Con job massage and pirated Monopoly

Okay, now I have time to work on my Desaru post! I’m in a bimbotic chirpy mood today cos I’m happy for no reason! I can feel my heart smiling. For no reason!!! So I’m going to make lots of exclamation marks today like this!!!!

I’m kidding. Too many exclamation marks are irritating!!!!!!

Plus it’ll be a bit ironic cos the post I’m setting out to write is full of rants. HAHAHA!

Okay nevermind we’ll see how it goes.

We did an impromptu trip to Desaru last weekend. Me and Nanny Wen, the Goonfather and Unker Kell. Well, okay it wasn’t that impromptu. We planned it like two days before.

The road trip was as fun as all our past road trips have been. We had cushions and stuffies this time!

Road trip to Desaru

In the car, Nanny Wen was busy BB-ing away, so I decided to camwhore myself.

But she, being a consummate camwhore and multi-tasker, will abruptly abandon her Blackberry and stick her face into frame, every time her peripheral vision catches sight of a camera about to take a shot, never mind the camera wasn’t planning on capturing her.

That’s why you can only see half her face, cos I was aiming at myself when she stuck her head in! LOL!

We booked rooms at The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort because the Goonfather said it’s the best and biggest in Desaru, being the first resort to be listed in Google.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOOGLE RANKINGS.

Well, okay, maybe it IS the best. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never visited the others. I might never find out.

The first thing that greeted us after we parked at the open-air carpark was Thomas the Train!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Damn cute lah! But we didn’t get to sit in him cos we didn’t sign up for any resort activities.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

My first impression of the resort was okay. It was spacious and the decor was decent and everything was neat and tidy. But I had a feeling it was, like, old and dusty, as if nobody had stepped in the place for a long time.

When we first checked in, we didn’t see anyone else (except the staff lah).

Our room, although large and seemingly clean, smelled old and musty.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

But we had a great view!!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Beyond the swimming pool is the beach.

I took an obligatory camwhore shot on the balcony while Nanny Wen took a moment in the bathroom.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

It was around noon. We were waiting for the boys to settle into their room and then tell us what they wanted to do next. So we went to bed while waiting.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Then we received a call. The Goonfather said he wanted to go to the beach, so we changed into our beach wear!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

HAH. No bikini pics for you!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The pool:

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

We each get a towel card to exchange for towels. If we lose a towel, we have to pay RM50!! Crazy lah daylight robbery. Who wanna steal your lousy towels anyway!

The beach:

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The water was a bit murky cos of the rainy season. But the waves were nice! NO ONE ELSE AT THE BEACH.

We’d only been there for two minutes when it started to drizzle. Hahahaha so loserish.

Nanny Wen and I hid under a shelter while the Goonfather and Unker Kell went to sit at the shore to let the waves hit them. They ended up with pants full of sand.

They finally gave up the beach for some reason and went back to the pool, where the two of them spent 20 minutes showering at the public shower, trying to get rid of all the sand without stripping.

Nanny Wen tried to get a tan but the sun kept alternating with the drizzle.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

You can see the rain clouds gathering!

Another 10 minutes or so and we totally gave up and went back indoors.

It was an epic phail.

Before heading back, though, we made a small detour to the resort’s mini farm, which turned out to be a small chicken coop plus a cage with, like, three bunnies. Hahaha.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

With nothing else to do, we went to the resort spa and booked a two-hour package each, consisting of 1 hour massage and 1 hour scrub.

It was a total rip-off! It was RM180 each but it was so bad I expect them to pay me money to compensate!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Firstly, the massage wasn’t very enjoyable. My masseuse didn’t hit any right spots and she kind of glossed over everywhere quickly. Not only that, because we were in a couple room, the two masseuse kept chatting.

I didn’t mind the chatting because they were speaking in low voices. But at times, she would suddenly concentrate on chatting and STOP MASSAGING for like half a minute! Very unprofessional.

And there was one time she stopped in the middle of massaging my shoulder and disappeared for five minutes.

I don’t think they did a full hour because, very quickly, the massage was over and they started on the scrub.

She said, “I leave the scrub on you for seven minutes to dry, then I’ll come back later to scrub it off.”

The scrub beads were cold and I was shivering the whole time I was waiting, even though covered in blankets.

I estimate that we waited at least 30 minutes before the two of them came back, giggling, to massage the scrub away.

That was done quickly AND THEN WE HAD TO TURN OVER TO DO THE OTHER SIDE.

Once again, they left us shivering with cold for 30 minutes before coming back again, giggling.

It was the most horrible scrub experience in my entire life!! Okay, not that I go to scrubs a lot. I’ve only done it twice in Batam and I think once in Singapore. The Batam one was so awesome I fell asleep.

After the scrub was done, as we were freezing, they slathered ice cold yoghurt all over us (to soothe and moisturise the skin). Nanny Wen and I shrieked in tandem each time the yoghurt splashed onto a sensitive area.

Once our whole body received the yoghurt treatment, we were able to rush to the bathroom to wash off and hopefully get some warmth back into our shivering bones.

THE BATHROOM HAD A DEAD COCKROACH WITH ANTS SURROUNDING IT.

And the shower was a small drizzle when turned to hot. And hot wasn’t even hot. It was warm. The shower was horrible and there was only one bathroom for us to share.

At the end of the ordeal, I didn’t feel relaxed at all. Bah.

We visited a nearby fruit farm after the massage! It somewhat saved the day.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Giant jackfruit!!

But we didn’t get to see the actual farm. I think you have to book a tour for that. We only had access to the store, which sold fruits, tidbits and souvenirs.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

After the visit, I was forced to play Monopoly with the guys at the resort lobby. WHYYYYYYYY?!

The Monopoly set provided by the resort looked pirated!!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

By the time we finished our game, it was, like, 8 pm and time for dinner. We were starving so decided not to drive out to search for food. We went for the BBQ Buffet at the resort’s restaurant.

It cost RM65 per person and the food was bad.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

It looks decent but when you start biting into things, everything is bland. Even the sauces provided are weird.

Only the satay was good. And the satay sauce.

Unker Kell asked, “Can I eat RM65 worth of satay?”

The answer was no, because the satay (only chicken and beef) kept getting snapped up really fast.

And the bread and butter pudding looks like this:

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Small piece of it:

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

You probably think it’s nice because it looks edible in the photo, thanks to my kind photography and the cute dollop of custard on it.

But bread and butter pudding is not supposed to be like that!! You can actually taste the bread, which tastes just like bread straight off the loaf!

Anyway, we tried to fill ourselves with the satay, and then Nanny Wen and I retired to our rooms early while the boys stayed in the lobby to enjoy the complimentary movie at the lounge, played on a dodgy projector screen.

And that was when the real trouble started.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

After staying in the room for an hour, I realised that the tip of my throat was feeling very itchy and irritated, and my eyes were almost watering and feeling strained (like it feels when you have fever fatigue). I thought I was coming down with something because I had only slept two hours the night before, and very little the nights before that.

Two hours later, when it became really uncomfortable and I started sneezing, I realised that I was getting an allergic reaction to the oldness of the room. You can’t see or feel the dust, but my body was reacting to something.

I didn’t think of it earlier because I seldom go to dusty places where the allergy will act up.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

But I finally remembered the time when I was filming at this rented HDB flat. Nobdy had stayed in there for ages, so it was musty and dusty. For weeks, I suffered exactly the same thing I felt that night in Desaru.

I also get it sometimes when spring cleaning for Chinese New Year.

That horrible itch and irritation, fitful sneezing and watery, tired eyes. My lungs also felt irritated from the stale air I was breathing in.

I was planning to blog that night since there was so much time, but feeling the way I felt, I just wanted to curl up and pass out.

Anyway, the night passed. I read myself to sleep.

The three of them went to the the beach the next morning while I slept in, because I don’t like getting a tan. After that, I joined them for breakfast at the same place we had the horrible dinner.

Breakfast was complimentary.

And it was actually edible!

Well, I suppose you can’t go very wrong with toast and eggs!

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

The soft-boiled egg was a bit of a failure but maybe this is how Malaysians eat soft-boiled eggs. I don’t know.

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

BUT I LOVE IT. I love too-cooked soft-boiled eggs!

There was also nasi lemak and it was good.

This was Unker Kell’s original selection:

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort

Nasi lemak with potato wedges and fried egg. No sambal!

When we pointed out the lack of sambal, he was, like, “YAH HOR, HOW COME I DIDN’T TAKE SAMBAL.”

CRAZY GUY.

And that ended our very quick vacation because Unker Kell had to be back in Singapore by noon to attend his grandmother’s birthday party.

We ended up reaching Singapore around 3 pm or 4 pm, delayed because we made a stop at the fruit farm for more fruits and tidbits to bring home, and then at JB for lunch. Haha.

Sky

Anyway, despite the dodginess of the resort, I enjoyed myself because, as always, it’s the company that counts!

30 hours, 11 stops, 1 tireless shopper

Sponsored

If you were to embark on a 30-hour journey around Singapore via a cushy car, where would you go?

I would go shopping!

Shopping

Right. Don’t roll your eyes yet. Hear me out.

Say you’re given this car to drive around Singapore for 30 hours and you can choose to go anywhere and do anything.

Volkswagen New Polo

Any sane girl would go shopping, obviously. That’s what the car is for! It will take me to the less accessible malls in Singapore and carry all my shopping!

Wouldn’t that be a perfect weekend? For a girl, at least.

Sheylara and Minou

I’ve planned my non-stop weekend route at the Volkswagen Singapore New Polo microsite.

30-hour Route

There’s a contest going on, actually! Design the most interesting 30-hour non-stop weekend and win ZoukOut tickets!

Volkswagen New Polo

I don’t know if mine is the most interesting, but it’s something I’d want to do. You can view it in the users’ entries page by clicking my name.

I call my route the Suburban Shopping Escapade, filled with nothing but eating and shopping, at malls I normally don’t go to because they’re inaccessible and the Goonfather would flip if I asked him to drive me around for shopping.

Well, if you’re in the mood for a less bimbotic journey, how about checking out Mr Brown’s route?

Mr Brown, together with Ryan his sidekick, will literally be doing the 30-hour thing this weekend (Nov 21-22).

Mr Brown and Ryan

He will drive the New Polo around Singapore for 30 hours. His route is clearly mapped out on the microsite, so fans will be able to meet him at any of his stops for photographs, autographs, chats and goodie bags!

(Maybe some diehard fans might even tail him the entire journey. Haha.)

Oh, if you catch Mr Brown and Ryan at any of their stops and pose for some photos, your photos might appear on the microsite! Most of his stopovers are at carparks, so you can drive over to meet him. And maybe trade geeky opinions about cars, I don’t know.

Mr Brown's route

Anyway, why not try out the route planner and share your favourite spots in Singapore? It’s really easy to use. Just drag the cute New Polo icons onto specific spots on the Google map provided, then type what you’re going to do there and when you’re done, submit!

Route planner

You will be given a unique URL for your created route.

After you’ve done that, do come back here to share your route. We can talk about cool places to go around Singapore with a cool car!

Click here to step into the New Polo now!

Coconuts, pineapples and otak

[Warning: Very very very long post with mucho mucho pictures.]

Barely a week after our crazy dinner involving 7.5 hours of travelling and only 30 minutes of eating, the Goonfather made me go on another road trip.

But this trip was more interesting because the drive there was as much of an event as the planned activities. This time, we went in a procession! Seven Mazda RX-8s driving to Muar (little town near Malacca) together.

Yeah, I know the picture only has six cars in a row. But see the lonely red car at the opposite side of the carpark? Part of the group, too. I don’t know why the driver (very pretty lady) decided to be the odd one out at this particular rest stop.

Incidentally, she was also very late for the meetup. So the guys, faced with the prospect of a long wait (meeting time was 7 am, she only arrived at 8.30 am), did the only thing guys do in such a situation: admire each other’s car engines.

I will never understand how guys can stand around all day staring at car engines and talking animatedly about them. But then, they will never understand why I need so many pairs of shoes, so I guess we’re even.

Kind of.

I still don’t understand.

Women are more sensible.

They don’t need to stand around a bunch of tubes and cables to have a good conversation and are well-equipped to entertainment themselves anytime, anywhere, under the sun, which was incidentally very glaring, even at 7 am.

Very, very hot day.

When we finally set off, the journey was unexpectedly fun. I had planned to sleep during the drive (which I estimated would take over an hour) because I only had a few hours of sleep the night before.

But entertainment come in the form of a little blue gadget and threw all my sleeping plans out the window.

Each car was equipped with a comms unit, which was how we communicated. Driving single file, the leading cars relayed important information to the cars behind.

“Pothole on the right. Keep left, I repeat, keep left.”

“Clear for overtaking after motorcycle.”

“Big roadkill middle of road. Gross!”

“Major bump coming up. Please slow down.”

“Dead cat on road shoulder left.”

“Someone sing a song or something. I’m bored.”

Unfortunately, most of the conversation came out garbled. I don’t know if it’s because the Goonfather’s unit is lousy. Or the reception is bad at larger ranges. Most of the time, all we heard was “Zzzblppzz raaaar raaar raaar zaza graaaaaaar!” especially when people spoke too fast and too loud.

So I entertained myself by taking pictures through the widescreen.

Here’s our procession. We had five cars in front of us at this time and I managed to get a good view. I had to prop my camera on the dashboard and wait till the road curved so I could see all the cars.

We got to Muar in no time.

First stop (not counting a quick breakfast at a rest stop along the way) was this famous temple supposedly popular with many Singaporeans.

The weather was very, very, very hot. Hotter than before. We took refuge at a coconut stall after we were done with temple activities.

But it was still too hot. I was drenched in sweat by the time we got back to the car. Rare event, because I hardly sweat. Not even when I work out at the gym. The only times I sweat buckets are after one-hour jogs in the open.

I took a photo of my sweat-beaded cleavage because it’s so rare to see so much sweat form there, but the Goonfather says I can’t post that photo up.

Oh, well.

So, we went on to have lunch.

Muar is very quaint. It’s like a giant kampong. The two words I would use to describe Muar are “Green” and “Dusty”. The roads are dusty but everywhere else is green.

The guys found a whole stretch of green near the lunch place to park their cars. Managed to get a picture of all seven cars in a row, yay.

Lunch was at this place called Restoran Merlin.

It’s also supposedly a very famous place popular with Singaporeans, although I’ve never heard of it. There are pictures of Singapore celebrity Zhong Qin eating at the restaurant, as well as newpaper articles, plastered over one wall.

It was very, very crowded. We had to wait for a seat (Well, we did have almost 20 people) and then wait for the food.

I think everyone enjoyed their food, but it was only okay for me considering the hype. Maybe because I was totally not hungry, having had a nasi lemak breakfast only like three hours before.

Back to the cars after a very filling lunch.

And back on the road.

We were driving behind this white RX-8 when the Goonfather pointed out that something was written above the “Mazda”.

Hahaha. Apparently, one of the guys had finger written it when the owner wasn’t looking. Is Muar really so dusty? Or is it the owner never wash car for too long? Haha.

I’ve zoomed in and upped the contrast so you can see the writing.

Hahahaha.

The expedition leader took us to this very ulu place next. After winding through lots of dusty little roads and alleys, we finally came to here.

The general consensus was a resounding “Errrrrr….?”

“Bring us to construction site for what?”

We followed the leader into the madness, past the construction and delapidation and we came to…

Otak!

What a delighful place!

Another famous place. What an educational trip this turned out to be!

There was this old uncle and auntie couple selling frozen otak from their house. I think maybe they’re suppliers, because they didn’t flinch when one of the guys ordered 70 boxes.

Each box is only about the size of my hand, but 70 is still a considerable number. We had to wait for ages for uncle and auntie to pack them up.

And here it is. Phat lewt! OMG.

In contrast, the Goonfather bought this gimpy little bag’s worth. Hahaha.

And then, it was time to head home with our fishy spoils, but first, a petrol stop.

We totally owned the petrol station.

The journey home was nice because I finally managed to get some sleep. But halfway through, we ran into a torrential downpour, which woke me up. And visibility was so bad we had to drive at below 80kmh for a good long time.

But it was a great trip on the whole. Very fun, even though I didn’t know anyone apart from the Goonfather. It was my first time to an outing with his car forum friends. I didn’t talk much to anyone, but they were all nice and friendly people, so it was cool.

We brought a giant pineapple home! The Goonfather was worried about it along the way because it kept rolling about in the boot during the drive home. We kept hearing “klonk!” from the boot.

But it got home nice and safe. Phew.

Afterword: The otak from that funny ulu house is AWESOME, so spicy and fragrant and very chunky meaty. Now I know why that guy bought 70 boxes. I think the Goonfather’s gonna buy 200 boxes the next time we go there. Haha.

I hear there’s gonna be another road trip to other Malaysian locations soon, involving many many more cars. OMG can’t wait. But I’ll need to buy a straw hat or something to keep from being barbequed alive. Maybe a parasol.

Haha.

The dinner that took 8 hours

On Saturday, Porky made the most ridiculous suggestion of the year.

He said, “Let’s go to Malacca for dinner now.” It was six plus in the evening. The drive to Malacca normally takes two to three hours.

More absurdly, everyone said okay (except Elyxia and Uncle Kell, who already had plans).

I was actually looking forward to playing the Wii that night, but the thought of driving to Malacca on a whim thrilled me, so I gamely went along with the plan.

We didn’t drive up right away. Of course. What did you expect? Nanny Wen had to take a shower first. Morte and Wang2 had to drive home from somewhere to grab their passports. There’s always someone who has unfinished business that can’t wait.

By the time we were all set to start our journey from home, it was past seven.

More waiting when we arrived at the Shell petrol station near the Second Link. Morte and Wang2, although they live in the west and are therefore nearer to our meeting point, weren’t there yet.

Next time check:

Arrival at Johor Bahru!

Wen entertained me in the car by mucking aorund with Mushroom (mine) and Penguin (hers).

The last time she left Penguin in our car (remember she’s always forgetting stuff?), we found the two stuffies in a compromising position when we next saw them. She accused Mushroom of raping Penguin (so totally not true). So she made Penguin take revenge by raping Mushroom back.

Crazy.

After she got tired of manipulating the stuffies, she decided it was a great time to study for her coming exams. In the dark.

Crazy.

From JB to Malacca is 200 km. I don’t know how but it took the boys a whole two hours to get there. Maybe because Morte felt the need to take a rest stop when we were only 40 km away from our destination.

Duh?

Next time check:

Arrival at Malacca!

It then took us another 20 minutes to reach Jonker Street (where the food and action is) and another 10 minutes to weave through the crowd and get to the particular spot we wanted to eat at.

IT WAS ALMOST 11 PM BY THE TIME WE STARTED EATING.

You see now how Porky’s suggestion was crazy? And how the rest of us were crazier for taking it up?

We finished eating in half an hour and toyed around with the idea of staying for the night so we could eat bak kut teh in the morning. But it was a no go because the Goonfather and I had stuff to do in the morning.

We left Malacca at 11:30 pm. Took a leisurely rest stop on the halfway point, where we drank stuff to wake ourselves up while Nanny Wen slept in the car.

Last time check:

Home sweet home.

Trip damage:

Petrol – S$45
Highway Toll – S$28
Food (for two) – S$9
Total – S$82

Summary: We spent eighty bucks and eight hours to have a dusty dinner of street hawker fare. (But yummy, of course.)

Totally insane!