Friday, 31 December 2010

Appreciating The Architecure : At The Railway Station

Did I mention that we had a packed day on Christmas Day?

First, we braved the jam at MidValley mall to pick up my friend, Anna who flew from Japan to enjoy a hot, tropical Christmas in Malaysia. We had lunch at the Malay Tea House in Central Market. Then we walked to the nearby Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Dataran Merdeka.

Where else did we go that day? Well, we visited the The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
The station is unique blend of various architectures, and has elements from the 13th and 14th century Ottoman and Mughal empires as well as Gothic and ancient Greek designs. Another example of Moorish architecture in splendour here in KL.
Smile for the camera!
KTM Building. Its high and wide verandahs is well adapted to the tropical climate.
The station is pretty quiet nowadays as all the Intercity train services doesn't stop here anymore. With the completion of the new transportation hub of KL Sentral, the central hub for the railway system has now been relocated to the newer facility. This railway station is currently used as one of the station of KTM Komuter and as a bus station for NICE Executive Coach and Plusliner Economy Express to Singapore.
Train approaching! But not stopping. :D 

I kinda miss taking the train here. Zaini and I used to take a train here to Seremban - way back when we can't afford our own car; to go to Port Dickson for our weekend retreat. Yea, me and Zaini go a long way back and we were dirt poor back then. ;)
Some exhibits at the Railway Station, showcasing trains' equipments of yesteryears. The place was pretty deserted but while taking a break from the heat in the air-conditioned station, we were approached by a man soliciting money from us. Hmmm... that was nice. NOT!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Little Bit Of History - Dataran Merdeka

After our lunch at Malay Tea House in Central Market and admiring the architecture of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, it's time to admire the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square).

A prominent landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur; the Square commemorates the historic event that occurred there, when at the stroke of midnight on 31 August 1957, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time and Malaya became an independent nation.
A view from the Dataran, of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
This 100m (328 ft) high flagpole, reputedly the tallest in the world, soars above the Square.
Here's Raimie having fun running around the water fountain with scary gargoyles guarding at the Square. The water fountain was erected  in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The Royal Selangor Club
The Padang (field) was the focal point of much activity during the colonial era and was originally the cricket green of the Selangor Club (now Royal Selangor Club).  It was originally owned by the Royal Selangor Club until 1987 when it was acquired by DBKL or City Hall. In place of the Padang, a piece of land at Bukit Kiara was given to the Club which now forms the Royal Selangor Club Kiara Annexe. 

The Padang was officially renamed Dataran Merdeka on 1 January 1990 in conjunction of Visit Malaysia Year 1990.

Trivia: Do you know that in 1926, after a bad flood (worst ever?) in Kuala Lumpur, the Padang was used to dry currency notes by Standard Chartered Bank? Wow! I wonder how the security was when all those cash were left drying in the sun like dried squids. :D

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Appreciating The Architecture : Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad

After a a nice leisurely lunch at Malay Tea House in Central Market,and a bit of walking around there and bumping into foreign tourists every 2 seconds, we ventured out to nearby area.
Which way to go? Straight ahead, left or right?

Our second stop after Central Market was the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Sultan Abdul Samad was the reigning Sultan (or king) of Selangor at the time when construction began in 1894. It was fully constructed by 1897. The building is the centrepiece of colonial architecture in Kuala Lumpur and served as government offices during the colonial era.  It now hosts the Malaysian Supreme Court.
It'll be great to see the building magnificently illuminated at night but no, we didn't wait for that. A visit to the Sultan Abdul Samad building is of course needs to be paired by some photo-op at the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) on the opposite side of the road. That, on my next post.

Oh, by the way did I mention that I met with a blogger friend from Tochigi on Christmas Day? :)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Lunch At Malay Tea House

So, what was your activity on Christmas Day yesterday?

For us three, we decided to turn tourists and explore a little bit of our city. This is the first post of a few about what we did and where we went on Christmas Day.

The first order of business was lunch, and we decided to have a Malay style lunch in Central Market (Pasar Seni) at a place called the Malay Tea House.
Entering the place is like going back in time and landing in an old kampung house kitchen, complete with wooden benches and oil lamps. The place offers a huge selection of Malay teas for sale and traditional Malay fares.
I absolutely love this table. Interesting, no? We didn't sit at this table though, choosing a wooden table next to it to avoid the reflection when taking photos.
A kendi - a familiar sight at Malay kenduris.  It is used to wash one's hand.

The staff were friendly and when I asked whether it's OK for us to make a nuisance of ourselves and take photos, she happily told us that it's not a problem.
Our drinks - we ordered Mas Cotek Limau tea (RM6.00) and Pegaga Selasih (RM6.00)
Raimie washing his hand using the "kendi".
Our meal. We ordered Nasi Ayam Rempah (RM7.90), Nasi Goreng Bonda (RM4.50), Pulut Kuning & Sambal Tumis (RM5.00) and Meehun Sup (RM5.00) to be shared amongst us.

It might not fully satisfy one's longing for a really traditional Malay food, but it's good enough. I kinda miss using the plates that they used to serve the food in. The plates reminded me of my grandmother's house in the kampung. I don't see anyone I know using these plates anymore nowadays, myself included!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Holiday Mood Swtiched ON

Reported to work as usual today and man, although I am physically there at the office, the mind had wandered off. I guess my brain had switched off to holiday mode since last week! I think the holiday mode will be on till New Year! LOL

The office was pretty quiet today, with most of the 30-strong people in my department taking  their year-end break. It was much worse after lunch with most people leaving early leaving just three staff in the department.

Anyway, the people in the office are sure a generous bunch. Somebody "tapaued" coffee from McD from me and I even got a few Xmas gift today from managers from other department. You guys are sure nice people.

What's your plan for tomorrows? We are going to hit KL and go gallivanting around town tomorrow. Hopefully, the weather will co-operate with us.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Lunch With Zezebel

Yesterday, I had the opportunity of meeting a fellow blogger who came all the way from Kota Marudu, Sabah to KL for a vacation.

Zezebel of Princess Zezebel Lair, came to Midvalley with her fiance and we arranged to meet  up over lunch.

Now, if you ever come to Midvalley and give me a call, you should know that I'd probably suggest one place for lunch and that's something Japanese! Why? Shimmy over to Urutora No Hi for the reason, if you don't know yet. 

I'm sorry if I monopolised the conversation by talking a LOT about myself, Japan, Japanese food and whatnot, dearies! We'll talk about something else next time, OK? :D
My lunch. I always choose this whenever I eat at Yuzu. It's salt grilled salmon head.
Zezebel and her lunch set. It's a tempura & sashimi set.
and her fiance choose the unagi set.
and here's me & Zezebel posing for the camera in front of Yuzu after our lunch. (But crap! I sure look fat beside Zezebel)

It was rather a short lunch (well, short by my standard that is) but I didn't want to further monopolise their time. They need plenty of time checking out both MidValley Mall & Gardens Mall too, right? :-)

Actually, the manager had promised to give free ice cream for us but I didn't want to wait. I hope the table calendars suffice for you. Look at the calendar and think of me. *^_^* Haha

Monday, 20 December 2010

Weekend Activities

How's your weekend? Had a relaxing time or did you do anything  exciting?

Our weekend had been lazy ones for quite a while now. We didn't even go out for a jog or visit any park on weekends because we have been sleeping late nowadays. We really, really need to change our current lifestyle and be healthy. Umm.... well, maybe next year, eh? *^-^*

If we did go out, our activities were:
 Eating out
let my son have play a game or two at the arcade area in Jusco; his current favourite playing the Animal Kaiser card game. Man, this card games can sure burn a hole in any parent's pockets!
and making ourselves at home at Starbucks.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Back To School Shopping!

Gah! It's so expensive to prepare for the new school year that will start on Jan 3rd, 2011. I have only one school-going child and just buying the uniforms for and stationeries  already set me back a few hundred $$$$. We still need to buy him his Boy Scout uniform, school bag, Religious School uniforms.... the list is still long!

Zaini and I took the opportunity shopping for the school items during Jusco MidValley's J-Card Members' day just so we can at least get more saving by being able to redeem the Jusco vouchers after our shopping session done. The vouchers and whatever cashback from my credit card sure helps adding up to the savings.

Have you done your own shopping for the New Year yet?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Early Year-End Office Parties

Year-end office parties started early this year at my office considering many will be away towards the last weeks of this month. Plenty of invitations and some organised by me, making me run around like a headless chicken these past few days. Not to mention running around to find gifts for exchange gifts at parties too.
What year-end cum xmas party would be complete without a turkey? I even managed to "bully" the hotel's FC (we got the turkey from Cititel Hotel, BTW) to carve the turkey for us. LOL
I did minimal decoration for the office party, emphasisng more on food. That's more important, right? XD And I sure was glad the food I ordered were all cleaned-up by my department's people.

I opted for all things western this time, and I realized that it is not easy to get affordable catering for such a menu! Most of my caterer friends don't do all out western menu. Well, not the type of food that I wanted anyway. What did we had for the party apart from the turkey? Nothing much:
Some BBQ beef ribs ordered from Tony Roma's
This delicious chicken pie from a friend
Pizza and chicken wings from Domino's Pizza
Not healthy without some vege, so some fruits too. For hygiene and convenience purpose, we had it put in individual tubs. I'm too lazy to think how to arrange those fruits, anyway.
And the finale was a birthday cake for December babies in my department.

Had your office parties yet? How was it?

Monday, 13 December 2010

A Streamyx Account, Finally

We've finally got ourselves a Streamyx account. After many years with Maxis Broadband and less than a year using Celcom Broadband, we now are proud users of Streamyx.

We've been using it for a month now, and so far so good. It doesn't have the awesome speed I experienced with Celcom for downloading my Korean drama but I guess I can live with that. 

I can finish downloading a 700MB file within half an hour with Celcom but the fastest I experienced with Streamyx so far is an hour. A plus point of using Streamyx so far, for me is that Streamyx doesn't throttle the speed and limit our usage. With Celcom, once I use my 5GB limit, good luck dowloading anything within 8 hours! Yup, it'll turn slow unless I top-up and pay more to use. And during my "OCD" phase wanting to finish a Korean Drama, Sungkyungkwan Scandal, I did top-up RM50 for another 5GB just so I can download all the episodes in one go just so I can watch them all quickly!

There's a problem though. The house being wi-fi'ed now, and with each of us having our own notebook each (yup,including Raimie); we may be sitting physically together in the hall but have less interaction now. The three of us are too busy staring at our own computer screen! 

Now, do we get another broadband account for my FIL's house? After all, when the school holiday's over, we'll be back to staying there on school nights.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Is It Winter Time Here?

A continuation of my "Rain, Rain Go Away" post and more rantings from me about the cold, rainy day.

It's so cold at night that I have to resort to  wearing a long-sleeved and long pant jammies and even socks! I got those jammies and socks to be used when vacationing in Japan during colder seasons, but now  I'm wearing these at home. Feels like winter is creeping in to tropical Kuala Lumpur!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

Just a bit of ranting about the rain. I hate feeling damp. I hate feeling cold. Ugh.

It's raining on almost a daily basis now and I'm stuck at the office at the moment. Hubby would definitely be a bit late too, as everytime it rains heavily, the LRT seems to experience malfunction of some kind. Notice that?

Walk back to my father-in-law's house in this weather and spoil my Japan bought shoes? Not likely! LOL

Any thoughts of going for a sunny holiday in Malaysia is definitely out at this time. No visit to any waterfall either, as it'll be too dangerous!

Hmmm.... I wish I can crawl in bed and snuggle under my blanket now instead of sitting at the office waiting for the rain to subside.

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