Monday, September 27, 2010

Inner Mongolia in Oct 2010

Next month RY and myself will be going to Inner Mongolia for a short holiday.
I'm looking forward to the trip to view the beautiful landscape and sample the roasted lamb there!

Inner Mongolia is a large region stretched across the northern edge of China. It has a relatively low population density the majority of which are Han Chinese. About 17% of the population is ethnic Mongolian. The region is officially an Autonomous Region for the Mongolian people within China. The east of Inner Mongolia consists of wide grass meadow lands, forests and mountains. The west of the region is made up of scorching hot dry deserts. Traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle can still be seen in the region and yurts (mongolian tents) are not an uncommon site in the wide spaces between the cities.

The main religion in the area practiced by the Mongol minority is Lamaist Buddhism, similar to that found in Tibet and the Republic of Mongolia. Lama temples are common throughout the region.

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (酒泉卫星发射中心) is in Inner Mongolia and is the site of most of China's rocket launches. It is in a remote area and not open to the public. (The city of Jiuquan lies over 100km away in the neighboring province of Gansu.)

Mongolian and Mandarin Chinese are the two official languages in the area. There are different dialects of both spoken throughout the region.

There are nine public airports in Inner Mongolia. Most only receive domestic flights so requiring foreign visitors to transfer at one of the major cities of China before reaching Inner Mongolia. There are international flights form Hohhot to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia run by MIAT Mongolian Airlines.

Traditional Mongolian food is found throughout Inner Mongolia. This is typically high in dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. The traditional Mongolian milk tea is exceptionally good. Meats, especially lamb, form most meals. The meat is usually roasted with a coating of spices to give a strong distinctive flavour. Similar with many areas of China, the Hotpot is a popular style of cooking. Mongolian hotpot usually has a well flavoured soup but without the hot spices of central China.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cafe de Hong Kong at Balestier

I've read about this Cafe de HK from some food blog and today I finally get to taste the food there.
Cafe de Hong Kong
586 Balestier Road

(Near Thomson Road)
11.30 am to 3.00 pm

5.00 pm to 12.00 MN

Apparently the owner, as well as the chefs of this restaurant are from Hong Kong.

Since RY and myself were not keen to have a big feast for lunch, we decided to try their Braised Mee Hoon with Sliced Pork and Snow Vegetables ($6.50) and Hor Fun with Beef in Black Bean Saurce ($6).
Both noodle dishes were very good and the portion per noodle dish is pretty small since the serving is meant for an adult.

We also tried the Hot Almond Paste ($3) and it was rather disappointing ......... (pls dont order it) .........

We'll definitely come back for the zhu chao to sample their famous crispy chicken, salted egg golden prawns, fish roe fried rice etc ..........

Should I continue to give when there doesnt seem to be any appreciation?

RY's younger sis has a very popular blog where she'd share about her daily lives of raising 3 young daughters.
I'd occassionally visit her blog to read about updates of herself and the 3 girls.

SIL's husband has an older sister who marries a rich Hong Konger and settles in HK with her family.
This HK SIL usually will buy gifts and pastry from HK and courier it over to them in KL.
Last year, this HK SIL paid for RY's sister's 2 older kids air fare to fly them to HK for Christmas.
So naturally, this HK SIL is RY's sis favourit SIL instead of me since I never buy expensive gifts to them.
Well, I do buy gifts but not of the similar price tag (air tix??).

If you go the her blog, you'll see her singing praises of this HK SIL and she even express her gratitude by calling her "the most generous SIL" as she had recently courier a box of HK biscuit over to KL.
But, you'll see that those gifts that I gave her or her child are hardly mentioned in her blog, also no appreciation of what I've given to them.

I'm not sure why I felt kinda hurt when I saw her recent posting calling the HK SIL "the most generous SIL" ......... I'm pretty sad ...........
For years, I've bought gifts for them from my heart using my own hard earn cash (no RY never pays for the gifts).
My thoughts and love is deemed to be too cheap and not worthly of her family???

Do you think its silly of me for feeling hurt?

So maybe from now onwards, I'll abstain from buying gifts for RY's SIL's family since she doesnt seem to be appreciative!
I think she only need ONE Generous SIL from HK to give them gifts!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Unscrupulous Beauty Salon Operator

A new colleague - YC just joined us 3 weeks ago and I didnt get to talk to him until today when he sent some docs for my signature.

I found out that he was previously working for a renow local beauty house in SG as the supply chain executive incharge of their warehouse.

This is a famous beauty salon that has won "Superbrands" awards for several years and have a full range of in-house beauty & skin care products selling in their various salon outlets.

It was a horror to know that the skin care products marketed by them is bottled in their filthy warehouse with no proper hygeien care.
YC said that the warehouse store keepers would fill up the expensive and classy looking mini bottles using their bare hands.  These bottles are then delivered to the various salon outlets for sales.
Its so unhygenic that the worker themselves would not buy the product for their own use.

The worst is, this beauty house doesnt pay the salary of the worker on time and those who have left only managed to get their salary when they subsequently lodged complains with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
YC told me that he only got his last pay from them recently after he filed his complain with MOM.

Sorry, I cant tell you the exact name of this salon but I can only hint to you that it and has sponsored various TCS programme.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clubbing in the Clouds?

My group of gal friends are discussing on the next venue for our next girls outing and we're brain storming on the possible "hip" place.

We've compiled a list of possible venue in "cloud nine" (i.e. roof top bar) which we've yet to agree on but I'd like to share here with all of you on our research list.

1. KU DE TA, Skypark at Marina Bay Sands Kude - Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave. Tel: +65 6688 8868

2.  1-Altitude - OUB Building, 1 Raffles Place. Tel: +65 6688 7688

3.  Lantern - The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay Rd. Tel: +65 6597 5299

4.  fabrika by Chivas 18 - Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, 15 Hoe Chiang Rd. Tel: +65 6521 9029

5.  Ying Yang - Club Hotel, 28 Ann Siang Rd. Tel: +65 6808 2188

Any suggestion where should we go?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personal Taste 个人取向 Every Sat 9.30PM on Channel U

My latest favourite Korean drama is screening on Channel U every Sat 9.30pm - Personal Taste 个人取向.

This is a very entertaining commedy and I find it very enjoyable to watch.
If you're home and nothing to do on Sat, you can tune into channel U at 9.30pm.

Story line:
Jeon Jin-ho (Lee Min-ho) is a very stylish young man with the perfect looks. He is a straight guy who pretends to be a gay in order to become a roommate to his female friend, Park Gae-In (Son Ye-Jin). His hobbies include organization and ironing, and he’s known for his stoic poker face. He’s a stickler for cleanliness, but he also has a talent for figuring out women’s feelings. Jeon Jin-ho then comes across Park Gae-in (Son Ye-Jin); a woman hurt by love and is now looking for a gay roommate/friend. Gae-in is very trusting even though she has a habit of being betrayed. However that doesn’t stop her from giving people the benefit of doubt and Jin Ho is no different. How will Gae-in react when she finds out that her gay roommate is not actually gay at all and that he has fallen for her?

Cast: Lee Min-ho, Son Ye-jin, Kim Ji-seok, Wang Ji-hye

李敏镐 饰 全镇浩
孙艺珍 饰 朴凯茵
金基石 饰 韩昌烈
王智慧 饰 金仁希


Lee Min Ho as Quan Zhenhao
Sun Ye as Jin Pu Kaiying
Jin Jishi as Han Changlie
Huang Zhihui as Jin Renxi

Sun Yizhen plays the role of 'Pu Kaiying', a furniture designer in her mid twenties and is the only daughter of a well-respected professor in the construction industry. A trouble prone person who naively trusts people too easily and hence suffers heartaches but never loses her cool spirit. Fortunately, she befriends Quan Zhenhao, who helps her find her femininity and grows into a more sophisticated lady. .

Monday, September 13, 2010

DHEA could boost fertility?

DHEA is the hope for infertile women!

Read this link.

A study performed by Israeli researchers has confirmed the results of a New York research team about the effects of dehydroepiandrosterone, the supplement known in layman's lingo as DHEA, on female infertility when used to treat women suffering from DOR (diminished ovarian reserves). The Israeli team hails from the Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel and is led by Adrian Shulman, MD, while the previous studies were performed by the scientists at New York City's Center for Human Reproduction (CHR).

While the Israeli study is small and includes only 33 participants, this work is the only random study on DHEA as a therapy for female factor infertility. Of the participants in this study, 17 were given the supplement while a second group of 16 women stood in as a control group. The results of the study confirmed that DHEA triples the success rate for women who conceive by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

KL Trip during Hari Raya Holiday - 2010

Yep, we were at KL on 10 Sept since it's Hari Raya holiday on Fri to meet up PIL & family!

As PIL have to go back to Ipoh on Sat 11 Sept since BIL need to attend a friend's wedding dinner reception, we all decided to leave KL on Sat too.

As this is a last min decision to go KL, we rushed to Takashimaya on Thurs night to get mooncake.
We chose the Kia Hiang's mooncake since they're not so sweet and also able to mix and match the flavours (walnut, macadamia & yam) @ $40 with a FOC choco truffle cake. 

SIL's 2nd daughter (5 year old) is a vain pot.
I remembered the last trip we saw her using a mickey mouse plastic bag as a handbag to put her clips to bring to restuarant since she has no proper handbag.
After getting the mooncake, we proceeded to 4th floor of Taka shopping centre to get the Hello Kitty kiddy bags.
I bought 3 different design since SIL has 3 daughters.
The total cost of the 3 bags (with tibits packaged in the bag) was $62/=.
RY thinks this is too expensive just for the kiddy bag and dissuade me from buying, but out of love, I decided to buy for the children.

Oh, 9 Sept was also our ROM anniversary so RY has bought a bouquet of Gerberra for me.
As I know that we wont be able to attend to the flowers since we'll be away, I decided to bring the flower with me to present it to MIL instead as her birthday gifts.

We left SG at about 5.30am onFri and managed to reach KL at about 10.30am.
We meet up the whole family for breakfast.
Then presented the gifts to the various recipients.

MIL was really happy receiving the fresh flowers and the kids went crazy when they saw the Hello Kitty bags with ti-bits.

Lunch was very nice fish head mee hoon ta pau from a restaurant nearby.

Dinner was steamboat at this restaurant that uses pork bone essence for the soup base.
Then we went to "Sweet Hut" for dessert - very lousy tong shui and I know we wont go back again!

After dinner, we went to BIL's place to stay for the night.

The next morning, we went to SIL place to pick PIL to go nearby eatery for breakfast.

After breakfast at about 10.30am, we drove off to SG and reach home about 4pm due to the heavy traffic and long queue at the Malaysia custom (at link).

I must say SG's custom is rather efficient since they opened up the lorry/ van lanes for our usage to ease the congestion.

I think our next trip to KL could be in Oct sinc RY's Kl condo tenant is moving out end of Sept and it's time to look for a new tenant soon ........

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome, Volvy!

RY came to fetch me home from work this evening using the "new" car, i.e. Volvy.

It's dark blue in colour and has a beige interior.

It's kinda nice.

But I already start to miss my Xiao Bai Tu (White Bunny)...........

I still like White Bunny better since it's more spacious.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Have you heard of Pulau Dayang Bunting?

Today a Malay colleague told me about this legendary island in Langkawi, call Pulau Dayang Bunting, is believed to have the supernatural power to bless infertile women to be able to conceive.

My colleague said that her sister was married for 5 years and childless until she went to the island - Pulau Dayang Bunting, then she became preggy when she came back from the holiday.

Literally, the name of the island means "Island of the Pregnant Maiden". It has a touching and fairy-tale-like legend, making the island seems to be more mystical and amazing at the same time.

The story of this island began when a beautiful fairy princess – Mambang Sari and Mat Teja, a man who fell in love with the princess from the moment he saw her. Mat Teja met Mambang Sari at the lake and he was attracted by her beauty. Getting advices from a wise old man, Mat Teja finally managed to win the heart of Mambang Sari.

Living happily on earth, Mambang Sari bore Mat Teja a son. However, their happy moment did not last any longer as their baby died after a short while. Undergoing such a traumatic and tremendous pain, Mambang Sari decided to lay her child to rest in peace in the lake. At the same time, she blessed all the childless and infertile women to be conceivable after bathing themselves in the lake.
At a certain angle, you will be able to see the island, resembling a 6-to-7-month pregnant lady, lying on her back. Some people might take it as a coincidence or the act of nature, but it somehow creates an amazing linkage between the island and her name.

I'm rather tempted to give it a try, how about you?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bye, Xiao Bai Tu!

It is very expensive to own and drive a car in Singapore. Wary of the fact that uncontrolled growth in the number of vehicles will result in traffic jams (just like KL & BKK), the government has implemented a range of measures to manage car ownership and usage. These include the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), Vehicle Quota System (VQS), road taxes and Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). All motor vehicles must be registered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The COE scheme has been one of the most controversial and hotly debated public policies ever implemented.
Anyone wishing to buy a car or motorcycle has to bid for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). Each month, a certain number of COE's are released for bidding and if successful, the vehicle entitlement is valid for 10 years from the date of registration of the vehicle. 
Certain classes of vehicles like public buses, school buses and emergency vehicles are exempted from the scheme. 
COE's have become so expensive that it is cost prohibitive to own a car. The government wants the people to take public transport.

COE for 1 small car < 1.6L is curently about SGD30K and bigger car > 1600cc is > SGD40K.

RY has been thinkng of changing his > 3 year old Honda as the car is starting to give him problem (minor ones).
Well, it's part of the normal wear & tear issue.
So instead of buying a brand new one, he got a 2nd hand car as the COE price is deemed to be too much to stomach!

We'll be saying goodbye to our "Xiao Bai Tu" = "White Bunny" this coming Wed to welcome our new "Volvy".
(Note:  We give names to our cars, from the 1st green car = "Xiao Qing" (means Little Greenie), to 2nd blue car = "Bluey", then to the current white car = "Xiao Bai Tu" which means White Bunny and the next car shall be called "Volvy".)

Do you give names to your car?

Why get a car when COE is so expensive?

RY is in Sales & Marketing so Car is a necessity while it's optional to me as my job is desk bound.
We also need a car to bring us to KL & Ipoh to meet up with the relatives > 3 times a year.

Come next year when we move to our new house in town, we'll use the car less since we can walk or take Bus/ MRT to get to places wihin the city to avoid the hefty parking charges.

My Man is Busy Cleaning the House Now!

I wont deny that I hate to do housework and it's a blessing that my beloved Husband share the chores!

RY came to SG to study when he was rather young and was trained to be really independent in doing household chores.
Back in Ipoh, he doesnt need to lay a finger to do anything since he's a precious eldest son pampered by everybody .........

I'm glad to have a husband like him .........

I love you, RY!