Tag Archives: travel tips

The trip alone

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i actually managed to survive the journey to Penang with the 2 lil ones alone!! thank God!

Arielle was still down with diarrhoea and she was so weak she couldn’t walk so i had to take the stroller. Air Asia delayed our flight for half an hour and during the wait, we had to visit the loo a few times coz this lil girl of mine just had to. poor thing… but she was a good girl, no tears or meltdowns.

i had to ask the crew to help since i have a baby (2months old) strapped on me, a stroller with a 2year old and a big hand carry bag. it was also raining that night. they were very helpful seeing that i was in a difficult condition; they helped carry the stroller down the stairs and kept it in the cabin for me while Arielle walked the short distance to the plane (since she refused to be carried by a stranger). another crew came to carry her up into the plane when we reached the stairs. so, from the waiting area to the plane inside, i only had Ashton to take care of as the rest of the things that was with me was taken care of by the crew members. if you have young kids and you don’t know yet, you can actually use the stroller with you so that you don’t have to always carry baby around. it will later be passed to the crew when you reach the landing area before you board and will be kept inside where the luggages are, and when you reach, the crew will pass the stroller back to you so you can use it along the way back inside the airport. but the only setback is that with AA, there are staircases so you might need some help carrying the stroller if you’re alone.

inside the plane, Arielle was already tired coz it was already late so she slept soundly – such a good thing!! Ashton pulak woke up to ang-gu ang-gu and smile for a while … he charmed the lady beside me and she carried him for a while till he wanted to nurse. that was when the tragedy started. as he was nearly finished he suddenly burped and all the milk he took came gushing out of his mouth and both of us got all wet. i didn’t bring an extra change for him so i had to make do with a napkin cloth that i brought instead. what was worse was he had also made a big poo poo and it had stained his pants!!  the lady beside me was an angel as she helped me clean and change him, got her hands dirty and all and i felt quite embarrassed about it all. i was so grateful to her (a mother of 2 young adult children) and profusely thanked her. i suppose it must be due to the cabin pressure and the bumpy ride due to bad weather that he was feeling unwell. there was also a bout of crying and fussing.

when we reached penang, it was already over midnight. it was dark, most people are tired and everyone just wanted to go back home. we waited quite a while for our luggage, a whole lot of ppl crowded around the belt to get their stuff. i waited patiently far from the crowd, and then as more ppl left with theirs i finally got nearer and saw my big bag. i tried to lift the 29kg bag with 2 hands (baby on the sling) but a big lady beside me helped to take it off the belt. 🙂  i’ve help everywhere, not to mention stares as well.

all in all, the journey which i thought at first as impossible had become possible. thank God for strength and for kind ppl who have willingly offered their hand. because of that, i’, now happily in my hometown enjoying my one month stay here… the longest period of time here since i started work in kl in 2003.

The Public Transport

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here’s a great website (in english, yay!) for reference of the public transport (trams, buses, etc) here in Bratislava or in other places in Slovakia. one thing fantastic about the public transport here, is that they have a schedule, and so far from my own experience, it’s 90% accurate. so we can plan and save time and don’t need to wait FOREVER!!! there’s none on the trains though… still figuring out. 

http://www.imhd.zoznam.sk/ba/?w=2e25212e36212c28〈=en

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~

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.*

First trip to Vienna

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we made our first trip to Vienna on Saturday, by train. it’s only an hour’s (or for some 45mins) drive away from here. Vienna is also known to be cheaper for shopping than in Bratislava, so we went there with the thought of getting a gps for the car.
unfortunately, the only place we know is the city centre which is also the hottest spot for tourist, so rationally the prices there will be much higher. we walked one part of the town, but only found ONE shop selling electronics. we didn’t get it tho, thought we better ask our korean friends where would be the best place to buy it.

Vienna is beautiful! the most magnificent building in the city center is St. Stephen’s Cathedral; the architecture of the building is out of this world! the building is so big, one pic couldn’t fit. but it was bloomin hot, and there were so many ppl. i think it was 32deg and we were walking under the hot sun; which the angmohs luurrve so much to be under. oh man…

there are a lot of things to see there other than the buildings. one of the main attractions also were street performers, well i’m not sure what else to call them. ahhaa… if you’re like me, first time there and sakai, you would definitely like to take pics with them. they’re ‘still’ performers, so most of them either stand/sit on a box until you throw them some money in their hat and they move and you can take pictures with them. otherwise they just stand still; a bit kesian right but also a bit amazing how they can stand so still and not move. what happens if they got itchy somewhere? :P~


as we walk along the paved streets we also see some really nice statues/fountains. there was one with angels which was coated with gold paint… really nice. suddenly both of us were in awe that we’re actually here in Europe and sight-seeing in Vienna! we’re so thankful to God that He has made all these possible, His favour and His love is indeed beyond our imagination. never in our minds have we thought we would be able to do this as a family.

stepping into Austria, signs, posts, everything is in German; which is really good because it is a bit more familiar compared to Slovak. both of us did a beginner’s course in German back in uni so at least a little bit of understanding here.
we went into a boutique called H&M and omgosh the stuff there is cheap! i think you girls will go ga-ga there coz the clothes/accessories are nice and cheap. e.g. a pair of khaki shorts is only 9.90 (earning and paying in euro of course), jeans 39.90. bleh! oh no!! *must control*

just for info’s sake, here’s my opinion of the fastest way to Vienna city centre from where we are at Kramare, Bratislava.




bus no#32 to HLAVNA STACNIKA -> train ride for 1 hour directly to WIEN (Vienna); it’s like our Msian commuter train but faster so it stops at all the stations in between -> get off at SUEDBAHNHOF, which is already Vienna -> go down one floor to buy the ticket for the underground train -> take U3 SIMMERING station -> get down at STEPHENSPLATZ and you’re at the city centre!! yay!!

since it’s so near, we’ll prolly make vienna our shopping place, coz that’s what the ppl we know here do!!

more pics here -> http://www.new.facebook.com/editphoto.php?aid=56498&#/album.php?aid=56498&id=695437994&page=3