Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Week 3: Genting & Teksi Sapu

Next location: Genting Highlands! Things have changed alot since I've visited Genting Highlands almost 10 years ago. Man! They've added so many new buildings and hotels, and rides...Got connections in Genting through my Uncle (good to be back where we have relatives in high places), so we managed to score pretty nice rooms up in First World Resort for less than 45 USD per night. Overall, its a really HUGE place, except they probably could have had a better paint job on the outside...
Went roaming around some of the indoor rides. I especially enjoyed playing bumper cars with my sis. I really really enjoyed seeing how high a little kid jumps out of his seat when I ram him with my combined weight of my car and myself!!! Yeesin & I also enjoyed the automated gondola ride around the Starbucks restaurant as well. Reminded us of how much more fun it was to get a Gondola ride in Italy (although it was freaking expensive to do so!) ...
More fun that ramming little kids with a bumper car is riding a teksi sapu down from Genting to KL! For only RM20 a person, YOU too can have the ride of your life down the mountain, where braking is only a suggestion, not a requirement! By the time we got to the cable-car station, all the buses where booked for the day! So some enterprising guys with unmarked taxi's (ie. teksi sapu) showed up and offered to get us to KL for 20 a head. 1/2 hour later, we got to KL Sentral waaay earlier than the bus that we were supposed to take!!! Man.. that Teksi-sapu guy sure could drive!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Week 3: Stranded on an island

We can safely say now that being stranded on an island resort isn't too bad. Our 3 day and 2 night trip was pretty much by the book until the day we were scheduled to take off. That morning, saw a few special characters on the resort: "Flipper" & "Ms Kitty". Flipper is a rambunctious 5 yr old British kid that likes to hang about the pool and squeal like a dolphin (hence the nickname). Ms Kitty, in contrast is an Ah-lian that loves to pose for "kitty-cat-meooow" style photos by the beach for her really-really enthusiatic shutterbug boyfriend! Just think of it as a swimsuit model pose without the model look. Although her posing is really stylo-milo, and she can hold those "meooow" poses for a really long time, its really hard to look away (in a bad car wreak kind of way).
But later that afternoon was when things changed. Our 4 propeller plane that was scheduled to show up at 3pm that day never did due to strong cross winds... While waiting at the tiny Tioman airport, we shared stories a few new friends, Adelaide an American from San Diego, 2 doctors Orooj & Emira from KL, and an elderly couple from Gombak... At about 6.30pm we were still waiting when one of the 4 airport personnel (yes, the place is THAT small!!, and it had only 1 custom agent) came in and kept all 3 flags flying outside the building! Bad sign.
Turned out that the airport didn't have runway lights, they didn't take our offer of lighting the runway with lighters seriously, so we were stranded on the island for one more night!!!
Berjaya was nice enough to put us up for the night for free + dinner buffer + breakfast! So all was not lost. We even got a nice sunset walk out of it!
Yeesin even found a wayward coconut by the beach, and after imitating a monkey by throwing it against the pavement, she managed to crack it and got 2 whole cups of coconut juice out of it!!! Nice to know if we are ever stranded on a desert island, we can count on her to provide the drinks!

Finally took off without incident the next morning at 8.30am. Next Destination Genting!!! (BTW, here's a shot of the sunset!)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Week 2: Part (2) - ie Wedding Dinner

Day ?? (we lose track of days already) Wedding Dinner Day -1: Drama. No.no.you.don't.want.no.drama. Minor itch becomes an irritating one. Our wedding photo package includes 2 complimentary dinner dresses for YeeSin. Turns out that at the last minute the studio calls us, and and decides to take one of her dresses to a bridal show the next day!!! Needless to say. NOT HAPPY. So far, we've gotten them to commit to 5 larger selected prints. Then they call later, saying that they can't do the pre-scheduled makeup for YeeSin's mom because of the bridal show. YS's voice gets slightly more assertive on the phone. The studio says that everything is back on schedule now. Amazing what some volume enhancement on the cell will do. ;)

Wedding Day: Relieved that we are not doing the whole full-blown Chinese Wedding ++ ceremony, but only doing the Wedding Dinner only at the hotel. Hope that my CCF binge in the last few days doesn't prevent me from getting into my slacks! Makeup for YS and mom pass by without incident. The studio made a huge banner sized (3/4 lifesized) picture of the both of us to display at the waiting area. Will defintely look good on our front door back in KC! ;) Get back to the Evergreen Laurel hotel ballroom at 5:30pm (slightly behind schedule) for the Chinese Tea Ceremony. Lots of tea pouring and thank you's later, the main event starts in the ballroom.

The M/C makes the annoucement and we make our grand entrance. I've convinced the band to NOT play anything cheesy music, so they play "you & me" by Lifehouse instead. :) There's a huge spotlight by the red carpet shining directly into our faces (the kind that they shine on convicts in prison camps). We can't see past the lights, so we overshoot the carpet, and almost run into the light operator. We'll be forever remembered as the couple that overshot the red-carpet!!! Finally get to sit and the activities start... Food is served with great fanfare, and the band isn't too bad.... I speech from my dad, and myself later, we find ourselves YAM SENG'ing table by table, and not long after that its time to close down this party!! Finally get to sleep in our suite at 1am... tired.

Klang +1: Back in Klang already. Drove again for the first time after landing in Malaysia. Yeesin's job is to remind me to keep on the left lane at all times. I on the other hand try to drive as aggressively as I used to! Like Nick always says, same-same but different. Not a lot changed in Klang, but lots of stuff is different. My ACS Klang is still where it used to be, but a whole row of shoplots are now where we used to hang out after school! Will lepak for the next few days and go to Tioman on Wednesday.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Week 2: Part (1)

Day 14: MyKad @ Penang. The anticipation of having to deal with paperwork and bereauracy again is electrifying as we step into the building on Anson road in Penang. Our favorite anecdote is from my Penang uncle, describing how he didn't even recognize his own face on his Kad, even after multiple assurances from the photographer that everything was "Bagus" - ie, good. In truth, most MyKads did remotely resemble humans..., so we weren't very jazzed.
Maybe its the fact that its a weekday, or maybe its the fact that MyKads have a 10 RM fee now. The place was deserted. I mean as deserted as any government office can be!!! (ONLY 5 people in front of us. YES 5. We were BLOWN AWAY).

Day 15: Risk our lives to eat. The true test of how much you miss Malaysia (or rather Malaysian food is measured by how many lanes of highway you have to cross to eat it. For example, Hokkien mee is a 3 lane standard, followed by dodging motocyles and cars trying to order while driving through a gauntlet of vendors lining a 1 lane inner road. Coconut juice, on the other hand, I'll only cross 2 lanes at the most... On a more personal note, I've personally notched up 12 whole days of CCF for breakfast or dinner so far!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Week 1: Malaysian Oddysey

Wow, its been a week for us here already! 1 more week until the Wedding dinner, and 1/3 of the way through our current schedule! Here's a quick recap of the highlights of the week so far:

Day 1: Jet Lagged. Got off the plane at KLIA at 12:40pm. Tried to stroll past customs with our bags. They let Yeesin past without incident, but flagged me. I think they sensed the BENG in me. Instead of ruffling through our bags looking for contraband, they X-RAYed them ???!!! They let us go through, and we're too tired to complain... Got into Penang at 4pm, looked at samples of YS's photoshoot dresses. Finally get to sleep. :)

Day 2: Eat Chee Cheong Fun (CCF) for breakfast that morning. Maybe its me, but i recall CCF used to be a lot bigger portions. The same goes to the rest of the hawker food out there. Oh well, just ordered more of other food like Laksa, Penang mee to make up the difference. Forgot that napkins are not free, but stray cats are part of the eating experience. AHH... home. Rushed to the Photo Studio to pick dresses for YS's photo shoot + wedding dinner.

Day 4: Photoshoot day. Woke up at the crack of dawn (actually at 9.30am, but felt like crack of dawn. My other half likes to sleep in.) YS and I got made up by Barry, our slightly wrist-challenged make-up artist for about 1 hr. Barry made YS look like someone I don't recognize, and gave me a very nifty double eyelid for my left eye. Didn't help the enlarge the sizing of my eyes, just made one larger than the other! Started driving out for the photoshoot with our one man team (photographer, tour guide, and expert aggressive driver) Garry. He used to photoshoot for professional models, so he must have found me hard to work with. I mean, the man can only do so much, can't squeeze water out of stone. Let just say that he wasn't holding back comments when shooting. "Bo Sui (Ugly)", "Tau Gai (Uneven eyes)", "Been Bui" (Fat Face) were common words... YES. No holding back. A beach, a lonely forest road, and a bank later (Yes outside STandard Chartered Bank in Downtown Penang), we were back in the studio for the remaining wardrobe changes. By 8pm, we are finally dONE!! I leave the studio with my fingers crossed, maybe they will make me look good. And NO. That pic is not a shot of us... Just an idea of what we might look like. ;)

Day 6: Pick Pictures for photoshoot. We're sitting at the studio trying to figure out how to choose 21 shots paid for in the package from about 100 shots in the contact sheet. Garry & Barry did good, bruised ego aside I didn't look too bad. YS OBVIOUSLY looked great. Figured out that we'd have to give in to the scam and pay up for more pictures @ 80 RM per picture, chose to print 25 shots. They even included a huge flag-like banner to display at our wedding dinner. We'll bring that banner back and put it on our front door next halloween. I think my pasty white face will work for scaring the neighborhood kids. :)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Come Fly with Us...

Here we are at the MCI airport, waiting to board our plane. Apparently we don't need 2 hour buffer to check-in at the airport. This place is like ghost town, no one else, but a small crowd milling about. I mean, who lives here in KC anyways, I mean there's nothing out here but cows and grass!! Speaking of cows... we saw a huge bull infront of a store on the way here. Kyle was asking "what's that?" and our Miss Blur happily answered that it was a "Bull's Ass"!!! LOL. (incidentally she was right coz the ass was facing us). BTW, thanks to them for dropping us off at the airport today.
Here we are, at the expedia.com cafe hanging out, and start our trip with a bottle of beer. We won't be operating heavy machinery anyways, might as well get liquored up for the LOOOOONG flight ahead. Cheers... We will be in our small tight confined area while the rest of you all have a comfy bed to sleep in. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Packing Odyssey - CWD

Our Chinese-Wedding-Dinner (CWD) trip is just a few days away, so we are busy busy getting ready. If you can believe it, we have managed to put a whole room full of candies, snacks, gifts, etc into 3 large check in bags! We even have space left over for our own stuff.
We have pretty much closed the door for any more stuff, as the maximum weight limit has been hit (44 pounds for Cathay Pacific) on our check in luggage.
For the next couple of days, we'll be going over our checklist of stuff to bring again... probably won't post again until we get back!!!