Monday, June 30, 2008

10 Things Men Don't Know About Women - Part 4.

  1. We like manly man who knows handy tips such as fixing a leaky tap, changing a light bulb and filling up gas in the car tyres. Not the eternal man-child who can't help around the house and gives a blank stare when the halogen bulb needs fixing.

  2. Your little moves make us smile. Most of the time.

  3. Petty men who won't let things go and scowl, say 6 hours after some lady jump queue at 7-11 during his morning paper run, make us think twice. The man is either extremely petty or has some sort of anger issues. Life is way too short to spend 6 hours scowling at some inconsiderate woman.

  4. We love it when you call. This does not apply when you drunk dial at 3am.



  5. It is not that astonishing when we enjoy sports, cars and science fiction. =)

  6. Women hate being belittled by men. We really hate it when someone says "she's bad at computers/ driving/ math/ science because women are bad at it."

  7. We do soooooo many things to look the way we do. It doesn't come naturally and we don't want you to see it. If we lock ourselves in the room for prolonged period of time, we are most probably doing those things. Try not to come in, and knock 30 minutes later if we are still not out.

  8. We just may tell little white lies to make you feel good. Just like how you said our bums are not big in those jeans.

  9. First impression counts. The arrogant show-off will get attention. The bad kind. The scruffy guy will get attention. The "how long has he gone without a shower" kind. Neither will lead you anywhere.

  10. We love it when you go shopping and pick out outfits for us. We really do. The clothes you pick are.. interesting.

    -- Very interesting choice indeed.

    We just don't share the same fashion sense as you do. We still love you. Honest!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Self confidence that I was supposed to have.

I was out and about in town this weekend. I was getting so bored, and most of all lonely cooped up in my little cage of an apartment. That's when I decided to catch up with friends.

It was great to see them, but at the same time I felt out of place.

I was surrounded by teens and people in their early twenties. They are dressed up. Make up, hairdo, well-coordinated accessories and clothes to achieve that "I just put those on" look when in fact, much planning had gone into it.



I was in a polo t-shirt and an old skirt. Without makeup, polished hair and well-coordinated accessories. I have never really been an advocate for makeup, because slathering a cake of makeup isn't exactly good for your skin in my opinion. My skin is bad enough, and I don't need colored chemicals to make it worse.

But I feel so.. blah. I either looked slovenly like I don't give a crap about my appearance, or I have terrible dress sense. I feel like I was back in high school and my self-confidence that I am supposed to accumulate with age and wisdom has just plummeted to a new low.

I can't believe all it took was teenage girls and their makeup to blast my self confidence to pieces. This blows. =(


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bali - The sights.

Bali is probably one of the best places to go to if you don't intend to plan your itinerary with military precision. J and I got there with only our flights and hotel booked, and the rest was really up in the air.

-- Surprisingly great little gem of a hotel. This is Papa's Cafe.

We booked a car at our hotel and told them the sights we wanted to go to. It was pain-free, the booking came with a driver and it was up to us to fix the set off time. None of that "waking up at 6am to board a large tour bus with a few other million tourists" crap. Absolutely genius.

J and I hopped on the car after brekkie and we were off! On the way to Kintamani, the streets were lined with shops selling woodcraft, silverwork and pottery. The driver took us to a few craft shops on the way. We didn't want to, but we didn't refuse either. I think the drivers get a commission from the shops if they bring business, and since we were not pushed for time we went for a look.

-- Display room.

We saw batik and woodcraft but decided not to get anything because it would be a pain to ship a giant wooden coconut tree home.

We bought sterling silver jewelry from the locals. They are all very intricate and handmade!

They are not that expensive. The ladies spend a lot of time making these jewelry, from melting the silver to threading them through tiny holes to make silver threads to finally crafting them into little jewelry. We felt obliged to buy because although there were about 20 tourists in the shop, everyone was browsing. We wondered how the ladies got by with little business.

Then again that was the first shop, so 400,000 rupiah was ok to J and I. Ask us again on another day and we would have balked at that figure.


We finally reached Kintamani village, home of Mt Batur.


It is a volcano and you can clearly see the calderas. One has formed a lake, and the other surrounds the mountain.

Our driver brought us to a restaurant and it was a good surprise.

We were seated on the edge of what must be a cliff, across from the friggin' caldera and mountain. Nice view!



After visiting Mt Batur, we headed to our next stops Monkey Forest and Ubud market before going back to our hotel.

Monkey Forest is actually a place of worship, and visitors have to pay a small fee to enter. J bought some "temple-approved" bananas to feed the monkeys (to my absolute horror). The monkeys are used to visitors, and will follow you around until you hand over the bananas.


Tall trees!



The temple is closed to public but you can peer over a little gate. This site has been around since the 14th century!!!

Family of monkeys!


Super cute, until they spotted us and came over for bananas. EEK!!!

[Our driver was a very nice man, and we decided to hire his car again. The thing about car hiring is that it may be a little more expensive at the hotel, but it is a whole lot less dodgy. There are lots of little travel shops/stalls along the streets of Kuta, offering car hire and various day trips at very competitive prices. J and I are just... skeptical. We would rather pay $20 more than to risk our holiday. ]

During our trip, J and I visited Bali Safari and Marine Park. There are 2 zoos in Bali, one being Bali Safari and the other, Bali Zoo. Bali Safari and Marine Park is new and it is quite amazing.

It is an open zoo, so there is no cages. Guests will board a mini bus at the entrance and driven into the heart of Bali Safari. It is quite "Jurassic Park", since all that separated civilization is a tall gate that opens up after another gate closes behind the bus.



One of the guests wanted to open the rooftop window to get a better photo of the lioness. I mean, that has got to be one of the most STUPID suggestions ever. Lions jump. They are carnivores. They will bite your head off, and spit out the SLR camera in your friggin' hand. And the lions are right outside the window. If he wants to be the first fatality in the park, I don't want to be in the same bus as him when he screams in pain and terror. What the hell, man.
  • I sat on an elephant.
  • Rubbed a baby tiger's belly.
  • Touched a baby lion's paw.
  • Fed carrots to an elephant.
  • Had lunch next to the lions.

Pretty amazing experience in my books. That probably maxed out all my "contact with animals" credit for the rest of the year. I have an inexplicable fear of all living things.


Friday, June 27, 2008

A non-apology apology.

Lloyd asked if I was mad at him because I ignored him throughout the entire meeting. He apologized if he had offended me.

I wonder if he's just dense or he's pretending nothing happened.

I'm pretty ok now and I have stopped staring death rays at him. I have stopped ignoring his emails because it's unfair to my team mates who have to follow up with the work Lloyd and I do. But it seems strange to me that someone would apologise for something he doesn't know about. I don't even need an apology from him, since it's just something you move on from.

Would you accept an apology from someone who doesn't know what he did wrong?

A non-apology apology.


Link:
Non-apology apology - Wikipedia




Thursday, June 26, 2008

I want J here.

It has been 10 days since J went back to work and it feels not right because he's not here with me.

My clinginess has just gone through the roof. End of pointless update.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lloyd (from Dumb and Dumber) at work.

I am mentally shut off from work.

A client representative of my client whom I regarded as a friend, let's name him Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, passed an insulting remark at work when I refused to bypass SOPs and policies to 'do him a favour'.

-- Classic dumbery.


[He's not even Harry. At least Harry was good natured and had a dog car, which was hilarious. Lloyd got Harry with a huge bottle of Turbo Lax. So much for best friends.]




After much grovelling and slowly realising that I wasn't about to budge, the insults came. Apparently I was 'playing games with him' and 'if I wanted to do everything by the book, so could he'.

I am still very offended by the remark. I helped him in the past on paperwork, technical analysis and providing recommendations when it was his job because he is the consultant. I helped him out of goodwill. And when I stood my ground and refused to 'do him another favour', the remarks came flying. I feel mocked.

Lloyd called again on Monday, this time asking if I would 'do him a favour' if he writes me a compliment letter in return. I felt so insulted and he just humiliated himself. I'm not a dog who would do tricks for a reward. That is not the point of why I rejected his request in the first place! What is the point of having standard operating procedures in the first place if no one is going to follow them?




I am not sure if I am behaving like a child, but seeing his name in my inbox incenses me. I have since diverted non-important work calls and emails from Lloyd to other team mates. Unless it's absolutely critical, I simply refuse to have anything to do with him.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

The agony of last minute bookings.

We (read: J) actually planned on either staying in one of those little hotels with cottages around its compound as rooms, or roughing it out in some crappy dingy little 'hotel'. He was actually thinking of just booking a room for a night, and then search for those 'rustic' little hotels without websites when we got there.

[I'm suspicious about the adjective 'rustic'. I was in disbelief.]

Since he was at sea and had no access to internet, I had to do research, book flights and hotel and find out what I want to do in Bali. He has been there way too many times and he is happy to go wherever I want, so it was really up to me. Thank gawd it was up to me.

-- J actually wanted Poppies Cottages but it was fully booked.


The trip was confirmed only 2 weeks before we were set to go so I was frantically searching around for flights online. I looked at budget airlines first because my budget for fixed costs was targetted to not exceed $1500 in total. Rough times, my friends.

Guess what? (All the quoted prices are for 2 passengers.)
  • Tiger Airlines - $600++ but had no seats on the return sector
  • JetStar Asia - $1200++

I am not going to spend $1200 on flights that don't serve me food or expect me to pay for every piece of checked baggage. WTF?!

But since we were dead set on going away for a week, I called up a few travel agencies recommended to me and tried Zuji.com and a new site Pricebreaker.com. The sympathetic lady at one of the travel agencies told me that my best option was to book on Singapore Airlines' website so she wouldn't have to charge me $60 service fee because she was going to book there anyway.

Singapore Airlines - $1200++

I groaned about the price, because $1200++ for a 2.5 hours flight is just not what I had budgeted for. Then at the very last minute, Pricebreaker.com came to the rescue. The lady said I could get myself on Garuda Airlines and it would be about $900 for 2 inclusive of taxes.

F*cking fuel surcharge will cripple us.

-- read all about it here.

I was not ecstatic. Yes Garuda is cheap and I'm saving $300 but it also has a spotty aviation reputation. Singapore Airlines is comfy and you get your own tv in your seat. And both these full-service airlines serve food and don't charge you for luggage every passenger (in my opinion, entitled) checks in. I settled for Garuda and hoped my flights would land safely.

-- I don't think bursting into a fire ball counts as a safe landing.


I scoured all over TripAdvisor and Google Images for pictures of hotel rooms and facilities. I am really picky about where I stay. I'm spoilt rotten because ever since I was little "Family Funded Trips" meant awesome hotels. Like Wynn and cozy ryokans in Japan with onsen (hot spring). But now that I'm paying for my own holidays, I can't afford flashy hotels for a week. The least I can do is to get myself into an ok hotel with a clean room with ensuite, air conditioning and tv.

That's not a lot to expect, right?

I don't trust official hotel websites. The rooms and facilities always look incredible but it may not be the case when you get there. The photos were probably taken when the hotel just opened and after 10 years of opening and millions of tourists sleeping on their beds, the ick factor is VERY HIGH.

Anyhoo we ran out of options by the time I decided on a hotel. It was full and my friend Ari, a native of Bali who is now happily settled in Broome, recommended us Alamkulkul. I booked a room for 1 week and it came with complimentary breakfast for 2 for the duration of our stay on HotelClub.net.

[HotelClub.net was one of those online 'last minute hotel booking' websites I saw on a bus. A friggin bus.

I was pretty skeptical when I entered my credit card details. I mean, f*ck, this could be a totally bogus website and I might end up in Bali with a 'booking' the hotel won't honour. I was the one who booked the flights and hotel and can you imagine the horror if both bookings were not honoured? J would probably not talk to me for a pretty long time if I got conned by stupid online travel websites.]

.
.
.

-- Open concept guest area with fish and greens!

It was actually not bad!

Next time, J wants to stay in a losmen. It's a small guest house, cold water only and bring your own sheets.

Absolutely mortifying.



Links:

Poppies Cottages - Official website
Tripadvisor.com - Official website
Zuji - Official website
Pricebreaker - Official website
Tiger Airways and their charges - Official website


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sex and the City and the KFC smuggler.

It was 7.40am and I was munching on my overnight chicken wrap from KFC. It was meant to be dinner in the cinema while I watched Sex and the City but I decided to just survive on mash instead because I am too clumsy to eat anything in the dark.

-- I want my own Fab Four!


[I figure throwing out a perfectly good $5 overnight chicken wrap from KFC is an absolutely crime. I'm one of those people who packs unfinished food home in restaurant. It's perfectly edible, no?]

Yes. I smuggled KFC for 2 into the cinema for Sex and the City. J's face was mixed with incredulity and maybe a wee bit of awe. Guess I win hands down in the shopping category and I do not foresee any argument on "why I need another bag" for some time.

"Why do I need a new bag you ask? To smuggle food into the cinemas silly!"

And probably in the yet to be defeated "Best thing my girlfriend has done for me" category. I smuggled KFC for 2 into the cinema. For him. He got KFC mash, Zinger burger and Coke while sitting through 2.5 hours of cheesy chick flick instead of crappy Twisties and popcorn like everyone else. I think I deserve the win.

Verdict on the movie?
Sex and the City - Quite good, a bit of a guilty pleasure. Could do with a wee bit of editing because 2.5 hours is just too long for a romantic comedy.


-- mmmmmmmmmmm...

I felt all tingly with girly excitement after looking at all the pretty clothes, bags and shoes on the girls. I guess in your 20s, life is about labels and love if you can afford it. Like my pre-rent days. I still remember my aim of saving enough to afford a Chanel bag, and I wonder if I should 'divert' my savings from "My First Home" to "My First Chanel Bag". J won't be pleased, nor surprised to hear of this.



Don't think it'll fit KFC for 2. Maybe a very well-wrapped burrito will fit.

If I can't get a Chanel Bag, maybe a pearl necklace/DVF wrapdress/cocktail dress will do.



Sigh... I miss shopping.


[I'm starting to get shallow again.]


Links:
Sex and the City - Official movie website
Chanel - Official website
Diane von Furstenburg - Official website



My neighbour's flat smelled funky and our routine.

It's the 5th day since I got back from Bali and I must say I'm still pretty chill on the personal life side of things. Go to work, lunch, movies, friends. Rinse and repeat.

Sweet.

Can't say the same for work since I just worked 3 hours of overtime today.

There is a huge inertia on the writing front after the vacation. Perhaps it is the lack of internet access (I didn't bring my computer, unlike J. And I wasn't about to pay for crappy wifi.) for an entire week, so the whole process of typing a draft, editing and looking for pictures and links is just tooooooo labourious at the minute.


I am lazy. I know.


Then again I didn't spend a lot of time at home or online since I got home. Mostly because I wasn't left with many options.

I walked out of the lift the day I arrived home, a foul smelling odour hit me like a brick. It was either a terrible fart left by someone who just let it go outside the lift, or someone had mixed rotten eggs into the concrete walls. It lingered.



I held my breath and ran to my door, probably going blue in the face while I unlocked all the 13 locks on my 2 doors. While I ran past the other flats, I saw one of the neighbours had monks in their living room, chanting. And the smell came from their flat. I thought it's not that strange to have monks in the flat, maybe they just got spiritual or they were having religious ceremonies.

I couldn't stand sitting in the living room since the friggin evening breeze brought the 'scent' into my flat. I locked all my 16 locks, and retreated back into my room with the air-conditioning, and lighted essential oils to mask the putrid horror. J and I watched that Narnia Prince Caspian movie on DVD, and pretty much stayed in our impenetrable room.

[Yes the movie is currently showing in the theatres and not on DVD. You may jump to any conclusion now.]

I think the monks stayed for 2 days at my neighbour's flat because the smell went away on Tuesday. Thank gawd. I wonder if it's the holy oil/whatever it is they sprinkle in the flat that smells funky, or was it just the monk soap/clothes. Yikes. Guess I'll be getting kungfu kicks if they found out about my speculation on that source of stench smell.



For the next 2 days, J picked me up after work and we went to the movies 2 days in a row to escape the stench.

J has gone back to work and we are more or less settled in our living arrangement. He goes to work and comes back at the end of his swing, which makes it every 3 weeks. I will go to work like clockwork although I must say I pretty much suck at punctuality.

I'll make use of my time to meet friends, visit family, write stuff here and read my girly fashion magazines. I clean the flat. When J comes back, we'll switch back to couple-y things like him doing the laundry and cooking dinner while I glide around the house checking Facebook or putting down my order for dinner.

We are very happy. I guess this is pretty much us. =)

How has your life been for the past week?



Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm off to Bali.

Hello people,

I'm at the airport, and flying off to sunny (hopefully) Bali in about 1 hour's time. See you in a week!

love,
Rach xoxo

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Indecisiveness - Why government sucks.

Case study #816349: Why government sucks


(Some time on Wednesday)
  • Decided NOT to sell subsidised fuel to foreigners.

  • Decided NOT to sell any fuel to foreigners 50km of the border.

  • Decided to brand the working class 'whiners and betrayers' because businesses along the border rely on overseas visitors. It is only 'patriotic' to NOT sell fuel to foreign cars because you are saving the country money.

[With more foreigners not to visiting the country thanks to the alarming crime rate, how can locals pay their own bills and buy 'subsidised' fuel? The way I see it, crime rate is going to go up, along with inflation.]

(Maybe Friday)
  • Decided to shelf plans till next working day for "further analysis on how to cut back on subsidies"

(Monday)
  • Decided to withdraw plans to NOT sell fuel to foreigners

(Tuesday)
  • Decided to sell fuel to everyone.
  • Decided to do away with subsidies altogether and decided to be a jackass and hike up petrol prices by f*#king 40%.


And you wonder why I don't register to vote? Because of a fukked up government that changes its mind like a spoilt petulant child.


Link:
Petrol price up 40.6% - link


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The story of twenty-somethings.

Young New Yorkers Make a Brand New Start of It, On the Cheap
-- Cara Buckley
Published: May 25, 2008


link


Perhaps the story of twenty-somethings resonate with everyone, because I am one of them. It is a struggle to make a living, have a life and some savings on the side in the city.

It is the story of every twenty-something who is trying to start all over the world.

Rent, utilities bills, food, transport and not to mention medical insurance and the occasional visit to the GP for the odd bout of sniffles cost money. And to people who are starting out, every bit counts.



We've moved out of the nest so all the comforts of home like air conditioning and hot cooked food at the end of the day really go out the window. Mom and Dad no longer give handouts, and with starting salary of about $2500 a month, times are hard.

We forget about the dry crisp air in our air conditioned rooms. We ration air conditioning. We turn it on when we're about to sleep and turn it off 1 hour before we get out of bed. Every bit counts.

We forget about the food on the table. We're thankful for a hot cooked meal at the end of the day. There are only that many days a week we can go to Maccas for dinners. We do homecooked meals now, and 1 pot wonders (everything goes) are out speciality. Fancy and delicious dinners at our favourite Italian/Japanese/Spanish are fast becoming birthday treats rather than a daily option.

-- Farewell, my favourite restaurants!

We forget luxuries like shopping and brand name products. We don't actually need $50 moisturisers (with luscious ingredients like rare seaweed or mushrooms to delay aging or something) anymore. We don't need fashionable clothes nor shoes nor flashy new phones with functions we hardly use nor another LV bag because "it's so cute". We only go out if we're an inch from dying of boredom at home because every trip outside of home means more cost for us.

So, it doesn't really seem so strange to have pre-game drinks. Nor is it strange to have lunch at that cafe that sells in crazy big portions so we can takeaway the other half we can't finish. Nor is it unusual to stop indulging ourselves with a Starbucks venti coffee because it is beginning to not make sense to pay for a $7 dollar coffee.

-- Farewell, my daily java fix!

I guess that just means we're growing up.


Link:
Young New Yorkers Make a Brand New Start of It, On the Cheap- article link


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Raining on the sky.

Naked - Raining On The Sky



A really old song. And I still don't really get what it means but oh well.
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