Published in The Star

I was on my way back from her 3-months-ly fur trimming-till-nearly-botak at the pet shop. While I was passing nearby the hospital, there's this tree that fell from the wind and it was just there lying, blocking the entire road. The traffic on the lane I'm driving on was slow-moving, so I just did the only thing I could do, took a picture, lol! Pickles was sitting on my handbad and I had to, like, push her away and dig around my bag for the camera. Took 3 shots, but only 1 was look-able.

I sent that entry to The Star, definitely not expecting much, but definitely hoping that I can get that RM50 win! This morning, I received a message from Esmond, asking if it really was me in the thumbnails section of the paper. Unbelievably, they printed my picture... but it wasn't the big win. Nevermind, this has encouraged me to send in more entries next time! If a so-so picture is able to make it into the section, then I shall get more geng ones!

Grandma's 82nd

We celebrated not on the real day, but on a sort of more convenient day. Only a few of us are around at this time, other dates were not good as well, so we just had this 'i-su-i-su' dinner. Grandma's 82, but she still looks as young and healthy as ever! At this age, she's still able to busy herself in the kitchen, cleaning, whipping up fabulous dishes that only she is capable of!

This restaurant we went to is relatively new and mom and dad tried the food once and we ordered birthday mee for starters and had rice with stir-fried young french beans with dried prawns, kerabu chicken feet, claypot pork ribs in wine sauce, pork belly with beans and finally... honeydew sago for dessert!

The front of the restaurant

Restaurant menu

Me and granny

The most radiant person around!

Birthday mee
Stir-fried young french beans with dried prawns
Kerabu chicken feet

Pork belly with bean sauce

Claypot pork ribs in wine sauce

Honeydew sago

Happy 82nd Grandma!

The Wet Market

Few days ago, I paid a visit to a wet market near the place I'm staying at in Penang. It was my first time there and I felt so out of place with my orange backpack and shorts amongst all the other aunties. I have planned on cooking again, this week and decided to buy fresher ingredients from the market than those packed ones from Tesco.

I first visited this old lady's stall. She totally ignored me! But I just poked around her veggies and eventually she lugged herself over to layan me. I wanted to make lotus root soup, and there were two kinds of lotus root sold there, one is white and clean-looking, and the other slightly brownish grey and dirty. The aunty told me that the clean one's from Cameron and the dirty one's from China. I picked the Cameron root, only to find out from TY later that it's those kind that people use to stir-fry stuff and not to make soup.
Wrong root.

I also took a look at the uncle selling chicken. I know I'm being very the sua ku, but it's so gross the way the uncle slits the chicken's throat and threw them into this tall pail with the other dying chickens. I have never bought chicken at a wet market, not to mention chicken to make soup (normally those uneatable parts of a chicken, ie chicken feet)


Not knowing what part of a chicken that I wanted to make my soup, I spluttered, "Er, ai kun th'ng eh." (Err, wan make soup wan) Lol... such a stupid thing to say... but that uncle not bad also okay... he even recommended to me which parts to buy at only 50 cents. It's probably those parts that the uncle has to throw out at the end of the day anyway...

Anyway! Project lotus root soup success! Tastes not bad, for a first-timer anyway... credits to me mom :)

p/s I know, my blog has become increasingly auntie

Bronze Medallion Exam from an Instructor's Point of View

Having completed all four levels of Lifesaving courses, I was supposed to take up Instructorship in order to, well, become an Instructor and have all my certificates for life (they do have 'expiry dates, where you are reqired to re-take the exams). As a first-time instructor, I was supposed to teach my students the first level of lifesaving, Bronze Medallion along with 6 other instructors.

In the beginning, I have only 3 students, normally, instructors have 5 or so students each, and well, all three have totally different swimming abilities and thus, it's super tough arranging lessons to suit that. One feels exhausted after completing a 100m swim, another is so-so and the last one is a swimmer, having represented Penang in swimming competitions.

Midway along the semester, one of my students decided to drop out (actually, come to think of it, I decided for her to drop out, since she was constantly skipping classes) and then I was only left with the other 2. Well, let's just say that being an instructor is not that easy, and you can actually gain weight!!! :( Since you are not required to swim, the only exercise you get is from the movement and flexing of the jaw area.

The exams starts at 7.30am in the morning, but the instructors and students are supposed to be there by 6.30am. I was up by 5 plus or so :( From this exam also, the examiner (Kah Ling, who has been examining Bronze Med students for quite some time now) will observe whether the instructors (us 7) are able to organise and handle the exam properly. Everything was done in a rush as Kah Ling does not like her time to go to waste, and I truly pity those students who have to perform event by event non-stop, very tiring!

But what truly is touching is when seeing some students' faces in their attempt to pass the test. One of the harder events, Underwater Swim for 25m. I was underwater and I could see all of them clearly, the looks of determination printed on their faces. And those who usually have problems with this event, but nevertheless, their motivation to pass prevails. Some even cried after passing...

It's great being an instructor, but you need to have dedication and willing to sacrifice your time to actually see results. Main thing is, I passed my Instructorship!!!

The Georgian Adventure - Hike to Chalaadi Glacier

Our third, and last hike in Svaneti. There are so many more places to hike and explore around Georgia, it was a hard decision to premature...