KIVA Loan repay :)

I just wanted to share with all of you that my first KIVA loan that I made to a farmer in a country called Georgia (i wanted it to be special), just started repaying me back!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 This is absolutely awesome 🙂 I encourage all of you to consider lending in KIVA. Find out more about KIVA here: http://www.kiva.org/

Yippee 🙂

 
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Fish Head Noodles and more @ Goon Wah

Last week, my colleagues and I decided to venture out for lunch. We went to this “famous” fish head noodle restaurant, called Goon Wah, situated at Jalan Kuchai Lama. It was a highly recommended place to go for the fish head noodle. So we went. Ok, we were a bit late, and when we arrived, we were surprised by the long queue to get a table. Fish head noodle is well, a fish head, deep-fried, then served with fish soup, and lai fun (a type of noodles).

The Crowd

 

Everyone is waiting for a table

 

 

Most of the patrons will order and have desserts 1st, whilst waiting for the food. Goon Wah also serves other Chinese dishes, like Low Shi Fun (Rat noodle), chicken wings and Kow Yuk (something like 2 layer bbq pork…). While queueing for the table, we ordered all of the above except of the chicken wings (no place for it in our tummy lol).
 

Menu on the wall

 

 

Soon, we got out table… ok la, not so soon. About 20 mins later… However, I was informed, this place is worth the wait. The crowd seems to agree too 😛 Dessert was served first… we ordered the fu chuk yee mai (soya based deserts with Gingko) and the hoi tai ye (sea coconut).
 
 

Fu Chuk Yee Mai

 

Hoi Tai Ye

 
 
Not too long, our 1st dish came. the Low Shi Fun. ok ok… why its direct translation means rat noodles. lol. Basically, the shape of the noodles resemble the rat’s tail (or so i was told 😛 ). Anyways, the pictures will show a better story 😛
 
 

The kitchen where the magic happens

 

Served on a flaming wood holder

  

ha ha, does it look like the rat tails?

 
 
 
Verdict: This Low Shi Fun was SUPER delicious. Seriously good stuff. Andrew Zimmern will prefer this version of rat noodle i am sure 😛
 
Next was the fish head noodles…
 

Fried fish head dunked in fish soup

 
You can see all the fried pieces of the fish head noodles floating on top, soaking in the fish soup. The noodles are at the base of the pot.  
Verdict: well… honestly, I thought the Fish Head Noodles served here was so-so only. The soup seemed lacking in somthhing…..I’ve seriously tasted better.
However, we did ask for soup refill lol.
 

Fish soup + Evaporated milk = Fish head noodle soup

 
The demand for fish head noodle soup refill is quite common. Thus, this shop has a station solely meant for refills 🙂 Anyways, next our pork dish, Kow Yuk was soon served. Kou Yuk is like a 2 layer pork, cooked for long time, until the meat is tender. We eat it with a man tau (a type of Chinese buns)
 
 

Can you see the fat layer versus the meat layer 😛

 

to be used to soak up all the gravy and sandwich

 
 
We get to make a “sandwich” with the man tau… 
 
Verdict: unfortunately… it was also so-so…
 
Although, 2/3 of the main dishes were so-so only for us… we did managed to clean most of the plates very well 😛
 

All inside our tummy 😛

 
 
For the record, for the kow yuk, I ate the thin meaty section only 😛 The cost of the meal was around RM55.
 
Note: All pictures were taken with i-phone 4 🙂
 
 
 
 
 
 

My Navi’s boo boo

Every time i go into our small store-room to put stuff, take stuff or arrange stuff, my Navi girl, would scurry inside. It’s the only room that she hasn’t the opportunity to explore fully, and she loves to try to fit inside the tiniest of space… Caught this photo of my Navi girl, trying to “squeeeeeeezeeee” into a space under the cabinet lol.

I gotta eat less lol

 
Navi seems to forget that she is growing … and these spaces are no longer able to be explored lol. Anyways it made me smile. Hopefully it made you smile too 🙂 Cheers

Kon Low Mee and Wan Tans

I’ve been back home for a good 6 days before i got the opportunity to eat Kon Low Mee (Chinese noodles with dark soy sauce and comes with chunks of BBQ pork) with Wan Tans (prawn dumplings). So yesterday, my Mommy & I decided to make a trip to Kuala Lumpur. It was only a 20 mins bus ride from our home to Kuala Lumpur. The shop that we always frequent for really good authentic Kon Low Mee is opposite the Petaling Street. The name of the shop is called Lai Foong Coffee House.

Yummiest Kon Low Mee ever

 
Inside the coffee shop, there are 2 stalls, one is the Kon Low Mee (pix above) and the other is a Chicken Rice stall. I’ve never tried the chicken rice stall before… but if you are there, you will notice that almost 90% of the crowd is eating the Kon Low Mee. Therefore, i never really wanted to try the chicken rice next to it.
 
You place your order for the Kon Low Mee, they have an assortment of varieties, some with chicken feet (I don’t really fancy the feet), but if you are as huge fan, I’m pretty sure its good. You need to be very patient, as the crowd is huge, especially during lunch time. Your order may take up to 15 mins before its being served. My Mommy & I always go around 11am, so the office lunch crowd is not there yet. Yesterday was still a public replacement holiday, so the crowd was understandably smaller. Still, we had to wait a good 10 mins before it came 😛
 
So after you order your Kon Low Mee, you take a seat and while waiting, may as well get a drink….
Drinks
 
Before you know it, the food arrives…
 

The wantans are special as it has a bit of salted fish inside

The wantans are really small, but its good.
 

Notice how shiny the noodles are 😛

 

Pun Fei Sau (Half fat half thin pork)

 
This is certainly a good meal for brunch, packed with calories 😛 I advice that we eat this type of food moderately, like once a week 😛 My verdict, its noodle portion is getting smaller, but at least the BBQ pork strips are same quantity & quality. Its GOOD. For 2 plates of Kon Low Mee and a bowl of Wan Tans, the cost is RM13/-
 

Notice the waiting line

Even on a replacement holiday, there is a queue for the Kon Low Mee. Those hanging meats are the good stuff, sliced BBQ pork that goes with the Kon Low Mee.
 
So, after an artery clogging brunch, we need something lighter, something to wash down the fatty flavors. We decided to have some traditional Chinese dessert which serves also as a medicinal effect. The shop is right next to the Petaling Street Gate. You can’t miss it.
 

Tradional Chinese Desert House

 
My Mommy adviced me to take the Kwai Lin Kou… in direct translation it means Turtle Year Cookie (lol).
 

No turtle was involved ...

It was believed that this black jelly in the bowl on the right was made from the shell of the turtle. However, I am not really sure… and apparently vegetarians can take them too. So I guess, no turtles were involved in the making of this herbal desert. We need to pour some of the sugar-water (in tea-pot on left) to give a sweeter taste to the jelly. However this is purely optional as some like the flavor as it is. So what are the benefits of eating Kwai Lin Kou? Mommy says its good for the skin wor… it seems i need this a lot lol. Cost per bowl is RM8. (wow… my skin better be better after this 😛 )
 
The dessert shop is designed to give you an over all ambience of traditional Chinese medicinal house. Here are some pictures of the shop 🙂
 

Herbs

 

Large Pear Shaped barrels with Dragon mouth

These are used to store boiled herbal drinks which some can help reduce body heat….
 

Up Close with Dragon mouth

 

Dragon tiles on the ceiling

 
After a good brunch and a healthy dessert, we continued to explore Petaling Street 🙂 I’ll share that experience in a different article some time in the future. Thank you for your time 🙂
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Taman Safari, Cisarua

  
I love animals, so it would be very natural for me to seek out the local zoos or safaris during my posting to Indonesia. I must say, the management of the Taman Safari in Cisarua did a FANTASTIC job. I dare say that its one of the best safaris i have been to (versus the one in Melaka & Singapore). Sorry, but i am just stating my opinion.  Here is the full address for the Taman Safari:Jl. Raya Puncak No.601 , Cisarua Jawa Barat Bogor, Java , Indonesia. The contact number is 62 251 8250 000.

I am lucky enough to have visited this Taman Safari TWICE, both with my Malaysian friends who came by to visit. I was also practicing my Couch Surfing skills *coughs* http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/georgialivelaughlove Both times, i took many many many amazing and candid shots. I just want to keep this article short and sweet, and allow you all to enjoy the pictures instead. I really have > 500 pix… however, in this article i will just share a few of the best… 🙂

Taman Safari is a zoo like environment which has a good car safari trail that allows cars and tourist buses to see and feed elephants, zebras, goats, hippos and many more animals which i forgot the names… *shy* PLUS a BABY petting zoo. Along the way to the Taman safari, you will see many road side stalls, selling local produce like carrots & bananas. It’s good to support the local farmers and get you supply there. It’s about Rupiah 5000 per bundle and you can use it to feed the animals during the car safari trail. 

After the car safari trail, you can enjoy other animal shows. All are so good. Examples are  ‘Wild-Wild West’ the Lion show and the Sea-Lion Show. If you fancy an animal ride, you can ride the elephants and ponies. And, if you would like some souvenirs to remember by your trip, you can stop by at the souvenir shop. I bought a lot in both my visit to the shops. 😛

I HIGHLY recommend that you stay one night, so that you can go for the day safari and night safari. On both my trips there, we missed the night safari as we arrived late due to the unforgiving traffic heading to & from Puncak and Bogor… But, i know for sure, one day, i shall return and enjoy the night safari. If you stay overnight, you have a chance to stay inside the Taman Safari which has a variety of accommodations like chalets, caravans and a Buffolo shaped caravan. The Buffalo shaped caravan is only one… so you really need to book in advance 😛 For more information, you may surf this website: http://www.tamansafari.com/

Here are the pictures, a combination of my both trips there. I hope the pictures will convince you all to detour to Taman Safari if you are in Puncak or Bogor.

Map of Activity

This map is taken from the www.tamansafari.com
 

My Malaysian Friends 🙂

 

He he, the hippos know the routine well

 
At 9am sharp, when the gates open, you will have a bit of macet (traffic jam). Dont worry as soon, the cars will pace out slowly as different tourists stop at different spots at different duration of time. And the Taman Safari is big enough… so later, you wont even see too many cars.
 

Feeding begins

 
The animals like the zebras, goats etc are so used to tourists, they are all very well-behaved and know when to drop saliva into your car and make us laugh and scream. ha ha ha… they also love to leave lip stains on the windows… so it’s how they show affection 😛
 

Elephants up close 😛

 

 

Annabella feeding the camels 😛

 
 
i like this picture, like a pix in a pix as i managed to get my friend’s camera with photo inside
 
 

We like to move it move it 🙂

 

Mooning us 😛

 
 

Who shall i eat today?

 

Hey, move it. you are in the way of my tanning session

 

I use conditioners ... to achieve the Rod Steward look...

 

Beautifully majestic

 

We only eat organic bananas 😛

 
 

FEED me...

This hippo just opened his mouth while the cars drove by and we tried very hard to aim the carrots into his mouth… lol
 

I love you, i love you more

 
 
 
The following pictures are taken in the baby petting zoo… he he… i love them 🙂
 

My Navi girl was so jealous when she saw this pix 😛

 

Fyi, this naughty fellow peed on the next tourist lol

 
 
 

i was scared, but i love this pix

 
 The few pictures are pictures taken at the Dolphin show. We missed the show, but the Safari Rangers where so kind, and gave us a small private show after we took pictures and fed thedolphins 🙂
 

waaa, eat so fast one 😛

 

Kissed by cheeky Naruto 🙂 YayJustin & Naruto strutting their stuff

 
And the next 2 pictures are of me in the sourvenir shop, cant seem to stop buying lol 😛
 
 
 

Pls bring me home

 

Nice weekend day bag 🙂

 

Which one NOT to buy... spoilt for choices 😛

I hope you have enjoyed this articles and pictures as much as i’ve enjoyed sharing them with you. Thank you for reading and i hope i’ve convinced you to make a trip to Taman Safari Cisarua. Its much cheaper option than the one in Bali.
 
Take care 🙂 
 

Good to be Home

I’ve been quiet for the past few days, my apologies. I was rather busy packing, having farewell lunches and dinners, and handing over my work in Jakarta to my new amazing colleagues. Passing the baton over. I wish my packaging colleagues in Indonesia all the best, and good luck 😉 It was certainly my honor to work with you all and such a joy too.

Awww, i get a present too 😛

 
(notice the empty plates *coughs* )
 

GSDO Indonesia - I love you guys 🙂

 

My posting to Jakarta has come to an end. It’s been 1 year & 1 month, and i am grateful for the experience. It gave me an opportunity to stay in a different country > 1 year 😛 he he… at least i can check off one of the to do things in my 101 things in 1001 days. I am not sure if you all have heard about this 101 thing in 1001 days… but to me, its something like a new year’s resolution list, but i guess, the good news is, you don’t have to wait till new year to generate this list. The link to my 101 things to do is below. We have basically 1001 days to complete the tasks. Again, for me, and for many others, this is not a competition, but more of your own journey. http://dayzeroproject.com/user/GeorgiaLiveLaughLove

So, the good news is I will be in Malaysia for some time to come… technically 1 month before my upcoming Europe trip. I am not sure whether i should call it Europe trip as i will only cover 4 courtries (barely touch the surface in 22 days). In case you havent heard, i am  covering parts of France, Switzerland, Belgium and Great Britain / United Kingdom. I’ve read about the difference between England, Great Britain and United Kingdom. *shy* i forgot which is what… but basically, to be specific, i will be covering a lot of London, and then Bath… and nearby villages.

Since last Friday, i’ve has a few “breakfast for champions” meals. I admit, as good as Indonesian cuisine was, i was still very much in love with Malaysian food. It was very easy for me to have access to roti canai, tosai, nasi lemak, teh tarik, kon low mee etc… all at a very affordable price. If you have read the link above, one of my to do list would be to eat fruits for breakfast 5 days in a row and another one would be to eat oats for breakfast 5 days in a row. YES. i shall, cause too much of a “good” thing, is also not so good “la”. I could eat my weekly required dosage of hawker food during the weekends. ha ha.

Soon, i will share with you all more write ups about a few trips i made in Indonesia and also some new on Malaysian gastronomical feasts 🙂

By the way, fyi, Malaysia will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri this week, from 30th to 31st August (if the sighting of the moon confirms it). If not, it will be from 31st August to 1st September 2011. Hari Raya marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan. 

Ketupat

Picture courtesy of Google

And, on 31st August, it is Malaysia’s Independence Day. It is our 54th year since 1957, when our 1st Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared our independence from the British. Happy Birthday Malaysia. Stay uniquely multi-racial. I love you very much 🙂

Map of Malaysia

Map Courtesy of Google
 

Jalur Gemilang

Picture of flag courtesy of Google
 
For my Malaysian friends who will be driving home during this “balik kampong” (back to home town), please drive safely. For the rest who will stay in Kuala Lumpur and enjoy the traffic free highways, see you all at the mega shopping malls 😛 He he, it’s the Great Malaysian sales now. Have a great week ahead every one. I wish you all a productive week ahead. Hugs. 
 

A Busway Adventure

Last week, i hosted my friend and colleague Lee San in my apartment in Jakarta. I was practicing my couch surfing skills 😛 ( http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/gkaounis77 )… I think all in all, i was a good host 😛 ha ha, self praise is no praise.

Anyways, on Saturday, our Jakartan friends Lucia & Tobias took us out for sight-seeing day via the busway. We took the busway as it was so much easier, and not to mention cheaper means of travel in Jakarta. No traffic jam. No macet. No joke 🙂

The roof of the busway

 

The Climb ... ok ok the walk up

Directions

 
 

Where we are, and where we're going

 
Many may be surprised how green Jakarta really is. Yet, it’s still quite hazy due to the huge number of cars…

View from the busway bridge

 
 
  

Passengers leaving the bus

 

Passengers getting in

 

Picture time

 
The bus got more and more passengers as it drove on…..
 

Through the crowd

 
Overall, the busway is still a cheap & efficient way of getting around Jakarta. It was a bit hot as the crowd number increased…. but still, my verdict, a must try 🙂 You instantly meet locals and that’s the whole point of travelling.
 
By the way, we saw this guy with a SIX pack from the busway 😛
 

he he, this is what i call a 6 pack la 😛

 
So after the bus ride, where did we go? Ha ha, that’s for me to share on another day.
 
 Thank you for your time and i hope you’ve had a great start to your week 🙂 Have a great week ahead. cheers.
 
 
 
 
 

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