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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

NEWSLETTER

Maybank: Payment reinstated.

30/03/2009

Maybank: Payment reinstated.

Previous to this, I was writing about someone having swiped my card.

Here's a piece of good news to all who haven't had any. Some time last week, I received a call from an agent of Maybank who told me that the amount that was swiped from my account will be absorbed by them!

The best part was that I didn't have to prove anything.. apart from writing a letter in..

The lesson learnt is that .. if you are in Malaysia, and intend to start a Maybank Visa Debit account (or at any other banks), think twice about putting too much into it. For even though the card may have many safety features, it is useless unless the human factors are vigilant in enforcing the protocol and procedure in checking that signatures on cards are matching.

Otherwise, just stick to the pin-based type of ATM card/EFTPOS. It may be a hassle, or look "uncool", but at least no one can simply swipe your card and use up all your money!
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27/03/2009

South Korea: New Years 2009' Snowboarding @ Jisan Forest Resort 2009!

To my readers, been really busy in the last week just preparing for our exhibition in Midvalley. The Internet is also a bit cranky at days, and have tons of work... so sorry for the delay of more pictures from Korea..

Yup, I might have spent Christmas in Sydney, but I spent my New Years Day in South Korea, which is one of the more important days in the year. This day is quite important to the Japs, but that's another story.

For this instalment of the South Korea series, this entry is devoted entirely just to New Years Day... SO ENJOY!!

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Everyone was gathered together to have "dduk" at HyunJu's "billa" where her parents stay. Just a time of get-together.

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If you are wondering why they are sitting on the floor, that's because it is a common practice for most Koreans & Japs to sit on the floor to have their meals. They normally have cushions on the floor... and yes, it was difficult for me to sit like that to have my meals, but to them it is normal!

They do have chairs, of course, as you will see in the next picture!

At the Jisan Forest Resort later in the night on the same day...

Yup, it was an ad-hoc last minute decision since every other place was closed..

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View of the snow-capped ledge... from one of the many cafeterias.

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Eun Heung (spelling?) Jo's sis-in-law...

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Beautiful, isn't it?

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Our delicious spread of banchan and bibimbap for dinner that night that costs 8,000 won per person.

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Outside of the "Dur Bab" sik-dang. Everyone removes their shoes at the entrance and places it
on a shelf. Yes... we walk barefoot on the floors...

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All dolled up and ready to go in a space-suit. LOL.

The rental of the space suit and snowboard came up to 31,000 won... it didn't cost as much because we were doing it half day, and on the lower part of the mountain, without using the skiing lifts, which would have cost a bomb. Further to that, Eun Heung also has some of her own skiing attire, so that saved a lot of our costs. ^^

If you want to know, I think the snow was mostly man-made.. as it couldn't stick together when we tried to make a snow-man with it! >_< IMG_0290
Yup, it's freezing cold out here. LOVELY.

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The Looker. Hope you had a nice New Year 2009 yourself too!!

P.S. If you're wondering, I gave up after almost two hours of learning to snowboard. My experience with ice-skating taught me that snowboarding (and ice-skating) takes YEARS of practice. So there!
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First Attempt at making 떡볶이 Dduk-Bo-Gi ..... kkk ^^

15/03/2009

First Attempt at making 떡볶이 Dduk-Bo-Gi ..... kkk ^^

Yup... I made my own today... NOT TOO BAD for my first attempt. In My Humble Opinion.

What's Dduk-Bo-Gi (떡볶이), you say? Its a Korean style of cylindrical shaped rice cake in anchovy-flavored chili paste stew of some sort. Yes, it is SPICY. RED SPICY. CHEWY and GOO.....D! Especially in cold, and wintery like weather.

So SPICY it could give you stomach ulcer and indigestion... YUM. YUM. But I couldn't afford to pay 3,000 won each time just to eat it.... ^^

How Did My Parents Like It?
My mom wasn't used to it, and my father was fine with it... I thought it was FANTASTIC..... Yes, I loved it when I was Sydney. Still loved it in Korea.

The quintessential Korean food among the Asians.. of course, the Australians weren't used to seeing that being on the streets, coz it looked rather scarily RED and SPICY for the typical Caucasian. *LOL*

Once, when I was holding it by the stick in front of ANZ BANK in Sydney, someone stared at me and went "WOAH, WHAT is that SHE'S EATING?!!!" *LOL*

Maybe the Koreans should think about starting a chain store for it here, just like how Papa Roti and Roti Boy is getting so popular even among the South Koreans... and yes, both the latter are considered as premium food there too.... ! ^^

INGREDIENTS were....
Anyways, I bought all the essential ingredients for it. From Lotte Mart was the Spring Onion, the cylindrical-shaped dduk (rice cake), and used the (ikan bilis) anchovies, and the go-chu-jang I brought back from South Korea. Made it the way it was according to the recipe I found. Realised I had put in too much water, so I had to remove half of the water and re-used it a bit much later. ^^

It was definitely spicy. The maid, Siti, thought it was good... and even more definitely when I told her that blardy thing costs RM10-RM15 per person's serving in the shops... (and at least 3,000 won at the po-jang-ma-cha!!). She actually thought that go-chu-jang was some meat thing till I told her that it was chilli paste. *LOL*

Anyways, earlier today whilst at....


Korean Food Festival @ Ground Floor, Plaza Damas

Today, I went to meet with my cousin, Karen at Plaza Damas to check out this so-called "Korean Food Festival" at Plaza Damas....let's just say that it was a total disappointment.....there were not that many things on display. Things that even the koreans themselves may barely even look at! >_< Parking was RM1 per entry on weekends, but about RM2.00 per 2 hours or part thereof on weekdays. 비싸다! Lotte Mart@ Hartamas

Anyhow, I just spent a huge sum (RM130-ish) on buying some korean groceries at Lotte Mart in Sri Hartamas.
Of course, part of the reason that it was expensive was because I went to buy a "dolsot" (돌솥) at Lotte Mart. The published rate was RM75.00, but managed to get a 15% off on top of it.....
2 kilos of Japanese short grain rice was RM25.50... (expensive..yes, I know).
3 x RM7.00 for dduk (rice cake) each.

I ended up having a conversation with smatterings of Korean in the midst of the sentence with the shop assistant (who is korean).. I am sure that they were happy to have sold off so much grocery in one day! LOL. ^^
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Thirsty Hippo dehumidifier@ humid Malaysia.

09/03/2009

Thirsty Hippo dehumidifier@ humid Malaysia.

Every since I returned to KL, I realised that my face has had a more greasier feel than usual....

When I was in Sydney, and Korea, I had to slab on the moisturisers everyday. However due to the humid nature of Malaysian air, I had to cut down on the number of moisturisers I have been using. It is also easy to feel really dirty & sticky in the humid weather as the rate of perspiration will be higher.

I realised too that the shoes in the cabinet have caught on tons of mold, that I wouldn't want to use it. To solve the problem of the overly humid weather, when I was at Mydin today, I decided to get the Thirsty Hippo. It apparently is a Korean made product (as said so on the packaging).

In order to make the air dry, one either has to turn on the air conditioner, or use a dehumidifier. The Thirsty Hippo was retailing for about RM5+ each, but if you bought 4 (being buy 3, get 1 free), it sold for about RM15+, which was cheaper in bulk.

In general, dry air (like the one in Sydney, and in Korea during winter) is good for food, shoes and clothing. Two years ago, I had wanted to make siew yook (roast pork) in Malaysia. In order to do that, one has to salt the pork meat and let the meat absorb it.

However what works in Australia, DOES NOT work in Malaysia. In Australia, you could let the meat to dry on the kitchen table, but here, you can only do that by leaving it to dry in the refridgerator. If not, the meat will develop a really wet substance (due to the high humidity) on the surface of the meat.....

*YUCK*

Cases of mildew would happen less as they only thrive and grow well in humid air. I did see some mothballs on sale, but I didn't like the look of mothballs, and they have very strong pungent fumes which is not good for either the environment, or to the human body.

Even musical instruments, and owners of high-end priced cameras have to take pains to ensure that their equpment are kept in cool, dry air.

24th August 2009: Edited
Ok, I must say that the Hippo did fill up rather quickly in my room . Just means that malaysian weather is rather humid.

Elsewhere, I read that South Korea can be very humid in summer, as it rains a lot. Hence, that is why the Thirsty Hippo was produced for their humid summers.
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02/03/2009

South Korea: Day 3 @ Insa-dong

So in this second instalment of my trip in Korea, on Day Three, HyunJu, her elder sister, and her niece & nephew, and I headed down to the city to go ice-skating. We headed down to Insa-Dong later after that.

These pictures below were taken after our ice-skating session.. and here we are transferring to another subway station at Sindorim.

Subway..
Subways always packed....!

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The sign states "Sindorim".

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Franklin Planners... one of the more popular & expensive planners around.

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South Koreans rummaging through planners...

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More planners..

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Even more planners....

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and planners... By NOW, I am sure that you would have realised that the Koreans are crazy about planners!

For dinner, we headed to a sik-dang, and then headed off to a Burger King to use the restroom facilities. When I was there, I noticed the waste disposal area.. for those who are not aware, in Korea, the garbage is separated to paper, plastic, food, liquids and glass. The glass bottles as you can see, are left on top of the garbage area.. the same is done in ALL the fastfood restaurants, canteens, cafeterias and at home.

The reason for this is mostly due to economic factors, whereby, the govt has made it in such a way that their waste & garbage will only be picked up by the waste disposal services using certain plastic bags which they have to buy. It's strict enforcement, BUT IT WORKS!!! (at least not a tidak-apa attitude like what we have in Malaysia here!)

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Waste is separated to paper, plastic straws & lids, food, & liquids. The bottles are normally left on top.

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At Insa-dong...
Insa-dong is located in Jongno-gu in Seoul. It is a favourite shopping alley for foreigners, with lots of cheap souvenirs, knick-knacks, & traditional art, pottery & antiquarian books for sale. One of the nearest subway stations to Insa-Dong is Jonggak (located on the Seoul Subway Line 1- light blue colour).

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Hyunju looking at the nteresting trinkets..

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A row of sik-dangson this side...

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A nice looking sik-dang from outside...

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At the main shopping mall in Insa-Dong...

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Posing with HyunJu's niece & nephew in front of Dalki. Dalki means "strawberry" in Hangul.
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Malaysian humid air bad for skin.

Malaysian humid air bad for skin.

That is what I believe so.

After returning from Australia, & Korea, it really hit home that Malaysia indeed is a "Tropical Country".
Mosquitoes, and insects *abound freely* in this humid country.

*swats another mozzie away*

When I was in Korea, I bought huge amounts of products from Face-Shop... (HEI, it was CHEAP! Instead of what the retailers here who are over-charging for every product.. especially that Raspberry Root Mask thingy, selling currently for RM100.00 which I had bought for less than 17,000 won)..

On my return to Malaysia, I realised that it was unsuitable for me to use the supposedly recommended amount of moisturisers as the air here is already so humid! (nevermind..I can still keep it for further use it when I fly to Australia... hehe.)

To my surprise, I realised that my face was becoming "Empress OIL" all over again. Not only that, I have been using Etude Shop's BB Cream that Eun Heng (HyunJu's sis-in-law) had given me as a farewell present... and the BB Cream itself seems to have high content of moisture as well.. ..

I would say that for people with skin which have the tendency to perspire and of much oil content, a cool, dry temperate climate like that which is found in Australia is much more suitable for their skin. The fact that one has to put in the effort to keep the skin constantly moisturised & hydrated is a small price to pay .. at least their skin won't break out as often.

Though so, the fact that my face is reverting back to its original skin properties ( = meaning oily!) shows that I have been moisturising my face well enough = taking care of my skin properly. That's definitely a good thought to ponder on. ^^
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Will be SWAMPED @ Work!

Will be SWAMPED @ Work!

The next two weeks will be HECTIC! I am currently helping in my family's business, and I'll need help with closing and servicing accounts which by the next two weeks. Yup, so it will be a lot of rushing in the next two weeks before the set-up of our exhibition in Midvalley.. remember to check us out on the 20-22nd of March at Midvalley Exhibition Centre.

Anyways, that apart, been having some problems with my Flcker uploader, so you guys just have to wait before any further pictures of winter, ice-skating and all kinds of interesting pictures in Seoul. hehe.. ^^

I was trying to search through the Astro magazine trying to look for a Japanese channel, but only the Animax (anime) channel turned up.... and there are no subtitles... don't mind me.. I do enjoy anime, but in English??

*shakes head vigorously!!*

Thanks... but I think I'll pass. If its in Cantonese, that will still be okay, but anime IN English takes the fun out of it. I grew up watching Doraemon & Sailor Moon in Malay, so that was different, and its still cute in Malay, ... but anime in English?? So "un-japanese"...

In the past Sundays, I normally do my Astro decoder recording for the entire week, and I realise that I haven't even had time to watch last week's recordings! While skipping through the recorded shows, I found some interesting revelations on how KBS W schedule their shows.. as it is, I am currently following Iron Empress (Cheon Chu) on KBS W, and it seems that the 2-hour drama that I recorded this week, was actually last week's 2 episodes and is behind by two episodes.. well, in a way, that is a good thing, since I really only need to watch 2 hours of that particular drama in a fortnight, and catch up on other shows with it...

For K-Shows, I am currently also following Boys Over Flowers (shown on Monday & Tuesday), Golden Bell Challenge, Star Golden Bell (when possible), Love in Asia, 1 Night 2 Days, Chitchat with Beautiful Ladies, and when possible with subtitles, Hometown Report.

Yup, *SUBTITLES* are very important for a 4th Language Learner.... (4th language since I already speak English, Malay, and Cantonese... hehehe).. If you are wondering, it is common for the Malays to be bi-lingual, but most Chinese & Indians will be tri-lingual, as they normally speak their own dialects within their families and communities. ^^
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