Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hiking@St.Jacob Im Walde

Last weekend, my friends invited me for a barbeque at St. Jacob Im Walde. I never expected that we've got to hike the mountain first before we did the bbq. I had chosen to wear a skirt and a pair of slippers. It was definitely not an attire for hiking, but they didn't see any reasons why I shouldn't go for hiking even with my 30 months old toddler...:-{

My friend lent me a pair of boots and asked me to don my jacket to cover my skirt so that my beautiful skirt would not get stucked on the pine branches.
I was quite worried about my son because he has never gone for hiking before and I was thinking about how to carry his bag full of his nappy, his milk, his lunch, his jacket, his toys, blah..blah..when my friend told me that I had to carry only necessary items for my son and left the rest in the car.

So, finally of we went for hiking the hill full of pine trees. My friends always hike this hill with his family so they are very familiar with the situation there. I was glad because my son was so keen to walk on his own and got excited along the way. He stopped, touched and picked pine fruits, tree branches, and anything that amazed him. My friends explained things along the way.

I had to walk up to the hill, go through the jungle, swing through the trees just like a monkey, and jump accross the river full of big rocks and very slippery ones. (To me) The terrain and the jungle were very difficult to go through especially when we had to go through the pine jungle. I had to give my son to one of my friend who was able to carry him and at the same time walked trhough the jungle. Many times I had to ask him "Which way should I go? How can I go?" To me, it's rather impossible to walk through the pine branches which were entangled to each other. There were times I had to scream so loud because I didn't jump high enough and a sharp pine branch poke my beautiful butt...:D
Not just that. Because this was my first time wearing a pair of boots, I was not used to it and forgot about it. I jumped from one rock to another while crossing a shallow river and I fell down. My friend had to remind me that I was wearing a boot so it's ok to just walk on the river. D'oh!

When we arrived at the top of the hill, the view was breathtaking! I felt like singing "the hills are alive with the sound of music" just like Maria from the movie The sound of music. I actually did run around the green land with my arms spreading (like Maria) when I first reached the top.It was magnificent view! Many times I told my friends it's like in the movie! My hand couldn't stop taking photos and video of the beautiful view.

Then we had to continue walking down the hill. My friend never stopped explaining things to me and even took a piece of soil and squeezed it. There was some water out of that soil. He told me that I could drink that water. I was like "yikes!". How can I drink a water from a soil??But that's what hikers do when they couldn't find a river. My friends showed me some blueberry trees that I have never seen before. Man! I really know nothing about nature, don't I?!

Finally, after 2 hours of walking up and down the hill, we arrived back at my friend's cottage. My son and I did it! Yay! I was so glad that my son didn't give us problem at all during the hiking. He even still had alot of energy to run around the cottage and played ping-pong with my friends. All friends gave 2 thumbs up for my son. I'm so proud of him too. While all the men were preparing for the fire, the women were busy in the kitchen preparing for the salad and the sauce for the bbq. My friend gave me her recipe of greek salad. Greek salad is easy to make and it's sooooo yummy! While waiting for the meat and the fire, another friend of mine showed me the bee farm. Man! I have never seen so many bees before! I also saw a humongous beehive on the tree near the bee farm and the farmers were trying to capture the beehive with a net. It's an extra daring job! I will remember that every time I drink honey. The moment I saw the gigantic beehive on the tree, I run as fast as my legs could take me!! I got so afraid with the bees! My friend told me not to make noise and to keep calm because when I am afraid, the bees can sense that and they will chase me instead.Gosh! How am I supposed to keep calm when there were million of bees flying on top of my head!!
My son and I really did learnt alot about nature and how to conquer it during this trip. I told my friend, "I think I can write a novel just from this hiking experience." and he said, "Don't forget to give me one of the novel then."....:D Sure...I definitely will if I manage to finish one...:D

This was one marvelous experience my son and I have while we are here in Austria. It's definitely hard to forget.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Grüsst, Österreich

or Graz, Austria, is a wonderful place with a beautiful landscape where people are super friendly. I mean it! They are extremely friendly and helpful. They are ready to lend a hand for me even without me asking for their help. This is great because I always go every where only with my son.

Where ever I go and meet people, they will smile and greet me by saying "gr
üss gott!" or "morgen!". It feels awkward not to reply to them or to pretend that you don't hear them because every one says that to you and this great custom is contagious.

I am learning to greet people and learning some of important words spoken in here, such as: morgen/guten morgen for good morning, guten abend, gr
üss gott, Bitte schön/danke schön (or just bitte/danke in short) for thank you, rechnung for receipt (because I always want to get receipt when ever I pay for something.. :) ), Auf Wiedersehen for good bye. It seems 'Bitte' is used almost in any situation not just to say 'thanks' because I think it can mean 'please' as well. Not many people can speak good English here and the only English-German dictionary I have at the moment is the SlovoEd mobile dictionary installed in my mobile phone. So, most of the time, I just guess what people say to me and so far, there's always help whenever I need someone who can speak English. It's like God's guardian angels who are assigned to follow me where ever I go... :)

Food wise, hmmm...what can I say??This is the land of apple strudel... and I definitely grow fatter and bigger now...wha..ha..ha.. :D
I love the food here especially the ones from the restaurant of my hotel. It's so famous and all taxi drivers know about it. So, I have no problem going back to the hotel because of this famous restaurant. There are 1/2backhendl, the juicy and tender steak, chicken cordon bleu, the wiener schnitzel,
grünen Salat with pumpkin seed oil, and many more.
The dessert? Apple strudel is the signature dessert... :D The other types of dessert are just as delicious as the apple strudel and I don't know their names... :)
The drinks? The signature drink is schilchertraubensaft (I'm still learning to pronounce this word..he..he..).
Schilchertraubensaft is like a berry juice, only made in this restaurant. I haven't tried other drinks because I just like this signature drink. It is served in 0.5ml-glass and I always finish it all... :D
The beer? The famous one is Puntigamer and it's really good! I don't actually drink beer, but I do like this Puntigamer. The only beer I like before Puntigamer is Snake bite (this beer is served in one of pool bar in Sunnyvale, CA-USA).

Ok, I think I am hungry now for talking about food so much. I'm going down to the restaurant and am going to order Wiener schnitzel this time!
I will post about the beautiful landscape of Graz tomorrow if I have time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Arriving in Austria

Oh man!! My blogger is in German! Gee...I hope I click the right menu... :\

Last night we went to bed at 8pm because we were extremely exhausted after a more than 20hours flight from Kuala Lumpur to Graz via Rome and Vienna.

2 days before we departed Kuala Lumpur, I had to take care and finalize everything by myself. No maid’s help. I got frustrated and agitated so easily because I haven’t had enough sleep for a week preparing for this trip.

I was very worried about my son and whether I would be able to control him during the flight. I was very worried that he might get tired or sick before we arrived in destination.

Thank God everything was perfect yesterday. My son slept most of the time. He slept along the way from Ipoh to KLIA. When we arrived in KLIA, he woke up and got excited because I told him we were going to take a plane. He loves planes so much.

He requested to drag his own baby bag full of his diaper, toys, books, and some extra cloths. He obediently followed all my instructions. He felt so responsible of his own bag and he didn’t want to be helped at all.

After checking in, we went to Golden lounge to wait for boarding time and at the same time we wanted to have dinner because we were starving already. I was so hungry I ate so much until I didn’t have an appetite for my aircraft meal anymore… :)

My son was happy playing inside the children play room in Golden lounge until boarding time.

During the flight from KL to Rome, my son slept again until 2 hours before landing. So, I really didn’t have any problems with him. The only problem was that he got so excited until he lost his appetite for food. Even when he woke up, he was busy playing with the in-flight entertainments.

When our Boeing 777-200 touched down very smoothly at Leonardo da Vinci airport, it was 20 degree Celsius and the weather was fine.

After clearing the immigration check point, we had to wait for another 4 hours before our boarding time to Vienna. My son still refused to eat anything other than an apple I brought from Ipoh. I let him run around the airport to release his energy so that he would sit down or sleep on the flight to Austria and it did work. He slept again for 1.5 hours from Rome to Vienna. Our Fokker 100 arrived in Vienna late for half an hour so the moment we landed in Vienna, I had to carry my son, his bag, my bags, his stroller and run to the gate after we cleared the immigration. Thank God we made it.

It was raining heavily and the clouds were so low when our small propeller aircraft was en route to Graz. Along the flight until we landed in Graz, our small plane shook violently up down, left right, and I got so afraid my heart nearly stopped pumping. As for my son, he got all excited for the first time taking a propeller plane which landing gears are kept inside the wings. For 30 minutes flight, he sat still and was busy playing with his sticker book. I swore and cursed for choosing a plane from Vienna to Graz instead of the train. Man! I really don't like the propeller aircraft.

When we landed in Graz safely, my knees were so weak and my hands were trembling. I could not stop messaging my chest. I took a deep breath and felt so relieve that I finally arrived in Graz. We got a Jaguar taxi to take us to our hotel. Damn! It was really a Jaguar! I never sat in a Jag before… :D

I was so afraid the taxi driver would scold me for carrying too heavy bags. But no, he was so nice and so friendly.

The moment our taxi headed to our hotel, I felt ‘home’ immediately. When I looked out the window of our taxi, it’s deja-vu. I felt I’ve been here before. I feel like I am back in New Zealand. Everything reminds me of New Zealand except that everyone speaks German and I can’t speak a word at all… :-|

I immediately felt in love with Graz especially when we were greeted personally by the hotel owners like their daughter who just returned home. They were so happy to see my son. They said my son has grown up so fast. I wondered when they saw my son before. They told me that my husband had shown them our pictures. They hotel owners are very very nice people. The whole family members stay in the hotel as well. Apparently this hotel is very famous for their food.

We had dinner in the restaurant of our hotel. I ordered the signature dish of this restaurant which is so famous in Graz, the Backhendl. Backhendl basically is crispy fried chicken with bread crumb. It’s very yummy. If you have a chance to visit Graz, do stop by this restaurant and order 1/2Backhendl.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Packing nightmare

For an ex-flight attendant who has traveled across continents many times in a month, packing and traveling should be a piece of cake.
But unfortunately, that is not the case at all because since the last time I traveled across continent, the aviation rules and regulations have gone through dramatic changes for the safety of all passengers and crews on board. This has made traveling is not too convenient anymore, especially when you travel with children.
You don't know how your kids will behave during the flight. Of course you'll pray for the best attitude so that you don't have to carry too many things to distract him or to keep him busy along the flight not too mention his non-stop requests for milk during the flight. You also pray that your kids won't get fever or any sickness on board.

That's what happened with me. Packing has become a nightmare since I have to make sure I do not put banned items inside my luggages accidentally. Every item that looks suspicious and dangerous will be subjected to a thorough check and investigation which will cause delay. This gives me headache because I have to remember my kid well being during the flight and along the entire journey. You have to know which items will be allowed to be put inside your hand carry and which items are not allowed. Oh man...Headache!Headache!Headache!

Now that almost all airports in the world have adopted the 50ml per LAG (liquid, aerosol, gel) regulations, women really have to pay attention when packing their cosmetic items. It's OK not to put on make up and look natural during the flight rather than missing a flight because of a thorough check on your cosmetic items. So, I have to put away all my lipstick, my mascara, my moisturizer and anything that is in the list. I just hope that my hubby will not look at other women when my make-up starting to go away revealing my natural look... ;)
He told me once he likes to see me without make up and I hope he remembers that along the flight... :)

I also have to make sure that my laptop is in good working condition and need to be taken out from its bag during the screening of bags. This is an old rule and usually, it was not a big deal for me because I traveled alone. But this time, I have my 30 month old toddler traveling with me and he is ready to run like a shooting star whenever I do not hold his hand tightly. Besides, I have to clear his stroller and his bags, my bags, and I have to remember to present the LAG items if I have them inside my bag. Though this is not my first time traveling across continent only with my son (the first time I had to travel alone with my son was when I moved house from New Zealand to Malaysia. I had to carry everything by myself. At that time my son was only 2 months-old and I already had to pay fine NZD400 for overweight luggages), I don't think I can ever get used to it yet... :( Oh God help me...

Happy Mother's day

To all mothers where ever you are:


I love you, mom! I miss you always.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Where is your dignity?

When I clicked on the links my good friend forwarded me on her email, I felt so embarrassed that I thought I would vomit if I continued reading the content of a website that 'promote' the Indonesian women (in a degrading manner).
That friend of mine felt the same way, and I believe, all respectable Indonesian women will feel the same way as I did.

It's disgusting and it's a disgrace to Indonesian women every where. That's my comment to my friend. Why? because I am Indonesian woman and I fought for this better life I have at the moment using my brain and my talents, while still upholding my dignity.

If only Kartini were alive, she would feel very sad reading this news.
All her efforts to educate Indonesian women were full of ups and downs.
Even so, there are many Indonesian women who continue her efforts so that Indonesian women will have a better life with good reputation and good names every where in the world.
Unfortunately some women have no patient and chose to do the shortcuts (the easy way out).
They are willing to 'trade' their dignity with s*x. They can be reserved just by paying £200.

True love and a better life are something that you have to look and fight for. They don't come easily and cannot be found anywhere these days. But you have to keep your spirit up and use your brain and good talents while upholding your dignity. Don't give up easily!

But then at the end, everything comes back to you and your own good judgment. Only you know how much you're worth.
I hope you'll find your true happiness even if you have to chose the shortcuts.

Monday, May 07, 2007

My one fine day

On Sunday morning, I was reading a newspaper when my husband asked me to quickly take shower because he wanted to take us all to Sungai Petani, Kedah (north of Penang). Sungai Petani is about 2 hour-drive from where I live.

I asked him why he suddenly wanted to go to Kedah and he told me that he saw in the newspaper there is a new big shopping mall just open in Sungai Petani and thought I would love to visit the mall.
I was like "what the hell has happened to you??". I am shocked that he cared about visiting a mall to make me happy. Usually he would just drop me at the mall and pick me up again later after I finished walking around the mall (I prefer to walk around the mall by myself though because my husband will put his boring face every time he accompanies me walking around the mall and I really hate that).

I took shower while still pondering what made him decided to drive for 2 hours just to visit a new mall. He didn't do that when 1Utama Mall in Petaling Jaya was opened and PJ is also 2 hours away from my place. This mall must be special. Was this mall really big and grand?? I just kept all the questions in my thought.

We departed at noon and stopped by at Bukit Gantang for a quick and simple lunch. After about 1.5 hour-driving, we entered Sungai Petani in Kedah.
Sungai Petani is quite big and a bit more crowded than Ipoh. The city is cleaner than Ipoh (D'oh, I thought Ipoh is no.2 clean city after Malacca).
We drove towards the city center by following direction to go to Tesco because according to my husband, the new shopping mall is just next to Tesco. So, if we can find Tesco, we'll find the shopping mall. Ok, no comment from me.

I asked him what the shopping mall name because I don't understand why I never hear about this mall before. If it is so big, new, and grand, I, as the shopaholic, should have heard about it somewhere. My husband didn't know the name of the shopping mall. Ok, understandable.

So, we kept on driving passing by 2 The Store shopping complexes. We thought that was the one. I was like "Why the hell we have to drive 2 hours just to visit The Store!" because we have 2 The Store shopping complexes in our town and they are very near to where we live.
Luckily, those were not what we were looking for because after making 2 rounds around the Store, we could see the billboard of Tesco saying that Tesco is still 4.7Km away. Ok, continue driving.

Finally, I saw Tesco and my husband quickly drove towards that big Tesco sign. When we approached Tesco, we saw there was a huge building was under renovation. Looks like it was going to be a huge shopping mall. I started to feel there is something wrong here...hmmm...
I asked my hubby "Are you sure the mall has been opened already?Are you sure the mall is next to Tesco?" He said yes to both questions and I continued "but I only see this big building STILL UNDER RENOVATION!"
Then my husband smiled...whe..he..he..He said "Yeap! I see it too!" I think the mall has not been opened yet." GUBRAK!!
I suddenly exploded in laughter! I really couldn't stop laughing! Oh my beloved husband...I don't know what is wrong with you or with your eyes...
So, we drove for 2 hours just to visit a building under renovation? I asked him. He still tried to convince me that there was something else he could show to me in Sungai Petani. He started to mention about Bujang Valley as a very historical place, but it's 23Km away. Noep...I didn't think it was a good time to visit it. I didn't bring my camera. He mentioned about the big big houses in Sungai Petani and actually these big houses were not far from Tesco. So, we drove inside and he was right. The houses were huge and beautiful. For a while we were entertained by the sight of those big houses.

When my son was awake (he was asleep along the way), he wanted to eat M (McD). So, we decided to stop by at the Store. Unfortunately, we could not get a car park, so I asked my husband to just proceed to Queensbay Mall in Penang island. Queensbay Mall is the biggest mall in the northern part of peninsular Malaysia so far. So, he drove towards Penang island.
When we arrived at Queensbay mall, we couldn't find McD but we found Swensens. So, we ate there. After that we took our son to play at Kiddie's land inside Jusco.

At the end, we drove back to Ipoh at around 9pm. We were exhausted but we were happy. And for me, it was a one fine day.

Spiderman 3

Last Saturday night, my husband took me out to watch Spiderman 3. He managed to get the last 2 tickets for the 8pm show at a cinema near our house. It is really not easy to get the ticket for this movie. Since the 1st day it was released last week, the movie tickets for Spiderman 3 have been snapped up so quickly though all cinemas have added more show times for this movie to accommodate the heavy demand.

My husband and I were so eager to watch this movie so when we finally got the chance to watch it, we were so excited. We came just in time when the movie started. The cinema was pack. It was full house! There were many children watching this movie. There were 3 sitting just behind me and my husband and they made so much noise!

Anyway, my husband and I tried our best to concentrate on the movie. We definitely didn't want to miss any bits of it.

In my opinion, the 3rd installment of Spiderman movies is the best one. It is way much cooler compared to the 1st one which to me was already quite cool.
I like everything about it; the storyline, the movie effect, the script that will make you laugh so hard and cry afterwards. This movie is fantastic and hilarious as well.
I really like the part when Peter Parker's boss is reminded by his secretary to keep himself cool and the part when Eddie (the freelance photographer) is about to take photo of the Spidey (and he asked Spidey if Spidey was smiling - because he can't see Spidey's mouth)...wha..ha..ha..:D
Those 2 parts are so funny. I can't describe exactly how funny it is. You should go and watch the movie yourself.
On this movie, we get a chance to see the 'black' side of Spiderman (which is very cool... :D) and 3 new villains (the new goblin, the sandman, and the venom).
This movie delivers a message about love, friendship, and sacrifice for the people you love in a simple way that makes you able to connect to this movie well.
I personally like the new goblin (one of the new villains)...wha...ha...Why? I'm not gonna tell..he..he..he..If I tell you, I'll be the spoiler... :P Well, ok, 1 reason is because James Franco (the actor who plays New Goblin) is handsome!! :D But the main reason? I seal my mouth :|

Tobey Maguire is cool to be the Spidey (especially when he is a black spidey), but unfortunately, I think he is quite short. Does it matter?? Not really..whe..he..he...because he doesn't have to 'stand tall' and protect the victims. He crawls and swings using his sticky spider-silk.

Apart from the 3 kids that kept on making so much noise behind us, my husband and I really did enjoy watching the movie. In fact, we wanted to watch again if we can get the tickets.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

This morning I received an email from my hubby forwarding me a news about a girl in Singapore who died after she sat 8 hours non stop in front of her laptop. Deep vein thrombosis is suspected to be the cause of her death but it's not sure yet. You can read the story here.

That story really got me to think and pay attention (again) to deep vein thrombosis.
Before this, I have read about this deep vein thrombosis many years ago from an in-flight magazine. Passengers were advised to walk up down the aisle or do some light exercises during a long-distance flight so that they would not get DVT.

What is deep vein thrombosis and how can it kill you?

According to wikipedia (
Deep vein thrombosis is a formation blood clot in a deep vein commonly affects your thigh and calf. Occasionally, it can affect your arm too.

The blood clot forms in deep vein because the blood flow in the vein is slow or even stops. When clot blocks the blood flow in the vein, the blood will build up below the site. It causes pain and swelling in the affected leg.
If the clot breaks free and travels through the veins to your lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).
When PE happens, you will feel short of breath and your chest is pain. If your lung is damaged, you can be killed within hours.

This is why it is extremely important to take a break, take a walk, do some light exercises, especially leg exercises, and have some water to refresh your body, when you have to sit for a long period of time.
Even a machine needs a break and so does your body. Be more sensitive to your own body and listen to its signals. No point pushing your self too hard to achieve your goal but at the end, you can't be there to enjoy your accomplishment.

I know my legs are quite prone to DVT. They swell so big as if I have a pair of elephant legs every time I sit too long in 1 position at home (in front of the computer) or in the car (during long distance traveling). When my legs swell, I won't be able to feel my toes and I feel pain every time I move my legs.

This post is also a reminder for my self that every time my son cries for my attention, it is a break time for me. It is time for my legs to move and for my body to be refreshed. So, I should not feel irritated at all.