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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

With Family & friends in Malaysia (Jan & Jun)

马来西亚家人朋友 (1月 和 6月)

Dear English readers, please scroll down for English translation.

阳历年时忙考试,没回顾我在08年做了什么。
现在,试考了,农历年过了,回头看看,鼠年可真多姿多彩。

这两年来日子都很漂泊,去年可说是‘四海为家’的顶峰:-
在马来西亚和澳洲各住了三个月,其余的六个月则在加拿大。

Traveled with Ed in Malaysia (Feb)

和Ed在马旅游 (2月)

1月 – 大马
回马做家里的大小姐。
在爸爸店里帮忙和学习。
天天去巴刹,到处吃吃吃。

2月 – 大马
Ed第一次来马,第一次见家长。
我俩背包游新加坡,吉隆坡,槟城,马六甲和浮罗交怡。
Ed回加国工作,我回澳洲工作。

With friends in Australia ((Mar - May)

澳洲的朋友 (3月 - 5月)

3月 – 澳洲
上班。和一位好朋友住。
放工回家就和朋友追港剧。
很高兴和很多朋友相聚。
喝我爱喝的意大利咖啡和比利时热巧克力,
吃我爱吃的eggs benedict早餐。

4月 – 澳洲
继续上班。
搬进一间有三房,却只有一张床和一张椅子的公寓。
没有网络。看了很多英文小说。

Lonely apartment in Australia (May)

寂寞的公寓 (澳洲)

5月 – 澳洲
如4月。

6月 – 大马
回马。如1月。

Toronto (July - Dec)

多伦多 (7月 - 12月)

7 月 – 加国
回加国。见到Ed给他一个大拥抱 :“亲爱的,好久没见”。
享受我在加国的第一夏天。

8月 – 加国
阳光继续普照。每个周末尽情欢享。
Ed告诉我,我煲的汤和煮的东西已可以见人。Yay !
我这大小姐开始认真做好家务。

Toronto (2) (July - Dec)

多伦多 (7月 - 12月)

9月 – 加国
啊!结婚吧!

10月 – 加国
开始发闷。不如去学喝茶和学泡茶吧。

Gonna have fun in summer (Canada)

Hey 先生,来个胜利手势吧 ! (多伦多)

11月 – 加国
好冷。
决定参加考试,

12月 – 加国
好冷。
拼命苦读。
圣诞和新年快乐!

Toronto (3) (July - Dec)

多伦多 (7月 - 12月)

1月 – 加国
试考了,年过了。
2009 牛年要做什么好呢 ? ……

With Family & friends in Malaysia (Jan & Jun)

With Family & friends in Malaysia (Jan & Jun)

I was very busy with exam during the New Year, did not get the chance to review my 2008 year. Exam is finally over and (Chinese) New Years came and gone, finally, I have the time to sit down, to reflect on my 2008 year. Looking back, it was indeed a great and interesting year.

For the past two years, I have been dividing my times between Malaysia, Australia and Canada, and last year was my most traveled and drifting year. I lived 3 months each in Malaysia and Australia, the rest of the six months in Canada.

Traveled with Ed in Malaysia (Feb)

Traveled with Ed in Malaysia (Feb)

Jan – Malaysia
Went back to Malaysia and be pampered like a princess at home by my lovely family.
Learned from my father and helped out in his shop.
Went to pasar often and fully enjoyed the famous delicious street food !

Feb – Malaysia
Ed visited Malaysia for the first time and met my parents for the first time.
We traveled in Singapore, KL, Penang, Malacca and Langkawi.
Ed headed back to Canada, while I went back to Australia.

With friends in Australia ((Mar - May)

With friends in Australia ((Mar - May)

Mar – Australia
Went back to work. Stayed with a good friend.
Hong Kong TV series was our favourite passtime together after work.
So happy to catch up with many good friends in Oz.
Drunk my favourite Italian coffee and Belgium hot chocolate;
ate my favourite eggs benedict breakfast.

Apr – Australia

Continued to work.
Moved into a huge 3 bedroom condominium, however,
you won’t believe I only lived with a folding bed and a chair in the condo.
No Internet. Read many novels.

Lonely apartment in Australia (May)

Lonely apartment

May – Australia
Same as April.

Jun – Malaysia
Went back to Malaysia.
Same as January.

Toronto (July - Dec)

Toronto (July - Dec)

Jul – Canada
Went back to Canada.
Gave Ed a big hug, ‘Darling, long time no see! ‘
Enjoyed my first summer in Canada.

Aug – Canada
Went to nearly all summer street festivals and events.
Surprisingly, Ed started to praise my cooking ! Yay!
Finally, I had been better with housework.

Toronto (2) (July - Dec)

Toronto (2) (July - Dec)

Sep – Canada
Let’s get married dear !

Oct – Canada
Started to feel bored and restless. So attended Tea Sommelier classes.

Gonna have fun in summer (Canada)

Hey dude, you gonna have fun in summer ! (Canada)

Nov – Canada
So cold !
Decided to sit for exam.

Dec – Canada
So cold !!
Studied unbelievably hard for the exam.
Happy Christmas and New Year !

Jan – Canada
Exam is over, new years came and gone.
What am I going to do in 2009 ? …..

Toronto (3) (July - Dec)

Toronto (3) (July - Dec)

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winter wear in Canada

winter wear in Canada

Bryan left the following message in my previous post :

I am going to Harbin end of this year. I believe it will be minus 15 Degree during the day.Since I am not living in Subzero Climate for long period, I just bought a Winter Jacket, not those ultra warm type though, but for active sports, where we partially keep ourselves warm while exercising in the cold weather. I think it might not be enough to fend off the cold there.

How many layers of clothing you wear to protect yourself from the cold?

My idea:
1st Under Thermal (Long John shirt and pants)
2nd Long Sleeve T-Shirt
3rd Wool Sweater
4th Thin Down Jacket
5th Wind & Waterproof outer jacket

Ear Warmer
Gloves
Head Warmer?

Wish me luck! ”

Hey Bryan,

I went online to check the weather in Harbin, yup, it is already around minus 5 to 15 degree during the day !! And currently, the wind gust is around 4-15 mph (6-23 km/h), which is quite strong if you are walking on the streets, especially in wind tunnel (like between tall buildings). So, you have to be quite prepared, especially people like us, who are brought up in tropical weather.

Looking at your 5 layers clothing sandwich, I think you will be fine for the minus 15. However, it depends on the quality of your down jacket and the water/windproof  jacket. It makes all the difference !

windproof jacket with face cover

windproof jacket with chin flaps

Not sure what kind of quality you will get in Malaysia. So, whatever you buy, check the quality properly, or buy trusted brands.  There are hell lots of things to consider for good down or windproof jackets. I am not going to go to the details here and you only go there for a short trip. Just some simple things you should look for. For example, for down jacket, check exactly what the down filling is (make sure is not synthetic) and its fill power (how dense they pack the down/feather); for water/windproof jacket, check the construction of the jacket (how well the jacket is ‘sealed’), fabric lining etc.

I have a windproof jacket that have two ‘flaps’ on my face area (left picture), so when the wind blow fiercely, I can cover half my face, and only leave the eyes out. But I rarely wear it because I think it is very ugly ! Haahaa….do I scare you though? I hope you don’t need those things anyway ! It depends if you are a person who afraid of cold. I need those because I can’t stand cool weather !

Ok, now let’s talk about other accessories.

(1) Gloves – yup, you need a good pair of gloves ! Best is wool or windproof gloves.

(2) Hat/Head Warmer – you definitely need a very good hat/head warmer. Generally, about 30% of body heat lose through our heads, it is quite a significant amount. If you cover your head (especially forehead) properly, you surely will feel warmer. Tips : Don’t buy knit hat, because wind can blow through it easily. Buy wool one,. If you like knit, buy those have an inner (wool) layer.

(3) Ear warmer – If you have a hat that also can cover your ears, I don’t think you need ear warmer.

(4) Sock – Your feet and toes !! You don’t want to have cool feet and toes when you are outside, especially if you have to walk on the snow. Also, most time I dress my body properly, but forget my legs. So,  your under thermal pants will be very helpful. Tips : alternatively, buy very good wool knee length socks. They help me heaps when I don’t feel like wearing my old-lady-like thermal pants 😉

(5) Boot – Very important especially when snowing heavily and have snow/ice accumulation on the ground. A good pair of boot prevent slips.  My boot is knee length, with fur inside, strong rubber sole with deep treads. Of course, it depends how much walking you have to do, otherwise, normal boot should be ok. Tips : Walk on snow-muddy ground, instead of the ‘shiny’ icy ground, which is extremely slippery, unless you like to roller skating 😉

(6) Scarf – Depend on the design of your jacket or if you have turtle neck top. I feel much warmer when my neck is warm, and it prevents cool wind slips inside your body through the neck opening. Tips : When I don’t wear my ugly windproof jacket with the ‘flaps’, I like to wear very large thick scarf. So, I not only use it to cover my neck, I use it to cover half my face when I have to walk against wind gust.

multiples layers and a down jacket

multiple layers and a down jacket

For this photo, I think it was taken on a day of around minus 5-8 degree or so. With the hat, an under thermal, a turtle neck (white), a 200 fleece (blue), and a medium fill power down jacket ( filling : 50% down/50% feathers), I was able to pose for photo with a smile 😉

I hope the above information helps. Shoot me more questions if you still not sure.

Haahaaa… I have too much fun here. I better go back to study for my exam !!! 😦

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Fall Colours at Calabogie Lake

Fall Colours at Calabogie Lake

刚过的星期一是加拿大的感恩节公共假期。

去年我忙着写Mount Tremblant, 忘了解释什么是感恩节。今天就先谈一谈吧。

感恩节是北美特有的节庆,约始于16或17世纪,为了感谢上天赐予的好收成。由于加拿大位置偏北,冬天来得早,所以加国的感恩节比美国早一个月左右 (加拿大感恩节在十月的第二个星期一,美国则在十一月的第四个星期四)。依传统,感恩节是一家团聚吃一顿丰富火鸡晚餐的节日。在加拿大,很多人趁这个三天假期到郊外休息和看秋叶。

Last Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving Day is unique to North America. It is believed that Thanksgiving started around 16 to 17 century. It is a day to express gratitute for the things one has at the end of the harvest season. Locating more north and with a colder weather, Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving about one month earlier than USA. (Canada’s Thanksgiving is on 2nd Monday of October, and USA on 4th Thursday of November).

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a day for families to get together and enjoy a large meal, usually centred around a large roasted turkey. Often, it is also popular long weekend cottage getaway and to observe the autumn leaves.

Calabogie Lake and Resort

Calabogie Lake and Resort

就如去年的感恩节,今年我们和Ed弟弟的一家人租了一间郊外屋舍(cottage) 来渡感恩节。这次Ed弟弟选了一个人烟稀少的小地方 – Calabogie,它离多伦多约五个小时车程。这个小镇主要依旅游业来维生。镇上有座小山。兴建Mt Tremblant 的发展商在这里也建了个小型的滑雪场(如图)。山小,很适合新手学滑雪。

有趣的是,没下雪的日子,很多脚车手来这里downhill mountain biking (嘻嘻,抱歉,不知道它的中文翻译)。 Downhill mountain biking 就是,坐平时滑雪的缆车上山顶,再坐特别设计的脚车,一路从山顶‘滑’下山脚。做这种运动的都是年轻小伙子,为刺激。这还是我头一次见到这种运动,看他们脚踏车下山坡的速度,真为他们捏一把冷汗。

Like last year, Ed’s brother family and us booked a cottage for this Thanksgiving. Unlike Mount Tremblant, this time we chose a much quieter small town – Calabogie. It is about 4 to 5 hours drive from Toronto. Tourism is the many economy here, and there are also skiing facilities, built by the same company who developed Mount Tremblant. The hill is pretty small, hence it is a good place for skiing beginners.

Interestingly, the ski lifts are used by downhill mountain bikers during summertime. They take the lifts to the top of the hill, then go downhill with their bikes. We saw a group of young bikers, obviously, enjoying the speed and thrills for this possible last sunny weekend before winter arrive.

Sunrise at Calabogie Lake

Sunrise at Calabogie Lake

镇上有个湖,叫Calabogie湖。我们的屋舍就在湖边。每天一早醒来时,可以见到日出,天边湖上都染了粉红色,很是好看。渥太华离这里很近,很多人在这里投资买渡假屋,周末一小时就可到达,有山也有水。我们租的屋舍就是Ed弟弟妻子的同事的。

Ed弟弟一家来过Calabogie好几次,对这里很是熟悉。很幸运的,整个周末的天气都很棒。为捉紧机会享受户外活动,我们将四天的节目排得满满的。早上多到山上小路走走,看落叶,看秋天玩颜色的游戏。中午骑脚踏车,傍晚到屋前的湖划船。晚上晚餐后,就到湖前起火看天上的月亮星星。这种生活好不写意!

我们都很喜欢这里,明年夏天会再到此一游!

The Calabogie Lake and the Calabogie Peak in town make this place a paradise for cottage getaway, especially for people from Ottawa, which is only one hour away. Many of them buy cottages here, like the one we booked is owned by Ed’s sister-in-law’s colleague. Our cottage is located right next to the water. Everyone morning, the beautiful sunrise wakes us up, to see the stunning pink dye at the sky and on the water.

Ed’s brother’s family has been here a few times, they know this area really well. Thanks for the gorgeous weather last weekend, we were able to jam-pack many outdoor activities throughout. In the morning, we would go out for a hike, then a bike ride in the afternoon, then boat rolling during the evening. After dinner, we then set up a camp fire next to lake, and enjoyed full moon in the sky ! It was absolutely a perfect long weekend away !

We love this place so much that we already started talking about another getaway here next year summer !

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几个星期前,我提到和DM夫妇到Sandbank 省公园露营。Sankbank 座落在Prince Edward County (爱德华王子县), 离多伦多市约两个半小时车程。

上个周末,我们和DM夫妇又到爱德华王子县一趟。这次是为了一个叫Taste! 的Food and Wine Show (美食加美酒展)。

很多当地的餐馆,厨师,农夫和葡萄酒酿造厂等都踊跃参与。没想到的是,那天的天气又冷又阴云满布,像我们这种来吃喝的人竟也出乎意料的多,很多档摊前都有长长的人龙。

Buddha Dog Caravan (Buddha Dog 的大篷车)

Buddha Dog Caravan (Buddha Dog 的大篷车)

我们不敢怠慢,马上去Buddha Dog的大篷车前排队(如图)。Buddha Dog是个卖‘高级‘热狗的小餐厅 (不像多伦多街边的热狗)。他们要将爱德华王子县内最好的一面呈现给顾客。所以,做热狗用的所有材料都是县内最好的。这次,他们为人们带来了用火鸡肉做的热狗。用火鸡肉是要像征感恩节,因为上几届的Taste! 都是在感恩节周末举办,今年除外。

拿了我们的热狗,配上推荐的苹果酒,真的是我尝试过最好吃的热狗!

其实,什么食物配什么酒是一门艺术,也是一门学问。配对了,食物能带出酒的‘深度‘,酒能带出食物的美味。所以,在这个美食展上,每一种食物都会推荐一个相配的酒,把我们带到享受食物的‘最高境界‘。

DM夫妇是‘好食‘之人,也是美食专家。我就是从他们身上慢慢学会吃出食物配对酒时的不同。(参阅法国大餐)。所以,在这个难得学习的机会中,我当然每吃一种食物都坚持要有相配的酒。哈哈! 还好,每杯酒的份量都不多,我没喝醉 😉

我们接着吃了依下的:

Elk Goulash Poutine with 5 year old Black River Cider

Elk Goulash Poutine with 5 year old Black River Cider

这个是一个加拿大魁北克特有的法国小吃 – Poutine。其他国家是吃不到的。最普通的作法是,炸马铃薯条配上颗粒型干酪和肉汁。而在Taste! 上,多伦多著名的厨师,Jamie Kennedy, 竟配上了糜鹿肉!效果是好好吃!

我啊,可是第一次吃糜鹿肉。你们知道什么是糜鹿吗?看看下图。

Elk 糜鹿

Elk 糜鹿

待续.....

A few weeks ago, I mentioned our camping trip in Sandbank Provincial Park. Sandbank located in Prince Edward County, about 2.5 hours drive from Toronto.

Last weekend, we went to Prince Edward County again, but for a completely different reason – for Taste!, a food and wine show, to celebrate the regional cuisine.

Many of the local restaurants, chefs, farmers and wineries participated this event. Though the weather of that day was cool and gloomy, surprisingly, it did not stop people from coming for this event. When we arrived at 11ish, there were already many people and most booths had a long line up.

Buddha Dog Caravan (Buddha Dog 的大篷车)

Buddha Dog Caravan (Buddha Dog 的大篷车)

Without any delay, we first ‘attacked’ the Buddha Dog caravan. Buddha Dog is a small boutique restaurant in Prince Edward County that sells gourmet hotdog (of course, not the street hotdog I mentioned before). AIm to feature the best of Prince Edward County, Buddha Dog sources the best of everything (bun, meat, cheese, vegetables etc) within the region itself. And this time, they brought us the Thanksgiving Turkey Dog. Traditionally, Taste! was held during the Thanksgiving weekend, but this year is an exception, hence the turkey.

With the lovely mini dog in our mouths, paired with the recommended County Cider, I had the best hotdog I ever had in my life, so far 🙂

I guess, most of you familar with fine cuisine, are aware of the act of food pairing with wine, to bring out the best tastes of both food and wine. In this event, of course, there is a suggestion of a pairing wine for each dish, aim to take us to the ‘highest state’ of tasting.

As for me, an Asian, who did not know about this art till I met DM and LM, who are serious foodies. Learning from them, and slowly, I think I can notice the slight differences in taste when food pairs with a right wine. Hence, for learning purpose, during this event, I insisted to drink the right wine for every dish I tried. Haahaa….don’t worry, I was not drunk because each glass of wine was only of little amount.

From Buddha Dog, we moved on to other booths, as followed :

Elk Goulash Poutine with 5 year old Black River Cider

Elk Goulash Poutine with 5 year old Black River Cider

This is a special French dish originated from Quebec. You can’t find it anywhere in the world except Canada. We called it ‘poutine‘ here. In fact, it is a simple dish, a dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy and sometimes additional ingredients. Jamie Kennedy, one of the most famous chefs in Toronto, had prensented us a poutine with Elk Goulash ! The result was fantastic !

Elk 糜鹿

Elk 糜鹿

Well, this is my first time to taste elk meat! I was shock to realise later what is elk ;) See the picture.

to be continued….

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the cooks and their food at Salsa Street Festival

the cooks and their food at Salsa Street Festival

夏天在加拿大是很‘珍贵‘的季节。一年才这三,四个月的阳光,所以,这里的人争取所有机会享受阳光,找尽所有藉口来庆祝。 夏季的每个周末,都有数不完的节目。最普遍的是街头美食节。

加国是个多元文化的国家。各国各种族的人多会聚住在同一地区。所以,街头美食节多在某种族聚住的地区,并带有其色彩。

如我家附近曾是意大利人聚住的地方,所以这里有个意大利街头美食节。不过,这十多年来,很多意大利人已渐渐搬去其他地区。反而,多了很多加勒比海人和拉丁美洲人。所以,这里在三,四年前开始举办Salsa Street Festival。

Summer is precious here in Canada. Well, it is not hard to understand that, it is the only 3-4 months sunny days Canadians will have for the whole year. Canadians will take every opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, and will make every excuses to go under the sun.  Nearly every weekend is jam-packed with many festivals, shows and activities. One of the most popular events in Toronto is street festivals.

Canada is a multicultural country. It is common that some particular ethic groups live in particular areas, like the Chinatown, Little India etc. Hence, the street festival for a particular culture will most likely be held in that area.

(更多…)

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Toronto Urban Beach

urban beach

有一天到多伦多市南部的Lake Ontario沿岸走走。

看到了这所谓的城市沙滩觉得很奇怪又好玩。

这长长的人造沙滩建在Lake Ontario 旁, 去年六月正式开放给公众。

这沙滩,虽有点怪,没海浪,也没得下水玩或游泳,但有沙,又有湖景,加上金黄色的太阳伞,还是特别有味道。

穿上性感泳衣,躺在沙上来个太阳浴,或带小孩来玩玩泥沙的游戏,或来沿沙滩走走吹吹 ‘湖风’,和其他沙滩又有什么不同呢?

也同样是一个悠闲平静的夏季下午。

During my leisurely walk along the waterfront, I was surprised to see a ‘beach’.

It is literally like a giant long sandbox along the water edge that is filled with sands and many tall yellow umbrellas.

I then realised it is a new waterfront public space project that was opened June 2007.

Well, it looks a little strange and awkward that a ‘beach’ that has no swimming and no waves. However, the good news is, you do have lots of sands, plus a lake view, with the umbrellas and chairs.

As you can see, many people enjoy lying on the sands for a sunbath , or bringing their children for some sand games, or just simply walk along the ‘beach’ and enjoy the refreshing lake breezes. So, what’s the real difference and why not?

And, it is equally a beautiful, lazy and leisurely summer afternoon.


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Panaromic of Bon Ton

“How much to stay at an old rickety house with no beach front” I exclaim, “are you sure it’s worth it?”

Well the day after Valentine’s Day, we decided to treat ourselves and stay at an upscale resort called the Bon Ton. We could only get one night booking and have to re-arrange our schedule to fit it in. However, after many days looking longingly into fancy resorts while staying in “budget” accommodations, we were pretty sure of our decision and was eagerly anticipating some luxury of our own.

The resort consists of only seven traditional Malay houses, found all over Malaysia and transported to the site and restored. Traditional on the outside and contemporary on the inside, the rooms has an outdoor bathroom with a cedar bathtub, a shower that drains through the deck, and a toilet with an uninterrupted view of the night sky. While we thought that the place might be full of suits and blue hair, it turned out to be friendly and homely with young couples and families. The owner is Australian and has a home for stray cats adjacent to the property. These cats also has the run of the place and are fed and cared for by the staff, who also went to great extent to make the sure the guests are happy and feel at home. The resort has an excellent fusion restaurant with some of the best food we had in Malaysia, or anywhere for that matter. During our stay, they were in the midst of an expansion with similar theme but would more than double their capacity for guests, and quite possibly for cats also.

bonton_blog.jpg

The blue house to the left, named the Blue Ginger, is the one we stayed in. It is the smallest and least expensive. The dinner above is a Baba Nonya sampler consisting of seven dishes served on a banana leaf.

(Guest blogger)

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