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Friday, March 30, 2018

Potluck and Melaka

Finishing off the posts... so we had a potluck for all family members who could make it.  Venue was my parents' house, and they were freaking out early after counting the number of people.  45 in total, was there enough space in the house, where to sit, what about cutlery/plates/cups, would there be enough food, should we rent a tent...  At the last minute 2 could not make it.  But that still leaves 43...

Well food was enough.  We used disposable plates and cups.  Luckily it didn't rain, which would have posed some logistics problems.  It was good too to catch up with everyone.  Our grandparents are no longer around, so a few years could go by before I meet some of my uncles/aunts and cousins.  I totally wouldn't recognise the kids if I were to meet them on the street.

Some of the food


Say cheese, everyone!


Couple of days later, we did a day trip to Melaka.

JE, 7, and Maya, 10


This was a little tiring.  It was a hot day too.  Still, we did manage to have fun.

Dog, cat, mouse, cheese and us


Our 'visitors' (who are really just 'family') have returned to Canada now.  Until the next time!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Up Batu Caves

My cousins from Canada, whom we haven't seen for a few years, were in town. With 10yo Maya so outings were planned with her in mind.  And that's how we ended up in Batu Caves. :)  I was daunted by the number of steps as my knees aren't in the best condition.  But I figured things could hardly get better, and if needed I could always wait halfway to be 'collected' on the way down.

Turned out my poor girls were worse off.  They had a particularly strenuous gymrama session the day before, and woke up with achy legs barely able to support them.  And THAT was the day we were taking them up Batu Caves mwahahaha.

We reached first while my brother was still on the way with my cousins.

Here we are at Batu Caves

A journey of a thousand steps begins with one...

Climbing climbing



I did make it haha.  It has been many years and I'd totally forgotten what lay up there.  Well the cave at the top was HUGE!  Way bigger than Sam Poh Tong (which is my benchmark just because that's my most recent cave temple!)  And of course this is a Hindu temple vs a Buddhist one at SPT.

Huge cave


It leads out to an open area with a lot of monkeys.  There were active 'temple' areas with many people praying, which we didn't venture into.

Highest point


Overall this didn't take a whole lot of time.  We could have been done in half an hour if we weren't waiting for the others to show up.  But of course hanging out with them was the main objective of our trip!

That's everyone!

A sweet treat at the end.

Ice cream reward


I'm glad we finally made it.  We always pass by Batu Caves on the way up to Genting.  So now the kids will know what this place is.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Great British Circus

Delayed post coz I was on leave.  And while I do surf the net, I don't take out my laptop and thus don't blog or look at blogs.

The evening of the sports day, we headed for the "Great British Circus".  It was small scale and in the parking lot of Aeon so I definitely set my expectations low.  Circuses aren't easy to come by these days anyway.  We were lucky to catch the buy1free1 promo - got VIP seats at half of the RM100 adults, RM70 kids price.

First up, a visit to the portable toilets.  Think the kids rather enjoyed this, as they enjoy new experiences!

Boys on the left, girls on the right


Front row seats!  That's all of us.

Ready for the circus!


The performers weren't young, some were rather fat, they all multi-tasked performing various acts/painting faces/selling popcorn etc at half time.  But some acts WERE good and most were all right.  Best thing, the kids loved it!

Big round of applause


And kept asking to go again.  No no, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin am I going to sit through another show even if it's free hehe.

We love the circus!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

SE's sports day 2018

SE's sports day again!  My main concern was to avoid what happened last year... tried to make sure she had enough food/drink.

All ready for sports


I always have a gripe about the number of students at her kindy.  JE's 'neighbourhood' kindy had fewer than 50, look at this pic... the bigger group in the foreground is SE's kindy (the small group at the back is from a sister branch).

We were there early and got front row seats.  But it was still too far to take decent pictures.

All together now


JE was there to eat seaweed... err play iPad... err eat other snacks.... I mean to support her sister.

Arhmmmm

After a long time (well had to wait until the whole horde of kids finished!), it was finally SE's turn.  She had to row herself on this wheeled thing, step through some hoops, throw some hoops...

Row row row my boat

Throw these 2 rings

SE said, so boring have to wait wait wait then only do.  Medal time and shortly after, the event was over.

Smile!

No untoward events this round.  Phew!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

RDJ - Part 2

Let's finish this off.  :)  Continuing the walkabout, next point of interest was the Cathedral.  This didn't come up during my brief online research (luckily other people did a better job) and I was wondering about this pyramid-like structure when we got there.  Weather was hot and the cooling interior was so welcome that we spent quite some time hanging around inside.

Outside

Inside

Next up, Copacabana beach!  I was impressed even coming from a land with nice beaches.  This beach was extremely long and extremely wide. The sand was fine and white.  It was like taking a very good Malaysian beach and multiplying it many times for the size.  Then there was a broad curving pavement all the way along beach, and many stalls lining the way.   Or you could just sit on the beach and vendors will come with drinks, souvenirs etc.  Many stalls had live music (my teammates had a meal at one and they all had a BRL5 charge added to each one's receipt!).  Brazilians know how to enjoy life!

Sand stretches far, far from the sea to the other end

Clean water, waves a bit high but ok

The iconic black-white curving pavement

Corn stall
(reminded me of hubby who would buy corn everywhere!)

These are alcoholic drinks called caipirinhas

I had to skip Ipanema beach for my 5pm appointment at  Christ the Redeemer (the others had gone there the previous week).  Tickets were BRL75 (about RM94) which included the train ride up.  Turned out to be an anti-climax.  The mist was so thick that visibility was near zero!  I hung around and finally the mist cleared for oh, 10 seconds.


My best shot

Hahaha.  What to do.  At least I saw SOMETHING.  Tickets for earlier sessions in the day were sold out by the time I went online.

I had a tummy-ache and came out of the toilet to find that the last train was there.  Phew... can't imagine what'd have happened if I had missed that!!

It was time to go.  Back to the hotel, later to the airport and back HOME.

I didn't have time for souvenir-hunting (stalls were just setting up at Copacabana beach), Ipanema beach or Sugarloaf Mountain.  But I am fine with that... maybe will visit again one day, maybe not. 




Friday, March 9, 2018

RDJ - Part 1

Looks like this is the first blog post about me and not the kids... might as well put the photos I took to some use!

As it happened, I did rather enjoy my trip.  It helped very much that my team mates (from the client) included me in things - in my line of work, this is an exception rather than the norm.

Lunch in a food-cum-bookshop

Food
Was generally too salty.  And there was cheese everywhere! Inside pastries, on top of meat, under other things, by itself.... One interesting concept common there was food charged by weight.  Dishes is laid out buffet-style - salads, meats, carbs, desserts, soups.  You grab a plate and take what you like, then go to the cashier where your plate will be weighed.  Of course I was calculating away...  meat, seafood or cheese would be better value than say, rice?  Some places have a different rate for dessert and sushi, some have everything at the same.

Breakfast at hotel, Asian food-by-weight, 
Arab food, pizza/chicken chop with tons of cheese

Weather
Hot and humid.  Only slightly less than Malaysia.

Language
Hardly anyone spoke English.  It was Portuguese all the way.

On weekdays it was mostly work. Evenings we would wander nearby for dinner and minor shopping.  I had one Saturday to sight-see. The others flew to Rio earlier and already had a weekend there.  Rather than walk around by myself, I elected to stick with them part of the time.  First stop, the Selaron steps. I didn't have high expectations, thinking it was just a short photo opportunity.  But it turned out way better!  First there were many, many steps all covered with colourful tiles.  The sides were tiled as well.

Me at the Escadaria Selaron

Selection of tiles, and a mailbox

Next, we climbed the stairs and it led us to a wonderful route through 'real' neighbourhoods where people live.  A little rough, but beautiful.  I loved this and snapped away.

This place is hilly

Pink guava, anyone?

Tiles seem to be common


A little rough, huh? 


To be continued...

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Back!

And I'm back!  Which is exactly what I'd been looking forward to, haha.

I happened to have completely 'skipped' my birthday, which is on 4 March.  I left Rio de Janeiro on 3 March and arrived in KL 5 March.  Oh well.

It's good to be home.


Yay for Mummy!


I returned to an empty house as JE/SE were at school and my parents' place respectively.  I unpacked, showered, had some instant noodles, unpacked some more... then I noticed this doodle board lying in the room.  Looks like I wasn't forgotten on my birthday after all.  Love my little girls (JE did this one).