Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mar new Bike :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

[Nov. 2017] Well, we’d thought it was going to be a simple affair, how hard can it be buying a bike for a little girl in a metropolis like Bangkok! Haa haa haa, the truthful answer is, it would have been a really simple thing to do, if only I had listened to your mother in the first place, haa haa haa.

Of course I had to do it the difficult way, decided to go to Decathlon first, oh there were quite a good selection of quality and well designed bikes but the perfect size for Mar were all sold out. Then Mar and I walked next door to Lotus, I really didn’t like the quality at all, and luckily they didn’t have Mar’s size either, lol.

Then to another shop that were selling fold up bikes, tried on a couple of bikes but the were all slightly too big, luckily it was time for lunch, which gave me time to work out where to go next, haa haa haa.

By the time our bellies were full, there were two choices... To go to a professional bike shop that I was certain they wouldn’t carry bikes that would be suited to Mar (and probably going to be quite expensive too), or the better choice, is to go to Worachak area in BKK.

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Worachak area is where I grew up and where my parents still live, it is very famous for many things. Klongtom Market,  you can get anything from mobile phone to gardening equipment, it is also the first in mind place for automotive spare parts for everyone in Thailand. Another thing that this area is well known for is for ‘bicycles’, lol, and this was the place where your mother told me to come in the first place, haa haa haa haa.

I wasn’t sure if any shops would have been opened, as this was a Sunday after all, but there was no harm in trying. We all popped into see your grandparents briefly before walking to the roll of bicycle shops, haa haa haa, most of them were opened. Oh your mother was having a wonderful day, smirking for the remaining of the afternoon, lol.

It took us, well, Mar less than 5 minutes to find the bike she wanted (I didn’t like it, and have tried to suggest a whole bunch of different bikes, haa haa haa, didn’t work though, haa haa haa). Then I saw this folding bike that was in expensive and Matt and I were going to be able to share too!

We walked away with 2 bikes, haa haa haa, Mar was chuffed with her purple bike and wanted to ride it home... haa haa haa.

17 months later :-)

ProgressDear Matt and Mar,

August 2016 was when it all started, 17 months later, from 80 Kgs to 66 Kgs… Daily, weekly, monthly routine had to be changed, the changes were not as difficult as one would imagine, perhaps it was a shallow gradient and a gradual climb, rather than a steep one.

Maintaining the eating plan is pretty much less stressful now, cheat meals is an important tool, could go several weeks without one, then 3 in a single week, haa haa haa, keeping it flexible is the key (no more than 3 a week though, haa haa haa).

At first I’d thought keeping up the gym time was going to be tough, especially with all the travelling (work related), but it turned out to be really simple to keep it up, actually much better than at home. Virtually all hotels have top notch gym, and they all open 24 hours / day, moreover, changing gym all the time keep things pretty fresh and interesting, trying out new/old/ancient machines has been the key.

Lets hope one can keep this up for the next coming 17 months too :-)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Two less wheels :-)

collageDear Matt and Mar,

[Nov. 2017] Finally, finally, finally your mother and I got our act together and managed to clear our schedule and find the time to teach Mar to ride without the training wheels. For Matt, although your mother and I started teaching Matt but it was really Auntie Tip who really got to see him ride without the training wheels, haa haa haa.

My way (got it from YouTube), I needed a gentle slope to let Mar drift down, so that she knew how to balance, then once comfortable it was just a matter of paddling, haa haa haa, oh, it all sounds so simple. And to be honest it was that simple.

Mar rolled down the gentle slope a few times (at Lumpinee Park), then once she had the confidence and the balance it was just a matter of paddling at the end of the roll... of course the first few times she went no more than a few meters using the paddling power, haa haa haa.

Well, the few meters grew to 10, then 12, then 15 meters, but for this first session she was having a difficult time keeping the bicycle straight. Soon the heat was getting too much for all of us, and I was hungry anyway, lol.

The following day we took to another park, Benjakiti park, this time Matt also took his bike and he was having a great time. Mar took a little time to get back into the swing of thing, and soon she was able to ride even longer than yesterday. It was obvious that it was time to get her a new bike (she have had this bike forever), luckily Mar’s birthday was only a few weeks to go, haa haa haa.

The following weekend, whilst your mother was away, I’d decided to let Mar ride from our apartment to D&D, haa haa haa, slight struggling at first, but at the end Mar was brilliant!!! Definitely time for a new bike :-)

Two less wheels to DD-00249


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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mar is Six :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear Matt and Mar,

I am so late with this post, about 3 months late, haa haa haa (sorry).

For Mar’s 6th BD, we had kept it simple again this year, a simple cake at break time at school is all Mar wanted, to see your smile and so happy to be handing out cakes was more than enough for us :-)

Slight issue with one of the cake though, haa haa haa haa haa, my forgetfulness is getting the better of me. One of Mar’s close friend is a vegan, and I had made a promise to myself that there is no way that this little girl will have to eat biscuits or a piece of fruit whilst the rest of her friends were chomping down chocolate cake, that was just not on.

So a day before Mar’s BD, I’d  left the office around noon to catch the BTS and travelled a few stations to Chidlom area. This very specific cake shop must be using some magical power in baking their cake, as just to be on the safe side I had chosen a wonderful looking chocolate cake but it contained no “dairy, egg, nut or gluten”!

I was over the moon, as this was the last piece (made today too), I carried it like I was carrying a newborn baby back to the office, where it was placed at the back of the fridge for safe keeping, while I was closing the fridge’s door I had made a mental note of “do not forget to take this home”!

As I was opening the door to our apartment, of course that was when I had realised the cake was still sitting very pretty back at the office’s fridge... my eyes rolled back so far I could see my own brain kicking itself with a huge boot.

By that time it was late, and my new office needed a key to get in... after some frantic phone calls the kind person was going to leave the key with the building security... Walking back to BTS, catching the BTS, catching motorcycle taxi, pick up the key, pick up the cake and all the way back to the apartment, took almost an hour and a half, but it was done and now I was going to be able to sleep at night, haa haa haa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the evening was the usual small cake just to be shared between the family, by this time I was already in Singapore, getting ready for another meeting the next day, so sorry for not being there in the evening baby :-) ... haa haa haa.

By the time I had arrived, most of the shops were closed, and really wanted to keep things quick and simple… haa haa haa, so 7/11 it was… life of the road :-)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Deepest Sorrow.

Dear Matt and Mar,

Wat Sri Saket-00154The cremation ceremony of our beloved late King Rama 9 was held on the 26th of October 2017, people queued up over nights so that they could joined the ceremony at Sanam Lhuang, where the people would lay the ‘Dok Mai Jan’ (flower made from thin slices of wood, to be placed on the site of cremation).

For the majority of the population, the government’s administration had set up 114 stations around Bangkok for the rest who had chosen to also lay down the flower for our beloved late King. I had totally read the situation wrong (again), I’d thought it would have been a simple task to find one of the 114 station to pay our last respect.

Our first choice was a temple near to your school, so we casually got up (Sunday), had breakfast, started to dress all in black and headed out in the van. In less than 10 minutes we’d arrived at the temple (Wat Yannawa), and we couldn’t believe our eyes. There were 2 queue leading into the temple, one to the East and one to the West. Each queue was about a kilometer long, that is over 1,000 meters of people waiting to get inside the temple. Inside we were overwhelmed with what we saw, all that love for our beloved late King Rama 9.

We’d decided to explore another station, Lumpinee Park, even before we’d reached the site, we could see that the queue was just about as long as the temple’s, so without hesitation we headed off to the 3rd stop, Hua Lum Pong.

By this time your mother had decided that no matter how long the queue was, she was going to jump down and joined the line, and on the surface it looked shorter, so your mother jumped out whilst the rest of us headed home, hoping to come out again in the evening.

By blind destiny, about 5 mins after we had dropped off your mother, my father called, he was telling us that at one of the famous temple near my parents had very little queue. Without second thought I’d made a quick u-turn, called your mother to run to where we had dropped her off.

Once your mother was back in the van, she said the queue was super long but it was hidden underground, lol. So off to Wat Sraket (Golden Mountain) we all went, only to find that the whole surround roads were blocked off to all traffic! Luckily we managed to find a parking spot not too far, to walk to the temple was full of purpose and focus.

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As this one of the main and older temple of BKK, the organiser here was fantastic, absolutely superb and professional, everything ran like a Germany engine. There were two waiting areas, with one feeding into the other (all covered, and away from the hot sun), we were in the first tent for less than 5 minutes, before we were lead into the second even bigger and beautiful decorated tent.

From the second tent we could see the main building where we had to lay down the flower, must have been the whole atmosphere and the environment you two were on your best behaviour :-) In no time we were lead into the building, there was a quick ‘how to’ tutorial. This time we had decided to let you to go by yourself, this is your experience as much as ours, and you two managed it superbly.

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After laying down the flowers, the first thing I did was to call my mother (and father), and told her to put on her skates and come to the temple as soon as possible (they only lived less than 15 minutes (on foot) away). I was prepared for the wait, but only 5 minutes later I found myself picking up the call from my mother, they had jumped onto a tuk-tuk instead of walking. By that time more and more people were arriving, I’d walked them to the main gate close to the 1st tent.

I think it was around 40 minutes later when my mother called again, she had now left the building and was walking towards us... she was very humbled to have this opportunity to say thank you and good bye.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Life on the road :-)

BlueScope travelDear Matt and Mar,

Can’t believe I’d only posted 69 posts in 2017, the lowest since 2008, 9 years ago… haa haa haa. The funny thing is that in 2017 I had taken more photos than ever, lol.

Since I had joined NS BlueScope in the middle of August, since then the amount of travelling had been mind boggling, but all necessary to drive the business forward, that meant a lot of changes personally just to maintain my normal routine.

Keeping to the eating plan have been challenging, too many tempting choices which shouldn’t even be on my plate, somehow found themselves on my plate (in abundance too, haa haa haa). Maintaining the lifting routine have been really easy, many places we stayed have fantastic facility (open 24 hours).

The travelling schedule have not let up now that we are in 2018, just have to be more vigilant with what I put on my plate, haa haa haa haa haa.