Monday, 26 May 2014

I Was Carjacked!!!!

Salam all,

Just to share what happened to me on 19/5/14 (Monday)...

Some of my friends n colleagues n family members heard from mouth to mouth n the story became distorted n when they called me to chat I heard I was mugged, my car was smashed, my handbag was snatched. So I just typed the 'report' so I don't have to repeat the story. 

So whomever asked be it family, friends or colleagues I just said I will fwd the details vide whatsapp...:-)

Sorry repeated the story lots of time to family, friends n colleagues.  Anyway, the gist of it as follows.

I went to uptown after maghrib n otw back stopped by at Ativo Plaza (new rows of shops near my hse) to tapau food.

While looking for parking (abt 9pm) I noticed a white car at the back but I thought it was looking for parking too. So I could not care less. I found a parking space n the white car parked in front of me.

I turned off the engine n opened the door n someone pulled my car door wide open n I saw 3 mask men with parang! All I could do screamed as loud as I can hoping they will panic n run. They hesitated but I guess since no reaction from passers by they ordered me to get out from the car n grabbed my car key from my hand n pulled my legs n I fell n they drove off with my mobile n my handbag. Alhamdulillah house key in my pocket.

After they left then only passers by came to assist. They apologised as they were not able to assist earlier as they were spooked by the parang. Alhamdulillah physically not a scratch (well..minor scratch, I scraped my leg when I fell).

What happened next?

I kept screaming and asked the passers by to call police. quite a number of people came to help. A couple helped me and assisted me to the side of the road. Then someone brought my shoes to me. They called police and some called 999. A few others gave chase so they can record the thief's car number. 

A couple lend me their phones so I can call banks to block my ATM & credit cards. They sat with me until police came. Thank you very much dear kind Malaysians. Kept calling my bf but he was sleeping and 'mute' his phone!!

The police came and I was then taken to Sri Damansara police station. I continued making calls at the police station to block my cards and my phone. I then lodged a report.

Then I was told to go to Mutiara Damansara Police Station for another report...I then asked the kind policemen to send me home first to take my faulty S3 (with duplicate of contacts) so I can call my family and to pack some clothes/toiletries and then proceeded to the police station. After finished with second report, I asked the kind policemen to send me to my sis's house in Ampang. The officer told me that I have to go and see him again in 1 month or 2 months time to follow up on the case as insurance company will need to know police findings before they can close my case and pay me.

Then the running around began..Thankfully my kind eldest sis n niece assisted to ferry me around.

Day 2 - 20/5/14 (Tuesday):
Today, my kind eldest sis drove me around.

We went to HUKM for my sis to send her blood sample. My youngest sis helped to send my S3 for repair.

Then, we went to UTC (one stop centre) at Sentul to replace my IC & driving licence. Very simple, bring your police report to JPN first then get a temporary IC. Then walk next door to JPJ (bring both temporary IC and police report) and you will be issued new licence there and then. very efficient.

Went home to solat and take fresh clothes and back to sis's house to spend the night.

My BF reactivated my phone (new sim card) n came and lend me his spare phones. But still no whatsapp as his phone has limited memory insufficient for whatsapp.

Day 3 - 21/5/14 (Wednesday):
Today, my kind eldest sis drove me around.

Went to UTC Sentul again to collect my newly replaced IC. Then went to RHB bank at Jln Tun Razak to replace new ATM Card (bring IC). Just go to any branch.

Went to Insurance Company at Jln Raja Laut and was given claim form to fill up and was told my document not in place! I need to give them certified police report (meaning, I need to go back to police station, pay RM2.00 for the certified report). Was also told, my reg car registration card (copy) must be updated and insurance policy must also updated. Why so silly? Insurance company should have all these document in place! Otherwise how did they renew my insurance? Sigh...

Anyway, called my insurance agent if he can do all the running around for me and he said "no, the owner needs to that in person. besides he had never done this before"...sigh. Anyway, went to his office at Jln Kuchai Lama and collected the copy of my reg card and insurance policy. His reg card also not the latest as according to them renewal is now by electronic and not reflected on reg card. to make things easier with insurance claim, better go to Finance Company and obtain the original reg card from them.

Went to Finance Company at Bandar Utama, lodged a report on the missing car and collected the original reg card from them. I was told I still need to pay my loan until Insurance company issue me an Offer Letter ie how much Insurance company will reimburse for the losses. Once I obtained the Offer Letter I have to go to the Finance Company again.

After that, we went to Sri Damansara police station to 'certify' my police report. Was told everything moved to Sungai Buloh and they do not have 'machine' to process my report.

Off we go to Sungai Buloh police station and the answer "sorry after 5pm, no one can process the report!!

Went home to solat and back to sis's house to spend the night.

Day 4 - 22/5/14 (Thursday)
Today, my kind niece drove me around.

Went to Sungai Buloh police station - the 'machine' was a lady! She just took my report and stamped it! then initialed it and issued me a receipt!!!

After that, went to the Insurance company again with all the required documents. He insisted on the updated reg card and I told him now all done electronically and showed him my original reg card. and then only he acknowledged receipt of my claim!! He informed me that they will assign an adjuster to interview me and after they are satisfied then only I will receive Offer Letter. Still....long way to go...

After leaving Insurance office, went to my bro's house to pick up my niece (bro's kid) who just just came to KL to pick up my parents and accompanied them back to Kedah. Near my bro's house, there is a Pasar Tani (Pandan) underneath a flyover. Very fresh produce. Bought lots of fish and other seafood as well as chicken, beef and veg. Went to my sis's house and started cooking. quite therapeutic.

My faulty S3 (faulty charging port) finally repaired. Reactivated whatsapp.  1000 over messages!!!

 My BF came and gave me a new phone and lend me a car.

 Day 5 - 23/5/14 (Friday)
Drove myself. Went home to replace access card and pay maintenance fee and back to sis's house, continued with cooking therapy and spend the night at sis's house.

Day 6 - 24/5/14 (Saturday) - spent the day with my little niece and nephew.

Day 7 - 25/5/14 (Sunday) - watched Lee Chong Wei (Thomas cup) with my sis and went home. Still quite jumpy. Kept reciting ayat qursi for Allah to protect me.

Day 8 - 26/5/14 (Monday) - back to work.

The Trauma
After the incident, I reached my sis house about 1.30am...Freshened up and managed to sleep for few hours but had difficulty sleeping as the incident kept playing in my head.

Next day, my sis recited some doa/quranic verses to restore my 'semangat' ie to calm me down. My parents and siblings kept reciting Yaasin praying for Allah to assist.

I believe my recovery was quite fast, by the forth day I was quite ok. I believe doa and prayers and my running around (accompanied by my sis and niece) around KL and to and fro to my house helped to ease me back into normal life.

I hope above note will some how assist you on how to avoid becoming a victim (if possible) and should the unfortunate happened, how do you go about replacing your important document.

All in all, I am thankful to Allah that I was not hurt.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Which Health Supplements?


Just like to document health supplements that I'm currently taking:

1) VitaHealth Supa Formula 3 Plus - protect the body from harmful free radical damages
2) Fish oil - Bio-life ( nervous, cardiovascular and immnune system)

3) Evening primrose oil - Safwa (women's health)

4)  VitaHealth Crowning Glory - for strong and healthy hair growth

5) Apple Cider Vinegar - Natural Factors

6)  Royal Jelly in Alfalfa Honey - vitality & stamina;  skin; anti aging; immune system

Monday, 1 October 2012

Which Skin Care That Works For Me?

Hi, I'm sleepy but excited...but I'll be sleepy tomorrow sigh...:-(

What am I so excited about?

Well, I had been using SK2 Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) for ages n then I stopped a while, recently I went to SK2 counter looking for something to lighten my scar and the girl told me that I should use cotton pad to dab FTE on my skin n leave it for 1 minute to absorb before applying other products on the skin. I thought I could use every drop of FTE by using my fingers n not waste on the cotton pad!

Anyway, I followed her advice and did the following steps for 2 weeks. The findings:
Week 1:
I went for facial at Aster Spring and comment from the therapist "your skin very dry and dehydrated! use mask regularly blah blah.

I went home and didn't do anything different with my skincare routine.

Week 2:
I went for facial at Sothy's and comment from the therapist "you have been using Vitamin C ahh? your skin very smooth, scar lightened and improves a lot!"

SK2 works for me!

My routine:
Morning / night:
  1. Cleanse with dermalogica tri-active cleanse
  2. follow with dermalogica daily microfoliant
  3. follow with SK2 whitening source clear lotion
  4. follow with sothys preparative lotion hydrating / brightening action
  5. dab SK2 Facial Treatment Essence
  6. Kiehl's blemish control daily skin-clearing treatment
  7. SK2 facial treatment repair C
  8. SK2 whitening spots specialist
  9. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum
  10. SK2 signs up-lifter
  11. secrets by sothys eye contour serum
  12. day - mixture of dermalogica gentle soothing booster and sothys brightening fluid anti-ageing / iluminating action
  13. night - mixture of dermalogica overnight repair serum  and secrets de sothys soin global anti age destressant
 Previously, my skincare routine:
  1. cleanse with sothys cleansing cream radiance / brightness action
  2.  follow with dermalogica daily microfoliant
  3.  follow with sothys preparative lotion hydrating / brightening action
  4. dab SK2 Facial Treatment Essence
  5. Sothys clarifiying  correcting serum
  6. Kiehl's blemish control daily skin-clearing treatment
  7. day - Kiehl's powerful-strength line-reducing concentrate
  8. night - sothys serum anti-age reconstituant replenishing anti-ageing serum grade 4
  9. secrets by sothys eye contour serum

Monday, 17 September 2012

Which Skin Care?

Hi all,

I had been advising my nieces to look after their skin diligently and once they can afford it ie earn own income, they should go for regular facials; but cost is their main issue.

Anyway, last 2 weeks I took them out for lunch at 1Utama and since I'm a regular at Aster Springs (formerly Leonard Drake) we dropped by to 'map' their skin n check out what products are suitable for them but all therapists were busy. So, I decided to dedicate this posting to them so they can decide which brand to go for.

So, which skin care?

For me, I started my first facial experience with Clara , why? well, at the time I just started work (they were affordable) and their outlet was near my office at the time (Jalan Ampang).

Then, I switched job and my new office was in Subang USJ, searched around for new facial place and found Leonard Drake at Sunway Pyramid. why? well, they use Dermalogica a well known brand, and again location and affordability determined my selection.

Then, I realized, not that convenient as I can only do my facial on weekend (not after office hours like before) and I have to drive all the way from Sri Damansara to Sunway for my facial! So, I asked them if they can transfer my file to 1 Utama and they agreed! So, I had been with them ever since but last few months they had quite a major renovation and closed their 1 Utama outlet! All customers to go to other outlets to continue with their programme; well, again location is my issue; so looked around 1 Utama and found Sothys and I signed up with them

Well, all the above are proper facials where you have plenty of treatments to choose from for whatever issues you have with your skin, but I discovered recently a basic place to do your facial! Very pleasant discovery which prompted me to write this topic in my blog.

What happened was, I always have good skin then I started using Dermalogica sun screen and I slept without cleansing my face and that's where the problem started; my skin started to break out and I had lots of scars on my forehead n chin and once the old one healed, new ones will popped up! I stopped using the sunscreen but the scars were stubborn; so I looked around for products to reduce the scars and to stop new zit from appearing, I tried Sothys , Dermalogica , Clarins , Kiehl ,  Lancome  and SK2 

Hmm this is where the story begins, after I bought Lancome from Isetan 1 Utama, the promoter told me with the purchase I was eligible for free facial! just bring the products I purchased during facial day. I got home and googled about Genifique  n Visionnaire  and was concerned with some of the findings; my zits had stopped appearing and the scars are lightening (not sure which products contributed to those since I used so many brands) so I dare not use the wrong product again, so I went n bought SK2 and n keep Lancome untouched! Then I receive a call from Lancome that they have a facial slot for me on Sunday, so I was thinking hmm..I already have the products, just go n try it.I expected the facial will be done at the counter but I was pleasantly surprised, Isetan has a pampering section called Beauty Garden "Beauty Gardens, a pampering area for customers, which uses international skincare brands available at Ground Floor as well as I-Club, to attend to member¡¯s needs"

Beauty Garden is at Isetan 2nd Floor, they have many treatment rooms inside , I notice they have La Mer   , Kose , Shiseido , Neal's Yard and of course Lancome. The therapist was waiting for me, I gave her my untouched box of Genifique youth activator, visionnaire skin corrector, genifique eye, gn shield and genifique mask. She did the usual facial thing by using my products n it was a pleasant experience and comparable to facials received at all the salons that I mentioned above! The difference? Very basic facial, no neck treatment, no eye treatment, no tidying up your brow or removal of upper lip facial hair (offered complimentary by Sothys) or squeezing of blackheads or shoulder/back rub. It is good for those looking for basic facial, or those like me ie facial in between appointments with my regular salon (Sothys n Aster Spring). I'm not sure about the other brands (with treatment rooms at Beauty Garden) ie whether you need to pay for facials or they also adopt complimentary facial with purchased products practiced by Lancome. Anyway, I'm happy with Lancome, will definitely go again for the facial. Just need to make sure I have all 3 product (2 serums and mask) with me during facial day :-)

Facials at Aster Spring n Sothys are expensive, samples of price here  n here but you could get discount when you buy during festive promotions or birthdays and that's how I ended up with plenty of treatments; but with Beauty Garden I think I can save some money, perhaps I don't have to sign up so many courses with Aster Spring/Sothys as I can alternate with cheaper facial at Lancome Isetan.

Other facials appointment (promo) that I signed up but yet to try:
- Mary Chia
- Jesley

Skin Care that I had tried and still using:

- Sothys - face
 - SK2 - face

- Dermalogica - face
- Kiehls - face
- Lancome - face
- Clarins - body
- Loccitane - body,29,1,2270,106327.htm

Cosmetics/Make-up that I'm using:
- Bobbi Brown
- Averine

Products that I stopped using:
- Rejeune; expensive and I don't find it to be effective
- Bio Oil, I don't find it to be effective
- Body Shop, I don't find it to be effective
- Clara. well not that convenient to buy anymore

- Dior. Not suitable for my skin (caused break out)

 - Payot, I love this product n used to buy from ex-colleague but not that convenient to buy anymore

 - Nutrimetics well not that convenient to buy anymore, used to buy from my sister

- Nu Skin; I liked the product, my bf's friend's wife introduced to me but I lost touch with her n I emailed to Nu Skin on how to buy their product (tru website) and no reply! I guess they are not interested to expand their business to new customer!

 - Babor; I hate being conned! I ran out of cleansers (Dermalogica) and I was flying to Paris n I hate not having skincare with me even for 1 morning or 1 night and I can't use products from Watson's, Guradians etc as they dry up my skin, so I went to salon near my house (Sri Damansara) to look for cleanser. I went to Assata, the lady couldn't understand English or Malay much and seemed not interested to do business with me! So, I went to the next salon ie Babor, she sold me a sample! will never ever use Babor really bad ethic! same goes to Assata poor customer service

- Kao Biore; used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

- Follow Me; used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

- Zaitun; used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

- Kanebo used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

- Johnson & Johnson used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

Avon  used when I was younger but no longer suitable for my skin

Other brands tried and found not suitable for my skin:
- Eucerin
- Loreal
- Simple
- Olay
- Nivea
- Roc
- Biotherm
- Clinique

- Jurlique tried in Bangkok (I did my facial there); don't like it

and few others that I can't recall.

My advice? try whatever product caught your fancy, don't go for big tube, ask for trial package or the smallest tube available; if your skin feel tight, dry, peels or you start to break out then the product is not suitable for you. Some people is lucky, they can use cheap and harsh products and their skin keep looking good, others like me with sensitive skin has to spend lots of money to find good product that will not cause problems to the skin.

If you can afford it, try to go for regular facials/pampering :-)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Which Perfume??
For some reason I had the urge to document what perfumes I have with me now. I guess I just want to document them so that should I run out of perfume of one particular brand I'll remember which one to buy :-) Pretty silly huh? I had a Fendi before, I loved the smell and either I lost the bottle of I've used up all the perfume I can't recall and now I couldn't even find the same perfume online! I guess I need to go to perfume shops n test all the Fendis there! Anyway below are perfumes I have now (for my future reference):  

Sheer Beauty Calvin Klein for women
Calvin Klein launches a new edition of Beauty fragrance from 2010 named Sheer Beauty. The original evokes timeless beauty and elegance, while the new edition turns to young women and emphasizes naturalness, self-confidence and charm. The composition is floral – fruity, opening with notes of bergamot, red berries and peach Bellini. The perfume’s core includes flowers of peony, pink lily and jasmine. The base is velvety due to accords of sandalwood, musk and vanilla blossom. The bottle is designed as its predecessor, refreshed with pearly shades of blush color. The face of the fragrance is model Daphne Groeneveld. It is available from January 2012 as 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette.  

DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom Donna Karan for women
Donna Karan presents a new gentle fragrance Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, which arrives ad announcement of spring 2009 and is as gentle and airy as the first spring days and shy buds which open the door to awakening of nature and new yearly cycle of colours and scents. It is composed of luminous accords of grapefruit mixed with rose and jasmine petals. This is a flirty, joyful and ultimate scent of spring, freshness and energy. Perfume Be Delicious Fresh Blossom is available in a characteristic apple-shaped flacon, which is created in a combination of metal and pink glass on this occasion. You can find it in amounts of 30, 50 and 100ml edt (1, 1.7 and 3.4 oz), accompanied with a fragrant, spring bath in amount of 150 ml (5.1 oz), from February 2009.  

Euphoria Eau de Toilette Calvin Klein for women
The new Euphoria (EDT) arrived on the market in 2009, accompanied with glittering shimmer and a composition created of Sicilian bergamot, peach and green notes in a top, lotus, champaca, orchid and white honeysuckle in a heart. A base incorporates sandalwood, liquid amber and accords of Bailey's-a. This glittering, sensual and mysterious fragrance is available as 30, 50 and 100ml edt. 

Emporio Armani Diamonds Giorgio Armani for women
This perfume was created by Thierry Wasser of Firmenich and the fragrance is classified as gourmand-floral. The top notes are litchi and raspberry, the middle notes – freesia and lily of the valley, and the base are vetiver, cedar wood, patchouli and vanilla. The Emporio Armani PR team says: ' We're using the rose but in a very gourmand way, like a flower that can be eaten'. The perfume will come in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml bottles. The face and voice of the perfume is singer and actress Beyonce Knowles, to which this is not the first appearance in ads. Before this, she appeared in Pepsi (with Britney Spears, Pink and Enrique Iglesias in one, and J.Lo and David Beckham in another), L’Oreal, and Tommy Hilfiger's perfumes True Star and True Star Gold ads. The video and ad are in black and white and Beyonce, together with the bend, sings (and dances, of course) the famous Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, which before her sang Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" and Nicole Kidman in musical "Moulin Rouge", in which it was shown as medley with Madonna's Material girl. In the Hilfiger's True Star ad Beyonce was singing the 1970s hit Wishing on a Star of Rose Royce. Emporio Armani Diamonds was launched in 2007.  

CK IN2U for Her Calvin Klein for women
Calvin Klein launched a new duo CK IN2U, his first duo instead of unisex fragrances. This trendy pair is intended for young generation, that Calvin Klein cristened as "techno-sexual generation". CK IN2U expresses freedom and possibilities of young people to explore the wolrd. The young and sexy juice is in the urban bottle, simple and attractive in its minimalist design. With CK IN2U Calvin Klein demonstrates that he still knows what young people need. Described as a fresh floral with a woody oriental base, the composition opens with fresh pink grejpfruit and bergamot with a note of red currant leaves. The interesting notes of sugar orchid and white cactus are in the heart. The base notes are: amber, red cedar and vanilla. The perfume was launched 2007. CK IN2U for Her was created by Bruno Jovanovic, Jean-Marc Chaillan, Loc Dong and Carlos Benaim.  

Eternity Moment Calvin Klein for women
Calvin Klein’s classic fragrance Eternity has a nre version: Eternity Moment, ment for modern, young women. Its fine and fresh floral aroma is invited to capture the eternal moment of two souls meeting, gazing at each other, touching for the first time….The notes are: litchi, pomegranate blossom, water lily, Chinese pink peony, guava, musk and woody notes. Here you can read our article’ Calvin Klein in step with time’. Eternity Moment was launched in 2004. Eternity Moment was created by Harry Fremont and Jacques Cavallier.  

Romance Ralph Lauren for women
Romance is a scent of romantic love and intimate moments full of joy and happiness, with an endlessly positive aura. At the beginning of the composition the notes of rose blend with citrusy oils and receive an unusual, unique melody. The pellucid flower of water lily, lily and romantic white violet give this perfume its silent grace and the spicy notes of carnation and ginger refresh. Patchouli, oakmoss and white musk finish the composition gently. The perfume was created by Harry Fremont in 1998.  

Weekend for Women Burberry for women
This relaxing, powdery fragrance is dedicated to weekend. A relaxing country style perfume, named Weekend for Women. Top notes include sweet and zesty mandarine and aromatic grassy notes. Heart notes contain blue hyacinth, iris, nectarine, peach flower, red cyclamen and wild rose. The drydown is a perfect blend of sandalwood, cedar and musk. It was created by Nathalie Lorson in 1997.  

D&G Dolce&Gabbana for women
This classical, intensive, feminine aroma belongs to the group of aldehyde-floral fragrances. D&G is the first fragrance of Dolce&Gabanna. The composition is based on contrasts: sweet and bitter, feminine and masculine. The top notes are aromatic-citrusy and include mandarin, bergamot, basil and aldehydes – a rather strong opening. The heart is feminine floral created of jasmine, floral-spicy carnation, sweet orange blossom and lily. Silky sandal wood in the base is complemented with the sweet and balsamic notes of vanilla, Tonka and musk. This fragrance is recommended for evening wear and special occasions. It was created in 1992. D&G was launched in 1994. The nose behind this fragrance is IFF.  

Egoiste Chanel
Egoïste is a very conservative masculine fragrance composed of spice, wood and vanilla notes. The top notes, intensive and fresh, include rosewood and coriander. Later on, the fragrance character becomes warmer and mysterious due to Bulgarian rose, carnation and warm cinnamon in its heart. The main theme of the composition (long and intensive woodsy trace) reaches its full expression in the lingering base composed of sandalwood, intensive vanilla and ambrette seeds. The perfume was created in 1990. The nose behind this fragrance is Jacques Polge.  

Eternity Calvin Klein for women
Eternity is another very successful fragrance of Calvin Klein, which was designed as a tribute to his marriage. Eternity is a hymn of eternal values: love, family and peace. The composition opens with fresh citrus and green notes, that is followed by the note of violet and lily-of-the-valley. The note of carnation with its spiciness gives the floral heart slightly peppery accord. The final notes are gentle with powdery heliotrope, pink sandalwood and transparent musky notes. The perfume was created by Sophia Grojsman 1988.  

Obsession Calvin Klein for women
Obsession by Calvin Klein is a Oriental Spicy fragrance for women. Obsession was launched in 1985. The nose behind this fragrance is Jean Guichard. Top notes are green notes, mandarin orange, vanilla, peach, basil, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are spices, coriander, sandalwood, orange blossom, jasmine, oakmoss, cedar and rose; base notes are amber, amber, musk, civet, vanilla, vetiver and incense.  

Paris Yves Saint Laurent for women
The perfume is named after Paris, the adored city of Yves Saint Laurent, who created it as a tribute to the Parisiennes who are always elegant, romantic, vivacious, ironic, simple and charming. Paris is a brilliant harmony of roses and violet flowers. This woody-floral starts with bergamot and violet, followed my may rose and iris at its heart, ending with sensational warmth of sandalwood. It was created in 1983. Here you can watch an advertising video for Paris by YSL. The nose behind this fragrance is Sophia Grojsman.  

White Musk The Body Shop for women
White Musk is a comfortable and velvety female fragrance, dedicated to every woman and perfect for every moment and occasion. It opens with notes of ylang-ylang, galbanum and basil, followed by the heart of jasmine, rose, musk and lily,and settling at the base dominated by musk along with jasmine, rose, iris, amber, patchouli, vetiver, peach, oakmoss and vanilla. Besides an intensive 30 ml eau de perfume, White Musk is available as 15 and 30 ml White Musk Perfume Oil and 30 and 60 ml eau de toilette.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Paris & Barcelona Part 2 of 2

Day 6 22/3/2012 (Thursday)
Woke up early as we need to go to airport for Barcelona.
The hotel called for taxi n we left at 7.30am.

We took Easyjet to Barcelona, only about 1hr flight. We took a cab to the hotel, along the way everything is totally different from Paris. I mean in South East Asia, if you go to Singapore or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or Siem Reap you can spot some similarities but Paris and Barcelona...I can't spot any similarity even though they share same continent.

On the way to hotel, we passed by Sagrada Familia with its hordes of tourists...WOW! Turned up our hotel just 5 to 10 minutes walk to the Church.

We reached the hotel and after checking in just as per Adagio, first order of business SAMAK with samak soap

Our hotel ie apartment is in Eixample is bigger (2 bedrooms instead of bedroom when we were in Paris), cheaper and much nicer in every aspect as compared to Adagio. We stayed at Apartaments Restaurant Hispanos 7 Suiza


We rested, unpacked, checked out the TV and later once everything settled walked to nearby supermarket and checked out Sagrada Familia. Wow! awesome!

It was getting dark and we went back to the apartment.

Day 6 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to Charles De Gaulle Airport 75 euro (the hotel took 23 euro n the balance of 52 euro paid to the taxi driver)
- Breakfast on Easyjet - Starbucks coffee 2.50 euro; shortbread 1.50 euro
- Taxi from airport to Eixample 48 euro
- Grocery 7.33 euro (2kg oranges 1.85 euro, strawberry 4.29 euro, detergent 1.19 euro)
- Travel voucher from the hotel to purchase hop on and hop off bus ticket 12 euro per person

Day 7 23/3/2012 (Friday)
Woke up early and walked to Sagrada Familia. We then bought hop on n hop off bus ticket right in front of Sagrada 20 euro/pax

Same as Paris just hop n off as you like. We reached Park Guell and I suggested to everyone that we should hop off and visit the park. My sisters looked at the hill that we have to climb and she decided to hop on back to the bus! I proceeded on my own, hop on and off to explore the followings and occasionally just sat in the bus to enjoy Barcelona sights.

Parc Guell
Catalunya Square
Las Ramblas
Port Vell

I missed the bus as it stopped operating at 7pm. So decided to take a metro back. again reached home at about 10pm or so and my nephew complained why I always came back late...

Day 7 expenses:
- Grocery 5.56 euro (baguette 0.68 euro, milk 1.25 euro, yoghurt 0.89 euro, orange juice 1.75 euro, oreo 0.99 euro)
- Turistic bus hop on n hop off ticket 20 euro/pax
- Drinks 2 euro (coke n bottled water)
- Souvenirs 50 euro
- Tibidabo funicular ticket 7.50 euro (and donated 1 euro to another tourist that did not have small change)
- Falafel + fries 8 euro
- Metro ticket 2 euro
- Orange juice 0.91 euro

Got home and asked my sisters what they wanted to do tomorrow. No suggestions so I suggested Las Ramblas n Port Vell and Montjuic as I think they may enjoy it.

Day 8 24/3/2012 (Saturday)
We walked to Sagrada Familia again. We thought of visiting Sagrada mercat (market) as we spotted it yesterday from the hop on and hop off bus. My nephew spotted playground in front of the Church and decided to enjoy himself first. Meanwhile my sister took the opportunity to snap photos of the church.

Once everyone happy we decided to walk and look for the mercat, after a while we couldn't find the place n both kids started to throw tantrum. and the mother was stressed out.So decided to take a taxi to Las Ramblas.

We reached Las Ramblas n while strolling, my sis (the 2 kids' mum) broke down, I guess it was just too much for her. She spent thousands of ringgit for the trip n unable to enjoy herself, the kids being kids whined and cried and she had to follow their schedule n I guess being harassed she couldn't be nice to us other adults n I couldn't take that sort of crap n we had a row the night before. Anyway after a while she calmed down and started to enjoy the place.

What we did:
Strolled along Las Ramblas
few halal restaurants along Las Ramblas n we had lunch at one of them.

La Boquera

While walking, my nephew and I got separated from my sisters. We proceeded to Port Vell n my nephew started to enjoy the sights. Hours later we received a text message from his mom who frantically been looking for him. Hello! I love him too and will never let anything happen to him.

Port Vell -
We took a boat ride around the harbour

After the boat ride they were tired and decided to go back. I continued with my exploration.

Discovered many wonderful sights and enjoyed Gothic Quarter Barcelona.
While exploring I stopped by for coffee n cupcake n few hours later coffee n churros.

Again took metro back to hotel.

Day 8 expenses:
- Taxi from Sagrada Familia to Las Ramblas 6 euro
- telescope coin 1 euro
- boat ride 23 euro (6.50 euro/adult, 2.60 euro/child)Las Golondrinas
- La Boquera drinks 2 euro; calzone; fruits
- memory & art game trencadis de gaudi 8 euro
- football jersey 40 euro
- cupcake 1.50 euro
- coffee 2 euro
- churros & coffee
- Metro ticket 2 euro

Day 9 25/3/2012 (Sunday)
End of Barcelona visit. We left the hotel when it was still dark at 7.30am.

Reached Paris to another apartment. This time right at the centre of Latin quarter and the most expensive apartment (compared to the earlier 2). Location is superb! minutes to all the major attractions.

Checked in, unpacked, samak, had lunch. Everyone fell asleep. I woke up and asked the rest if they want to walk and check out the neighbourhood, after all it is our last night in Paris. They declined as they were tired. Wanted to shop but shops close on Sunday! I proceeded on my own, started with Latin quarter, then went to Marais neighbourhood.

Latin quarter
Centre Georges Pompidou

Day 9 Barcelona expenses
- Taxi from hotel to airport 48 euro
- Breakfast at airport 2.80 euro (2 croissant at 1.40 euro/pc)
- bought easyjet toys for my nephews 13 euro x 2
- Airport bag 2 units at 1 euro each
- Airport last minute souvenir 32.90 euro(choc 15.60 euro, cookie 6.50 euro + 6 euro x 2)
- Airport buy - kit kat 5.70 euro, bottled water 1.20 euro

Day 9 Paris expenses
- Taxi from airport to hotel 62 euros
- drinks x 2, 4.50 euro (coke n bottled water)

Day 10 26/3/2012 (Monday)
End of Paris visit. Our flight was in the evening, so we packed n checked out at 12noon, stored our things at the hotel luggage room. The 2 kids decided to stay at lobby with my eldest sis while my youngest sis explored nearby shops. I took a taxi to Sothy's salon at 128 Faubourg St Honore. Ha ha can't believe I'm at the very address that is shown on my skincare tube! Caught by surprise on the price, product that costs RM773 in M'sia is only 158 euro (RM632), another that costs RM412 in M'sia, sells for 57.30 euro (RM229.20), another costs RM362 in M'sia n in Paris 41 euro (RM164) and I can go on and on and on top of that I received free products due to the amount spent n plenty of samples n I enjoy VAT refund of 184 euro. Basically I spent a nett of 1,256 euro n enjoy products worth 1,587 euro. I'm happy!!

Took a cab back to hotel and packed my newly bought purchases n off to airport.

On the way to airport, we passed by La Chapelle at 19th arrondisement. Wow! almost the whole stretch of the street line up with halal shops (restaurants n butcher shops)...hmm too late to discover for this trip ..Maybe next time.

Excerpt from on this stretch of road:

La Chapelle Orientation and Transport
La Chapelle is relatively tiny in comparison to other Paris neighborhoods, located northeast of the Seine in the district known to locals as the 19th arrondissement. The Bassin de la Villette and the Canal St. Martin run to the east with Gare du Nord just southwest. Montmartre is not too far away to the northwest.

Main Streets Around La Chapelle: Rue du Faubourg St. Denis, Boulevard de la Chapelle, Rue de Cail

Getting There: The neighborhood is best served by metro stop La Chapelle on line 2 or Gare du Nord


We reached the airport and plenty of time to browse about. Not as many shops as KLIA or Bangkok or Amsterdam but I still managed to buy something. Bought perfume for myself n my bf. also bought him a box of Laduree macaroon.

Boarded a plane to Amsterdam n same thing again when we reached Amsterdam we only had 1 hour to pass tru immigration and to walk to departure gate.

Finally on the plane and this time it was much easier to sleep. I woke 2 or 3 times but had a nice sleep throughout the journey.

Day 10 expenses
- taxi from hotel to Sothy's 15 euro x 2
- taxi from hotel to airport 75 euros (bad jam)
- Sothy's skincare (by credit card) 1,440 euro); VAT refund 184.20 euro (after deduction of 3 euro commission)
- Perfume (by credit card at airport):
- CK obsession for men 49 euro
- CK sheer beauty 67.40 euro
- Laduree macaroon

Day 11 27/3/12 (Tuesday)
Reached KLIA at about 3pm. My sis's hubby picked us up. End of a holiday...

Day 11 expenses
Souvenir 15yr Glenfiddich RM218 x 2

TOTAL SPENT (excluding hotel n flight):
Cash = 722.14 euro (RM2,888.56)
Credit card: RM5,924.80

Total spent = RM8,813.36 + flight KLM 3,065 + Easyjet RM590 + hotel RM1,726
TOTAL EXPENSES: RM14,194.36 (excluding preparation like clothes, bags etc). I guess if I don't spend my money at Sothy's it only cost me less than 10k. But, I use Sothy's, so better to buy cheaper products in Paris than buy here in M'sia in the near future and spend more money.

Hmm....not bad...

I prefer relaxing holiday as I feel our trip was quite rush but we don't have a month or 2 months to spend in Europe so I guess it is still better than tour group holiday...

Holiday with family is good I would say, but family being family somehow you tend to create some tension when you spent lots of time together and when fatigue, stress kicked in it is so easy to explode amongst family members as compared to amongst friends. But good thing about family, you fight, you made up and everything is ok again. With friends you may not see them again after the holiday :-)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Paris & Barcelona Part 1 of 2

Salam all,

I just got back from Paris & Barcelona last Tuesday (27/3/2012) I was there for 11D/9N with my sisters and a 5yr old nephew and a 1yr old niece. It was a free n easy holiday. We booked our flight tru KLM way back in August 2011 when they had a promotion and booked our accommodation vide

The preparation took us a long time ie since August 2011, since then, we slowly gathered information tru internet as well as travel books. of course we slowly saved money and started buying things for the trip such as clothing, food etc.

We took lots of photos but they are for private collection. So videos n pictures links that I posted here are from those published in the internet from other tourists.

Flight KL-Paris-KL RM3065/pax

Sim card RM80 to RM120

Taxi from airport to hotel to airport RM160 x 2 (RM106/pax) 18/3/2012 & 26/3/2012

Accommodation Paris 18/3 to 22/3 (4n) RM2778 (RM926/pax)

Accommodation Paris (1n) 25 march RM886/nite (RM300/pax)

Transport in Paris - on foot n metro/bus/train/trams.

- mobilis card unlimited travel for 1 day in 2 to 6 zones (RM24 to RM68) or

-paris visit unlimited travel n museum discount 1/2/3/5day RM35/ RM58/ RM79/ RM114


Eiffel tower - RM53/pax (cheaper with discount card)

Museums (about 8 euro/museum) - RM330/pax (use museum card bole dpt discount on tickets, 2d/4d - RM129/RM194) cheaper with discount card

River cruise RM40 (cheaper with discount card)

Versailles RM60 (cheaper with discount card)

Chartres, train fare RM55 x 2

Loire Valley train fare RM138 to RM231 x 2

TOTAL PARIS: RM2,518 (6D/5N)

22/3/12 - 25/3/12 (4D/3N)

Flight to/fro Barcelona RM1768 (RM590/pax)

Taxi from airport to hotel to airport RM141 x 2 (RM94/pax) 22/3/12 & 25/3/12

Accommodation Barcelona RM1500 4d/3n (RM500/pax)

Costa Brava & Girona day tour RM384/pax
Montserat / Royal Basilica RM704 (234/pax)


Food RM120/day/pax x 8days = RM960

TOTAL ESTIMATE: 8,345 (on the high side, can be cheaper if cut down on paid tours n some museums, for estimate purpose assume go to all museums. also museum entrants consider full fare n also with discount card)
exclude souvenir but include transport, hotel n food n phone n tours.

Pre-trip expenses:

RETURN FLIGHT KL-Paris-KL (KLM)bought in August 2011
- RM3,065/adult
- RM2,743 (5yr old)
- RM179 (1yr old)

RETURN FLIGHT Paris-Barcelona-Paris (Easyjet) bought on 29/2/2012
3 Adults + child = Euro 91.98 x 4 = RM371.94 x 4pax
Infant = euro 48 (RM194.070)
luggage = euro 28 x 3pc = RM113.179 x 3pcs + 14 euro (additional pc)
credit card fee + admin fee = euro 15.57 (RM62.9375)
total: euro 529.49 for 4pax + 1 infant

Travel books:
1) Europe on a shoestring (lonely planet) RM110.20
2) Discover Europe (lonely planet) RM106.40
3) Best of Europe 2012 (Rick Steves') RM103.60
4) France (lonely planet) RM105.30
5) Discover France (lonely planet) RM97.50
6) Let's go Paris (The student travel guide) RM77.90
7) Paris everything you ever wanted to know (not for parents) RM49.90
8) Easy learning french phrasebook (Collins) RM39.90
9) French phrase book & dictionary (Berlitz) RM24.90
10)French phrasebook & dictionary (Collins) RM24.90
11)German phrasebook & dictionary (Collins) RM24.90
12)German phrase book & dictionary (BBC Active) RM29.00

Clothing n shoes:

1) Trench coat from Topshop abt RM300++
2) coat from uniqlo abt RM400
3) 2 cardigans from uniqlo abt RM300 or so
4) long sleeves t-shirts from uniqlo abt RM30 each. I bought abt 7 or more
5) 2 hoodie sweatshirt from China (my bf bought for me)
6) glove n hat from uniqlo
7) few new shirts n blouses
8) 2 pairs of shoes

1) Brahim
2) Precooked Biryani from Cold Storage
3) Maggie instant noodles
4) Sambal ikan bilis (from my sis's friends) RM20
5) Sardine (canned)

Medium Pierre Cardin bag RM290.

Day 1 17/3/2012 (Saturday)
Had KFC dinner at KLIA. Flight to Amsterdam at 23.45. Everything on schedule. Didn't sleep well for obvious reason (crampy n tight space n vertical position of course) but not as bad, still manage to sleep for few hours. Meals were not bad.

Accommodation Paris at Adagio Paris Tour Eiffel from 18/3 to 22/3 (4n) RM2778 (RM926/pax)

Day 2 18/3/2012 (Sunday)
Arrived Amsterdam and we had 1 hour to rush to the gate for Paris flight and we still had to pass tru immigration. Boy! What a process, long distance (from arrival gate to departure gate) and the immigration officer took their sweet time to do the process. I rushed with my nephew first while my sis struggled to carry her 1yr old daughter and the other elderly sister struggled to keep up. We reached the gate panting and I informed the stewardess to wait for the other 3. We were the last to board the plane. Everyone was thirsty when we boarded the plane and the steward n stewardess were kind enough to offer my nephew a drink before we took off. It took about 1hr to reach Paris.

Taxi to hotel, 71 euro (including additional charge for 4th person n 1 euro for each piece of luggage).

Our apartment hotel is at Adagio Paris Tour Eiffel at 15th arrondisement, about 20min walk to Eiffel Tower. The apartment is big by Paris standard but still small by M'sia standard.

We reached the hotel at about 11am or so, after we rested n had lunch we wanted to go out but it rained! We ended up resting n sleeping in the hotel. I went out with my nephew to enjoy Eiffel Tower view n Seine River view when the rain stopped.

Lunch n dinner - our stock from M'sia.

oooh! First order of business before we started using pots, pans, plates, bowls, cutlery provided by the hotel..SAMAK!! My sister brought samak soap n very easily everything cleansed as per islamic ritual.

We slept n woke up early due to jet lag.

Day 3 19/3/2012 (Monday)
We walked along Seine River bank to Eiffel Tower, it was enjoyable stroll but my sisters n nephew complained it was a long walk! We reached Eiffel Tower n my nephew whined that he wanted to climb Eiffel Tower, we wished we can oblige but the line was just too long. We had lunch at Parc du Champ de Mars. Guess what? Nasi Biryani n sambal ikan bilis!

My nephew started throwing tantrum as he couldn't climb Eiffel Tower, so we had to skip exploring around Eiffel Tower and took 'Les Cars Rouges hop on n hop off bus' to pacify him. Cost us 26 euro/pax for 2 days.

The bus took us around the major attractions in Paris, we just sat in the bus as my nephew preferred to sit in the bus rather than walking n soon after he started to whine he wanted to go home!

We took the bus back to Eiffel Tower and walked back to the apartment. He was happy when we reached the apartment.

After my niece went to sleep, my sis n I walked to Eiffel Tower to view its light. very nice.

Day 3 expenses:
- Hop on hop off ticket 26 euro/pax
- hot choc 4 euro x 2 at Iolanda 105 Quai Branly 75015 Paris

- toy for my nephew 4.50 euro
- grocery from monoprix supermarket 17.25 euro (fruit juices x 3bottles (1.84 euro x 2 + 1.77 euro), bread x 2packets (0.61 euro + 1.64 euro), 4 muffins 2.63 euro, brinjal 0.43 euro, carrot 0.16 euro, 2kg oranges 1.99 euro, broccoli 2.90 euro, coke 0.42 euro, mushroom 1.02 euro)

Day 4 20/3/2012 (Tuesday)
Woke up early but got a bad flu n cough and it was raining! We had to stay in, in the morning. When the rain stop we decided to take a cab to the Louvre.

It was closed! So, just just snapped pictures outside the museum. Then I walked around looking for Les Cars Rouges bus stop but gave up and informed the rest that maybe we just walked along Seine River bank to Notre Dame. Along the way, we witnessed the famous Paris scam - someone tried to snatch a tourist's bag (earlier the a girl pretend to ask for donation from me but distracted when her friend who was trying to steal from another tourist was shouted at by the lady tourist n she ran over to help her friend), thankfully they didn't manage to get anything from me or the earlier target.

My sis was tired carrying my niece n we stopped at Seine River bank to rest and slowly walked to Notre Dame.

Along the way, we stopped at Pont de l'Archevêché 'Lovers bridge' where lovers placed padlocks here to symbolize their everlasting love. We had our lunch here. Another Brahim fare!

We walked further and found Marché aux Fleurs (flower market)and few other beautiful buildings and finally Notre Dame!

Walked further and many pictures later, we stopped to rest as my niece was asleep n I found Berthilon kiosk (Many consider Berthillon to be the best ice cream of Paris and maybe of France) n bought their sorbet n ice cream...hmm nothing to shout about. I prefer Baskin-Robbins or Häagen-Dazs

Around the corner we found Notre Dame.

Near Notre Dame, my nephew wanted to pee, we asked for direction but we couldn't understand french n we were lost looking for toilet! My sister gave up n wanted to ask her son to pee in front of Notre Dame! I told her keep looking or you may caused unnecessary friction as the Christians may think we (both my sisters wear heads carves)are trying to insult Christians by peeing at their church! Thankfully we found the toilet within Notre Dame compound...phew!!!

After snapping pictures, we found playground at Square de l'Ile de France just next to Notre Dame and my nephew was happy to play with the other little tourists.

After playing, my nephew was tired, poor boy! He wanted to ride a boat and we found batobus nearby Notre Dame. We took the boat (also hop on n hop off service) and he was very happy. My sisters n nephew were tired and proceeded to Eiffel Tower to go home while I continued with my sightseeing around River Seine vicinity - Musee D'Orsay, Hotel Deville etc. Then took Batobus and stopped at Champs-Elysées, explored the surrounding area and by the time decided to start shopping, the shops closed!

Decided to walk home. Walked passed Eiffel Tower. Beautiful!! Everyone was asleep when I reached home.

Day 4 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to Louvre 15 euro
- music box from flower market 15 euro
- Hop on hop off batobus ticket 15 euro/adult, 7 euro/child
- orange juice 3 euro
- mineral water 3 euro
- disney toys (from Champs-Elysées store)for my nephew n niece 28 euro + 8.90 euro

Day 5 21/3/2012 (Wednesday)
We thought of exploring outside Paris i.e. either Versailles or Chartres or Giverny, called travel agent and he asked us to go to his office at San Augustine Road to make payment, when we reached there he told us it was too late to venture outside. We decided to walk around the area (St Germaine & Latin Quarter). After a while, the
rest of the group wanted to go home while I continued with my exploration. Stopped for vegetarian falafel at:

Maoz Vegetarian
Rue Xavier Privas
8 Rue Xavier Privas
75005 Paris, France
01 43 26 36 00

After my falafel break I decided to proceed to Monmarte.

I kept on walking downhill and reached Rue des Martyrs. Nice quaint neighbourhood. Spotted a nice little designer patisserie called Sebastien Gaudard patisserie Des Martyrs. Bought meringue, macaroon n lemon tarts. Very nice. Got back and googled. Hmm he's quite a famous pastry chef in Paris! Address 22, rue des Martyrs 75009 Paris.

By the time I left the patisserie, it was quite late and I couldn't get a taxi, so decided to take a metro. Stopped at Place de la Concorde and explored the area and walked home. Another late night.

Day 5 expenses:
- Taxi from hotel to quai des Grands Augustins near Boulevard St-Michel 15.50 euro
- Scarf from Etam 14.95 euro
- Souvenirs from Latin Quarter 90 euro
- falafel & fries
- Taxi from quai des Grands Augustins to Sacre Coure 27 euro (bad jam)
- Metro ticket 1.60 euro
- Tartelette citron 4,10€ x 2; Kugelhopf 2€; the macaroon € 1.35; Meringue
- Taxi from Eiffel Tower to hotel 6.20 Euro (meter read about 3 euro but min taxi fare is 6.20 euro); had to take cab, too tired to finish my journey for the day.

Day 6 22/3/2012 (Thursday)
Woke up early as we need to go to airport for Barcelona.

to be continued.....