SLIDER

WELCOME TEXT

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

25/06/2010

128 Faubourg: Rhubarb-Berry Velvety Treatment July Promotions


Purchase Rhubarb-Berry Velvety Treatment at Rm198 (n.p Rm220)

COMPLIMENTARY
1 x Raspberry Smoothie Emulsion total worth RM85
1 x 14 days supply Soothing Milk worth RM49
1 x 14 days Supply Soothing lotion worth RM49
1 x faubourg Cash worth RM20 (unconditional cash voucher)

Purchase Rhubarb-Berry Velvety Treatment at RM198(n.p RM220)

COMPLIMENTARY
1 x Raspberry Smoothie Emulsion total worth RM85
1 x Deep Cleansing Treatment worth Rm185
1 x Faubourg Cash worth RM20 (unconditional cash voucher)

Other terms & conditions apply. Please click poster for more information.
No comments
Deodorants @ LUSH

24/06/2010

Deodorants @ LUSH

Today is Thursday, the only night well known for the late night shopping (till about 9pm!) in Australia..

On my way home today, I stopped by the LUSH shop near QVB, Sydney and checked out their June Lush Times.

Among the items retailed that caught my eye was the

Aromaco Solid Deodorant retailing for $10.70 per 100g,
Aromaco is our cooling, patchouli scented deodorant block based on an infusion of astringent witch hazel and chamomile vinegar. This has pong-bashing bicarb in it too. Use it on your feet, your armpits and anywhere else you want to keep smelling fresh and lovely. We add plenty of patchouli oil, which is cooling on the skin, is rumoured to sharpen the wits and acts as an insect repellent; not bad for a deodorant

Ingredients:
Witchazel Infusion (Hamamelis virginiana), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Chamomile Vinegar (Anthemis nobilis), Sodium Bicarbonate, Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Perfume.
100g


T`Eo bar $10.50.
The powerful tea tree one for active armpits. T`Eo bar is a tea tree deodorant, hence the name. If you`re a sporty type who gets sweaty on a regular basis then go for this one. Stick it in a baggie and carry it around with you for regular top ups if need be. Tea tree, lemon and juniper are excellent against invading armies of bacteria.

As with all the Kryztals, the powdered sodium bicarbonate and magnesium carbonate absorb odours and excess perspiration; if you`ve been exercising dab the bar under your arms for reinforcements.


Ingredients:
Sodium Bicarbonate , Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid) , Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca) , Blue Wax (Specerit Blue C) , Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) , Magnesium Carbonate , Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum) , Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis) , Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon schoenanthus) , Fresh Grape Juice (Vitis vinifera) , Blue Cornflower Petals (Centaurea cyanus) , *Citral , *Eugenol , *Geraniol , *Citronellol , *Limonene , *Linalool , Perfume *Occurs Naturally in essential oils

I might just go and check it out the next time I am out at QVB.... ^^
No comments
Closure: 128 Faubourg @ Pavillion

21/06/2010

Closure: 128 Faubourg @ Pavillion

It is a sad day, but even all good things must come to an end.

I just received by email the circular from the Faubourg One Management.

The 128 Faubourg salon at Pavilion has announced its closure, and will be integrated with the rest of the other 128 Faubourg salons at the other three locations at Bangsar Village II, 1 Utama, and Empire Shopping Gallery.

Good bye to lovely good Sothys memories...... thanks for the beautiful service.
No comments
Less is More.

16/06/2010

Less is More.

Sometimes people just don't want to know the truth.

At least,  I feel that the clients whom I deal with at work in events, prefer to believe a lie, than to have to entire truth.

To them an exaggerated idealistic half-truth is better than a whole truth, as long as the half-truth works.

People aren't interested in the real truth. Unless something goes wrong, most people can't be bothered to find out if a fact was exaggerated, a half-truth, or a complete farce from the start.

That's just life.
No comments
A modern Korean Death Anniversary.

15/06/2010

A modern Korean Death Anniversary.

So I'm staying in a korean household still. In Australia, that is.

Today, was the anniversary of my korean landlady's husband death. Otherwise known as  기제, (gi jae), most asian cultures practice this custom in different variations.

I was wondering why the landlady bought an entire box of "ddeok" (rice cake) this afternoon, and why the landlady's children were tinkering around the house for the past two days.....

Well, the landladys' daughter (and family), and her son (and family) came together tonight. Plus her four australian accented sounding korean grandchildren that's making a lot of noise downstairs.....  Since the family is christian, I doubt there's going to be any incense or ancestor worship, but probably just a family reunion of sorts.

Speaking of death anniversaries, the Chinese in Malaysia do practice something similar, called Qing Ming, (清明节), or "Tomb Sweeping Day", which happens around the 5th April of every year. Though my family does not specifically practise it for many years, I remember going to the graveyard around April during this time last year to visit both the cemetery where the ashes of my dad's relatives, and grave of my Ma Ma. (or father's mother) were kept.

On Qing Ming, most wives would go with their chinese husbands as they married "into" that particular family, and by practice, had to follow the customs of the husband's family. The male offsprings are normally responsible for the uptake and care of their elder's gravestones.

When a wife of a chinese person dies, they are normally buried with the husband's side, and their place of origin. i.e, if my grandmother is of hokkien origin, and married into a chinese family of cantonese origin, when they passed away, they'd be buried with the husband's cemetery of the cantonese origin. 

Perhaps the chinese may have something similar like "Gi Jae", but as far as my readings have revealed, we've only had QingMing for the last 2,500 years, and that's probably to remain the same for the next few hundred years to come.
No comments
Delicacy Beauty & Spa: My First Visit.

13/06/2010

Delicacy Beauty & Spa: My First Visit.

Right, it's been days so this review is due.

It was with much trepidation when I entered the Delicacy salon on Monday. But I was much  pleasantly surprised.

AMBIENCE
The room was not the style ala 128 Faubourg of Malaysia, but rather a more plain brown vanilla version. Although I do wish... but it's just not happening with Sothys in Australia any time soon. :P

I was surprised the centre does not put out advertisements for the "seasonal" facials on the entrance, but apparently they do within the rooms. Perhaps it has to do with marketing & licensing, but I would not know.

FACIALS
I chose the $60 Intense Facial - which includes cleansing, exfoliation, steam, extraction, face, neck, shoulders, hand, head massage, mask, and day cream. It also includes eye waxing(not plucking/tweezing), but no shoulder massage.

I know its the norm in Malaysia to include shoulder massage for most facials, with inclusion of eye brow shaping, but in Australia, that is reserved for the more expensive ones.

THERAPISTS
The salon is staffed majority with therapists of chinese background, some speaking Mandarin, and some Cantonese. The therapist who worked on me was formerly working with another Sothys partner salon in the city, which was a pleasant bit of reassurance.

POST-FACIAL
Like any salon one goes to, there comes the product recommendation at the end of every facial.

As I had combination, yet sensitive to the touch skin, the range I was recommended for use in Winter was:
- Hydra Protective Softening Emulsion
- Immuniscience Fluid (light texture)
- Carte & Confort Light Cream (yes, its spelled Confort!)
- Clarte & Confort Concetnrated Serum
- Clarte & Confort Mask

The ongoing Promotion the store has :
Deluxe Facial (70 mins):
- includes cleanse, exfoliation, steam, extraction, face, neck, shoulders massage, hand, head massage, free eyebrow,
- 2 x mask + Ampoule (Serum for Special Treatment).
Price: 10 times treatment - AUD690. RRP per treatment not in a package ($72)
Validity: 6 months for 6 Facials, 12  months for 10 Facials. 

SUMMARY
I've tried a number of skincare brands whilst I was still in Malaysia, and out of all the brands, it was my experience at 128 Fauboug which was the most pleasant, and effective.

The fact that this salon utilizes *ONLY* Sothys skincare products is also another contributing happy  factor. I've had experiences with partner salons which weren't too happy, so this is definitely great. So regardless of which facial I chose (even the cheapest one!), they are all the *genuine article*!

The prices for the facials are also fairly affordable. Say, for the same $60 facial treatment I have in the surburb, it would cost at least $100 in the Sydney city area! (which is only 15 minutes by train!). For Malaysians, try not to convert the price. If you're working here, the prices here are not too bad.

There was not much hard-sale, thankfully. And also none of the "this promotion only lasts whilst you are at the shop, and expires once you leave the shop" business. Thankfully. I really think I might have just found my affordable Sothys salon here after all!

Operation Hours:
Open 7 Days
Monday- Saturday 9:00- 17:30
Thursday 9:00- 21:00
Sunday 9:30-17:00

Shop 53, Level 4 Ashfield Mall
260A Liverpool Road, Ashfield
Tel: (02) 9798 3828
1 comment
Delicacy Beauty & Spa (Sothys Partner Salon)

07/06/2010

Delicacy Beauty & Spa (Sothys Partner Salon)

Right, so I have been in Sydney for about 4 weeks now. Seems like a long time does it not? It seems like a century since I arrived here in early May.

WINTER COMING...
The weather has not been too kind of my skin recently. My skin has gone pretty dry due to the cold weather, and has breaking out for the past two weeks or so. Perhaps this is due to the frequent rain that normally occurs during this period of time, that signals the change of one season to the next.

PRICING STRATEGIES...
So, I've been to a number of malls, and checked out their different pricing strategies. Some charge by way of a free facial for two product purchases (normally around AUD150), and for others, the normal facial purchase. Mind you, the price range of facials at departmental stores like David Jones start from AUD90 to about AUD135!

ASHFIELD MALL...
Located near where I currently live, is the local mall. There is a salon which I have found to showcase only Sothys, and OPI products, so I am pretty pleased as pie. I get really wary if salons subscribe to too many skincare range.

Anyways, the salon, Delicacy Beauty & Spa has a rather nondescript appearance from the outside. As I was at the mall this afternoon with my housemate, JC, I decided to just take the plunge and make an appointment!

It was fortunate that I brought her along, as JC is a person who is particular about customer service, and she was not too keen on the service she observed (just like how I was with the Three service).

However, I'll take her observation into my consideration when I go in for the facial. Will write more after the appointment!

Services at Delicacy Beauty & Spa include:

- Facials from AUD 40 - AUD 160
- Body Treatments from AUD 35- AUD125
- Ladies Waxing from AUD 5 - AUD160
- Men's Waxing from AUD12 - AUD45
- Eye Treatment from AUD38- AUD40
- Tinting & Piercing from AUD12
- Permanent Make up from AUD80- AUD260
- Make Up from AUD40
- Nail Care Services from AUD25.
- Hand & Feet Care from AUD20
- Acrylic Nail from AUD8 - AUD70

For every $1 spent, you will get 1 Bonus Point. Accumulate 2000 bonus points,
get $50 for Free. T&C applies.

Facial Course of 6 times- less 10% discount. Payment for treatment courses are not refundable.

Operation Hours:
Open 7 Days
Monday- Saturday 9:00- 17:30
Thursday 9:00- 21:00
Sunday 9:30-17:00

Shop 53, Level 4 Ashfield Mall
260A Liverpool Road, Ashfield
Tel: (02) 9798 3828
No comments
Three: Discourages Customers from Unlocking Phones?

05/06/2010

Three: Discourages Customers from Unlocking Phones?

Recently I ported my mobile number over to Three. Being in Sydney, it's more economically flexible to subscribe to Three, as most of my friends were on Three.

OPTUS
Having been on Optus for the past four years (2006, when I was at Uni), this is my first time I have changed network providers. In Australia, that is. Before porting my number, I called up all my friends on Optus to use up my minutes (300 minutes at that!).

Inherently, Toowoomba, and those in Queensland are huge fans of Optus. So was Tasmania, as Optus was second best to Telstra (whom I heard was really pricey), and Three was almost hopelessly non-existent in Hobart.

So, you're on THREE?
Last night, my housemate, JC, called up Three to request for unlocking of her phone. Having been on Optus, I found the entire experience unsatisfactory. Unsavory, for lack of a better word.

In my entire time with Optus, I've not had that many bad CSR (Customer Service Representative) experiences. Apart from the whole Customer Service being hosted off-shore (India, as most telecommunications networks now are), I've not had any CSRs questioning my intention in unlocking my prepaid phones.

Unlocking the THREE phone...
So there was JC, her first time unlocking her phone. She had to go through the whole routine where she calls up the CS, and they asked the routine questions like her account pin, (and other security questions). JC comes from South Korea where phone services operate on similar platform to Japan's Docomo's, where phones are locked to a particular network and do not operate on a SIM card basis, so she was not familiar with this.

JC was informed by the CSR at the Three shop that unlocking it would be a breeze. As JC was on a contract basis with Three, she was informed that the procedure could be done at least two weeks (for new phone models, I guess?)

To the uniniated, unlocking the phone is not difficult a procedure. It only just involves a number of procedure, being:
  • unlocking code, and also, 
  • an alternate mobile phone number so that the Tele-CSR can assist her on the procedure.
JC has two phones.
1) Nokia E-Series model mobile (a recent model)
2) LG Viewty GU990 (a two year old model)

Nokia E-Series model

So, the routine security questions were asked.

*ding dong ding dong*

CSR: Oh, why are you trying to unlock the phone?
JC: I'm going overseas.
CSR: But we have roaming services.
JC: Well, I still want to unlock it (and roaming is expensive anyways!)

*Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle* (after about 5 minutes)

CSR: Oh, I'm sorry, but we are unable to help you. Our team will get back to you in 96 hours (that's like four  days!)
JC: Okay, but I have another phone I need to unlock here as well.
CSR: Ok, we'll settle the Nokia case first before we work on that, okay?
JC: Uhh..

And the phone went dead......

HOW RUDE!

LG Viewty
So I keyed in *#06# on her LG Viewty and asked her to write down the IMEI number (Serial number of her mobile), which she did.  

Undeterred, JC decided to call Three Customer Care again. I told her I hoped we get another CSR.

*Ring Ring*

The same series of security questions were asked.

JC: Hi, I want to unlock my phone.
CSR: Oh, you're the one who called earlier. We are working on the case..
JC: Yes, and I have another phone in my account as well too.. 

*Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle Ding Dong Ding Dong*

CSR: We'd need another phone number to call you.
JC gave them my contact number.
So, in less than 5 minutes time, the LG Viewty was unlocked. JC thanked the CSR (the second polite one) and put the phone down.

So we inserted my former Optus SIM card into the LG Viewty mobile, and it ran. Yeah.


In Conclusion....

JC: I didn't know it was this easy!

So, in conclusion, Three's retailers and stockists tells clients that unlocking the phone is easy, but when it comes right down to it, Three's Customer Care CSR's will make it difficult for clients to.

And which is the party who put the CSRs to it? Three's management, of course. They can't operate independently of Three's directive.

I'm giving the Three Care up till Monday night to revert to us. If not, I'll PERSONALLY ensure that she calls them again.

Don't think we're clients who don't know our rights. If we're unhappy, we'll switch.
No comments
Landlords: They're all the same.

Landlords: They're all the same.

There is one thing I must say about landlords/landladies. They're all money minded.

"You should not turn on the television and laptop at the same time! How can you be watching both at the same time?!"

"There is no need to turn on the lights in the morning!"

Some even turn off the lights halfway when you are having your meal! How Rude!

"Did you use the internet all night?? I know coz the lights on the modem was blinking all night!" (I was already asleep by 2, and slept in this morning...*Hmmm*). How dare she accuse me?!

"So, when do you start working?"

"Aren't you going to be working?"

"How come you're home all day?" *(and watching tv and using the laptop..)*

The last time I was staying in my previous location (it was in a shared room for AUD140 on Pitt St, Sydney), one of my house mates told me that it was not advisable to tell the landlord if I ever had travel plans. (they may think we have too much money..)

Especially if it meant going to Korea! (and you all know that I went to South Korea, hehe!) ^^

The previous landlord was a Chinese couple from Indonesia who could not stand chinese mushrooms (and they were chinese? Weird people), who incessantly talked about money. Telling them I was going to Korea is equivalent to hanging one's self.

When I told them of my plans to go home (to KL) after I got my visa approved, they were really surprised.. Its like, I think many of them try to find a way to stay in Australia, but here a KL-lite going home...

Sad people, I must say. I hope I meet less of them.
No comments
Getting an Airline Upgrade.

03/06/2010

Getting an Airline Upgrade.

Been skimming through the Internet. Most of the advice is similar, so I will just regurgitate it here.

1. Frequent Flyer Miles-
Be a member! Become a member of your airline's frequent flyer program and try to reach 'elite status'. Top-tier frequent flyers will generally have priority over normal passengers when it comes to getting upgraded on an operational basis. Some loyalty programs give elite members automatic upgrades on certain domestic flights; others give out a limited amount of upgrade vouchers which can be redeemed on flights.

2. Dressing the Look
Lisa Ferrari: “Upgrades are a rare travel experience in this day and age. To increase your chances, ditch the backpack, thongs and tracksuit pants; present yourself neatly and polish up your manners and you may find yourself sipping on champagne in either first or business class.”

“After you board the plane, you can always change to more comfortable clothing. Make sure you put your change of clothes in a small carry on bag.”

3. Flirt your way to a better seat
Phil Derner, President of aviation group NYCAviation: “A ‘pretty please?’ has helped me once or twice, and flirting helps too.

“Once a flight attendant moved me up right after departure and gave me full privileges after using those tactics. It also gets you free snacks.”

A smile can go a long way- Ann Lombardi: “Smile at the gate agent or ticket agent at the check in counter. Address the agent by first name and find something positive to say to them, as they really appreciate that rare compliment.

“Having been an airline employee myself, I know how many complaints these hard-working folks have to handle on a typical day.

"If there are empty seats in business class on board and you weren't upgraded at the gate, re-apply the techniques on board. Two of my cycling clients and I were upgraded by a European carrier on a transatlantic fight last year mainly due to our happy, appreciative

3. Location, Location, Location!.
If it's a major airport, you'd be competing against other FF members, so chances of a free upgrade is minimal. 

4. Get on an overbooked
If they are overbooked on the economy section, but empty on the business class cabin, possibilities maybe higher. Also are flights just before a holiday period can come under this category as business travel recedes. You can use flight availability tools on the web to check the loads on a specific flight a few days before to assess your chances.


5. Volunteer to get "bumped"
Especiall if its on an overbooked flight. If you do get bumped, you usually get a free flight to use within a year, and some spending cash. If they end up not needing you to get bumped to a later flight, they may upgrade you for your willingness to get bumped.

6. Travelling Alone
Travelling alone - higher chance of upgrade. Travelling with children - zero.


7. Checking in Online
The airline will knows you will be on the flight and may need to pre-upgrade some passengers before they arrive at the airport. Of course, this only applies if you have some kind of elite status for this to work.

8. Booking a Premium Economy Ticket
Depending on which airlines sells that. The number of premium economy seats are limited and you are deemed as a higher revenue passenger. Any potential overspill from an overbooked economy cabin could result in an upgrade to business class.


9. Subscribe to the Airline's Email Subscription.
Be in the know. Airlines have specials throughout the year. You might even encounter a special that allows you instant status in their frequent flyer program. This refers to a higher level than just basic frequent flyer membership. For example, American Airlines has these levels: Member, Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum.

10. Buy an upgrade.
Many domestic carriers, in an attempt to earn more business, will happily sell first class seat upgrades on a first-come, first-serve basis. Obviously, they want to earn as much money as possible and they will release first class seats typically only at the airport and only on the day of the departure.You may only need to pay a fraction of the cost than the entire RRP.

* Keep in mind that there are specific rules for who can use them and how they are used. You need to read the fine print carefully.

* Upgrades for most major carriers can be purchased on eBay, in travel forums, and some can be found for sale in classified ads. In some cases you can purchase an upgrade for as little as eight dollars, but as usual, these upgrades can only be applied to your ticket at the check in counter once you arrive at the airport. Other more expensive upgrades will allow you to confirm your upgrade over the phone before you arrive at the airport.

11. Buy a full fare coach ticket and ask for a first class seat.
Many airlines have a fare code that automatically grants first class privileges, but you have to ask. Call the airline directly and ask them how much a coach class ticket with first class seating privilege will cost. This will be much less than a first class ticket. Be careful though, like most coach tickets it will probably be non-refundable.

12. Contacts are IMPORTANT. 
Get to know the airline employees you deal with regularly. Do you fly into/ out of a certain airport regularly? If so, getting to know the agents you deal with often yields rewards. When a delay occurs, you will be the first they think of to upgrade, or at least put to on an earlier flight. They will appreciate your loyalty and friendship, and will accommodate you accordingly.

13. On Your Honeymoon?
Then contact the airline in advance and get a note put in your booking. Ask again at the airport - you have nothing to lose and honeymoon couples have been known to get upgrades. Honeymooners are much more likely to get a hotel room upgrade than an airline upgrade though.


14.  Late Because of Competitor
Make sure the airline is aware of that. They will try to give you a good impression of their airline, especially after your bad experience with one of their competitors.

15. Legitimate reasons to change/upgrade seats.
Ask a flight attendant for an upgrade if you see a seat available. Typically flight attendants never upgrade passengers and simply asking for an upgrade is not going to work. However, there are legitimate reasons why a flight attendant will upgrade you. Here's one:

*A problem with a fellow passenger If by chance you are sitting next to a passenger and you have a legitimate complaint, the flight attendant can, at his/her discretion, move you to first. I should have done this when I was flying on AirAsia, as I paid much.. but maybe next time.


17. Book with a Travel Agent
Book with a travel agent. When you book with a travel agent, it is possible, with a valid reason, to have the agent mark your reservation with a comment, such as OSI (Other Significant Information). The record may indicate that you are a VIP or CEO of a big corporation.

Airlines like to see this information as they are trying to win more and more business away from their competition. If there is a chance that an important decision maker is flying with them, it could potentially mean extra revenue for the airline as they may want to try to win your company’s account. This may lead to a free upgrade.

18. Special Code on Your Ticket

In most cases, on most airlines, the ticket agent is not authorized to upgrade passengers unless you have frequent flyer status and even with frequent flier status, you will most likely need to use miles to get your upgrade. However, you might be able to ask the ticket counter agent to kindly add a code to your ticket.

Why? Because the code signifies to the gate agent that you as a passenger are potentially eligible for an upgrade. It works with the right airline and you will need to know which code to use, as each airline uses different codes for different situations that are independent of other carriers.

19. Book Directly.
Book directly with the airline. When you book directly with the airline, there is the possibility of also adding an OSI to your record. If you are a travel agent, travel writer, or event planner, it certainly won’t hurt your chances.
No comments
Meeting Agent E today.

02/06/2010

Meeting Agent E today.

I should be sleeping now. But I am too excited. Or anxious. Whichever.

Today I am going to see my previous and current employer, Agent E (*name changed to protect privacy). Yeap, the one that I was working for before I left Sydney.

I've been home for the past few weeks since arrival. And basically staying home all day with nothing to do is driving me crazy. Apart from taking two whole weeks to just prepare my application to TAFE, I have basically done nothing else.

Okay, maybe dreaming of which phone (The Nokia E71 is on the money), and deciding which mobile network to settle for (I'd take 3, but the stupid network is selling their mobile 50AUD more than Optus, so I am not going to buy it unless they lowered their RRP). So Uncompetitive.

Anyways, if I want to go for a facial, I think I want to earn the money and not use any of the precious little in my savings.

Today I went to David Jones and MYERS. Both having sale at the same time. Think Robinsons and Isetan. Everything expensive. But managed to get some cheap David Jones own branded cosmetics. Will show later, okay?

Ok, now I just have to figure out and anticipate the kinds of questions Agent E may ask, as well as think of ways I can communicate with them about my current situation. I would be free for the next one month, since I have only just put in my TAFE application anyways. We'll see.
No comments
© CYB | Chea-Yee's Blog • Theme by Maira G.