Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reunion Dinner at my house ... during Chinese New Year Eve

My grandmother/grandfather has 10 children - 9 males and a female.

As with tradition, the female will be following her husband to her in-laws. Not that women is treated unfairly, mind you. It is just a tradition.

So, how to hold a reunion dinner in such huge family circle?. My grandmother is pretty smart at holding everyone close together. She says that each of the 9 siblings will be taking turns every year.

As last year was my 2nd uncle's responsibility, this year was my dad's turn.

It is not an easy task holding a reunion dinner. House have to be cleaned ... like really clean. Then comes the food, soft drinks, beers, wines, red packets (ang pow), decorations, etc ...

I did the best I could ... cleaning whatever I saw ... doing whatever was needed to make sure the reunion dinner went smoothly. And thank God it did :)

House entrance ... checked!

Tables and chairs ... checked!

Spoons, chopsticks, oranges, bowls, etc ... checked!

Weirdly enough, my dad decided to cook porridge for teatime before the reunion dinner starts. No worries though as my dad is a great cook. The porridge is finished by the end of the day.

A huge pot of porridge

My father also dished out some other dish, namely ...

'Khak Bak' - grandmother's favourite 'must have' dish

... and ...

Chili padi chicken - quite spicy but yet delicious thanks to my dad's skill and the fresh chicken

... as side dish.

For the main dish, my dad dished out 'Lok Lok'. You can call it steamboat (Loh) too as it is very similar. The only difference is 'Lok Lok' has a special peanut sauce to go with and all the ingredients (diced/sliced meat, vegetables and etc) are skewered into bamboo skewers.

After porridge feast, everyone (cousins and aunties) start working on the 'Lok Lok' ... placing fish balls, meat balls, vegetables, squid and etc into the skewers.

'Lok Lok'

My dog - Max (which was tied up) looking a little bored there. Max had to be tied up for fear it might ran out and wander around unnecessarily during the night.

After dinner, ...

My dad and uncles (his siblings) chatted ... with beers, wines and teas of course

The children (younger generations) played cards ... mostly Killer ...

My aunties got the 'Lou Sang' ingredients ready

All of us 'Lou-ing Sang' ... meaning mixing the raw ingredients (coloured gingers, pamaloes, crackers, etc). While I like 'Lou Sang' for its healthy mixture, I hate gingers ...

Later on, my 7th uncle gave out red packets (ang pow). The fact was he was giving it out in the name of my 8th uncle who was unable to join us this year.

The catch here was that we were to dance in order to random-pick the ang pow. I danced and I chosed mine. I picked RM30 ang pow while my lucky sister picked a RM50 ang pow. Well, better than none. Its the act that matters after all ... not the amount of money inside.

My youngest cousin did a little hip-hoping by yo-yo-ing.

To my relatives and family members, may we remain close to one another like we always do. May we be blessed with good health, prosperity, happiness and etc.

Till my next post, Happy Chinese New Year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year !!!

I've been spring cleaning for a couple of weeks. But, spring cleaning is only given a serious treatment a couple of days ago.

So, right now, I am tired and my body is aching. But, I am glad my house is so much more cleaner.

It's Chinese New Year Eve tomorrow !!! There is still lots of stuff to be done though, which include whatever left to be cleaned and getting ingredients ready (my dads cooking).

As my dad has so many brothers, each sibling has to take turns to host the reunion dinner. Apparently, this year is my dad's turn. That is the reason why me and my family is so busy cleaning and cooking (tomorrow).

Anyway, Happy Chinese New Year everyone.

May the year be filled with fun, laughter, luck, prosperity, good health, and everything that is good.


Note
I may not be able to post anything for a week. Will be celebrating Chinese New Year here in KL as well as in Penang. I will only be back next week.

So, thanks for visiting, reading, commenting, dropping entrecard, clicking on my advertisement and etc.

Thank you so much.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Report this Facebook group!!! Help remove it from Facebook now!!!

To my readers and visitors (in fact everyone/anyone) who have a Facebook account, I need your help here. I really do!

I need you to report this group. Why?

Okay! I'll tell you why ...

There is this group in Facebook by the name of 'I Kill Animals'.

What comes to you mind when you see the word 'I Kill Animals'?

Yes! That's right ... it is a group for animal killer lovers ... (sick isn't it)

The group was created by this guy named Richard James Bogdan III (Buffalo, NY) a year ago.

He posted several photos which was pretty gory and sickening.

Below are the photos (I adjusted the size of the photos in the hope that I don't scare all of you away from my blog! :) posted.

He also had the nerve to post a video of him (my guess) launching a squirrel. Poor thing.



To report a group on facebook is easy. To do that:
  1. Click the "report group" link at the bottom left of the page.
  2. Choose "violence" in the flag in the drop-down menu.
  3. You DO NOT need to join the groups in order to do this.
  4. You can also specify saying something like “This group transmits content that I deem harmful, abusive and hateful, encouraging criminal acts and gratuitous violence” or “violence towards animals breeds violence towards ourselves” or whatever else you think adequate to the context.
Arguing with the members of this sick group is pointless and a complete waste of time. So, just report the group (and the members, if you want) and leave.

Thank you
(from me as well as on behalf of my group 'Stop Anti-Cat', 'Help remove All groups promoting animal cruelty from Facebook!' and others)

Note
Every reported clicks count. Up till now, at least more than a dozen such horrible group is removed. For example, I Love Hurting Animals [removed 13th Jan '09], Support LIVE Skinning in China [removed 13th Jan '09] and The Roadkill Appreciation Society [removed 16th Jan '09].

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is Vietnam like? The food ...

Been very busy spring cleaning my house for a couple of weeks.

Look at my dirty hand ... lolz

From my previous entry, I am sure you'll have a rough idea of what Vietnam is. Chaotic ... yes ... but charming in its own way all the same.

One of the things that is a must for tourists to experience are to try out all the local food. I didn't of cause manage to try out all the local food.

As Vietnam's meat base food is mostly made of beef, I do have to be careful when ordering food. I am a Buddhist :) Not that I never tried it before (accidentally), but I don't like the taste and smell of beef.

Vietnam people also consume lots of vegetables/herbs. Every dish is accompanied with some vegetables/herbs ... be it a compliment, a dish or decorations. I enjoyed some .. but I dislike some as well.

Example of vegetables/herbs I dislike ... I know it is good for health! ... but there are so many other vegetables/herbs for me to choose ...why this vegetables then eh?

My first meal in Vietnam was ... well ... erm ... KFC (hehehehe). I know I know. As me and my friends were not sure of where and what to eat at that time, we decided to just have our dinner at KFC. Sounds like comfort food don't you think ...

I ordered a dinner plate with spicy chicken. Everything looks the same but the chicken was not spicy enough. And, the chilli sauce there was a little sweet for my taste. I was actually craving for something spicy!!!

Food that is acceptable to me but somehow will not be missed

Vietnam is well know for their soup base noodles. The most popular being a noodle soup called Pho (pronounced as phe). With some little research done earlier, me and my friends headed to a fast food restaurant called Pho 24.

Pho 24

Pho Chicken Noodle ... the herbs! ... argh .... I couldn't get it into my mouth ... I just couldn't

As I couldn't consume beef, I ordered Pho Chicken Noodle. The noodle was okay ... kinda like the wan tan noodle soup (kuay tiao th'ng) in Malaysia. Maybe I wasn't used to the new taste. But the herbs ... I regretted putting it in ... I ate non of the herbs at the end.

On one of my tour around Vietnam, I was taken into a restaurant to have lunch. Looking through the menu, I saw something worth trying. It was called - Chicken Chop with Fries. How wrong was I.

Chicken chop with fries

It was not only chicken chop with fries. It was chopped chicken served with fries. The chicken was old and unchewable. My gum ached after finishing the 3rd and last piece of the chicken. The fries was okay though.

What will salt + pepper equal to?

Well ... it is something we can dip our food into.

Salt and pepper

I tried dipping my fries into the strange combination. Weird ... yes ... tasted okay though.

Everyone sure do love salad rolls. Vietnam is popular for their salad roll. During the course of the 8 days, my friends ordered salad roll as we wanted to try it out. I tried several times actually. And, frankly speaking, I don't like it one bit.

Salad roll ... don't be fooled by the prawns!

The rice paper used to wrap the fillings was rather hard. That's fine. The thing that I could not stand was the herbs used inside. I lost my appetite so very quickly after a few bite.

You may asked why I tried it several times after that. Well, haha ... I thought there would be a salad roll free of that herb. Missed the bull's eye totally. The herb was awful.

Food/Beverage that is so yummy I am already missing it dearly

Okay, enough about the herbs ~.~ Lets look into something which I miss so very much. Vietnam is largely influenced by French's culture since ... (Not sure myself). The result is something called Vietnamese baguette (Bánh Mi Thit).

Vietnamese baguette

The baguette ... seriously ... is so different from the one we have in Malaysia. In Malaysia, what we get is dry, hard or aroma-less baguette. Vietnamese baguette is crispy, soft in the inside and the aroma is amazing. It is really that good. I can eat it every morning!

Vietnamese sandwich baguette. The picture above was the best one I had. I was too excited and couldn't wait to taste it.

The sandwich baguette was filled with the normal 'sandwich kinda' ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots. The chosen 'extra' filling was of my choice of maybe ham, meat, sausage, egg, tuna and etc. I tasted tuna, ham and ham and egg so far. It was so delicious till the point it may as well be my best breakfast ever. Oh! They added fish sauce inside too.

Where can I get Vietnamese baguette here in Malaysia? Any idea ...

While I didn't enjoy the salad roll as mentioned above, I did enjoy Vietnamese spring roll. The best spring roll I tasted so far in Vietnam was the one in Pho 24.

Spring roll

The spring roll was seriously so damn delicious. I forgot what was inside the spring roll. Something like mung beans, yam, sprouts and meat (usually pork). The accompanied sauce enhance the taste of the spring roll too. While I tried many spring roll in other restaurants, non was as delicious as the one in Pho 24.

I am still craving for that spring roll above!

Last but not least, coffee. Vietnam is also well known for their coffee. And I can tell you this, the coffee in Vietnam can beat Starbucks or Coffee Bean into pieces. I seriously mean it. Starbucks/Coffee Bean /Old Town/Kopitiam ... hmm ... while the coffee there is good ... the price of the coffee is a kill.

Vietnamese coffee

Vietnamese coffee is a little different. It is so much cheaper. It is much more simpler. The aroma is so strong, nice and omph! You also get to enjoy the dripping of the coffee (as shown above with the coffee filler). It is so much fun as a matter of fact.

I think that is all for now. This entry is getting a little too long :)

Off making coffee ... weeee (I bought coffee filler and grounded coffee in Vietnam).

Oh! ... Damn ... no baguette to go together with the coffee ...

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Monday, January 19, 2009

What is Vietnam like? The surrounding ...

First and foremost, I must say that I am glad to be a Malaysian after visiting Vietnam. Its not like everyday I would have said that for your information. If you are a Malaysian, you'll know what I mean.

Before this trip, my perception of Vietnam was rather hazy. But yet, I can imagine Vietnam to be something like Thailand.

When I reached Vietnam, my perception was confirmed. Vietnam did look a lot like Thailand in some ways. But, Vietnam was unique in its own ways too.

The first thing I found out was the amount of motorbikes on the road. I was like wow! ... were there that many motorbikes in Vietnam.

Look at the number of motorbikes ...

In Malaysia, traffic jam = caused by cars. In Vietnam, traffic jam = caused by motorbikes. The number of motorbikes were way too many till the point car drivers had to be super alert in maneuvering their car. Another skills I haven't got the chance to learn eh. Not planning to anyway ...

Roads were full with motorbikes too

I was told by someone that crossing a road in Vietnam is crazy. I can assure you that now. Crossing a road in Vietnam is not only crazy ... it is insane. Somehow, I manage to master the 'Vietnam road-crossing' skill :)

This picture was taken while I was crossing the road ... look at the distance between me and the motorbikes and cars ... it's insane

I am a skillful road-crosser now. But, I'll just leave that behind at Vietnam. If I were to perform the skill right here in Malaysia, I could be killed ... like seriously.

In Malaysia, a person will certainly get angry when he/she is honked ... right! Well, not here in Vietnam. Honking on the road is like a necessity. The rules are so weak in Vietnam that you'll see cars and motorbikes from every direction ... even when the traffic light is red!

So, the usage of honk is obviously to warn/inform people that you are right on your way. Honk! Honk! Mind you, get out of the way !!! ;) I told my friend that there may be a possibility one of Vietnam's driving lesson's priority was to learn how and when to honk the horn. There is certainly a need for that.

Vietnam's electricity wiring are a little strange for a reason unknown even to the locals. Wires ... more wires ... mindless wires. There are so many wires between each pole that you'll be wondering how the hell the electrician will be able to differentiate which wire is to which.

Crazy electricity wiring ...

I think that is all for now. While Vietnam's surrounding is a little chaotic, Vietnam sure do have its own charm as well.

Will be posting more stories on Vietnam soon. Food and place of interest is right on the way ...

Cam on va chao (Thanks and goodbye)

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am officially a year older

Today, I am officially a year older. I am not 24 years old. No I am not (mind me). The fact is I am only 18 years old with 6 years of experience (opps ... my age is revealed)

I hardly ... or should I put it as never ... celebrate my birthday before. Not even a party ... like seriously.

As for presents, well, a little here and there over the years. The biggest present would be the one my mum gave me last year - a Sony Erricson K550i mobile. Sadly, that was stolen right in front of my eyes after only using it for 2 months ... damn that pick pocket ...

Okay. Enough is enough. What's the use of thinking about my past birthdays. What's important is today.

Having said all the above, this birthday is possibly one of my most memorable birthday. Why is that? Well, ...

1) My friend Hui Teing bought me a scarf as a gift few days back. I wore it during my Vietnam trip to warm my neck. (Thanks Hui Teing ... now I've got a scarf)

What do you think of me? Handsome, nerdy than ever (gosh!), ugly (gosh!) or whatever ... lol

2) Hui Teing, cutefernfern and Misspinkladyjenz treated me to a crab feast. The crabs were delicious till the point where we lick of fingers. (Thanks Hui Teing, cutefernfern and Misspinkladyjenz for the delicious crabs)

Crabs ...

3) My sister gave me a brand new wallet. I've been in the look for a new wallet as my current one was a little torn. It may not be my favourite colour, but that's fine. I like whatever that is given to me ... after all, it is not everytime that I receive presents on my birthday. (So sis, if you read this, thanks a lot ... I like it very much coz its kind of funky and cool)

Do you think the wallet suits me? I think I will look very cool using it.

4) My mum and dad cook a sumptuous dinner for me. What a dinner it was knowing that my dad's behind the wok. My dad is a great cook I must say.

Stir-fried arrowhead with 'siu yuk'
Silver pomfret curry

5) I received lots of birthday wishes from my friends ... lotssss....


My birthday resolution ... hmm ... *closing my eyes and making lots of wish* ... ... ... done!

I am not telling you my wish. No I am not. Maybe next time ...

Back to saying 'thank you' to those who wish me then ... what a thoughtful friends I have for remembering my birthday : )

Bye and ...
Happy Birthday to me :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am back ...

Hello again!

I am back from my trip ... Vietnam trip ...

It was a memorable trip all together.

New experience. New knowledge. Friends-bonding. New friends. Lots of souvenirs ... bla bla ...

Well, I am in the still of sorting all the photos captured during the trip. Lots of photos indeed ...

Here is what to expect in the coming couple of entries ...

Super busy road ... with countless motorbikes

Super complicated wires ... *faint*

Super delicious coffee ... easily beat Coffee Bean's/Starbucks's coffee to pulp

Super delicious baguette ...

Me ... at the entrance of a temple

Notre Dame Cathedral

Me again ... at Crazy House

Until the next entry, chau ...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I will be away for a week !!! Enjoy the Hot Chocolate while I am away ...

My dearest blog readers, visitors and friends alike,

I will be away for a week starting this very Friday (9th Jan 2009). I will be back next Friday (16th Jan 2009).

I know what's on your mind though. "Where are you going eh?" you may asked :)

Well, let's just say I am going to travel ...

Frankly speaking, I never travel before ... I mean outside of Malaysia ... So, this coming adventure will be something new to me. I am pretty excited about it as a matter of fact.

No posting will be made for a whole week then ... but ... take heed ... without a doubt ~

I WILL BE BACK !!!

Before that however, I am leaving you with a story I stumbled upon ... a thought provoking story ... Short it may be but it teaches us a whole lot. (Hope it last you for a week !!!)

HOT CHOCOLATE

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to visit their old professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.


Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.


When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each others cups."

Now consider this:


Life = hot chocolate; while your job, money and position in society = the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.

Therefore, Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And, enjoy your hot chocolate.


(taken from Food for Thought ... with a little alteration by me to generalised it)

Until next week,

'poof!' ... oops ... (still here)

'POOF!' ...
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