Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Catsterdam

Cocomama's furry butler, Joop the Cat

There's something about Amsterdam that not a lot of people would know of...no, it doesn't involve Red Light district or the 'coffeeshops'...

Meowwwww...yes, CATS!

In most of my travels, it's hard to see glimpse of cats (not the usual stray cats - home cats) cos lets just face it, you can't bring cats to local parks...But if you just stroll along the quiet street of Singel or even Jordaan, you'll be lucky to bump to these furry friends by the shopfront windows, pawing to say hi or a pressing sideways, aching for pat on the head.

I'm not sure if it's the see through Dutch style windows, but it seems that Amsterdamers are really into cats. For the short duration of 4 days in Amsterdam, I basically saw more than 5 random places that have cats...in my hostel (Cocomama), in a cafe where it just lay lazy on top of tables, in a glasses shop...I mean, if one could just bump to these in short amount of time, just imagine the actual amount of cats here in this quaint city.


This tortie ball was waving at me over and over again...and the funny thing is, I saw her twice. I'm assuming it's a she cos most tortoiseshells are female...just like my Hitam.


Cat eye glasses, anyone?


De Poezenboot - The Catboat.
Got my cat treat souvenir for my cat back home

Cat lovers or not, one just need to get a glimpse of De Poezenboot. It's just a few blocks away from the Centraalstation. This floating meowship was established in 1968 by the late Henriette van Weelde and since then, she has housed over 1,000 stray cats. Entrance is free, but donations are always welcomed.

With so many houseboats around Singel, finding this place can be a little tricky. Just like houses, the houseboats are also numbered (Singel 38G), so after a few search, we finally saw the small sign on the top of the boat.


...ookay, I leave you alone...

Took me about 15 mins to get here, but despite the difficulty navigating and the cold weather, it feels so wonderful getting lost in Amsterdam...its not a big city, so chance you'll probably end up at the same place again...and while you're 'lost', do look up at the many white Amsterdam windows, soak in the calm and serene views of the canals and frail winter trees...try not to breath in much, you'll get high, hahaha!

So, if you're heading to Amsterdam soon, don't forget to look out for these furtastic hidden wonders!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lipton Teh Tarik - its a Malaysian thing!

Lipton Teh Tarik...now you can make it yourself, anytime, everywhere!

It's been more than a week after my recent mini-trip around Europe and to be honest, I am still jet-lagged. Looking back, during my 16 days abroad, one thing drools me up none other Malaysian cuisine.

As much as there are exciting, new foreign cuisine to dish out there while traveling, you can't deny getting homesick. Due to the cold winter in Amsterdam for example, I've been ordering hot tea almost everyday and boy, most cafes here would serve it in a teeny cup...hot water refills at a charge, yikes!

Last Thursday, I was given the chance to sample out Lipton's new Teh Tarik and this is exactly what I've been waiting from Lipton. If you love Teh Tarik with just the right amount of milk and sugar, then you'll love this. Some might opt for the intense tea in teh tarik, but I like mine with less bitter, not so sweet, not so creamy, so this is made for me. I didn't even realize it comes from a powder form, the milk doesn't taste like creamer at all! But just don't take my word for it, try it! Mamak resto still makes the best teh tarik but if the trip doesn't work out for you, at RM13.50 for sachets of 16, this makes a perfect office beverage, lazy homebound day and a great travel-homesick-kit, hehe.


Teh tarik satu!...right from the kitchen.
For that extra bubbles, just do the 'tarik'!



Straight from the luggage!

Planning for a long trip soon? Here's the list of my 'Malaysian cravings':
  1. Instant noodles: My choice would be mini maggi and Ibumie. This is the easiest to bring for travel, even to the toughest customs like Australia. Have no problem bringing this to other parts of Europe as well
  2. Instant drink: Milo 3-in-1 seems to be a popular choice among my traveling friends. Instant drinks have never been in my travel to bring, but I'll definitely put Lipton Teh Tarik in the list.
  3. 'Lauk': Most Muslims would find it difficult to acquire Halal meat and poultry abroad. Brahim's a life saver as well as tempe ikan bilis and serunding daging. Trust me, even if you don't often eat these stuff back home, for some odd reason, you'll crave for it...
And if you happen to meet some new friends while traveling, what better way to further introduce your country with the food you've brought all the way from Malaysia. Makes a great souvenirs and token of friendship. After all, it's a Malaysian thing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Shiny Teeth and Me

2012 resolution - to have Chip Skylark's shiny teeth

HAPPY 2012 y'all? What? It's March already? Whoops...anywho, I would like to wish a happy 2012 to my dear readers. To those who are loyal to Roze Boomerang, thank you for sticking around and to those who just dropped by, welcome aboard.

Looking back, I didn't have much posts in 2011 and I hope it won't be the same with 2012. *giving sheepish smile to the Mayans*.

My 2011 (right) and my 2012 (left). Spot the subtle differences?

Funny that the first post for the 'new year' is about teeth. People would ask me if I have any new year resolution and I would say "no", but if there's one thing that I've been trying to improve this year is that I've been taking extra care of my choppers.

Why teeth? Why now?

Like most Malaysians, our oral hygiene education comes as early as standard 1. Remember the Colgate toothbrush set, the doctor and that big set of teeth display? Not to forget that most of us were told to bring our own cup to rinse and gargle. Upin & Ipin has an episode about dentist coming to school that best describe this nostalgic scenario.

Okay, back to the second highlighted question - why now?



I've learnt my lessons through sicknesses. Soar throat, tonsillolith (google it up, its disgusting!), mild fluorosis, cavities and all things that contribute by not maintaining a good oral hygiene. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I have bad teeth, erm...but if there's one thing I would like to pass on to my children is how important oral hygiene can be, not just for the exterior (teeth) but also to our interior (body) and health as a whole.

Step 1: Floss
Step 2: Brush
Step 3: Gargle

Step 1 > Floss: If there's one thing that the dentist forgot to remind us when we were 7, it is flossing. I'm not sure if we were too young to know the steps of flossing, but now as a 20 something with a crooked wisdom tooth and tooth gaps, I finally noticed how this simple daily step can not only eliminate cavities and tooth stains, but believe it or not, according to my dentist, it's gum problems. Not a surprising fact? Wait for it...gum problems is the no. 1 cause of tooth loss! If you don't want an early start on dentures, floss! Read here for effective flossing steps.

Now why flossing comes before brushing? Tricky question. At first I was hesitant to do this cos I always do the opposite but after googling for answers, I came to a better conclusion that flossing before brushing will open up your gum pockets and get rid of the extra chunks of food before you brush it off. It took me 2 weeks to trust this theory.

Step 2>Brushing: The most basic of all. Since last year, I found love in Systema toothbrush. The smooth, needley bristles had me at hello and thats when I bid goodbye to Oral-Bs. When it come to brushing, I'd opted for Bass technique (below video)

Step 3 > Gargle: This step onwards is pretty much optional, in my opinion. I have tried many mouthwashes out there but I seem to stick to Listerine Cool Mint more than ever.

Step 4 > Polish: This final step is tailormade for me due to mild fluorosis. Fluorosis like a little defect on the enamel. Due to this, my teeth tends to stain easily, especially if I disregard my flossing. My dentist recommended me to use GC Tooth Mousse at least twice a week. It's very much different from normal toothpaste, the mousse comes with fruity flavors and its a milk based. Just squeeze in a pea size on your finger and dab it on the affected tooth area. Wait for about 3 mins, before spitting it out. Best not to rinse or drink any water for the next 15 minutes.


Bass technique - sounds musical eh?

That's about it. I hope this post will be made useful for anyone who's reading this. It's never to late to take extra good care of your teeth. Keep smiling, keep shining :)
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