Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mrs Independent

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for the first time since we got here, i finally decided to brave the public transport myself. i promised myself that when the weather gets warmer and when it’s nicer to go out, i’d take more walks and try to go downtown myself with Arielle. this was further motivated when my cousin Shirleen came over for a week from UK. with her, we took the public transport and went to places like the park, zoo and even visited the Devin Castle

*some travel tips* from where we were, we took the 212/206 trolley bus, stopped at Hodzovo Nameste/the Presidential Pallace (5mins); walked through Old Town to where the Novy Most bridge is, below the UFO tower (10-15mins); take the autobus 28/29 (which comes once in half an hr) and it will take you to the Devin Castle (15-20mins), if you’re not sure, just follow the crowd on where to get down. for more info, this website helps http://www.bratislava.info/trips/devin/

with Shirleen ee-ee looking at the magnificient view of the Danube River from the top of the Castle

with Shirleen ee-ee looking at the magnificient view of the Danube River from the top of the Castle

 

on the way up the steep road; wouldn't have made it without Shirleen

on the way up the steep road; wouldn't have made it without Shirleen

 

posing with 'Mr Leaner' in Old Town

posing with 'Mr Leaner' in Old Town

so yesterday i waited anxiously at the bus stop and hoped to make it for the Ladies’ Bible Study, which is on every Tuesday at The Next Apache from 11.30am. when the bus came ( i think my palms sweat a bit :P), i rolled the pram to the entrance and looked at the 2 steps up the bus as ppl boarded from the other 2 entrances. then a lady behind me voluntarily helped me carry up the pram unto the bus… all businesslike and no smiles. was kinda awkward, but i was grateful for her help. i guess the whole experience was kinda confusing for me; was i suppose to ask for help or would the public voluntarily help? not quite sure about that; but when no one seem to help and as i was struggling to get the pram up the bus on our way home, only then people started to extend their hand. maybe they thought i could do it on my own.

nevertheless, at least now i know i can get to go places with the public transport and at least now i know also that there will be people helping me (with fingers crossed). i don’t have to be stuck at home anymore!! phew~

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Budapest-Easter

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Heroes' Square - Budapest

Heroes' Square - Budapest

last Friday we got the chance to go visit Budapest, which is 21/2hours away from here. we made the trip with Annette/Kevin and family and had a great time. we were especially happy with our accommodation although at first, we had a bit of trouble looking for it. 

we booked over the internet on Homelidays  and Annette helped us to communicate with the owner of the apartment on  the dates. we were concerned mostly about the parking since the place is so near town but as it turned out, we had no problem with it as the owner saved 2 spaces for us right in front of the apartment itself! overall on the stay, it was more than what we expected (we had eggs, jam, coffee & coffee machine, tea, mineral water, milk, fruits, butter, even mayonaise, etc, prepared for us and all FOC), it was comfortable and we’re so satisfied and happy with it, we’re sure to rent from them again whenever/if ever we go back for another visit. the apartment came with a TV in each room, a computer with access to the internet, DVD player with DVDs, towels, soap, facial cotton! all the kitchen appliances for cooking and eating at home, a washing machine, etc… let’s just say you only need to bring your clothes and you can move right in if you’d like to stay temporarily if not just to visit. when we were returning the keys, we inquired if they have any similar places for rent in Paris or London *wink*.

although we had a bad first encounter with a local Hungarian, but that incident was overshadowed by the many friendly & helpful people we met immediately after. if i were to compare, i think Hungarians are friendlier than Slovaks. aylwin tells me from what he hears from the office, these 2 nations have a mutual dislike with each other. not sure why though.

 

like Slovakia, Easter Sunday and Monday were public holidays – and this means, EVERYTHING’S CLOSED!! again the same thing like our Christmas eve in Slovakia, all shops are closed and only selected restaurants are open. *stress man* it’s a good thing this time we were warned first hand by Annette and we bought a few things back to cook. 

our 4 day tour with baby wasn’t the best one coz Arielle was teething and she was upset a lot of times (crying and whining; not her usual jolly self) – she didn’t have enough sleep at night coz of the pain, and needless to say, neither did her parents. we covered only a few places (Budapest is a big city ok) mainly:

1. Margaret Island

2. Heroes’ Square

3. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Gardens

4. Dohany Street Synagogue & bits of the Jewish settlements

5. Gyor (a small town near Slovakia on our way back; ayl relates it to Taiping town; small & a bit kampung.)

we would have done more, but coz 3 of us were all tired out coz of arielle, we decided to cut the trip short and head home for her sake. it was disappointing to have to leave so early when we could have gone to other places to see more stuff, but what to do… hopefully we could make another trip there again and see the things we’ve missed out (wonder when that will be…hmmm).

The Christian Tongue

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Note: This post is specifically directed to my Christian, Jesus-loving professing brothers and sisters.

With all honesty, I don’t have any data to back-up this post of mine, but I have heard enough with my own ears to note that the Christian tongue of the younger generations are getting more loose, almost to the point that I cannot differentiate between them and the world. 

Back at my homechurch in Malaysia (for the sake of anonymity, I will not mention the name, but you know who you are), I hear (and it always, without fail, annoys me to no end) the youth frequently using the word ‘DAMN’; damn this, damn that, damn good… etc. It irks me every time I hear it; I mean, come on, there are other better (and more civil) words to use other than what is commonly heard today. And another favorite is the word S**T (faeces). This thing that should only come out from the backside of man is coming out from the mouth of man. No wonder Jesus says in Matt 15: 18 “But the things which come out from the mouth come from the heart, and they defile the man“. Is this how far we have slidden? In the facade of coming together for prayer meetings, worship, of blessing one another in church, proclaiming that we love Jesus among the congregation, yet in our private (and dare I say our online lives), we subject the Spirit of God who is in us to such filth and decadence! I’ve seen it on Facebook, how some younger ones that I know to be the leaders in church, are using these words simply on their status updates. Christians you say? Sure don’t sound like one. 

Brothers, sisters, I deeply appeal to you, for the sake of our risen King, think before you speak (or type), put a guard on that tongue; be sure that the words we use does not compromise the position of Christ in our lives. I leave you with a reminder from the book of James 3: 8 – 13.

But no one can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly posion. By this we bless God, even the Father. And by this we curse men, who have come into being according to the image of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a fountaion send forth at the same hole the sweet and the bitter? Can the fig tree, my brothers, bear olive berries; or a vine, figs? So no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh.  

You are that fountain. Pls give it some consideration, for the cause of the kingdom.

Family Fun – long outdated post

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last month when it was still freezing and snowing, Annette brought us to a place in Austria. it’s an indoor playground for kids of all ages. it’s called Family Fun. (check out the website for more info)

the first thing that hit me was the sound from which the place was emitting and the energy it was releasing. squeals, screams, cries, kids pushing, running, jumping, climbing… for a moment there as i stood with Arielle while Aylwin cleared the registration counter, i was overwhelmed with all of it. there are lockers for you to put your shoes/coats; the whole place is ‘shoeless’ for everyone; and while we were trying to find an empty locker, i thought i would just sit quietly at a corner before i moved. hahaha… 

if you’re like me; one who is not particularly in love with children (other than your own of course), i strongly encourage you to either go on weekdays so there’s less people or have your partner to do the chaperoning OR if there’s no other choice, grab a bottle of energy drink before you enter. the place is huge and it’s all for the kids; you’ll sure love it if you’re a kid-at-heart yourself. i had some little fun too with the area full of balls, and Kevin (Annette’s husband) sure looked like he was having more fun than the rest of us. 

some blur pics from my hp, again forgot to bring me camera! ish! 

one thing i can guarantee you, your kid is sure to collapse after a trip to this place – that is, if you don’t collapse first yourself 🙂

Spring Cleaning

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i now fully understand the term ‘Spring Cleaning’. it was always known to me only as the time before our family celebrates CNY (Chinese New Year) that we would clean the whole house and get rid of broken or unwanted things; every year around that time of the year. why the ‘spring’ before the ‘cleaning’ – i never knew.

i’ve come to loathe that word ‘spring cleaning’ because there was always so much to clean, the season was super hot especially at that time of year, and to make things worse, my nose is super-sensitive to dust. i got into sneezing frenzies and i sweat buckets! 

back then in our old house, we didn’t have closed kitchen cabinets, only open shelves and things would be stacked high up near the ceiling. my grandmother had kept and kept and kept those ‘nice and expensive’ pots and pans in plastic bags and had rarely taken them down to use because they were ‘precious’, only to be used for some special occasion that never came; and they would collect dust for the whole year till we clean it during ‘spring cleaning’ before CNY. oh the tediousness!! and did i mention no use of vacuum cleaners and the luxury of having an air-con too! 

being here in a 4-season country, i’m getting the meaning why it’s called SPRING cleaning. i found out that living in snow is a hassle, but i just got to find out that it can also be costly in terms of premise/road maintenance. after all the snow had melted, we saw potholes EVERYWHERE on the roads. it sure wasn’t there before winter when we got here, and it’s not only where the busses or trucks frequent. it’s a good thing the council here took quick action on those potholes, they were getting bigger and bigger by the day, so unlike in Kajang. :P! 

on our balcony, the tiles where the snow had stayed the longest is chipping. now that it’s warmer i can go outside, so i cleaned the windows and the balconies (we got 3 balconies, 2 more to be done; phew!) and there was so much dirt! the pail of water turned ‘brak-brak’ even before i was halfway though. plus, the whole apartment outside is mostly painted in white!! A.GO.NY!

from the playground downstairs, i observed some units having renovation work, people shifting and cleaning houses, waste paper baskets are installed around the park area, pots with flowers are put on the balconies (should have one of those but scared later all die under my hands!)… etc. 

 

BEFORE; one month ago

BEFORE; nearly more than one month ago

 

 

chipped tiles

AFTER; chipped tiles, wonder how much it would be it maintain this; not that we're paying for it though

 

little helper

little helper

 

finally i can show off my hot legs

'finally i can show off my hot legs'

now that things are cleaned, there’s a sense of fulfillment and a kind of peace. the home is clean again, and this little girl can run free and easy.

Spring escapade

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No words can explain the relief that spring is finally here, and the temperature is picking up. Here’s some pix of what happened / we did last week, taking opportunity of the fine weather.

 

Common spring and summer scene; insects getting splattered on your car windscreen. Cleaning up is a headache.

Common spring and summer scene; insects getting splattered on your car windscreen. Cleaning up is a headache.

 

Look at the size of the kebab... this Turkish restaurant in Vienna serves a wicked lamb dish

Look at the size of the kebab... this Turkish restaurant in Vienna serves a wicked lamb dish

 

scouting around for Arielle's hat and sunglasses

scouting around for Arielle's hat and sunglasses

 

Arielle loves these kind of rides; this picture just rocks!

Arielle loves these kind of rides; this picture just rocks!