My #ProtectTrueLove Story

Protect True Love

I had to pause for a while when I came to the #ProtectTrueLove engraving page. What did I want on there? It’s supposed to have two names. Of course, I love my better half more than anything and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We’ve actually been to various “love lock destinations” around the world – from the bridge in Frankfurt am Main to Paris, France.

Zurich Farenheit 88

I’ve always wondered why people use locks as a symbol for love. It’s not just about the symbolism of forever but also about protection. People have been using locks to protect their valuables since the invention of steel – your front gate probably has one too. I love looking at the names and dates behind the love locks and wondering about the stories behind each one. This is mine.

I met my dear three years ago and I’ve never been happier. She’s someone who completes me and I feel that my life is enriched with her in it. I’ve made it a point to celebrate our monthsary (monthly anniversary) with a small gift, and we travel every year to one overseas destination. The first year we went to Australia, the year after that we went to Germany and France, then Bali, next up is Japan!

Baked Eggs

We share a lot of common interests, from travelling to discovering new cafes to eat in.

She just came to Sibu to visit my dad with her parents and the kids and it’s been an awesome trip. I wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t for my blog though and that’s why I wanted to engrave “sixthseal.com” on my love lock. In a way, everything good in my life has come from my blog and it’s very important to me.

Zurich Love Lock

I actually have lost everything on my blog before but managed to recover it from HTML files from a reader’s backup in Australia. That’s why protecting what you love is very important and I always backup and secure my files nowadays.

Zurich Love Lock Sculpture

You can create your very own love lock too! Zurich Insurance has a love lock structure at Fahrenheit 88 where you can put your love lock. Customize your love lock before 6th December 2015 to pledge your love to your loved ones. These locks will be physically engraved and locked on the #ProtectTrueLove structure.

Zurich

You’ll get a chance to win a RM 5,000 travel voucher as the Grand Prize when you share your story on the website. This would be a perfect gift for a couple such as ourselves and I’m sure a lot of you would feel the same. There are iPhone 6s, RM 500 in cash and consolation prizes so surf on over to the Zurich #ProtectTrueLove site now.

Zurich SixthSeal

I think it’s awesome that they’re doing this. It’s very fitting too, coz when you truly love someone, you’ll want to protect it in the best way and that’s where Zurich Insurance comes in. You’ll get your very own physical love lock with your customized message so that’s reward enough *and* they’re also giving out awesome prizes.

Love Lock

Tell your story and share what #ProtectTrueLove means to you in 1,000 characters and add some photos to go along with the text and you’ll get a chance to win amazing prizes! Go check it out now.

Barks Bunnies Café

Barks Bunnies Cafe

The name of the café is an obvious play on a certain WB cartoon. We didn’t actually know this was a “pet café” until we stepped through the doors. I was at the Subang Jaya area with my better half and we just wanted to have a very quick lunch and headed to the nearest place that has parking. That was how we ended up at this rabbit café.

Bunny Cafe

I didn’t take note of the name and it surprised me quite a bit when I saw an enclosure for rabbits to the side. “Dear, it’s one of those rabbit cafes!” I exclaimed. Oh well, doesn’t matter as long as the food was good. This place is pet friendly and some people bring their dogs inside. There was a resident canine on the premises too.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Chicken Pesto Sandwich (RM 13.50)
My dear ordered this coz she saw a sign outside advertising this special. It was plated quite decently, with fries on the bottom and the toasted sandwich sitting on top of the heavily seasoned potatoes. I had a bite and it looked better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad per se, it just wasn’t good either. My better half didn’t finish it.

Ellies Cold Pressed Orange Juice

Ellie’s Cold Pressed Orange Juice (RM 7)
This was pretty good though, can’t go wrong with a drink in a bottle.

Ameri-Cola

Ameri-Cola (RM 12)
What sorcery is this??? Described as “double shot of espresso over Coca Cola on ice”, it would shock most coffee purists. I thought it sounded like a potentially nice combination though and went for it. It wasn’t, but I’m glad I tried it. Haha.

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese (RM 14.50)
I had imagined this to be a creamy 3-cheese mac. I had been craving for a nice mac & cheese for ages and this wasn’t it. The dish that came out was excessively watery, with not much cheese to speak of. I didn’t finish it either.

Kafe Barks Bunnies

Barks Bunnies Café is one of those places you go for the pets, not the food. You can actually touch the rabbits and bring your own cats and dogs, which might be a plus point for animal lovers. The service from the college-aged looking girl was quite good, she asked us if the food was alright since she noticed we didn’t even eat half and I told her there’s a lot of room for improvement and she said the chef is new and she’ll relay my comments to him. We won’t be back to see but let’s hope that’s true.

Limited Edition Shell V-Power LEGO Collection 2015

Shell LEGO 2015

LEGOs! I just love them. I started out with the classic LEGO bricks when I was growing up and I’ve always enjoyed building stuff with LEGO bricks. I never lost my passion for miniature toys, when the Star Wars prequels came out in 2005, I bought the Darth Vader sets. It sat on my office desk as a proud testament to my love for LEGOs.

Building LEGOs

My better half and the kids adore LEGOs as well.

Kids

I always make it a point to buy the kids LEGOs during their birthdays (and even when it’s not) so we can all play together as a family since it’s something we all enjoy. It’s one of the few things the kids like to do besides playing with iPads and such so it’s always a good thing when we can spend quality time together.

Build LEGOs

I feel that it’s better than pacifying kids with electronic devices. Playing with LEGOs is a fun and positive family experience and I can’t stress enough on how much it has helped us keep the kids occupied.

Ferrari LEGO

Thus, it is with great delight when I found out that Shell is doing another LEGO collectible run with Ferrari as their partner. I hungrily lusted for them and managed to get the entire set of 7, which we built together as a family during the weekend.

LEGO Ferrari

The Shell V-Power LEGO Collection comes out every Sunday from 1st November 2015 to 13th December 2015 and features:

LEGO Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ferrari F12berlinetta
This is Ferrari’s fastest ever road car, which debuted in 2012. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 730 BHP output. This LEGO model is built with 44 bricks.

LEGO Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138
The F138 is the 59th Formula One car built by Scuderia Ferrari for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. It’s the last year they used the V8 engine before switching to the V6 and this car was driven to two Grand Prix victories by Fernando Alonso. The name comes from the production year and the 8th and final year they used the V8 engine in F1. This model is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO
This is one of Ferrari’s most legendary GT (Grand Touring) cars. There are only 39 ever produced and it debuted in 1962. The 250 GTO is one of the rarest and most sought after vintage Ferrari models in the world. This Ferrari 250 GTO is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 512 S

Ferrari 512 S
This 5 litre V12 GT racer was produced in 1970 and debuted that year at the 24 Hours of Daytona before going on to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring 4 overall wins and 2 category wins. There are only 25 Ferrari 512 S ever produced. This LEGO model has 49 bricks.

LEGO Finish Line and Podium

Finish Line and Podium
This playset includes a Start/Finish line, winner’s podium, Scuderia Ferrari Engineer LEGO minifigure, pit board and chequered flag. I love this minifigure – it comes in a Ferrari uniform and is a precious addition to our collection. The set has 63 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Station

Shell Station
This playset is modelled after the Shell station at Scuderia Ferrari’s Fiorano track in Maranello and comes with a Shell Fuels Scientist LEGO minifigure. I highly recommend this one if you collect minifigures too. The set has 79 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Tanker

Shell Tanker
Shell Tankers transport fuel to more than 40,000 service stations worldwide each day. You’ve probably seen one on the roads or in a Shell station. This model is a limited release model and it’s the only vehicle in the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection that doesn’t have the pullback motor. This is built with 93 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Race Track

Yup, we built every single model during the weekend. It was a lot of fun, everyone made at least one and we played with them in various scenarios. I even had a cardboard cutout race track with 3D pop-up elements and we tried racing on it. Haha.

Shell VPower LEGOs

This is a great way to build awesome moments with Shell. Get your hands on the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection by popping in to your nearest Shell station. They range from RM 9.90 to RM 13.90 and you can get it with a minimum RM 40 purchase of Shell V-Power or Shell FuelSave or a 4 litre purchase of Shell Helix motor oil.

Shell V-Power LEGOs

What better way to spend the school holidays than building a LEGO race track and Ferrari model cars with your kids?

LEGO Race

You can also share them on social media with #ReadySetBuild – our photos of the building moments and finished LEGO models are there too!

Shell LEGOs

My dear and I have even started up a blog and Instagram account dedicated to LEGO minifigures called TumblingMinis.com – you can read about our Track Days project featuring the limited edition Shell V-Power LEGO 2015 collection by clicking the link! :)

Bintangor: Famous Bintangor rojak, Bintangor orange juice and river travels!

Boat

My better half has never been to Bintangor before. It’s a small and sleepy town which is one of the major transit points to further destinations accessible only by river. We thought about dropping by the last time she was here but went directly to Sarikei instead.

Sibu Swan

Her parents were in town and I thought they’ll enjoy the small town vibe so I drove all of them down from our hotel in Sibu (after snapping a few quick photos at the swan statue).

Express Boat

It takes approximately an hour to reach Bintangor by car. The main feature in town is a passenger jetty with express boats departing to obscure villages and micro-towns like Dalat, Song and other similar places which can only be reached by the large Rejang River which runs along the entire length of Sarawak.

Jetty

The express boats are the only way to go to these places upriver and that’s why you’ll see them packed to the brim (with people jammed in every nook and cranny and even occupying the roof). Boats like these are supposed to carry 103 pax but regularly exceed that and it makes accidents a very real possibility – a capsized boat killed quite a lot of people last year.

Bintangor Me

There are no roads to the towns further down, you can only get there by boat or helicopter.

Bintangor Orange

I like how the major export of Bintangor is featured as a statue in the middle of town. There’s a local orange that features predominantly in the esplanade and the last time I was here, it was in a very sorry state – paint all peeling and unkempt. It’s been maintained better and the colors look more or less like what a real orange would look like. Trust me, it looked a lot worse in the past.

Bintangor Market

We also dropped by the Bintangor Market to check out their produce. They have a lot of interesting local vegetables, knick knacks and other assorted daily essentials.

Wet Market

I made it a point to bring them to the famous Bintangor rojak at Wong Hung Ping. This place is very popular even among Sibu folks, people would make the 1 hour drive to eat rojak during weekends and drive back down again. I ordered a large portion for us to share and my dear’s dad enjoyed it tremendously.

Famous Rojak Bintangor

There are steamed sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pineapples (from the neighboring town of Sarikei), fried crullers and other miscellaneous ingredients tossed in a sweet homemade sauce and sprinkled with toasted peanuts. I think what makes it so good is that everything is sourced locally and very fresh. The sweet potatoes are even cooked to order!

Bintangor Rojak

I also highly recommended the local Bintangor orange juice (RM 3) which is the squeezed product of the fruits grown just on the outskirts of town. You can’t get it fresher than this!

Bintangor Orange Juice

Her dad enjoyed the rojak so much that he bought a bottle of their homemade rojak sauce to bring back to KL!

Famous Bintangor Rojak

It’s a really fun day trip to do with my dear and the family. I haven’t been here in a few years and it seems like time hasn’t marred this small town like it has other places. Bintangor is still a serene little place you can escape to if you want a change of pace, to experience a quieter way of life.

Pink shirt guy belts out an off tune (but heartfelt) song

I was at the karaoke last night and asked one of the staff to film this (admittedly horrible) rendition of the ABBA classic “The Winner Takes It All”. Mamma Mia was the first musical I went to with my better half and this song was in it. I think the staff member was quite confused as to what I actually wanted coz I had to use her phone to open the lyrics page while I sang outside.

I told her it was for my girlfriend and she happily agreed to do it. :)

Here it is for your weekend entertainment:

I don’t want to talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more Ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
That’s my destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I’ll be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It’s simple and it’s plain
Why should I complain?

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I don’t want to talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You’ve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence

The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all

A night spent wardriving

Damansara Utama

Okay, maybe wardriving is the wrong definition, but it did bring back memories of doing exactly this back in the early 2000’s when WiFi hotspots were hard to come by. You’ll be surprised at just how many unsecured WiFi Aps there were back then. Back to the point, I have armed myself with an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile SIM card and the Open Signal app to see how the network performs.

iPhone6

I was quite surprised when I started up the new iPhone 6 and saw the coverage was just limited to 3G at my home.

3G

(I later found out that this was untrue)

Umobile

Not to be deterred, I started my adventure by going to Damansara Utama and was puzzled to see it was *still* in 3G in an area I know has 4G coverage.

U Mobile 3G

A quick check with Open Signal showed that the download speed was 9 Mbps. That’s more than most HSPA+ speeds and it’s the fastest of ALL 4 major telcos! I was flummoxed for a very long time until I got this message:

LTE Active

Mystery solved! It turns out that it takes a couple of hours before 4G LTE is enabled when you first use the SIM card.

TTDI

I went to TTDI to check the entertainment outlets near boatHouse and found out that the Taman Tun Dr Ismail area is covered by 4G as well with a very commendable 12.92 Mbps upload.

U Mobile Speed Test

I swung back and went to Mutiara Damansara and monitored the coverage map along the way.

Mutiara Damansara

Yes, there are gaps in 4G LTE coverage, with 3G only areas in between, but for the most part, the densely populated and built up areas are all 4G.

U Mobile LTE TTDI

The Sunway Giza area in Kota Damansara is also covered by U Mobile’s 4G coverage so I thought it was strange that my place (which is just opposite the mall) is not.

U Mobile LTE Kota Damansara

It turns out that my home is also covered by 4G – not that I’ll need it much as I have WiFi at home. My primary Internet connection is quite fast as Open Signal shows:

Home Fiber Speed

This sounds right according to the U Mobile #datastrongnetwork media briefing I went to.

Umobile Data Strong Network

U Mobile has completed the first phase of their 4G LTE network ahead of schedule with 1,000 new 4G sites. The coverage is not just limited to Klang Valley, but also Putrajaya, Seremban, Port Dickson and Johor Bahru. I’ve heard the top brass there share their philosophy on the 4G rollouts and it’s quite solid.

Umobile Event

They plan to implement 5,000 new 4G LTE sites over the next 5 years, with a concentration on urban areas. I thought that was a good plan as people would want to have high speeds at places where they’re most often at during work and play and that means high density coverage in high density areas.

U Mobile 4G LTE Speeds

I’ve also been loaned an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile prepaid SIM card to test it out for myself and the results of the tests are very promising. The areas I’ve driven too has faster Internet speeds than most people have at home (discounting myself, I’m on a very expensive high speed fiber line). I see areas around me having up to 17.60 Mbps speeds (!!!) and that’s A LOT faster than 90% (maybe even 99%) of most home broadband solutions.

iPhone Hotspot

It even rivals my 30 Mbps home fiber line!

Personal Hotspot

I even tried using it as a Personal Hotspot in Mutiara Damansara (coz at the time I didn’t know my home had 4G LTE) and it loaded everything on my notebook fine. It’s perfect for data-on-the-go – U Mobile has truly solved their teething problems and become the only data-centric telco in Malaysia.

U Mobile 4G

It was quite an enlightening experience. I learned that there are lots of places with 4G LTE coverage around me. I know the U Mobile 4G coverage is good in KL but it was nice to find out that the 4G areas extend to the outskirts of Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.

U Mobile 3G 4G Coverage

I verified it for myself during the late night real world testing – the data was fast and reliable with low latency.

Personal thoughts:

When I started out, I didn’t expect much from the U Mobile network. I have heard some negative things about it (these were all a couple of years ago) so I took it with a grain of salt when they said all the overload issues in the past has been resolved. I am pleased to report that this is actually true – the U Mobile 4G LTE is extremely fast and consistently comes in as the top performer of all four major telcos (as shown in Open Signal).

I have since used it for close to a month and have been very happy with my experience with the U Mobile data network. I tend to use a lot of data from gaming (play a lot of Hearthstone) so I want a fast and reliable data service when I’m not on my premium connection at home. To be honest I thought I didn’t need a fast and reliable network when I’m out and about but it turns out that expectation (or lack thereof) is a learned behavior.

Ever since I’ve been on the 4G LTE network of U Mobile, I have raised my standards and expect my data to be fast even when I’m out. I want the smooth YouTube streaming I’ve been getting for the past month, the seamless loading of Facebook, the fast Instagram refreshes and all that. I’ve learned not to expect it with my previous telco but now that I’ve been exposed to real speed, I am expecting it now and that’s why I’m using U Mobile as my primary line.

Lok Lok

I also found out that lok lok trucks are still around at 3 am in the morning. I was hungry after all that driving and ran up a RM 16 bill here. Seriously though, it was a good strategy for U Mobile to loan the phones and SIM cards for testing, personally I’m impressed with the network and will switch over to the Hero P70 package to save myself from the current prices I’m paying with another telco.

A local durian stall on the road to Bintangor

Durian Sarawak

Sarawak (or at least Borneo) is said to be the home of the largest variety of durians in the world. My better half came to visit with the kids and her parents and I drove them to the rural town of Bintangor.

Bintagor Durian

We had just seen durians in the local Sibu market the morning before and I expected a few homegrown stalls to be selling the wonderful fruit.

Borneo Durian Stall

I wasn’t disappointed – one wooden structure on the road leading to Bintangor had a few cars pulled up and browsing the durians on offer. Her dad (who is also a passionate durian lover like me) wanted to see what the local durians were like so we also joined the fray.

Durians

This man was literally selling durians out from his van. He’s local and says the durian trees were grown by his father. He looks to be in his early 40’s so that says a lot about the age of the durian trees – it’s a lot more mature than most of the cultivars you get in Peninsula Malaysia.

Borneo Durian

The price was RM 100 for 10 durians or RM 15/durian, which is slightly more expensive than the prices we get in KL.

Durian Stem

Keep in mind that these are local Borneo durian species instead of special cultivars and no one really knows what the species is but it tastes quite good. The walls of the fruit was thick and the stem is relatively long and slim like a D158/Ganyao durian. It had the characteristic frayed look of a durian that dropped naturally too.

Durian Flesh

The flesh is creamy and sweet with almost no bitter notes. Significantly, the odor wasn’t very strong too, but that didn’t affect the taste much. The small fruits bore about 7-8 seeds which we all shared. My dear loved the durian coz it didn’t have much fiber, unlike some cultivars like D2 durian.

Durian Us

My better half took this photo of us – she didn’t want her parents to appear on the blog so she asked me to put in her head instead. Haha. I forgot to take a photo with her inside coz my hands were dirty.

Sarawak Durian

It turns out that this was the *only* durian stall around so it’s a good thing we managed to try some during the bridge season. I’ll be back!

Boodle Feast – A Boodle Fight Meal!

Boodle Feast

This is the Boodle Feast that we had earlier this week. I had no idea what a “Boodle Fight” was until I saw photos of a previous one. It’s a tradition from the Philippines where you eat with your hands from a communal mound of rice surrounded with meat and seafood on a bed of banana leaves.

Boodle Fight

This seems to originate from the Philippine Military Academy, where they call it a Boodle Fight.

Boodle Sibu

My bro Eddy took the time to make this happen. It’s a good thing his wife is Pinoy (and cooks really well) and the 9 of us sat down to this unique dining experience at his home.

Grilled Meat

The meat is primarily grilled using the BBQ. Jona has been working the grill the entire day to prepare this dinner.

Toli Shad

There was the delicious ikan terubok (toli shad) – a popular local fish which is currently only available from several spots in Sarawak.

Ikan Terubok

This is what the fish looks like before cooking. It has been salted although it’s not salted fish per se. It’s a strange hybrid I’ve grown to love.

Banana Leaves

The banana leaves were laid down to cover two tables – first a bed of smaller leaves and then the full green luscious ones were put on top as the eating surface.

Making Boodle Fight

There are no plates or spoons – you use your hands for the Boodle Feast.

Layering Boodle Feast

It was a lot of food!

Boodle Preparation

There are three kinds of eggs – salted duck eggs were mixed into the rice together with boiled quail eggs and halved chicken eggs on the side.

Rice Mound Boodle

Pork chops, barbequed beef, mutton, chicken, fish and sausages represented the protein while cucumbers, okra and tomatoes provides a palate cleanser of sorts.

Boodle

I thought the tomatoes were brilliant as it gives a burst of citrus like tang, which prevents an overload from the massive amounts of meat.

Boodle Feast Us

You basically take a portion of rice from the middle to your own eating spot on the banana leaf and start eating.

Boodle Table

Hands are utilized for everything and it made for a really unique and interesting no-cutlery-allowed eating experience. I ate so much from the boodle feast I felt like bursting!

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