Archive | July, 2013

Bargaining with Tooth Fairy

31 Jul

Last year, M2 had several baby teeth making way for the new ones. And in our home, we all know Tooth Fairy will come whenever there is a tooth for the taking. Somehow Tooth Fairy is always ‘She’ and while both M1 and M2 suspect it’s me, sometimes, some things are best left as it is.

Anyway, M2 got very innovative; with the impending “Great Adventure Road Trip to USA” happening in November (last year), she thought she could make a quick buck!

So she left this note for Tooth Fairy.

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Can I Not Study?

30 Jul

We came back from Paris to find the girls facing yet another exam right before the school holidays kick in. Separation has led to laziness somewhat and I suppose the looming two weeks’ break has something to do with the attitude as well.

“Can I not study?” bargained M1 last night.

“What do you mean, ‘Can I not study?’ You can’t be serious!” I countered, aghast.

“See, I did well last term so I thought I’d take a break. And give others a chance to do well…” she explained herself as I was raising my eyebrows sky-high!

Seriously, I have never heard or did such a thing, giving others—my friends who are also my competitors in class—to do well.

Sensing my indifference yet non-anger, she quickly added, “But I promise to do super well for year-end and meet the targets set. It’s not like I did not study, I am adopting Mabel’s swimming strategy!”

M2 recently participated in the school swimming gala and during practice, did not go all out (to deceive her opponents) but reserved her strength for competition day and won gold.

In principle, M1 thinks this strategy is excellent to adopt for the coming exam but I think it is to mask her laziness to study. I suppose I cannot complain considering she usually ends up as the top student in class; we can cut some slack here…

Thankfully, M2 is not adopting this as she is all pumped up to do even better.

I Am Not a Goat, Mummy

29 Jul

Sometimes when I talk to the girls, I tend to dramatize the conversation, “Come here, my child, ” I would holler with gusto or I’d say, “Hey kid! Whatcha doing?”

Whenever I do the “Hey kid” line, M2 would somberly remind me, “I am not a goat, mummy. Don’t call me a kid.”

Hrrmmph.

It’s Nice to Be Back

28 Jul

We touched down on schedule at KLIA from Abu Dhabi on Friday but the luggages came out late. The girls were excited to see us but I suspect it’s more to inspect the goodies we got them. Despite being adamant to stay up to greet us, tiredness from their school day had them fast asleep before we stepped into the house.

I’d like to think it wasn’t jet lag but I couldn’t sleep at 3am in the morning, KL time; after all it’s only 9pm Paris time. But tiredness got to me too after traveling for the last 18 hours and catching sleep that was not the most relaxing, I was knocked out until the next day, 1pm!

It’s nice to be home; in familiar territory and the comforts of our space. A new destination is always exciting but home is where the heart is. The Roo came alive again upon seeing us, the children back to their animated self and the maid relieved that we are back.

The holiday is truly over as we settle back into our routine and face the reality of work come Monday. But I am already thinking and planning for the next trip! With or without the children, well, it’s left to be seen how hard they study and work towards achieving the targets set for them.

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

26 Jul

It must be a good business decision to code-share, no? I am a graphic designer and no MBA holder but this must be the reason in order to make a profit.

I must say Air France’s A340-330 is not very comfortable. The personal screen in front is so small like a Nintendo compared to the screen in Etihad’s A330, which was sized like an iPad. It’s pretty obvious the former has older planes while the latter has a newer fleet. The seat and leg room comfort also differs very vastly. Guess who is better? And let’s not go into the entertainment offering.

From the service point of view, I was disappointed that I did not get the basmati rice offering on our return journey on the Paris-Abu Dhabi leg on Air France. After six days of raw beef, salad and baguette, the Asian in me was crying for rice! Let’s see if I get to fulfill my rice craving from Abu Dhabi to KL with Etihad.

But I must say Air France has nice cheese.

Analyzing the good and the bad, I suppose I can conclude and say code-sharing is to balance the cost and make the ticket affordable. After all, one can’t expect the sky and more when paying peanuts.

Two hours into flying, we were served lunch and yes, I did get my rice finally. Here’s one happy passenger to endorse the airline.

But sometimes it’s not the airline but passengers from hell who makes a situation ugly. Like the one sitting right behind me who kept kicking my seat. Mind you, it’s not a child but an elderly.

And to top it, after the meal when everything was cleared, I reclined my seat only to have it pushed back and hear her bitch that I cannot do that!

Goodness! Obviously she has never flown before and does not know passenger ethics. Kept right on bitching to the hubby who turned his head and was pissed with her manners. I pinged the stewardess to come referee the situation, as we both didn’t want this to mar the end of our pleasant holiday. Promptly she came and explained in some indecipherable language to the ignorant behind (who was still bitching) that it is perfectly fine to do what I did, and nicely told me to go ahead with it! So I stretched my seat out to the max. After all, I am also a paying customer like everyone else.

The stewardess then showed the ignorant to recline her seat, which she probably did not know how in the first place. 1-0 in favor of Etihad over the passenger from hell; well done.

Occurrences like this are rare in this era I must admit and despite the good, bad and ugly of flying, it is not going to deter me to more trips, planned or impromptu, in the future!

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A New Currency

26 Jul

With four hours to kill before our final connecting flight, I needed a drink. My brother bought me a Pepsi (they don’t have Coke) and received Chiclets chewing gum as change!

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We’re Coming Home

26 Jul

We got to the airport on time to witness some drama. The police held the traffic up for awhile as it seemed that there was an unattended baggage left at the curb. The taxi guy explained that the bomb squad was probably called in to do something about it. Then all traffic was cleared and we arrived at our departure gate.

Taxi guy then tried to rip us off when we paid him the amount we calculated was right. He argued that it was not eighteen per person but eighty nett. We think he pretended not to hear when we asked to confirm eighteen per person earlier. Anyway, phone calls ensued, curses could be heard and angry faces shown. In the end, taxi guy asked for another ten to settle amicably which the hubby gave in to but the sibling disagreed. He also apologized and wish us well after pocketing that ten. Hypocrite or hospitality? Hmm.

We got into the line to check in. And another slow process. Now it seemed that the baggage conveyor belt was down and everyone has to pushed their luggages to another area once the check in process was complete. This must be because CDG is under renovation.

Every step along the way was slow. Going through immigration and the scanning. I was made to remove my boots.

The walk to Gate 38 was forever as it was the furthest in one of the off terminal pods.

Boarding was late and haphazard. There was no orderly line and rather disorganized. But we took it in stride, after all, we are going home. But as if our shopping earlier was not enough, the hubby bought a bottle of duty free whiskey.

The sales lady said it was a good choice as Japan has been prohibited from making more of it for the next 50 years after the earthquake caused the nuclear plant to leak. Wow. Upon hearing that, my sibling bought two bottles! I rolled my eyes and thought, let the men up each other, either way, I get to drink for free! Heheh.

Soon all travelers were settled in and getting restless and boisterous. We departed CDG half an hour late. At this point, I thought I should jot down my musings.

Two hours into our flight, we were served dinner. By now, I am feeling very sleepy. Tired from the 9500 steps and 3.3km shopping marathon, it is inevitable tiredness kicks in. I am envisioning a soothing massage come Saturday. Hopefully it will materialize but as our Saturdays are usually packed with ferrying M2 for her extra classes at school and tuition, the want continues to be wishful thinking.

I chose a red wine to pair with the beef offering that I had no choice but to take. The chicken and the basmati rice were all gone by the time the stewards came to us. Sigh… rice intake will have to defer another day. So with a slight buzz, I hope to doze off.

The sleep or the attempt to do so was just so uncomfortable. Every angle that I turned was just not right. There was not enough leg room. Before I know it, I slept through breakfast and woke up. We are descending into Abu Dhabi soon! Gosh. Didn’t I actually sleep?

The A340-300 landed at 6.45am Abu Dhabi time. Another twelve hours or so to go and we will be finally home.

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Finally!

26 Jul

All good things must come to an end. Boarding in 15 minutes.

Bye Paris. We will find time to visit again in the future but not in July. Too hot even for me, someone from the tropics!

Au Revoir Paris!

25 Jul

It seemed like only yesterday that we arrived and six days has gone by. Today is our last day in Paris. Where did the time go? I guess when two are busy having business meetings while one is traversing across museums and attractions, time does fly by.

Six days away does create separation anxiety, this time more obvious in the children and Rooney. I try to FaceTime with them whenever the time zone allows and I also discovered that official pet number one misses us both terribly. He has been unusually quiet in our absence.

I leave Paris today with better memories than the last time. Hotel Magenta has been pleasant, convenient and very comfortable. The museums have been very inspiring, I may go back and whip out that canvas that has been collecting dust. The food, well, could be more exciting if I had more time to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. But then again, I really enjoyed my ham and cheese baguette lunches. And when dinner time came around, I was too tired to enjoy anything but a nice cold beer. Thumbs up for 1664! The city is great, if not for the hot and humid weather the last few days, which according to the locals is rather unusual. Global warming?

Would I return? Yes. Au revoir Paris, I will be back.

We leave the city of lights tonight. With another 15 hours to kill before departure, I am willing the hours to fly by quickly now; I miss my girls and I can’t wait to see them (and Rooney) again!

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A Different Adventure

24 Jul

Today I embarked on a different visual appeal: shopping! The weather is much, much better today, cooler and feels more rightly so that I am in a foreign country than in KL.

The train was packed at ten. Is this rush hour? Stepping out from the sardine pack, one must be aware of signages and not follow the herd. Yesterday in my state of tiredness, I got out of the train and simply followed the crowd to another train line instead of the exit! So, ‘sortie’ is what I have to look out for…

Three hours into my shopping, I must admit it’s a tough job! Whether in KL or Paris, shopping is not quite my thing. M1 and M2 are constantly on my mind as I browse to get them things. And being in Lafayette, there was wifi, so I was able to chat with M2 for awhile.

I found out the reason for her panic attack. She was getting back her school test results! The fear of not doing well got the better of her resulting in dizziness and nausea. Poor child.

Well, the overall results are an improvement so this calls for gifts from Paris! M1 should not be left out too for I should mention she aced her interview with the school board and has been selected as head librarian of the school! Her mummy taught her well how to talk as if presenting a design pitch to a client. Well done girls! Lotsa prezzies coming your way!

By 3pm my legs started to give in; I was dragging my feet, now very heavy with those boots. I quickly made my way out from the shopping haven and hopped onto Line 7 to get back to FaceTime with them before their bedtime.

All in all, 9500 steps, 3km and almost 200 calories for the leisure pace.

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