Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

So this is my 600th post, I just realised. How nice that I've chosen to write a post on my birthday 10 days ago :)

The whole weekend was absolutely fantastic - Schrobbenmaster surprised me all day. I hadn't the faintest idea what he was up to, but it turns out... we spent the afternoon at the zoo! I've wanted to go since autumn last year, but it being too cold to be outdoors, we never bothered. So sweet that he remembered :D

For dinner, he surprised me yet again by bringing me to a Chinese restaurant almost around the corner from our house. Turns out that the owner is a lady from Penang who's an award-winning and Michelin star chef. And her husband is an award-winning HK dimsum chef. Ah, power couple. Even sweeter than finding this little restaurant hidden on a small lane, was that he had called previously to even request Malaysian dishes for me. Aww! So first we had the usual dim sum fare from the restaurant, and to finish off, Jenny, the owner, brought us her own self-cooked chicken rice and char koay teow. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera for the dinner because I had plans to go clubbing that night. But here are pics from the wonderful Diergaarde Blijdorp (the zoo).

Started with the ocean route...

The penguins were so cute and playful! And also way too fast to snap photos of.

Then we found the special place with the new baby polar bear, Vicks. It was his first day being allowed out of his 'house' and he's about 3 months old. So cute!

Those birds behind are of the most amazing fluorescent red. Such brilliance!

Trying one of frachely's special timer photos. They're quite fun to do!

Strange looking bird with a bird body and flamingo legs.

"Vulture with hernia - this vulture can only carry one person! And of course only on his back!"
Flying game for kids.

Too sunny... too sunny...


I took photos of a lioness but she looked so sad I couldn't put it up. The lions are kept in the old part of the zoo that hasn't been renovated. And their enclosure stinks like crazy too. Poor lions *sniff*.

Anyways, after the surprise dinner, we met up with some friends at Level, the cocktail bar near our house, which was way too crowded, but we stuck it out and managed to nab two tables in the end. Got a pair of earrings and a gift voucher from De Bijenkorf from Vicky, Harry and Joel. I think I'm gonna use the gift voucher on something new for the new house. By the way, have I mentioned we're getting a new house? Can't remember...

And after Level, we wanted to go to Catwalk for some dancing, but it was waayyy too smoky even from the upstairs entrance. So we drank at this bar called Breakaway where girls were dancing on the bartop... and even the barman, who wasn't even remotely hot. And later on to Rotown where the music was slightly better but the sound system kinda sucked.

Was a fun night and I'm glad I didn't have to wake up the next day with a hangover! Gawd, I'm glad :P

Hello random girl who just poked her face into the photo and gave Schrobbenmaster a shock :P


Here's a picture of me at the dinner, enjoying awesome dim sum!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Krazy kat

I like to say how our Pim is like a cat-dog (or dog-cat). I've never had a cat before Pim, but Schrobbenmaster's had lots of experience throughout his life. So whenever Pim does something that goes against my belief in cats (I believe cats are snobby, proud and loners), I have to check with Schrobbenmaster if I've been wrong in my assumption on cats or if Pim just really is odd.

Pim just really is odd.

He does have his cat moments, but he has many, many dog moments. He's always following us around the house, always lying close to us and begging for attention. And that's just some of it.

Here's to the most precious cat in the world :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A milestone! And a visit from family.

So, exactly a year ago today, I stepped off the plane and onto Dutch soil as a resident.

There have been ups and downs and lots of frustration and getting used to things. But I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track to happiness in The Netherlands.

Last weekend, my dad and stepmum visited while on holiday in London. It's always so nice to have people visiting, helping me feel a little bit more like I 'belong' somewhere, even if it's just for a short while.

Talking about belonging, I still don't feel like I belong here and it can be caused by the smallest of things that people wouldn't normally wouldn't even think about.

For instance, the other day I was queueing up to get cash from the machine. In KL, I wouldn't think twice about me standing in line and how I behave because I've lived in the environment my whole life and know instinctively what the 'etiquette' is.

But over here, I actually am aware and wonder about things like, "How far behind the guy in front should I stand?" or "Should I leave a bigger gap between myself and the guy taking cash, or is that not done here and people will be annoyed for me taking such a big space?". Yes, call me oversensitive, but I do think about things like that.

It can be stressful when your head is always filled with questions and wanting to do the right thing.

Anyway, I had a great time last weekend with my dad and stepmum. Hoping to have more visitors from home soon!

First stop, my home, of course! My dad opened the window to test our clock's judgment of the temperature. Big observation this trip: my dad is obsessed about temperature and time. How many times did he ask me to change my clocks and watches by even 2 minutes? I don't remember. But I know I definitely get my OCD from him.

Bloody cold day. My toes were annoyingly numb.

We visited Schrobbenmaster's parents in Hoorn, taking a pitstop at a Schermer windmill and lunch at Graft-de Rijp, at the restaurant behind where we're standing.

Don't you just love these candid shots?

A behind-the-scenes shot of...

... this. The photographer was way too enthusiastic to wait for us to be ready.

At last, a wonderfully sunny day! The ING building in Amsterdam where we were to take the tram into the centre. My stepmum works in ING KL, just in case you were wondering why this picture.

We trammed to Museumplein, where the Rijksmuseum is located and had a nice lunch in the sun.

From there, a walk to Leidseplein, where my stepmum busied herself in the shops for presents, while my dad watched two guys playing giant chess.

It was a long and tiring weekend, but definitely worth the trouble :)

Friday, March 04, 2011

The big step

In our living room right at this moment is the real estate agent who is going to sell our current house.

We spent the past hour or so taking photos (with Schrobbenmaster's awesome camera - the quality of photos are SO important when selling a house) and organising the rooms in order to show what new owners can expect. Meaning removing overly personal items, matching up all our towels and ornaments...

And starting from tonight, I'll be sleeping with a big, ugly, blue and yellow 'Te Koop' (For Sale) sign outside the window next to my bed.

After weeks of searching, visiting, negotiating and doubts, we've finally made the big step and made it official. It's scary making such a huge decision, especially when it's a house you're actually fond of and there's nothing really wrong with it. But I guess it's a part of life to have to leave something behind in order to get something better.