leave it all to ME

•15 December, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This post is 1 week outdated – for those of you who already know, either by coincidentally catching it on national TV, or informed by 本尊 to stay glued to your TV – I was honoured enough to be filmed beside famous host Pornsak for the info-ed programme ‘Leave It All To Me’ 《今天我代班》. Credit goes to my boss who bestowed this rare opportunity to me, which I hesitated to take on in the first place. But hell was I glad I did. It was an amazing experience!

The series of show is about the jobs that blue-collared foreigners take on in our sunny Singapore, most of the time because very few locals are willing to work in them. Foreigners who leave their home country to work abroad usually earn more money than they would at home, yet these are the johs that our Singaporeans think are too lowly paid and too challenging. These jobs varies from the unglamourous portable toilet cleaners, to the labourous construction workers, from the smelly horse stable-keepers, to the tough tree fellers. Needless to say, the episode I was featured in was about construction work.

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Take care means tekan right!

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That is the perception that most people have

2 full days of filming, just for a 20mins segment, with the effort of a 9men crew! So much sweat behind every show that airs on tvee!

Catch the whole show here. Leave your comments for me if you have! I hope you enjoy the show.

sawadee-krap BANGKOK

•12 December, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Having travelled Thailand more than 5 times, I’m proud to announce I have yet to officially visited and roam around Bangkok. The only times I set foot on Bangkok were when we were in transit from ChangMai to Phnom Penh, visiting HauKim’s friend Varaphorn at KhaoSan Road, and on our transit from Singapore to Russia, during our Europe trip last year.

This time round, J was there at Bangkok for some affiliate conference and invited me to join on the days after. I gladly accepted. And it being our first overseas trip after donkey asked for dragon’s hand, we thought hey why not try for an overseas engagement photoshoot?!

We actually had a hard time trying to look for a photographer who could fit our dates and our budget! But finally we managed to get FotoInc, the main photographer Jatuporn (nicknamed Aof) is unavailable but offered another of his photographer Kongwat (nicknamed Bom). All the Thais that Aof introduced to me had a nickname! I’m amazed. So looking through Bom’s portfolio on his Facebook page, we were excited to give it a try, and boy, were we so damn pleased and that’s why you read this post. Well, we haven’t received all the photos yet, but I’m sure we won’t be disappointed. Will update again with some photos once we receive it.

So communication happened on Facebook messenger until the day we met Bom and Black who drove us to the bridal gown shop to pick our gown and suit for the photoshoot the next day. They arrived half an hour before our meeting time and yet didn’t rush nor inform us they’ve reached. We felt guilty knowing that since we were just waiting around in our apartment. So the drive didn’t take as long as they have expected it to be. They warned us of delays as there would be Bike-for-Dad event that day and 85 of the roads in Bangkok would be closed.

Bridal shop was at Lad Prao 112, and if I’m not wrong it’s called Finale Wedding Studio. Anyway, we didn’t had to worry a thing, as Bom and Black just took us there and we had our pick. They even have Thai traditional attire! We almost wanted to try them out.

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The next homework for us was to think of the other 2 casual attires for the shoot! So the rest of the day was spent shopping like how any Singaporeans would in Bangkok. Platinum Mall, Central World, you name it, they have it.

The next morning, Bom told us Make Up Artist would come over to our apartment to start the make up with us first! 6am in the morning! Somehow it felt like the real wedding.

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Make up artist Nueng was fabulous in transforming me while keeping my funky personality! She did a great job making J’s 大小眼 equal too!

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Assistant Pal was officially the translator of the day, conversing between us and Bom, she’s a fine young lady, reminded me of the days when I was her age. Without her presence, all of us would be playing a day of charades! ;P

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Bom and team rented a spacious 13seater van for our whole day’s itinerary. And before I forget to mention, we asked if it was possible to borrow an iron and Bom brought it down with him! Pal even helped us ironed our shirts while Nueng worked on dressing us up. Such is the friendly, helpful and hospitable personality of the Thais! In the van, Bom had already prepared a cooler box full of water, Thai isotonic drink SPONSOR, and refreshing towel. He was really well prepared, because the weather was so hot, and we almost suffered from heat exhaustion. Along the way, Nueng and Pal also got us fruits and local flavoured ice cream to cool off! The other good thing about engaging locals when doing an overseas photoshoot was that they are familiar with the local culture and the way there – we had the chance to take photographs at the toyshop, with a motorbike, at a make-shift durian stall, with an ice-cream pushcart – all simply by them asking for a sure-give permission.

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We headed next to Ministry of Defence, Wat Suthat, The Giant Swing, Democracy Monument, the vast green field Sanum Luang, outside of Grand Palace, and finally at Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

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So those interested couples out there, I can hear you asking, so how much did you pay?? Well, I don’t want to spoil the market by broadcasting their price list here. So you could either PM me and I can let you know more about the rates for Dec2015, or you could contact FotoInc directly at info@fotoincstudio.com.

Photo credit for most of the photos goes to BOM. =D

—–

So exactly 60 days after our photoshoot, we finally received the long-awaited parcel from Bangkok! It took so long partly because of the Chinese New Year Public Holiday in Singapore as well. So we received 200 in prints, and the same 200 in DVD as well as a sleek golden USB drive.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of the best:

Jarrod & Hazel (007 of 200)

Along Chinatown at the start of the day.

Jarrod & Hazel (043 of 200)

have some bird’s nest?

Jarrod & Hazel (074 of 200)

Time always stop when we are together..

Jarrod & Hazel (084 of 200)

Look who’s the photographer now!

Jarrod & Hazel (091 of 200)

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Jarrod & Hazel (101 of 200)

Merry go round the giant swing¬

Jarrod & Hazel (102 of 200)

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Jarrod & Hazel (112 of 200)

with the blessings of a thousand buddha

Jarrod & Hazel (116 of 200)

OPPA gangnam style

Jarrod & Hazel (122 of 200)

What’s that you say?

Jarrod & Hazel (125 of 200)

Democracy Monument

Jarrod & Hazel (126 of 200)

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Jarrod & Hazel (133 of 200)

yellow❤

Jarrod & Hazel (134 of 200)

.

Jarrod & Hazel (144 of 200)

Por-por.. tuk-tuk’s coming right behind

Jarrod & Hazel (154 of 200)

Walking blissfully with my hand in yours.

Jarrod & Hazel (169 of 200)

.

Jarrod & Hazel (175 of 200)

The portable flash is genius!

Jarrod & Hazel (200 of 200)

we belong together

Jarrod & Hazel (180 of 200)

pointing at the pointy nose

Jarrod & Hazel (193 of 200)

The next time we are in the train, I hope it would be heading for some destination

Jarrod & Hazel (197 of 200)

The light behind outlines the silhouette of two becoming one.

back to nature at mount OPHIR

•1 November, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I lugged my medium sized backpack to work on Friday, carry what would be our lunch and dinner for the next 2 days. My productivity level for that day could easily be the highest for the month, because I knew I had to leave work on time – to start on our outdoor adventure once again.

I thought I could probably reached JB City Square Mall in an hour’s time from Pasir Panjang but oh boy, was I wrong. I departed at 6pm, but only reached around 9+pm. And that was when I really appreciated the convenience of riding my bike.

There were 5 of us on the self-planned trip – 2 couples and 1 lamppost which is me! But it was all good, because I had the whole spacious back of the rental car to myself! Hohoho. Wenghao rented a Proton Exora 1.6L from Europcar (located at Aman Sari Hotel City Centre) at SGD162, which was pretty decent, considering that is our convenient transport to n from Gunung Ledang. So we set off from Johor at 10pm, and travelled that 202km for about 4 hours, reaching around 2am in the wee morning. The night was spent sleeping in the car and waking up to stiff bodies the next morning. #thingstodowhilewearestillyoung

The next morning we had a slow n relaxed start. We went for breakfast because the national park would only be  open at 8.30am. There was much choice along the road just outside of the national park and we settled for simple fried beehoon with an egg, coupled with fragrant sock-filtered coffee! It was fabulous! What’s more, it’s damn cheap!

We all averaged at 9~11kg for our backpack, with 2 tents, cooking stuffs and water and food. I hope my weak back can survive! We started from Lagenda Trail and there are a total of 7 checkpoints before the summit. Campsite was at checkpoint 4. At first, we were damn garang and told the guide we wanted to scale the summit with full on backpack before returning to campsite to pitch our tent. We thought that might be faster. The guide was taken aback when he heard that and kept recommending that we head to checkpoint 4 to leave our stuffs there and have lunch before we proceed up the summit.

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The map at the national park office to orientate yourself

The journey to the first checkpoint comprises 700 over steps, according to the guides, but on our way down, we counted only 600 odd. I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as you reach checkpoint 1! To CP1, takes about 20 mins.

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Full of energy before the trek!

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Like a pro with the walking sticks!

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Yali's bandage wasn't from this trek, was from her previous motorbike accident.

After rest and drinking up, we marched on!

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OK I was being naughty😛

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Yali trying on my Vaude backpack and agreed that it provided good support!

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The campsite is just after these huge boulders

From base camp to campsite was about 2 hours long. The campsite was another probably 10 mins away from CP4! And we busied ourselves pitching our 4men tents and having our tuna sandwich and biscuits!

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3 girls and a.... tent

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Slacker! With the excuse that he is busy taking shots

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The fishes at the river next to campsite are hungry for bread

After lunch, we started our ascent to the summit at around 1pm. Point to note, don’t forget to pack your motivational food and headlights into your day bag if you are leaving your main backpack at the campsite. Checkpoint 5 was not too far away from the campsite. In less than an hour, we reached. We spent quite a long time over there taking lots of photographer, and admiring nature at its purest! Our guide almost fell asleep.

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Was trying to capture all 5 of them including the guide in their candid poses

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See how strong yiling is! Resting a rock on her arm

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OK we decided we were being too cruel by putting the shrimp out of water

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So we added some water and moss to make it feel at home

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I particularly love the 'selective focus' function on Samsung Note4's camera!

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They said I looked like an imp or pixie!

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Ophir has a KFC atop! Hungry, anyone?

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The new sporty couple!😀

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Wenghao is not tired, just posing for the camera

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And then after KFC was this super steep rockfall with 4 ropeline

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Backstroke 50m GO!

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Superb view!

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At taman bonsai.. but all bonsai are blocked by our huge faces!

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And then the climb up on all these ladders start!

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Like a scene from The Everest

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Finally w3 reached the summit! It's like you are on cloud nine!

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And then it started pouring!

We checked in at the summit ariund 5 plus and did a 360deg video. If I manage to upload it on YouTube I will paste it here! But it was damn hilarious because Yali was perpetually 2 steps slowly and forever not in the frame!

It started pouring really hard, and we were drenched in no time. Raindrops pelted down mercilessly on our backs. Even if the rain was due to the start of the monsoon season, we still put the blame on Andrew, who brought a flask of hard liquor up the mountain. Rumours has it that all food n drinks that we bring up to any Malaysian mountain has to be halal, for fear of angering the Muslim spirits.

Night fell very quickly and we realised we only had 2 headlamps to share amongst 5 of us. The rain was so torrendous that we were sticking our feet into puddles after puddles. A few times, I nearly rolled over my ankle because of the uneven ground, but lucky all was safe. When almost reaching our campsite, we realised we can’t cross the river to get to the other side. Our guide called for help. Another more experienced guide led the way and brought us to bash through unchartered routes and finally cross a fallen log that had been lying across the river. The whole experience was made even more challenging by the fact that half of us was walking in the dark.

We finally reached back our campsite at 8pm and were famished. Luckily for us that Wenghao and Yiling bought chicken nuggets and that Wenghao had his non-stick frying pans. We couldn’t go ahead with our original plan of cooking chicken rice as we had to ration our leftover water since there was no way we were getting our water from the swollen river. We settled on anything as long as it didn’t require water in cooking/heating up – biscuits, muesli, tuna, combat ratio – and cooked instant noodles with the least amount of water possible.

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Cooking in the tents, just like a deja vu from G. Tahan trek

We retreated early, as soon as we finished our dinner. Yali’s sleeping bag which made her backpack very very full n bulky, was our warmth provider throughout the night. Wenghao brought along a Quechua inflatable mat and I think that made Yiling fall in love with him a little more.. heehee

The next morning we had a sumptuous breakfast with our instant noodles and coffee and instant chicken pieces! The river was so calm it was like the rain yesterday didn’t happened at all! See my 康师傅 instant noodles which I got from my Shanghai trip! Heavenly!

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After much tricking, Andrew managed to catch a fish.

We started our descent at 10 in the morning and reached the foot of the mountain around 12.30pm. By then, most of our bags were much lighter with the depleted food and water supplies!

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Welcome back! Congratulations

So the whole trip was very economical!
Car rental (after splitting among 5) : SGD 31.40 each
Guide : RM 123 each
Tent : RM 5O for each tent, so works out to be RM 50 x 2 / 5 = RM 20 each
NS highway tolls and top up petrol : RM 50 each

And the rest was individual expenses. We probably spent more money eating at Kim Gary’s restaurant at City Square Mall. This trek rekindled my passion for outdoor sports and I hope to be able to do them more frequently! 希望我的腰要争气!

urban dictionary: HAZEL

•23 May, 2015 • Leave a Comment

So on a random occasion, J asked me to search what was the meaning behind his name. And the results was just hilarious, because urban dictionary mentioned J’s have huge p***s. HAHA. But to be really honest, the definitions were darn true! And then I moved on to search the meaning behind my name. And guess what it says! Those who know me might agree to probably 75% Of the 8 pointers listed! How accurate!

Urban Dictionary: Hazel.

So before you decide your baby’s name, run a search to see if you would like those qualities on your child. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome 0 or 15 years down the road.

jb 一日游

•25 January, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Having come across numerous blog post and facebook shares about eateries around JB, 2 idiotic couples decided to explore that neighbour state across the Straits of Johore. Having just one Sunday to spare, and wanting to cover as many places as we could, the ambitious me planned to hop to the following places.

This was the itinerary initially planned for the day. We decided to take it slow instead.

This was the itinerary initially planned for the day. We decided to take it slow instead.

A was not able to make it because he had a vessel bunking in today, but he managed to settle the vessel and decided to join us, so we were waiting for him to rendezvous at Woodlands customs. And when he finally was able to join us, we crossed the Malaysian customs, and headed to the taxi stand that was at ground floor beside the bus interchange where buses headed to KSL mall. The taxi company there provided interstate taxi service, and charged fees by zones. We felt we could get it cheaper if the fares were calculated by meter, and so we declined that and went on to flag a blue taxi. Wrong choice. Apparently, blue taxis are more premium than red taxis.

First stop, Thai Bowl Noodle @ Mt Austin branch. So the concept behind this newly opened concept store was that on the floating markets in Thailand, noodles were served in such mouthful portions while the peddler were rowing their stalls on boats on the rivers. Now, the entrepreneur who came up with this idea is riding on consumer’s mentality that one mouth of noodles seem extraordinarily cheap at RM 1.90. But if you think about it objectively, to eat 10 mouthful of noodles, you would have paid RM 19! Not too cheap ya?! They serve a variation of soup or dry, chicken or beef, rice noodles or vermicelli, so have your pick!

Taxi uncle had a hard time trying to locate the address because apparently these streets are newly constructed. Apparently, this water park is also a failure even before it started operation.

Taxi uncle had a hard time trying to locate the address because apparently these streets are newly constructed. Apparently, this water park is also a failure even before it started operation.

Finally, we found you!

Finally, we found you!

Dry chicken spicy and sour rice noodles

Dry chicken spicy and sour rice noodles

Dry beef vermicelli

Dry beef vermicelli

Really one mouth only! =0

Really one mouth only! =0

Glutton of the day - Achievement unlocked!

Glutton of the day – Achievement unlocked!

Next stop, not on our original list, but it looked promising, Gu Zha Bee – Kway Teow Zai. Just a couple of units away from Thai Bowl Noodles. We had kway chap there, and the chap was really fragrant. We waited quite a while to get our orders served, but giving them the benefit of the doubts, there are still getting used to opening their business, so I shan’t harp.

Not for the unadventurous foodie :P

Not for the unadventurous foodie😛

By now, we were really full. Our next stop on the list, a dessert place – Moshi Moshi seemed very far away in the sweltering heat. We had a discussion with our stomachs, and decided to leave Moshi Moshi to our next food trail, if there is.

Flagging down another blue taxi (there were barely any taxi in sight around Mt Austin Heights…), we headed to KSL Mall, where I had my glasses made within 2 hours at RM265, where we sang our hearts out at KBox Plus, where we bought our CNY goodies at the promo atrium! Guess our appetites were not so big afterall to warrant a FOOD trail. Afterall, we were watching our diets..😛 till the next time!

T-rex on the loose at KSL mall

T-rex on the loose at KSL mall

crossing the SWEDISH/SUOMI border

•23 December, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So the plan for today was to travel from Kiruna, Sweden to Rovaniemi, Finland. Since the day I started planning the itinerary, and more intensely yesterday, while we were at ‘civilisation’ at IceHotel, we tried asking the reception for direction, we tried searching online for help on travel forums, on TripAdvisor. But there were limited information on how exactly to get there. Whatever we managed to find online was just stating the route direction, instead of showing weblinks of train providers or bus services with their schedule and prices. The problem we realised about travelling in the Scandenavian countries was also that during winter time, almost all businesses there are perpetually on ‘long leave’. Read about our experience with the car rental company at the airport at Lofoten Islands, Norway (when it is up :P).

So, I thought, I decided to do the Internet a service by sharing our experience on how to get from Kiruna to Rovaniemi. Internet searches return results showing Kiruna – Rovaniemi via Pello, with some accounts from fellow travellers who said it was almost a 45 minutes walk from Swedish Pello to Finnish Pello. But the bus timing shown on Sweden’s Resrobot website did not match our itinerary at all. The alternative route would be the long route down south all the way to Lulea, Tornio, Haparanda, which I ruled out initially because I read that that journey would take 2 days! But I will share with you how we did that route in 1 day.

The most direct route through Pello is shown in blue. But we got to Rovaniemi via the much loooonger route..

The most direct route through Pello is shown in blue. But we got to Rovaniemi via the a much loooonger route..

The plan was to rent a car from Kiruna city and return it at Luleå. With a group of 4 or 5 travelling together, it would be more economical to rent a car from origin to destination, provided they allow return of car intercountry! (Lesson learnt : If you can’t afford the uncertainty during your travel, do your homework before you start your travel! But hey, where is the adventure if everything is planned out swee swee!) The problem is, Avis rental company didn’t allow us to return the car at Finland, because they had nobody to pick it up during this low season. So the furthest we could go was to Luleå. The next shuttle bus from IceHotel to Kiruna City was very far away too, and we couldn’t afford to wait anymore, lest we missed the scheduled bus at Luleå. J and Dad hitched a hike successfully – their first every experience in doing so! They arrived back at IceHotel in a Volvo XC90 to pick the rest of us up. Based on Google map, it was a 337km drive that was 4 hours away, and we would just be in time to catch one of the two bus service (20 and 100) that ply between Luleå and Haparanda, Tornio.

Driving on snowy roads

Driving on snowy roads

The drive took longer than expected because we were taking it slow, driving with caution since we flipped our car before. We reached Luleå busstation after the stipulated bus departure time. And it didn’t help that we had to park the car at the train station, as per Avis’ instructions! Now, how the hell do we get to the train station. Again, J and Dad after dropping us off with all luggages went in search of the train station, while, I tried to search around, looking for help on when the next bus 20 or 100 would leave from the bus interchange. Lucky for us, the bus which we supposedly missed was late, and passengers were waiting for its arrival! Phew~ I let out a sigh of relief! You don’t know how glad I was, I ran back to where E and Mum were, frantically shouting to them to get all our 7 pieces of luggages to the bus berth. At the same time, I was trying to navigate to find out where the train station was, so that I could run in that direction, hoping I would be able to see J and Dad, and motioned for them to come running over. The bus driver was extremely fierce, and said he had to leave immediately, and couldn’t wait for us another second more. And guess what Dad was doing after he parked the car,

He still had time to take picture with the XC90!

He still had time to take picture with the XC90!

I shouted like a lunatic in the quiet streets of Luleå, and I finally managed to get all of us on the bus. The bus ride took two hours odd and ticket per person cost 134 SEK, and they serve drinks and beverages, of course with a charge. Find more about their schedules on Resrobot. With so much rushing, the bus was comfortable enough for us to catch our breath again.

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The bus pulled in on schedule at Haparanda bus station. It was so eerily quiet, that the tourist information was closed, and the automatic doors to the bus station would only open if the sensor sensed somebody wanting to get out from inside. No matter how frantic your actions were, but if you were outside, sorry, the door would not open at all. We almost got ‘locked out’ when all of us went out for a breather, while waiting for our Tornio – Rovaniemi bus. The bus was provided by a Finnish company, and all schedules followed Finnish timing, which was 1 hour later. Search for their schedules on Matkahuolto’s website. The bus cost €17 each, and you aren’t able to pay in SEK or be sure to have enough Euros with you. The buses generally do not work with the ticket reservation system like the trains, so just hang around the departure areas before their scheduled departure time and you would usually be able to get a seat. As of our visit to the Scandinavian countries during December, you don’t expect a lot of tourist to be jostling around with you. It’s usually just you and the cold, not even the locals… Hahaha

To the right of the bus station, there is a IKEA store. Yay, we are in SWEDEN!

To the right of the bus station, there is a IKEA store. Yay, we are in SWEDEN!

So after a long day of mad rush, we finally reached Rovaniemi City Centre, but that’s not all. Because we booked our accommodation at Scandinavian Dreams (highly do not recommend!), which is almost a 30 mins taxi ride (a freaking €43) from the city centre. The bus driver was kind enough to call for a taxi to pick us up while we were waiting in the cold. And we finally rested our tired bodies checking in into the apartment for the night.

project MOONCAKE

•15 September, 2013 • Leave a Comment

People always say “When you are working, time passes in the blink of an eye”. Well I wouldn’t say time flies only when you are working, even when I was studying, I felt time could have slowed down for me. Anyhow, since last year when I attended the mooncake baking course organised and subsidised by my company’s recreational club, till this year when it’s Mid Autumn Festival again, so much have happened. I’ve accomplished more at work (in my opinion), and I’ve changed my job (don’t gasp!).

A few weeks ago, Yali mooted the idea of making our own mooncake (partly because I think she would like to impress her new found boyfriend and his parents. :P) I volunteered ‘my recipe’ that I brought home from last year’s course with Phoon Huat, and we needed one more element to start out Project Mooncake – the oven. You see, both Yali and I didn’t have an oven, and we really wanted to make baked mooncakes on top of snowskin ones. So we approached Grace, who just moved in to her new flat, equipped with an ELLANE oven! And luckily, she agreed to have us over and be part of Project Mooncake.

So we set the date, brainstormed the flavours, decided on the quantity and went over to Phoon Huat for shopping! And in the midst of searching for mooncake, I chanced upon what I call a mooncake ‘recipe book’ online. So apparently, there is this competition called Aspiring Bakers where all cook bloggers will submit their entries for that particular theme, and they had one for Mid Autumn Festival. The link can be found here. I was spoilt for choice, having to choose from 129 entries!

Getting all ready to start Project Mooncake.

Getting all ready to start Project Mooncake.

Flipping through our penned down recipes.

Flipping through our penned down recipes.

Baking requires mathematically skills too, since we had to find out proportionally how much of each ingredient we needed. So, since it was almost a decade ago before we were using manual calculation, we whipped out our calculators to complete the task faster, and more accurately, even up to decimal points (though it was totally pointless as the weighing scale that we were using were in units of 20g!)

For Project Mooncake, we had baked skin (using recipe from Phoon Huat), chocolate snowskin (recipe from Precious Moments) and green tea snowskin. For the fillings, we got ready mix ones from Phoon Huat, mixing white lotus reduced sugar, green tea, red bean, and durian, with a variety of nuts like melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, and roasted almond flakes. It’s all up to your preference and likings.

Red bean paste with melon seed!

Red bean paste with melon seed!

Chocolate snowskin - We thought it would be too sticky or soft, but it turned out perfect!

Chocolate snowskin – We thought it would be too sticky or soft, but it turned out perfect!

We wanted our baked mooncakes to be with egg yolk too! So that was something new I explored too. Been the one responsible for the recipe, I searched the Internet on how to prepare the salted egg yolks before it can be wrapped in the mooncake, and I found this website, which I followed Step #4 for the egg yolk. Our egg yolk was over cooked for our first batch, and so for the second batch, we turned down the heat, and also steamed it for less time, so they looked almost perfect (other than the fact that instead of remaining in a spherical shape, they drooped and became like a semi-sphere.😦 )

All busy with our hands.

All busy with our hands.

Making so many kinds of mooncake all at one time, we needed good time management. So we split the work, some of us prepared the egg yolks, some of us did the dough for the baked skin and left it to sit for a while, and then we did the snowskin, and then back to wrapping the fillings in the baked skin, and sending them to the oven, and then returning back to the snowskin, blah blah blah..

Ta Da! Chocolate snowskin - If you noticed hard enough, you would realise that we didn't had much QC, all our mooncake had different height!

Ta Da! Chocolate snowskin – If you noticed hard enough, you would realise that we didn’t had much QC, all our mooncake had different height!

Brushing the excess flour off the mooncake skini, and sprinkling some water on them before baking to prevent them from cracking.

Brushing the excess flour off the mooncake skini, and sprinkling some water on them before baking to prevent them from cracking.

There they were, browning beautifully in the oven. The browness was determined by the amount of alkaline water.

There they were, browning beautifully in the oven. The browness was determined by the amount of alkaline water.

The first baking would take about 10 minutes, after which we were supposed to brush beaten egg yolk on the surface, before returning them to the oven for another 8 minutes. This step, I was told, was to give the mooncake the glazed look! And apparent it was, because a couple of our mooncakes had the glazed look with patterns of the brush shown!

I suspect the heat was not evenly distrbuted in the oven.

I suspect the heat was not evenly distrbuted in the oven.

I did one in special bunny shape. It was supposed to be rounder, but it fell face-flat, that's why it looked squashed.

I did one in special bunny shape. It was supposed to be rounder, but it fell face-flat, that’s why it looked squashed.

One of the better done ones.

One of the better done ones.

Baking mooncake on our own was such a tiring activity. When I was attending the baking course last year, I just had to listen and follow, but now that we are all on our own, I had to think, to monitor the baking, to make sure things were done right. We spent 7 hours just doing mooncake alone, and it was tiring on our shoulders and neck because we had to bend over most of the time. And the most tiring of them all, was knocking the mooncake out of the moulds. But I’m sure baking is something that gets easier with experience, so when I get an oven in my home, I’m gonna make full use of it (provided I have the time!)

 
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