Happy 2012!

Spectacular fireworks display over Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

 2012 is now well under way in Asia.
Let us all enjoy the first day and first Sunday of the new year.

To all my friends, near and far, thank you for all the greetings. We should always keep in mind to do better and more this new year!
Oh, and may we all laugh more 🙂


A pretty hand-made card from Finland

I am a fan of everything handmade and I’m good at crocheting (my mum told me so!) So when I received this card from Finland, my jaw dropped!

Butterfly and flowers. It’s a beauty, isn’t it? Now why didn’t I think of this?
Sent in an envelope.
Postcard ID: FI-639622

It’s actually quite thick and heavy so the sender, Kajo, probably paid extra for the weight. She is a Geography and Biology teacher for upper level students in Finland. We all know how busy teachers are but the sender always finds free time to pursue her hobby – making handicrafts. As you can see from her card, she is quite skilled. I can only imagine what else she makes! Kiitos, Kajo.I bet we would be good friends if we live close to each other 🙂
I know not many Postcrossers like handmade cards but there are others who do appreciate them – one of them is me. It is as personal as it can get when I know that great effort and time (and love) was devoted to make this card. And this just gave me an idea 🙂 I wish there is a decent place to get all crafting needs here in Phnom Penh, like this wool yarn shop. It has a complete array of knitting (and perhaps, crocheting, too) yarns, needles, and other accessories. Can you imagine what kind of yarn materials and colours are in store there when the seasons change? This store also sells finished products for men and women for those who have no patience nor time to knit and crochet for their own use. Like a one-stop shop. Fantastic!

Pink Saturday 013: Kiss my pink heels

Pink Saturday

Lookie-lookie… here are some pink goodness that I found while visiting Japan Thrift shop several weeks ago.

 

The pair on the left looks worn out now but the one on the left could still be useful, especially on rainy days. Yes, it is made of plastic and great to use especially during the rainy season when the streets of Phnom Penh gets flooded. Despite the rising flood water, you can still look fashionable with this plastic high-heeled shoes (two inch cigarette heels). LOL.

Each pair is sold for about $3. Any takers?

Pink Friday 008: Pink rose

Pink Saturday
I was behind my schedule for today – a result of sleeping very late last night watching old movies. My husband and I watched this very late night movie over a local cable channel entitled The Net. It starred Sandra Bullock as the geeky die-hard computer programmer. To me, the movie shows how huge and serious the threat of identity theft is and how some companies are failing because of defective software. It was one of the first Hollywood movies to underline the fear of cybercrimes in general.  These days a lot of  identity-theft methods are coming out, such as “electronic pickpocketing”, using tools like

rfid chips. It stands for  radio frequency identification. Basically, credit cards, passports and other valuable information can be stolen from you without them even touching your wallet or purse. It’s a very sophisticated tool because the perpetrators just walk beside you and voila – all your valuable information are stolen without even touching you physically. Scary eh? We all should take extra precautions.

Okay, I got carried away… please excuse my blabbering. Here’s my pink for today’s Pink Saturday. We woke up to a very strong scent of flowers this morning and when we went out to see where it’s coming from, we saw a lot of pretty blooms – roses of different colours and the very fragrant jasmine.

This is one of my favourite varieties from our garden. I do not know what variety is this but my friends say this flower looks like a papier mache, so delicate and grows the biggest amongst the rose flowers in our garden. It gives off a very pleasant scent, too.

New York’s Yellow Cabs

My father celebrated his 60something birthday over a week ago and my heart just ached because this is the 11th consecutive year that I wasn’t there to celebrate it with the whole family. My younger brother who also is based here in Phnom Penh made an extra effort to go home on his birthday this year. I remember my brother asking me for father birthday gift ideas as early as February… but as many of you know, I’m totally clueless at times when it comes to gift-giving.

So anyway, while trying to think hard about what’s the best thing to give for my dad, this is what came into my mind:

New York's Yellow Cab 
New York City’s most famous ride – the yellow cabs!
This would do for now as I could not afford to buy him a car or even air tickets for two (yes, my mum included) to New York to enjoy the Big Apple and the yellow cab experience.  I’m sure Papa understands – happy, happy birthday again, Pop! We’ll see you soon.

This yellow cab postcard was sent to me in 2009 by Conell of Writings on the Wall and has already appeared in this blog in the same year.

I lovelovelove this postcard – who doesn’t? Even my friend’s son couldn’t keep his eyes (and hands) off this beauty. I wish we have unique-shaped cards here in Cambodia. This is now kept in a special box with a “unique postcards” label on it. Thanks, Conell 🙂

Pink Saturday 003: Come ride with me…

Pink Saturday

To my friends outside of Asia, how many of you has ever ridden a tuk-tuk?

Tuk-tuks are, by far, one of the  best ways (if not the best) to go around the city. Finding one is not difficult, they are everywhere and they pretty much outnumber the taxi cabs in Phnom Penh.  If you are a tourist, they often can be pre-arranged  through your hotel, or, you can do what many of us expats/residents do – just step out into the streets, hail one (there’s always a bunch of them everywhere at any time of the day), and negotiate the price before taking one. Here’s first-timer’s story – Miss Igorota’s First Tuk-tuk Ride – just in case you are interested.

I’m not really sure about this but out of the hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of tuk-tuks in Phnom Penh, I have seen only one pink tuk-tuk and it stands out from the crowd. My friend who is a nurse visited me last year said this pink tuk-tuk would go well with their pink  nursing scrubs. How cute@! If only she could bring one to the US, it would’ve been a hit there 🙂

Weekend discoveries

Saturday sunshine again but becoming hotter and hotter as the day goes on! We already are in the 30s – whew!
We had nothing to do this morning – the visit to the Post Office was postponed till tomorrow– so we’re just chilling out in the garden and enjoying the sun. While my husband was watering the plants, I was merrily gushing at our bell pepper and chilli plants – all bearing fruits ready for picking!

 

 

I know, the vegetables aren’t that much… but I could not help but dream big. If only we have a bigger space, or better yet, a backyard to plant… Imagine how much vegetables we could grow, how much Healthy Food gifts we could get right from our own backyard?

While my husband and I were discussing about how we could utilize our balcony garden efficiently, my husband spotted this lizard hiding amongst the bush… it looked like a chameleon and blended very well in the foliage because we didn’t notice it right away. We have seen this freeloader darting across the garden but this is the first time we’ve seen it this close.

I’m not sure if this is a chameleon, or a member of the iguana family. However, I was quite surprised that a reptile like this can be found in urban areas, i.e., in Phnom Penh.

Oooopsie!

This afternoon my Cambodian friend gave me a surprise visit. She came over to the house, around 4pm, bringing along a bagful of green mangoes! A bagful – and newly-picked from their orchard in Kien Svay. Now, what am I going to do with all of that when there’s only my husband and I? My husband told me to make green-mango shake and some mango salad this week. Check – problem solved!

Anyways, she was driving their family car, a Mistubishi Montero. I invited her to have a cup of tea with me in the house and to my delight, she accepted the offer.  She was trying to park the humungous car when we suddenly heard a grating noise from behind. We have a narrow garage but wide enough for her Montero to park in. But the garage has a metal gate and although it was wide open for my friend to reverse slowly she still hit the gate. The side of her car scraped against the garage door. My landlady turned pale, my friend even paler. Oooopsie.

It was a scary moment there but I felt I had to say something… but what was I going to say? *lol*

In the end, I found myself promising sheepishly to our landlady that we’ll take care of the damage. After all, if it wasn’t for me, my friend wouldn’t hit the metal gate, and her Montero would still be scrape-free. Good thing  garage door parts are easily found everywhere in the Penh and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Postcard-perfect!

 

I just want to share this cute story about me and my doggie Joe.
Last Saturday we organised a BBQ lunch for friends here in Phnom Penh. There was no particular reason -  it’s one of those “just because” kind of things we thought of doing for the new year. Isn’t it nice to have friends to come to over to your house “just because”? When food and wine are at stake, it is never difficult to make friends come over! *lol*

Seriously, my husband and I wanted to do this because we’ve already been invited to our friends’ houses many times and we felt that it is about time we do it at home. Of course we had to tidy the house a little bit, changed our curtains and checked our faulty pendant lighting fixtures. Then I remembered an incident that happened before the New Year. My husband doesn’t speak the Khmer language while mine’s a bit rusty, so every time we need something from the shops that we don’t know in the Khmer language, we take photos of these items. That time, we took a picture of the broken light bulbs. In order to do that, my  husband climbed while I supported the ladder. For some reason, my dog Joe, followed behind me and the next thing I know he was standing on his hind legs and stretched front legs and paws to support me.

This is how we looked like; thanks to my husband’s quick thinking, we have this photo to show friends what a mighty great dog our Joe is:

What a sweet-sweet Joe. This is a great photo that could be used as a  greeting card or something, don’t you think so, too?

Happy Chinese New Year!

At the outset, I would like to apologise for this very delayed post.

If you could recall, I asked my visitors to name the items shown in the Greek FDC I featured previously. I also promised to give the correct answers as well as pick out a winner. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so because in the past few days, my laptop was infected by viruses and malwares (from downloading PC games, gah!) that damaged the registry file. It took my husband all day to figure out what was wrong and several days to fix it all up.

Anyhow… Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

There’s a large Khmer-Chinese community here so it is a big thing. Most of the shops are closed for the three-day celebration. My landlady is Khmer-Chinese and she prepared a feast the other night and we were, of course, invited. While I am happy that my husband and I were invited to join their family for a sumptuous New Year meal, at the back of my mind I was sad…

… I was sad for my dieting regimen – it has to be set aside for the moment for how could I say no to home-cooked Khmer and Chinese food? So now I am feeling tremendous, tremendous guilt that I swear never to go to parties again nor step on any kind of scales until the time comes that it feels right for me to do so. *lol*

Anyways… please bear with me for now, dear friends. I’ll have the answers and the lucky winner’s name posted over the weekend. It was fun reading your answers and had some lol moments, too. Much as I want to make a post now, I don’t want to stay long as it is movie night tonight with my husband. Have a great weekend!

Toodles.