Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 5: Shopping for Jewelry

It's in the Chinese tradition for the family to offer the bride some jewelries, especially from the parents. Sometimes it's from generation to generation, from grandmother to mother to daughter to grand daughter. Since I'm not a big fan of jewelry, my family finds it hard to choose a good wedding present for me. Well, they have already chipped in some money for the wedding, and I really don't want them to spend too much. But everybody was telling me that I'm the youngest in the family so there's no more money spend after me.

The translation issue is getting worst. The Embassy of France in Malaysia won't endorse the translated copy from France. They only endorse the translators who have registered with them. That means we might need to do the translation again in Malaysia. To be endorsed by Embassy of Malaysia in France, the document has to be legalised first from the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France.

I managed to drive today. I reminisced the time when I was the driver among friends and was very brave on road. Right now I was too gotten used to the broad roads in US that I'm too scared to drive on tiny little roads in cities in France and some part of Malaysia. Besides, the Malaysian drive on the left hand side with the steering on the right hand side. I always got confused.

Lunch: KFC

Dinner: rice with fried fish, corn soup, fried green leaves...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What is this?

This is what I ate the first day I arrived. New species of seafood.

Day 4: Ear piercing; Weather: Hot

Since most of the wedding accessories come with earrings which require the pierced ears, I decided to have it done today. Most of the girls in Malaysia already done it in their childhood, but I was always not keen on it. Today I was forced to. It was a little bit painful, and I hope the ears won't swollen in the following days.

I spent about 77 euros for a Qi Pao (Chinese traditional cloth), a pair of jeans and 7 tops. It was a nice feeling that I managed to find many clothes I like without paying too much. I went to the Soldes in France and I'm always disappointed. France is considered the country of fashion but I really can't appreciate their tastes.

Foods eaten: Nasi lemak, Yong taufu, cendol, lotus soup, fried fish and fried greenbean.

Day 3: Facial; Weather: Hot; Mood: pissed

Facial is a very important part for the future bride to be, but I'm not very keen on this. It was all arranged by my sister, the appointment, the location. It took 2 hours, I was sleeping most of the time except when she "clean" my face with a tool.

I reserved a bridal photo session. I hate those bargaining, price comparing process. It's wasting time.

Went to the marriage registration office and was told to prepare many stuffs which wasn't shown in their website. The only do this every Thursday so it's really not convenient with our full schedule and trips here and there. When I heard that my FIL paid 52 euros each to translate our marriage cert and birth cert, I was so pissed!!!!! French to English for some certificate, how hard is it, and they are charging an arm and a leg! The worst thing is I still need to go to the French Embassy in Malaysia to get it stamped to justify that it's a correct translation! So piss, I could have done this directly with the Embassy and they will charge only RM66 (around 13 euros). I don't know why my in-laws decided to find a translator in France without telling me, don't they know this is an awefull country to buy services???

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Day 2: Still eating

We spent the morning eating bah kut teh, my hometown speciality of a combination of pork+bone+chinese herbs and the drink is usually some tea. My sister's baby slept on her arm and she has to eat with one hand. RM19 = 4.2 euros for 5 adults and 2 kids as breakfast, I will say that it's pretty cheap! Well, this dish is very filling so we didn't have lunch until the night.

Late morning went to see 2 friends from university. I enjoyed the atmosphere, we just talked about whatever we like and in the language I most familiar. No constant brain running about possible mistake in grammer or feminin masculin errors.

Late afternoon, we went to a Buddhist association, Chi Tzi for a greeting/blessing card for the new year. I was bored but then I'm not a very patient person to listen to religious ceremony. This association has done a lot of good works in poor countries, helping victims of natural disasters in every corner of the world, no matter what religious. Helps should be distributed to whoever need them.

A little fashion show at home. It's the clothes huntings session for ladies before the Chinese New Year. My sister was showing her shopping victories. I was enjoying my time with my nieces and nephews, thinking of evil games for my husband on the wedding day. Our best of the day was to spread a layer of bread with sambal (spicy chili sauce), a layer with wasabi and one more with durian (he hates this fruit). I would love to see his face when he gets to eat this! haha

Dinner ended up in a restaurant with speciality of red wine village chicken. Of course it's yummy!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Arrived home: Day 1

So, I arrived in my belove home!

It's 5.25am (10.25pm French time and 3.25pm Texas time). I had slept for 7 hours and couldn't sleep anymore.

The trip started badly. The train was 50 minutes late due to the snow. My flight was scheduled to take off at 2.30pm, and I was supposed to arrive in the airport at 12.20pm by train. I arrived at 1.10pm instead. But the check in was smoothed bcos I had check in online. Bravo Emirates! No queue and no pain. The security check in was fine, just they confiscated my bottle of mineral water. A guy lost his bottle of perfume, too bad, it must be quite expensive!

I liked the foods with Emirates, they served my favorite fish porridge.

I had 3 hours transit time in Dubai. I had an impression that I was in a refugee camp, bcos there are bunch of people sleeping on the floor! I had never seen this before. Most of them are Arabian guys. I managed to take a nap in the quiet room with a comfortable chair. I think not many people can stand this airport if they are deeply convinced that Arabians are terrorists, there are bunch of them here.

Then, I'm quite confused about the ethicnity in Dubai. The flight attendances consisted of white, yellow and brown. In the duty free shops (open at 1am with crowded customers), most of the cashiers are yellow or brown, I almost thought I'm in Malaysia.

When we almost touched down in Kuala Lumpur, the flight attendance gave me the arrival form to fill eventhough I told her that I'm a Malaysian. At the end she gave forms to all Malaysians. I was convinced that I didn't have to fill the form to enter my own country, and I was right. I just put my passport in a machine and put my thumb in the designated spot, and I was off to go. It's technology area man, should have less paperwork whenever possible.

Food tour is already started and I will post some pictures tomorrow. Got to try a new species of seafood.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Going home

The luggages are done. I'm in the mood to go. Will arrive in Malaysia this Saturday. Hope everything goes well: no late train, no strike, no bad weather preventing the flight from taking off.

à bientôt!

Get paid

Well, I got around 500++ from attending the French class. I don't know it's over how long, but it's probably the month December where I didn't miss a class. 21 hours a week. In January I didn't go much, so don't think will get as much.

My husband said go buy something you have been eager to own. My answer: a job :-)

I think I will give it to my mother, I owed her too much.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How should they call each other

My mother in laws asked me how she should call my parents. I said the same generation, call by their name.

Yesterday on the phone, my mother said they should call each other "aunty and uncle". That's how she call the other in laws. She told me that she would never manage to pronounce the French name.

Already, my parents' name are so difficult to call by the French, I don't know whether they accept to call my parents "aunty uncle", or to be called "aunty uncle".

In this issue my mother in laws has put more efforts, at least she has written down every name in my family (18 peoples) and intend to call them by their name. My mother, she doesn't even want to try.

The cute nephew

It was just 8 months ago, he only managed to say: "Papa, mummy, ..."

Yesterday, he was so talkative that he kept grabbing the phone from my mother. He was so eager to talk to me, still remember how I did exercise with him.

I'm so amazed, the differences are so huge. He managed to speak so well now.
"Koko has gone to or or."= Brother has gone to bed
"Koko hit me. "
"Popo hit me."= grandmother hits me.
"I want to drink neng neng" = I want to drink milk.
"I want to take aeroplane."

I have told my husband to learn Mandarin from my nephew, hopefully he manages to take up some phrases with this young kid.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Busy busy

I have been skipping classes for a while, something I never did when I was in the University. One thing is that the classes are not that interesting, second thing my 5 weeks trip to Malaysia is approaching and there are so many things to coordinate between here and Malaysia

Mainly researching on the places I can bring the guests to, and do all the reservations and questioning. I realised that it must be very hard to be a travel agent, as everybody has their own needs, and they have so many questions that I don't know how to answer.

Questions like these: Where, how to exchange money? What to bring? What to wear? Should we have this vaccin? Where to stay? How to address your family? How do we participate in your wedding? ... Sometimes I don't have the answers so I have to call my family, or the travel agency...

Conclusion: I care more that they will enjoy the trip to Malaysia than my own wedding. Afterall, they come all this way to Malaysia, I have they will feel their money worth. :-)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lost again

I lost my fourth game in the badminton match. But I felt good bcos we played well and my new partner is quite strong. We will make a good team.

At the end of the game, I shaked the hand of one of the girl, and she looked a bit shock. I didn't care bcos I really don't want like kissing people after sport, all those sweats isn't it disgusting? But I have no choice with the second player bcos she approached and kissed me. Yak.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Let it go

I applied for "Assistante Export Import", a course run for 11 months and will have 3 internships including one in a foreign country. I was in the waiting list, then they told me I got accepted.

I was not happy bcos a cruel fact is in front of me: I will be absent for 5 weeks due to my trip to Malaysia, will they accept that?

My husband said there's no way in France you are allowed to be absent from school for so long, his school didn't even let him go for one week when his parents wanted to bring him for vacation.

I went to see the coordinator, and she said no since the beginning. But she will reserve my place for next year.

This is a result of poor planning, my own fault. I don't know why already I put my wedding in Feb, a period where I can't enter University the Sept before bcos in Feb all Universities will start for their second semester already, and then most of the training courses start before Feb.

Basically for this 5 weeks vacations plus wedding, I will waste one school year. Oh what a stupid mistake.

Our bank

As usual my husband took a long time to finally remember to call the bank. And I finally have the courage the call the bank myself. Two persons called for the same purpose, but there's two outcomes.

My experience, I was happy bcos throughout the whole conversations the woman understood me. But, she told me my card wasn't in her system. There's nothing she can do so I need to go to any bank in Nantes to check it out.

From my husband, my card will be working today. They just activated it. They did a maintenance job and my card disappeared from the system. They fixed it already. So it will work.

I don't know what I should feel about it, but the card better work today. I don't like to hear the rejection from my bank again when I pay.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A debit card incident

On Wednesday, the "sales" day where the whole France is crazy about their semi-annual big time sales, I went out to do shopping like every French girls. Since all the shops were crowded, I decided to just do regular grocery shopping.

I got all I wanted and proceeded to the cashier. And then it happened. In front of everybody, my debit card rejected my transaction twice. I have only one debit. So embarrased. The cashier hold all my grocery, and I have to rush to the nearest bank to withdraw money. And it said my card has problem and I need to contact the bank. At the end, my husband came to rescue, but imagine the damage.

Unlike in US, where we can have many credit cards for free, most of the bank services in France cost. So it's not unheard that people only have one card. I know now why people bring their checkbook with them at all times. It's to prevent when your card turn against you and you know for sure you have enough money inside.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Steam inhaler

My mother in-laws taught me how to use this thing. Her equipment isn't that high tech, so we need to boil hot water, and add Balsolene, an oil inside it. Then, I breath through it, the steam really help me breath better, after around 5 minutes, I feel I can breath normally, without the annoying cold.

Friday, January 05, 2007


When the weather turns cold, it's the time for me to get sick. Basically I can't stand the heater. Luckily I brought some medicine with me: Panadol (Tylenol in US) and some Chinese medicines.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Departed

We went to watch "The Departed" tonight. It's a movie produced by Brad Pitt. He bought the right to reproduce this movie in English, as it's origin is in Cantonese called "Internal Affairs".

Here is the English version played by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Here is the Cantonese version played by Andy Lau and Tony Leung.

I just want to say, that Andy Lau and Tony Leung look a lot more handsome. Just my personal opinion.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bonne année Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We had a party in Rennes. Everybody went to shop for food, and prepared them together. At the end, we were so full with the appetizer, that we didn't have much space for the super good taste duck! Sorry, the French don't eat much turkey.