Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I finally completed my mani and pedicure course!

While taking the course, I realized that how heavenly it is to be sitting on the comfortable couch waiting to be served by the nail professional. It was tough having to ensure that the nails were well-shaped, buffered and shined; and also the cuticles removed nicely. I always get a backache after each lesson from leaning forward my back towards the customers' hands or legs.

I was presented an ugly certificate. This is because my instructor's handwriting was terrible. Even my 5-years old niece can write more beautifully. If I ever have my own nail-shop, no way am I going to put up that certificate as testimonial. Anyway, opening my own shop is still a faraway dream cos there's so much more to learn..... Acrylic nail and nail art, and needs lots of practice. But at least I'm one step closer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

09 Nov: Things were getting a little out of hand for my Electronics students. One student refused to read when I asked him to cos "I don't know". Told him it's okie. Don't know then learn. Just learn slowly. Another student called him "a buffalo"...... No idea what that means but I guess it means stupid or something like that. Then that student said something angrily in Thai and left the class. Things happened so quickly and everyone was shocked including me. I felt that no point going after an angry man (or should I say teenager) and asked him to continue with my class. He needed some time to cool down. I gave the rest of the class a stern face (which was different from my usual friendly-Teacher-Yan look). After that, no one in the class dared to tell me "I don't know". The weaker ones even volunteered to read. Is it a good thing that this "bad" incident had happened? It's my turn to say I don't know..... I need to think on what to do next..... It's bothering me.

12 Nov: Had been thinking hard over the weekend. What if that student doesn't turn up for my class? I know. I'm going to give the rest of them a "heart-touching" lecture (Note: this speech will be expressed in Thai as the students most probably wouldn't understand too-difficult-English) on "Teamwork", "Cannot-say-stupid", "Cannot-laugh-at-others-when-the-English-is-incorrect", blah blah blah...... Then I'll instruct them to find that student back before they can have my class..... Together as ONE class...... Great! Seems perfect!
But things don't always turn out the way I expected them to be. Met that student on my way to class. I had to leave my pride somewhere and started a conversation with him...... I need to know if he's alright.
ME: Going for my class?
HE: No.....
ME: Why? U don't like me to teach?
HE: Yes.....
ME: (Sadly) Oh..... ok..... (I was about to say that I can help him to arrange to change class)
HE: No, no, no..... Teacher..... sorry..... I like.
ME: :-) Okie, see u in the classroom.
Phew! My "lecture" was still given to the class in Thai-lish style (i.e. in Thai and sometimes English when I don't know the word; Told them to check the dictionary when I gave them the English word). Whatever it is..... As long as they got my message. And of cos, I made myself clear that no one is to leave the class when I'm still teaching.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

07 November:
Me: Class, do this exercise as homework. Pls, no copying. Student: Teacher, we no copy. It's teamwork. I was taken aback for a while cos it's the first time the students had said such a thing. Normally, they will deny that they will copy. But feeling happy for them. Their 1.5 years of learning English in the school is not wasted. At least now they know this term "Teamwork". Me: [Laughs] Okie then. That would mean u can do more exercises. Do this piece too and hand in to me tomorrow. Hee hee hee.... I think I'm getting evil.

06 November:
Things that went NOT SO RIGHT on the first day of the new school term:

  • One classroom assigned to many different classes for the same timing. Time was wasted in sorting out with other teachers - Whoever did the plan needs more guidance on planning.
  • The tags on the classroom were taken off - How would we know which classroom is which?
  • Finally found my assigned classroom after my ex-student brought me there. But it was locked.
  • My new students were not waiting for me outside the locked classroom - Where had they gone?
  • Finally found them waiting in a classroom, together with other students from another class. Need to search for an empty classroom (that is not locked) to house my students.
  • Moving & arranging tables and cleaning the dusty tabletops became my responsibility - Luckily the students were very helpful.

Actually I should not be surprised that such things do happen.... Welcome to Amazing Thailand!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Trip to Khao Yai 03-04 Nov

Had travelled and eaten quite a lot these few weeks.

We went on a trip again over the last weekend.

First stop: Farm Chokchai, located in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. (It is about 2 hours drive away from Bangkok. Finally I know where this place is in Thailand. One of my students had told me that he came from this province but I simply have no idea where exactly it is).

As this farm is famous for its beef, we wanted to try the beef steak at its well-known steakhouse. However, the Q at the steakhouse was so long that we ended up in the nextdoor fastfood place selling beef burger. Not cheap for a beef burger (about S$4.50 for one with lettuce only and S$6 for one added with cheese and bacon). But it's quite delicious and hence, no regrets.

We paid 250baht (about S$11) each to get a guided tour of more than 2.5 hours – knowing the background of this huge farm, visiting the small tractors museum, watching staff milking the cows, seeing how Umm!... Milk (That's its brand) & ice-cream is produced, tasted a really small cup of ice-cream for free (YH ended up buying another bigger cup to fulfill his craving), played some shooting games @ 30baht for each game, watched a cowboy show, visited the small animals farm and watched a show, watched a dog show and then buying some mementos from the souvenir shop. Another glass of strawberry milk shake to go before we proceed up the mountain for checking-in to our hotel.

No pictures on this farm trip as we forgot to bring our camera from the car!

The next morning, we proceeded to the Khao Yai (meaning Big Mountain) National Park. It's BIG bcos it's situated across 4 provinces – Nakhon Ratchasima, SaraBuri, Nokhon Nayok and Prachin Buri, covering a total area of 2,168 square kilometers. Locals have to pay only 40baht while foreigners have to pay 10 times of that. Our frens reminded us to keep quiet when they were purchasing the tickets..... 720baht saved!

After lunch, we drove to PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. This place is located on the edge of the Khao Yai National Park. The scenery is breathtaking. Although we just finished lunch, we decided to order a pizza and some drinks at its restaurant to enjoy the view. The Ice Blended Grape Juice was very refreshing and we were delighted to find some grapes in the pizza that we ordered. 100 points for creativity! Before we go, we bought 2 bottles of its renowned wine, a bottle of grape juice and one little bottle of grape seeds body scrub.

I dunno and I don't want to know how many pounds have I gained after these few weeks of eating and "enjoying life"...... I'm feeling a bit guilty...... Maybe I should skip lunch for the next few days.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

15 Years.....

It has been a looooonnnnngggg fifteen years!

Fifteen years of interdependence, care & share, support, laughter, mutual respect, appreciation, admiration...... Coupled with occasional difference in views & expectations, tears, and heartbreaks. I guess this is true love.

THANKS my dear for everything all these years!

Monday, October 29, 2007


KY and WL were on a 7 days 6 nights Pattaya-Bangkok trip..... of cos, with me as their tour guide. This post is dedicated to the other gals in our NJC gang who missed this trip. U dunno how much fun u had missed!

Day 1
We took the shuttle bus from the arrival hall to the bus terminal (about 10 mins ride) to catch the intercity bus to Pattaya (PTY) only to realize that now the intercity bus goes into the passenger terminal to pick-up passengers. We could have saved the trouble of lugging our luggage up and down the shuttle bus.

Checked-in at Baan Khun Poh (the apartment which I'm staying at in Pattaya) costed them about S$13/night/person (without breakfast).

First stop shopping – Outlet Mall. I thot there's nothing much to buy here and yet they were able to find some bargain buys.

Dinner was at a Thai restaurant located on a pond. It's known as Wooden Boat or "La Mai" in Thai. The food was so delicious that WL asked if we could have our dinner there every night. KY wanted to buy the chilli sauce served at the restaurant. Hey girl, YH checked with them already. It's not for sale. Maybe it's their secret receipe.

Day 2
We visited the Underwater World Pattaya early in the morning.

Then we hired a van to bring us to the largest Chinese Temple in Thailand located in Ang Sila, Chon Buri Province. It's about one-hour ride away from Pattaya.

Lunch was at a roadside stall. We had a roasted chicken, papaya salad with crab and glutinous rice. The Thais like to eat these.

Then we visited the Khao Kheow Open Zoo (also in Chonburi province). Entrance fee of 100baht per foreigner. As the name suggested, the animals are free to roam in certain parts of the zoo. And so, we had to stay in our van to get close to the animals. But the closest encounter that we had was with the various wild cats. A business contact of YH brought us to see the wild cats (like tigers, lions, cheetahs, etc). The cats were so restless when they saw us. They paced hastily up and down their cages, like they were ready to leap on us anytime. If they knocked down the cages, we would be dead meat literally.
- We were 5 mins late for the animal show and YH's biz contact postponed the commencement of the show, just for us. We felt like VIPs.
- WL left the area where the wild cats were caged cos she was very scared of them. She told us that she was thinking of contingency plans in case the cats ran wild - Was she supposed to lock the cage with us inside or was she supposed to run for her life? She's still not sure till now.

Want to go the next time: Khao Kheow Es-ta-te. It's a camping resort in the open zoo itself. The tents are impressive. I'm sure it will provide a different experience. To avoid disappointment, pls book early as it's very very popular.

As it was still too early to have our dinner, we decided to have a 2-hour Thai massage at HealthLand. I like this massage place a lot cos it's clean and the environment makes you feels relaxed. (I pitied the van driver as he was just waiting for us at the lobby).
Although dinner was to be served after the massage, WL was so hungry after her massage that she bought a piece of cinnamon roll. Her massage finished half an hour before ours. We saw her finishing her last mouth of cinnamom roll when we came out. And yes, there was only 2 raisins left on her plate.... maybe one each for me & KY.

We had our seafood dinner by the sea. The mantis prawns were so big (which are rare to find in S'pore) that they proved to be irresistible to KY. She decided to pack some for supper.

Then we took a walk down the once-famous Walking Street (the nightlife of PTY) with A-GO-GO bars all around. YH said that this street used to be packed with tourists and you probably had to squeeze your way through. But now, we seemed to be able to keep an arm's length away from the other tourists. Perhaps the political situation and the murder of 2 Russian tourists in PTY in February have some negative impacts on the tourism industry of PTY.

Day 3
We made our way to Bali Hai Pier located at the end of Walking Street to catch a ferry (20 baht) to Ko Larn (Coral Island). It was a 45 mins ferry ride and then a motorcycle ride to reach one of the beaches. The water around the island was far more beautiful than in PTY itself. We walked down the beach, stopping occasionally to see interesting souvenirs or to buy some food sold by the vendors.
Highlight: I bought a knitted hat which the price dropped from 200baht to 80baht, without us bargaining.

We took the 2pm ferry back to PTY mainland and proceeded to Royal Garden Plaza to start another round of shopping. They really can buy. Most of the things seemed to be a bargain for them.

As the weather was getting a bit cool, we decided to eat steamboat. So, dinner was steamboat + BBQ buffet which costed about 119 baht (excluding drinks).

We had the mantis prawns for supper as KY was too tired to eat them the night before. Emmm...... Delicious!!

Day 4
I brought them to visit my workplace, the Vocational School for the Disabled.

Then it's shopping again before having lunch at Fuji, a Japanese restaurant. The food was so delicious and cheap that KY wanted to have it again for dinner.

After lunch, we returned to Royal Garden Plaza as the gals felt that they had not completed the whole shopping complex yesterday. This was where we met the "body proportion consultant" at the Wacoal boutique. After measuring and some guidance from her, we were all "upgraded" by her. This was so much fun and it made our day. Ha ha ha. If we had met her earlier, the gals wouldn't have bought the wrong size (or cup to be more precise) at Outlet Mall. Luckliy, KY managed to exchange hers when we returned to Outlet Mall. Too bad for WL cos she cut off all the tags already.

We shared a piece of Tiramisu cake for teabreak.

And yes, we had our dinner at Fuji again. Poor YH. He had Fuji too for lunch and now, he had to accompany us to have Fuji again for dinner. Luckily, Fuji has so much variety to choose from.

Day 5
The hired van was supposed to arrive at 5am to pick us up to Bai Long Wang Temple. But it only arrived at 5.40am. We could have slept for another half an hour. The 3 of us were also anxious cos we might not be able to obtain a Q number to see Bai Long Wang if we were late. Luckily, we managed to get a number and it turned out that we were the last three persons for the day.

I was in fact the last person for the day to see Bai Long Wang. He told me that my "Mian4 Xiang4" is very good. Everything for me will be good. But I have to be less anxious and have to take things slower. Maybe he's right. I also have to be less petty....... Well, perhaps he's right again. And I have to learn to talk back less....... Oh no, he's hitting on the nail again. I did not even open my mouth to ask anything and yet the things that he told me seem to have some underlying meaning for me.
Highlight: WL was very nervous before seeing Bai Long Wang that she almost wanted to give up her chance of meeting him. She said that she's worried that he might scold her.

We checked into Bangkok City Suite around 1pm. It costed about S$16/night/person and this was with buffet breakfast.

Shopping started again at Platinum Fashion Mall. This mall is superb. Wholesale price for 3 pieces and above. But the gals were running low on cash. Luckily (instead of sadly), the shops started to close around 6pm. This "forced" us to give up and proceed for dinner.

Dinner was at Chinatown. We had sharks' fin, birds' nest, grilled prawns, grilled squid and vegetables. This was the highlight of the trip. We had been talking about sharks' fins and birds' nest since the planning stage of the trip...... Hahahaha.

Day 6
More shopping of cos. Platinum Fashion Mall seemed too attractive for us that we decided to give MBK a miss. KY was smart enough to prepare reserve cash so that she could continue to get more bargain buys.
Highlight: Eventually, I bought 3 pieces of top from a shop bcos (1) WL did not like hers after trying when we return to hotel. I bought it from her at 130baht, a discount of 20baht. (2) KY's "upgraded" cup made her top seems tight and she owed me some money. So, she decided to give up her top to me to offset her debt.

WL learnt something new again...... This time on tampons. This is what happened when the trip is an all-girls trip. Funny things will happen.

Day 7
The gals took the early flight back to S'pore and me took the 8am bus back to PTY.

Hi gals, I hope u both enjoyed the trip. It's great to have u both here. I enjoyed myself very much for the past few days. Though we were sick for some parts of the trip, we had the care & concern from one & another. I see the care and concern that your loved one had shown you by calling you up to check on your condition. This is bliss. Gals are most beautiful when they are being cared for and I see that in the 2 of you. Wish that you will stay in bliss forever.