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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Houston - Yalla! Doha! Yalla!


Since we had 25usd free voucher for “saving the earth” campaign held by the hotel, we ordered breakfast. Eggs, tomato, and potato. Hubby was needed at the office that morning but he came back in the noon, to catch our flight at 4.00pm.
We drove to the international airport and did a few round turn coz we kept on missing the exit to drop the rented car. Haha! But we finally got into the exit la. They inspected the car and took back the GPS and we went up into the terminal to pay for the rental. 500usd for 10days…ok la kan. Macam Malaysia je.We had our lunch at one of the restaurant in the terminal called Ruby’s. The good thing bout all restaurant in States, they served cold water beforehand. Since I’m such a sucker for cold water, I didn’t have to order for another drink! Hehe! Free plak tu.We ordered a dish and shared coz we knew that we gonna eat twice in the flight later. We checked in and boarded into the flight and luckily, there was no one sat next to us. So we got one extra seat! Yeay! Bleh baring.We slept all the way to Doha and woke up for breakfast and lunch. We arrived at deserted Doha around 7.00pm and we decided to go out from the terminal. We paid Visa on Arrival for 100rial (RM90+) at the immigration check point and get a cab to town. We changed few hundreds or Qatar Rial, for cab, dinner and shopping. The officer told us we can go to Souq Wagif if we want to get something for souvenirs.We called a cab and paid 24rial for about 4km distance. Gile mahal! Padahal minyak murah! Yeah, they paid 0.70sen rial per litre. Nice huh? No wonder la pak arab senang-senang je drive Hummer, Mercedes, BMW sesuka hati with their jubah and serban.

“Wah cantiknyer! Ape tu?”
“Tu la masjid…macam miniature kat Taman Warisan Terengganu tu.” hubby explained.

“Ni la Souq Wagif tempat shopping tu…”

We went in and what we saw was just jubah, clothes, and households. HUH? Ape ni? We asked the locals, where we can get fridge magnets and one of the guy told us to go the the front side of Souq Wagif. Owh, bagus!
I bought caps for my bro in law and went into one shop, to get me a t-shrit. Hubby sempat amik gambar kat World Cup. Haha!I saw one couple who spoke Bahasa.

“Malaysian ke?” I suddenly asked.

“Haah…Tu kitorang dengar, you cakap melayu…” they replied.

Terus kitorang sembang kat luar. We talked and chat, while choosing the t-shirts to buy. Rizal worked at one of the oil and gas company, came to Doha 1 year back with his wife, Ina, and a son, Ikhtihad. Lots of stories being told and suddenly,

“Assalamualaikum.”

“Waalaikummussalam.” we replied.

Another Malaysian guy came and greeted us, who worked for Petronas. But he stayed in Doha, alone for 3 years, as he thought that Doha was not a good place for his kids.

I bought a t-shirst and 2 magnets before they invited us for dinner. They asked us to try a Qatarian food and tea. He chose I shop and ordered, while we sat on the high long chair. The tea was superb, as well as the “roti banjir with chicken curry”. There was another dish, like “roti tisu”, itu sedap gile!
Lepak punya lepak, si Rizal tu ajak minum lagi. Unfortunately, we had to make a move. He paid for all the drinks and foods. Sangat baik. Orang gaji banyak, ape la sangat kan. Hahaha! (If keje security guard gaji 24k, apetah lagi gaji dia kan…)
We exchanged facebook and waved each other. We later went in front of the mousque and snapped few pictures, before we moved to the airport.If at Houston, "cabut dan menang" adalah kereta BMW and Porsche, at the Doha airport, "cabut dan menang" diorang isssssssss Maserati! Gila arh!Once checked in and boarded (we got couple-seated), we took a nap and ate, nap and ate, watched movies, nap again, until we reached KL at 2.30pm.

Letih!

But 20,000km distance, 35,000 feet above ground on 500mph airspeed, for Houston, I will definitely do that again!

Houston - Hitchhike A Stranger


Hubby went off to work, and I’ve decided to go out alone, again. I planned to do last minute shopping and get few things for friends back home. Since I knew how to use the hotel shuttle, I’ve decided to ask them to send and fetch me from the Memorial City.

I saw the same driver as yesterday, which drove me to the mall. I hopped onto the hotel van and asked him to send me there. Once we reached the mall, I asked him,

“Can you pick me up at 6.00pm?”

“I’m sorry, you have to call the hotel.”

HUH??? Camne lak ni???

“But I thought we can arrange the pick up time as what my colleague’s did yesterday…” I told him on what hubby’s colleague did. Aku dah gelabah.

“No, you have to call the hotel.”

ARGH!!!

I walked off. I started to think how am I going to go back to the hotel…how, how, how. My phone doesn’t roaming. Same goes to hubby’s. And I don’t know how to use the payphone.
Put aside all thoughts, let’s shopping first!

I had Prawn Teriyaki again today at Oishi Kitchen. This time, the sauce was different than last night. Hmm…what went wrong with my order…then I noticed, I ordered for hot sauce. Cis!
Then I headed to the souvenir shop, Texas Treasure. Today, I didn’t spoke at all to the stupid lady. I grabbed what I want and paid. I guess, the other lady had been infected as well, where she was contemplating when giving me the new Texas bull that I wanted to buy for lil Myra. What’s wrong with these people!

I started to think of again, how to go back…

I asked the lady over the information counter,

“Hi, any payphone here in this mall?”

“Owh ya, you can find it at the food court area.”

“Thanks.” And I walked off.

I saw 2 payphones located before the toilet area. Wow, they got couch at the toilet waiting area? Nice. Ok, back to the payphone.

I tried to dial, locally and internationally. Both failed me. I’ve waited for the dialing tone, there was an auto-message asking me to put in coins and dial the number. But it wasn’t going through.

I hang up and approached one Mexican boy who worked at the nearby food court. I asked him how to use the payphone and what he answered was, put in coins and dial. ITU, AKU PUN TAU! SENGAL!

I went back to the payphone and there was a Turkish lady, who also tried to make a phone call. She told me that she couldn’t get through the line and asked me how to use it. DING DONGGGGG! I WOULDN’T BE HERE AGAIN IF I KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Argh! Camne niiii?

I turned around and saw one big fat blonde lady sat on the bench. She was using a handphone! Hmmmm…

“Excuse me, could you please help me to call this number using that payphone? I’ve tried so many times, but cannot get through…” I asked for help with sad and lost kitty face.

“Owh, sure.” She stood up and walked to the payphone. She advised me step by step, but still failed to hear any dialing tone or what not.

We both walked to the bench and sat. I told her that the hotel should just pick me up at 6.00pm like what hubby’s colleague did but the driver refused to do so. She felt me…and suddenly she said,

“Ok, I am waiting for my nephew to pick me up, he is on his way now and will be arriving in a minute. I think we can give you a ride back to the hotel.”

AKU TERNGANGA. Teruja tapi takut tapi nak nangis pun ada tapi pompuan ni baik. Nampak sinar cahaya dimatanya ketika itu.

She called her nephew and told her nephew that someone needs a help and need a ride back to the hotel. (Sounds like a lost puppy kan?) I can hear that her nephew at first asked so many questions but agreed at last.

I introduced my name and so did she. Her name was Linda and she worked at McD. Few minutes later, her nephew came with 4x4 black jeep. We walked out and she asked me to sit at the front seat, while she hopped onto the back seat. How nice kan?

On the way, her nephew, Rico, whom I thought was unfriendly by the phone, was the other way around. He understood what had happened to me and advised me to give a feedback to the hotel. I told him I will do so.

He asked me whether I’m a local or not (d’uhhh) and I told him that I’m from Malaysia. Both remained silent when they heard that country.

“I know Philippine coz my uncle stays there and married a Philippine’s woman.”

“Malaysia is on the left side of Philippine. Next to Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.” I described.

“Ooooooo…” still figuring out I guess.

“Have you been to Philippine?” Not asking have they been to Malaysia.

“Neahhh…haven’t got chance to go out from the states…” hmm, not so money-making citizen kot.

“Ah, there…” I showed them the hotel.

Rico made a turn and dropped me at the back gate. I hopped off and so did Linda.

Mata dah bergenang.

“Thank you so much Linda…I don’t know what will happen to me if you didn’t help me…” I hugged her.

“Don’t say that…I’m sure you would help me too if I were at your place…you make sure give a feedback to the hotel coz they shouldn’t be doing this to you…”

Mata masih bergenang.

We waved to each other and I went up. I opened the room door and saw hubby in his robe, looking at me like nothing special.

“AYANGGGGGGG! U TAU TAK I BALIK DENGAN STRANGER! I TATAU NAK BUAT APA, I TAK BLEH CALL HOTEL, I TAK BLEH CALL U, DRIVER TU TANAK PICK UP, SUH CALL HOTEL TAPI TAK DAPAT-DAPAT! BLABLABLA…” I shouted non-stop at the speed of 110kmph.

I sat down and told him everything. And I didn’t see any sympathy from him. Ah forgot, hubby is feeling-less and expression-less.

He just asked me out for last minute window shopping at Katy Mills.
Zzzzzz…ok, let’s do some shopping.

Katy Mills was quite far and close early. We just gave ourselves a try and luckily, we managed to arrive there early. We parked the car and went in through entrance 6. (Yeah, there were many entrances and you have to remember which one you went into. Mills means big!) See, they even have a parking space for mommy-to-be!
I was quite uncontrollable when I saw those outlets. Levi’s were super cheap! Nine West, Ralph Lauren, GAP, Guess, JC, you name it. There were lots of outlets for kids too.But there was one outlet that caught my eyes…Off Broadway Shoes.“YA ALLAHHHHHHHH! BESARNYE KEDAI NIIIIIIIIIIIII!”

Sumpah besar ok. You can’t hardly see who was at the back, not even who was at the both sides of the shop. The shoes were arranged by sizes and brands.

“STEVE MADDENNNNNNNNNNN!!!!” I nearly fainted.
“58USD??? GILE APE!!!” cheap sale still not cheap lah. Sigh…bila la nak dapat kasut ni…I walked out restlessly.

I didn’t manage to buy anything there coz I WAS BUSY LOOKING FOR hubby! Mana tah hilang! Nine West 15usd pun tak sempat nak cekau! Murah tahap gaban longgok-longgok!

“Next time, jalan sendri-sendri, then janji je kul bape kat mana-mana. Senang! Ni nak kena cari you sana-sini, kata kat kedai kasut! Semua kedai I cari takde!” I bebel kat hubby.

“Tengok! U siap beli baju lagi! I tak dapat apa!” I continued nagging while looking towards "cabut dan menang" BMW in front of hubby. Gile best!
Today was not a lucky day for me.We went out and looked for a place to have our dinner. We refuel the gas at one of the station and saw one sheriff's car...and sang, "I shot the sheriffffff...." haha!We chose IHop again, as it was the easiest place to get cheap and fast food. Tilapia with broccoli again, we ate. Texas food isn’t healthy. And I will be like this below nigger if I stay here longer.Yeah, lost of the day. Skit kan?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cambodia Trip Cookbook!

WOW! Last minute trip cookbook! And guess what? We just booked the hotels last nite! Hahaha! (Yeah, we are flying tomorrow...)

Off we go to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh!

Ok, ok. This color is too irresistible...I actually made one more backup cover, but I had too many blue on my past trip cookbook...sigh...so, I have to let this go :(

Front

Back

Front

Back

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Houston - Texas Treasure Hunt


Hubby went off to work. I’ve decided to go out alone, just to kill time. Hubby told me that I can request for hotel shuttle to send and fetch me within 5km, just like what his colleague did yesterday. I called the reception for a confirmation,

“Hello, I need a ride to Memorial City. How’s the arrangement would be like?”

“Owh, whenever you are ready ma’am…”
He replied.

Huh, easy.

So I went down to the reception and again, I asked,

“Memorial City please?”

“Sure, have a seat ma’am. I’ll get the driver.”
Wah, driver you!

And so I waited at the lobby, opposite the lounge area. I took one of the newspaper on the rack and read it. The same news appeared on the front page where the Iceland volcano eruption still ongoing. Flights still unable to take off. Passengers were stranded all over the airports. Pity them. Will insurance cover the accommodation?

“Ma’am?”


I put down the paper and follow him, off to the van. It was 12-seaters van and I was the only hotelier that he was sending to the mall. (Hmm…pray for my security!) He opened the door and I hopped onto the front seat. Buckled up the seatbelt and prayed for him to stay silent and no chit-chat over the 10minutes journey. I didn’t feel to talk to anyone now. Haha!

He dropped me at the main entrance and opened my door. What a pleasant service. I walked off and didn’t ask him to fetch me since hubby will be coming over after work.

It was 5pm and I walked into the mall. The first thing that I saw was a classic French carousel. Since I was a kid, I ADORE marry-go-round…the traditional flying horses seats…so fairytale. Thank god I still behave like someone’s wife (or else, I bet I must be jumping up and down just to be onto one of the horses!)


It was foodcourt area actually, where they offered same fast food like Taco Bell, KFC and MCD. I said to myself,
“Forget food, food can wait. Let’s shopping first!”
I walked straight to one of the concourse. Wondered where the hell is Texas Treasure, the one that hubby told me. (Yeah, need to get more souvenirs to bring back home. The very good-bad habit of me when traveling.)

“Excuse me, where is Texas Treasure?” I asked the black lady over the information counter.

“You walk straight pass the concourse and blablabla then turn right and blablabla you will see blablabla…Texas Treasure will be on your right.”

TOO MUCH INFORMATION! Fine! Go to hell with your southern slang and all the directions that you’ve mentioned! I’ll go and find it on my own! (Wah marah!)

“Thank you.”

With inexpensive Forever21 jacket, corduroy skirt, and gladiator wedgie, I walked towards the other concourse. I passed by few brand outlets like Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Abercrombie, Coach, G by Guess, GAP and Aeropostale. I didn’t have a total look on these outlets, enough on what I’ve lost at Premium Outlet yesterday.

On my way to the concourse, I saw jars of colorful sweets and gummies. From afar, there was one big black antic clock, stated Memorial City, established in 1962. That’s how this mall got its name, I assumed.
“Huiyoooo…chocolate!” I dropped my overweight jaw. This must be the chocolate factory that hubby’s friend went crazy for. I didn’t dare to go in (or else, I will have migraine for the whole week).
“HAAAAA! TEXAS TREASURE!” I shouted happily. Mission accomplished!
I went in and there was a brunette lady at the counter. Sour face as the welcome face? Not a very good start. I looked around the store and started to pick whatever I want.

Until 30 minutes later, I spoke.

“Can I have that one in M size?”

“Which one? This one? Or this one?”

“That one…ya, M size”
I showed her the white t-shirt with Don’t Mess With Texas quote on the chest.

“M size?”

“Medium…”
La, bodo rupanya minah ni. Muka dah la macam tak laku! Pemalas lak tu! Dari tadi bolayan aku! Tanya itu ini semua buat muka!
“I want 4 pieces in M, and 2 in Small…” Aku belagak.

She took all 6 pieces and gave to me. Then I asked for adults M and L plak. Saje cari pasal.

Then she started to give even bitter face. HOI! AKU NAK BELI LA MANGKUK! KO PATUT SUKA AKU BORONG SATU KEDAI NI TAU!!!

So I walked to the other side of the store and started to look at other things. The bucket was now half empty. I checked one the M size t-shirt that she gave earlier, got a bit of smudges. SHIT! How can I get another piece from her, to replace this one?

“Can I have another M please?” soalan ku mengundang bencana. Hatiku bercampur-baur, tatau takut kena marah or sakit hati.

“WHAT? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT ONE?” Muka dia dah menyinga.

“This one got stain on it. I don’t want.”

“HUH???”
jeling sambil geleng kepala.

DIA HUH KAN AKU!!! AKU CUSTOMER NIH!!!

She, however, took another piece and gave to me. YES! AKU BERJAYA! Nanti ko, laki aku datang nanti, siap ko!

I paid for all the t-shirts, fridge magnets and few other things. I went out without saying thank you to her. Lantak ko la mangkuk!

Now I lapar (dah marah baru lapar…hehe!) By the way, hubby and I had promised to meet at the carousel every 1 hour, in case we couldn’t find one another. Lucky the carousel was at the same area as the foodcourt. I waited for the third time by the carousel wooden bench, watching parents enjoyed giving their kids a continuous ride. (Macam mak pak je yang lebih-lebih nak naik).
What caught my eyes was, the black ‘pengkid’ who was not really a kid. She was the carousel assistant and she had a very big Texan body size, combat hair, AND BIG BOOBS! (Wow…pengkid with big boobs…kesian, tak menjadi. Hehe!)
I did saw one Porsche parked IN the mall. I went closer and saw "$Enter to Win$". WOW! Cabut dan menang dapat Porshe??? Kat M'sia dapat apa??? Demak??? Hahaha! The other side of the view, got extreme outdoor game and ice-skating.
“Hellew…” non-familiar voice.

“GATAI!” it was my hubby.

“Jom, makan dulu…ada satu kedai je yang tak serve pork…”


They served Japanese food and Asian food as well. Among all, there was only one stall that didn’t serve pork, Oishi Kitchen. One Chinese aunty took our order and we ate Prawn Teppanyaki along with ice tea.

“SEDAPNYERRRRR!” I nearly popped out my eyeballs.

“Tu la, I kalo datang sini, mesti makan prawn teppanyaki ni je…” we shared one meal, as usual.

We continued walking towards JCPenny, Sears and Target, as hubby needs to get some chocolate for his colleague. At that point, I knew that he was looking for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory that I saw earlier. Yeay!

Right after we went in, hubby and I straight away looked at one side, where they displayed lots of apples, covered with chocolate and sprinkled with colorful nuts and sweets. YA ALLAH SEDAPNYER! But we didn’t get one for us…too big, sweet, and expensive!
Hubby later looked for the gift set, chocolate with nuts and caramel that cost him 35usd. That’s the beauty of asking for advance when someone’s ordered from you. You know your budget range.

“Ha! You tau tak, pompuan kat Texas Treasure tu kurang ajar nak mampos! I beli banyak ni, patu nak buat-buat muka cam bagus. Padahal I nak tukar size je. Celaka tul you tau tak! Jom la pegi, I bengang ni!” I mengadu.

I dragged hubby to the store and once we entered, there was a guy helping that stupid arrogant woman. Hubby asked him to bring down one of the t-shirt from the rack and tested. He later gave hubby a new piece from the store. DAMN! This guy baik plak layan hubby! Cis!

I jelling je pompuan bedebah tu. Then we walked out from the store.

We headed to the car and drove to Walmart. Hubby wanted to buy few things there. (Me too!) I got few souvenirs to bring back home and hubby got him 2 pairs of pants and 1 t-shirt. Hamboi! Murah gile nak mampos la katakan! We also bought 1 extra bag to put in all souvenirs!

Back in hotel, I took a shower but beforehand, guess what caught my eyes? A set of towels that were made in Pakistan and ISRAEL! Huh? Two countries under the same roof?
Weird...
I arranged all gifts and orders, snapped few pictures, and off them go, INTO THE BAG! Night-night!


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