Friday, November 30, 2012

October - November

I cannot believe that I had not blogged for more than a month! The last post I did was the day before I left Penang to Kuching.

So what had I been doing over in Kuching?

Well, apart from indulging myself with local delights that I had truly missed, I was working at a pet shop.

I was basically helping out at the shop as well as showering and blow drying the dogs. As I advanced further, I started to learn basic grooming. It was not easy as we are dealing with animals, not human beings, so it was not under control, always.

Though there were a lot of works to be done and you will always get yourself worn out at the end of the day, it was truly enjoyable and trust me, time flies really fast! There were indeed frustration moments but they did not last for long. Every single day you will always have new things to laugh at, to be happy with, and to be proud of.

I truly learned a lot during my one month experience there and probably I should venture into pet grooming profession? We shall see..

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lovely Sunday!

It has been a long time since I had a lovely Sunday with the boyfriend, with just the two of us. We were supposed to wake up really early in the morning to jog at Botanical Garden. However, since the boyfriend did not get a chance to sleep for all the day for many weeks, I decided not to wake him up when the alarm rang.

When we were finally up by noon time, we went to I Mum Mum Restaurant. A friend of mine had shared with me that their pan mee is really good. Therefore, I decided to hunt for this restaurant. Since none of us had ever been to that restaurant, it was not that easy to locate its location. It was quite hidden in the midst of the flats though but, once you managed to locate it, you knew it was not that difficult at all.

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I ordered Pan Mee Soup since it had been my favourite all along, especially the hand-shredded ‘teared’ dough. The soup is really flavourful and believe it or not, for a person who usually waste her food, she finished everything, not even a drop of soup in her bowl. However, the portion is very small which costs RM3.00 only; bigger portion will be RM3.50.

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The boyfriend ordered Dry Pan Mee and it is similarly good to my Pan Mee Soup with mine better. It costs RM3.00 which comes with small portion. An advice for those who want to try their pan mee, it is best to order bigger portion. With two glasses of iced Chrysanthemum, the meal only costs us RM8.20 which is superb.

Do take note that I Mum Mum Restaurant opens from 7am to 3pm and they closed every alternate Monday.

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After our meal, we decided to head over to Queensbay Mall. We wanted to watch a movie but GSC is not showing Ted so, we turned back to head over to 1st Avenue. Since the next showing was 4.10pm, we had a lot of time to kill. We strolled inside the mall and checked out the event run inside the mall, Model Search.

When we were taking a short break at Old Town White Coffee, we realised that we were going to be late for our movie. The boyfriend was saying ‘We are usually late for movies when we come from home. Can’t believe that we are also late when we are already inside the mall.’ Honestly...

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It was a truly good comedy movie with lots of laughter filled the air. Though a few scenes were bring cut out, for example the screenshot above, all the rude words were not being censored. This movie revolves a lonely boy named John who received a large teddy bear for Christmas named Ted. John made a wish against a falling star that his cuddly friend became alive. Funny and touching movie, trust me.

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After movie, we headed to Gurney Plaza to join some friends for dinner at Bar-B-Q Plaza before we called it a day. It was somewhat an enjoyable meal and we had a great talk and laugh together. I will be away from Penang for a week so I really enjoyed yesterday and I wished for more to come when I get back.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Facts Behind The Perfume Industry

Why do perfumes from the FM Group can be so inexpensive? How are we able to do it?

    • Are they fake?
    • Are they an illegal copy of the designer brand?
    • Is the quality inferior?

The answer to all the questions above is simply NO!

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Do you know the origin of the perfumes from the designer brands such as Chanel, Dior, Gucci and the celebrities such as Beyonce, Paris Hilton and Jennifer Lopez?

Take a look at their professions: the designer houses are tailors and the celebrities are singers, sports stars, models, actresses, etc. They are not perfume specialists.

However, the public still pays exorbitant prices for perfumes or anything else with their names on it.

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The origin of the actual perfumes is in Munich, Germany, where the factory of DROM Fragrances is located. With a market share of over 80% they are the largest perfume developers and producers in the world.

DROM Fragrances designs and produces the perfumes which you can find under the names of designer brands. They develop about 100 different fragrances each day!

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How does this work? Let’s take an example:

Chanel is planning to present a new fragrance on the market. They go to DROM and take a look at the new fragrances that have just been produced. They sample a few and decide that the perfume in Vat Number 2079 will be their new fragrance.

They then order 100,000 litres of the fragrance essence from DROM Fragrances. The essence is then delivered to Chanel where they add water and alcohol. Finally, they decide to name their new fragrance Coco Mademoiselle.

Actually sourcing the perfume from DROM is the least expensive part. It is the design of the new bottle and packaging as well as advertising and glossy magazines, and of course engaging a beautiful model or actress on TV to endorse it that spent enormous amount money.

All the money spent is recuperated by adding costs to each bottle of perfume they sell.

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FM, too, visits DROM Fragrances and purchases the fragrance essence from Vat Number 2079. The question now is, is this even legal?

The answer is simply YES!

DROM Fragrances owns the fragrance as they created and produced it. Therefore, they can sell it to whoever they like.

Chanel owns the brand name Chanel, the name of Coco Mademoiselle, the distinctive logo, the specially designed bottle and packaging. What they do not own is the actual perfume.

FM Perfumes, on the other hand, designs their own bottle and packaging and gives their new fragrance number; FM18.

Therefore, both Coco Mademoiselle and FM18 are from the same Vat at DROM Fragrances.

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What are the differences?

1. FM does not use the brand names Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Paris Hilton, etc. as to do so will breach copyright.

2. FM gives their fragrances numbers instead of names.

3. Chanel, Gucci, etc. sell their perfumes as EDT or EDP. FM adds less water and alcohol so, FM’s perfumes are parfum, which is stronger and longer lasting.

4. FM does not spend a lot of money in designing exclusive bottles and packaging.

5. FM does not spend a lot of money on expensive marketing campaigns where celebrities show up to present perfumes. They do business through individual distributors who have their own business operating from home.

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So, where can you get these FM perfumes?

I am currently one of the independent distributors for FM Group and feel free to visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/fumoperfumecorner

Monday, September 24, 2012

Food Review: House of KoloMee@D’Piazza Mall Penang

I was told by a friend earlier that there is another restaurant that serves good Sarawakian food in Penang but I had yet to try it. Then, coincidentally I found the place. Since that one afternoon the boyfriend drove us to Bayan Baru area, we decided to try its food. The owner is the same as the owner of The Carpenter Street. We managed to speak with the owner and it seems that he is no longer managing The Carpenter Street anymore.

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As you enter the restaurant, you will see the menu displayed on the wall on your left. It shows clearly how you can place your order as there are no waiter or waitresses serving you.

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Once you understood the progress, you are to walk further inside the restaurant to place your order at this touch-screen device. The owner works in Intel (his wife manages the restaurant) and therefore, he did the programming himself. Pretty cool, huh?

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A ticket will be printed once you had done with your order. Collect the ticket and wait for your number to be displayed to collect your order at the counter.

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As shown on the picture above, they provide free flow of drinks at just RM1.00 per glass and there is a complimentary soup for the customers. Awesome, right?

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I ordered Original Kolo Mee with my favourite red Char Siew sauce. I do not fancy kolo mee but because of the red Char Siew sauce, I will take it. It was really good – the combination of the sauce with the minced meat is indescribable.

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The boyfriend, on the other hand, ordered just the ordinary Original Kolo Mee. The noodles’ texture was alright but the taste is not strong enough. We gave the owner our feedback and he requested us to come back again to try its Original Kolo Mee again. Therefore, stay tuned for our next visit to House of KoloMee!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Food Review: Sushi Zento@Precinct 10, Penang

It was our 600th days together that day and he decided to make the day a bit different. I did not know that he was going to bring me out for dinner as I had my dinner at home. We went to Sushi Zento, Precinct 10. Actually I had been to a few Japanese restaurants in Penang and I could not find a place that is comparable to Sushi Zanmai. Guess what? I have finally found it!

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We ordered a few dishes and they are all pretty good. The first dish was Buta Reisei (sliced pork). You should eat it with a sauce that came together.

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Next was Umi Budou (sea grapes), a special order that is not in the menu. Now, please take note that special orders have special price. Therefore, think twice before you order, okay? This Umi Budou is the smallest and also the most expensive dish of all the dishes that we ordered.

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The third dish was Komitamago to Bacon Salada. It is basically a salad with bacon so there is nothing extraordinary about this dish. I was just too full so I ordered salad whereas the boyfriend ordered Kyushu Ramen.

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Finally the moment that I had been waiting for – Rolls Royce Roll and it did not let me down. They are not cheapskates with the sushi’s filling therefore once you had a mouthful of it, you do not feel like something is missing.

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Now I have a place to go to when I am craving for good sushi. However, I still miss Sushi Zanmai.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My First Exchange Program Abroad!

I was with AIESEC for two and a half years when I was still pursuing my Degree at Taylor’s Business School. It did not take me long in deciding to do an exchange program abroad with AIESEC.

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Back in Year 2009, with the help of my then EP Manager, Kenny Chong, I was matched with a company in Shanghai, iLemon Group Inc., for a one-year exchange program. Many were surprised with my choice including myself. However, I am glad that I made the right choice. If I were given a choice to choose again, I would still choose Shanghai. I left for Shanghai back in August 2009.

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I was fortunate to have great colleagues. Not only did I get to work with the local Chinese, I had the opportunity to work with people from different countries ie. France, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. Some were the company’s permanent employees while a few of them were AIESEC EPs like me. Therefore, I was blessed to be able to learn and exchange culture and knowledge with these people. I am an Accounting and Finance Majors graduate and I worked in a gaming industry company. It was not easy but it was definitely exciting, challenging and most important of all, fun especially with these aforementioned people!

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In Shanghai, I got to meet other great AIESEC interns who were there before me – some called themselves FAISECers (Fake AIESECers) though. There was a few of them that had become the permanent employees after their internship ended. Each and every one of them has their own story but they have one thing in common – amazing! These people are amazing. In less than a month’s time, you made a lot of close friends. Back in Malaysia, I was still worried that I may not enjoy my internship in Shanghai. I am glad that I was proved wrong.

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Some of us traveled together to another province in China. It was my very first time to venture as a backpacker. We took a train to our destination, Nanjing. We stayed in a backpacker hostel. We went around with the guidance of a map only! Just because of this one trip, I fall in love with backpacking and would love to do more!

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One of the most memorable moments was when all of us gathered together on Halloween night, suited-up and crashed Shanghai’s infamous haunted mansion, Shanghai Nightmare. We were the only ones who dressed up and became the center of attention. Lurking that night were mummies, vampires, pirates, Leatherman, Shangers' beloved HaiBao and Shinigami (that’s me!).

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Throughout my journey in Shanghai, not only I met a lot of wonderful people, I had to part with them too. I attended numerous welcoming as well as farewell parties. Before I could realise what happened, it was my turn to bid farewell to them and Shanghai. It was hard especially when I had the intention to work permanently in Shanghai.

Honestly, this journey had really changed my life. It changed me as a whole. I became more independent and learned to make decisions on my own even more as well as be responsible for them. It was not a perfect journey – there were ups and downs – but I am really proud of myself. I became stronger and tougher.

“So, aren’t there any disadvantages of this exchange program abroad?”

Yes! I could not stop talking about Shanghai even after I came back to Malaysia. My friends were all fed up of me mentioning whatever happened back in Shanghai. The virus lasted for six months!

What are you waiting for? AIESEC provides all the opportunities you could ever think of but it is YOU who have to grab it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 3: Halong-Hanoi

Our third day of the trip was a long day. It was very sunny and high humidity level. That morning we went to the wharf after breakfast.

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Our local tour guide rented a cruise for our group and only our group boarded the cruise. This kind of cruise is only for a day-trip purposes. As for us, it was a 4-hour ride only.

There are tourists who actually stayed a few nights on a cruise. I was recommended by a friend that it's best to stay 2 days 1 night at on a cruise as the views of sunset and sunrise are magnificent at Halong Bay.

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We stopped at Thien Cung Cave. It is also known as the cave of the heavenly place that is famous for its stalagmites and stalactites.

The weather was really hot so upon reaching the entrance of this cave, it was a bit cooling. However, when you were inside the cave, you sweat non-stop. It may not be stuffy inside the cave but due to high humidity level, we sweat a lot.

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Halong Bay is a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a popular place for tourists but it is good to know that large parts of Ha Long Bay are officially protected from development. The islands vary greatly in size and shape as well as structure. Ha Long Bay is also one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

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After the cruise ride, we went to Era Café Museum. Vietnam is famous for its coffee and therefore, that was where we bought all our coffee.

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We then departed to go back to Hanoi. When we reached Hanoi, we saw this bridge, Long Bien Bridge. This is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River that connects two parts of the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. It was originally called Paul Doumer Bridge. The bridge was built in 1903 by the architects of Daydé & Pillé, a French company. Only bicyclists and motorcyclists are allowed to use the bridge.

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Since the traffic was quite jammed as it was a weekend, there were a lot of motorcycles on the road. We saw interesting and unique Vietnamese motorcyclists on the roads.

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After dinner, we were sent back to the hotel and that was the end of the whole trip. Since I had made my own research and was not satisfied with having local food through this tour, I decided to make my own trip to a famous local restaurant in town, KOTO. The food was amazing though it was a bit pricey. I had bun cha that night and it was really good.

KOTO is known as Know One, Teach One. Every six months KOTO recruits up to 30 street or disadvantaged youth aged16-22 coming from difficult life circumstances. These include poverty, abandonment, orphans, abuse, youth involved in exploitative employment, neglect, conflict with the law, parents with addictions, parents with mental health problems and a range of other troubled backgrounds. KOTO taps into a wide network of sources to identify target youth and the trainee recruitment process usually takes up to three months depending on the number of applications received.

The next day was mostly spent at the airport and flights. To be honest, this whole trip was not worth the money we paid. I will definitely want to go back to Vietnam again but that would be Ho Chi Minh.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Watch Out! A Male Staff of Heritage Hotel Ipoh Caught Peeping Inside the Ladies!

This incident had brought a big impact on me. I was supposed to enjoy this one-day trip in Ipoh with my friends and this happened. I spent all night at the police station and missed out all the fun that my friends were having.

Up until now, when I closed my eyes to sleep, I can still recall what had happened inside the ladies.

It is a big trauma for me!

Hopefully time will heal..

Therefore, please spend a few minutes to continue reading if you want to protect yourselves (to ladies) and to protect your beloveds (to ladies and gents). This is a real story of mine..

 

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Lobby - Female Toilet

My friends and I reached Heritage Hotel Ipoh on 1st September 2012, at about 3.00pm. We were at the lobby, waiting for the receptionists to work on our bookings. Seeing a few of my female friends went to the toilet, I decided to go after.

I was alone, thinking nothing bad will happen since we are in a hotel. It is a high-rated hotel and I saw local artistes earlier checked-in at this particular hotel as well. There were a group local actors and actresses who stayed there for a night as there's a fan-meeting function at Kampar. As I went into the ladies, I check on each cubicle, looking for the "squatting" one. There are four cubicles in total. However, there is no "squatting" cubicle. Therefore, after getting the toilet roll at the end of the ladies, I walked back and went into the first cubicle.

I was done (but still sitting on the toilet seat) and I saw a shadow walked pass the door in front of me. There was no footsteps' sound at all. There was no sound of the door opened and closed just like when I first came in as well. I knew something was wrong.

I took the hose and run the water inside the toilet (I was still sitting). Then I put the hose back and looked up to my left. I stared blankly at the ceiling and...

I SAW A PAIR OF FREAKING EYES LOOKING DOWN AT ME!

I was so frightened and the first thing I did was to SCREAM though I knew no one may not be able to hear me. Plus, I did not bring anything with me, including my handphone! At least it scared him and he ran outside. I stood there for a while, scared that maybe another person may still be outside waiting for me.

When I ran outside, I asked my friends if they saw a man ran out of the toilet. They did not see anyone. The guys then reported to the security guard. We were not allowed to watch the CCTV even though we requested. I went back to my room at about 3.50pm when the security guard called us at about 4.00pm. They asked us to go to one of their meeting rooms on the first floor.

The management had watched the CCTV and the culprit is one of the hotel's staff. The lady in charge of this issue at that time was Ms. Karen Boey Wang Mun, the Executive Housekeeper(she claimed herself as the Housekeeper Manager). They managed to bring the culprit in after we requested. 

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This particular culprit is from Nepal! We were not even sure if he has a working permit in Malaysia. They did not want us to make a police report ourselves and to spread this case, wanting to take care of the hotel's image since Heritage Hotel Ipoh is a 4-star hotel. Therefore they offered to solve this case internally.

We voiced out what would satisfy me since we were supposed to have a happy trip in Ipoh until this happened - to give me and my friends a free night stay (10 rooms in total). Unfortunately, they are not willing to accommodate what we wanted and instead, give us a ridiculous counter offer! – Offer one free night stay for ONE room and free buffet for me and my friends as an entertainment – after she had a discussion with the “manager”. She did not want to reveal who the “manager on duty” was and the contact number of this “manager”. What a cowardly action!

Since we could not get into an agreement, I requested the hotel to write an apology letter with the hotel’s letter head. The person then told us off that if we wanted to report to the police, we could go ahead. It was already 7.00pm by then. We were pretty sure that this may not be the first incident since they were able to handle this issue so calmly.

Anyway, what the fuck? Who's the victim over here? And they think we cannot afford ONE night and buffet?! What made me even mad is the lady said the following:

"Fortunately I am being honest here" - meaning she could have hidden the CCTV and denied everything! And even hid her staff!

"No one knows what exactly happened inside" - WTF! Meaning I created it?!

Therefore I chose not to continue to negotiate anything with the hotel management and went ahead to make a report at the police station after dinner. I was emotionally stable by then.

After I was done making a statement with an inspector, I went back to the hotel with the inspector to take some pictures of the place where the incident happened. It was my first time to take a ride inside a police car.

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IMG_1363The culprit could have run inside here after I screamed

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After that, all I wanted was to get back to Penang as soon as possible. I reached home at about 4.30am. It had been a long day.

Therefore, I want to share this bad experience of mine to everyone that it pays off to be vigilant no matter where you are. Ladies, just get a friend or two with you if you wanted to go to the ladies and gents, please follow them and wait for them right outside the ladies.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photobook Review: Fisheyephotobooks

Back in June, I bought a photobook deal from Groupon and the merchant is Fisheyephotobooks. According to “How It Works”, I should receive my photobook within 21 working days after I had successfully submitted my order. I successfully submitted my order on June 29th, 2012 which means I should be receiving my photobook by July 30th, 2012. I waited with no complaints at all. However, after 21 working days, I did not receive my photobook at all. Therefore, I decided to drop an email to them and sadly, no response from them.

I went to Fisheyephotobooks’ Facebook page and since they occasionally update their page, I decided to post my inquiry on their wall as shown below. I am not alone - there are many unhappy customers who complained on Fisheye’s after-sales service and late delivery.

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Also, like what the other customers had experienced, my posts got deleted and no one had gotten back to me on my order – neither in email nor Facebook. I posted four posts in total, including the post above, and it got deleted as shown below:

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Unless you are fine to wait for months for your order to reach your doorstep, do place your valuable order with other companies: Photobookmart, Pixajoy and Wedoo Photobook. I had personally placed my order with them. Not only their delivery was efficient and fast, the quality of their photobooks are up to expectation.

Currently Fisheyephotobooks is having another deal with Groupon. It is totally up to your decision whether to purchase the deal. Up until now, I have not received my photobook from Fisheyephotoooks.
The pictures below show the details of my fourth wall post. I was smart to take screenshots of it. You will not be able to find it on their wall. They had deleted it.

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