eiserner steg bridge

Yeah, the trend has spread to Germany too! :)

frankfurt love bridge

This is the Eiserner Steg Bridge – a pedestrian bridge in Frankfurt am Main. We wanted to go to Romer and the concierge from Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt hailed a taxi for us and told the driver to set us down at the other side of the bridge so we can walk across (it’s nearer and we’ll get to see the padlocks).

new love locks

The “love lock” bridge is all about people putting padlocks (some very colorful ones are coming out) and writing their names in permanent marker (original, old school method) or using laser engraving as the trend exploded and the commercialization started.

love lock bridge

The padlocks are “locked” onto the bridge – any part of the bridge – and the key kept. It’s supposed to symbolize the union of two people and the strength of the relationship.

love lock

AFAIK, the love lock bridge trend started in the early 2000’s and Wikipedia states that it first took hold in Paris. However, I’ve seen old locks with dates like 1989 so I’m not so sure that’s true. The most well known bridge in France is the Pont de l’Archevêché – it’s just behind Notre Dame.

original love locks

I believe there’s even a TVB series made about it, called Triumph in the Skies II or something. I only know this coz my better half watches Cantonese drama series. Yes, that was filmed in France (or so my dear says).

love bridge us

Since the popularity of the Pont de l’Archevêché love lock bridge, it has appeared all over cities in the world.

love padlock

I heard Malaysia even jumped on the bandwagon and *specially* opened a bridge for this, while countries like France have tried removing the locks (or transferring it) due to structural integrity concerns (the combined weight of that much padlocks is nothing to sneeze on).

Short mention:

romer panorama

I love the Sweep Panorama feature in my Xperia Z1 smartphone. We were headed to the beautiful Romer square and there was a wedding going on at the Old Saint Nicholas church. I couldn’t take the Romer’s famous Eastern façade together with the wedding at the church with *any* kind of camera, dSLR included, and was about to give up when I thought of the Z1′s panoramic photo and I managed to get everything in just one easy sweep – the instructions were on the screen!

I didn’t think of using it when I was the German version of the famous/cheesy (depending on how romantic you think is) Parisian “Lover’s Bridge” (which is dubbed The Frankfurt Love Bridge – or Padlock Bridge) when I was walking through it though and now I really want to take a Sweep Panorama shot on my smartphone so I can show how nice it actually is! I’m going to do one here in France and another when we head back to Frankfurt so I can show the difference in detail! :)

Posted: 9:38 pm Paris time (GMT +2) on 11th April – but it’s 12th April, 3:38 am in KL now! :D

Updates on our 10 day vacation through Germany and France:
http://instagram.com/sixthseal
https://twitter.com/sixthseal
https://www.facebook.com/SixthSealcom

eddy house

It’s customary to go to the houses of friends and family during Chinese New Year.

cny open house

I didn’t do a whole lot of Chinese New Year visiting this year. My family is back home so mostly I just went to a couple of good friend’s houses.

visiting cny

I went to Arthur’s house and had some of his home-made cookies. I also met a new friend and reader there – that’s part of the fun of it, you get to meet visitors who are already there and make new connections. I was also hoping to eat some of the durian tempoyak dishes that I missed last CNY when he cooked a buffet at his open house. Haha!

arthur hb

He was kind enough to give me a (very generous) ang pow despite my age. I was a little shocked when I opened it and saw the amount. I must buy him lunch before I go back.

ang pow

I also went to my mate Eddy’s house – haven’t seen him in quite a while and he just got married!

white rabbit candy

There were rabbit candy there! It was a trip down memory lane for the snacks in his house. I also found out that these White Rabbit candy (the ones with edible paper) is only sold in pharmacies in the Philippines while the other type with glossy wrap is sold in supermarkets!

cny visiting

A couple from the Philippines also came over to see how CNY is done in Sibu. Cain is originally from Florida and migrated to a lot of different places (and even did an Amazon cruise the local way last year) before settling in Cebu.

cain hb eddy

I’m glad I had my phone with me so I could take all these memorable photos while visiting and meeting old (and new) friends on Chinese New Year – after all, it only happens once a year!

wine collection

There’s a large liquor selection at Eddy’s place and I noticed I can do something very nifty on my smartphone!

Short Mention:

info eye wine

There’s a function called Info-eyeTM on my Sony Xperia Z1. It activates your camera and can show you all sorts of information about the places and objects around you. It’s the best and most practical feature of AR (Augmented Reality) that I’ve ever seen and it’s propriety to Sony so you can only get it on this phone.

info eye google maps

You can scan everything from buildings to barcodes and even text! Info-eyeTM allows you to *share* the results (where you are, bottles of wine you like etc) right from the camera app so I thought that was really cool! I found a nice bottle of wine which I’m not familiar with at Eddy’s place and we decided to use Info-eyeTM to see what goes well with it.

info eye images

The results are simply amazing! It shows you everything from the location of the vineyard on Google Maps to search results and there’s also relevant information on wine pairing when you take a photo. The helpful wine bottle overlay guides you when you take your photo. We were all very amazed by this feature – I think I might have sold the Xperia Z1 to a lot of people just on this demonstration/experiment alone. :D

waterproof firecrackers

It’s the firecrackers de jour for these two years (at least for experiential or cost conscious buyers) due to the fact that it’s very cheap. It’s the exact opposite of the 39,000 head firecrackers which cost upwards of RM 150 – this is a short, semi-traditional string of firecrackers that everyone can afford.

ssb888 firecrackers

These are RM 10 each and it’s marketed as waterproof firecrackers. That’s due to the *wax red paper* wrapped around the entire length of the string of firecrackers, protecting it from the elements.

888 firecrackers

It’s perfect for lion dance performances since it can still be lit if it rains and it’s not as explosive as the 39,000 head firecrackers, which have been known to injure performers.

wax paper

These waterproof firecrackers are 8 feet long and as a bonus, the red wax paper also tears up as the firecrackers go off, adding to the festive and auspicious red paper mess. It’s unusual to have firecrackers being sold by length (8 ft) instead of “number of firecrackers” format e.g. 3,000 firecrackers, 39,000 firecrackers etc.

8 feet firecrackers

I noticed that there are a lot of unexploded ordnance when compared to other firecrackers. There’s bound to be some but this is a bit excessive. I took a video and thought that this happened coz I forgot to remove the cardboard backing, but that’s not the case.

firecrackers waterproof

I somehow lost the long Visco fuse (long green fuse) and had to light this with the fast fuse but it turned out alright. The wax paper doesn’t tear consistently when the firecrackers explode – this is the fourth string that I’ve let off and all turned out this way – but you really can’t complain for the price.

These “waterproof firecrackers” also lasts a very long time (almost 30 seconds) since it burns slower, despite being only 8 feet long, in contrast to the fast burning 39,000 head firecrackers – it’s a selling point for some people, but not for me. I like my firecrackers to go fast and furious!

firecrackers banner

However, you really can’t argue with the RM 10 price tag and it also has a small explosive finish with an auspicious couplet bearing banner inside (which is unusual at this price point) and I let it off just before it rained twice – it really can be lit even in mild showers! smirk

Here’s what my hometown looked like during CNY. It’s the stroke of midnight during Chinese New Year 2014. The symphony of noise and light has been going on for the entire night…and now reached it’s *peak*!

Short Mention:

Warning: Pyrotechnics galore! :D

I always have problems videoing the CNY fireworks coz it’s very hard to get the auto-focus done right through all the sudden flashes of light and the blinding clouds of smoke. I used my Sony Xperia Z1 to do it and I was extremely pleased by the results! It does a wonderful job at focusing quickly when I pan the smartphone around and the audio is awesome too!

I couldn’t believe my Xperia Z1 records better fireworks videos than most of the cameras I’ve had in the past. The video is a bit long but I provided two (2) coz I know there are people who love seeing the annual fireworks show the people here put out. It’s absolutely superb this year, you’ll see everything from 388-shot fireworks cakes to 12” aerial fireworks shells with new breaks!

P/S – Remember to switch to Full 1080 HD when you record the videos – that’s how I recorded it. :)

riding bicycles

Greetings everyone! I am back after a short hiatus – major stuff to sort out and everything is peachy now. In fact, I just had one of the best days of my life with my dear and the kids. It was actually quite a simple thing, I wonder why we didn’t do it earlier.

bicycles

We got a bicycle for the little one (second hand, person is moving out of the country) for just RM 40 and the big one got a new (and larger) bike for RM 200. There’s one bicycle at home, which is for adults and one day after work we just took the kids to the park!

happy us

It actually started out with me trying to ride the new bicycle with the little one while the big one is finishing her school. She had a quick dinner after that and we all cycled to the park. The kids kept wanting rides so it was the most exercise I did for to date! I also had to cycle with my dear at the back – we tried it the other way round, but she couldn’t even start cycling coz I was too heavy. smirk

setting sun

I gave so much rides and raced with the big one so much that I felt like puking. It didn’t help that I was still wearing my work clothes so I overheated and was nauseous for a good hour! I had fun though, and so did my dear and the kids. It’s the wholesome family fun that I’ve always wanted to have and I’m glad we did that!

elise dustbin

The funniest thing was watching the little one run with her short legs chasing after her sister. Haha! Too cute. The simple pleasures in life are the best.

It was nice that I could take a lot of awesome photos with just my phone too, which reminds me…

Short mention:

tranfering smartphone data

I’m using my Sony Xperia Z1 [link to my review] now and I’m constantly amazed at the new things that it can do. My previous phone is a Sony Xperia S and I used the Xperia Transfer app to sync everything on my old phone to the new one so it’s up and running.

xperia transfer app

The Xperia Transfer app can be downloaded from Google Play and it works for *all* Android devices. What if you have a Windows or iOS phone? Sony PC Companion and Sony Bridge for Mac (it’s an executable on your new Sony Zperia Z1 smartphone – just connect the microUSB) performs the same function.

how to use xperia transfer

Thus, whatever platform you’re using right now, you can do a direct transfer of your data, contacts, photos etc into your new Sony Xperia Z1 so you’ll be ready to go! :)

ramen burger

This is a homemade ramen burger that my better half made for me during our anniversary. It’s not burger in ramen but the other way round – the bun in the burger is substituted with ramen noodles! Thus, the patty is encased in ramen noodles instead of a regular burger bun.

ramen

I hear it’s all the rage and she managed to do it on her first attempt. You need to cook the ramen noodles, add a bit of the seasoning, and mix an egg inside (once the noodles have cooled) before sealing it in Glad wrap in the fridge overnight for it to set.

ramen burger bun

The ramen burger is delicious! You have to fry the ramen burger after it’s formed and set before using it as a bun replacement. It stayed intact throughout the eating process so I’m very impressed – the “ramen bun” didn’t fall apart. I’ll love to pick her brains and do this again myself during the weekend!

Just writing about it got me hankering for burgers!

Short mention:

It’s difficult to explain. Words just doesn’t do it justice. You’ll be better off watching the video above of two grown men talking in a totally heterosexual manner (one on the porcelain throne, the other submerged in the tub) in an attempt to describe the awesomeness that is the KFC Crazy Crunch. It features Reuben Kang so expect his classic humor to shine through!

There’s a parody out on Facebook by Shaheizy Sam (not sure who this dude is) and I personally don’t think it’s funny but it has gotten a quite a few Likes so maybe different people have a different sense of humor. I apologize in advance for wasting 16 seconds of your time that you’re not going to ever get back (watch the first Germani Network video instead) but it just goes to show – is the KFC Crazy Crunch really that hard to describe?

Hmm…

1. Taking it in stride

smart ass car

We both laughed out of surprise when we saw this. I was driving to breakfast and asked my better half for my camera so I could take a photo. It’s the most innovative way to display your car licence plate after being rear-ended in an accident.

Why, you just put it inside and life goes on. smirk

2. Confused car

confused car

This car has the symbols for:

  • No Food and Drinks
  • No Smoking
  • Photography Allowed
  • Headphones Only
  • Instant Messenger
  • WiFi Hotspot
  • Facebook Like
  • Playboy Bunny

I don’t know what kind of statement the driver is trying to make but it doesn’t make any sense to me. Heh.

3. Hard candy

mm snack mix salty

I always head to Ta Kiong when I’m home. It’s an import specialty supermarket that has things you wouldn’t think Sibu would have. They even stock stuff I haven’t seen in KL coz they import it themselves. I like the Pretzel M&M’s – the newer ones are crunchier, saltier and sweeter with “more pretzel taste”.

pretzel mm

I’ve never seen Pretzel M&M’s in KL before (this is imported directly from the US) so I got some and the new formula tastes good.

I also got a pack of M&M Snack Mix – it has Salty & Sweet contents like roasted peanuts, crunchy pretzels, chocolate chip cookies. Now, the biggest question is whether the stuff is inside the M&M’s or outside i.e. are they fillings or separate snacks. I know M&M has peanuts, pretzels, peanut butter etc as fillings but I didn’t know they make them in Chocolate Chip Cookie.

raspberry mint mm

I wouldn’t be surprised though as M&M’s have Raspberry and Mint fillings covered in dark chocolate.

We haven’t opened the bag yet, so it’ll be interesting to find out.

snickers 3x

I also got us some Snickers from the US…

twix pb snickers squared

…and my favorite Twix PB! This is Twix chocolate cookie bars with peanut butter milk chocolate! Twix was what I reached for when I had the munchies back when I was studying in Melbourne and it’s still one of my favorite candy bars. I like peanut butter in candy bars, there’s also Snickers peanut butter Squared at the bottom (but we got that in KL) which basically contains 2 squares instead of a bar in a package you can twist to close and save one for later!

Short mention:


How to Golf in One Night

Haha! The short film above shows the antics of a guy who has never golfed in his life trying to impress his girlfriend’s dad. His friends gave him some well-intended but ultimately disastrous advice for “The Judgement Day” (as it’s hilariously called). His first swing made the golf club fly from his grip and hit someone, much to the disapproval of his future father-in-law.

It has a truly heart-warming ending after he and his girlfriend’s father have “the perfect round”.

I’ve seen Heineken and CIMB Classic posters around town and it’s no surprise that the long term sponsor of premier sporting events in the global arena like the UEFA Champions League for football, the Heineken Cup for rugby, and the US Open for tennis is finally going into the golfing arena – by being the official beverage partner of the CIMB Classic 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (GLGCC) from 24-27th October.

heineken cimb classic

The prestigious CIMB Classic is the first PGA tour in Asia and golf enthusiasts can finally get Heineken style premier hospitality from their public hospitality marquee at the CIMB Classic. Located above the food village, Heineken’s The Green Experience will be a place for fans to lounge in style as they enjoy a grandstand view of golf’s greatest in full swing while cooling down with a refreshing Heineken brew in hand.

That’s what I read and it really made me want to go and experience the exclusivity that describes! You also get to pour the perfect pint of ice cold Heineken and give your best shot at the various games while watching the world-class action on screens. It’s the ultimate in Heineken hospitality!

Find out more about Heineken’s exciting calendar of events at their Facebook page or Twitter.

tiny noodle oyster

I found this on the shelves while grocery shopping. We were there to buy stuff for sandwiches and ended up buying two different ramen instead. This is one of them! It’s made in Taiwan and retails for RM 7.90 per packet.

tiny noodle oyster flavour

You just gotta love the translation – tiny noodle. smirk It’s basically instant oyster mee sua.

cooking mee sua

The packet is huge! It’s meant to be cooked in a single session for 3 servings with:

  • 2 individual packets of noodles
  • 2 flavor sachets
  • 2 oil with spice sachets
  • 2 packets of starch

water

The instructions are all in Chinese and it calls for 2,000 cc of water, which is 2 liters. I was a bit surprised at the ratio, considering the tiny (heh) amount of noodles but it’s correct. I measured the water out using 4 x 500 ml bottles.

starch

The starch needs to be prepared separately using a bit of water to dissolve the powder. It’s added in at the last moment, producing a starchy mimic of Taiwanese oyster mee sua.

adding starch

It really can’t compare to the oyster mee sua at Shihlin but it’s not too bad for instant noodles. Adding a salchichon slice or some pork floss does wonders in improving the flavor! :D

oyster mee sua

Short mention:

There’s a contest on Facebook where you can win a 4G LTE modem with 3 months data for free! Just show your best Usain Bolt pose and upload it!

He has several poses that he always does if you’ve seen him in action. He’s not just the fastest sprinter on earth, he’s quite a charismatic person too – I’m sure you’ve watched in awe as he left the competition behind at the Olympics.

I always need more data (especially at super fast speeds where I can download stuff faster) so I’ll join the contest during lunch break later. It’s very simple.

Take a photo, bolt over to the Celcom First Facebook page and upload the photo using the Can You Bolt app for a chance to win! :)

cambodia pancakes

I was in Siem Reap in Cambodia and found street vendors selling the ubiquitous meant-for-Caucasian-tourist pancakes that I thought are similar to the ones that are sold in Bali.

cambodian roti canai

They’re not the same!

cambodian pancake

This is actually a Cambodian style roti canai – it’s practically made the same way. You can have it with Nutella, banana, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, Milo or combinations of the above for just 3,000 KHR (0.75 USD).

banana chocolate pancake

It’s served differently though. We had a banana and chocolate pancake and it’s rolled up in a piece of paper so it’s easier to eat.

cambodian pancakes

It’s fast food, Cambodian style!

Closer to home, I saw this TV commercial featuring Usain Bolt running through KL city:

If you don’t know who he is, I honestly don’t know what to say. smirk He’s just the fastest man in the world, being the first person to hold the 100 meter and 200 meter world record and also the first to win 6 Olympic gold medals in sprinting.

He’s faster than you can imagine and he’s now the official ambassador for the Celcom network.

Celcom has come up with the 4th generation of wireless mobile communications, dubbed 4G LTE. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and it’s 10 times faster than what you’re used to. It’s 100Mbps so think of it as a classic Cat5 cable (LAN cable) running at max speed (that’s the reference for all computer geeks like me ;)).

It was the fastest speed we could go in our university back then and to put 100Mbps into perspective:

  • Downloading a 5 MB song will take 2 seconds flat
  • Downloading a 750 MB movie will be completed in 5 minutes

…and all that on your smartphone!

Celcom has officially launched this service and you can get the 4G LTE modem at only RM 199 for the first 1,000 subscribers! Just visit Blue Cube @ Sunway, Pavilion or Menara Celcom and you’ll even get the first 3 months of data subscription totally FREE! Get more details on the fastest speed in town here or try your luck at winning a FREE LTE modem with 3 months data + subscription with your best Usain Bolt pose on the Celcom First Facebook page!

town graffiti

I’ve never actually walked around this part of KL. I’ve driven through it often enough but never stopped and checked out the food. Joyce was telling me that she saw a lot of stalls there a while back with Shin.

This area is where the really old pre-war shoplots are at. I’ve had a steak dinner around the area at Ril’s Steakhouse at Jalan H.S. Lee but this time we’re out to investigate the little lanes around the area – essentially playing tourist, which is kinda fun.

mixing yam cake

I came across this auntie exerting herself mixing a batch of gooey stuff at Lorong Bandar 4 and asked her if I could have some of that.

I was quite taken aback when she said NO!

yam cake dough

It turns out that this is a batch of yam cake (oh kueh) that’s still uncooked. She said it’s for tomorrow and promptly put it into the a home rigged steamer with a wok. I ordered a portion of the (cooked) yam cake for just RM 2.

yam cake

It’s quite good when eaten with the (optional) chilli and sweet sauce. It’s a good find (also found a better unnamed shop) and goes to show that driving around and just stopping somewhere unfamiliar for an afternoon can be quite a fun afternoon in itself.

yam cake address

…and speaking of driving around town, here’s a short mention about the new Rio and an awesome contest where you can actually win the car by solving word puzzles!
___________________________________________________________________________

The all new Kia Rio is a 1.4 cc compact 5-door hatchback that comes in two variants. It’s an award winning design that has a sporty profile from the low roofline combined with a special ratio of metal and glass. It’s a great looking car with a distinctive wedge that you’ll recognize instantly.

all new rio

Do you fancy yourself a word smith? Good with puzzles and all that? Always the winner in Scrabble? You can win yourself a Kia Rio by solving word puzzles in the Runabout contest on Facebook!

It’s a lot of fun!

(plus you can win a car!)

mixed dorm people sleeping

I love backpacking and one of the cheapest accommodation options you can have in London is living in a hostel. I stayed at Westminster at a place called The White Ferry House. It’s just a 5 minute walk from Victoria Station which was one of the major considerations I had – get near a major Underground tube station and you’re set to go anywhere.

It was also a plus point that a 15 minute brisk walk would bring me to the two major West End theatres in Westminster – Victoria Palace Theatre (showing Billy Elliot the Musical) and Apollo Victoria Theatre (showing Wicked the Musical).

When you don’t have enough time to find a CouchSurfing or BeWelcome place to crash in – hostels are the way to go. I’ve met lots of interesting people there. My favorite hostel in the world would be The Flying Pig (Downtown) in Amsterdam – it’s smack dab in the middle of the red light district and has a smoking room and coffeeshop.

hostel westminster

However, in London, I usually find myself at The White Ferry. It’s actually a pub that has accommodations upstairs. You get a free drinks voucher upon checking in (which can get you a pint of beer) and there’s free Wi-Fi in the pub downstairs too. Breakfast is provided as well and if you book early, it’s about 15 (30 on weekends) British pounds or so per night, which is cheap by London standards.

The local draft beer is really good and cheap too – there’s always specials with pints going for under 1 pound. The interesting thing about beer in the UK is that it’s not served icy cold like over here but just slightly chilled (a little above room temperature).

mixed dorm hostel london

The White Ferry only has mixed dorms (males and females bunking together) – I try and get in the 15 bed ones coz the 21 bed dorms can get a bit crowded. I’ve met some awesome people while staying there, including a French group who kindly shared their liquor with me. It’s fun to meet fellow travelers and set out together the next day to visit someplace – strangers into travel companions, an experience you will not get in a hotel.

shannon london

…and that’s why I love staying at hostels – it’s not only affordable but a great way to meet like-minded people and hear about their home country over a few drinks. :)

Short mention:


More at my YouTube channel

Here’s my submission for Samsung Global Blogger auditions – it’s a wee bit long…okay, it’s three times as long as it’s supposed to be, but it’s one take, just like life and I want to keep it that way.

Anyway, if you want to have a shot at winning a trip to London, just click on the link above and submit your very own 30 second video. The contest closes 29th April, so hurry. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© 2002 - 2010 Poh Huai Bin Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha