So Much in 13 Days!

Hello There… Happy New Year! I hope for everyone to have a better year ahead, with lots of love and funny things. Well, I am back on my little space again. I’d thought it is right about time to updates what 2014 has done to me or me to it .. so far.

To be honest, I’ve no idea where this post is going to bring me, I just miss writing. So here I am. Since I’ve no idea what I’m gonna write, I’m just gonna let it flow okay? So pardon me if this is going to be full of nonsensical crap, just bear with me with just this one post. Wait, or have you already been bearing with me all this while? 🙂

In a blink of an eye, we are done 13 days of 2014. And I’m quite proud to say, I’ve accomplished quite a few things!

One of the thing I did was I started running. Although this year I did not set any resolution for myself, I’ve randomly decided that I should start 2014 being healthy by running and I was aiming to run daily! So I started running daily, without fail until one day I fell on my left knee, right hand and right cheek, to be exact. I did not trip on anything, I fell because for some reason my legs went wobbly and next I was out of control and then I find myself on the rough ground. Now, start imagining that and laugh. It’s okay because I just did thinking about it. Now, I’m taking time to heal that ugly wound. 

P.S. In case you are wondering, I’m still running.

Besides being healthy, I’ve also decide that I should stop procrastinating and start doing something about our wedding. So shopping for my wedding dress while In SG was already in my agenda. I know I can always have my dress in the Netherlands but I do need a shopping partner. Since Jos is not allowed to see my wedding dress until the wedding day, I have no one that I felt close enough to comfortably shop with in NL. So doing this in SG with my BFF gives me a lot more confident. I know she will tell me nothing but the truth.

So, during the last 13 days, I’ve also said YES to the one Dress and am still loving it. I’m very eager to show off my dress but I can’t! I’m sorry. But maybe I can show you another one that I’ve tried and was also in love with.

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So what do you think of this one? I really like how the back flows, so elegant, so glamour. But Ive always dream of a simple dress for my wedding, so although this dress is beautiful but it’s just not me.

The next accomplishment was I’ve also purchase our wedding band! Shopping for wedding band without the Fiancé feels quite weird. I mean, not only do I have to choose my ring, I have to choose his. Jos has claim he is bad with rings, so he had tasked for me to choose the ring for him. in fact he added if he could do without a ring! What!?

Anyway, I’ve chosen a very simple ring for him, white gold Matt finish. I guess man really don’t need a good ring since they won’t appreciate it as much as we do. Surprisingly, the man ring on sales are quite fanciful. Some of them even had diamond on it. I mean seriously, why would I want my man wearing diamonds? Despite me saying I want it simple, the sales lady continues to present me with fanciful rings; diamonds, stripes across, criss cross etc.. So I had to make it obvious, I said, No design, White Gold & Matt finish. Yes, this is how man ring should be. No Bling.. I Forbid! 🙂 

Next big thing I did was legalizing some paperwork for our marriage. It was crazy but I’m glad it’s done. I arrived at MFA thinking all my documents was good, but was told I had to certify I’m single! So I had to shuttle between MFA, ROM and the Dutch embassy for the whole freaking day! And the wait in between almost kill me. In the end, I had to literally beg for the dutch lady at the embassy to have it done on the same day because she’d asked that i return the next day to collect the docs. I told her I will wait doesn’t matter how long it takes. So I sat at the reception and waited. The embassy closes at 5pm sharp. Dutch being Dutch, the documents was ready at 4.55pm! When she called out to me, I feel my face glow with so much happiness! I suspect she feels it too. Repeatedly I said to her, thank you so much! at least 4 times!

So yeah, my accomplishment in 13 days! How was your last 13 days? 🙂

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Exploring Dutch Nature – De Hoge Veluwe

As with most Sundays, we like to take long walks in the Nature. Almost every Sunday morning, Jos would browse through the wander book we have. This book compile all the possible walks within the Netherlands, it entails the routes and also what we expect to see during the walk.

Last Sunday, we had an unusual one. The weather was unusually good, with sunshine most of the time at 16 degree Celsius, just perfect! I had so much fun I must blog about it. Google this : De Hoge Veluwe! Unlike most of these nature walk, this one has an entrance fee but it is well worth it. For EUR8.40 per adult, you get to grab a white bike near the entrance for free and go on exploring the beautiful dutch nature on that bike for the whole day!! How cool is that.? Hearing it is enough to entice you right?

There are two cycling path, 10km & 26km. Jos being Jos, he choose the 26km and cut it by 6km by looking at the map he purchased at the entrance for EUR2.50. So yes, we travelled 20km on the bike which burns my thighs, ass and legs altogether! Still it is all worth it! I can do this over and over again. I cannot express in words how I love living withing these beautiful nature! We don’t have such space in Singapore, so you can imagine why I feel this way.

Being Autumn, it is also the time of the year where beautiful mushrooms grows in the nature. I’ve never come so close to a fairy tale mushroom. Althoug, I’ve blogged about it last Autumn, read it here, Today, seeing it again, I am still enchanted by its beauty. Not just the red ones, also the other colors, brown, white, grey, orange.

This year, there are more mushrooms which we can easily spot even though we are riding on the bike. And the fairytale mushroom looks more radiant and so very cute.

Now the grey ones, they are also beautiful.

Besides the mushroom, the beautiful colors of the autumn leaves continues to amaze me. Although we know the tree will lose all its leaves at the end of fall, but I have to say they die in grace ! 🙂 During the ride, I’ve wanted to stop many times to snap pictures of the colors of Autumn. I managed a few pictures but didn’t think my picture skills gives justice to the actual beauty!

The above picture is the cycling path we ride on. It is hilly at some point and flat at other. Perfect ground for cycling.

After a few times of stopping to snap pictures, I turn into a dare devil, I managed to cycle and take a picture of my man in cycling in front of me! 🙂

Yes I am quite far behind, but i really slowed down so I can hold my iphone steady!

I always love the view of woods like this one, although just brown but I love it. Beautiful isn’t it?

That’s me cycling! Told you I can cycle! 🙂 Oh and by the way, all bicycles comes with a child seat! So if you are bringing along your child, you have no worries! They also provide bikes for smaller children of which I am proud I don’t have to use them. Since I’m short, I was worried I have to use their kid bikes! But I’m good with the adult ones, so proud of myself 🙂

This picture below is another cycling path in the open, also hilly at some point.

Finally, I could not withstand it anymore. I had to add myself in the scenery and have my man take a picture of me, because I love it so much! So here it is:

If you lives in the Netherlands and are wondering where to go in the weekend.. try De Hoge Veluwe! I am very sure you will not regret visiting!

Ciao!

Mustard at its best! Indeed!

Does anyone of you loves Mustard? Well I don’t. I remember finding it disgusting when someone put this brownish almost green paste on their sausages. And when they offer them to me, I would always reject. Because, in my opinion, Mustard just taste weird. I don’t like mustard on anything I eat as a condiment.

I would never have think differently about Mustard if I’ve never been living in the Netherlands. Once when we were having lunch with Nelly & Jan, everyone ordered Mustard Soup but I went for the Mushroom soup. Well, just to be safe, since Mustard doesn’t sound or taste good to me. Okay, I can be boring with food like that. Anyway, in another occasion, when Jos had Mustard Soup & I had Mushroom soup yet again, I decided to take the challenge and sip a spoonful of that yucky green-paste condiment that I dislike. And to my surprise, it was nothing but YUM! I love it so so much that everywhere I go from now, I would be looking out for Mustard Soup (In Dutch: Mosterd Soep)

Today, I was bored. As usual. I decide maybe I should check out the recipe for Mustard Soup, maybe I can surprise Jos when he comes home to a home-cook mustard soup? Maybe, maybe… only maybe. Anyway, I type Mustard Soup Recipe on Google and I must say there are just so many recipes online and they all varies. Some are much more complicated while others are easy and straight forward.

Anyway, I decide I am going to try this one :

Mosterdsoep

3 tablespoons butter
6 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups (1 liter) stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 tablespoons of mustard (zaanse mosterd)
1/2 cup Cream
1 Leek

Optional: Bacon & white wine & chervil

Simply because this have less than 10 items to purchase and the process seems really easy. For the record, I am a super lousy cook. If you like the same recipe.. Here is the link.

The good news is… I realise we have Zaanse Mosterd in the cupboard!!! I wouldn’t even take a second look on this bottle. Looks muddy and strange. It must have lying there for months? Look!!

It must be a sign right? That I have to try making mustard soup all on my own!! But wait…

The bad news is….. I think this bottle of Mustard is expired… look:

Do you also think it’s expired? I think it must have been lying there for years!?

So, I have expired mustard in my cupboard, that means I have to go buy a new bottle. But I want the same mustard from Zaanse since it is suppose to be popularly good.

I have heard a lot about how tasty the Italian Cuisine, French Cuisine even Thai Cuisine or Chinese Cuisine are, but Dutch Cuisine…. not so much. It is kind of sad because I think there are some really nice dishes that these dutchies make. Once I was really addicted to their Pea Soup. It was so good until we start making Pea Soup ourselves. Not that the result was bad, it was still tasty. But the ingredient used to make pea soup is super rich with so much bacon. I feel sick eating so much bacon. because I don’t like to imagine the amount of oily fats I’ve intake in one bowl of soup. As such, from then on… I moved on from Pea Soup (In Dutch : Erwtensoep). But still, everyone should try the Pea Soup, one of the best from the Dutchie Land.

So much for soup today, I shall run to AH now and see if they sell the same Mustard I’m looking for. And if I do find them,, I might make some soup tonight, only maybe… 🙂

Ciao!

Deadly Kisses

One kiss can be so deadly. Okay, maybe not deadly deadly, but yes Kisses can pass contagious illness.

The day I’m back in the lowlands, it is with no doubts, Jos and I exchange kisses when we met. I mean that’s what couple do right? Not forgetting we haven’t seen each other in more than a month! But wait, he is just recovering from a flu a few days ago. So, we were clearly testing our limits. Or I should say, I’m testing my immune systems! Yay! And I was wrong, I’m not so immune to this kind of illness after all. So that deadly kiss quickly elevated to a flu for me. And because I have history of being asthmatic, this evil flu has to make it worst than what Jos had…. I have a very bad asthma attack.

After suffering from somewhat flu-like systems for a few days, which was bearable. Just when I thought it will be over soon, one morning I woke up breathless. Thinking I would be fine just using my regular Ventolin inhaler, I went to work. By noon, I was gasping for oxygen. It was clear, I am all blocked up. I am having an asthma attack and I need to be treated with a stronger medication because that Ventolin Inhaler isn’t helping anymore.

I went home… feel like I’m dying, still gasping for air. You see, In Holland, people don’t go to the clinic for flu and cough. They believe in eating lots of fruits and eating healthy and the body would recover on it’s own. Well, technically that is not wrong. Maybe even a very good approach to not consuming too much medication. But what if, I’m dying to have some oxygen?!

I sent a text to Jos “I can’t breath and I’m having a fever now.”

Quickly Jos called me back, he said he have called the clinic and the first available appointment is tomorrow!

Seriously? My answer was clear “I might be dead by then”

Next thing, Jos called the clinic again. This time, the clinic said,”I would need to speak to the patient herself to determine if she is really so sick that she have to see a doctor.” (wtf? I don’t even speak proper dutch yet!)

Jos said, I’m gonna call them now and put the phone to you, so please speak really sickly so that they will grant an appointment now. I mean…. I don’t have to act! I am really sick! wtf?!

Anyway, the call went through and this time, another lady picked up and said was okay for me to drop by the clinic now! Great! Well, Thank you Ms nurse!

Imagine this – You are out of oxygen, you have to walk to the car, and then when you arrive at the carpark, you have to walk to the clinic about 2 meter away and then at the clinic, you have to speak to the nurse at the counter who will then assess you before allowing assess into the doctor’s clinic. The door to the doctor’s clinic is securely locked.

When I finally struggled with the help of Jos to reach the reception. Jos had to tell the nurse “Look at her!” At that point I was guessing, I think she is asking if I have an appointment and if it is necessary? Anyway… we got through. Within 10 minutes, my name was called and again I walked to the doctor’s room gasping for oxygen.

The kind looking doctor first introduced himself. Not wanting to be rude, I wasn’t listening to his introduction and I don’t freaking remember his name anymore, all i wanted was OXYGEN! Anyway, he listens to my lungs, asked a few question – are you coughing? Yes – Duh! The point I wanna make was, I cannot even talk the normal way I did. I stammer, I cried at some point because I have no oxygen, I need air!

Long story short, I was sent away with some medication and a stronger inhaler (purple in color). Even though I’ve asked if he would give me Nebulizer which is what I would be given when I have an asthma attack back in Singapore. I was told what he gave me will be good enough.

I went home, my dear fiance still supporting me. He put me in bed after I took my medication. I woke up 2 hours later feeling a lot better. I suppose the medication did helped anyway. I woke up 2 hours later, Jos had dinner prepare for me, power soup meal with a delicious slash of beef. I felt well instantly after the power meal. I cannot thank God enough for having Jos. How can one person be so many things? Jos can. He is the love of my life, my best-friend, my maid, my cook, my keeper, my helper, my confidant, my sand-bag (to punch at), my nurse, my interpreter, my everything! Love you muchie!!

So Thank you for reading… I know this post is crap, please forgive me, a sick person trying to express her agony and I am still unwell (I choose to be unwell because I get better treatment :))

Rainbows Season

It is official! I’ve brought with me the rain. While I was still in Singapore, there was crazy thunder storm almost every day. The thunder was ferocious, loud and fierce, I had to hide under my blanket for a good hour. Yes I admit, I’m very very afraid of the thunder. The rain pour was flooding some western part of Singapore, at some point creating water falls within the train stations. But no, there was no Rainbows. Just thunder and lots of rain.

I returned to the Netherlands last week. The flight journey was perfect, there was no turbulence felt literally and I was blessed with having two seats all to myself! So this means I could lie flat on both seats and sleep throughout. I really did. Well, yes, I’m a sleeper, I can sleep anywhere as long as it is time to sleep.

Also watched the Great Gatsby in flight…. super love it! Love the story line, love Leonardo’s acting, he is so good… so good. 🙂

While on our way home from the airport, I was really happy to be greeted with not one but two beautiful dashes of Rainbows. So naturally I asked, has it been raining? We all know, there is no rainbow without the rain, that’s clearly why it’s called Rainbows, duh. The answer was clear, “yes it has been raining, looks like it is the start of the autumn.”

Noooo…. I’m not really done with Summer yet! But oh well, we live with it. Every seasons has it’s beauty right? And this happen to be the Rainbow Seasons… in my opinion at least.

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This morning, yet another rainbow… this time a full rainbow right in front of our balcony… 🙂

Could't zoom out to take the full rainbow, so I took the brighter side :)

Could’t zoom out to take the full rainbow, so I took the brighter side 🙂

Maybe I will see another rainbow tomorrow, I do hope. Since we have to live with the rain, we might as well wish for the rainbow right?

 

Noah’s Ark comes alive in Dordrecht

Have you heard about Noah’s Ark? As a child, I’ve learn about Noah and his ark from the church I went every Sunday. I read the story in the bible, I was reminded frequently when the pastor gives his weekly ministry and when I grew into my teens, I was even made to tell this story to the children attending Sunday school. (Yes, I used to be a Sunday School teacher.) Although I don’t attend churches anymore, this christian story has left a very deep impression in me.

After those childhood years, I was reminded once again when EVAN ALMIGHTY was aired. That was like Noah’s Ark in the 20th century. Funny and quite amazing too.   I enjoyed the movie very much. Have you watch it? Anyway, at that point, I thought, the story about Noah’s Ark just elevated from being a bible story into a movie. Cool!

Evans Almight – Noah’s Ark alike story line.

Even though I’ve not forgotten about, I leave the story of Noah’s Ark as that. And then in Feb year 2012, I moved to the Netherlands for the love of my life. To be honest, until today, I’m still in disbelief that I’ve moved to the Netherlands, Netherlands was never in my mind. Not a place I want to visit before but I made my way here anyway. It still feels so surreal, i can only smile in disbelief.

Anyway, long story short, the point I wanna make is …. I’ve not just moved to Netherlands for the love of my life, I’ve also moved next to my childhood memory that came alive – A Solid Massive, life-sized Noah’s Ark; a story, standing right in front of my eyes. I’ve not stopped being fascinated by it each time our car drove past it.

Noah’s ark (Ark van Noach) in Dordrecht officially open in Dec 2012 (The year I Arrived!). This massive full-scale and functioning Ark was built by a Dutchman (obviously), Mr John Huibers, who apparently claimed to have a vision from God that his country would flood. Many think he is crazy but I think it is quite understandable to be paranoid since the dutch are living in a lowlands with most part of the country lying below sea level. Although the dutch are protected from flood by dams, dikes and natural sand dunes, there is still possibility of flood. And for the record, I’m in high danger because I don’t swim; I sink!

The animals in the Ark – in pairs

A cafe in the Ark.

Oh did I mentioned this ark is fully functioning? Yes, this Dutchman is not building a toy boat, he is in this for real. The size has to be on scale 1:1 and it has to be able to move around like any other boats. How amazing is that? I think this guy is brilliant and awesome. But just recently, there was also news that he has the intention to bring his Ark on a world tour! So does that means no more Noah’s Ark in Dordrecht? Maybe it’s only for a world tour and the Ark will be back to home ground? Apparently, not! John Huibers thinks the people has enough of the ark and it should leave and never return! Aww.. that’s so sad! So having said that, what are you waiting for? Hurry rush down to Dordrecht, the beautiful little town in the Netherlands ! 🙂

I shall end this post with a video about the Ark. Check it out ! You should really visit before it leaves forever!

 

A Surprise in A Surprise

The memory I have of Prague is still vivid. I guess I should pen it down now before the memory wipes out from my puny brain.

Prague is well known for being one of the most romantic city in the world. Walking along Charles Bridge; watching the painters working on their art pieces & couples taking their walk across the bridge surely lights up that romantic atmosphere. Besides, I’m also really enchanted by the way they immaculately preserve it’s ancient beautiful architectures.

On the 2nd day of our trip, we chanced upon a small lovers lock bridge. I remember the last I saw these lock bridge was in Amsterdam, a really small one, like only a few locks. And prior to that, I’ve seen them in Paris and Venice. All these time was with Jos and every time I’m fascinated by the way the lock entangles upon one another. I would always takes tons of pictures. It’s just so nice to see! 🙂

Lover Locks.

Lover Locks Bridge – Prague.

Other than knowing these lock bridge are lovers that lock their love. I’ve no other clue how this is suppose to be.

The other amazing thing I really love is their “Escalator of Death”! Because it is so steep and long, It might send shivers to the weak hearted! 🙂

Escalator of Death!

Escalator of Death!

Oh, and I really love their Sugar Roll especially when it’s baked fresh and piping hot, it is delicious! You have to try them because it is oh so good!

Sugar Roll

Sugar Roll.

I know all of those above doesn’t sound convincing enough to be the surprise I was talking about right? Yes, because those aren’t surprising enough!

On the last day of trip. We woke up, have quick breakfast, run back up and started packing. Yes, we are the last minute sort of person. We like to run after time 🙂 After that, we went off to walk around town to grab one last look and then went back in time to checked out of the hotel but leaving our luggage with the concierge because our flights only leaves at 930pm. So that give us another full day to enjoy the city of Prague again.

Since it is the last few hours in Prague, we had to go back to the place we both love most…. which is none other than the PETHRIN HILL! We bought some food and drinks from the mall to bring along and took a tram giving our sore feet a little rest. I don’t know why but for some reason, the tram ride seems to take like forever. And when we arrive, the queue seems to take forever too! Strange indeed….

Anyway, we survived the wait. Jos was exceptionally happy that day. I recalled he was smiling alot. When we found our spot at the hill, I quickly take my seat on the soft grass and when I turn around, I saw Jos face beaming, kneeling with a ring in his hand. He said “I don’t know when, I don’t know how but will you marry me?”

The first reaction from me was : “Are you joking?” And he looked at me smiling and said “Of course not!” And then the rest I remembered was I kept crying & crying.

Now, allow me to rewind to the past, although past are not to be reprimanded but I need to clear your doubts about why I would cry.

THE PAST

In year 2011, while we were still dating in a long distance relationship, Jos send me a image like this over whatsapp :

Marry me Jess

Ok, now this is very embarassing but I will say it anyway. When I received it, I was almost in tears and ask if he was joking. And because he was busy at work, he did not reply my message. So I assume it was for real! The first thing I did was I send to my BFF and said Jos sent this to me. To cut the long story short, it was indeed a joke. I was so damn upset with him, I feel like I could slaughter him! Well, I didn’t of course. He apologized and that was that.

Over the years while we were dating, I would always tell him which of my friends are getting married and Jos would never get the hint. So I decide I should be direct. I asked him : SO we are not getting married? His answer was always consistent, “You will know when we will get married”. Okay, now I make myself sound so desperate! Although i am not an advocate for marriage, I do believe that is the only way to proof you want that person in your life for as long as you live. And no, I’m in no rush to marry but it just kills me he isn’t even thinking about it! I’m sure all ladies would agree. It’s just a girl thing.

THE END

Now, let’s fast forward to the day he kneel down. I don’t know how long I cried but seems long enough, with him still kneeling and staring at me in anticipation. He asked again: So is that a yes? How can I say no to a boy this sweet? And to top it off, he was the love of my life! I’m totally touched by what he did. Organizing a surprise trip for a proposal! I can still cry writing this down.  And on that day 30th May 13, I fell in love again with the same man. 🙂

The Ring & The Flowers.

The Ring & The Flowers.

And that was it. No wait, that wasn’t it. Next he took out a padlock which has air flown with us from Holland. I suppose you would all guess, we want our lock on that bridge in Prague! I didn’t know the rules before but now I do. We have to inscribed on with the dates and initials with the keys.There are two keys to the lock, we are suppose to throw each of our key in the water as a public statement of our ‘everlasting love’. And so we did.

Here is our LOCK.

Here is our LOCK.

Picture 463

And these are our keys!

This is like the most romantic thing ever that a guy would do for me! I’ve never had that but I have now.

And there we are, happily engaged to be married !

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Signing off, J