Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New laptop?

My laptop died on me last week. I was trying to grab the 100 photos for 8 euros promotion by uploading all the photos online and then suddenly the screen went blank. A message popped up saying that Window couldn't restart due to failure in one of the hardwares.

Hubby said the hard drive broke so we bought a new one. Unfortunately it didn't work after replacing the hard drive, and the light was off eventhough it was plugged.

Should I wave fairwell to this 5 years old IBM Thinpad or should I repair it? I'm struggle to come out with a decision. This was my first laptop I bought from US. We ordered it online and it arrived on a fine day while I was sleeping. Hubby installed everything and when I woke up, I got a laptop really to function. It was a wonderful laptop, never had much problem, I had been traveling with it to Malaysia many times.

Hubby suggested me to buy a new one and he started researching online. For me, I prefer to repair this old laptop and pay the minimum. I do not need a super advance laptop, just something to store photos, surf the net and probably use the webcam function from time to time. I do not even watch DVD nor listen to music with it.

It is yet another hard decision to take. I do not even know where to get this repaired.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Learning to be stronger

Aelig was admitted to the hospital on Monday after being diagnosed with the seasonal flu virus attack. She was very weak on Tuesday and refused to eat due to the blocked nose, heavy coughing and difficulty in breathing. She was given oxygen and milk through a tube. It was very hard to see her so lifeless and with two tubes attached to her nose. Thank God she recovered little by little and was discharged on Wednesday evening.

Her admission to the hospital was like adding salt to the wound for me as hubby broke his ankle a week before and is still relying on crutches. Since hubby couldn't drive and only one parent can stay at night to take care of Aelig, I was jiggling between home and the hospital for two days. While fetching and sending hubby home I had to leave Aelig alone in the hospital. She cried hard during our absence until she lost her voice. Each time we arrived we could hear her crying and it hurt us so much that we rushed to her bed to comfort her.

It was so tragic to have a sick baby in the hospital and a husband with crutches. I cried while driving, in the shower, while pumping my milk and while eating. I needed to cry to release all the stress gathered over the weeks after hubby got injured. I felt so helpless and lonely without my family here. Since none of my French family lives here they couldn't provide immediately help. I wished so much that someone could be there to take care of Aelig while I was gone or someone could fetch and send hubby.

I realized this is just the beginning of the challenges in the motherhood. There will still be many hurdle along the way. I need to let go the dependency on family and start to face each bump on the road myself. Looking back, in 2007 when hubby broke his arm, I was forced to drive as my family was here visiting, and eventually I was less afraid when my job needed me to commute long distance everyday. Now with this incident, I got familiar with the CHU Nantes and know where is the emergency room and where to park next time I need to go there again.

During the hard time, I'm learning to be stronger, for myself and for my family.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Moulin Rouge show

While planning for our Paris trip I thought about Moulin Rouge musical show. My friend went to see it once and she highly recommended it. I know there is no chance hubby will bring me there as it is more a tourist stuff, so it was a good occasion to see it with my aunt.

We were worried about the right attire as my aunt didn't have nice dress and high heels with her. Turned out it was not strict at all, while making reservation at Moulin Rouge the salesperson took a look at how we dress and assured us that we could enter without problem. At the end, we entered the show with normal black pants, T-shirt with sweater. I wore a pair of boots but my aunt had a pair of black flat shoes.

We couldn't book the 9pm show so we went for the 11pm. When we arrived at 10.30pm, there were already a long queue. We were told to hand over our camera and coats, which costed us 4 euros to be put in the locker. Everyone was paying the same price, 80 euros per person, if you pay 102 euros it will come with a bottle of champagne for 2 persons. There is no guarantee that the earlier you arrive you are going to get the nearest seats. When we entered the performance hall, some people were sitting on the two sides and people entered after us were slowing filling the middle rows facing the stage.

The cabaret was spectacular. Very Moulin Rouge style with lots of dancers and shinning costumes. Most of the female dancers were topless. The majority of the songs were sang in French, I was glad that I could understand most of them. The highlight of the show for me was the can-can dance, topless dancers were waving their leg with the famous can-can music. The show lasted for about 1 hour 45 minutes.

My aunt was fascinated by the show and she highly appreciated the performance. Well, the goal was to thank her for all her helps during her stay in France. I'm glad she had a memorable last night in France.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Our mission at Louis Vuitton

I don't want to talk about how hubby broke his ankle and created all kind of inconveniences in our life. Instead I want to blog about one of the missions I have in Paris: buying bags at Louis Vuitton.

On the way to Louis Vuitton shop located at Champs Elysee Paris, I got approached by a Chinese, asking if I could help her buy some LV bags. Apparently each Chinese is only allowed to buy one LV bag. I firmly turned her down. It reminded me of my painful experience the second time I was in Paris. Same thing, I was approached by a Chinese woman, she gave me 1300 euros in cash so that I can buy 3 LV bags for her. I believed her story that she has a lot of request from her family but can only buy one so I helped her. Later I realized I took a huge risk, as she could have given me fake cash, and it is a known illegal act as these bags will be sent to China and be produced in mass to be sold in the black market. I was naive and I certainly won't help these people making fake LV bags anymore.

Asians are crazy about LV bags. People pay hundreds or thousands euros just for one bag. When we entered the shop, it was full of Asians. There are a lot of Asian sales persons too. The process was efficient, we were greeted by a sale assistant, she checked the models we wanted then get another person to help us. We wanted to buy two bags for each model but they refused to sell us! Yes, one person can only get one model, as they need to save the rest for other customers.

Why do people want to buy LV bags in France when they can buy those bags in their own country? Well, it is a lot cheaper to buy the bag from France due to the tax return (sales tax is 19.6% in France, but you only get around 12% back and the shop retains the remaining as processing fee). Besides if you buy the bag from your own country chances are the selling price includes import tax from the government. For example, for one of the bag we bought, the selling price was RM5500 in KLCC and 900 euros (about RM4100) in France, an immediate saving of RM1400! With the 12% tax return (108 euros = RM490), the total saving could reach RM1890.

I sent my aunt to the airport and helped her through the tax refund office. She needed to present her passport, her plane ticket (or e-ticket) and the refund form she got from LV shop. The officer stamped the form and I put a copy on the envelope that came with the form and mailed it on the mailbox located just in front of the office.

It was a weird experience to have spend so much money on bags. I felt rich at some point but I was aware that it was not my money that I was spending. The customer service at LV shop is not always courteous as they refuse to sell you bags. Since the Chinese has ruined their reputation by making copies on these bags, the sales persons are on alert and since we are from Chinese origin, the buying process was not as pleasant.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010

No more KFC

On the way back from Le Passage de Gois yesterday, hubby asked if we would like to have some KFC. My aunt objected to the idea initially but I told her I craved for it so we bought a menu of 2 chicken plus 3 wings. She got one piece of chicken and one piece of wing. During the night, she woke up for diarrhea and vomited several times. We think it was due to the KFC, because I got stomach ache as well during the night. I ate some soup after taken in the remaining of KFC so that was why I was not as sick as her. If the situation persists, she will have to French foods since we are visiting family in Brittany for the rest of the week. She leaves for Malaysia on Saturday morning.

No more KFC for me.