mercredi, septembre 26, 2007

The animals go in two by two.......Horray hooray

Summer is gone and Autumn hit us strong. In the south west of France, it is snowing at 1300m altitude. Yesterday, the central heater in our building had been activated. I am glad cos' now, the apartment will be constantly warm.

Over the weekend, we went over to Chartres. My mother-in-law just adopted a kitten. With Bao Bei previous experience with cats, we were aprehensive about meeting this kitten. The family lunch was on Saturday so we arrived in the morning instead of Friday night just in case, we could not stay over the night due to Bao Bei. Bao Bei's reaction was the same as the last time. She was hostile to Caramel though Caramel was curious and keen to make friend with Bao Bei. Fortunately, the house with the garden was big enough for the two cats. When the two cats bumped into each other, Bao Bei snarled but there was no cat fights. Phew!

To add on, we had a guest dog, Réglis. Her master was out of town so we had her for the weekend. Réglis was a really gentle dog. She was 7 years old and just recovered from cancer recently. Coco, my granny-in-law's poodle was really interested in Réglis as she was on heat. It was comical seeing these animals. They made us laugh with their silliness. Now, I just could not get the nursery song out of my head "The animals went in two by two. Horray, horray. ......."

jeudi, septembre 20, 2007


Saw the news on TV that some Blackwater soldiers fired at Iraqis while escorting a diplomat on sunday. 11 Iraqies were dead and investigation was ongoing to find out the reason for the shoot out.

Who were these Blackwater soldiers? They were mercenaries hired to provide security to ang mohs in Iraq. It was estimated that the lifespan of a white man/woman in the street of Baghad was 6 minutes. Companies in Iraq doing business or TV crew members had to hire these private soldiers for protection. A simple escort journey from/to the airport that took 20 minutes would cost 2000€. These soldiers were very visible as they drove big cars, carried big guns and made their presence heavily felt. The reporter in the field commented that these "Rambos" caused unease to the ordinary Iraqis.

The American government relied on these private soldiers for several reasons. The government needed to justify with its people and senates for sending more of its soldiers to Iraq. Since Blackwater was a private company, the government just needed the budget to be approved for hiring security. Less deaths in the Ministry of Defense would prevent public outcry on the war in Iraq.

The images of burnt cars and angry iraqis .... An eyewitness said that such shootouts happened often. He added that if Bush had not begin the war, these Blackwater guys would not be there. It would be very long before this country could be rebuilt with peace; where water would be clear and not black.

mardi, septembre 18, 2007

Chocolate chilli

I am sure that this bar of chocolate will be a hit if it is available in Singapore. My colleague got some from Luxembourg and passed one to me. It was dark chocolate with mexician chilli. Isn't that a genius idea?

The chocolate tasted good. After the chocolate had gone down came the after taste of chilli. It was indeed spicy. One of my colleagues rushed to put a cube of sugar in his mouth to overcome the hot flavour. I like this chocolate. The sweet and spicy taste was indeed 'shiok'.

lundi, septembre 17, 2007

Food glorious food

I was at the market on Saturday and at the vegetables stall, I saw these green tomatoes. They were meant to be this color. The seller explained to me that these tomatoes were of a variety cultivated in the ancient days and they tasted good. I bought some since Seb loves tomatoes. However, he told me that the taste was no different from ordinary ones.

The season for melons is nearing the end. Over in France, a common way of eating rock melon is with salad and salted ham. In most resturants, this is the starter. It may sound weird to eat fruit as entrée but the sweetness of the melon goes very well with the salted ham.

This is really easy to prepare and very presentable.

Another really french dish is the jarret de porc avec ses lentilles. I had this in Dordogne and when we were served, the waitress thought that this was for Seb and Seb's salade was for me.
-No, no, madame. Seb does not eat meat. It was me, the asian girl who wanted to try this hearty meal. It was indeed too much for me. I love lentilles. It would be better if there was chilli sauce to go it.

dimanche, septembre 16, 2007


I was at Luxembourg for work last week. During the three days I was there, I passed by this giant plastic bag every lunch time. It just reminded me of those china bags that we used for our purchases when travelling in Bangkok or Hong Kong. I could not describe more about this tiny european country as I did not do any visit. It looked to me like any city in France. I did noticed a lot of banks.

The planes we took were really small. On the way there, we took the new Q400 from Bombardier. It was supposed to be a silent plane. But as with any small plane, it was not silent at all. It claimed to be less polluting. For that, I won't mind the other inconvenience.

On the way back, we took a different plane. This one had a single seat on the left side and two seats on the right. It reminded me of a coach. The overhead compartment was so small that we had to leave our hand carry luggages at the foot of the plane. They were slotted away under the belly of the plane.

Upon take off, the flight journey was 35 minutes. It was really a rush affair to serve us light snack and just as we finished our meal, we were starting our descend.

My colleagues explained to me that Lux Air used to use Boeing for its Paris route. However, since TGV (speed train) started operating to Luxembourg this year, the air business was affected. There were less demand by air travel. For us, we preferred planes to train as the last plane left later than the train. On the way back, I counted 40 passangers and almost all were in suits. Only 10% were ladies. Luxembourg really looks to me like a business center and not a place for passing a vacation.

vendredi, septembre 07, 2007

Movies and more movies

Recently, Seb and I each signed up for the ultimate movie card, UGC Illimité. We can watch any movie at any slot anywhere. There are about 500 cinemas available and soon we can watch movies for “free” in other European countries too. I pay 18€ monthly and Seb is paying 19.80€ as he subscribed just after the price increased. In Paris, movie tickets cost 9.50€ on average. If we watched two or three movies a month, that would easily amortise the fees.

I hope that I will blog more about the movies I watched. Yesterday, we went to catch the latest Harry Potter. I am no big Harry Potter fan thus, I am not commenting much here. The plot is not well developed as the book thus I find it a bit disorganised.

Since we are on the subject about movies, I will just develop further on the cinemas here. In Singapore, seat numbers are printed on the tickets. In France, just like in Australia and US, it goes by free seating. So people have to queue up outside the movie hall early in order to get good seats. As some cinemas are really small, sometimes the queue forms all the way outside the cinema. When it is raining, people will be holding their umbrellas waiting to watch a movie.

Now if we have free seating in Singapore, all Singaporeans will be rushing for the best central seats. However in France, I have noticed that there are all sorts of individuals. Even when the movie hall is not crowded, there are people who choose to sit right at the corner of the room. Some would choose the first row which all Singaporeans will avoid. It just amuses me to see “different” people. Seb prefers the corner seat as he does not want to be disturbed by the audiences in the congested centre. But with me, he does not have much choice. After all, I am a true Singaporean. I prefer to be at the middle of the big screen to get a balanced view of the action.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yesterday, I took a day off from work and went to the airport to fetch Seb. He was away on a short work trip in Tel Aviv, Israel. The minute he saw me, he complained about the treatment he received at the airport. At the Israel airport, at the queue to check in, his passport was checked. As his passport had many Malaysia and Indonesia stamps, he was questioned of his visits in Malaysia and Indonesia and also what he was up to in Israel. He was led to a cabin where they searched him from head to toe with those metal detectors. The authorities asked if he was the person in his passport photo. What a silly question! He had to switch on his laptop and showed his powerpoint slides. His suitcase was checked thoroughly. After 40 mins of serious interrogations (yeah, they spoke harshly), they released him and he was led to an express counter to check-in avoiding the queue. The weird thing was that this check was done when he was leaving the country and not when he was entering. I remembered that when my mom visited Israel and Egypt 8 years ago, she had to make a new passport just for Israel. Since Seb has to return to Tel Aviv again and his passport is not expiring any time soon, there would be another unpleasant ordeal for him. :(

Fortunately, my company does not have any client in Israel at the moment. There are many tell tales of Malaysia and Indonesia in my passport too.

mardi, septembre 04, 2007

Piano lesson

I had been diligently practising on my electronic keyboard since I took up piano lessons a month ago.If my passion persists, I will most probably get a real piano. When I told my friends that I was learning piano, three of them told me that they would like to learn it too. However, they thought it was either too late or they could not find time to commit. I felt that if one was really interested in something, one would find the resource to accomodate the activity. I had been procastinating since many years. I can say that I am now very happy and look forward to my piano lessons. I am able to play some easy music scores. Free music scores can be found in the internet. It may help that I could read music notes as I had played organ for a few years when I was very young. I just had to learn on the piano techniques. Still, it is never too late to learn a musical instrument. You need only passion and patience.

lundi, septembre 03, 2007

Ever wonder these questions?

How to get rid of mold smell in front loader washing machine? Answer

How to prevent and clean mold on plastic shower curtains? Answer

How to clean parquet floors? Answer

Okay. My target audiences are obviously the ladies. I found this site that shares information and you too can put in an advise or tip regarding anything. I do not agree that all tips work but some are interesting.

For the male readers, I have not forgotten you. I leave you with this. The secret of folding a suit coat.