Bakso in Bali

bakso beef

Bakso is a dish of noodles, meatballs and other assorted stuff served in a soup. It’s usually found on the streets – this particular variant comes with a *huge* fist sized beef ball. It’s homemade and the meat is slightly pink and tender on the inside. IDR 7,000 which is about RM 2.40 – it’s worth it for the gigantic homemade beef ball alone. :)

bakso

However, the best bakso that we had was outside the Legian beach – it’s one of those portable stalls that allows the vendor to carry his wares behind his motorcycle and literally set up shop there. Nothing beats a hot bowl of this on a rainy evening by the beach.

bakso bali

We just had a very chill afternoon of swimming and lounging on the beach before it suddenly started raining. I really wanted to try the bakso and the guy who owns the stall was quite pleased to have our business and took several photos of us with his stall. He insisted. smirk

bakso stall

The setup is pretty similar but the stall had run out of noodles and egg so it’s just plain bakso (meatballs).

bakso meatball

The meatballs are held in a side area which is constantly heated but surprisingly retains the tender and juiciness of the meatballs.

bakso spicy

You can choose whether you want it spicy or regular (highly recommend the spicy) and it comes to you in a piping hot steaming bowl of goodness.

bakso locals

We sat down on a little nook right on the sidewalk just like the locals – it was that and the cold, wet and drizzling weather offset with a nice bowl of heartwarming spicy bakso that made this the best one we had in Bali. IDR 5,000 (RM 1.70).

bakso motorbike

Fresh raised a very good question though – where does the guy wash the bowls? :)

Hitting New Year’s Eve 2012 parties

kit kat klub

Well, this is one holiday which almost everyone celebrates. A start of a brand, spanking new year. The time to make resolutions you’ll break the very next day and all that jazz. smirk

You know, I haven’t had much luck with New Year’s Eve lately. I was on a plane during NYE 2011. Seriously. I was 35,000 feet in the air en route to London. This was the second New Year’s Eve I’ve spent on a plane with dozing fellow passengers as company.

I don’t know about you but that’s not my exactly my idea of an awesome New Year’s Eve.

Anyway, I was at ENCORP Strand a couple of weeks ago for the launch of Tapis Rouge – the new home of the Kit Kat Klub. I was rather impressed with the area – the Red Carpet Avenue seems set to be the latest place to party with the array of prestigious bars, restaurants and entertainment in the area.

encorp strand

Trivia: The Red Carpet is based upon the Golden Ratio divine proportion (look it up, it’s very interesting stuff and can be found all around us in nature) and the inspiration comes from Champ Elysees in Paris.

*cue my favorite band NOFX

Anyway, I’ve been back to Red Carpet Avenue a couple of times since then. I once brought a friend to watch the theater show at Tapis Rouge.

It was pretty good, comes highly recommended to me. I was in love with the production when I first saw it at the launch with Tiara Jacquelina and the old Kit Kat Klub crew.

ENCORP Strand is going to hold an awesome New Year’s Eve countdown at Red Carpet Avenue this year. Instead of getting your car sprayed with foam at Bukit Bintang or getting squashed in Padang Merdeka, I reckon this one would be one of the great NYE parties around.

red carpet encorp strand kota damansara

You remember that episode in the first season of How I Met Your Mother where they had a limo and was rushing to 5 parties to see which one is the best and head there for the countdown?

Well, this one is going to be hard to beat. MYSTICAL EVE 2012 presents:

  • ENCORP Strand building moving, transforming and coming to live in 3D to the beats of music, lighting effects and fireworks – for the first time in Malaysia
  • Laser lights hand-manipulated – bent, stretched and spun before your very eyes by Laser Man
  • Aerialists twirling through space to synchronized music
  • A contortionist pushing the limits of human flexibility
  • Mizz Nina, Pop Shuvit, Joe Flizzow and other local celebrities performing
  • Aurology, Davern & Jee Hoe, DJ Xu spinning the decks and pumping up the music

mystical eve 2012

MYSTICAL EVE 2012 has the theme “Tonight, Extraordinary Works Overtime” and with the lineup of entertainment that they have, I have no doubt that they can deliver. It starts from 6 pm – 2 pm on 31st December 2011 at Red Carpet Avenue, ENCORP Strand. Find out more at the Red Carpet Avenue Facebook page.

Be there and don’t forget Barney’s “Get Psyched” mix during your ride! :)

Sink or swim

chillax

I love to chill out just as much as the next guy. Lying down on the couch, just kicking back and watching TV series or reading. In fact, I can be so sedentary I’m almost vegetative. When I’m in the chillax zone, you sometimes have to poke me with a stick to see if I’m still alive. smirk

Heck, most of the exercise I get is finding where I parked my car in the shopping mall parking lot. They can be really confusing…

parking

…which is why I always take a photo before I leave my car.

However, that’s no way to live. Exercise is very important. I’ll give you one good reason:

You expect people to look good before you’ll label them “hot”. The beautiful people get all the attention. Well, do you want to be the person that never gets noticed or the one that gets all the double takes and half-whispered “I’ll totally hit that” comments?

gym

I live in a condo so I have a lot of usual facilities available right where I stay. There’s a full fledged gym but something about stationary bikes and treadmills doesn’t really appeal to me. I admit. I’m lazy. I even go so far as to use the #1 excuse for not exercising:

I don’t have time.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to exercise. You just need to get your cardio going for about 20 minutes to reap the benefits. I’ve been hitting the swimming pool at the roof almost every day for about 3 months now. It started out being a bit of a chore but the trick is to keep going at it.

pool

I like swimming. I just don’t like the idea of “wasting time” while I’m swimming. However, ever since I started about 3 months back, I’ve noticed that my mind has become clearer. I can think while I’m swimming. A flood (no pun intended) of ideas usually go through my mind when I’m doing laps and some of them are my best ones.

It turned out not to be a waste of time at all.

clothes

Furthermore, it’s so easy to do it. You just need to get into a routine. For me, it’s:

  • Change into my Speedos
  • Wrap a towel around myself
  • Put on a t-shirt
  • Grab my keycard
  • Head up the lift
  • Hit the swimming pool

I find it personally rewarding to swim coz after a while you get an endorphin rush.

me gusta

Regular exercise has been proven to help reduce stress. It’s the primary reason why I do it. I also like to swim coz you exercise all the muscle groups in the body and it makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night. It helps with my insomnia. #truestory

infinity pool

However, motivation can be a big issue for people who’ve just started exercising. I know. I’ve stopped and gave myself a thousand excuses before going at it seriously this past 3 months. I feel better, healthier and generally more happy.

It requires iron will and discipline though…sometimes I literally have to force myself to walk out of my place and take the lift to the swimming pool. I’ll be protesting all the way until I hit the water…and then it’s all good. Just remember that.

swimcam
Swimcam (TM)

However, if you need a bit of a push, try getting a friend to go exercise together. You can also ask someone who’s better than you to be a “pacer” e.g. they set the pace and you have to follow. It really helps get through the times when you just want to to do nothing.

Setting targets and recording your successes are very important too. I swim at least an hour now, two on weekends. I started out by swimming barely 20 minutes before I got out. You really feel an accomplishment when you start feeling the need to go exercise instead of giving yourself excuses. It’s true! It will happen at some point – you’ll want to exercise and crave for it after regular, daily exercise.

swim

You can choose whatever is the most convenient for you. I swim because I like it and it’s just upstairs so I can follow my schedule and hit the pool every day. You can choose to jog or walk if that’s easier or more enjoyable for you. There’s also a show called Sihat 1 Malaysia hosted by Fahrin Admad with health advice like healthy eating and psychical exercise. It also features the latest celebrities – Siti Saleha, Chef Zaidah, Ifa Raziah and more sharing their stories and personal health tips. Head on over to http://gayahidupsihat.my for more!

The physical and psychological health benefits, you’ll know for yourself after a while. The other benefits? Well, prepare to have people comment on how much weight you’ve lose or how much healthier you look now. :)

Merry Christmas from Bali!

I believe this is the *only* photo I am ever going to post from last night. It was fucking awesome, and there’s a fantastic story behind it. This was taken in the infamous Poppies Lane II in Kuta.

bali christmas

There were three cameras taking this very same group shot. My travel companion, who prefers to remain anonymous – thus the mosaic – should be so lucky that the other two cameras belong to the girl in blue (Australia) and the guy beside her (United States) so chances are if it turns out on Facebook, it’ll never lead back. Haha.

Let me tell you something about Christmas in Bali. You can say what you want about the Poppies Lane party scene but I will tell you:

It was legen…wait for it…dary!

Merry Christmas everyone! smirk

My travel checklist

London

amsterdam

Amsterdam

Georgia

georgia

New Zealand

Australia

Sri Lanka

sri lanka

Thailand

Singapore

vietnam

Vietnam

China

Korea

korea

Hong Kong

I love traveling – I can just pick up my backpack and go anywhere and meet new people. I also like traveling in a group – sometimes it’s all about the company, not the destination. I’ve been to a lot of places (and still more to go) and some of the best trips I’ve had were when I was traveling in a group.

friends

Okay, there are pros and cons to this especially if you have completely different personalities in the group – some would want to go shopping, some would prefer to lounge at the hotel, some are keen to hit the tourist traps while the others want to experience the local culture and hidden gems.

However, this is nothing that can’t be fixed with a bit of compromise.

local

It’s fun to have like-minded people go on a trip together. The best part about traveling in a group is that you all experience the same wonderful trip together and it’ll seal the friendship even more – having shared experiences (and trials).

You’ll get to know your friends better and there’s that old saying about security in numbers – you’ll get to have a lot more fun knowing that if you fall sick or lose all your money to a pickpocket, you’ll have people helping you and backing you up.

eating

The shared experience of traveling in a group can be very bonding – all the good and the bad makes the trip so much more memorable. You learn patience. You learn tolerance. These are the things you need to have when different personalities go on a trip together. Hey, the experience can be so fun it can even develop into an annual thing. :)

In fact, I’m going to Bali again this Christmas. Heh.

london

I’ve been to Europe twice and enjoyed both my trips. I went the typical London-Amsterdam route the first time and ventured further to the Baltics to Latvia and Georgia the second time. Europe is a fascinating continent. You get to see all different kinds of cultures there – it’s not just the homogenous Anglo-Saxon that people usually think of (that’s the UK). The entirety of the European continent spans a whole melting pot of races and cultures which is unique in itself.

Speaking of which, if you want to go to Europe for a vacation with a great discount, listen up coz here’s how you can:

Travel in a group of 3, 6 or 9 people from at least 3 different ethnic or cultural backgrounds and get 30% off your European holiday flight ticket from Malaysian Airlines. This is part of the 1 Malaysia Muhibbah campaign to promote the 1 Malaysia Spirit.

travelers

You know you want to go. Rope in your friends and start planning your European holiday now! I suggest London or Amsterdam as your start off point – you can get around Europe by bus, rail or flights easily. :)

Express Christmas

express christmas

Have you heard of Express Christmas? No? Well, it’s when you can’t celebrate it on the day itself, so you wing it, gather a bunch of friends and celebrate it in advance.

me

…and that’s just what I did at Sid’s, TTDI.

sids

You can’t have a proper Christmas party without some beer…

drinks

Buckets of Heineken to spread the festive cheer. I figured Heineken would do the trick nicely – it’s a cool and refreshing beer perfect for our climate. It doesn’t exactly snow here so mulled wine and warm eggnog doesn’t provide the same satisfaction.

trick

There’s this trick where you try to blow a distorted cap into the bottle. It can be done, just like that balance-the-coin-on-the-lemon-suspended-in-liquid tipping jar. It’s just close to impossible.

samantha

Samantha tried it.

kim

Kim tried it. Both to no avail.

newlyweds

Oh, speaking of which, say hello to the newly-weds. :)

reindeer

Lainey had this reindeer thing on her head. That’s me with the Santa hat…drinking on the job. Rudolph go! :D

beer jenga

Heineken Jenga. I built this slightly (actually very) unwieldy contraption with a bit of help from everyone.

heineken jenga

Rules: Everyone pulls one bottle and the person who makes it fall drinks. Kids, do not try this at home or at all. ;)

santa

You wanna come sit on Santa’s lap? ;) I can’t grant you a wish but I do have…er, lollipops to give out. smirk

stupid trick

Kim also pulled this trick on me. It’s really funny, ask her to show you.

group

Christmas is all about good company. I’ll be in Bali for Christmas so I’m glad I got the chance to celebrate my own Express Christmas with my closest friends. :)

Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards – NAPBAS 2011 recap

nuffnang asia pacific blog awards

I was one of the finalists for Best Lifestyle Blog at the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011 – quite a mouthful so NAPBAS it shall be henceforth. I was at the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2009 in Singapore too – this is my second time here. It was held at Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya and I was stuck in traffic for almost 1 ½ hours. Nevertheless, here are the photos:

finalists

Finalists registration

linda

The nominees all got this flower thingy pinned on by Linda

best lifestyle blog sixthseal

There was a feature wall with all the finalists

nuffnang finalist

That’s mine – sixthseal.com

sixthseal nominee

#selfpimpage

mimi interview

There was an interview done by Mimi too

cindy sixthseal sara

Feeling blue – with Cindy and Sara

napbas board

Erm…

marriott putrajaya

The Marriott ballroom

performers

Performers!

pole dancing

Pole dancing!

Here’s a video of the pole dancers. Song: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These). They’ve got muscles on top of muscles to get a grip like that.

Mediterranean Seafood Terrine with Wasabi Tobiko Dressing

Mediterranean Seafood Terrine with Wasabi Tobiko Dressing on Crispy Lettuce

Puree of Split Pea Soup

Puree of Split Pea Soup with Herb Twist

Grape Sorbet with Fresh Mint

Grape Sorbet with Fresh Mint. I like.

Pistachio Crumbed Baked Chicken

Pistachio Crumbed Baked Chicken Supreme with Thyme Gravy. Should have gone with the fish.

tiramisu

Tiramisu in Chocolate Cup with Strawberry and Vanilla Sauce

harith iskandar

Harith Iskandar. I love his performance, had me in stitches.

cheesie ringo

Cheesie – winner of Best Fashion Blog

audrey fourfeetnine

Aud

sixthseal ky

KY

xiaxue sixthseal cheesie

Xiaxue and Cheesie – both who won awards

Here’s a video of the Best Lifestyle Blog nominees

vanessa nuffnang

Vanessa from Nuffnang Australia – best table ever ;)

napbas finalists

There’s too many photos will upload the rest on my recently created SixthSeal.com Facebook page but here’s a final shot of all the nominees on stage.

It was a great night and the after party at Zouk was awesome. Cheers Nuffnang! :)

I love the smell of cool balm in the morning

morning swim

I hit the pool every other day for my morning swim. It’s just the condo swimming pool upstairs so I only need to grab my towel and head up to the top level. It’s pretty convenient.

I love swimming – the refreshing feeling of a dip in the pool at around 7 am when the sun is just coming up is incomparable. I’ve been doing longer and longer laps in the pool to build up my stamina and get the cardiovascular action going. I’m trying to exercise more and swimming is something I’ve always enjoyed since I was a kid.

You use muscles from your entire body when you’re swimming so it’s a pretty solid workout. However, I sometimes overdo it and get muscle cramps or aches. I tend to go all out when I’m just about to climb out of the pool – I’m swim hard and fast and usually end up with sore muscles.

tiger balm plaster pool

It usually happens on the calf muscles for me. I’ll just slap on a Tiger Balm Cool Plaster after I towel myself dry.

I have made it a habit to bring one of those up together with my towel. It’s important to completely dry yourself before putting on the plasters. It shouldn’t be applied on wet skin.

tiger balm swimming

The best thing about the plasters is that it comes in two sizes – the large ones are good for the bigger muscle bundles, but sometimes you just need pain relief in a small area, like my calf.

I’ve shown how to apply the awesome additional adhesive in the previous post but what I haven’t mentioned is that it’s not actually necessary to do that. The additional adhesive helps in areas which move a lot e.g. elbows, knees, joints etc but for regular applications, the Tiger Balm Plaster itself will do a great job in sticking on your skin.

tiger balm pool

I just love opening up one of the packs, the smell of the time trusted Tiger Balm formulation is refreshing. The small plasters are just the right size for muscle aches in the smaller muscle groups you strain while swimming. It’s available at large chain pharmacies like Guardian, Watson, Caring, and also your neighborhood pharmacies. The small packs go for RM 5.20 and it has two Tiger Balm Plasters inside.

I’ve been using the Warm Tiger Balm Plasters for back pain ever since I realized it won’t cause an allergic reaction and it works very well for pain relief. It was so good that I decided to use the Cold Tiger Balm Plasters for the muscle strains I get while swimming.

I usually keep mine on for several hours after the swim, let the unique Tiger Balm formulation work its magic, and the long lasting pain relief from the muscle aches is absolutely fabulous! :)

tiger balm leg

Cool relief after a morning swim. Ahhhh….

The things that happen on the LRT

I originally wanted to post about young teenagers taking the LRT at like 6 am in the morning but I didn’t know if it was the school holidays and then I got sidetracked by this girl on the LRT just now. I wanted to take a photo of her but I was too busy trying to catch her eye.

sleeping teenager on train

+

cute shop assistant

…so take these two photos and superimpose them in your mind. Add more people to account for the rush hour and it’ll give you a pretty accurate picture. smirk

The girl on the LRT looks like the type that I would like, kinda like the photo of the girl above I took recently, which is sort of related (her name is Qinqin).

Anyway, she was walking sooooo fast once the train stopped that I swear she probably saw me intently looking at her. I finally caught up with her outside the Bukit Jalil station and said:

Hello, I’m Huai Bin, what are you doing?

look of disapproval

I KNOW RIGHT! Lamest pickup line ever.

She said:

I’m a student.

pedobear

…and I said “Okay, have a nice day” and then I walked away.

You know why?

1. She’s a student, thus too young for me.
2. She didn’t look that hot up close.
3. It was raining and I couldn’t be fucked.

Choose your own adventure kinda thing, except this has no next post or ending coz I walked away. There’s nothing else to add coz it’s LIFE and you only get one chance.

trollface

Shoplot hotels

zoom inn hotel

These things are popping up like mushrooms. I’m currently in Johor and staying at Zoom Inn Boutique Hotel in Danga Bay for a night. I got it online for about RM 90+ and realized that the walk-in rate is only RM 78. There are three shoplot hotels within the area (not including Tune Hotel) and from looking at all (the room wasn’t available until 3 pm) this seems to provide the best price-comfort consideration.

game over room

Ill omens and portents. (!!!) Game Over all over the room. I’m not sure I want to see that whenever I open my eyes. smirk However, it is pretty creative, each room is has its unique theme and decoration…and the repeating game over is tethered to a quasi picture frame of someone playing a console game. Very artsy fartsy.

sliding either or door

Either-Or sliding door for toilet and shower.

lcd tv shoplot

The large LCD TV right at the foot of your bed is awesome though – it has all the premium channels but I only watch Discovery Channel or National Geographic variants/spinoffs. I’ll be happy with those channels.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Pretty comfortable for a night
  • Good selection of cable channels
  • Friendly and apologetic staff
  • Creative rooms

Cons:

  • Weak to non-existent WiFi
  • Room is dark
  • No writing desk

bloodstains duvet

It also has stains on the duvet that looks suspiciously like blood. I can only imagine what the previous occupants were doing but since their hairs are still sticking to the pillows, a multitude of entirely unwanted vivid scenarios come into mind.

I’m still waiting for housekeeping to change the sheets.

Speaking of creative, MilkADeal is having an awesome deal for novelty 8 GB USB drives in a variety of designs.

usb drive
RM43 instead of RM68 OR RM54 instead of RM89 for Limited Edition 8GB USB Drive + Free Delivery within Peninsular Malaysia from USB Boy. Only 200 vouchers available! [Up to 39% OFF]

I collect USB drives, though not to this extent, but it’ll be perfect for Secret Santa gifts. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...