Monday, December 12, 2005

The one about new experiences...

Almost two weeks since my last post. Much has happened so guess this'll be a long post. Will spare you all the photos to keep it reasonable though!

The family and I went down to KL on the 2nd December 2005. Stayed at Jo's aunt's place in God-Forsaken Bukit Jelutong. Man, that place is far from anything! The toll charges on the NKVE alone could kill you. Still, we expertly manouveured our way around all the "must-go" places and got most of the "must-buy" things. The evening we got there (Friday) we met up with Sue Khoon & Yan who were also there for the weekend. We had planned to pay "Cilantro" a visit to savour its famed cuisine. So we left Ethan nicely tucked in bed and headed off into culinary mainstream.

Its simply amazing how a place named after a cheap herb can be that expensive. The place came with a raving reputation and after emptying nearly half my bank account (yes, I exaggerate), I must say it was well worth it. Now, first and foremost, let me say that I'm not an expert on gourmet foods. In fact I probably can't tell good Char Koay Teow from bad Char Koay Teow (they're all basically good in Penang anyway!). However, that meal that night - was the best meal I have ever had. No kidding. The fusion of flavours were nothing short of spectacular. Every bite was like a burst of surprise. Sublime, simply sublime. The ambience of the place was sadly not in concert with its high quality food. Tucked away in a corner of the mid-range MiCasa Hotel in an unassuming neighbourhood, one can be forgiven if one clutched on to one's handbag tighter as one makes one's way to the restaurant. Seating was acceptable but we had the unfortunate displeasure of being seated opposite a couple of those rather loud and snooty KL aristocrat wannabes. From their unnecessarily audible "muah muah" kisses to their pre-meditated phone calls about where their next holiday would be, they simply irritated everyone within a six-kilometer radius.

We survived the experience which was harrowing to say the least not alleviated by the arrival of local model Carmen Soo at our neighbour's table. Desert proved as good as the meal and we stuffed ourselves silly before continuing our night along the pavements of Bintang Walk.

The next day, we found out the hard way why its never wise to go shopping at a phenomenally large place like KLCC with a toddler. Ethan was a handful and we had to run after him as he tried in vain to stamp his mark on the corridors of the mall. Still most of the shopping was for the little fellow although Jo did get to pick up a few sought after things. Dinner that night was courtesy of Jo's sister Abby and her boyfriend Warren - two members of the soon-to-be famous independent pop group "Ferns". Think their first album is due out soon! I'm serious!

Somewhere in there, we visited The Curve, Ikea & the Ikano Power Center and 1-Utama as well. We left KL Sunday sometime before 3pm and arrived safely at 7.30pm. No unusual happenings there and I must say Ethan was reasonably well behaved throughout the trip.

After our KL trip, I had hope for a quiet week to kinda revitalise but it wasn't to be. The Penang Bar Treasure Hunt had to be organised, an IT Talk on "The Role of the IT Lawyer" was planned and of course plans for Christmas was to go ahead.

Christmas this year will be in Singapore for Ethan, Jo & myself. The trip alone would cost us and arm and a leg as we decided to fly direct in to Changi. The bus trip from Senai (Air Asia's destination) thru the causeway would be far too tiring for the little fellow.

Friday 9th December - the eve of my cousin Priscilla's wedding. The family is out in force for Priscilla's wedding on Saturday. That night though, its dinner at the Penang Swimming Club. Was good to meet up with the cousins whom we seldom see. Much banter and laughter ensued. The next day, the wedding proceeded without any major hitches. The church ceremony was simple and Jo and I were the sponsors.

Dinner that night was kinda fun. Small gathering of family members and again the chance to touch bases with those we hardly have the chance to see. It was especially poignant for mum as she rarely gets the opportunity to be with her siblings. Mum has a medical procedure at the GH coming up tomorrow (Monday 12th December) and I pray all will be well.

So, as Christmas creeps up on us, the scurrying to buy presents and the feeling of urgency sets in at work, all contribute to that "year-end" reminiscing and reflecting season. So far its been a hectic and eventful year but there's a good three weeks left on 2005. All I want is to make the best of it.

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