Monday, March 29, 2010


It's Qingming festival, the Chinese version of All Soul Day. Families will gather at the cemetery to tend their ancestors grave, offer tea and food and pray to the departed loved ones. It's a day of remembrance and pay respect to the ancestors.

So, we were all at my grand father's grave, uncles, aunts and cousins, young and old. We brought grapes, grandfather's favorite, steamed buns, coffee and a lot of other goodies. We burnt joss papers, joss papers accessories like a hat and clothing, hell money and a paper brief case full of more hell money for grandfather. We prayed, and payed our respect.

My cousins and I were talking. We talked a little about grandfather. I told them that he passed away when I was seven. Then I realised that grandfather passed away before they were born. they never met him.

I felt sorry for them, missing out on grandfather. I remembered how excited grandfather got when we watched wrestling matches together. Suddenly I missed him so much. Suddenly I wished I could have more about grandfather to share with them.

Suddenly I got so nostalgic, I felt so old.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Missed Earth Hour

Earth Hour last night, I totally missed out. I was back home with my folks, watching tv enjoying a quiet weekend night, with the lights on of course. But then, my parents, especially mom, is always very conscious about switching off non-essential, unnecessary lights and other electric appliances. I think we only had the t.v. and a light on, during the Earth Hour.

But then again, Earth Hour is an awareness campaign. I'm aware, and informed too, about environmentalism and conversation. It's part of my daily life. It should be part of our daily life, not just that one hour every year.

Think green. Live green.

These are some of my green efforts to share.
1. Waste no water. Turn off the tap when brushing teeth and doing dishes. Load up fully the washing machine for every wash.

2. Use a handkerchief, instead of tissue and paper towel.

3. Don't print unnecessary in the office. Use unwanted prints for drafting papers.

4. Turn down the plastic bag offer by the shop when buy some items. God give us hands with fingers and thumbs, use them.

5. Bring my own container for to-go meals order.

More here.

But there's one thing that I'm guilty of. I know it's wrong and bad but I'm still doing it: driving a single occupancy car to work everyday.

Car pool anyone?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lunch Stop

This stopped me from roaming any further around Chaktuchak weekend market. I was more exhausted from walking in the Bangkok heat than hungry. I was just really dying for a place to sit down, but this pad thai was sure as hell kick-ass tasty.!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vamos Salsa

The food, not the dance.

First combine equal portion of red onion, cilantro leaves and tomatoes or mango, all finely diced. Then add in a few chilies and a small gloves of garlic, all finely chopped. Next, sprinkle pinch of salt and squirt of lime juice. For a little additional tang and citrusy fragrance, I grated a bit of lime rind into the mix. Finally use the 3 Ts to finish up the salsa: toss, taste and tweak whatever flavor according to your fancy. Simply, the key to a super rica salsa is striking the balance between sweetness, spicy heat and sourness.

Good as dipping sauce for tortilla chips or topping for toast. Mmmm, que delicioso!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Angkor Favorite

One of my favorite shots from Angkor Wat. More to come.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Many year ago, my friend, S pointed out to me that I had been using the phrase stuff like that a lot in my conversation, border-lining abuse. From that moment on, I was very conscious of my what I say and how frequent I say it. At the same time, my ears are all up picking up all these "abuses" from people around me.

One of the most common ones is basically. Basically, basically is the favorite of my colleague , C. Not only he begins every sentence with basically, he also manage to end one with basically. So much so that the moment C open his mouth in a meeting, my ears would be up on alert. My eyes will automatically search out and meet the eyes of SJ, another colleague who also notices C's peculiar habit. We would then I smile at each other, starting the our basically-counter on C and compare notes when the meeting is over. That is sure keeping us awake and etertained in a long meeting.

My boss likes to use on top. Though it is not as bad as C's basically, it's definitely noticeable. Once in a round-table group discussion, a couple of on tops came out and all of a sudden a couple of us were wearing this stupid grin on our faces, trying our damnedest not to burst out laughing.

Lately, I noticed a new addition to my office, R with his own favorite phrase. His is you see. The frequency of you see coming out og his mouth is easily rivaling C's basically. It's something like 4 you sees in every sentence he utters. Basically, he starts and ends everything he says with you sees and on top of that he manages to throw in at least a couple of you sees in between. Amazing!

So what phrase do you abuse the most?

While this sort of abuse is in fact funny and entertaining, (Depending on who you talk to, some find it painfully annoying) do be reminded that what you say and how you say are reflection of your persona and charisma.

Last word, watch your mouth.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make Your Own Toys

I saw a kid making a kite out of a piece of A4 paper with some torn-off plastic bag pieces as streamers, flying it high and having a whale of a time by the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great Day Ahead

Last night I went to bed early. Waking up today, I simply felt great, so full of energy. Getting out of bed, I hit the shower, whistling. Then I went on to brush my pearly whites and groom my short spiky locks. All the while I was happy, feeling absolutely revitalized from the good night rest. There was this wonderful feeling of freshness. I was so looking forward to start a brand new day.

Then, I was awaken rudely by the annoying alarm to really start my day!!!

Damn, all that energy, it was just a dream.


Thursday, March 04, 2010


The best motivator to get back to work after a break: attracting envious stares at your fabulously bronzed holiday tan. Hahaha...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Secret Garden

This is the garden of the National Museum in Phnom Penh. It is the best place to hide from the heat and dust on a winter day in Phnom Penh. Yes, heat and dust in the winter. By 10 AM on any normal winter day, the sun would be up so high and cranking up the heat full blast. It must be like 35 degree Centigrade out, easily, scorching hot, while the daytime temperature on a winter day should max out at 28.
But stepping into the garden is like walking into a sphere of refreshing coolness, a magical sphere with its own micro climate pattern. The heat and the dust and the noises of the city vanish into the thin air. In the garden there is soothing breeze and fresh air, with lush colors and melodic tunes filling every corner of this wonderful space.
Lining the parameter of the courtyard garden are palm trees and colorful bougainvillea. The palm trees sway gently in the breeze and the bougainvillea add a touch of floral scent in the air. The garden ground was divided into four quadrants. Occupying each quadrant is a pond, almost covered with the lush green of the lilies leaves. Of course there are bursts of pink and red water lilies, mirroring the red exterior of the museum building itself. The noisy traffic is drown by the soothing and hypnotic splashing of the water fountains in the ponds, and maybe the occasional enthusiastic buzz of the dragonflies circling the lilies. At the center of the garden, sits the statue of the Leper King, from Angkor, in a little gazebo, presiding over this magical not-so-little secret garden, enjoying the calmness and coolness in the air.
I sat idly in the garden for a long time, breathing in and out long and deep, cleansing exhausted soul and revitalizing my tired body, taking in a slice of serenity and purging out the stress and tardiness from traveling.
This is more than a perfect spot to get away from the city madness. This is a therapeutic oasis for the people on the rush, on the road.

Festive Ritual

I can't remember when I started this little Chinese New Year ritual of my own, that I will not open the ang pows I collected (yes, I'm still eligible to receive them) throughout the festive season until the festivities are finally officially over, which is on the 15th of the first month in the Lunar calendar.

Yesterday I finally sat down and opened them up. There weren't a lot this year, as I returned to work early and my annual biggest ang pow benefactor, my sister R was home late this year for the Chinese New Year celebration due to her husband last minute work commitment. I missed her and her family.

Then, to my surprise, I came across one big one, inside with a good 168 bucks. The number actually sounds like prosperous all the way in Cantonese.

I can't remember when dad started this Chinese New Year ritual of his, that he gives us kids ang pow. But I knew that the big one was from dad. I just knew it. He wished us kids to be prosperous all the way.

That was dad saying he loves us.

I wish you Chinese New Year was a warm and lovely celebration with families and friends.