Tuesday, October 31, 2006


When you have 2 boys in 2 different colleges with different semester breaks, it is difficult to plan for holidays and time-off together.

I had wanted to bring my younger boy for the Vietnam trip but unfortunately his new semester started 2 weeks before and the elder one is in the midst of his final semester. So, when I learned that both of them would have the whole week off during Hari Raya, I thought that would be just great for some family-bonding time. So I decided at the last minute to take a drive to Penang on Tuesday and then planned to stop by Taiping and Ipoh on the way back a couple of days later. Their last visit to Penang was during Chinese New Year and to Taiping and Ipoh was like 3 years ago. I always believe that relationships with kith and kin need to be nurtured and what better way than to meet up and see each other in person and thus, I would grab every opportunity to do so. However, the elder boy could not come along this time because the first paper for his finals was on the Thursday immediately after Raya and other papers will follow until mid-November or so.

You see, as it is now, it’s already getting difficult to spend family time together. We all have differing schedules – the boys have classes to attend, assignments to finish, exams to prepare for and also need time of their own to socialize and hang-out with their circle of friends. And I have my own work to contend with. I suppose when they start work in the near future, I may need to fix an appointment just to have a meal with them. That would be sad, huh?

I enjoy time with my boys. It’s for us to bond and to connect and I guard it jealously. Whether it’s a simple meal or just a drink, or having ice-creams, or just browsing the shops, it is always great....and I can never have enough of it. That’s why whenever either one or both of them are available for lunch, I would happily drive home to pick them up and we would then go pig-out together. It does not matter whether it’s rice, noodles or breads; Chinese, Malay, Indian or Western, we enjoy food and have no qualms in driving for kilometers to have a hearty meal. Believe me, food somehow tastes better with good company, what more with your loved ones.

And now you know why I can’t seem to be able to shed the pounds?
posted by nyonyapenang at 8:51 AM, | 33 comments
Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm 5kg Overweight

That Suria girl called twice and her supervisor, Farid called once this morning to remind us to go for the 8-point(or whatever)tests. At first, I did not plan to go but I found myself 'eat full nothing to do' later in the day, and what the heck, decided to spend some petrol money and took a drive to town.

It's a medical centre alright. When we walked in, we were met by this guy who introduced himself as the marketing consultant (or something lidat la) and he then proceeded to brief us about the medical centre, what they do(eg. out-patient angioplasty @RM15,000 per stent), what they offer, bla, bla, bla......and he said he would show us around and let us see their state-of-art kickass machines. All said, their specialty is diagnostic imaging and scanning using the 64-slice scanner. Then instead of walking us around, this chap made us sit through a short video clip starring a cardiologist, Dr Soo. After that, ah hah! the actual pitch began. Mr Consultant tried to sell us diagnostic packages for 5 or 10 years, that is if we sign up, then we would be entitled to 50% package discount on a yearly basis. According to Mr Consultant, it would cost me about RM4,200 per year per package without discount. So, if I were to take up their offer, then I only need to pay something like RM2,500 or so per year. And they also offer easy-payment schemes. Wuaah, very aggressive marketing they do here.

Then finally, Mr Consultant finally go for the 'close' - he asked where I normally go for my medical tests and then he said something like 'executive medical screenings are not conclusive and accurate' and asked again if I would sign up for theirs. I gave a very polite 'No, thank you.'

OK, Mr Consultant then closed his file and proceeded to take me for the FREEEEEEEE 8-point Tests. Blardy hell, you know what? Mr Consultant, took my weight, height, blood pressure reading, pulse rate and then got me to hold 2 stupid handles to measure body fat. Taaadaaaaa......the machine then spew out a tiny piece of paper similar to a cash register receipt with all the above readings and some BMI la, BMR la, Fat% la, Fat Mass la, TBW la etc, etc. and then Mr Consultant unceremoniously told me I'm 5 kg overweight. @$%#*&*@

All said, I think they are just trying very hard to re-coup the cost of those blardy expensive machines.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:11 AM, | 35 comments
Saturday, October 28, 2006

Free Tests for Heart, Stroke & Cancer??????

I was in the midst of washing the bathroom when a Ms Suria from a medical centre in town called. It went something like this:-

Suria : Hello, Ms Ng ah?

Me : Huh?

Suria : Hello, hello, can you hear me?

Me : Ya.

Suria : Hello, Ms Ng. Your husband said to speak to you regarding the 8-point medical test.

Me : Huh?

Suria : I'm calling from XXX Medical Centre and we are offering selected Celcom customers FREE 8-point Medical Check-up in conjunction with our 3rd anniversary.

Me : Huh? (my hands full of soap, body full of sweat and mind a bit blank)

Suria : Hello, Mrs Ng ah? (she alternates in addressing me as Ms Ng and Mrs Ng) You understand English or not?

Me : Yes.

Suria : Ms Ng, we do FREEEE check-up for you. No need to take blood or urine wan. chee toh moh?(she added in Cantonese)

Suria : Also no need to fast wan. Our special machines do body checks only for HEART, STROKE & CANCER and can detect 1st stage of the sickness.

Me : Orrrh.

Suria : You understand what I say ah? tuck moh?

Me : Can, can. I can speaking Engrish little bit nia la.

Suria : So you come tomorrow with your husband Mr Chin **aikkss! his name become Mr Chin pulak**. All free wan. Only pay RM3 for parking.

Suria : Then spend 1 hour with us and we do the tests for you and then the doctors will explain the results and also show you all our high-tech machines.

Me : Accurate meh, lidat?

Suria : Don't worry. Very accurate wan. Stage 1 cancer also can detect.

Me : ?????

I was annoyed. Firstly, this Suria girl has bad telephone manners and poor speaking skills. She should be thankful that I was not in my nasty mood this afternoon, if not I would have %#@&*+@ her kaw-kaw. Secondly, I am no doctor but I thought blood and urine always give a good picture of overall health of an individual. And is it right that a supposedly high-tech medical centre canvass for potential customers this way?
posted by nyonyapenang at 11:25 PM, | 17 comments
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan

Just decided to go off for a couple of days for a JALAN-JALAN CARI MAKAN trip.

Sayangs to all of you.
posted by nyonyapenang at 11:23 AM, | 19 comments
Monday, October 23, 2006

My Horniday Story

Hi, I’m back - arrived home on Thursday evening. Was at Hanoi airport on Wednesday morning for the flight home but unfortunately the flight was cancelled and we were then shuttled back to another hotel in town (meals and accommodation, courtesy of the airline). On Thursday, the flight was supposed to be at 10.00am (Hanoi time) but again it was delayed for another 1hr 30mins. Finally landed on Malaysian soil at about 3.45pm. Pheewwww…. What a relieve!

Day 1 – KL/Hanoi
Reached Hanoi at dinner time. Thought that we’ll be feasting on Vietnamese food but was given some simple everyday dishes with rice. Anyway, when you’re hungry, everything tasted good.

The restaurants I went to all had these big jars of snake wine. Yucky or not??

We were then sent to a budget hotel. OMG, in all my travels, I’ve never experienced this type of accommodation – it was dirty and it smelled awful. Aiyeerrr.....

Day 2 – Hanoi city tour
Visited those tourist spots. This city is really, really polluted – every other person is either wearing a mask or tying a big handkerchief to cover their nose and mouth. Yours truly started to cough.

You have reckless motorists, motorcylists (with 3 to 4 persons on a small kapchai)with their incessant horning all the time; cyclists and rickshaws come in all directions.

Afternoon – on a bus for about 3 hrs to Halong Bay. Had another unappetising dinner

Day 3 – Halong Bay
Short boat ride in Halong Bay to visit a cave. Had lunch on the boat. Was told that we would be served some yummy seafood but again it was a disappointment. I think I can cook better.

# Coughed real bad and lost my voice again. :(

After that, we had to take another old and rickety ferry across the bay to Dong Xi and then another 3 hrs or so bus ride to the Vietnam/China border. Got through Immigration and put the night at Nanning.

Day 4 – Nanning/Guilin
After breakfast, it was another 5 1/2hrs of bus ride to Guilin. Visited another cave, some parks, lakes, etc. – cannot recall all the names of those places as I was quite drowsy – must be due to the cough mixture which I had taken earlier.

Inside a lighted cave.

Did some window shopping at West Street – something like our Petaling Street. Many foreigners there.

Day 5 - Guilin/Longsheng/Yang Shuo
Another boat ride in Li Jiang – very touristy place. Then the bus took us on a mountainous drive to visit some traditional settlements. Had a most enjoyable and delicious lunch with the natives – cannot remember what they are called.

(You see, both the local guides in Vietnam and China speak Mandarin and I can only guess a bit here and there what they were saying. Haiyaah……that’s the problem la)
After dinner, the guide took us for a cultural show, another river boat ride in the night to see the black birds (dunno the correct name) dive into the river to catch fish for their master. Those birds have a string tied to their throat to prevent them from swallowing the catch.

Day 6 – Yang Shuo/Guilin/Nanning
Visited another cave. I think I have enough of caves for my lifetime already. This cave is more modern – you take a ride on a lift, a short buggy/train ride and a boat ride so, you use less leg power here. The formations in this cave is actually quite spectacular.
Next stop was the Liu San Jie Park. This lady, Liu San Jie is a famous folk song singer and she was there at the park. Some visitors took photos with her and the other performers dressed in traditional folk costumes. Of course, have to pay la.

We were then brought to a Chinese tea outlet whereby we were introduced to different types of teas and of course, were subtly coaxed to buy.

Day 7 - Nanning/Hanoi
One more cave, the Elephant Cave on the edge of the river – luckily no more climbing but just to take some photos with the river and cave as the backdrop. The guide then took us to a small pharmaceutical outlet to try out their creams, ointments, herbs, plasters, etc. Next 2 stops, a silk outlet and a pearl jewellery outlet. Very sienzzzzz…. la, all these.

Then another 6 hrs ride back to Hanoi. Crossing the border was truly an unforgettable experience – the bus had to stop somewhere up a small hill and we had to carry our own luggage downhill and walk across to the old immigration building; I thought we kinda looked like refugees. I dared not take any photos because all the armed guards and soldiers looked rather intimidating.

After getting through Immigration, it was another walk down another slope passed a construction site (they are building the new Immigration Complex) before we were met by our Vietnamese guide who had been waiting for us for the past 4 hrs or so.

Hopped onto the bus for another grueling 2 hrs to reach Hanoi, just in time to catch the famous Water Puppet Show. Just so, so only, if you were to ask me. Maybe, I was really tired to the bone that I actually nodded off in the midst of the show.

Then we were served another sub-standard dinner before proceeding to do some last minute shopping. Just too bad, the shops and stalls were already closing and moreover, all I could think of then was sleeeeppppzzzzzz……..

Day 8 – Hanoi/KL
Wake-up call at 6.00am. Served some horrible kuey-teow soup for breakfast before heading for the airport about 40mins away. Felt happy that we would be leaving the polluted city soon. But it was not to be – the flight was cancelled and so back we went to Hanoi city centre again.
After lunch, followed my tour mates for some free-and-easy shopping. It was quite hilarious – the locals can’t speak English and they don’t understand much Mandarin either. So when we were asking for some particular item or haggling over the prices, it was like just playing Charade – arms flaying all over and fingers jabbing at the calculator which was being pushed forth and back. Honestly, I found the things here overpriced.
Had another round of shopping with my tour mates at the street nightmarkets. Worse, similar items are priced about 5 to 8 times compared to those in Halong Bay.
Had to hail 2 cabs to sent us back to our hotel. I was in the second vehicle, which as luck would have it, the driver was new and he took us round and round looking for our hotel. To make it a more exciting ride, the cab mati-enjin 4 to 5 times in the middle of heavy on-coming traffic. OMG , I thought I would end up a road accident statistic in Hanoi.

Day 9 – Hanoi/KL once more
Yippee! Information board showed confirmed flight departure at 10.00am local time and boarding at Gate 6. Passed through Immigration and then waited happily. Aikksss! 9.30am already and still not calling to board yet???? Aiyah….. another 1 ½ hrs delay. So a few of us went up to the small coffee lounge to have some drinks. As soon as we sat down, a sweet Vietnamese waitress approached us with a drinks list (soft drinks, coffee and tea) and told us that each of us can only order one item. We were quite perplexed as to this queer ruling. Then another two uniformed ladies came by with a printed list and asked to see our boarding passes. Wahhh…..why so much hassle just to have a drink? After much sign language, pointing and nodding and shaking of the head, only did we understand that the airline is providing free drinks because of the flight delay. ;)

Planned to sleep on Friday but had to run some errands because of the Raya holidays coming up next week. Then went to see a doctor (not my regular doctor) for the cough and this is what she gave me for RM99.00

Do I need all these??????

I think I need another horniday to recover from this horniday. Meantime, shall settle for a good sleepzzzzzzz……..

posted by nyonyapenang at 12:05 AM, | 20 comments
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Horniday! Horniday!

For the past 3 hours or so, I have been opening and closing the closet doors and pulling and pushing the drawers. A few more rough slams and pulls, the hinges would just fall off for sure.

As much as I look forward to any trip, I cannot say the same for packing. I’ll just put it off until it’s like hours away before the flight and then only do I get the urgency to start throwing things into the suitcase. Being fickle-minded only makes the job worse – what I put into the suitcase, I might just pull it out soon after. And this can go on repeatedly until, until, until….I give up on myself la, and slam the suitcase shut.


Frens, I’ll be going away for a short horniday. Be back in 10 days time.

Loads of sayangs to all of you. Muuaakksss........
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:11 AM, | 38 comments
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hang Loose

Did you read the news article in The Sunday Times about this remand prisoner who was found with a HANDPHONE hidden up his anus? Prison officials were conducting a routine search before sending that man back to his cell when they found a slim model shoved up his asshole. It was reported that probably the prisoner came into contact with family members while in court and was slipped the handphone.

It is quite common to find tubes or condom-filled drugs up that hole but a HANDPHONE????? This chap must be, hmmmm…. quite a guy and probably:-.

*He is well endowed with one big and loose asshole to be able to slip in a handphone easily and quickly, as well as to purge it out without too much trouble when the need arises. Just a simple 'hmmmmpppfff....'is all it takes. How eazy!

*He must have strong legs and has taken a silent vow not to sit down as long as that toy is up that hole. What is a little pain in return for greater gain? How macho!

*For obvious reasons, the phone must always be in ‘SILENT/VIBRA’ mode only. All those fancy ringtones of the latest hits just won’t do. And please, just a gentle vibration to indicate some incoming calls or sms, is all that is needed – too vigorous a shake might make him look like a jerrrkkk.....sporadically and attract unwanted attention. How cool!

*Just ask permission to answer nature’s call and then he gets to answer his cronies’ calls and sms at the same time. And perhaps, to enjoy a shake or two in private. How brilliant!

*It’s neither dirty nor ‘geli’. How can his own private and personal storage space be anything but clean. Smells, you say???? What smell? Heard of anybody complaining about the smell of their own shit? How lame!

By the way, what type of phone could that be? A Blackberry or a slick Samseng? Oooppss.....I mean a slick and chic Samsung.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:25 AM, | 32 comments
Monday, October 09, 2006

Blame It On The Haze

Came across a news item in The Star a couple of days ago about a businessman who has to spend extra a few thousand ringgit each time the haze comes to town. You see, Mr Businessman suffers from severe sinusitis and the haze makes him very ill. So, whenever the haze appears, he will go grab some plane tickets, book some accommodation and fly away and only comes back when the sky is sunny and blue again.

This haze story has been recurring so often that people might just start to think that it’s the third season, besides the hot & dry season and the monsoon season. Other than the obvious issue of causing a host of health problems, it is also getting kind of convenient to blame everything else on the haze.

I was in a grouchy mood for a good part of last Friday. It was because of the haze. How come? Because I had to drive all the way down town and got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam for 1 1/2hrs. Why? Because I had to collect an important and urgent document. Why? Because the office boy called in sick due to the haze.


Another colleague was late for an important meeting because he overslept. He sheepishly confessed that he never used any alarm clock but all along depended on the sunlight to shine on his face to wake him up. **roll eyes** The thick haze blocked the bright sunlight and so he was late because he thought it was early. Go figure!


B noticed red welts and rashes on her teenage daughter’s arm and she suspected the girl of downing some forbidden booze. When questioned, the girl blamed it on the pollutants in the air. “Mom, it’s the haze la. My arms itch real bad”, cried the girl.


Had a banana leaf lunch with my 2 boys and we ordered a piece of fried tenggiri and one ikan senangin. That small miserable piece of tenggiri (half a slice, actually) costs RM4.00 and the senangin, just about 8 ins long (head to tail) costs RM9.00!

“The fish so small, why so mahal wan, boss?” I asked when presented with the bill.

“Aiyoh, achi. yini somua haze mia pasal. Laut tak boleh pigi, tarak ikan la” he explained.

?????? **slaps forehead**

(I remembered many moons ago when I also complained to this chap that the fried ikan kembong @RM4.00 per piece is expensive and he blamed it on the tsunami. tsk!...tsk!...tsk!)


And I just received a call from another colleague reminding me to submit my input on something. Arrghh….. I hate deadlines. Who loves it anyway?

“Errr…. Can give me a few more days ar? The haze la – my brain lack of oxygen. So cannot think properly, cannot talk coherently, cannot write sensibly, cannot count correctly, cannot bla, bla, bla.....”

Get what I mean?
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:12 AM, | 38 comments
Friday, October 06, 2006

Manuals Put Me To Sleep

On my way out of the office yesterday during lunch hour, I passed by my colleague’s room and caught him very engrossed in a book. Hmm…..since the fasting month started, he has been napping during lunch hour but reading now? Must be some thriller or what, I thought to myself. I popped in to his office and found that he was reading a car manual. That’s to me is as exciting as watching paint dry.

I hate reading manuals – ALL MANUALS; cars, tv, dvd players, washers, cookers, phones, cameras, computers, etc. etc…… Whenever I buy any appliance/equipment, I’ll just get that salesman to teach me the basics only - how to start, how to get what I want and how to switch off - even though that appliance/equipment might have multi-functions and multi-compatibility or multi-whatever. It’s OK really, because my brain works pretty slow and I get confused easily.

Take my car for example. It’s my car and what do I know about it other than open the car door, put in the key, get it started and go? Ya, of course now I also know how to fill up the tank and pump the tyres. This car has been with me a few years already and now I know a bit more – like when the diagnostic lights comes on, then I’m to sent it to the workshop la. I don’t even bother to refer to the Owner’s Manual because I will automatically fall asleep by the time it takes me to read the third line on the page.

I remember years ago, when I was driving the old car and it smelt funny; something smoky, but I continued my way until smoke came out from under the bonnet. I quickly drove into the petrol station at the next corner, jumped out from the car and asked for help. The station attendants asked me to open the bonnet. Huh??...... Bonnet?....Open??......OMG, I don’t know what to press or where to pull. Then one of them came to my side and pointed out the release lever to me. The radiator hose was leaking and I hadn’t notice – not even the ‘H’ reading on the temperature meter (is this the correct name?). One attendant then said, “Miss ah, you better tell your friend his car is now at this petrol station.”

“Friend? Which friend?”, I asked.

“The owner of the car la.” he answered.

Aiyooh, because I was so blur and doesn’t even know where the release lever was, this chap assumed that I borrowed someone’s car. Soooo…..malu.

But, malu for a while only ler. Now I am still not reading any manuals.
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:00 AM, | 41 comments
Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Barefoot In The Mall"

Oooucchh….my calves hurt, no thanks to walking around on 3” heels yesterday. I wanted to buy a new gas stove and I thought I’d get a good offer at Jusco 1U because there is a sale going on. So I parked the car at the old wing and first stop, the home centre. Asked the blur sales assistant and she directed me to the lower level. Can’t seem to find it at the lower level, so I asked the next ‘sotong’ assistant and he said it’s at the other corner. I headed to the other corner; still no sight of the item. I asked again and this ‘not-so-blur’ chap directed me to 3rd floor Jusco. Aiyoooh, this is how helpful those ‘sotongs’ are.

Anyway, I couldn’t get the model I wanted at the 3rd floor and I decided to walk all the way to Giant which is right at the other end as I wanted to buy some groceries too. Found the stove and got the slightly brighter sales assistant to check out a new set before putting the whole box into the giant trolley. A quick zip around to pick up some groceries before hitting the queue to pay. The nimble-fingered cashier rang up my purchases in no time... tit, titt, tit, titi.tittit…., “RMxxxx” read the register. Eh?? Wait minute.

“How much is the stove?”, I asked

“RM89.99”, the cashier answered

“I saw the price inside the store as RM79.99”, I said

“No. Scanning here show RM89.99”, she countered.

“Nevermind, you cancel this item first and I’ll pay for the groceries first. You please check the price for me”, I said.

As the cashier was not able to leave her post as the queue was long, I then walked into the store again to look for the chap who attended to me earlier. Ya, the price on display was only RM79.99 and as I turn back to go, this chap told me I have to wait for his manager to amend the bar-coding; if not I cannot make payment. After 15 minutes or so, the unsmiling manager gave the green light and I happily walked to the cashier. Tiiit, tiitt…tiiit RM89.99 AGAIN ar??? @#$&*% My face also turned colour already. One of the supervisors standing near the cashier’s came over and after some exchanges over their walkie-talkies, I paid RM79.99 and went my way. Felt very happy – all for RM10. :D

Arrgghhh. ….I have to push that wobbly trolley all the way back, tottering on my heels to the other wing of the complex. I actually thought of taking off those damn killers and walked barefoot la, but then was afraid if someone took a shot of me and post it in his blog probably titled ‘Barefoot In The Mall”. Shy ler!
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:27 AM, | 32 comments
Tuesday, October 03, 2006

How Many Bowls Can You Do?

How many full bowls of rice can a normal-sized (say about H170cm/W60kg) college boy eat in one sitting?

Well, my son has a friend DD who, on normal days, would be 4 bowls and on ‘special’ days when the accompanying dishes are more yummy, 5 – 6 bowls, no sweat! Aitelyu, how he managed to wolf down so much rice in one sitting is beyond me. I have seen him in action :-

wantan mee – 4 balls of the noodles
bak kut teh yam rice – 4 to 5 full bowls
chicken rice – 3 plate-fulls (without extra chicken meat)
Fried Rice - 3 big plates
seafood buffet – 50 – 60 pcs of only siput sudu (not counting all the other stuff he took)

**his other friends teased him that he is barred forever from stepping into the buffet outlet .**

I did ask him once, if he at all feels bloated or discomfort with so much stuffed inside and he said, “Not at all. Feel just right. Everybody eats as much at home.”

Aiyoh, see him eat, I also feel full already.

posted by nyonyapenang at 9:02 AM, | 28 comments
Monday, October 02, 2006

Lose Weight Now?

Was having lunch at a coffeeshop when a tall and scrawny man walked in with a young buxom woman (his wife, I guess) together with a tiny wisp of a much older lady (the man’s mother, I presume) and they took the table next to mine.

Two huge buttons, one each pinned to the man’s shirt and the younger woman’s sling-bag caught my eyes – it screamed “LOSE WEIGHT NOW, ASK ME HOW”. **Coughhhh....Coughhh...** I almost choked on my chee cheong fun. Hmmmmm..must be a sales representative for some weight loss products or some exercise programme or whatever else la. Aiyoh… if he thinks he is a walking advertisement, hahahahaha…..(ok, ok, I’m eviiill….I'm wicked.....), hahahaha……**wipes tears from eyes** One look at him and I already don’t want to know more. Fair enough, he is NOT FAT but, but for goodness sakes, he looked like a starving refugee to me la. I definitely don't wanna know how to look like I’m a victim of famine or what.

Oftentimes, I have come across sales consultants whom I should say, gave bad representation of the products they are offering. Examples:- selling skin care when they themselves have bad, spotty skin; selling health supplements/health food when they do not appear to be in the pink of health; pushing haircare products when their own hair looked like the witches’ broom, etc……etc…. Know what I mean?

If I believe I am fat and I need to lose weight, seriously, I would not want to be reed-thin like that man at the coffeeshop. I don’t want to ASK HIM HOW. No thank you, I think I prefer my deliciously rounded self, anytime.

posted by nyonyapenang at 12:09 AM, | 32 comments