Thursday, April 16, 2015

First Quarter of 2015

New year, new hope?

I guess so since there will be 365 chances to change your life.

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2015 marked the year I moved to Butterworth, finally. I had been contemplating about moving to this area for a very long time and I really did it. However, good gracious, I have a lot of things! Fortunately, I had a friend who came to help me. I knew I could not do this alone. Blessed to have such a friend in my life.

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It also marked the day I finally walked out of my comfort zone to participate in International Speech Contest. I am really blessed that my speech won me a second place in the club contest. “If I Knew Then” was my speech title.

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I was then blessed to be able to attend a good friend’s wedding in Kuala Lumpur. I had known her in secondary school. Their love story really touched my heart. It was definitely the work of God to put them together. She looked gorgeous and stunning that night. The dinner was nothing flashy but all heart melting. Each of the couple’s best friend gave a touching speech. Aww.. the dinner did inspire me. Grateful for having me that night.

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I ended January with a food hunting trip on Pulau Aman. Nothing fancy on the island. It was the moment with friends that count. I had a great time. Some of us went for a short karaoke session and then dinner together before we called it a day. Though it was a tiring day, it sure was fun. Blessed to have these friends in my life.

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February is a month of Chinese New Year. The night before I took off from Penang, I had a reunion dinner with the MEF-ians. Most of us made the effort to gather together, especially our two beautiful Malay ladies – Nik and Mazlina who came from Nibong Tebal together with Weng, Edwin and Susan. Good food, great time, best companions.

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I was finally back to Sibu and just in time to celebrate my lovely mother’s birthday. It had been so long since I last celebrated her birthday. Unfortunately, both my brothers were not back in Sibu yet. The good news is, we can all celebrate her birthday together next year! Looking forward to it already.

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It was also my brother’s birthday that month. This year we joined his friends to celebrate his birthday at Penthouse. Well, I ran into a few friends there. I guess Penthouse is of the good clubs in Sibu then?

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After two weeks back in Sibu, I was finally back to the reality. Birthday celebrations did not stop in Sibu. On the day I landed Penang, I rushed to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. It was a birthday surprise arranged for her. However, due to my flight schedule and all that, I was not able to make it for the surprise. I was only there when the surprise was over. Of course I was disappointed for not being part of it. It must have been hilarious.

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The week that I was back in Penang had been a crazy one. I flew down to Kuala Lumpur on Friday night to join my friend’s open house. Since it had been a very long time I last met them, I decided to make the trip. However, I had to come back to Penang the next morning as I had another open house to go to – MEF Toastmasters Club. Yes, I was truly tired as I made it there right after I had landed Penang. Thinking back now, I am glad that I had made it though. The time spent together with people you love cannot be replaced with anything.

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March had been a crazy month for me. Why? I had a few major events to handle. One of them was Penang Toastmasters Club’s 35th Anniversary Dinner. Fortunately, the team was very helpful. I was more stressed with the other event which was Division H’s International Speech and Table Topics Contest. I was the Organising Chairperson for the contest. And guess what? The day after the dinner was the contest! I almost went insane.

It was a challenging week because apart from the two events above, I was helping out with other Division’s contest – Division S and Division N. I must have been out of my mind. However, through all these events, I learned time management. Well, not so much of stress management because I was stressed out until Division H contest was over.

It was finally over! *phew*

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Another big thing happened in the same month as well. I sold off my car and got myself a new car. However, I did not get the new car straight after I sold the old one. Yes, I was car-less in that one week! Fortunately, I had two great friends who helped me. One lent me her car to work while the other drove me to work in the morning. How did I go back from work? My colleagues did. I am really blessed to have all these great people in my life. Truly thankful.

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I love how I ended my first quarter of 2015! Why?

My brother was in Penang!

He was here with my to-be sister in law and her siblings. It was definitely one of the best weekends I had in Penang. It felt as if I had my family close to me in Penang – staying in together, hanging out together, watching movie together, eating together. It did bring me back to the days back in Kuala Lumpur. I knew it will come to an end and therefore, I appreciate every moment we spent together.

Of course, it will not end here because..

I will be seeing my mom soon! And then I will be back in Sibu again in June!

Yes, people. My second quarter of 2015 will be even more awesome!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Last Quarter of 2014

The final three months of 2014 were hectic. My schedule was packed with loads of exciting and fun activities. Among these three months, October was labeled the most looking forward month. In fact, it is the most looking forward month in the year. I should name is as The Month of the Year!

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Unlike last year, we had a Halloween themed meeting. Most of us dressed up for the meeting and not forgetting, we decorated the room with the decorations we made last year.

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Of course not leaving out Octoberfest! I had a simple drinking session with my friends. Since there was this famous humongous mug invaded Auto City, we decided to hit Auto City.

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Finally, I ended my October with my trip to Melbourne! Aforementioned, October was The Month of the Year 2014! I had already posted about my trip here, here, here, here, here, here and finally, here. Been looking forward to this trip for a year! Yeah, I bought the flight ticket one year ago.

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Then it came my favourite month, November. There was a Semi Annual Convention for District 51 and I thought I would not join the team to Petaling Jaya for it. However, since I had two close friends who were the finalists in Division Contests, I wanted to be there to give them a morale support! I did not regret attending the convention though.

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November was my favourite because I was born in November! Unlike the previous year, I had a simple birthday celebration. In fact, I did not plan anything for myself. I let the nature took its own course, just to see what it had for me.

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I thought May would be the only month I had a family activity but, guess what? We had another spontaneous activity in December! All of us from different locations gathered together again to spend time and have fun together! This time we invaded Sunway Lagoon. It was really a fun and memorable day.

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Since I had a spontaneous family activity in December, I had another spontaneous trip to Bangkok. It was my very first last minute booked trip. How last minute? I booked the flight ticket two days before I left Malaysia! Probably the last time to do such thing. I am not a rich woman.

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Instead of having a crazy Christmas party like back in Year 2013, I had simple and meaningful Christmas celebrations. I had one be-early Christmas celebration with Penang Toastmasters Club and one Christmas Day celebration with MEF Toastmasters Club. Both had gift exchange session. The only difference was that, I had Christmas Day celebration with the MEF-ians at my place. The feeling of having great people around you during a beautiful celebration is indeed indescribable.

Since I had the time of my life in Year 2014, I wish for the same, or even better, in Year 2015!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five In One!

One in Kuala Lumpur itself. One flew from Sibu. One came from Singapore. One came from Kuantan. Last but not least, one flew from Penang.

Five people came from five different places to meet in one place – Sunway Lagoon.

Now that is five in one.

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I really had the time of my life that day. The last time we did something like that was when all of us went to Singapore back in May.

I do hope we can all travel together again. Else, another four in one.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Melbourne: Day 7

Finally day seven, the last day of mine in Melbourne.

Though it was my last day, I had to wake up really early.

Why?

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To get to Chadstone to buy my new toy. The only mall I went to shop and I spent less than ten minutes for the purchase. Crazy, huh? Well, I knew what I want and therefore, it was fast. The store was quite crowded and my oh my, it must have been crazy when iPhone 6 and 6+ just launched.

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After I bought my new toy, we went to have our brunch. I ordered hot chocolate, again, and yes, I am going to miss it a lot!

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Since I had not had big breakfast throughout that one week in Melbourne, I ordered big breakfast, all to myself! Those around us must have thought I was mad. The portion was meant f or two but I had it all to myself.

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That afternoon, I had a lovely nap before we headed out to pick up Beat’s friends for dinner. I cannot recall where we had our dinner but their pasta was good. We ordered three different types of pasta and the one in the middle is my favourite.

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After dinner, we went to Jauja to grab some gelato. Since I had their Durian gelato, I tried their Peanut Butter with Nutella. A bit regret not getting Durian gelato though. I am missing it a lot now.

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We chilled at Brunetti before Beat sent me to the airport. Fortunately I was there really early because the queue to drop baggage and Australia VAT Refund for Visitors were long! I ran into one of the families I met during my second tour group. What a small world indeed.

I know this trip had been a short one but I really enjoyed myself. Hope to go back there again but, first, let me visit other parts of the world. Then only I re-visit Melbourne.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melbourne: Day 6

It was the last day for me to tour in Melbourne. As planned, Beat brought me to the Central Business District that Friday. We were going to spend one whole day in the city! We drove to the city and parked our car at Crown.

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This is the City Circle which goes around the city and the best part is, it is free! Therefore, you can save quite a bunch with it. Alternatively, you can just walk around the city as it is walkable. Anyway, since we had not had anything in the morning, we decided to go get our brunch first before we started our tour. Beat gave me a list of cafes to choose from and in the end I chose Seven Seeds.

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My House Made Sparkling Ice Tea and believe me, it is good.

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And since I missed French Toast, I ordered their Brioche french toast with blood plum curd, white peaches and vanilla labne anddddd I did not like it. Too sweet for me.

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Beat ordered her favourite Chai Latte.

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And her medley mushrooms and rainbow chard on ciabatta with poached eggs and carmalised
onion purée. However, she regretted for not ordering their green eggs and ham on English muffins with hollandaise because it seems most of the people in the house were ordering it.

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After we filled our stomach, we went to Victoria Street Market for me to get some souvenirs back to Malaysia. You can get a lot of things there. I bought keychains, postcards, fridge magnet and plush toys at the market.

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After shopping spree, we went to Melbourne Central to have cupcakes at Cupcake Central. Melbourne Central has really cool architecture. I was really amazed by its interior. Wish I could have stayed longer so I could linger around there and indulged myself with its architecture.

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Anyway, back to Cupcake Central. Beat told me that they have really good cupcakes. We had red velvet and devil’s food chocolate. She was right, the cupcakes were really good! They are not as sweet as I thought they would be. That’s what cupcakes are. Really sweet.

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Next was the State Library. I love books and I keep them. However, since I move around, I could not buy a lot of books. That was why I bought Kindle. Anyhow, back to the State Library. The interior was amazing! It is located opposite of RMIT and therefore, there were many students. How I wish I was studying at MIT. This awesome library is just opposite it!

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One sad thing about Melbourne is that there was not much of Christmas decorations inside the malls. However, the ornaments sold here were pretty! You cannot find most of it in Malaysia! Malaysia’s malls have beautiful decorations but they do not sell beautiful ornaments.

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Now, one thing I love about Melbourne is its streets! The streets were always so happening with live bands and some awareness or campaigns.

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Finally one of the places that I wanted to go in Melbourne – St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Trust me, its architecture is astounding! Its interior will blow your mind! Not literally, of course. Glad I made it here.

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Beat later brought me to check out the street arts by the local here. Really interesting. Very different from the ones you can find in Penang. These are more funky!

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We decided to head back to our car to put our stuff before heading for dinner. As we were crossing a bridge, I came across this. I was surprised to find this here though.

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As we were walking past many bars and restaurants, guess what? They were all crowded! It was only half past five in the evening and they were having happy hour already. What a good life in Melbourne, huh? After we put down our stuff inside the car, we rested for a bit before we headed out again.

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We had our dinner at Rare Steakhouse. Beat gave me two choices to have dinner though. I chose this as she told me that her fiance claimed that their steaks were the best he had so far. And it was true! Now I am missing it dearly, dang!

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As we stepped out of the restaurant, guess what? It was freezing! We did not have our sweaters with us! Okay, actually we had our sweaters the whole morning and afternoon but it was really hot that we did not use it at all. When we got back to our car to put our stuff, we left our sweaters there. I thought it would not be cold since it was really hot during daytime. Have you heard people saying that Melbourne’s weather is unpredictable? It is true! It can be really hot during day time and then really cold at night. Of course we headed back to our car, again, to get our sweaters.

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Crown is famous for its ‘fire show’ and therefore, we waited for the show before we called it a day. I managed to catch its 8pm show though but, I was at the same bank as the pillars and therefore, I could not watch the show as a whole. Therefore, we decided to wait for another hour to catch its next show. We walked along the bank before we crossed the bridge to the other side of the riverbank just so we could watch the fire show as a whole.  Beat was mentioning about running into a street performer that dressed up as a Super Mario and there he was, he appeared as we crossed the bridge! She told me that she had not seen him for a very long time. I guess I was lucky.

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It was only 8.30pm when we reached the other side of the river bank. We had to wait for another half an hour before the next fire show. It was ridiculous. Why? It was because the wind was so strong and we were freezing! Both of us were wearing shorts some more. So much for this fire show. And when the show finally started, it was done within two minutes! Two freaking minutes! Seriously?

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Anyhow, we walked back to the other side of the riverbank after the show was over. Before we walked back to our car, I indulged myself in another round of gelato. Hmmmm yummy! Yes, I had a lot of rounds of gelato and guess what? I am not guilty about it.