Choi-Lai & Family

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Trip to Singapore

We made a trip down to Singapore together with my mum to visit my brother during the DepaRaya holidays from 2-6 November 2005. This was the first time I am driving down to Singapore. We started our journey early in the morning at about 8.30am and reached the Tuas SecondLink checkpoint at about 12.30pm. The drive was smooth and traffic is OK along the North-South Highway towards Singapore. Once we cleared the Immigration, I waited for my brother at the Singapore Raffles Club and Resort to lead us to his house in Seranggon Road (I am not familiar with the roads in Singapore)

Sandra with SKY

Once settled down at my brother's house, we had our lunch and everyone is so,so hungry that the vegetarian food were quickily taken up. By the time we finished our lunch and got ourselves cleaned up it is almost late afternoon. Today is free and easy, lazed around my brother house and the cousins catch up with each other (since they don't meet very often, maybe twice a year)
The children played football in the evening and also took the two dogs out for evening walk.

Justin with LEX

The next day we went to jalan-jalan at Chinatown, do some shopping and lunch around that area. Was raining for awhile when we are in the People's Park Shopping Mall. After the rain stopped, we took the MRT to Orchard Road and continue to some shopping at some of the malls around there. We called it quit before the 5pm rush hour starts. Took the MRT back to Kovan Station which is a 5mins walk back to my brother's house.

On the 2nd day of Hari Raya, which is not a holiday in Singapore, we went to visit the Singapore Zoo. It had been a long time since I visited the zoo, and this time with all the kids around the trip will be more exciting and meaningful. After getting the tickets, all of us start our journey walking around the zoo. The place is very well maintain and pleasant to walk around. Hats off to the team maintaining it as compare to the zoos in Malaysia (which is a bit under maintained)

The balance of the days before we head back to KL was to spend our time around the area where my brother stays, doing some shopping. On the 6th Nov (Sunday), we start our journey after breakfast and head back towards KL. After reaching the Tuas checkpoint, we have to clear custom/immigration and at that point I was informed that I did not purchase the AutoPass when entering Singapore. What?, I told myself. I thot when entering Singapore on weekends or public holidays one do not need to pay anything. So why should I buy the AutoPass when I do not need to use it. Anyway I was asked to go the the Land Transport Authority office to pay a small fine of S$50.00 for not doing that. What a Government.....its a FINE city for sure.
The officer was courteous processing the fine and also slow in doing it. She told me this is the first time she is doing it. Wah, you mean no one have this problem except me. Cannot one lah!!!! Anyway everything was done is less than 30mins, and after that we drive off straight towards north to KL.

Overall, this was an enjoyable trip for the family except for the small incident at the Tuas checkpoint when we leave Singapore.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nite out in JONKER WALK

During our visit back to my wife hometown in Machap Baru, Malacca sometime in the mid October 2005, we made our way to the city and had our nite out at Jonker Walk. One of the famous eating outlet along the street is the Sate Celup restaurant where locals and foreigners will go for their food. Sate Celup is somewhat similar to steamboat except that the food are all pierce thru with a piece of stick made out of the leave stem of the coconut tree. Every one will sit around a table and in the middle is a pot with boiling water. You will have to dip the stick that pierced thru the food into the boiling water and get it cooked. After that one can either eat it just like that or dip it into chilli sauce or sweet sauce to add more flavour. The food are combination of seafood, fishballs, vegetables, meat, etc and are served in sticks on a plate. As we walked past the restaurant and as usual it was pack with customers, some even waiting outside the restaurant to get a table to be vacant.

Next we came upon a store that sells all kinds of sandals with different designs. The sandals are extremely colorful and attractive. These sandals are made to perfections I would said and again are quite well demand by the locals and also the foreigners who will find it very unique which they won't get it back in their home country.

Next, we stumbled upon a mobile store that sells Char Thow Kueh aka Fried Raddish Cake. This is a kind of food that the local really like to either eat it as dinner or supper. Although it is extremely oily, I would said majority of the locals will loved it especially when it is fried together with lots of chilli paste to give it a more spicy taste. Besides the raddish cake, there is also lots of bean sprouts in it, and some will also prefer to have eggs fried together. I personally is a big fan of Char Thow Kueh although it is not the most healthy food in town, but its OK to eat it once a while to ease my taste buds.

There is also a store that sells all kinds of rats, guinea pigs and hamster. Cages and food are also sold together as accessories for rodents fans. Surprising the animals are very cute and actually attracted lots of people who wants to take a look at all the rodents. The hobby is not cheap too since there are many things that you need to purchase to complete all the standard accessories.

The clog shop that we saw, selling all kinds of clogs with different design. They also made and customised nyonya shoes aka kasut manek. Those shoes found in this shop are full of multiple colours to choose from

The toy store along the street. Selling all kinds of cheap toys that are Made In China. These toys are just one off, and mainly for the young toddlers to rough it out before there can appreciate high quality toys. The toys are pretty amazing with all kinds of design to attract the young ones and even the aduits too. As the picture showed, they isn't lots of people interest in the toys at the particular moment.

And before we called it a nite out, we passed through a lane where there is a shop converted to
a restaurant called Howard's. The ambience in the inside and outside are well decorated and suitable for some fine dining and also casual eating out. There is also another shop which was converted into a cafe and pub kind of setup. The Portugese singing in this outlet is pretty amazing with his voice. A lot better than those Malaysia Idols that we saw on TV. Anyway did not get the chance to visit thes two places but will be on my next agenda if I visit Jonker Street again.

Cheers from now........

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Choi-Lai Family

I have decided to start a family blog so as to allow us to share our thinking, what we do as a family and especially our family holiday adventures. To start of with, we are a family of four that consists of myself, my beloved wife Devina Lai Chik New, my two children that is Sandra Choi Yin Wen (12) and Justin Choi Ren Hau (9). The picture was taken 5 years ago in year 2000 when we went on our family trip to New Zealand. The background of it is the spectacular Mt Cook.

I was born and breed in Ipoh, before I made Kuala Lumpur my second home about 20 years ago. My wiffy is a Peranakan Nyonya from Melaka, and she has also been living in Kuala Lumpur for a while. We met each other sometime around 1985 before we decided to get married and start a family. After marrying her, I have accustomed to some of the Baba & Nyonya lifestyle like communicating in Malay is your number 1 dialect in her community, eating with your hands and not chopsticks/fork & spoon and eat lots of sambal belacan, chincalok, petai, etc. And nyonya pineapple tarts is my all time favourite, especially during the Chinese New Year.

That's all I have as a quick intro to this blog, and will post more when I have more time.