Cochin in less than 24 hrs

(giler tak giler buat keje mcm nih??!?!?!)

Last Monday, I went to Cochin, Kerala on the invitation by an airline, and the trip was a VERY short one which was to officially celebrate the airline's new route.

The journey took approximately 4 hours, and we arrived at around 5.00pm local time. By the time we went through immigration and collected our bags, we finally boarded the bus around 5.30pm to head to our hotel, which took us another hour on the road.

Cochin International Airport
kinda reminds you of our local kampung roads, rite? :-)
the proposed golf course still under construction

Apart from the golf course near the airport, I saw a Marriott also under construction, together with a shopping arcade.

Local Sights On The Way To The Hotel
(sorry for the shakey, blurry pics. moving bus!!!)


decorated, colourful lorries -- just like in the movies huh?? :-)

En route to our hotel, it was definitely a colourful and bustling sight. Unfortunately, we could not stop, and our schedule the next day was full right up till check out and departure time. So, what you see in this page is all that I saw of Cochin :-)

We arrived at the hotel around 6.30pm, but due to glitces and hiccups here and there, only managed to get my key card at 7.00pm. I immediately requested for an iron to be sent up to my room as my luggage was drenched from the heavy rain in KL, and I expect my clothes would be totally wet through.... and I was right!! I spend the next hour ironing my clothes dry... LOL

Oh yeah, we were booked at the Le Meridien Resort, Cochin. A beautiful resort, but unfortunately we didn't have time to enjoy it. Shops close by 9.00pm here, and even the in-house spa operates only from 10.30am to 7.30pm!

That night, the dancers and I had our dinner at the hotel Seafood Restaurant since it was already 8.30pm. Since there were 7 of us, we were directed to a private area within the restaurant, and it was so quaint, complete with an iron gate and dome with pretty plates decorating the shelves.

my simple meal of Keralan-spice grilled fish with white rice

blind musicians @ hotel lobby

Treasure Trove -- our breakfast venue

The Convention Centre

The swimming pool

rehearsal time

dancers all dolled up and ready to go!!

traditional musicians greeting guests

The event started a wee bit late since the organisers were waiting for a decent number of media to arrive, but all went relatively well. Lunch was a lovely spread of local fare, and I was happy as there was a fare bit of vegetarian and seafood choices :-)

No meats when travelling, LOL LOL LOL

The dancers were outstanding and did a good job. Congrats!!!

After the event, I rushed back to my room to finish packing, take a quick shower, pray and then check out.

The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 3.00pm, and I had about an hour to get ready.

Upon arriving at the airport, I could not resist taking a picture of the ticket booth outside the entrance. Yep, you can buy entry tickets to visit the airport :-)

Overall, it was a very interesting trip even though I can't really say that I've visited Cochin, but it was however a very good 'soft' introduction to the market :-)

We landed in KL at 11.45pm and by the time we claimed our luggage, it was past midnight. Thank God hubby was already there waiting for me!! :-)



Aina Updates

Been really busy lately so here are just some pics of Aina, to satisfy her aunt's desire to see her new pics, not that she doesn't see Aina almost every week anyway LOL LOL LOL
Went to Curve on Sunday with TokMi, and Aina had fun seeing the decorations and throwing tantrums to get her way!
All these pics were taken using the cellphone camera, so the quality is not so good.

at The Curve

Aina LOVES pringles, so this is what I usually give her to keep her quiet in the car. Unfortunately, she hates being restricted in the seat belt, and we have yet to get her a car seat (as the seats in the back still have no safety belts), so this is the alternative ON EMERGENCY CASES when she does not want to stay with Ana at home and cries her eyes (and heart!) out.

At least she listens when I tell her to sit down!

enjoying Pringles while Mama is driving, on the way to fetch Babah

This was when we went to IKEA to get Aina her bed. She had A LOT of fun testing out the beds, getting in and out and under the covers... LOL

testing out IKEA's beds

And finally, this is Aina, behaving so well at TokMi's watching TV while having her juice. Somehow, she MUST use the blanket to cover herself up and the napkin must be in her hands. It's her security 'thing'....

at TokMi's, quenching her thirst while watching Playhouse Disney

I'll update a bit more later, along with my recent trip to South Asia.

Till then... take care!



Just My Two Cents....

You know, it REALLY makes me sick to read about road accidents involving minors who are allowed to handle vehicles that are waaayyy beyond their control.

If I'm not wrong, last month I read about 2 school girls, best friends, who died together after being involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle. This morning, again a similar incident, only this time involving school boys, also best friends.

While the story definitely comes across as a tear-jerker, one very important point to note -- The girls were about 14 - 15 yrs and the boys were 10 - 11 yrs.

Is that an acceptable age for kids, YES...KIDS, to be handling motor vehicles?

There are voices saying "alaaaa... dalam kampung aje"

Well, I do believe even the most remote kampung had ROADS in it, and roads = traffic involving cars/vans/lorries.

Kampungs also have ditches and drains, potholes and bumps...need I say more?

In both the articles that mentioned the cases above, it seemed that the riders "lost control of their motorcyle and crashed into a nearby tree".

It seems like a silly incident that should not have happened in the first place, right?

I don't know if I'm being too judgemental but I believe that the authorities should start looking into charging these minors' parents for negligence. I believe there are many countries that have similar existing laws.

It is sad to read a comment from a parent who merely accepts the death of his child and citing it as "fate", when accidents like these are so preventable. To blame it on fate alone is irresponsible.

Children, until they reach the age of 18 (or 21), is under the full care and responsibility of their parents, and for parents to allow their children to operate vehicles, even in remote roads, is strictly a NO-NO.

I live in Puchong, definitely NOT your average description of a kampung, and yet I see young boys riding motorcycles. It's bad enough that they're not even the legal age to ride one, they are doing so WITH NO HELMETS!

Where I live, the area is still under heavy contruction -- road-building and housing areas -- so you can imagine how scary it is if something goes wrong and one of those large sand-transporting lorries 'meet' with one of those unfortunate boys.

I think there should be real consideration to start charging these parents who probably couldn't be bothered to run a simple errand at the local grocers and entice their children with a permission to ride the motorcycle by carrying out the errand for them!

These parents are encouraging their children to flaunt the law, and it is high time that the law slaps them right back in the face!



A Love-Hate Relationship

This is a relationship I believe I share with many KLites :-)

I am a through and through born-and-bred KLite, but to be perfectly honest, there are times I wish I could live/work elsewhere; a place that is not illogically congested and over-crowded by cars which somehow appear and pile up, like some horrendous magic spell gone wrong, more apparent after a rain shower, regardless if it was a full-blown storm or merely a smattering of drops!
Among my favourite landmarks in KL, the Masjid Jamek

Then there is the unbelievable number of road bullies who appear so timid and innocent but can just zig zag through traffic as if they owned the road!!

The hustle and bustle, which sometimes lead to (almost toppling) shoulder grazing -- so kiasu and kan-cheong -- in running their everyday business, that KLites seem to forget to smile at each other.

BUT, like I said.... It's a LOVE-HATE relationship and even though I often wish I could be elsewhere, no where would be quite the same as my beloved KL :-D
World class icon of KL, another favourite

KL is where you can find great food from around Malaysia without really having to travel far, although there's always the argument that you still need to go the place of origin to get the real taste.
Fancy a buffet at any of these world-class hotels?
They are a familiar sight in the KL skyline

This of course brings me to the fact that dieting in KL is not easy, well... not for me anyway! LOL
With all the great choices in and around town, it really boils down to what you're in the mood for.

For me, having a hubby who loves food as much as I do (maybe even more!), is a plus point as we can go out at any time on a whim just to look for what we crave for. The many 24-hour outlets were of great help, especially during my pregnancy LOL LOL LOL

I guess this love-hate relationship is not unique as many of us probably feel the same way, and we probably share the same rants and raves.
But, enough of this rambling... maybe I'll move on to more interesting topics after the weekend... Who knows??? :-D


It's Been A While....

...since I last posted a recipe LOL

I know... I know... But, it's not like we haven't been eating ok. It's just that when I prepare our 'normal' food, I sometimes can't be bothered to go up and bring down the camera. Hence, the absence of food in here for a while now... ehehehe

So, here is my foodie entry for this week (I hope it'll not be for this month!) -- Pumpkin Soup.


you need:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin, cubed

1 large onion, sliced

1 small garlic clove, sliced

1 large slice ginger

1 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 vegetable stock cube +

500ml water

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground white pepper

salt & sugar, to taste

how to:

steam the pumpkin until soft and set aside.
in a pot, heat oil + butter and fry onions, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant.

add in the pumpkin and stock mixture, and bring to a boil.

add ground spices and simmer gently about 10 mins, then turn off heat and cool slightly.

use a hand blender/processor and blitz the mixture until a smooth liquid is formed.
check seasoning. warm through before serving.

may be served with a dollop of cream and chopped chives with toasted garlic bread :-)

OK... that's it for the foodie entry :-D

I'm suppsoed to put in a special entry on something I got for Aina recently, but have been a bit under the weather and find it *such* a chore so will save that for later.

Meanwhile, here is Aina in her Mickey Mouse hat which Aunty Shima (my colleague) gave her :-)

On another note, I have now been transferred yet again to another department. I'm not sure if it's a good move since I have other plans in mind, but I guess that this is something that I really, honestly could not be bothered to comment on anymore. What will be will be I guess.

But then again, with 4 moves in a span of 1 1/2 years, dear Sir, who in God's name will be responsible for my annual assessment??



Cheeky Pot, Aina

We had an uneventful week while Babah was away in Iran, and as usual, we stayed at TokMi's while Babah was overseas.

He preferred it that way.

And, here are pics of our bedroom, strewn with Aina's toys after a week away. She wanted everything and watched Disney Channel all day... LOL

She even ransacked her shelf and took everything out... She probably missed her stuff while at TokMi's.... who knows?!?

Here, my wonderful daughter is enjoying TV while playing with her toy, then the next minute I almost died laughing when I saw what she did!!!

Errmmm.......too lazy to sit up???

Aina, playing with her baby sling.... 'transforming' it into................?

Telekung???? LOL LOL LOL

She loves to immitate me praying, so each time I finish prayers, she'll grab her sling and wear it like this. Really entertaining to watch her!!! LOL

Oh ye, I managed to go to the MYDEAR warehouse sale yesterday (settled an important thing in the morning, then rushed to the sale LOL) and grabbed these fantastic deals...

this table + chair set for RM99.00

this tricycle for RM29.00!!

And the following are Mama's various activities when Aina is asleep, or engrossed playing and/or watching TV LOL LOL LOL

OK. I bought another essential thing for Aina, but will put that in another entry.... :-)
Too precious to put it together here....