Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Journey to Bath

For the next couple of days I'll be posting my long overdue posts on my experiences in the beautiful city of Bath, a trip that I made from London in September 2009:

My trip to Bath started early that morning.

I left John and Nat's apartment in Hackney at about 7.00am and hopped onto bus number 149 that passes the Monument Station. From Monument Station, I took the train and got down at Victoria Station.

All buses depart from Victoria Coach Station which is located in a separate building behind Victoria Station.

Victoria Coach Station is located in a separate building behind Victoria Station.

When you enter Victoria Coach Station, you'll be greeted with screens indicating the various destinations and which gate you're supposed to wait at. The system works like an airport - systematic and efficient!

Screen indicating destinations and which gate to wait at.

I had bought return bus tickets to Bath a couple of days before, so I headed straight to the correct gate.

Return bus tickets from London to Bath costs GBP26.80.

After leaving Victoria Coach Station at 8.00am, the bus made its way to Heathrow Airport to pick up more passengers.

The bus finally arrived in Bath after approximately 4 hours on the road.

Eventhough Bath is a small city, its bus station can rival that of a big city like Kuala Lumpur.

Look at how clean the Bath bus station is. Love it!

Then I made my way to the Bath Backpackers' Hostel on Pierrepont Street to check-in.

If you're lugging a huge backpack, you would be grateful that the hostel is conveniently located near the bus station and walking distance from the main attractions.

Entrance to Bath Backpackers' Hostel.

I stayed in the mix-dorm that costs me GBP13.00 a night. It was my first time in a mix-dorm and you can read all about my experience here.

I also had an experience in the hostel shower which you can read about here.

This was where I slept for 2 nights.

The hostel had a big kitchen where guests can prepare their own meals for a "more economical option", as how Angelo from Australia told me.

However, don't expect the staff to pick up after you. All guests must wash up and ensure the kitchen is tidy after using any of the utensils.

Fully equipped kitchen at Bath Backpackers' Hostel. Don't cook any petai or pungent food like belacan here. You will not only stink the entire place, but also the toilets ;-)

Breakfast is included. And again, nobody is going to serve you - you serve yourself and you clean up after you're done.

 Breakfast was the same menu each morning - cereals, bread, butter, jam, peanut butter, milk and a choice of 2 juices.

I understand from one of the staff that the Bath Backpackers' Hostel is owned by a New Zealander. All the staff there work in return for free lodging at the hostel. I think it's a brilliant idea to maintain a low turnover rate. 

It was still early in the day and I could not check-in yet. So I left my luggage with Reception and went to explore the city of Bath.

Stay tuned for Part 2 ...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Common Bahasa Malaysia Words Not Similiar to Bahasa Indonesia

Few words to take note of when communicating with Indonesians:

Bahasa Malaysia = Bahasa Indonesia
Bilik (room) = Kamar
Tandas (washroom) = Kamar kecil
Boleh (can) = Bisa
Cik (miss, younger) = Embok
Puan (madam, older) = Ibu
Cili (chili) = Cabai
Encik (mister, younger) = Mas
Tuan (sir, older) = Pak
Pejabat (office) = Kabupaten Cantor
Tuala (towel) = Handuk

Additional words learnt after my trip to Mt Bromo & Borobudur from 16 - 21 February 2010
Percuma (free-of-charge) = Gratis
Farmasi (pharmacy) = Apotek
Kereta (car) = Mobil
Motorsikal (motorcycle) = Ojek
Ais (ice) = Es
Sejuk (cold) = Dingin
Segar (fresh) = Sejuk
Bandar (city) = Kota
Lelaki (man) = Pria
Buah tangan (souvenir) = Ole-ole
Hotel (hotel) = Losmen

Ok I'm off to Bali.

Will update this blog when I get back. Cheers!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

New Look for My Blog

I've used the same blog template since I started blogging 1.5 years ago. Since we're in the first month of the year, I thought I would change my blog design for something more refreshing.

Instead of using the typical designs from Blogger, I wanted a design that has more colour and allows room for creativitiy. It must also be reader friendly and information should be presented systematically and obtained easily.

So thanks to a few sites offering free blog backgrounds, graphics and whatnot, you are looking at my new blog look.

So how do you like it?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Triple B - Bali, Bromo & Borobudur

I've been neglecting this blog for 1 week already, thanks to my numerous writing assignments.

For the next issue of the mag, I have to complete 3 personality profiles, 1 feature article and 1 advertorial. The Editor must love me so much ... (grins).

Anyway, the start of 2010 is all about travel, something I absolutely love doing!

In 2 weeks time I'll be in Bali with the family sans family dog. Really looking forward to getting a Brazilian wax, traditional lulur massage and ear candling whilst I'm in Bali cause it's damn cheap over there. I'll be so pretty after that, hahaha.

Also considering braiding my hair in Bali, but must see how first. My hair is dry and frizzy; I can imagine how it would look like when I remove my braids - my hair will put the members of Alleycats and Boney M to shame.

And just after Chinese New Year next month I'll be going to Indonesia (again!) to climb Mount Bromo, an active volcano and to visit Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

I think I deserve an award from the Indonesian government for contributing to the country's economy, hahaha!

Bromo will be my first ever volcano, and I hope it won't be spitting lava when I get there. Otherwise potong stim (no pun intended). But I'll have to start training for it. Although I anticipate it's gonna be easier than climbing Mount Kinabalu, I'm not gonna take things for granted.

Now back to completing that personality profile and replying emails.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Rickshaw vs Rickshaw

This is how rickshaws in London Chinatown look like:


London Rickshaw

and ...........

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more than 10,000 kilometres away, this is how they do it in Malacca:


Malacca Rickshaw



Friday, 1 January 2010

Cooking Up A New Year Resolution 2010

There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to learn to cook properly, which is precisely my resolution for 2010 - to learn to cook 10 "advanced" dishes.

When I say "advanced", I mean dishes that require a little bit more preparation like Malaysian hawker fare, cakes, cookies and Western dishes. And "cooking properly" does not mean preparing instant noodles and frying nuggets.

I don't want to end up like some working lady who doesn't know her way around the kitchen because she spends too much time at the office. Whenever working lady wants to eat something, she will buy, buy, buy because she has the means to do so.

Sad to say, I know many ladies like that and most of them are Chinese. Why? Perhaps their priority is to earn rather than to learn (to cook)? Or maybe they lack interest in cooking?

Anyway, the 10 dishes I wanna learn to prepare in 2010 are (in no particular order):
  1. Nasi lemak
  2. Pumpkin soup
  3. Chicken rice
  4. Butter cake
  5. Chicken curry
  6. Chocolate chip cookies
  7. Briyani rice
  8. Tomato rice
  9. Ayam masak merah
  10. Apple pie
But before that, I need to equip my kitchen with a microwave oven (convection & grill), weighing scale, baking tins, etc.

Happy New Year 2010!
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