Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Visit To Oxford University town.

I have been back home for over a week now. The jet lag has been terrible which made me doze off anywhere inside my office, restaurant and car! Now it is fading off a bit but I still wake up widely awake at 4.00am. Tomorrow I will be off to Taipei to attend a few Tibetan Buddhism Prayers at a monastery in Taichung and also Taoyuan. This will be presided by the same Living Buddha Guru who was in Jakarta in December. I attended that prayer sessions in Jakarta and my fate changed indeed for the better because I could visit England, Scotland and Wales.

 After suffering for a whole year of stress and depression from my office, this 2 weeks break was a welcome relief to spend my Chinese New Year in overseas with my old friends at London's Chinatown. It was a cold winter throughout but we were well prepared with all kinds of jackets, thermal undergarments and winter shoes. We visited many famous landmarks around London before making a trip to Reading to visit my niece who had just given birth to a handsome baby boy with a mixture of Irish-Asian looks. My sister was there too as a new young grandmother to cuddle her grandchild for over a month. My niece is still very young and the baby's arrival was unplanned. No prize for the right guesses! Ha-ha!....

We visited Oxford by train from the Paddington Station as blogged in my previous post here. I was glad that we stayed a night to fully discover the entire Oxford's ancient town against 2 friend's advice that a day trip would be sufficient. Several friends had visited Oxford for just few hours to look see from their cars only. We were more adventurous and walked almost the whole town by foot in the snow besides walking inside 2 famous churches to explore. That's me!





This is the entrance into the main campus area of the world famous Oxford University. Their university is most unique as all their faculty buildings are spread all over the whole town and operates individually under the same brand. You need to stand there to believe that it is really a prestigious university with the best quality of education being taught at the world's oldest English speaking university. Along the streets, we could see very old professors leading their adult students in neat Oxford attire uniform jackets walking together in a line to other faculty buildings to attend lectures. This pretty sight is so unique and I did not even see such group of university students marching in uniform jackets in the American campuses. Oxford University still keeps their oldest school traditions since its founding that stretched as far as Year 1096!!!




This is the official Oxford's University Church of St. Mary The Virgin which was founded in the 1200s. We ventured inside the church and admired the coloured stained windows. I took many photos of the interior but I have to limit the photos for this post. I have better shots of what lies above the top of the church's tower!!

 


 Here we go! We paid £4 each to climb up to the church's tower to admire the whole view of Oxford. We were surprised and not prepared with the road ahead to the top! We had to climb several flight of steep stairs.




We had to continue climbing iron stairs into other connecting paths. It was like a scene from the movies of Robin Hood from Nottingham Forrest!



The final was winding ourselves up of the very tight spiral stairs for the final leg to the top. I bet in olden days, the English folks were all very thin and petite sizes! LOL.
 



Finally! We reached the top of the tower that overlooks the whole town and campus of the University of Oxford. The narrow balcony was barely over 2 feet wide which needed everyone to graze their walls. It made me think what prompted the ancient architects to design such narrow stairs and balcony when land was abundant.



  This spiral dome landmark looks prominent in Oxford.




  
The panoramic view of the entire town and campus of the University of Oxford.



  
This famous Christ Church where the many scenes of Harry Potter's movie was filmed. We loved the ancient Roman looking interiors of this huge church buildings which is part of the Oxford University. It was founded by the King Henry VIII in year 1546.





The many long corridors of cobbled bricks and stones inside the Christ Church of Oxford.



This is the famous long dining room where the Harry Potter's movie was filmed. Look at the eerie portrait photo behind my wife. She posed exactly like that lady, not knowing of the painting's existence until I took the photo.



 This is a very large prominent square inside the Christ Church where big assemblies take place.



I was posing with somebody's car outside the hotel. Each day, we walked easily from 15K to 20K steps all over United Kingdom throughout the 2 weeks. We ate a lot and walked too much until my pants loosened! We stayed in a comfortable Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Oxford. 



Our hotel room which is a typical Hampton Hilton style with thick comfortable mattress for a good night's sleep. I could not afford this hotel if not for their last minute "Winter Sale" which was few days before my visit. Probably they needed to fill up all the rooms in Winter.


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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Greetings From London

Hola! Today is my 3rd day in London. We flew in by Singapore Airlines to London's Heathrow Airport and the whole plane was carrying 99% of English passengers!! 


The 13 hour flight at midnight from Changi airport was very pleasant as the English passengers were very quiet and polite. I used to experience noisy people on board from mainland China who would talk loudly all night besides packing and unpacking their cabin bags & shopping loots all night.



We have done a bit of sightseeing around the famous landmarks of London and ate their famous Fish & Chips at St. James Tavern at Soho. It was so good and delicious!


My London friend Michael who married my best friend who was our former beauty queen, so kindly took us sightseeing. We strolled across the Green Parks beside Buckingham Palace and headed to St. James posh area.



We posed outside the Buckingham Palace. It is Winter time so the tourists are much lesser while hotels are offering the lowest rates!


Here I boarded a train from Paddington to Oxford for a night before continuing our journey to Cardiff. We will cover England, Scotland and Wales over 2 weeks with a Chinese New Year reunion dinner with some good friends in London on Sunday.

I am writing this blog on my smartphone inside the train to Oxford. Stay tuned my friends.





Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday again. The last celebrations was exactly one year ago. Last night, I had dinner at the Japanese Steamboat restaurant together with my wife and 2 good friends. One of them bakes good cakes and pastries. So I got a nice cake with candles to blow last night.




Last weekend, I was away to Singapore just to visit 3 sick and old uncles in 2 different hospitals. One of them who had stroke 3 times, threw up blood suddenly a few weeks ago. That doesn't sound good.




While I was in Singapore, my school mate texted me a shocking message. This tragic news shocked the country and made me numb!


Yes, you probably had guessed right about the death of the young student when his car plunged into the sea off the Penang Bridge! Life is so fragile. His parents and all family members are devastated by this horrific accident which no words could describe.



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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Year 2019 - A New Dawn For Me

Times flies so fast and I am glad to put the difficult days behind now. All humans may have endless of problems just like the waves of the big ocean. They come and go daily but my problem lasted the whole 2018! It was not that I lost my job but I still went to work at my office daily without getting paid. Goodness, it was really so tough and it was a mind over matters thing to endure. My poor wife suffered so much having to 'keep me alive'. I am eternally grateful to her for all her kind support. I have promised myself to bring her to a new place to relax this coming Chinese New Year 2019.

I have made simple resolutions for myself for this new year. I would make better changes to my lifestyle and continue to help the homeless wherever I could. I would eat lesser meat and go on vegan meals as often as I could. I need to spend more time to focus on my Tibetan Buddhist cultivation too.

I received a text message from the DAP Chat Group of my neighbourhood to help deliver newspapers. I responded when I saw hardly anyone could find time to help. This group was active since the time when YB Lim Lip Eng was the MP for my area. I followed that MP around the markets before elections to give out Rocket flyers. We both got earful lashings from many frustrated residents instead. That MP was so tough and put up a brave face to smile at everyone. He narrowly won that elections. During the last elections, that party swapped the candidates and sent YB Hannah Yeoh to represent Segambut area instead. This tough Iron Lady had huge rousing support at all her ceramahs that jammed the streets for miles. Naturally, she had a Big Landslide Win!




It was a surprise morning when I arrived the park nearby home at 7.30am. Our Member of Parliament was already there with her team of working staff. Today she is also our Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development yet she always found time to meet our rakyat everywhere!!!



Our Deputy Minister YB. Hannah Yeoh gave out CNY oranges to all the morning joggers while I gave out all her "Rocket Newspapers".



Goodness! I was the only 5 volunteers from my whole neighbourhood to help distribute the Rocket Newspapers. It was a working Friday morning, so I don't blame my neighbours who have full time jobs.




So many people, both young and old ones came to thank YB. Hannah Yeoh for making the big changes to our previous government. Hundreds of people wanted to take photos and our smiling MP obliged everyone!



I spent 2 solid hours with YB. Hannah Yeoh's entourage and had a good opportunity to hear her speak so well with all the facts & figures in her back hand. She is really very tough and strong minded to convince me that I must render support to help their back room scenes. Together we all can make changes for a better country for everyone & the future generations.


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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Where To Stay In Bangkok? (Updated Photos)

This is not a paid post. 
All comments and opinion are solely mine. 
It is written at my own discretion. 

Hola! Sawasdee Krub. Today is my 3rd day in Bangkok. It has been the best trip with so much new excitement for us. My trip is much spaced out with ample time to catch up with new places to explore and visit my friends and relatives.  It was 5 years ago when my whole family flew to Bangkok for just one night together with both my late parents to attend the funeral of my mother's brother. You can read about how Thai funeral is... HERE.

You can say that this trip would be a mixture of sorts with WORKATION besides catching up with some close Thai celebrity friends and Royalty cousins. Sounds so glamorous! I will share the places we visited and food eaten in next coming posts.

We stayed at a brand new condo named IDEO S93 which was just opened this month. It belongs to my good friend Prute Mumi who is a famous London Trained Hair Stylist who often appeared on Thai TV and socialite news. 



This brand new studio unit is strategically located along the busy and prime Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok.




 The luxury condo comes with a very beautiful lobby that looks better than our St.Regis, Ritz Carlton or Hilton! I am not kidding and you need to see for yourself.


They have many tables with comfy chairs for guests to sit in the lobby.



Further up the lobby, they have big cushions for the guests to laze and relax in their dreams! 




You can enjoy the lovely panoramic view of the city from the 17th. floor studio unit!



The security is good and it is close to all the infrastructure.




It has very relaxing swimming pool and fitness gym with sauna.




The bed is very comfortable with good view beside. The whole area is spacious at 35 sq.m.
The bedroom comes with attached bathroom and a separate living room, dining & kitchen
area which gave me the needed privacy when guests came over to visit.
The whole studio unit is fully air-conditioned.




The well appointed studio comes with a nice bathroom with all your soap and shampoo toiletries.





There is a modern compact kitchen for you to cook simple easy meals or make coffee.




The compact kitchen has a fridge with bottles of clean mineral water, microwave, stove, toaster, kettle, sink and cutlery of plates, glasses and fork/spoons.




You can enjoy a meal with your loved ones.




Look! The biggest bonus is that the whole new condo is conveniently linked to Bang Chak BTS Station which could connect to everywhere in Bangkok which includes the Chatujak Market, Erawan Shrine, Bang Na and Don Muang Airport (2019 completion) You can walk to the Bang Chak BTS Station in less than 100 steps! I have observed that there is no residential property or hotel along the whole stretch of Sukhumvit Road that is so close to the steps leading up to the BTS Station. Seeing is believing!


My designer friend Mumi is renting out his studio unit to bona fide guests for around 2,500 Thai Bahts a night. Write to him now for bookings and tell him that you are my reader. He will definitely give you discount.

Email: prute_w@yahoo.com



This is my good celebrity friend Prute Mumi. 
You can be his friend too!


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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Melaka - Workation Trip

My wife had to go to Melaka as an invited guest by a well known university in that town. So I just followed her again for this "Workation trip" where - Wife at Work, Hubby at Play. At least I could offer to drive her all the way so that she would not be so exhausted and sleepy on the wheels alone. I had lots of annual leave to clear anyway.



We stayed a night at this hotel which is quite new with weird layout. They have different elevators for you to connect from the ground level, car park or to the rooms! It was a bit confusing.




My wife went to work early the next morning while I went ronda-ronda alone along Jonker Street. I am familiar with the antique shops there since 1980s. This time I found this very unique dining set that comes with 8 chairs, all fully studded with Mother of Pearls. It was custom made for a very wealthy Baba Nyonya family around 100 years ago. I looked at my watch and decided to video-call my childhood friend who was sleeping at home in Cayman Islands. He was rudely jolted from his sleep to see my "handsome" face on his phone while I panned my phone towards the antique dining table! Wow!!! Suddenly his eyes lighted up very brightly and he was fully awakened with happy smiles. He asked me to climb under the table to allow him to view the legs of the table and all the carvings from my phone's live-video!! 

That evening I had returned back home to Kuala Lumpur after my wife had finished her event at the university. My friend could not sleep and kept looking at the photos of the table and chairs which i sent him. He texted me that he confirmed buying that table and he immediately wired the money to me on 22nd December! He agreed to buy the antique dining set at the cost of RM45,000.00!



I was very stunned not because my friend had bought that dining set at such expensive price but the comment left by the most famous Feng Shui Master in Singapore on my blog post HERE. If you readers could recall that Master Lynn Yap had left this message for me on the 3rd December! So my friend did wire me almost RM50K on 22nd December, so precisely! You can visit Master Lynn Yap's popular blog HERE. I have been following her post for many years and always trusted her words & predictions. She is always busy with loyal customers around Singapore and overseas especially China. 



The hotel we stayed is connected to the Double Tree Hilton Hotel where they have a Sky Deck in between. It was free for the guests otherwise public would have to pay RM30 per person to enjoy the spectacular view of whole Melaka city. Now there is a promo and the public gets 50% Off!




This is Melaka City with the view of the reclaimed land along the coastal areas. This hotel actually sits on the reclaimed land too! This city will get bigger and bigger over the years to welcome the many thousands of tourists every week.



The whole Jonker Street was full of tourists from China, Singapore and Malaysians like me. They would close the street and convert it to Jonker Walk every Friday, Saturday and Sundays to allow the night market to do roaring business! The sweet candy floss was so huge like a flower and comes with some street dusts too. Muahahahaha



I ate Durian Chendol and bought some durian puffs and pineapple tarts to eat. Burp!


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Monday, December 17, 2018

Kashmir - Where Pretty Ladies On Holiday (Part 2)

This is my second part of my wife's recent trip to Kashmir for a truly relaxing vacation. If you have missed the first part, you may click "Here". This post will be different as I have sought the permission from the beautiful ladies from the "Maharajah of Kashmir's Harem" to share with the world how they went all out to enjoy a real holiday! A real holiday retreat means a place with no shopping malls and crowded touristy places like Tokyo's Uniqlo or HKG Nathan Road's night markets but enjoy the freshest mountain air, tranquil lakes and nature's beauty. I always believe that the higher the place, one gets closer to the heavens!




 1. Kashmir is well known for being the most beautiful place in India for its spectacular view and scenic beauty of nature's paradise!




2. This will be a heavenly place when one wakes up from sleep to be greeted by snow capped mountains and golden autumn's foliage.




3. Their big tranquil lakes certainly added more charm to Kashmir for being a place to rejuvenate our mind, body and souls. A good place to do self reflections too.




4. The above collage of photos will show the interior of the famous Boat Houses. They are luxuriously furnished with portable heaters, bathrooms and a butler in attendance to serve the guests. You will easily be lulled to sleep peacefully like a baby at night as the boat does not rock like a cradle.  The ladies had so much fun inside! Do as the Indians do and the ladies started to do their Indian Belly Dance to prepare for the Maharajah's visit. They happily danced, shook and jumped until the boat started rocking to make waves on the lake. Luckily no tsunami happened. Kekekeke...



 5. It was supposed to be their maiden trip to see the world's best autumn foliage in Kashmir, but the heavens decided something else for them. The weather got colder and colder as my wife texted me. I had warned her earlier that the global temperature has gone cuckoo and their temperature has hinted that it would snow as it gets below 5 degrees Celsius!




 6. Wow! It really rained snow! It was plenty of big drops of snow falling from the skies! Never mind the autumn leaves, the happy ladies went out to celebrate and kissed the snow. It was the most memorable moment for those who had seen actual snow falling from the skies. Everyone loves snow!





 7. The snow is always a happy and pretty sight when they fall and cover all the streets. I have survived in the brutal winters of Pennsylvania and had seen the heaviest and thickest snow piling up to over 8 feet high. I could not open my apartment's iced frozen door and had to climb down from the first floor window to get to college. It was no fun! I wished we could sleep and wait for TV announcement which often reported that snow storms had again closed all schools in the North American states. Those were sweetest memories!





8. When the weather is freezing cold, all the ladies would be too happy and shivering! Nobody wants to fight but to stay close and hug each other! Look at them in the photo!




 9. When we are shivering we need warm gloves of the best quality. Otherwise you can drink hot coffee and warm your hands at any available heaters on the street, Here in Kashmir, this gentle man used the traditional burning flames from his pot.



10. Monkey See, Monkey Do!.... The pretty ladies just followed and warmed their hands. It was good experience to see the local folks lived in the cold climate. Thanks to our sunny Malaysia. 




 11. My darling with her friend.




12. On the boat scene.




 13. The random street photos of the shops..



14. More shops available but no shopping malls in Kashmir.
 



15. Stalls selling vegetable supplies. I believe they are imported from all over India.




16. A fruit juice stall. I see so many crates of yellow lemons! I never drank lemon juice in Winter so I should try soon.



17. My honey with another friend.




18. They serve and sell dried fruits and nuts everywhere. They are my favourite snacks while I am updating my blog. So mahal!



19. A frozen fountain place.




20. The pretty ladies visited the Kashmir University's small campus and happily posed so many photos!




21. The whole gang of beautiful ladies truly enjoyed their trip. See how happy they were and could still jump 100 times! Don't play-play as they are all the Queens of Belly Dance with the strongest hips and legs like a mountain Ox!

A Big Thank You for their permission to share their photos and hopefully the Part 3 of Taj Mahal photos will be posted soon. Stay tuned!




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A Visit To Oxford University town.

I have been back home for over a week now. The jet lag has been terrible which made me doze off anywhere inside my office, restaurant and c...