The van drive, Kim picked up my parents and younger brother, Roy from Ipoh at 6:30 a.m. today. They reached KL at 8:30 a.m. and we had breakfast at our neighborhood coffee shop before starting our journey.
The traffic was super smooth from KL all the way to the Woodlands Checkpoint. We made toilet stops almost every hourly and the R&R areas were not congested. Toilets were clean and I was pleased as punch 😁
Dirty toilets always spoil my mood and make me nauseated.
Cool treats for the girls at Baskin-Robbins @ one of the R&R areas in Johore.
Everything went smoothly until we reached the Woodlands Checkpoint. It was high drama, well, at least to me.
It is a norm for me to whip out my phone to snap pix at the Customs in every country that I step into. I have not encountered any problem doing it. However, the second I whipped out my phone from my bag and started to take pix, a female ICA officer ran towards me hollering "NO PHOTO TAKING!!!"
Madam ICA Officer: DELETE YOUR PHOTOS IMMEDIATELY!!
Show me your photo album now. Delete all the photos that you took.
(while checking through my phone's photo album)
The manner and tone I was talked to made me feel as if I was a criminal 😣
When I went through my Google Plus photo album just a moment ago, I discovered that the photo had already been auto synchronized from my phone to the photo album. But I ain't posting the photo here lest I get arrested for releasing confidential images of the country's Customs. A rule is still a rule and I shall not break any country's rule.
The next drama was when mum's finger prints could not be read by the scanner. After 20 minutes of failed scanning, I was ordered by the Customs officer to accompany mum to a special room. When we were escorted to the room along with other similar fate travelers, we felt like criminals being escorted into a detention center for interrogation.
Long story short, after over an hour stuck in the Customs, we were finally out, lugging all our heavy luggage and gifts for the babies. Papa was terribly worried when we were still not out from the special room after more than half an hour.
We managed to check into our hotel (Aqueen Hotel at Balestier Road) before 6 p.m., the cut-off time for our booked rooms to be released. We chose this hotel as it is just a few steps away from my brother's apartment.
The room that we got was a shoe box size compact room. Thankfully I had read the reviews on the hotel on how super small the rooms are. I had actually packed all my stuff into a large size luggage bag but changed into a smaller bag at the eleventh hour. Had I used the large size luggage bag, there will be no place to put the bag in our room. Our luggage bags had to be placed behind the door, next to our shoes. 😷
The bathroom is uber compact too but that's quite fine as only Cass and I are sharing the room. Alycia and Sherilyn are sharing another room that is slightly bigger.
Dinner was at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant at Dempsey Hill where our long awaited moment arrived. We met the wonder twins; the super adorable Raezen and Raeanne. Born prematurely, they beat all odds and are now thriving and growing cuter and cheekier by the day.
The babies love being carried. Each time they start crying, I'll be the first to jump at the opportunity to pick them up to give them a good cuddle. I really miss cuddling babies.
Cousins bonding over dinner:
Big brother Ray ordered gigantic crabs, cooked in two styles: sweet and sour and black pepper. The claws are as big as mum's palm.
Look at those gigantic crab claws! This is a real treat that would put any crab lover into a joyous mood.
Scottish Clams steamed with garlic and glass noodles. This dish is filled with all manner of deliciousness-- juicy, fresh and tender meat (and not rubbery) flavored with the natural sweetness of the clam and aroma of the minced garlic and spring onions.
Steamed fish; braised spinach with salted egg and century egg.
Sweet and sour pork and 'choy tarm' vegetable.
Deep fried cereal prawns and braised assorted mushrooms with broccoli.
A multiple occasion celebration: big brother Ray's birthday, niece Raelyne's 6th birthday, early Christmas celebration and Yong family reunion.