Sunday, December 23, 2007

Frankfurt Christmas Market

No... I did not went to Frankfurt :) In fact, it took me just an hour of train ride from Leicester to Birmingham for the christmas market. For the past seven years, Birmingham City Council has hosted this event in conjuction with its twinned city, Frankfurt. It has lots of stalls nicely decorated, and you can find all things german... wooden toys, glass, german bread, chocolate, beers, wine, german sausages, pancakes, crepes, sweets, etc... Enjoyed myself despite the notorious UK weather which is cold and windy. But it did mixed well with the food. I had hot sausages with bread and the popular Glühwein, which is hot mulled wine, for lunch. I think its my first time to drink an alcohol drink so early in the day. A nice German lady also let me taste some Grünkohl, which is made from Kale, a kind of vegetable. It almost taste like the 'chai boi' soup we had during chinese new year for the hokkeins ;)

After the christmas market, shopaholic me cant resist the temptations of the huge Bullring shopping centre, so whooorf i went and got myself a pair of boots and a wool jacket for the cold winter. Then the gastronomic side of me takes control again and I am back to the christmas market for more food. This time is the deep fried cheese with pepperoni in a skewer.

Cant understand why they can drink cold beer in such cold weather!

a stall selling biscuits, sweets and cakes

the cute wooden toys

the tempting chocolate

this is Grünkohl, made from kale which is a type of cabbage.

grilled sausages

my cup of Glühwein which left me feeling bit high

can you read this? It explains the history of Frankfurt Christmas Market and how to make Glühwein- by boiling red wine with Glühwein spice.

my skewer of deep fried cheese with pepperoni

Friday, December 21, 2007

Goodbye my friend

thank you
... for all the lifts
thank you
... for listening
thank you
... for being my lunch-mate
thank you
... for waiting
thank you
... for sharing
thank you
... for eveything you've done

this is dedicated to Mr Mckee for being such a great friend, rain or shine! I will miss you! See you in Tenerife!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Photo Editing Experiment

Took some nice photos over the last weekend, and decided to give them some 'artistic' finish (in my opinion la, which you may not agree, hehe). All these editing is done by using the simple magic tools provided in Picasa. I always like black and white pictures, but sometimes it can be quite boring, thus the I have applied some dash of colors on the background.

Here are the results. Tell me if you like it, or even if you dont like it.

This is taken at Victoria Park
the heart shape sign attracted me at first in the one
christmas decoration lights in town

i like the tree in this one, and the structures

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Deco

Yo yo yo, its the time of the year...

Since Christmas is a BIG thing here, they started to put up christmas street deco in November, and the lights-on event in Leicester city centre happened on last last Sunday. The whole city is in christmas mood, christmas songs are played in every shops, sales advertisements all over TVs, people rushing to do their christmas shopping, hunt for evening dress for christmas parties, etc.....

I have two upcoming company's christmas parties to attend, and I dont have any decent dress! help!

Anyway, here are some photos to share.

Same spot - Day and night view

the christmas trees and lights all over the city centre

the moving cartoon characters around town hall fountain for the children

children's playground set up at high street just for christmas

p/s: hmm, wonder how London looks like now!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Viv's Nasi Lemak

made in the UK ;) Went to the chinese supermarket in Leicester last Sunday, and came upon this ready made nasi lemak sambal paste, so I decided to cook nasi lemak, since I missed it so much. I also bought the pandan leaves from the shop, can guess how much it costs? about £1.20 for about 15 leaves, I think. The 'end result' is not too bad, considering that this is my first time cooking nasi lemak. The ikan bilis is super crispy, and its given to me when my sis visit me last month. According to her, she bought the best grade! The sambal didnt taste so good though. Next time got to prepare my mum original recipe, but first got to get myself a mini chopper!!

nasi lemak & the sambal prawns

the expensive pandan leaves

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Football Match

Yeah, another first for me. Watched a football match live here in Leicester with a colleague. He got two free tickets from another colleague, and ask me to tag along :) The match is Leicester City vs Cardiff City, score 0 -0. Was waiting for goals, Leicester City has quite a lot of opportunities, but they missed it everytime. The stadium is almost full with fans, mostly locals.

The mascot on Leicester City football club is a fox. My colleague told me its because Leicester used to have lots of foxes, even in the city!

Anyway, I heard that they didnt performed really well, and are in the second league. The rugby team in Leicester, Leicester Tigers, is more popular here, coz I heard they are really good.

See here for the match report.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Introducing Taramosalata

Taramosalata... what a name! is a new food I tried last weekend, recommended by my sis who lived here in the UK previously. I bought it from Marks and Spencer, and thought that it is an english food, apparently its not. Its Greek food, made from cod roe with lemon juice, and its pinkish in color.

Try it with toasted bread on a Sunday morning, tasted raw to me at first, but after a few bite, I do enjoy it. Unfortunately, I had stomach ache just shortly after eating it. Nevertheless, I tried it again this morning (hehe, cant waste it just like that), and nothing happens. so, it was not the taramosalata that caused my stomach ache yesterday after all :)

I do have a small problem with the food here, always ask me to finish within 3 days after I opened it, and these includes milk, youghurt, ham, cheese, and yes, taramosalata! My breakfast for the next 2 days will be the pinkish thingy with bread!

quite a big tub to finish within 3 days!

on my bread :) yummy

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Highlights of the week

Finished reading Paulo Coelho 's The Alchemist within a week! It's a record breaking for me.... :) What a suitable time to have read this book about answering your personal calling and live your life in present. I need the strength and the inspiration the book gave me to go on in search of my dreams here :)

Within this week, I've got two bad news from two of my colleagues that they are leaving, one today and another this Dec. They are the only two are really sincere and friendly to me. I am not sure how am I going to passed the boring days in office, oh god. Guys, i.e. Sagar & John, I am going to miss you two.

I got a little present from Sagar yesterday, a chinese platter set with chopsticks! Just what I am looking for for months here, but cant find any chopsticks! Hee...

Monday, November 19, 2007

My first glimpse of snow

I had a preview of what snowing is gonna to be like yesterday night... yeah.. my first glimpse of snow. It was about 10 something when I went out to throw rubbish wearing a jacket, shorts and my flip-flops. First, I noticed the ice on top of the rubbish bin, touched it, then I look up at the sky...and I shouted 'oh god, snow!'

Then I quickly ran inside the house, jumping around, looking for my camera, battery and memory card. I took out all these coz I thought I wont be using my camera for a long time since I didnt plan to go anywhere. Then quickly ran outside again, and ran back in when I noticed I went out with my house slipper... haha.. changed to my flip flop, ran back out again to take pixs and standing in the pavement just to feel it coming down on my face... ha..A man passed by, and I think he must be thinking i am crazy.. standing out there with shorts and flip-flops :p

Anyway, I still think its too early to have snow! It didnt last long though & its just a mild one, the snow melted once it reached the ground. I checked again at about 11.30pm, the snow has started to melt.

Here are some pixs to share.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wedding Bells

will be ringing tomorrow for Alind & Kong... It is unfortunate that I cant attend a best friend's wedding, coz I am stuck here in a town called...Leicester :p
Wish I could be there to join in the fun, especially with all members of the crazy family. I can already imagine what chaos the chi muis will caused tomorrow with their wicked plans to test the bridegroom & his 'heng tai'... hehehe

Enjoy guys! and my spirits will be with u... all chi muis :-)

Here is a blurred preview of their photos, I think I cant post any pics here coz they will have their own website...i think.

Cold Spell

The temperature has gone down down... down... On last thursday morning, whenI went out for work, its extraordinary cold and all the cars on the street have been covered with a layer of ice....
I was shivering while walking to where I usually wait for my colleague. His car was no where in sight and i guess he must be late because he needs to take care of the ice.
So glad when I saw my colleague's car approaching after i waited for a while. The meter inside the car was showing outside temperature is -1 degC!!!! When we past through a park,the grass on the field has all become white color.

Funny when I first saw the scraped ice on some people's car, I thought it has snow the night before! hehe, now i know....its only ice!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eurostar is moving to St Pancras

tomorrow...and why am I so excited??? coz the midlands train thatI take from Leicester to London stopped at St Pancras station, this means I do not need to go to another station if I were to travel from Leicester to other europe countries, esp P-a-r-i-s..Hee..

The station does not looked like it is ready for eurostar this wed,thereare parts of it still covered up, and lots of construction still goin on.But, I think the plan is still ON...

a pix i took when I was in London last weekend...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Leicester & Rugby

Here's some highlights of my first month at Leicester:

- Work work work from Mon to Fri
- Window shopping, house-keeping on Sat and Sun
- I cooked dinner almost everyday!
- I prepared my own breakfast! No nasi lemak for me... sob sob.
- I managed to open a bank account at Barclays, finally...
- I watched Rugby World Cup for the last few weekends... cant believe it :p Never thought I would enjoyed the game, it is very rough to me. But, since its one of the most watched games here in the UK, England is in the finals and everybody is talking about the game, so.... I must not be left out. Enjoyed the semi-finals between South Africa and Argentina, its the first time I see them scored 5 points by taking the ball and run superfast to the line.
- I went to an english pub, entertained by our project engineer who sings there!
- I had dinners at a chinese restaurant which served nice dishes, and dont have to pay!
- I went to try out Fitness First yesterday, and the Step class sucks....bored me to death!

and finally....Kimi is a champion!!! hehehe

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Gift

...the gift is a bear
from a friend who is dear
so that i will not be lonely
along my journey...

note: picture courtesy of Mr Rock

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I simply do not understand

I accompany a friend of mine, also a Malaysian, to open a bank account today. We went around all the 3 neighbourhood banks, and none successful. My friend just got her employment letter today, and she thought it would be easier to open an account that way. However, all the banks, ask her for the proof of address, which can only be in the form of other bank's statements or utility bills such as electricity, water, gas or a land line. If this is the case, most of us as foreigner who just come to UK to work, will never get to open any bank account. How can they expect us to have utilities bills since we just moved here, and also most of us will be renting, the bills will not bear our names. So we asked can the proof be in the form of a letter from the landlord, together with the bills? And the answer is still NO. So so so disapointed.

Having said that, it still depends on which bank officer you meet and whether you are lucky enough. A friend of us went to open an account in Liverpool, and the guy only ask for her passport, its that easy! This is a very rare case though. So try your luck!!!

Hopefully when its my time to open one, I will get lucky, haha...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Portobello and the London Freewheel

Its a Sunday, and its sunny... A good day to go out and enjoy! I went to Portobello Market in the morning. They have dozens of little antique shops, colorful buildings, restaurants, clothing shops, souvenir shops & stalls selling 2nd hand stuff here. We had fun window shopping, and I bought 3 postcards to send to my dear frens back home. Too bad some of the shops are not open on Sundays.

portobello market signage

a shop selling wallies decorations

Lush Times - this is the shop that impressed me most. They sells bath and hair products. The smells are so sweet, and they make the products just like food... haha.. i almost tempted to eat the soap bars :p


colorful buildings

After Portobello, we took a bus to Piccadilly, and walk to St James Park for the Hovis London Freewheel. Today Londoners get to cycle around London's famous landmarks with peaceful minds (the roads are closed to motor vehicle). This event is actually aimed to encourage more people in London to cycle. Hmm, but for me, I think its just too dangerous to cycle in the city centre.

thousands of cyclists participate in this festival, seeing them reminds me of someone, hehe...

cycling acrobatics performance

panda cycling???

a guy doing a test... but i am not sure what it is... hee..

Friday, September 21, 2007


I am here for 3 weeks plus already... just cant believe it. I have fun here holidaying everyday. Weather has been good for the first two weeks since I arrived. No rain, and we have sunshine almost everyday. Now, autumn came and the weather starting to get colder and colder. I already feel very lazy to go out :p Dont know what will happen to me when winter comes, hee. As for food, I enjoyed their sandwiches (which I bought from Tesco, Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury) at first, but after a few days, I started to look for asian food. Luckily, the place I stayed at that time, which was Bayswater, offers lots of choices on asian food. The famous roast duck is there. So far, I have tried the roast duck and fried rice in bayswater; Briyani rice at Khan's; nasi campur & meehoon goreng in Malaysian Hall; wanton noodles, rice with curry and sweet&sour pork in Chinatown; even go as far as Oriental City in Colindale for nasi lemak ;) Now, I am running out of money and since I stayed at a friend's house now, we cooked quite often.

Below are some of the places that I visited:

Trafalgar Square at the background- a place always packed with tourists and pigeons.

Piccadilly Circus - my sis told me before I came, this is not a circus, its a roundabout! with the famous Eros statue in the middle

Chinatown- we had our lunch at a Hong Kong char chan teng, which served very delicious seafood curry with rice.

Kensington Gardens - so peaceful

Royal Observatory at Greenwich - where east meets west

Malaysian Hall at Queensborough Terrace, Bayswater.

Tower Bridge - taken during sunset. Its very windy on the day we went to tower bridge, but we still waited from afternoon till it gets dark, so that we can take the different looks of tower bridge ;) This is also the 1st day of the London tube strike. No train for us to go home after our little day tour.

a street performance at Covent Garden. This guy is imitating the scene in the Matrix.

London Eye - took the ride during sunset. The view is worth the £13 we spend.

Big Ben - We walk across the bridge to big ben after our ride at london eye.

Buckingham Palace- for the changing of the guard.

Camden Town - lots and lots and lots of shops selling all kind of things, especially weird things, haha.

British Museum - Not really enjoying myself here, coz I am not a museum person, haha. They have mummies here and lots of ancient sculpture.

I will be visiting Oxford next monday.... yoo hoo..