01 June 2022

Yeng Keng Cafe at Chulia Street, Penang.

Yeng Keng Hotel - this boutique hotel has 19 rooms and is located in the heart of Georgetown. Sadly, there is no beach nearby (obviously) but not everyone fancies the beach during staycations anyway. 

We were looking for a decent place to celebrate dad's birthday, and the birthday boy himself suggested for some Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe (located next to the hotel). 

I have to say that I was impressed with the environment (wall color etc) although the furnitures were slightly older-feeling. Overall, I love being in the cafe as it gives that some kind of nostalgic feel. It's super old-school but in a good way. 

They are apparently famous for their Hainanese Chicken Chop so of course we had to order that, and some other typical Hainanese foods. We are not Hainanese people so our reviews are purely based on our hokkien tongue okay. Heh.

Hainanese Chicken Chop 
He says: Good. Classic.
She says: Huge portion - def can share between 2 people. I like the "kochabi" it has to a Hainanese chicken chop feel. I would order this again. 

Chicken Pie 
He says: Not so good. 
She says: I have tasted better chicken pie (usually homemade really best kind!)

Hailam Mee
He says: Okay-okay lah. 
She says: Tasted like the usual Hokkien Char (without beehoon) so yummy but nothing extraordinary. 

Inche Kabin 
He says: Ho chiak! 
She says: This is good although certain parts can be quite dry. 

Overall, I loved dining at Yeng Keng Cafe. I love the vibes in there, and definitely will be making another trip there when I crave for a good Chicken Chop. 

Till next makan, bye now. 

05 April 2022

Our Covid-19 Story.

Writing this and uploading them takes a longer time than I had planned, because well you may have guessed it, it was a long "battle" with Miss Rona. But here goes. 

It was the sixth day of Chinese New Year. What an eventful day. 

We (Adrian and I) experienced what felt like a hundred emotions all packed into one mind, body, and soul. I cannot find words to describe it. I also cannot speak for Adrian, because only he knows what was going on in his head - definitely too much was going on, I believe. Heh. 

As the title says it, you have guessed it right.

It all started when Sofia started having a fever at about 5:30pm on Sunday. She had just woken up from her 2-hours noon nap with Alex and they were both in extremely good moods - which was quite rare. 

They looked for food (snacks) but we fed them with chicken and eggs and yes, some CNY snacks after that. They played a while, and then I realized Sofia was slowing down and she went to get her pillow and pacifier - which was odd because usually when she is playing (and snacking), she will not just go get her pillow and pacifier. 

Anyways, she then walked up to me and wanted to sit on my lap. I carried her and when she lay her entire body on me, that was when I felt her body heat. It was hot. She was hot. I quickly got up and fed her with Uphamol and put on a fever patch on her forehead and carried her on the couch. 

She continued to rest on me, and after 30 minutes, I realized that she was not cooling down, so we got 2 small towels, wet them, and put them on her back and neck. Then, we prayed and I sat next to her for about an hour. She fell asleep, and I had the gut feeling that I needed to do the RTK test. 

So, I did.


The first test, it was negative, but I looked at it before the 15 minutes were up so I was not sure if it was accurate. I left the room and came back and saw the second line, although faint it was there. But I was pretty sure that the kit was left there for more than 20 minutes, so that could be an invalid result. 

I took the test again (thankful that we got like 9 boxes in the house hah) and put on a 15-minutes timer and kuai-kuai waited. True enough, the second line appeared, very faintly. This time, I called Adrian into the room and he was like, "Where got the second line!" 

I was like, "It's right there! Very light but can see it"

Now, with my experiences of doing the pregnancy test kits, I know for a fact that a faint line usually (most of the time) means it is positive liau. I was sure that my second RTK test was positive. Adrian was very hesitant, so I took another test - just to be sure. True enough, the faint line appeared. 

To cut the story short, we reached out to some friends and registered with BP Georgetown to get the PCR test done the next day. 

It was 9pm when we decided to do the PCR test, but we have to wait till the next day so no choice. We all wore masks at home and explained to the kids that they also have to wear masks, and surprisingly they were okay with it. Phew. 

BP Georgetown only opens from 11AM-1PM for those who want to do the PCR tests. We got there at about 10:45AM, and already we were behind about 50 people. We could tell that some of them were there to take the PCR tests for traveling purposes. 

We were waiting in line till there were about 25 people left in front of us when Adrian's friend called him and told him that we can go straight inside because we have kids with us. So, we didn't have to wait in line. And we did. We went inside and within 15-minutes, we were done with the PCR tests. 

Adrian went first, then me, then Alex, and then Sofia. The kids cried of course. In all honesty, I was more afraid of the PCR test than the Covid virus itself (in the beginning). Now that we went through the PCR test, it isn't that bad. Not that scary after all. But I accidentally grabbed the person's wrist when she was swabbing my throat. I apologized like ten times I think. I felt bad. Dahlah I high risk. I AM SORRY (AGAIN)!

So, we went home and waited. And at about 5AM, Adrian received a message on WhatsApp and asked me to check mine. We both didn't sleep well that night because of the constant worry and all. It's a lot. 

I opened my PDF file, and it says, "Detected". Ugh. 

Thankfully, the kids and Adrian's report came back, "Not Detected". So that was a big relief for us. We called our parents and they came and picked the kids up. I was immediately isolated in my own room. 

At this point, I became very afraid. I know where my thoughts can go, and the moment when I saw Alex and Sofia walking out of the house, the first thought was, "Is this going to be the last time I get to see them?". 

I had questions replaying in my head that are destructive but I didn't stop it. I even wanted to record videos for Alex and Sofia in case I could not make it. In case I die. It was a scary thought process, and it was making me more miserable than I already was. 

In my head, I was planning to take videos dedicated to everyone that matters to me, and for Alex and Sofia, many videos for every year that they grow older that I don't get to be with them. 

I didn't sleep well that night. Other than the fact that I was having crazy body-ache (felt like I have bruises all over me), and headaches that were just so crazy, I was worried to the max. 

I woke up the next morning (I think it was just day 2 of my quarantine) and decided that I have to stop these thoughts. These are not from God. I will live, and I will pull through this. 

So, I started thinking of what are the things that I want to do after this whole thing is over and what I want to eat and all. Hah. 

I lost some sense of my taste and smell, so eating was not fun. Most (if not all) foods that I eat will end up having this weird bitter taste before I swallow them, so it was hard. But I needed to eat so I can continue taking panadol and have some energy. I also lost a few kgs throughout the quarantine period. I was at 50kg, and now I weighed about 48.5kg. Not a lot but I felt the difference. 

Let me tell you this. When you are in the same room 24/7 for so many days, it is so easy to sloth around. On the second day, I slept most of the time, because of the headache and I hated it. I wanted to get up to work but I could not. My body just won't let me. 

I think one of the hardest things during this quarantine is the fact that I was away from Adrian and the kids. Adrian was in the same house with me, but he was not allowed to come inside my room or speak with me for more than 10-seconds face to face and it was really hard. I mean, like a hug would mean the whole world and make me feel better but nope, we cannot have that. 

Then, I had to watch Alex and Sofia through a screen - doing their daily things and that was unbelievably hard. Being away for 2 days is fine, but 7-10 days? That was crazy hard. I lost count of the number of times I broke down after each call I have with them. 

I don't even want to have long uninterrupted showers or sleeps anymore. I want them, and I want them with me. But there is absolutely nothing I can do because my focus then was to heal and recover so we can all be reunited again. 

The truth is, battling Covid-19 is not just physical. It is a lot on the mental. Many hours during my quarantine period, I failed mentally. I climbed onto my bed, hide under my blanket and mentally just fail. And because of that, I could not do anything. It was hard. Getting out of that paralyzing mental state is crazy hard. 

Every day is a battle between my mind and my mind. Of course, there were days when physically, I needed to lie down on my bed most of the time because of the headaches and blocked nose and all. Whenever my mind wanders to the negative thoughts, I would switch on my Spotify and put on Christian songs and just soak in them. Those songs are everything. 

So, on the last day of my isolation period, Adrian took me to Lam Wah Ee Hospital to get an x-ray done on my lungs. The reason for that trip was because I was still feeling a rather strong sense of breathlessness on my chest and I was not breathing normally. I was scared that I had to be admitted to the hospital and rely on those oxygen things, so I requested that we go get it done right away. I just needed to know if coronavirus got damaged my lungs or not. Heh. 

The result came back all clear but I was given 1-week of mc to rest and recover. It is a post-covid thing and it will take time. We spent another night (after the end of my isolation period) away from the kids to sanitize the room and house and when we were reunited the next morning, it was everything and more. 

I literally felt life coming back into my body. So please do not separate us, ever again. It was pure torture. 

I love my children so much I think I will burst. Heh.

So after like a week, my dad and sister joined the covid club heh. My mom tested negative every day despite being in the same house (room at one point) for a week. 

I worked from home to take care of my two kids during that week, and as we were getting excited to go back to grandparents' place and me to go back office, Adrian pulak tested positive. We suspected that he got the rona from one of his football games. 

So, guess what?

The quarantine life continues and now, all four of us had to be quarantined at home. My MIL flew to KL that very same day when Adrian's test kit showed two lines. Heh. 

It was really difficult to juggle work and making sure the two toddlers stay alive because I was not only juggling my work,  I also had to make sure that the kids do not disturb Adrian when he is at work, which is so so difficult. The kids just want to play with him every time they see him at the table. It was cute but difficult. 

We didn't separate the kids and Adrian, because we finally realized that they should also brave it through together. Sofia was already positive when Adrian was positive, so we just allow Alex to get them too, but he was tested negative day after day. Alex had a fever and some coughing too, but RTK won't show it. 

This is a really unpopular opinion, but we (Adrian and I) think that if someone from the same household is tested positive for Covid, then the rest of the people who live in the same home should also just get it and quarantine and recover together. Of course, if you have high-risk people in the house, then this does not apply to you. 

For us, this is like a 'sooner or later' kind of thing. A lot like chickenpox. And with us, we had to do a total of one 1-month of home quarantine (sort of) because we thought we could avoid getting it. Wrong. It's everywhere now, and it is better to get it as a family, than to 'take turns' and all. Again, many people do not agree with this. Neither did I, until we went through it, and we realized that we should just all get it at the same time. Heh. 

So yeah, I can now safely say that my entire Khoo Family has gotten it except my mom, Sha Lynn, and Alex - although they were all exposed to it when the rest of us were at it. These 3 strong fellows. Heh. 

What a pandemic story this is. 

Till next time, bye now. 

21 March 2022

What Is The Hardest Part About Motherhood?

I was asked this question many times, by different people, and I find it difficult to come out with an answer every single time. 

Surely every different stage of motherhood has its own difficulties, so I struggled to find my answer to this frequently asked question. 

Not until recently, when we realized that we have a few days before Alex officially attends kindergarten. I remember feeling excited when we registered for him last year, but as of this month onwards, that excitement had turned into sadness. I know. So weird right?

Something is wrong with me. But is there really? 

I teared up (in office) when I received a message from his principal (last week I think) - informing me about an orientation for all parents and then it really hit me hard. Then a few days later, I received another text message, asking for Alex's name in Chinese character and I almost lost it. Heh. 

Then, I realized that the hardest part of motherhood for me is letting go, over and over again. It does not matter how big or small the 'letting go' is, it is still as hard.

I know of the importance of letting go. You know so that he gets the chance to grow his own set of wings. Knowing that and actually needing to do it are two completely different things. 

It is by far, the hardest thing I had to do. Childbirth is a peanut in comparison to letting go. 

I also know that this is just me letting him go to school to learn Mandarin (mainly hah) and to get a social life among his peers and all that kid's stuff. But it is also the fact that I am letting him go to an unfamiliar place where he has to handle things on his own. Don't get me wrong - I want him to be independent and all but I have so many what-ifs. 

What if he "forgot" to pee and accidentally peed in his pants, and his peers started to laugh at him? 
What if he gets bullied? He is quite small in size for his age. 
What if no one wants to be his friend? 
What if he needs to cry but I am not there to comfort him?
What if the teacher is being mean to him and he doesn't know how to tell us?
What if he gets scared because he doesn't know anyone there?
What if he doesn't understand the teacher? (his class in Mandarin based)

These what-ifs are enough to make me want to keep him "safe" at home for another year, and another year. Of course, we are not going to do that. But what I am saying here is, the worries are endless. The moment we decided to get pregnant, we already know that the worries are here to stay till they are old and wrinkly and when it is time for us to meet with our Creator. 

But I was not aware that these worries can be overwhelming. That they can make you make stupid decisions. Yes, I have actually thought of postponing another year before sending him to school. Adrian talked sense to me of course heh. 

But now, I need to remind myself that for the rest of my life, I need to learn to "enjoy" letting go, over and over again - because that would be the best gift I can give to him. I cannot "protect" him forever and not allow him to go out there and make lemonades when he gets thrown lemons hah. Or limes, since he is more obsessed with limes than lemons, but you get the point. 

Wow, motherhood is one crazy ride. It comes with tonnes and tonnes of endless emotions. 

I acknowledge that Alex is a much more sensitive person, and I feel the need to protect him more than Sofia, and if I am not careful, that over-protective is going to cause him more harm than good. 

So yes, I finally got my answer. 
The hardest part of motherhood is having to let go, over and over again, and enduring these tiny little heartbreaks. 

"Today is your first day of school and I know that you will have fun and learn so many things out there, Alex. I just know it. I love you, and I always will, for as long as I still breathe. Thank you for kickstarting me in these motherhood things. It's been a ride! Letting you go today to go figure some fun kids-life things on your own heh. Have fun, baby boy, and remember to eat your packed snacks and go to the toilet when your pee-pee wants to come out already not after it comes out okay!"

Till next time, bye now. 

18 March 2022

2D1N Angsana Teluk Bahang, Penang.

 Ever since Angsana Teluk Bahang Hotel, Penang opens up, I have always wanted to have a staycation there, but the price was a bit too high for my staycations budget. Heh. 

There is no budget actually, but unlike me, the husband is way more careful with spending money, especially on staycations. He would rather use the same amount of money to go elsewhere for a real holiday. 

But since staycation is the closest thing to a "safe" holiday now, let's just do some staycations, can? Heh. 

We usually just never consider Angsana Teluk Bahang because to pay at least RM500 per night, we just somehow cannot. Hah. 

Then one day, we got invited to a wedding dinner - guess where? 

Yes, Angsana Teluk Bahang.  If you didn't manage to guess that, then please keep up okay. Hah. 

So, immediately I wanted to know if there are any special rates for wedding attendees but turns out not much of a difference, so we swept those thoughts aside and moved on with life. Hah. 

To cut the story short (because I am not feeling very wordy today), we managed to book 2 connecting rooms (Superior and Deluxe) for my parents and ourselves for the wedding weekend. 

I was super happy because that means I don't have to be away from my children after the wedding ends, and I still get to snuggle with them on their huge (so so huge) King sized bed. 

All rooms at Angsana Teluk Bahang face the sea, so your view will be 100% best. That is probably why they can charge higher than normal hotels I guess.

I love the rooms! Both the Superior and Deluxe ones. The Superior Room comes with a daybed so actually can stay 3 adults. We requested extra blankets and pillows. The Deluxe Room is huge! It comes with a small kitchen area, dining area, and living area. The bed faces the sea, and that was the winning point for me. I love it so much. I lied down on the bed and stared out to the sea for the longest time - just daydreaming and all. 

Oh, Deluxe Room also comes with a balcony! I love having a balcony (and a bathtub - which also got) during staycations. But let's just say we didn't get the chance to use the bathtub (the kids did though) because we had a wedding to attend that night and we all (*ahem* Adrian) obviously drank a bit too much to do anything after the party. Heh. 

Their breakfast spread is average. They didn't taste bad, but not super great also, so for us it's okay-okay. We thought that it was very expensive though. It's about RM64 per adult, a 50% discount for children aged 5 and above. 

Adrian thinks that the hotel itself doesn't give off that nice staycations' feel. Our rooms are quite a walking distance to the main lobby and pool. Their beach is quite dirty, as compared to the hotels along Batu Feringghi. We didn't even want to spend more than 10-minutes on the beach. 

Their kids' pool (although got slides and all) still somehow feels like it is missing some family staycations vibe. I don't know how to actually word it out here. 

But overall, it is highly likely that we will not go back there unless we get a really good offer again. Hah. Or if given free then, of course, we will take it! 

I did not take any photos of the rooms, because after taking videos, I forgot about it and jumped on the bed. It was so nice! 

But yeah, enjoy these videos on Youtube, by yours truly. 

The wedding dinner was held in one of the big ballrooms, and there were like 20 round tables, with only 6 persons per table. The food portion was catered to just 6 persons of course (not sure how they charge per table though) and the food quality was just averagely okay for us. Then again, it is quite tough to find really good and yummy wedding dinners, right? 

I remembered loving the 8-course dinner at G-Hotel during our Food Tasting, but we heard from our guests that the food was pretty bad. I guess when you need to cook for 400 people, things go wrong somewhere. Oh, wells. 

It was still a very fun wedding dinner. I bumped into a lot of friends whom I thought I have forgotten, but good times. We ate, laughed, drank, and laughed some more. It was really a great night out (in) since we stayed in the same hotel. Hah. 

So yeah, another weekend in January came and left. 

Till next staycations, you guys, bye now,