Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yati vs Suri



It was certainly a day to be remembered... our first date.

Boy offered to pick me up. Although it was more logical for me to drive (instead of him driving from Bangsar to pick me up in Ampang for a movie in Midvalley), he decided to charm me with his chivalrous gesture.

So after the movie (it was 2012 - this apocalypse movie about the world ending in 2012 which is totally ironic because that was just a few years ago and nothing happened), Boy offered supper before sending me home. Naturally I asked him to pick the place (I'm not a fan of being demanding, especially on the first date with a cute boy!) so he said ok. Guess where he took me. Mapley okeh. Mapley Jalan 222 to be exact.

I remember that night just like it was yesterday. The floor was sticky and the air was heavy with bau goreng goreng. Basically if you walk in and then walk out, you can sniff yourself and still salivate (or gag) from the smell of yummy fried food on your clothes. But then again, who cares about all that, when you have a cute Boy sitting right across you?

Anyway, fast forward to ten years later and Boy became Boyfriend and subsequently Hubby. And over time, I finally found out that that fateful trip was actually a test. Yes, a test. Hubby was worried about me being high maintenance. (Who gave him that idea, anyway? *giggles*) I guess I passed the test with flying colours (well he did agree to marry me!) but I'm not entirely sure it was a fool-proof test to begin with! *chuckles*

Mapley Jalan 222.

So last weekend, we decided to revisit our first date..... with the kiddos! I've been hearing a lot about this Nasi Lemak stall (two to be exact) at Mapley Jalan 222 so we decided to give it a try. When we arrived, I was surprised to see that the place looked exactly as before, but since we were there in the afternoon, it wasn't as crowded as that fateful first date.

Essentially, it's a battle between two Nasi Lemak - the red stamp (Yati) and the blue stamp (Suri). So which to indulge in first? Reading reviews, it seems that Yati has the sweeter sambal while Suri has the spicier sambal but more flavourful rice. Hence I decided to try Suri first. I guess it was just our luck, because as soon as we sat down (at a blue table, which incidentally dictates which nasi lemak you get!) we were immediately served the Suri blue stamp nasi lemak.

Yati vs Suri

Honestly, I wasn't blown away by it. The taste was acceptable, the sambal was spicy and the rice was just ok. Next, I decided to try Yati's nasi lemak. We flagged down a couple of helpers/workers and requested for them to send us some. We waited for quite a while, but none arrived. Finally Hubby walked to the physical stall and requested for one. That was when we found out, that because we were sitting at a blue table, they couldn't send us some. Hubby had to actually pay for it at the stall to bring it over to our table.

Surprisingly (given the reviews), Yati's rice is the more flavourful between the two. You can actually smell the coconut milk wafting up as soon as you opened the packet. Sambal was as spicy as Suri, no difference on our taste buds. My personal opinion - I do not have a preference for any. But what I do love about both, was that the rice packets were still warm to the touch when it arrived at our table, suggesting that the rice was freshly cooked and packed on the spot. Since the packets are small, be prepared to wallop a few with great ease. Also, the price is value for money. At RM1.50 each (it was RM1 back then), no wonder Hubby told me he survived on this nasi lemak during his university days!

Suri on the left, Yati on the right. Looks similar, don't they?

Cheeky Ian posing with Suri's nasi lemak.

So if you're ever salivating for a quick fix of nasi lemak, give this a go. Or you can go fancy and head to Village Park in Damansara Uptown - their nasi lemak is to die for. If all else fails, there is always Nasi Lemak Turbo in Denai Alam. *wink

Do you have any recommendations for yummy nasi lemak to share? I've heard of Nasi Lemak Tanglin... maybe I should do that this weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Month of Dust

Hello peeps!

Sorry for the two week hiatus. Things have been crazy since I started my new role; moving my stuff (two floors down), sifting through documents to decide on what to keep and what to shred, writing my farewell note and having intro calls with my new team around the region. (I'm responsible for the Asia Pacific region and China, hence have to connect virtually with the rest of the team sitting outside of KL.) Even in my first week, i was given work commitments that involved me dashing to KLCC twice (plus some side Pokemon Go time for me too).

On the home-front, things have been equally chaotic. Renovation is going full on and the only two rooms usable in the house are the master bedroom and Aiden's room (which my maid is residing in temporarily). Everywhere else is either full of stored furniture, or covered in dust. It has been a bit over a month and we are still not done with the wet works!!! Aaarrrggghhh. Well, not completely the contractor's fault cos we kept adding VOs (variation orders) - from changing the orientation of the back door to increasing the height of our garden walls. Hopefully this week they get to lay the tiles, plaster and erect the new folding door frame, so that I can get moving with the curtains measurement.

Shopping wise, my list is a mile long. Unfortunately the list isn't filled with handbags or shoes, but rather pretty boring stuff. Electrical items, new upholstery for the wing chairs, laminates for the TV panel, wood paneling for wainscoting etc etc. Not to forget, the to do list is equally long as well and I'm getting nowhere with trimming it down. Everything from engaging a contractor to polish our solid surface to the trivial stuff such as buying a new lock for the door. *pulls hair out*

Anyway, here's a first glimpse of our renovation progress throughout the entire month. It is currently approximately two weeks away from completion, which gives us about a week to scramble around and get the house cleaned and prepped for Hubby's sister's wedding (yes, we have a dateline!!), in which our house will be the family headquarters.


On the left, the first photo I took as soon as I got home from offshore. They had removed the grass to make a slab (for wood decking). Then they started working on the structures.

Casting of the new dining hall structure.

Putting in the wood trusses and roof.

Since the new dining hall will have a high ceiling, they had to cover up our first floor windows so they can start erecting the roof from the mid span of the said windows.

Wooden trusses inside our dining hall.

We decided to make our maid's room bigger too. And as a last minute after thought, moved the back door as well. So glad we made that decision - it now looks as if she has her own pretty little cottage! *giggle*

Our garden walls are higher too! Now we can no longer main pass pass Ian over the fence. *chuckles* He has to walk to school instead!

Cheeky Ian. He just found his love for jumping; every time I say "Cheese", he think's its a cue for him to jump!

The old dining hall (soon to be new family hall) wall was bricked up and cemented. The TV panel will be moved to this wall. In order to save some cash, we decided to DIY the TV panel refurbishment - wait for the blogpost!

We also stripped the walls clean. There goes my prized brick wallpaper. Out with the old, in with the new. We're going full on with wainscoting!

That's it for now. Pray hard that the schedule doesn't slip any further... if not we'll be in deep s**t. (Sorry for the profanities; it is 247 am and I am still feeling the after effects of my unsuccessful Ash Blue Duck Battle just two hours earlier. Hopefully my PS scores one for me later today!)

Looking forward to the long weekend. Have a good one, girls! *smiles*

Friday, September 2, 2016

Duck Battle

And so I participated in my first ever Duck Battle last Monday night (or should I say Tuesday morning??!!) for the 2016 KL Duck.

The experience, was interestingggggg to say the least. First and foremost, I wasn't even planning to participate hence forgot about the whole restock date. That night, I had fallen asleep at about 11ish, only to be awaken at 1am by a cranky Ian. (We're still struggling with making him sleep on his own bed... Grrrr thanks Hubby!) After calming him down, I sleepily grabbed my phone to check the time and for some weird reason, I remembered about the restock. (A dear neighbour had also reminded me that morning.) I texted the said neighbour to check whether she was awake... and she was! By then, dah pecah mengantuk and I took it as a sign that I was meant to participate.

By then it was half past 1 in the morning. I took out my laptop and started going through my work emails while monitoring the comments on the Duck Group Instagram. Seriously, that is the best way to find out the latest and greatest information during a launch or restock battle. Read ahead, and you will find out why.

At 2am my neighbour called it quits. Some comments on Instagram even suggested that the restock may even be at 8am. But I wasn't quite ready to give up just yet. I guess my perseverance paid off, as the scarves started appearing on the webpage at around 315am. As expected, the comments on Instagram alerted me on the start of the Duck Battle.

Unfortunately, although some folks commented that they could see and even buy the scarves, I couldn't see them on my laptop. After a few excruciating minutes, I tried loading the page on my mobile. The scarves appeared, but every time I clicked to buy, it kept bringing me to the Duck main page. It was damn frustrating! Up until someone commented to click the wish list button and purchase it from that page. By the time I figured it out, the colours of my choice, the Ash Blue and Grey were long sold out. But I managed to snare the Olive (plus one extra for future swaps *giggles*), Maroon, Deep Blue and White. By the time I made all my payments, it was 4am. Then someone mentioned that if you waited long enough, they might release the stocks from those yang payments sangkut or whatever. I actually waited till 5am, staring at my laptop, refreshing F5 like a crazy woman. In the end I threw in the towel and went to bed.

My view of the battle? Payment was swift and easy. No crashes, "bad gateway" or stuff like that. But if it wasn't for the debacle about the broken link, I'm pretty sure I would have managed to get my coveted Ash Blue. Ah... dah namanya takde rezeki. Looks like I've got to go hunting on #duckscsarvestoletgo again!

So would I do the battle again? I believe I will. The Fashion Valet webpage has improved tremendously, and for that they must be given due credit. I just need to make sure I apply leave the day after my next Duck Battle. Mengantuk gila the next morning. I was yawning non stop by evening. Ahhh, the crazy things I do to satisfy my shopaholic urges.

The broken link shopping cart and the tricky wishlist 'heart' button. *sigh*

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Moving On

Truthfully, I've been harboring a deep dark secret for a few months now. As you all know, the oil and gas industry isn't doing really well now, with layoffs happening left right and center.

The Dutch Oil Company had their own reorganization November last year. It was a job placement (people couldn't choose which jobs they wanted to do) and it was based on merit and previous individual performance (so they said). During the said reorganization, I was told that my project would be 'ring fenced', hence everyone working on that project wouldn't have to worry about new job placements. All we needed to do was to focus on delivering the project successfully.

During the same reorganization, I was also told that they had found me a new assignment post current project. Which was extremely good news because it meant that I had job security.

Fast forward to just 6 months later, everyone in the project were given 'at risk' letters. We were given ramp down duration and last day on payroll dates. What's worse was for the team to find out that all available jobs were taken up during the last reorg and hence there were none left for us leaving the current project. What's even worse was... the next job offer that they had promised me back in November was no longer on table (due to legal issues which I had no part in, which I will not divulge here as it involves another staff). I felt as if the carpet was pulled right under me. After more than 10 years in the company, I never imagined that I would have to leave in these circumstances. I mean, I always knew that I wanted to resign before I was 40 to concentrate on the kids and the household. But I didn't count on leaving when I was 34, and especially not on my terms!

The first week was depressing. I was extremely bitchy and fuming angry. How can the company give me an 'at risk' letter and still expect for me to deliver my best for the project? Such bad timing, especially since it was just 2 months before I was due to go offshore. I snapped at everyone (and everything). I panicked! Hubby and I started looking at our finances and made plans in case we were driven down to a single income household. It was not just about the money, but it was also about the benefits, specifically medical, that the family had enjoyed since the start.

The second week I was cynical and bitter. Every opportunity I had, I took a stab at the company and the circumstances. By the third week, I guess I finally came to my senses. I took a day off just to update my CV and submit applications. At the end of the day I forced myself to find peace. In other words, redha. God knows best.

In all my prayers to Allah, I prayed for him to show me the path forward. "If the best for myself, my family and my religion is for me to continue in the company, then please help me secure a new job placement. If the best for myself, my family and my religion is to not continue in the company, then please help me accept this fact graciously, ease my heart and grant me rezeki in any other form or manner."

Well I guess Allah decided that the former was the best for me. (He probably took pity on Hubby as I am such a shopaholic!) Alhamdulillah after several grueling interviews, I managed to land a new role which will start on the 1st of September.

Although the role is much more commercial than what I'm used too, it is still quite technical in nature. Without getting into too much detail, all I can say is I will still be crunching numbers... but the dollars and cents kinda numbers. It is very much a development role for me, as I will be exposed to a discipline that is quite foreign for me. But ultimately it will equip me with skills to be a better project engineer and future project manager.

Not everything is rosy in the Dutch Oil Company now. As I enjoy my last few days of offshore leave, I received news that most of my Upstream buddies were given their second round of 'at risk' letters and news of an imminent wave of reorganization. It is a very depressing time for most of my friends, and all I can do is to doakan the best for them, and pray that Allah grants them strength to go through this next reorganization round.

Kunfayakun - if it is meant to be, it will be. God is great.


Surreal... after 8 great years, I will bid goodbye to the Upstream world.
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