Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Our Tokyo Trip

So our trip was a blast. For a vacation that actually had more days unplanned than planned, this vacation turned out to be quite a busy trip for us. On certain days, we even only got back to our hotel room almost at midnight!

My arms are still aching from lugging around two bags (even with wheels) and a heavy carry-all and going up what seems almost endless steps at train station from Tawaramachi Station to Kanda Station before taking a train to Tokyo Station to take our Narita Express train to Narita Airport. Zaini wasn't spared either, as he got to lug around a huge box that weighed almost 20kg up and down too! We packed everything too late to send any of our luggage by delivery the day before to the airport. We were still busy looking for stuff ang buying them even on our last day in Tokyo.

There will not be any trip photos on this blog. If you want to read about my Japan trip experiences, head over to Urutora No Hi for a detailed, blow-by-blow posts about our vacation in Japan.

The day after our return and I was already back to work, the first call I received was from my trainer at the gym, checking on me and wanting to know how bad the news is (i.e. how much I gained during the vacation). I'm still in holiday mood, so the gym can wait for me another few more days!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Last Day In Tokyo

All good things must come to an end some day, and we are ending our vacation today. We will take the 9.00am Narita Express train from Tokyo Station to Narita Airport soon. We enjoyed our vacation immensely, got to do the things we set out to do and more, but there are some that we didn't manage to do too. Not to worry, that'll be an excuse for a return visit in the future!

But you know what I'm going to miss most? The high internet speed that I got here in Japan!

Going back to work tomorrow. Ugh! I need a vacation after this vacation to recuperate! LOL

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Follies Of Being On Vacation

There are no scales in my hotel rooms which may be both fortunate and unfortunate. Being on vacation gives me an excuse to enjoy on food and being in Japan and eating so much rice doesn't seem to help me losing any more weight. This, despite hitting the road for more than 6 hours almost daily, walking and sightseeing (OK, some days involves being comfortably seated on shinkansen seats). Eating three meals a day, heavy breakfast that includes rice and bread, simple lunch and a full dinner is not what normally my eating pattern at home. But that's what I enjoy now during vacation.

I haven't the slightest idea how I weigh now, but my jeans feels tighter around the waist. I can blame it to bloating before menses but I think eating way too much had a hand in it too.

I will sorely need to hit the gym seriously after this vacation! Ugh!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A Bike To Bring Back Home

We went for a full day of shopping trip in Karuizawa, Japan. Got ourselves the usual suspect of shopping items : clothes, shoes, handbags. Like last time, we went wild in the Nike outlet store. I even got myself a new gym bag there for a mere 2,415yen.

Bought Zaini a Yomiuri Giants t-shirt as a birthday gift. He got me a present on my birthday too, but my birthday present is unsuitable to mention on this blog (or any PG rated blog. LOL)

What wasn't on our shopping list but we took back at the end of the shopping day was a black Hummer folding bike. Zaini always wanted to buy one but they were sooooo expensive in Malaysia. It'll take too long to have the bike sent over to our hotel (they can only send the bike in October) so we got it packed into the bike's bag and off we go, taking the shinkansen back to Tokyo.

The next time this bike will travel in a bag will of course be when we return to Malaysia on Sep 28. We'll see whether we'll exceed our baggage allowance then. ;-)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Happy Birthday To Us

Happy Birthday To Me! Happy Birthday To Me! Happy Birthday To Me! Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my birthday today. I can't believe it, but I'm almost halfway to the big 4 0! Ugh! Am I that old? LOL

Zaini's birthday is coming in 2 days' time and coincide with Japan's public holiday. The whole Japan is celebrating both our birthdays with a long weekend, much like folks in Malaysia. Hahaha...

Anyone buying us a birthday drink?

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Selamat Hari Raya!

Just a short post; Wishing everyone a Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri. Maaf zahir batin. If all goes to plan, we may go to the Malaysian Embassy in Japan's open house today. I'm in Raya mood and I brought along my baju kurung to be worn in Tokyo!

Friday, 18 September 2009

No Raya Shopping Trip This Year!

We made plans to hit Masjid India, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR) and Wisma Yakin for our Hari Raya shopping last week. We usually go there to look for traditional baju kurung for me and baju melayu for Zaini and Raimie.

But then, I decided we might just make do with last year's baju raya. After all, they rarely get worn anyway and still in relatively new condition. (I'm being frugal, no?) And this will be the first time we're not going there for our raya shopping. Gonna miss jostling in the crowd and being grumpy after 3 hours walking around in the heat and not finding anything for me to buy! LOL

Yeah, it usually takes a few hours of our time looking for my baju kurung and not even half that time to find something nice for Zaini and Raimie.

Jalan Masjid India is a place where there are bazaars and shops selling Indian and Muslims items like clothing, sareees, accessories, flowers, wedding items, festive cookies, snacks and tid-bits and much much more. This is where we head to once a year for our Raya items. Here each year, the highlight is the Ramadhan Bazaar along Jalan TAR.

Wisma Yakin is the place for us to look for baju melayu and is a building tucked away in Masjid India area. If you are looking to get a Malay apparel, you can't be wrong going to Wisma Yakin any time of the year.

We braved the traffic jam and scarce parking (not to mention heat) each year without fail for our Raya shopping there. This year is an exception. Sure gonna miss the experience because for us, it's part of our Raya atmosphere. :D

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Turtle Is Sick

Raimie's pet turtle, Turtle (yeah, we are being completely unimaginative with the name) is sick. See his puffy and swollen eyes. He also ate just a little and just spend time being completely still on his rock. Despite Turtle being Zaini and Raimie's pet (I was somewhat not too keen about having a pet turtle when they got him), it was me who feed Turtle and worry over him. Heck! I even spent time sitting in front of the tank and talking to Turtle!

I tried looking up some info about Turtle's ailment as I do want him to get well soon. Him being sick now cannot come at a worse time because we'll be leaving him for a fortnight. Okay, he's used to be left behind when we are vacationing (which includes two trips to Japan) but he has his automatic feeder on so he won't be hungry. But now that he is sick...

Maybe I should take him to a vet, but I don't see any vet at all around my place. So, the best bet it to look for some medicine and supplements at the pet shop. Oh, I hope he gets well.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Buka Puasa (Breaking Fast) At Boulevard Hotel

On Friday last week, we had the good fortune of having our buka puasa (breaking fast) at the Wild Rice Restaurant, Boulevard Hotel courtesy of a friend. This friend of mine never fails to invite me and my family for buka puasa each year. Such a nice friend kan? Usually it was just Zaini, Raimie and maybe one or two of Zaini's siblings coming along for buka puasa but this year, she generously extended the invitation for 7 of us.

So, apart from the three of us, we had my Father-in-law, Zaini's younger sis, his youngest brother and girlfriend coming along.

We were there quite late arriving a few minutes after 7.00pm, as Zaini and I decided to do a bit of shopping for Raimie at the nearby Jusco. But not late enough not to be in time for buka puasa!

The grill section next to the swimming pool, people heading to their respective tables and queuing at the buffet counter and our table. The ambiance here at Wild Restaurant was nice and not so havoc compared to our Ramadhan buffets at other hotels around town. And we like it that way.

All serious waiting for buka puasa (break fast).

What Zaini had.

What Raimie had for dinner. He shared the spinach lasagna and spaghetti with me afterwards. He ate quite a lot of prawns that night.

What I had: Oxtail soup, mango salad and stuffed tofu apart from a bit of rice with prawns and veges with some delicious sweet & sour fish.

What the others had: grilled meat, lambs, fish, squids, chicken, lemang and tomyam soups not to mention plenty of cakes and fruits too.

All smiles after tucking into delicious food.

We ended our buka puasa with some ice cream (Raimie had two bowls), bread and butter pudding and a must for me and Zaini, some jeruk (pickled fruit). I had some crackers (keropok) too. Yumm...

And Raimie and his uncle then went lounging by the pool, enjoying the night's view. The pool was closed at night, by the way.

We didn't eat for too long there and head home at 8.30pm. Arriving home, Raimie queried on why I didn't pay for our meal there! He is so used to see me signing the credit card slips and he felt amiss when I didn't sign anything after our buka puasa. He is so observant!

I have another buka puasa invitation today at Cititel Hotel but sadly, I had to pass on that because we'll be too rush to eat and head to the airport for our flight to Japan. And to think that I did a major kiss-up to get the invitation for 7 pax! LOL. Oh well, the others can go without us.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Time To Do Some Cleaning

What's your plan for the weekend? Going anywhere? Seeing or meeting anyone? Shopping maybe?

For us, we'll be busy doing a thorough cleaning of the house. I have to admit, the only time I do any really thorough cleaning and making sure everything and everywhere is dust & stain free is before the Hari Raya.

This year is no different despite the fact that we will not be at home during the 1st day of Raya (Sep 20).

Have to work hard on Saturday and Sunday so that the house will be spick and span. And I guess others will be busy with their chores too. After all, Hari Raya will be in just 9 days' time.

For those celebrating, done your Hari Raya preparation yet? :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Time To Send Some Hari Raya Cards

It's going to be Hari Raya (Eid Ul Fitri) in two weeks' time. We got busy with sending some greeting cards to friends and family this year. Just something that I thought be nice for Raimie to get in the "Raya" mood especially since we will not be spending the holiday here at home surrounded by family members this year. No baking cookies (not that I do that anyway), sprucing up the house and decorating the house for "Raya" this year.

We'll be vacationing in Japan instead! I've received a lot of flak from friends with my decision of not spending the festivities at home. Oh well, maybe they are right but then again, I've always celebrate it not with my immediate family but always with either my grandparents or my aunt's when I was growing up.

Hopefully, we get to "Raya" in Tokyo too. Anyone inviting us for an "open house" ;)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ramadhan Temptations

One of the things I look forward come Ramadhan month, where all Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, is the bazaars. Bazaars sprouting everywhere, selling delicious food for ravenous people. I have to admit, come Ramadhan, I only cook for sahur (pre-dawn meal). For iftar (breaking fast), we choose the easy way and buy our food. The choices are plenty and you'd be spoilt for choice.

The only problem with the abundance of reasonably priced food is whether one can avoid succumbing to temptations and ended up buying more than one need and all those excess food leads to wastage.

What we love to eat this time of the year are the Nasi Dagang (rice steamed in coconut milk, eaten with fish gravy) and Nasi Kerabu (rice with an assortment of thinly sliced raw herbs eaten with fried fish, “keropok” -fish crackers, salted egg, "solok lada" fish fillet and coconut-stuffed chillis and pickled garlic). Zaini's and Raimie's favourite is to eat their Nasi Kerabu with daging panggang (roasted beef).

No close up of any food today. Don't want to make you guys drooling in front of your computer! LOL

Friday, 4 September 2009

10 Years Together, And Many More Years To Come

10 years ago today, we both made a commitment to love and cherish each other through sickness and health, through good times and bad and will always be there to support each other. I am glad to say, 10 years on, the spark and love are still there.
Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for being the stabilizing pillar and filling my void and emptiness all those times. Thank you for everything. I may not show it, I may not say it aloud and I know I like to pick fights with you, but do know that you are always the love of my live. Happy Anniversary, Hubby!

p.s. This is the only time ever Zaini wore a complete set of Baju Melayu, with sampin and songket.

Update : We went for a nice dinner at Kampachi. Read it here.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A Quiet Dinner, Welcome Drinks, Sahur And A Feast Of Mooncakes

all during our Wedding Anniversary weekend break at Equatorial Bangi-Putrajaya.

We decided against having dinner at one of the Hotel's restaurants and opted for room service. A good call, because the restaurants were packed with people. It was quite interesting to see three different crowds coming in for dinner that day. The Malay patrons for breaking fast at Cafe La Vista, then there was an Indian Christian wedding and the Chinese patrons going for buffett at Kampachi restaurant.

The lobby was a hive of activity, with patrons waiting to kill off time before entering the restaurant.

I came down to the lobby that evening after making a call for room service; while Zaini was monitoring Raimie taking his bath; because of this: A box of mooncakes.

I had earlier made an inquiry to the Hotel about getting a box of mooncakes for Zaini as he loves mooncakes but was informed that Equatorial Bangi-Putrajaya doesn't carry the mooncakes that I wanted. Specifically mini green tea mooncakes. Imagine my surprise when at around 6.50pm, a Hotel staff came knocking at our room and presented us with a box of these lovely mooncakes.

So, I just had to go down and thank the General Manager personally for them. He got the mooncakes from a sister hotel in Kuala Lumpur. I was almost speechless by that gesture. (almost, but that didn't stop me from yakking away afterwards. Hard to keep my mouth shut once I start. LOL) I had a nice chat with him before going up to our room to get ready to break fast.

Again, thank you for all the kind gestures you've given to us. They are all greatly appreciated.

I got to our room just in time for the food to arrive. I tell you, this was the first time we had to get out our own food and set up the table ourselves after the cart was pushed into our room.
Can't blame the guy though. He was rushing to break fast too. What we had for dinner :
Specifically :
Beef tomato for starter
Oriental chicken for me
Salmon crust for Zaini
and a humongous BBQ burger for Raimie

not to mention the fruits from the fruit basket. We were stuffed!

And later that evening, we headed down to Tee Off Lounge to enjoy our complimentary welcome drinks, Citarasa. Had to wait until it was quite late to have our drinks because even at 9.00pm, the place was still teeming with patrons having a walk around the hotel after their dinner. Screaming kids included.
The next day, we got up early at 4.00 am to have our sahur at Cafe La Vista. Sahur (pre-dawn meal) is available for Muslim guests during the Ramadhan month from 3.30am to 5.30am. There were just a couple of staff around but we were quickly ushered to a table and I got my coffee in no time at all. Efficient service despite the early hours.
The choice of food that early in the morning was quite limited but ample enough. The omelette station was open but we passed on that.
Zaini's choice of sahur. There were rice (plain and briyani) and four types of 'Lauk' - squid sambal, beef rendang, fried chicken and tenggiri masak lemak available that morning. We joked that this may be last night's leftovers. No offense!
I had a simple congee. Actually, I would love to eat some croissant, but only this was available at the bread section. There were cakes available, but I don't really fancy eating cakes that early in the morning!The staff, who had ushered us to our table was worried about me not eating during the sahur because all I seemed to be having was coffee and glasses and glasses of fruit juice. Shows that he was quite attentive despite being busy with other guests.

Zaini and I didn't sleep after sahur. Instead, we sat at the balcony watching the dark sky filled with flashes of lightning. I tried to take photos, but didn't manage to get any good photo of the lightning.


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