Saturday, 27 June 2009

After the Downpour Harvesting ...

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Apart from getting a lil wet climbing the balcony staircase to the garden below, I ain´t complaining when mother nature is helping me to wash up some of the dirt sticking on to the Zucchini Flowers, Cherries, Strawberries and Gooseberries. They are as fresh as you see here and I can´t wait to try out new recipe with them :-)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

First Day At Work ...

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I was super, duper fortunate to have landed a trainee position in large Media and Advertising House here before I even finish my 6 months german integration course. Not only I cannot speak the language fluently, they did not even ask for my certificates and qualification before agreeing to bring me in :-) And for all this, I must really thank fellow schoolmate Rocio´s hub whom had been working there for a while and brought me in. I started last Monday, a week before promised after discovering that I could not shake off the jetlag from our trip back. Rocio´s hub, Alfred kinda expected it and so ... I delayed the start.

It started with Alfred picking me up on my first day. I was nervous as hell. What is there not to be nervous, coz I not only have to work but I have to FIT into their work culture. Germans, as I have heard many a times are super efficient, super planner and what not .. and they have high expectation. Sort off. So anyway ... work starts at 9am, but Alfred swing by by 8.30am. I was ready by 8.15am because first day mah. Must be punctual like the Germans so to speak, and besides ... getting some fresh air outside the house amidst all the nerve wrecking feeling I was experiencing seems to help me settle a bit better.

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And soooo ... this is Alfred´s seat and mine were just beside his. The group of companies were divided into a few company. They started off doing printing, hence the company name Gutenberghaus. Afterwhich they spinned off to publishing, advertising, Marketing & PR, Internet Marketing and what not, and of course where I am working for ... Media Agency. The department (for those not familiar with the term) basically loads media order (advertisement spots) for customers whom wants to advertise in East Holland Market (Newspaper, Magazine, TV, Radio and what not). While the team attends to the orders, see customers etc ... my job is to help them key the order into the system (means learn the software here), coordinate the requirements of customer to the design department, and everything else there is to do including making coffee for everyone. Yippeeeee, yawnnnnnnn. It seems that this is the culture here for every new trainee and so my first day was spent memorising their names, and what coffee do they like :-) and I found out that I am pretty good at it!

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Naturally, I have yet to touch the system this week as Alfred is off to Majorca for his annual holiday. This means that most things are on hold till next week, including handover of some paperwork and so I am right just beside him filling in the time. I am not accustom to sharing table, but I guess I have to be patience lor. It is always nicer to have your own desk where you can put your lil lil things on the table, and hidden hidden things inside the drawer. At this moment, I just have to rely on my big brown bag for my daily packed lunch, water, biggg dictionary, purse, mobile phone, camera and house key. And yes, most german companies, no matter how huge they are (and the company I am working is not so small with more than 100 people inside), they do not have a canteen. They isn´t any food stall outside the office too, and driving out to have lunch is near impossible hence most of my work colleages were seen either eating an apple and sandwich on their desk, or drive home to eat. SAD but true. So dear Malaysians ... you guys are DAMN LUCKY!

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Sooo anyway, this seat belongs to another Media Rep and she was told on the first day to clear the space for me next week by the BIG BOSS! (gulp) Yayyyy yaaaa ... happy, happyyyy and am going to get a desk but from the looks of it during their conversation, she seems to like her place very much and question why must she move? Did I just made an enemy? Oh mannn :-(

I was fortunate too that two of my colleagues are taking turns to bring me to and fro from work as they live near me. Actually, I am not sure how the younger one feels about this car pool thingy since its her private car and they can always decide if they are comfortable with a stranger in the car or not eh. But the elder lady whom I went to work with on second day was really, really nice and I like her a lot, she does not mind dropping me right to my front door. We spoke of many things and clicked almost immediately! But the prob is, she is not office bound ... hence, I have to find an alternative transport to work asap. Hub asked if I needed a car ... but I am not sure if its a good time to get one now since I am only a trainee at the moment. Well see.

Yesterday was a total BORE. I spent half the day browsing East Holland´s Newspaper, make coffee for everyone and go for toilet break as frequent as five times! The morning was more interesting. We drove to another town for a customer visit, and it is where I learned the mentality of Germans in advertisement slot placing. Frankly, they are the same as Malaysians lah. Kekeke .. ask for discount also. Maybe, times are bad huh. And after that .. that was it, load the media order and learned the system a bit and YES, it is in german.

Work is tough but have to persevere loh. But seeing a lovely card written from Mama and Papa - encouraging me to be brave in new work place made me felt motivated. Mama and Papa also gave me a pot of lovely pink roses which is now sitting on our breakfast table, and a bowl of handplucked strawberries and after all this ... don´t you just feel warmth and loved and with this, everything seems so possible? Ahhhh ...

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And soooo .. I am off today and tomorrow, and am taking my sweet time cleaning the house and doing up my Inspiration Board. Also bought myself a lovely Röse Bubbly a while ago with a bunch of Red Cherries. Treating myself sillyyyy .... ! Well, this is LIFE eh!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Mama´s June 2009 Garden Post

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As you can tell, Mama spents sooo much time, and not too mention investment into her garden. There are always new bloom speciments every other week, and just this month June, I´d realised that all the flowers in the garden is totally different from the ones I featured in April 2009! The eight varieties back then were all gone and here´s what is decorating our garden front now.

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Lovely Hydrangeas are coming out now. It seems that the Hydrangeas will change its colour pending on the fertiliser used. Last year was green, and this year pink? Not sure yet ... will see.

The one at below right is very poisonous. I had been reminded again, and again to be very careful with them!

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The pink roses below here are just one of the variety of roses grown in this garden. There use to be a huge one growing at the front porch area but got broken during one of the thunderstorm session two weeks ago. But Mama loved it so much so that she got them replaced with a half its size new one the day after!

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More to come ... from my side of the garden soon :-) Also, there is an unused garden voucher laying around ... so hope to use them this Saturday!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Cafe Antik, Stadtlohn

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Never in my life had I worked so hard to have my slice of cake and a cup of aromatic Jacob coffee.

A good 34 kilometers of bicycle ride thru terrains and all, from Ahaus via Vreden too Stadtlohn last Saturday with my buddies here!

But the end result is sweet. And that is all that matters.

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Major Highlight

  • I could not get enough of Tanja´s Homemade, Organic Rhubarb liquor! It is so darn good that I had more than 10 shots before, during and after the bicycle ride!
  • Had the chance to be served Cherry Liquor by a German King during one of the breaks (means decendents from German Royal Family lah)
  • Discover that I can drink more than 20 shots plus 4 glasses of wine and cycle straight. No accident happen to me at all, thank god :-)
  • My heart was pumping so hard I though I was about to get a heart attack though. That was scary.
  • As a reward, two session of 20 minutes massage (around that lah) was given to me by hub double yay!) although he was just as exhausted as me. Body felt like it was detached from my head for two days.
  • AND THE CAKE ... it wasssss heavenly WORTH every sweat and pain.

Sweetest, Wild German Strawberries Smacked in layers of Freshest Quark and Vanilla Sponge Cake. Totally worth it!

As you can tell, the whole experience was PRICELESS!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lumix G1 versus Polaroid

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Hub started making strange comments about my camera capacity lately and later asked if I like Canon, Nikon or other brands SLR? And I was like ... wooOOTTT :-)

Okay Lianne Kang .. don´t get over excited first okay but in the event if this were to come true, can I have a G1 lou kung?

Okok? *wink wink*

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And also this ... *wink wink*
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Friday, 19 June 2009

Rama V, Kuala Lumpur

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Exactly 3 weeks ago, we were ushered to a friend´s restaurant in Jalan Ampang for Jules farewell and birthday surprise party. The organiser, a long time friend from collage days came to pick us up from our PJ home - had us dropped off in the restaurant an hour earlier, armed with balloons and all and a whole lot more goodies in tow - except her.

I don´t think we have enough time to go pick up this girl in Cheras lah ... so, I will drop you first okay? I need your help to arrange all this in Rama V okay? In the event Jule walks in, just pretend you and Juergen are there for lunch! Aiya .. you know what to do lah. Don´t let him know there is a surprise party, okay? said the organiser.

* gulp * thats more or less sums up our second day arrival in KL, amidst jet-lagged and all, and throwned into twilight zone ... we anyhow took it to our stride :-)

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The surprise as it is, I very much guessed was not really a surprise. I mean, how clueless can Jules and her lovely wife - Louise be that they will be surprised even after spotting the series of familiar cars parked outside the restaurant upon arrival?

The food that day was lovely. Superb quality thai food to suit every tastebud. I suspect they tone down the spiciness to suit local tastebud -which I am gladful they did. Apart from my sensative tummy (thanks to too-sanitized-german-food), hubby needs a bit of help in that department too. Hub whom is not a fish eater, loved their fish. Hub whom does not eat any animal/crustacean etc with parts showing, loved their fish.

One word ... the food is good.

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One of the dish that was particularly memorable was the Thai Green Curry. The kick was fierily there. Spicy, fragrant, creamy, tasty ... all roll into one. Have them simply with a plate of white rice and to me, this beats all the foie gras and oysters in the world.

Danny later brought out a plate of what looked like miniature fruits, glazed with tonnes of gelatine substance. Luk chup, a kind of dessert served to the Thai Royalties long time ago made its grand entrance later.

Excitedly, I signalled the organiser over. Do you remember what Danny brought back for us from Bangkok 15 years ago? Oh yesss, that´s right. He brought us this ... hand carried all the way from BKK for us. And now, an encounter with it again and in his thai restaurant?

How nostalgic is that?

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This place surely made me feel warmth and fuzzy all over. Not just for its food and ambiance. I guess it brings back memories that despite being away for almost a year, it sure does feel great seeing so many old friends again in one place, and all within few hours.

To Jules, Danny, Honey, Ester, AP, Helena, Joann, Cheng Yi, Meena + Tim, Boo, Wee Tee and more. It was lovely meeting up with you guys again :-) And over great food ...., thats always a plus isn´t it?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Homegrown Strawberries

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In addition to a surprise welcome home celebration by my stammtisch girlfriends (with bubbles, roses and balloons!) last Saturday, Mama Else warmth us further with a bunch of Spring Bloom (shown on the background), a pair of newly wed robotic decorative item and a bowl full of Homegrown Strawberries right from her Garden!

Wasn´t that a memorable welcome home gesture?

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Anyway ... the strawberries were super juicy and sweet albeit small! Thanks Mama for the treat :-) As how I learned later, the smaller the strawberries here .. the better the punch.

And finally after all the unpacking, blogging in between, cleaning the house (again!), loading up on groceries and more ... I finally made time to head downstairs to tend to our lil plot of garden. I am glad to report that everything is growing well. The flower seeds are 4 inches high now but no flowers yet. There is even a small tomato protruding out from our tomato plant and for no reason I got so excited over it although I´m not a tomato person. The brocolli plant seems a bit strange though coz instead of growing sideways, its growing thin and tall???. Our cabbages have been doing rather well. My rockets or rucolla as how its called here are screaming for me to harvest. Sad to say, the chilli plants have not progressed one bit. Perhaps, the weather´s too cold?

Anyway ... I cannot help myself from checking out Mama´s side of the garden. Her sides are always full of bloom and interesting discovery for me.

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And there it is ... cute lil thing hidden underneath the piles of large leafies. A chat with Mama later confirmed that the red ones are all ready for harvesting ... means can eat lahhhhh.

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One more thing ...

I have just discovered that Mama DOES NOT EAT these Zucchini Flowers???!!!

OMGGGG!!! I wanted to ask her what happen to all the ones I saw abundandly last year? Went to the bin? Arggg ... should have open my big fat mouth ... but what to do? Still paiseh lah ...

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Now ... how to cook these petals ah?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

LG Latest Portable DVD Player (DP392G)

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I was out shopping at Raffles Place. Hub wanted to go check out the IT Exhibition in Suntec City the night before flying off from Singapore. Than .. he came home with THIS!

Its the latest and it was on promo! Something like 400 ++ down to 280 ++ in Singapore Dollar. Okayyy ...

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Super cool, right? Its a Portable CD/DVD/Digital Photo Frame Roll into One from LG, the Korean Manufacturer.

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We were excited of course and quickly popped our CD containing hot from the oven honeymoon pics from our Langkawi trip which we earlier collected.

Than ... DARN. The photo started skipping. We thought the CD´s spoilt hence we tested a copy of Westin Langkawi´s promo CD which we picked up from the airport earlier.

Eeeekkkkk ... a funny sound came about and no luck again. It just refused to play.

Read the manual, and found out that this player is as normal as can be. All the right buttons were pressed. But it did not work.

Than it dawned on us that ... perhaps, PERHAPS ... we´ve to charge up the battery first.

Well ... this are the unspoken rules that was not mentioned in the manual. Nor did the sales person in LG Counter.

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We quickly did so and waited a good 3.5 hours for it! In the end, it did not deliver what its suppose to. The buttons did not react. Full stop.

We consoled ourself that perhaps, perhaps ... the wedding photo files were of other file type (they only support Jpeg) and this player could not read them hence skipping to the next constantly. Thankfully, this is on international warranty. Phew.

But another thing happened. The machine switches on by itself when hubby placed them into the provided DVD bag! 3 TIMES!!! How sensative did it get SUDDENLY!

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And sooo .. this new toy came home with us end of the day. Its too late for an exchange since our flight to London was early in the morning.

But the strange thing is ...it worked upon reaching German soil. We had also checked our wedding photos and they were all in Jpeg format so .. what´s the prob? Hellooooo LG people, are you reading this? It would be great to have an explanation to this.

So far, its been reacting stably in german soil and hope it remains this way, although it defeats the purpose of us buying this at the first place coz we wanna travel with this lil fella. All and all, this DP392G ada angin aka TAU FUNG hence, if you have been looking at buying this, test out left, right, centre first.

Virgin Looking for Girlfriend

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RuffffffffffffFF ...

My name is Moca.

I am a Miniature Schnauzer and I am 5 years old.

Moca

I am single.

And ... I am also a virgin.

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I am lonely, sooo lonely. Can you help me find a girlfriend?

One night stand even better.

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Although I am a virgin and may not know how to do IT ...

I promise to

a) shower clean-clean
b) bark soft-soft
c) salivate slow-slow
d) try and make my girlfriend the happiest in the world (means work hard-hard)

If you like what you see and what I promise, please contact my agent here.

RuffffffffffffFF ...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Good Ole Nasi Lemak Bungkus ...

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Its day two since returning from Malaysia and the first thing that popped into my mind this morning was this ...