Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Eve ...

On the eve of my 'BIG DAY', I rushed home from work and took SY to Vasco's. It's a western restaurant under the Hilton Hotel's wing and it's themed based on the travel stories of a certain Vasco De Gama. *wink*

Anyways, we were amongst the first customers there and had the fortunate priviledge to be seated at the al fresco area. The evening bayou breeze was indeed welcoming and served well to wash away all the stress from work. Facing the beach, we had a panoramic view of the marina and the splendour of the crimson sky.

Service was second to none and after being seated, we were served with complimentary bread and dips. There were at least 7 different kinda breads and the salsa dip went along wonderfully to stir up the appetite.

We both had soup for starters. SY went with the lobster minestrone while I opted for the seafood bisque. Both tasted delish indeed although SY mentioned that hers was a tad bit too salty. I tasted the minestrone too and it was simply fine by me.

For mains, I had the grilled chicken breast served with corniche sauce, roasted vegs and potatoes. I know it doesn't sound like much but believe you me that it was YUMMILICIOUSSS!!! SY's seabass was prepared in a Chinese styled fusion and it came served in a plastic pouch before being served in the designated dish.

Last but definitely not least, we succumed to the sinful calling of our sweet tooth and indulged in desserts. We kicked off with a serving of affogato ... bitter expresso topped with a dollop of sweet vanilla ice cream ... funny how opposites can compliment each other so perfectly sometimes ... the bitter and the sweet ... the hot and the cold. The result ... one satisfied happy couple. :) Our second dessert, the chocolate souffle was highly recommended by our waiter and we were told that it'll take at least 15 minutes to prepare. Since we had all the time in the world, we happily obliged and it was worth the wait indeed. So soft, so fluffy and so moist was the texture of this French creation. Served on a white porcelain rectangle plate, it came with a mixture of wild berries and a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream in an edible chocolate cup. Yum Yum!!! We polished it all up without any guilt what-so-eva!!! Haha.

After the meal, we took a leisurely stroll along the hotel's club grounds before heading back to the villa.

At precisely midnight, I got my birthday wishes from a giggling SY. She suprised me with a card which she was hiding beneath the duvet all the while. After that, came a gift wrapped box and inside was a Precious Moment figurine. This holds a special meaning for the both of us, so don't bother asking cause it's for us to know and for you to find out. :p

Minutes later, SY (who was still giggling by the way) whipped out another card. Why another card you ask ... you don't need to know. Hehehe. Couldn't ask for a more pleasant way to welcome myself into the 27th year of my time here on God's green earth. :)

Oh yea, earlier I opened gifts received from my family, Su Yee & Alex and SY too (yes, she bought me multiple gifts :p). My brothers got me a Polo shirt, parents gave a red packet and Su & Alex tumpang-ed SY to pass me a Renoma t-shirt. SY got me a very nice set of duvet cover and bed sheets that made my old sheets look like the ones they used in Guantanomao Bay. Here's a BIG THANK YOU to all of ya. :D

Thursday, November 27, 2008

You know you've put on weight when ...

1. You can't button the collar button on your shirt when you previously could.
2. The belt buckle you're wearing suddenly snapped open when you breathe out.
3. Your gf tells you she has never seen you this fat before ... and she reminds you again and again and again ...
4. You look at yourself in the mirror and two words immediately come to mind ... MUFFIN TOP!!!. Damn you Ping. :P
5. You look at yourself in the mirror and the second thing that comes to mind is the uncanny resemblence your body shape is compared to your overweight father.
6. Your gf tells you she has never seen you this fat before ... and she reminds you again and again and again ... oh wait, I mentioned this already.
7. You try to justify that you're in shape simply because ROUND IS A SHAPE.
8. Breathing in and out results in your belly performing the Mexican wave. *APPLAUSE*
9. Sitting down, watching the tele, you can rest your coffee mug comfortably on your belly. *Kinda cool though*
10. Standing up, your buldging belly obstructs your view of your privates ... *GOSH*

I check on no.1 to no.7. Here's praying I'll never reach no.8 to no.10 ... sighhh ... :(

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The One Restaurant

Two nights ago, SY and I decided to eat out and I brought her to The One. The One is a furniture and household appliance selling establishment and its concept is everything which Ikea is not. Meaning to say that it's generally the opposite of the more popular Ikea. Where Ikea stressed on basics and simplicity, The One sells on abstract and elegance.

Ooo ... and their X'mas decor are all up already. Walking through its aisle flanked by colourful fairy lights, gorgeously decorated X'mas trees and with classis X'mas tunes melodiously playing in the background ... it felt simply wonderful to soak up the Yuletide atmosphere. HO HO HO ...

The One has only one restaurant inside and guess what is it named ... THE ONE RESTAURANT!!! Haha. Decked with thick crocodile leathered chairs, matching dark mahogany wooden tables and elaborate Victorian chandeliers, it envelope the customers with a sense of utter lushness and regal opulence. "Now where's my buttered scones and tea, ol' chap?" Hehe.

Browsing through the menu revealed that the pricing is really reasonable for what it's offering. Serving staple authentic English food as well as fusioned local cuisines, from Illy's coffee to healthy smoothies, no wonder this hidden gem is popular amongst the gwai los and local Arabs. It's usually packed during lunch and dinner hours too.

They're promoting their X'mas menu now and it comes with an option of a 2-course meal (60 AED) or a 3-course meal (70 AED). Consisting of 3 selections of starters, 3 selections of mains and 3 selections of dessert, you pick an item from each section and it comes standard with a serving of after meal coffee as well as X'mas truffles.

We both went for the 3-course meal and SY opted for the Parsnip Soup drizzled with truffle oil, wild mushrooms risotto and peaches and strawberry sorbet.

I went for the goat's cheese tart, the traditional turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing and ended with the X'mas pudding.

It was really yummilicious and somehow the photos failed to do the food justice. The soup was thick and flavoursome. Dipped with the complimentary garlic bread ... delish delish delish!!! My goat's cheese tart is worth a mention with it's bold taste coupling well with fresh tomatoes served on a crispy flaky crust which reminded me of some very good roti canai I once had back in Malaysia.

The turkey was well smoked indeed served on top of a bed of boiled carrots, peppers, potatoes and brussel sprouts ... another 'must have' this one. SY's risotto came in a very generous portion but that's the only plus point here. It tasted very mediocre and it didn't take long before we had more than enough of it.

The sorbet was refreshingly delectable and served well to offset the dominant taste from the risotto while my X'mas pudding failed my expectations with the absence of rum / brandy. Other than that, it was all goooood. :)

Final conclusion being that dining at THE ONE RESTAURANT received a double thumbs up from SY and I. Excellent ambience along with scrumtious food and fine service ... I'll be sure to go back there again and again and again ... :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

SY and the Body of Lies.

She's here again. :D Yes, SY's here for her 3rd visit to Abu Dhabi and this time, she'll be staying for slightly more than a week ... she's clearing her leave from work. WOO HOO!!!

Anyways, just like previous times, I made my way to Dubai International and picked her up before heading back to Abu Dhabi. Her first comment (in her exact words mind you) was that I've gotten 'rounder' and that this is the 'fattest' she has ever seen me. :p Blehhh ... I guess the extra large King Chicken Burger I had at Burger King on the way to the airport contributed to that. Hey I'm in shape OKAY!!! ROUND IS A SHAPE.

Reaching the villa at approx. 6:00 am in the morn, we slumbered till lunchtime. The aromatic whiff of briyani and fried fish seeped through my door and it gave us a good enough reason to jump outta bed and made our way to the kitchen. There, SY was introduced to the rest of my colleagues she hasn't met.

With food digested, we went to Marina Mall for a bit of window shopping before taking a number to be seated at Fuddruckers. It's beginning to seem like our staple diner each time SY's here for a visit. Anyways, we had the jumbo sized Appetizer platter, cream of mushroom and the 1/2 lb. Swiss Melt burger. Bought some groceries at Carrefour and Ikea before heading to the Cinestar Cinema where we caught Ridley Scott's latest offering in the form of 'Body of Lies'. Starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Russell Crowe, this spy drama set mostly in the Middle East tells the story of Roger Ferris (DiCaprio) who is the most gifted CIA agent who has ever glued on a beard in Iraq. He speaks fluent Arabic and he has martial-arts skills that James Bond would envy. Leo’s task is to hunt down deadly terrorist leaders in the hellholes of Jordan, Iran and Syria without blowing his cover or losing his fingernails. It’s a thankless job for this intense and earnest actor who has famously decided to devote the rest of his career to intense and earnest films. He wears a forbidding frown from start to end.

DiCaprio couldn’t have invented a more sober character, even by Scott’s high-minded standards. The real villain of the piece is Russell Crowe. He is a ludicrously demonic right-wing CIA chief and a remarkable spit of the whistleblower he played in The Insider. The tubby actor models the same short grey hair, reading glasses and unsuspecting wife, while orchestrating illegal missions from the comfort of an armchair in his glass CIA office.

DiCaprio’s glum loner is routinely spoon-fed wicked lies by Crowe. They invariably backfire when the beaten-up star needs a favour from the marvellously icy head of Jordanian intelligence, played by Mark Strong. “I have one rule,” Strong says. “Never ever lie to me.”

Oh and through a very visually descriptive manner, Leo 'lost' two fingers at the end of the movie. :p

It just feels kinda weird to be watching this movie here in the Middle East surrounded by them Arabs. There was a scene where Russell's line said "No one likes the Middle East" ... hmmm wonder how the locals took to that.

Overall, it was a good watch made much sweeter by the fact that with my HSBC plastic, I was offered a 'Buy 1 Free 1' ticket promotion. *wink*

Had a cuppa at Starbucks after which we were made to queue for almost an hour to get a cab back to the villa and called it a night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Company's 2nd Ride ...

Our company's 2nd vehicle arrived yesterday night. It's a 14 seater Toyota Hi-Ace. For 72 grand, it's clean and sturdy. The dude in blue is Shihab, our driver. He's actually related to our first driver, Basheer. These two are cousins. Errr ... nothing much to be said about this except that it's able to ferry twice the amount of passengers compared to the Estima. Reminded me of the van we were placed in when the few of us were 'detained'. Haha ... fond memories that one.

Have a good day ahead folks. Ciao.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Corniche, Bandung and 31 Baskin Robbins on a Friday

It was a Friday … the only off day for the good people and myself in our company. Come evening time, the sun began to bid us goodbye for the day as the calm desert breeze soothingly welcome the moon to take its place on the heavenly stage up above.

My colleagues and I, well, the five of us to be exact decided to make our way to The Corniche. So we saddled up and pedalled the next 10 minutes or so towards one of Abu Dhabi’s premium recreational destination. When we got there, the sight of throngs of people greeted us. Families enjoying a relaxing picnic by the fine sandy shores of the Gulf’s sapphire waters as roller bladders zig-zagged amongst the walking pedestrians. We just cruised along the cyclist path which we shared with the avid joggers and it’s just a nice sensation to be enveloped in a state of peace and tranquillity. And you know what, they actually separate the beach area into two sections ... one for ladies & families while the other are for men & singles. A fee of AED 10 is implemented should you want to enter the beach. We took a pit stop by 31 Baskin Robbins and treated ourselves to a scoop of fattening goodness each … with extra peanuts and chocolate sauce mind you. :p Soon after, we made our way home and prepared for dinner.

All of us decided to eat out and I was ‘instructed’ to think up of a place. After much deliberation, we settled for Bandung Restaurant … an Indonesian establishment with very reasonable pricing. We ordered enough to feed a small African village. On the table were fried shrimps, beef with chilly, deep fried fish, stir fired kang kung, tempeh, flour fried chicken, satay, steamed fragrant rice and various condiments like sweet soy sauce and sambal asam pedas. It was the first time ever that the entire crew of the company went out to have a meal together. After dinner, all of us adjourned for dessert at ... *drumrollssssss* ... 31 Baskin Robbins AGAIN!!! Double whammy I tell you. No amount of workout can compensate digesting these sinful ultimates ... not once but twice within a period of 3 hours. Crazy huh!!! What's worse, this 2nd helping of mine comes with a double scoop combo of choch chip and vanilla flavours. It was served fully loaded with whipped cream, thick layers of sweet brownies as well as a generous drizzle of rich caramel sauce.

Oh yea, before the food arrived, we went to a nearby Indonesian sundry shopped and purchased enough ingredients for our chef back home to whip up a batch of yummy nasi lemak and teh-o-ais limau the next day. Really yummilicious too. :)

Hmmm ... this entry seemed a bit messy. Dunno why and can't be bothered really. Haha.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happiness and sadness ... the line in between is so thin ...

It rained this morning here in Abu Dhabi ... even the angels know ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bumblebee and 'Friends' ...

If you're a follower of this blog, you would've knew that I'm currently based in Abu Dhabi. The second thing you should realize is that this rat hole isn't exactly the Garden of Eden. Ok maybe it can be ... with sufficient spending power, you can buy the moon and the stars but for moi ... let's just say I'm trying to modestly get by one day at a time.

When life gives you lemons ... you make lemonade no? That's what my colleauges and I are trying to accomplish ... attempting to make the best out of our current situation and I believe we'll get there one day. Soon I hope. :p

OK ... enough BS, straight to the point, after work last night, the bunch of us headed to Madinat Zayed. Located in that area is a bicycle shop and after relentless negotiation and bargaining, we snapped up 5 units in total. Got a free lock for each bike, a pump as well as free delivery. Not bad huh. So now as you're reading this entry ... JJ, Jenson, Eddy, Melvin and yours truly are proud owners of new mountain bikes bebeh!!! Marita (our document controller) bought hers a couple of days earlier from the same place.

The cost you ask??? Well, JJ, Jenson and mine cost RM390 while Eddy and Melvin's made them poorer by RM380.

It's been a while since I cycled (RPM in the gym don't count la) ... and it felt SO LIBERATING to cruise the streets at night especially with the cooling breezy weather we're getting over here now. I think I'll be spending a lot of time with my new set of wheels ... to re-discover the joys derived from the freedom of the spin. Next destination ... The Corniche ... a beautiful beach area populated mostly by beach strollers, cyclists and rollerbladers. Will try to get some nice pics the next time I'm there k. Those photos should be able to paint a much better picture compared to my limited vocab. :p

I christened my new toy 'The Bumblebee' for obvious reasons ... DUH!!! Me like. :D

So now it's time to lace up the shoes and ride the open road. It's just you and me, Bumblebee.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Company's New Coffee Machine

Today marks another milestone of sorts for my company. Today, our coffee machine arrived. It took the technicians a good 10 minutes to install it and soon enough, the heavenly aroma of freshly grinded Arabica coffee beans filled the entire office. It brought an instant smile to my face. Yes you read right ... grinded coffee beans ... not the crappy coffee powder we're so accustomed to back home. Other options include the staple cuppacino, expresso, black coffee, white coffee, mochacino, hot choc and tea.

One press of a button and wallah!!! ... I'll get my much needed dose of caffeine. I guess there's no excuse for falling asleep during meetings now huh. :p

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Card game, push ups and racist idiots

One of my colleague recently bought a bicycle. A decent set of wheels for about AED 350. She enjoys cycling and last night, she took her new toy on its maiden ride around our residential area. You couldn't ask for better weather ... the temperature ranging between 22-23 deg C and the cool evening breeze caressing your face ... bliss. One of the better ways to unwind after a long day of work.

However, a foul experience left a bitter taste in what should have been a wonderful and relaxing time for her. There's a mosque nearby and in front of it is some greens where a group of local were seen chatting. Beside them ... a bunch of kids kicking the ball around. Nothing wrong with the picture right??? ... WRONG. As she pedalled pass the two groups, suddenly from behind, a stick flew towards her direction, narrowly miss hitting her. When she turned back to look, both the local men and kids were just starring at her. She didn't wait around to find out who did it but bolted away for fear of her own safety and well being.

It's really unfortunate that in today's developed world, such things are still happenening. These bunch of MOFOS preach what they themselves do not practice. Their actions only serve to confirm the blatant fact that they're indeed worth nothing more than a sad bunch of IDIOTIC COWARDLY RACISTS / SEXISTS!!! Imagine these people acting the way they did on one woman and what's worse ... doing it with her back turned towards them. We take comfort in knowing that judgement day will come and these worhtless SOBs shall have their well deserved payback then.

On a brighter note, we've found another way to pass time in the villa after work. Last night, JJ, Jenson, Eddy and yours truly played card games and to make it more interesting, the losers will have to do push ups. It was fun and time flew by speedily. Not only that, the 'losers', end up having a good workout by the end of the night. :) Healthy lifestyle no?

Ok ... that's all for now folks ... tune in again next time for more updates k. Till then, stay cool.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our moments together

WARNING : Viewers other than this blogger and SY may suffer from a severe case of puke-inducing syndrome due to an overwhelming dose of errr ... mushy love. Haha. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

Dedicated to us ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Only for you ...

Remember when you walked by and shyly smiled
I thought to myself, this girl, so gentle, so mild
From initial dates of ceasar salads and iced coffees
To now, where we are designing our wedding wishing tree

The journey ahead is full of rocky uncertainties
But together, we'll weave beautiful lasting memories
So much we've gone through since now and then
This much is true, my love for you's no pretend

Let the past remain the past and look towards tomorrow
Hand in hand, we'll walk towards our fairytale rainbow
From gentle loving hugs to sweet passionate kisses
I've found in you ... my soulmate, my love, my missus

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back to the grinding wheel ...

I got back two nights ago to be exact ... back to Abu Dhabi that is. Work load is heavier than ever due to the commencement of the second project we got. Anyways, I was back home for slightly more than a week ago for several reasons. I had a software training to complete, a wedding dinner to attend, my post surgery medical check up appointment and also to take my entitled 7 days leave.

The 3 day training course went well. With a better understanding of the software, I hope it'll help me perform to what is required of me. However, being such a complicated and intensive planning tool, I'm sure I'll be bugging the trainers till no end for solutions when it comes to fully utilizing the aforementioned software. Phil and Suresh, brace yourselves ... muahahaha.

Also managed to catch a one time performance by Comedy Court comprising of local comedians Alan Perera and Indi Nadarajah at Bar Savanh, Mont. Kiara. SY and I had dinner at Kim Gary, Hartamas Shopping Center before seating ourselves along the bar area to witness how this two not-so-gentlemen poke fun at our current political scenarios back home in Malaysia. They've also taken well known musical hits and substituted the lyrics with their own hilarious rendition. You can get more info at

I managed to attend a cousin's wedding dinner as well. Held at the Li Jin Chinese Fusion Cuisine Restaurant @ Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, the reception maxed out the entire restaurant. Food was good but more importantly, this joyous occasion enabled me to meet up again with almost all of my relatives.

Went to see my surgeon for my scheduled post-surgery check up. It's amazing how the good doctor managed to remember not only me but my parents as well as SY. We were chatting for a bit after going through all the necessary check up procedures and it's good to know that this neurosurgeon is capable of making his patients feel really confident and comfortable with him. No wonder he always has the longest line of patients waiting to see him compared to the rest of his colleagues. Keep up the good work doc.

Also went around town with SY, checking out wedding packages at various hotels. It's a real chore this one since most of 'em have already been snapped up on the dates we wanted. The available ones are too expensive. Imagine having to fork out more than RM2k per table. *GULP* Anyways, we've found one that should suit our requirements and if all goes well, that venue will be part of our special day.

Hmmm what else ... oh yea, managed to meet up with a couple of ex-uni mates namely Jon, Vince and YC. Jon brought along Kevin whom I've met briefly just before my graduation. We dined at Rakuzen @ Plaza Damas and this time, I managed to introduce SY to them. It was good to catch up again with the fellas and we adjourned to a bar nearby for a bottle of red before calling it a night.

I'm actually entitled to a 7 days leave every 3 months and this seems like a good time to claim that entitlement. 7 whole days of non-working bliss sounds fun no??? Well not exactly cause even though I'm thousand of miles away from the office, work seems reluctant to let me be. So I was also trying hard to squeeze time for work whenever I can. Sighhh.

All in all, the trip this time around felt very very rushed and I hardly get to do the things I planned to i.e. spending more time with my family and SY. Before I knew it, I was already back on the plane, heading back to Abu Dhabi. I guess one can't complain though, so am not gonna bitch about this anymore.

Upon my return to the UAE, I had a call from Brian asking to meet up for dinner. Met up with him and two other guys and I was struggling to keep my eyes open throughout dinner time ... must still be jet lagged.

That's all for now folks. Will try to update more often once I'm more comfortable with handling the workload over here ... till then adios senor' / senoritas.