Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Flower Girl Kay

This was Kay's first starring role as a flower girl; for my cousin Adrian's wedding.

When the request first came in, we didn't put much hope on it seeing how Kay is usually so sticky. But we thought we'd just go for it and see what happens.

Because we weren't really expecting it to work out, we were pretty laxed about it, and we hadn't really been pshyche-ing her up earlier for the role until one or two days before the actual date; which was on her birthday: February 22nd!

What a day and what a role to be playing on her own birthday. She is now officially and technically 3 years old.

Being more anxious than her, I showed her some amateur Youtube videos of little flower girls walking down the aisle, for reinforcement. I also had to do a little research about how the hair and flowers go together cos we weren't sure how it works. But hey, my involvement stops there alright? Less you think I'm into pinky glittery princessy stuff. Ah Ma & Nee did the actual work.

Kay did well for the rehearsal the evening before and she seemed more independent and self-confident this time around. We could stay some distance apart from her in a radius and she'd still be okay. I must admit I was a bit skeptical that she'd want to do it on the actual day with an actual crowd staring at her.

But lo and behold, she creamed it.

And we've never ever seen her sitting so still, for so long. Doesn't this look like a preview into the future? [sob sob]

I guess school has got something to do with it. She got through that big separation hurdle; you know, the one where parents had to eventually dump their kids and they think their parents are leaving them forever? I guess after that everything else became less frightening in comparison.

Either that or she just really wanted to be a princess so badly.

She also scored in both the pre-wedding and the wedding dinner, exercising her PR skills on unsuspecting dinner guests; fluttering from one table to the next.

Our baby girl is now a little more grown up. I'm even beginning to call her Kay more often now. There will still be more changes, for the better I hope. She's transitioning from Terrible Two to Terrorising Three at the moment, packed with all the tantrums, stubbornness, power plays, and the state of no apologies and no public toilets. In the meantime, I have collected a couple of plastic balloon sticks for reinforcement. Parents have to transition too. This is not Sweden.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Damai Puri Weekend

Nee had a UNIMAS project meeting over the weekend at Damai Puri. As usual, this is one of the ways a bloated public institution spends the Rakyat's money. This also meant a short weekend getaway for the participants, and their family members. We were not the exception, and were quick to take advantage of this perk.

The renovated room was clean & most importantly it had wooden flooring, instead of tiles; and this lent a certain level of comfort and warmth to our stay. Surprisingly, against our expectations, the room was very acceptable.

The main asset of Damai Puri was their larger than usual pool & I thought their stretch of beach was much wider & private as well. We were not aware at all that there was more action in the children's pool as it was sort of hidden & not visible. So along with most people, Kay just played in the larger infinity pool.

This was Kay's first experience with the arm floats. And it worked better than the rubber ducky ring ones cos this made her think she could really swim.

I didn't really want to do this post cos I thought it was more of a personal family holiday but gosh, I am just so enamoured with Kay's photos that I wanted to share them with the world.

Being parents ourselves now, we could finally understand why every other parent would think that their own kid is the cutest in the whole wide world, even though they may not really be, in the eye of the public. For us, we're just fulfillingly content being ignorant about that.

Sigh. Blink blink. Flutter flutter.

In the end, the little sleepless monster of eternal awakeness finally flattens herself out.

Damai Puri turned out to be a little pleasant surprise for us as most of the Damai range of hotels had an air of monopolic arrogance. It's true that Damai Puri will charge for every little additional thing like RM15 or so for a pillow/towel etc. We've read a lot of complaints about the non-existence of service but we were lucky enough not to have required them, and that probably spared us. We were also fortunate enough to be given a clean room which seemed more recently renovated. So yes, we will be back and Damai Puri will be our choice over the more crowded & smaller Damai Beach Resort, for now.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

CNY in Bali: The Arrival

Despite the hype, and the Eat Pray Love fiasco, we've never been to Bali. Although the place had crossed our minds a few times before but the trip somehow never happened. So this time round we thought Bali would make a good Chinese New Year break for us.

The trip wasn't that well planned although we did have some ideas of what we wanted to eat, and the places that we'd wanted to go. In retrospective, I think it wasn't so much of being well-planned, I think the trip needed less planning instead. We didn't know it then but the mistake was that we planned Bali the way we did with our other holidays. 

We were booked for Aston Bali Resort in Tanjung Benoa Nusa Dua, down in the southern peninsula of Bali, about 40km from Denpasar & 30 minutes from the airport.

The airport experience wasn't that great cos we arrived around evening 6-7ish & there was a sense of hurriedness & at the same time an anxiety over being approached by taxi touts, porters, etc. We ignored the touts as advised, and we bought our tickets at the counter for IDR90,000. However the 3 porters got to us, and in Bali it takes 3 of them to handle one luggage. Later we found out that the touts charged even cheaper, but we weren't sure the same rule applies in general, and we wouldn't have wanted to take that chance.

Nusa Dua is the place where all the resorts are at, and in keeping with the resort traditions, a bit far from everywhere else. It's fine if you're planning for a quite getaway of doing nothing but lazing around. That's what we should have done, but we did our usual sightseeing & food-hunting, and the trip ended up as an exhaustive one filled with horrible traffic jams on single lanes cos the main sites like Ubud & Denpasar were far away. Nee almost suffocated herself in the car, & Kay had a couple bouts of puking from car sickness. Bali's infrastructure has obviously not yet caught up with the demands of its burgeoning tourism.

The Aston Bali Resort wasn't really what I had in mind for Bali, but Nee's family was already there and the whole point of it was for a family reunion sort of CNY holiday. My ideas for staying by the padi fields with a sarong & a Teck Kong Ah Pek singlet didn't happen.

The resort despite being 4 stars was a bit anti-climaxing. You can tell from how the room looks.

I think the lighting was a bit dark & we could see that Kay wasn't too excited by the room as she usually is with almost ANY hotel room. She wanted to make sure that EVERY single light was switched on in the room, every single night.

These were some of the decor at the lobby. From the moment we stepped onto the hotel, you could tell that Bali was a place with an abundance of skilled craftsmen, and that is why it has an inarguable strong identity in the art world: the unmistakable Balinese style.

Later on I came to learn that Balinese art is deeply rooted in their rituals of dance, music, sculpture & carvings which were mainly done for their many temples. And that explains the rich tradition that it has in its arts & cultural practices.

This is the view from our room's verandah. The lighted area in the center is one of the restaurants where they were going to have lion and dragon dances; which was going to be Kay's first delightful encounter with the celestial creatures.

Here's Kay adoring the candlelight.

There are three major things which Kay responds to right now: Food, Light & Swimming.

The first night was just for us to settle in. We wouldn't have the time nor energy for any more adventures after Changi. And so we had to be contended with just hotel food.

Roasted Pork Belly

Satay Bali style

Oxtail Stew

I think one of the highlight was for Kay to see Roger (Big Jiu Jiu) again. And it's always interesting to see how Kay takes to Roger very quickly even after not seeing him for so long.
I guess blood will always be thicker than water, and that Skype probably also has something to do with it.

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