Thursday, 30 December 2010

Khmer phone kiosks

 

phone kioskI got the shock of my life when I found out I could not make any calls using my mobile phone. I promptly received a text message saying my prepaid card has expired and that I need to re-charge my phone credit, otherwise, my phone   will self-destruct! Just kidding about the self-destruct part! tee-hee-hee. While I still have unused phone credits amounting to a little over $5, the pre-paid card I charged it with has already expired. Gah, expiration dates are a major, major turn off!

Anyways, so I had to dress up hurriedly and went to the ground floor where there’s a phone kiosk to make a call (like this picture on the right). It’s one of those  local small business phone systems in Phnom Penh where you just tell the minder the number you want to call and voila – you start talking. Of course, you pay afterwards and the cost depends on the number of minutes of talk time. Do you have anything like this in your country? Let me know and I want to see =)





Photo credit: caitrionam via Flickr

Monday, 27 December 2010

Wiiiiiiiiiiii…!!!


Merry Christmas everyone.



In a few more days it will be the year 2011. Can you believe it? Another new year!


Did you all make it to the boxing day sales? I’m sure you did *lol* I heard so many gadgets were on daring discounted prices – the kind that dares you to buy them without batting an eyelash. I myself bought a Nintendo Wii as a Christmas present for myself, and my husband and I were instant gaming converts. Yes, this is the main reason why I haven’t been to the post office for my regular visits and the dearth of blog posts.

Sore muscles aside, my husband and I are enjoying the Wii games. I particularly like the tennis game (surprise, surprise) while my husband enjoys cycling and archery. Together, though, we both love the swordfight  and cycling games, including the dive off the cliff! He teases me no end about how I nearly knocked the poor samurai clean over all of the water in swordfight, tee-hee-hee.  Last night, we stopped playing at about 2am.  I can’t believe that at our age (mine and my husband’s), we found ourselves addicted to Wii games.

Well… who said Wii  was only for kids anyway?

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday Stealing 04: The Ninja Meme: Part Two

SundayStealing

 

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named CV Rick Blog from the blog named Ninja Writer. It’s 50 questions so we will do it in two parts. He stated that he grabbed it from Wry Catcher. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft’s thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing.



Sunday Stealing: The Ninja Meme, Part Two



26.  Whose responses to Stealing do you want to read the most?
I have three people whose Stealing replies I read.



27. What color shirt are you wearing?
Orange

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Not at all. I like cotton more.

 



29. Can you whistle?
Yes, of course.

30. Favourite colours?
Blue, purple, brown, white, black



31. Could you be a pirate?
I think so, yes! I' don’t get sea-sick at all =)



32. What songs do you sing in the shower?


The “I heart logistics” jingle by UPS. It’s so catchy.



33. Favourite girl’s name?
Megan



34. Favourite boy’s name?
Etienne



35. What’s in your pocket right now?
I have an empty pocket now.

 



36. Last thing that made you laugh?
A dog video that I saw on YouTube last night. Click here if you also want to have  a good laugh!

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
It’s a pink bed sheet with the Little Twin Stars print. It also has matching pillow cases and blanket.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
My back injury – from a bad fall while I was doing my gymnastics routine.

39. Do you love where you live?
Of course, no doubt about it.



40. How many TVs do you have in your house? How many HDTVs?
We have two TVs, only one working, and no HDTV.



41. Who is your loudest friend?
Mrs Bulldozer.



42. How many dogs do you have?
Just two.

43. Does anyone have a crush on you?
I don’t know… probably none at all. I’m already taken, you see *shows the ring*



44. What are the most fun things you ever did?
Sending and receiving postcards, letters, and parcels. hihihi. But the most fun I did was watching tennis games with my dear friend Ana of  My World of Postcards.

45. What are your favourite books?


Lots, including the Harry Potter series.



47.  Favourite Team?
Team Rafa, of course!



48. What songs do you want played at your funeral?
I haven’t thought about it yet.



49. What are you doing at 12AM?
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing.



50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Thank God, I’m alive!

Saturday 9: How’s it Gonna Be

 
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1.  How’s it gonna be in 2011 for you?
 A better 2011!

 2. What is your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Nothing fancy – take out from our favourite restaurant to be shared while watching a movie, sharing ice cream or sweets for dessert. I also like us doing things together – like baking or going on a short cycling trips in the city. Snuggling up on the couch while watching movie sounds romantic to me, too.

 3. What strategy would you implement to deal with drug abuse in today’s world?
Tough job, but I think young people who are into drugs have so much time and energy but nothing to turn on their time and energies to. I think, if opportunities or worthwhile activities, such as skills training or sports programs, be conducted in every village or town will give young people things to do and will make them turn their backs from drugs.

4. What thing about your family are you least proud of?
I’m proud of my family no matter what!

5. What part of the holidays are you really looking forward to?
To just relax with my husband and enjoy the holidays without so much stress.

6. Who is the last person you high-fived? Why?
My dog Joe – it’s one trick my husband taught Joe. I like doing the high-five with Joe because he has this peculiar way of doing it =)


7. Have you ever made out at a drive-in?
No, not at all.

 8. If you had only enough energy left in you for one last smile, who would you give it to?
The person with me.

 9. Tell us about that time when you were the “life of the party”.
I’m not really a party-person. I seldom go to parties, and if and when I go to a party, I don’t mingle as much so I don’t think I’m the life of the party-kind of person. hahaha. Boring.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday Stealing 03: The Ninja Meme Part One

SundayStealing
Today we ripped this meme off a  blogger named CV Rick blog named Ninja Writer. It’s 50 questions and we will do it in two parts.  He stated that he grabbed in from Wry Catcher. But, it was probably stolen from there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. To trace back our theft’s thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

1. What do you add to your coffee?
Milk and sugar

 2. What are you reading now? I've stopped after I was done re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 3. Do you own a gun?
Yes, I have a plastic water pistol I use during the Khmer New Year.

 4. Are you registered to vote?
Yes.

 5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
All the time!

6. What do you think of hotdogs?
My favourite!

7. Favourite Christmas Song?
None in particular, really.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Tea with milk.

9. Can you do push ups?
Yes, but not a lot.

10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
Errrrrmmmm...

11. What's your favourite piece of jewelry?
Earrings

12. Favourite hobby?
Postcards and stamps collection, crafting

13. Do you work with people who idolize you?
I wish! hahaha.

14. Do you have ADD?
Yeah, I sometimes think I do!

15. What's one trait that you hate about yourself?
Second-guessing myself.

16. What's your middle name?
Jane

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
My back is killing me. I'm hungry. The dog needs to be walked.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
Dog treats. My favourite dried salami and Tolouse sausages. Toiletries

19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink.
Water. Tea. Soda.

20. Current worry right now?
My back pain!

21. What side do you dress to?
I don't understand :(

22. Favourite place to be?
Post Office!

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
Partying.

24. Where would you like to go?
Home.

25. Name three people who will see today.
My landlord. Vegetable seller. Parking attendant.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Flash news – Rafael Nadal is the new face of Armani!


… err, maybe “body” is the appropriate word.

I was speechless and stupefied when I read the news. The 2010 French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open champion and world number one will model for Giorgio Armani’s men’s underwear. Now that is another way of “looking” at tennis! Tee-hee-hee.

Rafa’s billboards will be put up in February next year (probably it will hit New York first). So dear friends in NY, please be careful when you drive. Look straight and don’t stop and stare at Rafa’s billboards. I am glad that I don’t drive. I am perfectly satisfied at the passenger’s seat – the better I can ogle, err, admire the advert.

Pardon the girlish streak here but I just have to blog about it. Those of you who read my blog know that, aside from postcards and stamps, I also love tennis. In fact I am a huge Rafael Nadal fan. Everything grinds to a halt, and several times forgotten, whenever he is on television. Like when I was being asked about  the epson receipt printer, or the incident when I’d forgotten to put the seasoning for the food I was cooking. Darn.

**
Photo source here.

Prague Metro Route Map

I have a confession to make: I have been in love with the city of Prague for as long as I can remember. And who doesn’t? It’s one of the most preserved cities in Europe…  charming, medieval, historical… so when my Postcrossing friend Michaela send me this route map:

Prague City Map, Czech Republic
Michaela, this is indeed a nice addition to my collection. It will have a special place in my album.

… it gave me a sign. A sign that I shall, one day, be gallivanting in Prague and this route map will help me navigate around without getting lost!  Michaela, in her message, said she found this card at Prague’s Central Railway Station on her way home and thought of me right away. Bless you, my friend. 

The Prague metro is the backbone of the city’s public transport. It is run by the the Dopravni podnik Praha, or the Prague Public Transit Company. As you can see, the Prague Metro is comprised by three major lines marked A, B, and C., represented by green, yellow, and red, respectively. In total, there are about 54 stations,  connecting 50kilometers of mostly underground railway, servicing about 420million passengers every year.

I love trains – all sorts. From the slow, old-fashioned train like the one I took from Aranyaprathet, Thailand (border-town next to Cambodia) to Bangkok, to the new modern LRTs/MRTs/Skytrains in different Asian cities that I’ve been to.  I cherish my commuting experiences and I find a lot of ways to keep me entertained. I read a book, chat with my companions, toy with my mobile phone, or, listen to music on my trusty, old MP3 player amidst the sea of  students and yuppies toting ipods! *lol*  But most of the times I look out of the window to see different views.

How about you? How do you pass the time on your commute to school/work/home?

Saturday 9: Reason to Believe

 
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1.  Has anyone asked you to believe in something that called for a huge leap of faith on your part?
Yes, of course, getting married is a huge leap of faith! 

2. When is the last time you moved? Why did you move?
Three years ago – to be near my workplace. I just can’t stand having to wake  up very early in the morning and endure a horrendous traffic. 

3.  Malls…? or one Internet? Are you doing more online shopping this year? The poll say we are, but I’m curious about what the real people are doing.
I’d say malls. If I were in your country, I’d be one of those early birds queuing for Cyber Monday adventure! However, I did make a few online purchases. I would have done more but I’m afraid the taxes are killing me, and not to mention the unreliable postal service here :(  

4. Do you remember the first meme you participated in and if so, what was it?
Wordless Wednesday – just photos and occasional texts.

5. If you could invent something,  what would it be? 
A mute button – right now there’s a wedding ceremony going on in my neighbourhood and the sound gets too annoying. 

6. Are you finished with your shopping? Do you still a few things to go? What? Not even a game plan?… or is there just one person you’re having trouble finding for?
I’m done shopping for the kids back home and I still have a few things to look for.

7.  What’s left to do at your place (or where you are going)? Is the tree up?… or maybe you’re just happy you found the Christmas tree mug and are calling that good?
Our tree is up for about 2 weeks already, and so far, apart from shopping for and wrapping presents, we’re pretty much done. 

8. Is your life turning out the way you thought it would be when you were a kid? If not, is it better or worse? To tell you honestly, my life is very different from what I had imagined it to be when I was little.  It's different but of course better than I had envisioned it to be.

9. Tell us about something you’ll miss about 2010.
Not much really. I will miss the USA donuts in Phnom Penh – apparently they’ve closed their shop but several clones came out but they’re not as good.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Reserved for Christmas Day

Barely a week after the first two parcels arrived, another box was waiting at our doorstep when my husband and I arrived from our regular errands last Wednesday. It was, again, from my in-laws and it contains more Christmas presents for us. They told us that we could open it before Christmas day if we are unable to keep our giddiness and excitement at bay. But of course, my  husband and I wanted to open it on Christmas day. We couldn’t stop guessing what the content/s if the box is/are.  My head is already buzzing with ideas. Because I am such a tech-gadget junkie -  I’m imagining inside the box would be one of those cute portable epson printers that I like? We will see on the 25th of this month!  Keeping my fingers crossed ^-^ I am so thankful for having in-laws who are very thoughtful and extra nice. Now my husband and I will be off to the market to get them something in return.

Monday, 6 December 2010

It’s the time of the year again…

girl at computer It’s almost the end of the year now  and although I am dreading this time of the year, I am already thinking about stuffs that need to be done as soon as the holiday hullaballoo ends, probably early next year. The visas have been taken care of (note to self: pick up passport on Wednesday), next in the list is insurance.  Now this is a tricky one because I am no longer working and my insurance coverage from previous employment had already expired.  One colleague of mine suggested me to go here for the best term life insurance website online. I am amazed at how much information we can glean off the Internet and how the information is helping us make informed choices. Insurances are good, practical and gives us a sense of security so I am looking for one that fits for married couples. After the insurance has been arranged and ticked off the list, the next item for discussion is our travel calendar =) 

Malaysian batik-printing and songket-weaving

I’ve been to Malaysia twice already but I just failed to buy one of its prized coloured and patterned batik and songket cloths. To those unfamiliar, a batik is, according to the Wikipedia, a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. I own several pieces of batiks from Indonesia and Philippines (which I use to have an outfit made for me, some for making  bags, etc.) but none yet from Malaysia. So a friend sent this postcard to me. At the moment this is the closest thing I have to owning a Malaysian batik.
 Songket is a common to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, that is hand-woven in silk or in cotton with intricate gold or silver patterns. Songket is a very delicate (and expensive) material that weavers are trained well for careful material handling. Both songket-weaving and batik printing are important cottage industries along the east coast of Malaysia. I hope I could go back to Malaysia again and be able to see how a songket and a batik cloth are made, and come home a proud owner of these clothing  materials.  For the stamp used:

Sunday Stealing 02: The Dwight Twilley Meme

SundayStealing

Today we ripped this meme off not from a blogger from a website that does (among other things) celebrity interviews. On Friday they asked 20 questions to recording artist Dwight Twilley. The site is called Pop Matters and you can read the original interview here. We enjoyed the questions so much that we decided to steal them! We only did slight editing to make a couple of questions more universal. We hope you enjoy your latest and greatest! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

1. The latest book that made you cry?
Oh several but since you asked for the latest, I'd say it's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My heart got broken when one of my favourite characters died.

 2. The fictional character most like you?
Ginny Weasley - because she kicks ass and not afraid to stand up for something she believes in. She is also a tough girl having grown up with six brothers.

 3. The greatest album, ever? 
My postcards and stamps album. *lol*

 4. Star Trek or Star Wars. Why?
Star Wars! I love Han Solo ^-^

5. Your ideal brain food?
Peanuts and more peanuts.

6. Everyone is proud of certain accomplishment, which one for you?
My postcards and stamps albums.

7. You want to be remembered for…?
Hmmmm... just to be remembered is good enough.

8. Let’s talk about recording artists. Who do you find most inspirational? 
I'm not really into music, sorry.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Poems of Pablo Neruda.

10. Your hidden talents…?
Singing. Due to security threats, mostly to me, I'd rather refrain than risk imminent household attack from upset pets and irate neighbours.

11. The best piece of advise you actually followed?
Don't  be afraid to have lunch (or dinner) by yourself.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed? 
My gadgets!

13. What is the most comfortable clothes that you wear?
I'm a casual dresser so I'm always in my shorts and tank tops.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Just me and my husband.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?
I'd like to go back to something like The CoalHouse. It's a BBC Wales production featuring three modern-day families who exchanged their comfortable lives for a basic lifestyle in the 1920s Wales. Very interesting for me.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Hit man, and then take Prozac.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolates, or… ?
Mails, postcards, stamps, etc.

18. Environment of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
France.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Please stop discussing your love life (or the lack of it) to the media. It's just - aaaccckk!

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on now?
Preparing a batch of  letters, postcards, etc. promised to friends before the end of the year.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Saturday 9: Hard Habit to Break

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1. Do you have any habit or rituals at this time of the year?
No, not really.

2. Polar bears seem to do well in snow… how about you? Is snow just another thing you deal with when it shows up, or is it shutdown time?… and if you’re posting from a non-snowy locale, do you make trips to actually see snow?  It’s okay to admit it…
I didn't actually make plans to go but I was invited at a conference and it so happened it was at the onset of winter in Nepal. The weather is really cold but there was no snow yet while I was there. I only managed to see the snow-capped Himalayan range from the plane, and then the Pokkara mountains upon arrival at the airport.

3.  Tell about a toy you remember from your childhood.
I can relieve my childhood again by playing Octopus.

Does anyone remember the Nintendo Game and Watch in the 80s? It's a hand-held electronic game and very much the in-thing back then. The Nintendo games during that time were very simple, black and white (and sometimes red) games with simple graphics, and just two main buttons, left and right, for the game. I remembered wailing a banshee in front of my parents because they didn't want to buy me one. After a few sessions of sulking and crying, they relented =)

4. If you could make one thing in the world absolutely free for everyone, what would it be?
Free postage stamps! hahaha. I wish.

5. Do you live close to your immediate family members? If not, how far away are they?
I have a brother who lives close by but the rest are in another country.

6. My mom ordered a turkey dinner from a local market. It was o.k. but not very good. How was your turkey (or your last holiday meal) this year?
To avoid hassles of cleaning up and doing the dishes, my husband and I went out for a lovely Lebanese dinner.

7. In a one-horse open sleigh: have you ever been on a sleigh-ride or a carriage like? Do you even like horses? Or would you just rather travel by your own two feet?
I've been on a horse-ride before. As to traveling, depending on the distance and the weather, I'd go for a walk anytime.

8. What is your favourite Christmas song? ... and sung and played by whom? You know, the one you tend to listen for on the radio or hit "repeat" on your player.
I don't have a favourite but currently, I am LSSing (Last Song Syndrome) on the UPS jingle "I Heart Logistics". The lyrics are brilliant and the melody so catchy. It was a modern take on the classic Dean Martin's song "That's Amore".

9. What is your least favourite Christmas song? ... and sun and played by whom? You know, the one you tend to skip on the player?
Too many to mention but I think "Do they know it's Christmas" by BandAid tops my list.

Bits of Filipiniana

I was searching for old photos of Manila last night to show my husband how our capital evolved to what it is now. I chanced upon this site called www.philippine-history.org – and my! what a treasure trove it is. My husband who is a history buff spent the rest of the night reading and familiarising with Philippine history. Now he knows how much Spanish and American influences we’ve had in our country. I was doing a bit of reading as well and found this old photo of Binondo church in Manila. If you look at the Filipinos, they are wearing what was then considered urban clothes.
.Binondo-church-1890s

The woman on the left is wearing a traditional Filipino blouse called camisa, a collarless blouse with bell-sleeves paired with a skirt called saya. The man on the right is wearing a white, collar-and-cuff-less long-sleeved shirt called camisa de chino, the clothes of the working class. The materials for both men’s and women’s clothing were often made from light materials, such as pina cloth, sinamay or cotton, which are very good for the tropical Philippine weather. If you’d look closer, there is a man on white coat and pants -  which were introduced by the Americans after their arrival in the country in 1898.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Of flowers and hope…

I think I have been yapping too much in my blog about losing weight. One irritated visitor left a comment telling me to stop whining and just get myself an hgh spray to end my blues! *lol*  It was one of those spam comments but let me just tell the sender, if he/she decides to come visit again, send a sample over. I’d be really, really glad to try it. Promise. Tee-hee-hee.

Anyways, I just want to share this "card" of sorts that I experimented on. My roses are blooming again and took a photo of one that I particularly like. Played with it on Adobe Photoshop and voila --              
        roses_and_hope
I already posted this to my other blog. Yes, I know I’m a bit rusty when it comes to Photoshop-ping  and this photo needs more improvement,  but hey, at least I’m trying. I’m still exploring Photoshop with the hope that someday I’d be able to create nice greeting cards to send to family and friends. There’s not much available here in the Penh anyway.  

So, what do you think? Do I have the potential? hehehe.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Care package from the UK!

care package
Yes, as you probably know by now I am a huge sucker for care packages! Imagine our surprise when this box was handed to us by our landlord when we arrived home from window-shopping for tv stands

The parcel was from the UK, and sent by my husband's parents. We were so excited we had to open it right away. I've said it before, but I'll repeat it here... Christmas came early in our household and what a welcome surprise indeed after being in a somber mood. Most of the contents are sweets and stuffs for our indulgence --- but I think it's also my in-laws' way of filling my husband's yearning for home through his stomach *lol*. He hasn't been home in the last 5 years and his parents sent stuffs that they know he is missing. There were also a dozen or so postcards for moi! They're postcards showing  my husband's beautiful hometown in Yorkshire. There was also a video CD of family and close friends shot on Dad's 70th birthday party and birthday card (for the husband) and Christmas card with lovely messages. I think it made my husband miss his parents more. Come next year, when things go as planned, I will be able to see this wonderful sceneries.

So, of course, I had a picture taken of the sweet stuffs Mum and Dad lovingly packed for us.

I'm sure my friend Sheila from A Postcard A Day finds all of these familiar to her!
 
Images by Freepik