Monthly Archives: July 2009

I’ve got food on my mind

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With less than 2 weeks to go before we step foot on the glorious land of Malaysia and risking heat stroke, it feels like my tongue and nose are already there, tasting and smelling all the flavors and aromas from our absolutely, unbelievably and irreplaceable hawker foods. In short, I can’t wait to get back.

Here’s my top 5 list of food that I MUST have:

 

KOLO MEE

KOLO MEE

a. Kolo mee in Carpenter Street – But the one that I really love is not found in Min Joo Cafe as detailed by Kenny Sia <God bless that blogger from Kuching>, rather, it’s less famous, but I love it simply because I lived in Carpenter Street and grew up on that kolo mee. The stall (can’t remember the name) is further up Carpenter Street, between furniture shops and opposite it is a Chinese temple with tortoises, if my memory serves me well. The kolo mee flavor is distinctly different and when I was young, they served it with a couple of slices of pig’s kidneys (not sure if they still do). Yum!

 

so beautiful...

so beautiful...

 b. Sarawak laksa – Anywhere from Kuching will do, just get me on the plane quick!!! 

  
 

 

Possibly my fav dish from Penang

Possibly my fav dish from Penang

 c. Penang curry mee – Before we get into the debate of Kuching vs Penang… let’s not go there. The one at Charlie’s (that row of hawkers at Tanjung Bungah) is pretty good. I love the magic of mixing the white base with the chilli and walla! Penang curry mee… Slurpp!

 

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d. Kajang chicken rice – Yes! Kajang chicken rice! Specifically the one behind the Kajang wet market, where the former Ocean used to be. Hope the blonde-haired chef is still there!

 

need i say more?

need i say more?

e. Kentucky Fried Chicken – Siao meh? Go back to Malaysia just to eat KFC? But ho… the KFC here is P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C. The difference between hot & spicy and original recipe is just the spelling. We had KFC a few days ago and just realized how ddddrrrrryyyyy the chicken is. Malaysia’s KFC is really the best of the lot; the juiciness, the fragrance, the aroma… argh!!!

I’m already looking up Kenny Sia’s best food award to get an idea of where to eat in Kuching; maklumlah… my Penangite wife always complain there’s nothing to eat there. How can she say that? Kolo mee is EVERYWHERE!! Your recommendations are welcomed!!!!!

Do you speaketh my language?

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You know it.

You’ve been there.

You wonder why there’s no pleasing this woman!! <and then you both argue and the neighbors listen 🙂 >

I recall  a seminar that I attended in church; they were speaking about the 5 love languages byDr Gary Chapman. In a quick summary, basically you and I have different ways of comprehending love, thus, when we express love, we show it in the way that we perceive love to be. But, your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/son/daughter/nephew/niece/father/mother/

grandpa/grandma/dog/cat/cow (I think I have the wrong category of creatures listed, but you get the idea) may have different views on this sticky (but addictive subject). And sometimes they tell you (if you’re fortunate enough; most of the time they just bottle it) that they don’t feel loved. And you think “What!? I spent hundreds of bucks for that present for you and you’re telling me you don’t feel the love??”

Well hot shot,  just as there are gazillion types of languages and dialects (I may be wrong, but definitely not far off), people do perceive and ‘speak’ love the way they know it. So, is there a wonder now why your sincerest efforts at times just doesn’t seem to do the magic? Maybe you’re just speaking the wrong language. Here’s how Dr Chapman defines the 5 love languages:

Words of Affirmation
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.”  Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement.  Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

Quality Time
Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.
Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage.

Receiving Gifts
Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

Acts of Service
Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking the dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

Physical Touch
Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches.

It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

So, what’s your love language?

When 2 become 1

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And suddenly I find myself writing 2 posts on marriages today. I saw this article which my godmother sent to me and I thought it is worthwhile to share it with all netizens. It talks about “finding” true love… and sustaining it. Hope you will enjoy this article, and may it open the eyes of your understanding.

DID I MARRY THE RIGHT PERSON?

During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, “How do I know if I married the right person?” I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, “It depends. Is that your husband?”
In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?”

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind.

Here’s the answer.
EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse/partner. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit) .

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience.
You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love… Because it’s happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.” Think about the imagery of that … expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU. Falling in love is easy It’s a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the   euphoria (excitement)   of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s   idiosyncrasies , instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, “Did I marry the right person?” And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because  (listen carefully to this):

THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON;  IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER  just happen to you. You can’t “find” LASTING  love.. You have to “make” it day in and day out. That’s why we have the __expression “the labor of love.” Because it takes  time, effort, and energy And most importantly, it takes WISDOM . You have to know   WHAT TO DO  to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. .. you can “make” love.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of arguments with my wife. Sometimes it’s her, sometimes it’s me. Sometimes I feel I apologized for mistakes that I didn’t cause at all. And many times, it drains me and makes me wonder why did I marry her in the first place. But looking back, all the petty issues made me laugh, and the tough issues made me wiser. And as long as the both of us makes the effort to compromise, and to change (God is a big factor for the both of us), our dream of growing old together and taking long walks in the park will one day be a reality.

I LOVE YOU CHOONG LI-ANN

10 Commandments of Marriage

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Saw this junk mail today, which I thought was i) so widely circulated it must have been on the moon and back and ii) offers a somewhat overall picture of marriage.

  1. Marriages are made in heaven. But so are thunder and lightning. 
  2. If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say; talk in your sleep.
  3. Marriage is grand — and divorce is at least 100 grand !
  4. Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbours listen.
  5.  When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: Either the car is new or the wife is.
  6. Marriage is when a man and woman become as one. The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.
  7. Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you say. After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.
  8. Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook. But the law allows only one wife.
  9. Marriage and love are purely matter of chemistry. That is why wives treat husbands like toxic waste.
  10. A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished!

Cranky

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On top of some TV shelf in Ikea Bratislava

On top of some TV shelf in Ikea Bratislava

Before battery goes flat, remember to check things out, even though it's meaningless and it's better to just go to my pram and shut my eyes.
Before battery goes flat, remember to check things out, even though it’s meaningless and it’s better to just go to my pram and shut my eyes.
I not sweepy....

I not sweepy....

When a kid is really, really sleepy, the last thing he or she wants to do is to go to sleep. All kids are like that. It’s like there’s a conspiracy somewhere (maybe while in their mother’s womb), all the foetuses in the world decided that it’s a fun thing to do. *When battery meter is low, try to squeeze even more juice out of it at the expense of your parent’s sanity*

Arielle is at that stage now. <God help us>

Makaning ice cream in Vienna

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On Saturday, we walked around Stephenplatz in Vienna; our third of fourth time there. Previously we were there last autumn when it was cold. This time the pleasant weather made the trip such a good one to make.

And Li-Ann strongly insisted to have ice-cream at this place, since it was litterally packed with people… eating ice cream (doh!).

Outside the ice cream shop... yup... everyone having ice cream

Outside the ice cream shop... yup... everyone having ice cream

inside the shop... Li-Ann found the tilting cones to be very interesting

inside the shop... Li-Ann found the tilting cones to be very interesting

the 3.50€ five scoop bonanza that made up 70% of Li-Ann's dinner later that night

the 3.50€ five scoop bonanza that made up 70% of Li-Ann's dinner later that night

If momma ain't happy, nobody in da house is gunna be happy. Well, in this case, she is. Phew

If momma ain't happy, nobody in da house is gunna be happy. Well, in this case, she is. Phew

Cute kid is not part of deco

Cute kid is not part of deco

Suffice to say, after having her ice-cream shots, Li-Ann *happily* wants to go home. And I still haven’t a clue about the name of the shop.