Wednesday, July 11, 2012 7 comments

Weekend getaway, March 2012 – Lost World of Tambun, Ipoh



Tuesday evening few minutes before midnight received text message from one of my holiday buddies:

“Hai.. I bought Groupon voucher for a night stay in Ipoh, and my hubby last minute had to entertain clients to F1 this weekend. But I still want to go..J I know this is last minute, but if you are free and interested to join, let me know. Leaving on Saturday.”

Without hesitate I said, “Ok, let’s go!” J

Then I said, “Hey, we can take ETS!”. Being one of my holiday buddies, who also enjoys train ride, she had that in mind also. Next day when I called to book, was told booking only available for a departure date not less than 3 days from booking date. Otherwise, ticket must be bought at the counter. Thus, I went to KL Sentral and bought us the tickets:

Saturday, ETS Gold KL-Ipoh  _ ETD 1045 hr, ETA  1230 hr, RM35 per adult
Sunday, ETS Silver Ipoh-KL  _ ETD 1400 hr, ETA  1635 hr, RM25 per adult

Saturday, 24.03.2012

Arrived at KL Sentral @ 10am. Had breakfast at a kopitiam there. Our ETS tickets stated ‘please be at the platform 30min before departure time’. It’s only upstairs, no hurry. We went up 15min before departure time. As I suspected, the crowd was still at the waiting area. We are not late at all! J

ETS Gold stops at some stations, which I couldn’t remember. The train ride was pleasant. Arrived at Ipoh KTM station on schedule.



We lingered awhile at the station deciding whether to take bus or taxi to Lost World of Tambun. In the meantime, I happily snapped pictures of the train station, one of the beautiful colonial structured building built in 1917 but completed only 18 years later. Apart from the train station, the building also housed a once known Majestic Hotel of Ipoh, which looked not in service any more (after we came back to KL my friend emailed me news on its closure in March 2011).



Still, I was awed by the building structure. Apparently, the two of us also share same interest, thus we sat awhile looking at the building talking about a fantasy of running it ourselves! A sweet day dreaming indeed..hehe



We have two options to go to Lost World:

Bus – take from somewhere near the Post Office next to the train station. Look for bus to Sunway. Fare not sure, but surely minimal for a 15min journey.

Taxi – available from the station. No meter, thus fare is unknown.

Our check in time is 3pm, thus we decided to have our lunch first. I can think of only one place which I went with my boyfriend and his parents before, Mi Rebus Ramli. We asked one Polis Bantuan at the station how best to go to Mi Rebus Ramli and then to Lost World of Tambun. He told us the eatery was not too far, but not advisable to walk under  hot sun with bags (didn’t fancy to do that either).

He was so nice to help stopped the next taxi passed by infront of us and told the driver where to take us for lunch, then later to Lost World. Only when we were in the taxi it hit us to ask the driver how much the taxi fares were. He said RM30 for us both, then later RM20 each. But we negotiated for RM30 per taxi.

It is expensive yes, but since he waited for us and that was my friend first visit to the eatery, we concluded that it was reasonable. I had the normal mi rebus whilst my friend had mi rebus special (with chicken). The shop also serves nasi ayam, which the taxi driver recommended. But we decided to order what the shop is famous for, that is mi rebus. I would say it’s a must for first timer or for those looking for famous local food. Otherwise, it’s average.

The driver was chatty. He gave us his call card if we needed taxi to go to train station tomorrow. Of course we didn’t plan to, but out of courtesy I took and thanked him.



At the reception, we asked if the hotel has shuttle service from hotel to/from town. We were told YES there is shuttle service, fee is RM5 per pax one way. HOWEVER, the shuttle only available for 5 pax or more. Such a not-customer-oriented service offer by a hotel which is part of the Sunway Lagoon hotel network:-P

Since I know there is a bus that passes by the area, and such is confirmed by the staff, we decided to try the bus tomorrow.

We were given Exotic Room, but trust me, nothing is exotic at all. Not even the paint, deco or view. Our room is facing the residential area next to the resort, obviously nothing exotic about that. The one thing that did satisfy me is the bathroom.

Besides breakfast the room charge included entrance to the Hot Spring Spa. After short nap (since there’s nothing else to do), we went to the hot spring. The Hot Spring Spa opens 6pm to 10pm whilst the water theme park and others including Animal-Petting Zoo and boat ride at Tasik Cermin opens 10am to 6pm (ticket is around RM40 per adult). Strategic planning indeed.



Nothing special about the Hot Spring Spa, it is as how you can expect a hot spring is. The only different is at certain time you will get to see a glacier. To make the visit worth, we spent a good one hour trying all available hot spring spots.

For dinner, my good old high school friend brought us out. He currently stays in Ipoh with his wife and 2 lovely daughters. We went to Nasi Lemak Ayam Kampung. Lots of varieties, but I chose what the place is named after. Tasty, while price is reasonable for a busy city.

After dinner we went to Gerbang Malam, a daily night market. It was at a juncture of two roads. Several Chinese eateries are seen around the area. And the unique thing is almost all of the eateries have similarity in its name – ayam (chicken)!  




I found a shop selling local snacks, tid-bits and others. The interesting part about this shop is it sells snacks that brought back many memories during my childhood. Snacks that are not easily found nowadays (wish I took pictures). If we came to Ipoh by car, definitely I grabbed many!

Sunday, 25.03.2012

The next day my friend offered to fetch us and sent to the train station. He came with his eldest daughter and her best friend. We had lunch at a café there. The food spread not interesting and tasty at all, and teh tarik was lousy. The cashier’s sarcastic comment to me that outside drink is not allowed into the café after seeing the girls had can drinks spoilt the atmosphere more (we didn’t do it purposely of course. The free drink was distributed outside the entrance of the station, and the promoter opened it as she distributed to us thus left us with no choice but to bring inside the café. We also didn’t see the notice. After all, we bought food and drinks from the café, thus the drinks should be exempted). Definitely won’t recommend to anyone :-P

Minus our experience at the café, the weekend getaway was good J  
Thursday, March 1, 2012 1 comments

Go Shopping - the lazy way to burn calories

Love this article.. now I have more reason to do it daily, yay!! - Like I ever need any all this while.. hehe

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Go Shopping -- The Lazy Way To Burn Calories


Why window shopping counts as exercise!
http://malaysia.shoppinglifestyle.com/diet/go-shopping-lazy-way-burn-calories/2025/1/
 
Good news for shopaholics! You'd be happy to know that all those shopping sprees are counting toward the 30 minutes of physical activity you're supposed to have each day to ward off weight gain and heart disease. If you're a gym-hater, window shopping is a lazy way to squeeze in some exercise and burn calories. So, instead of having tea dates with your BFFs, schedule an afternoon of retail therapy together.
 
 


Here's how shopping -- and browsing -- helps you burn more calories:

1You're walking

Mall walking, even when you stop every now and then to browse, adds up to a surprisingly solid exercise session. You'll burn 100 calories per half hour.


2You're trying on a dozen outfits

Changing in the fitting room literally gives your body a workout! You're doing leg lifts and arm stretches and walking in place -- zapping about 100 calories per half hour.


3You're climbing stairs

If you use the stairs at the mall and at the multi-storey carpark, instead of taking the elevator, you'll slash even more calories. Stair climbing blasts more calories than walking does -- up to 100 calories in 15 minutes.

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How can I not agree with this article?

After all shopping never fails to make me happy !!! .. :)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 0 comments

Pembantu rumah Oh Pembantu rumah

Once it was reported in a local newspaper that Cambodia closes maid centres.. Before that there's issue with Indonesia.. We have many poor family from our own citizens that need stable income.. Can't we train our own people? Can't Malaysians consider working as maids/helpers? Last time helpers were Malaysians and it worked well.. It's not a  job, but it's a decent job.. Why must depend on others when our own people many in desperate need of job?


A friend told me that Felda did propose this last year, even to operate a college. But many educated by any way opposed to such proposal. Why?


Common reply I'll get to that (and even I agree to it) is Malaysians almost if not 99.999% rather work in factory or other kind of jobs that more 'decent' than be 'orang gaji'. Is it true?
To my eyes, it is a noble job.


Some says because the pay is low. With the sama salary, Malaysian would rather work as operator pengeluaran. Although shift but at least 8 working hours a day. If work more hour got OT/bonus. After working can go shopping or watch movie to relieve stress. If bos harasses can complain to union/higher authority. Maid works 5am-12am, non-stop. Especially homes with many kids. Nobody to talk to except anak tuan rumah. No annual leave. No sosial life what so ever. Some cases tuan rumah tak bagi maid keluar rumah pun. With no friends, do they feel depressed? Who do they turn to complain? Most just ran away.



But I disagree. As far as I know the salary for that job is higher nowadays. It's even better than most job of same category because salary received is nett pay. No deduction for rental, utilities, groceries, tax etc. Sure, salary can be higher since no requirement for work permit unlike those from other countries. My own relative ada yg keje as helper for years, and now in her late 40s/or 50s still working. Wherever the employers goes they bring her along. During Hari Raya same as other working people she gets to come back to hometown. Another relative pula,his helper also a local and been staying with the family for years, only recent years balik kampung for good due to old age. Ada pula yg datang for few hours daily or certain days in a week to help with houseworks. 


It's not glamorous but a decent and noble job, plus salary paid is nett. It's how individual and employer perceive the job, that's all.
0 comments

Nothing to wear..

So true, that is why I can't stop shopping !!!
0 comments

A little moment of joy..

A lovely touching story I received via email. A good story I wish to keep.

**********************************************************************

I arrived at the address where someone had requested a taxi. I honked
but no one came out. I honked again, nothing. So I walked to the door
and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could
hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood
before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil
pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no
one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with
sheets..

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the
counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and
glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase
to the cab, and then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and
we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I
just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother be
treated'.. 'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When we got in the
cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, 'Could you drive through
downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.
'Oh, I don't mind,'she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice'. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
'I don't have any family left,' she continued. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture
warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as
a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now.'

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been
expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman
was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said.

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me
tightly. 'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might
as well dance.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2 comments

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Because there is no 'normal' sleep need, you could have a sleep disorder and not even know it By Gail Belsky, Health.com

The term sleep disorder may suggest someone tossing and turning all night, but lying awake for hours with insomnia is just one example of many conditions that affect how you sleep and function during the day. In fact, you can have a sleep disorder and not even know it.


How many hours should you sleep?

There's no normal number of hours that quantifies a good sleep, just like there's no normal shoe size. Most adults need seven to nine hours a night; others manage just fine with six. It's even possible to get too much sleep, since spending excess time in bed can be a sign of another health problem, such as depression or chronic fatigue syndrome.

A 2007 British study found that people who slept the same amount of time (seven hours) each night lived longer, on average, than people who adjusted their schedules to either add or subtract hours from their nightly slumber. Finding your own ideal sleep/wake cycle—and staying consistent—is key to healthy sleep, agrees Carol Ash, D.O., medical director of the Sleep for Life center in Hillsborough, N.J.

Don't sell yourself short

That doesn't mean you can shave off hours of much needed rest without consequence: In a different study, the same British scientists also found that people who are consistently sleep deprived (defined as sleeping five hours or less a night) are at greater risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems—especially women.

Insufficient sleep also raises your risk for obesity, diabetes, depression, alcoholism, and automobile accidents. Plus, a 2007 University of California-Berkeley study confirmed the obvious: Sleep deprivation directly affects areas of the brain that deal with mood and concentration, leaving tired people grumpy, overly emotional, and unable to focus.



Consider quality and quantity

For all these reasons, doctors need to look at both the quantity and the quality of sleep to detect a problem. And when it comes to sleep quality, problems aren't always obvious to patients themselves: An insomniac who lies awake at night can easily tell that something is wrong, for example, but someone with sleep apnea who repeatedly stops breathing in his sleep might have no idea there's a problem.

The most telling sign of a disorder is how you feel during the day. If you generally wake up alert and refreshed, you're a healthy sleeper. If you chronically wake up sleepy, irritable, and unfocused—and stay that way throughout the day—you may have a sleep disorder, no matter how much time you spend in bed.
1 comments

Money..

I had created this blog for.. hmmm let me see.. believe coming to 3 years already. The encouragement came from a dear friend of mine, and to my question of what to write etc in the blog, she simply said anything that I feel like writing. A good example she gave me was to write about my holidays.

And here I am still clueless of what to post in my blog. Though just for my viewing and others selectively, I still am clueless. I even had a draft (but empty till now) since 2009.. And since last week, I've drafted 2 but still unfinished.

For the sake to have one posting for this year, I am writing this now and will make sure I post it today. No specific topic, just something I feel like writing.



Today while having lunch with a friend, she told me of a very frustrating news she received last Friday. She told me that she had been waiting since 2009 for bonus, but to her disappointment, due to the company instability no bonus was paid.



This year her lucky star came her way. She got a job offer! Though on contract basis, but the perks & pay is better off than the current one. This is her last week with the current employer. While enjoying her last few days, the MD called all staff for quick meeting last Friday and announced that the company will pay 2 months bonus for 2010. Gosh! Pity her, totally. Of all the years of waiting the MD chosed to announce it towards her last few days with the company.



Her comment was, "With that money I can go Europe for holiday!".. I know how she felt, really I do as I experienced the same more than once throughout my career life. It's a no bonus year for me as well be it from previous employer which I left 2 months before the company's year end or current employer which I joined 5 months before its year end.

Yeah, people say that is standard practice. Impossible for a company to pay to an employee despite the employee served the company full one year, or the company's profit made solely from his/her clients. Whatever the HR policies etc etc, I still believe we the employee deserve to get whatever belongs to us based on what we contributed to our employer(s).

A good employer is one that compensate employees and always encourage for career development be it with the same company or others. Because in reality we are all fully aware that there is no such thing as a true and fair opportunity based on the individual as a person with no other side factors when it comes to career development. If there's such, very rare.



There is nothing wrong with sharing the profit, the wealth same as the knowledge. Those are what we can enjoy on this earth while we still have the opportunity. Sharing such means putting a smile and happiness to someone's life. Why such is so a burden to employer/boss to do so?

I know one bumiputra company which the Chairman or MD treats employee as and when the company feels necessary. The CEO/MD does not wait until year end, bonus pay time to compensate the staff. Profit is shared half yearly if not quarterly. Staff even sometimes given perks such as blackberry, new laptop as and when the CEO/MD feels like the staff requires new one. On top of the adhoc profit, the staff also enjoys year end bonus. Of course, at same time staff is required/pressured to meet target. But well, isn't all companies require such from their employees? As far as I know, this particular company is making profit year after year, and business seems getting better. Is giving and sharing with employees make the company losing profit? Obviously not. So why other company not able practice if not exactly the same, but at least some of it?



As many said, money is not everything. But to me, money is the one that make things in life possible. As how love is important in our lives, money also a main factor to a happy comfortable life. How much each of us need it, it all depends on individual.

Of course once money enter our life, it is a struggle to limit our 'enough' level. Difficult to hear people say, "No thank you, I have enough already. I do not need increment, bonus etc. I am happy with whatever I have now."


There is so much in life for us to see, venture, enjoy, learn etc which at the end leads to satisfaction and happiness.


As for me, I love spending on myself, treat my mum, buying gifts for my siblings, outing with my loved one, movie session with nieces and nephews, coffee-cake session with friends, shoppings all year round, going holidays and many more! ... So, is money still not important?
 
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