TimothyTiah.com

Why I’m super impressed with TNB

When we came back from dinner last night, we quickly realized that half of the lights and air-conditioning in my home were working and the other half not. I went around the house testing all the switches and concluded that one of our electrical phases was down.

The fuse box in our home seemed to be in order so one of the fuses in the outside TNB box must’ve blown. It was 10PM on a Sunday night. Who is going to come help us out?

I decided to give it a shot anyway and called TNB’s helpline. The customer service on the other side picked up promptly and very quickly took down my details and my issue. She said that their response time is to have a team over in 1-2 hours. I was skeptical but hopeful. It was a Sunday night after all.

5 minutes later a technician from TNB called up and said he wanted to come over but he asked me to check if I had the key to the maintenance room. I told him I needed some time to go check with the security guards and he said sure he’ll call back in 10 minutes.

10 minutes later he called back and I acknowledged that yep we did have a key. “We’ll be over in 20 minutes” he said.

20 minutes? Okay that was fast. Again I was hopeful but skeptical. In 20 minutes a team of two technicians showed up at my door. They did some quick checking on this big switch-box right outside our home and confirmed that the fuse of one of the phases had blown.  It took him 5 minutes to replace it and voila everything was working.

I made the TNB report at 10PM and by 11PM I had the technicians over at my place and the power was all up and running again. That’s an amazing response time.

Now here’s what’s even more amazing.

My Dad decided to give them a small tip for their time. He took out a RM100 note and offered it to them but they both politely declined. They refused to accept it even as a tip as they said it was part of their job.

We thanked them and let them go their way. As we closed the door behind them my Dad turned to me and said “Look how good some of our civil servants are”.

Well done TNB!


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How I almost hurt my wife by telling her off for a mistake she made with our kids

As we sat down at the dinner table, Fighter announced “I need to pee I need to pee I need to pee”.

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My wife jumped up at attention ready to take Fighter to the toilet before he had another wet episode. Right next to her, Penny sat in her baby chair with her helper next to her.

“I’ll take him”. I volunteered. “Just order me a mild Peri Peri and water”.

I walked off with Fighter in my arms as we hunted for the toilet. 15 minutes later we returned and order had been restored on the table. The menus that previously lay on the table were gone, indicating that the food had been ordered and Penny sat calmly in her baby chair.

The food took longer to come than we expected with Penny saying “food” repeatedly and tapping on her tummy, telling us that she was hungry.

20 minutes passed and the food finally arrived on the table. I ate away as my helper fed Penny and Shorty fed Fighter.

Some 60 seconds in, Fighter let out a cry and shouted “HOT HOT HOT!”. Penny promptly followed suit and did the same as they both reached for their water bottles to put out the inferno happening in their mouths.

I looked at what they were eating and their chicken had the flag which proudly claimed the chicken they ate was a “Mild Peri Peri”.

I asked Shorty “Why did you order them Mild Peri Peri? It’s spicy!”.

Having always ordered “Hot Peri Peri” for herself, Shorty has never had Mild before and she thought Mild was the lowest level. She didn’t know until then that Lemon and Herb existed.

No matter! She decided to wipe away all the sauce from the chicken and tried to feed the kids again. It didn’t work. They both cried and once again chugged down water. Soon enough they both didn’t want to eat anymore. Not the chicken or the totally unspicy rice.

Watching all this I got really upset. I wanted to blame Shorty for making such a mistake and that because of this mistake our kids can’t have a proper dinner now. My mind went through a harsh selection of words “How could you order spicy food for our kids? Now they won’t eat!”.

Just before the words left my mouth though I held myself back. I asked myself what good would telling Shorty off do? She already knew she made a mistake, she didn’t intend to… but now that she did she feels just as bad as I do that our kids won’t eat.

As I sat there zoned out in the moment as both kids were wailing I then asked myself
“Okay… Shorty made a mistake. Our kids are having a hard time. What am I doing about it?”.

I decided to act. I called the waiter to order a “Lemon & Herb” flavour. I then walked over to a defiant Fighter who wouldn’t listen to his mommy and gently whispered in his ear that I would take him for a walk if he calmed down. He did and in 5 minutes we were out of Nandos, walking around KLCC, both father and son trying to cool down.

As I cooled down I began to realise the bullet I just dodged. If I hadn’t controlled myself I would have said words that wouldn’t have improved the situation at all but worse, they would go on to hurt my wife as a mom.

I came back after our walk to see Penny hugging mommy. She refused to eat the Lemon & Herb that arrived so I tried Fighter who took a few bites. After we were sure they wouldn’t eat anymore we decided to take it away and go buy them some bread.

Both kids tucked into bed well that night. They had a sausage bun each and some extra milk to keep them full.

We were in the car on the way out after putting the kids to bed when I started the conversation with a
“You know I nearly made a mistake just now”.

And I explained how I was feeling at the time, and how I’m glad I didn’t act on my raw emotions. Shorty listened to the whole thing and then gave me a pat on the shoulder and said “Thank you”.

Perhaps it’s in our nature to be protective of our kids and stand up for them whenever they’re having a hard time but sometimes we forget that as their mom and dad and as husband and wife, we’re on the same side.  Life is hard but marriage makes life a little easier because you have a partner you can count on… but all that counts for nothing if we turn on one another.

Yes both Shorty and I make mistakes with our kids every now and then, but the wonderful kids they are today is the result of our successes and failures with them. I’m grateful that my wife is this wonderful mom and awesome life partner to raise a family with.

I love you Shorts.

Why a part of our humanity died today with Donald Trump winning the presidency

It’s over. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States of America and his win is a loss for all of humanity.

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Let me explain why.

It’s not because I think Donald Trump will be a bad President for the US. In fact I think that once in office there’s every chance he might tone down his rhetoric.

It’s also not because I think Donald Trump is incapable of leading the country. Jokes about his Twitter account aside.

It’s also not because of how he doesn’t seem to have a clear policy of how he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do.

No… it’s none of that.

While humanity has died a little today because of what Donald Trump stood for be it racism, bigotry, hate and fear mongering. The thought of Trump winning is hardly as troubling as what the people who voted for him represent.

This changes politics for all of us. This election and Brexit validates that politicians are no longer rewarded for doing the humane thing like accepting refugees of a war torn nation, or standing up for the rights of a racial or religious minority. Instead it tells politicians that they are rewarded for turning away refugees and oppressing the religious or racial minority. That being divisive and for fear-mongering pays off,

No longer will many of our politicians find the need to woo us by their resolve to do the right things or to unite people. Instead they will scare us into voting for them at the ballot box. Creating fear from an exaggerated threat.

Brexit won that way. Trump won that way. And many more leaders will win election that way.

The price of a divided world where we’re all afraid of each other will be paid not by us, but by our children. May God forgive us.

Taking a step back from Netccentric

A few days ago, Netccentric announced to the stock market that I will be leaving my position as COO and taking a step back from active management of the company. I will though still remain a director, advisor and shareholder of the company.

This was a really big decision for me and for the first two days after leaving the company, I was in a state of denial. I felt like I had just gotten out of a 10 year relationship and reality was just sinking in. I didn’t want to talk to anybody about it and I kept myself busy.

Today though I’ve decided to sit down and pen down my thoughts.

With Ming running the company as CEO for the last 2 years, I’ve felt like the company didn’t really need me anymore on an executive level. So in the past few months I carefully evaluated the next steps of my future.

My future of course is no longer mine alone but also that of my family who depend on me. So I had a heart to heart talk with my wife one day. I said I was going to leave my COO position with Netccentric and start something new. With that something new, it will likely be years before I can earn the same income that I used to earn. However I had saved up over the years which would help us maintain our lifestyle. Just no private schools for the kids and less holidays.

Just as important is how happy I think I would be. I’ve always told my colleagues and friends that I was happiest when our company had 20-30 employees. As the company grew to over 200 staff , I began to see the pains of running such a large organization and it ate away a little bit of my happiness.

Being a listed company added to that stress of watching a stock price fluctuate on a day to day basis. More experienced businessmen have told me to ignore the stock price and what it means to my personal net worth but the stock price (which has come down a lot) has affected me in a bigger way. Turns out I’m totally not bothered by what it means for my personal net worth because that’s all just ego.

What hits me though is how sad I feel when investors who invested in us lose money (at least for now) even if the reason for that is contributed from really macro reasons like investor sentiment on ASX Tech stocks being  down. Perhaps that’s one thing that holds me back from being a true businessman. I can’t bear to lose other peoples’ money. I can’t find it in myself to do anything like what Donald Trump did with his Atlantic City ventures.

Ming feels the stress too, but he copes much better than I do. Rather than worry about the fluctuations he puts all his mind into working on the business to deliver shareholder value in the long term. His strength in doing that is something I give him credit for and I’ve never seen him work harder than he has now.

When I first co-founded Netccentric some 10 years ago I hoped for a business that would make me some money but what I ended up getting in the end was far more than money. I had made great friends from clients, colleagues and business partners. Friends who I still keep in close contact with. I’ve also been blessed with a number of entrepreneur awards, the most recent being the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award last year.

I’ve had also had great memories.

My experience with Netccentric / Nuffnang from boostrapping startup to IPO has also given me invaluable lessons in business that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Some people ask me what I’m doing next… I have an idea, but I’ll talk about it publicly once I’m actually doing it. In the mean time I’m going to spend the extra time I have with my family and pursuing some interests.

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I’ll spend more time reading books and if there’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do was relive my teenage days of doing absolutely nothing but playing computer games from sunrise to sunset.

Maybe I’ll be able to do that now.

The winner of the SEIKO watch

Hi Guys

I just spent the past half an hour going through all the SEIKO stories you guys submitted on your platforms. Thank you very much for that.

There were many many good stories, many of you wanting to give to fathers, husbands, brothers and even friends. I wish I had more to give but I only have one.. so the one that I’m giving it to is to Hanimh who’s giving it to her husband, a SEIKO fan.

Thank you guys for participating and I’ll have more giveaways in future ok? Thank you!

3 Hollywood Actresses that I think are awesome

My wife and I watch a lot of movies together and we generally find ourselves talking about the actresses rather than the actors. For some reason we hardly talk about Robert Downey Jr or Brad Pitt from the movies we watch but we’ll always talk about Emma Stone.

There are 3 actresses that I generally really like though:

  1. Emma Stone

I like Emma Stone because she’s this really pretty girl who doesn’t seem like she’s afraid to make fun of herself.  Like this.

She also comes off in talk shows as really friendly, like if you saw her in public you won’t be as intimidated going up to her to say hi as opposed to say seeing…. Beyonce?

2. Anna Kendrick

I first heard of Anna Kendrick from Pitch Perfect.

I think it’s amazing she can sing but there’s one thing I love even more about her than her singing and that’s how witty and hilarious she is on Twitter.

Here are some of my favourites.

3. Blake Lively

This one really because of this movie.

I first saw her in Gossip Girls years back but I always just thought she’s okay but wow in Age of Adaline… it was really something else.

She’s coming up with another movie that looks pretty interesting too.

One of those lone survivor against all odds kind of movie. I normally don’t like watching movies like this because man it’s stressful but I might watch this one just for Blake Lively.

Also I kinda like her husband Ryan Reynolds too (from Deadpool).

How much will Limited Edition Shell Collectibles cost in future?

This is a sponsored post

I’ve been doing quite a lot with Shell Malaysia lately and it’s a relationship that I enjoy because I use Shell. Heck my whole family uses Shell for our cars and just a couple of weeks ago I was at Wisma Shell giving a talk to their IT staff about my own story.

So anyway they recently gave me a set of these Limited Edition Canisters.

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Each of these boxes carry the design of Shell Stations and pumps from the 1920s and 1980s. They’re limited edition and you can get them at Shell Stations around Malaysia. You just have to spend RM40 on any Shell fuel and you’re entitled to buy the big canisters at RM12.90 each (they come with fridge magnets) and if you spend RM6 or above at Shell Select you’re entitled to purchase the small ones at RM7.90 each.

The Limited Edition Shell Tanker that you see in front there is available on the 16-22th October for RM12.90 each if you spend RM40 and above at Shell.

I thought it’s cool that Shell’s allowing us to own a piece of history. Of how the petrol stations used to look like all the years from when my parents were born to before but I had one bigger question.

Since these are Limited Edition and Collectibles, how much will they be worth say a couple of decades from now. I decided to look around online and here’s some interesting vintage Shell stuff I found.

  1. This Shell Station Attendant collector Doll – $135.15 

$135… that’s like RM560 for this collectible doll. HOLY COW!

2. This pin badge for $39.99 

I have no idea how much the original price of this pin badge was but I can’t imagine it being more than say $5 which is about RM20. How did it over the years become worth almost $40 which makes it about RM160.

3) This Tin Shell Service Station Toy for AU$ 103 (approx RM324)

The seller here doesn’t seem to be sure how old this is yet but he estimates that it may be from the 1950s.

4) Vintage Shell Oil Gas Station Sign – $324.99

I like this one. Haha if I had one maybe I’ll put one outside my study so it lights up to tell people that I’m inside busy working.

5) This Classic Shell Oil Gas Pump and Towel Bus ($599) 

This is my favorite.  It’s actually a reproduction but it’s so cool. This however looks like the pumps overseas, if there was a Malaysian version of it I’d totally put one in my office or something.

I’m no expert in collectibles but all in all it seems that some Shell collectibles seem to really appreciate in value over time. It’s just a matter of when or what.

So my big question then is how do you pick the right collectibles, and will the Heritage canisters above appreciate in value? Does anyone have any experience in this?

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(Decided to add in Fighter’s toys and oh look it suddenly looks like a busy petrol station)

While we’re at that I wanna give this set away to any of my subscribers. So if you’d like it shoot me an email at lengmoublogs@yahoo.com and tell me why you want them and if you can share with me how do you decide what to collect.

The journey of the watches I wear and how you can win one from this 135 year old brand

This article is in collaboration with SEIKO.

I have worn a watch every single day of my life for the past 2 decades. I wear them because they tell the time with just a flick of a wrist (rather than bringing out my phone) and because it’s one of the few fashion accessories men have to wear.

The past decade though has seen an interesting change of my interest in watches. It all happened when I first discovered Swiss watches. I can’t explain why I ended up owning a few of them. I think it’s a combination of peer pressure, love of the design and well just thinking that they’re the kind of watch I should have or aspire to have at that age.

As the years passed though, owning them became less and less fun. For starters they started to miss minutes. That’s right. MISS MINUTES. For all the craftsmanship that these luxury watches were known for, they weren’t accurate.

On different occasions when this happened I would bring them to the shop and ask what’s wrong. The feedback I had was that it’s not uncommon for them to miss some minutes every now and then but it’ll be better once I send it for servicing.

How much you might ask would servicing cost? Well… depending on the watch but anywhere from RM500-RM8,000. That is insane!

After I realised how these luxury watches had become a burden rather than an asset to me I started wearing a different type of watch. The type of watch that would never miss a minute. Electronic watches or fitness wearables and that’s what I wear now but these electronic watches have a downside:

There are times when it just doesn’t fit your style. Whether it’s when you’re wearing a suit or a work shirt. It just doesn’t look good.

So I started looking around for other watches. I wanted a watch that was well made, wouldn’t miss a tick, looks as good as any luxury watch and affordable.

About this time I came across SEIKO.

I only want to write about brands or things that I believe in and I have a very good impression of Seiko.  Remember this article I wrote a year ago that got over 80,000 shares.

I view Seiko very positively because it’s a watch maker with a lot of heritage. It was founded in 1881 by this man.

Kintaro Hattori.

Kintaro went on to make the first wristwatch in Japan and his watches were known to be so accurate that in 1929 it was appointed as Japan National Railway’s “Official Railway Watch”. I’m guessing because it kept time really well and we all know how timely all Japanese trains are.

Over the next few decades SEIKO would grow to innovate the watch. In the 1960s they invented the World’s First Quartz watch. You know the battery operated ones that many of us wear around our wrists today.

In 1973 they invented the world’s first 6-digit LCD display watch.

And for one of the more crazy ideas, in 1998 Seiko released the World’s First watch powered by your body heat. I kid you not. Body heat!

Today, a 135 years since SEIKO was founded, this is the watch I now have. SEIKO Model No: SSA319J1

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From the beautiful SEIKO Premier Collection. It has a stainless steel case and band, Sapphire crystal glass and automatic winding. It’s also 10 bar water-resistant and has a see-through case-back and a 24 hour indicator.

The very same one that’s Wang Lee Hom endorses.

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I love it. I think it fills the gap between having something that is reliable and affordable and yet looks great enough to wear with a suit.

The one thing I asked SEIKO in addition to them giving me this watch was whether they could give one to my subscribers as well. And they said yes.

YES I KNOW… CRAZY RIGHT?! I GET TO GIVE AWAY A SEIKO PREMIER!

To guys if you’d like a chance to win one of these here’s what you can do:

  1. Share on any of your social media platforms why you want this watch and link this blog article.
  2. Extract the link of your social media posting and send it to lengmoublogs@yahoo.com. Make sure you use the e-mail that is registered in my subscriber base or if you haven’t subscribed yet then do subscribe to my subscriber list first.

That’s it.

Closing date for all entries is 12PM on the 26th October 2016.

Good luck guys. If you don’t get to win one though you can find out where to buy at Tel: 03-2141 5163. Visit  SEIKO Malaysia’s Facebook page and website for more details.

12 ways to save time and money while traveling

When I was a kid my fortune teller told my mom that when I grow up I will have to travel a lot to earn a living. 30 years on, the prediction seems to have come through. I spent the past 10 years traveling a lot for work. At the peak I was overseas for as many days as I have been home.

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Over that time though I’ve learned how to travel more efficiently. Here are some of the things I’ve learned. Note that I don’t consistently follow each and every one of these so pick the ones that you think makes sense for you.

1) Don’t wear a belt and wear easy slip ons like Toms when traveling.

If there’s one thing that Osama Bin Laden was successful in, it’s wasting hours of our travel time. Post 9/11, security check points at airports have become increasingly more complex. From banning everything from bottled water and hand cream to having to remove your belt and shoes.

What I find myself spending the most time doing after each security check is wearing my belt and shoes again.

So lesson learned: Don’t wear a belt and wear shoes that you can almost slip on and off so you can breeze through security checks like the wind!

2) Pack a Medikit

Many years ago I made a business trip to Shanghai and my friend brought me for some super spicy and oily Sichuan food. I walked away from that dinner with some major food poisoning, spending the next few days locked up in my hotel room with a severe case of diarrhoea and vomiting.

I also couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a western style pharmacy like a Boots or Watsons that we’re so used to in Malaysia or Singapore. So I resorted to a lot of chinese herbal medicine that didn’t seem to do anything for me.

It was in that time of crisis that I remembered my Dad’s advice. My Dad has this habit of carrying a medikit with him with medicine that treats everything from flu, diarrhoea, fever and all the bad stuff that could happen to you. He even packs two courses of antibiotics in it. One mild one and one strong one like Zithromax. He says you’ll never know how easy it is or how expensive it might be to see a doctor when you’re traveling so bring your own medicine just in case.

I ignored his advice and learned things the hard way.

3) Carry a travel wallet with a combination of major currencies.

Having to constantly change money in and out whenever I travel is difficult. So I have a pouch with all currencies of the countries I visit the most and also of all major currencies so I can use them to change to local currency whenever I need to. I’m not sure how widely accepted the Malaysian Ringgit would be to money changers in say Mongolia. But I’m pretty sure they’d take USD or GBP.

4) Always pay with cash when you can. When you pay by credit card, use the local currency option.

The rate you can negotiate with money changers is more often than not better than the rate your bank would give you on the credit card. Worse…. if you buy something and the merchant offers you a chance to pay in your home currency… don’t do it. Always pay in the local currency. If you thought the bank rate was bad, the merchant’s rates are just outright daylight robbery. You know they’re trying to cheat you right there and then when they by default give you their converted rates at the poor exchange rate and as part of the slip make you sign on a waiver that says you were offered bank rates but you chose the merchant’s rates.

5) Always have PENS in your travel backpack/handbag.

This is for filling in the arrival cards that almost every country requires you to fill in (except Malaysia now so I hear).

6) Have two sets of face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries. One for home and one that is permanently kept in your travel suit case.

Have you ever been on a trip then forgotten your contact lens case, or your toothbrush, or shaver?

Well… do this and you’ll never forget it again. Use travel sized toiletries when you can too so you can get away without having to check-in your luggage.

7) Don’t check-in luggage unless you absolutely have to.

Some airports are better at others when it comes to delivering your check-in luggage to you. KLIA is one of the worst. I’ve waited so long for my luggage I sometimes wondered if it was being sent on the next flight.

8) Uber is almost always cheaper than taxis.

This is true to me even when compared to places where taxis are cheap like Bangkok. It’s not just the price though. It’s also to save time negotiating with the taxi drivers that don’t want to go by meter and not having to dig your pockets for cash when you can just pay by credit card with Uber.

9) When you’re traveling with the family, AirBnB is almost always more cost efficient than booking multiple hotel rooms.

This is a straightforward one.

10) Always carry a power bank with you.

Another straightforward one. My Dad used to say that when traveling there are only 3 things you need. Air ticket, passport and money. Everything else can be bought if you forget.

Well in recent times, I think air ticket isn’t necessary anymore and that position is quickly replaced by your phone. So always have enough juice for your phone.

11)  Get free data roaming plans

We need data wherever we go and the thrifty Penangnite in me makes it a point to buy a local SIM whenever I land at the airport. It’s often cheaper than data roaming itself but it has its downsides. Often the queue to buy SIM cards at airport are long and sometimes you get cheated and overpay (like in Bali.. watch out for that).

My favourite solution for this now is U-Mobile. I pay RM70 a month for unlimited calls and 15GB. Do you know what the best part is? Is that I get unlimited data roaming in 12 countries around the region which includes Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and more. So whenever I travel I roam for free and just use my local data package. It’s cheap.

If you talk a lot on the phone while roaming though Maxis’s RM38 a day is pretty good because it covers data and also allows you to receive calls from telemarketers without having to pay the GDP of a small nation. Never again will you be pissed off when telemarketers call you when you’re roaming.

12) If time is important to you, always weigh in the delay costs vs the price of each airline.

Not all airlines or budget airlines are equal. Many of them have a different track record of delays. For example Air Asia is often cheap but it has a really bad track record when it comes to being on time. Every time I fly Air Asia I always prepare myself that the flight will be delayed for 15 minutes (if I’m lucky) to just under 2 hours (if I’m not). The air crew make it a point to apologise after each delay but it happens so much you can’t help but feel like they’re not even trying to be on time. We all have that friend who is always late for appointments no matter how many times he apologises.

I believe Air Asia has a policy that compensates you if their flights are delayed longer than 2 hours so I think they try not to let that happen but when it comes to delays under 2 hours, expect it.

For full service airlines, in my experience Cathay is really bad when it comes to being on time.

So okay guys that’s all I got. Hope it helps and safe travels!

So my wife and I just completely missed our anniversary

10th of October 2009…. oh wait was it 2008. Okay I just said to my wife sitting across me “We got together in 2009 right?”.

And she gradually lifted her middle finger to me in slow motion. Ok so it was 2008.

Yeah so we got together on 10th of October 2008 although I neither of us can really confirm the exact date because it’s not like I officially asked the question. We just gradually started acting more and more like a couple. So in the end we chose the date 10th of October because it was easy to remember and we celebrated that date every year.

Well every year except for this year. Ahhh we just realized that we completely… like completely missed the date. Like the whole day went by and we did our things, worked, took care of kids and all that and it was only the next day did Shorty remember it was our anniversary.

There was no celebration, no wish for each other, no kiss, no hug and not even a dinner. I don’t know what happened. I guess we’re too focused on taking care of our kids now that we forget about us sometimes and I know that can’t be good.

We both know that we need to spend time and work on us. Rather than just the kids. So I don’t know… I’m thinking of maybe going for a holiday, just me and Shorty. But when we did that last year we missed the kids so much we really suffered.

Ahhh so I don’t know. Maybe we should just go for a staycation or something. Somewhere in KL, just for one night… so we can come back the next day and see the kids again. It’s like we never left.

Does anyone know some place in KL that serves as a great staycation?