I always have one eye on the currency exchange rates. It’s become a bit of a habit for me, since I left Malaysia to study in New Zealand when I was just 15 years old. I spent over 4 years in Australia for my university and spent a lot of time traveling around the world after that. I’ve been to multiple destinations in Europe (Germany, France, London, Amsterdam and Georgia) as well as Sri Lanka, Taiwan and China and Hong Kong.
I have travelled to Korea on a business trip and made my way to Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia on work related trips too. I’m both a leisure traveler and a business traveler so I can see things from both sides. It’s important to be able to check the money exchange rates quickly, especially if a trip is short-notice. I’ve known about the eforex.com.my website but now they have a mobile app!
I went to download the eForex app to review it and I’ve kept it since it’s so useful! You have to register to use all the features and it can be a bit of a hassle. However, it’s an important step since you need to provide your personal details anyway when you exchange money in person. This way, you only have to do it once!
I felt better with that knowledge and entered all my details, which allowed me to create my own profile.
The eForex app basically allows you to check live rates and buy foreign currency anytime anywhere from the app. They do it well with a minimalistic and easy to understand interface. You’re shown the few major options where you can instantly purchase currency or check your favorite currency rates live.
I really like the one-click instant update feature. You just need to click on “Today’s Rate” on the main landing screen in order to see all the major world currencies on one page from USD, Euro, GBP, etc. These are today’s live exchange rates and I’ve been clicking on it several times a day to monitor USD and the Japanese Yen since I will be travelling again in a couple of months.
You can also set your favorite currencies here. Just click on the “…” options on the right and “Add to Favorite”. This will remember the currencies you exchange the most and put it in the Favorites List.
There is also a wonderful feature where you can just input a single number in Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and it shows you the equivalent rates today on ALL your favorite currencies. This allows me to type in 10000 and instantly see how much RM 10,000 would get me in JPY, SGD (my sister and dad lives there), NZD, USD and Euro. Very nifty!
There is also a sidebar where you can see where the nearest Pick-up Points are. You can browse through the list or enter in your current location to see if they have a branch nearby. eForex app is made by Merchantrade so they have a lot of outlets.
You can also see exactly where the outlet is (and use it to open Google Maps) or click to call the place directly. This allows you to easily purchase foreign currency and go and pick it up at a location. You just need to bring along your MyKad/IC (for Malaysians) or your passport (for non-Malaysians) along with your Transaction Confirmation Slip or eForex Pin Number (which is shown in the eForex app).
The online payment system is secure and you don’t need to carry huge amounts of cash to money changers anymore since you’ve already paid via the app. You can even purchase now and collect the foreign currency at today’s rate up to 6 months down the road – a great feature that is usually reserved for large companies! This is the first app in Malaysia which allows you to buy currency directly from the app.
There are also other awesome features like Rate Alerts (so you can know when your favorite currency hits a certain point) and Travel Reminder (which prompts you to buy currency when you’re about to fly off). It’s a simple app to navigate, yet with lots of important features which makes eForex an awesome app for frequent flyers, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.
Check it out by typing eForex in Google Play or App Store and you can download the free app and see how it works out for you. I’m quite fond of it, instead of having to type in “100 USD to MYR” in Google (which is a shortcut to see today’s rate, albeit from a US perspective so it’s not accurate) I can just click on the app to see a host of my favorite currencies rates updated live. I can now get the current confirmed exchange rate instead of an estimate to see if it’s a good day to exchange money. Lovely!
If you said X-Ray Machine you’re right! It’s an X-Ray machine for your teeth. I just went to Imperial Dental Bangsar coz I had a swollen jaw (!!!). This mysteriously manifested yesterday afternoon while I was eating. It turned out to be an infected saliva duct (seems to happen fairly often to people) and I was put on a course of antibiotics before I’m flying off to Japan. I didn’t get my Invisalign stuff done though, I’m supposed to be on a temporary rubber band therapy to see if the obstinate left backmost molar can be pushed in or I’ll have to do it all over again.
Bad news is I’ve been on Invisalign for over a year and I’ll hate for the time to be for naught. Good news is I won’t have to pay for the new Invisalign moulds as Dr Stephanie kindly told me it’ll be waived in this case.
We’ll see how it goes. I’ll update again at the end of the month when I’m due to go in. Cheers!
It’s Chap Goh Meh today! As per sixthseal.com’s custom, we’ll be doing a roundup of the wonderful fireworks and firecrackers we’ve bought this year. There were no firecrackers last year due to my mom’s passing so this year sees the return of firecrackers. I got a huge fireworks cake, it’s larger than the 2015 flagship fireworks cake in some ways.
I also ordered two large 2″ fireworks cakes. These large bore shells make the cake taller than they are wide, producing a unique and beautiful format. I got this a month ahead and it was delivered to my place for safekeeping until Chinese New Year. I have 9 fireworks cakes and 3 firecrackers this year, mostly 100 shots and up.
530-shot VIP display-in-a-box 22 kg fireworks cake
Behold! This huge fireworks cake produces a staggering 530 shots and lasts almost 5 minutes!
It measures a very respectable 73 cm x 52 cm x 17 cm. Here’s an iPhone for comparison.
Yup, there are 530 individual mortars arranged together in this 22 kg cake that requires two people to carry. It’s made by VIP Fireworks and is the most expensive individual cake I’ve ever purchased. It just came out this year in their 2016 fireworks lineup. I’ve never even heard of a 530 shot fireworks cake before this. These things are marketed as “5-minute display-in-a-box” fireworks in the US for professionals.
I waited until my sister and her family came back before I let this one off. This is my centrepiece for this year.
I have another video recorded in 1080p in 60 fps which makes for a more beautiful (and smooth) viewing experience here! This large fireworks cake has an INSANE start – full sky saturation and mine effects to kick it off in intense style before the pace picks up into wonderful segues and loops till a shattering finale. Awesome stuff!
2″ 25-shot fireworks mine cake
I’ve always loved these large bore formats. 2″-4″ fireworks cakes tend to be taller than they are wide. This is coz the larger shells require a longer mortar in order to fire the aerial bursts, comparatively the normal 0.8″-1.2″ fireworks cakes are quite short/shallow. These large shells produce a large burst in the sky too, which tend to be more beautiful breaks.
I should note that this fireworks cake is actually a mine! Mines are ground level effects, meaning the pyrotechnics start from the ground. You can see the glitter charge shooting up from the tubes before the main break in the video. Mines are starting to be less common nowadays, I have no idea why but it seems that demand has largely ceased.
It’s nice to be able to purchase a nice mine fireworks cake again…and in large format breaks too! Check out the 2″ mortar tubes. These come packed 2/1 – this means there are two fireworks cakes in one box/carton. I let one off during Chinese New Year eve and the other when my niece and nephew were back.
You can view the 60 fps vertical oriented video here. I feel this is the best way to view a mine fireworks cake. It’s 25 shots, which may sound unimpressive at first, but each shot is more than 4x the size of regular 0.8″ fireworks cake in power and effect!
258-shot Saturn Missile Battery
This is a 258 shot Saturn Missile Battery. Saturn Missiles are smaller rockets which whistles up and usually comes in 50/100-shot cakes (most common format). This larger format is round and cost RM 35. The interesting thing is that you can let this off in the day or night – it doesn’t make much of a difference.
I quite like this red, green, yellow and white Saturn Missile Battery which finishes with a report. It’s not very fast, unlike some batteries, so some people may like the duration. This clocked in at almost 3 minutes from the time I lit the fuse to the end of the cake.
39,999 Chinese firecrackers
This is the largest commercial Chinese firecrackers for sale. Of course, there are larger counts e.g. 188,888 fireworks, which requires a lorry to transport and a crane to lift up before it can be lit but those are so expensive it’s usually only set off by companies, not private individuals. Keep in mind that these class of firecrackers are almost like salutes and are rated 1.1G – they’re very illegal!
This is coz the firecrackers are very large and contains a chalk plug (which essentially makes it a salute).
There are 39,999 individual firecrackers in this string but it’s not very long compared to the 3,000 string firecrackers coz the single firecrackers are larger and it’s stacked on top of one another for a 3-layered firecracker, making a very intense and loud burn compared to the “regular” 3,000 count firecrackers.
You can see the difference here. I had to light this directly coz I lost the Visco fuse. Haha! I pulled my hand away as soon as the firecracker caught (this is more from experience than reaction, as you can see).
I really like this video, give it a spin to see what the firecrackers we get in Sibu look like.
3,000 Chinese firecrackers
These are the “common” firecrackers which you can get in KL and even the US. These firecrackers are a lot smaller than the previous one – they don’t break the skin if you light one in your palm/hand so they’re very safe. The “ending” is just a bunch of the same instead of the salute-like power you get in the 39,999 traditional Chinese firecrackers.
I see a lot of places like KL are starting to switch to this coz they’re not as harmful (you can hold them in the hand, not to say that you should coz it’ll still burn you, but it won’t break the skin) compared to the traditional kind (as per above, the 39,999 Chinese firecrackers) which won’t be so kind to your hands and fingers. Unfortunately, they’re also not as loud or powerful so generally most people in Sibu don’t favor this kind. It’s very cheap though at RM 12.50. The 39,999 roll is more than 10x the price of these kid-friendly crackers.
36-shot Chai Yuan Guan
This is a classic fireworks cake with 36 shots. It’s been around for a while – I actually got this from a friend’s house. She had heaps of these lying around and I let it off during Chinese New Year.
Unfortunately, I think it’s starting to show its age – most of the tubes didn’t go off. There were 8-9 mortars which didn’t fire.
This is the 60 frames per second version. It’s really a nice old fireworks cake, this was the epitome of greatness back in the late 90’s.
25-shot vintage fireworks cake
This is another beautiful classic fireworks cake. It’s not as impressive as the newer firework cakes with fancy breaks and effects but it’s a nice reminder of how the fireworks cakes looked 10 years ago.
It’s a trip down memory lane.
This is the vertical view with 60 frames per second (you can really see the difference). This slow tempo fireworks cake is characteristic of an older design which is less favored now. It’s still lovely to watch for sentimental reasons though.
100-shot classic fireworks cake
This is also a more traditional 100 shot fireworks cake. It unfortunately exploded while the last row was firing so there was a bit of a fireworks malfunction but it’s still quite beautiful to watch.
It’s a classical fireworks cake that’ll give you a nice dose of nostalgia.
This is the 60 fps vertical version.
100-shot New Wild Billy
This is a cake by Morena Fireworks. Yup, that’s an Italian fireworks brand, much like the Jupiter Fireworks horseshoe fountain fireworks I got in KL last year. Morena Fireworks makes a lot of 100 Shot Assortments and New Wild Billy is one of them.
It’s a nice example of their 100 shot fireworks shows.
111-shot 2016 fireworks cake
This is a new 2016 fireworks cake. The new cakes all have two fuses – the primary fuse and the secondary fuse. This is to make it easier to link up fireworks cakes for a show e.g. you can just use Visco fuse to run a line from the secondary fuse of a cake into the primary fuse of the second. What happens is that the primary fuse burns, the cake goes off, and the secondary fuse burns last after the cake is done so this in effect makes a cascading effect where each cake goes off in sequence. You can also run them into the primary fuse if you want them to go off together. There’s a lot of flexibility built into the new cakes and the quick match fuses (blue and red) already have a Visco end so you can just cable tie two (or more) together. Also, the effects are quite varied in one cake.
There is an initial array of 8 x 8 tubes going straight up for 64 shots of effects after the primary fuse. This is followed by 3 x 5 angled tubes. The 15 fanned shots following the first set of effects are angled for complete sky coverage and it’s of a larger size than the first. This is followed by a 8 x 4 tube array for the finale which produces a 32 shot finish for a nice 111 shot cake.
That’s all I have for this year! Here’s a video I made of all the bigger fireworks cakes I let off this year in Full HD 1080p 60 frames per second smooth viewing glory. Click on this one if you’re just going to watch one video, you won’t regret it. Hope you all enjoyed the fireworks and firecrackers videos and the explanations I wrote to give non-fireworks enthusiasts a glimpse into the world of pyrotechnics.
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I had a lot of fun letting this batch off. Rest assured, I’ll be saving up for a better display next year – I’ll keep an eye out for even larger cakes! Gong Xi Fatt Chai everyone and have a happy Chap Goh Meh! :)
Ming Mei Shi moved during the Chinese New Year and we haven’t been to the new location yet. It’s one of our family favorites. The restaurant consistently puts out good food and I go at least once every time I come back to Sibu. My sister and her family was back and we decided to come here to eat before she flew back. The new Ming Mei Shi is just located two blocks away from the old site.
It’s now a standalone building (!!!) by itself. Ming Mei Shi has been very successful, there’s no doubt about it. Even my brother in law was impressed by their food. However, despite having over 3 times the capacity of their old lot, the restaurant was still packed. We managed to get a table on the second floor, beside a group of (loud) MLM/insurance dinners.
Dong Po Pork
This is their signature dish and it comes with fluffy man tou (steamed buns).
The server will slice up the stewed pork for you and you stuff it inside the warm buns to eat. The kids loved this!
Foochow Tofu Soup
We don’t usually order soup but we were looking for something different to eat and the waitress suggested this classic. It’s tofu soup done in the classic Foochow way, with a tin of razor clams thrown in for flavor. I liked it very much, it was just like how my maternal grandma used to make it.
This proved to be a hit when my better half came with the kids last time. We ordered the exact same thing and they liked it. However, the bright yellow color of the lemon chicken doesn’t come from food coloring, it comes from turmeric. Unfortunately, my niece and nephew didn’t like the taste of turmeric (we got this for them) so I ended up eating most of it.
I have always ordered this in Ming Mei Shi and they have always come out with the dry version e.g. it’s deep fried with butter. I wanted the wet version like Ruby Restaurant, which comes with a butterscotch sauce so I made sure to repeat the order several times. It still came out slightly dry with barely a teaspoon of gravy. I still love the huge de-shelled prawns though. I just don’t think they do the wet version here.
This is a dish called “Four Heavenly Kings” and it’s basically a mixture of 4 different types of “beans” – okra, eggplant, green bean and corn. They do a mean and delicious version here, it’s very nice and not oily unlike other places.
Rendang Lamb Shank
This RM 60 lamb shank is made with condensed milk and it imparts a very sweet and creamy aftertaste to the gravy. There are only a couple made every day – last time I was here, they were all sold out and we managed to get one this time. It’s a little expensive for a regular sized lamb shank but you won’t complain when you take your first bite. It’s delicious.
The meal cost around RM 200 for all of us. There are five adults since my sister’s maid always flies in with her to take care of the children (she was the one who took this photo) and two kids so it’s quite reasonable for 7 pax. The new location is a lot better – all the tables have tablecloths and a dedicated lazy Susan and the chairs are comfortable. Be prepared for a long wait though, it took over an hour for the first dish to come out for us.
The Heng Hua (Putien) celebrate Chinese New Year on the fifth day instead of the regular Lunar New Year cycle. There is a very interesting story behind this – a rogue warlord called Tu Fei caused all the Heng Hua to hide in the bamboo jungle and they only managed to come out on the 5th day. Thus, CNY was celebrated then in remembrance of our ancestors who survived the war.
That’s our entire extended Poh family clan. My grandma is the matriarch and the rest are my aunties, uncles and cousins. We had dinner at Loong Jin Restaurant @ Tanahmas Hotel on the 5th day of Chinese New Year. It turns out that there were two tables that was “unclaimed” during Yih Wen’s wedding so we had 2 tables of credit. We always get together on the fifth day for our proper Heng Hua reunion dinner, it’s very important to my grandma.
Tanahmas Hotel Four Seasons Platter
This is the first dish that came out. You’ll notice that it’s almost similar to the 8-course dinner we had during Yih Wen’s wedding. That’s coz it’s the exact same menu – 2 tables were not taken so we had “credit” there (so to speak) and they decided to claim it on our Heng Hua Chinese New Year so we had (almost) the same dishes again.
Shark’s Fin Soup
Zero fucks will be given if any Sea Shepherd types gets butthurt from this photo.
Baked Cod Fish with Cheese
I rather enjoyed this fish during the wedding banquet and we had it again for our CNY reunion dinner. It was good.
Duck Two Ways
There is a difference in this dish. In the wedding banquet, it was 1/2 roasted duck and 1/2 braised duck. This time we had sliced wok-fried duck in place of the braised duck. It’s nice to have a change, the menu can differ slightly but the main components are similar.
Braised Sea Treasure
This is a dish of sea cucumber, razor clams, Pacific clams and other assorted seafood over tofu skin (fu chuk). Very tasty stuff.
Butter Fried Prawns
My niece is allergic to dairy products (among other things). She absolutely cannot eat dairy so my dad always stocks up on soy and other non-dairy goodies before she comes over. This year we found a no-dairy biscuit from London and some crisps made from soy from the US. However, she managed to eat one of this after it was de-shelled so that’s good.
Red Bean Pastries
This is done two ways – a classic flat pastry filled with red bean and deep fried (hot) and a modern interpretation with red bean stuffed into a mocha-like casing (cold). It was quite popular at our table.
There are also slight differences here. The previous time we had this, the middle was filled with lychee. This time it was grapes. I prefer grapes.
I took a photo with my sister and my niece and nephew at the lobby before we went back. I only see them once a year so I made sure not to fire off my fireworks until they came back. The kids were a little afraid of the large fireworks cakes last year but this year they’ve grown bigger and they weren’t afraid at all. They were looking forward to the show each night and started calling me “Fireworks Uncle”. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
1. I managed to catch a lion dance performance while Chinese New Year visiting. A friend arranged for them to come at 2:30 pm and invited us over to see.
2. This is the full and complete 15-minute video which had the firecracker red carpet start to welcome the lions in, the lion dance also went to every room in the house to “bless” them, followed by the lions playing with the firecrackers at the end. It’s worth a watch if you’ve never seen a Sibu style lion dance home visit before.
3. I went to quite a few open houses this year, from ex-coworkers to friends. This is Chew Yieng, a classmate of mine. We used to go to the same school (and even went to New Zealand at the same time when we were 15). She told me a funny story about how she met me again in Christchurch while waiting in line for a pay phone in 1995. ˙͜>˙
4. This is deep fried prawn (shrimp) crackers with acar – a staple during the Lunar New Year. Acar is a dish of pickled vegetables, there’s a distinctive vinegary taste and it goes very well with the fish and prawn crackers.
5. One of my favorite things to do while visiting is eating unusual snacks from all over. This one is noteworthy in that it’s a locally made durian candy made to look like an ice cream. The inside is durian paste and the exterior is coated with chocolate and the entire thing is mounted on a stick.
6. Pineapples are a symbol of prosperity since the word in Hokkien sounds like “incoming millions” (kinda, the second word actually means ten-thousand but is generally understood as wealth). Thus, you can see a lot of berry (yes, it’s a type of berry) themed items. I also found a Korean made yoghurt and muesli bar in this home.
7. Kumquat candy used to be very popular – these are Mandarin orange flavored sweets made in the shape of a segment of kumquat orange. There’s usually gelatin inside so it’s soft and chewy although some types are hard candy. I also sampled a Toblerone clone made in China here.
8. There are also a lot of houses which offered hot food this year. This dish has a wild boar Chinese sandwich (man tou) with a side of curry chicken, tang hoon with egg, and okra.
10. It went very well with the kacangma chicken (a local herb called motherwort). I usually get my fix at Payung Cafe, and coincidentally he had a few dishes catered from there too.
11. I particularly enjoyed the prawns with pineapple that he cooked though.
12. This is me and suituapui a.k.a. Arthur.
13. This is the Japanese curry at another house. I love eating hot food at open homes. You get to taste home cooking and it’s more substantial than cakes or biscuits.
14. I also (strangely) received 5 ang pows (red packets containing money) this year despite my advanced age. Haha.
15. China imports are very big this year. I noticed a lot of homes stock Chinese made snacks for the guests, this one is a peanut filled cracker.
16. Behold! Love Hearts! These are made in the United Kingdom and I was very fond of them when I was little. I have to admit that I took 2 of the Love Heart rolls home coz it was so awesome.
17. I also found a house growing pomegranate! I didn’t know the fruits can grow in our tropical climate.
18. Happy CNY everyone!
19. This is a long 39,999 large firecracker roll I let off during the first day of the Lunar New Year. I had to use a lighter to light it in the middle coz the Visco fuse dropped off. I love this video coz the cadence was perfect – the start where I pulled away to the multicolored effects and large pops and bangs to the end where the banner dropped down and an explosion flung it back up in a very festive manner.
20. I hope you all had a great Chinese New Year thus far! :)
This is a special Chinese New Year menu item on all AirAsia flights. They’re made specially by Martin Yan for the Lunar New Year and features longevity noodles in an inventive recipe that includes a delicious thick sauce Chef Yan created himself, along with fresh minced chicken and a variety of vegetables like pickled carrots and radish, as well as green zucchini and red chilies.
Martin Yan’s Longevity Noodles by AirAsia goes for RM 15 a la carte or RM 16 as a combo with a 350 ml bottle of mineral water. The spicy chicken meat sauce goes very well with the crunchy texture of the julienned vegetables and the cooked-just-right longevity noodles with the perfect amount of soft-firm bite.
The hot sauce whets your appetite and the amount of sodium can probably kill a small horse but yet I was looking forward to eating this when I boarded. I forgot the pre-book the meal coz of the 24 hour minimum requirements and made sure to remind the cabin attendants (two of them, in fact) to let them know I wanted it so please hold one Martin Yan meal for me if possible.
I finished eating it with satisfaction and asked the lady next to me to take a photo. Let it be known that I strongly approve of this particular meal! I’ve eaten food cooked by Chef Martin Yan before and I don’t usually go crazy over airline food (not even 1 Michelin star ones) but the Martin Yan’s Longevity Noodles had me licking the microwave foil container clean while not being too obvious about it.
I pondered ordering another one but I thought having a second 241 gram meal right after the first wouldn’t taste as good. It would be overkill and my taste buds are saturated anyway but it was an awesome festive lunch 30,000 feet in the air before I came back for Chinese New Year! :)
KL on the other hand has a relatively mediocre selection of the last two. I did manage to find some novelty fireworks for the kids and my better half though. It’s a great way to usher in the Chinese New Year! :)
Jumping Frog Novelty Fireworks
This is an interesting implementation of a relatively simple firework. It costs RM 5 per box and there’s 5 pieces of the “frogs” in a box, making them RM 1 each. These are made in Thailand and I’ve never seen them in my hometown before. The “jumping frogs” work via the knots in the string – the way it’s tied makes the entire firework leap around as it reaches the bends and folds.
It’s quite interesting since our fireworks mostly come from Philippines (like Judas Belt or triangle firecrackers) or China due to our closer proximity. I let the jumping frogs off for the kids to see coz these aren’t really suitable for children. You light up the fuse and throw it away and the firework will jump around.
From a fireworks enthusiast perspective, how this works is that the entire firework is a long fuse. The flash powder is meant to fizz energetically instead of exploding. You can see this if you bend a Chinese firecracker before lighting it up – it’ll become a sparkler of sorts instead of going boom. The string knots around the folded fuse directs the energy of the combusting powder out the end of that section, effectively propelling it around 5 times.
These are quite cheap to make but it’s still very fascinating stuff.
Peacock Fountain Fireworks
I got this RM 70 fountain for the kids to see. I’ve let off a similar one called London Bridge in Sibu last year. This one isn’t as impressive since the manufacturer skimped on the gerbs (the tube like things which produces the effects) and there are only 6 inside (1 sparkling rain and 5 directional effects) vs twice the amount in the London Bridge fireworks fountain.
It’s still fun to watch though.
These are the newer sparklers that don’t come with a fuse. It’s shaped like a tube instead of the “coated stick” design of previous sparklers. The pen shape makes it easy to hold but one downside is that the sparkler can get very hot as the effects burn down into the tube. They cost RM 10, making each sparkler RM 2.
There are Disney designs all over the packaging and firework but I sincerely doubt they have a licensing deal.
You light the top of the sparkler and the contact makes the chemical composition burn with vivid colors. I tried one to make sure it’s safe and passed it to the kids. They seem to enjoy it as all kids do, so that’s the important thing. The thing they love the most is still the Pop Pop contact fireworks though. Haha.
Chinese New Year reunion dinner is tonight! I’ll be letting off the bulk of my firecrackers and fireworks at the stroke of midnight and the rest tomorrow during the first day of CNY. I’ll keep everyone posted on the (much larger) Sibu fireworks roundup – there are multiple large cakes both vintage and new and I have a huge 530 shot monster this year, bigger than anything I’ve ever had. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
Chinese New Year is coming up in a few days! I’ve got all the things I need. I highlight some of the more interesting/quirky/unusual items I’ve purchased each year and here’s the list for 2016:
1. Famous Amos CNY Hamper
I bought this for my dear. I always get her a hamper during Chinese New Year and I heard her mentioning something about Famous Amos hampers. I know she likes the Famous Amos cookies so while at Curve one day, I went to look and decided to get her something that she enjoys eating. :)
2. Maxim Mini Egg Rolls
I had gotten the same thing last year but it was the regular sized ones. They didn’t have the miniature size last year. This year, they imported in the smaller sized egg rolls and I bought it for my better half. Maxim is a well-known baked goods brand in Hong Kong (ironically there’s also a confectioners named Maxim in France, where I think they got their name from) and consistently has good egg rolls, although slightly more expensive since it’s imported for RM 68.
3. Sanbanto Bak Kwa
Sanbanto consistently comes up with the best bak kwa (BBQ pork jerky) in town. I always make it a point to grab some every CNY. It makes for a perfect gift as well. This time I bought 5 packs for friends and family while my better half got 2 packs for my dad. They’re a mixture of sliced pork jerky (which is more expensive at RM 69) and minced pork jerky (RM 63).
4. Brand’s CNY Essence of Chicken Hamper
This one is for my better half’s parents. Her mom likes to drink Brand’s and I always get them a hamper for Chinese New Year too. Last year I got them a random hamper full of stuff that they might or might not like so this year I thought I’ll go the safer route and give them something I know they’ll consume. Funny story, I actually ordered this online from the Caring Pharmacy ecommerce site. However, I didn’t know it took so long for them to actually send it out and I made a special request to pick it up from Paradigm Mall since I was going to Sibu soon and they kindly accommodated me.
5. RM 20 instant noodles from Taiwan
This is more like a purchase for Chinese New Year since you’re so busy entertaining guests to cook. I’ve never seen a RM 20.15 bowl of instant noodles before. This is Foo’s Kitchen Chili Flavored Beef Noodle Soup. It contains a 600 gram single serve microwavable bowl that has real beef slices and pork bone broth. I haven’t eaten it yet but it sounds good. There’s also the novelty of eating a RM 20+ dollar bowl of instant noodles! That’s the second most expensive instant noodles I’ve had. The most expensive is still the RM 62.50 bowl of Maggi instant noodles.
6. Scotch Brite Chinese New Year Monkey Pad
I didn’t buy this per se. I just happened to be at the hypermarket beside me, stocking up on drinking water, when I saw this guy dressed up as the God of Prosperity walking around the cashier exits. One of the girls came up to me and asked if I wanted a free monkey shaped Scotch Brite pad.
It’s a limited edition sample meant for Chinese New Year so I thought it’ll go well here. It’s the Year of the Monkey, which is why there are so many monkey themed motifs. I gave it to my dear.
7. Starbucks Exclusive Coffee Wafer Rolls
This is an interesting one – I didn’t plan for this purchase at all. I had gotten all I needed for CNY and was about to fly back to Sibu when I chanced across this at the airport. It was RM 42 and came with a free drink! I had time to kill before my flight at KLIA2 so I bought one. The barista was kind enough to let me choose *any* drink so I went with the latest Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha Frappuccino under the new Starbucks Espresso Confections.
It came complete with whipped cream. This drink would normally cost around RM 20 for the largest size at the airport so that’s a significant discount from the “free large drink with purchase”. I also got two nice Starbucks ang pows from the barista.
8. Crab Stick Crackers
This is the most amazing and wonderful thing I’ve ever seen. Yes, this is the first time I’ve seen it, although I’ve heard rumors of delicious morsels of surimi (crab sticks) that’s been deep fried as a Chinese New Year snack. It has the distinctive red color from the crab sticks, which are actually made from fish paste and crab flavoring. On the plus side, the color is very auspicious too. My dear’s mom got this for our family coz I was so intrigued by it. The crab stick crackers sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone.
I don’t make a big deal out of shopping for clothes every Chinese New Year. It’s a tradition to wear new garments but some years I didn’t buy anything or just got a pack of red underwear (which turned out to be the best I ever had).
However, I wanted to get my better half some clothes so we went to purchase new attire over two weekends.
We ended up buying more stuff for me. My dear got me two awesome shirts from MUJI, one long sleeved casual and one work shirt from MNG and a pair of “drop crotch chinos”. I have no idea what that last one was, she just thought I ought to wear something different.
I did manage to get her something though – we went to Levi’s for a pair of denims and H&M for more garments.
I also got attire for the kids.
I really liked this shirt but they didn’t have one in my size. It’s from the UNIQLO Disney Chinese New Year 2016 collection.
I spent the most in Onitsuka Tiger. I had wanted a pair of bright blue sneakers from adidas a few months ago but unfortunately they were out of my size. My dear remembered that I liked that particular shade of blue and brought me to Onitsuka Tiger to get a similar pair.
Onitsuka Tiger don’t make their own shoes. They’re actually made by ASICS and branded as Onitsuka Tigers. Interesting, I didn’t know that. It makes sense though, why would an apparel company go into the shoe business when they can just co-opt and OEM (rebadge) from an existing sports company? Pretty smart business move.
I do like the brand though and since there was a 30% sale on accessories if you buy footwear, I got two pairs of socks to go with them. Unfortunately, the discount is only valid for one (1) item so I also got an overpriced RM 55 pair of socks from Onitsuka Tiger. Haha.
It was fun going shopping with my better half though and I got all my Chinese New Year wardrobe sorted out. The reunion dinner is coming up soon! Have you all gotten all your shopping done?