Tag Archives: recreation

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~

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).

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 🙂

Love Reading?

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don’t know why i didn’t mention this before; guess i haven’t been buying books from there until lately. 

my parents love reading, and i can remember my mom bringing me to Chowrasta Market at Penang Road (they don’t only have local food goodies there), upstairs where the second-hand book dealers were while my dad just ‘borrows’ from Rasa Sayang Resort’s library, used to anyway. so we never really buy new books.

this place called Next Apache (www.nextapache.com – don’t know why the link doesn’t work) buys and sells second-hand English books; they have nearly everything, they even have text books for lessons. it’s a nice, warm and really cozy place for some ‘me-time’ or if you’d like a quiet place to chat over coffee – this is the place for you, and the staff speaks English so no worries about not being able to comprehend Slovak. 

this is also the place where we go for coffee fellowship after Sunday church services, and they have a nice garden terrace outside for seating as well. it’s just that due to winter, the place is too small to occupy all of us inside, so we’ve moved to a new place temporarily.

here are some pics i took when i was there last Saturday; just the inside though, they also have a level upstairs for more books.   

the many book shelves

the many book shelves

more shelves

more shelves, toilet on the left & pc on the right. i think they also offer internet services

 

sofa/seating area surrounded by books

sofa/seating area surrounded by books

bar - more seating areas opposite it

bar - more seating areas opposite it

the only bad thing about this place (and maybe the whole of Slovakia) is that there is no law to ban smokers from smoking indoors or in public places.  ppl smoke everywhere and especially at coffee places inside the malls, the smoke is thick and if you were to be there long enough, you’d come out smelling like a smoker yourself – hair, clothes and all. 

*Next Apache: Mon – Fri (9.00 – 22.00); Sat – Sun (10.00 – 22.00); Panenska 28. If you’re standing facing the Presidential Pallace, it’s to your left.*

Thermal Pool – Aquapark

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we brought Arielle out for a swim in a nice bubbly hot pool – in the middle of winter, that’s about the best thing ever!

the place is about 20mins drive away from Bratislava, in a small town call Senec. the pool was warm and oh-so-nice; we could stay in there the whole day. the only setback is your body might get so crinkled up, it might not return to it’s normal shape. 😛

they also have an indoor slide, so there was something a little bit more exciting than just the jacuzzi, water fountain, etc. the park outside is closed coz it’s dead cold; there is a restaurant upstairs if you get hungry and there is also a spa.

the 3 of us were so thrilled especially Arielle; which reminds me i’ll need to get a float for her. she’s too active and independent for us to be holding her all the time in the pool, she just wants to go and do her own thing. and yea, of course in the midst of that she also drank some of the water. what to do… this girl can’t be stopped! and after that trip to the pool, she’s not afraid of water anymore like she usually was whenever we bathe her in the big tub at home. now, she lies down, face up in the water all by herself – brave little girl.

here are some pics i took with my phone again – and it’s not the best of quality as usual. i just snapped as fast as i can – wasn’t sure any camera was allowed.

at the reception for payment before entering. Annette & Aylwin

at the reception for payment before entering. Annette & Aylwin

the reception area; Kevin's back, Arielle & Chantal

the reception area; Kevin's back, Arielle & Chantal

directory - also in English (GOOD!!)

directory - also in English (GOOD!!)

lockers - for both men and women

lockers - for both men and women

touchpad keylock for the lockers

touchpad keylock for the lockers

this 'watch' beside my watch is an entrance pass, locker key, and a 'credit card' for buying things while in the park. coolness right!

this 'watch' beside my watch is an entrance pass, locker key, and a 'credit card' for buying things while in the park. coolness right!

shower area - seperates for men and women but not the lockers. so if you need to change in a dry place after showering, it's at the locker area. hint*hint*

shower area - seperates for men and women but not the lockers. so if you need to change in a dry place after showering, it's at the locker area. hint*hint*

Arielle still too young for this though the water level is only above ankle

Arielle still too young for this though the water level is only above ankle

Aylwin & Arielle with Annette & Chantal

Aylwin & Arielle with Annette & Chantal

Kevin & Hannan

Kevin & Hannan

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Arielle got thirsty ... 😛

always baby-friendly

always baby-friendly

we had such a nice time with Kevin & Annette & the 2 sweet girls (THANKS GUYS!!), and both Arielle and Chantal were so tired after the swim. After changing Arielle; she was already crying while i was changing her, then we gave her her milk immediately; coz sure hungry after so much exercise – she totally KO after that. how great is that! *super grins*

IWCB & Asian Ladies’ Meeting

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on tuesday i went to an International Women’s Club Bratislava at Crowne Plaza, right smack in the heart of town. got to go only because the nice jap lady who invited me came over to our place so that she could help me with baby & her pram up and down the bus. she took 2 buses to reach our place – it was so nice of her.

anyway, it was my first time and she was the one who introduced it to me. her husband works with Sony as well, and she was one of the people who came over for bak kut teh at our place for dinner; she’s Kaori-san. she and her husband had twins (one boy and one girl – kau tim, close shop!) now 8 years old and attending the international school here.

when i got there, the meeting was held at the coffee house and it was quite noisy – ppl chattering and laughing and all that. all women, the only 2 men there were the photographer and the other is the dance instructor who was there to promote dancing classes.

the only seats available there were away from the counter where they served coffee and a distance away from the white baby grand piano. there was supposed to be a small concert that day. after taking our seats and putting Arielle down, she wandered off on her own, more like wobbled off, where she found new friends and toys to play with. afraid that she would be rough on the other babies, i quickly sat down next to her on the floor and grabbed her. it was from there that i started talking to other mothers, but more like started to talking to their babies first. ahhaha… why do we do that?

it’s good to find that there are other women who are also in my kind of position. husband working, we stay home all day with baby in a foreign land, where language and food and culture is all new.

would be good if i can join the club; they’ve got a few activities planned out for the whole year and i’ll get to meet ppl with the same kind of needs as me. but it’s difficult for me to travel alone with baby and having to take the bus. in add’n to that, i’d like to get more acquainted with ppl from church and see where i can fit in to serve first before occupying myself with other activities. at least with church activities, aylwin and i can go together with the car.

there is also another club for women, it’s called the Asian Ladies’ Meeting and they meet once a month. an Indonesian lady from our church had invited me, but i told her i wasn’t able to go. i’m sure it’d be nice if i could; maybe they have sambal and nasi lemak…. hmmm…or laksa, or curry…