Sunday

Light Snowfall

We were heading to ASDA (24 hrs super market) for buying household stuff. Some of the shots that I took on the way...



I used to feel that am very big. But, here in UK, I don't feel so, because I see many are overweight and obese people! May be, fast food joints like the one shown in the above picture could be the reason...


We got down at a dunno-what bus stop and from there it was a 10 minutes walk to the super market. We came across this white flowered bush that looks like snow...



It had started raining. I commented that though it was drizzling, it was quite noisy like a heavy rain... but my friend said that it was a light snowfall...and only after that, I noticed beautiful white micro balls on this black jacket sleeves:)



By the time we came out of ASDA, it was dark and very cold. Then, after few steps I suddenly saw a small white heap and just to confirm that it was snow, I stamped on it!



Up to the bus stop, the path was laced with snow, which looked like light icing decoration:)


Friday

On the Way to Buy Warm Clothing

Through friends, we heard that there was an end of season half-price sale in Matalan, and we could get good deals on coats and jackets. From our place, we took the bus route 289 to Purley. Started taking photos as soon as I got into the bus, despite the odd stare from a passenger:)

At a traffic light, I was attracted by the bright colored container, and I also liked the tag line in it.

Sainsbury's is a supermarket chain like Jusco and Carrefore. Mostly, I would check out this place by this weekend.

Saints and Sinners, what a name for an eatery!

When we reached Matalan, the weather was getting colder.

We managed to buy a knee length woolen coat and a jacket.

Thursday

Croydon Neighborhood

Getting ready to go out is quite troublesome in UK, as I need to be fully geared up with warm clothes. Yet another adjustment we had to make is going out without a car. First day, I found it very difficult to walk especially in the cold weather. Um, must get a car ASAP:)

Well, the temptation to explore the nearby shopping area makes me to ignore this minor discomfort. The roads are narrow, but I find that here the road manners are much better than in KL. They really watch out for the oncoming traffic, before crossing the roads.

This morning, we came across a tram that goes to Wimbledon. Hoping to try the tram ride very soon. The Whitgift shopping mall is about 10 mins brisk walk from our place.

The mall area is cobble stoned, with ample space for relaxing. When we reached there, the weather was gloomy, with dark sky and light drizzle.

  

When we came out of the mall after a couple of hours the sky was clear and beautiful. But, it was still windy and very chill.

 

Then, we passed by the day market which was on the way back home. We picked up a box of juicy strawberries for just 50p (RM2.75/Rs36) and came back.

The strawberries are larger than the imported ones that we used to buy at Cold Storage in KL for RM 30! As it started to drizzle again, we rushed back without exploring further.

Monday

First Glimpse - London

See my first status update in Facebook, after I reached London...

Evidence for my claim...picture taken somewhere in Central London.

Though the yellow shrub is strikingly beautiful, the debris surrounding it is jarring...

Well, I fully agree that distant pastures are greener. Now, I really feel that Kuala Lumpur roads are far cleaner than here^^.

My friend and his family are so hospitable, that I have no words to express my thanks. So, instead of just whining lemme show some good views taken from the place where we stay (my friend's house).

View from the living room...

View from our room...

Will keep you updated, when I see more of the neighborhood.

Sunday

Excess Baggage Discrepancy

After sending cargo to UK and packing things to be taken as checked baggage, we realized that in total we had 12 kg of excess baggage. When I checked the AirAsia D7 flight's excess baggage rates, I thought paying RM 20/kilo was ok. So, instead of trying to remove some of the stuff, we decided to pack up everything.

We had a shock of our life at the baggage check-in counter, when we were asked to pay RM50/kilo! I tried to tell the baggage handler that the Air Asia website quotes only RM20 as the fee. But, that person started telling me that only International excess baggage rates are RM 20, whereas rates on D7 flight to London was RM50. Now, I was speechless. What did they mean by "International rate"? And why is London not considered as International! Before I could open my mouth, the handler advised us to pay first and then go to the customer support counter to discuss about this discrepancy.

With a heavy heart, we paid the full fare and proceeded to the customer service counter with little hope. As expected, the officer at that desk was repeating the same non-sense to me about the "International Vs London" rates. Now, loosing my patience completely, I started raising my voice and demanded if I could show visit their webpage. Also, I asked why would we spend so much on excess baggage when we opt for a cheap fare flight!

First, the customer service officer fiddled with their site to prove me wrong. After several clicks, we reached to the page where I had seen RM20 as the excess baggage fee for London flights. And nowhere was it mentioned that the rates were RM50. Finally, we were taken back to the original check-in counter and were re-funded RM360!

Next time, I guess I should keep hardcopy of rates if I plan to avail any across the counter purchases!

Monday

Last Day at Endah Villa

It has been two years since we moved in to Endah Villa Condominium. We have had a good time in this place. Every morning, I used to take tea in the balcony, which faces the National Stadium at Bukit Jalil. The view from ninth floor is soothing and gives me fresh energy to start the day.

As we were sipping our last cuppa, my husband and I were feeling nostalgic and thought how time flies! It all seems to be like just yesterday, that we had moved in to this place, but now, it is time to say bye to this beautiful place.

 

Throughout our time in Malaysia - Kuching (Sarawak), Serdang UPM (Selangor) and Kuala Lumpur, we have been lucky to have a balcony in our residence. Am not sure if we can get this kind of luxury in UK. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Tuesday

Packing, Disposing, Recycling...

Despite the excitement of moving to a new country, the packing, disposing, sending stuff for recycling seems to be a daunting task. We had a paper plan which seemed to be simple. And, by then we never realized that it could be only at paper level, like some of those crazy project plans that I used to hate. Well, one small consolation is that no one is gonna force me to follow that, ever:)


When we were enquiring around to find best rates for sending cargo overseas, we came to know about surface mail or sea mail service from Pos Malaysia. Well, the deal is quite good, if you don't mind the long duration. For sending 20Kg cargo to UK (food, electrical and electronic items are not allowed) they charge only RM116.60 and it will reach the receiver in a month, depending on the ship's schedule.


Then, the next head ache is, trying to sell fridge, washing machine, car etc., In India, when referring to unusable items, they say that you can get only perichampalam (dates)...Here for stuff that are in good condition and with warranty, the buyers just ask for too low. Going to used goods dealers is even worse, they just want everything for almost free, that I might as well trade in for dates!

Sunday

Eye on Malaysia

Until I went to Melaka a last week, I was not aware that Eye on Malaysia is in Melaka! We saw a signboard indicating directions for Eye on Malaysia, somewhere near Melaka Sentral (Central). First, I thought that it is one of those crazy signboards that can even show directions for International destinations from PJ!

After digging online, now I understand that Eye on Malaysia is relocated from Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur to Melaka! When my parents visited us last year, we went for a ride in that giant wheel, which was painfully slow. Well, that ride was not meant for thrill, but only for viewing the modern skyline of Kuala Lumpur.

I don't think I will get a chance to see Melaka skyline, as there is too much to do before leaving Malaysia.

Thursday

Memories of Birthdays

At the tender age, birthdays were very special and in fact, I would count down. My mom used to tease that we would grow up lil bit on our birthdays!

During school days, BDs were celebrated in class during the 1st hour. No cakes, but the class would sing and clap, which was kinda embarrassing. After this, I used distribute candies to classmates and of course friends would get chocolates as well:) Though the celebration was simple, the level of excitement was quite high. BD was the only day we were allowed to wear color dress instead of the school uniform. And, I used to feel like a princess and at the same time a bit shy, because everybody in school (friends, classmates, juniors and even seniors) would wish or at least smile^^.

I think it was my 14th BD, when I looked at myself, I was shocked and started to cry. Yes, my eyes were swollen because of allergy. How silly!

During my first year in college, as a surprise my friends had passed BD cards to the college president, who called up my name on stage at end of the prayer assembly, wished and presented the cards. I was feeling on top of the world by then:)

Then in the 2nd year of my college, my good friend Sri Devi left a BD card in my project file that was due for submission in 10 days. As I never thanked her for more than a week, she had a suspicion that I had not opened my file for so long and asked me if I had done my project that was due very soon. She was right, I just remembered that I had to revise my essay before submitting it. When I opened the file, there was a pleasant surprise!

Then during my final year in college, the trend of BD celebration had changed, by then it was more private and I celebrated only with friends. The culture is that only the BD girl would spend for the treat.

After marrying, it is different story. For the first few years, we used to go for holidays or plan something special. Then at work, in India they used to pool and celebrate employees BD on last Fridays of the month. It was kinda good.

When my kid came along, my BD was the last thing on my mind, until we came to Kuching, East Malaysia. My friend Shameem, surprised me with a cake! Later we moved to Kula Lumpur (KL), West Malaysia and my friend migrated to UK. Last year, she visited KL during my BD and was staying with us. It felt so good to be wished by a friend early in the morning.

This year, it will be my last BD in Malaysia and again my friends Haan, Mei Guat, Reno and Liew made it so special by having a mini pre-BD celebration at my almost uninhabitable condo (because packing is underway), after a sumptuous farewell dinner at Ahimsa. 

Um, so good that the BD gal is treated:) Thank you for singing, for the cheesecake and the brownies...will be missing you guys

Wednesday

Batu Caves

According to Hindu belief there is a saying that wherever there is a hill, lord Muruga resides. Batu Caves in Kula Lumpur is no exception to this belief. Early Hindu settlers of the 19th century made this beautiful natural limestone hills/caves as the abode of lord Muruga. Now, the 142 foot tall Golden Muruga stands majestically at the foot of the caves.



This is a holy worship place. But, some of the locals (non-Hindus) were treating the place as an exercise spot...so recently, the temple management has put up a notice board to stop this kind of practices.



You need to climb 282 steps to reach the first level of natural caves. And, while hiking up you might feel breathless. But, the cool breeze that welcomes you at this height is so refreshing that you forget the tiredness.



Here, Moolavar or the main deity resides.



Then the second level is an open cave, again Muruga graces here in a different posture.



Thai Pusam festival is celebrated annually in a large scale and it is declared as a public holiday! Even after a couple of weeks after this festival, the devotees throng to this place...



Look at the fantastic bird's eye view of Kuala Lumpur from the top of this hill.



Though going down the stairs is effortless, you need to be careful, as the steps are narrow and high. It is better to climb down in a zigzag fashion to make the descent easier.

Sunday

Next Step

Life has to go on. And, we are taking a big step forward towards our next stage in life. There is excitement, anticipation plus kind of dunno how to describe this feeling. All this while I was so intent about migrating to UK, but, after setting the date, packing and selling stuff seems to intimidating. 

While sorting things, every item reminds me of something and sentimental side of me says to keep it, whereas my so-called common sense urges me to toss it aside...Seems like am on an emotional roller coaster ride. 

When we moved from Chennai, India to Kuching Malaysia in 2002, I had to worry only about packing because my family and friends where there to help me in disposing the things that we didn't want to take with us. Here, in Kuala Lumpur I do have friends, on whom I can fall back for help, but only to certain extent...  

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