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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our journey back

How did you deal with an extra ordinary long journey in the car like our recent one from AS to KL???? We didn't make a good decision on the departure day as we left on the final day of the holiday, thus the horrified traffic was unavoidable! Thinking back now....i can't imagine how we survived the 9 hours confining in the car.
After i browsed & played back some of the photos & videos we took during the journey, i recalled some funny conversations that were worthy of note!!

Out of the need to combat the severity of boredom & torture in the car, we created some humourous talks where lil bit of vulgarities exist to cheer both of us up (not meant for the kids thou)!!

As you can see above, as early as at the Butterworth exit, the sight of bumper to bumper already appeared right before our eyes!! We were like.......oooh no, not so early, "ng hai ah ma, kam chou sak" ???? Then after a long 15 minutes of 'turtle' drive we noticed the jam wasn't caused by the festive crowd but it was the 'stupid' Langkawi De Tour that coincidently happened to be on the same day & time !! Our good traffic police actually blocked some of the roads to give way to the cycling group!!! Ohh common......not at this time where everyone was rushing mad home....i mean there were making the situations worst!!

Needless to say, the man in the car nearly went 'amok' and started his cursing......where you could hear the 'tiu nia sing lei' from the below video if you listen very carefully........u can also hear him 'ngam ngam cham cham' (video courtesy from the boys)

While we still couldn't move beyond 50km/hour, we came across this digital notice board which reads : TRAFIK LANCAR./smooth traffic....something something....so our itchy mouth just couldn't helped but to burst out loud: "lancar ka LAN JIAO" ???????.... while laughing hysterically !!!

The journey went a bit smoother after taking over the cycling group but there were still many many cars rambling on the road.............and so, our cursing continued :

We actually saw many "non-chinese" travelling on the road.....you know those easily identifiable ones which we called the 'pao tao' !!! Once we saw one of their car broke down by the road side, we went : "itu lah.......padan muka engkau, orang sambut tahun baru cina, engkau sibuk buat apa, cari pasal saja nak sumbat sampai itu highway penuh, lain kali orang balik kampung, u pegi 'lan si' jauh-jauh lah"..........kekekeke

Then when we got tired of cursing, we attacked the cookies we intended to bring back to KL. We went non-stop munching until we emptied the whole can.

We had to stop like 3-4 times at the rest areas which were crowded & stinky to "relief" ourselves and also for some good stretching!! Btw, the stops were so important to ease our numb buttocks!!

As the boys couldn't really catch their nonsense dady & mumy's conversations/laughs, they have their own ways to deal with the long journey. They played their gameboy, they had their own rubbish talks, they fight a little and they had my camera!! And so they went around shooting along the journey. Here's one which captured my heart. Little did i notice that this little man of ours had this passion........give a little patience and hear what Sean had to express!

You hear him said the wah......"BMW".....very nice ooh ooh ahh ahh & wah !!! And boy, his voice was so sweet lor........

btw, itu BMW where got 'new'.........hor???

We had our breakfast before we left AS and along the journey, we didn't stop for lunch until late evening, we were so exhausted so we decided to stop at Tapah . We had a good break with some hotdog buns and ice-cream at Baskin Robin.

Finally, after a long 9 hours battle, we arrived Puchong approximately 8pm. Straight away, we stopped at a nearby food court for our quick dinner!!
And i hope you enjoy the final video below as much as Scot has enjoyed his plate of noodle!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

SO so so Backdated.....CNY in Alor Setar !!

U know what.....after my post on how we spent our CNY EVE, i was supposed to write a little on our simple 'kampung' life in Alor Setar during the first 3 days of CNY but there were just too many distractions or rather suprises that happened along the way hence prevented me from doing so. I owed this post so much. At the sametime, it gaves me a little wake on how unfair i've been deviding my attention & time to the other sides of my family, hahaha....

It wasn't as if there was a 180 degree variance between urban & rural CNY spending but food wise, no doubt there were a few obvious to note..... in particular for someone who has not experienced such celebration in this northern part of the country!!
Right in the morning of the 1st day of CNY, the family's dining table will be served with a REAL BIG wok of this auspicious noodle (a must-have dish), which the Teochew called "MIEN TEOW" !!!
I seriously have no idea what was it called in other dialects/languages nor have i seen them cooked in other dishes!! Over there, my MIL fried them with lots of garlic, bean sprout, 'kau choi', pork lark & egg of course!! For me, I found that it has very strong garlic taste and no other taste that my senses could detect, therefore i usually gobbled the noodle with lots of chillies (padi) to satisfy my hungry stomach! Frankly speaking, it actually took me quite a few years to grow a liking towards this noodle.
When my family was served this noodle last year, they didn't quite like it too and so were my boys!!

Then to accompany the above noodle as breakfast, here is another must-have dessert. It was the usual "lin chi kang" which could be savour in any other places throughout the country BUT the only exception here to the family was that the amount of gingko/'pak kor' that were boiled in the dessert was tremendously great!! I don't know whether it has any special meaning to the CNY but it was obviously noted that every family members of my in-law love eating them. My huby alone would take a portion as big as the size of the bowl below. It seriously scare the hell out of me looking at how they swallow these gingko......maybe i'm bias again as my admiration with gingko is again very low i would say!! Nevertheless, i still enjoyed eating this dessert......

This year i helped to place these preserved 'junks' into this beautiful authentic 'plate'....i almost couldn't believe these were still served to the guest. I think these days, people would try to stay away from eating these junks, no?

It has still been a norm to pay a visit to huby's grandma's house where most of the relatives would seen gathering around. And again the women would be busy distributing angpows while the men mingles around!

And it was also a rare time for the kids/cousins to blend.....should i say less than 3 times in a year !!!

As food becomes lacking during CNY, this famous Malay operated TELOK KECHAI LAKSA would be targeted as either a snack in between main meals or a dish to serve the guest!!

As i was busying 'kepoh' elsewhere, i suddenly saw my Sean sitting on the dining table with some aunties who had been successful in convincing him to give a try on the laksa & boy.....he loves it since then...........

Another favourite meal that me & huby would not miss during our trip back to the 'kampung' even if it means 11pm at night and i would ended up feeling sorry to my digestive system!!!

When it comes to time to depart home, usually a little emotion would run around us esp. to the kids. And to a certain extend, i think my FIL is the next person that displayed the feeling of uneasy with our departure. Right before we were about to leave, my FIL was already seen checking the calendar for our next trip back home for the celebration of his birthday which will be in May! Huby has been "informed" of the DATE to report back, hahaha...

Till i talk about the 'kampung CNY' again next year, bye for now !!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Little Ah Bengs Comb Hair.......AND.......

After reading Wendy's post on his son's liking to comb hair recently, i came across unexpectedly my 2 little ah bengs doing just the same thing so blogging instinct told me to immediately grabbed my camera to capture that scene !!!!
Hope you enjoy viewing what the "'naughty & nonsense" mummy has done to her boys........

It was taken after their night shower tonight!

The one to discover the shooting first & went hiding behind the chair where they stood was SEAN & the one holding the white comb with his super SHINY hair flattenly combed was SCOT !! Scot was the one that fell off from the chair to the floor as he alleged that Sean pushed him (thou not on purpose). Scot wailed his lung out........Poor boy.....

Guess whose nasty laugh was that.................?????

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Surprise...

Phewww.......i can now officially CALL-OFF the CNY celebration except the upcoming Chap Goh Mei (the 15th/end of CNY). We just had another memorable weekends full of visitings, gatherings & eating of course!! Before i continue to torture your eyes reading more writings & viewing more photos on our CNY events, i can't wait to share with you another surprise i received yesterday evening. 2 old friends of mine came to my house for our annual CNY visiting as agreed earlier. Without giving any hint earlier, my heart went melting seeing them carrying a big secret recipe bag........instantly it knocked on my mind that my big day is soon approaching... actually the actual big day has yet to arrive... still another 2 & ahalf weeks to go lar....But then due to our busy & hectic schedules, it's sad to say we don't meet that often. And that's why they took this opportunity to celebrate my big day in advance with all our family members!

Here's the white chocolate macademia cakes
(so yumillicious...how can i say not when the heart was so happy, rite?)

It was no longer an annual practise to give each other a little pressie on b'day (like we used to do), and in replace we could just give each other an eating treat BUT this year, it was so so so thoughtful of them to get me this lil crystal pendant. I have to admit that irrespective of what our age could be, it is always grateful, wonderful & happy to receive a gift out of care/love, wouldn't you agree more?
so sweet hor......

You see...until i so shy to be rendered the b'day song, hahahaha

Frankly speaking, how many closely-knitted friends that you are still able to keep close contact with after schools? Many would have shifted their friendship to their colleagues after joining the workforce as these are the people that they would be meeting at least 8 hours a day. Well, I don't have many and i really mean it..... that i could actually count with my 10 fingers so those that i'd managed to keep close contact until today would be assured of my sincere & high appreciation over the friendship that we'd built!

Thank you.....my dear friends !!!

After the simple cake-cutting ceremony, we had some bites of the cakes, cookies & chatted before we proceeded to a dinner at a nearby restaurant. It was the lousiest CNY dinner we had so far & the rocketed price had scared us off until we had to curse that they will soon be "closed"/'chap lap' !!!

Scot, Zen Lee & Sean


Back to a little updates on our CNY visitings......

We chanced upon a visit to KEN II Damansara Condo located at SS2 as huby's friend owned a unit there & invited us to their open house. Could anyone give a guess how much it costs considering the high ranking location? Well, i could hardly believe it....for a 1500sq.ft. nest, one has to pay a whopping price close-to RM400k!!! No doubt, the amenities, environment & atmosphere were superb plus the security was very tight & save BUT still both huby & I wouldn't thought it was worth! Anyway, good to know the price though....

Here they are.........

SCOT, JASON & SEAN at playground


Next i would like to showcase how lucky this man was. He used to be an ex-colleague of mine who like to tease & disturb me so much (very itchy type).....back then when i was still not married. But now he called me 'aunty' already........yeah, as if he's not 'ah pek', haha
The coincidence thing was that we both had 'TWINS'.........hahaha
But why i said he was so lucky????
Coz he has "loong foong thoi" i.e. twins of 1boy & 1girl!
When he told me that his wife was conceiving twins, he mentioned very confidently that it will be a pair of 1B 1G twins and i challenged him that he will not be so lucky wan........................
"mana tau", ahhh i so 'jeles' !!
Daniel (in green) & Gracial...not sure correct spelling coz i forgot (in pink)!
One thing i reckon, though they were of different gender but they still looked so alike, rite?

My boys love this dude so much coz he was like a mr. clown to the kids! He insisted my boys call him bryan ko-ko !!


Next highlight was a relationship with the in-law family. We paid our annual visit to my 3rd sis, MIC's house in Damansara Jaya. She was staying with her in-law(Mr&Mrs Yee). The Yee family was small with only a son (my BIL) & a daughter so i bet their house could be pretty quiet & lonely at times. But with our visit on that day (my parents, 5 of us siblings together with the husbands & children=all in 15 of us), i believe they would not hesitate to welcome us again & again. We really ransacked their house, brought so much laughter & cheers to their family. We walloped so much foods & drinks as Mrs.Yee asam laksa was just toooo fabulous... slurppp slurppp man!! Now, wouldn't it kind of rare to find 2 'chan kar' families so close? How i wish mine could be of the same but i suppose rel/ship of this nature was very much fated so no point 'dreaming', hahaha !!

Now, i regret i didn't eat another bowl of this..........

See.....even my loukung also acted like a kid......haha

The cousins...WengYee, Sean, ShuetYee, TzeJiat, Scot


Finally, was the LAI family annual gathering. To me, it was just another angpow distribution & eating session. There were all together 5 tables to accommodate the entire family members. I believe you would agree, as the number of family members are so huge, it is quite impossible to visit each & everyone's house. So since the passing of my late grandma, my dad's siblings chose to gather at the restaurant for a family eating session. My dad and his 2 brothers were obliged to pay the bill while the sisters were pampered along with the rest of the family members!
There are more photos here....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The HOKKIEN & their "TIN GONG" festival...

For all my life, all i know was that the Hokkien celebrates the festival but didn't bother to find out the history behind the celebration until i finally attended it for the FIRST TIME in my life yesterday!!

So....after witnessing many unbelievable rituals & rare obsessions, curiosity sets me in and there i went googled for an answer, which i copied & pasted below (just in case you are as blur as i am)

i copied the below from here

The Jade Emperor (玉 皇 大 帝, Yu Huang Da Di)

The Jade Emperor is the supreme ruler of Heavens, the hades and the protector of mankind according to Chinese folklore religion and the highest ranking deity of the Taoist pantheon.
From the ninth century onwards, he was the patron deity of the Chinese imperial family. The Jade Emperor presides over Heaven and Earth just as the earthly emperors once ruled over China.
Based on one account the Jade Emperor was originally the crown prince of the kingdom of Majestic Heavenly Lights and Ornaments. At birth he emitted a bright light that filled the entire kingdom. When he was young, he was benevolent, intelligent and wise. He devoted his entire childhood to helping the needy (the poor and suffering, the deserted and single, the hungry and disabled). Furthermore, he showed respect and benevolence to both men and creatures. After his father died, he ascended the throne. He made sure that everyone in his kingdom found peace and contentment, after that he told his ministers that he wished to cultivate Dao in a mountain cave and cultivate. After 1,750 trials, each trial lasting for 120,976 years, he attained Immortality. After another a hundred million years of cultivation, he finally became the Jade Emperor.
The Jade Emperor is usually depicted seated on a throne in imperial robes, his flat-topped crown embedded with strings of pearls that dangle from the front. He holds a short, flat tablet in clasped in both hands before his chest.He looks very majestic with his flowing beard.
His birthday is celebrated on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year commonly known as “Tian Gong Dan” (天 公 誕 Festival of the Heavenly God). It is an important festival to the Taoists and Chinese community. Taoist temples throughout the world held gathering and prayers together to worship him. To beseech him to grant peace, prosperity, protection from calamities for the entire year, favorable weather conditions, and abundant harvest.
Most people are not aware that the Jade Emperor is the protector of the Buddha dharma in Buddhism. He’s called Lord Sakra or Indra or in the Shurangama Mantra (楞 嚴 咒) his name is recited as “Namo Yin Two La Ye” (南 無 因 陀 羅 耶).
According to Buddhist text he resides in “Trayastrimsa Heaven” as in Sanksrit and means "Heaven of the Thirty-three'. The Lord of the Heaven of the Thirty-three resides above our heads. There are eight heavens in the east, eight in the west, eight in the north, and eight in the south, making thirty-two; the thirty-third is located in the center of the others and is at the peak of Mount Sumeru.
'Trayastrimsa, "Heaven of the Thirty-Three", is not thirty-third in a vertical arrangement of heavens. Vertically it occupies the second position among eighteen heavens. Its name is taken from the fact that it is the central one among a group of heavens located on the same plane, with eight heavens on each of its four sides.
The lord of the central heaven, the thirty-third, is named Sakra or Indra, and in Buddhism he is a protector of the Buddha's Dharma.The Heaven of the Thirty-Three is eighty thousand yojanas high, and its city, the City of Good View, is made of the seven precious materials and is sixty thousand yojanas high. In the center of that city is Sakra's palace, which is made of the most exquisite and valuable gems.
In the past at the time of Kashyapa Buddha, Sakra was a very ordinary and a poor woman who saw a temple in ruins and vowed to restore it. Soliciting friends and relatives, she gradually gathered a group of thirty-two women. She herself was the thirty-third. Each of the thirty-three gave as much support as she could muster and with their collective effort they repaired the ruined temple. When each one died she ascended to the heavens and became ruler of her own heaven. The heaven in which Sakra, the former leader of the women, lives, is called the Trayastrimsa Heaven....

Both huby & I attended the Tin Gong celebrations yesterday but at separate locations. He was invited to his customer's place who happened to be his hometown folk so he actually had a good time bumping into many Alor Setarians !!

And I brought my boys to a good friend's family celebration. Sabrina was considered my childhood school friend as this year marked our 20 years of friendship. I think we met when we were in Form1 or Form2. After secondary school, we parted our ways with me furthering my tertiary education & she pursued her skills & followed by work. Yet we managed to keep our friendship on-going with occassional meet-ups. We used to hang out in pubs & disco back then and i can safely say our interests went along well. Not long after.... marriages followed suit with both our children came on board yet we still keep in touch.

Sabrina came from a super-holy HOKKIEN family but despite the long friendship, i never show any interest prior to this in joining their 'Tin Gong' festival. The other reason i wasn't keen was because the celebration started very late in the night as the praying session only begin at 12 midnight of the 9th day of CNY. But yesterday nite after huby went out, the boys were still very active & excited. We were reluctant to call the day off so knowing that Sabrina celebrates it, i called her up to find out what was up over her place. She excitedly told me that her parents have shifted to her eldest brother's NEW BIG MANSION........and that made me more thrilled !!
So in no time, i agreed to hop over her place. It was already 9pm so i quickly got my boys & myself changed & headed on. It was only about 15 mins drive from my house.

As expected, the interior & exterior designs of the new bungalow didn't failed to impress me!!!

Arghhh.....guess it will forever remain a dream to own a house like this heh ???
Now....... i'm already swaying out of topic. Back to the festival of the Heavenly God. If not from what i witnessed with my own eyes, i wouldn't believe how exagerate the preparations for the prayers & the festival can be. Believe me, i've never seen such obsession before as far as worshiping is concerned. And of course over at Sabrina's place, the big celebration was due to the financial capability of the family. The same festival could be celebrated moderately in other average family. So, let me share with you some of the exaggerations that i mentioned.

Here's on food........

'FATT KOU'/Cakes and noodles

BUNS made into the shape of tortoises

Cute little piggy 'kuih'
What impressed me most with the above was the fact that they were all HOME MADE by Sabrina's mom......what an effort, heh....i simply can't believe it !!!

' Tong Yuen'/Glutinous rice balls

LIVE CRABS are use to worship the God

As the family invited many relatives & friends over for the festival, the long table below was to serve buffet supper!!

Next would be the "OFFERINGS" to the God that were eventually being burn with the believe that they will be received by the God! And the amount of "GOLD" money (papers in any shapes & sizes) that were specially 'FOLDED' were truly amazing !!

Below was the mansion that was offered to the God! According to aunty, it costs about RM300+

There were many necessities accompanying the festival. One important one was of course the JOSS stick BUT for the first time in my life, i saw such a HUGE & LONG type....a 10 feet long!!

A pair of sugar cane is also a must-have.

Then there was also the barbeque of a whole lamb as well as 2 big roast pigs.......yes, u hear me right, 2 whole roast pig !!! On a usual account, others were seen offering a single roast pig (which is common) but the family being exceptionally well-doing, they have to offer their thankgivings in double the quantities i guess..... But i didn't take a photo of it because the pigs were wrapped up until the strike of 12 midnight & prayers started, the pigs will be served to all the guests.

Unfortunately we can't stay up until so late. I just hang around until 11pm ++. According to Sabrina, there will even be a display of fireworks & fire crackers but of course we were not able to have a glimpse of that as well.....what a miss !! Though my boys were not showing any sign of sleepiness, i had a feeling of fear thinking of the driving journey all alone in the late night, so leaving earlier gave me a hugh sigh of relief..... afterall i have already had a good encountering participating in the Tin Gong festival this year !!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our Visitings BEGIN......

After back from our 'kampung' last Sunday, i immediately started work albeit a reluctantly one....... again bcoz of the postponed reporting deadline as a result of CNY!! So the visiting among my side of the family members had yet to begin !! So today after work, sis MIC and in-law visited mom and we proceeded to a dinner outside. After dinner, they dropped by my house for a little ransack. At least now the CNY feel came back......

OOH.......look at him (my nephew), just can't resist hugging, cuddling, pinching & kissing him again n again..... he has no choice....being the youngest in the family, everyone was after him. Isn't it good to have a little one around........ahem, ahem.....you smell something in the air, hehe ????

Anyway.......back to the point, we are going to race our time with visitings starting tomorrow, Saturday and the run down of the schedules has already been full for the whole of 2 days until the end of Sunday...... gosh!! No choice..... as this weekend is the ONLY weekend left after being back to the city plus Chap Goh Mei (last day of CNY) falls on the coming Thursday!!


- 10am - huby's friend Vincent's open house;

- 12pm - my siblings gathering at sis MIC's house, Mrs Yee is going to pamper us with her favourite asam laksa;

- if time permits continue at sis MAG's house;

- the ANNUAL LAI family members gathering at a restaurant in Shah Alam, usually there will be 5 tables to accomodate the entire group (as dad has 9 siblings).


- visit hub's aunt in Kepong/Mark family (depends on availability);

- lunch with former neighbours (the bunch where we used to reside together in Sri Kesidang Apartment years ago)

- 5pm, 2 of my buddies with family came over for catch-up & proceed for dinner outside (table booked at Jui Mui Heen restaurant)

Well, is gonna be exhausting yet both huby & I look forward to it so much........

Here are our GIFTS.....we are ready to go, how about you ???!!!