A d e ' s

I’VE MOVED!

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on June 19, 2012

http://cuppamilktea.blogspot.sg/

Yes I switched back to blogspot. Bye WordPress!

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We are certified advanced divers!

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on May 20, 2012

Tioman Island, 27 April – 29 April 2012
Advanced open water diver course (:

After a hiatus of 8 months, we finally get the chance to breathe in compress air again!

Before the trip, we were searching for advanced open water courses in Tioman and came across Gill Divers.
What caught our attention was the incredible rates that was offered – $569 for everything! That includes lodging, food, transport, AOWD course and equipments rental. Both of us thought it’s a steal!

Of course, we don’t expect luxurious stay at the resort. I had to manage my own expectations prior to the trip. I googled the “resort” – Salang Tioman resort and it was really basic. For that price, both of us had to share the room with 2 others, so that’s 4 to a room.

It took us about 6 hrs to get to Tioman from Gill Divers shop in Hong Kong Street. Approx 3 hrs coach ride + 3 hrs ferry ride. Thank goodness the ferry isn’t bumpy at all, else i would have puked given my low tolerance for ferry rides.

We departed at 630pm and arrived at 2am, with dinner break in between.

The room may be shabby and old looking but at the very least it’s clean and doesn’t come with any smell.

We woke up at 7am the next morning and ready for our 1st dive!!

All in a day, we did 4 dives on that day, including 1 night dive.

I was pretty nervous prior to our night dive as I’ve heard from my friends that it’s pretty scary? Since it’s pitch dark and all.
But I found it to be pretty exhilarating as it opens up to a whole new world of deep blue sea!

Being dark has its own beauty and catch – you get to see almost luminous sea creatures, something that you are unlikely to see in the daylight! Awesome!

Since we are on AOWD course, we have to practice on old and new techniques. I really suck at controlling my buoyancy urgh.

We did something really cool underwater during one of our dives – drinking Ribena! I was bewildered when our instructor suggested that and thought he was joking. Turns out that it can easily be done! What an experience!

One of our dive sites:

Our instructor brought us to wreck diving where we see the famous “7 sisters” wrecks in one of the sites. These wrecks were intentionally sink down by the authorities, either to promote tourism or to promote marine growth.
We went to Diver’s playground too! It has structures for divers to swim through and a thread mill! That is a favourite spot for photo taking hahaha.

Like i said, my buoyancy control suck big time so most of the time i’m all over the place during photo taking heh.

The food provided by the “resort” was surprisingly delish. Very Singaporean cze char style for lunch and dinner.
I had at least 2 plate full of rice for each meal!

There wasn’t much to be explored on this tiny island, so it’s basically chilling by the sea with bottles of beer or munching away with seafood after sun sets.

Needless to say, wr and I belonged to latter category hee.
After our provided-for dinner, we went for our 2nd round of dinner at another seafood restaurant near the jetty.
My oh my! The seafood was superb! Must have been darn fresh!

In my opinion, Tioman’s marine life is literally pale in comparison to Redang’s.
Most of the corals look lifeless and colorless to me. There aren’t alot of fishes that are worth looking swimming around, and the visibility was bad too.

So this is most likely the 1st and the last time I visit the island. There simply isnt much things worth seeing in there.

Even so, Wr and I enjoyed the trip alot because of the company. Our instructor, Douglas, was awesome. He may look like a retired “ah beng” at 1st glance but he is really experienced and skillful when it comes to diving. Not to mention he is one helluva big joker as well! 😀

We made friends with our fellow course mates, who are really friendly and nice people.
These two ladies supplied us with baby johnson shampoo for anti fogging purpose throughout our dives!

Now that we are AOWD certified, I can’t wait to venture out to those beautiful seas!!!

Next on my list will be Manado, Indonesia 😉

Roadtrip to Malacca

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on April 10, 2012

1st Apr – 2 Apr 2012
Roadtrip to Malacca (:

I tagged along wr and his parents down to his hometown  last weekend.

I was pretty excited about this trip because
1) I get to drive on the Malaysian expressway(which means driving at 130km/h)!
2) of the famous Malacca’s chicken rice ball and durian chendol
3) it’s a mini getaway!

It takes about 3 hours from SG 2nd link to Malacca, which is about 230km, depending on the traffic condition and the # of pit stops. We took about 3 hrs to get there and 5 hrs back, because the traffic was horrible! Since it was the tomb sweeping festival, many Singaporeans like us will be heading there and back during the weekend.

The landmark of Malacca.

The last time I set foot in this town was more than a decade ago!

His aunt brought us to this chinese restaurant for dinner. Oh my it was so awesome!
We had buttered crabs and marmite crabs, very unique way of preparing the crabs but it was so good! Chilli crab has always been my favourite but buttered and marmite cooking style is even better!

I’m so going to bring my family here to try 😀

Wr’s cousin brought us to Jonker Street for some shopping.
The street is shut off from vehicles at night for the crowd.

Malacca is one of the few towns in Malaysia with rich heritage. It preserved its Portuguese buildings, Peranakan culture and the chinese associations.

We’ve been wanting to try this, but no chance to do so 😦
It’s called Satay celup. Skewers of meat/veg are cooked in spicy, peanut thick paste. Similar to hotpot, but its thick satay gravy instead of soup.
I think it’s also known as loklok in Sg!

This stall’s really popular with locals and tourist. The que was insanely long!

Day 2 – Tomb sweeping day

The cemetery hill in Malacca is HUGE. At least 20 times bigger than Sg’s bukit brown.
The ancestors’ tomb is significantly alot larger and considerably well-kempt.

The highlight of the day, after hardwork at the cemetery, is the Malacca’s famous chicken rice ball!
I mistaken it for fishball when I first saw it.

To be honest, there’s nothing worth raving about. The rice is sticky and moist.
I prefer their normal chicken rice, which in my view, is better than alot of places in Sg

Desserts time!
This is easily the most yummy chendol i’ve ever had, and i’m not even a chendol person to start with!

Snowy, his cousin’s dog. She looked so pitiful being leashed to her cage.
She bit me lightly when she heard dogs and monkeys next door making noise. And ran to her cage after that.
Haha she knew she is in the wrong.

Wr daren’t even touch her!

Strolling along the streets on the hot,hot day before driving home

HongKong Macau trip with GFs

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on April 2, 2012

1 March – 5 March 2012, Macau & Hong Kong

We planned our itinerary around food prior to our trip. Since all of us went HK before, we decided to skip all the touristy place like Avenue of Stars, Disney land etc and focus only on FOOD!

Our 1st stop: Macau!

Since we only stayed for a night, we decided to splurge and stay in the Venetian Hotel. It’s really very beautiful and grand!

Our hotel suite was superb. Two queen size bed, an enormous toilet equipped with shower head and bath tube, and a TV area. Big enough for 4 of us to stay comfortably!

Used the iphone app Pcamera to capture the panoramic view of our room.

Our next destination after check-in is to find the macau famous pork chop bun!

We were all wrapped up because it was so coooold! I think it was 13-15 degrees when we got there.

The ruins of the St. Paul is the only tourist place we went to for the entire trip. We hurriedly left the place after the shots to look for our dinner!

Wanton mee, crab porridge for dinner! Yumms. Follow by the super-ultra-awesome Portuguese egg tarts from Stow’s! We had it two days in  row.

We hotel hopped when it turns dark. All the hotels are connected by their free shuttle bus, so we didn’t spend  a single cent on transport! Even hitting the Macau streets from our hotel was FOC too, thanks to the free buses.

We visited Galaxy hotel, the newest hotel in Macau. And some others which I can’t remember.

I still feel that Venetian is the best though, in terms of theme and beauty. 🙂

The artificial sky gives me the impression that its day time though it was already pitch dark outside.

I was really impressed with the gondoliers, as they can really sing! Their voice would echo down the streets, into the restaurants. At 1st i thought it was the music radio haha.

We didnt gamble at all, though we did tour the casino. We were quite excited and ready to put our stakes but were put off by the smoke. euuukk. So we head back to hotel room instead.

We covered where we want to cover, ate whatever we set out to eat during the 1.5 day in Macau!

Next stop: Hong Kong!

Our 1st meal in HK – polo bun, gong zai mee and milk tea! This cha chan ting serves one of the best polo bun around! No kidding!

We stayed in Royal Plaza, one of the few hotels that has rooms big enough for 4 pax. It has superb location too! In Mongkok, and a bridge away from our all time favourite fa yuen street.

This small dim sum restaurant is one-star michelin star rated! It has a seating capacity of 20. Opens at 10am but if you want to be in the 1st seating, you’ll have to start que-ing at 9am.

Loads of Singaporeans que-ing behind us! We were lucky to be in the 1st seating hehe.

Breakfast at Australia dairy was incredible. Simple bread with scrambled eggs taste heavenly! If only the expensive brunch dining places in SG has their standards.

We had the Curry fishball EVERY NIGHT. It’s the best!!

My gfs are either really skinny, or petite. But they never fail to amaze me with the no. of food they ordered, yet able to finish them.

We stretched our stomach to the max for this trip haha. Too greedy!

One of my favourite meal during the trip – steamboat at little sheep! It the bestest and the yummiest steamboat i’ve tasted. I love the soup and the fried fish skin!
I swear that we were greedy beyond hope because we had the hearty meal at 11.30PM!!

We had this supper combination for two consecutive nights! It’s either xu liu shan or gong cha for drinks, sweet potato, curry fishball, pig skin, cuttlefish, poofy egg thingy (dan zai) and my porridge.

Did i mention i’m a sucker for porridge? 😀

The only disappointment from this trip was shopping. There wasn’t much to buy, even the tung chung outlet let us down.

We were stressed up over souvenirs for our friends, families and Bfs. I bought nothing but food back for my family and wr.

Thankfully for colourmix (a chain store in HK akin to SASA), we found dirt cheap CrabTree&Evelyn handcreams. We stocked up loads on that!! So cheap that i lug at least 5 boxes back home. Not to mention cheap taiwan facemasks too!

It was great fun traveling with the girls to HK! We were equally greedy and constantly thinking of food…where to eat, what time should we eat, what to eat etc. We were also planning for  similar foodie trip next year, this time round with our bfs! So then they could help carry our bags haha!

HSBC Tree Top Walk

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on March 18, 2012

I’ve been wanting to explore this place for the longest time. And we finally did about 4 weeks ago?

Did some googling and blog reading before driving down.
If you are driving down, there’s only two places you could park – MacRitchie reservoir or upper thomson(venus drive) carpark.

From MacRitchie, you’ll have to cover longer distance, about 10KM – 12KM to and fro. Since i’m not in the mood for such long walk, i opt for entering via upper thomson which is easily half the distance.

Moreover, parking at upper thomson is FREEEEE!! (Super costly to park at MacRitchie ‘cuz it’s 2 cents per minute.)

 

I was armed with all the essentials -track shoes, water bottle, small tower, shades, bananas! All except for insect repellant but thankfully there werent any mozzies around.

I was quite afraid the monkeys will steal my bananas though! We saw a couple of monkeys roaming around the trees.

The narrow, rocky road ahead.

Thanks to the canopy, we don’t need our shades 🙂

I’ve always have weak ankles since young and all those years of running doesn’t seem to strengthen them. So walking on these trails for 7km is my ankles’ worst nightmare.
As expected, i suffered a little twist to one of my ankles while treading on those rocks, when i was busy talking and lose focus haha.

Wr picked this off the ground and said girls will never know what this is.
It’s actually live ammunition – spells ARMY.

Looks just like another something to me. Not impress and not interested haha.

Our destination, the treetop walk!

It closes at 4.45pm, so do take note if you’re planning a trip there.

And of course, what goes up must come down!

Doooooooooown we goooooooooo!

Honestly, i’d rather climb up and to walk down the steps. It’s very bad for the knees and mine hurts a lil when going down.
The stairs down were insanely ALOT!

Little monkey welcoming us on our way back.

It felt good to be closer to the nature, away from the concretes, our iphones (theres hardly any coverage!), the smoke, the fumes, the noise, the crowd.

We’ll be back definitely, probably to conquer the longer route, or with companies!

Losing my Ah Ma

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on February 28, 2012

Different people deal with the death issue differently.

Some assimilated it immediately, bawled their hearts out and seems okay soon after.
Some consoled themselves by thinking that their loved one has went on to a better, happy world which in turns make them feel alot better
Some needs longer time, while others heal faster.

I guess how one reacts to it is also dependent on various factors – level of kinship, depth of your love, regrets.

I wasn’t brought up by my ah ma, unlike some of my cousins. Even so, I’m closer to her than my maternal grandmother, simply because she cares deeply about every single one of her descendants, be it children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. She would call us everyweek, to find out how we are doing. Once, i was home alone for a week when my family went TW, and she called just to check if i’ve eaten, etc.

Such memories of her became more apparent after her death.

I’ve been trying to recall as much memories as i can of my time spent with her and replay it in my head for i’m afraid of forgeting her touch, her voice and her features. Everytime I do so, i would tear and let the grief wash over me. I know time heals, but doesn’t that equate to forgetting her?

And there’s also regrets. I’m sure everyone of us who feel the pain will also feel the regrets.

My brother and I feel that ever since we started working, we hadn’t take our ah ma out for meals frequent enough. Also, we always hear her speak of my dad’s childhood, but we never asked about hers. We won’t have the chance to again.

I’ve never been religious until ah ma’s demise. I find myself asking more questions on where will she be now, when will she come back (my religion believes that she will return on the 7th day), and what it means to appear in my dreams.

I longed for her to appear in my dreams, hear her voice again and her touch.

We’ll miss you so much.

CNY came and left too soon

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on February 11, 2012

CNY falls on January this year instead of the usual February. It came so hurriedly after Christmas, that when the festive mood finally sunk into me, it was over in a puff.

Not sure if CNY is slowly losing it’s significance,I find myself feeling less excited towards the festive season as compared to when I was a kid. Especially this year, where I just had to experience facial outbreak days before the holidays 😦 So you can imagine my dread when i do house visiting and meet up with friends.

Still, I’m glad that I managed to meet up with old friends, some of whom I hadn’t met for years!

Like my JJC classmates..

And my O levels study group!

Wr and I, together with my parents, head down to chinatown on the eve to soak in the CNY atmosphere and grab some good buys. It was expectedly very crowded but unexpectedly WET! We couldn’t see the fireworks and the firecrackers because of the rain.

Still, we roamed along the streets without being drenched with the help of cartons.

My family’s annual dim sum breakfast at Red Star restaurant on the 2nd day.

Wr brought me across the causeway to meet his extended family living in JB during one of the days. I was really excited! My first experience setting foot on local residences in a foreign land, and my first meeting with his relatives.

All of his relatives stayed in private property in JB. I visited 3 households and their houses are humongous. I snapped a pic of one of the houses and showed it to my parents.

His cuzzie’s puppy! Super obedient and tame. Oreo would have gone crazy if a stranger wants to carry him, but i doubt anyone wants to haha.

Both of us went to explore Jusco shopping mall before we head back SG. The mall is quite popular among S’poreans as it’s only a 10-15mins drive from 2nd link causeway.

There isn’t much to shop there actually unless you are looking at groceries, toiletries and household items.

We were more enticed by the food. There’re alot of eateries there!

We chilled at starbucks, and even though i was dead full, i couldn’t resist A&W’s curly fries!

On eve of CNY night, we had my grandma and bro’s gf stefie to join us for reunion dinner and birthday celebration with grandmama thereafter.

My grandma smiling happily and she kept singing praises of me just because I got her a birthday cake with “Longevity” written on top.
You see, old people are easily contented and they tend to treasure little things in life more than we do.

My grandma is currently hospitalised, got admitted on day 8 of CNY. I was initially pretty cool about it, as i thought she will be well again in no time, just like previous times.

Her condition deteriorated and i’ve never seen my grandma so frail, in so much pain before. It was quite a emotional roller coaster ride for all of us as her health fluctuated so rapidly these days.

I fervently hope that grandma will recover soon and be healthy again.

It’s twenty one two already

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on January 25, 2012

Before i had the time to collect my thoughts and review my 2011, the Chinese New Year is already over gosh.

Time passes incredibly fast for the past few years. Hopefully by realising this fact will push me to blog more often, for the sake of memories keep (:

I can’t remember if i did pen my resolution down in this very space last year.

Well, my resolution for 2011 is a job change. More specifically, I need to get out of the public sector. I’m really glad i achieved it!

It’s not  an easy process at all, because venturing out of your comfort zone is always an uphill task. I know I have to leave behind the nice colleagues, the good money and the stability for the better. As much as $$ was good, i had colleagues to lunch and shop with everyday, I wasn’t happy. I felt that the job kills my drive in work, my creativity and drowns my need for self-improvement.

All in all, I need to move on.

So I did. I can’t say i’m exactly in an ideal state now, but I know I will be eventually. Cross my fingers and hope for that opportunity to come sooner!

That pretty much sums up my resolution for 2011.

There are other stuff worth mentioning too!

Like I finally have perfect eyesight with the help of lasik. I would never, and can’t imagine, having to wear specs or worse, contact lenses again! Wearing contact lenses suck.

Like how i finally became a certified diver and be introduced to the most fabulous underwater world down there. I’ve always been drawn to the beauty of the blue waters on the screen but it’s out of the world experience when you get to suit up and swim beside the nature.

Enough said about 2011.

I always thought resolutions should NEVER be a list consisting of “live healthily”, “be happy”, “love more” and what nots. Because these are part of our life, not resolutions waiting to be ticked off!

So, here comes my resolution for 2012….. TO LEARN HOW TO COOK!

I’m sucha fail noob when it comes to the wok and pans. I’ve never fried an egg in my life! My most awesome meal so far are instant noodles so i need to make a change. Direly.

I have a feeling I will enjoy cooking. I love food, i love company. So cooking will bring me to both!

Cheers to a great year (of dragon) ahead!

😀

T’is the season to be jolly!

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on January 8, 2012

I couldn’t be more glad that the Stand Chart marathon, Christmas and the New Year all lie on the same month, because i get to eat without guilt!

Christmas is, and has always been, about food and the company. Sounds damn gluttony i know. But i’d like to believe i’m not the only pig here having that school of thought!

Within office, we celebrated by treating ourselves to lunch at leVel 33 at Marina Bay Financial Centre(MBFC) – my first dining experience with such paranomic view!

We each had the executive lunch set priced at $33++, which includes appetizer and desserts buffet and a main.

The appetizer fares much better than my mains, Fish&CHip, in my opinion.

Within the GFs, we did a picnic at botanical garden, where we also carry out our christmas exchange!

Being sucha noob at preparing food, i fretted and mulled over what to contribute, since my previous attempt at potluck was slammed badly.

I brought fruits, chocolate, mini fondue set and cupcakes from 12 cupcakes!

In the end, we were too stuffed to have choc fondue, the cupcakes were badly smashed and only grapes were finished from the fruits platter. Haha fail!

But nothing can be as epic as us ending up in disposable, oversized ponchos at the end of our PICNIC!

We scurried indoors lugging the mats, foods and picnic basket lols.

Simply ♥ such gatherings with the girls!

Christmas eve dinner with the bf was at Mezza9 again, despite the exorbitant price because both of us agreed that the buffet dinner is really fabulous and the service is top-notch.
Also, Mezza9 only serve dinner buffet twice a year – on Christmas eve and Christmas day. It would probably burn a bigger hole in our pockets if we were to go ala carte, given our insatiable appetite.

This year, the restaurant enhanced the Christmas ambience with pretty Christmas decor on all tables, coupled with cracker-shaped gift.

Oysters with special salsa red wine were superb!

Wr’s favouritest item of the night is the chocolate cake, which i didn’t get to eat cuz it’s all gone by then 😦
He said he don’t mind paying 128++ each year just for the cake. I think he’s drunk on food when he said that haha.

Both of us tried something v interesting that night!

We had fun blowing out cool air and snapping pics and videos of this amazing dessert.
It was an icy solidified lime gin that melts in your mouth after a few seconds, prepared by squishing the gin into a whipped cream like substance before placing it into the liquid nitrogen, freezing the surface.

I had only one ball of it cuz the cold stings my tongue, leaving it all numb!

The holidays went by so fast and it’s already 2012.

Like…wow.

Marathon #2

Posted in Uncategorized by cuppamilktea on December 12, 2011

The experience this year was way better than last’s.

I didn’t walk at all, running constantly at a comfortable pace of 7 min 30s per km. My bro stick together with me all the way till the last 4km and wr was of course nowhere in sight right from the beginning.

I spotted wr during the last 2km and an unexplainable energy surge through me. I was debating whether or not to sneakily ran past him and get to the finishing line before he did – something that he won’t be able to live with. But in the end we ran hand in hand back to the finishing line.

We clocked timing of 5hr 27 mins this year. Prior to the run my bro and I did 3 long runs – 20km, 30km, 20km at ECP. It feels different and better when you have a running buddy with you.

Chilling at Credit Suisse’s tent after the run. I even got myself a complementary massage that doesn’t help in any way.