Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Bubble: Burning The Pockets In Zurich!

If you don't already know Zurich recently overtook Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world.  Even The Big Apple stand far far down the list from this city ... if I'm not wrong the last I read was at #47 this year.  How I wish I'm a Singaporean ... the damage wouldn't be that bad!  Currently Singapore stands at the 10th spot as the most expensive cities in the world.

Evidenced by our surprise over the exorbitant prices in Zurich, it is obvious that lo kong never did his homework when he decided to sign-up for the 10th Zurich Marathon.  The original plan for our 2-week trip to Europe was to stay half-half between Paris and London.  11 months after booking our air-tix on Air Asia, our itinerary seemed to have evolved into a tight squeeze with Manchester and Zurich included into the 2-week span. Anyhow, despite it all ... Manchester and Zurich still turned out to be the most laid-back and pleasant part of our holiday.  Notwithstanding the currency exchanges,


We flew in to Zurich from London and started our absorption of the city's awesome sight with a minor road accident.  The cab that we took had a fender-bender with another car.  The BMW had swerved into our path and the ensuing maneuverings, both cars knocked into each other.  Our Turkish cab driver and the driver in the BMW discussed, made calls and completed their procedural forms while we waited ... close to an hour!  Although the cab driver had suggested that we take another cab, we politely declined as we would have to forked out another minimum charge of CHF6.50 (RM22) for the next cab. When we arrive at our hostel, instead of offering us a discount for our time waiting the incongruous cab driver cheekily took our change as his tips!!

We stayed at the quiet Youth Hostel Zurich which was a walking distance to Lake Zurich during our entire visit because it was reasonably-priced and the Zurich Marathon starting line was close-by.  We shared the 4-bed room with ensuite bathroom with Uncle Chew and wife, Auntie Elaine.  It was roomy, comfortable and clean but one must not expect a hotel service.  We were given one towel each to last our entire stay plus we were required to clear and deliver our respective bedsheets and pillow cases to the reception upon check-out.  Thankfully, the room comes with a buffet Swiss breakfast ... it saves alot!  The entire stay costs CHF388.00 which came down to about RM330.00 per night.

Moving around the city was pretty easy with their ever-punctual buses, trams and trains.  On our first day, we took our bus rides for FREE because the bus driver did not accept our money.  Neither was there any machine to pay onboard.  All four of us were dumbfounded!!!!  We soon realised that we had to purchase our tickets at the bus stand before boarding and it is entirely based on personal integrity.  No one to check if you've purchased a tix or if you've purchased the right value.  However be forewarned ... DON'T GET CAUGHT!!!!  It was almost the same as Manchester but they had signages reminding the repercussions when caught.  We don't care if we'll ever encounter a ticket inspection, we bought their 24-hour ticket rides anyway as honesty is more valuable.

During our 4 days in Zurich;

1.  Lo kong ran the marathon with Uncle Chew.

2.  We played with snow on Mount Titlis with Uncle Chew, his family and a friend who is based in Geneva.

3.  We walked the cobblestone streets of Altstadt (Old Town).

4.  We window-shopped around Bahnhofstrasse ... a 1.5km shoppers' paradise as exclusive as Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris.  Keep in mind 'expensive' and you won't buy a thing though we did make away with some handmade Swiss chocolates!

5.  We ate their best bratwurst in town at Sternen Grill that came with Burli bread (take how many you want).  The St. Galler Bratwurst costs CHF7.00 and Special Servelat was cheaper at CHF6.00.

6.  Since we're in Switzerland ... the Swiss fondue was top of my list but I wouldn't fancy trying it again anytime.  It costs CHF31.50 for a single portion which was sufficient to be shared with more than one person.

7.  We ate Swiss Movenpick ice-creams too!  Yum yum and my strongest recommendation ... forget about any other flavours!  Just go for the Swiss Chocolate ... you'll never regret but want more!

8.  Not forgetting, we had Japanese food.  In Switzerland???  Yup, you read right!  Uncle Chew's friend had taken us to his friend's Gigi Sushi Bar Restaurant in Horgen for a sumptious Japanese dinner with an additional dish of 'Pak Chum Kai' that had travelled all the way from Geneva!

Like I said earlier and I feel like repeating again ... I LOVE ZURICH!  Just don't think about the costs and the conversion in currency, it will be a beautiful, peaceful and friendly place to visit with plenty of fresh crisp air to boot!  Unfortunately, bickerings followed us from London to Zurich.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Poem: A Brand New Day!

I am grateful for each new day. If we had missed yesterday, it is our second chance to start a fresh beginning to discover the incredible life that awaits us. Each new day is a magical gift given only to benefit us. It's up to us to be courageous and discover our life's potential.

Copyright © Wenny Yap 2012 All Rights Reserved. This poem may be reproduced with my written consent and the due credit provided.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Bubble: Visiting Old Trafford ...

After 3 nights stay in London, lo kong and I overnight in the Manchester ... the 3rd most visited city in United Kingdom, which is also home to the well-known football clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United. MU is lo kong's favourite football team and it became a must to visit the Old Trafford since we are already on English soil. We took the Virgin Trains which cost £18.00 per person from London Euston Station and arrived in Manchester Piccadilly Station just alittle over 2 hours. The punctuality of all the trains in London and here were very admirable. If we had known that they offered 2FOR1 discount voucher for the Manchester Museum & Stadium Tour, we wouldn't have purchased our tickets online before leaving home. Instead of paying only £15.00, we had forked-out the full price for two!

After checking in to our hotel (the best hotel we've stayed in while in UK), we quickly made our way to the Old Trafford by tram. I know for sure lo kong was very excited about it. It was convenient to get there by tram. Although it was supposed to be a 10-mins walk from the Old Trafford Station to the stadium, we took slightly longer as we had confused our destination with the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. It was wet and cold as we made our way in the right direction to the stadium.

The one hour tour took us on a behind-the-scene look at the home of the world famous football club. A funny tour guide who was full of jokes took us on a front-row view of the whole stadium, going from one section to another, through tunnels and underground areas. We were even brought to the dressing room for the players. We also get to sit in the seats of the home team. There was a lot of exhibits at the museum that we sadly had to miss as it was already towards closing time. The tour is certainly a recommended activity with lots of facts and figures to be digested about MU if you are ever in Manchester. There is a Red Cafe within the grounds but we also had to overlook it in order to browse and shop for souvenirs at their megastore. Here's where lo kong went on a spending spree again!

Lo kong bought a black 2011 jacket that was on offer for £20.00, a beanie £12.00, a retro bar scarf £11.00, a color-crested pen set that was on discount for £8.00, some keychains, pins and fridge-magnets. He also bought a MU T'shirt £18.00 for Nick back home. We were lucky to have taken a second look at our receipt as we had been mistakenly charged for an item we did not purchased as well as an overcharge on one of our purchases. Thankfully, they were very quick to entertain the refund without any hesitations.

Though the city centre was busy, it wasn't as hectic as London and was really easy to get around. However, as pedestrians you will need to keep an alert eye for the oncoming trams whenever crossing the streets. We had a free and easy morning around the city centre, going about at our own pace. I managed a fair bit of my own shopping at Primark, a clothes retailing chain from Ireland where the prices seemed to be cheaper than Marks & Spencers. Quality-wise I did not spot any differences. I don't run the miles like lo kong does but I bought 7 pieces of sports bra at one go ... I must be nuts!!!

I loved Manchester and given any chance to live in UK, I'd chose here.  Anyhow, we only had one day to spent here and we were soon heading back to London on the next afternoon's train.  Here's some pics to share what we did around Manchester.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Am I Grateful For This Week ...

It feels good to give thanks. It need not be directly to anyone in particular as it can simply be an expression of thanks for everything that's happening in our life in general ... irrespective they are working perfectly or not so great. A simple 'thank you' said quietly inside our mind can launch a positive mental state for the rest of the day.

Exercising gratitude often reminds us of unassuming pluses in our life that have gotten lost in our busy daily activities. Gratitude promotes mood change and many people will attest that giving thanks can boost their feel good hormones to raise their self-esteem and positive outlook. It helps us overcome our unhappy experiences and to find the closure to move on. Gratitude can also have a snowball effect on the people around us. Our feel good vibes can be contagious and rub off on others.

Sometimes people said that we need to experience a loss to be able to appreciate what we have. I almost suffered that fate a few years ago and I definitely don't want to sit around for it to happen for real next time. I want to be grateful for this day and I want to be grateful each day that comes along.

Here is my random list of gratitude for this week;

1. I am grateful for my loved ones who are always there to support me and stand by me.
2. I am grateful for my health with ongoing efforts to improve it.
3. I am grateful that I am financially sufficient.
4. I am grateful that I am living in modern society with modern amenities to keep me comfortable and sufficiently safe.
5. I am grateful that I can travel quickly and to varied destinations.
6. I am grateful for the internet that has turn up some income-generating opportunities.

There are many things in life that we can be grateful for and our gratitude list is inexhaustible. So learn to appreciate what you have today and you will come to realize that you do have a blessed life after all!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Law Of Attraction: Being Different Makes A Difference!

If you are ready for more positive experiences in your life, now is the time for you to look at whatever you have been doing differently. It is not to say that you have done everything wrong so far but it certainly doesn’t mean everything was done right either if you are still discontented with the way life has turned out for you.

When you have an awareness of the law of attraction and how it can affect your way of life at present and also your future, you will realize that success and happiness are every bit yours when you dare to be different! Of course, you don’t have to turn into a rebel or a troublemaker but sometimes being a misfit or the round peg in a square hole can help you see things in a different perspective.

Most people feel safe and comfortable just fitting into the crowd. One of their 6 ghosts of fear is telling them not to stand out or else risk being labeled as abnormal. This is plainly self-sabotage as your fear of criticism will always provide you the excuse not to trust your own truth but to perceive that societal judgments are always true.

One of the tenets of the law of attraction requires you to have faith. Just as you have faith in God as the creator of your reality, you need to have faith in yourself to be the rightful co-creator of your reality. Having the faith in yourself is to trust your own truth that all the positive experiences in life are your birthright. Being abnormal is not a bad thing. You are exercising your courage to chase after your dreams or desires. You are centered on what you believe in no matter whichever the situation you’re in rather than being pigeon-holed by society. Simply said, you dare to be you!

Be different ... it's your secret!

The law of attraction is a powerful tool that will help you wake up from your auto-pilot mode so that you can redesign your life as it should be. It helps you to take control of your reality. You will start living your life in the bigger picture whether you are making small changes or bold changes. Making changes is a strong indication that you are ready to be different. You are ready to make a stand for your intentions. Your focus and emotion move in the positive direction. Being abnormal or different will be your secret to attracting more positive experiences in your life.

Countless stories of how people have prevailed against all odds to achieve whatever they believe in are shared across the world. This people stood out to stand in their own truth and let the light shine on them irrespective what society has to say. They made their positive experiences happen. Do you think they mind being criticized or judged as being abnormal? They are successful because they know that being different makes a difference!

There’s a frequent saying being passed around that “Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.” Well, if you have enough trust yourself to be different you will have the ability to consciously tap into the field of infinite possibilities to create something better for yourself. You will make better choices when you stand in your own truth.

Copyright © Wenny Yap 2012 All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced with my written consent, provided my name and link remain intact.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Note of Awareness #44

How would you describe yourself?  Normal? Or a little quirky at times but on most abnormal? As Harriet Beecher Stowe said, "Every man had his own quirks and twists."  It has nothing to do with imbalanced energy but a lot to do with one of your 6 ghosts of fear ... the fear of criticism.

Most people believed that it is safe to fit in with the crowd ... no one can say anything negative about you. To stand out from the crowd can risks being seen as abnormal!  But far from the truth  …  being abnormal is really not a bad thing!  If you are going to take being abnormal in the negative light, then it is your fears that are telling you so.  It is just giving you an excuse!  If you dare to be different from the rest of the crowd, you are  actually daring your fears in the face.  You are overcoming your self-sabotage to chase after what you believe in, what you are passionate about and your dreams.  You dare to be You!

There have been countless stories of people who prevailed against all odds to achieve whatever they believe in. Do you think they mind being criticised as being abnormal? After all, they are successful because they have  the courage  to be different!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poetry: Avoidance

I try to keep my positiveness as much as possible. I am only human, conditioned over 4 decades to react spontaneously to the negative. In my bid to recondition myself, the Lord is always there to remind me with His subtle messages. This poem reflects exactly my avoidance of all things negative.

Poem by Colleen A. Warman
You can visit her website here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Bubble: Bickerings & Chills In London!

This time it is really taking me a longer time to process my travel pics and blog about them. It has been almost a month since we are back and only now I am blogging about our stay in London. Gosh! This is utter LAZINESS!! PROCRASTINATION!!!

Anyway, just like my last post on our stay in Paris, I think I am going to start along the same line ... the people. After all, our stay in the various cities we visited includes the experiences and interactions with their people and their differing cultures.

The Brits have been stereotyped as snobs and have the reputation of being cold.  Well, I can't say that it's on the contrary nor is it entirely true.  I can only sum up my conclusion that they are from two extreme divide.  While there are those who are extremely snobbish  because they think they are somewhat sitting in a place of authority, I definitely encountered friendly and helpful Brits who will not hesitate to give you a welcoming smile or stop in their tracks to help you out.  Sadly, the bad apples who held their noses high up in the air are mostly the ones whom tourists had to turn to for assistance like at the train stations and the airport.  The truth of the matter is ... the attitude of the majority of our civil servants back here in Malaysia kinda mirror this group of people too! I guess the apple never falls far from the tree ... influence from the colonial rule.

Anyway, whatever type of people we came across couldn't really damper our holiday in London but the weather certainly did.  It was wet and windy during the most of our stay and unfortunately it was paralysing for my dear lo kong. Indeed it was cold but since I am already at the threshold of the 6th decade of my life where body temperature is skyrocketing, the cold weather was a BIG welcome!

Much of our days out were set-backed by the rain. Our 2-day hop-on-hop-off Big Bus Tours was a great shelter from the wind and rain as we take in most of the major landmarks in London from inside their prompt double-decker buses, going from the Big Ben to the Tower Bridge to Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and not forgetting the London Eye. However, much of our sight-seeing was also dampered by our frequent bickering with one another. Lo kong's disinterest and extreme snail pace whenever we are on foot upsets me a lot! Running a full marathon had been such a breeze for him but taking walks turned out to be agonizing of sorts! Can you believe this?

The weather was pretty unpredictable and to me time was running out fast to be taking slow strolls. One moment it is sunny and the next down with shower. Sadly coupled with the bickerings, we missed the Changing of Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace ... one of London's main tourist attractions. However, we were lucky enough to catch the inspection of the Horse Guards ... a ceremonial tradition that has been carried out daily at 4pm for over a century at St. James' Palace. We also missed the walking ghost pub tour that was supposed to takes us through some of the local old pubs. We managed to hitch the free boat cruise on River Thames but it didn't turn out to be anything spectacular in the rainy weather and on choppy waters. Talk about pubs, we also managed an authentic English dinner of the Irish kind in one of their pub, O'Neill's Pub & Grill. We had chosen 2 English pubs earlier but they were full. Well, no regrets for our 3rd choice ... the food was great and so was the ambience!

Fully-utilised or not, our 2-day ticket ended and we headed out to Manchester the next morning to visit the Old Trafford, the second largest stadium in Britain and home to Manchester United FC ... lo kong's favourite team. There won't be any surprise when his disinterest and slower than snail pace disappeared!!

Anyway, the best part of our stay in London where bickerings don't happen was when we are trying out food or when lo kong went on a shopping spree.  I must clarify that he is the reigning shopaholic in the family ... it isn't me!  He managed to buy 3 pairs of shoes plus one for our son on day #1 of arrival and added two more on our last day in London!  Me?  Only a pair which I wore immediately from the shop!

Again there were more than 600 shots of what we did in London and while I am fearful of my relapsing trigger finger ... here's our snapshots downsized to less than 200.  Hope you don't get bored by them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Bubble: Regrets And Second Chances

"You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one." This quote seems to be making reruns in my mind of late.  Why I asked myself and I think I've found my most logical answer ... I don't think I have moved on as much as I want to have myself believed.

Call it an epiphany or plainly a kick in the butt from someone high high above!

Do you believe in regrets and second chances in life?  I have had my share of life-altering regrets but on reflection I can't deny that life has always chosen to be kinder to me.  Given a chance to go back in time, there are many experiences and achievements that I'd repeat without much hesitation.  Unfortunately, we all know that second chances do not come with the key to a time-travel pod so that we can undo our past.  Second chances are the opportunities for us to move forward with a renewed outlook of the life we have been blessed with provided we make the efforts to learn from our regrets.

As I near the completion of middle-age and enter the 6th decade of my life where everything biological is on the decline, I'd like to accept my waning memory on the positive light.  Forgetfulness allows me to forget many of the hurt, disappointments, anger and hostilities.  No doubt my regrets may be little but they can cause a lot of harm where I intend to go in my life.  If they are keeping me tied down to the last chapter of my life, how can I write a new chapter that will lead me to a more purposeful life?

I realised that I have been given a second chance the moment I stumbled on the law of attraction.  It changed my whole perspective of how I want to live my life.  Frequently, people say that by forgiving we will begin to forget but our memories are not that easy to be wiped clean unless of course we are suffering from amnesia.

So my next question to myself is what can I do with these unfavourable memories then?  Dwell on them and continually move 3 steps forward to be dragged 2 steps back? There's just no point living like this!  All I know is that it sometimes turned me into a temperamental person that I don't even like myself!

So beginning today,  I have decided to make a slight change for myself.  I shall work extra hard to let go of the haunting past and flavour each new day with an  added thankfulness.  I will ready myself for life to amaze and astound me with its delightful surprises.  No past ... good or bad shall hold me back!

Affirmation of the Week ...

I am ever ready and willing for life to amaze and astound me. Whether life is going to be full of excitement and surprises will be a journey that's worth taking a chance on. Let's wake up every morning feeling blessed and grateful as each day adds its own flavour to our lives!

This is my affirmation of the week ...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Random Bubble: A Sumptuous Seafood Dinner

It's been awhile since we had a complete seafood dinner just the three of us. No one will ever be disappointed with their super fresh and delicious seafood 'Chinese-style' at this restaurant located in Teluk Gong, Klang. Air-conditioned and easy to locate, this simple restaurant matches any expectation when you are on a lookout for seafood anywhere in the Klang or Port Klang area.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Am I Grateful For This Week ...

Do you feel thankful for everything you have? Do you appreciate the small things you have in your life ... things that might be a luxury to a million others? Most of us tend to expect more of everything and everyone that we often forget to express our gratitude for our blessings. I must admit I am no different.

Mother's Day came and gone just last week and just like all other mothers, I had my fair share of appreciation from my family. In fact, my son Nick had wanted to treat me to a Japanese buffet but unfortunately, the place was fully booked. Rather than joining the crowd, we had a quiet dinner at a new joint nearer to home.

I still remember that my motherhood had not been one long montage of precious moments. My bundle of joy did not come with a problem-free conduct. There were days when my gratitude for my son had gotten buried under huge piles of exasperation, irritation, anxieties and bickering as he grows through the phases from baby to adolescence. However I do know that deep down inside myself, I am grateful for this wonderful bundle of joy no matter what.

Today I am grateful that my son has grown into a thinking, rational young adult though maturity is still a little off. I believe somewhere along the way God has guided both of us to walk onto the same path of light.  He has always been closer to me that we could share varied stuffs under the sun.  In a few days, he will turn 21 and we just celebrated this happy occasion with a family dinner at a traditional Chinese seafood restaurant. It was indeed a jovial family moment, free and easy and to be cherished always.

Early birthday dinner ... seafood!!!

I am further thankful that he has successfully completed his studies for a Diploma in Business Computing. I am equally pleased that he has made his final decision to continue with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Studies at the same college. His studies will resume soon in September.

Every mother should always remember that "a mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Law Of Attraction: A Balanced Energy For A Balanced Life

All things in the Universe are made up of energy which makes you a form of energy too. Human beings are made up of energies that are in constant communication with one another across the Universe. Yes, you’ve heard this over and over before in your quest to master the law of attraction for a balanced life. Subconsciously, your energy follows whatever is the focus of attention in your thoughts. These thoughts then create your emotions and behavior that will affect your vibrating energy field. Your vibrating energy field autonomously attracts and attaches itself to other energy of the same vibrating frequency like a magnet. This is how you come to understand the concept of ‘like attracts like’.

However, you may wonder why the law of attraction seems to be working for some people but not for you. It is good to take notice since the implication could be due to the state of your unconscious energy field. The key to allow the law of attraction to work effectively is to ensure that this energy field is balanced so that it attracts positive interactions with similar energies. If your vibrating energy field is in a state of imbalance, it will not yield the results that you are anticipating. Any imbalanced energy can create a confusion to your subconscious magnetic frequency which either attracts the wrong frequencies or nothing at all.

On the majority, people will work hard to overcome the obstacles that they are facing in their life. Unconscious to them, their efforts to overcome these obstacles inadvertently attract more of what they do not want. This is because they have placed their entire focus on the obstacles they want to rid which create negative thoughts and negative emotions. The resulting doubts and frustrations will confuse and create an imbalance to their vibrating energy field. As the law of attraction is continually at work all the time, their energies will be attracting and attaching themselves to similar energies.

Since the law of attraction’s manifestation process begins with a single thought in your mind that motivates your emotional function and heightens your vibrating energy field, it is crucial to maintain the clarity of that single thought. It is more important to focus on the end-results rather than the obstacles at hand. Keeping your focus on the bigger picture can invoke rational thinking and in turn motivates strong positive emotions to increase the frequency of your vibrating energy field. In other words, you are steering your subconscious magnetic frequency in the direction that you want.

You are right to use the powerful law of attraction to attract a balanced life. Remember that your desire is all that matters and your priority is to focus on the end-results. Now that you have an idea of what has been hindering your process of manifestation, you may want to take immediate remedial steps to correct your imbalanced energy. You can become more successful once you have shifted your focus to what’s more important at hand.

Copyright © Wenny Yap 2012 All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced with my written consent, provided my name and link remain intact.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Note of Awareness #43

All things in the Universe are made up of energy which makes you a form of energy too. Human beings are made up of energies that are in constant communication with one another across the Universe. Your energy follows whatever is the focus of attention in your thoughts. These thoughts then create your emotions and behavior that will affect your vibrating energy field. Your vibrating energy field autonomously attracts and attaches itself to other energy of the same vibrating frequency like a magnet. This is what is referred to as ‘like attracts like’.

"What you seek is seeking you." ~ Rumi

Majority of people will make every effort to overcome the obstacles that they are facing in their life. Unconscious to them, their efforts to overcome these obstacles may attract more of what they do not want. This is because they placed too much focus on the obstacles at hand which inadvertently create negative thoughts followed by negative emotions. Doubts and frustrations arise to confuse and create an imbalance to their vibrating energy field. As the law of attraction is continually at work all the time, their energies will be attracting and attaching themselves to similar energies. 

You are right to use the powerful law of attraction to attract a balanced life. But it is wise to always remember that your desire is all that matters and your priority is to focus on the end-results. So put your focus on the bigger picture rather than the problems at hand in order to consciously direct your energy field in the right direction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Poetry: A Balanced Life

I've stumbled on this poem but unfortunately the author is unknown.  Anyhow, it is true that however my life's journey has taken me, God is there at my side all the way. He has a plan for each of us and even though we go through our own struggles, He is ever knowing what is in place for our future. Let's be thankful for each new day as He continually loves and guides us through.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Bubble: Bonjour Paris!

Lo kong and I arrived early into CDG Paris at 6.35am.  Although I had prepared myself with the appropriate info to get into the city, anxiety was playing yo-yo with my emotions.  How will we communicate with the French people who have been labelled as rude and arrogant people who also take offence when you speak to them in English?

Contrary to such a misled perception, I found the French to be friendly and helpful people even if they only speak a smattering of the English language.  It is entirely a myth that you must speak fluent French to visit Paris!

From the moment we arrived at the airport, a French couple who had just arrived on the same flight dispelled some of our anxieties.  They have just returned from a 2 week stay in Malacca with their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.  They were so friendly and helpful from the moment we met at the CDG-Roissybus ticket dispensing and waiting room until we parted ways at Opera de Paris. The one-way Roissybus tickets cost €10.00 per person ... that's RM40.00 per person for the 45 minutes ride into the city.

It was still too early to head to our hotel as check-in time was at 2.00pm.  Each with a luggage in tow, we explored the vicinity but retail shops were slow to open while cafes were very inviting with their aromas of coffee.  Alas, we sat out the time at Starbucks to get our bearings in tune before picking up our Les Cars Rouges Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tickets that I've purchased online back home.  As planned, we will take a quick route on the City of Paris and shortlist the places that we will want to explore further later on.  The quick route was pretty time-consuming ... it took over 3 hours instead of its prescribed 2¼-hour round trip.

We finally boarded Bus #66 for Brochant, the nearest bus-stop to the Art Hotel Congres where we will be staying for the whole duration of trip in Paris.  The bus ticket was  €2.00 per person.  That was our first and last bus ride as riding on the Metro (the subway) was cheaper and much faster at €1.70 per person.

Again we were met with friendly and helpful French on board the bus.  As the indicator inside the bus was not working and we were unsure when our stop is approaching, we were so thankful that several passengers kept a look out for us.  One even earnestly directed us in the direction of our hotel. Perhaps it is something of the past but the French have certainly debunked the stereotype during my visit.  One exceptional French lady could not speak a word of English but still took the initiative to help us with the directions seeing that we were kinda lost.  With her hands and fingers pointing in so many directions, we somehow understood the direction we should be heading ... a GPS navigator never always work when you need them to!

There are so many wonderful things about Paris like the glorious cathedrals, awesome historical attractions, appetising bakes and sandwiches and the always-crowded sidewalk cafes which we somehow could not acquire that people-watching trait.  However, I must confess that cleanliness in Paris fell far below expectation.  It is indeed a far cry from cities like Tokyo or Zurich but quite close to home though. Cigarette butts everywhere and Merde! it's dog poo if you don't watch your steps!  The smell of urine is so commonplace especially at the railway and metro station walkways and corridors.  I don't think it takes a lot of luck to bump into someone peeing the fence just as we had!  Even Uncle Chew had a shock when he unexpectedly caught sight of a woman peeing in the open beside her car at the Marathon de Paris!  Perhaps it's because public toilets are not easily found even if you are willing to pay to use one ... lo kong had to frequently hold his bladder until we found a McD!

I guess I should make the long story short before I become a bore with these compilation of our photos while in Paris.  Might be too soon to judge but I think my trigger-finger's returning after slicing the more than 600 shots taken (not including those taken at Marathon de Paris) by more than half.  Fingers crossed it's not so ... here's Bonjour Paris!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Affirmation of the Week ...

I am regaining my normalcy and I am so happy to embrace it.  Ideas and motivation are fast regaining their spontaneity as my level of energy are geared for actions.

This is my affirmation of the week ...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What Am I Grateful For This Week ...

Today is Mother's Day and hopefully mothers everywhere are enjoying their moment at being the centre of attention today.  Some mothers may be fortunate enough to receive due appreciation for their contributions and sacrifices every day of the year while some enjoy the tribute once a year but sadly, there are mothers out there who are not receiving the due recognition at all.

Being a mother need no CV nor application because it is by default yours the moment you found out you are pregnant.  It is sometimes a thankless job, working long hours with no vacation and no pay and worst, when things do not turn out the way they should ... its the mother's fault!

On the other hand, being a mother can also be the most rewarding job in the world.  Check around with any mother out there and they will assure you of it.  Your child's smiles and laughters as well as hugs and kisses easily soothes away the hardships but the greatest reward of them all is seeing your child turn into a happy and successful adult.

Mother's Day is so much more than just a gift or a bouquet of flowers or that special family dinner.  It is more importantly a day to express our gratitude to our mothers and where appropriate, the mothers of our children.  It is the opportunity to let them know how deeply they are appreciated and cared for.

On this Mother's Day, what is the #1 thing that comes to mind that your mother has taught you that you are most grateful for?  For me, my late mother taught me that giving generously is the key to our personal abundance and to always be thankful to God for all his blessings.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Law Of Attraction: It Doesn’t Quit Even If You Have!

When you first learn about the law of attraction, you learned that everything in the entire Universe is made up of energy. As had been discovered and explained by scientists, this energy is constantly in movement, vibrating incessantly and at varying frequencies. Quantum physics experts also explained that energy attracts similar energy that is vibrating at the same speed or frequency. This explains why you continuously hear the saying that ‘like attracts like’ being repeatedly emphasized in most law of attraction publications.

Based on this scientific fact, you must already realize that both you and I are also made of energy that vibrates continuously whether we are conscious or otherwise. The speed or frequency of our vibrating energies corresponds with our thoughts and emotions. Since you are reading this article, it is obvious that you and I are connected at this point due to our energies that are vibrating at the same frequencies. 

According to the law of attraction, we have been attracted to one another and if you have ever heard of the theory on ‘6-degrees of separation’ you must also believe that every person you meet will open up a door for you to an opportunity that you may or may not be expecting. ‘6-degrees of separation’ theorized that everyone on this planet is connected and that we are all positioned at an average of 6 persons away from a new acquaintance. So given our inter-connectedness, there must be some optimistic opportunities that we can look forward to henceforth.

Just think about it. It is limitless possibilities when the law of attraction collaborates with ‘6-degrees of separation’ and you are sitting right in the middle of it! When your energy is constantly attracting the likes while you are positioned at least 6 steps away from each new network of possibilities, results are continually manifesting whether you acknowledge them or not and irrespective they are desired or on the contrary.

One important point you have to realize is that the law of attraction and ‘6-degrees of separation’ does not stop working even if you choose to ignore them. You can’t make your thoughts quit on you neither can you stop reacting even after you have locked yourself in your room and throw away the keys. Now that’s an action that will surely have its own repercussions. Therefore, rather than letting a great synergy go to waste, you could step out of your comfort zone and harness whatever your thoughts could conceive and make them happen in the best possible way for you. Armed with a steadfast belief in yourself and directed actions, you can be as successful as Oprah Winfrey, Tony Fernandez, Richard Branson, Bills Gates, Will Smith or Jim Carey if you want to.

The law of attraction begins and ends with you through your thoughts, emotions and actions. It is an amazing life concept that will lead you to the life you desire once you have taken time to understand it and interpret it to benefit you. Just as ‘6-degrees of separation’ is a chain of actions, so are your thoughts, emotions and actions. Remember, the natural laws of the universe do not quit even if you have!

Copyright © Wenny Yap 2012 All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced with my written consent, provided my name and link remain intact.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Bubble: L'amour du Chocolat Suisse

While planning our recent trip to Zurich, I kept coming across the 'Lindt Chocolate Factory Tour' but still I was not interested in checking out the chocolate side of Zurich. Yeah we have all heard of Lindt chocolate but spending CHF40.00 for a visit around the chocolate factory isn't exactly my cup of tea. Instead, we signed up for a last minute tour to Mount Titlis which is one of the tallest peaks in central Switzerland, at 3238 meters or 10625 feet. It costs more at almost CHF150.00 but at the end the tour, it was well worth it! More about Mount Titlis later.

Now back to 'chocolat' and I'm sure many would still remember the movie of the same name back in 2000 starring the charismatic Johnny Depp and the beautiful French actress, Juliette Binoche. 'Chocolat' is kinda like a tender fairy tale, full of humour and depth delivered by colourful characters in its plot where a small chocolaterie quickly begins to change the lives of the characters involved. Wow, imagine the wonders of chocolates on people!

I may not have tasted any French chocolates on my recent trip but I believe Swiss chocolates will attest for the same experience. Despite being a big No-No for a diabetic like me, if you have tasted these fresh handmade chocolates you wouldn't want to have anything to do with Cadbury's or Hershey's or Guylian's anymore! That's my betrayal for the love of the Swiss chocolate ... I guess it's the magical wonders of l'amour du chocolat Suisse.

Both lo kong and I had our first encounter with Swiss chocolates in Lucerne where we had a short stop on our return from Mount Titlis. Confiseur Bachmann just stood out right in front of us as we got down from the bus although it can also be found almost everywhere in Lucerne. Upon entering, we came across their displays of sandwiches and bread. Then we saw the macaroons and a delightful selection of cakes. The sandwiches, bread and cakes were so inviting, our minds were taken off chocolates until we caught sight of the chocolate fountain flowing with their Swiss milk chocolate. I believe this is one of the main attractions in the store apart from the 1 metre tall Lucerne landmark, a water tower made totally from chocolate sitting right in the middle of the store.  I must forewarn about the prices but as long as you don't do any conversion, you'll be in for plenty of treats.

Confiseur Bachmann in Lucerne or Luzern

Tourists and locals formed several queue at the cashiers and as time didn't permit much browsing around, we made away with only 2 croissant sandwiches, a BIO Rüüdigs Brötli (a sunflower seed small bread) and a packet of ready-packed pralines. Too bad we totally forgot to capture their photos as our attention was thwarted by our hunger pangs then!

On our free and easy day back in Zurich the next day, we visited the famous Bahnhofstrasse right opposite Zurich Hauptbahnhoff which is Zurich's main railway station and the largest in Switzerland.  There we unhesitatingly popped right into Confiseur Laderach, another popular Swiss chocolatier.  This time round, we had all the time in the world to check out the variety of chocolates since it was also raining outside.

Here are what we saw for you to see which more than made up for not visiting the chocolate factory.  I hope you'll as easily develop l'amour du chocolat Suisse.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Note of Awareness #42

Yesterday, I'd posted an inspiring poem that I came across while twiddling my time over the internet.  If you have read 'Don't Quit' and can associate yourself with its purposeful lines, I am so glad and grateful that I have done a little goodness out of my laziness.

Just like me, you have an ambition.  You have a goal to achieve.  However, what you want may seem to be dragging their feet or perhaps situations may seem to be running a little off course.  In my case, I'm a little lost for direction at the moment.  Well, no point beating yourself up.  You may just be working too hard.  "Rest, if you must, but don't you quit!"

Effort only fully releases its reward
after a person refuses to quit!
'Napoleon Hill'

Your mind is a powerful tool.  Remember, if you think you can or even if you think you can't ... either way, you are right!  Have faith and patience that everything you create in your mind becomes your reality eventually.  Believe me, personal experiences attest it's true!  The law of attraction works on how you feel about the thoughts you carry and the experiences you are going through in your life.  The feelings that you resonate with will attract the outcome you are moving towards.  Be happy and focus on the positive aspects of your life and soon you will have more to be happy and positive about.  So take a break and re-examine your priorities, your thoughts and your feelings.

The law of attraction is not a substitute for hardwork.  It is simply a tool to train your mind to help you reach your goals.  Fast or slow, it is entirely up to you.  "Don't give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poetry: Don't Quit!

The Don't Quit poem was written many years ago. The author of this poem is unknown. Sadly, in recent years a number of people have come forward to claim ownership of this poem and some have even claimed to have written it themselves!

Irrespectively, this is certainly a great poem to remind us that our success is just right around the corner if we have the will to persevere.

If you think you can succeed or you think you can't ...
either way you are right!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Bubble: Zurich Marathon To The Extreme!

Coincidental to our first holiday in Europe, Zurich Marathon was celebrating its 10th edition on April 22.  Zurich Marathon is the largest marathon in Switzerland since 2003 and the race starts and finishes at Mythenquai, the 'Pearl of Lake Zurich'.  The major parts of the running route goes by the scenic Lake Zurich and our two marathon maniacs, lo kong and Uncle Chew are already on the sign-up list.  The race starts at 8.30am and all registrants must cross the finish line by 2.00pm to qualify for the finisher T'shirt and medal.

Scenic Lake Zurich with snow-capped mountains ... 
you can even sense the fresh alpine air from this pic!

It may be spring time in Zurich but it is certainly not the best time to visit. There was a lot of rain albeit a little less than where we had arrived from ... London.  The weather intermittently changes from sunny to cloudy to rain throughout the day.  Heck, it was really difficult to get the best out of our outings on top of trying to get past the shock over price tags from even the simplest noodle in a cup.  Gosh, we could have the same brand for RM6.00 in Malaysia compared to their CHF6.00!  If you don't already know, Zurich has just recently overtaken Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world in 2012!

With strong winds, rain and cold, it was an extremely tough experience not only for both our marathon maniacs but even the rest of the 7000 plus runners who had set off from the 'Pearl of Lake Zurich' at 8.30am.  While all the enthusiastic runners had to contend with an additional hailstorms that struck halfway into the race, I was struggling with an equally demanding conditions at the start/finish line.  Lo kong's brand new umbrella was instantly blown inside out several times when the strong winds strike and whatever dust left on my camera from Paris' sandstorms was either blown off by the wind or cleansed by the rain.  Quivering legs, trembling hands and numbed fingers prevented the much needed quick reflexes to protect my camera.  Surprisingly, supporters from as young as the ones in strollers to the white-haired senior citizens still came out in droves.

I did managed to hide away from the challenging weather for almost an hour under a huge food tent that was already jam-packed with runners and supporters seeking shelter, hot drinks and food.  The smell of grilling bratwursts was so tempting but sadly, I had to turn my temptation off when I glimpsed the price tag.  Never mind, I know I can survive without the hot coffee and sausages!

With such extreme cold, I must admit I had doubted lo kong's ability to finish the race.  It was already past 5 hours, so I began eyeing the sweeper buses that passed by to check if lo kong or Uncle Chew were on board.   Not helping much is the sight of volunteers dismantling the barriers and banners along the route to the finish.  I had not been using my zoom lens for this trip but thankfully, my declining myopia still managed to catch a tiny speck of yellow in the far distant shortly after (lo kong and Uncle Chew were wearing their marathon maniac singlet).  Slowly, it became apparent that lo kong was still in the running ... but will he manage to cross the finish line within the qualifying time of 5 hours half?

Yes, he did!  Lo kong finished the 10th Zurich Marathon within 5:13:36 hours.  As I had withheld my urges to the loo since we left the hotel in the morning, a much needed pee that took too long to empty cut short my wait for Uncle Chew who finished at 5:35:10 hours.  Anyhow, congratulations to our two marathon maniacs!!

Check out this small compilation of photos taken at one of the most well-organized marathon I've ever had the privilege to the attend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Affirmation of the Week ...

I am grateful and happy that everything is going smoothly, planned or unplanned it does not matter. I am so looking forward to more great things to come.

This is my affirmation of the week ...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Random Bubbles ...

Do exactly as what Oprah Winfrey had advised, "Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."

Let's not be greedy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Am I Grateful For This Week ...

To live deliberately is to inculcate an attitude of expectation and readiness from the freedom of choice we have been given to lead our respective lives.  To live deliberately with thankfulness is to accept the responsibility for the life of our own design and appreciating every ounce of its value right now.  It is the sense of security as we continue to explore the path of life that we want to take with an utmost confidence in the Infinite Being ... God!

In the past, my life lived had been mostly by default and if ever there were any ambitions or goals achieved, I'd say that they were results from unconscious decisions with plenty of guidance from up above.  There are many things in life that I should be grateful for.  From the boldest changes in my life to tiniest sometimes unnoticed achievements ... I owe them to Him.

Today, my life is a whole lot more by design and I am simply living the life that had only been wishful thinking in the past.  Today, I am so grateful that ...

1.  I am completely freed from the shackles of employment ... hopefully lo kong will be joining me sooner than the 6 years to his actual retirement.

2.  I have a life partner who supports me both emotionally and financially in every decisions I have taken to design the life I want to pursue.

3.  I have been blessed with a somewhat good health ... my Type II diabetes is still controllable with a careful diet and exercise.

4.  I am strong and healthy enough to plan, travel and experience the awesomeness of the world outside my own.

5.  My family and I are constantly under His protection.

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, 
brings peace for today, 
and creates a vision for tomorrow." 
~  Melody Beattie

Friday, May 4, 2012

Law Of Attraction: The Best Things In Life Are Free

You must have heard of this old adage before. “The best things in life are free!” Is this statement worthy of your belief?

Well, if you are willing to accept 100% responsibility over your thoughts and actions, you would have developed a nature in you that allows good and positive things to come into your everyday life. A positive outlook and a determined demeanour open your thoughts to a plethora of mass improvements outside the box that will start the changes in your life for the better. All these changes are your defined creations from what you think you want in life.

If you can accept that all the things happening in your life today, irrespective they are good or bad are defined from your own thoughts, you would have come to terms with the concept of the law of attraction that “what you think is what you get.” Your thoughts are your own to use or manipulate and they are certainly free!

Many people have seen the effects of using the laws of attraction to create the best things in their life according to their personal preferences. Those things that make them the happiest come to them when they think and feel great about themselves. When you think you are in the sweetest spot where you have no doubts or fears, those things that make you happy will come in time.

Now, aren’t the best things in life free?
The only cost to you is only a little patience.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Bubble: Marathon de Paris In My Eyes

It's going to be a week since my return from my first trip to Europe.  While it was cold and wet over there, lo kong and I returned to our local weather that has gone on to the extreme.  Rather than the cloudy humid weather we left behind 2 weeks ago, it has been blazing hot!  The hot weather doesn't help to ease our recovery from jet lag.  Lethargy is the word!

Anyway from the little spurts of energy here and there, I finally gathered a few of the photos during lo kong's participation at the Marathon de Paris with another marathon maniac, Uncle Chew.  I think the photos will get the message through ... it was extremely coldddddd!!!

With almost 40,000 participants and added with their supporters including myself, the vicinity of Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees were certainly crowded, especially at the end of the race.  While I may not have shared the two maniacs' experience on the scenic route around Paris running pass iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Bastille and the Chateau de Vincennes, the wait at the start and finish line was as daunting with the strong cold wind sending chills to the bone coupled with intermittent sand-storms that blind the eyes and covered my camera with dust.

A small cuppa hot Haagen Das cappucino that cost £3.50 couldn't help much to keep the warmth.

The 5 hour plus wait for them seemed so extra long under that weather condition as I made my way from the starting line to the ending line, wandering off route here and there to enjoy the grandeur of several historical and architectural wonders!  As I had suspected, the finish line was cordon off from amateur photographers such as 'moi' and I trudged my way back to the waiting area again.  Lo kong was mistaken when he said to meet at 'Meeting Area C' because there were no such meeting place.  I ended up standing in the most open spot against the blowing cold winds and sand so that he and Uncle Chew (whoever comes in first) could spot me in the crowded area.

What a relief when I finally catch up with lo kong.  He finished his marathon at 5hrs 20mins.  Lo kong had assumed that Uncle Chew would have completed the marathon ahead of him and we became worried when we found that his luggage deposit was still unclaimed.  While I waited by his luggage deposit, lo kong went searching for him at the finish line.  We were so relief when we spotted Uncle Chew after he completed his marathon at 5hrs 42mins.

In reality, the marathon was flagged off as scheduled but due to the staggered release of the ensuing runners' pens had caused an unanticipated delay to our travelling plans.  It was already 2.30pm and we had to rush back to our hotel to pick up our luggage as our train to London was scheduled to leave at 5.15pm.
Thankfully I had already purchased the tickets for the Paris Metro back to our hotel while they were running. In our haste to get back to the hotel, we even got on the wrong train, exited the wrong exit and Uncle Chew had to duck under the turnstile to regain 'illegal' entry into the station.  Both lo kong and Uncle Chew did not managed the time to change at all as we hopped into a taxi to Gare Du Nord to catch our Eurostar ride to London (the taxi driver was indeed a blessing when he skillfully swerved in and out of traffic to get us to the station on time).  They even crossed the respective border checks still dressed in their running attires which I think was a plus point since the custom officers were smilingly enquiring about their run.

The queues for respective immigration and custom checks were very long and we finally boarded the train with another 8 minutes to spare ... pheeewww!!!

Catch some of the photos I've compiled at the Marathon de Paris 2012 here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poetry: Footprints In The Sand

The Lord never abandons us even at our darkest hours. Keep the faith in Him and you will realise how strong you had become to overcome your plight. Question not His absence when you have walked through the tunnel of darkness ... how would you have found the open door had it not for His guiding light in the first place.

The Official Footprints In The Sand Page

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Day With God In My Bubble ...

Good day my blog-friends!  Another brand new day another brand new beginning that was God's gift  for us to spend wisely doing perhaps any of the following:

1.  To share God's call for peace, love and harmony across the world.
2.  To protect and bask in the beautiful splendour of His creation ... Mother Earth.
3.  To make amends from lessons learned from yesterday.
4.  To seek forgiveness from one another including ourselves.
5.  To live our lives to the fullest ... meeting every opportunities and challenges for a fulfilling life.

Live every moment;
Laugh every day;
Love beyond words!

It was Labour Day today here in Malaysia and it was a public holiday for everyone to enjoy a quality time with family and friends.  Let's be thankful to God for a restful and reflective day.