Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Text conversation between The Other Half and I while trying to decide on which CD to purchase

Me: Rubenstein or Ashkenazy for Chopin Nocturnes? Reviews are mixed online…

He: Ashkenazy from my youtube.

Me: I have been listening to the shorts on Amazon. Rubenstein’s version is more muffled. But slightly more sensitive than Ashkenazy.

He: Ashkenazy. Trust me I listen to them a lot while doing housework.


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Or what I have been up to in the last couple of weeks.

A conversation I had with The Buddha on Tuesday this week:

He: Aren’t you going to buy us lunch to celebrate the fact that you are going to be a homeowner?

She: Erm…I am going to go into debt and you want me to buy lunch? I don’t really get it but okay!

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Mela: If I am giving all these pep talks to people, have you ever wondered who is giving me a pep talk?

The Buddha: Prozac.


I have bought a dress and 6 macaroons (to stop myself from buying a new fountain pen) over the course of this week (which has only been what, two days?). I am (still) on the verge of buying a new fountain pen (which will result in me owning no less than FOUR pens wtf).

I think I should just stop going to lunch.

But it continues…

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First, we start by telling them that we are going to a Palace to find a Princess.

Then, we make up stories for the exhibits. For example:

Look at all this jade and jewellery boxes! These are the Princess’s things! She left them behind while fleeing the Witch!

You see that big metal pot (300BC) over there with the legs and the weird carvings on the side? The witch uses the pot to cook babies for dinner. Omnomnomnom!!

You see that large tower carved out of ivory? The witch trapped the Princess at the very top floor of the tower. Look into the tower! Is the Princess there? No? Oh well, she must have run away! Quick! Let’s go see if she is in the other room!

You see the cabbage carved out of jade and the piece of stone that looks like meat? The Witch wanted to turn the Princess to stone but she missed because the Princess runs very fast. So she accidentally turned the dinner into stone. If you are noisy, the Witch will turn you into stone too!

Then at the end of the journey, the Princess had inevitably escaped from the palace with the Prince (who carries an ancient jade-adorned sword which is also on display in one of the rooms). So we buy a cabbage-shaped umbrella because it is so hot out there, and leave in a taxi for Taipei 101 for lunch and a walkabout.


What a great adventure 😀

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On Monday morning, while I was in my office with my trainee Asean Scholar going through some work, I reached out for my drinking cup for the first time during the day and found it missing.

Asean Scholar and I looked everywhere around my table but could not find it. The cover of my cup was still on my table, my teaspoon was still on my table but the cup was nowhere to be found.

How weird, said I. Just like how my stapler has gone missing after 10 years.


While we were all in The Buddha’s office to “take attendance” yesterday morning, he suddenly sniffed the air and announced that he smelt cat pee. Then he looked suspiciously at me.

Wait a minute, said I. I’ve been at work for an hour already and I don’t smell cat pee. I checked my shoes this morning and I didn’t step on grass! It’s not me!!

I didn’t say it was you, said he. I just said that I smelt cat pee.

The Buddha’s trainee, Champagne Truffle, stepped out of his room, sniffed and returned, confirming that there was a musky smell about.

Now that really set off my paranoia since cats marking in my shoes / clothes is something which has happened in the past before.

So I went back to my office, checked my shoes again, then sprayed myself liberally with linen spray for good measure.

But because my paranoia was triggered, I spent the rest of the morning asking people who dropped in on me whether or not they smelt cat pee on me.


Sometime during lunch, I went to the pantry and asked the Pantry Aunty whether she had seen my drinking cup.

She swore blue and black that she didn’t.

So I spent the rest of my lunch time wandering around to all of the places I could possibly happen by in the office with my drinking cup. My last stop was The Buddha’s room. When I entered his room, the smell of cat pee hit me in the face like a brick wall.

I stepped out, sniffed around, returned to my room, checked my shoes again, then sprayed myself with linen spray once more.


People drifted back into the office after lunch.

I still could not find my drinking cup anywhere and had taken to unscrewing the cover of my drinking bottle and swigging from it.

I was, by then, completely and utterly weird-ed out wondering about both the whereabouts of my drinking cup as well as the alleged smell of cat pee about.

Shortly after lunch, The Buddha swung by my room to get me for a meeting upstairs. He stood at my doorway and grinned at me cheekily. I doused myself with linen spray again and left with him.


After the meeting, I returned to my desk and there it was! My drinking cup! Right in the middle of my table and all scrubbed clean!

I looked at my girls. They looked back at me. Apparently the Pantry Aunty came by and dropped it off while I was in the meeting. Hmm.

I sat in my seat and eyeballed the cup suspiciously. Is it safe to drink from it?

Maybe you should rinse it out with Dettol, M2 suggested. Or Oral-B mouthwash, said M.

Or maybe you should just buy a new cup, said Asean Scholar.

I crossed myself, poured water into it, and drank out of it.


I promptly left work at 6pm (after spraying myself with linen spray and checking my shoes again) with School Marm to run some errands (during which I bought the most beautiful dress for Chinese New Year and hatched a ploy to convert my wedding cheongsam into something wearable for me in my current altered body shape).

When The Other Half got home, he inspected my shoes for me again to establish that the smell of cat pee was not coming from my shoes. Being the ever so dutiful husband, he even checked the compression stockings I had on.

I sprayed Febreeze into my shoes before I went to bed last night.


Leaving the house this morning, I checked my shoes again. It only smelt of Febreeze and old leather.

Then I wore a different pair to work, for good measure.


I am now sitting in my desk, drinking water out of my cup (still suspiciously), and I swear there is no smell of cat pee about.

But! My stapler is still missing (after 10 years), and I still can’t find Joie Chaton’s collar which has mysteriously disappeared 3 weeks ago.


See? The world is conspiring to turn me into a paranoid delusional.

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In the run up till Peanut’s birthday, I’ve spent the weekend past making hand-cut toffees for the goodies bags for her classmates at day care.

On Saturday morning, I made a block of Strawberry-Almond toffees which I wrapped at night. I was to make one more block this morning (so that each kid will get 4 toffees each) but I got out of bed late and missed the window, only settling down to make a Strawberries-n-Cream one in a hurry when we got home from buying a toy chest at Ikea at about 4pm.

After, we went off to Mother-in-Law’s place for dinner and I just started cutting these at about 9.30pm, some 4 to 5 hours later, after getting the kids to bed.

Now I usually cut toffees after they have completely set say about more than 6 hours after making them. So when I cut these, they were still a little soft and yielded to the knife far easier than the ones I cut last night, yet still keeping their shape.

After wrapping about 6 toffees (ie 2 cuts), a light went on in my head.

The trick to saving water and gas and energy when cutting toffees is to cut them once they reach room temperature (ie 4 hours later) and not when they are completely set!!!

[Water and gas because I cut toffees with a knife heated over the stove. In between cuts I soak the knife in water so that the bits stuck to the knife will dissolve off…very tedious process.]

The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was at myself. What the hell!! How could that not have ever occurred to me before, something so plain as day? How did I manage to hack through so many slabs of toffee over the last year (especially the ones that I accidentally cook over hard crack stage…which easily happens because for some strange reason, sugar heats up to 100degC easily, then slows down, then once it hits 150degC, it heats up quite fast again) without seeing something so fundamental?

Oh well. I suppose I should be thankful that the light went on at all. I will be comforted by the thought that I will not be spending the rest of my days hacking up toffee in the cloud of sweat and curses, especially with Christmas just round the corner.

Just goes to show that sometimes, the solution to our problems are just right in front of our eyes. What I had needed was to oversleep, trip over it and turn back for a look with my eyes wide open.


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empty victory

We won an appeal today. Or rather two appeals since they were cross appeals which were heard together some three months ago.

“Sorry to have kept you all waiting,” said the judge. “Something else that was of a much higher value and needed a bit more attention came up.”

Yet strangely, this win doesn’t sit really well. It was a significant victory in terms of numbers but I felt more excitement opening my parcel from The State Hermitage Museum than while travelling to Court for the decision. It didn’t make us grin like crazy and drive straight to the clients’ office to take everyone out for lunch. It didn’t really do anything at all for us. In fact, in the afternoon, we got into an argument about interpreting the decision and then went back in to Court for other more pressing matters. It didn’t make us both call it a day and treat ourselves with the rest of the day off. I didn’t even eat lunch at all, spending the time at my desk drafting a long email to the clients to explain the complicated decision to them.

There was nothing: no sweetness, no joy, no smiles. There was just oh okay, back to work.

Maybe it was the nature of the file, or the fact that this is probably the beginning of a long road where we’ll be made victims of our own success again.

I kept asking The Buddha, We should be happy, right? We did a great job.

So eventually at 6pm, we both left work.

I decided to celebrate anyway by stopping by Courts on the way home to buy a new hairdryer.

After walking around the new and unfamiliar shopping mall near my parents’ place, then finally finding Courts, it turned out that they are way too busy selling people tvs and washing machines and fridges and coffee machines to sell any hairdryers.

Something isn’t quite right about today. I should just say a small prayer and try again tomorrow.

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