Tag Archives: Traffic jam

Short Excursions, Part 3

11 Jul

The short excursion plan continued over the weekend, but this was a little more than a short drive outstation. We decided to visit hubby’s parents up North.

The weekend was yet another festive holiday, and with Monday being a replacement holiday, traffic would be heavy. So, we left on Friday instead of Saturday, which turned out well for traffic that morning was not too bad.

As always, we detoured to Ipoh for lunch. But this time, we opted for something else instead of the usual Chicken Rice and beansprouts that Ipoh is famed for, and it was a pleasant change. Although our Nasi Ganja portion was not excessive, it was just enough for us. I have to say the coffee was excellent.

Nasi Ganja and iced black coffee
Curry noodles and Nasi Lemak for breakfast

For once, we did not play golf and just savored food that was under our radar previously. We even drove to the north-most state, Perlis, which I have never been to in my whole life. But sadly, there was nothing much to see there.

My first time visiting Perlis
A quick hello and goodbye

The weekend came and passed quickly. All too soon, it was time to return. The drive home was equally pleasant, without traffic jams on the highway. I’m glad we made the trip to see the folks who are well.

Love the green of the padi fields

A Joyous Time

2 May

The announcement caught us all by surprise. Hari Raya was assumed to be tomorrow, but last night, the news broke that the first day of Hari Raya is today. It is a long stretch of holiday for this festive occasion regardless of this. Given that May 1st is Labor Day, but as it fell on Sunday, the next day is the replacement holiday.

This year is a meaningful Hari Raya because Covid-19 SOPs are now relaxed, and people are traveling again. Due to the pandemic for the past two years, interstate travel was very restricted, so this is a welcome change.

As for us, we are staying put because we don’t want to get caught in the traffic snarl. To those celebrating the festive occasion, here’s wishing you Selamat Hari Raya and happy holidays! Have a joyous time together with your loved ones.

Smooth Sailing

28 Jan

The weekend passed by quickly and this morning we said our goodbyes to the parents and left at 8.45am. In anticipation of heavy traffic ahead, I packed lots of snacks and drinks to keep us fueled. But we were in for a surprise, it was smooth sailing!

It took us the normal two and a half hours to reach Ipoh, which was good. But we joined a long slow crawl after Ipoh. A quick check on Waze showed an accident further up. Oh dear.

Nonetheless it’s an okay pace because half the journey was completed already. Even if we arrived home by two, we’d still have done it in good time.

Long Long Night

12 Jun

It rained and poured like crazy thus we had to leave home a little bit earlier to beat the traffic to get to the airport. What would normally take slightly under an hour took us an hour and a half.

But we had to leave early because sometimes when the timing is off by a mere five minutes, the consequences are very stressful. In this case, anticipating the traffic heading towards the airport.

But luckily we managed to arrive early despite a 45-minute crawl at one stretch on the highway. Oh well, we didn’t mind. Better early than late. We waited for an hour before the counters opened for check-in. And within a short time, we were checked in and all set!

We then went to the Premium Lounge to have a light dinner and a nice cold Carlsberg, chilling for an hour before heading to the gate. Everything was smooth sailing.

However, departure was slightly delayed because the runway was congested and we took off at 11.48pm, a 28-minute delay. We are finally on our way.

Within a short while, dinner was served! My goodness, talk about a midnight snack, it was a hearty Briyani Chicken rice. I ate whatever I could, which was not much, and tried to sleep. Not easy though.

Throughout the long long night, it was very uncomfortable. The seats were very narrow. I turned left, I turned right and couldn’t find a comfortable position. Needless to say, I hardly slept and we have another ten plus hours journey to go after the transit.

I dozed in and out of sleep. Somehow time went by pretty fast and soon, day was breaking and I couldn’t sleep anymore. My watch showed 7.45am, KL’s local time. And the first thing that came to my mind was my Candy Crush Soda! Hah! Still can’t let go.

The phone and the iPad could register Day 1024 because both are in flight mode and not updated with the time zone that we are in. Heheh… maybe the next leg, I won’t be so lucky.

Next I checked my MiBand2 and I actually only had 40 minutes of deep sleep and five hours and 21 minutes of light sleep. Yeah, I’m tired.

As I am jotting my thoughts now, the screen is showing another 23 minutes to arrival. Yay.

Pushing Myself

7 Jun

Last week, I pushed myself on my activities. After playing golf in the morning, I was back in the office in the afternoon. Then in the evening we went to the gym. I told my trainer to go easy on me because I had done more than 11 thousand steps already, more than the quota for the day.

So she put me on the lighter weights instead of the ten-pounder that I have been using the last few sessions. And certain routines, I jumped, lunged and turned less than hubby. I managed and survived the workout session.

And towards the end of last week, my weight dropped even further! Now that’s motivation to push myself. I was down to a mere 0.3lbs away from my new revised target. Woo hoo…

This week, it was the same for Monday – golf then office. However, gym was cancelled because it’s two days before Hari Raya. And it’s only sensible to give my trainer a break from fighting with traffic (like last week) to make her way over to us. It can be very aggravating to be on the road with so many cars for their last minute errands and what nots. Not a good feeling to have before the festivity and holiday.

With Wednesday and Thursday being public holidays again, focusing on the 16/8 diet was a challenge because our routine and menu had to be adjusted.

In fact on Tuesday, I literally pigged out when I met up with my girlfriends dining on a sumptuous porky spread. That evening we talked, laughed and ate passed my eating window. Forget the 16/8 as it was a great night catching up. And after an eventful week, the weigh-in this morning, to my surprise was 0.8lbs beyond the new target! Double woo hoo…

Now I know why I push myself and not sit on my laurels. It sure feels good! Maybe at this point, I will go for another 0.2lbs just to round up the number. From then on, it should be about maintaining the weight as is because my target, twice, has been achieved. There’s no need to set a third new target weight.

To recap, I started this 16/8 diet on 25th Feb and had a horrendous weight spike at the end of that week. But perseverance and discipline paid off over the months. Today, officially on record, I have lost a total of 10.8lbs. So proud of myself.

Beer’s the Culprit, Part 2

19 Apr

Last week I was semi-convinced drinking beer was the culprit of my weight gain. This week, the suspicion has been reaffirmed.

This whole week, there was a lack of discipline because of timing and temptation. After the weekend escapade, we got home late because of rain and traffic, so there wasn’t time to do grocery. And when there’s no grocery done, there’s no salad lunches but regular hawker fare, noodles. Furthermore on Monday night, we had gym and no window for grocery-shopping still.

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The brewery visit, at the first stop for pictures

On Tuesday night, we had an invitation to visit Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia – an opportunity not to be missed, we went for it. Forget the 16/8 diet and the self-imposed restriction to avoid beer. It’s Carlsberg and Kronenbourg, how can I refuse?

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Visitors had to wear an orange vest for easy identification

It was interesting to see the beer-making process. Besides Carlsberg and Kronenbourg 1664, there are other labels too. My first encounter with Kronenbourg 1664 was back in 2013 when we went to Paris. What a lovely beer! It took sometime before this label came to Malaysia and now it’s brewed locally.

Paris Jul 2013

My first encounter with Kronenbourg in Paris, 2013

That night, after the tour of the brewery, there was free flow drinks. And we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, hubby on Connor’s, Carlsberg and Brooklyn Lager, me on Somersby Sparkling Rose, Sparkling White and Kronenbourg 1664.

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Looks a lot but it’s not

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Feature beer wall at the brewery’s watering hole

So I am not surprised the weigh-in this morning showed an increase of 1.2lbs, the beer being the culprit again. Oh well. I am unperturbed, I figured I gotta live a little and enjoy the beer. Next week when I am back on the 16/8 and be more disciplined, the minor setback will be fixed.

Before the Reunion Dinner 2019

4 Feb

Last Thursday was our last day at work because Friday was a public holiday. And we left town only on Sunday morning, clocking the drive 15 minutes shy of six-hours. I would say this was not too bad despite a crawl along a stretch that lasted 20 minutes and we even had a quick half-hour lunch stop.

The horrid crawl

A flavorful Nasi Kerabu at the Agromall

And this morning, we actually managed to play a round of golf before the Reunion Dinner tonight.

For us, this year’s Reunion Dinner is simply just another dinner with the family. Both our girls are not here for the first time and it feels funny without them. This is something we both have to get used to. Who knows? Maybe M1 will be back for the next Dinner? But M2 certainly won’t for the next few years… Sniffle.

The Beginning of a Long Break

1 Feb

Today is yet another public holiday (Federal Territory Day for selected states only) and the beginning of the long holiday break because Chinese New Year is just around the corner. I tell you, Malaysia has the most public holidays in a year! Just when things settle to a routine, bam, there’s a public holiday right there to tilt the balance.

The annual exodus of city dwellers leaving the city for their hometowns has begun. And we have decided not to join the crowd in the traffic snarl because I do not relish a ten-hour or thereabouts journey just to rush back to hubby’s hometown up North. To a certain extent, this long holiday stretch will see the exodus in staggered sessions which is good. I am pretty sure most travellers share the same sentiment as me, not wanting to be caught in a long slow drive.

Then again, today and Saturday will be the heaviest in traffic flow because the masses will want to maximize their time with family. For us, now that it’s just the two of us to be with hubby’s parents this year, we will only leave on Sunday morning. How long would our journey be? We will find out on Sunday itself. I will be prepared with lots of snacks, hot tea and plenty of music choices to make it a sheer driving pleasure. Gotta have a positive mindset here.

The Reunion Dinner is on Monday evening.

Change in Pattern, Part 2

20 Feb

My hopes for a six hours drive home yesterday was not to be as my estimates were way off! The drive home was just super duper long.

It started out smoothly but only for awhile. Traffic then became so heavy and got worst, culminating with a standstill situation on the freaking highway and a crawl at 10km/h, sometimes 30km/h for a good part of the journey for no apparent reason. Ridiculous. And it rained, making the drive more tiring. All in all it took us nine and a half hours to reach home.

This is part and parcel of Chinese New Year – the traffic crawl besides the food and family. Because it’s only a once-a-year experience, we take it in stride. If not, we’d never go back for the occasion. Thank goodness, we had food, drinks, music, devices, cables and power banks to keep us entertained during the long drive home.

Anyway, enough of the driving ordeal, what’s more important was the activities we did during the four days in hubby’s hometown which was a change in pattern from previous years.

Besides the food and rest, we managed to play two rounds of golf instead of just one round. During the first game at Darul Aman Golf Club, I lost my nine iron and discovered the loss almost immediately. I absent-mindedly left it somewhere on the fairway approaching the green at Hole One. Amazingly I wasn’t too upset and rationalized I did not need it, save for a couple of shots, and managed for the rest of the game.

It was the heat that got to me more than the loss honestly. After the game, we reported the loss and thank goodness, the club was found and returned within a short time. Phew… relief. I had contemplated my options if it wasn’t returned. An excuse for a new set perhaps? Hmm…

The next day, we played at a different course, Royal Kedah Club and after two days of back-to-back games, I’m happy to say there was no pain felt on the limbs. In other words, no recurrence of the tennis elbow. A good sign indeed considering I was using just all my irons for both games. No driver, woods or hybrid clubs at all.

The change in pattern also saw us catching the latest Marvel Comics’ superhero movie, Black Panther which was refreshing and very entertaining. And we visited a plant enthusiast whom hubby befriended on Facebook and got to see his eye-popping huge staghorn ferns at his farm. Hubby bought two staghorns from his new friend and promised to visit again on our next trip.

And this year, we start work on the Fifth Day of Chinese New Year instead of the Sixth Day which has been the norm for us for years. Definitely a change in pattern for the Year of the Dog.

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Lovely blue skies and paddy fields on the right

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One of the many meals the family had

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The big staghorn ferns and the two purchased smaller ferns mounted on wood

Change in Pattern

19 Feb

It used to be for every Chinese New Year when we are back in hubby’s hometown, we’d eat, sleep, eat some more, do nothing and eat again. Coupled with the hot weather, a full tummy definitely makes one sleepy. This whole process will then be repeated for the next few days. 

This year however, it’s slightly different. For the eating I ate less and as for the sleeping, I slept less too. Because of less intake, the need to sleep was less. I am not complaining; it had been a restful break despite the change in pattern.

We say goodbye to the old folks as we head home today. Again, let’s hope the traffic will not be heavy and be smooth all the way. If we are lucky, we should get home within six hours, an hour more than the typical non-festive traveling time. Otherwise it could be a very tiring eight or even nine hours crawl. We shall see…