cny 2014

Chinese New Year is coming up! Here’s 8 things (a very auspicious number) I bought for Chinese New Year:

1. CNY Hamper – Majestic Spring

hamper cny

I got this hamper for my dear’s family. There are heaps of hampers at BIG in Publika and I wanted to get one that doesn’t contain a lot of cookies (coz she already makes them). This hamper is called Majestic Spring.

cny hamper

I like how the hampers nowadays are packaged with this wrap – it makes it look nicer than the old “pyramid” style hampers. Her parents have been absolutely bang on awesome to me and I thought that the least I can do is send a hamper their way as a token of my appreciation.

2. Pineapple Tarts from Maxim, Hong Kong

maxim cny cakes

This is a wonderful CNY metal gift set from the famous Maxim bakery in HK. They have two versions – one contains biscuits and cookies (sold out) and the other is pineapple tarts (there’s only a couple left and I got one). It’s mahjong themed so each pineapple tart is shaped like a mahjong tile and *individually wrapped* with the tile picture! It’s RM 88 per box though.

cny cookies

My dear also baked my family some awesome Chinese New Year cookies! Thanks for that! <3

3. Jeep Trainers

jeep shoes

No, I didn’t get myself a Jeep! Haha! These are their footware apparel. Jeeps were used during World War II – it played the role that Humvees are playing in theatres of war today. That’s the interesting fact of the day, if you didn’t know it already.

jeep

I got myself a pair of trainers at just RM 149. It’s 50% off from it’s original RM 300 price tag. I reckon it’s a good buy, it’s my footware for CNY!

4. Sanbanto Pork Jerky

sanbanto bakua

I nearly didn’t manage to get the coveted organic Sanbanto pork jerky made from free-range pigs with no added preservatives. It’s RM 48 for the minced ba kua and RM 49.50 for the sliced pork jerky. It sold out real quick!

sanbanto pork jerky

Luckily, I managed to secure myself six (6) packs – 3 of each type. You just can’t get it now, they sell out really fast! The individually wrapped packages you see are already booked and ready for collection. I told my dear I’ll get her these last year and I gave her some this year! :)

5. Arrowhead Chips

arrowroot-= chips

Yup, this is the famous ngaku chips. It’s made from arrowroot. I can never figure out why these are so popular. My dad even got some from Kuching at RM 19. Mine was cheaper at RM 11.

6. Dorothy Perkins

dorothy perkins cny

I *didn’t* suddenly decide that I’m a female trapped inside a male’s body. I’m *not* saving up for gender reassignment surgery. I just wanted to get my dear some CNY clothes! smirk

dorothy perkins

She had bought me my Chinese New Year shirts and I wanted to buy her some too! I wanted to get her shoes as well but she didn’t see anything she liked.

7. Oink Floss

oink floss

Pork floss! It’s a must for CNY! I got three flavors – pork, chilli pork and seaweed pork. It’s RM 16 per can but I got it for RM 45 for 3.

8. Empurau Fish

ikan empurau

This is the (in)famous empurau fish from Sarawak! I saw it on sale while driving my dad and aunties out for a spot of CNY shopping just now. It’s *notorious* for being expensive, the prices are driven up by consumer demand over here since rich tycoons snap them up as if they’re going out of style.

empurau fish

This empurau fish is slightly longer than 1 meter and costs thousands. It’s the most expensive fish here, much more expensive than white cod, due to the unique qualities of the flesh – it doesn’t degrade much after chucking it into the freezer.

I’m neither rich nor a tycoon so unfortunately I didn’t get it. I was sorely tempted to but we don’t even have a steamer big enough to cook it. Happy Chinese New Year everyone! :D

jewel of the nile

This is the first fireworks post of Chinese New Year! Well, it’s close to CNY anyway. I found this fountain / cake hybrid at the local market at a list price of RM 28 each. It’s called Niilin Jalokivet (Jewel of the Nile) and the quality of the packaging is like none I’ve seen before!

finland fireworks

The wrap details the optimal viewing distance (30 meters), minimum viewing distance (10 meters) and even how long it lasts! It says to *expect 20 seconds* of fireworks from this tall fountain and aerial repeater from Finland. I found the amount of information very impressive.

finnish fireworks detail

I got this at the local market. I’ve always found KL to be a bit dry in terms of fireworks and firecrackers compared to my hometown of Sibu. I managed to get 2 of this for RM 30, making it RM 15 each. There are firework cakes (multi-shot aerial barrages) listed for RM 780 (!!!) which I can get for RM 250 in Sibu.

fireworks in kl

I also saw the cheap generic 8888 Chinese firecrackers (usually RM 8 – got some during CNY eve) which doesn’t have the finish and sheer girth of the RM 200+ premium Chinese firecrackers selling for RM 25 here. The stuff here is 3x the price of what we pay in Sibu retail stalls (comparing apples to apples).

niilin jalokivet fireworks

I just wanted to let it off for my better half though, since CNY is coming soon, so I lit one across the road and another one closer to the house, which toppled. Luckily the Niilin Jalokivet doesn’t shoot up very high – 12 feet at it’s max.

There’s a center tube acting as a fountain and 8 + 2 tubes surrounding it which shoots up balls of flaming fire and whistling sparks respectively. It reminds me of the smaller version of the popular old perennial Desert at Night.

fireworks tubes

It’s not too bad, but we’re used to paying much lower prices. It was still a good find though, the fireworks display was pretty awesome, especially the first one I let off, which didn’t topple over halfway. Haha!

niilin jalokivet

I just let it off last night after dinner. I always feel like Chinese New Year is around the corner when I start playing with fireworks. :)

stall no name

There is a stall in town that doesn’t have a name but serves up great herbal chicken twice a day. The operation is quite quaint and rather appealing in a sense – tables are lined along the side of a narrow lane and you can practically see flora growing out of cracks in the centuries-old building.

quaint operation

The food choices are quite simple – there’s herbal chicken drumstick (which I highly recommend) and stewed pork (which doesn’t taste good to me). They both cost RM 6.

herbal chicken stall

All the provisions for washing up and cooking is located right by the stall itself. The clientèle consists of office workers around the area, according to the proprietor.

roadside food stall

The herbal chicken is cooked in aluminium foil and this retains a lot of the moisture of the drumstick.

reconstituted pork

The meat for the stewed pork on the other hand is picked from a container and then mixed with hearty broth from a large simmering pot by the side. I don’t think much of “reconstituted meals” like this – it works for some items, but not pork, since what comes out will be one tough piece of un-kosher meat.

herbal chicken

I am hugely impressed by the herbal chicken though. The tasty broth bursts out of the foil when it’s opened and the hot, hearty soup goes very well with rice – it’s very salty.

lane stall

The chicken is ultra-tender too – the meat literally falls apart from the bone when you pick one up. Delicious, and a rather good find in the alleyways of KL.

great herbal chicken

The Stall with No Name is located in Lorong Bandar 4. It’s open from 10 am – 3 pm and then again from 5 pm to 10 pm. Go for the mouth-watering tender herbal chicken. :D

kim gareth wedding

The first thing I noticed was the K&G for Kimberly and Gareth ice sculptures which dominates the entrance to the ballroom where the wedding was held. There’s also an archway above with roses – nice touch, that.

candy station

This is my favorite bit – there’s lots of nostalgic candy with witty place cards at the lounge where wedding guests can help themselves to.

sweet station

I haven’t had some of these since I was in primary school! It certainly brings back fond memories.

wedding registrar

…so much so I had a brain fart while writing the guest book. Lives, not lifes. -_-

kim gareth wedding rules

Kim and Gareth’s wedding was held at The Saujana Hotel last Saturday on the 27th October. I was there at 6:30 pm for the cocktail reception.

vintage coke

Vintage Coke bottles from Thailand.

yee haw

Here’s Yee Hau with Yee Haw! That’s the tag for the haw flakes of our childhood.

childhood candy

Rabbit Candy! Anyone remember these? I still love them.

kim gareth replacements

I think this was a really great idea too – having photo cutouts to take photos with while the bride and groom were busy, very tongue-in-cheek. Heh.

volleyball

The wedding favors on the table were hugely popular too – we had an impromptu game of volleyball while waiting for it to start, made by Nicholas with the goo you can blow up into a balloon (also an artifact of 80′s babies – we had them in school).

kimberly gareth wedding

Kim and Gareth both had speeches going and I thought it was really nice, what they said, weddings always makes me feel good.

chinese wedding food

There’s also an 8 course dinner, with the soup dish called “Save the Sharks Seafood Soup” – obviously no fins in there but it tastes surprisingly good with the mini abalone and other seafood inside and it’s a great departure from traditional wedding soups by being clear, yet flavorful.

A lot of us at the table went for second helpings, myself included…and I’m not even a fan of soup.

yamazaki single malt whisky

I love the single malt whisky that was offered too – had a dram each of Yamazaki 12 y/o and a The Glenrothers Select Reserve. I preferred the latter, despite the novelty of drinking a Japanese single malt whisky – it had more character and complexity.

yam seng

Here’s the obligatory table-to-table yam seng session!

kim gareth hb

…and a photo with the (real) bride and groom at the end. Hope you have a wonderful life ahead together, Kim and Gareth! :)

pilfered breakfast

Bread: Near expiry locally made potato buns picked up from 7-Eleven several days ago
Spread: Pina Colada jam from Club Med, Phuket which is still edible, much to my surprise
Utensils: Disposable cup noodle fork (I eat two at once and keep the spare)
Tea: Gryphon’s English Breakfast Tea (from hotel’s complimentary array) brewed in a cheap ceramic cup with a knockoff design that was a free gift from a twin giant pack toothpaste purchase and a mini thermo lid which I have lost the receptacle from where it came

I was surprised at what I could dig up at home from basically nothing, creating food out of thin air. I’m still lazing around, reading an ebook and I reckon I’ll continue doing that. I haven’t even finished my breakfast, I just came over to write this. Heh.

breakfast in bed

It’s the breakfast of kings! :D

spit

Okay, I was on my way back home late last night when something very disgusting happened. I’ve posted about it on Facebook but I wanted it here for posterity…

…coz it’s really disgusting. :x

I’m still a bit grossed out by what happened last night – this security guard I was trailing to get directions on where my car is took off his cap and brushed his sweaty hair before I could tap him on the shoulder and say excuse me.

Obviously, this resulted in surprisingly copious amounts of sweat being flicked to my face and inside my open mouth. (!!!)

I got the directions but it left a bad taste in my mouth. ;)

Well, it depends…

accident kl

I was on my way back home when I saw this large group of people confronting each other amidst a mass of motorbikes and cars. It was a T junction and I gather they’ve gotten into some kind of fender bender, but a mild one by the looks of it.

It was quite late and there was no traffic except more bikes arriving noisily to fortify the already significant representation while I was at that junction, a veritable congregation of two-wheeled owners.

accident rempit

I went on my way to do some grocery shopping before the supermarket closed – you know, the usual staples of bachelorhood – ramen, more ramen, ramen in a cup, bread, milk, eggs, sausages (erm) and crab sticks.

It took me about 30 minutes (even picked up some toothpaste on sale while I was at it) and my wallet was RM 80 lighter when I was done.

man groceries

I took the same route back home and surprisingly they were still there. I couldn’t hear what was being said, it looks like Cars vs Bikes – with the latter dominating – there were a lot of gesturing and pointing going on, so I regarded them with mild interest, and drove back home.

Yup, I know, it’s anti-climatic but the answer to the question is…

bike accident kl

I don’t know. smirk

My cousin is here on a business trip and I had dinner with him to catch up. I actually just met him in Singapore a couple of weeks back, but that was just to pass him some stuff from my sister’s condo. It was about to rain so we didn’t have much time to talk.

poh poh
L-R: Mr. Poh, Mr. Poh.

Interesting fact:
My dad is the oldest son of my grandfather and I’m his youngest son.
My cousin’s dad is the youngest son of my granddad and he’s the oldest son.

Guess how far apart our ages are?

It’s surprisingly not far apart. He’s only older than me by *one year*.

…..

…….

………

…………

I wish!

I’m kidding. He’s 24 and I’m 31. That makes it a 7 year difference. My grandfather also beget 7 offspring, which is totally coincidental and has nothing to do with this at all.

Chirashi-Jyu
This is what I usually order when I have Japanese food nowadays. I’m a huge fan of unagi (eel) but due to my unhealthy diet I’ve taken to ordering this pretty consistently when I’m out. It’s assorted sashimi on sushi rice for RM 30.

chirashi jyu

I actually like this version – best I’ve had so far. The selling point was the fatty raw salmon – it’s creamy and delicious! They don’t serve coffee (boo) but however this place has a 4sq special where you can get a green tea ice cream for free when you check-in.

BTW, my cousin is single and available. Heh.

…and that concludes the Book of Numbers in my family scripture for now. ;)

…and it’s not my fault! smirk

This guy rear ended me while I was driving along LDP just now. Anyway, if you use that highway you’ll know that it’s almost always perpetually congested. I was moving at a leisurely 20-30 km/h with the start and stop traffic when I suddenly felt an impact from behind.

his car

I got out of the car and noticed he was still inside, looking a bit lost and shocked. I just said “Dude, what’s wrong with you?” and he got out and apologized.

He said a car cut into his lane so he was forced to cut into mine and couldn’t stop in time before he hit me.

There was a looooooong line of cars behind us but surprisingly no one honked so we moved to the side. I wanted to lodge a police report to claim insurance but he wasn’t very keen on the idea and wanted to settle it privately.

my car

I was also in a rush and the damage to my car wasn’t that bad – he hit the inside of the bumper and probably damaged the rear proximity sensors. His car was much worse off. I asked him how he wanted to do it coz he mentioned he didn’t have a lot of cash on him and he offered RM 200.

He seems like a nice enough guy, and I’m due to fix my bumper and all that anyway, so I agreed and we left it at that. These things happen anyway and it’s basically a minor fender bender. :)

integrity

That was the topic of the sermon at Calvary Church, Damansara Heights at the 5 pm English service just now. I thought it was quite interesting, something to think about at least. I’ve been trying to find a church that I’ll be comfortable in.

I haven’t been to church in a long time. It’s 18 years by my count, excepting the time I went to Wesley Methodist Church in Sibu last time I was back to visit my mom (and I thought it was election time too).

calvary church bukit damansara

I’m not used to loud and expressive praise and worship sessions – I was raised as a Christian, went to Trinity Methodist Church in Kuching and Wesley Methodist Church when I was in Sibu. They’re both UMC sister churches and we use the hymnal – usually droll but somehow peaceful hymns.

This is totally different. However, I think that the ability to unlearn and relearn new things is a prerequisite in this fast moving social media age and I found myself enjoying it by the second song (which I would really like to know the title of).

I’ve been procrastinating in going back to the church – I left the congregation when I was 12 coz I didn’t believe in it anymore. It’s more than just knowledge, it’s the hypocrisy and politiking that I see which made me lose faith in Christians.

I’m sure I’ve said this before but one thing my dad said that caused me to reevaluate is – Don’t look at the Christian, look to Christ.

…also I have my own personal reasons for going. You can call it the opiate of the masses but there are no atheists in foxholes too. ;)

eucharist
Nifty way to hold the Eucharist cup.

However, I’m still trying to believe. I think I’m moving towards that direction but I don’t think this church would be a good fit for me. I prefer to contemplate in a quiet setting and speak to my personal savior and this isn’t very conducive to doing so. It’s also an Assembly of God denomination which has doctrinal differences from Methodists, the biggest one being:

The Assemblies of God believes in the Pentecostal distinctive of baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

That goes against everything I believe in. I find that churches like these tend to coerce people to do so (speak in tongues) which leads to a lot of people faking it to make it. I was at a seminar a while back in Sabah where a Canadian group came to speak – they’re also Pentecostals and during a blessing session, everyone (about 300 people) fell down, “consumed by the holy spirit”.

I didn’t. There were people behind me waiting to hold me and one of the pastors whispered to me – “Just lie down”.

I don’t want to coz I didn’t feel the touch of the Lord. I was the only one standing in a group of 300 threshing and moaning people. The sheer pressure to join them is quite incredible and I believe that’s what most people were going – just succumbing to the pressure. I stood my ground though. It was hard, and I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t feel self-conscious but I don’t want to pretend to do feel something I don’t.

I won’t judge, Matthew 7:5 says the famous words about that but in matters of faith, I ALWAYS defer to my dad. He’s hands down the most pious person I ever met – a True Believer. I trust him in these matters.

calvary church damansara heights

Thus, I’ll probably be still searching for a church that fits the doctrine I believe in. I can’t say I’m a Christian right now, and I’m still trying to reconcile God with science, life and sociology – things I believe in like evolution, LGBT rights, massive allegations of fund mismanagement (hey, they’re human and humans sin).

I also want to make sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons and not using religion as a crutch to get me through some hard times.

I’m really opening my mind here after 18 years (it’s actually longer, I stopped believing but continued going) of being an agnostic atheist – I want to believe and I know it’s not your prerogative to show yourself to me God, but you know, it would help a lot, especially right now.

I’ll end this post with a prayer. ;)

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Heh! It’s actually non-religious, it started from AA but I learned it in NA, it’s called the Serenity Prayer and AA/NA isn’t a Christian foundation – it accepts people from all faiths and religious discussion is prohibited.

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