Monday, 29 August 2016

A Glimmer of Weight Loss Hope

I finally saw a '45' on the weighing scale! Yes, never mind even when it's closer to '46'?"!

I had been stuck with '47' for some weeks and the more I hoped to see a number smaller or lighter, the more dreadful it felt to see myself stuck at '47' and '47.1'. As if I would never get to '46', much less '45'!

I have to credit my weight loss to the elusive Pokemons.

I have downloaded two apps, Poke Alert and Go Radar, to allow me to see the rare Pokemons when they appear in my area.

Often, they appear in places I usually take a unhurried walk of 7 to 15 minutes to reach, but these apps show the Pokemons' appearance such that the player is given 5 to 7 minutes to get to the Pokemons! The longest time frame I was given for a Venusaur was 13 minutes. I jumped out of bed and ran-cum-walked-hurriedly to the spot and I managed to get there in good time, with about 2 minutes to spare.

There have been times when I was a few seconds late, or I managed to reach there in time but my avatar did not move close enough to the location for the Pokemon to appear, and I made wasted trips.

I have not run so fast and at such high frequency for the last twenty years, I believe. 

This morning, I saw a Lickytung ticking down at 6 minutes at a mall 7 minutes' quick walk from my house. I made a dash for it, but I missed it by a few seconds. 

In my despair, I checked out the Poke Alert app. To my pleasant surprise, I saw Lickytung at a block of flats two or three traffic lights away, and the clock started ticking at 8 minutes!

I geared myself up and walked quickly to the spot, half-running my way there. 

When I was down to the last two minutes, I sprinted to the place and found the Pokemon there at the last few seconds!

I was pooped! I started my way back to the mall when I checked the Poke Alert app again to make sure I wasn't missing out on any rare Pokemons before I left.

And I saw a Dratini ticking at 3 minutes at a school nearby!

I decided to try my luck and dashed to the spot.

Again, I caught the elusive Pokemon before it disappeared a few seconds later.

My legs were going jelly by then!

I realised I had covered more than 1km by foot in that short span of time!

Other Pokemons that had me run like that were Hitmonchan, Porygon, Venusaur, Jynx and a few others that I can't recall at hand. I caught some and missed others.

When you run so often, I guess it is possible to lose weight!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pikachus At Play

I saw from the Poke Alert app that a Pikachu was awaiting me to bring it into captivity, so I walked down a few blocks of flats and ventured into the slightly muddy grass field after a shower to look for it.

Another five or six other sillies like me were also searching for Pikachu in that wide expanse of green. 

After a little searching, there I found it with the help of the app!
A low-cp (combat power) Pikachu which warranted an effortless catch. 

After the easy catch, I saw a red Pikachu playing in the field:
Don't worry. No outrage of modesty there. She was wearing a pair of denim shorts. Her top was a little long though.

She was playing with her favourite plant, mimosa. The cutey kept saying it was a flower. I reminded her that the flower is pink and she was touching the leaves. She immediately responded,"Oh yah! The flower looks like a dandelion!"

Saturday, 27 August 2016

A Low-Class Experience at Parkroyal Hotel's Crab & Lobster Buffet (Kitchener Road)

I am a big fan of crabs so when my elder sister asked if I was keen to go for this buffet for her birthday treat, I jumped at it.

There was a credit card promotion at two-to-dine-in at $118++ and we were joined by my mother, my third sister and her friend, my fifth sister and her youngest daughter and my youngest sister and her family. Children below the age of 7 ate free.

It was on the day we made our way to Parkroyal Hotel at Kitchener Road in Little India that I realised there are three Parkroyal Hotels in Singapore. The one that I always knew is at Beach Road, and for some reason, I kept thinking that the one at Pickering Street was another hotel. That buffet day, I learnt about the third one at Kitchener Road. I was very surprised that a Parkroyal Hotel would park itself in an area like Little India. Little India could be a tourist attraction to some but it is not the most affluent area where tourists would base themselves at or at least I thought.
The buffet started at 6pm but we only got there at about 7.15pm. Not my style. I believe in maximising the time I have at a buffet so I usually get to a buffet or afternoon a little early to settle down and 'get ready' to zoom in on the food or area I want. Very 'yeow kwee' I know, but if I am paying, I'd better make sure at least the time spent is worth the dollar.

The first thing that greeted us was the crowded long queues everywhere. I should have taken a picture of the massive crowd and queues but I was late for the buffet and the yeow kwee in me was worried that I would be shortchanged if I didn't join the queues as soon as possible so I missed out on the picture of the crowd.

My mother and I didn't even know what we were queuing for, but since there was a queue, it must be for something good, so we joined it.

It turned out that we were queuing for Mentaiko lobsters, baked lobsters with mayonnaise. Food was slightly above average but I didn't like the way it was given to us. 

I didn't read the sign that stated 'One serving per time' and asked my mother if we should get another serving for my sisters who were parking the car. The lady who was giving out the plates of lobster immediately shrunk her outstretched arm and said curtly,"If you want more, you have to queue again."

It made me feel like a yeow kwee.

Yes, I know I am a yeow kwee, but is there a need to make me feel like one in front of other guests? This is a hotel, you know? Parkroyal doesn't have the budget to send its staff for customer-service training, is it? I believe there are more tactful ways to word it, like "I am sorry, Miss. One serving at a time. You can queue up again if you would like to get it for someone else."
Then my youngest sister raved over the steamed live lobster, saying that it tasted superior to the Mentaiko lobster, so we queued up for it.

Nope. The rest of us respectfully disagreed that it was better. Could not tell that it was 'live' by the degree of freshness either.

To optimise the money's worth, we ate another two or three Mentaiko lobsters since it was better than the steamed live lobster.

One chef per station too!

We queued for the Pumpkin Crab, meaning crab in pumpkin sauce.

It sounded weird but the pumpkin sauce sweetened the crab meat so I had at least another helping. Queued again, of course.

My sisters and brother-in-law took their little children to the stations to show the chefs that there were two of them so that they could get two servings. *roll eyes (at the hotel's policy)* (in Singlish fashion) Have to do it until like that to get another plate ah?
There was a dessert station placed away from the crowd. I would have missed it if I hadn't come with my sisters.

Chin Chow with longan drink

Scallops should be fresh.

Other seafood as side-dishes

There was another station with other less popular crab and lobster options unmanned by chefs. Guests could form their own queue in the usual buffet style to pick and choose the food they wanted. They didn't look palatable enough to entice me to try them though:
Chilli crab

Kam Heong crab

Japanese Lobster Fried Rice

Not sure what this was but it looked spicy

Lobster Spaghetti

Pork Confit

Crustacean Paella

As we drove home, all of us unanimously agreed that the place was too crowded and packed for a comfortable seating. The (lack of) hotel ambience felt more like a market place. We had the feeling that the hotel was trying to maximise its space to contain as many guests as possible for the price it offered for the buffet. It made the buffet feel cheapskate and low-class. A stark contrast to every single afternoon tea we have been to.

We also felt that the constant need to queue, each time we wanted food, made us feel low-class. I said I felt like an orphan queuing in a food house, waiting to collect my food. My fifth sister said she felt like a prisoner waiting in the queue for her food.

When I related my 'One serving per time' experience, all of them agreed that it made one feel cheapo or yeow kwee. My elder sister summed my experience up,"It's an aunty preparing the food. What can you expect?"

Verdict: Parkroyal Hotel at Kitchener Road has a lot of room for improvement.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Pokemon Go is in Our Nature

My elder sister was relating to my youngest sister how she realised Pokemon Go draws out one's very nature,

"As a spender, I spend my coins from battling in the gym the moment I earn enough.
As a saver, she (meaning me) saves up her coins after battling in the gym."

to which my youngest sister replied,"Hmm ... that's true. I think about how to spend the coins even before I have earned them!"

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Mouth-Watering Lava Custard Mooncakes

I had read rave reviews about Mei Xin Mooncakes, especially its Lava Custard Mooncakes last year.

Unfortunately, by the time I made my way down to Takashimaya Mooncake Fair, the lava custard mooncakes were sold out. So did the egg custard mooncakes. Imagine the disappointment I experienced!

This year, I checked out Mei Xin Lava Custard Mooncakes earlier. The booth was still at the same place. For all my unluckiness, I gathered my courage and asked,"Do you still have lava custard mooncakes?"

Much to my delight, the lady said,"Yes. The stocks are running low though. I may not have any left if you return tomorrow."

I bought two boxes at $53.50 per box, careful not to overbuy in case I don't like them. 
The mooncakes come in a classic mooncake box.
Four small mooncakes sitting on the top tier and four more at the bottom.

Storage instructions: only open them when you want to eat them. There is no need to put them in the refrigerator. Shelf-life is about a month.
'美心 流心' is the embossment, with '流心' referring to the lava custard.
The crust is soft and easy at the slightest bite.
The egg custard forms the second layer within.
The core holds the watery lava custard. 

Yumz! Heavenly!

I had three at one go. Enough said.

I gave one box to my mother. When I called her to ask about her feedback, she was busy with my baby nephew. What was told to me by my elder sister was: Mother said,"Wow, this mooncake is delicious! Where did she get it from?"

I am down to two mooncakes on Day Two. I will be getting more when Mei Xin comes to the mall near my place at the end of the month!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Little Thing That Matters

I took Baby kick-scooting at a park near our place one evening last week.

Usually, I would slip the keys into my pocket but strangely, that day, I didn't. I held on to it all the time while I played Pokemon Go as I went along.

Baby needed me to hold her paper boat as she played at one of the playgrounds. I sat myself down at a bench and placed both the keys and the boat on the bench next to me.

After a while, Baby decided to go for the swing. I followed her. I picked up her precious boat and forgot the keys.

By the time I remembered the keys, we were at our doorstep, trying to recall where they were!

I made a 200m dash back to the park bench. I had not done such a long-distance run in at least 20 years of my life!  I ran worried and stressed, hoping against hopes that my bunch of keys would still be there.

As I sprinted, I realised I was more concerned about the pretty Hong Kong Disneyland keychain than the keys themselves. I reckoned very few potential criminals would bother to try opening the gates and doors of hundreds of flats around the park but the keychain could not be easily replaced, unless I fly to Hong Kong Disneyland again! 

Thankfully, there it was, gleaming in the setting sun! Relief and the untold joy of lost-and-found so overwhelmed me that I grinned widely at a strangerwho saw me picking up the set of keys! He knowingly smiled back at me.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sleeping Beauty

Sometimes when I see Baby sleeping in a funny manner, I would take a picture of it and show it to her the next day. It never fails to make her smile or laugh.

Lounging like a boss


Like a ninja (before the bed was made!)
During dinner
During homework-doing

And finally ...
Just taking a nap