Sunday, April 27, 2014

Teppanyaki & Robatayaki lunch at Mikuni, Fairmont Singapore

,

We went for lunch at Mikuni which is located at Fairmont Singapore. It is one of my favourite Japanese restaurant in Singapore. We seldom dine there cos it's quite expensive. Though Le hubby has the Amex Platinum card which gives us 50% off when we dine there together, a set lunch for two person will stilll set us back over $100 even after the discount. 


( ≧Д≦) During our pak-tor days we can go out as often as we like and splurge on food.. now after getting married we have to be more practical and save the money on other stuff.... like holidays! Ok ok, more practical stuff like our future home or future baby. 


There wasn't anyone at the Robatayaki counter when we visited.. so it's like we booked the whole little room to ourselves. Very quiet & private. The japanese waiter serving us actually remembered us from our last visit! It's super amazing cos the last time we came was in August last year!! 

You can choose from two different lunch set menus. See here for the menu. We usually order one from each menu so we can share. Also there's some stuff (sashimi, etc) I don't eat so Le hubby can eat those. Heh heh! I am so blessed that he is a super non-fussy eater! 

 
 Starters! Chawanmushi, salad & crackers.

 I love the Hokkaido butter scallop & the cod fish!
\(^▽^)/

 The golden prawns, corn, chicken & beef skewers are all good! 

 This is some weird prawn in seaweed thingy.. 
Le hubby likes it. I find it too slimy.

 Miso soup & garlic fried rice!

 The Unagi roll is not included in the menu, but Le hubby always orders it cos it's super yums.

 I don't like this noodle dish.. too fishy for me.

The best dish is the beef!! WOOOO!!
O(≧∇≦)O

 Dessert! Somethings it's ice-cream.. but I love the pudding the most!
ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ

 Super smooth and yummy!!!

 Chocolates to end the meal! :)

 Two happy & satisfied diners!
(´⌣`ʃƪ)(´⌣`ʃƪ)

 This lobster was sitting right in front of us on top of the ice.

Le hubby kept staring at the lobster and he felt so sorry for it cos it's alive.. it's just sitting there helplessly waiting to be someone else's meal.... I had to kept telling him to stop staring at the lobster cos it's just so weird! But luckily lobster meat is not in the menu or he'll be very sad. 

I wanna go to Japan for Japanese food! We are planning for a trip to Japan the end of next month with my sister when she flies back from Los Angeles and transit in Tokyo. One more month to go! Yay!! I've not seen her since January and I missed her!! 
Read more →

Friday, April 25, 2014

Le Hubby's "Staycation" at Mt Elizabeth Novena

,

Last weekend Le hubby had a fever and he tried to sleep it off.. however on Monday, his fever still did not go away and it's already the 3rd day! Moreover he kept having very bad hiccups until he couldn't sleep and was feeling nauseous the entire night.. so I insisted in bringing him to the hospital for a check-up and to keep him under observation for a day.


He checked-in just in time for lunch so they brought him porridge and a big jug of ice because they are trying to bring down his temperature. His fever only subsided on Tuesday night! They had to kept feeding him ice water and putting ice packs on him to try to bring his temperature down. It's was hovering around 39 to 40 degrees celcius!


Since he is covered by his insurance company, we went to Mt Elizabeth Novena. There were no queues at the A&E clinic and we managed to settle the paperwork get him warded within the hour. 

After going through the A&E process at Changi General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital & KK Hospital.. I swore never to go back to a government hospital ever again. Even if I am in an accident and need to be sent to the hospital and the nearest one is a government hospital, I will insist they drive a bit faster & further to the nearest private hospital... provided I am still lucid and can talk. If not, I will insist in a transfer as soon as my condition is stable. 

The service is really heaven vs hell! Not to mention the waiting times.. I waited 4hours to see a doctor for my stomach flu at Tan Tock Seng and they asked me to lie down on a bed and I was pushed to this huge observation ward where there are dozens of other patients (like a war camp!) and they put on drip for 3hours before sending me home with only 1 day MC. I was vomiting like crazy and they treated me as a wannabe case and just pushed me aside like they had better things to do. Though my intestines are not falling out of me nor do I have a big knife wound.. at least show some compassion and concern right! Nooooooo.... you just gotta wait like an idiot for a young trainee doctor to see you and put you on drip then go and pay money and go home. 


Mt Elizabeth Novena has super efficient staff, posh & upscale furnishings, brand new equipment. All the rooms are single bedded so you can have peace & quiet!

I stayed in a B2 ward in Changi Hospital before and I had to put up with inconsiderate noisy visitors, coughing fits, long wait time for the toilet.. Urgh. Le hubby & I accompanied Nathaniel there to the A&E department at 3am in the morning when he had a high fever and though there were not many patients around, we still had to wait for 2.5hours! For what!??!

At Tan Tock Seng they only limit each patient to have 4 visitors each time and there's strict visiting hours. It is also super crowded and noisy there!

Mt Elizabeth Novena has no limit on visitors or visiting hours.. and even so the crowd is so much lesser & quieter than TTSH or CGH!

Looks like a 5 star hotel lobby right?

The thing I hate most about hospitals is the smell. There's this "hospital smell" of sickness mixed with antiseptic, despair and medicine. The moment you step into a hospital you will feel different because there's the smell. 

That's why I love Mt Elizabeth Novena so much because there's no hospital smell! In fact, there's this wonderful smell that smells so good! From the basement carpark to the lobby to the lifts... everywhere has this very relaxing & wonderful smell similar to Katong Mall or Paragon!

I love the toilet & the rain shower! 〜(^∇^〜)

So.. it's really important that you have good health insurance coverage so you can stay at the better hospital when you need to. You can have a relaxing and peaceful stay and don't need to worry about the hospital bills. The food is really good too! ^_^

I have quite a comprehensive insurance plan which costs me a few thousand dollars each year but it's worth the money because I don't have to worry about hospital bills. If I have any major illness next time, I am also covered. My hospital bills last year were almost $30000 and I didn't pay a single cent from my pocket! 100% covered by my insurance. So I guess it's "worth it" and the next few years will be considered free because I gained so much from my plan already.

Luckily Le hubby also has good insurance coverage. In fact, he actually receives money (hospital income) from his insurance company if he stays in the hospital! $100 a day! Why my insurance plan don't have hospital income one! I stayed for almost 2 weeks last year leh!!! Not fair! *pouts*

Anyway, 1 day became 5 days and he was only discharged on Friday morning.

 

I stayed in the hospital with him every night. I drove home on the 1st night to pack my clothes and drove back to the hospital. I slept at the sofa in his ward and the nurses brought me pillows and blankets. The first two days I took MC and stayed at the hospital with him the entire day cos I was sick too. I had a very bad cough and flu since last week and since he is hospitalized I decided to take 2 days off to rest. On Wednesday and Thursday I went to work from Novena MRT and went back to the hospital after work.

 Complimentary mini bar! (“⌒∇⌒”)

All the items in the fridge are free but any refills is chargeable. The annoying part was, I wasn't told that the items were free! It's not stated on the card as well! During my previous stays we did not touch the mini bar at all cos the items are not cheap! We didn't know the price is already included in the ward charges! Stupid check-in staff conveniently forget to tell me. All 3 of them for the 3 separate stays! Even the staff that served me on Monday also did not tell me until I asked! I think this is a conspiracy by the hospital to save money and charge more.. So remember to double check your entitlement!

I also had to ask for the complimentary parking coupon! Parking is free for 3 days if you stay in Ward 12. I did not know about the free parking or the mini bar until I surfed their website and saw that they are included in the ward charges.

 Happy boy with his spaghetti dinner (๑>◡<๑)

So glad that he is discharged! I think I worry more for him than he worries for me when I fall sick.. I don't like the feeling of helplessness when I see him sick. I guess it's just my duty as a wife.. and usually women tend to worry more and fuss over their husbands than the other way around. I will want to stay in the hospital and meet all his doctors to find out what's wrong with him and be near him so I can help him or make him more comfortable by doing things for him and want to stay overnight at the hospital with him so in case there's any emergency at night I am just beside him. Though it's not a major illness or accident, I still worry a lot for him.

God please bless Brendan and keep him healthy! Amen!
Read more →

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Different stages of my life

,
I have an overactive imagination and restless mind.. well, that's what Le Hubby tells me.

He always asks me to write short stories or create a fictional universe and write books about it... But it takes up too much time & effort. It's already so hard to blog about stuff when I have a full time job.

I also like to ask myself stupid random questions. I also like to think about the answers and argue the pros & cons in my head. Sometimes I stare into space and have full conversations in my head (which may make me appear to look a bit crazy because my facial expressions will change according to what's going on in my head).

Sometimes I will ask Le Hubby some of those random questions and hear what he has to say. For example:"Which is worse - pregnant teenage daughter OR teenage son who made a girl pregnant?". 

Then we will discuss about our views and see if we are at a common understanding on certain issues. We usually do it in the car while he's driving. Come to think about it, most of our lengthy conversations are held in his car! He is driving so he cannot be distracted by other stuff (like phone, computer, etc), and I am just sitting there so I can shoot questions at him and discuss about my random questions. Hahahahahhaa!

Today while walking to work, a question suddenly popped up in my brain:
"Have you ever thought about categorizing and viewing a person's life into different stages?".

I asked Le hubby the same question when he came to pick me up from work.. And without a pause he said: "Forever alone and now..  forever with you".

So sweet hor? (ɔˆ ³(ˆ⌣ˆc)

For me, my first thought was:
Baby, child, teenager, young adult, working adult, senior.. then you die.

Then I thought about other ways to categorize the stages of a person's life and I came up with:
Single, Attached, Married, Divorced/Widowed".

To me, the word "Divorce" simply doesn't exist in my dictionary. It's just gonna be "death till us part" which means you transit from Married to Widowed or Married to Dead, depending on who dies first.

What's the point of getting married and making a vow to commit your life to a person in front of so many witnesses (your friends & family), not to mention spending so much time, effort & money to hold a 1 day (or for our case, 2 days) wedding, then go through the messy & painful journey to severe the relationship?

There's a very good website that explains how marriage is a covenant and not a contract. An excerpt from the website:

Contracts are based on protection and mistrust. They allow the parties involved to look for loop holes and exist clauses, and are centered on your rights and protection. A covenant refers to two or more parties bound together. (....) a bond between two parties carries with it the concept of “cleaving,” or sticking together like Super Glue!
Differences between a contract & a covenant:
Contract: What do I get?
Covenant: What can I give?
Contract: I’ll meet you halfway.
Covenant: I’ll give you 100% plus.
Contract: I have to
Covenant: I want to
A covenant marriage is intended by God to be a lifelong relationship exemplifying unconditional love, reconciliation, sexual purity, and growth. A covenant is an eternal commitment with God. People can negotiate out of contracts, but not out of a covenant. The heart of covenant marriage is “the steadfast love of the Lord,” which comes from the very heart of God and “never ceases” (Lam. 3:22, RSV).
************************
Well, no matter what.. shit happens sometimes right? Your spouse cheats on you, your spouse abuse you, your spouse changed into a evil person that you don't know anymore and the only way out of your misery is to end the marriage.

Sounds simple in theory right?

Putting aside the Christian faith and breaking your vows.. It is simple if you don't have children.. cos it's straightforward. Sign the papers, divide your stuff, fight over who gets to keep the sofa or the dog, and get out of each other's lives.

But what if you have children? The psychological impact of a divorce on a child, especially a ugly divorce, is just... bad. As a child of parents who went through an ugly divorce, plus being manipulated by both parents in their stupid divorce game and in the end left high & dry, I understand fully the pain & drama.

I hold my wedding vows very solemnly and I expect the same from Le Hubby. My parents had a failed marriage and I've also seen many failed marriages so I am very determined to make mine work. This world is full of decaying morals and broken promises.

I believe strongly in the phrase "death till us part" because that's the only valid reason my husband can have for leaving me. I can't control or dictate when he is going to die (or when I am going to die) because that is in God's hands. But the rest is in our hands. We have to work together to make our marriage work because it is a partnership. A commitment and a solemn vow that both of us made together.

Also, I will not be swept up in the trend that marriage is just an act of signing a piece of paper. Especially in Singapore where so many people get married for the sake of applying for a HDB flat! A lot of couples I know didn't even think of getting married if it is not mandatory by law to have a marriage certificate before they can get the keys to their HDB flat!

Seriously.. is that what marriage is about nowadays? ヽ(●゚´Д`゚●)ノ゚

Instead of "I want to marry you because I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, and only you", it's "Let's spend $10 to apply for a flat ok! When we get successfully get the allotment for the HDB flat then we get married ok?".

So the prerequisite now for a marriage is the HDB confirmation letter that you have successfully balloted for a flat? Do you want the reason of your marriage to be based on that? "Oh, I married your father because I needed his name to apply to buy a HDB flat and without the marriage certificate we cannot collect the keys."

Well, Le hubby and I have tried 4 times to apply for a HDB flat through the BTO process but failed.. I blame it on him because he voted for the opposition party instead of PAP during the elections.. Hahahaha! But in any case, I trust that God has a better plan for us and maybe a better option will come up in the future. Buying a house is not like buying a dress.. we can't exchange it or send it for a refund. But despite not having a flat, we still proceeded with the wedding because our reason for getting married is not because of the house.

When I had to look for a new place to stay after being evicted, the rental prices were sky high. I ended up renting a room at Recreation Lane for $1500 a month which was bleeding me dry. It was the only place I could find which allows me to bring Chloe along and though I could get a cheaper room for $800 elsewhere, I refused to give up my dog. Le hubby offered to pay for half my rental or even move in with him, but I refused because I didn't want our relationship to be based on other factors. I don't want him or his parents or anyone else to think that I am with him because I want to make use of him. I want to be with him because I love him and he's the one for me.

So I stayed at that place for 17 months and struggled really hard to make ends meet because honestly I don't earn a lot of money, I don't have parents or family to rely on, I don't have any savings and I had to come up with money for the wedding in a short period of time. Luckily I had my night shift allowance which gave me enough money to pay my rent, and I lost enough weight to fit into my gowns because I had so little sleep & so much stress at work. Though my health suffered and I was hospitalized, I got 2 months of paid hospitalization leave to settle into my new home and also have time to accompany Mama Chew to the market so we can have bonding time and I can learn how to manage a family so I can manage my own next time. During the time I always ask God why is my life so difficult and why can't I have a normal family life like many other people... but through the bitterness & the pain, I've learnt to appreciate the sweet.

I am so happy staying with Le hubby and his family now. Though I still want our own place someday so I can play homemaker and do "wifey stuff". It's been years since I lived in a proper home and his family is awesome! Simple things that Le hubby & his sisters take for granted sometimes are so precious to me. Things like having dinner at home with his parents everyday, no need to pay expensive rental fee every month, no need to buy groceries or daily essentials like toilet paper/detergent, no need to wash or iron my clothes cos they have a domestic helper, no need to do housework. I give Mama Chew a small allowance (same amount as Le Hubby) every month to chip in for utilities and groceries though she doesn't expect everything from me. His parents are not calculative and treats me really well. #solucky #Godlovesme

Mama Chew keeps her children's money & jewelry and even use their savings to invest to grow. I call Le hubby's savings account that Mama keep for him as his "Mama Chew bank account", while Mama Chew calls it his "娶老婆帐户", which literally translates to "marry a wife fund". When we needed money to pay for our wedding last year, we used up all our savings and that still wasn't enough cos it was a huge sum.

Luckily Le hubby had his "marry a wife fund" cos almost 1/4 of the money we needed came from that account! Both of us shared the expenses for the wedding. He bought the wedding bands and the engagement ring which was already five figure sum. I paid for my wedding gowns, shoes & makeup artist. The rest we split almost 50/50 from our joint account where we dumped our savings in so it's easier to make payments to the vendors and keep track from a single account.

His parents very kindly offered to help us pay for some of the wedding expenses cos initially we planned to ROM first then save up before we do the dinner banquet (which is so expensive, I feel like crying whenever I think of the bill that we signed) but they insisted that we do everything together because even though the marriage certificate is a legal document, they are traditionalists who don't recognize a marriage until there's a wedding banquet. They also have many old fashioned friends who think the same way. Moreover Le hubby is their eldest child and only son.

In fact, though Mama Chew did not interfered with our wedding preparations, she had specific requests for the venue of our dinner banquet:

  1. Cannot be in Sentosa because it is very inaccessible for the older folks
  2. Must be beside or near an MRT Station for guests who don't drive
  3. Must be a 5 star hotel, cannot be country club or Chinese restaurant
  4. The food must be good

Considering I only had 5 months to look and confirm the venue, I think I did well with my choice to have it at Grand Hyatt Singapore because it meets all her requirements. My other choices were Capella Singapore (cannot because it's in Sentosa!), Fullerton Hotel (fully booked), St Regis (crazy expensive!) or Mandarin Oriental (weird ballroom shape).

Le hubby & I decided to pay for everything ourselves even though we have to empty our bank accounts (hope to earn the money back soon!) cos it's not fair to make his parents fork out money for our wedding. So we compromised on having only 26 tables for our wedding dinner instead of the initial forecasted 40 to 50 tables.

My dad didn't even give me anything for my wedding. No words of blessings, no angbao, no jewelry, nothing.  His wife (not my mother) said that he don't have to give me anything because he is my father. Well, I don't expect anything from him or my mother because I've been living alone without their assistance or love or concern for the past 8 years.. but honestly? Empty handed? You don't even go to your friend's wedding empty handed.. let alone your own daughter right? It's not like he's poor. He's a freaking millionaire with so many businesses! Will it kill him to buy me a $100 gold bracelet as a memento?

Even my mum's brother went to borrow money to buy me a gold bracelet! I was horrified when my Emama told me because I am not close to him and he is not well-to-do at all! But it goes to show what a great father I have when my uncle, whom I only see less than 5 times in my entire life, went to buy me a gold bracelet so he can give it to me during the tea ceremony.

Personally I think my dad considers it a big gift & giving me lots of face when he agreed to walk me down the aisle during our church wedding.

When we decided to have a church wedding, I called him and met up with him to ask nicely in person if he can walk me down the aisle, which I think most fathers will be happy to do it right? His outright answer was "Why must I? Can I don't do it?".

(メ`д´)┫WAH LAO EH!! 

I was so pissed off that I kept silent for a while. I've never asked him for anything in the past 8 years of my life and all I want is him to spend 5 mins to hold my hand to give me over to my husband in church and he gave me such a stupid & callous answer. I told him "No you can't. I only have one father and I cannot find a replacement. It must be you." and he was still unwilling to do it until I said "Forget it.. I'll just walk down alone myself". He was surprised by what I said, then horrified when I said "People will think my father is dead because that's the only reason why the bride walks down the aisle alone.". His superstitious side got the better of him and I think he would rather put up with walking me down the aisle then want people to think that he is dead or something. Cut story short, he walked me down the aisle and considered it my wedding gift. He asked for 1 table during our wedding banquet and requested to sit far away in the corner. He did not come on stage during the toast, he did not say anything to me, and Le hubby remembered him asking for the complimentary parking coupon before walking away. Wow. Thanks Dad!

My mother better than my dad.. at least she bought me a gold bracelet (she even send me pictures of a few designs to let me choose) to give me during the tea ceremony (which my dad refused to attend) and she was supportive & participated actively in the wedding ceremony. She came to my house in the morning during the gatecrash, sat with my dad & his wife at church on the same row without causing a scene, and behaved like the perfect mother during the wedding dinner banquet. Well, there were some issues that I was unhappy with her about, but compared to my dad she was great.

Anyway, the wedding drama is over and they are both out of my life again. I am happy and hope it stays that way because they are so toxic to be around. God gave me really wonderful parents-in-law to compensate for the shitty parents I have.

So.. how do you categorize the stages of your life?
Read more →

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Himmafushi Island tour [Our Honeymoon in Maldives, Part 4/4]

,
Final blog entry on our honeymoon!

We went to Maldives for 6 days 5 nights last October and had lots of fun there!

Initially I wanted to go for an extended honeymoon (4 weeks!) but I did not have enough annual leave last year so we had to settle for somewhere nearby with a shorter flying time. Maldives is only 4hours away by flight and it is one of my dream honeymoon destination.

As fate would have it, I was hospitalized a week before our wedding, and had to go back for 2 more hospital stays afterwards cos the doctor had to let me out to get married before I have to go back again since we can't postpone the wedding. I ended up with hospitalization leave all the way till December! That's plenty of time to go anywhere we wanted for a honeymoon! No need to take leave! But.... we decided to stick to our original plan to go to Maldives because the tickets & hotels were booked long ago and we can't change it. I wanted to have a part 2 honeymoon, but after calculating our expenses and seeing how much we spent for our wedding..... I had to give up that idea.

Le sigh. (ᗒᗣᗕ)՞

On the second last day of our honeymoon, we went to the nearby Himmafushi Island for a half day island tour. Initially I thought we were going to Male City for the tour and was surprised when we ended up at Himmafushi which was sorta ulu and deserted. Oh wells.

Covered my arms with my shawl because of the sun!
Triple layer of sunblock on my face + big sunglasses.

Le hubby couldn't sit up front with me cos there were an uneven number of passengers and we had to spread out for weigh-balancing. He came to the front when we were reaching the island.


First glimpse of the island! Where are all the people?!

The very empty "main street"

 The most prominent is the Mango Shop! It's like the 7-11 on the island because there's a few of them around! Why open so many branch when there's no tourists? The only tourists on the island that day were the 6 of us from Gili Lankanfushi. Two of us, an Australia couple & a Japanese couple.

I spotted some signs written in Mandarin and was literally LOL.

It says "China citizens are good, please buy our stuff!".

Even a small island like Himmafushi has Mandarin signs.. 
China is overtaking over the world. ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ

I saw these along the streets and was wondering what are they for..

It is actually used as hammocks! I thought they are fishing nets!

We visited the local hospital. The nurse sitting at the reception was happily lazing in the hammock (see previous picture) until we stepped in and she bobian need to go and sit at the counter. Hahahahahaha!

Charges for foreigners!

Reminds me of makeshift hospitals during wartimes in the movies.

Our guide is our Ms Friday! Momoko-san! 
She showed us a half finished boat which was left out to rot cos the builders ran out of money.

Advertisement for the Mango Shop on a deserted warehouse

The island look really deserted & run-down.

Comparing it with the many 5 star resorts nearby.. it's really heaven and earth. I asked our guide where are all the residents and she said most of them are working in the resorts and they seldom come back to their house cos the resorts offer lodging and food.. so people who stay on the island are usually really young or old.

We visited a local school! 

Questions on the whiteboard

Drug rehabilitation centre

Apparently there's many youngsters who take drugs because they feel bored and drugs are cheap & easily obtainable. Well, seeing there's no entertainment on the island and nowhere they can go.. I can sort of understand why. There's also a prison on the island somewhere... the more our guide shared with us, the more I am worried about the security of the place because I don't see any policeman!

Oh wait.. there is a police station! But it's closed.. -___-

Le hubby is too tall to fit into the door. Hahahahah!

Local minimart! So pink! ^_^

We didn't buy anything from the souvenir shops except for a wooden bowl from this guy called Ali. He is the only non-pushy and non-dodgy guy we saw on the island and we sorta pity him cos his shop looks really run down and he's seems like a friendly guy. We paid USD7 for the wooden bowl with dolphin carvings. The price tag says USD10 but he gave us a discount cos "I am Ali and you are my friend". Yes he said that many times. Hahahahaha!

After spending 4hours on the island, we left and went back to the villa to chillax and order room service.

Left the next day with a heavy heart to fly back to Singapore because I know I will not go back again. Both of us decided that it's not worth the money to go to Maldives because it is so ridiculously overpriced (USD150++ per person for a buffet dinner!).. and even if we do go back again one day, we will definitely want to try to stay at other resorts so we can have a different experience.

Bye bye Gili Lankanfushi!! (╯︵╰,)
Read more →