkan takde bed partner so bed tu terpaksa lah bagi comfortable sikit.

When Auntie Lily saw my new comforter set, she said " Wah ... mau kawinkah?"

Cikgu Yoyop, tolong jawabkan hehehe... (malu-malu nie)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dedikasi Khas Buat Gadis Resah

Baru-baru ini Kak Sri Siantan (bukan nama sebenar hehehe) telah menelefon Gadis Resah (juga bukan nama sebenar) untuk mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya sambil-sambil menyibuk tentang persiapan Gadis Resah menyambut seseorang yang mungkin memberikan sinar harapan menerangi hari-hari yang suram dan menyirami jiwanya yang penuh kegersangan .... (awww sangat ayat-ayat nie).

Kesian jugak Kak Sri Siantan mendengar keluhan Gadis Resah mengenangkan sang arjuna pujaan yang ditunggu selama 16 tahun mungkin tak dapat balik menyambut lebaran bersama. Takpelah Gadis Resah .... kalau 16 tahun sanggup ditunggu apalah sangat 2-3 hari. Macam Kak Sri Siantan, yang ditunggu langsung tak kunjung tiba. Lagi haru gitew ...

Anyway, sedang enak Kak Sri Siantan melayan drama Korea yang tengah ngetop sekarang nie di Korea ... King of Baking Kim Tak Goo, Kak Sri terdengarlah satu soundtrack yang menusuk kalbu menikam jiwa dari seorang penyanyi muda yang amat diminati ramai termasuk Kak Sri sendiri iaitu KyuHun dari Kumpulan Super Junior. Masa konsert Super Junior Kak Sri banyak ambik KyuHun nie ... sambil menjerit-jerit manja hahaha


Lantas, Kak Sri pun carilah klip video lagu nie serta terjemahannya. Mak aiiii ... the lyric is beautifully written. Buat Gadis Resah, moga bait-bait lagu ini bisa mengubat luka dan kerinduan itu ya... Hayati lah ...



It doesn’t matter if I get lonely,
When I think about you a smile spread across my face,
It doesn’t matter if there are hard times,
Whenever you are happy
My heart will be filled with joy

The world that I walk through today
Even if it’s not easy
If I close my eyes I could see your face once again
The dream that continues around me
Has turned from my side to you

Chorus

Everyday my life is like a dream
Being with you and loving you has allowed me to stand firm again
To me, the precious memories of our happiness
Will stay warm even during the hard times
Hope is a dream that never sleep

Like a shadow that’s by my side
Silently you come to me
Regardless if I am in pain, whether there are lonely days you come to me

I don’t mind if the world will make me cry
Because you are always with me
Like dust, will memories dissipate?
I smile a little just to comfort my own heart

Chorus

Everyday my life is like a dream
Being with you and loving you has allowed me to stand firm again
To me, the precious memories of our happiness
Will stay warm even during the hard times
Hope is a dream that never sleep

Bridge

Numerous times I have stumble and fall
But I continue to stand back up
There’s only one heart of mine
During hard times, you become my strength
My heart is with you forever

I will swallow all my hurt
And show you my smiling face
From now on I will not be in pain anymore
Regardless of what, I’ll embrace hope and realise our hope together
I’ll try calling out to you in a place where I cannot reach
I will use my whole heart to love only you

Salam Lebaran

First and foremost, I would like to wish all my Muslim friends all over the world and wherever they may be, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir dan Batin. And to the rest, Happy Hols, rehat cukup-cukup and makan cukup-cukup as after the holidays we have many things to do.

This year, unfortunately, I don't feel the festive mood of Eid-Mubarak. Perhaps because I am in Penang where the populations are predominantly Chinese. In fact, the Hungry Ghost Festival and the coming soon Mooncake/Lantern Festival felt much more happening here. Quite disappointing actually.

The Ramadan bazaar was less happening (ada yang siap gaduh-gaduh masuk paper lagi), the shopping complexes less appealing. Luckily my mum came over and we had our "ladies nite" out ... shopping for office attire, household appliances (my dad and I moved to a new house at Loh Boon Siew Road) and dresses for little Gina ... mum said her dresses have all turned into "shirts".

Gina is not my flesh and blood but it's amazing seeing her resembling me at her age, especially in the cuteness department (chewah) and our passion for music. Told my mum, I don't want her to be a Barbie girl, so I bought her all Power Puff Girls stuff (with exception to Barney).


Looking back when I was in my former office, the fasting month is usually a merry-making (or money-making for my cakes and hampers) and entertaining month. Usually, it was the time of the year that I could use to slow down a bit and make plans. But here in new office, "business is always not as usual" .... often I found myself worn out at the end of the day. Usually it's due to last minute decisions and sometimes "program wahyu".

Despite that, I often found indescribable satisfaction, in the after party of a successful event. Tak kiralah if it's at a mamak shop or in the sanctuary of my bedroom. Like the recent visit of the Empress Dowager ... on Raya Eve when everyone in the office expecting to "balik awal". She was so happy of how things turned out in Penang, it really makes my day (though I didn't eat a single meal that day .... puasa). So later that evening, my driver for the day Bob, and I went to Kapitan Restaurant at Chulia Street and break fast with big helping of Nasi Beriyani Ayam Tandoori ...

Sedap sehingga menjilat jari ... not a single grain of rice left. Licin! So much about wanting to loose weight!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich

Sunday ... means no breakfast and lunch in the Yeoh's residence in Ayer Itam. This is because our chef, Auntie Rose, wants her weekend off from all culinary duties. This doesn't bother me much as usually I will either be working (Mem Besar love to visit Penang on weekends), travelling or sleeping hehehe. No need to wait for Ramadan, I always fast during weekends ... but buka puasa at 6.30 pm (official dinner time since 1938) hahaha

Anyway, today I suddenly felt so hungry macam 10 tahun tak makan. Funny, last night me and Thomas already "sahur" at Northam Beach with a bowl of Hokkien Prawn Mee and a plate of German sausage. BTW, Thomas and I had a very interesting outing last night but both of us forgotten to stop and snap photos. Yesterday, there was a parade of "transporting the God" from a temple downtown to a temple in Ayer Itam. I saw few "deities" like the Jade Emperor, Kuan Yin and some like the Journey to West gods. I even saw life "hungry ghosts" ... it was really interesting.

Photo source: The Star, 8 August 2010

There were also few "ko tai" concerts (where the singers wore sexy outfit) ongoing almost at the same time which draw more attentions from the living than the dead ... hahaha, seriously, I saw the front row seats which was supposed to be empty were pushed aside by some excited "male audience". Wah ... these "ko tai" performers are getting sexier and better (performance wise) every year. Singing to upbeat numbers ... even Britney Spears pun kalah hehehe. Yesterday's one, one singer wore a skimpy short mini pants that look more like a panty ... panas panas! Forgot to take picture!

I told Tom," Wah! Ghost nowadays so high taste one".

Ah Tom ", Han nah ... you don't know aaa, ghosts nowadays so modern already. Give them the old type show, sure bad luck one" hahahaa ....

Ya lah. Come to think of it. Young and new ghosts may want something from their generation.

Opsss ... back to my afternoon rendezvous.

So ... I went to the kitchen to search for something edible. There I saw some leftovers of the Dragon Fruit bread which my auntie bought yesterday.

Then I remembered the Neapolitan Ice-Cream which i bought last weekend. I love Neapolitan Ice-Cream. I always wish I could I have Neapolitan Ice Cream birthday cake like Eve and Alexandra Blackwell of Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game.

Anyway I wondered if people from the new generation know how heavenly it was, eating ice-cream with sandwich bread. Before there was this MacDonald's famous McFlurry, Swensen, Haagen Dass or Baskin Robbins sundaes, Ice-Cream Sandwich was "the favourite sundae" whenever the ice-cream man pass our house, after school or at pasar malam.

During my school time, one ice-cream sandwich only cost about RM 0.30. Cone ice-cream about 20 sen. I remembered when I was 8 years old. I sanggup kena kejar anjing just to buy this ice-cream sandwich at Uncle Ah Chai's house.

Taraaaa .... my masterpiece. I need to have something hot to complement it. Yum yum!!!

A cuppa of my home-made Old Town White Coffee.

Hehehe ... before "makan" have to take picture and arrange my sandwich and white coffee cantik-cantik. Little projects like this really excites me. Auntie Daisy was wondering what I was giggling about in the dining room. I am sure she must be thinking "Gila kah apa ini budak!"

Anyway, as I was enjoying my ice-cream sandwich, I wonder how my friend Meli is doing in Bonn, German. I am sure dekat-dekat Raya nie and especially in bulan Ramadan, he must be missing a lot of Malaysian food. (Suddenly felt sorry for "porking out" here)

Meli, if you read this entry, I would like to suggest you to visit Naples, Italy. It is said that the best pizza is from Naples, Italy hence the Neapolitan Pizza. I read about it in my latest read ... Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. Have a blessed Ramadan dear friend.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Scents of A Woman

When it comes to perfume, I am the type that usually stick to one or two scents. Not the adventurous type. Even if I buy new perfumes of a different brand, I will usually stick to certain notes, usually musk, rose and vanilla, sometimes bergamot. So far there are two perfumes that I will buy again and again. One is Boss Intense for Woman by Hugo Boss (2003) and the limited edition Forever and Ever by Christian Dior (2006). Both have musk, rosy and vanilla notes in it.

Certain articles in the magazine said that certain scent is associated with certain meaning so I searched the Internet for some explanation. Here are some that I found:

Love, Companionship & Relationship
The scents of apple, cinnamon, clove, copal, gardenia, jasmine, lavender, musk, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rain, rose, vanilla, white jasmine, and ylang ylang essential oil signify the different aspects of a relationship, such as love, companionship, affection and adoration.

Goals, Gains, Money & Success
The scents that signify material success, along with money, profits and aims, include the fragrance of allspice, almond, bergamont, basil, cinnamon, clover, dill, honeysuckle, lemon, pine, red ginger and sage essential oils.

Protection, Harmony & Well Being
Signifying the overall harmony of a person are the scents of angelica, basil, bay, bayberry, carnation, cinnamon, clove, coconut, dill, dragon's blood, eucalyptus, frankincense, gardenia, geranium, heather, juniper, lilac, myrrh, narcissis, sandalwood and violet essential oils.

Inspiration, Psychic Awareness & Intuition
If you are looking for essential oils with scents that signify inspiration, psychic awareness and intuition; anise, cedar, chamomile, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, green tea, lavender, lemongrass, lime, lotus, musk, myrrh, peppermint, pine, rosemary, sandalwood, and valerian essentials oils will be the best bet.

Fuyooo .... my favourite scents are all associated with LOVE... hmmm, what's that suppose to mean arrr?

Usually I will shop for perfumes at the KLIA Duty Free Emporium. Although there are many designer's brands that I could pick and choose, I found myself inclined towards these two brands. Not only that, Forever and Ever by Christian Dior perfumes are only sold at airport duty free emporiums. I even sensed the different when they repackage it somewhere in 2008.

In between I bought other brands of perfume, usually due to mood factor or gatal nak beli but I usually couldn't finish the whole bottle. Yes, what a waste.The few other brands that I manage to finish the whole bottle are the fresh and citrusy Escada Ocean Blue, Body Shop Rogueberry and Loccitane Vanilla (discontinued and made me heartbroken) . Anyway, I always find Channel, Christian Dior and Hugo Boss fragrances never disappointing. Seductive, sexy and timeless gitew huhuhu ... Tak seksi rupa takpe, asalkan diri rasa seksi pun cukup lah!

Some perfumes that I own are gifts fr
om friends and colleagues, like Estee Lauder Emerald Dream, CK Escape and AVON Women of Earth. These I keep it in the office, in case i lupa nak pakai perfume. But to be honest, if you put on perfume that don't suits your mood or event, you will definitely feel bad mood the whole day or out of place.

However lately I noticed that I am attracted to musky and spicy scents.
It was actually by accident. When I first moved back to Penang, I brought with me just the basic toiletries. As I packed in hurry so I left my favourite perfumes in my KL home. So on my first I day working in Penang I had little choice but to spray my mum's AVON Imari Satin "leftover". Luckily not an Auntie smell hahaha

I was a bit put off by the spicy and musky basic note initially. Then slowly, I scent the faint smell of amber and vanilla. At the end of the day, I love the way the smell still linger on my skin. Hmm ... kind of reminded me of Loccitane Vanilla EDT, which is a combo of vanilla and amber. So I went to the local AVON shop and was informed that this product was discontinued. Not again!!!

But I really couldn't get the scent out of my system. Everytime I receive the AVON campaign brochures I prayed that it is in the promotion! However till now my prayers remain unanswered. Apalah dosaku...

So, as I was passing the KLIA Emporium this afternoon, catching my flight to Penang, I decided to ask the perfume salesgirls if they could suggest some woman perfumes with musky smell. Mana tau jumpa yang almost similar to IMARI Satin. They suggested a few brand like Gucci and Shiseido .... hmm not the one I am looking for. Then I pun gatal-gatal testing D&G Frangrance Anthology, which was inspired by Tarot Cards... hmm interesting.

And .... there I found the fragrance that I was looking for.
L’Amoureaux 6 has "a tantalising array of spices in the top and middle note, dries down into wood and musk base. An exhilarating rush of juniper, bergamot and pink pepper is rooted in cardamom, birch leaf, 0rris heart before bedding down into sumptuous blend f wood and musk. Romance's very essence"

It's a bit masculine but on certain notes, exude feminity. Based on some review, "the impression channels a desirable character that is neither male, nor female, nor unisex, moving with dynamism to the free, edgy style that marks the D&G fashion empire"

Inspiration – Personality: The Charmer
An incurable romantic in possession of an inherent nobility, dashing L’Amoureux melts the most cynical of hearts. Desired by all he meets, this charmer is all about intensity.

Hmmm, dunno about that yet .... the ad really melts my heart though ... hehehe


Sunday, August 29, 2010

More On The Hungry Ghost ...

Last few days I asked Uncle Tan to check my Chinese birthday as well as hehehe .... astrological luck. This is because my aunties said, as a Chinese (even 1/4 Chinese or 1/10 Chinese), we need to know our Chinese birthday. Not wanting to argue I just follow lor ...

Chinese calender is a lunar calender whereas our Julian Calender is a solar Calender, so my birthday in Julian Calender will fall on different date every year. This year, Chinese birthday falls on 2nd September whereas my official DOB falls on 7 September which happens to be the day all the hungry ghosts go back to Hell.

Uncle Tan came by this morning to tell me that my Chinese birthday is on 24th day of the 7th month and I have too much fire in my Patt Chee. I need water element to balance out my chart. Hmmm.... maybe I should put a small aquarium in the office. Talking about my "English" birthday, maybe I should offer a feast to my ancestors since it is the last day and to ensure they can go "home" in peace (and stop pinching me) hehehe ...

But the funniest part of today was after Uncle Tan told me my Chinese birthday suddenly my Auntie Daisy said in heavily accented Penang slang...

"So ini rumah ada 2 "hantu" lor ..." (literally it means 2 person born in the month of the Hungry Ghost). But sekali dengar ... quite funny laa.

But at least that explain why I am always hungry during this month hehehe

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Hungry Ghost ...

I think most of you know that this is the month of the Hungry Ghost in the Chinese tradition. Normally, it is celebrated on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calender and it is not the same as Ching Ming. Ching Ming is like the All Souls Day in the Christian tradition whereas Hungry Ghost or Yu Lan is the month when all ghosts are allowed to wander and roam the earth for a month.

I was about to blog something about this month of the Hungry Ghost last night. But then I remembered ... last night was Malam Jumaat (ehemmmm ... not that Malam Jumaat), which during my school days was when the whole dormitory will gather together during light off and sharing ghost stories ... Belum masuk blog dah seram hahaha! But anyway, as I grew older and more "expose" on adulthood I guess old folks invented all this "malam jumaat keliwon" things to encourage young and active "married" (i must emphasis this) couple not to "wander" elsewhere ... wink wink!

In my previous office, all married Sarawakians will tease one another ... "Malam jumaat eh ... cepat balit, ada hantu nunggu di rumah"... translation, "It's Friday Night, let's go home, there is a ghost waiting in the house". And being the single one, I would often said ... "Yea right, aku nang penunggu nunggu di rumah". Not complaining!!!!

Back to the Hungry Ghost, according to my aunts, during this month they will normally pray to the ancestors and offer prayers, incense, hell money, and food especially during the 15th day. To them it is important to observe this day as this will ensure that the ancestors live comfortably in the other world. On the other hand, there might be spirits or ghosts whom are forgotten by their descendants so they become so thin and hungry (dunno whether this true or not) hehehe and start "kacau orang" for food. Normally, this type of spirits are spirits of a whole family perish in one go (like wars, accidents or whatever mishaps). So extended families like cousins or relatives forgot to offer prayers and food to them.

I often ask my aunties, how do we know that the ghost of our ancestors had come to feast on the food offerings because as Nyonyas, the offerings are quite elaborate. My aunties said, usually the food become tasteless after being "eaten" by the ghosts. So I often teased my auntie Rose if her cooking was less salty ... "ada hantu makan kah?" But my aunties know how to tease me back too ... one night I found a blue-black mark on my underarm but i couldn't recall hitting on anything...

My aunties said ... "You so naughty so hantu come and pinch you".

I guess my Chinese family really, really take this Hungry Ghost thing very seriously as my cousins came all the way back to Penang to offer prayers and offerings to my grandparents. I always tease them ... "orang banyak berdosa memang kena offer prayers to grandma and grandpa" and they will tease me back ... "yalah, grandma money face one". Hahaha .... have to laugh first.

There was this incident few years back when my grandma was still alive and coincidently all the cousins came back for holidays in Penang. So normally before we returned back to our normal lives, we will give grandma "ang pow". Since I am the biggest earner in the family and I only come back once in every 3 months so I decided to give bigger ang pow. It was really a "bona fide" gesture on my part. But grandma despite her frail conditions only remember my name after that hahaha.

Anyway, the month of the Hungry Ghost often give me the creeps even when I was in KL. Near to my former rented apartment in Jalan Ipoh, there is this Chinese temple. So during Hungry Ghost festival they will put up "concerts" to entertain the ghosts. I always pray that after the concert the ghosts will go elsewhere and don't stop by my apartment. Hahaha especially not that big scary raintree just opposite my apartment balcony.

In Penang, the scariest part about the month of the Hungry Ghost is when I need to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night. My grandparent house in Ayer Itam is a kampung house where the toilet is located away from the main house. And my aunties planted few banana trees surrounding it... At night when it's dark, the toilet look so scary. Maybe that was when I got "pinched". The problem is my grandparent house is very cooling at night since it is on top a hill and there are many trees around the compound. So I often found myself want to pee-pee in the middle of the night sometimes. My aunties of course got themselves chamber pots ...

People also don't wander around late at night during this month. Problem is ... I "pun" often become the "Hungry Ghost" this past few weeks hehehe ... can't sleep without supper hehehe.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Missing Glee ...

These past few days I'd been so moody. I don't understand why but ever since I returned from a short trip to KL last week, my mood was erratic. I didn't feel like working ... but I have heaps of reports and paper works to be submitted to KL for approval. Especially plans for 4th quarter 2010. I went through this week's assignment "halfheartedly" and "heavy headed".

I sleep well, I eat well ... even got belanja buka puasa in some nice restaurant some more (oppssss). I knew I am missing something but don't quite figure out what? Then today I wrapped up the last episode of Season 7 NCIS. Hmm ... not satisfying enough ... Watched 3 hit movies this week ... Inception, Salt, including the so-so Avatar:The Last Airbender. Still not happy ...

Even got myself the book ... Eat, Pray, Love with the hope of getting some enlightenment or at least some light at the end of tunnel. Instead, my eyes felt heavier with each page. The only light I saw was my room light which I forgotten to switch off the next morning hehehe

Then I remembered Norzah's advice, why not put on a nice music. Hmmm ... define nice music Jaime, I asked myself. What kind of music i like to hear to uplift my spirit? As I was looking through my collections of MP3s , never, never in my wildest imagination that the first song I chose was Bad Romance ... not from Lady Gaga ....

But from the Cast of Glee.

I soooooooooooooooo miss Glee. Oh Please let August be over!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Si Beri Hitam

Close eyes, open eyes (pejam celik, pejam celik) ... we are almost a week into the fasting month of Ramadan. Before we know it ... it will be Eid-Fitr. Unfortunately, I could not observe the fasting month properly with my dearest Muslim friends yet ... due to "circumstances" (wink wink). I am sure some "people" (you know who you are) might be raising the Japanese flag too ...

Anyway, I met some Penang bloggers last week discussing about a BIG project. As we were chatting and throwing out ideas for the project, they nicely pointed out that maybe I should update my blog too ... At least not to be left out from the "mainstream" hehehe. And it bugged me for days ... tu lah pandai-pandai mengaku blogger and siap bagi blog address lagi. Without realising that ideas don't come easily these days.

My schedule this past three weeks had been quite hectic again with the Goodwill Games in Narathiwat (27-29 July) followed by launching 1Malaysia Green,1Malaysia Clean Campaign in Penang on 7th August. Anyway, I am not going to talk about my works ... in fact I feel like telling the world about my Beri Hitam ... my Knight in Shining Armour.

To be honest, I was torn between an Iphone and a Blackberry a few months back. On "love at first sight basis", my heart belongs to Iphone (sampai termimpi2 lagi) but after I got the transfer news ... everyone in MOTOUR told me to get a Blackberry, which was totally unknown (and least appealing) to me. Being "Mie", whenever I am going to buy something I considered expensive I must ensure that I got the benefit to MAX. Something I picked up when working with Eddie Wee (now Howarth Eddie Wee).

I recalled the time when I "curi" our lab time checking reviews on Blackberry and Iphone with William (NRE). And how Encik Ghani of Jabatan Bomba tried to influence us to buy Blackberry instead of Iphone. He said that we will be at par with Dato' Idris Jala and President Barrack Obama if we own a Blackberry. The funny part is, after both William and I got our Blackberry we found out that Encik Ghani "rupa-rupa"nya never used most of the functions that he told us .. hehehe.

Dato' Idris mentioned in one of our lab session that he did most of his business on his Blackberry. I didn't quite understand then as most of the time I used it to check my Facebook, sms, receiving and making calls, check my emails and messaging on Blackberry Messenger (BBM) like any modern handphones. Until last month, on my way to Narathiwat ... somewhere between Grik and Jeli.

One of my staff stumble upon an article on a local Chinese paper on the "controversial arches". Wondering whether our KL Office picked up the news in the Central Region Edition I send a BBM message to our PRO. As expected the article was only published in the Northern Region Edition, but based on the translation provided by my staff ... damaging enough to create another sensation. Our PRO requested a scan copy of the article to be sent to them immediately.

For a moment, I was a bit stunned by the request as I already told her that I was on my way to Narathiwat. And we will only reached Kelantan Office in another 4 hours. Another problem was I brought the only person that can read Chinese with me on the trip. Then it was that very moment I remembered my Knight in Shining Armour ... I captured the photo of the article and MMS it to her.

Then I typed the translation of the article and emailed it to all of my bosses, which was a real challenge as the QWERTY keypad was tiny, on a moving bus and with data transmission coverage like CHIPSMORE. And as if God was testing me (or my Blackberry), there was another internal big issue going on in my office and require my decisions. Throughout the journey up until Golok ... I was hooked to my Blackberry. I had to give orders to my office, by call and sms. Discussing on crisis management with PRO and gossiping with friends on BBM. Checking and answering some important emails with my bosses and staff.

In short, I did all my work on this small gadget including managing my office affairs. By the time I reached Narathiwat ... everything settled! But what I am most satisfied about the phone was, despite the heavy usage ... the battery life was great!

Last but not least, I was not paid by Vodafone for this entry.
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