Makan Angin Puerto Rico Bab 1

18 August 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Now that I travel so much less for work, I have the desire to travel for pleasure - or as we say in Malaysia "makan angin" (literally "eat air"). So a couple of weeks ago, Vin and I went to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a long weekend. We left on Friday very early morning and got home again on Monday evening and stayed in Puerto Rico for only 3 nights.

I must say, it was a very convenient trip, especially for East Coasters - it was about 4-5 hours flying time (shorter than going to Hawaii) and you stay in the same time zone so there's no time funkiness to contend with. Travelocity had a really good deal for flight+hotel stay that ended up being only slightly dearer than just the round trip flight to Florida for that weekend. And, best of all, Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean which means that even tropically-bred girls like me can swim in the sea with no temperature issues whatsoever! I am incredibly susceptible to colds if exposed to cold water (freezing rain, the Atlantic ocean anywhere north of Florida, etc.) so if the water temperature is not above 70-75 F, swimming is completely out of the question for me. So the water temperature in Puerto Rico was just absolutely perfect for me.

 

Irfan Gets a Haircut

16 August 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Today I acquired the means to extract the photos in my cell phone, which have been percolating in its memory for almost two months. Some time last month, we took Irfan for a haircut at the barber's. It was the third time for him at the place, if I remember right. He never goes first. I have to have my hair cut before him.

But when he sits in the chair, he's one docile kid, peering intently at his own reflection in the mirror as his locks come off.

 

Irfan In Pasir Mas Once Again

04 August 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Irfan's grandfather was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago and we would have been there sooner to visit if not for work and exam (as mentioned in the previous entry). He's feeling much better now, although getting Irfan's Tok Bah to rest is next to impossible as he's used to being on his feet and running errands.

Meanwhile, Irfan was running about in and about the house, burning off but never exhausting his seemingly boundless energy reserves until near midnight.

 

European Adventure IX: Bournemouth

09 July 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

This is the final part of our European Adventure. After saying goodbye to Joanne in Leeds, we drove back to London. It was Friday, May 26th, and we were to fly home on Sunday morning, the 28th. The drive back to London was smooth until we hit the M25 (the ring road around London). It was about 2:30 in the afternoon but Monday was a bank holiday, so we hit the rush hour. Everybody left early in order to start the long weekend. So it took us about 2 hours to get from getting on the M25 to Surrey, and I was cursing under my breath the entire time.

 

European Adventure VIII: Return to England (Grantham, York, Leeds)

05 July 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

After almost a week of hot sunny days in Spain, we flew back to England from Malaga. We arrived at Gatwick and it was raining cats and dogs. What a welcome, eh? :)

We made our way back to Mei's place, and that evening we went to a barbeque with Mei and Colin and met a bunch of people from their diving club. Unfortunately no pictures of the barbeque because a) it was night time and b) it was still pouring rain. It's true - the English barbeque in all weather!!

 

European Adventure VII: Malaga - Departure

03 July 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

After a long delay of finishing up the chronicles of our European Adventure, finally I'm back to do the last few entries. After our fun time in Jaen, it was time to head back to Malaga where we would spend one last night in Spain before heading back to England.

 

Today The Light Switch...

02 July 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Switches are attractive items... Tomorrow the world!!!

Earlier today Irfan realised that he has a new super power: the ability to reach any high switch on the wall with his hands (albeit on tippy toes). So all morning he's been all over the house flipping switches. Lights. Fan. Forcefields. Directed-energy weapons. Life support systems.

But the best thing all week has been his newfound skill of asking to use the toilet when required. Many thanks to Irfan's Tok & Opah for teaching their grandson while Ain & I were at work last week.

 

European Adventure VI: Hanging Out in Jaen

16 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

We spent a total of 5 days in Jaen, and the days and nights were filled with old friends (new friends for me!), food, and lots of conversations. I was very quickly introduced to doing everything on Spanish time, which is different from the schedule that I'm used to. For instance, when we checked into Hotel Infanta Cristina (Princess Christina) in Jaen, we were told that breakfast started at 8:00 AM and ended at 11:00 AM. I'm used to breakfast hours starting at 6:00 AM in the hotels that I stay at for work purposes in the U.S. Lunch doesn't even start until 2:00 PM (between 2-4 in the afternoon), and dinner isn't served until about 9:00 PM. The siesta hours are still observed in Jaen, and Vin and I found ourselves being just about the only people wandering around town during siesta. We did see a few tourists (yes, they were tourists - they spoke German) up and about during siesta, but almost no locals. I found it odd to find older people (folks in their 70s and 80s) up and about at 1:00 AM on a work night, eating out with their families. Everybody keeps late hours in Spain - and siestas are a necessity to maintain this schedule.

 

European Adventure V: The Castillo Overlooking Jaen

14 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

After we checked out of our hotel in Malaga, we took a taxi to the bus station. We would have to take the bus first to Granada and then from there a bus to Jaen. It was past noon by the time we checked out. In the end, we took the easy way out and just took a taxi to Jaen. We wanted to make it to Jaen before it got too late (no point burning daylight). Happily, we arrived in Jaen in time for a late lunch (lunch is late there anyway).

 

European Adventure IV: Malaga - Arrival

13 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

After we checked out of our hotel in Amsterdam, we went to the train station and caught the train to Brussels. It was a 2.5-3 hour train ride and I'd love to say that I took beautiful pictures of the passing scenery. We went through Rotterdam and several other cities in the Netherlands before crossing into Belgium. Unfortunately, I was so zonked out I slept most of the way. So...suffice it to say we took the train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and from there we caught a plane to Malaga, Spain.

 

European Adventure III: Amsterdam

12 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

The next leg of our European adventure started out by taking a train from Surrey to Gatwick Airport where we were catching a plane to Amsterdam. Now, before anybody gets overexcited about Amsterdam, we were only there for less than 24 hours (1 night) and so we did not get the full Amsterdam experience. Yes, no bike riding along the canals, no canal tours by boat, and we didn't make it to Anne Frank's house even! And no, we did not make it to the Red Light District... I think this means we must go back to Amsterdam and spend a little more time there!

 

European Adventure II: Stonehenge and Salisbury

11 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

To continue our European adventure, Mei took a day off work and we went gallivanting around England while poor Colin had to work. We went to Stonehenge and Salisbury. Stonehenge was about a 1.5-2 hour drive from Surrey, and due to being tired and our body clocks being screwed up, we didn't leave until mid-morning. But it was worth it.

 

European Adventure I: Surrey and London

10 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Recently, Vin and I went on a 16-day vacation to Europe. We went to a few countries, visited with many friends and for the first time ever, I travelled around the European continent. Prior to this, I had only been in London for 2 weeks in the winter of 1997.

We started our vacation by flying to Gatwick where we were picked up by Mei Chin (my bestestestestest friend in the whole wide world) and Colin. We were to spend the first part of our trip hanging out with Mei and Colin at their place in England.

*grumble* this is the 2nd time I'm doing this entry. My stupid computer froze and IE died when I was completely done with this entry. All was lost. :(

 

Irfan Around Lumut

06 June 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Last weekend, we were back in Sitiawan to attend a couple of kenduris. On Monday, Irfan's grandparents decided to take us to Teluk Batik and Lumut. It was great, but the weather was hot and there were too many people about thanks to the school holidays.

 

It's Been A Year Already?

23 May 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 
Alert! More happy years ahead!
 

Brief Pahang Incursion

21 May 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Ain's good friend from Univerity Malaya, Jalilah, got married last Saturday.

It was, of course, another Family Trip to parts unknown; this time to FELDA Lepar Hilir 1 in the state of Pahang to the east. Since the car's suspension was repaired a couple of days earlier, I felt confident in making the trip without having the car losing its tyres halfway there. So, at 1030 hours on that day, we left the house for Pahang. We didn't take the new East Coast Highway, cause I miss driving on the old Federal main road east through Karak, Mentakab, Temerloh and Maran, which have better roads now and less traffic thanks to the new highway.

It was quite a feat, trying to locate the bride's home via the map that was on the invitation card. And who would have thought PMG meant "Pusat Mengumpul Getah" (Rubber Collection Centre).

 

Exsanguination Day at the Mall

15 May 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Because Irfan's Cik Emma missed having her blood drained out of her body, we took a drive to nearby Cheras Leisure Mall where a blood donation drive was underway last Saturday. Cik Su F, a-visiting from MIAT, was along for the ride.

There was a great number of people in line signing up for the blood donation. As Cik Su F covered Emma's six, Irfan, Ain and I traipsed around the mall window shopping.

 

Comp Copy Number 1

03 May 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Role Playing Games
 

The Game Mechanics
The complimentary copy came in the mail today, the first RPG book in which I had a hand in creating: Future Player's Companion published by The Game Mechanics and Green Ronin Publishing. Thanks to Gary again for recommending me for this gig and everyone at TGM (Stan!, Marc and JD) for giving me a chance illustrating part of the book.

The feeling of holding the book in hand and flipping through the pages is great, although going through my artwork in the book I would like to say the first batch of pictures for the first PDF I drew looks embarassingly bad. The final batch, even with its shortcomings, are the ones I'm satisfied with.

 

Cake on the First of May

02 May 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

May 1st is Irfan's Cik Su F's 19th birthday. Her sisters, including Ain, chipped in for a cake for a little get together. The cake had oranges and strawberries and mangos and kiwi fruits and grapes. Irfan also wanted in on the cutting of the cake, as usual. For the main course, Ain made bihun goreng, which was delicious.

It's all gone now. Snif snif. :\'-(

 

Phoenix: Part II

27 April 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

To continue our adventures in Arizona, Becky took us to Sedona where we decided to climb up a rock.

This rock, in fact:

Cathedral Rock

Well, it wasn't as straightforward as that. Before the climb, we did wander around Sedona and viewed some more art galleries and open hacienda-styled malls.