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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Well fed by my dear customers cum friends

In case some readers who aren't too familiar with me, I'm a manicurist.  I run Precious Nail Services from home at Tampines (Singapore).

Many had asked why didn't I open a commercial nail salon.  First of all the rental is very high which I'm definitely not willing to pay for a shop front; secondly, I am too blur and soft to handle employees; thirdly I think I'll lose a lot of freedom taking care of a shop.

Had been doing well, until this year.  My nail business is quite affected by online deals which really slash down their prices to rock bottom.  Of course, it didn't happen suddenly, I was all prepared since last year.  I still have a roof over my head, my hubby to pay the bills, just that I need to cut down on my splurges and save harder for my overseas holidays.  As such I start to blog (I'm blogging for money, seriously).

Having customers, whom some became my friends is perhaps the greatest thing that I gotten from my nail career.  Such relationship cannot be fake and is priceless.   They are so extremely sweet to me ^.^  See what they got for me recently -

Li Yi Butter Sun Cake from Taiwan
This customer was an angel, she flew and landed at my doorstep just to pass me this box of cakes as her nails were not due yet.  No lah, I knew she drove, but still........ I felt like kissing her at that time T______T  This sun cake hor, look like any other traditional sun cake sold in Taiwan.  But, but but, it taste like ang mo kind of pastry.  It's buttery and milky, just the aroma itself will send you to heaven.  If you had eaten sun cakes from other bakery, you know that the crumbs will fall all over creating a big mess.  This bakery's sun cake won't, heeheeheee........  So, if you go Taiwan, this is a MUST BUY!  But sadly, cannot buy too much also, cos' have to consume within 2 weeks before it expires.

Banh Pia from Vietnam

Traditional looking asian pastry cake.

 Durian paste filling with egg yolk!
(please ignore my chipped color on nail >.<) 
This mama hor, as soon as she stepped into my house, she put this pack of cake on my dining table and "order" my hubby to open up and try ASAP lolxx......  It's like eating durian moon cake, with egg yolk some more.  The durian paste is soft a bit too sweet for me though, but with the combination of egg yolk it's divine!  And it's only about S$3 for a pack of 5!  If you visit Ho Chi Minh City, you can find it at Ben Thanh Market.

Cookies from My LoveBites

This girl, actually "summon" her parents to send me 2 packets of cookies T_____T  Why she so nice to me........... The cookies are in zip lock packagings.

Horlick Cookie in cute bite size  <3 <3 <3
It's very horlick, if you know what I mean and it makes me really happy ^^

Salted Caramel Butter Cookie
It's not possible to stop at one piece, it's difficult to stop after 3 pieces, the craving persist even after many many pieces, totally addictive!

This is not an ad, but in case you are tempted, here's the address - 

Thank you for loving me, thank you for sending these goodies to me ^.^  I'll get fat without regrets (just kidding), heehee......

Monday, 24 September 2012

Bangkok 5-8 Sep 2012 (Part 2)

Outline -
Date - 6 Sep 2012 (Thursday)
Area covered - Maeklong Railway Market, Damnoensaduak Floating Market, Mini treking at Elephant Village, Mah Boon Krong Shopping Centre (MBK)

For those who are interested, my Bangkok (Part 1) blog post is here.

Before I made this arrangement, I had checked with my customers and friends whom frequent BKK, and NONE of them had been to this railway market, some had never even heard of it before   --________--  Singaporeans are just too obsessed in shopping........ but shopping only fills up the wardrobe, not the heart..........

Anyways........, after much "research", I managed to booked a transport with Astrac Asian Travel Consultant by email about 2 weeks before departing.  4,500bht includes transport picking us from the hotel to the 3 above mentioned places and dropped us at MBK. The cost was per vechicle not by head count, so a bigger group will be more worth it.  My sis's family didn't join us, so only 5 of us to share the cost, but still not too expensive.

Wearing singlet with kitty print bought from night market of Siam @100bht
 and Blue bubble from Terminal 21 <3 <3
wearing slippers without feeling gulity this time, cos' I'm head to a wet market!

The friendly English speaking female tour-guide was already waiting for us at the hotel lobby before the appointment time at 7am.  The van was new and clean, which could fetch up to 14 pax.   

It was pouring heavily, and our hearts sank......... our out-door programmes would be affected :((

The female tour-guide could not contain her curiosity any longer after about more than half an hour of travel......... she asked our relationships.  When I told her they were my hubby, kids and little sis, her mouth formed into a big O in disbelieve, lolxx......  I totally enjoy decieving people with my looks that doesn't match with my age, waahaaahaaa......

About half an hour before we reach the railway market, the rain stopped : DD  Thank god!
The below pic shows their "salt fields", where salt is collected after the water evaporates.

 Maeklong Railway Market was bustling at 8.30am!

Stall grilling bananas, why didn't I buy some to try T___T

These pics are very valuable to me.
I knew I made the right choice by arranging this visit to the railway market *proud*

Maeklong Station, where the train will stop for passengers to alight/board.

This woman just station her mobile stall right on the track!

Me with ugly grin, but I was elated!

The estimated time of the train's arrive was 9am, we took the chance to "explore" the stalls by the railway.

From this market, we get to see and experience local people's life and habits.
Our lady tour guide had came back with a few bags of veg to prepare dinner for that day lolxx.....

Yes, we were walking on the railway.

Couldn't believe this thin piece of thingy is a rail -__-

Mussels marinated with??

Pork pork....

and prawn prawns....

Little crabs which were smaller than my palm.

Ginger roots sold together with its leaves.

Smallest ball ball egg plants I had ever seen!
They were size of fishballs.  SO CUTE!!

Super big blue claw prawns which were size of the round metal tray.

BIG groupa almost the length of the stall, haahaa....

Mini garlics, pinkish white, cute cute cute....

Frogs, gross........

We did not manage to complete the stretch of stalls.
Cos' the horn sounded suddenly, the train came earlier than expected.
As you can see from the below pic, some stalls already "retract" their shelters.

The other panic tourists and us were running for our lifes!
No lah, we had to run towards the station so as to have the best spot for video and photo taking.
If we couldn't make it in time, we would just step away from the railway together with the locals, won't die, heeheehee..........

See, all the ang mo on "stand-by".

There were some guards in dark brown uniforms, to watch over us (tourists), the locals knows how to take care of themselves obviously.

The train is coming!!!

See, how close.............

It looked as if the train was running over the things on the floor,
but they were actually "intact" and "unharmed".

The train arrived at the station safely without dragging any shelters or veg (or human) along, lolxx...

Once the train by passed, shelters were being pushed out again, very immediately.
Business resumed as if nothing had happened, lolxxx.... amusing and funny max!

Motor-cycles hurried pass across the railway.

Train "resting", it moved again after about 15mins, so the comical scence would replay again.

I had a non-professional video to share.
It was exciting, but please pardon my high pitch gigglings >.<

My initial intention was to pretend to be a news reporter,
giving a proper intro with my pretty fat face etc etc....
But after running in panic, I was too distracted to stay composed.
So yeah, I just giggled like crazy throughout the video : X

After we were done with this unusual railway market,
we head back to our van for Damnoensaduak Floating Market.
On our way, our lady tour guide bought herself some lottery.
Not sure how they work, but they were sure big like newspapers, heehee.....

Our van, whereby I provided you guys lobang for 4-D.

When we reached the floating market, was a bit disappointed.  I was hoping to hop from boat to boat and explore local floating market the way I did at the railway market.  But over here, they provide motor boats for tourists and we were charged 400bht per person, urrrgg..............

Pic of sheltered motor boats waiting for tourists to board.

The 400bht includes fruit and water refreshments before we board.
The lady in long sleeve pink shirt was our guide.

With hubby.

With my kid sis.

Short video on our speedy boat.

It started to drizzle, and we then appreciate our sheltered boat.

We bought a small rattan ball for little Karsten.  Guess what price they quote us initially?
They quote us 450bht, insulting our intelligence.
We bought it at 100bht at the end after some bargaining
which we were sure they would still make a profit.

As such, our impression on this floating market is very bad.
These stall keepers' job are to rip off stupid tourists and tarnish reputation of Bangkok.
However, food was still good.

Pipping hot drumlets and spring rolls at only 30bht if I remembered correctly.

We alight at a souvenir shop where there's an old man cooking some sweet syrup.
He let us try stiring and it was tough!

My sis also bought this ukulele (after much slashing of price).
 Super out of tune but very cute.

Papa druming it.

Left the floating market and we were on the road again.
We made a stop to eat, again.
Local stall selling insane delicious roast pork.

One big pot of braised pork intestine etc...

The skin is crunchy crispy and the meat is so soft and juicy...... omg.......
Diet can wait till I'm back in S'pore, at that time was..... JUST EAT!!!
(drools at my own pic)

Miss those 猪血 (blood jelly) leh, eat while we could, Singapore not selling any more.

Simple bowl of soup noodles with char siew and pork balls.
The noodles QQ one, very nice!  And I don't understand why all soups in Thailand taste fantastic.

As our foreheads were written "WE ARE TOURISTS",
 this meal with 2 bowls of porriage & 2 braised eggs was about 280bht.
We knew that they charged us more expensive, but never mind lah.......

My handsome Darren with long eye lashes enjoying the noodles.

Next we went for an elephant ride which was quite near the floating market.
Each ride was 600bht  -_____-|||  Expensive..........

Have to climb up to this little red tent to get onto an elephant.

Despite of feeling heart-pain for the expensive ride, I still bought a basket of bananas to feed the elephant.
I always have a soft spot for animals some how.
I "wrapped" myself up cos' it was raining.

So here we go!

Introducing, Tom the trainer and Shirley the 25 years old elephant, both single, heehee.....

Tom has been with Shirley for about 10 years.
She listened to his command, and rised up her trunk to pick up her bananas.

So cute, Shirley deserved a treat for her work ^^

The elephant walks with it's butt moving.
Okay, everybody walks with their butts moving, I am trying to say, due to the movement, we also went left right left right on our seats lolxxx....

We took pic of the elephant in front of us.
We knew from Tom that they have in total 21 adult elephants.
Heart-pain ceased a bit, cos' I think elephants eat a lot?
Meaning it could costly to take care of them too.

The thrilling part was here!
As you can see from the pic, the elephant ahead of us at the left hand corner was half submerged in water.

I  hold onto the rail and "kiap" my slippers tightly.
The mini treking was about 20 to 30mins.
It was a great experience, not like our Singapore Zoo, just go one round in a confined area.

 Photo with frame @200bht
Bought it, cos' this pic is just too precious.
Hope that Tom and Shirley will get married soon.....
Choy Choy Choy!!!
Re-phrase, hope Tom will find his right girl to marry,
and Shirley will find her jumbo to start a family soon.
Hur hur hur......

Our day tour ended and we head back to Bangkok city at MBK.

Saw these on our way back.

There was a slight jam when we were back to Bangkok city.

Tu-tu are getting lesser and lesser in Bangkok.  Cos' most of them quote dishonest fares.

Heavy traffic outside MBK.

MBK Centre.

Late lunch around 2.30pm at Kobune Jap Resturant at level 3B

Nothing to rant or rave, japanese food is really affortable in BKK.

Thumbs up for the smoothie though.

Garlic fried, smells and taste good!

Jap restaurant with serving Korean kimchi lolxx...

Baby Karsten totally enjoyed the lunch ^.^
He is our darling.....

After lunch was shopping time.  If Platinum Mall is for women, MBK is for men!
They have many T-shirts, jackets and apparels for guys.
Not forgetting one whole floor of gadgets,
where we bought imitation Beats handphones and handphone cases.
Pic of my favourite Nautical case accompanied by a white scooter :)

By the time when we were out, it's already evening.
We walked back to Novotel Siam Square Hotel to aid digestion.

A massage parlour opposite our hotel, which opened from 9am to 12pm daily.
We walked in to try at around 7.30pm ^^

 BKK trip is never complete without foot massages!

I brought my Snail face mask along, clever or not!
Time fully utilised!
Sorry, I looked horrible, who looks like a beauty in face masks anyway, heehee......

Did not forget my little sis, she got her face mask on also while doing foot massage, heeeheeehee.....

After massage was dinner at this Jap resturant which was only a few shops away from the massage parlour.
Was already about 9.30pm.

Ramen Suteiji
I got the address here ~~

Green tea.

Yummy to the max noodles on hotplate.
This pic is not blur ok, it's smokey cos' they poured thick flavoured soup onto it which bubbles and smoked!

The "process" was very cute, the waitress poured about 6 tbsp of soup into the hotplate, and each pour she would chant in Japanese.
Although we couldn't understand the language, but from the happy and lively voice tone, it must be something auspicious ^.^

If you ever visit this resturant, this is a MUST TRY - noodles with spicy mince pork.
The pork is not just spicy but it's rich in flavour too, not good in describing but it's just GREAT!
Then their noodles QQ one, damn nice to chew into.
I wasn't the only one who's impressed, my entire family gave this a THUMBS UP!!

Hot stone rice, love the burnt rice <3 <3

Was too excited that this pic is blurred.

But I make it up by giving a clear pic after I flipped the dumplings over, heeheeeheee....

Cold noodles, okay only....

Some tofu pudding with citrus syrup, very refreshing.

We left the restaurant at around 10pm plus head back the hotel..............
for SUPPER!!!  This was crazy!
My bro-in-law and sis "ta bao" back street food and we bought beer =D

They bought 2 big grilled fishes and chicken wings!

 The grilled fish were unscaled, so we have to remove it's skin, eating only the flesh. 
They stuffed unknown condiments into the fish from it's mouth.
We had spicy and sour sauce to dip with, very fresh and crazy yummy......

Bonus, fish eggs.

Assorted pig's organ with spicy sauce, looks messy but the taste was not bad!

As we have kids with us, pubs and clubs wasn't really possible.
But "night life" in hotel room was way better!
I prefer it this way rather than hanging around in rowdy places.
We drank, talk rots, with kids running around in the room till pass mid-night lolxx....... 9 of us!!
Nothing beats family bonding.

Our 2nd day in BKK ended with local beer and white wine.  Coming up Bangkok 7 Sep (Part 3) with reviews on Four Face Buddha, Naraya @Central World, video on Hard Rock Cafe and "lose my mind" shopping at Platinum Mall.

Thank you very much for reading ^.^