I love Hong Kong!

Aside

There’re few places in the world i’ll never get tired of going besides UK… Hong Kong’s certainly 1 of them. The food, vibrancy, shopping and the food… oh yes…it lures me back year after year.

This trip was one for the memory, 20 days straight spent in Hong Kong! Doesn’t matter I was rather ill on my way there. I was trying hard not to look sick as I came out of airport customs… didn’t fancy being held in quarantine thanks to a leaky nose. Haha!

I’m staying in Wan Chai again. I love Hong Kong Island, it’s a lil bit cooler than Kowloon with better everything.

First meal in Hong Kong, I went to the supermarket and decided to make soup! Cantonese loves soup and so do I (seeing I’m Cantonese myself).


This soup was made with love… Yums!

Squid Ink Risotta at a restaurant in Causeway Bay. It was very good and price was extremely decent.

Where we stayed, Le Creperie was just below our apartment and it’s got excellent reviews, so needless to say we decided to give it a try. The partner had the savoury crepe while I went straight for the sweets.

Caramel banana with vanilla ice cream. It may look simple, but it’s honestly one of the best I’ve ever tried!

Egg milk pudding from Yee Soon or was it Australia Diary Company… honestly cannot remember cos I was eating these yummy egg milk pudding almost every other day!

Not a fan of these Ramen, but these were pretty delicious!

Super succulent scallops at Sai Kung. There was a thunderstorm when we were on our way there, by the time we got to the restaurant, we were drenched.

The original Honeymoon dessert at Sai Kung. Mango sago… oh my…

Roast goose drumstick from Tai Heng. It was oily, juicy and oh so heavenly! Had this lunch when I was visiting the partner at work in Taikoo. Must have it again next time I’m there. Maybe share the meal instead. The HK portions are HUGE!

Another day, another trip to Honeymoon desserts cafe. This time it was near our place in Wan Chai! Snow fungus is good for the body. Taste just as wonderful as it looks.

I’m trying to find the pics of our trek at Lanma Island, can’t seem to find it! When I do, I’ll post it again. Highly recommend the trek to anyone as the view was breathtaking! We trekked from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan. This is the seafood restaurant side. A pity we just had late lunch before we started our trek, hence we weren’t hungry at all.

That’s me trying to look fresh. The Hong Kongers said it was an easy trek, but for us Singaporeans where the highest hill is a miserable Bukit Timah Hill, it was rather challenging on my poor knees!

Vietnamese food at TST. We decided to take a scenic ferry ride from Central to Kowloon TST at Ocean Terminal. It’s gotta be one of the best Viet food I’ve had since the ones I had in Brisbane! I’ve been to Vietnam, but the food there was more bland. 🙂

The pork chop and broken rice was simply delicious. Even the egg was done just right.

The partner and colleagues decided to bring us to Happy Valley Race Course to check it out and it was also my first trip to a race course. Must be beginner’s luck cos the horse I bought came in 1st!!! Booyah!

 It was a Wednesday night. The place was electrifying! There was your usual Hong Kong uncles/aunties there to gamble their life savings and there was your typical expats and tourists (like me) there for a good time.

We went to this off the tourist beat zichar stall at Happy Valley after our horse racing adventures. OMG BEST LAMB CHOPS EVER! And this plate… guess how much? Only S$15! Cheapie and yummy is super awesome!

Yummy egg in broccoli. Same place!

Crispy chicken in cereal. Also have another dish, but no pictures of it. This dinner from the zi char stall at Happy Valley cost under $70 for 5 of us. It’s cheap, good and almost exclusively Hong Kong! Love it!

The almost 3 weeks in Hong Kong was fabulous. Simple living and life away from Singapore. I really much prefer the hustle and bustle of HK to Singapore! The vibe, the people, the food, the shopping… so much more happening.

I’ll definitely be back!

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Citius, Altius, Fortius

Faster, Higher, Stronger. London 2012 is upon us!

I’ve been waiting for the London Olympics since it was announced on 6 July 2005 in Singapore that London won the rights to host the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

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The Games has so far been amazing! Completely blown away by the awesomeness of Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony and of course, the superhuman performance of some of the athletes.

Will Phelps be the G.O.A.T Olympian? Can Roger complete a career Golden Slam? Jessica Ennis is so hawt! Go Team GB! There’s also the gymnasts to watch out for! So many sports! So many possibilities!

My only grip is there will not be enough hours in the day to catch all the action. Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Football, Diving, Cycling, Rowing… I’m somewhat a couch Olympian myself. Heh.

I’ll disappear for the next 2 weeks. Till then, let the Olympic Games begin!

Chasing dreams…

Everyone has hopes and dreams. If you don’t, you’re dead.

All my life, I’ve had hopes and dreams to keep me going. At 18, I said I hoped to go skydiving before I turn 30, I did it 8 months before I turned 30. I dreamed of seeing the Aurora Borealis in my lifetime, I saw it earlier this year in Tromsø with my partner and now what?

There’re a few new places and stuff to do in my bucket list now, but none has gripped me as much as the Aurora and I struggled a little to get a move on after that. Perhaps the time has come now to try chasing the other dream.

What did you dream about when you were young? Did you want to be a lawyer? A F-16 pilot? Or did you hope to travel the world? I wanted to be all these when I was a wee child. I’m 32 year old this year. What have I achieve? Obviously I can’t be flying a F-16, I’ve traveled a little more than most people (but definitely NOT enough), but can I still pursue the other dream?

Some might think I’m impractical, whimsical and irresponsible. So be it, I’m my own biggest detractor. But time and again, I’ve proved myself wrong. I can get things done when I set my heart on it. And yes, my heart is made of light feathery stuff that floats on hopes and dreams.

The older you get, the more fearful you become of failure and the insecurities of starting afresh. Can you pick yourself up again when you fail and fail miserably? Can you do without the comfort of a steady income?

I honestly don’t know what is it I want out of life, but I’ve taken a first step of quitting my mundane job so I can now concentrate on searching. Yes I’ve saved for a rainy day, but I also have a sibling that I am going to put through university come September. So what am I gonna do?

I promise I’ll find a little more of myself in the next few months. What is it that you REALLY want to do? I got a feeling the answer is already there somewhere. I just have to come to terms with it.

Some lucky people get to live their dream, whilst others have to contend with dreaming about them. I wanna live my childhood dream, no matter how hard & ridiculous it is, I rather fail trying, than not try at all.

That dog sledding experience…

I realise I didn’t write about the dog sledding experience in Tromsø early this year. So here goes…

This is us after a 2 hour bus ride to the middle of nowhere…at least we were suited up for the cold. We were lucky, it was only 0 degrees Celsius compared to -11 the night before.

Dog sledding is a 2 women job. While one sits like a Princess on the rather warm and cushy sled, the other work her ass off to steer the doggies. Ok we took turns. I took the downhill ride while the partner took uphill. Hehe…

Each sled has 6 dogs (5 for us cos we’re relatively small and a team of 2 rather big sized Brits got 7 dogs) and our guide warn us to keep our mouth closed as much as possible during the ride. I found out why later.

This is Blue, one of our doggies. He’s also a super hyper dog who has the ability to piss and shit while running at full speed!! That means we get flying piss and shit at our face if we’re unlucky!

Luckily we weren’t that unfortunate to strike the doggie jackpot. But we were fortunate to have really fun dogs who got up to all sorts of mischief when the opportunity arises. Everytime we stop for a break, Blue will bury himself to his head. The front 2 dogs are stalwarts who hold the fort, but the back 2 dogs will either shit or pee or wander round as much as they can.

Once our foot is off the brake, these dogs will burst off the block at full speed. Quite thrilling, but a lil tiring when you gotta sink your whole leg into the snow in order to stop.

We were really lucky to spot the Northern Lights for the 2nd night! It wasn’t as strong as the 1st night, but still good enough. We were up on a mountain plain, and as far as my headlight could shine, it was a vast nothingness of snow all around us. 🙂

These are our back 2 doggies (can’t rem their names!), super adorable and good-natured. It was an awesome experience to be out in the wilderness with the animals as our guide. It’s one of those moments when you truly feel like you’re part of nature and the world.

After our trip out in the cold, we were shooed into a tent to enjoy warm tea and soup. This was Reindeer soup. My mate, Stefette was horrified that I ate (2 portions no less!) Rudolph, but to be fair, we think it could be Dasher or Prancer. 🙂

The partner and I slept through the 2 hour bus ride back. The trek back to our B&B was horrible. We were cluttering our teeth and we could barely walk without shivering, but I guess it adds to the experience.

Next time we go back Tromsø, it’ll be for the Midnight Sun.

Being late

I don’t like being late, especially for appointments. Not on official business or with friends. My general rule of thumb is a grace period of 10 minutes . If you’re being impeded by reasons beyond your control (bad traffic, lousy train moving slowly, nagging mums or just unexpected circumstances), then the right thing to do would be to inform the person you’re meeting.

Unless you’re a habitual latecomer that is.

I hate it when I’m late, even if it’s 5 minutes, I’ll feel bad, unless of course I turn up and realise I’m not the latest.

The only other form of lateness I tolerate is if people give you a range of time like “I’ll be there between 2-4pm” and you’re like “ok sure I’ll see you between 2-4pm then”. That’s fine cos you’ve been informed prior.

Being late is disrespectful. It’s like you have no regards for the other person’s time you’re wasting.

All these nonsense about being fashionably late is just a Hollywood/Western hogwash. If you’re late for just 15 minutes every day, imagine the hours you would’ve accumulated after 365 days and what others could do with those precious hours you’ve wasted.

So please, the next time you’re going to be late, try to think of others. What they could do with the extra time and show a lil more respect to your friends, family & business associates.

Back to Oslo (Part II) & Drøbak

And so we’re back to Oslo for the final days of our adventure.

The travelling partner decided that Drobak was a must go cos there’s a huge Santa shop that’s opened all year round.

One hour and S$20 (one-way) on the bus later, we arrived at this small laid back town that’s at the mouth of the Oslo Fjord. Apparently during severe winter, all the rich people in Oslo moor their boats here cos the water’s not frozen. When we were there, I think the rich people have moved cos what’s left were lil dingy boats, but still quaint nonetheless.

The weather was beautiful!

Captain Riley sounds just about right for this boat.

Why are they not cold sitting around in the buff?

Captain Kay she says. Check out the colourful houses at the back!

This is Santa’s house in Drøbak. I think my tummy is getting there.

Little elf on the piano… Mozart anyone?

Who let the bear out of the woods?

View of Drøbak from a little hill.

Can’t afford a car in Singapore, this’ll hafta do for now. Flintstones anyone?

One of the few cafes lining the streets of Drøbak. It’s got a very nice cosy feel to it.

Having a beer at the local pub. There were 3 TV screens showing 3 different sports! Love it! This was before we make our way back to Oslo. Same view, so we fell aslp.

The Oslo Opera House, I was a lil upset I’d left my beanie on the bus, but the travelling partner was rejoicing cos she thought the beanie was ugly. O.O

It’s not the camera angle, it’s the slope on the roof of the Opera House!

Some art installation by the Oslo Opera House.

This was also the day we went out pubbing & clubbing with our host, Jan and a Dutch couple from Amsterdam. I must’ve drank at least 4-5 pints cos I could barely remember what was happening towards the end except we were in a really happening club.

At the Vigeland Sculpture Park situated at Frognerparken aka Frogner Park. The Norwegians are pretty darn proud of this park! It’s rather perverse, some of these naked sculptures, but hey, who am I to comment? I find some of them really interesting.

Medusa wannabe.

How not to fall in love with this view? We’re on our way to Holmenkollbakken, a man-made ski jumping hill.

A closer look at the view.

Apparently the FIS World Cup Nordic Skiing was happening whilst we were there! Supporters of all the countries were waving their flags in support. Whilst it was a ticketed event, I got us in free. The ushers willingly let us in, I did say something to them though. Not gonna share it. Trade secret.

I think ski-jumping might be a new addition on my bucket list. It looks scarily cool! Imagine FLYING 80-120m in the air…

Just to show you, this is the height/angle they have to take off at before you achieve the momentum to fly. I might just faint before taking off from vertigo.

Check out the cute dude that photobombed us!

This cafe/house was literally on top of the hill. Getting here was treacherous. Next picture tells you why.

We had to walk down a steep slope where the snow had turned to ice and it was bloody slippery. I posed for this shot, but in reality, I almost fell a few times!

Near the National Theater back in Oslo. A kroner for their thoughts?

Check out this vintage mustang!

Last minute shopping on our final day in Oslo. The weather was really great, a warm 12 degrees, hence the open neck.

We love Norway. It’s fabulous (other than the ridiculously expensive everything), it’s got a good vibe and fresh air. The Norwegians are friendly, the only racism I encountered was an immigrant hobo (the irony).

That marks the end of our epic Scandinavia trip to Norway, Sweden & Denmark. A few items on the bucket list ticked off, but added a few new activities too.

We’ll be back for sure, especially to Tromso.This time, maybe the midnight sun?

The operation after the epic holiday

I guess I should write about the operation.

I’d found out prior to the holidays that I’ve 3 massive fibroid growing around my uterus wall. Click on the word to find out what it is.

I wasn’t worried about the operation, what I was scared of was type of surgery and the recovery period. As the fibroids were huge, there was a chance I’d be cut open. Thankfully, I managed to make it through the keyhole surgery. Nonetheless, it wasn’t that painless either. Let me take you through my journey.

On the early morning or 19 March 2012, I checked into KK Woman’s & Children’s hospital. Everything was seamless and I was feeling pretty calm and relaxed.

At about 11am, the nurse came to wheel me into the pre-surgery ward. I was made to feel really comfortable whilst waiting for my turn. Then at about 11.45am, they wheeled me into the room before the surgery room. The anesthetist was perhaps the 1 major blip in the entire procedure. Not only did he poke the wrong veins, his accent & pronunciation made it EXTREMELY hard for me to understand what he was saying. I got so tired of asking him to repeat that I just nodded my head at everything he said. Was I suppose to bleed so much when he inject the needles on my hand?

All my notions of Grey’s Anatomy was squashed when I was finally pushed into the operating theater. It was stark & cold. The closest thing to the show was the greyness of the room. I was asked to confirm my name and type of operation I was doing. Whilst the nurses were busying themselves with the preparation (sounded abit like a wet market), nerves finally set in (rather late eh?).

Before I could calm myself down, I heard a nurse asked, “Is Dr Tan ready?” The reply came back affirmative and I was told they’ll inject the GA into me right now. I was waiting for the “Count to 5” instruction which never came. 😦

Next thing I knew, I woke up shivering and shaking rather violently on the bed. In the groggy state, I managed to mutter “very pain” & “very cold”. After inserting a suppository up my ass to bring down the pain, I heard “Patient is not breathing”. Not a good sign.

They wrapped me up in warm electric blanket & I had an oxygen mask on. I must say, the oxygen mask was pretty neat. I was breathing really good quality air!

Whilst being wheeled back to my ward, I could see a blur shadow of my mum and that really made me feel a lot better. The next couple of hours was spent drifting in and out of sleep + pain. A few good friends came to visit in the evening and I’m thankful for their companion despite feeling really really groggy and in a semi-comatose state. I slept through the night rather easily.

The kind nurses at my ward (Ward 43 Bed 25) knew when I had to pee and stuck a bedpan underneath my ass. But peeing was a literally pain/bitch. I spent the next 30 mins trying to empty out my bladder. Why? Cos it was burning! They said it was normal and I believe them, but it was at that moment I remember promising myself I will try my darnest not to get myself into this sort of situation ever again.

The next morning, the doctors came to assess my situation. They said I was recovering well despite all the pain I was feeling. Next came the physiotherapist who insist that I get up and try to walk. I had to try to walk to the toilet all by myself! After they remove the oxygen mask and the GA has worn off, I find myself rather restless. Luckily I had family & friends visiting at various parts of the day to make the hospital stay less boring. Thank you to the faithful partner who visited me everyday before and after work. 🙂

I was discharged on the 3rd day and almost 3 months after the operations, I think I’m all good. If possible, I never wanna go through that experience ever again.

I’ll post pictures of the fibroid for those fans of gore soon. Just need to sort out the faulty S100.