Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hopping mad

Since we brought a car sometime back, "The One" had to bring the car to a car inspection as required and appointed by the car insurance company. We made a call to the company and made the appointment with the lady for a Sunday morning inspection. I remember that "The One" even repeat like 3 times the date and time of the appointment before we hang up the phone.

On the day of the appointment, we got up early to get ready and when we arrive at the place, the lady who answered the door looked so surprised when we told her we had this appointment at this time. She said, "oh no, we don't do appointment on Sundays" We told her who we spoke to (apparently it is HER! whom "The One" spoke to), no matter what we say, she kept insisting, "We don't do testing on Sundays, only if the weather is bad and we had to do it". I am thinking to myself, "HELLO, this is not BAD weather then what is?? People have to make the effort to come in this COLD to make that trip to your place and INSPITE of the fact that we MADE AN APPOINTMENT, to be turned away!" I really feel like strangling her on the spot (usually I'm not violent, trust me). "The One" and I knew we just cant win on this one. We made another appointment and left. Fuming, Fuming, Fuming...

What will you have done?

Cheerios and keep smiling!
With Love from PoohBear

Photo courtesy from

Monday, February 26, 2007

Winter driving in Canada

Since it is still the Chinese lunar New Year (for CNY, this festival is celebrated over 15 days), yesterday (chu ba), "The One" and I went to visit his cousin and this is the first Winter drive on the Highway that "The One" is doing since he came to Canada.

It is definitely a new experience for me, especially driving in the snow, we were moving at around 40-60kmph since everyone is very cautious especially during these times, accidents rate goes up. As the temperature drops in the night, the road freezes and in Canada, they do get 'black ice' (Black ice is dangerous as the road can get very slippery and can cause the car to skid if the driver is driving too fast). Along the way back home, even our wipers were frozen with ice and didn't do a proper job of clearing the flurries on the windscreen. Twice, "The One" and I had to stop (once in a parking area, the other time in a petrol station), get out and remove the ice that formed on the wiper.

Driving has never been a big hazard back home since the only weathers we experienced are sunshine and rain..I did learn quite a bit about Winter driving here, different tires..winter tires (which gives a better grab on the road as compared to All season tires), using anti freezant for your windscreen (so that the flurries will not form ice on them), having a ice scraper and brush in the car is definitely a must too (since the side mirror can have a layer of ice frozen on it, need to scrap that off and that brush to brush off the flurries that gathers on the car when you parked the car in the open) and cars here in Canada, they always have their headlights on, even if its the daytime! Aiyoyo so many things to learn about driving and of course driving very very cautiously on the road is another big driving skill test that needed to be learnt if you live in the 2nd coldest country in the world!

So till the time I can drive, I'm going to enjoy being the passenger while leaving this very 'TOUGH' job to "The One" ;P

Cheerios and Keep smiling!
With Love from PoohBear

Photo courtesy from

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Birthday everyone! (Ren Ri)

Today is the 7th day of the lunar Chinese new year (Chu qi), which is also known as "Ren Ri" which means "Everyone's birthday"

Back home in Singapore (if I'm not wrong in Malaysia too), family and friends will celebrate with a feast of "Yu Sheng" also known as "Lou Hei". Its a dish of pickled ginger, shredded vegetables, lime, raw fish (the main star ingredient as raw fish is 'sheng yu ' in chinese), raw cuttlefish, sometimes there's spicy crackers as well and some sauces. This 'Yu Sheng" dish is to ensure prosperity and good fortune. Everyone will use their chopsticks to mix and toss the ingredients as high as they can while saying all the auspicious words like 'pu pu gao sheng, xin xiang shi cheng, long ma jing shen, nian nian you yu' etc etc. The higher you can toss, the greater the prosperity you will enjoy throughout the year. I always enjoy the fun of mixing especially the tossing and making a mess on the tables! oh and not forgetting who gets to find the first slice of "yu sheng" hahahaha...

Wishing everyone Happy Ren Ri!

Cheerios and keep smiling,
With love from PoohBear

Picture courtesy from:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Canada- obsessive with Environmental issue?

it seems that these days, the politicians in Canada are all obsessed with the Environmental issue...Almost anything that you hear on the political news, you can hear green air act, Kyoto, global warming etc etc. The political parties, the Conservatives, the Liberals..all they do is argue about how much environmental this, environmental that, that they want Canada to do. It does make me wonder, ain't there other issues just as pressing as the environment? Although I do have to applause Canadian for their passion and drive in recycling and educating the young ones on recycling and taking care of their world.

However, other than the environment, what about the health care issues, education issues, immigration employment issues..these are issues that are very close to the heart of the very PEOPLE who make up Canada! How can a country function well without first taking care of its PEOPLE?

It has been so ironical hearing about how Canada is one of the best country in the world to live in, but when you are actually here, you can hear how much dissatisfaction and anger these people felt especially the immigrants (and if you do search through the WHOLE forum, I believe none of these immigrants mention anything with regards to the environment and the work the government did in this area)

Check out one of the forum about views on migrating to Canada:

If a government is remembered only for being successful in one issue yet failed in nine others...that's a sad situation, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kiddo leaving on a jetplane

This morning I woke up early to call my kiddo brother who I thought should be on his way to the airport leaving tonite (Sg timing) for his oversea study in Australia. When I called, he told me he's on the MRT, I was thinking, "huh, on the MRT? no one send you off meh?" He told me "Jie, its TOMORROW MORNING lah!" I was like "oh issit?" hehehe Well, when my jie and I went for our oversea studies, I remembered the flight was in the Nite time ;P We chatted for a while and as usual the 2nd Jie 'nagged' him a bit on some last minute stuffs. We ended the call and in the night time (Canadian timing), I called him back and he was in the car with mom, dad and his best buddy, YQ, who drove them to the airport.

Although I'm not there to 'personally' send him off, it sorta bring back memories and feelings of the time when I send my jie off and when it was my turn to go to Australia for studies. The anxiety, the excitment, the scary feeling of going alone and being totally independent in running your life..but dun worry kiddo, i'm sure you can do it! :)

Kiddo bro always reminded me how the 3 of us were so similar in our choice of school..All 3 of us attended the same primary school (Boon Lay Garden Primary School BLGPS), Secondary School (Boon Lay Secondary School BLSS) which is until the polytechnic that jie and I went to Singapore Poly, while kiddo went to Ngee Ann Poly..after one big round, we all ended up in the same University, RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in Australia hahaha


BLGPS -----> BLSS -----> Different POLYs -----> RMIT

I remembered when I was in school, the teachers and lecturers would often say to me, "oh, so and so is your sister?" and hey, that didn't help much when you have an outstanding sister in the same school with you! hahaha (additional pressure to perform well), I supposed that's why kiddo decided not to go to the same Poly as Jie and I did :P but it was great fun being in the same school, meeting each other during breaks, talking about things which we all can understand (especially when we gossip and 'prewarn' each other about our teachers and lecturers!) hahaha

Time passed so fast that now its kiddo's turn to experience 'real independence' away from home. From all the way up north, jie wish you all the best, study hard, play hard too and enjoy and absorb all the experiences that Australia life provides you with. Anytime that you need someone to listen to your complaints, grumbles, happy news, whatever...we are always here for you ok!

Take care kiddo!

Cheerios and keep smiling!
With Love from Poohbear

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy Chinese New Year!)

Today's the first day of the Chinese New Year (year of the piggie), May we wish both our parents, sisters, bro, bro-in-law, families and friends, Xin Nian Kuai Le, Xin Xiang Shi Cheng, Sheng Ti Jian Kang, Long Ma Jing Shen, Wan Shi Rui Yi, Tian Tian Kai Xin! (thats about all the new year greetings that I can think of for now :))

This morning, I've prepared the red dates, long gan and gingko nuts tea for "The One", a tradition we always observed on the first day of the CNY, Mom used to make it every year on the first day of CNY. It's supposed to mean good luck and a sweet start for the New Year. Since "The One" has to work today, we didnt go visiting, "The One" brought some sweets to share with his colleagues at work.

During this time of the year, the shopping malls usually have Chinese new year events lined up. The other day, "The One" and I went to Scarborough town centre and watched some children dance performances and a Korean Dance performance. The weather is so cold at this time of the year (temp in the -20oC range with the windchill) that both of us ain't willing to go walk about in Chinatown! hahaha, I'm sure in Chinatown, they will have lots of decoratives and Chinese new year goodies sales.

Tonite, we'll have steamboat (its wonderful to have steamboat at this time of the year, to feel your tummy feeling nice and warm from the soup) and we might do some visiting tomorrow...

so thats all for now, take care and have lots of fun!

Cheerios and keep smiling!
With love from PoohBear and "The One"

Pictures courtesy from and

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Chu Xi (Chinese New Year Eve)!

Happy Chinese New Year Eve (Chu Xi)! Time to send the year of Dog, welcome the new year of the Pig, time for spring cleaning and of course the much awaited..Reunion dinner (nian fan)!

Spring cleaning was pretty easy since its just "The One" and I, vacuuming the floor, moping, changing bedsheets (yup yup, this is my favourite among all tasks), cleaning the bathroom, putting nice tablecloth. Thank you mommy for sending the CNY couplets (we hang it up on the wall) the ang baos from daddy and mommy :)))) and everyone in the family who put in something for us in the parcel (I always love receiving parcels from home).

This year Reunion dinner is a simple affair between "The One" and I, initially we planned to have steamboat (tradition we have back home) but since "The One" will be working on the first day of CNY (yeah, its not a holiday here in Canada) we decided to have a meal instead and have steamboat on the first day. Me, made sweet & sour pork, leek with fa cai and shrimp, steam promfret, lotus soup, we had baby clam (a smaller version of the big abalone ;)), some wine and cherries. As I was telling "The One" the meaning of what each of the dishes, in the end, "The One" said, 'eat fish for plentiful, this for aiyah..whatever the meaning, just have, just have" hahaha. In the night time, we called home and wished our parents happy CNY, my little nephew Max, who is 3 years old now, he can even say 'yiyi, happy new year, xin nian kuai le' in his own cute little 3 year old accent :)

Yiyi and Uncle wishes Max and twins, Caden and Zander, kuai
gao chang dao, sheng ti jian kang, tian tian kai xin and guai guai ok!

I do miss CNY back home where its always lots of fun and laughter meeting up with the cousins at granny's place, eating CNY that there are little babies (3 of my sister's (Max, Caden and Zander), 3 from my 2 cousins, (Alston, Aden and Ethan) I'm sure they are such fun to be with. I figure no matter where we are in the world, keeping some tradition at times keeps our culture alive, give us a sense of belonging in this BIG world, how we are brought up and definitely, the happy memories we always cherish..Happy Chu Xi!

Cheerios and keep smiling!
With Love from PoohBear

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is in the air..Happy Valentine's Day

It is that time of that year when love is in the air...this year, Feb 14th St. Valentine's day, "The One" and I had a small, peaceful celebration. We didn't have a big feast outside, instead your humble chef, me, made fried spare rib, mashed potato and creamy mushroom soup (western feast seems to be the way to go when it comes to celebration for us? hehehe)

I also made a DIY magnetic card for "The One". "The One" kept giggling when he read the poem that I wrote (hey, I'm an amateur poet yeah, cant expect too many fanciful words right) although the word 'day' did seems to come up alot in the poem hehehe..didn't occur to me until "The One" read that poem and it sure sound so funny ;)

There u go, the first Valentine's day that "The One" and I spent..
To all the lovers out there (lovers aint just bf-gfs ok, can be anyone you love, friends, family, husband-wife, bro-sis, your children..just basically anyone and everyone you love!), have a wonderful Valentine's day and may all your wishes come trueeeee....)

Cheerios and keep smiling!

With Love from PoohBear

Pictures courtesy from

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to a Dear Sister

I just want to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dearest sister, Grace...

An elder sister who has always doted on her little sister (me!), have a great birthday today. Although, this year I'm not there to celebrate for you, still, for this birthday, your little sister from miles away, sending you lots of love and hope that all your wishes will come true; many happy returns of the day!

Your Birthdate: February 10

You don't just believe in love at first site - you've experienced it.
You develop crushes pretty easily, but keeping your interest is another matter!
You are very prone to love - hate relationships.

Number of True Loves You'll Have: 2

Number of Times You'll Have Your Heart Broken: 2

You are most compatible with people born on the 1st, 10th, 19th, and 28th of the month.

Cheerios and keep smiling!
With Love from PoohBear

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Taste of TRUE Canada Winter

The other day, "The One" and I were out running some errands and decided to drop in the Coffee Time Cafe for some warm beverages. We looked out of the windows and could see people running across the street to the bus stand. Their faces were so RED (look as if 'sun burnt' but it must be the cold air "blasting" on the skin that it felt like 'frost bites'), some of them actually ran into the Coffee Time Cafe to avoid the cold wind, got a hot drink and when they saw their bus arriving, rushed out again to hop onto the bus. Other than the freezing cold, another thing that I absoultely HATE is the static electricity felt every where (on the door knobs, sink taps, sink, laptop, fridge...) and I mean almost everywhere even when "The One" and I touch each other, sometimes we get 'shocked' with this static electric..I got so 'fearful' of these statics that I always try to remember to use a cloth or my tshirt to first 'tap' on those surfaces to 'remove' those nasty static electricity before I proceed to do what I need to! (anyone has a better idea how to 'get rid' of those static electricity???)

Anyway, it seems like the Canada winter has finally showed its true colour to me after a mild start to the season. For the past weeks, temperature in Toronto has been in the -10 to -16oC ranges and with the windchill factors (taking into consideration the wind strength) the temperatures have felt like -23oC to -28oC. In some other parts of Canada, the temperatures with the windchill factors have even gone down to -46oC! BRRRRRR....

Freezing Rain on Tree & Close up on branches
Photos Courtesy of Khalid

Some time back, I read somewhere in a 24Hours magazine that said, "Canada is the second coldest country in the world", makes me wonder where is the coldest country in the world? After a little googling on my favourite search engine Google the answer is...RUSSIA. The average annual temp in Russia is -5.5oC! Verkhoyansk, in north-central Siberia of Russia is the coldest place on the planet.

Hopefully the windchill will pass soon, for if not, I think me, the summer girl is going into hibernation for the coming few days! Hahaha

Cheerios and keep Smiling!
With Love from PoohBear

Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog Day

Feb 2nd is the official "Ground Hog Day". Ground hog (photo on left) is an animal that hibernates in the winter and its emergence from the ground symbolized the arrival of spring. It is said that if the Ground hog emerges from his burrow and 'see his shadow', he will go back to his burrow and stay in for another six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't 'see his shadow', then he will remain outside because he knows spring will arrive early.

Photo courtesy from

There's even a movie with the same name titled 'Groundhog Day' starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Murray played an egocentric TV weatherman, Phil Connors who was send to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney with his producer Rita, (played by MacDowell) and a cameraman, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. In the repetition of that day, he starts to reexamine his life and priorities. Its a pretty humorous and interesting movie but can get a little draggy at time. I'll rate this movie 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

P/S: In reality, there is a famous Groundhog in Punxsutawney known as Punxsutawney Phil who has been predicting the weather for over 120 years! There's even an official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club...

Looking forward to Spring!

Cheerios and keep Smiling!
With Love from PoohBear